Note:  This material was scanned into text files for the sole purpose of convenient electronic research. This material is NOT intended as a reproduction of the original volumes. However close the material is to becoming a reproduced work, it should ONLY be regarded as a textual reference.  This version was scanned , edited and copyrighted at Phoenixmasonry by Ralph W. Omholt, PM, Librarian in June 2007.

OUR HEROINES

 

Collected by

MRS. MARTHA ZOERCHER

Past Worthy Grand Matron of Indiana

Editor of "The Eastern Star"

 

PRESENTATION

 

This little book comes to you at the urgent request of Worthy Matrons who, in planning their programs for the year, discover a need for material dealing with the Heroines of the Order.

 

It is a valuable book, too, for each Star Point to keep and read as it presents a wide range of in depth material to make the lives and lessons of the five Heroines more meaningful.

 

We dedicate this effort to the thousands of earnest sisters who have presented the lessons of the Five Points to those who have sought admission to our beloved Order.

 

Fraternally,

MARTHA ZOERCHER,

P.W.G.M., Indiana.

 


 

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

 

In the preparation for our suggested "Star Point Nights," much must be left to the ingenuity of the presiding officer or to the committee appointed to arrange for the presentation.

 

We would recommend that on the evenings set aside for the programs, all those who have served at the "Point" to be presented be invited and introduced as special guests, and that some token be presented. It may be a single flower, a Star Point favor, a neatly‑printed program or anything that the finances of the chapter will permit; that the decorations and appointments as far as practical be carried out in the colors and emblems of the "Point" honored.

 

In giving the three dramatized programs, as far as possible use the costumes of the time portrayed, although this may be omitted if desired. Songs and poems may be omitted, or changed to suit the occasion.

 

In all events, let the evenings be as dignified and sacred as our Order would have it, but let all be imbued with the joy and happiness that comes with the close association in our work.

 

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STARS ON MEMORY'S WALL

 

So often is their story told,

They stand like pictures framed in gold,

It needs not pen nor painter's art

To trace them deeply on the heart,

For stretched on Fancy's brightest wall

We see them now - they come at call.

 

A maiden stands with brow serene,

Though soon will close life's earthly scene:

Behind, Judea's mountains loom,

While at her feet the violets bloom;

The azure dome bends o'er the whole,

Fit emblem of her own true soul.

No veil obscures that undimmed eye,

But dauntless, firm, she comes to die.

 

A simple, past'ral sketch, a harvest field,

Familiar to our eyes from earliest years;

With one who stands homesick, fatigued, forlorn;

Within her hands the tiny fruits of toil,

And in her heart the widow's lonely wail,

But God who marked her self‑denying vow

To childless, lone Naomi, watches yet,

And soon her heart shall sing for joy.

So we Rejoice to court her lovely face within

Our hall of storied paintings. Jessamine wreathed

And circled round with golden fruitage bright

We see her still - our faithful, constant Ruth.

 

Third vision fair - a Persian throne,

Its queen beloved, yet all unknown,

She's of a captive, exiled race,

Whose very life, whose hour of grace

Rests now upon her fealty.

 

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"I go unto the king," she saith,

"Although to go be instant death!

And if I perish" - Oh! the cry

Of that true heart! "I shall but die!"

All woman in her loyalty.

 

We read the story in her face,

"Tender and true," its lines of grace.

Full well we know that steadfast mein,

Ne'er lost the Jewess in the Queen,

So we embalm her constancy.

 

That vision flies, and Martha's face

Is outlined in its destined place;

We see again that lonely home,

O'ershadowed by Death's sable plume;

We share with her bereavement dread,

For all earth's households mourn their dead;

Yet sweetly came Christ's meaning plain:

"Because I live ye live again."

He rose to make that faith secure,

And thus we read this teaching pure:

That though Death's angel comes to all,

And "One by one each link must fall,"

Yet faith can see our golden chain

United its severed links again.

 

The last of our five pictures rare,

With fancy's pen has traced in air,

Is our Electa, whose brave faith

Lent lustre to a martyr's death;

She seems a type of those who stand

To help earth's weak with heart and hand,

Forgetting self in deeds of love,

Their sure reward - the life above.

 

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LEARNING FROM THE STAR POINTS

 

The Rays of the Star, in the Order of the Eastern Star, may be used in many and varied ways for instruction, interest and entertainment.

 

On Friendship Night we may remember that Adah went to the mountains, followed by her friends. Ruth found friends among Naomi's people. Esther offered her life for her kindred and friends. Martha's great reason for fame is that she was a friend of Jesus. Electa spent her life ministering to her friends.

 

And so with other virtues and other special meetings. We can find the virtue or its associations in the life of each of our heroines. That is why so many of our programs include, in some way, some of the virtues of the Star Point Rays. The history and meanings of the colors may be added to these to make the references more real and startlingly dramatic.

 

ADAH

 

The Eleventh chapter of Judges tells the story, short and without embellishment, of Jephthah and his vow and how his daughter helped in its fulfillment.

 

Jephthah had a history of difficulties with other chiefs because of his lowly birth, so that he resented it when he was asked to help defeat the Ammonites. However, he made a bargain concerning what each would offer if he came home victorious; then he vowed to the Lord that if success were his, that he would present for a burnt offering whatever came forth from the doors of his house to meet him on his return from victory.

 

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At the moment he had forgotten how his beloved only child, a daughter, always came to meet him. Although, in the fulfillment of prophecy, perhaps Adah had lived for this. Being a warrior's daughter, she knew that a soldier's honor ranked high, and she must not make her father's sacrifice any harder, so she agreed at once.

 

However, she asked for two months, to bewail her virginity and many do not understand the significance of this. She had been reared in a religion that watched for the Messiah, believing that He would be born of her people. Every pure girl must have dreamed that perhaps she would be the mother and through her would come the blessing of the world. Certainly, she knew that when she gave up her life to preserve her father's honor that grand hope was also renounced.

 

She went to the mountains where the blue of fidelity would strengthen her resolves. Blue skies, blue vistas, blue waters, the blue of the night sky . . . so the blue of fidelity came into being. Personally she gained nothing but her self‑respect, obedience to her father, her religion and her own code of honor. But she also gained recognition that has lasted through the centuries! Few women are mentioned in Holy Scriptures and few women through the ages have been as influential. So we cannot judge the worth of her sacrifice, but we can applaud its far‑reaching results.

 

The name "Adah" means ornament. Although the name does not appear in Scripture, it seems most

 

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appropriate for her spirit and character were beautiful and truly an ornament to her father's life.

 

The violet is associated with this Ray because it is associated with loyalty and meekness. The ideals exemplified here are self‑sacrifice, integrity, and obedience. The open Bible signifies that only the Word of God may direct the individual in the right way in which to go.

 

RUTH

 

In the land of Moab, a childless widow had a poor lot and yet was entitled to the charity of the family.

 

Ruth chose the harder way -  that of toil for her‑self and her aged mother‑in‑law. Although of alien background, Ruth's womanly sweetness made the people of the little town of Bethlehem admire and call her the ideal daughter‑in‑law, wife and mother.

 

The story of Ruth is one of the most beautiful in Scripture and is considered by many to be truly historical. Ruth always seemed to be able to do the right thing at the right time and never gave herself to grieve or indulge in self‑pity. She served in all ways, steadfast and in humility.

 

By tribal custom Ruth gleaned in the fields of Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi. Boaz was a man of God, of high morals and intelligence, and he appreciated Ruth's quiet loveliness, her inborn purity, and succeeded in his desire to win her for his wife. Thus a lovely stranger in Judah was raised from obscurity

 

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to influence and renown. The House of David sprang from this lineage, finally leading to Mary, whose Son was destined to be the savior of mankind.

 

Ruth proved that love and womanly virtues combined, can shed a ray, like golden sunshine. She proves that the womanly ways of goodness can win great rewards in life.

 

The yellow Jessamine is a flower of humility yet its color glows as a golden harvest of beauty.

 

We must always remain true to our convictions, and in love, know that no service is too humble to earn great rewards. Sincerity added radiance to all that Ruth did.

 

 

ESTHER

 

The Book of Esther is more historical than Scriptural. The name of God does not appear once in this book. The entire story is a patriotic symbol to a persecuted people who realize the ultimate triumph of justice. Modern stories that attribute all the virtues of grace and courage to a fifteen year old girl do not take into consideration that Esther's uncle, Mordecai, was wise in the ways of kings and court matters and had instructed Esther as well in ways of courage and loyalty.

 

Esther rose from a humble origin to a position as Queen. Her name appears fifty‑five times in this short Bible book. She dedicated her life to the welfare of the people instead of basking in the luxury of the court.

 

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When Esther learned of the terrible danger con‑fronting her people she did not hesitate. However, Mordecai's question of her: "Who knoweth whether thou art cone to the kingdom for such a time as this?" is perhaps a continuing challenge to all women of all times.

 

The Scriptural story is perfectly told. It builds up to moments of drama. Esther had a choice: banishment with the other Jews or confronting the king with possible death for herself. Her acceptance of the challenge makes the color white a constant re‑minder of the virtues of prudence, intelligence, fearlessness and deep insight.

 

The lily is symbolic of Esther's purity.

 

 

MARTHA

 

The story of Martha and Mary is a story of contrasts between the idealistic Mary and the practical Martha. When the founders of the Eastern Star out‑lined the ritualistic work they understood that the greater number of members would not be dreamers and poets, but would be the Marthas, the home‑makers, the women who face the everyday tasks, so they chose Martha for the important fourth point of the Star.

 

Martha belongs to the gallery of famous Bible women. It was to Martha that Jesus spoke the ringing words that have comforted those in grief even to this day. Martha holds another honor for she was a friend of Jesus. He often visited with the family.

 

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Martha's faith and trust make her memorable throughout time, but the passages telling the story not only dignify the talent of homemakers and honor those who serve, but her growing tolerance and understanding are also recognized. Jesus impressed upon the sisters that it is a good thing to take time to live, to listen, and to take time for friends.

 

The triumph of trustful faith is our constant re‑minder when we see the color green. It is the ever fresh and forever growing concept of immortality.

 

 

ELECTA

 

The story of Electa tells of the courage of women - that did much to raise the standard of woman‑hood at a time when those standards were very low.

 

The letter to the Elect Lady has been debated since early times, but her identity is still unsolved. The word "Lady" occurs only six times in the Bible, twice in this letter, which signifies nobility. The Elect Lady was truly one of the elect of God. She is de‑scribed as being pre‑eminent in charity and raising her children in Christian truth and love.

 

She was martyred, but believed in the lesson of the Resurrection so she died steadfast. She knew that principles never die. She taught us that belief must go with good works if it is to survive.

 

Her loyalty to her Christian faith makes her one of the most respected women in the Bible and the warm shade of courageous red, the glow of setting suns, brings powerful mother love to our minds. We who follow must have the strength to resist evil associations and tyrannic threats and live as Jesus taught.

 

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OUR EASTERN STAR

 

We honor and praise those stories of old,

As found in the message divine; Portrayed at the points of the beautiful star,

May its teachings forevermore shine.

 

The story of Adah, heroic and brave,

Is marked by the color of blue;

And Ruth, in yellow, the sheaf in her hand,

Tells of loyalty, fervent and true.

 

We learn from the life of Esther the queen,

To be valiant, courageous and brave;

In her robe of white, the scepter did touch,

In venture, her people to save.

 

In green there is Martha of implicit faith In the miracles.

Mournfully cried: "If only thou hadst been here, then

My brother had not died."

Electa in red, with her virtues sublime,

Of humanity, charity, love;

Her banner unfurled to the wants of the world;

A command from the Father above.

 

May the lessons of life, so noble and true,

As told at the points of the star,

Be a guiding light for woman today,

In lands here at home and afar.

 

May we reverence the lives of those women of old,

As learned from the Bible each day;

And follow the path where'er it may lead,

Be a lamp to our feet alway.

 

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All hail to the wonderful Eastern Star!

May its colors ride on, in speed -

With its blue, yellow, white, her green and red,

And ever be found in the lead.

 

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HISTORY OF THE FIVE‑POINTED STAR AND OTHER STARS

 

Religion, legend and tradition and even our every‑day decorative ideas give stars importance. The Order of the Eastern Star bases its lessons on the teachings of the Bible. Matthew 2:2: For we have seen His Star in the East, and are come to worship Him.

 

The five‑pointed star in prehistoric wisdom was called the Star of Beauty, and was once called the symbol of health and it was held to be a talisman against witchcraft. The symbol used, with the pentagram within, can be made in one continuous movement and it seems as if the points are interlaced to form the star. This five‑pointed star is known as the Pentacle or Pentagram. It is told that this symbol was used as a badge by the members of the Pythagorian School and is said to have signified health to these ancient philosophers.

 

Marks of this kind are also used in Northern India on utensils, particularly on domestic objects. The symbol is used by the people as a protective amulet or charm to prevent scorpion stings and fever.

 

In ancient times the five‑pointed star or pentagram was used by one venerated mystic order to symbolize the numeral five, and disorder, or fall, death, disease, corruption and putrefaction . . . but most people held a different belief.

 

The five‑pointed star had a strong significance among many ancient peoples. According to Pythagoras, there were five elements, the first four being

 

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earth, air, fire and water and the fifth being of a celestial nature or a quintessence. It was considered to be the first matter and the other elements were supposed to be conceived from this fifth one. Thus it was the immortal mind force. It was the power, the quality and the virtue of each and everything in nature. Through its power and its activity, all objects are mutually attracted or repelled in accordance with their polarities.

 

Old philosophies gave other star forms a deep significance. The six‑pointed star was a symbol of the Creator. It is the true interlaced triangles and a symbol of perfection. This star is used in many of the Jewish synagogues and is called the shield of David. Some ancient orders accepted the triangle as a symbol of perfection and so the interlaced triangles represented the perfection of the law of duality on both the material and spiritual planes.

 

The seven‑pointed star represents the seven days of the week, the seven branches to the candlestick of Moses, the seven churches of Asia, the seven mysterious seals, the seven stars in the right hand of God and the point of unity of the triangles on the finite and infinite planes.

 

The eight‑pointed star represents stability and suggests that the spiritual and material planes are in harmony with each other. Number four or the square is the symbol of stability and dependability, so twice four, or eight, depicts stability on both planes.

 

The nine‑pointed star is emblematic of spirituality, love, joy, peace, temperance and goodness, in fact,

 

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all the spiritual virtues. Nine is a mystical number, and alludes to the ultimate completion and final perfection of any great undertaking, and it is also an ancient symbol for the triangle.

 

The twelve‑pointed star alludes to the Disciples and has this sacred significance. It alludes also to the Council of Divine Wisdom, the gathering of the Prophets, the conclave of the holy masters that have dwelt among men.

 

In ancient mythology Hesper was Venue as the Evening Star. From this, Italy and Spain, both situated in the west where the sun sets, were called Hesperia or the Western Land.

