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Seekers after God : sonnets / by Wm. Preston Johnston. Johnston, William Preston. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-250-31802494 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Seekers after God : sonnets / by Wm. Preston Johnston. Johnston, William Preston. J.P. Morton, Louisville, Ky. : 1898. 81 p. ; 21 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1995. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN05058.09 KUK) Printing Master B92-250. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. SEEKERS AFTER GOD sonnets BY WM. PRESTON JOHNSTON LOUISVILLE, KY. JOHN P. MORTON & COMPANY 1898 coprigbtez, 1898. 'Uam. tPreston lobnoton. CONTENTS. IN rt first. Seekers After God. - Sonnets. DEDICATION................................... PROLOGUE - Part I ... Part I I... Part III. . THE WINDOWS OF Reason ...... Obedience .. . Faith ....... The Law.... Inspiration. . . H EAVE'4 - ............. . .......I...I.... .............. .............. ...... ............ 17 ,8 :9 I0 2 I AT THE BARRIERS - Pythagoras ................................. 22 5 Socrates I ................................. . 26 Socrates II ................................ 27 Socrates III.... ....... 28 PAGE 7 ItI 1 2 1 3 .............................. ... .........I....................... ....... ......................... ............... . ................ ................ ................ ................ Contents. AT THE BARRIERS - Continued. PAGE Scipio ..................................... 29 Julius Caesar..... . ........................ 30 Cicero .............................3........ 3 Seneca.... 32 Epictetus.... 33 Marcus Aurelius.... 34 THE EYES UNSEALED-DISCIPLES OF THE LORD- A Voice Crying in the Wilderness.. .. 37 John the Baptist.... 38 Simon Bar-Jona. Peter the Confessor. Peter the Denier . Peter After Pentecost. Saul of Tarsus I . Saul of Tarsus II . Paul ...................... John the Seer.............. The Apocalypse. PILGRIMS OF THE CROSS - Telemachus .... ...... The Saint of the Desert. The Knight Errant. The Benedictine. 39 40 4I 42 43 44 45 46 47 5I 52 53 54 ................ ............ ' '. . ............... ................ ................ ................ ...... I ......... ................ ......... .... . . . - I ..... ......... . ......... . ......... . Contents. PILGRIMS OF THE CROSS-- Continued PAGE The Franciscan ............................. 55 ColumbusI ................................ 56 Columbus II . Ignatius Loyola . Hugh Latimer ................ John Wesley .................. James Martineau ............. Stanley and Kingsley........... Bishop Pattison ............... Rev. B. M. Palmer, D). D ....... To Sophie................... Dives and Lazarus............. Dives-Lazarus ................ The Forgotten Saints .......... Saints of To-day .............. To a Saint on Earth .......... To a Saint in Heaven ......... Vpart Second. THE ABSOLUTE - The Cry of Faith.. 57 58 59 60 6i 62 63 54 65 66 67 68 69 70 7' ............. 75 ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. ............. This page in the original text is blank. TO MISS HENRIETTA PRESTON JOHNSTON. In this small book I seek the sonnet's aid, Some pictures of the past in words to paint And show how seekers after God essayed To find him; patrizrch and martyred saint And spotless sage free from all selfish taint And Christian knight and missionary mild, And how heaven answers to the heart's wild plaint, And wisdom cometb to the little child. But none qf those whom I on earth have known Have sought God's will with a more strenuous quest, With eager praver and thought of Him alone And anxious wish to do his least behest Than thou, my sister, earliest, dearest friend, To whom these autumn leaves with love I send. i dtfattlon. This page in the original text is blank. part ltrut. cchers 6fter Gob. Sonnets. This page in the original text is blank. SEEKERS AFTER GOD. 4 PROLOGUE. I. T HE bard who would the storied past rehearse, What things the spirit wrought in word and deed, Should strike a note unerring in his verse, A cypher give that he who runs may read. How answers then the sonnet to his need, Its metre strained, its tangled sleave of rhyme, The structural artifice true art must heed Where stringent form and soaring thought should chime Art hath its phases; now it stands sublime In Milton's marvellous imaginings; Dryden's sonorous line stales not with time; In woodnotes wild the Ayrshire ploughman sings: So none need scorn the pipe as small for fame By Petrarch blown and Browning's gentle dame. ir Seefters utter bob. II. I LEAVE the trumpet and full throated horn Of epic to the leaders of the choir, The martial strain, the sigh of love forlorn, To him who smites the loud resounding lyre And chants with lips touched by the sacred fire Imperial themes of patriot fervor born, The joy of combat and the noble ire That withers wrong with fierce consuming fire. My task, to show the patriarchs of the eld And seekers after God by nature's light And saints who witnessed truth in suffering; Small pictures of the past by faith beheld, That grants dim eyes a sacred second sight; These in the sonnet's narrow bounds I sing. 12 Crl[owue. HII. THE search of man for God, the mightiest theme That ever can his loftiest thought engage! Is his clear vision but an idle dream, The mind's mirage to lure the doubting sage With phantoin waters that can not assuage His thirst divine, or are the spires that gleam Above Heaven's battlements from age to age To eyes unsealed, as real as they seem To him who sees them nct, they are not; clod Of crudest clay by spirit uninformed, His body, breath and reason have their day And into nothingness would pass away, But that, by grace regenerate and warmed To a new being, he may grope toward God. 13 This page in the original text is blank. Ubc tInZ'ow.D of lbeaven. This page in the original text is blank. THE WINDOW', OF HEAVEN. 