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of the ocean, as they strike on the winding shore. And it was not until the last lingering rays of the departing sun were almost wholly gone from the western horizon, that the exercises could be brought to a close. We then hastened to the post-house, took a little refreshment, and bidding adieu to the friends who attended us thither, set out for Söderrala, a parish lying to the south and adjacent to that of Norrala. But what was oar surprise, when passing the rock of Gustavus Vasa, as our road led us to do, we found a large company of men and women waiting there, who immediately surrounded the carriage, commenced sing. ing one of their sweet hymns, and thus walked along by its side, until we approached the descent of a considerable bill! Here we stopped until they had finished; and then, amid their mingled “ tacks” (thanks) and “ farväl” (farewells) we bade adieu, for the last time, as we supposed, to these interesting and pious people.
I had a fine opportunity of seeing a goodly company of these “ Readlers” in another parish, considerably to the north of Norrala. Upon our arrival at Njutanger, it was concluded that I should stay there two or three days, and then rejoin our friends, Messrs. Scott and Wieselgren, at Hudiksvall, distant some ten or twelve miles from that place.
Njutanger is rather a scattered settlement than a village. It lies in a valley of some extent, which stretches from north to south, a fine, fertile and nearly level piece of ground, which is bounded on the south by a bay that puts up from the Gulf of Bothnia, and on the north by a small lake. The house of the hospitable pastor of the parish, at which I look up my temporary abode, stands but a few rods from this lake, and is separated from it mainly by the road which passes from Njutanger to Hudviksvall.
At this interesting and very pleasant spot I passed a Sabbath, amid the repose which was visible in all parts of the little secluded moun. tain-valley. At ten o'clock the villagers began to assemble for worship. The church stands in the centre of the settlement. It is a relic of the times when the Roman Catholic religion prevailed in that country. It is situated on a little eminence, or hill, and is built of stone and stuccoed. Its walls are well-nigh three feet in thickness. Its roof is high and sharp, like all the old parish churches of Sweden which were built four or five hundred years ago. A stone wall, with high and heavy gateways, surrounds the church; and a belfry, or tower, stands at
a little distance outside the walls of the church. yard. This belfry resembles those which one sees in almost all parts of that country. It consists of four curiously shingled columns of wood; which are not perpendicular, but lean towards each other, and sustain an indescribable round edifice, containing two bells, and surmounted by a pear-shaped cone,-all covered over with very small shingles. The church retains in the vestibule a quantity of wooden images, which adorn one side of it, and which are relics of Roman Catholic times.
The interior of the church recalled days long gone by. It is long and narrow; an aisle runs down the middle; and there is a row of pews on each side of it. At the western end there are two galleries, one above the other, the panels of which are carved and gilded in the heavy manner of the middle ages. In the eastern end is an old altar, covered with gold and silver cloth of a rich and heavy texture. Above it is a cross, with a huge image of the Saviour upon it, remaining just as it was when the Roman Catholics occupied this church three centuries ago. Two wax candles were burning on the altar. The pulpit is on one side. It is small, box-shaped, and richly gilded. The front panel bears a carved and gilded representation of Christ preaching to the people. I ought to add that the pulpit rests on the shoulders of a wooden image, purporting to be that of a hu. man being, after the old Gothic manner. Winged little angels adorn the corners.
The first part of the liturgy (for the Swedish churches use a liturgy, and it is of a highly evangelical character) was read by the preacher from the steps of the altar; and the remaining portion from the pulpit after the sermon, save the concluding part, which was read from the altar. The whole service, including the four psalms which were sung, occupied a little more than two hours. The congregation, which might be some three hundred persons in number, appeared to be very attentive to the discourse of the excellent young man who preached. I was struck with the decorum that prevailed among the peasants, who composed the entire auditory. The men were dressed in coarse but comfortable clothes, about which there was nothing worthy of remark. The women came all with handkerchiefs, mostly white, on their heads, two corners of which were tied under the chin, and the other two were lest loose behind. Each one carried a psalm-book, a pocket handkerchief, and a little bouquet of flowers in her hand.
BIBLE READERS IN NORWAY AND SWEDEN.
