John Stuart Anderson
1927 - 2002
Daniel of Babylon
Text of the Narrative of the Book of Daniel -- Words of the Motets by John Stuart Anderson
Prologue -- Daniel
Scene 1 Captivity
"Now is the city fallen and destroyd; she has taken her place in the darkness enclosed in her shell of despair; long-armed, death is abroad in our streets: At the sound of his tread the walls are shaken, the air cries out and the place of our God is consumed with fire:
Yet, that fire should kindle a greater light: a light to break the darkness, to compass the world - a shadow of Heaven, the healing of man."
Scene 2 The Dream of Nebuchadnezzar
"In the days of division Kingdoms shall break, but the Kingdom of God, the nation of mercy, shall stand like the mountain without strength of hand. Out of the darkness this place has grown, a beacon whose light embraces the world, a signal of faith in the days of division."
Scene 3 The Burning Fiery Furnace
"Into the fire, the flame of the furnace, with hope in his hand comes the Angel of God, the son of the Highest. Over the fire, the flame of the furnace, trembles the song: the confession of Glory, the prayer of the weakest. Out of the fire, the flame of the furnaces, rises this church beyond vision of man - secure in the strongest."
Scene 4 Belshazzars Feast
"The glories of Kings, like shadows in the light of God, last but a moment and fall. The spirit of God ascending still through desolation, pierces the darkness to live."
Scene 5 The Decree of Darius
"By His Name all storms are quiet, the proud are silent and the wicked fall. At His command the Lions mouth is shut, the faithful souls unharmed and all the leaders find new life: Through Him alone shall Nations stand, and in their fall is He remembered. Rejoice then that He is with us; Let us be glad and worthy to stand in his house - the place of Holiness, the Temple of our God."
Scene 6 Susannah and The Elders
"The innocent shall suffer at the hand of man: But their cry shall be loud in the ears of God. He will lift them up and give them strong defence. They shall not be forgotten. Those who have been saved from death will remember the others: here, between these stones of prayer shall they be remembered - through dawning and nightfall for ever and ever."
Scene 7 Bel and the Dragon
"God will destroy His enemies from within, there walls will crumble and their spirits fail. He will blow them away like smoke on the western wing: no one shall see them again, they will be gone forever. But if we are worthy He will defend us - without price, without payment - if we are worthy. But if we are not, then no building can save us, no beauty can hide us, nor armour protect. Better the ruin, and faith underground then the splendour of emptiness. Let Him stand in our midst.
"When something escapes definition one can be fairly sure that it
will be interesting - even exciting.
It is these qualities that distinguish the remarkable performance
of John Stuart Anderson."
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