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The Inside of the Cup — Volume 02

101 pages
Project Gutenberg's The Inside of the Cup, Volume 2, by Winston ChurchillThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Inside of the Cup, Volume 2Author: Winston ChurchillRelease Date: October 17, 2004 [EBook #5357]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE INSIDE OF THE CUP, VOLUME 2 ***Produced by David WidgerTHE INSIDE OF THE CUPBy Winston ChurchillVolume 2. V. THE RECTOR HAS MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT. VI."WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT" VII. THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLDVIII. THE LINE of LEAST RESISTANCE.CHAPTER VTHE RECTOR HAS MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHTISunday after Sunday Hodder looked upon the same picture, the winter light filtering through emblazoned windows, fallingathwart stone pillars, and staining with rich colours the marble of the centre aisle. The organ rolled out hymns andanthems, the voices of the white robed choir echoed among the arches. And Hodder's eye, sweeping over the decorouscongregation, grew to recognize certain landmarks: Eldon Parr, rigid at one end of his empty pew; little EverettConstable, comfortably, but always pompously settled at one end of his, his white-haired and distinguished-looking wifeat the other. The space between them had once been filled by their children. There was Mr. Ferguson, who ...
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Project Gutenberg's The Inside of the Cup, Volume2, by Winston ChurchillThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Inside of the Cup, Volume 2Author: Winston ChurchillRelease Date: October 17, 2004 [EBook #5357]Language: English***START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE INSIDE OF THE CUP, VOLUME 2***Produced by David Widger
THE INSIDCBy UPWinston ChurchillE OF THE
Volume 2. V. THE RECTOR HASMORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT.VI. "WATCHMAN, WHAT OFTHE NIGHT" VII. THEKINGDOMS OF THE WORLDVIII. THE LINE of LEASTRESISTANCE.CHAPTER VTHE RECTOR HAS MORE FOOD FORTHOUGHTISunday after Sunday Hodder looked upon thesame picture, the winter light filtering throughemblazoned windows, falling athwart stone pillars,and staining with rich colours the marble of thecentre aisle. The organ rolled out hymns andanthems, the voices of the white robed choirechoed among the arches. And Hodder's eye,sweeping over the decorous congregation, grew torecognize certain landmarks: Eldon Parr, rigid atone end of his empty pew; little Everett Constable,
comfortably, but always pompously settled at oneend of his, his white-haired and distinguished-looking wife at the other. The space between themhad once been filled by their children. There wasMr. Ferguson, who occasionally stroked his blackwhiskers with a prodigious solemnity; Mrs.Ferguson, resplendent and always a little warm,and their daughter Nan, dainty and appealing, hereyes uplifted and questioning.The Plimptons, with their rubicund and aggressivelyhealthy offspring, were always in evidence. Andthere was Mrs. Larrabbee. What between wealthand youth, independence and initiative, awidowhood now emerged from a mourningunexceptionable, an elegance so unobtrusive as toborder on mystery, she never failed to agitate anyatmosphere she entered, even that of prayer.From time to time, Hodder himself wasuncomfortably aware of her presence, and he readin her upturned face an interest which, by a littlestretch of the imagination, might have beendeemed personal . . . .Another was Gordon Atterbury, still known as"young Gordon," though his father was dead, andhe was in the vestry. He was unmarried and forty-five, and Mrs. Larrabbee had said he reminded herof a shrivelling seed set aside from a once fruitfulcrop. He wore, invariably, checked trousers and ablack cutaway coat, eyeglasses that fell off whenhe squinted, and were saved from destruction by agold chain. No wedding or funeral was completewithout him. And one morning, as he joined Mr.
Parr and the other gentlemen who responded tothe appeal,"Let your light so shine before men," a strange, ironical question entered the rector's mind—was Gordon Atterbury the logical product ofthose doctrines which he, Hodder, preached withsuch feeling and conviction?None, at least, was so fervent a defender of thefaith, so punctilious in all observances, so constantat the altar rail; none so versed in rubrics, ritual,and canon law; none had such a knowledge of theChurch fathers. Mr. Atterbury delighted to discussthem with the rector at the dinner parties wherethey met; none was more zealous for foreignmissions. He was the treasurer of St. John's.It should undoubtedly have been a consolation toany rector to possess Mr. Atterbury's unqualifiedapproval, to listen to his somewhat delphiccompliments,—heralded by a clearing of the throat.He represented the faith as delivered to the saints,and he spoke for those in the congregation towhom it was precious. Why was it that, to Hodder,he should gradually have assumed something ofthe aspect of a Cerberus? Why was it that heincited a perverse desire to utter heresies?Hodder invariably turned from his contemplation ofGordon Atterbury to the double blaring pew, whichwent from aisle to aisle. In his heart, he would havepreferred the approval of Eleanor Goodrich and herhusband, and of Asa Waring. Instinct spoke to himhere; he seemed to read in their faces that hefailed to strike in them responsive chords. He was
drawn to them: the conviction grew upon him thathe did not reach them, and it troubled him, as hethought, disproportionately.He could not expect to reach all. But they were thetype to which he most wished to appeal; of all ofhis flock, this family seemed best to preserve thevitality and ideals of the city and nation. AsaWaring was a splendid, uncompromising survival;his piercing eyes sometimes met Hodder's acrossthe church, and they held for him a question and ariddle. Eleanor Goodrich bore on her features thestamp of true nobility of character, and herhusband, Hodder knew, was a man among men. Inaddition to a respected lineage, he possessed anunusual blending of aggressiveness and personalcharm that men found irresistible.The rector's office in the parish house was abusinesslike room on the first floor, fitted up with adesk, a table, straight-backed chairs, and arevolving bookcase. And to it, one windy morning inMarch, came Eleanor Goodrich. Hodder rose togreet her with an eagerness which, from his kindlyyet penetrating glance, she did not suspect."Am I interrupting you, Mr. Hodder?" she asked, alittle breathlessly."Not at all," he said, drawing up a chair. "Won't yousit down?"She obeyed. There was an awkward pause duringwhich the colour slowly rose to her face.
