passing such on earth. Then at last, when her life
work was done, her cup full, my mother, as her final
consolation, held to her heart the Son whose death
gives life, as yon Madonna holds the Christ. "
I bow to Miriamne s judgment ; the creation is
appropriate; Glorious Madonna !
" I have a hope that it may stand here in the Hauran
an enduring sermon to the varied races who pass.
They who come and go here, reminded that the
Nephalim with all their arrogant might left little but
their crumbling tombs; that Astarte, once the potent,
dangerous goddess of the groves, here faded from the
love of her fevered hosts, who themselves in turn faded
from the face of the earth, may pause to question what
the meaning and power of this last, new, fresh present
ment ! Perhaps they will hear from those made wise,
and in time learn to tell one another, that these two
figures speak of the Deathless Kingdom, its white loves,
its wondrous rewards and its Spirit of might expressed
by all who are in it through the power of an end
less life, and through the agency of immortal influ
" Miriamne, I see thee a palpitating angel in the
flesh ! I can say no more ! "
As the young missioner thus spoke he stretched out
516 The Queen of the House of David.
his arms toward the woman he loved as if he would
restrain her. The motion came from his heart, which
was anxiously saying within : " She is growing upward
and away from her consort." But he had neither cour
age nor words to voice the vague thought which
brought admiration mixed with fears.
They turned toward their temporary home in the
Giant City. As they went, the rising sun flooded the
marble forms by the graves with a golden light, and
the twain, beholding the glory of that morning ben
ediction, felt an illumining in their hearts that some
way made heaven seem very near.
" And now, darling, we ll return to Jerusalem, and
quietly pursue our work until we join those loved ones
gone on before," spoke the husband the day after the
monument s unveiling.
" I trust we shall work in future with better plans
and grander results than we have had before."
"Are you discontented with what we accomplish ? "
" No, and yes," was her measured reply.
Cornelius turned his eyes full upon her, lifting
inquiringly his eyebrows.
She continued : " I m satisfied, if God so will, to
blend my work into my husband s; I know this is my
duty as a wife, but I long to echo nobler music. Can
you make it? "
" Annata, the Assyrian goddess, was content to be
the echo of her spoir^ the mighty Ammon. I d be
an Ammon if I could to be worthy being echoed by
Miriamne. But, little wife, your words sound almost
Delphic ; and yet you are no such ambiguous oracle.
Is there any wish unmet?"
" I ve a misgiving."
Memorials at Bozrak. 5 17
" Why, \vife of mine, see how strong you ve been,
each year adding health ! See the shadows over our
people. We are sent to chase these away with Gospel
truth. We ve hitherto only learned how to work
efficiently, and in the future will do braver, greater
things than ever. We ll tarry, as Adolphus, ay, and by
grace renew strength, turning back the dial pointer, as
with prayer, did Hezekiah of old."
" I ll not go, I know, until my work is done. None
go before such time."
" Oh, but we must go together everywhere, even to
"Ah, beloved, I know your meaning. It s the lover,
not the consecrated missionary, who speaks now."
" I can t help it ! I ll be useless without you. I m
useless now, except as you sustain me ; as Abishag,
the Shunnamite, the fairest young maiden of all Israel,
brought heart to the bosom of David, old and shaken
by years, so you put into me all the ambition I have.
To my trembling heart you are what Deborah was to
" God help you> Cornelius ; I believe you, because I
know your trusting nature and have joyed in the full
ness of your lavish love, but let us bravely face this
matter as it comes. For God, I know, I must quickly
do my work and be gone."
" Oh, say not so, if I m to be left alone ! That must
not be ! By your love for me I entreat you to stay ; a
thousand ties bind my life to thine ; it will kill me by
inches to have them severed !
" Miriamne, my own, nearer to God by far than am I ;
plead with Him to spare us this agony! "
"In spirit, my loyal spouse, we shall ever be near
5 ! 8 The Qiieen of the House of David.
each other, but I feel that in the body we shall not be
together long. I shall finish my course and then
" No, not that," vehemently exclaimed the husband.
" Say not that ! I ll work for you, with you, for God.
Help me to the end and let me so help you, beloved ! "
"You may help me while I tarry."
