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other minds. It was only more extensive tempt, as so many do, to reconcile inconand less yradual. Gradual such a change sistencies and harmonize counter-declaramust ever be, from the limited capacities tions. He frankly acknowledged the falliof our nature, and its law of gradual de- bility of his nature- his early errors and velopment. It would be not less absurd to imperfect views. To every taunt of havsuppose, that when he first protested ing receded from any position, he boldly against Indulgences he foresaw the results said, in effect-'I thought so once; I was of that contest, ihan it would be to suppose wrong. I think so no more. I appeal that Cromwell anticipated his Protectorate from Luther in ignorance, to Luther wellat the time of the battle of Newbury; or informed.' This was the case in relation that Napoleon had already predestined him to the memorable letter to which we have self to more than half the thrones of Eu- just referred—'I am truly grieved,' says he, rope when he entered on his Italian cam- that I did make such serious submissions ; paigns. As with them, so with Luther in but, in truth, I then held respecting Popes his more hallowed enterprise-the horizon and Councils just what is vulgarly taught continually widened as he climbed the hill. us. . : . But as I grew in knowledge, I Nor was it, as the confessions of Luther grew in courage; and in truth they were abundantly prove, without severe struggles, at infinite pains to undeceive me, by an and momentary vacillations of purpose, that egregious display of their ignorance and flahe pursued his arduous way. This is es- gitiousness.' pecially seen in that wavering letter to the One of the most striking facts which apPope, written at the suggestion of Miltitz, pear in the correspondence of Luther, is the in which, in language which more than indication it affords of very early disconapproached servility and adulation, he de- tent with the prevailing system of theolprecated the anger of Leo, and declared ogy, and the actual condition of the church. that nothing was further from his purpose It is evident that he was predestined to be than to question the authority, or separate a great reformer; that the germ of the Refrom the communion of Rome. We do not formation existed in his bosom long before mean to affirm that Luther intended to de- the dispute with Tetzel; and that, if the ceive his enemies; such a course was fo- dispute respecting Indulgences had not led reign from his whole nature, and opposed to its development, something else would. to his ordinary conduct. Yet it is certain Even before Tetzel’s ‘drum' was heard in that before this period he had intimated the neighborhood of Wittemberg, he speaks his increasing doubts whether the Pope was with absolute loathing of the scholastic not Antichrist, and his convictions that the subtleties; expresses his conviction of the war with Rome was but just commenced. necessity of returning to a Scriptural theWe cannot defend the servility of the let- ology; loudly contends for that doctrine of ter at all; and can only defend its honesty justification by faith which he afterwards on the supposition that it was written in made the lever of the Reformation ; and one of those moments of vacillation to which expresses an abhorrence of Aristotle, which we have adverted ;-with the wish, inspir- might more justly have been transferred to ed by his recent conferences with the Nun- those dreaming commentators who had abcio, that the controversy might be amicably surdly exalted a heathen philosopher into an set at rest, and with his mind almost exclu- oracle of the Christian church. Most of sively bent on whatever promised such an these passages will be found in the two Hisissue. * Marvellously rapid as was the rev- tories so often referred to. olution in his mind compared with what It has often been inatter of surprise that might be expected, it was by repeated ex- the great contest of the Reformation should orcisms, and terrible convulsions of spirit, have turned upon so comparatively trivial a that the legion of demons was expelled. controversy as that which respected the InThe current did not flow all one way; it dulgences—a point which was soon after was the flux and reflux of a strong tide. absolutely forgotten. But it is not the first

The very honesty of purpose and love of time that a skirmish of outposts has led to a truth by which he was unquestionably ac- general engagement. It may be added, tuated, prevented at all events any artificial that insignificant as that one point may at obstacles to his progress. He did not at- first sight appear, it was most natural ihat

the contest should begin there. And * Dr. Waddington has given an exceedingly fair though the tide of battle rolled away from it, and impartial statement on this subject. partly because even the hardihood of Rome could scarcely dare to defend such a post, of the merits of great saints for the transand partly because the Reformers ceased gressions of great sinners, or the remission to think of it in those more comprehensive of the pains of purgatory, might, for aught we corruptions which formed the object of their can see, be as reasonably affected by general assault, (in which, indeed, this par- pounds, shillings, and pence, as by walking iicular abuse, with many others like it, iwenty miles with pebbles in one's shoes. originated,) it was not only the most natu- The system of Indulgences, thereforeral point at which the conflict should begin, in the grosser form in which such men as but it was most improbable that it should Tetzel proclaimed it—was but the dark not begin there. Habituated as men's aphelion of the eccentric orbit in which the minds were to the corruptions of the Church of Christ had wandered : and from church, steeped in superstition from their that point it naturally began to retrace its very childhood, it could only be by some re- path to the fountain itself of heavenly ravolting paradox that they could possibly be diance.' roused to think, examine, and remonstrate. It may be said, perhaps, that the system The whole enormous expansion of the Pa- of Indulgences had been proclaimed under pal power had been but one long experi- one modification or another for more than ment on the patience and credulity of man- a century and a half before Tetzel appearkind. Each successive imposition was, it ed, without producing any remarkable reis true, worse than that which had preced- action. We answer, first, that they had ed it; but when once it had fastened itself seldom or never been proclaimed in so disupon men's minds, and they had grown fa- gusting and offensive a form, or with such miliar with it, there was no further chance consummate impudence, as by Tetzel; and of awakening them from their apathy: secondly, that the reception giren even to Something further was needed, and a still the more cautious and limited exhibitions more prodigious corruption must minister of the system, proves the truth of what we the hope of reformation. Now Indul- have been asserting; for it was always on gences, as proclaimed in the gross system of this, as the most obvious and most revoltTetzel, and of other spiritual quacks like ing corruption, that the early reformers and him, was at once the ultimate and consist- satirists of the church most bitterly fastenent limit of that huckstering in merits,' ed. The moral instincts of such men, into which almost all the other corruptions of deed, were not so vitiated as to render the church had been more plausibly sub- them insensible to the vices and the profligaservient; and formed just that startling ex. cies of the ecclesiastical system generally; aggeration of familiar abuses which was but the idea of bartering the justice and necessary to awaken men's minds to re- mercy of God himself for gold, naturally consideration. The notion of selling par- seemed the quintessence of every other cordons for sins, wholesale and retail-of col- ruption. What, indeed, could rouse manlecting into one great treasury the superflu- kind, if the spectacle of the ghostly peddler ous merits of the saints, and of doling them openly trafficking in his parchment wares of out by the pennyweight at prices fixed in pardon for the past, and indulgence for the the compound ratio of the necessities and future—haggling over the price of an inmeans of the purchaser,- a notion sult to God, or a wrong to man-letting which, however monstrous, however calcu- out crime to hire, and selling the glories of lated to awaken the drowsy consciences of heaven as a cheap 'pennyworth-did not mankind, was in harmony with the specious fill them with abhorrence and indignation ? nonsense of works of supererogation, and The contempt with which Chaucer's Pilthe doctrine of penance. It was simply the grims listened to the impudent offer of the substitution of the more valuable medium of pardoner, well shows the feelings which solid coin for mechanical rites of devotion, such outrages on all common sense, and tiresome pilgrimages, and acts of austerity; every moral instinct, could not fail to exof golden chalices or silver candlesticks for cite. scourges and horse-bair shirts; and provid. So gross was this abuse that even the ed it implied the same amount of self-de- most bigoted Papists—Eck, for example, nial, what did it matter? The former plan were compelled to denounce it; nor were was undeniably more profitable to Holy there any more caustic satirists of it than Church, and as to the penitent, few in our some of themselves. Witness the witty day but will admit that either plan was likely comedy of Thomas Heywood, who, though to be equally efficacious. The substitution a Catholic, bated the mendicant friars as

