Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

overstepping the path, and of being Rinderhorn, in the year 1782 ; after plunged into the abyss beneath; hence which, the road leads into an open tract great caution is necessary on the part of of pasture ground of very great extent. the traveller to avoid such a catastrophe. Handerstag, which is the largest vilThe sure-footed mule, however, here lage in the valley, stands about six miles never makes a false step, but cautiously from Schwarenback, and is beautifully turns at every angle, keeping close to the situated in a rich and fruitful country, wall for its safety:

with 700 or 800 scattered inhabitants, The pass of the Ghemmi, indeed, is whose cottages and chalets are of a very seldom traversed by the tourist, from the picturesque appearance. known risk and dangers by which it is After travelling this mountain district, beset.

it is impossible to avoid admiration at the When at the top, steady nerve is re- ingenuity displayed by the Romans, who quired to contemplate the extreme height are said to have first constructed the pass of the rocks, and the vast depth of the of the Ghemmi. But whilst admiring precipices; and instances have occurred this work of art, and this specimen of of travellers missing their footing, fall- the ingenuity of man, should we not ing into the abyss, and being dashed to much more admire the Creator, who by pieces. The effect, however, of the his word caused these enduring pyramids scenery in ascending by this winding of nature to appear, and which still repath is sublime. At one moment you main unshaken by conflicting elements, appear as if engulfed amidst rock and and unimpaired by the ravages of time, stone, with nothing in sight but the sky monuments of his power and goodness? above; the next, on a sudden turn, a Let us, then, adore and acknowledge, magnificent scene, with extensive and with reverence, the wonders of God's majestic prospects, bursts into view. In wisdom, who in everything that he has this part the height reached is more than created, from the smallest grain of sand 700 above the level of the sea.

to the highest mountain, displays his own On proceeding towards Handerstag, perfections. On the heights, as well as an immense plain is traversed where in the deep places, in mountain and in little or no vegetation is to be seen, save vale—above and below the earth-may here and there a little grass to support we not exclaim, "Thou showest thyself the sheep that are seen grazing; around the benefactor of thy creatures." all besides is desolation, with numerous

M. T. beds of snow, and a lake said not to be supplied by springs, but by water from

FIDELITY OF A DOG. the melted snow of these mountains, A DRUNKEN rat-catcher of the name of which during the greater part of the Tindesley, well-known at Hampton Court year remains frozen.

The cold in this and its neighbourhood, was always folregion is intense, nor can anything ex- lowed by a large, rough, half-starved ceed the dreary aspect of the naked lime looking terrier dog. The rat-catcher and stone rocks, which form the summit of his dog were inseparable companions, and the pass; hence, welcome, indeed, is the one looked just as wretched as the other, picturesque little chalet of Schwaren- In May, 1834, the rat-catcher was found back, which soon after comes into sight, dead in a ditch near Thames Ditton. He being about a mile and a half from the must have fallen into it when he was summit, and where refreshment and rest drunk. When he was discovered, the may be obtained, though the former is of dog was seen endeavouring with all his a simple kind, consisting of excellent might to drag the body out of the ditch, milk, "home-made bread, and honey ; ) and in his efforts he had torn the coat there is here, however, sufficient day from the shoulders of his master. The accommodation for a number of travel dog had saved his life on two former lers with their guides and mules; and, occasions, when he was nearly similarly upon an emergency, lodgings can be ob- circumstanced.---Jesse. tained for the night.

Shortly after leaving the chalet, the path gradually descends-passing by frag

PEDANTRY. ments of rocks and forests, the former PEDANTRY crams our ears with learned reported to have been brought down by lumber, and takes out our brains to make an avalanche from the Alp called the room for it.--Colton.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

THE OSTRICH.

sisting on grain and herbage, and making The ostrich has been celebrated from use of a great quantity of small stones the remotest antiquity. In the Bible for the purpose of triturating its food. repeated reference is made to it; and we

When aitacked, it trusts for escape to read in the book of Job, “that the Lord its speed, and elevating itself to its full answered the patriarch out of the whirl- height, it runs off with prodigious velowind, and said,

city, assisting itself with its wings. Dr. " Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks ? Shaw, in his “ Travels in Arabia,” says, Or wings and feathers unto the ostrich ?