 

Of greater significance to members of the Eastern Star are these passages from the Bible: REVELATIONS 22:16. I am the root and the off‑spring of David, and the bright and morning star. (In the East, the morning star was always so bright that it guided travelers on their way.) II PETER 1 :19 . . . as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.

 

I CORINTHIANS 15:41 . . . for one Star differeth from another Star in glory.

 

And last, but not least: MATTHEW 2:10 . . . when they saw the Star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

 

And it is with joy in our hearts that we follow in His footsteps with the Star in the East as our guiding light.

 

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DEVELOPMENT OF THE STAR POINTS AS EASTERN STAR SYMBOLS

 

In presenting a short history of the Star Point heroines it is difficult to get a comprehensive picture without infringing on the origins of Masonry for the two have had a spiritual tie through the ages.

 

The great majority of searchers into antiquity agree that both Freemasonry and the Order of the Eastern Star originated in the ancient mysteries and similar orders established thousands of years before Christ. In fact, most writers on this subject trace the rituals of religious and fraternal organizations to the ancient "Drama of Faith," the old "Osirian Passion‑Play," having the Trinity: Osiris, Isis and Horus. However this may be, all the ancient orders had women members. In some cases these women seemed to have a predominant role.

 

The Rev. Joseph Fort Newton in his book, "The Builders," credits the Greater and Lesser Mysteries with the Signs, Tokens, Grips and Passwords. He believes that Freemasonry originated in the Greater Mysteries and the Order of the Eastern Star originated in the Lesser Mysteries. In any case, the Egyptians represented the number five by a star having five rays. Occasionally the center of this star had the rays of the sun or an eye to represent Osiris. So we see that the star has long been closely associated with ancient symbolism.

 

The Thesaurus of 1793 lists the five rays of the star as Master Masons' daughters, Master Masons' widows, Master Masons' wives, Master Masons' sis‑

 

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ters, and Master Masons' wives' sisters. It was not until 1869 that this last point was changed to Master Masons' mothers.

 

In these early Constellations the officers consisted of Sister Principal, Vice Principal, and five Sisters of Rays . . . namely, Ray Blue, Ray Orange, Ray White, Ray Green, Ray Red, Treasurer and Secretary. A great many women were initiated into these Orders, yet the Orders were never considered eminently successful, and later, the Families were organized. However, in the Mosaic Book of 1855 of the American Adoptive Rite, the name Constellation is represented by five Stars within a circle. The "Pillars" are the five male officers who fix the time and place of meetings, nominate their successors, and appoint the five female officers who were called "Correspondents" and who represented the five Points of the Star.

 

These five "Correspondents" were: LUNA - who impersonated Adah in the drama, FLORA - who impersonated Ruth in the drama, HERE - who impersonated Esther in the drama, THETIS - who impersonated Martha in the drama and who acted as Conductress, AREME - who impersonated Electa in the drama.

 

Previous to 1856, the Rays were called Jephthah's Daughter, Ruth, Esther, Martha and Electa, but at about that time Robert Morris caused the name Adah to be substituted for Jephthah's Daughter.

 

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In 1865 the Rosary of the Order of the Eastern star again accents both the duty and the beauty of the Star Point Sisters.

 

Albert Pike, whose name is well known to Masons everywhere, asserts that while women could not be admitted to share the grand mysteries of Freemasonry, there should be a Masonry for them for their assistance and protection, and that by their ties of association and mutual obligation they also could aid the cause of human progress. He feels that his expectations have been admirably fulfilled. The Rituals of the Order are based on five historic female characters of the Bible, the Talmud and Josephus, whose lives exemplify many Masonic virtues.

 

JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER - Respect for the binding force of a vow.

 

RUTH, the widow - Constancy and faithfulness to right and duty.

 

ESTHER - Fidelity to kindred and friends.

 

MARTHA - Faith and belief in eternal life.

 

ELECTA - Patience and submission under wrongs of persecution.

 

Whether we study our Star Point heroines historically or traditionally, the stories are inspiring and beautiful. Our present day heroines are adding many chapters of fine and enduring service to the book of knowledge already written.

 

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Five Points to our Star . . . five lessons in faith, Pure beauty to service they add; Five fine examples of true worth and love, Whose duty can make the heart glad.

 

These are our heroines - beloved of all, In Sisterhood's radiance here, While gracing our floor, as in days of yore, To us they grow ever more dear.

 

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MEANINGS OF THE FIVE STAR POINT COLORS

 

BLUE

 

Blue is one of the seven primary colors, located in the solar spectrum between green and violet.

 

Blue sky is emblematic of serenity. Mythology made the sky the abode of the divine spirits and naturally the color of the heavens acquired the attribute of divine intelligence. The color name of blue is usually lacking from the language of the lower civilizations. The sky or heaven is mentioned at least four hundred times in the Bible but the color blue is not mentioned.

 

In the Vedas sky is mentioned but blue is not. In the Rigveda neither blue nor green is indicated. Blue is also symbolic of solitude and even sadness. Through association with the sky or heaven it is symbolic of hope, fidelity, serenity, intelligence, truth, piety, wisdom, thought, serene conscience, divine contemplation and love of divine works. The veil of Juno, the goddess of air, is blue. Christ, Saint John, Isis, Minerva and others are often represented in mantles of blue.

 

Blue or azure is a symbol of divine eternity and human immortality. Consequently it is a mortuary color, hence its use in covering the coffins of young persons. When used for the garment of an angel it signifies faith and fidelity. As the dress of the Virgin it indicates modesty. In the Catholic Church it signifies humility and expiation.

 

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Blue has a special or unusual significance in custom, literature and legend. For instance: Blue blood, a Spanish phrase meaning of noble descent; Coventry Blue, a permanent dye; Blue Books, books of special record; Blue Monday, the Monday before Lent, formerly spent in dissipation, now referred to as a dreary Monday of work after a week end of pleasure; and Blue pencil, used to change or remove portions of a manuscript.

 

In blazonry, azure abbreviated to "AZ," signifies chastity, loyalty, fidelity and a spotless reputation. It is engraved by parallel lines drawn "in feas" or horizontally.

 

In church decoration, blue and green are used for ordinary Sundays and blue for all weekdays after Trinity Sunday.

 

In metals it is represented by tin.

 

In precious stones it is represented by the sapphire. In the planets it stands for Jupiter.

 

In Stardom, it is the Star Point color of Adah and represents the sky when all clouds have vanished and symbolizes fidelity.

 

 

 YELLOW

 

Yellow is one of the three primary colors of the spectrum. With blue it forms green, with red it forms orange.

 

The word yellow comes from the Latin word meaning "light bay" and a Greek word signifying "young verdure," which was greenish yellow.

 

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As the apparent color of the sun, yellow is held sacred by some primitive tribes and it is the national color of China. Strong light increases the intensity of yellow while most colors are dimmed. Lemon and canary yellow are considered pure yellow. Violet and yellow are complimentary to each other and if these two colors are mixed, they will produce white light.

 

Harvest shades suggest fruition and plenty. Yellow ranks second to red in primitive languages. In China yellow has been employed as a regal and sacred color. Pure yellow is emblematic of gaiety, warmth, richness, sanctity and divine origin.

 

Figuratively speaking, yellow sometimes means cowardly and is so used in the expression, "yellow streak." It has a sensational value as "yellow journalism." It has been used in the British Navy as meaning the rank of Rear Admiral but unattached to a squadron.

 

Mongolian is spoken of as the yellow race and some illnesses are called yellow, as jaundice. We also hear it referred to in age, as yellow with age.

 

In heraldry and in ecclesiastical symbolism yellow is frequently used in place of gold. In heraldry it is known as "OR," and is indicated by a plain white field, powdered with black dots.

 

In metals it is represented by gold and brass. In precious stones it represents the topaz.

 

In Stardom it is the color of Ruth, and symbolizes constancy, teaching faithful obedience to the demands of honor and justice.

 

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WHITE

 

The color white symbolizes light, purity, truth, chastity, innocence, peace, modesty and virginity. It is synonymous in many cases to "unchanged and unadulterated." The ancient Druids, and, indeed the priests generally of antiquity, used to wear white vestments, as do the clergy of the Established Church of England when they officiate in any sacred service. The Magi also wore white robes. The white vestments of priests are emblematic of peace and purity and this color is used at many religious festivals. Worn by the judiciary, it symbolizes integrity. The white lily is dedicated to virginity, truth, purity and innocence. In liturgy, white signifies purity, temperance and innocence. As a background for the figures of saints it signifies chastity.

 

The head of Osiris, in Egypt, was adorned with a white tiara; all his ornaments were white and his priests were clad in white. White was sacred to Jupiter. White horses drew his chariot and white animals were sacrificed by consuls who were clothed in white and wore hats of white. The victims of Jupiter also wore white. The priests of Jupiter and the Flamen Dialis of Rome wore white robes and white hats.

 

The Roman festivals were marked with white chalk and at the death of Caesar the national mourning was white. In China white is also a symbol of mourning. White horses were sacrificed to the sun. White oxen were selected for sacrifice by the Druids and white elephants were held sacred in Siam or

 

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Thailand. The Persians affirm that the divinities were habited in white.

 

The whiteness and value of the pearl has extended its use in symbolism. When some metals are heated the extreme point before melting is called white heat.

 

A white object is white because it does not select colors, but simply reflects all the waves of color which happen to fall on it.

 

In heraldry it is represented by silver or argent, abbreviated "AR" or "ARG," and is shown as a plain white field.

 

In Stardom, white is the color appropriate to Esther, and is a symbol of light, purity and joy. It should teach us that a pure and upright life is above any tongue of reproach.

 

GREEN

 

The word green is derived from the ancient Anglo‑Saxon root word meaning "to grow." The prevailing color of vegetation is green, owing to the presence of chlorophyll in all external tissues not turned to wood or bark. The color green is found in the spectrum between blue and yellow and can be made by blending these two colors.

 

Green is indicative of life, keeping memory alive. This color name is found in comparatively few languages of lower civilizations. In a few instances in early history green has been a sacred color. Olive green is symbolical of solitude and peace. Pale green has been used in the church to symbolize baptism.

 

Because green is the color of growing and immature plants, the term is occasionally applied to per‑

 

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sons, and when thus used, it means lacking in knowledge and experience.

 

"The Wearing of the Green" is an Irish patriotic and revolutionary song dating from 1798. Green was the emblematic color adopted by the Irish nationalists. It is the sacred color of the Mohammadans, who carry the green flag and the background of whose prayer rugs is always green, let the design worked into the fabric be what it may. Saturn is crowned with evergreen and the hair and garments of Neptune, the Dryads and the Naiads are dyed with green. Many consider the evergreen, associated with Christian Christmas, alludes to the everlasting memory of Christ's birth.

 

In the language of symbolism, green is the color of faith, gladness, immortality, the resurrection of the just and the gladness of the faithful.

 

In blazonry, "vert" or green, signifies love, joy, abundance, and it is engraved by diagonal lines drawn from dexter chief to sinister base, or from left bottom to top right.

 

In art it signifies hope, joy, spring and youth. Among the Greeks and Moors it signifies victory.

 

In Church decoration it signifies God's country, mirth, gladness, the resurrection, and is used with blue for regular Sundays.

 

In metals it is represented by copper.

 

In precious stones it is represented by the emerald. In the planets it stands for Venus.

 

In Stardom, it is the Star Point color for Martha and signifies hope and immortality.

 

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RED

 

Red is the seventh color in the spectrum. In nearly all primitive languages red appears, and in general is the first color name to appear. Red is relatively rare in nature and therefore it attracts attention. In the Greek Church, red is favored for Lent. It is prominent in the Chinese religion and customs and is used by this race for the marriage service.

 

Red is a stimulating color. It has a revolutionary meaning, especially when applied to revolutionary socialism. It has almost the significance of a proper name when applied to those of titian hair. As such it is a common nickname.

 

Red pertains to the North Pole of a magnet. In archery it is the innermost circle of a target.

 

The origin of the color red may be found in the sun. It is as old as that star and perhaps even older. How old is the red of the rainbow? As old as the colors of the spectrum. Red is as old as the earth it‑self, and older. We cannot trace its origin to its beginnings, but if the colors of the rainbow are among the first elements of nature, red was among them.

 

From "The Language of Color," by M. Luckiesh: "Many symbols and uses of red have often arisen from an association with blood, and thus red some‑times represents health, tragedy, anger and allied attributes. Red has symbolized fire, heat, war, cruelty and hatred, power and destruction." On the other hand, red and white roses in the garland of Saint Cecelia apparently signify love and innocence. Aurora is called the rosy fingered Goddess of Dawn.

 

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Red occurs in the national flags of many nations and is one of the three colors in our Stars and Stripes. A red cross is the symbol of the world's greatest organization for work of mercy, the Red Cross.

 

In the planets it stands for Mars.

 

In heraldry it is known as gules, abbreviated "GU." It is expressed by parallel lines drawn "in pale" or perpendicular.

 

In jewels it is represented by the ruby.

 

In Stardom, red is the color appropriate to Electa and is a symbol of the fervency which should actuate all who are engaged in the service of truth.

 

"It's what you think that makes your world Seem dull or bright to you; Your mind can color all things gay, Or make of them bright hue.

 

Be glad today, be clear and wise, Seek truth amid the dross; Waste neither time nor thought about The bridge you'll never cross."

 

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ADAH THE LESSON OF THE DAUGHTER

 

Let me state in the beginning that the name of Adah does not appear in the Bible, that she is always referred to as Jephthah's daughter, and that "Adah" was the name given her by the founder of our Order, Dr. Robert Morris.

 

The story of Adah is based upon the tragedy of a race that forgot God. It was in the 12th Century, B.C., that Israel had strayed away from God, had practiced idolatry and in every way showed their contempt for His laws; and for their sins God had delivered them into the hands of their enemies, the Ammonites and the Philistines, who laid waste to their country.

 

In the midst of this calamity Jephthah, a born organizer and leader, who had been made an outcast in his own country in a family feud, gathered a formidable army of men of a similar social standing (beggars, thieves and outlaws) and by a rigid training brought them under the strictest discipline, and thus became an expert in the tactics of warfare.

 

After suffering severe calamities, Israel put away their idols and strange gods, and humbled them‑selves before the God of heaven and besought Him with prayers and sacrifices to deliver them from the hand of the enemy. And the Lord whose ear is ever open to the cry of His children, heard them and sent them a deliverer. They had an army, untrained and without a leader, and it was at this crisis that

 

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the elders of Israel, some of them even were Jephthah's brothers, went to Jephthah and implored him to be their leader. This was a bitter pill for these brothers to approach an outcast member of their family, but in a case of absolute necessity family feuds must be forgotten and even principles must be reevaluated.

 

Jephthah himself was greatly surprised, and it required considerable persuasion to secure his assistance, because his prejudices had been deeply grounded, and "the stone which the builders had rejected was become the headstone of the corner," even against the old Jewish law which would have forbidden him to rule the nation because of his lowly birth. And so a solemn compact was entered into whereby if Jephthah should be victorious over their enemies, he was to become the recognized leader of the nation.

