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Charles E. Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stowe compiled from her letters and journals by her son Charles Edward Stowe, Chapter 2: school days in Hartford, 1824-1832. (search)
rooks that rippled by the way, it was impossible. I came into church quite dissatisfied with myself, and as I looked upon the pure white cloth, the snowy bread and shining cups, of the communion table, thought with a sigh: There won't be anything for me to-day; it is all for these grown-up Christians. Nevertheless, when father began to speak, I was drawn to listen by a certain pathetic earnestness in his voice. Most of father's sermons were as unintelligible to me as if he had spoken in Choctaw. But sometimes he preached what he was accustomed to call a frame sermon; that is, a sermon that sprung out of the deep feeling of the occasion, and which consequently could be neither premeditated nor repeated. His text was taken from the Gospel of John, the declaration of Jesus: Behold, I call you no longer servants, but friends. His theme was Jesus as a soul friend offered to every human being. Forgetting all his hair-splitting distinctions and dialectic subtleties, he spoke in