The Trumpet of Salvation.

By James Boyd.

BLOW the trumpet of salvation! Let its silvery sweetness swell
To the limits of the land awaiting great Immanuel.

Let it break in mighty volume from his lips, who in the power
And the spirit of Elijah makes the evil doer cower.

From Judea's wildernesses let it wake the desert calms,
Let it ring from fruitful Elim, land of watersprings and palms;

Till Jerusalem awaken from the dust, where hopeless, prone,
She, the once potential city, bows before the Roman throne;

Till the stronghold of King David, Zion's gates and towers of strength,
Hear the joyful sound, and come to know the grace of God at length;

Till in Bethlehem they hear it who are longing to behold
David's Son and Heir, the Shepherd of the sheep within the fold;

Till the publican awakened, and the harlot in her sin,
Welcome mercy's tender message, fly eternal life to win;

Till from Dan unto Beersheba, from the Jordan to the sea,
Glad the trumpet of salvation ushers in the Jubilee;

Till the priest before the altar, and the scribe in Moses' seat,
And the praying hypocrite at yonder corner of the street,

Hear the voice which clear as clarion from the dreary desert rings,
Wakens up the dull affections and the stupid conscience stings.

Let the notes the gladsome echoes rouse on every verdant hill;
Let its thunder shake the mountains, through a thousand valleys thrill;

Till it fill the Land of Promise, till it float o'er Palestine,
Till with wonderment and joy awake the corn and oil and wine;

Till it echo from Philistia; till from Sidon and from Tyre;
And from eastward of the Jordan, men are coming to enquire;

Till the tempest-beaten cedars on the distant Lebanon
Wave the signal back, responsive to the advent of the dawn;

Till the torrents rolling down the slopes restrain their murmuring;
Till, to hear, the fowls of heaven still the flapping of the wing;

Till the tempests hold their breathing, while they hearken to the note,
And the screaming of the eagle has been strangled in the throat;

Till the prisoner and jailor, and the master and the slave
And the bond and free together hear of JESUS come to save;

Till the breaking of the billows on the coast of Galilee,
And the storms which sweep the surface of the yet more northern sea,

Have been hushed as o'er their waters dark the testimony sweeps,
And as leaps a hind upon the hills, from wave to wave it leaps;

Till the elements are quiet, earth and air and land and sea,
While beside their ships are standing both the sons of Zebedee,

Mending nets with which to search the hidden treasures of the tide,
Thinking thoughts not wholly loyal to the Roman power and pride.

Sons of thunder, in whose bosoms sleeps the fierce ethereal flame,
Yoked in lowly toil with Simon, whose proud spirit none may tame.

They had heard the Baptist's thunder, they had listened to his word,
Felt it sharper in their bosom than the bitter Roman sword.

At his voice their hearts had melted, shook their inmost souls with fear,
Loomed the heavens black with anger, clouds of darkness gathered near.

Yet the clouds were lined with silver, and the voice that cried repent,
With the melody of mercy and of healing grace was blent.

They had felt themselves transgressors, they had heard the axe was laid
To the root of every tree whose fruit its evil kind betrayed.

They had seen that they were evil, scarlet was their sin and shame,
But like balm had been the mention of Messiah's wondrous name.

They had heard He was among them, they had looked on every hand;
With their eyes the crowds which ringed the hairy prophet they had scanned.

But no princely form arose to meet the hunger of their sight,
No one passed before their vision panoplied in kingly might.

Weary, dust besprent with travel, they their homeward way had trod,
Ringing in their ears the clarion voice that called them back to God.

Now to daily toil returning, they can only hope and wait
Till He come who from their souls the darkness deep shall dissipate.

They had searched and failed to find Him, they must now of Him be found.
How they long their woes before the Son of David to expound!

They are sure that when they see Him He will answer without fail
Every question that perplexes, and deep mysteries unveil.

He will lift the sons of Jacob, long down-trodden in the mire,
Ground, and groaning underneath Jehovah's governmental ire.

