Part III - The Unity of the Spirit

23 - Ending at Pulverbach

WITH the deaths of these three outstanding Christians, Sukey Harley, Mr. Burrell and Mr. Bourne, the Churches of God at Pulverbach, Sutton and London felt very bereft. Mercy Gilpin wrote (a little later) 'These words were given me - "There shall not be dew nor rain these years but according to My word", and they seemed to say that we should remain long in a desolate condition, nevertheless that we should be fed; that the crumbs of the bread of life would be sufficient to sustain us till He should be pleased to send us a further supply, according to His word - "The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth". I believe there were many among us watching and waiting concerning this thing.'

And Jane wrote, There certainly has been something very remarkable in many events which have taken place amongst us, ever since the Lord first put His hand to the work which prospered marvellously under Mr. Bourne. Since then how many things have been dashed down, how much rubbish has been cast up, and to what a low place are we now brought! Yet I do believe the Lord has His eye upon us still. It is remarkable how the few are kept together, though indeed sometimes our empty benches speak our poverty'.

Samuel Hughes had left the district now. 'When health and strength began to fail he removed to the mining district near St. Asaph in North Wales, where the prospect of lighter and more profitable employment was held out to him; and afterwards he went to the coal district near Mold'. Poor Samuel said later that those years were 'a journey into Egypt' and he suffered from poverty and could not have what was necessary for him 'in the state he was in'. (Perhaps he had the beginnings of silicosis, which was the common disease with barytes miners.)

'During the summer of 1858 the tenancy of the cottage where our services have so long been held', writes Mercy, 'was given up by our friends the R. Maydwells, who were now leaving the neighbourhood. Difficulties and fears arose before us, nevertheless something yet whispered, Go forward. And I remember one night particularly how this word struck with especial force into my mind -  Walk "by faith and not by sight". It seemed to say this matter about the cottage must be an act of faith, not of sight. So the next day I felt that nothing stood in the way of writing to the landlord and making ourselves responsible for it. As I folded up and sealed the letter this word dropped into my heart - "Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain". This very sweetly surprised me, for it seemed to join the dispensation we were now under with the one we were under when Mr. Bourne was coming amongst us. I was reminded now how I had felt those very words so many years ago and of the light that shone on them in a very beautiful way -  that it was a promise for future days - this time of the latter rain in distinction from the former rain which I felt was so blessedly showered on us when Mr. Bourne was here. Of late years we have had no ministry of the Word, only a gathering together to read and pray'.

Jane had written, 'Even now His eye may be upon one of His own choice, His hand may be moulding even now a vessel fit for His own purpose, as a shepherd to His few (and they are at present a very few) scattered sheep at Pulverbach'.

This was exactly what the Lord was doing, but in a way quite unlocked for. Their nephew, Richard Benson, after only two years in Harley Street, was 'cut down with a spinal complaint' and had to give up his promising career at the age of twenty-seven. 'The difficulties and perplexities that surround you must weigh your spirits to the ground', wrote their Aunt Jane to them, 'unless the Lord permit you to view His hand in your behalf. Meanwhile, here was an empty house near loving relations. Taking it 'at least for a time' Richard arrived with his wife and two little boys, the elder only two years old.

Mr. Bourne had once written to him, 'There are three things that are uppermost in my mind (in thinking of you) - the important period of life you are now entering [that was in 1852], the frail body which the Lord has been pleased to suffer you to carry about, and the incorruptible seed which He has sown in your heart. My mind and my anxiety is to know how these three agree to live together. I am persuaded that since the Lord has Himself in His infinite wisdom brought them together, He has a secret way of making a friendly joint. Do you ask how to get at this secret? He Himself tells you, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him". He has put you in a slippery place. Be cautious of a backsliding heart. You never fared better than when the Lord was near and dear to you; and you never can get higher in life by any means so well as by the power of God and the wisdom of God. In all your progress let these be foremost, and you will then retain His blessing and He will guide you step by step and keep your feet from sliding'. On hearing of Richard's successes Mr. Bourne had written, 'I am sincerely glad to hear of your success, but am still more anxious that you should, in the midst of these changes, retain the power of drawing nigh unto God. Consider and call to mind the sweet peace you once found, and you will acknowledge no prosperity can equal that of divine and spiritual life. The Lord bless you, and go with you, and be your guide'.

