« AnteriorContinuar »
severe a service, in addition to making a very considerable figure his pastoral charge, was a boon to as a useful and popular preacher ; his generation, that at this day William determined, as he had cannot be easily wor sufficiently completed his course in the appreciated.
languages, to study divinity un. His expectations, in a few der his brother. Accordingly years, were more than realized. he left his father's house, with In this institution the principal his consent and by his advice, and men of the day, and many of the went to New Brunswick. At Presbyterian clergy, were educa- his departure from home, which ted, and added greatly to the in- was considered as his setting out crease and usefulness of their in life, his father addressed him churches. The late Rev. Messrs. with great affection, commendRowland, Campbell, Lawrence, ing him to the favour and protecBeatty, Robinson, and Samuel tion of that God, from whom he Blair, with many others, were himself had received so much among the number of his pupils, mercy, and who had directed and thought themselves honoured him in all his migrations. He by being considered as sons of gave him a small sum of money, this humble seminary. Here al- as the amount of all he could do so his own four sons received for him, telling him that if he their education, and were prepare behaved well and did his duty, ed for their important services. this was an ample provision for Had these been the only fruits of him ; and if he should act otherthat infant academy, America wise, and prove ungrateful to a would have reason to rejoice, and kind and gracious God, it was too to render thanks to that God, who much and more than he deserv. directed this gentleman to visited. Thus, with a pittance, and her shores.
the blessing of a pious and affecHis second son, WILLIAM, tionate parent, of more consewho is the subject of these quence than thousands of pounds, sketches, was born on the 3d day the young student set out in the of June, 1705, in the county of world, Antrim, in Ireland, and was just After a regular course of stu. turned of thirteen years when he dy in theology, Mr. Tennent was arrived in America. He applied preparing for his examination by himself, with much zeal and the presbytery, as a candidate for industry, to his studies, and made the gospel ministry. His intense great proficiency in the lan- application affected his health, guages, particularly in the Latin. and brought on a pain in his Being early impressed with a breast and a slight hectic. He deep sense of divine things, he soon became emaciated, and at soon determined to follow the length was like a living skeleexample of his father and elder ton. His life was now threatenbrother, by devoting himself to ed. He was attended by a phythe service of God in the minis- sician, a young gentleman who try of the gospel. His brother was attached to him by the strict. Gilbert being called to the pastor. est and warmest friendship. He al charge of the church at New grew worse and worse, till little Brunswick, in New Jersey, and hope of life was left. In this situation his spirits failed him, ed, and at last confined his reand he began to entertain doubts quest for delay to one hour, then of his final happiness. He was to half an hour, and finally to a conversing, one morning, with quarter of an hour. He had his brother, in Latin, on the state discovered that the tongue was of his soul, when he fainted and much swoln, and threatened to died away. After the usual crack. He was endeavouring to time, he was laid out on a board, soften it, by some emollient ointaccording to the common prac- ment put upon it with a feather, tice of the country, and the when the brother came in, about neighbourhood were invited to the expiration of the last period, attend his funeral on the next and mistaking what the doctor day. In the evening, his physi- was doing, for an attempt to feed cian and friend returned from a him, manifested some resent. ride into the country, and was ment, and in a spirited tone, said, afflicted beyond measure at the “ It is shameful to be feeding a news of his death. He could not lifeless corpse;" and insisted, be persuaded that it was certain ; with earnestness, that the funeral and on being told that one of the should immediately proceed. persons who had assisted in lay. At this critical and important Ing out the body thought he had moment, the body, to the great obseryed a little tremor of the alarm and astonishment of all flesh under the arm, although present, opened its eyes, gave a the body was cold and stiff, he dreadful groan, and sunk again endeavoured to ascertain the fact. into apparent death. This put He first put his own hand into an end to all thouglits of burying warm water to make it as sensi- him, and every effort was again ble as possible, and then felt un- employed in hopes of bringing der the arm, and at the heart, and about a speedy resuscitation. In affirmed that he felt an unusual about an hour, the eyes again warmth, though no one else opened, a heavy groan proceeded could. He had the body restor- from the body, and again all aped to a warm bed, and insisted pearance of animation vanished. that the people, who had been in another hour life seemed to invited to the funeral, should be return with more power, and a requested not to attend. To this complete revival took place, to the brother objected as absurd, the great joy of the family and the eyes being sunk, the lips dis- friends, and to the no small coloured, and the whole body astonishment and conviction of cold and stiff. However, the very many who had been ridicudoctor finally prevailed ; and all ling the idea of restoring to life a probable means were used, to dead body. discover symptoms of returning Mr. Tennent continued in so life. But the third day arrived, weak' and low a state for six and no hopes were entertained of weeks, that great doubts were success but by the doctor, who entertained of his final recovery. never left him night nor day. However, after that period, he reThe people were again invited, covered much faster, but it was and assembled to attend the about twelve months before he funeral. The doctor still object was completely restored.
