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The general signs of a lukewarm spirit are such as these: Neglect of private prayer; a preference of worldly to religious company; a lax attendance on public ordinances; omission or careless perusal of God's word; a zeal for some appendages of religion, while languid about religion itself; a backwardness to promote the cause of God in the world, and a rashness of spirit in censuring those who are desirous to be useful.
If we enquire the causes of such a spirit, we shall find them to be—worldly prosperity; the influence of carnal relatives and acquaintances; indulgence of secret tins; the fear of man; and sitting under an unfaithful ministry.
The inconsistency of it appears ifive consider, that it is highly unreasonable: dishonourable to God; incompatible with the genius of the Gospel a barrier to improvement; a deathblow to usefulness; a direct opposition to the commands of Scripture ; and tends to the greatest misery.
To overcome such a state of mind,we should consider how offensive it is to God: how incongruous with the very idea and nature of true religion; how injurious to peace and felicity of mind; how ungrateful to Jesus Christ, whose whole life was labour for us and our salvation; how grievous to the Holy Spirit; how dreadful an example to those who have no religion; how unlike the saints of old, and even to our enemies in the worst of causes; how dangerous to our immortal souls, since it is indicative of our want of love to God, and exposes us to just condemna tion, Amos vi. 1.
LUTHERANS, those Christians who follow the opinions of Martin Luther, the celebrated reformer of the church, in the sixteenth century. In order that we may trace the rise and progress of Lutheranism, we must here refer to the life of Luther himself. Luther was a native of Eisleben, in Saxony, and born in 1483. Though his parents were poor, he received a learned education, during the progress of which he gave many indications of uncommon vigour and acutiness of genius. As his mind was naturally susceptible of serious impressions, and tinctured with somewhat of that religious melancholy which delights in the solitude and devotion of a monastic life, be retired into a convent of Augustinian friars; where he ac quired great reputation not only for piety, but for love of knowledge, and unwearied application to study. The cause of this retirement is said to have
been, that he was once struck by light ning, and his companion killed by his side by the same flash. He had been taught the scholastic philosophy which was in vogue in those days, and made considerable progress in it: but happening to find a copy of the Bible which lay neglected in the library of his monastery, Ire applied himself to the study of it with such eagerness and assiduity, as quite astonished the monks; and increased his reputation for sanctity so much, that he was chosen professor, first of philosophy, and afterwards of theology, in VVittemburg, on the Elbe, where Frederic, elector of Saxony, had founded an university.
While Luther continued to enjoy the highest reputation for sanctity and learning, Tetzel, a Dominican friar came to Wittemburg in order to'publish indulgences. Luther beheld his success with great concern: and having first inveighed against indulgences from the pulpit, he afterwards published ninety-five theses, containing his sentiments on that subject. These he proposed not as points fully established, but as subjects of inquiry and disputation He appointed a day on which the learned were invited to impugn them, either in person or by writing; and to the whole he subjoined solemn protestation of his high respect for the apostolic see, and of his implicit submission to its authority. No opponent appeared at the time prefixed: the theses spread over Germany with astonishing rapidity, and were read with the greatest eagerness.
Though Luther met with no opposition for some tittle time after he began to publish his new doctrines, it was not long before many zealous champions arose to defend those opinions with which the wealth and power of the clergy were so strictly connected. Their cause, however, was by no means promoted by these endeavours: the people began to call in question even the authority of the canon la w, and of the pope himself. The court of Rome at first despised these new doctrines and disputes; but at last the attention of the pope being raised by the great success of the reformer, and the complaints of his adversaries, Luther was summoned, in the month of July, 1518, to appear at Rome, within sixty days, before the auditor of the chamber. C)ne of Luther's adversaries, named Prierius, who had written against him, was appointed to examine his doctrines, and to decide concerning them. The pope wrote at the same time to the elector of Saxony, beseeching him not to protect a man whose heretical and profane tenets were so shocking to pious ears; and enjoined the provincial of the Augustinians to check, by his authority, the rashness of an arrogant monk, which brought disgrace upon their order, and gave offence and disturbance to the whole church.
From these letters, and the appointment of his open enemy Prierius to be his judge, Luther easily saw what sentence he might expect at Rome; and therefore discovered the utmost solicitude to have his cause tried in Germany, and before a less suspected tribunal. He wrote a submissive letter to the pope, in which he promised an unreserved obedience to his will, for as yet he entertained no doubt of the divine original of the pope's authority; and, by the intercession of the other professors, Cajetan, the pope's legate in Germany, was appointed to hear and determine the cause. Luther appeared before him without hesitation; but Cajetan thought it below his dignity to dispute the point ■with a person so much his inferior in rank; and therefore required him, by virtue of the apostolic powers with which he was clothed, to retract the errors which he had uttered with regard to indulgences and the nature of faith, | and to abstain for the future from the' publication of new and dangerous opinions; and, at the last, forbad him to appear in his presence, unless he promised to comply with what had been required of him.
