The Great Conversion -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 077:305 (Jan 1920)
Article: The Great Conversion
Author: Anonymous

The Great Conversion

Out of the twilight primeval,
Mounting on History’s stage,
Leaps the man-brute, goryhanded,
Sparing not youth, sex or age.
Wrath in his heart for his fellow,
Death in his hand for his foe
Redden all streams to their fountains,
Crimson each winter’s white snow.

Home with its charms and its comforts,
Marvels in science and art,
Change not the brute from his fierceness,
Soften not savagery’s heart.
Man is for man his prey ever,—
Beast to its kind ne’er so dread,—
Weak for the strong are their breakfast;
Life is a hell till they’re dead.

On and still on through the ages
Rises man’s battle-shout strong,
“Woe to the vanquished” his watchword;
Victims to victors belong.
Mercy and truth are a jesting,
Treaties a paperlike scrap;
Butchery, torture and famine
Quickly each other o’erlap.

Treachery gloats o’er its falsehoods;
Cruelty feasts its bleared eyes;
Rapine and lust shout in triumph;
Might is extolled to the skies.
O the foul shame of the nations!

O the brute victor in man!
O the dire need of salvation Breaking earth’s terrible ban.

Pacing his horrible selfhood,
Awestruck at depth of his fall
See the brute shocked to repentance,
Fully confessing guilt’s all.
True be the worldwide conversion,
Mighty, soul-searching, and blest,
Sweeping earth’s millions all Godward,
Spurring each soul to its best.

Master the brute, O ye nations;
Put your best self on its throne;
Throw your vile past all behind you;
Mercy and truth make your own.
Charge not some other with sinning;
“Thou art the man,” thou alone;
Others will God bring to judgment;
Thou for sins thine must atone.

Each his own brute must o’ermaster;
Each his own heart must refine;
Damning the Germans saves no one;
Guilt’s not alone on the Rhine.
Britain, America, Frenchland,
Italy, Russia, and Greece,
Small with the great share their brutehood;
Black are their sins against peace.

Brute in the rich in his power,
Brute in the poor in his hate,
Brute in the schemer for honor,
Brute in the nobles of state,
Brute in fine silks and coarse drillings,
Brute ‘neath bad manners and good;
None but have need of redemption;
All have the brute in their blood.

Down on its knees crying mercy,
Putting its past from its soul,
Let the world fall in contrition,...

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