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but now that I have been made to taste of higher and sweeter things, I shall be doubly wretched, if I may not enjoy them. If he makes men hurger and thirst, and then does not feed them, he is not a God of love. But he is a God of love, and therefore he cannot treat his servants so. You remember Luther used to say that when he saw that God was in his quarrel, he always felt safe. “Thine honour is at stake,” he would say, “and it is no business of Luther's: it is God's business when God's gospel is concerned.” Every attribute is pledged as a guarantee that every promise shall be kept. Here faith may gather strength, and rest assured that the covenant is sure in every jot and tittle. If one child of God who has put his trust in Jesus should perish, the everlasting covenant of grace would have failed, for it is a part of its stipulations. “A new heart also will I give you, and a right spirit will I put within you. From all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.” And if I have come to Jesus, and rested in him, and after all, do not find salvation and eternal life, then the covenant has become a dead letter. This it never shall be. “Although my house be not so with God, yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure." He will not suffer his promise to fail.
Last word of all, remember that the very blood of Christ is at stake in the matter of God's promise. If a poor guilty sinner shall come and rest in Jesus, and yet is not saved, then Jesus Christ is grievously dishonoured-he has shed his blood in vain. Shall they perish on whom his blood is sprinkled ? Is the fountain, after all its boasted efficacy, become a mockery? Is there no power in the atonement of Jesus to cleanse the guilty ? Ah, beloved, he said it would cleanse, and it was so, it is so, and it shall be so for evermore. They who rest in Christ shall not perish, neither shall any one pluck them out of his hand. Each one of us, as we arrive in heaven, shall add our testimony to the general verdict of all the saints, and say, "it was so." He said it, and le fulfilled it: glory be unto his name! If any soul comes to Jesus at this hour, he shall find eternal life. “ He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved.” Such is the gospel. The Lord grant his great blessing. Amen.
Be Short. ONG visits, long stories, long essays, long exhortations, and long
prayers, seldom profit those who have to do with them. Life is short." Time is short. Moments are precious. Learn to condense, abridge, and intensify. We can bear things that are dull, if they are only short.
We can endure many an ache and ill, if it is over soon; while even pleasure grows insipid, and pain intolerable, if they are protracted beyond the limits of reason and convenience. Learn to be short. In making a statement, lop off branches ; stick to the main facts in your case. If you pray, ask for what you believe you will receive, and get through ; if you speak, tell your message and hold your peace; if you write, boil down two sentences into one, and three words into two. Always when practicable avoid lengthiness—learn to be short.
Pastor Fliedwer and the Deaconesses of
BY EDWARD LEACH.
occupations shall, or shall not, be open to women? Among our lively, enterprising Transatlantic cousins, the discussion has become quite hot and angry, and judging from the many American religious papers we habitually scan, the “ Woman's Question ” must be the most popular topic of debate in that land. In our own country there is less disposition than ever to exclude ladies from suitable employments. The old and bitter condemnation
“ Men have many faults; women only two:
Whate'er they say is wrong, and wrong whate'er they do "although expressive of more than the sourest misanthrope ever sincerely believed, may embody a prejudice which is surely being rooted out of the minds of most people. Women are now being employed in a variety of occupations, more or less suited to their tastes and gifts, from which they were until recently excluded ; and new openings are being constantly made, and new schemes adopted by which they may suitably win their daily bread. Hundreds are in training as nurses who may be qualified to act under any emergency, in lieu of the incompetent and ignorant women who have so greatly tried the patience and temper of heads of families. One of these training institutions comprehends all these objects :-"To present to the public, under medical supervision, a class of nurses fit for every emergency connected with the sick room, medically and surgically; to bring together highly respectable nurses for the lying-in chamber; to facilitate the acquisition of wet nurses of good constitution, and those who are adapted for the bringing up of infants who may be deprived of maternal care. A separate department, to consist of fever nurses, who undertake the management of all contageous diseases ; male and female attendants to be provided for chronic invalids—those addicted to habits of intemperance, or suffering from any temporary aberration of intellect; and lastly, a communication to be carried out between nurses arriving from India and the Colonies, in order to provide families with proper attendants for distant voyages." There is another, and a somewhat different institution in Tottenham, very largely supported by Mr. Samuel Morley, M.P., which has for its object the training of females for nursing the sick and for general mission work. This institution is one of several for a like purpose, which are imitations of the Deaconesses Home in Germany, of the rise and progress of which we are about to inform the reader. This, we may say, has been the parent of many other institutions of a like character, and was started to do something more than find suitable employment for women. It is essentially evangelistic in its work, and took its rise in the feeling that Christian women were best qualified for the task thus assigned to them; and that
on no account should the dangerous asceticism of the Roman Catholic community be imitated. There is, therefore, nothing of a conventual nature about the institution, although exception may be taken to some of its rules.
