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the exposure, I arrived perfectly well at San Veran, and held a meeting in the evening. The next day I preached in the church, catechised in the afternoon, and assembled some willing hearers in the evening, whom I addressed on the "one thing needful;" so that I did not lose a single hour in that commune during my stay there. It is the highest and consequently the most pious village in the valley of Queyras, in fact it is said to be the most elevated in Europe; and it is a provincial saying relating to the mountain of San Veran, "La piu alta ou l'i mindgent pain," that is, "It is the highest spot where bread is eaten." The air is sharp, but though it was the 25th of January, the weather was so fine that snow melted on the ground as it does in April. There are about twenty-three Protestant families here. The men are intelligent, well read in Scripture, and very anxious to converse on spiritual subjects. Some of the women are the same; but for the most part, the females are ignorant and confined in their notions, through the whole of this country. I have been much gratified by my excursions to this place, which I have already visited four or five times."
The date of these observations was the 10th of February, so that (from the 16th of January) in the course of twenty-five days, this indefatigable servant of God had made four visits to his flocks at San Veran, and displayed an equal share of anxiety for his parishioners whose residences were more distant; and that amidst difficulties of travelling which would have appalled the stoutest heart: but he had that with him which warmed his heart and animated his spirits, as he penetrated through the pathless snows of the defile, and crossed the raw gusty summit that lay in his way. His was a work of love; he was going to preach that word of which the ancestors of the Dormilleusians had been the depositories for centuries, when France rejected it; and to trim the lamp which had been left alight here, when the rest of the land was in darkness. Nor were these exertions confined to the first coming of the Pastor, but the same zeal was untiring and unflinching to the last. We find him not only preaching and performing public service in every village between Dormilleuse and the frontier Alps, where there was a church, but gathering the young people about him, classing them, and instructing them in the first elements of Christianity; making lists of those who had not yet appeared at the Lord's table, and preparing them for that solemn ordinance; visiting them from house to house; putting families in a train to pursue devotional exercises by themselves; inspiring them with the love of pious conversation and reading; and performing all those little offices of kind attention and pastoral duty, which have the sure effect of endearing a parochial clergyman to his flock, by proving that he takes a zeal and affectionate concern in all that interests them. This earnestness in seeking for Christ's sheep that were dispersed abroad through the far scattered hamlets of his burthensome charge; and in using both public and private monitions and exhortations, as well to the sick as to the whole within his care, was displayed with unceasing energy, through the tempestuous winter season; and the remaining portion of the ministry of Neff is but a repetition-varied, however, by incidents of his great anxiety for winning souls-of the hair-breadth escapes among the mountains-of the many desolate (but not lonely, for God was with him) hours spent on foot, in travelling from village to
village to the height of the pinnacle or the depth of the ravine, to feed hungry souls with the bread of life-to extend the pastoral crook of the good shepherd-to venture his life for the sheep.
Nor did Neff wholly confine himself to the spiritual wants of his parishioners, but he attempted to improve their temporal circumstances by every means in his power. Their agricultural system was bad in the extreme: Neff descended into its minutest particulars with them, and the knowledge of gardening, acquired in his youth, was now of great service. He devoted much time in the planting season in traversing the vallies: going into their gardens and fields where they were setting potatoes, and taking the hoe or the spade out of the labourer's hands, he would plant two or three rows himself; and having observed, after one season, the method of their Pastor to be much better than their own, they adopted it; and in the end obtained large crops of excellent sorts of vegetables, where before they had only obtained scanty ones: on one occasion he persuaded the peasants, although with much difficulty, to repair an ancient aqueduct, for the preservation of the water of the winter months for the drought of summer, and himself assisted as a common laborer, working with them, directing and animating them; at one time plying his pickaxe, and at another moving from place to place, superintending the progress of others. It was the good shepherd, not taking the fleece, but exhausting his own strength and wearing himself out for the sheep: thus a work stupendous, considering the means available for the undertaking, was accomplished with complete success, and the gratitude of his flock was unbounded.
