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True Words for Brave Men A Book for Soldiers' and Sailors' Libraries   By: (1819-1875)

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TRUE WORDS FOR BRAVE MEN.

BY CHARLES KINGSLEY,

LATE RECTOR OF EVERSLEY; CHAPLAIN TO THE QUEEN AND TO THE PRINCE OF WALES.

A BOOK FOR SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' LIBRARIES .

ELEVENTH THOUSAND.

LONDON: KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, & CO., 1 PATERNOSTER SQUARE.

1884.

The Rights of Translation and of Reproduction are Reserved .

Dedicated BY KIND PERMISSION TO GENERAL SIR WILLIAM CODRINGTON, G.C.B., AND ADMIRAL WELLESLEY, C.B., IN MEMORY OF CHARLES KINGSLEY, WHO WAS PROUD OF THEIR FRIENDSHIP, AND LOVED AND HONOURED THEM AS HE LOVED AND HONOURED ALL BRAVE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS.

"Yet was he courteous still to every wight, And loved them that did to armes incline."

SPENSER.

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

This little volume is selected from the unpublished sermons and addresses of Charles Kingsley by the request of a Colonel of Artillery, and with the sanction of an Army Chaplain of long experience, who knew the influence of his writings on soldiers, and who wish that that influence may live, though he is no longer here. The Lecture on Cortez was given at Aldershot Camp in 1858, and the Address to Brave Soldiers and Sailors written for and sent out to the troops before Sebastopol in the winter of 1855, when Mr. Kingsley's own heart, with that of all England, was grieving over the sufferings of our noble army in the Crimea. F. E. K.

I. THE GOOD CENTURION; OR, THE MAN UNDER AUTHORITY.

"And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home, sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus said unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me, and I say unto this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel." MATT. viii. 5 10.

We find in Holy Scripture, that of the seven heathens who were first drawn to our Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel, three were soldiers.

The first was the Centurion, of whom our Lord speaks in such high terms of commendation.

The next, the Centurion who stood by His cross, and said, "Truly this was the son of God." Old legends say that his name was Longinus, and tell graceful tales of his after life, which one would fain believe, if there were any evidence of their truth.

The third, of course, was Cornelius, of whom we read in the Acts of the Apostles.

Now these three Centurions commanding each a hundred men had probably risen from the ranks; they were not highly educated men; they had seen endless cruelty and immorality; they may have had, at times, to do ugly work themselves, in obedience to orders. They were doing, at the time when they are mentioned in Scripture, almost the worst work which a soldier can do. For they were not defending their own country against foreign enemies. They were keeping down a conquered nation, by a stern military despotism, in which the soldiery acted not merely as police, but as gaolers and executioners. And yet three men who had such work as this to do, are singled out in Scripture to become famous through all time, as the first fruits of the heathen; and of one of them our Lord said, "I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel."

Why is this? Was there anything in these soldiers' profession, in these soldiers' training, which made them more ready than other men to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ? And if so; what was it?

Let us take the case of this first Centurion, and see if it will tell us. We will not invent any reasons of our own for his great faith... Continue reading book >>




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