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though things often go strangely with them in the present life, and they are sometimes treated as the offscouring of all things for Christ's sake, and have to pass through this vale of tears amidst
many peculiar hardships and privations; still their outward tribulation, what is it but secret joy of spirit ? and all the shame put upon them, what is it but their true honour and glory? Corrupt as is the present generation, we have not been without some bright examples of persons like these. Was not our departed friend, Dr. Reuchlin, a righteous man; and yet did he not seek all his righteousness in Jesus Christ ? . If there be any one who can contradict either of these facts, let him come forward and do so. Verily he gave all diligence to live holily, humbly, peacefully, meekly, and patiently. He could say with the apostle, “Being reviled, we bless; being defamed, we entreat;' and he showed himself a very Nathanael, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. Did he 'speak the word of God?? It was 'with all boldness. Did he visit the afflicted ? He would never leave them without consolation. He set himself in opposition to false doctrine, and equally so to all unholy and hypocritical living."
A sincere minister of God who thus describes the character of a true Christian, is describing himself, or at least the standard he aims at, and to which he heartily wishes to conduct others. We may therefore safely rank Hochstetter with those by whom Bengel's youthful spirit received salutary impressions of the glory of genuine Christianity. But the benefit he thus derived from time to time by christian society, scripture, and excellent pious books, his heavenly Instructor saw fit to increase by a long severe sickness, which confined him to his bed in the year 1705, and which became so serious, that among his friends, though not by himself, his immediate death was fearfully expected. At this season of trial he enjoyed peculiar communion with God, who comforted him with the Psalmist's secret assurance, (Psa. cxviii. 17, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” After he had thus passed some time under the discipline of the Cross, he recovered gradually, and was at length enabled, amidst the affectionate blessings of his parents, who had nursed him all the while with exemplary care and tenderness, to return from Maulbronn to his studies with renovated vigour, and enriched with most valuable experience from affliction. The whole residue of his years was one continued proof that his purpose " to devote entirely to God's service and glory this renewed grant of temporal life," was none of those vain resolutions which so many in affliction have made with no better effect than to deceive themselves, and to dissemble with God.
During his second residence at Tübingen, as Hochstetter's curate, * he kept a regular diary, for the promotion of his own knowledge and practice of christian truth. Every day he wrote on a separate leaf one or more thoughts that had occurred to him in meditation, reading, &c.—a practice, the advantage of which may be seen in the few instances we here bring forward.
“1711. June 25. A Christian should not leave off praying, till his heavenly Father, as I may say, give him leave, by permitting him to obtain something.”
“ June 26. As Böckler wrote memoirs of characters, in imitation of Velleius, so might memoirs be drawn up of scripture characters, as of Abraham, David, Joab, &c. But it requires much knowledge of scripture and of mankind to do it properly, for sacred and common biography are not the same.
In the holy volume, the faults even of the best of men are impartially set down, and there we are informed how even such faults were graciously overruled to bring about good. But memoirs written by uninspired men are apt to dwell chiefly upon the good qualities and actions of their worthies ; notwithstanding, there are times when the whole character of one and of another looks very critical.”
“ June 27. The greater genius and power of memory any one possesses, the more careful should he be not to neglect the cultivation of his judgment.
“June 28. That person will acquire moderation, who is ready to ask upon every occasion, Is it not time to refrain? And that person will acquire the power of silence, who on every occasion asks himself, Is it not time to be silent ? But can any one excel in these things who is always quick at imagining, Is it not time to speak? Is it not time to eat, drink, sleep, &c. ?”
“ June 30. One's attention in hearing sermons will become more lively and fixed, either by taking notes, or by the habit of turning each matter, as we hear it, into prayer."
“ July 1. In medical science there are three things in the following order ; observation, consideration, application. It is so upon many other subjects."
Aug. 1. The prohibited degrees in marriage may be com
* See the former chapter, page 5.
pared to those consecutive tones in the musical scale which cannot harmonize, because they are too near together.”
“ Oct. 12. If in the course of conversation with others you find any subject upon which you are deficient, apply yourself immediately when alone to remedy the defect.”
“Oct. 22, We should so arrange and contrive, as that all matters which are to occupy the attention at one and the same time may aid and support each other."
“ 1712. To keep the true middle way between too much activity and too much retirement, is one of the main duties of a Christian.”
“ The more crooked the mind, the oftener will the straightforwardness of Christ our Saviour have to cross it.”
“ 1713. Passiveness towards persons and things, which is a kind of negative quality, is only of value as it respects the activity of God. When this finds a place in it, it is highly to be commended; otherwise it is good for nothing."
