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could be abolished as they believed without tumult over the minds of an ignorant populace. Storck or scandal; but is not they were instructed by imagined he had seen an angel in a vision, who Christ to let them alone, for they are blind leaders of among other things, said he would be elevated to the blind; and by the apostles to obey God rather Gabriel's seat, from which Storck supposed that he than men. From the beginning of the world it had was to become the head of a new empire. always been found that a small proportion of man These persons have been usually designated hy kind acknowledged the truih, and according to the the term ANABAPTISTS, on account of their denying testimony of Christ himself, the gospel was to be the validity of infant baptism; a name sufficiently preached to the weak, the few, the despised, and vague and inappropriate, as this sentiment, even if the unlearned; so that it was not surprising that it were acknowledged to be erroneous, cannot with priests and the wise of this world, apprehensive of any candor be classed amongst their fanatical losing their power, dignity, and other advantages, opinions. This epithet is deduced from their reshould not admit the preaching of the truth, or con- presenting the office of magistracy as subversive of sent to wise and pious changes, unless they were their spiritual liberty, affirming that civil distinclikely to become sources of emolument to them- tions, such as rank, birth, and opulence confer, selves. The ancient colleges and monasteries were ought to be abolished, that Christians may enjoy all founded not for the purpose of saying masses, but things in common; and maintaining that they were for the instruction of youth and the support of the favored with visions and revelations from heaven. poor: and that, even to the time of Augustine and Although it was one of their principles to explode Bernard. These institutions were only appropri- human science, Mark Suhner was a man of some ated to masses within these three or four hundred learning, having been a student at the University years, and for the dead scarcely two hundred. Still of Wittemberg. Melancthon, with his characteristhey ought to be abolished as errors, even though tic goodness, received and treated him with the utthey could boast of great antiquity. Besides, the most hospitality, patiently investigated his preten. very principle on which masses are celebrated is sions, and scrupulously avoided any precipitancy in sinful, namely, that they are good works, sacrifices, his decisions. The state of his mind is obvious or satisfactions for sin. It appeared that even to from a letter which at this critical juncture he adthe time of Cyprian, it was the custom to receive dressed to the Elector. “Your highness is aware the sacrament in both kinds, and that this practice of the great and dangerous dissensions about reprevails even to the preseni day in Greece and the ligion which have distracted your city of Zwickau. eastern churches. It was not therefore their fault Some have been imprisoned for their innovaiions, if tumult should arise; but they were to be cen- and three of the leaders have fled hither, two of sured, who, to keep up their dignity, their income, them ignorant weavers, the third a man of learnand their luxury, coniinue to obstruct the light of ing. I have heard their statements; and it is as. truth, and cruelly wage war against the altars of tonishing what they relate of themselves as comGod. Christ predicted and his apostles experienced missioned from heaven to teach; as having a that the gospel was a stone of stumbling, and a rock familiar intercourse with God, and able to foresee of offence. The Christian rule was neither to re- future events; in a word, as having the authority gard the madness of the enemy, nor the greatness of prophets and apostles. How much I am struck of the danger. Christ was not silent, though he with this language it is not easy for me to say; but foresaw the preaching of the gospel would be at certainly I see great reason not to despise them, sor tended with discord, seditions, and the revolution they have many arguments to adduce, and someof kingdoms; nor were his apostles less strenuous thing of an extraordinary spirit about them, bui no in instructing the people, because the wise men of one can judge so well upon the subject as Martin the world detested the very name of the gospel, Luther. For the peace and glory of the church, looking upon it as the firebrand of those disturb- therefore, he should have an opportunity of exances, schisms, and tumults, which raged amongst amining these men, especially as they appeal to him. the Jews at Jerusalem.” The result of these com The Elector immediately had recourse to his munications was, that though the timid Elector re- most confidential counsellors, who, being unable to fused to give them a public sanction, he connived come to a decision, Melancthon copzinued to urge at these innovations.
the necessity of obtaining Luder's sentiments, The life of Leo X. terminated with the closing stating thal Storck and his associates had raised year.
dispates concerning the bapism of infants, and had
appealed to divine revelacions; and that for his own CHAPTER VI.
