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courses.

CHAPTER IV.

broke out, loudly, that the minister might hear

his voice above the clatter of their horses' heels:ANGLING FOR A SPIRITUAL TROUT.

“Eh ! ah wish ye could catch him," Seth shouted ; " but, ye see, the cramp o't question is,

How is sich a fish to be browt to snatch at t' ple at. Middle bait.” ton were in “Nay, rather," said the minister, “how is he

of to be brought to swim where I am to angle—or, thankfulness more in agreement with your old idea of the that such a haul-how is he to be enticed to swim near the good pastor as net when it is let down ?” Mr. 'Hether “Eh, bless ye !” said Seth, "ah wish ah hed ington had sich a heeadpiece as ye hev, mester. Bud, ah's been sent sae thick-skulled, ye see, that ah’s. allus conthem by the fahndin' things. Ah was thinking more abawt paternal Con

t' doctor's anglin', just then, than t Gospel-net.” ference; and Seth was “ And how he got you on his hook, and played in ecstasies at Mr.

with you as being a heavy sort of trout ? Hetherington's dis “Lord, forgive meh. Ah'd nearly said dash As the ap

it !-bud ah dooan't meean swearin', mester-ah pointment at Ripple was sairly woe-begone, ah do assewer ye, that ah thorpe belonged, for could feynd no answer to him abawt t water.” that Sunday, to the “Well, well, my good friend,” said Hetherjunior pastor, and ington, tickled inexpressibly with the mixture of he had not the special honest earnestness and oddity in his guide,

charm of novelty, Seth “don't cherish any mortification about it. You Micklethwaite besought farmer Brighouse to let gave him one good broadside for a reply.” him be Mr. Hetherington's guide. So Seth

“Ay, but then, ye knaw, ah ran awaay, when had the ineffable pleasure of pouring out his ah'd feyred it off, leyke a coward, as ah was— whole soul to the superintendent on the way to an'ah should leyke to mak’some sort on-a amends Middleton. The night sermon, which was from to my awn conscience for mah fault.” the text of which Martin Luther used to say Yes, it is the making amends to our own if it had not been in the Bible, it would have consciences that we all so much need,” observed been worth a man's creeping to Jerusalem on the minister, "for whenever conscience reproves his hands and knees to fetch it created such us, it is what a good and great man called it, the a desire in Seth's soul for Dr. Blandford's voice of God's Vicegerent'—and we are sure to salvation, that he could not resist the inclination be

wrong

if we turn a deaf ear to it." to communicate the fervour of his desire to Ah, it is that !” said Seth, shaking his head, the minister.

“bud can ye help me now, in contrivin'ha to The fact was, that Seth had pondered a great git t' doctor to swim eawr waay. Ah hoap ye'll deal on his partial defeat and mortification, and forgive me if ah blunder, bud" could ye ax "Dr. too, his partial triumph, in that dialogue with Blandford in a poleyte waay, to cum an' hear the doctor about the devils and the swine ; and your sarmon t next Sunday neyght? Ye'd his heart swelled with the thought of what a feynd him varry easily, for he's all t daay, triumph of grace it would be, if he—the humble raain or fain, by t' Ripple-seyde, anglin'." Seth İsicklethwaite—could by any means contrive “I could not do it in a polite way, my friend, to get the “high-larnt, clever, tip-top doctor,” as for I never spoke to Dr. Blandford in my life, he phrased it in his own mind, caught fast in the though I have often passed him in Highchester. Gospel-net, and saved as the biggest fish in the You know he would not regard me as of the haul the minister would have to make at Ripple- cloth, neither would the most boyish curate thorpe, on the following Sunday. So, after a Below - hill that waited as acolyte on the few warm words descriptive of what he felt, he ecclesiastical dignitary Up-hill.” VOL. XVI.

5

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resources.

make us poor

my soul.'

you do.

This peroration was more to himself than to in His beauty on this earth !" cried Seth, his Seth. Its full meaning was not evident to his face beaming with rapt enthusiasm; “and where dimly-lighted brain, but he said,

the Lord's host put on their jewels and tell of “Ah! i'd clean forgittent difference i' His glorious triumphs." cloth : ” and he abandoned himself to his own Blandford wondered at the strange transforma

tion that religious enthusiasm threw over the There was another thought in his mind which lowly man's face ; but he only said, “ Oh, he dared not confide to Mr. Hetherington ; so nonsense ! How fond you Methodists are of they completed their return journey in silence, that kind of talk. Solomon's Song is nothing to Seth meditating all the way how he should bait you. I wouldn't show my face in one of your his fish, and imagining the satisfaction with ranting shops for a thousand pounds." which he should see him landed.

