Images de page
PDF
ePub

son,

war was determined on, in quality ness, but cannot hate the son himself ; of chaplain, and in obedience to the but tenderly calls him to him, and bids authoritative command and uniform Adam, where art thou?

Oh unutterable

him consider in what a situation he stands. injunctions of his canton. Twenty mercy of our heavenly Father. He inmembers of the council and fifteen quires where he is, without whom, as ecclesiastics fell in the engagement placing all things in the situations which of Cassel, in 1531. We are far from they must respectively occupy, none of

them could at all exist. He demands, defending the practice to which Where art thou?

not that he may be him. Zuingle fell a sacrifice, so far as it self informed, but to make blind ignorant involved the ministers of religion in man sensible of þis unhappy condition, actual conflict; but it is only jus- is the

very cradle

of religion, of piety tice to the memory of so great and a word, we may observe, applied as well good a man, to state the real cir- between parents and their children as becumstances of the case.

tween God and man. See then the piety The faults of Zuingle's character, he runs to him; he stops him in the midst

of the father towards his impious child: taken as a whole, are noted by our of his rash and wayward purposes. So author as he proceeds. A somewhat

A somewhat also to this very day the beginning of piety too great acuteness in theology- is on God's part: and all for our benefit : an occasional wandering into meta

for he can receive nothing from us. But

this piety on God's part is then made physics beyond the clear line of perfect, (or attains its end,) when we Scripturema sarcastic turn in argu are turned to Him who calleth us off from ment with his opponents, are the our own infatuated counsels. Unhappy chief. A few extracts will enable our

indeed is that earthly parent that pursues,

with unwearied kindness, a son who as readers to judge of the general piety perseveringly rejects his calls: but this and talents of this distinguished per can never happen where Almighty God is Thus he writes to Ecolam concerned: for whom he calls he compels

to answer, whether he will or not. This padius, in 1523:

is proved in the instances of Adam the My pious and learned friend, I am tossed about in various ways : yet I re

prevaricator, David the adulterer and

murderer, and Paul the persecutor.--Such main unmoved, not relying on my own

then is the origin and nature of religion. strength, but on the rock Christ, through whom I can do all things; for it is he him his disobedience, treachery, misery;

God exposes a man to himself; shews that strengthens and animates me. For, when I am cast down by sad tidings of But he at the same time discloses to him

so that he may quite despair of himself. the Gospel being oppressed in one quar- the amplitude of his own mercy and kind, ter, I am raised again by good news from another. One threatens me with a thou- of himself sees that there remains for

ness—such that he who had just despaired sand deaths: another cheers me by his him, in the bosom of his Creator and Christian letters--as you have now be- Father, such grace, so sure, so ready, so gun to do: but you must repeat the ser

all-sufficient, that he can never be sepavice frequently in future, if you continue rated from Him

on whose grace he relies to love me.

Not that I think myself And this adherence of the heart, by which worthy of the praises which you lavish upon me; but because I see in you that the only good--who alone can soothe his

a man relies without wavering on God as temper which we desire to possess. For, sorrows, alone avert from him all evils or when we find good men, men thinking turn them to his good and thus regards rightly of Christ

, we overflow with joy: him as a Father ; this is piety; this is reand are ready to overwhelm them with ligion. For they who thus regard God commendations, such as must even appear

as a Father will constantly and anxiously foolish to them, did they not look rather study to please him, and to do his will

. to the intentions of the writer than to

And so full is the testimony of Holy their own deserts. In this way only can

Scripture to the purport of all which we I excuse your language to me.

have now taught, that the whole doctrine Surely this marks the humble, ex of both the Old Testament and the New, perienced Christian.

and the burden of the song of all the saints On the origin of religion in the of God, is nothing else than this—that mind, read his beautiful disqui- possesses all things and that he will deny

we are destitute of every thing—that God sition.

us nothing.' "" Here then religion took its rise, “ In the midst of this noble and affect when God recalled despairing fugitive ing passage, our author throws in the fol, man to himself: like a kind father, who lowing sentences : • And here I would hates indeed his son's folly and wicked. ask a certain class of theologians, and

