Mr. Drew, the draper, was, of all his friends, the one who most frequently visited his old pastor. He had been the first, although a deacon of the church, in part to forsake his ministry, and join the worship of, as he honestly believed, a less scriptural community, because in the abbey church he heard better news of God and His Kingdom: to him rightly the gospel was every thing, and this church or that, save for its sake, less than nothing and vanity. It had hurt Mr. Drake not a little at first, but he found Drew in consequence only the more warmly his personal friend, and since learning to know Wingfold, had heartily justified his defection; and now that he was laid up, he missed something any day that passed without a visit from the draper. One evening Drew found him very poorly, though neither the doctor nor Dorothy could prevail upon him to go to bed. He could not rest, but kept walking about, his eye feverish, his pulse fluttering. He welcomed his friend even more warmly than usual, and made him sit by the fire, while he paced the room, turning and turning, like a caged animal that fain would be king of infinite space.
“I am sorry to see you so uncomfortable,” said Mr. Drew.
“On the contrary, I feel uncommonly well,” replied the pastor. “I always measure my health by my power of thinking; and to-night my thoughts are like birds—or like bees rather, that keep flying in delight from one lovely blossom to another. Only the fear keeps intruding that an hour may be at hand, when my soul will be dark, and it will seem as if the Lord had forsaken me.”
“But does not our daily bread mean our spiritual as well as our bodily bread?” said the draper. “Is it not just as wrong in respect of the one as of the other to distrust God for to-morrow when you have enough for to-day? Is He a God of times and seasons, of this and that, or is He the All in all?”
“You are right, old friend,” said the minister, and ceasing his walk, he sat down by the fire opposite him. “I am faithless still.—O Father in Heaven, give us this day our daily bread.—I suspect, Drew, that I have had as yet no more than the shadow of an idea how immediately I—we live upon the Father.—I will tell you something. I had been thinking what it would be if God were now to try me with heavenly poverty, as for a short time