part he could not positively pronounce on the The Anabaptisto-Disturbances of Carlostade-Luther's return to merit of the case. The Elector alleged, that were Wittemberg-Account of his German version of the scriptures, he to recall Luther it would endanger his life, and with the assistance of Melancthon and others-Luther's conference | advised Melancihon to avoid disputes with those Ms. copy of his Commentary on the Romans–Extracts from that, fanatics; but in the mean time if he knew what Commentary--Progress of the Reformation-- Rise of the Sacra- justice required, he was ready to discharge his mental Controversy Death of Muncer-Me anethon's excursion duty. Spalatine, who was present in the council
, introduction to the Landgrave of Hesse Death of Nesaous-His has recorded these memorable words which the Epitaph-Death of Frederic the Wise - Translatea extracts from Elector pronounced in a manner that produced the found an Academy-Translated extracts
of his Oration at the open ministers and counsellors, and which, he remarks, Controversy with
Erasmus Melancthun's visits to Nuremberg no deepest impression upon the whole assembly of ing of the Institution--Publications. 1522 to 1525.
were expressive of his views to the very last day FANATICISM Soon made her unwelcome appearance of his life. "This is a most weighty and difficult in this season of religious commotion. In the affair, which I as a layman do not profess to underspring of 1522, Nicholas Storck, Martin Cellarius, stand. God has given to me and my brother consideand Mark Stubner, who had been for some time en- rable wealth ; but if I could obtain a right undergaged with the notorious Muncer in propagating standing of the matter, I declare I would rather the wildest sentiments at Zwickau, in Misnia, came take my staff in my hand and quit every thing! to Wittemberg. The former was a zealous leader possess, than knowingly resist the will of God." of this enthusiastic band. They had harangued Luther, in a letter to Melancthon, expresses himselt the populace in the church of St. Catharine, and in a very judicious manner. It was written on the pretending to enjoy visions and inspirations from 17th January. "In regard to these prophets I canheaven, acquired a very considerable ascendancy not approve of your timidity, though you are my
superior both in capacity and erudition. In the excited fresh alarm. The foundations of that noble first place, when they bear record of themselves structure he had been so actively engaged in erectthey ougni not to be implicitly believed, but their ing seemed to be endangered. What could be spirits should be tried, as John admonishes. You done? Was he to remain at a distance from the know Gamaliel's advice, but I have heard of no scene of action at a period when his skill and herothing said or done by ihem which Satan himself ism appeared peculiarly requisite; or could he could not imitate. I would have you examine venture upon incurring the Elector's displeasure by whether they can produce a proof of their com a clandestine and unauthorized return? Restless mission, for God never sent any one, not even his with increasing impatience he determined to haz. own Son, who was not either properly called to the ard every thing, and at length on the 3d of March, office, or authorized by miracles. The ancient 1522, hastened to Wittemberg: An apology for prophets were legally appointed ; and their mere this proceeding was written to the Elector, pleading assertion of being called by a divine revelation is the urgent necessity of the case arising out of the not a sufficient warrant for receiving them, since existing irregularities; but in two other communiGod did not even speak to Samuel but with the au- cations, the one a letter addressed to Melancthua thority of Eli. So much for their public character. and the other to Amsdorff, he assigns an additional You should also examine their private spirit, whe- reason for his return, namely, the assistance he ther they have experienced spiritual distresses and wished to obtain from them and others in the conflicts with death and hell, and the power of regene- translation of the Scriptures into the German lanration. If you hear smooth, tranquil, and what they guage. call dervui and religious raptures, though they speak For the purpose of engaging in this important of being caught up to the third heavens, do not regard labor, Luther had devoted the previous summer to them, while the sign of the Son of Man is wanting, the study of Greek and Hebrew. His skill in GerTHE CRoss, the only touchstone of Christians, and man is universally admitted. Versions of a very the sure discerner of spirits."
