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lyranny they felt without daring sus Christ. It reached into to complain, reprehended and re- places where the name of Luther pressed, roused the indignation, was unknown, carried salvation not only of the bishops, but of all into the meanest dwellings, spake the nobilitywho had any interest in the truth to kings and princes; ecclesiastical benefices.* Much and testified to all to whom it injury was also, about this time, came, that a general reformation done, by the licentiousness of ma was more necessary than ever. ny of the monks, who had embrac Emser wrote a criticism on it, ed Luther's doctrine respecting and began another version which vows, not from conviction, but as was not printed till 1527 ; but he a cloak for their sins. Luther, discovered such ignorance both to discountenance this threaten- of the original Greek, and of his ing evil, composed a second own language, that Luther, occuwork on monastic vows, in which pied with more important affairs, he denounced the licentious as resolved to oppose him only with well as the lazy monks as ene silence and contempt. In conmies of the cross of Christ, and a sequence, however, of Emser's disgrace to the religion which misrepresentations, several of the they professed. I
princes of the Empire, particuBut the translation of the Bi- larly the Archduke of Austria, ble into German, which Lu- the Duke of Bavaria, George ther had begun, during his con Duke of Saxony, Henry of Brunscealment in the castle
of Wart- wick, and some time afterwards, burg, the first part of which, con
the Elector of Brandenburg, ord taining the New Testament, was
dered Luther's translation to be published in Sept. 1522, gave a suppressed, and all the copies blow to the interests of Rome far that could be got committed to more decisive and fatal than any the flames. The reformer, with which it had yet received. He his usual boldness, and with even revised it with the assistance of more than his usual virulence, Melancthon ; and, on finishing attacked these imprudent prinit, immediately commenced a ces, in a treatise, On the Secular version of the Old Testament, in Power ; which established the which he was assisted by Justus authority of magistra:es on the Jonas, and several other of his foundation of Scripture, and the learned friends. It instantly conditions of men ; lut denied spread throughout the whole of the lawfulness of tie power Germany. The elegance of the which they usurped ov:r the faith style recommended it to the well and conscience of their subjects ; informed ; and its cheapness to and exhorted the inhibitants of the lower orders of the people. Bavaria, Misnia, and BrandenThose who had favoured the re. burgh, not to destroy the Scripformation, saw, in its truths, the tures ; though, at the same time, authority of God, and from being he commanded them not to asthe adherents of Luther, were sault the officers who might be led to become the disciples of Je- appointed to search for them.
His sentiments respecting per• Seckend. 5 123 Ibid § 124.
S Seckendorf, § 125, 121.
secution deserve to be recorded. in which they had for ages been * Heresies ought to be resisted involved. But Henry, having ear not with fire or sword, but with ly imbibed the principles of Pope the word of God. If this does ry, and viewing Luther as the ennot remove them, in vain will vi- emy of all who supported these olence be resorted to. The earth principles, determined not only to may be deluged with blood; but exert all his influence to check heresy, being an error of the the progress of his opinions, but mind, can be destroyed neither to refute them with all the acuteby fire nor by water; nay, it is ness which he possessed. He increased by every sort of resist- accordingly wrote a Latin treatise ance, except by the Scripture. in defence of the seven sacra. The tongue may be restrained, ments, against Luther's work, On men may be forced to be silent, to the Babylonish Captivity of the dissemble, or to lie; but heresy, Church ; “ a performance,” says residing in the heart, can be ex- Hume, “which, if allowance be pelled only by the influence of made for the subject and the age, the word of God, enlightening does no discredit to his capacity. the understanding, and persuad- He sent a copy of it to Leo, who ing the judgment."
received so magnificent a present The light of reformation had with great testimony of regard, dawned on the British isle as ear- and conferred on him the title ly as the middle of the 14th cen- of Defender of the Faitb." tury, when Wickliffe stood forth Though Luther believed this to as the champion of divine truth be the work of Edward Lee, afand spiritual liberty, against the terwards Archbishop of Cantererrors and tyranny of Rome; bury, he replied as if it had been and though it became gradually Henry's own composition, and obscured, and was almost entire treated him with such indig. ly extinguished when the 8th nity, and used respecting him so Henry ascended the throne, ma many opprobrious and contemptny individuals throughout the uous expressions, as to shock country were waiting for the even his best friends.