"I wanted to ask you one or two things," shebegan, not very steadily. "As perhaps you mayknow, I was brought up in this church, baptizedand confirmed in it. I've come to fear that, when Iwas confirmed, I wasn't old enough to know what Iwas doing."She took a deep breath, amazed at her boldness,for this wasn't in the least how she had meant tobegin. And she gazed at the rector anxiously. Toher surprise, he did not appear to be inordinatelyshocked."Do you know any better now?" he asked."Perhaps not," she admitted. "But the things ofwhich I was sure at that time I am not sure of now.My faith is—is not as complete.""Faith may be likened to an egg, Mrs. Goodrich,"he said. "It must be kept whole. If the shell ischipped, it is spoiled."Eleanor plucked up her courage. Eggs, shedeclared, had been used as illustrations byconservatives before now.Hodder relieved her by smiling in readyappreciation."Columbus had reference to this world," he said. "Iwas thinking of a more perfect cue.""Oh!" she cried, "I dare say there is a more perfectone. I should hate to think there wasn't—but I can't
imagine it. There's nothing in the Bible in the wayof description of it to make me really wish to gothere. The New Jerusalem is too insipid, toomaterial. I'm sure I'm shocking you, but I must behonest, and say what I feel.""If some others were as honest," said the rector,"the problems of clergymen would be much easier.And it is precisely because people will not tell uswhat they feel that we are left in the dark andcannot help them. Of course, the language of St.John about the future is figurative.""Figurative,—yes," she consented, "but notfigurative in a way that helps me, a modernAmerican woman. The figures, to be of any use,ought to appeal to my imagination—oughtn't they?But they don't. I can't see any utility in such aheaven—it seems powerless to enter as a factorinto my life.""It is probable that we are not meant to knowanything about the future.""Then I wish it hadn't been made so explicit. Itsvery definiteness is somehow—stultifying. And, Mr.Hodder, if we were not meant to know its details, itseems to me that if the hereafter is to have anyreal value and influence over our lives here, weshould know something of its conditions, because itmust be in some sense a continuation of this. I'mnot sure that I make myself clear.""Admirably clear. But we have our Lord's exampleof how to live here."
of how to live here.""If we could be sure," said Eleanor, "just what thatexample meant."Hodder was silent a moment."You mean that you cannot accept what theChurch teaches about his life?" he asked."No, I can't," she faltered. "You have helped me tosay it. I want to have the Church's side betterexplained,—that's why I'm here." She glanced upat him, hesitatingly, with a puzzled wonder, such apositive, dynamic representative of that teachingdid he appear. "And my husband can't,—so manypeople I know can't, Mr. Hodder. Only, some ofthem don't mention the fact. They accept it. Andyou say things with such a certainty—" shepaused."I know," he replied, "I know. I have felt it since Ihave come here more than ever before." He didnot add that he had felt it particularly about her,about her husband: nor did he give voice to hisinstinctive conviction that he respected andadmired these two more than a hundred otherswhose professed orthodoxy was without a flaw."What is it in particular," he asked, troubled, "thatyou cannot accept? I will do my best to help you.""Well—" she hesitated again."Please continue to be frank," he begged."I can't believe in the doctrine of the virgin birth,"
she responded in a low voice; "it seems to me so—so material. And I feel I am stating a difficulty thatmany have, Mr. Hodder. Why should it have beenthought necessary for God to have departed fromwhat is really a sacred and sublime fact in nature,to resort to a material proof in order to convince adoubting humanity that Jesus was his Son?Oughtn't the proof of Christ's essential God-ship tolie in his life, to be discerned by the spiritual; andwasn't he continually rebuking those whodemanded material proof? The very acceptance ofa material proof, it seems to me, is a denial offaith, since faith ceases to have any worthwhatever the moment the demand for such proof isgratified. Knowledge puts faith out of the question,for faith to me means a trusting on spiritualgrounds. And surely the acceptance of scripturalstatements like that of the miraculous birth withoutinvestigation is not faith—it is mere credulity. IfJesus had been born in a miraculous way, thedisciples must have known it. Joseph must haveknown it when he heard the answer 'I must beabout my father's business,' and their doubts areunexplained.""I see you have been investigating," said therector."Yes," replied Eleanor, with an unconscious shade,of defiance, "people want to know, Mr. Dodder—they want to know the truth. And if you considerthe preponderance of the evidence of the Gospelsthemselves—my brother-in-law says—you will findthat the miraculous birth has very little to stand on.
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