inferior kind had been published at Nuremberg in In addition to the uneasiness occasioned by the the years 1477, 1483, 1490, and at Augsburg in 1518, affair of Storck and his associates, Melancthon which were not only ill calculated to attract public was exceedingly afflicted by another untoward notice, but interdicted from being read. The goscircumstance. At the very moment when union pels oi' Matthew and Mark were first published by amongst themselves, and a vigilant discretion in all Luther, then the Epistle to the Romans and the their proceedings was of the greatest importance, other books in succession, till the whole New TestaCarlostadt was guilty of excesses, which were not ment was circulated by the month of September. only disapproved by the other Reformers, but high- In a letter which Melancthon addressed to the celely prejudicial to their cause. He was heard to say, brated physician George Sturciad, dated 5th May, that he wished to be as great a man and as much 1522, he speaks of the whole version being in the thought of as Luther;" for which he was properly hands of the printers. The essential assistance he reproved by Melancthon, who reminded him, "that rendered in completing the work is likewise appa. such language could only proceed from a spirit of rent, for he states that he had paid particular at. emulation, envy, and pride." So long as he steadily tention to the different kinds of money mentioned pursued the great object of reforming the church in the New Testament, and had consulted with from Popery by sound argument, and firm but many learned men that the version might express Christian conduct, the other Reformers united to them with the utmost accuracy. He begs his corassist his efforts; but when motives of vanity, con- respondent to give his opinion, and to consult curring with violence of temper, oecasioned his Mutianus as being profoundly skilled in the know. zeal to degenerate into wild-fire and extravagance, ledge of Roman antiquities. He entreals him to they were compelled to discountenance him. But attend to his application from a regard to the gene. instead of being induced to correct his errors, he ral good, and to do it immediately, because the instantly aspired to become the leader of a turbu- work was in the press and printing with
great ex. lent mobilný, whose minds he inflamed by popular pedition. “I wait your reply,” he adds," with the harangues, and whom he encouraged to enter the utmost anxiety, and I beseech you for faith, love, great church of All Saints at Wittemberg, to and kindness' sake, and every other urgent considebreak the crucifixes and images in pieces, and throw ration, not to disappoint us." down the altars. Mislund by a strange spirit of in The difficulties of the undertaking particularly fatuation, he began to de.ipise human learning, and pressed upon Luther when he proceeded to the to encourage the youths of the University to quit translation of the Old Testament, but he persevered their studies.
Yet, with all this peryersion of with indefatigable zeal. Melancthon was deeply mind and impeiuosity of conduct, which no re- engaged in revising this important work for his monstrances could check, it must be admitted that friend two months previous to his return. he held some important truths, particularly the real The utmost pains were taken to ensure the accudoctrine of the Sacrament, which the Lutherans racy of the translation, for a select party of learned misunderstood, and which afterwards occasioned men at Wittemberg assembled every day, with Luviolent controversies. And yet, even in maintain ther to revise every sentence; and ihey have been ing acknowledged truth, his manner of doing it was known to return fourteen successive days, to the reequally disapproved by the gentle Melancthon and consideration of a single line or even a word. Each the impetuous Luther. The former, who was had an appropriate part assigned him according Dever addicted to exaggeration, represents him in to his peculiar qualification. Luther collared the a most unamiable light, as "a man of savage dis- ancient Latin versions and the Hebrew, Melancposition, of no genius and learning, or even com- thon the Greek original, Cruciger the Chaldee, and mon sense; as having plotted against the reputation other professors the Rabbinical writings. Al the of Luther out of revenge for his opposing his fa- request of Luther, Spalatine afforded them every natical practices; but at the same time as possess- assistance, by sending them specimens from the ing a very insinuating and plausible exterior, though Elector's collection of gems. The Pentateuch went uuable to disguise his violent ambition, passion, and to press in December, and a second edition of the envy, for any long period.”
