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A bright example for lis all
Did Sandie manifest,
A pattern for the best.
With sorrows many, many a care,
And privileges few,
He honest was and true.
A manly heart was in the child,
A spirit true and brave;
Strew lilies on his grave.
And tell the young in happy homes
To be like him in youth,
Of honesty and truth.
And seek the Spirit of the Lord
To help them in the strife;
To lead a noble life.
For God hath sent His Spirit down
To dwell with men below,
To wash them white as snow.
He cometh with the grace of Christ
Unto the burdened soul;
And makes the wounded whole,—
All for the sake of that dear Lord
On Calvary who died;
Condemned, and crucified,
That all the sins that we have done
By God may be forgiven,
Find entrance into heaven.
By the Author of'LUtU Will,' ' The Blind Man on the Bridge,' &c.
Ipastor cflieWr, fyt Jfratniwr of t\t Jfnsfitut'mn at Iprotistant gtarmcessts.
Ome years ago, when staying at Jerusalem, the writer had the pleasure of an introduction to the widow of Pastor Fliedner, who was then residing at the Deaconesses' Home in the outskirts of the city. The name of her revered husband had long been familiar as the originator of that work, which, commencing in 1833 in a room ten feet square with an attic above, in a summerhouse at Kaiserwerth, has sent out fruit-bearing branches not only into more than a hundred towns or villages in Germany, but also into Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Palestine, and North America. When we consider that the work was of a very multifarious kind, ultimately embracing schools, hospitals, orphanages, care of prisoners, &c, we may well ask how so small a seed could produce so great a harvest. The answer is to be found in the words which its founder took for his life-motto, "He must increase, but I must decrease." The Master whom he delighted to serve, abundantly blessed his labours, and bestowed upon him the "Well done," even here.
Theodore Fliedner was born at Epstein in Germany, January 21st, 1800, and died at Kaiserwerth, October 4th, 1864. Within the comparatively short space of thirty years, the sapling he had planted at Kaiserwerth had become a great tree, and its offshoots were flourishing in four continents! The son of a poor pastor he was early thrown upon his own resources, and manfully, while yet a child, battled with the trials and difficulties of life. Reading was his only luxury, and schemes of future usefulness formed his fairyland. At twenty years of age he became tutor in a gentleman's family at Cologne, and afterwards was ordained pastor of Idstein, an obscure village on the Rhine, where he had only ^27 a year, the parsonage to be shared with the aged widow of a previous pastor! Still, nothing daunted, he threw his whole energy into the work, visited the schools, and opened one himself to increase his means, and then shared his home with his brothers and sister. We are not told at 'what period of his history he became truly converted to Christ, but it imperceptible in its beginning, his new life was sure and steadfast. The intensity of his character manifested itself in every direction. He early took up the reformation of prisoners, walking six miles to Diisseldorf to hold his first service with them. For three years he conducted these meetings, going through storm and tempest, heat and cold, and even persevering when hemorrhage was the consequence of such exertions. In the midst of these labours he found a true helpmeet in Frederica Minister, who for fourteen years proved to himself the best of wives, and to their ten children the best of mothers.
With the idea of the reformation of prisoners still burning within him, Fliedner, who had previously visited refuges in England established by Elizabeth Fry for those who had been discharged, turned his first efforts in that direction. The poor creatures whom he received soon increased in number, and larger accommodation had to be provided by collections. It was emphatically a work of faith and of constant dependence on the Lord for supply both of funds and of helpers, but though basket and store were often very low, they were always refilled at the time of extremity, verifying the promise, "The Lord knoweth those who trust in Him." The asylum for released prisoners received nearly thirty inmates at a time, and became the means of pointing out to hundreds of degraded ones the way of salvation.
The next step in the ladder of Christian enterprise was to found a hospital for sick people. It began at first in a most humble way, with nothing provided but the barest necessaries of life, and apparently more like a poor-house than a hospital. Nevertheless the sick came in, and though almost incredible hardships had to be endured by the willing helpers who offered themselves for the service, yet an air of cheerfulness reigned throughout. The institution was designed for " deserted or loathsome cases," but God blessed the selfdenying efforts, and spiritual and bodily healing were often bestowed. Soon, from the central hive were sent forth workers to preside over similar institutions elsewhere, or to nurse in workhouses or in private houses. Every sphere of woman's work seemed to open before them": prison doors, cottage homes, infant schools. This last thought was beautifully carried out. Fliedner established a Normal School for Infant Schoolmistresses, in which, up to 1842, above one hundred and twenty young girls were trained for the work. In that year the indefatigable Pastor founded an Orphanage, which had the double advantage of giving practice to those deacons who wished to be teachers and of developing among the inmates any latent talent for the care of the sick or of the children. But in the midst of his growing work, the Lord sent him heavy domestic trial. Within a year not only did he and his eldest daughter pass through severe illness, but two little girls were laid at the same time in the same grave. Far more afflicting than all that had gone before was the death a few months after of his devoted wife, who had nobly, with generous self-surrender, and at the cost of much personal fatigue, borne her full share in his work. Alluding to the loss of her children, she had written, a little before her own departure: "lam tranquil, though I weep much; I do not grudge my children their happiness, I know they are all in their Saviour's arms. I hope to close the year 1841 in calm resignation to the will of God, who only is good and righteous. The Lord will not try us beyond our strength." Her favourite hymn was, ' Shall I not sing praise to Thee ? '—
"All things else have but their day;
This spirit of resignation to God's will was re-echoed by
her bereaved husband. "God only knows," he says, " how
this great gap is to be filled up. . . . We trust in Him that
He will fill it up in His own time and way; That way is
dark now, but He is love." Work for his Master became the best antidote for his sorrow. With the generous help of the Royal Family in Berlin, Fliedner built anotherjwing to the central institution, containing wards for the sick, a diningroom, chapel, &c. In 1843 a second "helpmeet" was provided for him in the good providence of God, who, by her previous life and training, was especially adapted to prove a partner in his life-work, having been superintendent for three years of the female surgical ward of the great Hamburg Infirmary. Fliedner used to say of his two marriages, "Twice have I experienced that in seeking some one for the service of the Lord, I have found the best blessing for myself."
In glancing over the details of the life of this remarkable man, a giant in philanthropy, we see an illustration of the precept, "Whatsoever thy handfindeth to do, do it with thy might." In the year 1845 he founded, besides several other additions, a Dispensary, where many deaconesses acquired medical skill, which afterwards was the means of blessings to thousands. Farm buildings and a bakehouse were erected, and by means of indefatigable exertion in travelling and applications by letter, the needed funds were supplied. The answers to prayer seemed sometimes almost miraculous, the exact sum required being sometimes sent in unawares. Three years of his life, from i849 to 1851, Fliedner spent chiefly in distant journeys on behalf of his beloved mission, visiting North America, Jerusalem, Constantin6ple, England, France, and Switzerland, and traversing Germany in every direction. From Jerusalem he writes: "On a lovely Saturday morning, I went to the Mount of Olives. Sabbath stillness was around me. The many-coloured dome of the Mosque of Omar, the Golden Gate in the walls, and the long row of tombs at its foot were glittering in the bright sunshine. To the right rose the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, while close under my feet lay the silent Gethsemane. I fell into a mood of thankful gladness, the more I meditated on the undeserved blessings that the Eternal Son of God had once wept and prayed here, for my redemption as well as others,