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His zeal, however, was undebased by asperity and virulence. He won his way by sound argument, supported by an extensive erudition; and having afforded valuable assistance in preparing the Ger man version, this aniversary was, to him a day of peculiar and holy excitement. Although he had now lived fifty years in the world, and had engaged, with all his intellectual vigour, in the painful struggle which had marshalled so many mighty spirits on either side, the placidity of his temper, the benevolence of his feelings, and the piety of his heart, were such as to give him an air of comparative juvenility, and he seemed like a verdant plant beside the ria vers of waters.

Opposite to this excellent man, occupying what in modern times, ive should call the vice-presidency of the convivial board, sat one who was his junior by several years, but perhaps his equal in solid and various learning. This was Justus Jonas, principal of the college, an office he had now discharged for fourteen years, with distinguished honor to himself, and aắvantage to the reformed cause. Educated a lawyer, he had become, under the combined influence of circumstances and religious feeling, a preacher. Perhaps his general appearance bespoke thoughtfulness, rather than ardour, but with the penetrating eye of his original calling. It was evident that his opinions had great weight with his friends, and his conversation was' often tinctured with classical allusion.

On the one side of Jonas was Aurogallus, whose patient labour and industry were of eminent service in advancing the new translation; a sober, well instructed man, and teacher of languages at Wittemberg. Near him, Rorarious the indefatigable corrector of the press, was seated.

The youngest of this venerable party, Casper Cruciger, was not, however, the least in point of literary attainments. In Chaldee especially, he was acknowledged to be pre-eminent; and he well merited an honourable place at this feast of friendship, with George Major, of similar age.

In this illustrious group of Christian heroes, there were two, towards whom the eye of every spectator, had spectators been admitted, must have instinctively turned; for independently of the part they had taken in the religious movements of the age, there was an attraction about their appearance respectively, though each was strikingly different from the other, that rivetted attention at once. The one who occupied the seat on the left hand of the president, was tall and muscular in his figure. His eye was generally bent downwards, with an expression of modesty, not to say of diffidence; yet, whenever it was raised, there was a fire in it which bespoke alike acuteness and imagination. His smile occasionally bordered upon a sarcastic expression, altogether remote, however, from malignity; but in general it was all benevolence. His manners indicated that he was always willing to learn ; but his countenance and language proved that he was born to teach. He possessed, undoubtedly, the most cultivated mind in the circle; and in rank, both as a learned man and reformer, was pre-eminent. Conversible, but not obtrusive; affectionate, perhaps pliant, but not weak; acute, but not querulous; facetious, but not inconsiderate, or prone to levity ; learned, but not vain; great in intellect-greater in activity,--greatest in piety. Can it be doubted that this was Philip Melancthon &

The master spirit of the age only remains to be introduced. Ina troduction, indeed, he needs not ; for the stout, open-faced, boldlooking occupant of the chair on the president's right, could be no other than Martin Luther. His enterprising, intrepid spirit breath ed in every word, in every look, in every attitude of his body. He iras nevertheless, kind, though still somewhat dogmatick, to his chosen few; and on this occasion naturally shone as the sun of the system. Light and cheerfulness were spread around him ; and if be evinced at times, even here the vehemence and arrogance of his mind, and the rudeness of an unpolished manner, it must be recollected that his redeeming, qualities (and who could regard the extes rior only ?) were precious jewels in that inelegant casket.

But we will no longer detain the reader from the animated conversation we wish to record, and in which he may not find it diffi. cult to trace some of the peculiarities of the individuals concerned, while he is led to perceive the general position in wbich the af. fairs of the Reformation stood at that juncture.

BUGENHAGEN --Well Jonas, what think you by this time, of the Lutheran Tragedy 2

JUSTUS JONAS.-Truly, my friend, I must confess that a festival is rather an inappropriate scene in a drama of such a character ; unless, indeed (wbich I trust will not be the case, it is to issue in a melancholy catastrophe. With reference to the church of Rome, the description may not be inapplicable, for the last thirtyseven years have been sufficiently afflictive to the popedom, the whole body of which seems to writhe with anguish, like the gladiator who has received the mortal stroke.