I had several opportunities of amusing Which leaveth her eggs in the earth,

myself with the actions and behaviour of And warmeth them in dust, And forgetteth that the foot may crush them,

the ostrich. It is very diverting to obOr that the wild beast may break them.

serve with what dexterity and equipoise She is hardened against her young ones, as though of body it would play and frisk about on

they were not hers; Her labour is in vain without fear;

all occasions. In the heat of the day, Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, particularly, it would strut along the Neither hath he imparted to her understanding.” | sunny side of the house with great ma

This remarkable bird lives in the jesty. It would be perpetually fanning sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa, sub- and priding itself with its quivering

MARCH, 1846.

[ocr errors]

sun

DR. MERLE D'AUBIGNE.

expanded wings, and at other times it | incubation, are of a blackish-brown, would continue its fanning vibratory mixed with a dirty yellow colour. The movements. With their help it will go ostriches farther north appear merely to faster than the fleetest horse, and with lay their eggs in the warm sand, the two black boys on its back.” M. Adan- female sometimes sitting on them during son saw one proceed with the greatest the night; but in general the rays of the velocity round the village; and it was are sufficiently powerful to hatch impossible to stop it except by putting them without any assistance on her part. some obstacle in the way which it could She watches the young that are produced

F. not pass. The sight pleasing him, he with maternal regard. directed a full grown negro to mount one, and two men another, and the weight did not seem to encumber the ostriches. At first they went at a moderate gallop, but their speed soon in Dr. Merle D'Aubigné was a youthful creased so much that they seemed hardly student in Socinian theology in the Colto touch the ground. They ran, he says, lege of Geneva, when, in the year 1816, like the partridge, and he believed that it pleased God to send Mr. Robert Halthey would outstrip the fastest English dane, a remarkable Scottish Christian, on race-horses for a short distance, although a visit to that city. This man soon beif it was continued it would end to their came acquainted with a number of the disadvantage. With all their speed, students, and conversed with them famihowever, they do not run in a straight liarly and profoundly concerning the gosline, but wheel round in eireles of a pel. He found them in great darkness. greater or less extent, so that the Arab * Had they been trained,” says he, “in huntsman is able, after a very difficult the schools of Socrates or Plato, and enchase, to approach and slay them with joyed no other means of instruction, they their clubs, preferring that weapon, that could scarcely have been more ignorant an effusion of blood may not spoil the of the doctrines of the gospel. To the feathers. These are chiefly obtained Bible and its contents their studies had from the wings, which in a bird of full never been directed. After some conplumage contain forty; the tail feathers versation, they became convinced of their seldom exceed nine inches in length, and ignorance of the Scriptures, and of the are of so little value that they are sel- way of salvation, and exceedingly desirdom exported from the Cape; as the ous of information." birds when killed are generally found The two students with whom Mr. with their tails worn to the stumps from Haldane at first conversed brought six working in the sand, especially during others in the same state of mind with the season of incubation.

themselves; and with them he had many A great diversity of opinion has been and long conversations. Their visits beheld as to the mode of nidification of came so frequent, and at such different the ostrich. In the south of Africa the hours, that at length he proposed they bird covers its eggs like the fowl or part- should all come together; and it was ridge; the male being polygamous, seve- arranged that they should do so three ral females lay their eggs in one nest, times a week, from six to eight o'clock which is a hollow cavity scraped in the in the evening. This gave him time to sand with a rim round its edge, so that converse with others, who, from the reone bird can cover the greater part of port of the students, began to visit him, them. Many others are scattered around, as well as leisure to prepare what might which are said to serve as nourishment to be profitable for their instruction. He the young ones when hatched, before took the Epistle to the Romans as his they are capable of digesting harder subject; and, during the whole of the food. The male sits on them at night, winter of 1817, until the termination of the females doing so alternately in the their studies in the summer, almost all day time. “On the least noise,” says the students in theology regularly atDr. Shaw, or trivial occasion, she for- tended. sakes her eggs or her young ones, to

