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THE HIDDEN TREASURE.
WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
CLARA L. MATEAUX,
Author of "Home Chat," &c.
LONDON AND NEW YORK:
CASSELL, BETTER, & GALPIN.
A FEW WORDS OF PREFACE.
'NCOURAGED by the great success of HOME
s/,'71i CHAT," as a book for general reading, I now
Venture to present the young folks with another
volume, more particularly adapted for their Sunday
-, leisure hours. In it I have sought to interest them in
a variety of subjects, but especially in men, customs, and
facts in any way connected with the glorious truths of
Christianity, showing how faith, hope, and charity-these three-
have guided and comforted Christians in all times and of all
nations, enabling them to bear persecution meekly, and by patient
perseverance in well-doing to shame even their enemies, ofttimes
turning them from darkness to light, from the love of the world
to that of God.
I may perhaps have chosen rather an unusual subject for a
child's Sunday book in referring to the false prophets, idols, and
traditions of other lands; but I have done this believing that the
more thoroughly such things are understood and thought about,
the more young or old will value that beautiful faith whose promises
vi PREFA CE.
and duties can be summed up in the few words, Blessed are
they that hear the word of God and keep it."
I have chatted" at some length about that Holy Land whose
very name calls up visions of those ancient Bible days all children
love to hear about; picturing the East as it is-the master in his
tent and the maiden at the well-that they may the better realise
the days of Israel and his sons and daughters. I have shown them
the green hill-sides round about Jerusalem, all covered with olives
and vines, the huts inhabited by poor shepherds, vine-dressers, and
husbandmen, that they may turn with the more interest to the simple
and beautiful parables, which apply so naturally to such scenes
and to such people. And to conclude, I have filled my book
with many pictures, knowing that they at any rate are sure to
please and instruct, being the easily understood and always welcome
" books of the simple."
C. L. M.
A CHAT ABOUT CHARITY 9
THE MIRACLE AT NAIN ... 31
ABOUT FUNERAL CUSTOMS .. 32
THE EARLY CHRISTIANS 43
OLD STONES AND THEIR STORIES 49
ONLY A TINKER 5
WEAPONS OF ANCIENT TIMES 93
THE VAUDOIS MISSIONARY 97
"THE LIGHT SHINING IN DARKNESS" 99
THE PRISONERS' FRIEND .. II3
THE MEN OF THE OAKS ..117
THE STORY OF MAHOMET .. 123
THE HIDDEN TREASURE 155
HINDOOS AND THEIR MANY GODS 165
CHINA .. 179
THE NILE .. 105
EASTERN CUSTOMS .. 207
"' UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN" 214
A VISIT TO BETHLEHEM 215
ST. PAUL'S AND ITS STORY 225
THE CHILDREN OF THE SUN 241
"THE BLIND POET ... 245
A CHAT ABOUT CHARITY.
"The charities that soothe, and heal, and bless,
Are scattered at the feet of man, like flowers."
^OHNNY LOVELL had been- sitting biting his pen for the last hour.
He looked sulky and distressed. Before him lay open the large Family
Bible, and all over the table were scattered pieces of paper partly
scribbled on-plenty of things begun, but not one finished : that was rather
OHNYLOEL hd ee. itin itnghi pn orth lsthor
Heloe uk n itesd efr i a pntelreFml
Bil, n lloertetal wr catre ice f ae prl
scrible on-leny ofthigs egun bu notonefinshed: tat ws rthe
Io S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
SJohnny's fashion. To-day he had really tried to do his task; but, as he had
Tried without any kind of method, he did not seem to get on at all; his face
was cross, and his fingers black, and when the poor little tabby kitten came
and patted his hand, Johnny gave her a slap that sent her spinning; for, like
a good many people, Johnny felt compelled to vent his own ill-temper at his
own ill-success on whatever came near him; and when Kitty, thinking he
must be in fun, came flying back and scrambled up his legs, Johnny shook
the little thing, and took the trouble to get up and open the window, to
drive her out into the garden below.
"Hulloa!" cried a cheery voice, "is that you, Sambo ?" It was dear old
Uncle James, lying on the grass, propped up with cushions, wrapped up in
shawls, and half hidden under a huge gig umbrella. Come down here, my
boy, and speak to your poor invalid of an uncle, who's tired of being alone."
Poor uncle! he had been a great traveller, had written many books for big
.and little folks to read, had been moving here, there, and everywhere, all his
life long, and now was lying under the old tree, only just recovering from a
long and tedious illness. He was petted and loved by everybody in the
:house, and devotedly attached to his nephew and niece-especially to Johnny,
whom he called Sambo, because of his black eyes and dark skin; while
Johnny thought there was no one in the world one-half as good, and kind,
.and clever as poor sick Uncle James, who could only walk about with a stick
like a crutch, and yet was always so bright and smiling.
Johnny leant out of the low rose-wreathed window, saying, with a woeful
face, Musn't come, uncle; I've got something to write, and I cannot do it.
I've been at it this ever so long; it's a shame, it is, to expect such a thing
.of a fellow," he said, almost crying.
"Why, what is it ?" asked Uncle James, putting down the book he had
been poring over. I didn't know you wrote exercises or did lessons on a
Sunday, though you did that sort of thing at school."
"Well, it isn't exactly a lesson," said Johnny, rubbing his head till the
hair stood up like a fringe all round it; but our master has started a new
idea. He wants me to take one or two Bible verses every Sunday afternoon,
-and write something about them-customs, and meanings, and that sort of
thing, you know, uncle; and I no more know how to set about it than that
cat," he added, dropping puss on to the garden-bed beneath.
"Why don't you get books on Eastern travels," and read up the subject ?"
A CHAT ABOUT CHARITY. I1
asked Uncle James, pushing up his glasses and looking interested. "Why,
there's no end of pleasant things to be said and learned about such things."
"It's all very well; uncle; just what Mr. Shore says: but I never know where
to look for the particular thing I want. I wish some one was here who had
lived a few thousand years ago, and could tell me what these old Jews and
Egyptians did-I do know a little about the Romans-there might be a chance
then. As it is I shall never, never do it." And Johnny took up his last blotted
.attempt and tore it all up into tiny scraps, which he sent flying round in a
kind of small snow-storm, and stamping his feet, gave a great sigh.
Uncle James sat watching the boy's frowning face; then lie said, kindly
Don't say 'never,' Sambo, it's the worst motto you could possibly adopt.
If Mr. Shore has desired you to do this, it is because he knows that the more
thoroughly you understand the manners and customs of the people which this
book describes, the more you will be interested in it, and the better you will
understand how good and true a book it is."
That was all right enough, Johnny thought; but still he did not, as he said,
see his way clear.
"I wish I were you, uncle, with nothing to do but be out there in the
sunshine. You've no horrid lessons, like I have," grumbled the boy, as he
shook a great bunch of roses to pieces.
Come and sit down here with me for half an hour, Jack; perhaps I may
be able to help you," called his uncle, cheerfully;" at any rate, we'll get rid of
the black cloud off your brow."
Jack gave a flying leap out of the low window, and dropping down on the
grass by his uncle's side, laid his curly head by the captain's pale face.
So you think I have done learning lessons, do you, my boy ?" said his
uncle, kindly. "Don't you think that I am learning rather a hard one just
now? I sometimes fancy I am."
"You, uncle ?" said Jack, with surprise; "why, what are you learning ?-is
it something out of these books ?" And he touched with his heel some of
the many volumes by which his uncle was surrounded. Which one helps you
most, I wonder?"
"Well, this is the particular one that helps me most." And the captain
held out a small gold-edged volume, between the pages of which hung a blue
ribbon. Johnny had often noticed it in his uncle's hand. He had watched
12 S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
him from the window many a time, and wondered what book could be so
"That's my book, and the lessons that it can teach, and that I want to
learn, are patience and faith."
Why, that's the Bible !" said Johnny, with some surprise. "Is that what I
see you so often reading out here by yourself?" And then turning round to look
in the captain's face, he added, Why, you always seem so happy and con-
tented, and laugh, and are lively. I never thought you were religious-I
mean," he added, blushing, "at least not like Aunt Dorothy; she always says
she's religious, but it seems to make her cross, and then she's always finding
other people out in the wrong. Why, I heard her say one day she was one
of the elect; and then she scolded poor blind Polly till she made her cry. I
did hate Aunt Dorothy then, I did."
"Gently, gently, Johnny," said his uncle, putting his finger on the boy's
open mouth. "Poor Aunt Dorothy has lived for herself all her life, and has
never had anything to trouble her. She has never known want, or weakness,
or sickness; so perhaps that has made her rather hard upon other people, just
because she does not know what sorrow or temptation mean."
"Why, but that ought to make her better, I should say."
"That's just where we say wrong, my boy. You see, most of us want
plenty of lessons, and must go on learning them all our life through. We
have to learn patience, humility, faith, hope, trust, and above all charity; that,
I think, is perhaps where poor Aunt Do stops short. Let us hope she will
learn it, and then the rest may follow."
Oh, no, uncle," said Johnny, kneeling on the grass and stroking the
invalid's whiskers, "it isn't that, I'm sure, for she does give beggars money,
and even meat and things when they are ill; but she always seems to think
they are thieves and rogues all the time, and says such unkind words to them.
I've heard her."
"It is not for you and me to judge Aunt Do or anybody else, Johnny,"
said the captain, kindly; "but that is giving; it is not charity at all; true
charity is not mere almsgiving. You might be so poor as not to be able to give
anything at all, and yet be very, very charitable in your heart."
"Well, but I always thought charity meant giving one's pennies away
to people," exclaimed Johnny-" ma always likes us to do so-though
sometimes I'd rather keep them for marbles, you know," added the truthful
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14 S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
nephew, who had no secrets from his uncle; "only I know ma's always
The mere giving your pennies to the first idle fellow who asks for them
or the dirty woman who drags a dirty child after her through the streets, is a
mistake; the denying yourself the toffee or marbles for what you suppose is
doing good is the real, right thing-that's charity."
But ma gives flannels and things, and goes and does what she can for
poor people in the village, and I'm sure she's good enough," said Johnny,
firing up. I'm sure everybody loves her, though she never talks about what
she does; and I once saw her give her own thick shawl to an old woman
who could hardly walk, and it made me think of the picture I had seen of
St. Martin giving half his cloak to a beggar, only ma gave all her shawl, and
there was nobody to see her either. Wasn't that good, now ?"
Your mamma is good, what she does is done in the pure spirit of charity;
she gives kind and tender advice with her flannels, and gives neither where
they are not wanted or deserved," said the captain, gently, as he picked a
little violet from a bunch which one of the children had put in his button-hole.
" She is like this little flower-modest about her own perfection. We see the
good she does as we smell the scent the violet gives, without always noticing
whence it comes. You see, Johnny, she learnt her lesson out of this book
long ago. Saint Paul himself taught it her; it was not a very long one, but
taken in the right spirit it means a great deal, for it is the real key-note to all
that is lovely, and good, and beautiful."
"Why, what does he say ?" asked Johnny, who loved his mother dearly,
and felt quite interested in the subject.
Look for yourself, Johnny; you'll find it in the I3th chapter of Corinth-
ians; and read it to me too. It always comes fresh and good, like the sweet
breeze over my face this hot weather."
The captain handed his lesson-book with the blue ribbon to Johnny, and
lay back under the big gig umbrella. Very happy he looked, with the soft
shadows of the trees glancing across his face, and his dear boy sitting by his
side. Johnny fumbled about till he found the place, and read aloud, rather
"'Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not
charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.'"
"That means that however learned and clever a man might be, though
A CHAT ABOUT CHARITY. 15
even he could speak in every language under the sun; if he thought that
he, being so wise, need have no sympathy with his fellow-men, no kindly
feeling for others not as favoured as himself, all his learning would be as.
nothing more than the empty sound of clashing metal," said Uncle James, who,
wanted Johnny to understand properly the beautiful words he was reading.
" Go on, my boy."
"'And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove
mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all
my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and
have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.'
"How can that be, uncle? I don't quite understand," said Johnny,.
stopping short. "Why, a man must be right if he does all these things..
Don't you think so, uncle?"
