About that time, he made a remark that impressed me deeply, and, I hope, abidingly. We attended the ministry of his beloved friend H., and on one occasion, adverting to certain criticisms that had been passed on his discourses by some who seemed to sit in judgment on their teacher, I asked him, ' How is it, that while they call one of his sermons fine, and another dry, and so forth, I find them all so profitable, and always come away well fed ?' With animated quickness he replied, ' I'll tell you how it is : you pray for him.' ' Indeed I do : and that he may be taught to teach me.' ' Aye, there it is : and your prayer is answered. Now mark me ; the preacher and the flock either feed or starve one another: what they withhold from him in prayers, they lose in doctrine. Those who merely listen to cavil, or to admire, come away empty of spiritual food. Those who give liberally to their minister in secret prayer for him, have their souls made fat by the very same doctrine that falls unblest upon others.' He added, with emotion, 'Bear dear H. more and more upon your heart before your father's throne, and you will feast more largely upon the banquet that he spreads.' I have to be thankful that my friend's counsel was not lost on me : from that shepherd, indeed, I was soon removed ; and very soon he followed D. to glory : but I had already carried the lesson into another pasture ; where, richly and abundantly as all were fed, mine always appeared a Benjamin's mess ; for I had learned the secret of the profitable barter which I would commend to every christian hearer: instant, affectionate, individual intercession for the teacher, in the spirit of faith : then may we sit, contented, and humbly confident to receive the assured answer, in the portion which he is commissioned to divide.
It was the delight of D. by every means, to draw closer the bond of union between the pastor and his flock : and that was a blessed work. Woe to the hand that wantonly severs them ! It is the Lord's prerogative to visit a people by removing their most gifted teachers into a corner, even as it was also his to render the scattering of his church, by means of fiery persecutions, available for the spread of sound doctrine through Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch ; but not the less sacrilegious is the blow that snaps asunder a tie which the Lord hath blessed; and I was left to appreciate the full beauty of that feature in D.'s spiritual character, long after he was taken from mortal view : as the balmy warmth of life-breathing Spring, is doubly endeared to our remembrance when we shiver before the rough blasts of a surly, devastating November.
Well ! the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, and man cannot dethrone him ! He worketh all things after the counsel of his will, and man cannot thwart his purposes. Nay, when most thoroughly set to do mischief, man is but blindly forwarding the work of eternal love and truth, even towards those whose welfare is the farthest from his wish. My little heart's-ease tells me this, in its own quiet language, as it looks up from under the heap of unsightly leaves that, by falling thickly upon it, have sheltered it from the evening frost, and left it sparkling with salubrious moisture, when I take them away and give entrance to the sunbeams. Often, very often, has D. expatiated on the same sweet truth, representing the many ways in which my abounding trials were working together for good, already perceptible. I remember the lesson, and cherish it in my heart; but sorely do I miss the cheerful look, the encouraging smile, that were wont to accompany it. D. was utterly incapable of that cheap generosity which bestows on the sufferer a scrap of advice, perchance a text of scripture, and thinks it has done the part of a Christian comforter. He first placed himself so fully in the situation of the person afflicted, by the exercise of that beautiful consideration wherewith God had gifted him ; and made so many allowances for the peculiarity of individual feeling and circumstances, that his language assumed rather the character of consoling thoughts, inwardly suggested to the mourner, than of another man's ideas, verbally communicated. Surely if there be one gift more to be coveted than another, in the social intercourse of poor pilgrims through a valley of Baca, it is this. It is easy to lecture a complaining brother: it is easy to shew him how lightly you regard his present affliction ; and thus to silence the rising murmer, bidding it retire and rankle in the heart which knoweth its own bitterness ; but oh, how wise, how tender, how Christ-like, is the love that voluntarily places itself under his cross, poises its weight and speaks the language not of one who merely sees, but of one who has felt it!
To rejoice with them that did rejoice, was a duty rendered easy indeed, by the extraordinary cheerfulness of D's. mind. Looks, words, gestures, were all put in requisition to express the delight of his soul, when he saw his companions happy, So joyous wras the spirit of his religion, that it grieved him to witness a sombre cast on the countenances of those engaged in devotional exercises, Calm, subdued, collected, and intent, he always appeared at such times, but never, to use his own expression, ' pulled a long face,' for the worship of God. Approaching a reconciled Father through Christ Jesus, he could not conceive why the delight ihat animates the heart, and beams in the looks of an affectionate, grateful child, should be banished from his. Let those who remember D. in his constant place, beside the pillar at L. A., acknowledge that a countenance more brightly irradiated with love and joy never shone among that privileged flock. Heart's-ease all over, D. looked up and smiled : you could not gaze on him and be melancholy. This, too, is a gift to be coveted : a happy look bears eloquent testimony that " the peace which passeth all understanding" is no chimera ; and that godliness hath the promise of this life, as well as of that which is to come.
