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The Sound of the Trumpet (2 of 23)
Series: The Hope of the Gospel
The loud, clangorous, exultant trumpet! 'Praise Him,' says the psalmist, 'with the sound of the trumpet!' That crashing, triumphant note is to go sounding through our songs! But I am more than half inclined to believe that nowadays the psalmist's advice is more honored in the breach than in the observance. The trumpet is a neglected instrument. Or, at any rate, it is true to say that there are other instruments with which we are much more familiar, and in the playing of which we are much more expert. I hear much more of the wail and sob of the flute than I do of the piercing, shattering notes of the trumpet. We pitch our tunes in the minor key. We are subdued, hesitant, doubtful. We talk not as the New Testament does of victory and conquest; we talk of defeat, reaction, arrest. We lack that note of confidence and joy which was the characteristic mark of the invincible apostolic church. There is an old Jewish legend which tells how each morning in heaven the trumpets ring out; and when Lucifer, son of the morning, was asked, after he had fallen from heaven, what he missed most, he replied, 'I miss most of all the trumpets that are sounded in the morning.' And that is what I miss most in the individual Christian life and the corporate church life of today. I miss the trumpets that are sounded in the morning. I miss the note of courage, confidence, defiance. We are more familiar with Misereres than we are with Te Deums. Our religion is marked by sadness and melancholy rather than by the abandonment of joy that sounds through this psalm with its summons to praise God 'with the sound of the trumpet,' to 'praise Him upon the loud cymbals,' to 'praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals.'
We have become self-conscious and morbid in our Christian lives. We are much more given to examining our own conditions than we are to letting our minds dwell upon the excellencies and glori ...
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