4 REASON. T HE budding world was in its bloomstrewn prime, And from it Nature rose, a temple vast; Its architects, twin Titans, Space and Time, Rested, their handiwork complete, when last Into the pageant a new Being passed, The one appointed in the splendid shrine High priest, o'er all his soverein sway to cast And fill the void with energy divine. For all the beams from stars, moon, sun, that shine Could not from Nature lift the dreary pall Till on man's brow was set the imperial sign Of the self-conscious soul that saw it all In the clear light of reason, which to men Came through the window opened from Heaven then. 17 Seekers 3tter 00o. OBEDIENCE. THE mighty temple of the human soul, Lit through one only casement by a ray Of natural reason, saw long ages roll NWhile mankind mouldered to a slow decay, Because they yielded not to reason's sway, But let false fiends crawl to the niches high And foul forms squat in places where men pray; So that 'twere best this race corrupt should die. But no! man hath a loftier destiny; Knowledge gives light, but from the sloughs of sense In vain the struggling soul essays to fly Unless obedience leads the spirit hence. Another window's radiance through the gloom To Noah showed man's path from death and doom. FAITH. FROM the broad plains where wandering herdsmen dwelt, A Prince of Ur - men call him now a sheikh - Of the colossal type, severe, antique, Led off his bands. The Lord had kindly dealt With him and his; his grateful spirit felt The trust a son unto his father feels As in his boyhood at that knee he kneels, While all his fervent love and passions melt Into a faith, unquenchable, supreme. In God he trusts; from Heaven's high battlement A blaze of glory fills his horsehair tent And rolling splendors o'er his, spirit stream; His vision pierces Nature's lofty dome And treads the fields where guardian angels roam. Zbe Mtnbowo ot lReaven. Seekersi after NoD. THE LAW. FROM Egypt's teeming fields the Hebrews fled, Passed the deep waters, tracked the desert sand, Following his steps where'er the Seer led, And to the Mountain came, an altar grand, Reared in the waste by an Almighty hand, That here Earth's self should smoke, and flames arise, While royal Moses as High Priest should stand, The tables twain to take, and sacrifice. Then came the Law amid a nation's cries Of fear and mad revolt from God's command And lurid light that, issuing from the skies, Made all the Earth, at last, a Holy Land; Commandments forged to fetter men from wrong But wrought by righteousness to weapons strong. 20 Cbe Witnbowa of Ineaven. INSPIRATION. SPIRIT Divine that o'er creation broods, Filling with life the outer bounds of space And thrilling further yet the amplitudes Beyond the finite ken, Thou hast by grace From Thy pure essence lent a spark, a trace, Of Deity, in those benignant moods Wherein the Infinite reveals His face To holy men, but still their grasp eludes. And thus to David's heaven-strung harp there came Music that matched the worship of his song, Remorse and penitence and words of flame; And prophets spake with inspiration strong. Before their eyes ages to come unroll., And fire-touched lips recite the seraphs' scroll. 21 This page in the original text is blank. Et the 1i6arrier. This page in the original text is blank. AT THE BARRIERS. .i PYTHAGORAS. G OING down throughi the valley of Hades, TThe immemorial Jim dusk of the eld, Of my daemon I ask whose grand shade is That presence majestic, that form unexcelled And then by emotions prepotent impelled, I say, as the hem of his raiment I touch, "Dear Master, if thou hast in silence withheld Some part of thy wisdom, of which thou hast much, Teach me, I pray thee, in aid of mankind." Pythagoras answered, " One thing is sure; Man is deaf to the rhythm of nature, and blind To its order. Physician, this thought is his cure; That Kosmos is justly arid wisely designed, And its harmony sounds in the ears of the pure. 2' Seeiere a.fter Cob. SOCRATES. I. I N early Hellas, clear as crystal wave In sky, in atmosphere, in minds of men, Whether in frolic sport or discourse grave Its thought ran riot, or beyond the ken Of worshippers of idols of the den Lifted its haughty head to probe the vault And from Olympus force reply again, The strong winged soul found in its flight no halt, But to the empyreal sphere soared in assault. So Socrates through myth and mystery saw, And Plato strove the Idea to exalt That veiled the Maker in unchanging Law; Seekers for truth, in which for God they sought And won the crown for which their souls had wrought. Et the M3arriers. SOCRATES. II. W HEN Socrates, he of the shabby robe, Had earned from Athens the unjust decree That sentenced him to death, because his probe Had touched its self love, Pity said, ''Go free, Thy prison gates to-night unbarred shall be; Walk forth, and in some happier clime thy fame Will blossom yet to imm ortality, Nor can detraction visit thee with blame. "Nay, friends, have I not told you that there came Unto mine inmost soul a potent voice That bade me put all false conceit to shame And place the common welfare first; no choice Is left. For me the hemlock cup to take Is better far than Athens' laws to break." 