Side by side with this historical exactness are marvelous stories of saints and missionaries. It was an age of credulity, and miracles were in men's minds continually. The men of whom he wrote lived lives more wonderful than any romance, and their courage and gentleness made a tremendous impression on the rough, warlike people to whom they came with open hands and hearts.
It will indeed seem wonderful that they should have been thus intrusted with the care and guardianship of children, which in a peculiar sense is their own, and in this respect widely differing from the angelic band, whose happiness, though they are permitted to minister to the saints, in such efforts and experience, must be inferior to that which parents will feel in training their own offspring even emulating the all-wise Creator in his preparing a people for himself.
A superstitious person might almost imagine that one of the old Scottish Covenanters, whilst the grand house was being built from the profits resulting from the sale of writings favouring Popery and persecution, and calumniatory of Scotland's saints and martyrs, had risen from the grave, and banned Scott, his race, and his house, by reading a certain psalm.
"They bain't as bad off as the saintesses," interrupted Mrs. Grind. "They has their own way, the saints, and the saintesses don't. Regular cowed down the saintesses be; they daredn't say as their right hand's their own. That poor sick lady as went with us, Miss Kitty Baynton and none on us thought she'd live to get there, but she did, and one of the saints chose her.
Literature and the stage have so educated him that he approaches every character in real life and in fiction with this question.... It is not enough for him that all men are sinners. He wants saints and villains! He was prejudiced before he came to the district. He at once classed all the rich peasants as exploiters, and Ivanov, whom he could not understand, as a scoundrel.
I'm e'en a'most struck dumb with astonishment to hear you think of such things. Go, get your doll-baby, or your sampler, and look on that. Saints of Mercy!
Your memory is so good, that you must surely recollect your kind old friend the chaplain, who used formerly to be constantly at the castle, and to bring you so many gifts bright pictures of saints, and beautiful songs?" "I know all that very well," replied Sintram thoughtfully. "My sainted mother was alive in those days." "Our gracious lady is still living, God be praised," said the good Rolf.
We spoke of hope and fear and faith, and the mystery of the saints; we spoke of the beginning and the end, of the shadow of sin, of omens, and of love. The moth still lay on the floor quivering its somber wings in the warmth of the fire, the skull and ribs clearly etched upon its neck and body. "If it is a messenger of death to this house," I said, "why should we fear, Lys?"
She was apparently not much worse; would allow no talk about herself; and though she had quietly relinquished all her old activities, her room was still the centre it had long been for the London thinker and reformer. Diana found there an infinity to learn. The sages and saints, it seemed, are of all sides and all opinions. That had not been the lesson of her youth.
On the principle that whatever is good is immortal, what they gained here will be supplemented, until they are fit for the inheritance of the saints. "The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." The idea of Restoration also explains the apparent cruelty of the God of the Old Testament.