« PreviousContinue »
“ What! you impudent, audacious hypocrite, what am I to be preached-prated to, under my own roof, by you, too? Religion is come to à fine pass!"
“ I am sorry for thee, tapster,-hic”-returned the preaching trumpeter.
" It was so of old; for it is writ in Deu-Deut-Deut-ronnomy, twenty-third-hic- But Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked: thou art waxen fatthou art grown thick,'—hic-thou art covered with fatness: then—""
" I will not bear this insolence from a drunken trumpeter,” said Caleb, taking Hold-me-fast fast hold by the collar, to turn him out of the hall; when the intrepid Prynne interposing, cried_66 Hold thy hand, thou vile tapster ! That poor soldier-man, in his cups, hath more piety than thy weak understanding is capable of compassing: he speaketh from Holy Writ.” Then taking the trumpeter by the cuff—“ Quit the service of this hellish crew," said he, “ this camp of the ungodly; this sink of corruption, and common-sewer of impiety, where Pagan players, sots, and remorseless reprobates hold their midnight orgies. Doubtless thou art a
sober servant in righteousness, and hath been seduced into the sin of drunkenness by the old serpent, who presideth within these unsanctified walls. Woe! woe! to this corrupt, this rotten habitation, bearing the outward and visible sign of that old beast Apollyon, who rules within. Come with me, good man,” taking the drunken trumpeter's arm in his, " and I will provide thee a lodging."
Hold-me-fast, tucking Mordecai's silver trumpet under his cloak, was moving off under the auspices of the doughty puritan, when the Jew, seizing his property, exclaimed—“ Vot! if you have got tdrunk as shwines in this vicked company, for nothing at all, at the expenshe of Master Chonsons, schmite me if I vosh going to let you morris off with my trumpet for nothing at all."
“ Hic-You are a lawyer, Master Prynne, a man of worldly wisdom, an expounder of the carnal law," said Hold-me-fast ; “now I look to you for protection. This trumpet is mine, and I will not re-relinquish it, to a-hicdrunken, denying, unbelieving Jew. Sir,—hic -believe me, mister justice, I came into this wicked house as so-sober as a judge, and the
Lord has suffered me to fall into temptation ; but-hic— he is all-sufficient.' I have done my du-duty as an old soger in the cause of the saints-hic-soberly and righteously, and I abhor a liar. Like Paul • I have fought the good fight,' and though I say it, his highness, now in Abraham's bosom, if he was here present, would say-hic,-Hold-me-fast Sparkes is the man who feareth the Lord, and walketh up-hic -uprightly ;" when, endeavouring to wheel off, he staggered round, and tripping up his new friend the old barrister, they rolled together down the wide stairs that led to the kitchen, with such an extraordinary impetus, that each went completely over-head-and-heels; such, however, was the momentary influence of their stars, that the old fat man-cook, who was just ascending the stairs at the moment, was tripped up also, and falling on his back, made himself a convenient wool-pack to break their fall; but for this, the two saints, the sober precisian and the drunken trumpeter, must of necessity, morally speaking, have either fractured their skulls, or broken their necks, or, perhaps, both; for all the spectators declared, never did two
human beings perform so fearful a somerset down hill, and against the will, at so small an expence of injury, against so great a risque of life and limb.
The drunken trumpeter was the first to get upon his hands and knees, when, looking upward, he exclaimed—“ Hic-' And he gave his angels charge’-hic.-Never fear, never fear, my Christian hero ; it's all nothing when you are used to it: the saints must experience many a fall-hic-ere they rise. Why don't you help me up, you backsliders, hey? Marvellous are thy mercies, Lord !-hic— Did I not fight with the beasts at Ephesus !? What then ? What ! are not these mani-man-hic-.manifestations, I ask you, you sots, you drunken ca-cavam cavaliers ? If your faith was only as great *
* The Drunken Trumpeter's moral doctrine, squared with that of the Puritanical Barrister's, who
in his “ Perpetuity of a Regenerate Man's Estate"“ Let any true saint of God be taken away in the very act of sin, before 'tis possible for him to repent; 1 make no doubt or scruple of it, but he shall, as surely be saved, as if he had lived to have repented of it. I
hic—as great as a little grain of mustard seed, you might re-re-remove a mountain. Help me up, you reprobates ; help me up, I say."
The barrister had not escaped so well; hence was verified that saying, “ Drunken men and children fall without hurt." Prynne groaned, and was lifted up by the Jew, who having his wits about him, was the first to afford help. The cavaliers were all convulsed with laughter at this topsy-turvy exit of the two saints, though every one expressed unaffected con
say, that whenever God doth take away any of the saints, in the very act of sin, he doth in that very instant, give them such a particular and actual repentance as shall save their souls, for he hath predestinated them to everlasting life.”
- The child of God,” in the same spirit of presumption, saith another—" The child of God, in the power of Grace, doth perform every duty so well, that to ask pardon for failing either in matter or manner is a sin: it is unlawful to pray for forgiveness of sins after conversion: and if he does at any time fall, he can by the power of grace carry his sin to the Lord, and say, “Here I had it, and here I leave it."" This, it seems, was part of the doctrine of Independency.