« PreviousContinue »
GOOD LOOKS HERETICAL.
"I don't mean anything by it," modestly responded the young man—never have I known a woman more diffident than he was, except in presence of peril, where lion was never bolder—"I can't help the way I look; I am just the way God made me."
"No you ain't," responded the senior, "you can help it. Dress better, and don't look so much like a fop."
"I have to wear the clothes that are given me; you know I have no money to buy new ones."
"If that is all," said the old man," it can soon be fixed. Will you wear a suit of clothes I'll have made for you?" "Anything in the world," rejoined the other.
"Very well, trust me. I'll make you look like a preacher."
"I wish you would, with all my heart; nothing would please me better," said the future orator.
They parted, the young man going to his work, the old man to see to the tailoring. At the end of six weeks, the appointed time, the young man made his appearance. The aged saint, standing in the midst of a number of friends whom he had summoned to witness the transformation of his deformed protégé, rubbing his hands in glee, pleased with his anticipations of success, pointed to a thicket of bushes, behind which the new suit was deposited for houses were small, and the only dressingroom was the "timber." The re-appearance of the young clergyman in his canonicals was impatiently awaited. At length, attired in his new habiliments, with manly stride and noble person, he approaches. The old gentleman looks, then stares, unable to believe the evidence of his senses. He hastens to meet the parson, then withdraws a pace or two, and performs a circuit round him. Some trick has been played upon him; these are not the clothes he has caused to be manufactured. Rushing up, he turns
the young man round and round. "Yes, it is the very suit-copperas homespun, shad-belly coat, a vest to match, breeches, as nearly alike as possible." Whirling on his heel, his countenance expressive of disgust, mortification and contempt, he exclaims as he marches off, “Tut, tut, boy! there's no use in the world trying to do anything You look more like a dandy now than ever your life."
with you. you did in
I have said he was a modest man, but a brave one too. On one occasion, it became needful that he should administer a sharp rebuke to some disorderly young men in the congregation. These worthies swore vengeance, declaring that they would thrash him within an inch of his life. It was known that they intended to waylay him, as he crossed the mountain on the morrow, on his way to the next appointment. Some of the church members endeavoured to dissuade him from proceeding on his journey, assuring him that the young men who had uttered these threats were desperate characters, and that they would be sure to make good their word; and that the consequences might be fatal to himself. He briefly replied that it was his duty to go, and he would go.
One of his brethren volunteered to bear him company. On their way, they stopped to cut stout hickory cudgels, with which to defend themselves. Approaching a narrow pass on the mountain side, a wall of rock on one hand, a precipice on the other, the four rowdies were discovered with shirt-sleeves rolled up, their hands clubbing their
"Four against two; let's go back," said the churchbrother.
"Come on," said the preacher.
"They'll kill us," replied the other.
"Go home, then," said the preacher; and keeping his
MODESTY AND COURAGE.
horse in a walk, quietly fixing his commanding eye on these four men, bent on mischief, he rode up and passed them, while not a man of them seemed able to raise his club. The preacher's companion, who had tarried behind, watching in terror, seeing how rowdyism cowered before manhood, pricked his steed, and now came riding up. "That was pretty well done," said he.
"Do you wish to ride with me across the mountain ? " said the preacher.
"Yes," answered the other, somewhat abashed.
"Then fall back and follow; cowards shouldn't ride abreast with men."
In illustration of his nonconformity to clerical appearance, take the following: Having occasion to traverse Kentucky from Louisville, where he was then stationed, to one of the southern counties, he stopped, at the end of a hard day's travel, at a lonely cabin, where lived a Dutchman and his family. After supper, mine host, who was as inquisitive as a tin-pedler, commenced catechising the stranger, asking all manner of questions, such as, "Where did you come from? Where are you going to? You're a No? Then you must be a doctor?" To all of which and many more, our friend responded as briefly as possible. The bewildered Dutchman at length exclaimed, "What are you then?"
lawyer, I suppose?
"A preacher ! " incredulously exclaimed the old Teuton. "What sort of a preacher? Episcopal?"
"A Methodist! What, in them clothes? Well! if I
had gone out to shoot a preacher, I would never have pulled a trigger at you!"
By way of administering a sound reproof to him for being handsome, and looking well in his clothes, his superiors sent him one year the fourth of his ministry— to a region of country where it was thought he would be broken down, or broken in. He had already seen hard service; more than once had he ridden at full speed, chased by a pack of yelling Indians, their bullets whistling round him like hail. He had become familiar with all manner of exposure and privation, but it was thought that this circuit would put him to the uttermost test. It was a wild mountainous tract in western Virginia, sparsely populated by hunters, who were there for the game and peltry.
You may see him riding up some evening to the door of a cabin where he is to lodge, and as it is a pretty fair specimen of the houses in the country, you may desire a description of it. The cabin is twelve by fourteen feet, and one story high. The spaces between the logs are chinked and then daubed with mud for plaster. The interior consists of one room, one end of which is occupied by a fire-place. In this one room are to sleep, the man, his wife, the fifteen or twenty children bestowed upon them by Providence-for Providence is bountiful in this matter upon the border; and as the woods are full of 66 varmints," hens and chickens must be brought in for safe keeping; and as the dogs constitute an important portion of every hunter's family, they also take pot-luck with the rest. Fastened to a tree near the door is a clapboard, upon which is traced, in characters of charcoal, a sentence to the following effect-which you may read if you are keen at deciphering hieroglyphics: "Akomidation fur man and Beast."
THE PREACHER'S DORMITORY.
In this one room, the family are to perform their manifold household offices. Here their sleeping, cooking, eating, washing, preaching, and hearing are to be performed. Amid the driving storms of winter, it is of course impossible for our youthful theologian to transform an old log or the shadow of a tree into a study; his book must therefore be carried into the house, where he is surrounded by a motley group. Of course, a hunter never swears in bad weather; the lady of the house never scolds; children of all ages never quarrel and raise a row; dogs never bark and fight; nevertheless, you may imagine that if our student is able to confine his attention to the page, deriving mental nutriment from the lettered line, he must possess not a little power of concentration and abstraction. He may obtain permission of his host to pursue his studies after the rest of the family have retired. Lighting a pine knot, he sticks it up in one corner of the huge fire-place, lays himself down on the flat of his stomach in the ashes, glowing with transport over thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." These are what poets call "midnight oil," and "cloisters pale." Not a few men have I known who acquired a mastery of the Latin and Greek tongues, and much valuable and curious lore in such "grottoes and caves" as these.
Possibly there may be another apartment in the cabin. If so, it is denominated the "prophet's chamber." You gain access to it by a rickety step-ladder in one corner of the cabin. Toiling up this steep ascent you reach a loft, formed by laying loose clapboards on the rafters. With dubious tread and careful steps, you pick your way across the floor. I have said the clapboards are loose, and if you are not cautious, one end will fly up and the other down, in company with which latter you shall be precipitated upon the sleepers below. Having reached the opposite