William Cornelius Reichel.

A history of the rise, progress, and present condition of the Moravian seminary for young ladies, at Bethlehem, Pa online

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Online LibraryWilliam Cornelius ReichelA history of the rise, progress, and present condition of the Moravian seminary for young ladies, at Bethlehem, Pa → online text (page 18 of 41)
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bear arms, as inconsistent with their principles, they were
compelled, with the Quakers, and other religious associations
who agreed with them on the latter point, to render taxes in
twofold measure, besides being loaded with burdens dispro-
portionate to their means.



Caroline Broome. — "What do mine eyes behold ? What do I

see ?

Surprising ! — in the wilderness

For whom this monument? Oh, what a sight!

In honor of what King, what Prince, new-born !

Is this the same who's God and man in one ?

Creator, and the Virgin Mary's son ?

It can't be otherwise. O glorious light !

Through Thee the deserts flourish, and thy blaze

Illumes the rocks around ; hence fountains play,

Streams of fresh water rise high in the air,

And flowerets spring 'mong verdure on the ground.

Oh, blest Immanuel ! well may we joy,

Eaise monuments to Thee, Thou King of kings,

Whose throne is in the faithful human breast.

Immanuel ! Thou Father of the ages.

Eternity is thine, the heavens Thy throne,

And earth Thy footstool. Yes, Thy thundering voice

Can crush the nations into atoms,

And humble all the pride of mortal man.

Yet our Immanuel ! Oh, the cheering sound !

Glad name ! Thou com'st Thy goodness to display,


"Wilt enter with our enemy in combat,

And come from Bozra stain'd with thy own blood,

Sure sign of triumph ! Thou the serpent's head

Wilt bruise, and crush its power. Immanuel,

We hail Thy humble entrance in this world !

We hail thy holy blest humanity !

Accept, O God with us ! our stammering lays.

Though unproportion'd to Thy matchless grace.

Immanuel, our Brother, our Life and Salvation I
What gladness, what joys, bring Thy blest incarnation!
Thy manger so mean and Thy low situation
Demand, dearest Infant, our warm adoration.
If angels with shouts rend the air at Thy birth.
How should we rejoice, for whom thou cam'st on earth!
Take our hallelujahs, our thanks, and our praise;
'Tis all we can offer for Thy matchless grace.

Cornelia King. — Oh, would the muse divine with sacred fire
Warm my cold breast, my sinful lips inspire,
Cauorht from that blaze that e'er surrounds the throne
On which in glory sits the eternal Son,
Whom thousand thousands serve, and hail his name,
Who is, and was ere time first time became, —
The Unutterable ! Then would I, too, sing
A song sublime, — then should the ether ring
With hallow' d notes that suit the great occasioil
When Love divine its greatest demonstration
To mortals gave. Oh, how my sinful breast
Doth pant to hail the Maker in the world a guest !
1 can't attempt, unless that muse consent
Her humble suppliant her aid to lend.
Too high a theme, — yet so replete with mirth
Is that of the Creator's human birth,


That I, a sinful worm, can say no more,
But joy, and weep, and silently adore.
Still let us sing of grace and love divine,
And, my companions, let the task be thine.

Jane Ireland. — In Bethlehem, my friends, then let us sing.
For Bethlehem was the town whence came our King, —
Where once the humble shepherd sang, while tending
His fleecy flock, that pi^aise that ne'er is ending;
The praise of our Jehovah ; thence was raised
To majesty on Israel's throne high placed.
There, when young David, full of trust in God,
Avenged the innocent, and shed the blood
Of ruflian beasts, in humble, happy state,
His breast with joy in the Immense elate,
And tuned his harp to songs replete with fire
From Him whose name is than the heavens higher.
'Twas in those happy, consecrated plains
This night were wonders told to humble swains, —
Wonders to which the royal Psalmist pointed
Oft as he spoke and sang of God's anointed, —
Messiah's birth, — the birth of that great Saviour
Who promised was, us to restore to favor.

Folly Allen. — Hark, the majestic sounds that from on high
Are usher'd through the wide, all-blazing sky !
Who hears them not ? All who poor sinners are.
With joy unbounded, hear God's love declare :
To you, to you is born this night the Lord,
The great Jehovah, the Almighty Word,
Through whom all things were made, — a helpless child,
To be your Saviour, gracious, good, and mild.
To you is born, in David's city old.
That great Redeemer Zion's muse foretold.
Rejoice; cast fear and anxious thoughts away;
Behold, the dusky night now turns in day.


