Page images
PDF
EPUB

nothing with me, compared with sembly of all believers in Christ; the defence of the truth. I have but virtually, the Romish, the head only a weak frame to lose, worn and ruler of all other. This Rotoo with incessant labour. And

And mish church, representatively, is should I lose it in the way of duty, the College of Cardinals; but virthrough force or cunning, what tually, the Pope, who is the head matters it if life be shortened by a of the church, yet otherwise than few hours ? Sufficient for me is Christ.-2. That as the universal the lovely Redeemer and Advo- church cannot err in determining on cate, my Lord Jesus Christ, to faith or morals; so also a true counwhose praise I will sing while that cil, examining into truth, cannot life is continued!”

err.-3. That whoever does not deSome regular controversialists pend on the doctrine of the Romish now entered the theological arena church and pontiff as an infallible against him. In the van appeared rule of faith, from which even holy Sylvester Prierias, a Dominican, Scripture derives its force and auPrior-general of the order of thority, is a heretic.-4.That the Ropreaching Friars, Master of the mish church can decree concerning Palace at Rome, and Censor of faith and morals by word or deed; Books; attended by Dr. John Ec- between which the sole difference cius, Vice-chancellor of the uni- is, that words are more convenient versity of Ingoldstadt; and James than deeds. Wherefore custom Hoogstrat, of Brabant, Dominican has the force of law, because the Inquisitor, and Divinity-professor will of the chief is expressed by in the university of Cologne. deeds, permissively or effectively.

The first published at Rome a And consequently, as a heretic is Dialogue, composed in a vehe- one who impugns the truth of ment and abusive style, dedicated Scripture; so he who opposes the to the Pope, in which he so much doctrine and acts of the church forgets the grace of a divine and concerning faith and morals, is a the polish of a courtier, that we can heretic also. He subjoins what he easily believe his assertion, in the considers a notable corollary, as absence of a proper apology, that regarding indulgences in particuhe composed it in three days. In lar; “ Whoever affirms, that the his epistle dedicatory he says, Romish church cannot do what “ One Martin Luther shows a stiff she does by her acts, is a heretic:" neck against the truth, and this and then concludes his wretched holy see.” He proceeds to de- sophistry by a triumphant chalnounce him as a heretic, here- lenge; “Come now, Martin, down siarch, scoundrel, devil, block- with your conclusions !” head, blasphemer, &c.; and in a Luther replied with moderation boasting strain declares himself so and caution : “I pass by your bold, « that he should not fear Sa- foundations, whose meaning I guess. tan himself in the contest, desiring rather than comprehend; and, after heartily to try, whether this Martin your own example, find it neceshave a nose of iron and a head of sary to lay down some on my part.

He then begins his tre- 1. That of St. Paul (1 Thess, v. mendous assault, by bringing for- 21), Prove all things; hold fast ward what he calls his foundations that which is good: and (Gal. i. 8), -1. That the universal church, But though we, or an angel from essentially, is the worshipping as- heaven, preach any other Gospel * Meaning, whether he was

unto you than that which we have proof, and alluding probably, by a rulgar preached unto you, let him be acwit, to his family name.

cursed.-2. That of Augustine to

brass * »

armour

a

Jerome: I have learnt to yield to you cannot hear with conimon pathose books alone which are called tience. Do you suppose I am igcanonical, such honour, as that I norant of the way in which dioceses should most firmly believe none of and city livings are obtained, when their contents to be erroneous; but the very boys in the street know I do not consider others, however how things are managed at Rome?” respectable for doctrine and holi- Dr. Eccius composed what he ness, as

therefore oracular, be- called his Obelisks,” to which cause they have been so regarded.” Luther replied by his " Asterisks.” _" The distinction of the church This writer was not like the into essential, representative, and former, a stranger to the Revirtual, is all your own, and with- former's person. They had been out Scripture warrant. I do not previously acquainted; but when know the church virtually but in a Luther became an opponent of Pecouncil. But if we are to esteem lagianism, he conceived a dislike the act of the virtual church, which of him, and took the opportunity of you say is the Pope, as the act of the publication of his theses to the true church, what monstrosities write against him. Though he was must we reckon for her good deeds? a more respectable adversary, and The effusion of Christian blood by wrote in a more learned manner, Julius II.? The tyrannical pro- he showed the same enmity in the ceedings of Boniface VIII.? You way of abuse. He called him “ make a monster of a Pope, by at- sot, a heretic, an incendiary, and tributing to him the chief civil and a rash, presumptuous, stupid, igecclesiastical authority, so that he norant fellow! Luther declared, is at once Pope and Emperor.”. that “ he bore unjust accusations

