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mirable ability and moderation. Of his subsequent publications, whether polemical or intended to illustrate the genuine sense of the scriptures, which amount to a prodigious number, our limits will not permit us to give an historical view; and we must necessarily restrict ourselves to a notice of the principal transactions, in which this great man sustains a conspicuous part. In the year 1525, at the request of the senate of Nuremberg, he went to that city, to afford his advice and assistance in establishing an academical institution; which he opened with a public speech during the following year, when recourse was again had to his wisdom and prudence in the settlement of ecclesiastical affairs. The next business of moment in which he was employed, was to draw up, conjointly with Luther, a body of laws relating to the form of ecclesiastical government, the method of public worship, the rank, offices, and revenues of the priesthood, and other matters of that nature, which John, elector of Saxony, promulgated in his dominions, and which was adopted by the other princes and states of Germany, who had renounced the papal su

premacy and jurisdiction. Melancthon was

then commissioned, together with others, to

visit at the churches in the electoral dominions,

for the purpose of seeing these laws carried into execution, of removing such of the clergy as dishonoured religion and their function either by their bad morals or their incapacity, and of supplying the churches every where with pious and learned ministers. This commission, from the importance and delicacy of the business which it comprehended, necessarily devolved on Melancthon an arduous, and in some degree an invidious task, for performing which, however, he was pre-eminently qualified by his prudence and moderation. In the year 1529, Melancthon accompanied the elector John to the diet at Spire, in which the princes and members of the reformed communion acquired the denomination of Protestants, in consequence of their protesting against an iniquitous degree, which declared unlawful every change that should be intro

duced into the established religion, before the

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determination of a general council was known. Before his return to Wittemberg, he paid a visit to his native place, where his mother having asked him what she was to believe amidst the diputes which divided the world, and repeated to him her prayers, in which there was nothing superstitious; “continue,” said he, “to believe and pray as you have hitherto done, and never trouble yourself about controversies.” Not long afterwards he was present at the conference at Marpurg, to which Philip, landgrave of Hesse, had invited Luther and Zuingle, together with some of the more eminent doctors who adhered to their respective tenets concerning the Eucharist, in order to attempt an accommodation of their differences. In the life of Luther we have already given an account of the proceedings on this occasion, and shewn how ineffectual the meeting proved in terminating the disputes which at so early a period had given rise to unchristian animosity among the reformers. Melancthon, indeed, would have yielded much for the sake of peace and union. He did not consider the controversy relating to the Eucharist as a matter of sufficient moment to occasion a breach of church-communion and fraternal concord between the contending parties. He thought that this happy concord might be easily preserved, by expressing the doctrine of the

ucharist, and Christ's presence in that ordinance, in general o ambiguous terms, which the two churches might explain according to their respective systems ; but neither Luther nor the Swiss divines could be persuaded to abandon, or even to modify, their opinion on the subject. In the year 1530, a diet of the empire having been appointed to be held at Augsburg, with a view to put an end to the dissentions occasioned by religious disputes, under the eye of the emperor; in order that he might be able to form a clear idea of their real opinions, and of the true causes of their opposition to the Roman pontiff, the protestant princes employed Melancthon to compose a creed, founded on the articles of Torgau, but in greater detail, and expressed in terms as little offensive as possible to the Roman catholics. This creed, which reflects honour on the address, moderation, and eloquence of Melanethon, and is commonly known by the name of the confession of Augsburg, was read in the diet; and being referred for examination to some popish divines, they delivered in their animadversions upon it. These brought on a dispäte between them and Melancthom, assist

d

ed by some of his brethren ; but though he softened some articles, made concessions with respect to others, and put the least exceptionable sense upon all, the hopes of bringing the contending parties to an amicable agreement scened almost desperate. Of these animadversions Melancthon drew up an able and learned refutation, which was offered to the emperor, but refused to be received by him; and during the following year, notwithstanding the imperial prohibition, it was enlarged by Melancthon, and published, together with other picces relating to the doctrine and discipline of the Lutheran church, under the title of “a defence of the confession of Augsburg.” Recourse was now had to the expedient of conferences between kearned men selected from both parties, which many who were zealous for the peace and tranquillity of the empire flattered themselves might possibly lead to an accommodation; but all to no purpose, and the obstacles to such a desirable issue proved insurmountable. “It was in these confe. rences,” says Dr. Mosheim, “that the spirit and character of Melancthon appeared in their true and genuine colours; and it was here that the votaries of Rome exhausted their efforts to gain over to their party this pillar of the reformatton, whose abilities and virtues added such a lustre to the protestant cause. This humane and gentle spirit was apt to sink into a kind of yielding softness under the influence of mild and generous treatment. , And, accordingly, while his adversaries soothed him with fair words and flattering promises, he secrmed to melt as they spoke, and, in some measure, to comply with their demands. But when they so far forgot themselves as to make use of imperious language and menacing terms, then did Melancthon appear in a very different point of light , then a spirit of intrepidity, ardour, and independence animated all his words and actions, and he looked down with contempt on the threats of power, the frowns of fortune, and the fear of death. . . he truth is, that, in this great and good man, a soft and yielding temper was joined with the most inviolable fidelity, and the most invincible attachment to the truth.” The reconciling method of determining the differences between the Protestants and Catholics having proved ineffectual, a severe decree was issued by order of the emperor, enjoining the princes, states, and cities that had thrown off the papal yoke, to return to their duty and their allegiance to Rome, on pain of incurring , the indignation and vengeance of the emperor,

