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diligently and sincerely. Now, we know from God's own word, that those who thus seek shall find. None who ever wished, and prayed, and laboured, to obtain such knowledge as this, and to find the way to heaven, have wished, and prayed, and laboured, in vain. The Bible says, “ If thou seek for wisdom as silver, and search for her as for hid treasure, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” And thus it was with Luther. One day, when he was in the midst of perplexity in his search after truth, he happened to go into the library of the monastery; and there he found lying on a shelf, an old book which he took down and opened. It was a Latin Bible,—the first Bible Luther had ever seen. Long, perhaps, the precious book had been lying there unread and unnoticed; but now, that God who hears and answers prayer, directed the young enquirer to the spot where it was, and led him to find, and to open, and to read it. And God gave to him the spirit of wisdom, to guide him into truth, and to enable him to understand and to believe that holy book, so that he read it not in vain. The Bible became a lamp to his feet, and a light to his paths, and it led him safely and surely into that way which ends in everlasting life.

Now it might seem a little thing, a mere VOL. II.


accident, that Martin Luther should go into a library on a certain day, and take up a book which he did not know was there, and look into it, and read it ;-and yet this little thing led, as little things very often do, to a matter of very great importance,--to the everlasting benetit not only of Luther himself, but of hundreds and thousands besides. Yes ; for when once that Bible had shown him the errors of the system in which he had been brought up, he was not satisfied with keeping the discovery to himself; for Martin Luther was a man of zeal, and energy, and boldness, one just fitted by God for the age in which he lived ; one who would not conceal his belief, but fearlessly profess it himself, and then openly proclaim it to others. This was what he did ; and thus he became, in an especial manner, the great instrument in God's hands of exposing the errors of Popery, and of bringing about the Reformation.

But there were other remarkable circumstances connected with the rise of the Reformation, which I must not forget to mention. The Pope of Rome at this time was Leo X. A very clever man he was, and as fond of

power and magnificence as those three monarchs of whom I told you not long ago,—Henry VIII, and Francis I, and the Emperor Charles V. of Germany, who were all contemporaries of Leo.

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This Pope was engaged just then in building the great Church of St. Peter's at Rome. The building cost a very large sum of money; Leo wanted additional supplies to complete the work, and found some difficulty in procuring the money necessary. At last, a plan was suggested to him by which it was thought he might raise a very large sum ;- it was by the sale of indulgences. Perhaps you will not understand what this means, so I will endeavour to explain it.

It was one of the foolish errors held by Rome, that the Church had a large stock of merits and good works, which might be made over to her members on the payment of certain šums of money. The poordeluded people were taught that they could thus purchase pardon for their own sins, or deliverance from purgatory for their departed friends; and if they could once believe that this was actually the case, you may conceive how anxious they would be to avail themselves of the privilege, and to gain Heaven for themselves and others so easily. So the sale of indulgences, as it was called, commenced ; multitudes flocked to buy them in many a city and town throughout Europe ; and the money thus collected was brought to Leo, to enable him to carry on his various projects, either for building St. Peter's, or for any thing else he might have in view. Now we cannot imagine that a clever and sensible man like Leo, could believe in these delusions which he was so ready to impose upon the people; and this makes the story still more sad; for bad as it is to hold an error ourselves through ignorance, it is still worse to teach to others as truth what we ourselves know to be falsehood, for the accomplishment of selfish ends of our own. Of this sin we must fear that Leo and those whom he employed were guilty, when they proposed and carried out the plan of indulgences.

The chief person employed in this work was a monk named Tetzel. He was, as very many of the monks of those times were, unprincipled and wicked ; for there was but little of that simplicity and piety to be found among them now, which, you remember, we so much admired in the early days of the Venerable Bede. Amongst other places, Tetzel came to the town of Wittenberg, where Martin Luther resided, and where he was endeavouring to instruct the people in the truths of the Bible, as far as he was acquainted with those truths himself. When Tetzel arrived, he began talking to the multitude who flocked to hear him, of the great benefits which he had to offer by the sale of indulgences, and the poor ignorant people actually believed what he said, and eagerly ran to throw their contributions into

his box, thinking that by so doing, they would save their own souls, or the souls of those dear to them. And now, Luther's spirit was roused within him, for he had learnt from the Bible, which he had diligently studied ever since the day he found it in the convent-library, that there is but one way of obtaining salvation, and one name given under heaven among men whereby they may be saved,—the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so he began to protest against the doctrines of Tetzel, and the sale of indulgences, and the decrees of the Pope, because they were all contrary to the plainly-declared truths of the word of God.

I need not tell you all that followed this bold and fearless conduct of Luther ; how he declared the truth by speaking, and preaching, and writing; and how the Pope and his clergy spoke, and preached, and wrote on their side also, and how the attention of almost all Europe-of Dukes, and Princes, and Kings, and even of the Emperor Charles himself, was turned to this great question,—whether the doctrines of the Pope should be believed; or the Bible alone be received, as the sole rule of faith. The controversy went on for many a long year, and time after time was the bold champion called on to stand up for the truth in the face of his enemies. Powerful enemies they were, and headed by the Emperor Charles

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