Half a Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 352 pages of information about Half a Century.
and kin had died at the stake, bearing testimony against popery and prelacy; had fought on those fields where Scotchmen charged in solid columns, singing psalms; and though I was wax at all other points, I was granite on “The Solemn League and Covenant.”  With the convictions of others I did not interfere, but when attacked would “render a reason.”  My assailants denounced theological seminaries as “preacher-factories”—­informed me that “neither Dr. Black nor any of his congregation ever had religion,” and that only by getting it could any one be saved.  My husband became proud of my defense, and the boys grew disrespectful to their religious guides.  Their mother became anxious about their souls, so the efforts for my conversion were redoubled.

From the first the preachers disapproved of my being permitted to go to my meeting, and especially to my husband accompanying me.  He refused to go, on the ground that he had not been invited to commune, and as I sank in the deep waters of affliction, I did so need the pulpit teachings of my old pastor, which seemed to lift me and set my feet upon a rock.  One day I walked the seven miles and back, when the family carriage went to take two preachers to an appointment; three horses stood in the old stone barn, and my husband at home with his mother.  This gave great offense as the advertisement of a grievance, and was never repeated.

During all my childhood and youth, I had been spoiled by much love, if love can spoil.  I was non-resistant by nature, and on principle, believed in the power of good.  Forbearance, generosity, helpful service, would, should, must, win my new friends to love me.

Getting me into the house with my mother-in-law, was so important a part of the plan of salvation, that to effect it, I was left without support or compensation for my services as teacher, tailor, dress-maker, for my husband’s family.  He visited me once or twice a week, and ignored my mother’s presence, while she felt that in this, as in any church-joining conflict, only God could help me, and stood aloof.

To me the sun was darkened, and the moon refused her light.  I knew “that jealous God” who claimed the supreme love of his creatures, was scourging me for making an idol and bowing down before it—­for loving my husband.  I knew it was all just and clung to the Almighty arm, with the old cry, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”  To my husband I clung with like tenacity, and could not admit that my suffering was through any fault of his.

The summer after my marriage, mother went for a long visit to Butler, and left us in possession of her house.  My husband bought a village property, including a wagon-maker’s shop, employed a workman and sent him to board with me.  He also made some additions to a dwelling on it, that we might go there to live, and the workmen boarded with me, while my mother-in-law furnished provisions and came or sent a daughter to see that I did not waste them.  Her reproofs were in the form of suggestions, and she sought to please me by saying she had “allowed James” to get certain things for me; but he did not visit me any oftener than when mother was at home, and when she returned in the autumn, the potatoes were frozen in the ground, the apples on the trees, and the cow stood starving at the stable door.

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Half a Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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