Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

the man is also ridiculous, for putting on such a ridiculous coat."

“But,” said Godfrey, “ the man cannot help his coat being mended in such a manner; he had, very likely, no other cloth."

The magistrate stood still.“ Do you see,” said he, “ that neither the man nor his coat deserved to be ridiculed? The man cannot help it, that his coat is mended with a different material, since he had no better for the purpose, and the coat itself is innocent. But do you know what would have been better than laughter on such an occasion ?".

Ashamed, they both said at the same time, “ Having pity on the poor man, because he had not a better coat.”

“Well, then,” rejoined their father, “remember this another time, and mention some history out of the Old Testament, of which we ought to think in such cases."

GODFREY. O, I know! you mean the history of the wicked boys of Bethel, which is in the second book of Kings.

MAGISTRATE. You are right; and when we come home, I will read it to you. The magistrate sometimes paid a visit to

his friend, the Rev. Mr. Roth, of Möttlingen, a little village to the east of Liebenzell. He had been already nineteen years the clergyman of that village, and continued there twenty-nine years more. The magistrate being in the habit on such occasions of taking his whole family with him, of which I was esteemed one, I was always at liberty to accompany them, which afforded me particular pleasure, being fond of hearing Mr. Roth, who was very conversative, relate his entertaining anecdotes. I felt much confidence in him, and was able to state my thoughts and feelings very frankly to him. He understood me immediately, and always gave me some suitable reply. For instance, he said on one occasion, “Do you know how the peasant women do in this country before they go to bed ?” “No,” replied I. “Well, then, in order not to have the trouble of making a fire in the morning, they rake the hot embers together on the hearth in the evening, and cover them with ashes; they have then fire the next morning. Now you must also act thus. When you go to bed in the evening, entreat the Saviour to collect together good thoughts in your mind, in order that in the morning you may immediately find them again, and your first thought on awaking be Jesus." I followed this advice, and derived great advantage from it.

Another time I told him how much I dreaded being soon obliged to return to the service of the Colonel's lady, when I should experience nothing but mockery and contempt, were I to confess my faith in Jesus, and when I should painfully long for the religious intercourse and instruction which I at that time so abundantly enjoyed. On this occasion, in order to encourage me to steadfastness, he related the history of the young Christian martyr, Cyril, which was as follows:

In the year 258, after the birth of Christ, a child, named Cyril, manifested an uncommon degree of constancy. He called unceasingly upon the name of Christ, and neither blows nor ill-treatment could deter him from a public confession of Christianity. Several children of his own age persecuted him, and his own father drove him out of

move me.

the house, for which he was commended by many, as being a proof of his zeal for paganism.

The judge sent for the boy, and said to him, “My child, I will forgive thee thy faults, and thy father shall take thee again. It stands in thy own power to enjoy thy father's wealth, if thou art wise, and dost not tread thy good fortune under foot." The child replied, “ Your reproaches do not

God will take care of me. It does not grieve me that I am expelled from my father's house; I shall have a better habitation. I do not fear death, for it will conduct me into a better life.”

After the grace of God had strengthened him to make this good confession, he was bound, and taken to the place of execution. The judge, however, had given secret orders to have him brought back, hoping that the sight of the fire would overcome his resolution. Cyril remained immovable. The humanity of the judge made him try every means of persuasion, but in vain. Your fire and your sword,” said the young martyr,

are of no importance. I am going to a

better home, and to more excellent riches. Rather let me die immediately, that I may the sooner obtain possession of them.” The spectators were so affected that they wept. “ You ought rather to rejoice," said he, when

you

lead me to execution. You do not know what a city I shall inhabit, and what a hope I possess." Thus he met his fate, and was the admiration of the whole city. Out of the mouths of children, God has perfected praise.

During this narration, I was heartily ashamed at my weakness and timidity; but I could not help feeling a secret horror as often as I thought of parting from the family in Liebenzell, which had become so dear to me, and I saw no way of escape from this painful change of circumstances. The close of the year rapidly arrived, the campaign was at an end, the Colonel and his lady returned to Bavaria into winter quarters, and I was compelled to go with them. On taking a heart-rending leave of my friends at Liebenzell, nothing served to cheer me, but the hope of possibly seeing them again during the next campaign.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »