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brushwood, and presently the thick strain of anxious love was in his branches were pushed aside and a face. After a moment he said, face suddenly appeared, looking in the softness of his voice seeming to the opening in which the young to search through the silence as man sat. It was a face which his eyes searched through awakened in him at first a great void, “My son ! are you here, my throb of loving and kindness, being son ?” a countenance he had longed for for The young man still paused & many a day, thinking that had it little, unwilling to relieve the shone upon him on earth it might other, yet not willing to lose the have saved him from all his follies : pleasure of revealing like a but along with this there came a proach his own abandoned state. rush of resentment into his mind “I am here," at last he said. which checked the cry of “Father!” The father pushed through the which had come to his lips. And trees and came to him quickly, and he sat unmoving, allowing those once more there came into the eyes to search through the shade, young man's mind the story of though he knew that till he spoke him who saw his son a long way he could never be found. It gave off, and ran and fell upon his neck. him a kind of angry pleasure to Had he himself been as of old, see the curves of anxiety round this was what his father would them, the eagerness of the look. have done—but how can a man Ah, he was sorry! but what was embrace a voice? Yet the movethat when he had shut his door, ment melted him, and made him when he had made no effort to rise to his feet to meet the other, bring the wanderer in. “My though still with that unreasoning mother,” said the young man, resentment in his mind, as though o would have been different: never the door had been shut upon him, would she have rested and left me which was not shut, though he outside ;” but then there struck was unable to cross the threshold. him like an arrow the thought of There was authority and command, many moments in the past when as of one used to rule, in the face he had said to himself, “If my of this man who was his father : father had been here !"
but everything else was veiled with The other figure stood wistfully the great pity and love that was under the shadow of the tree—a in his voice. "It was not thus man not old, full of the dignity and we hoped to welcome you, my son, strength of life-like one who knew my son !” he cried, coming near, much and had seen much, and whose with his arms stretched out. hands were full of serious affairs. “How is it,” cried the young You might have been sure that he man, “that I feel all my members had left for a moment many things from head to foot, and every that called for his care to come faculty, and yet you see me not, here on this quest. His eyes were touch me not? It makes a man clear, shining with truth and justice mad to be, and yet not to be." and honour. Such
shine like “God save you !" said the father, stars even in the earth, and the with tears. “God aid you! We eyes of the helpless understand know not how it is—nor can we and the poor cry to them. Noth- do anything to help. It is for ing could disturb the heavenly your purification, and because that quiet in them, the look of a soul which is must have its natural at peace; but the curves of the accomplishment. The sins of the eyelids were troubled, and the flesh destroy the flesh, as is just.
But you, you are still able to love, You will begin to think of Him to think, to adore your God in His who for us lived and died and works. My son, accept and submit lived again, and is for ever and —and the better day will come.”
You will not consent to “Submit! to be nothing !” said wipe out His name, but stand for the young man,
And then he Him among your fellows. And cried bitterly, "Have I any other things that are not you will choice? It is stronger than I am. fill
heart I must submit, since you will “That are not me!- but who is not help, nor any one.
so miserable as I ?” cried the
young mother- and here his voice man, covering his face with his broke. It was not that his mind hands. felt all the bitterness with which he The father paused for pity, spoke : and he knew that no one looking at him with eyes that could help him: yet having in him were full of tears. “ It has not still all the humanness of a child, been given to you, oh my son,” it gave him pleasure to wound one he said, “to pass by the Temple who might have helped him had in the wood : yet still it may be. things been otherwise, and to Heretofore you have done what prove that he was abandoned and you would, but not here : for here forsaken, he who hitherto had the will of God reigns alone, and always been helped and forgiven. man can contradict it no more. He looked for reproof, but none Yet from time to time,” he said,
His father, standing so near “ from time to time there is in this him, looking at him with such great Land of Suspense, as in all tender pity, said nothing but "My the worlds where the myriads of our son !” and as these two words, brethren dwell, a day of grace, when whether from the Most High God the Lord Himself passes through. or from the faltering lips of a man, As he goes to visit the spheres of enclose all of love that words can His dominions there is no place carry, what was there more that where He does not pass through, could be said ?
and hears every cry and heals every “My son,” he said, “it is not soul that comes to Him. Beloved permitted here that we should dis- be His name! Blessing and love cuss or that we should justify the breathe round about Him, and no ways of our God.
one whom it touches can withstand cry out against them, you know that holy breath.” that they are just and very merci- The young man looked up, and ful, punishing not, but permitting for a moment it seemed that the that this which must be, should eyes of the heavenly man and of be accomplished in you. Yet not the spirit met, and that he who without hope. All that is of the was in the body, that house of God spirit is yours as before. You can not made with hands, saw him judge, you can understand, you who was out of the body : for the can know. And above all you
eyes of the son were full of tears can love. What is greater than like those of the father, and he the mind and the heart?
said with a broken voice, “So I but naked of this frame, this body have always been taught to think which is beloved and blessed be- of Him. I am no stranger, my cause it is as the body of the Lord. father, my father! I have sinned But even for this not without hope. but yet I am of His house." My child, the day will come when “God bless thee, my son,” the you will not think only of yourself. father said.
