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servants in this house, but because they 'hew unto them broken cisterns, and forsake the fountains of living waters,' because they make unto themselves masters of their fellow-servants, and thus bring clouds between themselves and the Sun of Righteousness. What! I ask you, in this hour of terror, what have availed the counsels and support of one fellow-servant to another? What, I ask you, was the doctor or Father Peter able to do for their followers this night? Who was able this night to lift up his head, and look towards the hills with hope and joy, besides those whose trust was in the Master only, and who built their confidence on his merits only, to the utter rejection of their own pretensions."*
We then sat down, and fell into discourse on the prodigies observed that night, and we would know of my uncle what they meant, for we had listened attentively, and it had seemed to us that the noise in the mountains had ceased.
“Do you believe," I asked, “ that the Master is really coming ?”
“Of that day, and of that hour in which he will actually come, no man knows,” replied my uncle; “his coming is compared in his letters to that of a thief in the night; nevertheless there will be certain signs given to his servants, which will forerun his appearance, and this which we have witnessed this night is one of these.”
We then asked my uncle respecting these signs, and forthwith he took down a volume of the letters, and pointed them out to us, which, because the quotations are somewhat large, shall be given in a note ;f so when
* “ Thus saith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” Jer. xvii. 5.
+ “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor never shall be. And except those days shall be shortened, there shall no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders ; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west ; so
he had recited these at large, he fell into a sort of discourse which soothed my mind in a manner I cannot describe ; this discourse ran chiefly on the character of the Master, and of the King his father, (for the Master is a prince, and the chief of princes) and of the Interpreter; and I would know of him something respecting The king—and because my uncle was always cautious of not speaking his own words when treating of these high matters, he referred me to those passages of the letters which explain them,* and behold while he was yet speaking, one entered whose entrance I did not understand,+ and whose manner of speaking I could not describe, but he, viz. this person whom I presume not to speak of, blessed me and Theophilus in a most solemn manner, pouring on our heads a most fragrant ointment, which filled the whole room with its odour; and behold, while we yet wondered, it seemed that my uncle only was present with us, but we were so filled with joy, that we were almost ready to cry,“ Let us arise, and be gone to meet the Lord in the hills ;" forgetting that for the present we were as prisoners in the house; however, we all fell on our knees, and cried, " Come quickly, Lord, come quickly.” So passed the remainder of that night, but towards morning we got some sleep, the flesh being fatigued with all which it had gone through.g Now, shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” Matt. xxiv. 21-28.
* “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 John v. 7.
“I and my Father are one." John x. 30.
“And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” John v. 37.
“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.” 2 Thess. Ü. 13.
“ Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ : Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” 1 Peter i. 2.
+ “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth : so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John iii. 8.
I “Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even to-day do I declare that I will render double unto thee.” Zech. ix. 12.
8“ Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation : the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matt. xxvi. 41.
when I awoke in the morning, and was dressed, I went out into the room where we took our meals and usually sat, and there were Theophilus and my uncle, and the windows were open, and every thing appeared as usual, only that I felt that some great change had passed in my own mind,* for I felt as it were quite a loathing and abhorrence of the very thoughts of those things which, but the day before, had been most sweet to me. So when we had bidden each other good day, my uncle led me to a window which opens towards the mountains, and asked me if I observed any change wrought in the night.
I replied, " All things seem as they were, the sun shines as brightly, the dew spangles the herb, the storm is past, I see no sign whatever of that which alarmed us last night, excepting," I added, “ certain streaks and channels wrought in the sides of the mountains."