as the patron and protector of the church. The. ruin which this decree threatened to the protestant interest, at first oppressed the gentle spirit of Melancthon, till he was encouraged and animated by the exhortations of Luther; and he soon had the satisfaction to see it greatly strengthened and extended, owing to the treaty concluded at Nuremberg, of the expediency of which the emperor was made fully sensible, by the formidable league of Smalkaide, and various other circumstances. The fame of Melancthon's character, not only for great learning, but for extraordinary moderation and prudence, was now widely spread into foreign countries, and in 1535, induced Henry VIII. king of England, to send him an invitation to come to this country; which he modestly declined. During the same year, Francis I. king of France, invited him into that kingdom, conceiving him to be the most proper person to pacify the disputes which had arisen there concerning religion, and to advise with the French divines about restoring the ancient discipline of the church. With this invitation Melancthon was disposed to comply ; and Luther was persuaded that by doing so, he might prove the means of putting a stop to the persecution of the Protestants in France, and materially promote the interests of the reformation. The elector of Saxony, however, could not be prevailed upon to give his consent for Melancthon's journey, because he well knew that by such a step he should expose himself to the resentment of the emperor, between whom and Francis affairs began to wear a hostile aspect. In the year 1539, when an assembly of the protestant princes was held at Francfort on the the Mein, to consult about proper measures for preserving their religious privileges, against the covert or open attacks which they suspected the emperor to be preparing, Melancthon was ordered by the elector to attend, that they might have the benefit of his advice. In the year 1541, the emperor appointed a conference to be held at Worms, where Melancthon and Eckius disputed during three days, when the conference was adjourned to the approaching" diet of Ratisbon. In the course of the debate between these champions, a circumstance occurred which is too honourable to the memory of Melancthon to be overlooked. Eckius having advanced a sophism that was rather puzzling, Melancthon paused a little, and then said, “that he would answer it on the following day.” Upon which Eckius tauntingly remarked, that it would be disgraceful for such 2

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*holar to require so long a time to prepare his answer. To whom Melancthon replied, “my good doctor, I am not seeking my own glory in this business, but the truth.” The issue of the resumption of this conference at the diet of Ratisbon, we have already related in the life of Luther. In the year 1543, Melancthon went to Cologne, to assist the elector in introducing the reformed religion into his diocese; but the design of his journey was frustrated, owing to the warm opposition of the canons and other divines of that see. However, the elector of Co

logne, and the elector Palatine, embraced the

protestant faith. Upon the breaking out of the civil war in 1546, and the captivity of John Frederic, elector of Saxony, the university of Wittemberg suffered a temporary dissolution ; when Melancthon at first took up his abode at Zerbst, and afterwards filled the posts of theological and philosophical professor at Jena, for some months, till his timidity led him to resign them, before the end of the year. In the year 1547, Maurice, who was now elector of Saxony, invited him to Leipsic, where the first assembly of protestant divines that had met since the death of Luther was held, with the design of regulating the university in that city, as well as the settlement of various ecclesiastical matters; but Melancthon could not at that time be persuaded to leave the university of Wittemberg. Two years afterwards, he attended the assembly of Saxon divines who were summoned to meet at Leipsic, for the purpose of coming to some determination on the subject of submission to the famous edict of Charles V. called the Interim. This edict Maurice laid before the clergy, together with the reasons which he pretended made it necessary to conform to it. Some of them he had already gained by promises, others he had influenced by threatenings, and all were intimidated by the rigour with which obedience to

that edict was extorted in the neighbouring: Even Melancthon, who deservedly

provinces. occupied the first place among the protestant divines, deprived as he now was of the manly counsels of Luther, was seduced into unwarrantable, concessions, by the timidity of his temper, and his desire of peace. On this occasion he declared it as his opinion, and by his authority and arguments the assembly was prevailed on to declare, “that in matters of an indifferent nature, obedience was due to theimperial edicts.” But in the class of matters indifferent, this great man and his associates placed many things which had appeared of the