New Testament appeared at the same time. A The state of Luther's mind during these transac- version of the Prophets was published in the year tions can be more easily imagined than expressed. 1527, and the other books in succession till the whole Every day increased his anxieties, every occurrence laborious task was completed in 1530. Luther
states how much he was indebted to his particular friendly seizure and imprisonment at the castle of friend in writing to Spalatinus. "I translated not Wartenberg, by which means, while his sudden only the gospel of John, but the whole New Testa- disappearance operated to the benefit of the rement in my Patmos, but Melancthon and I have be- formed cause, by exasperating the minds of men gun to revise the whole, and by the blessing of God against the Roman See for a supposed violation of it will prove a noble labor, but your assistance is its promise of security, his confinement furnished sometimes requisite to suggest apt words and turns him with leisure which even had his life been of expression. We wish it to be distinguished for spared, he could not otherwise have enjoyed at simplicity of style.". The whole was republished in such a turbulent moment, for prosecuting the study a new edition in 1534, which was followed by oihers of original languages, and preparing for the transin 1541 anu 1545. The names of Luther's princi- lation of the holy Scriptures into the vernacular pal coadjutors in this great undertaking ought to be language of Germany. While his enemies and had in everlasting remembrance-Philip MELANC- countrymen thought him dead and his particular THON, CASPER CRUCIGER, JUSTUS JONAS, John BUGEN- friends lamented his absence, trembled for his sateHAGIts or POMERANUS, and MATTHEW AUROGALLUS : ty, and mourned over the calamitous circumstances the corrector of the press was GEORGE Rorarius. in which they became involved, the Providence of
After completing this translation of the Scrip- God had unexpectedly and at the fittest moment set tures into the German language, Bugenhagius an- him about a work in the forests of Thuringia, nually kept the return of the day on which it was which was hereafter to gladden the hearts of Ger: finished, by inviting a select party of friends to his many, and more than any other circumstance to house in order to celebrate so important an achieve- promote the Reformation ; and thus, amidst a uni
This social meeting was usually designated versal pause of wonder and apprehension, God THE FESTIVAL OF THE TRANSLATION OF THE SCRIP- was mysteriously and secretly operating his own
purposes. To the fastidious we must leave it to censure the It was to be expected that the Catholics should desire which may probably glow, at least for a mo- endeavor to disparage the version of Luther, and ment, in many a bosom, to have been contemporary yet Maimbourg confesses it was elegant and very with these benevolent spirits, to have shared their generally read, although Jerome Emser, one of the noble labor, and to have annually participated in their counsellors of Duke George, of persecuting notopious convivialities. Never was a festive board riety, and Cochlæus, attacked it in terms of bitter more nobly surrounded or more religiously devoted reproach. The former, under the patronage of his -never did a more splendid occasion of holy tri- master, published what he called a correct iranslaumph present itself. Germany had already hailed tion of the New Testament in opposition to it, and her Reformers, heard their discourses, and wit- which as it consisted of little else than a republicaDessed their progress with mingled emotions of fear tion of Luther's very version almost verbatim, but and satisfaction ;--already was she deeply indebted with a preface of his oron, was in reality the highto them for a series of disinterested efforts to de- est compliment he could have paid to his antagoliver her from the abject slavery in which supersti- nist, and the most effectual condemnnation of himlion and tyranny had combined to chain her down self. The result however of this animosity was during past ages; but a new obligation of far most gratifying to every pious mind. Luther's vergreater extent was incurred by their furnishing to sion was read even in the pages of his adversary; every man the means of the most direct acquaint- and he expresses himself upon the occasion in lanance with divine communications through his ver- guage which strikingly illustrates his character, nacular language. Nor was the mere accomplish- "There is a just judge who will see to this. The ment of this difficult undertaking the only subject best revenge which I can wish for is, that though of generous exultation to these eminent men, every Luther's name is suppressed, and that of his adveryear and almost every day exhibited great and good sary put in its place, yet (atker's book is read, and effects resulting from their labor. * The different thus the design of his labors is promoted by his very paris of this translation,” observes Mosheim, vol. enemies." iv. page 60,“ being successively and gradually This German translation of the Scriptures was spread abroad among the
people, produced sudden proscribed by an edict of Ferdinand, archanke ot and almost incredible effects, and extirpated root Austria, the emperor's brother, forbidding the suband branch, the erroneous principles and supersti- jects of 'his imperial majesty to have any copy of it tious doctrines of the church of Rome, from the in their possession. The same interdiction extendminds of a prodigious number of persons.” ed to all his writings. Several princes issued simi
Let us pause for a moment to reflect on the won-lar prohibitions, among whom we can feel no surderful concatenation of a few past events by the in- prise at discovering Duke George, but with what visible but efficacious agency of a superintending kind of effect—such as are acquainted with the hisProvidence. Leo X. had issued a Bull against tory of persecution may easily conjecture. Luther which totally failed of its object; the Pope
