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EDINBURGH:

PRINTED BY W. AND R. CHAMBERS.

1846.

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S the traveller pursues his way along the upper part of the Rhine towards Switzerland, he observes on his right a long range of lofty mountains overlooking the great plain through which the river winds its way. These mountains are the Vosges, and

the plain at their feet is Alsace, a province originally belonging to Germany, but partly wrested from it by France during the famous thirty years' war, which terminated in 1648; and more fully acquired by the wars of Louis XIV., ending in 1697. On each of these occasions Alsace was the scene of dreadful cruelties and sufferings. Towns and villages were universally sacked and destroyed, every article of value was carried off," the country was laid waste, and the distracted people either fled or were murdered. So utterly ruined was the territory, that it long lay without more than a hundred families, who drew a miserable and precarious subsistence from the soil. Strasburg, the capital of Alsace, did not escape these disasters; but, as a seat of trade, it more speedily recovered them; and, fortunately, its cathedral, a stupendous Gothic edifice, has survived all the civil and religious storms that have blown over the adjacent country.

At the revolution of 1789-92, Alsace was divided into the departments of the Upper and Lower Rhine; but although the political connexion with Germany had been dropped, the popusation generally, that of Strasburg included, remained essentially German in language and manners; the Lutheran form of faith continued also in some parts to prevail

, and not only so, but to be protected and supported by the state in terms of the treaty which united the district with France.

In this peculiarly privileged and remote-lying part of the French territories, the scene of our present sketch is laid.

EARLY LIFE OF OBERLIN.

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John Frederick Oberlin, the son of a respectable teacher, and one of a large family, was born in Strasburg on the 31st of August 1740. Reared with great tenderness and care by cellent father, who devoted his leisure hours to the familiar instruction of his family, young Frederick (as he seems to have been called), while still in infancy and boyhood, showed the greatest benevolence of disposition; and he never enjoyed so much happiness as when he was relieving distress, or performing some other act of kindness towards his fellow-creatures. Various anecdotes are related of his self-denial in parting with all his savings, when a school-boy, in acts of charity. One day, observing that a poor market-woman was in great distress in consequence of two boys having rudely overturned her basket of eggs, he ran home for his small box of savings, and poured the whole contents into her lap. On another occasion, observing that a poor old woman was unable, for want of two sous, to buy an article of dress which she seemed desirous of possessing, he privately slipped two sous into the hand of the dealer, who forthwith made the woman happy in her purchase. Neither on this nor any similar occasion did he stop to receive any tokens of gratitude. The delight he experienced in doing good, and what was pleasing in the sight of God, was the only reward at which he aimed. Besides this benevolence and piety of disposition, he entertained a horror of injustice, and possessed the courage to defend and succour the oppressed, at the risk of injury to his own person. For these and other excellent qualities, young Oberlin was greatly indebted to the considerate training of his parents; but particularly to the admonitions and guidance of his mother, a woman whose sole happiness lay in forming the minds and habits of her children.

Lively in temperament, and reared amidst a military people, Oberlin inclined at first to the profession of a soldier ; but from

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