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JESUS, saving his people from their sins, by H. will be seasonably attended to. The Editors hope often to receive the fruits of his pious study.
C. Y. A. on the state of literature in New-England, contains matter for two or three very profitable numbers.
Philologos, No. 6, is reserved for another month.
Letters to a lady in high life will be admitted, if upon careful perusal, they are found sufficiently interesting for publication.
Review of M'Farland's historical view of heresies, and of other late publications, will appear in our next No.
Biographical sketch of President Davies is just received.
We are happy to find on our files such rich materials for future numbers. Our correspondents will accept our cordial thanks. We request that they continue their labours for the diffusion of knowledge and piety. It would give us great pleasure, could we consistently gratify them in every instance. But they must consider that our first object is, to render the publication useful, and that of such a variety of matter as we have before us, a part must be left. We are under sacred obligations to make the selection and to perform the whole ardu ous work according to our best judgment, and an invariable regard to the cause of Christian truth and holiness. Rather than be biassed by personal regards, bý the hope of favour, or the fear of reproach, we ought to relinquish the work, or commit it to the hands of more faithful men.
AGENTS FOR THE PANOPLIST.
Messrs. CUSHING & APPLETON, Salem; THOMAS & WHIPPLE, Newburyport; W. BUTLER, Northampton; WHITING & BACKUS, Albany: GEORGE RICHARDS, Utica; COLLINS & PERKINS, New York; W. P. FARRAND, Philadelphia; ISAAC BEERS & Co. New Haven, O. D. Cook, Hartford BENJAMIN CUMMINS, Windsor, Vt.; JoszPH CUSHING, Amherst, N. H.; Mr. DAVIS, Hanover, N. H.; Rev. ALVAN HYDE, Lee, Mass.; J. Kann£DY, Alexandria.
THE CHRISTIAN'S ARMORY.
No. 16.] SEPTEMBER, 1806. [No. 4. VOL. II.
LIFE OF LUTHER.
THE principles of reformation which the people in various parts of Germany had imbibed, rendered them impatient of those multiplied superstitions which were still practised, and solicitous to obtain a more simple and scriptural ritual. They looked to Luther as the best fitted to organize a system of worship which might supersede the use of that which he had proved to be so universally corrupted; and with a prudence which, in general, marked his conduct when he had time for deliberation, or was not inflamed by passion, he introduced such changes as silenced the clamours of the multitude, while every thing, in any degree tolerable, was allowed to remain. In baptism, the language only was altered, though two years afterwards, when the reformation was more advanced, many of the ancient ceremonies were retrenched. In the Lord's Supper, none of the rites were abolished, but such as related to the false notion of its being a sacrifice, and to the adoration of the host; though pastors were left to judge for themselves, proVol. II. No. 4.
vided they did not obscure the design of the ordinance. He ordered communicants to submit to an examination, required knowledge of the nature and end of the institution, and of the advantage expected to be derived from it, as the qualification of admission, and appointed both kinds to be administered, and that those who would take only one, should have neither.*
The Bohemian reformers, named Picards or Waldenses, not only corresponded with Luther, but sent one of their pastors to hold a conference with him; in consequence of which, he en tertained a more favourable opinion of their sentiments than he had formerly done. Having found one of their treatises On the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament, he composed a short treatise on the subject, which he dedicated to them, and in which, though he censured their doctrine on this point, and their adherence to the seven popish sacraments, being yet uninflamed with a controversial spirit, he
• Seckend. § 136.
but as Christian brethren. About the same time, he wrote to the Calixtins, who, though they retained all the rites of the Romish church, except the restriction of the communion to one kind, were, for this heresy, denied ordination to their priests by the bishops of the country. He endeavoured to open their eyes to the abuses which prevailed, and contended, that the circumstances of their situation warranted them to dispense with popish ordination, and to give to their own teachers the authority of ordained pastors.*
did not regard them as heretics, der the name of Clement VII. who adopted a very different method from his predecessor, in terminating the religious disputes of Germany, determining to support all the abuses of the church, and to resist every proposal for the meeting of a general council. He deputed Cardinal Campegius as his legate to the diet of Nuremberg, which met in February, 1524, with orders to procure the reestablishment of the edict of Worms, to delay answering the hundred grievances formerly produced, and to elude the request of a free council. His endeavours were ineffectual; he retired mortified with his reception, and enraged at the decree which was passed; and which, though marked with an inconsistence which can be explained only by the distraction of opinion which pervaded its framers, defeated the wishes and plans of the hierarchal court. It ordained, that the edict of Worms should be obeyed, as far as possible; that the Pope should, without delay, convoke an assembly to dicide on the subjects of dispute; that in the interim, the diet to meet at Spires should give them an attentive examination; while every prince should select men of knowledge and integrity, who might prepare means of accommodation.* Luther was not more satisfied than the Pope was with this decree. He published it along with the obnoxious edict to which it gave some authority; and in marginal notes, a preface, and a concluding address, treated all who should sanction its execution as ferocious savages, and a new
