« AnteriorContinuar »
ful fury. But Luther, who had chilling hand of death, he said, watched its progress with a stea- this cold sweat is the forerundy eye, was removed by death ner of dissolution, I will give up from feeling or beholding its my spirit.” He then prayed, saydestructive rage. In the be- ing, “o heavenly Father, everginning of 1546, he was sent for lasting and merciful God, thou hast to his native country, to recon- revealed to me thine own Son, cile the differences which had for our Lord Jesus Christ, him I have some time interrupted the har- preached, him I have confessed, mony of Mansfeld. He preach- him I love, and adore as my deared his last sermon at Wittem- est Saviour and deliverer, though berg on the 17th of January, and the ungodly persecute, revile, and on the 23d, set out for Eisleben, blaspheme him, receive my spirit,whence he never returned. O my heavenly Father, though I Though, during the journey, he must leave this body, and be taken complained of faintness and out of this life, yet I know assuredweakness, he was able to attend ly, that I shall live with thee forall the sittings of the court, be- ever, and none is able to pluck me fore which the cause for which out of thy hands. He that is our he had come was pled, till the God is the God of salvation, and 17th of February. That even- unto God the Lord belong the ing, a little before supper, he issues from death.” He then felt an unusual sickness arising repeated thrice, with an elevatfrom the disease under which he ed tone, “ Lord, into thy hands I had laboured for some time, an commend my spirit ; Thou hast oppression of the humours in the redeemed me, O God of truth :" opening of the stomach. That after which he continued breathday, he had indeed said to Justas ing, till about three in the mornJonas, and some other friends, ing, when he entered on that "I was born and baptized at glory, in the faith and hope of Eisleben, what if I should re- which, he lived, and laboured, main and die here ?" But his and died. He was attended in sickness went off, and he par- his last moments by the Count wok of his supper with his usual and Countess of Mansfeld, Meappetite. But immediately af- lancthon, Justas Jonas, and sevter, the pain returned, and con- eral other friends, who ministertinued with little abatement for ed to his consolation, and joined some hours. About one in the with him in prayer, that God morning of the 18th, he lay would preserve the doctrine of down on his bed for the last his Son's gospel among them. time ; and when being excruci- His body was carried to Witated with pain, he cried out, “ (temberg, and honourably interGod! what oppression do I red without pomp or parade.* feel.” Jonas said, “Reverend fa- On his tomb the following inther, call on Jesus Christ our scription was put by the univerLord and Great High Priest, sity : that only Mediator whom thou hast preached.” But feeling the * Seckend. lib.iii. $ 133. p. 634, &c.
Vol. II. No.4.
MARTINI LUTHENI S. THEOLO- regardless of men or opinions, • GIS D. CORPUS H. L. S. E. QUI
indiscriminate in his censures of ẢNNO CHRISTI MDXLVI. XII. those who differed from him, MARTII
zealous in defending what he beIX PATRIA S. M. 0. C. lieved to be the cause of truth ; V.AN. LXIII. M. H.
he was qualified to elude the soD. X.
phistry, to despise the calumnies,
and to brave the opposition of In this place is interred the bis popish adversaries. His body of MARTIN LUTAER, Doc- moral conduct was irreproacha,tor of Divinity, who died at ble; not only correct, but apEisleben, the place of his nativi- proaching to austerity, as became ty, on the 18th of February, in the character of a Reformer ; the year 1546, when he had lived his invariable sanctity adorned 63 years, 3 months, and 10 days. the doctrine which he delivered,
Beza's Epigram on this illus- and his disinterestedness illustratrious reformer, may be thus ted the sincerity of his profestranslated.
sions. Even by the impetuosity Rome aw'd the workl: the Pope o'er deed be justified, but which ap
of his temper, which cannot inRome prevail'd, With fraud he conquer'd, she with
pears to us much more censuraarts of war ;
ble than it was thought by bis Thưir force united, Luther's pen contemporaries, on account of
assail'd, And humbled both, than both more
the superior delicacy and exterpowerful far.
nal politeness of the age in which Go, fabling Greece, and bid Alcides we live, he was fitted for accomknow,
plishing the great work which he His club, as Luthier's pen, gave no undertook. The silent censure such blow.
