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Father Jinks by Ian Maclaren

I

When I give him this title, I am perfectly aware that his right to it was at the best very doubtful, and that the Romans at St. Francis Xavier's laughed openly at his conceit; but he was always greatly encouraged by any one calling him "Father"; and now that he is gone I, for one, who knew both his little eccentricities and his hard sacrifices, will not throw stones at his grave—plenty were thrown at himself in his lifetime—nor shall I wound his memory by calling him Mr. Jinks. My opinion, as a layman, unattached and perhaps not even intelligent, is of very small account, but it is that of many other laymen; and to us it is of no importance what the servant of the Master is called, whether, like my dear old friend Father Pat Reilly, who has brought back more prodigals from the far country and rescued more waifs from the streets than any man I can hear of, or after the fashion of that worthy man, Pastor John Jump, as he delights to describe himself, who attends to business all the week—something in tinned meats, I think—and on Sunday preaches to a congregation of "baptized believers" with much force and earnestness, also without money or price. Both the Father and the Pastor had some doubts about my salvation—the one because I was not a member of the Anglican Communion, and the other because I was not a "strait Baptist"; but I never had any doubt about theirs—much less indeed than they had of one another's—and of the two I liked... but no, there is no use of comparisons, especially as the Pastor, as well as the Father, has gone to the land where, doubtless, many surprises are waiting for us all.

Nor does it seem of grave concern to some of us—but here again we may only be displaying our own ignorance of ecclesiastical subtleties—how a minister of religion is set apart to his office, if so be that he is an educated man and does the work put to his hand faithfully. Jinks was priested—I think that was what he called it, but he is not responsible for my mistakes—in a cathedral by a Right Rev. Father in God, and he used often to insist that only through such a channel could the grace of Orders come; but when the successor of the apostles advised Jinks in a most kindly, fatherly spirit to cease from some of his amiable extravagances—he had added a bran-new chasuble to his other bravery, which greatly pleased his female devotees—"the dear Father do look so pretty in his new chalice," one of his admirers said—Jinks repaid the Episcopal counsel with thinly-veiled scorn, and preached a sermon which ran to the unwonted length of twenty minutes to show that the bishop was himself a law-breaker and little better than a Protestant My friend Carmichael, again, was ordained in the little Free Kirk of Drumtochty by the Presbytery of Muirtown,—that heavy body of Church Law and Divinity, Dr. Dowbiggin, being Moderator,—and I cannot recollect Carmichael once referring to his Orders but he regarded his spiritual superiors with profound respect, and was very much relieved when his heresy case was dismissed—knowing very well that if they took it into their heads he would be turned out of his Church without delay and deposed from the ministry beyond human remedy. Carmichael was in the custom of denouncing priestcraft, and explaining that he had no claim to be a priest; but he administered a ghostly discipline so minute and elaborate, with sins which could be loosed by him, and reserved sins which could only be loosed by a higher authority, that the Father would have regarded it with envy. And Carmichael exercised an unquestioned authority among the hard-headed and strong-willed people of Drumtochty which Jinks would have cheerfully given ten years of his life to possess in the parish of St Agatha's. Between the two there was this difference, that the vicar of St Agatha's had the form of authority without the power, and the minister of Drumtochty had the power of authority without the form; and, as no man could be personally more humble or in heart more sincere than Jinks, this was the weary pity of the situation for my little Father.

Had St. Agatha's been in the West End, where his ritualism would have been accepted with graceful enthusiasm because it was fashionable—which would, however, have caused him much searching of heart: or in the East End, where it would have been condoned with a wink on account of his almsgiving, which would have wounded him deeply—Father Jinks had not been a subject of mockery and reproach. As it was Providence had dealt severely with the good man in sending him to the obdurate and stiff-necked parish of St Agatha's, where the people were anything but open soil for his teaching. The houses ranged from twenty pounds of rent up to forty, and were inhabited by foremen artisans, clerks, shopkeepers, single women letting lodgings, and a few people retired on a modest competence. The district had not one rich man, although it was wonderful what some of the shopkeepers gave to special efforts at their chapels, nor any person in the remotest contact with society, but neither were there any evil livers or wastrels. Every one worked hard, lived frugally—with a special Sunday dinner—paid his taxes promptly, as well as his other debts, and lived on fairly good terms with his neighbours. The parish had certainly no enthusiasms, and would not have known what an ideal was, but it had a considerable stock of common sense, and most people possessed a traditional creed which they were prepared to defend with much obstinacy. St. Agatha's parish was a very home of Philistinism, and, as everybody knows, the Philistines have always had an instinctive dislike to Catholic usages and teachings.

