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“If it pleases God, it also pleases me that his will should be
done in this." When Thauler was now very near his end, being
in his agony, he made such horrid and fearful gestures, that his
brethren, and they who were present, were struck with no little fear
and distress. And thus he closed his life fearfully, as far as appeared
from outward signs. And when he had died, almost all in that city
were grieved, as he was very dear to them all. Moreover, when
some persons of that city had observed how familiarly the layman had
stayed by him in his extremity, they wished to shew him respect, and
invite him to their feasts. But when he found this, he immediately fled
from that place to his own country. While he was going, and on the
third day of his journey, he came at sunset to a little village ; and as
he could go no further, since night was coming on, and he could find
no public inn in that village, he asked an honest man, whom he met
with by chance, to take him and his servant in, and ask what he
pleased. The man said he should be very glad to do it, if the guest
would be contented with what he had. He therefore took them in,
and made up as good a bed as he could for the layman, taking the
servant to the straw in the granary. When he had gone to bed, and
was lying awake, the layman heard a thin voice near him, but could
see nothing. He began to be somewhat frightened. Then that voice
said to him "Do not be alarmed, my beloved son, for I am the
master.” On hearing this, the layman said "I should wish to learn
from you, if it is God's will, how things are with you, and what was
the reason that

life in so horrid and, as far as outward signs go, fearful a manner. For some of your brethren have begun to be distrustful as to you; and I am really afraid lest so terrible an end as yours may be a stumbling block to them.” To this that voice of the master answered—“I will now explain this. Be assured that God had decreed that my soul, as soon as it left the body, should be received by holy angels, and by them be defended from the devils, lest they should do me any more harm, and that I might not see them again, or have any more commerce with them. It was therefore necessary to allow me to close my life with so tremendous an end, and to suffer it instead of purgatory; and, in truth, the evil spirits bound me in such difficulties, and assailed me with such cunning fallacies and deceits, that I seemed to myself almost likely to despair; and if I had not lost the power of speaking, I should have uttered the most fearful clamours.* But the Almighty God hath given me a rich payment for that pain and torment; for as soon as my soul had left the body, it was taken by the holy angels, who took it to Paradise, saying, that I should wait there five days without any fear or anxiety, and not be afraid that the devil could do me any further harm, or that I should go through any more labour, except that for those five days I should not have the glorious company of heavenly beings; that after they were elapsed I should be quite cleansed, and then that they would return with joy, and take me, with great exultation, to ineffable

closed your

There are some words at the end of this sentence in such strange Latin, that the translator feels doubtful as to their meaning.


joys, which would never end. Ask me nothing more, my son; I have told you all I cau; nor is it allowed me to add more. But I pray my God to bless you, and to be your eternal rewarder, in everlasting joys, for the faithful instruction and wholesome counsel which you gave to me." The layman said—“I beseech you that, when you go to God, you will earnestly entreat him for me.” Afterwards, whatever the layman asked or spoke, he could gain nothing, nor obtain a single answer. On observing this, he endeavoured to rest a little ; but he could not sleep. He lay, therefore, awake in his bed, and could scarce wait for day. When it came, taking his pen, he wrote to the prior and brethren how the master had appeared, and all that he had said. May the eternal truth of our Lord Jesus Christ grant to us all that we conform ourselves to his delectable and amiable image, and follow it with all our might, to his honour and glory. Amen.

[This translation is made from the preface prefixed to a volume of Thauler's works, published at Cologne by Arnold Quentel, in 1503.)

TALK OF THE TIMES. – No. I. A. I can hardly think that I fully understood what you were saying yesterday—is it possible that you can think of publishing a book under such a title ?

B. Why not, if that title expresses my meaning ?
A. Because people will misunderstand it.

B. So they would, probably, any title; but, if any misunderstand- . ing should arise, I will do my best to prevent it from being permanent, and mischievous.

