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Being. He fixed his thoughts on the beatitude to which he was ap proaching; and, to console his friends, distracted by the conviction that medical art tried in vain to prolong his days, he conversed with them on the glorious prospect before him.
“When Gellert had completed his temporal arrangements, master
the hairs of which already begun to whiten, he pronounced aloud such fervent prayers, animated with so deep a sentiment of humility, of gratitude, and of love for his God; his looks raised to heaven expressed such a profound peace, so celestial a joy, that it seemed to his friends as if they saw the image of a holy patriarch, a Jacob on his death-bed blessing his children. He endeavoured to recal to his remembrance all the particular blessings he had received from Divine Goodness; he specifically named all those of his friends who were still alive, many of his absent disciples, and recommended them in his prayers to the Divine favour and protection. But he did not wholly confine himself to the blessings he had received ; he recalled to his mind his faults, his weaknesses, and that with such a degree of humility, as produced an indelible impression on the minds of those present. This prayer was pronounced with a weak, but very intelligible · voice; and the fire of devotion with which it was animated, filled their eyes with tears and their hearts with a respect for his piety, beyond what they ever felt before.
"After having conversed and prayed for some time, he fell back on his bed, continued his meditations in silence, and thus prepared himself for the conversation of a worthy ecclesiastic in whom he had much confidence, and from whose hands he wished to receive the holy sacrament for the last time. On the entrance of this friend, the manner in which Gellert spoke to him of his death, shewed that nothing disturbed the inward calm of his mind. He was very attentive to all the words uttered by the pious minister, but nothing affected him more, nor excited in his heart a more lively sentiment of joy, than the consideration of the infinite love of the Redeemer towards mankind; and this sentiment was accompanied with the most profound respect, and the sincerest humility. When amongst the passages of scripture suited to his situation, these words taken from the history of Lazarus were pronounced, 'Lord, behold he whom thou lovest is sick";' penetrated with the sense of this passage,‘Ah,' exclaimed he, "might I be happy enough to be allowed to apply these words to myself! His pastor and his friends making him sensible that the christian, who seeks salvation only in the merits of his Saviour may be certain, he is the peculiar object of his love, he immediately applied this consoling promise to himself : “Yes, I hope it, O my Saviour, I hope that thou lovest me as one of thine own.
.The power of these sentiments so far exceeded that of his sufferings, that, in the midst of the most violent pains, no complaint fell from his lips, only he requested his friends to pray for him. One of these having asked him whether he suffered much ? :Most assuredly,' replied the pious sufferer, but these pains are supportable. You have already endured many evils with firmness and resignation,' added his friend, 'you will still continue to suffer with Christian fortitude, that religion which has strengthened you during your life, will support you in the hour of death. Alas, my dear friend,' replied Gellert "I am a weak man, a poor sinner; pray for me that I may not yield to temptation." Sincere as was this confession, as sincerely did he think himself certain of obtaining pardon, through the merits of the Redeemer.
On hearing of his danger, Mr. Heyer came to Leipsick to see him ; the moment Gellert perceived him, he said, “This is a truth, and wors thy to be received of all men, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; this, my dear friend, this is my confession of faith on my death bed. But,' continued he with visible joy, 'mercy has been extended to me; yes, God extends his mercy to me; this is what I moreover acknowledge; it is in this hope that I live, and am going to die.' He then set himself to exalting aloud, and in the most affecting manner, the infinite mercy of God.
«These pious dispositions manifested themselves particularly in his last communion; and though his illness had already reduced him to a deplorable state, he collected all his remaining strength, in order to acknowledge his faults, and make his confession of faith; and the ardent zeal with which he was animated, must have absorbed, at that moment, all his sense of suffering. He applied to himself all the promises of grace, which the deeply affected minister placed before him from the Gospel, with the utmost ardour, and with a tone of voice which announced the celestial joy with which his heart overflowed; he called on those who witnessed this act of religion to edify themselves, with him, and to celebrate the glory of the Divine mercy. He at the same time assured the minister, that he had never felt so entirely the comfort and efficacy of the evangelical promises ; and that at this, more than at any other time, he felt how much those are to be pitied who refuse to seek their consolation in the Saviour's merits.
