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tion, not only was the intellectual and Christ. On another occasion, Luther theological darkness Egyptian, but had proceeded only so far as the gospel, throughout the Papacy, the depravity when the priest at his side had finished corresponded with it. It is remarkable, the mass. “ Make haste, make haste," however, to observe what means God he cried, " do have done rith it !employed in order that that darkness The astonishment of the great Remight be dissipated, that that depravity former was augmented, when he permight receive a decisive check, and ceived the same corruptions existing that the blessings of pure Christianity among the dignitaries of the church, as might be diffused among the nations. he had seen among the inferior clergy.

About the year 1510, Luther, on Being an envoy from the Augustine the ground, it is conjectured, of some order, he gained access to several meetinternal dissensions, was sent by hisings of the highest ecclesiastics, but order to Rome. It was most desirable, found them chargeable with the grossest, most necessary, that he should know the most wanton buffoonery. They what Rome really was.

Surrounded related in his presence,' among many by the illusions, and intrenched in the things, how, when saying mass at the prejudices of the cloister, he had always altar, instead of the sacramental words, considered Rome to be the very abode which were to transform the elements of purity and excellence. But what into the body and blood of the Saviour, Luther beheld, on visiting Rome, they pronounced, over the bread and awakened his boundless astonishment. wine, these sarcastic words, “ Bread He could never forget it, and, with his thou art, and bread thou shalt remain; ardent mind, and fixed purpose, he could wine thou art, and wine thou shalt renot fail to make the highest use of his main. Then,” they continued, observation and experience.

elevate the py.c, and all the people worAt the very sight of the classical and ship!” The sentiments and conclusions renowned city, he threw himself on the of Luther were perfectly legitimate, ground, exclaiming, “Holy Rome, I while he felt inexpressibly wounded and salute thee!" But, entering it, igno- shocked. "I was a serious and pious rance and dissoluteness of morals young monk; such language deeply everywhere unfolded themselves to his grieved me. If, at Rome, they speak view. Still, he could scarcely be disen- thus openly at table, thought I, what if chanted from his illusions. He visited their actions should correspond with all the churches and chapels, gave their words, and popes, cardinals, and credence to the marvellous stories im-courtiers, should thus say mass? and posed on him as the verities of Hea- | I, who have so often heard them say ven, delighting himself by the perform it so devoutly, how, in that case, must ance of so many acts of devotion, from I have been deceived ?" The great Rewhich his friends at home were de- former observes, in his Table Talk, “ It barred. He said mass several times, but is incredible what sins und atrocities the profanity of the clergy inexpressibly are committed in Rome. They must grieved bim.

The priests, howerer, be seen and heard to be believed." So laughed at his simplicity. When he that it is common to say, “ If there be was officiating, on one occasion, he a hell, Rome is built above it; it is an found that they had read at the altar abyss from whence all sing procecd." ścven masses, while he was repeating At a later period, Luther was so powerone. "Quick, quick,"esclaimed a pricst, fully impressed with the importance of "send our Laily her Son back speerlily!" this journey to the imperial city to referring to the transubstantiation of him, that ho remarked, “If any one the bread into tho body and blood of / would give me a hurdred thousand flo

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rins, I would not have missed seeing unwittingly, to enter on an ardnous, yet Rome."

glorious career; and at every step, his Light was thrown into his mind, powerful and ardent mind was unfolded, which he could have gained no where and, above all, the infinite wisdom else. Previous convictions with regard and energy of God were triumphantly to the truth, excellence, and surpassing discovered purity of the Romish Church, to which he Luther was educated in the school of had clung with the utmost tenacity, were the Franciscans, at Magdeburg. He all annihilated, and he was taught that was thrown upon the world at the early it was not only grievously wrong, but age of fourteen. During his hours of radically unsound; until he was led to play, he, and other children equally see, that it was a system of error and im- poor with himself, begged their bread posture, the most palpable and perilous. with difficulty. Often, when pressed

How strikingly was it developed in with hunger, they were accustomed to the history of Luther, and his connec- sing in the streets to obtain food; though tion with the great work of the Pro- they frequently obtained, instead of testant Reformation, that God employs bread, the cutting reproaches of the the humhlest, and, apparently, the most opulent, the parsimonious, and the unlikely instrumentality, to accomplish unseeling. his noblest purposes, and from a cir It chanced, however, that the wife of cumstance the most ivsignificant, and Conrad Cotta, before whose door young apparently incidental, educing the most Luther stood, heard the harsh and cutimportant and even wondrous results ! ting words poured on him, compassionAs has been impressively observed: “In ated the poor scholar, and became his tho case of Luther, the element of a staunch friend, his " ministering angel." single thought, in an individual mind, is He was introduced into the family, afmade to mould into form, and stimulate fectionately befriended, and the first into action, a series of means and efforts, gleam of sunshine broke on his path. It which shall issue in the salvation of was, (and who can question it ?) a light innumerable souls, and, by its com- emanating from heaven. In his earlier binations, diffuso an ever-augmenting struggles against the Papacy, Luther influence to distant ages."

