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secution deserve to be recorded. in which they had for ages been « Heresies ought to be resisted involved. But Henry, having earnot with fire or sword, but with ly imbibed the principles of Popethe word of God. If this does ry, and viewing Luther as the ennot remove them, in vain will vi- emy of all who supported these olence be resorted to. The earth principles, determined not only to may be deluged with blood; but exert all his influence to check heresy, being an error of the the progress of his opinions, but mind, can be destroyed neither to refute them with all the acuteby fire nor by water ; nay, it is ness which he possessed. He increased by every sort of resist- accordingly wrote a Latin treatise ance, except by the Scripture. in defence of the seven sacraThe tongue may be restrained, ments, against Luther's work, On men may be forced to be silent, to the Babylonish Captivity of the dissemble, or to lie; but heresy, Church; “ a performance," says residing in the heart, can be ex- Hume, “which, if allowance be pelled only by the influence of made for the subject and the age, the word of God, enlightening does no discredit to his capacity the understanding, and persuad- He sent a copy of it to Leo, who ing the judgment."*
received so magnificent a present The light of reformation had with great testimony of regard, dawned on the British isle as ear and conferred on him the title ly as the middle of the 14th cen- of Defender of the Faith."! tury, when Wickliffe stood forth Though Luther believed this to as the champion of divine truth be the work of Edward Lee, afand spiritual liberty, against the terwards Archbishop of Cantererrors and tyranny of Rome; bury, he replied as if it had been and though it became gradually Henry's own composition, and obscured, and was almost entire- treated him with such indigly extinguished when the 8th nity, and used respecting him so Henry ascended the throne, ma- many opprobrious and contemptny individuals throughout the uous expressions, as to shock country were waiting for the even his best friends. consolation of Israel. The cler- this the effect of a momentary sy had never obtained the same burst of passion ; for, in his corinfluence and respect which they respondence at this period, he enjoyed, previous to Wickliffe's justified his conduct in the appearance, and the people were inost expressive terms. Nay, in ready to embrace a change of the answer itself, he vindicated religion, whenever it should be the extraordinary severity of his presented. The astonishing rev- language, by saying, “ If, for the olution of sentiments which was sake of Christ, I have trampled so rapidly pervading the provin- under foot that Idol of Romish ces of Germany, accordingly abomination, which had usurped made a deep impression in Eng- the place of God, and tyrannized land ; and led multitudes to im- over kings and the whole world ; bibe the doctrines which Luther who is this Henry a new Thomhad elicited from the darkness ist, or at least a disciple of that
• Seckend. $ 127, p. 212.
| Hist. of England, Chap. 29.
trifling monster, that I should pay tion of the papal court. He therehomage to his virulent blasphe- fore resolved to reform these mies? He may be a defender of abuses, expecting that their rethe church, but it is of a church, moval would bring back the peothe mother of harlots, of drunken- ple to the bosom of that church ness and fornication. I having whence they had been driven by an equal abhorrence of the church the vices of its governors. He and her defender, will attack accordingly repealed the order them with the same weapons. which had been issued for the My doctrines will stand, but the preaching of indulgences to dePope will fall, though the gates fray the expense of completing of hell, and the powers of air and the Vatican ; but, at the same earth and sea were against me. time, gave authority, by a new They provoked me to war, and bull, to the doctrine of the church they shall have it; they despised concerning that nefarious traffic. peace when offered them, and His sentiments on many points they shall not now obtain it. differed essentially from those of God shall see whether the Pope his cardinals, who warned him so or Luther will be the first to strongly of the danger with which yield.”+ George Duke of Sax- his proposed reformation would ony, irritated at this treatise, soli- be followed, that he was heard to cited the Elector to have Luther say, that “the condition of a Pope immediately punished ; but this is the most unhappy that can be prince declined interfering, and conceived, because he is not at proposed the convocation of a liberty to do what is right, though free council. I
he has the inclination, and can Leo X. died in the beginning find the means.” He then imagof Dec. 1521, and was succeeded ined that his presence and auby Adrian VI., originally of an thority might have the effect of obscure family of Utrecht, a man quieting the commotions of Gerof scholastic erudition, and un- many ; and to prepare the minds polished manners, but of a mild of the disputants for his visit, he temper, and irreproachable mor- wrote to Frederic, then attending als. When he arrived at Rome, the diet of the Empire met at Nufrom Spain, where he was at the remberg, exhorting him in genertime of his election, he immedi- alterms, to exert all his influence ately applied himself to establish to preserve the safety, tranquillithe peace of the church. But the ty, and holy faith of the church, measures which he adopted, without so much as mentioning though salutary in themselves, Luther's name or heresy. But ultimately defeated the end pro- the brief which he sent to the posed by them. Luther's opin- diet by a nuncio, amply compenions appeared to him so extrava- sated for this political neglect, gant, that he could not persuade and made such an impression on himself but they were occa- the bishops, that they almost gioned by the abuses and extor- unanimously exclaimed that Lu
ther must perish. The secular t"Contra Henric. Reg. Angliae, princes, however, discovered apud. init. Luth. Oper. tom. ü. greater moderation, and were Seckend. Sect. 46, 47. 95 112, 114. soon imitated by many of the Vol. II. No. 3.
