The incidents of this story turn on the contested election of a Bishop of Massachusetts, incidents which, in a way, reflect and repeat the agitations which attended such an election not many years ago.
he ultimate spirit, that inner flame from the treasure-house of flames, is not affected by the outward, by the apparent. What though the outer man fall into sin? What though he throw stones at the glass of piety and quaff the wine of sensuality from a full goblet? The flame within the tabernacle is still pure and undefined because it is undefilable."
Ashe looked around the circle in astonishment, wondering if it were possible that in a Christian civilization these doctrines could be proclaimed without rebuke. His neighbors sat in attitudes of close attention; they were evidently listening, but their faces showed no indignation. On the lips of Wynne Philip fancied he detected a faint curl of derisive amusement, but nowhere else could he perceive any display of emotion, unless--He had avoided looking at the lady in black, feeling that to do so were to play with temptation; but the attraction was too strong for him, and he glanced at her with a look of which the swiftness showed how strongly she affected him.