In the same way did Neff work in the building of his school, and the same hand that had been employed in regulating the interior arrangements of a church, was now turned to what is scarcely less essential, the building of a school-room. He persuaded each family in Dormilleuse to furnish a man, who should consent to work under his directions, and having first measured out with line and plummet, and levelled the ground, he marched at the head of his company to the torrent, and selected stones fit for the building. The pastor placed one of the heaviest upon his own shoulders, the others did the same, and away they went with their burdens, toiling up the steep acclivity, till they reached the site of the proposed building. This labour was continued until the materials were all ready at hand; the walls then began to rise, and in one week from the first commencement the exterior masonry work was completed, and the roof was put upon the The windows, doors, tables, and seats were not long before they were finished; and Dormilleuse, for the first time probably in history, saw a public school-room erected, and the process of instruction conducted with all possible regularity and comfort. It was here, however, that this apostle of the Alps may be said to have sacrificed his life; the severe winters of 1826-7, and the unremitting attention he paid to his duties and to the school, were his death-blow.
Neff added to this school a sort of Normal school for teachers; and here he was, from sun-rise till breakfast at eleven o'clock, employed in teaching adults: he had indeed unwearied and constant occupation in bringing his pupils into a proper state of information, but no
efforts were spared. Sacred history, geography, the common elements of knowledge were all successfully treated by the exemplary Pastor, who gave lectures on geography, the elements of science, and lessons in music. Thus shut up among the most comfortless scenes of nature, enveloped in ice and snow from November till April, with fourteen hours hard study a-day, Neff found his strength failing, and after the winter of 1825, and the cold spring of 1826, the severe duty of presiding over the Normal school, and of visiting the distant churches at regular intervals, overwhelmed him with fatigue, and he became painfully convinced that his career must soon end. The long-continued excitement and anxiety, the oft-repeated journies on foot in all weathers, the sharpness of the external air, and the suffocating heat of a small room, in which so many persons not remarkable for their cleanliness, were crowded together day after day: these, together with the exertion of daily and almost hourly lectures, deprivation added to hard work, and the irregular as well as the coarse unwholesome quality of his meals, brought on a weakness of stomach which was followed by a total derangement of the digestive organs. But Neff would not relax, he struggled through the summer of 1826 pretty well; but when the winter came, and he resumed his labours in the school and on the rock, sometimes buried in snow; and having suffered a severe accident by the fall of an avalanche, he was rendered at length incapable of attending to his duties, and, submitting to the necessity of a removal to his native climate, on the 17th of April, 1827, he took leave for ever of his afflicted friends at La Chalp. He was attended with the most faithful devotion by those whom he had instructed, and the heads of families met him to bid him adieu with unfeigned sorrow. He preached a farewell sermon at Vars, and felt a deep struggle in leaving friends so dearly beloved; although he knew that he had lost his life in their service. At Mens he met with the warmest sympathy, and he addressed them powerfully from the pulpit, which added much to his debility. When he reached Geneva he felt somewhat better, but his disease returning, he left Geneva and journied slowly through the Cantons of Vaud, Neufchâtel, Berne, and Bâle, rejoicing in the strength afforded him to preach wherever he stopped. At Plombières he addressed the gay throng who frequented it for the sake of fashion, or for their health: but he was now waning fast, and his sufferings were extreme, yet he bore all with patience and resignation. A narrator of his dying scene remarks, that he never heard a murmer escape from his lips. He was grateful for the services his friends afforded him, and often threw his arms about their necks, embraced them, and thanked them, and exhorted them with all his soul to devote themselves to God. Knowing his love for sacred music, they frequently assembled in a room near his own and sang in an under-tone verses of his favourite hymns, particularly "Rien & Jesus! que ta grace." This singing filled his soul with a thousand feelings and recollections, and affected him so much that they were obliged to discontinue it.
He made presents to his friends, and set apart some religious books VOL. I.-Feb. 1835.
for many persons to whom he still hoped to be useful, and having underlined several passages, he thus wrote the address :-Felix Neff, dying, to
The last letter he wrote he traced at intervals in large and irregular characters which filled a page-the lines were as follow, addressed to some of his beloved friends in the Alps :
"Adieu, dear friend, Andrè Blanc, Antoine Blanc-all my friends, the Pelissiers, whom I love tenderly; Francis Dumont and his wife; Isaac and his wife; beloved Deslois, Emilie Bonnett, &c. &c. Alexandrine, and her mother;-all, all the brethren and sisters of Mens, adieu! adieu! I ascend to our Father in entire peace. Victory! Victory! Victory! through Jesus Christ!
