PART I. -- GERMANY.
After John and Martha Yeardley had visited their friends at home, their minds were directed to the work which they had left uncompleted on the continent of Europe; and, on their return from the Yearly Meeting, they opened this prospect of service before the assembled church to which they belonged.
(Diary) 6 mo.18. -- Were at the Monthly Meeting at Highflatts, where we laid our concern before our friends to revisit some parts of Germany and Switzerland, and to visit some of the descendants of the Waldenses in the Protestant valleys of Piedmont; and, on our way home, our friends and some other serious persons in the Islands of Guernsey and Jersey. Our dear friends were favored to enter most fully and feelingly into our views, and under a precious solemnity, a general sentiment of unity and concurrence spread through the meeting, which constrained them, (as the certificate expresses it) to leave us at liberty, accompanied with warm desires for our preservation. Hearing the certificate read brought the concern, if possible, more weightily than ever upon me, and a secret prayer was raised in my heart that we might be enabled to go through the prospect before us to the honor of Him who has called us into his work.
They attended the Quarterly Meeting in the latter part of this month, and returned by way of Ackworth, where, says John Yeardley,
We had a comfortable parting with dear Robert and Hannah Whitaker, in their own room. E.W. has passed with us through the deeps, and has indeed been a true spiritual helper to us under our weighty exercises of mind.
On the 8th of the Seventh Month they set out, and on the 17th attended the Meeting of Ministers and Elders in London.
The Morning Meeting was a precious and refreshing time to our poor tried minds. There was a very full expression of near sympathy and entire unity with us in our intended religious service. It is a strength and encouragement not only to have the concurrence of our friends, but also to know that we have a place in their prayers for our preservation and support in every trying dispensation.
On the eve of their departure from London, a circumstance occurred of a very disagreeable character. The shop of their brother, A.B. Savory, in Cornhill, was broken open; many valuable articles were taken, and their travelling trunks, which had been left there, were ransacked. Although their loss was trifling, the annoyance of such a contretemps may easily be conceived. J.Y. says: --
It is far from pleasant thus to be plundered of any part of our property; but I consider it as much the duty of a Christian to bear with becoming fortitude the cross-occurrences of common life as to be exercised in religious service.
They left London on the 22nd, for Rotterdam. On their arrival, a disastrous occurrence happened which gave a shock to their feelings. The manner in which J.Y. mentions the event evinces his tenderness of mind in commencing a long journey, in which his vocation was to be to sympathise with the poor and afflicted.
Since we landed safely on shore a circumstance has occurred which has brought a gloom over us. One of our shipmen being busy about the sails, part of a beam fell from the top-mast and struck him on the head. He never spoke more, but died instantly. He has left a widow and two children, not only to weep for him, but also to feel bitterly his loss in a pecuniary way. We intend to recommend their situation to some of our benevolent friends in London. My heart is much affected in having to commence my journal on a foreign shore by recording such an afflicting event. And, as it regards ourselves, how much we have which calls for thankfulness that we have so mercifully escaped.
From Rotterdam they directed their course to Pyrmont, passing through Gouda, Utrecht, Arnheim, and Muenster; at the last place they were laid by from the heat and weariness. They reached Friedenthal on the 4th of the Eighth Month, and John Yeardley makes the following reflections on re-entering his German home: --
As I find myself again in this country, many thoughts of former days spring up in my mind. Since I was last here I have passed through much; nevertheless the Lord has guided my steps, and I have cause to give Him thanks.
They visited Minden and the little meetings around, bestowing much labor on them; but at Pyrmont, to suffer, rather than to do, was their allotted portion.
It sometimes seems to me, writes J.Y., that we have in this place little to do and much to suffer. I am often cast down, and have to sit in silence and darkness. This state of mind is an exercise of faith and patience, through which much may be gained if it is turned to right account.
Of the Two Months' Meeting, he says:
On the whole a favorable time. But I am not without my fears that the little Society in this place will lose ground, in a religious sense, if more faithfulness is not manifested in little things.
