« AnteriorContinuar »
104 FRIEND OR FOE 2
“Bless me!” he cried, one Sunday evening, suddenly starting up. He had been thinking, thinking, as usual, and had caught himself at last. “I must actually be in love with Elsie Waughan 1 Well, if anyone had told me, before this, that a fellow could get in love without knowing it, I should have flatly contradicted him. Amos, my friend, you're in a hard case, evidently. What are you going to do? How can you love, or, at least, marry, a girl who is going to marry me?”
To some people a predicament of this sort would have been a source of serious trouble. But Amos Rearden treated the matter very lightly. He even sat down to finish his tea in the merriest of moods. And, yet, it was not long before the flush of excitement and the frown of anxiety began to appear, and that in spite of himself.
“Men speak of honour in affairs of this sort,” he murmured, “but is there a man who would deliberately give up any chance of winning a girl like that? All's fair in love and war, too, isn’t it? Phew! Thinking hard doesn’t agree with me, evidently.”
What conclusion he would have come to it is impossible to say, for at that moment Joyce's well-known knock sounded at the front door, and then Joyce entered.
“Hardly expected to catch you at home,” said that individual, seating himself by the window, where the soft evening light played full on his thin, pale face.
“Glad you’re come,” returned Rearden, really pleased to have been interrupted in that disagreeable thinking, “Had tea?”
“Yes, thanks. I came to tell you good news. Jane has at last named the day, and Christmas will see me a happy married man.” Rearden broke into a peal of laughter. “One more unfortunate l’” he said, jocosely. But Elsie's face coming in fancy before him at the instant, robbed is mirthfulness of its usual abandonment.
“Unfortunate | Take care you are not the unfortunate. Shaving clean won’t hide your thirty years. But come for a stroll. I want to talk to you about the arrangements. I want some coaching, too, as to prices, else I shall be fleeced like a sheep.”
Amos readily consented to this, and the pair were soon sauntering leisurely through the park, mingling with bands of joyous little children, who romped along the paths, happy fathers and mothers dressed in their Sunday-best, who viewed their offspring's free delight with a placid kind of pride, workmen with clean faces and contented looks, and, here and there, a small knot of “all sorts and conditions” of people, gathered to listen to that glad Old Story which yet never grows old.
“Look there, Joyce,” said Rearden, as they came within a dozen yards of one of these groups. “Wouldn’t it be worth anybody's while to become a saint in order to win the good opinion of those two pretty girls?”
At all times Joyce, though he would boldly repudiate any charge of being “religious,” gravely abstained from jesting with regard to sacred things, But now he seemed less inclined than ever to alter his rule. Perhaps something in the calm and beautiful scene around—itself almost sacred—had this effect; perhaps something in the sweetly plaintive strains of the hymn, “Just as I am,” which the group were singing, touched him. Whatever it was, he said, rebukefully:
“Don’t laugh at them, Rearden. There's plenty of things to make fun of, without religion.”
Amos gazed good-humouredly at his companion. “Mustn't a fellow admire a pretty young lady, if she is singing a hymn P”
Joyce smiled, in spite of himself, at the other's mirthful manner.
“It isn’t right, you know,” he said, striving to remain grave. “But, come— let’s talk this matter out, while we're about it.”
Somehow, in the course of “talking the matter out,” they wandered about
until they wandered outside the park, and up to the door of the tavern so well known to them.
