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and as for cats, their treachery is pro- small doses, with great frequencyverbial. This one in particular, had the more so, probably, because they no notion of submitting to be handled were so weak. It must be confessed, roughly, even by an expounder of scien- however, respecting her remedies for tific phenomena. There was a pro- moral delinquency, that if they never longed growl, a fierce hissing sound, did much good, they as certainly efaccompanied by a quick stroke of her fected little harm. In general, they velvet paws, and a bloody scratch ap- had no discernible effect whatever, bepeared on the back of Elisha's left hand, yond producing a slight temporary irrithe cause of which instantly escaped tation. into the dining-room with rattling ce- Elisha's deportment during the exlerity. He gazed at his wounded mem- ercise was certainly not devout. He
. ber for a moment, in rueful astonish- tried a variety of postures, from ment, and then the full extent of his lying flat on his back to standing on injury burst upon him, and his loud his head—a feat which he performed outeries brought Mr. Trowbridge from with the skill of a trained acrobat. I his study, and his aunt from her recollect that on another occasion, simsewing, to the scene of his discom- ilar to the one in question, he astonished fiture.
and almost horrified me, by creeping out The wound having been attended to, at the open door during the prayer, runMiss Trowbridge said, calmly,
ning completely around the house, and “Electricity, Elisha, is a very danger- kneeling at his chair again without disous plaything under any circumstances, covery; indeed, he seemed to know to and cats especially, as I have often told a second when the amen would be said ; you, do not love to be made galvanic and that word always found him in a batteries of I don't wonder she proper attitude. scratched you."
After prayers, Aunt Cynthia went with These observations did not appear us to the little chamber overhead, and to comfort the sufferer much.
heard us repeat our own brief formulas I afterwards discoverd that Aunt before going to bed. Elisha rendered Cynthia, though really one of the his petition in a loud voice, his eyes kindest souls alive, had a gift for mak- wide open. I had been accustomed to ing remarks of such exceeding wisdom go through the exercise in a different and appositeness as was truly exasper- manner, and my voice was scarcely ating; and that she could draw a timely audible. He maintained perfect silence moral from the most trifling circum- until I had finished, when he remarked stance. If a person chanced to meet with an air of conviction : with any mishap, her pertinent words “I know God didn't hear it, 'cause were to his soul as a mustard plaster I couldn't more'n half hear from where to an inflamed skin. " Similia simili- I was." bus curantur," seemed to be her prin
11? “It isn't always those who pray the ciple of action, whenever we youngsters loudest that He hears the easiest, got into difficulty.
Elisha,” replied Aunt Cynthia. About nine, Mr. Trowbridge came in Aunt Cynthia was right. from his study, and conducted family When we were alone, my new brother worship. I was very tired, and during told me he was sorry he had made faces the prayer fell asleep, but was brought at me, and pricked me, and that if I to consciousness again by Elisha's prick- liked, we would sleep together. There ing me with a pin. He was detected by were two beds in the room, but we both bis aunt, and afterwards, in private, nestled into his, and he assured me of mildly reprimanded. She did not al- his desire to share with me everything lude to it in Mr. Trowbridge's presence. he had. The good lady's correctives were truly “What made you lame?” he asked, homeopathic, being administered in suddenly.
It would ap
I did not know.
necticut farmer, had lived and died a "I do,” he said; “God made you stanch believer in all the accepted doclame. He didn't make me lame, though, trines of that most orthodox of churches and I am glad of it. If any of the boys —the New England Congregational. make fun of you 'cause you're lame, He bestowed on his first born son the just tell me, and I'll give it to 'em. I name of the prophet whose history he can throw Fred. Williston, and he's a never tired of reading; and he prayed year older'n me."
that the spiritual development of his “Who's Fred. Williston?” I asked. boy might be such that the Lord would But Elisha was asleep.