Soon after their arrival in Germany they turned their steps towards the north-west corner of that country, and the borders of Holland. The object of this journey was to visit some places on the shores of the North Sea, near Friesland, where the inundations of 1825 had caused great desolation, and where a new colony had been formed by the government from among the ruined families. This little journey was so emphatically, an act of faith, and the course of it lay so much through a part of Europe seldom visited by travellers, that we shall transcribe the diary of it without much curtailment.
9 mo.4. -- Having for sometime felt an impression to visit Friedrichgroden and other places on the store of the North Sea, near the confines of East Friesland, we set out from Pyrmout in company with our dear friend Louis Seebohm, travelling with extra-post in our own carriage. We found this a pretty expeditions way of travelling for this country, being able to make about fifty-five English miles a day. Between Oldendorf and Bueckeburg, we experienced a remarkable preservation from danger. Our postillion being a little sleepy, had not sufficient care of the reins, and the horses suddenly turned off towards an inn, but missing the turn, instantly fell into a deep ditch, one horse quite down, and the other nearly so; the carriage wanted only a few inches further to go, and then it would have come upon the horses, so that a few plunges must have upset the whole concern. We sprang instantly out, and set the quiet animals free. The man was so frightened he could scarcely step from, the box. The whole affair did not last more than a few minutes, when we were on our way again, with great cause for thankfulness to the Preserver of our lives. The driver was so honest in acknowledging his fault, that I gave him his trinkgeld, and our friend L. S. gave him some advice. We got well on through Minden to Diepnau and lodged there.
Next morning set out about seven o'clock, and that day travelled late to reach Oldenburg, which we accomplished at about one in the morning. Next morning we were in a dilemma which way to take to find our place of destination. The landlord was kind in sending out several times to gain information, but in vain: at length there came into the room a deaf and dumb man who frequented the house, and who, when he knew our inquiry, immediately wrote down the particulars of the place, and explained it by signs on the table. We left two books for this intelligent man for his kindness, and set forward. Dined at Varel, and had two poor tired horses and an awkward driver to Jever. We gave him several severe lectures without much effect; at length we came to a small inn on the road, where he made a stand, and said he could go no further without two more horses, which we really believed was true, for if he had not got them we must have stuck in the sand. The horses being procured we got to Jever about eleven o'clock.
Here was a good inn, and we rested pretty well; but in the morning discouragement took hold of my spirits in a way that I have seldom experienced. I was ready to conclude we were altogether wrong and out of the way of our duty; but forward we must now go to see the end of this exercising journey. The country about Varel and Jever is remarkably fertile in pasture. The cows handsome, rolling in abundance of grass, and pretty much the whole country had the appearance of ease and plenty; in Varel we saw the poor-house, a building capable of containing 400 persons, and only four individuals were there. The inhabitants live in simplicity, but also in the general ignorance and indifference as to religion. I was exceedingly low in mind on the way, but felt once more that we were in our right place, and my precious M. Y. encouraged me by saying we should not go there in vain. On opening the Bible, I was comforted in turning to Psalm lxxviii.12-14.
After having thus travelled some days, as it were in the dark, we arrived at Friedrichen Siel, near Carolinen Siel, in which neighborhood, on the border of the North Sea, lie Friedrichgroden, New Augustengroden, and New Friedrichgroden. It is a tract of land gained from the sea of about ten or twelve hundred acres, banked round in three divisions, and made arable, on which are built about twenty farmhouses, which form almost a new world. This land is the property of the government; a small sum is paid on entering, and a yearly ground-rent, and then it is the property of the purchaser for ever.
As soon as we stepped on the banks of one of these grodens, and I set my eye on one of these retired abodes, I felt no longer at a loss where we should go or what we should do. It opened suddenly on my mind as clear as the sun at noon-day, that we must remain here a day or two and visit these new settlers in their dwellings. Accordingly we drove to the inn at Carolinen Siel. On asking for a map of the surrounding country, one was put into oar hands containing a plan of the places which had suffered so severely by the floods in the spring of 1825; which rendered those people much more interesting to us.
