Page images

fearless power can be heard and felt amid the whirlpool of crime and the tempest of human passion—whose notes can reach the depths of infamy and the towers of wrong in high places. Incul. cate all over the land the blessings of a pure morality and the power of a fear less Christianity.

With an open Bible that is read and believed by the multitude the hosts of barbarism dare not cope. Let us, then see to it well that public opinion is edu.

cated from a moral standpoint and versed in the lore of truth. We may then be assured that no relic of the Dark Ages will be found in our midst. No French Revolution with its crimson horrors will lie in our pathway. No tyrant can sway the sceptre over a free and an enlightened people. The thrones of despots must crumble and the crowns of tyrants must fade before the glory of the future.



A MAN IN TROUBLE.—What trouble;" yet it has been a score of A an inexhaustible fount is mem- years since we met. I should know him ory; and what a motley collection does now, if his face is anything like the it contain. We probe its depths, and picture in my memory. God grant that there springs forth a wail of sorrow; it is not, for it was a very, very sad one, again, and there comes the voice of when the impression was taken. gladness. Here we see some loved face I was aboard the train for Cincinnati. just as it was ten, twenty, perhaps thirty In the next seat front sat this “man in Fears ago, for the picture never changes; trouble," and his little child. I knew it there we see some well remembered was his, by the fond words he addressed spot, perhaps across the sea, perhaps to her. None but a father could talk the old homestead, and the loved faces like that. we once saw there. Again, there comes He was not over thirty, tall and slim, to us a picture that knits the brow, and but well put together. He was poorly closes the teeth in anger; or one that dressed, from which I inferred that he brings a pleasant smile or hearty laugh. was not blessed with an abundance of Anything, everything is there, just as this world's goods ; but there was an we placed it, and ready at any moment attempt at neatness that spoke well for Who would have it changed, even if him. All this I noticed before I got there are some dark spots ?

sight of his face, but at last he turned, I can call to mind many a person and such mournful eyes, such deep lines that I have not seen for years; yet we of sorrow, such utter hopelessness met are not strangers. Memory is the bond me, that I was moved to pity. “Where between us. Many places that I may is the wife ?" I asked myself, and the never see again, will always be familiar only answer I could make was, “In the to me; and many little incidents I have grave.” Was he not in trouble ? treasured up, to be called forth at The child, a little three-year-old, a pleasure.

pretty little girl as one would wish to How plainly I can see the “man in see, did not resemble her father in any respect. I could see the looks of the Does it say that ? Quick!" lost wife there. She must have been “ It does," I replied. just as pretty, just as lovable as this “God forgive her, for I never can." little prattler. Poor man!

“Be reasonable, my friend," said L The child reached one of its tiny, fat “Do not put too much dependence or hands toward me, and I took it in mine. a report like this. You are going in Then she reached the other, and I lifted see for yourself ?” her over upon my knee, and enjoyed “If I live to get there." her innocent talk.

“But you do not believe it ?” “Poor little girl! you have lost your “No, no! But if it should be so," mother, haven't you ?” said I, speaking We were then very near Cincinnati. my thoughts; but the man heard me, but the man seemed to grow more and and turning quickly about, he de. more excited. It was only by continmanded :

ued exertions that I kept him calm. " Who told you that ???

Just as the whistle blew for the station, “My dear sir," said I calmly, “no one he turned to me, and said: told me; I was merely giving utterance “I never can go there, sir. You go to my thoughts."

for me, and I will wait at the depot." “ Thank God !” said he, drawing a “I will go with you," I replied. long breath of relief. “What a fright "Come, be a man, and look it squarely you gave me; yet it may be so." in the face."

“God forbid !" I replied fervently. He yielded, and when the train stop

The man turned his mournful eyes ped, I took the little girl in my arms, full upon me, and whispered, “ Amen!" and told the father to go ahead and

“You are in trouble," said I, kindly. show me the way. “Let me help you."

It was but a few steps from the depot, He shook his head.

a neat cottage, looking so cozy with the ' I thank you, sir. You are very kind. light shining out through the muslin Yet if you would do one thing for me?” curtains.

He drew a newspaper from his pocket, “I can't go in,” said be, stopping at and pointed out a short paragraph. the gate. Her sister lives here, and she

"I cannot read," said he. “A man will tell you. She came here on a visit. showed that to me yesterday, and read Please, and I will wait here." it to me. I have been thinking that “No, no. You must go with me." perhaps he didn't read it right.”

