TWO DECADES - 1864 AND 1884

by T. De Witt Talmage

T. DeWitt Talmage

I Chron., 2I: 27: " And the Lord commanded the angel; and
he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof."

One day in Davidic times the people looked tip
and saw against the sky something which made the
blood curdle and the cheek blanch and the breath stop
- an angel of overtowering stature, and armed with
a sword long and bright as summer lightning when
it cleaves the sky from zenith to horizon. The broad
blade with curved edge pointed toward doomed Jeru-
salem. The sheath hung dangling at the side of the
great supernatural being, the sheath, of course, of
such vast proportion as to have held the sword be-
fore it was brandished. As long as that uncovered
sword was pointed toward Jerusalem havoc and mas-
sacre and bloodshed went on; but after a while, in
answer to the prayers of the people and the sacrifices
on the threshing-floor of Ornan, the angel drew back
the sword with the right hand, and seizing the sheath
with the left he inserted the sharp point into the
mouth of the scabbard, and flung the sword down
deep, until the haft of it struck the rim of the scab-
bard with resound that made the mountains about
Jerusalem tremble. Then the havoc stopped, and the
wounds healed, and the former glories of the city were
eclipsed by the splendors subsequent. Hear you not
the clang of sabre and scabbard as they come together
in the words of my text? " And the Lord commanded
the angel; and He put up His sword again into the
sheath thereof."

Soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic! And
soldiers who fought on the other side! All one now
in kindly brotherhood, whether you wore the color that
suggested the gray of the morning sky or the blue of
the full noon! And let no man who, by word or deed,
tries to open the old wounds, ever offer, either in this
world or the next, to take my hand! Hear me while
I draw out the contrast between the time when the
angel of war stood in the America ...

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