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heartily as any of his Protestant contempo- with Mr. Hallam, the very frequent recurraries. But no satire, however extrava- rence of exaggerated expressions, to which gant, could be a caricature of the follies the critic gives the name of Antinomian and knavery of this class of men. One of paradoxes. We do not think, however, the wittiest sarcasms of the play is but a that even here Mr. Hallam has quite done translation of Tetzel's impudent assertion, the Reformer justice. He candidly admits that' no sooner did the money chink in the indeed that Luther 'could not mean to give box, than the souls for which it was offered any encouragement to a licentious disreflew up into heaven.'

gard of moral virtue;' though,' he adds,

in the technical language of his theology, "With small cost and without any pain, he might deny its proper obligation.' These pardons bring them to heaven plain;

More truly, in our judgment, has Jortin,
Give me but a penny or two-pence,
And, as soon as the soul departeth hence,

whose doctrinal moderation is well known, In half-an-hour, or three-quarters at most, represented the matter in his Life of ErasThe soul is in heaven with the Holy Ghost.'

'Luther's favorite doctrine was jus

tification by faith alone; but we must do And, we doubt not, that that most humo- him the justice to observe that he perpeturous chapter in the ancient and popular ally inculcated the necessity of good satire of Howleglass, in which that worthy works. According to him a man is justifienacts the part of a Franciscan friar, is little ed only by faith ; but he cannot be justifimore than a literal version of the tricks of ed without works, and where those works that class, of whom, knave as he was, he

are not to be found, there is assuredly no was but an insufficient representative.*

true faith.'. And Melancthon, in a passage But though it was natural that the strug. cited by Mr. Hallam himself, declares, De gle of the Reformation should .commence his omnibus,' (aster enumerating with other with Indulgences, it was impossible that it doctrines the necessity of good works,) 'scio should end there. Luther soon quitted the narrow ground and the mean antagonist of diti quædam ejus qoptixutega dicta, cum

re ipsa Lutherum sentire eadem, sed ineruhis first conflicts; and asserted against that whole system of spiritual barter and merit- amant.' Dr. Waddington truly remarks

videant quo pertineant, nimium mongering, of which Tetzel's doctrine was that not even the strongest passages in Lubut an extreme type, his counter principle ther's treatise, De Libertate Christiana, of the perfect gratuitousness of salvationof justification by faith alone.” On his cessity of good works ercept as a means of

prove that the author would deny the nemode of exhibiting this great doctrine, we justification as a ground, in fact, of sayshall now offer a very few remarks. With that pregnant brevity with which ing to the Divine Being, “You must re

- for I am entitled to it. In he knew so well how to express himself, proof of this

, Dr. Waddington cites the he showed his sense of the importance of this doctrine, and its commanding position operibus, sed ab opinionibus operum, i. e. a

' fidem ab as Articulus stantis aut cadentis ecclesia. stulta præsumptione justificationis per opethe

ra quæsitæ. Fides enim conscientias nosHe might more truly have called it so, had he always duly guarded the statement of it; noscimus justitam esse non in operibus,

tras redimit, rectificat, et servat, qua coge and while repudiating the doctrine, under licet opera abesse neque possint neque de whatsoever modification, that the tribunal of

beant.' heaven can be challenged, or its rewards achieved in virtue of deeds, of which every sense in which Luther would deny the ne

Every thing obviously depends on the good man is himself the first to acknow

cessity of good works.' It is by no means ledge the manifold imperfections-much true, we apprehend, that he would have deless by fantastical devices of human invention, destitute of all moral qualities—he had the free gift' of salvation (Scripture itself

nied, that while no can challenge uniformly connected his doctrine in expres- calls it) as the 'wages' of good works, good sion, as he did in fact, with its just practi

: works form the only real evidence and the cal consequences. This, however, he did not do; and we are constrained to lament, faith which justifies.' 'With relation to

necessary result of the possession of that * The same story is also found, with certain variations, in Friar Gerund and other fictions of * Introduction to the Literature of Europe. the like class.