 

Now Jephthah realized that of his own power and strength he could not accomplish the task that lay before him, and so he besought the Lord to help him with prayers and sacrifices. And then a mighty thing happened; the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he no longer attempted to make peace with his enemies by sending messengers back and forth, but he marshaled his forces and passed in triumphant tread to face them in open battle.

 

And then came this memorable vow. We are impressed with his statement to the Ammonites when he said: "Jehovah, the Judge, be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of

 

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Ammon." It was at the altar in Mizpah, it would seem, that he went and made a solemn vow to the Lord and said: "If thou wilt indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be, that whosoever cometh forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, it shall be Jehovah's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering." Now why was this vow made? Did his faith falter at the last moment - did it seem incredible that God should use him in his deliverance of the Israelites from their enemy? Or was it a mere expression of a grateful heart for blessings received? The battle followed. The enemy was pursued into the very heart of their country. Twenty cities were conquered, and the whole country completely subdued. But at what price! Jephthah was soon to realize the truth of what the victory would cost him. That vow! We can well picture him as he returns in triumph to Mizpah. No doubt in a brazen chariot, accompanied by armor‑clad warriors, and the streets filled with a joyous and jubilant people.

 

But how soon a joyous victory was to be returned into grief and distress. True at heart in adversity, he was also true in prosperity, and the vow he had made when he besought the strong arm of the Lord was not lost to him when he beheld his beloved daughter, the very core of his heart, his idolized child, rush out to greet him in his triumphant entry, and the vow he had uttered flashed across his mind.

 

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Jephthah presents a noble example of fidelity to his word, for he never for one moment entertained the thought of trying to avoid the fulfillment of his vow. We are deeply impressed by the overwhelming grief of Jephthah and the noble self‑sacrifice of his daughter Adah, and her courageous resignation to her fate. Jephthah's daughter arose at once to the grandeur of her situation and bade her father keep his promise. She made one humble request: "Let me alone two months, that I may depart and go down to the mountains, I and my companions." Can you not picture this small group of young women, as they spent these days together? What did they talk about? What thoughts rushed through their minds? At the end of the allotted time they came slowly down the side of the mountain through the narrow passes and gorges to the altar which had been erected. In the dim vista of the past we can almost see that little group of the fairest of the Kingdom as they approached the place where Adah was to give her life as a sacrifice for her father's vow unto the Lord. This she did gladly for the freedom of her country which she faithfully believed was in answer to that vow, made in a time of deepest distress and doubt.

 

According to the Levitical law some sacrifices could be redeemed by the payment of money, but not one made like Jephthah's. Not by the sacrifice of animals; in fact, there seemed to be no exchange. Not even as in the case of Abraham, where God pro‑

 

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vided a lamb to take the place of Isaac in the sacrifice. Jephthah's case was different; no sacrifice had been required or requested, he had offered it freely of his own accord. Yet when his daughter came to meet him in all the innocent beauty and purity of her young womanhood, what wonder that he ex‑claimed in anguish, "Alas, my daughter!" But even in all the horror and anguish that smote him he did not hesitate to say: "I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I can not go back." That daughter must have been divinely prepared for her father's statement; at least she seems not to have evinced any surprise. The records do not show it. A worthy daughter of a worthy father. Without even a sigh she flashed back: "My father, if thou halt opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which has proceeded out of thy mouth." The daughter was prepared fully. She approached the altar fearlessly. She knew her father, and she freely gave her life into his hands.

 

Those two months that she had spent in communion with Jehovah prepared her for the great surrender of her life and she met it in the clear light of the day, with her eyes unclouded by the veil of darkness as was the custom.

 

Whether right or wrong, Jephthah kept his word, notwithstanding the great sacrifice he was called upon to pay in the loss of his only child his be‑loved daughter.

 

For hundreds of years the maidens of Israel went yearly to the mountains of Gilead for four days to

 

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commemorate the historic sacrifice of the daughter of Jephthah.

 

But for sweet Adah, weep not, let the word be: "Joy to the captive, freed from earthly dust, Joy for one witness more to woman's trust, And lasting honor, Mizpah be the strain To her who died in the light without a stain."

 

JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER

 

On the hills of Mizpah bloomed the mountain maid, Blue the skies above her where she strayed; As the light gazelle she scaled the rocky slope, Adah, child of love and hope.

 

Gone from the mountain, lost to her home, Called in life's beauty to the tomb; Wake the wild lamenting in lonely glen, She will never come again.

 

Glad was her upraising, when, with maiden mirth And merry timbre], she came forth; But, alas, the death march! day of utter gloom! 'Twas the signal of her doom.

 

0, the grand deliverance of mountain maid! "Keep the vow, my father," thus she said; "Shall a Mason's daughter fear for truth to die? There's a home beyond the sky." From the hills of Mizpah, let her story rise - "Death before dishonor" - to the skies; While seasons blossom on mountain free, Adah, we will weep for thee!

 

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She will not die as thief or murderer dies, Whose fate but expiates his horrid crime; She will not veil her pure and loving eyes, As fearing death, hers is death sublime; Lo, with determined heart and eye she stands, Her face upturned toward Celestial lands.

 

See, midst the multitude the victim stands, Dauntless, serene, though terror palsies them! And she must die by her own father's hands! And she must die a sacrifice of shame.

 

Of shame? Ah, no! She flings the veil abroad, Once, twice, yea thrice; looks hopefully to God; Fixes noonday sun with earnest eyes, Then crowned with innocence the maiden dies. Lament for Jephthah, ye who know his fate, Weep and lament; broken the beautiful rod, And the strong staff; Mizpah is desolate! But for sweet Adah weep not; let the word Be "Joy to the Captive, freed from earthly dust, Joy for the witness more to woman's trust, And lasting honor, Mizpah, be the strain To her who dies in light without a stain." - Robert Morris.

 

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ADAH

 

This introduction is to be given by the Worthy Matron The heroines of our Order are women of the Bible whose virtues we must emulate in our lives in order to serve God and our fellow men. From the history of Adah, Jephthah's daughter, we learn the lesson of keeping our promises. To get a better understanding, let us glean the pages of biblical history. In the Book of Judges is a very fine description of Jephthah's character and the heroism of his daughter, Adah.

 

The Israelites had settled in Canaan, and after Joshua's death were ruled by judges. These judges settled the peoples' disputes and also took the place of generals, leading them in battle. The twelve tribes were united in a loose confederacy, and when a very strong, powerful enemy menaced any one or several of the tribes, the others would come to their aid.

 

At this time the children of Ammon were en‑camped in Gilead to fight against the tribes of Judah, Ephraim and Benjamin. The princes of Gilead be‑sought Jephthah, a great warrior, to lead them in battle against the children of Ammon. Jephthah was an outcast from the home of his brethren and lived the life of an outlaw. His bravery and daring won him many followers. He answers the request of the elders of the princes of Gilead in an independent manner, for which we can hardly blame him.

 

This introduction is followed by a musical selection, piano or violin.

 

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Some members, preferably brothers, give the conversation of the chief of the elders and Jephthah. A curtain (or screens) is stretched across the back of the hall so that the two doors can serve as entrances and exits. The men may wear robes made of inexpensive material, or they need not robe. The elders, led by their chief, enter from one door and Jephthah appears from the other. They meet and the chief of the elders addresses Jephthah. Three or four brothers should accompany the chief of elders. Upon meeting each other, Jephthah and the elders bow. In the Eastern countries people are very courteous in their salutation; when no reference is made to the manner of saluting in the Bible, it is so understood.

 

CHIEF OF THE ELDERS: Come and be our chief, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.

 

JEPHTHAH: Did not ye hate me, and drive me out of my father's house? Why are ye now come unto me when ye are in distress? CHIEF OF ELDERS: Wherefore are we returned to thee now, that thou mayest go with us and fight with the children of Ammon, and thou shalt be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

 

JEPHTHAH: If ye bring me back home to fight with the children of Ammon, and the Lord deliver them before me, I will be your head.

 

ELDERS (answer in unison) : The Lord shall be witness between us; surely according to thy word so will we do.

 

JEPHTHAH comes to the center, and makes this solemn vow: If Thou shalt deliver the children of

 

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Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

 

(Curtain.) Song, "Be Ye Strong in the Lord," by choir, or soloist.

 

"BE YE STRONG IN THE LORD" "Be ye strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." - Ephesians 6:10.

 

"Be ye strong in the Lord and the power of His might," Firmly standing for the truth of His word; He shall lead you safely through the thickest of the fight, You shall conquer in the name of the Lord. CHORUS Firmly stand for the right, firmly stand for the right, On to vict'ry at the King's command; For the honor of the Lord, and the triumph of His word, In the strength of the Lord firmly stand.

 

"Be ye strong in the Lord and the power of His might," Never turning from the face of the foe; He will surely by you stand, as you battle for the right, In the power of His might onward go.

 

REPEAT CHORUS "Be ye strong in the Lord and the power of His might," For His promises shall never, never fail;

 

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By thy right hand He'll hold thee while battling for the right, Trusting Him, thou shalt forevermore prevail.

 

REPEAT CHORUS Curtain is drawn aside, Jephthah enters and, upon seeing Adah, rends his clothes and addresses her in great anguish, but she speaks calmly.

 

JEPHTHAH: Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art become my troubler; for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.

 

ADAH: My father, thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord; do unto me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth, forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon. Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may depart and go down upon the mountains and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.

 

JEPHTHAH: Go.

 

Adah departs; Jephthah stands with bowed head. Curtain.

 

 CONCLUSION BY WORTHY PATRON He speaks from his station in the East.

 

When the time had expired, Adah was prepared to fulfill her father's vow. With an almost broken heart, he awaited her at the altar. She greeted him affectionately and bade him farewell.

 

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With face unveiled, and looking upward, so that her father's arm might not be unnerved by her gaze, she received the fatal blow, and thus bravely gave her life to preserve her father's honor.

 

Jephthah's vow was very unwise and foolish. It was a bargain with God. The sacrifice God required is "a humble and contrite heart," and as Samuel admonished Saul, "To obey is better than to sacrifice." Yet, according to the law of those times, a vow, which is a sacred obligation, taken in the name of God, must be kept. It was considered a dishonor to break such a vow. The Israelites did not commit human sacrifice as the idolatrous nations among whom they lived. Jephthah, no doubt, had in mind that he would meet some animal, used in sacrificing - a sheep, or goat, or cow.

 

The ancient sages very wisely taught that it is better not to vow than to vow unwisely. So, we should learn from the history of Jephthah's daughter not to promise anything we can not keep. Also, that an obligation taken in the name of God is especially sacred.

 

Sisters and brothers, let us ever be true to the solemn obligation taken at the altar, and to all other obligations.

 

SONG BY CHOIR Of Thee, Supreme Grand Power above, We ask that wisdom sure Which will direct our work of love And make its teachings pure.

 

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Which will the way illume with light, And help each weary heart The lessons true to read aright, Which our Star's rays impart.

 

Curtain is drawn aside; Adah faces audience; she has a blue veil over her head. She uses veil in making sign, drapes the sword which is on stand by her side, and holds position. Curtain is slowly drawn. While she holds position with sword, the choir sings. The curtain is not drawn until choir finishes singing. This is the conclusion of the program, and the Worthy Matron can say, "This concludes the program," and close the chapter in usual form, if the chapter had not been closed before the program.

 

"ABIDE WITH ME" Abide with me, fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide; When other helpers fail and comfort flee, Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me! I need Thy presence every passing day; Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away; Change and decay in all around I see. O Thou, who changest not, abide with me! Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes; Shine thro' the gloom and point me to the skies; Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee; In life, in death, 0 Lord, abide with me!

 

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RUTH THE STORY OF REAL FRIENDSHIP

 

The scene of this beautiful love story was laid in Bethlehem of Judea, a town famed in song and story, and also in Moab, a country beyond the river Jordan, a country whose inhabitants were worshipers of idols.

 

During the famine Elimelech and his wife Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, emigrated from Bethlehem to Moab, and there they remained until the sons had taken unto themselves as wives two beautiful Moabitish girls named Ruth and Orpha. Some ten years later Elimelech and both sons died, leaving three lamenting widows. The two young widows seem to have had plenty of material wealth, but Naomi was left in destitute circumstances. Her heart was broken over her loss, and she felt that even God had deserted her in her grief.

 

But these two young widows loved their aged mother‑in‑law, and when Naomi announced her intention to return to the land of her birth, they both arose and voiced their intention to return with her. But Naomi entreated them to remain in Moab where their material wants would be amply taken care of. But they persisted, and a long passage was under‑taken. It was a rough journey, inadequate travel facilities, heat, cold, privations on every hand, and finally a life of poverty even if they survived the trials of the trip. So Naomi again appealed in her strongest manner, and Orpha, sensing the true conditions, turned back after affectionately kissing her mother in farewell. One of the most appealing

 

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scenes in all Bible literature was enacted when Ruth refused to turn back as had her sister Orpha.

 

 "Entreat me not to leave thee, And to return from following after thee; For whither thou goest, I will go; And where thou lodgest, I will lodge; Thy people shall be my people, And thy God, my God! Where thou diest, there will I die, And there will I be buried; Jehovah do so to me, and more also, If ought but death part thee and me." Ruth had reached a crisis in her life, the parting of the ways. If she turned back it meant to resume her place in the community. It meant that she would probably live at ease, but it also meant that she must surrender her God as well, and that would indeed be a calamity, as she had learned to love Naomi's God, who was also the God of her departed husband. But with a firm resolve, and in no uncertain language, she refused to leave Naomi, and they finished the journey together, and the tragedy of parting was never again suggested by either of them.

 

Moab and its idols were left behind, and they at last crossed the Jordan and reached Bethlehem, tired and footsore and weary. They caused some‑what of a sensation when they reached the end of their journey, and friends offered sympathy to Naomi. The younger woman also had suffered, for

 

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from her own country she could expect nothing. Her lot had been cast among strangers, and poverty‑stricken strangers at that.

 

From this point Ruth occupied the central figure in the story. It was necessary for Ruth to seek employment to maintain an existence. She, therefore, suggested to Naomi that she become a gleaner after the reapers, gathering up the leavings. It was a lowly task, in fact the only one left open to the widow, the orphan and the very poor. It was a law among the Jews that the poor had a right to glean in anyone's field. Ruth was too proud to beg, but not too proud to earn a livelihood by honest work. And so her work began. She started to work in the fields of Boaz, a man of great wealth and influence. When he came to inspect the work in his fields, he noted a stranger and made inquiries concerning her history. He learned her story. And then he approached her and spoke kindly to her. She was naturally surprised as her companions had made many unkind remarks to her during the morning, and she was scarcely prepared to understand any kind remarks on the part of the owner. But Boaz answered: "Jehovah recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of Jehovah, the God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to take refuge." He brought to her a protective kindness, and saw to it that his reapers left plenty of gleanings for Ruth to gather; he also gave her food and drink. He was often spoken of as "Boaz, the Kind." Naomi was

 

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greatly pleased when Ruth told her that she had gleaned in the fields of Boaz. And so she gleaned in the fields until the end of the harvest, and she and Naomi had plenty to eat and to spare.

 

In due course of time Ruth became the wife of Boaz, and the mother of a son called Obed, and thereby established a line of descendants down to Jesus.

 

Thus it may be seen that, though Ruth was of another race and nation, yet for her constancy and trust in Jehovah she was exalted to the high station she occupied as the ancestress of King David and to "Great David's Greater Son - the Messiah." My friends, the fidelity of this heroine of our Order to the little cares and trials of everyday life certainly gives us a more exalted conception of our daily household duties. No work that is worthy of accomplishment is too small for us to perform. No honest work is menial, and the example set by Ruth of garnering even the smallest grains is one well worthy of emulation.

 

"Pity the widow, desolate and poor; These little parcels are her only store; Meekly upon her breast she crosses them, Prophetic of the Cross of Bethlehem; Then looks imploringly into the blue sky, Where sits enthroned the pitying Deity." CI'

 

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RUTH

 

From Moab's hill the stranger comes,

By sorrow tried, widowed by death;

She comes to Judah's goodly houses,

Led by the trusting hand of faith.

 

She leaves her childhood's home, and all That brothers, friends and parents gave; The flowery fields, the lordly hall, The green sod o'er her husband's grave.

 

She leaves the gods her people own - Soulless and weak, they're hers no more; Jehovah, He is God alone, And Him her spirit will adore.

 

At Bethlehem's gates the stranger stands, All friendless, poor, and wanting rest; She waits the cheer of loving hands, And kindred hearts that God hath.

 

Entreat me not, dear friend, to go Or leave thy cherished side; The Lord hath called me here, I know, And here I will abide.

 

The haunts of girlhood, once so dear, My soul doth prize no more; I yearn, my Love, far off to hear, And find the better shore.

 

I leave the mansions of the dead - Farewell to grassy mound; The flowery plains we soon will tread, Where all the lost again are found.

 

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I'll go with thee, do not deny; I'll make with thee my home; Where'er thou diest I will die, And there shall be my tomb.

 

- Robert Morris.

 

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RUTH

 

Introduction is to be given by the Worthy Matron

 

The history of the second heroine of our Order, Ruth, is gleaned from the Book of Ruth. It is a most beautiful Bible romance, a pastoral love story. In the days when the judges judged, there was a famine in Bethlehem, a city of Judah. Elimelech, with his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, journeyed to Moab, and become prosperous. The sons took to themselves wives of the women of Moab, Orpah and Ruth. After Naomi's husband and her two sons died, she decided to return to her home, Bethlehem in Judah. Her daughters‑in‑law accompanied her from Moab on the way to Judah.

 

Curtain is drawn aside, showing Naomi conversing with Orpah and Ruth, persuading them to return to Moab.

 

NAOMI: Go, return each of you to her mother's house; the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you, in the house of her husband.

 

She kisses them, but they refuse to leave her, and say in a sorrowful tone: NAOMI AND RUTH (together): Nay, but we will return with thee unto thy people.

 

NAOMI: Turn back, my daughters; why will ye go with me? Turn back, my daughters, go your way. It grieveth me much for your sakes, for the hand of the Lord is gone forth against me.

 

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They kiss their mother‑in‑law and weep. Orpah reluctantly leaves, but Ruth clings to Naomi, who insists on her returning home with her sister‑in‑law.

 

NAoMi: Behold, thy sister‑in‑law is gone back unto her people, and her God; return thou after thy sister‑in‑law.

 

Ruth, very earnestly, tenderly and lovingly, pleads with Naomi.

 

RUTH: Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.

 

They leave, with their arms about each other. Curtain.

 

Song by choir.

 

"HOPE ON"

 

From Gospel Hymns

 

"Happy is he whose hope is in the Lord" - Psalms 146:5.

 

Hope on, hope on, O troubled heart;

If doubts and fears o'ertake thee,

Remember this, the Lord hath said,

He never will forsake thee;

Then murmur not, still bear thy lot,

Nor yield to care or sorrow;

Be sure the clouds that frown today

Will break in smiles tomorrow.

 

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Hope on, hope on, though dark and deep The shadows gather o'er thee; Be not dismayed; thy Saviour holds The Lamp of Life before thee; And if He will that thou today Shouldst tread the vale of sorrow, Be not afraid, but trust and wait; The sun will shine tomorrow.

 

Hope on, hope on, go bravely forth Through trial and temptation, Directed by the word of truth, So full of consolation; There is a calm for ev'ry storm, A joy for ev'ry sorrow, A night from which the soul shall wake To hail an endless sorrow.

 

Curtain is drawn; Naomi's women friends meet her, they are surprised at her changed appearance; she speaks to them in a sorrowful tone. Two or three sisters should impersonate Naomi's friends. They look at her with an astonished expression, and one of them speaks:

 

Is this Naomi?

 

NAoMi: Call me not Naomi (pleasant), call me Marah (bitter); for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me back home empty; why call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

 

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Naomi walks away a few steps with Ruth; Naomi's friends look after her sorrowfully. Ruth speaks to Naomi.

 

RUTH: Let me now go to the field, and glean among the ears of barley, after him in whose sight I shall find favor.

 

NAOMI: Go, my daughter.

 

Curtain.

 

Song by choir.

 

"Ho! REAPERS OF LIFE'S HARVEST"

 

From Gospel Hymns

 

Ho! reapers of life's harvest,

Why stand with rusted blade,

Until the night draws round thee, And day begins to fade? Why stand ye idle, waiting For reapers more to come? The golden morn is passing, Why sit ye idle, dumb? Thrust in your sharpened sickle, And gather in the grain; The night is fast approaching And soon will come again; The Master calls for reapers, And shall He call in vain? Shall sheaves lie there ungathered, And waste upon the plain?

 

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Mount up the heights of wisdom, And crush each error low; Keep back no words of knowledge That human hearts should know.

 

Be faithful to thy mission, In service of thy Lord, And then a golden chaplet Shall be thy just reward.

 

Curtain is drawn aside. Two or three brothers take the part of the reapers; one of them represents the chief or the servant set over the reapers. A brother represents Boaz. The reapers are seen; Boaz enters and greets them; they answer his greeting and he converses with the chief of the reapers. The reapers should how to Boaz; he returns their greeting.

 

BOAZ greets reapers: The Lord be with you. THEY answer: The Lord bless thee.

 

BOAZ speaks to servant over reapers: Whose damsel is this?

 

SERVANT: It is a Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the field of Moab; and she said: "Let me glean, I pray you, and gather after the reapers among the sheaves;" so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, save that she tarried a little in the house.

 

BOAZ speaks to Ruth: She should be a little way from the other gleaners: Nearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither pass from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens. Let thine eyes he on the field that they do reap, and go

 

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thou after them; have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

 

RUTH makes a low bow and speaks to Boaz: Why have I found favor in thy sight, that thou shouldest take cognizance of me, seeing I am a foreigner?

 

BOAz: It hath fully been told me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother‑in‑law since the death of thy husband; and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people that thou knewest not heretofore. The Lord recompense thy work, and be thy reward complete from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to take refuge.

 

RUTH: Let me find favor in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast spoken to the heart of thy handmaid, though I be not as one of thy handmaidens.

 

BOAz turns to his reapers and says to the servant set over the reapers: Let her glean even among the sheaves, and put her not to shame. And let her glean, and rebuke her not.

 

Curtain.

 

Song by choir.

 

"WHERE HAST THOU GLEANED TODAY?"

 

From Gospel Hymns

 

"The field is the world - and the reapers are the angels." - Matthew 13:38.

 

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Solos with chorus; soloists to sing question and answer. One sister sings the part of

 

QUESTION and the other sister sings the part of the

 

ANSWER. The chorus should be composed of mixed voices, sisters and brothers; or the chorus could be of only male voices, not less than four. The musical part of this program should be rehearsed as well as the speaking part.

 

QUESTION Weary gleaner, whence comes thou, With empty hands and clouded brow? Plodding along thy lonely way, Tell me, where hast thou glean'd today? 

 

ANSWER Late I found a barren field, The harvest past my search revealed, Others golden sheaves had gained, Only stubbles for me remained.

 

CHORUS Forth to the harvest field away! Gather your handfuls while you may; All day long in the field abide, Gleaning close by the reapers' side.

 

QUESTION Careless gleaner, what hast thou here, These faded flow'rs and leaflets sere? Hungry and thirsty, tell me, pray, Where, oh where, hast thou gleaned today?

 

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ANSWER All day long in shady bow'rs I've gaily sought earth's fairest flow'rs; Now, alas! too late I see All I've gathered is vanity. CHORUS (repeat)

 

QUESTION Burden'd gleaner, thy sheaves I see; Indeed thou must aweary be! Singing along the homeward way, Glad one, where hast thou glean'd today?

 

ANSWER Stay me not, till day is done, I've gather'd handfuls, one by one; Here and there for me they fall, Close by the reap'rs I've found them all.

 

CHORUS (repeat) Curtain is drawn aside. Ruth is holding sack of grain; she and Naomi converse.

 

NAOMI: Where hast thou gleaned today? and where wroughtest thou? Blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee.

 

RUTH: The man's name with whom I wrought today is Boaz.

 

NAOMI: Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. The man is nigh of kin unto us, one of our near kinsmen.

 

RUTH: Yea, he said unto men: Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.

 

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NAOMI: It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, and that thou be not met in any other field.

 

Curtain.

 

CONCLUSION BY WORTHY PATRON

 

When Ruth made it known to Boaz that he was a near kinsman to her, he rejoiced and extended to her still greater consideration and kindness. "Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter; thou hast shown more kindness in the end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou didst not follow the young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou sayest; for all the men in the gate of my people do know that thou art a virtuous woman." There was still a nearer kinsman who, according to the Mosaic law, had first claim to Ruth, and Boaz, who was zealous in keeping the law, did not claim Ruth for his wife until he assured himself that the nearest kinsman relinquished his claim to Ruth.

 

Boaz stands out as a real Bible gentleman. According to the teachings of the Bible (Mosaic laws), he showed kindness and consideration to the stranger. "When ye reap the harvest of your land thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest; thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the stranger." - Leviticus 19:9, 10.

 

Ruth was worthy of Boaz's love and kindness. She was a "Bible‑lady, a gentlewoman, a noble, virtuous, womanly woman. The love of Ruth and Boaz is of

 

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the highest type of love, honorable love, which unites man and woman in that most sacred bond of wedded love; in that holy union, so blessed in the sight of God and man."

 

RUTH BY HENRY HOOD

 

 To be given by a Member Oh, wondrous story of immortal spell! From a forgotten age, so far and old That even its traditions now we hold But doubtfully, comes down this tale so well Beloved, which we today rehearse and tell As if Naomi's meadows had been sold But yesterday, and in the kinsman's fold Still shining lay the golden grains which fell From sheaves all careless bound, that Ruth might glean.

 

Oh, wondrous spell of love and loyalty! No record ever said that Ruth was fair; And yet all thoughts have pictured her in mien So beauteous, art itself might well despair Seeking to paint her tender constancy! At the conclusion of the reading of this poem, the curtain is drawn aside and Ruth faces audience, holding in her hands the "sheaf." The choir sings.

 

"I'LL Go WHERE YOU WANT ME To Go" It may not be on the mountains high, Or over the stormy sea; It may not be at the battle's front, My Lord will have need of me;

 

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But if by a still, small voice He calls to paths that I do not know, I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in Thine, I'll go where you want me to go.

 

CHORUS I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, Over mountain, or plain, or sea; I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord, I'll be what you want me to be.

 

There's surely somewhere a lowly place, In earth's harvest fields so wide - Where I may labor thro' life's short day For Jesus the crucified.

 

So trusting my all to Thy tender care, And knowing Thou lovest me, I'll do Thy will with a heart sincere, I'll be what you want me to be.

 

REPEAT CHORUS Note: The beautiful duet, "Ruth and Naomi" would he especially appropriate at this time.

 

CI' Obedience is a part of education, and if boys and girls do not learn the habit of obedience they are not educated, even though they may read many languages and be experts in science and mathematics. Boys and girls who do not learn at home the virtue of obedience are unfortunate. For unless children learn in the home, they are not likely to learn it anywhere, and a man or woman who is self‑willed, incapable of obeying, is never happy, and is often mischievous if not dangerous.

 

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ESTHER QUEEN OF COURAGE

 

As a prelude to this story we have a gorgeous scene in which the King of Persia (Ahasuerus) had held a feast for his nobles that lasted for one hundred and eighty days, and this was followed by a feast of seven days to which all the people of the kingdom were invited. Queen Vashti had a similar banquet at the royal palace for the women of the realm. Near the end of the feast the king commanded the queen to come before the assembled men, and display her charms. Vashti absolutely re‑fused. The king, drunk from his long feasting, flew into a terrible rage, and called his counselors together and demanded that the queen be deposed, as an example to wives who refused to obey their husbands. Now, it was a law of the Medes and Persians that a law once pronounced could not be recalled even by the king himself. It was said that the king really loved Vashti, and lamented the decree. But it was just another instance - as Shakespeare says, "Oh, that men should put an enemy into their mouths to steal away their brains." So Vashti passed from the palace a divorced woman, and search was made for the most beautiful woman of the realm to be her successor.

 

Ahasuerus was advised to assemble all the beautiful maidens at the palace and make a choice. As we know, Esther, a young, beautiful Jewess, was the one chosen, and it was said that the king really fell madly in love with her, and the loss of his beautiful Vashti was compensated by the faithfulness and

 

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brilliance of the new queen, who was crowned with appropriate ceremonies and festivities.

 

Now Esther is one of the outstanding heroines of the Bible, and of all history. She was strong, brave, capable, patriotic and honorable, and had all the qualities that go to make up not only a real woman but also a queen. In all the luxury of her new life, the temptations that naturally came to a woman in her position, she was not spoiled by being a queen. She was a woman of the highest integrity and principles; a shining example of female virtue, and the king highly valued her as a queen and counselor.

 

But there was another character that must be mentioned here and that is Mordecai, the cousin of the queen, who had taken the place of a father when Esther's parents had both died. It is a long story of political intrigue, but the outcome of it all was the decree issued by the king that on a certain day all the Jews in the kingdom should be put to death. Esther was a Jewess, although her lineage had been carefully concealed from the king and his court.

 

When Mordecai learned of the decree, he rent his clothes, and covered his body with sackcloth and ashes as was the mourning custom. And then Mordecai summoned Esther and told her of the fatal edict, and that she would be included in those designated for slaughter.

 

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The gentlest natures are often the sternest when duty requires it, and the man who had filled a father's place to her found it necessary to utter a statement that seems somewhat harsh when he says in words that struck like a whip: "Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether boldest thy place at this time, then shall there deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed." And then he added as if to give her courage, "Who knowest whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"  Esther hesitated no longer, but rose to her sublimest height. She was young, she was beautiful, she loved life, she loved the king and she loved her people, and she realized that the edict could not be escaped. And so at the request of Mordecai she resolved to make a personal appeal to the king. And then her resourcefulness and keenness of mind came to her rescue. Very simple and touching were her preparations.

