« AnteriorContinuar »
his might. While in Italy he was also monks to be but the public expression thoroughly disgusted with the condition of their own previous convictions. In of the church, and resolved to pray and the convent there was an image which labor for its restoration. In those days was believed to be miraculous, and this, earnest Catholics believed that the ser with sundry special indulgences granted vice of the mass bad been given to man- by the pope, induced great multitudes kind by Divine revelation, so that not a of pilgrims, on certain occasions to visit word of it could be altered without blas- the sacred shrine. To these pilgrims phemy. In Milan Zwingli found a re- Zwingli preached, in 1516, and in subligious service, called the Liturgy of sequent years, on the true nature of St. Ambrose, which differed very great worship, declaring with extraordinary ly from the Roman missal. Not long eloquence that “ Christ alone is the afterwards he saw in the house of a source of our salvation." The effect of friend an ancient liturgy in which it his preaching was wonderful. Hundreds, was directed that both bread and wine perhaps thousands, accepted the truth, should be given to communicants, and I and themselves declared it wherever not wine alone, as had since become they went. Soon afterwards the monks usual in the church. The conclusion began to leave their cloister, and for was irresistible, that the Roman mass some time it was entirely deserted. In was a human composition which had | 1518 Zwingli was called to the pastorate been frequently changed and might be of the cathedral church of Zurich, and changed again.
entered upon his duties on the first day One of the ablest men in Switzerland, of the succeeding year. It was his in those days, was Cardinal Matthias thirty-fifth birthday, and he was then Schinner. He had been a poor shepherd in the fullness of his manly strength. boy who with no aid but genius, had Our portrait represents him as he aprisen to be a prince of the church and peared a few years later, when the lines had hopes of becoming pope. This of care upon his face were deeply worn; man observed the youthful priest of but there is another likeness which was Glarus and determined to gain his sup- probably taken when he was about port by securing for him a pension from thirty years of age. Bullinger says, he the pope, so that he might "purchase had a magnificent physique, and was in booke to pursue his studies." The card- the bloom of his manly beauty. Lavainal was however mistaken in his man ter, “ the father of Physiognomy," if he supposed that he could in this way musing on his picture, says : “ Zwingli's purchase his silence. It was at this features indicate seriousness, thoughttime that Zwingli wrote: “I will be fulness, manly determination, extratrue and honest toward God and man ordinary power of mental concentrain all the relations of life. Hypocrisy |tion, and remarkable logical acuteand lying are worse than stealing mon- ness.” ey It is only through Truth that man Zwingli's call to Zurich was in itself can come to resemble his Maker.” a great triumph for the cause of the
In 1516 Zwingli became parish-priest Reformation. It indicated that the of the convent at Einsiedeln, which was majority of the leading men of the city then, as it is now, the real centre of the were on his side, and it must be acknowRoman Catholic church of Switzerland. ledged that they remained faithful to He seems to have been chosen because him to the end. During the term of his he was known to be favorable to 'a re- pastoral service his labors were unreformation of the church. The abbot, mitting. He preached almost every Conrad von Rechberg, was a nobleman day, wrote many volumes, and was of high rank who had been put into forced by his position to take a prothe convent by his relatives against his found interest in affairs of state. It will and he consequently entertained no was hardly to be expected that, under affection for the monastic system. Even such circumstances, he should be able before Zwingli's arrival the necessity of to elaborate a theological system. If a reformation had been the subject of he had lived to be an old man, he might constant discussion, and his eloquent have accomplished this; and like other discourses now seemed to many of the Reformers might possibly have recalled
some utterances which were made in " Whether upon the scaffold high, the heat of debate.
Or in the battle's van, Concerning his relations with Luther
The noblest place for man to die
Is where he dies for man.” we have recently spoken, and it is hardly necessary to refer to them again. It In formally announcing the death of is certain, however, that in this contro- Zwingli, his successor, Antistes Bullinversy Zwingli appeared at no disadvan-ger, said: “The victory of Truth detage. He at least maintained his tem- pends upon the will and power of God per, which is more than can be said of
alone and is not bound to times or perhis great antagonist.