Notwithstanding the violence of his disorder, nothing could disturba the courage and serenity of his soul; and he discovered none of those marks of weakness, which are too often seen in similar circumstances, even in true Christians.
“The physicians, in the mean time, tried every thing their art could suggest, to save his life. The news of his desperate state reached the Elector : much affected by the situation of this most useful citizen, he ordered the able Demiani to go to Leipsick, and to join his endeavours with those of the university physicians, to save a life he so much valued, and desired to have an exact account of the success of their united efforts. Gellert submitted to all their experiments with admirable patience & courage; no complaint escaped him, though out of four and twenty hours he was constantly obliged to pass sixteen under the surgeon's hands. All, however, was in vain, neither the skill and assiduity of his physicians, the zeal and friendship by which they were animated, nor the kind attention of his sovereign, could arrest the deparJure of that life, which every one so ardently wished should be prolonged. In the midst of the violent pains attending on an inflamation of the bowels, the pious sufferer was occupied with the passion of his Saviour, who he said, had suffered infinitely more to obtain for him the pardon of his sins; and his soul was so entirely absorbed in the contemplation of this salutary death, that bę appeared little alive to the sense of his own sufferings. So much strength and courage does religion communicate to the dying Christian !
"The fresh proof he received of the interest taken in him by the Elector, on the arrival of a physician belonging to the court, excited his gratitude, and he loudly praised God for this consolation. But," added he, as if fearful of yielding too much to the pleasure it gave him; let us not place our trust in princes, they cannot help us, however good they may be, and whatever desire they may have to be useful to us; my help comes from God! When M. Demiani expressed to him the
esteem and affection the prince had for him, and the alarm his illness occasioned at court, Gellert shed tears of gratitude. He fervently prayed for the prosperity of so good a sovereign, and for that of all, his family. The sufferings of our Saviour being constantly in his thoughts, he compared afresh his state with that of Jesus on the cross; observing that mere subjectas he was, he died honoured with the compassion of his prince, whilst the Redeemer of mankind had not even obtained justice from men. At a moment when the disorder seemed to have attained its height, he exclaimed with a sigh, 'O what sufferings ! But,' resumed he immediately, 'what are those sufferings in comparison of those of my Saviour! He was reviled by those about him, and I, unworthy creature, experience the good will of my prince!' Thus he intermixed acts of thanks for temporal benefits, with testimonies of gratitude for the great blessing of redemption; and thus in prayers, continually renewed, he implored without ceasir.g his pardon, and the completion of his salvation. His intimate friends resident at Dresden, and in particular his beloved Wagner, had hastened to see him ; he consoled them with the most affecting tenderness, and required from them no other office than that they would pray for him, and help him to elevate his mind to God, when the violence of his disorder should make it impossible for him to pray himself with, uninterrupted fervour. "I find it vifficult,' said he, to follow what is addressed to me, only repeat to me the name of Jesus ; whenever I pronounce it or hear it pronounced by others, I feel myself animated with new strength, and fresh joy. Full of these sentiments, his deliverance drew nigh. His extenuated body decayed gradually ; his soul maintained itself in that happy tranquillity arising from hope. The day preceding his death, some hours' rest gave him power to renew his prayers for his sovereign, his relations, and friends, and the disciples who had been entrusted to his care; he named them all and blessed them. His wishes in their behalf was his only return to the world he was leaving. At length he thought he felt the final approaches of death, and wished to know of his friends how much longer he might have to struggle with it. On being answered, perhaps an hour; 'God be praised,' said he, with looks of joy, and raising his hands, 'only one more hour! Then with a still more serene countenance, he turned on his side, prayed to God in silence, and in the midst of this prayer, and those of all present, who surrounded his bed, he slept the sleep of death, on the 13th of December, 1769, at midnight.”
The death of Gellert was universally lamented throughout Germaay: and his brother, the superintendant of the post, survived the grief of his loss but a month.
Possessed of enlightened benevolence, he constantly endeavoured to promote both the temporal and everlasting happiness of his fellow ereatures. With a slender revenue he was more liberal than many who live in affluence. “His moderation constituted his riches.” On one occasion when a present was offered him, “I want for nothing," said Gellert, "and many more deserving people are in indigence ; give them what you had the goodness to intend for ine” In such a mind it is unnecessary to add, that friendship glowed with the purest flame.
