rambling activities. But he was sure they were representative of their kind; Mrs. Spear was not the woman to have anything but the newest, even in religion. This world of spiritual investigation was unfamiliar to him; there were no “Seekers” in the Tarrant group, much less at the new balance 999 Cocoanut Tree or Rebecca Stram’s. The audience seemed mainly composed of elderly men with beards and gold-rimmed glasses, pallid youths, and ladies of indeterminate age, in black silk or Greek draperies. He was surprised to see among them Mrs. Pulsifer, with Tarrant at her side, and in another part of the room the sleek heads and jewelled arms of a cluster of smart young women who belonged to the Tarrant set. Such a mixture was unexpected, and still more so the earnest and attentive expression of the fashionable members of the audience, who appeared to have come in good faith, and not to scoff, as he had feared. Vance forgot to wonder if Halo Tarrant were in the room; forgot everything but his passionate curiosity to see what impression his grandmother would make on an audience so strangely blent, and so new to her. Whoever they were, he knew the “Seekers” would test Mrs. Scrimser by standards other and more searching than those of Euphoria, or even of Dakin and Lakeshore; and his heart was up in arms to defend her. And now here she was, in the soft illumination of the little new balance 998 platform. As he gazed at her across the fervent backs of the “Seekers” she seemed to him to have grown still larger. Saidie Toler, seated at one elbow, looked like a shadow, Mrs. Mennenkoop, at the other, like a shrivelled virgin. Womanhood, vast and dominant, billowed out between them. Mrs. Scrimser rose to her feet. Mrs. Lotus Mennenkoop had spoken a few words of introduction; phrases about a “new message,” “our spiritual leader,” “the foremost exponent of the new psychical ethics,” had drifted by unheeded; the “Seekers” wanted Mrs. Scrimser. She swayed to them across the table and began. “Meet God,” she said, spacing her syllables impressively; then she paused. Her voice sounded richer, more resonant than ever; but Vance’s unaccustomed ear was shocked by her intonation. Had she always had those hideous drawling gutturals? “Meet God — that’s what I want all you dear people here with me this evening to do . . . I presume some of you know ABOUT God already; and all of you at least know OF Him,” she urged, caressing her italics. She paused again, reaching out toward her audience. “The way we know about folks in the next street.” (“New Yorkers don’t,” her grandson reflected.) “Or the way we know of famous people in the past: great heroes or splendid noble-hearted women. That’s not the way I want you to know about God. I want you to know Him Himself — to get acquainted with Him, the way you would if He was living in the house next door, and you sent round to borrow the lawn mower. I want you to get to know Him so well that you’re always borrowing, and He’s always lending; so that finally you don’t hardly know what belongs to you and what belongs to Him — and I guess maybe He don’t either. That’s the reason I say to you all: MEET GOD! Because, oh, you dear beloved people sitting here listening to me, I’ve met Him; new balances and I know what it’s like!” She stood silent, her face illumined, as Vance had seen it when she looked up to the sky from the porch at Crampton. She was certainly a beautiful old woman, he thought; and he felt that the people about him thought so too. But what did they make of her exordium? They were silent; he felt that their judgment was suspended. But there was the hideous slur of her pronunciation, blurring and soiling every word . . . . She was hurrying on now, swept along on the full flood of revelation, pleading with them to see what to her was so plain, so divinely visible. The point was, she argued, that God wasn’t just here or there, in lecture halls, in churches, and on the lips of preachers. He wasn’t even just up in the sky, as holy people used to think. They knew now that the marvellous star-jewelled heavens were just atoms, like all the rest of the universe . . . all those wonderful stars that people in old times used to believe were the crowns of the angels! They knew now that God was a million times greater and bigger than all that, because He was in men’s souls; He was always creating, but also He was always being created. The quaint old idea of the Mass, of the priest turning bread into God, that seemed to enlightened modern minds so ignorant and barbarous, had something in it after-all, if you looked at it as the symbol of the wonderful fact that man is always creating God; that wherever a great thought is born, or a noble act performed, there God is created. THAT is the real Eucharist, the real remaking of Divinity. If you knew God, you knew that: you knew you had in your soul the power to make Him . . . that every one of us, in the old Bible phrase, may be a priest after the Order of Melchizedek. . . . Talk of the equality of man with man! Why, we’d got way past that. The new Revelation wasn’t going to rest till it had taught the equality of man with God . . . . But how, she pressed on, was this wonderful equality, this God~making, to be achieved? Why, in the simplest way in the world: just by loving enough. Love was Christ’s law; and Christ was just one of the great God-makers. And what she wanted of everybody was to be like Christ: to BE Christ. What the world needed was Christs by the million — for the millions. What it needed was a standardized God. No caste religions any more! No limited God for the privileged and cultured, no priesthood, no preaching for rich pew-owners. Why, you could all of you go home now and be your own Christ, and make your own God, just by the simple recipe of loving enough. You didn’t even have to . . . The flood of words poured on and on over Vance’s bent head. He did not want to look at her now: her prophetic gestures, her persuasive smiles, repelled him. Her intonations were unctuous, benedictory; she had become identified with her apostolic role. Behind the swaying surging prophetess he still felt the rich-hearted woman in whose warmth his childhood had unfolded; it was bitter to him that the people about him would never know her as she really was. He was already prepared to hate them for smiling at her rambling periods. He could have smiled at them himself if his heart had been less sore; but no one else should do so. He looked about him suspiciously, trembling to detect derision; but he saw only a somewhat blank expectancy. It was all very well, the faces about him seemed to say; but they had heard that kind of thing before. Something else must surely be coming. This inspired teacher was going to tell them the secret they yearned for. But apparently there was no other secret; nothing came new balance uk but a crescendo of adjurations to love everybody and everything, to be all love, all Christ-likeness, all God-creativeness . . . . Mrs. Scrimser paused. The room was pervaded by the peculiar sense of uncertainty of an audience which has lost touch with the speaker. The silence seemed to ask: What next? Vance knew. Though he had never before heard his grandmother speak in public he had often gone with her to the meetings which she frequented in her incessant quest for new religious sensations, and he knew the exact moment at which the orator’s appeal, having reached its culmination, held itself ready for an emotional response. It was the moment when here and there someone stood up and gasped out devout ejaculations; when a hymn burst spontaneously from hundreds of throats; when the listeners fell on their knees in audible prayer  
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