"No; I think that a man might understand what the great mysteries.
hidden in God's revealed word were intended to mean,"and knowing that, might
preach and prophesy wisely and well. He might have such faith in these
glorious promises that he would believe nothing impossible before God, even
though it should be the removal of mountains without apparent cause; but all
this time he might have no charity or tenderness in his heart for his brother
who understood or believed less, and be far from acceptable to the Master
whom he thought he was serving so well."
"Yes, I see that," said Johnny, wonderingly; "but what is this charity ?
What does it do ?"
Go on a little further; you have a better answer in your hand than any
I can give you." And Johnny read on.
'Charity suffereth long, and is kind ; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth
not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her
own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but
rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things,.
endureth all things. Charity never faileth.'"
"Now do you understand what charity is and what it does?" asked Uncle
James, as he took the book out of Johnny's hand. "Do you see how easily a
man might be learned and great in the world's eyes, and yet have scarcely any
one of these beautiful and tender feelings in his heart? For instance, if some
one injured him, would he bear persecution patiently, and yet act and feeL
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A CHAT ABOUT CHARITY. 17
"ST. PAUL IN PRISON.
kindly to those about him, even to his persecutors ? Would he be able to see
others possessed of things which perhaps he might think would more deservedly
18 SUNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
have been his own-riches or titles, or other such things which the world values
-and not envy those people and feel spiteful towards them in his -heart ?
because that would be charity. Would this great man be able to bear his great-
ness without vaunting his own merits-without passing his poorer, weaker
brethren scornfully-without hurting any one else's feelings by letting theri
see how very much better off in all things he was than they, and so rousing
a bitter feeling of jealousy and envy in their hearts? All this is true charity,
and you see it has nothing to do with pennies. You see, too, that the man who
could do all these things could also help others to be holier, better men, for
his own seemly gentle manners would offend no one. He would not be always
seeking his own welfare, regardless of every one else's; and that would often
hinder him cheating or acting dishonestly, even though he could do it without
any one suspecting him. Then, too, he must rule his spirit, and not be easily
provoked. He must make allowance for human weakness, and not always
take it for certain that whoever else is at fault, he at least is blameless;
especially he must not be ready and willing to think evil of his neighbours.
If he Jears that one of them has done wrong, let him think, 'What tempta-
tions were in this poor sinner's way ? Let me try and understand, before I
condemn him in my heart.' He must always remember who it was that said to
the gaping crowd gathered around a trembling woman at his feet, 'Let him
who is without sin cast the first stone.' I think that all this is charity. What,
do you think, Johnny ? Are you tired of listening to my serious talk ?" he
asked, kindly, patting the hand he held.
"Oh, no, uncle !" said Johnny, smiling brightly, I like hearing you; do
go on. I'm beginning to understand."
Our charitable man would, above all things, feel grieved when he heard
tales of wickedness and evil. He would be sorry indeed to hear that any one
he knew was in trouble through any fault of their own or any one else's, and
would always try to think as well as he could of them, rejoicing much if
he found that such reports were wrong; and would be far readier to hear and
to repeat what good it was possible to say in their behalf, than to nod his
head with an expression meaning, Oh, I always thought they were deceitful
people !' If he could not speak for them, he would hold his tongue; for even
though he had himself suffered from their deceit, he would be as forbearing as
possible. He would study that even his looks did no one harm-for smiles'
and sneers are often great proofs of want of charity."
A CHAT ABOUT CHARITY. 19
"That's just like Aunt Dorothy," broke in Johnny; "she always turns up
her nose, and says,' Oh, I knew they were dec--' "
"Suppose we leave Aunt Do alone, Johnny. It's no use talking about
charity and studying our lesson to forget it even as we are studying it, book
*in hand. Aunt Do has her own shortcomings and faults-if faults she has-
to answer for; we shall have our own want of charitable feelings towards her
set down against us." Then, as the boy grew very red, his uncle added, smiling,
"I know it is much easier to describe our good man than to imitate him; but
we must try in simple matters of every-day life. Don't let us look out for other
people's, faults. If they are in no way increased by word or action of our
own, they do not concern us, unless, indeed, we can in any way help to
amend them. Let us try and keep to our lesson as far as it regards ourselves."
"I don't think I could ever feel or do half the good things you have been
talking about," said Johnny, picking up a great tuft of grass and flinging the
little blades in a green shower over his uncle's upturned face. It's so hard
sometimes. I'm sure I could not do it."
"What's hard ? What could you not do ?" asked the captain. *
"Why, not wanting to be rich, and have a pony like other boys-for
instance, Charley, at the hall, I do envy him; or not to give a fellow a shake
when he tucks up his sleeves and calls one coward. Why, there's Arthur
Sumners, who beat the lame dog to death-like the big brute that he is.
I couldn't think well of him. Oh, uncle! what shall I do ? I'm sure I have
none of this charity you speak about, for sometimes I hate people."
"You are learning your lesson all wrong," said his uncle, turning the
:flushed face so that he could look into the honest black eyes, bright enough
now, "and are talking about things in no way connected with our text on
charity. Your wishing for a pony, like other boys, is the most natural wish
in the world, so long as it leads to no ill-feeling towards those who do possess
*one. Your standing up for your little schoolfellow when that big butcher-boy
"was beating him in the lane was what any right-minded English boy would
.and ought to have done. All I want you to do is not to hate people, but
the evil which they do; resist that as much as you like, and show that
you hate it by word and deed."
"Why, how did you know about Arthur, uncle ? I thought you were too
"-ill then to hear about it, and I did not like to tell you," said Johnny, with
20 SUNDAY CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
"Ah I know pretty much all you do, my boy," said his uncle, kindly; and
I was pleased and proud to hear that you forgot yourself, and tried to help one
so much younger and weaker, even though it did cost you some hard bruises.
There is a great difference between the brave spirit that resists real oppres-
sion, and the mean spirit that rouses opposition in others for the sake of
showing how well its owner can use his fists or his tongue, as I have just
said. What I want you to do is not to hate people, but to hate evil; never
to begin a quarrel, and never by words or deed to get other people into
disgrace, and to do what you can to help every one. Shall I tell you how
Mahomet the Turk, who had studied St. Paul, defined charity, which he said
carries man half-way to heaven :-' Every good act is charity. Your smiling
in your brother's face is charity; an exhortation to your fellow-man to virtuous
deeds is equal to almsgiving; your putting a wanderer in the right road is
charity; your removing stones, and thorns, and other obstructions from the
road is charity ; your giving water to the thirsty is charity. A man's true
wealth hereafter is the good he does in this world to his fellow-man. When he
dies, people may say, What property has he left behind him ? But the angels
who examine him in the grave will ask, What good deeds hast thou sent before
thee ?'" I do not want you to stand by and see wrong done to yourself or.
anybody else, but I do want you to cultivate a kind and charitable feeling
towards others. As to such a boy as Arthur Sumners, avoid his company by
all means, for cruel, bad boys cannot expect that they can retain the love or
respect of others-it is part of their deserved punishment; but show him as good
an example as you can. Take care that you do nothing which may.enable
him to justify himself to himself or others, by saying, 'Why, John Lovell,
who thinks himself better than I am, does the same sort of things as I do.'"
"But, uncle !" cried Johnny, quite shocked, "do you think I would beat a
lame dog to death ? I'm sure I wouldn't hurt any poor creature."
I know you would not do that, my boy; but there are other things in a
smallway which might serve as excuses for Arthur. For instance, robbing
birds' nests to make necklaces of their eggs" (Johnny hung down his head);
"and forgetting sometimes that insects are poor helpless things, sent by God
to clear and purify the air we breathe, not as toys for boys to pull to pieces.
Cruelty is cruelty, whether we exercise it in hurting a dog, a frog, or even a
worm; and cruelty and charity cannot exist together, that is quite impossible.
It is like fire and water-one destroys the other.
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22 S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
"Why, uncle ?" asked Johnny, who was rather careless as to what he
played with sometimes, more through thoughtlessness than any other feeling,
I am glad to say.
"Why, because charity is love, or rather the result of love-love for all
God's creatures, and love never seeks to hurt or injure, surely. As to Master
Sumners, I should like to tell him some of the stories I have heard about
dogs. I don't think he would kill them if he knew more about them, at least I
hope not. I think he would learn this lesson if he were to get lost on Mount
St. Bernard-the dogs themselves would teach it."
Why, that's the place where monks live. I remember seeing a picture
of it. Isn't it on the Alps somewhere ? Did you ever go there, uncle ? Do
tell me about it," said Johnny, very much pleased at the prospect of one of
his uncle's stories.
This convent or hospice of St. Bernard is one of the finest illustrations
of charity the world can show," said the captain. "Just arrange these cushions
for me, Johnny, and I shall be very glad to tell you what I know about it. We
have half an hour yet before tea-time, and that will about give us time to
finish our chat.
Johnny bustled about, patting and putting the cushions as comfortably as
possible; then he ran off and fetched his uncle a few of the brown pears he
particularly liked, not forgetting a rosy apple for himself. "Now," he said,
"uncle, talk away. I'm ready. Isn't it famous out here ?"
It was more famous for Johnny than for the poor invalid longing for
change of scene. However, he was too patient to say so, but began :
Far away from any other habitation, perched on the summit of the snow-
clad Alps, there exists this little world of active, self-denying, benevolent, good
men, who spend the best years of their lives, in saving and helping the poor
distressed travellers, who would often be lost in the snow or the thick mists
which spring up so suddenly that there is no time for escape, unless they can
crawl into one of the little storm-huts erected here and there on the snow-
covered mountain, and which are often visited by the good monks and their
dogs, bringing help and comfort to all poor lost creatures they may find
"It is a fearful neighbourhood for these men to pass their lives in. Fancy,
no pleasant corn-fields like those over yonder; no trees, no fragrant groves.
Nothing but vast and gloomy mountains, frozen glaciers, yawning precipices,
A CHAT ABOUT CHARITY. 23
and falling avalanches, which in .their fall scatter and crush all before them-
rocks, precipices, glaciers, all arrayed in one vast mantle of snow and ice.
"One moment the traveller may see a beautiful blue sky, hard and cold
and bright, above his head. The sun may be shining, -glittering on the
snowy ramparts around. Suddenly all is changed! Deep, dense darkness
surrounds him! A storm of mingled snow, hail, and rain, such as we have no
idea of here, bewilders and terrifies the poor creature, who soon loses the track,
and wanders about deserted and hopeless, knowing, perhaps, that the hospice
is somewhere near, but knowing also that it is quite possible to be lost and
perish even within a few yards of its walls.
"But at such times the monks and their good dogs keep a sharp look-out,
and go out in little parties to search about the mountain side; and the dogs
seem to take an equal interest with their masters in saving human life. When
they go with the good brothers in search of travellers, they have food and
cordials strung round their necks in a kind of little keg; and being able with
their light feet to cross dangerous snow-sheets where men dare not venture,
they save many an unfortunate wanderer, cold, and lost, and dying, but for the
timely help of these unhoped-for friends.
"The hounds are of a Spanish breed, large-limbed, deep-mouthed, and
broad-chested, seemingly made for the difficult work they understand so well."
I wonder what the dogs do when they find people," said Johnny, who
was very much interested.
"If the poor creatures have resisted the drowsiness which always attacks
people in intense cold, and which to yield to is death, the barking of the dog
tells them that rescue is near; then, if they are half buried in the snow, he
will lick their cold nerveless fingers and faces, and drag them as far out of it
as he can; he will push the little keg into their hands, and try to make them
understand that they are to open it. Then he will bound back to fetch his
masters, who, with their long alpenstocks dr staffs in their hands, are waiting
to hear the news. They know what the joyous bark of their messenger
means, and follow him, if possible, to the place where their aid is required."
What do they do if the people are dead.? Do they leave them out in the
snow, uncle ?" asked Johnny, quite forgetting his apple.
No. When it appears too late to save life, they lift the body from its
snowy bed, and carry it carefully back to the hospice. There they try every
remedy; then it is carried to the chapel, and a funeral service is held over the
24 SUNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
stranger, who died while willing help was so near; then he is laid in the
morgue, a building set apart for the purpose, where, if any of his friends should
"THE BRAVE DOGS OF ST. BERNARD.
think to come and look for the missing father or brother, they will find him
rigid and cold, waiting for the great day when all shall meet again. A sad
and solemn comfort for the sorrowing relatives, to know that these good folks
have done their best for the poor lost ones they found too late to save."
