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Canmwr Fiiw&wnaaors GsLUer
was born A. D. 1715, at Haynichen, in
Germany, where his father was the
pastor for fifty year.
After a life of many trials and great
bodily infirmities, he fell asleep in the
Lord on the 18th of December, A. D.
1769, aged ffty-four years. H6 was in
his forty-eighth year at the lose of the
Seven Years' War.
His name is famous in his native
land as a writer of sacred hymns, dis.
tinguished for their simplicity, frvor,
and true devotional feeling, and which
of late years have become widely known
and appreciated in this country and in
England, through the translations of
Mrs. Winkworth and other congenial
The foundation of the following
sketch is taken from the Correspond-
ence of Gellert.
A new title is added, but the text
of the original has been faithfully ren-
May it meet with the same favor in
kind, if not in degree, which it received
from sympathetic minds in Germany,
where a second edition of ten thousand
copies has been published.
IT was in the midst of all the horrors
f the Seven Years' War, that in a
ttle room in a home in Leipsig called
le Black Post, a man might have
n seen sated before his table, his
sick and weak. A cotton cap
ered his head, and his emaciated
y was wrapped in a well-worn
It was easy to perceive at the first
lance that this closet was the study
I a eholar, so many books were piled
up all around him, from the enormous
folio to the smaller duodecimo. There
were, however, only a few on the table,
and among them a Bible, which bore
the marks of frequent use. It was
open at the second chapter of the book
of Job, and these words of the tenth
verse, "What shall we receive good
at the hand of God, and shall we not
receive evil were underscored.
This man was Christian Ffrchtegott
Gellert. He was reading over a hymn,
with which this passage of Job, just
quoted, had that moment inspired him.
Gellert shared the lot of many other gen.
erous minds. It was oftenlow tide with
his revenues-never very considerable.
Such was the case at this time; and to
tell the truth, he did not poses a
igle kreutr. The day before how-
ever, he had possessed thirty thalers,
which he had put aside to buy wood,
for it was freezing hard enough to crack
the very stones, and all that he had
would last him but a week As for
receipts, he did not expect any. This
prospect was not very pleasing to a
chilly invalid. The temperature of his
room seemed to realize his fears, and
the window panes began to be covered
perfume, which recall few cheerful
ought to those whose windows they
orn. But when the Tempter, armed
wth cares, came to disturb his peace,
Gellert was accustomed to meet him
with another weapon, always victori-
ons-the Sword of the Spirit, whih is
the word of God. He hd done o at
this time, and lighting on this beauti-
ful passage in the book of Job, had
meditated upon it with prayer, and
under the influence of these words, had
written his beautiful hymn:
I hbae had my days ofbleoing," eto,
a true echo of his scriptural thought.,
and of his present frame of mind.
He had just laid down his pen, and,
his head resting on his hands, he said
to himself No, I have no reason to
repent of the use of those thirty thalers
Thou knowest it, 0 Lord, who canst
read my soul! This gloom was a
temptation, a want of faith I Pardon
me; 0 Lord! I believe-help thou
At this moment a knock was heard
at the door, and before he could my
" Come in I a stout little man entered,
and cordially saluted Gellert. "Good-
morning, doctor," said the latter, ex-
tending his hand.
The little man seized this emaciated
hand, pressed it warmly, put down his
hat and cane, rubbed his hands, and
cried, "Whew how cold you are, my
dear professor This won't do I You
must have more heat. Put on some
wood I Such cold weather Do you
want to be really ill?"
My wood is out," sid Gellert, sadly.
Well, buy some more !"
"My money is out, too," stammered
Gellert, yet more embarrassed. "But
-never mind-I will think of it"
The doctor, who never stopped Iong
at one thing, then cast his eyes on
the paper. Ah said he, a new
Gellert bowed, but he was evidently
vexed. Without more ceremony, the
doctor took the sheet and went to the
window. "What frosty panes, toot
This is too bad Then, after having
read it; "What fervor What energy I
What true Christian feeling I My dear
sir, I must carry this off to take a
copy. I will bring it back to you to-
morrow. My wife, who honors you so
much, must have the rst sight of it.
You will allow met" And without
waiting for aa answer, he put it in his
pocket. Then approaching the profh
sor, whose looks protested in vain
against this summary proceeding, he
felt his pulse "No improvement! Did
you sit up too late last night De-
cidedly there is something wrong I You
must go out-take rides on horseback.
This exercise will be good for you.
Buy a little horse; do you hear "
Gellert smiled. "Buy, always buy I
Have you any more prescriptions as
economical as this one I They will be
just as much to the purpose !"
"And this stove," said the doctor;
"it must be heated if the last faggot
goes in it. I will give my orders be.
low. Now, my dear professor, God be
with you Saying these words, he
bowed hastily, and went out, before
Giller had time to rise to accompany
him to the door.
Inv Uo T0n.
"Kind and skilful manl" sid the
latter; "but if I followed all his prp.
scriptions, all old Neidhardt's money
would scarcely suffice."
The remembrance 6f this name gave
another direction to Gellert's thoughts.
The melancholy expression of his face
disappeared, and his features betrayed
more pleasant emotions. He was so
much absorbed, that, having gone to
the window, he did not even hear the
noise made by the landlady in putting
into the stove the wood ordered by
Now, we must relate the history of
those thirty thalers which Gellert had
set apart to replenish his provision of
wood. The day before he had made
use of them, which, although it showed
IN OOYToDUO N. 15
he goodness of his heart, rendered his
mjoyment of a warm store during that
winter extremely uncertain.
