Born: February 3, 1809, Hamburg, Germany.
Died: November 4, 1847, Leipzig, Germany.
Buried: Dreifaltigkeitsfriedhof, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany.
It is said that Mendelssohn used to wander through the villages of England, visiting the Episcopal churches. One day he entered an ancient church where the old organist was strumming the organ, doing his best. Mendelssohn went up to him, and said:
Would you let me play on the organ?
The old organist said in a gruff manner:We do not allow people who do not know how to play.
But I wish you would let me play,said Mendelssohn.
Well, it is against the rules of the church, but you may sit down and try it.
Mendelssohn sat down, and his fingers began to sweep over the keyboard. The old man stood, and looked, He had never heard the organ talk like that before, and as Mendelssohn continued to play the old man seemed transfixed. He put his hand on the player’s shoulder as he got through, and said:
Who are you?
I am Mendelssohn,was the reply.
Mendelssohn!said the old organist,and to think that I refused permission to Mendelssohn to play on this organ!
Friend, let Jesus have the keyboard of your life! If he has it, oh, the music he will bring out of it! And how we shall glorify Him in these lives of ours.
Record of Christian Work (East Northfield, Massachusetts: Record of Christian Work Company), volume 40, number 1, January 1921, p. 779