« PreviousContinue »
He was soon after indicted by Bigot, the king's advocate, and condemned for high treason; having been, as they said, the author of those great assemblies which had caused rebellion and civil wars. This the papists have ever been fond of charging upon the Protestants; and it was one of their most vehement accusations against Luther. But true religion hath nothing to do with rebellion and civil wars, but to preach them down, and to pray against them; for GOD is not the author of confusion, but of peace. The court, however, sentenced him to be drawn on a sledge, and to be hanged on a gibbet before Nôtre-Dame church at Rouen, his head then to be cut off and set upon a pole on the bridge of the city, and his goods and inheritance to be confiscated. Touched with the worth of the man, and the injustice done him, some of Marloratus's adversaries wished to have saved him ; but their motion was over-ruled, and he, (with four other chief citizens,) suffered on the thirtieth of October, in the year 1562, in the fifty-sixth year of his age.
As he went to the place of execution, drawn on a sledge, the constable and his son Monbrun, (who was soon after slain in the battle of Dreux,) behaved with great indecency; and one Villebon added a blow with a stick to many reproachful speeches; all which Marloratus bore with the greatest patience and meekness. Before he was turned off, he made an excellent speech, as long as he was permitted ; exhorting, strengthening, and comforting his fellow-sufferers, who with himself, after glorifying GOD together in doing his will, now glorified him in suffering it. While they were hanging, one of the soldiers struck Marloratus's legs across with a sword. The providences which occurred to several of his persecutors, after this event were not a little extraordinary. The captain who apprehended him was murdered within three weeks after, by one of the soldiers in his own company : One of his judges died of a bloody-flux, which was so violent as to baffle all the skill of physicians : Another, who was a counsellor, had no longer a passage for his water but at his anus, and that with such a stink, that none could bear to come near him to give him any assistance : And Villebon, who had struck him as he went to execution, being invited to dinner, soon after, by marshal Vielle-Ville, who had come to Rouen upon public affairs; the marshal lamenting in discourse the present miseries of the city, exhorted Villebon as the king's lieutenant, to endeavour the reformation of several abuses;
this Villebon took so ill, that he said, If any man dare
to tax me for not carrying myself as I ought in my
place, I would tell him to his face, that he lyed? Which he repeated so often over, and in so provoking a manner, that the marshal rose up and struck him a blow with his sword, that would have cleft his head in two, if he had not warded it off with his hand; which, however, struck off that hand, with which he had with equal meanness and cruelty struck the suffering Marloratus.
His Works, which are subjoined, shew how great a doss the church at that time sustained in the death of this learned and pious divine.
1. Novi Testamenti catholica expositio ecclesiastica : ex pro- . batis theologis, quos Dominus ecclesiæ suæ diversis in locis dedit, excerpta, Ege diligenter concinnata : Sive, Bibliotheca expositionum Novi Testamenti ; id est, expositio ex probatis theoingis collecta; & in unum corpus singulari artificio conflata : Quæ instar bibliothecæ multis expositoribus referta esse possit. The fourth edition of this book was printed at Geneva, 1535. Of this work, Dr Willet speaks very highly, and wishes that such another exposition had appeared in his time upon the Old Testament. Very happily for us of this land, we have now several upon both Testaments, of which that of Mr Matthew Henry is to be named among the first. 2. An Exposition of the book of Genesis. 3. An exposition of the book of Psalms. 4. An Exposition of the Prophecy of Isaiah. 5. Thesaurus totius canonioæ scriptura, in locos communes, dogmatum, & phrasium, ordine alphabetico digestum. This work was printed under the inspection of William Feuguerius of Rouen, afterwards professor of divinity at Leyden, to whom Marloratus left it, not being quite finished at his decease.
W OLFGANGUS MUSCULUS was a celebrated German
divine and Reformer, whose life was chequered with many extraordinary particulars. He was the son of a cooper, and born at Dieuze upon Lorrain, the eighth of September, 1497. His father, seeing him inclined to
"Alsace, a he came tonething in
books, designed him for a scholar ; but not having wherewithal to educate him in that way, Musculus was obliged to provide for his own subsistence, which accordingly he did, by singing from door to door. He left Dieuze and travelled into Alsace, and after going through several towns in that country, he came to Rappersril, where a well-disposed widow, observing something in his countenance, as she thought, promising future greatness (in which she was not mistaken) supported him in his attendance on the schools there, till he was one day taken notice of by a gentleman, who very liberally maintained him during his stay in that place. From Rappersril he went to Selestadt, where, in the course of his studies, he excelled in poetry, and obtained the approbation of his teacher.
