« السابقةمتابعة »
the pulpit ; and to obviate the In consequence of the edict of want of pastors capable of in- Spires in June, 1526, by which structing the people, composed the states of the empire were a liturgy and homilies, which permitted to regulate the affairs were adopted with success. He of religion, in each province, advised the Elector John, who according as the princes judged succeeded his brother Frederic most expedient, till a general the preceding year, and who, council should be held, the Rofrom the commencement of his manists, enraged at their ineffecreign, openly espoused the cause tual efforts to procure the conof the reformation, to write to demnation of Lutheranism, enthe bishops, requiring them to tered into an alliance to attack provide for the religious instruc- the Landgrave of Hesse, and the tion of the people under their Elector of Saxony. These two charge, informing them, that if princes received information in they were negligent, he was de- 1528 of a treaty to this purpose, termined to take steps to enforce said to have been made at Brestheir diligence. Towards the law, in May, 1527, and immediclose of the year, he was at ately united for the defence of times seized with a depression their territories and religion, and of spirits, which he imagined took steps to prevent or to resist was a temptation of the devil, the designs of their enemies. while it was only the effect of By the remonstrances of Luther his incessant labours, intense and Melancthon, however, the meditations, and anxious cares, Elector was convinced of the which disordered his body, and precipitancy of his conduct; and injured his health ; for by the the confederated Catholics unanuse of medicines, he was re- imously disavowing the treaty stored to his former tranquillity ; which they were said to have though his illness continued formed, the fear of war was reduring the whole of 1527. He moved. This year Luther pubdid not, however, discontinue lished a number of sermons on his pulpit instructions ; though Genesis, remarkable for simhe was incapable of exerting his plicity of language, temperance mind in any long or connected towards those who differed from train of thinking. He accord- him, and fidelity in their applicaingly wrote scarcely any thing tion to the consciences of men ; this year, but a short treatise On a commentary on Zechariah, in the Lawfulness of Christians which he censured the allegomaking War ; in which he re- ries of mystics, and the dreams stricts its lawfulness to the case of the German fanatics ; a trea. of defensive operations, and tise on Communion in one kind, denies the right of subjects to against the archbishop of Misnia; fight againsi their rulers, how- and a letter against the Anabapever tyrannical, if they do not tists, in which, to avoid one of impose restraints on their con- their arguments against infant science.
baptism, he supposes infants to
be capable of exercising faith; • Seckend. $ 20, & ad. Ib. $ 29 & 30, p. 80, 81.
Seck. 5 35, et. ad.
1 novel opinion, and of which was every day becoming more nothing but the design with and more enslaved by the coun. which it was broached can be de- cils of the Pope, and thought of fended.*
meeting him in arms; but A diet was assembled at Spires through Luther's persuasion, in March, 1529, by order of the they laid aside their intention, Emperor, at which every art was and assembled in peace at the used by the Romish party to di- appointed time. Yet anxious as vide the friends of the reforma- this reformer
to have tion, by reviving the disputes another opportunity to speak the about the sacrament. Though truth before the Emperor and this was prevented, Luther, his court, he was too obnoxious whose mind was inflamed with to be openly protected by the prejudice against the Zuinglians, Protestants, and was accordingly so far forgot his usual principles, left in the castle of Cobourg, at as to advise the Elector to leave a little distance from Augsburg,. them to the cruelty of their per- that his advice might be obtainsecutors, a condition on which ed, if necessary. In this retreat, the Lutherans were promised a he gave himself to meditation more favourable treatment. The and prayer, translated the proph. advice was rejected ; and on the ets, wrote his commentary on prevalence of the Romanists in the Psalms ; and published, be: the diet, who confirmed the for- fore the opening of the diet, An mer decree of Spires, the Lu. Address to the Clergy assembled theran princes and the represen- al Augsburg, justifying his doctatives of fourteen cities joined trine, and exhorting them to acin a formal protest, which they knowledge that truth, to supafterwards strengthened by a press which, all their art or powsolemn appeal to the Emperor, er would be altogether ineffec: or a future council, either univer: tual. I He re-animated the sal or national, in behalf of them- drooping spirits, and laboured to selves, their subjects, and their strengthen the faith of Melancsuccessors, and all who should thon, whose fortitude was shakembrace the same doctrines. en by the number and
power of From this circumstance the Ger- his enemies, and his efforts were man Lutherans received the not unsuccessful. The followname of PROTESTANTS, a name ing extracts from his letters will by which all who embraced the shew the greatness of his mind, reformation from popery have and the extent of his views : “ I long been distinguished.
