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and her mother save a distant view of troops in combat, seen from the top of an adjacent mountain, till one evening as Gertrude was tending her goats she was surprised to see a French soldier approaching. She was much alarmed, but ere she recovered herself he exclaimed, “Pity a wounded soldier ?" and then fainted away on the bank. Gertrude did not hesitate to hasten to his relief: he was an enemy, but he was an enemy in distress, and Christ had said, “love your enemies." She took some water from the brook, washed the blood from his face, and gave him of the cooling beverage: at length he opened his eyes and thanked her. She then ran into the cottage, her mother warmed some milk, and Gertrude hastened to take a bowl of it to the wounded soldier. As he drank it he revived, and exclaimed, “God bless you, my child; I had died had it not been for your kindness.”
Gertrude and her mother then led the soldier into their cottage, dressed his wounds, and paid every attention to his wants. He was full of thankfulness, and made many apologies for the trouble he caused them; but they told him they were happy to relieve a fellow creature in distress, and entréated him to compose himself to sleep. As they retired to rest they did not forget the poor stranger in their prayers, and in the morning they were pleased to find their patient much recovered.
The old soldier remained at the cottage till his health was restored. The kind treatment he had received was so different from any thing he had before experienced, that he was puzzled to account for the génerosity of this amiable family. He had been accustomed to infidel principles, and all was therefore unaccountable to him. At last he inquired how they had acquired such excellencies as were exhibited in all their conduct. Gertrude went to her box and took from thence a volume it was the Bible : this, said she, is the book from whence we have learned all that is good, and would you be happy this book must be your guide.
When the soldier became well enough to leave the hospitable cottage, he wished to leave with the family all the money he had about him; but his offer was declined, and the only recompense they would accept was a promise that he would read through a New Testament, which they put into his hands at parting. As the soldier left the peaceful valley he exclaimed, “Others talk about religion and virtue, but here I have found the reality, and that religion must be good from which such fruits proceed."
Let the reader remember, that while comparatively few can judge of our principles, every one can judge of our conduct. O that the young would ever seek by all the “fruits of the Spirit" to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things.-Eng. 'Youth's Magazine.
The expense of education in the seminaries of the department of the Rhone (France) is stated to be about one hundred dollars per annum exclusive of clothing, &c.
The following Biography, of one of the brightest stars in the Latheran Constellation, wil, we feel assured, be read with deep interest, by all the members of our beloved Church.-Editor.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF PROFESSOR GELLERT.
CHRISTIAN F. GELLERT, the third among thirteen children, was born at Haynichen, in Saxony, in 1715. His father was second minister of the place; fulfilled the duties of his charge for fifty years with exemplary zeal and fidelity : and died Dean at the age of seventy-five. · His mother, by her precepts, impressed on the mind of her children the principles of piety; and by her example, conducted them to the practice of active virtue. She lived to see her eldest son, Frederic, principal commissary of the posts in Saxony; and her youngest, inspector of the mines at Frieburg.
Christian Gellert received his first education at a public school at Meissen, where his friendship commenced with Gartner and Rabener, a friendship which much contributed to the happiness of his future life. At the age of eleven he was employed in copying a multitude of documents, contracts, and judicial acts; an exercise which, in a less ardent mind, might have stifled the poetic spirit wlnich soon burst forth in Gellert. In his thirteenth year he wrote a poem on his father's birth day, which must have possessed considerable merit, as many could recite it by memory, and preferred it to his other compositions.
Gellert went in 1734 to Leipsick, and studied there four years, when his father was obliged to recal him from inability to support the expense of maintaining him at the university. On his return home he began to preach; and his first attempt, which was very inauspicious, he thus relates in his memoirs.