FRIEND OR FOE 2 105
“Force of habit, no doubt l” laughed Rearden. “I had no intention of coming here to-night. We may as well go inside, now we are here.” In the course of a little while, Joyce found himself listening to the stout, satisfied-looking landlady across the bar, who was telling him a very comical story, to judge by his frequent laughter; while his friend fell into conversation with a stranger, seated beside him. One remark leads to another, in most cases where those who make it are at leisure. Wherefore, Rearden soon learned a good deal about the stranger; amongst other things, that his name was Blake; that he was a sailor; and that he had sailed under a certain Captain Grant, about the Pacific. “What, Captain Grant of the Booby ?” asked Rearden, at this point. “Of the Booby 1” echoed the other, with some contempt—“Of a dozen Boobies. Captain Grant, with his ships, his stores at Tahiti and San Francisco, and his pearl and tinned-meat trade, is the richest man in the Societies. He talked of selling up and coming to England when I saw him last. Did you know him P” “Yes—when he first went out there. I was knocking about the Societies under Captain Winter ten years ago, till he fell overboard one day. Then Captain Grant, who had formerly been trading in the China seas, but had lately been carrying tripang and prints between Tahiti and the States, took command of the Booby *— “Did you find him a slave-driver?” interrupted Blake. “Slave-driver!. The man worked like a slave himself, and made everybody else do so too. He very soon bought the ship he commanded, while I was with him. I don’t wonder he's got on so well. He was not a bad skipper, though, by any means. He offered to finish me in navigation; but I was tired of the sea, and wanted a change.” So the two, as old sailors will, chatted together, related their experiences, drank each other's health, and became quite old shipmates before they parted. When they did, Joyce—the landlady being called away at the same time— was quite ready to resume the previous conversation about his forthcoming domestic arrangements, but Rearden, saying, with a laugh, that he “had furniture on the brain,” excused himself, pleading an engagement with a friend which he had forgotten, and went out. He had no friend to meet, however; he wanted to be alone, so that he could think. Therefore, he entered the park, and began to stroll slowly along its now almost deserted walks, with his eyes bent, now on the darkening sky, now on the trees, now on the sinking sun, and anon upon the gravel at his feet. But there was apparently some distracting influence abroad—perhaps in the distant voice of the keeper, calling “time”—for presently, with quite a troubled look on his face, he left the park again, and went straight home. There, walking up and down before his open window, he seemed to find himself more at ease. “He borrowed a thousand pounds, lost it, and so ruined his friend, Alfred Waughan; went abroad, determined to move heaven and earth to get it back. That was the tale Grant often told me. Who was Alfred Vaughan P. Who was her father? And now Captain Grant is coming to England, rich as a Rothschild.” He paused a moment, looking intently at the view of brick-walls and chimney-pots from his window. “Honour, honour ! What is it?” he went on, impatiently. “A breath—a word. But Fate is a fool to tempt me, for I was not born to resist. And yet, Oliver, old fellow, he's a vagabond that would betray you. Simple as you are, I do believe you are one of those very few people who would die sooner than be untrue to a friend. What shall I do? Love and fortune, and at one stroke! Pooh! I’m an ass. Who was Alfred Vaughan 2 and what chance have I of winning Elsie, even if I tried? The best thing is to let affairs take their course.” And, determined to permit himself no more thought on the matter, he returned to the tavern, where, in the midst of Joyce and Drewe and one or two other choice spirits, he comfortably forgot all things unpleasant, and laughed and talked with more than his wonted fire.
$traps from the obitor's àaste-345htt.
I. THE MAGAZINE AND our PASTORs. —A pastor sends a valentine with the cheering information, “I am pushing the Magazine, so that we never had so many readers here as we have this year.” It is a general law—where the pastor pushes, the Magazine goes. People cannot well be expected to buy that of which they do not hear.
II. REv. GILES HESTER.—PRoposed ANNUITY FUND.—It will be seen by our advertisement that nearly £500 have yet to be raised in order to realize the capital sum of £1000 for Mr. Hester. The effort should be fully completed before the Association meets at Bradford; hence the desirability of closing the list by May 31. It has been decided to set apart collections at the Lord's table (for one month) at Praed Street and Westbourne Park. What church will do likewise? Our friends at Woodgate, Loughborough, have done well, considering their financial responsibilities in the matter of a new chapel; but with the exceptions furnished in their case, and that of Baxter Gate, no church seems to have adopted the suggestion that, where practicable, arrangements should be made “for public collections in aid of this object.” We feel sure that the omission does not arise from want of sympathy. And surely it cannot be due to a universal lack of ability?
III. M.R. GDADSTONE's Gospel, FoR IRELAND.—In the course of a conversation on the subject of decentralization with M. Clémenceau, the leader of the French Radicals, Mr. Gladstone said, with intense zest, “The curse of Ireland has been centralization. What I hope and desire, what I labour for, and have above all things at heart, is to decentralise administrative authority there. We have disestablished the Church, relieved the tenant class of many grievances; we are now trying to produce a state of tnings which will make the humblest Irishman realise that he is a governing agency, and that the Government is to be carried on by him and for him.” It is the only true gospel of politics. Politically man is a self-governing creature ; and we must be ready to apply the principle not only to Ireland, but in all our colonies and dependencies; aye, even in our vast empire of India.