of men whose lives reproved the Luther was above the middle corruptions of the church, as well aize, his body robust, and his
as the complaints of the injured, eye so piercing, that few could had long been disregarded; sunk bear it , when he looked intently the world, though groaning to be
in ignorance and superstition, on them. His voice, though weak, was melodious; his appe
delivered, was held in chains by tite moderate ; his diet plain. the bigotry of priestcraft
, supThough far from being rich, be ported by the secular power. was extremely liberal in propor
To effect a revolution, therefore, tion to his substance. His learn- energy, nay violence was requiing was chiefly theological ; his site ; and had Luther been more writings are more forcible than amiable, and less vigorous, or elegant; his style often harsh
more gentle and accommodating, and satirical. His mind was cast
like Melancthon, he must have in a mould which gave it a form failed in the glorious enterprise suited to the object to which
which he so successfully achiev. it was to be directed. Acute, ar
ed, and have left the world more dent, intrepid, persevering ;
involved than ever in the gloom vehement often to excess, conf. of corrupt opinions, and soperstident, and sometimes arrogant ;
For the Panoplist. and not only blessed him, but
made himself a blessing.” MEMOIRS OF PRESIDENT DAVIES.
The prayers and vows of this
excellent woman were succeedWERE the homage, so gener- ed by active exertions. There ally paid to brilliant intellectual being no school at hand, she endowments, transferred to vir- took upon herself the task of tue and religion, it would he teaching her son to read : and well. Yet when genius and her efforts were early rewarded learning are sublimated by piety, in the uncommon proficiency of and devoted with ardour to the her pupil. He continued with best interests of mankind, they his parents till about the age of furnish a character
character equally ten. They had not the happivenerable and lovely. Such a
ness, during this period, of obcharacter was President Davies. serving any special impressions To dwell on the talents, the vir- of religion made on his mind; tues and the exertions of so em- but he behaved himself as is inent a man, is an employment common for a sprightly, toward. at once pleasant and edifying in ly child, under the influence of a high degree. The present me. pious example and instruction. moirs lay claim to little of orig. After this, he was sent to an ‘inality. Their principal object English school, at some distance is to methodize and incorporate from home, where he continued the distinct and independent ac two years, and made great progcounts which are already before l'ess in his studies. But failing the public. Whatever additional of the pious instructions to which information they contain, is ci- he had been accustomed, he bether suggested by his works, or
careless of the drawn from other sources of un things of religion, than before. questionable authority.
Yet even at this period, he He was born November 3, habituated himself to secret 1724. His father was a planter, prayer, especially in the evening. in the county of Newcastle, on The reason for this punctuality, the Delaware, of great simplici, as stated in his diary, was, that ty of manners, and of reputed “he feared lest he should perpiety. His mother, an eminent haps die before morning.” It is Christian, had earnestly besought likewise remarkable, that, in his him of Heaven; and consider prayers, he supplicated nothing ing him as given in answer to so ardently, as that he might be prayer, she named him Samuel, introduced into the gospel min. and with great soleminty, devot- istry. ed him to the Lord.
The time was now come, event proved," says Dr. Finley, when that God, to whom he had S that God accepted the conse- been solemnly dedicated, and crated boy, took him under his who designed him as an eminent special care, furnished liini sor, instrument of shewing forth his and employed him in, the ser- praise, would bring him home to vice of his church, prospered his himself. He was awakened to labours with remarkable success, solemn and serious concern re
specting eternal things. In the dour, in the pursuit of knowl. light of divine truth, he was led edge. His progress was impedto see himself a sinner, exposed ed by a variety of obstacles. to the awful displeasure of God, But the native vigour of his geand to all its insupportable con- nius, united to an indefatigable sequences. These impressions assiduiiy, surmounted them all. were full of anxiety and terror. Sooner than could have been raIn this distress, he was enabled tionally expected, he was found to discern the necessity, the im- qualified for the gospel ministry. portance and all-sufficiency of He passed the usual previous the salvation revealed in the gos- trials with distinguished appropel. This divine system of bation, and consecrated all his mercy now appeared in a new faculties and acquirements to the light. It satisfied his anxious service of the sanctuary. inquiries, and made provision for Being now licensed to preach all his wants. In the blood and the gospel, he applied himself to. righteousness of the REDEEM- unfold and enforce those precious ER, he perceived a solid ground truths, whose power he had hapof hope, an unfailing source of pily experienced on his own consolation. Here he was ena- heart. In the exercise of this bled to place his whole reliance. sacred and delightful office, his Here he found a peace and satis- fervent zeal and undissembled faction before unknown. “ Be- piety, his popular talents and enlieving, he rejoiced with joy un- gaging methods of address, soon speakable, and full of glory." excited general admiration, and His religious comforts were, acquired him a distinguished however, long intermingled with character, Scarce was there a doubts and perplexities. But congregation where he was after some years of repeated and known, but would have esteemimpartial self-examination, he ed it a happiness to enjoy his attained a confidence respecting stated ministrations. But how his state, which continued to the mysterious are the ways of Heaclose of life.
