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vary directly as the intensity of the impulse, | nation had been roused against those who had and inversely as the number and force of the darkened this great truth, they by whom it was impediments; but a motive which produces made an apology for lewdness and rapine no motion, is the same thing as an attraction were the objects of his scorn and abhorrence. which does not draw, or as a propensity which His attack on the Anabaptists is conceived in does not incline. Far different as was the terms so vigorous and so whimsical, that it is style in which Luther enounced his doctrine, difficult to resist the temptation to exhibit the careful study of his writings will, we think, some extracts. But who would needlessly convince any dispassionate man that such disturb the mould beneath which lies interred was his real meaning. The faith of which he and forgotten a mass of disgusting folly, which wrote was not a mere opinion, or a mere emo- in a remote age exhaled a moral pestilence? tion. It was, a mental energy, of slow but Resolving all the sinister phenomena of life, stately growth, of which an intellectual assent by assuming the direct interference of the was the basis; high and holy tendencies the devil and his angels in the affairs of men, Lulofty superstructure; and a virtuous life the ther thought that this influence had been most inevitable use and destination. In his own unskilfully employed at Munster. It was a emphatic words:-" We do not say the sun coup manque on the part of the great enemy of ought to shine, a good tree ought to produce mankind. It showed that Satan was but a good fruit, seven and three ought to make ten. bungler at his art. The evil one had been The sun shines by its own proper nature, betrayed into this gross mistake that the world without being bidden to do so; in the same might be on their guard against the more astute manner the good tree yields its good fruit; artifices to which he was about to resort: seven and three have made ten from everlasting-it is needless to require them to do so hereafter."

"These new theologians did not," he said, "explain themselves very clearly." "Having hot soup in his mouth, the devil was obliged If any credit is due to his great antagonist, to content himself with mumbling out mum, Luther's doctrine of "Justification" is not enti- mum, wishing doubtless to say something tled to the praise or censure of novelty. Bos- worse." "The spirit which would deceive suet resents this claim as injurious to the the world must not begin by yielding to the Church of Rome, and as founded on an extra- fascinations of woman, by grasping the emvagant misrepresentation of her real doctrines. blerns and honours of royalty, still less by To ascribe to the great and wise men of whom cutting people's throats. This is too broad; she justly boasts, or indeed to attribute to any rapacity and oppression can deceive no one. one of sound mind, the dogma or the dream The real deceit will be practised by him who which would deliberately transfer the ideas of shall dress himself in mean apparel, assume a the market to the relations between man and lamentable countenance, hang down his head, his Creator, is nothing better than an ignorant refuse money, abstain from meat, fly from and uncharitable bigotry. To maintain that, woman as so much poison, disclaim all temtill Luther dispelled the illusion, the Christian poral authority, and reject all honours as damworld regarded the good actions of this life as nable; and who then, creeping softly towards investing even him who performs them best, the throne, the sceptre, and the keys, shall with a right to demand from his Maker an pick them up and possess himself of them by eternity of uninterrupted and perfect bliss, is stealth. Such is the man who would succeed, just as rational as to claim for him the detec- who would deceive the angels, and the very tion of the universal error which had assigned elect. This would indeed be a splendid devil, to the animal man a place among the quadru with a plumage more gorgeous than the peapeds. There is in every human mind a cer- cock or the pheasant. But thus impudently tain portion of indestructible common sense. to seize the crown, to take not merely one Small as this may be in most of us, it is yet wife, but as many as caprice or appetite sugenough to rescue us all, at least when sane gests-oh! it is the conduct of a mere schooland sober, from the stupidity of thinking not boy devil, of a devil at his A B C; or rather, only that the relations of creditor and debtor it is the true Satan-Satan, the learned and the can really subsist between ourselves and Him crafty, but fettered by the hands of God, with who made us, but that a return of such inesti- chains so heavy that he cannot move. It is to mable value can be due from Him for such warn us, it is to teach us to fear his chastiseephemeral and imperfect services as ours. ments, before the field, is thrown open to a People may talk foolishly on these matters; more subtle devil, who will assail us no longer but no one seriously believes this. Luther with the A B C, but with the real, the difficult slew no such monster, for there were none text. If this mere deviling at his letters can such to be slain. The error which he refuted was far more subtle and refined than this, and is copiously explained by Hooker, to whose splendid sermon on the subject it is a "good work" to refer any to whom it is unknown.