“ Pity that ye should, doctor, fer that wad The next day he used the first few moments he

folk shaam-faaced, an' fear o' man could get for leisure in taking the nearest point wad bring a snare, when we owt to be saayin' to the bend of the brook, where under the aldersleyke Daavid, 'Come unto me, all ye that fear the the doctor preferred to fish, and found him on Lord, and I will tell you what He has done for the spot.

Beseyde, ah could not get ye a ticket Blandford smiled significantly as he saw Seth fro' t' minister, an' to gooa wi'aht is agetan approaching

rule." * Good morning, Seth!” he said ; "you don't “Oh, then, it's one of your secret meetings. I move so fast as you did the other day. I began have heard of them, though I don't know what to think you must be under the same influence as the swine you had been telling me of.”

“ Deeah! wha wi tak’ up Daavid's traade, as “ An’ah fear ah was, doctor, for the devil's ah've nobbut been tellin' ye. We sing too an knawn to be a coward, wi' all his brag. Bud, praay, an' hev a little cake an’ water for fellowdoctor, haw cam' it that a schollard leyke yersen ship's saake, an' that's aw.” should daht that there was any water near hand “That's all, is it? Well, I must confess that for t’ pigs to rin into? Isn't theer water so far from being a feast of fat things, it seems enough i' t' Seea o Galilee ?"

to me a very lean feast ; so you may well call it “Oh! it was in that neighbourhood, was it ? a lovefeast, charity being cold and scarce enough, Well, I had forgotten for the moment:"and Seth God knows. I cannot think why you are so imagined the doctor's confusion to be something bent on getting me behind the scene of your awful.

lovefeast." “But I suspect,” he continued, “ you've been “Eh, bud ye wouldn't wonder if ye knew what asking your new parson about it; now tell me, it is." you deep fellow, if you hav'n't ?"

“I don't desire to know what it is," said The deep fellow” evaded the question by Blandford, beginning to feel vexed at the man's launching into a rhapsodical eulogy of the new pertinacity ; "so don't trouble me any more this parson's preaching powers.

morning. I've just had a strong nibble, and I “ Ah was with him as geyde to Middleton an' shall lose a fine trout, if you tease me." back yesterday, and he talked more leyke an And away went poor Seth, baffled again. angel than a man. Ah’m sewer there isn't an Being thoroughly English by nature, Mickleangel in heaven that could preeach as he did.” thwaite would not relinquish his purpose. In

" Reserve that judgment, Seth, till you've heard his case gratitude and religious fervour combined an angel preach.

to strengthen his resolve, and he cast about for “ Doan't mak' gaam on meh, doctor, for your every possible means to carry his purpose.

He awn saake, ah beg o' ye ! Ivver syn ye saaved reflected that he could not carry it without one my hand ah've been drawn ti wrastle with God participant in the secret. A small cottage had for your salvaation. Ah've tell’t Him aw abawt been built at the back of the meeting-house on ye many an' many's the teyme.”

the hill-top for the chapel-keeper, as he was “I hope you hav’n’t represented me then, as growing old, and there was no dwelling house near worse than I am. That would be serious.” Then, it. Now, old Gregory Yewdale was mightily touched at the deprecating look on Seth's face, attached to Micklethwaite, and after he had been he said, “ I'm really obliged to you for your shown, in Seth's persuasive way, what a rejoicing prayers and good wishes, but what is the change among the Lord's folk it would make for miles you desire to see in me? What must I do ?" round, if “such a high-larnt gentleman " could be

“ If ah could only get ye into some corner o' brought over to the Lord's side by hearing His eawr luvfeeast on Sundaay, ye’d feynd 'twas a hidden ones tell their experience-Gregory grewas feeast o' fat things."

eager for the scheme to be tried as Micklethwaite “ Your lovefeast! What's that?"

himself. Gregory had induced the trustees to “ It's one o't plaaces where the King is seen indulge him in his desire for a little window in

. Не

his bed-chamber that would enable him to look aw the other foaks that the Lord gives utterance into the chapel, and see in a moment that all to ? I've arranged with Gregory, the chapelwas right within it at any hour of the day, or in keeper, for you to have the chance." the early summer mornings. To get the doctor “No, I think not," said the doctor, beginning smuggled into the old man's bed-chamber, where to take his rod in pieces. he could see nearly all that passed in the chapel, “Are ye gooin'? Let me carry yer basket to and certainly hear all the lovefeast speeches, byt Royal Oak.'” drawing the window-sash a little a-jee, was now “That you shall, Micklethwaite, and much all that Seth panted to see accomplished. obliged to you," said Blandford.

