« PoprzedniaDalej »
afraid to speak, lest they should stumble upon something which Mr. Norman would call dissent; and I am certain our rector took his seat in the chair, with the full determination that Mr. Sidney should not speak, lest he should preach the gospel.”
“Emma, (said Lady Sophia with some asperity), you remind me of those persons of whom Jeremiah complains; • All my familiars watched for my balting. Mr. Norman thought fit to absent himself from one meeting, and you expressed great indignation at his absence; be attends another, at which every good Churchman should be present, and you are still dissatisfied.”
“ Because, in attending it, I believe he only acted upon that principle which I saw advocated in one of the papers, or pamphlets, that Marcella Norman sends us. The Editor, or correspondent of the paper, advised, that those who hold church principles, (as they are called,) should not withdraw from the committees, and meetings of the various societies, but remain in them, and endeavour to leaven them with their opinions. I forget the exact expressions, but there was a bint given, that it would be well when these societies could be done without altogether ;here comes Mr. Sidney; let us ask him what it really was that spoiled the meeting."
“Now Mr. Sidney," (said Lady Sophia shaking hands with bim,) “Emma is anxious to have your sanction for condemning the meeting. For my own part, I think it was well attended, and ably addressed. But my two young friends are determined not to be satisfied with any thing poor Mr. Norman does.”
“ Twenty years ago,” said Mr. Sidney, “ When I
was quite a boy, I was spending a few day's with my dear old friend Mr. Warner. The first Church Missionary Meeting that ever was held in Fernely, took place then, and I shall never forget it. To me there appeared to be a halo of glory round the place in which it was held. The clergyman who addressed the meeting, was on the eve of sailing to India as a missionary, and there was a holiness, a self-consecration that pervaded the little assembly, which I look in vain for now. The jeer of the scorner, the disapprobation of the worldling, even the charge of dissent was not heeded then, and we came away resolving to spend, and be spent for Christ. How has that resolve been fulfilled ? Perhaps, had our first love not decayed-our distinctiveness from the world continued, the blight that seems settling on our holy things, would bave been dispersed when first it appeared. Let us search and try our ways; and turn again to the Lord.'"
Lady Sopbia felt that her question was answered. She too remembered that meeting, and the eagerness with which she formed a juvenile association in the good cause. From that day she had been a friend to missions in general, and secretary to the auxiliary societies in Fernely. But when she repeated to herself “twenty years ago," she knew that the brightness of her zeal had worn off, and the fervour of her first love decayed, and a feeling of sadness prevented her reply.
After a few moments silence, Mary said, “Do you think, Mr. Sidney, the plan Jately proposed for collecting all contributions, and”-she hesitated“ giving them to the Bishops, to be disposed of as they think fit, a wise and useful plan ?"
“Why could you not say, laying them at the Bishops' feet, Mary?” asked.Emma laughing.
“ Before that plan could be carried out, in a manner that would please the proposers of it," replied Mr. Sidney, “the whole bench of Bishops mąst hold unanimous opinions, and those opinions, to say the least, must be very high church, and I should greatly prefer the present method of devoting money to the service of God, to the probable destination of the vast heap, which might then be collected on the communion-table. It would perhaps-”
“Prove a fine addition to Peter's pence,” interrupted Emma.
“I am not sure of that,” (returned Mr. Sidney smiling.) " But whether the new doctrines are opening the way for return to Rome, or whether they are intended to make the chair of Augustine and Lanfranc vie with that of St. Peter, it matters little, if man, and man's authority be permitted to tbrust themselves between the sinner and his Lord, and any one church, (be it the apostate of Rome, or the hitherto scriptural one of England,) presume to say, 'beyond my pale there is no salvation.' Out of Christ there is no salvation, In him there is a safe refuge for all; for Jew, and Gentile; Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Independent, or Methodist.”
When Mary reached home, she found a few lines from Edward, in answer to her long, and anxiously written letter. She read them eagerly, but though she felt pleased with bis warmly-expressed disapprobation of the errors she most dreaded he might be led into, she thought his words savoured of selfconfidence, and was but imperfectly reassured, although he said-“ Fear not for me, dear Mary; I am too thoroughly alive to the follies and mistakes of the Tractarian party ever to be be caught by them. The errors in their works are too glaring for there to be any danger in my plucking a few flowers from among them. So rest satisfied, my own sister, a Puseyite I never can be, but I trust before many years have rolled over our heads, you will have the comfort of knowing that I am an ordained minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is still the first, best wish of “Your affectionate Brother,
“ EDWARD SPENCER."
16 THAT wondrous volume, the charter of human hope, the anchor of human faith, affords instruction definite, and expectations precise. Jesus Christ is linked to qur world by ties less fragile than those which human theology has framed. Surely He will • COME AGAIN,' and exhibit those ties in all their beauty, and in all their strength.”—Townsend.
“ EARLY piety," it has been remarked, " is usually eminent piety;" youth is ardent and enthusiastic, and whatever the object of pursuit may be, it is generally sougbt with warmth and earnestoess : very happy are they, whose young hearts are anchored securely on him who changeth not, before they are launched forth on the world's glittering and restless tide, or wander into the broad paths of sin, laying up in store for themselves many an agonizing reflection, when they begin to be in want, and think mournfully of the blessedness of the Lord's household.
The way of boliness, is a way of “pleasantness and peace”-eternity is brightened, and life endeared to the cbild of God, for he has One to serve, whose constraining love he feels in every sunbeam which lightens his path, and every promise that makes the word of truth onspeakably precious; he has a Master to follow who purchased his willing service with the costly price of his own blood-no longer his own, he delights to glorify Him, in whose "favour is life,” and when the night draweth nigh in which no man can work, he feels the loving-kindness of his God to be better than life, and rejoices in hope of the glory to be revealed.
Bat there are few who choose the Lord for their portion while life is in its spring, and the allure