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of Protestantism. It has been slow, very homes for the million. Every religious body slow, to work itself clear of its bad environ- has some points of advantage ; the Episcoment and to give its bishops their proper pal Church has many which the others have place as leaders; even now this work is not not, and so in the fierce competition which fully done in every case; but the late allows only the strongest and fittest to sur. Convention showed unmistakably that the vive, it is in a position to render great and Church had at last struck the right chord, and prominent service to American Christianity. had entered upon a new and decided course. The Episcopal outlook is not altogether Dr. John Fulton truly said in that Conven- bright; the Church has an immense work tion that " we touch Protestantism far more to do before it can be the Church of the closely than we now do or ever shall, in the people; the men and the money to do this
any of us, touch the Roman Catho work have in many cases yet to be found, lic communion ;” and it is easy to see that and the most that can be said is that the old if a liberal course is taken in ecclesiastical Church has taken the right direction and politics and in the treatment of theological that it has larger plans for the future than and moral questions, the liberality which is any party or school of thought within itself the synonym for charity and does not arro has yet originated or developed. It will gate the exclusive possession of the truth, perhaps be found in the near future to be a the Church will prove most helpful to those chief back-stay of American Christianity, who desire to place fact before sentiment in and its strength will be in the largeness and Christian teachings, and will have both the fitness of its conception of what Christiancapacity and the power to furnish religious ity is.
Julius H. Ward.
LIFE AGAINST LIFE.
The Doctor laid his stethoscope upon the The prescription was in the professional table, and paused. He was an adept in the tone,-the tone of a man who has tossed off professional art of dissembling. Had the interpretations of the messages of Life and consulter been a woman his countenance Death, until a peculiarity in the text, or an would have been instantly set with the bland unwonted crook in an oft-used letter arrests smile encouraging ; but this strong, firmly- his attention more than the crowd of crouchpoised, brown-bearded young man—there ing, upturned faces that at this hour grow were many reasons why he should not know, so pitiably alike. strong reasons why he should. The Doctor's Little remained to be said or done in this face retained the expression it had worn room with its obtrusive parchments in gildwhen he lifted his head from the broaded frames, its glittering, pitiless instruments, chest. Eager eyes, with dilated pupils, swept its awful undercurrent suggestions of human his face. Acute, with his years of experi- misery. The patient was not stunned. Pain ence, he saw that whether for good or ill, has ever its relief in change of form, its mitithe revelation had been made.
gations in the consciousness of endurance. “ You may live for years.”
Through two or thee minutes there were
no analyses, no definitions in that whirling The Doctor nodded, averting his eyes, and brain, only the dumb acceptance of a truth running his fore-finger along the length of to be fathomed by and by, one by which all the silver tube upon the table.
things must be resolved, all things read“ For present help -?”
justed. Pathologically, this was a case of “ Cheerful society, careful diet, and, above structural damage to the heart through all, avoidance of excitement.”
" And I may
The Doctor was one who could deftly the sweet, rare possibilities of which youth swathe up the lancet of truth in velvet or inevitably dreams, but the forfeiture, also, fine cambric, so long as it could be of use, of all which sober sense told him life would but when once the steel lay naked and glit- actually have brought. Henceforth he was tering before eyes keen and calculating as to live torpidly and by halves, “avoiding exhis own, he knew it would avail little that citement,” purposeless, emotionless, objecthe should throw over it a stray handkerchief less. Instead of developing, he must deor the day's paper. He bowed his patient liberately set bounds to his life. over the threshold, and went on to the next “Never!” he sharply cried to himself, liftone.
ing his head. He would go on in the path The young man passed into the street, he had marked out, and no step should falthrobbing with the vigor and freshness of a ter. If he died now, or then, there remained spring-tide morning. Quick, elastic steps, Christian burial. lively faces, hearty voices were on all sides. This purpose, in later days, a woman's He saw as distinctly, apprehended as clearly, hand set aside. Reid was the only son of a as if the just-accepted truth were not wring- mother, through the curse of alcohol worse ing his consciousness. A funeral procession than widowed. He had thought to keep crept by, and he gazed curiously through from her the Doctor's revelation, but through the glass sides of the hearse. It gave him the stumbling, faulty sentences by which he a strange feeling of companionship. He sought both to explain and to conceal, she seemed, to himself, to belong partly with clutched at the truth whose edge drew blood, the dead, and partly among the living,-he, and her son's pain became her anguish. only twenty-two and with the strength of a Outwardly, thenceforward, he lived easily Saxon woodsman.
