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health, or wishes them good night. All are happy, and appear to owe much of their happiness to him. They seem to be ready to sacrifice their lives to save his. The following reply was made by one of his domestics, on his questioning her about her downcast looks during some trivial indisposition : 'I fear, dear papa, there will be no servants in heaven, and that I shall lose the happiness of waiting upon you.'
“Oberlin appears to be looking forward to his eternal home with holy confidence and joyful hope.”
The following are specimens of the texts referred to in the preceding letter. They were printed by Oberlin himself. He always kept a large supply of them, and distributed thousands and tens of thousands of them to his friends and visitors, often writing a few appropriate words on the back of the paper, or some short sentence expressive of his affectionate remembrance.
My mother and my brethren
and do it.
And let us
Sometimes, instead of a text, a few verses were inscribed on the cards.
Mon Dieu ! pour être heureux !
Oberlin's house was, as the writer of the preceding letter remarks, literally papered with pictures, inscriptions, verses from the Bible, and directions for missionary and other prayers; and on the door of one of them the Moravian text-book was fastened. The inscription placed on that of another will give some idea of the cordial and warm reception with which he always greeted his visitors, and formed, indeed, throughout the law by which they were governed :
“ Constant kindness.
Towards the latter end of the year 1793, Oberlin's eldest son Frederic, to whom he was most tenderly attached, entered the army as a volunteer, and was one of the first who were killed, being at this time in the twenty-fourth year of his age.
His father's patient resignation, and submission to the will of God, shone forth in as remarkable a manner on this afflicting occasion, as they had done on the death of his wife.
“I went soon afterwards," writes Mr Heisch, “to Waldbach, and naturally expected to find a tinge of melancholy spread over the family at the parsonage ; but instead of that, I observed only an air of quiet seriousness, and the usual tone of reciprocal communication was uninterrupted among them. They spoke of Frederic not as of the dead, but as one gone before them to heaven, where they confidently hoped, sooner or later, to meet him again. Every thing proceeded as usual, except in rather a more serious manner, whilst they thus conversed about him, and it was evident to all around them that they placed the most unlimited confidence in God's unerring goodness.”
The firm belief that every event of our lives is under the guidance and direction of a superintending Providence, and that Infinite Wisdom can, from a variety of dispensations, produce a uniformity of good and an uninterrupted series of benefits, formed, indeed, a leading trait in Oberlin's character; in proportion as he suffered under affliction, his mind seemed to open to the consolations of faith ; and it is not surprising that the influence and example of one so much beloved and respected, should induce other individuals, and especially those of his domestic circle, to adopt the same sentiments, to utter the same language, and to act upon the same principles. - Happy are those who can thus trace the hand of God in every circumstance, prosperous or adverse - who can regard even the heaviest trials as an intended means of sanctification, and of drawing us nearer to Jesus: — and hence, learning to “glory in tribulation,” can anticipate with joyful hope that period “when sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
DURING the period of the Revolution, which was at this time agitating the country, and plunging the people into misery and distress, Oberlin was, like the rest of the clergy, deprived of his scanty income. Soon after its commencement, indeed, it had been agreed by the heads of the parish, that a collection of fourteen hundred francs should be made for him, by persons going about from house to house for the purpose ; but although their benevolent efforts were exerted to the utmost, they could not raise, during the year 1789, more than one thousand one hundred and thirty-three francs, and in the following one, not so many as four hundred. This sum therefore, for two successive years, constituted nearly his sole revenue ; for no fees were admitted. My people,” he used to say, " are born, married, and buried, free of expense, at least as far as their clergyman is concerned.”
At length the reign of terror, which had for the last four years been preparing, by the gradual breaking down of every religious and social tie, raged in all its horror — spreading, like the sirocco of the desert, devastation, fam