Book 3 | Table of Contents
The Witness of the Stars
E. W. Bullinger
"For Signs and For Seasons"
We have seen the great truths which are taught from the
position, and forms, and names of the heavenly bodies. There are also truths to be learnt
from their motions.
When God created them and set them in the firmament of
heaven, He said, in Genesis 1:14--
"Let them be for signs and for seasons."
Here the word "signs" is othoth (plural
of oth, from the root to come). Hence, a sign of something or some
One to come. In Jeremiah 10:2 Jehovah says, "And be not dismayed at the signs
of the heavens, for the heathen are dismayed at them." The word "seasons"
does not denote merely what we call the four seasons of the year, but cycles of
time. It is appointed time (from the verb to point out, appoint). It occurs
three more times in Genesis, each time in connection with the promised Seed--
Genesis 17:21, "At this set time in the
Genesis 18:14, "At the time appointed I will return"; and
Genesis 21:2, "At the set time of which God had spoken."
Genesis 1:14 is therefore, "They (the sun, moon, and
stars) shall be for signs (things to come) and for cycles (appointed times)."
Here, then, we have a distinct declaration from God, that
the heavens contain not only a Revelation concerning things to come in the
"Signs," but also concerning appointed times in the wondrous movements of
the sun, and moon, and stars.
The motions of the sun and moon are so arranged that at
the end of a given interval of time they return into almost precisely the same position,
with regard to each other and to the earth, as they held at the beginning of that
interval. "Almost precisely," but not quite precisely. There will be a slight
outstanding difference, which will gradually increase in successive intervals, and finally
destroy the possibility of the combination recurring, or else lead to combinations of a
Thus the daily difference between the movement of the sun
and of the stars leads the sun back very nearly to conjunction with the same start as it
was twelve months earlier, and gives us the cycle of the year. The slight difference in
the sun's position relative to the stars at the end of the year, finally leads the sun
back to the same star at the same time of the year, viz., at the spring equinox, and gives
us the great precessional cycle of 25,800 years.
So, too, with eclipses. Since the circumstances of any
given eclipse are reproduced almost exactly 18 years and 11 days later, this period is
called an Eclipse Cycle, to which the ancient astronomers gave the name of Saros;
* and eclipses separated from each other by an exact cycle, and, therefore, corresponding
closely in their conditions, are spoken of as being one and the same eclipse. Each Saros
contains, on the average, about 70 +/- eclipses. Of these, on the average, 42 +/- are
solar and 28 +/- are lunar. Since the Saros is 11 days (or, more correctly, 10.96
days) longer than 18 years, the successive recurrences of each eclipse fall 11 days later
in the year each time, and in 33 Sari will have travelled on through the year and
come round very nearly to the original date.
* General Vallancey spells Saros
sin, ayin, resh, vav, tzadai, which amounts to 666 by Gematria! Viz., sin=300 + ayin=70 +
resh=200 + vav=6 + tzadai=90 = 666.
But as the Saros does not reproduce the conditions
of an eclipse with absolute exactness, and as the difference increases with every
successive return, a time comes when the return of the Saros fails to bring about
an eclipse at all. If the eclipse be a solar one before this takes place, a new eclipse
begins to form a month later in the year than the old one, and becomes the first eclipse
of a new series.
This is the history of one such eclipse: On May 15
(Julian), 850 AD, there was a (new) eclipse of the sun, and it occurred as a partial
eclipse. On August 20 (Julian), 1012 AD, this new eclipse became total. From that
time it has been an annular eclipse, the latitude of the central shadow gradually
shifting southward from the north, until on December 17 (Julian), 1210, it had reached N.
Lat. 24o. It turned northward again after 1210, until March 14 (Julian), 1355,
when it fell in N. Lat. 43o. Then it turned south, and has moved steadily in
that direction, until on March 18 (Greg.), 1950, its last appearance as an annular eclipse
will take place. On May 22 (Greg.), 2058, it will fall so far from the node that a new
eclipse will follow it on June 21. It will make three more appearances as an
ever-diminishing partial eclipse, and be last seen on June 24 (Greg.), 2112. Its total
life-history, therefore, will have been 1,262 years and 36 days, and will have occupied 70
In the above life-history of an eclipse * there is not the
slightest difficulty as to its identification. The Saros shows no break, and no
interruption; nor does the character of the eclipse suffer any abrupt change. The district
over which it is visible moves in a slow and orderly fashion from occurrence to occurrence
over the earth's surface.
