The Creeds Of The Bells
How sweet the chime of the Sabbath bells!
by Anonymous Americas
Each one its creed in music tells
In tones that float upon the air
As soft as song, as sweet as prayer,
And I will put in simple rhyme
The language of the golden chime.
My happy heart with rapture swells
Responsive to the bells, sweet bells.
'Ye purifying waters swell!'
In mellow tones rang out a bell;
'Though faith alone in Christ can save,
Man must be plunged beneath the wave,
To show the world unfaltering faith
In what the Sacred Scripture saith;
Oh, well! ye rising water, swell!'
Pealed out the clear-toned Baptist bell.
'O, heed the ancient landmarks well!'
In solemn tones exclaimed a bell.
'No progress made by mortal man
Can change the just, eternal plan;
With God there can be nothing new;
Ignore the false, embrace the true,
While all is well! is well! is well!'
Pealed out the good old Dutch church bell.
'In deeds of love excel! excel!'
Chimed out from ivied towers a bell.
'This is the church not built on sands,
Emblem of one not built with hands;
Its forms and sacred rites revere -
Come worship here! come worship here!
Its rituals and faith excel!'
Chimed out the Episcopalian bell.
'No faith alone, but works as well,
Must test the soul!' said a soft bell.
'Come here and cast aside your load!
And work your way along the road
With faith in God and faith in man,
And hope in Christ, where hope began.
Do well! do well! do well! do well!'
Rang out the Unitarian bell.
'To all the truth we tell, we tell!'
Shouted in ecstacies, a bell.
'Come all ye weary wanders, see!
Our Lord has made salvation free!
Repent, believe, have faith, and then
Be saved! and praise the Lord! Amen!
Salvation’s free! we tell! we tell!'
Shouted the Methodistic bell.
'Farewell! farewell! base world, farewell!'
In touching tones exclaimed a bell.
'Life is a boon to mortals given,
To fit the soul for bliss in heaven.
Do not invoke the avenging rod.
Come here and learn the way to God.
Say to the world, ‘farewell! farewell!’'
Pealed forth the Presbyterian bell.
'In after life there is no hell!'
In raptures rang a cheerful bell.
'Look up to heaven this holy day,
When angels wait to lead the way.
There are no fires, no fiends to blight
The future life; be just and right.
No hell! No hell! No hell! No hell!'
Rang out the Universalist bell.
'The Pilgrim Fathers heeded well
My cheerful voice!' pealed forth a bell.
'No fetters here to clog the soul,
No arbitrary creed control
The free heart and progressive mind
That leave the dusty paths behind.
Speed well! speed well! speed well! speed well!'
Pealed forth the Independent bell.
'No pope, no pope, to doom to hell
The Protestant!' rang out a bell.
'Great Luther left his fiery zeal
Within the hearts that truly feel
What loyalty to God swill be
The faulty that makes men free,
No images where incense fell!'
Rang out old Martin Luther’s bell.
'Find rest! find rest! find rest! find rest!
Upon our Holy Mother’s breast,
From wearying strifes that never cease,
The mother church gives rest and pace.
Come, penitents, your sins confess
Where white-robed priests the faithful bless,
Where sacred Masses peal and swell!'
Deep tolled d the Roman Catholic bell.
Neatly attired, in manner plain,
A pilgrim see - no spot, no satin -
Slowly, with soft and measured tread,
In Quaker garb - no white, no red -
To passing friend I hear him say,
'Here worship thou, this is the way;
No churchly form, it is not well;
No bell - no bell - no bell - no bell.'