On the last night of his life it was necessary to attend him constantly, to hold him in his convulsive struggles, to support his fainting head, to wipe the cold drops from his forehead, and to bend or straighten his stiffened limbs the centre of his body only retained any warmth. For four hours hise yes were observed raised to heaven; each breath that escaped his panting bosom seemed accompanied with a prayer: and at that awful period when the heaviness of death was on him, in the ardent expression of his supplication, he appeared more animated than ever to those who were around him, imploring the Father of mercies in his behalf. The power of faith was so visible in his countenance that it imparted fresh faith to those that stood by. His soul seemed hovering on his lips, and panting for eternity; at last, all so well understood what his vehement desire was, that with one impulse all ejaculated-" Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!" Soon after, Neff was in heaven. Over his resting place were some beautiful verses of that Word which shall never pass away and over his grave were sung the lines of M. Venet, which conclude thus
"Ils ne sont pas perdus, ils nous ont devancés."
Such is a slight outline of the character which the work we have before us would present to the public attention;-valuable not only to the pastor as an example, but also to those who receive with meekness the engrafted Word. The volumes which record the exertions of Neff, have a value not common to the publications of the day, breathing a deep interest, at the same time that they advance some of the highest views of the Christian character and the Christian commonwealth. To those who would emulate Neff, and go forth with the gospel in their hands, and the Saviour in their hearts, these volumes will afford a pattern for imitation: to those who would confine their efforts to their own climes, they will tend to keep alive that holy enthusiasm and fixed devotion of purpose, which will enable them to surmount difficulties as great as Neff's, and to do the will of their Lord under whatever circumstances he may think fit to place them for his glory. and the hastening of his kingdom.
Home Colonies-An Account of a Visit to the Dutch Home Colonies of Frederick's Oord, Wellem's Oord, and Feenhuizen, in the Autumn of 1833, with Notices of their present State and future Prospects, by a Member of the Agricultural Employment Înstitu
If there is one subject more than another requiring the deep attention of the Statesman or the Philanthropist, it is that which relates to the morals and comfortable subsistence of the mass of the people of the country-those who are the producers of wealth, or, as they are emphatically called with us, the poor. If these are suffered to be ground down and oppressed, their intellect will be deteriorated in proportion; they will become less man, and assimilated more with the nature of the brute; their minds will become depraved ; and they will be tempted to supply their necessities by all the means in their power: nor will the law afford protection to property when the national character is depraved, and the national mind perverted by wrong notions of the rights of property. Poverty and oppression will and must bring dread, apprehension, and misery; and those that would, by judicious measures of amelioration, raise the taste, habits, and comforts of our lower classes, will be, perhaps, doing more for the permanent security of England than the makers of laws or the marshallers of victorious armies. It is a pity, however, that we should have to take lessons from other countries; but it would be a greater pity if we did not take them when they are worth taking. The Dutch Home Colonies have been frequently alluded to as excellent models for us in the treatment of our poorer population : the pamphlet on which we are about to remark, professes to give an account of these, from a personal visit, in the autumn of 1833. The writer seemed anxious to ascertain the precise state of these Colonies, with a view to furnish data, on which to prosecute similar plans in this country.
The Dutch Poor Home Colonies appear to have originated with a General Van Bosch, who resided several years in the Island of Java : while there, he became acquainted with a Chinese mandarin, who persuaded him to buy a small tract of barren land, which he brought into cultivation and sold at a large profit. The general, on his return home, published a statement of the peculiar process of the Chinese husbandmen; and laid before the people and the government of the Netherlands a plan for the establishment of Home Colonies. A society of beneficence was formed, who purchased a tract of poor bog land and sandy heath on the East bank of the Zuyder Zee, a few miles from the town of Steen Wyk, which they called Frederick's Oord; and commenced operations in 1818. The pamphlet states
"When the writer visited the Dutch Poor Colonies in the autumn of 1833, he expected to have found only about fifty or sixty cottage farms, as they have been usually called; instead of which, he discovered that at Frederick's Oord and Wellem's Oord alone, the number of their farms amounted to more than five hundred. This was a most agreeable surprise, as it at once dissipated the apprehensions excited by the information he had received at home, from several gentlemen, some of them members of Parliament, that the Dutch Society had turned out a failure, and the scheme had been abandoned. He found