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« all this while were your understandings blinded; be~ cause ye believed in them, and placed your trust in o them.
« Suppose an artist or workman make an image either 66 of man or woman, and at last a clergyman of Rome “ gave it such a name, calling it St Peter or St Paul, « or St Mary, or St Anne, must not that man, though « he behold his own handy-work, and knows in his heart " that it was his own work, be blind, and void of reason u and understanding of the law of GOD, and of the « wondrous things that are contained in the law of the Lord? “ Yes, surely, he must be blind, and void of reason, and “ of the true faith, that would worship the same.
« The workman carved the eyes, but these eyes see - not; he likewise carved the ears, but they hear not; “ the nose, and it smells not; the mouth, and it neither « breathes nor speaks; the hands, they feel not; the « feet, but they stand stock still.
« How therefore can your prayers be acceptable unto “ this image, that sees you not approaching towards it, « that hears you not when you pray to it, that smells not " the sweet smells, be they of myrrh or frankincense “ burning before it? How can it absolve you, when the « mouth is not able to say ; Thy sins are forgiven thee ? « And if you place a certain sum of money in the palm « of the hand of that image ; come you again to-morrow, “ the money, it is true, shall find a customer, but the so image never the wiser, who took it; and, if you desire " to have it come unto you, it cannot without help; " therefore the workman, that made this image, is as « blind, as deaf, as dumb, and as void of sense as the " image itself; and so be ye all, that put your trust in " them.
« Therefore of late new artificers by springs have made 66 artificial ones, which for a certain time shall move, 66 and ye shall believe it to be real and certain : But be66 ware, good people, for they be but lying wonders,
purposely that ye may break the law of GOD. And - thus hath the devil devised a lying wonder, that ye « may be deluded to break the law of the Lord, which « is, Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image. " O Lord, open thou our eyes, our ears, and our understand« ing, that we may behold the wondrous things that are in « thy law. The law of GOD is an undefiled law. Oh! « why should we be so wicked then as to defile that law, of which the Almighty GOD hath made so pure without
« blemish! Jesus came to fulfil the law, and not to abolish “ the law. But there is a new fraternity of late sprung “ up, who call themselves fesuits, which will deceive “ many, who are much after the Scribes and Pharisees
manner? Amongst the Jews they shall strive to abolish “ the truth, and shall come very near to do it ; for these « sorts will turn themselves into several forms, with the " heathen, an heathenist; with atheists, an atheist; with * the Jews, a Jew; and with the Reformers, a Reform“ ade ; purposely to know your intentions, your minds, “ your hearts, and your inclinations, and thereby bring “ you at last to be like the fool that said'in his heart there " is no GOD. These shall spread over the whole world, “ shall be admitted into the councils of princes, and they “ never the wiser ; charming of them, yea, making your “ princes reveal their hearts, and the secrets therein, “ unto them, and yet they not perceive it; which will “ happen from falling from the law of GOD, by neg« lect of fulfilling of the law of GOD, and by winking
at their sins; yet in the end, GOD, to justify his “ law, shall suddenly cut off this society even by the "s hands of those who have most succoured them, and rrimade use of them ; so that at the end, they shall be“ come odious to all nations : They shall be worse than « Jews, having no resting-place upon earth, and then 66 shall a Jew have more favour than a Jesuit. Now, to “ arm you all good Christians against these things that “ are to come, lest ye be led into temptation : Cry un“ to the Lord your GOD, and heartily pray that he “ would be so merciful unto you as to open the eyes of your “ understanding, that you may behold the wonders and plea" santness that is in his law.- Which GOD of his infi" nite mercy grant that we may all do."
M EEKNESS and humility were the characteristics W of this great divine, who was born at Julin, near Stetin in Pomerania, in the year 1485. His parents being of some rank in the state, gave him a very liberal education; instructing him with great care, in the principles of religion : And, finding that he made great progress in his learning, they sent him early to the university of Grypswald, where he profited so much in the study of the liberal arts and the languages, that, at twenty years of age, he taught school at Treptow, and by his learning and diligence raised the school to a considerable degree of reputation. He read every day, to his numerous scholars, some portion of scripture, and prayed with them ; till one day meeting with Erasmus's Lucubrations, which treat of the histrionical carriage of the friars, and the idolatry of the times;' he received so much light in the true understanding of the scriptures, that he began to instruct others by lecturing in his school on the gospel by St Matthew, Paul's epistles to Timothy, and the Psalms. To these he added catechising, an exposition of the Creed, and the Ten Commandments. Many in the city, of various descriptions, resorted to these exercises. · He was called from the school to preach in the church, and was admitted into the college of Presbyters; where many people of all ranks attended his preaching. As learning was not very frequent in the popish divines of those days, and as Bugenhagius was endowed with a considerable variety of knowledge, both in ecclesiastical, theological, and even political concerns; he soon became of great estimation. Prince Bogislaus engaged him to write a history of Pomerania, furnishing him with money, books and records; and he completed it in two years, with much judgment and integrity.
His prince had employed him about these temporal affairs; but it pleased GOD soon to call off his attention to better things. For in the year 1520, one Otho Slutovius of Treptow, having Luther's book on the • Babylonish « Captivity' sent him, gave it to Bugenhagius as he sat at dinner with his colleagues. Bugenhagius looked over a few leaves of it, and told them, that “ many heretics “ had disquieted the peace of the church since Christ's "s time, but that there never was a more pestilent heretic « than the author of that book ;" shewing at the same time, how, in many particulars, Luther dissented from the received doctrine of the church. But in a few days after, having read it with great diligence and attention, GOD was pleased to work such an effect upon him, that he made this public recantation before them all : « What « shall I say of Luther? All the world hath been blind « and in Cimmerian darkness; only this one man hath “ found out the truth.” And further reasoning with
them on the contents of Luther's book, most of his colleagues were brought to form the same judgment of them with himself; and the abbot, two aged pastors of the church, and some other of the friars, began to discover the deceits of Popery, and to preach against the superstitions and abuses of human traditions, persuading their auditors wholly to rely upon the merits of Christ.
Bugenhagius after this applied himself diligently to the reading of Luther's other works, in which he was taught to see the nature of the law and the gospel, justification by faith, &c. perceiving the agreement there was, in opinion of these doctrines, between Augustine and Luther, and how wide of the mark, upon these points, were the writings of Origen and Thomas Aquinas. These truths of scripture he preached and taught with such success, at the same time opening to the people the idle comments and delusions of the monks, that Erasmus Mandwell, bishop of Cammin, enraged to a high degree began to persecute many priests, scholars, and citizens of Treptow, who were the professors or hearers of these doctrines. He grounded the occasion of it upon the images being removed out of the church in the night, and the injury that the popish priests received by the people's leaving the mass. Moved with envy and rage, he raised a persecution against all that believed and professed them. Some he cast into prison, while others fled abroad : And Bugenhagius, not thinking himself safe, and being desirous of an interview and an acquaintance with Luther, went to Wittenberg in the year 1521, which was a little before Luther went to the diet of Worms. About this time, Bartholomew Bernhard Feldkirch, pastor of Kemberg, was the first priest who led the way, since the absolute interdiction of marriage by the see of Rome, by taking a wife. This gave rise to the disputes on the Obligation of Vows made in Monkery. In Luther's absence, Bugenhagius engaged in a controversy with Carolostadius, who would have brought the law of Moses into the civil state, and removed images out of the church. On Luther's return from his Patmos, by the suffrages of the university and senate, Bugenhagius was chosen pastor of the church at Wittenberg, in which he laboured in word and doctrine with much inward consolation, in many changes of affairs, for thirty years, never leaving the flock over which the f'oly Ghost had made him overseer, neither because of the dangers of war, nor for the pestilence that wasteth at noon-day; but preferred very homely fair with the people, among whom he had been made useful, to the
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 erected a schcol in the monastry of St John, which afterwards became a school of great note. And in the year 1530, 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 year 1537, he was solicited by Christian king of Denmark and duke of Holstein, to reform religion in his doininions, and to erect schools; at which time he published a book on the “ Ordination of Ministers, formerly agreed upon " 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 1512, 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 Iserman, 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