E'en already in their fancy hear they Judah's battle shout,
And in all their dreams they witness Caesar's legions put to rout.

But not yet have they beheld Him, they have but the Baptist's word,
And in patience they must wait the revelation of the Lord.
They have seen Him, they have heard Him! He has bid them follow Him,
From the mists of Judaism, from the dispensation dim.

Light above the mid-day brightness of the sun in cloudless skies
Breaks from Him who stands unveiled as Son of God before their eyes.

Glory greater far than that which lit the Hebrew prophet's face,
Or the sheen of the shekinah in the temple's holy place;

Glory of the Son eternal! Glory of the heavenly King!
Glory that redeemed creation waits impatient to besing;

Glory of the great Messiah, meekness, truth, and righteousness;
Glory of the grace of God to ruined sinners in distress;

Godhead glory, which before had never on creation shone;
Glory of the living Father, hitherto unseen, unknown;

Glory of eternal goodness; glory of the love of God,
Shining in the circling darkness, shed in word and work abroad.

Man before His Maker perfect, God before the eyes of men,
God in infinite compassion. Blow the trumpet once again!

Seen of angels, who to celebrate His advent woke the world;
Turned the night to day, and o'er the earth the flag of peace unfurled.

They who had, when God at first prepared the earth for man's abode,
When the sun and moon in splendour on the brow of heaven rode,

Shouted loud their exultations, filled the universe with praise,
Feasting on their Maker's matchless handywork their creature gaze,

Now behold a glory greater far than that which was displayed
When ten thousand constellations in their pristine light arrayed,

Issuing forth at His commandment smote into the primal gloom,
Like the sons of resurrection breaking glorious from the tomb.

Glory of unfathomed grace, and glory of eternal love;
Glory causing heavenly hosts to crowd the crystal walls above;

Bidding them to bend their vision from those everlasting towers
Downward through ethereal depths towards this little world of ours,

Where amid the moral gloom the Daystar sheds eternal light;
Where the hitherto Unseen walks in the mortal creature's sight.

He has come that men might know Him; that the night might disappear;
That the captive bound the trumpet of the jubilee might hear;

That the merciless oppressor of the son's of Adam's race
Might be vanquished, bruised, and broken, whelmed in infinite disgrace;

That the dreary night might vanish, and the light of life be shed,
Through this under world of gloom and in the dwelling of the dead;

That the poor downtrodden creature might be taught to look above
To the fount of every blessing, and to learn that God is love.
Galilee's dark waste of waters has His voice potential heard,
And Tiberias has ceased its agitation at His word.

Evil hosts which swarm Judea seek a covert from His face,
Flee His presence fell diseases which afflict the human race.

Limitless are His compassions, seen in days and nights of toil;
Having bound the strong, the Stronger now his store of wealth shall spoil.

Death the despot hearing His demand delivers up the prey;
He the Prince of life has nothing but the quickening word to say,

And immediately the crimson flush of health the visage stains,
And the vital pulse and stream of life is bounding through the veins.

Round Him crowd the common people, more desirous to be fed
With the meat foredoomed to perish than with heavenly living Bread.

True, a faithful remnant follow where His lowly footsteps lead,
Drinking in His sayings, feeling that His words are life indeed.

They are sure that no man ever spoke such blessed words on earth.
Listening to Him they forgot His lowly lot and humble birth.

They are conscious that His words are from the fount of holy love;
That from God He came to lift the creature's thoughts his woes above;

That He knows them altogether, that no thought is hid from Him,
Nothing from His sight concealed is, nothing covered, nothing dim.

All the secrets of their souls and all the secrets of their lives,
Well they know He knows, and yet this knowledge never from Him drives.

There is infinite attraction in His words and works and ways;
Grace and truth unmeasured cover all He does and all He says.

If they feel defiled and evil, deeply humbled to the dust,
That they are but moral lepers, loathsome in their pride and lust;

If they know that they are vile and hateful, this they know as well,
All the more they need that grace which does all human thoughts excel.

What for lost unworthy sinners but a Saviour can be meet?
What so great a Saviour suits but such a sinner at His feet?

