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in which we have already encountered, and must again face both men and devils ; and say of our religion, as the poet does of our country :

“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori:” The Elector was wrong, very wrong. It is galling to know, which I am assured is the fact, that the very expectation of seeing Philip, had already put a stop to the execution in France.*

BÚGENHAGEN.It is, however, most gratifying to find, that France and England have sent these requests; and especially that in the latter, good is doing. I have been exceedingly gratified with the cordial and even entreating terms in which France has written, and with the fact, that even Cardinal Bellaius and Lungey have seconded the mission of Voracus.

LUTHER.Yes, yes, this is all very good, but I have no doubt there is a touch of temporising policy in the proceedings of Francis. He is very anxious about his claims on Italy, and very desirous of gaining

the protestant princes to his interests, by a little accommodating

flattery where he imagines it will answer his purpose. He may talk as he pleases, for this costs nothing; but I abhor the man, after all, that can, at the very moment of his application in sugared words, burn six Protestants as heretics ! The fool cap praise and persecute by turns.

BUGENHAGEN..I could have wished our dear Philip had gone he would have fathomed his sentiments, as well as promoted our cause,

but I should have felt deeply apprehensive on his own account. Francis I. is, I have no doubt, a dissembler. Cardinal Tournon was a violent remonstrant against the invitation ; and will any one believe that the Sarbonne divines can forget the satirical pen of Melancthon.

LUTHER.-No, no; the Parisian Sophists are of temper to forgive or concede. Your flagellation of them, Philip, was gloriously done; and I protest, the day I received it was one of the happiest in my Patmos. A pause having ensued, Bugenhagen rose and left the room.

In a few minutes he returned, with a copy of Melancthon's celebrated Rejoinder in his hand, proposing to read a few passages in it, which he had particularly marked, as not only amusing, but illustrative of the essential cause of disunion among themselves and the Catholic church. The modesty of the author would have prevented this dis

*This is mentioned in Seckendorf's History, and in Luther's works.

When Melancthon's book against the Sorbonne divines was published, Luther was in cenfinement at Wartenberg, They had condemned his writings formally, April 15th, 1521, calling them “poisonous errors,” and charged him with rashness, in opposing the opinions of the Universities and holy fathers of the Church, was though, forsooth, God had given him the knowledge of many truths necessary, for salvation, which had been ignorant of during past ages, being left hy Jesus Christ, her spouse, in the darkness of error."

Is our


play, even amongst bosom friends, but upon his friend Bugenhagen insisting that the remarks in question were singularly suitable to the occasion of their meetir.g, as conmemorative of the Translation of the scriptures into the German language, and upon Luther's emphatic appeal against Philip's hesitation, he submitted. Bugenhagen, there fore, proceeded with his citations.

“Luther is accused of heresy, not because he differs from scrip ture, but from the holy fathers, corocils, and universities, whose opinions are received as the first principles of religion! But are holy fathers, and councils, and universities, to decree the articles of Chris tian faith ? And how can this be the case, when they are liable to err, Decam himself being, judge if you will not credit me. faith to depend upon the opinions of men ? So did not Paul determine, when he affirmed, that 'other foundation can no man lay tham is laid, which is Jesus Christ. »

“Luther, then, does not dissent from scripture, but from your judgment, and from the sense which the fathers, councils and schools: have adopted; and this, I see, is the great cause of the controversy, and the great sin he committed! But what, after all, is decreed by the councils, when some things are false, and some true; some conformable to scripture, and some contrary to it; so that scripture must be the final appeal, and if any passages be obscure, they are to be compared with others; and thus scripture will explain itself. If an angel from heaven,' says the apostle, 'preach any other gospel than what I preach, let him be accursed."

“Surely, then, Luther may oppose the obvious sentiment of scripture, to councils, fathers, and universities ! What can these sophists reply? What sort of logic, and what kind of glasses can they use, to avoid the inference from these statements ? Either deny that there is any certain sense in scripture, or acknowledge that Luther is justifiable in placing its dictates in opposition to human opinion.

