« PreviousContinue »
BY P. R. U.
which we are all familiar. Instances are on record, where
and her crew by throwing oil overboard, or fastening bags filled with oil and punctured with holes over the side of the vessel, out of which the oil flowed as the ship moved through the waters.
Lately, at Aberdeen, some most interesting experiments have been made as to the real efficacy of oil in calming & rough sea. Pipes have been laid down for some little distance outside the harbour, through which in time of a storm, oil can be conveyed; and it is confidently expected by this simple method the raging breakers will be so far quieted, that many a ship in distress will be enabled to enter in safety the harbour, instead of being dashed to pieces on the rocky and dangerous shore.
It has struck me that pouring oil on troubled waters is what we Christians should always be doing. We are living in the midst of a troubled world, waves of sorrow, distress, anxiety, and care are breaking all around us. Troubled hearts, troubled homes, troubled lives, do we not daily meet with them ? Have we not need, then, to be continually pouring forth the oil of love, loving deeds, loving words, loving looks ? Should these not be freely dispensed around us ?
We are told that a surprisingly small quantity of oil is required to still the stormy billows round a vessel, and, in like manner, it is wonderful how much even the youngest and weakest of us may accomplish by little means and ways. " A soft answer turneth away wrath.” It is not in the power of us all to do great deeds of kindness, but there are none, I think, who have not opportunities of doing little kindnesses, of throwing a few drops of oil of love on some tempest-tossed breast. Even a loving look, or kindly smile, or a softly-spoken word of sympathy, how far they go to soothe and calm the ruffled or wounded spirit.
It is frequently not so much the action done, as the way in
THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.
which it is done, that breaks or heals the swelling heart, that helps or hinders our influence for good over those around us.
“ Little acts of kindness,
Little deeds of love,
Like the heaven above."
O, that there were more of that most precious " fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. v. 22) in this sad world; more likeness to Christ and His disciples—that we better obeyed our Master's command: “ Love one another, as I have loved you,” and exhibited in our daily lives more of that heaven-born charity so beautifully portrayed in 1 Cor. xiii. : “And now abideth faith, hope, love, but the greatest of these is love."
• Faith will vanish into sight,
Therefore give us love."
THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.
BY EVA TRAVERS-POOLE.
read this little story, will be able at the end of it to
tell me the name of her, whom I will call “The Queen-Mediator." Do you remember the date of the year when Edward III. of England invaded France and
fought the battle of Crecy? No, you say; dates are but dry things. Well, it was about the year 1350, and perhaps you remember now, that after defeating Philip, the French king, Edward marched on to Calais and beseiged it. Calais resisted every effort to take it for one whole year, and then, at last, hungerstricken and plague-stricken, the people offered to surrender. The poor inhabitants begged for their lives; but in those days small mercy was shown to the vanquished, and they were obliged to
THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.
agree to Edward's terms, that six of the principal citizens should be delivered up to him, with halters round their necks, to be immediately executed !
You can imagine, children, when news of this was spread about in Calais, how sorrowful everyone felt.
Who would wish to be one of the six doomed men ? All the principal men probably had wives and little darling children, who clung frantically to their knees at such a moment, fearing to lose them for ever. A council was called; the chief men of the city came together, and one standing up as spokesman, asked publicly:
"Who amongst us will offer himself as an atonement for this city?"
There was a long, long silence. How much whiter the pale, anxious face seemed to grow, as each struggled with himself and with the dear love of life!
Again the questioner pleaded more earnestly.
Does anyone speak ? Yes, yes ! Brave noble Eustace St. Pierre, who, you will no doubt remember, was the Commander of the town, stepped forward and said: “I will lay down my life for your sakes fellow-citizens.
I will do it with a cheerful heart? Who will be second ?"
“I," cried his son, springing to his side,
Another and another joined them, and forth from Calais those noble six started, undaunted by the tears of their dear ones, or the groanings and weeping of their fellow-citizens, which history says was heard afar in the English camp.
Slowly and yet with brave bearing they marched into the English camp. The soldiers of Edward III. received them with kindness and pity, and looked sadly at the noble fellows who were giving themselves to death.
When they stood before the king they saw his face was stern and angry, and he inquired,
“Are ye the principal inhabitants of Calais ?" “Of France," they replied proudly.
The king waved his hand to his guard, "Lead them to execution.”
At that moment a shout was heard, and those near the king whispered one to another "the Queen! the Queen !" and they
parted and made way for a tall, fair woman in royal robes, who with tearful eyes threw herself at King Edward's feet.
“Mercy! mercy ! my liege," she cried. “For whom, fair dame ?" the king said, his stern brow relaxing.
"For these poor gentlemen" pleaded the queen. At first the king angrily refused to listen to her, but her tears and her earnestness conquered. She was very dear to King Edward's heart, and at last, bending down, he raised her saying: "Dame, I can deny thee nothing." Then, turning to the captives: "Gentlemen of France, though you were tenfold our enemies, yet we pardon you. We loose your chains ; you are free !”
With what grateful hearts those men, snatched from death, gazed upon their preserver, the Queen-Mediator. How they must have told the story of her pity and her pleading to their friends, their families, aye, and to the land of France, when they re-entered their city of Calais. And good Queen Philippa's kindly act must read a lesson to you and me, boys and girls. You and I, rebels against God, must sooner or later submit to Him, and stand before Hm as sinners, waiting for judgment and its execution.
Ah ! have you ever known what it is, young as you are, to stand thus before God ? And Who, in His love and His pity, knowing death was your portion, came before His Father's Throne, and with tears and blood pleaded for your pardon ? Jesus—the, KingMediator. Edward loved Queen Philippa so dearly that he could deny her nothing. God will never turn a deaf ear to the pleading of His well-beloved Son. Jesus never asks in vain.
And Jesus did more than good Queen Philippa. He died for you and me. He gave Himself, and now He lives to plead. “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and He is the Propitiation for our sins.”
Come boldly to God; Jesus is there. He is on your side ; who then can be against you ?
MORE FLOWERS! Catherine Ellis thanks warmly for flowers from “Elmswell,” and also for “violets gathered by some very poor little children in the north of Ireland, for the sick ones in London Hospitals.".