* These facts are kindly supplied by Mr. E.
W. Maunder, of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, who gives another example, as follows:--
In AD 586 there were two solar eclipses: on June 22
(Julian) the old and dying eclipse, and on July 22 (Julian) another (the new one). A Saros
(viz. 18 years and 11 days) earlier there was only one, viz. on June 11 (Julian),
AD 568, there being no eclipse on July 11 of that year.
The last appearance of this new eclipse,
which first appeared on July 22, 586, was on August 28 (Greg.), 1848, so that it had a
life history of 70 Sari, amounting to 1,262 years 36 days (after the Julian dates
have been corrected to correspond to the Gregorian). Thus the eclipse that died, so to
speak, on August 28 (Greg.), 1848, first appeared on July 22 (Julian) in AD 586. See an
important article on Eclipses by Mr. E. W. Maunder in Knowledge, for October 1893,
where other life-histories of eclipses are given, and the whole subject of eclipses
Now the important point is this, that if we take the
prophetic reckoning of 360 days to the year, we have the following significant Biblical
In the first place, we already have the 70 +/- Sari
divided into two portions of 33 + 37.
A perfect cycle is accomplished in 33 Sari, or 595
years, when the eclipse, by a series of unbroken Sari, has accomplished a passage
through the year of 360 days; or, if we reckon only the whole numbers, i.e., the 18
completed years, we have for the 33 Sari the period of 594 years, while the
remaining portion of 37 Sari makes 666 years (37x18); and the whole 70 +/- Sari
makes 1,260 years (594+666).*
* The relations between 595 years and 1,262 years
36 days, are the same as the relations between 594 years and 1,260 years. The difference
of the 2 years 36 days is due to the excess of 10.96 days over the 18 completed years in
We have then the following figures:--
18 x 33 = 0594 years.
18 x 37 = 0666 years.
18 x 70 = 1260 years
Independently of this, we also know that 1,260 years is a
soli-lunar cycle, so exact that its epact, or difference, is only 6 hours!
There must, therefore, be something significant in these
numbers, e.g., 70; in the number 1,260, with its divisions, not into two equal parts, but
into 594 and 666; as also in its double, 2,520.
There must be something to be learned in the occurrence
and repetition of these heavenly cycles, which for nearly 6,000 years have been constantly
repeated in the heavens, especially when we find these same numbers very prominently
presented in the Word of God in connection with the fulfillment of prophecy.
We have the great "seven times" (2,520)
connected with the duration of Israel's punishment, and of the Gentiles' power. We have in
Daniel and the Apocalypse the half of this great period presented as "days"
(1,260), as "months" (42), and as "times," or years (3 1/2).
Futurists believe that these "days" and
"months," etc, interpret for us the purposes and counsels of God as
connected with "the time of the end," and as meaning literal "days"
and "months," etc.
Historicists take these terms and themselves interpret
the numbers, in the sense of a "day" being put for a year, and they
believe that these "1,260 days" will be fulfilled as 1,260 years.
One party boldly and ungraciously charges the other with
teaching "The Fallacies of Futurism"; while the other might well retort
with a reference to the Heresies of Historicism.
But is there any necessity for the existence of two
hostile camps? Is it not possible that there may be what we may call a long
fulfillment in years? And is it not more than probable that in the time of the end, the
crisis, there will be also a short and literal fulfillment in days?
We firmly believe that there will be this literal and short
fulfillment. We believe that when God says "days," He means days; and
that when He says "42 months," He means months, and not 1,260 years. In
all the passages referred to by historicists in support of what is called "the
year-day theory," the Holy Spirit uses these words "days" and
"years" in the sense of days and years. In the two particular instances of
Israel's wanderings (Num 14:34), and Ezekiel's prophesying (Eze 4:6), He chooses to take
the number of days as denoting the same number of years; but He does not
tell us that we are to do the same in other cases! He only asserts His sovereignty by thus
acting, while we only show our presumption in taking His sovereign act as a general
But while fully believing in the short fulfillment,
we are quite prepared to admit that there may be a long fulfillment as well;
and that, owing to the wondrous harmony, and marvellous correspondence, and infinite
wisdom of all the works and ways of God, there may be a fulfillment, or rather a
"filment," if we may coin the word, in years, which will be only a foreshadowing
of the literal ful-filment afterwards to take place in days.
