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Mary, the queen of the house of David, and the mother of Jesus ; the story of her life online

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only felt conquered, but filled with desire to surren
der to the uttermost ; for she joyed to place this man
on the throne of her being next after God, supremely
lord over all. So together they moved amid the
flowers of Beulah-land, under the glorious lights of
married love. She all compensated for the pangs the
trying hour brought ; he thrilled, as he ascended
higher and higher from lover love to husband love, to
that holy delight that comes to a man beginning to
feel fatherhood, the gift of the woman his heart has
enthroned. For a little time both were too happy to
speak, so they let their thoughts wing their way up
ward to the eternities where hopes eternally blossom.
She presently signaled him to draw close to her, then
his clasped hands lay on her heart, and their lips met.
She said nothing, yet by a sign-language well under
stood by each, plainly entreated him to tell her over
and over, more and more, his inmost thought, that her
heart knew full well already.

She heard his heart s beatings, then she whispered:
" Don t be anxious ; all is well, for all is as He that loves
us wills."

" Oh, Miriamne, I loved you never as now ; God bless
you ! bless you ! bless you ! "

She interrupted him again. "The crisis is coming,
and I thought perhaps I might not survive, Cornelius,
but if I do not

Her words were silenced by an impassioned kiss.

She continued, " I dreamed, last night, that I saw
the shadow of a cross, but on it a woman s form."



A Chime and a Dirge at Christmas Time. 607

* Oh, beloved, do not think of it ! "

"I do. I must! I understand it all."

Pity now silenced her.

"Oh, Miriamne ! " he cried anon, as he saw her de
scending into the vale of agony, from which he could
not hold her back. He dare say no more. He feared
to voice his thoughts, lest his fears become ponderous
and huge, once they found escape in the garb of
words.

Just past midnight the dispatched courier arrived,
bringing twain of the most skilled physicians of Jeru
salem.

Cornelius watched them with an interest beyond
words. His heart sank down and down again, as he
saw them in serious consultation. Unable to restrain
himself, he seized the elder, and drawing him hastily
aside, demanded an opinion. The grave old man only
shook his head, saying : " We may save one."

"One? One!
Which ? What ? "

" Young man, be quiet ; do not let thy emotions
disturb the patient or the nurses. Prepare for the
worst."

The husband seized the wrinkled hand of the aged
practitioner, and then flung it from him, crying : " It
must not be! It shall not be!" Instantly he rushed
toward the couch, but the two men of healing inter
cepted him. Then the elder one said: "We must be
obeyed, or else we will give no commands ! Shall we
go or stay ? "

What a revulsion came ! It seemed to Cornelius as
if these two men of skill were angels, and flinging his
arms about them, he hoarsely whispered : " Save,



608 The Queen of the House of David.

save ! Stay and save ! All I have I give you, only
save her! "

Quietly they led him to the adjoining apartment;
then charged him, as he hoped for any good to his wife,
not to re-enter her chamber until sent for. Reluctantly
he consented, not daring to do otherwise and yet be
lieving in his very soul that in this hour of peril the
bestowment of love s caresses on the invalid would be
better than any skill of the stranger. He withdrew to
the arch on the roof, where unmolested he could pray.
But his meditations were full of miserable sights, He
thought of the Egyptians in their feats of Osiris, lead
ing to sacrifice the heifer draped in black ; then of Riz-
pah defending her relatives; then of the monument in
Bozrah, with the mother holding her dead Son. He
thought, amid the latter meditations, of himself creep
ing about that monument, in the night, until he came
to another, on which he deciphered the name, " Miri-
amne." The imagination gave him a shock, and he
gave way to it exhausted. An hour or so after he was
awakened from a sort of stupor by the younger of the
physicians, who, standing by his side, addressed him:

"Sir Priest, thou mayst come now; but as thy pro
fession teaches, nerve thyself to confront any fate, good
or ill."

"How s my wife?" exclaimed the stricken man,
leaping from his couch and approaching the speaker,
that he might devour with his eyes the thought of the
one he questioned.

The emotionless features of the man accustomed to
confront human suffering softened a little to pity. The
quick eye of the missioner discerned the change, then
he cried :



A Chime andjz Dirge at Christmas Time. 609

"What, dead!"

" No ; if thou wilt but control thyself, thou mayst
see her for a little while ; there ll be a change soon."

