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set by. I can tell you that he is an especial favourite with the housekeeper, and her three pretty daughters."
“Well,” said Father Peter, pettishly, “what is all this to the business now on hand ; that is, this assembly proposed to be held to-morrow."
“Much,” replied the steward, “much, as it refers to the line of conduct which we are required to adopt. This silly fellow, the doctor, must be counteracted in some way or another; and if we cannot manage him by open violence, as you propose, we must have recourse to other measures. The doctor is a man sincerely attached to his Master: you know well that he has stood fire and fagot for his sake before now, and would do so again, were it to come to open war; and yet he is not able to detect our manæuvres under the cover of gracious words. I have found repeatedly, and Madame le Monde can tell you, that if we do but expostulate in his presence on subjects of philanthropy, universal love, general improvement, the bettering of the condition of the lower sort, &c. and give him some credit for the great works which he flatters himself that he has performed (for his own merits after all are the handle by which we turn him about), we may actually invade the rights of his Master before his face, and he will hardly perceive it. Nay, if he does perceive it, he may be soothed and stroked down again by some small concession or another, which Madame le Monde knows how to make, whenever it suits her interest.”
“But,” said the Father Peter, “why all this to do about the doctor; you are giving him too much consequence, Mr. Steward, and strengthening his hand by so doing."
“As to the doctor, considered as an individual, Father Peter,” returned the steward, " I think little of him; he is a shallow fellow, and knows not how to make out his own case to any advantage, for I much doubt whether he himself understands the letters on which he builds his preachments, and as I before remarked, his statements are full of contradictions; but then he has a number of followers in the house. His admirers are exceedingly numerous, and we must not make enemies of them. The servants, especially the lower sort, have lately shown a most dangerous spirit, hinting that they do not see why those upon the dais are to feed upon dainties and drink the best of wines, while they are to eat brown bread, and sup from wooden bowls. These are perilous times * Father Peter, and the utmost skill is requisite to enable me to keep the balance of power, and to maintain things as they ought to be.”
“ Nor do I see," replied Father Peter," that things are maintained as they ought to be : the truth is daily losing ground, and I feel myself as it were already reduced almost to a cipher, while every step you take seems to remove my hope still further.”
“ Because," replied the steward,“ your authority was always imaginary and never substantial, and I certainly do see that it never can be restored and set on the same footing as formerly, therefore what is the use of chafing yourself; eat and drink, for to-morrow the Master may coment and then, as we all cannot but know, there is one party only which will be found right."
“I grant it,” replied the father; " I grant that among all these differing opinions, there can be but one party which holds the truth; but I do not understand which party you refer to; for let me tell you, Mr. Steward, you have such a way of being all things to all men, that even those who know you best. may often be at a loss to know what you really think.”
“Hear then," replied the steward, growing warm, “ hear then my real sentiments, and tremble at the truths which will fall from my lips, for they have a frightful interest for us all. Who is the man whom they do not affect? I know that the day will come, nor do I know how soon, in which we shall all be called before the Master:8 at which awful period, all who have not been stanch to his interests must abide the terrible consequences ;| these are truths which cannot be controverted.”
“And hence," said the father, “they should be ever kept in mind, and those merits towards the Master
*“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Tim. iii. 1..
+“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matt. xxiv. 44.
I “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James ii. 10.
D“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother ? for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ." Rom. xiv. 10.
