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ligion as serious exercises, and performing them with suit. able solemnity, the priests treated them as mere matters of political formality, and ridiculed his serious performance of the mass. “ I have seen,” says he," the pope and the pope's court, and I have had opportunity of personally observing the immorality of the clergy. I celebrated mass there, and I had occasion to see it celebrated by oth. ers, with so much indecency, that I am still unable to think of it without disgust. I have seen courtesans place themselves at the very altar, laughing and behaving in the most irreverent manner.

Disgusting as these scenes must have been to Luther, their influence on his future conduct could not fail of being most beneficial. Though for the present indeed he conceived that such conduet was confined merely to individ. uals of the clergy, he was notwithstanding gradually led to detert the delusions and hypocrisy of the papists, and hence would often afterward exclaim," I wohld not, for a thousand florids have missed the instruotion afforded me by my journey to Rome.”

On his return home the degree of doctor of divinity was conferred on him, under the most flattering circumstances, the elector voluntarily offering to defray the expences attending it, and his brethren using much intreaty to prevent his declining the honourable title. The possession of this degree was afterwards of considerable importance, as it conferred "pon him the privilege of teaching publicly as well as privately; a right he frequently urged when his opponents attempied to silence him.

In the year 1512, by the permission of the Elector, La. ther having exchanged his professorship of philosophy for that of divinity, pursued his biblical studies with re. doubled ardour. His first public exercise was to expound the epistle to the Romans, in which he explained the differenre between the law and the gospel, exhibited his opinions resperring justification, and shewed that sio is freely forgiven for the sake of Jesus Christ, that Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. His next exercise was an illustration of the book of psalms, in which he chiefly followed the exposition of Augustine, It was also about this period that he became convinced of the importance of acquiring a knowledge of Hebrew, and accordingly applied himself to the study of that sacred language. He also paid so much attention to Greek, a language which in his time was little regarded, as might enable him to understand the New Testament.

Little remarkable is known of Luther during the four following years. His progress in divine knowledge appears to have been gradual, and to have excited little sus. picion that in a short time he would become the most formidable enemy of popish tyranny. In the year 1516, he was appointed by Staupitz to examine into the state of the monasteries, in Saxony, and exercise in his absence a general superintendence. This new office naturally contributed to the dissemination of his sentiments, and to his acquiring that attachment to his person, which was so fully displayed in his subsequent troubles.No man, however, was less solicitous to make a study of ingratiating bimself with the world. In a letter to Spalatinus, the Elestor's secretary, after having frankly expressed his opinion of the state of religion in the country, he adds, .« many things please your Prince, and look great in his eyes, which are displeasing to God. In secular wisdom I confess that he is the most prudent of men : but in things which relate to God, or the salvation of the soul, I esteem him seven-fold blind."

About the same time, in a letter to another friend, he thus strikingly exhibited the progress he had pow made in self-knowledge, and, what will ever be connected with it, a proportionate degree of humility. “I desire" says he “ to know what your soul is doing; whether wearied at length of its own righteousness, it learns to refresh itself and to rest in the righteousness of Christ. The tenuptation to presumption in our age is strong in many, and especially in those who labour to be just and good with all their might, and at the same time are ignorant of the righteousness of God, which in Christ is conferred upon us with a rich exuberance of gratuitous liberality. They seek in themselves to work that which is good, in order that they may have a confidence of standing before God, adorned with virtues and merits, which is an impossible attempt. You, my friend, used to be of this same opinion, or rather this same mistake : 40 was I, but now I am fighting against the error, but have not yet prevailed.”

(To be continued.]

FOR 'THE MONITOR.

REASON.

REASON is defined to be that power or faculty of the mind, by which we distinguisb truth from falsehood, and combine means for the attainment of our ends.". Among. the intellectual powers it holds an acknowledged supremacy, and on its developement and culture depends the principal distinetion we enjoy above the brute ereation. Indeed without it man could not be a moral agent. But even to a mind, accustomed to serutinize its own opera. tions, to arrange and classify its ideas, many difficulties arise while estimating the capacities, and fixing the cise objects, about which reason is conversaut. Polite literature in all its branches,-the fine arts, which are usually ttre result of our imagination and feelings,-and our common intercourse with

society, all partake largely of its assistance. Its legitimate field of exercise, how. over, is prescribed to those objects, the ideas of which are derived from sensation and reflection, and it is obvious, that no advances can be made in knowledge, unless the grounds and relations of intermediate ideas, between admitted priöciples and their deductions, be submitted to its examination.

