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But in front of the choir, round the altar-piece

painted by Hörberg, 36 Crept a garland gigantic; and bright-curling tresses

of angels Peeped, like the sun from a cloud, out of the

shadowy leaf-work. Likewise the lustre of brass, new-polished, blinked

from the ceiling; And for lights there were lilies of Pentecost set in

the sockets,

from the organ.

Loud rang the bells already; the thronging

crowd was assembled Far from valleys and hills, to list to the holy

preaching. Hark! then roll forth at once the mighty tones Hover, like voices from God, aloft like invisible

spirits. Like as Elias in heaven, when he cast off from him

his mantle, Even so cast off the soul its garments of earth; and

with one voice Chimed in the congregation, and sang an anthem

immortal Of the sublime Wallín, 86 of David's harp in the

Northland, Tuned to the choral of Luther; the song on its

powerful pinions Took every living soul, and lifted it gently to

heaven, And every

face did shine like the Holy One's face upon Tabor. Lo! there entered then into the church the Rever

end Teacher. Father he hight and he was in the parish; a Chris

tianly plainness Clothed from his head to his feet the old man of

seventy winters.

Friendly was he to behold, and glad as the herald

ing angel Walked he among the crowds; but still a contem

plative grandeur Lay on his forehead, as clear as on moss-covered

gravestone a sunbeam. As in his inspiration (an evening twilight that

faintly Gleams in the human soul, even now from the day

of creation) Th’artist, the friend of Heaven, iinagines St. John

when in Patmos, Gray, with his eyes uplifted to Heaven, so seemed

then the old man : Such was the glance of his eye, and such were his

tresses of silver. All the congregation arose in the pews that were

numbered; But with a cordial look, to the right and the left

hand, the old man, Nodding all hail and peace, disappeared in the

innermost chancel. Simply and solemnly now proceeded the Christian

service, Singing and prayer, and at last an ardent discourse

from the old man: Many a moving word and warning, that out of the

heart came, Fell like the dew of the morning, like manna on

those in the desert. Afterwards, when all was finished, the Teacher re.

entered the chancel, Followed therein by the young. On the right

hand the boys had their places Delicate figures, with close-curling hair and cheeks

rosy-blooming. But on the left hand of these, there stood the tremu

lous lilies,

Tinged with the blushing light of the morning, the

diffident maidensFolding their hands in prayer, and their eyes cast

down on the pavement. Now came, with question and answer, the cate

chism. In the beginning Answered the children with troubled and faltering

voice, but the old man's Glances of kindness encouraged them soon, and the

doctrines eternal Flowed, like the waters of fountains, so clear from

lips unpolluted. Whene'er the answer was closed, and as oft as they

named the Redeemer, Lowly louted the boys, and lowly the maidens all

courtesied. Friendly the Teacher stood, like an angel of light

there among them. And to the children explained he the Holy, the

Highest, in few words; Thorough, yet simple and clear-for sublimity

always is simpleBoth in sermon and song, a child can seize on its

meaning. Even as the green-growing bud is unfolded when

Spring-tide approaches, Leaf by leaf is developed, and, warmed by the

radiant sunshine, Blushes with purple and gold, till at last the per

fected blossom Opens its odorous chalice, and rocks with its crown

in the breezes, So was unfolded here the Christian lore of Salvation, Line by line from the soul of childhood. The

fathers and mothers Stood behind them in tears, and were glad at each

well-worded answer.

Now went the old man up to the altar; and

straightway transfigured

(So did it seem unto me) was then the affectionate

Teacher. Like the Lord's prophet sublime, and awful as

Death and as Judgment, Stood he, the God-commissioned, the soul-searcher,

earthward descending. Glances, sharp as a sword, into hearts that to him

were transparent, Shot he; his voice was deep, was low, like the

thunder afar off. So on a sudden transfigured he stood there, he

spake and he questioned. " This is the faith of the Fathers, the faith the

Apostles delivered, This is, moreover, the faith whereunto I baptized

you, while still ye Lay on your mothers' breasts, and nearer the por

tals of heaven. Slumbering received you then the Holy Church in

its bosom; Wakened from sleep are ye now, and the light in

its radiant splendour Rains from the heaven downward; to-day on the

threshold of childhood Kindly she frees you again, to examine and make

your election, For she knows nought of compulsion, and only

conviction desireth. This is the hour of your trial, the turning-point of

existence, Seed for the coming days; without revocation

departeth Now from your lips the confession: bethink ye,

before ye make answer! Think not, I think not with guile to deceive the

questioning Teacher. Sharp is his eye to-day, and a curse ever rests upon

falsehood.

Enter not with a lie on Life's journey ; the multi

tude hears you, Brothers and sisters and parents, what dear upon

earth is and holy, Standeth before your sight as a witness ; the Judge

everlasting Looks from the sun down upon you, and angels in

waiting beside him Grave your confession in letters of fire upon

tablets eternal. Thus then-Believe ye in God, in the Father who

this world created ? Him who redeemed it, the Son ? and the Spirit,

where both are united ? Will ye promise me here fa holy promise !) to

cherish God more than all things earthly, and every man

as a brother? Will ye promise me here to confirm your faith by

your living, Th' heavenly faith of affection! to hope, to forgive,

and to suffer, Be what it may your condition, and walk before

God in uprightness ? Will ye promise me this before God and man?"

With a clear voice Answered the young men, Yes I and Yes! With

lips softly-breathing Answered the maidens eke. Then dissolved from

the brow of the Teacher Clouds with the thunders therein, and he spake on

in accents more gentle, Soft as the evening's breath, as harps by Babylon's

rivers.

“ Hail, then, hail to you all! To the heirdom

of heaven be ye welcome! Children no more from this day, but by covenant

brothers and sisters!

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