 

 Remembering that "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted," she first requested Mordecai and all the Jews in the city to fast for her three days and nights, that they neither eat nor drink, and declared that she and her maidens would do likewise, and then she closed her message with these memorable words: "I will go unto the king, which is not according to law, and if I perish, I perish."

 

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What fine courage! But Esther was a very wise woman. She had no intention of asking a favor of her liege lord, even if he did love her madly, while he was tired and hungry, so she very shrewdly requested the presence of the king and his prime minister, Haman, at a banquet which she had pre‑pared for them. Now Esther was a true woman, and she reasoned that if one banquet was good for the king, another would put him in a still better frame of mind, and so she ordered a second banquet, and promised that she would then make known her request.

 

The hour for the second banquet had arrived, and Esther appeared in all her beauty and royal apparel.

 

The king again said to her: "What wilt thou, Queen Esther, and what is thy request, and it shall be given thee, even unto the half of my kingdom." How generous! It was the psychological moment for Esther, and she struck while the iron was hot. With great tact she began pleading for her own life. She said: "If I have found favor in thy sight, oh king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request; for we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish." A desperate case requires desperate remedies. The king himself could not recall the edict once uttered, but he gave the Jews permission to arm them‑selves and gather throughout the entire empire and

 

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"to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay and to cause to perish all those who would destroy them." And so it was ended and the Jewish nation was saved.

 

The Jews then set the annual feast of Purim in memory of the triumph and in honor of the Queen, whose skill in statecraft had delivered them. The feast is observed with shouts, hand‑clapping and the reading of the story of the deliverance.

 

The story of Esther leaves a deep impression on us of the courage and tact that Esther displayed when confronted with the peril of losing not only her own life but the lives of the entire Jewish race, and the consummate skill with which she handled the difficult situation.

 

My sisters, whether you are a daughter, a mother, wife or sister, there are times in our lives when we should commit, without question, our ways into the keeping of an all‑wise Father, who knows our needs and never fails to fill them. The answer may not al‑ways be just what we had expected or hoped for, but we can rest assured that it will always be right. May the pure life of Esther and her devotion to her own people be an inspiration to us all. Perhaps you, too, were born for a time like this.

 

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ESTHER

 

Must we perish, 0 my nation, With the light of ages crowned! Surely there is yet salvation With our great Deliverer found; Cry aloud, then, Zion's Daughter, Rend with sorrowing groans the sky; Blunt with prayer the sword of slaughter - Haste, my people, ere we die! Thou, who shone our nation's glory, Mark the time of deep distress; Hear, with pitying ear, our story, See our anguish, Lord, and bless.

 

But if thus our sins to chasten Thou refuse thy children's cry, All submissive, I will hasten With my people, Lord, to die.

 

- Robert Morris.

 

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ESTHER

 

Introduction by the Worthy Matron

 

Esther was a Jewish maiden, who lived in Persia. The Jews were captives within that country. Under the beneficent rule of Ahasuerus, a powerful monarch, whose reign extended "from India even unto Ethiopia" over a hundred and twenty‑seven provinces, they enjoyed comparative peace and prosperity. They paid their yearly tribute, enjoyed religious freedom, could worship God according to the dictates of their conscience and observe the laws and statutes of Moses, as heretofore.

 

Ahasuerus lived in great splendor and often gave great feasts to which he invited the princes and officials of his kingdom, from the highest to the lowest. Such a feast or banquet is recorded in the Scriptures, in the Book of Esther. One of these feasts was held in the court of his magnificent palace garden at the capital city, Shushan. After seven days of feasting and drinking, Ahasuerus, who gloried in these great banquets and all his wonderful possessions, commanded his chamberlains to bring his wife, Queen Vashti, dressed in royal apparel, that he might show off her beauty.

 

It is not the custom in eastern countries, and much less at that time, for a woman to appear at banquets with men. After seven days of feasting and drinking this banquet may have become no more than a drunken revel. Queen Vashti refused to obey the king's summons. The reason for refusing to attend is not given. Ahasuerus was enraged at her inde‑

 

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pendence and disobedience. His advisors, the high court officials, advised him to put her aside as a punishment for her refusal to obey the king; also to make of her an example for all the wives of the kingdom, from the highest to the lowest, that none would dare disobey their husbands, their lords and masters. This advice was pleasing to the king, and he divorced Vashti. The most beautiful maidens in the kingdom were brought to him that he might choose a successor to Vashti. Esther, the foster‑daughter of Mordecai, a Jew, was the most beautiful and loveliest of them all. The king loved her; she became his wife and queen of Persia. As Mordecai requested, Esther kept her descent from the Jewish race a secret from the king and his court.

 

Song by the choir from Gospel Hymns.

 

"ALL PEOPLE THAT ON EARTH DO DWELL" (Old Hundred) "Come before His presence with singing." - Psalms 100:2.

 

All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice; Him serve with mirth, His praise forth tell, Come ye before Him and rejoice. Know that the Lord is God indeed; Without our aid He did us make; We are His flock, He doth us feed, And for His sheep He doth us take. O enter then His gates with praise, Approach with joy His courts unto: Praise, laud, and bless His name always, For it is seemly so to do.

 

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For why? The Lord our God is good, His mercy is forever sure; His truth at all times firmly stood, And shall from age to age endure.

 

WORTHY MATRON continues further from the Book of Esther: One of the king's favorites was Haman. He was often summoned before King Ahasuerus, who consulted with him about affairs of the kingdom and promoted him above all his other officials. One day as Haman passed on his way to court, he noticed that the Jew Mordecai would not prostrate himself before him as did the others. No doubt Mordecai saluted with a bow of courtesy, but would not humble himself, as did the others. Only to God, the "King of Kings," were the Jews to supplicate in due humility for forgiveness of sin, not to men and not even to princes of the realm.

 

It infuriated Haman that Mordecai would not thus humble himself. He told his wife, and she advised him to have Mordecai hanged on a gallows. This pleased him and he also decided to be avenged not only on Mordecai, but all the Jewish people.

 

Mordecai had heard two of the king's servants plotting against the king. He told it to Esther, who informed the king, and the servants were hanged. One night the king could not sleep, and one of the chamberlains read to him from the book of records and chronicles, about Mordecai's loyalty in saving him from the hands of the assassins.

 

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IlI Curtain is drawn aside, showing one of the king's servants reading to him while he is reclining on a couch.

 

KING: What honor and dignity has been done to Mordecai for this?

 

SERVANT: There is nothing done for him.

 

KING: Who is in the court?

 

SERVANT: Behold, Haman standeth in the court.

 

KING: Let him come in. Haman enters and the king questions him. "What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor?" HAMAN turns aside and speaks, as if to himself: Whom would the king delight to honor beside myself? (Aloud he says to the king:) For the man whom the king delighteth to honor, let royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and on whose head a crown royal is set, and let the apparel and the horse be delivered to the hands of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man therewith whom the king delighteth to honor, and cause him to ride on horseback before him: Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor.

 

KING: Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate; let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.

 

Curtain.

 

Song by choir from Gospel Hymns; to be sung by choir or as a solo by a sister or brother.

 

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"O GOD, OUR HELP" O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home.

 

Under the shadow of Thy throne, Still may we dwell secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure.

 

Before the hills in order stood, Or earth received her frame, From everlasting Thou art God, To endless years the same.

 

A thousand ages, in Thy sight, Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night, Before the rising sun.

 

Worthy Matron, or any member she selects, continues to explain from the Book of Esther.

 

When Mordecai heard of the decree, that on a certain day all the Jews within the provinces over which King Ahasuerus ruled were to be put to death at the instigation of the cruel Haman, there was great grief among the Jews. Mordecai sent word to Esther to intercede with the king in behalf of her people, the Jews. She replied that she had not been summoned to appear before the king; if anyone, even the queen, should appear before him without his re‑quest, the penalty would be death. After further pleading of Mordecai, she consents: "I will go in unto the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish."

 

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Curtain is drawn aside, showing the king seated on a throne; there is a crown on his head and the golden scepter in his hand. Esther and Haman and one or two officials are there. Esther has on a beautiful robe, with purple cape or mantle and a crown on her head. She steadily looks at the king and touches her crown and robe. The king should look angry and frown. As she comes near to where he is seated he suddenly smiles at her and says: KING extending the scepter, which she touches: Whatever thy petition it shall be granted thee; and whatever thy request, even to the half of the kingdom, it shall be performed.

 

ESTHER: My petition and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request; for we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my peace, for the adversary is not worthy that the king be endamaged.

 

KING: Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? ESTHER: An adversary and an enemy, even this wicked Haman. She points at Haman, who kneels before her and covers his face.

 

HARBONAH, king's servant, speaks: Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman hath made for Mordecai, who spoke good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman.

 

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KING: Hang him thereon.

 

Officers take the cowering Haman from the presence of the king. Mordecai enters. Esther falls on her knees before the king; he extends to her the scepter, which she touches; then stands and speaks to the king.

 

ESTHER: If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be writ‑ten to reverse the letters devised by Haman, which he wrote to destroy the Jews that are in all the king's provinces; for how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred? KING speaks to Esther and Mordecai: Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. Write ye also concerning the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring; for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

 

The king gives Mordecai the ring. Mordecai and Esther bow deeply before the king. Curtain.

 

CONCLUSION GIVEN BY WORTHY PATRON

 

In all ages has God raised up champions for the oppressed and persecuted. "He is ever mindful of His own." He is our God and we are his children, regardless of race, color, nationality or creed. "He is our Light and our Salvation; all that trust in Him shall not be put to shame."

 

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The Jews, the descendants of the Hebrews, are scattered over the face of the earth as witnesses to the Living God. No country whose people persecute them can prosper. Justice and right will prevail; persecution and slander can not hold out against them.

 

The Hebrew word for Esther is Hadassah, which means "Star." and she proved herself a shining light to her people in the time of their distress. Purim, or the feast of Esther, is celebrated among the Jews in gladness and thanksgiving. Esther's heroic deed is reviewed from year to year, and the poor and distressed among the Jews are remembered with gifts so they can also rejoice.

 

Curtain is drawn aside. Esther faces audience, holding in her hand the crown and scepter, united. The choir sings. She holds her position while the following song is sung. At conclusion, curtain is slowly drawn.

 

"HIGHER GROUND" I'm pressing on the upward way, New heights I'm gaining every day; Still praying as I onward bound, "Lord, plant my feet on higher ground." CHORUS Lord, lift me up and let me stand, By faith on heaven's table‑land; A higher plane than I have found, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

 

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I want to live above the world, Tho' Satan's darts are at me hurled; My faith has caught the joyful sound, The song of saints on higher ground.

 

REPEAT CHORUS I want to scale the utmost height, And catch a gleam of glory bright; But still I pray, till heaven I've found, "Lord, lead me on to higher ground." REPEAT CHORUS Have we at all times refrained from "slander and evil speaking" toward each other? Have we at all times and in all places "maintained a discreet silence respecting all transactions in the chapter room" when talking to our neighbors? Are we so impressed with the beautiful lessons taught in our Ritual to the extent of defending the character of all members of the Order "so far as truth, honor and justice will warrant?" Have we all practiced the promise made to do all in our power to promote peace and harmony in the chapter and among our members? Or have we lost sight of such things and in a spirit of revenge let loose the most powerful member of the body in order that we might pay the debt of some fancied injury and thus cast a stain on some one, reflecting discredit upon the Order and disgrace upon ourselves?

 

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MARTHA OUR HEROINE OF FAITH

 

Bethany was a small, unkempt village, situated on the southeast side of the Mount of Olives, less than two miles from Jerusalem, on the road from Jericho. Not much of a city, but what memories are awakened by the mention of it! In this town there lived a family consisting of the sisters, Martha and Mary, and their brother, Lazarus, and that is about all that is known of them, except that wonderful story that is woven about them.

 

The brother was a laborer, and the sisters were the housekeepers. They were in the habit of entertaining as a guest the new teacher, known as Jesus. It seems that to Martha fell the responsibility of pre‑paring and serving the food for the family and guests. Mary seems to have been of a more studious turn of mind, and frequently sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to His wonderful teachings.

 

The home at Bethany was to Jesus a home of quiet and rest, and He often came and partook of their hospitality, for a sincere affection had sprung up between them. And what a beautiful friendship it was! Indeed, Martha felt so close to Jesus that she actually complained to Him that Mary had not done her share of the work. This little incident proves in a graphic manner His intimate standing in the family, and that they considered Him not as a guest but as a guide and counselor as well.

 

So when the brother was taken suddenly ill and died it was but natural that the sisters should long

 

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for the return of their absent friend. They knew His power in healing the sick and relieving the blind and the lame. They knew that by a word or a touch He had cured maladies which had been pronounced as incurable. He had even invaded the realm of death and awakened the pulses to life. They knew that His power equaled their need, but He did not come; the days passed and still He tarried. At last, in despair, they sent a messenger to Him to inform Him that Lazarus was ill unto death. But still He delayed, and when He at last reached Bethany, Lazarus had lain in his tomb four days.

 

Rumor reached the sisters as they sat in their home sorrowing, that Jesus was returning to Bethany.

 

Martha with her natural impulsiveness - strong, unsubdued by emotion - rushed out to meet Jesus and came upon Him just outside the little town of Bethany. And the burden of her heart is expressed in her first words, "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. And even now I know that, whatever Thou shalt ask of God, God will give Thee." Oh, what sublime faith! Jesus quietly re‑plied: "Thy brother shall rise again." Then Martha replied: "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." It was poor consolation to Martha to know that at some time, perhaps after centuries, her brother should rise. Her brother was dead to her forever as far as this world was concerned. And then to Martha Jesus uttered that most precious promise and assurance of immortality, "He

 

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that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this?" and she answered, "Yes, Lord," Martha's faith was strong but it was difficult for her to comprehend the full meaning of the wonderful message. And then Martha hastened to her sister Mary to tell her that the Master had returned. And Mary, too, hastened to meet Him, and she, too, said: "If Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died," and she fell at His feet and was comforted. It was a tense moment and even Jesus wept. And then they all went to the tomb of Lazarus. It was a momentous occasion. Everyone present felt it to be so. But when Jesus said: "Lazarus, come forth," no one doubted what the result would be, for Jesus was among friends. One can well imagine the great joy that filled the hearts of these sisters when their brother stood before them, restored to life and to their arms.

 

Martha and Mary represent the types of women that are with us today as they have always been. Both were disciples of Christ, both of them pleasing to Him. Both accepted His teachings, and both believed Him to be the Messiah. These two sisters express in a figurative way the life present and the life to come, the life of color exemplified in the activities of Martha and the quiet studious life as exemplified by Mary.

