WHEN THE KING CAME
We were silent for a long time in happy absorption and then our attention was attracted to a faint sound coming from the other side of the lake. It was thin and clear, like the voice of a young boy. Nearer and nearer it came, and gradually the little ones stopped their play and formed themselves into a “crocodile”. A moment later five tiny angels came into view, playing some melodious chant on instruments which they held to their lips. They began to dance and skip in a wide circle and the “crocodile” joined on at the end, matching their steps to the rhythm of the “band”. All at once we heard the words that the babies sung:
“0 sing unto the Lord a new song for He hath done marvellous things. His right hand and His holy arm have gotten Him the victory. The Lord hath made known His salvation. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful before the Lord!”
The angel had fallen on his knees and Janet and I knelt beside him. The singing and dancing grew swifter, more joyful. Then it suddenly ceased. Was this a prelude to something more, I wondered? Could it be that the King was to visit His little ones?
“He comes to all,” our guide pressed into my mind. “Wherever you may go in the length or breadth of Heaven, there shall you find the Lord of Love.”
So they were preparing for Him! How eagerly we watched, kneeling there on the mossy ground. The babies were standing mute as though listening for a familiar sound, and suddenly it came-the sound of a trumpet. Then there was a great tumbling and hustle as all the angels formed into a kneeling group. Once more came the sound of the trumpet, and then a tall man-angel appeared in the centre of the field. He had a scroll in his hands and he began to chant from it in a ringing voice:
“0 Lord, my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment; Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain; Who maketh the clouds His chariot; Who walketh upon the wings of the wind; Who maketh His angels spirits, His ministers a flaming fire!”
His voice died away. From the far distance a little spark of light appeared, growing brighter every moment, growing nearer to our dazzled eyes. Soon it reached to a great height, shutting out from our sight the day-stars of the angels. There was no heat in this fire, but only a mighty shining and we could not, dare not take our glance from the centre of it.
In the midst of this shining was a majestic Figure. As He lifted His hands to bless its, beams of light streamed from His fingers and poured out from the region of His heart. When He stepped forward the light moved with Him, enveloping the baby-angels, and from its centre they burst into a rapturous song.
“0 Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all. The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever; the Lord shall rejoice in His works. I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being !”
As their singing ceased, He sat down on the ground and held out His arms to them. Instantly they leapt up to cluster about Him and He caressed them, every one.
Slowly, the light came nearer. Janet and I, trembling with eagerness, perceived that He had risen up and was approaching us. For a moment my heart failed me, for I had never seen Him surrounded by so great a light before. Then, as the first rays touched me, all uneasiness fled.
The radiance was tender and sweet. There was a homeliness, a dear familiarity about it that I cannot describe. I longed to throw myself deeper into it, to breathe it, absorb it, to make it a part of my very being. Janet felt this, too. She reached out and clasped my hand and we waited breathlessly while our Dearest One greeted our guide.
Then He came to us and enfolded us closely to His heart so that the rays coming forth from it pierced us, running like fire in our veins. I do not know how long it lasted. I think I grew drowsy with the sweetness of it, for presently when I opened my eyes, Janet and I were all alone, except for our angel.