“ Those," said my uncle, “ should prove to us, that what alarmed the Master's enemies was not imaginary; those treasures of the snow which have been heaped up upon the mountains from the beginning of time, will melt and flow at the approach of the Lord, descending into the valleys for the fertilization of some, and tumbling in beautiful avalanches for the destruction of others.f Hence, these breakings forth and disruptions of the snow are certain tokens that the coming of the Lord is not far off; neither should I be surprised, if other effects of that which was exhibited last night, presently appear, approaching us from the east. Oh that our fellow-servants would take warning, and be advised, that they would repent while it is day, and before the night come, when no man can work. I But come,” he added, “let us refresh ourselves with the necessary aliments which the Lord has provided, and then to our work, for the time is short.” But while we were at our breakfast, there was a gentle tap at the door, and on my uncle bidding the person to come in, using his accustomed phrase of invitation, as
*« Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor. v. 17.
t“Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail ?” Job xxxviii. 22.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day : the night cometh when no man can work." John ix. 4.
given before, in came the doctor-but oh, how changed, how contrite was the poor man, and how cordially did he run into the arms of my uncle."
"Oh, my brother, my friend,” he exclaimed, “ you were right, right from the beginning, and I was wrong;
-Did I think, poor weak pragmatical self-conceited wretch that I am, that by any devices I could imagine, or any efforts I could make, I could overreach the enemy of my Lord, and triumph over Madame le Monde and Fitz-Adam,—that I could bind these unicorns in the furrow ?* Are the devil, the world, and the flesh, to be thus manacled and shackled by an arm like mine? Oh! blessed Lord, forgive me this sinful thought, from henceforth and for ever may I give all the glory to thee, and to thee only ;" and the poor man wept, and my uncle consoled him from his Lord's letters, assuring him, that since no servant had ever been brought by his own reasoning, to give the whole and sole glory to the Lord, he that had been enabled to learn this excellent lesson had already been written in the Master's roll, of the blessed of the household, and would assuredly be preserved in the day of affliction.t
“Alas!" replied the doctor, “could I but think so, I should indeed be at ease; but when I look back on the whole course of my service, and on my impious expectations, I dare not hope.”
« Nor will you ever hope till you cease to look at yourself, and your own short coming,” said my uncle. “ Do you believe and admit, in their full extent, the words of my Lord's letters ?”
"I thought I did believe once,” replied the doctor, " and then I counted myself among the faithful, but I now see I never had faith; I took not the word in its simple meaning; I held back a portion of the truth as unprofitable to my fellow-servants, and I set up my own opinion in opposition to that of my Lord : and that because I secretly delighted in the favour of the housekeeper, and the velvet chair in the hall.”
“But now,” said my uncle, “ what are your feelings and opinions ?"
*“ Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?” Job xxxix. 10.
+ “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Matt. vi. 17.
“ That I am a miserable sinner,” replied the doctor, " and that my heaviest offence is, that I have kept back the truth from the people;" and the poor man wrung his hands.
“ And what is the truth ?" asked my uncle.
“ That our Master is all in all, and that we are nothing,”* returned the doctor.
“Go then," said my uncle, “my beloved friend, call your people together, and declare your error; lose not a moment, the time is short. Do this at the present moment; this is what you owe to those you have misled."
“ But if they will not hear,” said the doctor: " yet you are right again, my friend, and I am again wrong," and forthwith he hastened to do that which had been pointed out to him.t
So we were again left, and my uncle called us to our desks, having adopted Theophilus as an assistant, and thanking his Master for having given him such a one. In the mean time, it seems, that all recollection of the last night's alarm had passed away from the minds of the enemies of the Lord, with the darkness of the night, and that every thing was going on with them in the usual way; for we heard the voices of the people as they passed to and fro along the passages and under the windows, calling to their fellows, and bidding them prepare and make ready for a great feast which was to take place that day, in honour of the steward, who had been re-elected, as it were, to rule in the name of the people; and we heard one tell another of the mighty doings which were to be, and how the villagers were to be feasted in the square.
“ Did I not tell you so,” said my uncle," what can be done for these people ?" And he arose and went out among them, and I doubt not but that he spoke all that was in his mind; nevertheless the terrors of the last night were not wholly without their effect on many individuals. There were some in the house, and these, in
*“ And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all princi. pality and power.” Col. ii. 10.
7 "Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and
hot thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?” Joel ii. 17.