THE RAVEDOGSOF S. BENARD
think~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ tocm n lo o hemsigfthro rthr hywilfn i
rigd ad old witig or hegret ay he al sallmet aai. Asa
and~ ~ ~~~i solem cofr o h sroigrltvet nwta teego o
have~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~---`: don their- bes fotepo otonste on oolt os .
~-1==~----;~;~---;= .-=_ _---
Ill I il 1
I .. lll J I l
' ":r' ''i'' '"'! ';' ''',
.I''' I:' ...: .
26 S UNDA I CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
Why don't they bury the poor things if they are dead ?" asked Johnny,
who liked to know the why of everything.
"They don't need to do that, because frost and snow has a preserving
element. It as it were embalms the body, which neither alters nor decays in
this intense cold. If you could look through the grating of this morgue, you
would see many a solemn figure stiff and still. There is one group which
always 'excites a great deal of interest. It is that of, a mother with her little
baby pressed closely to her bosom. They were found years ago hidden and
wrapped in the same white shroud, and the brothers brought them to their
convent, and tried with tender hands to restore them to life. When they found
it was too late to do this, they laid the little child back in its mother's arms,
aad placed them among the grim company of the dead. I do not think that
they were ever owned. And there they sit, telling to this day of the dangers
and difficulties of a journey over these mountain-passes."
And do these good men spend all their life in this miserable place ?'
asked Johnny. "I wonder they don't get tired of it;.it must be so lonely
and cold. I couldn't endure it, I'm sure."
They know that 'charity endureth all things.' But as to living here all
their lives, that they could not do; the intense cold is too trying for any one
to bear beyond a certain time. The brothers come to the hospice of
St. Bernard when they are about eighteen, and make a solemn vow to remain
for at least fifteen years, though it sometimes happens that they have not
strength to bear even that time: then of course other brothers come and
take their places."
"How do they pass their days ? They must be very miserable, uncle."
They are not miserable at all, Johnny. No man who is fulfilling a solemn,
sacred duty towards his fellow-men can feel altogether miserable, for only all
useless people can be that. They pass their time in prayer and work, and in
attending to the poor weary folk who come to them for help and hospitality.
Then they look forward to the time when for two months (from July to the
beginning of September) the deep waters of the lake in front of the hospice
shall be melted, and reflect the blue sky, and the tender little flowers and
mosses group round it, fringing all the rocks about with their pretty delicate
"Flowers! Do flowers grow in such a place, uncle ?"
"They flourish where neither tree nor shrub are seen; they spring up like
A CHAT ABOUT CHARITY. 27'
sweet thoughts in our hearts, and are found all about these cold and dreary
regions. Then while this short season lasts the good brothers have visitors,.
tourists who, coming from other countries to see the mighty Swiss mountains,
are glad to rest for a day or two at the hospice, and then they hear a little
about what is going on in the far away world, where there are cities, and noise
and bustle, storm and sunshine, and-not constant ice and snow, silence and cold."
"But what do they do for coals up there, uncle ?"
"They cannot do without fire any more than other people in that part of
the world, but have to do without coals, and burn wood; that is one of their
great difficulties, for it has to be brought from the Val-de-Ferret, twelve miles
away, and you may fancy how much they use when I tell you that a piece of
.meat which would be cooked in three hours at home here would take five
hours cooking there, and must be kept boiling all the time. So you see that
faint, weak, worldly hearts need not undertake to join the charitable brother-
hood among the glaciers of the Alps."
"But what are the Swiss glaciers like?" wondered Johnny. "And how
high up is the convent where these good men live ?"
"A glacier is a river, or rather puddle, formed of ice, gravel, and sand.
Not a frozen river; but a gliding, slippery stream, continually slipping from
some high level above the line of perpetual snow to lower valleys. The Pass.
of St. Bernard has become famous since the first Napoleon crossed it with
40,000 troops on their way to Italy. As to the hospice, it is the highest
habitation in Europe; and was founded in 962 by Bernard de Menthon, a
Savoyard nobleman, who was thus the means of saving many a life. Now,.
Johnny, I am getting rather tired, my boy. Don't you think we have talked
enough about charity for to day; or is there anything else you would like
to know? I see Florry trotting along the garden-walk; go and bring
Florry came, a rosy-cheeked little maiden, bringing a bunch of sweet
flowers and a most loving kiss for her dear Uncle James. She sat down by
his side, and demanded to be told what they had been talking about.
"About charity," said Johnny; "and I have learned such a lot about it."
"I don't know what you have been saying; but I can tell you some
verses I learnt about charity," said Florry, eagerly. "They are so pretty,
uncle! They are about our Saviour, quietly sitting in the temple, watching
the rich people casting their money into the treasury, and then noticing and
-ll 1' 11_______
________ I!i /IJ'/
"HER MITE WITHIN THE TREASURE-H-EAP SHE CAST"
A, CHAT ABOUT CHARITY. 29
blessing the poor widow, who brought all she had-only two mites. That was
a farthing, wasn't it, uncle ? But listen." And Florry repeated-
Amid the pompous crowd
Of rich adorers came a humble form,
A widow, meek as poverty doth make
Her children; with a look of sad content
Her mite within the treasure-heap she cast,
Then, timidly as bashful twilight, stole
From out the temple. But her lowly gift
Was witnessed by an eye whose mercy views
SIn motive all that consecrates a deed
So He blessed the widow's mite
Beyond the gifts abounding wealth bestows.'
Now, that was charity, I think; because she was poor, yet she did what she
could, little thinking that Christ was watching her all the time."
"Yes," said Uncle James. "I think after that I can say no more. Florry
has summed up our chat in a very few words-To do what we can, quietly
and humbly, without thought of praise or reward. So pick up my belongings,
children, and let us get in to tea, for I see mamma beckoning to us. Come,
S After this it became quite a custom of a Sunday afternoon for the
children to come to their uncle, for what Florry called a "Sunday Chat,"
which' Mr. Shore said did Johrfny more good than writing an essay would
have done. They were at school during the week. Often when serious things
"pvizzled them, they would say, Oh let us leave that till Sunday." And if
they were sensible questions, nothing pleased their kind uncle more than
answering them. As I thought you might like to hear both questions and
answers, I have put them down in this little record of those happy days.
'. *' ^
ll((l 11' i I I11
~ lllliNII 11 li i, I '
II II .Jlll~ I i
Rilll ~ i
x Wl I i I :Il'l Ii I 'i'I'i~
EGYPTIAN EMBALMING THEI DE
W l, / i 'II I'l l iI .I !~ i I I '
v II ) III
i' II I!I /1,II A f '
11 II!I!i K1
EGYPTIANS EMBALMING THEIR DEAD
,,. ,..- : .
It was a motherh.olysn
-...- -2 .-- .-. ".
lowepde i t fo
i:--:--:-THE MIRACLE AT NAIN.
It ..- : .. .
i-----:--- -:7 LOW from the darkened city's gates
-1 Fo-. rth came a funeral train
f- 1 7 It was a mother's only son,
IIii,,iN i57.-:r~~~rrr~~- ,
~9Y~Y~" .~u- ClJ "L--- -
:A widowed one's, of Nain.
fi Oh, bitter is the Dead Sea brine,
An deep, deepistsfo
But bitterer are a mother's tears.
19 Deeper a mother's woe.
32 SUNDAY CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
One only hope she had on earth, The Lord drew near, with pitying gaze,
That only hope is fled; He saw the sorrowing one;
In vain the sun now shines for her, "Weep not," He said; and from the dead
Her beautiful is dead. Restored to life her scn.
The flower that fades in winter's wind Now Nain was glad, and songs of joy
In spring again will bloom; Rang all the city round ;
But what can cheer the mourner's lot, Our dead one is alive again,
Whose heart is in the tomb ? Our lost one-he is found !
Pencillings in Palestine."
ABOUT FUNERAL CUSTOMS.
"Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only
son of his mother, and she was a widow : and much people of the city was with her. And when the
Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the
bier : and" they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he
that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a
fear on all: and they glorified God."
SEADING these beautiful lines, I could almost fancy that I saw this sad
procession coming slowly down the hill-side, stopping every now and
then to glance once more on the fair white face of the dead youth; for,
according to custom, they carried the dead man lying on an open bier out of
the city, for the Eastern people never interred their dead within the walls.
"Poor woman! hers was a deep sorrow. And 'much people' was with
them. No wonder that when our kind and compassionateLord met her He
stopped to say,' Weep not'-not lightly as we children of the world might
say it, passing on our way, while thinking only of our own joys or sorrows,
but tenderly and earnestly-and not content with words, He touched the
bier, and those that bare it stood still. What strange words were those He
next spoke How they must have thrilled through the hearts of all hearers I
'Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.' 'I am the resurrection and the life,
quickening the dead, and calling those things that be not as though they
were.' 'Then he that was dead sat up, and began to speak.'
"How all present must have drawn together in wondering amazement!
How the poor widowed mother must have blessed Him when He stopped
on His way to give her back her only son!
And yet though Christ roused the lad from his bier as quietly and easily
ABOUT FUNERAL CUSTOMS. 33
:as another could have roused him from his bed, He spoke to him like a
master, knowing the power that was within Him. But 'there came a fear on
all, and they glorified God.'
"This is often the way still, I think, for though Christ no longer walks
amongst us bodily, we are apt to forget His saving powers;, and it is. only
when we are about losing our dearest ones that we remember Him, and are
comforted by the wonderful words, 'I am the resurrection and the life.'
How strange it seems that poor Christians in the East should be carried
to the grave in an open bier of just the same kind as was used by those
mourners in Nain more than eighteen hundred years ago; so little have
customs changed in the land where our Saviour lived his short mortal life!"
said the captain, half speaking to himself, as he put the book which he had
been reading down.
Do go on talking about those old, old times," whispered little Florry,
who dearly liked to hear her uncle tell about what some children might have
called "dry stuff."
"What shall I talk about, little Pussy," asked Uncle James.
"Oh, anything you like; it's sure to be nice," answered Pussy, eagerly.
Shall I tell you a little about ancient tombs and funerals ?" asked the
-captain, as he sat down before the fire. I think you might learn something
even from such a subject, though it sounds rather melancholy; but we must
hear about serious things sometimes. What do you say, Sambo ?"
I should like it very much," said Johnny, turning round from the piano, on
Which he had been rather listlessly playing scraps of hymns. "At least, I
don't know that there can be much to hear about in funerals. I suppose
people always get them over as soon as possible. I know that I felt very
sad and solemn when I went to grandpa's funeral, and only hope I may never
'haye to go to another one."
"Ah, my boy, that's a wish that has no chance of being granted; at any
rate, not if you should live a long life yourself." And while he spoke, the old
gentleman went to the bookshelf, ant brought down a rather shabby volume,
oni the back of which was printed, "Stories of Ancient Egypt." "There," he
:said, as the Egyptians made as much ceremony over their dead as most
people, suppose we read about them. We can find plenty of pictures here
showing us something about them."
Why, what are they doing, bundling up people in this fashion?" asked
34 S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
Florry, turning over the pages. "I do believe they are mummies, like those
I saw in the British Museum. I never thought of them as dead people,
only somehow as curiosities, like the stones and jars and things one sees
"This bundling up, as you call it, was part of the embalming or preserva-
tion of the dead, which often cost a talent of silver-that is, about t250 of
our money. Much importance was attached to a proper burial, for as a
creditor could not imprison the person of any one owing him money, that,
being supposed to belong to the state, he would often take the body of a
relative in pledge. This it was considered so infamous to leave in his hands,
that the debtor had to get out of debt somehow, or he could neither be buried
himself nor inter any one else belonging to him, the creditor holding the key
of the tomb of his ancestors, out of which it was supposed the soul of one of
the family could not rest. This must have been a very hard law, but I
dare say it made people careful enough about getting into debt."
"I should think so," said Johnny, getting very interested. Fancy, if we
could not have buried poor grandpa because one of us owed some money,
how dreadful it would have been But didn't they have cemeteries like us ?"
