Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

known in this des-o-late re-gion; for the Bi-hle does not per-mit those who lis-ten to it, to re-main in such a condi-tion. It ap-pears to con-cern it-self only a-bout re-li-gi-on, but it re-al-ly em-bra-ces e-ver-y-thing; instruc-tion, schools, trade, com-merce, ag-ri-cul-ture, civil-i-za-tion, com-fort; so that the first thing to be done, when it is de-sired to keep peo-ple in ig-no-rance, is to pre-vent them from read-ing the Bi-ble—just as wick-ed men put out the light, when they are go-ing to com-mit a crime.

In-to this lit-tle ter-ri-to-ry, where rude-ness, ig-norance, pov-er-ty, and un-be-lief, seemed to have es-tablished them-selves as in an is-land of the South Sea, or among a tribe of Hot-ten-tots, came one day, in the year 1767, a young pas-tor, twen-ty-seven years of age, named O-ber-lin, who had ac-cept-ed this hum-hle po-si-tion be-cause no one else was wil-ling to do so. A pi-ous and be-nev-o-lent heart anx-ious to do good, an o-pen and cul-ti-va-ted mind to de-vise the best meth-ods, and a per-se-ve-ring will to car-ry them in-to prac-tice; these are three things es-sen-ti-al to use-ful-ness, and O-ber-lin pos-sessed them all in a rare de-gree. He set to work im-me-di-ate-ly, stri-ving to do two things, to re-new the peo-ple by the Gos-pel, and the coun-try by civ-il-i-za-tion ; thus fol-low-ing the ex-am-ple of our Lord Je-sus Christ, who dis-pensed at once tem-po-ral and spi-rit-u-al bles-sings. On the Sun-days he preached the Gos-pel, and by pro-claim-ing the love of our heav-en-ly Father, who " so loved the world that He gave His only be-got-ten Son, that who-so-ev-er be-liev-eth in Him should not per-ish, but have ev-er-last-ing life," he melt-ed the hard-est hearts, and made his pa-rish-ion-ers his friends, whilst he made them friends of Je-sus Christ. He

even called them his chil-dren, and they called him their fath-er. Then, du-ring the week, he set out at their head, pick-axe on shoul-der, dug chan-nels to re-ceive the wa-ters, raised walls to sup-port the soil, opened highways be-tween the vil-la-ges, and con-struct-ed a road and a bridge to com-mu-ni-cate with Stras-burg. This was not all. He im-port-ed po-ta-toes from Ger-ma-ny to re-new the spe-cies, and flax seed from Bi-ga in Eus-sia to nat-u-ral-ize it in the Ban de la Eoche; he es-tablished a sav-ings' bank, en-cou-raged in-dus-try, sent at his own ex-pense in-tel-li-gent youths to Stras-burg, to learn to be-come ma-sons, car-pen-ters, gla-ziers, far-ri-ers, and wheel-wrights; in-tro-duced cot-ton spin-ning; and by his in-flu-ence, which spread wide-ly, at-tract-ed into the dis-trict the fam-i-ly of Le Grand, of Basle, who found-ed a large rib-bon fac-to-ry, and be-came in tenvpo-ral and spi-rit-u-al things a rich bles-sing to the whole coun-try. After a min-is-try of six-ty years he fell asleep, at the age of eighty-six, in the midst of his weep-ing fam-i-ly, leav-ing a Christ-ian peo-ple where he had found hea-thens, and a pros-per-ous coun-tiy in place of a rude and sav-age one. Do not think that O-ber-lin did all this with-out op-posi-tion; you know what hit Mas-ter and ours has said, "If an-y man will come after me, let him de-ny him-self and take up his cross and fol-low me." O-ber-lin found the truth of this, as oth-ershave done; but he tried to "overcome evil with good," and he suc-ceed-ed. One day he was se-cret-ly warned that some peas-ants, op-posed to the Gos-pel and to his in-struc-tions, had re-solved to sur-prise him in a lone-ly place, and to ill-treat him, in or-der to de-ter him from car-ry-ing on his re-forms. A Sun-day was fixed up-on for the ex-e-cu-tion of the scheme. On this day O-ber-lin took for his text the

words of our Sav-iour, "Re-sist not evil, but who-so-ev-er shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the oth-er al-so." After the ser-vice, those who were in the plot as-sem-Med at the house of one of their num-ber to pre-pare for their deed, when sud-den-ly the door o-pened, and O-ber-lin en-tered a-lone. "My friends," he said, " here I am; I know your pur-pose. You wish to punish me ; doubt-less, be-cause you think me de-serv-ing of pun-ish-ment. Well, if I have been dis-o-be-di-ent to the truth which I preach to you, pun-ish me; I would rath-er sur-ren-der my-self to you, than that you should be guil-ty of the mean-ness of ly-ing in wait." What do you think these bad men did? They en-treat-ed his par-don, and from that mo-ment they strove to ef-face the mem-o-ry of their crime by do-ing all they could to pro-mote his be-nev-o-lent ob-jects.

