In travelling through the country we had noticed that in the neighbourhood of great mountains the religious element was more pronounced than elsewhere, and the people’s voices seemed stronger. At the close of this second service, for which nearly the whole of the congregation stayed, the conductor gave out one of Isaac Watts’s well-known hymns, and the congregation sang it with heart and voice that almost made the rafters in the roof of the chapel vibrate as if even they were joining in the praises of the Lord! These were the first two verses:
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His Kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song,
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessing on His Name.
We must say we joined as heartily as any of the others, for it was sung to one of the good old Methodist tunes common to all the Churches in the days of Wesley. As we walked back through the village we felt all the better for having attended the full service, and later, when we watched the nearly full moon rise in the clear night air above the hills, our thoughts turned instinctively towards the Great Almighty, the Father and Maker and Giver of All!
SEVENTH WEEK’S JOURNEY
Monday, October 30th.
[Illustration: PEVERIL CASTLE.]
The Scots as a nation are proverbial for their travelling propensities; they are to be found not only in every part of the British Isles, but in almost every known and unknown part of the wide world. It was a jocular saying then in vogue that if ever the North Pole were discovered, a Scotsman would be found there sitting on the top! Sir Walter Scott was by no means behind his fellow countrymen in his love of travel, and like his famous Moss-troopers, whose raids carried them far beyond the Borders, even into foreign countries, he had not confined himself “to his own—his Native Land.” We were not surprised, therefore, wrhen we heard of him in the lonely neighbourhood of the Peak of Derbyshire, or that, although he had never been known to have visited the castle or its immediate surroundings, he had written a novel entitled Peveril of the Peak. This fact was looked upon as a good joke by his personal friends, who gave him the title of the book as a nickname, and Sir Walter, when writing to some of his most intimate friends, had been known to subscribe himself in humorous vein as “Peveril of the Peak.”