True light burst forth with the Creator's birth,
Peace and good-will are now proclaim'd on earth.
C. Broome. — ^Darkness had cover'd all the sinful ground,
And veil'd the eyes of all the nations round;
Her sable garment o'er the world was cast,
A second chaos, darker than the past ;
For, though the natural light the people saw,
And lived and walk'd as led by nature's law,
Yet Him through whom they lived they did not know.
Oh, life of misery, replete with woe !
A little spot on this extensive ball,
'Tis true, was favor'd God their Lord to call.
Judea's sons and daughters were approved
The chosen ones, — yet not alone beloved, —
The heart divine its thoughts of love extended
O'er all the world, — all mankind's bliss intended.
And manj^ sages, train'd in wisdom's school,
Sought for that Power that such a world must rule;
Imagined him full good, yet could not scan,
That thus a God could love even rebel man :
Judean seers and patriarchs knew more.
But wonder'd why the promise, long in store,
Did not appear: each sigh'd, "Oh, come, appear!
Let thy glad dawning fallen mankind cheer !
Thou Son of Life ! Oh, rend the heavens now!"
Sad gloom, that clouded many a pious brow,
How deeply felt in the believing breast,
How often in heart-piercing groans express'd !
At length, when e'en the Temple's light had ceased,
And darkness visibly on earth increased,
Then, then, — as is God's way, — the help was nigh;
Then, then appear' d the Day-Star from on high I



Hark ! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled !
Joyful, all ye nations, rise.
Join the triumphs of the skies ;
With th' angelic hosts proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem!

Margaret Ackerly. — Eise, Cynthia bright ! ten thousand
lustres shine !
"With rays refulgent catch the blaze divine
From that great hand that form'd from nothing you,
And bid you each its stated coui-se pursue.
You suns immense, with all your orbs attendant,
Show forth His praise. His majesty transcendent !
Ye unscann'd systems, high as high can be.
His eye beholds what creatures' eyes can't see.
How bounded is our gaze ! Oh, praise the greatj
Th' Unsearchable ! All that His hand hath made,
And thou, blest ball, a dot in wide creation,
No longer weep thy deep humiliation !
Eejoice ! thy loss is fully restituted.
Though miserably by the fall polluted.
The feet of Him whom heaven of heavens can't hold
Now rest on thee, and man can God behold !
Divinity now on thy surface moves
In human form. Oh, see how God thee loves !

Maria Arden. — Yes, when thou cam'st from the creative
At the great nod, the Infinite command.
The morning stars did shout, and God's glad sons
Sang songs of praise ; the righteous, holy ones


Acknowledged His great power. Yet now behold
A greater deed ! — The angels can't unfold.
Th' Almighty will on earth with sinners dwell !
And yet they haste the wondrous news to tell.
Miza Egbert. — Eejoice, O Earth ! thy Maker left his crown ;

To save thy sons the Son of God came down !
Mary Bingham. — Isaiah, inspired from above, him pro-
A Saviour of sinners, Immanuel named !
Ann Massey. — O night with glee, with holy wonders
Surpassing human wisdom, sense, and thought !
Night which reveal'd to man the mystery great
For which four thousand years the world did wait !
Catharine M. Richards. — Jehovah comes, forsakes his splen-
did throne ;
He comes for fallen mankind to atone !
Our God's humanity is fraught with mirth :
Eejoice, poor sinners, in your Saviour's birth,
Eliza Morgan. — Cherubim and seraphim rejoice ; how much
more should we !

Sarah White. — They sang the praises of Him who is, and
was, and cometh; and He came into our misery. How shall
we pay Him due thanks ?

Hannah Wilkins. — The Self-existent, the Eternal, — oh, how
doth He love His creatures !

Eliza Carey. — While in flaming air the angels sing the
praises of the Infant King, let us sing Him in our hearts.

Eleanor Byrnes. — Sing and play Him with hearts, and
hands, and voices, who hath done wondrous things for us !

Mary Parsons. — Who rent the heavens and came down
unto us.


■ Sung.
The King of Glory sends His Son

To make His entrance on this earth I
Behold the midnight bright as noon,

And heavenly hosts declare his birth.
About their young Eedeemer's head

What wonders and what glories meet !
An unknown star arose, and led
The Eastern sages to His feet !
Simeon and Anna both conspired

The infant Saviour to proclaim ;
Inward they felt the sacred fire.