"Nd, for tombs were a matter of great importance to the Egyptians, for
they believed that the soul remained in the body if that were carefully pre-
served and cared for; but that if that were destroyed, or carelessly neglected,
the soul could not rest, but sought some other dwelling-place, and for three
thousand years lived in all forms of living creatures. Look here at the
pyramids, nothing but huge graves! Well might the Israelites ask, 'Were
there no graves in Egypt?' And it has proved of the greatest assistance to us
in modern times that it was so, as these people were fond of recording their
sayings and doings on the walls of their public buildings, but more especially
on and in their temples and graves; for, when they did leave their bodies to
rest, they placed records in their hands, some of them destined to be read
thousands of years afterwards, when the sand should be cleared away."
"What! could they write all that time ago ?" asked Johnny.
"There were very clever people lived so long ago, my boy. There were
artisans of all kinds, glass-blowers, sail-makers, and boat-makers; and many
learned men, who studied and wrote books, that is, sheet upon sheet of dried
papyrus leaves, using their own peculiar characters-hieroglyphics."
"Oh, I know. Queer little figures, birds and beasts, and up and down lines,
ABOUT FUNERAL CUSTOMS. 35
like this," and Johnny begins drawing some little marks. "But what kind of
things did they write on the tombs of those days ? I wonder what people
will say about us when they read ours in a thousand years or so."
"I am afraid they won't read anything at all. Our climate, religion,
manners, are so different, that such things are not likely to remain; nor do we
attach much importance to them-believing that the body is but dust, and
thatthe soul will return to the God who gave it.
THE PYRAMIDS OF EGYPT.
"But what will surprise you most is that these wise Egyptians not only
had rand tombs for their people, but also for certain sacred animals--cats,
dogs, ibises, crocodiles, and many others. All these they worshipped. You
see how much the Israelites had to be thankful for when the Lord led them
from such a land; and yet you know they cried, 'Where be our Gods?' So
that when Aaron made the golden calf they danced before it, in remembrance
no doubt of the sacred bull Apis, the great divinity of the Egyptians, amongst
whom they had lived so long."
-.-~ _- -=--- _--- ~~-: -- 7--_ ---. 7_--_-_-----~. -- _::--_ -~--=-_ _.--- --- =_-T
_-=- .............. --- _.. --- ____ ~---._-__-.- --_- -~-- .. _--1--~- --- -----:= ---. ...=-- =- -_._ -_-
"Sacred bull! What, did they worship a real live bull ? asked Johnny.
"They would have found plenty of their gods here. I never knew such a place
--------- -- :7 .... -- =7 _: _--:-- ... -~--... ----_i% ------_----T-_-= - --_:__-_(- _ _7
-- -= 7:- -- .. .. ..... =- - .. ... ... .- : -- =--_ ~ .. ...- -- -- -
-~- --~-~:-~ -- 1~,-=- -- !-- _. .-- --_ ---- .. -. ---- .. --=- -- ...
.. .... __----- --- --.
ABOUT FUNERAL CUSTOMS. 37
for cattle as this Fairholm. Don't Florry keep her eyes open when she
goes out! Don't she run when she sees them Eh, Florry ?"
"They did worship this animal, believing that in it dwelt their god Ptha
Osiris. In ancient Memphis there are wonderful tombs where these sacred
"i_---- -7 ..-
IH- -: : .... __ __ _-__ ... .. ...
BULLS AT MEMPHIS.
bulls were buried. Here, deep in galleries cut out of the solid rock, were
placed huge stone sarcophagi or coffins, containing the bodies of the deities.
They had no inscriptions on them, but when one of these sacred bulls died
people came bringing offerings to the dead god, for you see during this time
Osiris was supposed-to have left them, and they were in great trouble."
'.'Why does it say in the Bible that Joseph was put in a coffin in Egypt ?
38 S UNDA Y CHATS W171H SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
What else could they have put him in ?" asked Johnny. "What do they put
their dead in now ?"
The people of the East do not, as a rule, put their dead in a coffin, but
simply fold them in a mat. When a man is dying they place his head towards
the south, and if you ask how a sick person is, his friends will reply, 'His head
is towards the south,' meaning, of course, that he is dying. So that Joseph
being not only embalmed, but put in a coffin, showed that he was a person of
great distinction, because, though most Egyptians were embalmed, they were
EGYPTIANS MAKING COFFINS.
often laid side by side on shelves. When they did use coffins, they were
made of stone or sycamore, and even of a material made by thickening gum
and cloth together, then plastered over and covered with hieroglyphics-that
was their way of writing, you know."
"But did they really worship a bull, only a common bull, in the days of
Joseph and the Egyptians ? I wonder if he ever saw one worshipped ?"
asked Florry, who was, as Johnny had hinted, very much afraid of cattle.
"It was not exactly a common bull; and I dare say that Joseph may him-
self have seen such a deity, because it was the one great worship among
many more of the same kind. However, I wanted to tell you how the Egyp-
tians of those days were buried, only we keep wandering off to something
ABOUI FUNERAL CUSTOMS. 39
else; so let us return to the days of the Pharaohs, and hear how their subjects
were entombed. First and foremost, though, you must remember that rich
people had their tombs prepared long before they expected to take possession
of them, calling them 'eternal habitations,' and feeling
great pride in seeing them decorated and got ready
during their lifetime. On the walls-painters were at
work, showing as skilfully as pos-
sible what rich and happy folks
these people were; what grand
Ssfeasts and dinners they gave (they
were great at eating and drinking, V
"", O o if we are to believe these pictures);
oIDlu also how they paid large sums of i!` 4
II -money to the people bringing
cattle, some of them, or driving
immense flocks of common long-
necked geese, just as we see them
Sinir here on the green. The money
Se was painted, for even now we can
see it was once yellow, and it is
the same sbrt of money that
Abraham might have weighed out,
shekels of gold and silver, besides
the ring money we read about."
How strange that does seem,
though !" said Johnny, turning over
the pictures. Whatever pleasure
could they have in these things,
when they remembered that some IBIs MUMMY.
EGYPTIAN MUMMY. day they would be here, cold and
still, and poor as the poorest ?"
Odd enough to think, when we look at these rough sketches, that they
were drawn for and show the daily life of people who lived more than 4,000
years ago, and who seem to have thought of nothing but feasting or dancing,
or taking.care of their poor dead bodies, now long since trampled to dust in
-the desert, or burnt up to cook the dinner of some wandering Bedouin Arab
40 S UNVDAY CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
of modern times; and camel loads of mummy cases are daily carried off for
fuel, for the oils and spices used in the expensive work of embalming burn
"But how was the embalming done by these ancient Egyptians ?" asked
Johnny. "They seem very busy in this picture."
"I can only tell you that the embalmer's was a peculiar business. He
SARCOPHAGUS. PAINTINGS ON MUMMY CASES.
had large rooms full of wooden models of people, so that the sorrowing
relatives could, according to their means, choose the style in which they wished
their dead to be preserved. You will find plenty of books giving you an
account of how this was done. At any rate, after being filled with some
preparation, the body was kept for seventy days, then carefully wrapped in
long slips of gummed linen, between the folds of which were often inserted
leaves of the papyrus, inscribed .with prayers and invocations to the deities,
and also little blue images of the gods, or other small things they may have
held precious during their lives. Sometimes forty thicknesses of linen were
laid one over the other, just as you see them doing in the picture, where they
have nearly finished their task, for several are bringing the thin ornamental
case in which the body is to be placed. This will be put in a coffin, and
ABOUT FUNERAL CUSTOMS. 41
stood upright in a room or vault; unless, indeed, it be the body of some very
great person, in which case it will be laid in a huge stone coffin, 'or 'sar-
cophagus,' like those you can see plenty of in the British Museum.
"Long after they had left their friend in the sealed chamber, or tomb, his.
friends and descendants came to visit and offer sacrifices, bringing many
presents cakes, flowers, fruits especially little blue porcelain figures,
covered with inscriptions, of which so many have been collected in the
Museum, to which I shall be glad when you can pay a visit, children, for
there you will find the things I have been telling you of, and that will be
better than anything that I can remember; but I hope you will enjoy them
all the better for having thought about them a little beforehand."
Of course we shall," cried Johnny. I shall get all the books that were
ever printed about Egypt, and read them from beginning to end."
His uncle laughed, and told him he would be a very old man before_he-
had done, as so many works had been written on the subject.
So Johnny gave up the task, and contented himself for the present with
asking puzzling questions.
I.- /v//~x~~YZW ~~ C
II III~A~~W IIRIIYI#~i~lllltl 0III~
THE EN~D H1AS COME )
THE EARL Y CHRISTIANS. 43
THE EARLY CHRISTIANS.
Count well, count well the cost,
Nor grudge to pay;
Be it reproach, or toil, or pain, or strife,
Be it the loss of all, gold, fame, and life,
The end is day."
e"-j O O K IN G at this picture, I seem to
aM fo te :ii tbe gazing in the crowded amphi-
Stheatre of Rome, as it was some
seventeen or eighteen centuries ago. I
Ilkat111i hear .deep and savage roars from behind
:--- 1an iron-bound door; I see a strong and
low-browed man push back, another
slighter door, and hear him cry in a loud
-a-- p"' Arise, prisoner, come forth-come
forth to die. The lions are savage and
Sh fierce; the Roman populace crowd bei
,hind their emperor, and the nobles and
fair ladies of his court only wait for thy
presence to begin the festival, smilingly
asking for thee. Come forth, Christian, to follow in the footsteps of thy Master,
the Nazarene the end is come !'
The end /has come, the end is day. Your lions cannot hurt the brave body
that so patiently awaited their savage attack; it may yet be thrown in the
arena for them to devour, but the spirit has passed away with a smile.
How few of us know or think much about those early Christians, the
disciples and followers of our Lord, who suffered so much.in His service, giving
.all-name, property, life! Of Stephen, dragged out of the city and stoned;
of Peter, thrown into that dismal dungeon, from whence the angel of the Lord,
.released him, that when once more at liberty he might preach the gospel in
Rome itself-Rome, where ruled the mighty and cruel Nero, the sworn enemy
*of the Christians, who speedily flung him into prison again. But his words
had done, and still did their work; many forsook their gods of marble and
44 SUNDAY CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
brass, whose statues were wreathed with blooming roses, and before whom
burned sweet incense; whose priests were powerful, and whose service was
easy-forsook all these to take up the cross of Christ, although it was a heavy
weight in those days, and led its bearers to imprisonment and death, to the
arena where the savage beasts waited to destroy them, or to even worse-
tortures, for nothing was thought too bad for the followers of Jesus.
How angry Nero must have been when he found that some of his owni
favourite officers had been converted to this strange new religion by his pri-
soner, who went declaring that "the word of the Lord should endure for ever."'
The offended emperor ordered that Peter should be cruelly scourged andl
then crucified, to serve as an example, and hinder men from embracing so$
dangerous a creed-a faith which he, their powerful lord, forbade. Perhaps he
thought that Peter would renounce it in his fear of this terrible death-but
the humble, willing martyr only prayed that he might be crucified with his
head downward, as being unworthy of dying by the same death and in the:
same position as the Master he loved and served so well.
"Then there was St. Paul, who, as you know, was a rich Jew of the tribe
of Benjamin. He savagely tortured, persecuted, and imprisoned the poor
Christians; but while his fierce hand was raised against them, the voice of the
Lord called to him, 'Why persecutest thou me ?' And the proud and cruel
oppressor became one of the best and truest servants of God-became a
Christian and a martyr. He was nearly stoned by the angry Jews of
Iconium; he was stoned at Lystra, dragged out of the city and left for dead;
at Philippi both Paul and his friend Silas were imprisoned and whipped; he
was afterwards persecuted in every way, and at last beheaded; but he had
preached the truth in many countries, he had carried it into Asia, Macedonia,
Greece, and Rome, and persuaded thousands to turn from idols to the only
living and true God, teaching them to walk not after the flesh but after the
Spirit. For ages his words have comforted and strengthened many, who in
trouble and sorrow have turned to them for support.
"This, the first primitive persecution, began about A.D. 67, when the
Emperor Nero ruled in Rome. His name has come down to us as that of the
most barbarous of all these pagan monarchs. He tortured and killed many
of his unfortunate Christian subjects; and when the beautiful city of Rome
was burned down by his own orders, he declared that it had been destroyed
by these unfortunate people. Then they were more ill-used than ever; and
~1 =------------=--------;---- ----Al-
STONNG O ST STEHEN)THEFIRS CHRSTIN MATYR
46 SUNDAY CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
=--~.-- II---------- -----
THE EMPEROR NERO.
yet such was the example of their pure and holy lives, in those days of cruelty
and dissipation, that though many were destroyed, still more embraced the
faith that made men happy and good.
