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fore her a company of angels, surrounded by infants and little children-the latter dressed in white garments, with flowers blushing amid their clustering curls. They were in a garden, and the children were sporting with one another, and ever, as they drew near or touched the flowers that were springing around them, each blossom glowed with a new and living beauty. Eagerly the mother looked for her precious boy, for she knew that he was in this company; and, as she looked intently, one of the angels, who held a child by the hand, separated herself from the rest, and approached her. She knew her sweet one in an instant; and, oh! inexpressible delight! she knew the angel also. It was her own mother! Her mother, who had been taken to heaven when she was only a child, but whose gentle, loving face, had ever remained pictured on her memory.
Oh, the exquisite joy of that moment! Her own mother was now the angelmother of her beautiful boy. How sweet the smile that beamed upon her eyes, seen only in dreams for years!—and, as her lost darling sprang into her arms, and laid his head upon her bosom, a voice of exquisite melody, whose tones had come to her, as if from afar off, many and many a time, since childhood, said:
"Daughter, be comforted! He was too pure, too gentle, too frail for earth. Life would have been sorely tried and tempted of evil, and, perchance, might have fallen by the way. Therefore in mercy he was removed to this heavenly land, where there is no evil to tempt, no pain to afflict, no grief to bow the stricken heart. Sorrow not for him, for all is well. He has been committed to my care and I will love him with a tenderness made deeper for the love that is felt for you. "A little while longer, and you will be called home. I will keep your darling safe until that time."
From that time, joy mingled with the mother's sorrow. She believed the dream. To her it was not fantastic, but a vision of things that were. She had treasure above, and her heart was there also. Love's golden chain had extended its links, and the last one was fastened in heaven. Daily, hourly, momently, she missed the one who was away, and she longed to hear again the sound of his happy voice, and to look upon his beautiful face; but she knew where he was and that it was well with him; and she dried her eyes and patiently bore her affliction.
An angel's kiss then warmed the mother's cheek, and she awoke. Heavenly light and heavenly music were in her chamber. Slowly the light faded,
and the music grew fainter and more distant; not outwardly but inwardly distant; and as she hearkened after it bending her spirit towards heaven-she still heard the sounds, and even yet she can hear them, when earthly grief is hushed, and her mind is elevated into heavenly tranquillity.
Francis Quarles, an old writer who lived in the days of Charles the First, says to parents:
"Be very vigilant over thy child in the April of his understanding, lest the frost of May nip his blossoms. While he is a tender twig, straighten him; whilst he is a new vessel, season him; such as thou makest him, such commonly shalt thou find him. Let his first lesson be obedience, and his second shall be what thou wilt. Give him education in good letters to the utmost of thy ability and capacity. Season his youth with the love of his Creator, and make the fear of his God the beginning of his knowledge. If he have an active spirit, rather rectify than curb it; but reckon idleness among the chiefest faults. As his judgment ripens, observe his inclination, and tender him a calling that shall not cross it. Forced marriages and callings seldom prosper. Show him both the mow and the plow; and prepare him as well for the danger of the skirmish, as possess him with the honor of the prize."
It is not generally known that the revised penal code, passed by the Legislaall persons who speak loosely or proture of Pennsylvania last winter, makes fanely of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, or the Bible, liable to an indictment for blasphemy, the penalty for which is a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding three months, or both, at the discretion of the
NONNA sprung from a respectable family which had already for a long time been Christian, located in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. Her husband, Gregory, belonged to the religious sect of the Hypsistarians, whose tenets were a mixture of Judaistic and Persian teachings, and who honored the divinity under the symbol of light and fire. Nonna was desirous of winning him to pure Christianity. To this end she directed her prayers and persuasions. By both these means, connected with a truly christian life, she won her husband. "For she was," says her son, "in her house affairs a woman according to the description of Solomon. In all things subject to her husband, according to the laws of marriage. She did not shun being his instructress and guide in true piety. She practically solved the difficult problem of uniting the highest cultivation in divine knowledge with a strict and punctual attention to secular family affairs. When she was active in the family, she seemed to know nothing of the practice of piety; and when she was engaged in the direct worship of God, every worldly work seemed to be foreign to her." Thus she was in each sphere natural, and perfectly at home.
Experience had taught her an unlimited confidence in the efficacy of believing prayer. Hence she was most diligent in prayer; and by prayer she was able to bear the greatest afflictions in her own, as well as in the experience of others. In this way she had attained to such a power over her own soul, that amid all tribulations which came upon her she was never known to complain, but was always thankful for her sufferings. Least of all did she regard it proper to shed tears, or to
put on mourning garments on festival days; so entirely was she pervaded with the thought that a soul loving God must conquer all the human by the power of the divine. In accordance with her private devotions was her active service in supporting widows and orphans, and in visiting the poor and sick. Her charities were inexhaustible. Her spirit, in this respect, even bordered on a passion, so that she was accustomed to say that she could, if necessary, sell herself and her children, in order to give the proceeds to the poor.
In the year 325, her husband, Gregory, was baptized. He then soon left the position of a Layman, became a Priest, and at length Bishop of the congregation of Nazianzen, in Cappadocia, where he labored for forty-five years with much blessing. He was a man of whom his son testifies: "He was a man of an ardent spirit, and of a peaceful countenance; his life was full of greatness, his mind full of humility; his whole being was full of righteousness, pious without ostentation; his clothes plain, his intercourse mild and genial. He was himself liberal, but left the joy of giving to his wife."