" I ll joy to realize the prophet s vision, who saw the
hands of a man under the wings of an angel. Here
are the hands and Miriamne is the angel."
" But your imagination glows, kindled by the torch
of a human heart almost idolatrous."
" Nay, not idolatrous ; for the fire rises to things
holy. I only plead that God let me walk with Miri
amne ; I know she will walk nigh Him. Go where
you will my feet will bear me thither, undertake
what you may, my heart and hand will help ; point out
any goal of darling desire and thither I ll carry you,
if need be. For you I ll gladly die, if, at the dying, I
have the comforting assurance that soon my other self
will join me in the overshadowed land of life."
" How it would brighten the world, if all who take
the holy vows o-f marriage on their souls were as truly
wed in heart as we." As the twain stood by the white
marble figures at sunrise the next morning, equipped
for departure, they made a striking picture. The liv
ing and the dead ; the exemplars of the purest, deepest
wedded love committed to serving their fellow man ;
they rose grandly above the ruins of the place builded
by those mighty self-seeking devotees of Astarte.
Bozrah sat in desolation, knowing no hope and hav
ing a bitter past only and forever to contemplate ; the
youthful gospel heralds had all life, rising to new life
hope beyond hope, joy beyond joy, and then life, hope
Memorials at Bozrah. 519
and joy in endless unfoldments, stretching way through
measureless eternities, all before them. Miriamne was
pensive ; Cornelius was chastened by the remembrance
of the words she had spoken the day before, and both
subdued by the presence of the majestic monument be
THE SISTERS OF BETHANY.
* Her eyes are homes of silent prayer,
No thought her mind admits ;
But He was dead and there he sits !
And He that brought him back is there I
" All subtle thought, all curious fears,
Borne down by gladness so complete;
She bows, she bathes the Savior s feet
With costly spikenard and with tears."
" In the day time He was teaching in the temple, and at night
He went out and abode in the mount that is called the Mount of
Olives." LUKE xxi., 37.
" Gethsemane on one side, Bethany on the other . . . where
He was wont to pray for His people and weep for a sinful world;
where His feet stood on the eve of His ascension and where His
wondering disciples received from white-robed angels the promise
of His second advent. It will be admitted that above and beyond
all places in Palestine Olivet witnessed God manifest in the flesh. "
Porter s "Giants of Bashan."
JFTER Jesus had been driven from His na
tive Nazareth, He found a home in the house
of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, in the village
of Bethany, on the eastern slope of Olivet.
That was sweet, memorable Bethany of the Gospels ;
" the perfection of repose," amid the palm and oak-
The Sisters of Bethany. 521
covered slopes of Olivet ; hidden by its quiet life, as
well as its sequestering mountain, from Jerusalem,
that great, throbbing heart of Palestine.
Thither, down the east steps of the Temple, through
the " Golden Gate," along camel paths that wound past
Gethsemane and across fitful Kedron, the Son of Man
often w r ent when worn out by His love ministries.
or harassed by the gainsayings of the great city. So,
preaching His new kingdom, He exalted its corner
stone, the godly home, by electing one such, that of
Lazarus and his sisters, as a rest and a refuge for Him
self. Beyond this He proved His own humanity by
seeking earthly friendships, at the same time exhibit
ing Himself, though the favored of heaven, the object
of constant angelic regard, as needing, because He was
human, that which humanity ever needs congenial
The history of that ancient Bethany family, gathered
from various sources, but chiefly from the simple and
touching narrative of the Evangelist John, is full of
interest. The mother of that home, to us nameless,
was dead. Yet she was not fameless ; that circle of
children in their several relationships witnessed full well
of a finest mother-culture, that had been theirs. The
father of that family was worse than dead ; he was a
leper, buried alive in the Lazar keeps of the plague-
stricken, and the husband of Martha, the elder sister,
early had left his bride widowed.
That was a circle cut through its center ; but afBic.
tion had knit together in deepened affection the few
left. The fatherly brother, Lazarus, well fulfilled his
double obligation, and wins admiration, as do ever
those sons and brothers who faithfully take the place
522 The Queen of the House of David.
of dead fathers. That he was such a brother, the grief
of his sisters when he died fully proclaimed.
