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account of the corruption of our politics I It is not so. Many evils necessarily go along with free government, but we have nn vile oppression here, for instance, in Pennsylvania. But do not corrupt political bosses rule the people, and does not the political machine grind them down into the very dust? Is it not admitted that any of the parties when in power oppress the people, and bribe, and lie, and steal? Is it not all a grab-game for office, and a frantic rush for the spoils? Oue would, indeed, think that our politics are a very pandemonium, and expect to see a veritable smoking Tophet, and the people roasting in it, to listen to the exaggerations that are indulged in when this subject is spoken of. And yet, visit our wellto-do farmers and observe their happy families, their quiet, Berene, life, or go into our towns and cities and observe the prosperous business, and the good living of the laboring man, compare all these with the condition of things in the monarchies of the old world, and then say whether we are suffering so terribly from the awful corruption of our politics.
There is corruption in all the walks of life, in business and trade, in the social circle, everywhere, but balance against this the honesty and integrity of the majority of our business men, and the purity of the majority of our homes. Why not do the same in ref-rence to our governmental affairs? Why speak of our happy social life, and of our prosperous business life, and then find only corruption so soon as we come into the sphere of political life?
But, it is said, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and we must exaggerate the evil in order to prevent corruption. We do not Relieve it. Exaggeration, even in the pulpit, where it is often found, does not lessen, it rather promotes the evil. Faith in men is essential to the maintenance of the social fabric. Let that once be lost, and the foundations are gone.
Some men exaggerate the prevailing corruption in order to pubsh and exalt their own immaculate virtue. But instead of justifying exaggeration, such egotism, vanity, hypocrisy and selfishness, only damns it. Do not seek to blacken your antagonist
in order to appear the fairer yourself by the false contrast. Be true, and fair, and honest, in your denunciation of corruption and wrong, and you will still have enough of that work to do.
III. And now a third thought occurs: the way to correct political corruption, allowing as we do that it exists, lies not so much in party mechanical organizations and external management and method, as in the cultivation of private virtue. We do not undervalue the power of "machinery" for good or evil. When the "political machine" comes to be used for corruption, another machine may have some power to correct the evil. Such machinery is undoubtedly necessary in order to carry on our political life. So, at least, it seems. There is much of it introduced even into our education now-a-days, under the head of "methods of teaching," &c. We do not undervalue methods and plans and schemes. But the hard work of reforming the evils of society falls back at last upon the virtuous format'on of individual character. The two exert a mutual influence, we know, but the lasting moulding power comes from individual character. A few bad individual characters will leaven a whole organization, and if they do not entirely corrupt it they at least give it bad leputation. And so also strong good individual characters will operate to inspire virtue into the mass.
Where, then, are we to form individual good character? In the family, in the school, and above all under the moulding power of the religion of Christ. It may be said that they have been tried and still they do not suffice. But for whatever good we find in our modern civilization over the degradation of heathenism, we are indebted to Christianity, and, as factors in its bosom, to faithful family training and good schools. These are the common beneficent powers that, like the air we breathe, are not indeed so much observed and noted as great boasting plans of reformation, but they are, after all, the reliable powers to mould our civilization.
Let a pure Christianity be reverenced and honored, let family government and discipline be encouraged and maintained, and let our good schools go on doing their daily work, and we will not fail of good citizens, and through them our political life will at least be preserved from utter corruption. The lesson is not far-fetched nor startling, it appears even commonplace, but it is none the less true, that the promotion of private virtue and the formation of good individual character, are the true supporters of public virtue and political integrity. And so we close our remarks on our political degeneracy—And Its
THE SILENT SEARCHERS.
When the darkness of night has fallen,
And the hirds are fast asleep, An army of silent searchers
From the dusky shadows creep; And over the quiet meadows
Or amid the waving treees, They wander ahout with their tiny lamps
That flash in.the evening breeze.
And this army of silent searchers,
Each with his flickering light, Wanders about till the morning
lias driven away the night. What treasures they may be seeking
No man upon earth can know; Perhaps 'tis the home of the fairies
Who lived in the long ago.
