The Colors of the Regiment; or, "His Banner Over Me Was Love."

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 13
IT is related of one of England’s greatest commanders of the last century, the conqueror of a large tract of country in Northern India, called Scinde, that when he lay a-dying he asked his son-in-law—also a distinguished soldier—to wave the colors of the regiment he had long commanded, and led to victory more than once, over his bed—a soldier’s reverence and affection for the flag under which he had served for many years— and this being done the general passed away. One can only hope and fervently wish that the well-known motto of his family, “Ready, aye ready!” was true in this splendid old soldier’s case. “READY, ALWAYS READY!” was he to serve his country and his sovereign, as his oft-wounded body would show. Let us hope that he WAS “READY, AYE READY,” through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and faith in His word, to “depart and be with Christ, which is far better:” for what are all the honors which a sovereign can heap, and rightly so, upon a victorious general, when he is called to die and leave all such well-deserved and hardly-earned distinctions behind, unless, like another successful leader whose almost last words were, “Come and see how a Christian can die!” he was trusting everything to that precious blood which cleanseth from all sin? Reading many years since the above account, one’s mind went at once to that part of a verse which stands at the head of this paper (Song of Solomon, chapter 2, verse 4): “His banner over ME” —poor, unknown, good-for-nothing, hell-deserving ME— “was love.” Unknown to fame—without title, minus decorations— and yet loved with an everlasting love, for “GOD SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Wonderful, is it not, my dear reader? And yet not more wonderful than true: for you and I have to do with a God who “cannot lie,” and with Christ who is “THE TRUTH.” Yes, and it is love all on one side—His side, for “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:1010Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)). Only to think of it! Loved with an everlasting love—untiring, unchangeable. But do not forget the very same One who said “He that believeth is not condemned” said “he that believeth NOT IS condemned already,” and “he that believeth not shall be damned.”
In these days of prophesying smooth things one must seek to be faithful and put both sides of the truth. But surely you will not reject such love—so costly that before God could gratify it righteously His Son had to become “THE propitiation for our sins,” had to “give His life for a ransom,” to die “the just for the unjust,” and thereby to so clear the throne of God’s justice that now He—the Holy One—can be and is “the Justifier of Him that believeth in Jesus.” Referring again to the waving of the “colors,” as the flags are called, which were waved over the expiring general’s bed, there are two—one composed of the Union Jack, the other of silk the color of the “facings,” that is, the cuffs and collars of the officers and men composing the regiment.
It so happened that the “facings” of the corps above alluded to are white. How it would remind one trusting to the precious blood of what a soul, cleansed by the precious blood, appears before God, “whiter than snow.” The colors on the Union Jack, too, are very expressive — red, white and blue, the red reminding one of that “crimson tide most precious,” the white that which the “crimson tide” does, the blue the heavenly color which speaks of that place the once deeply-dyed sinner who believes is introduced into —so the waving of the colors would be very suggestive.
But now, my reader, after all is said and done, how is it with You? Not how do you hope it will be some day, you are not sure when, but NOW—today, for NOW is the accepted time and NOW, TODAY is THE day of salvation. God grant you may know and enjoy at once, if never before, what faith in God’s word about the precious blood brings — prays yours affectionately, S. V. H.