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Valeria The Martyr of the Catacombs   By:

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[Illustration]

[Illustration: SCENE IN THE CATACOMBS AT THE MARTYR'S TOMB.]

VALERIA,

THE MARTYR OF THE CATACOMBS.

A Tale of Early Christian Life in Rome.

BY W.H. WITHROW, D.D.,

Author of "The Catacombs of Rome and their Testimony Relative to Primitive Christianity," Etc.

[Illustration: "VALERIA SLEEPS IN PEACE."]

TORONTO:

WILLIAM BRIGGS.

MONTREAL: C.W. COATES. HALIFAX: S.F. HUESTIS.

THE MARTYRS IN THE CATACOMBS.

BY CHARLES J. PETERSON.

THEY lie all around me, countless in their number, Each martyr with his palm. No torture now can rack them: safe they slumber, Hushed in eternal calm!

I read the rude inscriptions, written weeping, At night with hurried tears. Yet what a tale they tell! their secret keeping Through all these thousand years.

"IN PACE." Yes, at peace. By sword, or fire, Or cross, or lictor's rod Virgin, or matron; youth, or gray haired sire: For all, the peace of God.

"IN CHRISTO." Died in Christ. Oh, tragic story! Yet, over shouts, and cries, And lion's roar, they heard the saints in glory Singing from Paradise.

"AD DEUM." Went to God. Wide swung the portal; Dim sank the sands away; And, chanting "Alleluia," the immortal Passed to Eternal Day.

Agnes, Cecilia! Names undying ever, What's C├Žsar's gain to this? He lived for self; they for their high endeavour. His, fame; theirs, endless bliss.

And pagan Rome herself? Her wisest teacher Could teach but how to die! Sad, hopeless emperor, echoing the Preacher, "All, all is vanity."

He slew the martyrs. Yet, through ages crying, This noble truth they give: "Life is but birth throes. Death itself, not dying. We pass to God to live."

O blessed hope! O faith that conquers sorrow! Pain, heart break, all shall cease. They are but gateways to a glad to morrow. "IN PACE." God is peace.

[Illustration]

PREFACE.

The writer having made the early Christian Catacombs a special study for several years, and his larger volume on that subject having been received with great favour in Great Britain, the United States, and Canada, has endeavoured in this story to give as popular an account as he could of early Christian life and character as illustrated by these interesting memorials of the primitive Church. He has been especially careful to maintain historical accuracy in all his statements of fact, and in the filling up of details he has endeavoured to preserve the historical "keeping" of the picture. Persons wishing to pursue the study of the Catacombs still further are referred to the Author's special work on that subject. See note at the end of this volume.

W.H.W.

THE CATACOMBS.

BY HARRIET ANNIE WILKINS.

"Miles after miles of graves, and not one word or sign of the gloominess or death." Professor Jules De Launay.

MILES after miles of graves, League after league of tombs, And not one sign of spectre Death, Waving his shadowy plumes; Hope, beautiful and bright, Spanning the arch above Faith, gentle, overcoming Faith, And Love, God's best gift, Love.

For early Christians left Their darlings to their rest, As mothers leave their little ones When the sun gilds the west; No mourning robes of black, No crape upon the doors, For the victorious palm bearers, Who tread the golden floors.

Arrayed in garments white, No mournful dirges pealing, Bearing green branches in their hands, Around the tomb they're kneeling; This was their marching song, "By death we are not holden;" And this their glorious funeral hymn, "Jerusalem the golden."

Beautiful girls sleep there, Waiting the Bridegroom's call... Continue reading book >>




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