II

The congregation of St Agatha's were a prejudiced people, and had long been established in their own ways. The previous vicar, who had a certain fame as an orator of the florid order and rose to be an honorary canon, was a churchman of the lowest depths, and did things which Father Jinks used to mention with a shudder. He preached in a black gown, and delighted to address religious meetings in unlicensed places without any gown at all; he administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper once a month, and preferred to do so at evening service; he delighted to offer an extempore prayer before sermon, and never concluded a discourse without witnessing against the errors of the Church of Rome; he delighted in a three-decker pulpit, and would occasionally, in visiting the church for a baptism, leave his hat on the communion table where there was no other ornament. In his early days the music was led by a barrel organ, which was turned by the clerk, and later, when a large harmonium was introduced, the Psalms were read—the clerk leading the congregation with a stentorian voice—and Moody and Sankey's hymns were freely used. It was understood that the Canon had received a sudden call to the ministry while engaged in commercial pursuits, and had not found time for a University education—the hood which he wore at marriages was an invention of his wife's—and he was therefore very careful to correct the inaccuracies of the accepted versions, saying, with much impressiveness, "In the original Hebrew of this Gospel," or, "The Greek of Isaiah has it," although, in order to prevent monotony he would next Sunday reverse the order of languages and again conform to traditional belief. Critical persons, connected by blood with the families of St Agatha's and attending services there on occasion, declared openly that the Canon was a preposterous personage and a wind-bag; but he had without doubt a certain vein of genuine piety, which unsympathising people were apt to call unctuous, but which was, at any rate, warm; and a turn for rhetoric—he was of Irish birth—which might not be heavily charged with thought, but was very appetizing to the somewhat heavy minds of St Agatha's parish. While he did not allow excessive charity to interfere with comfortable living, and while he did not consider it his duty to risk a valuable life by reckless visitation of persons with contagious diseases, the Canon, by his popular religious manner—his funeral addresses which he delivered at the grave, wearing a tall hat and swaying an umbrella, moved all to open grief,—and by his sermons,—an hour long and rich in anecdotes—held the parish in his hand and kept St Agatha's full. People still speak of a course of lectures on "The Antichrists of the Bible," in which Rome was compared to Egypt, Samaria, Nineveh, and Babylon, and the strangers sat in the aisles; and there can be no doubt that the Canon convinced the parish that a High Churchman was a Jesuit in disguise, and that a priest was (probably) an immoral person. So far as I could gather, the worthy man believed everything he said—although his way of saying it might savour of cant—and he was greatly impressed by an anonymous letter threatening his life and telling him that the eye of Rome was on him. He had been guided to marry three times—possibly as a protest against celibacy—with cumulative financial results of a fairly successful character, and his last wife mourns her loss at Cheltenham, where she subscribes freely to "escaped nuns," and greedily anticipates the field of Armageddon.

When the new patron, who had bought his position for missionary purposes, appointed the Rev. John James Jinks to be vicar of St Agatha's, there was a rebellion in the parish, which, of course, came to nothing, and an appeal to the Bishop, which called forth a letter exhorting every person to peace and charity. Various charges were made against the new vicar, ranging from the fact that he had been curate in a church where the confessional was in full swing, and that the morals of the matrons of St Agatha's would be in danger, to the wicked calumny that he was an ex-Primitive Methodist, and was therefore, as is natural in such circumstances, very strong on the doctrine of apostolical succession. As the last insinuation cut Jinks to the quick, and was, indeed, almost the only attack he really felt, it is due to his memory to state that he was the son (and only child) of a country rector, whose living was worth £129, and who brought up his lad in the respectable, if somewhat arid, principles of the historical High Church school, which in the son blossomed rapidly into the luxuriance of Ritualism. It was only by the severest economy at the Rectory that Jinks could be sent to one of the cheaper Halls at Oxford, and it was the lasting sorrow of his blameless life that the Rector and his wife both died before he secured his modest pass degree. His mother used to call him John James, and had dreams that he would be raised to the Episcopate long after she had been laid to rest; but he knew very well from the beginning that his intellectual gifts were limited, and that his career would not be distinguished. While he magnified his priestly office beyond bounds, and was as bold as a lion for the Church in all her rights and privileges, he had no ambition for himself and was the most modest of men. Because he was only five feet four in height, and measured thirty-two inches round the chest, and had a pink and white boyish face, and divided his hair down the middle, and blushed when he was spoken to by women and dons, and stammered slightly in any excitement, they called him Jinksy at Tommy's Hall, and he answered cheerfully; and when our big Scots doctor availed himself on occasion of the same familiar form of address he showed no resentment No one, however, could say, when he was with us in St Agatha's, that he forgot his position, not only as a priest with power to bind and loose, but also as the disciple of his Lord; for if any clergyman ever did, our little Father adorned the doctrine of Christ by his meekness and lowliness of character, and by a self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness which knew no limits. He wore a low-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, and in winter a garment resembling a Highland cloak, which gave him as he imagined a certain resemblance to a continental abbé; and as he skimmed at all hours along our sombre, monotonous streets on errands which were often very poorly requited, and in many cases may have been quite uncalled for, he was, if you pleased to see him from a certain angle, a rather absurd figure; but as his simple, boyish face grew thinner and paler every month, and his eyes grew brighter and more spiritual, one's smile rather passed into the tears of the heart And now that he is gone, and no one in St Agatha's is vexed either by his chasuble or his kindness, it comes to us that Father Jinks followed the light given to him without flinching, and has rendered in a good account.

