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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Appleton Chapel.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

There were nearly 6000 people present at vespers yesterday evening. Dr. Peabody conducted the service, while Dr. McKenzie occupied the reading desk. After reading the parable of the Prodigal Son, Dr. Peabody called attention to the condition of the prodigal at the moment he began his better life. He had drunk the cup of self-indulgence to its dregs; he had been a mockery of himself, but his true self had at length returned. Few of us have ever been in the condition of the prodigal, but in every serious life there comes a similar transition. Our minds may be moving along in a purposeless way, doing its tasks, acquiring and forgetting, when, some day, we may be awakened by a great thought or by some terrible message. Then the tasks of the mind take on a new meaning; the soul weakens to itself. This is the greatest experience a soul can pass through. The impulse towards this transition is not a mere physical reaction; it is the influence of the revelation of a living God calling to us. Like the growth of the flowers in spring is the development of the soul answering to the gentle sunshine of God's spirit.

The music of the service was an anthem sung by the choir: "Let every Soul be Subject," by Stainer, and the duet for tenor and bass, "For His Wrath endures but for a Moment," by Surat. The duet was sung by B. O. Danforth of Cambridge, bass, and J. D. Merrill, '89, tenor.

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