ven! He was about this time atFrom this happy period, his tacked with complaints, which mind seemed almost entirely ab- were supposed consumptive, and sorbed by heavenly things. His which brought him apparently great concern was to keep his to the borders of the grave. In heart, and set a watch over every this enfeebled state, and without thought, word, and action. An- hope of recovery, he determined imated with love to God, he felt to spend the remainder of what stronger desires than ever, to he apprehended an almost ex. serve him in the gospel of his Son. hausted life, in endeavouring to Having tasted the sweets of re- advance bis Master's glory in the ligion, he longed for nothing so good of souls. Being among a much as to be instrumental in people who were destitute of a bringing his fellow sinners to minister, he assiduously labour know the same pure and sub- ed, in season and out of stantial delights.
While, by night, his hectic was Inspired by these sublime ob
so severe as to render him some. jects, he engaged, with new ar- times delirious, and make it ne:
cessary that he should be attend- erful energy of the divine Spir. ed by watchers, he still preached it. The wilderness, and the soliin the day.* Nor did his indefati
lary places rejoiced, and blossomgable and heroic zeal gounreward- ed as the rose. A great number, ed. God gave him some precious both of whites aud blacks, were first-fruits of his ministry, par- hopefully converted to the living ticularly, in the remarkable con- God. In this success, the beversion of two gentlemen, who nevolent soul of Mr. Davies manifested
His lives and conduct, that they were tract of preaching was singularly saints indeed.
extensive, his labours almost inIn consequence of an earnest eessant, and his pecuniary comapplication, he removed, after a pensation small. But to be an time, to some of the distant set- instrument of spreading the Retlements of Virginia, where he deemer's triumphs, and of addundertook the charge of a disc ing new subjects to his spiritual senting congregation. Nothing kingdom, though from among but the purest motives of self- the despised and oppressed nadenying benevolence could have tives of Africa, was to him, the dictated such a step. It separat- highest reward. ed him from the beloved society From this scene of toil and of his friends, and his brethren of enjoyment, the providence of in the ministry ; it plunged him God now summoned him away. into a sea of anxious, unremit. He was chosen by the synod of ted labours ; while it exposed New York, at the instance of the him to the bitter censures and trustees of New Jersey college, resentments of many. Num- to accompany the Rev. Mr. Gilbers of the inhabitants were but bert Tennent to Great Britain little removed from absolute hea- and Ireland, in order to solicit thenism. All the obstacles which benefactions for the college. could arise from blindness This election evinced the confiand prejudice, from profaneness dence both of the synod and corand immorality, his preaching poration, in his superior abilities encountered. Yet his patience and popular talents; a confiand perseverance, his magna- dence, which the issue of the afnimity and piety, added to his fair no wise disappointed. A evangelical and powerful minis- service in itself difficult and delitrations, were not without suc- cate, in its consequences precacess. The more he was known, rious, and involving a temporary the more was he esteemed. sacrifice of those domestic enContempt and aversion were joyments, which were peculiarly gradually turned into reverence. dear to him, he cheerfully unOpposition yielded to the doc- dertook, and executed with sintrines of the cross, and the pow. gular spirit and success. The
benefactions he received from These remarkable facts are re- the patrons of religion and learnlated on the authority of Dr. Gib- ing in Great Britain, were nuBoxs of London, who, being an inti merous and liberal, and such as mate friend of Mr. Davies, appears to have received them from his own placed the college in a prosper, mouth.