As we approached the church--for I accompanied the excellent pastor and his family-we found a large number of people on the grassy space in front of it, surrounding an open coffin, which contained the body of an infant, neatly dressed, and on whose little forehead flowers and leaves of evergreen trees were strewed-sweet emblem both of the innocence which mankind everywhere attribute to childhood, and of the hopes of eternal life, which can alone console a parent's heart when giving up his tender ones to the stroke of death. After the funeral service was over, all entered the church. The women laid aside the handkerchiefs which they had worn on their heads; and then appeared one of the most remarkable head-dresses which I have ever seen. The back of the head of every one was covered with a nice silk cap, generally black, though some were blue, some red, etc.,—made exactly like the corresponding part of the black silk bonnet of some neat Philadelphia Quakeress. This silk cap or bonnet reached only as far as the middle of the head. A white band of muslin, or linen, and in some cases of lace, one or two inches in width, bordered the front part, and extended to the cheek and the outward corners of the eyes ; whilst on the forehead it retired, by a graceful scollop, and exposed the entire middle part of it, and a little of the hair above. I cannot describe the singular appearance which some hundred and fifty women, dressed in this costume, and occupying one half of the church, present to one who has never seen anything of the kind before.
After the service was over, the handkerchief resumed its place on the head, and all dispersed, walking away with a decorum befitting the occasion which had convened them. I was exceedingly struck with the simplicity of the manners and of the appearance of this secluded, and, as I have reason to believe, virtuous community.
Old-fashioned and singular as are most of the country churches in Sweden, they have for me a wonderful attraction. They are almost all built in the same style ; long and narrow, of stone, stuccoed and white-washed, and with sharp roofs. The belfry often stands detached from the church, and at fifty or a hundred feet from it. The old wall, too, which bounds the yard or court of the church, following the uneven surface of the ground and varying in elevation with it, with gateways which resemble, in miniature, a porter's lodge, having a sharp-pointed roof wholly disproportioned to the height of the
wall-all this is so very antique that it has a great charm for me ; and yet I cannot tell why. I suppose that this sentiment, like many of the agreeable impressions which external objects make upon us, is in fact not susceptible of any analysis, and therefore no account can be given of it, other than a statement of the fact of its existence.
I like to wander in the rural churchyards of Sweden, and read the simple words which affection has engraved on the monuments of the dead, and see the sweet borders of flowers, or of evergreen plants, which the tender hands of childhood bave planted around the grave of a beloved mother, and which it often visits, and waters, and watches over. Sweet emblems these of hopes which death cannot destroy, and of that immortality which shall arise and flourish even from the tomb itself! It is here that death, even now, is made to wear the appearance of life, and the grave to be only the restingplace of the body, whilst it is undergoing the process necessary to its emerging from its chrysalis state.
How sacred is the grave of a Mother! Mother ! sweetest word in all our language, whether when first applied to the interesting being who receives her first-born to her arms and presses it to her bosom; or to her at a later period, when she sits amidst a circle of noisy though grateful children, swaying the sceptre of justice and of love among them, and moulding their tender minds by the sweet accents of heavenly wisdom which fall from her lips; or still later, when, venerable in age, and mature in goodness, she receives the profound homage and the affectionate embraces of her grown-up sons and daughters! It is the influence of Christianity alone which can make such a mother, or hearts capable of appreciating her.
There being no service in the church in the afternoon, a number of the villagers assembled, as usual, at the house of the pastor, to hear the Bible, or some other religious book, read and commented on. The weather being remarkably fine, it was proposed to hold the meeting on the top of the high hill which rises in the rear of the pastor's house, and from which there is a fine view over all the valley. Thither we were all conducted, and clambered up the rugged sides of the hill, or mountain rather. The ascent was soon made ; and there, on the rocks covered with white moss and the short heather, then bearing its sweet little violet flower, we sat down to listen to the words of wisdom.
The scene was most enchanting. We were
on the very top of the highest bill. On the east, the eye could perceive the dark waves of the Gulf of Bothnia, distant some ten or fifteen miles. On the west lay, at equal distance, a ridge of the blue mountains, behind which the sun was hastening to descend; whilst beneath us lay, in the same direction, the valley from which we had ascended, with its sweet fields, its scattered villages, and its tranquil lake, now covered with the fast lengthening shadows of the distant mountain. The smoke was beginning to curl in sluggish volumes above each house, and the tinkling of bells arose from the flocks of sheep and herds of cattle which were depasturing in the fields which spread over the valley.