Vol. i. p.416,

non

man

the influence of the system be advocated, adoxes,' as almost any declarations of Luand the system he opposed, on practical ther could be. morality, he would have said that the prin- Such a candid construction of Luther's cipal difference was not that the former dis- real views, seems to us the more necessary, pensed with it, but that it appealed mainly precisely because, as Mr. Hallam justly to totally different principles of our nature says, he is so 'full of unlimited proposifor its production ; to the cheerful impulses tions. It is ever the characteristic of orof gratitude and hope, rather than to the atorical genius to express the truths it 'spirit of bondage' and the depressing in- feels with an energy which borders on fluence of fear. And both philosophy and paradox. Anxious to penetrate and exclufact may convince us that they are certainly sively occupy the minds of others with not the least powerful impulses of the two. their own views and sentiments, such as

But whatever Luther's early paradoxes possess it are not solicitous to state proposion this subject-of which we are by no tions with the due limitations. It may be means the apologists, and regret that there further remarked, that Luther's abhorrence should have been so much cause for censure of prevailing errors naturally increased this -his later writings afford ample proof that tendency ; action and re-action, as usual, he had corrected them. When Agricola were equal; the liberated pendulum passed, had adopted and justified them in their un- as was to be expected, to the centre of its limited form, and pushed them to their arc of oscillation. This we believe to be theoretic results, with a recklessness which one principal reason of the many really obperhaps first roused Luther to take alarm jectionable statements of Luther on this at their danger, the Reformer instantly subject. Our veneration for the great Reassailed, refuted, and condemned him, and former, and the influence which even the succeeded in compelling the rash theolo- errors of such a writer as Mr. Hallam is apt gian to retract. Several deeply interesting to exercise, must be our apology for the freedocuments on this subject occur in the Cor- dom of the preceding strictures. The work respondence,* which fully show that the containing the observations upon which we faith which Luther made the basis of his have felt ourselves constrained thus to retheology was that of which the only appro- mark, is one for which all intelligent inquipriate evidence is goodness, and which ne-rers must always be largely its author's debtcessarily creates it.

ors, both for instruction and rational delight. Mr. Hallam admits that passages inconsistent with the extreme views he attributes On the whole, few names have such to the Reformer may be adduced from his claims on the gratitude of mankind as that writings; but affirms, 'that in treating of of Luther. Even Rome owes him thanks ; an author so full of unlimited propositions, for whatever ameliorations have taken place no positive proof as to his tenets can be re-in her system have been owing far more to futed by the production of inconsistent pas- him than to herself. If there are any two sages.' But the question is, whether these facts which history establishes, it is the desinconsistent passages ought not to modify perate condition of the Church at the time those which establish the supposed 'posi- Luther appeared, and the vanity of all tive proof? If we are to pause at the un- hopes of a self-sought and voluntary reforqualified reception of the one class of pro- mation. On the former we need not dwell positions we may well pause also before —for none now deny it; it appears not onthe like reception of the other. If two ly on erery page of contemporary history, statements in a writer 'much given to un- but in all the forms—especially the more limited propositions,' appear inconsistent, popular-of medieval literature. Never we should endeavor to make the one limit was a remark more just than that of Mr. the other; and even if they are absolutely Hallam, that the greater part of the literairreconcilable, we are hardly justified in ture of the middle ages may be considered taking either as the exclusive exponent of as artillery leveled against the clergy. the writer's views, without the adjustment of the second great fact-the hopelessarising from a collation of passages. There ness of any effective internal reform-hisare propositions of Scripture itself which tory leaves us in as little doubt. The heart may be and which have been, as much itself was the chief seat of disease ; reforwrested to the support of ' Antinomian par- mation must have commenced where cor

ruption was most inveterate: nor, until * Vol. v.

certain great principles should be reclaimed,

mus.

