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Washington's Vision

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The last timo I ever savv Anthony Sherman, was on the Fourth of July, 1859, in Independonce Square. He was then nincty-nine, and becoming very teeble ; but though so old, 1 1 is dimming cves rekindlcd as he gazed iipon Indopendence Hall, wbich ho had como to gaze upon once moro bcforo ho was gathered homo. ."What timo is it?" said he, raising his trcmulous oyes to the clock in the sleeple, and endeavoi'ing to shade the former with a shaking liacd, " what time is it ? I can't see so we!l as I used to." " Half past thrce !" "Come, then," ho conlinucd, " let us yo into the Hall - I want to toll you an ncident of Washington's liie, one that no one aüve knows excopt mysolf ; and ïf you live, you wül before long peo it verifiod. Mark the pr ediction - you teill sce it verifica " Keaching the visitor's room, in which :he eacred relies of our early days aro preserved, we sat down upon one of :lie old fashioned wooden benches, and my venerable companion related to me .he foilowing singular narrativo, which rom the peculiarities of our national affairs at the present time, I have been ndueed to give it to Ihe world. I givo t as near as possible in his own words: "When the bold r.ction oí our Conjress, iu asserting tho independenco of ho colonies, becarne known in the Old World, we wero laughed and scofled at as silly, presumptuous rebels, vvhom British Grenadiers would soon tame nto submission ; but undauntcdly we. ■ 51-epared to make good what we had jaid. The keen encounter camo and ' the world knows the result. It is easy and pkasant for the present generation . ,o talk and writc of the days of '76, ; jut thcy little know, neithcr can thcy I imagine, tho trials and suftorings of .hose fearful daye. And thero is one i thingthat I much iear, and that is, the American pcoplo do not properly appreciate the boon ol freedom. Party spirit is yearly becoming stronger and strongor, and without it is checked, will, at no distant day undermine and turnble into ruins tho noble etructure of the Kepublic. But let me hasten to the narrativo. " From tlie opening of the Kevolution wo experienced all phases of fortuue, now good and now ill, one time victorious, aud another oonquerod. The darkest period wo had, however, was, I think, when Washington, after severa] reverses, retreated to valley Forgo, ' where he Resolved to pass the winter of ; 77. Ah ! I have olten seen the tears : coursing down our dear old tommander's care-worn cheeks, as he would be ] conversing with a confidential officer ] about the condition ol the poor soldiere. ' You have doubtlcss heard the story of Washington going to tho thicket to pray. Well it ia not only truc, but he used olten to pray in secret for aid : and comlort from God, the inlerposition of whoee Divine Providence alone i brought us safely through those dark days of tribulation. ' One day, I remembor it well - the chilly tvinds whistlod through tho leafess trees, tho' tho sky was cloudless and tho sun shining brightly - ho re mained in his quartors noarly all the alternóos alono. When he came out I noticed tb at his faco was a shade paler than usual, and that tb ere secmed to be something on his mind of more than usual importance. lleturning just alter dusk, he deepatched an ordorly to tho quarters of the officer I montion, who was presently in attendauce. After a preliminar conversation, which lasted some half an hour, Washington gazing upon his companion with that strango look oí dignity, which he alono could command, said to tho latter : " I do not know whether it is owing to tho anxiety of my mind, or what but, this aftornoon ; as I was sitting at tliis very tablc engaged in preparing a dispatch something in tho apartmentseemed to disturb me. Looking up, I beheld, standing oppositc to me, a singularly bcautiful fomalo. So astonislied was I, for I had given strict orders not to bc disturbëd, that it was some moments before I found language to inquire the cause of her preseuce. A second, a third, and oven a fourth time did I repeat the question, but reccived no answor from my mysterious visitor, exoopt a slight raisiug of the eyes. By this timo I feit strango sensations sproadhig through wc. I would have risen, but tho riveted gazo of the being bcforo mo "rendored volition impossiblo. I essayod onco more to address her, but my tonguo had bncomo j powerlcss, Even thought itself suddcnly became paralyzed. A new infl uonce, mysterious, potent, irresistible, took possession of mo. All I could do was gaze steadily, vacantly at my unknown visitant. Uradually the suitoundint; atmosphero ficcmod as ih oming (illed with .,- luuiinous. Everything about me seemod to rarify, the mystorious visitor herself beconiing more airy and yet even more distinct to iny sighl tlian 'before. I now began to foei as ono dying, or rathor to expericnoe the sonsations which I have sometimos imagined aceompany dissolution. I did not think, I did not rcason, I did uot move; all wero aliko impossible. I was only conscious of gazing fixcdly, vaeantly at my companion. (i Prcsently I lioard a voiec saying,' 'Son of the Kepublic, look and learn ; while at the same time my visitor extended her arm castwardly. I now behold a heavy white vapor at some distance fold upon fold. This graduaüy dissipated aud I looked upon a strange scène. - Before me lay spread out in ono vast plain, all the countries of tlio world, Europo, Asia, África and America. I saw rolling and tossing between