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James Montgomery

For the Jubilee Celebration of the Religious Tract Society, 1848.



The sunbeams, infinitely small,

In numbers numberless,

Reveal, pervade, illumine all

Nature's void wilderness.

But, meeting worlds upon their way,

Wrapt in primeval night,

In language without sound, they say

To each--"God sends you light."

Anon, with beauty, life and love,

Those wandering planets glow,

And shine themselves, as stars above,

On gazers from below.


Oh! could the first Archangel's eye,

In everlasting space,

Through all the mazes of the sky,

A single sunbeam trace!

He might behold the lonely one

Its destiny fulfil,

As punctual as the parent-sun

Performs its Maker's will.

The Sun of Righteousness, with rays

Of uncreated light,

His power and glory thus displays

Through Nature's darkest night.

The night of guilt, remorse, despair,

In which transgressors roam,

Yet, self-bewilder'd everywhere,

Never draw nearer home.

On such, with healing in His wings,

Along their downward path,

Guidance and help His rising brings

And warns to flee from wrath.

Rays from that Sun of Righteousness,

Our humble missiles dart;

Mighty at once to wound and bless,

To break and bind the heart.

Tracts, those swift messengers of peace

For men, with God at strife,

To Satan's slaves proclaim release,

To Death's condemn'd-ones, life.


Not with the excellence of speech,

But by the Spirit of Truth,

The doctrines of the Cross they preach

To manhood, age, and youth.

They flash the terrors of the Lord,

To make the scorner fear,

But speak the Gospel's sweetest word

In the poor sinner's ear.

Oh! could the first Archangel's sight

The least of these pursue,

He might record,--in its brief flight,

Each had a work to do.

A work of grace, a work of power,

But, what that was below,

Time's last, Eternity's first hour

To heaven and earth will show.

O Ye! who send these heralds forth--

By millions bid them fly,--

From east to west, from south to north,

As sunbeams fill the sky.

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