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management, more frequent and prolonged; and even her religious discourses came to be so “rosed over ” with sentiment, that never before were Cupid and Calvin so undistinguishable from each other._vol. ii., pp.
In short, the young lady at last put upon him the duty of determining, if he wished to be a Protestant and a clergyman, or remain in a state of doubt and not marry her at all. She was aware of his effort to endeavour to Protestantise his mind, and he was resolved to give her occasional proofs by letter, which was the only mode now he had of communicating with her, that he really was studying the fathers. By way, he says, of keeping her in good humour, as well with the fathers as with himself, he sent her occasionally translations into verse of some of the numerous passages, written in a florid style, to be found in some of their number. He gives specimens of some of the versions, from which we select a few, assured that every reader will recognise in the lines the grace and force of one of the first of our poets. The following is a translation of a pathetic remonstrance which was addressed by St. Basil to a Fallen Virgin ; this remonstrance is spoken of by Fenelon as one of the most eloquent that ever was written :
Remember now that Virgin choir
Who loved thee, lost one, as thou art,
Had warm'd thine eye and chill'd thy heart.
Recal their looks, so brightly calm,
Around the lighted shrine at even,
Thy spirit seem'd to sigh for heaven.
Remember, too, the tranquil sleep,
That o'er thy lonely pillow stole,
From every harm thy virgin soul.
Where is it now—that innocent
And happy time, where is it gone?
And Temperance stood smiling on;
The maiden step, the seemly dress,
In which thou went'st along, so meek;
Came o'er the paleness of thy cheek ;
Alas, alas ! that paleness too,
The bloodless purity of brow,
On beauty's cheek-Where is it now ?-yol, ii., pp. 21-23. Another from St. Basil is given : but it is only fair to state that the passage versified is from a work, the genuineness of which is denied by the biographer of the Saint. The verses themselves, however, have a merit entirely separate:
There shines an all-pervading grace,
A charm, diffused through every part
That steals, like light, into man's heart.
Her look is to his eyes a beam
Of loveliness that never sets ;
Of melody it ne'er forgets :
Alike in motion or repose,
Awake or slumbering, sure to win ;
The spirit's light enshrined within.
Nor charming only when she talks,
Her very silence speaks and shines ;
And lights her couch when she reclines.
Let her, in short, do what she will,
"Tis something for which man must woo her ; So powerful is that magnet still,
Which draws all souls and senses to her.-vol. ii., p. 29.
It was at the suggestion of this lady, to whom he communicated the unfortunate results of his researches into ancient ecclesiastical literature, that our traveller ultimately proceeded to Germany, the birth-place of Luther and the Reformation. At Hamburgh, the history of the fortunes of Miss Anna Maria a Schurman, occupies our traveller, affording to him, by the striking manner in which it illustrates the effects of German Protestantism, a dreadful warning, as he understood it, against embracing that religion : at the same time, he guards himself against attaching undue importance to insulated instances of fanaticism, as in this case. He knows well, he says, that there never existed a doctrine so pure, as that among those who professed it corrupt persons might not be found. But the great point which he seems disposed to put into issue is, whether or not there were laid deeply, in the very principles of the Reformation itself, the seeds of all such extravagances as that of the lady above named. In considering this question, he thinks it specially desirable to remember, that in this case, Labadie, the lover of the lady, he being also at the head of a sect, maintained the blasphemous doctrine, that “ God could and would deceive mankind, and that he had sometimes actually done so." How it is possible that such blasphemy could enter into any mind, is beyond our power to conceive ; but once having entered in, we can have no difficulty in believing that there is no ascertaining the amount of demoralization to which it may give rise. “What then," exclaims this writer, “ will be said by those who now, for the first time, learn the fact, that such was the impious doctrine of most of the leading reformers; and that it is, in short, asserted in express terms by Luther himself ?” and the passages are quoted by which this imputation is fully borne out.
Such facts as these, meeting him at the very outset of his Ger. man inquiries, were anything but promising; he still, however, ventured to persevere, and ultimately decided upon proceeding direct to Gottingen, so memorable in theological annals, and so famous, particularly for having produced such men as Mosheim, Michaelis, Ammon, and Eichorn. Having arrived there, he at once placed himself under the guardianship, as it were, of the chief professor of theology, M. Scratchenbach, a gentleman of acknowledged eminence in theological learning. With the utmost promptitude did the professor undertake to put his pupil in possession, not only of the present state and prospects of Protestantism in Germany, but also of that purifying process by which, said the professor, the whole system of Christianity had, in the course of the last half century, been lightened of much of its ancient alloy, so as to assume at last that comparatively pure and rational form in which it is adopted by most enlightened German Protestants at the present day. As the pupil was resolved to be simply an auditor, therefore the conversation assumed something of the form of a lecture, and it was the care of the pupil to note down, after the sitting, the substance of what he had heard. The whole discourse of the professor, as given in these volumes, amounts to nearly one hundred pages, including numerous notes. We cannot follow the learned gentleman through the long and complicated details which he has set forth, beginning, as he does, with the institution of Christianity, and carrying his narrative of ecclesiastical history down to the present time. We may, however, mention, that not only did he speak irreverently of the primitive fathers and councils, but he eren raised doubts as to the direct agency of God himself in promoting the Gospel. As a specimen of the extraordinary sentiments of this extraordinary man, who, nevertheless, must be regarded as only a fair representative of the most intelligent religious orders of Germany, we give the conclusion of his lecture:
To close and crown this series of striking contrasts, which the Germany of the nineteenth century presents to the Germany of the sixteenth and seventeenth.--I need but point to the extraordinary coalition which has, within these few years, taken place between the two principle creeds into which the Reformation, in its progress, branched. Of all churches, perhaps, that ever existed, the most fiercely intolerant has been the Lutheran,-not
only in persecuting, imprisoning, and even excluding from salvation, as heretics, the members of her sister church, the Reformed or Calvinist, but also in nurturing within her own bosom such a nest of discord as had never before been engendered by theologic hate-Ultra Lutherans, and Melancthonians refusing each other the rites of communion and burial-Flacianists against Strigelians--Osiandrians against Stancarians, each of these parties hating its opposite as inveterately as all agreed in detesting their common enemy the Calvinists. Yet this very church, born as it was, and nursed in discord, till strife seemed the very element, the principle of its existence, has, within these few years (thanks to the becalming power of Rationalism) sunk quietly into coalition with its ancient foe, and now shares amicably with it the same temples, the same ministers, and the same sacraments.
