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now the chief priests and wise of thon was tempered with moderathis world, fearing for their dig- tion, the period was disgraced by nity, power, ease, and other ad- its fanatical effervescence in the vantages, should not recognize the less enlightened. Nicholas Storck, preaching of the truth, or consent Martin Cellarius, and Mark Stubto a pious alteration, till it should ner, who had been preaching wild be explained as conducive to their notions, together with the enthuown emolument. Colleges and siastic Thomas Munzer, at Zwickmonasteries appeared to be found- au in Misnia, came to Wittenberg: ed from the first, not for the pur- The former was a baker, who had pose of saying masses, but for the selected twelve others, called by instruction of youth, and the sup- him apostles, and also seventy-two port of the poor; and to have been disciples, to assist his cause. The enriched by royal grants down to others were ignorant mechanics, the time of Augustine, and even except Stubner, who was a man of of Bernard. But they began to letters. They pretended to enjoy be founded for the sake of stated visions and revelations, and acmasses about four or five hundred quired great ascendancy over the years since, and for the dead in minds of the populace. Their arparticular scarcely two hundred. rival was a source of disquietude Yet they ought to be abolished as to our Reformer; but, after holderrors, though they might be of ing some converse with Stubner on greater antiquity. For Paul, even their pretensions, he resolved to in his day, complained of a striv- write to the Elector in a strain, ing for ceremonies, and the ty- which shows the excessive caution ranny of Antichrist.

The most of his character, if it does not ancient custoin to the time of argue danger of being carried Cyprian, was, to administer the away by their dissimulation. whole sacrament to those who “ Your Highness will excuse stood round; but the present mode the liberty I take in addressing was subsequently introduced, as you, from the importance of the appeared even from the difference

It is not unknown to your in the Milanese missals. The rage Highness, that there have been of their adversaries was not to be many, various, and perilous disregarded, nor perils to be dreaded, sensions, concerning the word of since Christ had foretold, and the God, in your city of Zwickau. Apostles experienced them; and Some persons have been cast into their increase was to be expected prison there for seditious practices. in the latter days. The Gospel was Three of the ringleaders are come to be a stone of stumbling, a rock hither; two of them ignorant weaof offence, and a sign that should vers, the third a man of education. be spoken against."

I have heard their statements, and Frederick was not induced, by they declare wonderful things of this honest representation, to give themselves, that they are sent by a public sanction to their measures; God to teach, that they have fabut his hesitation was regarded, miliar intercourse with the Deity, by the reforming party, in the light and that they can foretel things to of connivance; and they prosecuted come! In fact, they assume to the work of innovation, on the be prophets and apostles; and I subject of private masses, to the cannot describe the effect which great satisfaction of Luther, whose they have produced on my mind. I spirit was cheered in his confine- see strong reasons for not treating ment by intelligence of their pro- them in a contemptuous manner, ceedings.

for there is manifestly an extraorBut though the zeal of Melanc- dinary spirit in them; but what


sort of a spirit it is, I think it times he was pleased to make use would puzzle any man living to of vile instruments; that he had redecide, except Professor Martin. ceived representations from his broAnd as the safety of the Gospel ther John and his kinsman George itself is concerned, as well as the of the disturbances at Zwickau, peace and glory of the church, I which required him to prevent their submit to your Highness that he repetition at Wittenberg; that it ought to be at liberty to examine

was moreover impossible to recall them, especially as they challenge Luther, without danger to his perthe investigation. I would not have son; and that it was sufficient to made this request, if the magni- add, as he had defended him so tude of the affair had not required far, he should not be condemned mature counsel. At the same time unheard, while he left the rest to we must be on our guard against the emperor, as liege lord. With Satan's devices. May the Lord respect to these men, if he knew grant your Highness long life for what justice demanded, he would the good of his church.”

do it, without regard to relations The Elector laid the matter be

or consequences; but as the case fore his council, and to assist their stood it was the safest way to let deliberations required some further them alone.” information; but after the receipt This discreet answer of Fredeof letters both from Melancthon rick was followed by a remonand Amsdorff, which informed strance from Luther, whose advice them that the subject of infant Melancthon had requested, penbaptism was discussed by. Storck ned with his usual energy, and caland his followers, and objections culated to fortify the vacillating started against it which were dif- mind of his friend. “ In regard to ficult to answer, and rendered the these prophets, I must say, with judgment of Luther still more de- due deference to your superior sasirable, they were unable to come gacity and erudition, I cannot apto a decision. At length, at one


