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Miscellany: My Wife's Gold Ring: Or, John Gaspard Lavater An...

Miscellany: My Wife's Gold Ring: Or, John Gaspard Lavater An... image
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It was the practico with Lnvatcr (an eininent clergyman boni inZurlchj Swilzerland, ' 1741,) to read every morning, one or more chaptcrs m tlic lïible, and to select from them ene particular passage for frequent and special meclitation during tho day, One morn. ing nf'icr reading the fifih and sixlli chapters j of the Gospel of Matthew, he excluimed, Wliat a troasure o f rnoruiity ! hovi' difiicult to malee choico of any particular porüun of it !' Aftera few moment' considortition he Uirow Jiimself 'ipon liis knees, and prayed tbr Divine j guidancc. When lic joined liis wife át d'mnfir she asked him what passago of Scripture lic had cliosen for the day. 'Give to liini that nsketh thee; and from liisn t'.iat would borrow of thee turn thou not away was the reply. 'And how is this to be underetood?' said hia wife. 'Give to him that asketh thee; and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not nvvay,' these, tejoincd Luvater, 'are the words of him to wliom all and every thing belongs that I possess. I am the steward, and he the proprietor. The Proprietor desires me to give to him who asks from me, and not to refuse him who would borrow of me; or, in other words, jf I hd two coatí, I must give one tohitii wlio ha.s none, and ïf I have lood, I must b sharv with liim wlio is on hungered and in o want; ibis I must do without being nskod; ñ liow miich more tlicn, when asked.' Í Thie, continúes Lavatcr in iiis diary, U pearcd to me so evidently and inconliovertibly a to be the meauing of llie verses in question. l that 1 spoke with more than usual warmt h: o my tirite made no further reply than tlial she would well consider these things. 1 hád scarcely left the diningroom a few ' minutes. whfin anaged widow desired to ppeak r to me, and she was shown into my study. - v 'Forgive me, dear sir,' she said, 'excuse the ' liberty I am about to take; 1 am Iruly nshnmed l ! but my rent is due to-morrow, and I am short r six dollurs; I have been confiiied to my bed ' ! with 6i'cknesp,a!id my poorchild is l ving; every penny tiiat ] cotild save I had laitl É tip to ínect this demand; but eíx dollars yet r ore wanting, and to-morrow is term dny.' Hereshe opened a parcel, which she held in ' her hand, and said, 'This is a book with a a ver clasp, which my late htisband gave me j c the day we were married. It is all I can spare c of the few articies I possess, ond sore it is to ' part with if. I nm aware thal it is not enough f nor do I see how [ could ever repay, - but deur t sir, if you can, do assis-t me.' s 'I am very sorry, my good woman, that I r.c cannot help you,' I said: ond putting my hand o iuto my pocket T accidentally feit my purse. c which containod about two dollars; these, L i said to myself cannot extricate her f rom her difficulty; she requires six; besides. even if they could, I have need of tliis money, ' forBome otficr purpose. Turning' to the widow, I said, 'have you no friend, no relation, ( who could give you this trifleV No, there is no ene! I nm oshamed to go fiom house to house; I would vvork day and nigh'; my excuse for being hera if, that people speak so nmch of your goodness: if, however, you cannol assist me, you ivill at least forgive my intrusión; and God, who hos never yet forsaken me, will not turn away from me i in my tiix.ieth year!' At this moment the door of my apartmmt! opened and my wife entered. I was ashamed ! ;.nd vexed:gladly would [ have sent her away; for con ecierce whispered, 'Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn Ihon not away.' She came up lo me and said, with much swoetnoss, 'This is a good o!d womonrshe has cerlninly been 11 of late; ossist her ifyou can.' Sliame and compassion struggled in my dark soul. 'I have but two dollarp,' I said in a whisper, 'and she req lires six; Hl give her a trifle in the hand aiid iet her go.' Laying her hand on my arm nnd smilinq, my wife suid aloud, virhat consiencë hód whispered bofore - 'Give to him that asketh thee; and to him that woulJ borrow of thee turn thou nol away.' 1 blushed, and replied with snme little vexation, lJVould you give your ring for Ihnt purposeT With pleaaurè,' anssvered my vvire pulling off her ring. The good old widow was ei' her too simple or too modest to notice what was going on, and was preparing to retira, when my wife -callcd to her to wait in the lobby. When we were lèft alone, I asked my wife, 'Are you in eart est about the ring.' 