 

Life's greatest lessons are often learned in the valley of sorrow, and these sisters were no exception to the rule. Mary may be loved for her finer

 

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spiritual qualifications; the world needs this type, and would that we should have more of them. But if the world had to depend on the Marys many a hungry and hard‑worked man would go supperless to his night's rest. Martha is the patron saint of all good housewives, careful mothers and skillful and efficient nurses of the present generation. Her character makes a strong appeal to all active men and women; and the fact that when confronted with family disaster she sought Jesus as her great teacher and helper, makes her a notable example to follow. And there came to her, a woman, that great message that for almost two thousand years has been the solace to all whose loved ones have been taken by death: "Alas for him who never sees The sun shine through his cypress trees; Who, helpless, lays his dead away, Nor hopes to see the breaking day, Across the mournful marbles play." But to Martha came the wonderful message that "He that liveth and believeth on me shall never die." "Believest thou this?"

 

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MARTHA Yea, I believe, although death's cloud Enwrap my soul in gloom; Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, The Saviour that should come; - Yea, Lord, I do believe! Yea, I believe; what though the grave Hath won my love from me; I felt that Thou hadst power to save, And still do trust in Thee; - Yea, Lord, I do believe! Yea, I believe; through ages past Thy coming voice has heard; The promised King has come at last, My Saviour and my God; - Yea, Lord, I do believe! Yea, I believe; Lord, let this hour Some gracious token give; 0, grant a sweet, reviving power, That others may believe; - Yea, Lord, I do believe! Wildly her hands are joined in form of love, As at the Saviour's feet the mourner lies; Beseechingly she raises them above While showers of teardrops blind her languid eyes; Then looks, and pleads, and supplicates His aid In words that win her brother from the dead.

 

Raise thy hands above, sweet mourner, Higher, higher, toward the throne; Ah, He sees thee, hears thy story, Hears and feels that plaintive moan.

 

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He has wept for human sorrows; Let thy sorrows with Him plead; Raise thy hands in faith, and doubt not, He hath power o'er the dead.

 

- Robert Morris.

 

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MARTHA Yes, Lord! Yet some must serve! Not all with tranquil heart, Even at Thy dear feet, Wrapped in devotion sweet, May sit apart! Yes, Lord, Yet some must bear The burden of the day, Its labor and its heat, While others at Thy feet May muse and pray.

 

Yes, Lord! Yet man must earn And women bake the bread; And some must watch and wake Early for others' sake, Who pray instead! Yea, Lord! Yet some must do Life's daily task - work; some Who fain would sing must toil Amid earth's dust and moil, While lips are dumb! Yes, Lord! Yet even Thou Hast need of earthly care; I bring the bread and wine To Thee a guest divine - Be this my prayer! - Julia Dorr.

 

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MARTHA The program of Martha will not be dramatized, as were Adah, Ruth and Esther. The Worthy Matron may appoint other members beside "Martha" and the Worthy Patron to do this reading if desired. The choir will sing, and Martha should have the stand with her emblem, the broken column, beside her.

 

WORTHY MATRON: The heroine representing the fourth point of the star is Martha. Martha and Mary, with their brother, Lazarus, lived in Bethany. Jesus was a friend of Lazarus, and during His ministry often rested in his home. The sisters shared in the friendship of Lazarus and Jesus. In the tenth chapter of St. Luke is a description of one of these visits. Martha welcomed Jesus to their home, and then went about her household duties as usual. But "Mary sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word." Martha was provoked at her sister and complained to Jesus: "Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me?" "And Jesus answered and said unto her, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things." "But one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." - St. Luke 10:41, 42.

 

Mary, at the feet of Jesus, was listening to words of holy wisdom. Martha, perhaps, could have arranged her work, or simplified it in such a way, that

 

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she also might have listened. There are many men and women who arrange their work, or forego some pleasure and ease, to study the Book of Books and attend religious services. Many of our sisters in the Eastern Star have memorized their lectures when alone at home and engaged in their household duties, and have thereby been enabled to fill their stations more efficiently.

 

ANY MEMBER But when distress came to their home, in the death of Lazarus, their beloved brother, Martha at once sought Jesus. This sad, tender story is contained in the 11th chapter of St. John. I will read from the 19th through the 25th verse: "And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother.

 

"Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him; but Mary sat still in the house.

 

"Then said Martha unto Jesus, `Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

 

" `But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.' "Jesus saith unto her, `Thy brother shall rise again.' "Martha saith unto Him, `I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.' "Jesus said unto her, `I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

 

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" `And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?' "-St. John 1 l :19‑25.

 

STAR POINT MARTHA It is truly sad, indeed, and is doubly hard to give up our nearest and dearest in the beauty and strength of young manhood and young womanhood, when life is so full of hope and joyous dreams for the future. The fair flowers wither in their bloom, but blossom anew, "in a better country, the heavenly." Life is uncertain; we know not when death will summon us. The young and the old, the strong and the feeble, the wise and the simple, the good and the bad, all must die. It is a blessed comfort, therefore, to believe in the Immortality of the Soul, to know that only the body is dead, but that the soul will live on forever in perfect peace and happiness.

 

"And the dust returneth to the earth at is was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it." - Ecclesiastes 12:7.

 

Martha holds up her emblem, the broken column, while the choir sings.

 

"O, CHILD OF GOD" "Joy cometh in the morning." - Psalms 30:5. O, child of God, wait patiently When dark thy path may be, And let thy faith lean trustingly On Him who cares for thee; And though the clouds hang drearily Upon the brow of night, Yet in the morning joy will come, And fill thy soul with light.

 

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O, child of God, He loveth thee, And thou art all His own: With gentle hand He leadeth thee, Thou dost not walk alone; And though thou watchest wearily The long and stormy night, Yet in the morning joy will come, And fill thy soul with light.

 

O, child of God, how peacefully He calms thy fears to rest, And draws thee upward tenderly Where dwell the pure and blest; And He who bendeth silently Above the gloom of night, Will take thee home where endless joy Shall fill thy soul with light.

 

CONCLUSION BY WORTHY PATRON If we walk in the light of our faith, we need not fear death. Thank God for Faith! It is a lamp unto our path and a light to our feet. We need have no fears in this life nor for the life to come.

 

What must we do to inherit eternal life? Can we meet our Heavenly Father's requirements? Yes. For our God is a God of infinite wisdom, justice, love and mercy and does not ask anything of His children that is too hard.

 

"It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord doth require of thee: Only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." - Micah 6:8.

 

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All souls are His. All the righteousness shall par‑take of the joys of the hereafter. All who serve God and their fellow men will find a place of rest in that heavenly home, "where the many mansions be." Song by choir.

 

"ONE SWEETLY SOLEMN THOUGHT" One sweetly solemn thought Comes to me o'er and o'er, I'm nearer home today, Than I have been before.

 

CHORUS Nearer my home, nearer my home, Nearer my home today, today, Than I have been before.

 

Nearer my Father's house, Where many mansions be, Nearer the great white throne today, Nearer the crystal sea.

 

REPEAT CHORUS Nearer the bound of life, Where burdens are laid down; Nearer to leave the cross today, And nearer to the crown.

 

REPEAT CHORUS Be near me when my feet Are slipping o'er the brink; For I am nearer home today, Perhaps, than now I think.

 

REPEAT CHORUS Worthy Matron closes chapter, if not closed be‑fore program.

 

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ALONG IN THE DAY Each day contains a little song; My hopeful heart would have it so. A laughing, rippling tune of joy, That has no single note of joy, I never know just what 'twill be That starts the little song for me.

 

A gleam of sun, a sky of blue; A robin's call, a sudden shower A whiff of flower‑laden air; Or with some friend a golden hour; It does not take a costly thing To start my little song to sing.

 

It may be but a handclasp true, Or word of faith that someone said. Perchance it is a friendly smile Or lovely poem I have read That wakens up the little song That sings within me all day long.

 

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ELECTA A LIFE EXEMPLIFYING LOVE 

 

Life holds no greater lessons than the two out‑standing precepts taught in the lesson of the Fifth Point - Electa. The first is, "Heroic endurance of persecution when demanded in the defense of truth; the second, an abiding faith in the final triumph of truth." The name, Electa, does not appear in the Bible, but she is referred to in the brief story as the Elect Lady.

 

The scene of the story is laid in Asia Minor, the peninsula lying between the Black Sea on the north and the Mediterranean Sea on the south. The date of the writing of this story is between 85 and 95 A.D.

 

Persecution comes in many different forms and for various purposes. Whatever the form, whether it be the faithlessness of a trusted friend, the caustic sneer of an enemy, the outflashing of envy or jealousy on the part of a trusted friend, discourtesy on the part of a superior or just the visitation of some trial that may come to you - whatever may be the form, there is but one safe course to pursue, and that is "bear it with heroic endurance and despair not." Electa was noted for her charity and benevolence. A woman of refinement and wealth who wanted to feed and succor the poor and hungry and to relieve the sufferings of those afflicted with body ills. She

 

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was in truth the great Red Cross nurse, ready at all times to step in where want and misery prevailed, and where relief was sorely needed. She delighted in using her vast wealth for the relief of mankind.

 

Her Christian beliefs soon became known through‑out the land, and one day she was visited by a band of Roman soldiers who bade her renounce the religion she had adopted. They even presented her with a cross and demanded that she trample it under foot in order to show to the world that she renounced this new‑found religion.

 

It is said that she opened not her mouth, that she uttered no word of protest, but took the cross in her hands and clasped it with ardor to her breast, and looked toward heaven to show that she put her trust in the God of her religion.

 

The scripture text from which this heroine takes her lead is found in the Second Epistle of John, and is only a short letter addressed to "the Elect Lady and her children." The message contains only thirteen short verses and less than three hundred words, and that is all the Bible references that we can find. The name of Electa, like that of Adah, seems to be a creation of Robert Morris, the writer of the Eastern Star ritual, and it has no significance outside our Order. Perhaps the words of Robert Morris him‑self could appropriately be given just at this point. Brother Morris says: "The Fifth Point introduced me to the early history of the Christian church, where 'midst a `noble army of martyrs,' I found many whose lives and deaths overflowed the cup of

 

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martyrdom with a glory not surpassed by any of those named in the Holy Writ. This gave me Electa, `the Elect Lady,' friend of St. John - the Christian woman whose venerable years were crowned with the utmost splendor of the crucifixion. The fact that the name of this estimable woman can not be ascertained with certainty does not lessen our interest nor the value of the many lessons taught. The story is true enough, but it is the name only, so to speak, that does not have a basis in fact. It seems to me that nothing is lost by accepting the statement, `the Elect Lady,' to be an individual. The lesson taught can be widely and wisely applied." St. John exhorts her to love. It is a personal re‑quest made by the Master Himself, when He says: "I give unto you a new commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you." "The highest expression of brotherly love is found in obedience to all the commands which God has enjoined in the regulation of the relations between brethren. The clearest expression of love is obedience to the will of God so far as He has revealed His will in definite precepts." It is in reality a command that she should abide steadfastly in what she now knows and believes and let this knowledge regulate her life.

 

The growth and activity of the Christian religion was bound to stir up adverse action on the part of the Roman government sooner or later, because of the very nature of it; in fact, it had become quite irritating and pressure had been brought to eradi‑

 

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cate it. The splendid mansion of Electa was singled out as one to be visited. The edict of the Roman government was issued against every one who professed the Christian religion. All who were suspected of holding to the Faith were commanded to trample upon the cross that was handed to them, as a testimony of this renunciation. Electa absolutely refused to obey the edict. She spurned the test, and she and her family were forthwith cast into a dungeon for twelve months. At the end of the time the judge, who had often shared her hospitality, appeared and offered her another opportunity to recant from Christianity, and again she refused. Thereupon she was dragged forth and savagely scourged nearly to death, and then dragged to a hill where she and her entire family were nailed to the cross. She was the last one to meet that fate, and she was compelled to witness the tragic death of her husband and children. She is quoted as saying with her expiring breath: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  She professed her faith to the whole world, al‑though she knew what reproaches, and persecutions, even unto death, she must undergo for the stand that she took. It meant loss of good name, wealth, means of doing good, liberty, family, and death itself. Yet she was willing to undergo all these things for the love of Christ and for the Christian religion in which she showed such implicit faith. What a

 

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rich heritage was hers! "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building in God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Electa, the martyr to her Christian faith, stands out as a striking example of the life and death of the. early Christians. She is also an example of the Eternal Truth as laid down by Jesus when He said: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no man cometh unto the Father except by Me." "Let us love one another."

 

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ELECTA

 

When cares press heavy on the heart, And all is gloom around, Where shall we fix the heavy eye, In all this mortal bound? What emblem has the mourner here? What love to warm, what light to cheer? Thine, true Electa, thine which tells Of His distress and thine! The cross upon whose rugged limbs Ye both did bleed and pine! The cross by heavenly wisdom given To raise our thoughts from earth to heaven.

 

Dying, as Jesus died, upon the tree - Was ever worthier sacrifice than hers? Sacred the Cross, the nail, the thorn; for He Who suffered has redeemed them from the curse; Just as she passed to bless eternity She pled forgiveness to her murderers.

 

- Robert Morris.

 

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ELECTA

 

This program, like Martha, may be given at a regular meeting, "for the Good of the Order." Electa should have her emblem, the cup, beside her. Those taking part in the choir should sit near the piano.

 

INTRODUCTION BY WORTHY MATRON

 

The fifth heroine, Electa, lived during the time when Christians were persecuted by the Romans. She was a pagan, but had been converted to Christianity. Like other Christian martyrs, she remained loyal to her faith in spite of persecution.

 

When a band of Roman soldiers commanded her to trample upon the cross, the symbol of her Christian faith, she refused to obey. The penalty for this defiance and refusal to worship the Roman gods was death. Electa had the courage of her convictions and preferred death and torture rather than give up her worship of God. She was a noble lady who was held in great esteem and honor for her many deeds of charity and benevolence.

 

ELECTA: The second epistle of John is a letter by him (John) to the Elect Lady and her children.

 

"The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; "For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. (1, 2.) "I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

 

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"And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. (4, 5.)" Charity, hospitality and benevolence are inspired from a spirit of helpfulness and kindness. Love of humanity has ever inspired mankind to noble deeds. Charity is another name for love of humanity. The Apostle Paul comments on Charity: "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. - I Corinthians 13.

 

Electa holds up her emblem, the Cup, while the choir sings.

 

"BLESSED ASSURANCE" Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine, O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase. of God, Born of His spirit, washed in His blood.

 

CHORUS This is my story, this is my song; Praising my Saviour all the day long. This is my story, this is my song; Praising my Saviour all the day long.

 

Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight. Angels descending, bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

 

REPEAT CHORUS

 

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Perfect submission, all is at rest, I, in my Saviour, am happy and blest. Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, first in His love.

 

REPEAT CHORUS The poem, "Charity," may be given by any member.

 

CHARITY Stern winter comes with icy footsteps speedy, And many hearts are filled with doubts and fear; Our duty 'tis to aid the poor and needy, Who have no home, or but a chamber drear.

 

Let us fulfill the sacred word once spoken : That he who giveth, lendeth to the Lord.

 

O freely give! This word shall ne'er be broken, The giver's heart shall feel divine reward.