and enjoyed himself; inwardly, he chafed The express train bearing Reid from the and fumed, intermittently seeking resigna city was making up time. The rapid mo- tion. It may be questioned whether there tion proved keenly exhilarating. Racing exists, for human nature unsanctified, resigthrough fields, tearing over bridges, swaying nation absolute and final. Today is not as on the rails, swinging around curves,—this yesterday. Life is a tour of discovery, and sense of force in action, this suggestion of a submissive adjustment at one point, does possible danger, thrilled and stimulated. It not include the other. In successive and was what he had longed for in life.
differing hours the struggle comes up, alIn the car around him were young men, ways the same, though under a new form, like himself, finding happiness and content, until weary and worn the soul grasps the as he had longed to do, in sharp, hard work; faith of acquiescence, which merges in the young men exulting with youthful confi- higher form of resignation only at the gate dence in something new, undiscovered, and of death. worthy to be won in life, wealthy in strength Elegantly indolent, to the outside world and years to come.
leading the life of a dilettante, Reid now Down in the mirror-panel at the end of learned the meaning of a few words in his the car he saw his own face, brown-bearded native language. He caught glimpses of and resolute. He threw out his arm, cords the abysses and mountain tops that Patience firm, muscles hard and well-defined, nervous covers, he shuddered down the fathomless stimulus full and free. He laid his thumb depths of Doubt, he looked up the immeason the small artery at the wrist, felt the urable heights of Faith and Love. Days, gliding, uneven movement that made his weeks and years followed each other, and pulse a death-tick, and the powerful right save for colors, odors and sounds, May was arm fell at his side. He bowed his head on like October. the seat-back before him and asked what it Two or three times, out in the field, alone, meant.
he had undergone physical anguish only It meant the relinquishment of his life's less violent than the mental. He had set purpose, meant not only the surrender of all his teeth, and clenched his hands, and clear drops had sprung out upon his forehead. parent hand to the light, and pat the tips of At every instant it had seemed that the his fingers with his thumb. He followed delicate membrane must give way, and, Reid like a spaniel. He had a cough and panting on the turf, he had shut his eyes daily grew thinner and whiter, and his eyes with the swift thought that darkness might more starry. be followed by visions of the Unknown. One June day he and Reid went out and But his time had not yet come.
sat down in the warm cleft of a broken One early spring day there came tramp- ledge facing the west. The red and yellow ing up through the snow-broth in the ave- columbines nodded above and below them, nue, Miranda. She led by the hand a boy and from every crevice sprang out wild seven years old, thin and white, but with gooseberry bushes laden with green fruit. long lashes sweeping over eyes star-bright. The patch of turf below them was lively
Reid went into another room, and shut bright with the little golden cinquefoil eyes. the door. Miranda put her coarse shoes, Reid read to himself poor old Plato's pawater-soaked, and with water gushing out thetic groping after immortality, and the at the gapes in the toes, on the stove-hearth. boy lay back in the rock, and talked softly The mother brought her a new pair. to a bug crawling over his breast. *** Put those on and take care of yourself.” Reid laid down his book with the vague
Then a swift painful rush of sympathy sense of one emerging from a catacomb, flooding the mother's soul, her breath quick- and let the warm sunshine nurse him half ening, cheeks flushing, and blue eyes filling asleep. The boy, laughing aloud at his bug, with tears, she asked painfully:
was seized by a coughing spasm, and the “ Why won't you be a good woman, Mi- scarlet blood that flew from nostrils and randa ?”
mouth paled the red columbines nodding “Lord !” said Miranda afterwards, in over his head. Darrating the scene, "what a queer woman Reid wiped a scarlet fleck from the pale that Mrs. Reid is !”
lips with his handkerchief, and drew nearer. Miranda sought to relieve her embarrass- He followed the boy's eyes to the far west, iment by diverting attention to the child. where from between purple-green forest
“Who made you, Daniel Horatio ?” hills, and beneath infinite depths of azure,
“God!” says Daniel Horatio, blinking with golden gleams emerged the river. the starry eyes at the ceiling.
