“When I get home from Saratoga,” she said, at last, turning uneasily in her seat, annoyed at the persistency of her thoughts, “I really mean to look into this thing. I am not sure but a sense of propriety should lead one to make a profession of religion. It is, as Marion says, strange to believe as we do and not indicate it by our professions. I am not sure but the right thing for me to do would be to unite with the church. There is certainly some ground for the thrusts that Marion has been giving. My position must seem inconsistent to her. I certainly believe these things. What harm in my saying so to everybody? Rather, is it not the right thing to do? I will unite with the church from a sense of duty, not because my feelings happen to be wrought upon by some strong excitement. I wonder just what is required of people when they join the church? A sense of their own dependence on Christ for salvation I suppose. I certainly feel that. I am not an unbeliever in any sense of the word. I respect Christian people, and always did. Mother used to be a church-member; I suppose she would be now if she were not an invalid. Most of the married ladies in our set are church-members. I don’t see why it isn’t quite as proper for young ladies to be. I certainly mean to give some attention to this matter just as soon as the season is over at Saratoga. In the meantime I wonder when there is a train I can get, and if I couldn’t telegraph to mother to send my trunks on and have them there when I arrived.”
A “SENSE OF DUTY.”
It is not so easy to get away from ones self as you might think, if you never had occasion to try it. Ruth Erskine—who honestly thought herself on the high road to heaven because she had decided to offer herself for church-membership as soon as she returned from Saratoga—did not find the comfort and rest of heart that so heroic a resolution ought to have brought.
It was in vain that she endeavored to dismiss the subject and try to decide just what new costume the Saratoga trip would demand. If she could only have gotten away from the crowd of people and out of that meeting back to the quiet of her tent, she might have succeeded in arranging her wardrobe to her satisfaction; but she was completely hedged in from any way of escape, and the inconsiderate speakers constantly made allusions that thrust the arrow further into her brain; I am not sure that it could have been said to have reached her heart.