« AnteriorContinuar »
about me too, and I wanted to see him, to give him a message from his uncle."
"Wouldn't they let you see him?" asked John.
She shook her head. "I've tried it before," she said, "but it's no good. Oh dear, if I could only see him!" she added.
John stood thoughtfully looking over at the opposite building for a minute or two, but at length he said: “I will try to see him, and take your message for you."
"Oh, will you?" exclaimed the old woman, gratefully. "Bless you for your kindness. Tell him not to fret about me; I've had good news from Ireland, and his uncle is coming to see us soon."
John promised to deliver the message, and at once went to obtain permission to see the prisoner. His good character procured him this favour after some little difficulty, and he was conducted to Simpson. The man stared as he entered. "I don't want any of your preaching here," he said; "I'm down, I know, and I don't need telling of it."
"I've brought a message from your mother, Simpson," said John, without noticing this speech; "she saw me near the gates, and asked me to come to you, as she couldn't come herself."
Simpson muttered something about "sinners being no company for saints;" but John did not heed this. He delivered the message that had been entrusted to him, and then asked if he would not like to send one in return.
"It would be a comfort to her, I am sure, if you did," said John, "for the poor old soul was in a deal of trouble when she heard what had happened to you."
The mention of his mother touched the man, and a tear glistened in his eye as he said, "Well, comrade, I shall be glad if you can say a word to comfort my poor old mother; you're the first, too, that's ever troubled themselves about her, and I thank you for doing it."
He made a shy attempt to hold out his hand as he spoke, and John instantly grasped it.
"I'll tell her what I can in the way of comfort," he said. It was little enough, he thought, as he walked towards the old woman's home. Simpson was always getting into some scrape or another, and nothing seemed to have any effect upon his hardened character. The report that they were under orders for India was shortly confirmed. A few days before their departure from their present quarters Simpson was released from his confinement, and John expected a renewal of the persecution, in which there had been a lull for the last few days. But to everybody's surprise Simpson seemed to have lost a good deal of the bravado that had characterised him before. His late imprisonment seemed to have awoke in him some feeling of shame, and although he did not seek to avoid Munro, he seemed shy in his presence. John noticed the change in him, and instead of reproaching him, as some of the rest did, telling him that it was his own fault he had got into trouble, he took every opportunity of showing the poor fellow that he felt for him in his disgrace, and whenever he could do him any little kindness, never let the opportunity pass.
These attentions were not lost upon Simpson or his companions, who shared in them. They carefully watched Munro, but although he joined with them in all their innocent amusements, by which they sought to beguile the time during the voyage, they knew that his former convictions were held as firmly as ever, and from disliking and ridiculing him, they at length grew to love their young comrade, who preached the gospel of peace and love in his life more than by his lips.
It was difficult sometimes for John to repress the natural ardour and impetuosity of his character when reproving those things which he knew to be contrary to the law of God; but he had learned now that the kingdom of peaceGod's kingdom, that he constantly prayed might "come". would never be established in the hearts of his companions but by the exercise of those graces of the Holy Spirit, "gentleness, meekness, patience, long-suffering," the forbearing
and forgiving in the spirit of love to the sinner while reproving his sin; and at length he had the joy of seeing that this work of faith and patience was not in vain in the Lord.
Many of those who most stoutly opposed him when he first entered the army, and ridiculed his most earnest efforts and appeals, now gathered round him, won by the irresistible influence of his kindness and gentleness, patience and love. In course of time a little band of earnest Christian men was formed from amongst those who had once been the ringleaders in all the revelry and dissipation going forward; and these now joined with him in his earnest efforts to spread the knowledge of the truth, not only among their fellow soldiers, but among the natives of India; and thus John had the joy of seeing his prayer answered in the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, although his first efforts in this cause had so signally failed.
Steps up the Ladder.
Y first step was a mother's prayer
MY Whilst kneeling at her feet:
She told me of God's loving care,
Long years of gladness swiftly flew,
The flowers had half their lesson taught-
But had not learned, and had not sought,
To me, this earth was a bright heaven,
I thought not of the fading leaf,
So many years had passed before
The second step I took,
And then I learned, oh! more and more,
The truth of that great book,
"As from the dust man came,
To it shall he return,"
And felt the truth, always the same,
There came a pause, solemn and still,
An empty chair, which none could fill-
And when by that sad stroke of death
At first I scarce could go or stand,
Until I felt a loving hand
And heard a voice so sweet
"Come unto me," it softly said,
Since then, sometimes a still small voice
Sometimes the sabbath's sacred hour
Sometimes a prayer, sometimes a flower,
Both joy and grief have helped me on
But oh! if at the last I fall
Down from that ladder steep,
Better I ne'er had climbed at all,
Than not the height to keep.
Better, if in my childhood's days,
Not step by step, so hard attained;
Oh let me keep the end in view:
For ever faithful, ever true,
T is out of a broken heart that all truly holy affections do flow. Christian affections are like Mary's precious ointment that she poured on Christ's head, that filled the whole house with a sweet odour. That was poured out of an alabaster box; so gracious affections flow out of a broken heart. Gracious affections are also like those of Mary Magdalene, who also poured precious ointment on Christ, out of an alabaster broken box, anointing therewith the feet of Jesus, when she had washed them with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. All gracious affections that are a sweet odour to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrancy, are broken-hearted affections. A truly Christian love, either to God or men, is an humble broken-hearted love. The desires of the saints, however earnest, are humble desires; their hope is an humble one; and their joy, even when it is unspeakable and full of glory, is an humble broken-hearted joy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit, and more like a little child, and more disposed to a universal lowliness of behaviour. Edwards on the Affections.