A. But what can they understand by “A PLEA FOR DISUNION AMONG CHRISTIANS" ?

B. Very little, I grant-perhaps nothing, until they examine the grounds of it; but, as I have said, that title expresses my meaning better than any other; and it is therefore, I think, least likely to lead to any hurtful misunderstanding.

A. You will be called a firebrand-you will be shewn up in the

B. Do not mention names—it is personal; but, besides, your apprehensions are probably quite visionary. If you mean what I suppose, it would be vanity to think that among the so many and great affairs which they seem to consider as especially and almost exclusively under their direction-all the care of all the churches, all the functions of all the bishops, the oversight, not merely of the parishes, but of the homes, the habits, words, and deeds, and I might almost say, even the thoughts and looks, of the inferior clergy--all the affairs of all the societies and of all the people connected with them—it would I say be vanity to think that among such a multiplicity of business, they would dream of meddling with me. But if they did, I do not know that it would become me to meddle with them. In truth I am inclined to doubt whether any body ought to do it. I am rather apt

VOL. XIV.-July, 1838.


to look upon them as unsightly, unwholesome, untouchable things bred in, and preying upon, the sores of the church. Let us not wonder, or be angry, or spend time in watching their motions. Let us rather try to heal those sores, and the creatures will be got rid of.

A. Your plan, then, for healing the sores of the church is to promote disunion among Christians ?

B. It is.

A. That is, by way of keeping it together, you would destroy the bond of union-instead of unity you would have estrangement and distance-instead of brotherly love and communion and co-operation you would have a selfish and egotistical independence-in short you would cut the withe that binds together the faggot.

B. What faggot ?-my dear friend, who is talking about faggots?

d. Well, you know the fable of the old man and his sons to which I refer-you will not deny that union is strength ?

B. Indeed I will in a great many cases ; and I will also deny that strength must always be the best thing in the world, and cannot be too dearly paid for. Strength misapplied, or mismanaged, may be a greater evil to all parties concerned than weakness. But beside this, I apprehend that when you speak of strength, you really mean efficiency for some purpose or design ; and, if so, I must say that union is frequently a hindrance. If you keep your dogs coupled they will never run down the hare-if you glue together the keys of an organ you will produce nothing but discord—if you wish to remove or mitigate unkindness between persons of different tastes and dispositions, do not marry them, or put them into partnership-in short, to refer to your own figure, if you want to make a faggot it is quite proper that you should bind it as tight as you can, for it is the cheapest and most expeditious way of putting and keeping together a bundle of dead sticks; and on its being so kept together its existence as a faggot depends. But what makes all the difference) the Christian church is not a bundle of dead sticks; and what is true of dead sticks is not true of living trees of righteousness, which the right hand of the Lord hath planted. You may, to be sure, take a score of saplings, tie them together, and plant them all in one hole; and you may tell me that singly they are weak, flexible, and fragile, and thus united they will support each other, and find strength in union. But I should rather feel'inclined to say, you will only cripple them, kill most, and injure all-as to their support, trust to Him who made them; his earth will feed them, his sun will cherish them, and his rain will refresh them; give room for the breath of heaven to play round them, and they will spread both their roots and branches, each towards all, and bring forth their fruit in its season.

A. But the branch must abide in the vine, or it can bring forth no fruit at all ; or to refer to another scriptural figure, the church is one body, and the members must no more be disunited than the branches of the vine must be severed from the stock.

B. True, every branch must be united to the root; but, at the same time, to keep it healthy and fruitful, every branch must be kept distinct from every other. Each member must be united to the head, and by it always to a certain extent (perhaps at times for mutnal service, more particularly and closely,) united to the others; but if you tie a man's feet together he cannot walk, if you tie his hands together he cannot labour, and if you tie his hands to his feet he can do neither.

A. Yet the idea which you give me of a plantation is rather that of separate, solitary, isolated existence; something very different from what one would desire to see in the Christian church.