To the eternal glory of reason, the world now beholds the edifying spectacle of two religions, once so mutually hostile, that each would have freely granted salvation to be attainable anywhere but within the hated pale of the other, now quiescently subsiding into a partnership of belief,— with creeds simplified, it is true, on both sides, to so rational an extent, as to leave them, even were they so disposed, but few dogmas to dispute about, and, with that best and sole guardian against dissension and craft, a freedom from all dark and uncharitable mysteries.
To Zwingli, who, both by the example and the rule which he held out, in applying the touchstone of common sense to the mystery of the Eucha. rist, was the main source, I again repeat, of all the consequences I have been describing, we are indebted for other bold lights, in the same adventurous track, which would yet more fully illustrate the working of his principle, but to which, the extent this lecture has already reached, permits me barely to allude. The gloomy dogma of original sin,--an evident graft from Manicheism, -was among the doctrines discarded by this enlightened reformer, who, in rejecting the notion that baptism washes away sin, denied that there is any original sin to wash away. As on the existence, too, of this innate corruption depends the necessity of a redemption, we can little wonder at his adopting a scheme of salvation so comprehensive, that, according to his view, the great heroes and sages of Paganism are no less ad. missible to the glories of heaven than St. Paul himself. In his confession of faith, addressed but a short time before his death to Francis I., not content with assuring that monarch that he might expect to meet, in the assembly of the blessed, such illustrious ancients as Socrates, the Scipios, the Catos, grouped, side by side, with Moses, Isaiah, and the Virgin Mary; he announces also, 'as part of the company, the demigods Hercules and Theseus; and at the head of all, places Adam and Jesus Christ himself.
I have already intimated that, during his lifetime, some suspicion attached to Zwingli of being less orthodox. on the subject of the Trinity, than were most of his brother reformers; and though he succeeded, as we are told, in vindicating himself, on this point, to Luther, I am inclined to believe, from the little ceremony with which, in so solemn a document, he classes the Saviour undistinguishingly with all this motley group of saints and demigods, that the suspicion of his heterodoxy, on the subject of Christ's divinity, was not without foundation. In truth, to a mind far less penetrating than that of Zwingli, it could not fail to have been self-evident that the very same motive and principle on which he had acted in explaining away transubstantiation-namely, that all which is unintelligible should be held to be incredible,-would lead, with equal certainty, to the overturn of the no less inexplicable enigma of the Trinity. It was on these grounds that the latter doctrine was attacked afterwards so successfully by Socinus ; and the two strong holds of mystery having thus fallen before the summons of reason, all those other inroads into the ancient territory of Faith, which it has been my object to point out to you, have followed naturally in succession.-vol. ii., pp. 1984-206.
Prepared, as our traveller in search of a religion was, to expect extravagance in Germany, he certainly was not prepared for the extent of unbelief which, upon investigation, he found to have resulted in that country, from the licence of private judgment in its uncontroled range through the Scriptures. However, being still determined not to take even Scratchenbach's words for the details given by him of the new negative code of Christianity, our inquirer thought of making a direct reference to some of the professor's authorities, and it was not long that he was employed in this manner, when he became satisfied that the professor's description of the “ present awful state of Protestantism in Germany," was by no means exaggerated ; but that, on the contrary, it was a mild and diluted representation of the truth—for it concealed from the neophyte more than half, he states, of the real impieties of the school of rationalism. In truth, if the description of Mr. Moore be at all a fair account of the state of opinion in Germany on religious matters, it follows that Christianity, in that part of Europe, is nothing more than a mere phantom, a theory, a speculation, which the imagination may add to, or diminish, or modify, in any way, at pleasure. The Old Testament, by some of the most influential divines of Germany, is now regarded as an allegory, a fabulous narrative, put together for the purpose of pointing a moral. In this way the present writer rapidly traces the course of the two leading branches of the first Protestant creed, namely, Lutheranism and Calvinism, in that country, where they first took their rise ; showing the fate of each, and how, ultimately, it dwindled away to a mere shadow, or was superseded by some other doctrine that can hardly be said to be Christian. In this historical sketch he labours to prove, that the chief source of that infidelity which has now stripped the Protestant church in Germany, is to be found in the mutual reaction produced in the Protestant community itself ; and that this is the case, he endeavours to illustrate by referring to the first breaking out of scepticism in Europe, and its subsequent history. From Germany the writer returns to England, in the Protestantism of which he finds some ominous resemblances to that which he had lately so amply studied. This is particularly the case in reference to the movers of the Reformation ; for the same selfishness, he says, and hypocrisy which marked the movers of the German Reformation, are seen, but in more intense and revolting activity, among the founders of the same faith in England. The same comparative degree of baseness marked, in both coun