P. 129.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

leave the question for their consideration, formidable teeth and claws. The bear,
Do they think that Adam would ever of the stag, and every lower creature, has
himself have returned to seek mercy? Is his weapons of offence or defence. But
there any appearance, any likelihood of the human body is produced smooth, ten-
it? Why' then will they not acknowledge der, and unarmed. Some have adduced
that it is not of him that willeth, nor of this as a proof of the weakness and misery
him that runneth, but of God that sheweth of man: we think it a token and omen of
mercy?-for no man can come to Christ his superiority and happiness. Formed
except the Father draw him. Let God as he was to enjoy God and all the crea-
only leave Adam, and Adam, having once tures of God, a body adapted for gentle-
fled from him, will never return : let him ness, peace, and friendship became him.?"
but leave man, and man will never seek pp. 220, 22).
Him that made him. We make these One brief extract more : The wri.
observations, to shew how far man departs ter, in answering those who speak
his flight ; and also for the purpose of de- disadvantageously of the holy law of
monstrating how far those divines err from God, after describing it as the dis-
the right path, who discourse of faith as

covery of the Divine mind and will, acquired by man, and of free-will, even

says,
more frigidly than the very heathens do.'”
pp. 203_206.

«« Hence it appears

that some persons The following passage is most of great name, in our own times, have beautiful,

spoken too incautiously of the law, as if

it did nothing else than terrify, condemn, « « Man (as he came from his Creator's and deliver over to the curse. The law hand) is the most extraordinary and ad- is not the author of these evils. On the mirable of all creatures. An angel is a

contrary, it is the revelation of the mind noble being, consisting of pure spirit: and will of God: than which nothing can but if you compare man with him, will be more excellent. St. Paul is more clear you not be astonished ? He is at once and more modest in his use of such modes heavenly and earthly- celestial animal. of speaking.... His discourse all tends to .... In so constituting him, the Creator extol the sanctity of the law, which he seems to have afforded some shadow of styles spiritual and good. Was then that that commerce which he would one day which is good made death to me? he hold with this world in the person of his asks: and he answers, God forbid ! but Son. For what could so plainly and na sin that it might appear sin, worketh death turally have prepared us for the incarna- in me by that which is good namely, the tion of the Son of God, as seeing an in- law. Observe how carefully he avoids tellectual spirit lodged in a sluggish earthly casting odium upon the law, by attributbody?'

ing death and damnation to it. Not that Again : • Take away man out of this I would proscribe the use, in their proper lower world, and all is bereaved, sunk, place,of such enallages as that which makes and degraded. Who is there then of all the law to condemn and doom to death, visible creatures, to know God, to hold but that I would have modesty and cauintercourse with him, to enjoy him ? Man tion observed in the use of them. .... That is to the world what God is to man. Re- the law condemns and makes men guilty move him, and all is widowed and desti- is no otherwise true, than it is true that

Who is there then any more for the introduction of a light among a comthe sun to warm, or the zephyrs to fan, pany of deformed men disfigures them. or for whom the earth may bring forth It is the detector of their deformity, not her fruits ? Will you say, There are the the author of it.'” pp. 221, 222. lower animals? But for whom would they

The character of Ecolampadius is exist, when no one remained that understood the use of any thing? It was ne

one of the fairest in the Reformed cessary then that he, who was to be the annals; so able, so mild, so firm, so master, the lord, and I may say the hus- prudent, so consistent, so humble : band of the world, should bave something it is a lovely specimen of eminent in common with the creatures over which he was to preside. At the same time he abilities, controlled and animated must possess some superior endowment, with equal piety, and employed by by which he should be enabled to govern the good providence of God in introthem. A body therefore was given to ducing and completing a great work poreal things : and a soul to him, who of religious reformation. Take a alone among corporeal beings should hold few specimens.kindred and communication with God and 6. Your defence would have conduced spiritual subsistences..... But now observe to my honour : for our cases are similar, the body assigned to man, and compare except that I am placed among a people it with those of the animals around him. perhaps still more addicted to superstition, The lion is covered with hair, and has still more impatient of the truth, and

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

tute.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

us.

still morè neglectful of charity. But far that, if death had come, I should not have be it from me on such grounds to overlook wished myself poorer.'” p. 165. the real interests of a friend who reposes We conclude with his testimony to confidence in me. I think you will not fundamental truth.— disapprove my advice. Very wise men

