« VorigeDoorgaan »
SCOTTISH . CHRISTIAN HERALD,
CONDUCTED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF MINISTERS AND MEMBERS OF
THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH.
THE FEAR OF THE LORD, THAT IS WISDOM.”
Vol. I. No. 3. SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 1836.
Price 11d. ON THE PARABLES OF OUR SAVIOUR. much error and mischief. The principal source of BY THE Rev. WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM,
error and of injury in the explanation and applica
tion of our Saviour's parables, is the notion which Minister of the College Church, Edinburgh.
seems often to be entertained, that every thing A CONSIDERABLE portion of the instructions stated in the parable must have some corresponda hich our Saviour addressed to men while upon ing circumstance or idea, which it was intended to sath, was conveyed by means of parables. His typify or shadow forth, a notion which is neither
arables occupy a considerable part of the Gos- consistent with the general idea of a parable, nor 1-s, and are generally felt and acknowledged to capable of being applied fairly and rationally to he very interesting and important. While many the explanation of the parables which we actually parts of the Scriptures are by many readers quite find in the New Testament. irgotten, and leave no impression behind them, As illustrations of the erroneous mode of apthe parables are more or less recollected, and exert plying parables which we have in view, we may some influence upon men's opinions ; and it is mention that we have heard an argument gravely therefore of much importance that their nature adduced against the Scriptural doctrine of predesshould be correctly understood, and that a right tination from the parable of the talents, founded toode of ascertaining their meaning should be ge- upon this consideration, that the master regulated nerally adopted. X parable means in general a his conduct toward those whom lie had intrusted comparison, but in the restricted sense in which with the talents, solely by a reference to their it is usually employed, it denotes a story or narra- actual conduct, and not by any previous purpose tive of incidents, commonly taken from ordinary or determination of his own; and we have heard life, designed to shadow forth or embody some im- the doctrine of universal pardon defended from the portant truth or practical instruction, and fitted, parable of the servants, whose debts were remitted, by the peculiar form which it assumes, to convey because both of them (supposed to typify those the truth or instruction with advantage. Parables who are saved and those who perish) had somewere common among the ancient and especially thing forgiven. It is quite plain that these two the Eastern writers, and several occur in the Old parables were not intended to give any informaTestament Scriptures. Our Saviour's parables, tion upon the subjects respectively referred to, however, are the most interesting specimens of and that this mode of applying them did not only this kind of composition, at once from their sin- bring out errors in these instances, but necessaular beauty, and the importance of the informa- rily involved gross absurdity in itself. The great tion and instruction which they are intended to point to be kept in view in explaining and applyconvey. They consist generally of a simple nar- ing our Saviour's parables, is, that they are comrative of circumstances, such as might probably monly designed to shew forth, and to impress one have occurred in the usual course of things, and or more great truths or practical principles—that in the ordinary intercourse of society. The story it was for this purpose that the parable was conis commonly an appeal to our natural feelings of structed, and that, of course, every thing not bearjustice and equity, and is so framed, as to be ad- ing upon the elucidation of these leading truths mirably adapted to insinuate a truth, against which and principles, is to be regarded as incidental and there might exist a prejudice, and to impress it adventitious. When our blessed Saviour intended upon the understanding and the memory; and to to convey some important instruction, and resolving home practical instructions, that is, the duty ved, in his wisdom, to convey it in the form, or and propriety of acting in a certain manner, with through the means of a parable
, it must naturally peculiar power to the heart and the conscience. follow, as the next step in the process, that he At the same time, these interesting and important would determine to make a parable for that purportions of Scripture are liable, like other parts of pose, and fitted to serve the particular end he
