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their attendants pull all their fingers until they crack. After some delay, the Naik gives a signal, five or six thousand of his people launch the boats that strew the shore. The Naik embarks on his royal boat, and the fleet bears away several miles out into the ocean. Then they stay at their appointed place, a signal is given and the men with small baskets tied to their heads plunge in and disappear beneath the water, for there the Pearl fish under its wide world of waves,
Hath laid up its store in the old sea-caves.
The divers are under a quarter or half hour, and come up with their baskets full. When the boats are loaded, they return to the shore, where the other people have prepared pits in the sand, and they bury them. When they are decayed they gather the pearls.
This was a yearly scene two hundred years ago. Since then the Dutch protect these fisheries, and instead of pits, put the fish in casks, which are sold at auction, the Dutch being the only purchasers. It is a great lottery, as a man's purchases may impoverish or make him immensely wealthy, owing to the number of pearls found in a cask-for it is not every fish that hath its Pearl.
Analogy hath laid bare the most wondrous beauties of the world. Not only are the material things of the world fashioned by Him in whom there is all beauty and order, being to us a source of endless delight and pleasure; not only is the spiritual world, such that it draws from us wonder and admiration; but the two have been so deftly and skillfully harmonized, that there is not a feature in the physical world that hath not its counterpart in the moral world; there is not a trait in the moral world that hath not its likeness in the physical. It is to us, too, one proof of the inspiration of the Bible, that this analogy has been so infallibly traced in its allusions.
One of the most beautiful among the many allusions used by our Saviour is, where he likens the kingdom of Heaven to a Pearl of great price.
Pearls are found in the deep, deep sea. The diver must plunge into the depths, holding his breath for a quarter or half hour, as with torn and bleeding hands he wrenches the muscles from their fast hold by the rock, which is one of the severest trials of physical endurance. Down there are the monsters of the deep, of which he often becomes the prey, and this is one of the greatest dangers of the Pearl fishery. When he has secured them, they close their shells so fast they cannot be opened. He must bury them in the hot sand until they die, and out of their decay and corruption he must gather the Pearls. Not every one has a pearl -many thousands he may gather, and yet have naught to reward his labors. The season for gathering them lasts but one week, or two at farthest. The Pearl is valued according to its size and color. Large ones are proportionably scarce. Many are of a bad color. To be of value, they must be large, of a pure white color, and that not dead or lifeless, but clear and brilliant. They must be free from spot or stain, and naturally smooth and glossy, for they must bring their polish with them. No art can remedy any defect in them. The Pearls themselves are formed by a disease in the fish, caused by being bruised upon the
rocks. The longer the disease exists the larger the Pearl; the more severe the wound, the purer the formation; the more intense the suffering, the more brilliant the color and the more delicate their polish. Then they are fit for a crown.
All these things are gathered in that expression, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchantman seeking goodly Pearls, who, when he had found one Pearl of great price, went and sold all he had, and bought it."
Through trial and trouble, pain and toil, out of the decay and corruption of all that seems good of earthly things, by great sacrifice and long endurance, we come to that
Place where sighs are not-
The following beautiful lines, by the author of that exquisite poem, "Over the River," (Miss N. A. W. Priest,) first appeared in the Springfield Republican:
O, land unknown! O land of love divine!
Guide, guide these wandering wayworn feet of mine
THE MOTHER'S DREAM.
IN the year 1815, I had one evening dressed my three little children to carry them to visit an aunt of mine from the country, who was at my sister's house. As they ran along before me, I thought I had never seen them look so beautiful, and I had never felt so proud of them. They were all in perfect health, so far as I knew. That night the youngest wanted water and began to fret. I always called the nurse to get water for her, but that night I thought I would get up myself. It was a dark rainy night, and there was no light in the room. I arose, and stepped into the next room. While in there, I thought I heard the children singing in their sleep. Neither of them could turn a tune when awake, and I smiled to think that they could sing when asleep. I stepped back to the trundle-bed to listen, and when there, the singing appeared to be in the next room. I returned to that room, but then it appeared to be in the hall; and when I was there, it seemed to be up stairs, and then filled the whole house. It was the most melodious music I ever heard; it was heavenly. I have never heard any instrument to compare with it. I was transfixed to the spot. I stood and listened with the greatest delight; but while doing so, it was fully impressed on my mind that one of my children would die, and that this was the warning. I stood there until I feared that there would be some supernatural appearance, for I was fully convinced that it was not earthly music. I returned to bed. My husband said he had been awake the whole time, and had heard nothing, which convinced me more fully that it was unearthly.
