Nazareth Avenue Church parted from its pastor with regret for the most part, although the regret was modified with a feeling of relief on the part of those who had refused to take the pledge. Dr. Bruce carried with him the respect of men who, entangled in business in such a way that obedience to the pledge would have ruined them, still held in their deeper, better natures a genuine admiration for courage and consistency. They had known Dr. Bruce many years as a kindly, conservative, safe man, but the thought of him in the light of sacrifice of this sort was not familiar to them. As fast as they understood it, they gave their pastor the credit of being absolutely true to his recent convictions as to what following Jesus meant. Nazareth Avenue Church never lost the impulse of that movement started by Dr. Bruce. Those who went with him in making the promise breathed into the church the very breath of divine life, and are continuing that life-giving work at this present time.
* * * * * *
It was fall again, and the city faced another hard winter. The Bishop one afternoon came out of the Settlement and walked around the block, intending to go on a visit to one of his new friends in the district. He had walked about four blocks when he was attracted by a shop that looked different from the others. The neighborhood was still quite new to him, and every day he discovered some strange spot or stumbled upon some unexpected humanity.
The place that attracted his notice was a small house close by a Chinese laundry. There were two windows in the front, very clean, and that was remarkable to begin with. Then, inside the window, was a tempting display of cookery, with prices attached to the various articles that made him wonder somewhat, for he was familiar by this time with many facts in the life of the people once unknown to him. As he stood looking at the windows, the door between them opened and Felicia Sterling came out.
“Felicia!” exclaimed the Bishop. “When did you move into my parish without my knowledge?”
“How did you find me so soon?” inquired Felicia.
“Why, don’t you know? These are the only clean windows in the block.”
“I believe they are,” replied Felicia with a laugh that did the Bishop good to hear.
“But why have you dared to come to Chicago without telling me, and how have you entered my diocese without my knowledge?” asked the Bishop. And Felicia looked so like that beautiful, clean, educated, refined world he once knew, that he might be pardoned for seeing in her something of the old Paradise. Although, to speak truth for him, he had no desire to go back to it.