The next Sunday rose calm and quiet over the hills of Poganuc.

There was something almost preternatural in the sense of stillness and utter repose which the Sabbath day used to bring with it in those early times. The absolute rest from every earthly employment, the withholding even of conversation from temporal things, marked it off from all other days. To the truly devout the effect was something the same as if the time had been spent in heaven.

On this particular dewy, fresh summer morning it seemed as if Nature herself were hushing her breath to hear the music of a higher sphere. Dolly stood at her open window looking out on the wooded hills opposite, feathered with their varied green, on the waving meadows with their buttercups and daisies, on the old apple tree in the corner of the lot where the bobolink was tilting up and down, chattering and singing with all his might. She was thinking of what she had heard her father saying to her mother at breakfast: how the sickness and death of one good woman had been blessed to all that neighborhood, and how a revival of religion was undoubtedly begun there.

All this made Dolly very serious. She thought a great deal about heaven, and perfectly longed to be quite sure she ever should get there. She often had wished that there were such a thing in reality as a Wicket Gate, and an old Interpreter's house, and a Palace Beautiful, for then she would set right off on her pilgrimage at once, and in time get to the Celestial City. But how to get this spiritual, intangible preparation she knew not. To-day she knew was a sacramental Sunday, and she should see all the good people taking that sacrificial bread and wine, but she should be left out.

And how to get in! There were no Sunday-schools in those days, no hymns or teachings specially adapted to the child; and Dolly remembered to have heard serious elderly people tell of how they were brought "under conviction" and suffered for days and weeks before the strange secret of mercy was revealed to them, and she wondered how she ever should get this conviction of sin. Poor Dolly had often tried to feel very solemn and sad and gloomy, and to think herself a dreadful sinner, but had never succeeded. She was so young and so healthy—the blood raced and tingled so in her young veins; and if she was pensive and sad a little while, yet, the first she knew, she would find herself racing after Spring, or calling to her brothers, or jumping up and down with her skipping rope, and feeling full as airy and gay as the bobolink across in the meadow. This morning she was trying her best to feel her sins and count them up; but the birds and the daisies and the flowers were a sad interruption, and she went to meeting quite dissatisfied.

When she saw the white simple table and the shining cups and snowy bread of the Communion she inly thought that the service could have nothing for her—it would be all for those grown-up, initiated Christians. Nevertheless, when her father began to speak she was drawn to listen to him by a sort of pathetic earnestness in his voice.

The Doctor was feeling very earnestly and deeply, and he had chosen a theme to awaken responsive feeling in his church. His text was the declaration of Jesus: "I call you not servants, but friends;" and his subject was Jesus as the soul-friend offered to every human being. Forgetting his doctrinal subtleties, he spoke with all the simplicity and tenderness of a rich nature concerning the faithful, generous, tender love of Christ, how he cared for the soul's wants, how he was patient with its errors, how he gently led it along the way of right, how he was always with it, teaching its ignorance, guiding its wanderings, comforting its sorrows, with a love unwearied by faults, unchilled by ingratitude, till he brought it through the darkness of earth to the perfection of heaven.

Real, deep, earnest feeling inclines to simplicity of language, and the Doctor spoke in words that even a child could understand. Dolly sat absorbed, her large blue eyes gathering tears as she listened; and when the Doctor said, "Come, then, and trust your soul to this faithful Friend," Dolly's little heart throbbed "I will." And she did. For a moment she was discouraged by the thought that she had not had any conviction of sin; but like a flash came the thought that Jesus could give her that as well as anything else, and that she could trust him for the whole. And so her little earnest child-soul went out to the wonderful Friend. She sat through the sacramental service that followed, with swelling heart and tearful eyes, and walked home filled with a new joy. She went up to her father's study and fell into his arms, saying, "Father, I have given myself to Jesus, and he has taken me."

The Doctor held her silently to his heart a moment, and his tears dropped on her head.

"Is it so?" he said. "Then has a new flower blossomed in the Kingdom this day."

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