If historicists will allow us this liberty as to interpretation,
and permit us to believe that God means what He says, we will give them some remarkable
evidence in support of their views, by way of application. In other words, if they
will allow us to interpret "days" as meaning days, we will gladly allow
them, and be at one with them, in applying them to years. So that while we believe
the interpretation to mean "days," and to teach a short
fulfillment at the time of the end, we will thankfully admit an application which
shall take these days as foreshowing a long fulfillment in years.
In applying, then, these significant numbers (42,
70, 594, 666, 1,260, and 2,520) to years, from what point or date shall we begin to reckon
the "times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24)? That there are such definite
"times" the words of the Lord Jesus show, when He says, "Jerusalem shall be
trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke
21:24). That there are "seven times" of Gentile dominion is more than intimated
by the symbolic episode in the life of Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in Daniel 4; and that
there are "seven times" of Israel's punishment is clearly stated in Leviticus
26:18. "Seven times," according to the Historicist school of interpreters, are
equal to 2,520 years.
Instead of asking where they begin, let us first note the
fact that it is duration which is emphasized in the Scriptures rather than chronology;
and look at the duration of these years independently of, and before we attempt to fix,
their beginning and ending.
In Daniel 2 and 7 it is shown first to Nebuchadnezzar in a
"dream," and afterwards to God's servant the prophet in a "vision,"
that Israel was to be put on one side and become "Lo-Ammi" (not My people),
while government was to be put into the hands of the Gentiles. Jerusalem was the central
point of both these great and solemn facts. That is to say, during 2,520 years, while
Jerusalem should remain in the power of the Gentiles, Israel could be "no more a
nation" in possession of their land and city.
We know, as a matter of fact, that today Jerusalem is in
the hands of the Turks, and that it is still "trodden down of the Gentiles."
If we ask how long it shall continue to be "trodden
down"? how long it will be before Israel shall again possess their city and their
land?--the answer brings us at once to the heart of our subject.
In seeking to determine both duration and chronology, it
is necessary to plant our feet on sure ground. To do this, let us take a point on which
all are agreed.
There is one date which is universally accepted;
and concerning which the evidence is unquestioned.
Abu Obeida, the Mahommedan General, laid siege to
Jerusalem towards the close of 636 AD. The city was then occupied by the Romans, who held
out for four months. When they capitulated, the Patriach Sophronius obtained a clause in
the treaty giving security to the inhabitants, and requiring the ratification of Omar
himself. Omar, who had therefore to be sent for, arrived some six months afterwards, and
the delay caused the actual delivering up of the city to take place early in the autumn of
AD 637. *
* This is the date which concerns only the City
of Jerusalem. The Romans were not completely driven out from the land until
Caesarea had fallen in 638, when the conquest was finally completed. See. Gibbon's Decline
The year AD 636-7 is therefore the accepted date of the
passing over of Jerusalem from the Romans to the Turks.
Omar seems to have stayed in the city only about ten days,
during which he must have given his instructions for the erection of the Mosque on the
site of the Temple. This Mosque, therefore, stands as the sign and the symbol of the
treading down of Jerusalem, and while it remains, those times of treading down cannot be
considered as fulfilled.
How steady was Israel's decadence from Nebuchadnezzar to
Omar! Nothing could exceed that darkest moment in Israel's history, when Israel was well
nigh obliterated in the mighty struggles of her enemies who fought over her inheritance.
Thus Omar becomes the great central point of the 2,520 years, whether reckoned as Lunar,
Zodiacal, or Solar, dividing them equally into two portions of 1,260 years. *
* This date 636-7 is a great and important
central date, whether we reckon backwards or forwards; whether we reckon them as Lunar,
Zodiacal (360 days), or Solar (365 days) years.
If we take Lunar years (=1222
reckoning backward, we get to 587 BC, the
very date of the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar.
reckoning forward, we get to 1860 AD, the
very date of the European intervention in the Lebanon, which has brought the Eastern
Question into its present prominent position.
If we take Zodiacal years (=1242
reckoning backward we get to 608 BC, the
date of the battle of Carchemish (2 Chron 35:20), when Babylon completed the conquest of
Assyria, and became supreme; utterly shattering all the hope which Israel had in Egypt.
reckoning forward brings us to 1879 AD, when,
by the Treaty of Berlin, Ottoman power received a blow from which it has never recovered,
and which has prepared the way for its extinction.