27 SOCRATES. III. A THREADBARE cloak, alas, a tattered sleeve, A smile ironical, a biting tongue, The honied sarcasm of a bee that stung, The arguments that puzzle and deceive, The snares his crafty questions interweave And yet, 0 Socrates, how wise men hung Upon thy words, those precious jewels flung Unto a swinish multitude; it grieves Our very souls that Plato's garnered sheaves And worthy Xenophon's small talk is all That from the buried past we can recall; Small remnant of thy legacy it leaves. One saying stays; that thou wouldst gladly die To share with just men immortality. 8 Scefters Zifter 00. Bt the Z3arrtero. SCIPIO. THESE ceremonial forms and ancient rites, These solemn auguries by seers made, The sign that bodes, the portent that affrights, The ghost of which the soldier is afraid, The pomp of superstition's masquerade Are passing dreams to Scipio, who delights To climb with Plato the aerial grade Of thought where calm Philosophy invites. Conqueror of Carthage, there are loftier heights To which thy soul shall rise; the captive maid Free from all fear, the victory that excites Nor wrath nor greed, these laurels shall not fade. Thy clement soul in search of truth shall see Three golden steps, to know, to do, to be. 29 Seehers Etier 0ob. JULIUS CAESAR. THE foremost man of all the world! Is't true His was a mind that grasped the whole of life, That gazed with equal brow on calm and strife, Gleaned what the past bequeathed, yet seized the new, And saw the ages march in grand review. The stern republic of an earlier day, Rent into fragments, mouldering to decay, Still felt the thirst to combat and subdue, The instinct fierce the old paths to pursue Which led to conquest and imperial sway. This Cesar saw; and though his pathway lay Across the muniments of time, he drew Into his sovereign hand all that was old And bade a new world from the germs unfold. 30 St tbe Marrter. CICERO. W HEN martial Rome had stretched her conquering sword Wide o'er the lands, Philosophy held sway Where once ancestral g-ods had been adored. Then rival sects made battle in word-play; Stoic and Epicurean had his say, And in the clash of tongues each felt assured That he alone stood in the light of day. Great Tully looked on, smiling, and endured The babble till his patience was outworn, Then, with full measure of his talents ten And mental sinews trained in every school And learning copious as rich Plenty's horn, He grasped the problem old 'twixt gods and men, To find in nature that one God must rule. 31 Seeftero Wfter Gob. SENECA. FAVORITE of fortune, Seneca the wise, Offspring of intellect and virtuous thought, Possessing all things that men seek or prize, Desiring most the things that good men ought, And loving well the truths himself had taught; Yet by the cruel irony of fate Condemned to wear as chains what most men sought, Rank, ease, power, wealth, the favor of the great, He kept his steadfast eyes on virtue's gate, But dared not enter it beyond retreat; For, crouching near, envy and lynx-eyed hate And murder foul watched his advancing feet. His nerveless hand to cope with evil tried, But lacking strength greatly to live,-he died. Et tbe U3arrers. EPICTETUS. SLAVE of the slave of that still baser slave, Who, having all things, worshipped self alone, Nero, in whose foul breast, as in a grave, Festered all infamies born of a throne, One Epictetus, a poor cripple shone Upon a darkened world as shines a star Through a dim, clouded dawn, and, to the moan Of human pain that welled up near and far, Pointed in silence to his scourge and scar, Or spoke to fainting hearts, "Who would be strong, - Balm for the sores of peace, the wounds of war- Must learn to suffer and 1:o do no wrong. His words, his life, to men a lesson gave That made Aurelius pattern on the slave. 33 Seekers after Gob. MARCUS AURELIUS. VICTORIOUS Rome had crystallized the world Into an empire, and her Genius stood In one man lodged until his brain was whirled WVith madness and untrammeled masterhood; And evil sat enthroned, nor any 'could Stem or withstand corruption's poisonous tide, So that belief, that aught of true or good On earth remained, in human hearts had died, But that, imperial power, thus deified, Came to a youth, self centred, truly great, Who made a chaste philosophy the bride Of his exalted reason, and the state His only care, but yet in twilight groped, While slaves attained what Marcus only hoped. 