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THE RAINBOW: I Magazine of Obristian Literature, with Special Reference to toe
Rebealed Future of tậe Cþarch and týe World.
WHAT WILL OCCUR THIS YEAR? A FRESH leaf turned, upon which to continue the world's story;
another page—that of 1882—to be added to the great book of Time; a book to which all nations, peoples, and tribes have contributed. It is an amazing production ! Is there in the universe, on the supposition that there are other inhabited worlds in it, any whose story could stand by the side of ours ? We cannot imagine it. Even if the probability of the existence of other worlds, in which intelligent beings dwell, were as strong as it is weak, we claim for our own an unapproachable pre-eminence in every direction in which it is possible to develop character ! Our marvellous story proves that all kinds of vice have grown to rank and poisonous luxuriance on our soil ; that crime here has reached gigantic proportions; that sin, suffering and sorrow here cannot be paralleled elsewhere, and that the devil and death-dreadful sire and son!
; have been at work here through all time indulging their awful passion for murder !
O no! Ye worlds that modern astronomy has created with such profuse liberality, we rejoice that none of you can compare with us in these respects. We are unequalled in our giddy height, or, if you think the words more appropriate, our fearful depth of iniquity. You must not attempt to put in a claim! We will reject it with the consciousness that we have no compeer in moral madness ! We cannot tolerate the thought of another world in God's wonderfully glorious creation so bad as this. Leave us alone, 0 ye numberless “ solar systems," leave us alone in our infinite infamy!
But is there not another side to this sad story, this grievous confession of moral apostasy? Is it all black, doleful, diabolical ? We reply at once, that is simply impossible. Unmixed evil, if the
, idea is conceivable, could not exist for any length of time. It would speedily be suffocated in its own corruption. There must be flashes of the original light in the memory of the prince of darkness, otherwise even he would perish before the destined hour
when, by the power of the Lord Christ, he will be destroyed for ever.
Yes, there is another side ; and its marvellous moral beauty, its streams of pure light out of what seemed blacker than Egyptian darkness, its joyous life out of a death that made the sun ashamed of the world over which he rejoices to run his daily circuit, and its wonderful volume of praise from hearts that have been set to music by the Spirit of the living God, are not to be equalled by any other world, of either fact or fancy, in creation. Other worlds have no such monuments of wonder:
But wisdom infinite hath made that wreck
And made the heart exult,-that GOD IS LOVE! It is many years since I wrote these words-in “Lays of the Future," long out of print—but they suggest the line of thought that might be followed, if elaboration were at all necessary, in showing that truth and holiness have had their abundant growth in this region of falsehood and sin.