« ZurückWeiter »
if she understands me, I am sure all the rest will."
There is a lesson in this incident which might well make a paragraph in a lecture on preaching. Such a lecture might be illustrated exceelantly well by the example of our "Saviour's preaching, and much ornamented by what is said by Paul about not preaching the Gospel "with wisdom of words"-by Peter of " great swelling words of vanity," and by Jude of those "whose mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage."
Will you do it? You have often been told to do so. Will you get at it at last. Plant trees. If not more, plant one tree, a fruit, or a shade tree; we care not which, but do plant some kind or other. Where shall you plant it? Can you find no place for one tree! Along the road, before the house, at the spring or well, in some fence corner, beside some old stone quarry, or on some rocky place where you can perhaps find soil enough for one tree. You can easily find the place, if you only find the will to do it.
You will get no good of it anyhow? Ah, pity that you said that. It only makes us think the less of you. Your selfishness has crept out. Suppose those who have gone before you had thought the same, where would you now get apples and peaches to feed that selfish self of yours! If you think you are not worthy of living till the fruit trees you plant bear fruit, plant them for those that come after you, as those who were before you did for you.
You see no use in planting so many trees? So then. We see no use in leaving a space vacant where a tree might grow without interfering with anything else. If there is nothing but birds to eat the cherries, nothing but rabbits to eat the apples, why not let them have that satisfaction, when they can have it at such a trifling cost. But the likelihood is that there will be other demands for the fruit. Ask an apple woman at the railroad station for a good healthy apple, and she will say: "Three cents, sir." Don't that "pay?"
Now go and plant trees. Do not let this spring pass without repairing, as far as you may, your past neglect. And
when you do get at it, plant good trees. Do not mind paying a good price for good fruit. Get the best, for it will reward you best in the end.
Do not forget the grapes, the currants, the raspberries, the blackberries, the gooseberries, and the rest of the berry family. They all yield well, and are well worth the place they occupy. How pleasant to have plenty to use during the season; and what are left the good woman of the house will turn into preserves and jellies to vary the sausagemonotony of midwinter, and aid in giving the children good blood.
Now hear the words of the Guardian and be wise. Give ear to our counsels, and get understanding. Attend to our most reasonable request and plant trees! trees! trees!
SHADE! SHADE! SHADE!
The hot months are coming on again. What shall be done? "Necessity is the mother of invention." If so, the smothering heat of the Summer months ought to bring relief in some shape. Judging from our unenterprising spirit in the direction of securing sanitary improvements, we shall no doubt pant, sweat and sigh through the coming summer months, as we have often done before, without being the wiser for it. Various methods are employed to get comfortably through the hot weather. The favored few will flee to watering places or country resorts, the busier and poorer masses must linger and languish at their hot and enervating tasks. We have frequently been surprised that, with our famous enterprising go-aheaditivenessso little should be said and done for the public health of body, mind and soul. Give a community a healthy atmosphere, rational means of amusement, and you facilitate its moral improvement.
The impression prevails that parks and public baths, are luxuries which only our larger cities can claim. In country towns the people must bathe in a neighboring stream or not at all; they must promenade in their small gardens or on the hot, dusty, noisy streets. They can look out over the country, but have no convenient place to enjoy it. Now why can't we have parks even in onr small country towns? Every town, great or small, that would plant five or ten acres of ground, and plant it with trees, would diffuse joy and gladness
through coming centuries. Every town ought to have a place of healthy, pleasant resort, not only for the wealthy, but for the PEOPLE and children; and this could be afforded by a rural retreat near by at a comparatively small expense. A natural woods sometimes affords the luxury of retreat, fresh air and shade; but the land near villages becomes valuable, and the pleasant woods are cut down. The private citizen, who is the possessor, has perhaps not public spirit enough, even if he could afford it, to let the beautiful woods remain; and very often he is not in circumstances thus, at his own sacrifice to keep up a rural place for the public good. Indeed the public has no right to demand such sacrifice at his hands. No principle of justice demands that one citizen should furnish alone what is a pleasure and profit to all. In time, as we have intimated, the village grove is cut down. The beautiful original forest trees all gone forever. Who is to blame for the loss? Not the man who could not afford to let it remain, but the public who neglected to purchase the ground, and preserve its usual character for the public comfort aud health.
A few hundred dollars would have purchased the ground, which would have been to the village "a thing of beauty, and a joy forever." But the opportunity is gone. What now is to be done? It is never too late to do good. Let a piece of ground be purchased and planted with trees. A few years will bring about the desired result, and parents will have the pleasure of seeing their children play under trees of their own planting.
