Many years after, in digging up the ground about the market-place, the little bones of that drummer-boy were found buried alongside the bones of the tall Hungarian men amongst whom he had fallen. The French people have put up a statue to his memory in the town of Avesnes, and he is shown still beating the charge on his drum, and looking out toward the frontier whence the enemy of his people came.
In the early days of the history of the children of Israel the people were ruled by judges, and it was not until they saw the nations round about them under the leadership of kings that they desired a king of their own. In spite of the warnings of the old prophet Samuel, they demanded a king, and Samuel chose a young man, afterwards King Saul, to be their ruler.
But when the people came together to make Saul King they could not find him. They searched a long while, and finally God told them that Saul had hidden himself amongst the baggage. There they looked, and sure enough, as the old story says, there was a king “hid in the stuff.”
That was many hundreds of years ago, and kings are no longer made in that way. But the story has a meaning still for every boy. There is still a king hid in the stuff that goes to make up every boy. A great many things about a boy in which he hides his kingship seem no better than the worthless stuff in which Saul hid. There are mistakes, outbursts of temper, laziness, selfishness, impatience, deceit, and cruelty. But hidden beneath all that, God would have you remember that there is still a king hid in the stuff.
A story is told of the son of Louis XVI of France, whose father and mother were put to death by the people. He was thus left an orphan, and was sent to live with a wicked man and woman who tried to teach him all manner of wrongdoing. But when they tried to persuade him to do wrong, he would refuse, and say that he was a king’s son, and would some day be king himself, therefore he could not stoop so low.
I wish every boy, when he is tempted to do some unmanly thing, would remember his kingship, too. You are not the son of an earthly king, but you are each the son of a Heavenly King, and you, too, have the making of a king in you. You are too great to do mean things. There is an old hymn which runs like this:
“My Father is rich in houses and lands,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands;
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold
He has gone to prepare us a mansion untold.
I’m the child of a King, the child of a King,
With Jesus my Saviour, I’m the child of a King.”
And when you would do a mean thing, ask yourself if that is worthy of your kingship. Remember also that only those who live Kingly lives are worthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.