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Do you hope yer love yer father and together; thus a special prayer-meeting mother? No! Ef yer love um, yer was at once inaugurated. “Oh, do, know yer luv um. Yer don't hope Lord !” “Yes, Lord !” “Come, Lord !” nuthin' 'bout it. Yer know it (tones “O, blessed Jesus, speak peace to her rising]. So, ef yer love the Lord, yer soul.” “O Christ, forgive her sins ! ” know it. Ef yer only hope yer love "O God, show her her wickedness ! ” Him, 'tain't no luv 't'all. Yer goin' These were the expressions, in every down the road to perdition, straight. possible tone, producing one wild dis[In a milder tone.] Don't yer want cord of supplication, which now smote religion ?"
the ears of the bewildered Eirene. Each “Yes; I have wanted to be a Chris- communicated excitement to the other: tian ever since I can remember," an- every moment the cries grew louder, the swered Eirene,
groans deeper, the entreaty more impor“How bad do you want to be one ? tunate, till, at last, overcome by pure Bad enuf to give up all yer pride, and nervous excitement, Eirene sank upon confess yer sins ?"
her knees, sobbing as if her heart would “I hope so."
break. This prostration was the signal “Hope! agin [in tones of despair). for a still more clamorous outbreak. I can try yer hope in a minnit. Do you Cries of “Lord, have mercy on this want religion bad enuf to enable yer poor girl !” “O Lord, save Eirene pride to get it? Then yer willin' to Vale !" rent the air with a perfect torkneel down on this very spot, and let nado of sound. me pray fur yer soul. Will yer do it ?" This scene was witnessed by one per
“Oh, not here, please !” said Eirene son with extreme displeasure. It was in a tone of entreaty, with the instinct- Brother Viner, who had left the breakive shrinking from publicity which was fast-table, notwithstanding the entreatnatural to her.
ies of the sisters, and seated himself “Now where's yer hope ? [In a tone within the Busyville tent. He was an of triumph.] It don't amount to nuth- ardent lover of Methodism; his mother, in'. But I'll pray fur yer jest the same; a saint of the Mrs. Fletcher type, had there's them that's brought into the nurtured him in the love of its memokingdom of heaven by force. I'll pray ries and in devotion to its principles. sur yer jest the same" [with profound In his inmost heart he believed that the spiritual condescension]. Thus the vitality and zeal of his sect was the salt youth knelt down and lifted up his of the Christian world. But he was too voice in prayer. The sound immediate- intelligent to believe that zeal born of ly attracted the attention of the sisters ignorance was as worthy as that temwho had gathered around Tilda; when pered by knowledge. While believing they turned, and saw Eirene leaning it to be a necessity to some, he was so against the tree, with her head bowed, gentle a gentleman himself, he could no as if overcome by some emotion, and more be boisterous in sacred worship the young evangelist kneeling before than he could be loud and vulgar in the her, calling upon God to have mercy expression of any sentiment whatever. upon her soul, Tilda believed that her He was too sensitive to the nature of dearest wish was about to be realized others not to see, by the aspect of this - that her friend, struck with convic- girl, that she was more overcome by tion the moment she reached the camp- fear and grief at being thus assailed, ground, was now to be converted. She, than by any conscious conviction of sin. with the other sisters, hastened to the “ She would make a lovely Christian, I spot, and, immediately kneeling down, know," he said to himself; “we need formed a circle outside the evangelist, more such women in our church. She with Eirene, leaning against the tree, must not be repelled and driven from the central figure. Joining the youth, us by a repulsive manner of approach." all commenced ejaculating and praying Yet, as he looked, he saw some of his
young converts and some of his most have to say to Eirene “ alone,” was zealous members in this praying circle, more than she could divine; nevertheand knew well that, if he were to mani- less, as it was her minister—not Paul fest any disapprobation of their meet- Mallane—who made the request, she ing, he could not, by any possibility, passed on. Then Brother Viner adexplain to their satisfaction such a dressed Eirene for the first time, by ask
Such a procedure, he knew, ing her if she had been educated a would bring them to the sudden conclu- Methodist. She told him no. “Then,” sion that their minister had “ backslid- he said, “our manner of worship may den.” Yet, as their minister, he must seem strange, even rude, to you. But either join their circle, or break it; he do not let our ways disturb you, for concluded to do the latter. The first they are only outward forms of expresseason of prayer was over; they re- sion. In every human heart, religion freshed their fearfully-taxed energies by can be but one essence—that of love to singing a hymn, and were beginning Christ and love to one another. If you their cries anew, when Brother Viner feel your soul pervaded with this love, walked quietly up to their circle, and you are a Christian.
