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gelism. During the Civil War a young man received a wound that necessitated the amputation of a leg. He was taken to a hospital, and while preparations were being made for the operation, he begged for a violin that he might play a tune. He played the piece with such tender sympathy that it almost broke the hearts of the surgeons, who did not know but that it might be his dying hymn. When the air was finished he was greatly comforted, and said: "Come on, doctor, I'm ready." The young man recovered from the operation, and afterwards went to college, studied for the ministry, and became a successful preacher, and was called to a large church in San Francisco. A few years passed away, and then the darkest shadow earth can cast, fell upon his home. His wife died; and while pondering the mystery of Divine Providence he wrote a hymn entitled, Sometime we'll Understand, of which the following is the first stanza:
*Not now, but in the coming years,
It may be in the better land,
And there, sometime, we'll understand.
The author of this hymn was the Rev. Maxwell N. Cornelius, D. D., and the music to which it is always sung was composed by Mr. James McGrana
Mr. Sankey is the greatest singing evangelist living. His voice has been heard by more people than *Used by permission of James McGranhan owner of Copyright.
ever listened to any other singer in the history of Christianity. He was born in Edinburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1840; and has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal denomination ever since he was fifteen years old. He was a soldier in the Civil War, and shortly after its close he was appointed collector of internal revenue in the Newcastle, (Pennsylvania) district, and was holding the position when he met Mr. Moody at Indianapolis in June, 1870. The meeting of these two men at that time was the turning point in the life of Mr. Sankey, for like Matthew of old, he decided to give up tax-gathering and devote his time and wonderful talent to evangelism. He has a strong, clear, magnetic barytone voice. His tones are always melodious, and his enunciation perfect. It is by no trick of the voice that he so controls the emotions of an audience as to make his name, like that of Mr. Moody's, a household word in Europe and America. He sings right from the heart, and naturally enough, his intense religious zeal inspires his hearers.
Mr. Sankey is chief editor of the various editions of Gospel Hymns, to which he has contributed some tunes of great merit. One of his finest compositions is Hiding in Thee-the musical setting of the noble hymn by the Rev. W. O. Cushing-O Safe to the Rock that is Higher than I. While he has composed many tunes which are of great service in Sunday Schools and in meetings of the Society of Christian Endeavor, it is on his marvelous gospel
singing, and his life-long companionship with Mr. Moody, that Mr. Sankey's reputation will chiefly rest.
No composer has done more to popularize and dignify gospel music than Dr. Doane, of whom mention has already been made. He was born in Connecticut in 1832, and received a thorough business training in the counting-room of a manufacturing company, first at Norwich, afterwards in Chicago, and finally as president of the same concern at Cincinnati. A Baptist authority says Dr. Doane has composed music for more than six hundred Sunday School songs, about one hundred and fifty Church and prayer-meeting hymn-tunes, and two hundred and fifty other pieces of a sacred character. Such a prodigious flow of tunes from the pen of one man is apt to induce a degenerate style of composition, but Dr. Doane's work has been uniformly good, and not a single tune from him has brought discredit upon the cause of worthy gospel music. His musical setting of Mrs. Prentiss's hymn, More Love to Thee, is found in nearly all standard Church hymnals.
The number of gospel singers actively engaged with their voices in evangelistic work and who have become eminent in that divine calling, is small indeed. Mr. Sankey and George Coles Stebbins practically stand alone in this category. The latter was born in New York in 1846. He sometimes assisted Mr. Moody, and recently was the co-laborer of the late Major Whittle in conducting revival meet
ings in Scotland. He is not only a fine singer, but his compositions are found in many hymnals. His music to Mrs. Van Alstyne's Some day the Silver Cord will Break, is an admirable piece of work, and secures for that hymn a wide popularity and enduring usefulness.
In this brief account of some hymns which have made history we learn that any heart-speech in the form of a hymn, that tells of soul-struggles and of aspirations in Christian life, goes around the world; for in every home, in every community, in every Church communion, there is some soul that needs the inspiring and purifying influence of such a hymn. The story of these historic songs also impresses us with the fact that a good hymn-whether it is one of the majestic anthems of the Church universal, or a simple but fervent utterance of one of the gospel singers-retains a more permanent hold on our thoughts and feelings than any other human composition.
And again, the record of the hymns which are radiant with histories and stand as memorials of many heart-experiences, reminds us of the times we have been thrilled when we joined with soul and voice in singing these songs of praise and adoration; but when we come to stand in Zion how much more thrilling will be the outburst of that sublime congregational singing the consummation of all song-that Saint John the Divine heard, in which no tongue in all the universe of God was silent
"And I beheld, and heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."