T. J. Lawson, B. A.
" Throw down a penny, George."
The little native boy, his chocolate-colon red skin shining in the sun, paddled hit; home-made canoe around the huge British troopship which lay at anchor in the harbour at Freetown.
Carved out of a tree-trunk, a triumph of skill and patience, his little wooden boat was in distinct contrast to the modern liner which had just arrived from England after a long zig-zag journey in the Atlantic, escorted by cruisers and destroyers of the British Navy. Lurking enemy vessels had been avoided or driven off, and now the large ship was peacefully taking on fresh supplies of food and fuel after safely completing the first portion of its long journey around the continent of Africa to the Red Sea. The native boy looked up at the array of faces lining the rails of the troopship,
' Throw me down a penny," he called again in perfect English.
" What would you do with a penny, laddie?" inquired one of the soldiers looking down on him,
" Take it home to black mamma-buy food."
" Where did you learn to speak our language?"
" At school-and I can count, but what about throwing down a penny?"
" Can you catch it if I drop one over to you?" " Yes, I play games. Good catcher me," " Right. Get ready. Here it comes."
With his eyes glued upwards he paddled his canoe into position heading against the tide and, with an eye as keen as a hawk, he watched the little object fall from the palm «f the Englishman. 'With an extra strong pull, his boat shot forward and the penny bounced safely into the bottom.
" What about a white coin, laddie?"
" Yes, try me with a shilling."
" Well, we'll call it a shilling but here's sixpence."
Sparkling in the brilliant sunshine, the silver coin fell. Down, down it sped and, judging the speed and distance, his paddle bent under the strain as with alt his strength he drove his little craft into position to catch, the coin. But, alas, the piece of silver struck the edge of his canoe and bounced into the water. LOST at the bottom of the deep harbour. LOST for ever.
LOST? As far as the soldiers lining the troop deck were concerned. Yes, it was lost as they watched it sinking. It was of little value to them. But to the little native lad it was of great value, and with a spring he dived from his canoe. His little black body went down and down until he grasped, the sixpence and with great pride came to the surface. A few strong over-arm strokes and he gripped the side of Jus boat, pulling himself to safety.
LOST? It was. But it was REDEEMED and, because he risked his life to get it, it was his.
Every boy and girl, man and woman, by nature are lost in the vast sea of sin and sinking in despair, not being able to do anything to help themselves--and you are one of them.
But, listen. You were of great value to the Lord Jesus Christ and because He loved you He came to redeem you-not at the RISK of His life but at the COST of His life, which He freely gave for you when He was crucified upon the Cross at Calvary. Peter describes it in these words, " Who His own self, bare our sins in His own body on the tree."
Paul was once asked by a jailer who knew he was lost, " What must I do to be saved?" and his answer was so clear that any boy or girl can understand it-" Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
Will you take the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour to-day?
J. A. Oram
NOVEMBER COMPETITION RESULTS
A Christmas Card
There were some very good entries for this competition, but not as many as we would have liked. The Seniors in the main chose poetry, the Juniors pictures, for their cards. The prizewinners are:-
Senior: Kenneth Morris (13) of Huyton-Roby (a decorated poem)
Junior: Janet Preddy (8) of Wellow (a decorated text)
A Hidden Text By E. T.
Read each chapter given below to find the missing
word in each text. Then write out each text, putting in
the word and the number of the verse in which it is found.
Psalm 31. Oh how... is Thy goodness.
Jeremiah 8. We looked for... but no good came.
John 15. Continue ye in my . . .
Psalm 37. The... of his God is in his heart.
Nehemiah 9. They lacked . . .; their clothes waxed not old.
Matthew 13. They shall gather out of His kingdom all things that . . . and them that do iniquity.
Now see if you can find, in Psalm 119, a verse which contains the six words missing from the texts above. Write this verse out, too, giving the number.
When you have done this, as neatly as possible, send your answer to Mr. T. J. Lawson, 148 Greenway Road, TAUNTON, Somerset. Prizes will be given for the best answers from those under and over twelve-so make sure you put your name, address and age on your entry, and post it before February 5th.
T. J. L.