III

When Father Jinks read himself into St Agatha's, the church seemed to him little better than a conventicle, a mere preaching-house, and it was his business to change it into a place fit for Catholic worship. His success in this direction was marvellous. Before his death there was a chancel with screen and choir stalls, a side pulpit of carved stone with scenes from the Gospels thereon, a reredos, and an altar with cross and candlesticks, besides other pieces of ecclesiastical furniture of lesser importance and beyond the lay intelligence. There was also an organ, for which so many pews were removed, and a font near the door, for which other pews were removed, and an east window, containing the life and death of our patron saint, about whom nobody knew anything before, and for which a magnificent geometrical design in red and blue, greatly admired by the parish, had to be removed. The very plaster, with ornate pattern of roses, he had stripped from the roof, and had the oak laid bare; and although the walls had been tastefully decorated by a local firm with a mixed border on a ground of green, so fierce and unrelenting was the Vicar's iconoclastic passion that this also was sacrificed, and nothing was to be seen in St Agatha's save stone and wood. "It was the 'omeliest church you ever see," that excellent woman Mrs. Judkin remarked to me, "in the old Canon's time, with the bits of colour, and 'im a looking down at you in 'is black gown; and now it chills your 'art to sit there, let alone that you're hexpected to bow 'alf the time;" and so Mrs. Judkin, with many of like mind, went off to Ebenezer, where the firmament was represented on the roof and the service was decidedly warm. The structural reformation (or deformation, as it was generally considered) was a very achievement of persevering and ingenious begging, in which he taxed the patron and all the patron's friends, as well as every old lady or ecclesiastical layman with the reputation of highness, obtaining a pulpit from one and a font from another, picking up crosses, candlesticks, stools, altar-cloths in all quarters, and being mightily cheered by every addition to the full equipment of this neglected edifice. Nor did Father Jinks ask from other people what he would not give himself, for he dispensed with a curate that he might repair the chancel, and, as appeared afterwards, he expended all his little patrimony on the apocryphal life of St Agatha, whose doings and appearance as represented on that window were a subject of derision to the wits of the parish. When Jinks held his first festival in her honour, and preached a discourse eleven minutes in length on St Agatha's example and miracles, an interesting correspondence followed in the local paper, in which it was asserted that the church, then in the country and a chapel of ease to the famous church of St Paul's-in-the-Fields, was named in the evil Laudian times, and ought to have been rechristened by the name of Wycliffe or Latimer in the days of the late lamented Canon; that St. Agatha never existed; that if she did, she was a Papist; that if we knew enough, we should likely find that her antecedents were very doubtful.

This correspondence, in which my friend himself was freely handled, did not in the least disturb him, for the Festival of St Agatha was a height to which he had been working for the three years, and it was the last function of his public ministry. When the procession came out of the vestry, with a cross-bearer—Jack Storgiss, the grocer, to whose deformed little boy Jinks had been very kind—the banners of the Guild of St Agatha, a choir of six men and twelve boys in varied garments, Father Jinks himself with everything on he knew, attended by acolytes—two little monkeys on whose ingenuous countenances self-importance struggled with mischief—and, having marched round the church singing "Onward, Christian soldiers," re-entered the chancel, so far as outward things went, the Father's heart was almost satisfied; and as, in his stall, he thought of the desolation of the past he was as one that dreamed.

If Jinks allowed himself to be proud of anything, it was of his choir; and when people spoke of my friend as a weakling because he was insignificant in appearance and a feeble preacher—he himself thanked God daily that he was a priest, to whom Pastor Jumps' oratorical gifts were unnecessary—one could always point to the choir, for the qualities which created and held together that remarkable body were peculiar to Jinks and were quite wanting in the Pastor. Three years before this advertisement had appeared in the Anglo-Catholic:—

"Wanted, an organist and choirmaster, who will be prepared, for the glory of God and the love of sacred music, to assist a priest in affording Catholic worship to a neglected parish."