 

Go! lovely charity with blessings 'bounding, Go! lend thine aid unto all in distress; And let thy voice repeat in tones resounding: Give to the poor! yourself you'll bless! Whene'er the cry of poverty resoundeth, Sweet charity, 0 hasten thy relief! Pursue thy noble task! for want aboundeth.

 

Thou driest tears and calmest bitter grief, Let all the world thy fair example follow.

 

All things are proved by the still voice within; And they who give to those oppressed with sorrow, A higher prize than gold can buy shall win.

 

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Go! lovely charity with blessings 'bounding; Go! lend thine aid unto all in distress; And let thy voice repeat in tones resounding: Give to the poor! yourself you'll bless! - From Union Prayer Book.

 

Song by choir or as a solo from Gospel Hymns.

 

"CAST THY BREAD UPON THE WATERS" "For thou shall find it after many days." - Ecclesiastes 11:1.

 

Cast thy bread upon the waters, You who have but scant supply; Angels eyes will watch above it; You shall find it by and by; He who in His righteous balance, Doth each human action weigh, Will your sacrifice remember, Will your loving deeds repay.

 

Cast thy bread upon the waters, Sad and weary, worn with care; Often sitting in the shadow, Have you not a crumb to spare? Can you not to those around you Sing some little song of hope, As you with longing vision Through faith's mighty telescope? Cast thy bread upon the waters, You who have abundant store; It may float on many a billow, It may strand on many a shore;

 

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You may think it lost forever, But, as sure as God is true, In this life, or in the other, It will yet return to you.

 

CONCLUSION BY WORTHY PATRON

 

Fraternal love, sisters and brothers, is based on broad Charity. To exemplify fraternal love, we must be charitable in thought, word and deed. We must abide by the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It is the manner of giving that counts. That which is given willingly and gladly, with a loving thought, is most acceptable to God and man.

 

God wants us to give Him our life; to consecrate ourselves to His service; to exemplify our love. The heroines of our Order exemplify such consecration. May our lives be ever consecrated to God; to what‑ever is good, true and holy; "so live that life shall be a noble creed." Song by choir.

 

 "TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE" Take my life and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee; Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love.

 

Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee; Take my voice and let me sing Always - only - for my King.

 

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Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in endless praise; Take my intellect, and use Ev'ry pow'r as Thou shalt choose.

 

Take my will and make it Thine; It shall be no longer mine; Take my heart, it is Thine own. It shall be Thy royal throne.

 

Take my love, my God, I pour At Thy feet its treasure store; Take myself, and I will be Ever, only, all for Thee.

 

If chapter has not been closed before the program, it is closed in form.

 

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STAR POINTS IN VERSE

 

ADAH True‑blue in courage and self‑sacrifice, The daughter of our Star so calmly fair Dignified and solemnly drew near The altar and her saddened father there.

 

So is the lesson of Fidelity Engraved on hearts in terms of daughter love, And we, adoring through the years beyond, Can emulate the pattern that she wove.

 

Blue are violets - your symbol so true, For courage will triumph over all wrong, This is the reason we all adore you, For daughter‑love that was fine and strong.

 

Hearing your father, you understood, You came from your mountains with many friends; Your faith was true and your heart was good, And yours is a story that never ends.

 

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RUTH In the far distant past, from the land of Judea, Naomi, her husband, and two sons were driven By famine to exile in Moab's far land, Where by death, the grim specter, those families were riven.

 

The sons had as wives two maidens of Moab, Idolatrous maidens were Orpha and Ruth; But Ruth later turned to adore the true God, And through life exemplified His holy truth.

 

Naomi grew bitter through loss of her husband, Her sons, and her impoverished life, Changed her name of Naomi, meaning of pleasant, To Mara, or bitter, from trouble and strife.

 

Naomi then thought to return to her homeland, Where kindred and friends might assuage all her grief; So, bidding farewell to Ruth and to Orpha, Set out to return to the land of her youth.

 

Though Orpha was grieved at the thought of a parting, She soon was agreed to Naomi's advice; But no thought of self was in fair Ruth's answer. She wanted to pay for love's duty full price.

 

In deep love she murmured, "Entreat me no longer To leave thee, or never to follow thee more; Thy people, thy God, are mine as thine own, With thee will I stay for the God we adore."

 

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Ruth made herself exile from all she had known, Attending the poor and aged woman so dear; And by menial labor, in those harvest fields, Supported Naomi and added love's cheer.

 

As she, in her loyalty, found minute harvest, There Boaz found Ruth, a kinsman so fair; Enquiring, observing, he gave of his largess That her path was made bright by his constant care.

 

From these small beginnings, the seed of love blossomed, The fruits of her toil through a much burdened life; For Boaz desired her, admiring her virtue, And happy was Ruth when he chose her for wife.

 

Sacred chronicles tell us that Christ was descended From Ruth, Moabites, and Boaz, her mate; No reward could be greater, no glory more fitting, For, in choosing her duty, Ruth did not hesitate.

 

She portrayed through her life that fidelity loyal, Is not different for God than it is to mankind; And, as she was true to her duties so menial, So in minute way, in His mill doth God grind.

 

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ESTHER 

 

Young and old revere the legendary lore, Of the prince who came to Cinderella's aid; And thrill to the story of kings in their glory, Of King Cephetua and the beggar maid.

 

But grander far, in the past of our Star, Is the story of virtue triumphant o'er sin; Of a Jewish daughter, and a king who sought her, To acknowledge her beauty, her heart to win.

 

Esther was she in four hundred B. C., As captives her parents were carried away, And forced to disband, in the far Persian land, And the laws of the Emperor forced to obey.

 

With parents both dead, she shared kinsmans' bread, And Mordecai raised her to young womanhood. Mordecai the Jew, in her did imbue All modesty, virtue, the great and the good.

 

Years before, in that land, at an occasion grand, Ahasuerus yielded to a drunken whim; Violating routine, he ordered his Queen To appear all unveiled for his guests and for him.

 

Ahasuerus swore, on that day years before, Queen Vashti must obey his edict's intent; But the virtuous Queen could herself not demean, And willingly suffered complete banishment.

 

Then maidens beautiful, virtuous, dutiful, Were met that the Emperor might choose a Queen; With a charm to enthrall and the fairest of all Was Mordecai's Esther, a beauty serene.

 

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From an orphan alone she rose to the throne, Her virtues, once humble, now rose on the wing; In thought and act stood for all that was good, And upheld the honor of husband and king.

 

A noble of fame, 'twas Haman by name, Conceived a great hatred of Jews of each station; Then by craft and guile, this wily Gentile Would kill every Jew in that mighty nation.

 

When Queen Esther learned of that edict confirmed, Her heart was heavy with deep despair; For edicts enacted could not be retracted, And loving her people, their troubles must share.

 

When wisdom was needed, the king had oft heeded To words of advice from his excellent Queen; In high racial pride did Esther decide Between law and kinsman she must intervene.

 

Then wearing her crown, and fine queenly gown, Against royal precept she drew near the throne; Amazement and ire from the King's eyes drew fire, That she should appear in that chamber alone.

 

Soon delight and pride cast anger aside, Extending the scepter to Esther's fair hand; He asked her desire and promised entire Acquiescence to anything she might demand.

 

She asked that the King would his nobles bring, And Haman as well, to a banquet that night; There she earned all applause by pleading the cause That meant life for her people in their desperate plight.

 

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In vain anger the King learned the grievious thing, And Haman was punished for his wickedness; A new edict devised and the Jews authorized To arm and protect themselves in their distress.

 

In courage and firmness, in virtue to excess, In radiant goodness the fair maiden grew; Though Persians invest her with fair name Esther, Still Hebrew Hadassah, meaning lovely, is true.

 

These many years later, we know of no greater, The stories through centuries carry her fame: By precept, example, in virtue so ample, We still cherish deeply our Esther's fair name.

 

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 MARTHA

 

In Martha a story of glorious faith Unfolds for all hearts that believe; The promise and glory of life past the tomb, For those who to Christ's promise cleave.

 

In Bethany town, by Jerusalem hard by, Lived a brother and sisters, two; And Lazarus, Martha and Mary were loved By Christ, and in piety grew.

 

And oft from His days in the city, He returned to their lowly abode; For refreshment and rest He would tarry, And they strove to lighten His load.

 

When Martha misunderstood Mary, And thought she took duty too light; She brought all her cares to the Master, And He set her feelings aright.

 

He showed her that service differs, Measured by hearts of man; Acceptable service is willing, With love to fulfill His plan.

 

So Martha, in times of trial Laid all her cares at His feet; Believing that His divine presence Could miraculous healing mete.

 

Then during the absence of Jesus, Lazarus sickened and died; And despair pressed the heart of Martha, Where faith and deep trust abide.

 

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On the fourth day Jesus, returning, Met Martha who hastened to Him, Imploringly, ardently crying, His comfort her heart to brim.

 

Saying: "Hadst Thou been here, Master, My brother would not have died; And, even now, shouldst Thou ask it, God will o'er your wish preside." Jesus said, as He gave her comfort: "Thy brother again shall rise." And Martha agreed that her brother Would in Resurrection arise.

 

"I am the Resurrection, And the Life," then Jesus said; "And never a believer dieth, But liveth, though he were dead." "Believest thou this?" asked the Master; And Martha's unfaltering trust, Inspired by the teachings of Jesus, Accepted His promise as just.

 

The lesson taught by our Martha, That we walk by faith, not sight, Will lighten our night of sorrow, And make our day more bright.

 

In work and responsibility, As Martha exemplified each . . . May we have that faith in our duty That she in her life did teach.

 

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4

 

ELECTA

 

In distant Asia Minor, Two thousand years ago, A gentle maiden, pagan, fair, To visit Rome did go.

 

Learning about the Christ‑Child, And of devout Saint Paul, She listened to His teachings, And heard the Divine call.

 

Returning to her homeland, She freely spread the Word.

 

She spoke and taught the gospel, And made her teachings heard.

 

She gave her talents bravely, And heeded not the thought That persecution surely Was what such teaching brought.

 

She walked in piety and faith, And helped the poor and lowly, Sharing her home, her time, her love, Spreading the gospel holy.

 

Domitian, the Emperor, Made haste to stop her preaching; Not wealth, nor home, nor life was spared. She paid the price for teaching.

 

"Here is the Cross, beneath thy feet Tread on this timber lowly." In true‑faith love, right to her heart She clasped that emblem holy.

 

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The family made full sacrifice. In prison they were hidden To see the error of their ways, And do as they were bidden.

 

Another year, again the test, Their love was only dearer; And scourging, crucifixion, all, But seemed to bring Him nearer.

 

"The Elect Lady," said Saint John, Electa, as we know her, Remains a symbol of that love Through centuries we owe her.

 

Her hospitality well‑known, Her charity and sacred love Will bring us closer to His throne, And guide our steps above.

 

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THE EASTERN STAR

 

In nearly every village, on Main street everywhere You'll find a building bearing the Compasses an( Square.

 

Nearly always 'tis two stories, with a stairway ul one side, And a light of various candlepower, your feet t( safely guide.

 

You'll find the best folks go there, 'tis where the Masons meet; 'Tis the finest advertisement you can have on an: street.

 

Of course the women can't belong; sex constitute a bar; So they organized the Chapter, and it is called th Eastern Star.

 

It's composed of Master Masons, their daughters, any their wives, Their mothers and their sisters, and the widow wh survives.

 

And it has grown and prospered, and you'll fin upon the wall The charter of the Chapter in nearly every Masoni hall.

 

Woman's heart beats most responsive to any nobl need; She hears the widow and the orphan in their piteou cry of need; And through the Eastern Star she seeks to hel where'er she can, To do her share promoting the brotherhood of man.

 

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In its labyrinth of light it sheds some lustrous rays That helps you on life's journey in all its devious ways.

 

There's the blue ray of fidelity, fidelity to truth, As exemplified by Adah, while in the bloom of youth She freely sacrificed her life to keep her father's vow, And made the story of Jephthah's daughter famous even now.

 

The yellow ray means constancy to kindred and to friends, Through prosperity or poverty until life's journey ends.

 

Life's greatest tale of constancy comes from the Book of Truth; 'Tis the story of our heroine, the humble gleaner, Ruth.

 

The white ray stands for light, for purity and joy; It stayed the hand of people who sought to plunder and destroy; By a simple sign and token, Esther, robed in spot‑less white, Saved her people from destruction before a tyrant's might.

 

Green stands for hope and immortality, immortality of the soul; Martha's story teaches us that the grave is not our goal, That whoever believeth in Him shall never die; That the lowly Man of Galilee is always passing by.

 

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Red is a symbol of fervency, of steadfastness, if you please; Electa, though a convert, was outstanding in both of these.

 

She was pre‑eminent in charity, greatest virtue of them all; In spite of persecution, she obeyed the Master's call.

 

Thus we have these virtues, the chapter brings to you; The Fidelity of Adah, which we represent with blue; The Constancy of Ruth, with the yellow of pure gold. The Loyalty of Esther, in white we next behold; The trustful Faith of Martha in nature's evergreen, And the fervent Love of Electa, in red is always seen.

 

With Fidelity and Constancy, our Loyalty travels far, Spreading Faith and Love and Charity - that is our Eastern Star.

 

CI'

 

117

 

STAR POINT BENEDICTION

 

This short addendum is for closing the Chapter, either at a special or at a regular meeting. It is fitting to precede the closing of the Bible.

 

Organist strikes a chord and Star Point Officers rise. Adah and Electa take two steps forward, turn and march west, keeping parallel. After they pass Ruth and Martha, they, too, step forward, then turn and follow the first two. Adah and Ruth enter the Labyrinth as for balloting and Electa and Martha enter as does the Chaplain. As these four enter the Labyrinth, Esther steps forward and they stand, evenly spaced, around the altar. Each Sister carries a length of ribbon in appropriate color (this may be, instead, crepe paper strands or small sprays of flowers) and these are laid at the east side of the altar (East of the Bible) and at each side, as each verse is spoken.

 

 ADAH

 

The night is o'er, and our waning Star Its solemn thought impresses, Our Daughters will serve wherever they are, And so, our Order progresses.

 

 RUTH

 

A space of active duty done, Our Star for each and every one Is but a pledge that hope is high.

 

All Widows will serve our bye‑and‑bye.

 

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ESTHER

 

Another promise for the coming day, Each Wife accepts the lessons that are taught; We'll hold a torch to brighten someone's way, And serve with loyalty, with no honor sought.

 

 

 MARTHA

 

Perhaps the twilight comes to us each day .. . But I can pledge for our great Sisterhood The trustful knowledge of a holier way Where there is always a morning, fine and good.

 

 ELECTA

 

There is no darkness, though we now must part, Our Order, as a Mother, sheltering stands, And with the love that brims from every heart, A blessing gives that each heart understands.

 

They bow low to the altar, then turn to face the East, as Choir (or entire Chapter) sings to the tune of "Brahms Lullaby," the words: All is still, day is o'er, And the fragrance of memory Of our heart which we adore Blends in each happy heart.