take him in his especial service. A few minutes later the door was Elijah's mother, too, like Hannah of gently opened, and a tall form came old, piously gave her son to God, with and stood at our bedside. I was not many prayers and tears. afraid, for I knew instinctively that it pear that the prayers of this devoted was Mr. Trowbridge. He stooped and couple were heard, and their offering kissed his boy, at the same time laying accepted. The boy grew up to man's his hand tenderly on my own head. estate, serious and thoughtful; helpThe moonlight flashed through a rift fnl to his parents, and fond of books. in the clouds, and came streaming in But when he proposed to his father to through the window, illuminating all give him a collegiate education, in order the room. There was a look of unut- that he might be fitted to preach the terable love and yearning on his face, | Gospel, the godly man's heart fairly and his caress was like that of my overflowed with joy and gratitude. mother, the day she died, for gentle- Though he rejoiced that his son desired
He uttered something-I think this high destiny, he knew a liberal it must have been a prayer; but I education to be expensive. The burden caught only these two words : “im- of it, in justice to himself and his large mortal souls.”
family, he dared not assume. Whether The next morning he was grave and he looked forward to this period in his cold, and I was afraid of him again. son's history, the day on which he dediI thought of his tenderness the night cated him to the ministry, is uncertain. before, and was almost persuaded that Probably he did not, or if he did, he I had dreamed a beautiful dream. It might have reasoned that if God could was not until many years afterwards send birds of the air to feed His chosen that I knew for a certainty whether the prophet, He could and would provide vision was real.
for the man whom He should choose to But through all that long and terri- be His messenger to a different people ble night, though the moon shone on and in another age. Perhaps also he thousands and thousands of pale, dead expected, or at least hoped, that his faces, it shone on none that were paler circumstances, after a score of years of than was the living face of him who sat industry and economy, would admit of in that same chamber, by that same bed, his bearing the expense of his son's and in anguish of soul, spoke the words education. However, this may be, the of the grief-stricken king of Israel: eventful time came, and Ezekiel Trow“O my son Absalom! my son, my son bridge was still a poor man. He told Absalom! would God I had died for Elijah, when he made known his desire, thee, 0 Absalom, my son, my son!” that nothing would so crown his days
with thankfulness as to see him in the
ministry, but that he could furnish him CHAPTER II.
little pecuniary assistance.
“If,” said he, “you are disposed to FATHER AND SON.
prosecute this worthy purpose, I will The Rev. Elijah Trowbridge was of give you your time and earnings from Puritan descent. His father, a Con- this very day. That is all I can give
you, except my counsel when you want Verily the Lord hath hardened the it, and my prayers always."
hearts of the people of this community. Elijah accepted the situation, and for They hear, but will not understand. two years chopped wood, worked in the Query: May a man or a community of hay-field, and taught school, with pa- men wickedly persist in disbelief until tient industry, devoting his spare mo- God's righteous anger is kindled against ments to his books. When he formally them, and He blinds their eyes and stops entered upon his course of study, he their ears and hardens their hearts so was as old as many a young man who that they can not understand the truth already wrote B. A. after his name. --in a word, abandons them to hopeNothing daunted by this fact, but rather less atheism? It is a terrible thought. stimulated to greater exertion, he ap- I pray that such may not be the awful plied himself to the work before him case of this poor people.” with characteristic earnestness. He Belief was so easy with him that he was not a man of brilliant ability. His had little sympathy with such minds scholarship was sound; but he acquired as were by nature skeptical. Heresy by persistent effort, rather than by in- rolled from his mind like water from a tellectual acuteness. He was a plodder; swan's back; and he had no patience he turned neither to the right hand nor with such of his colleagues as suffered to the left, but crept steadily onward themselves to be drawn aside from the toward the goal he had set for himself. truth, even temporarily. By close economy and occasional aid Although he marveled at the slowfrom various sources—there are always ness of his hearers to understand, and those who are willing to aid a faithful mourned his own incompetency to instudent—he got through his collegiate struct them, yet it is a fact that his and seminary