Europe and America, the billows of tlio Atlantic, and between Asia and America lay the Pacific. "Son of the Ilepublic," said the same tnysteriota voice as before, " look and learn." " At that moment I beheld a dark shadowy being like an angel standing or rather floating in mid air between Europo and America. Dipping water out of the ocean in the hollow of cach hand, he sprinkled some upon America with liis right hand wliile lic cast upon Europe some with his left. Immediately a dark cloud raised from cach of these Dountries and joincd in mid oecan. For n while it remained stationary, and thon moved slowly wostward, until it enveloped America in its murky folds . Sharp tlashosof lightning gleamod through it ■xt intervals, and Í heard the smothering roans and cries of the American people. " A second time the angel dipped water from the occan, and sprinkled it out is before. The dark eloud was then Irawn back to the ocean, in whose hoavng waves it sunk from view. A third ;ime I heard the mysterious voice, sayipg : " ' Son of the Rpublic, look and learn.' " I cast my cycs upon America, and beheld villages, towns and citios springing ïp, one after another, until the whole and from the Atlantic to the Pacific ,vas dotted with them. Again I hoard -he mysterious voice say : " ' Hon of the llopublic, the end of the :entury coincth, look and learn.' " At this, tho dark shadowy angel ,urned his face southward, and from Afica I saw an ill-omened spectre approaeh )ur land. It flitted slowly and heavily )ver every town and city of the latter, ;he inhabitants of which presently set ihemselvcs in battle array agaiust each )ther. As I continued looking, I saw i bright angel, on whose brow rested a srown of light, on which was traccd 1 Uxiox," bearing the American flag, vhieh was placed between tho divided lation, and said : " ' Remember, yc are bret'ircn.' " Instantly the inhabitants, casting 'rom them their wcapons, bocame friends mee more, and unitcd arouud the nationil standard. And again I heard the nysterious voice, saying : " ' Son oí' the Republio, the end of the ientury cometh, look and learn.' " At this the dark shadowy angel )laced a trumpet to his moutb, and blow liree distinct blasts, and taking water 'rom the ocean, spvinkled it upon Europo, Vsia aud África. " Then my eyes beheld a fearful scène. 7rom each of these countries arose thick )lack clouds, that were soon joiued into me. And throughout this mass there jlcamed a dark red light, by jhich I saw .he hordes of armcd men, who, moving útil tho cloud, marched by land and ailed by sea, to America, which country vas presently cnvelopcd in the volume of lie cloud. And I dimly saw these vast irmies devástate the whole country, and mrn the villages, towns and citics that I ïad beheld springing up. As my ears istoned to the thundcring of cannon, ilasTiing of swords, and shouts and cries )f the millions in mortal combat, I again icard the mystorious voice, saying: " ' Sons of the Ropublie, look and carn.' " Wbcn the voice had ceascd, the dark, ihadowy angel placed his trumpet. once nore to his trumpet once more to his nouth, and blew a long, fearful blast. " Instantly a light as of a thousand :uns shone down from abovc me, and tierecd and broke into fragmenta, the lark cloud which envcloped America. - .t the sama moment I saw tho angel ipon whose head still shono tho word ' Union," and who borc our national flag n oue hand, and a sword in the othor, lescended from Heavcn attended by le;ions of bright spirits. These irnmediitely joincd the inhabitants of America, vho I perecived wero woll nigh overeóme, jut who iminodiatoly taking courage igain, closed up their brokon ranks and enewed tho battle. Again amid tho 'earful noiso of the conflict I heard tho nysterious voice, saying : " ' Son of tho Kepublic, look and earn.' " As the voice ceascd tho shadowy mgcl for the last time dipped water from ;hc ocean and sprinkled it upon America. [nstantly the dark cloud rollcd back, to;ether, with the armies it had brought, caving tlio inhabitants of the land victoious. Then once more I beheld villages, ;owns and cities springing up whero they ïad been before, while the bright angel, ilanting the azaro standard he had jrought in tho midst of them, criod in a .oud voice : " ' Whilo tho stars remain and tho ïcavens send down de;v upon carth, go .ong shall the llcpublio last,' " And taking from his brow the crowu Dn which blazuucd the word " Union," 'ie placed it upon the standard, white the people, knceling down, said " Amen." " Tho sconc instantly began to fade and Jissolve, and I at last saw nothing but tho rising, curling white vapor I had first bohcld. This also disappoaring, I found myself once moro gazing on my mysterious visitor, who in the same voice I had lioai'd before said : " ' Son of the Kepublic, what youhave scen is tlms interpreted : Three perils will como upon the llepublie. The most fearful is the second, pa3sing which, the whole world united, s'üall novcr -be able to prevail against hor. Let ovory child of tlie llopublic learn to live for his God, his land and the Union. " With thoso -words the visión vanished, and I startcd frora my seat, and feit that I had seen a visiou wherein had boon shown me the birth, progress ar.d destiny of tho Unitcd States. '' In Union shc will havo her stroagth in disunfoD ís her dcst.ruciion." " Such, iny Mond," eoneluded tbc venerable narrator, "wcrc the words I heard from Wasliington'a own lips, and America will do well to profit by thora."


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