Who would have dreamed the Lord would have guided him away from Harley Street and up to remote Pulverbach so early in his life? But so it was, and Churton Cottage now being tenanted by friends, one of its parlours again became available for the meetings. How the sympathy and prayers of the little congregation would be stirred for the stricken young man. Indeed, for some months there was no lifting the cloud of depression and pathos that hung over them all. Then, we read, kind Maria Carswell 'found a most earnest cry put into her heart for the Lord's people in the neighbourhood'. It had its answer in February, 1859, when Richard 'attempted in weakness to lead the worship, and preached to them from the verse, "Why do we sit still? Assemble yourselves and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there, for the Lord our God hath put us to silence". Maria, being present, "the whole entered her heart and she found it a word of life".'

Thus began a ministry blessed by the Lord to the reviving of the Church at Pulverbach. Mercy writes, 'Do we not feel that the very same work of the Lord, begun to be manifest in those former years, He is still carrying on amongst us now - that seed of the Word sown in the heart springing up more and more, that heavenly dew, that secret hidden work of God which His eye seeth?'.

Six weeks later Jane wrote to Matilda, 'It is so exceedingly beautiful - is that real work of God upon the heart of one who is brought really down to the dust, into the "valley of Achor", and there sees that this is the very place where the "door of hope" is opened. I think Richard is exactly in this place, as his sermons and letters set forth, and yet he can hardly believe it for himself. But though his faith may seem to himself and perhaps to others to be so exceedingly small and trembling, I do certainly believe it is the faith that can remove mountains, and that it will stand sure and endure through all the winds that can blow against it. There are several amongst us who seem to enter really into this preaching, and there may be many more, but we don't exactly know yet'.

His uncle Bernard wrote to him, some time later, I do not wonder at the clouds, darkness and tempest which you feel on every side; nor at your adopting the words of David and of One greater than David, "I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me". The truth is, as you know, that you must be saved by Christ's having explored those depths on your behalf. I hope in this extremity He will strengthen your faith to lay hold more firmly upon the good words He has already spoken to you from behind the cloud, "Underneath are the everlasting arms". Also that you may perceive mercy mingling with the judgment. It appears in these singular words, so I will here quote them, "The flax and the barley were smitten . . .but the wheat and the rye were not smitten: for they were not grown up" (Ex. 9. 31, 32). This backwardness was their preservation. May the Lord bring you to say, No, let me rather freely yield What most I prize to Thee and again "If the Lord has set you to work, is not your ministry the most important circumstance of your life? Your affliction, though to our reason an obstruction, yet I doubt not is a furtherance to your usefulness".'

Matilda travelled North that summer for a visit to her sisters. 'It seemed wonderful to me' she wrote, 'that He had brought me to this place which was once my home, but which for five and twenty years has not been so. For from the time I first heard Mr. Burrell and Mr. Bourne in London I felt an irresistible power holding me there. And when they were dead, and I had no power to look to the Lord for His mercy to appear again in the same way, yet He did appear again, as you know, and raised up one whose ministry I was in like manner made to prize, and do prize it. [She referred to her nephew William.] And now also you know all that has occurred in this place during these last months, and I feel my heart drawn to the little gathering here. I can but leave all in the hand of the Lord, and trust He will not suffer me to guide myself in any way'. Matilda returned to London, but only for two years. In the year 1861, in consequence of declining health she gave up her London house and returned to Pulverbach for the rest of her days. Of her it is said, 'Extracts from her writings show something of her manner of life among the churches in London, and at Hertford and Pulverbach, with which she was connected, and it only seems needful to add that she was held in the utmost esteem and love with them all, and was most especially useful among the poor and afflicted members for the love and spiritual profit they derived from her conversation'. How glad Mr. Bourne would have been that, to use one of his phrases, 'her profiting appeared', for once or twice he upbraided her in his gentle fashion, for her silence, and once particularly that upbraiding was blest to her.

Down in Somerset, Richard's mother must have followed his affairs with much prayer. About a year before his breakdown she had lost her youngest son, James, also a doctor. He had trained in London, and come under the influence of Mr. Burrell and Mr. Bourne, so that, although 'he endeared himself by his obliging disposition and his attention and kindness to the poor when he held the appointment of Resident Surgeon to the County Dispensary at Norwich, yet he could not persuade himself that all was right. He was not suffered to sleep the sleep of death and so could not rest without the divine testimony that he had the witness in himself. This he sought for, prayed for, and waited for'. When only twenty-four, he was seized with scarlet fever contracted when visiting his poor patients; this was followed by pleurisy and he became dangerously ill. His mother was sent for, and she took the journey with her eldest son William.