This unworldly invitation caught the eye (and fancy) of Harold de Petre—his original name was Henry Peter—about whom his friends were much concerned because he had a small competency and would do nothing except work at music; because he wore a brown velvet coat and a loose red bow, and three ancient gems on his left hand, and his hair falling over his ears; and because he practised a certain luxurious softness of life which might pass any day into positive vice. Two more different men could not have been found in a day's journey, but they became friends at once. The priestly instinct detected at-once in Petre a gift whose consecration would be the salvation of a soul and an assistance to the Church of God; and the humility and sincerity of the little priest were very attractive to the aesthete. From that time the curiously assorted pair worked together in perfect harmony and ever-growing affection, with one common desire to beautify the worship and edifice of St Agatha's.

In order to secure an organ Petre sacrificed one-third of his means, and was daily designing some improvement in his loved instrument; for her help he had even learned some organ handicraft, and could be seen almost any day toiling in his shirt-sleeves. As he watched the life of the Vicar, Petre began also to make many personal sacrifices, giving up his wine—used to spend a good deal on Chateau Lafitte—to defray choir expenses; teaching the piano in the more ambitious homes of the parish, and with the proceeds providing two tenors and two basses of distinction for the choir. One year he took no holiday that the altar might be becomingly dressed according to the season of the Church year, whether of joy or sorrow. Working with Jinks, a certain change even came over Petre's outer man; with every year he shed a gem; black velvet replaced the brown, and his hair became almost decorous; and one evening, when the two were having a lemon squash after hard work at the Easter decorations, Petre made a confession to his friend.

"There is something I wanted to tell you Jinks," lighting his pipe slowly. "My name is not really Harold de Petre: it's... just Henry Peter. Didn't sound very artistic, you know, and I just... improved it in fact. Rather think that I should go back to old signature."

"My own name," said the Vicar with much simplicity, "isn't a high-class name, and I was once tempted to change it—it lends itself too easily to abbreviations—but it seemed unreal to do that kind of thing."

"Do you know, Father, I expect that anthem to go well to-morrow; that little rascal Bags took the high notes magnificently to-night I told him so, and he was awfully pleased: he's as keen as mustard at practice."

Nothing further was said about fancy pseudonyms, but next time the Father saw the organist's signature it was Henry Peter.

The boys in St. Agatha's choir were not angels, but they were Jinks' particular friends, and would do more for him than for their own parents. He had picked them up one by one in the parish as he visited—for he had no school—upon the two qualifications that each one had an ear, and each was an out-and-out boy. Because he was so good himself Jinks would have nothing to do with prigs and smugs; and because he did nothing wrong himself he delighted in the scrapes of his boys. It was to him they went in trouble, and he somehow found a way of escape. Every one knew who paid for the broken glass in the snowball fight between Thackeray and Dickens Streets, in which Bags and another chorister, much admired for his angelic appearance, led their neighbourhood; and it was asserted by the Protestant party that the Papist Vicar was seen watching the fray from the corner. When an assistant School Board master bullied his boys beyond endurance and they brought him to his senses with pain of body, it was the Vicar of St Agatha's who pled the case of the rebels before the Board, and saved them from public disgrace and the Police Court The Vicarage and all its premises were at the disposal of the boys, and they availed themselves freely of their privileges. Bags kept his rabbits in the yard—his parents allowed no such tenants at home—and his fellow-warrior of the snowball fight had a promising family of white mice in one of the empty rooms, where another chorister had a squirrel, and his friend housed four dormice. There was a fairly complete collection of pigeons—tumblers, pouters, fantails; you could usually have your choice in pigeons at the Vicarage of St Agatha's. The choir did elementary gymnastics in what was the Canoness's drawing-room, and learned their lessons, if they were moved that way, in the dining-room. Every Friday evening, after practice, there was a toothsome supper of sausages and mashed potatoes, with stone ginger. Ye gods, could any boy or man feed higher than that? On Saturdays in summer the Vicar took the whole gang to the nearest Park, where, with some invited friends, they made two elevens and played matches, with Jinks, who was too short-sighted to play himself, but was the keenest of sportsmen, as consulting umpire; and on chief holidays they all made excursions into the country, when Harold de Petre became Henry Peter with a vengeance. And this was how there was no difficulty in getting boys for the choir, and people began to come to hear the music at St Agatha's.

