Imágenes de página
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

flate been a

the rec of our t hat I ca ders the 's


charate objects, an

ery thre

of way

t to be

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

most all that is distinctively Chris-
tian is termed Calvinistic,-in which
sense Arminius himself was a Cal-
vinist. Oh, glorious purgation!
which would give us an "improved
version" of the Scriptures, graduated
to the scale of irrational rationalism;
a Prayer-book divested of the Po-
pery of worshipping a triune God;
articles cleansed from the Calvinistic
"impiety" of the doctrine of ori-
ginal sin, the atonement, justifica-
tion by faith, and the work of the
Holy Spirit (which were held as
firmly by Arminius, as election and
final perseverance were by Calvin);
and a species of clergy of whom
the reforming bishop was himself
a type, but of whom I trust there
never were many specimens among
us, and that now there are fewer
than ever; Arminian in name, but,
I fear, semi-Pelagian if not semi-
Socinian, in character.

Review of Scott's History of the Church of Christ.

I, for one, am not averse to a reformation of whatever may really


need reform among us; but when I look at the signs of the times, I confess that I tremble to see the instrument of amputation rashly wielded, lest it should fall into unskilful hands, which would not distinguish members from excrescences, and might wound the vitals of Christianity in removing a supposed blemish on the surface of our Established Church. It would give me no pleasure to see our church after such an algebraical reformation, with minus and plus as follows:minus what the world calls Calvinism, including several essentials of Christianity,-sacraments, as too Popish,- our authorised version of the Scriptures, especially our Articles and Homilies; with plus a reformed Prayer book, an Unitarian Bible, and a race of Watsonian bishops and clergy as expounders. of its doctrines, and setters forth of its discipline.



The History of the Church of Christ,
in Continuation of the Work of the
two Milners. By the Rev. JOHN
SCOTT, M.A. Vol. II. London.


The first portion of the volume contains the story of the Reformation in its Lutheran branch, down to the Peace of Religion in 1555, with notices of Melancthon, and the proceedings of the Council of Trent, from its opening in 1515, to its close in 1563. The second portion is devoted to the rise and progress of the Reformation in Switzerland, to the year 1527. Our limits forbid our giving an adequate sketch of both sections of the volume: we have therefore thought it better, on consulting the aforesaid phrenological organ, to confine our attention to the latter half, which comprises a complete subject. We need only add of the pretérmitted portion, that its contents are highly interesting; but as it has been longer before the public, and is therefore better known than the other, we prefer selecting the latter. 5 F

THIS continuation of Mr. Scott's valuable work comprises two portions of ecclesiastical history, and was published in two parts, though now paged consecutively as one volume. The first part has been some time before the public; but whether from its offending our craniological organ of completeness to review half a volume, or from a multiplicity of new works dividing our attention, we have not hitherto noticed it. The publication of the second part has recalled to our minds Mr. Scott's claims upon our respectful regards, and we take the earliest opportunity of gratifying our readers with some account of his labours.


In his preface, amongst other valuable matter, our author gives an account of some of the writers from whom he derives his information. The account of the historian Thuanus, or De Thou, is very interesting. He was born in 1553, and died in 1617. He was the president, as his father had been, of the parliament of Paris, during a period when that parliament was the only surviving bulwark of liberty in France. As an author, his name is distinguished by the history of his own times. His house was the resort of men of letters his library was one of the best in Europe. His integrity, courage, and talents, were such as to commend him to the general regard of his countrymen. Though he remained to the end a Roman Catholic, he treated of the Protestants, and the proceedings of the French government against them during the period, especially of the great massacres and the civil wars, with such moderation, as to gain him the title of a heretic at Rome, and to place his history among the number of prohibited works. The preface to his great work is as much celebrated in the annals of literature, as Calvin's dedication of his Institutes, and Causabon's introduction to Polybius. How rare, in any writer connected with the Church of Rome, is such language as the following! "Experience has taught us that fire and sword, exile and proscription, rather irritate than heal the distemper that has its seat in the mind. These affect only the body; but judicious and edifying doctrine, gently distilled, descends into the heart.... Religion is not subject to command, but is infused into well prepared minds by a conviction of the truth, with the concurrence of Divine grace. Tortures have no influence over her; in fact, they rather tend to make men obstinate than to subdue or persuade them. Confiding in the support of God's grace, the religious man is content to suffer. Let the executioner stand before him; let him

prepare tortures, whet the knife, and kindle the pile; he will still persevere, and his mind will dwell, not on the tortures he is to endure, but on the part he is to act. Tortures, therefore, by no means repress the ardours of the innovators of religion. France has tried them for forty years, and the Netherlands nearly as long. Mild persuasion and amiable intercourse may still conciliate those whom force cannot subdue."

