Thursday, February 23, 2006

04Jun1857, Confirmation

FALCONHURST, Thursday, June 4th, 1857.
—I was confirmed at Penshurst Church with many others by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sumner. We left Falconhurst early ; I was so sorry Aggy didn't come and wasn't confirmed with me. She and Cecil had got me a little bunch of daisies, which I loved taking with me. It was very quiet and all fear and trembling seemed gone. The long drive was nice and stilling, and the glorious bells chimed as we came up to the church. I had Papa on one side, Mamma on the other. We waited in the church for a long time before the Archbishop came, but it didn't seem so to me. And I seem to remember nothing very distinctly till I went up and knelt on the altar step, feeling the strangest thrill as I did so for the first time. And I know how I waited breathlessly for my turn, with the longing for it to be safe done, half feeling that something might yet prevent it. And I know that I felt when it was I that should come next at last, though my face was hid down in my hands. And I know that I shall never forget the touch of the hand on my head : " Defend, 0 Lord, this Thy servant with Thy heavenly Grace . . ." and the glorious rush of trembling calm that followed in indescribable feeling. And then I went back and knelt down. The crying came then, and the Thanksgiving and Prayers mingled and repeated in unutterable gratitude, while the " Defend, 0 Lord," blended with them in the gentle faltering words unceasingly. And the new Life has begun.

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