B. Yes, because men are not trees; and trees have no business, and therefore no power, to walk about, and help each other. One oak cannot offer its arm to another, or traverse the field to pick up a neighbour who may be blown down. But to my own mind, an orchard, where the trees mutually shelter one another from the wintry blast, and each, as the summer sun goes round, throws his shade at the foot of some neighbour to comfort his roots, while the expansion of daily growth is constantly bringing every one nearer to all the rest, presents as much resemblance to what a Christian society should be, as your original figure of dead sticks, formally packed together, and tightly tied up to prevent their moving Instead, however, of pursuing these figures, which you see may be easily pressed beyond due limits, let us quietly look at the facts of the case. A. But first let me add one observation about the faggot; for you

have overlooked what is the real point of the fable-namely, that while the faggot was held together no one could break it, but when the withe was cut the sticks were easily disposed of.

B. True—and that is the very point which most of all renders the fable inapplicable. I feel (do not you ?) a full conviction that no power of earth or hell will ever break the Christian church. I am not careful to provide against what I believe to be impossible; and even in a state which you consider isolated (I hope you will understand me better by and by) I think every man may securely say to bis fellow-christian-for you must not suppose that I would put them so far apart as to be out of hearing of each other—" If God be for us, who can be against us ?”

A. But notwithstanding his entire dependence and reliance on the promise of God, is not every man bound to do all he can, according to his station and circumstances, to promote the prosperity of the Christian church, and all that can be legitimately called the interests of true religion?

B. I see we shall understand one another—especially if, before we renew the subject, you consider the limitation which for some reason or other you seem to have felt it necessary to introduce into your question--and I promise you that I will not take any unfair advantage in the meantime by publishing my “ Plea for Disunion.”




(Continued from vol. xiii. p. 619.) The history of the restoration of episcopacy in Scotland, so far as regards the particular appointments to the several sees, was broken off in the last Number, in order to give, in more immediate contrast with it, the case of the church in Ireland. And the contrast between the church in Scotland at this period and those of England and Ireland, strikingly illustrates the unhappy influence of ministerial politics in church appointments. The secretary of state for Scotland, a secret enemy, as we have seen, to episcopacy, “diligently instilled into the king the notion that, by governing them according to the grain of their own inclinations, he might “ make them sure to him; and then they would be ready, and might be easily brought to serve him, upon any occasion of dispute he might afterwards have with the people of England."* There is certainly much in the subsequent records of Lauderdale's administration, which seems to shew, what Burnet charges him with, a " design to encourage the king to set up arbitrary government in England ;” and that, according to the character given of him by another writer, he was « indeed the underminer of episcopacy in Scotland, by laying it on a new foundation, the pleasure of the king.”+ The “coldness” which he succeeded in infusing into the king in regard to the restoration of episcopacy in that country, induced, as we have seen, even Clarendon, who was himself zealous in the cause, to persuade the English bishops to leave the matter in his hands; and the consequence was, that Sharp, who had made his way at court by the recommendation of a mere statesman, was raised to the primacy, and the other appointments were left to him. And if, according to Burnet's account, “ the choice was generally very bad,” the remarkable exception which he points out in the case of Leighton, compared with the other appointments, is a curious illustration of the workings of royal and ministerial patronage. Leighton's elevation in the first instance, and advancement afterwards, were the acts of the king; from what notive, will be seen in the extracts that follow. But “the hearts of kings" are in a “rule and governance” mightier and holier than their own. It should be obsered, too, that this appointment had, in a greater degree than the rest, the approbation of the primate of England, as well as of the clergy generally.

“Two men were brought up to be consecrated in England, Fairfoul, designed for the see of Glasgow, and Hamilton, brother to the Lord Belhaven, for Galloway."

* Burnet's History of his own Time, vol. i. p. 107.
+ Bishop Kennet's Complete History of England, vol. iii. p. 396.
# Burnei's History of his own Time, vol. i. p. 133.

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