“ The next thing will be, that with unhave given me the like, fearing lest I failing faithfulness and constancy we sound should publish, against those among whom forth the Gospel—the mystery hidden I live, an apology resembling yours. After from ages : namely, that by Jesus Christ this introduction he proceeds as follows the Son of God dying for us, remission • After deeply considering the question of sins has been procured for the world. on all sides, I am of opinion that it will Be this our wisdom, to preach Christ not be for your advantage to publish what crucified. To this point let

all our disyou have written. In the first place, you

courses tend; to set forth these riches will not attain your object of clearing and this glory of the love of God towards yourself from reproach. The judgments

For what more could the Father of of mankind are various and perverse. mercies do for us, than to give his only Often when they see us anxious to vin, begotten Son for our salvation ? What has dicate ourselves, without some special he not with him freely given us ? What call for it, they only suspect us the more. Moreover, the world is weary of personal What forbearance and forgiveness will be

shall we not obtain through his Son ? apologies and vindications. Your reputa

not exercise towards us? With the net of tion is safe while the senate of your coun

this doctrine we shall become fishers of try justifies you. The reproaches of the

men ; and draw them as willing servants Pharisees can never be all silenced. For

to Christ : for the hearts of sinners, burHis sake who was numbered with the trans- dened with the chains of their sins, and gressors, we must bear it, that there should harassed by cruel tyrants, gasp after peace be those who hate and revile and curse us.

and liberty. Thus shall we implant in But we must strive to order our lives so

them faith, which worketh by love to blamelessly that the slander may refute produce really good works. For we do itself, and that they may be confounded who wish us evil, and daily cry over us,

not preach Christ as having so died for

our sins, as to leave us at liberty to live There, There.'” pp. 156, 157.

in them; but on the contrary, as having On simplicity of view in the mi so redeemed us that we should no more nisters of religion, nothing can well yield ourselves to bondage ; but rather exceed the following passage.

die to sin, and putting on the new man “ • How faithfully you labour in the disobedience forfeited life and brought in

live not like the first Adam, who by his Lord's vineyard all good men testify; Go death both to himself and to us, but like on, and never expect to find your labours Christ, the Second Adam, who by his less or lighter than they are. Grow not

obedience unto death restored us to life, weary of your work; nor look to have and, becoming the

first-begotten from the the triumph over a conquered world, and dead, gave to us the assured hope of the eternal glory awarded you, without your resurrection, and of future glory and imhaving here striven lawfully. The consciousness of having done all for the ho- berty of spirit by which we recognise God

mortality. Hence comes that blessed linour and glory of the universal Sovereign

as our Father, love him whom we thus Lord is a mighty stay to the mind,

to sup- recognise, confide in him whom we thus port its constancy. On the contrary, nothing so much converts the pillars of the love, and call on him in whom we thus church into reeds shaken with the wind,

confide, boldly crying, Abba, Father.” as the desire of their own glory. I need pp. 177, 178. not mention examples: you have them

We proceed to Farel, whose hisnear you.

May a merciful God grant to tory is curious and affecting. such that they may not always dissemble “ Farel was born of a wealthy and known truth”'-Oh let no minister of noble family at Gap, in Dauphine, in the Christ-none that would aspire to be such year 1489. By the advice of Faber Sta-overlook the remark here made on the pulensis, and other learned men who per• desire of vain-glory,' ' a restless and ceived his promising talents, he diligently ever-working principle,' wherever it finds applied himself to the study of philosoadmission, at constant war with all our phy and polite literature, and subsequentChristian graces. pp. 162, 163.

ly to that of the Latin and Greek lanWhat a solemn sentiment is the guages, at Paris; where he for some time following !

held a situation in the Cardinal's Col

lege,' and was one of the first persons “ Nothing is more fatal to the church of God than lukewarm ministers.”