heartily as any of his Protestant contempo- with Mr. Hallam, the very frequent recurraries. But no satire, however extrava-rence of exaggerated expressions, lo which gant, could be a caricature of the follies the critic gives the name of Antinomian and knavery of this class of men. One of paradoxes. We do not think, however, the wittiest sarcasms of the play is but a that even here Mr. Hallam has quite done translation of Tetzel's impudent assertion, the Reformer justice. He candidly admits that'no sooner did the money chink in the indeed that Luther could not mean to give box, than the souls for which it was offered any encouragement to a licentious disreflew up into heaven.'

gard of moral virtue;' though,' he adds,

' in the technical language of his theology, With small cost and without any pain,

he might deny its proper obligation."* These pardons bring them to heaven plain;

More truly, in our judgment, has Jortin, Give me but a penny or two-pence, And, as soon as the soul departeth hence,

whose doctrinal moderation is well known, In half-an-hour, or three-quarters at most, represented the matter in his Life of ErasThe soul is in heaven with the Holy Ghost.'

'Luther's favorite doctrine was jus

tification by faith alone; but we must do And, we doubt not, that that most humo- him the justice to observe that he perpeturous chapter in the ancient and popular ally inculcated the necessity of good satire of Howleglass, in which that worthy works. According to him a man is justifienacts the part of a Franciscan friar, is little ed only by faith ; but he cannot be justifimore than a literal version of the tricks of ed without works, and where those works that class, of whom, knave as he was, he

are not to be found, there is assuredly no was but an insufficient representative.*

true faith.'. And Melancthon, in a passage But though it was natural that the strug. cited by Mr. Hallam himself, declares, De gle of the Reformation should commence his omnibus,' (aster enumerating with other with Indulgences, it was impossible that it doctrines the necessity of good works,) 'scio should end there. Luther soon quitted the narrow ground and the mean antagonist of diti quædam ejus qogtixutega dicta, cum

re ipsa Lutherum sentire eadem, sed ineruhis first conflicts; and asserted against that

videant quo pertineant, nimium whole system of spiritual barter and merit

amant.' Dr. Waddington truly remarks mongering, of which Tetzel's doctrine was that not even the

strongest passages in Lubut an extreme type, his counter principle ther's treatise, De Libertate Christiana, of the perfect gratuitousness of salvationof justification by faith alone.' On his prove that the author would deny the nemode of exhibiting this great doctrine, we justification as a ground, in fact, of say

cessity of good works except as a means of shall now offer a very few remarks. With that pregnant brevity with which ing to the Divine Being, “You must re

ward me, for I am entitled to it.' In he knew so well how to express himself, proof of this

, Dr. Waddington cites the this doctrine, and its commanding position passage 'Non liberi pro fidem Christi ab this doctrine, and its commanding position operibus, sed ab opinionibus operum, i.e. a in the evangelical system, by describing. it stulta præsumptione justificationis per opeas Articulus stantis aut cadentis ecclesiæ.

ra quæsitæ. Fides enim conscientias nosHe might more truly have called it so, had he always duly guarded the statement of it;noscimus justitam esse non in operibus,

tras redimit, rectificat, et servat, qua cogand while repudiating the doctrine, under licet opera abesse neque possint neque de whatsoever modification, that the tribunal of

beant.' heaven can be challenged, or its rewards achieved in virtue of deeds, of which every sense in which Luther would deny the ne

Every thing obviously depends on the good man is himself the first to acknowledge the manifold imperfections-much cessity of good works. It is by no means less by fantastical devices of human inven- true, we apprehend, that he would bave detion, destitute of all moral qualities—he had the free gift of salvation (Scripture itself

nied, that while no man can challenge uniformly connected his doctrine in expres- calls it) as the'wages' of good works, good sion, as he did in fact, with its just practi: works form the only real evidence and the cal consequences. This, however, he did not do ; and we are constrained to lament, faith which justifies.' 'With relation to

necessary result of the possession of that * The same story is also found, with certain variations, in Friar Gerund and other fictions of * Introduction to the Literature of Europe. the like class.

Vol. i. p.416,

non

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