« ZurückWeiter »
some word of instruction which he had just heard, or enable him to carry out some resolution of amendment? How do I know whether my untimely interruption, and the introduction of worldly topics, may not change the whole current of his thoughts, and prevent the crisis of some inward struggle? · Here he paused, and his companions felt the justice of his observations. Does any one who reads this page sneer at the train of thought? Let me ask him one question ? Didst thou never enter thy closet after divine service, and cast thyself on thy knees before God, and pray for the Holy Spirit's aid? It were well for thee to begin. Do not judge of others by thyself. If thou hast never felt such mortal struggle and wrestling against sin, or eager desire to fix deep in thy heart feelings which have been newly awakened,—do not sneer at matters which thou understandest not!
Thus in cheerful yet serious converse the happy party beguiled their walk. Miss Herbert, devotedly attached to her brother, listened to his conversation with a mixed feeling of reverence and affection ; nor was it the least part of her satisfaction to perceive, how entirely Arthur Ridley joined in her brother's sentiments. But
the lengthening shadows, and falling dew, reminded them that it was time to seek their home; and they passed the garden wicket just as the last portion of the sun's broad disk sank beneath the western horizon. So ended their Sabbath day's journey'!
1 A sabbath day's journey was a walk of a mile, or scarcely so much, from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet, whither Jesus used to resort with his disciples.
AN INTERESTING EPISODE IN A CHURCH
“Hail, wedded Love, mysterious law!
. . . . . . by thee,
The cheerful party re-assembled on the following day; for Ridley had promised to spend a week at least with his friend. Miss Herbert
-the pattern of domestic gracefulness-occupied her usual place at the breakfast table; which both the friends acknowledged to be a great improvement upon their former tête à tête at College. Much did they talk of the peaceful villagers--their wants and interests. Herbert
detailed his plan of garden-letting; which had succeeded beyond his most sanguine expectations. He dilated on the punctuality of the payments, the improved condition of the labourers' families, and the hours rescued from the beer-shop. Miss Herbert was equally eloquent in praise of her recently formed provident-society. In short the whole thoughts of this accomplished pair seemed devoted to the diffusion of good offices amongst the rural circle in which God had placed them.
In the course of the day they walked out together, through pleasant lanes and fields to a distant part of the parish; for Herbert wished to visit a parishioner, who was kept from his work by an accident; hoping, as a watchful pastor, to improve the season of affliction. They entered the lowly roof together; and after Miss Herbert had made many kind enquiries from the mother of the family respecting her husband's health, and had promised to send what was needful for his situation, she and Arthur left the rector with the sick man, and returned homeward together.
My readers will have perceived ere this, that Arthur Ridley's visit to Welbourne was not altogether disinterested: and that even Herbert was aware that the conversation of an old College friend, was not the only attraction which detained him at the parsonage. In truth, delighted as Arthur was to talk over old days with the brother, future prospects of happiness with the fair sister were the more immediate object of his thoughts ?
Mary Herbert was one of those good and lovely girls who have been nurtured in purity and affection,- bred up in holy ways; and seem to live only to follow the impulses of a pure and sanctified heart. To attempt to paint an earthly being free from fault, were sinful and unscriptural ; but, if any have walked in holy paths from their infancy, certainly Mary was of that number. And yet she had had her sorrows and temptations: none can expect to go through life without them. At the age of sixteen she had been deprived of her excellent father; and, soon after, she had watched for months over the couch of her sole surviving parent, with more than filial piety; and had ministered to her night and day, until her gentle spirit departed. After the death of her parents, Mary had resided generally with her brother, making occasional visits to a married aunt. Lady S was a goodnatured, handsome, popular person, who lived in