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as possible. Madame le Marchant, tried to advance, are thrown back however, was not so easily com- upon the heights of Vaux. There forted; her vivid imagination al- François' regiment, whose lines ready pictured her son, shedding were much thinned, re-assembles ; his blood on the battle-field, without permission is given to bivouac, and a helping hand near to save, or a the fatigued and discouraged men pitying eye to watch over him. throw themselves down
on the She returned to her cottage, which hard ground, and are
soon fast was situated on the high road, lead- asleep. ing from the pretty town of Avran- But early the next morning the ches, in Normandy. There, seated reveille is heard: at five o'clock at her lace-pillow (a cushion on already the fight had re-commenced which lace is mado in France), she in the direction of Armigny, near waited, with as much fortitude and the Belgian frontiers. F. Le Mar. patience as possible, the issue of the chant is hardly awake before he terrible war.
finds himself with his company in François had in the meantime line of battle, receiving and answerbeen sent to Paris, and on the 25th ing the fire from the Prussians, of July he marched through the who, sheltered by the neighbourstreets of the metropolis to the ing wood, are steadily advancing. Eastern Railway station, from The men fall like flies on every whence the troops proceeded to the side before the deadly needleseat of war. The capital was in a gun. Soon after, the artillery state of intense excitement; the takes up its position on the hill to Boulevards
crowded with the left, and opens a well-directed friends, relatives, and many others, fire on the French. Now the signal who wished to congratulate the for retreat is given. The way leads country's noble defenders. They across a ploughed field. A wounded all embraced each other; the air comrade cries to François for help ; was filled with the enthusiastic cries he stoops down to support him. of the people, and everywhere the Suddenly there is a fearful explosion three-coloured flag was hoisted. close to them, which throws them
pers ran into the streets both upon the ground. A shell has with wine, sausages, and cigars,- burst; his friend is killed, and literally forcing them upon the François' arm is shattered. soldiers. François felt as if he were Acting on the first impulse to already a great hero; for the fifteenth follow his company, the confused time he had been embraced by a youth is just trying to raise himperfect stranger. Holding his self, when he espies a troop of Chassepot high in the air, he cuirassiers preparing for another cried, “ To Berlin !-Death to the attack. While rattling past the Prussians !”
place where he is lying, a horse and A month has passed. Le Mar- its rider are struck with a ball; the chant, with MacMahon's army, re- rider falls down dead; the poor treats from Chalons, which had to beast stumbles, rolls over, rises be evacuated on account of the again, loses its balance, and falls approach of the Crown Prince's with its full weight upon Francois' active forces. They march through legs. A groan of intense pain, and Rheims on to Mezières, and after François becomes unconscious. a few days, on emerging from the He must have remained in this forest, they come upon the enemy. state for a long time, for, when his On the 30th of August a terrible consciousness returned, the shadows battle rages near_Carignan; and of evening were already creeping in. towards night the French, who had His first feeling was that of tor
menting thirst, and then the pain in almost frozen with the damp cold of his arm reminded him of the wound the night, caused him the most he had received : he tried to raise violent pain; and still that was himself upon his hands, but the nothing compared to the burning weight on his legs made every thirst raging within him. “O God!" movement impossible. He, how- he cried, “ lessen my misery, or take ever, managed to free himself from
An answer seemed to his knapsack, and succeeded in find. come: he fell asleep, and did not ing a few rags in it, which enabled awake until daylight, when the rain, him to op the bleeding and to bind beating into his face, woke him. up the wound. His next thought Eagerly he stretched out his hand was how he might obtain water. He for the helmet; it was three parts looked around, but,'as far as his eyes full! While he tried to lift it with could reach, he saw no one who one hand, it slipped out of his could have rendered him any assist- fingers, and the greater part of the
There were numberless dead water was spilt. Still, enough rebodies lying about. Many of the mained to quench his fearful thirst a wounded were delirious, and all were little. crying for water. It had evidently But now he heard the rifles firing, rained, for his clothes were wet. Oh and soon he heard the earth tremble that the clouds would again send
with the thunder of the cannons. forth some refreshing showers! He Another battle was being carried saw the helmet of a horseman lying on-another field bestrewn with beside him, and turned it round in wounded and corpses. The thought order to use
it as a cup if it should occurred to him—“ Will the tumult rain again. He closed his eyes; and come nearer ?
Will the cavalry his thoughts carried him away to his again gallop past, and a horse's hoof mother. He remembered how put an end to my suffering P” Then tender she had always been when, his spirit reverted to the exciting as a boy, anything ailed him ; how scenes in Paris, and he involuntarily loving in her care when he had been repeated the verse hurt. It occurred to him how once, when he had climbed up an apple.