 

So, to each, now good‑bye, With our fond love at closing; May our Rays light your ways, While their joys not depart.

 

They return to their stations and the Chapter is closed in due form.

 

119

 

WANTED: INFORMATION

 

An Eastern Star Playlet with Three Characters. Time: Early morning of August 31, any year. Characters: Mrs. Brown, who is preparing to celebrate. Mary, a neighbor's daughter.

 

Mrs. Jones, another neighbor, who just "drops in." Scene: In the kitchen of Mrs. Brown's home.

 

When the scene opens, Mrs. Brown is busy in the kitchen with a cake she has just baked.

 

Enter Mary.

 

MARY: Good morning, Mrs. Brown. I suppose you, like my mother, are busy preparing for the covered‑dish supper tonight.

 

MRS. BROWN: Well, I am not doing so very much, but since it is to celebrate Robert Morris Day, I thought I would decorate my cake in the Eastern Star colors in honor of the occasion.

 

MARY: Do you know, that is just why I came over this morning. I want to know what Robert Morris did that his birthday should be celebrated. Mother said he had something to do about the Eastern Star when it first started.

 

MRS. BROWN: Yes, Mary, so he did. Rob Morris established the Order of the Eastern Star about 1 855, although at first the Chapters were called Constellations, then Families, and then still later the name was changed to Eastern Star.

 

121

 

MARY: SO Robert Morris started the very first Chapter? MRS. BROWN: Yes. It is said that he first conferred the degrees of the Order upon his own wife and a neighbor Mason and his wife. He wrote a ritual or guide to be used in conducting the meetings.

 

MARY: He really started a kind of new Club, then, didn't he? MRS. BROWN: Oh, no indeed! The Eastern Star is not a Club. A Club is organized to carry out the fads and fancies of some one or some group. But an Order like the Eastern Star has much deeper reasons for its foundation. The foundation of the East‑ern Star rests on principles of love of God and love of man - principles set forth by Jesus Himself about two thousand years ago. Its obligation is the fulfillment of the divine command - Love. It re‑quires us to give sympathy to those in sorrow and to make life brighter and happier and to help men and women to be better and nobler.

 

Enter Mrs. Jones.

 

MRS. BROWN: Good morning, Mrs. Jones. Have this chair by the window where it is cooler.

 

MRS. JONES: And how are you, Mary? MARY: I'm real well, thank you.

 

MRS. BROWN: Perhaps you can tell Mary why Rob Morris' birthday should be observed every year by Eastern Star Chapters. I have just told her that he organized the first Chapter, although at first the name was not Eastern Star. Can you tell her some other things about his life?

 

122

 

MRS. JONES: Perhaps I can tell you a few things, for I read a very interesting article some time ago. I remember the article stated that Dr. Rob Morris was born on August 31, 1818, near Boston, Massachusetts. However, his youth and early manhood was spent in the South. At the age of twenty‑three, while he was principal of Mount Sylvan Academy in Mississippi, he was married to Miss Charlotte Mendenhall.

 

MARY: And did they live happily ever after, as the story books say? MRS. JONES: Yes, I think so, because it was said that his wife was his inspiration and help through nearly fifty years of wedded bliss.

 

MARY: Oh, boy! That is a truly good love story, isn't it? MRS. BROWN: Yes, it is, Mary. Short and sweet, and yet it lasted nearly fifty years.

 

MARY: I wish there were more love stories like that. Were there any children in the family? MRS. JONES: Yes. They had what was considered a rather small family for those days - only six children.

 

MARY: Only six. Well, that's a bigger family than I would want to take chances in, especially when cake or pie was being cut.

 

MRS. BROWN: What caused Dr. Morris to think out this plan for an Order like the Eastern Star?

 

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MRS. JONES: Well, you see, Robert Morris traveled a great deal, but most of his work was done in La‑Grange, Kentucky, and he called it his home town. In 1846 he became a Mason, and he became so interested he thought and planned very much for a great fraternity of which he seemed to have a vision, and this vision was a forerunner of his future work in Masonry and the Eastern Star.

 

MARY: Then is the work of the Eastern Star and of the Masons just alike? MRS. JONES: No, it is not the same. Dr. Morris realized that an organization that would appeal to the women must be active and aggressive and carry out its own plan of work and service in a woman's way.

 

MRS. BROWN: Just think of planning an organization that would prosper and grow to such an extent that it would spread over nearly all the civilized world. It was such a wonderful thing to do, to help to make people strive for the better and finer things of life. Don't you think so? MARY: Amen! I do. Wish I could think of some‑thing nice to do for someone. Is the Eastern Star a very large organization? MRS. JONES: Yes, it stands among the first of women's organizations.

 

MARY: It does? Somewhat important then, I should say.

 

MRS. JONES: Yes, it has nearly two million members.

 

124

 

MRS. BROWN: I have heard that Dr. Morris was a good writer of both prose and poetry. Did you ever read any of his writings? MRS. JONES: Yes, I have, and I consider them very good. It is said that no writer of Masonic Literature at any time in the world's history has written half as much as he did of either prose or poetry. It is claimed that he lectured in over fifteen hundred lodges in different parts of the world. While in Jerusalem, he established the first Masonic Lodge there.

 

MARY: Well, I do not blame you for giving Rob Morris a birthday celebration. He surely deserves it.

 

MRS. BROWN: Wasn't he, at one time, given some kind of title about poetry?

 

MRS. JONES: Yes, it was "Poet Laureate." That means one who has been appointed to write poetry to celebrate special occasions. It was the wish of thousands of Masons that Rob Morris be given this honor. So a ceremony was held in New York City on December 17, 1884, and a wreath of laurel was placed upon his head as a token that he had been given the very great honor of being "Poet Laureate of Freemasonry."

 

MRS. BROWN: I imagine he had a great many other honors given him, too, about which we do not hear.

 

MRS. JONES: No doubt of that. One book stated that his honorary memberships and degrees given by lodges in different parts of the world numbered more than one hundred and fifty.

 

125

 

MARY: I am so glad you could tell me all these things, because I really wanted to know why mother's Chapter was celebrating the birthday of Rob Morris.

 

MRS. JONES: Well, it has been a pleasure to talk to such an interested listener, and I am happy to have been of service to you.

 

MARY: Service! Service! Isn't that the very thing that made Dr. Morris great? Because he wasn't a great king or explorer or millionaire. So it must have been his service.

 

MRS. JONES: Yes, dear, I think you have the key‑note to it all. He was not a millionaire, but he was very, very rich in his service to mankind, and in our Bible we read that "Whosoever has done it unto one of the least of these has done it unto Me."

 

-  END  -

 

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ADAH BIBLICAL REFERENCE

 

JUDGES 11:1-40

1 Now Jephthah, the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.

 

2 And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman.

 

3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.

 

4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel.

 

5 And it was so, that when the children of Amnion made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob:

 

6 And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.

 

7 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?

 

8 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

 

9 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Amnion, and the Lord deliver them before me, shall I be your head?

 

10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The Lord be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.

 

11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh.

 

12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?

 

13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore these lands again peaceably.

 

14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon:

 

15 And said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon:

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh;

 

17 Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land; but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh.

 

18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.

 

19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.

 

20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

 

21 And the Lord God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote him: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.

 

22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.

 

23 So now the Lord God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it? 24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the Lord our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.

 

25 And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them,

 

26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?

 

27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the Lord the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

 

28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.

 

29 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.

 

30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,  2

 

31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

 

32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hands.

 

33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

 

34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

 

35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.

 

36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.

 

37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.

 

38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.

 

39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she re‑turned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel.

 

40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

 

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RUTH BIBLICAL REFERENCE BOOK OF RUTH

 

1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

 

2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephratites of Bethlehem‑judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

 

3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

 

4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

 

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

 

6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.

 

7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

 

8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

 

9 The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice and wept.

 

10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

 

11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

 

12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

 

13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.

 

14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth slave unto her.

 

5

 

15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods; return thou after thy sister in law.

 

16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

 

17 Where thou diest, I will die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

 

18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

 

19 So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?

 

20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

 

21 I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?

 

22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

 

CHAPTER 2

 

1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

 

2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

 

3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.

 

4 And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee.

 

5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?

 

6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:

 

7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.

 

8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:

 

9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou

 

6

 

after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

 

10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?

 

11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

 

12 The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

 

13 Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine hand‑maidens.

 

14 And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.

 

15 And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: 16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them and rebuke her not.

 

17 So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

 

18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned : and brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.

 

19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz.

 

20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.

 

21 And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.

 

22 And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good,

 

7

 

my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.

 

23 So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.

 

CHAPTER 3

 

1 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? 2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou vast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshing floor.

 

3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.

 

4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down: and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.

 

5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.

 

6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.

 

7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

 

8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and behold, a woman lay at his feet.

 

9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth, thy handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

 

10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.

 

11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.

 

12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.

 

13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the Lord liveth: lie down until the morning.

 

14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.

 

8

 

15 Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.

 

16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.

 

17 And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.

 

18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

 

CHAPTER 4

 

1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.

 

2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down.

 

3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's; 4 And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.

 

5 Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.

 

6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

 

7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel.

 

8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.

 

9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.

 

10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.

 

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11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:

 

12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman.

 

13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception and she bare a son.

 

14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

 

15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.

 

16 And Naomi took the child and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.

 

17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

 

18 Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, 19 And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,

 

20 And Amminadab begat Nashon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,

 

21 And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,

 

22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

 

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ESTHER BIBLICAL REFERENCE

 

ESTHER ‑ CHAPTER 1

 

1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)

 

2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,

 

3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto alf his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:

 

4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.

 

5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;

 

6 Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.

 

7 And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.

 

8 And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure.

 

9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.

 

10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

 

11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

 

12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

 

13 Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment:

 

14 And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of

 

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Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;)

 

15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?

 

16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.

 

17 For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.

 

18 Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.

 

19 If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.

 

20 And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) All the wives shall,give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.

 

21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:

 

22 For he sent letters unto all the king's provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people.

 

CHAPTER 2

 

1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.

 

2 Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:

 

3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:

 

4 And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king: and he did so.

 

5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 

 

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6 Who has been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.

 

7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.

 

8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

 

9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.

 

10 Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.

 

11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.

 

12 Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purification accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women ;)

 

13 Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house.

 

14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.

 

15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go into the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.

 

16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

 

17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

 

13

 

18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.

 

19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.

 

20 Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.

 

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

 

22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name.

 

23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.

 

CHAPTER 3

 

1 After these things did King Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.

 

2 And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

 

3 Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?

 

4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's manners would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.

 

5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

 

6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

 

7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar.

 

8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.

 

9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed:

 

14

 

and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.

 

10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.

 

11 And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.

 

12 Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.

 

13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.

 

14 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.

 

15 The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

 

CHAPTER 4

 

1 When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sack‑cloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and bitter cry; 2 And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

 

3 And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was a great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sack‑cloth and ashes.

 

4 So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.

 

5 Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.

 

6 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate.

 

7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, 

 

15

 

and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.

 

8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.

 

9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.

 

10 Again Esther spoke unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;

 

11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.

 

12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.

 

13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not thy self that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.

 

14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall their enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from an‑other place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

 

15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,

 

16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

 

17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

 

CHAPTER 5

 

1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

 

2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.

 

3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.

 

4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have pre‑pared for him.

 

16

 

5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

 

6 And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.

 

7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is: 8 If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do tomorrow as the king hath said.

 

9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.

 

10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends and Zeresh his wife.

 

11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.

 

12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.

 

13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.

 

14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet: and the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.

 

CHAPTER 6

 

1 On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

 

2 And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

 

3 And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.

 

4 And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.

 

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5 And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.

 

6 So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?

 

7 And Haman answered the king. For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,

 

8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon and the crown royal which is set upon his head:

 

9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horse‑back through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

 

10 Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.

 

11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

 

12 And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.

 

13 And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou has begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shall surely fall before him.

 

14 And while they were yet talking with him came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.

 

CHAPTER 7

 

1 So the king and Haman came to the banquet with Esther the queen.

 

2 And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.

 

3 Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, 0 king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:

 

4 For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bond‑

 

18

 

women, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.

 

5 Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?

 

6 And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.

 

7 And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make a request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.

 

8 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out from the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.

 

9 And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.

 

10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.

 

CHAPTER 8

 

1 On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jew's enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.

 

2 And the king took off his ring which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

 

3 And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.

 

4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre towards Esther. And so Esther arose, and stood before the king, and said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces:

 

6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people: or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?

 

7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold I have given Esther the house of Haman,

 

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and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.

 

8 Write ye also for the Jews, as it Iiketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

 

9 Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.

 

10 And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:

 

11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, and to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,

 

12 Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.

 

13 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province. was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

 

14 So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.

 

15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

 

16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

 

17 And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

 

CHAPTER 9

 

1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies

 

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of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule of them that hated them;)

 

2 The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities through out all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.

 

3 And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.

 

4 For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his frame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.

 

5 Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.

 

6 And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.

 

7 And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,

 

8 And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,

 

9 And Parmashta, and Arisai and Aridai, and Vajezatha,

 

10 The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.

 

11 On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.

 

12 And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.

 

13 Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.

 

14 And the king commanded it so to be done; and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.

 

15 For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.

 

16 But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey.

 

17 On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

 

18 But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on

 

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the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

 

19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.

 

20 And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,

 

21 To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,

 

22 As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.

 

23 And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;

 

24 Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;

 

25 But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

 

26 Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them.

 

27 The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;

 

28 And that these days should be remembered and kept through‑out every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.

 

29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.

 

30 And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,

 

31 To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed,

 

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according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.

 

32 And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.

 

CHAPTER 10

 

1 And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea.

 

2 And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?

 

3 For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.

 

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MARTHA BIBLICAL REFERENCE

 

JOHN 11

 

1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

 

2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

 

3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

 

4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

 

5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

 

6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

 

7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judea again.

 

8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

 

9 And Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

 

10 But, if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

 

11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth: but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

 

12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

 

13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

 

14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

 

15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

 

16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow‑disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

 

17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

 

18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen fur‑longs off:

 

19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

 

20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

 

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21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

 

22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

 

23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

 

24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

 

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

 

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

 

27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

 

28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come and calleth for thee.

 

29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

 

30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

 

31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

 

32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

 

33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,

 

34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

 

35 Jesus wept.

 

36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

 

37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

 

38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

 

39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

 

40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

 

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

 

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42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

 

43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

 

44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

 

45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

 

46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

 

47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

 

48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

 

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

 

50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

 

51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

 

52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

 

53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

 

54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

 

55 And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.

 

56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?

 

57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

 

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ELECTA BIBLICAL REFERENCE

 

2 JOHN 1:13

 

1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

 

2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be in us forever.

 

3 Grace be with you mercy and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

 

4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

 

5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.

 

6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

 

7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti‑Christ.

 

8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

 

9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

 

10 If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, hath not God, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

 

11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

 

12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with pen and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.

 

13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

 

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