After dinner we commenced our visit, and called on a young man and his sister who live on one of the farms, and have about seventy acres of land. They received us with a hearty welcome, and entered into friendly conversation. The house was one of the first on New Augustengroden, built in 1816, [swept] down by the water in 1825, and rebuilt the same year. He was an intelligent young man, and answered many inquiries which we made.
Finding the distance might be too great to walk, next morning we procured horses, and started about seven o'clock, taking from our small stock of books one for each family. We commenced intercourse with them by first interesting ourselves about their families and domestic concerns, not unmindful of every suitable opportunity to turn the conversation on the subject of religion, which is too much neglected by most of them. They are of the Lutheran profession; but the church being at some distance, they do not regularly attend. Most of them have as many as six children, and some eight, with fine countenances. We felt deeply interested, particularly for the mothers, some of whom are tender-spirited, amiable women, and wept much in the opportunities we had with them. Their late afflictions have made on some a deep impression, and it was a time when, I trust, such a visit might be of advantage. In the floods, several had their houses swept away; and one lost thirty-six head of cattle, and had to drag his children out of the water naked, and take refuge on the tops of the houses. But the most touching case was that of a man who lost his wife and five children, his father, mother, and servants. They were sent away in a waggon, as a means of escape; but the waggon was swept away by the torrent, and all perished. The husband, who was left alone in the house, got to land on some boards, part of the wreck of the house, and expected to find his family safe; what must have been his feelings when he found they had all perished in the deep! We felt truly prepared to sympathise with them, and think they were sensible of our visit being in the sincere love of the Gospel. Their kindness towards us exceeded description. In going from house to house, one of them seeing us in the field, and not knowing our errand, thought we had missed our way, and came running almost out of breath to set us in the road. When he found that our visit was intended to him, he seemed overjoyed, and conducted us to his home and his interesting wife. His name is Friedrich Fockensllammen. He soon showed us all that was in his house and barns; and I may say he was equally ready to tell us all that was in his heart. We could not get away without taking coffee with them.
Having felt much towards seeing them together, the way seemed open to propose to this man to have a meeting. He readily undertook to consult with a few others; and he came to our inn next morning with another, when he said, the good work must have a small beginning, and although he himself was quite willing, the others did not see the necessity of it, or were too cautious. This person told us that, with respect to temporals, they could never have got forward again in the way they had done, had it not been for the kind and effectual assistance received from England. After an interesting conversation with these two, we parted in much affection. My M.Y. drew up a short epistle, which was signed by us all, and forwarded to them: this was an entire relief to our minds.
Understanding the fair was to commence on First-day morning, we found it necessary on Seventh-day evening to seek fresh quarters. The First-day is worse kept in the territories belonging to Hanover than in any part of the Continent that I have seen, and the greatest religious ignorance prevails there. The cause may rest with the Government in giving too much power to the Church: the ecclesiastics are fond of keeping in their own hands all things relating to religion, and will not suffer the light to shine that the people may see for themselves. The Edict of Stade has lately been renewed, prohibiting religious meetings; no unauthorised persons (as they call it), are permitted to preach or hold meetings, on pain of imprisonment; all foreign missionaries to be immediately sent beyond the boundaries. The settlement we were visiting was partly in Hanover, and partly in Oldenburg.
Besides these colonies on the reclaimed strand of the ocean, John Yeardley had another object in undertaking this journey, which was to inspect the Industrial Colony at Fredericks-Oort, in the province of Drenthe, in Holland. Towards this place the party now directed their way.
Between Wittmund and Aurich (continues J.Y.) is a moor called Plagenburg, about six English miles square, on which are some of the poorest mud-huts I ever saw. People who intend to settle here from any part receive a grant of land for ten years free, and afterwards pay a yearly ground-rent of about five shillings an acre. The idle and burdensome poor are also sent here; and by this means the whole neighborhood is relieved from poor-rates, except for the support of a few individuals who spin, &c., in the poor-house. We were informed that near Norden there is a colony for thieves and gipsies, who are sent to this place and compelled to build themselves huts and cultivate the land. They are strictly watched by the police, and severely punished when they attempt to go away without leave.