At the age of fifteen, he purposed to return home ; and in his way, calling upon his aunt at Westreik, she took him with her to vespers, in a convent of Benedictines, where Musculus joined in singing with the choristers, and so happily, that the prior, struck with his appearance and charmed with his voice, offered him the habit of the order gratis, (a favour never before conferred on any one,) which he accepted ; and the prior, as long as he lived, treated Musculus as his own son. He continued in this monastry fifteen years, and applied himself to the study of the arts and sciences with great applause, especially from Claudius Cantiuncula, a learned lawyer of those days. He also made great proficiency in music. And at the age of twenty, he devoted himself more immediately to the'study of divinity, which a pious old monk observing, said, “If you < intend to become a good preacher, you must endeavour
to be familiar with the Bible. This hint Musculus wisely improved, and gave himself up to reading of the scriptures, with a view, in due time, when he should become a public preacher, of being a scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, and, like a man that is an householder, bringing forth out of his treasure things new and old. While he was thus exercised, a friend took occasion to supply him with Luther's books, which by this time were dispersed in Germany, and which, while he read with great attention, comparing the doctrines with the scriptures, it pleased GOD to bless, as means to his conversion from popish darkness to the light and belief of the pure doctrines of the gospel. His wise and prudent conversation, accompanied with steadiness and zeal, made so strong an impression upon many of his
brother brother friars, that most of the Benedictines of that convent forsook the order: And being a preacher at the church of Leixheim, under the jurisdiction of the monastry, he was equally successful in preaching the gospel to the various ranks of people. Among other noblemen converted to the true faith, was Reinhardus, governor of the castle at Lutzelstein, and in great favour with the prince Palatinė. In the mean time, he raised himself many enemies, and found himself exposed to many difficulties and dangers ; upon which he made an open profession of Lutheranism.
In 1527 he fled to Strasburg, and the same year married Margaret Barth, whom he had betrothed before he left the monastry. As he had nothing to subsist on, he sent his wife to service in a clergyman's family, and bound himself apprentice to a weaver, who dismissed him in two months, for disputing too much with an Anabaptist minister, that had lodgings in the house. He then resolved to earn his bread, by working at the fortifications of Strasburg; but the evening before he was to begin this drudgery, he was informed that the magistrates had appointed him to preach every Sunday, in the village of Dorlisheim. He did so; but lodged the rest of the week at Strasburg, with Martin Bucer, from whom he gained a livelihood, by transcribing : For Bucer wrote so ill, that the printers could not read his hand ; nay, he was often puzzled to read it himself. Some months after, he was obliged to reside at Dorlisheim, where he suffered the rigours of poverty with great constancy. His only moveable was the little bed he brought from the convent; which however was occupied by his wife, who was ready to lye.in, while he lay on the ground upon a little straw. He served the church of this village a whole year, without receiving one farthing of stipend, through the oppression of the abbey, who gathered the tithes and revenues of it, and must have perished through want, if the magistrates of Strasburg had not assigned him a sum out of the public treasury. He was called back to Strasburg, to have the function of minister-deacon in the princpial church conferred upon him : And after he had acquitted himself in this character for about two years, he was called to Augsburg, where he began to preach in 1531. Here he had terrible conflicts to sustain with the Papists ; yet by degrees prevailed upon the magistrates to banish Popery entirely. In 1534, the senate and people of Augsburg absolutely discharged them from preaching in any part of the city, and left only eight places where they were allowed to say mass: And these eight places they abolished,
with all their trumpery, in 1537. Musculus served the church of Augsburg till 1548, when Charles V. having entered the city, and re-established the Papists in the church of Notre-Dame, he found it necessary for his own safety to decamp. He retired to Switzerland, his wife and children following soon after ; and was invited by the magistrates of Bern, in 1549, to the professorship of divinity. He chearfully accepted this invitation, and acquitted himself in this capacity with all imaginable pains : And, to shew his gratitude to the city of Bern, he never would accept of any employment, though several were offered him elsewhere. He died at Bern, the thirtieth of August, 1563. He was employed in some very important ecclesiastical deputations : He was deputed by the senate of Augsburg, in 1536, to the synod which was to be held at Eysnach, for the re-union of the Protestants upon the doctrine of the supper : he was deputed to assist at the conferences which were held between the Protestant and Roman Catholic divines, during the diet of Worms, and that of Ratisbon, in the years 1540 and 1541: He was one of the secretaries of the conference at Ratisbon, between Melancthon and Eccius, and drew up the acts of it: And he was sent to the inhabitants of Donawert, who embraced the Reformation in 1544, to form them into a church, and to lay the foundations of the true faith among them. · Musculus was a man of great application and deep learning, and a considerable master of the Greek and Hebrew languages, although he was at the least thirty-two years of age when he began to study the latter, and forty when he first applied to the former. He published several books, and began with translations from the Greek into. Latin, The first work of this nature which he published was, The Comment of St Chrysostom upon St Paul's epistles to the Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, printed at Basil in 1536. He afterwards published, in 1540, the second volume of the works of St Basil; and, after that, the Scholia of the same father upon the Psalms, several treatises of St Athanasius and St Cyril, the ecclesiastical history of Eusebius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Evagrius, and Polybius. '
He also wrote commentaries, 1. On Genesis. 2. The Psalms. 3. Matthew. 4. John, 5. Romans. 6. Corinthians. 7. Philippians. 8. Colossians. 9. Thessalonians. 10. 1 Timothy. - 11. His Common Places. 12. Upon the Commandments. 13. Of Oaths. 14. Of the German Wars. 15. Two Sermons preached at Worms