LUTHER.--Yes, and I fancy it has been a period tragical enough to him who invented the expression. With all my feelings of indignation at the vacillating conduct of Erasmus, I can hardly help mingling those of real pity. He seems ever to have been goaded by conviction, yet bridled by fear. I admire his fine and cultivated mind, while I detest his miserable indecision. The fact is, he has always been desirous of conciliating, without venturing openly to unite with us; and, on the other hand, has been sagacious enougle to discern the vices and absurdities of the popish church, without having the nobleness of character to sacrifice his reputation on the holy altar of truth.

I pity, I say, while I blame the man, who is neither for Christ nor against him ; in whom the fear of shame predominates over the love of God, and whose name will descend to posterity, at once emblazoned with distinction, and tarnished with dishonor.

*The description by Erasmus of those religious contentions, which issued in the Reformation.

RUGENHAGEN.-I must own that I participate in your senter, ments, Martin. The vacillation in question has not been that which may

be

supposed to arise from a doubt of the evidence adduced in support of a system of doctrine, or in proof of the justice of the cause ; for we are assured, that Erasmus admits that we are on the side of truth, and have not been guilty of any flagrant indis cretions. It is simply the result of an apprehension, well founded, indeed, but unworthy of consideration, that in becoming a Refor mer, he loses his influence as a Catholic, and his associations as a scholar.

CRUCIGER.-I cannot forget the sentiments he expressed in a letter which our beloved Bucer showed us, in which he distinctly intimated, that his love of life was stronger than the love of truth.

MAJOR.-On which account he wished to decline being present at the diet of Augsburg.

JONAS.-Erasmus' is no hero of the order of the three hundred at Thermopylae !

MELANOTHON.-My dear friends are, I think, going too far

LUTHER (interrupting him.)-Now, Philip, I beseech you, let us have some of your apologies. You know very well his wariness, which I call weakness-criminal weakness. Erasmus was a dastardly fellow, and dare not avow his conviction that the confession was the substantial gospel.

(A gentle smile played upon the lips of Melancthon, which bespoke at once his estimate of the language and character of the great reformer. Accustomed, however, to his frequent ebullitions of feeling, but assured that they proceeded from mere temporary excitement, far more than from any spirit of domination, he generally let the hurricane pass unnoticed, justly calculating, that the tranquility of his mind would certainly and speedily return, as though he beeded not, therefore, Melancthon continued his remarks :)

Some allowance ought to be made, both for the peculiar character of mind, which distinguishes Erasmus, and for the circumstances in which he is placed. He is, in a sense, neither party, and yet of both. I grant you, he is involved in difficulty by his own fault : he was, perhaps, never made for a martyr, in the highest sense ; and yet he is involuntarily crucified, by the almost concurrent feelings of friends and enemies. LUTHER.-Crucified ? yes, and he deserves his fate.

MELANCTHON.-Is it not possible, however, to be guilty of excess, even in a good cause ? Were we scrupulously to examine the conduct of some of the earliest disciples of our Lord, I question if their zeal might not, in certain cases, be deemed extravagant. They were not right in courting persecution-involuntarily running into danger, and even irritating their persecutors for the direct purpose of instigating them to inflict a violent death.

Their motive, indeed, was pure ;-but their proceedings extravaz gant. Was it not, in some degree, zeal without knowledge ?

LUTHER.-I tell you, my dear Philip, yours is a shuffling kind of argument: it is nothing better than an evasion of the question,

and a sagacious apology for a cold, calculating, vacillating man. Can you be so absurd as to persuade yourself, that you

have

pros duced a parallel case ?

Has there ever been any thing in Erasmus that resembles the he. Toism of the first Christians to whom you refer, even bating what you are pleased to denominate their extravagance ? I am satisfied, that while his religion is full of folly, theirs was full of heroism. And you, Philip, you would even extenuate his sneaking cowardice, and condemn their noble boldness! Give me death in a good cause, rather than life in a doubtful one! I would rather be called an extra vagant fool for Christ's sake, than a hesitating sycophant, or an artful go-between, for the world's sake. I shall not, perhaps, contend that they were altogether justifiable in volunteering to suffer, and designedly enraging the tigers; but there was in their bebaviour, and even in the very excess of their zeal, a certain grandeur, a daring so sublime, that their names must be had in everlasting remena brance.

