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figs, sago and rice. You must do without all these things, now you
live in the middle ages. But what of that! Small beer is as nice as tea if you drink it out of a Mazer dish, and rice puddings you can easily do without. There are plenty of
geese feeding on the common, you can have one of them for dinner.”
• O yes, we like roast goose.”
“ But that reminds me, turkeys come from America, so you have never seen one, but you have a peculiar kind of plum pudding which you like very much, it is stuffed with prunes and flavored with thyme and marjoram.".
“ Thyme and marjoram! what a nasty plum pudding !" “ So I think. You eat mustard with it."
No; I am determined that I wont eat mustard with mine."
“But if you are a boy of the middle ages, you must do as they did then.”
“ Then I shall pretend that I like mustard."
“ Yes; you had better pretend to like it very much, for it is eaten every day in the winter. Three great barrels stand in the buttery: one is full of salt beef and mutton, the second of salt fish, and the third of salt fowls, geese, herons, plovers, &c. The meadows being flooded in the winter, there is not much pasturage for the cattle, and farming is so bad that you have very
little hay. So, in the autumn the animals are killed and eaten with salt, with mustard sauce, and a few cresses.”
“Now, Orris, you promised you wouldn't laugh, and I saw you very nearly laugh just this minute.”
“ I forgot myself, but I was just going to remark, that this canal not being cut, you can never watch the barges."
“O we thought of that before you came in, but then we can always run straight through into the field, without going round by the bridge.”
Exactly so; it is best that you should look cheerfully at your lot. There is no such thing as a phaeton, so you cannot ride out with mamma."
6 Never ride out! never see our cousins! Well then, it's no use, Hatty, we can't live in the middle ages. It seemed very delightful though, before you came in, Orris.”
“ Perhaps it is a pity I did come in."
“O no, I don't mean that, but somehow you always contrive to make out that things are best as they are.”
“ Have I made out any thing but the truth? Can I help it if there were no potatoes, no printing, neither roads, spectacles, steamboats, telescopes, sofas, looking-glasses, story books, exhibitions, carriages, or canals ?".
“O no, of course you cannot help it; but we often played before this at living in the middle ages, and it was always delightful.”
" I wonder how you managed it; perhaps you played at possessing all those specimens of art that you saw, and the modern advantages with them; you quite forgot that there was no gas then to light the streets; and no Lord Rosse's telescope, to hear wonderful stories of. You can play at whatever game you please, but the middle ages seem to me so disagreeable that I wonder you should like even to play at living in them."
“0, we don't wish now that we had been born then, but often when we talked about it alone we wished we could go back to them. I knew very well that when you began to play, you would make it seem quite different."
“And yet I scarcely touched upon my gravest reasons for disliking those old days." “ You mean that we should have been Roman Catholics ? "
Yes, and we should have had no bibles that would have been a very sad thing; we should have had no family prayers, and when we went to church, even the little portion of the bible read by the priests would have been in Latin."
“But we might have been Protestants, and then we should have known better."
"If we had been Protestants we should have been called heretics,' and burnt; or if we had escaped, we should have had no minister to help us to do right, no Christian friends to talk with. Then we should never have been allowed to converse with our parents, but treated with severity, and kept at a dis. tance. Should you have liked that ?"
No, not at all." “And we should have been as iguorant of all other interesting krowledge as of religion."
“ Yes, we should not have known that the earth goes round the sun."
“ We should not have known many things of much more consequence to our happiness than that. And you must remember that in those days the poor were serfs, and the rich were grievously oppressed, and taxed. They were unjustly punished at the will of their rulers, and there was no appeal.”
“ William the First made a law that every man who killed a bart should be blinded; and to make the New Forest, he took ninety square miles of land, burnt all the houses and turned the people adrift. Henry the First taxed his people without mercy, and it is said of him, that "he punished him that killed a stag, as him that murdered a man.'
“ But that was very wicked."
• Very true; but to know that it was wicked was a poor consolation to the people. Then as for Stephen, he suffered the nobles to oppress the serfs, and cause them to build castles for them just as the Israelites built treasure cities, and they were such hard taskmasters to them that thousands died. I dare say you remember how cruel some of our kings were to the Jews ?"
“O yes, we have read about that. Well then, Orris, perhaps it is a great deal better that we did not live in the middle ages."