And bless'd the babe, and own'd His name !
Let Jews and Greeks blaspheme aloud.
And treat the holy Child with scorn ;
Our souls adore the eternal God,
Who condescended to be born.
Martha W. Greene. — We have Him, we hold Him, nor let
we Him part,
But press the Almightj" with love to the heart,—
A sinful heart, truly, yet destined His rest :
Oh, how His indwelling will make us so blest I
Mary Perkins. — He is indeed our brother !
Louisa Arden. — He whom no earths contain, nor skies,

In Bethlehem in a manger lies !
Jane Johnston. — Sure never was love like His !
Caroline Smith. — Oh, the sweetest Boy,

Great Source of our mirth and joy !
Christmas eve replete with blessing !
Let's, with hearts and lips confessing
Him, our flesh and blood.
Praise the highest good !
Mary L. Samilton. — The mighty Father's child behold,
And marvel at the sight;


Not in a palace deck'd with gold,

Which thousand lustres light,
But in a stable dark is laid,
Meanly in swaddling clothes an-ay'd.
Mehitahel Handy. — This is the God in whom we trust ; and
He will save us.

Anne Brown. — He will save His people from their sins.
Patty Bininger. — Oh, beauty beyond measure !
My hope, my joy, ray treasure!
Thou wecp'st, a helpless boy !
I see, tny heavenly Brother,
Thy anxious virgin mother,
Smile on thy face with looks of joy.
See how she soothes thy tears.
Dispels thine infant fears —
Her God, her Lord, her all,
Must for her succor call;
Oh, mystery sublime !
Thee comprehends no time.
Elizabeth Davis. — Me to redeem from endless misery,

My God, my Lord, in wretched plight I see.
Elizabeth McDonald. — What shall we give? What shall
we bring?
What sacrifices please that King
Who's Lord and God of all?
A. Cauffman. — Our hearts; — 'tis all that He demands.
Let's give them in His holy hands
Whom we dear Brother call.
Sarriet S. Huntington. — Then take my heart, and what-
soe'er is mine.
Beloved Jesus ! I'll be only thine!
Eleanor Wilcox. — Nor world, nor sin, nor Satan, can destroy
My portion in that much-beloved Boy !


Ann Hertell. — Yes, let us open wide the Temple gates, that
therein may enter the King of Glory.

Sarah Hillhouse. — Tshe Lord of hosts, of David's ancient
line, according to the flesh, — ^David's Son and Eang also, and
our Brother, God, and King.

Faith Huntington. — For ours,— although our forefathers
were excluded the privileges the people of God enjoyed, ours
too is the great salvation.

Catharine Mumford.— The glory and majesty shining in the
Infant's face cast their delightful rays also upon our sinful

E. Davis. — Let us then rejoice in that light that came to
illumine the regions of darkness and shadows of death, and
reap the benefits that are offered unto us by the Incarnation
of our blessed Creator.

Polly Van fleck. — Let us well weigh the cause of his
coming, enter into that abyss of love that has not its equal,
as deeply as by the aid of His Spirit we can, and drink rich
draughts of the fountain of mercy.

Amelia Piatt. — That the Creator of the universe was born
into this world to give his flesh and blood a willing sacrifice
for His rebellious creatures, — oh, haw should this consider-
ation enhance our love towards Him, our desire to please
Him and to become His entire property in time and in
eternity !

Polly McLachlan. — Yes, we can read the resolution
Already in His infant face :
He'll die to make the great ablution

With blood for all the human race !
Oh, what an unnamed joy! What feeling

While we the God-man helpless see.
In spirit round His manger kneeling.
And know why He a man would be !


Sarah Sanders. — Doctor Lowth expresses this subject beau-
tifully in a very sublime poem. Will you please to give us
the lines ? as I think them very suitable to end our discourse
for this evening.

JS. Van Vleck. — ''At length," he says, ''the fated term of

The world's desire have brought, and lo ! the God appears.
The heavenly Babe the virgin mother bears,
And her fond looks confess the parent's cares.
The pleasing burden on her breast she lays.
Hangs o'er his charms, and with a smile surveys:
The Infant smiles, to her fond bosom press'd,
And wantons, sportive, on the mother's breast.
A radiant glor}- speaks him all-divine.
And in the Child the beams of Godhead shine:
But now, alas! far other views disclose
The blackest comprehensive scene of woes
See where man's voluntary sacrifice.
Bows His meek head, and God eternal dies ;
Fix'd to the cross. His healing arms are bound,
While copious mercy streams from every wound :
Mark the blood-drops that life-exhausting roll,
And the strong pang that rends the stubborn soul;
And all death's tortures, with severe delay.
Exult and riot in the noblest prey.
And canst thou, stupid man, these sorrows see,
Nor share the anguish which He bears for thee?
Thy sins for which His sacred flesh was torn.
Points every nail, and sharpens every thorn.
Canst thou ? — while nature smarts in eveiy wound,
And each pang cleaves the sympathetic ground?
Lo ! the black sun, his chariot backward driven.
Blots out the day, and perishes from heaven :
Earth, trembling from her entrails, bears a part,