i his haughty and violent manner of proceeding, together with some other circumstances, gave Luther's friends such strong reasons to suspect that even the imperial safe-conduct would not be able to protect him from the legate'b power and resentment, that they prevailed on him secretly to withdraw from Augsburg, where he had attended the legate, and to return to his own country. But before his departure, according to a form of which there had been some examples, he prepared a solemn appeal from the legate, ill-informed at that time concerning his cause, to the pope, when he should receive more full intimation with respect to it. Cajetan, enraged at Luther's abrupt retreat, and at the publication of his appeal, wrote to the elector of Saxony, complaining of both; and requiring him, as he regarded the peace of the church, or the authority ot its head, either to send that seditious monk a prisoner to Rome, or to banish him out of his territories. Frederic had hitherto, from political motives, protected Luther, as thinking he might be of use in checking the enor
mous power of the see of Rome; and though all Germany resounded with his fame, the elector had never yet admitted him into his presence. But upon this demand made by the cardinal, it became necessary to throw off some of his former reserve. He had been at great expense, and bestowed much attention on founding a new university, an object of considerable importance to every German prince; and foreseeing how fatal a blow the removal of Luther would be to its reputation, he not only declined complying with either of the pope's requests, but openly discovered great concern for Luther's safety.
The situation of our reformer, in the mean time, became daily more and more alarming. He knew very well what were the motives which induced the elector to afford him protection, and that he could by no means depend on a continuance of his friendship. If he should be obliged to quit Saxony, he had no other asylum, and must stand exposed to whatever punishment the rage or bigotry of his enemies could inflict; and so ready were his adversaries to condemn him, that he had been declared a heretic at Rome before the expiration of the sixty days allowed him in the citation for making his appearance. Notwithstanding all this, however, he discovered no symptoms of timidity or remissness; but continued to vindicate his own conduct and opinions, and to inveigh against those of his adversaries with more vehemence than ever. Being convinced therefore, that the pope would soon proceed to the most violent measures against him, he appealed to a general council, which he ami med to be the representative of the Catholic church, and superior in power to the pope, who, being a fallible man, might err, as St. Peter, the most perfect of his predecessors, had done.
The court of Rome was equally assiduous, in the mean time, to crush the author of these new doctrines, which gave them so much uneasiness. A bull was issued by the pope, of a date prior to Luther's appeal, in which he magnified the virtues of indulgences, and subjected to the heaviest ecclesiastical censures all who presumed to teach a contrary doctrine. Such a clear decision of the sovereign pontiff against him might have been > ery fatal to Luther's cause, had not the death of the emperor Maximilian, which happened on January 17, 1519, contributed to give matters a different tarn. Both the principles and interest of Maximilian had prompted him to support the authority of the see of Rome; but, in consequence of his death, the vicariate of that party of Germany which is governed by the Saxon laws devolved to the elector of Saxony; and, under the shelter of his friendly administra'ion, Luther himself enjoyed tranquillity; and his opinions took such root in different places, that they could never afterwards be eradicated. At the same time, as the election of an emperor was a point more interesting to the pope (Leo X.) than a theological controversy which he did not understand, and of which he could not foresee the consequences, he was so extremely solicitous not to irritate a prince of such considerable influence in the electoral college as Frederic, that he discovered a great unwillingness to pronounce the sentence of excommunication against Luther, which his adversaries continually demanded with the most clamorous importunity.
From the reason just now given, and Leo's natural aversion to severe measures, a suspension of proceeding against Luther took place for eighteen months, though perpetual negociations were carried on during this interval, in order to bring the matter to an amicable issue. The manner in which these were-conducted having given our reformer many opportunities of observing the corruption of the court of Rome, its obstinacy in adhering to established errors, and its indifference about truth, however clearly proposed or strongly proved, he began, in 1520, to utter some doubts with regard to the divine original of the papal authority, which he publicly disputed with Eccius, one of his most learned and formidable antagonists. The dispute was indecisive, both parties claiming the victory; but it must have been very mortifying to the partizans of the Romish church to hear such an essential point of their doctrine publicly attacked.
The papal authority being once suspected, Luther proceeded to push on his enquiries and attacks from one doctrine to another, till at last he began to shake the firmest foundations on which the wealth and power of the church were established. Leo then began to perceive that there were no hopes of reclaiming such an incorrigible heretic, and therefore prepared to pronounce the sentence of excommunication against him. The college of cardinals was often assembled, in order to prepare the sentence with due deliberation; and the ablest canonists were consulted how it might be expressed with unexceptionable formality. At last it was issued
on the ljth of June, 1520. Forty-one propositions, extracted out of Luther's works, were therein condemned as heretical, scandalous, and offensive to pious ears; all persons were forbidden to read his writings, upon pain of excommunication; such as had any of them in their custody were commanded to commit them to the flames; he himself, if he did not within sixty days publicly recant his errors, and burn his books, was pronounced an obstinate heretic, excommunicated, and delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh: and all secular princes were required, under pain of incurring the same censure, to seize his person, that he might be punished as his crimes deserved.