IN one of the most remote streets of
Leipsig, an obscure corner which had
escaped the many misfortunes of the
city, stood a little house, old and de-
cayed, which belonged to a usurer, as
miserly as he was rich, named Neid-
hardt. Although he was born there, he
would have sold it long ago, if he had
not calculated that it would be more
to his advantage to rent it. He him-
self occupied a fine house in the mar-
As he went to no expense either in
repairing or keeping this little house in
order, it was very much dilapidated.
The toor were loose and rotten, the
walls damp, and the worm-eaten case-
ments could hardly support the iron
fame which held the small dim panes,
enclosed in lead. For years it had
been rented to a poor shoemaker, whose
whole family was larger than his cua
tom, and who, particularly in this time
of war and scarcity, with difficulty
gained enough, by the sweat of his
brow, to pay the rent.
This was a truly honest and God-
fearing family. Things went on well
enough as long as the father could
labor, but, having been very ill the
summer before, he could not gain
strength enough, on his scanty fare, to
go on with his work.
Want had at length entered the poor
dwelling, and the children could only
bring themselves to beg when forced
by the iron hand of poverty. The
back-rent now amounted to thirty tha-
lers, and these unhappy people looked
forward with dismay to the time when
old Neidhardt would use force to make
their condition yet more deplorable.
The poor wife had begged him, on her
knees, to have patience, but he repulsed
her harshly, declaring that he would
turn them out of doors, if, in one
month, they had not paid their debt.
And he was a man to execute his
When she related this to her his.
band, it was such a shock to him that
he fell sick again, and from that time
grew weaker and weaker. Who coold
tell all the sighs and tears of the mother
and children The dreaded day ap-
proached. It was now winter. An
icy wind penetrated through the broken
window into this damp and gloomy
room, the shelter of misery without
hope. In one comer, stretched on a
truckle-bed, lay the poor father, the
signs of death already visible on his
pale countenance. Six shivering, hun-
gry little children, cowered, crying,
around a wireless stove. What a picture
for a mother's heart I
This unhappy woman was there,
wringing her hands, but with dry eyes.
She had no more tears to shed. Sud-
denlythe sick man turned on his pallet,
and mid, in a feeble voice, "Though
we cannot move the pity of man, the
compassion of God is not exhausted;
'0all upon me in the day of trouble,'
he says to us; 'I will deliver thee, and
thou shalt glorify me I' Come, my dear
wife, my dear children, let us pray to
the Lord. He will never forsake us."
Encouraged by this promise, the
mother and children knelt down by the
bed. The sick man sat up-joined his
hands-and, raising to heaven his eyes,
with an expression of filial assurance,
uttered, with fervor, a prayer full of
the joy of the Holy Ghost.
When he said Amen, it seemed as if
the God of all consolation, who had
given them this promise in his Word,
himself said yea and amen to their
prayer. They arose with new con-
fence. The mother and the two
eldest took up their baskets to go
beyond the city to look for chips, which
the carpenters who worked there did
not hinder the poor from picking up.
The younger went out to beg for bread,
with the exception of the smallest, who
remained with his father. All this
passed during the morning of the day
on which old Neidhardt had threatened
to proceed to extremities.
The sky was clear and cloudless;
the air perfectly transparent. The
morning sun darted, without obstru-
tion, his rays on the hard-froen ground,
and the easterly wind, which whistled
through the streets, penetrated the
scanty clothing of these poor famished
features, as they went to gather those
bits which the carpenters thought not
This same morning Gellert felt him-
self drawn by an irresistible attraction
to go out of the city. Neither the cold
that reigned without, nor the mild
temperature of his chamber, could
withhold him. Wrapping himself in a
warm coat, he took his hat and cane,
and directed his steps to exactly the
same gate whither those poor people
were also going.
Meantime the children, benumbed
with cold by the icy wind, complained
bitterly to their mother.
"Run on fast," said she; "that will
warm you." So they ran 'on with a
light step, their mother following at a
distance-for care and sorrow are heavy.
When she reached the gate of the
city, and no longer in sight of her
children, all the weight of her misery fell
back upon her heart; her tears lowed
anew in abundance, and, incapable of
standing, she sat down on a stone near
She was still there when Gellert
passed that way, and observed this
woman weeping aside, her head hidden
in her apron, and absorbed in her grief
This sight arrested his steps.
Gellert was familiar with want and
distress. At Haynichen, in the house
of his father,-who, though a poor pas-
tor with a small salary, saw thirteen
children around his table,-these were
not infrequent guests, and his own ca-
reer could attest the didlclties of the
poor in conquering the obstacles which
they meet in the world. But it is a
well-known truth, that the heart of the
poor is more compassionate and ready
for self-sacrifice than that of the rich;
for it seems as if money possessed a
petrifying power, which explains, in
part, the declaration of our Lord, "It
is easier for a camel to go through the
eye of a needle, than for a rich man to
enter into the kingdom of God." Gel-
lert stood motionless, seeing the woman
weep, and many recollections crossed
his mind, like the gentle breeze which,
caressing the AEolian harp, awakens
The highway this cold morning was
nearly deserted, but the heart of Gel-
lert was crowded with warm emotions;
he felt that he had a good work to do,
and that he ought to show himself will-
ing, according to his power.