who professed the Reformed religion in

France. He himself states, that from And this :

the time he first heard of the evangelical « « Hitherto the Lord has heard my doctrine he felt great anxiety about it. A prayers, and given me neither poverty nor riches.... I have never yet been so poor, taking place for his receiving it. He

preparation of mind had no doubt been

p. 164.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

passed, according to his own relation, more council of Berne, informed of his zeal than three years in earnest prayers to God and usefulness, sent him a patent, conto guide him into the right way; frequent- stituting him pastor of Aigle. He herely reading the New Testament on his upon resumed his proper name, and comknees; comparing the Greek text with menced preaching. He encountered howthe Vulgate version, and consulting per ever great opposition both from the inhasons of almost all 'descriptions, in the bitants and from persons in power, partihope of eliciting from them some eluci- cularly the syndic of Aigle and the Berdation of the truth and will of God.”

nese governor. The latter was on the pp. 71, 72.

point of prohibiting his preaching, when In the year 1521, Farel was called the council of Berne again interfered, by William Briconnet, or Brisonnet, censured the governor's conduct, and orbishop of Meaux, who favoured the Re- dered him, so far from obstructing Farel formation, to preach in that city: but two in preaching the Gospel, to give him his years afterwards, the parliament of Paris

countenance and support." pp. 77, 78. having begun cruelly to persecute the pro “ Farel, in no wise disconcerted by opfessors of the Reformed faith, Brisonnet position, went on with his work, and lalost his courage, and Farel was compelled boured indefatigably for the good of such to leave France. He retired to Stras as would listen to him. He extended his burg, where he formed an intimate friend services also to Bex, Olon, and other ship with Bucer and Capito, which was places within the government of Aigle. not interrupted but by death. Leaving He wrote earnest and able letters to the Strasburg, he visited Basle, and his pro- domestic chaplain of the bishop of Lauceedings in that city have been noticed. sanne, and other ecclesiastics, in the hope As the hostility of the Roman-Catholic of softening their prejudices, and opening clergy did not permit him to continue at their minds to the admission of the truth : Basle, he removed, by the recommenda- but, as far as appears, the only consetion of Ecolampadius and other friends, quences were further insults and injuries to the neighbouring principality of Mont to himself. He addressed also a brief but belliard, which, though insulated in France, forcible exposition of the Christian docbelonged to the duke of Wurtemburg. trine to the nuns of the order of St. Claire, Here he laboured with so much zeal and at Vevay." pp. 79, 80. success, under the protection of the duke

But we cannot afford room to Ulric, that within two years the whole principality became reformed : and to this pursue our extracts, especially as day the inhabitants in general are Protest

we shall meet this noble reformer ants.” pp. 72, 73.

again, when we proceed, as we shall “ He returned in 1526 to Strasburg, do in our Appendix, with the Geneva and thence removed to Neuchâtel. Here he appeared habited as a priest, that he portion of the volume before us. might gain access to preach the Gospel; We cannot, however, close this but he was recognized as he was about to division of the work, without a spemount the pulpit, and was compelled to

cimen or two of the prominence leave the town. He in consequence went to Berne, and formed the acquaintance of justly assigned to the Holy ScripHaller ; who, finding his strong desire to tures, in the whole contest with the advance the kingdom of Christ in those Church of Rome, and of the ignoparts where the French language was spoken, advised him to go to Aigle, the

rance and profligacy of that church only place of that description then subject at the period of the Reformation. exclusively to the government of Berne.

These extracts will shew that at that He complied with the advice; screened period the Bible and holiness were himself from the odium under which he the cause of Protestantism; and hulay on account of his religion, by assuming the name of Ursinus, and for the pre

man tradition and vice the cause of sent was contented to support himself, Popery. and quietly introduce his doctrine, by At the disputation at Berne in teaching a school. Whether or not we can approve even these slight instances of 1528, one rule laid down by the Redisguise, we must admire the man of fa- formers was— mily, of learning, of eloquence, and ori « • That no proof should be admitted ginally of fortune also, who would expose but from Scripture, nor any explanation himself to insult, if not to danger, and of the proofs, which was not also supsubmit to the drudgery of a humble and ported by Scripture—no judge being allaborious employment, simply in order to lowed but Scripture explained by itself, bring the knowledge of Christ to those that is, by the comparison of more obscure who were prejudiced against it. Labour parts with those which are more clear.' ing in this unostentatious manner, Farel, p. 4. we are told, had much success; when, in “ And, if they attempt to oppose us the early part of the year following, the by the Scriptures, their hands hang down,

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

p. 133.

