Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel and King George, who pardoned him for cowardice, and then made him part of the Royal Court for Astronomy, inspiring the poem below.
A boy in the army served
Oath of loyalty he swore
To King and Country and to Flag
And uniform he proudly wore
And thought of adventure
And the glory of the war
But was unprepared for the reality
The bloodshed and the glar.
And when the shells were falling
And the bulletts flying
He looked in fear around him
As he saw his comrades dying
And as he saw the dangers
As to death the wounded bled
This boys nerves deserted him
And he turned, and in the confusion, fled.
He now was a deserter
He now was on the run
Should he be captured
He now would face a gun
That would be loaded
Among a rank and file of umpteen more
And he would be dead in an instant
He who was brave before...
But this man had brains and that was known
And his king sent out the call
This man was needed in his court
But he could not come at all
An envelope to him was handed
And with fear he opened it wide
It was from the King himself
His pardon was inside
And so the Coward who fled in fear
For his life was scared
As his King he needed him
His life, once condemned, was spared
And God he is that King
And we are the soldier in the fire of life
Who deserts the ranks of Gods Army
When faced with the crossfire of strife
To spend oour lives in hiding
Dreading as death draws near
Knowing judgement in inevitable
And of it having fear
But God loves and needs every one
When he sees that man is Good
Though desert he did in times of trial
God knew that he would
For som men are born soldiers
Fight and die in glory by the score
And some are just good on parade
Proud the uniform to have wore.
Those are the churchgoers who wear the uniform
Who often fail in the fight
But God shall judge both brave and cowardly
And Savation awaits those that He deems Right.
Inspired by the posting to a newsgroup on Yahoo that I reproduce below:
From: Kandycares <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [MyChickenSoup] Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Psalm 32:1
Date: Sunday, 13 July, 2008, 9:10 PM
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
In England a sensitive boy joined the British army, but when the shot and shell began to fly, he deserted. In time he became a great astonomer and discovered a new planet. He was sent for by King George, but the man realized that his life was forfeit to the king for his desertion. The king knew him too; what would he do? Before the king would see him, the man was requested to open an envelope. It was his royal pardon. The king brought him in and said, " Now we can talk, and you shall come up and live at Windsor Castle." He was Sir William Herschel.
William Herschel was guilty and did not deny it! But King George had mercy upon him and made him a member of the royal household. That is what God promises to do for us. "And He will have mercy upon him. . . for He will abundantly pardon." To all of us poor, lost, wanton, sinners the Bible says, "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved."
The "Prince of Preachers," Charles Hadden Spurgeon, says of this verse:
God, who cannot lie-----God, who cannot err---tells us what it is to be blessed. Here He declares that "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." This is an oracle not to be disputed. Forgiven sin is better than accumulated wealth. The remission of sin is infinitely to be preferred before all the glitter and the glare of this world's prosperity. The gratification of creature passions and earthly desires is illusive---a shadow and a fiction; but the blessedness of the justified, the blessedness of the man to whom God imputeth righteousness is substantial and true.
In Psalm 32:2 David sums it up for me when he says, "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no decit" (NIV). I'm sure Sir William Herschel would say Amen! to that.
My prayer: Our Father and our God, Author of love, I throw myself upon Your holy grace. Only You, O Lord, can pardon my offenses against You, for it is Your law that I transgress. Thank You for Your undeserved mercy, forgiveness, and love. Thank You for Jesus, who died to redeem me. Amen.
We ARE ALL just sinners forgiven by the grace of God. When we try to start to judge whose transgression is worse than another's we start to try to become as God. He is the only pure and righteous judge. Reminds me of a song: Don't judge your neighbor, Dont judge your neighbor. You're not the one to say he's wrong. Clean out your own house, sweep out your own house. There'll come a great judgement day after all. That's so true. It's hard enough to keep ourselves in line with God. Try to help others along the way WITH LOVE, but never try to judge them. It will only turn them farther away.