NOT many months ago something was shown and told to me of a youth whom I had known in his in-fancy. Time flies swiftly, and I could hardly realize that the lovely boy I had once held in my arms was already a man and a hero.
I was visiting a lady when another entered the room with something carefully folded in her hands, and said, “I am going to show you this, because you will appreciate it and understand my feelings.” What do you think it was? A dark blue apron, made to come up across the breast and down below the knees, like a butcher’s apron. Then she told me its story. Her son had been called to go and preach the gospel in Bohemia. He was very young, and must have been filled with the spirit of his mission to go cheerfully so far away across the world among a strange people, he who had never before been separated from his own kindred and mountain home.
The country to which he went was a marked spot upon the earth for the great scenes which had been enacted there, and must be dear to the Lord for the sake of the great and good men who laid down their lives for love of his word.
More than a thousand years ago, many of that people were searching for the truth with such earnestness that they cheerfully devoted their fortunes and their lives to that end. They lived one long-continued warfare in its pursuit, and many at last perished in the flames or by the sword, but Bohemia was the place to which still came the lovers of the Bible to speak together in secret, and from there the truth spread into other countries, while the faithful at home hid and preserved the Holy Bible from complete destruction, through century after century. Nation after nation made war upon these religionists, and they were deprived of their rights one by one, until neither their property nor lives were safe.
So to that country stained with the blood, her streams clouded with the ashes, of martyrs, went Louis, to tell them a new meaning of the Scriptures, tidings of great joy, the restoration of the Gospel, and the second coming of our Lord and Saviour to reign upon the earth, surrounded by the pure, the noble, and all who have suffered and died for his cause.
But the laws of that country are still very strict, and Louis was compelled to adopt a disguise by which he could enter the houses and leave a few printed pages to open the minds of the people to further inquiry. So he, with a companion, traveled together as tinkers, with an outfit for mending kitchen utensils, and this was the apron he wore.
Oh, what humility ! thus to descend to fulfill the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Can you imagine the anxiety, the hopes and prayers, of his father, his loving mother, and all the kindred who had known him from infancy to manhood, while he wandered through that land whose record was volume after volume of religious discussions and persecutions ?
But he who called him to go, brought him back in safety and honor. Joy and peace are theirs for faith that has been proven, and work well done. There are many nations yet to be visited and invited to the truth, and the missionary can truly see that ” the harvest is great but the laborers are few,” and the hearts of men are inclined more to seeking after riches and pleasure than giving their service unto the Lord.
All honor to the young missionary who wore the garb of humility and bore his Master’s message. Such are builders in His kingdom, and He will delight to own and bless them.