"It must be even so," resumed the minister. "For, if we deem it
otherwise, do we not thereby say that the Heavenly Father, the
creator of all flesh, hath lightly recognised a deed of sin, and
made of no account the distinction between unhallowed lust and
holy love? This child of its father's guilt and its mother's
shame has come from the hand of God, to work in many ways upon
her heart, who pleads so earnestly and with such bitterness of
spirit the right to keep her. It was meant for a blessing--for
the one blessing of her life! It was meant, doubtless, the
mother herself hath told us, for a retribution, too; a torture
to be felt at many an unthought-of moment; a pang, a sting, an
ever-recurring agony, in the midst of a troubled joy! Hath she
not expressed this thought in the garb of the poor child, so
forcibly reminding us of that red symbol which sears her bosom?"
"Well said again!" cried good Mr. Wilson. "I feared the woman
had no better thought than to make a mountebank of her child!"