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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Chapter VI. — The opening of the seals in order

Chapter VI.

The opening of the seals in order.

And I saw when the lamb opened out as a proper child in Shiloh, the son of man, and a blinking brute cried, Come and see.

2. It was youth on a white horse, and he went forth conquering and to conquer, and looked for all the world as if it belonged to him.

3. And on opening the second seal of his age I heard a second beast say, Come and see.

4. And there went out another horse that was red, and power was given to him that sat thereon in his bumps of destruction to kill one another, and a great sword was given him for lust and for slaughter.

5. And when he opened the third seal I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld a black horse, and he that sat upon him was by example, education, experience, and environment made more fit to live, for near his end man was at his best, and in his hands were placed a pair of balances.

6. And conscience and its growth into public opinion cried, a measure of barley for a penny, and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine, and those farming their brother man were known to God and man and were made unhappy.

7. And when he had opened the fourth seal I heard the fourth beast say, Come and see.

8. And I looked and behold a pale horse and rich and poor were gathered in, and they saw not that man did not live by bread alone, and they went unto death with the beasts of the earth.

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9. And when he opened the fifth seal I saw the salt of the earth wake from their slumbers, saying: Preach that God spares no kind of sham or hypocrisy, and that he will root out and destroy every kind of evil amongst those living upon this earth.

10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, oh Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth, them and their hereafter and their weal or woe chance, and their castles in the air, and their Edom wherein they are dead drunk and doth rage and imagine a vain thing.

11. And Jacob's prophets had white robes given unto them, and were told to rest for a season until Bill's mystic scheme and his seventh angel hove in sight. For on that threshold God had spoken, and woe betide the churches if they will not hear. Religion is necessary, but churches are not.

12. And when Bill opened the sixth seal I beheld a great convulsion, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon shone through like blood, and in the smash he yearned for plain English in lieu of red-painted metaphor.

13. And the stars fell like untimely fruit cast down by a mighty wind, and his mind being obsessed by the great disturbance, he foamed and tore round and kicked and shoved over tabernacles of darkness, and their bigotry, their superstitition, and their figures, tropes and similes he bundled into a cart and sent to the destructor.

14. And heaven went overboard, skylights and all, and popes, priests, and parsons were shaken from their office and were in danger for all time of losing their hatch, match, and despatch perquisites.

15. With fear and trembling men viewed the loss of heaven and hell, and in the overturn Bill cried: Preach for a kingdom of God, yea, an earthly kingdom, to come suddenly, making a clean sweep of all the elements that make for oppression, cruelty, foulliving and pretentiousness.

16. And holy orders cried: Hide us from the truth and from the wrath of the lamb. But Bill with much human touch did allay their fears, saying: Tolerate one another, for ye are all born and not yet buried, and whilst you are walking about there is hope.

17. And they saw coming that great day of wrath, and who shall be able to stand, and Bill cried: Preach nothing whatever that shall have the remotest reference to a world to come, or a divine redeemer whose principal duty is to suffer and to die, in order to secure a blessed immortality for those that believe on him.