For an ancient legend tells us
That once, when the fairy king
At the royal feast to sing,
With the stars refused to shine,
Was called from the oak and pine.
And when, by the imps of darkness,
The fairies were chased away, The army began its searching
At the close of a dreary day; Through all the years that have followed
The seekers have searched the night, Piercing the gloom of the hours
With the flash of the magic light.
Would you see the magical army?
Then come to the porch with me 1 Yonder among the hedges
And near the maple tree,
And down in the river-damp,
Each with his flickering lamp.
—Henry Ripley Dorr.
BEGINNINGS OF THE REFORMED CHURCH.
BY THE EDITOR.
The Defence of the Catechism.
The Heidelberg Catechism is so mild and pacific in its general character that we can hardlv realize how its publication could have given the signal for one of the most violent conflicts in the history of the church. No doubt its authors did not expect their work to be received without question, but the fierceness of the attacks which it invoked must have far exceeded their anticipations. The Roman Catholics were of course its bitter enemies. The Council of Trent, which had been in session for many years, was just coming to a close. Though ostensibly called to restore peace to the church it had but served to iuteusify the existing bitterness. It had been entirely under Jesuit influence; the Protestants had not been heard, and the anathemas by which they were condemned were unexampled in their violence. It has been said that "nobody can curse like the pope," and the council certainly adequately expressed the papal sentiments.
It is not impossible that the publication of these anathemas may have some influence on the elector Frederick, in inducing him to insist on the insertion, in the second edition of the catechism, of the celebrated 80th question, in which the mass is declared to be " an accursed idolatry." Compared with the decrees of the council this was a moderate statement. It did not curse individual opponents, as the Roman Catholics had done, but was at most a very emphatic assertion of the grounds which had induced Protestants to reject the mass. The Roman church had to some extent recovered from the first shock caused by the attacks of the Reformers, and the leaders were now ready to renew the conflict. They had, however, been held back to some extent, by the treaty of Augsburg which recognized theexisten of Protestantism in the German Empire. If now it could be made to appear that the Reformed church did not hold to the Augsburg confession, and was thus ex
eluded from the terms of the peace, it xnight be crushed without hesitation, and Protestantism would be made to suffer greatly without being afforded an opportunity for retaliation. The fact that the Heidelberg catechism had, in unmistakable language declared the universal sentiment of Protestants with reference to the mass, was enough to exasperate the Romanists to employ all possible means for its suppression.
The extreme Lutheran party was hardly less violent. Hesshusius, the controversialist whom Frederick had expelled from Heidelberg, saw his opportunity, and at his instigation the pulpits of northern Germany rang with denunciations. The catechism was charged with teaching doctrines contrary to the Augsburg confession, especially with reference to the person of Christ and the Lord's Supper, and the emperor and princes were adjured to employ the sword of secular power for the destruction of heresy. Several princes united in an address to the elector Frederick, in which they not only accused him of having renounced the Augsburg confession, but warned him that " Zwinglianism and Calvinism is a seditious spirit (spiritus seditioaus) which wherever it breaks out seeks to control the government, and causes disturbances not only with foreign powers but among the subject people."