"Mourir pour la patrie,
C'est le sort le plus beau tree and fallen down, she had said
Le plus digne d'envie." to him, while binding up his torn hand: "Oh, François, my dear little (To die for the fatherland is the son, may you never receive a worse most glorious and enviable fate.) wound than this one; but should “No, no !” he cried; "to live for that be the case, oh that I might France would be a thousand times then be permitted to be near, and more enviable than to die for her in take care of you.” “But, mother," he had replied, “if you were not The sound of approaching steps near, and I had to suffer great again roused him. God be praised !
“My son,” she had an- Help is appearing at last! Two swered,
" then God would be near villagers came up; they bent over you to help you ;” and with these François, and lifted up his head. words—he remembered them well-- “God bless you, my friends!” the she had kissed him on both his wounded man murmured. But, oh, cheeks.
what wretches ! Is it possible ? He opened his eyes — the stars Yes, it is true! they have not come looked down upon the bloody battle- to rescue, but to rob! While the field; he glanced around him-no one raised him, the other felt for invalid carriage, no sign of help his little silver cross-a gift from near! His poor crushed limbs, his mother-and took possession of
it, and the chain to which it was balls. Some have scarcely been attached. They threw him down
but the streets bear the again with a coarse joke, and went traces of the sword and of fire-of away.
massacre, and of the awful struggle But help is near.
of death. Some trees, forming an The neutral powers of Europe avenue in the chief street, are green had tried in vain to mediate between on one side and seared on the other. the two belligerents; they were, The sunbeam hurries on to a high alas! not able to stop the war, but house with a stone façade, which they could at least offer assistance stands a little back. And here it to those who had fallen in battle; finds work, which it does with they could take them to safe places pleasure, and for the execution of of refuge, they could nurse them which it unites itself with the gentle and take care of them. The Inter- breeze, which happens to come that national Company in England soon way. Then it skips up the wall, and set to work. Their proclamation, casts a flood of joy and happiness supported by influential personages, into an open window. Through this met with a general response, and window the sunbeam and the zephyr gifts of money and material came in
enter the room. It is a lofty apartfrom every part of Great Britain. ment, and the walls are covered with In a very short time, the excellent a light paper. Onthe well-scrubbed president of the committee was.en- floors stand a dozen beds, in which abled to announce that the contri- sick and wounded are lying. The butions in money amounted to sun shines upon their pale, haggard, £200,000; that more than sixty
patient faces, and the wind fans doctors and sixteen lady-nurses them with its cool breath. were employed in the armies ; and There is a young fellow who was that, every day, three tons weight of brought in on a stretcher last week. materials were sent into the line of The men who had carried him said battle, or wherever it was most they had great trouble in lifting his needed. A good work, thoroughly body from the ground. They had begun, was also being thoroughly found a dead horse lying across his carried out.
thighs. His right arm was shatIt was a lovely afternoon in beau- tered. He was unconscious. It tiful Lorraine. The sun, which had had then been three days after the for many days hid its face, once action in which he and his comrades more shed its bright rays abroad, had fallen. Carefully they carried extending its mission of love upon him in, and laid him upon a bed. every side. It beamed upon the Some suitable remedies that were hills, and the valleys were all aglow given him revived him a little. The in its warm light. It would wil. nurse in attendance upon him spoke lingly have shone upon the more words of tender comfort to him, distant fields; but nature, as if such as only a woman can speak to ashamed of revealing with what the sick. He seemed to listen now, they were covered, quickly drew a and his voice trembled.
