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She knew that if anybody could cheer her husband up it was Spoor.
"I think I will," said Kendall. So, rising, he put on his hat and went out.
As he drew near to his friend's house, he heard his voice singing cheerfully, and with as much vigour as a man at his work could put into his song—
"Then let our songs abound,
He knocked, opened the door, and walked in. There was Spoor, with his sleeves rolled up and hammer in hand, hard at work; whilst in a corner was one of the younger children, rendering what he thought very valuable help.
Spoor's cheerfulness was infectious, and Kendall felt that it in some degree brightened his own heart.
"Busy, seemingly," said Kendall.
"Oh, ay," replied Spoor. "It's a bad job to be out of work, but one may as well make the best of it. Better work for nothing than be idle for nothing. Missis has long been wanting me to make her a little chest of drawers and a table, and to mend up seme broken things; but we've been so busy for a long while that I never seemed as though I could find time. I dare say she thinks it not such a bad thing that I'm out of work a bit. It won't pay to work long for her," glancing, as he said this, very significantly at his wife; "but when this is done, may be 1 shall find a job that will pay better."
Kendall sat and talked awhile; but he felt that Spoor's cheerful activity at once quickened and reproved him, and, rising, he went home, and to his wife's great surprise set vigorously to woik on something which she had long wanted to have done, but longed in vain. The house was a hundredfold happier.
Ere long the shop was reopened, and Spoor and Kendall both found employment again. Eobinson, who had saved a little money, after a time gave up work, and Spoor became the foreman in his stead.
Time rolled on. Spoor had persuaded Kendall to go with him regularly to the place of worship which he attended, and he had reason to think that he felt deeply sometimes; but as yet there was no decided change. Something else seemed needful, and by-and-by it came, f
Kendall, never very strong, caught, one winter, a severe cold ; and at the same time, aggravated by that, an old complaint returned, which rendered needful long rest and very careful treatment. From what has been seen of him, no one will be surprised to hear that he was, especially at first, sadly downcast. Indeed, in his depression, he sometimes thought he would never be able to work any more, and he indulged some hard and rebellious thoughts against God.
"Row, my man," said Spoor, as once, when he had looked in upon him, Kendall spoke very gloomily, and turned his face away, that his friend might not see his quivering lip and the tear that stood in the corner of his eye—"now, my man, this kind of thing will never do. Keep up your heart, and"
"Yes, I know," said the poor man, with a comic, rueful sort of smile, "and make the best of it. Soon said, John; but it's rather a dark look out, I can tell you, and I can't see much hope of anything brighter."
"Don't talk that way, Peter," replied his friend; "think of your mercies. How much worse things might have been! You have every reason to hope that, with care, you will come round again, and be able to do your work as well as ever; and it shall lack no effort of mine to keep your bench for you. Then you've ydur club money, and you've something in the savings bank; and if all comes to all, and you need further help, well, we'll try to help you."
"It's very good of you," replied the afflicted man, "and I dare say I do sometimes get flatter than I need."
"No doubt," replied Spoor. "But, Peter, there's a better thiDg now to be done than to look at the brightest side, so far as health and the things of this life are concerned. Don't you think God is dealing with you in this trial to bring you to trust and love him. You have heard a great deal about him, and I know you have felt what you have heard; but have you believed with your whole heart in the Lord Jesus Christ, and found his salvation?"
"I hardly think I have, John," he replied.
"Then take my word for it, Peter, you'll make the very best of this trouble of yours, if you see God's hand in it, and hear God's voice in it, calling you to repent of all your sins, and to believe in Jesus. I am certain, if you do that, you will say ever after that the best thing that ever happened to you was that you were laid aside in this way from your work, and shut up in your sick chamber to read your Bible and pray."
Many other conversations followed on the subject. Spoor asked their minister to go and see Kendall, and lent him books likely to interest him, and especially to point out to him clearly the way of life. The issue of all was, that through God's Spirit and blessing Kendall left his sick chamber an altered man—in one word, a sincere believer in Christ.
The influence of his new-found faith became apparent in his altered views of life. He will never be the hearty, buoyant man that Spoor is. That is scarcely in his nature. But since be learned to call God his Father, and to trust him, and to believe that all things happen to him as the Lord wills, he finds that he can pass by many things very lightly which once would have troubled him greatly. He is altogether a happier man, and all about him are happier too.
One thing he has learned about his friend Spoor. He thought that his constant cheerfulness was altogether natural; he now sees that, though in part it is so, it springs far more from his faith in God.
THE DEATH OP DR. ARNOLD.
