Page images

Mr. White observed, Socrates had not a Bible to read, and his own wisdom could not find out the

way of life.”

« Only think of that,” rejoined Charles.

“I do think of it," I replied;" and I reason upon it in this way: If Socrates was a fool, then I am a greater, for I have the Bible, and yet neglect to read it as I ought."

Nay,” exclaimed Charles, “I do see you reading the Bible sometimes.”

“ I feel, Charles,” I rejoined, “ that you did not mean to chide me; but there is strong reproof in that word sometimes ; my parents used to charge me to read it daily, and I only read it sometimes. Charles, I thank you ; from this time I will follow their counsel. Like Arthur Sampson, I will read it daily, for I recollect the psalmist says :

• The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul :
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart:
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever:
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold :
Sweeter also than honey, and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is thy servant warned:
And in keeping of them is great reward.'”—Psa. xix. 7–11.

Why,” said Charles Murphy, when he saw I had concluded, “ what has come to you? You seem to be in a fair way of changing your name of Philosopher for that of Saint.”

6 Call me what you please, Charles," I replied; “ but I hope I may keep my resolve. I feel, however, that you respect me too much to make me the object of ridicule.”


“Indeed I do," Charles quickly rejoined; "but are we not too young to become so serious ?”

“ Are we too young to die?” I asked, gravely.

“ You have me there,” said Charles; “for I had a brother, younger than myself, who is now no more,

time I

home for


holidays I go to look at his grave; and at Midsummer I always gather a nosegay from the lawn of my father's country house, and plant it among the daisies growing thereon. I loved him very dearly, and you will pardon me if I say I loved him better than you, Philosopher."

6. That was natural," I resumed ; “but I perceive you yet consider me a philosopher. I hope I shall prove the Christian philosopher; for you must know, Charles, there are such in the world.”

“I never thought of that,” replied Charles ; - it sounds better than the name of saint; for I have often heard that used as a term of reproach.”

“ Charles,” I rejoined, hastily, “the worst of you is, that you speak without thinking. You have sense, and even wit; but you either lack judgment, or will not call it into action. Have you ever read your Bible ?”

Why, what a question that is,” answered Charles; “you know, as well as I do, that though I do not read it, like Arthur Sampson and yourself, of my own free-will, our master makes me do so in class.”

“I certainly had forgotten that, Charles," I replied; “but that can hardly be called reading the Bible; for


know how little we think of what we are doing. It is, in truth, one of our

tasks, and we perform it as such ; whereas the Bible should, my parents used to say, be read with pleasure. However, I will conclude that you have read it, and, in doing so, let me ask you whether


have ever met with the term Christian philosopher?' “ I do not recollect that I have,” said Charles. “ Have you that of saint ?” I interrogated. « Oh, certainly I have,” answered Charles, especially in the Psalms and Epistles.”

Well, then," I continued, “ which think you is the most honourable term—that of Christian philosopher, or saint?—that which is of human origin, or that which is divine?

“You are such a reasoner,” answered Charles, “I cannot cope with you. I see to which way you are steering, and if I was to answer, “The Christian philosopher, you would surely confound me; and therefore I will at once say, “The saint."

“ You say right, Charles,” I rejoined ; “my father, who is one of the most pious men I ever knew, has often said, in my hearing, that his heart would beat high with joy could he but be assured that he was a saint of God.”

Well,” said Charles, “if your father is so pious a man as you say he is, surely he may consider himself as such.”

“ Doubtless he might," I replied ; "for Mr. White has often said, that the humble Christian has a better right to that title than those who have been canonized in the Romish Church.”

“ How strange!" answered Charles.
“ Not strange at all,” I replied; “for our

master has never failed to observe, in confirmation of the assertion, that the Scriptures declare, that “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.'”

“I am glad,” said Arthur Sampson, who joined us at this moment, “to hear you quoting Scripture, and should like to know what led to it.”

Arthur said this with so much sincerity, that I readily recounted all that had passed between Charles and myself, not forgetting to exalt his character ; for although I was vain, I was not envious; and when I ceased, he meekly replied, that God only made him to differ from other boys, if he did differ from them. · But,” added Arthur, “I came to propose a good game of cricket this fine evening, for you know we must make hay while the sun shines: are you willing?” Both Charles and myself expressed our ready approval; and the stumps were soon set up, the ball produced, and sent here, and there, and everywhere, in our cricket-ground. Arthur himself obtained more runs from his bat than any two of us put together, and yet he remained the same pious boy as heretofore.

“ Religion never was designed

To make our pleasures less."

It increases them a hundredfold, as the conduct of Arthur Sampson proves. Although he was pious, he joined in our pastimes with a zest unknown to most of us, and was happy; and I believe that not one of my companions were better loved than Arthur Sampson. All regarded him

with tenderness; and when he left there was not a dry eye amongst us. Charles Murphy wept bitterly; and when Arthur thanked him for not playing off his wit upon him, he fairly fell upon his neck and kissed him. It was a touching scene; and, as Mr. White regarded it, he observed to Arthur: “ Continue to act as you have done at school ; and may you grow in favour both with God and man!”

« PreviousContinue »