Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

10

THE IIISTORY OF AN OLD BOOK AND ITS AUTHOR.

your life as of

[ocr errors]

reality or a formality, heart-deep or therefore follow that you will be sinonly from the lips, accepted or unheard gular in acting : you may be so, or you by Him who calls that alone worship may not: be prepared to be so if which is offered in spirit and in truth. necessary, and commit the keeping of Be alone with God twice at least every

your soul to God. day in prayer, and then it will be no shock to

you to find yourself often left alone with Him in the events of this THE HISTORY OF AN OLD life, alone with Him at all events in

BOOK AND ITS AUTHOR. the hour of death and in the day of MORE than three centuries ago, a judgment.

little treatise, entitled “ The Benefit Second. Again, if you are to die of Christ's Death,” appeared in Italy. alone, and if you are to be judged alone, Emanating from presses in Venice, in be not afraid also to think alone; and, Stuttgart, in Lyons, it swiftly found if necessary, to act alone. What good its way into the hands of the readers will it bring to any of us to have had of Europe.

In Tuscan, in Italian, in a whole multitude with us in doing French, in German, in Croatian wrong? What will that excuse be versions, it was eagerly read and worth, on a death-bed on which we are widely circulated. Forty thousand lying alone, at a judgment-seat before copies of it were within a few years which we are standing alone, “ Others uttering its voices and bearing to mulsaid so, every one did so ?” That is not titudes its warm illustrations of “ the the question: Was it right to do so ? glorious riches of God's free grace, Did you

feel it to be right to do so ? which every true believer receives by Was your conscience satisfied that it Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” was right to do so, and had

you

taken Rich in evangelical theology, fervid proper pains to inform your conscience

in expression, loving in application, it on the subject ? O, my brethren! we is not strange that it thus won its way should not be such servile followers of to the hearts of God's hidden ones in one another, if we could only realize Papal lands, as well as to the embrace and remember the fact that we must of many others in realms in which the stand alone at last before God. Far Reformation was giving the word of better to be singular now than to be the true Gospel to the people. condemned then. Far better to have The little book was too true to been blamed a little now for being too Christ and His cross to escape the ban precise, than, because you feared the of Rome. It was condemned by the word of a companion whose power to Inquisition. Under their curses and harm you was, after all, extremely threats it sank from sight, as a stream limited, to have incurred the wrath of in Eastern lands sinks amid burning Him who is “ able to destroy both soul sands before the sun. “ The Benefit and body in hell.” They whom you of Christ's Death” disappeared. Its now so much fear, that you are ready forty thousand copies were sought to give up to their dictation the very out in their homes, and destroyed. safety of your immortal soul, will So utterly was it rooted out, that in themselves too be standing one day 1840 Macaulay said of it, in the “Edinalone before God, not able to deliver burgh Review,”

burgh Review," "The Inquisitors themselves, much less to screen you. proscribed it; and it is now as utterly Be independent of them now. Perhaps lost as the second decade of Livy.” they will thank you one day for But Macaulay was mistaken. The having stood aloof from them when stream that had disappeared before the they did wrong. Be alone in your fires of Inquisitorial hatred was not judgments upon things: it does not totally lost. It still existed, though

THE NEW AMERICAN PLOUGH.

11

eyer.

unseen. Many a soul had drunk at American public. The lost stream will it and been refreshed, and it had soon flow broader and deeper than become within him a well of living water. And, besides this, after three But who was the author of this centuries, beneath the arid sands the book? It bears the name of no writer. stream still survived ; and now it rises To proclaim the precious truth of again to the upper air, sparkling in salvation by Christ's death alone was the sunlight, and offering refreshment too dangerous a deed in Italy, three to the thirsty soul.

centuries since, to make evangelical Dr. M'Crie, the Scotch historian, authors anxious to be known. They had learned from the will of one wrote for Christ, not for fame. Yet Thomas Bassinden, printer in Edin- there can be scarce a doubt that the burgh, who died in 1577, that an author of the “ Benefit of Christ's English version of this treatise must Death” was an Italian scholar and have existed previous to the death of Professor, Antonio dalla Paglia ; or, as Bassinden. This statement induced he ordinarily called himself, and is the Rev. John Ayre to search for a called. by others, Aonio Paleario. volume which he thought might still

(To be continued.) survive in the English language. In 1843 or 1844 he succeeded in discover

THE NEW AMERICAN PLOUGHI. ing it, and in 1847 he reprinted it; stating in the Introduction that no THE “Western Christian Advocate" copy of the original Italian work was gives a very interesting account known to exist. This republication

This republication of this invention, and of the uses to awakened a new interest in the subject, which its inventor is applying the and led to the discovery by antiquaries proceeds of his skill. of three copies in Italian, of one in The Rev. James Peeler, now of French, one in German, and of a copy Louisville, Ga., was for sixteen years a of the Croatian version, as well as of laborious, zealous, and useful “ Travelseveral English copies.

