Swept Clean

Pastor Weston, previously mentioned, cites from a poem by the Scotsman Robert Pollok:

"The guilty earth,
Inanimate, debased, and stained by sin,
Seat of rebellion, of corruption long,
And tainted with mortality throughout-
God sentenced next; and sent the final fires
Of ruin forth, to burn and to destroy...
See! how the mountains, how the valleys burn,
The Andes burn, the Alps, the Apennines,
Taurus and Atlas; all the islands burn;
The Ocean burns, and rolls his waves of flame.
See how the lightnings, barbed, red with wrath,
Sent from the quiver of Omnipotence,
Cross and recross the fiery gloom, and burn
Into the centre!- burn without, within,
And help the native fires, which God awoke,
And kindled with the fury of His wrath.
As inly troubled, now she seems to shake;
The flames, dividing, now, a moment fall;
And now, in one conglomerated mass
Rising, they glow on high, prodigious blaze!
Then fall and sink again, as if, within,
The fuel, burned to ashes, was consumed.
So burned the earth upon that dreadful day,
Yet not to full annihilation burned.
The essential particles of dust remained,
Purged, by the final, sanctifying fires,
From all corruption; from all stain of sin,
Done there by man or devil, purified.
The essential particles remained, of which
God built the world again, renewed, improved,
With fertile vale, and wood of fertile bough;
And streams of milk and honey, flowing song;
And mountains cinctured with perpetual green;
In clime and season fruitful, as at first,
When Adam woke, unfallen, in Paradise."

ROBERT POLLOK (1798-1827), Scottish poet, son of a small farmer, was born at North Moorhouse, Renfrewshire, on the 19th of October 1798. He was trained as a cabinet-maker and afterwards worked on his father's farm, but, having prepared himself for the university, he took his degree at Glasgow, and studied for the ministry of the United Secession Church. He published Tales of the Covenanters while he was a divinity student, and planned and completed a strongly Calvinistic poem on the spiritual life and destiny of man. This was the Course of Time (1827), which passed through many editions and became a favourite in serious households in Scotland. It was written in blank verse, in ten books, in the poetic diction of the 18th century, but with abundance of enthusiasm, impassioned elevation of feeling and copious force of words and images. The poem at once became popular, but within six months of its publication, on the 18th of September 1827, its author died of consumption.


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