This boy was going to die pretty soon. Miranda looked awed and satisfied. This “Daniel," said he softly, “ many years ago, bit of religious instruction seemed to herself far beyond the sea there lived some one to ally her with respectability, and demon- whose life was like that sky, and river, and strate her maternal fitness.
forest in its purity, depth and calm. It was People to whom a religious belief is a vi- so long ago that we know very little of what tal necessity, seldom spread themselves over He thought or did, but He must have sufthe four Gospels and part way through the fered much, for he lived to be thirty years Psalms. How many hundreds are there old, and one may grow tired long before whose interior life is buttressed on the text: thirty." Reid's voice broke, but eager eyes “God so loved the world!” Reid held by were watching him. the sweetly humane one: “Whoso giveth a One night so terrible I can't tell you about cup of cold water."
it, He was left alone in the dark and the Two or three days after Miranda's call, dew. His mind was not like ours, and He he and his mother drove up to the little hut thought of you and me sitting this day in under the mountain, and brought home this rock-cleft, and He prayed as he had so Daniel Horatio for their own.
often prayed for everybody, Father, forgive The boy had queer ways, and asked quaint them!' Then He went away, and somequestions, but his soul seemed pure as the where,—where He won't miss us, child, He heart of a white water lily. He liked to is waiting for you and me. To go to Him will talk to himself, and to hold his half trans- be dying. You won't be afraid, will you ?”
“ Once, very
“Me? O, no!"
ried a Testament home with her that night, Silence for a minute. A breeze odorous and with streaming eyes and by a sloppy of wild strawberries tossed the heads of the candle, spelled out some of the words and daisies out upon the pasture knolls.
felt religious. But through the help of “It seems strange,” said Reid to himself, heaven and good women Miranda kept her “but I do believe it is true ; it meets all vow. cases so wonderfully!”
Spring came. A mile up the river on the Ten days after Miranda came to see her farther bank, lived a man who had been child. He was yet thinner and weaker, and “converted” during the winter. Whatever he stopped to rest two or three times before that term may mean in theological parlance reaching the ledge where he begged Miranda or metaphysical analysis, it meant in this to go. Miranda waited patiently, fitted the case food and fuel, gentle words, thoughtful pillows around him gently, and the first provision, the sacred essence of the word thing he did was to point that little white,“ home,” which even poverty and ignorance tremulous fore-finger at the luminous west, may gather to themselves and hold in linked
arms with their own tenacity. far away, I don't know where, The biscuits are baked and the polished mother, there was Someone whose life was stove door stands ajar; the floor boards are like the deep blue sky, and like the shining scarcely dry from scouring, and the lamp river, and the great still woods on the mount- chimney glistens; the first aroma of the tea ains; and He lived long enough to have all is just rising from the new tín pot on the kinds of pains, and one dark, dreadful night, stove. Two children play with the cat on He thought of you and me and He said, '0, the floor, and a third sleeps in a settee-like my father, forgive them!' Then he went cradle. The woman stands with her face
way, and he's waiting—where he'll be sure close pressed against the upper pane in the to find us—for you and me, mother.
lower sash, and a little girl stands with hers “Mr. Reid didn't tell me His name," against a lower pane. The attitudes of added the boy dreamily.
