CHAPTER XXX. Farewell!
[Image of page 371]
"Oh, fear not in a world like this,
And thou shalt know ere long--
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and be strong!
* * * *
"Oh, talk not of unhonour'd dust,
An unremember'd day!
Blest is the memory of the just
When he has pass'd away."
[Image of page 372]
[Page 372 is blank]
[Image of page 373]
AND now, before bringing my labour to a close, I would seek to gather up and urge a few of those lessons which this simple and unpretending, but thoroughly manly and consistent life, appears to suggest.
And, first, I would appeal to those who with me have traced its progress, step by step, --asking them whether it does not establish beyond all controversy this one point, that a soldier can be a Christian.
I mean a soldier in the ranks. The question has been settled gloriously for his officer; has it been settled for him? I point to the life of Marjouram for a reply.
There are two lines of a hymn running thus--
"Here, Lord, I give myself away--
'Tis all that I can do."
Whether he ever saw them I do not know; but he had learned their lesson by heart. The simplest events of his life appear to have been regarded by him as so many occasions for detecting the careful tending and anxious love of his Father. His moments of intercourse were all
[Image of page 374]
availed of for the promotion of his Saviour's kingdom and glory. What influence he had was turned to the same account. And the holy enthusiasm that inspired him enabled him to overcome many deficiencies in education, to rise superior to the hindrances of position, and, unobtrusively on the one hand, yet firmly and conspicuously on the other, to assume the lead in New Zealand as a vanguard Christian soldier.
Let it be taken for granted, he occupied no post of easy security. He who dares be singular must expect singular treatment; and Marjouram often knew what it was to be surrounded by familiars watching for his halting. Yet so genuine was his reliance on the Lord Jesus, --so thoroughly did he realise that he was a portion of Him, and hence safe in Him, --so utterly had he parted with himself, been, as it were, taken off his own hands and laid claim to by Another as of His body, that his life was graced by the holiest consistency and the truest self-denial.
Emphatically he was not his own. Had it been otherwise, how different the testimony he would have left behind him!
But particularly to be noticed is his zealous service throughout that guerilla war, which, though not partaking of the magnitude or importance of a grand European struggle, was almost more formidable to our soldiers from the uncivilised ferocity and craft of the tribes with whom it was waged. Tried by this serious test, we discover him in perfect peace. As the servant of his
[Image of page 375]
GLORY TO GOD ON HIGH!
sovereign, his hand finds work to do, and he does it with all his might, whether it be in the form of a secret confidential expedition, of some voyage of discovery, or of an attack or surprise. At the same time, he seizes every opportunity, when the temporal sword is laid down, to take up the spiritual, and to raise in prayer and thanksgiving, with many gathered round him, the voice that had been but that moment engaged in a far other, though not less lawful cause.
Then, too, on his voyage home, he must have all those given him that sail with him. Hence the eager promptitude with which he establishes schools for the young, Bible-classes for the adults, ministrations for all. To do this was the meat and drink of one who had learnt much at his Master's feet and drank deeply of His Spirit.
He rests from his labours. Follow him, comrades! You have heard his voice from the ranks, --you hear it now from the skies. It tells you all is true, --it summons you along the same path to the same rest. Let our surrender of heart be as genuine and as uncompromising as his, --our communion with God as close, --our devotedness as entire. Quietly and humbly he lived and worked, -- grandly and gloriously he folded his weary hands, and rested for ever from his toil. So let us live the whole-heart life, --the life about which there can be no mistake, --the life undeniably for Christ, that our career, like his, may triumphantly decide the question, "Can a soldier be a Christian?"
[Image of page 376]
Miss Waring's exquisite hymn, as precious for its practical usefulness as for its poetic beauty, and breathing the real spirit of the Christian life, may appropriately close these pages:--
"Wherever in the world I am,
In whatsoe'er estate, --
I have a fellowship with hearts
To keep and cultivate;
And a work of lowly love to do
For the Lord on Whom I wait.
"So I ask Thee for the daily strength,
To none that ask denied,
And a mind to blend with outward life,
While keeping at Thy side;
Content to fill a little space,
If Thou be glorified.
"There are briers besetting every path,
That call for patient care;
There is a cross in every lot,
And an earnest need for prayer;
But a lowly heart that leans on Thee
Is happy anywhere.
"In a service which Thy will appoints
There are no bonds for me,
For my inmost heart is taught the truth
That makes Thy children free;
And a life of self-renouncing love
Is a life of liberty!"