Nor was consolation of Israel. The cler: this the effect of a momentary sy had nerer obtained the same burst of passion ; for, in his corinfluence and respect which they respondence at this period, he enjoyed, frevious to Wickliffe's justified his conduct in appearance and the people were inost expressive terms. Nay, in ready to embrace a change of the answer itself, he vindicated religion, whenever it should be the extraordinary severity of his presented. The astonishing rev- language, by saying, “ If, for the olution of sentiments which was sake of Christ, I have trampled so rapidly pervading the provin- under foot that Idol of Romish ces of Germany, accordingly abomination, which had usurped made a dep impression in Enge the place of God, and tyrannized land ; andled multitudes to im- over kings and the whole world ; bibe the doctrines which Luther who is this Henry a new Thoma had elicite from the darkness ist, or at least a disciple of that
Seckend s 127, p. 212.
Hist. of England, Chap. 29.
trifling monster, that I should pay tion of the papal court. He therehomage to his virulent blasphe- fore resolved to reform these mies? He may be a defender of abuses, expecting that their rethe church, but it is of a church, moval would bring back the peothe mother of harlots, of drunken- ple to the bosom of that church ness and fornication. I having whence they had been driven by án equal abhorrence of the church the vices of its governors. He and her defender, will attack accordingly repealed the order them with the same weapons. which had been issued for the My doctrines will stand, but the preaching of indulgences to dePope will fall, though the gates fray the expense of completing of hell, and the powers of air and the Vatican; but, at the same earth and sea were against me. time, gave authority, by a new They provoked me to war, and bull, to the doctrine of the church they shall have it ; they despised concerning that nefarious traffic. peace when offered them, and His sentiments on inany points they shall not now obtain it. differed essentially from those of God shall see whether the Pope his cardinals, who warned him so or Luther will be the first to strongly of the danger with which yield.”+ George Duke of Sax- his proposed reformation would ony, irritated at this treatise, soli- be followed, that he was heard to cited the Elector to have Luther say, that “ the condition of a Pope immediately punished ; but this is the most unhappy that can be prince declined interfering, and conceived, because he is not at proposed the convocation of a liberty to do what is right, though free council.
he has the inclination, and can Leo X. died in the beginning find the means.” He then imagof Dec. 1521, and was succeeded ined that his presence and auby Adrian VI., originally of an thority might have the effect of obscure family of Utrecht, a man quieting the commotions of Gerof scholastic erudition, and un- many ; and to prepare the minds polished manners, but of a mild of the disputants for his visit, he temper, and irreproachable mor- wrote to Frederic, then attending als.' When he arrived at Rome, the diet of the Empire met at Nufrom Spain, where he was at the remberg, exhorting him,in genertime of his election, he immedi- al terms, to exert all his influence ately applied himself to establish to preserve the safety, tranquillithe peace of the church. But the ty, and holy faith of the church, measures which he adopted, without so much as mentioning though salutary in themselves, Luther's name or heresy.. But ultimately defeated the end pro- the brief which he sent to the posed by them. Luther's opin- diet by a nuncio, amply compen. ions appeared to him so extrava- sated for this political neglect, gant, that he could not persuade and made such an impression on himself but they
the bishops, that they almost sioned by the abuses and extor- unanimously exclaimed that Lu
ther must perish.
The secular t'Contra Henric. Reg. Angliae, princes, however, discovered apud, init. Luth. Oper. tom.ü. greater moderation, and were
Seckend. Sect. 46, 47. $$ 112, 114. soon imitated by many of the Vol. II. No. 3.
