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MY FIRST SABBATH IN PARIS.
BY PROF. C. A. GOODRICH.
THERE are moments in the life of every one, to which the heart will always go back with deep and tender emotions. One of these, to me, is the first Sabbath I spent in Paris. I had leit my native country, under the exhaustion of long-protracted disease. Medical skall had done its utmost, and the last experiment was now to be made. I went abroad, to live,-if such were the will of God—or to die alone in a land of strangers
Wife-child-an aged parent-I had left them all with God; and they had given me up as one they might never see more on earth.
The voyage was long and tedious. Between twenty and thirty days, I suffered more from sea-sickness than the Captain who had spent forty years on the ocean, had ever witnessed in any other individual. As I lay in my berth, or occasionally on the deck, during the long and wearisome nights and days, every pitch and roll of the vessel sent a thrill of anguish through my whole frame. My strength, at last, was entirely gone ; and I then felt, for the first time, the full import of what we do, when we ask the blessing of God on our daily meals. It was for Him to decide, whether the food I took into my system, should remain there long enough to impart any of its nutriment. This could not be, unless a change took place; and though I forced myself to eat, at regular intervals, it continued to be doubtful, whether I should not, after all, die of hunger and exhaustion. It pleased Him just to spare me; and the Captain afterwards told a friend that he never felt more relieved, than when he set me on shore at Havre, at the expiration of thirty days, and had no more responsibility for my health and safety. Through the mercy of God, my strength was so rapidly restored on reaching land, that I was able to go up, during the week, by easy stages to Paris; and here it was I spent my first Sabbath in France.
A friend conducted me to the chapel of the Rev. Lewis Way. Mr. Way was an English clergyman, whose life had been full of remarkable incidents, on which I cannot now dwell. Suffice it to say, that he was a poor Scottish boy, born of pious parents, who went up to London at the age of sixteen, to seek his for
tune. Passing a splendid mansion, soon after his arrival, he saw on the door-plate the name Lewis Way; and was led by a singular and almost irresistible impulse, to ring and inquire whether the person who thus bore his name, was a native of Scotland, or had any knowledge of his parents The servant reported the strange inquiry to his master ; and the gentleman, though from another part of the kingdom, struck with the simplicity of the youth, and the coincidence of their names, directed him to be called in. The house he entered had a richness of furniture and decoration, far beyond his largest conceptions of splendor and magnificence. It was the dwelling of a gentleman of princely fortune, already advanced in years, and possess. ing every means of enjoyment but one,-he had no family, no near relatives; he was alone in the world. This made him curious to inquire into the character of his young name-sake. He held him in conversation for some hours, and drew out from him the history of his parents, of his early education, tastes, and habits, his object in coming to London, the persons to whom he was introduced, and the lodging place where he lived. Toward the close of these inquiries, he rang for a servant, and after giving him a message in a low tone, resumed the conversation with young Way, and held him some time longer in discourse on various topics, till the servant returned, and in a suppressed voice, made some report to his master, which was received with a nod of approbation.
The gentleman, after a few moments, asked young Way, whether he had any taste for paintings; and proposed to show him some rare productions of the most celebrated Italian masters, which adorned the ample stair-case and the halls above. He led him from one piece to another, taking an evident and strong delight in laying open to the young mind before him, which was one of uncommon sensibility and natural taste, the refined beauties of composition and coloring, in these admirable specimens of art. He thus led him forward till at length he threw open the door of a richly furnished lodging room on the second floor, and invited him to enter. Here young Way saw with great surprise, his own little, worn, rusty valise
THE CHRISTIAN PARLOR MAGAZINE.
lying on the table; while the gentleman, to whom he turned, addressed him, “ This is your apartment while you remain unemployed. I will endeavor, if you deserve it, to provide you some useful and honorable occupation in life.” I need not dwell on the gratitude of the young man, or the care and penetration with which his sagacious benefactor watched his habits and the pointings of his intellect, as he held him back from time to time, in respect to any immediate entrance upon business. At length, when he was satisfied that it might safely be done, he offered young Way to carry him through the University with a view to putting him into the ministry, to which the wishes of both pointed, as his employment for life.
The proposal was joyfully accepted ; and Mr. Way, after the requisite course of preparatory study, became a member of the University of Cambridge; where he was distinguished for the activity of his mind, his diligent application and unaffected piety. Just at the close of his collegiate course he was sent for, in great haste, to come up to London : his benefactor had been suddenly taken ill, and was already in the agonies of death. He arrived too late ; he came only to look on the venerable countenance now fixed in death, of one who had always met him with a smile of joy, and to whom he owed almost everything he was, or hoped to be, in this life. When the funeral was over, and the will was read, he found himself, to his astonishment, heir of his benefactor's estate. He had never been promised anything beyond a country-living; and the intelligence now burst upon him, that he was owner of that splendid mansion, with a property of about seven hundred thousand pounds sterling! Fifteen or twenty servants now appeared before him, to offer their congratulations, and acknowledge him as their master. The groom conducted him to a stud of sixteen chosen horses, with carriages of every kind and fashion, which stood ready at his call. The confidential agent of his benefactor laid before him a schedule of his numerous stocks and other securities; and then took him in an open carriage, through one part and another of the metropolis, pointing out to him long rows of dweiling-houses, or stores, and telling him, “ These, sir, are all your own !”