timid behaviour. In of their sittings, Frederick ordered the first place, when they bear rethat the appellants should be in- cord of themselves, they are not formed, “ that he had expected entitled to immediate credence; more urgent arguments than had but, as John says, their spirits been advanced for his interference; should be tried. You know Gathat they knew that he himself maliel's advice about letting them could pretend to no such know- alone; though as yet I hear of noledge of Scripture as might qualify thing said or done by them which him to determine what ought to be exceeds the powers of Satan. For done; but for his own part he my own satisfaction, however, I doubted the expediency of dis- would have you examine what puting with such characters at all; proof they can give of their calling. that the effect of the Leipsic con- God never yet sent any one, no, ference had only been to brand the not even his own Son, without a Wittenbergers as heretics; that call from man, or a declaration by they should take care not to make miracles. The prophets formerly themselves more obnoxious, or had authority by prophetic law and dispute about podobaptism, while order, as we have now by men. I the authority of Augustine might am altogether against acknowledgsuffice, to which the Wittenbergers ing them on their bare assertion of were wont to defer; and that it

a divine revelation, since God did certainly did not appear, that God not choose that even Samuel should had any purpose to answer by speak, but under the sanction of means of these men, though some- Eli. So much for their public of

prove of


fice as teachers. But examine also not help smiling at such a declaratheir private spirit, whether they tion, but soon after thought proper have experienced spiritual dis- to quit his company, lamenting the tresses, a new birth from above, and mention of that very purgatory the terrors of death and hell.— The which they had mutually treated as majesty of God maketh no imme- a popish imposture. . diate revelation, so as to be visible When Luther returned from his to man; for none can see him and confinement, his powerful addresses live. Nature could not bear the began to restore peace and unanileast glimpse of his oracle. There- mity among the people, and to difore he uses man's instrumentality. vert their attention from these fanaFor the virgin was troubled at the tical pretenders. After a while he appearance of an angel ; so was consented to interview with Daniel: and Jeremiah saith, Cor- Stubner, Cellarius, and another, rect me, but with judgment; be in the presence of Melancthon. not a terror unto me. Why should

The Saxon Professor had been preI say more? As if His majesty vailed upon, not without difficulty, could speak familiarly with the old to admit them to a conference; but man, without previous death and when the time arrived he listened purification from his ill savour, for

with tolerable calmness to the reour God is a consuming fire.' presentations of the most literary Even dreams and visions of saints visionary. As soon as they were are terrible things when duly ap- finished, he briefly replied ; * Take prehended. Try them well, then, care what ye are doing. None of and listen not even to a glorified your accounts have the least supJesus, unless you see him first cru- port from Scripture. They are cified."

merely the result of a heated imaThe strong language used by Lu- gination, or perhaps the phrenzied ther to his correspondent shows, and dangerous suggestions of a that he was aware of the bad ten- lying and deceitful spirit!" On dency which the insinuating man- this, Cellarius, starting up like a ner or confident expressions of a madman, stamped the ground and fanatic like Stubner might have, beat the table, and expressed the even on the mind of a Melancthon. most lively resentment that Luther The latter was induced to give him should dare to speak thus of such a more patient hearing than might an inspired person as his friend be expected from Luther; but Stubner. The latter, more comwhatever opinion he might entertain posed, said, “Luther, to convince of his sincerity, he could not but you that I am influenced by the have been disgusted with the ab- Spirit of God, I will tell you what surdity of his reveries. One day, is now passing in your mind. You while Philip was engaged in writ- are inclining to believe in the truth ing, Mark, who sat opposite, re- of my doctrine.” But the Reclined his head on the table and former declared, that his thoughts fell into a doze. Waking on a were then engaged on that awful sudden, he lifted himself

fixed sentence, • The Lord rebuke thee, his eyes on his companion, and Satan.” They then boasted, and asked abruptly, “What do you threatened, and promised, what think of Chrysostom ?”—“I have mighty things they would perform a high opinion of him," answered to authenticate their commission; Philip, "but I cannot say I ap- but he simply bid them depart with prove his occasional verbosity.”. these words, “ The God whom I “Well,” replied Mark, “ I have serve and adore will easily restrain just seen him in a woeful case in your pretended powers, that no purgatory !” Melancthon could such effect should follow.” It appears, that these wretched men inquirer. It was a period of reliwere so disconcerted that they left gious discovery, and he daily felt the town the very same day. that he had much to learn. The


Those who' reflect on the easi- very extravagances of these proness with which

some, even in phets were not more abhorrent to the Protestant communion, and in the present views of the Reformers, the eighteenth century, have been than the tenets of Lutheranism led to give heed to seducing spi- were to the mind of Luther himself, rits; on the credulity with which at a previous and not very remote the visions of a learned Sweden- period of his life. Every impartial borg have been entertained on one person must perceive, what many hand, and the hallucinations of an transactions hereafter to be reilliterate Southcott, on the other; corded will fully prove, that the and on that lack of Christian so- hesitation of Melancthon in debriety discoverable in some pious ciding upon new subjects, or in characters, whose glowing fancies difficult cases which seemed to rehave tempted them to such expres- quire a promptitude of action, resions as seem to suit those alone sulted not so much from timidity who are the immediate subjects of as from conscientious scruples of divine revelation; will not regard mind. It was not that he feared this particularity of detail as altoge- temporal, but moral consequences; ther superfluous. A modern wri- and though Luther may

be excused ter has expressed himself with so in a period when the mind was hamuch good sense and genuine cha- bitually kept warm and irascible by rity on this delicate affair, as it af- controversy, for using such an epifects so eminent a reformer as the thet, those who are solicitous of Greek Professor of Wittenberg, forming a correct idea of him will that license is anticipated for the rather deem it sianderous than deadoption of his remarks.