We had a long and tedious ride, through deep sand, to Leer. On our arrival we made inquiry about Fredericks-Oort, but could obtain no intelligence, nor could we find it on the maps which we borrowed for examination. This was very discouraging; for I had hoped, if it was right for us to go, we should find some one to give us certain directions to it. I slept but little, and next morning set again to work, and found there was a Jew in the town who travelled much in Holland. I desired he might be sent for; he came, and immediately gave us directions where to find the places we wanted.
I ought not to omit remarking the comfortable feeling that I was favored with, riding from Wittmund to Aurich [on the way to Leer]. In reflecting in stillness where we had been and what we had done, I felt not only peace and inward satisfaction, but thankfulness filled my heart that we had been thus far enabled to do what we believed to be in the way of our duty. This Scripture language passed through my mind: |Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.| (Isa. xxxii.20.)
11th. -- Left Leer about eleven o'clock in the morning, and expected to arrive at Assen at eleven or twelve at night, but to our great disappointment we travelled the night through, and only reached Assen at seven next morning. At Wehndam on our way we rested the horses. Our friend L.S. went for an hour to bed, and my M.Y. and self sat in the carriage and would have slept, but there came so many admirers of our vehicle that we could not sleep for their almost continual remarks about its elegance, convenience, &c.
This part of Holland is fruitful; the houses are clean and neat; and the dress of the women very singular. Their caps have a plate of silver or gold on each side almost like a helmet, and sometimes very costly. At the inn at Nieuweschans [on the borders of Germany and Holland], the cook had one of these golden helmets which had cost about 150 florins.
In these flat countries they have no spring water; the land lies so much below the sea that all is impregnated with salt. Rain water is used for drinking, and the method of preserving it is in a deep reservoir lined with boards and puddled with clay. I was surprised to find it kept good so long: it is seldom known to go bad. One of the farmers on the Grodens drew water out of his well and handed me a glass to drink; it had a yellowish tinge, but except this I never saw clearer and have seldom tasted pleasanter spring water, and the beat tea I ever drank was made from rain water so preserved. One thing which contributes to its quality is the great surface of tile which it has to run down, and which tends to filter it.
The mode of manuring the land is similar to that practised in Brabant, and the produce proves that it is excellent; for no better meadows, or corn land in a higher state of cultivation are to be seen than in some parts we have lately passed through.
The cows, when fresh in milk, are milked three times a day, by which means more milk is obtained than in the common method; any one wishing to make a fair experiment of this must try it not for two or three days only, but for a week or ten days.
John and Martha Yeardley found the institution at Fredericks-Oort of a deeply interesting kind. It was Established by private benevolence to improve the condition of the poor, and to relieve the country from beggars, and was commenced in 1818. The poor families which are placed there are employed, some in manufacture, some in cultivating the soil, and every means is made use of to encourage industry and provident habits. When our friends visited the colony, it comprised 2900 souls, including the staff by which the institution is worked, and which is necessarily numerous. They thought the method of instruction in use in the schools excellent, and found that religious liberty was strictly respected.
From Fredericks-Oort they went on to Ommershaus, where is the poor-house and penal colony belonging to the former institution. Thirteen hundred beggary, orphans, and criminals were then in the colony.
How much, remarks J.Y., such an institution is wanted in England; every inducement is held out for improvement in civil society, and a most effectual check placed against vice and idleness.
The travellers fared badly in Holland, and they were rejoiced to |set foot again in honest Germany, where they know how to use strangers with an honest heart.| They returned through Bentheim and Osnabrueck, and arrived at Pyrmont on the 19th. Here they spent ten days in resting, and in preparing to pursue their journey through South Germany.
On First-day, the 30th, they took leave of their friends.
First-day, says John Yeardley, was a solemn time, both at meeting and at the reading in the afternoon; I hope both my M.Y. and I were enabled to clear our minds. In the evening we took an affectionate and affecting leave of them all; it was to me particularly trying. I could not refrain from weeping much.
