Highly-favored kittens! If they do not turn out well, it will not be the fault of their mother, who took them so early under good influences. In the temple of old the swallow found a nest for herself where she might lay her young; but this is the first time we ever knew of the conference of such honors on the Felis domestica. It could not have been anything mercenary that took the old cat into the pulpit, for “poor as a church mouse” has become proverbial. Nothing but lofty aspirations could have taken her there, and a desire that her young should have advantages of high birth. If in the “Historical Society” there are mummied cats two thousand years old, much more will post-mortem honors be due this ecclesiastical Pussy.
We see many churches in city as well as town that need rehabilitation and reconstruction. People of a neighborhood have no right to live in houses better constructed than their church. Better touch up the fresco, and put on a new roof, and tear out the old pews which ignore the shape of a man’s back, and supersede the smoky lamps by clarified kerosene or cheap gas brackets. Lower you high pulpit that your preacher may come down from the Mont Blanc of his isolation and solitariness into the same climate of sympathy with his audience. Tear away the old sofa, ragged and spring-broken, on which the pastors of forty years have been obliged to sit, and see whether there are any cats in your antediluvian pulpit.
Would it not be well for us all to look under our church sofas and see if there be anything lurking there that we do not suspect? A cat, in all languages, has been the symbol of deceit and spitefulness, and she is more fit for an ash barrel than a pulpit. Since we heard that story of feline nativity, whenever we see a minister of religion, on some question of Christian reform, skulking behind a barrier, and crawling away into some half-and-half position on the subject of temperance or oppression, and daring not to speak out, instead of making his pulpit a height from which to hurl the truth against the enemies of God, turning it into a cowardly hiding place, we say, “Another cat in the pulpit.”
Whenever we see a professed minister of religion lacking in frankness of soul, deceitful in his friendship, shaking hands heartily when you meet him, but in private taking every possible opportunity of giving you a long, deep scratch, or in public newspapers giving you a sly dig with the claw of his pen, we say: “Another cat in the pulpit!”
Once a year let all our churches be cleaned with soap, and sand, and mop, and scrubbing brush, and the sexton not forget to give one turn of his broom under the pastor’s chair. Would that with one bold and emphatic “scat!” we could drive the last specimen of deceitfulness and skulking from the American pulpit!
The way to keep fresh.