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When the magistrates found that the terrors of the rack produced no effect upon her, they were prevailed upon, on account of her extreme age and infirmities, to proceed no further against her, especially as judicial proof was entirely wanting in the case.
She was accordingly liberated, guarantees having been procured for the payment of the costs.
A few months after, death freed this poor injured widow from all danger of further prosecution.
Kepler himself, though in the most indigent circumstances as he never was able to obtain payment of the stipend due to him as court astronomer-had left his wife and children at Linz, where he was residing, and had journeyed to Wurtemberg (nearly three hundred miles), in order to assist his mother. When he returned to Linz, saddened and impoverished, he found that he himself had been dismissed with disgrace for his supposed desertion of his post, and his appointment had been bestowed upon another. He was then in the midst of printing his immortal work-the Rudolphine tables
and it is said that on his return he found the soldiery, with whom the country swarmed, had rifled his house, had cast his types into bullets, and had made cartridges of his priceless manuscripts. An exile, he had to wander through Germany, now desolated with the horrors of a civil war.
A few years later, while fruitlessly engaged in attempting to collect some arrears of salary due to him, died John Kepler, broken down by misfortune and neglect.
Is it too much that we should not suffer a day to pass without feeling humbly thankful, that our lot is cast in an age and in a country emancipated from the fearful trammels of a blind credulity and blood-thirsty superstition; and where genius and merit, instead of being dragged to the dust by persecution or by apathy, are fostered by kindly care into luxuriant and fruitful life?
THE NAME OF JESUS. To one who has tasted of the Lord's loving-kindness, and feels his soul reposing on the Saviour, what name so sweet and soothing in his ear! As the name of a birth-place associated with our earliest and purest joys-or of a brother beloved and
first playmate, long since gone to the better home-or of a tender parent at whose knees we learnt to know what we are and whither destined-or of a friend in whose bosom we could repose our inmost thoughts, and whose sympathy we valued as our dearest earthly treasure ; as any, or all of these cause the heart to throb and swell, and the eyes to overflow with the sweetest emotions of grateful memory—and we have often thought gratitude the most delightful of the merely natural faculties of the soul of man-so ought the name of our Redeemer, Brother, and best Friend, to sound most graciously harmonious in the Christian's estimation.
The Jew—we shudder as we write the word-loathes and hates the blessed name we glory in-Jesus of Nazareth. Mahometans are hardly a degree better ; believing Him to be indeed a prophet, but a presumed rival of their own, greater
We can pity, while we pray for these, because of their blinded ignorance; but how lamentable is it to think, that in many a place where the Gospel is preached—and of the Gospel or glad tidings, Jesus is the theme, the beginning and the ending-we say, in many a place where this great and glorious name is preached and even acknowledged, it is not loved or reverenced as it ought to be.
We have lived in the sister-island, where Popery is so miserably dominant. There the name of Mary usurps that of her Son. To her they pray; in her mediation they trust; to her ear they confide all their secrets, and to her they look with fond veneration, especially the females. We have heard " Ave Maria!” sound from the secluded retirement, in tones of the deepest devotion; and “ Mary, Mother!" breathed in a whisper of tenderness amidst the busiest scenes. The tear drop trembles in woman's eye, and the heart expands towards the virgin with an affectionate homage, due only to her blessed Son and Lord.
In the isles and deep valleys of Northern Europe, the Latheran form of Christianity prevails. Mary indeed is banished from their ritual, but practically their religion is mere deism. We have had some intercourse with several of these Scandinavians. They are very decorous in religious matters. They use a form of daily devotion ; they attend to the appointed holy days of their church with scrupulous sanctity; they never eat or drink without acknowledgment towards the giver; they return thanks for any special mercy with devout fervour ; but should Jesus Christ be spoken of, you will find no glad response, but the utmost indifference.
“ Jesus Christ "—they will perhaps say—"ah, yes-good man, Jesus Christ very good indeed!"
“But you know He is the Son of God-our only hope, our Saviour?"
“ Yes, true-God's Son; the good God accepted Him; the good God will save us.”
“ Save us! but how?"
• Ah, the good God is very merciful, madame! we hope in His great goodness ; no fear, Le Bon Dieu will do us all the good we need.”
And this is the amount of their chilling, uninfluencing creed. The name of Jesus is not once accounted of, nor the train of spiritual blessings his mission brought to man. Hence the obvious tendency in these days, even in the cradle of the Reformation, to unitarianism, and finally to deistical apostacy.
