« EdellinenJatka »
books written by me are neither of bear witness of the evil?" If our the same kind, nor on the same Lord himself, who was conscious subject. Some treat of the nature of he could not err, did not disdain faith and piety, to which my very to listen to testimony against his adversaries have borne most ho- doctrine, even from the vilest of nourable testimony; and should I slaves, how much more ought such abjure such as these, I might justly · a contemptible and frail creature as be accused of coming short of the myself to be ready to attend to any duty of an honest man: others arguments against my positions! I there are in which I censure the beg, therefore, for God's sake, Roman pontificate, and the Papal your most serene Majesty, and system, which have afflicted Chris. most illustrious Lordships, or any tendom with the greatest evils. of this assembly, be he high or For who does not see, how mise- low, if he can, to bring evidence, rably the consciences of men are and convict me of fault, from the vexed by the laws and decrees of prophetical or evangelical Scripthe Popes? Who can deny how tures; for I shall be most ready, as fraudulently and insidiously they soon as better instructed, 'to revoke have plundered different countries, any error; and I shall be the first and especially Germany, and even to throw my own books into the to this day set no bound to their fire.
Whence I think it may appillage and rapine? Now, if I pear, that I have well considered should retract these writings, I and duly weighed the differences should confirm this tyrannical pro- and the dangers, or shall I say, ceeding; and the mischief would the studies and the disputes, which be so much the greater, in that my my doctrines have so generally occonfirmation would be sanctioned casioned, and of which it was by the authority of an Emperor and thought necessary yesterday to give of Princes. There is yet a third me grave and powerful admonition. description of my works, which To me, however, I must confess, consists of replies to individuals it affords of all things the greatest who undertake the defence of that pleasure, to perceive these very Roman iniquity, and load me with studies and disputes in existence calumnies; and in these, I am free on account of the word of God; to confess, I have sometimes ex- since this is the character, the cirpressed myself in too strong lan- cumstance, the progress of that guage. But I arrogate no sanctity word; for He saith, • I am not to myself; nor is it of my life and come to send peace on earth, but a morals, but of the true doctrine, sword; for I am come to set a that I have made profession; and man at variance against his father, yet I am unwilling to alter any and the daughter against her mothing even in these, as by such ther, &c.' Wherefore it behoves conduct I should only open the us to consider, that God is wondoor to fresh insolence and usurpa- derful in working, and terrible in tion. Not that I would imply, counsel; lest peradventure the that I consider myself infallible; work on which we are now so inbut because it is the property of tently engaged, if it commence by
to err and be deceived, I a condemnation of the divine word, dare not set up any other defence may lead to a dreadful torrent of for my humble tracts, than was calamities: and let us take especial used by my Lord Jesus Christ him- care, that the government of this self for his own doctrine; who, our excellent young prince Charles when interrogated concerning that be not unhappy and inauspicious ! doctrine before Annas, made an- By many instances from Holy Writ, swer, '• If I have spoken eyil, and particularly those of Pharaoh,
of the king of Babylon, and of the which contain a great part of your kings of Israel, it may be proved that errors, the Emperor will not instiempires have been in the greatest tute any inquiry as to those which danger when regard has been had are right. In the Council of Conto human prudence and secular mo- stance, very many persons were tive alone. Nevertheless, I would present out of Germany, who were not be understood, most illustrious distinguished for virtue and learnand sage princes, as designing ing. But you pour contempt on its to prescribe the course you are to decrees, and revive errors that follow; but as discharging a duty, were there condemned, and require for which I hope always to be a conviction from Holy Scripture. found ready, and which I owe to This is preposterous and unreasonGermany, my native land, dearer able. For what the church bath than life itself to us all. Suffer me, once condemned is not to be brought in conclusion, to beseech you again under dispute again; nor must it be and again, to take me under your permitted to every private man to safety and protection, and defend demand a reason for every particume against the violence of my ad- lar; for, should this once be allowversaries.”
ed, that he who opposes and con“ You have not answered to the tradicts the church and councils, purpose,” said the frowning Of- must be convinced by texts of ficial. “ You are not allowed to Scripture, nothing would ever be call in question points already set- certain or defined. Wherefore the tled by the authority of councils. Emperor requires you to declare, You are required to give a plain in plain terms, what is your deand direct answer to the interro- termination as to
books." gatory, Do you mean to defend “ I beseech you,” said the Rethese your writings?”-“ My re- former, “ that by your leave I ply,” said the Professor, with dig- may preserve a sound and upright composure,
có shall be conscience. I have answered simplain and direct, since you, great ply, and have nothing more to say. Cæsar, and these illustrious princes, For, unless my adversaries convince command it. Unless I am con- me of my error by true arguments vinced by Scripture testimony or taken from Scripture, it would be evident reason (for, as to Popes impossible to set my mind at rest. and councils, I cannot give them Nay, I can demonstrate, that they credence, seeing they have so often have erred often, and grossly too ; erred and contradicted themselves), and for me to recede from the Scripmy belief is so confirmed by the ture, which is clear, and which scriptural passages I have pro- alone can neither deceive nor be duced, and my conscience so de- deceived, would be the very height termined to abide by the word of of impiety.”—“You cannot prove God, that I neither can nor will that any council ever erred," mutretract any thing; for, to act against tered the Official. “I can and conscience is neither safe nor inno- will,” said Luther. cent. Here I stand. I cannot do The approach of evening broke otherwise. May God help me! up the sitting. Though Luther had Amen."