The personal said, “ Brothers and sisters, we must do manifestations of religious joy differ as all things decently and in order. I un- much as our natures differ. No two derstand your feelings. You are so
persons give expression in precisely the happy in prayer, and so moved for the same terms to any human experience; salvation of souls, that you wish to the law of temperament forbids it. pray continually. This you may do. Therefore do not be offended at the zeal You may lift your hearts silently to God which you see manifested here, even if without ceasing. But some of you have it seems to you a little intemperate. ridden many miles this morning. You And do not be discouraged if you yourall need your breakfast. After you have self feel prompted to display none of refreshed yourselves, come to the pray- this outward fervor. Without any refer-meeting in the tent, at eight o'clock.” erence to any other human being, reTheir minister had said it. They must ceive the Spirit of God as it comes to go to breakfast, notwithstanding this you. Receive it as if you were alone precious soul was not yet saved. They with God in His universe. It can come did so, all shaking hands with their to you only in accordance with your minister as they passed, till no one was nature; you can respond to it only in left with him but Tilda Stade, standing the same way. by Eirene. As Eirene rose from the “Do you hear, in your inmost heart, foot of the tree where she had knelt, the still small voice calling you to folshe seemed like one coming out of a low your Saviour ?—to cast your burden dream. She opened her eyes, still glis- on Him to love Him 1-to be like tening with tears, and drew a deep Him?" breath of relief. Tilda thought it the Oh, yes, sir; I have always heard sigh of conviction—a hopeful sigh- it.” and hastened to introduce Eirene to her “Do you try to resist it, or do you minister. This good woman had not seek to obey it?" the acute perception which announces “I seek to obey it, and it is my dearinstantaneously to its possessor when he est comfort. It cheers me when I am or she may not be wanted. As Eirene's sad, and it strengthens me when I am special protector and spiritual guide, weak." she waited to hear what the minister “ And you give your heart to God ?" had to say to her. Great was her “Yes, sir. Every day I give myself amazement when he said, “ Sister Stade, anew to Him. Am I not safe in His will you be so kind as to allow me to love ?" say a few words to this young lady "My sister, I feel that you are a alone?” What Brother Viner could Christian. What you need is encour
agement, not conviction or loud expres- this young lady, he turned his back and sion. I see how it is. You have a gen- commenced searching for hymns with tle nature; your religion is as gentle as redoubled assiduity, selecting, at last, your heart. Come into the eight-o'clock “Jesus, lover of my soul," " Rock of prayer-meeting, and I will see that you Ages, cleft for me," and others, whose are not again disturbed. Now, shall I sweetness, purity, and divine fervor lift go with you to the breakfast-table ?" them so far above the rampant rhymes
His voice was so kind and assuring, sometimes called camp-meeting hymns. his words so helpful, that, when he had After breakfast, the brethren and sisters finished, Eirene felt like another crea- gathered in the tent, some sitting on ture. With the elasticity which be- benches, some in the clean straw which longs to the quickest sensibilities, her covered the ground, some on piles of heart leaped to her eyes in a joyous bedding on which many had slept the smile, as she exclaimed, “Oh, I feel so night before. Brother Viner offered much better!"
Tilda and Eirene a seat in a corner, As Brother Viner saw this inward where it was impossible that a crowd illumination spread over every feature, should gather around them, as they had he thought it not only the most inno- done outside. He opened the meeting cent, but the brightest face that he had with the hymn which all young people ever seen; but he only said, “Now we will find Sister Stade."