courses. As has been series of discourses, in refutation of said, his mind was naturally of a serious widely prevalent infidel notions, were cast. It was made still more so by his remarkably effective. He delivered long, and in many respects, arduous them in many places, and always with struggles for an education. He never, marked results. It was while thus ocwhile in the seminary, shrank from em- cupied that he made the above quoted bracing any Calvanistic doctrine, how entry in his journal. Under another ever forbidding at first sight to a sensi- date, and while, obviously, similarly tive mind. He was one of those few engaged, he wrote this: “It is largely students who seem never to doubt. He owing to my own unfitness for the work believed in God, the Bible, Calvin, and that so little good is accomplished. I the Faculty of his Seminary, implicitly. wonder that the Lord deigns to employ He accepted the first, because the ex- so unprofitable a servant. I am unistence of such a Being had been taught worthy of my high office.” The results him, primarily, by his parents, and be of his labors in this field were doubtcause such a belief was a necessity of less far below his desires, but they were his own mind in its maturer develop- sufficient to satisfy a man of greater ment. Probably his belief was strength. vanity and a less vivid sense of the ened by the arguments which he found responsibilities of his calling. His in books. But he believed before he standard of morality also was very could read, and had he never learned high, so much higher than that of men to read would have believed just the in general, that he was almost daily same. In after life he was a skillful surprised and grieved at conduct for manipulator of the established argu- which less sensitive consciences felt no ments, and could never understand how twinge. The wayward sheep might err it was that considerations which were without compunction, but the shepherd 80 satisfactory to his own mind made so suffered. He shrank, as from contamlittle impression on the minds of others. ination, from words and actions, the I find this record in his journal : sinfulness or even impropriety of wbich
never occurred to many very good peo- the tender and sympathizing Friend, ple. Having decided this to be right Him Mr. Trowbridge failed to make and that wrong, he was anxious to real either to himself or his congregabring all men to adopt the same high tion. As a natural consequence, after standard. He lamented their willing- listening to a sermon over which he ness to remain contented with a lower had labored and prayed with an agony one. He could tolerate no half-way of solicitude, the old men went home morality. In his view, right and wrong saying it was a sound, an excellent were like white and black, side by side discourse; and the younger people perhaps, but always in sharp contrast; went their way, wishing the minister the one 'never blending with or shading wouldn't be so painfully long and dry. off into the other by imperceptible de- He saw that this was so, and mourned grees, as is the theory of some. over it; but it was long before he knew
Although Mr. Trowbridge thor- how to remedy the evil. oughly believed in the depravity of With all his gravity and apparent the human heart, he did not under- coldness, his nature was by no means stand it. He was different from the lacking in capacity for loving. He majority of men, and not in sympathy loved an immortal soul wherever found, with the ordinary run of poor human and felt that somehow he was personity. He was above it. He could ally responsible for its salvation. As preach to it, argue with it, pray for it, has been intimated, this sense of reand feel for it; but, alas! not with it. sponsibility weighed him down and He could reason with and convince saddened him; and when he saw how men, but he could not persuade them. little fruit his labors produced among His sermons were apt to be elaborate his people, he felt that he was indeed arguments, in which the plan of sal- (it is recorded again and again in his vation was clearly set forth as the only journal) “a weak instrument, a most logical, reasonable, or possible method unprofitable servant." whereby men might be saved; and he His peculiar character at middle life did not hesitate to pronounce sentence was, doubtless, largely owing, also, to upon those who should neglect to avail an experience which was, in brief, as themselves of this way of escape from follows: the wrath of an offended God. Re- He married a young lady of a family demption, as he portrayed it, was, in- very different from his own. It had deed, through and only through the been a wealthy family once; but reall-sufficient merits of Christ's blood. verses in business had scattered the But the healing rays of his Sun of rich merchant's property and sent himRighteousness were so hidden behind self into a premature grave. He left those sullen clouds : justice, inflexible two children and their mother to fight and eternal; God, omnipresent, omnip- the battle of life, with a slender inotent and angry; man, depraved and come, and no experience in the art of already condemned, and only to be living on next to nothing a year. saved from an eternity of irremediable They bravely conformed themselves to woe by a substitution of victim for their altered circumstances, however, victim, that they failed to reach the and bore their misfortunes with cheerheart with their kindly warmth, and ful faces. quicken into activity its latent germs Mrs. Prime's two children were a of good. He could present the God son and daughter. The name of the who thundered on Mount Sinai in all former was William. He was his sishis terrible attributes, and could earn
ter's senior by three years. estly urge his hearers to become recon- tered a wholesale store at an early age, ciled to him through his atoning Son. and ultimately became a successful But the Christ of the New Testament, the merchant. His history will be spoken Divine Teacher, the perfect Example, of more particularly hereafter. The
daughter's name was Madge. She was whole existence. Her buoyant hope-
and her love with a dash of her mother's independ soothed, sustained, and strengthened ent and naturally somewhat haughty him. His affection for her, on the spirit. One Sunday, soon after Mr. other hand, appeared not only in his Trowbridge graduated from the semi- personal relations with her; it pernary, and before he was settled, he meated his entire daily life and glowed chanced to preach in the village where in all his actions and spoke in all he Madge was fighting her part of the said. There had existed in this man's battle as
a teacher. In that first heart, from childhood, a fountain of moment, during which his eyes rested love and tenderness; but it had never on her, this earnest, silent, grave
been unsealed. Madge was the first young minister fell in love with a one who had ever caused its waters to woman who was, apparently, in every overflow. The ice, which for so long respect, his opposite. It is probable had overlaid and bound them, melted that the love which she returned him under the warm sunshine of a woman's was of slower growth. He was not a love, and he was a new creature. How man to suddenly inspire a beautiful he loved her! He feared that in his woman's heart with affection. He affection for her, he was a violator of conducted his wooing as he had pur- the first commandment. He prayed sued his studies; earnestly, system that he might not love her too wellatically, and persistently. He had a so well that God would take her from good, almost a commanding form; a him. He trembled at his own felicity. fine pair of eyes; a strong, intelligent He was accustomed to preach that true face and an agreeable address. Every happiness belonged to those only who body respected him, and spoke well of had triumphantly passed through the him; which was fortunate, as he had trials and disappointments of this vale little to say either for or of himself. of tears and had effected an entrance He was a man of few words.
into heaven. Yet he beheld himself There are people who aver that happy here, even here—bound up in there is not a girl in the world whom an earthly love and satisfied with it. a handsome and decently smart young
Was it a spare ? clergy man in good and regular stand- Ten years of married life passed ing can not marry, if-pardon the ex- quickly away. Then the end came sudpression, good brethren of the profes- denly, and it was bitter. She was gone;
. sion-he plays his cards rightly; and, gone in a night, and he was alone. provided, of course, the lady's affec- Had he made an idol of his wife and tions are disengaged. Without offer- bowed down to it? If s
the idol was ing any opinion as to the truth of this broken now and taken from him. He assertion, it is certain that in due pro- did not know; he could not reason cess of time the beautiful and high- about it; he could not think. He spirited Madge was prevailed upon by could only kneel by the bed on which Mr. Trowbridge to lay down her birch she lay, so pale and beautiful, and say, en scepter and assume the management over and over again, “Thy will be of himself and his prospective house done,” and try to feel it in his heart, hold. She had not long left the and be resigned. school-room for a parsonage, when ob- Ah, it is hard to be submissive when servers noted a change in Mr. Trow- your life's dearest treasure is snatched bridge. His face, words, and manner suddenly away! It is hard to be reindicated the presence, in his life, of signed to a Providence which has something which had hitherto been turned your day to darkness! He did lacking. He had found his nature's it in love—is full of tenderness ; look true complement, and was happy to Him and see it in his face. Nay, ,
. His wife's cheerfulness lighted up his but his face is hid from me; the sky