and they lose all energy, from conscious- and in the very passage referred to was ness of the violence they do to the word explained to mean a rock or stone *. Gratt of God." p. 132.

alleged that he had read what he stated The cautious interpretation of the concerning the name Cephas in the vocainspired volume is thus enforced: bularies, and we may observe, that ge

nerally throughout the disputation, when « • It will greatly conduce to your ob- the original Scriptures were to be referred ject in endeavouring to preach the Gospel to, the Roman-Catholic advocates had to of Christ, that you should reject all pre- rely upon, and even to solicit the assistviously-conceived opinions and doctrines, ance of their opponents !” pp. 7, 8. and come to the word of God alone, in

Traigeur, a Popish advocate, menthe character of a learner and not of a

tioned, teacher. They who apply to it only to seek support for their own opinions will

« That in order to be saved it was 'neinevitably do it violence, and corrupt it: cessary to believe all that the church bebut they who come to it that by its infor- lieves,' but, ' not necessary to understand mation they may become acquainted with

all the articles of faith, or believe them the Divine mind and will to learn and not explicitly: it was enough to believe with to teach it, their profiting will be great."" the universal church, to which the Savi

our has promised his Spirit.' In short it “But you know, my brother, that all would seem, both from this explanation the discords which have existed have had and from the practice of the Romish their origin in a corruption of the Divine church, that we must declare our assent word. What separated the Pharisees

to whatever the church teaches, but that, from the Apostles ? Was it not the au

provided we constantly do so, we may in thority they assigned to the traditions of reality believe almost as we please. Such the elders, and their deserting the righte- is the amount of Roman-Catholic unity!" ousness of God to establish the righteous- p. 9. nesses of men? What introduced so many The morals of the priests are thus heresies, and so many false teachers? Was illustrated : it not that the inventions of the philoso “ The canons of Basle (among whom phers were found captivating, while the Ludovicus Berus was distinguished for doctrine of the Cross appeared contempt- learning, and by the friendship of Erasible? We are still exposed to the same mus,) now retired in a body to Friburg in danger, if we depart a hair's breadth from Brisgau, a town subject to the Archduke the prescribed rule. We shall easily agree, of Austria, and lived there with their if with one mind, taking Christ for our concubines,' till the governor, in the year guide, we seek the glory of God—which

1543, compelled them to renounce the is the scope and design of Scripture : but ancient usage'as they themselves styled no peace, no profit, no commendation in it in contending against his order of reChrist must be hoped for, if we once be- taining such consorts.” p. 40. gin to mingle human inventions with Di. vine revelations. I exhort you therefore, latry is thus incidentally set forth :

The contempt inspired by their idomy brother, who are forward of your own accord, evermore to give this honour to “ In the presence of the deputy of God to prefer nothing before his word; Schweitz, some boys were allowed to nay, to admit nothing beside it. If any carry out the images from the church to a man speak, let him speak as the oracles place where several ways met, and there, of God.'” pp. 158, 159.

placing them on the ground, to address “ But let us by all means beware of them thus : . This way leads to Schweitz

, adulterating the word of God. Let us that to Glaris; this tó Zuric, and that to religiously abstain from adding to it or Coire : choose which you will take, and subtracting any thing from it. Let it be depart in peace : but if you do not move to us a light in a dark place: and accord- along one or other of them we will burn ing to it let us teach and judge. If dif- you.” As the idols shewed no disposition ficulties occur, let us not deviate a hair's

to move, they were set on fire and conbreadth from the rule of faith and charity.” sumed." p. 50.

We conclude the notice of this In this blaze of Scriptural light, division of the volume with the folhow must the deformities, and igno- lowing delightful trait.rance, and vice of Popery appear !

Alexius Gratt, a Dominican of Berne, « * John i. 42, 43. Thou art Simon undertook to maintain the supremacy of the son of Jona: thou shalt be called St. Peter, and through him of the pope : Cephas, which is by interpretation, a for which one of his arguments was our stone,” or Peter, nétpose I presume Gratt Lord's having given to Peter the name of confounded Knfãs with xepadneWe shall Cephas, which, said Gratt, “is a Greek find that this blunder of his partizan is word signifying a head, or chief.' Haller severely animadverted on by James of informed him that the word was Syriac, Munster."

p. 179.

« PrécédentContinuer »