“Then, your people, too, are unrelenting in their views on such unnatural marriages. Suppose you were to marry this man, in the face of the unyielding opposition of the parents on both sides—there’s little hope that they could be reconciled. You see at once how you might be considered an outcast from your people and his too. Your children would be neither Jew nor Christian; for all the external rites and ceremonies of the earth cannot transform a Christian into a Jew, or a Jew into a Christian. Accursed be the nominal Christian that would allow his children, by ceremony or rite, to be made nominally Jews. Such a one is worse than an infidel; and has denied the faith. God made the Hebrews a great and glorious people—his own chosen children. But between Christians and Hebrew there is a wide, wide difference; and God made that, too.
“No; Leah, if I were advising a Jewess to marry a Gentile, which I am not doing, I would say, Select a man deeply rooted in religious principle, and clinging humbly to his Christian faith. Such a man would rarely, if ever, deceive or ill-use you.”
“I see that you are right, Lizzie,” interrupted Leah, apparently aroused by her companion’s words. “I’ll heed your teaching, and never listen to another word of love from the one who might lead me into temptation, and perhaps into a fatal snare. Alas!” she continued, with her dark eyes flashing, “but for a terrible lie, a cruel deception, I should still be the affianced of Mark Abrams, and happy in the hope of becoming his wife—not an unhappy, disappointed girl, open to the flattery and fascinations of another man.”
“Keep your resolve, Leah, if you can; and may the all-wise Father give you strength,” replied Lizzie.
“God helping me, I will; but you know I am a weak and helpless creature, and when you are gone, my only bosom-comfort and faithful friend will have departed. Promise me that you will never cease to love me, and remember with pity the heart that loves you and will ever yearn to be with you.”
Lizzie made no reply; the swelling heart choked down the utterances that struggled to escape her lips; and drawing Leah close to her bosom, she embraced her in a silent, warm, and tender clasp. “Trust me, even unto death,” at length she whispered softly; and the reply came:
At the sound of footsteps ascending the stairs, Lizzie said, “There comes Aunt Rose. You will be at the wharf this evening, Leah, to see me off, and to bid me God-speed with one of your bright smiles, that I may hope for a safe arrival at my destined port?”