mother and child are precisely similar, and “O, my! I know,” sobbed Miranda; “I both are silent. How early, to be sure, they know 'nough for that; and I vow, Daniel learn the trick of anxious watching! Horatio, I'm going to be a better woman ! ” A bar of light from the kerosene lamp
The columbines had gone to seed, and the strikes across the strip of turf and into the brown pods rattled in every zephyr; the road, but not as far as the river on the other western woods stood half stripped, yet side. Just so a luminous bar from the wrapped in Indian summer haze, and, in- grog-shop will shine across Joe's way home; stead of cinquefoil stars brown walnuts from enticing odors will float out;-four children, the trees on the ledge strewed the turf the and not a penny laid up! day that Daniel died. It must have been a But that luminous bar, O, anxious watchpleasant day in which to die, still and odor- er! has already lain before Joe, fallen over ous; every inch of up-turned sod warm and him, dropped behind him. The danger lies brown; happy flies buzzing over the surface nearer home, for the river is swollen and the of every stray board; and from the forest foot-bridge out of repair. mountain crests all down the shining river This has been one of three warm days, valley the peace of heaven descending. It and on the hills sloping towards the south seemed so easy-stepping out a little way only here and there remain snow-patches. to the place where we are all so soon going. At sunset and early twilight the road-bed
Miranda came to the funeral in black al- and spongy fields are stiffening. Up and paca, her hat marvelously trimmed with down the uneven, gray mosaic of boulders crape, and crape basted around her handker- and pebbles, just below the foot-bridge, chief. She had a carriage by herself in strides Reid. which to ride to the cemetery, and she felt He had come in on the five o'clock train both respectable and aristocratic. She car. from Tenderden, the Sussex county seat.
He had spent the afternoon in the court where within thy wide universe! My God, room.
my God, somewhere within range of Thy The law had been Reid's chosen profes- creation open to me the possibilities of de sion, one of those rare instances of a pursuit velopment!” so instinctively grasped by all the faculties * They also serve who only stand and as to make the use of the debatable word wait," seemed to Reid but one of those choice, seem more than ever a misnomer. pleasant bits of jugglery of the intellect Success in any pursuit in life depends upon which unthinking people concede to poetry. vital energy, and, in yielding to his mother's It appeared impossible philosophy. Change wishes, Reid had spared himself the risk of being the inescapable law, we can neither embitterment through failure.
stand nor wait, we are every hour in the way Harcroft had been managing a case this of healthy development, decadence, or warped afternoon. At Eastham preparatory school growth. Harcroft had been Reid's classmate; at Two or three old black tree roots and a Abercrombie had chummed with him; slab from the mill above, were tossed about they had sometimes spoken of practicing in the brown, swollen waters. It was growtogether.
ing dusk, but objects could be distinctly disTo-day Harcroft had undertaken proving cerned. A human figure tossed about and too many points to leave any one sharply swept ahead with those black roots would defined; exhausted the attention of the court be a terrible object; not more terrible, Reid on unimportant details; confused his own thought, than the same figure endued with witnesses, and cross-questioned the other life, pacing the shore, and crying in its torparty's weakly; made a diffusive, encum- ture to the Omnipotent. bered plea, and lost his case.
At that instant the wire foot-bridge above Reid was, from the first, conscious of a turn on its side and emptied its contents comprehensive grasp and a clear perception into the frothing current. Now, with the of ends and instrumentalities. Every exas- stumps and slabs is the human body. perated nerve protested at Harcroft's bun- Reid plunged after the man, caught him, gling. Heaven alone knew his longing, but dragged him ashore, and himself fell on the instantly the slight excitement sent sharp stones over which lay the skeleton of the pain darting up his left arm. He caught at summer's bind-weed. The moon that inhis neck-tie with a sense of suffocation, and stant lifting herself above the eastern mountthey bore him fainting from the room. ains, glimmered over the waters and whit
He opened his eyes upon a mirrored im- ened all the stones; but no stone so white as age of his own face, thin, pale, enervate, the the face lying among them with its look of pain at his heart now heavier than any solely sweet content. physical. He couldn't even watch the world The rending of the mitral tissue from the in its struggle, let alone having, himself, a heart's wall would be but an instant's work; grip. He was but a caricature on manhood! but that instant would be long enough to
“0, God, that it should ever come to this!" hold the thought that God has His own ejaculated he.
times and ways, and that Reid's life might As at twilight he passed over the stones at the last foot up as heavily as if spent in by the river, his hands writhing behind pleading cases at the Sussex bar. him, that inarticulate moan passed into The expression of that thought lingered prayer :
upon his face when they screwed over it the “O, God, give me action, action, some- casket lid. Elizabeth A. S. Chester.