Then let our songs resound
And every heart be love;
We’re marching through Emmanuel’s ground
To fairer worlds above.
Distance mellowed the harshness of the voices and the words sounded like a message from heaven. Their distress was that neither Allan’s voice nor my own was distinguishable. Glad they were when we emerged from the trees and joined them round the fire that had been made to blaze as a guide to us. Our visitors made themselves at home at once. ’Why do you call your son Sal?’ asked the mistress, ‘that is a girl’s name.’ The reply was, ’His Sunday came is Salvation Simmins; we call him Sal for short.’ ‘And your husband addresses you as Jedu; what name is that?’ ’I was a girl of sixteen before I was baptised, and the preacher gave me the name Jeduthan, because I was the chief musician.’ ’Jeduthan was a man, the friend of David.’ ’Bible don’t say he was a man, and for years and years I was the chief musician at the campmeetings. Guess it was the same in David’s time as in ours—the women did the heft of the singing?’ Then she began singing, husband and son helping. ’Why don’t you all sing?’ she asked, ’aint you got religion yet? My, if you heard Elder Colver you would be on your knees and get converted right away.’ The mistress said they did not know the words of the hymns she sang, when she became curious to hear us. Alice struck up Come, let us to the Lord our God, and we all joined. ‘Whew!’ exclaimed Mrs Simmins, very pretty, but that aint the stuff to bring sinners to the penitent-bench—you have to be loud and strong. Ever hear a negro hymn? No, well we will give you one, Whip the ole devil round the stump.’ As they sang they acted the words. We parted with mutual good wishes, the mistress remarking, after they left, that God spoke in divers ways and their presentation of His truths, though rude and wild to us, doubtless suited the frontier population among whom they had lived and did good. ’The ax before the plow, the ox-drag before the smoothing harrow,’ added the master.