Page images

minated by a small lamp; on entering, our passage was arrested by an iron railing, behind which was a reclining image of the Redeemer, the size of life. Thus do the people keep alive the remembrance of the death of the Son of God, but while superstitiously exact in their outward reverence for his image, they appear strangely forgetful of the living spirit of his truth. Is there not something like a retributive infliction of judicial punishment in this ? Departing from the simplicity of the gospel, opposing the plainest dictates of the divine word, making to themselves “graven images," and falling down and worshipping, they are stricken as with a moral paralysis, given over to a childish infatuation, and spend their strength, their talent, their intellect, and their wealth, about that which in its relation to the gospel is only as the frame to the picture, or the shell and husk to the inner ripened fruit.

Advancing nearer to the top, on a little piece of table land, is a small church and cemetery, beautifully situated, and prettily planted; and immediately above us were the frowning ruins of the castle. We climbed to the top of the old tower, and were well repaid by the lovely and picturesque prospect.

Descending to what may have been a small court-yard, we were surrounded by the children who had been our voluntary guides. Having with us a number of French and German tracts, we proceeded to test the ability of these little ones as readers; they appeared all of them able to read, and were very anxious to have our books. The German tracts they read and understood, but of the French they appeared to be quite ignorant. One boy told us he could read it, and taking the tract in his hand, proceeded to read as if it were German, but evidently only understanding when here and there he stumbled upon a proper name; this seemed to give great amusement to all the rest. The children at once perceived that our little books were on the subject of religion ; but there were two, a little boy and girl, who had mingled with the rest on a perfect equality, and were as eager to point out different objects in our path, who seemed rather to hang back when the tracts were given away, or if they attempted to approach and take one, were instantly, and with some violence, repelled by the others. This excited our curiosity; the children with great earnestness explained the matter, but it was some time before we were able to comprehend their meaning, at last we unravelled the mystery, and our enlightenment was welcomed by the little ones with a shout of merriment. The two outcasts were a little jew and jewess. “Not christians! not christians!” they repeated again and again, and the poor little despised children of Abraham appeared as though they felt that in all that concerned the religion of the Saviour they were in a position of manifest inferiority to the rest. They submitted meekly ; bore the blows and ridicule of these young pharisees with patience ; and seemed, as we fancied, to regard it as a strange thing, when, to the best of our German ability, which was very small, we attempted to remonstrate with these little self-styled christians, on their rudeness and unkindness. This little incident, under all the circumstances of the case, was to our minds at the time deeply affecting; it brought strikingly to our recollection the language of the apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Romans, (ch. xi.) “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God." Here were "the natural branches” of the stock of Abraham broken off and yet retained; living, and yet dead; preserved in distinct separation from all gentile nations, even at that distance of time and place from their early origin ; the remnant of Jacob” appearing in the midst of strange nations, “as a dew from the Lord, that waiteth not for man, nor tarrieth for the sons of men. How perfectly miraculous is the whole history of the jewish people. How singularly corroborative of that gospel to which as yet their hearts are hardened, and their understandings blinded. Some of the very words of the apostle might have been written for the scene before us. While these “ natural branches were broken off," here were some of the professed branches of the “wild olive tree” that had been “graffed in among them,” “ boasting against the branches." " Their fall has been the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the gentiles.” When shall arrive the blessed time of their recovery, and our fulness?

Taking leave of our friends who intended to remain all night at Godesberg, wereturned to Bonn. On the following morning we left again at six o'clock to go by steam boat to the Drachenfels ; we had a pleasant passage up the river, and landed at Königswinter. This village is situated at the foot of three lofty hills, covered with vineyards ; it is said to have derived its name from the fact that a king of the Franks having driven the Romans from the place, took up his residence here during the winter, A. D. 446. The Drachenfels, or Dragon's Rock, is one of the most striking of the seven mountains, and its sides are very steep. We were amply repaid for our toil, when at last we stood on the height, there truly

“The castled crag of Drachenfels
Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine,
Whose breast of waters broadly swells
Between the banks which bear the vine,
And hills all rich with blossomed trees,
And fields which promise corn and wine,
And scattered cities crowning these,

Whose fair white walls along them shine.” In the middle of the stream below us, the lovely island of Nonnenwerth seemed like a verdant floating raft at anchor, in the midst of which stands the former convent, now an hotel, which so lately as 1814 was inhabited by the nuns, who have given the island its name. Inland we commanded a view of at least sixty miles, while immediately around us, the Siebenbergen, with their intermediate valleys, covered with vines and brushwood, looked like the upheavings of a bright green sea. At our feet