'William read and prayed with him. He told his mother he did long to have the way made clear, so later William spoke to him on Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. He felt very dark, and could not get near enough. But when his mother was alone with him he suddenly began to pray in a loud voice, stretching out his arms and looking up. So slow and distinct were the words that his mother, deeply impressed, wrote them down. "Lord, have mercy. Lord Jesus, have mercy upon me NOW. Now or never! Look down upon me NOW. Break the cloud! Break it! What a wretched careless sinner I have been! Have pity, Lord! I have had, sometimes, hopes before my illness. Do hear my prayer, Lord! I don't mean a little hope is nothing, but the enemy is so deceitful in making people believe that taking the sacrament and reading the Bible is enough. Let all the world know - Yes. LET ALL THE WORLD KNOW that this will not save them. Lord, this is the first day of my religion almost. I feel a very small hope and think I shall have it at last. I want nothing but Thy mercy!". Here his loud voice ceased but he appeared to continue praying silently, his arms still extended. Then the doctor came in; after he had gone he said gently to his mother, "How very gradually that light has come! Two very small hopes, yet I am not satisfied. Press through! Press through! It is marvellous how that small light has brought such new desires. Praise the Lord! I am as happy as I can be. I am ashamed of doubting. What a difference this makes in bearing trouble!". Saying he feared losing the light, he was reminded that if it was from the Lord it would return again. He immediately replied, "It was from the Lord".'

A little after this he beckoned to his mother to bend over him, being too exhausted to speak, and whispered, 'I have got my answer!' and the next morning he died.

As she went her sad way home, perhaps Frances remembered part of a letter Mr. Bourne wrote her seven years earlier, 'It is a wonderful display of God's mercy to see so many of your children made acquainted with the value of the Pearl of great price. The kingdom to which they are made heirs lies through much tribulation. As a parent I feel this. However much hope may fail my cry to the Lord never does, and therefore I find in the end a secret power upholding me and carrying me through all my troubles. In the word of God there is no such thing as a set-fast place for His children'.

She says herself, that as she went to Norwich she felt 'most truly blind and ignorant, weak and helpless', but she was 'carried through the painful trial with tender pity', and felt the Lord had 'softened the (other) bitter trial by making manifest His abounding mercy to James, so that I feel constrained to thank the Lord for the affliction which at first seemed to overwhelm'. She enjoyed meditation, on the return journey, on these words, "Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord".

Frances's own position continued the same, every Sabbath Day bringing its anguish as her husband (and, perhaps, as we wondered, her sister Margaret) went in one direction to Church to worship, while she went in another direction to the meeting conducted by Charles. Things were no easier. At the end of 1859 she says, 'I feel bitterly tried about the continued illness of my dear husband; our division is so keen and painful to us both. How earnestly do I desire to find the will of God and to act in His fear, but I cannot find that it is thus with me; yet access I do find to spread my sorrows before Him and entreat his direction and mercy'. She also notes down one or two very sweet 'feeding times upon God's word' during Charles's meetings.

The next summer her husband was ill again, and, they feared, fatally so. 'Oh,' she writes, 'what would I give at this time for a union of spiritual feeling between us! But the cloud is very dark at present. Oh that I could feel an encouraging hope, and a power given me of earnest wrestling prayer! The want of this greatly discourages me and I seem shut out and cannot prevail'.

But oh! how blessed it is to record that she did prevail. Yes, the years of this timid creature's wrestling for the manifestation of God's love to her dear husband were crowned in the last two days of his life.

She writes, I had greatly feared, though not without a hope it would be otherwise, that the end would be bitter, so that I have dreaded to look forward to it. But it has been most graciously overruled and softened beyond all my expectations, and though it was not until two days before the end that I could feel a removal of the bar. yet it has made my heart melt in gratitude and wonder at the Almighty power and loving kindness of the Lord, that He should so look down and notice the desire of my heart. The closing scene has been compassed about with mercy and favour. There was a constraining power given me to read the following hymn to him, and I feel more and more as if the Lord heard and answered us -

O Lord, turn not Thy face from us
Who lie in woeful state,
Lamenting all our sinful life
Before Thy mercy gate -

A gate that opens wide to those
That do lament their sin.
Open that gate, O gracious Lord,
That we may enter in.

