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PRAISE AND CENSURE.
together. No, no! the hour is come to separate the wheat from the chaff. The hour is come, when our union must cease to afford food for the wicked. It is enough! It is enough! The goodness of God has given to each of us a time of grace and long suffering. For those who have abused that time, it is now at an end, it must be at an end! Whoever does not serve the holy purpose of our union, whoever disturbs it by his presence, let him depart from us!
“My brethren! The ties of chance must this day be broken! No other tie can henceforth be suffered to exist among us than that of love and righteousness. Let us part rather than perish! We must either part and follow every one his own appointed way, or else we must stand together this day, before God and men, with one heart and one soul! resolved to follow our common calling. Such is our duty this day!
“My friends, my brethren! let us be faithful to that calling; let us cheerfully run our race together! I am the weakest among you, but I am ready to bring any sacrifice that may be required of me for the attainment of our holy purpose.
“My friends and brethren! be you also ready to bring those sacrifices which will be required of you! They will not be small. It is no small matter to put one's hand to the work of educating mankind; to stand forward among men, and to say: ‘Come to us and see the great thing which we propose to do for improving the education of the human race, for benefiting the world, and securing the welfare of our species.'
“My friends and brethren! This is the view which has been taken of the object of our union, and we ourselves have represented it nearly in the same light. Feeling the corrupt state into which education has fallen, and suffering under its mistakes, the world has awarded confidence to the language of my enthusiasm, and has crowned us with laurel, when we had hardly begun to search after the means by which a beautiful dream might be realized. I was myself under a great mistake. I thought the way to my end much shorter than it actually is; while the incense with which we were perfumed, as well as the unexpected success of some unripe experiments, confirmed us in that mistake, and had a prejudicial influence on our union and our institution. The seeds of corruption began to unfold themselves among us. We contradicted one another with our unripe opinions in dogmatical arrogance, and ills began to spring up in our house, which, when the fashion of praising us had grown old, afforded the world an opportunity of abusing us, likewise as a matter of fashion. Our time of trial is come, but it is better for us than the hour of vain praise. Let us not deceive ourselves. The voice of censure is becoming severe against us, and times of trouble are at hand. My poor house! thy lovers are become thy accusers, and know thou that the accusations of lovers are severe, and that their blame will become a testimony against thee in the mouth of thy enemies. My poor house! thou art grown up as a beautiful flower of the field; the
gardeners envy thy beauty, because it shakes the faith of the world in their hothouses, and verily they will take vengeance upon
thee ! “My friends, my brethren! despise not this time of tribulation! Our gold will be purified, and the heat of the refiner's fire will bring the dross to the surface! The world will for awhile see nothing but dross, and will lose for a time all faith in the gold, which is underneath the drossy bubbles.
“My friends, my brethren! let not this offend you, but rejoice rather that your dross shall be separated from the gold of our holy cause. If the dross be permitted to swim on the surface, and all that is good and valuable among us be hidden from the eyes of the world, which cannot see beyond the surface, rejoice ye! The hour of purifying will pass over; the vain dross of our labours will be thrown away, and be lost like chaff in the fire, but that which is purified will remain. Think on this, pass it not over lightly! Ask yourselves : "What then will remain ? much, very much, of what we consider as gold, is now boiling up with the dross. But be ye not offended. The gold of our cause is not to be found in our outward labours, in our outward success; it is within you; there you must seek it, there you shall find, there you must value it. Our cause can have no value to us, except that which we possess in ourselves; and that value is great, it cannot be little, nor must we allow ourselves to lose it in the unstable estimation formed of our external undertaking, like a diamond'in a heap of sand. No! the intrinsic value of our cause is great. It requires an uncommon elevation of heart, singleness of sight, absolute submission to the guidance of Providence, indefatigable exertion, undaunted courage, constant self-denial, the humility of love, and the strength of heroes.
“My friends, my brethren ! let us not deceive ourselves, our aim is one which heroes only can hope to reach. Whence shall we get that heroic strength of which we stand in need ?
“My brethren! remember that the strength of the Lord is made perfect in weakness. The Saviour came into the world, lying in a manger, a helpless infant; and the glory of the only begotten of the father was declared unto poor shepherds that kept watch over their flocks.
“May the holy reminiscences of this day inspire us with a high and holy courage for our work. My brethren! if we are able to celebrate this festival in the spirit of our noble-hearted ancestors, in the spirit of genuine Christians, then are we capable likewise of accomplishing our work. The Lord Jesus has said : “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain : Remove hence to yonder place! and it shall remove.' My friends, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, though obstacles should lie in your way like mountains, whose feet are rooted in the depth of the earth, and whose tops reach unto heaven, ye shall say to them : Remove hence to yonder place ! and they shall remove. My friends! if we celebrate this holy festival in true faith, we shall in the same faith accomplish our task. Cast back your looks upon the times of old, and see
THE TRIUMPH OF FAITH.
how this festival was celebrated by true faith. His heart filled with the Holy spirit, and his hand with gifts of human kindness, the Christian stood at this hour in the midst of his brethren. The solemn hour of heavenly joy was an hour of sanctification to our species. The earth was at this hour a heavenly earth. The dwelling-place of mortal man was filled with the breath of immortality.
