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which, without mentioning Lu- The indignation of God is risen ther's name, condemned his ten- upon thee to the utmost height, ets in the most unambiguous which thou hast but too well demanner, by commanding all his served : Far from receiving any vassals, high and low, secular advantage from the prayers, and ecclesiastic, to acknowledge, which have been made for thee, under pain of excommuni- thou hast become more wicked cation, his power of delivering by their means. The wounds from the guilt and punishment of Babylon have been dressed, of every kind and degree of sin. but she has not been healed. This imprudent and impolitic Let us now desist, let her be the step gave an increased celebrity resort of dragons, evil spirits, to Luther, as the persecuted and monsters ; let her remain in combatant of that arbitrary pow- everlasting confusion. She is er, which disregarded the senti- full of idols, of misers, of traitments of Germany concerning ors, of apostates, of infamous indulgences, and endeavoured persons, of robbers, of sinners ; to establish them in opposition and is, as it were, a new Panto that general indignation, which theon of iniquity. Farewel, their abuse, and the scandalous reader; pardon my grief, and lives of their venders had excit- compassionate it.” ed. Convinced that the violence Meanwhile, Leo became senof Rome at that time prevented sible of the imprudence of havany sort of accommodation, Lu- ing entrusted the management ther on the 28th of Nov. appeal- of this cause to Cardinal Cajeed from the Pope to a general tan ; and resolved to adopt meacouncil ; thus practically assert- sures

of

a more soothing nature, ing the superiority of the latter in order to accomplish by modeover the former.

ration, what violence had atThe extravagance of the ten- tempted in vain. With this ets, which Prierias, in a defence view, Charles de Miltitz, a Saxof his first treatise, about this on knight of the ancient house time published, was so

of Misnia, and chamberlain of sive, that even the court of honour to the Pope, was sent inRome was displeased, and em- to Germany about the end of ployed every mean to prevent 1518, under pretext of private its circulation ; but Luther im- business, but in reality to execute mediately discerning the advan- the purpose of his master. The tage that might be taken of it, knowledge of this new appointas the best mode of refutation, ment alarmed the Elector for caused it to be re-printed at the safety of Luther, whom, as Wittemberg, with the addition being a monk, and of course of a preface and a few notes, in amenable to the papal authority, which he expressed himself he durst hardly promise to promore vehemently than he had tect, lest a bull of excommuniever hitherto done.

He con

cation should dissolve the alleciuded the preface with these giance of his subjects, and subwords, “ Adieu unhappy Rome! vert, the order of his governLost and blasphemous Rome! ment. But though Miltitz had Vol. I. No. 10.

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exces

certainly a commission to em- mean of accommodation, he reploy force, if it should be found quested him only to acknowlnecessary, and to publish briefs edge, that he had exceeded the in all the cities through which bounds of reason and moderation he was to pass, requiring the co- in his representations of the operation and assistance of the heinousness of indulgences, and people, he no sooner entered the his invectives against the Pope German dominions, than he and his ambassadors ; and on his clearly saw that force was inex- own part conceded, that Tetzel pedient, that the briefs were use- and his delegates had acted in less, and that, as he himself ac- the most unjustifiable and inknowledged, though the court of iquitous manner, taking care at Saxony had delivered up Luther, the same time to affirm, that in an army of 25,000 men could this they had gone far beyond not have conveyed him to Rome. the design and extent of the pa