“It was at the age of fifteen, and in my native town, that I made the first essay of my eloquence. One of the citizens had requested me to be godfather to his child, which child died a few days after. I undertook his funeral sermon, though my father agreed rather unwillingly to my so doing. The child was to be buried at noon : at eight in the morning I began to compose my discourse, which was not completed till very late, I lost what time remained in composing an epitaph, and had but one hour to fix what I had just written in my memory. However, I boldly entered the church, and began my discourse with much solemnity, and attained nearly to the third sentence. Suddenly my ideas became confused, and the presumptuous orator found himself in a state of anxiety, from which it was difficult for him to recover. At length I had :ecourse to my papers, written in the form of a deed, on one large sheet, I unrolled it slowly before the eyes of my audience, who were as much disturbed as myself; I placed it in my hat and continued my discourse with tolerable boldness.--Ardent youth! let my example teach thee to conduct thyself with more prudence. I presumed too much upon myself, I was punished for it, and I frequently afterwards deplored my foolish temerity: be wiser than I was!"
It is pleasing to see a man profit by his errors, and even disclose them for the benefit of others; as the mariner marks in his chart the fatal sands on which his vessel struck. From this incident Gellert
conceived a timidity, which he never was able to overcome, and which, together with bad health, weak lungs, and a memory not very firm, prevented him from becoming that ornament to the pulpit, which his early attempts promised, and engaged him to employ his talents in a different line.
His limited circumstances did not allow him to devote his whole time to the cultivation of his own talents. In 1739 he undertook the care of several pupils; and, zealous in the discharge of this important duty, he trusted not to his own strength; he prayed for superior assistance. On the right employment of the Sabbath he justly laid particular stress ; he considered it as "an indispensable means, and the most useful of all, for quickening our progress in religion and piety;"
“the use we made of the week.”
“For on that day, (he would say,) to withdraw ourselves from all carthly occupations, to make a serious examination of our hearts, to raise them to heaven, to nourish them with the truths founded on faith, is to fortify them for the whole week, to prepare ourselves for a faithful discharge of the duties of our calling. Amidst the tumults of the world, and the occupations of life, we too easily lose the sentiment of our weakness and misery, if we do not set apart a, certain portion of time for meditating on our insufficiency, and on the power and goodness of God; on our nothingness, and on his greatness. The better your disposition, the more active your zeal in discharging your duties, the more secure you may think your progress in virtue, the more reason you will have to fear the surprises of spiritual pride. Consecrate, therefore, the Lord's Day to acts of humility. Impress your heart deeply with the meditation of this great truth; that your existence, your felicity or your misery, your faith, your piety, are entirely and wholly dependent on the Supreme Being. Entertain a deep sense of the goodness of God, and of your own weakness. Awaken your mind to the sense of God's mercies; enjoy the conversation of your pious friends, rejoice in the felicity which is their portion, in the beauties and in the wonders of nature.”
This testimony from Gellert, whose assiduity in the discharge of the arduous duties of his station was unremitting, is surely a sufficient answer to those who plead the toils of the week as an apology for the dissipation in which they spend that day which God has claimed for himself. If to adore their Creator is burthensome; if to hold communion with their Redeemer, and gratefully to contemplate the wonders of his love is not a delightful employment: if a sense of their own insufficiency does not lead them to implore the assistance of the Holy Spirit; it is a sure proof that their hearts are not right before God; and no other argument is wanting to shew how necessary it is that they should diligently use all the appointed means of grace, and thankfully acknowledge the wisdom and goodness of God in having set a part one day in seven for peculiar attention to our spiritual concerns.
To the opinion of Gellert we may add the testimony of one, eminent for his profound knowledge of English law, and still more eminent for his unshaken integrity and exalted piety,
"God Almighty,” says Sir Matthew Hale, “is the Lord of our time, and lends it to us, and, as it is but just we should consecrate this part (the Sabbath) of that time to him, so I have found, by a strict and deligent observation, that a due observation of the duty of this day hath ever joined to it a blessing upon the rest of my time, and the week that bath been so begun hath been blessed and prosperous to me; and, on the other side, when I have been negligent of the duties of this day, the rest of the week hath been unsuccessful and unhappy to my own secular employments; so that I could easily make an estimate of my "success in my secular employments the week following, by the manner of my passing this day: and this I do not write lightly or inconsiderately, but upon a long and sound observation and experience."*
Gellert's exertions were not confined to literary objects; he was ready to embrace every opportunity of reclaiming a fellow-creature from his sins. His biographer has preserved a very interesting account of the assiduity, tenderness, and judgment, with which Gellert attended, during a severe illness, a young man, who had run into every excess of profligacy and profaneness. His pious efforts were blessed with success. The young man did not recover; but Gellert had the satis. faction of seeing that his death was that of a true penitent.
