Chant at the Cornerstone by T. De Witt Talmage

Chant at the Cornerstone
T. DeWitt Talmage
Job 38:6, 7

We have all seen the ceremony at the laying of the corner-stone of church, asylum or Masonic temple. Into the hollow of the stone were placed scrolls of history and important documents, to be suggestive if, one or two hundred years after, the building should be destroyed by fire or torn down. We remember the silver trowel or iron hammer that smote the square piece of granite into sanctity. We remember some venerable man who presided, wielding the trowel or hammer. We remember also the music as the choir stood on the scattered stones and timber of the building about to be constructed. The leaves of the notebooks fluttered in the wind, and were turned over with a great rustling, and we remember how the bass, baritone, tenor, contralto and soprano voices commingled. They had for many days been rehearsing the special program that it might be worthy of the corner-stone laying. The music at the laying of corner-stones is always impressive.

In my text God, addressing the poet of Uz. calls us to a grander ceremony-the laying of the foundation of this great temple of a world. The corner-stone was a block of light and the trowel was of celestial crystal. All about and on the embankments of clbud stood the angelic choristers unrolling the librettos of overture, and other worlds clapped shining cymbals while the ceremony went on, and God, the architect, by stroke of light after stroke of light, dedicated this great cathedral of a world, with mountains for pillars, and sky for frescoed ceiling, and flowering fields for floor, and sunrise and midnight aurora for upholstery. "Who laid the corner-stone thereof, when the morning stars sang together?"

The fact is that the whole universe was a complete cadence, an unbroken dithyramb, a musical portfolio. The great sheet of immensity had been spread out, and written on it were the stars, the smaller of them minims, the larger of them sustained notes. The meteors marke ...


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