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[307] Yet a few days later she writes:--

I had this morning so strong a feeling of the goodness of the divine Parent in the experience of my life, especially of its most trying period, that I had to cry out, “What shall I, who have received so much, give in return?” I felt that I must only show that forbearance and forgiveness to others which the ever blessed One has shown to me. My own family does not call for this. I am cherished by its members with great tenderness and regard. I thought later in the day of a sermon to prisoners which would brighten their thoughts of the love of God. Text from St. John's Epistle, “Behold what manner of love is this that we should be called the sons of God.”

This was the year of the coal strike in Pennsylvania, which made much trouble in Boston. She notes one Sunday that service at the Church of the Disciples was held in the church parlors “on account of the shortage of coal.” This recalls vivid pictures of the time; distracted coal merchants dealing out promises, with nothing else to deal; portly magnates and stately dames driving down Beacon Street in triumph with coals in a paper bag to replenish the parlor fire: darker pictures, too, of poverty and suffering.

At 241 Beacon Street the supply was running low, and the coal dealer was summoned by telephone. “A load of coal? Impossible, madam! We have no — I beg your pardon Mrs. Julia Ward Howe? Mrs. Howe's house is cold? You shall have some within the hour!”

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