Imágenes de páginas

market at that early season, I heard a very high price asked for it, and I saw him, after some vain efforts to reduce it, pay the sum demanded. I should not have been surprised at this, if the purchaser had been one of the wealthy inhabitants, or a servant of some neighbouring gentleman, who wished to encourage the market gardeners in their efforts at early productions, or who was about to have a dinnerparty; but as I narrowly looked at the customer in question, I thought I could perceive strong indications of poverty. His well. worn coat and hat, his pieced boots, showed at least that his wardrobe was scanty, yet 'gentleman' was stamped upon his face, though his general appearance had a good deal of what is termed the

shabby genteel,' and altogether I was led to conjecture, from what I saw in his extravagant purchase, that he was one of those gour. mands who sacrifice even their outward man to the God of their idolatry. I can hardly keep my temper when I see any one given up to the indulgence of a pampered, and therefore fastidious palate, which stops at no expense in its indulgence; this man (thought I to myself) is eating himself out of his property, perhaps too he has a family half-clothed and badly educated, though he must have a tempting morsel for his dinner! fie upon such detestable selfishness.

The stranger put the asparagus in his pocket, and walked off. I contented myself with my moderate purchase of vegetables, and I fear that I made some comparisons between myself and the seedy looking gentleman, which were a little of the pharisaical cast. Perhaps I might have thought something to this effect— See that glut. ton-he is paying what he probably cannot afford for a small dish of asparagus, while I, who am pretty well to do in the world, am too prudent and self-denying to indulge myself or my family with dainties. I thank God that I am easily satisfied. Before I reached home, I called on our butcher, and while he was weighing the beef I purchased, the stranger came in, and looking wistfully at a very small quarter of lamb, asked the price of it with (as appeared to me) a kind of sigb, either of great anxiety to have it, or from some inward conflict between his besetting sin and the consciousness of his extravagance. The butcher stated the price for the quarter. The stranger declined the purchase, and was leaving the shop, but suddenly turning back, he said, will you sell the rib part without the shoulder ?? the butcher demurred a moment, but then consented. •Pray,' said the gentleman, as he opened an ill-supplied purse, and laid down the few shillings required, · Can you tell me where I can get a little mint for sauce ?–and also half a dozen of Guinness' porter, in pint bottles.' How my blood boiled with indignation. What an impersonation of gluttony stood before me-a man spending his means upon lamb and asparagus at the most extravagant rate, and not content with them unless he had mint sauce !! I had no patience with his gluttony, but having curiosity to know who or what he was, I asked the butcher, as he prepared to send to my house the more substantial fare which I had bought, if the gentleman with the delicate appetite had been long in the town. I was informed that he had been there about ten days lodging, in some obscure place in the vicinity, and had, on two or three occasions, bought little niceties, such as a chicken, or a fresh egg every morning, &c.

About a week after this, and just as I had returned from a parochial tour of professional visits, I found a note on the table of my private-room, to the following purport : Mr. will feel obliged to Dr. —-, if he will be kind enough to visit his daughter at Wood. bine Cottage, as soon as his convenience may permit.' So the stranger has a sick daughter : perhaps I have been unjustly judging of his conduct and his character; well, well; why did I not think more charitably, more correctly? After all he has not the look of a mere animal, nothing of the organ of alimentiveness about him. I do believe that the lamb, the asparagus, and the chickens, were not for himself after all.

I hurried off, however, with more than usual rapidity, to my new patient-partly, I own, from curiosity, and I hope also with the better view of being useful.

When I reached the cottage, I found Mr. — at the door, he had been watching my approach from a window, and now, with rather a nervous manner, conducted me to a small parlour, on the ground floor of one side of a little shop. When we were seated, he told me that he had taken the liberty of requesting my attendance on his only daughter, who had -and here he sighed heavily-been deprived of her mother, and three sisters by consumption, within eighteen months—and Sir, said he, after a pause of nearly a minute in his sentence--during which he gasped as if for breath once or twice, wbile his right hand was pressed to his forehead-she will follow them soon.

A medical man, if he has any heart at all, is often placed in a pain. ful position. What can he say? nay, the very word consumption once spoken shows that the case is almost hopeless.

What then can he say? he had best avoid saying anything, for if he speaks what he thinks, he will cause despair, if he even qualifies his thoughts thus, 'Oh, I hope there is no real danger,' he excites false hopes, let him then say as little as possible.