scriptive to call him the timid Me• Should

any be disposed to lancthon. If, after all, his first censure the conduct of Melancthon treatment of Storck and bis assofor that extreme leniency which he ciates be considered as an unwarmanifested to Storck and his asso- rantable excess of candour, his lanciates from Zwickau, be it recol- guage became more decided as his lected, that though Luther's zeal convictions of their delusion and charged him with undue timidity, misconduct increased: and if this a word which he and historians be a shade in his character, it is after him have applied with great otherwise so bright, that the adincaution, several extenuating cir- mitted imperfection will not matecumstances must not be over- rially obscure it; and the biolooked. Stubner being a man of grapher can feel no very powerful learning, and probably of some temptation, where such a splendour address, and knowing the import- of excellence is discernible, to beance of obtaining, if possible, the come the laboured apologist." influence of Melancthon, probably While the part borne by Meresorted to every insinuating me- lancthon in the translation of the thod to gain his support, disclosing Scriptures rendered him one of the his sentiments only in a very gra- greatest benefactors of the church dual manner. The real goodness of Christ, Luther was anxious that and amiable temper for which Me- his services should extend beyond lancthon was so remarkable, pre- the mere labour of translation; and disposed bim to judge favourably knowing that he had written a of others, especially if they were Commentary on the Epistle of Paul professedly in pursuit of truth. He to the Romans, took secret poswas himself a diligent and patient session of the manuscript, and printed it without the author's and to spread his pernicious docknowledge. In our day, when trines far and wide. When I talk questions relating to literary pro- of you in the same way, I know perty have received abundant dis- the spirit and judgment with which cussion, the jealousy with which speak. If these wiseacres choose its rights are watched would admit to sneer at my opinion, it is my no excuse for such an act from the concern, not yours. But I wish previous intimacy of the parties; and to vex these scorners more and it must be owned, that there was more; and I say, that the coma want of delicacy and propriety mentaries of Jerome and Origen in the act itself. Luther doubtless are mere children's play compared felt that the contents of the manu- to your Annotations. But

you rescript ought to be known as ex- ply, what good is there in setting tensively as possible; and while he these great men against me? Well, despaired of obtaining the consent you may be humble if you please ; of its diffident author to the publi- but let me boast for you. Who has cation, would consider the publi- ever prohibited persons of superior cation itself a tribute of open re- ability from publishing something spect to the talent and piety of his better if they can? the best way, friend. It is impossible, however, by the bye, of proving the incorto refuse forgiveness to the of- rectness of my judgment. For my fender, from the good humour with part, I wish we could find out which he confesses his fault, those who could and would publish though he will not stoop to ask something better. Moreover, I pardon.

give you fair warning, that if you “ Martin Luther to Philip Me- do not send out your remarks

upon lancthon. Grace and peace in Genesis, and the Gospels of MatChrist.

thew and John, I shall hand them angry, and sin not; com

off in the same manner. mune with your own heart, and in Scripture ought to be read alone, your chamber, and be still. I am and without a commentary. This the man who has taken the liberty is right enough, if you speak in reof publishing your Annotations, ference to Jerome, Origen, Thoand I now have the pleasure of mas Aquinas, and others of that presenting you

your own

class : for they have delivered their work. If you are not pleased own sentiments rather than those with it, I cannot help it: it may be of Paul or Christ. But the Annosufficient to say, you please us. If tations of Philip cannot be called a I have done wrong, you are to commentary, but a guide to the blame; why did you not publish it study of Scripture and the knowyourself? Why did you suffer me ledge of Christ, such as has never to ask you again and again to give yet appeared. And I can hardly it to the world? So much for apo- believe you, when you plead your logy. You see I am willing to be own serious dissatisfaction with reckoned a thief, and am prepared your work. But, however, I will for

your accusations or complaints. say I do believe you—you are not As to the critics that you suspect, satisfied with yourself. What my answer is, Do better, gentle- then? No one ever asked

you. No, What the impious Thomists indeed, we would wish Paul. to have the arrogance and falsehood keep his pre-eminence, lest to attribute to their great oracle, should insinuate that Philip is suthat no one has written better upon perior or equal to Paul. It is sufSt. Paul, I truly affirm of you. ficient that you should be second to Satan hineself instigates them to Paul; but we shall not be talk in this way of Thomas Aquinas, see another get nearer to him. We

66 Be

You say,


any one

sorry to

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