, to be wrested and perverted by unlearned and had in view. Now, as a parable just consists of unstable persons, in such a way as to produce l a story, or narrative of minute and familiar incidents, and as without this it could not properly bles were intended to impress, it is of essential be a parable at all, the making of a parable of consequence for the proper application of any pacourse implies the insertion of a variety of minute rable, and in order to derive from it the full amount circumstances, which were not intended to have of instruction which it was intended to convey, any separate significance. Without being minute, that its chief ohject or its leading principle should specitic, and familiar, there can be no parable, be ascertained, and should then be distinctly kept and therefore in every parable we may expect to in view, and steadily applied to the elneidation of find minute circumstances introduced into the nar- its minute statements. Unless this principle of rative, which were not intended to convey any interpreting and applying the parable be firmly particular meaning, and whose insertion is fully embraced and steadily adhered to, we shail be in accounted for by the statement, that they were constant danger of falling into error,—of giving an inserted for the purpose of making a parable, it unbridled license to our imagination,—of bringing having seemed meet to infinite wisdom to employ our own notions and fancies to the parables to be a parable upon that occasion, to serve an important countenanced by them, instead of regulating all end. Some persons, out of a feeling of respect for our opinions by a fair application of each portion the Sacred Scriptures, have adopted the erroneous of Scripture, and thus of making the word of God notion, that the statements of the Bible have and speak in the manner the best suited to gratify our were intended to have all the meanings which they own desires, and to promote our own views. When can possibly be made to bear. And it is alınost the right mode of interpreting parables is employed, equally unreasonable to suppose, that all the va- by first of all ascertaining the leading object which rious circumstances introduced into a parable, are a particular parable was intended to serve, and intended to have a meaning, and to impress a truth then keeping this continually in view, we find from or principle. Such a notion rests upon no solid experience that they are admirably fitted to bring foundation. It is not demanded by a judicious out important truths and great practical principles reverence for Scripture, and it is not required, in a peculiarly clear and impressive way, to ininay, it is not admitteil
, hy a regard to the true print them (leeply on the memory, and to commend nature of a parable. If this mode of interpreting them with power to the heart and the conscience. parables were to be adopted, and fully applied, it It is deserving, however, of careful observation, would require a constant stretch of imagination, that while our Saviour's parables are in many reand a habitual disregard of the sober and rational spects fitted to serve, and do, throngh the divine use of our faculties; and the consequence would blessing, actually serve this important purpose of be, that he would be the best interpreter of the elucidating truth, it was not this consideration paralles who had the most fertile imagination, and that originally led our Saviour to have recourse who could invent the greatest number of real or to them, but one, as he himself has assured us, apparent resemblances between the minute state- directly the reverse. The reason why our Saments of the parable, and religious truth or moral viour employer parables, which was not to eluciprecepts.
date truth, but to conceal it from those to whom In explaining and applying any one of our Sa- they were originally addressed, we will illustrate in viour's parables, the first great object to be aimed a future number. at, is to get a clear and distinct conception of the chief
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OP purpose which the parable was intended to serve, or of the leading truth or principle which
JOHN FREDERIC OBERLIN, it was designed to convey or impress, and then to
Pastor of Waldbach, in the Ban de la Roche. apply its different statements in such a way as to
The life of a country clergyman, who seldom or bring out that purpose, or truth, or principle, in never travelled beyond the range of his own parish, the clearest and most affecting manner.
however eminent he may have been for the attainments The leading object of a parable, the principal of personal piety, or for the zeal and variety of his spitruth or precept which it was intended to impress ritual labours, presents but few incidents of that de. or to enforce, may in general be discovered with-scription, which is calculated to engage in lis narrative out much difficulty, although, as the discovery of cordingly, the reader who betakes himself to this species
sympathies of a deep and general interest; and acthis is by far the most important step in the appli- of biography, can anticipate in imagination the course cation of it, the utmost care should be employed of the unchequered tale accompanies the subject ot to ascertain it correctly, and to have a clear and the memoir in the preparation and discharge of his pubdistinct idea of it produced upon the mind.