De Thou speaks as follows of himself in the third person, in a memoir which he has left of his life. We quote the passage for the benefit of statesmen, lawyers, and authors of the present day,-men who have not more pressing occupations to detach them from devotional employments than the presi dent of the parliament of France. "Besides," he says, "the daily prayers which every Christian ought to offer at his rising, he has told me that he made one applicable to his work, and never sat down to composition without first beseeching God to enlighten him with the knowledge of the truth, and then enable him to follow its dictates without flattery or detraction."

But we must no longer detain our readers, even to contemplate this Sir Matthew Hale of Popery, from the subject of the work before us.

It is unnecessary to dilate upon the general circumstances and character of the Swiss as a nation. From the times of Julius Cæsar to those of our modern tourists, all their annalists and voyagers have concurred in representing them as a hardy, vigorous, independent race, carrying into their daily transactions much of the ruggedness, loftiness, and immoveableness of their native mountains. It is natural also, that liberty should find an asylum in a country where from the loftiness of surrounding barriers, each state found it comparatively easy to maintain its independence of every other.

The following account of the

prepare tortures, whet av


[ocr errors]

and kindle the pile; le ▾
and his ma

⚫ not on the tortures hea

dure, but on the partit

e Tortures, therefore, by a
repress the ardours of the tur
of religion. France has thi
for forty years, and the Sele
nearly as long. M
and amiable intercourse m
conciliate those whom fx.

De Thou speaks a Las
himself in the third pesa
memoir which he has
life. We quote the passe
benefit of statesmen, live
authors of the present de-
who have not more presies
pations to detach them fræ,
tional employments that
dent of the parliament
"Besides," he says, “
prayers which every Christia
to offer at his rising, he ha
that he made one apply:
work, and never sat dor:!
position without first besedin
to enlighten him with thei
of the truth, and then cal
to follow its dictates wid
or detraction."


1829.] Review of Scott's History of the Church of Christ.
Cantons will make some of the suc-
ceeding statements more intelligible.
"Switzerland comprises thirteen can.
tons, with a number of other states de-
pendent upon them or in alliance with
them. The cantons are, by a common
treaty, formed into one general body, of
which each member, though sovereign
within its own territory, is bound to sup
port the rest against every foreign enemy.
Certain members of the confederacy ap-
pear also to be more intimately bound to
one another, by treaties of confraternity
and co-burghership. The cantons are
divided into eight ancient, Zuric, Berne,
Lucerne, Uri, Schweitz, Underwalden,
Zug, and Glaris, which were associated
during the former half of the fourteenth
century, and five new cantons, Basle,
Friburg, Soleure, Schaffhausen, and Ap-
penzel, admitted into the league in the
latter part of the fifteenth, and the begin-
ning of the sixteenth century. Five of
the cantons we shall find distinguished,
both in modern times, and in the times of

more hopeless than the moral eman.
It is,
cipation of the nations.
however, in these circumstances, as
Ruchat (a highly respectable histo-
rian, to whom Mr. Scott frequently
refers,) says, "God is pleased to work,
that all the glory may be given to
him. His holiness could not longer
permit him to endure the frightful
excesses of profligacy which pre-
vailed." "But God," the same
writer adds, "must have his true
worshippers, who worship in spirit
and in truth; and hence he raised
up at this period, in almost all the
states of Europe, pious, learned, and
illustrious men, animated with a
noble zeal for the glory of God,
and the good of his church."

which we have to treat, as the Roman

Catholic cantons, namely, Lucerne, Uri,
Schweitz, Underwalden, and Zug; and
four as the Reformed cantons, Zuric,
Berne, Basle, and Schaffhausen. Friburg
and Soleure, also are Roman-Catholic,
but apparently with a less bigoted zeal
than the five: Glaris and Appenzel are
mixed in their religion. The five new
cantons are also termed neutral; because,
in case of a rupture between the eight
ancient cantons, they are bound not to
espouse either party. Of the dependencies
of the cantons, several are called Common
Bailliages; the sovereignty of them be-
longing to several cantons in common,
which alternately send a bailiff to preside
over them for a limited term. The great-
est part of the country was anciently under
the protection of the empire, till protec.
tion being extended to dominion, and do-
minion converted into oppression, several
of the cantons united, and asserted their
independence, in the early part of the
fourteenth century. Their example was
followed by their neighbours, and, after a

series of heroic conflicts, the liberty of
the whole Helvetic Confederation was
established." pp. 326-328.