clergy, who felt enraged at the and convinced them that it was insinuations, which were thrown in vain to expect redress from out against them in the letter of Rome. It also contributed to the instructions from the Pope, read vigorous protest which they enby the nuncio next day. While tered against determining on the he called on the assembly to put merits of the Lutheran controthe edict of Worms in execution versy, till the meeting of a genagainst Luther, he accused the eral council. The diet was disprelates and the priests of occa solved on the 6th of March, şioning the heresies of that re 1523.* The event of this asformer, by their negligence, vo- sembly was thus most favourable luptuousness and profligacy. to the cause of the reformation. Though, therefore, the Elector Preachers were perinitted to deof Brandenburg and the greater clare the truth, without molestanumber of prelates wished to as- tion, and magistrates to protect sure the Pope that they would exe- them without criminality. Priests cute the edict of Worms, the other and monks, though married, conprinces and the rest of the clergy tinued in their offices; and the opposed it as dangerous not oniy people who had seen the scandato Rome, but to the interests of lous effects of their celibacy, the Empire. They accordingly were edified by witnessing the informed the nuncio that the regularity and purity of their constate of Germany would not allow duct. The suspension of the of the step which the Pope re- edict of Worms, made its injuscommended to be taken ; praised tice be discerned ; and the refer the Pontiff for the interest which ence of the controversy to the dehe took in their welfare, and be- cision of a council, showed that sought him to continue his plans the diet were not convinced that for the reformation of Aagrant Luther was altogether in the abuses. Though the nuncio was wrong, and that his greatest her. bighly displeased at the tenor of esy, was his attack on the author. their reply, the princes persisted ity of the Pope. In fine, the acin the sentiments which they had knowledgment which Adrian avowed ; and to justify their con- made of the dreadful corraptions duct drew up a memorial of of the clergy and court of Rome, grievances, amounting to a hun- justified much of Luther's invece ured articles of specific charges tives against them, and gained against the corruptions of the him many new adherents, who church, which they earnestly could not but admire his courage entreated might be speedily re- and his zeal.t dressed. The nuncio, unwilling to receive such an insult as to be * Beausobre, tom. ii. p. 273.-320. charged with this memorial, left Seckend. 55 146–147. the diet suddenly without taking † Beausob. ib. p. 322. leave of the princes. This step gave them the highest offence,
(7'o be continued.)
DIFFICULTIES ATTENDING THE Christianity indicates. But is not
DOCTRINE OF THE SAINTS' this explanation inconsistent with PERSEVERANCE.
what follows ? « Abide in me,”
To the Editors. saith our Saviour, verse 4,“ and I Gentlemen,
will abide in you.
As the branch PRESUMING that it is not less cannot bear fruit of itself, except congenial with your inclinations, it abide in the vine, no more can than consistent with the design ye,except ye abide in me." Is not of your publication, to offer every the whole complexion of this assistance in your power to those, passage such as would naturally who meet with obstacles in their lead one to suppose, that the unsearch after truth, I take the lib- ion, here intended, was that spir. erty to lay before you a number itual, vital union, of which true of difficulties, with respect to the faith, and holiness form the only doctrine of the saints' persever- cement ? Let us suppose that a ance, resulting from what I sup mere visible relation is intended, pose to be the meaning of certain and see what sort of notions the passages of Scripture. I shall words will copyey. Yeare pure enter no farther into the argu througk the word, which I have ments, which may be drawn spoken unto you.
Continue in from the several texts, than is your visible union with me, and I necessary in order to present a will continue to dwell in you. full view of the difficulty, as it would this promise have been appears to my own apprehension. made to such a perseverance ?
John xv. 2, our Saviour says, As the branch cannot bear fruit of “Every branch in me, that bear. itself, except it abide in the vine, eth not fruit, he," that is, my Fa no more can ye, except ye contin. ther, " taketh away.” This text ue in your external relation to me. certainly seems, to my under Does not such an interpretation standing, to convey this idea ; enervate the figure, and diminish that branches engrafted into the exceedingly the propriety of its Irue vine, may become unfruitful; application? The relation be. and thus render it necessary for tween the vine and the branches the Lord of the vineyard to is beautifully illustrative of the prune them off, and use them relation between Christ and befor fuel. If this explication believers ; but not at all of that just, it only remains, in order to which subsists between Christ ascertain the sense of the pas- and those members of his visible sage, to determine the meaning church, who derive no spiritual of the phrase, in me, and discove nourishment from him, and suser what sort of union it is design- tain no vital relation to him. Beed to express. It may be said, sides, it is expressly said, in the that it means nothing more than next verse, that he, that ABIDETH a visible relation, such as the in Christ, bringeth forth much. mere external profession of fruit ; which cannot be truc, if a