This was

a most remarkable movewhich, perhaps, she never returns, or if ment of Divine Providence, one of the she does, it may be too late.” The most remarkable to be found on record. young, which appear in forty days from What renders it more astonishing is the the commencement of the period of fact that Mr. Haldane at first was obliged

to converse with these students through a simple question, but it came home to an interpreter, in part at least, so that he his conscience: it was the sword of the could not have then conveyed to them Spirit, and from that time he saw and the full fervour of his feelings, or the felt that his heart was indeed corrupted, fire of the truth as it was burning in his and knew from the word of God that he own soul. Nevertheless, these singular could be saved by grace alone in Christ labours, under circumstances so unpro- | Jesus. mising, were so blessed by the Divine Felix Neff, that Alpine missionary of Spirit, that sixteen out of eighteen young apostolic zeal and fervour, was another men, who had enjoyed Mr. Haldane's of these young converts. Never was the instructions, are said by Dr. Heugh to seed of the gospel sown to better effect have become subjects of Divine grace. than in these hearts. Such an incursion And among the students thus brought of Divine grace within the very citadel beneath the power of the word of God of error was anything but acceptable to was the future historian of the Reforma- its guardians; but how could they resist tion, young Merle D'Aubigné.

it? Who knows how to shut the heart, D'Aubigné himself has described this when God opens it? What “ Venerable remarkable movement. Rev. Adolph Mo- Company of Pastors ” can stand before nod, of Paris, was a fellow-student at the door, and keep out the Divine Spirit, this time with D’Aubigné and dates his when he chooses to enter? The strong own conversion also to the efforts of Mr. man armed must give up his house, Haldane. The professor of divinity in when a greater than he comes upon him. the university of Geneva, at that time, Nevertheless, an attempt was made on instead of teaching the students the pe- the part of the “Venerable Company culiar doctrines of Christianity, confined to have Mr. Haldane banished from the himself to lecturing on the immortality country, and it was proposed that he of the soul, the existence of God, and should be cited to answer for the docsimilar topics. Instead of the Bible, he trines he was teaching to the students. gave them quotations from the writings They would more justly have cited Paul of Seneca and Plato. These were the in the Epistle to the Romans : all was of two saints whom he delighted to hold up no avail; the light of the gospel was to the admiration of his students. A diffused to a remarkable degree, and the work on the Divinity of Christ having been religious excitement and knowledge in published by an evangelical clergyman, Geneva went on steadily increasing: to such an extent did the opposition The movement among the students had against the truth prevail, that young doubtless been greatly helped and forD'Aubigné, and the rest of the students, warded by the remarkable and almost were induced to meet together, and issue simultaneous conversion and efforts of a declaration against the work and its Dr. Malan among the ministers and pious author.

teachers. It was of God that Mr. HalAt this juncture it was that D'Aubigné dane should visit Geneva at that time. heard of the visit of Mr. Haldane. He Dr. Merle D'Aubigné finished his uniheard of him as the English or Scotch versity studies, and repaired to Berlin, in gentleman, who spoke so much about the Germany, Thence he was invited to Bible, a thing which seemed very strange Hamburgh, to become pastor of a French to him and the other students, to whom Protestant church in that city. After the Bible was a shut book. He after- five years spent in that station, he was wards met Mr. Haldane at a private called by the king of Holland to Brussels, house, along with some other friends, where he became pastor of an evangeliand heard him read, from an English cal church, and chaplain to the king. At Bible, a chapter from the Epistle to the the time of the revolution in Belgium, in Romans, concerning the natural corrup- 1830, when D’Aubigné was four days tion of man, a doctrine in regard to and four nights amidst cannon balls and which he had never before received any conflagrations in the city, he escaped, instruction. He was astonished to hear with no small risk of his life, into Holof men being corrupt by nature; but land, and thence returned to his native clearly convinced by the papers read to city. Immediately after this step, the him, he said to Mr. Haldane, “ Now I new school of theology was founded and do indeed see this doctrine in the Bible.” established, and D'Aubigné accepted in “Yes,” replied the good man, “but do it the office of professor of ecclesiastical you see it in your heart?” It was but history and homiletics.

