Page images

profered riches and preferment both of his own prince and the king of Denmark.

In the year 1522, he was requested to go to Hamburg, to draw up for them certain doctrinal articles, the mode of church.government, and the form of calling ministers; he also erccted a schcol in the monastry of St John, which afterwards became a school of great note. And in the year 1.530, he was desired to go to Lubeck, and to do for them as he had done at Hamburg, where he likewise set up a school in the monastry of St Catherine. In the vear 1537, he was solicited by Christian king of Denmark and duke of Holstein, to reform religion in his dominions, and to erect schools; at which time he published a book on the “ Ordination of Ministers, formerly agreed upon 66 by Luther, and his Colleagues with Prayers, and a « Form or Directory for holy Administrations." And instead of the seven bishops of Denmark, he appointed seven superintendants, who, for the time to come, should ordain ministers and take care of all ecclesiastical affairs, whom he ordained in the presence of the king and his council, in the chief church at Copenhagen. He also prescribed what lectures should be read in the university of Copenhagen; and appointed ministers in the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, to the number of twenty-four thousand.

In the year 1542, he was employed by the elector of Saxony, to reform the churches in the dukedom of Brunswick: And the year following the senate of Hildesheim sent for him to reform their churches, where he, with Corvinus and Henry Winckle, wrote them a form of ordination, and ordained six pastors to their six congregations, committing the oversight of them to Judocus Iser. man, and shut up the church of the canons. In the year 1533, John Frederick elector of Saxony, with his counsellors, being present at the public disputations of Luther, Cruciger, Bugenhagius, and Æpine, on the articles of justifying righteousness, the nature of the church, and the difference between ecclesiastical authority and the civil power ; Bugenhagius made an oration on the last of these, which very much pleased the prince, at whose instance Bugenhagius then proceeded doctor in divinity.

Thus far the life of Bugenhagius seems to have been quiet and easy ; but when the Bella Theologorum, the wars of divines began, as they did about this time, he experienced one continued series of outward trouble and distress. Yet when tribulations abounded, the Lord caused the inward consolations of his Spirit much more to


ugenhariella Theolog ime, he

abound : So that in all the wars and confusions of Germany, among the states, princes, and divines, and when Wittenberg itself was besieged, he did not fly to any other place, but gave himself up to constant fervent prayer, encouraging himself much in seeing, that in the midst of the storms and tempests of controversies and quarrels the poor ship of Christ's church was not, and could not be swallowed up and destroyed. He remained stedfast and unmoveable, both in the doctrine and discipline of the church, always averse to unquiet and seditious counsels; urging that text, Render to Gæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto GOD the things that are GOD's. Like the emperor Severus, · he minded his own business, without minding "what others said of him. His business was the work of the gospel, about which he was to give an account to GOD, and not to man. He left those, who delighted to meddle with factions, to gather the thistles and thorns, which they would surely find in the way. He was only concerned for the distractions of the church: And it was a favourite text with him, in all the commotions he saw and felt, Commit thy way to the Lord, and hope in him: He shall bring it to pass. At length, through age and great labour, not being able to preach any longer, he went daily to the church, and in the most devout and ardent manner prayed for himself and for the afflicted church of God. Afterwards falling sick, he still continued ipstant in prayer and holy profitable conferences with his friends, till drawing near his end, he often repeated that important portion of scripture, This is life eternal, to know thee the only true GOD, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent ; and so quietly departed in the Lord on the twentieth of April, in the year 1558, in the seventy-third year of his age.

He was a faithful pastor, compassionate to the poor, bold in reproof, a zealous defender of the truth against all error, and had learned the apostolic lesson, in every station and condition in life there with to be content ; so that the most earnest intreaties, seconded by honour, power and profit, could never prevail upon him to remove from the flock which he believed GOD had committed to his charge; but he remained with them in all their afflictions, and watched over them with the fidelity, assiduity, and pains of a faithful shepherd In his sermons he was modest and manly, but so earnest and devout, that he would often exceed the usual time allotted for a discourse. He assisted Luther in the translation of the Bible into German, and VOL. II.

kept kept the day, on which it was finished, annually a festival with his friends, calling it “ THE FEAST OF THE TRANS

LATION OF The BIBLE;" and it certainly deserves a red letter more than half the saints in the Kalendar. His life was of a piece with his doctrine, altogether evangelical. Upon the article of a sinner's justification before GOD, he frequently used this simile': “ As a ring set with a « precious stone is esteemed, not for the quantity of “ gold which incloses the stone, but for the stone itself; o so sinners are justified by faith in and through the Son « of GOD, whom frith, as the ring does the jewel, « receives and apprehends." Luther often declared, that of all his writings none pleased him, but his Catechism, and his treatise De servo Arbitrio, or Free-will a Slave ; and Bugenhagius was so much of that opinion, that he considered them as some of the choicest tracts upon the Christian religion, always carried them about in his pocket himself, and earnestly recommended them to others.

His Works are, 1. A Commentary on the Psalms, which Lather highly commended. 2. Annotations on the Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, the first and second Epistles to the Thessalonians, the first and second Epistles to Timothy, to Titus, Philemon, Hebrews. 3. Annotations on Samuel and St John. 4. The History of Christ, suffering and glorified, being an Harmony of the Gospels, with Notes. 5. Annotations upon Deuteronomy i and some other tracts.


THIS holy martyr and excellent minister of Christ I was born in the dukedom of Lorrain, in the year 1506. His parents died when he was very young ; and his relations, coveting his estate, thrust him, at eight years of age, into a monastry of Augustine friars; which, through providence, proved the means of his obtaining a good education. He was very eager to learn the languages, and to improve in the study of divinity, which he afterwards devoted to the service of the Protestant church, of which he became an eminent ornament and support. After a time, perceiving that the idleness of monks was but ill


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

Freman Omginal Sagrwing, Publichid under the Suspection of Bezai!

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »