Michael Angelo lingered before a rough block of marble so long that his companion remonstrated. In reply, Michael Angelo said, 'There's an angel in that block and I'm going to liberate him.' Oh, what unbounding love would manifest itself in us towards the most unlovable—the most vile—if only we saw what they might become, and in our enthusiasm for souls we cried out, 'There's the image of Christ—marred, scarred, well-nigh obliterated—in that dear fellow, and I'm going to make that man conscious of it.'—A. E. Richardson
(2 Cor. 3. 18)
Old events have modern meanings;
Only that survives
Of past history which finds kindred
In all hearts and lives.
Mahmood once, the idol-breaker,
Spreader of the faith,
Was at Sumnat tempted sorely,
As the legend saith.
In the great pagoda's centre,
Monstrous and abhorred,
Granite on a throne of granite,
Sat the temple's Lord.
Mahmood paused a moment, silenced
By the silent face
That, with eyes of stone unwavering,
Awed the ancient place.
Then the Brahmins knelt before him,
By his doubt made bold,
Pledging for their idol's ransom
Countless gems and gold.
Gold was yellow dirt to Mahmood,
But of precious use,
Since from it the roots of power
Suck a potent juice.
`Were yon stone alone in question,
This would please me well,'
Mahmood said; 'but with the block there
I my truth must sell.
`Wealth and rule slip down with fortune,
As her wheel turns round;
He who keeps his faith, he only
Cannot be discrowned.
`Little were a change of station,
Loss of life or crown,
But the wreck were past retrieving
If the Man fell down.'
So his iron mace he lifted,
Smote with might and main,
And the idol on the pavement,
Tumbling, burst in twain.
Fifty times the Brahmin's offer
Deluged on the floor.—J. Russell Lowell
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from its throne
And worship only Thee.
(Hos. 14. 8; 1 John 5. 21)
`Our God is able, mighty King, to save us from the flame;
He can prevent thee hurting us—Almighty is His name.
From thy strong hand He will us keep; and His shall be the praise
When thou, and all this throng, to Him shall humble worship raise.
`If not, what then? Why, then the flame our bodies shall consume.
Far better that brief agony than one, long, living doom,
To feel the conscience burn with shame that we should faithless prove,
And in the hour of trial deny the Holy One we love.
'He will deliver: "but if not", Thy royal will be done:
And we now cheerfully will look our last upon yon sun.
For be it known to thee, O King, thy gods we will not serve;
Thy golden image we contemn! From this we will not swerve.
'We make our choice with one accord: we serve Jehovah high,
And Him alone; and for His name we ready are to die.
And we shall choose His servants' lot and order our estate;
So do thy worst: we will not bow before thy image great.'—G. H. Lang
(Dan. 3. 16-18)