Though he had orders to re- pal commission. Luther was quire the Elector either to oblige softened ; confessed that, in Luther to recant, or to deny him some instances, he had been too protection, he, therefore, deem- rash and vehement; and though ed it expedient to try what could he afterwards affirmed, that he be effected by the arts of concili- saw through the arts of the ation. He began, accordingly, crafty Italian, and, even at the with loading Tetzel, the chief time, openly attributed the evils agent in the nefarious sale of of which he complained not to indulgences, with the bitterest Tetzel alone, but to the Pope, reproaches ; ordered him to re- whose intentions, he said, were pair to Altenberg, to receive the better than his plans, he agreed chastisement due to his misde- to be silent in future, if his enmeanours ; and openly blamed emies were also restrained, and bim as the author of all the to write a respectful letter to abuses, which had roused the in- Leo, acknowledging his regret dignation, and produced the op- for the injury, which he had unposition of Luther. In his first intentionally done him, and interview with the Reformer, he · promising the most filial subrepeated the same accusations of mission to his authority. Tetzel, and condemned, in gen- persisted, however, in refusing eral, the excesses and impieties to retract ; but expressed his of the collectors. He represent- willingness to refer this point to er to Luther the danger to the decision of the archbishop of which he exposed himself, and Treves and the Bishop of Freisthe wrongs, which he had done engen ; while Miltitz promised to the Pope ; endeavoured to to use all his influence to proflatter him by caresses ; extoll- cure an imposition of silence on ed his talents and character; both parties, from the court of wept over the injury, which the Rome.* cl:urch had sustained through

(To be continued.) his means; and, in a word, omitted nothing that ingenuity could suggest, either to Berlin, 1785. Vol. 1. p. 158.

* Beausobre, Hist. de la Reforma alerna or to soothe him. As a

He

....

Religious Communications.

ON THE CHARACTER OF GOD.

a

LETTERS TO A BROTHER. consistent answer, unless it may

be supposed, that time will afLETTER VI.

ford some new advantage for a proper determination. But what

new advantage can time afford ? (Continued from page 393.) If any be possible, it must con

sist in more clear and perfect Beloved Brother,

knowledge, or in a better dispoThe second objection you sition. To suppose God capable state against the character, which of either, is to dishonour his imCalvinisin ascribes to God, is, mutable perfection. One more the gloomy doctrine of his eternal question remains. Is it desiradecrees, But why is this ble, that the eternal purpose of gloomy doctrine? Was it not God be absolute and unalterable ? suitable, that God, in the exer- If it were possible, that the dicise of unlimited knowledge and vine purpose should need or adbenevolence, should eternally fix mit any amendment, every good the plan of his own operations, man would feel an objection and the whole course of events ? against its being absolute and The denial of this must spring unchangeable. But, who can from the want of confidence in wish the purpose of infinite wisdivine perfection. The ques: dom and infinite love to be tion is, shall the circumstances changeable ? of creation, the events of provi- If, my dear brother, you would dence, and the condition of crea- have a clear and comfortable tures be referred to the deter- view of this doctrine, you must mination of God, or to the de- detach from it all the false aptermination of creatures, or to pendages, with which the blindthe determination of chance, ness of prejudice and the maligthat is, left without any deter- nity of sin have surrounded it. mination? The last can have no You must remove the misrepresober advocate. The great de- sentations, by which its cunning termination, then, must lie be adversaries have deformed and tween God and his creatures. disgraced it. You must cure To whom can it be most safely the disease of the jaundiced eye. referred? Who is the best qual. Then you will view the divine ified? All must answer alike ; decrees, not as the frightful init is most desirable, that all struments with which a cruel things should be determined by despot injures and destroys his HIN, who is infinitely wise and harmless subjects, but as the regood, and whose determination sult of infallible wisdom, the dicmust, therefore, be right. Anoth- tate of unbounded benevolence, er question is, whether it appear I contemplate the divine decrees, best, that the divine determina- which pride and guilt have dresstion take place in eternity, or in ed in horror, as the eternal ope. some period of time? In eterni- ration of Jehovah's perfections. ly, must be considered the most If I admire his perfections, I

the bliss of heaven; yea, I shud- It is the glory of Calvinism, that der at the thought, it would be it faithfully describes that God, such a treacherous desertion of whose holy administration is an his office, as Ruler and Guardian unwelcome reproof, disturbance, of the universe, and give such a and alarm to impenitent trans. stamp of imperfection to his gressors, and excites the enmity character, as would render it un- of the carnal mind. But it has fit to adore him, and even justify this glory too, that its God is open rebellion.

venerated and loved by all the The last objection, which you holy, in whose view he is clothed specify is, that many are ready with infinite excellence. to say, they cannot feel a perfect Such, my brother, is the spirit veneration and love for such a of genuine Calvinism. I glory character, as Calvinism ascribes to in being its professed and conGod. I allow the fact, my scientious advocate, not because brother. Yet nothing results I value it as the ensign of a parfrom it unfavourable to Calvin- ty, but because in my view it ism.

