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Christ's sake to which the Reformer was called. He was warned of the perils which awaited him if he should answer the summons, and Staupitz besought him rather to take refuge with him in the convent at Salzburg, that they might live and die together. But, nothing daunted, Luther hastened to meet his foe. Two friends, Wenceslas Link of Nuremberg, and Leonard, an Augustine monk, insisted upon accompanying him. A violent fit of sickness seized him on the journey, but he speedily recovered strength, and boldly appeared before his judge. The Cardinal at first treated Luther with an amount of fairness unusual in those days, but it soon became evident that his one message was, ' Retract, and promise silence for the future.'
At the close of the first day's proceedings Luther was overjoyed to find that his friend Staupitz had come to Augsburg in order to help and if possible protect him. At his next appearance before the Cardinal, Staupitz and other friends accompanied him, and the Vicar-general insisted that · Brother Martin 'should have fair play. At length the Legate agreed to Luther's delivering his answer in writing. This was done at the third and last interview. It then became evident that no peace could be made between them, and Cajetan became more angry than before, even threatening Staupitz and Link with ecclesiastical penalties for befriending the 'heretical doctrines.' Staupitz answered by urging him to consent to a public discussion of the points at issue. But the Legate knew better, and answered, 'I will no longer dispute with that beast, for it has deep eyes and wonderful speculations in its head.'
The intercourse was abruptly broken off, and Luther's friends,
having first celebrated the Lord's Supper with him, left Augsburg. Luther waited four days longer, but hearing nothing further from the Legate, and suspecting, not without reason, that to remain longer would only expose him to the treachery of his unscrupulous foes, escaped from the city in disguise, mounted on a pony which Staupitz had provided for him. He re-entered Wittemberg in safety on the 30th of October, 1518. Before leaving Augsburg, however, he wrote his famous appeal from the Pope “ill-informed,' to the Pope' to-be-better informed,' which in a very short time had found its way not only to the Vatican, but into thousands of homes, convents and palaces. The great battle of the Reformation was thus fairly begun. Its progress and ultimate victory must be briefly glanced at in our next paper.
(To be concluded.)
LUTHER'S HYMN.* A MIGHTY fortress is our God,
And though this world, with devils A bulwark never-failing ;
filled, Our Helper He amid the flood
Should threaten to undo us, Of mortal ills prevailing.
We will not fear, for God hath willed For still our ancient foe
His truth to triumph through us. Doth seek to work our woe;
The Prince of Darkness grim, His craft and power are great,
We tremble not for him, And, armed with cruel hate,
His rage we can endure, On earth is not his equal.
For lo ! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him. Did we in our own strength confide, That word above all earthly powers, Our striving would be losing,
No thanks to them, abideth; Were not the right Man on our side, The Spirit and the gift are ours, The Man of God's own choosing. Through Him Who with us sideth. Dost ask who that may be ?
Let goods and raiment go, Christ Jesus it is He,
This mortal life also; Lord Sabaoth His name,
The body they may kill, From age to age the same;
God's truth abideth still, And He must win the battle.
His kingdom is for ever.
ON HIS DAY :
BY THE REV. G. STRINGER ROWE. NOVEMBER 4th.—But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.-1 Cor. XII. 7.
Let us not for a moment admit the thought that, because the * This translation of Luther's famous version of the Forty-Sixth Psalm is by the Rev. Dr. F. H. Hedge, Professor of German Literature in Harvard University, U.S., and is found in the Hymnal of the Methodist Episcopal Church of America.
marvellous spiritual endowments which are here described are no longer bestowed upon the Church, we must therefore conclude that we have fallen upon worse times, and inherit inferior privileges. Out of His boundless diversities of gifts and ministrations, the Holy Spirit knows how to select such as the times peculiarly require. The impressive wonders which were exhibited in these early believers belonged indeed to an imperfect season, a time of introduction and beginning: they were the outward stays and supports needed in the first planting, as they were also Divine signs, whereby the Lord gave witness to His own new order and dispensation.
All good things wrought in the hearts and lives of believers to-day, are as much the work of the Holy Spirit, as were tongues and gifts of healing : and to those who have the most familiar knowledge of them, they appear quite as miraculous, and are as truly the manifestation of the Spirit as the most wonderful signs of Pentecost. And all grace whereby the Holy Spirit is manifested is given on the same terms, and to the same end, as is here stated. It is given to every man to profit withal ; which clearly means, according to the whole drift of the teaching here, that it is given for the profit of others.
Now, do we accustom ourselves to keep ever in mind this one rule of the Spirit's working? That the gifts which He bestows upon us
for our own immeasurable benefit, we are not likely to forget. But are we as apt to recollect that our benefit is only something on the way to a larger advantage? The intention of the Spirit, dividing to each one severally as He will, is thwarted if we selfishly shut up
His gifts to our own enjoyment, and take no concern to let them go further.