“If we celebrate this hour in the spirit of ancient Christendom, in the spirit of better days that are gone by, our hearts will be filled with the Holy Spirit, as well as our hands with earthly gifts. Thus shall every one of us stand in the midst of his brethren, in the cheerful circle of our children. With the hand of kindness will we seek their hands, and their eye shall find in ours the beam of love. Then will the joys of this day be to us heavenly joys, then shall we be sanctified in the rejoicing of this hour. Then, my friends, my brethren, will our house be a heavenly house, and the dwellingplace of our weakness be filled with the breath of immortality.
“My friends, my brethren! the fellowship of our joy will then be a fellowship of love, and our house will no longer be built on sand. Selfishness and sensual appetite will then no longer rule over our pleasures, nor embitter our sufferings. Our union will no longer be disturbed, for heartless indifference will be banished from among us, and whoever sins against love, will stand confounded before the image of offended and weeping love. Then shall our union rest, not upon a human but upon a divine basis, and then it will and must become a source of blessing to all its members. The pangs of the suffering, the sorrows of the afflicted, and the burden of the oppressed, will then disappear. I may then adopt with truth the language of internal tranquillity, and say: 'I cast my burden upon thee, O Lord; thou wilt sustain me.' My friends, my brethren! our cause is secured, if the fellowship of love dwell among us. Oh heavenly Father, grant Thou us the grace of fellowship in Thy Spirit !
“All human fellowship disturbs the high fellowship of love, which is only to be found in a divine fellowship, and of this none can partake but those who have the mind of Christ Jesus, and follow after him in the strength of his Spirit.
“My friends, my brethren ! let this holy night be consecrated by earnest prayer to God for the mind of Christ Jesus, and for the strength of his Spirit, that our house may be established, and the work of our calling accomplished in the fellowship of love.
“And you, my beloved children, who celebrate this Christmas in the simplicity of your hearts, what shall I say to you? We wish to be partakers of your simplicity, of your childlike joy. We know, that except we be converted and become as little children, except we be elevated to the simplicity of a childlike mind, we shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, we shall not attain the fellowship of love, which alone our house can be established on a sure foundation. Beloved children ! it is for your sakes that we are
CHRIST AN EXAMPLE TO CHILDREN.
united in one family; our house is your house, and for your sakes only is it our house. Live in our family in the simplicity of love, and trust in our faithfulness and our paternal affection towards you. Be ye children, be ye innocent children in the full sense of the word. Let this festival establish you in the holy strength of a childlike mind. Behold Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the world; behold him with the graces of holy childhood at the bosom of his mother; behold him in the manger with the sweet look of holy innocence. Remember him, how he grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and how the grace of God was upon him; how he was subject unto his parents; how in fear and love towards them he increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man; how, being yet a child, he sat in the temple in the midst of the wise men, and astonished all that heard him by his understanding and answers; how grace and love never departed from him all his days; how he drew the souls of men towards him by the excellency of his life; how he took unto him little children, and declared their sweetness and simplicity to be the source of life everlasting in and with God; how his grace and love was made manifest in his sufferings and death, as the power of God to the salvation of mankind; how it forsook him not even in the last hour, that in the midst of its torments his lips instilled consolation into the soul of his mother. Oh, my children, may this solemn hour inspire you with that spirit of grace and love that was in Him, and may you be preserved in it all the days of your lives! We too, my children, stand in need of your grace and love, to nourish and to strengthen those paternal feelings, which we pray God that he may grant unto us, and without which we cannot render you any service of love and righteousness.
“Children, let the graces of childhood elevate our souls, and purify us of all contamination of anger, and wrath, and hastiness in your education. May your love animate our hearts and refresh our spirits, that we may not grow weary in the duties of our office.
“Children, I must conclude: I will again speak to you in a little while. For the present let it suffice. Children, young men, men, friends and brethren, let our Christmas be unto us a day of holiness! May God in heaven sanctify it unto us! Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and meekness of heart among the children of men! Amen!"
Pestalozzi as a Writer— The Swiss Journal,Address to my
Fatherland—Figures to my Spelling-book.
As a writer Pestalozzi deserves no less than in other respects to be held in high estimation; for, although it must be admitted that his style is rendered difficult by the vagueness of his expression, and sometimes tedious by repetition, yet there are few whose works, labouring under similar disadvantages, have attained an equal degree of popularity, or been productive of a greater amount of good. His writings will not, it is true, be perused by the idle or the curious ; but those who are alive to the importance of the cause which he advocated, and the value of his practical exertions while engaged in its service, will not be deterred by mere defects of form from following the track of so benevolent and enlightened a mind through the intricate and sometimes obscure paths on which he wandered, in the hope of enjoying the full noonday of that light, whose faint glimmers even, kindled in his heart the sacred flame of enthusiastic self-devotion. If we see a man during more than sixty years perseveringly engaged in the pursuit of one great object, and after repeated disappointments gathering each time new strength for renewed exertions, we can neither doubt that his zeal springs from an internal source of truth and love, nor can we be indifferent to the changes which his feelings and ideas must have undergone in the course of so