« PreviousContinue »
the evening stars of the world's existence than by the morning stars, and the vespers will be sweeter than the matins. The work of all good men and women and of all good churches and all reform associations is to bring the race back to the original harmony. The rebellious heart to be attuned, social life to be attuned, commercial ethics to be attuned, internationality to be attuned, hemispheres to be attuned.
In olden times the choristers had a tuning fork with two prongs and they would strike it on the back of pew or music rack and put it to the ear and then start the tune, and all the other voices would join. In modern orchestra the leader has a perfect instrument, rightly attuned, and he sounds that, and all the other performers tune the keys of their instruments to make them correspond, and sound the bow over the string and listen, and sound it out over again, until all the keys are screwed to concert pitch, and the discord melts into one great symphony, and the curtain hoists, and the baton taps, and audiences are raptured with Schumann's “Paradise and the Peri,” or Rossini's “Stabat Mater," or Bach's “ Magnificat " in D or Gounod's “Redemption."
Now our world can never be attuned by an imperfect instrument. Even a Cremorra would not do. Heaven has ordained the only instrument, and it is made out of the wood of the cross and the voices that accompany it are imported voices, cantatrices of the first Christmas night, when heaven sere naded the earth with “ Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will to men."
Lest we start too far off and get lost in generalities, we had better begin with ourselves, get our own hearts and lives in harmony with the eternal Christ. Oh, for his almighty Spirit to attune us, to chord our will and his will, to modulate our life with his life, and bring us into unison with all that is pure
and self-sacrificing and heavenly. The strings of our nature are all broken and twisted and the bow is so slack it cannot evoke anything mellifluous. The instrument made for heaven to play on has been roughly twanged and struck by influences worldly and demoniac. Oh, master-hand of Christ, restore this split and fractured and despoiled and unstrung nature until first it shall wail out for our sin and then trill with divine pardon.
The whole world must also be attuned by the same power. A few days ago I was in the Fairbanks weighing scale manufactory of Vermont. Six hundred hands, and they have never made a strike. Complete harmony between labor and capital, the operatives of scores of years in their beautiful homes near by the mansions of the manufacturers, whose invention and Christian behavior made the great enterprise. So, all the world over, labor and capital will be brought into euphony.
You may have heard what is called the “ Anvil Chorus." composed by Verdi, a tune played by hammers, great and small, now with mighty stroke and now with heavy stroke, beating a great iron anvil. That is what the world must come to—anvil chorus, yard-stick chorus, shuttle chorus, trowel chorus, crowbar chorus, pick-axe chorus, gold-mine chorus, rail-track chorus, locomotive chorus. It can be done and it will be done. So all social life will be attuned by the gospel harp.
There will be as many classes in society as now, but the classes will not be regulated by birth or wealth or accident, but by the scale of virtue and benevolence, and people will be assigned to their places as good or very good or most excellent. So also commercial life will be attuned and there will be twelve in every dozen and sixteen ounces in every pound and
apples at the bottom of the barrel will be as sound as those on the top and silk goods will not be cotton, and sellers will not have to charge honest people more than the right price because others will not pay, and goods will come to you corresponding with the sample by which you purchased them, and coffee will not be chickoried, and sugar will not be sanded, and milk will not be chalked, and adulteration of food will be a State-prison offense.
Aye, all things shall be attuned. Elections in England and the United States will no more be a grand carnival of defamation and scurrility, but the elevation of righteoris men in a righteous way.
In the sixteenth century the singers called the Fischer Brothers reached the lowest bass ever recorded, and the highest note ever trilled was by La Bastardella, and Catalini's voice had a compass of three and a half octaves; but Christianity is more wonderful; for it runs all up and down the greatest heights and the deepest depths of the world's necessity, and it will compass everything and bring it in accord with the song which the morning stars sang at the laying of the world's corner-stone. All the sacred music in homes, concert halls, and churches tends toward this consummation. Make it more and more hearty. Sing in your families. Sing in your places of business. If we with proper spirit use these faculties we are rehearsing for the skies.
Heaven is to have a new song, an entirely new song, but I should not wonder if as sometimes on earth a tune is fashioned out of many tunes, or it is one tune with the variations, so some of the songs of the glorified of heaven may have playing through them the songs of earth; and how thrilling, as coming through the great anthem of the saved, accompanied by the harpers with their harps and trumpeters with their trum