Softly approaching the woman and
putting his hand on her shoulder, he
mid to her, as the Saviour had said be-
fore to the widow at the gate of Nain,
"Weep not I" The woman, whom
grief had rendered unconscious of what
passed around her, started at these
words, and tremblingly raised her
tearful eyes to the man who spoke;
but this man seemed so kind, so
good, so compassionate She was areas
sured; but, notwithstanding, said noth-
ing. Profound misery shuts the heart
and the mouth as with a gate of
brass. It retires within itself, for it
knows that real sympathy is a rare
thing, and this experience enmses the
heart as with a covering of ice, which
is hard to melt. As she was till si-
lent, he employed such touching words
to gain her confidence, that, involunta-
rily, the woman lifted her eyes to him
a second time. And the gate of brass
began to open, and the covering of ice
to melt. She felt herself constrained
.to tell this man, whom she did not
know, all that oppressed her. Her
tongue was loosed, and she related to
him the story of her past and present
distress; how the recollection had sud-
denly overwhelmed her, and how tears
had brought some relief; but she add-
ed that their worst trouble threatened
them that very day. She told him
what Neidhardt had resolved, and
gM IUT? DAT.
which he would not fail to accomplish,
a she had not even money enough to
buy medicines for her husband and
bread for her children, and how much
less to pay this debt of thirty thalers I
"Ah cried she, "my husband will
sink under his sickness, and I and my
children will die of hunger I Why is
it not already over for there is no
hope for us but in the grave I"
"God lives said Gellert, in a sol-
emn voice; the heart of man 'is in the
hand of the Lord, as the rivers of wa-
ter: he turneth it whithersoever he
will"' These words touched the poor
woman's heart. She rose, and taking
his hand, "Do you believe that He
will help us said she, in a trembling
"1 bkdie it," replied Gellet, with
energy; for the Lord was working in
his heart, and he had already come to
a determination. He must give all
that he had laid by, but he saw only
one object-people in despair who must
be succored. "Come with me," said
he to the woman, "and you shall see
that the eternal God always lives to
save us from misery and death."
So saying, he took the road to his
dwelling. "Oh I sir," exclaimed the
woman, quite comforted, "let me only
go and tell my children I" She ran to
the poor little things, who had already
filled their baskets; then returning,
followed him, her heart full of hope
With joyous feelings he reached
home, opened his desk, and taking out
a roll of money, gave it to the woman,
saying, "Here are thirty thalers with
no curse upon them."
And as the woman, in the exoes of
her joy and gratitude, attempted to
throw herself at his feet, he raised her,
saying, "Give thanks to God, who,
having heard your prayer, sent me to
you. It is He whom you must praise.
But," added he, "wait until eleven
o'clock before you take this money to
old Neidhardt." When the woman
had gone, Gellert thanked the Lord on
his knees for having condescended to
choose him as the instrument of His
merciful designs. He supplicated Him
to finish His work, and to bless that
which he now Droposed to attempt.
The hour drew near, and Gellert
hastened to Neidhardt's house.
He had never walked through the
streets of Leipeig with a lighter heart.
He experienced the word of the Lord,
It is more blessed to give than to re-
Arriving at Neidhardt's, he knocked
at the door, and on hearing" Come in"
uttered in a peevish and disagreeable
voice, he entered the room.
The old usurer, sitting by his table,
was piling up little heaps of gold pieces.
It could be seen on his face how much
Gellert's visit vexed him at this time.
Sweeping his money into a drawer,
which he shut impatiently, he was go.
ing to indulge his visitor with a very
unamiable question, when Gellert s.
luted him politely, fixing upon him
eyes full of openness and honesty, and
which now shone with the overflowing
happiness which filled his soul.
This look disarmed the old man.
Feeling that he owed some respect to
one who was the object of general con-
sideration, he offered him a chair, ask-
ing to what cause he was indebted for
his early visit.
Gellert, happy to see the old man's
face more propitious, without waiting
to answer his question, came immediate-
ly to the point: "I think, Master Neid-
hardt," said he, "that I must have
much to learn from you, for a man so
blessed by the Lord cannot fail to make
the best use of his riches. You doubt-
less understand the great art of giving."
Nidhardt, whose thoughts wee pers
haps still on his money, felt neverthe
less the thorny nature of this question,
so frankly asked; and at the bottom of
his heart, a voice which calls things
by their right names, may have sid,
to him, "Sinful man, is this true
What canst thou answer He chang-
ed color a little; the reply which could
only have been a falsehood, trembled
on his tongue, and he could not find
another; at last in his embarrassment
he muttered between his teeth, "Oh,
certainly I h'm, h'm or something of
Gellert either did not or would not
hear. In short, with that warmth of
feeling which was peculiar to him, he
began to speak of the inexpressible
happiness of doing good. Having just
experienced it, his words lowed from
the abundance of his heart with mch
force and, moving eloquence, that the
old man, trembling at first, was soon
warmed by his animation and awaken-
ed to new emotions. Gellert perceived
it, and, overcome in turn, he used still
more striking appeals, which by the
praise of God profoundly affected the
old miser. The clock here struck
eleven: at that moment a knock was
heard,. and the poor woman entered,
her face beaming with joy. Laying on
the table the gift of Gellert, "Here is
the money," said she, "but give me
back the letter which my husband
wrote to you from his sick-bed, to en-
treat you not to turr s out of door l"
The old man turned pale, meehanialy
tratching out his trembling hand. Be
ore Gellert, whose pathetic language
had touched him so deeply, the words
of this distressed woman were a humili.
eating sentence, which now came with
double weight. Shame, mortifiation,
and repentance, all overwhelmed him
together, with a power hitherto un-
known. At last, recovering himself a
little, he aid in a broken voice, "Oh I
it was not so urgent! Why do you
talk so I had not any serious in-
tention-a threat-nothing more but
-go, now; don't you see I have a vi-
And clutching the money with his
bony fingers, he thrust it into a pooket
Oelert who was watching his oaes-
tenance had not lost a single move-
ment. He said, almost without know-
ing it, and in a whisper, Thirty thalers,
and with no care upon them"
Neidhardt started, and a shiver ran
through his flame.
"Yes, yes," continued the woman,
"you say now that there was no hurry,
because before this charitable man you
are ashamed of your hard-heartednes I
but yesterday, when I came to implore
you to have pity, you drove me away,
and sid, All your tears are of no use!