clergy, who felt enraged at the and convinced them that it was insinuations, which were thrown in vain to expect redress from out against them in the letter of Rome. It also contributed to the instructions from the Pope, read vigorous protest which they enby the nuncio next day. While tered against determining on the he called on the assembly to put merits of the Lutheran controthe edict of Worms in execution versy, till the meeting of a genagainst Luther, he accused the eral council. The diet was disprelates and the priests of occa- solved on the 6th of March, sioning the heresies of that re- 1523.* The event of this asformer, by their negligence, vo- sembly was thus most favourable luptuousness and profligacy. to the cause of the reformation. Though, therefore, the Elector Preachers were permitted to deof Brandenburg and the greater clare the truth, without molestanumber of prelates wished to as
tion, and magistrates to protect sure the Pope that they would exe- them without criminality. Priests cute the edict of Worms, the other and monks, though married, conprinces and the rest of the clergy tinued in their offices ; and the opposed it as dangerous not only people who had seen the scandato Rome, but to the interests of lous effects of their celibacy, the Empire. They accordingly were edified by witnessing the informed the nuncio that the regularity and purity of their constate of Germany would not allow duct. The suspension of the of the step which the Pope re- edict of Worms, made its injuscommended to be taken ; praised tice be discerned ; and the referthe Pontiff for the interest which ence of the controversy to the dehe took in their welfare, and be- cision of a council, showed that sought him to continue his plans the diet were not convinced that for the reformation of fagrant Luther was altogether in the abuses. Though the nuncio was wrong, and that his greatest her. liighly displeased at the tenor of esy, was his attack on the authortheir reply, the princes persisted ity of the Pope. In fine, the acin the sentiments which they had knowledgment which Adrian avowed ; and to justify their con- made of the dreadful corruptions duct drew up a memorial of of the clergy and court of Rome, grievances, amounting to a hun- justified much of Luther's invece dred articles of specific charges tives against them, and gained against the corruptions of the him many new adherents, who church, which they earnestly could not but admire his courage entreated might be speedily re
and his zeal.t dressed. The nuncio, unwilling to receive such an insult as to be * Beausobre, tom. ii. p. 273.-320. charged with this memorial, left Seckend. 95 146–147. the diet suddenly without taking † Beausob. ib. p. 322. leave of the princes. This step gave them the highest offence,
(To be continued.)
DIFFICULTIES ATTENDING THE Christianity indicates. But is not
DOCTRINE OF THE SAINTS' this explanation inconsistent with PERSEVERANCE.
what follows? “ Abide in me,”
To the Editors. saith our Saviour, verse 4,“ and I Gentlemen,
will abide in you.
As the branch PRESUMING that it is not less cannot bear fruit of itself, except congenial with your inclinations, it abide in the vine, no more can than consistent with the design ye,except ye abide in me."
