Imágenes de páginas

years of age. The boy learned well, well off, but worldly and proud. They among other things the ancient lan- were so ashamed of Gerbart that they guages. Admiring friends urged the would not even have his dame mentioned mother to educate him for a profession. in their presence. They neglected him But ber means being limited, she wished when sick, so that he suffered from in, him to become a merchant. His health attention and want. In spite of tbis was always delicate, bis conscience ten- | he was happy and contented in his upder, and his habits correct. At sixteen interrupted meditations and commu: years of age Tersteegen was con- pion with God. Then came a period firmed. He was apprenticed to his of darkness and doubt. During five brother-in-law for four years. Already years he mourned his loss of peace. at the end of the first year the appren- Like Cowper, be was drearily trem: tice felt the blessed influence of Mül- bling on the verge of despondency. At heim. A pious merchant took him by length the clouds were dispelled. He the hand. The prayer at the bedside of was so overjoyed that he cut his finger, a dying pastor moved deeply his beart. and with his own blood running out of One day he was sent to the town of the wound he wrote a form of self-dedi. Duissburg. Going through the forest cation to Christ, and signed it with the he was seized with violent cramp, and same. expected to die at once. He withdrew Thereafter he took Heinrich Sommer from the highway, and prayed God for to help him at bis work. He worked relief and restoration, that he might ten hours a day at the loom, two bours have time to prepare for eternity. His he spent in private prayer, and the rest prayer was answered.

of his waking time in writing devotional It is a great blessing for young people, works and addressing private religious and old ones too, to belong to an active, meetings. He repeatedly declined the spiritually-upinded congregation. And offer of money from influential persons, a great power for good a small number who urged him to be ordained and give of zealous godly people may become, himself fully to the ministry of the Goswho like the Mülheimer merchant, and pel. At length he quit his weaving, a certain William Hoffman, then a can- and accepted a small salary for irregu. didate for the mioistry, encouraged lar ministerial work. He also started meetings for prayer and praise, and a dispensary in his house for the relief kindly led young people in the ways of of the poor, of which be soon had mul. early piety. In moulding the mind and titudes to care for and heal. He was heart of Tersteegen this congregation is often sick himself, often in great pain, entitled to much of the credit in the yea waited on the sick from morning production of his incomparable hymns. till night. He would spend whole

Until his nineteenth year he learned nights at the bedside of the suffering. the business of his father. After that! Retiring to a neighboring county for he worked at weaving silk ribbons. He rest, the people would waylay him spent his days busily at his loom, and along the road and bear bim away to the often passed whole nigbts in prayer. In nearest barn, where a congregation order to live a life of undisturbed piety awaited him. During the last years of he removed to a small cottage near his life he was a mere sbadow, when he Mülheim. Here he supported himself bad to quit travelling and public speakby weaving silk ribbons, having no one ing. Thirty years of his later life were with him save a little girl during day- years of great bodily weakness. He times, who wound bis silk for him. He died in 1769, at the age of 74. lived on milk, water and meal, and Tersteegen wrote 111 hymns, among never touched tea or coffee. During which are many as familiar as bousethe day he kept in his cottage. At hold words in Christian homes and connight, when no one could see him, he gregations. He was a man in some revisited the huts of the poor. In this spects of singular habits and views, but way he spent all the money he saved by strove with all the ardor and earnestmeans of bis abstemious life. Nearlyness of a religious enthusiast to live a the whole of his little inheritance he life of vital communion with Christ. gave to the needy. His relatives were Such a man as he would have been

canonized as a saint in the Roman States it is honorably represented. In Catholic Church.

Detmold, its little capital, now numberAll these hymn writers were people of ing nearly 5,000 inbabitants, Frederick inteose prayerful earnestness and deep Adolph Lampe was born in 1683. His piety. Tersteegen, like Neander, was father was then the zealous pastor of its through life, by many considered a Reformed Church. The son bad good troubler in Israel. The religious life of teachers, and industriously improved his Germany was then very cold. Great school and university days. At the stress was laid on Orthodoxy, without early age of 22, he became pastor of a giving due heed to a corresponding ho- small congregation in Cleves. After liness of heart. All confirmed members three years he was called to the large of the Church were allowed to commune, Reformed Church of Duissburg. And no matter how wicked, which is still three years after he was called to the largely the case in certain European large St. Stephen's Church, in Bremen. Churches. Tersteegen protested against Here he labored eleven years, when, in this, and on account of it, he for years 1720, he was called as professor at the maintained a sort of separate relation University of Utrecht, and in 1727 he to his Church, but never formally sey-returned as pastor of St. Ansgar's ered bis connection with it.