If we take Solar years, then--
reckoning backward, we get to BC 624 (AM
3376), the beginning of the Babylonian kingdom, the "head of gold."
reckoning forward we get to 1896-7 AD,
which is yet future.
These reckonings in their beginnings
and endings form an introversion, or Epanodos, thus:--
624--BC dates increasing.
1860--AD dates increasing.
The Solar reckonings are the
more important dates; the Lunar are next in significance; while Zodiacal
reckonings furnish us with dates which, to say the least, fit neatly into their places.
Having thus fixed the central date, which already points
forward to the end, let us go back and find the starting point, that we may the better
understand the end.
When Daniel was explaining to Nebuchadnezzar his
mysterious dream, he said, "Thou art this head of gold"! (Dan 2:38). This moment
is popularly, but erroneously, supposed to mark the commencement of the Babylonian
kingdom--the first of these four great Gentile powers.
But Daniel spoke of what ALREADY existed, and was explaining
the then condition of things. He said, "God hath given thee a kingdom,
power, and strength, and glory" (Dan 2:37). The kingdom of Babylon had already been
in existence for more than thirty years, for its king had destroyed Jerusalem and burnt
the Temple with fire, and brought away many captives, amongst whom was Daniel and his
companions. The opening words of the book make this very clear.
The monumental history of Babylon, as now dug up, shows
that before this it had been sometimes tributary to, and sometimes almost independent of,
Assyria. In AM 3352, after a severe struggle with Assurbanipal, the Assyrian king, Babylon
was once more subdued, and its king setting fire to his palace perished in the flames.
After that there was peace for twenty-two years, during which time Kandalanu governed
Babylon in succession to Sumas-sum-ukin, a son of Assurbanipal.
In AM 3375 (i.e. BC 627), * another revolt broke out, and
the Assyrian king sent a general of great ability to quell it. His name was Nabu-pal-user
(which means Nebo protects his son). He put down the rebellion with so much skill
that Assurbanipal made him governor of Babylon. He shortly afterwards, in AM 3376, himself
rebelled, and made himself King of Babylon. Associating with him his son Nebuchadnezzar,
they commenced a campaign against Assurbanipal, which ended in the fall of Nineveh and the
complete subjugation of Assyria. The kingdom of Babylon, thus commencing in BC 625, **
became the first great Gentile kingdom as foretold in Daniel.
* These dates are those furnished by the
Monuments, as given by Dr. Budge, of the British Museum, in his Babylonian Life and
History, RTS, 1885. They also agree with the dates dug up by Sir Henry Rawlinson in
1862, consisting of fragments of seven copies of the famous "Eponym Canon of
Assyria," by which the Assyrian chronology has been definitely settled. Before this,
historians had to be content with inferences and conjectures.
** In adjusting the AM and BC dates, the
latter are always apparently one year in advance of the former, because BC 4000 was AM 1,
and BC 3999 was AM 2. Hence AM 3376 is not BC 624, but it is BC 625.
There is practically no question, now, as to this date.
The actual duration of the three kingdoms that
followed--Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece, may not perhaps be so accurately determined.
Their total duration is known, because it is fixed by a known date at the other end, but
it might introduce controversial matter if we attempted to assign to them their exact
relative duration. Probably they were, roughly:--Babylon about 90 years; Medo-Persia about
200 years; Greece about 304 years.
We believe these to be fairly proportionate, * but whether
they are or not, their total amount must have been 594 years, because the undisputed date
of the battle of Actium, by which Augustus became the head of the Roman Empire, was
September BC 31. From this date Jerusalem passed permanently under the power of Rome until
the Mahommedan conquest in AD 636-7.
* Cyrus took Babylon, according to the
Monuments, in the 17th year of Nabonidus, BC 539. 1 Maccabees i begins the first of
Alexander from the death of Darius Codomannus in AM 3672. This would slightly vary the
above distribution of the years of separate duration.
We have, therefore, three fixed dates, and these
decide for us the duration of the intervening periods; dividing them into the two
great Eclipse Cycles of 594 years and 666 years!