The character of his fables is thus summed up by his biographer:--The choice of subjects, the moral, the style, all please, all do honour to the judgment, the understanding, and the heart of the poet.” And in proof of the effect which they produced among his countrymen, the following interesting anecdote is related: .. "In the beginning of one winter he saw a Saxon peasant drive up to his door a' cart loaded with fire wood, who demanded of himself, whether he was not the gentleman who composed such fine tales ? On the answer he received, the peasant, joy sparkling in his eyes, with many excuses for the liberty he took, made Gellert a' present of the contents of his cart, as a feeble mark of his gratitude for the pleasure he had received from reading his tales."
When writing his sacred songs, she never set himself” observes the biographer, "to this employment without a serious preparation and without having his heart previously filled with the sentiment he wished to express.” They were eagerly received by all the friends of religion, and even by Roman Catholics, among whom Gellert's writings were exempted from the common sentence of exclusion passed upon heretical works.
In 1751 be obtained, together with a pension, the appointment of professor extraordinary in philosophy, and began to give public lectures on poetry and eloquence to a very numerous audience. In these he was careful to inspire his pupils no less with the love of virtue, than of the sciences." Nor did he confine himself to public instructions, all had free access to him; and, “whilst with all the marks of the tenderest interest, he recommended to them piety and virtúe, as the true road to happiness, his own example and the purity of his manners, added the greatest weight to his exhortations. Thus did this excellent man
"Directions touching the keeping of the Lord's Day, to his children
carry religion into every part of his life and conduct; it was his constant companion, his guide and the source of all his comforts.
His hypochondriac affection rendered his life a contiuued series of suffering. He sought for consolation in religion, and though he did not succeed in overcoming the horrors of imagination, we have no doubt that he thereby diminished their power. On the subject of Gellert's habitual melancholy, the biographer makes a judicious reflection.
“Many people in reading the life of Gellert, have been painfully affected by the idea of the almost incredible sufferings and melancholy, experienced by this man, who was so pious, and so good, who chiefly delighted in glorifying and imitating the author of his being, by spread ing happiness around him. But if Gellert had been less an object of compassion, he would certainly have been less great, less admired, and of course less useful.”
As Gellert advanced in years he found his imagination cool; and, abandoning the Muses, he resolved to compose a course of moral lectures. These added much to his celebrity ; his audience consisted often of four hundred persons; sometimes of more. Nor was he less useful by his familiar and friendly intercourse, with his pupils, and by his advice to numerous correspondents, than by his public lectures. The confidence reposed in him was indeed most extraordinary. “Fathers asked him for directions in regard to the education of their sons; mothers wished to receive his instructions as to the mode of forming the hearts and understandings of their daughters, and frequently consulted him concerning the offers of marriage which were made for them; young men requested him to advise them on their studies; to him many persons who had doubts concerning religion, addressed themselves to have them cleared up; and frequently people of the world asked his advice how to resist the temptations to which they were exposed.” To persons of every station of life his writings were useful; and by all ranks his character was respected and beloved.
Towards the close of Gellert's life an unhappy spirit of discord arose in the university : he alone, by exhortations and expostulation, succeeded in quelling it. Notwithstanding his mental depression, he enjoyed, by the force of religion, much inward tranquillity during the last five years of his life ; and, as he perceived the slow approach of death, his diligence in benefitting others, and his zeal for their spiritual welfare, seem to have increased. «The lessons,” to use the elegant language of his biographer, “which came from his lips had the charm of a fine summer's evening, at the moment when the sun sheds his last beams, and his absence deprives nature of its lustre, without taking from its beauty.” He prepared his moral lessons for the press, but did not live to superintend their publication. He expired in 1769 with the triumphant composure of a christian.
“During his last illness, a firm, but ever humble confidence in the mercy of God, through Jesus Christ, appeared to elevate him above himself; and melancholy, the constant companion of his life, did not dare follow him to the confines of eternity. He was delivered from his apprehensions, and, nevertheless, preserved a constant sense of his imperfections, and of his unworthiness in the sight of the Supreme