It seemed cruel to compel him, but I I ran my eye over the paragraph and dared not leave him there. comprehended it all. Poor man! I He tottered up the walk, and I rang dreaded to let him know; but then, the bell, stepping to one side. I heard perhaps the name was not the same. steps approaching, and then the key How eagerly he looked at me while was turned in the lock. The door these thoughts were passing through opened, and the light fell upon the poor my mind, and when I looked up, he man's face. read in my face the story that he could “Why, John!" not read on paper.

"Oh, Emily! Thank God !" “Read !” he cried fiercely; and I I stepped up, and placing the little complied.

girl within the open door, I slipped “* Elopement. We are informed that away through the darkness and let them

-- has left his family, and fled enjoy their happiness. I know that my the country with Mrs. Emily Mansurn, heart was lighter for what little I had a young married lady from the West.?" done, and I said, " Thank God” as fer

vently as John Mansurn. I have not seen him since.

THE BLUE-EYED MAN. Neither can I forget the “blue-eyed man." There he stood upon the platform of the little village depot, his eye so very blue that I could see but little beside. There was nothing else about him that seemed peculiar. The hat was all right, and sat firmly on the well-shaped head, the neatly-combed hair falling from un der it. The whiskers were heavy, but well-arranged, and the moustache could not bave been more to my taste. The coat was plain black, cut in the prevail ing style; and the pantaloons and vest of drab did fit so neatly that I wondered who was the maker; also the boots were well-made and well-polished. Those blue eyes, so very blue, and full, and round, and genial, were the sole attraction. Way down in their depths I could see kindness and good-nature, and the little mischievous lines at the out side corners revealed the quiet humor. Ah! those blue eyes! I have seen them often since, and though we cannot agree on all points, I hope it will be long years before they fade.

He was waiting. I could see that by the glance ever and anon down the road. Surely it was nothing to me, but there Fere the blue eyes, you know - blue as robins' eggs, and very like them.

Every time I looked at him he was looking at me, and when he looked at me I was returning the compliment. So, between us, we had little time to look at anything else.

And such looks as those eyes gave me. "Take carel take care!" I knew they were saying so; but there was an irresistible fascination, and I could no more turn my head away than the little bird can turn its head and break the spell that the wily serpent is throwing around it. (I hope the blue-eyed man will take no offense at the illustration.) Convinced at last that I was very

rude, and wholly to blame in this hide. and-seek, I walked over to the blue eyes to apologize. I was just half a second too late, for the man spoke first:

“My dear sir, you will pardon me, I hope," said he, “but I really wanted to ask you a question. Do you ever smoke ?

The suddenness and unexpected character of the question, and the absurdity of my position, were too much for my equanimity. I burst into a hearty laugh, in which I was joined by the by-standers and the questioner. He soon resumed his serious aspect, and repeated the question with much gravity, to which I replied, equally as grave, in the negative.

“Perfectly right, my dear sir. I was sure of it. It is a pernicious practice. It not only excites the nerves to an unhealthy action, and deadens the intellect, but is a waste of time and money. I need not ask if you chew?”.

“Assuredly not, sir."

“Perfectly right;" rubbing his hands with great satisfaction. “You are of sound sense in this respect. I so dislike the stuff in any form. I presume you do not take snuff?”.

“Worse and worse," I replied, much amused, and quite curious to know where all this would lead.

“So it is, so it is. Nothing will give me the blues (I looked at his eyes) so quick as a snuff-box. I hope you do not use ale or beer?


“Filthy drinks, both of them. The sight of them is enough to produce nausea. Vile, contemptible beverages. Brandy, perhaps ?”.

“No, sir."

“Good again! It is fiery stuff, and they do call brandy perfectly awful now-a-days. I don't know. Gin, some. times ?”

“No liquor, except as a medicine."

“It is all gin is fit for. A baby-drink, if I may so term it. I swallowed large doses of it when a child, which accounts for my aversion to it now. Sling they called it, and I would certainly have made sling of it if I had been large and strong enough. Whisky? Ah! you take no liquor only as a medicine, and whisky is seldom found on a physician's prescription; therefore you do not use it. It is not fit to drink. But wine? Per. haps you take wine ?".

“I studiously avoid all stimulants."

“I thought so. I do myself. Any one can tell by your looks that you are & temperate man; but I fear that my face belies me. Blood, sir, superabund. ance of the life-giving fluid. I honor you, sir. You are one of a thousand. It is the only way to insure good health, vigor of muscle and brain, and a long life. And you have courage, too. Want of it is one of the greatest drawbacks to the temperance cause. A man has the courage to drink, but not to abstain. I wish there were more like you. But I am wearying you. Beg your pardon. I am under obligations to you for your attention to my somewbat intrusive words. It is my hobby. Every one

has a hobby, and this is mine. There is not a day passes, no, nor an hour, but that I am harping on this liquor question. I like it, and have been at it these twenty years. In fact, I may be said to live by it. But here comes the stage, and I must leave you.' Whenever you come down to Chicago, please give me a call. My card, sir. Good day."

