I recall vividly a scene in Albert Hall in London nearly fifteen years ago. A remarkable gathering from all parts of the world had come together to celebrate the jubilee of the Young Men's Christian Association. About two thousand men had come from the ends of the earth. It was a world-gathering. There were sturdy Englishmen, cosmopolitan Americans, canny Scots, quick-witted Irishmen, sweet-voiced, fervid-spirited Welshmen, and courtly, suave Frenchmen.
Fair-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavians mingled with olive-skinned, black-eyed sons of Italy. The steady-going Hollander and the intense German mingled their deep gutturals with the songs of praise and the discussions. A few turbaned heads, inscrutably quiet almond-eyes, and others of energetic step and speech brought to mind the Great Orient, India and China and Japan. Men won up out of the savagery of Africa sat with Islanders from the Pacific.
They came from many communions and represented many creeds, and spoke as many tongues as the Jerusalem crowds on the day of Pentecost. But they were drawn together not by their attractive diversity, but because of their oneness. The drawing-power of Jesus was the magnet that drew them. It was the music of His Name that made all their tongues and languages blend and chord in sweet harmony.
This night I speak of they had gathered in the great oval-shaped Albert Hall opposite Hyde Park. With the Londoners, probably, fully ten thousand persons were present. And I think I shall never forget the vast volume of sound, as, led by a chorus of Scandinavian students, they all united in singing, |All hail the power of Jesus' Name.|
They didn't sing it to our American tune of |Coronation,| but to the old English |Miles Lane.| That tune, you remember, repeats over four times the words, |Crown Him,| in the last line, gradually increasing in volume, and the fourth time touched with a bit of quieting awe.
I can close my eyes now, and see that great world-gathering and hear again the sweet rhythmic thunder of their singing:
|And crown Him,
Crown Him, Lord of all.|
No one can tell to another the thrill and thrall of such a sight and sound. It was all unconsciously a bit of prophecy acted out, faint but distinct, of the great day of victory that is coming.