Page:Out of due time, Ward, 1906.djvu/29

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19
OUT OF DUE TIME.

What haunted me was a nervous suspicion that, if I had really studied modern thought, I should know that science had in fact in these later days exploded the faith in which I had been brought up. I had not any knowledge of the real problems at issue, but my imagination was haunted. Some verse from Matthew Arnold, or a few lines from Clough, mourning delicately for the loss of Christianity, affected me much more than any facts of science, or any gibes or insults from violent foes, could have done.

But I was kneeling in the right place. Presently out of a poor little paralysed imagination came the thought: If it still be true, if my past strength and my past joy are only hidden for a time, what am I losing if I am not loyal? Could I not take the risk of walking onward in the dark? Was it not of the essence of loyalty to be ready to take the risk? At the worst what was it I sacrificed? Only myself and my life.

The readiness to make any sacrifice to duty calmed and braced my nerves. The mists slowly lifted. The dim sense of the reflection of the infinite in my soul deepened. And then was restored, as in a wave of peace, the dependence on Him who loved me better than I loved myself. Pascal believed because he had known Him in Whom he believed. It was to One I knew and loved, not to a set of abstract propositions, that my loyalty was due. I could not realise my past love, without recognising that it still lived within me. To that love, which was the highest thing in myself, I would not, by the grace given to me, be disloyal. My head sank, and the hot tears of joy and relief trickled through my fingers. "Loyale je serai durant ma vie".

When I came into supper, I could think with brightness even of the unfashionable gowns.