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and thither. The mill-wheels which saw the timber, grind grain and whirl spindles, make all the noise and clatter; but the streams which keep them in motion, and which float commerce on their bosom, have their origin in little springs among the hills; and all the politics, enterprise, and prosperity of the world, owe their existence and progress to the unobserved, and oftentimes uncompensated studies of the patient scholar. "The roots of nettles themselves," says Bacon, "are smooth; but they bear stinging leaves.'' It is your philosopher at Ferney who revolutionizes France; and the sage of Northampton, with his strong theories and theology, who helps to build New England on the basis of order, truth and equity.
It was not peculiar to the days of Esop for some members of the body to impute laziness to others, which performed their functions with less noise and locomotion. The godfather of He sends a letter by the public post, to his indefatigable son, addressed to “M. Heyne, idler at Leipsic.” If any man in this world belongs to the laboring class,' if we must use a cant phrase for which we have no liking, it is a Christian student. That expression does not define the mode of labor, as though he only was subject to toil who uses a particular set of muscles. He is of the working order who taxes his thought, as really as he who wields a sledge or plies a spade. As really? More, by far. The field-laborer and the artisan throw down their tools at sunset, and their sleep is sweet; when an excited brain cannot stop its work by the clock, but keeps its wheels in motion through the dreams and restlessness of a sleepless night. He who delves in books for the radicals of words, works no less than he who digs in the ground for esculent roots. The professor with his class, the attorney with his brief, the minister at the altar, (the ministry! we speak now of labor unrelieved by the compensatory law of the Sabbath,) labor no less than if they chopped wood instead of logic; and a herdsman with all his cattle, toils not half so hard as the faithful teacher who presides over the restless group of a well-stocked school-room. Centuries ago, Pythagoras, when asked what he was, and what he was doing, referred Hiero to the Olympic games, where some came to try their fortune for the prizes; some as merchants to exchange their commodities; some to make good cheer and meet their friends, and others, and he himself among them, were simply lookers on. A good description this of contemplative philosophy as it once was; but not as it now is. Philosophy, informed and reformed by a beneficent Christianity, is no more an idle spectator of the world; neither does it disdain all contact with the vulgar earth, aspiring to a home among the stars. It is a grand motive power for the world's good. It has enlisted its skill and sciences in the service of man.
Nothing which promotes his convenience and comfort is beneath her regard. The sophist spider, spinning webs from its own bowels, is converted into the useful bee, enriching itself from all the treasures of the open fields, and garnering up its sweet and nutritious stores for the use of man. And to such a degree has Christianity already wrought her reforms, that while intellectual power sometimes breaks off into eccentricity and vagaries, it is not so easy, after all, for any man to lose himself among the stars, or shipwreck his common sense against the moon. The grand purpose of Christianity is to improve and perfect mankind in every part and property of their nature; and by that general law we are bound in all our pursuits, to the service of the practical and the useful. The adventurous æronaut, ascend high as he may, cannot go beyond the attraction of the world to which he belongs, nor can he forget that the silken island in which he floats, and the gaseous power which bears him up, are themselves the product of that world he may affect to despise, but to which he must at length return.
Fellow-laborers, then, in a literal sense, are all true men, in the grand purpose of making the world better. Nor can there be a pursuit which is true and good, which does not contribute its aid to this common end. Worthy of more abundant honor, oftentimes, are those whom the world least notices and applauds. They are not the greatest of men, who, decked with plumes and gold, have trampled on all justice, law, and mercy, to satisfy the cravings of a mad ambition, and rise to martial fame and conquest. They are not the highest among men, who have attained to enormous wealth, to be expended only for purposes
of display and luxury, pomp and trains attendant. Nor yet they, to whom belong a greater affluence and power, even that of exalted intellect, yet abused and perverted to mislead and destroy, rather than instruct and bless. The true rule and measure of greatness---and the world will certainly one day discover it is embodied in the words of him who, greater, richer, and loftier than all, came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. He that would be great, let hîm serve. That which constitutes the glory of God-his unwearied beneficence-is to be copied and reflected in us, as the splendor and magnificence of the sky are painted in every drop of dew.
Milton complained in his day, that mankind had been so long and busily employed in celebrating their own destroyers, that they had left the better virtues of meekness, patience, and fortitude, unsung. The earth bears no greater man on its surface than he who, with every sensibility quickened and refined by culture, with talents fitted for display, and capable of acquiring luxurious wealth, through all the misleading opinions of the world, devotes himself, not with momentary impulse, but with persevering mar
tyrdom-not in conspicuous and attractive parts, but with the selfcontrol and patience of unnoticed and unrewarded toil, to the sublime purpose of promoting the true welfare of his fellow-men. Toil away, thou Christian hero, instructing the young in some sequestered spot among the hills! Speak on, thou legate of the skies, in thy rural pulpit! Assert eternal Providence, and justify the ways of God to man. Stand forth, in advocacy of law and order thou defender of right and innocence, firm, true, and just thyself. Albeit unknown to fame, and neither praises nor honors are in you path, and no stars or ribands, the insignia of rank, glitter on your manly hearts, ye are laying the broad and deep foundations of human improvement, on which shall rise the walls of an august and imperishable structure Other hands shall spread its arches, and rear its columns, and finish its capitals. Nor shall the gates of wisdom be left naked and unadorned. Ply thy work with chisel and brush, thou patient votary of Art, immortalizing goodness and greatness in changeless forms, eloquent to the eye. Tune thy harp, thou child of song! Neither cypher nor discord art thou ! The ear hath a way to the heart; and thy joyous strains shall be the "march-melodies" of freedom and truth. “All the players upon instruments shall be there;' and Science and Religion shall walk together in royal and priestly vestments, their union making sweet harmonies before the altars of God, and God himself shall descend, and his tabernacle be with men.
