and fig-tree. But this does not argue in favor of oblit¬
erating the only sun'iA'ing memorial of those days agone.
A A'ivid recollection of those times, red and fiery with
their record of suffering, will serve well to chasten and
keep us pure. While these songs remain the colored
people, like the Jews of old, will remember that " they
were once bondmen in Egypt;" and then will they go
their way Avitli memory on the alert, lest a Avorse
thing come unto them, singing as they go:
"Brother, am't you glad you 've left that heatheren army;
Brotheren, ain 't you glad the sea give away.''
These melodies have SAveetened the bitter pang of
cruel mockings and lashing, and turned the gall into
honey for the praying, singing slaA-e. Oft-times in
the field amid the cane, the corn, the cotton, the rice, the
hemp, or the tobacco, has God met and blessed them.
Almost A'isible choirs of angels have at times seemed
to join them in these strains of praise to the Father
of lights. In slave-pen, barn, jungle or palace, these
melodies have done good whereA-er they Avere sung or
heard. SlaA'es haA'e leaped, freedmen shouted, kings
and queens have wept, and Presidents have been moved
to tears of joy, when these songs, ringing in their
ears, burned into their hearts, and left the fires of phi¬
lanthropy, if not of religion, agloAV, to burn on foreA'er
there. They have mightily lifted and strengthened
the hands of the Negro's friends in the Xorth, while
for their success they have pierced the ears of the
Lord of Sabaoth.
My work is to rescue them, lest after all these good
fruits they themselves perish from the minds of men.
Their influence is not done. The race is free, an era
of light and culture has dawned, but ere all the fruits
of freedom be gathered these melodies have many
a mighty task to perform, in lifting up bowed hearts