Luther was not in the least disconcerted by this sentence, which he had for some time expected. He renewed his appeal to this general council . declared the pope to be that antichrist or man of sin whose appearance is foretold in the New Testament; declaimed against his tyranny with greater vehemence than ever; and at last, by way of retaliation, having assembled all the professors and students in the university of Wittemburg, with great pomp, and in the presence of a vast multitude of spectators, he cast the volumes of the canon law, together with the bull of excommunication, into the flames. The manner in which this action was justified, gave still more offence than the action itself. Having collected from the cajion law some of the most extravagant propositions with regard to tlie plenitude' and omnipotence of the pope s power, as well as the subordination of all secular jurisdiction to his authority, he published these with a commentary, pointing out the impiety of such tenets, and their evident tendency to subvert all civil government.
On the accession of Charles V. to the empire, Luther found himself in a very dangerous situation. Charles, in order to secure the pope's friendship, had determined to treat him with great severity. His eagerness to gain this point rendered him not averse to gratify the papal legates in Germany, who insisted, that, without any delay, or formal deliberation, the diet then sitting at Worms ought to condemn a man whom the pope had already excommunicated as an incorrigible heretic. Such an abrupt manner of proceeding, however, being deemed uprecedented and unjust by the members of the diet, they made a point of Luther's appearing in person, and declaring whether he adhered or not to those opinions which had drawn upon him the censures of the church. Not only the emperor, but all the princes through whose territories he had to pass, granted him a safe-conduct; and Charles wrote to him at the same time, requiring his immediate attendance on the diet, and renewing his promises of
Erotection from any injury or violence, uther did not hesitate one moment about yielding obedience; and set out for Worms, attended by the herald who had brought the emperor's letter and safe-conduct. While on his journey, many of his friends, whom the fate of Huss under similar circumstances, and notwithstanding the same security of an imperial safe-conduct, filled with solicitude, advised and entreated him not to rush wantonly into the midst of danger. But Luther, superior to such terrors, silenced them with this reply: '* I am lawfully called," said he, "to appear in that city; and thither I will go, in the name of the Lord, though as many de-vils as there are tiles on the houses were there combined against me."
The reception which he met with at Worms was such as might have been reckoned a full reward oi all his labours, if vanity and the love of applause had been the principles by which he was influenced. Greater crowds assembled to behold him than had appeared at the emperor's public entry; his apartments were daily filled with princes and personages of the highest rank; ana he was treated with an homage more sincere, as well as more flattering, than any which pre-eminence in birth or condition can command. At his appearance before the diet he behaved with great decency and with equal firmness. He readily acknowledged an excess of acrimony and vehemence in his controversial writings; but refused to retract his opinions, unless he were convinced of their falsehood, or to consent to their being tried by any other rule than the word of God. When neither threats nor entreaties could prevail on him to depart from this resolution, some of the ecclesiastics proposed to imitate the example of the council of Constance; and, by punishing the author of this pestilent heresy, who was now in their power, to deliver the church at once from such ;in evil. But the members of the diet refusing to expose the German integrity to fresh reproach by a second violation of public faith, and Charles being no less unwilling to bring a stain upon the beginning of his administration by such an ignominious action, Luther was permitted to depart in safety. A few days after he
left the city, a severe edict was publish ed in the emperor's name, and by authority of the diet, depriving him, as an obstinate and excommunicated criminal, of all the privileges which he enjoyed as a subject of the empire; forbidding any prince to harbour or protect him; and requiring all to seize his person as soon as the term specified in his protection should be expired.
But this rigorous decree had no con siderable effect; the execution of it be ing prevented partly by the multiplicity of occupations which the commotions in Spain, together with the wars in Italy and the Low Countries, created to the emperor; and partly by a prudent precaution employed by the elector of Saxony, Luther's faithful patron. As Luther, on his return from Worms, was passing near Altenstrain, in Thnringia, a number of horsemen, in masks, rushed suddenly out of a wood, where the elector had appointed them to lie in wait for him, and, surrounding his company, carried him, after dismissing all his attendants, to Wortburg, a strong castle, not far distant. There the elector ordered him to be supplied with every thing ne cessary or agreeable; but the place ot his retreat was carefully concealed, un til the fury of the present storm against him began to abate, upon a change in the political system of Europe. In this solitude, where he remained nine months, and which he frequently called his Patmoa, after the name of that island to which the apostle John was banished, he exerted liis usual vigour and industry in defence of his doctrines, or in confutation of his adversaries; publishing several treatises, which revived the spirit of his followers, astonished to a great degree, and disheartened at the sudden disappearance of their leader.