I went up stairs where the young lady was sitting, in a large easy chair, awaiting my arrival, and evidently bectic. Before I took her hand, and felt the burning palm and rapid and intermitting pulse, I said some common-place things, which mean nothing, but of which every syllable was probably noted, as well as every look of mine, by the bright intellectual eye of the anxious and enervated invalid.

Poor Miss --, her days were indeed numbered; there was nothing before her in this life but a succession of sufferings, varied in their character, but still sufferings ; a constant cough, restlessness, alternate hope and apprehension, but hope predominant even to the last night perspirations, great debility, and then a moment of rallying, to be succeeded by exhaustion and Death

When the excitement occasioned to her by my arrival, and the formality of counting her pulse, had in some degree subsided, she told me, that but for her cough she would be quite well, and asked me to give her something to relieve it. She assured me that she had not spit up any blood, and was quite differently affected in some particulars from her dear mother and sisters : and then if papa could take ber into the town for change of air, she thought her strength would return. Her father at once said, that she should be gratified, and

poor man, he would have immediately removed her, if I had not suc. ceeded in satisfying her that she would be less advantageously lodged than where she was. Then, as to her appetite, she told me it was good, though she had found lamb with mint sauce or asparagus, and chicken once or twice, to disagree with her ; and porter, she said, did not strengthen her. In short, she had hardly touched any of those things which her father - who was but a balf-pay lieutenant in the army-had bought for her, while he deprived bimself of every indulgence, in the vain hope, that she would be spared to him, and from those impulses of strong affection which made his only happiness to consist in humouring every wish that she expressed.

I see by your face, Doctor, said her father, that there is no hope : I bave had four trials such as this already, and I trust I shall bear this as I have borne them. The blows have come thick (at intervals he manifested strong and terribly conflicting emotions, but, at last, was perfectly calm and collected), the muster-roll is almost called over, and I hope that the Captain of my Salvation will find me disciplined and obedient to bis orders.

The soldier of Christ should be always so,' said I, and if strong in him, he may be assured of victory in the end, even though his warfare may be one of bard struggles, hard where opposed to flesh and blood, but still surmountable when the spirit of obedience and trust in his wisdom occupies that soldier's heart : “ Though weak he will strengthen thee, though captive he will liberate thee."' • I know it, and feel it,' said he, and my poor child must not be longer kept in ignorance of her danger. How long do you think she may.' It is impossible,' said I, • to tell with any exactness, but a few weeks will bardly elapse. Mr. — seemed to me as if he had set his teeth firmly together, and was resolved to show no womanly weakness ; he asked me about the clergyman, whether he was rough or gentle, likely to soothe or frighten his child, you see how tenaciously she clings to life. I assured him that though the Rev. Mr. T. would not hold out false expectations of a prolonged life, he would probably succeed in rendering her more intent on the health of her soul than of her body, and might be the means of her obtaining a readiness, if not a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better than to live a life of suffering upon earth.

Miss , as I afterwards learned, had been so long in the habit of hearing Gospel truth during the family bereavements, that she bore the news which told her that all hope here was gone with great resignation, and it was happy that she was told, for when illusory expectations were taken away, she seemed to divest herself of all worldly thoughts, and with a meek and quiet earnestness, to seek a preparation for eternity. The closing scene of consumption has been told with too much vividness to need a repetition here. Miss l ingered for a few weeks. But, oh! how I wronged her father; the strong affection of a man of powerful feelings was blended with the tenderness of a woman, the control which he exercised over himself excited my warmest admiration, and his watchfulness was unceasing.

Day after day, and night after night, he sate beside her bed, and his assumed firmness gave her strength. I remember the day she died ; though now more than twenty years since, she spoke of her mother and of her sisters, and of the happiness she would feel in joining them. The quivering lip, the repressed tear, alone told of the depth of her father's grief, but he sought not to check her; he even seemed to wish her to dwell upon the thought. She appeared to suffer no pain, but her exhaustion was very great; she turned her dying eyes upon him, and with the last effort of her expiring strength threw her arms around him, and with a feeble voice, but every word of which fell upon his heart, thanked him for his love, his kindness, and his care, and then gently died upon his bosom.