lic duties, or follows him in his private walks, as he goes The leading objects of parables, and in one
from house to house, renewing the daily routine of those or two instances , especially in the parable of the peaceful exercises, by which he seeks to bring his peo
ple to God, and prepare them for a better world. The sower, a minute explanation of the statements,- life of the individual, of whom we are about to give a are made known to us by our Saviour himself, brief notice, formed a remarkable exception to the quiet and in other cases, they are left to be collected or and contemplative course marked out for pastors of this inferred either from the connection in which they description, are introduced, or from a consideration of the ge- in a singular degree, the opposite qualities of a love of
Endowed by nature with a character, which combined, neral scope of the parables themselves. But what-study and private meditation, with a spirit of constant ever materials may be afforded for ascertaining the activity and enterprise-he was placed by Providence leading truths or precepts which particular para- in a station which afforded the completest scope for the
developement of his peculiar talents and guided by the his studies, whicn ere at first general, and without any bit of his own mind, as well as by a strong necessity, view to a particular profession, were gradually directed, be brought the whole force of his natural and acquired through the force of his own taste, as well as of circumresources to bear, with such devoted, and at the same stances, to quality him for the office of the ministry. rime, well-directed enthusiasm, on the promotion both Shortly after he has commenced his theological career, of the temporal and spiritual interests of his fock, and the attention of the Strasbourg citizens was powertully sumceeded in accomplishing so vast an improvement on arrested, by the appearance among them of a preacher, their domestic and social economy—that his history will of the name of Dr Lorentz, who, in addition to great be found as attractive to the lover of romance, as it de- powers of popular eloquence, dwelt so much, and so serves to be known to the Christian, as a beautiful impressively, on the grand doctrines of evangelical truih, example of the power and the fruits of faith.
that crowds repaired to him wherever he went. Among Oberlin was born at Strasbourg, on the 31st August, others, who waited on his ministry, was Oberlin's mo1740), of a reduced, though highly respectable family. ther, who, herself a woman of ardent piety, felt the His father held an office in the Gymnasium of that city, views of this evangelical minister more suited to her -an institution which was designed as a preparatory spiritual wants and desires than the jejune morality she sot.col for the Lutheran college of the same place and was accustomed to hear in the churches of Strasbourg ; devoted his leisure time to the education of bis nine and baving expressed a strong wish that her favourob idren. As it often happens, however, the chief burite son, Frederic, should accompany her to hear Dr Lo. den of forming the minds of that young family devolved rentz on the following Sabbath, she prevailed upon him Epon the mother, who was a woman of a sound judgment, so far, by her urgent solicitations, that, in spite of the and superior accomplishments, and possessed, in great per prohibition of the theological professors, he went was fection, the happy art of training up her children in the delighted with the strain of the prenehing_hecaine a nature and admonition of the Lord. On the evenings regular and diligent attendant on the Doctor's sera of every day, she assembled them around a table, to mons and gradually came, through prayer and readrend to them some interesting narrative, in which in- ing of the Scriptures, to adopt the evangelical views of struction was blended with amusement, whilst, in the divine truth, as those most agreeable to the Word meantime, her little auditors were busily employed in of God. His impressions of the importance of religion, copying some drawings, which their father had sketched always strong, were greatly deepened; his resolution to for ibem during the day; and scarcely a night passed, dedicate himself to the work of the ministry assumed a sitbout a general request, before separating, that “ dear more decided character; and to confirm bimself in the mamma would tavour them with one beautiful hymn" principles and habits of piety, be renewed his baptismal -one of those sacred songs which Luther composed, consecration to God by a formal covenant, agreeably to in conjunction with some of his illustrious contempo- the method recommended by Dr Doddridge in his “ Ris. raries, and which being carefully impressed on the me- and Progress.” Having completed his course of theolomories of the young in his day, were powerful instru- gical study, he was ordained a minister according to the ments in spreading the influence of the Reformed reli- forms of the Lutheran Church, but continued for seven ren. The hymn sung by the Oberlins was always years without any pastoral charge, being desirous of followed by a prayer ; and there can be little doubt, maturing his mind and enlarging his knowledge, before that the strong impression which these evening occupa- he entered on the active performance of duties, the quations of his childhood made on the mind of the young