ling Preacher” in the Methodist EpisIt was found that there was in copal Church in the United States of existence also a manuscript English America. His health having failed, translation of the book, in the library he was obliged, at the expiration of of the University at Cambridge. This that period, to locate, as it is called. He version was made from the Italian by settled on a small farm. He was a poor Edward Courtenay, the twelfth Earl of man; his itinerant Preacher's life had Devonshire, in 1558, whilst lying a not resulted in the accumulation of prisoner in the tower. Its interest is wealth. He had a family to provide for, increased by the fact that King and he cast about for some employment, Edward the Sixth, of England, had some means of earning his bread, and evidently read, and in two places had he had recourse to the plough. He written in it.

thought he could make an impleThe English translation, which has ment of that kind better adapted to its been republished in London, was uses, more effective, and cheaper than made from the French version, and any he could procure; and thereupon he printed at London in 1573. An constructed a plough himself. The good Italian version has also been re-issued man had no more idea of taking out at Pisa, and at Florence ; thus giving a patent for that plough than he had of it again to the land of its birth. In reaping wheat or navigating the water German, Dutch, Danish, and French, with his plough. But his neighbours it has likewise renewed its race ; and saw extraordinary merit in this simple recently it has been given also to the but effective contrivance for agricultural

12

THE NEW AMERICAN PLOUGH.

are

purposes, and induced him to enter it depends, in some cases, on the success for a patent. The patent was granted of the patent. So that Mr. Peeler's bene21st June, 1859; and in every portion of factions will depend, as to their ultimate the United States where the plough has amount, on the success of his patent been introduced, it has excited unusual in the localities thus contracted for. interest, proved a great favourite with Some of the larger and most productive the people, and in most instances States are still held by Mr. Peeler. seems destined to supersede all the other We are not fully informed as to the varieties of ploughs. So extraordinary various benefactions paid, and to be was the success of the plough in practice, paid, from the proceeds of this that the patent acquired a market- patent. Some of these donations, value almost without a parallel in the which have come to our knowledge, history of patented implements in as follows :—To be paid out America. Mr. Peeler has actually sold of profits in hands of agents and out rights—state, county, and terri- assignees, to be applied to educational torial rights—to his patent, to an purposes, under the direction of the amount exceeding five hundred thou- Conferences, in Illinois, 4,000 dollars; sand dollars !

in Missouri, 4,000 dollars; in MinFinding himself growing unex- nesota, Hamline University, 5,000 pectedly rich, this worthy man made dollars ; in Indiana, Asbury Univerit the subject of reflection and earnest sity, 5,000 dollars ; in Wisconsin, to inquiry: "I am becoming rich. I Lawrence University and other instidon't need all this money; no reason- tutions, 4,000 dollars ; in Iowa, Wesable wants of my family require so leyan University and others, 4,000 much money. Why, then, was the dollars; and in Ohio, Ohio Wesleyan money deposited with me? Why did University, 7,000 dollars, payable in I make a plough? Who arranged all annual instalments of 1,000 dollars the circumstances of the case ?” per annum, beginning 1st October,

He concluded the whole matter was 1861, out of any profits that may providential. Thenceforward, after accrue : and if the success be adedecently providing for his family, he quate, the assignee designs aiding the devoted his gains to the cause of Ladies' Home Mission of the Methodist Missions, the building of churches, Episcopal Church at Cincinnati. Mr. &c. To these various interests Mr. Peeler's heart is large enough to Peeler has already given, in the aggre- multiply these donations; and this he gate, hundreds of thousands of dol- will do as soon as his means shall lars : and the work of doing good still adequately increase, so as to enable goes on, and is to go on; for Mr. P. him to execute as well as to "devise said to the writer who gives these facts: liberal things.” "I will not trust myself with a large A writer remarks, in relation to the amount of money. It belongs to God; simplicity of the Peeler plough :and I shall administer it as I along “A straight piece of board for a to promote the best interests of man. beam, an upright wooden piece and

What he has given is only the be- handles,-fifteen cents' worth of lumginning of what he intends to give, as ber,-make the wood-work. Four the patent will probably become more simple iron bars bolted to the beam, and more productive as it becomes and crossing in pairs below, so as to act more and more extensively introduced. respectively as braces and counterMuch of the proceeds of sales of the braces, make the iron-work. The patent consists in obligations for plough may carry two blades, one to money, payable in sums from year to turn the soil, and the other to subsoil year. The amount of those payments at the same time, by the same hand,

go

[blocks in formation]

with the same team, and at one opera- all bathed in the cool, clear brightness, tion. If the subsoil-plough is not and the heavy shadows beneath, broken needed, it may be detached and laid up here and there with flecks and aside for future use in one minute. patches of moonlight. Then, to the principal bar may be As the visiter looked round towards attached, in half a minute, any kind the right, her eye was arrested by a of blade or mould that ever has been figure seated beneath the large tree made, -turning-blade, shovel, bull- to which I referred. It seemed to be tongue, garden - plough, ditching- a woman, clad in white, or very lightplough, &c.; thus converting the coloured garments. plough into a new variety every time The gentleman, coming to the wina new blade is attached."

dow, also saw the robed form distinctly, and agreed with his wife that their

hostess should be informed of the A GHOST STORY.

presence of this untimely intruder. The Court, as the villagers call it, She was accordingly fetched, and had is a good specimen of a substantial, the proof of her own eyes that the cozy house, built somewhere in the garden-seat was occupied by some one, after-part of the last century. The but whether by any body there really front looks out on a large, close-shaven seemed room to doubt. The thing lawn, encircled with a carriage-drive, was so serious that the master of the beyond which are strips of grass of house, who had been laughing at the varying widths, flower-beds, and at affair, must be called.