'Certniniy, how can you doubt it?' she said: 'do you think that I would trifle with charity! Remcmber what you said to me about halfan hour ïgo. Oh my dt ar friend, let us not make n show of the Gospel, you are in general eo j kinrl, so sympathising, how it it is that you find it so difficull to assist this poor woman? wby did you not without hesitation, give her ! what you had in your pocket ? and did you not know there were six dollars in your desk, and that the qmrter wdl be paid to us in lessthan eight days?' Slie tlien added with niucli feeling, 'Tako no tliought for your life, what ye símil ea(, or what ye shnll drink; nor yet for your body, wliat ye slial! put on. Bchold the fowls of the air; they sow not, neühcr do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.' I kissed my wife while t(?ars ran duun my cheek: - 'Tharik?, a thousand ilmnks fur this hurnilintion !' I .urned to the desk, took from i it the 6x dollars, and opened the door lo cali in i he poor widow- all darkened around me] at the tliought, that I had been so forgetful of the omniscienco of God as lo say to her, '1 ennnot htlp you.' Oh, thou falso tongue! thou jfalseheart! If thou, Lord, should mark iniquities, Oh Loid, who thall stand? 'Here is what you need,' I said addressing the widow. At first she seemed not to understnnd what I nieant,aud tliought I wasoflering her a smoll contribuí ion, for which she thanked me, and presssed my hand; but when 6he perceived that 1 had given her the whole sum, she could scarcely find words to express her feelings.- She cried, Dear sir, Í cannot repay; all I possess is this poor bok, nnd it is old.1 'Keep your book,' said I. and the money too, and thonk Godvjind not me,for verily 1 deserve no thunks, after hoving so long resisted your entreatie?; o in peace, and forgive on erring brothcr.' I rc'iurnd '.o my wife vrith down castlookü,ut ehe srniletl and said, 'Do not take it eo iiuchto hearl, my friend, you yielded at rny irst supgestion; but promise me, as vvear a gold ring on my fir.gcr, nnd you now I posses several bcsidc?, you vvill ncvcr llow youself to say to any person, 'I cannot ielp you.' ' Slie kissed me end left the parfment. When I fonnd mysclf alone, I sot down and vrote this account il) my diary, in order to lumble my deceiiful heart - tliis heart wliich. 10 longer ago than yeslerday, dictated the votóp, 'Of all cliaractcrs n the world, thcre s none I vvould more anxiously avoid than hit of a liypocrife," yet to preach t!ic uhole noral law, and to fulfil only the easy part of f, is hypocrify. Merciful Father! how long nust I wait, ond reflect,ond strtigrgle ere I hall be able to rely on the perfect sincerity of ny profession? 1 read over once more the chapter whicli I iad read in the irornin; with so Jittle benefit, nd feit more and more ashamed, and convned that tliere is no peace, excep wherc prin:ple arii! practice are in perfect nccordance. Iow peacefully and happily I might haveend:d tliis day, hud I acted ronsricntiously to the iles&cd doctrines ) professed! Dear Saviour, ;end thy Holy Spirit intothis benighted heart, lean;;e it fi om secret sin! and teach me to ■mploy that wh'ch thou hast comtnilted to my iliaige. to thy glory, and a brother's welfare, ind my own salvation! At a meeting of the Washtenaw Founer sso"imion held at the &leclfïmVs Lyceum [loom on the evening of 26th inst., L. C. Soodalè was chosen chnirman pro tem. ar.d C. J. Garland Secretary pro tem. and tiie bllowing constitution was unanimonsly adipLed: PREAMBLE AND CON3TITUTION OF THE WASHTENAW PHALANX. The undersigned do hereby unite and associate themslves ío organizo and found a Do mestic anl Industrial Association; and for this purpose they do hereby inutually agree and bind themselves and their assigns to the performance of the covrnmts and engagements in the following articles cuntained. ARTICLK 1. Sec. 1. The name of this Association shall be the Washtenaw Phalanx, and by this name it shali be designated in all its deaüngs. Sec. 2. The business of the W;i&htenaw Phulanx shall be the prosecution of Agriculture, Manufocture?, the arts and sciences, Education, and Domcstic Industry, eccording to the associative sy-tein of Charle Fourier. Sec. 3. The capital of tlie Washtenaw Phalanx shall be not less than twenty-five thousand dollars, wliich may, by a vote of the 8lockholdere holding a majority of the capital stock, then existing, be increased at any future time: to be divided into shures of f-óú each and fii'lhs of shares. Sec. 4. Tlie members of tho Association, coi.iposed of single persona an;l families, shall not, in the cornmencement, exceed in number four hundred individuals. ARTICLE II. Sec. 1. The nfluirs of the Washtenaw Phalanx shall be atlministeied nnd managed diring its organization and until it is ful!y ín operaíion by a President, Vice President and twe'veDirectors, who, together witlj a Secreretary. shall be electod anmially. Sec. 2. The Presidont, Vico Preudent and Diredors shall hold office until the Association is organizo J nnd ín operation. Spc. S. Tlie Vice President ehall preside at the meetings of the Board of Directors; except in case of acting as President, when a chájrman pro tem. shall be nppointed. Sec. 4. The