I am convinced by your reason- for the sake of Christ. He was ing of what I have long suspected, nevertheless a member of a famous that the scholastic theology is rob- academy, of an approved religious bing us of true and pure divinity; order, in the illustrious duchy of for you may observe, that I am Saxony, in a rich diocese, and constantly opposing this scholastic among Catholics; that be asserted theology, or the false construction nothing inconsistent with the chaof the Word and Sacraments. I racter of a Catholic; and that if he should wish neither to teach nor be were a heretic, it must be through taught in the church, since you re- obstinacy in error. If disputation quire me to quote St. Thomas as made a heretic, Eccius must be my authority. I am a Christian, one of the greatest which the not a Pythagorean.' On one oc- church had seen, who would have casion, Luther assumes a more poisoned four universities with his lofty tone. It is when he repels a arguments.” low insinuation of his antagonist, Hoogstrat exhorted the pontiff to that if the Pope had given him a extirpate the growing heresy by fire good bishoprick, and had granted and sword, which had become inhim the profit of indulgences for curable by milder remedies. Luther the repair of his church, he would was content to give this sanguinahave recommended them as much ry opposer a very short answer. as now he decried them.

“ You He reproves him for his cruelty, perhaps judge of my feelings by and ridicules his ignorance; adyour own, as I should conjecture vising him to proceed with his inby the complacent style in which vectives and malicious counsels, you speak of a mitre; to which, if as he considered it an honour to be indeed I had aspired, it is not pro- abused by such characters. bable I should use language which on,” he says, quoting a proverb from Cicero, “to pick up a gar- a praise in all the Protestant land from a bridecake* !"

66 Go

churches; while he would be Thus did this honest investi- known to posterity not merely as gator of truth endure reviling and the son of a refiner of metals, but threatening at the commencement as the happy and honoured instruof his career; and thus, in self- ment of Him, who said to his

defence, he hurled at his adversa- church, “ I will turn my hand ►ries some smooth stones from the upon thee, and purely purge away

river of life, or drew from the quiver thy dross, and take away all thy of human wit some pointed shafts tin;" and of whom it was predicted, of ridicule and recrimination: little “ He shall sit as a refiner and puriforeseeing, that as he advanced in fier of silver, and he shall purify grace and knowledge, he should the sons of Levi, and purge them obtain greater and brighter victo- as gold and silver, that they may ries, and make the name of Luther offer unto the Lord an offering in

righteousness." * " Laureolam in mustaceo quærere". meaning to seek for credit from paltry

[To le continued.] roductions.

TO AN AFFLICTED FRIEND, ON HER BIRTHDAY.

belov'd, I ask not why,
As gratulations meet thine ear,
I catch the melancholy sigh,

And trace too well the rising tear.
Alas! 'tis busy memory's sting;

And doubts will rise with anguish keen
Of what thy future days may bring,

As judging what the past have been.
I mark upon thy youthful brow,

Sorrow, untimely as severe;
I feel I am no poet now,

For, O! there is no fiction here.
Yet lines of hope I still would write ;

Thy heart is pure *, thy conscience clear;
And know, when darkest is the night,

'Tis then the morning's dawn is near.
O may thy God a refuge prove,

When storms thy spirit low have bow'd;
O'ershadow thee with wings of love,

And paint a rainbow in the cloud!
Be comforted: hast thou not read

Of blessings to the mourner given ?
Thousands the path of sorrows tread,

And find such path the road to heaven.
Ere yet again such day shall add

Another to thy years' increase,
Mayst thou be happy with the glad!
Bright be thy hopes, thy heart at peace!

J.S. * Matt. v. 8.

on

CAUSES OF THE WANT OF SUCCESS IN THE

MINISTRY To the Editor of the Christian whelmed with grief from the supGuardian.

posed defects or unfaithfulness of DEAR SIR,

their own labours in the Lord's READING, in the Christian Guar- vineyard, while the blame and dian for last month, a paper want of success might be justly the want of Success in the Chris- imputed to some one of the causes tian Ministry",” and observing that mentioned, as belonging to the M. B. as some others before him, people, and over which, “to takes but one side of the question; speak after the manner of men, we and as I have always considered can have no control. I would that there are faults on both sides, only just remark, for myself, that I beg leave to send you the inclosed I have met with ignorance, that skeletons of two sermons, that I could not be awakened to