I must have the money, the money, or
I will turn you and your rags into the
street' Have you forgotten that
Oh Master Neidhardt, I did not ceme
you, but God saw my affition, and he
promises to bless the merciful. To
have eaten nothing for twenty-four
hours, and be turned into the street
with a sick husband, was hard indeed.
Our Saviour says, With the measure
ye mete, it shall be measured unto
youl' You can never know what I
and mine suffered. When I went home
my pious husband prayed with us; he
prayed for you, Master Neidhardt, that
God would change your heart of stone
into a heart of flesh. Then I went
out to pick up chips with my children,
because during all this cold weather
we have been without wood, and when
I felt as if I should sink under the
weight of our misfortune, this kind
gentleman met me, and gave me those
All Gellert's signals were usess
"No," she went on, "don't make igm
for me to stop; my heart will burst if I
cannot speak I"
Neidhardt turned suddenly round,
and looked at Gellert with a serati-
niing gase. The latter was confused,
and east down his eyes.
"Oh the gentleman is not rich-I
saw that very well," continued the wo-
man; "but he is rich in charity May
God's greatest blessings rest upon him 1"
What, was it you," cried the aston-
ished old man; "was it you who did
that The finger of God had touched
him; the blessing pronounced by the
woman upon Gellert, transfixed him.
The heart of stone gave place to a heart
of fesh; going to his bureau, he took
fom it a paper which he gave to the
Here," said he, "is your husband's
letter, and moreover, the thirty thalers.
Take it to buy comforts for him, and
bread for your children. Your debt
And finding in his account-book the
register of the debt, he cromed it out
with a firm stroke. Then taking Gel-
lert's hand, with emotion, "Excellent
man," mid he, "your words are beau-
tiful and good, but your actions are
noble May God reward youl But
to repair in some measure the wrongs
which I have done, suffer me to accom-
pany you to the dwelling of this poor
family. I will try to show myself
under a more favorable aspect."
The woman stood like a statue.
When she came to herself tear fell
from her eyes.
"Oh! I see now," cried she, "that
'the prayer of a righteous man avail-
eth much!' Oh! Master Neidhardt,
pardon me my evil thoughts of you.
May God bless you! And you," mid
she to Gellert, you are our good
angel; how can we thank you enough r
They went out, and soon came to the
ruined house, and to that chamber
which had been the hiding-place of so
many griefs. But the mother's story
came like a beam of sunshine after a
dark day. The father and children
stretched their hands eagerly to their
benefactors, and the expressions of their
gratitude were inexhaustible. "The
Lord has heard our prayers, dear wife.
His Name be praised," cried the sick
Old Neidhardt wept with joy, so
much was he overcome by the thanks
of these good people. Gellert spoke
some comforting words to the invalid,
which gave him fresh heart. He prom-
ised to send him his friend, the phy-
sician, and Neidhardt confirmed this
And, besides, this was not the limit
of the old man's benefits. He ap
prenticed the shoemaker's son to a
tradesman, paying the fees for him,
as well as the schooling of the other
children. He gave clothes to all, and
allowed them their house rent free.
We will here anticipate and say, that
U4 IMT DAT.
the shoemaker recovered; and, with
Neidhardt's assistance, his trade soon
From this time forward, the old man
seemed to be transformed, and remained
until his death a most devoted friend
and admirer of Gellert. It wa in this
way that Gellert had deprived himself
of his thirty thlers. And though he
was thus impoverished, he was by so
much richer in heart; and in his secret
place of prayer he thanked him who
had thus blessed his words and works.
IN going out of Gellert's room, the
doctor met the housemaid.
"Show me the professor's firewood "
She took him to the woodshed.
"This is not very encouraging," she
remarked, "if some more does not come
No matter," said the doctor, shak-
ing his head, "his chamber must be
heated I Do it as it ought to be done I"
And he went out precipitately, being
in haste to read Gelert's hymn to his
wife But he was not to have this
pilur today. He had hardly rneh.
ed the street which led to his house,
when a poor woman accosted him.
"Oh dear ir," cried she, "come, I
pray you, to ee my husband, of whom
the Profesor Gellert must have told
you. And old Neidhardt, too, wished
me to go for you. He is very il"
"My good Gellert," said the doctor
to himself; "and how do you know
him t" he asked the woman.
Gratitude is communicative, she be
gan her story-" Come, come," inter-
rupted the doctor, "tell me as we walk
along." Nevertheles, he stopped more
than once in the lonely street better to
understand this story, which so deeply
touched his excellent heart.
"Oh I know now where his money
wet to, and why he is a poor as a
church monse I understand why his
room is cold, and why he can buy no
wood I Generous man! May God re-
store it to thee I"
It was only then that the woman un-
derstood the greatness of the sacrifce
which Gellert had made for her.
But as she expressed her sorrow,
"No matter," said the doctor, he will
certainly have some more money, and
some more wood. Believe Ie, God
does not desert such men."
When they reached the house, the
doctor gave the necessary prescriptions;
then quickly retraced his steps, his
head and heart full of Gellert's kind
deed, and of the disastrous consequences
it might bring upon him.
Approaching his own door, he ra
before it a ine hore already addled,
which a countryman held by the bridle.
"What do you want he asked the
"The burgomaster of-," and be
named a village in the environs of
Leipeig, "begs you, for God's sake, to
come as quickly as possible-it is for
our lady, who is in painful labor. Oh
sir, our good master will be in despair
if you do not hurry. She is very ill"
The doctor was not only a skilfal
and enthusiastic physician, but had,
besides, a sensitive and sympathizing
"My wife will have to wait for the
hymn," thought he. He sprang up the
steps two at a time, got his imtra.
a*ts, kissed his wie, ran down again,
thrw himself into the saddle, and emt
oi followed by the servant.
