The Baldwin Library
David's sharp weapon was in his hand. He used it-but not to slay. He
stooped down and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe, as the king lay buried in
sleep I-Page 212.
I. The Slide, ... ... ... ... 9
II. The Sick-room, ... .. ... ... 21
Ill. The Pupil, ... ... ... ... ... ... 34
IV. The Invited Guests, ... ... ... ... ... 43
V. Lecture I.--David and the Lion, .. ... ... ... 52
VI. The Hearers, ... ... ...... ... 58
VII. Lecture II.-David Anointed, ... ... ... ... 64
VIII. Broken Ilesolutions, ... ... ... ... ... 71
IX. Lecture III.-David and the Giant, .. ... ... 80
X. A Hard Conflict, ... .. ... ... ... 90
XI. Lecture IV.-David and Saul, ... ... ... 101
XII. The Two Gifts, ... ..... ... 112
XIII. Lecture V.-David's Escape, ... ... ... ... 123
XIV. The Mother's Distress, ... ... ... ... ... 131
XV. Lecture VI.-The Messenger Arrow, ... ... ... 145
XVI. The Sunday Visitor, ... ... .. ... ... 153
XVII. The Surprise, ... ... ... ... ... ... 160
XVIIL Lecture VII.--David and Ahimelech, ... ... ... 172
XIX. Confessing a Fault, ... ... ... ... ... 180
XX. Lecture VIII.-David and Nabal, ... ... ... ... 191
XXI. The Soldier's Tale, ... ... .. ... ... 199
XXII. Lecture IX.-David's Triumph, ... ... ... ... 208
XXIII. The Mad Dog, ... ... ... ... 220
XXIV. Lecture X.-David with the Philistines, ... ... ... 231
XXV. A Sudden Blow, ... .. ... ... ... 244
XXVI. Lecture XI.--Dvid on the Throne, ... ... ... 254
XXVII. A Fall, ... ... ... ... ... ... 262
XXVIII. Lecture XII.-David's Sin and Penitence, ... ... ... 271
XXIX. The Minister's Work, ... ... ... ... 279
XXX. Lecture XIII.-The Rebellion of Absalom, ... ... ... 291
XXXI. A Discovery, ... ... ... ... ... ... 299
XXXII. Lecture XIV.-David's Return, ... ... ... ... 307
XXXIII. Temptation, ... ...... ... 312
XXXIV. Lecture XV.-David's Latter Days, ... .. ... 321
XXXV. Conclusion, ... ... .. ... ... ... 328
IT was a cold, wintry day, about the time of the
New Year. The wind blew in sharp gusts, and drove
the sleet into the faces of the few passengers who
hurried along the High Street of the little town of
Axe, anxious to reach the shelter of their homes.
A curious-looking old street it was, narrow and
very irregular, with all kinds of houses in it,-some
high, some low, some with shops, some without them,
some retreating behind a little court, some pushing
out their pointed gable-ends right into the pathway;
some with roofs of slate, and some with roofs of tile,
and one or two even thatched with straw, green and
mossy with age. It is into one curious old house,
with red-tiled roof, and gable-end, and pointed win-
dows with diamond-shaped panes, on which the frost
has traced pretty patterns of sea-weed and trees,
that I will now take my reader.
And first we enter a little shop, in which Mrs.
Block, the owner, sells paper and pens, and string,
and prints to all who wish to buy. The window is
gay with many a coloured picture, and a toy or a
string of beads here and there, make little children
stand to gaze. But Mrs. Block does not earn her
living only by selling in the shop; she also takes
lodgers into the house, as it is larger than she needs
for herself. Leaving to the right her small back-
parlour papered with green, if we ascend a dark,
steep staircase, we shall soon find ourselves on the
first floor, which projects a little above the shop.
Here two young gentlemen at present are living,
-Richard and Julius Maxwell, the sons of a re-
tired officer. They have been sent from their
father's home, becAuse both their little sisters are
lying there ill with the scarlet fever, and their
parents think it safer for their boys to keep away
But there is another floor in this old house, the
one just under the roof. There are in it, besides a
small lumber-room, two little white-washed chambers,
one for sleeping in, and one for sitting in, both with
sloping ceilings of which the highest part is so low,
that a tall man might almost touch it witlh his hand.
In the front one, which looks into the street, Mrs.
Block, the landlady, is bustling about, getting it
ready for the new lodgers whom she expects this day
from London. Her little maid-of-all-work, Matty,
is on her knees before the black grate, trying to coax
up a blaze, for the cold makes a fire very needful;
but the wood is damp and will not burn well, and
the wind comes rushing down the chimney and car-
ries the smoke baqn into the room. Mrs. Block is
angry with the a;.nd with the wind, and most
of all with poor i-rtt"y, whom she scolds with a
loud, harsh voice, looking almost ready to strike her.
"There, that's the fourth match you've wasted,
you have; if ever I knew such a stupid, handless
girl! You ain't worth the bread you eat! Get up,
will you, and I'll show you how the thing is to be
So Matty rose from her knees, and wiped her cold
blackened hands on her apron, and stood watching,
while Mrs. Block spoilt as many matches, and made
the wood burn as ill as she had done.
What will the new curate say when he comes
and finds the room full of smoke, and not a spark to
warm himself at!" muttered the impatient Mrs.
Block. At last the wood became fairly lighted,
and burned and crackled cheerily, casting a pleasant
glow on the white-washed walls, and the little
pointed window. Mrs. Block then went on with
her preparations, putting the room to rights," as
she said, helping Matty to dust the chairs and table,
keeping her tongue busy all the time, chatting some-
times about her new lodgers, and sometimes scolding
Our new curate, this Mr. Eardley, he'll have
enough to do in this town, with the rector so sickly,
and such a set of people to look after! He does not
look over strong either, and if Mr Santon goes
abroad, as they say he will, all the work will fall
on the curate. Three services on Sundays, two on
week-days,-mind what you're after, Matty, you've
left the mark of your black fingers all along the clean
wall! I suppose Mr. Eardley isn't well off, as he
and his brother are content to put up with the attic;
not but that these are good rooms, very good rooms,
very "-even Mrs. Block could not add "lofty," for at
the moment she struck her head against the sloping
ceiling. Having hurt herself by her awkwardness,
the landlady instantly turned her wrath against
Matty. "Mind what you're about, simpleton!
Don't stand staring at me. You'll break that glass
with your clumsy fingers, and if you do,- !" Poor
Matty's frightened face showed that her mistress's
threats did not end always in nothing but words.
It was time for the lodgers to arrive. Mrs. Block
leaned her red hands on the sill of the window, and
looked down into the road. Don't see any carriage
coming," she said. "Of course, a gentleman will
drive from the station. Dear me!" she continued,
"there's that Tom Barnes making a slide just in
front of my door, as if the path was not slippery
enough without that! Tom's at the bottom of every
piece of mischief done in this town. He's come of a
precious bad lot; his father was a thief, and died in
a jail, and his son takes after him, and, I'll be bound,
will end as he ended!"
The short wintry day was now closing. Lights
appeared in the different shops; the butcher's gas-
burners flared, a red glow marked the chemist's win-
dow, while here and there from a lamp post a- bright
gleam fell on the narrow pavement.
Tom Barnes, a black-eyed, sharp-looking boy
with rough hair, and ragged attire, feet that looked
through his shoes, and elbows that had forced their
way through his jacket, was still amusing himself
with his slide, careless of cold or frost.
My good boy," said an old gentleman who was
passing by, muffled up in a great-coat, and with a
red comforter wrapped over his chin, do you not
know that it is dangerous to make slides in the
public street? What would you say if this were to
cause some one to slip and fall?"
The lad's only reply was a loud, rude laugh, and
a muttered "it would be a rare lark! I should like
to be by to see it!"
Again Mrs. Block looked forth from her window,
though the evening was growing too dark for her to
distinguish anything clearly. There are two
figures coming up the street," she said; the tall one
is just about the height of Mr. Eardley; but, it can't
be he, for he's carrying a box, and the young one
beside him has a carpet-bag, and something else in
his hand. Sure, there's no real gentleman would be
carrying his own luggage, when a porter could be
had for a shilling! It is the curate, though," she
added, as the light of a lamp which he passed fell on
black coat and white neck-tie, and lie's carrying his
box, and no mistake I don't like a lodger that
looks so sharply after his shillings !"
Mrs. Block knew not how light was the young
curate's purse, and how needful it was for him to
take good care of his money if he wished to be
either generous or just. Upon an income which was
scarcely sufficient to m tantain himself in comfort, Mr.
Eardley was supporting his orphan brother, and giv-
ing a little pension to his faithful old nurse, and a
poor blind widow whom he knew. This could only
be done by great self-denial-by giving up every
little indulgence, and by bearing to be even thought
mean by those who were ignorant of his circum-
stances. Thus it was that on that bitter, cold
winter's night the young clergyman carried his own
box two miles from the station, after travelling by
the third class from London; and glad was the
weary man when he at length reached the street of
Axe, and saw a light gleaming from the window of
the little lodging in which he was to live with his
What a strange, old-fashioned place this is, as
well as we can see through the darkness," said
Edwin, a boy about nine years of age, looking curi-
ously around him as he toiled on, carpet-bag in
hand. "How nice it will be to get to a good warm
fire, a snug room, and a hot supper, for I am both
hungry and cold! I am afraid, dear Henry, that
you are sadly tired; I wish that you would let me
help you to carry that box."
"I think, Edwin, that you are quite enough bur-
dened already with your carpet-bag and your parcel,"
replied Mr. Eardley with a kindly smile.
Oh, my roll of beautiful pictures, that is not
heavy at all! but it needs to be carefully carried, or
the prints might be crushed and spoiled. You have
not forgotten your promise to explain to me all about
them-all the history of David the shepherd-king, as
you read it in the Bible. How kind.it was in Lady
Bell to give me such fine large pictures, i which you
ovuld never have afforded to buy. It will be so
pleasant to look over them all with you! Do you
know, Henry, that I expect that we shall both be
very happy in Axe."
We shall be very busy, and I hope and trust
very useful," replied the young curate, who had very
lately left college to become a clergyman, and who
was full of anxious desire to be a blessing to the
ignorant and poor in this the first place in which hli
had been called to labour. Mr. Eardley had resolved,
by God's help, to work very hard, to be earnest in
doing his heavenly Master's business, to try and lead
'he wicked to repentance, and bring sinners to tlie
knowledge of the truth. This was what Mr. Eardley
had resolved; but God had a different lesson to teach
him, a different work to give him to do than that
which the young clergyman had expected. Just as
lie came to the door of Mrs. Block's lodging, Mr.
Eardley set his foot upon a slide which in the dark-
ness lie had not been able to see. His hands being
engaged with his box, the poor gentleman had no
power to save himself, and fell with violence down on
Edwin was startled and alarmed at seeing his
brother fall, but lie was more frightened still when lie
found that Mr. Eardley was unable to rise.
Henry!" lie exclaimed, throwing down his
parcel and carpet-bag, are you very much hurt?"
Mr. Eardley did not reply at once ; perhaps his
pain was too great to allow him to speak; but he
moved a little on the ground as lie lay, and then said
in a faint, low voice, I'm afraid that my leg is
Poor Edwin was in an agony of distress, and knew
not what to do, or whither to run for help, for lie
was quite a stranger in the place. Happily aid was
near. At the sound of the fall, Mrs. Block ran out
of her door, followed by Matty, her little maid; and
her first-floor lodgers, Richard and Julius Maxwell,
also attracted by the noise, ran hurriedly into the
street. One or two men from the opposite side of
the road also hastened to the spot, till there was a
THE SLIDE. 17
little crowd gathered around the place where the
clergyman lay on the pavement.
"Take him to the doctor! take him to the
doctor!" shouted one.
"Run for a shutter to carry him on!" cried an-
other; that's the thing when bones are broken."
"Nonsense!" exclaimed Mrs. Block, pushing her
stout figure forward, why on earth should you take
him to the doctor when the doctor can come to him ?
The poor gentleman is my lodger, and into my hou;e
he shall go. Here, Matty, girl-quick-run over to
Dr. Peel's- -tell him that here's the new curate well-
nigh killed with a fall, and you, Mr. Page-and
Thomas, you-lend a hand to carry him up to his
Willing hands were ready, and Mr. Eardley was
lted up from the ground and carried as gently as
night be up the steep, narrow stair. But the
motion occasioned him such terrible pain, that he bit
his lip hard to prevent groaning at every step taken
by the men who supported him. Edwin Eardley
followed in bitter distress and fear. Mrs. Block
bustled up after them, all the way abusing the mis-
chievous, good-for-nothing boy, Tom Barnes, who had
made the unlucky slide, and who was certain, she
loudly declared, to end his days in a prison, as his
father had done before him.
"I should like to break the lhad of the fellow
who did this piece of mischief!" cried Julius Max
well, a very handsome, bright-haired boy, who might
have numbered ten years, and who now stood with
his brother in the street, watching those who were
bearing in Mr. Eardley.
