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Severus, Emperor of Rome, climbed from a low position to the highest pinnacle of earthly greatness. Then he said, when he saw his end approaching: "I have been everything, and everything is nothing."
Alexander the Great was another high climber, and when he attained to the throne of the world, he wept because there was no more worlds to conquer.
Louis XIV., King of France, climbed to an extraordinary height in the mad pursuit after happiness. He died in deepest anguish of soul on his royal bed.
Napoleon Bonaparte inscribed his name above all the kings of the earth; reached Waterloo, and fell broken-hearted on St. Helena.
Now, dear children, I must close these remarks, or you will get tired of listening to me. We sometimes say of man, "He makes his mark;" and I hope that, as you grow up, you will make your mark; but, instead of cutting a name for yourself in the world, you should rather try to do a little good, in a humble way as you pass through it. I would rather have my name in letters of love and gratitude in the heart of a poor orphan child or afflicted widow, thau on the proudest statue or loftiest rock that stands on the earth.
I ask not for a lofty place,
To glitter in the eeys of men ;
And glorify my God; for then
Father, I have wandered far,
Father, save me at this hour,
I have thought till thought is pain.
Rest for the immortal mind,
WORK AND REST.
WHAT have I yet to do?
'Neath the noon's scorching glare,
Yet must I labor still,
Long though my task may be,
He will direct my feet,
Up, then, to work again!
Larger the shadows fall,
The HeidelberG MONTHLY is the title of a new quarto published at Tiffin Ohio. The first No. (April) is before us. It is published by Students of Heidelberg College, and has quite an able list of Contributors, among whom we notice the Professors in the College. It is printed in a very neat manner, on good paper, and its contents are such as to commend it to the public favor. Price 50 cents per year. We wish it abundant success.
VARIOUS spots on the banks of the Schuylkill, and other wild and romantic places in the original wilderness around Philadelphia, were in early times sacred as the abodes of Hermits. The most noted of these was John Kelpius, a German of Sieburgen, in Transylvania. He was of an eminent-some say of a noble-family, and a student of the celebrated mystic, Dr. John Jacob Fabritius, at Helmstadt. "He came to this country in 1694, with John Seelig, Bernhard Kuster, or Costar, Daniel Falkener, and about forty-two others, being generally men of education and learning, to devote themselves for piety's sake to a solitary or single life; and receiving the appellation of the Society of the Woman in the Wilderness, (Rev. XII) they first arrived among the Germans at Germantown, where they shone awhile 'as a peculiar light."" As early as 1700, Kelpius, Seelig, Bony and Mathias, "did set up their Hermitages" near Wissahiccon, and on what is called "the Ridge," then a wilderness; and one named Benjamin Lay lived in a cave near the York Road, at Branchtown. This last was called the "Pythagorean, cynical, christian Philosopher." He is said to have had special inclination towards the Society of Friends, and kept up some kind of connection with the Germantown Society of these religionists. Lay may therefore be regarded as a seceder from the original principles of his associates. He died in 1759, aged 82 years.
Some of these forty-two learned mystics seem to have lived a "solitary life" in a kind of secluded community on the Wissahiccon. "There is there," says Watson, "under the name of 'the Monastery of the Wissahiccon,' a three-storied ancient building of an oblong square, sitnated on high ground, near a woody, romantic dell, through which the Wissahiccon finds its meandering way. About this house, so secluded and little known to the mass of the people, there have been sundry vague and mysterious reports and traditions of its having been once occupied as a monastery. The tale told in the early days of the present aged neighbors was, that it once contained monks of the 'Sevenday Baptist order,' and that they used wooden blocks for pillows, like
those at Ephrata, scolloped out so as to fit the head. If the house should have been built as early as 1708-when Kelpius, the hermit, died at the Ridge-it may have been constructed by the forty students from Germany, the Pietists who came out in 1694, with Kelpius, to live a single life in the wilderness," though this cannot now be established as a fact from reliable data; so the house must remain a mystery.
We give the following further account of these hermits, of the singular "German students," and "the Society of the Woman in the Wilderness," from Watson's Annals of Philadelphia: "In 1708, Kelpius, who was regarded as their leader, died in the midst of his days,' (said to be 35,)—after his death the members began to fall in with the world around them, and some of them to break their avowed religious intentions by marrying. Thus the society lost its distinctive character and died away; but previous to their dispersion they were joined about the year 1704 by some others, among whom was Conrad Mathias, (the last of the Ridge hermits,) a Switzer, and by Christopher Witt, (sometimes called Dr. Witt of Germantown,) a professor of medicine, and a 'magus' or diviner.