"Jesus, lover of my soul, This young woman was standing de
Let me to thy bosom fly." voutly before a bowl of blueberries and His pure tenor-voice gave all its sweetmilk, as Brother Viner led Eirene up to ness to the singing. Eirene did not her side. When she saw the serene listen; she worshipped. Every pulse light which covered both faces, she was in her heart sung with rapture the forced to the conclusion that their con- matchless lyric of the Methodist poet. versation had been of a heavenly sort, Brother Viner followed with prayer, although she had not been permitted to and, as he prayed, utter silence pervaded listen to it. She received her charge the tent, broken only by low-murmured back with much demonstration, while " Amens.” In the fervor of his youth, Brother Viner returned to his seat in in the fulness of his faith, he prayed, as the tent, to meditate and prepare for if he knelt face to face with his Lord. the morning prayer-meeting. He did He said, “We rejoice to come to Thee not find it as easy as usual to fix his with all the freedom of favored chilmind on the chapter in the Bible and dren—with all the sweet familiarity of the hymn which he was selecting ; in- love, openly and joyously.” He prayed voluntarily his eyes wandered back to that to all might be granted a clearer the breakfast-table under the trees, and vision to discern the exceeding lovelirested on the slight figure in the white ness of Christ—a deeper consciousness frock standing by Tilda Stade. He of their need of Him, who was at once had forgotten all about Sister Mallane's their Friend and Saviour. He prayed lamentations over this girl's wickedness, for “ sinners and seekers," and at last and thought only of her face, all radi- for one whose feet trembled in the narant as it looked up to bis last. row way, but whose heart yearned tohas just the face that would please ward all pure and lovely things. He mother," he said to himself; "and, if I prayed that to the young heart might am not mistaken, she has just the na- be granted strength to cast aside every ture that would please mother. What weight, every besetting sin, every allurea companion she would make for her! ment of the world; that this young soul for mother will come and live with me.” might run with patience and cheerful Then, suddenly conscious that he had alacrity the whole Christian course, and arrived at very rapid conclusions, con- receive the clear witness of its acceptsidering his very slight knowledge of ance and fellowship with Christ. Eirene felt that this prayer was for her; were always the same, its personal maniit was the very prayer that she would festations were very different; that in have offered for herself, yet prayed with some it bore witness by the very exan unction and a fervor which she felt pression of the face, in perfect silence;
a her own prayers had not. There was an that it was not this sister's duty to earnestness, an assurance of faith in the speak openly, unless she felt moved to tones which strengthened and helped do so from within. This form of conher. As her heart-ascended with it, a version was by no means the most satisdeep peace came down into her soul—a factory to the Praying Band ; but, as peace so pervading that none of the their minister sanctioned it, they felt discord which came after had the bound to accept it. Those who knew slightest power to disturb it. Brother her personally went forth from the Viver, a true Methodist, believed that prayer-meeting and announced to all where the Spirit of God is, there is lib- the Busyville brethren outside that Eierty. Thus, aside from the general rene Vale had “experienced religion, supervision of the prayer-meeting, he and received the blessing ;” but they did not attempt to control the boister- thought it pretty queer that she wouldn't ous eloment around him. Thus the speak. With a feeling of inexpressible meeting did not advance very far before relief Eirene walked forth from the tent men and women were praying, groan- to attend the moruing service in the ing, and singing together. Some were grove. The mode of worship in the groaning for their sins, some praying prayer-meeting had been sincere; she for their companions, others singing believed that, yet she could feel none and shouting because they themselves the less that it was discordant with her felt happy. Among the latter was Tilda feelings, and outraged many of her Stade. She shouted “ Hallelujah ” till ideas of what was harmonious and fit she had “the power," or, in more in- in sacred worship. But the public sertelligible language, swooned from pure vice in the grove seemed a complete physical exhaustion ; falling back, her realization of all that such worship head dropped into Eirene's lap. Eirene should be. Out from their tents came was less alarmed than she would have the great congregation, and took their been if she had not already seen several