"Perhaps he might break yours instead," said
Richard coldly, with an almost scornful look at his
younger companion. Happily Julius did not hear
the provoking words of his brother, as he had
followed the party into the house. Richard stopped
out for a few minutes to watch for the doctor's com-
ing, and his eye chanced to fall on the large roll of
prints which little Edwin had dropped, and whicli
had lain unnoticed when the rest of the travellers'
1,-. t. had been taken after them into the lodg-
"I daresaythat this belongs either to the poor gentle-
man or to the boy who was with him,"' thought
Richard, as he stooped to raise the parcel from the
edge of the road to which it had rolled from the pave-
ment. He carried it into the house, and gave it into
the keeping of Mrs. Block, whom lie met on the
"Is the clergyman much hurt ?" Richard Maxwell
The bone of his leg seems broken; it is a sad
business," answered the landlady.
Is lie insnssible?" asked the boy.
Insensible! not a bit of it What do you think
were his words as soon as he caught a glimpse of me?
'Mrs. Block,' says he, will you strew a little sand
just outside your door, that no one else may suffer by
that slide.' It showed, it did, that he was thinking
of others, even in the midst of his pain."
Matty who, slip-shod and bonnetless as she was,
had run so fast for the doctor, that when she arrived
at his house she could scarcely speak for want of
breath, now returned with Dr. Peel. Before the in-
jured leg was examined, Mr. Eardley requested Edwin
to leave the room; but the poor boy begged so hard
to be allowed to stay by his brother that lie was per-
mitted to remain. The necessary handling of the
broken leg occasioned the young curate a great deal
of pain, which he bore in silence, trying to avoid
showing what he suffered even by a look, that he
might spare the feelings of poor Edwin. The child
saw too well, however, what the setting of that
broken bone must be, and as he stood watching the
movements of the surgeon, with clasped hands and
quivering lip, he endured almost as much as the
brother whom he loved with the fondest affec-
You must be kept very quiet, and have nothing
to disturb or excite you, and you will do very well,"
said Dr. Peel, when he had placed the last bandage
round the limb.
And when, sir, may I hope to be able to leave the
house,-to begin my course of duty 1" said Mr. Eard-
20 TIE SLIDE.
Oh we must not think about that for months,"
said the doctor, taking up his hat to depart.
Edwin saw him to the door, and then softly cane
back to the bedside of his brother. The eyes of Mr.
Eardley were closed, but he opened them on hearing
a faint sigh from Edwin, and gently smiled on the boy.
0 Henry, what a dreadful misfortune this is !"
cried Edwin, scarcely able to keep in his tears.
"It is God's will," said the curate feebly; "all
his ways are merciful and right; the trials which he
sends to his servants are not really misfortunes."
"Do you really believe so?" asked Edwin doubt-
"I know it," replied the clergyman; for is it not
written in God's word, all things work together for
good to them that love Him !"
THE SIC'K -OOM.
MR. EARDLEY had felt what he had spoken, and at
that moment of pain there had been a peace in his
heart which had made even affliction seem light, be-
cause sent by his heavenly Father. But a long trial
is often harder to be borne than a sharp one, especially
by the young, and the curate of Axe was young. He
had hitherto known nothing of pain or sickness ; his
spirit had been buoyant, his habits active. It was
no trifling thing to have to lie still, day after day,
afraid even to change his position ; to be unable to
quit his roon: or his bed, and this in the very place
where he had hoped to be so busy and useful, to be
so diligent in hi. work, to do so much for the poor !
The rector, Mr. Santon, under whom Mr. Eardley was
curate, called, and was full of kindness and pity ; but
it went to the sufferer's heart to know what very
great trouble, inconvenience, and fatigue his own illness
must cause to the minister whom he had come to assist.
Mr. Eardley could hardly bear to receive salary for
work which he could not do, and he yet knew that
the money would scarcely be sufficient to pay even
the doctor's bill. It made the young curate very
sad indeed to hear the bells ringing for church, while
he was kept from the house of prayer, when he had
so long looked forward with earnest hope to being
permitted there to give God's message of love to
perishing sinners. Mr. Eardley was tempted to think
that God had forsaken him, or was unmindful of his
distress. Temptation comes to us not only when we
are walking abroad in the world, following our busi-
ness or our pleasure, but even in the quiet sick-room,
and the still hour of the night. The curate strug-
gled hard, prayed hard against the temptation, and
was doing God's work as truly when he fought
against impatience and distrust in his own heart, as
lie could have (lone had he been permitted to spend
the whole day in preaching and labours of love. Let
patience have its perfect or'k," he often repeated to
himself, my Lord knows whether it be best for me
to do or to .,,: i' his will."
Besides his great trials of poverty, pain, and disap-
pointment, Mr. Eardley had many lesser ones such
as are sufficient to fret the spirit even of a Christian.
Little Edwin was a most kind and attentive nurse to
his brother, and never seemed to be weary of watch-
ing at his side or of reading to him portions of the
Bible; but Edwin could not do everything for the
sick and suffering man, and both Mrs. Block and
Matty's services were daily required. Now pain
made Mr. Eardley very liable to fever, and in fever
nothing is more dreaded than bustle or noise. Mrs.
Block seemed made up of bustle ; her loud harsh voice
pierced through the head of the invalid, and every
time that she came in she seemed to bring a gust ot
east wind with her. Matty was one of the most
dull and awkward of girls. She was willing and
obliging indeed, but whatever she did-she did ill;
she knocked down pieces of furniture, mislaid papers,
soiled everything that she touched, seemed unable to
walk without shaking the room, or to leave it with-
out banging the door Even when both Matty and
her mistress were away, Mr. Eardley often heard the
loud tones of the latter on the stairs as she threatened
and scolded her maid ; and to the lover of peace it ap-
peared as if peace in this lodging could never be found!
But neither Mrs. Block nor Matty caused so much
annoyance to the sick man, as did the two young
Maxwells wlho lived in the floor just below him. Ex-
cept for tv c hours in the furenoon, when the boys
were happily engaged with a tutor, or when at a
late hour of the night, welcome silence told that they
were asleep, the noise that they made was almost
ceaseless. Mr. Eardley could have borne this better,
though his head siched and his pulse beat east, and
every sudden shout made him start, had the sounds
which came from below been only sounds of play. But
alas! there were too often loud, angry, passionate
words, and sometime sthe noise of an actual scuffle,
as if the brothers were engaged in fighting. This not
only pained the curate's ear but grieved his heart ; it
served constantly to remind him how much sin was
in the world, how much his Christian efforts were re-
quired at a time when he had no power to make them.
Richard and Julius Maxwell were not of those who
obey the command to love one another, they had never
learned to "bear and forbear," nor to yield up a wish for
the sake of a brother. Richard was nearly three years
older than Julius. His mother had died soon after
his birth, and his father had married again. The
second Mrs. Maxwell, the mother of Julius and his
sisters, was a lady of high birth, her relations were
people of rank and wealth. It was natural that they
should take notice of Julius, and show kindness to him
rather than to his half-brother Richard, whose mother
they never had known. Richard's grandfather had
been a poor sea-captain, Julius's grandfather was a
lord. Julius was sometimes invited to pay long visits
at Markly Castle, while Richard was left at home.
Julius had been given a watch and seals, while his
elder brother had none. Richard had a pencil-ease
of silver, but Julius possessed one of gold. Richard
had never any money but a moderate allowance from
his father; Julius received every now and then a
sovereign from his aunt, or a birthday-gift from his
grandfather, Lord Markly.
Now Richard had no real cause for complaint be-
cause of the advantages possessed by Julius. His
father and his step-mother were kind and just, and
ever treated him as their eldest son,--,ut they could
not help what was the natural consequence of the
position in which Providence had placed him. The
relations who delighted in giving pleasure to Julius
Maxwell, did no wrong to his brother. What Julius
enjoyed was not taken from Richard, and yet the
latter felt and acted as if he were an injured party.
Richard was peevish and jealous, always looking out
for some cause of offence. He thought it hard that
his younger brother should be more noticed and fav-
oured than himself, and his miserable jealousy made
him unhappy as well as sinful. Richard took a kind
of mean revenge in rendering his companion's life un-
comfortable by bitter taunts, rough words, and even
hasty blows. He chose to consider it his business,
as an elder brother, to "keep him in order," bring
him to his senses," take the nonsense out of him."
Julius was by no means of a temper to take this fin-
ternal discipline with submission. Although so much
younger than Richard, he was nearly as tall and strong
as his brother, and what he might want in size, he
made up in fiery spirit. What wonder then that there
was little peace between these companions and
brothers, though brought up in the same home, nour-
ished with the same care, watched over by the same
tender father !
Little Edwin was greatly grieved at the rest of his
dear Henry being broken, and his comfort disturbed
in the various ways that have been mentioned. Seve-
ral times the delicate and somewhat timid boy ven-
tured down to the sitting-room of the Maxwells, and
' .1 them to make less noise, as it kept his brother
from going to sleep. At first both Richard and Julius
readily promised to be quiet, for they had kindly
hearts, and were really sorry for the curate; but
they were not accustomed to deny self, or to give
up any pleasure from a sense of duty, so in a few
minutes they always forgot their promise, and their
pity for the suffering clergyman. Edwin found that
each time that he spoke, the boys cared less for his
request, and at last Richard grew even impatient, and
wished that Mr. Eardley would move to some other
place, as it was impossible to be always moping )be-
cause some one lay ill overhead Richard felt sorry for
his words almost as soon as they were spoken; he
would have been more sorry still had he known with
what a heavy heart poor Edwin went back to his
brother's apartment. But Julius called his brother a
brute for talking in so unfeeling a way, and this
thoughtless word in a moment turned all Richard's
regret into anger.
"Oh I am so glad to see a little sunshine at
last !" cried Edwin, as on one fine afternoon lie
sat at the bed side of his brother.
"I am glad, too, for your sake, dear Edwin. You
must take a walk, and enjoy the bright weather, and
see a little of the town, and the country around it.
It is very dull for you to remain like a prisoner shut
up all day in a sick-room."
THE SICK-ROOM. 27
"I do not wish to take a walk," replied Edwin;
"I would rather stay always beside you. But I
hope that the Maxwells will go out, and stay out.
I wish," he added, that they would never come
back again They seem to live here only to tor-
ment us; they think of nobody but themselves."
We must not judge them harshly," said Mr.
Eardley; "they perhaps scarcely know what pain
is, and I cannot expect from them the same thought-
ful kindness and consideration that are shown me
by my own little brother."
Edwin pressed the thin, feverish hand that was
held out to him, and looked earnestly into the face
of Mr. Eardley-that face so pale and wasted, but in
its expression so gentle and loving.
Henry!" he exclaimed, I cannot bear to see
you look so ill, so very ill! "
I should be better if I could sleep," replied the
curate, who, kept awake by pain, had counted every
hour struck bh the clock on the staircase during the
long, weary night. Go out and enjoy yourself,
Edwin; you may be quite easy about me. My
eyes are heavy with sleep; I think that I shall
take a little rest, and you may find me quite re-
freshed on your return."
Edwin beat up the pillow, and half closed the
shutters, that the light streaming in at the window
might not keep his brother awake. He was just
rejoicing on hearing the quiet, regular breathing
which told that Mr. Eardley had dropped asleep,
when tlhe door was suddenly opened, and Matty,
slipshod as usual, with her rough hair hanging about
her ears, said aloud, The rector, Mr. Santon, has
called to ask as how Mr. Eardley is going on."
Edwin ran hastily to the door, with his finger
upon his lip. 0 Matty!" lie exclaimed in a low
voice, but with a rather irritated manner, how
often am I to ask you to knock softly at the dor
of the sitting-room? You have awakened my brother
from such a nice sleep, and lie had no rest all last
night : If he is never to be left in quiet, how is lie
ever to get well ?
I never thought of his being asleep in the middle
of the day!" exclaimed Matty, clattering down the
steep stairs faster than she had mounted them.
When she reached the kitchen, the eyes of the rough
but kind-hearted girl were full of tears.
I never meant to hurt him-I didn't," she mut-
tered, wiping her eyes with her apron. I'd sit up
all night with him-I would-the gentleman as is
so patient and kind, and never gives a hard word
to no one!"
Mr. Eardley had been roused by Matty's hasty
entrance, but was again, to Edwin's joy, sinking into
peaceful repose, when a noise of hammering from
below, mingled with a strange shrill sound, made
him once more open his eyes, with a little weary
sigh of exhaustion.
Oh what is to be done ?" thought poor Edwin.
" That noise is enough to drive one wild He will
never get a moment of rest! I had better go down
and try once more if the Maxwells will, for pity's
sake, be quiet."
The little boy gently quitted the room. Mr. Eardley
thought that he was going into the fresh, frosty air;
but Edwin's mind was so full of his brother, that
there was scarcely room in it for self. He stopped,
however, just before the door of the room from
which the sounds were coming, and hesitated for
several minutes before he ventured to knock.
"Richard was rude the last time that I spoke to
him," thought Edwin; and now, perhaps, he will
be quite angry. I am afraid that there is little use
in trying; and it is so very, very disagreeable to go
where one may not be welcome, and to ask a favour
which is not likely to be granted But, oh! that
horrible noise! What a coward I am to stand
doubting here! It shall not at least be my fault
if dear Henry be worried into a fever !"