lifications for which he rated at a high standard. MeanFrederie, contributed to form those peculiar features while, he entered as private tutor into the family of M. of character, which were so remarkable in the future Ziegenhagen, an eminent surgeon in Strasbourg, where, pastor of Waldbach. As the children grew up, the besides other advantages, he acquired that knowledge elder Oberlin judiciously adapted their studies and pas- of boʻany, medicine, and general science, which enabled times to their advancing age ; and among the various him afterwards to render such beneficial services to his expertients which the indulgent father contrived for their parishioners. In that humble situation he had continued amusement, was one, that took such a hold of the mind for seven years, when he was offered the chapiaincy of of Frederie, as nearly shaped the course of his future life. a French regiment—a situation which, as ii accorded A small property, belonging to the family, lay a few miles with the early passion he had cherished for a military out of the town of Strasbourg. Thither the father repair-life, as well as aiforded an extensive prospect of usefulness ed with his family, once every week, during the sunmer among a class of persons who generally stand much in montbs, and used to perambulate the walks of the little need of a zealous spiritual instructor, he readily acceptgarden attached to the house, with a drum tied to his ed; and in order to qualify himself the more fully for waist, while his seven boys were taught to follow bim, the situation, he left M. Ziegenhagen's family-hired and go through all the different military evolutions. So an obscure lodging up three pair of stairs, where he lond were they all_and particularly Frederie, of this shut himself from the world, and devoted himself to a stirring exercise—that he came to talk of nothing but course of extensive study. Though forgetting the world sidiers and warfare-read every book he could pro- in this retirement, he was not limself forgotten, for M. eure, that detailed battles and sieges--and frequented | Stouber, pastor of the Ban de la Roche, being about to the society of some soldiers that were quartered in the leave his charge for a more important one in Strasbourg, town, till his uncommon knowledge of military affairs immediately directed bis eyes to Oberlin as the finest attracted the notice of the superior officers, and be ob- person to be his successor, And as that oflice, which tained their permission to join in their exercises. This he ultimately accepted, altered the whole complexion of fondness for a soldier's life, however, did not meet with his future life, it may be proper, at this stage, to give the approbation of his father, who having destined him some idea of the state of that parish at the time when for a learned profession, deemed it necessary to inter- M. Stouber served. fere, and remove him from the scene of such dangerous The Ban de la Roche, or Steinthal, is a mountainous attractions. And although Frederic was naturally of an district in the north-east of France, bortiering on Alar dent and lively temper, yet, perceiving the views of | sace, and forming part of the western ramifications of his father to be decidedly opposed to his following the the Haut Champ, an isolated range of mountains, deamp, his sense of filial duty made him cheerfully deler tached by a deep valley from the eastern boundary of to paternal advice, and enter with the same enthusiasm the pass of the Vosyes. It comprehends two parishes, on the peaceful pursuits of literature, as he would have of which Rothau is one, while the other, containing done had he been left to his own inclinations, or the three churches, extends over the five bamlets of Foumore stirring career of a military life. The course of Idai, Belmont, Waldbach Bellefosse and Zolbach, and
" Are you
is inbabited entirely by Lutherans. The whole district tures among them, for although they were Protestants comprises about 9000 English acres, of which more of the Lutheran Church, and had a pastor always resident than a third is covered with wood, 2000 are laid out in among them, they had never seen a Bible. They thought pasture, and the remainder is cultivated for the common of it only as a certain large book containing the word of food of the peasantry—oats, rye, and potatoes. The God, and were not easily persuaded that the French inhabitants of this canton had long enjoyed, in common Protestant Bibles, which their pastor distributed among with the other people of Alsace, an entire liberty of them, of which he bad received about fifty as a present, conscience, which was stipulated for by a special de- and for wider circulation had divided each into three cree, when the province was incorporated with France, parts, and bound them into thin volumes, were the same and which was never infringed, even during the bloody as the large book. By degrees, however, their prejupersecutions that were directed against the Protestants dices wore off, their diligent pastor laboured to make in other parts of France. Circumstances, however, pre- them acquainted with the sacred contents of the Bible, vented the people from reaping the advantages of this and adapting his style of preaching, which was decidedprivilege, for that district having been unfortunately the ly evangelical, to the state and acquirements of his flock, scat of conflict during the Thirty