LIFE OF LUTHER.
he was able to walk the room, serious contemplation to the deand to take notice of what passed vout Christian, especially when around him, on a Sunday after connected with what follows in noon, his sister, who had staid this narration, but furnished a from church to attend him, was subject of deep investigation and reading in the Bible, when he learned inquiry to the real phitook notice of it, and asked her losopher and curious anatomist, what she had in her hand. She
(70 be continued.) answered that she was reading the Bible. He replied, “ What is the Bible ? I know not what you mean." This affected the sister so much that she burst into
From the Religious Monitor. tears, and informed him, that he
(Continued from p. 527, vol. I.) was once well acquainted with it.
The Elector, acquainted with On her reporting this to the
the faithlessness of Rome, and brother when he returned, Mr. fearing that the imperial edict Tennent was found, upon exami
might afford some pretext to one nation, to be totally ignorant of
or other of the Popish princes, every transaction of his life
to violate the safe conduct, which vious to his sickness. He could not read a single word, neither him into the power of his im.
Luther had received, and deliver did he seem to have any idea of placable enemies, had the pruwhat it meant. As soon as he
dence to have him conveyed to a became capable of attention, he
secret place of safety. On his was taught to read and write, as
return from Worms, at the enchildren are usually taught, and
trance of the forest of Thurinafterwards began to learn the La- gia, he was seized by a number tin language under the tuition of of armed horsemen, who were his brother. One day as he was reciting a lesson in Cornelius lying in wait for him, and carried
to the castle of Wartburg, a Nepos, he suddenly started, clap: strong fortress in the neighbourped his hand to his head, as if hood of Eisenach. The secret something had hurt him, and
of Luther's retreat, though conmade a pause. His brother ask
fided to several of his friends, ing him what was the matter, he
was long unknown ; and reports said, that he felt a sudden shock
of his assassination were spread, in his head, and it now seemed to
as the true explanation of his him as if he had read that book sudden disappearance. The grief before. By degrees his recollec. which these reports occasioned tion was restored, and he could to multitudes, whose attachspeak the Latin as fluently as be
ment to the cause of the reformfore his sickness. His memory er, had till then, been unnoticed, So completely revived, that he
proved the extent of the evil gained a perfect knowledge of with which the church was the past transactions of his life,
threatened, and the inefficacy of as if no difficulty had previously bulls and prescriptions to avert occurred. This event, at the
it.* But their fears were dis. time, made a considerable noise, and afforded, not only matter of Seckendorf lib. 1.998, p. 160.
