« НазадПродовжити »
toward the office of the holy ministry. Even now he feels it to be his duty, and he has strong fears that he can never be happy in any other calling. He would long since set out in the way of his desires, but the difficulties ahead! He is poor. His friends will oppose him. The course of study is long. His labors cannot be dispensed with at home. He is entangled in the business of some other calling. He would have to forfeit some important worldly interests and advantages. What an array of terrible troubles lie in his path before him, it is true; yet he feels as if they must all be plain, and the path perfectly clear to the end, before he starts a step. He wants to cross the bridge before he comes to it. How he deceives himself. Does he not see how many others have started out with all these troubles ahead; and how they have overcome them as they met them, and reached the end of their desires ? What has been done, can be done; and what is more, what is to be done, ought to be done bravely, and it must be done if the current of life is to run in the right direction. Young man, gird yourself and go forward ; and be not so foolish as to spend your time in vain attempts to cross the bridge before you come to it.
Here is a christian-perhaps an afflicted one. He can bear his present trials, but how will he bear what is to come. He has courage now, but fears the giants of gloom in the path ahead. He does not knowor he forgets it--that strength is given as the day is; and that it is given in the day when it is needed, not before-grace suited to prosperity and to adversity; grace for health and grace for sickness; grace to live by and grace to die by; grace in the time of need, as it is needed, and in the degree needed. He forgets all this, and is quailing in view of troubles ahead; he is in agony to cross the bridge before he comes to it.
Ho! all ye who are ready to fall before the war begun, give your folly to the winds and be wise. Remember who hath said : Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof; why then seek ye to crowd to-morrow into to-day, and thus increase the troubles that are by the troubles to come. Why do you labor to cross the bridge before you come to it.
Little children, flowers from heaven,
Gems of morning,
Yes, we feel it,
Years reveal it-
DY THE EDITOR.
MEN do not feel as they ought, how much the well-being of individuals, of families, and of nations depends upon the influence of the church. It is truly the salt of the earth—the great, all-pervading preservative element: It is truly the light of the world, shedding beams of brightness and beauty upon all individual thought and feeling, and upon every social relation in the family and the State.
As a plain illustration of the truth of what we say, we need but refer to communities and circles of social life where the influences of the church is only feebly felt. There are in all country regions, as well as in cities, places which are familiarly called “dark corners”—places of ignorance and immorality, where the inhabitants are sunken to a low level of debasement, and where there is little refinement and higher social cultivation. In such places there is no church-going, and all its elevating influences are repelled and debarred. Parents are ignorant and low in their thoughts and feelings; youths are permitted to berd about without any aims or impulses above the instincts of an animal mind; the minds and affections of children grow wild and wayward without any direction as to the true meaning and end of human life. Such “corners” are always the pest-spots of the communities in the midst of which they exist. They are like stagnant pools, breeding reptiles and fearful things, while they send sickening and death-working malaria into all healthful regions around. What do such places need but the purifying and preserving salt of religion. Let the light of the church penetrate their darkness, let religion enter those abodes, let those families be made christian families, let the youth be brought under the elevating power of the church, and let the children be nurtured in its sanctifying bosom, and the “dark corner" will soon become bright, and the moral swamp of stagnant pools will give place to a garden of the Lord.
The influence of the church, if permitted to enter such a “dark corner,” would not only change the thoughts and feelings of those who have dwelt in darkness, but it would silently work change in their outward temporal condition. Idleness would give place to industry, cleanliness would take the place of filth in their abodes and in their clothing, rags would disappear and children would go forth in that tidiness which is a mark of true civilization; and a higher interest in one another would appear between husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters, as well as in social life generally. No one can deny this influence to religion. Its influence upon industry, cleanliness, and general outward refinement and prosperity is as clear as facts existing around us everywhere can make it. The degradation of the spirit is the source of all degradation; and when it is without religion there can be no true elevation beneath it. Christianity is the golden cord which binds hearts,
families and communities up to God and heaven; when that is broken off, hearts, and families, and communities will soon be turned into “dark corners."
Such "dark corners” always have some prominent ruling peculiarity about them. If they are in the country, they generally surround some low tavern or beer-shop. They are the places where shooting-matches, rafflings, and rude "hoe-down' dances are held. Here the old vultures linger and hang about, to allure the younger ones to the carcass. The ruling spirit of the place is ignorance and vice. You also generally find one or two “smart” infidels, or some pert universalists, who “know the scriptures,” around the place, acting in the way of pastors to breathe a pleasant, soothing influence upon any troublings of conscience that may arise. Hence you almost always find that such a "a dark corner" is at the same time either an infidel or universalist nest. It can only preserve itself, and keep out the influence of religion by keeping up some bitter prejudices against the church, its ministers and its people. We recollect one instance in which the tavern-keeper himself acted as priest over the “dark corner” which surrounded him. He “knew the scriptures,” he could “speak out of the scriptures like a preacher," and he could make it as plain as daylight to the red-noses ranged around him, that inasmuch as “there was no hell,” that therefore of such as they were would be the kingdom of heaven! On the way home to their desolate families and ignorant children, they would blubber to one another, “What a smart man; how he can explain the scriptures; that is just what I always said." Thus are the festering wounds of the soul soothed, and there is the cry of peace to those who sit in the darkness of their own misery, in sure prospect of still deeper gloom.