Several other persecutions followed. During the reign of Trajan, one of
L-=--~-~ __ ___ __ __ __ __------------_
~ L~-~:--~-~ U~U~-'' ------------=r
Several other persecutions followed. During the reign of Trajan, one of
THE EARLY CHRISTIANS. 47
the most famous martyrs was Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch; he was so zealous
that he even preached before the emperor, who ordered him to be' tormented
to death for his zeal in the cause of God. After many tortures he was thrown
to the wild beasts in the circus, this being a common punishment in those
days for murderers, thieves, and Christians.
Shall I read you part of a letter he wrote to a friend ?-' Would to God
I were come to the wild beasts which are prepared for me! Now I begin to
be a scholar, I esteem no visible things nor yet invisible things, so that I may
obtain Christ Jesus. Let the fire, the gallows, the wild beasts come upon me,,
so that I may win Christ.'
This was the stuff those early Christians were made of; they' counted
the cost, nor grudged to pay;' they were the soldiers who fought the good
fight' which, in an earthly point of view, brought only death to the victor, but
the reward was life everlasting."
BY THESE THINGS MEN LIVE.
BY THESE THINGS MEN LIVE."
LAYARD AT NIMROUD, FINDING THE OLD STONES.
OLD STONES AND THEIR STORIES. 49
Nimrod began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord."
OLD STONES AND THEIR STORIES.
"IMROD, son of Cush, son of Ham, son of
"Noah, hunter of men, was monarch of the first
race that settled in cities, and the Assyrian
is the most ancient form of writing yet discovered.
"Strange stories are whispered about this king
of far-off Bible days by the white-turbaned Bedouin
Arabs crouching over the fires lighted on the ruins
of what was once mighty Nineveh. They love to
talk of his power, and the great deeds he did.
'But,' they add, 'he defied God, and sought to
destroy Abraham His prophet (whom they claim as
their forefather), so that a gnat, one of the smallest of God's creatures, came
and vexed Nimrod, stinging ,him by night and day. Do what he would the
creature could not be destroyed. At last he had a room of glass built in the
palace, that he might shut out the insect and dwell in peace; but even there
the gnat came, and passed by his ear into his brain, tormenting him so that
though his servants beat his head continually with hammers, he died.' No
50 S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
great wonder, you will think, after being tormented by the creature for four
"A strange, wild story, you may say, but it is intended to show how small
is the real power of even the greatest man on earth; and how very great this
chief (mentioned in Genesis) must have been, whose name and deeds have
passed through so many ages-to be talked about while the lion and the
wolf prowl over the spot where once he reigned king and conqueror, the
city which Jonah visited when it was proud and great.
"Nineveh continued to be a great city until Nebuchadnezzar, the King of
________________ __-----L- '-" T
SIEGE OF A CITY. FROM A NINEVEH MARBLE.
Babylon, destroyed it, 606 years before Christ; then its power and its glory
all passed away, and it was no more heard of for ages. But modern travellers
went that way, and when, wandering among these desert spots, they heard
the tales told by their Arab guides about the wonderful cities buried under
their feet, and saw the huge stones and slabs lying unheeded in the sand,
they thought it would be a grand thing if some of these could be dug up and
examined. So at last they set to work and found remains of wonderful
temples and palaces, great carved and painted slabs, many of which were
afterwards brought to England, and placed in the British Museum, where you
little English folks may see them any day-real pictures drawn by people of
the old Bible times.
... i. ... .-.
., I ._. "I A l l,
GREAT STONE AT BAAIt' LC.
52 S UNDA Y CHA TS WITH SEN2SIBIE CH11DREN.
"These stones, upon which the eyes of Solomon himself may have rested,
, 11 ..... I~ jlI
1. ,1 ,1
j I,, ,,,,,
ASYIA ZINGED Jill .
IT rill. 'im I I I I I I I -,~ ll~ //
0/h, lyl).-J.11 it111, ""
appear to have been brightly painted once; huge figures with black eyebrows
and hair, and with garments of many colours., just as Ezekiel says he. saw--
OLD STONES AND THEIR STORIES. 53
'The images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, girded with girdles
upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes
to look to' (xxiii. 14, 15).
"Indeed, it is very likely that the prophet had seen the very stones which
you and I can look at any day. Does it not seem strange ? There were great
winged bulls and lions, many of them meant as symbols of intellect and
strength of body and mind. They had a tree sacred to Baal and other false
gods. This and other religious emblems they used everywhere, even on the
trappings of their horses and the walls of their houses.
"These people dressed very grandly, too. Their princes wore armlets and
necklaces, bracelets and ear-rings, beautiful dresses with fringes and embroidery.
When they went abroad they were followed by slaves, cup-bearers, umbrella-
carriers, even by men who waved fly-flappers made of horsehair; and all had
such very long, and ornamented black beards, so curled and plaited and
54 SUNDAY CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
decorated, that they are supposed to have been false ones put on for the
a lYIi-l lull oli;
ASSYRIAN KI.G AND CHARIOT.
"They wore coats of scale armour, handsome well-fitting tunics of em-
broidered felt or leather, pointed helmets with lappets over the ears, ornamented
daggers, javelins, and, above all, the quiver and the bow. These warriors of
ancient days never went to war without the bow and arrow. They carried
t ,, ,- ,,, "ii L i
(1 i, 'l "
!_I. Vf rI ( l 1' I I 11 Jl r 11
M LL '
T1M1 "(til Jill
AN ASSYRIAN KING AND HIS FLY-FLAPPER.
56 SUNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
mace and spear, and had mounted archers, and shield-bearers, and attendants,
and war chariots, and charioteers, and flowing standards which they waved
as proudly at those long ago battles as the Germans and French did theirs
when they were fighting so desperately a short time since.
How can I know all this-am I only guessing ?
"No; I am simply looking at these stone pictures and reading the inscrip-
tions on them, for our learned men have found out the way to read the curious
I \ I
ASSYRIAN BOWS AND SWORDS.
inscriptions in the languages in which they are written, and can read sentences
these people wrote very likely during the reign of King Solomon.
For instance, on one stone, written by Adramalech I., who seems to have
been a great warrior, and whose son is supposed to have built the palace to
which this stone belonged, we find :-' On the 22nd day of the month I de-
parted from Caleh (Nimroud) the cities of Lukuta I took. I slew many of the
men. I overthrew and burnt their cities; their fighting men I laid hold of; on
stakes over their cities I impaled them; on the great sea I put my servants;
I sacrificed to the gods.'
OLD STONES AND THEIR STORIES. 57
"This reads like truth, and shows us a little what fighting meant in those
days, when prisoners of war are represented as being flayed alive or blinded,
for there was little mercy in those warriors' hard hearts. That is about the
time of Benhadad, and Hazael, and Jehu, son of Nimshi. All these are
mentioned as this king's enemies, and the
figures of captive Jews appear on the slabs of
this king. His tributaries are bringing ele-
phants, lions, rhinoceroses, monkeys, wood and
ivory, all precious things which were known
and valued in those old times.
"' Do not these stones preach the vanity of .
earthly power, and the grace of humility ? Do
they not ask us, 'Who hath rebelled against
the Lord with advantage?' 'Who hath har-
dened himself against him and hath prospered ?'
(Job ix. 4). How many nations have been cut
off for their pride and impiety! The mighty
of Babylon and Egypt were brought low, and
the princes of Media and Persia were humbled
in the dust. 'The Assyrian was a cedar in
Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadow-
ing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top
was among the thick boughs. The cedars in
the garden of God could not hide him: the ASSYRIAN MUSICIANS
fir trees were not like his boughs, and the PLAYING ON THE SACKBUT.
chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor "Al the people heard the sounds of the
cornet, flute, harp, sackbut" (Dan. iii. 7).
any tree in the garden of God was like unto
him in his beauty. Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath
shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his
height; I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of
the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his
wickedness' (Ezek. xxxi).
"I hope you like my picture stories, Johnny, as I mean to show you some
more. They serve to build up our faith by helping us to understand better the
grand history of the Old Testament, for as St. Augustine said,' Pictures and
statues are the books of the simple,' books that all can read, and I hope enjoy."
\---- ~"""""~~~""" ~~""-------
JOHN BUNYAN AND HIS LITTLE BLIND DAUGHTER SELLING LACES AT THE DOOR OF
ONLY A TINKER. 59
SThen s I I paise ad si
My soul bless thou thy Lord and king."
LD JOHN the Tinker, lived at Elstow, a pretty little village in
good name is rather to he chosen than re atwihe-n he w nP .xii
Mercies are thine,
Sad sins are mine,
Oh, pardon me !
Then shall I praiseaand sing,
My soul bless thou thy Lord and king."
" "LD JOHN the Tinker, lived at Elstow, a pretty little village in
Bedfordshire. That is, he lived there when he was not wandering
about the country looking for work, for you see pots and pans don't
want mending every day; and though John the Tinker saw plenty of corn
growing all about the place, bread was dear in the year of our Lord 1628,
when his young son John made his first appearance in this busy world.
60 S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
"And a rare young rogue did this urchin bid fair to be-a fighting, lazy,
good-for-nothing boy. His father did what he could to improve him, that is,
he sent him to the free school at Bedford, much against his will, I can assure
you. Here he learned little, and that little he managed to forget in a very
short time, so that when at last his father, disgusted at the accounts he
received of his lad's poor capabilities and evil ways, took him home to help
him tinker, young hopeful could just read and write-that was about all.
BUNYAN S HOUSE AT ELSTOW.
"The lads of Elstow were rough and bad enough, but this new comer
soon surprised even them. He swore, cursed, drank; and was the ringleader
in all that was wicked. It seemed that all he wanted to live for was to annoy
everybody, and in this he succeeded so well that all the neighbours hated his
very name. Though young in years he- was old in sin, for, like the fool, he
said, 'There is no God,' and acted accordingly.
In those times people had very different ways of amusing themselves to
those of the present day. On Sunday, for instance, people went to church-
in fact,.they were obliged to go or were fined a good round sum. The bells
62 S UNDA Y CHATS WITTH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
rang twice a day for full church service, but in the surnme afternoons it rang
to call people to the village-green, where all sorts cof gmes took place-
morris-dances, leaping, running; and, at their season May-day sports,
cudgelling, wrestling, and the like.
Richard Baxter, afterwards a great divine, was tthe mn of God-fearing
people, and this is what he wrote about his childhood-' In the village
where I lived (Rowton, Shropshire), the parson read ti Common Prayer
briefly; and the rest of the day, even till dark riig-ht, r(cept eating time,
was spent in dancing under a May-pole or a great tre not far from my
father's door, where all the town did meet together, and hough one of my
father's own tenants was the piper, he could not restrain him nor break
the sport, so that we could not read the Scripture in ouramily without the
great disturbance of the tabor and pipe, and noise ii ttAhe seet. Many times
my mind was inclined to be among them, and sometinrnies broke loose from
conscience and joined with them; and the more ]I d id the more I was
inclined to it. But when I heard them call my father Pritan" it did much
to cure me, for I considered that my father's exercise oolf reading the Scriptures
was better than theirs.'
"Profanation of the Lord's-day was authorised anicdl e:ouraged by royal
proclamation (1618), when people were advised to k:ee j Saday as a holiday,
on which to enjoy sports or games.
There were also feasts called 'Church Ales,' wl-ic:Ih would rather surprise
us now. When the churchwardens and others co'nrvrct4 with the church
required money to repair the building or lessen the rart es,hey would brew a
quantity of strong ale, and bid the parishioners to coming ard drink as much as
they would. All this just suited a young fellow of Jolhtnn's:urn of mind, who
would drink until he could not stand. None of the :ycQungfellows could beat
him at singing low and profane ballads. Of these he waa- vey fond, and having
a good, store of them packed away in his idle mind, i.aa.S mnch sought after by
other young reprobates like himself, for, as he wrote ina lat' years, 'I had but
few equals (considering my years, which were tender )0 fo: cursing, -swearing,
lying, and blaspheming the holy name of God.'
