By James Boyd.

ETERNITY! What mind begirt by thrall
Of creature limits shall thy greatness grasp;
Thou dread reality! And dread thou art,
When first thy form falls full upon the heart,
And we discover that no creature clasp
Secures the ponderous portal of thy wall.

And that release from thy vast searchless hold,
For those who enter, never more can be.
Thy wastes are infinite; the state of those
Inhabiting thy depths, change never knows;
Nor can one hopeless soul return from thee
To Time, which ceaselessly doth change unfold.

PAST, thou hast not; FUTURE, thou dost not know;
Hence we perceive not thy mysterious way;
For, clothed in flesh, upon the flowing stream
Of time we pass along, and like a dream
Fly moments, hours, and change of night and day,
Hope, disappointment, happiness, and woe.

But in thy depths, inscrutable and vast,
The vain excitements of our little life,
The undulations, feverish hopes and fears,
The summers and the winters of its years,
Sunshine and shadow, quietude and strife,
Are all unknown — we enter — they are past.

The present moment mentioned — while we speak,
Far fled the instant is beyond recall;
Nor can the cunning and inventive mind
A fetter forge the fugitive to bind,
And hold it ever motionless in thrall,
And thus the onward drift of ages break.

The home of the eternal God art thou;
Thy borders vast He sees, and fills; and we
Who had beginning, and who have to do
With time, and chance, and change, and frailty too,
Must soon lift up our wondering eyes in thee,
And look abroad from an eternal NOW.

TIME is a creature, THOU art increate,
End and beginning are to thee unknown.
An endless present thou dost moveless stand,
With past and future gathered in thy hand;
Forward and backward, thus together thrown,
Both in one everlasting present meet.

Fixed is the state of all who darkly steer
Their shallop thro' the shadows cast across
Thy silent coast, where terror holds his seat;
And whether love or hatred them shall meet,
Or mirth or mourning come, or gain or loss,
The chimes of change no more shall greet the ear.

And bright or dark art thou, as throbs the heart
Responsive to unfathomable love,
God's love declared in death, the death of Christ,
Whose blood was shed to save us, and is priced
By all His own the wealth of worlds above —
This bids thy fear; Eternity, depart.

Each heart-throb brings me nearer unto thee,
And shakes another grain out of my sand;
Each breath I draw makes less my little store;
I almost seem to stand within thy door
And breathe the perfume of Emmanuel's land,
For thou canst bring no terror unto me.

While thus my mind was musing, I beheld,
And lo, a darkness dense and horrible
As Egypt's plague, wound nature in a cloak
Of inky blackness; and that instant broke
The cords of order, and from every hill
The death of Time with muffled music swelled.

And lo! a mighty sound as if had spoke
Ten thousand thunders, or the awful voice
Of the Omnipotent commanding loud
The whole creation! and the heavy shroud
Of sable midnight shuddered at the noise,
And every string of gravitation broke.

And o'er my head the firmament with sound
More awful than the awe-inspiring roar
Of a rent world, burst sudden forth aflame,
And the wide earth with all its works became
Molten with fervent heat to the deep core,
And to its limits girt with fire around.

And, like a guilty conscious creature, stung
By the rebuke of righteousness, I saw
The ponderous planet from its orbit reel,
As reels a drunkard, and bewildered wheel
Wide out into the black night, loosed from law,
And like a torch into the darkness flung.

And I beheld a throne of spotless white,
A throne of righteousness for judgment set,
The great dread throne of the Omnipotent,
From which no kindly eye of mercy bent
A glance of pity; and the eye but met
Stern Truth and Justice on the left and right.

No precious blood crimsoned that burnished seat,
Which flashed as tho' ten thousand suns did flame
Together in one blaze of glory, no
Fair hope-inspiring emerald circling bow
Creator mercy plenteous to proclaim,
Shot from the cloud, the affrighted gaze to greet.

Around enveloped with devouring flame,
Fierce burned the righteousness of that dread throne.
Upon it sat the Judge of all the dead,
Whiter than light His robe; upon His head
His hair was like to pure white wool, upon
His brow was many a glorious diadem.