But perhaps one of the most peculiar features in the character of Gellert was his humility. It was not that false shame, that disguised vanity, which frequently prevents men of talents from benefitting society as much as they might; it was a just consciousness of human imperfection, which led him to court the advice of his friends, to submit his compositions to their examination, and to be thankful for their censures. . We are naturally desirious to know by what means Gellert attained to such eminence in the practice of Christian virtue. His biographer has afforded us ample information on this interesting subject. Gellert was frequent in the perusal of scripture, regular both in his private devotions, and in his daily attendance on public worship. During the last seventeen years of his life he kept a journal, chiefly composed of observations on his spiritual state. It contains lamentations on account of his weakness; resolutions of amendment; prayers for the pardon of sin, for divine grace, and for repose of conscience. Hence it was, that to use the words of his biographer, whis thoughts in solitude, his conversation in society, the lessons he gave his scholars, his writings, his letters, his labours, his recreations, all that he said and did, was animated by the spirit of religion.”
REFORM, The editors of the New-York Journal of Commerce have received from Washington the bill reported by the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, to erect “the establishment of the Attorney General” into an Executive Department. It proposes some important changes in the various duties heretofore assigned to the State and Treasury Departments. The Secretary of State is to be divested both of that portion of his official patronage, which has hitherto been deemed a means of corruption to the press, viz: the superintendance of the publication of the Laws of Congress, and also of the supervision of the Patent office. The Treasury Department is to be deprived of the superintendence of all suits and other legal proceedings in which the Federal Government is a party; all which duties and powers are to be vested in the Attorney General. All opinions given by that officer, upon questions involving the construction of an Act of Congress, or of the Federal Constitution, together with an annual report of the condition of the business committed to his Department, shall be transmitted to the President, to be, by him, laid before Congress. The salary is to be raised from $3500 to $6000. A chief Clerk learned in the Law, with an annual salary of $3000, and five Assistant Clerks, with inferior salaries are to . be appointed. Balt. Gazette.
We learn from Capt. Cordell, of the schooner Oristella, which sait ed from Port au Prince, on the 31st January, that the Spanish frigrate Casilda, from Havana, had been there for 14 days, having landed an Ambassador with authority to demand from the Haytian Government, the Spanish part of the Island. It is well known that St. Domingo was formerly divided between the French and Spaniards--the western part being allotted to the former, and the eastern to the latter. France has but recently relinquished her claims to the territory formerly under her jurisdiction, and that only on condition of the payment of a large sum of money in the shape of indemnity to the French colonists. Spain now comes forward to enforce her claims, by demanding the restitution of her former territory. This of course will be refused, and it remains to be seen whether she will repeat the experiment in Hayty which has been made so unsuccessfully in Mexico. A blockade of the island is anticipated.-Jour. of Commerce.
FROM BUENOS AYRES. Accounts from Buenos Ayres state that Gen. Rosas was elected Governor and Captain General of the Province on the 6th of December; and on the 8th he was installed : the Congress invested him with extraordinary powers. A decree has passed, doubling the former pepalty for keeping arms, without express permission. $150 is now to be paid for having an English musket, 140 for a French carbine, 120 for an officer's sword, &c.
: JEWS IN PRUSSIAN POLAND AND SILESIA. * Two members of the Committee of the Berlin Society for promo, ting Christianity among the Jews, during the course of the last summer, says the London Jewish Expositor, undertook a journey through a part of Prussian Poland, in order to ascertain the real state of the Jews, with reference to missionary exertions. They agree in stating their conviction, that a great work is going on among the Jews in the district they visited,
Professor Schiebel gives a very gratifying account of the increase of Jewish proselytes in Silesia. Two Jewesses have lately been baptized. Three respectable Jewish-Christian families have for some time been in the habit of assembling regularly with a few other Christian families of their own rank, for reading the Scriptures. The Jews of Breslau and the neighborhood, who are very numerous, are chiefly of the.“enlightened" class.--N. Y. Observer,
The Treasurer of the Evangelical Lutheran Missionary and Educațion Society of Maryland and Virginia, acknowledges the receipt of the following Money... From Miss Rebecca Bayer Treasurer of the Missionary and Education Society of the city of Frederick...
$41;, : : 1) LEWIS MEDTART, Treasurer: