Musicians of the Remnant Church

To the remnant church God has given every gift of His Holy Spirit that the har­vest of the earth might be prepared for His coming.

By BURRELL VAN BUREN, Composer and Arranger, College Place, Washington

To the remnant church God has given every gift of His Holy Spirit that the har­vest of the earth might be prepared for His coming. He desires that the remnant shall "come behind in no gift," that they may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Cor. 1:7.) The Holy Spirit, divides "to every man severally as He will." (i Cor. 12: t.) "All men do not receive the same gifts, but to every servant of the Master some gift of the Spirit is promised."—Christ's Object Lessons, p. 327. Music is one of the great talents of this remnant people. Every evangelist in this denomination needs the gift of song added to his ministry.

The daily papers, the magazines, and the radio tell every day of the happenings in Pales­tine and Russia, in Asia and Amsterdam, giv­ing evidences that the end of all things is at hand. What manner of persons, then, ought we to be as musicians of the remnant people, ready to be used by the Lord's Holy Spirit in the finishing of the work?

God loves music. If He did not, He would not have created beings to sing always before His presence. He made us in His image. All men love music of some kind, depending upon their degree of culture. God originated the whole harmonic and contrapuntal plan of music. He created the vibratory waves which carry sounds to our ears. He fashioned the inner ear, with the tympanum and the ossicles; with the hammer, anvil, and stirrup bones; with the ligaments between to gather the im­pressions from the waves and carry sound back over the auditory nerve to the brain.

God creates songs. Witness the cardinal's sweet carol. Also, listen to the indigo bunting's song, and then to those of the mockingbird and the nightingale. All of them sing melodies different each from the other. Throughout the years each unvaryingly sings his own song. God gives a song to men also. There is a song in every heart. Many do not have the ability to write their songs on paper, but God gave to everyone his own particular song.

Music is called the greatest of the arts. It is a wonderful blessing that God has given to the children of men. It is like fragrant incense offered with praise to our heavenly Father. Anciently, "music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which was pure and noble and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God."—Fun­darreentals of Christian Education, pp. 97, 98.

In that better world the foibles, traditions, and vanities of singers and musicians will not be found. There all honor and glory will be ascribed to the blessed Christ and to His Father. There the angels will "sing a lovely song." The redeemed of the ages will join "with them in their songs of praise and honor to the Lamb," and will feel "an unutter­able sense of the glory" that surrounds them. "The little remnant who love God and keep His commandments, and are faithful to the end, will enjoy this glory, and ever be in the pres­ence of Jesus, and sing with the holy angels."—Early Writings, p. 66.

From among the sons of God redeemed from the earth in the ages to come, will arise com­posers of music who will write such a grade and quality of music for Zion as will indeed live forever to the honor and glory of God. In that better land "there will be music there, and song. Such music and song as, save in the visions of God, no mortal ear has heard or mind con­ceived."—Education, p. 307. "The singers as the players on instruments shall be there." Ps. 87:7. "They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord." Isa. 24:14. If we are musicians now, we shall be musicians then.

"There every power will be developed, every capa­bility increased. The grandest enterprises will be car­ried forward, the loftiest aspirations will be reached, the .highest ambitions realized. And still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to ad­mire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of body and mind and soul. . . What we now are, in character and holy service, is the sure foreshadowing of what we shall be."—Educa­tion, p. 307.

Unhappily, in this world all the remnant of Israel do not have the same opportunity to de­velop a musical taste and culture, but I am glad that when we get over there, everyone will have a good voice. Everyone will be a good in­strumentalist, for the word to us is that into the hand of each of the redeemed "are placed the victor's palm and a shining harp. . . . Every hand sweeps the harp strings with skillful touch. . . . Rapture unutterable thrills every heart, and each voice is raised in grateful praise."—The Great Controversy, p. 646. The palm of victory means the gift of eternal life ; the crown represents kingship as one of the sons of God; the harp is a third gift of great joy, because we have the power to offer adora­tion with strains of divine melody mingled with celestial harmonies before the Father. It thus seems that music, as symbolized by the harp given simultaneously with the crown and the victor's palm, is one of God's greatest gifts to the redeemed. But before the eternal reward there is a mighty work to be done.

God expects great things from every musi­cian among the remnant people. The remnant of God will soon command the attention of the whole world. This movement is destined to prominence in the days just before us. We need to use every power within us in giving the mes­sage in song to a doomed world.

We are in a sobering, heart-searching time. It is a time for singers, musicians, music direc­tors, and composers to use all their God-given talents, not to "show off" before an audience, but to warn honest hearts of the sure impending disaster coming to this world. We should be deeply grateful for the ever growing number of earnest, sincere musicians of loyalty who truly give fully of their talents in carrying God's last word to this perishing race. Christ says, "Use My entrusted talents to proclaim the truth."—Testimonies, vol. 7, p. J59. That is the commission. Let us carry it out.


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By BURRELL VAN BUREN, Composer and Arranger, College Place, Washington

October 1949

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