The celebrated thesis of "Justification by Faith," if really an Antinomian doctrine, was peculiar to Luther and to his followers only in so far as he extricated it from a mass of superstitions by which it had been obscured, and assigned to it the prominence in his system to which it was justly entitled. But if his indig

do such things, what will he not do when he comes to act as a reasonable, knowing, skilful, lawyer-like, theological devil?"

These various contests produced in the mind of Luther the effects which painful experience invariably yields, when the search for truth, prompted by the love of truth, has been long and earnestly maintained. Advancing years brought with them an increase of candour, moderation, and charity. He had lived to see his principles strike their roots deeply through a large part of the Christian world, and he

anticipated, with perhaps too sanguine hopes, their universal triumph. His unshaken reliance in them was attested by his dying breath. But he had also lived to witness the defection of some of his allies, and the guilt and folly of others. Prolonged inquiry had disclosed to him many difficulties which had been overlooked in the first ardour of the dispute, and he had become painfully convinced that the establishment of truth is an enterprise incomparably more arduous than the overthrow of error. His constitutional melancholy deepened into a more habitual sadness-his impetuosity gave way to a more serene and pensive temper and as the tide of life ebbed with still increasing swiftness, he was chiefly engaged in meditating on those cardinal and undisputed truths on which the weary mind may securely repose, and the troubled heart be still. The maturer thoughts of age could not, however, quell the rude vigour and fearless confidence, which had borne him through his early contests. With little remaining fondness or patience for abstruse speculations, he was challenged to debate one of the more subtle points of theology. His answer cannot be too deeply pondered by polemics at large. "Should we not," he said, "get on better in this discussion with the assistance of a jug or two of beer?" The offended disputant retired,— "the devil," observed Luther, "being a haughty spirit, who can bear any thing better than being laughed at." This growing contempt for unprofitable questions was indicated by a corresponding decline in Luther's original estimate of the importance of some of the minor topics in debate with the Church of Rome. He was willing to consign to silence the question of the veneration due to the saints. He suspended his judgment respecting prayers for the dead. He was ready to acquiesce in the practice of auricular confession, for the solace of those who regarded it as an essential religious observance. He advised Spalatin to do whatever he thought best respecting the elevation of the host, deprecating only any positive rule on the subject. He held the established ceremonies to be useful, from the impression they left on gross and uncultivated minds. He was tolerant of images in the churches, and censured the whole race of image-breakers with his accustomed vehemence. Even the use of the vernacular tongue in public worship, he considered as a convenient custom, not an indispensable rule. Carlostadt had insisted upon it as essential. "Oh, this is an incorrigible spirit," replied the more tolerant reformer; " for ever and for ever positive obligations and sins!"

But while his Catholic spirit thus raised him above the exaggerated estimate of those external things which chiefly attracted the hostility of narrower minds, his sense of the value of those great truths in which he judged the essence of religion to consist, was acquiring increased intensity and depth. In common with Montaigne and Richard Baxter, (names hardly to be associated on any other ground,) he considered the Lord's prayer as surpassing every other devotional exercise. "It is my prayer," said Luther; "there is nothing like it." In the

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same spirit, he preferred the gospel of St. John to all the other sacred books, as containing more of the language of Christ himself. As he felt, so he taught. He practised the most simple and elementary style of preaching. "If," he said, "in my sermons I thought of Melancthon and other doctors, I should do no good; but I speak with perfect plainness for the ignorant, and that satisfies every body. Such Greek, Latin, and Hebrew as I have, I reserve for the learned." 'Nothing is more agreeable or useful for a common audience than to preach on the duties and examples of Scripture. Sermons on grace and justification fall coldly on their ears.' "He taught that good and true theology consisted in the practice, the habit, and the life of the Christian gracesChrist being the foundation. "Such, however," he says, "is not our theology now-a-days. We have substituted for it a rational and speculative theology. This was not the case with David. He acknowledged his sins, and said, Miserere mei, Domine!"