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highest importance to Luther: such as, the doctrine of justification by faith alone; the question respecting the necessity of good works to eternal salvation ; the number of the sacraments; the jurisdiction claimed by the pope and the bishops, &c. On this account, however, the zealous Lutherans exclaimed against them as false brethren and apostates from the true religion; and hence arose that violent controversy, commonly called the adiaphoristic controversy, which during many years proved highly detrimental to the progress of the reformation, and was the fruitful source of other controversies, equally injurious in their effects. At the head of those defenders of the primitive doctrines of Lutheranism, who attacked the doctors of Wittemberg and sleipsic, and particularly Melancthon, with the greatest bitterness and fury, was Flacius Illyricus, as we have already mentioned in his life. In the year 1551, pope Julius III. having consented to the assembling a council at Trent, the Saxon Protestants employed the pen of Melancthon, and the Wurtemburghers that of Bredtius, to draw up confessions of their faith, which were to be laid before the new council. Soon afterwards the Saxon divines, with Melancthon at their head, received directions from Maurice to set out towards Trent, but were secretly instructed to stop at Nuremberg : for Maurice had no intention to submit to the emperor's views, and the schemes which he had long been maturing, with the deepest policy, for maintaining the rights and liberties of the German empire, and the security of the protestant faith, were on the eve of being carried into execution. While he was still at Nuremberg, in 1552, Melancthon received intelligence of the complete success which had crowned Maurice's well projected undertaking, and compelled the emperor to conclude the famous treaty of pacification at Passau, commonly called the peace of religion. Upon this glorious event, he intended to have returned to Wittemberg; but as that city was then infected by the plague, the university was for a time removed to Torgau, where he discharged the duties of his professorship, till Wittemberg was purified of that disorder. To these duties he sedulously devoted the remainder of his life, as well as to the composition of various works, and the carrying on of controversies with his protestant and catholic opponents, excepting when called from them on particular occasions, the principal of which we shall I) 2.

aotice. In the year 1554, he was required to be present at Naumburg in Thuringia, when the electors of Saxony and Brandenburg and the landgrave of Hesse solemnly renewed the hereditary league between the Saxon, Brandenburg, and Hessian families, which had been formerly entered into by their ancestors. In * 557, Melancthon had his last conference with the doctors of the Romish communion at Worms, under the presidence of Pflugius, bishop of Naumburg, to whom were added certain assessors, some Catholics, and some Protestants. The first point debated, and with great learning on both sides, was concerning the rule of judgment in the church; which the Catholics maintained to be perpetual consent, or custom, and the Protestants, on the other hand, the prophetic and apostolical writings and creeds. In the next place, the Catholics demanded the condemnation of the Zuinglians, of Osiander, of Flacius, and others; when the deputies from Jena, perceiving the disposition of the assembly to accede to this demand, broke off the conference by seceding from the meeting: and thus the object of the Papists, to promote a division among the Protestants, was effectually gained. From Worms Melancthon went to Heidelberg, at the request of . Otho Henry, elector Palatine, for the purpose of giving his advice in forming the constitutions of an academical institution established in that city. While here, the painful news reached him of the death of his wife, after a happy union of thirty-seven years. By her he had two sons, and two daughters: one of the latter of whom was married to George Sabinus, one of the best poets of his time; and the other to Jasper Peucer, who was an able physician, and suffered much persecution on account of his attachment to the doctrine of the sacramentarians, as the followers of Zuingle were called. In the year 1559, Melancthon made an experiment whether the Greek churches might not be persuaded to embrace the doctrine and discipline of the Lutheran church, and live in religious communion with the Protestants. The step which he took was, that of sending to the patriarch of Constantinople a copy of the confession of Augsburg, translated into Greek by Paul Dolscius, and accompanied with a letter in which he represented the protestant doctrine with the utmost simplicity and faithfulness, hoping to make an impression on the heart of the Grecian prelate. His hopes, however, were disappointed; for the patriarch did not even deign to send him an answer. After