Years' War, was so laid succeeded, through the divine blessing, in bringing many waste, as to be scarcely habitable. There were no under salutary impressions, and raising the tone of moroads--no implements of agriculture; the very know- rals among the people at large during the fourteen years ledge of the art of cultivating the ground was scarcely of his residence among them. Anxious, as such a paspossessed by the secluded semi-barbarian inhabitants, tor might naturally be expected to feel, that the course who, to the number of eighty or a hundred families, of moral and religionis improvement he had commenced subsisted almost wholly on roots and herbs, which were in the Ban de la Roche should be carried on, he did not the spontaneous produce of the soil, and lived in a state relinquish the charge till he had made every exertion to of society, the misery and degradation of which can be provide a successor animated with a kindred spirit to more easily imagined than described. The hope of the himself; and being well acquainted with the pious and young generation being superior to their parents in this energetic character of Oberlin, he waited upon him, as sequestered region, may be judged of by a single anec- we have already said, to request his acceptance of the lote of what occurred to M. Stouber on his first arrival. pastoral engagoment. The situation in which he found Being desirous of visiting the school, he was directed to the young scholar, is too singular and characteristic to a miserable cottage, where a number of children were be passed without notice. On opening the door, the crowled together, without any occupation, and in so first object that caught his attention was a small bed, turbulent a state, that it was difficult for him to procure standing in one corner of the room, covered with brown an answer to his enquiries for the master. “ There he paper hangings, “that,” said Stouber to himself, “ would is,” said one of them, as soon as silence could be ob- just suit the Steinthal.” On approaching the bed, he taired, pointing to a withered old man, who lay on a found Oberlin lying upon it and suffering from a violent little bed in one corner of the apartment.
toothache. He rallied him about the simplicity of his the schoolmaster, my good friend ?” enquired Stouber. curtains and the homeliness of his apartments. “Yes, sir." -“ And what do you teach the children?” pray,” continued he, after having taken a survey of the
_“ Nothing, sir.”—“ Nothing ! How is that?"_“ Be- rocin, “ what is the use of that little iron pan that cause," replied the old man, with characteristic simpli- hangs over your table ?"_" That is my kitchen," re city, “ I know nothing myself.”_" Why then were plied Oberlin. “ I am in the habit of dining at home you made schoolmaster ?” -“ Why, sir, I had been tak- with my parents every day, and they give me a large ing care of the Waldbach pigs for a great number of piece of bread to bring back in my pocket. At eight years, and when I got too old and infirm for that em- o'clock in the evening I put my bread into that pan, ployment, they sent me here to take care of the child and having sprinkled it with salt and poured a little
This man affords a specimen of all the schools water upon it, I place it over my lamp, and go on with in the five villages, which were taught by masters no my studies till ten or eleven o'clock, when I generally better qualified, and to which the children were sent, begin to feel hungry, and relish my self-cooked supper. for no other purpose than to be kept out of mis-Stouber was delighted-felt that this was the very man chief. The pastor lost no time in endeavouring to he wanted, and immediately proposed to him to take reform the schools; for such was the deplorable igno- the vacant parish of the Ban de la Roche. Nothing rance of the people, and so greatly had the office of could have been more congenial to Oberlin's own mind; schoolinaster fallen into contempt, that he could not and accordingly, having resigned the chaplaincy, and prevail on any individuals to allow their sons to enter completed all his arrangements, after many earnest on such an employment; and it was not till the happy prayers that a blessing might rest upon himself and the thought struck him, to change the name of Schoolmas- little tlock of whom he was to take the oversight, he ter, and call him Superintendent of the school, that he accompanied his new friend back to Waldbach, and arsucceeded in obtaining the services of some promising rived there on the 30th March, 1767, in the twentyand active young men. Having drawn up an alphabet seventh year of his age. for their use, and prepared a series of spelling and read. It had been the anxious desire of his parents, with ing books, the zealous pastor raised, by the assistance of whose entire approbation he bad made this change in a benevolent individual at Strasbourg, a sum sufficient bis mode of life, that he should take a partner with to build a wooden school-house, and to afford a small him to his sequestered parsonage. His mother parti. salary to each of the masters. In introducing these iin- cularly was earnest on the subject, and Oberlin, who provements, he had to encounter the greatest difficulties was easy on the point, consented, on condition that she from the prejudices of the people, who did not perceive the should point out to him where he was to find a suitable use of spelling-books, filled