Mr. Way was naturally a man of a very excitable temperament, and the shock of that day was too much for him. The next thing of which he was conscious, as he toid a friend who related to me his story, was of finding himself at a small neat cottage in a retired
village of Kent, under the care of keepers ; where, as he afterwards learned, he had been contined for some months in a state of high but pleasurable derangement His reason gradually returned to him, and with it the distinct consciousness of the scenes through which he had passed, and which had, at first, appeared to him as a long bewildering dream. The wealth which had fallen to him, did not diminish, in the least, his desire of entering into the ministry. He took orders a few months after, and proved to be a preacher of uncommon power and tenderness He was married to an accomplished and beautiful woman of similar tastes and principles to his own, and in common with her, devoted himself with unwearied assiduity to works of lenevolence.
Mr. Way's benefactor had always felt a peculiar anxiety for the conversion of the Jews; and he made it a provision of his will, that a part of the income of bis estate should be expended for the benefit of this unhappy people. This led Mr. Way to visit Jerusalem, and to extend his efforts for the good of this persecuted race, into most of the countries of Europe. With this view, he went to the council of Vienna, after the fall of Buonaparte, and endeavored to procure from the allied sovereigns, through the intervention of the British Ministry, a removal of some of the burdens and disabilities, under which the Jews everywhere labor. He then returned to Paris, and resolved to make it the centre of numerous plans of benevolence on the Continent, upon which his heart was fixed. Accordingly, be purchased for about six hundred thousand francs, a splendid establishment, once a place of public amusement, fronting on the Champs Elysées ; which, I need not say, is the most frequented and beautiful place of resort in that capital, adjoining the palace of the king. A building connected with the establishment, and used as a dancing saloon, he resolved to con. vert into a chapel for services in the English tongue Accordingly, he had it beautifully fitted up with pulpit and seats of English Oak, brought for the purpose across the Channel ; and either supplied the pulpit himself, or provided a chaplain, who officiated in his room. It was truly the most delightful place of worship I ever entered ; especially when taken in connection with the knowledge I had of the man, and the associations which clustered round the place. Such, then, was Lewis Way, and such the chapel he had opened for the English and Americans; to which I was conducted by a
MY FIRST SABBATH IN PARIS.
friend, through all the gaieties of a Parisian sabbath, as my first place of worship after the sufferings and privations of my protracted voyage.
Written after worshipping in the chapel of
Lewis Way, on the Champs Elysées, Paris.
O’er scenes where pleasure revels wide,
The souls where faith and hope reside. That sacred Dome was open thrown,
Wide as its owner's heart, once more ; And round its hallowed precincts shone,
The radiance of a brighter shore.
There, while from loftier structures rose,
In all its pomp, religion's art, That modest temple only knows,
The breathing incense of the heart. And there to join the happy few,
A stranger came who long did mourn, Far on the Atlantic wave anew,
Each lonely sabbath's slow return.
We were rather late in the arriving, for my residence was two miles off. The room was crowded with persons evidently of high rank, and of polished manners. As we stood for a moment at the door, in some little embarrassment as to a seat, a gentleman at the other end of the chapel, kindly came forward, and conducted us to a place by his side. The services had already commenced; the organ was touched by a skilful hand, which had obviously been trained in other scenes; and the whole audience were beginning to unite in a song of Zion. The accents of my native tongue sounded doubly sweet in the worship of the sanctuary, as contrasted with the foreign voices which fell everywhere upon my ear, without the chapel. The services were all performed with the tenderness and solemnity of those who felt the blessedness of drawing near to God; and who felt it the more because they were “ strangers in a strange land.” Upon me, in my feeble state of body, the effect was overpowering. The reader will not think it a proof of weakness, that I wept almost without restraint during the whole service, and especially the communion which followed, if he considers the scenes of trial through which I had just passed, the associations connected with that little chapel, transformed from a ball-room into the sanctuary of God, and the contrast between our employment and that of thousands around us who were wasting their sabbath in thoughtless gaiety, sweeping through the Champs Elysées past our quiet retreat, utterly regardless of that Redeemer on whom our hearts were fixed in sweet and holy communion. It was to me indeed “the gate of heaven;" and much as I have enjoyed the worship of the sanctuary in various parts of the world, I have never known a season which took so deep a hold on my feelings, as my first sabbath in Paris, in the chapel of Lewis Way.