“ I think there is no doubt of it, and if you doubt it, I advise you to play at a game like this again, and remember that even if we were worse off than the people of those old days, it would still be our duty to be contented, for we know who it is that appoints our lot for us. But as the lines have fallen to us in pleasant places,' not only in days of light and knowledge and peace, but in the happiest country that is known even in these good days, and in the happiest station of life, for we have neither the cares of the poor nor the temptations of the great, I think we may be very sure that no change for us could be for the better, and therefore we shall be very ungrateful if we do not always make out that things are best as they are.''
Many an individual suffered martyrdom in the days of persecution ; numbers endured the loss of all things, were destitute, afflicted and tormented; others had, perhaps, the harder trial of cruel mockings, or the temptation of riches, honor, and pleasure,--but all were manfully resisted, and in bright array they stand forth still, a noble monument of divine grace divine protection—and divine approval !
We believe they are numerous upon the earth in modern times, though there have been, and yet are, a multitude of distant and doubtful relatives, who desire kindred with the original stock, and indeed try hard to persuade us, that they are of the pure race; but, their conduct and their speech bewray them to be aliens and foreigners. Bunyan enumerates three notable impostors in his day, “ Wildhead, Inconsiderate, and Pragmatic.” The chronicles, aforesaid, describe also the Dissemblers, and the Equivocators,—those who withhold part of the truth-who speak with double meaning or mental reserve, and thus work or make a lie. All these would perchance hesitate at direct falsehood; and yet, as an eminent member of an ancient branch, mourns in his letter of faithful remonstrance, “They are not valiant for the truth ; they will deceive every man his neighbour ; will speak peaceably with the mouth, but in heart lay wait to ensnare him; will deal falsely; their tongue speaketh deceit."
A sincere and honest Valiant-for-the-truth has hard conflict, even from his earliest infancy, to maintain the spotlessness of his honourable lineage in the present age ; for his original territory has been invaded by the spoiler, and a whole host of intruders created by the father of lies throughout the paternal estate, now forfeited for an early transgression, which placed the heirs under an attainder, only redeemable by ransom and atonement of incalculable value. The punctual fulfilment of these conditions, by a benefactor of boundless compassion, has restored the noble family, of whom we write, to their former rank and titles, though they still suffer some of the consequences of their ancestors' misconduct. The biography of one of the present representatives of the family in detail, may not be uninstructive.
Jeremiah ix, 3, 8, xlii. 20.
Born with a deceitful heart, and prone, like other men, to
go astray as soon as he is born, speaking lies;" the first and most inveterate enemy the youthful Valiant finds to encounter, is his own evil nature. Happy is it for him if, sensible of the plague of his own heart, and having it cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, he gains the help invariably rendered to all who seek it from that Spirit, whose office it is to “guide us into all truth.” Even in the nursery and play room, must the baby Valiant learn to be on the alert, for his proper dread of parental discipline, or laudable desire for approbation, present continual allurements to compromise his integrity, to deny his faults, to magnify childish virtues, to make careless statements of exaggeration, to cheat at marbles or to appropriate a companion's bauble, to allow blame to rest upon the innocent. How often are the cat and dog the convenient dumb scape-goats for the censure which more properly appertains to their juvenile owners ! That was a noble boy who declared, in answer to a proposal of holding his empty hat as a bait for his strayed pony,
"No! that would be cheating him, and I would not cheat even a horse !" So he forthwith filled the hat with grass.
The context of the passage, whence the family name is derived, evidently implies, that the truth” signifies moral and practical honesty, not merely the belief and diffusion of certain doctrines; consequently, they are not valiant-for-the-truth who cannot forego deception, even in sport, for the truth's sakem who would win a game at cricket or bowls, by placing their antagonists at a disadvantage-or, who would make bye laws at an archery meeting, which shall exclude half the aspirants for the prize, after the fashion of the Master Sweepstakes!"
The school room and college hall also present an arena for trial, demanding increased efforts of undaunted heroism. School is a miniature world, and temptations are there more varied, more insidious, than in the bosom of an affectionate home circle. None but the youthful Christian can know how difficult it is to endure valiantly the warfare of tongues which contemn and assault his aim to keep the badge of truth unsullied. He is stigmatized as coward, if he refuse to take the name of his God in vain !—Miser, if he decline to join in swindling or plunder !--Tell-tale and spy, if compelled to bear