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own departure. This, I have no doubt, you have experienced; and may God manifest to your ladyship and to your noble relatives, under this trying bereavement, a still larger measure of
“My thoughts of Count Zinzendorf's system and religious connexion have long led me to conclude, that if these remain confined within our European pale of Protestantism, they will neither spread in Europe much farther than they have done, nor will find, except at a very few stations, any permanent reception. But should they spread forward into Asia, (as the writer of a work, entitled, 'A Portrait of the Kingdom of the Cross,' anticipates) then, if not before, the Christian world will have to open its eyes, and to pay no common attention to this people and to their system.
“Of the tragical events in Lucerne, I have received information from various quarters. The writings of Arndt and Lucius must have produced considerable good effect there. Schmidli was strangled by order of Filippo Acciajole di Fiorenza, the Pope's nuncio; and all protestant books that could be seized were burnt. In France, Hungary, Poland, and Germany, this murderous spirit of popery still continues to show itself. In Poland, within these few years, a decretal was read, Sunday after Sunday in four hundred churches, prohibiting to heretics every privilege of fire, bread, commercial and civil intercourse, and the use of the public baths. Persecutions of this sort will not cease till the complete tribulation shall break out under the last great dispensation. Probably, for a time, they will fluctuate much in the same manner as they have done, but by and by they may suddenly break out like a tempest. Let them ebb and flow as they will, only let us continually keep in view, as we ever should, the great banner of grace, mercy, and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord, and be careful, as indeed we must, never to let go from our hearts the all-penetrating and all-prevailing remembrance of his name.
“I remain," &c.
CHARACTERISTIC NOTICES AND GLEANINGS.
The miscellany we here insert under the above title, may serve to give a further idea of Bengel in his social or private character.
The brief Sermon. Bengel travelled once in a stage-coach with several gay persons, who being rather heated to merriment by wine, sang drinking songs in chorus together. He kept himself quite aloof: but at last they called upon him to give them a song.
He replied,—“If I sing, you must have a sermon afterwards;"—and they were quiet and orderly the rest of the way.
The Friars. He once had a visit from some Roman Catholic friars of the order which is the most general of all; namely, of that “whose god is their belly.” He received them with hospitality, and as they felt themselves perfectly at home, they began to talk in their usually familiar and easy manner, about snug accommodations, good cheer, &c., and by and by got into jestings hardly convenient; seemingly flattering themselves that they were entertainers of the company.
Bengel still continued affable and kind, though he said but little, which he took occasion to do at opportunities for any thing solid and serious. He hoped thus to leave upon their minds a deeper impression than if he had directly and pointedly rebuked them.
The reproving Look. Two young ladies from the country, who had been brought up in a strict religious way, and had been always kept from going to balls, theatres, &c., being on a visit in the metropolis, (Stuttgart,) heard so much there in praise of the amusements of the town, that they felt a wish to go to the opera; and as they were on their way to it, they met in the street a tall reverendlooking person, and knew it was Prelate Bengel, for whom they
had heard their parents express such high veneration. His serious eye caught theirs as they passed him, and as they looked behind after him, they found he was doing the same; and his look was to their imagination as if it had taken them by surprise, and as if it seemed to say, “Children, are you going the right way?" So, however, it was, that changing their minds, they turned directly down another street, and went home, ashamed of their worldliness in wishing to go to a play.
The vacant Seats in Heaven. A lady of rank being once in company with Bengel, addressed him as follows. “I hear, Mr. Provost, that you are a prophet; therefore perhaps you can tell us whether, in the world above, there are any reserved seats for people of quality.” He replied, "I certainly, madam, am no prophet, though I acknowledge that God has granted me some acquaintance with his revealed word;
and this informs me that reserved seats indeed there are; and that, alas, most of them are sadly in want of occupants. So I read in Matt. xix. 24, and 1 Cor. i. 26."
The poor Sinner. When he was at Tübingen in 1748, a peasant of the neighbourhood came up to him just as he was leaving the town, and said, how happy he was for once in his life to get a sight of him. He replied, “Well, my good friend, you have only seen one more poor sinner that depends entirely upon the mercy of God."