Not much occurs in the diary to claim attention, until they reached Friedberg, not far from Frankfort.
10 mo.7. -- Sat down to our little meeting, after breakfast, and reading, on First day morning. It was to us both a season of deep feeling. My dear M.Y. was so filled with a sense of our own weakness, and the Almighty's goodness towards us in a wilderness travel through a dark country, that she knelt, and was enabled to pour forth a heart-felt supplication for a precious seed of the kingdom in the hearts of the people among whom we were; and also that He would in his tender mercy remember us his poor instruments, and in the right time cause light to break forth on our path, preserve us in the way we ought to go, and make us willing to suffer for the sake of his suffering cause: to which my heart said, Amen!
At Frankfort they formed acquaintance with J.H. von Meyer, ex-burgomaster of the city, a learned and pious man, who had made a new translation of the Bible into German, and had stood firm for the cause of real Christianity in the midst of much declension. In the afternoon they drove to Offenbach to see J.D. Marc, a Christian Jew, who had earned experience in the school of suffering. He said, amongst other things, that he could never preach but when he believed it to be his duty, and then he could declare only what was given him at the time; this he considered to be the only preaching that could profit the hearers. His views on the inutility of water baptism were so decided, that when converted Jews asked him to administer to them this rite, he told them he could not recommend it, for it would do them no good. He gave them many names of awakened persons in the Palatinate: --
Where, says John Yeardley, there is still a lively-spirited people who hold meetings for religious improvement; perhaps the descendants of those who were visited by W. Penn in former days.
The next day they returned to Frankfort, and made the acquaintance of Pastor Appia, a Piedmontese, who, with his wife, was very friendly; and when he heard that they had left their own land to visit his native country, marked out a route for them, and gave them letters of introduction. |When I am with such good people,| observes J.Y., in relating their interview with Appia, |I am always uneasy in my mind that I am not more worthy. May the Lord strengthen me!|
On the 10th, they went to Darmstadt, where they met with several enlightened Christians. One of these, Leander van Ess, had been a Roman Catholic priest; and although a zealous promoter of Christianity in the face of persecution, and favored with a more than ordinary degree of spiritual light, he had thought it right not altogether to forsake that communion, but remained amongst the Romanists to do them good. He had translated the New Testament for their use. At parting with his new friends he embraced them, gave them his blessing, and wished them a prosperous journey. |I felt myself,| says J.Y., |comforted and strengthened by this visit.|
On the way to Heppenheim, he continues, (to which place they next directed their course), I felt quiet, in mind, and was once more assured that we were in the way of our duty. As I thought of the difficulties which might await us, these words were brought to my remembrance, |Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.|
Crossing the Rhine, at Mannheim, they stopped, on the 12th, at Duerkheim, where they became acquainted with Ludwig Fitz, a man of a frank and inquiring disposition.
For three years, writes J.Y., he has held meetings in his house; in the commencement he had to suffer no little persecution. On his entering our room he observed that it was the Lord who had thus brought us together. I have scarcely been half an hour with you, he said, after a while, but it seems as if I had known you for seven years. He, with his wife and daughter, took us to call on a Mennonist, a pious man, who holds firmly by Baptism and the Supper. He soon began to speak on these points. I replied to what he said as well as I could, maintaining that in Scripture there are two baptisms spoken of; that, as the soul of man is spiritual, it can be reached only by that which is spiritual, and that therefore I did not see the necessity of maintaining that which, is outward. He said he desired to possess the former, and not to neglect the latter. As to the Supper they both advanced is proof of the observance being good, that often, whilst using it, they experienced inward joy and refreshment. I said we must not limit to a certain time or place this joy in the Lord, as if the use of the Supper only were the cause of it. The gracious Lord is ready at all times to sup with us, and to refresh the sincere and cleansed soul, and make it joyful in him. We took leave of each other in love; I said we did not travel for the purpose of turning people from one form to another, but with the desire only that they might all be brought nearer to the Lord. It was pleasant to me that Fitz's wife was with us; during the conversation she remained still and weighty in spirit.
