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The Ravens and the Angels With Other Stories and Parables   By: (1828-1896)

The Ravens and the Angels With Other Stories and Parables by Elizabeth Rundle Charles

First Page:

E text prepared by Peter Vachuska, Chuck Greif, Josephine Paolucci, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net)

THE RAVENS AND THE ANGELS:

With Other Stories and Parables.

by

MRS. RUNDLE CHARLES

Author of "The Schönberg Cotta Family," &c. &c.

London: T. Nelson and Sons, Paternoster Row. Edinburgh; and New York. 1894 All Rights Reserved.

Contents.

THE RAVENS AND THE ANGELS, 7

ECCE HOMO, 33

THE COTTAGE BY THE CATHEDRAL, 59

THE UNKNOWN ARCHITECT OF THE MINSTER, 69

ONLY THE CRYPT, 74

THE SEPULCHRE AND THE SHRINE, 80

THE CATHEDRAL CHIMES, 91

THE RUINED TEMPLE, 98

THE CLOCK BELL AND THE ALARM BELL, 106

THE BLACK SHIP, 109

THE ISLAND AND THE MAIN LAND, 125

THE JEWEL OF THE ORDER OF THE KING'S OWN, 137

THE ACORN, 148

PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF A FERN, 153

THORNS AND SPINES, 158

PARABLES IN HOUSEHOLD THINGS, 161

"THINGS USING US," 166

SUNSHINE, DAYLIGHT, AND THE ROCK, 170

WANDERERS AND PILGRIMS, 172

THE ARK AND THE FORTRESS, 175

THE THREE DREAMS, 178

THOU AND I, 183

WHAT MAKES THINGS MUSICAL, 187

THE SONG WITHOUT WORDS, 192

The Ravens and the Angels.

A STORY OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

I.

In those old days, in that old city, they called the Cathedral and they thought it the house of God. The Cathedral was the Father's house for all, and therefore it was loved and honoured, and enriched with lavish treasures of wealth and work, beyond any other father's house.

The Cathedral was the Father's house, and therefore close to its gates might nestle the poor dwellings of the poor, too poor to find a shelter anywhere besides; because the central life and joy of the house of God was the suffering, self sacrificing Son of Man; and dearer to Him, now and for ever, as when He was on earth, was the feeblest and most fallen human creature He had redeemed than the most glorious heavenly constellation of the universe He had made.

And so it happened that when Berthold, the stone carver, died, Magdalis, his young wife, and her two children, then scarcely more than babes, Gottlieb and little Lenichen, were suffered to make their home in the little wooden shed which had once sheltered a hermit, and which nestled into the recess close to the great western gate of the Minster.

Thus, while, inside, from the lofty aisles pealed forth, night and day, the anthems of the choir, close outside, night and day, rose also, even more surely, to God, the sighs of a sorrowful woman and the cries of little children whom all her toil could hardly supply with bread. Because, He hears the feeblest wail of want, though it comes not from a dove or even from a harmless sparrow, but a young raven. And He does not heed the sweetest anthem of the fullest choir, if it is a mere pomp of sound. Because, while the best love of His meanest creatures is precious to Him, the second best of His loftiest creatures is intolerable to Him. He heeds the shining of the drops of dew and the rustling of the blades of grass. But from creatures who can love He cannot accept the mere outside offering of creatures which can only make a pleasant sound.

All this, or such as this, the young mother Magdalis taught her babes as they could bear it.

For they needed such lessons.

The troubles of the world pressed on them very early, in the shape little children can understand little hands and feet nipped with frost, hunger and darkness and cold.

Not that the citizens of that city were hypocrites, singing the praises of God, whilst they let His dear Lazaruses vainly crave at their gates for their crumbs... Continue reading book >>




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