He was very the back a well-grown shrubbery far from being a credulous or fanciful shutting in all. If you walked across man; but there was no gainsaying the the lawn, bearing a little to the right, witness of his own eyes. There, beand passed through the shrubbery, you neath the great dark tree, sat the would find it bounded by a very low spectral form, white and motionless as wall, dividing it from the churchyard. marble. It was not thirty yards off ; If you went up that short, narrow path so there could be no mistake. opposite the front-door, you would find Let every matter-of-fact sceptic yourself in an extensive ruin of an old weigh well the evidence in this case. manorial residence, thickly covered This was no apparition seen by one with ivy. In front of the shrubbery, frightened person and invisible to to the right of the house, and overhang- every one else; but the sheeted form ing the grass-border beyond the sat clear and still before the eyes of carriage-drive, is a very fine evergreen four intelligent and educated people, oak, beneath the shade of which is one of them a lawyer. placed a garden-seat.

But there was other and independI am thus particular in my descrip- ent testimony.

ent testimony. The groom occupied tion in order that you may better a front-room in a sort of wing at the understand the strange thing I have left of the house. He had been watchto tell, and which happened no longer ing the spectre for an hour, but was since than this last summer.

afraid to make it known. One beautiful moonlight night, after Two of the maid-servants had a the family had gone to their several room on the floor above. As one of rooms, a lady—who, with her husband, them drew up the blind, she exclaimed, was visiting at the house, and occupied “Why, there's mistress sitting in the one of the front bed-roomsdrew up garden, with a muslin dress on !” Her the blind of the large bow-window, and companion, knowing this to be imlooked out over the lawn at the en- possible, was frightened, and urged her circling belt of trees, with their leaves to look no more, but to get to bed.

[blocks in formation]

The little party in the room below was placed on the front of a building at were sorely perplexed. Wishing to the Temple in London. But most of find out whether the pale visitant was them probably never heard of the mortal, the master of the house threw curious tradition, probably a true one, up the sash, and shouted as people are respecting the motto. When, a few wont to do to a trespasser. The appa- years ago, the building was taken rition never moved, but sat still as the down and rebuilt, it is likely the moonlit-tree above it. The host then Benchers were either ignorant of the resolved to get nearer view of the tradition, or had forgotten it, else they weird object, by looking from the win- would have restored the sun-dial, with dow of a room on the same floor, but its motto. Perhaps they may even much further to the right, and, there- yet be induced to do so. fore, nearly opposite the garden-seat. The tradition is this:-That when He went quietly, and looked : the the sun-dial was put up, the artist seat was empty, and the pale ghost inquired whether he should (as was had vanished. A slender stream of customary) paint a motto under it. moonlight poured through the dark The Benchers assented ; and appointed tree just above the garden-seat, and him to call at the library at a certain passed out slantingly towards the lawn. day and hour, at which time they A moment's reflection solved the mys- would have agreed upon the motto. tery, and spoiled my ghost story. The It appears, however, that they had observer noticed that, as he altered his totally forgotten this; and when the position, the streak of light showed in artist or his messenger called at the a different form ; and that as he moved library at the time appointed, he found away to the left, it became collected no one but a cross-looking old gentleinto a smaller space, and wore the man poring over some musty book. spectral shape which had caused all “ Please, Sir, I am come, after the this disturbance.

motto for the sun-dial.” " What do

you want ?” was the pettish answer: I am not going to hazard a univer- “ why do you disturb me?” “Please, sal negative as to ghostly apparitions; Sir, the gentlemen told me I was to but suppose that the inquiry in this call at this hour for a motto for the case had not been completed. Imagine n - dial.” “ Begone about your the excitement which must have fol- business !” was the testy reply. The lowed; made more intense by every

man, either by design or by mistake, conversation about the matter; the

chose to take this as the answer to his report spreading, gathering much inquiry, and accordingly painted in garnish as it went; the testimony of large letters under the dial, “ BEGONE

ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS." six trustworthy witnesses to contirm the fact. How few such rehearsals The Benchers, when they saw it, are backed by such evidence !

decided that it was very appropriate, I wonder how many ghosts, and

and that they would let it stand ; house - hauntings, if perseveringly chance having done their work for searched into, would also turn out to them as well as they could have done be-all moonshine.

it for themselves.

Anything that reminds us of the lapse of time, should remind us also of

the right employment of time in doing THE OLD SUN-DIAL.

whatever business is required to be Many persons now living in London done. must remember the vertical sun-dial, A similar lesson is solemnly conwith a very remarkable motto, which veyed in the Scripture motto to a sun

sun

« AnteriorContinuar »