Soon after his return from the castle of Wartenexasperated at witnessing his own impotency, ap- berg, Luther consented to hold a conference in the pealed to Charles V. newly promoted to the empire presence of Melancthon with some of the chief upon the death' of Maximilian !. to inflict exem- fanatical pretenders to prophetie inspiration before plary vengeance upon his heretical subject; Charles mentioned. Mark Stubner, Cellarius and another, being under personal obligations to Frederic Elec- met the reformer and his friend on this occasion. tor of Saxony, who had materially assisted his ad- Stubner related his visions and inspirations to very vancement in opposition to his rival Francis I. patient hearers, and when he had finished, Luther king of France, was disposed to concede to his coolly replied, '" that nothing he had said was supwishes by refraining from the publication of a con- ported by the authority of Scripture, but seemed io demnatory edict, but, not to offend the Pope, he re- result from a deluded imagination, or the suggessolved to summon Lúther to the diet at Worms as tions of some evil spirit.” This enraged Cellarius, a previous and prudential measure:-at Worms he who with the voice and gesticulations of a madman, appeared, where he breathed the spirit of an apostle stamping the ground and beating the table, exand exhibited the heroism of a martyr; but he was claimed against the audacity of Luther for insinudeclared an enemy to the holy Roman empire and ating such things against so divine a person! Stubbecame instantly exposed to its vengeance. * At this ner, however, was more composed, possibly fancycrisis Frederic screened him from the storm, by al ing himself in a tranquil and devout rapture. " Lü
ther," says he, "I will give you a proof that I am ther may be excused in a period when the mind was influenced by the Spirit of God, by revealing your habitually kept warm and irascible by controversy, own thoughts. You are at this monent inclining to be for using such an epithet, ihose who are solicitous lieve in the truth of my doctrine." The prophet how- of forming a correci idea of him wili rather deem ever was mistaken, for Luther afterwards affirmed it slanderous than descriptive to call bim the timid he was thinking of that sentence, “the Lord rebuke Melancthon. If, after all, his Erst treatment or thee, Satan;" and he very soon dismissed thern Storck and his associates be considered as an unwith these words, “The God whom I love and serve warrantable excess of candor, his language became will confound your impotent pretensions.” They more decided as his convictions of their delusion retired full of self-sufficiency, pouring out execra- and misconduct increased: and if this be a shade in tions upon Luther, and promising what mighty things his character, it is otherwise so bright that the adthey would do to denionstrate the reality of their mitted imperfection will not materially obscure it; commission. They left Wittemberg the same day. and the biographer can feel no very powerful temp
A genuine Fanatic is one of the most pitiable ob- tation where such a splendor of excellence is disjects in creation; a compound of ignorance and en-cernable, to becume the labored apologist. thusiasm. Enflamed with self-importance, he mis Luther, besides many useful iracis of his own, takes the conceits of his own disordered imagina- having secretly taken from Melancthon a manution for the dictates of inspiration, and fancies his script Commentary on the Epistie of Paul to tà intercourse with the Deity to be of a sublimer nature Romans, printed it without his knowledge. It was than that of his inferior fellow morials. He believes afterwards published in the year 1540, with a dedihimself gifted above others, destined to move in a cation to Philip, landgrave of Hesse. Luther's higher sphere, to walk in the precincts of heaven, apology for this proceeding is curious and characto hold an immediate connection with the Divine teristic. It is prefixed to the Commentary of his Spirit, which elevates him above the laws and or- friend. dinances, the instructions and the guidance of Scrip “Martin Luther to Philip Melancthon--grace ture. But sure nothing can be more degrading to and peace in Christ. reason than such absurdities, nothing more dispa "Be angry and sin not: commune with your raging to religion. The mischief such a person is own heart upon your bed and be still. I am the calculated io do results from this circumstance, that person who dares to publish your annotations, and he denominates passion by the sacred name of reli- I send you your own work. If you are not pleased gion; a passion which, heated to intemperance and with it, it may be all very well, it is sufficient that kindling into the ardors of rapture, spurns at rea- you please us. If I have done wrong, you are to son, and substitutes a man's own fancy and good blame; why did not you publish it yourself? why opinion of himself for the true foundation of piety. did you suffer me so often to ask, to insist, to imporWhen such sentiments as these prevail, it is impos- tune you to publish it, and all in vain ?-_So much sible to calculate or to conjecture the monstrous ex- for my apology against you; for you see I am wil. cesses into which they may precipitate the ignorant ling to turn thief, and am not afraid of your future classes of mankind, who are soon attracted by accusations or complaints. As to those whom you plausible, however ridiculous, novelties. But genuine suspect of being disposed to sneer, I have this to religion and wild fanaticism are perfect antipodes; say to them--' Ďo better!-What the impious Tho and intelligent persons, of an observing cast of místs falsely arrogate to their leader, namely, that mind, will always look“upon the latter as a beacon no one has written better upon St. Paul, I truly to warn them away from the dangers attending any affirm of you. Satan himself influences them to deviation from the plain course of scriptural in- boast in this manner concerning their. Thonas struction.
