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'All things are yours and ye are Christ's.' He is touched by everything that is beautiful in nature and in art; and his charming songs have, therefore, awakened a responsive chord wherever the German language is spoken."
It was a great privilege to listen to a sermon by this celebrated poet-precher. We had reached Stuttgart on Saturday, and had devoted the afternoon to a ramble about the city and its environs. On Sunday morning we inquired, who was expected to preach in the principal churches. We had longed to hear Prelate Kapff, but were informed that he was not in the city. There would, however, be no disappointment, as Dr. Gerok was to occupy the pulpit of the "Schloss Kirche;" and to hear him, our informant seemed to think, was even a greater privilege.
It was still early, and we lingered awhile under the trees of a little park in the heart of the city. Most of the stores were closed, and the streets were perfectly quiet. It was a good time for reflection; and, with a degree of tenderness which can only be felt in a foreign land, we thought of our dear friends in America.
I thought, while day was breaking,
At ten o'clock we took our way to the ancient castle in which religious services were to be held. Entering the massive portal, we found ourselves in a paved court-yard, in which stood a statue of the celebrated Eberhard, the Bearded, Count of Wurtemberg. As strangers, we were admitted to the castle by a private entrance, and ascending a winding stairway found ourselves in the gallery of an ancient church.
After the singing of an anthem, Dr. Von Gerok entered the church and approached the altar. He is a small-featured, old man, with long white hair. He wore a black gown with a purple collar, and had a large gold cross suspended around his neck. With all these external decorations the service was exceedingly simple. The sermon, too, was almost childlike in its simplicity. In beauty of style it was, of course, unapproachable, but the contents were adapted to the humblest capacity.
The text was, "What lack I yet?" Matth. 19: 20. The preacher began by speaking of Paul's appearance before Agrippa, which had been the subject of one of the introductory lessons. He believed that Agrippa was sincere in saying, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." There are plenty like him now, who are half-persuaded to become Christians, and never get any further. In the same way the young man in the text was sincere, but he lacked something. He did not lack wealth, nor social position, nor knowledge of the Scriptures; for he was a scribe. 1. He lacked the power of knowing himselfhis deep sinful condition. It is a dreadful characteristic of the present age that men fail to recognize the sinfulness of sin. 2. The young man failed to see that he could not help himself, and that he needed a Saviour. 3. He failed in self-sacrifice. He could not stand the final test. How few there are who could do it now!
This meagre sketch may give some idea of the manner in which the preacher treated his subject, but it can afford no conception of the tenderness and pathos which pervaded his discourse. He evidently selected the simplest language, and preached with so much earnestness that the whole congregation was edified.
As we left the church, the clock struck twelve. Almost in an instant, the whole appearance of the city was changed. The bands began to play, and crowds of merry pleasure-seekers rushed out into the streets. The sweet stillness of the morning had departed, and we were now called to endure the bustle and confusion of a continental Sunday. We sought a quiet spot where we could feel that, for us, at least, the Lord's Day was not yet ended.
In the hope of enabling those of our readers who do not read German, some idea of the merits of Karl Gerok as a poet, we venture to append original versions of several of his minor poems. It has been said that metrical translations are like specimens in herbariums, whose living grace has fled forever; but surely there can be no harm in thus preserving the flowers of distant climes for the benefit of tho e who are not likely to seek them for themselves.
The following is one of the Sacred Poems:
Sanctified cedars in Lebanon's glade,
Under the oaks of my own native land,
Far in the east, on my wearisome way, Under the palm, in the heat of the day, Down from the coronet, waving on high, Sounded the zephyr's melodious sigh.
Now I come hither to rest at thy side,
Veteran summits of storm-shaken trees,
Tell me, where now is the emerald hall?
Trembling old sentinels, watching alone,
King of the wilderness, robbed of thy state, Tell me, I pray thee, the tale of thy fate! Syrian axes, perchance, struck thee down, Lightnings of heaven have shattered thy crown.
Symbol art thou of humanity's doom:
Sunk and degraded, the temple became, There on Moriah, a prey to the flame; Lebanon humbled its excellent head, Robbed of its crown, all its glory was fled.
Temples of marble no longer shall stand, Fashioned by men at Jehovah's command; Cedars of Lebanon, fashioned with care, Ne'er shall their beautiful canopies bear.
Souls of the righteous, forever, we know,
Storms blow in vain-they are sound to the
The following piece is of a more playful character. Though at first sight it appears somewhat irreverent, it certainly has no such intention. The author intends to satirize the spirit of self-confidence which was so prevalent after the last war with France, when the German nation rejoiced in its victories, but, too often, neglected to give the glory to God.
THE GERMAN BOY'S GRACE AT TABLE.