After this there came weary thing that had life. He himself, mornings and evenings, or what drawn he could not tell how, alhe felt to be such, taking no most against his will, by someaccount of them, yet rousing ever thing that overmastered him, that from his thoughts to feel the glory made his breath come quick and of the day and the sweetness of his heart beat, hastened to the the night; for neither tempest nor hill behind the wood, and placed trouble was there, and the other himself on the highest point, where great worlds that are visible in he could see all that went on bethe dark, rolling along their course low. Fain would his feet have in the world of space, became as gone farther, fain would they have the houses of friends opening their carried him to the level of the valdoors, showing ever another and an- ley which he could see stretching other world of men, some like those far to the east and to the west: for others, white men and shining, some already he saw the first of the great in hosts of vague faces like the procession appearing, and all the inshadow of crowds which he knew habitants of the town which should to be as himself: and the sensation have been his home pouring forth of all those multitudes about who in bands, in glistening garments, peopled what we call the sky, multi- with flowers and palms to strew tudes more than could benumbered, upon the path of Him that was being all those who had lived and coming. The young man knew died on the earth since its wonder who it was that was coming, and ful story began, silenced and his heart seemed to go forth out soothed him as we are soothed to of his breast towards that great know that others are as we are, Traveller ; but there was something treading the same path. Many in him that held back, and that things were there which he could made him cover his face in an not understand. Sometimes it ap- anguish of shame.
For who was peared to him that he could see he that he should dare to look the signs of great commotion in upon the Lord as He passed, blessone of those neighbouring worlds, ing all men upon His way? Someand shouting afar off, which came thing came floating up to him upon but as a murmur to his ears; and the air like a waft of blessing: once it seemed to him that he saw was it a call to him—the sound of a great procession coming forth, as his name? He knew not, but dug if the King were making a visita- his hands into the roots of the tion from one star to another, and grass, and dared not to lift up his a great shining bridge of light was eyes. And in the meantime the thrown from planet to planet, by great procession went on, while which He went and came. his heart, as it were, contended
It was a long time, however, with him and cried, moaning and before he saw that passing through foaming and struggling, that he of which his father had told him. should go, while still he kept back Yet one day, in the rising of the ashamed, asking himself how he morning, a note as of a silver dared to look the Lord in the face, bugle suddenly penetrated the or hear Him blessing the people, spheres, and everything stirred and find there was no word for with expectation, the very air and him? There he lay, feeling every the birds in the trees, and every- member of his frame contend with
him to get to the feet of the Lord, learned than the sages of the for-
of the mind. There were some This happened but once, and it indeed who were like himself, and may not be supposed that he spent would not be comforted because all the endless time he had at his of being no longer men but only disposal in so agitating a way. By voices, without identity, without moments these thoughts came upon substance, and incapable of uniting him and possessed him: yet seldom,
themselves to each other save with for he was seldom alone, his fellow- the loosest ties. They were not inhabitants, both of one side and brethren for joy and for sorrow, the other, coming to him continu- for neither was there : they could ally and occupying him with other not stand by each other, or pledge plans and ideas. Many visitors themselves to be true friends for he had from the town upon the death and life, for of that there hill, the dwelling of his kindred :
even that of questions and find them simple, staying in one place, or confinwhich, in the days of his formering yourself to one kind of assolife, he could remember to have ciates, no pain, no limitations, but thought upon with awe as things each free to learn all he could, to that it was impossible to fathom. perfect his genius, to increase his Thus he became wise, and more knowledge? Was not this enough
for any soul? And some of them state in which their consciousness scoffed at the idea of any reckon- began; and another, that the body ing yet to come, pointing out the which had been mentioned was unreasonableness of it, the impos- like a dog, and faithful, in its sibility of even recollecting, far brutal way, to what it had been less answering for, the events taught. They were all together, which had happened perhaps hun that company of wandering souls, dreds of years before, during the in a great tower which stood upon short time when one inhabited the extreme edge of the world in that foolish body, by some thought which they dwelt, and which was a disgusting thing, "a collec- built upon the rock, standing out tion of sewers.” And if there into the illimitable world of space was no great day to come, which as into the sea, with precipices imthe very oldest spirits said had measurable sinking down below, been threatened thousands of lower than thought could reach, years since in their recollection while the great tower rose higher and had never come to anything, than thought, swung upon that giddy what came of the equally old and edge, and, though built of indestrucfoolish traditions of a divine per- tible rock, quivering in the great sonage ruling over all ? As for sweep of the atmosphere more trethe men who lived in all those mendous than on the highest mounvillages and towns, who thought tain-top. There were all the secrets they were better than their neigh- of the celestial world revealed, bours, whom with their restricted and all the movements of the stars, faculties they could not see, what and the workings of the planetary were they but labourers still, with system, and all the wonderful apwork and responsibilities upon paratus by which they were obthem,-how much less happy than served and noted. they who went free!
men of the other kind were in There were many, however, who that place, were at work and busy, were very uneasy when such con- whose duty it was to watch over versation as this prevailed, and of the balance and the trim of all these was the young man, whose these blazing worlds, and to see thoughts were very fluctuating in that each kept in its orbit, and all respect to himself, but never on this its attendant stars in their places, point. “If you had seen, as I did," that there might be no wavering in he would say," the procession pass; the march of the heavens. and felt the heart tear out of you
The wanderers went and came, to go and fling itself at His feet." through all these wonderful sights, The elders laughed at such words, and no one noted their coming and and bade him wait till he had seen their going: for all the others were it a hundred times, and without busy with their work and occuany feeling at all: but the others pation, never slackening in their made a pause which betrayed some watch. And the young man, and uneasy thoughts, and secretly were some of his younger companions glad that they could not see each with him, looked upon them with other's faces or betray the strange envy, longing, but in vain, for some response in their own minds to part or lot in the matter, and not to what he said. One voice, a little be thus unseen and without use in tremulous, spoke, and said that the great universe which seemed these things which he called body to go on without them though enand heart were an illusion, a dis- closing them in its great and mystic torted recollection of the chrysalis round. And as they gazed out from