Alexander Campbell
William Baxter
Ministering Angels (1846)







      WE have never devoted much space on our pages to the Muses--not, indeed, because we are not amateurs of good poetry; but because we have had so much prose on hand; and because reformation is not a work of poetry, but of prose. Still we have been always resolving to give a little more poetry by way of relief.

      Like some of our contemporaries, we admire the rising sun more than the setting sun. We prefer original to selected, and new poets to old ones; provided only, the. new are as good as the old, and especially should they be better than the old.

      This is in age of rhymesters rather than of poets. We have among many wooers of the Muses, but few of their favorites. Now and then we discover an aspirant for their patronage, on whom they seem to cast a benignant, if not a propitious eye. Amongst those on whom they look with a partial regard, we are glad to see is our young friend BAXTER, a graduate of Bethany College. He gave us some indications of that order of genius while a student, and one, specimen in the form of an epic on Woman. on commencement day, 1845. It was an admirable subject, and so admirably handled as to obtain the smiles and the approvals of the living representatives of that very respectable portion of humanity that were present on the occasion. We have seen many very respectable Odes in print over his signature, and intend occasionally to fill a corner with one of them, especially because their tendency is always moral and religious. We cut the following from a late paper, not because it is one of his best, but because it was the only one that we could lay our hand upon at this time.

A. C.      


ANGELS minister'd to Jesus,
When the subtle tempter fled From
the mountain of temptation;
When his darts had vainly sped.
Down to earth they fly from heaven;
See! what crowds are gather'd round,
And the scene of his fierce trial,
Now becometh hallowed ground.

Angels minister'd to Jesus,
In the garden, when he lay
Praying unto God his Father,
That the cup might pass away;
He was strengthen'd there to drink it
For our fallen guilty race;
And his followers' purest feelings
Linger round that sacred place.

Angels minister'd to Jesus
On the morn he left the tomb,
When the dawn of day eternal
Burst upon its cheerless gloom;
Down they struck the fearful soldiers,
Roll'd the massive stone away,
And behold in death's dominions
Life now holds its sovereign sway.

Angels minister'd to Jesus,
When he took his upward flight
From the world he came to ransom,
To the glorious realms of light;
See! they form his willing escort,
As his chariot mounts the sky,
And the golden gates of glory
At their challenge open fly.

They will minister to Jesus,
When the skies are backward roll'd,
And revealed high in heaven,
All the world their Judge behold.
They will gather all his children
To their dear Redeemer's side,
Free from earth and all its sorrows,
With him ever to abide.

W. BAXTER.      

[The Millennial Harbinger (August 1846): 469.]


      Alexander Campbell's "Poetry" and William Baxter's "Ministering Angels" were published in The Millennial Harbinger, Third Series, Vol. 3, No. 8, August 1846. The electronic version of the essay and poem has been produced from the College Press reprint (1976) of The Millennial Harbinger, ed. Alexander Campbell (Bethany, VA: A. Campbell, 1846), pp. 469. The poem was first published in The Ladies' Repository, Vol. 5, No. 12, December 1845, p. 376.

      Addenda and corrigenda are earnestly solicited.

Ernie Stefanik
Derry, PA

Created 18 June 1
Updated 28 June 2003.

Alexander Campbell
William Baxter
Ministering Angels (1846)

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