Society at Amherst, Folder 3: Litigation and Communion

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Even in those days of old fashioned conviction and conversion, sin must have
lingered in the heart-corners of good folks: breaking out in violent expansio
expressions not retailed as the fruits of the Spirit.

A land boundary, that never
dying cause of quarrel and litigation was the bottom cause of one memorable vivid
happening, I remember. The deacon in the case was vindicated by law. It
followed, that the routed adversary was recommended to withdraw from the church,
after certain inquisitory steps had been taken. The sacrament of the Lord's
supper being served the following Sabbath, he was accordingly passed by when the
holy bread was passed -- offered: -- this being cruelly hard to bear as the vic-
torious deacon was bearer of the plate. The victim was passed by. Everybody
winced and waited. After the deacons had tasted their share of the emblem,
standing in a decorous row in front of the communion table, and sat down, there
was a sudden sound as of scuffling, with an open door. We were all buttoned in
our pews with a strong brass button and the sides were too high for any escape--
save by thought, -- and then terrible to relate! and see 'the victim of' his sin
strode to the sacred table, clutched his bread, and returned to his own pew, where
with bowed head he ate the forbidden emblem symbol. The wine was partaken of in the
same way. What a riot of emotions followed as we rose to sing "Blest be the tie
that binds our hearts in christian love" The saints were horrified. The very
young folks, -- who all stayed to this service in the old days, -- were somewhat scared,
but on the whole liked the variety in so solemn a time, and some few whose
carnalities were not wholly overcome by grace, were obliged to cover their their
red and smiling faces with their hymn books.

But as the angels must have wept.
Had our good old church never read the echo from Judea: "let them both grow together
till the harvest"?