Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

two hundred children to rehearse their catechism &c. The German Presbyterians have in their Sunday school about one hundred and eighty. The Episcopalians and English Presbyterians together about sixty and the Methodists about eighty. Total 520. But there are parents in each society, who do not send their children to any Sunday School, and I am told you have some, who do not send to either your Sunday School or Catechisation. Take the whole number of all such, and we will set them down at 80. Here then you have 600 children. The Roman Catholics of this city are not numerous. But to go far, say that they have one hundred children. This would leave five hundred for the Bible, against one hundred who are directed in their faith by man and the unwritten word. Now these five hundred I hold it, are all in a fair way of being truly converted they see and know that it must be, and will pray and ask to be con. verted. And who can doubt, which religion shall prevail, the Bible or Roman religion ?

I have already said more than you will perhaps find room for, or I should say something of the success of Luther in his war against the world in error, with no other means but the Bible and instructions given from it, to children. If you will indulge me again,. ? will give my ideas upon this last subject hereafter.

A. METHODIST: We would assure our brother that we highly approve of his truly Christian and zealous spirit, and shall take pleasure in publishing any thing from his pen. Whether or not he will succeed in his laudable attempt to rouse Protestants time will show. Thus far, the impending danger has not brought out Editors of different religious Journals, (excepting a few,) to warn and alarm their readers, against the unceasing operations of Jesuitism. As for ourselves, we are wil. ling to continue a little while longer, the exposition of matters reJative to the two Religions, viz. Protestant and Romish, and whether we shall be compelled to withdraw from the contest or not, it imparts to us ineffable joy, to know, that swe endeavoured to do our duty faithfully, in the service of our only Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.-Editor.

The Treasurer of the Missionary and Education Society of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, acknowledges the receipt of $19.95 cents, being the collections taken up by the Rev. Michael Wachter, in the churches of which he has charge.

LEWIS MEDTART, Treasurer.

The comptroller of the Mint at Paris, lately shot himself in - presence of his wife, who had been dumb and deprived of the use of her limbs for years by paralysis.

The shock restored all her faculties.

INTELLIGENCER.

The Bible our rule of faith !--The right of private judgment our privilege.
Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders ;-Gott helfe mir! Amen!-LUTHER

VOL. V.]

OCTOBER, 1830.

[No. 8

TO READERS,

We have no doubt, the following will be received favourably, by all our readers, who seek, as they ought to do, a full, and complete knowledge of whatever is connected with that greatest of events the Reformation of the Church. Our correspondent, who transmitted to us, this narrative of an incident belonging to the times of the Reformation, is aware, that it is rather diffuse, and for the sake of some, who have no keen appetites for reading lengthy pieces, we were desirous of presenting it, in an abbreviated form, but we found it a task too arduous, and hence we leave it, as it came into our hands. If it does not suit some, we suppose they may follow the example of a certain Wiseacre, who, rather than accept of a hat, that was fitted to protect his head against the rays of a scorching sun, purchased one, manufactured for a child, and, with his head uncovered and so exposed, carried the hat in his band, wherever he went.

It is impossible to edit a periodical, which can suit the taste of all persons. Most of our correspondents differ from each other in their views of the matter, form and style, which should characterize a periodical. We have therefore come to the conclusion, to be influenced entirely by our own judgment, which we are constrained to say, will be the safest course, as it, is naturally influenced by a more general view of the different feelings of our people, who honor us with frequent communications, than that of individuals, who perhaps never exchanged ideas upon the subject with any other person. Yet we shall gratefully receive, and seriously ponder every Vol. V. No.8.

26

thing that may be communicated to us' with a view of improving the Intelligencer. Our only reward for our editorial services, is, the hope of being useful, and this has been well founded by innumerable evidences, or we should have withdrawn ere this. Our correspondents are increasing, and if the same could be said of the number of subscribers, it would afford us much delight, whilst we are discharging the highly important, tedious and complex duties, incumbent upon an Editor.-Editor. THE FESTIVAL OF THE TRANSLATION OF THE SCRIP

TURES.

Being the Narrative of an Incident belonging_to the times of the Reformation. By the Rev. F. A. COX, LLD, Librarian to the University of London.

One of the most important events in history is, by universal consent, the REFORMATION. Whether we advert to the nature of the subject itself, which excited the fierce discussions of that period; to the magnitude of the interests involved in their result; to the influence of the great questions which were then agitated, both upon contemporaneous and succeeding movements in the religious and political communities ; or, lastly, to the extraordinary developements of mental energy and moral character which were then elicited,-scarcely any era can so much deserve the consideration of the Philosopher and the Christian. Accordingly, it wants nothing, even of the interest, and we might almost say, of the excitement at first awakened, although three centuries have elapsed since the commencement of that mighty struggle,-the commencement it may reasonably be termed, because, the two ecclesiastical systems, which were then brought into conflict, are still in hostile operation ; and, from the very nature of their principles respectively, can admit of no compromise.

The general progress of knowledge, the increase of civilization, and the degree of ascendancy in the scale of nations acquired, and at present maintained, by the people who are the most (zealous and effective supporters of Protestantism-which, although then only struggling into existence, now sways the councils of princes, and the sentiments of millions, undoubtedly tend to modify the character of the warfare, and the language of those who urge it forward. It is, nevertheless, momentous, and vital, as well as continual-necessarily implicating the highest interests of the human race. As Christianity itself, in conformity with the predictions of its divine Author, has triumphantly resisted the opposing forces of the world, and secured a spiritual rule amidst the downfall of successive em pires, we anticipate, and upon the same authority, that contradistinction from corrupted Christianity, must obtain a final and Everlasting dominion

pure, in To either of the two, therefore, which have a kind of contrariety in principle, admitting, as it has been just intimated, of no compromise, may be applied, and with a cheerful confidence as to the issue, the celebrated test of Gamaliel. "If this counsel, or this work, be of men, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, lest haply, ye be found even to fight against God.”