sons. Christ was killed and His eneAccording to Zwingli's own statement, mies imagined they had conquered, but his fiercest conflict was with the Ana- | forty years afterward His victory bebaptists. It is impossible for us to form came evident in the destruction of Jea just conception of the extravagant con- rusalem. Therefore Truth does not conduct of these fanatics; and it is not
quer by escaping oppression, but in surprising that several of them went so
oppression she finds her confirmation. far in their opposition to the state as to To this end we need faith, patience, and make themselves amenable to the laws undaunted courage. The faith of Chrisagainst treason. It is, however, unjust tians is perfected in weakness. Thereto say that Zwingli assisted in their con- fore, beloved brethren in Germany, do demnation, as there is plenty of evidence not become offended at our humiliation, to show that he disapproved of extreme but continue in the faith of the word of measures, and was unwilling to meet God, which has always triumphed, the fanatics with any weapon but the though the holy prophets, apostles, and word of God.
martyrs on its behalf were mocked and In 1531 a civil war broke out in slain. Blessed are the dead who die in Switzerland. Though mainly occasioned the Lord! Victory will come in due by religious differences important civil time, for with the Lord a thousand questions were also involved. In Oc
| years are as one day. Victories may tober an army of about eight thousand differ in degree; and he too is a victor Roman Catholics unexpectedly invaded who, for the sake of truth, suffers and Zurich. Not more than nineteen hun- dies.” dred volunteers could be gathered in Zurich, but these went forward to meet the foe. Zwingli accompanied them as TWO CHRISTMAS EVES OF TWENTY their chaplain, as the law required. On
YEARS AGO. the 10th of October, 1531 he was severely wounded on the battle-field of
BY REV. H. M. KIEFFER. Cappel, and was afterwards killed by one of the enemy.
His last words are well known, but “Haud me up some more greens, they deserve to be often repeated : Michael.” “What does it matter? They may kill Michael was the old sexton of the the body but they cannot kill the soul." village church, and he and the pastor,
Strange as it may appear, Zwingli | Mr. Burnett, were busy decorating the seems to have had a presentiment of chancel of the church for the coming the nature of his death. Once he said : festivities, one stormy day before Christ"I often think that as Christ died for mas, now nearly twenty years ago. the church at its foundation so there With coat off and perched high up on must be martyrs at its reformation. I the ladder, while old Michael bustled expect to be one of these martyrs." about amongst the coils of greens on Looking up to a great comet that was the floor, there the worthy pastor sat, shining in the heavens, he said, shortly intent on his work, and yet busy thinkbefore his death: “This brilliant star ing betimes of one who was far away. is a torch to light me to the grave.”' | As he cast a glance out of the window, Just before the battle he exclaimed: "I he wondered whether it was so cold and will go and die with my people!” Well! stormy down there, or whether they had What does it matter?
| built their winter quarters, or were lying out yet in their shelters, or, were she climbed up on his knee and nestled may be, on the move, or perhaps even back in his arm, while Rob and Gertie now, as he sat there, engaged in battle. mounted on either side of his chair. " Which, God forbid,” said he to him- “Yes, children, to-morrow is Christself. “'Tis surely no time now for men mas. And you are all glad and happy, to fight when the very angels of God and that is right. But papa is a little are chanting their sweet songs of Peace heavy-hearted when he thinks of Georon Earth, Good Will toward Men." die so far away from home, without any
Absorbed thus in sad reflection on good warm house and out in the cold, the singular spectacle, as the angels with little enough to eat, I fear, God must look upon it, of half a continent help him, poor boy." staining its bands red with fraternal “But Geordie is a soldier,” said Rob, blood at this glad season of peace, he "an' he doesn't mind it; 'cause when bad not observed old Michael, who, soldiers get cold an' hungry, they says, with outstretched arms, was holding 'I don't care!'" the greens up towards him, and had “Papa, will we have a Christmas tree been obliged to call him twice before this year ?" asked Gertie. succeeding in arousing him from his “Well, children, you'll have to get reverie
to bed early, so Santa Claus may have “Here are the greens, Mr. Burnett.” a chance to bring it in and put it up.".