It is only seven years ago since the founder of this institution departed this life, although his project assumed a practical form more than a quarter of a century ago. Theodore Fliedner, “ restorer of the apostolical order of deaconess," was born in the little village of Epstein, which is situate about ten or twelve miles from Wiesbaden. He was the son of a Lutheran minister, who died of fever just after the battle of Leipsig, leaving his widow with eleven children wholly unprovided for. Theodore and his brother, who were to be “the supports of the family,” were but children, and had not received the necessary education to fit them for life. Notwithstanding the turmoil into which the country was thrown, some friends who had received much kindness from the deceased pastor, assisted the distressed widow, and Theodore was sent to a grammar-school. Here, however, he had to earn his bread, and to employ his spare hours in such occupations as making his own bed, cutting up fire-wood, mending his clothes, and it is said that when his knees were coming through his trousers, he sewed up the hole with white thread, and resorted to the ink bottle to hide the defect. When at the University at Giessen, he had to endure not a few hardships, but he managed to live upon the proceeds of writings which he copied, and gained his dinners in various houses in return for the lessons he gave there. This failing him, he would dine on such simple fare as brown bread and plums. German Rationalism was very prevalent at Giessen, and nearly all the professors denied the divinity of our Lord, the authenticity of the narratives of his miracles, and of his resurrection. Fleidner, fortunately, did not fall into these prevalent heresies, although he was ignorant of the nature of true, evangelical religion. Throughout this time we find him admiring the lives and works of philanthropists and practical Christians who had struck out for themselves varied paths of usefulness. His heart was full of hope that he might one day be as useful to his fellow creatures as some of the illustrious men the record of whose labours he was never tired of reading. He preached for the first time at Göttingen, not without the feeling that he was destitute of a something without which no man should assume the office of Christian teacher. Slowly, however, he began to discover " the truth as it is in Jesus,” and gained new light upon the essentials of our most holy faith. One anecdote is told of this period of his life, which is worth giving, inasmuch (according to his own confession), it taught hiin not only a lesson of humility, but also impressed him with the importance of the simple truth and saving power of a real Scriptural faith.” He had been preaching at Cologne for a high dignitary of the Lutheran church, Dr. Kraffe-a man evidently of simple faith and childlike simplicity of character. As they left the church, Kraffe asked the young preacher if he did not feel very nervous as he went up the pulpit stairs." Fliedner replied that he had no fear of anything, inasmuch as he had committed his sermon by heart, and was not likely to break down. To this the practised preacher replied that he could not speak with so much assurance for himself, as however carefully he had prepared his discourse, the sense of awe he experienced in entering the pulpit impelled him to sigh to his Master for special help—help that had never been refused him. Doubtless the opportunities he had to converse with a minister of such great attainments and sincere humility were not neglected; certain it is the young man learnt the difficult art of selfexamination and the discipline the better fitted him for the work of pastor, which he was now about to undertake in an obscure village on the Rhine-the scene of his future labours-labours that have rendered his name illustrious in the annals of Christian workers.