In applying this subject to the being and attributes of God, the light of nature teaches us not entirely to disdain thie exercise of our natural faculties; for it is often through the inedium of the understanding alone tbat direction can be given to the conduct. Reason is not, however, in all things to be made the umpire of our faith. I speak not of that faith, which is inwrought upon the very constitution by a supernatural and divine agency; por of that assent of the mind to the evidence of testimony, which, once admitting the authenticity of the Bible, yields implicit submission to its dietates; but of that assent on the ground of authority, which silences all reasoning. Now, have we a right to require a revelation of the existence, attributes, and government of an infinite God, to be brought, in all 'its parts, within the scope of our comprehension ?. Is it not sufficient to know that the Lord reigns, without demanding the reason and fitness of his desigus ?

To the belief of a proposition, it is not necessary that we be able fully to comprehend and explain all, that is embraced in the terms of that proposition. The descent of heavy bodies to the earth, for instance, or the ascent of smoke, is beyond the reach of science to explain, yet the facts we know, and our actions are correspondent. In many of the scienees the understanding pays homage to what can neither be demonstrated nor distinctly conceived. Yonder planets, with all their splendid retinue, roll in their orbits; and in the harmonious regularity, observed in the developement of causes and effects in the material world, we discover traces of infinite wisdom and power; but there is still a curtain impenetrable. Our reason is baffled in examining the different species of animals, their instincts, and uses ; the growth of plants; the formation of clouds; the terrifie chain of lighting; and indeed, most of the phenomena, that attend our existence. If, then, about these little things, the champions of infidelity and deism have been bewildered in the dark mazes of uncertainty, how much more, when they attempt to fathom the mysteries of God's eterual, underived existence, his perfections, and his designs of mercy ?

For six tbousand years reason has wielded her sceptre and opened her schools; but in no vation has it invested man with the lustre, wbieh attended him before his departure from the will of the Almighty

At the time when Athens was encircled with such a eluster of illustrious geniuses, and had reached the pin. nacle of her intellectual glory ;-rhen her language had attained a versatility and precision never eqnalled, what were the greatest discoveries of her schools'? they were, at one time,that there existed two independent Gods; then one ; but he was controlled wholly by fate, and indifferent abont the state of inan ; and then thai there was no God.-that the world arose from chance-sensual pleasure was the supreme gooil-truth could gever be found-the im. mortality of the soul wae loubtful-there were no reciprocal duties between parents and children the vilest acts and passions might be deified, and parricide was a virtue. After Christianity shone on the earth, reason paralized the efforts of its followers, and froze up the current of their zeal. The simplicity of truth was subverted by the dog. mas of the schools, and, through the long night of the

middle ages, reason reigned to the triumph of superstition. Then came the jubilee of infdelity, commenced by Des Cartes and crowned by Hume, in which realities became spectres of the imagination,-a community of rights and privileges among the sexes established,- and death was sworn to be an eternal sleep. And in this age of deism and self-sufficiency, something under the banners of reas son has marched boldly to the the throne of God, asserl. ed its prerogative to dictate concerning the great moral, machine of the universe,-attempted to preseribe limits to the infinite mind, and to tell on the propriety of giving a revelation to man. But what is the result ? It cannot tell in what manner to pay homage to the Almighty ;cannot ascertain ihe resurrection of the body, the immor. tality of the soul, and a future state ;-cannut discover an atonement, sin pardoned, and God propitious ;-and fol. Jowing its dictates to that hour, which links the convul. sions of mortality with eternal realities, the dying singer, on these points, finds no satisfactory answer, po solace, A dark cloud intercepts his view, and the soul shrinks back with horror at the yawning abyss, the awful preci, pice, down which existence tumbles to annihilation or lo hell.

If then, all the rationalities of the human race united are unable to fathom the mysteries of our own constitu, tion, of creation, and providence, why should the mysteries of divine revelation be thought unworthy of a God to proclaim, or mortals to believe ? As humay reason is not an infallible guide to us as probationers for eternity, it becomes us to sit down in the attitude, and with the meekness and docility of little children, to the study of the Bi, ble; and we should love its doctrines and obey its preoepts, because they are the dictates of Jehovah. A.

a

FOR THE MONITOR.

66

SERMONS IN STONES, AND GOOD IN EVERY THING.'

The setting of the sun in autumn, is a scene dear to every lover of nature. That I might enjoy it more fully, I walked out one evening, a stranger, in a pleasant cour

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