IV

It is not to be supposed that Father Jinks achieved his heart's desire without opposition, and he verified in his experience the fact that a man's bitterest foes are those of his own household. He was opposed by the people's churchwarden, who would not go elsewhere, declaring that he had been in St Agatha's before Jinks was born—which was not the case—and would be after Jinks had gone, which turned out sadly true. He was harassed by "aggrieved parishioners," who declared by petitions in all quarters that they could no longer worship in St Agatha's, and that what with daily services, fine music, and decorations, the place was little better than a Papist chapel. His breakfast-table had daily one or two anonymous letters reminding Jinks of his ordination vows, and accusing him of perjury, insinuating charges against his moral character and threatening exposure, quoting texts regarding the condition of the unconverted and the doom of hypocrites. He was dragged before all kinds of Courts, this one little man, and received every form of censure and admonition; he was ordered to prison, and left the Vicarage one evening in a cab, while the choir boys, led by Bags, wanted to fight the officer. And when all these measures produced no effect, more forcible measures were taken to express the mind of the people and to re-establish the Reformation in the parish of St Agatha's. A leader was raised up in a gentleman who had earned an uncertain living by canvassing for the Kings of England in forty-two parts, in selling a new invention in gas-burners, in replying to infidels in Hyde Park, and in describing the end of the world with the aid of a magic lantern. This man of varied talents saw it to be his duty—and who can judge another man's conscience?—to attend St Agatha's one Sunday forenoon, accompanied by a number of fellow-Protestants, who, owing to the restriction of the licensing laws, were out of employment at that hour, and they expressed their theological views during service in a very frank and animated fashion. Bigger men than Jinks might have been upset by the turmoil and menaces; but it shows what a spirit may dwell in small bulk, that this shy modest man did not stutter once that morning, and seemed indeed unconscious of the "Modern Luther's" presence; and after the floor of the church had been washed on Monday no trace remained that a testimony had been lifted up against the disguised Jesuit who was corrupting St Agatha's. Once only did Jinks publicly reply to the hurricane of charges which beat upon him during his short, hard service, and that was when he was accused of having introduced the confessional, with results which it was alleged were already well known in the district, and which would soon reduce its morality to the social level of the south of Ireland. A week afterwards Jinks explained in a sermon which he had rewritten three times: (1) That the practice of confession was, in his poor judgment, most helpful to the spiritual life by reminding us of the sins which do most easily beset us, and their horrible guilt before God; (2) That it was really the intention of the Church of England that her children should have this benefit; and (3) That he, John James Jinks, a duly ordained priest of the same Church, had power, under conditions, to hear confessions and declare the forgiveness of sins to all true penitents. Thereafter, he went on to state that he had not introduced confession as a practice in St Agatha's, because he had never been trained in confessional theology, because a confessor required authority from his bishop, and this the bishop would not give; and, finally, it seemed to him that any confessor must be a priest with a special knowledge of life, and of conspicuous holiness; and, as they knew well, he was neither, but only an ignorant and frail man, who was more conscious of his deficiencies every day, and who earnestly besought the aid of their prayers. This sermon was reported in the Islington Mercury, which circulated largely amongst us, and called forth an ingenious reply from the "Modern Luther," who pointed out that if Mr. Jinks had not set up a confessional box in St Agatha's Church, it was only because his (the "Modern Luther's") eye was upon him; that the confessional could likely be discovered in the Vicarage; that in so far as Mr. Jinks was not telling the truth he would receive absolution from the Jesuits, and that he very likely had already received a licence to tell as many lies as he saw would help his cause. Men, however, do count for something even in religious controversy, and the very people who had no belief in Jinks' doctrine could see some difference between his patient, charitable self-sacrificing life and the career of a windbag like the "Modern Luther," and no one in the last year of his life accused Jinks of falsehood.

During all these troubled days he never lost his temper, or said bitter things: he believed, as he once told me in all modesty, that if he suffered it was for his sins, and that persecution was only a call to harder labour; and it appeared afterwards that he had gone out of his way to do a good turn to certain of his bitterest enemies. Indeed, I am now certain that they did not injure him at all; but one is also quite as certain that he was hindered and made ridiculous by certain of his own supporters. Certain young women of uncertain age who had been district visitors and carried tracts under the revered Canon, or had been brought up in various forms of Dissent, responded with enthusiasm to the Catholic Reformation. They wore large gold (or gilt) crosses, and were careful to use heavily crossed prayer-books; they attended early celebration, and were horrified at people taking the sacrament not fasting; they not only did obeisance to the altar, where there was no sacrament, and bowed at the name of Jesus, and crossed themselves in a very diligent and comprehensive fashion, but invented forms of devotion which even Jinks could not comprehend, and so scandalized the old clerk, who stuck by St. Agatha's, that he asked them one day during service if they were ill, and suggested that they should leave the church before things came to the worst Personally, as a close observer of this drama, I had no sympathy with the ill-natured suggestion that these devout females were moved by the fact that the priest of St Agatha's was unmarried, because no man was ever more careful in his intercourse with the other sex than my friend, and because this kind of woman—till she marries, and with modifications afterwards—has a mania for ritual and priests. This band, who called themselves the Sisters of St Agatha, and severely tried our unsentimental district, were a constant embarrassment to Jinks. They made the entire attendance at the daily services; they insisted on cleaning the chancel on their knees; they fluttered round the confused little man in the street; they could hardly be kept out of the Vicarage; they talked of nothing but saints' days and offices and vestments, till Jinks, the simplest and honestest of men, was tempted, for his sake and their own salvation, to entreat them to depart and return whence they had come.

