(A Meeting between Edward and Spurgeon)
Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It was while visiting again at the house of Sir Harold Simpson that just as he was leaving, having said his good-byes to Sir Harold he left the drawing room and walked down the hall. Then just as he had reached the main door, Spurgeon arrived at the door, it seemed once again that fate had taken a hand in his life. There was to be an informal meeting at the house, Mrs. Simpson had arranged for Spurgeon to speak to some Christian's activists, friends of hers from different churches.
"Edward don't leave,” he said “we were going to have a short meeting just now, and I would like to see you afterwards if possible."
Edward at first was going to decline as he did have a full day of work ahead, but something about this cheery red head attracted him so he accepted his offer. He positioned himself near the side of the room so he could watch the various attendees. They were quite a varied group, old men, and women, some from well to do families and some rougher looking from lower class backgrounds, young enthusiastic looking individuals, and a few bookish types. Once everyone was seated Spurgeon stood up and started his talk.
"My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I wish today to talk to you of the small and the insignificant, the little things that can make or break a kingdom. I am sure you all learned in school the famous poem about ‘King Richards’s’ defeat, due to the loss of his horse’s shoe. This entire great kingdom was lost, the battle lost and for what? Only for the lack of a nail, only one nail and he lost his kingdom, someone who had not done their job properly who had neglected the small trifle, the checking of the horses shoes, ah, so sad is it not? Well my brothers and sisters just as a physical battle, a kingdom, can be lost over such an insignificant thing as a nail, let me tell you brothers and sisters that so can battles in God’s kingdom be won or lost over small things. Answer me this question what of God's kingdom? Does His kingdom also stand on such little things, things that we often put down or put aside, the unimportant little things to mundane for us to do? Yes, it does! What’s more, so does the great deceiver, Satan himself run his kingdom on such things, he knows the importance of little sins, little indiscretions, little murmurs, little choices.
The Devil runs his kingdom on much the same lines as God, for he copies God in all, he sees the importance of little things, little sins that eat like a canker, destroying the soul, little things left undone that cause the house to crumble. Yes, the small and little insignificant things are of much value to our Lord and Savoir, and to the enemy of our soul Satan.”
Spurgeon pulled out a small book of devotional verse and started to relate to them a short poem from within. “This is a poem I read sometime back, it spoke to me at that time due to some little seeds of doubt I had let slide into my heart. It was to me an eye opener at that time and so I would now share with you the beauty within its verses.
‘A little seed of sin was sown,
That grew with little heed.’
How often is it not that these areas of our life that trouble us so all started as little insignificant things, never would we have entertained them for a moment had we but realised what monsters they would grow into.
‘By door or window little sins will win
A way that widens for the larger sin,’
Just a tiny crack, a little niche and so it takes root and begins it journey of destruction.
‘As tiniest lichen’s, climbing up the wall,
May lend a hand to help the ivy crawl.
That is to tower a conqueror over all
The house in ruin, crumbling to the full.’
These little sins then begin to pave the way; they lay hardness upon our spirit until we are dull to the greater evils. We become numb to the sins that then start to enter in upon the now paved road of our soul. That my brothers and sisters have been the downfall of many a great worker for the Lord. You must be militant and wage a war against sin, you cannot compromise or give it even the smallest of inroads or it will slowly eat away at your convictions until you are no longer of use to the Lord.”
As he finished reading the poem he paused for a moment of reflection, watching intently Edwards countenance, as he sat there by the side of the hall. The moment seemed like an eternity to Edward who felt his soul being opened up to scrutiny as Spurgeon’s eyes penetrated his soul as if searching for some glimpse some light of response within its caverns. Then looking around the room he once more began to talk.
“If sin is growing then why not cut it down now, take up that axe and chop it down before it grows to strong and brings about your ruin. Now is the time for now is his call to you don't put off till tomorrow what can be done now. You all are busy for the Lord but often in the multitude of things to do, you often put off things, especially things that seem little or are not so pleasant to you. By putting off these things beyond there proper place and time, one duty treads upon another and all of your duties then become felt as irksome obligations, a yoke beneath which you fret and loose your peace of mind. This then causes bad tempers to flare, words to be said in haste that are later regretted, seeds of discontent sowed that can cause irreparable damage. Then in most cases we cannot complete our task as we are faced with a large insurmountable object of our own creating. We cannot see God’s plan and so we often lean to our thinking and do that we think is best, not really plodding away one task at a time as God had intended.”