The shy child had to knock twice before he was
told to enter, as the noise which they themselves
were making prevented the brothers from hearing
him at first. Edwin then entered quickly, and shut
the door behind him.
Richard was on the floor, busily hammering some
nails into a box which he was making with some
neatness and skill. Julius was sitting at the little
window which projected over the street, trying to
bring clear notes out of a beautiful silver-keyed
flute, which had been brought to him thlt morning
by his aunt.
"0 Edwin Eardley, is that you ?" said Richard,
glancing up from his work, and remembering with a
little feeling of shame his own rudeness on the last
occasion when they had met.
Edwin felt somewhat encouraged by the tone of
young Maxwell; and, advancing one or two steps
towards him, said, I am very sorry to disturb you;
but my brother lay awake all last night in pain, and
if--if the house could be kept quiet now, I think
that he would get a little sleep."
Al you want to stop that horrid flute, that las
been going like a pistol through my ear !" ex-
claimed Richard. Julius, you shall put it down
Who's to make me ?" cried Julius saucily, turn-
ing round on his seat, with his flute in his hand, and
a look of determination upon his bright, merry, young
I'll make you!" cried Richard, springing up from
the floor; and there would have been an instant
-hin-__1 had not Edwin run forward with extended
hand, exclaiming, Yes, yes, you will make him give
it up, but in quite a different way."
What way?" cried both the brothers at once.
He will put down his flute," said Edwin, with
an effort, when he sees you put down your ham-
The boys looked at each other, and then Julius
burst out laughing.
"Agreed!" he cried; "that's not a bad thought. I
never yet knew Dick give up anything that he liked."
Richard flung down his hammer on the floor;
Julius laidhis flute on the chair from which he had
"Oh! thanks, thanks!" exclaimed Edwin joy-
fully. "Now Henry will rest in peace."
"You seem very fond of him," observed Richard.
"Is he not my brother?" replied the little boy.
Perhaps that simple sentence touched the heart of
one who had himself cared so little for the tie of
brotherhood, for Richard said with unusual kindness
in his manner, Is there anything else that we can
do for you, Edwin ?"
Edwin flushed red up to his forehead; he looked
as if he wished to speak, but was afraid to do so.
"Out with it !" cried Richard impatiently.
"If you would only let me-let me take charge
of the flute and hammer for a while."
"To use them?" asked the laughing Julius.
"To prevent our using them, I suppose?"
Edwin nodded his head in reply.
"Do you not trust us?" asked Richard rather
32 THE SICK-ROOM.
Edwin was silent, for lie knew from the past what
to expect for the future.
You're a funny little chap," said Julius ; and
for how long do you want to keep possession of our
flute and hammer ?"
Edwin thought for a moment, and then replied,
"I say:" exclaimed Julius, three days Well,"
lie continued, good-humouredly, I daresay that
you're right, for if the flute were here I should never
keep my fingers off the keys; and it is a shame to
kill a sick man with noise! I like a little fellow
that can stand up for his brother. I think that he
nust have been a good brother to you."
"He has been ever.ill. i to me!" exclaimed Ed-
win. And may I keep this too ?" he added, turn-
ing towards Richard, and pointing to the hammer on
Richard did not choose to be outdone in genero-
sity by Julius, so gave rather a gruff assent. The
two boys then, being stopped in their amusement,
and seeing that the sun shone so brightly that it
seemed to invite them to quit the house, went out
together for a long walk, while Edwin, joyous as a
conqueror with spoils, ran up softly to the sitting-
room above, with hammer and flute in his hands.
Mr. Eardley enjoyed for some hours a deep, re-
freshing sleep, and awoke feeling better than lie had
done since the accident occurred. From that day
his improvement was steady; no symptom of fever
returned, and his pain became less and less severe.
Mr. Eardley was in time allowed to be moved from
.his bed to a sofa, although not suffered to put his
foot to the ground. The sofa could be wheeled into
the sitting-room, through the door which connected
the two apartments; and thus the patient was en-
abled to enjoy a little change of air and of scene.
-He was able to converse without fatigue, to read,
and even to write; though the reclining posture
which he was obliged to keep made it difficult for
him to do either. Edwin's young heart bounded
with joy at every sign of his brother's returning
health; and his eye beamed with hope and gladness
'a on the Monday, with hearty thanks, he returned
Sto the Maxwells the hammer and the flute.
34 TUE PUPIL.
"O HENRY, I wish that something could be done
for poor Matty I" exclaimed Edwin, looking up from
the book which he was studying beside Mr. Eardley,
on a day in the beginning of the month of February.
"What of her inquired the curate.
"I never believed that in dear old England there
could be any one so very, very ignorant as she is! I
spoke to her a little time ago as she was washing
down the stairs; I thought that I would give her
my little hymn-book, for she seems a good girl, and
means well, though she is so awkward and stupid.
Would you believe it, she took the book, and held it
upside down, and stared at it as if she had never
seen one before in her life."
"' Can't you read it said I. 'Don't know how
to read,' she answered, and not as if she were ashamed
of her ignorance, though she looks almost grown up."
"And what did you say to her ?" inquired Mr.
"I said, 'How do you manage then to follow the
hymns in church?' and she answered, 'I never goes to
church, not I."'
THE PUPIL. 35
Mr. Eardley looked grave and sad; "Was that all
that passed between you ?" he inquired.
"Oh no, Henry, I could not leave her like that!
Said, 'Matty, has no one taught you about God,
has no one cared for your soul ?' She looked puzzled,
and did not reply, so I went on; 'Do you know
where you will go when you die?' she said, 'To
heaven, I hopes.' Then I asked her if she knew the
way to heaven, but she could not answer anything
to that. Henry, I'm afraid that poor Matty knows
as little of religion as if she had been born a Red
"We must do something for her," said the curate,
"It seems to me that it would be such a good
thing if she could only be taught to read ; then we
might give her a Bible, and she would learn every-
thing out of that. I should like to teach her so
much, dear Henry, do you think that I could ?"
"I think that you might at least try," answered
"I asked Matty if she would like to learn. She
said that she did not know,-that she had no time,
-that 'missus was always at her' if she was behind
hand with her work. There seemed no end of diffi-
culties in the way.
SDifficulties must not discourage us," said Mr.
Eardley. "The soul of that poor girl is precious,
and she must not be suffered to remain in darkness.
The best way to begin will be to speak to Mrs.
"Oh, I'm afraid of her-she has such a temper !"
exclaimed Edwin. He stopt short, for a heavy step
sounded at the door, and Mrs. Block herself, in her
black lace cap, old silk gown, gaudy ear-rings,'and
brooch to match, bustled into the room. She
carried a cup of water-gruel for the invalid, which
she set down before him with a good deal more of
noise than was needful.
Mrs. Block, I have a favour to ask of you," said
Mr. Eardley, in his mild and courteous manner.
"A favour dear me-well-I'm sure"-
Would you spare Matty for a short time every
evening, that my brother might teach her to read ?"
Mrs. Block gave a little toss of the head. "I
don't know what such as she has to do with learning,"
she said; I've plague enough to get needful things
into her stupid head, without tormenting her with
It is the one thing most needful of all that we
would teach," observed Mr. Eardley, "the knowledge
which is as precious to the poor as to the rich, the
knowledge of our holy religion."
"I'm sure, sir," said Mrs. Block, drawing up her
figure with the air of one who is somewhat offended,
"no one is more for religion than I am. I go to
church every Sunday-in fine weather, and pay for
my seat too, and"-
Ti E' PUPIL.
"You enjoy advantages yourself, my friLend ; but
have you ever thought of giving them to your young
"She has more work to do than she can overtake
as it is," answered the landlady, with impatience.
"Have we not two sets of lodgers,-and these young
gents give no end of trouble,-and the shop to mindd
besides, and not a soul to help me but Matty
What with the cooking, and washing, and cleaning,
and running errands, and this thing and that, I'm
sure the girl has not a minute to spare."
"My friend," said the curate of Axe, even as
regards worldly matters you would be no loser by
giving your young maid a little time for the work
of God. The better Christian, the better servant;
the more faithful to her heavenly Master, the more
faithful to her earthly mistress ; the more honest,
steady, truthful "-
"Ah i I can't depend on a word she says," broke
in the indignant Mrs. Block ; she's a shocking story
teller, is Matty ?"
"Can you expect her to keep to the truth, when
she knows nothing of the truth ? Without giving
food for her body, would you expect her to have
strength to do your work? and is food less necessary
for the soul? Were you to starve the one, you
would have to answer for it to your country; if you
starve the other, the far more precious part, how will
you answer for it to your God ?"
Mrs. Block looked uncomfortable, for though she
had said that no one was more for religion than her-
self, it is certain that she never liked to hear much
spoken about it. She fumbled with her apron-strings,
knitted her brows, and seemed searching in her mind
for some plausible reason which she could not dis-
cover, for treating her poor little maid like one of
the beasts that perish, a creature that could eat and
work, but was fit for nothing besides. But Mr.
Eardley left her no time for reply. "We only ask
for one half-hour," he said, "to be spared at any
time most convenient to yourself. Give my plan at
least a short trial; be assured that you will have no
cause to repent your indulgence."
"Perhaps-after seven-we might manage "-
"You will manage," said Mr. Eardley, cheerfully.
"Well, sir, since you set your heart upon it, just
to oblige you "-
"I thank you for this, as well as for all the acts
of kindness which you have done for me since I was
brought helpless into your lodging. I fear that I
have given you much trouble, Mrs. Block, but I am
now gaining strength so fast that I hope not long to
remain such a heavy burden on the kindness of my
The words, and yet more the manner of the
speaker pleased and gratified the landlady; she was
well content to reckon herself amongst the friends
of one whom, however poor, she always described as
"a real gentleman, if ever there was one." Her
ruffled temper was smoothed down again, and she left
the room with a gracious promise to send up Matty
for a lesson in the evening.
Edwin clapped his hands in triumph. It was
arranged between him and Mr. Eardley that, after
the girl had had a little religious instruction from
Mr. Eardley, she should receive from Edwin her first
short lesson in reading. The little boy was much
elated at the idea of being a teacher, and instructing
one who appeared to be so many years older than
Matty came at the hour appointed, looking sheepish
and shy. Mr. Eardley spoke to her gently and
earnestly, but it was impossible to draw fom the girl
either a reply to his questions, or to find out by her
manner whether she even understood what was said.
Mr. Eardley felt like one who is attempting to write
on water. Not the slightest impression appeared to
be made. Matty's eyes were wandering in every
direction, while the half-open mouth gave an idea
that her mind was actually vacant. The clergyman
was painfully aware that he had not succeeded even
in gaining her attention.
Nor had Edwin more reason to be satisfied when
he began his task of teaching. He found it im-
possible to make Matty distinguish even between the
A and 0. The girl blundered, yawned, became rest-
less, and before her half-hour was over, said bluntly
that she did not want to learn to read, reading would
be of no use to her.
0 Henry, we have failed,-quite failed !" ex-
claimed Edwin, when his tiresome pupil had shuffled
out of the room.
We must not say so,-we must not start back
at the first difficulty that we meet, said the curate.
I shall never teach her to read, I despair of it!"
"There is no use, perhaps, in attempting to do so,
while her own heart is set against it. If we could
first give her a desire to learn, we then might suc-
ceed in teaching."
She cared for nothing but looking about her."
"Then, perhaps," observed Mr. Eardley, we
might betL reach her mind through her eyes."
"I have it!" exclaimed Edwin. "Show her my
large beautiful pictures of David, the Shepherd-
King, and explain them to her while you explain
them to me."
"Lectures on the story of the Shepherd-King,"
said the curate, thoughtfully, as if he were speaking
to himself; the mind to be raised from the subject
of David, to that of David's Son, and David's Lord !
I do not know why my pupils should be limited to
you and poor Matty; I might hold a class every
other evening, and welcome all who would come."
"A class-that would be excellent !" cried Edwin;
"but could you have one in this little room ?"
"My hearers would meet in the sitting-room,"
replied the curate, "and my sofa would stand in the
doorway which separates the two apartments. The
space is small," he added, with a smile, "but I must
not be too sanguine of filling even this."
"But Henry, you are not strong enough yet to
undertake anything like a lecture."
"I think that I have strength enough for this,
the first labour of love which I have been permitted
to attempt in this parish."
"Then shall we begin to-morrow ?"
"The first thing to be done is to gain Mrs. Block's
permission to my giving a lecture in her house."
This object was far more easily accomplished than
Edwin had expected. The mistress of the lodging
made no objection at all. The fact was that Mrs.
Block considered that a lecture held by a clergyman
would rather give dignity to her house, and might
even draw customers to her shop; she therefore very
readily lent for the occasion two benches which
usually stood in her kitchen, which, with the chairs
collected from both Mr. Eardley's rooms, would, it
was thought, be sufficient to give seats to as many
as would be likely to attend the first evening lecture.
"If we are much crowded," said Edwin, "your
black box will serve as my chair."
The next thing to be done was to let it be known
in Axe that Mr. Eardley was about to give lectures.
The young curate wrote to his rector on the subject,
42 THE PUPIL
but Mr. Santon happening to be absent from home,
lie did not receive the letter for several days. Edwin
wrote in neat printed letters a notice, that "Plain
Lectures upon the Story of the Shepherd King, illus-
trated by pictures, would be given on Tuesdays,
Thursday, and Saturdays, at 7 o'clock, P.M., by the
Reverend Henry Eardley, in his own apartment."
