The Soldier, his playing cards and God.

For those that may not know, although studying to become a Minister (four years into a 9-year study), one of my favourite things is the Tarot. Although I class myself as a minimalist (can’t stand clutter), I collect Tarot. I have about 200 packs, some new some very, very old. On one of my travels many years ago, I found a trilogy of books called The Encyclopaedia of the Tarot by Stuart R Kaplan and all three volumes together (very rare to find all three volumes sold together). These books and they are beyond incredible. Now, having been an Army Sergeant, I’d like to share a story about the Tarot and God out of one of the books by an Army Solider, his playing cards and God. I shall say farewell here, so you are left with this story. Until next time. Love, light and blessings. Rachel xxx The Tarot book, is showing how a Soldier named Richard Middleton, was taken before the Mayor of a city, and tried for using Cards in Church during divine service. Being a droll, merry, and humorous account of an odd affair that happened to a private soldier. The story is as follows: A Sergeant, with a squad of soldiers, attended church one Sunday. All of them that had Bibles pulled them out to find the text. But there was one of them that had no Bible, and he pulled out of his pocket a pack of cards, and while the minister was preaching, he first kept looking at one card, and then another. The Sergeant said to him, “Richard, put up your cards, for this is no place for them.” “Never mind that,” says the soldier, “for you had no business to bring me here.” When the minister had ended his sermon, the Sergeant arrested the man. The solder asked: “What have I done to cause my arrest?” “You have played a game of cards in the church.” “No, I have not,” said the soldier, “for I only looked at a pack.” “No matter for that, you must go before the Mayor.” When they came to the mayor's house, the mayor said, “Well, Sergeant, what do you want?” “I have brought this soldier before your Honor for playing cards in church,” he replied. “Soldier, what have you to say for yourself?” asked the mayor. “Much I hope,” replied the soldier. “I have been five weeks upon the march, and I am without either Bible, almanac, or prayer book, or anything but a pack of cards. But with them, I hope to satisfy your Honor of the purity of my intentions. I shall show you how the cards are reminders of the importance of God”. The soldier pulled out of his pocket a pack of cards, and spread them before the Mayor. “When I see the Ace, ” said he, “it reminds me that there is but one God. When I see the Deuce, it reminds me of the Father and Son. When I see the Trey, it reminds me of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. When I see the Four, it reminds me of the four Evangelists that preached the Gospel, viz: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. When I see the Five, it reminds me of the five wise Virgins; there were ten, but five were foolish, who were shut out. When I see the Six, it reminds me that in six days God made Heaven and Earth. When I see the Seven, it reminds me that on the Seventh Day God rested from all the works which he had created and made. Wherefore the Lord blessed the Seventh and hallowed it. When I see the Eight, it reminds me of the eight righteous persons that were saved when God drowned the world: Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their three wives. When I see the Nine, it reminds me of the nine Lepers that were cleansed by our Savior; there were ten, but nine never returned God thanks. When I see the Ten, it reminds me of the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses on Mount Sinai, on two tables of stone.” He took the Knave and laid it aside. “When I see the Queen, it reminds me of the Queen of Sheba, who came from the furthermost parts of the world, to hear the wisdom of King Solomon, for she was as wise a woman as he was a man. She brought fifty boys and fifty girls, all clothed in boys' apparel, to show before King Solomon, for him to tell which were boys and which were girls. King Solomon called for water for them to wash themselves, and the girls washed up to their elbows, and the boys only up to their wrists, so King Solomon told by that which were boys and which were girls. When I see the King, it reminds me of the great King of Heaven and Earth, which is God Almighty.” “Well, said the Mayor, you have given a very good description of all the cards except one.” “Which is that,” said the soldier. “The knave,” said the Mayor. “O, I can give your Honor a very good description of that, if your Honor will not be angry.” “No, I will not,” said the Mayor, “if you will not term myself to be the knave.” “Well,” says the soldier, “the greatest knave that I know of, is the Sergeant that brought me here.” “I don't know,” says the Mayor, “that he is the greatest knave, but I am sure he is the greatest fool.” “I shall now show your Honor how I use the cards as an Almanac.” “You certainly are a clever fellow,” says the Mayor, “but I think you will have a hard matter to make that appear.” “When I count how many spots there are in a pack of cards, I find there are three hundred and sixty-five, and there are so many days in the year.” “Stop,” says the Mayor, “that is a mistake.” “I grant it,” says the soldier, “but as I have never yet seen an almanac that is truly correct in all points, it would have been impossible for me to imitate an almanac without a mistake.” “Your observations are very correct,” says the Mayor, “go on.” “When I count how many cards there are in a pack, I find there are fifty-two; there are so many weeks in a year. When I count how many tricks there are in a pack of cards, I find there are twelve, and there are so many months in a year. You see, sir, that this pack of cards is a Bible, Almanac, Prayer Book, and pack of Cards to me.” The Mayor was well pleased, and called for refreshments for the soldier, and then dismissed him, saying he was the cleverest man that had ever been brought before him. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York. H. A. Oliver - written in around 1809.

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