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Why, Richard,” said I, " what are you doing down there ?': for I could scarcely see more than his head—“ you seem to be making a strong entrenchment round your castle.”

I dare say, Sir,” he answered, you may wonder what I am about; but at this time of year, when the springs are low, I generally spend an hour, when I have leisure in an evening, in repairing the garden-mound, that it may be fit to stand against the assaults of what I call my two winter enemies."

“What can they be ?" I asked ; " I did not know that you had any enemies."

“Yes, Sir, I have,” he replied ; " at least my garden had two, land-floods, and Scotch ponies. Almost every winter, once, if not twice, there is a violent land-flood from the high-ground behind the house ; and if this ditch were not kept clear, to take the water off immediately, the garden would not recover the damage all the next year. To be sure, this kind of flood does not commonly last many hours ; but that is long enough, you know, Sir, to spoil the labour of weeks and months.”

“ That I can understand," I answered ; " but how you can be in any alarm about Highland ponies, I cannot imagine.”

• Why,” said he,“ you know, Sir, that there is a fair at the town every year, early in the Spring, where a great many of these ponies are bought and sold; and for many years past, Mr. Saveall, the owner of this field, has let it for one day and night to the horsedealer, (a well known man out of Lincolnshire,) to turn those ponies into, as well as other horses he may have purchased at the fair. The first year I was here, I was not aware of this custom, and had taken no precaution against it; so these little mountaineers got in at a weak place in the hedge during the night, and trod the garden, as one may say, to a mummy. So, to protect myself for the future against such mischievous visitors, I put this fence along, which I was now repairing. And if you will please to look at it, I think you, Sir, will allow that it was not badly contrived, though I say it, who should not say it."

All along the whole length of the garden, (which might be perhaps nearly one hundred yards,) on that side which was next the foot-path, he had fixed very neatly, about half way up the slope of the ditch on the opposite side, a double indented line of

sharp strong stakes, pointing upwards, presenting a sort of chevaux de frise ; an impenetrable barrier, which no pony, highland or lowland, could possibly get through or over.

We said something in commendation of his skill and precaution : on which he observed ; “ I am glad, Sir, you approve of what I have done; for it has cost me a good deal of labour. And my neighbour, Farmer Yawn, who has been standing by me for the last three quarters of an hour, and went away just as you came up, he

says, I am taking a deal of trouble, and very likely for nothing ; how can I be sure there will be a land flood, or that the man well turn in the ponies ? and besides, (says he,) neither landflood nor ponies would stay twelve hours. But I know better, Sir, than to take Mr. Yawn's advice ; for if my bit of garden should be ruined for a twelvemonth, it would be no comfort afterwards to think, that perhaps it might not have happened, or that the mischief was quickly done, or that with timely caution it might have been prevented."

After a few more words we wished him a good evening, and walked on for some little way in silence, which my companion put an end to by saying, “ It must be confessed that our friend Nelson is a sensible man; and not the less so, (added he, with a smile, because I am sure he will agree with me in opinion.”

For in the course of our walk we had been discussing rather earnestly the subject of the Athanasian Creed ; the question between us not being as to the doctrines contained in it, but as to the expediency of retaining it in the Liturgy, supposing any changes should take place in that also, as in every thing else. Not that there was any real difference of opinion between us on that point either; but wishing to know his views on the subject, I had been urging the various objections, such of them at least as are more plausible, and had been gratified with observing how little weight he attached to them; and my satisfaction was the greater, because, from his education and profession, as a layman and a merchant, he could not be accused of what have been scornfully designated as “ academical and clerical prejudices." "

In the course of our conversation he had expressed himself most earnestly in favour of the Athanasian Creed ; alleging, for this his opinion, various reasons, and among others the following ; “ that he regarded this Creed in the light of a fence or bulwark, set up to protect the Truth against all innovations and encroachments; and that to take it away, particularly in times when popular opinion, or rather feeling, was against it, would be almost high treason against God: (that was his word :) would be, so far as in us lies, wilfully to expose the Truth to be trodden down by its enemies."

“ Now,” said he," whilst you were talking to our friend Nelson, it struck me that his care about his garden very aptly expresses our duty in respect of this very subject. For why is this Creed so obnoxious ? simply because it is so strongly and sharply worded ; because it leaves no opening for a semi-socinian or a five quarter latitudinarian to creep in at ; because it presents an insurmountable obstacle to every intruder who would trample under foot the Lord's vineyard.

“ And even if the aspect of things were more favourable, even if there were no sign of danger at hand, I should much rather advise that, like Nelson, we should look forward to probable or possible inroads, than venture to neglect, much less to remove, our fences.