Mercy, good Lord, mercy we ask.
This is the total sum.
For mercy, Lord, is all our suit,
O let Thy mercy come!

It seemed to me that at this time the bar between us gave way, and the change melted my heart to look back upon the mercy and compassion of the Lord, who has brought me through so many deep places - and now through this last great trial, the thought of which has often pressed me down with much fear'.

Mr. Benson's grave is just outside the south door of Norton Church, and that last verse, Mercy, good Lord, mercy we ask, is inscribed on it. Frances's son Samuel is the one who writes her Memoir, and he says, 'For fourteen years she had watched and longed for some token of spiritual life to encourage her on behalf of him whom she so tenderly loved, and at last this had been granted, and she felt a living hope in the mercy of God to him. And through the mercy of God she was comforted with the persuasion that her children [who had seen all this conflict] were made partakers of His grace. She continued to the end of her life to set before them an example of the fear of God and earnestly to seek His blessing upon them'.

After the death of her husband, she had, of course, to leave the rectory at Norton. Her sister Margaret returned to Pulverbach where she was given a loving home by Richard and his wife at Churton Cottage. Frances went to live with Charles and Annette, who, after a difficult time for a few years at Sherborne, now lived at Yeovil. 'I can truly thank the Lord,' writes Frances, 'for bringing me to live with those who fear His name, and make Him their refuge in the day of trouble. I do from my heart thank Him that He has especially made me to value the hearing of His word in the daily readings at family prayer. It has often been to me as food to nourish my soul.' From Yeovil the family was able to travel to Norton each Sunday, and it was shortly after Frances settled there that 'after many disappointments and much delay our place of meeting, a little chapel, is completed'. [This stone building, now a garage, still stands; it is near Norton post office.] As years went on many attended, and Charles's ministry was made a blessing there.

In the year 1863 Frances journeyed up to Pulverbach for a visit. This must have been a very sweet reunion to the six sisters after so many years apart. And one sunny day a photographer came. A chair and table were set against the wall of Castle Farmhouse, and each lady sat there in turn to be 'taken'. The new art thus gives us a glimpse of them. A set of oval portraits adorns the front of the Memoir of Six Sisters, but as they were all ageing then and look very old ladies with caps and ringlets and sunken cheeks and shawls, it is not reproduced here. The same may be said of their brother Bernard, who only appears photographed when in the calm backwater of life. Had Mr. Bourne sketched them in their earlier days how interesting it might have been!

By this time the reproach they had lived under had completely gone. They were not only greatly respected in the village, but really loved, and even in 1960 villagers have repeated their parents' affectionate memories of them and their numerous kindnesses.

Frances was the first of the sisters to die. Back in Somerset in Charles's house she was taken with acute bronchitis in January, 1865. But the day of death did not approach her as 'a thief. The last day she was downstairs she had written a short note, found after her death. 'Being poorly, it comes much to my mind that I know not when the time is. I had serious thoughts last night. My prayer was O Lord turn not Thy face away. I had nothing to plead but His mercy, and I wanted the clear shining of it in my heart. The history of Joseph which has been the subject of the morning readings lately, has opened beautifully in a spiritual sense. O to have so sure a testimony sealed on my heart - I am Jesus, your brother, whom ye sold, but God did send me to save your soul and feed you with the Bread of Life!'.

Her sons came down from London to see her. Her illness lasted ten days, with much suffering but much blessed comfort and final peace. She said once, 'Give my love to them at Norton. The word I have heard preached is truth'. She is buried in Yeovil Cemetery and the large flat tombstone at the edge of the right-hand pathway has a long and beautiful inscription on it.

Two years later Matilda passed away. 'Her deep and purifying trials,' writes Bernard, 'seemed to me to have been brought to a full end as she spoke the following words in holy awe and confidence, "Glory, glory, glory to Father, Son and Spirit. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear but now mine eye seeth Thee; wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes - in dust and ashes". She then called for a Testament, and touched the words, "Come, Lord Jesus", saying, "Come, Come", and at last, "Praise Him! Heaven!" and so died. Bernard went north for the funeral. "It was snowing all day," he says, "but I was mostly alone and enjoyed the retreat. The passage from Shrewsbury was rendered difficult by the deep snow drifts (March 18th, 1867). Two other members of the little community died in peace during my visit."'

