But where to-night is Joram? Where is that benign countenance? Hush! Speak low, tread lightly! Disturb not the last moments of the dying Israelite! Joram is at the banks of Jordan. Already his feet are touching the cold waters.
The sick man turns on his pillow and faintly
“Mathias, why comes he not? Shall I not once more see my most excellent friend?”
“My dear father, he will ere long be here. The messenger is trustworthy, and will soon return.”
“The journey of life is near its close. The holy hill is in sight. I pass through the vale of death on my way to the better land. Yonder is the home of the faithful. Sorrow and mourning shall flee away.”
“He is here! He is here!” cried Jupheena.
“Has he arrived?” asked the sick man, in faint accents.
“Yea, father,” replied Mathias, in soothing tones, “he has arrived.”
“Thanks be to Jehovah!”
Presently, a man of venerable appearance, his hair silvered over with age, apparently a Chaldean, walked into the apartment. Jupheena was the first to greet him.
“Jehovah bless my lovely daughter!” whispered the aged man, as the tears coursed down his furrowed cheeks. For a moment he looked around upon the company with an earnestness of affection not easily described; then looking up to heaven, in trembling accents he broke forth:
“Oh, Jehovah, let the smiles of Thy countenance rest on these Thy chosen ones!”
The venerable man was then gently led by Mathias to the bedside.
A smile passed over the pale countenance of Joram, the fountain of his tears overflowed; he looked up to the face of his old friend, reached out his trembling hand, and cried:
“Ah! my good Barzello! thou hast come once more to see thy friend Joram, before he leaves for the spirit land.”
“If thou art to go first,” replied the old soldier, “we shall not long be separated; with me, also, the battle of life will soon be closed.”
“I find, Barzello, that my race is well-nigh run! I am fast passing away. I have a strong impression that this day I shall join the society of immortals; therefore I thought fit to send for my best friend, to be with me in my dying moments. I am spared to see a good old age. For the last forty years my cup of joy has been often filled and running over. Jehovah has dealt with his servant in great kindness. The iniquities of my youth are forgiven—I am at peace with the God of Israel.”
The sick man desired to be raised a little higher on his pillow.
“That is better. Now I can see you all. We must soon part; my sun is fast sinking, and in a few hours Joram will be gone. The chariot will soon call. I chide you not for your tears, for here on earth I know too well their value. In that bright world above where Jehovah dwells, and where angels spread their wings, no tears are found.”
Joram, quite exhausted, closed his eyes, and deep silence for a while prevailed. He soon revived, and called for Perreeza.