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The validity of Luther's ordination as a perform it be called bishops, presbyters, presbyter in the Church of Rome, has ministers, or pastors.* And in cases of sometimes been questioned, because of the necessity, they further maintain, that a corruptions which destroyed her title to minister may be set apart and constituted the standing of a Christian church. But by the laity themselves. " As to the docwhen Luther received ordination from the trine of Papal apostolic succession,” Dr. hands of the Romish hiearchy, the cor. Schmucker very justly remarks, “it is a ruptions which branded that church as mere figment, and can never be proved by Antichrist, had not been formally and offi. the Papists themselves. To say nothing cially adopted ; nor were they, until en of their doctrine of intention, which, Car. acted into the essential features of her dinal Bellarmine himself asserts, renders system, and made integral parts of her doubtful the validity of every Romish sacprescribed formularies of faith by the rament, (Bellarm. Lib. Just. cap. 8,) Council of Trent, A. D. 1542. And when where was their Papal successsion when she excommunicated the Reformer, and Liberius, the occupant of the Holy See, thundered her anathemas against him, he professed Arianism, A. D. 357 ? Where had previously renounced her jurisdiction, was it in the fourteenth century, during by burning her standard works and the the so called great western schism, from Bull of her Pontiff. His ordination, there. A. D. 1378 to 1414, when two different fore, and that of all his Protestant suc. lines of contending Pontiff's reigned simul. cessors, is as valid as that of the Romish taneously, each having a portion of the priesthood at the beginning of the sixteenth church adhering to him ; each excommucentury ; i. e. he was ordained by minis- nicating the other; and finally both de. ters properly accredited at the time of its posed as heritical by the Council of Pisi, performance. With regard to the subject in 1409 ?”+ of ordination in general, our Lutheran We have thus traced, in as brief and brethren, in common with most other Pro comprehensive a form as was consistent testants, understand the various Greek with our limits and the nature of the subwords employed by the sacred writers to ject, the history, the progress, and present cxpress it, to mean simply induction into state of the Lutheran Church, especially office-an appointing to the particular as planted on our own soil. To quote duties of the ministry by a prescribed once more the language of her advocate, form, to preserve the sacred office from who has been our authority and guide in indiscriminate and of course unworthy most of these statements : “She may be usurpation ; utterly discarding the Romish emphatically styled the Church of the Re. superstition that by the “ laying on of formation. She holds the grand doctrines hands” some mystic influence is imparted of Christianity with fewer appended pecuby apostolic succession. They maintain, liarities than most other denominations, therefore, that as in the only three in. With the Calvinist she holds the gracious. stances of ordination after the time of our
ness of salvation ; with the Congregation. Saviour, mentioned in the New Testament, alist she believes that Christ tasted death the rite was performed not by one man, for every inan ; with the Methodist she called a “ diocesan bishop,” but by several approves of regularly recurring protracted persons; (as that of Barnabas and Saul meetings; with the Episcopalian she ocby Simeon, Lucius, and Manaen (Acts casionally employs a liturgy and forms of xiii. 3); that of the presbyters or elders prayer; with the German Reformed she of the churches in Iconium, Lystra, An. agrees in the instructions and confirmation tioch, &c., by Paul and Barnabas (Acts of catechumens; and with all she unites xiv. 23); and that of Timothy by the in ascribing all the glory of our privileges hands of the eldership or presbytery (1 on earth and hopes in heaven, to that Tim. iv. 14);] and as in other cases, individual ministers, as Timothy and Titus, were directed to induct or appoint others :
• Portraiture of Lutheranism; Appendix, they regard ordination as valid when per on Ordination. formed in either way, whether they who † Portraiture, p. 17.
In this age of free inquiry, and of superficial views on the great and essential truths of revelation, when every form of wild conjecture and fanciful speculation is embodied into a theory, and finds numerous advocates and followers: and when, amidst it all, the "Man of Sin" is looking with renewed courage to this western continent and its heterogeneous population, as the last hope of his tottering throne: it is a matter of gratulation that we have here a remnant of that people who stood foremost in the contest which crippled his power at the maturity of its strength, and liberated mind and empire from his yoke of ignorance, superstition and oppression. May the spirit and zeal of Him whose name they bear, abide with them, and arm them to meet the arrogant demands of Papal Rome in this land of their adoption, as he did in the land of their ancestors.
We particularly rejoice in that feature of their ecclesiastical system which provides for the culture of piety in the heart, and for the religious training of the young, particularly of their baptized children. On this point, their example administers a just rebuke on the practice of too many Protestant churches, who with them profess the rite of household baptism, but treat it as a nullity. We trust that with this example before them, in connexion with the exclusiveness of the Romanist towards their children and adults in shutting them out from the light of truth: such churches will not only profess, but act upon the belief, that the baptismal covenant with children imposes upon the parents and the church the duty of their careful and constant religious training.
Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the World.”*
In closing this sketch, we would congratulate our Lutheran brethren on the past and present indications that they share the smiles of Him who is King in Zion, and whose favor is life. In reviewing their history, and in contemplating their ecclesiastical features and character as presented among us, we have felt that fraternal spirit of Christian fellowship which the recognition of an ancient and devoted member of the great family of Protestant Christendom is fitted to awaken and inspire. Nor could we suppress the rising regret that so many of their contemporaries, in the land of their origin, had neglected to maintain and hold fast those vital principles of religious faith and that form of sound words, which their fathers so nobly and fearlessly espoused and de
It is interesting to notice amid the diversity of forms, and the various shades of difference on minor points of religious sentiment, which mark the freedom of thought and opinion among Protestant denominations, that so large a proportion of them agree in the essential elements of "the truth as it is in Jesus." Although on the great doctrines of the divine decrees, the nature of faith, the efficiency of grace, the believer's perseverance in it, and the sacraments of the New Testament, some unessential difference of views have distinguished Lutheran from the Calvanist yet both agree that salvation is of grace alone, and that that grace is sover. eign and omnipotent, through an atone. ment of infinite merit and sufficiency, received and applied by a faith that is of the operation of God, the fruit of his Spirit, all which is represented under the emblems employed in baptism and the Lord's Supper. The cardinal doctrine of the formation, justification by faith alone, they both wield, in opposition not only to the popish doctrine of merit, but also to the native self-righteousness of the unhanged heart, to which the latter doctrine dapted.
• Quarterly Register.
With her high estimate of the value and necessity of learning in her ministry, the early catechetical instruction of her children, and her strict regard to the vitals of Christian experience, the American Lutheran Church cannot fail to exert a Re-high and holy influence in the cause of truth, and the religious welfare of our nation, and shine as a luminary of the first magnitude in the constellation of our American Zion. We bid her God-speed in her progress onward and upward, till the distinctions of earth are merged in the church of the First-born in heaven, and our mutual toils and conflicts terminated
in one triumph, one song, and one ever- obviously even this would not settle the point. lasting rest.'
The only impartial and decisive course is to examine all his works, and also all his correspondence, according to their date, and trace the gradual change in his opinions. This, according to the unanimous testimony of all Germany, no man has ever done more
ON LUTHER'S CALVINISM,
anism, p. 82., &c.
From Dr. Schmucker's Portraiture of Luther- impartially than the celebrated Dr. Plank, Professor of Theology at Gottingen, in the preparation of his invaluable work, entitled, "History of the Rise, Changes, and Formation of our Protestant System of Doctrines, from the commencement of the Reformation till the Introduction of the form of Concord." (1580.) The entire impartiality and great ability of this work, which cost the author twenty years labor and investigation, are conceded by all parties. The result of his examination may be seen in the following valuable quotation, which, whilst it fully sustains the positions of this discourse, also renders it intelligible, how such a diversity of sentiment might naturally exist on this subject. "Nevertheless, the Lutheran divines did not, for a long time, see proper to take any notice of it, (viz: of the prominence and full development given to this doctrine by Calvin, and of its introduction into the Swiss churches ;) and even the zealots of Lower Saxony, who had taken occasion from the Geneva Consensus,' to renew the contest concerning the Lord's Supper, observed a perfect silence on this incalculably more impor tant doctrine, although Calvin appeared to urge them the more explicitly to its adoption. Melanchthon alone declared to him, that although he would not quarrel with him about it, he would never consent to adopt his (Calvin's) views on predestination. But the silence of the other Lutheran divines on this subject, although it might appear to have been the result of indifference, was owing to a very satisfactory reason, of which the greater part of them were well aware. It cannot be denied, that the Augustinian theory of predestination had already been forsaken by the Lu theran church. Yet her divines could not but feel, that they had changed their ground. The fact could not be concealed, that Lnther had once embraced this doctrine in its full rigor, and even zealously defended it against Erasmus, and that his early adherents, including even Melanchthon himself, had at first done the same. It is indeed true, they could prove that the doctrine was not long retained, and that Luther himself had abandoned it! But even this concession would give an advantage to an opponent in this dispute, which they were utterly unwilling to concede to Calvin. They therefore determined, rather not to dispute with him on this subject at all. But there was another reason, which probably aided in causing them to keep silence on this subject. The greater part of Lutheran divines