“ Ye've set yer trap, ye think, for th' bird,” Seth tried hard, on their way to the inn, to said the old chapel-keeper, staggering back into win his purpose ; but did not succeed. doubt as to the propriety of the plan to which “ Slipped ageean ; and there is but one day he had, only a few moments ago, assented—“but left !" said the baffled schemer to himself, as he nah, hah will ye get th' bird to walk into 't.” hurried back to the farm-yard. “ Ah must see

** Nobbut gie meh teyme ?” entreated Seth: him as soon as ah can to-morrow, and try t’ bait ** there's three days yet; an'ah trust the Lord ah wur thinkin' on. He wur just i' t' 'umour to will help me to carry out this scheeam for His tak' it, if ah'd thrown th' leyne at t' reyght glory, and wadn't it bea a grand thing to git a teyme-bud my heart failed meh. An ah man like that convarted?”

deean't feel queyte square abawt it's bein' reyght, Ill-natured people might have said that in yet. But there's nae ither hook left ’ats leykely Seth's view the value of a man's soul was in to catch him.” proportion to his rank, but in all fairness Seth

By Saturday at noon, Seth was again by the knew better; still a practical mind will appreciate brook-side, and was received with a pleasant look the amount of personal influence possessed by by the angler, who had again been so successful a hoped for convert. Gregory sympathised with that he had nearly filled his basket. Micklehis ideas on the subject, and they shook hands thwaite lost no time to try his new angle. with a fervour that would have become the assumed, as well as he knew how to assume, a Methodists of Wesley's time.

look of merriment, and sidling up to the doctor, It was Friday afternoon before Seth could in a familiar way, began with again make a descent on the angler on the banks "Ah say, doctor, ye're fond o' fun? Ye little of the Ripple. He felt more awkward than ever knaw what a treat ye'll miss, if ye dooan't hev a in attempting it, but Blandford was in high peep into t' luvfeeast. Some o’t' speeches 'll good humour, if not with himself, with the awmost mak’ye kill yoursen wi' laughing. We basket of fish by his side. “ It may bea now or shall hev a lot o' West country chaps, that's cum nerer,” said Seth to himself, “T baait ah’m to live i’ these pairts. Ah've knawn 'em for settin' for him is meean, but it can hardly be years; chaps frae Saddleworth, and Huddersfield, wrang to try, seein' ah can't hook him ony ither and Holmfirth and Denby Dale—and one frae waay."

Glossop, a first rater ! Ye really mustn't miss " You seem to be in a brown study this hearing on 'em, doctor-ye mustn't indeed!” morning, Seth?" said Blandford. “

still Blandford laughed at the real drollery there *exercised' because you can't get me to play was in Seth's face, though the poor fellow was Paul Pry on your lovefeast. Do you know I'm trying to assume drollery the wrong way. beginning to think I should like no better fun ?” “ 'Pon my word, Micklethwaite," said he,“ you

"Thenk the Lord," ejaculated Seth, inwardly; are one of the most persevering fellows I ever "ah seta ah shall win him, wi’out mebbe doin' met with. I like your pluck, nevertheless ; and evil 'at good might cum.”

I'll humour you this once.

You are sure I can • Do the girls speak their experience, as you see without being seen ?" call it, Micklethwaite ; or do you believe in St. “As sewer as eggs is eggs,” declared Seth. Paul and insist on their keeping silence ? How “ Then give me my instructions, and I'll go hard St. Paul was on women, to be sure.” into it, with all the resolution of a man. Caution

“Na, then; hev ye niver read that the five will be necessary, of course !" dowters of Agabus did prophesy, an' St. Paul Micklethwaite minutely instructed the doctor niver seeams to have meddled with them? He how he was to go-by a footpath over a hill wouldn't tell Lydia not to praay in her oan nearly covered with tall gorse, by which the prayer meetin' by t'river sayde, an' we've our chapel-keeper reached his cottage ; and that he Lydias and Marys, even among t’ young women. must do this about an hour after noon-day. Bless 'em !"

“For then,” said Seth, “the fooak from thi " Bless 'em, indeed! with all my heart, Seth. country 'll be chiefly at dinner i' t' vestry. Shall I can see you're a lady's man, whatever St. Paul I carry something for you from t’inn—for ye'll was,"

have to stay two hours, or thereabouts, if you "Well, will ye cum, doctor, an' hear t’lasses an’ mean to enjoy it all.”

