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Pope proposed a reformation first among themselves, and went so far as to appoint a place of meeting. Luther with his keen eye saw through the mask, and understood in his wisdom that the treachery of the papists could be most effectually exposed by ridicule. Accordingly he had a picture made representing the Pope as sitting on a throne, surrounded by his cardinals wearing foxes' tails. Punch has never had any thing better.
Luther's whole life was colored with sorrow. When we are reading his works we are impressed that through his soul tones of sadness must have been continually ringing. Unto the greatest nature is appointed the deepest
Much is required of him to whom much is given. Sorrow hath its roots deep in the inmost heart of man; it is the tie that binds him to the heart of God; it is the soul's hunger for its spiritual bread, its irrepressible longing for its home in the bosom of the Infinite; it is the home-sickness of the soul. In a certain sense, Christianity is the worship of sorrow.”' Great was the soul of Luther, and great was his sadness. 6. Sorrow of heart is death itself," said he, in a tone as plaintive as the moan of the ocean.
How much is revealed in this little sentence; “ I have often need, in my tribulation, to talk even with a child !" " The human heart," said he," is like a millstone in a mill; when you put wheat under it, it turns and grinds and bruises the wheat to flour; if you put no wheat it still grinds on, but then 'tis itself it grinds and wears away." Not only was the “heartaches and the " thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to," appointed unto him, but also outward tribulations, such as few mortal men have had to endure. He was sometimes impatient, but never lost his trust in the Infinite Disposer of all things. When overwhelmed with many maladies, he said, “God has touched me sorely, and I have been impatient; but God knows better than we whereto it serves. Our Lord God is like a printer, who sets the letters backwards, so that here we must so read them; when we are printed off, yonder, in the life to come, we shall read all clear and straightforward." He also prayed that he might be released from his life of warfare, that he might depart and find rest. “Ah! how willingly would I now die, for I am faint and overwrought, and at this time I have a joyful and peaceful heart and conscience." The Lord could not spare thee, thou bravest of men, until thy heroic work was done in the world! Thy pilgrimage upon the earth was full of peril, sorrow and tears; but through the spacious chambers of thy soul already was there heard a voice, saying, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!
The strong-souled Reformer, from the deep fountain of sorrow in whose breast there gushed forth gentle affections,
“ As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start," was alive to the sentiment of beauty, and was fond, passionately fond, of music. While a student, he learned to play the flute and lute. He composed hymns that are among the finest possessed by Germany. They are like the man, earnest, solid, melodious, and enduring. He loved his art and did not forsake it even in old age. He used to say that he preferred music to dialectics for converting men. When Luther was found insensible in his cell at the convent, nothing would arouse him, until the choristers began to sing a sweet hymn. We may truly say that he was a man,
" Who through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Of wonderful melodies." In Luther, the earthly elements were strong, but they were subjected to the lawful dominion of reason and moral sentiment. Perhaps heaven alone contains the register of his sternest battles and noblest victories. The enjoyments of earth he did not condemn, but used every thing as not abusing it. “Our loving Lord God wills that we eat and drink, and be merry, making use of his creatures, for therefore he created them. He will not that we complain, as if he had not given sufficient, or that he could not maintain our poor carcasses ; he asks only that we acknowledge him for our God, and thank him for his gifts.” His hold upon the earth was strong, yet there was in him none of that which we call worldliness and VOL. X.
selfishness. No one who has thoroughly studied his life will doubt his sincerity in the following noble declaration of his exalted aims : “ If the great pains and labor I take sprang not from the love, and for the sake, of him that died for me, the world could not give me money enough to write only one book, or to translate the Bible. I desire not to be rewarded and paid of the world for my books; the world is too poor to give me satisfaction; I have not asked the value of one penny of my master the Prince Elector of Saxony, since I have been here.'
