“These burning words of your Aunt Josepha, to her son Daniel, are the words of Daniel to his cousins. Prove true to your religion! and if in this ye die, it shall be but the will of your God. But, cousins, ye shall not die! That same Jehovah who appeared in our behalf years ago, in the revelation of the king’s dream, will again stretch out his arm to save. If Jehovah interferes in your behalf, there is not fire enough in all Chaldea to injure a hair of your head. I long to be with you! Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be immediately called back to Babylon. Then side by side would we stand erect, and scorn to bow before a golden image. But it appears to be the will of Jehovah that I should be absent. I have confidence that I shall soon embrace you in Babylon: but if in this I am mistaken, we soon shall meet in the better Jerusalem above.
It was with some difficulty that Azariah commanded sufficient control over his feelings to enable him to read the letter aloud; but with a trembling accent it was done.
“Thanks be to Jehovah.” cried Mishael, “for such consolation in the midst of sore affliction.”
“But what says our beloved Perreeza?” said Hananiah.
No one felt willing to read aloud their sister’s letter, so it was read by each in silence. It ran thus:
“Dear Brothers: With emotions indescribable, Perreeza endeavors to write these few lines, that may impart some consolation to her dear brothers while strong waves of affliction pass over their souls. Being much confined of late to my dwelling, it was but yesterday that I derived any knowledge of that awful proclamation of the king in regard to his great image. Uncle Esrom is at present traveling in a far country on important business, and I am deprived of his counsel and ye are deprived of his aid in this crisis. Ob, my brothers! the companions and guardians