Jerusalem under the Gentiles
||Duration of Years
Babylon (the 1st Kingdom) commenced
Battle of Actium,
ending the possession of the 3rd Kingdom
Duration of the three Kingdoms,
Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece,
together (1st Eclipse Cycle)
Rome (the 4th Kingdom)
became the possessor Jerusalem
Mahommedan conquest of Jerusalem,
ending the possession of Rome
Duration of Rome's possession of Jerusalem
(2nd Eclipse Cycle)
First Half of "the Times of the Gentiles"
Date of Mahommedan conquest of Jerusalem
Second half of "the Times of the Gentiles" and
Duration of Mahommedan possession of Jerusalem
End and "fulness" of "the Times of the
* In passing from BC dates to AD dates, one
year must always be deducted, e.g., from BC 2 to AD 2 is only three years, not
From Jan 1 BC 2 to Jan 1 BC 1 is one year
From Jan 1 BC 1 to Jan 1 AD 1 is one year
From Jan 1 AD 1 to Jan 1 AD 2 is one year
Making only three years.
Hence, BC 31 to AD 636 is 666 years, not
From this it appears that 1896-7 AD would mark an
important year in connection with the "times of the Gentiles."
The above reckoning has the following advantages over all
previous historicist interpretations:--
1. Controverted dates are excluded.
2. The whole period of 2520 years is dealt with,
instead of only the latter half (1260), as is usually the case.
3. It confines these "times" to the one place
where the Lord Himself put them, viz., "JERUSALEM." He said, "Jerusalem
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
These "times," therefore, are confined to
Jerusalem. This "treading down" is confined to Jerusalem. It is not the city of
Rome that is to be trodden down for 1260 years. Why, then, should these "times"
be separated from what is characteristic of their duration, and applied to Rome,
papal or imperial? Why should historicists search for some act of emperors or popes in the
early part of the seventh century in order to add it to 1260, so as to find some terminal
date in or near our own times!*
* While the premises of the
Historicist school are thus strengthened, their conclusions are shown to be
We claim that the Lord Himself has joined these
"times of the Gentiles" with the city of "Jerusalem," and we say,
"What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matt
When Jesus spoke of this treading down, it looks as
though it were then still future; for He said, "Jerusalem shall be trodden
down," etc. The occupation of Jerusalem by Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome,
was for purposes of government rather than for a wanton treading down. Government
on the earth was committed unto them. But when Jerusalem passed from the government of the
Roman Empire into the hands of the Turks, it could then be said, in a very special sense,
to be "trodden down." For of any government worthy of the name there has been
none; and of desolation and desecration the city has been full. Under the feeble rule of
the Turks, all the Gentiles seem to have combined in laying waste the holy city.
Though Jews are returning thither in ever-increasing
numbers, they are only strangers there. They have as yet no independent position, nor can
they make any treaties. But when these "times" shall end, it means that they
will have a position of sufficient independence to be able to make a treaty or league with
the coming Prince (Dan 9:27); and then the course of events will bring on another treading
down of 1260 literal "days," which will thus have had a fore-shadowing
fulfillment in years! This is written in Revelation 11:2. And to save us from any
misunderstanding, the time is given, not in days, but in "months."
The angel, after directing John to measure the Temple of
God and the altar, adds, "but the court which is without the Temple leave out, and
measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles; and the holy city shall they tread
under foot forty and two months."
This refers to a future treading down, which will be
limited to the brief period of "forty two" literal "months," during
the time of the coming Prince; and "in the midst" of the last week, when he
shall break His covenant with the Jews, * set up the "abomination of desolation"
(Dan 9:27; which is still future in Matt 24:15), and "tread down the holy city."
* And cause sacrifice and oblation to cease
(Dan 9:27). We know that is referred, by historicists, to the Messiah. But they are not
entitled to so interpret this passage unless they take with it 8:11, 11:31, and 12:11,
where the same event is distinctly referred to, and is spoken, not of Christ, but of
We now desire to specially emphasize the fact that all
these dates, and their termination in a rapidly approaching fulfillment, refer ONLY TO
JERUSALEM, AND THE GENTILES, AND THE JEWS! They refer only to the end of the Gentile
possession of Jerusalem, and to the settlement of the Jews in their own city and land.
These "times and seasons" have nothing whatever
to do with "the Church of God" (1 Thess 5:1). The mystical Body of Christ,
whenever its members are complete, "will be taken up to meet the Lord--the Head of
the Body--in the air, so to be ever with the Lord" (1 Thess 4:15-17). This glorious
event has nothing to do with any earthly sign or circumstance, so far as the members of
this mystical Body are concerned.