Luther's power of composition is, indeed, held very cheap by a judge so competent as Mr. Hallam; nor is it easy to commend his elaborate style. It was compared by himself to the earthquake and the wind which preceded the still small voice addressed to the prophet in the wilderness; and is so turbulent, copious, and dogmatical, as to suggest the supposition that it was dictated to a class of submissive pupils, under the influence of extreme excitement. Obscure, redundant, and tautologous as these writings appear, they are still redeemed from neglect, not only by the mighty name of their author, but by that all-pervading vitality and downright earnestness which atone for the neglect of all the mere artifices of style; and by that profound familiarity with the sacred oracles, which far more than compensates for the absence of the speculative wisdom which is drawn from lower sources. But the reformer's lighter and more occasional works not unfrequently breathe the very soul of eloquence. His language in these, ranges between colloquial homeliness and the highest dignity,now condensed into vivid figures, and then diffused into copious amplification,-exhibiting the successive phases of his ardent, melancholy, playful, and heroic character in such rapid succession, and with such perfect harmony, as to resemble the harp of Dryden's Timotheus, alternately touched and swept by the hand of the master-a performance so bold and so varied, as to scare the critic from the discharge of his office. The address, for example, to the Swabian insurgents and nobles, if not executed with the skill, is at least conceived in the spirit of a great orator. The universal testimony of all the most competent judges, attests the excellence of his translation of the Bible, and assigns to him, in the literature of his country, a station corresponding to that of the great men to whom James committed the corresponding office in our own.

Bayle has left to the friends of Luther no duty to perform in the defence of his moral character, but that of appealing to the unanswerable reply which his Dictionary contains to the charges preferred against the reformer

by his enemies. One unhappy exception is to be made. It is impossible to read without pain the names of Luther, Melancthon, and Bucer, amongst the subscribers to the address to the landgrave of Hesse, on the subject of his intended polygamy. Those great but fallible men remind his highness of the distinction between universal laws and such as admit of dispensation in particular cases. They cannot publicly sanction polygamy. But his highness is of a peculiar constitution, and is exhorted seriously to examine all the considerations laid before him; yet, if he is absolutely resolved to marry a second time, it is their opinion that he should do so as secretly as possible! Fearful is the energy with which the "Eagle of Meaux" pounces on this fatal error,-tearing to pieces the flimsy pretexts alleged in defence of such an evasion of the Christian code. The charge admits of no defence. To the inference drawn from it against the reformer's doctrine, every Protestant has a conclusive answer. Whether in faith or practice, he acknowledges no infallible Head but one.

But we have wandered far and wide from our proper subject. Where, all this while, is the story of Luther's education, of his visit to Rome, of the sale of indulgences, of the denunciations of Tetzel, of the controversy with Eccius, the Diets of Worms and Augsburg, the citations before Cajetan and Charles, the papal excommunication, and the appeal to a general council? These, and many other of the most momentous incidents of the reformer's life, are recorded in M. D'Aubigne's work, from which our attention has been diverted by matters of less account, but perhaps a little less familiar. It would be unpardonable to dismiss such a work, with a merely ceremonious notice. The absolute merit of this life of Martin Luther is great, but the comparative value far greater. In the English language, it has no competitor; and though Melancthon himself was the biographer of his friend, we believe that no foreign tongue contains so complete and impressive a narrative of these events. It is true that M. D'Aubigne neither deserves nor claims a place amongst those historians, usually distinguished as philosophical. He does not aspire to illustrate the principles which determine or pervade the character, the policy, or the institutions of mankind. He arms himself with no dispassionate skepticism, and scarcely affects to be impartial. To tell his tale copiously and clearly, is the one object of his literary ambiTo exhibit the actors on the scene of i