Church, in Bremen. Here he died in The town of Mülheim on the Rhine, 1729, at the age of forty-seven years. was noted as a centre of religious life He was the author of 30 hymns, some and activity in the year 1700 as in the of which are of great merit, but owing year 1880. It was prevailingly Re- to the peculiarity of their metres have formed, then as now. A pastor of that not been so extensively introduced in time says: “The congregation excelled public worship as those of some other the most of those around it in religious hymn writers. activity, and could have had few equals Few of our German hymns are more in Christendom. During many years generally known and used than : God had given it the most excellent of pastors, men noted for their learning

“Jesus meine Zuversicht.” and piety. Among these was good pastor Unterveyk, whose life and labors

(Jesus my eternal trust, were a blessing to all the region around

And my Saviour ever liveth :

This I know; and deep and just about. Through the efforts and good

Is the peace this knowledge givethexample of these godly men many truly Though death's lingering night may start pious people came to abound here, and Many a question in my heart. the congregation became a model of good order and godly living. The bulk Hope's strong chain around me bound, of the people led a pure and peaceable

Still shall twine my Saviour grasping;

And my hand of faith be found life. They were cheerful and contented.

As death left it, Jesus clasping: Farmers and mechanics enlivened their No assault the foe can make, labor with the singing of hymns. One E'er that deathless clasp shall break."). could rarely have found a young person at work who had not a copy of the Cat

It is a great favorite with the afflicted echism or of some other religious book, and the bereaved. Around the beds of wherewith to improve little spatches of disease, and at the graves of the departleisure, in order to prepare himself for ed, it has borne the burdens of mapy catechetical services."' Even the little sorrowing hearts up to the throne of boys and girls watching the flocks and God. This hymn was written by Louisa herds in the fields usually were supplied Henrietta of Brandenburg, wife of with such books.

Frederick William, Elector of BrandenLippe-Detmold has for several centu- burg, a lady of noble birth, fine culture ries been a stronghold of the Reformed and humble piety. She wrote four Church. A little principality, in a hymns, two of wbich are great devotionterritorial sense, it has always been al favorites. The second is a well-known noted for its zeal in the cause of Christ. penitential hymn: Among the ministry and membership of “ Ich will von meiner Missethat the Reformed Church in the United Zum Herren mich bekehren.”

Few of the millions who sing these swept away, established model farms, hymns know that they were written by and introduced the culture of the potathis godly mother of German queens. to. Her name was on every body's lips, These two hymns have given her more and the people knew not how they enduring fame than the crown of Bran- should sufficiently express their affection denburg. Unlike the most other hymn and gratitude. Her picture was hung writers, she led a quiet and peaceful life, by every fireside, and multitudes of girl but lived in an age of cruelty and car- babies were named “Louisa.” She lived nage.

a retired life at ber country house at She was a daughter of the Prince of Oranienburg, near Berlin. Her acts of Orange, a royal and heroic patron of charity and religion left her no time por the Reformed religion, and grand- inclination to mix in the gay and fashiondaughter of the brave Admiral Coligny, able life of the capital. She was a memwho fell as a martyr to the truth in the ber of the Reformed Church, where she massacre of St. Bartbolomew's Day. regularly attended service. With the Her pious mother educated and trained Lutherans she cultivated pleasant and her with tender care. She was taught friendly intercourse, and often expressed not only the usual branches belonging a wish that the two Churches might 10 a good female education, but house- be united. keeping and all kinds of “ female handi- ! For a number of years she had no craft” as well. A fair-haired and second child. Without leaving an heir alender girl, she grew up to be a grace- to the throne, the death of her husband ful and very accomplished young lady. would most likely occasion another war. At nineteen she was married to the The apprehension of this greatly trouElector of Brandenburg. At the time bled her. At length, on a certain Tuesher father was very ill. With the day, she gave birth to a second son. cordial consent of her husband, like a For the balance of her life she hallowed loving, faithful daughter as she was, she every Tuesday with prayer, praise, and remained with her parent and nursed devout meditation. As a thank-offering him till he died.