And the rent rock upbraids man's stubborn heart.
The yawning grave reveals his gloomy reign,
And the cold, clay-clad dead start into life again.
And thou, tomb, once more shall wide display
Thy satiate jaws, and give up all th}'' prey.
Thou, groaning earth, shalt hear, absorb'd in flame,
As the last pangs convulse thy laboring frame ;
When the same God unshrouded thou shalt see
Wrapt in full blaze of power and majesty,
Eide on the clouds, whilst as his chariot flies
The bright effusion streams through all the skies.
Then shall the proud dissolving mountains glow.
And yielding rocks in flery rivers flow ;
The molten deluge round the globe shall roar.
And all man's acts and labors be no more."


"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him
that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that saith
unto Zion, Thy God reigneth \"



Annetta Lansing. — Prat, tell me why this meeting. What
has happened ? Say ! why were we hither led ?

Lucretia Champion. — "Why came you hither, pray ?

A. Lansing. — I followed the crowd, expecting to see and
hear some great novelty.

L. Champion. — Well

A. Lansing. — And now I hope not to be disappointed.

L. Champion. — I think you will not ; for this is the night —
oh, my God ! what a night !

A. Lansing. — Speak ! I pray you, tell me quickly ! What
has this night singular above other nights ?

L. Champion. — And do you ask ? Do you not know what
has happened? The wonder above all wonders from the
creation to the present days : God was manifest in the flesh!

Mary Browne. — And this is Christmas eve ! This is then
the festival of the celebration of which I have heard so much,
and of the decoration made on the occasion in Bethlehem ?

L. Champion. — It is !

M. Browne. — (Looking attentively at the exhibition, half
whispering, says,) And is that all? I am half disappointed!
(Aloud.) What does that picture represent ?

L. Champion. — Can't you see ?

19 289


M. Browne. — Two venerable persons, whose countenances
and postures seem to bespeak a spirit of great devotion.
But is that all?

L. Champion. — You seem surprised.

M. Browne. — I must say, I am.

A. Lansing. — ^Now I will speak freely, seeing my com-
panion tells her mind with such candor. Yes, I must own
I expected to see a far different sight. Whom shall those
old persons represent ? And what has this night to do with
them ?

Xi. Champion. — If you will honor me with your attention,
I will tell you whom these represent ; and by-and-by you
shall hear more of what happened in this blissful night.

"What the fathers wish'd of old,
What the promises foretold,
What the seers did prophesy.
Is fulfill'd most gloriously."

The Messiah, my friend ! Jesus, our Saviour, whose incar-
nation we celebrate this night, has been expected since the
fall of our first parents ; since the first promise was made to
them in Paradise, by the mouth of the Almighty, that " the
seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head." This
promise was frequently repeated by Him to whom man's
happiness was dearer than all His glory which He possessed
from eternity. Hence many pious persons, from youth to
age, waited for this blest event day after day, night after
night, with great anxiety, hope, and patience, wishing the
great hour of deliverance would strike. They slept in peace;
their last sigh breathed a wish that their children might see
the day of the Son of Man. And thus it continued for four
thousand years, till the time came appointed by the Most
High, when Jesus forsook His throne of glory and stooped
down to save sinners. About tnis time it happened that
at Jerusalem lived two remarkable, pious persons, — old


Simeon and Anna, — who waited for the Consolation of
Israel. These, as the Evangelist St. Luke tells us, met in
the Temple — yes, Anna departed not from it — to await the
happy hour; for unto Simeon it was revealed, by the Holy
Ghost, that he should not die before . he had seen Christ.
Well, here you see them represented as meditating on this
great subject. Have they not a great right to be placed
there ? "What say you ?

Eliza Storrs. — As such true lovers of the Son of God, whom
they had then not seen, as little as we see Him now with our
bodily eyes, I am sure they deserve that place.

Catharine Lansing. — Indeed they do.

Charlotte Strong. — But shall we see no more?

Eliza Storrs. — Have patience, my friend. This worthy
pair, Simeon and Anna, were at length fully rewarded for
their pious hope and faith. The former was moved by the
Holy Ghost to go into the Temple, where he found the latter,
at the very time when Joseph and Mary brought the child
Jesus thither in order to fulfil the law of Moses and present
Him to the Lord. Nobody needed to tell these pious an-
cients, ''This is He!" No! Simeon, on seeing took the
child in his arms, blessed God, and said, "Lord, now lettest
Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word:
for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast pre-
pared before the face of all peoj^le ; a light to lighten the Gen-
tiles, and the glory of Thj^ pco])le Israel." And Anna like-
wise gave thanks to the Lord, and spake of Him to all them
that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Mehitabel Handy. — From this we see that there were more
in that otherwise Avicked city at that time awaiting the
blissful event.