neglect of duty, orthe repeatod non-attendance of t Director at the meetirgs of the Board, shall be considored a vacation of oiïice, and his place shall be filled by the board. ARTicLE rii. Sec. 1. The President, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, shall direct, manage and snperintend the orgnnizatïon of the Absociüiiini, and the disiribution of lts materiul me clianism. Sec. 2. Whfn the organization of the Association is completed, üii internal g.overnment, admiiiislered by councils elccted be the memberí, in contormity with the principies lai'd down by Chañes Fourier, shall bc established, oud the funciions of the President, Vice President and Board of Directora shal! cease. ARTICLE IV. Sec. 1. A person moy be a stockholder without being a resident member of the Phalanx, and a member without being a stockholder. Sec. 2. Residence on tiie Domain and pnrticipation in the kbors of the Phalanx, shall be necessary to constitu'.e a person a member, and no new member shall be admitled afier the Phalanx id organized but by the consent of a niiijority of existing members, and by subscribing to tiie consütution and rules of the l'halanx. Sec. 3. All membersof the age of twentyone yeara and upwards shall have an cqual voice in the Irction of al! officers and in thecouncils and decisions of the Phalanx, except j questiuns relating to appropriations of money and improvcmcnle on the Domain, wliich shall be de:ermined by a majonty of the votes of resident stockhulders, each of whom slia!] have a vote for the first share of capital stock and ( one vote for every five shares. thereafter, but , ín no case 6hall a stcckholder havo more than ten votes. Sec. 4. Admisbion a6 a incmber of the As sociaiion slall in the commencempnt, be dcci ded upon by the President and Board of Direc; tors. A good moral character shall in all ca, ses be deerned indispensable. ARTICLE V. Sec. i. A moeting of the stockholders s'nall ; be held in fluch place as the board of Directora may appoint twice in eaoh year, on tlie first , Mondny in June, and on the first Monday in December, of which meetings, public notice shall be given, at lenat three weeks previous, and the first of the stockholders shall bc heldat eiich time and place as the Board of Directora shail appoint. Sec. 2. At every semi-annual meeting of the stockholders a full statement of the affairs of the Association signed by the President and Directora ehall be pres3nted. Sec. 3. The books and afftiirs of the Association í hall always be open to the examination of any stockholder. Sec. 4. Special meetings of the stockholJers may be called by the President or a majority of the Board of Directora. ARTICLE VI. Sec. 1 . At the semi-annual meeting in December the total product of the Association for the year shall be oscertained and a general settlement of accounts shall take place. Sec. 2. Out of the total product shall first be deductcd the taxes, nsurance and repairs, and the Lalance shall then be divided as fol!ovs: one quarter shall be paid as a dividend upon the capital stock to the stockholders, and the remaining three qnarlers shall be divi! ded among those who perform the labor, acj cording to the system laid down by Charles Fourier for the distribution of profits, with euch modifications and excepiions as ei reu mstances rray,inthc opinión of the Piesiüent and Board of Directois reqnire. Sec. 3. Any stockholder may at the time of subfcribing, elect to receive aftcr the first year in lieu of the dividend of one quarter ol ; tlie product, a fixeci dividend of teven per cent j which shall be paid out of the three quarter; allotted to labor, and the dividend of one quarter of the product which would have been pnid to such stockholder ehall be credited tu labor. Sec. 4. The ahove privilege shall extend only to lhcse stockholders who investacash cap! ital, unless with the consent of ihe Prosident ! and Directors. Sec. 5. All balances due to members or stockholders at theonnual settlement of the iiñiíirs of the Phalanx shall, during the first three years, be crediteI the parties as stock. autici.e vu. Sec. 1 . The President and Board of Direetors slmll have no power to contract any loan or iucur aisy debl in the n.une of the Association. Sec. 2. Tfijs Coastilufion shall be regardJ ed as a provisional government, to be altered or amended by a majority of members. On motion it was voted íhat a commi'tee of 5 be nppointed by the Chair to obtain subI scribers to the conslitution, and cali a meeting for the election of officers. A. Uickcox, G. Corselins, Tiiomas N. Caulkini, Sabin Felch and William Jones were appointed said committee. Voted that when thirty subscribers are obtained to the Constitution, the Committee shall cali a meeting fur the purpose of organization and to transact such other business as may then come before the Asscciaiion. Adjourned sine dieC. J. Garland, Sec'ry.


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