Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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A PAINTED PICTURE OF A SOUL.
125
This Jesus, like whom he prayed to be, was the One he knew to have been the Great Servant, the One who said He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and this spirit of service is one of the regnant forces of his own life. This life of service from one view�point was apparently wrought out by a superior power well-nigh irresistible, the system of slavery, but away down under the over�whelming and crushing force was that humble sacrificing spirit, which though misguided, misdirected and over-awed, still had the essence of Ohristlikeness.
Humility was taught him by every power of nature. He learned from the heavens, the mountains, the storms/ and the will of mas�ters, that his duty was to be humble. He sang humility in�
"Live a humble/"
"Lord, make me more humble."
"Lord,.I want to be more."
"Takes a humble soul to join us, In the army of the Lord."
"Low is the way�"'
. . -            "Heaven is so high, and I am so low,
. \ '                  I don't know if I'll ever get to Heaven or no."
It is a great wonder that the Negro, during the period which witnessed the birth of these heart songs, should make any expression of love for the world. It is, of course, explainable that he should love his own kind, those of his own blood, who were suffering with him, but that he should express love for God who permitted his suf�ferings, and for the man who inflicted them, is wonderful! But he did in forty of his songs, express love for God and the world, which means that by love he was possessed and mightily ruled. Otherwise, the blight of desolation would have hovered where the smile of prosperity beamed upon our land. For love is stronger than hate, and is ever engaged in the sanctification of the heart wherein it abides. It were valueless to wage any discussion as to the causes that produce this phenomenon of a suffering slave, manacled and








E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III