Little curious to know what was the name of this eloquent temperance advocate, I glanced at the card. I will not tell the name that was on it, but what came after it was the following:


“Good-bye, Doctor!" came from the stage, and there sat the blue-eyed man smoking a fragrant Havana.

Ahl my blue-eyed man! I have never been able to get quite even with him ; but if I never do, I shall not regret the joke he played upon me; for he is a true friend now, and as a man, is the most genial whole-souled fellow that ever lived. We still have different opinions in regard to “stimulants."



TN the life of Luther there is a vast

I interest. It is fresh and fruitful to every generation of men. The great reformer is more truly a living person, now that he has been absent from the body almost three centuries and a quar ter, than the majority of us who are still in it. “Luther's life," Bunsen says, " is both the epos and the tragedy of his age. It is an epos, because its first part presents a hero and a prophet who conquers apparently insuperable difficulties and opens a new world to the human mind without any power but that of Divine Truth and deep convic

tion, or any authority but that of sin. cerity and undaunted, unselfish courage. Luther's life is also a tragedy, the tragedy of Germany, as well as of her son who tried in vain to rescue his country from unholy oppression, and to regenerate her from within, as a gen. eration, by means of the Gospel." I have always felt that Luther's life was a third thing, that we never adequately remember or weigh. It was a human life through and through, in the sweetest and truest sense of that term, and no sight of Luther can be true that does not give this human element a great and noble place. I want to touch that element in this brief paper - not to speak of the hero or the reformer, but the man Martin Luther-what his man hood had to do with the great part he played in the mighty movements of his time.

In the year those hapless children were done to death in the tower at Lon. don, and that Richard who figures so balefully in English history made his hasty and fatal snatch at the English Crown, while Columbus was pondering over his problem, and still nine years from its solution, and the art of printing was forty-three years old, Martin Luther was born. It was the custom then, in Germany, for the poor folk in country places to flock to the great fairs, in the fall of the year, to barter away what they had gathered in the summer and bay what they must have for the winter with the money. Margaret and John Luther had gone to Eis-lieben on this errand. When they went back with the babe, it was to a home as poor as poverty. “Let no one, in my presence, speak with contempt of the poor fellows who go from door to door singing and begging for bread," Luther says, long after," for I was once a beggar-boy my. self, singing and seeking bread at peoples' houses." It was very probable that this blank need rose out of John Luther's determination that his children should have an education. They were, therefore, drafted from the ranks of the bread winners and made only bread consumers. But it was no disgrace to give & song for a crust then, in Ger many, as it is not now in England. Nothing is more common there, in very hard times, than for the poor to sing for their bread, and it is always allowed that this saves them from mere blank beggary. It was in one of these sad concerts that a widow saw the child, and had compassion on him and took bim home and into her heart and gave him the best she had, as long as she

could keep him. And so, in one way and another, he scrambled up the steep the best he could. Was a good scholar at six; went to college at fourteen; drank deep at the wells of learning; learned some mechanical arts as well, especially wood-turning; found that his soul went out toward music, and was skillful on the fute, and was as full of life in all ways as the rest of his fellows; was a genuine German student, fond of a frolic; would swagger about with his sword and dagger -- a young man who would not be counted a milk-sop- and cut his foot with his dagger one day and came near dying; he had to think at last of a profession, and was urged to try the law, but Luther never loved either the law or the lawyers; said a great many hard things about them in the course of his lifetime, and would not be one of them when he chose a career. His determination, indeed, was toward music and the belles-lettres. He felt as yet no call to the grand work of his life. You see, as you read, that the danger is that he may become a courtier and scholar, and then only live in human memory as a man of genius, wanting in the force that gives to genius its perfect work. But in the councils of Heaven the question was settled. No lighter burden could be laid on this man than that to which he was born, and no sec. ondary agencies should call him to his work.

So, when he was twenty-two, standing close to a comrade in a thunder-storm, his fellow-student was struck dead by the lightning. And God was in the lightning; flames that were to burn up so much that was bad were kindled by that flash. In a spasm of fear and gratitude, Luther vowed, on that instant, that he would be a monk; because to give yourself to God by wrenching yourself from man, and to prepare for the world to come by backing out of this, was considered then the holiest thing a man could do.

« PreviousContinue »