she founded an Orphans' Home at Having performed this filial duty, she Oranienburg. She died in 1667, at the set out for Berlin, with her infant son. age of thirty-nine years. It was late in the autumn. The weath. She was a great admirer of Paul fr was already cold, and the country Gerhart, the prince of German hymu through which she travelled had been writers. Under the government of a Jaid waste by the long continued wars. Reformed ruler, certain coercive meaHer husband and the people of Berlin sures were enforced against the Lutherexpected to welcome her with joy, and ans. This drove Gerhart from Berlin, were greatly pleased with the prospect and raised a great outcry against the of having a male heir to the throne tyrannical edict. One of the last acts Among them. The good lady brought of this good woman was to prevail on only the corpse of her dear child, which her husband to abolish this law, and had died on the way. Was it perhaps grant to his Lutheran subjects liberty to relieve this great sorrow that she of conscience. wrote her celebrated funeral hymn? The foregoing are among the fore

Seldom have two royal hearts been most hymn writers of the Reformed wedded as were those of this Branden- Church. Many others there are of less burg couple. Both were sincerely pious, fame wbose hymns are sung in Europe and loved their God and each other. and America. We should hold them After her bereavement she accompanied in grateful remembrance. For the auber husband on his many journeys, in bis thor of a good hymn, which has the own and in other countries. The Prus- devotional aroma and unction of a true sian people had been greatly reduced in song of Zion is a benefactor to our kind. population and impoverished by war. Many hymns, at first considered good, Louise set to work to aid them in re- I did not wear well. Because they were covering from their misfortunes. She weak they soon fell out of use. Those founded schools all over the country which have stood the test of centuries where they had been almost wholly I embalm the memory of their authors more durably than could monuments of goal by painful, persevering effort. brass or marble.

| Hence it is an error to suppose that the Something of the personal peculiarities way of knowledge is an easy and a of their authors are interwoven with all smooth one. Still it is the way that leads good hymns. The tincture of their upward and onward, and he who works trials or triumphs flavors them. Many himself up its steep grade will, by and a good hymn, like Neander's “Wo soll by, reach an eminence from which he ich bin, wer hilfet mir?” is but the may look down with the noblest satis. cry of sanctified distress, set to poetry. faction. Happy are they who stand in And that bymps thus inspired by per a personal relationship, or in the current sodal distress, devotion, and individual of a community life, from which there frames of mind should touch a kindred comes a generous aid in well directed chord in many other hearts and be mind culture; but blessed are they who adapted for the singing of millions of are endowed with those peculiar mental others besides the author, only shows and moral graces, by the force of which that a touch of sorrow and saintly dis- they rise above circumstances and cipline makes all Christians akin. achieve great results in spite of them. Much that we have and need is the And if we find no paradise of luxurious common heritage of God's people in ease in the sphere of education, we will every age and every clime.

hardly find it in any other department of human experience. The primary institu

tion of the social world is the family. Persevering Patience. This is one of the foundations which God

Himself laid, when He created man. BY REV. I. E. GRAEFF.

| We may justly sing of it: The circumstances of life are such

The dearest spot on earth to me, that no one can expect to escape from

Is sweet, sweet home. trouble. It is the part of wisdom to But, in the bosom of this sacred retreat, meet and overcome trials and difficulties, in this sanctuary of domestic affection, with as much composure and serenity of there are many burdens to be borne, and mind as possible. Habits should be the very best and most fortunate and faformed to do this, and that right early. vored have to bear some of these. Persevering patience in well doing is a Rural life, though quite secluded and marvellous power for good. It makes exempt from the anxiety and constant us happy within ourselves, and others bustle of city life in great commercial are made happy by its influence. It centres, is still a life of toil and of much creates welcome and good will in social care. In all the walks and pathways relations, and secures success in what of mankind, from the highest to the we undertake. It gives strength of lowest, the law is in force wbich compels character and often brings multitudes every one to eat his bread in the sweat of friends. In all this lies one of the of his face. We are apt to be dazzled secrets of human happiness, and of the by the glitter of fortune, and charmed progress of mankind.

