“From all that dwell below the skies
Let the Creator’s praise arise”;
and the Deacon, in his excitement, distanced the choir, and the organ, and the congregation, and almost brought the entire musical service to a standstill.
The Deacon had intended to watch closely for Hays’ conversion, but something wonderful prevented—it was reported everywhere that the Deacon himself had been converted, and all who now saw the Deacon fully believed the report. He was even heard to say that as there seemed to be some doubt as to whether faith or works was the saving virtue, he intended thereafter to practice both. He no longer mentions the poor-house as his prospective dwelling, but is heard to say that in his Father’s house there are many mansions, and that he is laying up his treasure in heaven as fast as possible, and hopes he may get it all on the way there before his heart is called for. At the post-office, the tin-shop and the rum-shop the Deacon’s conversion is constantly discussed, and men of all degrees now express a belief in the mighty power of the Spirit from on high. Other moneyed men have been smitten and changed, and the pastor of the Pawkin Centre Church daily thanks the Lord for such a revival as he never heard of before.
Good? He was the model boy of Bungfield. While his idle school-mates were flying kites and playing marbles, the prudent Joseph was trading Sunday-school tickets for strawberries and eggs, which he converted into currency of the republic. As he grew up, and his old school-mates purchased cravats and hair-oil at Squire Tackey’s store, it was the industrious Joseph who stood behind the counter, wrapped up their purchases, and took their money. When the same boys stood on the street-corners and cast sheep’s eyes at the girls, the business-like Joseph stood in the store-door and contemplated these same boys with eyes such as a hungry cat casts upon a brood of young birds who he expects to eat when they grow older. Joe never wasted any time at parties; he never wore fine clothing; he never drank nor smoked; in short, Joe was so industrious that by the time he reached his majority he had a thousand dollars in the bank, and not a solitary virtue in his heart.
For Joe’s money good Squire Tackey had an earnest longing, and soon had it to his own credit; while the sign over the store-door read “Tackey & Gatter.” Then the Squire wanted Joe’s soul, too, and so earnest was he that Joe soon found it necessary to remonstrate with his partner.
“’Twont do, Squire,” said he; “religion’s all very well in its place, but when a man loses the sale of a dozen eggs, profit seven cents, because his partner is talking religion with him so hard that a customer gets tired of waiting and goes somewhere else, then religion’s out of place.”
“The human soul’s of more cons’kence than many eggs, Joseph,” argued the Squire.