Nonna lived wholly for her three gory, and the daughter Gorgonia. mother. Before his birth she had by a vow. When he was born, she herself carried him to the church; and, as a sign of his consecration, she placed his hands on the Holy Scriptures. The Scriptures she early began to read to him, and breathed into him that quiet spirit which loves retirement, that it may immerse itself in the deep world of thought. In his youth, when he visited various institutions in different lands, the remembrance of the teachings and exhortations of his mother were his protection and the weapons of his defence in danger and temptation.
Rich in spirit and pure in heart, which she had often asked of God for them, her two sons returned to their father's house. Cæsar devoted himself to the science of medicine, rose to a high position in his profession, but shone especially in Christian virtues. Gregory devoted himself to the study of divine things, and became that great theologian who afterwards, as the Bishop of Constantinople, exerted a great and blessed influence.
children, the sons Cæsar and GreGregory was the favorite of his dedicated him to the service of God
Great tribulations were in reserve for the mother. Cæsar had designed to withdraw into retirement; but he was overtaken by death; not, however, till he had received baptism. Nonna followed the funeral train. to the grave of her son; but she did so regarding death in its Christian significance as the birth to a higher life--not in mourning apparel, but clothed in white, and strengthened by the elevating words of her son, Gregory. Nonna also stood at the grave of her daughter! Gorgonia grew up in excellence under the nurture of her mother, a pattern for wives and mothers. She had a presentiment of the nearness of her death, gathered her beloved ones around her bed, and bade them adieu. The last words which trembled on her dying lips, were: "I lie down and sleep in perfect peace." Besides this, Nonna was also called to close the eyes of her husband, after a long and severe sickness. She was sustained by the general sympathy of the congregation; but still more by the words of comfort spoken to her by her son. "Life and death, my mother," said he, "though they seem to differ widely from each other,
still pass, the one into the other, and the one takes the other's place. Life begins in corruption, our common mother, and goes through corruption forward, because the present is ever taken away from us; and it ends also in corruption with the dissolution of the body itself. But death, which affords salvation from present evils and leads to a higher life, I know not whether we should call it death; because it is beautiful rather in name than in reality. There is but one life, and that is to look forward to the divine life. There is but one death, Sin; for it is the ruin of the soul. All else, on account of which many pride themselves, is the vision of a dream, a deceitful phantom of the soul. If we think thus, my mother, we shall not much distress ourselves about this present life, nor yet have fear on account of death; for what evil can we endure when we break through into the true life; where, free from sorrow and perplexity, we shall dwell amid eternal and changeless things; where we, as small lights, shall shine around the great light."
Nonna did not long survive her husband. Once, as she was going the way in which she delighted; the way, namely to the house of God, which was erected mostly by her husband, and where he had so often taught the congregation, she was suddenly summoned by the angel of death. Holding herself with one hand at the altar, and lifting the other to Heaven in prayer, she broke out in the words: "Be merciful to me O Christ, my King." Amid the mourning of the congregation, she was laid to rest by the side of her husband. To Gregory, the memory of his mother was precious. In a poem to her honor, he says: "Bewail, ye, dying, the dying generations! But when any one dies like Nonna, praying, I weep not!
THIS to a mother's sacred memory
Her son hath hallowed. Absent many a year
THERE ARE PEARLS IN THE SEA.
An Argonauta Argo, set afloat
On the bounding tide of time,
Let us spread the tiny sail to make our way back two hundred years. One bright May morning-of the month's first week-stand on a low sand hill, one that forms part of the coast-range of the eastern shore of Africa. The old ocean sparkles in the glowing sunlight, and the swell of its great heart is a gladsome roar. Just beyond these, in the background, where the horizon would seem about closing your sight, juts up the pointed huts of the city of Tutuconu. Far along the level stretch of sand, until where it winds in among the hills, are gaily decorated booths and huts, thronged with people-fifty or sixty thousand, they say-of all ages, sexes and sizes; the gray-haired, time-furrowed, the stout manhood, the smooth-cheeked child. They are all black, too; and the chatter of "an unknown tongue" is borne up to you on the morning breeze. One part of their language you do understand, on this bright, cheery morning-their laughter-the language of their joyous, merry hearts. "Care would gnaw its nails to hear the shout."
Drawn up on the beach are innumerable boats, of all manner of construction. About a mile to the offing are two war frigates, rocking lazily on the long swell of the ocean, at whose mast-heads the Portuguese colors are flying-only for protection are their black-mouthed guns, they say, for there are Malabar and Maldive pirates in these waters. There is a slight flash, a puff, a thin wreath of smoke curls up from the port hole, and anon, there comes over the waves the sullen boom of a gun.
A man of majestic mien comes forth from a hut that has more pretension than the others, followed by attendants at a respectful distance, and stands just where the waves stop in their rush upon the sanded shore. It is the Naik of the kingdom of Madura. The people gather in massed silence in a half-circle behind him-as they all watch two boats put off from the frigates and bear away towards them, with floating flags and gaily dressed crews, so quiet, so still the immense throng-the restless dash of the waters only makes the silence more intense-they see the ashen oar glisten in the sunlight, as it rises from its dip in the sea-green waters, and fancy they almost hear its strain.
The boats touch the shore, the crews disembark, the chief officer and the Naik embrace, each snapping his middle finger three times, while