In little groups the villagers hastened to join us, until the number reached to seventy or eighty. Then, in an indentation or basin in the rock, they sat down in rows, rising one above another, like the seats in an amphitheatre ; whilst the pastor read the Scriptures, and the
first chapter in the Life of Martin Boos, and commented on what he read. Some account of the state of religion in America succeeded, and was listened to with great interest. A prayer followed, and the singing of hymns, until the
was fairly gone down. Then, from amidst the grateful salutations, and the universal expressions of Tack! tack! (for what had been told them) of this simple-hearted and ex. cellent people, 1 retired with the pastor and his family, and returned to their hospitable abode. And thus terminated another of the Sabbaths of my life. It was a day of sweet repose, which, though long in that high latitude, passed rapidly away. All nature seemed to sympathize with the peaceful and holy nature of the day. As it closed, not a breath of air was felt, nor a rippling wave appeared on the lake beneath my window, which lay like a mirror reflecting the stars in the blue vault of heaven, and the shadows of the forest on its shores.
THE FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN'S REWARD.
BY ADELIA MORTON.
Servants of God! whatever name ye bear
Of all who wait at Zion's golden gates,
Earth’s glittering crowns and gems—though potentates
Uncounted stores in Folly's vainest mood,
And naught be left of all their plenitude !
An erring soul from death, a crown shall win
Surpassing every thought, and freed from sin
And held for ever by an arm divine,
demands it. He is constituted a thinking being, capable of endless growth and progression, and he is unworthy of his place in the scale of being who practically denies his rationality. He owes to his fellow-men the culture of his powers, for he cannot insulate himself from others, nor escape from the obligation to contribute in every way in which he is capable to their happiness. And he owes it to his Maker, whose steward he is, to improve all his talents, be they few or many. There is scarcely a more wonderful, as there is not a more gross mistake than this, that a man may without criminality omit the cultivation and development of his mental pow
Among those to whom our Magazine makes its monthly visit, may be reckoned a due proportion of minds that have never enjoyed the advantage of a liberal education, and have never endeavored by diligent self-culture to supply the deficiency. And it is reasonable to suppose further, that many of these minds, if fairly nurtured and developed, would be highly useful, and highly respectable beyond anything that can now be expected of them.
It would be to us, and much more to them, a source of unmingled joy could we succeed in awakening in those persons the desire and the determination to undertake seriously and systematically, a process of self-education, and to do this, under a sense of their moral obligation to cultivate to the highest point of improvement the faculties of their minds. At present, we apprehend, there are but few who recognize any obligation to cultivate their minds. Many who readily admit their obligation to keep their hearts with all diligence and to educate and improve their moral powers, with a strange and absurd inconsistency think it lawful to neglect their mental faculties. Is this reasonable ? Is it right? Is it not supremely self-contradictory and ridiculous ? And should it not subject any man to the reproaches of his conscience and the rebuke of his Creator, who bestowed the wonderful faculties of the human soul to the intent that under the wise and diligent culture of their possessor, they should improve and expand for ever, and become reflectors of the Infinite Intelligence. It is not the duty of every man to become a member of a learned profession; nor is it required of every one to forsake his ordinary avocations and spend a portion of his life within the walls of a college; for this, in a multitude of cases, is impracticable. But it is a plain case, that every man should be an educated man to the extent of his opportunity. He is no more at liberty to starve his mind than he is to starve his body. He is no more at liberty, by exclusive or undue attention to the means of securing a temporal subsistence, to repress his mental growth and vigor, than he is to destroy or paralyze the limbs of his body. Every man, every youth, owes it to himself, to his fellow-men and to his Maker, to carry the culture of his mind to the highest attainable point. He owes it to himself. His personal happiness cannot be secured otherwise, for it is a law of our being, that our happiness depends upon the employment of all our faculties. The dignity of his rational nature
We should rejoice in what we believe would be both for the honor and the best interests of our readers, that each should deliberately propose to himself and herself, a system of self-culture which should henceforth be as assiduously pursued as we are wont to pursue our several fixed and ordinary avocations. We wish to see those who have enjoyed advantages, make continued efforts, and those who have not, begin forthwith, and carry forward simultaneously with their other and ordinary avocations, a work of improvement in their own bosom. We desire to see and hasten the time when every farm-house and every mechanical establishment shall embrace thinking minds, conscious of their dignity and vast capabilities. We wish not a community of pedants, or speculatists, or of mere newspaper readers, but of industrious, well-balanced minds, engaged honestly and earnestly in the pursuit of knowledge.
