“Charlie’s been quite a means of grace to you,” laughingly rejoined Mrs. Bird, amused at his vehemence of manner. “Well, I’m going to send him to Sabbath-school next Sunday; and, if there is a rebellion against his admission there, I shall be quite in despair.”
It is frequently the case, that we are urged by circumstances to the advocacy of a measure in which we take but little interest, and of the propriety of which we are often very sceptical; but so surely as it is just in itself, in our endeavours to convert others we convince ourselves; and, from lukewarm apologists, we become earnest advocates. This was just Mr. Whately’s case: he had begun to canvass for the admission of Charlie with a doubtful sense of its propriety, and in attempting to overcome the groundless prejudices of others, he was convicted of his own.
Happily, in his case, conviction was followed by conversion, and as he walked home from Mrs. Bird’s, he made up his mind that, if they attempted to exclude Charlie from the Sabbath-school, he would give them a piece of his mind, and then resign his superintendency of it.
On arriving at home, he found waiting for him a young lady, who was formerly a member of his class in the Sabbath-school. “I’ve come,” said she, “to consult you about forming an adult class in our school for coloured persons. We have a girl living with us, who would be very glad to attend, and she knows two or three others. I’ll willingly take the class myself. I’ve consulted the pastor and several others, and no one seems to anticipate any objections from the scholars, if we keep them on a separate bench, and do not mix them up with the white children.”
“I’m delighted to hear you propose it,” answered Mr. Whately, quite overjoyed at the opening it presented, “the plan meets my warmest approval. I decidedly agree with you in the propriety of our making some effort for the elevation and instruction of this hitherto neglected class—any aid I can render——”
“You astonish me,” interrupted Miss Cass, “though I must say very agreeably. You were the last person from whom I thought of obtaining any countenance. I did not come to you until armed with the consent of almost all the parties interested, because from you I anticipated considerable opposition,” and in her delight, the young girl grasped Mr. Whately’s hand, and shook it very heartily.
“Oh, my opinions relative to coloured people have lately undergone considerable modification; in fact,” said he, with some little confusion, “quite a thorough revolution. I don’t, think we have quite done our duty by these people. Well, well, we must make the future atone for the past.”
Miss Cass had entered upon her project with all the enthusiasm of youth, and being anxious that her class, “in point of numbers,” should make a presentable appearance, had drafted into it no less a person than Aunt Comfort.
Aunt Comfort was a personage of great importance in the little village of Warmouth, and one whose services were called into requisition on almost every great domestic occasion.