life, as the free but unconscious agents of the Divine Will, is the higher design with which he writes, to trace the mysterious intervention of Providence in reforming the errors and abuses of the Christian Church is his immediate end; and to exalt the name of Luther, his labour of love. These purposes, as far as they are attainable, are effectually attained. M. D'Aubigne is a Protestant of the original stamp, and a biographer of the old fashion ;— not a calm, candid, discriminating weigher and measurer of a great man's parts, but a warmhearted champion of his glory, and a resolute apologist even for his errors;-ready to do battle in his canse with all who shall impugn or derogate from his fame. His book is conceived in the spirit, and executed with all the vigour, of Dr. M'Crie's "Life of Knox." He has all our lamented countryman's sincerity, all his deep research, more skill in composition, and a greater mastery of subordinate details; along with the same inestimable faculty of carrying on his story from one stage to another, with an interest which never subsides, and a vivacity which knows no intermission. If he displays no familiarity with the moral sciences, he is no mean proficient in that art which reaches to perfection only in the drama or the romance. This is not the talent of inventing, but the gift of discerning, incidents which impart life and animation to narrative. For M. D'Aubigne is a writer of scrupulous veracity. He is at least an honest guide, though his prepossessions may be too strong to render him worthy of implicit confidence. They are such, however, as to make him the uncompromising and devoted advocate of those cardinal tenets on which Luther erected the edifice of the Reformation. To the one great article on which the reformer assailed the papacy, the eye of the biographer is directed with scarcely less intentness. To this every other truth is viewed as subordinate and secondary; and although, on this favourite point of doctrine M. D'Aubigne's meaning is too often obscured by declaration, yet must he be hailed by every genuine friend of the Reformation, as having raised a powerful voice in favour of one of those fundamental truths which, so long as they are faithfully taught and diligently observed, will continue to form the great bulwarks of Christendom against the overweening estimate, and the despotic use, of human authority, in opposition to the authority of the revealed will of God.




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This publication reminds us of an oversight Such, from his tenth to his sixteenth year in omitting to notice the collection of the were the teachers of the most voluminous works of Richard Baxter, edited in the year theological writer in the English language. 1830, by Mr. Orme. It was, in legal phrase, a Of that period of his life, the only incidents demand for judgment, in the appeal of the which can now be ascertained are that his great nonconformist to the ultimate tribunal love of apples was inordinate, and that on the of posterity, from the censures of his own age, subject of robbing orchards, he held, in practice on himself and his writings. We think that at least, the doctrines handed down amongst the decision was substantially right, and that, schoolboys by an unbroken tradition. Almost on the whole, it must be affirmed. Right it as barren is the only extant record of the three was, beyond all doubt, in so far as it assigned remaining years of his pupilage. They were to him an elevated rank amongst those, who, spent at the endowed school at Wroxeter, taking the spiritual improvement of mankind which he quitted at the age of nineteen, destifor their province, have found there at once tute of all mathematical and physical sciencethe motive and the reward for labours beneath ignorant of Hebrew-a mere smatterer in which, unless sustained by that holy impulse, Greek, and possessed of as much Latin as the utmost powers of our frail nature must enabled him in after life to use it with reckhave prematurely fainted. less facility. Yet a mind so prolific, and which About the time when the high-born guests yielded such early fruits, could not advance to of Whitehall were celebrating the nuptial manhood without much well-dressed culture. revels of Elizabeth and the Elector Palatine, The Bible which lay on his father's table, and the visiters of low degree were defraying formed the whole of the good man's library, the cost by the purchase of titles and monopo- and would have been ill-exchanged for the lies, there was living at the pleasant village treasures of the Vatican. He had been no of Eton Constantine, between Wrekin Hill stranger to the cares, nor indeed to the disorand the Severn, a substantial yeoman, incu- ders of life; and, as his strength declined, it rious alike about the politics of the empire was his delight to inculcate on his inquisitive and the wants of the exchequer. Yet was he boy the lessons which inspired wisdom teaches not without his vexations. On the green be- most persuasively, when illustrated by dearfore his door, a Maypole, hung with garlands, bought experience, and enforced by parental allured the retiring congregation to dance out love. For the mental infirmities of the son no the Sunday afternoon to the sound of fife and better discipline could have been found. A tabret, while he, intent on the study of the pyrrhonist of nature's making, his threescore sacred volume, was greeted with no better years and ten might have been exhausted in a names than puritan, precisian, and hypocrite. fruitless struggle to adjudicate between antaIf he bent his steps to the parish church, vene- gonist theories, if his mind had not thus been rable as it was, and picturesque, in contempt subjugated to the supreme authority of Holy of all styles and orders of architecture, his Writ, by an influence coeval with the first case was not much mended. The aged and dawn of reason, and associated indissolubly purblind incumbent executed his weekly task with his earliest and most enduring affections with the aid of strange associates. One of It is neither the wise nor the good by whom them laid aside the flail, and another the thim- the patrimony of opinion is most lightly reble, to mount the reading-desk. To these suc-garded. Such is the condition of our exist ceeded