spoken for two hours, he pursued After the princes had deliberated his argument with animation, obon his answer, the Official ob- serving the impression which it served, “ Luther, you have neither made on a large proportion of his answered with becoming modesty, judges, while even those who could nor sufficiently to the point, in not subscribe to his opinions on making a distinction between your theological points, were not dispublications. If you retract those pleased to listen to his political
reasonings against Papal encroach- and continued in deliberation all ment. “ How amazingly well he that day and the next, so that the spoke," said Frederick to Spalati- Emperor found it necessary to be nus, when they had reached their less peremptory in his proceeding, lodging. Some of the bigoted and consented to a delay of some Spaniards vented their malice days, in which they might endeaagainst the Reformer by hissing vour to reclaim dhim, promising in and hooting him on his return. that case to obtain a free pardon
The next day, when the States for him from Rome. were assembled, a paper was read The Archbishop of Treves then from the Emperor : « Descended sent for the accused to come to his as I am from the Christian Empe- palace, where he was exhorted to rors of Germany, the Catholic submit his private judgment to that Kings of Spain, and the Arch- of holy councils, hy Veus, Chandukes of Austria, with the Dukes cellor of Baden, in the presence of of Burgundy; all of whom have many civil and ecclesiastical digpreserved, to the last moment of nitaries. He professed his respect their lives, their fidelity to the for councils in general, but was church, and have always been the constrained to censure the meadefenders and protectors of the sures taken by that of Constance Catholic faith, its decrees, cere- against holy John Huss-depremonies, and usages; I have been, cated the load of tradition with am still, and ever will be devoted wbich the church was unnecessarily to those Christian doctrines, and burdened-declared his readiness the constitution of the church which to obey magistracy in all things they have left me as a sacred inhe- lawful—and would submit to any ritance. And as it is evident, that requisition, which did not amount a simple monk has advanced opi- to denial of the word of God. nions contrary to the sentiinents of He was subsequently urged, all Christians, past and present, I both in public and private, by am firmly determined to wipe off lawyers and divines, to abide by the reproach which a toleration of such decision as the Imperial orsuch errors would cast on Ger- ders should pass on his writings;' many, and to employ all my power but he steadily refused, unless they and resources, my body, my blood, would agree to ground their demy life, and even my soul, in check- cision on the sole authority of Scriping the progress of this sacrilegious ture. Being asked, if he would doctrine. I will not, therefore, consent that a selection of articles permit Luther to enter into any fur- made from his works should be apther explanation, and will instantly proved or condemned by a general dismiss, and afterwards treat him council, he answered to the same as a heretic; but I will not violate purport. In the last conference, my safe-conduct, and will cause the Archbishop confessed, that he him to be carried in safety back supposed the propositions to be to Wittenberg *."
submitted to the examination of a This ill-advised message, to council, would be similar to those which Charles had been stimulated condemned at Constance..“ Then,” by the more violent of the Papists, said the undaunted Professor, “ I occasioned great disputes among neither can nor will be silent in rethe princes. Many complained, gard to such a proposal; for I anı that he had broken the rules of the sure, that the decrees of that counDieţ by this premature sentence. cil condemned the word of God; They disregarded its decisive tone, and rather than give up the word of Schmidt, Hist. des Alleinands, tom. God, when the case is quite clear,
I would consent to lose
The Official immediately waited and idenouncing the ban of the Emon him with an order to leave the pire against all his adherents. city, allowing him twenty-one days On the evening before his departo return home, during which the ture a secret meeting had been held public faith was pledged 'for his at the apartments of Frederick, in safety; but he was strictly enjoined which'it was 'resolved to seize him not to preach to the people in the on his 'journey, and convey him to course of his journey. “This is a place of security, that he might be the Lord's doing,” he replied, “and free from the malice of his enemies. blessed be the name of the Lord !” The plan was revealed to him by He charged the Official with his "Spalatinus, who succeeded, after humble acknowledgments to the a while, in obtaining his 'acquiDiet of their liberal treatment of escence, though there was somehim during his stay; declaring, that thing in all clandestine dealings abhis sole desire was a scriptural re- horrent from his disposition. 'On formation in religion; and quitted his arrival at Friedberg, he disWorms on the following day, the missed the herald with letters to the twenty-sixth of April, accompa- Emperor and States in justification nied by the friends who had en- of his conduct, and near Eisenach tered with him, and joined by the a troap of masked horsemen rushed herald at 'Oppenheim, an officer out of a wood, secured his person 'whose presence was 'by no means as it were by force, and carried disagreeable, as he was attached him off, through the recesses of the to the reformed doctrine.