IV. THEST OF MINISTERIAL CAPACITY. —The Times of Jan. 10 said, “A searching test of M. Gambetta's statesmanship will be furnished by the manner in which his survivors and followers are able to
repair his loss.” It always seems to us, there is no witness to the ability and wisdom of a pastorate like that afforded by the action of the church speedily after his removal. Not a few seemingly prosperous ministers have been followed by an utter collapse of directive force, and a painful breakdown of patient energy. The minister's work has had no cohesive and enduring elements in it. Is it not well to shape to-day's work in view of the need that will spring up when we have left it?
W. CLEveR, BUT DISLOYAL, AND MoRE!—When an Archbishop, a Bishop, and two clergy, professing intense spirituality and self-sacrificing devotion to truth, conspire to evade the fair and legitimate effect of the action of the legal tribunals of the country, what is the name their act should bear? If four tradesmen conspired in the same way we should denounce the act as a fraud, and the actors as disloyal. But, because the act is done in the interests of our State Church, forsooth, it loses its immorality! Mr. Maconochie has been declared guilty of illegal practices at St. Albans, and is on the point of being deprived of his pay. He resigns; and the late Archbishop, the Bishop of London, the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, effect an exchange between Mr. Snelling and Mr. Maconochie, and so the judge is cheated, the law defied, and the pay retained in the interests of Ritualism. It is clever; but if it had occurred in commerce we should call it a huge fraud! One party will gain by it; and that is the Romanizing party in our State Protestant Church. This act is another summons to gigantic efforts to effect a speedy separation of Church and State.
VI. ELEMENTARY ETHICS.–That “toomuch protesting” sheet the Echo is guilty of teaching that “circumstances do not alter cases;” that acts do not derive their moral value from the motive of the doer; and blindly waxes into inflammatory eloquence at what it calls “the demoralizing doctrine” “that what may be wrong when done by one man, may be right when done by another.” I find in this day's reading the following: Dean Stanley says of Dr. Arnold, “He shrank from pressing on the consciences of boys rules of action which he felt they were not yet able to bear, and from enforcing actions which, though right in themselves, would in boys be performed from wrong motives” —so that an act that may be wrong when done by a boy, may be right when done by
* Life of Arnold, I., p. 98.
John STARBUCK was born at Walton, near Ipswich, on May 2nd, 1810. His relatives attended the Baptist cause of that place, and it is probable that some of them were members of the church. Whilst he was yet a youth the family removed to Leicester, and joined the congregation worshipping in Friar Lane; at which place, in 1828, he was baptized and received into the church by the then pastor, Rev. S. Wigg. He soon afterwards commenced preaching; and being ready of speech, a shrewd observer of men and things, and fairly acquainted with his bible, he proclaimed the gospel with acceptance in the surrounding villages. Such confidence had his pastor in him that he occasionally sent him as a pulpit supply to more distant places, as well as intrusted him with a commission to solicit subscriptions for certain needy objects. The business he followed caused him to have to travel through neighbouring counties, and as far north as Yorkshire. From memoranda made at the time, and preserved, it would seem that he made himself familiar with the condition of the country churches, become acquainted with many of the ministers, and made himself generally useful in speaking, preaching, and baptizing, as occasion required or opportunity presented. Removing to Boston he united with the church in High Street, and the pastor—the universally beloved T. W. Matthews—had no more ardent admirer, faithful adherent, or appreciative hearer than our friend. Having removed to Alford, and the small church at Maltby, some four or five miles distant—the pulpit of which he had occasionally supplied—being without any pastoral oversight, the friends there, in 1873, invited him to the pastorate. He accepted the . invitation, and continued to discharge the duties of his office with industry and fidelity until enfeebled health, followed by total blindness, laid him aside from all active duties, and brought his labours to a close. His last sermon was from the text, “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Being of an active temperament the loss of his sight was felt by him to be a heavy trial; but he sought to bear it in humble resignation to his heavenly Father's will. He took a keen interest to the last in all that concerned our denomination, and had no greater joy than to hear of its prosperity and progress. No periodical literature was so welcome as the General Baptist Magazine, the date when it was due being never forgotten by him. His theology was liberal, and permeated by hope in regard to the future of the human race. His sympathies were as broad as the universal church, yet he had an intense affection for the people of his choice, and desired for them pre-eminence.