But we must no longs » our readers, even to cas this Sir Matthew Hale of from the subject of the m fore us. It is unnecessary to die. the general circumstances racter of the Swiss 28 17 From the times of Julia Le those of our modern ta their annalists and vo concurred in representi a hardy, vigorous, indepeats carrying into their day much of the ruggednes and immoveableness of the mountains. It is natural liberty should find an country where from the it of surrounding barriers, ¿AS » found it comparatively e tain its independence of esers following account


The state of Switzerland, at the
period of the Reformation, may be
judged of by the general circum-
stances of Christendom.
Church of Rome had reached the
zenith of its power. And as that
power had been uniformly exerted
to enlarge its own authority, and, by
so perpetuating and deepening the
ignorance of the people, to secure
their unconditional obedience, no-
thing, humanly speaking, could be

It has been often observed that, in the history of religion, as in that of arts and science, the recognised authors of great changes and discoveries have had precursors, to whom a great part of the praise is fairly due.

It was then in the case of the Swiss Reformation. Zuinglius was preceded by Geiler and Wyttenbach; the former, a native of Schaffhausen, who faithfully sowed the seeds of Divine truth at Strasburgh, from 1477 to 1510; the latter, the tutor, at Basle, of Zuinglius himself, and from whom the Reformer may be conceived to have derived much of his own light on the subject of religion.

Zuinglius was born, probably in 1481, at Tockenburgh, a dependency of the abbey of St. Gallen, was the son of the chief magistrate of the district, and studied successively at Basle, Berne, Vienne, and then again at Basle. He was first called to his pastoral office at Glaris in 1506. At Glaris he spent ten years, and there probably his eyes began to open to the errors and evils of the church to which he belonged. Here also, it appears, that the Spirit of God first made known to him the wants and corruptions of his own heart, and the necessity and all sufficiency of a Redeemer. A manuscript is still found in the library of Zurich, of the Epistles of 5F2

[blocks in formation]

Luther or from God? Ask Luther himself. I know he will say it is from God. doctrines to Luther, when Luther himWhy then do you ascribe other men's

self ascribes his doctrine to God? Luther introduces no novelty: he only brings forth freely what is treasured up in the immutable and eternal word of God;

If modern Protestants thus studied the Scriptures, we hazard nothing in saying it would greatly pointing out and displaying the heavenly

improve the quality of reformers at home; and if Papists thus studied them, it would as largely multiply the number of reformers abroad. Zuinglius afterwards pursued the same course as to the other books of the New Testament. Myconius thus describes the devout pursuit of his studies at this time: "After he had learned from Peter that Scripture is not of private interpretation,' he directed his eyes to Heaven, seeking the Spirit for his teacher." Referring to the close of this period, Zuinglius himself says, "I began to preach the Gospel in the year 1516, where the name of Luther had never been heard of in these parts;" "thus counting for nothing," says Ruchat," the labours of the preceding years, because, during these, he had preached human traditions, and not the word of God."

Mr. Scott, at this point of his history, enters upon some discussion of the not uninteresting question of the precedency of Luther and Zuinglius in the work of reform. The following quotation gives us Zuinglius's own testimony on the subject. "I began to preach the Gospel before I ever heard the name of Luther. And, in order that I might do so, I ten years before applied myself to the study of Greek, that I might draw the doctrine of Christ from the original source. What success I have had, I leave it to others to judge but certainly Luther gave me no assistance, for I was ignorant of his very name when I learned to place all my reliance exclusively on the Sacred Scriptures. Luther, as far as I can judge, is a most gallant soldier of Jesus Christ, who studies the word of God with a zeal and diligence which have had no parallel for this thousand years. I care not if the court of Rome now pronounce me a heretic along with him. I say there has been no one (though I would not depreciate others,) who has attacked the pope with such a determined and undaunted spirit, since the popedom had an existence. But to whom is this noble proceeding of his to be ascribed? Is it from

treasures to Christians who have been led to seek it from wrong sources." p. 335.

"All then, I think, may now understand why I am unwilling to be called a Lutheran, though no man esteems Luther more highly than I do. I will say also, that I never wrote a line to Luther, directly or indirectly; nor he to me. And why have I not? Certainly not for the fear of any man: but that it might appear to all men how consistent and uniform is the Spirit of God, when we two, placed at such a distance from each other, and teach the doctrine of Christ in such and holding no intercourse together, write perfect harmony. I compare not myself to Luther: every one has what the Lord gives him: each one achieves that to which God leads him on." p. 337.

We entirely acquiesce in the view taken by Mr. Scott himself of this controverted point.

