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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

I should certainly think I heard a Methodist talking


'The

burnt-sacrifice of old. That always meant consecration.'

'How do you know? You are not a clergyman.'

Pitt smiled again, less brightly. 'True, mother, but I have been studying all this for years, in the Bible and in the words of others who _were_ clergymen; and now it is all plain before me. It became so as soon as I was willing to obey it.'

'And what are you going to do?'

'Do? I cannot say yet. I am a soldier but just enlisted, and do not know where my orders will place me or what work they will give me. Only I _have_ enlisted; and that is what I wanted you to know at once. Mother, it is a great honour to be a soldier of Christ.'

'I should think,--if I did not see you and hear your voice,--I should certainly think I heard a Methodist talking. I suppose that is the way they do.'

'Did you ever hear one talk, mother?'

'No, and do not want to hear one, even if it were my own son!' she answered angrily.

'But in all that I have been saying, if they say it too, the Methodists are right, mother. A redeemed sinner is one bought with a price, and thenceforth neither his spirit nor his body can be his own. And his happiness is not to be his own.'

Mrs. Dallas was violently moved,

yet she had much self-command and habitual dignity of manner, and would not break down now. More pitiful than tears was the haughty gesture of her head as she turned it aside to hide the quivering lips. And more tender than words was the air with which her son presently stooped and took her hand.

'Mother!' he said gently and tenderly.

'Pitt, I never would have believed this of you!' she said with bitter emphasis.

'You never could have believed anything so good of me.'

'What are you going to _do?_' she repeated vehemently. 'What does all this amount to? or is it anything but dissenting rant?'

'Anything but that,' he answered gravely. 'Mother, do you remember the words,--"No man when he hath lighted a lamp covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but putteth it on a stand, that they which enter in may see the light"? Every Christian is such a lighted lamp, intended for some special place and use. My special use and place I do not yet know; but this I know plainly, that my work in the world, one way or another, must be the Lord's work. For that I live henceforth.'

'You will go into the Church?' cried his mother.

'Not necessarily.'

'You will give up reading law?'

'No, I think not. At present it seems to me I had better finish what I have begun. But if I do, mother, my law will be only one of the means I have to work with for that one end.'

'And I suppose your money would be another?'

'Undoubtedly.'


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