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would have an opportunity of ex- satisfaction to his employers, that ercising his talent for preaching. on his return he was strongly Here he soon attracted universal urged by the vicar-general to acadmiration by his ingeniousness of cept the doctorate, the Elector instruction, originality of thought, of Saxony offering to defray, the profoundness of attainment, and
As he had before reeloquence of manner. Melrich- nounced the degree of Master, so stadt, a man of great penetration, he would now have willingly been prognosticated an alteration by his excused accepting that of Doctor, means both in learning and divi- alleging his infirm health and nity. “ This monk,” said he, “ will other reasons; but Staupicius told disturb all the doctors, introduce him, in a pleasant and significant new doctrine, and reform the whole manner, that “ he was well conRomish church; for he is intent on vinced God had some great underreading the writings of the Pro- takings in design, for which he phets and Apostles, and he takes would require the agency of some his stand on the word of Jesus young and active doctors." He Christ: this, neither philosophers, was admitted to this dignity on the sophists, Scotists, Albertists, nor
18th of October 1512, the festival Thomists, can overturn *.” He of St. Luke, Dr. Carlostadt, Archdisliked the office to which he was deacon of All Saints, presiding, called as Professor of instructing and Dr. Forster preaching on the the students in the Aristotelian occasion; and the next day sosubtleties, and corruptions of the- lemnly invested in the presence of ology; and longed to introduce a
a great concourse of academics, plainer method of study, and a di- much to the satisfaction of Duke vinity more agreeable to Scripture. Frederick, who held him in high
In 1510 he was sent to Rome esteem and veneration. to obtain the settlement of some Sanctioned thus as professor and disputes between seven convents teacher in divinity, he felt the adof Augustines with their vicar- ditional responsibility, and resolved general. While discharging his by the blessing of God to endeaembassy, he was shocked at the vour to promote the knowledge of irreverence and laxity of the Ita- true religion. He began by exlian priests. He heard some of pounding the Epistle to the Rothem, while engaged to all appear- mans, and afterwards the Psalms. ance in celebrating mass, turn the He was particularly anxious that service into raillery, and mutter to his auditors should be brought to a themselves over the elements of right understanding of the doctrine bread and wine, “ Bread thou art, of justification by faith. He deand bread thou wilt remain! wine sired that they should be led to a thou art, and wine thou wilt re- scriptural view of the evil of sin, main!” And because he was slow that they might apprehend the neand distinct in repeating his reli- cessity of salvation by grace. Megious exercises, which they hur- lancthon says, that he had witried over as rapidly as possible, nessed the agony of his mind on they would ridicule him for his de- this subject, when in a certain disvotion, or curse him, and bid him pute on justification, he threw himproceed with more celerity. This self on a couch, and repeated journey gave him such insight into again and again, “ He hath conthe existing superstition and hypo- cluded all under sin, that he might crisy, that he used to say, he have mercy upon all,” mingling his would not but have taken it for a repetition with earnest prayer. The thousand florins. He gave such same writer informs us with re* Seckendorf, p. 19.
spect to his lectures: “He showed
the difference between the Law and He used all his influence with the Gospel; he refuted the old pha- Spalatinus, who had consulted risaical error, which so much pre- him respecting the translation of vailed both in the schools and the some minor Latin works into Gerpulpit, that men might merit for- man, of which he had a high giveness by their own works, and opinion, to neglect these comparathus be reckoned righteous before tively trifling studies, and apply to God.” He wrote, in 1516, to a sound and scriptural divinity. And brother Augustinian at Memmin- he wrote exultingly to Langus, angen, “I desire to know what your other of his friends, about this soul is doing; whether weary at time: “ Our theology and St. Aulength of its own righteousness, it gustine go on prosperously, and learns to refresh itself, and to rest gain the ascendant in this univerin the righteousness of Christ. The sity, by the help of God. Aritemptation to presumption is strong stotle is sinking by degrees, and in many in our day, and especially will, I trust, be soon completely in those who strive hard to be just overthrown. The students are disand good, being ignorant of the gusted with the old mode of lecrighteousness of God, which is turing; nor can any one hope to abundantly and freely given us in obtain hearers, unless he profess Christ. They continue to labour in to expound the Bible, or Augustheir own strength, till they can tine, or some doctor of ecclesiasgain confidence of standing before tical credit*.” God adorned with virtues and me- To Spalatinus he also delivered rits, which is an impossibility. his sentiments concerning certain You, my friend, used to be of this of the fathers, as well as on the opinion, or rather error; so was I: method of studying and interpretbut now I am fighting against this ing Scripture, as pursued by Eraserror, though I have not yet pre- mus; with whose learning and savailed *.”
