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Chapter 22
 It was probably a hard saying to the Pharisees, that ‘there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance1.’ And certain ingenious philosophers of our own day must surely take offence at a joy so entirely2 out of correspondence with arithmetical proportion. But a heart that has been taught by its own sore struggles to bleed for the woes3 of another—that has ‘learned pity through suffering’—is likely to find very imperfect satisfaction in the ‘balance of happiness,’ ‘doctrine of compensations,’ and other short and easy methods of obtaining thorough complacency in the presence of pain; and for such a heart that saying will not be altogether dark. The emotions, I have observed, are but slightly influenced by arithmetical considerations: the mother, when her sweet lisping little ones have all been taken from her one after another, and she is hanging over her last dead babe, finds small consolation4 in the fact that the tiny dimpled corpse5 is but one of a necessary average, and that a thousand other babes brought into the world at the same time are doing well, and are likely to live; and if you stood beside that mother—if you knew her pang6 and shared it—it is probable you would be equally unable to see a ground of complacency in statistics.  
Doubtless a complacency resting on that basis is highly rational; but emotion, I fear, is obstinately7 irrational8: it insists on caring for individuals; it absolutely refuses to adopt the quantitative9 view of human anguish10, and to admit that thirteen happy lives are a set-off against twelve miserable11 lives, which leaves a clear balance on the side of satisfaction. This is the inherent imbecility of feeling, and one must be a great philosopher to have got quite clear of all that, and to have emerged into the serene12 air of pure intellect, in which it is evident that individuals really exist for no other purpose than that abstractions may be drawn13 from them—abstractions that may rise from heaps of ruined lives like the sweet savour of a sacrifice in the nostrils14 of philosophers, and of a philosophic15 Deity16. And so it comes to pass that for the man who knows sympathy because he has known sorrow, that old, old saying about the joy of angels over the repentant17 sinner outweighing18 their joy over the ninety-nine just, has a meaning which does not jar with the language of his own heart. It only tells him, that for angels too there is a transcendent value in human pain, which refuses to be settled by equations; that the eyes of angels too are turned away from the serene happiness of the righteous to bend with yearning19 pity on the poor erring20 soul wandering in the desert where no water is: that for angels too the misery21 of one casts so tremendous a shadow as to eclipse the bliss22 of ninety-nine.
Mr. Tryan had gone through the initiation23 of suffering: it is no wonder, then, that Janet’s restoration was the work that lay nearest his heart; and that, weary as he was in body when he entered the vestry after the evening service, he was impatient to fulfil the promise of seeing her. His experience enabled him to divine—what was the fact—that the hopefulness of the morning would be followed by a return of depression and discouragement; and his sense of the inward and outward difficulties in the way of her restoration was so keen, that he could only find relief from the foreboding it excited by lifting up his heart in prayer. There are unseen elements which often frustrate24 our wisest calculations—which raise up the sufferer from the edge of the grave, contradicting the prophecies of the clear-sighted physician, and fulfilling the blind clinging hopes of affection; such unseen elements Mr. Tryan called the Divine Will, and filled up the margin25 of ignorance which surrounds all our knowledge with the feelings of trust and resignation. Perhaps the profoundest philosophy could hardly fill it up better.
His mind was occupied in this way as he was absently taking off his gown, when Mr. Landor startled him by entering the vestry and asking abruptly26, ‘Have you heard the news about Dempster?’
‘No,’ said Mr. Tryan, anxiously; ‘what is it?’
‘He has been thrown out of his gig in the Bridge Way, and he was taken up for dead. They were carrying him home as we were coming to church, and I stayed behind to see what I could do. I went in to speak to Mrs. Dempster, and prepare her a little, but she was not at home. Dempster is not dead, however, he was stunned27 with the fall. Pilgrim came in a few minutes, and he says the right leg is broken in two places. It’s likely to be a terrible case, with his state of body. It seems he was more drunk than usual, and they say he came along the Bridge Way flogging his horse like a madman, till at last it gave a sudden wheel, and he was pitched out. The servants said they didn’t know where Mrs. Dempster was: she had been away from home since yesterday morning; but Mrs. Raynor knew.’
‘I know where she is,’ said Mr. Tryan; ‘but I think it will be better for her not to be told of this just yet.’
‘Ah, that was what Pilgrim said, and so I didn’t go round to Mrs. Raynor’s. He said it would be all the better if Mrs. Dempster could be kept out of the house for the present. Do you know if anything new has happened between Dempster and his wife lately? I was surprised to hear of her being at Paddiford Church this morning.’
‘Yes, something has happened; but I believe she is anxious that the particulars of his behaviour towards her should not be known. She is at Mrs. Pettifer’s—there is no reason for concealing28 that, since what has happened to her husband; and yesterday, when she was in very deep trouble, she sent for me. I was very thankful she did so: I believe a great change of feeling has begun in her. But she is at present in that excitable state of mind—she has been shaken by so many painful emotions during the last two days, that I think it would be better, for this evening at least, to guard her from a new shock, if possible. But I am going now to call upon her, and I shall see how she is.’
‘Mr. Tryan,’ said Mr. Jerome, who had entered during the dialogue, and had been standing29 by, listening with a distressed30 face, ‘I shall take it as a favour if you’ll let me know if iver there’s anything I can do for Mrs. Dempster. Eh, dear, what a world this is! I think I see ’em fifteen year ago—as happy a young couple as iver was; and now, ............
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