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HOME > Short Stories > The Children's Pilgrimage > CHAPTER VI. CECILE GIVES HER HEART.
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 It was thus, sitting at Mrs. Moseley's knee in that snug kitchen, that Cecile got her great question answered. It was Mrs. Moseley who explained to the longing, wondering child, what Jesus the Guide would do, who Jesus the Guide really was. It was Mrs. Moseley who told Cecile what a glorious future she had before her, and how safe her life down in this world really was.  
And Cecile listened, half glad, half sorry, but, if the truth must be known, dimly understanding. For Cecile, sweet as her nature was had slow perceptions.
She was eight years old, and in her peculiar, half English, half foreign life, she had never before heard anything of true religion. All the time Mrs. Moseley was speaking, she listened with bright eyes and flushed cheeks. But when the sweet old story came to an end, Cecile burst into tears.
"Oh! I'm glad and I'm sorry," she sobbed; "I wanted a real, real guide. I'm glad as the story's quite true, but I wanted someone to hold my hand, and to carry Maurice when he's ever so tired. I'm glad and sorry."
"But I'm not sorry," said Maurice, who was lying full length on the hearth-rug, and listening attentively. "I'm glad, I am—and I'd like to die; I'd much rather die than go south."
"Oh, Maurice!" said Cecile.
"Yes, Cecile. I'd much rather die. I like what that kind woman says about heaven, and I never did want to walk all that great way. Do Jesus have little boys as small as me in heaven, Mrs. Moseley, ma'am?"
"Lord bless the child. Yes, my sweet lamb. Why, there's new-born babes up there; and I had a little un, he wor a year younger nor you. But Jesus took him there; it near broke my heart, but he went there."
"Then I'll go too," said Maurice. "I'll not go south; I'll go to heaven."
"Bless the bonnie children both," said Mrs. Moseley softly under her breath. She laid her hand on Cecile's head, who was gazing at her little brother in a sort of wonder and consternation. Then the good woman rose to get supper.
The next day ushered in the most wonderful Sunday Cecile had ever spent. In the first place, this little girl, who had been so many years of her little life in our Christian England, went to church. In her father's time, no one had ever thought of so employing part of their Sunday. The sweet bells sounded all around, but they fell on unheeding ears. Cecile's stepmother, too, was far too busy working for Lovedy to have time for God's house, and when the children went down to Warren's Grove, though Lydia Purcell regularly Sunday after Sunday put on her best bonnet, and neat black silk gown, and went book in hand into the simple village church, it had never occurred to her to take the orphan children with her. Therefore, when Mrs. Moseley said to Cecile and Maurice:
"Now come and let me brush your hair, and make you tidy for church," they were both surprised and excited. Maurice fretted a little at the thought of leaving Toby behind, but, on the whole, he was satisfied with the novelty of the proceeding.
The two children sat very gravely hand in hand. The music delighted them, but the rest of the service was rather above their comprehension.
Cecile, however, listened hard, taking in, in her slow, grave way, here a thought and there an idea.
Mrs. Moseley watched the children as much as she listened to the sermon, and as she said afterward to her husband, she felt her heart growing full of them.
The rest of the Sunday passed even more delightfully in Maurice's estimation. Mrs. Moseley's pudding was pronounced quite beyond praise by the little hungry boy, and after dinner Moseley showed him pictures, while Mrs. Moseley amused Cecile with some Bible stories.
But a strange experience was to come to the impressionable Cecile later in the day.
Quite late, when all the light had faded, and only the lamps were lit, and Maurice was sound asleep in his little bed in Mrs. Moseley's small closet, that good woman, taking the little girl's hand, said to her:
"When we go to church we go to learn about Jesus. I took you to one kind of church this morning. I saw by yer looks, my little maid, as you were trying hard to understand. Now I will take you to another kind of church. A church wot ain't to call orthodox, and wot many speaks against, and I don't say as it ha'n't its abuses. But for all that, when Molly Moseley wants to be lifted clean off her feet into heaven, she goes there; so you shall come to-night with me, Cecile."
All religious teaching was new to Cecile, and she gave her hand quite willingly to her kind friend.
They went down into the cold and wet winter street, and presently, after a few moments' quick walking, found themselves in an immense, square-built hall. Galleries ran round it, and these galleries were furnished with chairs and benches. The whole body of the hall was also full of seats, and from the roof hung banners, with texts of Scripture printed on them, and the motto of the Salvation Army:
"Fire and Blood."
Cecile, living though she had done in its very midst had never heard of this great religious revival. To such as her, poor little ignorant lost lamb, it preached, but hitherto no message had reached her. She followed Mrs. Moseley, who seated herself on a bench in the front row of a gallery which was close to the platform. The space into which she and Cecile had to squeeze was very small, for the immense place was already full to overflowing.
"We'll have three thousand to-night, see if we don't," said a thin-faced girl, bending over to Mrs. Moseley.
"Oh, ma'am!" said another, who had a very worn, thin, but sweet face, "I've found such peace since I saw you last. I never could guess how good Jesus would be to me. Why, now as I'm converted, He never seems to leave my side for a minute. Oh! I do ache awful with this cough and pain in my chest, but I don't seem to mind it now, as Jesus is with me all day and all night."
Another, nudging her, here said:
"Do you know as Black Bess ha' bin converted too?"
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