V

The strongest and most honourable opponent the Vicar had was my other friend, Pastor Jump, who would not condescend to the methods or company of the "Modern Luther," but who was against both Jinks and Jinks' Church, whether it was Low, High, Broad, or anything else, on grounds of reason and conscience. He did not believe in creeds, whether they were made in Rome or Geneva, and considered a Presbyter just a shade better than a priest His one book of theology was the Bible, which he knew from Genesis to Revelation in the English Version (he also knew far more about the Hebrew and Greek than the Canon did), and he found his ecclesiastical model in the Acts of the Apostles. It was indeed the Pastor's firm conviction that the Christian Church had only had two periods of purity in her history—one under the charge of the Apostle Paul, and the other under the Puritans; and that if, during her whole history, bishops and such-like people had been replaced by Puritan ministers, it would have been much better for Christianity and for the world. His idea of a Christian was a person who knew the day that he had been converted, and who afterwards had been baptized; and of the Church, that it was so many of these people with a pastor to teach them. He detested Established Churches, priests, and liturgies, as well as the House of Lords, capitalists, and all privileged persons. His radicalism was however tempered by a profound belief in himself and his own opinions. He was fond of insisting on the rights of the masses; but when the working people wished to have the Park open on Sunday that they might walk there with their children, the Pastor fought them tooth and nail, and he regarded their desire to see pictures on Sunday as the inspiration of Satan. No man was ever more eloquent upon the principles of religious liberty, but he would have put an infidel into prison without compunction and he drave forth a deacon from his own congregation with contumely, who held unsound views on the Atonement The tyranny of the Papacy was a favourite theme at Ebenezer, as well as the insolence of priests; but every one knew that Pastor Jump as Pope was infallible without the aid of any Council, and that his little finger was heavier in personal rule than both Jinks' arms. When the Pastor, who had the voice of a costermonger and the fist of a prize-fighter, was carried away at a Liberation Society meeting by his own undoubted eloquence, and described himself as a conscientious Dissenter, despised by the proud priests of the Anglican Church, and next day one saw Jinks, thinner than ever, hurrying along the street, and concealing beneath his shabby cloak some dainty for a sick child, then one had a quite convincing illustration of the power and utility of rhetoric.

Upon occasion the Pastor felt it his duty to depart from his usual course of evangelical doctrine, and to enlighten his people on some historical subject and the district was once shaken by a discourse on Oliver Cromwell, whom he compared to Elijah, and whose hatred of the Baal worship was held up for imitation in our own day. Jinks committed the one big mistake of his ministry by replying with a sermon on St. Charles the Blessed Martyr—I think he said St.—which was a very weak performance, and left the laurels altogether with Ebenezer. It must indeed be admitted that Jump exactly expressed the mind of an Englishman of the lower middle class, who understands the Evangelical system and no other, and likes extempore prayer, with its freedom, variety, warmth, and surprises, who suspects priests of wishing to meddle with his family affairs, and dislikes all official pretensions, although willing to be absolutely ruled by a strong man's personality. Both were extreme men, and both were needed to express the religious sense of an English parish. Jump considered the Canon an indefensible humbug, neither one thing nor another, and the Canon used to pass Jump on the street; but the Sunday after Jinks' death the Pastor, who had a warm heart in his big body, and testified of things he had seen, passed a eulogium on the late Vicar of St Agatha's, so generous and affecting, that beside it the peeping little sermon preached in St Agatha's by a "Father" of the "Anglican Friars" was as water to wine. The Pastor declared that although he did not agree with his doctrine, he knew no man who had lived nearer his Lord, or had done more good works than the Vicar of St Agatha's; and that if every priest had been like him, he would never say a word against the class. The people heard his voice break as he spoke, and two deacons wiped their eyes, and the angels set down the sermon in that Book where the record of our controversies is blotted out by their tears, and our deeds of charity are written in gold.