With a few fine sentences John depicts those sisters.
Martha, widowed in life s morning, but surmounting all
morbidness by giving herself to motherly ministries in
her home ; and then was Mary, a clinging, trusting, pious
maiden ; a poem of faith, a tear-bede\ved rose-wreath.
When Christ joined that circle there was presented the
finest conceivable ideal of a home. They served and
He blessed, and though their bereavements could never
be forgotten, while His banner of love was over them,
they were able to alleviate the poignancy of their
griefs through the hope of a blessed resurrection and a
final, eternal reunion.
The sacred associations gathering about the village
of Olivet made it a place peculiarly attractive to Cor
nelius and Miriamne ; for they, too, were bereaved ;
neither in all the world having a single living kinsman
of whom they knew.
They determined, shortly after their final farewell to
Bozrah, to take up their abode at the House of Dates,"
and were unmeasurably delighted in being able to se
cure for themselves a house reputed to have been the
identical one occupied by Christ and His choice friends.
If it were not the same, there seemed good reason to
believe it was at least on the site of that ancient sacred
One day they conversed of their work, their hopes,
and the needs of their field of labor.
" I m led to think that we should establish a refuge
for Magdalenes, Miriamne."
"If we did attempt the founding of an asylum for
Outcasts vve would not belie the memory of a noble
The Sisters of Bethany. 523
woman, who was never a harlot, by applying to it her
name. But my grail does not lead me that way.
I d go mad working for the utterly lost only ! No ; no.
our work must be more radical, by beginning back of
the falling so as to prevent it."
" Something must be done to educate the women of
this country to better living and higher conceptions of
womanhood. We need a school of some kind."
"A school? Good, if it be of the right kind; but
there have been schools and schools for men, such as
they were, and they have effectually proven that educa
tion alone is not a savior. Learning does not trans
form the soul, else God would have given Moses the
pattern of a college instead of that of a tabernacle.
My mother used often to tell me that the devil is
superbly educated. The more he knows the prouder
and more dangerous he becomes. I do not despise
learning, but since it is impotent to transform men,
why try it as the savior of woman? She who takes
counsel less of the intellect than of the conscience and
affections ! We must seek for those we aim to help
something surpassing in direct efficacy any thing yet
attempted ; " so saying, Miriamne paused.
"Shall we organize a church, fair as the moon, clear
as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?"
There have been churches and churches. It would
be vain for me to attempt to prove to you, a theologian
and a churchman, that this you call the Bride of
Christ is imperfect or lacking in any energy of reform ;
but, though I heartily confess tis the choicest institu
tion this side of the stars, yet I see it professing to
have heavenly charity, abounding light, and measureless
joys, leaving the needy without hospitals, the heathen
524 The Queen of the House of David.
in ignorance, and most of the world, including many
churchmen, famishing for happiness. The trouble is,
it infolds too many wolves and repels too many lambs.
Your flocks are too much given to atoning for lean liv
ing by fat believing; memorizing huge creeds instead of
incarnating them; putting their faith-confessions into
themselves rather than themselves into their faith pro
fessions. You churchmen shut your ears to friendly
criticism, sneer at those that censure, and in branding
such heretics proclaim yourselves infallible. I d not
be a vaporing railler, but I hear within your ecclesias
tical bodies of warring factions, of ambitious and mul
titudinous leaders, a proof that they are of the church
militant ; though theirs is an internecine militating.
I doubt if there has existed Christ s ideal of a church
since Pentecost. He gave a glimpse of its true out
lines there, and it will yet come in its power and splen
dor ; then, for the paeans! "
"You d organize, perhaps, a Vestal Band?"
" Yes ; an union of women of pure hearts, committed
.solely to such works as those performed in part by the
holy sisters of our church fraternities."
" I revere such as are thus engaged with all my heart ;
but, churchman, you are narrow in your plan ; even
Pagan Rome, which honored Vesta, the fire goddess,
by having an altar to her in every community, held
that the State was a great family, and placed Vesta,
the goddess of virginal purity, near the Penates, or
gods of the household and family."
" I see nothing now in this juxtaposition."
