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   Chapter 29 NEW EXPERIENCE.

Warlock o' Glenwarlock By George MacDonald Characters: 4882

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


Soon Cosmo began to recover more rapidly-as well he might, he told Joan, with such a heavenly servant to wait on him! The very next day he was up almost the whole of it. But that very day was Joan less with him than hitherto, and therefrom came not so often and stayed a shorter time. She would bring him books and leave them, saying he did not require a nurse any more now that he was able to feed himself. And Cosmo, to his trouble, could not help thinking sometimes that her manner towards him was also a little changed. What could have come between them he asked himself twenty times a day. Had he hurt her anyhow? Had he unconsciously put on the schoolmaster with her? Had he presumed on her kindness? With such questions he plagued himself, but found to them no answer. At times he could even have imagined her a little cross with him, but that never lasted. Yet still when they met, Joan seemed farther off than when they parted the day before. It is true they almost always seemed to get back to nearly the same place before they parted again, and Cosmo tried to persuade himself that any change there might be was only the result of growing familiarity; but not the less did he find himself ever again mourning over something that was gone-a delicate colour on the verge of the meeting sky and sea of their two natures.

But how differently the hours went when she was with him, and when he lay thinking whether she was coming! His heart swelled like a rose-bud ready to burst into a flaming flower when she drew near, and folded itself together when she went, as if to save up all its perfume and strength for her return! Everything he read that pleased him, must be shared with Joan-must serve as an atmosphere of thought in which to draw nigh to each other. Everything beautiful he saw twice-with his own eyes namely, and as he imagined it in the eyes of Joan: he was always trying to see things as he thought she would see them. Not once while recovering did he care to read a thing he thought she would not enjoy-though everything he liked, he said to himself, she must enjoy some day.

Soon he made a discovery concerning himself that troubled him greatly: not once since he was ill had he buried himself in the story of Jesus! not once had he lost himself in prayer! not once since finding Joan had he been flooded with a glory as from the presence of the living One, or had any such vision of truth as used every now and

then to fill him like the wine of the new world which is the old! Lady Joan saw that he was sad, and questioned him. But even to her he could not open his mind on such a matter: near as they were, they had not yet got near enough to each other for that.

In the history, which is the growth, of the individual man, epochs of truth and moods of being follow in succession, the one for the moment displacing the other, until the mind shall at length have gained power to blend the new at once with the preceding whole. But this can never be until our idea of the Absolute Life is large enough and intense enough to fill and fit into every necessity of our nature. A new mood is as a dry well for the water of life to fill. The man who does not yet understand God as the very power of his conscious as well as unconscious being, as more in him than intensest consciousness of bliss or of pain, must have many a treeless expanse, many a mirage-haunted desert, many an empty cistern and dried up river, in the world of his being! There was not much of this kind of waste in Cosmo's world, but God was not yet inside his growing love to Joan-that is, consciously to him-and his spirit was therefore of necessity troubled. Was it not a dreadful thing, he thought with himself, and was right in so thinking, that love to any lovely thing-how much more to the loveliest being God had made!-whose will is the soul of all loveliness, should cause him, in any degree, or for any time, to forget him and grow strange to the thought of him? The lack was this, that, having found his treasure, he had not yet taken it home to his Father! Jesus, himself, after he was up again, could not be altogether at home with his own, until he had first been home to his Father and their Father, to his God and their God. For as God is the source, so is he the bond of all love. There are Christians who in portions of their being, of their life, their judgments, and aims, are absolute heathens, for with these, so far as their thought or will is concerned, God has nothing to do. There God is not with them, for there they are not with God. Do they heed St. Paul when he says, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin"?

So, between these two, an unrest had come in, and they were no more sure of ease in each other's presence, although sometimes, for many minutes together, thought and word would go well between them, and all would be as simple and shining as ever.

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