Towards the close of 1882 his weakness increased, and he became conscious that his end was near. But he contemplated it with calm composure, if not, indeed, with joyful expectancy. The period of the celebration of the Incarnation having passed, he expressed himself as somewhat disappointed, having, as he said, anticipated spending his Christmas in heaven. Yet, resuming his composure, he quietly waited for the salvation of the Lord, which came to him not many days afterwards; for on Lord’s-day, January 7, he entered quietly into his rest, gently murmuring not long before, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” J. R. GoDFREY.
REMOTE ANTIQUITY OF MAN NoT PRoven.
By B. C. Y. Stock. Good service is rendered to science by a patient and thoroughgoing sifting of evidence such as that which is conducted in this book, even supposing old or recent conclusions should not be shaken, but remain where they were. Discoverers are always in danger of making too much of their “finds,” and assigning them more weight than really belongs to them. Haste is not nnknown among scientists; and mistake is not impossible. B. C. Y. shows great skill in the compilation of the evidence on the subjects of “How old is man,” and “What was his original condition;” in his manipulation of the admissions of geologists and archaeologists; and he uses, with damaging acuteness, the numerous instances in which men of science have, with a candour that cannot be too widely recognized or too highly appreciated, corrected themselves; and so forces upon candid minds the conclusion, that he who examines the acts and sayings of scientific men as he ought “will not make haste.”
The book shows wide reading, keen criticism, a lawyer-like eye for a flaw in a statement or the report of a fact, and puts “the case” for the recent origin of man strongly; but while its effect will be to induce caution in accepting the statements, it will not prevent an impression stealing into the mind that, after all, man has been here a very long time, and has stored within him the experiences of vast ages.
THE CLERICAL LIBRARY. Outlines of
Sermons on the Old Testament. Hod
der & Stoughton. ExPERIENCE has brought wisdom. This second volume is, in several particulars, a considerable improvement upon its predecessor. The outlines are, for the most part, much longer. The “bones” are clothed with flesh, and something of the animating spirit breathes within. Sermons on special occasions we heard, but have not seen in print, are here fixed in type. A few of the outlines, apparently put in on the paltry ground of denominational representation, did not deserve to have their thin and feeble life prolonged; but most of them are strong, suggestive, and stimulating, and some of them are of a very high order indeed. It is a most valuable contribution to sermon literature.
THE EvDENCEs of NATURAL RELIGION, AND THE TRUTHS ESTABLISHED THEREBY. By Charles McArthur. Hodder & Stoughton.
SPECIAL and increasing interest attaches to the investigation of the materials for a Natural religion. Deference to authority of all kinds is diminishing, and the witness of the Scriptures is convincing chiefly to minds that are prepared either by experience or by susceptibility to spiritual trustfulness. We must, therefore, recur again to the arguments for the religious life in the facts of the human constitution, history, and experience. That they are numerous and cogent this book shows in a truly convincing manner. The reasoning is calm, but strong. The citation of evidence is full, methodical, and concise; and the effect of a thoughtful consideration of this setting of facts and reasonings' must be to prepare the mind for a practical faith in God and immortality, and a welcome for the “glad news” of Christianity.
THE MEssIAH. KING. By James Withers. S. W. Partridge & Co.
THE object of the author is to secure a practical acknowledgment of the authority of Christ in our individual, social, and political life. He advocates the cessation of war, the establishment of an international tribunal, the purification of the statute-books of nations of all iniquitous and vice-favouring acts; and the doing of this forthwith, undeluded by any anticipation that such things will be instantaneously rectified by a “Second coming of Christ for a thousand years, and then relapse into their evil state afterwards.” His book discusses at length, at far too great length, the subject of the Divine Government and its invasion by human authorities. The method is prolix, tedious, clouded: but the aim is most praiseworthy and practical.
AFTER-work, 1882. THE TEACHERs' STOREHOUSE, 1882. THE CHURCH, 1882. THE BAPTIST MEssenger, 1882. Stock. THESE four annuals increase in attractiveness and capacity to interest and profit the different classes of readers for which they are prepared. Each contains valuable information, good counsel, and interesting sketches. The home will be brighter and purer in whose leisure moments After-work has a place; the class