SUNDAY AT HOME.
“MORE WAYS THAN ONE.” The following lines were written by Will Carleton, the American poet, when the methods of the Salvation Army were regarded as more novel than they are now; ’•— I was present one day Where both layman and priest Worshipped God in a way That was startling at least ; Over thirty in place On the stage, in a row, As is often the case At a minstrelsy show ; In a uniform clad Was each one of them seen. And a banjo they had And a loud tambourine ; And they sang and they shouted Their spasmodic joys, Just as if they ne’er doubted That God loved a noise.
And their phrases, though all Not deficient in points, A grammarian would call Rather weak in the joints ; And the aspirate sound Was adroitly misused And the language all round Was assaulted and bruised ; While the tunes that were sung In bewildering throngs Had been married when young To hilarious songs ; And the folks in the place Who this, loud racket made Were not bounded by race. Or condition or shade.
Now I love my own meeting. My own cosy pew, While mentally greeting Friends quietly true ; And the gospel dispenses With a dignified grace. Born of reaison clear sensed. And a faith firm of place. I love the trained voices That float down the aisles Till the whole church rejoices With Gods sweetest smiles. Have no sneer understood, For the rest, when I .say, I had rather get good In a civilised way.
So this meeting had grated Somewhat on my heart. And, ere long I had waited, I thought to depart. But a young man arose Looking sin-drenched and grim. As if rain-storms of woes Had descended on him ; Xo such face you’d discern In a leisurely search, If you took a chance turn Through a civilised church ; But his words, though not choice To my feelings came nigh ; There was growth in his voice, There was hope in his eye.
And he said : “I’m a lad With a life full of blame. Every step has been bad, Every hour was a shame. And for drink I would pawn All within my «ontrol, From the clothes I had on To my heart and my soul. I have drank the foul stuff In my parents’ hot tears ; 1 have done crime enough For a hundred black years ; But I came to this place For the help that I craved ; I have seen Jesiis’ face And I know I am saved.
Then a man came to view. When this youngster was done. And h. said : “This is true. That young man is my son. He was drunk every day, And such terror would make. That I spurned him away From my house, like a snake. We have suffered the worst That can come from heart fears. He is sober the first I have seen him for years. I am full of such joy As I never yet knew ; And now, Robert, my boy, Homo is open for you.
“You may go home with me Or may run on before ; You’ve a glittering key That will open the door ! Your mother is there,
Praying for you e'en now ; There is snow in her hair, There is pain on her brow. And when you have kissed her The old-fashioned way. There’s a brother and sister Who've longed for this day. And whate’er can befriend you On earth shall be done ; May God’s blessing attend you, My son, O my son !”■
Then the banjo struck in Ann the tambourine jingled ; There arose such a din That my blood fairly tingled. ... The vocalists screamed. Till quite red in the face, But somehow it seemed Not at all out of place ! Now denouements immense Do not somehow take hold. Or dramatic events Reach my heart, as of old ; But my smiles could not hide The fast gathering tears, And I cheered, laughed, and cried. As I had not for vears !.
And I thought not amis Are this tumult and shout ; Folks who save men like this Know what they’re about. You who fight with God’s sword For the good of your kind You can never afford To leave these men behind. If these women I’ve seen Should be pelted or cursed, I would step in between, I would take the blow first. They who draw souls above From the depths lowest down Will not fail of God’s love Or to shine in His crown.
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SUNDAY AT HOME., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 3, 20 April 1907
SUNDAY AT HOME. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 3, 20 April 1907
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