Page images
PDF
EPUB

edly superior to those on or near the ocean. And it is thought that the obstacles to missionary operations will diminish, as the missionaries proceed toward the interior. Among the Wakamba, for example, Dr. Krapf found much less “beggary” than he had been led to expect from his previous experience; and this he regards as a very serious hindrance to the spread of the Gospel in some parts of East Africa.

The languages of these tribes seem to belong to that great family which has spread over so large a portion of Africa; and hence there will be less difficulty in becoming acquainted with them. It was found, for instance, that the Jaggas and the Wanika were able to understand each other sufficiently for purposes of business. In the course of a few years, we shall have the materials for a thorough examination of one of the most interesting problems connected with the history of Africa.

A knowledge of two or three laws of language in East Africa, will assist the reader in understanding the proper names which are of most common occurrence. Wa is used to form the plural, and M the singular. Thus, Wakamba means the Kamba people; Mkamba, one of the Kambas. The prefix U denotes a country; and Ki indicates the language. Thus, Usambara means the country of the Wasamba; Kisamba is the language of the Wasamba. Or we may say, the Wakuafi speak the Kikuafi, and live in Ukuafi.

ASIA.

A Society has been formed in Jerusalem, by Englishmen and other foreigners living there, for the purpose of investigating all objects of interest in the Holy Land, whether relating to ancient or present times. It has corresponding members in Beirût, Damascus, and other places. Weekly meetings are held, and a library and museum are begun.

J. D. Hooker has published in the Journal of the London Geographical Society, for 1850, an account of a fourth excursion which he has made into the passes of Thibet by "the Donkiah Lah." This pass lies in the eastern chain of the mountains, about 28° N. Lat. and 88° 30′ E. longitude. On the right the Donkiah Lah rises like a wall, 23,175 feet. The snow line on the south side is about 17,000 feet high, and on the side towards Thibet, 18,000 feet. As a general result, Mr. Hooker says: "I no longer consider the Himalaya as a continuous snowy chain of mountains, but as the snowed spurs of far higher unsnowed land behind; which higher land is protected from the snow by the peaks on the spurs that run south of it."

THE

BIBLIOTHECA SACRA,

NO. XXXII.

AND

AMERICAN BIBLICAL REPOSITORY,

NO. LXXXIV.

OCTOBER, 1851.

ARTICLE I.

LIFE OF ZUINGLI.

By R. D. C. Robbins, Professor of Languages, Middlebury College.
[Continued from p. 594.]

His Preaching at the Convent of Einsiedeln, and its Results.

ONE of the duties assigned to Zuingli in the convent at Einsiedeln was the preaching of the gospel. And most faithfully did he perform this part of his duty. He was to be sure, cautious, at first, as both his own distrust of himself, and his knowledge of the prejudices of others, admonished him to be. His reverence for the fathers, influenced him to give more heed to their interpretations, than he subsequently felt at liberty to do. Still he adhered to his general principle of explaining scripture by scripture; and as he by degrees became imbued with the spirit of the writers of the Bible, his own pulpit exercises became in a high degree spiritual and effective in the reformation of his hearers. He insisted on the necessity of sincere repentance, newness of life, and firm trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Bible, as the only Redeemer and Saviour of sinners. Works, so far as they are the expressions of right feeling within, are praiseworthy; but all penances and mortification of the flesh are without efficacy in procuring absolution from sin. He endeavored to dissuade his hearers from any trust in the aid of the saints, and of the virgin, whose power was supposed to have been exerted so often there, and from honoring any image or likeness of VOL. VIII. No. 32.

58

man or God, but the only perfect image of humanity and the Godhead, Jesus Christ. By the inculcation of such and similar doctrines, the way was gradually prepared for a more formal and public attack upon the superstitious practices and beliefs of the age.

He chose the annual festival held in commemoration of the supposed miraculous consecration of the convent, called the Angels' Consecration, when immense crowds flocked to Einsiedeln. He ascended the pulpit and rose amidst the assembled multitude for his customary discourse. After making an exordium full of warmth and feeling, in order to gain the attention of his auditors, he thus proceeds to remark upon topics connected with the day and the assembling together in that place: "Cease to believe that God resides in this temple more than in every other place. Whatever region of the earth you may inhabit, he is near you, he surrounds you, he grants your prayers, if they deserve to be granted; but it is not by useless vows, by long pilgrimages, offerings destined to adorn senseless images, that you can obtain the divine favor; resist temptations, repress guilty desires, shun all injustice, relieve the unfortunate, console the afflicted; these are the works pleasing to the Lord. Alas! I know it, it is ourselves, ministers of the altar, we, who ought to be the salt of the earth, who have led into a maze of error the ignorant and credulous multitude. In order to accumulate treasures sufficient to satisfy our avarice, we raised vain and useless practices to the rank of good works; and the Christians of these times, too docile to our instructions, neglect to fulfil the laws of God, and only think of making atonement for their crimes, instead of renouncing them. Let us 'live according to our desires,' say they, 'let us enrich ourselves with the goods of our neighbor; let us not fear to stain our hands with blood and murder; we shall find easy expiations in the favor of the church.' Senseless men! Do they think to obtain remission for their lies, their impurities, their adulteries, their homicides, their treacheries, by prayers recited in honor of the Queen of Heaven, as if she were the protectress of all evil doers? Undeceive yourselves, erring people! The God of justice suffers not himself to be moved by words which the tongue utters and the heart disowns. He forgives no one but him who himself forgives the enemy who has trespassed against him. Did these chosen of God, at whose feet you come hither to prostrate yourselves, enter into heaven by relying on the merit of another? No it was by walking in the path of the law, by fulfilling the will of the Most High, by facing death that they might remain faithful to their Redeemer. Imitate the holiness of their lives, walk in their