Luther, weary at length of his retirement, appeared publicly again at Wittemburg, upon the 6th of March, 1522, He appeared, indeed, without the electors's leave; but immediately wrote him a letter to prevent him taking it ill. The edict of Charles V. severe as it was had little or no check to Luther's doctrine; for the emperor was no sooner gone into Flanders, than his edict was neglected and despised, and the doctrine seemed to spread even faster than before. Carolostadius, in Luther's absence, had pushed things on faster than his leader, and had attempted to abolish the use of mass, to remove images out of the churches, to set aside auricular confession, invocation of saints, the abstaining from meats; had allowed the monks to leave the monasteries, to neglect their vows, and to marry; in short, had quite changed the doctrine and discipline of the church at Wittemburg, all which, though not against Luther's sentiments, was yet blamed by him, as being rashly and unseasonably done. Lutheranism was still confined to Germany; it was not to go to France; and Henry VIII. of England made the most rigorous acts to hinder it from invading nis realm. Nay, he did something more: to show his zeal for religion and the holy see, and perhaps his skill in theological learning, he wrote a treatise Of the Seven Sacraments, against Luther's book Of the Captivity of Babylon, which he presented to Leo X.in October, 1521. The pope received it very favourably, and was so well pleased with the king of England, that he complimented him with the title of Defender of the Faith. Luther, however, paid no regard to his kingship, but answered him with great sharpness, treating both his person and performance in the most contemptuous manner. Henry complained of Luther's rude nsage of him to the princes of Saxony: and Fisher, bishop of Rochester, replied to his answer, in behalf of Henry's treatise; but neither the king's complaint, nor the bishop's reply, were attended with any visible effects.
Luther, though he had put a stop to the violent proceedingsof Carolostadius. now made open war on the pope and bishops; and, that he might make the people despise their authority as much as possible, he wrote one book against the pope's bull, and another against the order falsely called the Order of Bishops. The same year, 1522, he wrote a letter, dated July the 29th, to the assembly of the states of Bohemia; in which he assured them that he was labouring to establish their doctrine in Germany, and exhorted them not to return to the communion of the church of Rome; and he published also this year a translation of the New Testament in the German tongue, which was afterwards corrected by himself and Melanctbon. This translation having been printed several times, and being in every body's hands, Ferdinand, archduke of Austria, the emperor's brother, made a very severe edict, to hinder the farther publication of it; and forbade all the subjects of his Imperial Majesty to have any copies of it, or of Luther's other books. Some other princes followed his example; and Luther was so angry at it, that he wrote a treatise Of the Secular Power, in which he accuses them of tyranny and impiety. The diet of the
empire was held at Nuremberg, at the end of the year to which Hadrian VI. sent his brief, dated November the 25th; for Leo. X. died upon the 2d of Decernber,.1521, and Hadrian had been elected pope upon the 9th of January following. In his brief, among other things, he observes to the diet how he had heard, with grief, that Martin Luther after the sentence of Leo X. which was ordered to be executed by the edict of Worms, continued to teach the same errors, and daily to publish books full of heresies; that it appeared strange to him that so large and so religious a nation could be seduced by a wretched apostate friar; that nothing, however, could be more pernicious to Christendom; and that, therefore, he exhorts them to use their utmost endeavours to make Luther, and the authors of those tumults, return to their duty; or, if they refuse, and continue obstinate, to proceed against them according to the laws of the empire, and the severity of the last edict. The resolution of this diet was published in the form of an edict, upon the 6th of March, 1523; but it had no effect in checking the Lutherans, who still went on in the same triumphant manner. This year Luther wrote a great many pieces; among the rest, one upon the dignity and office of the supreme magistrate j which Frederick, elector of Saxony, is said to have been highly pleased with. He sent, about the same time, a writing in the German language to the Waldenses, or Pickanls, in Bohemia and Moravia, who had applied to him "about worshipping the body of Christ in the euchanst." He wrote, also, another book, which he dedicated to the senate and people of Prague, "about the institution of ministers of the church." He drew up a form of saying mass. He wrote a piece, entitled, Jin Example of Popish Doctrine and Divinity; which Dupin calls a satire against num, and those ivho profess a monastic life. He wrote also against the vows of virginity, in his preface to his commentary on 1 Cor. viii. and his exhortations here were it seems, followed witheffect; for, soon after, nine nuns, among whom was Catherine de Bore, eloped from the nunnery at Nimptschen, and were brought, by the assistance of Leonard Coppen, a burgess of Torgau. to Wittemburg. Whatever offence this proceeding might give to the Papists, it was highly extolled by Luther; who, in a book written in the German language, compares the deliverance of these nuns from the slavery of monastic life to that of the souls