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Brave Men and Women

Brave Men and Women

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Published by Dharmsen Soni

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Published by: Dharmsen Soni on Jan 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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did his duty, and, Upon fine mornings, used to draw up the blinds of his
parlor, open the window, and "glorify the room," as he called the operation,
with sunshine. But all the sunshine without was nothing to the sunshine
within the heart. It was that which made him go through life so bravely and
so well; it is that, too, which renders his life a lesson to us all.

We must also remember that the career of a poor curate is not the most
brilliant in the world. That of an apprentice boy has more fun in it; that of a
milliner's girl has more merriment and fewer depressing circumstances. To
hear always the same mistrust of Providence, to see poverty, to observe all
kinds of trial, to witness death-bed scenes--this is not the most enlivening
course of existence, even if a clergyman be a man of mark and of station.
But there was one whose station was not honored, nay, even by some
despised, and who had sorer trials than Sydney Smith. His name is well
known in literature; and his writings and his example still teach us in
religion. This was Robert Hall, professor of a somber creed in a somber flat
country, as flat and "deadly-lively," as they say, as need be. To add to
difficulties and troubles, the minister was plagued with about as painful an
illness as falls to the lot of humanity to bear. He had fought with infidelity
and doubt; he had refused promotion, because he would do his duty where
it had pleased God to place him; next he had to show how well he could
bear pain. In all his trials he had been cheerful, forcible, natural, and
straightforward. In this deep one he preserved the same character. Forced to
throw himself down and writhe upon the floor in his paroxysms of pain, he
rose up, livid with exhaustion, and with the sweat of anguish on his brow,
without a murmur.

In the whole library of brave anecdote there is no tale of heroism which, to
us, beats this. It very nearly equals that of poor, feeble Latimer, cheering up
his fellow-martyr as he walked to the stake, "Be of good cheer, brother
Ridley; we shall this day light such a fire in England as by God's grace shall
not be readily put out." The very play upon the torture is brave, yet pathetic.
Wonderful, too, was the boldness and cheerfulness of another martyr,
Rowland Taylor, who, stripped to his shirt, was forced to walk toward the
stake, who answered the jeers of his persecutors and the tears of his friends
with the same noble constant smile, and, meeting two of his very old

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