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would afford him less satisfaction than this; and though Luther never reproached Staupitius for having recommended fo extremely injudicious and suppliant a measure, yet the latter might possibly observe in the former fome dissatisfaction on that account; and, at any rate, he could not fail to be convinced from many circumstances, that his own disposition was not calculated, like that of his friend, to encounter fuch difficulties and hazards as were likely to arife in a righteous and determined opposition to the popedom. These confiderations may help further to explain, why it might not be disagreeable to Staupitius to remove from Wittemberg, and thereby avoid the dangerous fellowship, and importunities of a man who, in his opinion, was apt to be impetuous and turbulent in his public conduct.

But perhaps the circumstance, which may be thought most unfavourable to the reputation of Staupitius, is, - that, in the year 1523, we find A. D. him preferred to an abbacy at Saltsburg. Luther's 1523. affectionate regard and veneration for his vicargeneral, restrained him from faying any thing harsh or severe on this occasion, but he could not difsemble his doubts and anxieties respecting the consequences of this preferment. We will conclude this chapter with two valuable extracts of his letters. The first is dated 1522, and is in answer A. D. to a letter received froin Staupitius at a time, when 1522. Lucher had heard an unfounded rumour that his friend was actually made an abbot.

“ The report of your being made an abbot is so general, that if I had not received your own letter in "contradiction, I must have been compelled to believe it. It is, I suppose, in the same way that you receive UNTRUTHS concerning me. May the Providence of God attend you! but, I confess,

my plain understanding does not point out to me, how it can be adviseable for you to accept an abbacy at this time. I would not, however, interfere with your judgment. One thing I intreat you, by the bowels of Christ, not readily to believe those who calumniate me. In regard to what you inform me,-that my doctrines are the delight of debauchees, and that many scandalous practices have been the consequence of my recent publications, I am neither afraid of such censorious representations, nor surprised to hear of them. Certainly I have laboured, and am labouring, that the pure WORD of God may be spread abroad without tumult. But you know that I am not master of events. My object has been to attack, by means of the written WORD, that system of impieties, which hath been introduced in opposition to sound doctrine. The abominations, my father, the abominations of the pope with his whole kingdom must be destroyed. And the Lord does this

without hand*' by the word alone. The subject exceeds all human comprehension, and therefore, we need not wonder that great commotions, scandals, and even prodigies should arise. Let not these things disturb you, my father. I cherish the best hopes. The counsel and the stretched out arm of God is plain in this matter. Remember how my cause, from the very first, gave the highest offence to the world, and yet it hath continually prevailed. Satan feels his wound: hence he rages the more, and endeavours to throw all into confusion."

The second letter, dated 1523, is addressed to 1523. the reverend abbot of St. Peter's in Saltsburg.

“ Reverend father, Your silence is unkind. But though I cease to find favor in your eyes, I ought

never Dan. viii. 25.

A. D.

never to forget you, through whose means, the
light of the gospel first dawned in my heart. I must
tell you the truth,- It would have been more
agreeable to me,

if
you

had not been appointed an abbot; but since it is fo, let neither of us interfere with our respective rights of private judgment, Your best friends are forry for your leaving us, but still much more sorry that you are so near the infamous cardinal Langius, and that you will be compelled to bear in filence all bis outrageous behaviour. I shall wonder if you are not in danger of denying Christ... We still hope the best of you, though your long silence disheartens us. If you are become another man, which may Christ forbid !-I speak plainly, I shall throw away no more words, but have recourse to prayer, that God

may be pleased to show mercy upon you, and us all. You observe, reverend father, how doubtfully I express myself. The reason is, your long silence leaves us ignorant of the disposition of your mind; whereas you very well know our most secret thoughts and wilhes. Permit me however to speak positively on one point, - We are confident, that we are not really objects of your contempt, even though you should dislike all our proceedings," I shall not cease to pray that you may be as much estranged from the popedom, as I ain at this moment, and, indeed, as you were formerly. May the Lord hear me, and take you and us to himself.”

These letters may deserve the reader's diligent consideration. They throw light on the general character both of the writer and of his friend : they intimate an evident progȚess of knowledge, in Luther's mind, respecting the nature of the A. D. papacy, which took place between the years 1518, 1518. and 1523: they manifest the strength of divine 1523,

grace,

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grace, which enabled him to withstand that threatening storm which alarmed Staupitius, and drove him into a dishonourable shelter, and lastly, they compel the mind to entertain painful fears and conjectures respecting the perfect uprightness of the new abbot of Saltsburg, however we may be 13clined to indulge cheerful hopes, that at the last day he will be found not to have gone the length of actually denying his Lord and Master:

Staupitius enjoyed his abbacy only for a very short time. He died in the year 1524:

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CHA P. IV.

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THE CONTROVERSY CONTINUED. THE

TEMPTS OF MILTITZ AND OF ECCIUS,

HE condition of Luther after his return to

Wittemberg, was peculiarly afflictive. Before himself he saw the total ruin of his worldly circumstances, the hardships of poverty and of exile, and the fear of a violent death from papal vengeance. He was not without hope of the protection of the elector, partly from the well known justice and humanity of thật prince's character, and partly from the good offices of his secretary Spalatinus. Moreover, as yet, the interference of Frederic in the ecclefiaftical controversy had not only been firm and discreet, but also as spirited and friendly, as could reasonably be expected in behalf of one who was looked on by the hierarchy as a turbulent and an abandoned heretic. Still it behoved our reformer not to be over confident in his expectations of future support. He had abundant cause to be thankful for the past exertions of his prince, which had been found so useful and effective; but trying times were coming on apace, Every day the contest grew more and more perilous. Luther himself had a single eye to the prosperity of the kingdom of Christ; but he could not be answerable for the zeal or the perseverance of others : he was well acquainted with the human heart'; and he foresaw that political and secular concerns might clash with the interests of the gofpel. He would not wonder if the love of many began to wax cold* ; even his much esteemed

friend Matth. 12.

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