"Dr. Milner has introduced part of the above-cited passage in discussing the question of the priority of Luther or Zwingle, as a reformer. Their indepen

dence one of the other it must be allowed

to establish; which is the point of much the greatest importance, not only as it may concern their honour, (for which we ought not to indulge too much jealousy,) but especially for the purpose insisted upon by Zwingle himself at the close of the passage,-leading us to admire the wonderful works of God in raising such mighty instruments of his grace to cooperate with

out mutual communication; and the consistency and uniformity of his Spirit,' in leading them to teach the doctrine of Christ in perfect harmony,' the one with the other." With respect to the question of priority between them, it appears to me that those, who would deprive Luther of the honour of taking the lead in the great work of Reformation, do not properly distinguish between knowing, and even teaching the truth in a comparatively quiet way, and publicly raising the standard against reigning error, so as to draw general attention, and commence a revolution. In the former way Zwingle might perhaps precede Luther; in the latter Luther certainly took the lead of Zwingle. Both of them had the knowledge of Divine truth-of the doctrine of justification, in particular--before the year 1517: in 1516 Zwingle preached the Gospel at Glaris, and Luther, I apprehend, unquestionably taught it in his lectures at Wittemberg: for some time, I conceive,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]



of the Church of Christ.
Coxe affirms, in his Letters on Swit-
zerland, that not less than one hun-
dred thousand pilgrims visited it in
each year. To this focus of super-
stition was the Reformer now drawn,
by the invitation of the administra-
histor, or manager of the temporalitics
of the abbey, and its spiritual guar-
dian, the abbot-both of them per-
sons opposed to a certain extent to
superstition, and friends to men of
literature and piety. In this place,
he found other friends of religious
reform; and here he began to en-
large his connexion with persons
of eminence, in surrounding coun-
tries, and even in the court of Rome
itself, many of whom in their letters
bear the highest testimonies to his
talents and virtues.

Review of Scott's History
Zwingle had the advantage in point of
knowledge, and perhaps he had done
more to disseminate it previously to the
month of September, 1517, than Luther
had done: particularly he seems from the
first to have laid a broader basis for Re-
formation, in the doctrine of the sole
sufliciency and exclusive authority of the
Holy Scriptures, than Luther did in his
protest against indulgences: but at the
era just mentioned Luther blew the blast
which resounded throughout Christendom,
when Zwingle's sentiments had been little
heard of beyond the immediate sphere of
his own labours; and thus he caused the
astonished world so firmly to affix the
name of Lutheran to the new doctrine,
whether taught by Luther in Germany, or
by Zwingle in Switzerland, that for
years after no other distinctive appellation
could obtain any currency." pp. 338-310.
The escape, however, of Zuin-
glius, from Papal errors and bon-
dage, appears to have been less
rapid than that of his German bro-
ther. A contemporary writer speaks
of him as, at this time, so teach-
ing the Gospel, as not to mention
the abuses of the Church of Rome.
He left the truth, when introduced
into the soul, to do its proper work;
and certainly, if it accomplished this
object, it could leave no vestige of


In 1518, a vacancy took place in
the office of pastor of the cathedral
at Zurich, and the advantage of
this situation for carrying forward his
purposes of reform being consider-
able, and his call to it, from the
friends of religion, loud and uni-
versal, he determined to accept the
offer made to him. It was there
that he fairly entered upon the
sphere of labour which was to end,
under the Divine blessing, in the
final emancipation of a large portion
of his country from the yoke of
Popery. His first means of attack-
and whatever modern quietists may
think on the subject, it is, and al-
ways has been, one of the most
powerful of all instruments for pro-
pagating the truth-was the pulpit.
He opened his ministerial career by
an exposition of the Gospel of St.
Matthew; resolving, as he says, to
speak according to the mind of the
Spirit, which he did not doubt he
should be permitted by earnest
prayer and diligent comparison of
Scripture with Scripture to disco-

During the residence of the Re-
former at Glaris, he accompanied
the troops which marched into Italy
to assist the pope and the emperor
against the French, in the wars of
Milan. Here, probably, he first
arrived at the conclusion, which he
afterwards so strongly maintained,
of the impolicy and guilt of the cus-
tom then prevalent in the cantons
of Switzerland, of persons hiring
themselves out to fight the battles
of contending nations. In the year
1516, on his return from one of
these Italian expeditions, he was
offered the situation of minister
of the celebrated abbey church of
Einsidlin. This abbey had many
attractions in the eyes of the super-
stitious worshippers of the Church
of Rome. The main object of
regard, however, was a miraculous
image of the Virgin, by which cures
out of number were said to have
been performed; and of which such
was the celebrity that Archdeacon


He preached his first sermon
on Christmas day,-and, though
some were offended at such an in-
as regular preaching,
crowds attended him, " blessed God
for sending them such a preach-
er," who "told them things as they
really were ;" and, at the end of a


« AnteriorContinuar »