THE SERMON OF THE LITTLE CHILD
There was a day in Early Winter, when the sun had set, and the daylight grew dim. And I entered the House of God.
And there cometh ever upon me as I enter a feeling of Reverence, and a sense of the Beauty of the place. For if the Sun be shining, then is the place flooded with Golden Light; and if it draw toward evening, then is the light less, but richer and more peaceful.
And I heard as I entered a Small Voice, and I beheld a Small Light. And they were Very Far Away, even in the Pulpit.
Now the Light was the Light of the Electrick Lamp that is fastened above the Pulpit. And it sheddeth its beams not toward the Congregation, but backward, and downward. For it is Hooded.
And Between the Top of the Pulpit and the Hood of the Light, I beheld a Little Face. And the Face was Rosy, and it was fringed round with Golden Hair. And the little round Mouth was open, and the Front Teeth were gone.
And there stood the daughter of the daughter of Keturah. And she stood upon her Toes, that she might look in the face of the Congregation. And the Congregation sat on the Front Seat, very Attentively. For he was her Little Brother, whose age is Three. And he hath Great Admiration for his Sister, who hath late become Six.
And she held a Book in her Little Hands, and she sang. And he also sang. And when the song was finished, then did she climb up into my Great Chair and sit down.
And I also sat down, but far away, and I listened while they twain went through the Service. And the daughter of the daughter of Keturah was Grandpa, and her Little Brother was the Congregation. And at the end of each part of the service did she climb up into the Great Chair, and presently did she climb down again, and do the next thing.
And she came unto the Sermon. And she said, Once upon a time there was a Cruel King. And he was not kind to the Little Jesus. And Joseph and Mary were kind to him. And they took him and went into Egypt. And Mary rode on a donkey and carried the Little Jesus in her arms, and Grandpa has a picture of it. And we must be kind to Jesus, When we see a little Kitten that Mews at the door and has no mother, do we be kind to it? Yes, yes. And when we see a little Birdie, do we be kind to it? Yes, yes.
And when she said, Yes, yes, then did her brother also say, Yes, yes; for that was his Amen. And when she had finished, she clapped her hands and applauded her own sermon, for ministers also do the same, though not so frankly. And her brother he also applauded.
And she said, Hullyhoo Root is here. Would he like to say a few words to the children?
Now I had not known that she had seen me, nor had she ever before called me Elihu Root; but as she was Grandpa, I had to be someone else. And she hath a long list of distinguished friends, whose names she useth very freely.
And what I or Elihu Root said to the children mattereth not.
But this will I say for myself and for Elihu Root and for all men unto men and women everywhere. Be kind. For the miracle of Bethlehem is repeated wherever a child of God awaiteth a deed of love from any other child of God. In more than one place on earth hath there been an Inn with no room for the Christ. And when the Christmas Day cometh once again, give not alone to those who give unto you again, but be kind. When thou seest a Friendless child, and thou dost be kind unto him, hast thou done it unto Jesus. And if there be an home in need, and thou dost minister thereto in love, hast thou been kind to Him.
And the angels shall answer, Yes, yes