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LIFE OF LUTHER.
he was able to walk the room, serious contemplation to the deand 10 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
(To 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. tcars, 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 pre
to violate the safe conduct, which vious to his sickness. He could
Luther had received, and deliver not read a single word, neither did he seem to have any idea of
him into the power of his im
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 Thurin, afterwards 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
lying in wait for him, and carried reciting a lesson in Cornelius
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 distime, made a considerable noise, aod afforded, not only matter of • Seckendorf lib. 1. 5 98, 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 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 cither 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 unqualifi. mind 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 auricu, excluded from publicly directing lar confession, in which he inand superintending. His health sisted on the propriety of abol. too, was affected, by his confine- ishing this point of discipline, ment, his 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 opinsexpire 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 per: was 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 hiin; 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 Melanethon, 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 Wita tise on the general topic of reli. temberg, who appointed deputies gious vows. These he showed to receive the reasoas of the to be unsupported by either pre- malcontent monks for resisting cept or example in the New the established order, and to reDestament; 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 refor. of 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 Witteinberg. It was a wise conjured the Elector to maintain
that gospel, which God had . Seckend. $ 101, p. 164.
caused to revisit his church. † Ib. SS 104, 105, p. 170.
Frederic, on receiving their report, recommended moderation ner more consonant to the spiritto both parties ; requested the uality of its nature, put away immonks to do nothing without se: ages, abolished the elevation of rious deliberation, and to wait till the host, and made preparations the people were better informed for suppressing the order of on the subject before they ven- mendicant friars. All the Autured to introduce changes, gustines throughout Thuringia which interested the whole and Misnia soon after met in a church, and which might go to chapter at Wittemberg, and gave subvert many ancient institu- their sanction to these important tions, and to alter the whole sys- changes. Luther received these tem of ecclesiastical administra- transactions with raptures of tion. The deputies, not being joy, and congratulated his felsatisfied with this mode of pro. low-citizens on their courage cedure, sent a second remon- and zeal, in giving the first exstrance to Frederic, on the ne. ample of a public reformation. cessity of correcting the abuses It was on this occasion that he of which they complained ; and composed his treatise on the Abnotwithstanding his repeated ad- olition of Private Masses, though vice, not to make their proposed it was suppressed by order of alterations, though he allowed the court, and not printed till them publicly to declare that the beginning of 1523.* some reformation was necessary, under the direction of Beyer, a * Beausobre, tom ii. lib. 4. p. 185– member both of the senate and 198. university, they regulated the Seckend. Sec. 54. SS 129, 130. Worship of the sanctuary in a man
(To be continued.)
A DISSERTATION ON JOHN's miracles, which go forth unto SIXTH VIAL.
the kings of the earth and of the
whole world, to gather them to Revelation xvi. 12–16.
the battle of that great day of
God Almighty. Behold, I come, " And the sixth angel poured as a thief. Blessed is he, that out his vial upon the great river watcheth, and keepeth his garEuphrates, and the water there- ments, lest he walk naked, and of was dried up, that the way of they see his shame. And he the kings of the east might be gathered them together into a prepared. And I saw three un- place, called in the Hebrew clean spirits, like frogs, come tongue Armageddon." out of the mouth of the dragon, The moral and religious state and out of the mouth of the of the Christian world makes it beast, and out of the mouth of evident to every careful observe the false prophet. For they are er, that we are now under one or the spirits of devils, working other of the latter vials. Under Vol. II, No. 1.
the preceding period of the literal Babylon. We well know trumpets, the sensible effect of how that was taken by the kings God's judgments was the in- of Media and Persia, whose crease of the various kinds of countries lay east of her, who superstition and idolatry in the therefore, in relation to her, degenerate and apostate church; were literally " the kings of the as appears from chap. ix. But east.” The waters of the Euunder the latter vials, the effect phrates, which ran through that of God's judgments is the in- city, and were the means of her crease of infidelity, and a conse- wealth and defence, were dried quent dissipation of morals. up, or diverted from their old “ Men blaspheme the God of channel, so that the besieging arheaven, and repent not of their my entered and took it almost deeds."
The rapid increase, without resistance. That Babextensive spread, and undisguis- ylon should be taken in this ed arowal of infidelity in all manner was expressly foretold parts of the Christian world, not by Jeremiah. “ A sword is upexcepting our own favoured on the inhabitants of Babylon, country, strongly mark the pe- a drought is upon her waters, riod, in which we live. At least, and they shall be dried up. I they show that one or other of will dry up her sea, and make the latter vials is now running. her springs dry, and Babylon The circumstances and events shall become heaps." of the times will most naturally By " the kings of the east" point us to the sixth. This we we are to understand, not literalwill endeavour to explain, and ly kings whose territories lie will inquire, whether events do east of Rome, the mystical Babynot correspond with it.
lon, búť her enemies in general. “ The sixth angel poured out By “ Euphrates," we are to unhis vial upon the great river Eu- derstand, not the river so called, phrates, and the water thereof nor any other remarkable water, was dried up, that the way of the but any sources of riches and kings of the east might be pre- strength, which have rendered pared.”
her formidable ; and any impedWe are to interpret this via! iments, which, in time past, have according to the analogy of the restrained 'her enemies from inprophetic part of the book, which vading her, or have prevented is wholly figurative, and borrows their success. Who are the enits language and allusions from emies, that shall finally destroy the Old Testament.
her, John has told us in the 17th As the Roman church is call- chap. of this book : “ Those ed Babylon, and as under the kings, who had once agreed to next vial, this "great Babylon give their kingdom to the beast," comes into remembrance before i. e. to the Roman power,“ will, God, that he may give ber the when God's word is fulfilled, cup of the wine of the fierceness hate the whore, that sits on the of his wrath ;" so the judge beast, make her desolate and ments, coming upon her under naked, and burn her with fire." this vial, are described by an The kings of the earth long allusion to the destruction of the felt the tyranny and oppression