Edwin then himself placed the paper in the window
of Mrs. Block's shop, that it might be seen by all
passing by. The boy was very eager and hopeful as
to the result. His brother, yet weak and languid
from the effects of his fall, unaccustomed to address
even the smallest assembly, and finding it difficult
to express himself so simply and plainly, that the
youngest auditor might understand his meaning, felt
his heart rather fail him at the thought of the even-
"I am seeking to obey my Master's command,
Feed my lambs," thought the youthful clergyman,
" and however weak and imperfect I am in myself,
surely I may hope for his aid and his blessing upon
THE INVITED GUESTS.
THE INVITED GUESTS.
"HENRY, ought we not to invite the Maxwells to
your lecture," inquired Edwin, as he sat at breakfast
on the following morning.
"Assuredly," replied Mr. Eardley; "will you go
and tell them how welcome they would be ?"
"I would rather-rather that you should write,"
said Edwin, with a little hesitation; "perhaps they
have not been brought up to like what-what we
should all like," he added more quickly, advice
and lessons from the Bible."
"What sort of boys are they?" inquired Mr.
"Richard is a grave-looking, pale boy,-almost
as pale as you,-but his forehead is not so high or
so white, and it does not show the blue veins like
yours. A little, quick frown comes there whenever
anything is said that annoys him, and that seems to
be pretty often; but I must say that he is a good
deal more civil to me than he is to his younger
brother. They do not look as if they loved one
another at all."
"And the other boy ?"
THII INVITED GUESTS.
His name is Julius. I was quite taken with
him when first I saw him. He is almost like the
picture of an angel, his hair all curly and golden, and
such a bright rosy colour on his cheek He seems
to be gay and cheerful; I should think him much
pleasanter to live with than Richard ; only lie too
gets angry sometimes, and then his passion is fiercer
than that of his brother. I have not seen much of
either of them yet; I only tell you how they appear
to me when we meet."
Mr. Eardley wrote a very courteous note of in-
vitation to the Maxwells, and sent it to them by
Matty, when she came to clear the breakfast away.
The boys received the note while awaiting the
arrival of their daily tutor. Richard first read it,
and then tossed it over to his brother.
"Well, I'm glad that the poor curate is so much
better as to be able to give lectures," said Julius,
after lie had read the invitation.
"Do you wish to attend them?" asked Richard,
as he arranged his lesson-books and copies on the
"I Oh dear no there's nothing I dislike more
than lectures. Learning of all sorts is so slow! Mr.
Eardley won't have a pupil in me !"
"I'm going," said Richard, shortly.
You don't say so !" cried Julius, in surprise.
"Yes, for I find my evenings here so tiresome,'
said Richard, who had no wish to be thought more
THE INVITED GUESTS.
religious than he was. "And then I wish to see this
curate, Mr. Eardley, and find out why it is that the
Little thin boy is so fond of him."
\ "That having discovered the secret, you may try
b it on me ?" laughed Julius.
Edwin Eardley is a very different boy from
you," replied Richard.
"I should think so," said Julius, a little proudly;
a "why, I could twist the little fellow over my head!"
S "He managed to twist you round, and me too,
for the matter of that, when he made us give up our
hammer and flute," observed Richard, "so you may
keep your saucy nonsense to yourself. Edwin may
be a little boy, but he has a great heart; I like a
fellow who will go through thick and thin for a
friend, and think trouble a pleasure to serve him. I
have always thought well of Edwin since he made
me so cross with asking me to be quiet, and then
came and faced us both again, with the chance of
rougher words, and a good sound thrashing to boot."
"He looked frightened enough," said Julius.
"Yes, all the more credit to him if he did his
duty in spite of his fear."
"I think that the poor little fellow is half'starved,"
observed Julius; "I suspect that both he and his
brother live on barley-gruel and toast and water."
"And they came here on foot," rejoined Richard
"I thought that a very mean thing; a clergyman to
be carrying his own box 1"
40 THE INVITED GUESTS.
"Well, I rather like that," said Julius; I like
a man to be able to put his hand to anything, and
not give himself useless airs. Though my grand-
father is a lord, yet he always-"
"I don't want to hear about your grandfather,"
cried Richard, pettishly; a lord is not a bit better
than any other kind of man. There's nothing so
mean as talking about grand relations."
"There's no danger of your ever falling into that
fault !" said saucy Julius. His brother's reply was a
box on the ear.
Then, as usual, there followed a struggle, which
ended in Julius receiving a black eye, and neither
of the brothers exchanging a word until the hour of
the evening lecture.
I have mentioned that Edwin had placed a neatly
printed notice of the lectures in Mrs. Block's shop
window. This was early on the morning of the
Tuesday on which the first lecture was to be given.
Edwin had scarcely returned to his room, when an
old weather-beaten soldier, with a face which the
sun had burnt, and the hot wind tanned till the skin
was almost like leather, came slowly up the street.
Peter Pole, such was the old man's name, grasped a
strong stick in his right hand, with which lie stayed
his somewhat feeble steps; but his left sleeve was
empty, and pinned to the breast of his coat, for lie
had lost an arm in the wars. Peter was well known
in Axe, where he lived on his little pension, and
THE INVITED GUESTS.
trifles which he sometimes received for going on
errands, or even doing rough carpentering work. It
is sad to think how many of the old soldier's pennies
found their way to the gin-shop, and that the red-
ness which tinged not only his cheek but his nose,
was owing tothe terrible habit of drinking. Peter
was going on a down-hill road, that road which has
led so many to misery here, and to worse misery be-
yond the grave. There had been no one to hold him
back with the strong grasp of love, no one to save
him from himself, and point to him the only means
of safety for sinners, the only way of escape from sin.
Peter Pole stood before the shop window, and
looked at the paper which had just been placed there
by Edwin. But the soldier's eyes were somewhat
dim, partly perhaps.from age, but more from the evil
effect of his fatal habit; he could not see anything
very distinctly even when, as at this time, he was
"I can't make it out," he muttered; "it's some-
thing to be done by the Reverend Henry Eard-
ley; that's the curate, I take it, as broke his
"I'll read it to you, old friend," said a boy who
stood near,-a lad with sharp features, and quick
black eyes, full of an expression of mischief and fun:
" It's the Reverend Henry Eardley is to give a lecture
to-night at his lodging, at seven o'clock, all about
his dangers in 'Merica."
48 THE INVITED GUESTS.
"I should like to hear that-I should like to
hear that; I've a nephew there," said the old soldier;
" do you think that such as I might go and hear
It's meant 'specially for soldiers," said this wicked
boy, who cared not for truth, so that he might have
his joke, and who thought it clever to take in a poor
old man, whose eyes were not so good as his own.
This boy, as the reader perhaps may have guessed,
was no other than Tom Barnes, whose slide had
occasioned so much suffering to Mr. Eardley.
I'll go, sure as a gun, I'll go," said old Peter,
walking away from the place.
Now Tom Barnes knew well that if the paper
should remain in the window, Peter Pole would be
likely to hear from some one else all the truth con-
cerning the lecture. He therefore resolved to take
the notice away, amused at the idea of the disappoint-
ment which the lecturer would feel when evening
should come, and his room be empty! Entering the
shop, and laying a penny down on the counter, he
asked Matty, who happened to be the only one
present, for a box of lucifer matches. While Matty
in her clumsy efforts to get at the box, was tumbling
down half-a-dozen other things from the shelf, the
mischievous boy Barnes possessed himself of poor
Edwin's notice, and crumpled it up so tightly in his
hand, that Matty never observed what had happened.
Such a trick could never have been played had Mrs.
THE INVITED GUESTS.
Block been serving in the shop, which she trusted as
little as she possibly could to a girl so ignorant and
dull as Matty.
As Edwin did not leave the house on that day,
the loss of the paper was not noticed. The little
boy was very busy in arranging the room for the
lecture. He himself fastened up on the wall the first
of his series of large, beautiful coloured pictures, and
drew the little black horse-hair sofa on which, wrapt
up in a cloak, his brother reclined, so close to the
open door that was between the two apartments,
that Mr. Eardley's voice, though yet faint, could
easily be heard from any part of the sitting-room.
Edwin lighted the candles, placed them in the best
positions, and arranged the seats so as to accommo-
date the greatest number of guests. Poor Edwin
expected the room to be crowded, never guessing
that, through Tom Barnes's wicked trick, scarcely
any one in Axe knew that a lecture was to take
A few minutes before seven, Matty came into the
room, and shyly took her seat upon the bench fur-
thest removed from the lecturer. Edwin wondered
at the stillness of the house, and the dreary empti-
ness of the room, and the young curate's heart mis-
gave him. Can there be some mistake about the
day, or the hour?" was the thought that flashed
across the mind of each. Just as the clock on the
stairs struck seven, a slow heavy step, accnmplnied
THE INVITED GUESTS.
by the sound of a stick used as a support, was heard
on the stair, and Peter Pole entered, looked curiously
about him, and sat down on a chair just opposite to
"Are these to be the only two listeners?" thought
Edwin, who felt acutely any neglect shown to his
brother; are there so few in this place who care to
come when so freely invited?"
The curate felt disappointed and discouraged.
But lie remembered the story of the minister who
once found but a single person present when he
began service in church, and who, preaching as ear-
nestly to the one as if the place had been crowded
by eager listeners, was the blessed means, by that
sermon, of winning a soul for God. If I am not
permitted to do much, should it make me cold in my
efforts to do a little ?" thought Mr. Eardley; and he
was just unclosing his Bible before commencing,
when Richard Maxwell entered at the door.
Richard glanced rather scornfully round the small,
dimly-lighted, and almost empty apartment, and but
for a feeling of shyness, and an unwillingness to
mortify Mr. Eardley, would probably have retired at
once. He sat down, however, as far distant as could
be from the rough old soldier, and the poor servant-
girl, whom he thought by no means fit company for
such a gentleman as himself. It was a strangely
mixed little assembly. There was Mr. Eardley,
lately a college student, deep in studies of Latin,
TIE INVITED GUESTS. 51
Hebrew, and Greek, about to address in language thl
simplest that he could use, those who appeared
likely to have not one feeling in common. There
was the proud boy, not uninstructed in religion, but
accustomed to regard it as something grave and
gloomy, only to be thought of on Sundays; some-
thing that had little or nothing to do with the events
of week-day life. There was the ignorant girl,
whose mind had never been raised above the little
wants, and work, and miseries of her own lowly situ-
ation. And there was the old soldier, one who had
grown grey in sin, approaching towards the borders
of the grave, with not a hope beyond it It was
to such as these, and to his own little brother, that
Mr. Eardley, after a simple prayer for God's blessing,
addressed the following words.
DAVID AND TIE LION.
LECTURE I.--DAVID AND TIE LION.
MY friends, let me carry back your thoughts to a
period of time lnot much less than three thousand
years ago-a-),out one thousand and sixty years before
the Lord Jesus was hlorn into tie world. Then, in
the meadows surrounding Betihlehem, a city in tlhe
holy land of Judea, a young shepherd lad, named
David, watched the flocks of his father. lHe dwelt
in a fair and fertile spot. The eye of young David
rested 'on fields of waving corn, olive-trees, fi'-oar-
deis, and terraces of vineyards, where the ripe purple
grapes hung in rich and tempting clusters. The sun
shines more 1,rightly in Judea than it ever does in
our colder clime.
Though David kept thle sheep of his father Jesse,
as a shepherd-liy might have done, he was descended
from a family distinguished amongst the thousands
of Israel. His great-grandmother Ruth, was the
gentle young widow of Aioah, who left her people
and her country to follow in poverty and affliction
her stepmother, the mourning Naomi. Jesse might
possibly yet rememlcer a silver-haired aged woman,
who, when he was but a child, would take her little
DAVID AND THf LION.
grandson on her knee, and tell him of the days when
she had first come to Bethlehem, to glean in those
very fields which she now could call her own. Ruth
might have bid young Jesse put his trust in the holy
God who had not forsaken her in the time of trouble,
but who had, even in this world, plentifully rewarded
the gentle and dutiful daughter.
And David was descended from another woman
of whose faith we read in the Bible; though, as she
had died hundreds of years before the young shep-
herd was born, neither he nor his father could ever
have seen her. Rahab, who dwelt on the wall of
Jericho, who hid the spies of Israel, and who, with
her family, alone was spared, when Joshua destroyed
the wicked city, was the ancestress of old Jesse,
-David was born of her line.
