The Song of Habakkuk

(from a letter)

Habakkuk is just the word for us in the maelstrom of the day; everything topsy-turvy, upside down, and downside up; trees fruitless, folds empty, flocks cut off, desolation all round; yet faith rejoices in the Lord, takes its stand on the “watch tower”; and, whilst waiting for the vision, looks onward and sees something fine, beautiful, transporting—“the earth filled,” not only with the glory of the Lord (as promised in Numbers 14), not only with the knowledge of the Lord (as in Isaiah 11), but with both of them, “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord!” Oh! happy Habakkuk! What a vision! Splendid! a mere visionary? Not at all! Why not? Because “the just shall live by his faith.” “Live,” not die, nor decline, nor droop. He shall live by a power as immortal as invisible.

A little bit of cork in the vortex would baffle its suction, and survive its awful maw. Cork on the billow, faith in the Lord. “The just shall live by faith.” Hearken, ye Romans, ye Galatians, ye Hebrews, ye who live in 1915; thou soul of mine! List to the truth which holds the field in triumph till the vision bursts, and the eye sees, and the hands touch, and things become material, actual, permanent.

How is that? “The Lord is my strength. He … will make me walk on my high places.” That is the secret of it all. “Because I live ye shall live also.”

And the subscription? “To the Chief Musician on my stringed instruments.”

Most becoming. Sing on, Habakkuk!