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expose him to the charge of having been foiled in the contest. He thus wished, either to ruin Luther in the eyes of the Pope and his Conclave, or to disgrace him in the estimation of the learned and discerning. It is unnecessary to detail the particular arguments, which each adduced in support of his assertions; on both sides concessions were made, which the other laid hold of with no little triumph. The sentiments of the audience were not more unanimous concerning the issue of the debate. According as they were attached to Rome, or to the Reformation, they gave the palm to Eckius or to Luther. Both, it was allowed, exhibited proofs of splendid talents, extensive learning, and vehement eloquence. Some thought Luther superior in learning, but Eckius in memory and expression. It is certain, however, that this disputation was injurious to both parties. In consequence of Luther's defence, multitudes began to doubt the authority of the Bishops of Rome, who had never doubted it before; and the pub lication of the proceedings led to inquiry, and in many instances produced conviction; while Lu ther was more universally, and with greater justice, supposed to be a heretic, because he had condemned the decrees of the council of Constance, and given his sanction to many of the tenets of Huss and Wickliffe.*

To render this controversy as extensively useful as possible, Luther, though prevented by a previous agreement of secresy from giving to the world a de

* Beausobre, p. 192–205.

tailed account of the proceedings, published an explanation of the Theses, which had been canvassed, with an abridgment of the transactions prefixed. In it he discussed the infallibility of the Pope, the authority of the Church, and the doctrine of Justification. His sentiments on the last topic were not specula tive only, but produced the most important practical effects. By refuting the doctrine of the mer it of good works, and establish ing that of justification by faith without respect to works previ ously done, the most fruitful source of clerical luxury was threatened with destruction. If the most liberal endowment of churches, donations to convents, and bounties to monasteries, to friars, and other ecclesiastics, did not in the least degree avail to the justification of sinners, but must be even renounced as grounds of confidence, it is not difficult to perceive, that the hope of salvation was no longer inseparably connected with the support of religious societies and institutions; and, consequently that, in proportion as this doc trine prevailed, the clergy were in danger of losing the chief part of their revenues.

Melancthon, already in pri vate a friend to the Reforma. tion, was confirmed in his at tachment to it by the disputation at Leipsic, to which he was a witness. He saw through the flimsy objections and pompous sophistry of Eckius; discerned more impressively the sources of popish corruption, and the necessity of a reform; and was determined by the solid reason ings of Luther, to embark in the glorious cause of delivering his

Countrymen from the chains of ignorance, superstition, and sin. "Little did Eckius imagine," says Milner, "that the public disputation, in which he had foreseen nothing but victory and exultation, and the downfal of Lutheranism, would give rise to another theological champion, who should contend for Christian truth and Christian liberty, with the primitive spirit of an apostle. At Wittemberg, Melancthon had probably been well acquainted with Luther's lectures in divinity, but it was in the citadel of Leipsic that he heard the Romish tenets defended by all the arguments, which ingenuity could devise: there his suspicions were strengthened respecting the evils of the existing hierarchy; and there his righteous spirit was roused to imitate, in the grand object of his future inquiries and exertions, the indefatigable endeavours of his zealous and adventurous friend."*

About this time, Tetzel, worn out with the effects of his profligacy, tormented with reflections on his extortions and injustice, stung with the censures, which Miltitz had passed on his conduct, and disgraced in the estimation of all, who were not as worthless as himself, ended his life, being carried off either in a fit of despair, or by an attack of the plague. It should be mentioned to the honour of Luther's Christian spirit, and to vindicate him from the charge of revenge and implacability, that, on hearing of Tetzel's anguish, like


* Milner's Ch. Hist. Vol. IV. 409.

Calvin in a similar case,† he wrote him in the kindest and most soothing terms, and begged him not to be distressed at the recollection of any thing that had passed between them.

While the divines were disputing at Leipsic, the Electors of the Empire met at Francfort, to choose a successor to Maximilian, who had died in the beginning of the year. This assembly witnessed an instance of magnanimous generosity scarcely paralleled in the annals of any country. It saw Frederic decline an imperial crown, not in a moment of indeliberation, or an ebullition of passion; but because conscious of the inadequacy of his resources to support the dignity of the Empire, and to maintain its rights against the preparations of the Ottoman court. Neither the voice of ambition, which would powerfully assail him, nor the solicitations of his countrymen, who were anxious to reward his merit and ensure their own happiness, moved him from his purpose. To put an end to their indecision, he pointed out Charles, king of Spain, then a young and heroic prince, as the person, who, from his connexions with Germany, and the extent of his native dominions, was the most likely to wield the imperial sceptre with dignity and success; and from the effect of this recommendation it may be justly said, that he in one day had the glory of refusing and of bestowing an empire. Disdaining the very imputation of being bribed


+ Religious Monitor, Life of Calvin, Vol. 11. p. 83.

to this generous conduct, he rejected the offer of 3000 florins, which Charles' ambassadors pressed on him, as an expression of their master's gratitude; forbade even his servants to accept of any part of that sum, on pain of immediate dismission; and to prevent farther solicita tions, left Francfort early the following day.*

The negotiation of Miltitz, which had been interrupted by these political affairs of the Empire, was renewed on their termination, and he returned into Saxony, to present the Elector with the golden golden consecrated rose, which the Pontiffs used to bestow on princes for whom they professed a peculiar esteem, and which had been promised to Frederic as a token of the Pope's favour and approbation. But the time was passed, when such a present would have been acceptable to Frederic, and though he was afraid of irritating the 'papal court, by rejecting it altogether, he was unwilling, personally to submit to a ceremony which he now regarded as nothing else than a solemn farce. He accordingly ordered his counsellor Fabian Feilisch, to undergo the usual ceremonies in his place. Defeated in this purpose of his mission, Miltitz sought a second interview with Luther, which took place at Libenwerde, a small village in the neighbourhood of Wittemberg, when they again agreed to refer the cause to the Archbishop of Treves.t

Luther's zeal was not repressed by the tardiness of the nego.