"And yet, bad and vile as the boy was, there wrcerelimes when better
thoughts came over him. Even when he was only iniirae < ten.years old, he
would toss and turn in his bed all the night throluggih, thinking of the evil
things he had said and done during the day: heavy tthoghts that pursued
ONL Y A TINKER. 63
him, and would not leave him even in the midst of his vain companions-
visions of the great judgment-day, when he should have to answer for all
these things in which he now indulged himself.
When young John was about seventeen he found that he could no longer
"live his easy, easy life, something must be done for a living; and having no
particular love for tinkering, he went off to join the Royalist army, for it was
just about the time of the great Civil War, when Cromwell was leading the
people against King Charles I.-Cavaliers and Roundheads the two parties
were called, because the king's friends wore their hair in curls, while those
live his easy, easy life, something must be done for a living; and having no
64 S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
opposed to them cut theirs very short, and showed their 'round heads.' Our
John joined the Royalists, and there was joy at Elstow when he departed, for
truly he wrought nothing but mischief.
You will think that the life of a soldier on active service was the very one
fitted for our John. I believe he did like it at first, and enjoyed the company
of these fierce troopers, with their tales of rapine and bloodshed. Some of
them were brutal and savage enough to shock even the wild young scape-
grace himself; and at times-only now and then, you know, for a soldier in
those days had little leisure for thinking-he would wonder whether he and
they were alike abandoned of God. Some recollection would flash across his
darkened mind that a better, purer life might be led even in camp, and that a
soldier could if he would, be a Christian; but he drove it away, and would
not remember this, until something happened which made a great impression
"The Royalists were about to make a desperate assault on the town of
Leicester, then in a state of siege; and it so happened that John was counted
off in the party which was to lead the assault. There was some honour in being
among this number, and another man, a companion of our trooper, begged to
go in his stead. He persuaded so well that John allowed him to take his
place. The poor. fellow marched off quite elated, took his stand that night as
sentinel, as John would have done had he been there, and was shot through
the head with a musket-ball, falling dead without a word.
This event made a wonderful impression on the young man's mind. For a
long time he was constantly thinking how unfit he would have been to appear
before God in the sudden fashion this man had done. It almost awakened him
to a new life, but only almost, and that little wanting was everything after all,
and for lack of it the impression faded gradually away, and John the Trooper
went from bad to worse; yet not easily, for a strange struggle was constantly
going on in his bosom, and he was often very unhappy in the midst of his
I cannot tell you exactly how or when he left the army. I suppose it was
when, the king being defeated, his disbanded and scattered troops returned to
their homes, and fell back again into their old haunts and employment. But
peace restored, John returned to Elstow, and I expect might have done very
well in his old trade; but now he had grown so idle that through that and his
bad name he was often on the very verge of starvation, and serve him right
"THE POOR FELLOW MARCHED OFF QUITE ELATED."
66 SUNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
was the general verdict of his neighbours-an idle, good-for-nothing disbanded
soldier, what did he come troubling them for ?
But he was reserved for better days; there were good things yet for this
prodigal son of God, who had been so often called, and as often refused to
come and the first of these good things, the one that led to all the rest, was
Elizabeth, his wife.
"Yes, he actually found a kind and gentle wife, the orphan of a man
accounted godly. To share his poverty and bad name she left her comfortable
home, bringing little of the world's goods with her, if we except two books
her father had prized so much that he put them in his daughter's hand
when he was dying. They were called 'The Practice of Piety,' and the
'Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven,' and these books, oddly enough, turned
out to be of more value than silver or gold, for money would very soon have
been sent flying, while the books, being worth nothing in themselves, remained
with John, the tinker.
"Elizabeth was fair, and good, and gentle; and soon made John feel a happier
if not a better man. He worked now, and she would sit by him, and read to
him out of her two treasures. Sometimes at odd moments he would try to
read them himself-for he became very interested in them-but that was hard
work. He found what a mistake he had made as a boy when he wasted the
precious school-days at Bedford, for now he could hardly get through a long
word even by spelling it. Then his dear wife would come and help him out,
and together they would talk over the truths told in these pages. She would
speak of her good and holy father, of his wonderful faith and trust, how
happily he had lived, and how contentedly he had died, trusting in God's
mercies; all this and more, while John listened, and pondered these things
in his heart.
I have told you that people in those days had to go to church. Now John
began to like going, to look with respect on the men who preached an all-
forgiving Saviour, and to feel the greatest reverence for things connected
with their labour. He used to say that he could lay down and be trampled
on by the ministers of God, he thought them engaged in such a holy service.
"But with all this John did not alter his own way of living. He certainly
went to church, as I have told you; but none more busy than he in the idle
sports which followed, or more careless as to.the company he mixed with.
It never struck him that he was one of the sinners so often mentioned.. All
ONL Y A TINKER. 67
his good wife could say had no effect, and it was not until he heard one
particular sermon on the evils of Sabbath-breaking that he was persuaded
that such things were wrong, and applied to himself; once convinced of this,
he assured his wife, who had often reasoned with him on the subject, that
he would act differently. When he returned home that day he bade her have
no fear; he would give up the diversions and the profane company on the
green from that time forth. But, alas for poor John, that very afternoon
found him again playing at 'tip-cat' with other idle fellows, who had no
religious scruples to trouble their thick heads.
All at once he dropped his stick and turned away, taking no notice of
his astonished companions, who, thinking he was ill or sulky, went on with
their game. But John was not thinking of them. He had heard a voice
speaking to his conscience, as loudly as those men spoke to his outward
ears; a voice that said as plainly as voice can say, 'Wilt thou leave thy sins
and go to heaven, or wilt thou keep thy sins and be condemned ?' and at the
same moment he looked up, for it seemed as though the Lord Jesus himself
stood before him, ready to punish him for his evil and rebellious ways-a
life-like vision that struck him to the heart.
"For a moment he stood aghast. Should he indeed accept this warning,
and leave his sins ? No, he was so bad' that it would be of no use now! So
he turned once more from the mercy offered, and joined the noisy game,
to all appearance one of the merriest there.
Do not think that this is an imaginary scene. It is one that really took
place, and in after years John would point out the very spot where he had
stood when he heard the voice; for nothing ever persuaded him that it was
not a real call to salvation which he heard on that Sunday afternoon, as
indeed I believe it was-such a'call as many have heard and turned from
before to-day, the call of conscience crying within them.
Having made up his mind that a sinner'he was, and a sinner he must
remain, John threw aside what little respectability he had lately assumed,
and fell back on all that was wicked. He seemed certainly determined to
disgrace himself altogether, and his neighbours looked with pity and disgust
on the man from whom they had begun to hope for better things.
But I must tell you what happened in almost his own words :-
'One day, as I was standing at a neighbour's shop-window, cursing and
swearing, and playing the madman after my usual manner, the woman of the
68 SUNDAY CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
house heard me. I knew her for a very bad woman herself, and yet she
bade me depart, protesting that she trembled to listen to the awful language I
used, and that I was enough to corrupt all the youth of the town, should they
"' I turned away, thoroughly ashamed.
ONLY A TINKER. 69
What! bad enough to be reviled by such a one as this ? Oh, that I were
once more a little child in my poor father's arms, and able to speak without
using bad words! Too late, now! too late! They seemed to come of
themselves, I could not keep them back.'
Never too late! That bad woman's speech had done more than any one
else had been able to effect in so many years. John left off his evil language.
To his own surprise, he found that he could make himself understood without
oaths. He bravely gave up many things he was fond of-dancing, for
instance-because he thought it was wrong. Music, friends, all invited him
to join the party on the green, but he would not. Church-bell ringing even,
in which he excelled, he gave up for the same reason, becoming suddenly
so decent and sober that neighbours rejoiced and spoke well of him, saying
they should have as soon thought of Tom o' Bedlam recovering his senses
as of bad John's reforming.
It was a very, very hard struggle; for it was so difficult at times to deny
himself all the amusements he most loved. But John was not the man to
do things by halves. He gave up everything he felt to be a temptation.
He dared not trust himself even with the bell-ringing he had been quite
noted for; all was put aside. He was in his own estimation a perfect
man at last. His home, from being the scene of constant tribulation, strife,
and noise, began to resemble that one of which his dear wife had so
often spoken, and she, good soul, rejoiced mightily. I cannot tell you
how often he read 'The Plain Man's Pathway,' thinking that he was tread-
ing the straight road to heaven; but I am afraid that just yet there was
more of outward than inward religion in John's heart. ie was pleased and
proud to find how differently he was looked upon by his neighbours; but I
am not at all sure that he knew anything about that peace of God which
passeth all understanding. He felt this too himself, strangely enough, and it
made him very miserable. He wanted to know what was missing to his
repentance; and as we always find the thing we look earnestly for, our friend
the tinker suddenly stumbled across the truth.
"One bright day, as he was busy at work at the door of a house in
Bedford, thinking, as he was now almost always doing, what should he do to
be really good, there happened to be three poor women sitting in the sunshine
talking, and some of their words caught the ear and riveted the attention
of the tinker outside. They were speaking very earnestly about religion, in
r I' j i ,
II B \-
/, 1 'i ii
'I '1. .--
fi i BBC9ifi
L+IIIIIIESPa'a'-Yll'i I S8e -a ea LYfYIBI\ Ity P9 aa -
ccTHREE POOR WOMEN SAT IN THE SUNSHINE."
ONLY A TINKER. 71
simple, touching, solemn words, that went straight to the listener's heart, and
cleared away many doubts which had hitherto oppressed his eager, troubled
soul. They told of the infinite mercy and compassion of God, they described
a true Christian casting all his fears and cares on the Lord. It was as
though they had known and answered all the thoughts of their unseen friend;
in fact, to use the man's own words, 'They spake with such pleasantness of
the Scriptures as if they had found a new world; as if they were a people
that dwelt alone, and were not reckoned among their neighbours' (Numb.
xxiii.). 'And thus I left them, and went to my work, but their talk and
discourse went with me.' How happy these women would have felt if they
could have known what good their holy conversation was working in the
heart of that poor man mending kettles by the road-side !
Anxious to hear more, John made the acquaintance of these poor people,
and together they talked over the truths that distressed and puzzled him.
Sometimes he felt ready to believe all things, at other times he feared that he
believed nothing ; but I do not think myself that from this time he ever really
did let go his faith. I think he was only struggling to understand the truth,
and to be worthy of it.
He would cry aloud sometimes,' Lord, leave me not in my own blindness,
either to approve or condemn this doctrine. If it be of God let me not
despise it; if it be of the evil one, let me not embrace it. Lord, I lay my
soul in this matter at Thy feet; let me not be deceived, I beseech thee.'
"You boys of nowadays, brought up in decent homes by God-fearing
parents, and early taught where to look for holiness and peace, will scarcely
understand this strange young man, with his hot and cold fits. If I were to
read to you from an old book I have, called 'Grace Abounding,' you would
scarce believe any man could have suffered-yes, suffered-as this man did in
his struggle after holiness, and yet this same book was afterwards written by
the very John I am telling you about, and I do not believe there is a word of
exaggeration in it. It is a record of a poor humble sinner seeking wildly for
the light he has lost, calling loudly, troubled in mind and body lest he should
be accounted as utiworthy of the love of God-a great example of the truth
of those words, 'Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.'
"There is a great deal that is interesting in this book, but as perhaps you
would scarcely understand it until you are older, I had better go on with
72 SUNDAY CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
I told you how our tinker made acquaintance with the good people of
Bedford whose simple words had so struck his conscience. He used to go and
talk to them about the things that troubled him, for 'a wounded spirit who
can bear ?' and they, good folks, not able to make him understand a great
deal that was clear enough to them, told their minister, a Mr. Gifford,
about this poor rough fellow, who was trying so hard to understand God's
word. The gentleman was a good man, always ready to listen to and
comfort his people, be they rich or poor; and he gladly invited John to his
house, often talked long and earnestly with him, explaining, reasoning,
arguing, preaching God and the Saviour, so that the penitent was fain to cry,
' I girded thee, though thou hast not known me ?' (Isaiah xlv. 5); and above
all things promising forgiveness, and goodness, and mercy.
"Mr. Gifford might well have said, I have prayed for thee, that thy faith
fail not' (Luke xxii. 32), for this earnest seeker after the truth touched his
heart, and he did most earnestly pray for and with him.