" They saw that there was ruin to all society if their
girls were impure; hence buried alive a Vestal, if she
The Sisters of Bethany. 525
fell from *.er vow of chastity. You have heard, Cor
nelius, how good Romans were wont to invoke, often,
as their family guardians, the manes of their departed
kin; and this very naturally; they held to the belief
that the family tie, the finest, strongest known among
men, outlived, by virtue of its heavenliness, the
shock of death. Imperial Rome trusted much its
all-conquering swords, for this life, but for the life
to come it appealed to Jupiter omnipotent or Mi
nerva, the all-wise. No, no, a Vestal Society, such
as you imply, would not suffice. I ve a broader client
age and vaster scheme in mind, good churchman hus
" Shall I venture another guess?"
" It would be needless. Let me explain myself
fully. Good Father Adolphus, founder of Bozrah s
Balsam Band, which he sometimes called nursing
preachers, told me that in olden times there was in this
country a fraternity of women, banded together to
perform works of charity. They were remembered
chiefly for their helpfulness to those that were in direst
need and utterly friendless. They befriended criminals
and social outcasts. He said that the women of Jeru
salem who followed Christ weeping, were, probably,
of that fraternity, since it was the custom of that pious
company to offer their tears for those on the way to
execution. More, these women were wont to furnish
the pain-dulling herbs to victims dying condemned.
You remember the Christ was offered such herbs?
When I remember the spirit that actuated Martha and
Mary, I readily believe they were members of that
pious fraternity. More, when I remember how, for
His own dear sake, they ministered to His human
526 The Queen of the House of David.
wants, there comes to my mind the possibility of a per
petual organization, for God s sake, ministering to
human want, taking the home as its palace, and to be
known to the world by the expressive, winning title,
Sisters of Bethany.
" Miriamne, if you were not Miriamne, I d call you
Gabriel. I m dazzled by these words. In truth, thy
* grail is near, I believe."
" That I seek to build up I ve explained, and here in
Bethany I ll attempt it. We ll have a fraternity of wo
men, Christ-guided, with burning hearts, and in meth
ods simple, direct and catholic, reaching after women."
" Now for our pillow prayer, Miriamne. Then sice
by side, unto wondrous sleep land, side by side in heart
and being at awakening.
" The sun of the millennium will rise from behind
the family altar, Father Adolphus was wont to say.
Twas well said ; redeemed homes are the fruits of the
restoration. Shall I read to-night?"
" Surely we need the Word to understand the throb-
bings of our own hearts when our prayers return,
dove-like, with olive branches from heaven."
" What shall I read ? "
" What came after Pentecost ! "
Then the husband opened to the Gospel Story, and
remarking the Ascension, read :
" He was taken up, after that He through the Holy
Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles
whom he had chosen :
" To whom also He shewed himself alive after His
passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them
forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the
kingdom of God :
The Sisters of Bethany. 527
" When they therefore were come together, they
asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time re
store again the kingdom of Israel ?
" And He said unto them, It is not for you to know
the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put
into His own power.
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy
Ghost is come upon you : and ye shall be witnesses
unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Sa
maria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
"And when He had spoken these things, while
they beheld, He was taken up ; and a cloud received
Him out of their sight.
" And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven
as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in
white apparel ;
" Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye
gazing up into heaven ? This same Jesus, which is
taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like
manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."
" And His farewell happened at Bethany ? It makes
our home seem still more like the gate of heaven, when I
remember this ; He ll come so as He went ; what if
that meant His next advent is to be at this very place ? "
" Or, what if it meant that He would appear the
second time, in glory, at the homes of men ; since He
elected His home for the gateway of His earthly
exit," replied the husband. Then they sat for a
little while in a blessed silence ; that kind that falls
upon souls bowing to a benediction, or moved by
thoughts that are holy beyond expression.
The wife broke in on their reverie : " I wonder how
His departure affected the disciples ? "
528 The Queen of the House of David.
"I have it all here, darling;" then he took one of
his parchments and read :
" And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and lie
lifted up His hands, and blessed them.
" And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was
parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
"And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusa
lem with great joy:
" And were continually in the temple, praising and
"And they went forth, and preached everywhere,
the Lord working with them, and confirming the word
with signs following."