34 Ube leper UnTcaIeb. Viectptes of the XLorD. This page in the original text is blank. THE EYES UNSEALED. A VOICE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS. A VOICE! A Voice--and is it but a voice That from the wilderness sends up a cry "God's Kingdom is at hand; your only choice, O wretched ! is to turn from sin or die. Bring forth good fruits; the poor man's needs supply; Be just, be merciful. Behold the Lord, Whose rule shall spread unto eternity! A prophet I Nay, but a Voice! The Word That Was and Is comes like a seraph's sword To bend brute force to the free spirit's sway, Where'er His tidings glad by men are heard; But John's faint echoes shall soon die away." Not so, 0 greater than a prophet, thou From Herod's dungeon rose and livest now! 37 Seeekers utter (Bob. JOHN THE BAPTIST. HAT went ye to the wilderness to see Was it a reed shaken by the desert wind But wherefore went ye Hoping what to find A man clothed in soft raiment Nay, but he, Who dares to beard the haughty Pharisee, In camel's hair and leathern girdle clad, Brings contrite hearts the gospel that makes glad, And warns the wicked Heaven's wrath to flee; For One will come whose fan is in His hand To gather in His wheat and purge the floor. John is His herald; none has gone before Of woman born whose name shall greater stand; But yet unto the very least in Heaven A higher place than unto John is given. 38 Ube Ereo Vlnueatce. SIMON BAR-JONA. BARE-KNEED he waded in the reedy lake, Or pushed his scallop further from the shore, Or hoisted sail where rougher waters break, With stalwart arms that plied the bladed oar And shoulders galled with the huge loads they bore. But still beneath their pent house gleamed dark eves W\Vith lambent fire, and his stern visage wore The signs of thought that spreads its wings and flies. But why to him should coome the glad surprise Wihy should he be Messiah's chosen friend,- This fisherman of bleak Gennesaret- Bidden henceforth for men to cast his net The Lord whose kingdom comes and knows no end Discerns His own through nature's thin disguise. Seekers arter 0oo. PETER THE CONFESSOR. THE Twelve, and The One, they were thirteen in all, Were wearily walking a summer's day The road to the Roman city whose wall Loomed by the coast. They were seeking the Way To eternal life, and they halted to pray. Then Jesus asked of the Twelve, by what name The people spake of him; whom did they say The Son of 'Man was. They answered, "His fame \Was that of a prophet, Elijah or John." "But whom say ye, that I am " said the Lord. Simon answered, ''The Christ! Thou art the Son Of the Living God." Then Jesus, "That Word Is the rock I build on. Thou, Peter, art blest That my Father hath shown thee what thou hast confessed. 40 Ube Eseo Mnsealeb. PETER THE DENIER. THE King of Glory took the cup of shame And pressed it to his lips. By one betrayed, All the Apostles, who had in His Name Wrought miracles, fled from him sore afraid. But Peter followed, though afar, and stayed Outside the throng and yet within the court, Dazed with tumultuous terrors, when a maid Spied him, and cried, "Thou, too, make thy report, Thou Nazarene!" He cursed, yea, he denied With oaths that he was of them, or even knew The Man of Sorrows shortly to be tried, Thus thrice e'er dawn; and when the cock twice crew, He was aware and wept. 0 human heart, How strong, how weak, how wonderful thou art! 4V Scefters Etter Gob. PETER AFTER PENTECOST. W HERE late ye fled a flock of fugitives, Scattered like sheep before a ravening beast, Because your Christ was dead, now that He lives And ye have seen Him, all your fears have ceased, Nor Herod, Pilate, Sanhedrim or priest Can awe you any more; for Pentecost Hath signed your brows with flame, and so increased Your zeal for Christ that each man is a host, Eager to meet what other men fear most And what the rest desire esteeming least So Peter, who denied, again can boast That death is welcome as a marriage feast. Transformed by grace, no more his soul shall quail, Nor 'gainst the Rock the gates of Hell prevail. 42 Zbe XEpeo tUnoealeb. SAUL OF TARSUS. I. T HE Chief Priest asked, "WNhat man shall have command And journey to Damascus to hale thence The wretched Nazarenes who fret the land With lies about their false Christ, an offense Deserving death. We need intelligence, Courage and fiery zeal that will withstand Pity, prayer, argument; a man intense, Fierce for the Law, and with an iron hand." A scribe replied, "The man to lead your band Is Saul of Tarsus, by all men confessed Vehement in faith, without fear, and grand In hate of error; he will cure the pest." Saul, breathing slaughter, was for havock sent; The Scourge of God came back a penitent. 43 Seekers 2fter 0o0. SAUL OF TARSUS. II. W HAT haughty horseman rides the dusty road That to Damascus leads It is the Jew Who at Gamaliel's feet so long abode And all the learning of the ancients knew. A Pharisee of Pharisees, he grew 'Wise in the law of Moses, Israel's code, And inspiration from the prophets drew, Bending his shoulders to the Talmud's load; So that to him all streams of influence flowed, To fill his soul with wrath against the crew Of recreant Hebrews who sedition sowed, And stir his zeal their schism to subdue. To shield the Covenant with his stubborn will Was Saul's large purpose; God's was larger still. 