Excerpt from An Illinois Boyhood
And yet the church meant more to Hope than any club. It had a kind of music that wound itself into the memory. Not the wheezing cottage organ. Not the dry hymns. Not the drone of the preacher. But the music of rich, proud words from the Bible falling upon ears that had heard them again and again and now heard them chime with old recol lections. The silence during prayer. The hush at communion. All sorts of thoughts and feelings, of course, ran through the passive minds of the worshipers: vows, fears, loves, hates, lusts, resentments, repentances, forecasts, griefs, triumphs. But they had in common one strain of piety, a sense of rev erence toward a ceremonial which had become a part of them, reaching back to their childhood, and bringing them at each repetition the accumulated experience of solemn hours. This piety was Hope's religion.
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