The nruin of healing had done and said his best, but
*Ji3.t was bad enough. He had tried to comfort, but
the exigencies were beyond human powers. "A
change soon ! "

Hard, mocking words. Apology for bad news ! Step
ping-stone to saying the worst is at hand ; words so
often used by the man of healing when his art is de
feated ! How like a funeral knell breaking the heart
has come, again and again, to tingling ears those terri
ble sounds: "In a little while there ll be a
change ! " Cornelius felt all their stunning force, and
was instantly by the side of Miriamne. What a
change met his hungry eyes! The fever had died
away ; fever, that blast from the shores of Death s
ocean, had passed, because there was nothing longer
for it to attack. The tide was ebbing. She lay silent,
pale and haggard ; motionless, except as to a feeble
breathing. The husband would have encircled her
with his arms. It was love s impulse, but science, the
men of healing, restrained him. There was a little wail
just then, and he glanced around with a look of joy.
The nurse had brought the babe close to him, turning
away her own face to hide her tears, but holding the
little one out as if trying to say: "This shall com
pensate." Then again the grief-stricken man turned
to the physicians and whispered, in a half-fierce, half-
terrified way: "She ll live she ll be better now."

The aged man, slowly adjusting the paraphernalia of
his profession preparatory to departure, replied : " Few
survive the Caesarean section. It was a dire necessity."



610 The Queen of the House of David.

" Lord, behold whom Thou lovest is sick," moaned
the young chaplain, as he knelt by the couch and
buried his face in its disordered covering. So the tide
of life ebbed at midnight, leaving a stranded wreck at
Bethany, and the Christmas chimes turned to dirges.



CHAPTER XLI1

1HE MOTHER OF SORROWS TRIUMPHANT AT LAS1

Are we not kings ? Both night and day,

From ear-ly unto late,
About our bed, about our way,

A guard of angels wait !
And so we watch and work and pray

In more than royal state.
Are we not more ? GUI life shall be

Immortal and divine ;
The nature MARY gave to THEE,

Dear JESUS, still is THINE;
Adoring, in THY heart I see

Such blood as beats in mint.

A. A. PROCTOR.

UNDREDS were assembled within the
" Temple of Allegory" and other hundreds,
unable to effect an entrance, tarried around
about it. The knell of Miriatnne, the
Angel of the Mount, had called the vast congregation
together from Bethany, from the country round about
and from the City of Jerusalem.

There were many signs of subdued sorrow, but the
intensive expression of grief common in the East was
absent ; neither was there any of the paganish black
ness, which sometimes characterizes Christians funerals,
manifest. Though Miriamne was dead, her sweet,
trustful, cheerful spirit still survived and still ruled.




5i2 The Queen of i he House of David.

The knights of Jerusalem, led by the Hospitaler,
were present, the latter to direct the services, by re
quest generally extended.

After a "grail" song by his companions, and at its
last words, " / shall be satisfied when I aivake in His
likeness," the Hospitaler began discoursing.

" Men and women, death, the leveler, makes us all
akin ; therefore all of us feel impoverished by the de
parture of the angel who shone upon us here from
the form that lies yonder. Miriamne Woelfkin, daugh
ter of a knight, consort of a Gospel herald, devoted
friend of womankind, disciple of Jesus, was gifted with
almost prophetic insight and power of alluring unsur
passed in our day. Hers was the power of a burning
heart entranced of a superb ideal, and therefore was it
the power of immortal influence. She will live not
more truly in the life she died to give than in the lives
she lived to save. She was an unique woman, but only
so because of her superior womanliness. Being dead,
she reaches the reward generally denied the living, full
appreciation. Her career was in part a parallel of her
choice exemplar s. You have heard how the Mother of
our Lord sung her Magnificat < N ut of a heart as free
as a girl s, yet as proud as that of a woman s glowing
in the prospect of honoring maternity. But the last
note of her rapture died on her lips full soon, and she
never after in this life rose to such measure of joy.
God permitted her life to pass through a series of sup
pressions and griefs, doubtless that she might exem
plify the sad side of woman s career. The histories
of women, mostly written by men, are marred by the
conceits of their writers, and are at best but obscure
pictures. The man with the pen lacks insight as to the



