Something like a sarcastic rejoinder was made as to the eloquence of the pulpit, and a warm and able altercation ensued,
in which the merits of the Christian religion became the subject of discussion.
From six o'clock until eleven, the young champions wielded the sword of argument,
adducing with ingenuity and ability everything that could be said pro and con.
During this protracted period, the old gentleman listened with the meekness and modesty of a child,
as if he were adding new information to the stores of his own mind; or perhaps he was observing, with a philosophic eye,
the faculties of the youthful mind, and how new energies are evolved by repeated action,
or perhaps, with patriotic emotion, he was reflecting upon the future destinies of his country,
and on the rising generation, upon whom those future destinies must devolve,
or, most probably, with a sentiment of moral and religious feeling,
he was collecting an argument which no art would be "able to elude, and no force to resist."
Our traveler remained a spectator, and took no part in what was said.