What does such a “dark corner” need ?- what but the church. There is no help for it, but in that which it hates. It is strange that such corners are often so long and entirely neglected by the church. Do you ask what is to be done for them? The answer is plain-plant a church into their midst. But you say there is one long-established within a mile of it, so that there is no room for one more. True-but they will not go to it, you must take the church to them. We mistake when we expect the darkness of the world to advance toward the light. They will not do it—they never did it. The light must seek them out. Christ did not wait for men to seek him, he went in search of them. Christianity is aggressive-it must be so. Go ye into the lanes, and dark places, do not wait for them to come to you. Go into these "dark corners” with the Sabbath-school, the Bible-class, the Church. Raise the standard in the midst of them. The light will then work its way. If it is too late to redeem the old, you can preserve the young; and if the church has the children of the present generation, it will have the parents of the next.
He that plants a tree is so far a benefactor to those who come after him; how much more he who erects a tent of the Lord in a “dark corner." Let it be ever so humble, it is a beginning that will work its own way. The tent may become a temple in the end; and there may be a "latter house" which will be greater in glory to that of the former. Christian reader, turn your attention towards that "dark corner" near you. There is a work for you there to do. Christian pastor, see that a small church is built in that neglected by-place, and you may live to see that “dark corner” a city on a hill.
The newspapers announce that some man of wealth is about making arrangements to erect a monument in memory of Dr. Franklin. The writer of the following lines deems such a movement is dero gatory to the honor of Franklin-implying as it does the apprehension that Franklin may be forgotten.)
BY JAMES AIKEN.
Aye! build his monument; but make it not
I almost fancy 'tis old Ben himself,
Life and Times of Zwingli.
LIFE AND TIMES OF ZWINGLI.*
Too little, we are sorry to say, is known in this country by the majority of readers concerning the eventful career of Ulric Zwingli, the compeer of Luther, the fearless champion of truth, and the religious warrior of the Reformation. Hitherto our means of information in regard to him have been extremely limited, being confined, for the most part, to several extremely meagre and defective biographies, written by men differing from him in doctrinal points, and totally deficient in that sympathy of thought and feeling which is absolutely necessary, in order that his motives and his course be presented to the reader in a proper light, that a just estimate of his character may be formed. The lucid narrative of D'Aubigne, on the Reformation, it is true, gave us a more complete and authentic sketch of him than any we before possessed; but still, the necessity of a life, well written, sufficiently comprehensive, and relieved from all foreign and extraneous matter, was felt to be a desideratum. Germany has long had several valuable biographies of him, but for want of a translator, their contents have remained inaccessible to most American readers. The book we have placed at the head of this article, we are happy to say, obviates this deficiency, and we are placed in possession of the best and most reliable history of this great man and his times, that has thus far made its appearance. Professor Porter, well known as the translator of numerous valuable works from the German, among which we may mention a most excellent and graceful version of that masterpiece of German literary art, the “ Herman and Dorothea" of Goethe, has accomplished an undertaking for which we thank him most heartily. In this article we shall attempt to give the reader a general idea of the work, quoting liberally therefrom as our purposes may demand, although well aware how imperfect such an attempt must necessarily be.
Ulric Zwingli was born on the first day of January, 1484, in the small village of Wildhaus, of parents in moderate circumstances, but pious inclinations. So far as can be ascertained at this distant day, the creed of the old Arabian philosophers, who maintained that the advent of every great man was heralded by some wonderful supernatural manifestation, was not verified at the birth of the Swiss reformer. Neither the heavens nor the earth gave mysterious signs that a child was born who in his manhood should wield a spiritual power which caused monarchs to tremble, and kingdoms to totter, and whose mighty influence, increasing day by day, will yet give the final blow that is to overthrow the spiritual ascendancy of that church, whose corruptions and wickedness form so foul a blot upon the religious nature of the human family, that the purification of ages seems almost unable to obliterate the stain.
Although partaking somewhat of the nature of the rugged Alpine region in which he lived, the youthful Zwingli early displayed a lively
• The LIFE AND TIMES OF ULRIC ZwinglI. Tranglated from the German of J. J. Hottinger, by Prof. T. C. Porter, of Franklin and Marshall College, Pa. pp. 421.