“O, Michael, excuse me. I forgot all It was sad work for the pastor and about the greens."
his wife, that putting up of the Christ“What were you thinking about, Mr. mas tree. Neither spoke much while Burnett ? About George? He was the ornaments were being tied on, and here last year helping us at this work, the gifts for the children set forth in I remember; and I just wonder where order beneath the tree, for both were he is to-day ? Such a lively lad as he busy thinking of their blue-eyed firstwas, to be sure! Why, do you know, born, whose name they scarce could sir, it don't seem to me at all like Christ- mention now but with tears. And mas without that boy. Ever since he when all was done, and together they was a baby he's followed me about the knelt down beneath the Christmas tree church, the graveyard, the parsonage and prayed earnestly and fervently to and everywhere ; watched me digging Him who had once been a child Himthe graves, ringing the bell and light- self, that as the blessed Christ-Child He ing the church, until I do believe I would come and abide in the hearts of loved him as much as if he'd been my the children asleep in the chamber own child instead of yours. Do you overhead, they mingled their tears as think it's as cold down there as it is with broken utterance they prayed that here?''
God's especial grace and mercy might But the pastor made no answer, for be with him who was afar from home. Michael's words had only served the And where was George Burnett, or purpose of plunging him into deeper Geordie, as he was known in the family, thought about his boy; a tall, fair- this Christmas eve, now nearly twenty haired, blue-eved stripling of a lad, years ago ? The scene of our story whom he loved with all the unutterable must shift now from the quiet Northern affection of a father for his first-born village to the pine forests of Virginia. son, and whom he had nevertheless, A company of cavalry, or what was strange to say, laid as a sacrifice on the left of the company after the Gettysaltar of his country, even as Abraham burg campaign, being on scout duty, of old had stretched forth his hand to had for several days been reconnoitering slay Isaac at the call of the Lord. away to the right wing of the army of
At last the greens were all hung, and the Potomac, now safely lodged in its the pastor walked over to his parsonage. winter cantonments, and halted for the
“Papa ! papa!”shouted the children, night in a little ravine surrounded by a as he was heard at the door stamping dense undergrowth of scrub-pine and the snow from his shoes, “ Papa, to-mor- cedar. It was snowing fast. The pines row is Christmas !”
bending beneath their white covering, “Kithmath,” lisped little Madge, as afforded a tolerable shelter for the men
and horses, while in the open space
space Bang! blazed a great camp fire, whose flicker “Hello! What's that, boys ?” ing light added its charm to the wild Bang-bang-bang! and weird scene.
“ Boots and saddles, boys—the John. “Say, boys, don't you think you are nies are on us for sure!” making a little too big a fire, there? Kicking the snow over the smoulderSnow is a good reflector, you know, and ing fire, the captain ordered his men, we may have some of Mosby's men in short sharp tones, like the suppressed down on us before morning.”
| blast of a bugle, to stand by their “Well, Cap, that's so. But we've horses' heads, make ready their got to keep warm some way, haven't carbines, loosen their sabres and mount. we?”
Screened from observation by a clump “Besides, it's Christmas Eve, you of pines along the edge of the ravine know,” said Burnett, “and it makes a through which the enemy would likely fellow feel like having a little fire to dash down on them, they awaited the think of the jolly times they are having charge as their pickets came galloping at home to-night."
in with a body of Mosby's troopers at “ Pile on another log, Geordie,” said | their heels. Joe Winters, “and let 'en see us if they | “Now, my lads," shouted the captain, want to : Mosby or no Mosby, we've “ look to your carbines and sabres, and got to have a fire to toast our shins by | let them have it !” and remind us that Christmas comes
| Not ancicipating so sudden a check but once in the year-
to their headlong course, and with no
suspicion of the neat little ambuscade “O, Christmas comes but once in the year,
awaiting them, Mosby's men were Tra, la, la; tra, la, la. Good sirs, I wish you all good cheer,
thrown somewhat into confusion by the Tra la la, la la!”
sudden shock, as with ringing carbines
and swift sabre strokes the Union boys With no heart for restraining his men dashed out on them with a cheer. It from their hilarity, the captain allowed was short, sharp work, man to man and them the poor and solitary comfort of horse to horse, the whole affray occupytheir camp fire, taking good care, how-ing scarcely more time than it takes to ever, that his pickets on the surround-relate it, when in a cloud of snow at ing hills should be well posted and their horses' heels Mosby's men dashed wide awake. Before settling down by up the defile and away. the fire for the night, he personally Several men were killed on either inspected every post and resolved with side and some wounded, too, whom we in himself to sleep with more than one need not stop to mourn over, for such eye open. As he returned from one of are the chances of war—but where was these tours of inspection, on emerging Burnett? from the bushes what a picture his tired “ Burnett! Burnett !” sang out his troopers looked through the driving messinate, Winters, as he stood leaving snow and the dancing red light of the against his horse. “Any of you fellows camp fire. Seated on piles of pine know where Geordie is ?" There was brush, with their horses saddled and no answer. He was not among the tethered beneath the pines, they were wounded, he could not be found among having a jolly time.