“ Mother, dark veil of clouds before its face, he said, “your prayer is answered; and thus hid the ghastly spectacle. for you prayed, that when I should But now it comes to a village-a be weary, you might be near to miserable, half-burnt place; but a comfort and console me, as you now village. There are a few smoking do; and it is true, mother, I am ruins of what once had been houses. very badly wounded-yes, badly Other cottages are still standing, wounded," he repeated, and opened but they are full of holes and his eyes. For a few moments he blackened with the shots of cannon gazed about him, as if bewildered ;
but then at once apologised, with the self.” He repeats : “So loved the courtesy so natural to the French : world, that He gave His only begotten "I beg your pardon a thousand Son.” He holds the book up to his times, mademoiselle; I thought I eyes, but he cannot read for tears. had heard the voice of my dear He has given His only begotten mother.” “No, not your mother, Son," he reiterates. Once more he my dear boy,” the nurse answered; lifts up the book; the corner of the "but if you like, your sister !” The turned down leaf points to the English physician examined him, promise which he reads: “That and declared the arm must be taken whosoever believeth in Him should off above the elbow, and asked him not perish, but have everlasting life.” whether he would have chloroform. “ So let it be, Lord,” he cries; He declined. He bore the operation "thou sayest whosoever believeth without wincing. Then he took the oh, save me also !” amputated limb into his left hand, А. Prussian soldier near him kissed it, and said: “With this looked up; he had heard, but could hand I have supported my poor old
not understand it. But there was mother,”—and for the first time the One who did understand. The tears rolled down his cheeks. And
prayer was short-he had there, after six days, he is still lying. strength for a longer one; but The doctor is doubtful about him, while he was still weak, the answer on account of the crushing weight came, and the concluding words of that had been laid upon him for so that great Word of Christ became many days. He has suffered much, for him a command: “He shall and with great patience. This after- have everlasting life.” Peace was noon the pain has almost left him, at once concluded. There was entire but his heart is sad and weary. surrender, and the riches of eternal From the bed on which he lies, he life were bestowed upon him-rest, sees through the window the clear freedom, and love were his eternal blue sky and the tips of the fruit portion. trees, and feels the breath of heaven The physician makes his last upon his cheek. The sight of nature round for the night, accompanied touches him. Before long his nurse, by the nurse. He comes and looks the English lady, appears. “My at François. The one hand that sister," he says, offering her his the wounded soldier still has, is hand, “ does not God hate this world clasping a little book, which he has on account of all the sin we bring pressed to his heart.
There is a into it?” She replied, “No; He smile upon his lips. It is, perchance, does not hate the world-He loves the afternoon's sunbeam that is it.” Then she takes a little book still lingering there! Or is it the out of her pocket, opens it, and reads reflection of the glory of the Sun of the glorious declaration of our Lord: Righteousness, into which he has “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." “I wish they were all as quiet as “That does not look like hatred- he seems to be; put the shade before does it?" she asks, and is just going the lamp; we will not disturb him; to continue, but some other wounded it will go well with him to-night. soldiers, who have been brought in, Yes! it will, indeed, go well with demand her presence; she, therefore, him. In two short hours the pearly marks the place, puts the book into gates of the golden city of peace are his hand, and leaves him. François thrown wide open, the Great Phylooks at the binding. “Yes," he sician takes François by the handmurmurs, “it must be true; it is he enters! Verily it is well with the Word of the God of Mercy Him- him!
Will it be well with you, my dear
declaration of Divine grace, reader, when you shall be summoned so loved the world, that He gave His by the inexorable mandate of Death only begotten Son, that whosoever into the presence of thy Maker ? It believeth in Him should not perish, will be only well as thou shalt have but have everlasting life.” believed and accepted this glorious
THOUGHTS ON THE PROMISES.
BY THE REV, JOHN EYRES.
" Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.”—2 Pet. i. 4.
It is wisely ordered that we should not be fully acquainted with the future. The redeemed of the Lord can and ought to say of the past, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. But in regard to the future movements of Divine providence, they are in ignorance. The Supreme Being conducts them "by a way which they know not.” For their consolation, He says, “Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing failed thereof." And then, for the future, the Divine faithfulness in the fulfilment of the promises will insure all that may be required. No good thing whatever shall be withheld.
It is, then, of the greatest moment that we should consider the source of these promises. Whence, and in what manner, do they come to us? All things are of God. He is the Father of all our mercies, the Author and the bestower of every good and perfect gift. But all the blessings are in Christ. And the promises are made in His name, and given wholly and securely and freely through His mediatorial work. He was with the Father as His everlasting Son before the world was. But as our Mediator, He became man, He was God marifest in the flesh, and in infinite love offered up Himself as a sacrifice for sin on the cross. It is therefore through Christ Jesus alone-through His obedience, His agony, His intercession—the blessings promised are received. God the Father hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ.
Now look at their greatness. They are not only great in their number, as they are scattered throughout the Holy Scriptures; but great in the blessings they contain. Think of the pardon of sin, and remember that every sin deserves the wrath and curse of God; and yet there is forgiveness promised to every believing penitent. Thus saith the Lord: “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions.” Then we have the great promise of the Holy Spirit: “I will give you another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth. We have also peace—the peace of God which passeth all understanding, and which fortifies the heart and mind through Christ Jesus. And, in addition to all, we have promised an eternal life of knowledge, holiness, and happiness, in our Father's house above. Truly, they are