The road was obstructed by artillery,
and all sorts of Prussian troops. It
was difficult to force a way through,
still the doctor arrived in good time.
He got off before a large farm-houe,
which the man pointed out as belong-
ing to his master. A person came out,
with an anxious and distressed counts
nance. After a few words exchanged
in a low voice, the doctor followed him
up stairs. At the end of an hour they
ame down. The features of the doc-
tor expressed satisfaction, and, on the
face of the burgomaster, anguish was
exchanged for joy.
They entered together the great hall,
where a large number of superior ot
mer were sitting down to dinner.
The doctor was invited to take a
place at table, and the burgomaster,
who was also an inn-keeper, directed
Among these officers there was one
whom the others treated with the great.
est respect, though nothing distinguish-
ed him from the rest, if it were not for
an air of dignity, tempered by an ex-
presion of mildness and benevolence.
The doctor had earned a good apple.
tite, and without heeding the convers-
tion of the officers, worked valiantly to
satisfy it, his host doing his best far
him, and continually handing him new
"You are fom Leipsig, doctor," aid
e distingished perooage, who had
heard the burgomaster give him this
"At your service," mid the doctor,
without ceasing from his employment,
which he pursued with as much ardor
"Then you probably know the Pro-
fessor Gellert t" again asked the same
This time the doctor put down his
fork to look at his questioner; the im-
pression which he had made being fa-
vorable, he answered, "I am his phy-
sician, and I may add with pride, his
"Ah I indeed," sid the unknown;
"I have heard that he is an invalid "
"Alas, yes. That which he needs
in common with most literary men is
exercise. The best thing for him would
be to ride on horse-back. So I told
him he ought to buy a nice pony."
"And does he mean to "
"His will is good, but the power i
wanting." And here the doctor, press
ing his thumb and fore finger together,
made an expressive sign.
"What! is he so poor asked the
unknown, with interest.
As a church mose," quickly replied
the doctor. If you will allow me, I
will tell you how I found him this
And upon the unknown expressing
a warm desire to hear it, the impulsive
doctor related from beginning to end,
with scrmpulous exactness, that which
we have sketched in the two previous
chapters When he had finished, his
interrogator, quite overcome, said, clasp-
ing his hands, "Such a generous man,
to suffer from want, and go without
a horse because he gives his last dollar
to the poor!"
The doctor was in a communicative
vein. "Since you are so much in-
terested in our noble poet," said he,
taking a paper from his pocket, "you
will like, perhaps, to read the hymn
which he had just composed this morn-
ing, under the influence of the scrip-
tural thoughts which filled his mind?"
and handing the sheet to the officer,
he added, "It is the original manu-
script; I asked him for it in order to
take a copy, which the duties of my
peofion have until now hindered me
The offioer took the paper eagerly.
Then he said, "A new hymn by the
poet whom we all so justly honor,
should belong to all. I will read it
aloud." He then read, with much
expresion and feeling, the following
"WhAtI abl we rni good at the hMd of od,
md d~b we not receive e "-Job i. 20.
"I have had my days of blesla
Al the joys of life posing,
Unnumber'd they appear I
Then let ith ead patidem oboar Io
Now that trials gther ar me;
Where i life without a tr?
"Ye 0 LordI ai ner looking
O'r the li Thou art renbuking,
We hao take this tMration fom the Nyrm
tm the Id of lther."
M own Thy jupnmeta lig
Surely I, soft ofending,
M t, n hmble patience bending,
Feel Thy cheetisements we right
Lot me, o'er trangreion weeping,
Find the groe my soul i seeking;
Receiving at Thy throne
Strength to meet each tribulation,
Looking for the greet slvation,
Tnruting in my Lord aloe.
While,'mid earthly tear and sighing
Still to paie Thee, feebly trying,
Still clinging, Lord, to Thee:
Quietly on Thy love relying
I em Thine-end, living, dying,
urely all is well with me"
The guests were silent long after the
reading had ceased.
The impression was deep and general.
The burgomaster in particular wa
much overcome, for God had just grant.
ed him a great deliverance.
"Doctor," at length mid the an-
known, "may I venture to beg your
permission to copy this hymn I at least,
if you have leisure to wait a few mo
"There is nothing to prevent, it ap-
pears to me."
"My dear Noslits," said the un-
known to our military officer, "take
this, I pray, and copy it quickly." The
officer thus summoned took the paper
eagerly, and went out.
And you say," cried the burgomas.
ter, "that the author of this hymn, so
full of sincere faith, and- of so many
other beautiful hymns, has nothing to
warm him, though he is sick, in this
severe weather 1"
"Nothing can be more true," replied
5M00 1 DAT.
the doctor. "I found him this morn-
ing in a cold room."
"Ahl sooner than that should be so,
I would rather tremble with cold like a
greyhound, for a week, and -" here a
general burst of laughter greeted these
words of the burgomaster, notwith-
standing the serious impression which
Gellert's hymn had made on all the
The good man thought that these
gentlemen doubted his performance of
the resolution which he had made in-
ternally, but which he had not yet ex-
premed. Putting his hand on his
breast, he said, with an injured voice,
"Yes, as truly as I have just been de-
livered from a great afliction, I will
sead to him this very day such a load
- NOn0)9 DAT.
of wood s has never yet rolled ovr
the streets of Leipig I"
And calling from the window to his
man,-" Peter," said he, take the lage
cart which we send to market, load it
with as much wood as it will carry,
harness four horses, and go into Leip
sig. Inquire for the house of Professor
Gellert, unload the wood before his
door, present my compliments, and tell
him that it is a present for the beauti-
ful hymn, 'I have had my days of
blessing;' but above all, go quickly.