Yet the word is sure : " In the world ye shall have tribulation ;" and D. experienced it, in a degree little suspected by those who watched the expression of his happy countenance. There are insects that, in the darkness of the night, steal forth to prey upon the gentle flower that typifies D.; but though they sometimes rend its petals, they cannot mar the lovely bloom of what remains : and thus had he his undiscovered enemies—cares that he revealed to none but his heavenly father, and disappointments blighting the dearest projects of an affectionate heart. He felt their gnawing progress, but he knew the wise purpose for which they were sent; and though, in thoughts and visions of the night, his spirit was often sorely harrassed, yet the morning sun beheld him bright and cheerful as ever, through the freshening of that early dew that never failed to visit his prayerful chamber. Occasionally he has admitted to me that so it was; for he well knew that a fellowship in suffering would add power to his ready consolations ; and when he found me so much absorbed in my own griefs, then —only then—it was that he would impart to me a portion of his secret sorrow, just sufficient to rouse my interest, to excite my sympathy that he might immediately turn the discourse to the sweet sola-cings of the Divine Comforter, which he described as being so effectual, as to make him,' through the grace of God,' more thankful for a little tribulation than he should have been for a vast abundance of prosperity. And thus delicately would he insinuate the comfort which my fretful spirit was unwilling to receive in a more direct way.
The last Christmas that D. celebrated with the militant church on earth, will long be remembered by those who passed it with him. It fell on a Sunday ; and he had busied himself much on behalf of his poor children, the wild little Irish, who attended our dear schools. It is customary, on the Sabbath, to give each child, on leaving the school, a thick slice of bread and butter, except in cases of flagrant misconduct, when the culprits must march past the tempting board empty-handed. The importance of this boon cannot be appreciated, but by those who know something of the squalid misery that pervades St. Giles, and that very few of our children tasted any thing better than half a meal of potatoes on any day throughout the week. A good piece of well buttered bread is a prodigious feast to them. However on the day in question, D., as if conscious that it was his last time of celebrating the happy season among them, provided, for the afternoon, a more luxurious entertainment. He filled his blue bag with excellent plum-cake, and merrily remarked to me, that for once all his clients would be satisfied with its contents. To this he added the more durable gift of some small books and tracts ; and very delightful it was to us, the teachers, as we stood about him, to witness the reciprocal looks of love between the donor, and the gleeful recipients of those gifts. Gravity was, of course, out of the question. I should pity the person who tried to look solemn among our dear Irish children, when the work of the school is over. Neither fluttering rags, ill-suited to repel the season's cold, nor naked feet, cut and bruised by the filthy pavement of St. Giles, nor famished forms that bespoke the weekly fast, could counterbalance the mirthful aspect wherewith they approached the pile of cake, and the delighted grin of each farewell obeisance. My poor dear Irish children ! Why do so few among the wealthy ones of London take thought for that swarming hive of ever active beings, who, by a little devotion of time, a little sacrifice of the unrighteous mammon, might be trained to industry, and piety, and peace ! Alas ! even of those who partook of D.'s parting feast, are not there now many to be found in the dens of profligacy, or the dungeons of detected crime ? It is the shame, and will prove the curse of Christian England, that the very heart and centre of her gorgeous metropolis should form a throne on which Satan is permitted to hold an almost unquestioned reign over her empire. Many a missionary is girding himself to the work of the Lord in foreign lands . but few are the missionaries who will step fifty yards out of their daily path, to carry the light of the gospel among the dark abodes of wretched St. Giles*.
D. worked diligently; so that when his sun went down at noon, he had accomplished more than would be deemed, by the bulk of those in his sphere, a full day's labour. He has entered into his rest, to shine as the sun, and as the stars, for ever and ever, in the kingdom of his Father. Is the prize that he has grasped, worth striving after? Go to St. Giles's, and do likewise. Is the work that he has wrought, meet to be copied ? Go, and gather the desolate little ones, whom he loved to lead to Christ. I cannot resume the subject of a flower, while my soul is oppressed with the sorrows of thousands of perishing souls, enclosed in bodies that also are perishing in want, and vice, and all the fearful train of consequences attendent thereon. If I begin with D. I shall be constrained to end my paper, as he ended his life—in pleading with the favoured children of God, for pity on the poor, the destitute children of Erin.