IV. THE WORLD-MARCH: OF KINGS
[DIE WACHT AM RHEIN]
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun Doth his successive journeys run; His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
People and realms of
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His Name.
Blessings abound where’er
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains,
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blest.
Let every creature rise
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud Amen_.
The elemental force of some men is appalling. They lift their eyes—thrones tremble; they wave a hand—empires rise or fall. It comes over the heart of many a man at times, Here am I, running my little office, shop, factory, fire-engine, or professional circuit, with no influence that I can see, beyond my borough or my barn-yard. But in the world there are other men, no taller than I, no older than I—men born within a stone’s throw of where I was born—whose hand is on the fate of nations, and whose decrees are universal law!
It is deeply impressive, the way in which one man, born not above myriads of his fellows, begins to rise until by and by he stands head and shoulders above his generation! What is the inner vitality which presses him upward? What is this hidden difference in men by which one remains in the by-eddies of life, and another sweeps out on the crest of the rising tide of history?
Much of it is in the man himself. To be kingly is inborn. There is the nature that refuses to be shut up to the petty, that will not content itself with one street or town, that steps out into life from childhood with the step of the conqueror, and walks among us; one who was born a king. To be a king, one must have the powers of organization, combination, discipline, direction, statesmanship. These qualities enlarge as one passes from the particular to the general, from the personal to the range of natural forces, emergencies, and wide pursuits.
Dominion is an inherent right of the soul. In all our hearts, did we but listen and understand, there are adumbrations of kingly ancestors, and the latent stirrings of kingly powers.
Which of us would want to be born at all, if we should be told in advance, You shall never control anything? You shall never have the slightest chance of self-assertion, of impressing your own individuality upon the world? One might as well be born without hands or feet!
Kingship involves ascendancy and authority. Both are truly gained, not by chicanery, but by personal force. There is a natural gift of leadership, which is strengthened by endurance, perseverance, and ceaseless hard work.