Again two years, and Mercy is drawing to her end. Bernard travelled up once more, two months before the end, so much did they wish to see each other. He says, 'I went to Castle Pulverbach [he stayed at Churton Cottage] to see my sister Mercy who was rejoiced to see me. We had a quiet interview. I found her in a hoping, waiting state, and very firm. How tranquil and abiding on the Rock her spirit is!' She died just after Christmas, her last words being, 'Bring my soul out of prison; blessed Jesus, bring my soul out of prison!'.

Bernard himself was far from well, with an 'affection of the throat'. As it transpired he never left Pulverbach. His visit had to be prolonged through weakness and his wife (he had married again about twelve years after Henrietta's death) came up to be with him. Richard took down notes of his meditations and blessings, his dejections and reliefs, and constantly sent them, with personal messages, when possible, to the congregation at Hertford. For more than a year he lingered, often seemingly at death's very door. It sometimes seemed a great grief to him to be parted from his congregation, and again he was able to leave it to the Lord. He was only sixty-seven when he died. His last words were, 'My soul doth magnify the Lord'.

A few months later Catherine, too, finished her course. In one of her last letters she said, I have felt as to all my life in this world, I may say, completely overthrown; but not so as regards our far better life. I have a quiet and peaceful hope that is kept for me and preserved in Christ Jesus. I am not exactly ill, but brought to such helplessness that it is appalling to feel', and in another, 'I felt yesterday the wonderful mercy that it is for me that I am not left to be "like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear". I felt I had been made to hear the voice of the true charmer, even the Lord Jesus, to see His beauty and to hear the charms of His grace, and I could rejoice in Him and praise His name, as I hope to do evermore throughout eternity. I cannot tell you how beautiful the weather has been (November). I can just get out for a short time and enjoy it much; but all outward things are passing away with me'. She lingered on until May of 187I, and passed away aged sixty-five.

This left Jane alone. Her niece Charlotte, Frances's youngest child and only girl, came and lived with her. The bereavements she had suffered 'sanctified', says her biographer 'with the blessings that accompanied them, left her more free and communicative in spirit, more soft, more loving than before. Experiences long past were evidently revived in her memory with sweetness. Whenever a renewed sense of the presence of the Spirit and of communion with Christ was granted her, Jane always appeared to be brought back to a sight of the sufferings of Him who had been revealed to her as a "Brother born for adversity". To the end of her long life she seldom if ever partook of the memorials of His death without emotion, as the silent tear bore witness. During her latter years she had many sweet seasons of communion but kept no record of them. It was not always easy to draw her into spiritual conversation. The well was deep yet a remark from one of a kindred spirit seldom failed to bring a few words that clearly evidenced the water of life was there'.

She lived to be eighty-five years old, and an old resident in Pulverbach remembers seeing, when a child, the old lady with her white curls sitting at an upstairs window facing south. 'For the several months preceding her death her state of mind may be described as one of earnest longing, while her prayerful interest in the friends around her was unabated. She knew she had a good hope, and it seemed remarkable how the beginning and the end seemed brought together in her experience'.

Like the Gilpins, Samuel Hughes came back to the district to die. Through the kindness of some of his friends he was enabled to return to the little cottage he had built for himself years before in Crows Nest Dingle [tucked under the brows of the Stiperstones]. His sister, Martha Burgwin, after the death of her husband, had been persuaded to come to Pulverbach, and lived in a little thatched cottage [long gone] near the pond, 'Top o' the Town' at Churton. She was friendly with Maria Carswell, and they loved to talk together on divine things. Her brother came to visit her and was taken so ill that all thought he would die there. Dr. Richard records some sweet conversations with him. Samuel recovered sufficiently to return to his own home. He much enjoyed writing to William Benson, who was by then pastor of Bernard's Chapel at Hertford, and several of these letters have been preserved. William had now published The Life and Letters of James Bourne, and Richard followed with Memorials of the Life and Ministry of Bernard Gilpin, and Samuel had great encouragement, he says, in reading these. Richard went over the valley and up the hillside to see him in his last illness. He found him 'able to converse a good deal; his soul filled with the contemplation of his approaching end, and truly divinely supported. He loved to look across out of the window at the sunrise, and once said, "These are some of the beauties of God in creation, and just then this precious promise spoke to me, "Unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings". "Unto you that fear My name," that is the great point. There is no evidence of a work of grace in the heart without the holy fear of God. I was a long time spelling out these things - many years. I knew there was something more in religion than I had ever found'. But now Samuel had found that something. 'O for one gale from the everlasting hills!' he said towards the end, and it seemed as if he truly felt it when he quoted the words, "My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever". He was sixty-eight years old.