The Mother of Sorroivs Triumphant at Last. 613

being, whose life is so largely an expression of heart
and soul. The lordly writer clothes his heroes in the
light of his fevered imagination,, depicting with bold
stroke the mighty deeds of stalwartness ; but he sees
few heroines in his horizon. Those he does see are
beyond his power of analysis. He falls to actual
worship of his masculine demi-gods, perhaps as a par
tial atonement for his failings toward the fine and
noble characters whose traits are too spiritual for his
thought-limits or vocabularies. The generality of those
who discourse concerning women, do it in a patronizing
way, and feel to praise themselves as paragons in doing
justice in this, even by halves. The queenship of Mary
is constantly disputed, and so her lot is more closely
linked with that of her sex. As she received the royal
gifts of the Magi, holding them as a sacred trust for
Him to whom her life was utterly devoted, so woman,
the bearer and nurse of the race, gives all that she has
without stint to others. Her life is a suppression; all
bestowing ; her reward the joy she has in the lavish-
ness of her bestowals. Hers is the joy of the fountain
that sings because it flows.

" But recently ye saw the Jewish priests deposit on
this mount, after a custom constant since Moses, the
ashes of the red heifer. They burned their sacrifice
with red wood. Red pointed to the blood that can
only atone for sin. But underneath all lies a deep les
son. Twas the female instead of the male thus offered,
and her ashes gave potency to the waters of purifica
tion. I read this hidden truth : the sacrifices of the
gentler sex work out the purification of the race. As
the moss in the heart of the stone, I see this truth ly
ing in the heart of the ceremonial ! As Christ s cross



614 The Queen of the House of David,

precedes the cleansing of regeneration, so woman s cross
is the means by which the decays cf life are offset by
new created beings.. By the bier of the wondrous
comforter of others, I may surely appeal to those
who hear n\e and loved her to seek with quickened ardor
to offer the pain-assuaging myrrhs to those grand souls
who go along the way to life s crucial glories. I d have
such justice done as would cause all women to cease
pitying themselves because they are such, and go about
rejoicing that God gave them the superlative privi
leges of womanhood."

There came forth a loud cry, with meanings, from
the part of the temple, called the " Mother s Pillow,"
where the honored dead lay.

" Miriamne, oh, Miriamne, you brought me through
Gethsemane to your Calvary ! "

A silence almost oppressive fell on the assembly. It
was the silence of a pity too deep for words.

Then spake the Hospitaler, in words as invigorating
as a herald of God s should be, and yet as soothing as
a mother s to her child in pain :

"Christ, who loved the young man who was very
good and yet not perfect, loves thee, for He is un
changing in His mercy. Hear me, an old man, stricken
with the years that have schooled, and one who has ex
perienced the bitterness of widowerhood after loyal, full
loving. God s hand is on thee. He is schooling thee
to carry on the work begun by thy wondrous consort
now asleep."

" Oh, Miriamne, Miriamne ! alone in the dark, I move
through Gethsemane toward thy Calvary ! "

Again the silence of pity was broken by the voice of
the knight.



The Mother of Sorrows Triumphant at Last. 615

" Remember ho\v David of the White Kingdom was
called and furnished for his kingship. He chose
David, also, His servant, and took him from the sheep
folds, from following the ewes great with young. He
brought him to feed Jacob, His people, and Israel, His
inheritance.

" Missioner-shepherd, God calls thee to a ministry of
love, for those whose trials thou hast, now been taught, in
part, to measure. You have heard how Hadadrimmon,
the fabled god of the harvest, ever comes, bearing
sheaves, with tears.

" Thus speaks the prophet :

" In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jeru
salem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon.

" And the land shall mourn, every family apart ; the
family of the house of David apart, and their wives
apart.

" Young man, God is giving thee a crown in David s
royal line.

" Once more I turn to her who was thy Miriamne s
exemplar and queen. Let me tell you all of the last
hours of Mary, that you may find instructive parallels.
I ll read from my treasured book of traditions :

" After the ascension of Jesus, our Mary dwelt in the
house of John upon Mount of Olives, and she spent her last
days in visiting places which had been hallowed by her
Divine Son ; not as seeking the living among the dead, but
for consolation and for remembrance and that she might
perform works of charity.