To this grand result all things tend. All is in motion ; nothing rests. This and that reverend head, silvered with the honors of time, will droop to its long-sought repose. The youth, now bounding with elastic step into life, full of promise, full of joy, will faint and fall when the world knows not how to spare him. We die; but that for which we live—never. All that is good, and true, and fair, is imperishable. That which we call Death, is but Life in other forms of sanctity and power.
The dead are like the stars by day,
Removed from mortal eye:
In glory through the sky.
The world is populous with good and useful men, though their forms are in the keeping of the grave. The sagacious men who founded our literary institutions, the long line of virtuous men, who have here taught the lessons of serene wisdom, yet live in the true and best sense of the word. They live in the characters and lives of those whom they have educated; and these live again, in all the good influences which they have employed for the improvement of the world: and so the lessons of truth and goodness are ever re-productive, cumulative and progressive towards the final consummation of God's eternal plan. And the
grand encouragement which cheers us in our work and for this we are indebted altogether to the telescopic visions of Christianity--is a belief in the certainty of that result at which we aim. Nothing, says Dugald Stewart, tends so much to call forth the exertions of individuals in the public service, as a prevailing belief in the success of those efforts which they put forth to inform and bless mankind. As in ancient Rome, it was esteemed the mark of a good citizen, never to despair of the fortunes of the republic; so the good citizen of the world, whatever may be the aspect of particular events or times, should never despair of the fortunes of the human race, but should ever act upon the principle, that the longer he lives, and the more his observation extends, the more of truth, order, and benevolent design will be seen in the universe. Every scholar, especially, should be in truth what Mr. Coleridge was wont to call himself, an "inveterate hoper," with his face all luminous, turned towards the sun-rising. We love to listen to the strains of ancient lyrists, Pindar and Ovid; but we do not believe that society is retrograde from an age of gold to one of iron; neither do we hold that it is stationary, fluctuating only within certain limits, in mutual encroachments of civilization and barbarism. Nor have we any faith in the indefinite perfectibility of human nature, according to the theory of Condorcet, and other French authors, much less in any political atheistic millennium, with modifications of society which are wiser than Providence and better than Scripture. But we do hold, and that most firmly, to the sober faith of the good old Bible of our fathers—that God designs to make this world the theatre of substantial, rational, religious joy, by means of the Gospel of his Son. What revolutions of time—what eclipses of truthwhat trials of faith-what strugglings and sacrifices shall intervene before that result is attained, we cannot say. In lonely cells, iu midnight tvils, on bloody scaffolds, the scholars, the martyrs, the freenien of our race, have looked forward and upward, with hope and faith, saying, Domine quamdiu?* aud in these days of brighter promise, shame on us if our faces are not in the same direction, hopeful of greater changes, compared with which, the highest splendor that ever visited the earth, was but the shadow of death. Cheered by this confidence of success, we adopt the words of the poet :
“I therefore go, and join head, heart and hand,
Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight
This world was made for something better than to be the
* An inscription on the wall of the inquisitorial prison at the Papal residence in Avignon.
theatre of crime and woe. Though lions and scorpions are in the zodiac, the sun will roll its way along, bring the year about, and fill the whole earth with gladness. As in the crowded thoroughfare of a great city, the rails are laid, and the resistless car comes rolling along in the midst of sable funerals, gilded chariots, loaded commerce, and all forms of toil and traffic; so, through the midst of all the complicated movements of this great world, its governments, its merchandise, its arts, and its revolutions, a highway of the Lord is preparing, along which a triumphant and beneficent Christianity will advance with songs and everlasting joy.
“There is a fount about to stream,
There is a light about to beam,
Into gray ;
Clear the way.
Aid the dawning tongue and pen,
Into play ;
Clear the way."
CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH OF MARTIN LUTHER, AND COMMENCEMENT OF THE REFORMATION.
By C. E. STOWE, D. D., Prof. Bib. Lit., Lane Seminary, Cincinnati.
It is the object of the following article, to give all that is known respecting the childhood and youth of Luther, and to state the circumstances attending the commencement of the Reformation a little more in detail than has been done by D’Aubigne. The works referred to are mostly enumerated and described in our first article on Luther, in the Repository for April, 1844. Since that time a very elaborate biography of Luther has been commenced by Karl Jürgen, (Leipsic, 1846.) The second volume, of 950 pages, 8vo. brings the biography down only 10