Mrs. Golding took no note, as it seemed, of Althea’s sad and steadfast ways; but Andrew marked them, I could see, though, being daily busy with out-door matters and cares of our aunt’s estate, he was but little in our company. When he was with us, he surrounded Althea with a careful, watchful kindness, treating her so reverently as if she were some sacred thing, and indeed never venturing to say much to her unless she spoke first; all which she never appeared to notice.
Now it is a strange thing that in this pretty peaceful time the stormiest day and the fruitfullest of future mischiefs should have been a certain Lord’s Day, only a week or two after our coming. It was from Mr. Truelocke that I learnt to say ‘the Lord’s Day,’ Sunday, said he, being a heathenish, idolatrous word, nor would he allow of the fashion of calling the day of rest ‘the Sabbath.’ ‘We keep not holy,’ said he, ’the seventh-day Sabbath of the people of Israel, but the first day made holy for us by the resurrection of our Lord;’ and I saying idly to him, out of the poet Shakespeare, whom my father loved,—
’What’s in a name? that which
we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet,’—
he looked sternly, almost angrily on me, and said, ’Madam, what have ends of stage-plays, and the idle talk of a lovesick girl about her lover’s name and the names of flowers,—I say, what have these vanities to do with a glorious divine thing like the Christian’s Day of Rest? And believe me, there is much in names, too much in names. What a spell to conjure with is the name of King! and the name of Priest may make wild work in our poor England yet.’
I was dumb when he reproved me thus; and thinking of it after, I began to have some glimmering why this good man should resolve to give up his all, rather than use a Prayer-Book he deemed not according to right doctrine, since he was so earnest about the right name for one holy day. I found it to be a strong point with him, some of his flock murmuring at him about it, and saying how could we appeal to the Fourth Commandment if our holy day might not be called the Sabbath? But he cared not for their words; no, nor for king, nor for Parliament, compared with what he deemed right.
I used to wonder if his heart would have been so stout had he had wife and children to care for; but he had been many years widowed, and Harry, his only child, had carved his own way in the world, being now part owner of the ship he sailed himself.
But by whatever name folks called it, the Lord’s Day in West Fazeby was then a sweet, religious, holy day, and I loved it. Alas, to think of the changes wicked men have made!
HOW MR. TRUELOCKE PREACHED HIS LAST SERMON IN WEST FAZEBY.