"But it was a long and wearying conflict. Poor John was continually
thinking that he was far too wicked to be forgiven by God. From continually
thinking about himself, he forgot that God's mercy is so great that it overlooks
everything else, and seeks only the truly penitent and obedient heart that
humbly trusts to His love and forgiveness.
"I But the fainting and weak-heartedness passed away, and the day came
when John became a member of the church of which Mr. Gifford was minister.
From that time it is no longer John, the tinker, but Mr. John Bunyan,
the useful deacon of his church, the devout and holy visitor to the bedside
of the sick, or the respected and able worker for the poor. He attended all
the meetings where his friends met to pray, and at their request, although
against his own wish, he addressed them in stirring, holy words. All present
listened with delight to the new light which had arisen among them, declaring
that surely it must not be hidden. And after solemn fasting and prayer that
they might be guided aright, they chose John Bunyan to go forth and preach
the Word of God to the people.
"A strong, powerful preacher he proved to be-a poor man who had
sinned, and doubted, and suffered, but who now stood forth convinced-that
there was no word like the Word of God, and that his work was to explain
it to the people, especially the poor and reckless, whose sorrows and tempta-
tions none understood better than he. Hundreds of people came to Bedford,
ONL Y A TINKER. 73
trooping in from all the country round, to hear John Bunyan preach. He
travelled about to all sorts of out of the way places, for he liked to address
those who knew or cared too little about religion to go out of their way to
hear it spoken of, and could not or would not have come to the town. I
dare say that he remembered his own wild days at Elstow, and thought how
much good it would have done him then if some one had spoken a word in
In his own quaint little book he says :-
IIeY- =-_ ----- : .
"'My great desire in fulfilling my ministry was to get into the darkest
places in the country, even among those people who were furthest off of pro-
fession. Not because I could not endure to show my light, for I feared not
to show my gospel to any, but because I found my spirit did lean to convert-
ing or awakening work. So have I strived to preach the gospel.'
"So far all seemed well. But now came a time of trial and tribulation, one
that seemed likely to put an end to John Bunyan's work altogether, stopping
him short in his holy task; and indeed at one time putting him in peril of
his life, for every man was not allowed to preach in those days, unless he was
ordained or allowed to do so by the State.
"74 SUNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN,
The preaching of a'man of his abilities must have made some stir, and
at that time Gbveinment was very strict about such matters. So the inquiry
was made, 'When was this man ordained?' And when it was discovered
that he only spoke at the wish of certain people, he was ordered to preach
no more; but as he paid no particular attention to this, he was threatened
with fine or imprisonment if he did not at once give it up and return to his
It was easy saying 'Preach no more,' but the order fell idly on the ears
of John Bunyan. He continued his work, and for a time was not particularly
interfered with, for England just then had many things to disturb her. But
then came the Restoration, in I660, about which I dare say you have
read, when Charles II. became King of England, after his long exile; and
then stern laws were passed concerning Church matters, and those who
preached, as John Bunyan had done and was doing, without the permission
of Government, did it at the risk of their lives, and the certain loss of
In the darkness of night, and in many strange disguises, our friend John
went from town to village.' Wherever he came, there he found people
anxious to hear him, for his rough, straightforward discourse took strange
hold of his hearers. But this hiding himself from the light of day noways
suited the man, who thought God's message too holy a thing to be told iim
secret. He determined, let what might happen, that he would preach openly
the Word of God, and he promised to visit a place called Samsell, where
the people where very anxious to hear him. But the authorities hearing of
his intended visit, declared that they would arrest and throw him into prison
if he dared to come there to preach. Every one wondered what would happen
"-now, and on the day he had named a great crowd gathered at the appointed
Place, wondering very much whether their favourite would dare show himself;
for he had been warned, and might, for the present at least, avoid the
threatened arrest. His friends tried hard to persuade him to escape, and
wait for better times. But John Bunyan stood firm. What was to become
of the sheep if the shepherd fled ? It would be an excuse for any cowardice.
So he walked straight into danger, Bible in hand, and led the great meeting
With a pale face and a half-faltering voice he prayed, the people, with
bowed heads, joining with him. He stood up and read the text, 'Dost
ONL 1 A TINKER. 75
thou believe on the Son of God?' Then there was a sudden stir and bustle;
the constables came in, seized on the brave preacher, and he was hurried
'THE OLD PRISON AT BEDFORD.
away, bidding the congregation be of good cheer, for it was better to be
persecuted than persecutor in such a cause as this, where they suffered as
Christians for well-doing.
But the constables allowed him short time for words ; they hurried him
=---~_--- _-~i ---
But the constables allowed him short time for words ; they hurried him
76 SUNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
off to the house of the justice. It was too late to see him that night, but next
day he was placed before the magistrate and told that, being but a tinker, he
BETTER TO BE PERSECUTED THAN PERSECUTOR.'
had no right to go preaching about the country, and was liable to be
severely punished for so doing. However, if he would get his friends to
sign a bond, binding themselves as sureties that he would not again offend,
he should be at liberty to go where he liked. The paper was all ready;
ONLY A TINKER. -77
once signed, and his own promise given, he might depart-a free man,
though he must hold his peace or dread the consequences.
But John Bunyan did not feel at all inclined to give up what he considered
to be a God-given mission, and return to the mending of pots and pans. He
told the justice that he would undergo whatever punishment the State might
think proper to inflict, but that he would sign no paper or give no promise,
for the first moment he was at liberty he should begin preaching to all those
who cared to hear him. How stern the magistrate must have looked! Away
with this man to gaol. What right had this fellow to scruples and a
conscience? In those days such things were only allowed to certain people
-certainly not to such a stubborn rogue as this.. So they said as they hurried
him away to prison ; and he went patient, resigned, and ready for whatever
"After a long trial, during which many people tried hard to persuade
him that he had no right to preach, being 'only a tinker,' and not a
learned man, he was sent back to Bedford prison. Such a prison-a horrible
place! Even patient John calls it a 'den.' Crowded with thieves and felons,
and close and filthy enough to choke a man used to exercise and fresh air.
There he was to stay for three months, and then, if he did not promise to give
up preaching, he would be worse punished yet.
Here, in this dreary prison, where it was so damp that as he declared 'it
was enough to make the moss grow on his eyelids,' poor John Bunyan passed
twelve years of his life. All sorts of criminals came and went, but John
stayed on; they never let him go. A king was crowned, and many prisoners
obtained their release on that occasion, but this most innocent one was held
fast. Many times the door would have opened: his word would have
unlocked it. He would have seen the blue sky instead of prison bars; have
heard the birds singing, instead of low, bad men swearing; have wandered
through green lanes, with his little blind girl's hand in his, instead of standing
chained at the prison door, selling laces by her side. But that one promise
was what he would not, could not, give :- it was that he would leave off
preaching to the people.
"Year after year, and still John lingered on in jail. He soon spent what
little money he had saved, and all this time he had to work for his own and
his family's support; for prisons were very different places from what they
are to-day, and poor prisoners had little more than mere bread and water
JOHN BUNYAN IN PRISON.
ONLY A TINKER 79
supplied to them. So all day long the poor persecuted man would sit by the
side of his blind daughter, putting the little metal ends to the stay-laces which
she knitted, and which his poor, loving wife tramped about the streets selling
as best she could.
But he did something else besides tagging laces, for there, amid all the
poverty, vice, and squalor which surrounded him-amid the swearing, and
gaming, and quarrelling going on from morning to night-he wrote a book
which has been read by many thousands of persons, and is to be found in
almost every English home-a book which has served to guide and instruct
the wisest of men, and has delighted and pleased even little children. I
expect you will all say you know it well when I tell you it was called the
"Poor man! I cannot tell you how much he suffered. Do not think that
because he refused to purchase his liberty at a price he thought it wrong to
pay, that he did not feel the bitterness of the life, he was leading; that he did
not feel the tears in his own eyes when he looked at the sightless ones of his
dear daughter, or the pale, pained face of his wife. Sometimes, he thought
he might be hung on a gallows as an example, that being a not at all unlikely
ending to his troubles. But still, though heart-broken at times, he never for
one moment wavered-God's service or none, was the motto he held to.
One thing will show us how blameless a life he must have led in those
dreary prison walls. There, where no man's word was taken, and where all
were disgraceful and disgraced, we find Bunyan so liked, trusted, and
respected by his gaolers, that at last they sometimes let him go out by himself
to visit his friends, taking his word of honour that he would return, which of
course he always did to the moment. Once, however, this nearly got them
all into great trouble, for word came to the authorities that the prisoner had
.been seen in the streets. A messenger was sent in hot haste to judge for him-
self whether the report was true. As it happened, honest John had just
returned. He had come back rather before his time, fortunately for him and
the gaolers who had shown such confidence in their prisoner.
"Thus weary years went by, seemingly bringing no hope of release. But
the long trial of steadfast faith was at length to be rewarded, for one March
morning the king determined to let his people choose What ministers they
liked, and passed a declaration to the effect that persons called Non-
conformists should be allowed to assemble and worship according. to their
80 SUNDAY CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
JOHN BUNYAN PREACHING IN THE OPEN AIR.
own convictions, under such ministers as should be licensed to preach. This
cleared the way for our poor prisoner, though it was some months yet before
he stood a free man in the streets of Bedford.
ONLY A TINKER. 81
"Poor and helpless enough, you will say, without one thing, except his
honourable name, which he could call his own; but many loved and pitied
the man who had suffered so patiently for Truth's sake, and when he thought
he had all his work to begin again, he found a large meeting-house ready, and
a congregation waiting to welcome him. It was the very Zoar Chapel where
good Mr. Gifford, his first true friend, had preached so long ago. Now he
was dead, and his followers thought no one more suited to take his place than
honest John Bunyan, who had passed through these long years of sorrow and
persecution for conscience' sake.
"His troubles were not yet ended. For a time his neighbours found many
faults with him, and made him uncomfortable in many ways. Once he was
falsely accused of being concerned in a very evil deed, but he stood up in the
open court, and cried, 'I am innocent! Not that I have been kept so because
of any goodness in myself, but God has been merciful to me, and kept me,
to whom I pray that he will keep me still.'
And God, who had tried his good servant and not found him wanting, did
keep him; kept him in high repute and power in the hearts of the people
around. 'Bishop Bunyan,' as they called him now, had many offers after this
of better positions, but he would never leave Bedford, where he was loved
and valued by all. His income was small, but he was content, and only
studied how best to do the work of God.
"And now for the last scene of all. England in those days was often
afflicted with strange diseases, which swept through the land, carrying
thousands with them. In 1688 the sweating sickness appeared at Bedford, and
the good minister was one of the first to be attacked. He was very, very ill,
and his loving wife and friends thought he would have died, but he half
recovered, and was able once more to attend to the duties he so loved.
There was a youth of his acquaintance, a prodigal son, who was in great
and serious trouble with his father, who had vowed to disinherit him. Hearing
of this, John Bunyan, knowing he had some influence with the angry parent,
mounted his horse, and rode away to Reading, some fifty miles from Bedford.
He saw his friend, and entreated him in God's name to forgive his erring son.
The father did forgive him, and Bunyan, forgetting all about his late illness in
his joy, travelled on to London, determined to see the young man himself, and
make him happy with his message. There was no penny post in those days,
you know, and the long ride through the cold was too much for the messenger
82 SUNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
of peace; he fell ill, and died at his friend's house, even before his tender
wife could reach him.
"He was ready, even like his own pilgrim; the river of death had no terrors
for him. He heard the voice saying, 'When thou passes through the waters,
I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.'
THE GOOD MAN'S ERRAND OF MERCY.
His last words to his weeping friends were, 'I go to the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who will no doubt, through the mediation of His blessed
Son, receive me, although a sinner. Weep not for me, we shall meet ere long
to sing the new song, and remain everlasting happy, world without end.'
"And thus died
/HN l. R AN
________ 1/j ilil2L
THE T-OMB OF JOHN BUNYAN, IN BUNHIL'L FIELDS, LONDON.
A (mlaVeD ka
oo'sF 00 1~fgA~ ~~Y"~; ~~ F;
THS EEEMNULSCPAN9THS HI TNDR BAES)
ONL Y A TINKER. 85
His soul to Him who gave it rose,
God led it to its long repose,
Its glorious rest.'
