Page:A New England Tale.djvu/33

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A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

phatically, "Offend not this little one; for her angel does stand before my Father. It were better that a mill-stone were hanged about your neck." Then, courtseying to the ground, she left them.

Bet's solemn and slow manner of pronouncing this warning, was so different from her usually hurried utterance, that it struck a momentary chill to the hearts of the sisters. Mrs. Daggett was the first to break the silence.

"What does she mean?" said she. "Has Jane experienced religion?"

"Experienced religion!—no," replied Mrs. Wilson. "How should she? She has not been to a meeting since her mother was first taken sick; and no longer ago than the day after her mother's death, when I talked to her of her corrupt state by nature, and the opposition of her heart, (for I felt it to be my duty, at this peculiar season, to open to her the great truths of religion, and I was faithful to her soul, and did not scruple to declare the whole counsel,) she looked at me as if she was in a dumb stupor. I told her the judgments of an offended God were made manifest towards her in a remarkable manner; and then I put it to her conscience, whether if she was sure her mother had gone where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched, she should be reconciled to the .character of God, and be willing herself to promote his glory, by buffering that just condemnation. She did not reply one word, or give the least symptom of a gracious un-