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low : deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.” (Ps. cxlii. 6.)
Mamma. And at such hours he proves the virtue of his coat of mail, for "he wars not after flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." (2 Cor. x. 3, 4.) And time after time he comes out of the conflict “more than conqueror through him that loved him." (Rom. viii. 37.) But there is one other foe, my children.
Lily. The world, mamma. And yet I am sure all the world seems very kind to me.
Mamma. The world does not exactly mean all men, women and children, but those who do not know and love Jesus. In our happy home you have chiefly met those who do love Christ'; and in our happy country, England, no one is allowed to harm the people of God; but it has not been so always here, as you know in the bloody Mary's reign, how many were burnt to death for His name's sake; and even now in Florence those who give away, and who read the Bible, are put in prison and punished, and I fear some are put to death ; so that, even now, there is a persecuting world, and many a child of God has to cry with David, “Be merciful unto me, O God : for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth
(Ps. lvi, 1.) But do you know, Lily,
the world attracting is often more dangerous than the world attacking. What does St. Jobn
say of the world ? Lily.“ All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John ii. 16.)
Papa. And what is to be the conduct of Christ's soldier, then, Arthur, with regard to the world ?
Arthur. To be in it, but not of it, papa ; for I found tbat text, “ Thou therefore, endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ; and the very next one is, “ No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this world; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Tim. ii. 3, 4.)
Mamma. But our time is almost gone, my children. What beside have
found on this subject ?
Mary. We found the promise of a standard. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah lix. 19.)
Lily. And I found the name of it, “ His banner over me was love." (Song ii. 4.)
Arthur. And I thought the watchword given for the night might be, “The bridegroom cometh ;” and then we looked out all those promises given to him that overcometh," in
Rev. ii. and iii., and we thought the closing scene of this good warfare was when St. Paul says (2 Tim. iv. 7), “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faitb : henceforth there is laid
for crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also who love His appearing.”
Papa. Yes, and had we time we might have enriched our subject with many, many examples from the Old Testament, both of warriors and of wars; but having spoken so much of the Church militant (that is, warring), read, Mary, Rev. xix. 11-14, where we have the vision of the Church triumphant.
Mary reads. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse ; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood : and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."
Mammá. There seems one final victory after this : and then may we not apply the
“Lift up your
glowing language of the twenty-fourth Psalm to the time when the Prince of Peace shall reenter the courts of heaven? heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is the King of glory ? the Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” After this, they shall not learn war any more.
(Isa. ii. 4.) And so we find the white-robed multitude have no swords, but palms in their hands, sometimes exchanged for the tuneful harps of praise ; let us now pray that we may stand among them there.
THE DEVIL'S SLAVERY, AND THE REDEEMER'S
PAPA. Sunday evening here again! so quickly the weeks glide by, and soon will bring us to that eternal Sabbath which remaineth for the people of God. Have my children found many texts on our subject, "the devil's slavery and the Redeemer's service ?"
Arthur. Oh yes, papa, so many, it was such an interesting subject. We thought that the verse,
“ Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John viii. 34), would describe the state of all as they are born.
Mamma. And the former verse shows us that the poor slave of sin thinks himself free all the while; for the Jews had just said, “We were never in bondage to any man; how sayest thou, · Ye shall be made free ?'"
Mary. And we found such a full account