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the spirit and life of the home Churches, which send out their men to lead the nations in darkness to Christ.
The closing day of the regular proceedings of the Alliance was Saturday, but a communion service was held in the cathedral on Sunday, and there was a fraternal leave-taking in the evening in Association Hall. This communion service was a remarkable meeting. The building itself was calculated to awaken lively memories of the heroic days of Swiss Protestantism. It dates back to A. D. 1010, and in a side room of the great edifice the secret sessions of the Council of Basle were held over four centuries ago. It was a stronghold of Romanism when its power was undisputed from the frozen North Cape to sunny, vine-clad Sicily. Its grotesque and lavish stone carvings; its stately and minute wooden figures ; its dark crypt and stately pillars ; its strange mixture of the Byzantine and Gothic orders of architecture; its double towers, that, in the sisterly companionship of the centuries, throw their shadows down into the hasty and cheerful Rhine; its stiff but significant mounted statues of Saints George and Martin, that tell the story of Hapsburg power, and have kept ward at the doorway through the long pilgrimage of both Roman Catholic and Protestant generations; and, above all, those rich cloisters, around whose quadrangle Erasmus loved to walk and think before he ever saw English Cambridge, and sauntered along the arcadian terrace of Queen's College, force one back to the elder. days, in spite of the free and hopeful present. The music from the many voices and the great organ had more than the usual lesson of Christian love to teach. The sermon was preached by the senior pastor, Dr. Stockmeyer, after which the administration of the Lord's Supper began. About two thousand persons were supposed to participate in this singularly impressive communion. Preachers and laymen approached the altar together, and it was fully three hours before the service was ended. The only reminder of nobility which one could see was the single badge of the iron cross worn by Count BismarckBohlen, who sat in the altar, with other members of the Alliance. The parting services in the evening called out such a large congregation that another meeting, in an adjoining room, had to be held. At the principal meeting the speakers were Drs. Riggenbach and Arthur, and Count Bismarck-Bohlen, in the German language; Dr. Godet, in French; and Pastor Cocorda, in Italian. Here, as in all the preceding meetings, the hymns were sung from a book prepared especially for the session, and which seemed to be in every worshiper's hand. In this little volume the great singers of nearly all of the Protestant communions were represented. The hymns were in the four chief languages of Europe and America—German, French, English, and Italian. “ Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott,” “Grand Dieu, nous Te Bénissons," "There is a Fountain filled with blood,” and “Del Forte di Giacobbe," were sung by Christian people from every quarter of the compass.
An important question in connection with the Alliance was the relation of the organization to the foreign Churches which are now represented by active operations and growing influence in Germany and Switzerland. The Wesleyans of England, and the Baptists and Methodists of the United States, have succeeded so far that now they are regarded as threatening forces to the power of the State Churches. The leading theologians in the latter manifest little sympathy with them, and look on their work with suspicion, and in many instances with a want of fraternal feeling. There was, however, at the Basle session a just recognition of the right of our American missionaries in those countries to participate in all matters that concern the common interests of the Church universal. The two resident ministers of our German and Swiss Conference, Rev. Clement Achard, presiding elder of the Basle District, and Rev. Heinrich Mann, pastor of our Church in Basle, were members of the local committee, and had their full voice in the arrangements for the session. Rev. Dr. L. Nippert, the director of our Theological Seminary in Frankfort-on-the-Main, was one of the regular speakers at a devotional meeting at Association Hall, with CourtPreacher Hoffman and others. No one can say that there was not a proper recognition of our representation at the Basle session. At one of the early morning meetings, which preceded the regular sessions at ten o'clock, some one expressed his inability to co-operate with the Alliance because of its admission of the “foreign sects” into relation with it. But this spirit was promptly rebuked. Dr. Nippert said a brave and strong word in defense of our work in the Fatherland, and no one could gainsay his statements as to the pure methods of
our work. Dr. Schaff also said that all hostile expressions relating to this subject were foreign to the spirit of the Alliance, and deserved rebuke. Count Bismarck-Bohlen, who was for the time the presiding officer, said that if men from abroad come into Germany, and preach a pure gospel, and the people are attracted toward it, they are worthy of all confidence, and that if the State Churches lose their power God will place it in other hands.