While on his way. to Berlin, the mind | indeed, a true book of devotion. It is of D’Aubigné encountered the extraordi- precious for the clearness and power with .nary impulse which was the germ of his which it presents the work of the Spirit great work on the History of the Re- of God, especially in tracing the deep formation. He had passed the little town conflict and experience of Luther, Zuingof Eisenach, which was the birthplace of lius and others, the great process of inLuther, and was visiting the castle of ward and external trial through which the Wartburg, where the great reformer Gød carried them, to fit them for the had been, at such a critica era, safely part he would lead them to perform. imprisoned from his enemies. He gazed D'Aubigné's views of Christian doctrine, upon the walls of the cell that Luther and of the institutions and ordinances of occupied. How many men of piety, of the church of Christ, his views, also, on the learning, of genius, have stood and gazed nature of the liberty with which Christ in like manner ! But in the mind of makes his people free, eminently fitted him, D'Aubigné a great thought was rising; the in an age when the fetters of a great spiri. drama of the lives of the reformers passed tual despotism are again sought to be claspin vision before him ;--what if he should ed upon mankind, to show to the world write the History of the Reformation ? the church of Christ in her simplicity, her The impulse was strengthened by re- freedom, her true unity and beauty. flection; he devoted himself to ecclesias By this great work he has gained the tical researches, and so the providence of reputation of the greatest of modern hisGod led him to the commencement, as torians; a work translated, it is said, into we trust it will preserve him for the com- the tongue of every Protestant people, pletion, of that great work. It is a work and of which already there are no fewer which will one day cluster around its own than five translations in the English lanhistory a series of associations and remi- guage. The truth is, there never was a niscences, like those that crowd the cell work more remarkably adapted to the of Luther in the Wartburg. And we wants of the age, and the nature of the should like to see a picture of D’Aubigné trial through which the church of Christ standing in that cell, gazing on those is still passing. The same may be said walls, and listening to the inward voice of the character and experience of D'Auwhich was saying to him, Thou art to bigné himself, with his coadjutors in write the history of this great Reforma- Geneva, in the work and way in which tion. The visit was of God, as much as God is there leading them. Robert Haldane's visit to Geneva; but it I shall not soon forget an evening's is not often that the links of Divine Pro- walk and conversation of great interest, vidence can be so distinctly traced, espe, which it was my privilege to enjoy with cially when they pass from outward D’Aubigné, just before I left Geneva. events into inward purposes.

We passed along the magnificent face of D’Aubigné was prepared for that work Mont Blanc in the sunset, and returned by many qualities and studies, but by over the hill by the borders of the lake none more than that earnest simplicity beneath the glow of twilight, in the of character, which makes him under- deepening shadows of the evening. He stand and sympathise perfectly with the spoke to me with the kindest openness simplicity and earnestness of the re and freedom of his History of the Reformers, and that deep piety, which leads formation, especially the part he was then him to see and to trace God rather than engaged upon, the length of time before man, in the Reformation. To make his he should be able to issue another vohistory, he went to the reformers them- lume, and the impossibility of pleasing selves, and not to what men have said the opposing parties in his account of the about them; and both the reformers and Reformation in England. He told me their work he has judged by the word of that he was quite beset with the multiGod. By his dramatic and descriptive tude of letters which were sent to him, power, he sets the reformers acting and urging him to set this, and that, and the speaking in his pages; the work is a other points in such and such a light, great historical epic.

beseeching him to do justice to the EnBut the greatest charm and value of glish church, each man wishing to colour his history is the heavenly impression it his history through the medium of his leaves upon the soul—the atmosphere of own opinions and prejudices. love to Christ, and of fervent, spiritual It is not difficult to see on which side feeling pervading it, which makes it, the sympathies of the author belong; but

« ElőzőTovább »