Aquinas, and to spread his doctrines and his poison Should any be disposed to censure the conduct of far and wide. I know in what sort of spirit and Melancthon for that extreme leniency which he with what correctness of judgment I pronounce this manisested to. Storck and his associates from of you. If these famous and mighty men should Zwickau, be it recollected, that though Luther's choose to sneer at my opinion, the consequence bezeal charged him with undae timidity, a word longs to me, not to you. But I wish to vex these which both he and historians after him' have ap- scorners more and more; and I say that the complied with great incaution, several extenuating cir- mentaries of Jerome and Origen are mere trifles cumstances must not be overlooked. Stubner being and follies compared to your annotations. But a man of learning, and probably of some address, what, you will say, is the purpose of aiming to proand knowing the importance of obtaining, if possi- voke these great men against me? Well—you may ble, the influence of Melancthon, probably resorted be humble if you please, but let me boast for you. to every insinuating method to gain his support, Who has ever prohibited persons of great capacity disclosing his sentiments only in a very gradual from publishing something better if they can-and
The real goodness and amiable temper thus demonstrating the rashness of my judgment. for which Melancthon was so remarkable, predis. For my part, I wish we could find out those who posed him to judge favorably of others, especially could and would publish something better. I threaiif they were professedly in pursuit of truth. He en you, further, to steal and publish your remarks was himself a diligent and patient inquirer. It upon Genesis and the Gospels of Matthew and John, was a period of religious discovery, and he daily unless you supersede me by bringing them forward. felt that he had much to learn. The very extra. You say, Scripture ought to be read alone and withvagances of these prophets were not more abhorrent out a commentary; this is right enough if you to the present views of the reformers, than the tenets speak in reference to Jerome, Origen, Thomas of Lutheranism were to the mind of Luther him- Aquinas, and others of the same class, for their self at a previous and not very remote period of his commentaries are the mere vehicles of their own life. Every impartial person must perceive, what notions, rather than the sentiments of Paul, and many transactions hereafter to be recorded will the doctrine of Christianity; but no one can profully prove, that the hesitation of Melancthon in perly call yours a commentary; it is rather an indeciding upon new subjects or in difficult cases iroduction to the study of Scripture in general, and which seemed to require a promptitude of action, a guide to the knowledge of Christ: in which it resulted not so much from timidity, as from con- surpasses all the commentaries hitherto published. scientious scruples of mind. It was not that he feared As to what you plead, that your annotations are not temporal, but mora]
consequences; and though Lu- in all respects satisfactory to yourself, it is difficul
enough to believe you. But behold I do believe-proper office is to deliver out of all evil. Jacob, you are not fully satisfied with yourself, nor is this Moses, Daniel, saw him by faith, and John teslities asked or desired of you: we would have Paul that the Messiah was the Son of God, and conmaintain his preeminence, lest any one should in- stantly present with the patriarchs. In the beginsinuate that Philip is superior or equal to Paul. It ning,' says he was the word, all things were is sufficient you are only second io Paul; but we made by him'-referring to those illustrious victoshall not dislike any body for coming still nearer to ries over the devil which this glorious leader and this great original. We know very well that you captain enabled Noah, Abram, Joseph, Moses, are nothing; and we know also that Christ is all Samuel, David, Isaiah, and Jeremiah to obtain. and in all, who if he pleases can speak as he did to “ The term oristhentos, which the Greeks explain Balaam by an ass; why then should he nut speak by another, apodeichthentos, is singularly emphatiby a man?-art thou not a man ?-art thou not a cal, and it refers to the manifestation of the Son of servant of Christ ?-has he not endowed thee with God, as having risen from the dead, and as being capacity? If thou shouldest choose to improve and possessed of inconceivable power, evinced by numeenlarge this volume by elegant and learned addi- rous miracles. tions, it will be a grateful service; but in the mean “The verb orizesthai, signifies to be certainly time we are determined to be gratified in spite of proclaimed; in opposition 10 the opinions of the you, by possessing ourselves of the sentiments of Jews, who expected a Messiah to be an extraordiPaul by your means. If I have offended you by nary man indeed, but only a man, distinguished by this proceeding, I do not ask pardon ; but lay aside heroic achievements, and who should bestow riches, your displeasure, by which you will rather give but not a new nature and eternal life. But Paul offence to us, and you will have to ask forgiveness. says that this Messiah would be powerful, and God preserve and prosper you for evermore. Wit would give the Holy Spirit by which new light, temberg, July 29, 1522.
