February Sermon Illustrations

February 26, 2010

The Douglas

When King Robert I. died he exacted a promise from Sir James Douglas to convey his heart to the Holy Land, where he had been on the point of going when death arrested him. The party had reached Sluys, so far on their way to Jerusalem, when Alonzo, King of Leon and Castile, at that time engaged in war with the Moorish governor of Granada, Osmyn, sent to demand the aid of Douglas; and by his oath as a knight, which forbade him ever to turn a deaf ear to a call in aid of the Church of Christ, he was obliged to attend to the summons. He fought with his usual heroism, till the Moslems believed he bore a charmed life when they saw him rush into the thickest of the fight and escape unwounded. But the Christian ranks nevertheless began to give way; and to stem the flight the Douglas threw the casket containing the king's heart into the melée, and rushed after it, exclaiming, "Now pass onward as thou wert wont, and Douglas will follow thee or die!" The day after the battle the body of the hero and the casket were found by his surviving companions; and the squire of Douglas finding it was impossible to convey it to Jerusalem, brought back the king's heart to Scotland, and it was interred in Melrose Abbey.

Subjects: Heroism

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