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flesh,' and constrained the British Par- mation would have, in some mealiament to proclaim liberty' to our

sure, disposed every member of poor African brethren." pp. 527, 528.

a Protestant community to judge " Again, the national religion raises the tone of public opinion. Wherever the

with kindness the character and Romans carried their victorious arms, proceedings of the Reformers. It they left the religion of the conquered might have been thought that no pagan pations undisturbed, and con- man could survey the rapid protented themselves with making their enemies tributary to them. But whence

gress of liberty, literature, and this apparently tolerant forbearance ?

freedom of opinion, during the three It arose entirely from this circumstance;

last centuries, without doing homage that the idolatry of those whom they had to the individuals who, under God, subdued did not interfere with their imparted to all of them this new and

It mattered not who were the mighty impulse. But the fact has gods of the countries they vanquished,

been otherwise. The religious provided they did not molest the Roman deities and worship. But very differ

zeal of the Reformers has cancelled ent was the conduct of these restless in some eyes all their other exceland ambitious people, when they be- lencies. And those who would came masters of Jerusalem. There the have been canonized by some of inhabitants were treated with every possible cruelty ; there the temple was

these bigh priests of literature, as profaned, and laid in ruins ; there the

the reformers of letters and of God of the Jews was insulted and blas- national and political law, are dephemed. Why? Because the worship preciated or slandered as the creof Jehovah allowed of no homage to any dulous and bigoted constructors of other deity; because an acknowledg- formularies and creeds. Among ment of the God of the Jews must have overthrown all the altars of the empire

the foremost in this host of asof the world.-Now this is precisely the sailants, is a certain celebrated case with Christianity. It strikes at the Northern Journal. Its last Number pride of man, and lays him in the dust.

contains an article of this kind, All the natural powers of his mind, which it is not, however, our intherefore, are opposed to it. So that the establishment of it by law gives it a

tention to examine. Happily the countenance, which at least obtains for eyes of the public are now, geneit a hearing by thousands, who would rally speaking, opened on the reotherwise think it an insult to their un- ligious character of that work. We derstandings to be entreated to listen shall, therefore, prefer noting down to its melodious accents. Thus the rich and noble, thinking it no disgrace to at

a few capital errors, or rather vices, tend on the worship of the state, are

in treating on the subject of the thereby brought under the sound of the Reformation, wbich appear to preGospel, and made acquainted with those vail in modern writers, and espeimportant truths of which they might cially among the soi-disant philootherwise never have heard.” pp. 531, sophical school on both sides of the 532.


In the first place, then, we obHaving thus endeavoured to do a most unmanly desire to justice to the respectable work of depreciate the motives of Luther, Mr. Custance, we trust we shall and to underrate his services to the be pardoned if we touch upon a great cause of the Reformation. few topics connected with the Re- Some of our readers, who are not formation, in general of great in- extensively read in this controversy, terest to ourselves, and to which may not be unwilling to inspect a the late aggressions of a pretty brief collection of the imputations large class of writers have parti- which have, at various times, been cularly directed our attention. brought against the father of the

It might have been expected Reformation. We give it as drawn that the immeasurable benefits en- up by a most accurate and imparfailed upon society by the Refor- tial hand. Luther, then, has been


charged with having struggled for indeed it is unknown to him, we ten years with his conscience, and should have been glad to call at last become an Atheist--with the attention of Professor Stewart, having frequently declared, that he when deciding on the authority would surrender his sbare in Pa- of the Colloquia Mensalia. “ Imradise, if only he might live a hun- pegit Luthero quod Jobi etiam dred years delightfully in the world libro Divinam authoritatem detrax-with denying the immortality of erit, argumento è convivalibus the soul-with entertaining mean ejus sermonibus deprompto, at luand carnal ideas about heaven- dicro plane et calumnioso; cum with having composed hymns in neque libri illius autor unquam fuerit favour of drunkenness, to which Lutherus, neque eo vivente vel approvice he was greatly addicted—with bante editus sit.” (Selden in Otiis. having caused Amadis to be put Theolog. p. 489.) But to pass, into elegant French, in hopes of from the source of these charges, giving the people a distaste to the to the charges themselves : one holy Scriptures--with not believing of the most frequent imputations a word of what he preached—with against Luther is that of intolehaving at his death desired to have rance and intolerance not merely Divine honours paid to his body of temper (for there we should not And that the scenes of his death feel disposed to enter the lists in might harmonize with those of his defence of some of our Reformers) *Jife, it is added, that when his grave but of principle. The charge is, was examined, a few days after his that he denied to all others that decease, the body had vanished, liberty of opinion which be claimed and there issued from the tomb a for bimself. Now, if a foundation sulpburous stench fatal to the by- for this charge is sought in his standers. Now, we have inserted conduct to the Anabaptists, let it this catalogue to show the modern be remembered, that he was, pertraducers of this great and good haps, the mildest of the more emi. man, that if they need the raw nent Reformers towards that body; material for slander, there exist, and, moreover, that in this partias yet, unwrought masses of it cular case, religious and political which may be wrought up into a opinions were so intimately blended vesture as black and faming as that the blow aimed at the spirit of those of the Inquisition itself. Let anarchy and bloodshed may be them only dig deep enough, and easily mistaken for an assault upon they will find poisons as deadly as the freedom of religious belief. they can wish, without the trouble The Anabaptists were, in the of any original combinations. The strongest sense, revolutionists and only possible means by which it is anarchists: and neither church nor attempted to justify any of these, state, neither religion nor governor indeed most of the modern im- ment, could have survived their putations upon Luther, is by extracts final triumph. This, perhaps, is from a little work published by one the strongest ground of attack upof his extravagant admirers, called on the tolerance of Luther. And if the “Colloquia Mensalia,” or “Ta- nothing more decisive can be alleged ble Talk." Now, even if some of against his conduct, surely it is but those best informed on the subject fair to take into consideration bis had not denied the authenticity of sentiments on these points as exthis work, ought the idle report pressed in his familiar letters. of some absurd guest at a dinner “ I am backward,” said be, to table to be set against the deli- Lincus, who had questioned him berate statements, the principles, on this point, (heresy,)“ to pass a and life of the author bimself? There sentence of death, let the demerits is a single quotation, to which, if be ever so apparent.” On this


ground I am decidedly against ca- Landgrave—to his love of peace, pital punishment in such cases, and loyalty, and good order. After and think it enough' that mis- urging many reasons why the elecchievous teachers of religion should tor should not take arms against be removed from their places.' the emperor, he heroically says, The opinion of the Dean of Carlisle I must repeat the protestation will not be deemed of slight value which I lately made before your upon this question, and it is thus highness at Altenburg, that we delivered. (Vol. V. p. 498, Hist. of must quit this part of the country Church.) .. At the same time, he rather than be partakers of the took occasion to reprobate the infamy which will infallibly attach cruel sufferings inflicted on the poor to your highness in the prosecution wretches by the persecutions of of unlawful hostilities.” Such lan; the ecclesiastical rulers, insisting guage may be ungrateful to some on that grand distinction, of which ears; but it harmonizes with the this reformer never lost sight- voice of Scripture, and of true mag. that errors in articles of faith were nanimity. Luther disdained to be not to be suppressed or extirpated found, where no Christian was disby fire or sword, but confuted by covered in the first ages of the the word of God; and that recourse Gospel, in the ranks of rebellion ought never to be had to capital against lawful authorities. punishment except in cases of se- On the whole, we have no hesidition and tumult. The blindness tation in commending to our readand darkness in which men ers the 'example of one of the prooften left are in themselves (said fessed and most active enemies of Luther) a sufficient punishment." Luther, in preference to that of (Com. de Luther, II. xl. 12.) some of his avowed friends. It is

In endeavouring to ascertain the well known, that when the imperial causes of enmity in a certain class

army took possession of Wittenof writers, we discover one point in berg, the soldiery rushed forward, his conduct, which may, perhaps, with the most indecent ardour, to serve to irritate such of them as tear up the grave of Luther and adhere to a peculiar school in po. disperse bis bones. The emperor litics, too much, to allow them im- checked them with these words, partially to survey his excellences; " I war not with the dead." Perwe mean, bis spirit of nonresistance, baps, at that period, that better except in the last extreme, to es. light of religion had begun to comtablished authorities. No fact of municate itself to the mind of this the history of this great man places ambitious monarch, which at a him, in our judgment, on a higher later period mingled with the pedestal of glory, than his conduct shades of his superstition, and shed in this respect upon a particular a sort of milder lustre over the last occasion. When the vehemence days of his turbulent life. At all of the Landgrave had nearly borne' events, may our contemporaries down the objections of John of also remember that men of candour Saxony to take arms against the and honour war not with the head of the empire; wben an army

dead." Let them reason from facts, of twenty thousand men was raised and not on hypothesis and where to fight for the cause the reformer the act is good, impute no unworthy loved so dearly; when his affairs, motive to the agent who is not without war, appeared to be almost himself in circumstances to repel desperate, and when many circum- the charge. But we must turn from stances promised a successful war; this ample field, to notice a second Luther sacrificed at once his hopes, transgression of many of the writers his desires, bis anxiety for the Pro- on the Reformation. testant cause, bis interests with the The error to which we allude CARIST. OBSERV. No. 182.


is that of ascribing the effects ma- chief authors of the Reformation. nifestly wrought by the Reforma- Mr. Hume, for instance, tells us, tion to other causes. Nothing, for that the Austin friars bad usually instance, is more common than the been employed in Saxony to preach assertion, that without the Refor- indulgences, and, from this trust, mation, or any change originating had derived both pront and consiin religious motives, the "

progress deration; that Arcemboldi gave of knowledge" would “necessarily" this occupation to the Dominicans ; have produced some such revolu- that Martin Luther, an Austin tion in the opinions and babits of friar, resenting the affront put mankind, Nor are statements of upon his order, began to preach this kind confined to the open or against indulgences, &c.—But it even the disguised enemies of re- is enough to reply, first, that the ligion. They are found in the sale of indulgences bad not been mouths of its avowed friends. Not usually” confined to the Austin merely sciolists in philosophy, but friars, for, till the year 1229, the distinguished philosophers, have Dominicans bad exclusively sold fallen into this error. How sur.

them; that for fifty years before prising is it, for instance, to find in Luther, only the name of one the pages of such a writer as Mr. Austin friar occurs as a vender of Dugald Stewart, the following them; that, moreover, the sale of statement ! “ The Protestant Re- them was become, at the opening formation, which followed immedi- of the 16th century, too odious and ately after, was itself one of the unpopular for Luther to covet such natural consequences of the revival an employment for his order; that of letters, and of the invention of such motives were never imputed

to Luther, even by bis inveterate Now, although it is our intention, enemies, Cajetan, Émser Hogstrat, at no very distant period, to enter and Tetzel. Even this reply, howinto an extended investigation of ever, is superfluous. Let any one the highly important work from seriously canvass the writings of which this sentiment is quoted, we the early Reformers, and they may, perbaps, he permitted to an- will at once perceive, that with ticipate our future labours by them every other object was suborasking, whether Mr. Stewart can dinate to religion; that literature really conceive that the Reforma- and politics were mainly regarded tion is the natural offspring of the in their bearing upon the inteprogress of human knowledge. rests of the Gospel; and that es. These three propositions are per- pecially the grand fundamental fectly obvious to ourselves ;--that doctrine of “justification by faith the Reformation was the work of alone" was that around which they religious principle—that nothing rallied—their “ articulum stantes but religious principle was compe

aut cadentis ecclesiæ”—the truth, tent to effect a change as extensive in whose cause they were prepared as that accomplished by the Refor. to live and to die. The Reformers mation—that ihe progress of the Re- were doubtless eminent scholarsformation was not materially assist. Luther especially (for Melancthon ed by men of mere science or litera- adhered to the Peripatetic school) ture. Let us dwell for a moment made the first formidable assault on each of these points.

on the philosophy of the schools, The first position that the Re- and thus paved the way for the formation was the work of religious future triumphs of reason and truth principle-appears to us to need in moral and metaphysical inquilittle proof." We know that the ries;- but it cannot be questioned most mercenary and even impure' that religion prompted them to act, motives have been imputed to the as well as guided them in action ;


that they followed not the dim and forth the streams of health and life perishable light of human science, upon the moral wilderness of Eu. but the star which conducted them ropean society. to the presence of their Saviour.

But, once more, we have affirmed The counsel of Luther to Spala- that men of mere science and litinus, when the latter desired his terature cannot be considered as advice' as to the best method of primary agents in this moral revostudy, agrees with this statement. jution. It cannot be questioned “ Read” (said he) "certain parts of that the early works of Erasmus Jerome, Àmbrosé, Augustin;" but did much to expose the absurdities “always begin with serious prayer; and corruptions of Popery. It was for there is no interpreter of the said, and justly said, that he laid Divine word but its own Author. the egg which Luther hatched. ... Read the Bible, in order, from But let it be remembered, that no beginning to end.

sooner had the incubation begun, But next let us turn to the second than Erasmus repented of his teproposition—that nothing except merity ; and that bis latter years religious principle could have ac- were spent in cancelling his past complished the mighty changes benefits, in exposing the friends effected by the Reformation. If of the Reformation, in raking up any other principle would have every minute delinquency of bis been sufficiently strong, steady, former associates, and displaying and universal, what was that prin- them to the world through the ciple ? Not the love of liberty, for magnifying and distorting medium the mere lovers of liberty sought it of satire and ridicule. Such was by a momentary burst of passion the nature of the service too comand tumult, and were heard of no monly rendered by men of letters

Not the love of philosophy, to the Reformation. They began for the self-called philosophers of by carrying a torch to detect the those days were too busy with errors of Popery, and ended by substances and accidents to think thrusting it into the face of the of reform. Not the love of letters, Reformers. They loved reforma for the lovers of letters, with Eras- while the reform was not to be exmus at their head, preferred the tended to themselves. They prorepose or the laurels of the Vatican moted it while it promised them to the perils of the Protestant camp. the patronage of the mighty. But And the fact is, that no other prin- when kings and popes erected ciple, but that which pursues its their hostile banners, mere learnobject in another state of being, ing, like the Grecian orator, took could prepare men to sacrifice refuge among the baggage wagons every thing in this. No principle, of the contending forces. Erasmus but that which is as intelligible and frequently sums up his reasons for efficient with the low as the high, not joining the Reformers with a with the illiterate as the learned, sentence of this kind above all, was sufficiently vast, and vital, and I fear for learning.That fear, energetic to quicken the whole it is to be apprehended, swallowed mass of society, and to raise up, up every higher principle. out of the dead stones of Popery, But it is time that we should children of virtue and of truth. If close this already extended article, historians and critics would, instead by making a very few observations of speculating upon the character on a third point to which we have and views of the Reformers, study adverted; namely, that there is their spirit and genius in their much disposition in a certain class own recorded sentiments, it would of writers to undervalue the actual be seen, that religion, and religion benefits of the Reformation. They alone, struck the rock, and poured admit, perhaps, that the Reforma


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