44 PAUL. PROUD SAUL, on bigotry's harsh mission bound, With rancor filled, across the sultry plain Toward green Damascus shook his bridle rein, When lo, a sudden glory shone around, And stricken with blindness, prostrate to the ground He fell, with all his band. 0 Paul, in vain Didst thou consent to witness Stephen slain; Almighty power can human plans confound. Thy learning, zeal and heart brave, clean and sound, The Lord had need of; so that thou didst gain Through blindness sight, the right to suffer pain, And at the last with martyrdom be crowned. The Voice that spake to thee gave thee a voice That bade the Gentile world in Christ rejoice. 45 Ube Xpeo Unocalea. Seekero 21tter GO. JOHN THE SEER. O FOR the vision of glory that broke On the soul of the saint, apostle of love, Who hung on the Master's lips when he spoke, And beheld the Spirit in shape like a dove Descend on his Lord, and heard from above The voice that called Him His Son, and awoke To the fact-the great fact-the centuries prove, That matter serves Spirit as symbol and cloak ! His eyes were unsealed through love for the friend Who had chastened his zeal and pointed the way To the realm of the Lamb and bliss without end, The splendors of Zion and perpetual day. Love was the key to those portals of love That opened to earth the mansions above. 46 Uhe fetpe tUneeale. THE APOCALYPSE. VISION on vision of glory supernal Broke like wild billows on soul and on sight Of the saint who, through time and aeons eternal And realms beyond space, in spirit took flight. Mountains delectable, streams of delight, Oceans of crystal and islands elysian, Cherubim, Seraphim, angels of might, Bands of the blest beni on heavenly mission, And Jesus Himself in glory resplendent, The First and the Last, on jasper enthroned, Star sceptered, supreme, with power transcendent, In garments of pity, with righteousness zoned, To John the Divine were on Patmos revealed When the angel of God his eyes had unsealed. This page in the original text is blank. Ipilrime of the Croi. This page in the original text is blank. PILGRIMS OF THE CROSS. 4 TELEMACHUS. The Martyr of the Amphitheatre. THE Rome of Diocletian, steeped in blood Of Christian martyrs, long had passed away, And the new faith, like a great Alpine flood, Above the empire's submerged levels lay, And even the Casars owned Christ's gentle sway. Yet in the Circus low browed thousands swarmed To watch the gladiators' brutal fray And cheered the onset and for victims stormed. The games were set, the swordsmen stood arrayed. When from the benches to the arena sprang The monk Telemachus, beating down each blade: Then the mob stoned him, while their fierce cries rang. There the monk died, the sand stained with his gore; Rome wept, and saw those bloody sports no more. 5' seefters Etter Go. THE SAINT OF THE DESERT. THE world is cruel, in the slough of sin, And bad brute force tramples on Adam's seed; In the hot race of life the vilest win, And power wrings tribute from the poor man's need Then what is left is shared by craft and greed; Heaven hath no ear to hear amid the din, Though lust corrupts and human hearts must bleed. When will the reign of righteousness begin Eager am I my trembling soul to save; O God, Thou knowest that I would be pure, But man is cruel and I am not strong To cope with savagery and combat wrong. Still I can pray, shun sin and much endure, Far from the world hid in some desert cave. 52 pil[rtms of tbe Cross. THE KNIGHT ERRANT. T HE world is full of sin - a cruel world- King Satan hath unbarred the gates of hell And his foul cohorts of bad spirits hurled To spread confusion and the discord swell. These rave and ravin and strike the final knell Of man on earth; miLennium now draws near And imminent war with the foul fiends who fell; So timid souls creep palsied with base fear. But why stand I braced with this stalwart brawn And with a heart robust as solid oak, But to make battle with the infernal spawn And stand betw3en them and G(od's common folk Therefore to God and mran whate'er rny fate, My sword, my strength, my life, I dedicate. 53 Seekers Etter Gob. THE BENEDICTINE. THE great world seethes; men fight for gold or power, And bloodstains redden castle, court and cot; Sin stalks abroad or shames the lady's bower; In vain we look to find the happy spot Where righteousness prevails and sin is not. The cloister only is a rock built tower Against the woe which is the common lot, The wretchedness that is our earthly dower. Here in its sheltered walls I quiet find, As peacefully I pace the shaded walk, And list our stately abbot's wise, sweet talk, Or join in psalmody with joyous mind; Or, that Christ's gospel sore poor souls may reach, What things I know I humbly, gladly teach. 