Bring the sinner to the Saviour, of the Saviour tell the lost;
Sinners helpless, by their passions driven hell-ward, tempest tost.

Sinners evil-favoured, hiding in the darkness of the night,
All their vileness and their foulness manifested by the light;

Yet not driven from His presence, but attracted by His grace,
Drenched with penitential sorrow seek the favour of His face.

There they find a gladsome welcome and a solace for their woes.
Knows He not their foolishnesses? This their comfort, all He knows.
Dark Golgotha tells the story of man's base ingratitude:
Crown of thorns, disgraceful gibbet, shame, and scorn, and spitting rude.

Nature drapes herself in mourning, clothed in sackcloth is the sun,
Rocks are riven, earth atremble, hell itself by earth outdone.

Numbered with the malefactors let the righteous Saviour be,
Slay the Prince of life, and send the robber and the murderer free.

For His kindly words return Him scoff, and jeer, and insult base;
Curse Him for His blessing; spit your filthy venom in His face.

Cast the good down; lift the evil; love dethrone, and hatred crown;
Man exalt, and God dishonour; turn creation upside down.

Wound Him, ye whose wounds He pitied, and who felt His power to heal;
Ye whose dead He raised, destroy Him, thus your gratitude reveal.

Let Him hear your brutish blatter, ye who heard His words of grace;
He who would have lifted you to highest honour, Him abase.

He who sought to life to lead you, lead Him to a felon's doom;
He who pointed you to glory, point Him downward to the tomb.

Slay Him who your enemies had slaughtered in His love for you;
Kill Him with the Roman sword, unsheathed and raised to thrust you thro'.

Foolish people, had you only known the goodness of His heart,
All in vain had Satan thus to blind your reason used his art.

But your leaders Him rejected, knew Him not the worldly wise.
Righteousness, and truth, and meekness — all were evil in their eyes.

What injustice had they found in Him thus come in low estate,
Filled with infinite compassions? Why reward His love with hate?

Guilty pride would not allow them David's royal Son to own:
What was He compared with Cesar set on Rome's imperial throne?

Where His retinue of servants? Where His legions clad in mail?
Where are spearmen, bowmen, horsemen, banners spread before the gale?

Where is all the pomp of kingship? Nothing in His lowly guise
Wakes the worship of the haughty; He is worthless in their eyes.

Yet they feel that He has searched their guilty hearts and seen their sin:
What avails dissimulation? He can look their souls within.

Malice, blind, insane, infernal, hounds them on the Christ to kill,
Bids them murder matchless goodness, blood of love incarnate spill.

Curse Him for His great compassions, mock Him in His hour of woe,
Recompense His heavenly favours with the brutal gibe and blow.

Ye have seen Him heal the sick, the lame, the blind, and raise the dead,
Cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, feed the hungry crowd with bread.

All His ways were the pulsations of unutterable love
From the deep exhaustless fountain of the Father's heart above.

Ye have seen the way that love has taken with rebellious man.
Can ye fathom all its living depths? Ye cannot: no one can.

Ye have often seen His sorrow at the sight of human woes,
Why should He have so compassioned lawless man, do you suppose?

Ye have heard His groans of anguish, and have seen the floods of woe,
Which at sight of man's distresses down His furrowed cheeks did flow.

Sleepless nights and days of labour, Slave of yours since life began;
Can you tell how much you owe that lone rejected Son of Man?

Pay Him back with angry buffets, gaze upon His bleeding brow,
Mock Him with the royal purple, scoffing low before Him bow;

Pierce those hands whose gladsome service was to bind up spirits sore;
Drive the iron through those feet which brought God's mercy to your door:

Yea, let hate pursue the Guiltless into death's terrific sphere!
Deep into His lifeless body madly thrust the murderous spear.

O ye poor deluded tools of that deceiver fierce and fell,
Ye have well performed his pleasure, all his will accomplished well.

Hell and ye around the cross have everlasting friendship sworn.
This alliance, guilty, godless, ye shall yet have cause to mourn.
Blow the trumpet of salvation! Let its tones the world awake;
Let it shake the powers of darkness, make the hosts infernal quake.

