Page images
PDF
EPUB

To his full and extended Biography my imperfect attempt is just what the mere etching is to the highly finished portrait, glowing with colours laid on by the master's hand. Still, there are thousands, whose means, whose time, and whose opportunities, will not permit them to avail themselves of the treasures of the larger memoir, and for such the present volume is expressly written; and I cannot but hope that in many cases my little book may prove, not only the substitute for, but the pioneer of, Canon Stanley's more weighty and more extensive work; for I flatter myself that among my readers there will be those who, stimulated by the perusal of what is written herein, may desire to know more of the subject of this Memoir.

To the Author of "Tom Brown's School-days," I also take this opportunity of rendering my acknowledgments. His very graphic and most delightful book has frequently furnished me with material, and aided by its truthful sketches my own imperfect reminiscences of Rugby and its school. And at the same time I would express my thanks to all those Rugbæans who have kindly aided me, in this my responsible, but truly delightful labour of love.

In conclusion, I will only say, that if, by the perusal of this little book, few, or only one of its readers should, by the blessing of God, be led to consider the bright example, whose lustre was all derived from the Master whom he so loved to serve and to follow, and to imbibe somewhat of the spirit that counted all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord,-great will be

my reward.

E J. W.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THE LIFE

OF

THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.

CHAPTER I.

SCHOOL-DAYS AND COLLEGE-DAYS.

From time to time, on the wide arena of Life's stormy

battle-field, there arise, and have arisen in all ages, 61 great and noble natures, who, not content with passing

through the mêlée as quietly and creditably and safely as may be consistent with mere reputation, seek to prove themselves “good men and true ;”—to quit themselves “ like heroes in the strife

that rages so fiercely around us from the cradle to the grave ;—to fight bravely, unshrinkingly, and unselfishly, as real soldiers of the Heavenly King, for the interests, and for the extension, of Christ's Church militant here upon tarth.

Fame keeps ever proudly, and as she ought to keep, the memory of those, who, true to altar, throne, and hearth, have freely poured forth their life-blood for the dear sake of liberty and Fatherland; and she keeps too, quite as proudly, but far less righteously, the records of the conquerors of earth, who, sword in hand, mowed

B

down opposing armies; and sweeping the land like angels of destruction, bowed nation after nation to the yoke, so building up for themselves a name enduring as history itself.

And if this be so, shall not they who wage a grander warfare—they who, at the cost of scorn and slander and misapprehension, have sought to make purer and better and wider the Church of Christ ;—they who have opposed, often single-handed, Satan, the world, and their alien armies of bigotry, shallowness, and ancient prejudice ;—shall not they too have their meed, and shall not the glory of their names rouse others from their slothful rest and their supine neutrality, to work while it is called to-day, lest the night, in which no man can work, come suddenly upon them ?

Surely the time spent in the delineation and contemplation of such characters is most profitably bestowed. To trace the history of such men, to watch their gradual advances to the highest truths, their progress of mind, their development of pure and lofty principles, the circumstances of their lot, their course of training, their discipline, and their mode of action, is to learn deeper and more abiding lessons than were ever conned from the pages of the essayist, the philosopher, or the theologian.

The impartial life of a good, great man, is the visible manifestation and application of those central truths, which sermons and lectures are intended to convey. Principles and ideas thus exemplified, and woven in, as it were, into the familiar sayings and doings and thinkings of common every-day life, acquire a depth of meaning, a power, and a reality, which may be perceived and appreciated by all ; so that the force of comparison, the involuntary glance of introspection, and the obvious

« PreviousContinue »