Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

German mind of Pennsylvania, to stigmatise it as constitutionally inactive and unproductive, and as naturally narrow and illiberål. We have no right to charge upon its nature, what at worst is to be considered only the fault of circumstances. The condition in which it has been placed, has been such, as to consign it for years, to general ignorance, and along with this to much moral and spiritual rudeness in other respects; and this has had the effect of se. riously retarding the progress of the whole State in the cause of education. But it has not destroyed or impaired, in the mean time, the capabilities of the State for a generous and vigorous self-devel. opment in this form, at a later period. Nay, it is quite possible, that something may have been gained for the force of this development at last, by the very delay which has thus been put upon it in past years. An earlier awakening of the proper German life of Pennsylvania, might have been more untimely, and so less favorable to the drawing out of its powers in their best form. It may be well that these powers and possibilities have lain buried for the inost part till the present time, when the opening as it were of a new era in the history of our country might seem to make room for their being unfolded with such effect as was not to be hoped for before. In tbis view, we have no reason to be ashamed of the German character of our State. There is a blessing in it, with all its faults; and the time has now come, we may trust, when the secret power of this blessing will begin to make itself extensively felt. The hindrances which have heretofore stood in the way of its moral and intellectual advancement, are happily fast disappearing. Our German population has begun to free itself everywhere from the thraldom of an isolated, and therefore, comparatively stagnant and dead social position, maintained heretofore through the use of a foreign tongue, and is entering more and more into free, active communication with the general life of the State. With the falling away of this middle wall of partition, old prejudices, and old occasions of prejudice, are rapidly losing their power. A new interest is beginning to make itself felt on all sides, in favor of education. Juch of course, very much, still remains to be desired, in this respect, especially as regards education in its higher forms; but never before has there been the same room for encouragement, that there is now, in the way of what may be regarded as preparation at least, and promise here in the right direction. The field is white already to harvest. What is wanted, is, that the rich opportunity should be rightly understood, and vigorously, as well as wisely improved. Let us have faith and confidence in German nature itself; let us believe, that in these circumstances it will not fail to show itself spiritually worthy of its own pedigree and race. The Low Dutch nature, extensively prevalent in New Jersey and New York, might have been considered, constitutionally, a much less promising element for the process of social cultivation ; although we find it now actively associated in fact with all that belongs to the cause of ed. ucation in those States. Only let the unnatural restraints fall away, which have heretofore done violence to the German heart and Ger. man soul of Pennsylvania-an emancipation which, as we have just seen, is now fast taking place-and we may reasonably anticipate a still more cheering result. With all the deterioration it may seem to have suffered for the time, in the captivity of more than seventy years, through which it has been called to pass, the mind of Germany still lives in the posterity of her children transplanted to America during the last century ; to some extent modified, no doubt by the new influences to which it has been so long exposed, but ready still to wake in the power of its now properly distinguishing qualities and attributes, just as soon as fit occasion may be afforded . for such purpose.

In this view then, we repeat it, there is no reason to be discouraged with the prospects of our State, as regards education and learning. Our population contains at least the elements of a greatness in this respect, which may be expected to bear favorable comparison, in due time, with that of any other section of the country. Our mountains are not more full of buried wealth, than the spirit of our people. Let us be true to ourselves, in constructing schools and colleges for the one interest, as well as rail-roads and canals for the other, and all will be right. Pennsylvania may yot be. come the soil of the most thriving and vigorous literature in the land."

THE SONG OF THE SPADE.

Give me the spade and the man tbat can use it ;

A fig for your lord and his soft, silken hand ;
Let the man who has strength never stoop to abuse it,

Give it back to the giver--the land, boys, the land.

There's no bank like the earth to deposit your labor,

The more you deposit the more you shail have;
If there's more than you want, you can give to your neighbor,

And your bame shall be dear to the true and the brave.

Give me the spade--old England's glory,

That fashioned the field from the bleak, barren moor;
Let us speak of its praise with ballad and story,

While 'tis brightened with labor, not tarnished with gore.