decply felt his weakness, his insignifiThe great German Reformer was a cance, and the mighty undertaking man lowly born, placed in a situation which, by God's help, he sought to acof comparativo humility, and all cir- complish. “I began this affair,” says cumstances appeared to induce the he, " with great fear and trembling. impression, that his attachment and What was I at that time? A poor, devotedness to his monastic order would wretched, contemptible friar, more like continue until death. But his religion a corpse than a man. Who was I, lo was sincere; his mind was active and opposo the pope's majesty, before which carnest; he fervently sought after truth, not only the kings of the earth, and the and he abhorred anything like decep- whole world trembled, but also, if I tion or hypocrisy. He was selected by may so speak, heaven and hell were Providence to accomplish one of the constrained to obey the slightest intimost gigantic of undertakings. He was mation of his will ? No one can know brought forward, and brought into what I suffered those two first yea action, just when he was required. He and in what dejection, I might say, in was conducted, in the first instance, by what despair, I was often plunged." the mighty hand of resistless guidance, Still, by such an instrument, feeling into a path with which he was unacquainted. He was compelled, as it were

* Luth. Op. Cat. i.


"so weak, so trembling, so dejected,” | to appear at Augsburg before Cardinal God accomplished his work.

de Vio, or Cajetan, the discussion turned The great fact which, at the very out at the commencement on the constituset of the enterprise against the Papacy, tion of the Pope in favour of indul. was developed, was this : that the Ro. gences. Luther, indignant at beholdmish See might be, could be, opposed, ing the authority which the legate atand that the opposition might be suc- tributed to a decree of Rome, exclaimed, cessful; and, as the struggle advanced, “I cannot receive sufficient proof on it was demonstrated that the power of subjects so important, for they wrest the Antichrist, with all its savage edicts Holy Scriptures, and never quote them and its agents of persecution, did not to the purpose.' command the moral energy to enforce De Vio replied, “The Pope has its authority, to perpetuate its usurpa- authority and power over all things." tion. It was, beyond question, a most Luther responded warmly, “ Save the awful and perilous heresy, to doubt, and Scriptures." This was a noble stand openly to aver, the right of the Pope to for truth. dictate the faith of others—to place his Luther had also maintained, that the sphere of spiritual jurisdiction before man who receives the holy sacrament the word of God, and even to deny his must have faith in the grace offered bim. supremacy throughout Christendom. This article the legate called on him Not only at that period was the folly explicitly to deny, when Luther replied, extreme, but the peril was fearful, for “I have no will but the Lord's. Ho one man to array himself against the will do with me what seemeth good in decrees of Popes, the decisions of coun- bis sight. But had I a hundred heads, cils, and to bring down on his devoted I would rather lose them all than retract head the fulminations of the Vatican. the testimony I have borne to the holy It was a sin of no ordinary magnitude, Christian faith.” in the judgment of the men of that time, Here was Luther's true and fine for Luther to dispute, instead of re- character unfolded. Here was disverentially submitting, and to pen played the dauntless spirit of the Protracts, or elaborate treatises, when he testant Reformer, and of the martyr for ought, at least, to have been silent re- Truth. This was unheard of boldness. It specting the superstitions and abuses, startled all. But it was a great advance as he might deem them, of the “ Holy to make. Rome was no longer to go Catholic Church of Rome." Still, it quietly on,--the authority of the Pope, was done by bim, and in the spirit of the decrees of councils, the dogmas of the most manly and vigorous resolve, the Papacy, were now called in question, he came forward as an avowed and de- and even determinately opposed. termined antagonist, till, eventually, And then, as the grand result of the his conduct was imitated, and others whole of Luther's proceedings and stepped boldly in front to guard his per- efforts, the real doctrine of justification son, to aid him in his extraordinary ex- before God, was established in the clearertions; thus ignorance was scattered, est and most positive manner. This the light of heaven shone, the throne doctrine Luther terms, " the only solid of error was shaken, Germany was rock;" as being the doctrine which awakened to thought, liberty of reflec- shows how we are pardoned and retion and judgment was induced, and the deemed from sin and the devil, and how Truth, unfettered Truth, was diffused we become participants of eternal lifein all directions, unfolding her beauty, not, forsooth, by our own works, but by and exerting her benign influence. the mediation and atonement of the

When Luther was ordered, in 1518, l only begotten Son of God, the Lord

his the

Jesus, the Saviour of the world. This with the glory of Christ, and with the was establishing the foundation of our extension of his kingdom in every part hope before God. This was overturn- of the world. They involve the highest ing, uprooting, all erroneous and tradi- interests of all future generations. tionary observances, under the sem. The young, especially, must be nurblance of good works, and it involved tured in these principles. Nothing can everything enlightened, dear, precious be more valuable, more momentous, in Christianity.

