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the moment he felt himself one with the venerable old
man who was speaking for all. It seemed his own con-
fession, his own prayer, and he therefore felt more clearly
and significantly, that he was approaching the commun-
ion with humble entreaties in expectation of the prom-
ises, than he would have done had the pastor alone
spoke. Oswald trembled violently. Every word that
the old man said, sank into his soul. It seemed to him
as if the prayer came from his own lips, but as if it were
more heartfelt, more forcible, more earnest ; while it
expressed his own longings, it became, as it were, a call
from the depths, a cry for mercy, a sigh of aspiration,
upon whose answer his life depended.
  When the old man had ended, the pastor folded his
hands, raised his eyes in silent prayer, and then, after a
short pause, said, laying his right hand on the head of the
venerable man before him, who, in the mean time, had
kneeled on the steps of the altar :
  "He who came into the world, not to condemn the
world, but that the world through him might be
blessed, he who calls the weary and the heavy laden to
himself that he may refresh them, he says, through the
office which he has bestowed upon me, to you and to
this congregation which have made true confession
through you : 'Be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven
  As the minister now stretched forth his hands toward
the whole congregation, and repeated the words once
more, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," a vail seemed to
fall from the souls of Mander and Oswald.
  The Gospel had now become to them light, power,
and life, and all obscurity, weakness and lukewarmness