Are you

“ That will give me all the better appetite for gregation together for the evening service. So dinner; and, you know, an angler has always his the prayers were many and earnest for a general pocket-pistol to resort to

awakening of sinners under the preaching, and a Ay, ay, ah knaw what ye meean. Ah shall “high day" and a special “ time of refreshing” be looking abawt quietly fer ye mysen, and owd for saints. Gregory 'll be at th' door o'th' cottage, and “My dear,” said Mrs. Hetherington to her show ye upstairs. If ye turn t' key i' t' door, as vis-à-vis at the dinner-table, on the Friday preye go up, naebody can disturb ye. Gregory ceding this most auspicious Sunday—“ my dear, lives by hissen, and he'll tak’ care to leave th’ do you know what an affair they make of the lovebottom door unlocked, sae that ye can get out feast here?” when ye want to gooa.

“I have always heard that they have good The agreement was made, and was fulfilled; lovefeasts,'

lovefeasts," said Mr.

Mr. Hetherington, “and, --for, by an hour after noon-day of Sunday, already, I have heard a great many allusions to Blandford turned the key upon himself, mounted next Sunday. I hope, my dear, you will be able the little stair, and, seating himself in Gregory's to go." arm-chair close to the little curtained window, Little Leila Hetherington was all attention in which was slightly slid back, perceived that it a moment. She had not been to a lovefeast since gave him a view of every part of the chapel, she was a very little girl, and had sat beside while it also completely concealed his presence. nurse, and eaten both her own and nurse's share

of the cake. She had grown too old for that now ; and did not expect to be admitted to

another lovefeast till she had “become serious," CHAPTER V.

or was a member ; though how that devout

youngster was to becomes serious was a problem. A RUSTIC AGAPE.

“We must all go that can, said Mrs. Hether

ington—“it is expected that we will. But, my THE Wesleyans claim for their lovefeasts the dear, I don't like what Sarah (the servant) tells sanction of Apostolic usage and authority. It me we shall all be expected to do—that is, to has not the sanctity and solemn obligation of take refreshments in the vestry or the schoolroom, the Lord's Supper ; but the lovefeast, according instead of coming home to dine, as usual. She to them, is the agape, or “feast of charity, says the country friends will all stay while the mentioned in the General Epistle of St. Jude, and Ripplethorpe folk go to their homes, and it may was a sign of membership in the ancient Church. give offence, or grieve some of their minds, if we It may be traced, it is said, in the history of the refuse to do what the ministers and their families Waldensian and Moravian Churches.

always have done." If a stranger could gain admission to one Î'hen, of course, we must all stay,” said Mr. of the quarterly lovefeasts held in one of the Hetherington. large chapels in London, or any other large town, “ But, papa, we are not members,” interjected he would probably see only a comparative hand Leila, with great solemnity and an air of doubt. ful of people scattered over a large space, with “ No,” said her mother," you are invited the minister in the lectern. In a modern Wes guests. leyan lovefeast, held in a large fashionably - built Leila still looked doubtful. chapel, all the surroundings are calculated to “ Bless you, child !” exclaimed her father, overawe the timid; and there is nothing to laughing,--for he read the language of those encourage the warm-hearted who depend on wistful eyes— “ do you think they will take my responsiveness, when they tell their spiritual lambs for kids of the goats ? But you shall have experience.

a note of admission, Leila, then you'll be quite in But the Methodists at Ripplethorpe were of form.” the old-fashioned kind — liable to be terribly in “You make that child so old-fashioned," said earnest, upright and downright, and almost as the mother, in a tone of remonstrance. simple as the peasant charge over which Pastor “ Not I! Dame Nature has been before me." Oberlin presided, in the Waldbach, and so the “Children are not lambs because they belong lovefeast was one of the events of their lives. It to good people, are they, papa ? ” asked Leila ; "a was a spiritual fête, to which they looked forward great many of them grow up into goats, and with glad expectancy and a determination to their papas and their mammas cannot help it.” make everything give way before it. For this Mr. Hetherington drew his hand very slowly particular Sunday, the lovefeast was also part of over his face. a double lure. Curiosity to hear the new minister “Yes, that is quite true, my little girl," he must draw numbers of people from “over the replied, " but the Good Shepherd calls His little hills and far away,” while the lovefeast would flock into the green pastures, and if they love add greatly to the attraction, and keep the con His voice and are obedient to it, they need not

