17 JANUARY 1863, Page 16


Is there a God? Ah yes I that look perplexed Proclaims thy faith so firm, thy love so sure; No cloud has crossed or subtle question vexed A life so calm and pure.

But I, long wandering over shore and sea, Must ask, still wandering over sea and shore, For something to reveal the truth to me That has been thine of yore.

Is there a God ? The churchman frowns reply, With mingled scorn and grief his lip is curled.

Yet could the God he says none dare deny Sustain so wide a world ?

I've seen so many deities outgrown, So many temples proudly rise in vain, So many altars built and overthrown,

That I must ask again—

Is there a God ? To my own heart I turn ; Tides ebb and flow, and flickering meteors play Round shrines where throbbing fire; of passion burn ; His image fades away.

I search among the records of our race, Glancing across the storms of many a land, Unrolling Memory's pictured page to trace The workings of His hand.

But noble thoughts, and words, and deeds of old

Melt in the mists ; the dust of -wars and strife

Refers me back to some far age of gold For the heroic life.

An age receding like the rainbow's arch, Leaving a riddle History cannot solve- " Is there a law by which the nations march, Or do they but revolve?"

Is there a God? Beside the city's gate, I watch for Him, amid the gloom and glare; Confused and dinned by sights and sounds, I wait, Finding no answer there:

The morning dawns ; I climb'd the cliff that looks

Down on the ocean, lying deep and still ; I listen to the song of birds and brooks Over the moor and hill.

The plains of water and the waves of wood, The silent mountains and the voice of spring, Have tuned my spirit to a better mood ; Glory to God ! I sing.

The evening falls, and I come home to see Another revelation : now I know There is a God who made the world and thee, Thy face assures me so.

For creeds may rise from fancy's weaving skill, Power from the wind, and numbers from the sod, E'en. seas and stars from blindly working will, • But goodness comes from God. J. N.