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 And dance of flame, as if they fain would cheer
The rugged face, half tender, half austere,
Touched with the pathos of a homesick tear!
Or Sluyter,1 saintly familist, whose word
As law the Brethren of the Manor heard,
Announced the speedy terrors of the Lord,
And turned, like Lot at Sodom, from his race,
Above a wrecked world with complacent face
Riding secure upon his plank of grace!
Haply, from Finland's birchen groves exiled,
Manly in thought, in simple ways a child,
His white hair floating round his visage mild,
The Swedish pastor sought the Quaker's door,
Pleased from his neighbor's lips to hear once more
His long-disused and half-forgotten lore.
For both could baffle Babel's lingual curse,
And speak in Bion's Doric, and rehearse
Cleanthes' hymn or Virgil's sounding verse.
And oft Pastorius and the meek old man
Argued as Quaker and as Lutheran,
Ending in Christian love, as they began.
With lettered Lloyd on pleasant morns he strayed
Where Sommerhausen over vales of shade
Looked miles away, by every flower delayed,
1 Peter Sluyter, or Schluter, a native of Wesel, united himself with the sect of Labadists, who believed in the Divine commission of John De Labadie, a Roman Catholic priest converted to Protestantism, enthusiastic, eloquent, and evidently sincere in his special calling and election to separate the true and living members of the Church of Christ from the formalism and hypocrisy of the ruling sects. George Keith and Robert Barclay visited him at Amsterdam, and afterward at the communities of Herford and Wieward; and, according to Gerard Croes, found him so near to them on some points, that they offered to take him into the Society of Friends. This offer, if it was really made, which is certainly doubtful, was, happily for the Friends at least, declined. Invited to Herford in Westphalia by Elizabeth, daughter of the Elector Palatine, De Labadie and his followers preached incessantly, and succeeded in arousing a wild enthusiasm among the people, who neglected their business and gave way to excitements and strange practices. Men and women, it was said, at the Communion drank and danced together, and private marriages, or spiritual unions, were formed. Labadie died in 1674 at Altona, in Denmark, maintaining his testimonies to the last. ‘Nothing remains for me,’ he said, ‘except to go to my God. Death is merely ascending from a lowerand narrower chamber to one higher and holier.’In 1679, Peter Sluyter and Jasper Dankers were sent to America by the community at the Castle of Wieward. Their journal, translated from the Dutch and edited by Henry C. Murphy, has been recently published by the Long Island Historical Society. They made some converts,and among them was the eldest son of Hermanns, the proprietor of a rich tract of land at the head of Chesapeake Bay, known as Bohemia Manor. Sluyter obtained a grant of this tract, and established upon it a community numbering at one time a hundred souls. Very contradictory statements are on record regarding his headship of this spiritual family, the discipline of which seems to have been of more than monastic manifested more interest in the world's goods than became a believer in the near Millennium. He evinces in his journal an overweening spiritual pride, and speaks contemptuously of other professors, especially the Quakers whom he met in his travels. The latter, on the contrary, seem to have looked favorably upon the Labadists, and uniformly speak of them courteously and kindly. His journal shows him to have been destitute of common gratitude and Christian charity. He threw himself upon the generous hospitality of the Friends wherever he went, and repaid their kindness by the coarsest abuse and misrepresentation.
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