But if it be interesting to know from whom the
shepherd was descended, it is far more interesting to
know who was to be descended from him. David
was to be the father of many sons; and when more
than a thousand years had rolled away, in that same
family, and in that same favoured town of Bethle-
hem, one greater than David was to be born! The
Son of God who, from heaven's height, was at this
time looking down in love on the lowly youth tend-
ing his flock, knew that ages after David should be
laid in his grave, he himself would leave his shining
t2rone, to lie, a helpless babe, in the arms of Mary,
a descendant of the shepherd of Bethlehem. Yes,
DAVID AND THE LION.
wondrous as the fact must appear, the Maker of
David deigned to enter the world as a son of David,
-the glorious Lord of heaven and earth stooped to
become a man Why the Son of God thus conde-
scended,-why he laid his glory aside and came to
suffer and die, shall soon be the subject of our con-
sideration; but we will now return to the shepherd
David, surrounded by his fleecy charge on the plain
The youth is fair and rosy, and of a beautiful
countenance; hope is in his heart, strength and
vigour in his arm. As lie sits with his harp at his
side" (here Mr. Eardley glanced at the picture), "we
can imagine what thoughts are arising in the mind
of the youngest son of Jesse. Perhaps he is think-
ing of the fierce Philistines, of the armies which they
have poured into his land, burning villages and wast-
ing plains, trampling down the ripe corn, and bearing
away plunder from the ruined homes which his
countrymen vainly defended. We may read in that
face, fair as it is, the resolve of a youthful hero : "If
I live to be a man, I will go forth as my brothers
have done; I will fight under Saul my king, and my
arm shall aid in driving back the Philistine foe: For
will not God be with us? The Lord is Kimg for
ever and ever! The heathen shall perish out of the
We judge of the flower from the bud; we judge
of the man from the chill. David was a brave,
DAVID AND THE LION. 55
noble, pious boy; he remembered his Creator in the
days of his youth, and the Lord was the strength of
But as David sits there beneath a date-palm appa-
rently lost in thought, he little dreams what peril is
near him Do you mark that terrible form half hid
by the thicket on the right ? See there the bristling
mane, the gleaming eyes,-the cruel jaws of a raven-
ing lion, that with noiseless step and cat-like crouch,
is stealing towards its prey It is advancing to seize
yonder lamb that has wandered from the side of the
shepherd. Poor helpless lamb! what will its faint
cries, its feeble struggles avail it in the crushing grasp
of those terrible claws And mark on the left, com-
ing down the slope of a hill,-another savage beast
of prey 'One of the white bears of Judea is hasten-
ing down in the twilight, to bear away a sheep from
Suddenly the young shepherd is startled by a fierce
growl,-a cry of terror; and, behold-the lion has
sprung upon the lamb That was a moment to test
the courage, to try the faith of the son of Jesse !
Should he not fly, seek safety for himself, and leave
the flock to the ravening beast No that one little
struggling lamb was dear to the heart of the shep-
herd; he could not leave the helpless creature to perish.
avid rushed forward and attacked the lion, and smote
him with such force that the fierce beast dropped the
lamb, and turned all its rage on the shepherd. David,
AVID AND THE rTON.
armed not only with courage but with strength from
above, caught the lion by the beard, smote him
again, and slew him; and, while yet panting from the
terrible struggle, met, and fought, and slew the bear
Can we not picture to ourselves the young shep-
herd, with bloody garments and disordered hair, kneel-
ing down beside the dead bodies of the fierce animals
which lie had slain, and with hands and eyes uplifted
to heaven praising and blessing the Lord who had
given spirit to fight, and power to conquer-then
rising and taking the wounded lamb in his arms,
seeing to its hurts, bearing it to a stream, washing
the crimson stains from its fleece, tending it carefully
and gently, as a mother might a wounded child !
My fricndo, the devoted shepherd who risked his
life to save that of a lamb, is a type, a picture of
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who not only risked, but
gave his life for the sheep David's fight with the
lion and the bear is like a shadow of the awful strug-
gle of the Son of God against Satan and sin. The
Lord Jesus saw that the evil one, who goeth about
like a r '... t lion, was hunting the souls of men ;
that their sinful passions and sinful nature were bring-
ing them to misery and death. The Saviour saw and
pitied the helpless, wandering sheep, and came from
heaven that, by dying himself, lie might save those ap-
pointed to die. Oh wondrous, inconceivable love !
The poorest,--the lowliest-thle most sinful may say
.- ' 1
DAVID THE SHEPHERD.
As Dirdl there blinth d-palm ppr' tly l in1 tboughb, he littl dr m l wa
peril ib n-r him I-P-] L6.
DAVID AND TIE LTON. 57
-" The blood of the Heavenly Shepherd was freely
shed for me!" Let none think himself beneath the
notice or the care of the Son of God. To the loving
heart of the Lord the feeblest lamb is precious. He
would save it not only from misery hereafter, but
watch over it tenderly here. He feeds his flock like
a shepherd ; he takes up the lambs in his arms, and
carries them in his bosom. Did the faint cry of the
lion's prey bring David at once to its aid ? So to the
prayer of the weakest amongst us, even to the humble
cry, "Lord be merciful to me, a sinner !" the ear of
our Shepherd never is closed. He will never desert
nor forsake one of the flock for which he died! Happy
they who can apply while they repeat this beautiful
psalm of David,-
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He
maleth me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth
me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul :
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the sha-
dow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with
me ; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou settest a table before me in the presence of
mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my
cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the
days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of
the Lord for ever (Psalm xxiii.)
MR. EARDLEY ceased. Short as his lecture had been,
it had almost exhausted his strength. Edwin's watch-
ful eye marked how pale and weary he looked, and
the little boy was in a minute beside him with a glass
of water. The few hearers silently quitted the room,
making comments, according to their various dispo-
sitions, on the history to which they had listened.
"He was a bold lad-David was !" thought old
Peter Pole, as he walked slowly out into the street.
"I ha' seen lions and bears too in my travels, and
soldier as I was,-and a stout soldier too in my day,
-I'd have been main sorry to have had to fight one of
them, unless with a friend or two to back me, and a
double-barrelled gun in my hand. And he was a
youth,-a shepherd youth, too, who was not like to
have seen fighting at all It's a grand story that of
David, and I rather like the parson's talk, though it
was quite different from what I looked for, and not a
word did he say about dangers in Americay. I
suspect that boy was taking a rise out of me. Never
mind,-if there's more of these lectures I'll go to 'em,
for, if I mind right, this same David had a desperate
battle with a giant, and I want to hear all about
Thus thinking much about the story, but nothing
about the lesson, the old soldier left the presence of
the clergyman, and turned into the first public-house
in the street, where he sat drinking and smoking
with a set of low companions till a late hour of the
night. His heart had been like the trodden wayside;
the seed of God's word had been dropped upon it,
but it had not been received into the hard dry ground,
-Satan had borne it away. A holy psalm had
sounded on his ear, but not one verse had sunk down
into his memory, or rested on his conscience. Alas !
how many amongst us need the Scripture warning,
Ta7ce heed how ye hear.
"Why, you are not back already !" cried Julius to
his brother on Richard's return. The lecture must
have been an extremely short one !"
"Too long for my taste," replied Richard sullenly.
"Would you believe it, Julius-there was not a soul in
the wretched room but myself, the servant-girl, and
a ragged old beggar It was an insult to ask me to
come !" and he flung himself down on a chair.
",You were not asked for the sake of the company,
I suppose ; you were to listen, and not to look."
I'll do neither again in that room," said Richard;
no gentleman can be expected to mix with low
people like that."
"Now I don't see that," observed Julius. "In church
rich and poor all meet together; and what they lhear
is ieant, I suppose, for them all. It iminut have bti n
a great disappointment to poor Mr. Eardley to have
his first lecture so badly attended. I've a '-iat mind
to go to the next, if only to encourage him a little.'
"You encourage him !" exclaimed Richard with
scorn; "a little insignificant fellow like you 1 You
really talk as though you were somelily As if'any
one would notice or care a straw whether yiu were
present or not 1 "
'Each of the brotlh'rs saw the folly of the pride of
the other, luft neither was aware of his own. It is
with mor characters as with our fices, we need a look-
in-glass 1bef)ore we can tell what either is like. We do
not perceive the faults whicli are plain elioung to oul'
companions, till the mirror of ]ildlec-truth is held up
to our souls, and we learn at thLe same time what we
should be, and what we really are in fiod's sight.
Matty, the poor ignorant servant-of-all-work, had
understood but a part of the lecture, but that p:rt
reuained on her mind. A motherless child aliimst
from her birth, she had Leen brought up by 1her
uncle, a shepherd, and this made her listen with inter-
est to the account of David and his flock. She re-
memelred the time when ~she used to run ltrefoot
into t.h mea.low, carryingL to her uncle his niiii iilay
meal; and how she had nursed a little .sick laiml that
had lost its mother in the snow, and which had lben
found almost dead in a ditch on a cold b L1ak m(rn-
T!HE I RE\RIS. 1(
ing in March. Matty, my lass," Uncle Ralph had
said, that poor bit creature be like you and per-
haps the greatest pleasure which the poor girl had
ever known was when, under her care and nursing, the
" lit creature" had revived and flourished. To 1Matty,
therefore, it was a beautiful thought that thlre w;as
living a great and good Shepherd, who had given his
life for his sheep, and that it was possible, from what
she ihad heard, that she herself might be one of his
flock. AMatty had had a very hard and rough lif ;
shie had been accustomed to hardship, want, and cold,
even firoin hIr earliest childhood. Since the death of
her uncle the shepherd, a rough but kindly man,
there had been no one oni earth to) love or care ior
the orphan girl. It was a geat cinfol t to such a
lone creature to believe that there wa:s : HIl\een1ly
Shepherd to watch her with a pitying eye. Shie re-
peated over and over to herself the only words that
she could rennetnt er,- 'To thie loving heart of tin Lord
the feeblest laImb is pIrecious." That she', so de.spi.ed,
so neglected, so chidden,-treafted almost as a, slave
or a 1,east of burden,-- soul he precious to any I. illg,
and above all to such a Juing as the clergyman had
spoken of as the Son of (od, seemed news almost too
joyful to be true. Matty Iloged for tie Inext lecture
that she might hear more. The rIlueme rance oft the
last cheered her when >he first untwld her drowsy
eyes on the following day, when in thle darkness of
a winter's niorn she bIga:n her round of work, certain
62 THE HEARERS.
that by no effort could she ever succeed in pleasing,
and that rough words, sharp scolds, perhaps even
blows, would come to her as regularly-more regu-
larly than her daily meals The thought was like
a little dim star, shining in a dark and cloudy sky,
the only beautiful thing in sight. It was like the
first tiny snow-drop that droops its head over a drear
and wintry waste. Matty had been only awed and
perplexed when she had heard of (od a s an alniigllty
King, a righteous Judge, the Ruler of heaven and
earth; but there was something which spoke t,) her
heart in the sweet name of The Lord my shepherd."
Edwin discovered in the morning tliat his notice
of the lecture had been removed from the window
of the shop. Another was speedily written, and
being read by most of the passers-by, the seats in
Mr. Eardley's apartment, when tlie Thursday even-
ing arrived, were almost filled by an audience con-
sisting chiefly of children, but with a sprinkling of
older hearers. Amongst those who came was the
golden-haired Julius, and the weather-beaten soldier,
Tlhe picture which was this time displayed to
view showed the interior of an Eastern dwelling,
with a banquet spread on a very low table, sur-
rounded by couches instead of chairs; to recline, and
not sit at meals, being the custom of the Jews.
Through an opening appeared in the distance the
tall form of a camel, and the figure of a servant
THE HEARERS. 63
bearing from a well one of the large water-bottles
of Judea, formed of the entire skin of a sheep. In
front was pictured an old Israelite father, surrounded
by a goodly band of sons; and near them, an aged
holy-looking man, clad in a long-flowing garment,
with his eyes upraised and his hand extended, as if
he were giving his solemn blessing to the wondering
family before him.
LECTURE II.-DAVID ANOINTED.
SAUL, the then reigning King of Israel, had dis-
obeyed the voice of the Lord. He had wandered
from the path of duty, and had greatly displeased
the gracious God who had raised him from lowly
estate to govern His people Israel. Therefore the
Lord had declared that the crown should pass from
the line of Saul. The Almighty would give it to
one who should prove more worthy to wear it.
The word of the Lord came to Samuel the prophet,
How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I
have rejected him from reigning over Israel. Fill
thine horn with oil and go. I will send thee to Jesse
tle Bethlehemite, for I have provided me a king
amongst his sons."
The holy Samuel had served and obeyed his
heavenly Master even from the time when, as a little
child, he had heard the voice of God calling him by
name, and had replied, "Speak, for thy servant hear-
eth." Samuel knew that some danger might attend his
anointing as future king any one of the ii. t of
Saul; as the stern tyrant, should he hear of the act,
might punish the prophet even with death. But
his duty lay plain before him; the Lord had com-
manded, and his servant must obey.
So the holy man travelled to Bethlehem, doubtless
with a mind full of thought and care. He kept his
purpose to a certain degree secret, but made a great
sacrifice there, and invited Jesse and his sons to the
The old Bethlehemite came, and his family with
him; only David, his youngest, was left behind, to
keep his flock in the field.
Now Samuel knew not at first which member of
the family of Jesse the Lord had chosen to be
king. When he beheld the eldest, Eliab, with his
noble features and commanding height, the prophet
said in his heart, Surely the Lord's anointed is
before Him!" But the Lord said unto Samuel,
"Look not on his countenance, nor the height of
his stature, because I have refused him: for the Lord
seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the
outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the
Then Jesse called his second son, Abinadab, and
made him also pass before the prophet. But he
said, "Neither hath the Lord chosen this."
