On Horseback By Charles Dudley Warner

 -  The
irresponsibility of this amiable race was exhibited in the tardiness
with which they assembled: at the appointed time nobody - Page 5
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The Irresponsibility Of This Amiable Race Was Exhibited In The Tardiness With Which They Assembled:

At the appointed time nobody was there except the sexton; it was three quarters of an hour before the congregation began to saunter in, and the sermon was nearly over before the pews were at all filled.

Perhaps the sermon was not new, but it was fervid, and at times the able preacher roared so that articulate sounds were lost in the general effect. It was precisely these passages of cataracts of sound and hard breathing which excited the liveliest responses, - "Yes, Lord," and "Glory to God." Most of these responses came from the "Amen corner." The sermon contained the usual vivid description of the last judgment - ah, and I fancied that the congregation did not get the ordinary satisfaction out of it. Fashion had entered the fold, and the singing was mostly executed by a choir in the dusky gallery, who thinly and harshly warbled the emotional hymns. It occupied the minister a long time to give out the notices of the week, and there was not an evening or afternoon that had not its meetings, its literary or social gathering, its picnic or fair for the benefit of the church, its Dorcas society, or some occasion of religious sociability. The raising of funds appeared to be the burden on the preacher's mind. Two collections were taken up. At the first, the boxes appeared to get no supply except from the two white trash present.

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