The little Protestant community at Kaiserswerth was very poor. It could only offer him 180 thalers (about £27) a year; but he joyfully accepted their unanimous invitation as a direct call from God, and proceeded at once to enter upon a number of duties with much zeal. Small as was the congregation, he found an abundance of work to do in interesting himself in the schools, visiting the sick, relieving the wants of the poor, and teaching them habits of prudence and forethought, providing work for the indigent, and writing letters for the ignorant. In addition to these congenial employments, he opened a grammar school, that his miserable pittance might be somewhat increased ; and having done so, he assisted his mother by sharing his humble home with his two younger brothers and a grown-up sister. The latter proved an admirable housekeeper and assistant, rendering the parsonage more comfortable, and adding to the boys' classes a muchneeded sewing class for girls. A great and almost overwhelming distress overtook the young pastor in his first year of office. An important firm of velvet manufacturers, who had not only founded the Iittle church, but also paid the chief part of the pastor's salary, failed. The workpeople were consequently thrown out of employment, and great distress abounded. To remain under such circumstances seemed almost impossible--it was little short of starvation. The choice of two other and better appointments was before him, and one of these might have afforded him an excellent opportunity of escaping from the difficulty. But Fliedner was made of brave stuff: to quit his flock at such a time was he felt the work of a hireling. He decided to remain among those to whom he was much attached, and depend upon his school for support. This spirit of self-sacrifice produced a similar feeling in the people, who denied themselves that church and school might be kept open. Still the pinch must have been severely felt, and it was with considerable difficulty that the school was kept open. He decided upon setting out on a pilgrimage to several German cities, among the wealthy congregations of which he might obtain pecuniary help for his church. Such was his assiduity, and sach the liberal response made to bis appeal, that by the end of the first week he raised a sum equal to £180, and within a few weeks sufficient money was obtained to relieve the buildings of their heavy debt. He felt, however, that this was not enough, and that the permanence of the work would be the better secured by collecting a sufficient sum to constitute an endowment, that the modest income of pastor and schoolmaster might be insured. Who that knows what are the discomforts of collecting for churches will not sympathise with the hard-working anxious pastor on such a disagreeable errand! Happily, however, both in Holland and in England, he met with encouraging success, and learnt many lessons that benefited him, and were the germs of future triumphs.
Returning to his people, he entered upon his pastoral and other duties with redoubled zeal. Energy was perhaps his chief characteristic. He seized hold of any and every opportunity for Christian service. Prayermeetings, psalmody classes, Sunday-schools and Bible classes, young men's and temperance societies, with a number of other efforts in connection with his congregation, were insufficient for him. He undertook a laudable work which others had greatly neglegted, namely, visitation of the prisons. The time was peculiarly favourable to such a work. The German prisons never needed it more than then; they were dens of vice and corruption. We read that the prisoners were crammed together in narrow dirty cells, “ often in damp cellars without light or air ; boys who had fallen into crime from thoughtlessness were mixed up with hoary cunning sinners; young girls with the most corrupt old women.” Guilty, innocent, and untried persons were huddled together indiscriminately; but little occupation was found for them; their educational and religious interests were neglected, and vice and ignorance consequently flourished. The places where crimes were punished proved to be the places where crime was fostered and taught. Fliedner desired to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the state of the prisoners, and applied to the magistrates to be imprisoned for a few weeks. This was not permitted, but he was allowed to preach in the gaol at Dusseldorf on the Sabbath afternoon. For three years, until a chaplain was appointed, he walked six miles to perform this work; and he also visited all the prisons of the Rhenish provinces in turn, and having accumulated a number of painful facts, laid them before the public. This led to the formation of the first Prisoners' Society in Germany, and to other movements for the religious and moral benefit of the criminal classes. Having married a suitable lady, whose zeal was about equal with his own, he was prepared to open the first asylum for released female prisoners. This was the first of the charitable institutions of Kaiserswerth, and it commenced in the humblest way, with only one inmate, who was “almost spoilt with over-care and indulgence.' In the course of time, five out of ten women whom he received gave evidence of true repentance and conversion, and from that day to the present the institution has been the means of bringing the gospel home to several hundreds of women, many of whom were abandoned criminals.
All these efforts were, however, but preliminary to that which has made the name of Pastor Fliedner so renowned. It is not claimed for him that he was the first to suggest the revival of the order of Deaconesses, but that he took the first steps towards this object. “The state of the sick poor," he tells us, “ had long weighed on our hearts. How often had I seen them fading away like autumn leaves, in their unhealthy rooms, lonely and ill-cared for, physically and spiritually, utterly neglected !” Many cities he found to be destitute of hospitals, and where hospitals existed, the nursing was execrable. “The medical staff,” he says, “ complained bitterly of the hireling attendants, of their carelessness by day and by night, of their drunkenness and other immoralities.” Little thought was given to their spiritual needs. “In the pious old days chapels had always formed a part of such institutions,