with whole pages of uncon- wifc. Having directed him to the daughter of a rich nrcted syllables ; but when they perceived, to their asto- breiver's widow who resided in their neighbourhood, rishment, that by this means, the children were enabled and with whom she had received a hint that he might in a few months to read any book that wns put into succeedl, he resolved to make the experiment; but as it their hands, their elder brothers and sisters, and even had been his practice from his earliest years to wait for the parents also, in many instances, expressed a desire some intimation from Providence, be earnestly prayed für instruction; in consequence of which, a school for to God that he would direct him in forming a judgment adults, during part of the Sunday, and the long winter whether this would be likely to prove a happy and usecvenings, was opened. Having brought them to this ful connection. The spirit was good, but the manner stage, Stouber's next object was to introduce the Scrip- | in which he followed it was wrong, as he very in
consistently laid down to himself the signs by which | pense to himself, to benefit the people, it miglit have te would judge of the will of Providence, with the been expected, that they would have hailed his plans manner in which the mother should receive him. If with the liveliest satisfaction and gratitude. Whether she herself should broach the subject, he was to consi. he had begun prematurely or not, certain it was, that the der it as a proof that beaven approved of the proceed. most violent opposition was made to him as an innovaing, but if not, his line of duty was to do nothing in tor, and an extensive conspiracy was for ned against the matter. Accordingly, having repaired to the bouse him, of which, however, he obtained warning in time and been admitted, the widow gave him a kind recep- to enable him to defeat the attempt. Sunday being the tion, took a chair beside him, talked of the weather, dny fixed for its execution, he on that day took for his the neits of the day, and other things, till the conver- text these words of our Saviour, in the fifth chapter of sation being at length exhausted without the lady hav- | Matthew :-“ But I say unto you, that ye resist not ing thrown out the slightest hint about her daughter, evil : but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right check, Oberlin abruptly rose and left the parties in utter turn to him the other also," and proceeded from these donishment as to the nature and object of his visit. words, to speak of the Christian patience with which we A second attempt at matrimony, made, however, with should suffer injuries, and submit to false surmises and ketier judgment, likewise failed; and giving up, there. ill usage. After the service, the malecontents met at the fore, in the meantime, all thoughts of marriage, he re- house of one of the party, to amuse themselves in consolved to settle himself down in his parsonage along jecturing what their pastor would do, when he should with his mother, who went to assist him at his out- find himself compelled to put in practice the principles set in life, and then left him with a younger sister. he had so recently explained. What must have been About a year after, Madeleine Witter, a relation of his their astonishment, wlien the door opened, and Oberlin family, came on a visit of a few weeks to his house himself stood before them. “Here am I, my friends," said a young lady of great accomplishments, and impress- lie, with that calm dignity which inspires even the most ed with scrious views of religion, the daughter of a violent with awe. “ I am acquainted with your design. professor in the University of Strasbourg, though she if I have violated the rules I laid down for you, punish ine id lately been deprived of both her parents. The for it; it is better that I should deliver myself into your time of her departure was approaching, when one morn- lands, than that you should be guilty of the meanness ing after breakfast, finding the young lady sitting in a of an ambuscade." These simple words produced their summer-bouse in the garden, he went up to lier, and intended effect. The peasants, ashamed of their scheme, cominenced the conversation, by saying, “ that he had sincerely begged his forgiveness, and promised never felt a strong impulse in his mind, which he considered again to entertain a doubt of the sincerity of the moa divine intimation that she was to be his wife, and tives by which he was actuated, and of his affectiorato, that as she knew his situation, he wished her to take the desires to promote their welfare. Strengthened by the matter into consideration, and give him the result of her advantage he had gained from this occurrence, Oberlin deliberations in a few days." Miss Witter, rising from the proceeded in his plans; and as all the roads belonging saat, and placing one hand before her eyes, held the other to the Ban de la Roche were impassable for the most towards him; the decision was made, a decision on which part of the year, and the greater portion of the parish she had reason to congratulate herself ever after, and had no method of communication with the neighbourwhich be made with feelings of the warmest piety, as ing towns, but by stepping-stones over the Bruche, was evinced by a most affecting prayer which lie wrote which was a mountain torrent, broad and often flooded, on the occasion.
