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compiled by an English author from unquestionable documents, for the very purpose of carrying on the valuable schools which Oberlin began. May the blessed Lord whom we serve, make us fruitful, “ always abounding in the work of the Lord.” This is His will, and the sincere prayer of
LUTHER HALSEY. Western Theological Seminary,
tion of the roads-Agricultural improvements, &c.
JOHN FREDERICK OBERLIN.
Preliminary remarks--Account of the Ban de la Roche
Its state previous to M. Stouber's time-Stouber's exertions there,
The memoirs of an individual, whose whole life has been devoted to pious and disinterested exertions for the temporal and spiritual good of mankind, have not unfrequently proved the means of awakening the desires, and strengthening the resolutions of others to follow him in his career of benevolence.
Such an individual was JOHN FREDERICK OBERLIN, a person whose indefatigable efforts for upwards of fifty years, to benefit the simple villagers who constituted his flock, entitle him to universal esteem and admiration. The writer earnestly hopes that the recital of his labors may, under the divine blessing, tend to confirm the zealous and encourage the weak, and lead all who hear it to catch a portion of that sacred' glow by which he was himself animated.
His character, as displayed in the uniform tenor of his life, presented a remarkable combi. nation of varied excellencies; for whilst much exalted sanctity and intrepid zeal were conspicuous, an unwearied ardor in doing good, and an
habitual willingness to renounce his own inte. rests to promote the well-being of his fellowcreatures, were equally evident. In addition to this, his extreme simplicity, conscientious integrity, sweetness of temper, and refinement of manner, caused him to be both ardently loved and sincerely revered; whilst his industry, his agricultural skill, his knowledge of rural and domestic economy, and the energy with which he carried his plans into effect the moment he was convinced of their utility, rendered him not only an example but a blessing to the people among whom he resided, and afforded a delightful proof of the advantages that may accrue froin a union of secular and spiritual duties.
Before I proceed with my narrative, it will be proper to present the reader with some descrip. tion of the Ban de la Roche, the scene of Oberlin's long and useful labors, and to state what had been previously effected there by his predecessor, M. Stouber, a Lutheran minister of congenial spirit with himself.
The Ban de la Roche, or Steinthal,* derives its name from a castle called La Roche, round which the Ban, or district, extends. It is a mountainous canton in the north-east of France, between Alsace and Lorrain, forming part of the declivities and western ramifications of the Haut Champ, or Champ de Feu, an isolated range of mountains, detached by a deep valley from the eastern boundary of the chain of the Vosges. It consists of two parishes: the one is Rothau; the
* Steinthal is the German name for the Ban de la Roche. Its literal signification is the Valley of Stone.