pelled by the publications, which mains. If the Pope persecute soon issued from the castle of all, who think as I do, Germany Wartburg
will revolt, and the sooner he Luther, who followed the dic- begins it, the sooner will he and tates of prudence and authori- his minions be destroyed. God ty, rather than his own inclina- has so raised the spirit of thoution and conviction of propriety, sands, and that among the comin remaining under the protec- mon people, that it seems to be tion of secrecy, was impatient to impossible to be repressed ; nay, be at liberty, that he might re- its force will be increased ten sume his usual labours. He fold by opposition.” He was, at was, however, indefatigable in the same time, so averse to any writing both letters and treatises, thing like violence on either illustrating and confirming his side, that he considered the conestablished opinions on many duct of the students at Erfurd, points of religious doctrine, and who pillaged and burned some they were received with increas- houses belonging to the canons ed avidity, as from one, who had of that city, because they had exalmost suffered martyrdom for pelled one of the brethren on the truth. He also preached the charge of Lutheranism, as a regularly every week to those, token of the Divine displeasure, who shared his solitude ; but his and meriting the most unqualifimind was constantly occupied ed censure.* with anxiety about the interests The first work of his solitary of the reformation, which he was hours, was a treatise on auricuexcluded from publicly directing lar confession, in which he inand superintending. His health sisted on the propriety of aboltoo, was affected, by his confine- ishing this point of discipline, ment, bis anxious cares, and the because entirely of human indelicacy of his diet, so different vention, productive of the most from his accustomed fare in his scandalous effects, and calculated monastic life. But the state of to encourage rather than to dishis flock at Wittemberg, and the countenance sin, by the facility prospect of the spiritual tyranny of obtaining absolution. This of Rome being anew riveted was followed by an answer to Laabout the necks of those, whose tomus, who had undertaken the emancipation had been nearly ef- defence of the censure, which fected, were the sources of his the faculty of Louvain had deepest affliction. Yet his cour- passed on his writings. This age and zeal seemed to be in- work contained a vindication of flamed by the very circumstan- the severity with which he spoke ces, which might have damped of his adversaries, as abundantly them: “ I had rather,” said he, justified by the dangerous opin"expire on burning coals for the ions, which they supported, and glory of God, and the confirma- the profligate lives, which they tion of my own faith, and that of led, and an elaborate defence of others, than thus pine away, in a several of the propositions, which state of solitude, half alive, nay, he had formerly advanced reonly not dead." But, adds he, " though I perish, the gospel re
Seckend. $ 99, p. 162.
specting the nature and merit of maxim of this illustrious reformgood works.* The next trea- er, that the people should be intise, which came from his pen, structed in the errors, which perwas on the celibacy of the clergy, vaded the religious service of the and on monastic vows in gene- church, and that after they were ral. On this subject Melancthon thoroughly persuaded of their had frequently conversed with existence, that they should be him ; but Luther, aware of the abolished without disorder or danger, which might ensue to turbulence, to prevent the fatal the reformation from the pro- consequence of precipitate chanmulgation of an opinion, which ges in the established worship. controverted one of the most an- Following out this maxim, sevecient practices of the church, hes- ral of the Augustine monks, who itated immediately to embrace it. had come to Wittemberg, from Melancthon, however, was deter- different parts of Germany, to mined not to conceal his senti enjoy the advantages of Luther's ments, when, in consequence of instructions, which they regardhis influence and instructions, a ed as the light of heaven, began curate of Kemberg in Saxony publicly to preach against the having, in defiance of the law of doctrine of private mass, and celibacy, entered on a married communion under one kind. life, an opportunity was afforded They were checked by the prior of giving them publicity. The of the monastery ; but persisted curate was summoned to appear in their opinion, and discontinubefore the Archbishop of Mentz; ed the practices, which they imand Philip prepared an apology pugned, on which, complaint was for him, addressed to the offi- made against them to the court. cials of Magdeburg. This apolo- The unanimity and peace of the gy was an unanswerable refuta- society being thus broken, in ortion of the Popish tenets respect, der again to cement them, the ing the marriage of Priests, and Elector, on being informed of it, paved the way for Luther's trea- sent Gregory Pontanus to Wittise on the general topic of reli- temberg, who appointed deputies gious vows. These he showed to receive the reasons of the to be unsupported by either pre: malcontent monks for resisting cept or example in the New the established order, and to reTestament; to be contrary to port them along with their own Christian liberty ; subversive of opinion to Frederic. The deputhat very spirituality and purity, ties being attached to the reforof which it was pretended they mation, represented the reasonwere the bulwarks; and a bur- ings of the innovators as sound den imposed by hellish policy and unanswerable ; gave it, as on the consciences of men.t their own opinion, that some alte
During Luther's residence at rations were necessary, though Wartburg, a reformation took they did not insist on the total place in the public worship at abolition of private mass; and Wittemberg It was a wise conjured the Elector to maintain
that gospel, which God had • Seckend. 5101, p. 164.
caused to revisit his church. + Ib. SS 104, 105, p. 170.
Frederic, on receiving their re.