any

thing lately composed for the mutual be- like thought or consideration by nefit of myself and my people. If the most assiduous, repeated, and you think them at all likely to be the plainest instructions. I have useful to others, and you have a met with indifference, that could page to spare in your very valuable not be brought to any thing like Magazine of next month, you will feeling or concern for the soul, by greatly oblige me, and a few other the most awful warnings, importu, friends of the Christian Guardian, nate entreaty, or the most friendly by their insertion. If I had added admonitions; and I have been op, the leading ideas under each head, posed by the pride of self-righteouswith the familiar illustrations of the ness, that would not be humbled, subject, and the different texts of nor yield to all the proofs of the Scripture, it would have too much state of man, as a fallen, guilty lengthened my paper. These will sinner, that reason and Scripture só readily occur to every mind at all abundantly supply: Wishing you acquainted with the subject; and success in your « labour of love? if any one who has less active en- for the good of souls, gagements and more leisure than I am, dear Sir, myself, should feel disposed to en

Yours faithfully, large on the different ideas here

C. D. suggested, I shall be happy to see them in some future Number, as it Heb, iv. 2.-" The word preached may prove neither unacceptable nor did not profit them." unprofitable to your numerous read- It must have forcibly struck ers, whether ministers or people. the considerate and reflecting mind, From the experience of twenty how little effect is really produced, years in the ministry, I have every in the present day of light and where found the same ignorance, knowledge, on a congregation or a indifference, and the pride of self- parish, by the preaching of the righteousness, the same great op- word. We often find, that, where poging obstacles to the success of the Gospel is preached for many the word, both as to public and as to successive years, men are still livprivate exhortation. By taking only ing in the open violation of all the one view of this most serious and laws of God, profane the sabimportant subject, I have observed bath, neglect públic and private some very zealous and pious mi- duties, daringly and scornfully renisters *** writing bitter things ject all the kind and merciful offers against themselves," and over

and over- of the Gospel of Christ, and think, * See page 16.

and speak, and act as those who MARCH 1823.

N

never heard the sound of salvation.

our own strength and abilities to My brethren, it is but too evident, ensure success. that this is truly and lamentably 6. From want of faith in the the case among us in this populous power, presence, and promises of parish. And it may be, both to Christ to bless his own word. my soul and to your souls, a sub- 7. From want of a spirit of ject of profitable, certainly of sea- prayer, especially of secret prayer, sonable inquiry, to consider, what for the grace of God to bless and may be assigned as the probable prosper our labours. causes of this manifest want of 8. From want of love and affecsuccess in the ministry of the word. tion, and of deep concern for the I

pray, that the boly Spirit of God salvation of the souls committed to, may be with us, to apply the word our care. to our hearts; that each one of us 9. From want of watchfulness may know his own defect—be against any besetting sin, infirmity humbled for his sins; and that, in temper, &c. with singleness of eye and purity of 10. From bad example in our spirit, we may henceforth become lives before the world, and by unthe ornaments of our profession, holy or unchristian conversation in s shine as lights” in the midst of our own families. an evil world, be the “ helpers of Who is sufficient for these each other's faith, and furtherers things? What a call for deep humiof one another's joy.”

lity, incessant watchfulness, and I shall consider the subject, first, persevering prayer! What care as it regards ministers; and, se- must be taken, that we do not condly, as it regards the people. hinder the success of the Gospel,

I. As it regards ministers.-- nor prove a stumbling-block and an Proper qualifications, and a pro- offence to our people! How ought per spirit, are not only desirable, we most diligently to search our but absolutely necessary for the hearts and try

our ways,

to discharge of the duties of the Chris- ascertain what are the defects, tian ministry. We may often blame infirmities, or sins, that tend in any our people, when perhaps the way to prevent the reception of the blame may rest wholly with our- truth by our people; and how selves. It will become us, there- earnestly ought we to pray, that fore, carefully to inquire how, and we may both feel and exemplify the in what respects, we may hinder power and spirit of the Gospel in the success of the Gospel, and, by our hearts and in our lives, that we our own defects in knowledge or in may recommend the word to others, duty, “ labour in vain.”

and, by “ taking heed to our mi1. From ignorance of the way of nistry, and to the flock over which life, and plan of salvation by the Holy Ghost hath made us overChrist Jesus.

seers, we may, under God's bless2. From want of fidelity, from ing, save our own souls, and the the fear of man and love of the souls of those committed unto us.” world, in executing our high com- II. As it regards the people. mission from God.

1 It is also, my beloved, your 3. From want of plainness of bounden duty to consider what speech in the delivery of the mes- causes, on your part, may

be sage of mercy.

signed, why " the word preached 4. From want of deep experi- does not profit” you. It is very mental knowledge of the truths of easy to impute that blame to your the Gospel in our own hearts. minister, which may as justly, if

5. From too great confidence in not often more justly, belong to your

as

« PreviousContinue »