5A PItlortme of the Croes. THE FRANCISCAN. H AVE pity, dear Christ, on the sons of men, Who grovel and starve in alleys and docks; The wolf hath his lair, the bear hath his den And conies hide in the holes of the rocks; But the shelter of home is denied thy flocks Who huddle and slink in the filth and mire Of the sewers called cities, where misery mocks, Whose sons pass to Moloch through torture and fire! But I! What can I do Jesu! I can cry, .Dear Brother, come forth from the cesspool of sin, The help of my hand, the throb of my heart Are thine if thou wilt, rise up, do thy part. Thou canst not Thou shalt! One soul I will win For the Lord who is deaf to no penitent's sigh." 55 seetere Rfter 0ob. COLUMBUS. I. W HAT seer can tell where mighty thoughts are born, Or whence they come to men The humble cot, By which the proud pass with a glance of scorn, In after days becomes a hallowed spot Where pilgrim feet resort. The Fates allot Unto Porphyrogene oblivion's pall; Imperial grandeur is right soon forgot; The grave's black bondage makes of wealth its thrall. Columbus nurtured near the weaver's beam, Where a sad sire the frequent shuttle threw, Saw floods of light upon his spirit stream And from Heaven's fountains living waters drew. Through work and zeal the vision large unfurled That gave mankind and him a second world. 56 COLUMBUS. II. T HOU art not yet a saint, or canonized, In calendar of church, or men's esteem, Grand Christopher! The things thy soul most prized, The two worlds that made up thy life long dream Are commonplace and trite, as men now deem The young world that thy caravels explored Beyond the ocean's verge and earth's extreme, But most the sphere unseen wherein thy spirit soared. But who among the sons of mortal men Showed stouter heart in want, or storm, or fray, Or fortitude the stings of fate to bear At each rebuff thine essay, made again Through mirk and misdoubt, found at last a way, And heaven made answer to thy toil and prayer! 57 IDilgrime of the Crooo. Seekers atter G0b. IGNATIUS LOYOLA. XYJHEN Pampeluna's walls in dust were laid, Some stout defenders, still on fight intent, Back to the citadel their footsteps bent; And there Loyola, tranquil, undismayed, Still held the breach with his ensanguined blade, Until he sank, with grievous wounds forspent. Then on the couch of pain, with anguish rent, To king and country his full debt was paid. There to a higher life he felt the call, And found the pattern of a perfect man In Jesus; and conceived the mighty plan Of service in His Name that holds in thrall The masterful and wise, and bends the will Of thousands in its forceful bondage still. 58 lOttrtme of tbe Cross. HUGH LATIMER. B LUFF Latimer, brave, honest and robust, Who cared not what the Court or courtiers thought, But had a charge to keep, a sacred trust, A mission and a work that must be wrought. A battle with the Arch-fiend to be fought, And met unblenched great Harry's awful frown- Those bended brows with deadly purpose fraught- Looking beyond to a thorn-twisted crown, When at the stake the cruel flame's mad flight Wreathed to an aureole round his reverend head, To Ridley said, "'Brother, this candle's light Will over all the realm of England spread." Thus persecution's baleful pyre became Truth's dayspring and a Pentecostal flame. 59 seeTkerx utteer Doo. JOHN WESLEY. C ENTURIES of form and dogma had o'erpast Since Christ had shown men how to live and die, And saints had come and gone, and now at last Religion cloaked conventionality. The world was sunk in sense-a living lie- And England's easy ethics, futile thought, Cast in a mould of smug gentility, Deemed poor humanity a thing of naught. But underneath that rotten thin veneer Surged fires volcanic, born of human hate, That wrecked the order and the idea old; So all seemed lost, but that Ithuriel's spear, In Wesley's hand, unmasked the potentate Of Hell, and warmed to life men's hearts grown cold. 60 Vtlgrimi of tbe Crose. JAMES MARTINEAU. O)MIGHTY preacher, heretic and saint, Who liftest high thy soul above the fog Of creed and ritual and the Cimmerian bog Of dogma in whose quicksands strong men faint, How hast thy soaring spirit 'scaped the taint Of a material creed and risen to heights sublime, O'erleaping the strong fence of space and time In bold attempts the ways of God to paint Such strength is given by Him who knows all hearts, Who sets for each the limits of his scope, Who hath endowed thee with a prescience rare, To see things as they are, in whole, not parts, And filled thee with the love and faith and hope Of those who feel the Master's special care. Seeters Eltter Gob. STANLEY AND KINGSLEY. I LOOKED toward Zion with uplifted eyes, And saw upon its height that wondrous shrine, Built for his God by Solomon the Wise, Fit dwelling for Jehovah, Lord divine ! On stone and cedar golden bucklers shine, But most of all its stately portal caught My rapt attention and reverent thought, With two grand pillars of inspired design. I looked again, but this time with the eye Of faith that gazed upon a fabric fair, Built by the spirit ; pillars twain were there, Established - strong "-' wisdom and charity Upon their front this legend, "These endure, Stanley and Kingsley make the saying sure." 62 ]i Irtms of the Cross. BISHOP PATTISON. O N the further verge of this vast round world In the waste of waters, realm of the wave, Lie dreamy isles on its bosom impearled. \Where the billows surge and the strong blasts rave. For a myriad years they have been the grave Of races forgotten, unshriven, unblest; But a hero said, 'they nave souls to save," And went with the cross on his dreary quest. He planted the blistered blood-stained rood, And, watered with tears, it grew and spread Like the fronds of a palm, and the storms withstood; But the tempest fell on the good man's head As he prayed and toiled without surcease, Till the Lord, through martyrdom, gave release. 