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For the Master's Sake A Story of the Days of Queen Mary   By: (1836-1893)

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For the Master's Sake, by Emily Sarah Holt.

The story is set in the middle of the sixteenth century, in London, at a time when a Catholic Queen had succeeded to the throne, shortly to marry King Philip of Spain. The Protestant Bishops were replaced with Catholic ones, in particular Bonner, Bishop of London, and these set about murderously dealing with the least signs of Protestantism.

All this is very confusing to the average person, and that is what the story is about. Just fairly ordinary citizens of London, trying to work out what they are supposed to think and do.

The author was a strong Protestant, and this makes her arguments all the stronger.



This is not a story which requires much preface. The tale speaks for itself. But it is only right to inform the reader, that the persons who play their parts in it (apart from the historical details given) are all fictitious, excepting John Laurence and Agnes Stone.

It rests, under God, with the men and women of England and chiefly with those of them who are young now whether such events as are here depicted shall recur in this nineteenth century. The battle of the Reformation will soon have to be fought over again; and reformations (no less than revolutions) are "not made with rose water."

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve! If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him."

Are we ready to follow the Master, if He lead to Calvary? Or are we ready to run the awful risk of hearing Christ's "Depart!" rather than face men's "Crucify"? Now, while it is called to day, let us settle the question.



"For when the heart of man shuts out, Straightway the heart of God takes in."

James Russell Lowell .

"Good lack, Agnes! Why, Agnes Stone! Thou art right well be called Stone; for there is no more wit nor no more quickness in thee than in a pebble. Lack a daisy! but this were never good land sithence preaching came therein, idle foolery that it is! good for nought but to set folk by the ears, and learn young maids for to gad about a showing of their fine raiment, and a gossiping one with another, whilst all the work to be wrought in the house falleth on their betters. Bodykins o' me! canst not hear mass once i' th' week, and tell thy beads of the morrow with one hand whilst thou feedest the chicks wi' th' other? and that shall be religion enough for any unlettered baggage like to thee. Here have I been this hour past a toiling and a moiling like a Barbary slave, while thou, my goodly young damosel, wert a junketing it out o' door; and for why, forsooth? Marry, saith she, to hear a shaven crown preach at the Cross! Good sooth, but when I tell lies, I tell liker ones than so! And but now come home, by my troth; and all the pans o' th' fire might ha' boiled o'er, whilst thou, for aught I know, wert a dancing in Finsbury Fields with a parcel of idle jades like thyself. Beshrew thee for a lazy hilding [young person; a term applied to either sex] that ne'er earneth her bread by the half! Now then, hold thy tongue, Mistress, and get thee a work, as a decent woman should. When I lack a lick o' th' rough side thereof, I'll give thee due note!"

Thus far Mistress Martha Winter poured out the vials of her wrath, standing with arms akimbo in the doorway, and addressing a slight, pale faced, trembling girl of twenty years, who stood before her with bowed head, and made no attempt at self defence. Indeed, she would have been clever who could have slipped in a sentence, or even have edged in a word, when Mistress Winter had pulled out of her wrath bottle that cork which was so seldom in it, as Agnes Stone knew to her cost. Nor was it the girl's habit to excuse or defend herself. Mistress Winter's deprecation of that proceeding was merely a flourish of rhetoric... Continue reading book >>

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