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pictured by Himself is, not the God of Judgment, but the Soul of external Nature; an infinite Sympathy revealed in the joyous spontaneities of nature. Omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence are of course implied; but what is made prominent is an all-pervasive sympathy, embracing the vastnesses that strain the imagination, but penetrating also to the smallest things and things most remote from human interest. Though the Creator of the world, he is not here a creator by fiat, but an earth-builder, rejoicing in his task to secure its foundations and determine its measures, while the corner-stone is laid with the morning stars singing together and all the sons of God shouting for joy. There is power in his shutting up Ocean with bars it may not pass: there is another conception in his watching for it as it issues from the womb, making a garment for it of cloud, and swaddling bands of thick darkness. There is power in the dayspring taking hold of the ends of the earth and shaking the wicked out of their darkness: there is the artist's joy also in viewing the earth under this dawning light change as clay under a seal, while the dulled landscape suddenly stands forth as a patterned garment. What to man are the mysteries of the stars, of the ocean depths, of darkness, of light, of death itself, of the sources of the snow and hail, these make the common round of this Nature Power: who walks through the heavens binding the clusters of the Pleiades, loosing the bands of Orion, leading the signs of the Zodiac in their season, guiding the Bear with her train; he enters the springs of the sea, or walks in the fathomless recesses of the deep; now visits the gates of death, now takes the way to the dwelling of light, arranges by what angle the lightning shall fork, keeps treasuries of hail and snow against the day of battle. We have here, not the Food and tempest overwhelming the nations, but the rain with glorious redundancy rejoicing to rain on the wilderness where no man is, satisfying the waste and lonely land with his gift of the tender springing grass; or he watches the sport of the dust running into a mass, and the clods having their time of embracing as he pours out for them the bottles of heaven. Man has his ox, that eats out of his crib, and harrows after him the valleys: but here is sympathy with the passionate liberty of the wild ass which scorns the noisy city and the driver's shout, finding a palace of freedom in the salt wilderness and a pasture meadow in the rocky tableland. Here
is sympathy with the hawk soaring southwards, with the eagle in her spy-house of inaccessible crags, with the lioness crouching for the spring, with the food-winning anxieties of the raven, with all the family cares of the desert goat-the numbering of the months, the bowing in travail, the moment of casting out her sorrows, the young ones growing in good liking, their going forth at last to return to the parent no more. The stupid ostrich, with not enough of nature's first instinct to guard her eggs against the chance footfall, even she has her time, when she lifteth up herself on high and puts to scorn the horse and his rider. This war horse is also pictured, with the quivering mane, who has his joy in the terrors of mankind, swallowing the ground in the fierceness of his spirit as the trumpet and shouting tell of battle at hand!
God Speaking Out of the Whirlwind
Declare, if thou hast understanding-
it? Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof;
When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
When I made the cloud the garment thereof,
And here shall thy proud waves be stayed?"
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And from the wicked their light is withholden,
And the high arm is broken.
-Declare, if thou knowest it all
-Doubtless, thou knowest, for thou wast then born,
And the number of thy days is great! Hast thou entered the treasuries of the snow, Or hast thou seen the treasuries of the hail,
Which I have reserved against the time of trouble,
Against the day of battle and war?
To cause it to rain on a land where no man is;
And to cause the tender grass to spring forth?
The waters are hidden as with stone,
And the face of the deep is frozen. Canst thou bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou lead forth the signs of the Zodiac in their season? Or canst thou guide the Bear with her train? Knowest thou the ordinances of the heavens? Canst thou establish the dominion thereof in the earth?
Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds,
When the dust runneth into a mass,
And the clods cleave fast together? Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lioness? Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
When they couch in their dens,
And abide in the covert to lie in wait? Who provideth for the raven his food,
When his young ones cry unto God,
And wander for lack of meat?
They bow themselves, they bring forth their young,
They go forth, and return not again.
Whose house I have made the wilderness,
And he searcheth after every green thing.
Or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
For she leaveth her eggs on the earth,
She scorneth the horse and his rider.
The glory of his snorting is terrible.
The thunder of the captains, and the shouting.