The personal appearance and characteristics of some of the leading members of the Alliance were matters of no little interest to Americans who had been reading their works for many years, and yet had never seen them. Van Oosterzee is a stout, short, florid Dutchman, who moves about quickly, and has a kindly word and strong grasp for any stranger who approaches him. He has grown much older in the last decade. Before his turn came to speak he sat a little nervously in his chair, and when announced, he started up briskly, took out his manuscript, and dropped into the chair at the speaker's desk. He rubbed the perspiration from his great, beaming face, and seemed about to read his paper, and that, too, while sitting; but by a quick movement he arose, pushed aside his chair, laid his manuscript away from him, and proceeded to speak with great animation extemporaneously. His first utterances told the story at once of his being the chief orator of Dutch Protestantism. He warmed with his subject, gesticulated with subdued power, and his deep gutturals reached the furthest corners of the auditorium. He melted all hearts, and will be remembered as one of the most notable figures of the session. Orelli is a young man, not much beyond thirty, slender, pale, of great keen eyes. He wrote a book on “Through the Holy Land, ” which is rather sentimental than scientific. He is sustained at the Basle University by a salary given by a circle of evangelical friends and admirers. He used no manuscript, but spoke with an incisive force and emphasis, and with a spiritual unction, which produced a powerful impression. His address was a phenomenon, and from this distance of six months it stands out before us rather as a visible thing than a spiritual communication. May his slender frame stand the jostle and impulse of his masterly mind!
De Pressensé is of negligent utterance, and has grown aged
since 1866, when his now gray hair was coal-black, and his eyes were keen and piercing, instead of dull and cold, as they now are, save when the fire comes as he addresses an audience. His address on the freedom of the press was listened to with undivided attention by the multitude, who did not understand him, as he spoke in French. And yet there was something in his manner of speech that gave the audience a clear idea of what he was saying. We heard his strong words before we reached
the church in which he was making his address, and when we • entered the building it was difficult to get even standing-room
near his desk. Pressensé represents the effort of reviving French Protestantism to get a hearing and assert its prerogatives. He threw himself into the heart of the humanitarian part of the late Franco-German war, and when peace came he became one of the national representatives. He has gained the confidence of all classes, and it is not unlikely that he will become a senator for life. Count Bismarck-Bohlen is tall and slender, and without the massive appearance of the prince, his cousin. He was attentive to all the sessions ; calm, self-possessed, full of sympathy with earnest work by every believer and every denomination. Only once did he seem to possess the fire of the family, and that was when he made an address at the close of the session. His eyes flashed with a strange brilliancy, and his whole manner was animated and magnetic.
Dr. William Arthur has been suffering for years from a throat difficulty, but has now—at least so it seemed to his hearersentirely recovered his tone of voice. His health is not firm, yet when he speaks one comes in a moment within the power of his old charm of voice and manner. His face and whole bearing are exceedingly captivating. When he illustrated the virtue of interdenominational comity by an allusion to the benefits that come to the human body by a judicious rubbing of the surface, every one saw the aptness of his analogy, and greatly enjoyed it. He is to be a visitor to our approaching General Conference, where many who remember his former visit here will again hear him, and those who have never heard him will have the privilege of listening to one who has long been an ornament to British Methodism. Ebrard is a short, genial gentleman; brusque, ready for conversation, and full of plans for his pen in the years to come. Godet is one of the greatest Protestants south of the Rhine, and for his keen analysis of the fundamental thoughts of Scripture, and especially for his comprehension of John's Gospel, has no superior in Europe. Dr. Rigg is well known to Americans from his two visits to this country. He has marvelous executive power, and has lost no flesh because of the arduous duties that have fallen to him through his presidency of the British Conference. His relations to the non-Wesleyan leaders of England are of the most intimate character, and honorable alike to them and him.
Dr. Nippert stands in the front of our German ministers. He has all the vigor of his earlier years, and is destined to do great service in the years to come. He wields a strong polemic pen, and his new work on “Pastoral Theology and Homiletics" will still more extend his influence.
The social features of the Alliance were peculiarly Swissand that means an open heart and hand. It was not expected by the Basle people that many guests would be present, and when they were surprised by the large number they set to work to entertain them in the best possible manner. The national representation of members present was as follows: From Germany, 554; Switzerland, 522; Great Britain, 252; France, 68; Holland, 63; America, 61; Belgium, 9; Italy, 7; Austria and Turkey, 6 each ; Spain and Africa, 5 each; Russia, 4; East Indies, 3; Denmark, Greece, and Canada, 2 each ; Sweden, 1; and 600 other delegates unclassified.
The Committee of Reception met the delegates at the railway station, and did all in their power to make them feel at home. No pains were spared to contribute to the comfort and pleasure of the guests from the beginning to the end of the session. The British branch of the Alliance, thinking that the Swiss brethren would be overburdened financially, sent them a handsome sum of money to supplement their own gifts. But this has been returned intact, the Basle people saying that they wished the gratification of meeting all expenses themselves. Afternoon garden fêtes were held in the grounds of prominent citizens, where refreshments were served, and many thousands met in all the freedom of Christian brotherhood.