As Spurgeon stops he reaches down and then hold’s up his Bible, waving it in the air for all to see. “See this? Everything flows so easy when we just follow the Master’s plan held within its pages. For we are like the weavers of the goblins who are busy following out the pattern of a well-known artist as they endeavor to match the threads of divers color on the reverse side and see the result. It cannot be done though for it is only when complete that they can admire their work of beauty the flowers and figures worthy of the palaces of kings. So do we work and suffer and often see neither the end, nor the fruit of our labors as we toil away seemingly without fruit. But God does, He sees the end, He sees the results that will bloom, He knows the harvest that waits although it may be hidden from our eyes, for He is the Great Master Artist, who has painted out the plan. Everywhere it is invisible to all mortals, the unseen world of the spirit, and yet it is present, just hidden from our mortal eyes, and it is reflected in the beauty and intricacies of His creation. Then one day when we are released from this life, ah yes, then we will see its fulfillment, its beauty, the purpose behind it all, the lessons we learned from these little tasks and tests. Yes, then we will comprehend the wisdom of God in putting before us the mundane little tasks, the bothersome personalities, all of these little things that we so often rebel against. The tasks that seemed so wearisome and dull to us, will then be seen in the halls of His palace, upon the great walls, works of art, the flimsy web that we have spun now will be truly seen as His masterpiece, a tapestry of His design. There is nothing so small that we cannot honor God by asking Him for His guidance, or insult Him by taking it into our own hands. It matters not how minuet, or obscure they may be. He is the chief of all, it is part of His purpose, and small things do not trouble Him, He puts them along our way to see our reaction to them.”
Never before had Edward sat so intently listening to a preacher, he was riveted to his seat, each word seemed to be just for him. He felt feelings stir within, as if some hidden door had been opened and a light was now flooding into his soul. He watched as Spurgeon then slowly walked over to the piano and played a single note, clear beautiful. “See how it sounds, on its own meaningless but together.” He continues to play a small refrain, “It is beautiful is it not?” then suddenly one of the notes was off, people cringed. “Ah, you noticed? One little note out of tune and it was noticed. It can make or break the masterpiece, one small insignificant instrument, a cymbal a triangle, yet it can ruin the whole composition of the musician can it not? Do you see the importance of it? We acclaim the soloist the conductor, but what of the small little member of the orchestra who sees not glory or fame, yet without him it would be all naught. We ought to cherish the small things, the little ones, the virtues as I said that we so often pass by, those which grow in the shadows watered by His blood, unselfishness, humility, patience, kindness, helpfulness, sympathy, meekness, and truthfulness. These virtues are as the flowers which love the coolness, the shade, and which have no brilliancy of their own, yet they cease not to shed there fragrance everywhere. People pass them by not noticing their beauty as they hid in the corners; yet they give of such perfume, ah, such aroma as to fill the halls of heaven. Then there are the more splendorous ones, the ones that are found above in the light, the ones every one sees, admires and wishes to have, like the Rose so beauteous to behold, the symbol of love to all mankind. They catch every eye, yes these are the seemingly even greater virtues, the ones that man so cherishes, wisdom, acclaim, respect, admiration, zeal, and charisma these are some of them that everyone wishes to have. Why? Because they are esteemed of men as being desirable therefore they are desired. We should not judge the greatness or smallness of a virtue that may appear small in your eyes by outward appearance. A little virtue while it is done in the power of Christ’s love it is more shinning, more radiant in God’s eye than all of these great ones done in duty only. While others do their great deeds and show off their outward virtues with very little of Gods love, for they have taken credit or been puffed up, or leaned not on the power from above.
Those that no-one seeks after are the humble virtues, the hidden jewels that people seek not after, do not even notice in their hustle and bustle. No, for they seek after the more noticeable jewels of Glory of man, the Power of man, and the Acclaim of man, the Admiration of man. They seek success, visible accomplishments and the recognition of man. Yes, many do give of their time; their life in service to the most high, but that is the key! They give Service! They are ‘IN Service’ it's the service, the acclaim, the popularity, the success, which is what they seek after. Yes, they do much; they accomplish much for they receive much. Yet, it is these little ones, unheralded by the world, unseen and unknown, those who give their lives daily, in lowliness of spirit, giving praises from their lips unto God, seeking neither recognition nor praise of man, seeking neither gain nor glory, but giving out of love. Not man pleasers, but vessels of humility and unselfishness. Caring not for the opinion of man or craving the praise of man. Ah, how this world lack in numbers the like of these, the ones who seek the hidden virtues at the foot of Calvary, the virtues dripped in the blood of the cross, rather than the showy and glorious ones that catch the praise and admiration of man. Little things, little people, little virtues, these though are the Greats in God's eyes. For these are as windows into the world of the heavenly, they are glimpses into the world beyond. Humble, unselfish, giving, that my brothers and sisters is as the angels of God, the way of the heavens and show us that we have a lot to learn. To be willing to do the lowly; the humble, the insignificant, giving your all, putting every iota of your will behind it, giving up yourself, not seeking reward, but only to serve the Master, this is love, this is love, and this is devotion. Others may bask in their glory now; they may revel in their accomplishments now. Well, they have received their rewards, but these, God's children who have been ignored and cast to the sidelines, these will receive the praise and glory of the Almighty Himself. The heavens shall reverberate with the sound of the angels, as they give honor and glory to these ones. For these are as the widow woman, yes, they are the ones who gave their all, they cast in all their living expecting nothing in return, and great will be their reward in heaven.”