“ The river nobly foams and flows,

The charm of this enchanted ground,
And all its thousand turns disclose

Some fresher beauty varying round.” On the opposite shore the hill of Rolandseck, with its ruined castle, comes down to the water's edge, and in the distance are the ruins of Godesberg, and the city of Bonn, crowned by the height of Kreuzberg. Unwillingly did we leave this lovely landscape, and returning by a small boat, arrived at Bonn in time for dinner. In the evening we walked to the Schloss of Popplesdorf, the former residence of the Electors of Cologne; it is now occupied as a museum of natural history, with a botanical garden. I cannot omit to mention our visit to the grand “Aula,” or hall of the University, containing four excellent paintings in fresco. They form admirably painted groups, representing the greatest lights of the world, after the manner of Raphael's “School of Athens," classified according to the four faculties of the Universities of Germany, Divinity, Medicine, Law, and Philosophy. In the Divinity school, on the steps nearest the presiding genius, are the four evangelists, with the apostles Peter and Paul. Luther lifts up his great head and hand with the energy and physical strength of a giant, and near him are Wycliffe, Calvin, Zuinglius, and Melanchthon. Among the jurists, Moses stands nearest the throne, around him are Menu, Lycurgus, and Solon, while Lord Bacon, Montesquieu, and many others, fill up the picture. Among the natural philosophers, were Bacon, Newton, Cuvier, Sydenham, Linnæus, Aristotle, &c. &c. And in the painting especially devoted to what the Germans call the faculty of philosophy, were Socrates, Plato, Homer, Demosthenes, Cicero, Raphael, Shakspeare, Milton, and many others. It was pleasant to find Englishmen in every group.

Believe me, my dear H.
Yours with much affection,



“One shall be taken, and the other left." It can never be unprofitable, but under the gracious influence of the Divine Spirit, it must be always instructive, to contemplate death under all the different aspects in which he makes his approach to the children of men. In the days of youthful hope and buoyant spirits, when all things look joyous to the unsophisticated eye, we do not think it ought to cast even a temporary cloud over the sunny vision of hopeful futurity, to present sometimes before it, the last great enemy-for enemy he is, though to the Christian, a conquered and disarmed one. He is one whose visit we are assured we must expect sooner or later, and we believe that the more we accustom ourselves to anticipate his arrival to ourselves, and to contemplate the feelings with which others meet him, the less we shall shrink from his dreadful presence, and cold grasp.

The subjects of the following sketch, were personally known to the writer, who stood by their dying beds, and witnessed the


scenes here feebly described. They were both females in the humbler walks of life, and their education had been confined to being taught to read the Bible ; they were both married, but had no families; in some other circumstances of their life and character, they were also similar, but in their deaths how different!

One of these females had a profane and passionate husband, and their cottage was a scene of frequent and most unseemly quarrels : they were both strictly honest, clever at work, and very industrious, but this was all the good that could be said of them. They never entered the house of God, and if the pure and peaceable religion of Jesus is known by its fruits, this unfortunate pair knew not its power or its consolations. At length the

was seized with dangerous illness, and was greatly alarmed about her everlasting welfare. O! how often does the kind hand of our heavenly Father appear to employ our sins themselves, and their consequences, as means to arrest the thoughtless sinner in his headlong course, and bring him back like the prodigal, but in vain! When the writer, hearing of this poor woman's alarming state, sent her some tracts, and requested a clergyman to visit her; he considered her seriously impressed, and we trusted the impressions would be permanent. But she recovered, and being engaged in some farm-work in our employment, I spoke to her of the danger she had escaped, the goodness of God in sparing her, and giving her space for repentance. She heard me in silence, but at length answered; I know I am a sinner ; everlasting misery will sooner or later be my only portion." I shuddered, as who would not, at these awful words, for they were not uttered in sorrow or despondency, but in reckless indifference and callous desperation.

“And how," I replied ; “how can you contemplate such a doom, without even enquiring if there can be no escape from it? you have heard-you surely believe, there is a Saviour from the tremendous wrath to come? There is hope in Him for the vilest."

“Oh no!” she answered, “ he will not receive me. I know that hell must be my lot, I deserve it !"

In vain I reasoned; I implored; I was speaking to the nether millstone. I gave her a tract entitled “Come and welcome to Jesus Christ !” And finding she had neither Bible nor prayer

« PreviousContinue »