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46 Review of Scott's History of the Church of Christ.
[JAN. that body and blood being received formation, grieved the Spirit of grace, by the ungodly as well as the true and split the infant church, was believer. Here Luther was the most that in which he was most clearly violent of all. The same mind wrong ; so wrong, that, after three which mastered by its gigantic pow. centuries, the Lutheran and Calers almost every other subject, which vinistic churches have admitted the penetrated the mysteries of popish charge, by agreeing to bury the resuperstition, and which, in the ge- collection of it in an ecclesiastical neral exposition of Scripture, could union. Let those who are in dan. unravel with the utmost sagacity the ger of magnifying points of dispute varying laws of human language, and be warned by this example. Let the just rules of interpreting figura- them see bow prone to error are tive expressions, was incapable of the greatest and purest minds; let perceiving a point which for two them be slow in committing themcenturies past hardly any tyro in selves beyond the exact prescripScripture criticism has for a moment tions of revealed truth; and, above doubted. But this was not the all, let them dread creating such worst of the case. The first pro- points into terms of communion, posal of the true and simple inter- and erecting a lasting division in the pretation came from so suspicious a affections of Christians. quarter, and was connected with so Mark only the fatal consequences much enthusiasm and violence, and in the case before us. When the even folly (we allude to Carolstadt), league of Smalkald was formed by that our reformer unhappily pledged the Protestant princes, after the himself at once, and without any re- unjust decree of the diet of Augsserve, to his own view of the question; burg, and most of the cities wished and, when once committed, main- the Swiss to be admitted as parties tained his opinion with a pertinacity to it, Luther refused, on the ground and severity, and a want of charity of this one speculative difference on which were quite indefensible. Had the subject of the sacrament. From a little more wisdom and love go- this time, asperity, estrangement of verned Luther and his associates on mind, and dispute, too much prethis topic from the first, as was really vailed ; and all intercourse between the case on almost every other, they churches engaged in a common might bave imposed just as firmly cause, and sincerely loving the same their own sense on our Redeemer's Master, was cut off. Then, after a words, but they would have left to lapse of years, when an opening for
the Swiss churches (to which the "reconciliation took place, ambiguity English joined herself on this point) and insincerity were unhappily adthe same liberty which they claimed mitted in the partial concord of Witthemselves: they would not have temberg-—infinitely more injurious made this subordinate matter pro- than if each party, retaining its own minent and essential; nor would they views without any dishonest comhave separated and estranged the promise, had united on the common Protestant communities, and ex- ground of charity and peace. In hibited them to the popish body as the mean time, the Church of Rome divided by controversy, and weaken- gloried in the rupture, and unknown ed by schism.
injury was done to souls inquiring No historical topic can be more after truth, at that important juncture, instructive to every class of readers, by the plausible advantage thus given and especially to those whose opi- to the papal divines. Indeed, if we nions may have weight in a revival weigh calmly the one single misof religion, than this lamentable dis- chief arising from Bossuet's use of cussion. The only question on which this schism in his work on the Va, Luther lost his temper, betrayed his rieties of the Protestants, to which cause, injured the progress of re- our author has frequently referred,
Os, the censure bere *** es to the series r., bez eren to many of in and in some de122 med; for be abstamed exurt und mcharitatie
ei of these two perKied from him on the
are to see the length to *** be carried among are in a common ense; 21: Dedicther than a hea is at a minor point muschi pass,' says Scule taon nang of those to the Reformation), able de masses of Zunglius kiss, regarding them as betes; and whatever
at they condemned un
tuen'* p. 13.
bei aber be bad met
Leikepedits; and that aparazzated their death."
an are been earacteristie tip says a strong utteryox beings concerning
in that particular view
a sugo his character tonet expressing that limia strets
, which certainly ated by perhaps bad of other
daracter. This will na to does not allow for
pre the appearance of ve te rentiments which be Press. p. 125.