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trouble themselves as to whether they are lambs and there a traveller slackened his rein, that his or kids. I am sure He would not have them horse might drink. troubled with the same perplexities that enter The hearts of the children were full of delight the noddles of us silly, grown-up sheep. with all they saw—so unlike their daily sights in Feed after your manner, my little lamb, and the streets of ancient Highchester; and the there'll be some clover blossoms for you at the seriousness with which they had always been lovefeast."

trained to regard the religious calm of the Lord's As he said this there was a wonderful tender- Day morning, was unavoidably mingled with ness in the full, grey eyes that shone with a cold curiosity, as they watched the passing travellers light; but little Leila was not encouraged by it. on their way to the Hill-top Chapel. She only thought, - Papa does not understand Sober-looking old nags came up the road, me; he does not see what God sees,” and she carrying on their pillioned backs the loving pair ranked herself with the kids, notwithstanding who had ridden to church that way when they that she was invited to pasture with the were married. The broad - brimmed beaver lambs."

covered a head stored with the teaching of The novelty of going into the chapel-keeper's Wesley and his earnest coadjutors; and the for refreshments, commended itself so strongly black silk kerchiefs were crossed over gentle to Miriam and Charley that they did not know bosoms which had received the word with joy, how they should get through Saturday.

and had held their spiritual prize with singleness Sleepy eyes wakened early on the next Sabbath of heart. These ancient couples had risen early, morning, and having drunk in its golden light, and ridden a long way, to renew what was to soon brightened at the thought that this was them the communion of saints,-thinking, by the first Sunday at Ripplethorpe. Papa would the way, they might not have many more such preach for the first time in the chapel and there journeys. Every one that passed gave "goodwould be luncheon at the chapel-keeper's, then the morrow to the new minister's children-looklovefeast, a lot of new faces, and a walk or a rest ing at them the while with kindly curiosity in the little church until the time for service. and saluting them with the terms “honey” and Whoever knew of such uncommon and therefore “joy,” to which they were, already, in some delightful proceedings at Highchester ? Truly slight degree familiarised. There were groups of the Ripplethorpe people had the best of it. young people, too, on the way, as full of the new

Will the lovefeast be very long ?" was minister and the lovefeast as the elders ; Charlie's anxious inquiry, as Leila brushed his though their anticipations were more mixed in hair. “I think so," said Leila, “ but you must their character. try to like it, Charlie ; for you know Heaven's Among the more austere of the elders was a more like a long beautiful lovefeast than it's like sharp-featured man, with a straight cut coat and a anything else."

brown wig, fitting, with mathematical precision, “Oh, no!” said Miriam. “ Heaven's like a straight across his brown, wrinkled forehead. lot of things, or no one would want to go to it.” He rode a large-boned, brown horse, caparisoned

Miriam was not naturally so spiritually-minded with a sheep-skin saddle. All the notice he took as Leila, therefore the prospect of an eternal love of the little ones leaning over the balustrade, was feast was little to her taste. Largely under

to groan in spirit over the vanity in their Leila's influence she inclined religiously, though mother, that their Scotch plaids must denote, as she did not strain after an impossible standard to he saw the boys clad in them; and to groan a the marring of her happy childhood.

second time, almost audibly, with the belief that When the children were ready for chapel they “money must be ower flush wi' t' preacher, for were sent on the little platform to wait for their him to let t' little lasses wear lace on them fol-deparents.

rols that wur too rahnd for tippets, and not It was the first Sunday in September, and signs pointed eniff forkerchers."

He devoutly of harvest being gathered in were everywhere “ hooaped this man wasn't soah worldly as to around. The green dress of the trees was shot

read t newspaper—bud it lookt as if he wur yan with tawny gold, and fringed with russet brown. o' that sooart. The wealthy orchards were in sight, half-veiling Close upon him, there followed another elderly with their leafy screens their goodly store of man, with a long, serious face; but, looking fruit

. The bees crowded into the ambrosial cells of closely into that face, there was readable a slight the twining honeysuckle. The brambles and other vein of humour coupled with a lurking vanity. climbers on the hedges were fast changing their There was something that almost approached to flowers into fruit

. And, oh! how musically the style in the backward curl of the wig that he spring which came from the hill behind the wore—for Isaac Shackleton, in his way, was a bit house, fell from its stone spout into the trough of a dandy. Though married, he had had no beneath the kitchen-garden, filling it to the brim, children to infringe upon habits of order and ere it fell into the course channelled for it. Here particularity acquired during a long bachelorhood.

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