63 Seekers after 0od. REV. B. M. PALMER, D. D. FOR fourscore years he trod this mortal earth, Unsoiled by touch with all its devious ways; So good men loved his genius and his worth And freely gave him honest meed of praise; And thus he rounded out his length of days In usefulness and honor. So he became The guide of souls lost in life's tangled maze; But still his work was in his Master's name, Willing to bear for Him the cross of shame. \Vith potent teaching his winged words went wide, Searching the hearts of men as with a flame And as he told how Jesus lived and died, On seraph's pinions his rapt spirit soared And o'er the world its holy influence poured. 64 Vtilrims of the Cross. TO SOPHIE. On the Dedication of the Chapel of the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College. TWO mighty angels of the Lord of Hosts Swept to our earth from realms beyond the sky, Fulfilling thus the service of their posts, Homeward a saintly soul to bear on high Their names were Life and Immortality. The angel Life saith, " Here they call me Death, And when Life comes to souls, men say they die, And thou, too, art with them a passing breath." "This is not right," the other angel saith, "The soul that soars to Heaven should still abide On earth till time shall end, and Life, called Death, Shall over sin and pain victorious ride, Its influence pouring in a love divine On human hearts that hold it as a shrine." 65 Seekere 2lfter 00o. DIVES AND LAZARUS. IN royal purple and fine linen clad Dives sat in his lordly banquet hall, And wallowed in his wealth, and thought that all WVas gathered there that can the heart make glad; And from his table to a beggar sad There fell some crumbs as he lay at the gate, Sick, sore and bruised, in body and estate- Then the world passed, and each his portion had. And Dives, thirsting, looked from nether hell To where in Abram's bosom Lazarus lay In peace and comforted, and fell to pray And make his plaint and all his woes to tell. Then Abram answered, ' Son, thou hadst thy part, And now this poor one must lie next my heart." 66 Vtlrtmgi of tbe Croze. DIVES-LAZARUS. TALL marble columns, placques of malachite, Things wrought in ivory, fabrics for each whim, Broad acres, steeds that mock the arrow's flight, And white-sailed ships deep laden to the brim Or built for pride o'er summer seas to skim, Riches in all its forms, to use or waste, Are Dives', and their glitter shed on him They throng and urge him pleasures cup to taste. Unto his well groomed body, cleanly shaped, He says, " 0 body, thou art sound and whole," Then whispers to a Something darkly draped, But thou, 0 secret, wretched, leprous soul, Canst thou win back by all this store of wealth, One hour, one moment, of the breath of health" SeeIfere 2tter 0oo. THE FORGOTTEN SAINTS. THROUGHOUT the long procession of the ages, The seekers after God in pain have striven, And saints have suffered, and to wistful sages A glimpse of truth eternal has been given. Like those rare sentries in the vault of heaven That make it luminous with shining rays, The Pleiades, the sacred sisters seven, Sirius and splendid Arcturus, these blaze Meanwhile, a multitude, in tangled maze Of starry systems, link their astral shields And crowd in nebulous ranks the Milky Ways, Or rove, unnoted, interstellar fields. So men revere the peerage of the past Nor heed the light by lowly sainthood cast. 68 Ptilrlms of tbe Cross. SAINTS OF TO-DAY. W E are encompassed in our daily round By a vast multitude, a mighty throng, A cloud of witnesses, whose souls the song Of praise to God utter without a sound, In whose pure hearts trust, hope and love abound, Whose instant prayers ascend on noiseless wings, Whose proof of faith in secret alms is found, The sacrifice claimed by the King of Kings. Who are these saints that wear no earthly crown Of glittering gems, or yet more royal thorns No outward sign of holiness adorns Their plain humanity; in field or town They move unseen save by the Sleepless Eye That reads all hearts--the Conscious Destiny. 69 Seekers 21fter Gob. TO A SAINT ON EARTH. M EEK Mary, thou hast chosen the better part; Then why dost thou cumber thyself with cares The great world thou livest in onward fares, In spite of the burdens laid on thy heart; That world will wag on though thy conscience start For fear that thy work is not fully done; And yet thou art busy from rise of the sun In deeds for others in temple and mart. Thy hands are apt and thy will is strong, Thy mind is alert and thou dost not shun Toil for thy fellows; the good work begun By thee to the end must be carried along. 