am much weaker than you in When the Elector of Saxony, private conflicts : but in public, and the other Protestant princes, you are like me in private. You were summoned to attend anoth- are not afraid of your own life, er diet at Augsburg in June, but you are afraid of the public 1530, they understood that they cause. 1, on the contrary, look had nothing but injustice to ex- on this cause with tranquillity pect from the Emperor, who and fortitude, because I am con
• Seck. $$ 38, 39, 40.
4 lh. $ 44. Beausobre, tom. iv. p, 750, et seq.
fident it is just and true, the and Defender is also great ; for cause of Christ and of God, it is not ours only. Why then which has no reason to blush do you constantly distress yourand tremble, as I, an individual self? If the cause is false, let sinner have. On this account, I us withdraw from it; if it is contemplate with security, and true, why should we make God almost with indifference, these a liar by disbelieving his promfierce and menacing Papists; ises ?—What more can the deve for if we fall, Christ, the ruler of il do, than take away our life? the world, must fall with us ; For myself, whether it be the and though it were so, I had effect of insensibility, or of the rather fall with Christ, than Spirit of God, I know not, but I stand with Cæsar. Nor are you feel little uneasiness as to the alone in this conflict, I am pres- event; nay, I have more hope ent with you in groans and
than I could have believed. If prayers; and would to God I we are not worthy to carry it could be with you in person, forward, others will be raised for it is my cause also, and more up. In fine, if the danger inmine than yours; a cause un- crease, I will fly to your supdertaken neither rashly, nor port, and look these formidable through motives of avarice or emissaries of Satan full in the vain glory, as I take God to wit. teeth."* Dess, and as the event has al- Against the decree of this diready testified, and will testify et, which prohibited all changes more fully bereafter. I beseech or innovations in the faith or you, therefore, in the name of worship of the church, and exChrist, not to forget the prom- cluded from the imperial chamises and consolations contained ber all, who should disobey it, in the words, Cast your care on
Luther in 1531 published a the Lord, for he careth for you; small treatise, in which he prowait on the Lord ; act a manly tested that his object was to cena part; and let your heart be sure not the Emperor and good strengthened. Be of good cour- princes, but the bad, whether ege, I have overcome the world, princes or bishops, and especialsays Jesus. Why then should ly Pope Clement, and Cardinal We fear a conquered world, as if Campegius his legate ; that the it were the conqueror? To hear pretended refutation of the Prosuch a truth, it were little to go testant confession was unworthy on our knees to Rome, or even of any man of common underto Jerusalem. But we are ac- standing or probity ; that the customed to hear it, and this di- church by refusing the cup to minishes its impression.” Again, the laity, opposed the authority in another letter, “ The cares, of Scripture, and instead of bewhich consume you, highly dis- ing the spouse of Christ, was please me; they arise not from the whore of Satan ; that solitaany important cause, but from ry masses were dangerous and the greatness of your unbelief. unscriptural; and that justificaWas the danger less in the days tion, by faith only, is a doctrine of Huss, and other good men ? Great as the cause is, its Author • Seakend. S 69, p. 181, 182.