We inclined to attend the evening devotion at Fitz's, but prefaced our request with the hope that they would not be offended if we did not take part in their observances. This was immediately granted; and Fitz said, I feel that your spirit is true and sincere, and I have unity with it. When their service was ended, we asked them to remain a while in silence, and I trust may say we were enabled to utter what was required of us in testimony and supplication.
In Duerkheim there are eleven converted Jews, who dare not meet except in secret for fear of the rabbins. One night the rabbins attempted to take away their bibles and other books, but they received a hint of their intention, and sent the books to Fitz's house. One of them, a servant girl, as soon as she heard that some Christian friends were come into the town, went to Fitz's, and took up one of the books we had given him. She read a little in it hastily, put it in her bosom, and ran home. Her curiosity and love of the truth impelled her to come to our hotel, and wait unobserved in the hall to catch a glimpse of us as we came out. We felt much for these awakened ones of Abraham's offspring; their oppressed condition rested much upon our hearts; but as we had no opportunity of conversing with them, I wrote a few lines from Friedelsheim to the young woman, and sent them with some books by Fitz, who accompanied us to that place. Tuke's Principles finds much entrance among the awakened Jews.
Travelling through Spires, Carlsruhe, and Pforzheim, they came on the 16th to Stuttgardt, where they found Henry Kienlin, of Pforzheim, who, as the reader will remember, had won so large a place in their love and esteem on their former journey.
He not only, says John Yeardley, professes our principles, but bears a clear and fearless testimony for them. His wife is of the same mind with him, although she does not yet show it in the simplicity of her dress.
On the 18th, we set out in company with our good friend to Ludwigsburg to see the prison. There are about 600 prisoners, of both sexes, for the most part employed in labor. Order and cleanliness prevail, and the food is good. The governor, Kleth, is a worthy, pious man; he himself reads the Holy Scriptures to the prisoners, and endeavors to promote their spiritual improvement. When we entered a room in which were a number of men, they rose, and stood serious and quiet as though they expected we should address them; and for a short time the love of God was felt amongst us in an impressive manner; but nothing was given us to utter.
It will be recollected that when John and Martha Yeardley were at Stuttgardt in 1826, they met with the Pastor Hoffman, and that they desired to visit the institution at Kornthal, of which he was the director, but were obliged to forego this visit in order to hasten forward to Basle. They now prepared to discharge this debt of Christian love. Kornthal is situated four miles from Stuttgardt; it was founded in 1819 by dissenters from the Moravians and Lutherans, and consisted in 1825 of about seventy families. J. and M.Y. went there on the 19th.
We were received, says the former, in a brotherly manner by the Director Hoffman. On entering the room we were informed that their pastor had died the night before; but instead of sorrow there seemed to be joy. This society holds it for a religious duty to rejoice when any of their members are favored to enter a state of endless bliss. This is religious fortitude which but few possess, but I believe it is with them sincere, for in going over the institution with the Director, I observed they spoke of it as a matter of holy triumph.
No meeting was held with the members of the establishment during this visit; it was left for J. and M.Y. to attend the usual evening assembly on First-day, the 21st; and they were informed that it would be an occasion on which any present who were moved by divine influence might freely relieve their minds.
At three o'clock, J.Y. writes, we set off to Kornthal under most trying feelings; I do not know when I have suffered so much from discouragement. On account of the death of the pastor, many were come to attend the interment which was to take place the next day. This caused the meeting to be large; not less than 700 persons were present, and among them six or seven pastors. The service commenced with a few verses; the first words were these: --
|Holy Spirit come unto us,
And make our hearts thy dwelling-place.|
I can truly say I was awfully impressed with their meaning, and a secret prayer rose in my heart that it might be experienced amongst us. After the singing, a silence truly solemn ensued, and I intimated that I felt an impression to say a few words. When I sat down our kind friend the Director summed up the substance of what I had said, and repeated it in an impressive and becoming manner. He did this with the idea that some present who only understood Low German might not have clearly got the sense; however, we were told afterwards that they had understood every word that I had said. Hoffman generously acknowledged to the hearers that what had been delivered was strictly conformable with Scripture doctrine, and that he united most fully with it.