On this day, if I am to gain blessing in the worship of God, and to enlarge my knowledge of His truth, I know that it must be secured only by the help of the Spirit. As I address myself to humble prayer for that help, let me carefully consider whether I do not bar my own prayer by a want of obedient consent to the will and design of Him for Whose gifts I come to ask. If He means those gifts to be mine on trust for others' profit, and I mean that they are to be simply for my own good, I am at such cross purposes with Him that my prayer must needs be hindered.
Surely we have here the explanation of much unanswered petition, and barrenness of Church life. We are too selfish in our aims and aspirations; and the very Water of Life itself gets stagnant in the close pools of our narrow desire. Let it flow forth, and we are doubly blessed, being ever filled ourselves with its living good, and rejoicing to become channels for others' profit.
NOVEMBER 11th. Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His
-MALACHI III. 16.
Just before (ver. 13-15), there has been angrily denounced the wickedness of those who, in their disloyalty and unbelief, have made their words stout against God, and have not shrunk from charging Him with unfaithfulness. In contrast to this evil and rebellious talk, is put the speaking one to another of them that feared the Lord ; and by means of such contrast, the obligation and duty of this speaking is brought out with great distinctness. Shall unbelief be eloquent, and faith be dumb ?
Yet here there is described not so much a bold advocacy in the face of the enemy, as converse among those who are of one mind : not words marshalled for warfare, but concerted in praise. But it
may well be noted, that the lips that are wisest and bravest in defence of the truth concerning God, are those which are most practised in the praise of the truth in intercourse with them who fear God.
Nothing is said here directly concerning the subject of their talk who spake often one to another ; but there no room for doubt concerning it It was about the fear of the Lord; and it was the opposite of that concerning which the unbelievers used stout words. It was a holy, loving rivalry in witnessing to the faithfulness of God, and in showing evidence of the blessedness of trusting in Him.
There is a time when faithfulness to our God requires that we should speak on His behalf in the face of the ungodly; but that is not the duty which is just now before us. Do we accustom ourselves to talk concerning Him amongst those who fear Him? consider how largely we are influenced by the conversation to which we listen, and how certain subjects gain importance in our minds through hearing them confidently talked about. If we met with persons who, like ourselves, were deeply interested in some important business, we should think it strange if that very business was the one subject on which they kept silence; and we should surely be justified in suspecting that, after all, their interest in it was not very deep or sincere. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. In the matter of testimony for God, mute lips are but a symptom of something lying far deeper in the hidden life.
The very attempt to put our faith and its fruits into words, if done in watchful reverence, is itself of great advantage. In thus trying to define our religious life, we may, perhaps, discover, to our dismay,
that it is in itself indefinite, without clearness or certainty, and therefore will not admit of distinct expression.
For such expression the Lord listens; and so great store does He set by it, that He keeps a lasting record of it before Him. Surely to-day, of all days, there ought to be no blank opposite my name in that Divine record.
NOVEMBER 18th.- When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me ; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.—LUKE V. 8.
Does it seem to you a strange and a mistaken thing, this bidding of the Lord to depart? Look into it again, and carefully, and you will see that there is far more in it to admire than to blame. It is utterly unlike the terrified request of those heathenish folk of Gadara (viii. 37), who saw nothing in the rescue of the demoniac amongst them but an awful mystery of power, which, as the destruction of the swine seemed to show, might be put forth as easily for ill as for good. Peter, too, saw, and trembled before, the power : but he read further back, further even than the man to whom Jesus had given sight (John ix. 31-33). He felt that the doer of so Divine a wonder as he now witnessed must needs be in very close harmony with the Divine holiness : and when he fell down at Jesus' knees, it was not because his weakness was scared by a display of might, but because his sinfulness was abashed and awe-struck at the near presence of a great purity. Herein, unconsciously, he was rendering a true worship, imperfect indeed, but only in degree. His soul was taking the first step, which being untaken, all progress of worship beyond becomes impossible.
We must all know the conviction, which first instinctively cries out, Depart from me ; for I am sinful, O Lord ! before we can commit ourselves to the Gospel hope, and pray, 'Come to me; for I am sinful, O Lord!'
But this fine impulse of Peter's is, on many sides, an excellent mark to steer by, and that notably in the course of our Sabbath life and its sacred belongings. We shall surely be brought to-day, either in the house of God, or in our own meditations on His Word, into the very presence of the Lord's mighty power, even the power whereby He is able to save to the uttermost. In that presence we must needs feel—and it is well that we should very deeply feel—our own sinfulness. But here let us take care lest we should in any way make our sinfulness an argument for saying to the saving Lord, Depart. This is just what we do when we say to Him in effect, ‘My sinfulness is so great, or so peculiar, that it is not for me to know all this Thy salvation.'
By using this lesson well, we shall escape a yet more deadly peril.