Hitherto mone but monks had quitted their cloisters, and renounced their vows; but during this year, nine ladies of quality left the convent of Nimptschen in Misnia, convinced by the writings of Luther, of the nullity of their religious obligations, and of the truth of the doctrines which he espoused. Among them was Catharine de Bore, whom this reformer afterwards espoused. They were conducted to Wittemberg, where an asylum was provided for them by Learnard Coppe, one of the magistrates of Torgau, who, in concert with Luther, devised means for their subsistence, after their parents were in vain entreated to receive them. ther also wrote their apology; and paved the way for their example being followed by other nuns in similar circumstances.t
Adrian died in September, and was succeeded in the Pontificate by Julius de Medicis, un
race of giants raising their arms against Heaven; lamented the blindness of Germany in obscuring the truth, and opposing its own salvation; deplored the conduct of the Princes in riveting about their own necks the chain of bondage, which they had almost thrown off; and reproached the Emperor, and the Kings of England and Hungary, with claiming the title of Defenders of the Faith, while they exerted themselves to subvert it.*
Carlostadt, who had lived in obscurity since his connexion with the fanatics of Zwickaw, retired this year to Orlamund, where he established his opinions, and procured the abolition of images, mass, and other Romish superstitions. Luther, with a violence unworthy of his character, followed him thither, and the result of the conference was an order for him lo leave the states of the Elector. He withdrew to Strasburg, and extended the interests of the truth in that corner. He maintained that Christ is present in the Supper, in a figurative or representative manner only. Luther, on the contrary, asserted the real substantial presence under the elements. Zuinglius and Oecolampadius defended Carlostadt, which Luther no sooner knew, than he wrote against them in the bitterest and most abusive style. This was the origin of those fatal disputes, which so long divided the first reformers; retarded the progress of the reformation, and at length produced a lasting schism in the Protestant church.t In the month of September,
Erasmus, the friend of learning and of learned men, who had long been urged to take a decided part against the reformation, alarmed by the threats of his ene. mies, who were ready to denounce him as a heretic, and allured by the flattering expressions of favour which Rome held out to him, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his best friends, published a treatise on Free-will, designed to be a refutation of Luther's sentiments on that subject. It was received with great coolness by the popish party, who scarcely knew whether to consider it as favourable or hostile to their cause; and with great indignation by the friends of Luther, who resented the asperity and contumely with which it treated him. It was an effort of complaisance, and it had its reward. It was not answered till 1525.‡
In October, 1524, Luther renounced the habit and name of an Augustine monk, and assumed the habit and name of Doctor; and in June, 1525, married Catharine de Bore, a lady of noble birth, who had renounced the veil, and left her convent from a conviction of the truth. This step astonished his friends, and opened the mouths of his enemies, They represented incontinence as the secret motive of his enmity to monachism, and the church which supported it; and accused him of having lived in impurity with her before their marriage. Though his innocence was unquestionable, the coldness which his best friends discovered in vindicating him, united to the handle which it
Seck. § 179.
gave to his enemies, made such an impression on his mind as required all the affection and eloquence of Melancthon to re
Amid the fatal commotions in 1525 and 1526, occasioned by the revolt of the peasants in Germany, who rose against their masters, and with frenzy impregnated in some minds by fanaticism, and in others by licentiousness, endeavoured to subvert the distinctions of rank and property, and equalize the whole mass of the people, Luther was firm in the cause of order, and exerted himself to reestablish tranquillity on the principles of truth. The pretext of Christian liberty, by which some of the revolutionists justified their conduct, he successfully refuted; and on the one hand besought the people to consider, that they were not impartial judges in their own cause; that they could not authorize from the gospel a spirit directly opposite to its precepts, which enjoin obedience to magistrates, even though capricious and unjust; that patience, not resistance, was the duty of Christians, and that they ought to seek redress by lawful means only and on the other, censured the princes as the cause of these disturbances, and exhorted them to remove that iron rod of oppression, which they had so long lifted up against the rights and happiness of their subjects.f
The unfortunate Carlostadt was still in Germany, despised by some, and hated by others. Luther had treated him without
Seck. lib. 1. §178. lib. ii. § 5. + Ib. lib. ii. p. 1-14.
mercy in a small treatise Against the Celestial Prophets; which, under the appearance of condemning the new fanatics, seems to have had little other object than to reproach Carlostadt, and refute the iconoclasts. In it, he argued for the continuation of the term mass, for which Carlostadt had substituted the word supper; for the elevation of the host, though he acknowledged it was not practised by Christ; and for the real presence, which he explained by affirming that the body of our Saviour is united to the elements, as fire with red hot iron. Carlostadt was anxious for reconciliation, offered to retract, declared his abhorrence of Muncer's sentiments, and at length effected an accommodation with his adversaries. But the controversy with Zuinglius immediately succeeded, and continued for a long series of years; during which Luther often had conferences with the Sacramentarians of Switzerland, and manifested a spirit of intemperance which led him more than once to forget the precepts of Christianity, and to oppose the prospects of tranquillity which were enjoyed. In the life of Zuinglius, we shall have occasion to consider more fully the reasonings and conduct of his antagonist on this point.
During 1526, Luther was engaged chiefly in reforming the mode of conducting the worship
and ceremonies of the church. He established the use of catechisms, in which the creed, the decalogue, and the Lord's prayer were explained; the reading and exposition of Scripture from
Seckend. § 9, and ad.