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Affie in a few moments had her wheel stowed away in the weaving shop; and the floor, which in the morning had been scoured to almost a perfect whiteness, was re-swept, and every chair put in its place. The old kitchen table was drawn to the middle of the floor, and covered with a cloth as white as snow; every dish was set in order, and among them were several pewter plates which were considered by them more valuable than their china set, which was only used on special occasions. The brown loaf was drawn smoking from the oven, where it had been placed in the morning by Mrs. D., and put upon a large pewter platter, which, with the butter plate, had been polished till they were as bright as silver. The new-made honey was there, accompanied by cake and pie, which always grace the New England farmer's table. Saturday might well
be called “food day” with the New Englanders, as a two days' supply is invariably prepared. The family was soon summoned to the well filled table, placing themselves behind the backs of their chairs, while Mr. De Van solemnly invoked a blessing as the children reverentially folded their hands in silence.
During the meal, Mr. D. asked his wife if she knew that Mr. Wil, lard had opened a store in their village. She replied, “I was not aware that there was such a person in town, till I saw him at church last Sabbath. He is quite a young man, I should not think him over thirty.”
“He is, indeed, an intelligent looking man,” replied Mr. D., “and he certainly ought to be a good man, for our friend, Lieutenant Morse, informed me that his father was Deacon of one church fifty years."
Affie asked her mamma if she had heard from Mr. Morse's child that was so very sick yesterday.
“ It is better, my dear; though I think it will not recover.
Mrs. Morse would feel very bad if little Franky should die. I have often heard her say that she was the image of the other little girl she lost. I shall go up and see her before dark.”
Willie, a little boy five years old, looked seriously up into his mother's face,“ Ma, I thought it was wicked to go visiting Saturday night after sundown."
“ It is not wicked to do a work of mercy on the sabbath day. Our blessed Lord, when here on earth, always ready even
this day to relieve suffering humanity. Amelia, what day was it that Christ restored the withered hand ?"
“ It was the last day of the week, mamma, the Jewish Sabbath.”
Affie looked inquiringly to her father and said, “I do not see why the Sabbath has been changed to the first day of the week, for the Bible says that God made heaven and earth and sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
Mr. De Van was always glad to have Bible questions asked him by his children, and was ready to answer to the best of his ability. “There was no direct command given to change this day. The redemption of man through Christ was considered by the Apostles to be a greater work than the creation of myriads of worlds. It was on the first day of the week that Christ arose from the grave, and can you tell me who was earliest at the Sepulchre ?"
The girls both replied, “It was Mary."
Mrs. De Van asked, “ Was it Mary, the mother of Jesus, or Mary Magdalene ?"
Affie readily answered,“ It was Mary Magdalene."
Their supper being finished, they respectfully arose while Mr. D. returned his heartfelt thanks to the Author of every good and perfect gift. During this Willie, & sly little rogue, happened to espy an intruding grasshopper perching itself upon his plate. Willie did not close his eyes as did his parents, his bright black eyes saw everything that was about him. Notwithstanding the reproving looks of his sister, as quick as thought he took the poor insect prisoner, placing one of its legs between his pretty lips, looking mischievously at his sister, while the grasshopper performed various evolutions about the mouth and nose of its antagonist. Even Affie