By J. Whitfield Green
(Malachi 4:1; John 3:16)
When the great plants of our cities
Have turned out their last finished work;
When our merchants have sold their last yard of silk
And dismissed the last tired clerk;
When our banks have raked in their last dollar
And paid the last dividend;
When the Judge of the earth says, "Close for the night,"
And asks for a balance-WHAT THEN?
When the choir has sung its last anthem,
And the preacher has made his last prayer;
When the people have heard their last sermon,
And the sound has died out on the air;
When the Bible lies closed on the altar,
And the pews are all empty of men;
And each one stands facing his record,
And the great Book is opened-WHAT THEN?
When the actors have played their last drama,
And the mimic has made his last fun;
When the film has flashed its last picture,
And the billboard displayed its last run;
When the crowds seeking pleasure have vanished
And gone out in the darkness again;
When the trumpet of ages is sounded,
And we stand up before Him-WHAT THEN?
When the bugle's call sinks into silence,
And the long marching columns stand still;
When the captain repeats his last orders,
And they've captured the last fort and hill;
And the flag has been hauled from the masthead,
And the wounded afield checked in;
And a world that rejected its Savior,
Is asked for a reason-WHAT THEN?