I spent nearly all the night in weeping, and asking myself which child I could give up. It was impressed on my mind that Martha, the eldest, would have to go. She was my idol. She was, as I thought, the most beautiful human being that I had ever set my eyes upon. She was six years old, and I do not know that she had ever willfully disobeyed her father or myself. She delighted in having the Bible read and explained to her. She could read remarkably well herself, but preferred hearing me read. I was sitting one day, several weeks before this, reading to her of the crucifixion of our Saviour. She expressed great indignation against the Jews for putting him to death, and said that if she had been there they should not have done it. She then asked me why everybody was not good; if all did not believe that he died for them. I told her no, that some did not believe. She said, "O, ma, I do believe, I will believe every word of it," and threw her arms around my neck and wept, and I never beheld so heavenly a countenance. I thought she was as good as she could be before, but, from that hour, she seemed too good for earth. I firmly believe she was converted then. It is impossible for me to tell how dearly I loved her. We were perfectly united. She was as much a companion for me as if she had been twenty years old. I looked upon her from that hour, as if she did not belong to me-as if she was a superior being.
It was the 17th of October that I heard the music. On the 19th Martha was taken sick, and on the 15th of November she died. I was inconsolable. For weeks and months I could scarcely attend to anything-neglected the other children and my household affairs, and gave myself up to tears and grief. I took no pleasure in anything, wasted away to a skeleton, and was so weak that I could scarcely walk. It pleased the Lord, on the 14th of May, 1816, to send a dream which saved me from despair.
I had entirely forgotten how my child looked, and was in an agony of mind before I went to sleep, praying that I might see her in a dream, as she was when alive. After I fell asleep, I dreamed that I was in the largest room I ever saw. There was a screen across one end of it. I was sitting against this screen, in a high chair weeping. I heard a voice behind it, which sounded like my mother's voice, saying to me, "Why do you weep?" I said, "O, I am thinking of my dear child! I cannot remember how she looked. If I could only see her as she is now, it would be some comfort." The voice said, "That you cannot do. She is an angel in heaven, and mortals cannot see angels; but if you will look at the other end of this room, you will see her as she would have been, had she lived to be ten years old."
I looked, and was shocked. My child, when alive, was a perfect beauty; but now she was thin, sallow, and very small to be ten years old, and looked like disease itself. She was dressed in the most fantastic manner, in muslin, worked with gold, and was loaded with jewelry. She was dancing with another little girl, in the midst of young compan ions. I said, "O, that cannot be my child. She was religious; she never would have danced; I never would have allowed her to dance, or to dress in that ridiculous manner." The voice said, "Yes, you most assuredly would have brought her up, not only to dance, but in all the fashionable follies of the world. She would have been rich, you would have had it in your power, and you most assuredly would have indulged her." I said, "O, how could I?" The voice said, “You would have lost your religion." I said, "Is it possible! I have other children; will I bring them up so ?" The voice said, "No; you will never worship them as you did her; you know better now. Your child is an angel in heaven, and do you not think you have grieved enough? Grieve no more for her; promise me that you will never grieve sinfully again." I promised that I never would. I cannot now remember half that voice said to me, exhorting me to be comforted, saying that the Almighty knew what to do with my children, and that I ought not to mourn. The voice repeatedly asked me if I thought it right to be weeping for an angel in heaven, who was far happier than I was, or any one else in this world. Usually when I awoke in the morning, and saw but two children, I would burst into tears; but this morning I felt perfectly reconciled. No tongue can describe the pleasant feelings which I had, and I have never from that hour, until the present time, had one repining thought.
FOREVER WITH THE LORD.
"FOR ever with the Lord!"
Amen, so let it be;
Life from the dead is in that word, "Tis immortality.
Here in the body pent,
My Father's house on high!
Home of my soul! how near At times to faith's foreseeing eye, Thy golden gates appear.
Ah! then my spirit faints
Yet clouds will intervene,
And all my prospect flies: Like Noah's dove, I flit between Rough seas and stormy skies.
Anon the clouds depart;
The wind and waters cease; And sweetly o'er my gladden'd heart Expands the bow of peace.
"For ever with the Lord!"
Be thou at my right hand,
So, when my latest breath
Knowing as I am known,
How shall I love that word, And oft repeat before thy throne: "For ever with the Lord!"