the killed. Burnett, the favorite of the company, “By Jove!” said Winters," they've was singing a song, the rest joining in taken Geordie prisoner !” on the chorus, so sweet and melodious Without a word more, and utterly that the very horses pricked up their heedless of an ugly wound in the shoulears at the sound, Then followed der, Winters mounted his horse and stories and anecdotes, grave and gay, dashed at full gallop in the direction with songs and glees, till the fire fick | Mosby's men had taken. ered low, and all hands wrapping “ Winters! stop!” shouted the capthemselves up in their great coats and tain. He might as well have shouted blanket, lay down before the fire, Indian to a whirlwind. For Joe Winters-a fashion, and were soon sound asleep. tall, raw-boned man of great physical strength and fiery temper, had from the Four weeks, three weeks, two weeks first taken a strange liking for the -aye, it was only two weeks yet till slender and rather delicate lad of light Christmas, when one morning old Mihair and blue eyes, and any day would chael, scarcely able any longer to defer bave gone through fire and flood or his preparations for the chancel decoworse for the love he bore him. Andrations, walked over to the parsonage the suspicion that Geordie was a prison and into the pastor's study, saying as er, and the certainty that he would he enterednever return alive, aroused in Winters “Mr. Burnett, don't you think we'd the heroic determination to overtake better be making some arrangements Mosby's men and surrender himself about getting the greens for the church? instead of Geordie !
It is only two weeks yet, and then " How he rode hard and fast mile after The worthy pastor's face had been mile that wintry Christmas morning- averted so that Michael had not seen how he overtook the Confederate caval- the look of unspeakable anguish there ry with their prisoner riding in the was upon it, until the pastor replied, midst- what scenes there were amongst wearily raising his head and speaking the boys in gray, as dismounting they with bloodless lips, and a countenance listened to the gallant proposal of Win-on which unutterable woe was written ters to ransom their prisoner with his in every feature : own body-how Geordie expostulated, “ Michael, there won't be any decoraentreated, begged the wounded Winters tions in the chancel this year." to desist, and how in spite of all his “No decorations this year! And remonstrances he was conveyed back Geordie coming home, too! Why, sir, again the next morning to his own men I've been sexton of this church for well I will not stop more particularly to re nigh forty year, and I never yet—" late. Suffice it to say that at daybreak. “Michael, interrupted the pastor, as they were preparing to break camp. " that may all well be. But, read that ; Geordie rode into the midst of them and God knows I cannot tell you ; readthrew himself on the ground in a pas- | that.” sion of tears.
Taking the letter which the pastor " Why, Burnett," said the captain, held out toward him with a trembling “what's the matter? Are you hurt hand, Michael put on his glasses, went badly?"
over to the window and read ; aye "Oh, no, Cap, but-Winters—" read
“Aye, my boy, Winters-can you A letter from the captain commandtell me what has become of him ?” King Geordie's company which set forth
“Yes, sir. They took me prisoner in in brief yet terrible words how after the fight last night-and Winters has several days of almost continual marchgone and given himself up a prisoner in ing and fighting, and while holding a my stead !"
very important post at the extreme left of the army in front of Petersburg, his
son Geordie had been found in the Another year had passed away and a grand round asleep on his post, had been second Christmas Eve was drawing at once ordered under arrest, and was near. George Burnett's father and to be forth with tried by court-martial, mother, and old Michael too, as well as the judgment of which it was feared they, anxiously and impatiently would be severe. “No effort,” said the awaited the holidays ; for when the captain, “will be spared to save the holidays came Geordie would be home brave and gallant boy. Nevertheless on furlough.
use all the influence you can command Old Michael, having made unusual with the authorities at home, and make preparation for the decoration of the no delay.” church, was in high glee. There should Paralyzed as by a mighty grief, old be a most bountiful offering of the laurel, Michael stood looking at the letter as if box and pine that year in the Lord's he did not at all comprehend what it house, “for Geordie, my boy, is coming was all abuut, when a second letter was home,” said he to himself.
thrust into his hand, a letter from Geor.