seats in God's sanctuary. His own others drop in the same way. She tried power had reared the columns of this to lift her friend's head, and support it mighty cathedral. Along its high leafwhen Tilda, opening her eyes, uttered woven dome soft winds rippled. In its the piercing cry of “Glory," falling verdurous arches birds sang; from its again; whereupon Eirene let the head mossy floors flowers sent up their praise rest, where it fell, till the meeting in perpetual perfume. When the preachclosed. The brothers and sisters, who er stood up in the rude pulpit beneath had formed themselves into the special two patriarchal elms, and invoked the Praying Band, seeing the peaceful ex- blessing of God on the vast assembly; pression of Eirene's countenance, con
when more than a thousand human voicluded that she had received the bless- ces joined the winds, the birds, and the ing, and at last began to importune her blossoms, singing, to tell what the Lord had done for her
“There seems a voice in every gale, soul. She was beginning to tremble
A tongue in every flower, with something of her first fear and ex
Which tells, O Lord, the wondrous talo
Of thy Almighty power," citement, when Brother Viner again came to her help. He told the Praying Eirene beheld, at last, in its perfect Band that he had conversed with this form, the wonderful charm and devosister, and believed that she had re- tional significance of the Methodist ceived in her heart the witness of the camp-meeting. Holy Spirit, but that they must remem- In the afternoon Brother Viner prcachber that, while the fruits of the Spirited an earnest, dramatic, magnetic ser
mon, whose fervor and power astonish- pervaded by them, it seemed to her ed his own congregation, and electrified that she could take in no more. Thus, all. Brother Viner was a good man, when the brethren and sisters went out besides being a young man of decided in a body to the evening service, she, talents; and under any circumstance, with a few aged mothers in Israel, rewith such a congregation before him, mained behind in sole possession of the would have preached more than a com- tent. Placing a camp-stool just outside mon sermon. How much added inspi- the curtain, she sat down to listen, ration and unction he received from the where she was. The scene upon which consciousness of a single presence, from she now looked forth was even more the gleam of a white frock, and the picturesque and impressive than that of glimpse of a golden-brown head, lean- the day. The many lamps, hung to the ing against the rough bark of a tree- swaying boughs of the trees, threw long with a sweet, serious face looking forth lines of flickering light and shadow toward his, which seemed to him sin- upon the great congregation seated begled and separated from all that vast neath. The wavering lights on the congregation-Brother Viner did not pulpit, the dipping branches of the know, nor did any body else. Eirene, like elms above their heads, gave a weird all persons of very sensitive organization, look to the faces of the preachers, while took in joy as well as suffering through the prayers that they uttered, and the every nerve. Every leaf that rippled, hymns which they sung, softened by every bird that sang, every flower dis- the slight distance, floated out through tilling incense, every breeze, sailing by the evening air to the few listeners in laden with the honey of the pines, the tent with a strange and sweet soadded something to this large delight. lemnity. So, too, did the anthem, the prayer, Perhaps it was a desire to hear more now the sermon. True, holy, helpful distinctly the words of the sermon, or words were these of Brother Viner, full perhaps it was the wonderful beauty of the vitality of human life, piercing of the night trembling down to her to the depth of human experience, and through the forest-trees, which after a reaching upward to the height of all time allured Eirene to leave the little Christian aspiration; few could listen camp-stool and step out into the air. and not receive from them somewhat of She walked a few paces from the tent the help that they needed. Eirene no and leaned against the tree where, in longer wondered that Tilda found the the morning, she had been attacked and camp-meeting such a sanctuary of joy prayed for by the young evangelist. —this portion of camp-meeting, cer- The words of the preacher came distainly, was very delightful. Eirene no tinctly to her ear, and with them blendlonger thought of the young evangelist, ed the scattered moans and amens of of the extempore prayer-meeting, or of the congregation. She listened a few any annoyance, any more than Brother
moments; then, looking back to the Viner thought of his morning vexation green inclosure beside the tent, she felt amid the spiritual and oratorical exalta- the old impulse to wander out, as she tion in which he now stood, with used to do in the woods at home. Since which indigestible breakfasts intermed- her coming this was the first moment dled not.
that she had been alone with herself. The morning and afternoon service, True darling of nature, the old charm even the evening prayer-meetings, were of freedom, the old spell of the woods, ended, and get the congregation once was on her. Still the preacher's voice, more gathered beneath the trees to lis- and the amens of the congregation, ten to a third sermon, before going to came to her ear, and yet she heard them rest. Eirene was tired. During the not. The very leaves of the trees seemday she had experienced so many new ed to turn toward her, whispering to sensations—had been so overcome and her to come, as she turned and walked