“These, my dear Spinageberd, are the two paragraphs, literally transcribed, from the True Blue, and I do not think it necessary to add any comment to them. On tomorrow I have resolved to attend the Dissenting Chapel, a place of worship where I have never yet been, and I am anxious, at all events, to see what the distinctions are between their mode of worship and that of the Church of Englandism. Besides, to admit the truth, I am also anxious to see how this Solomon—this religious attorney, whose person I well know—will deport himself under circumstances which assuredly would test the firmness of most men, unless strongly and graciously sustained, as they say themselves.”
CHAPTER XVI.—Solomon in Trouble
—Is Publicly Prayed for—His Gracious Deliverance, and Triumph—An Orangeman’s View of Protestantism and of Popery—Phil’s Discretion and Valor.
“Monday, half-past eleven o’clock.
“My Dear Spinageberd:
“In pursuance of my intention, I attended the Castle Cumber Meeting-house yesterday, and must confess that I very much admire the earnest and unassuming simplicity of the dissenting ritual. They have neither the epileptical rant nor goatish impulses of the Methodists, nor the drowsy uniformity from which not all the solemn beauty of the service can redeem the Liturgy of the Church of England. In singing, the whole congregation generally take a part—a circumstance which, however it may impress their worship with a proof of sincerity, certainly adds nothing to its melody.
“The paragraph of ‘Susanna and the’ Elder’ having taken wind, little Solomon, as they call him, attended his usual seat, with a most unusual manifestation of grace and unction beaming from his countenance. He was there early; and before the service commenced he sat with his hands locked in each other, their palms up, as was natural, but his eyes cast down, in peaceful self-communion, as was evident from the divine and ecstatic smile with which, from time to time, he cast up his enraptured eyes to heaven, and sighed—sighed with an excess of happiness which was vouchsafed to but few, or, perhaps, for those depraved and uncharitable sinners who had sent abroad such an ungodly scandal against a champion of the faith. At all events, at the commencement of the service, the minister—a rather jolly-looking man, with a good round belly apparently well lined—read out of a written paper, the following short address to those present:—
“’The prayers of this congregation are requested for one of its most active and useful members, who is an elder thereof. They are requested to enable him to fight the good fight, under the sore trials of a wicked world which have come upon him in the shape of scandal. But inasmuch as these dispensations are dealt out to us often for our soul’s good and ultimate comfort, the individual in question doth not wish you to pray for a cessation of this,