by the comforts and pleasures of the Men generally have the capacity to rich, while we forget that, along with learn, to gain knowledge. Some can these advantages, go trials, troubles, learn without much trouble, but others cares, anxieties, responsibilities, and have to struggle hard. No one becomes dangers, which the humble and the poor learned, however gifted he may be, with are not called upon to meet. out hard and patient study. It requires But if it be true that nowhere, within much force of will to work oneself up to this world of sin and misery, a retreat profound scholarship, even under the can be found which is free from most favorable surroundings. No balt- trouble, in which time: flows in luxuing, hesitating, half-hearted sort of dis- rious ease, and in which all rise without position will ever accomplish much in a struggle, what then shall we do ? mind culture. Great educators are al. Would it be wise to borrow the wings ways persons of much patience, and great of a dove and fly away? If that were scholars and docile pupils reach their possible, it would hardly answer our

aims very well. Persevering patience in solid foundation for future popularity, the line of duty, or in some good and greatness, and power. noble work where only good will dictates It was no doubt exceedingly galling, forbearance, is much more likely to to a refined and cultivated scientist like bring us into a real paradise than any Mr. Morse, when he sat in the gallery mere physical transports would be able of the House at Washington and heard to do.

the sage law-makers, in the chamber It is much easier for some persons to below, explode their magazines of exexercise patience, than it is for others. quisite wit on the supposed lunacy of his There is a vast difference of temper. great invention. He did, however, not Some have a fiery nature, with a strong run away in anger, nor in disgust, but sensitive leaning towards flying up and stood his ground, and patiently redaway, as soon as there is the least dis soned, until Congress yielded and he bad turbance in the ebb and flow of the tides. made the Electric Telegraph an accom. Such will find it very difficult to acquire plished fact. And no less trying were the habit of resting quietly at anchor, the efforts of Mr. Field, to extend the while the storms rage. Others are pa- benefits of telegraphy by the laying of turally cool, and some are slow, heavy, ocean cables. It is yet fresh in the me. and amiably disposed to rest quietly on mory how bis first effort failed, and some pivotal centre, no matter how the how he immediately took steps to try it rains may fall, the winds blow, or the again, and that at no small risk of repu. waves roll, dash, and roar. Neverthe- tation and means. But the second time less, as in all other things, some find his efforts were crowned with victory, and their task hard and some easy, the pos- now the daily news fly with lightning sibility of cultivating the great grace of speed from continent to continent. a natural patience is bestowed upon all. And here rises the memory of poor

Washington, whom we love to call the Christopher Columbus, a man of great father of his country, had a high tem- energy and of wonderful achievements. per. So at least Thomas Jefferson, who He went from one royal court to anwas intimately acquainted with him, has other, and appealed to kipg?, queens, written about him. His ardent temper princes and statesnien, for long, weary he had however under admirable con- days and years, for the purpose of realtrol. When General Braddock was sent izing his one idea. That idea was apparto this country to take command of the ently nothing extraordinary – he only British forces in the French-Indian war, wanted to strike a westward course to Wasbington went on his staff without a reach the fabulous treasures of the East. commission. Just before the famous That was sometbing new in those times, battle, in which the Eoglish army was and he had to labor like a giant until he cut to pieces and almost entirely secured the means to fit out an expedestroyed, the young aid volunteered to dition. And even when he bad at last give some kindly advice to the com- I gained that point, his troubles were by mander in chief relative to the peculia- no means ended. By hard struggles he rities of Indian warfare, but only re- secured his ships, and laid in his sup. ceived, in return for his well meant and plies, and gathered a crew. Finally he timely counsel, from his British superior, sailed. His mariners grew weary, for a full round of curses and of ungentle the voyage was long, uncertain, and manly abuse. Most men would have dangerous. After many days, the spirit, promptly withdrawn from Braddock's the ghostly demon of mutiny began to staff, under the pressure of such provo- take possession of his men. It was by cation ; but Washington did no such a masterly stroke of administrative thing-both prudence and patriotism ability that he prevailed on them, to dictated to him a different course. He have a little more patience and persevere. remained quietly in his place, and when Good luck, as men are in the habit of the army fell into ambush and was mer- calling it, suddenly dawned upon him cilessly cut up, he fought at the risk of one morning, and just in the nick of his life from the beginning to the bitter time to save him from defeat He end of the battle. Here patience did thought he had struck the Islands of her perfect work, and here she laid a the Eist and had reached his goal,

« AnteriorContinuar »