Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][graphic][merged small]

From a Photograph by Russell & SONS, Tufnell Park.

THE RAINBOW: I Magazine of Obristian Literature, with Special Reference to toe

Rebealed Future of tậe Cþarch and týe World.

JANUARY, 1882.

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

a

B

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:

Other worlds,-
If other worlds there be in distant space, -
Were fashioned by His hands, as well as this;
And other world's have seen Him and adored.
But which of them contains a Bethlehem,
A Nazareth, a Calvary, a tomb
Hewn in the rock, adjacent to the CROSS
That must for ever make this home of men
The wonder of Creation? Which of them
Hath witnessed an apostasy restored,
By the Great Sovereign taking on Himself
The nature of the fallen? Which of them
Hath seen its mighty Ruler subjected
To poverty, and cruelty, and death ;
Whilst, with profoundest wisdom, moved by love,
He made those very crimes the scaffolding
To the sublimest structure ever built
By the great Master-Builder ? Which of them
Hath been the scene of moral discipline
To minds unnumbered, once the worthless wreck
Dashed by the storm of diabolic pride
Around the feet of Deity ;-a pride
Which, though it could not wound Him on His throne,
Asked all in scorn if that abortion, man,
Was worthy of a God Infallible ?

But wisdom infinite hath made that wreck
A monument of glory, that shall stand
Bright as a host of seraphs, clothed upon
With the divinity that flows from Christ,
When Satan and his angels all are dead, -
Forever buried, crushed beneath the weight
Of their determined crimes 1-hath made that wreck
The great occasion of a soene of grace,
Rising right up to glory, which hath made
The wisest angels wiser, and hath thrown
The vesture of divinest harmony
Around Jehovah's attributes; and taught,
The grandest truth that ever kissed the ear,

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.

« PreviousContinue »