He must have it to-day."
"Yes, sir, it shall be done," said the
servant, going away.
"Bravo I" cried all the offers in
ehorn, "'bravo I burgomaster."
"You are a man of honor," said the
akawn; "you have just set me a
ezmple which I hall remember."
The convention still ra upon el-
lat; the doctor had many quetion to
answer about his life, his habits, et.,
which he did willingly, far he loved
Gelert with a warm and devoted at
At l the artillery officer came beck
with the copy, which he gave to his
superior, and the latter with many
thank returned the original to the do@
But the burgomaster, taking it out
of his hands, "Doctor," tried he, "allow
me to take a copy in my tarni"
"Very willingly, if you wi give it
to me before I depart."
"Oertainly; but asIhave not time
to copy it myself I will send to our
chorister, who is a good writer and has
a steady hand."
Which he did accordingly, and the
doctor, having taken leave of the com-
pany, went out to see his patient.
Seeing before the door a groom hold-
ing a magnificent horse, he asked him
who that officer was to whom the
others showed so much respect. It is
the Prince of Prussia, worthy sir," re-
plied the groom.
The doctor, striking his forehead,
rushed up stairs.
A little while after, a clattering of
hoofs and the gallop of horses resound-
ed in the air. It was the prince and
his suite riding towards Leipsig.
Then the cracking of a whip was
heard. The burgomaster drew the
doctor towards a window which looked
out on the court. Four large draught-
horse started out without difficulty an
enormous cart loaded with beech wood.
Have I kept my word 1" said the
"Capitally!" cried the doctor. "I
would only like to see the surprise
with which that will be received. May
God reward you I"
The mother and child being as well
as could be desired, the doctor was soon
able to think of returning, which was
all the more agreeable to him, as, many
troops having entered Leipsig, it was
to be feared they would take up their
Having at last obtained posession
of his manurript, he left the village;
and on his return to the city he eould,
without interruption, enjoy the pleasure
of his wife on reading the hymn, as
well as her wonder at the remarkable
results of the last two days.
At the same time that the doctor,
without being aware of it, was seated
at table with the excellent Prince
Henry of Prussia, Gellert went out,
according to his prescription, to take
some exercise, and directed his steps
towards the same place where he had
met the poor woman. All the occur-
renes of the day before were present
to his mind as distinctly as if they had
taken place a second time; but the
thought of his thirty thalers did not
even cause a sigh; though, if a beggar
had accosted him now, he could not
have bestowed even the smallest alms.
In his preoccupation he extended
his walk further than usual, and it was
almost evening when he Beached his
What was his astonishment when he
saw before the door a quantity of fire
wood, over which three wood-cutters
were hard at work, without any pros
pect of finishing that day, the pile was
so large! He said to himself, with a
slight smile, that he would be very
happy to have one like it. When he
came up to the men they saluted him
with respect, as he was well-known in
eipig. "Sir," mid one of them, "you
have bought a load of wood a large
as two common ones. We can hardly
fnih it to-morrow. And it i as hard
as iron, too.
"II bought wood! said Gellert,
thinking of his empty purse; what do
you say You have made a mistake,
my good men He went in without
stopping. The wood-cutters looked at
each other, and laughed. "There goes
one of our wise men, who would leave
their heads somewhere about if they
were not well planted on their shoul-
ders," said one of them.
"Peace," cried another. "Leipsig
has reason to be proud of that man.
It is he who writes so many beautiful
During thi little altemrti, (elert
met his ladlady.
I congratulate you, Proeaor," said
she, with a smiling face.
And for what said the astonished
"Well, you had hardly gone ot, when
a load of wood, drawn by four horse,
stopped before the door. 'Who is it
forT' said 'Eh,' said the driver, 'I
am the servant of the burgomaster
of and I have brought this wood
to Professor Gellert. Does he not live
here Certainly,' aid I,' he lives with
us, but he has gone out' 'No matter,'
replied he, 'I will unload all the same,
and give my message to you, and you
can tell him.' And he unloaded and
unloaded, till 1 thought it would never
sop. A real mountain, I tell you. So
I had to send for the wood-cutters, for
fear of the police. See, they have
worked several hours, and the pile is
no smaller. Now they will have to
put it in the yard, for it must not be
left in the street. I know it by ex-
perience, for I can tell you a story
about the police, who don't trifle in
"Excuse me," interrupted Gellert,
who knew that, once set going with
her anecdotes, the good woman had
enough to last an age; "but tell me
how much this wood costs, and then"-
"What it costs Sir, it costs nothing,
absolutely nothing, for it's a present."
What do you mean I" cried Gellert,
more and more surprised.
"Certainly it is, and here is the
memage, word for word;" and she re
peated, with scrupulous exactness, all
that the servant had said in his master's
Gellert could not contain his sur.
prise. "It is for the hymn, 'I have
had my days of blessing,' repeated he,
after a pause; did he say it in those
very words "
"In those very words. It must be a
new hymn, for I have not seen it"
Gellert shook his head doubtfully,
for he saw no connection between these
things. He understood still les by
what means the hymn had come to the
knowledge of the burgomaster in such
a short time, and under such unfavor-
able circumstances. But the facts
5I00 D DAT.
