"O Brother Man! Fold To Thy Heart Thy Brother"

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Last Updated on November 4, 2016, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 170

Context: In the early stanzas of "Worship" Whittier describes ancient pagan religious rites of blood sacrifice and "the dismal moaning/ Of dirge-like music and sepulchral prayer" which became an established part of cathedral services in the Christian religion. But, says Whittier, God does not ask for "taper lights" or "dolorous...

(The entire section contains 170 words.)

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Context: In the early stanzas of "Worship" Whittier describes ancient pagan religious rites of blood sacrifice and "the dismal moaning/ Of dirge-like music and sepulchral prayer" which became an established part of cathedral services in the Christian religion. But, says Whittier, God does not ask for "taper lights" or "dolorous chant" or "incense clouding up the twilight nave." What He wishes of all men is kindness and love toward one another:

O brother man! fold to thy heart thy brother;
Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;
To worship rightly is to love each other,
Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.
Follow with reverent steps the great example
Of Him whose holy work was "doing good;"
So shall the wide earth seem our Father's temple,
Each loving life a psalm of gratitude.
Then shall all shackles fall; the stormy clangor
Of wild war music o'er the earth shall cease;
Love shall tread out the baleful fire of anger,
And in its ashes plant the tree of peace!

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