Judith de Britten. — Indeed there were.

Elizabeth Leet. — Simeon's words, — "A light to lighten the
Gentiles," — oh, how sweetly they sound ! They meant those


blessings we now enjoy, and which many Gentiles shall share
with us in these latter days.

L. Champion. — But my friends here, I suppose, would like
to see a representation still more nearly allied with the great
events of this night? (Going.) What think you of this ?

J. de Britton. — Oh, I know what it is !

Maria W. Baylor. — I too !

Miza Storrs. — But pray, don't tell.

A. Lansing. — Oh, what a modest-looking young lady! and
an angel standing near her I — is not that an angel ?

Mary Dorsey. — It is.

Sarriet McPherson. — I believe I know both their names.
May I not tell them ?

Hannah Beach. — Do, if you please.

S. McPherson. — It is the angel Gabriel and the "Virgin

H. Beach. — Quite right.

Martha Dover. — Yes, when the time was fulfilled, — the time
when the Almighty would send His beloved Son to become
our Redeemer, — He sent His faithful messenger, (the same
who had foretold to the good prophet Daniel the very time
when the Messiah should come,) the angel Gabriel, to the Vir-
gin Mary, who lived at Nazareth, a city of Galilee in Judea.
She was a descendant of the family of David, a^nd conse-
quently of that of Abraham, to whom so many promises were
made tending to that purpose. Mary, though of I'oyal de-
scent, was poor; for David's descendants did then no longer
reign, and all Judea was tributary to the Eoman emperor
Augustus, who appointed kings and rulers over the Jews
according to his own pleasure. Well, to this poor yet pious
and humble-minded young maiden the angel Gabriel was
sent, to announce to her, in the name of the Most High, that
she should have the supreme honor to be the mother of the
Messiah, who chose to be born an infant, in order to taste


death for us on earth. Is not this a beautiful representation
of this celestial visit?

J. de Britton. — Indeed it is.

Elizabeth Fonda. — Oh, what a mild countenance is that of
Mary's !

Sarah Horsfield} — Indeed, it expresses true humility, faith,
and childlike resignation.

E. Leet. — How was she honored !

Lucretia Backus. — ^And how must she have been surprised
at the sight of an angel, — and coming to her on purpose !

Caroline Devenish. — Was she quite alone ?

Catharine Vanderheyden. — Sujjposedly she was.

Esther Storm. — And perhaps in prayer !

C. Vanderheyden. — Probably.

E. Leet. — Hear, only, how the angel addressed her! — "Hail,
thou that art highly favored ! The Lord is with thee !
Blessed art thou among women !"

Sarah Reddick. — And St. Luke says " that when she saw
him she was troubled at his sayings, and cast in her mind
what manner of salutation this should be."

Maria E. Kummer. — But Gabriel said unto her, "Fear not,
Mary, for thou hast found favor with God."

Anna Henry. — And then he proceeded to tell her that she
should bear a son, and call his name Jesus, who should be
great, and called the Son of the Highest, and He should reign
forever and ever over the house of Jacob : of His kingdom
there should bo no end.

Margaret Letherman. — And when Mary was surprised, and
wondered how this could be, the angel said unto her, "The
Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the High-
est shall overshadow thee : therefore, also, that holy thing
which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."

I Day-scholar.


Jane Robeson. — At length she said, " Behold the handmaid
of the Lord : be it unto me according to thy word." And the
angel departed from her.

L. Backus. — Was it not foretold by the prophets that our
Saviour should be born of a virgin ?

Betsy Dorsey. — Oh, yes ! and IsaiaK speaks of it very

Elizabeth Davidson. — ^Well could Mary sing or say, '' My
soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in
God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of
His handmaiden; for, behold, from henceforth all generations
shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to
me great things, and holy is His name. And His mercy is
on them that fear Him, from generation to generation. He
hath showed strength with His arm; He hath sca+tered the
proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down
the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of lev degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He
hath sent empty away. He hath holpen His servant Israel,
in remembi-ance of His mercy, as He spake to our fa'hers,
to Abraham and his seed forever."

M. Letherman. — Now imagine to yourselves, my dear coni-

Online LibraryWilliam Cornelius ReichelA history of the rise, progress, and present condition of the Moravian seminary for young ladies, at Bethlehem, Pa → online text (page 18 of 41)