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BRUDDER YERKES'S SERMON.
S“ Brudder Yerkes" took his stand beside the desk
he began a teetering motion, swayed, perhaps, by his feelings, as a balanced rock might have been by an earthquake. Suddenly he broke into rapid and rhapsodic speech-the words poured as through a mill-race. Sentences without substantives followed sentences without predicates. Metaphors were mixed like the limbs of different trees whirled by a hurricane. The audience was soon swept along with the enthusiasm of the speaker, and showed every changing emotion on their faces, as well as by their exclamations.
At first the effect seemed to be due entirely to animal magnetism ; but close attention discovered an uncon. scious logic; a practical arrangement of ideas, and a natural sequence of feeling throughout the discourse, which no lack of grammar could vitiate. In the morning I had attended service in the most respectable Presbyterian Church in the place, and had heard a distinguished divine from the North; but I must confess that an analysis of the two sermons showed that “Brudder Yerkes” had the advantage of the learned divine in all that goes to make effective preaching. The colored man's sermon was superior in outline, in aptness of Scripture illustration, and in massing of motives, as it was in unction of delivery.
The run of the sermon may be gathered from the following scraps which have lingered in my memory :
Behold, I stand at the door and knock." “O, chillern, whar am de door? Speks yer t’ink it am de door ob hebbin. O, dem gates ob pearl in de golden city! O, de door inter de Fader's house! O, let de angels swing 'em wide open on ter de hinges ob redeeming lub! But, chillern, dat’s not de door dat yer and I is a watchin' yet. i "Speks yer t’ink it am de door ob de Church. Wide door, shua nuff! big as de door ob de Ark ob de Cubbnant; an' inter it go all de walkin' an' de creepin' tings, great an' small, rich an' poor, ffyin' saint an' crawlin' sinner. But dat's not de door we's a watchin' dis arternoon.
No, chillern; de door is de door inter de heart.
“But who am a stan'in' at de door ? 'Taint no tramp come ter de shanty, like de debbil, a stan'in' roun' to eat up suthin' what he may devour. 'Taint no thief a hangin' 'bout waitin' ter snatch some soul wid de claws ob de great temptation. 'Taint no 'cendiary ter set yer on fire wid de 'ternal burnin'. But it's jus' de bestest frien' yer ebber could hab; wiser dan de white folks, kinder dan de fader what toted yer when yer was a baby, an' more lubbin' dan de mudder what nussed
yer. It's de good Lor' a-stan'in' at de door ; His head white as de light ob de noonshine, an' a-glisterin' wid de dew, an' all ober as lubly as de rose ob Sharon. An' He done brung de bread fur de soul, an' de wine fur de sperrit, an' de pearls ob great price fur de eberlastin' rejoicin'.
“An' what am He doin' at de door? Only jus’ a knockin, an'a-sayin', 'O poor sinner, let me in! I'se come to supper wid yer!' Did yer nebber hear Him a-knockin'? He knocks wid de conscience when de sin am a troublin'. He knocks wid de fear when de doctor am a-feelin' ob de pulse, an' He say, 'I am de great physicianer. He knocks wid de hungerin', an'
de thirsterin' arter righteousness, when de husks ob de worl turn de stomach. He knocks soft and gentle when dar's a coffin in de cabin. He knocks like do thunder when yer won't hear Him in no tudder ways.
“Better let Him in! Let Him in, Susan! Let Him in, Daniel! He's a callin' yer by yer name, fur He aint no stranger; knows every body a heap sight better than he knows hisself. O, chillern, let in de Lor', an' when de front door ob de heart swings wide open, de hull sky full ob glory will come a-rushin' in too, fur de Lor' am clothed wid de rainbow, an' walks in de shoes ob sapphire.
“ Now why don't yer let Him in? 01 it's cause yer got de bar up-bar ob yer selfishness, bar ob yer drinkin', bar ob yer dancin', and de bar ob yer foolin'. O, take de bar down, chillern! Did yer har de screechin' dis mornin', when de fire done burnt up de cabin an' de little baby in it? O Lor', help Aunt Rachel, an' don't keep her refusin' to be comforted 'cause her baby aint
Mudder lef' de chile in de cabin an' locked de door. When de fire was a-shootin' from de winder big men said, 'Open dis door, au' we'll save yer.' But de baby couldn't open de door. O, how de tears run down yer cheeks, all fur that baby! But better cry some fur yerself, now, 'cause de flames of de eberlastin' burnin' has a-cotched on ter de cabin ob yer own life; an' Lor Jesus He's a stan'in' at de door. But some of yer can't let Him in any more dan dat baby. Yer's frowed away yer strength; yer's lost yer resolution ; or yer's all upsot wid de suddingness ob de hell a bustin' out in yer. O! chillern, open de door dis yer bressed minit, before it am eberlastin'ly too late.”.
The swaying motion was kept up for a few moments
after the preacher had ceased speaking, when he suddenly dropped into the chair from utter exhaustion.
“An' now,” said the pastor, “when de choir hab stopped cryin', dey will sing a hymn, an’ we'll put in all de pennies we's got inter de box, and de white folks will put in de silber, for de relief ob Aunt Rachel."
DR. JAMES M. LUDLOW.
AS the breaking of the tempest when rebellion
broke the law, And the fearless-hearted Lincoln raised the flaming
sword of war; When our poets sang of freedom, and from all our
Northern homes Marched the volunteers to battle, to the sound of Union
drums. From Vermont, from Massachusetts, came they forth,
with brows of light, And from every State that gloried in the Union and
the right, Till the wondering hills re-echoed to the march of armed
throngs, And the babe was rocked to slumber to the sound of
Every village had its drum-call, every home its stripes
and stars, Every city rang with echoes of its people's loud hurrahs, And the Northern maiden, sewing, to her country's
honor true Hummed her stirring “Hail Columbia” as she drew
her needle through.
Pennsylvania's hills were blooming; summer breezes
kissed the rills, But still thicker than the flowers stood the white tents
on the hills. Far toward Chambersburg and Carlisle, by the army
guarded vales, Wound the canvas-covered wagons through the daisy
whitened dales, And the polished, brazen cannon in the noontide gleamed
like gold; All was stir and preparation and the hearts of men
Here was Meade, and there was Reynolds; here was
Howard, bold and grave, Here was Sedgwick, Hancock, Slocum; there was Sick
les, firm and brave; And the country's flag waved o'er them, with its red
and white and blue, Like alternate stripes of sunrise set with noontide's
See! the flaming battle opens! All forgot is Sinai's
law And the gleaming of the bayonet is the lighting flash
of war. All the morn is wild with music of the shrieking fife
and drum, And the sound of hosts advancing where the rushing
squadrons come. See! Kilpatrick's troops are sweeping down the hillside
to the creek, Clouds of smoke enfold the valley and the hoarse
mouthed cannon speak.