One after another, all David's seven brothers, pre-
sented themselves before Samuel; but the old prophet
looked unsatisfied still. They might be brave
heroes, mighty men, but not one was the chosen of
Then Samuel said unto Jesse, "Are here all thy
children?" and Jesse replied, "There remaineth but
the youngest, and behold he keepeth the sheep."
Then cried the prophet, "Send and fetch him, for we
will not sit down till he come hither."
We may suppose that it had been some trial to
David, when all his brethren went to the feast, to
remain behind in the field. He might think him-
self neglected or forgotten, and much have desired to
see the great and holy man who was revered through
all the land of Israel. But David was doing his
father's business, the simple daily duty which God
had appointed, and he was to suffer no loss. A
message came which summoned him from the sheep-
fold, and we can picture the fair youth hastening,
with quick, eager step, to the dwelling where Samuel
was waiting to receive him, and then standing be-
fore the prophet, pleasure mingled with reverential
awe beaming in his bright young eye.
But what must have been the astonishment of the
shepherd, when Samuel arose to meet him, and with
solemn gesture, in the presence of all his brethren,
poured on the head of David the holy oil which he
had brought with him to anoint the future king!
What looks of wonder, perhaps of displeasure and
mortification, must have been exchanged amongst
the elder seven, who saw their youngest brother thus
singled out to be chief and king of them all! I fear
that the evil spirit of envy was at work, at least
with the proud Eliab, and that he felt some bitter-
ness towards the youth who was honoured and pre-
ferred before him.
The Bible records no word spoken by David on
this solemn occasion; but how he felt and acted we
may judge from the sentence, The Spirit of the Lord
came upon David. That blessed Spirit now works
upon earth, unseen like the wind,-but, like the wind,
a great power, known by the effects that it causes.
We do not see the breath of spring, but we feel it,
and mark the ripple that it makes on the waters.
We do not see the strong blast, but we hear it, and
view branches hurled down by its might. So when
proud tempers are subdued and broken; when the
revengeful grow forgiving, and the insolent meek;
when those who had cared but for self become kind
and gentle to all,-we know that the Spirit of the
Lord is there.
We believe that David left the presence of Samuel
feeling older, more thoughtful, more serious than
when he had appeared before the good prophet. He
was anointed to be King over Israel, and must never
more confine his views to boyish pleasures and boyish
occupations; he had a grander prospect before him.
It is true that David returned to humble duties,-he
went back to his sheepfold and his sheep; but it
would be with new feelings that he now would
pursue his accustomed circle of occupations. David
was content to wait the Lord's time; but he knew
that sooner or later he would surely be king of the
land. Could one who had felt the anointing drops
on his brow, stoop to anything low or mean, any-
thing unworthy of the station which he should one
My brethren, let each of us put himself in the
position of David. If a bright crown were offered
to us, if we knew ourselves appointed to reign, would
there not be many things altered and changed in our
daily actions? Should we choose the same companions,
the same pleasures as we do now? Should we not say
of many objects which we now desire, "They are
unworthy of a future king?" Should we grieve for
such little disappointments as those which try our
patience now,-should we not exclaim, "Such trifles
are as nothing compared with the joy before me?"
Should we not labour carefully to prepare ourselves
for our coming glory, and should we not make it,
day and night, the subject of our sweetest thoughts?
Friends, such a position as this is actually that of
every true Christian upon earth! Each one has
been anointed by God's Spirit to be a future king.
Not one whose crown can fade away,-not one who
can lose his throne by misfortune or death,-but a
king in the glorious realms above, which misfortune
and death cannot enter! Do you think this a joy too
mighty for hope to grasp? I will unclose my Bible,
and show you the Christian's title to a kingdom,
based upon the promise of the eternal God,-which
promise can never be broken: Be thou faithful
unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
St. John the apostle says, speaking through the Spirit
of God, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from
our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings
and priests unto God and his Father, to him be
glory and dominion for ever and ever.
But the heirs of the kingdom have, like David, to
wait. They have to pursue their duties upon earth.
They may have to serve as labourers, paupers, slaves,
but they are not less the chosen of the Lord, the
royal family of heaven.
And how are we to distinguish, then, these future
kings? How can we tell from the rest of mankind
those for whom a crown is prepared? Dear friends,
let us pause over this question, and apply the answer
to our hearts and our lives. Not all Jesse's sons
were to be kings;-not all who are called Christians
will wear crowns. How are we to find out whether we
ourselves are the chosen of the Lord? The Spirit of
God, which came upon David, comes upon all God's dear
Children; and his coming is shown by the fruits. And
these are the fruits of the Spirit, which will appear
in the lives of those who are to be kings in the realms
of light: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,
temperance. He that is anointed by the Spirit, he
that will inherit the throne, is he who, for the love
of his Redeemer, puts a bridle on his own angry pas-
70 DAVID ANOINTED.
sions, keeps the door of his lips, watches his heart
with diligence, and refrains from every evil way
Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the king-
dom of heaven.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord ? or
who shall stand in hi s holy place?
le that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; that
hath not lifted up h is soul unto vanity, nor sworn
deceitfully. Ile shall receive the llcssing from the
Lord, anwd rigqhteousness from the God of his sclva-
tion (Ps. xxiv. 3-5).
POOR Matty, with her dull understanding and igno-
rant mind, felt less comfort from this lecture than
from the last; for it seemed scarcely possible for
her to, believe that a crown of glory, a heavenly
kingdom, could ever be awaiting her. Yes, notwith-
standing all that the clergyman had said, it appeared
to Matty that such bright hopes and beautiful pro-
mises could never be meant for a poor servant-girl.
She had thought that she might creep, scarcely
noticed, into the fold of the merciful Shepherd, but
the idea of inheriting a throne was one too vast for
her mind to contain.
Peter Pole, on the contrary, had felt a great truth
flash suddenly upon him, like light in a darkened
place. He had once had an opportunity of seeing
the pomp and grandeur of an Eastern king, and it
had" made a great impression upon his mind. Pole
had watched the glittering train,-tall camels with
gorgeous trappings, elephants bearing gilded hou-
dahs, turbaned followers, fiery steeds prancing be-
neath riders decked out in Oriental splendour,
flaunting flags, glittering jewels, loud bursts of
martial music, swelling the state of one mortal
raised to rule o'er his fellow-men Then Peter had
thought in his heart, That monarch in his wealth
and glory must be the happiest of human beings "
A few months had passed, and the soldier had stood
ahnost in the same spot, to view another gorgeous
procession. The Eastern king, who, on the first
occasion, had moved in the midst of an almost wor-
shipping crowd, borne along on his lofty houdah,
was now carried to an early grave-a splendid
funeral was all that remained of his earthly glory
then I Little his greatness can do for him now "
had been the soldier's reflection, as he saw the grand
but gloomy procession wind along the dusty road.
But Peter heard now of a crown that could not fade
away; of a throne that could not be lost either
through misfortune or death ; and this crown, this
throne, might be his own-thie curate had made that
clear from the Bible.
Can it be true can it be true i muttered the
old man to himself as lie walked out into the fresh,
cold air, and looked up into the blue sky thickly
studded with shining stars. If it be true, why, as
the parson said, there's many a thing and many a
companion one would be like to give up: this for
one," he added, as lie reached a small public-house
in which he had wasted many an hour, throwing
away health, comfort, and character for the miser-
able excitement of drink. Temperance," continued
Peter, "ay, temperance, the parson said, was one of
the fruits of the Spirit. The heir to a crown must have
that! Peter hesitated for a moment, then walked
on, though with a slow and lingering step. It was
a moment of sore temptation. The wolf of sin was
stealing after its prey, and the sheep had not learned
whither to fly for safety. Peter began to think of
his dull, cold, miserable lodging-a mere cellar,
invaded by rats. He thought how lonely he should
feel there by himself,-how cold and how dreary
besides He heard a loud, boisterous laugh behind
him; he knew that it sounded from the public-
house near. Peter put his hand into his pocket,
and felt the pence that were there. "Only one
glass!" he said to himself, "there can be no harm
in one glass," and slowly he turned back towards
the house which he knew to be the place of strong
temptation to his soul.
Peter did not content himself with one glass;
what man in his position ever did ? He soon forgot
everything-good counsels, good thoughts, good
resolutions, all were drowned in the maddening
draught Alas! he had now been as the stony
ground on which falls the seed of the word He
had, indeed, received it with joy, but having no
depth of earth, in time of temptation the precious
plant had withered away.
There was another heart in which the lecture of
Mr. Eardley had also made some impression. Julius
had felt interest in the history of the noble youth
preferred before his seven elder brethren, and
anointed to be king over Israel. He had entered
readily into the feelings of David, thus chosen and
set apart to fill a glorious office,-to be the leader and
the chief of a nation. Julius thought the young shep-
herd an object of envy, and wished that such fate
had been his own. But when Mr. Eardley applied
the lesson to his hearers, when lie spoke of the
crown of life, and of the chosen of the Lord for
whom the riches of his glory are prepared, it seemed
to Julius Maxwell as if a new, bright prospect had
opened before him. This was no gloomy view of
religion; it was not, as he had fancied it to be, only
a chain of duties, a fetter of forms,-something to
keep the young back from pleasure, and make them
grave before their time. No, it was an honour,
a dignity, a joy! Julius had often said that he
would grow religious when he should be old, but it
struck him, as he listened to the clergyman, that it
would be better to be religious at once. David
was only a youth when anointed to be king of the
"Yes, yes," thought Julius, "I will be one to
show by my conduct that I look forward to wearing
a crown. I will put a bridle on my temper, and
keep the door of my lips. I daresay that David
had a good deal to bear from those seven proud
brothers of his, that he had no easy life of it in his
home. They would love him none the better, I
guess, for knowing that he was to rule over them
all. I can fancy with what calm contempt he
would bear their scoffs and ill-will, waiting the time
when lie should see them bowing as subjects at his
feet I will be like David the shepherd-king, and
never quarrel with my brother again "
Thus actually mistaking pride for piety, and ima-
gining that his own resolution was sufficient to
carry him safe through temptation, Julius returned
to his own apartments. His strength was speedily
to be put to the trial. The fLst thing that met his
eye was his beautiful flute lying on the table, with
one of its silver keys broken !
"How comes this !" exclaimed Julius, taking it
up, and glancing fiercely at his brother, who was
stirring the fire, and heaping on many more coals
than the weather rendered at all needful.
"Well," replied Richard, not choosing to show
how much he was really vexed at what he had
done, I was only trying an experiment with the
"I wish that you would try your stupid experi-
ments on your own things, and not meddle with
what does not belong to you," cried Julius.
Meddle repeated Richard angrily; "I'd ad-
vise you, young man, to keep a civil tongue in your
head, or I'll give you a lesson in politeness which
mayn't be much to your liking i"
"You're a bully-you are! exclaimed Julius,
with indignation flashing in his eye.
Richard's only reply was an attempted box on
the ear; but Julius was too quick for his assailant,
and avoiding the intended blow, the boy gave Richard
a violent hit on the forehead with the flute, which
still happened to be in his hand.
Richard -t.i'., Ii.-. back as if stunned; the blow
had been more severe than he who had given it had
intended; a gush of blood followed the stroke, and
streamed down the face of the elder Maxwell. The
sight of it instantly brought Julius back to his
senses; le flung the flute violently to the other end
of the room, and rushed forward to support his
"0 Dick, I never meant to hurt you like that!
what shall I do-oh, what shall I do, it is bleeding
so fast!" exclaimed Julius, vainly attempting to
stanch the gushing flow, which in a minute dyed
both the boys' handkerchiefs with crimson.
"You had better call some one," said Richard,
rather faintly; he was alarmed, as well as his
brother, at the great effusion of blood.
Julius flew to the bell, which lie rang loudly and
repeatedly,-then to the door, to call Mrs. Block. In
a short time the landlady was bustling in the room
with basin, smelling-bottle, linen, and plaster. She
was followed by a more efficient helper; Dr. Peel,
who happened to be calling to see his patient in the
attic, was hastily brought in by Julius to attend to
the hurt of his brother.
"It is not a very bad blow, sir, is it?" cried
Julius, anxiously, as the surgeon examined the
"It's a deep cut," observed Dr. Peel; "it will be
better to sew it up at once."
Poor Richard turned cold at the word; for though
too manly to make any resistance, he had a natural
shrinking from pain. But Julius looked more pale
and frightened than his brother as the surgeon
sewed up the gash. Richard suffered less than he
had expected, and when the stains were washed
from his face, and his forehead nicely bandaged, he
felt almost comfortable again. He was rather in-
clined to laugh at the miserable expression upon the
countenance of poor Julius, who could scarcely re-
frain from crying.
"Do you forgive me, Dick ?" said the boy with
emotion, as soon as the brothers were left together
"We must set a broken head against a broken
flute," said Richard, good-humouredly, "and consider
all even between us." He was touched by the feel-
ing shown by his brother, and the excitement of
passion had passed away.
"I am so angry with myself! exclaimed Julius;
"would you believe it,-I had just come from the
lecture with such a set of fine resolutions I was
to be so watchful, so wise, so gentle,-never to be
passionate with any one again; and the very first
thing that I do is half to kill my brother !"
