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The Message of Hope by A.L.O.E.

Charles Doe A.L.O.E.

“The Message of Hope” written by Charlotte Maria Tucker (A.L.O.E.) is about hope.


“How glad, oh, how very glad, the people shut up in the ark must have been when the dove came back with the leaf!” said little Mina, who was sitting at the feet of her mother, with a picture-book on her knee. The eyes of the child were resting on a picture of Noah’s dove fluttering back to a hand outstretched to receive it. “You know, mamma,” continued the child, “Noah and his family had been for so many months floating about on the top of the water, and they may have grown sadly tired of never seeing anything green,—no leaves, no flowers, no fruit! They may sometimes have felt afraid that they would never more wander over the nice grass, or sit under the trees, or gather pretty flowers in the gardens. Don’t you think that the people in the ark must have been very joyful when the dove brought the olive-leaf, dear mamma?”

“I think so indeed,” said the mother; “I do not doubt that they looked on the leaf as a message of hope from God.”

“A message from God,” repeated little Mina thoughtfully; “perhaps it was so,—perhaps God made the dove pluck the leaf on purpose to send pleasure to Noah Mamma,” added the child, looking up into the face of her parent, “does God ever send such messages now?”

“I believe that the Lord does,” replied Mrs. Irving. “I remember an instance where a leaf, not from a tree, but a book, came in such a way and at such a time that they who received it could scarcely doubt that the loving Lord had sent it expressly to cheer them.”

“Did a dove bring it, mamma?”

“No, not a dove,” said the lady, smiling, “but one as little likely to bring a message of comfort. The anecdote is a fact; the incident which I am going to relate occurred during the Indian Mutiny.”

“O mamma! I have heard of that terrible time, when the dark natives murdered so many people, when soldiers shot down their own officers, and killed even women and poor little children!”

“In that terrible time,” said Mrs. Irving, “a lady called Mrs. Christian, with her child and a friend, were thrown by the cruel enemy into prison. They had no one to help them, no one to defend, and it seemed to be but too likely that they too would be murdered as so many others had been.”

“O mamma! it must have been dreadful to be in the hands of the enemy then! The ladies must have trembled for fear whenever they heard any one coming near the door of their prison!”

“Very anxious and sadly frightened, I have no doubt, the ladies were,” said Mrs. Irving. “The poor little child fell ill, as if to add to their troubles. The mother begged for medicine, and a little was brought wrapped up in a soiled bit of paper. Mina, that bit of paper was just like the olive-leaf which the dove brought to Noah,—it was like a message of hope from God.”

“O mamma! what could have been on the leaf?”

“A portion of God’s own Word. The native who sent the medicine had wrapped it up in a leaf torn from a Bible! Now bring me my Bible, dear, and I will read to you a part of what the poor prisoners found on the leaf.”

Mina rose and went for the Bible. When she had placed it in her mother’s hands, the lady turned over the pages till she found the fifty-first chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

“I never read this chapter without thinking of those captive ladies,” said Mrs. Irving, “and what their feelings must have been when, on the soiled scrap of paper in which a heathen had wrapped the medicine, they read such verses as these: ‘I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass? . . . The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is His name. . . . And I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand.’”

“O mamma!” exclaimed Mina, “that was indeed just like a message from God! Do you think that the Lord made that leaf be taken to the prison on purpose to comfort the ladies?”

“I do think it, my child; and I believe that the prisoners thought so also.”

“And were the ladies saved, and the poor sick child,—did they not die in prison?” cried Mina. “Did they come out to be happy and free, where no one would harm them again?”

“They did come out,” said her mother; “the captive exiles did not ‘die in the pit,’—the Lord had indeed covered them with the shadow of His hand. And I dare say,” continued the lady, “that the leaf which came to them as a message of hope in the prison is still dearly treasured as a remembrance of the comfort which it brought to their hearts in the hour of sorrow and danger.”

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