Some have false impressions in regard to Luther's personal appearance and habits. Many think that he was very large; that he had a great chunky' neck, a broad, fat face, and a stout body. Some suppose that he was
extravagantly' fond of the good things of this world, and was a kind of reservoir for half the beer brewed in Germany. It is certain that he drank beer; and who ever lived in Germany that did not drink it? We might just as well complain of the tea-drinking of Dr. Johnson, as of the beer-drinking of Luther. The old preachers of New England, who, as some itinerant Punch has said, were so puritanical that they would have whipped a beerbarrel in the bad company of a Quaker for working on Sunday, were accustomed to drink something altogether stronger than beer. During some portions of his life, Luther's habits of living were extremely simple. At the time he went to Rome, his usual fare was herring and bread. It is true that when he was somewhat advanced in life, his habits were in some respects altered, and his appearance from time to time passed through the usual changes. At the debate between Luther and Dr. Eck in the great hall of the Pleisenburg at Leipsic, Massellanus, a credible witness, was present, and gave the following portrait of the distinguished Wittemberg doctor : “Martin Luther is of middle stature, and so thin, in consequence of his studies, that his bones may be almost counted. He is in the prime of life, and has a clear and sonorous voice."
The crowning excellence of Luther's character, that which gave right direction to all his kingly faculties, was his loyalty to heaven. The King of kings he was ready to obey, at whatever sacrifice. All his great powers were
leavened with the spirit of worship. Like the patriarch, he wrestled with God in prayer and faith, until he received a blessing from on high. Like the Psalmist, he believed that 66 the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." In the ancient city of Worms, on the morning of the day he was to appear before the Diet, Luther entered into the presence of Infinite Majesty, petitioning for succor against majesties that were far from being infinite, and declaring like a true subject the unconquerable loyalty of his soul. “Behold me prepared to lay down my life for thy truth
suffering like a lamb. For thy cause is holy. It is thine own!
I will not let thee go! no, nor yet for all eternity! And though the world should be thronged with devils--and this body, which is the work of thine hands, should be cast forth, trodden under foot, cut in pieces,
consumed to ashes, my soul is thine. Yes, I have thine own word to assure me of it. My soul belongs to Thee, and will abide with Thee forever! Amen! O God send help!” Before the Emperor, Archdukes, Electors, Dukes, Arch-Bishops, Bishops, Prelates, Margraves, Ambassadors, Deputies, Princes, Counts, Barons, Pope's Nuncios-principalities and powers to the number of two hundred, he appeared perfectly calm and respectful, but firmıly declared his obedience to another Sovereign, whose laws they very imperfectly undersood, and to their imminent peril were neglecting
At such a time, well might he sing, with a wild Ti. tanic music, in his " half-battle words":
« God's word, for all their craft and force,
The city of God remaineth." From the time when he was summoned to submit to the Invisible Ruler of the world, by the swift message of the thunderbolt, to the solemn hour when a viewless hand was pressing cold and heavy on his worn-out heart;
through the vicissitudes of a heroic, agitating, and most laborious life; in the midst of foes eager to sacrifice the children of reason and God,-he never lost his faith in the will supreme, never shrunk from responsibilities imposed by obedience to the Infinite, never reserved any of the love due to heaven for objects of worldly interest, and in the moment of greatest peril could say, as with the broken melody of the whirlwind's voice,
" A safe stronghold our God is still,
A trusty shield and weapon;
0. W w
The Divine Goodness, versus Endless Misery.
If we mistake not, every religious person acknowledges that God is good to all, in a greater or less degree. It is true, that when we come to define the idea, some may not be willing to admit that he is wholly so; in other words, they may not admit that his goodness is always unmixed with contrary elements, that it is infinite in relation to every individual, and that it will continue so through time and through eternity. When stated in this complete form, there is doubtless a difference of opinion with regard to it. But that God is good, in some respects, and at some period, to every creature he brings into being, is maintained with equal promptness, we suppose, by all Christians of all creeds. It belongs so necessarily to the very idea of a Divine character, and it would be so manifestly impious to deny it, that all who believe in God, accept it at once as a primary truth,—we mean when stated in this general form,- just as they accept the conviction that he is holy, or wise.
If, at the same time, other views are held, which are really inconsistent with this fundamental and universally