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the excellentest stage-player in all the country, and a good gamester, and a good fellow." This worthy having received holy orders, forged the like for a neighbour's son, who, on the strength of that title officiated in the pulpit and at the altar. Next in this goodly list came an attorney's clerk, who had "tippled himself in so great poverty," that he had no other way to live but by assuming the pastoral care of the flock at Eton Constantine. Time out of mind, the curate had been ex officio the depositary of the secular, as well as of the sacred literature of the parish; and to these learned persons our yeoman was therefore fain to commit the education of his only son and namesake, Richard Baxter.

The Practical Works of Richard Barter, with a Preface, giving some Account of the Author, and of this edition of his Practical Works; and an Essay on his Genius, Works, and Times. 4 vols. Svo. London, 1838.

ence, that beyond the precincts of abstract science, we must take much for granted, if we would make any advance in knowledge, or live to any useful end. Our hereditary prepossessions must not only precede our acquired judgments, but must conduct us to them. To begin by questioning every thing, is to end by answering nothing; and a premature revolt from human authority is but an incipient rebellion against conscience, reason, and truth. Launched into the ocean of speculative inquiry, without the anchorage of parental instructicn and filial reverence, Baxter would have been drawn by his constitutional tendencies into that skeptical philosophy, through the long annals of which no single name is to be found to which the gratitude of mankind has been yielded, or is justly due. He had much in common with the most eminent doctors of that school-the animal frame characterized

by sluggish appetites, languid passions, and great nervous energy; the intellectual nature distinguished by subtlety to seize distinctions more than by wit to detect analogies; by the power to dive, instead of the faculty to soar; by skill to analyze subjective truths, rather than by ability to combine them with each other and with objective realities. But what was wanting in his sensitive, and deficient in his intellectual structure, was balanced and corrected by the spiritual elevation of his mind. If not enamoured of the beautiful, nor conversant with the ideal, nor able to grasp the comprehensive and the abstract, he enjoyed that clear mental vision which attends on moral purity-the rectitude of judgment which rewards the subjection of the will to the reason the loftiness of thought awakened by habitual communion with the source of lightand the earnest stability of purpose inseparable from the predominance of the social above the selfish affections. Skepticism and devotion were the conflicting elements of his internal life; but the radiance from above gradually dispersed the vapours from beneath, and, through a half a century of pain and strife, and agitation, he enjoyed that settled tranquillity which no efforts merely intellectual can attain, nor any speculative doubts destroy, the peace, of which it is said, that it passes understanding.