It was not the sword that won our best battle,

Created our commerce, and extended our trade,
Gave food to our wives, our children, our cattle,

But the queen of all weapons—the spade, boys, the spade.

Give me the spade; there's a magic about it

That turns the black soil into bright shining gold;
What would our fathers have done, boys, without it,

When the lands lay all bare, and the North winds blew cold?

When the tall forest stood, and the wild beasts were yelling?

Where our stout-hearted ancestors shrunk back afraid ;
The corn stack is raised, and mankind claims a dwelling;

Then hurrah for our true friend--the spade, boys, the spade!

LIFE-PICTURES FROM CHURCH HISTORY, No. 3.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

" If the believer, full of pious enthusiasm, feels himself impelled to promulgate the fame and good deeds of the saints, then he will praise in them Christ Himself, he will glorify the Saviour." With these excellent words Ansgar introduces his sketch of the lifo of our Willehad, his predecessor in the episcopal chair at Bremen, which is still extant. It is indeed the Grace of God, without which we bave nothing, are nothing, and can do nothing, that we must extol in every human work, and which also selected this man as such a glorious instrument.

Willehad was by birth an Englishman from Northumberland. It could be said of him : « Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee” (Jer. 31: 3). Even in his childhood he rested with his whole heart in his God, and, from his youth up, he had no other thought than to devote himself to the service of the Church. Through his pious life, and zeal as a student, especially diligent in watching and prayer, he soon acquired tbe greatest respect and love of his fellow citizens.

When he had been ordained presbyter, and had heard of the conversion of the Frieslanders and Saxons, as well as of their desire after the pure milk of the Gospel, he burned with eager desire to visit them. For this purpose he visited the king of his country, Alachred, and asked his permission to go thither. The king, convinced of the earnestness of his desire, assembled the clergy to ad. vise more closely on the subject. With their acquiescence, he speedily ordered o’r Willehad off, as a missionary of the Gospel, to Friesland.

Willehad passed over the sea to Friesland and established him. kelf first at Dakkum near Utrecht, on holy soil, where Bonifacius had before obtained the Martyr's crown. He met a friendly recep. tion, preached the word of God and occupied himself principally with the instruction of youth in divine things. After he had remained here some time he was impelled to go further. He passed over the Lauwer sea into Humsterland (Humarcha) where the people were still heathens. His preaching of the Gospel gave great offence here; the heathen natives were inflamed with anger and rage. Some were disposed to kill him, but the majority decided, in accordance with heathen custom, to submit to the decision of the lot. This eventuated favorably for him and they suffered him to go his way. From that region, where for the present at least nothing could be done, be went to the district of Drenthe, where he found more readiness to listen to his preaching, and where he succeeded in converting a considerable number. His disciples, en. couraged by his success, were carried so far with their zeal, that they began to destroy the heathen temples. But this excited op. position. Willehad was made to suffer for this,-he was beaten with stripes. Some struck him with clubs, one pressed on him, in. deed so closely with his sword, that he cut off the ribbon by wbich a relic was suspended from his neck, and yet, through the providence of God, did not injure him. Hereupon they suffered him to depart.