more necessary. They must be taught Let us, therefore, exult in the work the cardinal doctrine of the sufficiency of which God enabled Luther, and his the Holy Scriptures, in opposition to coadjutors in the great undertaking, to the opinions or decrees of men, however achieve. Let us never forget to mark | dignified by station, however exalted by their labours, to admire their spirit, to authority. We must bring our children revere their memory. Let us never be to the word of God, which the Reformaindifferent, much less insensible, to tion has put into our hands, and laid those great principles of the Protestant open before us, and we must tell them Reformation, which they maintained to " Search the Scriptures” for themwith so much energy, under circum- selves, that they may ascertain what is stances so trying, and in the defence of the truth of Christ; and that, when which they were willing to shed their ascertained, they may receive it imblood. Those principles should ever be plicitly, cordially, and from love, clingdear to us, and dearer to us now than ing to its doctrines, exemplifying its ever. They must never be abandoned -- spirit, and advocating its principles never be compromised. They are a wherever they go. sacred trust committed to us, not merely Thus will there be moral and religious for our own benefit, but for the benefit progress continually maintained, priceof our children, and children's children. less blessings continually diffused, and Solemn obligations are imposed on

bloodless and immortal triumphs conus, to diffuse them, to recommend them, tinually secured. to perpetuate them. They are iden

W. tified with the progress of the gospel,


No. IV. “Every man in his own order," the form, and the necessities of the age in divinely appointed tayuatı, the military which they live. There is not a more disposal, arrangement, rank, in which distinct impression of the footsteps of the great Captain of salvation has de- Him who “worketh all in all," and who creed that he shall “war the good war- is “wonderful in counsel and excellent fare," and "contend earnestly for the in working,” than this. It forms, as it faith once delivered to the saints.” were, & visible manifestation of the

It is equally admirable and instruc- everywhere present God, and is a contive to observe how the Head of the firmation of the presiding omniscience church and Ruler of the world raises and resources of Him on whose shoulder up, at different times, and in various the government was to be laid, and places, suitable agents for the accom- whose name was to be called “Wonderplishment of his purposes, and endows ful,” “ Counsellor." “ Known unto him them with gifts and graces exactly are all his works from the beginning;" adapted to the work they have to per- and all his purposes are adapted to the

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exigencies of the time at which they are the venerable Bede, Bernard, and to be executed, and above all, to the others. Luther, the hero of the Remoral and spiritual requirements of formation, contending for one essential mankind. He presides over his church branch of Christ's truth on the earth, in wisdom, faithfulness, and love. Her and braving all the storms of Rome and interests are always before him, and hell to get it established. And now, infinitely dear to his heart. For her not less,—we had almost said, if it were redemption He gave himself to die; and possible, greater than he, (but only as no inferior agent shall be wanting when one star differs from another star in her welfare requires that such an one glory)—the renowned, the acute, the proshould appear. The truth on which she found, the holy Calvin, who was among stands, of which she is “the pillar and the Reformers what Moses was among ground,” and by which she is sanctified, the prophets, or Paul among the aposis of more importance in His estimation tles; and, to the Reformation, what the than all earthly things: and as that sources of the Nile are to the river truth, in all its operations, was to re- which inundates Egypt with fertility dound" to the praise of the glory of His and verdure over all its plains. grace,” he will interpose to redeem it

This distinguished man, and eminent from oblivion, and to vindicate it from servant of the most high God, was dishonour, by an instrument qualified | born in France, at that time the most for such a design.

renowned, polite, and learned kingdom These remarks would receive abun- of Europe, and brought up with all the dant confirmation and illustration by a advantages which such a nativity could glance, lad we time or space to indulge afford. Early in life he was favoured it, at the past history of the church of with the best opportunities and facilities Christ, and of the celebrated individuals for education, and discovered capawho have been raised up at different bilities and powers of a superior order. periods to advance some portion of His mind was intent on the most difDivine truth into more prominent re- ficult studies, and flinched not from the gard, and to vindicate it from the in- most herculean pursuits, which he soon difference and neglect to which it had overtook and achieved. What was all become exposed. Athanasius, in the but impracticable to others was quickly fourth century, will occur to every mastered by him. From one intellectual reader of the annals of former times, as attainment to another he turned with a mighty champion in his day for a ease and success, and ceased not, till the truth of the very highest order, in op- literature of the schools, the discoveries position to the Arianism which was of philosophy, and the circle of the then mournfully spreading over the sciences, lay at bis feet. To studies of church, and poisoning the very springs the more profound and accurate sort he of her life, health, and activity. Soon was naturally inclined, and delighted aster, Augustine, a man of prodigious most in those departments of human powers and vast attainments, was quali- investigation which required the deepest fied by a superabundant measure of the research, and the utmost analytical Holy Spirit to perform the part assigned care. The power of original genius and to bim in the controversies of the age; unusual penetration were soon mani and to his renowned productions are we fested by bim, and by all conceded to indebted, not for the discovery, but for him. He wrote on the selectest subthe revival and elucidation of some of jects which could occupy the human the most precious truths of the word of mind; trod with easy steps the highest the living God. In earlier times, Origen, walks of literature; and at the age of though fauciful, yet faithful. In later, twenty-two was pronounced, by com

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