How I Enlisted For A Soldier

LET those little boys who are fond of seeing 

soldiers parade, of gazing at their military dress

 and glittering arms, and listening to their 

warlike  music, let them read attentively the

 following beautiful story which was written 

especially for them. It is taken from the columns

 of the S. S. Times. Little boys, read this story 

with a great deal of care, and when you get

 through make up your minds to enlist, to 

become Christ's little soldiers at once.

O. W. A.

"Soldiers are coming to the town." So

said one of the boys of our school, and in five

minutes, the news had been whispered to every

child in each class. We were all delighted.

Very few of us, in our quiet country town, had

ever seen a real soldier. There was a restaurant

on the main street, the walls of which were

covered with paper, on which were represented

some battle scenes. These scenes were not

very true to life; but we children often gathered

around the door to wonder at them. There

were some blue cannons and very pink looking

men; horses that were larger than the trees;

one of the former I remember was painted

green, and several of the latter were painted

brown. The painter had evidently put the

horse paint on the trees, and the tree paint on

the horse. Then there were two more blue

cannons which were belching out the queerest

looking smoke of all colors; and people running

about in a very unusual manner, with their

heads and arms cut off. Yes, it was my delight

to stand around that door to admire those

rough paintings; and when I heard that real,

live soldiers were coming to town, you may be

sure it was good news. I slept but little that

night, and rose by daybreak. The other children

were already in the streets. We waited

a long time, and at last the beating of the

drums was heard. Then the music and soon

we saw flags waving, colors flying, bayonets

glittering. Then the troop was upon us; we

heard the rattling of the horses' feet and 

commands of the officers; we saw the bright 

swords, the brass hats; the red coats. Yes it was

 a brilliant scene, but it soon left us. The next 

day the soldiers went on their journey, and I 

returned again to admire still more the blue 

cannons, pink men, and green horses at the 

eating house. I wanted very much to be a soldier,

and soon after this I enlisted.

Another captain came to our town, and he

stayed there some time to collect soldiers for

his company; but he brought no guns or

swords or spears. His name was Jesus of 

Nazareth; well do I remember how his soldiers

tried to persuade us to enlist. They held up a

great cross; they said that was carried always

before their army. They had too, a crown of

thorns, at sight of which many ran to the 

captain and begged him to take them into his 

company. I remember how I myself could not

look at that thorny crown without weeping.

The soldiers told us of the battles we should

have to fight, and how the Captain would always

lead us, and what glorious victories we

should obtain; how much he cared for all his

soldiers. Well, I made up my mind to enlist,

and as I was going to him, a friend of mine that

had already enlisted, said to me "Come back,

you are too young, you cannot enter this army."

But the Captain heard him, and he said with a

very loud voice, "Suffer the little children to

come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such

is the kingdom of heaven." This encouraged

me, and I pressed through the crowd, and

kneeling at his feet, said, "O great Captain, I

have heard thy soldiers speak of thee; I have

seen the cross which they have lifted up, and

heard the marvelous stories which they tell

about it. I have seen, too, the crown of thorns

which they tell me thou didst once wear; and

they have told me also why thou didst wear it,

and now I have learned to love thee. I want

to show my love; I want to enlist in thy army.

My clothes are all in rags, and I shall want

thee to dress me in some of thy garments. I

haven't any sword nor coat of mail, but they

say that in thy armory there is sufficient for

“all the world."

I thought he looked at me kindly, and said,

"But how can you fight? Do you know that

my soldiers have to subdue serpents and 

dragons, and a thousand other deadly enemies?"

"Yes," I replied, "I know it all, and I

know that if you do receive me, and put on me

new garments and clothe me with armor, that I

shall be very weak., and make a very poor 


But thy servants have told me that when

any one is very weak, and will come and tell

you so, that you will make him strong. Once

you made a youth so strong, that he killed a

great giant who carried a sword, "like a weaver's

beam.” May I not enlist?"

Then I thought the Captain stooped down,

lifted me up, pressed me to his bosom, and

said "mine, mine, mine forever!" and while

he did so, his tears of love and pity fell on my

face. Yes, I became his soldier. I have

fought since then many a deadly battle, traveled

many weary marches, but he has always

been with me, and joyful has been all the Work,

all the weariness, for when I am tired, I lean

on his bosom, and I feel his loving arms around


Yes, I enlisted. With what pleasure do I

look back upon the time when I did so. My

Captain's service is more delightful every day.

Never, never may I grow weary of it. Never,

never may I lay down the sword. Never may

I give up the battle. No, no, I will follow the

cross and the crown of thorns, even unto 


My chief desire is "manfully to fight under

his banner against sin, the world, and the

devil, and to continue Christ's faithful soldier

and servant unto my life's end."

And now my dear young friend, I want to

tell you that the great Captain is in your town,

in your village; he has come there for soldiers,

he has come there for you. "Jesus of Nazareth

is passing by." Let him not pass away

from you, but run to him, enlist in his service,

and go with him.

You can enlist if you will, even while you

are reading this article. You cannot, of course,

become an old and experienced soldier all at

once. But you can begin. You can become a

soldier, if you will stop reading here, and say

to the dear Saviour, what I said to him: if you

say to him from your heart, and mean it, that

from this moment religion shall be the great 

business of your life: that you will seek to do his

will and pleasure instead of your own, and ask

him to receive you for the sake of Calvary, and

to help you to carry out your resolution. If

you will do this, then you will have enlisted,

then you will have to commence to fight, to

live the life of a Christian, and hard work

you'll find it.

When earthly captains enlist men, they take

them of all kinds and shapes; some with their

arms, and some with their legs too long; some

high shouldered, others knock-kneed, others

again with their heads on one side; bad walkers,

awkward fellows, that look like anything but

soldiers; their clothes, too, all ragged and torn;

hats knocked in, shoes all to pieces and so on.

Now, when the Captain has persuaded one of

these rough looking men to enlist, he fastens a

little bit of red ribbon to the old hat of the man,

and that makes him a soldier; it floats in the

wind, and it is all there is to tell of the change

which has taken place to tell that he is a soldier.

He has not his clothes yet, nor his weapons,

neither has he been drilled, but he has enlisted.

So, my young friend, if you will go to the

great Captain, and do what I have advised you,

if, while you are reading this, you will say these

words to him, he will put the little ribbon on

you. Your parents won't see it, your friends

won't know it, but when you go out into the

crowded city the busy world tomorrow he

alone will look down from heaven, will pick you

out of the multitude, and say, "that's my little

soldier, there is the ribbon, the mark which I

placed upon him yesterday when he enlisted."

Soon he will bring you new garments; he

will give you the "sword of the Spirit," the

"breastplate of righteousness,"and" the helmet

of salvation." He will exercise and drill

you in his service, until you will be a thorough

soldier of the cross, until men, the moment they

see you, shall know that you are one of the

Christian warriors of the Most High God.

My dear young friend, let me beg of you to

enlist before you retire tonight. Let the

Saviour's ribbon, his mark, his stamp, be upon

you ere you retire to rest.