Richard Benson was a true pastor to his little Church. Frail as he was he visited his congregation, and also held meetings for conversation, doubtless remembering the savour of the meetings at Mr. Burrell s and Mr. Nunn's. Martha Burgwin was the next member he lost. 'Never till towards the end', he writes, 'did she find the full manifestation of Christ's salvation that her soul desired. But in January the year after her brother's death she had a most soul-satisfying assurance of God's eternal favour to her in Christ and from then to the end of her life she enjoyed the aboundings of hope with little intermission. Day after day she would say, "Peace, perfect peace. No rebuke, no fear. He gently leads me on. If you say anything about me when I am gone say I am nothing but a poor sinner. The Lord has done all the work. I have sweet communion with Him, and soon it will never cease".'

Maria Carswell had lost her husband and son within a few months of each other: she used to say her husband's blessing, when it came, seemed more to her than all she had received. She had fifteen years of widowhood in which to experience the Lord's delivering hand, and greatly esteemed a pension from a Christian society, the Aged Pilgrims' Friend Society, which saved her from want. Visits to her, said Richard, were often very refreshing. 'She would affectionately enquire after friends, and always asked where the subjects for the preaching had been taken from, wishing to have them read to her. It not unfrequently happened that she had been meditating on the same or similar subjects, and thus a spring was afforded for conversation. She would "eat the old store and bring forth the old because of the new". Her mind was strong and clear to the last, life, love and power being more or less always manifest in her. She died in December, 1882. "Was she happy?". "Aye!" she replied.'

The meetings at Churton Cottage grew so much larger that Richard built a small chapel on to the north side of the house. He also held a Sunday School in the loft above the stable, and an evening adult school where the parents of some living now in the village (1961) received all the education they ever had. He was much beloved. Appreciating his uncle Bernard's gift for noting down the spiritual confidences of some of his hearers, he, too, left several such sketches on record. To him we owe the details about Maria Carswell, her husband Edward, Martha Burgwin, William and Harriet Sankey, of Ponsort Hill (William was a miner at Snail-beach), Mrs. Adlington, a game-keeper's wife, who was at first afraid of the 'high doctrines' as she called them which were preached at Pulverbach but soon became a devoted hearer: her grief was acute when her family had to move to Shrewsbury through her husband losing his situation after an accident with a gun blinded one eye. At that very time the Lord brought George Drayton, a young preacher, out of the fogs of Methodism and gave him a clearer message than the Methodists wanted, but one that suited Mrs. Adlington and a few like-minded folk, so that they gladly attended the tiny room in Shrewsbury that was all their means could furnish them with. George walked over to Pulverbach to see Richard, and a bond sprang up between them which only terminated in George's untimely death by drowning as he crossed the Severn in a rowing-boat.

"These all died in faith." But the scope of this book cannot take more. The Gilpin family are all gone, and we are back at the beginning, looking at the family tombstone. Thinking upon the long conflict in the things of God most of them had and how each held the beginning of their confidence 'steadfast unto the end', we cannot do better than close with a quotation from Bernard himself:

'It is only the old battle which we shall find still to be renewed again and again in different ways and quarters as long as the Church is militant. It has shown me that it is not a mere alteration of views, a holding in theory one set of doctrines instead of another, that is disputed, but that whenever the real truth of grace enters the heart the enemy, if permitted, will roar again, and fill both hearts and houses with his havoc.

'Here I have been brought to some understanding of what Luther vigorously expresses in the following words, taken out of his Commentary on Genesis: "This Faith is a living and powerful thing. It is not an idle cogitation floating on the heart like a goose on the water, but as water, heated by the fire, is no longer cold but hot, and wholly different from before, so Faith, the work of the Holy Spirit, forms another mind and other senses, and makes a totally new man. Faith is therefore a laborious, difficult and powerful thing. And if we would rightly judge of it, we are more acted upon by it, than act it, because it changes the mind and senses, and embraces things that are absent, yes, contrary to our reason, and judges them to be present."