Edward felt his heart fill with shame; he was one of those who had sought after the glory and fame, the praise and acclaim of man. Once more Spurgeon paused in his speaking, looking up to the heavens and closing his eyes as if for inspiration from on high, he then looked around scanning the audience, and his words came softly and gently.
“Love is the true measure by which to judge all things, to look through the eyes of love not pride. These great virtues in the splendor are dangerous because they give way to vanity and vainglory if not immersed in the love of God. While these smaller more insignificant virtues may shine brighter in heavens halls for they come from the heart of love. Meekness and quietness of spirit, submissiveness to Gods will, sweetness under provocation, calmness in the midst of turmoil, absence of worry, all these are virtues that are small in mans eye, yet manifold in God’s. To love and delight in the good and cover the defects in the one who misunderstood you and opposed your plans yesterday. Ah, that is a hard thing to do is it not, the one whose peculiar ways grate upon your most sensitive nerve causing you to squirm, whose natural faults are those you most revolt against. Yes it by far more easier to act lovingly to those you seldom come in contact with, those ones whose tempers and prejudices do not irritate and rub against yours, than it is to keep up an habitual love toward those whose faults are always forcing themselves upon you, stirring up your own, especially when they surround you like pesky troublesome stinging little midges in clouds, incessantly biting. That then my brothers is the time to lift your voice unto God in prayer. Prayer the very air that God doth breath, ah, smell the perfume, hmm, oh how it pleases the Almighty when we bring all things to Him in prayer. Then the sweetness of His healing balm will flow forth giving rest and peace to the troubled soul. This then is my message to each of you. Do not despise the small things for they are great in God’s eyes and do not belittle the small sins and attacks of the enemy, for they reap great results. If resisted in the power of God then they bring forth growth and faith, if not resisted then they lead the way to doubt and defeat. Now this then I call upon you all to remember, and that is to pray, pray no matter how small it may seem, for those small prayers will lift the mighty mountains. Now my brothers and sisters, it seems I am running out of time so let us close in a word of prayer.”
After he had finished he made his way over to sit beside Edward, he stopped a couple of times to share a few words with some of the audience, but soon he had taken a seat beside Edward.
“So now my dear brother, how are you? I sensed you were in a hurry before so please excuse my bluntness now, you see I wished to talk with you; the Lord has been laying you upon my heart. I feel He is calling out to you as a lost sheep to come and put aside the ways of this world and embrace Him. Do you feel this call? Have you my brother got little vines of greed and envy crawling up your house? They tangle around choking out the Lord’s voice as the weeds do choke the flowers. So my dear Edward take heed to my advice,” he said pausing for a second. “You seem a man of vision and with a talent in all you do. There is though something lacking in your life, for God created you with a special place within your body which he destined for him self! That is your soul. Does the sin of pride and vanity take a hold of you? Does it reach out and destroy your life and usefulness? Little things these may start as, just little insignificant sins. Yet they pave the way to bigger ones that eventually destroy and conquer your soul”
His voice was soft and gentle yet his eyes seemed to burn into Edwards’s soul, he could almost feel his whole life fly before him at his gaze. Edward was now feeling the conviction of God’s spirit strongly upon him, he could see how his pride had led him from Christ, how his desire for fame and power were blinding him to the simple truths of God’s love. Yes he had neglected Christ; he had worked according to law and justice, but had left out compassion, mercy, and love. All throughout the sermon the Lord had been tugging at his heart and preparing his soul. So it was that he kneeled down and asked his precious Lord and Savior to enter his life and save him. This day was the start of a new life and Edward could never quite continue business as usual, for his work was always framed thereafter by the guiding principles of his faith.