All the world is now acquainted with the general outline of the story. Albert, Elector of Mentz, having received the commission from Leo X. to dispense indulgences in Germany, sent Tetzel, a Dominican friar, into Saxony as his agent. This man possessed an insinuating eloquence, which was combined with effrontery and zeal in the cause. The success of his efforts in the immediate vicinity of Wittemberg, roused the indignation of Luther, who was at the time, professsor of theology in the University.

About the end of September, 1517, this indignation burst forth, in his publicly maintaining ninety-five propositions against indulgences, which were afterwards affixed to the doors of the principal church. Tetzel published two theses in reply, and burnt his opponent's writings. The students, contrary to their professor's wish, recriminated on Tetzel in a similar manner. The controversy was for some time, of a private nature, till the Pope summoned Luther to appear before him at Rome, within sixty days, to answer for his heresies. The Elector Frederic, however, screened him from the papal violence, by representing that his case belonged entirely to the jurisdiction of a German tribunal, and must be decided by the ecclesiastical laws : upon which, it was referred to Cajetan, the cardinal legate at the diet of Augsburg ; and afterwards to Miltitz a Saxon knight, at the Romish court.

Subsequently, a public disputation was beld at Leipsic, whither Lutherand Malancthon, then accompanied their friend Carlostadt, the divinity professor, who was engaged to discuss the points of difference with Eckius. Luther himself, at length, took the place of Corlostadt in the dispute: the chief result of which was, on the one side, to envenom the popish party; and on the other, to rouse Me lancthon into a more avowed attachment to the reformed cause.

In June, 1520, the Pope, at the instigation of Eckius and the Dominicans, issued a bull of excommunication against Luther; who on the 10th of December following, publicly committed it to the flames, together with the decretals of the pontiffs, in token of his resolved and final separation from the Romish communion.

Leo applied to Charles V. immediately after his coronation as emperor, to punish the great offender; but the influence of Fredric, surnamed THE WISE, whose sagacious policy was throughout, of eminent service to the newly promulgated doctrine, was sufficient to procure a diet at Worms, professedly for the purpose of fair inquiry. At this crisis, the friends of Luther became excessively charmed, while bis own intrepidity increased with the danger, and, as his friend expresses it, “he would have willingly purchased the advancement and glory of the gospel at the price of his blood !” His person was indeed unmolested, at which we may be justly surprised; but an edict was issued in the name of the emperor declaring him a member cut off from the church, a schismatic and heretic, and interdicting all persons from receiving or protecting him, under penalty of high treason. Frederic, however, contrived to have him seized, as if by ruffians, on his return, and conveyed to the castle of Wartenberg, near Eisenach. The consequences of this event were, in various ways, favourable to the Reformation ; in despite alike of Henry the eighth's virulent hostility and his defence of the seven sacra-ments, and the condemnation of Luther's writings by the divines of the Sorbonne in France.

The “Loci Communes Theologici” of Melancthon, first issued in 1521, contained a plain exposition of the leading sentiments of the Reformers, and proved of great importance in diffusing religious truth. The noblest achievements, however, of this, and a Lew subsequent years, was the translation of the scriptures into the German language. This noble work was begun by Luther, during his temporary banishment; and afterwards carried on to its com pletion, by the united efforts of himself, Melancthon, Casper Cruciger, Justus Jonas, and others.

Notwithstanding the intemperate zeal of Charlestadt, the blind 'enthusiasm of the Anabaptists of Muncer, the rise of the sacramental controversy which had a tendency to divide chief friends, the death of Frederick the Wise, and other apparently untoward events, the reformed cause was placed, by this achievement, upon a founda tion sure and impregnable. The "seed of the kingdom" was now effectually sown ; and though storms might agitate the atmosphere and deluges descend, they could not affect, except beneficially, the secret and powerful vegetation of the imperishable WORD. It took “deep root downwards,” and produced much fruit upwards” working its way, and diffusing its resistless influence in every direction.

After the completion of this important labour, it was the custom of Bugenhagen (called also, Pomeranus, from his country,) to celebrate the event, in a manner consonant with his benevolent disposition. It was his custom to invite a select company of friends to ‘his house, at each returning anniversary. This meeting acquired the name of THE FESTIVAL OF THE TRANSLATION OF THE SCRIPTURES. The reader may not be disinclined for once to make one of this illustrious, though small, assembly : he is reques. ted, therefore, to plume his imagination to the backward flight over three centuries of time, and enter the dwelling of the venerable, pastor of Wittemberg,

It is now the year of the christian era 1555.

Upon the countenance of Bugenhagen might be seen depicted that gentleness and kindness, which even his bitterest enemies admitted to be a characteristic feature of the mind. The force of convic-tion had united him with the friends of the Reformation, after he had long persisted in disseminating opposite doctrines; but, having once embraced the truth, he laboured with indefatigable assiduity 19 diffuse it, in Hamburg, Lubeck, Denmark, and other places.

« ZurückWeiter »