justification and eternal life would be dispensed, If Luther did not ask pardon for publishing Me- and the devil vanquished. This he calls a real delancthon's annotations on the Epistle of Paul to the liverance, which our forefathers both understood Romans without his consent, the reader will not and experienced in the various trials of their faith, demand an apology for inserting a few brief ex- their dangers, and their conflicts with Satan and tracts from this valuable performance: as a speci- with death. And how much greater is this demen of our reformer's expository method, which in liverance than that which some anticipate in the giving a complete view of his character and ta- appearance of a Messiah, who like Alexander lents, could not be wholly omitted.
is to divide kingdonis and provinces amongst his “ CHAP. I. v. 1.- Paul ...... separated unto the soldiers. gospel of God.' Here the apostle states the business “Chap. V. v. 2.-'We rejoice in hope of the glory he was commanded to execute, namely, to preach of God. It may be asked, what is the value of the gospel. The reader should remember that there justification and deliverance from sin and death, is a material difference between the law and the when sin still adheres to us, and we continue obgospel, to which we have already adverted, and of noxious to death, and all the various afflictions inwhich' more will be said in remarking upon the cident to human life? In what respects are Christhird chapter. T'he description which he gives of tians happier than others ? for Christians are often the gospel is, that it is a divine promise communi- derided for speaking about deliverance from sin cated in the sacred writings concerning Jesus Christ and death, when they are equally with other men the Son of God, of the seed of David according to exposed to calamities. Saints themselves are often the flesh, declared to be the Son of God with power, ready to acknowledge their infirmities, and are agithrough sanctification of the Spirit, and resurrec- tated with doubts whether if God really delighted tion from the dead; that he is the Messiah or King, in them, they should be the subjects of such infirby whom deliverance from sin and eternal life are mity; and this is no trifling temptation, because dispensed.
when faith realizes, according to the Scriptures, This description will be more obvious by now that God is propitious through Jesus Christ, our ticing the contradistinction between the law and weakness expects to see this kindness in some manthe gospel.
The law represents what we are, and ner visibly displayed. So the Anabaptists despise what we are required to do. It demands perfect the doctrine of faith, and affirm that we are to seek obedience, without providing for the forgiveness of for celestial visions; and there are others who sin, or liberating us from the power of sin and dream they have already perfectly obeyed, and are death; but rather arms sin against us, by accusing acceptable to God, as having satisfied the claims transgressors, and alarming them with the terrors of his law, and being without şin. of death. But the GOSPEL freely promises the remis “Paul therefore opposes each of these. He adsion of sin and deliverance from death, by Jesus ministers consolation to those who acknowledge the Son of God, who was descended from David their infirmities, and commands them to rejoice in according to the prophetic declarations. Paul states hope; and to consider that they shall enjoy the glory this at the outset of his discourse, that we might of eternal life, which though not at present revealknow his meaning, and distinguish properly between ed, shall certainly be bestowed. On which acco the law and the gospel; as though he had said, it became them to acquiesce, and not to doubt or 'Paul divinely called to teach the gospel of Christ; despair, though they were at present exposed to innot to teach the law or to teach philosophy.' firmities. He directs them to rejoice in hope, that
"3, 4.- Concerning the Son Jesus Christ our is, they are not to suppose that this perfection of Lord, foc.! In this phrase he opposes the vulgar nature and enjoyment is now to be attained, nor are notions of the Jews, who expected a Messiah that they to expect any new manifestaitons from heaven, would be-not the Son of God by his own natuure, but but to stand fast in the truth of Scripture, and aim only a man like the other prophets, though surpassing to please God by faith in Christ, considering that a them in wisdom, virtue, and capacity to obtain and present perfection in this sinful state is not to be govern the whole world. But the patriarchs and expected. prophets knew their Messiah to be the Son of God, "The sentiment therefore is, that although the who was at that period their governor and their world, and even our own reason, may determine guide. Jacob said, "The angel who delivered me that we do not yet possess glory, or complete emanont of all evil bless the lads, speaking of the deli- cipation from sin and death, yet we rejoice, that is, verer whom he knew to be promised, and whose we indulge the hope of that glory with which God