Here is a man who did the work pre-pared for him by God, and for which God had pre-pared him. For who can think that O-ber-lin could have done bet-ter elsewhere than in the Ban cle la Roche, or that any oth-er per-son could have done his work bet-ter than he did? Ask his chil-dren, who still show to stran-gers with af-fection-ate pride the tomb of their good pas-tor, if he was not a-ble to say at his death, '' I have fin-ished the work which Thou gavest me to do."—A. Monod.

LESSON XOI. THE PEACH.

A farm-er brought to his chil-dren five beau-ti-ful

peach-es. They saw this fruit for the first time, and

ey vvere en-chant-ed with the love-Iy peach-es with ro-sy

eeks and vel-vet down. The fath-er gave one to each

of his four chil-dren, and the fifth to his wife. In the

eve-ning, as they were re-ti-ring to rest, he asked, '* Now, how have you liked your beau-ti-ful peach-es?"

"Ver-y much, dear fath-er," said the eld-est; " so ac-id and so soft! I have kept the stone of mine, that I may have a tree of my own."

"Well done," said the fath-er, "that was thought-ful; and you will make a good farm-er."

"I," said the young-est, "have eat-en mine, but I threw a-way the stone. My moth-er gave me be-sides half of hers. Oh! it ta-sted so sweet and melt-ing!"

"You have not done well," said the fath-er, "and yet it was nat-u-ral, for greed-i-ness is com-mon to children."

Then be-gan the sec-ond son, "I have cracked the stone which my lit-tle broth-er threw a-way, and there was a ker-nel in-side, which ta-sted like a nut. As for my peach, I sold it for as much as will buy twelve when I go to town."

But the fath-er shook his head. "Pray to God," said he, "to keep you from the sin of cov-et-ous-ness. And you, Ed-ward?"

"I have giv-en mine to George, our neigh-bour's son, who has lain so long in a fe-ver."

"Now," asked the fath-er, "who has en-joyed his peach the most?"

The three oth-ers cried out, "Broth-er Ed-ward!" but he a-lone was si-lent, and his moth-er kissed him with tears in her eyes—Erummacher.

LESSON XCII.—EYES AND NO EYES J THE ABT OF SEEING.

"Well, Rob-ert, where have you been waiting this" af-ter-noon?" said a tu-tor to his pu-pil, at the close of a hol-i-day.

Robert. I have been to Broom-heath, and so round by the wind-mill up-on Camp Mount, and home through the mead-ows by the riv-er side.

Tutor. Well, that is a ple as-ant round.

Robert. I thought it ver-y dull, Sir; I scarce-ly met with a sin-gle per-son. I would much rath-er have gone a-long the turn-pike-road.

Tutor. Why, if see-ing men and hors-es was your ob-ject, you would in-deed have been bet-ter en-ter-tained on the high road. But did you see Wil-li-am?

Robert. We set out to-geth-er, but he lagged be-hind in the lane, so I walked on and left him.

Tutor. That was a pit-y. He would have been compan-y for you.

Robert. 0, he is so te-di-ous, al-ways stop-ping to look at this thing and that! I would rath-er walk a-lone. I dare say he has not got home yet.

Tutor. Here he comes. Well, Wil-li-am, and where have you been?

William. 0, the pleas-ant-est walk! I went all o-ver Broom-heath, and so up to the mill at the top of the hill, and then down a-mong the green mead-ows by the side of the riv-er.

Tutor. Why, that is just the"round Rob-ert has been la-king, and he corn-plains of its dul-ness, and pre-fers the high road.

William. I won-der at that, I am sure; I hard-ly tot k a step that did not de-light me, and I have brought home my hand-ker-chief full of cu-ri-os-i-ties.

Tutor. Sup-pose, then, you give us an ac-count of what a-mused you so much. I fan-cy it will be as new to Eob-trt as to me.

William. I will do it read-i-ly. The lane lead-ing to

« ElőzőTovább »