Some may be discouraged from undertaking anything, because so much of their life has already passed without culture. But when we look at the lives of others who have distinguished themselves, there seems no reason for discouragement. Dr. Carter was originally a grazier, and did not commence his studies till he was nineteen or twenty. Ogilby, the translator of Virgil and Homer, was above forty years of age when he commenced the study of Latin, and not till his fifty-fourth year did he commence the study of Greek, What has been done may be done again. Examples, enough to fill a volume, might be brought to show that it is never too late to hope for success.
Some may apprehend difficulty from the want of suitable instruction. Self-education seems to them a hard process But they should remember that the ancient philosophers were all self
educated Sir Wm. Herschell was a self-edu. cated man. So was Sir Humphrey Davy. So was Alexander Murray-who is supposed to have prosecuted the study of the languages to a greater extent than any man who ever lived, and who, in 1812, was chosen to the professorship of Oriental languages in the University of Edinburgh a self-taught man. Before his connection with the university, his whole school attendance had been but thirteen months-and
he was but thirty-eight years of age when he died. And, in our own country, many of the leading minds who have shaped and adorned our history, have been self-educated men. Such were the Shermans, the Franklins, the Rittenhouses, and numbers more whose names we need not stay to mention.
We earnestly commend these suggestions to those whose benefit they more especially contemplate.
NEGLECT-OR THE LESSON OF A DAY.
“ PA,” said Emmeline to her father, Mr. Vinton, as she threw herself in an evidently vexed mood upon the sofa, upon returning from church,
Pa, I am sure I shall never become a Chris. tian under the preaching of Mr. Taylor. It only hardens my heart. So far as it has any effect, it only sours my mind, makes me unhappy and dissatisfied, so that I am afraid church-going will become at length positively burdensome.”
“And pray, my dear, what was Mr. Taylor's fault to-day?” replied her father. “I thought the discourse a very superior one.
Its statements were clear, its arguments and illustrations forcible, its appeals to the heart tender and persuasive, and the manner of the preacher was in beautiful keeping with the benevolent spirit of the discourse. For my part I felt, as I have often before, thankful that it was the privilege of myself and family to sit under such an instructive and faithful ministration ; and I much regret that you do not share in my feelings. Now tell me, my dear, what has ruffled your peace to-day?"
“Well, pa, what I complain of is, that Mr. Taylor makes no distinction at all between the best people, if they don't happen to be religious, and the very worst. For instance, from the text to-day, · How shall we escape if we neg. lect so great salvation,' I am sure he made out mere inattention to the subject of religion to be as criminal and blameworthy as the very worst sins I ever conceived of, and destroyed all distinction among the very different classes of those who have not been converted. Now I am not disposed to be classed with profane swearers, liars, blasphemers, and the like, although I admit that thus far I have been a neglecter of religion.”
Mr. Vinton was proceeding to reply, when the dinner bell interrupted the dialogue.
At an early hour on Monday morning there was quite a commotion among the young people, occasioned by the arrival of the package of
New Year gifts which always punctually made its appearance at this season, from their uncle, who was a wealthy merchant in the city of New York, and who, having no children of his own, cherished a fond affection for his three nieces, the daughters of Mr. Vinton. The arrival of the annual package was to thein like the arrival of an argosy with the treasures of the east, and indeed it never failed to contain a costly and well selected outfit for the year, of articles both of necessity and luxury.
Mr. and Mrs. Vinton were soon summoned from their chamber to preside at the opening of the precious package. There were rich dresses, a casket of jewelry, and various sundries directed to Ella, the eldest, and a choice variety suited to her years, to Clara, the youngest, but to the surprise of them all, there was nothing for Emmeline, and even in the basty note which accompanied the presents, no allusion was made to the omission, and her name was not even mentioned. This was the more surprising, as she had always been considered the favorite niece. Poor Emmeline was so overpowered by her feelings that she burst into tears, and her distress was uncontrollable. She was a tenderhearted, sensitive, yet high-spirited girl. She fondly loved her uncle, and now the painful conviction, that by some means unknown to her, his heart had become alienated and his interest in her destroyed, fastened upon her mind and crushed it to the earth, and the anguish of a life-time scemed compressed into that hour. It was, of course, in vain that her kindhearted sisters insisted upon sharing with her in the most liberal manner the presents directed to them; and equally in vain did the parents conjecture reasons explanatory of his omission to send to her. She felt that she had been neg. lected, and if neglected, despised, and she stole to her chamber to give free vent to her feelings.