it of the matter does not dwell, is lost— the life and animation thereof, die away into a cold monotony, and it becomes al most entirely another thing. This step is according to the best light I can get, and hope and trust that it is according to the mind of the Lord. The people will hardly believe but that I have spoken Ger man before; but I tell them, neicht, not.
The German is spoken in Prussia, Bavaria, and in all the States of Germany—Aus tria—the south of Russia, and in fine more or less all over Europe. It appears to me, therefore, that some person of some little experience ought to know this lan guage so as to translate himself without being dependant on strangers. If I am wrong in my movement, pray that the spirit of the Lord may direct me aright. If I am right, pray that Heaven may speedily give me this language. It is very sickly in Constantinople, Syria and Alex andria, at present; I would rather, there fore, wait until cool weather before I go there. I might have written most of this letter in German; but as you would more readily understand it in English, I have written it in English.
With pleasure I leave the historical part of my letter, to touch a softer note, and give vent to the feelings of my heart.
I hope and trust that the cause which you so fearlessly advocate, is rolling forth in , with that firm and steady motion which characterizes the work of Jehovah. The enemies which we are forced to encounter are numerous, strong, shrewd and cunning. Their leader trans fuses into them his own spirit, and brings them into close alliance with the numer ous hosts of precious immortals who have been earlier taken captives by the haugh ty Tyrant, and sacrificed upon the altar of iniquity, transgression and sin. May it please our Father in Heaven to throw around thee his protecting arms,—to place beneath thee Almighty strength, ever buoy thy head above the raging waves of tribulation through which the chart of destiny has evidently marked thy course. Happy in the enjoyment of the distin guished consideration with which Heav en’s favor, alone, has endowed me. of bearing, with you, some humble part in laying the foundation of the glorious king dom of Mesiah which is destined, in its onward course, to break in pieces and destroy all others and stand forever.
The friendship and good-will which are breathed towards me through all your letters, are received as the legacy which noble minds and generous hearts are ev er anxious to bequeath. They soften the hard and rugged path in which Heaven has directed my course. They are buoy ancy in depression,—joy in sorrow; and when the dark clouds of desponding hope are gathering thick around the mental horizon, like a kind angel from the foun tain of mercy, they dispel the gloom, dry the tear of sorrow, and pour humanitie’s healing balm into my grieved and sorrow ful heart. Be assured, therefore, Bro. Joseph, that effusions from the altar of a greatful heart are smoking to Heaven, daily, in thy behalf; and not only in thine, but in behalf of all Zion’s suffering sons and daughters whose generous magna nimity will ever environ and adorn the brow of the object of their compassion. Tho’ now far separated from you; and also from her who, with me, has suffered the chilling blasts of adversity, yet hope lingers in this bosom, brightened almost into certainty by the implicit confidence reposed in the virtue of that call which was borne on the gentle breeze of the spirit of God through the dark shades of midnight gloom, ’till it found a mansion in my anxious and enquiring heart, that my feet shall once more press the Amer ican soil; and under the shade of her streaming banner, embrace again the friends I love.
I never knew that I was, in reality, an American, until I walked out one fine morning in Rotterdam along the wharf, where many ships lay in the waters of the Rhine: Suddenly my eye caught a broad pendant floating in a gentle breeze over the stern of a fine ship at half-mizzen- mast; and when I saw the wide-spread Eagle perched on her banner, with the stripes and stars under which our fathers were led on to conquest and victory, my heart leaped into my mouth, a flood of tears burst from my eyes, and before re flection could mature a sentence, my mouth, involuntarily, gave birth to these words, “I am an American!”
To see the flag of one’s country in a strange land, and floating upon strange waters, produces feelings which none can know except those who experience them. I can now say that I am an Amer ican. While at home, the warmth and fire of the American spirit lay in silent [p. 572]