1851.]

Effects of his Preaching.

677

footsteps, suffering yourselves to be turned aside neither by dangers nor seductions; this is the honor that you ought to pay them. But in the day of trouble put your trust in none but God, who created the heavens and the earth with a word; at the approach of death invoke only Jesus Christ, who has bought you with his blood, and is the sole Mediator between God and man."1

The impression made by such sentiments thus glowingly expressed, at such a place and time, can be more easily imagined than described. Astonishment was depicted upon every face, so directly did the preacher discard all that had given notoriety to the very place where he stood, and so directly in opposition to all that had been heard on that festival day in Einsiedeln for a century or more. But mingled with the astonishment, very diverse feelings could be read in those upturned faces, and detected in the low murmur that occasionally rather heightened than interrupted the stillness and solemnity of the house. Many, filled with indignation at the insult offered to the objects of their most sacred veneration, seemed to expect that the very images and walls would cry out, and rebuke the arrogance and insolence of the speaker. Others, on the other hand, who, overcome by the power, and enlightened by the brilliancy of the exhibitions of truth, began to feel their doubts and fears giving way, and strong faith elevating them above their former superstitions, glowed with admiration of the apostle of truth who, they felt, spoke out the honest and strong convictions of a heart, which despised all fear of man, and was elevated above all earthly considerations. Between these two classes were all grades of feeling, according as the regard for the faith of their fathers and their own earlier belief, or the conviction of the faithful exhibition of the truth upon their judgment prevailed. Doubt, and desire for further light were strong in many a breast, as the assembly broke up that day. Murmurings, now unrestrained by the sacredness of the place, were heard from little groups collected here and there in the region around the convent; others discussed and doubted; and still others openly applauded. The fact that Zuingli escaped personal insult and injury is perhaps a sufficient proof that he carried a large part of his audience with him.

The records of the time also give us an additional proof of the influence of this sermon, which, says Schuler, if ever anything did, produced effects like that of the first preaching of the gospel by Peter at Jerusalem and Paul in Asia.' Many pilgrims were seen, on all

1 Hess, p. 62 sq.

2 S. 246.

the ways leading from Einsiedeln, returning with the gifts and tapers which they had brought as offerings to the virgin and saints. Frequently as they met other bands of pilgrims they stopped to recount to them the doctrines which they had heard. Thus many were induced to turn about and leave their pilgrimage incompleted, as a weariness to the flesh and without advantage to the spirit. The result of the preaching of Zuingli was accordingly an immediate diminution of pilgrimage to the Loretto of Switzerland, and the people of Einsiedeln themselves, penetrated by the spirit of the truth, forgot their prejudices, and no longer troubled themselves about those who came to worship at their long renowned shrine. It is true that some of the monks were exasperated at the prospect of the diminution of their revenues, and the neighboring convents, too, fearing that the craft by which they obtained their wealth would be endangered, began to spread injurious reports of the reformer.

His Relation to the Papal Hierarchy.

The effect which this preaching of Zuingli had at Rome, upon the emissaries of the Pope, who were in authority in the church, was perhaps different from what we, who look back under the influence of subsequent developments of popery, should expect. Not a word of warning or rebuke was administered; no mark of the displeasure of his ecclesiastical superiors was exhibited. On the contrary, the papal legate, Antonio Pucci, mentioned Zuingli, as one who might become highly useful to the court of Rome, both from his ability in the pulpit, and from his influence in the cantons; and Pope Leo X. sent him, as a mark of favor, a diploma which gave him the title of chaplain acolyte to the Holy See. He was, indeed, at this time, politically a friend of the Pope, not because he consulted for his aggrandizement, but for the good of his country, and felt that the French party, as it was called, which was then hostile to the Pope, was also hostile to the best interests of the cantons. Besides, it was an object which Leo could not overlook, to attract men of learning and influence to his cause, and he hoped, perhaps, that Zuingli would follow in the path that Erasmus afterward pursued, or in one leading more directly to Rome. Furthermore, Zuingli had, as yet, shown no disposition to withdraw himself from the control of the church, only to bring about a reformation of abuses. It also should be remembered,

1 Hess, p. 65.

« PreviousContinue »