Is not of your publication, to offer every the whole complexion of this assistance in your power to those, passage such as would naturally who meet with obstacles in their lead one to suppose, that the unsearch after truth, I take the lib- ion, here intended, was that spirerty to lay before you a number itual, vital union, of which true of difficulties, with respect to the faith, and holiness form the only doctrine of the saints' persever- cement ? Let us suppose that a ance, resulting from what I sup- mere visible relation is intended, pose to be the meaning of certain and see what sort of notions the passages of Scripture. I shall words will convey. Yeare pure enter no farther into the argu through the word, which I have ments, which may be drawn spoken unto you. Continue in from the several texts, than is your visible union with me, and I necessary in order to present a will continue to dwell in you. full view of the difficulty, as it Would this promise have been appears to my own apprehension. made to such a perseverance ?
John xv. 2, our Saviour says, As the branch cannot bear fruit of “ Every branch in me, that bear- itself, except it abide in the vine, eth not fruit, he," that is, my Fa- no more can ye, except ye continther," taketh away.” This text ue in your external relation to me. certainly seems, to my under Does not such an interpretation standing, to convey this idea ; enervate the figure, and diminish that branches engrafted into the exceedingly the propriety of its true vine, may become unfruitful; application? The relation beand thus render it necessary for tween the vine and the branches the Lord of the vineyard to is beautifully illustrative of the prune them off, and use them relation between Christ and befor fuel. If this explication believers ; but not at all of that just, it only remains, in order to which subsists between Christ ascertain the sense of the pas- and those members of his visible sage, to determine the meaning church, who derive no spiritual of the phrase, in me, and discov- nourishment from him, and suser what sớrt of union it is design- tain no vital relation to him. Beed to express. It may be said, sides, it is expressly said, in the that it means nothing inore than next verse, that he, that ABIDETH a visible relation, such as the in Christ, bringeth forth much mere external profession of fruit ; which cannot be true, if a
mere external union is intended.
per, his salvation is
secure, On the whole, I am compelled to though it were the first exercise believe, that being in Christ, of the kind he ever put forth. means a vital union with him. But the question is, whether a The remaining question, there- person possessed of such a temfore, and that which involves the
per, may not, in fact, be divested difficulty, is, whether the text of it? and whether the language imply, that it is possible for such of St. Paul, in the place referred to fall away?
to, do not countenance such an 2. St. Paul, 1 Cor. ix. 27, as: opinion?' signs, as the reason of his care 3. That text, Heb. x. 38, Now and solicitude in subduing the the just shall live by faith ; but if vicious propensities of his body, any man draw back, my soul shall that having preached to others, he have no pleasure in him. This I might not himself prove a cast-a. am altogether unable to under, way. But if the doctrine, we are stand in consistency with this considering, be true, does he not doctrine. assign that as a reason, which 4. Matt. xxiv. 12 and 13, Be, could not be the true reason? cause iniquity shall abound, the love We are not at liberty, I appre- of many shall wax cold: but he hend, to suppose, that St. Paul that endureth to the end, the same was uncertain whether he were shall be saved. How could their the subject of gospel grace. But love be said to wax cold, who if he were certain of this, then, if never had any ? as most certainly the doctrine of perseverance be none but renewed souls ever had. true, he was certain that he Besides, no distinction is intimat. should not prove a cast-away. ed, as to its nature, between the How then could he assign the love of the one class, and that of fear of what, he certainly knew, the other ; but only in regard to would never take place, as the its continuance. Does it not seem, motive of his constant care and therefore, that reference is here vigilance in the government of made to those, who were indeed his appetites and passions? Be, the sincere disciples of Christ? sides, it is intimated by the apos: If so, what is meant by the love tle, that his final salvation was of such being said to wax cold? suspended on the condition of his Is it not something, the effect of subduing his sinful inclinations, which will be their loss of salva. or bringing his body into sub- tion? For, in its effects, it is di. jection. Does not this weaken rectly opposed to that enduring, the conclusion of those who ar- to which salvation is promised. gue the final perseverance of 5. Some passages occur, in saints from the nature of holi- Ezek. xviii. and xxiii. in which I ness; a single exercise of which, meet with very formidable dif: they say, gives an infallible title ficulties. These are so appar: to everlasting salvation ? But if ent to all, who peruse the con. final salvation is suspended on texts, that it is needless to point the condition mentioned above, them out. this reasoning is inconclusive. 6. Heb. vi. 4-6. For it is im, It is not doubted that if a person possible for those who were once die in the exercise of a holy tem- enlightened, and have tasted of the