No day was ever brighter than
The news, to South, and East, and North,
The streets were decked with banners proud;
Of glory tired, at last he came, With tangled hair and cheeks aflame, But took his seat, and seized his plate. Bowed to his father, did not wait, His honest father frowned, and said: "Fritz! Thanks are due for daily bread!" Then Fritz at once rose from his chair; Folded his little hands in prayer; But, as the song still filled his head, He raised his eyes to Heaven, and said: "O Blessed Lord! No danger's ThineThy children stand to watch the Rhine!"
TRUE SOCIAL DIGNITY.
To be ashamed of their origin is just now in American society the weakness of the little minds that compose it. The man that rides in his carriage shrinks from the acknowledgment that the money that enables him to have it was earned by his father, with toil and patience, in a tan-yard, behind the counter of a shoemaker, or by honest industry in some other useful occupation below the (so-called) grade of the
merchant or professional man; as if the man did not honor the work, and not the work the man.
To such let Daniel Webster speak. Hear him: "It did not happen to me to be born in a log cabin, but my older brothers and sisters were born in one, and raised among the snow-drifts of New Hampshire, at a period so early that when the smoke arose from the rude chimney, and curled over the frozen hills, there was no similar evidence of a white man's habitation between that and the settlements on the rivers of Canada.
"Its remains still exist-I make it an annual visit-I carry my children to it to teach them the hardships endured by the generations that have gone before them. I love to dwell on the tender recollections, the kindred ties, early affections, and the narrations and incidents that mingle with all I know of this primitive family abode. I weep to think that none of those that inhabited it are now living, and if ever I fail in affectionate veneration for him who raised it against savage violence and destruction, cherished all domestic. virtues beneath its roof, and through fire and blood of seven years' revolutionary war, shrunk from no toil, no sacrifice, to serve his country, and raise his children to a condition better than his own, may my name and the name of my posterity be blotted from the memory of mankind."
And we add that he who is ashamed of the poor father and mother whose honest labor supported him in childhood, and who daily toiled to give him education, by which he has been able to rise to a condition above the one they occupied, is unworthy to be the associate of wise and good men. All such will despise him; and no matter how lofty he carries his head, he is nothing in the estimate of America's true
KISSING THE GROUND.
Solomon Hess, in his "History of the Reformation in Zurich," says, quoting from a writer of the latter part of the sixteenth century: "Cursing and swearing are sins which are but rarely com
mitted in Zurich. Since the Reformation, swearing by the saints has disappeared, in common with relics and images; and the pious Zurichers have not yet invented new oaths. When an oath escapes from any one, old or young, man or woman, it is made the duty of the bystander to compel the blasphemer to kneel down and kiss the ground, or to pay a fine. The fine is given in God's name, by him who receives it, to the first poor man he meets on the street. Cursing, that is, invoking a curse upon others, is regarded as contemptible, and is almost unknown. Profanity in children is punished by a severe reprimand, addressed to the parents by the minister, and to this there can be no exception."
Kissing the ground had been an ancient penance, which was preserved for a considerable time after the Reformation, as indicating the deepest humiliation. It seems to have been an appropriate employment for unclean lips.
WHAT DID WASHINGTON KNOW?
We don't like to be irreverent, but did our forefathers know? What, for we certainly would like to ask, what instance, did old George Washington know? He never saw a steam-boat; he never saw a fast mail train; he never held his car to a telephone; he never sat for a picture in a photograph gallery he never received a telegraphic dispatch; he never listened to the
fizz" of an electric pen; he never he never saw a self-propelling engine saw a pretty girl run a sewing-machine; heard of evolution; he down the street to a fire; be never never took laughing-gas; he never had a set of store teeth; he never attended an International Exposition; he never owned a bonanza mine; he never knew "Old Prob;" he-but why go on? No! when he took an excursion it was on a flat-boat; when he went off on a train it was a mule-train; when he wanted to talk to a man in Milwaukee he had to go there; when he had his picture taken it was done in profile with a piece of black paper and a pair of shears; when he got the returns from back counties they had to be brought in by a man
with an ox-cart; when he took aim at rich farmer this swells up to a good the enemy he had to trust to crooked-round sum. In Wales, among the barreled old flint-locks; when he wrote small farmers and traders, the custom it was with a goose-quill; when he had prevails to this day of "bidding" not anything to merd his grandmother did single guests, but whole families, to a it with a darning-needle; when he went wedding. That such an event is to to a fire he stood in line and passed come off, with the where and when, is3 buckets; when he looked at a clam he duly advertised in the local newspaper, never dreamed it was any relation of with a request that all persons who, in his; when he went to a concert he times past have been similarly obliged heard a cracked fiddle and an insane in that manner, will attend, bringing clarionet; when he had a tooth extracted presents for the bride and groom. Behe sat down and never left off yelling; sides this, particular and almost perwhen he got out of teeth he gummed emptory invitations, in writing, are sent his victuals; when he wanted an interna- to each household on whom the to-betional exposition he sent for Lafayette, wedded folks may have some especial and ordered his friends up from Old claim for former generosity under like Virginia with the specimens carefully circumstances. Presents of all sortslabeled in bottles; when he once got food, furniture, flour, fuel, table and hold of a nugget of gold from an In- chamber linen, even sheep, lambs, dian chief he felt rich; when he wanted calves, goats and ponies-are among the to know anything about the weather he gifts. consulted the ground-hog or the goosebone. When-but why go on? What did such a man know? Who was he, anyway?-Exchange.