I trust that some of us, at least, have had the grace to imitate their boldness; and to go forth,” in an age too resembling theirs-when the lion roars again, and hell is in arms-to "go forth in the presence of our persecutors, rejoicing that we are counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of the Lord Jesus.” I said, at a former period, that I would go to Worms, though there were as many devils there, as there are tiles on the houses; and I say again, that I would meet the wretched progeny of the mother of harlots, though every hand wielded a thousand swords, and every stone in my way were an incarnate fiend! These are no times for tempa rizers; but blessed be God, we have obtained many triumphs, and our cause is and must be successful.

MELANCTHON..As to its success and ultimate establishment, I entertain no apprehensions, at least, no despondency. The providence of God has wonderfully overruled events, even those which appeared disastrous ; and God has promised never to forsake his church : I may state also, and I take it as no inconsiderable proof of his kind designs, that he has wonderfully brought us together as coadjutors in the work which is dear to all hearts. He thought of what we have been enabled to accomplish, however imperfectly; and of the endearing union which has subsisted among us; and I might even humbly add, the adaptation of each as an instrument to fulfil the destinations of Providence, will no doubt furnish delightful retrospections on the bed of death, and a glorious subject of converse in the celestial world. At the present moment, however, I. must acknowledge, that I am sensibly oppressed with the afflictions of the church, particularly the vain attempt at Leipsic to restore union, and the hollow pretensions that have so frequently been held out with regard to a general council.*

*An attempt was made to allay religious animosities, by the meeting of Melancthon and Pontanous on the part of the Protestants, with deputies sent to Leipsic, by Ferdinand and Duke George on LUTHER..

How you could have expected union at Leipsic, is to me astonishing ! My dear Philip you are deceived in those people : you are always fancying that they are willing to be reconciled, and be at peace with us; and so indeed they are, upon one condition, and one only, that we sacrifice all the essential principles for which we have been so long and strenuously contending. Cerberis will be quiet enough, if you will give him a proper sop, and dip it well in concession : but you see that the firmness with which you so honourably maintained your ground in the late discussions, rendered all your attempts abortive ; and the dog, depend upon it, will bark still, and bite too.

MAJOR.-Our friend must console himself amidst his and our disappointments, that the reformed cause seems to wear a promising aspect, both in England and France ; and it is no small honour to have been invited by the two potentates into their respective countries. If I am rightly informed, the Queen of Navarre, and other illustrious women, urged the King of France, her brother, to send the invitation.

BUGENHAGEN-Yes, it was an honourable call, and my dear Philip might have fulfilled a noble and useful service; but I fear with great personal hazard.

JONAS.-It might have been a perilous, but would certainly have been a glorious undertaking.

MELANCTHON.-You are well aware, friends, that I was desirous of going, it might, as you remark, have been dangerous ; but I trust I have never disowned or deserted principles I hold dear, when it has been required that they should be soleinnly avowed.

(All concurred in this declaration, and the fact seems to have been, that although this eminent reformer was amiable by nature, and on some occasions overawed by Luther's violence, on points in which perhaps he did not fully agree with him, or had not entirely decided yet, in his encounters with the adversaries of the Reformation, he was uncompromising, and faithful to his principles, whatever might be the probable results.)

CRUCIGER.--I regret exceedingly that the Elector would not consent to the proposal.

MAJOR.-That is my feeling.

LUTHER.--Regret it, yes, and I blame him too. He was wrong and foolish. John Frederick is a zealous patron, and a worthy successor of Frederic and John ; but has shown too little judgment in this case, or too much selfishness. No man values Philip more than I do, if half as much; but I would have said, Go, cost what it will ; yes, if it cost his life. These are times, and this is a cause, the part of the Catholics. Vehus, who represented Ferdinand produced a form of concord, but it affirmed the most objectionable doctrines of Popery, particularly the meritorious efficacy of the Mass to obtain the remission of sins. In these conferences, Melancthon appeared at once the inflexible adherent to essential truths and the zealous promoter of peace and piety.

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