Seckendorf, lib. i. § 80. p. 122. Beausobre, tom. i. p. 239-242.

tiation; nor did the fear of bringing it to an abrupt and unfavoura ble termination prevent him from continuing openly to declare his hostility to the doctrines of men, and the usurpations of priest craft, though in some instances it moderated the asperity of his language. He explained the Psalms to the people, and discharged with diligence and fidelity, every part of his ministerial and professorial functions. Though his public discourses were chiefly of a practical and experimental tendency, he did not conceal his doctrinal sentiments; nor even the hesitation which he began to feel respecting the foundation and propriety of auricular confession, the number of the sacraments, the restriction of the communion to one kind, and other tenets of the Romish relig ion. But his principal work, during 1519, was his commentary on the Galatians, a treasure of theological and moral truth, containing his views of justification by faith, the particular place which good works hold in the Christian system, the nature and extent of evangelical charity, and the discriminating characters of the law and the gospel.f

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ny of the venerable HIGGINSON and HUBBARD, to the order of the Gospel in the Churches in New England. The publication of it at this time is seasonable; and if read and considered with due attention by the clergy and churches in Massachusetts, it cannot fail to do good. I wish it may excite some one of competent talents, and information, to display before the public, through the medium of the Panoplist, a correct view of the present anarchical state of our ecclesiastical affairs, and to devise and prescribe some means by which that "Order of the Gospel" might be restored among us, which once existed, and which these pious fathers

SO earnestly recommended. At the present time, this subject pre-eminently claims the attention of Christians, especially of the Congregational de


But the chief object I had in view, when I took up my pen, was to furnish for the Panoplist the following biographical sketch of the "famous BRIGHTMAN," mentioned by Messrs. HIGGINSON and HUBBARD, in their "Testimony" just alluded to, with so much respect. This sketch is taken from a note in Walton's life of Dr. ROBERT SANDERSON, late Bishop of Lincoln.

"Mr. THOMAS BRIGHTMAN was born at Nottingham, educated at Queen's College in Cambridge, and was afterwards Rector of Hawnes in Bedfordshire.

He was the author of "The Revelation of St. John illustrated, with an Analysis and Scholions," &c. and of "A most comfortable Exposition of the last and most difficult part of the prophecies of Daniel, from the 26th verse of

the 11th chapter to the end of the
12th chapter, written originally
in Latin." He also composed a
Latin commentary on the Canti-
cles, or Song of Solomon, which
his warm imagination prompted
him to consider as a prophetic
description of the state of the
Church from king David's time,
The transla-
till the year 1550.
tor of the two last works gives
him the following character:

"He was indeed one of a
thousand, great and gracious
many ways, both in life and
learning, dum ea docuit quæ fecit,
et ea fecit quæ docuit, et verba
vertebat in opera. He taught in
that he did practice, did prac-
tice that he taught, and so turn-
ed words into works. He was a
great artist, and a great linguist.
He had good skill in all arts and
tongues, needful for a complete
divine, even in song also, vocal
music being the best, till his
more weighty studies called him
from the Maidens to Divinity
their mistress, wherein he ex-
celled and shined above many of
his fellows all that then lived
with him in Queen's College in
Cambridge, whereof he was a
fellow, do very well know.
shined every way, and was a
BRIGHT MAN indeed in his life;
shining to all that heard his cate-
chizing, and common places and
lectures in the college, or his
sermons in the country, in Bed-
He is said to have
always prayed for a sudden
death. His prayer was granted.
As he was reading a book and
travelling in a coach with his
friend and patron, Sir John Os-
born, he was seized with a faint-
ing fit, and being taken out of the
carriage for the benefit of the air,
he instantly expired, August 24,

Religious Communications.


Ar the present day there is

as much licentiousness in religion, as in politics; and as much perhaps in the ministry, as aWere not mong the people.

many, who bear the name of gospel ministers, plotting against the ancient faith, and using all their influence to introduce a new form of Christianity, it would not be so necessary as it now is to contend for a practice, which is sanctioned by scripture and reason. The examination of candidates previously to ordination, has, of late, been not only neglected, but violently oppos ed; not only treated as a matter of indifference, but decried, as a destructive evil. It is, there fore, thought conducive to the interest of Zion, to give a brief statement of the principal reasons which occur in favour of

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on no man, to set him apart for that sacred trust, before his quali. fications have been fully examin ed and thoroughly approved. Neither make thyself partaker in the sins of others; as thou wilt certainly do, if thou art the means of bringing those into the ministry, whom thou mightest have discovered to be unworthy men." The apostle here cau tions ministers not only against introducing into the sacred office men who are not qualified, but against introducing even those who are qualified, without suitable inquiry respecting their qualifications. What the requi from the same apostle. A bishop site qualifications are we learn must be blameless, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, apt to teach, holding fast the faithful word. This description of a bishop is designed not only as a standard, to which every minister ought to be conformed, but as a directory for those who are concerned in ordaining others. was the special design of the description appears beyond all doubt from the connexion. For this cause, says Paul to Titus, I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things which are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I appointed thee. Immediately upon this he gives Titus the description of a bishop; which is nothing less than giving him instruction what

That this

characters to ordain. And this is virtually directing him not to or dain any man, without satisfactory evidence, that he possesses the character described.

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