"Was it Mr. Eardley who put these resolutions
into your head ? "
Yes; but unless he show me how I am to keep
them, I see no good that he can do me. I only feel
more uncomfortable now than if I never had heard
"We will go together to the next lecture," said
Richard, "and hear if anything more is said on the
Now this resolve of Richard's arose partly from
his being in a milder mood than usual; partly, per-
haps, from a real hope of benefiting by good advice;
but partly also, I must own, from having found the
evening so dull in the absence of Julius, that idle-
ness had driven him to mischief; and from judging,
from the number of feet that had passed his door, that
the second lecture had been better attended than
Peter Pole, ashamed of his own weakness of pur-
pose, and despairing of ever being fit for a heavenly
kingdom, since he loved his sin too well to part
with it, felt great doubt as to whether he should
go to hear Mr. Eardley again.
If I thought that he would say anothcrword about
temperance," muttered the old man to himself, I'd
not go within sound of his voice; for I hadn't felt easy
like since that last lecture; and it's no use being told
to do what I han't got the power to do, for now
I'm too old to change. But the next story must
be about the great fight with the giant; I knows
enough of David to be pretty well sure of that,
for did I not learn it all when a boy at my Sunday
school ? Now, when it comes to fighting, there's
nothing to give my conscience a twinge. Till the
cannon-ball took off my arm, there was none more
ready to be in the thick of a battle than I; no one
can say that Peter Pole was the lad to turn his
back, or wince when the bullets were flying around
him. So I'll go to the next lecture, I will, if I never
go to another again."
The picture shown on the next occasion assured
the old soldier, as well as his dull eyes could make
it out, that he had not been mistaken about the
subject of the Saturday lecture. The huge form of
Goliath of Gath, clad in shiining armour, appeared in
the foreground, advancing with uplifted arm to meet
the slight, fair youth, in whom it was easy to recog-
nise the youngest son of the Bethlehemite, Jesse.
DAVID AND TIE GIANT.
LECTURE III.-DAVID AND THE GIANT.
AGAIN the Philistines gathered together and invaded
the land of Israel. King Saul called around him
his faithful warriors, that they might fight for their
children and their homes, and drive back the fierce
invaders. Jesse sent his three eldest sons to follow
their king to the battle.
On a mountain, in a place called Ephes-dammim,
the multitudes of the Philistines thronged. On an
opposite mountain was encamped the host of king
Saul. The valley of Elah lay between the hostile
armies, through which flowed a purling stream.
Meantime David remained at Bethlehem, keeping
his father's sheep. The brave youth may have
longed to be with the army, to help in the defence of
his country; but, probably in obedience to the will
of his father, he stayed at his lowly post of duty,
and, away from the din of war, quietly watered his
But a time was drawing near when the future
deliverer of Israel should no longer remain obscure
and unknown. One day old Jesse said to his
youngest son, "Take now for thy brethren this
DAVID AND THE GIANT.
parched corn and these ten loaves, and run to
the camp to thy brethren, and carry these ten
cheeses unto their captain, and look how thy
Early in the morning David arose and prepared
to obey the command of his father. He left his sheep
to the care of another, and, taking with him the pre-
sent for his brothers and that for their leader, he set
out for the camp of king Saul. Doubtless the
youth's step quickened and his heart beat faster
when he heard the distant shouts of the hosts, the
blare of trumpets, and the clang of weapons, and
when, after panting up the ascent of the mountain,
lie saw stretched before him, on the other side of the
valley, the tents of the Philistine foe !
David then performed the errand of his father.
He ran forward to the place where the armies of
Israel were gathered, found out his brothers amongst
the soldiers, and slduted thi the thr young men. As
le was yet talking with them, the attention of all
was attracted t tfi valley, and David beheld for
the first time a silgit which for forty successive
days had covered the warriors of Israel with shame
Towering above his companions, as a tree above
the shrubs that surround it, there stalked from
the camp of the Philistines a champion, Goliath
by name. He was more than ten feet in height;
a very tall warrior might have walked under hins
DAVID AND THE GI.NT.
extended arm, and not have even brushed it with
the loftiest plume that he wore in his helmet. The
giant wore a massive coat of mail, with greaves of
brass on his legs, and a target of brass between his
shoulders. His head was covered with a helmet of
brass, which, glittering in the rays of the sun, made
him yet more terrible to behold.
The giant walked proudly on in the might of his
strength ; then, when he thought that his thunder-
ing voice could reach the Israelites on their moun-
tain, he thus shouted out his defiance :-
Why are ye come out to set your battle in
array ? Am not I a Philistine, and ye servants of
Saul ? Choose you a man for you, and let him
come down to me : if he be able to fight with me
and to kill me, then shall we be your servants ; but
if I prevail against him and kill him, then shall ye be
our servants and serve us." And then, in a yet
louder voice, tihe giant added, raising his terrible arm
on high, I defy the armies of Israel this day ; give
me a man that we may fight together !"
There were many bold spirits in the army of Saul,
but not one of his warriors came forward to accept
the challenge of the terrible giant,-not one dared to
try the strength of that iron arm Bitterly the Is-
raelites spake amongst themselves. 'I ave you not
seen this m1:an that is come up ?" said they ; "surely
to defy Israel is lie come up The king will enrich
with great riches the ilan who killeth him, and will
DAVID AND THE GIANT.
give him his daughter, and make his father's house
free in Israel."
The words caught the ear of young David, who
was watching the foe in the valley. He turned to
the speakers, and said, What shall be done to the
man who killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the
reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircunmcised
Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the
living God ?"
Eliab heard the question of his youngest brother,
and it roused anger in a heart where, I fear, mean
jealousy already had found a place. "'Why caniest
thou hither ?" he said fiercely to the youth, who had
come by his father's command, and on an errand of
kindness and love. Why eamest thou hither, and
with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the
wilderness ? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness
of thy heart ; for thou art come down that thou
mighitest see the battle."
The reply of the young shepherd was calm ; he
who was to command the Lord's people showed first
that lie could command his own temper. What
have I now done?" said David; "is there not a
cause ?" and, turning from his brother,, lie again
asked his question regarding the giant.
It cane to the ears of king Saul that there was one
in his camp who seemed to meditate accepting the chal-
lenge of the terrible Goliath. He commanded that
David should be brought into his presence ; and the
DAVID AND THE GIANT.
youthful shepherd of Bethlehem was led before his
Let no man's heart fail because of him," said the
son of Jesse to his sovereign lord; thy servant will
go and fight with this Philistine."
Saul fixed his eye upon the fair, rosy-checked
youth before him-the stripling whose courage ap-
peared to be so much greater than his strength.
"Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to
fight with him," answered the king; for thou art
but a youth, and lie a man of war from his
Modest, but firm, was the reply of David. It was
in no spirit of boasting that he told of past exploits;
he gave all the glory to God, as he simply related
his perilous struggle with wild beasts in the plain of
Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there
came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the
flock : and I went out after him, and smote hiim,
and delivered it out of his mouth; and when lie
arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and
smote him, and slew him ; thy servant slew both the
lion and the bear. And this uncircumcised Philis-
tine shall be as one of them, seeing that he hath de-
fied the armies of the living God. The Lord, that
delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of
the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the
hand of this Philistine."
DAVID AND THE GIANT.
Go," exclaimed the king, "and the Lord be with
Then Saul commanded that his own armour should
be brought, that the shepherd might go forth to the
fight clad, like the giant, in a strong coat of mail.
He put a brass helmet on the head of David, and
gave a trusty sword into his hand.
David grasped the sword, and attempted to move
forward. But he had never worn armour before,
and the weight of the iron oppressed his young limbs.
He had not learned how to wield a sword, and of
what use could it be to him in fight? I cannot go
in these," said the shepherd, and he put off the hel-
met and the armour.
Then David took his staff in his hand, and chose
him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put
them in a shepherd's bag which he had; then tak-
ing with him a sling, he went forth to meet the
And here let us pause and consider the precious
lesson conveyed to us in this portion of Scripture.
Goliath is not the only giant who defies the people
of the Lord; David is not the only hero who boldly
goes forward to meet them. We have our Philistines
around and within us, whom we must combat in the
name of the Lord. There is the giant Pride, who
lifts himself up against holy submission to God ; the
giant Intemperance, who would drag us down to the
dust, and make us lower than the beasts that perish;
DAVID AND THE CIANT,
the giant Selfishness, ever wrestling against duty;
Anger, Hate, and many others besides. These have
already slain multitudes of victims; they have
robbed thousands upon thousands of their crowns,
and shut them out from the kingdom of heaven.
These, then, are our Goliaths; and how are we to
overcome them ? Are we to combat against them in
our own strength, clad in the armour of our own re-
solutions, with no better weapon than our own weak
will? 0 dear friends, let me beseech you to stop
ere you attempt, thus miserably prepared, to fight
against those who' are far more mighty than you!
You must go forth in the strength of the Lord, tak-
ing faith in his promises as your staff; and as your
sling, earnest, humble prayer. And mark, David did
not content himself with one stone ; nor must you
be content with one prayer. Pray? witout .it 7 ..
says the word of God; continue in prayer, cano
watch unto the same with thanklsgiving. I do not
mean that you should be always on your knees;
David's stones were not always in his hand: but I do
mean, that in every trouble, every difficulty, every
temptation, you should go straight to your heavenly
Father. Will you tell me that you know not how
to pray? Let us consider what prayer is. It is
making our wants known unto God, with the full
belief that, for the sake of his Son, he is willing to
hear and to help us. There are some instances
given in the Bible of prayers uttered and granted-
DAVID AND TIlE GIANT.
prayers so short and simple that even a child can use
them, while they will suit the wisest of men. Lord,
teach us how to pray, said the Saviour's disciples.
Lord, help me, cried Peter, when sinking in the
waves. Lord, remember me, faltered the dying
thief. Increase our faith, said the holy apostles;
while the publican's prayer is the prayer for us all,
God be merciful to me, a sinner. These five short
Scripture prayers, like David's five smooth stones
from the brook, are precious weapons for the tempted
Christian. And oh, let us not cease to pray for
God's Holy Spirit, which alone can make us strong
to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. If
we ask for it in faith, it must be ours, for this is the
word of the Lord Jesus Christ, If ye then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts unto your children, how
much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy
Spirit to them that aslk him ?
David, the young shepherd, armed as we have
seen with only a staff and a sling, went boldly down
into the valley where stood fierce Goliath of Gath.
When the Philistine saw David he scorned him, think-
ing it mere mockery for a slender youth to attempt
to brave his tremendous might. Come to me," he
shouted to David, in a tone that might well have
struck terror into the heart of the boldest man : I
will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to
the beasts of the field !"
Doubtless the hearts of Israel's warriors failed
DAVID AND TIE (;IANT.
them, as, watching from the heights the unequal com-
bat, they heard the proud words of the Philistine
champion. But how their souls must have thrilled
at the reply of the noble shepherd to the boasting
heathen Thou comes to me with a sword, and
with a spear, and with a shield ; but I come to thee
in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the
armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day
will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand, and I will
smite thee and take thy head from thee ; that all the
earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And
all this assembly shall know that the Lord savethl not
with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and
he will give you into our hands."
And it came to pass, as the Philistine approached
to meet his foe, that David wasted and ran forward,
and putting his hand into his bag lie drew from it a
stone, which he slang with such force and skill that
it struck the Philistine in his forehead; and the mighty
giant, in his panoply of brass, fell crashing at once
to the dust!
Then David rushed forward, and sprang upon his
foe, and drawing Goliath's huge sword fiom its
sheath, with the giant's own weapon lie cut off his
head; for David had no steel of his own. And when
the Philistines saw that their champion was dead,
they fled in confusion and dismay.
Oh, then, what an exulting shout arose from all
the host of Israel! How the warriors rushed do wn
DAVID AND THE GIANT.
the mountain to chase the flying enemy! That was
a day never to be forgotten! Let it turn our
thoughts to that greater and more glorious day,
when the last battle shall be fought against sin-
when the great victory of faith shall be won-when
the weakest, the humblest shall find themselves at
length more than conquerors, through Him who hath
And on this occasion, as on the former meetings,
Mr. Eardley concluded the lecture by reading a portion
from the psalms made by David, the shepherd king.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom
shall I fear ? the Lord is the strength of my life; of
whom shall I be afraid ?
When the wicked, even mine enemies and foes,
came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and
Though an host should encamp against me, my
heart shall not fear; though war should rise against
me, in this will I be confident.
Hear, 0 Lord, when I cry with my voice: have
mercy also on me, and answer me.
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said
unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the
goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he
shall strengthen thy heart: wait, I say, on the Lord
(Ps. xxvii. 1-3, 7, 8, 13, 14).
A HARD CONFLICT.
A HARD CONFLICT.