It need not be told that the too long subdued and checked feelings of the father broke forth, and I was inexpressibly relieved, when they found vent in tears; like Esau, he “ lifted up his voice and wept,". and, like him, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, but he knew in whom to trust: he did not sorrow as one without hope.

I felt that, at such a time, words of consolation would be a mockery, so with the gentlest force I could use, I led him from the room, and left him alone to seek consolation from God. Strong minds like his feel the least outwardly, though the most inwardly and lastingly. On the third day, he was enabled to follow his child's remains to the grave, and to hear with composure the sublime service, read over the last he loved on earth. I'drew his arm within mine, and led him from the churchyard. I was sensible of the strong convulsive tremu. lousness, which pervaded his entire frame, but he mastered his emotion, and when we parted, he said, “Doctor, it is hard to be resigned; she was the last of five : all loved me, all were beautiful, and now all, all gone, but God's will be done, I bow beneath the chastising rod.'

Time rolled on, and he still inhabited the cottage where his daughter died; the acquaintance I had formed in my professional capacity, ripened into warm friendship. His heart had been laid bare to me, and instead of the disgusting character of a selfish glutton, which in my hạsty and uncharitable judgment, I had pictured him to be, he was one of the most abstinent and self-denying men I ever knew. For a long time afterwards I never saw him without feeling a sting of selfreproach at my false estimate of him, and I at last resolved to tell him of my first impression of him. I did so, and never shall I forget his kindness of manner, as he took my hand and said, · My dear friend, think no more of it, but in future judge not by appearances.'

W. H,


Bishop Mant, who has long borne, and who has fully entitled himself to the character of a High Churchman, has expressed his opinion on some of the prominent errors of the Oxford Tractarians with great force, ability, and research, though that opinion is put forth in the mild and inoffensive form of cautions only, in a charge intended for delivery at the visitation of Down and Connor, June, 1842. Our AUGUST, 1842.

2 S

limits admit of very few extracts more than the heads of the several cautions into which the charge is divided.

After some introductory observations relating to the writers in question the Bishop proceeds.-- It is not in the character of a theological critic or polemic that I am now addressing you, But as one whose duty it is, and who is “ready, the Lord being his helper, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine, contrary to God's word, and both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others in the same." I invite your attention to the proposed inquiry, which, under God's blessing, shall be submitted to you as instrumental, less to a judgment upon others, than to a salutary admonition for ourselves.

1. Be it then our first caution, not to deviate from our national Church, by adopting any guide to faith or practice, other than that which the Church herself acknowledges and prescribes.

To elevate tradition into an authority, independent of and paramount to the written word of God, was the fatal error on which the Romish Church made shipwreck; to reduce tradition to its secondary station, and to value it as subordinate only and auxiliary to God's word contained in boly Scripture, was the first step to our religious Reformation. Holy Scripture with respect to matters of faith, is pronounced by the Church to contain all things necessary to salvation ;' and with respect to practice, in the decreeing of rites and ceremonies, she pronounces it to be, not lawful for her to ordain anything that is contrary to God's word written.'

The Church, indeed, cherishes and professes a high respect for the sentiments of the ancient doctors and bishops of the early Church, as best qualified, by their opportunities of time and place, to illustrate and aid the true interpretation of the written word of God; and as embodying the sentiments of those ancient doctors, she has regarded with special veneration the decrees of the first four General Councils, those of Nice, of Constantinople, of Ephesus, and of Chalcedon. But whilst she protests that things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture,' so she receives them only upon the ground of their ordinances being of scriptural origin.

Thus in the Council of Nice it was decided, that the Son is truly God, of the same substance with the Father; in that of Constantinople, that the Holy Ghost also is truly God ; in the Council of Ephesus the Divine nature was affirmed to be truly united in Christ to the human, and with it to constitute one person ; and in the Council of Chalcedon both natures were affirmed to remain distinct, and that the human nature was not swallowed up in the Divine. But why does the Church receive these decrees of the four Councils ? Is it upon the authority of the decrees themselves ? Surely not; bụt because they have their foundation in holy writ. “These truths,' as Bishop Burnet says, ' we find in the Scriptures, and therefore we believe them: we reverence those Councils for the sake of their doctrine ; but do not believe the doctrine for the authority of the Councils.'

Thus again, with respect to the Athanasian Creed, which is a practical application of these decrees, setting forth that the Son and Holy

« AnteriorContinuar »