"After the death of Kelpius, the faith was continued in the person of John Seelig, who had been his companion and was also a scholar. Seelig lived many years after him as a hermit, and was remarkable for resisting the offers of the world, and for wearing a coarse garment like that of Kelpius. This Seelig records the death of his friend Kelpius in 1708, in a MS. Hymn Book of Kelpius' (set to music,) which I have seen saying he died in his garden, and attended by all his children, (spiritual ones, and children whom he taught gratis,) weeping as for the loss of a father. That Kelpius was a man of learning is tested by some of his writings; a very small written book of one hundred pages, once in my possession. It contains his writings in Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German and English: and this last (which is very remarkable, he being a foreigner,) is very free and pure. The journal of his voyage to this country, in sixteen pages, is all in Latin; some of his letters (of which there are several in German and two in English) are in Latin; they are all on religious topics, and saving his peculiar religious opinions, reason very acutely and soberly. From venturing with the thousands of his day to give spiritual interpretations to Scripture, where it was not so intended, he fell upon a scheme of religion which drove him and other students from the Universities, of Germany, and under the name of Pietists, &c., to seek for some immediate and strange revelations. He and his friends therefore expected the millenium year was close at handso near that he told the first Alex. Mack (the first of the Germantown Tunkers) that he should not die till he saw it! He believed also that the woman in the wilderness,' mentioned in the Revelations, was prefigurative of the great deliverance that was then soon to be displayed for the church of Christ. As she was to come up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved,' so the beloved in the wilderness laid aside all other engagements, (i. e. being hermits, and trimming their lamps and adorning themselves with holiness, that they may be prepared to meet the same with joy.) 'Therefore they did well to observe the signs of the times, and every new phenomenon (whether moral or preternatural) of meteors, stars, or colors of the skies, if peradventure the
harbinger may appear.' He argued too, that there was a three-fold wilderness, like the state of progression in spiritual holiness: to wit, the barren, the fruitful and the wilderness state of the elect of God.' In the last state, after which he was seeking, as a highest degree of holiness, he believed it very essential to attain it by dwelling in solitude or in the wilderness; therefore he argues Moses' holiness by being prepared forty years in the wilderness--Christ's being tempted forty days in the wilderness as an epitome of the other-John the Baptist coming from the wilderness, &c. He thought it thus proved that holy men might be thus qualified to come forth among men again, to convert whole cities, and to work signs and wonders. He was much visited by religious persons. Kelpius professed love and charity with all-but desired to live without a name or sect. The name they obtained was given by others. There are two of Kelpius' MS. Hymn Books still extant in Germantown : one of his own composing, in German, is called elegant; they are curious, too, because they are all translated into English poetry (line for line) by Dr. C. Witt, the diviner or magus. The titles of some of them may exhibit
the mind of the author:
"Of the wilderness—or Virgin-Cross love.'
"The contentment of the God-loving soul.'
"Of the power of the new virgin-body wherein the Lord revealeth his mysteries.'
"A loving moan of the disconsolate soul.'
“' Colloquium of the soul with itself.'
"Upon Rest after he had been wearied with Labour in the wilderness.' "Although he looked for a qualification to go forth and convert towns and cities in the name of the Lord, it is manifest that neither he nor his companions were enthusiastic enough to go into the world without such endowment. They often held religious meetings in their hermitage, with people who solicited to come to them for the purpose Kelpius' hut or house stood on the hill where the widow Phoebe Riter now lives. Her log house has now stood more than forty years on the same cellar foundation which was his; it is on a steep descending grassy hill, well exposed to the sun for warmth in the winter, and has a spring of the hermit's making, half down the hill, shaded by a very stout cedar tree. After Kelpius' hut went down, the foxes used to buirow in his cellar; he called the place the 'Burrow of Rocks, or Rocksburrow '-now Roxborough.
"Dr. Christopher Witt was born in England (in Wiltshire) in 1675: he came to this country in 1704, and died in 1765, aged 90. He was a skilful physician and a learned man; was reputed a magus or diviner, or in grosser terms a conjuror; and was a student and a believer in all the learned absurdities and marvellous pretensions of the Rosicrucian philosophy. The Germans of that day, and indeed many of the English, practiced the casting of nativities-and as this required mathematical and astronomical learning, it often followed that such a competent scholar was called 'a fortune teller.' Dr. Wittcast nativities,' and was called a conjuror: while Christopher Lehman, who was a scholar and a friend of Witt, and could cast nativities, and did them for all of his own nine children, but never for hire, was called a notary public, a surveyor, and a gentleman.”