a life of great labour and usefulness, in which regularity and temperance had enabled him to maintain a long struggle with the infirmities of a very weak and tender constitution, in 1560 he was attacked by such violent colicky and hypochondriacal complaints as proved incurable, and caused his death on the nineteenth of April, when he was in the sixty-fourth year of his age. Melancthon was in person of the middle stature, with lively eyes, and well-proportioned limbs. Though, as we have seen, his constitution was tender and delicate, yet, by the exercise of the most rigid temperance, he was enabled to pursue his studies with an intenseness of application that is almost incredible. It was his practice to go to bed immediately after an early supper, and to rise at midnight to his labours. When he had laid down, he endeavoured to dismiss as much as possible from his mind every thought which could tend to disturb his repose; on which account he always postponed the reading of such letters as were brought to him in the evening, till the next day. Never was any person more civil or obliging to such as came to him for advice or assistance. He was entirely free from all envy, detraction, jealousy, and dissimulation ; and possessed an unrivalled degree of candour and frankness. Jn company he was agreeable and entertaining, as well as instructive; and the principal relaxation from his studies in which he took delight, was the conversation of his friends during his frugal meals. He was also humble, modest, and disinterested in the extreme ; for he refused the valuable presents which were offered to him by many great princes, contenting himself with living on the salary of his professorship, which, though small, he would not suffer to be augmented in his time. And yet he managed his narrow income with such admirable economy, that he was able to indulge his benevolent and charitable disposition to an astonishing extent. Of his wonderful talents and virtues Dr. Mosheim has given the following account : “his greatest enemies have born testimony to his merit. They have been forced to acknowledge, that the annals of antiquity exhibit very few worthies that may be compared with him; whether we consider the extent of his knowledge in things human and divine, the fertility and elegance of his genius, the facility and quickness of his comprehension, or the uninterrupted industry that attended his learned and theological labours. He rendered to philosophy and the liberal arts the same eminent ser

vice that Luther had done to religion, by purging them from the dross with which they had been corrupted, and by the recommending them in a powerful and persuasive manner to the study of the Germans. He had the rare talent of discerning truth in all its most intricate connections and combinations, of comprehending at once the most abstract notions, and expressing them with the utmost perspicuity and ease. And he applied this happy talent in religious disquisitions with unparalleled success, that it may safely be affirmed, that the cause of true christianity derived from the learning and genius of Melancthon more signal advantages, and a more effectual support, than it received from any of the other doctors of the age. His love of peace and concord, -which was partly owing to the sweetness of his natural temper, made him desire with ardour, that a reformation might be effected without producing a schism in the church, and that the external communion of the contending parties might be preserved uninterrupted and entire. This spirit of mildness and charity carried perhaps too far, led him sometimes to make concessions that were neither consistent with prudence, nor advantageous to the cause in which he was engaged. It is however certain, that he gave no quarter to those more dangerous and momentous errors that reigned in the church of Rome; but maintained, on the contrary, that their extirpation was essentially necessary, in order to the restoration of true religion. In the natural complexion of this great man there was something soft, timorous, and yielding. Hence arose a certain diffidence of himself, that made him not only examine things with the greatest attention and care, before he resolved upon any measure, but also filled him with uneasy apprehensions where there was no danger, and made him fear even things, that, in reality, could never happen. And yet, on the other hand, when the hour of real danger approached, when things bore a formidable aspect, and the cause of religion was in imminent peril, then this timorous man was converted, all at once, into an intrepid hero, looked danger in the face with unshaken constancy, and opposed his adversaries with invincible fortitude. All this shews, that the force of truth and the power of principle had diminished the weaknesses and defects of Melancthon's natural character without entirely removing them. , Had his fortitude been more uniform and steady, his desire of reconciling all interests and pleasing all parties less violent

and excessive, his triumph over the superstitions imbibed in his infancy (his credulity with respect to prodigies and dreams, and the pretended science of astrology) more complete, he must deservedly have been considered as one of the greatest among men.” After the death of Luther, Melancthon was regarded as the head of the Lutheran doctors, and on points of erudition, both sacred and profane, his opinions were so universally respected, that scarcely any ventured to oppose them. This distinction he well merited ; for though he was inferior to that great man in courage and firmness of mind, he was certainly his equal in piety and virtue, and much his superior in learning, judgment, meekness, and humanity. It is true that, on some points of no inconsiderable moment, Melancthon's sentiments differed widely from those of Luther. He was of opinion, that, for the sake of peace and concord, many things might be connived at and tolerated in the church of Rome, which Luther considered as absolutely insupportable. He also differed from him in his ideas concerning faith, as the only cause of salvation, concerning the necessity of good works to our final happiness, and man's natural incapacity of promoting his own conversion. He was inclined to think, that the sentiments and expressions of Luther on these points required to be somewhat mitigated, lest they should give occasion to dangerous abuses, and be perverted to the propagation of pernicious errors. Melancthon, likewise, entertained different sentiments from Luther on the subject of the eucharist, and did not consider his controversy with the divines of Switzerland as a matter of sufficient moment to occasion a breach of church-communion between them. Indeed, in the latter part of his life, there is the most satisfactory evidence that his sentiments on. this point corresponded at least with those of Calvin, if not with those of Zuingle ; and that nothing but the fear of inflaming the divisions which then existed, or of not being seconded, prevented him from declaring his sentiments openly. These differences in sentiment from Luther, Melancthon did not conceal during the life of that reformer, though he advanced them with great circumspection and modesty, yielding always to the authority of his colleague, for whom he entertained the sincerest friendship, and of whom also he stood in awe. But after the death of Luther, he avowed his sentiments. with the greatest plainness and freedom, and by so doing gave great offence to many. His

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