Lancashire Idylls (1898) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 226 pages of information about Lancashire Idylls (1898).
It was the secret of discomfiture, misery and sin.  Men were not lost in badness, not lost in sin, but lost to that which when discovered to them made their badness unbearable—­in other words, “took away their sin.”  Lost souls, damned souls, souls in hell—­as the theologians termed them—­were simply souls lost to their right relationship.  And the work of Christ was to find in men, and find out for men, what this right relationship was.  This was what was meant in the text, the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.  Their friend Moses Fletcher had found something in himself.  He had found love, and courage, and a sense of goodness.  These had been discovered to him by the One who was always revealing the good in us if we would but let Him, and if we would but open our eyes to see.  He, Moses Fletcher, had seen the good, and believed in it, and he was saved because he allowed the good to move and have its being in him.  It was his better self, so long unknown to himself, so long lost in him, and to him, that awoke and led him to save Oliver o’ Deaf Martha’s child.  When he plunged into the Green Fold Lodge he found what had been so long lost to him:  he found himself.  Then was fulfilled the saying, “He that loseth his life shall save it.”  That was salvation.  Moses was now a saved man because he had found the sane and whole part of his nature.  The Divine in him had been awakened.  He was at last true to the law of his being.’

Then, closing his Bible, he asked Moses Fletcher to give his ‘testimony.’

Standing up, and with tremulous tones, which none recognised as the once harsh voice of Moses, he said: 

‘Yo’ happen willn’t let me co yo’ friends because I’ve bin an enemy to so mony on yo’!  But Him as they co’d a friend o’ publicans and sinners hes made me His friend, and He’s made me a friend on yo’ all.  I know haa yo’ all hated me, and I gave yo’ good cause for doin’ so.  But He’s put His love i’ me, and naa owd Moses ‘ll never trouble ony on yo’ ony more.  Owd Moses lies i’ Green Fold Lodge yonder, and he’ll stop theer; it’s time he wor done wi’.  An’ if you’ll try me as God’s baan to try me, aw think you’ll happen larn to love me as I know I’m loved aboon.’

As he sat down many in the large congregation would fain have risen and grasped him by the hand, but propriety forbade.

In another minute Mr. Penrose came out of the vestry prepared for the rite of immersion, and Moses was a second time baptized in Rehoboth.

As he stepped out of the waters a cloud passed from before the October sun, and a flood of light poured through the open window above the baptistery, while a white dove from the neighbouring farm perched for a moment on the wooden sill.  Then Milly once more turned to her father and said: 

‘Yon’s th’ brid, faither, but I don’t yer th’ voice!’

‘What voice?’ whispered Abraham Lord.

‘Why, faither, thaa knows—­“This is My beloved Son."’

Project Gutenberg
Lancashire Idylls (1898) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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