Long had he felt the withering power
Of stern disease—the keener smart, That waits the solitary hour
The desolation of the heart,
Then, oh, what joy was his to kneel,
Once more amid the adoring throng,
Sound sweetly in his native longue !
while others prayed, Again, with gratitude too deep
For utterance, view the broken bread.
No face he knew, no eye was turned,
No hand of greeting stretched to him; And
yet his inmost bosom burned, With all a brother's love to them.
And blest be he whose care gives birth,
To joys like these in souls prepared ; Who makes these halls of giddy mirth,
The temple of his dying Lord. And where the wanton dance had been,
And pleasure spread her fairy ground, Has made the consecrated scene,
A spot where Angels linger round.
On returning to my lodgings, I wrote the fol. lowing lines intended to embody the emotions I then experienced. No person, I am aware, can 80 enter into my feelings as fully to understand me, except one who has been placed in similar circumstances. It would not be surprising, therefore, if what was poetry to me should seem far short of it to others.
Blest be his care, and o'er his path,
Be thrown the approving smile of Heaven, How mean the pride and pomp of earth,
To souls renewed and sins forgiven !
BY A VILLAGE PASTOR.
Some twenty years ago, the wit and the wealth, the beauty and the strength of old Berkshire were gathered in its sweetest valley; that which embosoms Williams College. It was commencement day. Anxious hearts were on the stage, and anxious hearts, that smiling faces hid, were many among the crowd.
Perhaps you have never been in this loveliest vale? It has been well said that standing on the plain at West Point, hundreds of feet above the glorious river that winds at your feet and loses itself among the everlasting hills, it is almost impossible to feel that nature alone has spread out such a plain among the mountains and formed it so fitly for the mighty ends to which man has appointed it. It seems as if art had cast the spot into her mould, and fashioned it so as to combine all that is vast and sublime in wild omnipotent nature, with all that is beautiful and fit for use in the skill of man. And if I were sent to make a spot in which to plant a seat of learning, the retreat for study, where science should offer to her votaries all that can attract, and elevate, and lead to her Joftiest and sincerest worship, I would pile up mountains on every side, clothe them with forests of giant trees, in summer robed in the richest green, and in the autumn reflecting every color that the eye loves to dwell on; here I would make a gap among these hills, and through it I would lead a gentle stream into the valley now sleeping sweetly in the arms of its mountain-guards ; here I would make another gap, and through it should flow another river more rapid and more pure, and these two streams, emblems of knowledge and virtue, should meet in the centre of the valley ; they should flow into each other and become one richer, lovelier, mightier stream, flowing on with a broader, deeper current, passing ont of the vale by another gap among the hills, to fertilize the earth, and finally mingle its waters with the distant sea. At the junction of these streams I would plant a grove where the sons and daughters of science might walk and meditate and pray, and all over the valley should be the abodes of quiet, loving people, whose God is the Lord. Here I would place the College. Here it has been placed, and this, without a word of fancy, is the valley in which my “Alma
Mater” has her home. There are the mountains, the loftiest in the State of Massachusetts; there are those romantic gaps through which the traveller finds an easy and delightful passage along the brink of smiling streams and under the shade of solemn hills; there is the “junction” and the “ grove” where the names of Gordon Hall and Samuel J. Mills and others are rudely carved by their own hands, on the trees at whose feet they kneeled when they prayed; there the double stream finds its way out to the West through another opening which, when filled with the gorgeous glory of a setting sun, gave me in boyhood a richer picture of the dazzling majesty of heaven than any natural scenery on which my eye ever fell. Sweet vale! How the memory of it lingers with me like the fancy of a fabled “isle of the blest," Years have ro led rapidly hy, and signs of age are thickening on me and within me, but that valley, those peacetul classic shades, these sacred hails, their hallowed associations, the friends of my youth, they are all around me with as fresh reality as if years were on y days and grey hairs the growth of a single night.
It was Commencement day, twenty years ago, and Charles Richardson—ihis rame shall stanil instead of his owp--was on the stage. He was pronouncing the fareweil address to the class, and every eye in the crowded house was fixed upon him, and every ear attentive to catch the worls that fell from his tremulous lips. Foremost among his fe lows in the studies of college, he had the rare gist of power to engage the hearts of all, so that he stood forth to-tay with the highest honois, no less as a wellearned award than as freely accorded by those who rejoiced in his success. He had spoken of the parting, of the prospects, of the widely diverging paths of life, of the hopelessness of meeting again, and the sympathies of the assembly were evidently and deeply with the youthful impassioned speaker. He referred to the paths of honor which some would tread, and the fierce conflicts awaiting those who aspired to the giddy heights of fame. * Some oi us," said he,“ have our hearts on the distant heathen. The misery of the'r present degra 'a. tion and the deeper and darker misery that awaits them hereafter, have stirred within us