"I krew it was as I thought! If believers are as
they say, enlisted soldiers, under the blood-stained
banners, our Christ has not been true to His word, or
there is universal treason in the camp ! The world is
not gospeled and the soldiers have not the miracle
power. I tell you husband, there is need of a revolu
tion, a revival of zeal, an improvement of methods !
The Hospitaler was right. The Christian world needs
to be led along the Via Dolorosa after Jesus and Mary,
up to their measure of utter consecration, to their undy
ing love, to their lofty, soul consuming zeal ! "
And the young gospel herald was silent, for he could
v)t gainsay her.
THE QUEEN OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID.
" The harp the monarch minstrel swept,
The king of men, the loved of heaven.
* * * *
It softened men of iron mold ;
No ear so dull, no soul so cold
That felt not, fired not to the tone,
Till David s lyre grew mightier than the throne ;
Since then, though heard on earth no more,
Devotion, and her daughter, love,
Still bid the bursting spirit soar,
To sounds that seem as from above,
In dreams that day s broad light can not remove. "
" The king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her,
. and caused a seat to be set for the king-mother, and she
;at at his right hand." i KINGS, 2, 19.
[RIAMNE, the heavenly host we imagined
to be in bivouac about our Bethany home,
methinkswere really present, and gave color
and form to my dreams. I was in a grail-
quest all night."
" What a golden day is such a night ! But tell me
of the color and form of your visions, Cornelius."
" We fell asleep last night conversing of the Ascen
sion ; my dreams carried me on to Pentecost."
"And what have you brought from the the dream.
530 The Queen of the House of David.
land to help in the stern and pressing waking
"A panting heart, as one having climbed mountain
above mountain. I burn to know and feel the whole
significance of Pentecost !
" I ve determined to seek holy companionship and
wise guiding by attendance at the next Harvest Feast
at Jerusalem. I think I ll get peculiar help at the great
"The Israelites will not welcome a Christian to their
" The one I aim to attend is that that will be observed
by the Christian knights in an upper room, in the great
city. They think they have possession of the identical
apartment in which the disciples of our Lord met and
witnessed the glories of Pentecost, after the Ascension."
" In Joseph of Arimathaea s house? "
"That is the accepted report. The Hospitaler,
whom we believe to be a Grail Knight of to-day, is
quite earnest in so affirming."
" Wondrous vvhite-souled Arimathaea ! Jewish and
a priest, yet secretly a disciple of Jesus! I dare to
liken myself unto that holy man, in a measure. He
left an old faith for a new one, and followed the cup
of the Passion, as I, my ideal."
"A good man and a just" says the Testament.
* # * * # # *
We meet to-night in Arimathaea s house," said the
Hospitaler to Cornelius, shortly after the arrival and
welcome of the latter at Jerusalem.
"Can the uninitiated attend?" questioned Corne
" Now, that s the joy of it, they can ; and more, we
The Queen of the House of David. 531
are to have a number or Jews present, among them
some once priests ; but now like that Joseph of bless
ed memory, seeing the true light."
"And the meeting?"
" The exalting of the Word, that s the need of the
hour, world-wide. I tell thee, young man, set to teach ;
the needs are not more religions but more religion, not
more revelators or prophets but surer interpreters. The
world blooms with truth on every hand ; who will
pluck the blossoms ? "
And the disciples were again, all with one accord,
in the holy upper chamber.
The Hospitaler, with an abruptness of John the Bap
tist, merely throwing back his tunic and exposing the
golden sign of knighthood for a moment to his com
panions, as he entered, at once began to address the
" Jews and Gentiles, all children by creation of a
common Father greeting ! The fires of Pentecost are
kindled everywhere in Jerusalem, but they are the old
fires and cold enough ; sacrifices smoke on the altars,
but the day of such offerings is past.
" Methinks, the offered bulls, goats and lambs, if they
could speak, would cry out against the priestly hands
that shed their blood ; How long, how long the blood
of our flocks has pointed to the lamb of God, the All-
Savior, who died to save men from sin and beasts
from the altar; and yet we die as if our work were not
* The beasts join in the wailings of humanity.
For centuries God s chosen people celebrated this
feast of the harvest, the joy of Jewry; and now the