han end of that compen
a word on the
ficted by Almighty Ventable defect of beste has seen it in
in the course of his volume; a the detail of the consequences of the mischief which has been propagated schism itself. for above a century, by the circu- We pass on to the last head of lation of that artful performance in this division of our subject : for no every country where the Roman Ca- one can lay down the volume withtholic religion prevails, and which, out receiving a new impression of to this day, is one of the chief sup- the anti-Christian character of the ports of the whole papal cause; we Church of Rome, and the important cannot sufficiently deplore the ori- effects of the Reformation, directly ginal fault from which it sprung. and incidentally upon it. It is dif
Perhaps the most painful sen- ficult to conceive, in a Protestant and tence in all this volume, relates to enlightened period like the present, , this miserable dispute. Our author and with the backwardness of men to says, on the occasion of recording recal scenes of past times, the almost the death of Zuinglius and Eco-incredible ignorance, imposition, lampadius,
idolatry, and vice, which covered al" I regret to say, that the censure here most the whole of Christendom at conveyed applies not only to the enemies the moment when Luther first drew the followers of Luther, and in some de forth primitive Christianity, from its gree to Luther himself; for he abstained long concealment, to the view of an Rot altogether from harsh and uncharitable awakened and astonished world. remarks on the removal of these two per- The pope was ANTI-Christ himsons, who had differed from him on the self
, the opponent of the person subject of the sacrament.”
* It is lamentable to see the length to and glory of Christ; not of course which prejudice may be carried among in a way of open infidelity, but by good men embarked'in a common cause; the corruption of the Christian faith; and seldom is it carried further than when by a blasphemous usurpation of the * Things come to such a pass,' says Scal authority of Christ; by a virtual detetes, that numbers' (meaning of those throning of the Divine Saviour, in who had embraced the Reformation), the merit of his blood, and the effi
could not endure the names of Zuinglius cacy of his Spirit; and by intrading most pestilent heretics; and whatever in his stead the adoration of the proceeded from them they condemned un- Virgin Mary, and the intercession read, unheard, and unseen.'
of the saints. Christ was considered It is but due to the truth to sub- as an angry Judge, and Mary as join on this humiliating topic
the fountain of grace. The sinner “ Subsequently, however, Luther wrote fled from Christ as a minister of to Bullinger, that, after he had met Zuinglius at Marpurg, he thought him vengeance, and transferred his conan excellent man; and that he had the fidence to the Virgin and the saints. same opinion of Ecolampadius ; and that The best gift of God to man, the
" It appears to have been characteristic religion of Jesus Christ, was conof Lother, to give always a strong utter-verted into the very reverse of all ence to his present feelings concerning the ends for which it was designed. say person, and in that particular view The princes of the Roman empire, which he was then taking of his character infatuated by the “ cup of abomior conduct; without expressing that limi, tation of his sentiments, which certainly nations," to use the emphatic lanexisted in bis own mind, or that compen- guage of prophecy, and “ given up sating view which he perhaps had of other to a strong delusion to believe the parts of the same character. This will he" of the Babylonish sorceress, often, to the reader who does not allow for the circarstatice, give the appearance of agreed with one consent to give inconsistency in the sentiments which he their power to the beast.” Over a different times expresses.” p. 125. the kings of the earth the mother
We will not add a word on the of harlots reigned, partly by force punishment inflioted by Almighty and partly by artifice and craft. God, for this lamentable defect of The light of truth was almost excharity. The reader has seen it in tinguished. The grossest ignorance
as to the first principles of Chris- the reformers and herself were
and the demand to be disburdened of so tyranny and persecution, and the
many commandments of men, just ; but resistance to the progress of know- that a poor monk should reform
all, was ledge and happiness, by which it was not to be endured.” pp. 24, 25. produced, are only to be considered In the year 1537, a commission as appendages and instruments of was at length actually issued by the spiritual defection.
Paul III. to several cardinals, to In such a state of corruption, we inquire into the corruptions and wonder not that the Church of abuses of the Roman court-from Rome roused herself to indignation which, though nothing whatever was at the proceedings of Luther. Nor ultimately done, we deduce clearly do we wonder that she afterwards enough the actual state of the doconfirmed all the charges advanced minant hierarchy. Nor did the against her, by the very manner in mighty effects on the Papacy prowhich she conducted her defence; duced by the Reformation itself, by her threats and favours, her fall short of what these admissions bribery and
contrivances, her would lead one to anticipate. On worldly spirit and profligate poli- the direct results, however, in the tical schemes—by her open disre- establishment of so many pure gard of all care for truth, and her churches after the model of the trifling with the souls of men; by apostolic doctrine, in the distribuher assertions at one time that the tion of the Bible, and books of differences between the doctrine of evangelical instruction, and the
tindihe is truly • 1 * I atrasy to che! Te what has 4* it evet, as it
be, intermediate Bebes teng pro
bi? E bus 1 232 tice Lutber had in a long esta.
