Sinai and Calvary
There are two mountains hallowed
By majesty sublime,
Which rear their crests unconquered
Above the floods of Time.
Have gazed on them with awe,—
The mountain of the Gospel,
The mountain of the Law.
From Sinai’s cloud of darkness
The vivid lightnings play;
They serve the God of vengeance,
The Lord who shall repay.
Each fault must bring its penance,
Each sin the avenging blade,
For God upholds in justice
The laws that He hath made.
But Calvary stands to ransom
The earth from utter loss,
In shade than light more glorious,
The shadow of the Cross.
To heal a sick world’s trouble,
To soothe its woe and pain,
On Calvary’s sacred summit
The Paschal Lamb was slain.
The boundless might of Heaven
Its law in mercy furled,
As once the bow of promise
O’erarched a drowning world.
The Law said, As you keep me,
It shall be done to you;
But Calvary prays, Forgive them;
They know not what they do.
Almighty God! direct us
To keep Thy perfect Law!
O blessed Saviour, help us
Nearer to Thee to draw!
Let Sinai’s thunders aid us
To guard our feet from sin;
And Calvary’s light inspire us
The love of God to win.
The Vision of St. Peter
To Peter by night the faithfullest came
And said, “We appeal to thee!
The life of the Church is in thy life;
We pray thee to rise and flee.
“For the tyrant’s hand is red with blood,
And his arm is heavy with power;
Thy head, the head of the Church, will fall,
If thou tarry in Rome an hour.”
Through the sleeping town St. Peter passed
To the wide Campagna plain;
In the starry light of the Alban night
He drew free breath again:
When across his path an awful form
In luminous glory stood;
His thorn-crowned brow, His hands and feet,
Were wet with immortal blood.
The godlike sorrow which filled His eyes
Seemed changed to a godlike wrath,
As they turned on Peter, who cried aloud,
And sank to his knees in the path.
“Lord of my life, my love, my soul!
Say, what wilt Thou with me?”
A voice replied, “I go to Rome
To be crucified for thee.”
The apostle sprang, all flushed, to his feet,—
The vision had passed away;
The light still lay on the dewy plain,
But the sky in the east was gray.
To the city walls St. Peter turned,
And his heart in his breast grew fire;
In every vein the hot blood burned
With the strength of one high desire.
And sturdily back he marched to his death
Of terrible pain and shame;
And never a shade of fear again
To the stout apostle came.