I know that I am become an heir of heaven? How may I know that God is in me of a truth? When I have the earnest of the inheritance, that is, when I am habitually led by the Spirit of God, so as to walk in love, with my heart crying to him, Abba, Father ! and listening to every whisper of his Holy Spirit. These are the fruits of (spiritual) baptism.”
“ We find in the Scriptures one and the same grand matter throughout. This is a delightful truth.”
“We sit as it were in the centre of Christianity. What will Gọd require of us, to whom he has committed so much !”
“ Christ's own special commandments were no novel ones : Moses had delivered them long before. Is not the love of God and our neighbour the very substance of them ? and yet the Socinians would teach us to regard Christ as a new legislator; yes, and as nothing more. Hence they choose entirely to overlook his priestly office; but that they may not appear to reduce him to an ordinary man, they extol his mission as a teacher sent from God," and spin out christian morals very refinedly, as may be seen in John Crellius's Ethics.'»
“ To abide in the Lord Jesus is very needful.”
“ The more we discover from time to time of God's faithfulness and truth towards us, the more do we feel urged to bless, love, and trust him, upon all occasions."
“ The habit of instructing others gives a facility of communicating our thoughts in a distinct and perspicuous manner.”
We may regard what we have called Bengel's religious education as finished by his tour through Germany in the summer of 1713. Ardent and successful as he was in the pursuit of intellectual acquirements, he never made these his principal, much less his exclusive object; and was disposed to avail himself of that tour in order to collect things valuable for the heart, no less than for the understanding; and “to seek out especially those excellent men, who, though rich in wisdom and goodness, had never communicated their treasures by the press.” Hence he often met with persons of deep christian experience, as well as with many celebrated writers of the day; all of whom, in various ways, but in rectitude and singleness of heart, served the Lord Christ both publicly and privately, and sought to promote his kingdom by every laudable endeavour. Of these may particularly be mentioned J. E. Stolthe of Jena, Weidling of Weissenfels, L. C. Crell, the two Langs, Tennhardt, and Augustus Hermann Franke. His acquaintance with those excellent men was much more than a common exchange of civilities. He passed whole days and weeks in their domestic circles, and enjoyed the benefit of their converse when it most unbent itself. Though in them and in other valuable friends whom he had gained upon his tour, he found considerable differences upon religious points ; some being zealous Lutherans, others rigid Calvinists, some Spenerians, others Inspirati, others Separatists, and one, at Altorf, of the Greek church, whose name Alexander Helladius of Larissa ; yet their very differences, con- . sidering how they agreed in the main matter of faith, hope, and endeavour, served only to instruct and edify himself. Every thing which could be urged for this or that religious opinion, his reflecting mind heard vigorously advanced by living advocates; a thing which influenced him far more safely than mere book-learning would have done, to take that happy middle course which is as distant from fanatical enthusiasm and secta
rianism, as it is from cold and heartless speculation. He also conversed with many who were in evident, and even important error ; but their amiable character and conduct, with their valuable and active beneficence, served only to confirm him in that noble forbearance of the true christian believer, which, as it is any thing but indifference, so is it most exercised by those whose faith in Christ, as the Saviour of all men, is the most confirmed. He returned home with his heart established in grace, humbled at having found so many far beyond himself in christian attainments, inspired with a holy zeal to follow up their examples, and enlarged in liberal-mindedness and love. And as he could not but witness, what must strike every observant traveller in Europe, the awful corruption of the world at large, especially when he heard so many pious and eminently gifted men affectingly complain of the manifold daily hinderances thrown in the way of their activity for the kingdom of God, how could he help ejaculating, with the believing Psalmist, for his country and for mankind, “ O that the salvation were come out of Zion : O that the Lord would deliver his people out of captivity!'
We close our remarks on the advantages he derived from this tour, by inserting two letters which he wrote at the time from Halle, where he found real practical Christianity concentrated. The first was addressed to a young friend, in Latin, and may serve to show the progress of his mind; the second is to his mother, and bespeaks the improvement of his heart.
Halle, 17th June, 1713. " MY DEAR COUSIN, “I can assure you, that the farther I have proceeded on my travels, the more good I have gained: for which incalculable benefit I would ever be thankful to our heavenly Father, and would entreat you all who love me, to be thankful with me. I shall resume the account of my journey from where I ended in my letter to you from Nuremberg, on the 23d of March. The acquaintance I have formed with persons of eminent learning at Coburg, Saalfield, Rudolstadt, and Weimar, has afforded me many advantages. With remarkable kindness they gave me much interesting information, particularly with respect to the conducting of schools and academies. Indeed, I met with most information of this sort where I expected least. On the 5th of April I came to Jena. I had not intended making a long stay there, but, by the providence of God, I was introduced to a man