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Sister Carmen   By:

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E text prepared by Al Haines




Translated from the German by KATE DYKERS

New York The Minerva Publishing Company 48 University Place



The first rays of early dawn threw their shadowy light over hill and dale, and all nature seemed animated with new life as the fresh spring breeze kissed the young blades of grain in the fields. Ever brighter and more glowing grew the eastern horizon, ever more golden the light, floating clouds, until at last the dazzling rays of the king of day flashed forth upon the expectant world.

With its clear carol of joy, a lark soared upward from her dewy nest, singing her morning anthem to the great Creator; and, as if in glad sympathy with the happy bird, the many and varied voices of nature united in celebrating the resurrection, not only of the sun, but of all things, for it was Easter Sunday morning.

Forth from the dwellings of a small Moravian village issued a band of simply attired folk, who wended their way through the green fields and up the hillside to a spacious wood, where was located a quiet graveyard, in which gigantic linden trees stretched out their leafless branches, forming a graceful network overhead.

In the centre of this lovely spot stood an immense stone cross, the sign of that Lord whose resurrection was to day celebrated with the sound of trumpets and the voices of the people.

A feeling of holy joy seemed to reign in every heart, as the crowd stood grouped around the base of the cross, gazing with reverence at it as it now shone bathed in the glorious radiance of the risen sun. Presently the music ceased and the soft echoes died away among the distant hills, while a clear, manly voice in the midst of the congregation proclaimed: "The Lord is risen!" "He is risen indeed!" replied each one joyously; after which the first speaker advanced nearer to the cross and addressed a few words to the people:

"My dear brothers and sisters, in accordance with our usual custom, we visit to day our beautiful cemetery, not to mourn for our dead, but to rejoice that our Lord has risen from the grave to give us eternal life; for with Him shall rise all those who follow in His holy footsteps here below. Therefore, as we put not on the garb of mourning, let us not grieve in our hearts when we think of our loved ones who have gone home before us, but clasp each other's hands and be glad together, that through the blessed Redeemer such happiness has been vouchsafed to them. For His sake, and for the preservation of the true faith, the Moravians wandered forth from their fatherland, forsaking the wealth and luxuries of this world; but they took with them that which was more precious than all else, the pure, unadulterated truths of the Gospel, and sought a new country, in which they might dwell, and preserve their religion forever. In the wilds of a strange land they found a resting place; and in the community were retained the old statutes and laws, the old forms of worship, the old brotherly love and kindness, which from the earliest period had characterized them. From this little seed corn which was then planted, the Moravians have spread out their branches into all parts of the world. Let us remain faithful to the principles which united our forefathers; let us ever hold sacred the religion for the sake of which they suffered, and to which they firmly adhered, in spite of persecution and peril. Hold fast brotherly love! Forgive and bear with one another in love, sacrifice yourselves for love's sake, suffer and die, in charity with all men, then are you true disciples of the Lord. Amen!"

The preacher's voice ceased, and the congregation devoutly echoed his "Amen." After a short pause the assembly broke up, with hearty hand shakings and joyful greetings. In little groups of twos and threes they rambled through the beautiful grounds where the loved ones were laid to rest... Continue reading book >>

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