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THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY:
56.PATERNOSTER ROW, 65.ST PAULS CHURCHYARD.
AND 164, PICCADILLY.
iLroaduu S LU.. L i'JI.1.
,LING; OX, MOUNTED ON CLOTH, TWO SHILLINGS.
L ONG ago in olden story,
When I was a child, I read
Of some little pilgrim children,
Who upon a journey sped,
Ever onward-ever upward-
By a tender mother led.
Childhood's home they left behind them,
With its folly, mirth and din;
There destruction frowned upon them,
Sorrow there abode with sin;
And they sought the Golden City,
With its light and joy to win.
Matthew, Samuel, James, and Joseph,
Walking bravely side by side;
With the gentle maiden, Mercy,
Fearless all what should betide:
For the King himself had called them,
And for all he would provide.
So they entered on their journey,
Passing through the wicket gate;
Reading there sweet words of welcome,
While they knock and patient wait;
Words of welcome to the children
Who had chosen path so strait.
From within the door was opened,
And the keeper bade them come;
Little children with the mother,
And for Mercy there was room;
And he rested them and blest them,
Ere he sent them from his home.
The Baldwin Library
Then again they journeyed onward,
Reaching at the close of day
Stately mansion built for pilgrims,
By the Lord who owned the way;
Where the simple gain instruction,
Lest from out the path they stray.
Pictures here and sights most wondrous
Held the children's eager eyes;
And from room to room they followed,
Finding ever new surprise,
As their host the truth unfolded,
Clearing it from strange disguise.
Here they saw a man who gathered
Dust and straws with busy care;
Bending over him, an angel
Gave him golden crown to wear;
But he would not leave the earthly
For the heavenly treasure rare.
So they learned, these youthful pilgrims,
Many a lesson for their need;
Here a little-there a little-
Truth on which the heart might feed;
Here was many a precept given,
Line on line for all to heed.
And the Master bade brave "Great-heart"
Be the pilgrims' trusty guide,
And the children's hearts grew stronger,
For in him they could confide;
Great-heart with his spear and helmet,
And his sheath'd sword at his side.
So he led them onward, onward-
Led them where in years before,
Christian walked, their pilgrim father;
Told them of the load he bore,
Showed the Cross where fell the burden,-
Cross uplifted evermore.
And they followed upward, upward,
Where the hill-side was so steep,
They with toiling, panting, striving
Foot-hold steady scarce could keep;
Till the youngest child, faint-hearted,
Sat him sadly down to weep.
Courage, children! do not falter,
Do not mind a little pain;
Rest is sweeter after labour,
They who fail, must strive again;
Difficulty we must conquer,
If we would the prize obtain.
Fair the Palace Beautiful
Glistens now within their sight:
Comfort for the fainting children,
Rest and shelter for the night:
Why does Great-heart stand before them?
Why unsheath his sword for fight?
Quick his eye, the guide discovers
Danger lurking in the way;
'Twixt the pilgrims and the Palace,
Lions waiting for their prey!
Fear not, children! faithful Great-heart
Will their nearer coming stay.
But the little ones are crying,
As they to each other cling;
Round about their anxious mother
Trembling hands they wildly fling;
Saying, Will the lions keep us
From the City of the King ?"
Chained the lions are; but blinded
By their tears, no chains they see:
And the giant Grim advances
Fast, to set the lions free.
All! the guide has slain the giant:
Who so brave a guide as he?
Soon they reach the lordly Palace,
Enter at its lofty door;
There they rest them, and its treasures
Daily with delight explore;
Then with hope and courage strengthened,
Start upon their way once more.
Now they speed down the valley,
Where the babbling streamlet springs;
Hearken to the little shepherd!
As he tends his flock, he sings,
Happier there in his contentment
Than the mightiest of kings.
Once the Lord in pilgrim fashion
Trod that valley all alone;
Bearing there sin's bitter burden
For His children to atone;
Humbly walking through the darkness
To the glory of His throne.
Now the valley deepens downward,
And the skies all gloomy grow;
'Tis the "Valley of the Shadow,"
And with trembling feet they go,
For the air is thick with vapour,
And strange shapes move to and fro.
Great-heart bravely speaks and cheers them,
And they kneel and pray for light;
And the sunshine comes in answer
And the end appears in sight;
Glad they press upon their journey
Till the fall of dewy night.
Morning shows a thronging city,
Full of Vanities they say;
Crowds are buying, cheating, swearing
At its Fair from day to day:
And the idlers tempt the pilgrims,
If within its walls they stay.
Onward pass they where a river
Broadens through the meadows fair;
But a by-path leads where yonder
Stands the Castle of Despair!
And a giant fierce and cruel
Waits to drag them to his lair.
Boldly to the gate ascending,
Great-heart knocks with echoing sound;
Bids the giant come to battle,
.Smites him wounded to the ground;
While they break the dungeon open,
And set free the pilgrims bound.
So they travelled ever steadfast,
Over plain and hill along;
And the children grew in wisdom,
Grew in daily toil more strong;
Till the City gleamed before them,
And they heard the heavenly song.
Sweetest music gently swelling
Floated through the fragrant air!
And the sunshine streamed in splendour,
And no night was ever there!
Flowers, and fruits, and corn-fields waving,
All were rich beyond compare.
Shining Ones, in whitest raiment,
Often walk that radiant land;
But a river, cold and rapid,
Stops at last the pilgrim band;
All who reach the Golden City,
Cross it at the King's command.
Soon there came a gracious message,
Words of friendship from the King;
Shining chariots for the mother,
From the river bank to bring;
And the children waiting, watching,
Heard the welcome angels sing.
Little pilgrims, will you follow ?
Still the gates stand open wide;
Jesus is the King of glory,
And He calls you to His side,
Calls you to the Golden City
Jesus, who for children died!
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FIRST LESSON IN READING.
LONDON:-THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY;
56, PATERNOSTER ROW; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH ARD; AND 164, PICCADILLY.
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