How evident the inference that the youthful branches of professing Christian families ought to be urged, and led, and encouraged to cherish the most sacred love and filial devotion towards the precious name of Him to whom they owe their eternal hopes—not as a mere lukewarm outward profession, but as entwined with their earliest memories - a talisman against every sorrow, and a watchword against every thought of sin. Children cannot be taught too early to associate all that is lovely and endearing and sublime with the name of their Saviour. It ought not to be spoken of merely as some mysterious thing afar, too awful to dwell on except with the preparation of sanctuary feelings: rather ought it to be a household word, linked with joy, and gratitude, and hope. We think in many pious and well-meaning families there is error committed on this point. Should childish voices,
their joy, shout out some few words of a favorite hymn, a solemn look and reproof checks the glad thought seeking to rise to the Lamb on the throne ; and thus is laid the foundation of the sentiment, too common among the young, that God is a being
rather to be feared than loved ; and his blessed Son a holy martyr, with whose history youthful sympathy associates only the painfulness of a suffering, not the joy of a risen, and reigning, and ever-loving Redeemer. We have witnessed the best effects flow from an opposite system to that we have here alluded to. We have observed the intense interest with which mere infants will listen to "pretty stories about Jesus.” We have seen them weep bitterly with Mary Magdalene at the empty sepulchre ; and their eyes as quickly dried, and sparkling with eager delight when informed He was alive again, yea, lives for ever
We have seen a sweet boy, of only three years old, run to his mamma after an hour or two of play, assuring her, and with truth, that he had been one of “ Jesus' lambs" for that time ; his little heart told him there had been great, perhaps unusual harmony among his playmates; and he knew that the Holy Lamb of God takes for his own, those who are gentle and loving like Himself.
A pious intelligent nurse is an unspeakable blessing to a family; and we earnestly implore Christian mothers to choose for their children's attendants only those who are decidedly followers of Jesus. The little boy we have mentioned, was favored in this respect. His nurse as well as his mother, never wearied of talking to their little charge about their precious Saviour ; it was no mere Sabbath lesson, but an every day's recurring and preferred theme. We have seen another lively and impetuous little one look for an hour at a time at a print of our Saviour, from one of the old masters, when no other thing that could be offered would keep him still for five minutes together. We have thus seen him spread the picture on the carpet, and prostrate himself beside it, his cheeks resting on his little hands, his eyes riveted on the delineation of the Lord, though knowing very well it was but an imagination of the sacred personage; and all the while talking to himself, repeating the most solemn and endearing truths he had ever heard of Jesus, and strange and wondrous ideas of his own besides ; occasionally even repeating the name softly, many times, as if it were like soothing music in his young ears. Often we have heard another child go to sleep repeating over and over that blessed name. We were told of yet another, who asked her mamma “ If she did not think the very sweetest prettiest name in all this world was Jesus ; yet hoped none would ever call a human being by it." What a thought-an unprompted thought-for a child of four years old ! how full of love and reverence. Such outgoings of affection from a babe, even the Lord on his throne will not despise. Another little girl we know, was engaged with her sister looking over their little treasures of books. The elder asked the younger which of them all she liked best; when the latter instantly selected a small well-worn looking volume, declaring it to be her favorite. “ And why,” asked the other, “ do you prefer that? I am sure we have many far prettier, with quite as nice reading in them too."
“Ah, but I love it,” replied the gracious child, “because it has Jesus on every page. You can't open it any where, but Jesus seems to look at you ;” and she clasped it to her bosom and kissed it fondly.
Is not this somewhat imaginative ? asks the reader. Does it not savour somewhat of relics, or the tenaciously cherished forms of modern Puseyism.
We feel assured that it is not so; we are satisfied that these children love the name of Jesus, because they love himself; and as far as a child can appreciate divine things, they adore His character, and feel grateful for His work on their own behalf.
We have stated these facts to show, that young people cannot be too early led to the feet of their Lord, even as were those whom He took in His arms in the days of His flesh. We think moreover they prove the hope, that while the head is yet unsophisticated and unseared by worldly influence, such impressions are likely to be permanent. The mothers of these children were similarly educated, and what they value above all other things, they earnestly desire their offspring may value too. The only supposable objection pious persons may raise is, that sacred things may be, by too great familiarity, brought into contempt, or at least carelessness. We think it depends entirely on the manner in which such an education is conducted. No sacred things or names must ever be treated with levity, far less disrespect; but a holy familiarity and unsophisticated affection are things very opposite from