“ But,” he continued, " in the present condition of what is by courtesy, (or one might almost say, facetiously,) called the Christian world, it were in my judgment little less than madness to yield so strong a position, --one too which, if once lost, can never be recovered."

And then he referred to what he had before been insisting on, the great mistake made by the American Church in rejecting the Athanasian Creed from her Liturgy ; and how, from personal observation during his residence, first at New York, and afterwards at Charleston, he was sure the time would come when its loss would be felt and acknowledged by the true sons of that Church. “And I wish," added he, as we concluded our walk and our discussion together, you would endeavour to ascertain what are the sentiments of our friend Nelson on this subject, for I have no doubt he has turned it over in his mind; and his opinion must certainly be of value, because happily for himself he has not been, I suppose, in the way of hearing the profane absurdities that are daily written and spoken against this inestimable Creed."

“ Yes," said I, " whatever his opinions are, I doubt not they will


be found candid, and free from unreasonable prejudice ; and I will take an early opportunity of ascertaining them."

Soon after this my friend left me, and I promised to communicate to him the result of my inquiries. The Sunday following, it being a serene autumnal morning, according to the description of the Divine Poet" most calm, most bright"- I proceeded earlier than usual towards the school.

When I came up to Richard's cottage, he was standing at the gate, with his infant child in his arms, looking as if he could envy no man; as if Sunday were to him what it should be to us all, “ the couch of time, care's balm and bay." “ You are rather earlier, Sir, than usual,” he said.

Yes," I answered," the morning is so lovely, so Sunday-like, I could not endure to stay any longer within doors."

After some few observations had passed between us,-in which he expressed with an unaffected solemnity of manner peculiar to himself, his sense of the value of each returning LORD's day, calling it, (and I think he used, though unconsciously, Isaac Walton's very words,) “a step towards a blessed eternity,”—I asked him if he would have any objection to take two or three turns with me in the beech-walk, as it still wanted a considerable time to school.

He answered that he would gladly accompany me, especially as it might be better for the child to be taken under the shade of the trees.

Richard,” said I,“ my friend Mr. Woodnot, and I may call him

your friend too, was much amused with your plan for keeping off the enemies of your garden. He commended it highly, and thinks you therein set a good example to all true Churchmen, and especially to us of the Clergy."

“ In what respect, Sir ?” he asked, • Why," I replied, “in keeping your fences strong and sharp, and contrived in the best possible way to serve the purpose of fences ; namely, to preserve one's property from injury. For we understood you to say, that, were it not for a little observation and foresight, however well all might be for three hundred and sixty-four days in the year, in one twenty-four hours all might be laid waste, either by the torrent from the high ground above you, or by the cattle from your neighbour's field."


“ Indeed, Sir,” he answered, “ that is no more than the truth. But I confess I do not exactly see how, in acting thus, I have set any particularly good example. No person of common sense could do otherwise."

“ As to that,” I replied, " perhaps what some witty man said of common honesty, he might too have said of common sense, that it is a very uncommon thing. But be that as it may, it certainly would appear to me to be no mark of sense nor of honesty either, if we Christians who are put in trust (as St. Paul speaks) with the Gospel,' were to draw back from our strong advanced positions, in the vain hope that the Enemy would be content with this success, and encroach no further.”

May I ask, Sir,” he said, “ What is it you refer to ?

Why, Richard," I replied, " of course you have heard that a great many people think the Church Prayer Book ought to be altered; and that first and foremost the Athanasian Creed ought to be put out of it."

“ Sir," said he, “ I have heard more than one person make this observation, but I never took much account of it till about a year or eighteen months ago, when a brother-in-law of mine, who is fond of poring over the newspapers, told me he had been reading extracts from the works of a famous preacher, one Dr. Hoadley, which I am sorry to say he was inclined to admire. For in these extracts there were objections made to other parts of the Church Service, and particularly to the Athanasian Creed, which the Dr. said) was a great blot in the Prayer Book, and that he wished we were well rid of it, with other such disrespectful expressions. Now, Sir, it seemed to me such a thing, for a Clergyman who had signed the Articles and the Prayer Book, and had his maintenance from the Church, and had taken an oath before God and man to teach the truth to his flock, according to the Prayer Book ; that a Church Minister should take upon him to omit so remarkable a portion of the Church Service; nay more, should speak so slightingly of what he had solemnly assented to, and was even sworn to; this seemed to me to be astonishing, and, I must confess to you, even shocking. And, Sir, I thought of what my mother had said to me in her last illness, about the danger of trifling with God AlMighty. I thought too, if there should be many such clergymen

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