“I delight in statuary,” was explained to the visitor, “and my wife delights in paintings. You see, I have catered to both our tastes, and especially hers. Those panels are the work of the famous Rene, and this ceiling was painted by the best artist in the city. Here, what do you think of this?”
They paused before a large painting hung in the best light. It showed traces of age, but the colors indicated the hand of a master. It represented a scene where grandeur and beauty mingle; in the distance, blue hills; nearer, they became darker and pine clad; in the foreground loomed a rocky ledge; encircled by the hills, lay a lake, around whose shores were farms and farm houses with red roofs; and in the foreground of the lake was an island.
“A fine picture,” said the visitor, “and an old one.”
“It is a scene in old-time Norway, by one of Europe’s best painters. Here is another. This is new, hardly dry, in fact. You observe that there are no pines on those hills. The farm house and the orchard in the foreground are as natural as life. She will recognize them at once.”
They passed out.
“I have not had time to collect much in the way of statuary. I work a little at that art myself. Here is an unfinished piece, a model for a fountain.”
They sat on a bench within sight of the falling water.
“Tell me about your family.”
“I have a wife and four children yet in the spirit world. It is not long as we count time since I left them, and they are soon to follow; but I am impatient, I think. Oh, but she is a good woman, brother, good and true and beautiful; and my children are noble ones—two boys and two girls—even if one has been wayward. He will come back in time. Yes, my wife first taught me the knowledge of God, in the second estate, and opened to me the beauties of our Fathers’ great plan. I had fallen low, and was in danger of going lower, when she came—God sent her—and with her pure, strong hand drew me up from the mire, God bless her.” And the speaker smiled at the splashing waters.
“Then in earth-life I left them so suddenly, and she struggled bravely on to the end. It was all for the best—we know that now. I had a work to do in the spirit world, and God called me to it. I did it, and was accepted of the Master. We all met in the spirit world, and there continued our labors of love for the glory of God and the salvation of His children. Then my time came to pass through the resurrection, and here I am.—Hark, what is that? Someone is calling.”
They listened. From the house came a voice, a low, sweet voice, calling.
“Brother, I must go,” said he who had been talking. “Someone calls my name.”
He disappeared hurriedly within the door-way; and the visitor went on his way.
“And God shall wipe away all tears
from their eyes; and there shall
be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there by
any more pain: for the former things are passed away.