Baxter was born in 1615, and consequently attained his early manhood amidst events ominous of approaching revolutions. Deep and latent as are the ultimate causes of the continued existence of Episcopacy in England, nothing can be less recondite than the human agency employed in working out that result. Nursed by the Tudors, adopted by the Stuarts, and wedded in her youth to a powerful aristocracy, the Anglican church retains the indelible stamp of these early alliances. To the great, the learned, and the worldly wise, it has for three centuries afforded a resting-place and a refuge. But a long interval had elapsed before the national temples and hierarchy were consecrated to the nobler end of enlightening the ignorant, and administering comfort to the poor. Rich beyond all Protestant rivalry in sacred literature, the Church of England, from the days of Parker to those of Laud, had scarcely produced any one considerable work of popular instruction. The pastoral care which Burnett depicted, in the reign of William and Mary, was at that time a vision which, though since nobly fulfilled, no past experience had realized. Till a much later time, the alphabet was among the mysteries which the English church concealed from her catechumens. There is no parallel in the annals of any other Protestant State, of so wonderful a concentration, and so imperfect a diffusion of learning and genius, of piety and zeal. The reigns of Whitgift, Bancroft, and Laud, were unmolested by cares so rude as those of evangelizing the artisans and peasantry. Jewel and Bull, Hall and Donne, Hooker and Taylor, lived and wrote for their peers, and for future ages, but not for the commonalty of their own. Yet was not Christianity bereft in England of her distinctive and glorious privilege. It was

still the religion of the poor. Amidst persecution, contempt, and penury, the Puritans had toiled and suffered, and had, not rarely, died in their service. Thus in every city, and almost in every village, they who had eyes to see, and ears to hear, might, at the commencement of the seventeenth century, perceive the harbingers of the coming tempest. Thoughtful and resolute men had transferred the allegiance of the heart from their legitimate, to their chosen leaders; while, unconscious of their danger, the ruling were straining the bonds of authority, in exact proportion to the decrease of their number and their strength. It was when the future pastors of New England were training men to a generous contempt of all sublunary interest for conscience' sake, that Laud, not content to be terrible to the founders of Connecticut and New England, braved an enmity far more to be dreaded than theirs. With a view to the ends to which his life was devoted, his truth and courage would have been well exchanged for the wily and time-serving genius of Williams. Supported by Heylin, Cosins, Montague, and many others, who adopted or exaggerated his own opinions, he precipitated the temporary overthrow of a church, in harmony with the character, and strong in the affections of the people; upheld by a long line of illustrious names; connected with the whole aristocracy of the realm; and enthusiastically defended by the sovereign.

Baxter's theological studies were commenced during these tumults, and were insensibly biassed by them. The ecclesiastical polity had reconciled him to Episcopal ordination; but as he read, and listened, and observed his attachment to the established ritual and discipline progressively declined. He began by rejecting the practice of indiscriminate communion. He was dissatisfied with the compulsory subscription to articles, and the baptismal cross. "Deeper thoughts on the point of Episcopacy" were suggested to him by the et cetera oath; and these reflections soon rendered him an irreconcilable adversary to the "English diocesan frame." He distributed the sacred elements to those who would not kneel to receive them, and religiously abjured the surplice. Thus ripe for spiritual censures, and prepared to endure them, he was rescued from the danger he had braved by the demon of civil strife. The Scots in the north, and the Parliament in the south, summoned Charles and Laud to more serious cares than those of enforcing conformity, and left Baxter free to enlarge and to propagate his discoveries.

With liberty of speech and action, his mind was visited by a corresponding audacity of thought. Was there indeed a future life?— Was the soul of man immortal?-Were the Scriptures true?-were the questions which now assaulted and perplexed him. They came not as vexing and importunate suggestions, but "under pretence of sober reason," and all the resources of his understanding were summoned to resist the tempter. Self-deception was abhorrent from his nature. He feared the face of no speculative difficulty. Dark as were the shapes which crossed his path, they must be closely questioned; and gloomy as was the

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