- part: MY QUEEN;
- CHAPTER IV. MRS. LASCELLE.
|<< chapter 3||< chapter 1||chapter 5 >||chapter 33 >>|
A KNOCK at the door interrupted Oreana's devotions.
Annoyed at the intrusion, Oreana pretended not to hear; but the knocking continued, and a plaintive voice cried:
"Dear Oreana, it is I,--Mary,--let me in. I must see you."
Oreana flew to open the door.
"My dear Mary, excuse me; I thought it was some one of the house. But what is the matter? You look pale and agitated."
For answer, the young lady burst into a passion of tears.
The visitor was a lovely woman,--the exact opposite of Oreana: a fragile, shrinking creature, with the face of a Clytie, shaded by curls so soft, so delicately bright, that they seemed spun out of moonbeams. A woman to be cherished and petted, was Mary Lascelle.
"Now, my love," said Oreana, who had partly succeeded in calming the grief of her visitor, "tell me what it is that so distresses you."
"Oreana, my heart will break. I cannot, cannot do it. Why does God demand such sacrifices? I cannot. My heart will break."
"My dear Mary, there's no such word as cannot; and what is the breaking of a poor, sinful heart, compared to the woe pronounced against those who disobey? But what is this new trouble?"| | 19
"It is the revelation."
"Have you had a revelation?"
"Brother Trap has received one concerning me."
"Ah, Mary I how I envy you. Yet how I rejoice that in our day such things are. And you weep, instead exulting?"
"It was so awful." And again she burst into tears.
"There, don't cry, dear; tell me all about this revelation."
"It makes me shudder to think of it. Brother Trap went into a trance while we--I mean Brother Silvertung and I--were kneeling in prayer. He spoke in a strange, awful voice, bidding me take Elsie and but oh! I cannot speak of it. Read it. Brother Silvertung took it down in writing."
Oreana took the scrap of paper, kissed it reverently and read The Revelation:
"In answer to the prayers of the saints, for the guidance of Sister Mary Lascelle.
"Behold, thus saith the Lord!
"Hearken ye, O my servant:
"Know ye, that I am the Lord thy God: He that brought the children of Israel out from the land of Egypt: He whom thy fathers adored, even the same. I am the Lord thy God, a jealous God, who visitest judgment upon the wicked, yea to the third and fourth generation. Listen ye, O my servant; for inasmuch as thou hast left all things to keep my commandments, even so will I speak unto thee.
"Verily I say unto thee, Go unto my chosen servant, Mary Lascelle, and say unto her:
"Thus saith the Lord! Thy tears and prayers have found favor in my sight, even as the sacrifice of | | 20 Abel. Know ye the will of the Lord. Even so as the man thou now callest husband has despised my ways, and mocked at my commandments, he shall be cut down and cast into the fire.
"Verily say unto thee, he is no longer thy husband but if thou wouldst enter into the land that I have reserved for those who love me and keep my commandments, then verily, I say unto thee: Arise, take thy child, go forth from those that love iniquity, follow my servant, Moses Silvertung, into the wilderness unto Zion. For I say unto thee that any one who prefers father, mother, husband, or child, to Me, is not worthy of my kingdom: him will I destroy, as I destroyed thousands of Israelites in the desert.
"Other things there are, that I desire of thee, if thou wouldst enter into my kingdom: these will I reveal to thee in the fullness of time. Even so, saith the Lord."
The impressive tone in which Oreana read the revelation thrilled Mrs. Lascelle. The words seemed more awful than they did when she first heard them. There was silence for a few moments, when Oreana cried:
"Blessed be God, who remembereth His people, and who permitteth us to live in the days of the Renewal of the Covenant! Think of our privilege, Mary, and exult For ages the world has been desolate, God's voice was silent; but now He speaketh again. Mary, I envy you. A special revelation. Thrice blessed woman!
"And you hesitate after such a declaration of the Divine Will?"
"But it is so horrible."| | 21
"Not more so than the sacrifice that Abraham was commanded to make."
"Yes, but be did not make it."
"Neither will you, in the end. Your departure will awaken your husband: he will follow you to Zion, and great will be your happiness."
"Do you really think so?" said Mary, with a bright smile.
"I feel certain of it."
"Still, it will kill me to leave secretly like a dishonest woman. Ah! Oreana, you are not a wife: you don't know my feelings."
"Am I not a daughter--an affianced wife? To-day I have broken with Julian. To-morrow I leave my parents. They will disown me; yea, or perhaps curse me. But it is glorious to suffer for the faith."
"Oreana, you have the heroism of the martyrs. You exult,--I tremble."
"But you shall no longer tremble,--you, whom the Lord so favors. Be not faint-hearted. Think of the woes, the misery here, eternal torments hereafter, that will be the lot of the disobedient. Already little Elsie has been stricken down by the anger of the Lord; only your promise of obedience saved her."
Spare me, Oreana, I will obey; I,--oh, that I could die."
"You are weak, my dear. Left to yourself your good intentions will, fail before the strength of the wicked. You must come with me--nay, not a word. I will ride over with you now. Your husband will readily consent, for he has often spoken of late about your going away for a visit.
"Then we can arrange our plans. We must be of | | 22 the number of those brave pilgrims who are going across the plains on foot. You have heard of the glorious blessings promised to these by our second Moses. Thank God, I am of age and independent. That legacy my great-aunt left me will suffice for us both. By the way, do you know the Delvilles of Liverpool are going? So we shall not be without friends. Oh, how happy we shall be when re-united in Zion!"
While thus talking Oreana had prepared herself for the ride. In her hands Mrs. Lascelle was powerless. Her weak nature bowed before Oreana's resolute will, and by the time they reached town Mary had promised entire obedience.
|<< chapter 3||< chapter 1||chapter 5 >||chapter 33 >>|