“Consider the Lilies!”
On reaching the city, it was much admired, and attracted a good many eyes in the show the next day. I believe there has hardly been a “Floral Procession” since, without a similar device; and among the banners used at the Warren-street Chapel, is a bright one of silk, which has on it the cross and the lilies finely painted.
Now, let me tell you why I have sketched this incident as an introduction to the following pages. On the 24th of December, 1850, a letter came to me from a friend, asking if I was preparing a tract, as in former days, for a New Year’s Gift, or if I could help him, his brother and sister teachers, in selecting some fit and cheap book for all the two hundred children they love to meet every Sunday. At first, I only thought of answering that I was sorry to say he must look to somebody else for what was wanted. But I did not quite like to do this; and, presently remembering the achievement of Mr. Perseverance, I said to myself, if he got that cross made in a few hours, why cannot a tract be made in a few days? I consulted the printer, and he agreed to do all he could. So we went to work immediately, and here are the “Gems Gathered in Haste.”
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Gems gathered in haste.
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To show how great evils may be prevented by a little care, and how much good a child may do, let me begin with the story of
The little Hero of Haarlem.
At an early period in the history of Holland, a boy was born in Haarlem, a town remarkable for its variety of fortune in war, but happily still more so for its manufactures and inventions in peace. His father was a sluicer,—that is, one whose employment it was to open and shut the sluices, or large oak-gates, which, placed at certain regular distances, close the entrance of the canals, and secure Holland from the danger to which it seems exposed, of finding itself under water, rather than above it. When water is wanted, the sluicer raises the sluices more or less, as required, as a cook turns the cock of a fountain, and closes them again carefully at night; otherwise the water would flow into the canals, then overflow them, and inundate the whole country; so that even the little children in Holland are fully