according to godliness. “ This tend the knowledge and influ. article,” says he, “shall never ence of the truth ; in exhorting be overthrown, neither by em- princes, and universities, and perors, nor by the Turks, nor provinces not to retard the prothe Tartars, nor the Persians; gress of the reformation, but to nor by the Pope and all his care confirm it ; in writing commendinals, bishops, priests, monks, taries on the Scripture ; and in and nuns ; nor by kings, princes, publishing, from time to time, or governors ; nor by the whole treatises of admonition, reproof, world, though joined by all the and consolation, according to the devils in hell ; and all, who con. particular circumstances in which trovert it, shall meet the reward the church, or individuals, were of iniquity. Thus I, Doctor placed. Nor did his enemies Luther, by the teaching of the escape the lash of his pen. His Holy Spirit, believe : and this severity seemed to increase with is the true gospel.” Then he his years ; more than once he quotes the creed, I believe in was commanded by his steady Jesus Christ crucified, dead, and friend the Elector of Saxony, to buried; and adds, “ If none but moderate his language, and reChrist died for sin, if no other strain his vehemence; but the taketh away sin, all men with inveteracy of the errors, which all their works are, by conse- he combated, continually suppliquence, excluded from any ed new fuel for his indignation share in meriting the remission and violence. of sins, and justification before In consequence of the decree God; and as it is impossible to of the diet of Spires, and the embrace Christ but by faith, how proceedings of the Emperor and can works avail ? If then faith, the court of Rome subsequent before works follow it, alone em- to it, the Protestants met at braces Christ, it must be true Smalkalde in Dec. 1530, con- . that his redemption is applied to cluded a league of mutual desinners, i.e. they are justified fence against all, who should opby faith only. After faith, how- pose them, and renewed it the ever, good works follow as its following year in an assembly at fruit. This is the doctrine I the same place. In 1535, they teach, and this the Holy Spirit, again met, insisted on their and the true church of Christ original demand of a council to have always taught. To this, be held in Germany, and agreed by the grace of God, I will con- to unite in supporting the league stantly adhere. Amen."* of Smalkalde for ten years. After this period, Luther was
When this period expired, they chiefly employed in raising that found considerable difficulty superstructure of reformation, arising from the jealousies of the foundation of which he had particular princes, to prolong laid amid such opposition and their confederacy, and saw the dangers. His life was spent in tempest, which had been so long labouring to strengthen the gathering, and which was now minds of the faithful, and to ex- greatly thickened by the pro
ceedings of the council of Trent, Seckend. lib. iii. 53, p. 7. ready to burst on them with aw.
ful fury. But Luther, who had chilling hand of death, he said, watched its progress with a stea- « this cold sweat is the forerundy eye, was removed by death ner of dissolution, I will give up from feeling or beholding its my spirit.” He then prayed, saydestructive rage.
In the be- ing, “ O heavenly Father, everginning of 1546, he was sent for lasting and merciful God, thou hast to his native country, to recon
revealed to me thine own Son, cile the differences which had for our Lord Jesus Christ, him I have some time interrupted the har- preached, him I have confessed, mony of Mansfeld. He preach- him I love, and adore as my deared his last sermon at Wittem- .est Saviour and deliverer, though berg on the 17th of January, and the ungodly persecute, revile, and on the 23d, set out for Eisleben, blaspheme him, receive my spirit, whence he never returned. O my heavenly Father, though I Though, during the journey, he must leave this body, and be taken complained of faintness and out of this life, yet I know assuredweakness, he was able to attend ly, that I shall live with thee forall the sittings of the court, be- ever, and none is able to pluck me fore which the cause for which out of thy hands. He that is our he had come was pled, till the God is the God of salvation, and 17th of February. That even- unto God the Lord belong the ing, a little before supper, he issues from death.” He then felt an unusual sickness arising repeated thrice, with an elevatfrom the disease under which he ed tone, “ Lord, into thy hands I had laboured for some time, an commend my spirit ; Thou hast oppression of the humours in the redeemed me, O God of truth :" opening of the stomach. That after which he continued breathday, he had indeed said to Justas ing, till about three in the mornJonas, and some other friends, ing, when he entered on that "I was born and baptized at glory, in the faith and hope of * Eisleben, what if I should re- which, he lived, and laboured, main and die here?" But his and died. He was attended in sickness went off, and he par. his last moments by the Count took of his supper with his usual and Countess of Mansfeld, Meappetite.
But immediately af- lancthon, Justas Jonas, and sevter, the pain returned, and con- eral other friends, who ministertinued with little abatement for ed to his consolation, and joined some hours. About one in the with him in prayer, that God morning of the 18th, he lay would preserve the doctrine of down on his bed for the last his Son's gospel among them. time ; and when being excruci- His body was carried to Witated with pain, he cried out, “ () temberg, and honourably interGod! what oppression do I red without pomp or parade.* feel.” Jonas said, “ Reverend fa- On bis tomb the following inther, call on Jesus Christ our scription was put by the univerLord and Great High Priest, sity : that only Mediator whom thou hast preached.” But feeling the * Seckend. lib. iii, $ 133. p. 634, &c. Vol. II, No. 4.