Therefore we are not dealing here with the coming of the
Lord; either for His saints, or with them. We are not referring to what is commonly and
erroneously called "the end of the world." We are merely pointing out that the
end of Gentile dominion over Jerusalem is drawing near! And we cannot close our
eyes to the marvellous manner in which the veil is being removed from Jewish hearts: to
the change which has come over the Jewish nation in its attitude towards Christ and
Christianity, chiefly, under God, through the unparalleled circulation of more than a
quarter of a million copies of a new translation of the New Testament into Hebrew, by the
late Isaac Salkinson, published by the Trinitarian Bible Society, and freely distributed
by the Mildmay Mission to the Jews: to the Palestine literature which has sprung up
amongst the Jews in recent years: to the persecutions in various countries which are
stirring their nest, and setting the nation in motion: to the organized emigration to
Argentina, which its promoters avowedly speak of as "a nursery ground for
Palestine" (Daily Graphic, March 10th, 1892): to the railways completed and in
course of construction in the Holy Land: to the numerous Societies and their branches
which have permeated the whole nation, which, while having various names, have only one
object--"the colonization of Palestine."
When we put these events side by side with the teaching of
the heavens as to the "cycles" or appointed times, we are merely showing how
wonderfully they agree with what is written in the Book, and witnessed to by great and
uncontested historic dates.
Nor are we absolutely naming a definite year or day even
for these Palestine events. After all, they can be only approximate, for man has so
misused every gift that God has ever given him, that even with such wondrous heavenly
time-keepers he cannot really tell you what year it is! And, besides this loss of
reckoning, there is confusion as to the commencement of the AD era, which makes absolute
accuracy between the AM, BC, and AD dates impossible.
Added to this, there is another point to be borne in mind,
viz., that when the "times of the Gentiles" shall end, Jewish independence need not
be either immediate or complete!
For when Nebuchadnezzar began his kingdom of Babylon in AM
3376 (BC 625), the Jews, though in their land and city, were not independent.
Nebuchadnezzar went to and fro to Jerusalem, and put down and set up whom he would; and it
was not till some thirty years afterwards that he destroyed the City and Temple and made
the people captives.
So, likewise, in the time of the end, there may be an epanodos.
There may be a similar period of possession without independence, a quasi-independence
guaranteed by the Great Powers; and, for ought we know, it may be that, in order to gain complete
independence, they may ultimately make that fatal league with the coming Prince.
So that while we name the dates 1896-7 as being
significant, we are not "fixing dates" in the ordinary sense of the term, but
merely pointing out some of "the signs of the times," concerning which we ought
not to be ignorant.
The true interpretation will in any case still
remain, and will surely be literally fulfilled in its own time. The Word of God will be
vindicated; its prophetic truth will be verified; God Himself will be glorified; and His
people saved with an everlasting salvation.
Meanwhile the members of His Body will "wait for His
Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the
wrath to come" (1 Thess 1:10). They will live "looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself
for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar
people (RV, a people for His own possession) zealous of good works" (Titus 2:13,14).
They will "look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ," from heaven, believing
that there is no hope either for "the Jew, the Gentile, or the Church of God,"
or for a groaning creation, until "the times of refreshing shall come from the
presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, whom the heaven must receive until
the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of ALL HIS HOLY
PROPHETS SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN" (Acts 3:19-21).
"The world is sick, and yet not unto
There is for it a day of health in store;
From lips of love there comes the healing breath,--
The breath of Him who all its sickness bore,
And bids it rise to strength and beauty evermore.
Evil still reigns; and deep within we feel
The fever, and the palsy, and the pain
Of life's perpetual heartaches, that reveal
The rooted poison, which, from heart and brain,
We labour to extract, but labour all in vain.
Our skill avails not; ages come and go,
Yet bring with them no respite and no cure;
The hidden wound, the sigh of pent-up woe,
The sting we smother, but must still endure,
The worthless remedies which no relief procure,--
All these cry out for something more divine,
Which the worst woes of earth may not withstand;
Medicine that cannot fail--the oil and wine,
The balm and myrrh, growth of no earthly land,
And the all-skillful touch of the great Healer's hand.
Man needs a prophet: Heavenly Prophet, speak,
And teach him what he is too proud to hear.
Man needs a priest: True Priest, Thy silence break,
And speak the words of pardon in his ear.
Man needs a king: O King, at length in peace appear."
Book 3 | Table of Contents