Perhaps, however, our poor priest suffered most in some ways at the hands of a handful of Scots who had settled in the parish. They did not oppose any of his proceedings, for they never condescended to cross the door of St. Agatha's, and they accepted any extravagances of ritual as things to be expected of an Episcopalian. Nor had they, like the Pastor, a hereditary feud with the Anglican Church, for neither they nor their fathers ever had anything to do with it They were indeed inclined to believe that the Prayer-Book, where the officiating clergyman is called a Minister and a Priest alternately, is admirably suited to the English mind, to which the Almighty has been pleased to deny the gift of logic. What touched, and (almost) nettled, the little Father was the tacit and immovable superiority of the Scots, which made conversion impossible, and even pastoral conversation difficult. It was Jinks' conscientious conviction that he was responsible for the spiritual charge of all the people in the parish, and so he visited laboriously among the Scots schismatics, if haply he might bring them to the true faith, with mortifying results. Old Andrew MacKittrick seemed to Jinks' innocent mind a promising case, because Andrew had retired on a pension after keeping the books of a drysalter's firm for forty years, and now had nothing to do but argue. In fact, on the Vicar's first visit, the bookkeeper fairly smacked his lips, seeing whole afternoons of intellectual diversion before him; and Jinks, who was ever optimistic, already imagined the responsible-looking figure of the Scot sustaining a procession. It turned out a lamentable instance of cross-purposes, for Jinks was burning to prove, with all tenderness, that the Kirk had no Orders; while the idea that Dr. Chalmers was not a real minister and Archbishop Sharpe was, seemed to Andrew unworthy of discussion by any sane person; and Andrew, on his part, was simply longing for some one to attack Jonathan Edward's Freedom of the Will, while Jinks had never heard of the book, and was quite blameless of philosophy. After two conferences, Andrew was sadly convinced of their futility, and would not waste time on a third.

"Jess wumman," he said to his housekeeper, rolling himself hurriedly up in a plaid and lying down on the sofa, "there's that curate body at the door again; a've nae satisfaction arguin' wi' him, for he's no fit to tak' up ony serious subject Just say that a'm no feelin' verra weel the day, and, see here, slip ten shillings into his hand to gie awa', for he's a fine bit craturie amang the poor, but he's no head for argument."

With Mrs. Gillespie, who kept lodgings, and was as a mother to two Scots bank clerks pushing their way up to be managers, Father Jinks was not more successful, but his discomfiture was of another kind.

"Come in, come in; it's an awfu' day to be oot, an' ye dinna look strong; na, na, a dinna gang to Saint Agatha's, for ye ken we've a Kirk o' oor ain, an' a properly ordained minister, but a'm gled to see ye; a'm thankfu' for my ain preevileges, but a'm no bigoted.

"Sit doon there by the fire an' dry yersel; a cudna manage wi' a prayer-book masel, but we've had mony advantages in Scotland, and it suits the English fouk. A hed a cousin' at married an Episcopalian, and she gied wi' him as long as he lived, though of course it was a deprivation.

"'A schismatic?'—a've heard the word: they used to misca' the English bishops that way in the North—an' ye called to warn me. Noo that was kind, and, of coorse, ye did na know that a sit under Mr. McCaw; but Losh keep us! ye're juist dreeping; a'll get ye a pair o' the lad's slippers an' mak ye a warm cup o' tea.

"A hed a laddie juist your age, an' ma heart warms to young men that are na verra strong. Say awa'; a'll hear ye though a'm in the next room. There noo, drink up your tea, an' that's short-bread frae Edinburgh, Let's hear noo aboot yer Kirk; somebody was sayin' that ye carried on the same antics as the Papists; but a'm no believin' that. Are ye feelin' warmer noo, ma puir wee mannie?" and the good woman encompassed Jinks with motherly attentions, but refused to take seriously his efforts to convert her from the Kirk to the Church. Nor did he think it an encouraging sign that Mrs. Gillespie pressed him to give her "a cry" every time he was in the street, and sent him three pots of black currant jam for his chest The most disappointing encounter was with our Scots doctor, who had looked into St Agatha's one evening in passing and found Jinks warning Dissenters of all kinds, among whom the Doctor found to his amusement that he was included of their doom if they died in schism. The Doctor's delight reached its height when Jinks, standing at his full height of five feet four, and looking more than ever like a dear little boy, opened his arms and invited every wandering prodigal to return to the bosom of Mother Church.

"Jinksy"—and the Doctor laid hold of the Father next day on the street—"what sort of nonsense was yon ye were talking in your kirk last night?

"Hurt my feelings"—as Jinks was explaining that he had only been declaring the truth, and that he did not wish to offend any one—"it would take three men of your size to offend me. But I say, Jinksy, do you ever take a holiday in Scotland? You hope to do some day. Then I'll give ye a bit of advice: if you ever feel a turr-murring in your inside, take the first train for Carlisle. Why? Because if you die in Scotland, you'll die a Dissenter; and then, my little man, you know where you'll go to"; for the Doctor's hand in humour was heavy, and his style was that of an elephant crashing through a wood.