In describing a storm it is in vain to attempt to speak of every single blast. The elector's troubles rapidly accumulated. Even his household was divided, and his eldest son Louis, who ruled the Upper Palatinate as his father's representative, took Bides with the extreme Lutheran party. All this opposition however only served to fortify Frederick in his position; he proceeded to remove pictures and crucifixes from the churches, and introduced the Calvinistic form of church government, which many of the German princes regarded as treason to the privileges of their order. In reply to the accusations brought against him, he calmly asserted his faithful adherence to the Augsburg confession. With regard to the question of the real presence, his declarations were clear and decided. Thus he says in his reply to the princes; who had accused him of Zwinglianism and Calvinism: "We
would kindly inform you that we have never been greatly troubled to know what Zwingli and Calvin wrote, and have not read their books. ... If it is Zwinglianism and Calvinism to suppose that the elements in the Lord's Supper are mere signs, and that the body and blood of Christ are not present, or received, we beg to inform you that this is not our view of the subject and that we are unjustly suspected of holding it, inasmuch as the true and living presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper is in our churches preached, taught, and believed. That you may not suppose that our words and deeds do not agree we would inform you, that we require of our ministers and theologians to offer the following testimony concerning the Lord's Supper, namely:
That we do not therein receive bread and wine alone, as holy, divine signs and seals (as the Holy Scriptures as well as the Augsburg confession and the Apology call them); nor that we receive only the merits of Jesus Christ alone nor His Divinity alone, but the Lord Christ wholly and completely, true God and man, His real body and real blood which was broken and shed forusunon the cross—also all His merits, benefits, heavenly treasures, blessings, and eternal life —truly, without all deception and not in me e fancy, but substantially, re ipsa, by the power and effect of the Holy Spirit; and all this is given and presented to us by the Lord Himself, through faith, as the meat and drink of our souls; and also that we thereby have complete communion with Christ, becoming true members of His blessed body, so that He lives and remains in us and we in Him forever."
It might seem to the modern reader as though this strong confession ought to have satisfied Frederick's opponents that he believed in the doctrine of the real presence, but it was far from having this effect. "What is it after all," they inquired, "but a Calvinistic confession? Does it not represent the humanity of Christ as conveyed by the Holy Spirit, through faith, as the meat and drink of our souls?" The confession was objectionable to the extremists because it did explicitly declare that Christ's humanity is present in the sacrament " under the form of bread and wine," being thus orally received by unbelievers as well as believers. On the other hand there was a more moderate Lutheran party which was willing to accept Frederick's confession as substantially in accordance with the Augsburg confession, and it was owing in great measure to their silent influence aud support that the elector was able to sustain himself during these dark and trying hours.
THE SECOND HELVETIC CONFE88ION.
Immediately after the publication o the Heid -lberg Catechism Olevianus had sent a o.py of the book to Bullinger, accompanied by a letter in which he said: 1 If there is any good in this book we owe a great part of it to you and to other noble spirits in Switzerland." In reply Bullinger sai'l: "I regard this as the best catechism that has ever been written. May God crown it with His blessing." These intimate relations between Switzerland and the Palatinate continued, and when Frederick found himself in trouble he wrote to Bullinger, requesting him to prepare a full confession of the doctrines of the R formed church. This confession, which was published by Frederick in 1566, was primarily intended to serve as a defense against those who said that the Reformed churches were at variance among themselves; but it actually became a bond which united the church of the Palatinate with those of Switzerland and France. In this way Henry Bullinger was not only instrumental in uniting the followers of Calvin with those of Z«ingli, but succeeded in bringing the church of Frederick III into the same communion.
THE DIET OF AUGSBURG.
The emparor Maximilian II, who had ascended the throne in 1564, was a man of extraordinary ability. Though a Catholic he was more liberal than any of his predecessors, and he was even supposed to be secretly inclined to Protestantism. He had addressed a friendly warning to the elector Frederick immediately after the publication of the Heidelberg Catechism, but seemed disinclined to carry matters further. The importunity of the German princes, however, finally induced him to call a
meeting of the diet, and Frederick was cited to appear.
This citation was a very serious matter. It was wdl known that the majority of the princes proposed to exclude the elector from the terms of the treaty of Augsburg, which would have deprived him of his government, and perhaps even have cost his lite. His brother, Richard of Smmern, warned him of the danger of attending the diet, but he exclaimed: '' I believe that God who has brought me to a knowledge of His Gospel still reigns, and if it should cost my blood, I would regard martyrdom as an honor for which I could not sufficiently thank Him in time or eternity."