Next morning the children being assembled for religious instruction, at the conclusion I requested they might remain awhile, and I had a few words to say to them, which was a relief to my mind. Hoffman asked if they had understood; they almost all answered, Ja, ja, ja.
This visit has afforded an opportunity of our becoming acquainted with many serious characters out of the neighborhood who were come to the interment; many of them felt near to me in spirit. Hoffman's wife is a precious, still character; there is much sweetness in her countenance. All received us heartily in Christian love; it felt to me as if it were the night before one of our Monthly Meetings, and I was at a Friend's house, so much freedom was to be felt. The inn is kept by Hoffman; they would make us no charge, saying love must pay all. We were most easy to make a present to the box for the institution, but they would have refused it, saying feelingly, Travellers like you have many expenses.
The cause for J.Y.'s peculiar discouragement in the prospect of this meeting was the want of an interpreter. Any one who knows the difficulty of public speaking or continuous discourse in a foreign language, will comprehend the anxiety which he felt when he saw no alternative but that of committing himself to preach in German. Though very familiar with the language, he never completely overcame the want of early and of thoroughly grammatical instruction in that difficult and intricate tongue. It was with feelings of this kind that he penned the following memorandum before going to Kornthal: --
18th. -- Extremely low in mind and in want of faith. No creature can conceive what I suffer in the prospect of having to speak in a foreign tongue in a religious meeting.
At Stuttgardt they took leave of their endeared friend, Henry Kienlin.
It is, says J.Y., hard to part; but every one must follow his calling, and mind only the direction of the Lord.
On quitting Stuttgardt, John Yeardley makes a few remarks regarding the religious state of Wuertemberg.
22nd. -- Wuertemberg is a favored land. In Feldbach, three hours from Stuttgardt, there are about 800 Christian people who hold meetings in each other's houses: some of them belong to the Kornthal Society. Years ago, many emigrated to America and Russia, to gain religious liberty; now it is granted them by their own Government.
On the 22nd, they journeyed to Tuebingen, where they visited the worthy Professor Streundel.
He was surprised and shy when we entered, as if he wanted to say, The sooner you take leave the better. But as soon as he knew where we came from, his countenance changed, and he received us heartily. He had his wife called -- a very polite person. He asked many questions as to our church discipline, &c.; the order of our Society pleased him much. He had undertaken the study of divinity from an apprehension of duty, and said that it was only by the assistance of the Holy Spirit we could be made instrumental in the ministry.
On the 25th they came to Wilhelmsdorf, on the Lake of Constance, where is a branch of the Kornthal Association. They found the director |a man of great simplicity, but of inward worth.|
He was, continues John Yeardley, six years in Kornthal, and seems to be sensible of the importance of the situation he fills, and of his incapability to be useful to others unless assisted by divine grace. He read our certificate attentively, and said, in a weighty manner, Yes; one Lord over all, one faith, one baptism. We found they have no regular preacher, but meet for worship every evening and on First-day mornings. We were desirous of seeing them together, and they were pleased to find such was our intention. The bell was rung, and in a few minutes the whole colony assembled, about two hundred, with children. Much liberty was felt in speaking among them; and some of them appeared to be sensible of the value of true silence, and from whence words ought to spring; many shed tears under the melting influence of divine love which was so preciously to be felt amongst us. We took an affectionate leave, well satisfied in visiting this little company, to strengthen them to hold up the cause of their Lord and Master, in the midst of darkness. Within about thirty English miles there are none but rigid Roman Catholics, not one Evangelical congregation. At our departure my wife said: |These words arise in my mind for thy comfort: Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.|
At the inn where we stopped at Wilhelmsdorf, we were spectators of an occurrence rarely to be seen. Among the laborers who dined there, the one who had finished first read a chapter from the Bible to the rest. When all had done eating, one offered a prayer; and then all went quietly back to their work. This practice shows at least the sincerity of their hearts.