Provisions for the current Day. “I act,” he said, “like the mistress of a family, who, when a visitor comes in unexpectedly, sets before him the provisions she happens to have at hand. For I always, when any friends call upon me, converse with them just about what my mind is engaged in at the time. As I live by the actual use of my breath, without having to consider what quantity of air I have inhaled in time past, so for my present spiritual life I am not obliged to recur to what I dwelt upon yesterday or the day before, but have only to receive as from God, and to make use of, what he gives me every hour for myself, or for ministering to others. When any person has received a profitable word of mine, so that the little seed in the good ground begins to make its appearance, I have often to admire that power from on high, which has rendered beneficial what did not take its origin from me, but of which I, in much weakness and unprofitableness, was only the medium. It is God who every way worketh all in all. May he work great good by those who have been committed to my charge; may
it amount to much more than has ever been accomplished by myself! I am getting into the wane of this life, and it delights me to see any of my younger brethren active, and showing themselves strong, however much they may shame me.
Jesus the Standard of our Self-knowledge. “In trying and proving my own conduct, I endeavour to realize some situation in which our blessed Saviour stood; I think of the variety of characters he had to deal with, and how in every case he judged righteous judgment. Then I inquire of conscience how I should have acted had I been one of those characters, and how the Saviour would have replied or acted by me in return. The answer I thus get from myself, in agreement with the tenor of his written word, is of more value to me than any opinion that can be formed of me by others.”
Utility of the Classics. “If my usual style has any peculiarity, it is that of omitting needless words and things. Here I have somewhat imitated the ancients. Constant reading of the classics has given me quite a liking of their simplicity.”
Benefit of Retirement. " Retirement secures me from what would be too much of this world's din. Thus I get leisure for building up myself in a recollected consciousness of God; without which, we are liable to pass away our term of life we know not how. Very important is it to discern the golden opportunities which God gives us for this purpose, as well as the precious moments of day or night, when he is specially nigh to us.
Meditation is sweet to me at all times, but particularly in the night season. Matt. xiv. 13."
Concealment from the World. “ Often have I much wished that I could pass along my appointed way through this world, and be so little noticed as to be no object for the attacks of slander and misrepresentation. This is why I have now heartily declined all learned correspondence with the great doctors of the age, and confined myself principally to correspondence with my former pupils. I feel in this respect like that ancient father, * who desired a disciple of his to bury him directly after his decease, and to raise no monument, not even the mould, over his grave."
Bengel to his Biographers. “If friends of mine should ever choose to write any
memoir of my life, I can only say, with respect to what they may notice of me as a Christian, that I sincerely hope they will spare themselves the trouble of all eulogy; and let God be glorified. I wish no one to think of me beyond what he seeth me to be; and that what he does see in me, may be referred entirely to the divine mercy; for I am but a vessel of that mercy. All I am and have, both in principle and practice, is to be summed up
in this one expression-the Lord's property. My belonging totally to Christ, as my Saviour, is all my salvation and all my desire. I have no other glory than this, and want no other.
“With respect to my writings, as taken notice of in any such delineation of my character, perhaps it will be difficult entirely to acquit me of over-curiousness. But whatever may be said of me as having laboured conscientiously to communicate what I had learnt, the staple nourishment of my spiritual life has been sought, as my friends well know, in gospel truths of the plainest kind. These have I embraced with sincere simplicity of heart and singleness of mind, apart from all subtile refinement and curious investigation. Faith, hope, love, meekness, and humility, have been my cardinal points."
Bengel's own way of Thinking and Acting. “ To learn thoroughly one's own disposition, requires constant self-observation. My principle has been all along, neither to take any individual Christian for my peculiar model, nor to obtrude myself as such upon others. For in the former case we may incur the error of servile imitation, under the idea that the person whom we regard as our model, has good reasons for every thing he does, while, perhaps, he has no reasons of the kind; and in the latter case, we may do many a thing ourselves from no better motive than to have in it numerous followers and imitators.
My own personal mode of thinking varies totally from that even of some pious people, who are apt to be mere imitators of
* This some say was St. Anthony; others Hilarion. See the Author's “ Acts and Sayings of the Ancient Fathers,” p. 479. (Stuttg. published by J. F. Steinkopff.)