"It is written, if an offender refuse to hear the church, let him be as a heathen man and a publican. I pray, now, what do you call the church? No doubt the French or Sorbonne church ! But how can that be the church of Christ which has not the word of Christ, who testifies that his sheep hear bis voice. We denominate that his true cburch, which is built upon the word of God, and which is Dourished, fed, and governed by it ; in a word, which derives every thing from, and judges of everything by, the Gospel of Christ for 'he that is of God, heareth the words of God.' »

LUTHER.--Excelently said, Philip! that is what I call sound divinity and irrefragable argument! What signify councils, fathers, and schools, their contradictions and absurdities are endles as you know, once besotted enough to take the ipse dixit of any one of them as a Christian law, and thought nothing of an apostle in the comparison! Your inquiry, what do you call the church? is one of vital importance ; the decision of which involves the very foundation of faith. The question essentially is, aro we to depend on human or divine authority? Councils, aro always wonderfully, suspicious things; but, with regard to fathers individully, though liable

I was,

to be warped in their opinions by circumstances and associatiori, yet I would respect them to a certain extent. They may be sometimes judicious, as commentators or expounders of scripture ; but when they pretend, or others for them, to substitute their dogmas, or impose their authority, in place of divine inspiration itself, I a. bominate their impiety, and ten thousand devils should never force me to obey. But my reverence is somewhat proportioned to the antiquity of the_man. If I have the clear sentiments of such men as Ignatius and Polycarp, or others I could name, I begin to pause, and examine my own views; since they drank of the pure stream as it issued from its very fountain, and before it became polluted by governments and poisoned by popes.

JONAS.- It is plain enough, from the most cursory examination of eclesiastical history, that there were many corruptions creeping into the church of Christ before the rise of popery.

LUTHER, (interrupting.)-Yes, indeed, but you should rather say they galloped into the church, like an army furiously invading a territory, and spreading ruin and desolation over a fair and fertile province.

JONAS.-Well Martin I retract the word, and adopt your own. Certainly the corruptions of Christianity were most rapid in their advance, as well as very early in their introduction, and most awful in their character. It is, I fancy, more easy to brace their origin, than to ascertain their extent, or to follow in the steps of their swift diffusion. Did they not, in fact, all spring from one common and obvious cause, the neglect of the sacred volume ? Mankind could not be satisfied either with the authority or revelation of heaven, but would elevate themselves to a participation of the throne, and insist upon that dominion over faith, which even apostles disclaimed.

BUGENHAGEN.-You are unquestionably right, Justus ; and this has occasioned the conflicts which have been carried on between the church and the world, in all ages : an unequal conflict as to aneans, for the true church has ever been poor, and feeble, and despised ; yet has she triumphed in the might and by the aid of her glorious head, the Captain of Salvation, over the armed and confederated powers of earth and hell. I look upon the preservation of the church, during so many ages of oppression and corruption, as nothing less than a moral miracle. God was “for her,” and therefore "none could be against her.” And what have been the aim and tendency of all our efforts in these wretched times, but the restoration of primitive christianity ; the rescue of the tender bride of Christ from the fangs of the great enemy?

LUTHER, (with a sarcastic smile.)-Why, what are you talking of, man? don't you know that THE church is the POPISH church And yet you speak of the church contending with the world ! Was itever heard that these two powers were hostile? Don't you know that the Popish Church is the true apostolic church ; and that, only for the advisable purpose of advancing its interests, she has borrowed her weapons from her warm friend, the world, to exterminate such heretics, fools, and madmen, as Martin Luther, Philip Melarcthor-r. John Bugenhagan, Casper Cruciger, George Major, and their fraternity ? Talk of the church as poor, and feeble, and despised ! I grant you this would apply to Christ himself and his first church; but do you suppose that the good things of the world were always to be disregarded, and that if mankind would not appreciate the real merits of the church, her leaders, or advocates, or patrons, were not to force their incredulity, and compel their homage, by a little salutary discipline !—Talk of her being poor and feebie ! Why, friend, think of Constantine exalting Christianity to a throne, and of still wiser men, in better ages, emblazoning her with the shining tiara!

MELANCTHON.-But as we have been conversing, and I think not inappropriately or unprofitably, of the word of God, is it not time to reasume our usual practice on these solemn occasions ? Is it not time to have the blessed book before us, and to thank God for the aid he has afforded, in enabling his servants to finish the arduous work of translating the scriptures into our vernacular language ? Boneranus has, I see, got the precious folios in readines.