Charlemagne, who, in the meantime, had heard of this zealous missionary, invited him to visit him, and then sent him to Saxony, first to the district of Wigmodien on the eastern bank of the Weser. Thence he went, across the Elbe, to North Albingen and especially to the district of Dithmarschen. Here be preached the Gospel for seven years and caused to be erected, out of wood, the first church in the land at Meldorf. But a new rebellion broke out in Saxony (781) under Wittikind. All the Christians were persecuted and their lands laid waste. The new church at Meldorf was also destroyed, and several disciples of Willehad slain; among others Atreban met a martyr's death in Dithmarschen. The tender bud of Christianity was thus again destroyed. Willehad had gone before this to the Rustringer district (Grand Duchy Oldenburg) and fled from his persecutors to Friesland, and thence with Luedger, who was missionary at Helgoland, went to Rome where Pope Adrian comforted and strengthened him. Adam (Bishop of Bremen) the writer of this history reproaches him somewhat on account of this flight and says that he was indisposed to martyrdom. He returned soon to France and stopped at the Monastery of St. Willi. brord (Echternach), in the neighborhood of Treves. He remained two years here and collected his disciples about him. He was very diligent himself and copied the Epistles of St. Paul and many other books. In the year 785 he visited Charlemagne a second time at the castle Eresburg. The latter presented him for his support Celle Justina (Mont Jutin in Upper Burgundy). Willehad return. ed again to Wigmodien, preached with zeal, re-established the churches which had been destroyed and appointed priests over them. The Saxons were gradually becoming Christians,— Witti. kind himself, their leader, and Albion suffered themselves to be baptized. Charlemagne had Willebad consecrated Bishop, Juno 13th, 787, and appointed him first Bishop of the See of Bremen then created. This strengthened and increased his zeal for the building up of God's kingdom. He erected a church in Bremen, of wonderful beauty, although only of wood, the Cathredral, and dedicated it, November 1st, 787 to St. Peter. On one of his Episcopal excarsions he was taken with a fever at Blexum near Vegesack. Egisrik, one of his disciples, complains that the flocks should be deprived of their shepherd. But Willebad, resigned to God's will,

replied : “My son, do not call me any longer from the sight of my Lord and Master. His blessings shall not be wanting to you, for all lands are full of his mercy.” He died November 8th, 789. His corpse was brought to Bromen and interred in St. Peter's church which he had erected. His successor, Willerich, had the body placed in a chapel, but Ansgar had it returned to the church. There is still to be seen in Bremen the Willebad Brunnen, on the site of the chapel. Ansgar, in the course of the Biography, gives a list of thirty-seven miracles, which had been effected at the grave of Willebad.

Willebad labored diligently to live a very virtuous life. He was very temperate; wine, mead and all intoxicating drinks he abso. Tutely avoided. His food was bread and honey, vegetables and fruits; he abstained from milk, meat and fish. st was only to. wards the end of his life, that he partook of fish, and at the recommendation of Pope Adrian. He was indefatigable in reading and studying the Holy Scriptures ; he celebrated Mass daily and took pleasure in chanting his Psalter. A superb Latin Psalter-a costly manuscript written on parchment with large golden letters, which Charlemagne had given to Pope Adrian, and the latter had presented to Willehad, was preserved for eight hundred years in the Catbedral in Bremen and is now in the Imperial library at Vienna. He affected the hearts of many by his sermons, so that they en-tered upon the way of salvation. And his example, moreover, confirmed that which bis lips declared. His portrait may be seen on the seal of the Church at Ulnis in Angeln (Duchy of Schleswig).

THE YEAR OF NINES.—An ingenious arithmetician has made the following calculations, in virtue of which he proposes to call the year 1863 the year of nines : “Add the first two figures of the year, 1 and 8, and you have the total 9; the last two figures, 6 and 3, give the same result. Place the last two figures, 1, 8, under 6, 3, and add, when you will have 81, which two figures united give 9. Subtract, on the other hand, 18 from 63, there remain 45, the union of which make 9. Divide 63 by 18, the quotient is 3, and the remainder 9. Multiply the four figures, 1, 8, 6, 3, one by the other, and the result is 144, which numbers together make 9. Add the figures, 1, 8, 6, 3, together, when you will get 18, which figures together give 9. Divide 1863 by 9, the quotient is 207, which three figures equal 9."

No man can safely go abroad that does not love to stay at home; no man can safely speak that does not willingly hold his tongue ; no man can safely govern that would not cheerfully become a subject; no man can safely command that has not truly learned to obey ; and no man can safely rejoice but he that has the testimony of a good conscience - Thomas a Kempis.

« ZurückWeiter »