'Tis thus that the web of the world is spun By a Mary and Martha joined in one. 70 Vt[flrtmo of tbe Crow. TO A SAINT IN HEAVEN. A LONG sequestered paths her spirit trod, A And shunned the highway and the world's hot glare; You knew her for a chosen child of God, Who breathed His graces as her native air, But ne'er forgot her Father's loving care. Erect in soul before her fellow man, Her high born dignity bent down to share Each common woe that m-lars life's rounded plan. The oil of gladness in her hand she bore And poured it as a balm for every wound, And lightened every fellow sufferer's lot; So grateful eyes saw in her garb no spot, But angel's vestments, and beheld her crowned- But I - shall I see her loved face no more 7X This page in the original text is blank. part Seconb. Cbe E oRolute. hoe Cre of lftatb. This page in the original text is blank. The Cry of Faith. "The Heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handywork. - Fsa /mix ''For I will consider thy heavens, even the works of thy fingers ; the moon and the stars which thoul hast ordained. What is man that thou art mindful of hin, And the son of man that thou visitest him Thou madest him lower than the angels, to crown him with glory and worship. o Psalm vi'ii. - If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss, 0 Lord, who may abide it " -Psaln cxlMr "Praise him, sun and moon; Praise him, all ye stars and light; ..... Kings of the earth and all people Princes and all judges of the world.' -Psalm cxrlviii. 75 THE ABSOLUTE. I. I-I AM alone in the universe; vainly A foothold I seek in its void and its vastness Unless there be One whose Being enfolds me. What staff or support hath the soul here to lean on What stay for the spirit that flags in its flight What rest for the body and brain in the struggle What refuge for man when the hour arriveth That closes the gate on his dreaming forever Can friend, child, or wife, or his sore stricken father, Or the mother that bore him arrest the dread mandate That summons him back to the black vast oblivion Which wraps the creation and all of its children Do we know, can we see, will our groping and peering Reveal to us aught of the vision beyond it 76 Ube 2Itbolute, One answer alone can give us assurance, Bring rest to the heart and peace to the spirit Faith in the All-Father, trust in our Creator, Who planned in His Infinite \Visdom our being, Who guards all our goings, with goodness omniscient, Granting goodness, not woe as man's portion forever. If man sin, if he falter and fail in the conflict, And baffled, defeated, o'erthrown in the combat, Lies stretched where the sand of the world's mad arena Soaks his blood and his tears, and, lowering o'er him, Dark Nemesis frowns, he may still trust the Ruler, Whose infinite wisdom and justice and mercy Have ordered the contest with purpose unfathomed Who will pluck the poor wretch from the depths of his sorrow. I will trust ; I will worship ; I will bend the strong pinions Of my mind, heart and soul to find my Redeemer, With mine eyes to behold the Lord who delivers, The Saviour who ransoms and rescues the vanquished. 77 seefters ufter Got). THE ABSOLUTE. II. W HENCE came He, the Maker of earth and of heaven, Creator of all things, immanent, abiding, The Ruler, the Reason, the Process Eternal, Who sways constellations, yet dwells in the atonii Before time and space and beyond human thinking And in the beginning was the Father Almighty, Self existent and acting in conscious creation And One with the Father was the Word Uncreated, Who reveals to the finite the infinite Thought. The heavens declare God's glory and goodness, And the firmament showeth the work of His hands; For its arch He hath builded with splendor supernal, And with His crown jewels its portals emblazoned 78 Cbe Bbsolute. And His meteor banners stream through the expanse. Suns and planets speak to us in praise of their Maker, And the spheres chime together in time's morning hymn Their voices are those of Hiis ministering angels, With messages meant for the children of men. But forth from His Godhead a beam more transcendent Came with reason to illumine the eye of the mind And teach it to read the Xvast volume of nature, Wherein may be spelled ir: the scroll spread above us,- The primer, the horn-book, of Absolute Power- The lessons God's finger hath traced for His sons. There man learns that sunls and their satellites blazing, The lamps of the darkness and lamps of the day, Are more than the pledges that lovers plight troth by, Or the flambeaus that brighten the wayfarer's path, Than the mariner's guide, c)r the soothsayer's fetich They are symbols and proof of an order divine. Their hosts, as unnumbered as flakes of the snowdrift, With the mystery of beauty have nourished men's souls; 79 Seekero Efter Gob. Yet through ages on ages and aeons past counting They have moved to the rhythm of unfailing law. Yea, mighty beyond man's conception or vision Is the swing of the stars in the cosmic procession, As they march in their courses forever and ever. Great worlds with a bulk so supreme, so tremendous, Our earth shrinks before them to an atom of dust; Star-clusters arranged in superb constellations, And nebulous wings of world systems o'erthrown, Taking flight from the fields where chaos hath conquered What are these but gems in the hem of His garment, The fringe of His robe in the trail of the Glory That envelops the Infinite Reason and Force Sparks, scintillations in the process of motion, By which to His creatures the Absolute Spirit Maketh manifestation of kinship and love Sing, sing, 0 ye stars, in a symphony choral, And in harmony harp forth the music of spheres, Bbe belolute. And man, thou poor mite, :frail, faulty and fleeting, Yet heir to the Highest and crowned an immortal, Self conscious, triumphant Len the love of the Father, Rise and soar as thy soul resounds with God's praise ! Si