spoke louder than any reasoning. The
wood was there-cost nothing-would
last all winter, and was of the best
quality. If there were not behind
it some mistake, which would have to
be paid for afterwards, it was--a
Nevertheless, by dint of hearing-the
landlady relate all the circumstances in
detail, and report the expressions of the
message, he would no longer disbelieve
Gellert went up to his study, which
he found delightfully warm, and, put-
ting on his dreasinggown, sat down in
the old arm-chair in which his father
at Haynichen had passed so many
troubled hours. But Gellert was much
more cheerful than when he sat there
in the morning. Had not God sent
him this favor at the very time when
he most needed it He thanked him
with all his heart; ate the soup, which
they brought him, as usual; studied
*'for some time afterwards, and then
went to bed, promising himself that,
when the road was no longer encum-
bered by troops, he would go to the
burgomaster of and ask him to
explain this mystery. He did not
think of the doctor. What had he to
do with the burgomaster of and,
above all, when the troops came from
that direction I While he was quietly
going to sleep, the absence of any con-
nection between all these circumstances
caused him once more to shake his
TaH next morning the doctor did
not fail to think of Gellert, and intend-
ed to go and explain to him the mya-
tery of the wood. But he was again to
be denied this pleasure He received
at an early hour many billets for quar-
tering the soldiers, and he had hardly
time to visit his patients In his rapid
course through the streets he heard his
name called from a window, and, rais-
ing his eyes, saw old Neidhardt making
signs in the most earnest manner for
him to come to him. "How is the
shoemaker 1" said he, after a short greet-
"UAhl" mid the doctor, "you gave
him a more efectual remedy than any
of my prescriptions."
"Doctor," said the old man, much
moved, "It is your excellent friend, the
worthy professor Gellert, who has done
all. If it were not for him I should
still be going in my old ways, which I
"Very well, only follow the same
treatment with our poor man, and I
will answer for it that in a week he
will be as hardy as an oak. But, by
the way, Master Neidhardt, do you un-
derstand this matter in all its details t
Do you know the sacrifice which Gellert
made in giving away those thirty
"Well, you mast know that GueBt
is very poor. The thirty thalers whidh
he gave to the poor shoemaker's wife
were all that he had laid tp, and since
the day before yesterday he has been
entirely bare, and does not know where
to find a penny. Nevertheless he gave
away all, without thinking of himself,
solely occupied with the suferings of
these poor people."
Neidhardt's heart was really chang-
"Can it be true I" cried he, clasping
"As true as the December sun
shines into this room," answered the
doctor. "But I must read you the
verses which he composed under these
circumstances." And he read the
hymn which he carried about, always
intending to return it to Gllert.
The old man listened with true ap-
preiation. "It is admirable," cried he.
"What a man this Gellert is Allow
me, doctor, to copy it1"
I would consent with all my heart,
were I not obliged to take it back
But are you not going to see the
poor shoemaker I On your return you
can stop for it."
"Very well," sid the doctor, hurry.
The o'd man quickly copied the
hymn. Then he read it over and over
again. "What! aid he,"hll such a
man be in distress, while I have enough
and to spa re He has shown me the
right way, and ine then I know the
joy of doing good. I will snd bak
to him these thirty thalers. He must
have them without knowing from
whence they came. He hastened to
his secretary, took from thence a roll of
thirty thalers, wrote on it, "For the
beautiful hymn, I have had my days
of blessing,' etc.," and gave it to his
errand-boy with orders to deliver it to
Gellert in person, and come away im-
mediately; on no account to tell him
who sent it.
Gellert was seated by his table, ab-
sorbed in study. A knock was heard
and a servant entered, placed a roll of
money on the table, and disappeared
Gelert in amazement took the roll,
rad the supermiption, and let it h d
on the table.
"Explain this who can aried he
"Can this hymn then be printed and
published It is impossible I Perhaps
the doctor-but no He knows nothing
of this poor family, and I have not even
been able to send him there yet. God
alone knows the connection between all
But as he racked his brains, a knock
was again heard at the door.
This time the visitor was a staff-offi-
cer of the Prussian army. "Have I
the honor of speaking to Professor Gel-
lert I" said he, on entering.
"At your service," answered the
latter, with great respect.
"His Royal Highness Prine Henry
of Prm, wb has bee here mince ye
terday, wishes to speak with you, ir;
and he asks, since you ar an invalid,
when he may come to pay his re-
"His respects! to met A prince
royal of Prussia pay his respects to met
There must be some misunderstanding
or some mistake in the message. Have
the goodness, I pray you, to inform his
Royal Highness that I shall be ex-
tremely honored in paying him my
very humble duty, if it will please him
to appoint the time; and all the more
that I am not confined to my bed, a
The djutant wa amused by the
consternation of the man of letter,
whom the prince's oondese nion seemed
to put quite out of counamasoe. Do
not let that trouble you, Profesor,"
aid he; "His Royal Highness really
did use that expression, which only
shows the high regard he has for your
person. But if you will give him the
pleasure of a visit, allow me the honor
of conducting you, if it is agreeable."
"Then have the goodness to allow
me to dress," said Gellert.
The adjutant bowed, and Gellert,
going into his bed-chamber, was not
slow in reappearing in his best clothes,
all ready to accompany him. As they
entered the presence of the prince the
latter hastened to Gellert, gave him his
hand, and loaded him with expressions
of kindness. "I am particularly de-
lighted," said he, "to se before me the
author of. the beautiful hymn, 'I have
had my days of blessing.'"
We may imagine Gellert's embar-
rassment in hearing the prince also
speak of this hymn. He no longer
doubted that it had been given to the
public, however inexplicable the thing
might be. He could hardly contain his
desire of asking the prince how he came
to know this hymn. But he said
nothing, not thinking it proper or re
spectful to ask such a question. "They
told me," resumed the prince, "that you
were an invalid. I rejoice to find you
better than I had expected. Your
appearance, nevertheless, does not in-
dicate good health, and I suppose we
must conclude that you do. not take
TRY D DAT.
"My calling obliges me to study,"
sid Gellert, bowing.
"Without doubt," continued the
prince, "but you must think of pre-
serving for the German people their
favorite poet, and take more car of
"Your Royal Highness may rest
assured that I do all I can."