" In the twenty-second year after the ascension of the Lord,
she was filled with an inexpressible longing to be with her
Son ; and, lo, an angel appearing with the salutation, Hail,
Mary, I bring thee a palm-branch, gathered in paradise ;
command that it be carried before thy bier, for thou shalt
enter where thy son awaits thee. And Mary prayed that it



616 The Queen of the House of David.

be permitted that the apostles, now widely scattered under
their great commission to gospel the world, be gathered
kbout her dying couch ; also that her soul be not affrighted
in the passage through the pale realm of death. The angel
departed ; the palm-branch beside her shed light like stars
from every leaf ; the house was filled with splendor, and
ingel voices chanted the celestial canticles. The Holy Spirit
caught up John as he was preaching at Ephesus, and
L eter, offering sacrifice at Rome, and Paul, from his place
Of labor, Thomas, from India, while Matthew and James were
tummoned from afar. After these were called, Philip, An
drew, Luke, Simon, Mark and Bartholemew were awakened
from their sleep of death. These holy ones were carried to
the Virgin s home on clouds bright as the morning, and
angels and powers gathered round about in multitudes.
There were Gabriel and Michael close beside her, fanning
her with their wings, which never cease their loving motions.
That night a supernal perfume of ravishing delightsomeness
filled the house, and immediately Jesus, with an innumer
able company of patriarchs and holy ones, the elect of God,
approached the dying mother. And Jesus stretched out
His hand in benediction as He did when ascending from the
world, long before at Bethany. Then Mary tenderly took the
hand and kissed it, saying: I bow before the hand that made
heaven and earth. Oh, Lord, take me to Thyself ! There
upon Christ said, Arise, my beloved ; come unto me. My
heart is ready, she replied ; a few moments after : Lord,
unto thy hands I commend my spirit. Then having gently
closed her eyes, the holy Virgin expired without a malady ;
simply of consuming love, permitted now by the loving Cre
ator to melt the golden cord binding spirit to body. And
triumphantly amid mourners who rejoiced exceedingly in
spirit, the body of this Queen of the House of David was
entombed amid the solemn cedars and olive trees of Geth-
semane. Now, this happened upon the day that the true
Ark of the Covenant was placed in the eternal temple of the
new heavenly Jerusalem, as they say ; and the saying is good,
for surely, in her heart, this saintly woman kept the law; the
divine manna as well. Even more, she was the fulfillment
of God s covenant that a woman should bear the masterers
of sin."

The speaker then knelt ; all heads were bowed ; he



The Mother of Sorrows Triumphant at Last. 617

spread out his hands as in benediction, but spoke not.
Yet all in the silence were blessed, for the manifesta
tion of Christ was there. After the benediction the
companion knights chanted an old grail psalm, repeat
ing again and again the stately words :

" / ai the resurrection and the life."

As they sang their eyes were turned upward in a
rapture as of men who saw a glorious appearing ; and
indeed they had a vision of splendor ; but they saw it
within, not without.

"There are angels hovering round," reverently whis
pered Mahmood to his camel. He was too full to keep
silent ; too distrustful of his \visdom to confide his
thoughts to a human being. But the thought of the
old Druse was as exalted as that of the Hospitaler, for
the latter exclaimed, as the congregation slowly moved
out to the strains of the organ :

" Methinks I hear the beatings of mighty wings!
Not far away is Gabriel, the angel of mothers and of
victories ! Yea, verily, I believe that the spirits of
Adolphus, Rizpah, Sir Charleroy and Ichabod are min
istering nigh us ! "

Many looked up through their tears fixedly, as if
they felt what the knight had said in their souls.

Then they laid the body of Miriamne in a new-made
tomb nigh the Garden of Olives, not far from the
burial-place of Mary the mother of Jesus.




CHAPTER XLIII.

A COFFIN FULL OF FLOWERS AND A GIRDLE WITH

WINGS.

" Behold thy mother !" JESUS TO JOHN.

WO travelers journeyed slowly along Mount
Olivet, pausing anon to observe the flower-
dells between them and Mount Zion, or to
contemplate the wilder prospects where the
wilderness of Judea edged close up to the hills they trav
ersed. As the travelers passed, the natives looked
after them with curiosity ; for the garments of the
former, though dust-covered, were those of person
ages above the ranks of the common people ; also of
a fashion that betokened them strangers in that
vicinity.

One of these men was a youth, stalwart and comely ;
the other was gray-haired and bent as if by the weight
of years, though a closer view suggested premature
blasting, rather than senile decline.

" Winfred, before entering Bethany, we ll to the
* Hill of Solomon, the site of Chemosh, the black
image of the Roman Saturn."

Thereupon the twain turned away from the village
and soon came upon a company of revelers, each wear
ing a crown of autumn fruits, and all gathered about
a platform crowded with hilarious dancers



A Coffin Full of Flowers, etc. 619

"Saturnalia!" exclaimed the elder.

" The worship of Saturn ceased ages ago. did it
not?"

" Of the image, yes ; but the folly, little changed,
continues."

