The banner was ever a source of consolation to the wounded.
There he lies, the good knight; right well has he fought without fear and without reproach; but a chance arrow pierced the joints of his harness, and his life is oozing out from the ghastly wound. There is no one there to unbuckle his helmet or give him a drink of cool water; his frame is locked up in that hard case of steel, and though he feels the pain he cannot gain relief.
He hears the cries, the mingled cries, the hoarse shouts of men that rush in fury against their fellows: and he opens his eyes “as yet he has not fainted with his bleeding. Where, think you, does he look? He turns himself round. What is he looking for? For friend? For comrade? No.
Should they come to him he would say, “Just lift me up, and let me sit against that tree awhile, and bleed here; but go you to the fight.” Where, where is that restless eye searching, and what is the object for which it is looking?
Yes, he has it; and the face of the dying man is brightened. He sees the banner still waving, and with his last breath he cries, “On ! on ! on !” and falls asleep content, because the banner is safe. It has not been cast down.
Though he has fallen, yet the banner is secure. Even so every true soldier of the cross rejoices in its triumph.
We fall, but Christ does not. We die, but the cause prospers. As I have told you before, when my heart was most sad — that sweet text, “Him hath God the Father exalted, and given him a name that is above every name,” quite cheered my soul, and set me again in peace and comfort.