forest scenery, to a fortress erected Having waited till the Elector of on the highest point of the neighSaxony and the Palatine had de- 'bouring eminences, which'had been parted also, the Emperor passed a an ancient seat of the Landgraves decree on the 28th of May, which, of Thuringia, known by the name to give it the appearance of unani- of Wartenburg, or 'the Watchmity, was ante-dated the eighth, tower. declaring Luther a heretic, con
(To be continued.] firming the sentence of the Pope,
RETURN UNTO THY REST, O MY SOUL !-PSALM CXVI. 7.
Like the prodigal, for pleasure
Thou sought where ne'er possest,
Aud wandered far from rest.
As he from famine hasted, O'er boundless gulfs opprest;
To thy hore afar off run, No peace the world has given thee;
Where God whose gifts thou 'st wasted Return unto thy'rest.
Will own thee as a son.
Before, thy Shepherd going,
Will lead thee to the spring,
Whence living waters flowing,
Shall joy and gladness bring.
On heavenly grace relying,
Thy song shall ne'er decay;
And sorrowing and sigling In a dry and weary land.
Shall ever flee away.
THE VILLAGE PASTOR, No. VIII. 6 O first of buman blessings, and supreme, in our goings out and comings in. Fair Peace! how lovely, bow delightful Owhat a sad, cruel thing this
thou ! By whose wide tie the kindred sons of men,
war must be !” Like brothers, live in amity combin's,
“ So sad and cruel, John, so And unsuspicious faith; while honest toil impure, so wicked, so horrible, Gives every joy, and to those joys a right, that you can form no conception Which idle, barbarous rapine but usurps. of it. You have lived at home, O Peace! thou source and soul of social
and known of it only by report. life, Blest be the man divine who gives us thee.”
A little, and but a little even of “ AND so, Sir,” said a poor
the tale of that slaughter and miseman the other day, “it is going to ry which other countries have seen be all war again, people say?"
and felt, has reached your ears. “ Yes, John, there is already, Had much more been told you, and, I fear, there will ere long bé you would have still been as unmuch havoc and bloodshed in some
able to realize its horrors to your countries not far off. But, blessed mind, as those people are who be the God of peace, our rulers ap
hear accounts of burning mountains pear to be too wise and too just to and earthquakes. Now, John, a imbue their hands in this work of person must behold the burning human destruction."
mountain and feel the earthquake; “ But, Sir, shall we be able to he must stand among the falling keep clear of it? they say it will buildings and the mangled bodies be all about us."
of their inhabitants; he must gaze “ I hope we shall, John : of this on the descending ruin of liquid I am sure, that if the Lord ordains fire, and see the abundance of peace for us, none can plunge us
flame mount up as it were to heainto war.
We are a sinful nation; ven; he must feel the earth reel but still there are many in our land and rock beneath him, and listen who pray for the country, that it to the groans of the dying and the may be preserved in the faith and shrieks of the survivors, before he fear and love, in the peace
and can form any just conception of the grace
mercy of God their Fa- awful realities of those visitations ther. Should he hear their
of the Almighty. And so must a and return an answer of
man see and experience what war then even our enemies will be at is, before he can form any just conpeace with us. Thousands may ceptions of its sins and miseries. fall in one country, and tens of He must pass over the field of thousands in another, but the evil battle, and lead his way through shall not come near us.
the burning village, the bloodever bear in mind, that all hearts stained cottages, and the desolated are in his hands, and all events corn-fields. He must look on a under his control.
tract of country, yesterday in the “ His is that power
bloom and beauty of nature, but Unseen that rules th' illimitable world, to-day a wilderness. He must go That guides its motions, from the bright- into what was once the peaceful
residence of a domestic circle; but To the least dust of this sin-tainted mould; instead of finding the different While man, who madly deems himself the Jord
members of the family collected Of all, is nought but weakness and de- around their cheerful board, he must pendence."
learn that the sons are killed either “ To be sure, Sir, 'tis a great in the ranks of battle, or cruelly blessing to be at peace, and to have murdered because they refused to the Lord go with us as he promises, forsake their homes. He must see