"This is strange enough; and yet it s a relief to
meet a few happy people in this land of solemn
faces ; even if those happy ones do joy like fools."

" They celebrate the passing of summer-heat and
the coming of the rains of autumn. Say not fools;
they are trying to be glad about something good,
somehow coming from some one somewhere above
them. Perhaps God can resolve scraps of thanksgiv
ing out of it all."

" Theirs is the laughter of wine ! the laughter of
the goat-god, Pan, whose face scared his mother and
whose voice scared the gods ! "

"We ve a persistent custom here, son ; and men do
not play the fool for generations after one manner,
at least, without cause.

"These attempt to press into the court of Pleasure
to cajole her; all men do that; these have chosen
merely an old way. They cling to the myth of Sat
urn, the subduer of the Titan of fiction. They say
that deity, dethroned in the god-world, fled to Italy,
where he gave happiness and plenty through life, and
the freedom of air and earth after death, which latter he
made to be only a little sleep."

" That was not more than a mock golden-age ; it
never came, I think."

" But very alluring to those that long for it ; they
dance half-naked, typifying the primitive times when
men had fewer cares, because fewer wants."



620 The Queen of the House of David.

" Can one laugh hard fates out of countenance, and
make his troubles run with a guffaw?"

"The devotees of Saturn were wont to offer their
children in his altar-fires, and so ever more it hap
pens ; he that bends to the materialistic solely, kindles
altar-fires for his posterity."

" After to-day what comes to these, peace ? "

" Nay, a year all dark and colorless ; then another
spasm called a feast a brief lightning-flash revealing
the darkness."

" And so the years come and go ; one generation
of madmen, then another; death the only variety ?"

"Nay! I d have you look upon pleasure of sense
deified, taking its pleasures under the shadows of
Chemosh, for a purpose. You remember we read to
gether, under the palms at Babylon, how the holy
Daniel saw in vision the four winds of heaven striving
on the sea?"

" I remember the prophet s reverie or revel."

"The four winds and the sea ! the meaning, opened, is
conflict on every hand on earth ! Out of the follies and
turmoils David s White Kingdom will emerge at last.
Listen to the words of the inspired sccr :

" Behold one like the Son of Man ! There was given
Him a dominion and a glory that all people should
serve Him ; an everlasting dominion !

" It is coming; my poor faith, amid the conflicts and
revels of man, hears the voice of God crying through
the night, as in Eden s dark hour : Where art tJiou ?
My last lesson to my son awaits us at Bethany ; let s
be going."

Ere long Cornelius Woelfkin and his son Winfred
stood silently, and with uncovered heads, before, but



A Coffin Full of Flowers^ etc. 621

a little apart from, a stately marble shaft that rose up
amid the olive trees of Gethsemane. It was night,
and they were alone. The father motioned the son
back, and alone glided under the shadowing trees, to
ward the pillar. There the elder one threw himself
down on the earth, close beside the monument ; the
youth, deeply moved, but unwilling to intrude upon
the scene of sacred, silent grief, stood aloof. In a
small way, there was a repetition of the grief of the
Man of Sorrows, who there, ages before, yearned in Hi
humanity over a lost world, over those from whom His
heart was soon to part for life. To be sure, the cross
of Cornelius Woelfkin was infinitely less galling, less
heavy than that borne by his Master; and yet it was
as heavy as he could bear, and hence the pitifulness of
his grief.

Who can lift the curtain from his thoughts? The
years roll back and memory s pictures pass through hi 3
brain, at first in joyful train. The lovers in London ;
the betrothal at sea ; the wedding at Jerusalem ; the
ecstatic consummation in years of marriage. Then
the painful, almost awful separation by death, that
never to be forgotten Christmas time. And then,
twenty years with leaden feet carrying the lone-hearted
man so painfully slow toward death s portals, for
which he longed with unutterable yearning. "Oh,
Miriamne, Miriamne, let me come," he cried. The.
youth, hearing the agonized utterings, was instantly
by his father s side. But the old man, still oblivious
to all but his sorrow and his memories, moaned on
with deepening fervor.

" Father," called out the son. The father rose to his
feet and calmly said : " My boy, pity me. I m weak.



622 The Queen of the House of David.

But oh, you never knew what it is to have your life sawn
in twain and be compelled then to drag your half and
lacerated being along the over-clouded vales of an
undesired existence ! "

" My mother s tomb ? "

" Yes. I promised, as my last service to you, to
bring you to it. Its study shall be the finish of your



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