The Eev. T. Arnold, D.d., was head-master of Eugby school, and regius-professor of history in the university of Oxford. His mind was of a most powerful cast; his love for true religion, amidst some peculiarities, of the highest order; his opposition, privately and publicly, to all opinions bearing the name of tractarian, unremitting and [uncompromising. Placed as the instructor of a public school, which furnished many members annually to the English universities, Dr. Arnold's post was one of great influence, and he employed that influence with the most happy results for the spiritual good of his individual pupils, andFfor the promotion of spiritual religion in society at large. He had scarcely entered on his professorship at Oxford, when death summoned him to higher service for God.
In Dr. Arnold's family there was an hereditary predisposition to angina pectoris. His father had died suddenly of spasm of the heart; and the event left a deep impression on Dr. Arnold's mind. "Shall I tell you, my little boy," he said to one of his younger children, who was bursting forth with joy at the expectation of the holidays which were then just coming on—" shall I tell you why I call it sad?" and he then told him how suddenly he had been himself left an orphan, and how his father had, on the Sunday evening before his death, caused him to read a sermon on the text, "Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." "Now," said he, "cannot you see, when you talk with such certainty about this day week, and what we shall do, why it seems sad to me?" "It is one of the most solemn things I do," said he (referring to his habit of writing in his manuscript volume of sermons the date of its commencement, and not that of its completion), " to write the beginning of that sentence, and think that I may not live to finish it."
The approach of his forty-seventh birthday seemed to be looked upon by Dr. Arnold with feelings of special solemnity; and there was visibly marked upon his whole manner and bearing the effect of some deep impression. Some passages from his diary, given in his Memoir, will illustrate the posture of his mind:—
"June 2. Again the day is over, and I am going to rest. O Lord, preserve me this night, and strengthen me to bear whatever thou shalt see fit to lay on me, whether pain, sickness, danger, or distress."
"June 5. I have been just looking over a newspaper, one of the most painful and solemn studies in the world if it be read thoughtfully. So much of sin and so much of suffering in the world as are there displayed, and no one seems able to remedy either. And then the thought of my own private life, so full of comforts, is very startling, when I contrast it with the lot of millions whose portion is so full of distress or trouble. May I be kept humble and jealous! and may God give me grace to labour in my generation for the good of my brethren, and for his glory! May he keep me his by night and by day, and strengthen me to bear and do his will, through Jesus Christ.
"June 6. I have felt better and stronger all this day, and I thank God for it. [But may he keep my heart tender! May he^keep me gentle and patient, yet active and jealous! May he bless me in himself and in his Son! May he make me humble-minded in this, that I do not look for good things as fmy portion here, but rather should look for troubles as what I deserve, and as what Christ's people are to bear!' If ye be without chastisement,' etc. How much of good have I received at God's hand, and shall I not receive evil? Only, 0 Lord, strengthen me to bear it, whether it visit me in body, in mind, or in estate. Strengthen me with the grace thou didst vouchsafe to thy martyrs; and let me not fall from thee in any trial. 0 Lord, let me cherish a sober mind, to be ready to bear events, and not sullenly. 0 Lord, reveal to me thyself in Christ Jesus, which knowledge will make all suffering and all trials easy. 0 Lord, bless my dearest wife, and strengthen us in the hardest of all trials—evil befalling each other. Bless our dear children, and give me grace to guide them wisely and lovingly through Jesus Christ. 0 Lord, may I join with all thy people, in heaven and on earth, in offering up my prayer to thee through our Lord Jesus Christ; and in saying, 'Glory be to thy most holy name for ever and ever 1'"
Before the departure of the Eugby boys for the holidays, Dr. Arnold preached, on the 5th of June, the farewell sermon, which concluded the course on "the things necessary to be borne in mind by his scholars, wherever they might be scattered in after life." "The real point which concerns us all," he said in that sermon, "is not whether one sin be of one kind or of another, more or less venial, or more or less mischievous in man's judgment, and to our worldly interests; but whether we struggle against all sin, because it is sin—whether we have not placed ourselves consciously under the banner of our Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in him, cleaving to him, feeding on him by faith daily, and so resolved, and continually renewing our resolution, to be his faithful soldiers and servants to our life's end." The last subject given to his pupils for an exercise was, "Domus ultima" (the last house); the last translation for Latin verses, Spenser's verses on the death of Sidney; and the last words in his lecture on the New Testament, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." He observed with solemnity, that " the mere contemplation of Christ shall transform, us into his likeness."
Much of this seemed premonitory. The words of his biographer may describe the rest:—" In the evening he took a short stroll, as usual, on the lawn in the further garden, with his friend and former pupil, from whom the account of these last few days has been chiefly derived.