"Yes, but that is not enough. How
often the bad walking must keep you
at home, without speaking of other
hindrancest You should take a ride
on horseback every day. No other
exercise is so good for those whose
calling or duties oblige them to sit
"Your Royal Highness is right-
my physician gives me the same
WlpD Ma. I
adrie; but every oe has o the
"Yes," interrupted the primes, Uno
e can have the mema, who ha also
a heart so charitable as to give, at
one, to a needy family, his lat thirty
Gellert would have liked to be a
hundred feet under ground. Every-
thing was then known: his head
The prince saw his emberraement,
and taking his hand, exclaimed, Gen-
erous man, I know your way of doing
things, and I am far from being in-
clined to blame in you that whbi can
only come from the riches of the grace
of God. Yes, may He reward you; but
pemit me to offer you fom my stable
a ttle hsne, whose gentleha es i
him it for the service of a ma of
"Your Royal HighneMs-"tanmered
the poet-but he could go no farther;
emotion and surprise prevented him
from saying another word.
The prince, himself overcome, pressed
his hand; then, wishing to put an end
to his thank, he said, "Other duties
all me. Farewell! May heaven long
preserve to s such a previous life,
and may the little horse do his part;"
and bowing, he retired to the next
Gellert remained for some time ab
seat and motionless. The adjutant ap
"You see, Professor, that a priae
wi met be behia l a vilMg bwpii
Gelert looked at him Iedly.
"And how did his royal highoas
know all that I" stammered he.
The adjutant smiled.
"Princes," said he, "are doubtlss
ignorant of many things, but they often
know more than other mortals. Do
not disturb yourself about it, but make
frequent use of the prince's present."
Gellert understood that it was time
to retire, but he did not do so until he
had begged the adjutant to testify hi
profound gratitude to the prince. The
adjutant recouducted him to the door.
nigmas had followed enigma, aad
for three days it had seemed if every
thing happened to him by some male
0 m- *PA.
pear. At the he iAhogt he w
draamng; but on reaching home
aw the wood-cutters till busyad be
fre the door one of the prince's groom,
with a beautiful hone, perfectly equip-
ped, which he presented from his mas-
"It is the time of signs and miracles,
Professor," cried the landlady. "Yes.
terday this magnificent pile of wood;
today a splendid horse I When willit
"Do not be anxious," mid Gelert,
smiling; everything has its limits."
Towards the evening of the same
day, Gellert was seated in his study;
he had paid the woodcutters, and there
still remained a great deal of money.
He possesd a fine horse. The mot
liv~y sW N to Ga ndlld his od.
He took his peand wrote anmoth
How gnat he goodMe of te Lit
C anyy an o dull be found,
Whom hardened sol wll not be moved
He loe to bel-Hl pnai to emd -
Not be it stilmy highest i
To mmmur Hi almighty loe I
xy oda bh at C ttn ma,
My heart he not mugrtea proa
Who, but thi God who mne m noat
FIrt forced me by Hir wonmoe powr?
And though His cou I rqjet
He lead me on, Aam hoar to hour.
Who gives my oaalenee inam peae?
Who libt my soal whrm it wtoed l?
Who give m much that' good to e*ey?
Mo 0mom hm d pioyid it AL
ThuM,O my dt look athswvM
Whm He hb gives thee a phe;
f-y ^t mahrn t -e-m ba
Is bit the dhdow aH feHs.
To al thejoy th bt a ^ri
Woagh God's good-wi they al thine;
For the did Crist endme the rM
That thn ught't ian His kngaldom h .
And lha I ceae to pWa my Go,
Rbet Hie way to uodertand?
And hB He all and I not hbr,
Nor Me the guiding of His hbd?
His wil i written on my heart,
And strength is given by His word:
Him win I love with love mspene
And ad His ciildrn in their Ld.
So ha I bet resemble Him,
If thi my atitade and love
hdl stamp HiK image on my hrt,
And thus my prompt obhdien prom.
So a eb l love poseen my od,
Urg It to keep the path tbw right;
And t togtharogh weab I my *4
Bi shdi aet triumph in the g.
meI ear. a
Ohi mWy Thy o-m ad ry i
AlMwy a bw. my eye;
AMd sl me .MdI srI nd to ytid
My .od a IMng eamioe
I time of joy, may it remain,
And comfort me when gef is nr;
And to pos. my inkling herut,
That the lst foe haB oao no r I
When he had thus poured out the
feelings of his heart, and finished the
hymn, the doctor entered.
"Already another hymn I" Maid he,
leaning on the table, upon which he
laid the manuscript he had kept so long.
Ye., but you shall not have this
one," said Gellert, "for who knows
what you have been doing with the
other!"' and the good doctor was quite
overcome by the story of all that had
happened by reason of the hymn.
"Now," maid Goll t, "eoim what
is the msnig of all this."
The doctor looked at him log, with
eyes expressive of true happiness.
"I have done nothing," answered
he. It pleased God to cause special
blessing to rest on your hymn; that is
all. My worthy friend, I can make
costly prescriptions, which I know it is
neither in my power nor in that of the
apothecary to make up. This time
God himself has undertaken them, and
that without my knowledge. To Him
alone he the glory Saying these
words, he departed.
Blind, indeed," says Von Hars, a
biographer of Gellert, "must be the soul
who would not se in this the inger of
God-insensible the heart who would
tm DAT. U
not cry, 'leed be the ame of th
Ind, fm this time forth mad orwmve
"Be glad in the Lord, and rqjoice
ye righteous: and shot for joy, all ye
that are upright in heart."
"Verily I my unto you, Inamnuch
as ye have done it unto one of the least
of these my brethren, ye have done it
"Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glo-
"For all the promises of God in him
are ye, and in him amen."