tirical attack on monastic follies An opportunity was now afford- and vices he was much pleased, ed him of publishing his sentiments though he lamented his Erastian more generally among those of his habits and
and Pelagian notions, own order, as Staupicius appointed “Those things in Erasmus, a most him his deputy in Misnia and Thu- erudite character, which affect me, ringia, giving him a right to visit are as follow: in interpreting the about forty of the monasteries. Apostle's account of legal rightReturning to Wittenberg in June, eousness, he understands him to he wrote with much freedom to mean ceremonial observances alone. Spalatinus, secretary and chap- In the next place, though he adlain to the Elector, concerning the mits the doctrine of original sin, he state of religion. “ Many things does not perceive that the Apostle please your prince, and look great is speaking of it in the fifth in his eyes, which are displeasing chapter of the Romans. Now, if to God. In worldly matters, I he had read Augustine in those grant, his prudence is distinguish- works which he composed against ed ; but in those which pertain to the Pelagians, especially concernGod, and the salvation of souls, ing the spirit and the letter, as he is in sevenfold darkness.” Nei- well as the guilt and remission of ther the Elector nor his chaplain sin; and his tracts against two was offended at this faithfulness, Epistles of the Pelagians, and both o whom were subsequently against Julian, which for the most much benefited by his ministry and part may be found in the eighth dicorrespondence.
vision of his writings; and had * L. I. Ep. 2, p. 11.
* L. I. Ep. 27.
seen, that he does not speak of his the word of God with attention, own mind, but agreeably to the were true disciples of Christ, electsentiments of the best fathers, Cy- ed and predestinated unto eternal prian, Nazianzen, Rethicius, Ire- life,” He enlarged on that subnæus, Hilary, Olympius, Inno- ject, and showed, that the whole cent, and Ambrose; he would, doctrine of predestination, if the perhaps, not only have rightly un- foundation be laid in Christ, was of derstood the Apostle, but have singular efficacy to remove that deemed more highly of Augustine dread, by which men trembling than he has hitherto.” Then, show- under a sense of their own unworing how much more valuable the thiness fled from God, who should commentaries of Augustine were be their only refuge. At dinner, than those of Jerome, which were the Duke asked Barbara Salona, preferred by Erasmus, he adds: first lady of the household, how · The righteousness of the law is she liked the discourse? « Sir," by no means confined to ceremo- she answered, “ could I but hear nies; it respects also obedience to such another, I should depart in the whole decalogue. Such obe- peace!”—“ Would you ?” replied dience, indeed, without faith, may his Highness in a passion: produce such characters as a Fa- only say, I would rather have paid bricius or a Regulus, or other down a large sum of money
than very upright moralists, according have heard such a sermon, which to man's judgment; but is no more is calculated to make men prelike true righteousness, than a ser- sumptuous.” This he repeated sevice berry is like a fig. For we do veral times. It is remarkable, not become righteous, as Aristotle however, that in less than a month, supposes, by doing certain good the lady was confined to her bed actions, however sincerely; but we by sickness, and gave a powerful do righteously in becoming right- commentary on the discourse by a eous, so to speak; the man must triumphant departure. But the first be changed, and then his preacher was unacceptable to the work. God first respects Abel's Prince, who took care never more person, and afterwards his offer- to invite him to occupy a pulpit in ing.
But this is far otherwise. I his capital. “Like pharisaic formentreat you, then, to perform the alists in all ages,” remarks Milner, office of a friend and a Christian, “he perversely misconstrued the in reminding Erasmus of these doctrine of free salvation by Jesus things; whose authority, as I hope Christ, which Luther preached, and and trust it will be very extensive, which is intended to enable humble so I fear lest it should lead many and repenting souls to serve God others to patronize that lifeless with lively faith and cheerful hope. mode of interpretation, into which The Duke of Saxony, I observe, almost all commentators have fallen perversely misconstrued this docsince Augustine *.”
trine, as though it had a tendency George, Duke of Saxony, de- to persuade men to live in sin; but siring Staupicius to send him a the good matron above mentioned, preacher of integrity and learning, who resided at his court, appears the Vicar-general despatched Lu- to have tasted of that bitterness of ther to Dresden, with a letter to true conviction of sin, which only the Prince, who gave him an order can render the doctrine of grace to preach before the court. The delightful and salutary to the sum of his discourse was, “ thạt no man should cast off the hope of * Seck. p. 28. Milner, vol. iv. p, 332. salvation; that those who heard • L. I. Ep. 20.
(To be continued.)
THE SABBATH DAY.
My spirit, 'mid the hum, the jar,
Of this world, as it hastes away,
Sighs for thee, peaceful Sabbath Day 1
To calm, to sooth my fever'd mind!
From earthly coil and care refin'd!
With joy thy first young dawning light:
That breathe a holy, pure delight!
Thy whispering gale brings to my ear?
They charm the mourning soul to hear.
Melodious swell the holy strain;
And peace among the sons of men !”
Seems as it shed a holier ray!
Arose that better, brighter day!
In darkness sinks thy living light:
Shall never, never, know a night!
A silent voice of peace and praise,
And shall I not an anthem raise?
That's wont to be the house of prayer;
My heart,-be thou not silent there!
May every thought that's earthly be;
In sweet communion go with me!
They sung, who have been long at rest;
In prayers that Heaven so oft hath blest!
Passes, like dying saint, in peace!
A sabbath comes that ne'er shall cease!
* Luke, i. 78.
LETTERS FROM A DEPARTED SAINT, No. III.
B-, 13th Dec. 1816. frequently to be reminded of our MY DEAR FRIEND,
mortality, and stranger still, that it You know the great Apostle ex- is often remembered with indifferamined what effects his letters pro- ence? We fail in self-application. duced on the conduct of his friends, About a fortnight since I went to and on one occasion he says, inquire for Mr. R—'s only daugh“ What carefulness it wrought in ter, a few miles from this. I did you.” I have been earnest at a not expect to see her, she is so throne of grace, that, with the di- very weak, but it pleased the Lord yine blessing, your last letter may to incline her to invite me into her be made useful in producing a si
I was much affected to see milar effect in me.
her feeble frame, the hectic flush, If I have told you many flatter- and animated eye. I never expect ing things of yourself, in the to meet her again in this lower strength of Christ I will henceforth world. She indeed feels a desire endeavour to avoid this, because to depart, and to be with Christ, the word of God tells me this is which is far better, and is delighted wrong. O the deceitfulness of sin!, at the thoughts of going home. She “ Who can understand his errors ?” has from her youth lived a life of O Lord, my strength and my Re- close and constant communion with deemer, cleanse thou me from se- a reconciled God. I felt as if I cret faults.
had been conversing with one alI believe you have found out one most in heaven, and hope the imof my besetting sins; “ I am verily pressive scene will be sanctified to guilty, and have much need to When I got home I could watch and pray." My only apo- have wept all the evening, yet I logy you will find in your Prayer know I should rejoice. She is Book, Psalm xv. last clause of the the mother of seven children, and fourth verse *.
has an affectionate husband : may When shall that praise begin her prayers for them be answered! which ne'er shall end? When we I am every other day with a think what our Redeemer did, and cousin of my mother's, who suffers taught, and suffered for our re- great pain; but faith triumphs over demption, are you not ready to the sufferings of nature, and she join in the elevated language of Dr. rejoices in hope of the glory of Watts, when he says, “Ò for the God. O my friend, these are scenes wings of love to bear my spirit up- of great responsibility to ward in holy breathings! Methinks Could I tell you what I have witI would long to be near him, to be nessed the last fortnight of poverty with him, to give him my highest and wretchedness, you would feel praises and thanks for my share in surprised that my hard and obduhis dying love."
rate heart is not now humble and What will be our joy when we contrite. When I see human deshall be admitted into his presence, pravity, and think how largely I and can say, This is the glorious share in it, and that grace has Person, the Lamb of God who made me to differ, what humility washed me from
sins in his own and gratitude should appear, not blood! Blessing, honour, and sal- merely in words, but in
life! vation to his holy name for ever I often think what a striking eviand ever. Amen.
dence we have of the value of reliIs it not strange that we need so gion in the abodes of poverty. How
delightful to see it in all its inviting * “ He that
-maketh much of them simplicity and holy charms, cheerthat fear the Lord.”
ing the soul, and enn obling the