VI

Next time the Anglican and the Scot met it was in circumstances where differences of creed are forgotten and good men stand shoulder to shoulder. In one room of the house a clerk's wife was seriously ill with influenza, and in another the Doctor was examining her husband—a patient, hard working, poorly paid drudge, who had come home from the City very ill. "My wife thinks that it's nothing but a bad 'eadache. Don't tell 'er, Doctor, else it might go bad with 'er, an* she 'asn't much strength; but I say, tell me, 'aven't I got diphtheria?"

"What makes everybody that gets a sore throat think he has diphtheria? Well, I believe you have some grit in you, and don't want to be treated like a child. You have, I'm sorry to say, and pretty bad; but you have the spirit to make a fight, and I'll do my best.

"Yes, I'll see that no one in this house comes near you, and I'll try to get a nurse for to-night, but they're hard to get just now. I'll come back with medicine in half an hour; and, look here, Holmes, mind your wife and bairns, and keep up your heart.

"No, Jinks, you must not come into this house: it's more than influenza. Holmes has got diphtheria very bad; ought to have been in bed two days ago, but the stupid ass stuck to his work. The mischief is that I can't get a nurse, and he should not be left alone at night."

"You, man alive, you're no fit for such work, and you would maybe catch it.. I know you're not afraid, but... well, it's real gude o' ye, an' I'll see ye settled for the night about eight."

"That's the medicine, every three hours"—the doctor was giving his directions to Nurse Jinks in the sick-room—"and let him have some brandy and water when he's thirsty. Toots, Holmes, I know you could get a bottle for yourself, but this is a special brand for sick folk. Oh, yes, it'll go in the bill, risk me for that: every Scot looks after himself. The minister is to stay all night with you, and what between the two of us well see ye through.

"Here's a cordial for yourself, Jinks"—this outside the door—"and for ony sake keep clear of his breath. If he takes a turn for the worse, send the servant lass for me. I may be out, but they will know where to get me. And, Jinks, old man, I withdraw that about Carlisle.... Ye'll go to Heaven from either side o' the Tweed. God bless you, old man; you're doin' a good turn the night...

"Yes, he's much worse than he was last morning; but it's not the blame of your nursing: there's just one chance, and I'll try it. How do you know about it? Well, yes, if you must know, I am going to use suction. Get diphtheria myself? Maybe I may, and why should I not run the risk as well as you, Mr. Jinks?... It's all right, man. I'm not angry. Neither you nor me are cowards," said the Doctor; "neither is Holmes, and he must have his chance, poor chap. Yes, I would be glad of your help.

"No, you will not be needed at Holmes's to-night, and you've had enough of it, Jinks. I've got a nurse, and Holmes is coming round first rate. It's all right about paying the nurse; I'll see to that Man, ye would pay for all the nurses in the district, if ye were allowed.

"Me, I'm as fit as a fiddle. Doctors can't afford to be ill; but you're no the thing, Jinks. Come back to the manse with me this minute, I want to have a look at ye. Yon were three hard nichts ye had"—the Doctor dropped into Scots when he was excited....

"Sir Andrew's gone, and I wish we had better news for you and ourselves. Don't thank me for telling the truth; no man would tell you a lie. ... You're all right, whatever happens, Jinks," and he dropped his hand within reach of the Father's, on whose face the shadow was fast falling.

"It will not be for some hours, may be not till morning, and I hope you'll not suffer much... I'll come back after the minister has left and stay with you till, till..."

"Daybreak," said Jinks.

"Doctor," Jinks whispered, during the night as they watched by his bed, the Scot on one side and Peter, who would allow no nurse, on the other, "the Scots kirk has seemed to me... as Samaria, but the Lord chose... a Samaritan in His parable, and you are...that Samaritan," and the Father looked at the Doctor with eyes full of love. Just before sunrise he glanced at the Doctor enquiringly.

"Yes, it's no far off now, an' the worst's past. Ye'll have an easy passage." They passed each an arm round his neck, and each took one of his hands.

"Till Jesus comes Himself," whispered Jinks, thanking them with his eyes.

"O Saviour of the world, who by Thy cross and precious blood hast redeemed us, save us, and help us, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord." This which he had often offered for others, he now prayed for himself very slowly. The light stole into the room and woke him from a brief unconsciousness.

"I believe"... he said, "in the Life Everlasting," and the soul of the faithful servant was with the Lord, Whom, not having seen, he had loved.

When the Doctor left the Vicarage, although still very early, Bags, the choir-boy, was on the doorstep and was weeping bitterly.