"Among Bunyan's many works there is not one more powerful and stirring
than 'The Holy War.' There is no doubt that it was the history of his own
spiritual warfare between good and evil. He describes the town of Mansoul,
as at first possessed by Diabolus, the evil one, then conquered and kept by
Emmanuel, the glorious. The description of the siege and the fighting is
evidently written from his recollection of the days when he was a wild trooper.
Let me just repeat a short portion of it to you; perhaps it may tempt you
to read the whole of the book for yourself. Hear the quaint address to the
I saw the Prince's armed men come down
By troops, by thousands, to besiege the town.
I saw the captains, heard the trumpet's sound,
And how his forces covered all the ground;
Yea, how they set themselves in battle 'ray,
I shall remember to my dying day.
I was there when the gates were broken ope',
And saw how Mansoul then was stripped of hope.
I saw the captains march into the town,
How there they fought and did their foes cut down.
I saw Emmanuel when he possessed
His town of Mansoul; and how greatly blest
A town his gallant town of Mansoul was,
When she received his pardon, loved his laws.'
He describes the town of Mansoul as having five gates, which need never
be opened or forced, but by the will or leave of those within. These are
Ear-gate, Eye-gate, Mouth-gate, Nose-gate, and Feel-gate.
Upon a time, one Diabolus (in Greek this means Satan), a mighty giant,
king of the blacks, made an assault on the famous town of Mansoul, and
having shot Captain Resistance and Lord Innocency, got possession of Ear-
gate and Eye-gate, and presently of Mansoul altogether.
But Mansoul belonged to a great King and his son Emmanuel (of course
I need not tell you what father and son he meant, or that by the city he
pictured the soul of a human being); and when tidings came that the enemy
had entered their beautiful city, the Father was wroth, but the Son declared
THE SUMMONS TO SURRENDER.
ONLY A TINKER. 87
that even at the cost of his own blood he would drive away this slave
Diabolus, and free Mansoul for ever.
So he published an edict to this purpose :
"' Let all men know, who are concerned, that the Son of the great King
is engaged, by covenant to his Father, to bring his Mansoul to him again;
yea, and so put Mansoul, through the power of his matchless love, into a far
better and more happy condition than it was in before it was taken by
"These papers were published in several places, to the no little moles-
tation of the tyrant Diabolus; 'for now,' thought he, 'I shall be molested,
and my habitation will be taken from me.'
But now let us tell the story in Bunyan's own words:
'The town of Mansoul was not much, if at all concerned with the project,
yet Diabolus, their governor was, for he had spies continually abroad, who
brought him intelligence of all things, and they told him what was doing at
court against him, and that Emmanuel would certainly come with a power to
invade him. Nor was there any man at court nor peer of the kingdom that
Diabolus so feared as he feared this Prince.
"'Well, you see how I have told you that the King's Son was engaged to
come from court and save Mansoul, and that his Father had made him captain
of the forces. The time, therefore, of his setting forth being now expired, he
addressed, himself for his march, and taketh with him his power, five noble
captains and their forces.
'The first was that famous captain, Captain Credence (faith). His
were the red colours, and Mr. Promise bore them; and for a scutcheonn he
had the Holy Lamb and golden shield, and he had ten thousand men at
'The second was that famous captain, the Captain Good-Hope; he wore
the blue colours. His standard-bearer was Mr. Expectation; and for his
scutcheonn he had the three golden anchors, and he had ten thousand men at
The third was that valiant captain, the Captain Charity; his standard-
bearer was Mr. Pitiful. His were the green colours, and for his scutcheonn he
had three naked orphans embraced in the bosom, and he had ten thousand
men at his feet.
"' The fourth was that gallant commander, the Captain Innocent; his
88 SUNDAY CA TS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
standard-bearer was Mr. Harmless. His were the white colours, and for his
scutcheonn he had the three golden doves.
"' The fifth, was the truly loyal and well-beloved captain, the Captain
Patience; his standard-bearer was Mr. Suffer-long. His were the black
colours, and for a scutcheonn he had three arrows through the golden heart.
"' These were Emmanuel's captains, these their standard-bearers, their
colours and their scutcheonss, and these the men under their command. So,
as was said, the brave Prince took his march to go to the city of Mansoul.
'Emmanuel also when he had thus set forward to go to recover the town
of Mansoul, took with him at the commandment of his Father, fifty-four
battering-rams and twelve slings to hurl stones withal (meaning the Books
of Holy Scripture). Every one of these was made of pure gold, and these
they carried with them in the heart and body all along as they went to
Unto Mansoul they came; but when the old soldiers that were in the
camp saw that they had new forces to join with, they gave such a shout before
the walls of Mansoul that it put Diabolus into another fright.
'So they sat down before the town, not now against the gates of Mansoul
only, but they environed it round on every side, and beset it behind and
before; so that now let Mansoul look which way it will, it saw forces and
power lie in siege against it. Besides, there were mounts cast up against it;
the Mount Gracious was on the one side, and Mount Justice on the other.
Further, there were several small banks and advance-grounds, as Plain-truth
hill and No-sin banks, where many of the slings were placed against the
town. Five of the best battering-rams, that is, of the biggest of them, were
placed upon Mount Hearken, a mount cast up by Ear-gate, with intent to
break that open.
'When the good Prince Emmanuel had thus beleaguered Mansoul, in the
first place he hung out the white flag, which he caused to be set up among the
golden slings that were planted on Mount Gracious; and this he did for two
reasons-first, to give notice to Mansoul that he could and would yet be
gracious if they turned to him; secondly, and that he might leave them the
more without excuse should he destroy them, they continuing in their
'So the white flag, with the three golden doves on it, was hung out for
two days together, to give them time and space to consider; but they, as was
I 1 lul 1
"1 1 J ll 1.1-i .1
~/:11116 III01 11:
F R I rir
DEFEAT OF DI A OLU .
90 S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
hinted before, as if they were unconcerned, made no reply to the favourable
signal of the Prince.
'Then he commanded, and they set the red flag on that mount called
Judgment-it was the red flag of Captain Justice, whose scutcheonn was the
burning fiery furnace-and this also stood waving before them in the wind for
several days together. But look; how they carried it under the white flag
when that was hurig out, so did they also when the red one was, and yet he
took no advantage of them.
Then he commanded again that his servants should hang out the black
flag of defiance against them, whose scutcheonn was three burning thunder-
bolts, but as unconcerned was Mansoul as at those that went before. But
when the Prince saw that neither mercy, nor judgment, nor execution of
judgment would or could come near the heart of Mansoul,,he was touched
with much compassion, and said, Surely this strange carriage of the town of
Mansoul doth rather arise from ignorance of the manner and feats of war,
than from a secret defiance of us and abhorrence of their own lives; or if they
know the manner of the war of their own, yet not the rites and ceremonies of
the wars in which we are concerned, when I make war upon mine enemy
'Therefore he sent to the town of Mansoul to let them know what he
I need not tell you that the coming of the Prince of Peace saved the city
(though not without a great resistance, for the evil one within struggled
hard to defeat the holy ones without); but now I will finish these short
extracts from this very quaint and beautiful allegory, lingering only over
almost the last words in it-words spoken by Emmanuel-which we shall all
do well to remember, for they apply to all:-
"'O, my Mansoul, I have lived, I have died, I live, and I will die no
more for thee. I live that thou mayest not die; because I live, thou shalt
live also. I reconciled thee to my Father by the blood of my cross, and,
being reconciled, thou shalt live through me. Nothing can hurt thee but sin,
nothing can grieve me but sin, nothing can make thee base before thy foes
but sin; take heed of sin.
'Nor must thou think always to live by sense; thou must live upon my
word. Thou must believe, 0 my Mansoul, when I am from thee, that yet
I love thee, and bear thee upon my heart for ever.
ONLY A TINKER. 9'
"'Remember, therefore, 0 my Mansoul, that thou art beloved of me: as
I have, therefore, taught thee to watch, to fight, to pray, and to make war
against my foes, so now I command thee to believe that my love is constant
to thee. Watch! Hold fast till I come.' "
"ANCIENT WAR CHARIOT.
WEAPONS OF ANCIENT TIMES. 93
WEAPONS OF ANCIENT TIMES.
How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished !"-2 SAM. i. 27.
"And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and
three hundred chariots; and came into Mareshah. Then Asa went out against him, and they set the
battle in array. And Asa cried unto the Lord, and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether
with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in
thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.
So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah ; and the Ethiopians fled."
"THINK that if all people had the faith of King Asa there would soon
be an end to war arid its horrors. Shall I tell you a little about the
weapons that were used in those days of warfare ? There were the sling
and the sword, and the bow and arrow, besides many others. The Hebrews
used the sling. 'Among all this people (the children of Benjamin) there were
seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an
-- ----------- _
WEAPONS OF ANCIENT TIMES. 95
hair breadth, and not miss' (Judges xx. 16). It was with this that young
David slew the giant Goliath. 'David put his hand into his bag, and took
thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, so that
the stone sank into his forehead.' This sling was only a thong of leather, or
string with a loop at one end of it, in which was placed a stone, and with this
they could strike down an enemy at a great distance.
"Travellers in the East tell us that the country lads living about Mount
Hermon, use these slings now just as they did in the days of David; and
that when they quarrelled they make desperate attacks with these slings,
chasing each other from cliff to cliff, and sending stones flying about in every
direction, and leaving ugly red bruises where they strike. It is no use for the
authorities to interfere, because they are more likely to get a blow than to
catch a boy, so they let them fight it out.
The little boys of ancient Greece were taught to use the sling, flinging
leaden plummets instead of stones. Sometimes they were not allowed any
dinner until they had dislodged it with their sling from a high shelf on which
it was placed. How should you like that, little English boys ?
And now about the bow and arrow.
The bow is the first weapon mentioned in the Bible. It has been used
from the earliest times for the chase, as well as warfare, and is still in use in
96 S UNDA Y CHATS WITH SENSIBLE CHILDREN.
the East. Sometimes the archers went on foot, sometimes they rode in a
chariot or on horseback, picking out the enemy with their arrows, just as we
read in Revelation: 'I saw a white horse, and he that sat on him had a bow.'
Shall I tell you a story about Amasis, the last of the Egyptian kings ?
Every morning he spent some hours attending to state affairs, after that he
put them all aside, and feasted, and entertained many guests. One of his
friends and counsellors, thinking this was not a kingly way of spending his
time, came before him and said, gravely :
'O king, thou dost but ill guard thy royal dignity, whilst thou dost
allow thyself to spend thy days in such a frivolous manner. Thou shouldst
sit in state on a glittering throne, and busy thyself with affairs the whole
day long, so would the Egyptians feel that a great man rules them, and
thou wouldst be better spoken of; but now thou conductest thyself in no
kingly fashion. A king should be ever at work, 0 Amasis.'
"And the -Egyptian, Amasis, was not angry, but answered his friend
Bowmen bend their bows when they wish to shoot, unbracing them when
shooting is over, but keeping them ever at hand., Were they kept always
strung they would break, and fail the archer in time of need. So it is with
men; if they give themselves constantly to serious work, and never indulge
awhile in pastime or sport, they lose their senses and become mad or moody.
Knowing this, I pass my time between pastime and business, never allowing
myself to forget that I am a king, either when at play or at work, keeping
my bow ready that if the enemy should come I can string it.'
I think this was a very sensible king; don't you ?"
THE VA UDOIS MISSIONARY Y. 97
THE VAUDOIS MISSIONARY.
" ", 1 LADY fair, these silks of mine The lady smiled on the worn old man,
Are beautiful and rare- Through the dark and clustering curls
V ^7^ The richest web of the Indian Which veiled her brow, as she bent to view
"C ; loom, His silk and glittering pearls:
v Which beauty's self might wear. She placed their price in the old man's
And these pearls are pure and mild hand,
to behold, And lightly turned away;
As with radiant light they vie; But she paused at the wanderer's earnest
I have brought them with me a weary way: call-
Will my gentle lady buy?" My gentle lady, stay!
"0 lady fair, I have yet a gem
Which a purer lustre flings
Than the diamond flash of the jewelled crown
On the lofty brow of kings:
A wonderful pearl of exceeding price,
Whose virtue shall not decay;
Whose light shall be as a spell to thee,
And a blessing on thy way !"