Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXVI: The Wounded Lover >> Page 230

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Page 230

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 230 MELLICHAMPE.
LovE is the vital principle of religion it is religion. It
is the devotion that fears not death which is not won by life
which can not be seduced from duty�which is patient and
uncomplaining amid privation. Its existence becomes merged
in that of the object which it worships, and its first gift is the
sacrifice of�self. There is no love if the heart will not make
this sacrifice, and the heart never truly loves until this sacrifice
be made. Self is that life which we surrender when we gain
the happiness of the blessed. Seldom made in this life, it is
yet the only condition upon which we are secure of the future.
Ah ! happy the spirit which is soonest ready for the sacrifice.
To such a spirit, Heaven and Immortality are one !
The destiny of such a creature as Janet Berkeley might
even now be written. She is secure. There can be no change
in such a character. Time, and fortune, sickness, the defeat
of hope, and the consciousness of approaching 'death, could
never alter one lofty mood, one self-devoting impulse of her
soul. Surely,. though she seeks the- field of terror unaccom-
panied by human form, she will not necessarily be alone. The
God whose worship calls only for love, will not be heedless of
the safety of her who toils for the beloved one. He is with
Resolute as she was to seek the field of strife, and fearless
as her conduct approved her spirit, she was yet sufficiently,
maiden in her reserve, to desire as much as possible, to conceal
from stranger eyes the object of her adventure. With a cau-
tious footstep, therefore, she stole from cover to cover, until she
reached the artificial bank, clustering and crowded with shrubs