Let the reader picture to himself the following scene. The ven serable host takes the volumes of that translation which had occu. pied so many anxious years, and spreads them out on the table on which they had made their temperate and holy festival. There was a Teverence in his manner, which indicated his profound veneration for the contents of those inestimable scriptures, and a smiling expression of countenance, which showed the inward workings of indescribable joy, gratitude and humanity, while each individual of the illustrious circle caught the hallowed infection of delight; gazing, as they stood, in silence, upon the_labour of their hands, yet not as theirs, so much as the work of Providence (oh, it was a scene for angels to look upon !) till, with one consent, they bowed the knee in adoration of the great Author of those holy writings ! Never, perhaps, were more sacred feelings excited, and never were they expressed in finer modes of language, than in the solemn, concentrated, and deeply impassioned address to heaven which Luther ụttered on this occasion, in the names and on the bebalf of the rest. At all times remarkable in prayer, it seemed scarcely determinable, as it is recorded of Paul, whether he were in the body or out of the body. He poured forth a torrent of devout eloquence, displaying in mingled grandeur, as it rolled along, the impetuous ardour of his nature, the comprehensive grasp of his mind, the striking reality of his faith, the depth of his humility in the presence of God, and the soaring elevation of his piety.

Words are not the means by which an adequate idea of such a scene can be conveyed; it is to be comprehended only by a sympathy of feeling with the great objects and principles that awakened the mental energies, stimulated the incessant exertions, and, united into one mass the kindred hearts of these illustrious men !

“That is the book," pointing to the volumes, as he rose from his knees, under the influence of overwhelming emotion; "that is the book of books, against whose doctrines the gates of hell shall never prevail. The devil may roar, and the pope may rage, and the kings of the earth may set themselves against it; but it is all in vain! It will overturn the tyrannies and superstitions of the world, Its holy light will scatter the darkness of mens' minds, and future times will see, when we are no more, that we have lived to some purpose in giving it to our countrymen in their own language. God be praised for power and perseverance to accomplish such a work! and I can exclaim, with good old Simeon, while holding these blessed books (taking the ponderous volume into his arms,) which reveal that Saviour whom he folded to his bosom, “Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation !'"

It will be naturally imagined, that the conversation now turned upon the circumstances attending the translation which these reformers had executed with so much skill and fidelity, and upon the effects which it had already produced, or was likely to produce, upon: Germany and the world.

CRUCIGER -If ever I envied any man, it was Yonker George, while engaged in the translation of the scriptures, during his banishment to the Castle of Wartenberg. Not only was the seizure well contrived by the Elector, but the opportunity of prosecuting so great a work most important.

BUGENHAGEN.-I assure you, brother Martin, when you paid us your stolen visit, in 1522, I was almost as apprehensive about it as the Elector, whose displeasure you were so bold as to risk.

JONAS.- Our friend, I believe, seldom regards men, if principles are concerned ; and certainly, timidity is what we shall never expect from him on any occasion. Friend supporting, or foe opposing, Martin Luther will, I am confident, always persevere,

LUTHER.-Well said, Jonas. Perseverance, when the object is good, is my motto ; and whether Frederic's kind displeasure (which I should have been distressed to incur,) or Leo's exterminating fury {for which I cared no more than for the whistling wind,) were the consequence, to Wittemberg I resolved to come on the subject of our translation. And here 1, again and again, thank you for your co-operation. The Latin and the Hebrew, you know I was well prepared to manage, and had been especially preparing for the work during the previous summer. Philip, accept my grateful praise for the twentieth time, for your essential aid in the Greek. Your -skill in the Chaldea, Casper, was of eminent service, and never to be forgotten on this day of commemoration. Jonas, Pomeranus, Aurogallus, and you, my worthy Rorarius, our valued corrector of the press, each and all of you have my glorious acknowledgements and fervent prayers ! If any thing could bind me to life, it would be to see the further influence of the scriptures on our beloved countrymen. The howlings of heil, on account of this achievement, is

*The name which was assumed by Luther, while concealed from his enemies in a forest of Thuringia. The castle he occupied qwas situated on a lofty hill, near Eisenach.

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