There is little difficulty in accomplishing what is here suggested. There are in every village and town a few public spirited citizens to be found who can realize it. Enough will be found to favor it, when it is proposed and started, and when there are those who were led in carrying it into effect. Let it be done. Shade! shade shade!-with fresh air, and a place to which to fly from heat and dust-this is what we need. God wishes us to have it. He will grow the trees, let us plant them.
HOW VICTORIA TRAINS HER CHILDREN.
A primary regard is paid to moral and religious duties. They rise early, breakfast at eight, and dine at two. Their various occupations are alloted out with almost military exactness.
One hour finds them in the study of the ancient, another of the modern authors, their acquaintanceship with the languages being first founded on a thorough knowledge of their grammatical construc tion, and afterwards familiarized and perfected by conversation.
Next they are trained in those military exercises which give dignity and bearing. Another hour is agreeably filled up with the lighter accomplishments of music and dancing. Again the happy party assemble in the riding school, where they may be seen deeply interested in the various evolutions of
the menage. Thence while drawing and the further exercise of music, and the lighter accomplishments, call off the attention of their sisters-the young princes proceed to busily engage themselves in a carpenter's shop, fitted up expressly for them, at the wish of the royal consort, with a turning lathe and other tools essential to a thorough knowledge of the craft. They thus become not only theoretically, but practically acquainted with the useful arts of life.
A small laboratory is occasionally brought into requisition, at the instance also of their royal father, and the minds of the children are thus led from a contemplation of the curiosities of chemical science and the wonders of nature to an inquiry into their causes. This done,
the young carpenters and students throw down their saws and axes, unbuckle their philosophy, and shoulder their miniature percussion-guns-which they handle with all the dexterity of practiced sportsmen-for a shooting stroll through the Royal Gardens. The evening meal, the preparations for the morning lessons, and brief religious instruction, close the day.
He who allows his application to falter, or shirks his work on frivolous pretexts, is on the sure road to ultimate failure. Let any task be undertaken as a thing not possible to be evaded, and it will soon come to be performed with alacrity and cheerfulness. The habit of strenuous, continued labor, will become comparatively easy in time, like every other habit. Thus even men with the commonest brains and most slender powers will accomplish much, if they will but apply themselves wholly and indefatigably to one thing at a time.
Sir Charles Napier, when in India, encountered an army of 35,000 Belooches with 2,000 men, of whom only 400 were Europeans. He charged them in the center up a high bank, and for three hours the battle was undecided. At last they turned and fled.
It is this sort of pluck, tenacity and determined perseverance which wins soldiers' battles, and indeed every battle. It is the one neck nearer that wins the race and shows the blood; the one pull more of the oar that proves the "beefiness of the fellow," as Oxford men say: it is the one march more that wins the campaign; the five minutes' more persistent courage that wins the fight. Though your force be less than another's, you equal and outmaster yonr opponent if you continue it longer and concentrate it more. The reply of the Spartan father, who said to his son, when complaining that his sword was too short, "Add a step to it," is applicable to everything in life.
It is not how much a man may know that is of so much importance as the end and purpose for which he knows it, The object of knowledge should be to mature wisdom and improve character, to render us better, happier and more useful-more benevolent, more energetic, and more efficient in the pursuit of every high purpose in life. We must ourselves be and do, and not rest satisfied merely with reading and meditating over what other men have written and done. Our best light must be made life and our best thought action. The humblest and least literate must train his sense of duty and accustom himself to an orderly and diligent life. Though talents are the gift of nature, the highest virtue may be acquired by men of the humblest abilities through careful self-discipline. At least we ought to be able to say, as Richter did, "I have made as much out of myself as could be made of the stuff, and no man should require more."
NOTES ON NEW BOOKS.
FIVE YEARS' MINISTRY IN THE GERMAN REFORMED CHURCH IN RACE ST., BELOW FOURTH, PHILADELPHIA. An Anniversary Sermon, preached Jan. 8, 1860, and an Ecclesiastical Appendix. By J. H. A. Bomberger, D. D., Philadelphia, Lindsay and Blakiston, 1860, pp. 72.
It was a happy thought in the congregation to which Dr. Bomberger ministers, to request the publication of this sermon. In consequence of various tribulations brought upon the good old Race street Church previous to Dr. B.'s entering upon its pastorate, his own ministry during these five years has been one of peculiar labor and responsibility, while the state of the congregation has been one of anxiety-of hope
of fear. The desolations have disappeared, and encouraging prosperity has
characterized the history of the congregation. This sermon looks back serenely over troubles left behind, and recounts gratefully the mercies of the Lord.
