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By Henry B. Carrington.
“And the veil of the temple was rent in twain.”
The Great I AM,—that Presence,
Which wrought creation by the breath
Of Sovereign Will,—and in His Image bright,
Brought man to life, to dwell in Paradise,—
Took gracious pity on his lost estate,
When sin had marred that perfect image,
And Earth could pay no ransom for the soul.
Jehovah,—God, effulgence bright,—august,—
In majesty supreme, from Heaven stooped down,
And through His wondrous love, ineffable,
Enshrined Himself within that sacred place,
Which, once in each revolving year,
The type of the Redeemer, promised,
Might dare approach, with awe, with offerings
For the sins of Israel’s children.
As but a day, four thousand years, when
With Him, who was, and is to be,—
Eternal—Three in One,—Omnipotent:—
Such was the span of ripening promise,
Until the hour matured, and Saving Grace,
The full Redemption offered,—by gift
Of Spotless purity,—His Only Son.
Within the “Holy Place,” the
High Priest bowed,
While dread Shekinah lingered,—(ne’er again
To yield to Jewish rite or sacrifice,
The boon of pardoned guilt, for blood of goats
Or bullocks, without blemish);—and bowed,
While yet the echoes of his voice, profane,
Still quivered in the midnight air,—floating
Upward toward the Great White Throne,—crying,
O,—crucify the spotless Son of Man,
And let Barabbas, son of sin, go free.
Where direst portents, solitude profound,—
Place, awful with the bleaching types of death,
Had published forth Golgotha’s cruel name.
The stately High Priest, from the “Holy Place”
Approached, to consummate prophetic crime,—
To fill the measure of Judea’s sin,—
And bring Messiah to a dying race.
“IT IS FINISHED.”
O,—light of day, whose now
As ne’er before, withholds thy cheer from man!—
O,—quaking earth, whose bed of solid rock,
Is shivered by some pang of awful ill!—
O,—graves, once sealed o’er loved ones, laid aside,
To answer only at Archangels’ call!—
What tragedy of creation’s Master;—
What spell upon creation’s normal peace;—
What overturn of laws immutable;—
What contradictions in the mind Supreme;
Have wrought this pregnant ruin,—earth throughout!