It was near the end of these six years while working for Sir Humphrey Clive Smith that Edward was offered a new position in the service of Sir Thomas Hyde at his office in Paris. There was it seemed a need of someone with both knowledge of finances and law but most of all an honest man and God-fearing. As they had encountered a lot of difficulty in several enterprises there with dishonesty and fraud, Sir Thomas was impressed with Edward’s credentials. So with high recommendations from Sir Humphrey and also from the Firm of Fitzwilliam, Henderson and Brown’s, and the fact that he was known to be a friend of the preacher Charles Spurgeon, so it was that Sir Thomas was happy to hire him and bring him into his organization.
It was in the month of April in the year1880 that Edward Cedric Forsyth took off to Paris, a place he knew little off, but a city he soon fell in love with. He enjoyed his time in Paris and made friends with some of the very elite, one of these was the Marquis Henri Antoine LaFitte who often invited him to his residence. It was while he was the guest of the Marquis LaFitte that he was invited to attend at a society party attended by Ambassadors and many of the upper echelons of the Parisian society. There during the dinner he met with Prince Ranjit Singh who was a cousin to a Maharajah from Jaipur in India and who had been only recently attached to the British delegation in France in an advisory capacity. He had been in the Northwest frontier on business during some of the early days of the campaign in Afghanistan and hard many a tale to tell. He had come over to Paris only for a short time, this was due to some business he needed to attend to for his cousin. He was though able to offer assistance to the British Embassy while visiting, pertaining to certain matters to India and its trade with France, but he was returning to India within three months. As Prince Ranjit was in touch with many influential people in the Indian administration and was seen as Royalty in his own state he had been received quite well by the high society of Paris, though to some it was as an oddity and out of curiosity.
On one later occasion about a week afterwards Edward and Ranjit met again at another party held by the American Ambassador, there was also present an ex-senator by the name of James Atwood. Atwood and Edward seemed to be draw to each other and during the course of the evening they found themselves alone with Prince Ranjit; Ranjit was in a strange mood and took them aside to the privacy of the balcony to tell them an amazing story regarding a beautiful Moonstone. He then proceeded to hand Edward the gift. Edward feeling he could not refuse a gift from a maharajah, yet feeling somehow this was not meant to be, proceeded to offer Senator Atwood the stone. Atwood honored and happy over it accepted and thus a friendship was formed that crossed continents, as Edward and James Atwood became close friends often spending weekends and evenings in each other’s company.
It was to be several years before Edward met Glenda the day after his birthday an unforgettable day; she was the daughter of a landowner from Yorkshire and had been in Paris on a vacation with her brother and his family. Glenda was a wild lassie with wiry red hair and a smile that filled her face with an angel’s light. She had a hot temper to match her fiery hair and could explode at an instant in such a torrent of fury that you felt you had unleashed ‘Pandora’s box’. She had a passion for horses and for sport but most of all a passion for her Savior Jesus Christ, and through her Edward found a new lease of life as he delighted his self in her company. Her father it seemed was also a devout Christian and a lay order preacher so during the evening they would often discuss and debate religion and the church of today.
After one year of tempestuous courtship with both of them learning much in humility and understanding, Edward and Glenda became man and wife. Following some advice from his friend now Ambassador Atwood, Edward moved into the realm of politics, leaving his position in France and returning to London. Whereupon his arrival he then settled down to a life of active politics and Christian social reform, trying to help the needy and the street urchins and poor wretches in prison. This was no small task and often his two activities seemed to be at odds for politics and religion is often not the best of bedfellows. Glenda had always wanted to be a missionary but now she realized her place was to be in prayer, a support to her husband and strength to him. By and by Edward forgot the story of the Moonstone as the multitude of details in daily life crowded out all but the needed knowledge and information from his mind. Edward soon became very active in Christian Social work helping reform many of the so-called committees for helping the poor and misfortunate. He became a leader in his Church and was even known to speak out from the pulpit some times. In politics his often outspoken ideas brought tension and were the source of constant debate in the House of Commons. Edward was despite his very active life a loving husband who was always there when needed and often did the most unexpected things. One year to commemorate their anniversary he bought two tickets to Paris and booked them in to a lovely hotel for two weeks away from the pressure of London and his work.
As they looked out from their window, Glenda saw the sparkling lights of the city before her, the music of the nightclub down the street blaring and the sight of couple’s arm in arm. She though of the first time they met on an evening just like this one. Nestling up into his arms she thanked God for bringing such a loving understanding and kind man across her path. She thanked God for a husband who was not just a lover and father to her children but also a witness of His love to the lost and the lonely in this world. Looking deeply into the eyes of her lover her lips opened to his, she felt his hands caress her through the thin fabric of her dress arching her body into his as passions were ignited and moon streamed his radiance upon them.