Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

strengthened in the hour of trial, enabled to per. severe in the ways of holiness, and to love the Saviour supremely. He prayed not in vain ; he was comforted, and could say to the Lord,

Did ever mourner plead with thee,
"And Thou refuse that mourner's plea ?

Does not thy word still ixed remain,
"That none shall seek thy face in vain ?'

When these clouds were somewhat dispersed, he resumed his usual occupations; he now had abundant leisure to perform his promise to Elizabeth, in giving her a narrative of the occurrences that led to his present state of mind. He hoped it would be a memento to her when he was banished from the parental roof, and that the perusal would lead her to seek more earnestly the things that belong to our everlasting peace. In retracing those events, he found he was drinking more deeply of the pure spirit of Christianity, which was inseparably connected with his story. "

The third day of Henry's confinement, Pat returned hoine in a very bad humour, and scolded his mother for having mentioned what he told her about Mr. Henry to the priest. With my crossings and ejaculations, Nurse declared she had never spoken to Father Martin on the subject; she would not do it for the world.

* But you did to somebody, mind of yourself, and think who,' said Pat.

* Barring it was at Molly Regan's wake,' replied his mother, “I never said a word of it in any place; but is any thing the matter ?'

Pat related that he had just heard at the big house, how Mr. Henry was confined to his room

since Sunday, in anger by the master, who would not let him go out or see any one, barring he did what Father Martin desired; and that if he did not, he was to be turned out entirely.

Och hone, my child, what will you do ? cried nurse, clapping her hands. ' But, Pat, my own boy will do what Father Martin bids' him; he won't go again the clargy.'

'He did not do so yet,' said Pat.

* I'll go and speak to Father Martin. I warrant he'll mind me,' replied nurse.

You'll do no such a thing,' said Pat, 'is it to make bad worse? If you held your tongue in the beginning, this would'nt be the case : but women is always gabby.

And throwing a basket on his shoulder, he flung out of the house, leaving Nurse in tears, lamenting her, indiscretion in having said any thing of her cushla, her dear child, whom she loved as well as Pat.

When a short way from the house, Pat began - to whistle, not, ‘for want of thought,' for he was reflecting on the inisfortune of his young master, his brother, who had been nourished by the same milk he drank himself; his companion and playfellow. Pat's affection for him was very strong, and he would have gone any lengths to serve him. He blamed himself for having told the Priest, and soliloquized thus :

It's a poor thing for one to be taken at an amplush, and that's the way Father Martin always does. I wonder why he's so contrary with Mr. Henry for only reading the Bible, when every one knows himself is such a flatterer with the Protestants; and that for a good dinner and wine, he is their man any time. I wish my tongue was sia lent before I mentioned the business ; but sure I couldn't help it; he comes round one so, that they don't know what they're saying, but the next time I'll —

Just then getting over a wall into another field, he was interrupted by meeting Henry, and he started, as if he had seen something supernatural.

What has alarmed you, Pat ? said Henry. Again going to the mountain ?

'I'm not frightened, Sir, only a little put thro' other, for I did not expect to meet you, Mr. Henry. I'm only going to dig a lock of praties, Sir.'

' And why has my presence surprised you, Pat; do you not often meet me ?

Sure enough, Sir, I do; but I was in dread after what I told; and sorra bit, Sir, but I wish't my tongue silent after I did it;- but I did'nt think they would keep you shut up.'

You, then, are the authority the Priest has for his charges against me.'

'Dear Mr. Henry, don't be angry with me; I had no harm in telling my mother, and she mintioned it at a corp-house, and then Father Martin took me at a short.

'I am not displeased, Pat. I would not have you on any account tell a lie. I fear not what the Priest can do unto me. He has, I believe, set my family against me. My father can put me out of his house, and disinherit me, yet I trust I shall be enabled to endure all patiently, and that the Lord will not forsake me.'

'Turn you out ! said Pat,' and, Mr. Henry, is it come to that? What did you do, barring read the Bible, and sure you can quit that.'

*No, Pat, while I live I hope to be guided by
the contents of the Bible.'

'0, then, I suppose, Sir, you are turned a
Protestant, and that's why Father Martin is so
vexed. But, dear Mr. Henry, don't go agin him ;
for he could throw you into fits in a minit's time.'

"Nonsense, Pat, never believe such folly.'
• Ji's truth, Sir.

Such power is not committed to men, Pat ;
we are commanded to fear God alone; an hair of
our heads cannot be injured without his divine
permission.'

'But sure, Sir, he gives the clargy great power;
it's a bad thing to have the anger of a priest.'

'I fear his displeasure no more than I would
that of any other sinner, Pat.'

Sinner, Sir! is it the priest ? O no, Sir, he
can't commit sin.'

Pat, the word of God tells us that “there is
none that doeth good and sinneth not,” and there
is no exception made of the Priest from the flock;
all come under the same description.'

'Well, Sir, that's wonderful. I thought the
priest was as free from sin as a young child.'

'St John tells us, Pat, “ if we say that we have
no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not
in us.”'

I know, Sir, we are sinful, and must go to
confession ; but this doesn't touch the priest at
all.'

Yet the priest must confess and receive abso-
lution from his fellow sinner, as you do, Pat.
Confession of sin is necessary; but it must be
to God alone. We must be sorry for, and forsake
sin, then we are told that God" is faithful and

just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Now, Mr. Henry, I thought Protestants did not go to confession at all.'

"The true Christian, Pat, makes daily, nay, hourly confession; and that to a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God.'

* But, Mr. Henry, how can you go to him, isn't he in heaven, Sir ? .

"The Lord is to be approached in the appointed way, Pat, by prayer. We are commanded to make our wants known unto him, and we are assured, “ that his ears are open to our prayers." That is the true and acceptable way of confessing.'

Myself doesn't see any harm in the Protestants, Sir, and may be the gates of heaven won't be shut agin them the last day after all.'

"The kingdom of heaven will not be shut against any but impenitent sinners,- those who die in sin,

for the Lord will accept them out of every nation and people, who obey his laws. He has promised, and though heaven and earth pass away, what the Lord says will stand forever.?

"Well, Sir, I never thought that any one out of our church would go to heaven, but I think you would not tell me a lie, Mr. Henry. If Father Martin hears I am listening to you, he will be very angry, but, I like to hear you talk ; I can understand you, Sir. Ah, Sir, sure you won't go away; what will I do after you ? and tears rushed into his eyes while he spoke.

"That is all in the hand of the Lord, Pat. He will do what is just and right.'

« VorigeDoorgaan »