The diet met in Augsburg on the 23d of March 1566. The emparor and empress appeared with a magnificent retinue, and were welcomed with extraordinary festivities. At the beginning of the meeting the Protestant delegates held what might now be called a "caucus," in which they determined to prepare an address to the emperor, demanding greater religious liberty; but they at the same time resolved not to allow Frederick to sign the petition unless he should first satisfactorily explain his views concerning the Lord's Supper. Several princes even insisted that he mustsien what was designed to be an "iron clad " confession, to the effect that "the real body and blood are actually present in the sacrament under the form of bread and wine, and are offered and received with the visible elements; that the aforesaid true body and blood are not only spiritually but corporeally presented and received, so that through the communion of His flesh and blood Christ dwells in us corporeally : and also that Christ is not only in us spiritually through His love but also by natural communion."*
A few days after these proceedings Frederick arrived, and it soon became evident that his presence was producing a reaction. Those who had never before seen him were impressed by his evident sincerity, and this favorable impression was heightened by several eloquent sermons preached by his chaplain.
The elector quietly but firmly declined to sign any new confessions, insisting
* Heppe's History of German Protestantism. 2, p. 120.
that he had done as much as could justly be expected by declaring his adherence to the confession of Augsburg. He also entered a formal protest against being tried for his faith until the Saxon theologians and those of Wiirtemberg had come to an agreement amoDg themselves. His danger was, however, by no means at an end; and at one time it was currently reported in Heidelberg that the elector had been arrested and executed.
On the 14th of May the emperor proposed a decree commanding Frederick to abstain from introducing "Calvinistic novelties," and requiring him to restore to the Roman church the property of certain convents which had been alienated by the civil power. During the discussion of this measure the elector ■was required to absent himself from the assembly; but after its adoption he reentered the hall followed by his favorite son John Casirair, whom he called his "spiritual armor-bearer," the latter carrying the Bible and the Augsburg confession. On this occasion he offered his memorable defense of which the following is a brief extract: "I am still of the opinion that in matters of faith I have but a single master who is the King of kings and Lord of lords; therefore 1 am not troubled about my head, but about my soul which is in the hands of God who created it . . I have never read Calvin's works, and therefore do not know whether you are right in calling me a Calvinist, but I confess that my catechism contains the substance of my faith; it is so fortified with proofs from the Scriptures that it cannot be refuted. Finally, I am comforted by the a surance that my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has given nn'o me and all believers this blessed promise, that all we lose here for His name's sake will be restored to us a hundred fold in the world to come."
The effect was the elec'or's defense was very great. At its conclusion Augustus of Saxony put hi* hand on his shoulder and taid: "Fiitz, thou art more pious than the whole of us 1" The margrave of Baden also said to the princes at the close of the session: "Why trouble ye the elector? He has more piety than all of us together." When the emperor finally inquired whether Frederick was to be regarded as standing under the Augsburg confession it was
resolved " that he was in full accordance with the confession in the article of justification by faith, which bad caused the schism in the church, and in many other articles, but that be did not fully accept the article concerning the Lord's Supper. As, however, he had indicated his willingness to yield to proofs taken from the word of God, they would in due time seek to convince him of his error. In the mean time the princes had no desire to oppress the Elector of the Palatinate, or others, in Germany or in foreign lands, who might vary from the confession in one or more articles, and thus to increase the sufferings of the conf ssora of Christ."
This action of the diet had been entirely unexpected. Frederick returned to Heidelberg and was received with great rejoicing, and was now permitted to proceed unmolested in his work of Reformation. The sacramental controversy was, however, by no means concluded. In the Lutheran church, especially, it continued to rage with great violence, until finally a number of German princes followed the example of Frederick and with many of their people formally passed over to the Reformed church.
Frederick's Later Years.
The Elector of the Palatinate was now known as Frederick the Pious, and he well deserved bis honorable title. In his efforts for the upbuilding of the church he was indefatigable. The University of Heidelberg flourished as it had never done before, and was withal pervaded by an earnest Christian spirit. The oppressed and persecuted Protestants of foreign countries found in him a friend and protector. When the Reformed people of the Netherlands fled from the murderous tyranny of the Duke of Alva, and settled by thousands in the lower Rhine provinces of Germany, Frederick not only relieved their necessities but sent his court-preacher Dathenus to organize them into churches. After the dreadful massacre of St. Bartholomew he sent an army, under the command of his favorite son John Casimir, to aid the persecuted Huguenots. Another of his sous lost his life in battle in the Netherlands, but the father consoled him:elf with the thought that he had died