It was a happy thought also in Dr. Bomberger to add the Ecclesiastical Appendix. Whilst that sermon is necessarily of more local application, the numerous facts that are here condensed into about 30 pages are of permanent general interest, especially to members of the Reformed Church, and to such as wish to inform themselves in regard to her origin, history, standards, polity, and general spirit. Whilst the sermon, though covering delicate ground, is subdued and breathes the spirit of charity, the Appendix is prepared with care and ability. We hope this neat little volume may receive a wide circulation.
SOME may, perhaps, doubt whether it can have been one of the objects of divine benevolence and wisdom, in arranging the surface of this world, so to construct and adorn it as to gratify a taste for fine scenery. But I cannot doubt it. I see not else why nature every where is fitted up in a lavish manner with all the elements of the sublime and beautiful, nor why there are powers in the human soul so intensely gratified in contact with those elements, unless they were expressly adapted for one another by the Creator. Surely natural scenery does afford to the unsophisticated soul one of the richest and purest sources of enjoyment to be found on earth. If this be doubted by any one, it must be because he has never been placed in circumstances to call into exercise his natural love of the beautiful and the sublime in creation. Let me persuade such a one, at least in imagination, to break away from the slavish routine of business or pleasure, and in the height of balmy summer to accompany me to a few spots, where his soul will swell with new and strong emotions, if his natural sensibilities to the grand and beautiful have not become thoroughly dead within him.
We might profitably pause for a moment at this enchanting season of the year, (June,) and look abroad from that gentle elevation on which we dwell, now all mantled over with a flowery carpet, wafting its balmy odors into our studies. Can any thing be more delightful than the waving forests, with their dense and deep green foliage, interspersed with grassy and sunny fields and murmuring streamlets, which spread all around us? How rich the graceful slopes of yonder distant mountains, which bound the Connecticut on eithe side! How imposing Mount Sugar Loaf on the north, with its red-belted and green-tufted crown, and Mettawampe too, with its rocky terraces on the one side, and its broad slopes of unbroken forests on the other! Especially, how beautifully and even majestically does the indented summit of Mount Holyoke
repose against the summer sky! What sunrises and sunsets do we here witness, and what a multitude of permutations and combinations pass before us during the day, as we watch from hour to hour one of the loveliest landscapes of New England!
Let us now turn our steps to that huge pile of mountains called the White Hills of New Hampshire. We will approach them through the valley of the Saco River, and at the distance of thirty miles they will be seen looming up in the horizon, with the clouds reposing beneath their naked heads. As the observer approaches them, the sides of the valley will gradually close in upon him, and rise higher and higher, until he will find their naked granit summits almost jutting over his path, to the height of several thousand feet, seeming to form the very battlements of heaven. Now and then will he see the cataract leaping hundreds of feet down their sides, and the naked path of some recent landslip, which carried death and desolation in its track. From this deep and wild chasm he will at length emerge, and climb the vast ridge, until he has seen the forest trees dwindle, and at length disappear; and standing upon the naked summit, immensity seems stretched out before him. But he has not yet reached the highest point; and far in the distance, and far above him, Mount Washington seems to repose in awful majesty against the heavens. Turning his course thither, he follows the narrow and naked ridge over one peak after another, first rising upon Mount Pleasant, then Mount Franklin, and then Mount Monroe, each lifting him higher, and making the sea of mountains around him more wide and billowy, and the yawning gulfs on either side more profound and awful, so that every moment his interest deepens, and reaches not its climax until he stands upon Mount Washington, when the vast panora ma is completed, and the world seems spread out at his feet. Yet it does not seem to be a peopled world, for no mighty city lies beneath him. Indeed, were it there, he would pass it almost unnoticed. For why should he regard so small an object as a city, when the world is before him?-a world of mountains, bearing the impress of God's own hand, standing in solitary grandeur, just as he piled them up in primeval ages, and stretching away on every side as far as the eye can reach. On that pinnacle of the northern regions no sound of man or beast breaks in upon the awful stillness which reigns there, and which seems to bring the soul into near communion with the Deity. It is, indeed, the impressive Sabbath of nature; and the soul feels a delightful awe, which can never be forgotten. Gladly would it linger there for hours, and converse with the mighty and the holy thoughts which come crowding into it; and it is only when the man looks at the rapidly declining sun that he is roused from his reverie and commences his descending march.
Let such a man next accompany me to Niagara. We will pass by all minor cataracts, and place ourselves at once on the margin of one that knows no rival. Let not the man take a hasty glance, and in disappointment conclude that he shall find no interest and no sublimity there. Let him go to the edge of the precipice, and watch the deep waters as they roll over, and, changing their sea-green brightness for a fleecy white, pour down upon the rocks beneath, and dash back again in spray high in the air. Let him go to the foot of the sheet, and look up at the cats