contains the substance of sacred It is possible the persons al- truth, and echoes the voice of luded to have such a temper of God. Such, as I have imper. mind, as indisposes them to love fectly described, is the character and venerate God in his true it has taught me to ascribe to the character. Through the influ- great Being of beings. How atence of a depraved heart, the tractive, how venerable, how gloHoly One of Israel may be an rious! object of dislike and aversion. This, then, is the sum. If The God, whom the Bible re- you ask, what is God? I an, vcals, is by no means pleasing to swer, God is love. If you ask, the wicked. The sight of him what prompted his eternal de. fills them with dismay, This crees? I answer, love. If you we esteem no small part of his ask, what is the great motive of purity and glory. What agree. all his operations ? My answer ment hath light with darkness ? is, love, If you ask, what object If God's character is infinitely he aims at in the great variety of benevolent, it must be repug, natural and moral evil, which ex. nant to the feclings of the self, ists under his all directing ish; if holy, to the feelings of providence ? I answer, the ob. the impure. If he is a just ject of perfect benevolence. He Judge, his face must be dreadful means it for good. Love is the to guilt. It is the glory of Cal- sum of Jehovah's excellence, vinism, that it does not adminis- the ornament, the crown, the ter soporific poison to the con- glory of his character. In the sciences of men ; that it does bosom of divine love originated not give peace to the wicked by all created existence, and the concealing or discolouring the grand system of the universe. character of Jehovah ; that it Divine love shines forth in the does not seduce and ruin the whole series of providential dissouls of men, by inculcating such pensations. Love exceedingly a notion of God, as they can abounds in redemption. Its al. casily associate with their crimes. mighty energy founded, has pro

tected, and will enlarge and ex- for which preparation is more alt the kingdom of Christ. Di- serious, more important, more vine love will be inexpressibly necessary; the hour of death, admired and glorified at the Though it is appointed unto judgment day. The clear sight all men once to die, yet few know of it, will, at that awful, decisive the time of their death. Hence period, fill the saints not only the propriety and even necessity with resignation, but with trans- of constant readiness for that awports of serenest joy; and the ful event. Many persons, howfruition of it will create an eter- ever, by a gradual decay, or *nal heaven in their souls. That the malignant nature of their infinite love, which is the moral disease are sure the time of glory of Deity, has every thing their departure is near. How to allure our affection, to gain serious the day, how affecting our confidence, to raise our ado- the moment, how overwhelming ration and praise. It sweetly the scene, when a person gives attracts us by its most amiable up the last hope of life, and mildness ; while it awes us by makes not another effort to live. its superlative majesty. It hum. Perhaps the hour of death itself bles us by its transcendent dig. is not more terrible ; yet such a nity ; yet exalts us by its en- certainty of death takes place gaging condescension. With sometimes days, or weeks, or warm affection for your soul, I months, before the last hour arbeseech you, my beloved broth- rives. er, to be reconciled to God, and When disease and despair from this moment, let it be your have banished hope, and the du. blessed employment, to under- ties of hope, a peculiar course stand and imitate his love. of conduct, a particular class of

CONSTANS. affections, should direct the

person. Though you be not now, reader, in this state, yet probably you may be, when

it will be too late to read or ON PREPARATION FOR DEATH.

hear instructions on the mo* All should be prophets to them.

mentous subject. If you read selves ; foresee

and remember the following Their future fate, their future fate hints ; if they afford you direcforetaste :

tion and comfort in the day when This art would waste the bitterness

you are descending to the dark of death. The thought of death alone, the fear valley and shadow of death, hapdestroys."

py will it be, that you have taken

up this pamphlet; happy will be Men of prudence habitually the heart, which presents you prepare for future events, for future hours, days, and years ; in What then are the duties inthe morning for the day, and in cumbent on the person, who desummer for winter. In child

spairs of life, who feels the senhood preparation is made for tence within himself, that the youth, in youth for manhood, time of his departure is at hand ? and old age. An hour hastens, Justice puts in her claim; justice

this paper.

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