The day has come! The evil day
Foretold by every sacred Seer,
Filling with fell apostasy
The spiritual atmosphere.
God’s holy Word, the heritage
Of all who bear the Saviour’s name:
On this the powers of darkness wage
War that doth hate alone proclaim.
And men, custodians of the Word,
Have bold the rebel flag unfurled,
By denizens of darkness stirred
The truth to banish from the world.
That truth so precious unto all
Who subjects are of heavenly birth,
Causing its fulgour bright to fall
On all the mysteries of earth.
We might have fancied men to whom
Such truth committed was in grace,
Would guard it spite of fearsome doom
Staring them darkly in the face.
And well they might, had it excused
Their miserable pride and lust,
But sin forbidden; they refused
Its holy sayings with disgust.
We might have thought the eternal Son
Who gave Himself our souls to save,
Would every human heart have won,
Who had been held as Satan’s slave.
And this had come to pass, had not
His presence manifested them
As sinners both in deed and thought,
Whom rigid justice must condemn.
We might have thought the tidings glad
That brought salvation unto all,
The rich, the poor, the good, the bad,
Vexed by our most unhappy fall,
Would have induced us to return
To Him who died to set us free,
And make our clay-cold hearts to burn
With faith and holy amity;
But no, for we have grown so wise
Our Saviour has been far surpassed.
Heaven must have cause for great surprise
At all the knowledge we have massed!
Away with Christ! Reason restore!
Give science an unshackled hand,
Till with her whip of better lore
She flogs such fancies from the land.
Rich and increased with goods, men need
No longer Christ! His Gospel? No.
A glorious gospel comes with speed,
And hence the fogs of night must go.
Thus do they cast aside the Word
That yet is light and life to all
Who, tho’ in darkness deep have erred,
Now contrite on the Saviour call.
Fables for souls are sorry fare,
Our righteousness is shelter vain,
Of godless minds let us beware,
And from their law occult refrain.
A thousand voices round us ring,
A thousand baseless theories
A thousand vain solutions bring
Of this dark world’s perplexing ways.
All these a hearing can obtain,
For truth, they feel, must somewhere be,
But God’s glad tidings must remain
For stupid folk like you and me.
Let us then prize what He hath given
As light and life, and faithful guide,
Nor let us from this fount be driven
By all their soul-destroying pride.
Let us who love the sacred name
Of Christ, with hearts divinely stirred
And holy boldness, share the shame
Allotted to the blessed Lord.
The night is cold, the darkness dense,
The preaching impotent has grown;
Feeble and faithless the defence
Of that which we have heard and known.
Yet are we ready all to cry,
“We are the temple of the Lord,”
And leave the poor sick soul to die
Without the life-imparting Word.
Saviour divine, we bow the knee
Low at Thy footstool, and confess
That oft we ask ourselves, Are we
Untainted by blood-guiltiness?
Oh, may we hold and spread abroad
The Word of wonder-working grace,
Until the City of our God
We enter and behold His face.
Then all our labour shall be o’er,
Our toil shall then be at an end;
But shall we then not wish we more
Had sought His kingdom to extend?
If one regret could there appear,
If one dark cloud could mar that scene,
It surely should be that when here
So earthly-minded we had been.
The time is short, the stubborn night,
With all its darkness and its fear
Is passing, and the morning bright
Begins to dawn: THE LORD IS NEAR.