he directed bis views to open up regular channels of inHis domestic happiness being thus provided for, tercourse between Waldbach and the rest of the world, it is time to consider Oberlin carrying on his plans justly considering, that the mode of living, the intelliof usefulness in his parish, and it is here that the cha- gence and the moral character of his people, would never raeter of this extraordinary man will be seen to put be permanently and efñciently improved, so long as they forth all its energy. “ Confident,” says the historian continued in their then insulated state.
His first proof his life," that strength would be afforded if right- posal then was, to effect a communication with the ly sought, Oberlin resolved, when he entered on his high-road that led to Strasbourg; and having assembled cire, to employ all the attainments in science, phi-the people, he suggested to them, that they should blast losophy and religion, which he had brought with him the rocks, construct with the demolished masses of from Strasbourg, for the improvement of the parish, and stone, a high wall sufficient to support a road along the the benefit of the parishioners.” Such was the spi- banks of the river, and build a bridge across that stream rit and the resolution with which he had taken pos- at a certain turn of the road. The peasants were oversession of the parish ; and as we are about to give some whelmed with astonishment at a project which appeared details of the indefatigable exertions he made for im- to them next to an impossibility, and every one began proving the temporal condition of the people of that to make excuses, some regarding the difficulties of the place, it is necessary to state, that his first and grand undertaking, others on account of private business, some object was to preach the truth as it is in Jesus, with one thing and some another; whereupon, Oberlin, who the earnest desire, if possible, to save souls. In the was prepared for all this, exclaimed,
“ That it was a attainment of this object, he was instant, in season work, of which all would reap the benefit, they having and out of season, in inculcating upon the minds a road and market for their produce, constant interof his parishioners the grand doctrines of the cor- course with the inhabitants of other districts, and a great ruption of human nature the atonement of Christ, increase of comforts and of the means of living both for the unerring and sanctifying influences of the spirit, and themselves and their children, and concluded by saying, the connection between faith and works. But in order “let all who feel the importance of the work, come lato convince them, that in teaching them spiritual things, bour with me.". No sooner had he finished these words, be bad their real welfare at heart, he sought to do than with a pickaxe on his shoulder, he proceeded to ther good in matters which came home to every one's | the spot, while the astonished peasants, catching a porexperience, and to shew them, that in the most common tion of his enthusiasm, forgot their objections, and ran and secular affairs of life, the grand principle of doing every one to bring their tools to work along with him. all for the glory, and in obedience to the will of God, He assigned to each individual his part, selecting for ought to be applied, as the most efficient source of in- himself and a confidential servant, the most rugged and dustry, order, and every social improvement. In this difficult places; and regardless of the thorns by which view it was, that he began every undertaking; and as his hands were torn, and the bruises he received from the object of all of them was, at much trouble and ex- the tumbling of the loose stones, he laboured with un