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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 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,
THE TWO DEATH BEDS.
"One shall be taken, and the other left."
Ir 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 woman 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
book, I gave her both, intreating her to pray, but she assured me it would be worse than useless, it would be impious mockery!
I saw her no more till I heard she was again stretched on a sick bed. I visited her and found her raving in the prospect of everlasting woe; and in this fearful state she met the dread messenger, who summoned her to the bar of God!
The other female was a different character; she was beautiful, but vain and worldly; mild and prepossessing in demeanour, but wanting in principle, and totally without religion. In the prime of life, she became the victim of hereditary consumption. Blessed with a kind and affectionate husband, who had been well instructed, and who would have rejoiced to see his wife display genuine piety, Elizabeth was yet uninfluenced by its precepts or its hopes. She clung to life, though from the commencement of her illness, fully aware of her predisposition to a fatal disease, and when it was thought right after she had lingered for a year, to warn her that she could not, to human appearance, recover; while alarmed at the prospect of exchanging worlds, she had no hope that it would be for the better. Her natural sinfulness was represented, and conviction was pressed upon her, that she might fly to the Cross for refuge; but she only appeared to be wearied and offended; and when after many interviews and many prayers, she found there was no hope for her but in believing, she took refuge -not in the all-sufficiency of the Redeemer, but in a morbid, though too prevalent view of the doctrine of absolute election: viewing the Almighty as a hard task-master or inexorable tyrant. To attempt to free herself from blame, she pleaded that as faith was the gift of God, and he withheld it from her, nothing remained but that she should sullenly wait His pleasure, and submit to His irreversible decree.
What a frightful and distorted view of Christianity is this: to limit "the uttermost" of Christ; and persist in our rebellion, because God will not tell us, what he refuses to disclose to the loftiest archangel: to accuse Him practically of falsehood to his promises; and refuse to be saved, upon the very ground that ought to lead us to his arms-our utter worthlessness and inability to save ourselves. Do we put aside our daily bread till we have ascertained exactly what effect it is to have upon our mortal frame, and starve ourselves, because we have doggedly
taken up a notion that God has foreordained that it shall do us no good? But he who puts from him the sweet and precious promises of God in Christ, does worse than this; for his life and conversation plainly say, "Take away the bread of life: for it is better for me to die than to live!"
In this distressing state, she remained several weeks, gradually sinking into the grave, but unable to lay hold on the hope set before her. Having been detained for a fortnight by illness, from visiting her, when I again saw her, how wonderful was the change I found! She told me she had been sitting, turning over the leaves, rather than reading, her bible, when a passage caught her eye, I forget its exact words; but directed by the Spirit of truth, it taught her in a moment all she needed to know, but had been so backward to seek—the willingness of Jesus to save, and the all-sufficiency of the gospel provision for every case. From this moment, peace seemed to flow into her mind like a river; and from having been impatient and fretful, she was all meekness and complacency-the very expression of her emaciated countenance was changed to the sweetest placidity. I saw her daily; and daily I found her growing in grace, though her weakness was great, and her time evidently short. It was deeply affecting to witness the Lord himself teaching her so rapidly all that many Christians take a long life to acquire. At last I was told that death was approaching, and she wished to see me. After committing her soul to God in a few words of solemn prayer, she requested me not to leave her ; I asked her if she were happy; she replied, "O! yes, I am; for my Saviour and Lord is with me!" Then turning her dying, glazing eyes to the window, while the setting sun shed a golden radiance on her once-lovely, but now faded face, she softly sank to everlasting rest, to meet the blessed beams of the Sun of Righteousness in that land where there shall be no night, but God and the Lamb are the light thereof.
HARMONY OF THE FATHERS!
"There are now as many creeds as there are inclinations, and we have as many doctrines as we have fashions. Confessions are subscribed according to our caprice; and they are interpreted