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III
THE WRITTEN WORD

LIII

THE BIBLE Dim—as the borrow" d beams of moon and stars To lonely, weary, wandering travellers— Is reason to the soul: and as on high, Those rolling fires discover but the sky, Not light us here; so reason's glimmering ray Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way, But guide us upward to a better day. And as those nightly tapers disappear When day's bright lord ascends our hemisphere, So pale grows Reason at Religion's sight; So dies, and so dissolves in supernatural light.

John Dryden

LIV:*
THE GOSPELS
And so the Word had breath, and wrought
With human hands, the creed of creeds
In loveliness of perfect deeds,
More strong than all poetic thought.

Which he may read that binds the sheaf,
Or builds the house, or digs the grave,
And those wild eyes that watch the wave

In roarings round the coral reef.

A. Tennyson

LV

THE SECOND BAY OF CREATION

This world I deem

But a beautiful dream
Of shadows that are not what they seem,

Where visions rise,

Giving dim surmise
Of the things that shall meet our waking eyes.

Arm of the Lord!

Creating Word!
Whose glory the silent skies record

Where stands Thy name

In scrolls of flame
On the firmament's high-shadowing frame.

I gaze o'erhead,

Where Thy hand hath spread
For the waters of Heaven that crystal bed,

And stored the dew

In its deeps of blue, Which the fires of the sun come temper'd through.

Soft they shine . Through that pure shrine, As beneath the veil of Thy flesh divine,

Beams forth the light

That were else too bright
For the feebleness of a sinner's sight.

I gaze aloof
On the tissued roof.
Where time and space are the warp and woof,

Which the King of kings
As a curtain flings
O'er the dreadfulness of eternal things—

A tapestried tent

To shade us meant
From the bare everlasting firmament;

Where the blaze of the skies

Comes soft to our eyes Through a veil of mystical imageries.

But could I see

As in truth they be,
The glories of Heaven that encompass me,

I should lightly hold

The tissued fold
Of that marvellous curtain of blue and gold.

Soon the whole

Like a parched scroll
Shall before my amazed sight uproll,

And without a screen

At one burst be seen
The Presence wherein I have ever been.

O! who shall bear

The blinding glare
Of the Majesty that shall meet us there?

What eye may gaze

On the unveil'd blaze Of the light-girdled throne of the Ancient of days?

Christ us aid!

Himself be our shade,
That in that dread day we be not dismay'd.

T. Whytehead

LVI

THE THIRD DAY OF CREATION

Thou spakest, and the waters roll'd

Back from the earth away, They fled, by Thy strong voice controll'd,

Till Thou didst bid them stay: Then did that rushing, mighty ocean, Like a tame creature cease its motion, Nor dared to pass where'er Thy hand Had fix'd its bound of slender sand.

And freshly risen from out the deep

The land lay tranquil now
Like a new-christen'd child asleep

With the dew upon its brow:
As when in after time the earth
Rose from her second watery birth,
In pure baptismal garments drest,
And calmly waiting to be blest.

Again Thou spakest, Lord of power,

And straight the land was seen
All clad with tree, and herb, and flower,

A robe of lustrous green:
Like souls, wherein the hidden strength
Of their new birth is waked at length,
When, robed in holiness, they tell
What might did in those waters dwell.
F

Lord, o'er the waters of my soul

The word of peace be said;
Its thoughts and passions bid Thou roll

Each in its channell'd bed;
Till that in peaceful order flowing,
They time their glad obedient going
To Thy commands, whose voice to-day
Bade the tumultuous floods obey.

For, restless as the moaning sea,

The wild and wayward will
From side to side is wearily

Changing and tossing still;
But sway'd by Thee, 'tis like the river
That down its green banks flows for ever,
And calm, and constant tells to all
The blessedness of such sweet thrall.

Then in my heart, Spirit of might,

Awake the life within
And bid a spring-tide, calm and bright,

Of holiness begin:
So let it lie with Heaven's grace
Full shining on its quiet face,
Like the young earth in peace profound,
Amid the assuaged waters round.

T. Whytehead

LVII

THE SEVENTH DA Y OF CREATION
Sabbath of the saints of old,
Day of mysteries manifold;
By the great Creator blest,
Type of His eternal rest:

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