TWENTY IMPOLITE THINGS.
1. Loud and boisterous laughing.
9. Reading aloud in company without being asked.
Wedding presents now so common in the first stage of matrimony, have come down from the feudal system. In almost all parts of the civilized world such things are given and received, and, we might add-expected. In a start in married life, certain necessaries in the way of furniture, crockery, and so on, were always acceptable. Rich people and feudal lords would not object, on the bridal of their daughters, to receive presents from their vassals. In different countries different modes prevail. The penny weddings in Scotland are peculiar. Invited guests make contributions in money. One shilling is the general tribute, and half a crown is the princely offering. Out of the sum thus collected the not very costly expenses of the feast were paid, and the surplus went towards buying the furniture. In the weddings of the poorer classes in Ireland, this levying contributions on guests never takes place. There is a collection, however, to raise a sum for liberally compensating the clerical gentleman who "has tied the knot," and in the house of a others.
10. Spitting about the house, smoking or chewing.
11. Leaving church before worship is closed.
12. Whispering or laughing in the house of God.
13. A want of respect and reverence for seniors.
14. Correcting older persons than yourself, especially your parents.
15. Receiving a present without an expression of gratitude.
16. Not listening to what one is saying in company.
17. Commencing to eat as soon as you get to the table.
18. Answering questions that have been put to others.
19. Commencing talking before others have finished.
20. Laughing at the mistakes of
SAVE "THE GUARDIAN."
The Librarian of a large public library recently gave an order to a bookseller to secure for him a complete set of "The Guardian," from the beginning down to the present time. He justly believed that such a series was well worthy of preservation among the literary treasures of our country. It was no trifling task to gather the scattered numbers, ranging through a period of thirty-two years, but we believe it has been nearly, or quite, accomplished.
If our readers have not been in the habit of preserving "The Guardian," we beg to remind them that the present is a good time to begin. At the end of a year or two they can have their numbers bound up into a handsome volume, which will afford them much pleasure and instruction in future years.
country. Moreover, if the "locator" wishes to purchase his homestead outright, he can do so at the end of sixmonths, paying for his land at the rate of $1.25 or $2.50 per acre, according to the provision of the law on the commutation of homesteads. The homestead act has been in operation 18 years, though much the same system of disposing of the public lands has existed for nearly 80 years, and up to the end of last fiscal year-June 30-the United States has donated to immigrants and others 16,265,337 acres. - Rural New Yorker.
ship is obtained. The only payment for such a bountiful grant is a petty fee amounting to $34 on the Pacific Coast and to $24 in any other part of the
JOHN NEWTON AND HIS BIBLE.
The Rev. John Newton, who was minister of St. Mary Woolnoth in London, spent the former part of his life at He was, as he tells us himself, a great sinner. From his youth up he had often had convictions, but never deeply felt his danger till in a homeward voyage his life hung in doubt before him. The vessel was in such peril that every hour seemed as if it would be the last. The supposed nearness of
IMMIGRATION AND THE PUBLIC LANDS.
The total number of immigrants to this country during the year ending June 30 last, was 660,239, against 451,902 for the twelve months ending June 30, 1880-an increase of 208,337. This is the greatest tide of immigration that eternity filled his mind with a solemn has ever flowed into these shores, and if dread. To die happily, he felt he had each new-comer added only $500 to the a need, a great need, he knew not of wealth of the country, the aggregate what. Filled with trouble, he rememwould, in six years, overtop the national bered that his mother was a great debt, if the rush continued equally large. reader of the Bible, and that she often A very large proportion of these are spoke with delight of what she found going West, many of them with the in- in it. He remembered also that she tention of "homesteading" so soon as had given him a Bible when he went to they can legally do so. Besides a fair sea, with entreaties that he would often opportunity to win a livelihood or a for- read it. He thought he must still have tune, the United States offers to every the Bible somewhere, but he could adult among them who "declares his in- hardly be certain. tention" of becoming a citizen, 160 acres of unoccupied public land in any State or Territory possessed of land subject to entry, on condition of actual settlement-dwelling upon and cultivating the soil embraced in the entry. At the end of five years of continuous residence, and improvement of the land, he can receive a patent for it, though the final title will not be issued until full citizen
Down he went to his chest, and at the very bottom of it found his mother's kind but long-neglected gift. He opened it with eagerness, and the first words that caught his eye were these: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him!" It came home to his conscience that it was the Holy Spirit that he wanted. He resolved to cry earnestly for this gift. He did cry, was heard and answered.