A fiery stream before Him went; around
His person myriads of celestials bright,
Strong angels, cherubim with awful mien
In wrathful lightnings robed; the blinding sheen
Of their dread armour, mingled with the might
Of their deep thundering, held me terror-bound.

Voices I heard arise, as tho' the whole
Created universe at once had been
Transformed into a mighty organ, whose
Strains by a master player's magic rose
In one all-glorious and triumphant pean,
Which moved the very marrow of my soul,

Till every living thing took up the strain
To the vast limits of the realm of God;
And every substance echoed back the sound,
As rolled the everlasting psalm around,
Than thunder louder, yet so sweet it flowed —

Upon that throne no dazzling seraph sate,
No minister of might in angel guise,
No spirit ethereous to manifest
The secrets of the human heart, but drest
In bone and flesh, the Judge in this assize,
The Son of Man in power and splendour great.

And to myself I said, Is this the Man
Once born of parents poor in Bethlehem,
Who trod earth's rough highway, reproached, defamed,
A Man of sorrows, set at nought, and named
A Friend of sinners, in reproach by them
Whose hearts His searching eye this day shall scan?

Was His the hand that touched the leper vile,
And made the outcast and afflicted clean?
Were those the feet that, dust-besprent and sore,
Brought God's salvation to the sinner's door;
And washed with tears of penitence have been
By those whose hearts His grace had freed from guile?

Ah, yes! The Nazarene I know 'tis He!
Once mocked with purple robe and crown of thorn,
Reviled, rejected, vilified, unknown,
Arraigned as malefactor at the throne
Of Herod, covered with reproach and scorn,
Condemned and hanged upon the accursed tree.

The print of nail deep marking hands and feet,
The spear-wound in His side, by which deep scar
The unbelieving weak disciple knew
His risen Lord and Master, still I view.
'Tis He, the Judge of all, who to His bar,
Doth summon man his final doom to meet.

And as the earth with fierce convulsions torn,
And quenchless fires devouring all her zones,
Flies from His face, the shivering dead in crowds,
Disgorged from ocean beds, where tangle shrouds
Had draped in caverns deep the whitening bones,
Like felons now before their Judge are borne.

I see them come — the man who did the first,
If not the foulest murder, and the last
Of Adam's race, who caring not to know
The grace of God, iniquity would sow,
Yet had not dreamed that such a harvest vast
Upon his resurrected eyes would burst.

They come! the giants and the mighty men
Who filled the earth with violence and wrong;
The monstrous issue of that godless yoke,
When sons of God restraint of heaven broke,
And left their own abode to dwell among
Earth's daughters fair, begetting monsters then.

They come! the lawless hosts so well forewarned
By Enoch's mouth, and later by the man
Who moved by fear, prepared, his house to save,
An ark of refuge, when the whelming wave
Was ready to destroy the race which ran
In wilful ways, and heaven's threat'nings scorned,

But perished all in that distressful day
In which God's hand most mercifully closed
The house of Noah in the gopher ark,
Ere rolled across the face of heaven the dark
And dusky cloud which all its waters loosed,
As every door of the great deep gave way;

And from above fierce floods, floods from beneath
Clashing together, roaring wild with rage,
Foam-capped with fury, buried fathoms deep
The summit of the most exalted steep;
And from the sickening sin-polluted stage
Perished all things that breathed of life the breath.

They come! the Babel-builders long entombed;
The demon-worshippers are there, who saw
The faithful Abraham from his country flee,
Called by the living God in grace to be
His witness in a world despising law,
When righteous wrath thro' the deep darkness gloomed.

They come! the Sodomites, from fire to fire;
From one deep hell into a deeper driven;
From thunderbolt, and flame, and brimstone rain,
Heaven's wrath upon the cities of the plain,
To deeper judgment and that pit wrath-riven,
The woeful storehouse of Almighty ire.

They come! the swarthy Canaanites, the sons
Of Anak, men like Og of Bashan, huge,
From spacious grave, left gaping deep and wide,
As tho' some power prodigious from earth's side
A rock had torn: nor power nor subterfuge
Can shelter in this day their giant bones.

They come from earth's dark places, which had fame
For barbarous deeds and cruelties of yore;
Men like Adoni-bezek, who once fed
Threescore and ten maimed kings, who gathered bread
Beneath his table, grovelling on the floor
Like dogs, to find the morsel thrown to them.

They come! the host of Pharaoh from the sea,
From underneath the broken chariots thrown
In slimy depths and beds of dank seaweed,
Where horse and horseman sank, as Israel freed
Stood on the desert shore, and heard the groan
Of myriads turning all too late to flee.

They come! the faithless sons of Israel,
Whose carcases were strewn upon the sand
Of all their desert wanderings; who found
The bread of angels white upon the ground,
And ate and drank from God's own bounteous hand,
But, lusting after Egypt's flesh-pots, fell.

Balaam and Balak! False unrighteous seer,
Who shall promote thee now? The king no more
Houses of silver and of gold commands.
Naked as thou the son of Zippor stands,
And thou art poor indeed! Thou wouldst of yore
For gold have cursed, that curse now thou must hear.

There Amalek, Moab, Midian, from their coasts!
Now Edom, Tyre, and Sidon, I descry!
The granite hills ope wide their ponderous doors,
The expiring planet sweats at all her pores
Tides of humanity, and to the eye
Seems fast dissolving into human hosts.

They come! The rebel line of Israel's kings;
One here and there of David's royal seat
Mingles with that despairing multitude;
And there is Jezebel with hands imbrued
In murder, and her priests who death did meet
By great Elijah's sword at Kishon's springs.

There come! Belshazzar's bacchanalian guests,
Who shuddering saw the hand write on the wall;
And that same night the Medo-Persian heel
Felt on their necks, while thro' their hearts the steel
Of the Almighty's vengeance ran, and all
Fell with their revel rampant in their breasts.

And "MENE MENE" numbered now and brought
To a conclusion. "TEKEL" wanting found.
The sentence of high heaven's insulted Lord
Brought to their drunken throats the glittering sword.
Now judgment without mercy must expound
To them what further "Tekel" might have taught.

There is fierce Antiochus smeared with gore,
The gore of saints on whom his rage did roll
Hell's cruelties! There Herod with the cries
Of slaughtered infants, and the sobs and sighs
Of Rachel's lamentations in his soul,
Heard high above the earth's discordant roar.

The tyrant Nero, with the deep red glare
Of lofty mountains flaming in his face,
Leaps yonder from his bed! Madman, what now!
Where is thy harp? Ruthless destroyer, thou!
Nor martyrs' bodies lighting up thy place,
Nor Rome ablaze could with this sight compare!

Roman and Greek are there, and by the side
Of Macedonian hasten to the bar.
The Arab, Turk, Egyptian, freeman, slave,
Sovereign, and subject, statesman, knight, and knave,
The man of peace, the man of blood and war,
Base born, and noble; absent none may bide.

They come from Afric's jungles! from the banks
Of Congo! from the sources of the Nile,
And Niger! where the devil ruled unmasked,
And men weltered in filth, and no man asked
After the living God, but all were vile —
Like smoke I see afar their dusky ranks.

From crypt, from catacomb, from wastes they rise!
From the deep ditch, from 'neath the sculptured stone,
From churchyard's peaceful quiet, from the pit
Dug by the murderer, whose dark deed was lit
By the pale moon, from corners dark and lone,
Summoned they come to this the last assize.

The slayer and his victim, each in guilt
Matured come forth; the drunkard in his grave
With sudden start hears the commanding tones
Of that dread voice, which moves the mouldering bones,
And wakes the desperate suicide, who drave
Deep thro' his heart the cold steel to the hilt.

They come! who saw the Christ on earth, who heard
His heavenly voice, and saw His works of love;
His power put forth to rescue man from all
The fatal fruits of his unhappy fall.
But labour lost! All only went to prove
Him obdurate in spite of work and word.

They come! Herodian, Scribe, and Pharisee!
Those proud pretentious men who hounded on
The multitude the Just One to deny.
And Pilate! Herod also, I descry,
With all his men of war: before the throne
These now, but not in mockery, bend the knee.

And there the grievous wolves and men perverse,
Workers of wickedness, the vision throng,
I see apostles false, and teachers vile,
Who sought by craft satanic to defile
Those who by purchase great to Christ belong,
And bring them under bondage, law, and curse.

They come in shoals, those teachers false and foul;
Popes, priests, monks, bishops, cardinals, and all.
It seemed as tho' the sepulchres had then
Disgorged at once their horrid glut of men.
Far as the eye can reach a quivering wall,
The wearers of tiara and of cowl.

Ferocious monsters, whose inhuman hands
Drip with the blood of martyrs; who made hells
Of dismal dungeons, and with instruments
Of fiendish cruelty, beloved saints
Tore limb from limb; now while the last trump swells
To give account the Judge of all commands.

Borgia is there; his bastard children too.
Inquisitors of Rome, in swarms they come,
Darkening the vision. Now Voltaire profane,
And other such, presumptuous, mad, and vain.
Before that sight that meets their vision, dumb.
And with remorseful torments smitten thro'.

The heavens have vanished, and the earth is gone.
None but the dead, who in their sins have died,
In this unhappy host appear. Their feet
Find no support; their looks of terror meet
Nowhere the eye of pity; place to hide
In all the wide creation there is none.

The books are opened. As the glittering seals
Are broken by Almighty fingers, roll
Before each soul the secrets of his life,
His thoughts by day, by night, his godless strife
To gain this world; and each upon his soul
The searching eye of the Omniscient feels.

"REMEMBER!" like a peal of thunder falls
Full on the ear. The stubborn knee bows down;
And, like the corn before the reaper, lie
Prone at His footstool all with groan and cry,
Alas, too late; for Justice with a frown,
Deaf to entreaties, loud on vengeance calls.

"DEPART FROM ME!" I heard the words. My brain
Went sick, and all things swam before mine eyes.
And when my vision cleared the crowd had gone,
The Judge, His ministers, the great white throne.
But sounds of distant weeping, groans, and cries,
I heard again — more faintly — yet again.

Till lost as if in distance: as the tomb
Silent and lonely now, no sound I heard
But that within my head, which seemed not lower,
Because of the deep stillness, than the roar
Of some great cataract. Mine eyes I feared
Would burst thro' straining into nothing's gloom.

At length a voice, which thrilled my spirit thro',
Ten thousand times more sweet than angel song,
In heavenly cadence on my senses fell,
Soft as the breath of morn; and I could tell
That every creature heard its music strong,
And knew the words: "SEE I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW."

And then, an age it seemed, until came forth
A Form that made my heavy spirit glad,
Unfolding heavens new, cloudless and bright,
And a new earth deep bathed in living light.
No tumbling deep with craggy coast it had,
Nor ice-bound circles sealing south and north.

And thro' the azure vault a city came,
Blazing with glory, built with living stones:
God's tabernacle, where Himself shall dwell,
No tongue of mortal can its beauty tell,
No ear of mortal learn its music tones,
No mortal eye shall see its glory flame.

Far flashed its jasper wall; each precious stone
With priceless light resplendent. In that flame
The yellow sun appeared a light no more.
The tabernacle was the light, the door
Thro' which God's brightness to creation came,
The brightness of His love to all made known.

I saw the flock of God, a goodly throng
Of happy people spread in peace abroad
O'er that fair earth in love's eternal light;
Nor sun nor candle do they need; no night
Is there, but endless day, the day of God;
And every heart pours forth eternal song.

A trace of sorrow, death, or curse, shall ne'er
In that fair land be found; no sculptured stone,
Symbol of crushed and broken hearts, no tears,
No disappointments, no foreboding fears,
No tree with fruit forbidden standing lone,
Nor can the serpent ever enter there.

The hand of God hath wiped all tears away;
No more a Visitor, as innocence
Might into Eden's bowers have welcomed Him;
Here shall He dwell unveiled, no distance dim
Between Him and His creature, but from hence
Sons with the Father for eternity.

JESUS is there, well known in His deep love,
To walk with His redeemed thro' fields of light.
There shall their hearts with holy joy recall
His cross, His travail sore, His sorrows all,
For them endured in love's eternal might
That He might have them with Himself above.

O home of love! of life! of light divine!
O radiant sphere of bliss! O for a tongue
To tell the love of God, of Christ the love
Of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Above
All creature thought! Above what hath been sung!
The Father's house! Lord Jesus! Thine and mine!