so beseit, it is proba Ertenor thought
it sot been fut LA -U observes, that 27, tma be thus lars assed, and Dearly in
a Luder bimself; & neustomed me to
: A might not ti a farmuaries of
lat besert. His tem for ear..ple, bere
eng buran Becuon, and a bat
pert for wbuch all mat raus of the -Internet res, to which 22. Fereast Letter's, but
ased i frem. So Sei commentator on
, 61. Fears farther on
sions of the papal op doctrine of justi
Taping, and ace foundation for an
bad been sin
Persement of the
conversion of souls, we need not and the Romish doctors were comsay a word, after the remarks scat- pelled, by the movements of men's tered throughout this article: we ra- minds and the spirit of inquiry, to ther would advert to those effects on enter far more into the questions the popedom, which, though inciden- of Christianity, to attend more to tal, were of the greatest importance, essential truths, and to discharge and continue in operation to the the functions of the Christian present day. As early as the year ministry with somewhat more of 1530, Luther observes, that "the piety and diligence. The light Catholic doctors borrowed from him, penetrated in every direction. In and learned to preach in quite a fact, we should never have heard of different manner than they had such men as Jansenius and his fol. heretofore done.” Three years af- lowers in France, or of Borromeo terwards Erasmus, the fickle, timid in Italy, or of the affecting and Erasmus, appears as a witness of powerful writings produced by the the tacit effects of Lutheranism. Roman-Catholic ecclesiastics on the After extracts from his work on great foundations of our common Concord, our author justly and Christianity, or of the partial re. acutely observes,
vivals of religion in different spots of “ Almost all this, no doubt, is truly the popedom, or of the salvation of excellent: but, then, was it contrary to svuls, if Luther had not first disthe doctrine of Luther? was it what his pelled the darkness by the widewould perhaps purport to be, intermediate spread illumination of his flaming between the two?' Rather its being pro
torch. pounded in this manner by Erasmus is a
These incidental effects were no proof of the extent to which Luther had doubt partial and inadequate. The prevailed in his attacks upon long.esta- vast mass of the popish body remainblished error. Erasmus himself, it is pro. ed in the same, or nearly the same, bable, would never have written or thought as he here does, had it not been for depth of superstition and idolatry; Luther. Seckendorf justly observes, that and the ostensible church, the leadmost of the positions, which he thus lays ing hierarchy, contrived by the dethe same words, from Luther himself'; crees of the council of Trent to rivet though Erasmus was accustomed so to the old chains by which their vassals temper his language, that it might not had been bound, and to forge many directly offend against the formularies of a party which he dared not desert. His
new ones. But the main and importdoctrine of free will, for example, here ant consequences of throwing open proposed, avoiding all thorny disputations, truth, asserting the principle of the as he calls them, is substantially that religious liberty of mankind, appealto what is thus taught concerning human ing to the public only, proclaiming impotency and imperfection, and what the abuses and corruptions of the becomes of the sort of merit for which existing superstition, proposing the Eecius, Paber, and all that class of men contended ? –The sentences, to which Christianity, maintaining the pecu
fair and simple form of genuine Erastus objects, were not Luther's, but were calumniously imputed to him.” So liar doctrines of the merits and grace far the learned historical commentator on of Christ, exposing to view the disLutheranism." pp. 160, 161.
tortions of the popish rule of faith Then, eight years further on and morals, and recalling men to (1541), the concessions of the papal the few and mighty principles and advocates on the doctrine of justi- precepts of the Gospel ; -all these fication were surprising, and ac- effects did follow, not only directly tually laid the foundation for an but incidentally, tacitly, by insinuaagreement, if that had been sin- tion, in a thousand secret channels. cerely sought.
These principles are working still,and The gradual improvement of the will yet increasinglywork, in proporgeneral tone of morals kept pace tion to the purity of the Protestant with the silent victories of truth; churches, the spirit of love and con. CHRIST. Obsery. No. 301.
obstant's potice, hu : Scott has resta a Ettle the ¿Le passage is thus *11etary debates
the report of the sr(eg, on the 21st
section stich has
Si not expect to
z de Roman Ca
i let those who lay so
nad works are of 1 baith alone is all Bare not to decide
ts than thoseة لا
cord which unites them, and the vity with which the differences be-
very erroneous regard of his Word and Spirit. Our impression whicha celebrated statesdanger arises from the indecent le- man lately gave of the Protestant
2 ombodox opinion; sul subject of a state cias provide for, I,
odd wrquestionably 13. vto insists on the ai sad works as part of
ed to him who con
carolled in all his i preordained and inex55 and who, provided
the thinks himself ger bis actious." Mr. Oratisapprebends this re's obsttes, ze of the merit of works," sit pronounced, and
an office, is less o juofication by
e of the statesman was