Il “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John xv. 6.
should be acquired, by which his servants may be enabled to meet him with confidence when he shall ap
* « Yes,” returned the steward, " by pleasing and paying court to Father Peter. Every man to his trade; but let me tell you, that it is not such as you are that can heal the wound or build up the breach* that is between me and him they call Master.t Neither," continued the steward, growing hotter as he proceeded, “although this is a language which Madame le Monde is not fond that I should use; neither do I say that I have any desire that this breach should be healed; for even could we in any way be made partakers of his kingdom, that is of the kingdom of him we call Lord, when he comes to take the reins in his own hands, I do not understand how I should gain by it, for his service is irksome to me even unto loathing, and there are no emoluments, as I can understand, worthy of my pursuit under that master, nor any enjoyments under his rule and dominion in which I can participate. S Be that, however, as it may,” he added, “I hate to think of these things; I hate the person of him whom they call the Lord ;ll I hate his people;T I hate his laws-and though I perish, I will hate him to the end-and I will hold possession in this place to the last moment and I will counteract him and I will trouble him-and I will contend with him and I will strengthen my party—and when he comes, he shall find that which shall grieve him," and as he continued to speak, for he added certain blasphemies against the Lord, which I could not presume to repeat, I could
* “So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the soldering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.” Isa. xli. 7.
+ “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation re. ceived by tradition from your fathers.” 1 Peter i. 18.
I “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God : for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans viii. 7.
O“ But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him : neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. ii. 14.
Il “ The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I tes. tify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” John vii. 7.
f“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” John xv, 18.
hear the gnashing and grinding of his teeth, as of one in a fearful rage. I was pleased, however, to hear the father reprove him, though I liked not the manner of his reproof. For he rather chided him on the impropriety and imprudence of allowing such sentiments to break from him, than exhibited, as he ought to have done, the folly, and deep depravity, and disloyalty, and malice of these sentiments. So no more was said at that time; only the father excused himself from personal attendance in his robes, as the steward had recommended, at the meeting the next day, promising, however, to be present incognito; and so the conference broke up. And surely such a conference had never before taken place in my hearing.
Being left in the hall, and my mind being filled with many strange and perplexing thoughts, I was minded to slink away privately to my own room, and had actually got into the passage with that intent, when suddenly the sound of music came stealing upon me, and the next minute a bevy of young damsels, led by the housekeeper's eldest daughter, broke out upon me; and partly by a gentle force which I had no power to resist, * they dragged me with them, and thus I was induced to finish the day in dancing and revelling, and all things which are not convenient.t The night was far spent when I returned to my room, and oh ! how sad and solitary did that large dark room appear; but not so dark, and sad, and deeply gloomy as my own heart--for this
*“ For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption : for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true provero. The dog is returned to his own vomit again'; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter ii. 18-22.
+ “ The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” Rom. xii. 12, 13.
inquiry was continually suggesting itself to my mind, If I refuse the favour of the Lord on the terms which he has offered to me as stated in his letters, and wilfully offend after having come to the knowledge of these terms, what other means of being saved can I have recourse to ?* I then, as I well remember, apostrophized my uncle as if he could have heard me, saying, “ Oh, my uncle, my uncle! Why did you leave me in this dangerous house, and yet did I not blame you in my heart for keeping me apart from these people? Was I not disgusted at the quiet, and comparatively pure and holy life you compelled me to lead ? Had I any apprehensions that I should so soon, and so entirely fall ?" and I struck my hand upon my forehead, and fell prostrate upon the ground, crying, “ Oh, what a wretch am I! what a miserable, sinful wretch !" and then I lay awhile on the floor, but after a time, I got up, weeping as I was, and stretched myself on my bed, where I fell into a heavy doze, in which I had many dreadful dreams; but after sunrise, as I suppose, I fell into a sounder and sweeter sleep; and then it was that a vision presented itself to me, such as I never shall forget, though I should despair of describing it; but I thought I saw the Master, the real Master, and his appearance was wonderfully beautiful, and he motioned to me to follow him ; and at the same time I heard a voice, which said, “My son, are you in trouble ? follow me, and you will find consolation."! I was in tears when I awoke from this dream, and my tears continued to flow even while I was dressing ; neither had I ever felt in all my life in so strange a way. But I remembered that I had promised to be present at a meeting during the morning, and I
*“ For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the know. ledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace ? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Heb. x. 26–31.
tão Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. xi. 28.