Puslapio vaizdai

The worst speak something good. If all want sense
God takes a text and preacheth patience.

He that gets patience and the blessing which

Preachers conclude with, hath pot lost his pains." This sort of patience was all that Daniel could have derived from the discourses of the poor curate ; and it was a lesson of which his meek and benign temper stood in no need. Nature had endowed him with this virtue, and this Sunday's discipline exercised it without strengthening it. While he was, in the phrase of the Religious Public, sitting under the preacher, he obeyed to a certain extent George Herbert's precept,-that is he obeyed it as he did other laws with the existence of which he was unacquainted,

Let vain or busy thoughts have there no part;

Bring not thy plough, thy plots, thy pleasure thither. Pleasure made no part of his speculations at any time. Plots he had none. For the Plough,-it was what he never followed in fancy, patiently as he plodded after the furrow in his own vocation. And then for worldly thoughts they were not likely in that place to enter a mind, which

never at any time entertained them. But to that sort of thought (if thought it may be called) which cometh as it listeth, and which when the mind is at ease and the body in health, is the forerunner and usher of sleep, he certainly gave way. The curate's voice past over his ear like the sound of the brook with which it blended, and it conveyed to him as little meaning and less feeling. During the sermon therefore he retired into himself, with as much or as little edification, as a Quaker finds at a silent meeting.

It happened also that of the few clergy within the very narrow circle in which Daniel moved, some were in no good repute for their conduct, and none displayed either that zeal in the discharge of their pastoral functions, or that earnestness and ability in performing the service of the Church, which are necessary for commanding the respect and securing the affections of the parishioners. The clerical profession had never presented itself to him in its best, which is really its true light; and for that cause he would never have thought of it for the boy, even if the means of putting him forward in this path had been easier and more obvious than they were. And for the dissenting ministry, Daniel liked not the name of a Nonconformist. The Puritans had left behind them an ill savour in his part of the country, as they had done every where else; and the extravagances of the primitive Quakers, which during his childhood were fresh in remembrance, had not yet been forgotten.

It was well remembered in those parts that the Vicar of Kirkby Lonsdale through the malignity of some of his puritanical parishioners, had been taken out of his bed from his wife who was then big with child, and hurried away to Lancaster jail, where he was imprisoned three years for no other offence than that of fidelity to his Church and his King. And that the man who was a chief instigator of this persecution, and had enriched himself by the spoil of his neighbour's goods, though he flourished for a while, bought a field and built a fine house, came to poverty at last, and died in prison, having for some time received his daily food there from the table of one of this very Vicar's


It was well remembered also that, in a parish of the adjoining county-palatine, the puritanical party had set fire in the night to the Rector's barns, stable, and parsonage; and that he and his wife and children had only as it were by miracle escaped from the flames.

William Dove had also among his traditional stores some stories of a stranger kind concerning the Quakers, these parts of the North having been a great scene of their vagaries in their early days. He used to relate how one of them went into the church at Brough, during the reign of the Puritans, with a white sheet about his body, and a rope about his neck, to prophesy before the people and their Whig Priest (as he called him) that the surplice which was then prohibited should again come into use, and that the Gallows should have its due ! And how when their ring-leader George Fox was put in prison at Carlisle, the wife of Justice Benson would eat no meat unless she partook it with him at the bars of his dungeon, declaring she was moved to do this; wherefore it was supposed he had bewitched her. And not without reason; for when this old George went, as he often did, into the Church to disturb the people, and they thrust him out, and fell upon and beat him, sparing neither sticks nor stones if they came to hand, he was presently for all that they had done to him, as sound and as fresh as if nothing had touched him; and when they tried to kill him, they could not take away his life! And how this old George rode a great black horse, upon which he was seen in the course of the same hour at two places threescore miles distant from each other! And how some of the women who followed this old George used to strip off all their clothes, and in that plight go into church at service time on the Sunday to bear testimony against the pomps and vanities of the world; "and to be sure,” said William, “ they must have been witched, or they never would have done this." “ Lord deliver us!” said Dinah, “ to be sure they must!” “To be sure they must, Lord bless us all!” said Haggy.


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