" THE sling of prayer!" said Julius thoughtfully, when
he and his brother had returned to their apartments;
"did you ever before think of such a weapon for the
"I never thought of the fight at all," replied
Richard. "I suppose I have been like the Israelites
on the mountain, content to look down and watch the
movements of the foe; but as for a struggle like that
which the curate spoke of, I have left it to heroes
But I suppose that we nmst fight against sin,
if we would not be its slaves and its servants. Do
you know that after the lecture on Thursday, I had
pretty well made up my mind to conquer all my
faults ? "
You made a strange beginning," said Richard
with a smile, raising his hand to his own plastered
"That's the thing-that's just what Mr. Eardley
has been saying," exclaimed Julius; I had on the
armour of my own resolutions, and never fancied that
anything else could be wanted. I daresay that if I
A ITARDT CONFLICT.
had tried the sling of prayer, you would never have
had that cut above your eye, nor I the disgrace of
being beaten in the very first battle."
We have been taught to say our prayers almost
since we were babies," observed Richard.
"Ah to say them, not to pray them," rejoined
True," said his brother, looking thoughtfully into
the fire. "If David had slung as we pray-not
thinking of what he was doing, nor caring to take
the least aim, nor putting any strength into the swing
of his arm-his stone would have gone wide of Go-
liath, and he soon would have been pinned to the
earth by the heavy spear of the giant."
That night, in her dark little chamber, Matty, ere
she wearily sank to sleep, tried for the first time the
weapon of prayer. Hers w'as, indeed, an untried and
unskilful hand; but she thought of the five smooth
stones from the brook, and tried hard to remember
what the minister had repeated as short prayers taken
from the Bible. Lord, teach me to I' ,'. was the
first sentence that recurred to her memory, and clasp-
ing her rough, coarse hands together, she said it
again and again, almost wondering whether the good
Shepherd would hear her. Then another precious
sentence gleamed on her soul, God be merciful to me,
a sitner. Matty scarcely knew what sin was, and,
amidst all her troubles, sorrow for past disobedience
to her gracious God had never been one to distress
A HARD CONFLICT.
her. The mirror of Bible truth had not yet been
held up to her soul, therefore Matty could by no
means understand the full meaning of that beautiful
prayer. But the thought of mercy was sweet; Matty
connected it with that of the tender, pitying shep-
herd, watching over his flock, and with a feeling of
comfort and rest, greater than she ever before had
known, the little servant-maid closed her eyes, and
was soon dreaming of her childhood's home.
Sure but the parson nailed me after all !" thought
Peter Pole, the one-armed soldier ; "it seemed as if
the lecture was aimed right at me, and he had me
in his eye all the time. He was resolved to make
me out a coward,-which was more than man ever
did afore. The giant Intemperance, that would make
us lower than the beasts that perish, sure I know
something of him. He's had his foot on my neck
many a day, and often as I've wanted to throw
him off, somehow or other it happened that I always
got the worst in the fight. May be it's that I've
never tried that sling of prayer. I used to pray
when a boy at school, but I've left off that for so
many years that I should hardly know how to set
about it. Yet it's a wretched thing to feel one's self
getting lower and lower, and to know what it all
must end in at last. And then to think what
one might have been-heir of a crown !-a crown
of glory !-that was worth a struggle, and a hard
A HARD CONFLICT.
As these ideas passed through the old man's
mind, he found himself close to the Red Lion,"
where he had stopped after the previous lecture.
"Here is my valley of Elah," thought the soldier;
"and there is my Goliath waiting for me, and a
mighty strong giant is he Lord help me Lord
help me Deliver me from evil 1 And with the
unwonted prayer on his lips, the old man resolutely
crossed to the other side of the road, and keeping
his eyes from even looking in the direction of the
gin-shop, he hurried on his way as fast as his
feeble limbs would bear him.
Again, however, the tempter brought before his
mind the misery of his cold damp cellar, and then
the warmth, and brightness, and merriment of the
place which he so loved to frequent. All seemed
pleasure on the one hand, pain on the other, and
the heart of Peter sank within him. 0 Lord,
give of thy Spirit-give of thy Spirit,-for I can't
fight this battle by myself cried the poor old sol-
dier, sorely tempted to yield. Yet he showed more
courage at that moment than he ever had done when
fighting an earthly foe. On he went, still praying
as he walked, till he was beyond sight of the in ii
lights and the gaudy sign of the "Red Lion."
Then more slowly Peter pursued his way, turning
down into the little dark court in which was his
lodging-it could not be called his home.
As Peter came up to the door, he noticed that
A HARD CONFLICT.
it stood open, and a dim light shone from within,
as if from a candle in the passage. There were
voices, too, and the first that Peter recognized was
that of Mrs. Page, his landlady.
It's no use coming to look for him here at this
hour; he'll be drinking at the 'Red Lion,' I
warrant you, sir; that's where all his spare cop-
pers go. I mean to give him notice to quit; I'm
ashamed to have such a lodger in my house."
The rich deep voice which answered was one
which made the old soldier start like a war-horse
at the sound of the trumpet. He had not heard
its tones for years, but he knew it directly to be
that of the colonel of the regiment to which he had
"I'm sorry to hear such an account of Pole.
He was one of my best men, and I have taken
some trouble to find him out. But I leave Axe
by the last train to-night, and as he has got into
such bad habits, I fear that I shall not see him be-
fore I start."
"He'll not be home till late, sir ; and then he's
sure to be the worse for liquor."
Wrong, mistress, for once, wrong altogether "
exclaimed Pole, coming forward with a beaming
look of pleasure on his weather-beaten face, as he
touched his cap to the colonel. And right glad am
I to see you, sir, once more : I never thought to
have looked on you again."
A HARD CONFLICT.
"I should like to speak a few words with you,
Pole, in your own room," said Colonel Parlby.
Poor Peter looked somewhat confused; "Sure it's
not a place for the like of you, sir, to enter."
"Whatever it be, it is my wish to see it," said
the colonel, with the manner of one accustomed to
command ; and the old soldier, taking the candle
from the hand of Mrs. Page, reluctantly led the way
down some steps to a miserable hole, unworthy of
the name of a room. Damp trickled down the
walls; the floor was covered with dust and dirt; a
heavy moist scent filled the air; and the only fur-
niture that appeared was one broken chair, and a
litter of straw in a corner. Such was the home of
the drunkard !
This is not a fit place for a dog, far less for a
man !" exclaimed the stately colonel, constrained
from the lowness of the ceiling to bend his lofty
head. "Can your landlady give you no better
quarters than these ?"
"She has a far better room up stairs, which I
lived in once," replied Pole ; but she asks two
shillings a week for that, and she lets me have this
And are you actually unable to pay the differ-
ence, or is it the miserable habit in which you in-
dulge that reduces you to poverty like this "
Peter was silent for some moments, then rubbing
his chin, and looking on the ground like one ashamed,
A HARD CONFLICT.
he replied: I'll not deceive your hon)ur : I'll not
make bad worse by a lie. If it were not for the gin,
I could live in a better place than this. Many's the
copper, and the silver bit, too, as has found its way
to the public. But I've made a resolve,-I'm a
trying, by God's help, to keep out of such places from
"A good resolve, if adhered to," said the colonel,
in a tone that betrayed considerable doubt as to the
firmness and perseverance of the soldier.
"Pole, you once, as you well know, stood bravely
by my side at a time of great danger ; I have not
forgotten that hour, and I am desirous to serve you
in my turn. But it is difficult-impossible to help
a drunkard. To give money to such, is merely to
add fuel to the flame that consumes him."
That's true enough," replied Peter with a sigh;
" but when a man's a going to leave off his evil
It would be hard not to encourage him," inter-
rupted the colonel; "the harder the struggle, the
greater the need of help to carry it on. I will tell
you what I will do, Peter Pole. I will pay to your
landlady the difference between the rent of this
miserable cellar and a decent apartment for a month;
at the end of that time I shall be settled near Axe,
and if I find that you have been leading a steady
life, giving up drinking and keeping from the ale-
house, I will do something more for your advantage.
A IARD CONFLICT.
I believe that I shall be able to give you light em-
ployment, such as you may be able to undertake,
notwithstanding the loss of your arm, and which will
enable you to live comfortably and respectably as I
wish you henceforth to do."
God bless you, sir! God bless you cried the
veteran, his grey eyes glistening with emotion.
But mark me!" continued Colonel Parlby more
sternly; all this depends upon yourself. If you
cannot deny yourself one miserable pleasure, if you
go on in a course of evil, you must look to no help
from me. Not a single shilling will I give to keep
a drunkard from the workhouse,-the best and safest
place for him, since there he must perforce refrain
from his ruinous habit."
God did hear me God did hear me was the
exclamation of Peter, as the colonel proceeded up to
the parlour of Mrs. Page, to make the new arrange-
ment for her lodger. Sure, sure, I've something
now to keep me steady The colonel, he always is
better than his word Comfort-employment--in-
dependence,-if I can but get the victory now,-
ay, and the praise and goodwill of my colonel, which
I value as much as all the rest. Ah !" added the
old man with a grave look, it seems as though I
cared more for the earthly reward than for all that
the parson spoke of! After all, what is the best
house-the best palace that ever was built, to a
glorious home in the skies; and what the goodwill
A HARD CONFLICT.
of the kindest and greatest friend, to the favour of
a heavenly King ? I don't want to end my days in
a workhouse, 'tis true; but sure a workhouse must
be paradise itself compared to the place a drunkard
must look to! I've a better prize offered to me
than what young David fought for. But I see clear
enough that I never shall get the victory, unless I
try for it as the parson bade me : I must have the
Sill of faith, and the sling of prayer; faith to believe
in the promises of God, and prayer to bring his good
Spirit to help me. Trust, I.,, and fight, that
shall be my watchword from this time, and, God
helping me, I will never forget, morning and night,
to ask for the strength that I need !"
Pole's meditations were interrupted by the sound
of the street door closing after Colonel Parlby, who
had just quitted the house. The old man hurried up
from his cellar, but he was too late to see his com-
mander, and as he turned back disappointed, he met
his landlady in the hall.
"You must come into your new room," said she;
"it's wondrous different from your old one; you'll
now have a good bed to lie on again, as clean as
that of any noble in the land. It's your own fault
if you're not a made man; that grand tall gentleman
seems to have a wondrous kindness for you."
"No thanks to you," was on the lips of the soldier,
but he recollected in time that Intemperance was not
the only giant against whom he was bound to fight.
A HARD CONFLICT.
Peter made a strong and successful effort to subdue
the angry feeling which had arisen in his heart when
he had heard Mrs. Page give an evil report of himself
and his doings to the colonel.
Perhaps the landlady thought herself that she had
been a little hard upon the poor old soldier, or the
colonel had done or said something to make her feel
more kindly towards him; for she invited Peter to
come and take "a dish of tea" with her and her
husband. This was the first time that such an invi-
tation had ever been given to the soldier; and the
cheerful light gleaming through the open parlour
door, the jingle of the tea-things, and the light merry
whistle of Will Page, proved too great a temptation
to be resisted. Amusing his sober companions by old
stories of Indian campaigns, enjoying the :- i', ..g
beverage which cheers without dulling the mind, poor
Peter passed a more really happy evening than he had
known for many a year.
But let it not be thought that his task of absti-
nence was easy, or that in fighting against Intempe-
rance the old man did not find his evil habit fearfully
difficult to be overcome. He had to pray hard, and
struggle hard indeed. He dared scarcely allow him-
self even to think of the lied Lion," lest, even
against his will, he should find his steps wandering
thither. He was glad to attend church on Sunday,
to get "a word of comfort," as he said. It was the
first time that the veteran had entered a place of
A HARD CONFLICT.
worship since his discharge from the army had left
him master of his actions. He now felt it good to
Tuesday evening arrived, and notwithstanding many
a thirsty longing, much yearning for the forbidden
indulgence, Peter Pole had kept his resolution, and
not a drop of strong liquor had passed his lips. It
was with a joyful and a thankful spirit that he joined
the groups that were wending their way to the humble
lodging of the curate. The meeting was larger than
it had been upon preceding occasions; Peter found
Mr. Eardley's apartment almost full, and was making
up his mind to stand during the address, when Ed-
win, who, though he had never yet spoken to him,
took an interest in the old soldier, from his having
been one of the three who had attended the clergy-
man's first lecture, rose from the box which he had
made his seat, and beckoning to Peter to take pos-
session of it, went and stood behind the sofa of his
brother. Both of the Maxwells were present, and poor
Matty found a standing-place for herself behind the
open door, whence she could listen, almost unseen.
DAVID AND SAUL.
LECTURE IV.-DAVID AND SAUL.
TIE brave son of Jesse, the conqueror of Goliath, was
led in triumph into the presence of Saul. See him
in yonder picture, the bleeding lead of the giant in
his hand, his eyes modestly bent on the ground,
while those of all the noble and martial assembly that
surround the monarch of Israel are fixed on the
Whose son art thou, young man ?" asked the
king; and the shepherd made reply, I am the son
of thy servant, Jesse the Bethlehemite."
Mark that noble and princely form to the right,
whose mien and attire point him out as second only
to the sovereign himself. That represents Jonathan,
Saul's eldest son, the supposed heir of his dignity and
crown. With what a gaze of generous admiration
he regards the youthful David, as he draws his own
mantle from his shoulders to throw over those of the
shepherd 1 The prince is himself full of courage and
faith, and he loves courage and faith in another.
Jonathan bestowed upon David not only his own robe,
but his girdle, his sword, and his bow. He whom
God had so highly favoured, should also be favoured