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'T is, finally, the man, who, lifted high, Conspicuous object in a nation's

eye, Or left unthought of in obscurity, Who with a toward or untoward lot, Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not, Plays, in the many games of life, that one Where what he most doth value must be won ; Whom neither shape of danger can dismay, Nor thought of tender happiness betray; Who, not content that former worth stand fast, Looks forward, persevering to the last, From well to better, daily self-surpass’d: Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth, For ever, and to noble deeds give birth, Or he must go to dust without his fame, And leave a dead, unprofitable name, Finds comfort in himself and in his cause; And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause : This is the happy warrior; this is he Whom every man in arms should wish to be.


(A. D. 1771-1848.)

JOHANN HEINRICH DANIEL ZSCHOKKE, celebrated as an author, as a teacher, and as a public-spirited citizen, was born at Magdeburg, Germany, in 1771; but settled in Switzerland in 1796, and became a citizen of that republic.

He was a voluminous writer, his collected works filling forty volumes, including ten volumes of tales, many of them much admired, besides religious, historical, and economic writings. The most noted of Zschokke's books is the “Stunden der Andacht,” translated into English under the title “Meditations on Life, Death, and Eternity,” from which the counsel given hereunder is quoted. Its author died in 1848.


(From "Meditations on Life, Death, and Eternity," by Zschokke,

translated by Frederica Rowan.)

When a man intends to sketch out a plan of some great and important undertaking relative to worldly matters, he first weighs and examines calmly and carefully what means will be most likely to help him to achieve his object; considers the circumstances amid which he will have to act; measures the extent of his own powers in respect of the undertaking; and even calculates the obstacles which he may possibly have to encounter, and ponders beforehand on the best means of overcoming them. Dost thou think that the elevating, perfecting, and sanctifying of thy soul require less effort and reflection than the increase of thy revenue,

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or of the consideration in which thou art held by the world ? ...

Do not begin by making a solemn promise to God that thou wilt at once become a holier being, and that thou wilt conquer all thy faults and all thy passions; for experience ought to have taught thee ere this, that thou wilt be unable to fulfill this rash promise.

On the contrary, ask thyself first: Wherein am I most faulty? Which are the defects in my character which more especially lead me to commit unjust acts ? And which is the one among these defects which is most injurious to myself and to others? Thou wilt never have any difficulty in discovering these faults, for thy conscience, that is to say, the sacred though faint voice of thy spirit which is yearning for perfection, will aid thee in detecting them.

Then inquire further : Whence comes this defect? Is it owing to my early education? Or is it a consequence of the power of outward things over me? Or the effect of my temperament? Or is it, perhaps, caused by a still more deep-seated or concealed passion, or the result of some bad habit indulged in till it has become, as it were, second nature ?

And when thou hast thus fathomed the cause from which thy principal defect springs, then consider the circumstances amidst which thou livest, and the character of the persons by whom thou art surrounded; reflect earnestly upon what would be the most effective means of preventing these from calling forth this fault in you, and of rendering it innoxious to them and to thee. To do this, it is not sufficient to make an impulsive resolution. Thou must take a calm and deliberate survey of all the means that may be available for conquering the fault, whether it arise from thy education, thy temperament, or from habit.

Probably thou mayst not succeed in getting the better of it for some days, or even weeks or months. The evil tendency will, no doubt, often assail thee anew; but thou wilt nevertheless be able to keep it in check and gradually to conquer it, if, each time it stirs within thee, thou wilt recall to mind thy noble resolve, and say to thyself: “ Now is the time to show strength of mind, and to exercise power over my lower nature.” Avoid everything that is likely to tempt thee and to make thee forget thyself; but when thou canst not do so, then exert thyself to the utmost to master thy feelings, and to act in such manner that thou needst not be ashamed even were the whole world to witness thy conduct. But never place thyself in the way of temptation in order to test thy strength. They who expose themselves to temptation are sure, sooner or later, to succumb. The only means of destroying our evil tendencies and of conquering our weaknesses, is by never rousing them. If they are never called into activity, our faults at last die out of themselves.

Do not attempt too much at once. First conquer the greatest obstacles in thy way to perfection, afterwards the others will be the more easily subdued. Attack thine enemies singly, if thou wouldst be victor. To wage war against all, at one and the same time, might prove too much for thy strength, and might end in robbing thee of all energy and hope.

In like manner, it is easier, in daily life, to keep a strict guard over thyself, when thou hast only one enemy, though it be the strongest, and the greatest, to observe and to combat. This will allow thee to concentrate thy strength, which must, on the contrary, be divided, if thou undertakest ever to keep carefully before thy mind every precept of Christianity, and anxiously to weigh and to test thy every thought and word. To carry out such an attempt exceeds the measure of human strength.

Be without guile, take men as they are, and let thy intercourse with them be simple and straightforward, without always weighing and calculating results ; but never for one moment lose sight of thy chief enemy, thy besetting sin.

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