Paul Faber, Surgeon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 505 pages of information about Paul Faber, Surgeon.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

COW-LANE-CHAPEL.

By degrees Mr. Drake’s mind grew quiet, and accommodated itself to the condition of the new atmosphere in which at first it was so hard for him to draw spiritual breath.  He found himself again able to pray, and while he bowed his head lower before God, he lifted up his heart higher toward him.  His uncle’s bequest presenting no appropriative difficulties, he at once set himself to be a faithful and wise steward of the grace of God, to which holy activity the return of his peace was mainly owing.  Now and then the fear would return that God had sent him the money in displeasure, that He had handed him over all his principal, and refused to be his banker any more; and the light-winged, haunting dread took from him a little even of the blameless pleasure that naturally belonged to the paying of his debts.  Also he now became plainly aware of a sore fact which he had all his life dimly suspected—­namely, that there was in his nature a spot of the leprosy of avarice, the desire to accumulate.  Hence he grew almost afraid of his money, and his anxiety to spend it freely and right, to keep it flowing lest it should pile up its waves and drown his heart, went on steadily increasing.  That he could hoard now if he pleased gave him just the opportunity of burning the very possibility out of his soul.  It is those who are unaware of their proclivities, and never pray against them, that must be led into temptation, lest they should forever continue capable of evil.  When a man could do a thing, then first can he abstain from doing it.  Now, with his experience of both poverty and riches, the minister knew that he must make them both follow like hounds at his heel.  If he were not to love money, if, even in the free use of it, he were to regard it with honor, fear its loss, forget that it came from God, and must return to God through holy channels, he must sink into a purely contemptible slave.  Where would be the room for any further repentance?  He would have had every chance, and failed in every trial the most opposed!  He must be lord of his wealth; Mammon must be the slave, not Walter Drake.  Mammon must be more than his brownie, more than his Robin Goodfellow; he must be the subject Djin of a holy spell—­holier than Solomon’s wisdom, more potent than the stamp of his seal.  At present he almost feared him as a Caliban to whom he might not be able to play Prospero, an Ufreet half-escaped from his jar, a demon he had raised, for whom he must find work, or be torn by him into fragments.  The slave must have drudgery, and the master must take heed that he never send him alone to do love’s dear service.

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Paul Faber, Surgeon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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