Let the dread domain of death despoiled His victory declare;
Let the shattered gates of hades tell His might who battled there;

Let the grave the disadventure dire befallen it make known,
And the bands of death annulled, the quaking watchmen, and the stone.

Let them howl their lamentations in the universal ear:
Gone is all their might, and gone is all their darkness and their fear.

Bid the women take their spices and their ointments home again;
Had they but believed His word they had not laboured thus in vain.

He is risen, He is Victor; see the place in which He lay;
See the tokens of His triumph: wipe those faithless tears away.

Bid His murderers believe it; bid both priests and people hear;
Bid the sorrow from the hearts of His disciples disappear.

Tell the glad and glorious tidings that the Son of God is risen,
And that at His girdle hang the keys of that terrific prison.

Tell to every soul, the sacrifice for man's redemption made
Has been honoured and accepted, and the wrath of heaven stayed.

In Jerusalem declare it to the guilty and perverse;
And to Jericho the tidings bear, the city of the curse.

Tell it to Samaria, tell it to the hated Damascene;
Bid the Ethiopian bear it to the Candacean queen.

Let the proud Athenean hear it, crying out for something new;
Long a slave to priestly fables, let him hear the tidings true.

Let its thunder shake Italia, where the mistress of the world
Proudly has her pagan banner from her fortresses unfurled.

In the prison, in the palace, in the forum, cave, or den,
In the wide arena slippery with the blood of beasts and men —

Let the herald of the cross those various haunts of men invade,
And the mention of the name of man's Deliverer be made.

Tell them that the Earth-rejected decks the Father's glorious throne,
And that all must kneel before Him and confess Him Lord alone.

Tell to every human being that there's grace for those who bow;
That to every ruined creature who submits is mercy now;

That it is the time accepted and there must be no delay,
Wrath is coming, night is falling fast upon salvation's day.

Tell it north, and south, and east, and west, wherever man may be;
Tell to every debtor poor of God's forgiveness full and free.

Tell it to the fierce Barbarian; let the Scythian, bond and free,
Hear of God's great love in Jesus, He who died for you and me.

Tell it to the sick and dying; let them hear of grace divine;
Tell them of the mighty ransom, of the Saviour, theirs and thine.

Blow the trumpet in the streets and lanes of all the cities great;
Blow it in the ear of kings and queens, and ministers of state.

Blow it where the broken-hearted circle round the open grave,
Tell them of the living Father, and the Son who came to save.

Blow it in the debtor's prison; blow it in the slums of shame;
Tell of Calvary's woes, and of the One who bore the sinner's blame.

Tell it, ye who love the music of that beatific sound;
Tell it, ye who righteousness, and life, and peace with God have found.

Ye who know the blessed sweetness of a living Saviour's grace,
Who are looking soon to see the King eternal face to face;

Tell to all the death and glory of the mighty Son of God,
And if needful seal your witness with your heart's last drop of blood.

All around you death is rampant; God would have the trumpet blown;
Put it to your lips and make the echoes leap from zone to zone.

Is its melody less charming than when Peter, James, and John,
By its power were to the person of the Galilean drawn?

Are its infinite attractions less than when in days of old
Those who heard among the nations cast away their gods of gold,

And to prison and to death went rather than that Name deny;
That dear Name which was to them more than the wealth of worlds could buy.

Nay 'tis still the living message, still the self-same quickening word,
Which the herald to the nations, he who hailed from Tarsus, heard.

Still it keeps its heavenly fulness, still its life-imparting charm,
And its power the cold dead heart of man with love divine to warm.

It will never lose its freshness, not e'en in the realms of light,
When rehearsed by saints who walk thro' fields of glory clothed in white.

Its unutterable sweetness still shall ravish every ear,
Smooth the last deep line of sorrow, dry the latest trembling tear.

Therefore while it still is called the day of grace, with one accord,
Blow the trumpet of salvation, ye who love the living Lord.