As this is a subject on which it is easy to err, and on which men of Christian spirit and learning have entertained different opinions, it may be useful to devote a few moments to its elucidation. It is of no use here to quote passages from Luther's works teaching the doctrine. Luther's former adhesion to the Augus-of tinian view of this subject is admitted. In reply to the passages so often appealed to from Luther's work to Erasmus, which was written in the earlier part of his life, about twenty-one years before his death, when he had not yet laid off many of the Romish and Augustinian opinions which he subsequently rejected; we might present hundreds of passages teaching and implying the contrary opinion. We present a single specimen, care fully translated by us, from Walch's edition (the best) of Luther on the Galatians. We select this that those who ave the old English translation of this excellent work, may compare it, and see how uncertain a guide such translations are on disputed points. "And all the prophets foresaw in Spirit, that Christ would be the greatest sinner, whose like never appeared on earth. For as he is made a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, he is not an innocent person and without sin, is not the Son of God in his glory, but he is a sinner for a season, forsaken of God, Psalm viii. 6. He bears the sin of St. Paul, who was a blasphemer, a persecutor and injurious; of St. Peter who denied Christ; and of David, who was an adulterer and a murderer, and caused the name of the Lord to be blasphemed among the gentiles. In short, he is the person who hath taken upon himself, and bears in his own body all the sins of all men in the whole world, who ever have lived, are now living, or who shall hereafter live; not as if he had himself committed those sins, but being committed by us, he took them on his own body, in order to make an atonement for them with his own blood." We might refer the reader to a work entitled Lutherus Lutheranus," of 700 pages 8vo, consisting entirely of extracts from his works, showing that on all the distinguishing points between Calvinists and Lutherans, Luther occupied the ground subsequently maintained by his followers. But
†See Walch's edition of Luther on the Galatians, p. 276, "In sumina, er ist die Person, die an ihrem Leibe tragt, und auf sich gelaben hat alle Sunden aller Menschen in der ganzen Welt, die da gewesen, noch sind, und seyn werden." See also the common English version, p. 254,
Melanchthon did not even answer the first letter of Calvin, in which he requested his assent to the doctrine. See Calvin's epist, p. 133, 153,
had, like Luther himself, receded from the the other hand, they were just as anxious to Augustinian theory of predestination, very retain the features of Melanchthon's theory, probably without themselves being fully aware which they had adopted; and were therefore how this result had been brought about. They brought into a dilemma, which they could not found themselves removed from it, before they but feel. The greater part of their divines had wished to be ; and it was Melanchthon, now adhered to the view of Melanchthon, that and no one else, who had produced the change. God desires and strives to bestow salvation In the first improved edition of his Loci Theo- on all men in and through Christ, from which logici, and doubtless still earlier in his oral it necessarily followed, that his decree conlectures, he had proposed a theory, which, cerning the destiny of each individual could both in its principles and consequences, was not be absolute. But they at the same time in direct contradiction to the Augustinian view. retained the opinion of Augustine, that deThis contradiction, which Melanchthon him- praved man can do nothing at all in the work self took no pains to bring to light, was, how- of his salvation, cannot exert even the feeblest ever, at first not generally perceived. Hence effort of his will; which seemed just as neces. several of the principles of his new theory sarily to imply that the salvation or damnation were adopted with the less apprehension, es- of each individual, could be decided only by pecially as each one of them, considered by an absolute decree of God. Some of them itself, appeared to be incontestibly true, both probably had an impression, that there must according to reason and Scripture. Thus his be some method of avoiding the last mentioned cardinal ideas of the divine election of all men inference; but their views were indistinct. in Christ, of the universality of divine grace, Hence it happened, that during the Synergisof the extension of the atonement and merits tic controversies some of them again embraced of Christ to all men, had been embraced by the Augustinian theory in full. The greater nearly all the divines of their party, and by part of them, however, believed that all they Luther himself, before they perceived that their wanted was a more systematic adjustment views of an absolute decree of God, and the and connexion of the opinions they enter. Augustinian doctrine of predestination were tained, and this conviction was undoubtedly utterly irreconcilable with them. But, when the principal reason for that caution, with at last they made the discovery, they found which, in direct opposition to the polemic their position in several respects an embar- spirit of that age, they evaded a controversy rassing one, and were unable immediately to on this subject. It was, therefore, not until extricate themselves. They felt unwilling, 1561, that a formal dispute on this subject ocnot only so suddenly to abandon a doctrine curred between the Lutheran and Calvinistic which they had professed; but even to aban. divines, the occasion of which was the celedon it at all. They were conscious that Au- brated Zanchius, at that time professor of the gustin's doctrine of predestination appeared to ology at Strasburg." Here, then, is a correct be inseparably connected with some other and impartial statement of the facts in the parts of his system, such as the total inability case, which never has been, and never can be of man to do any thing good, which they were successfully controverted. firmly determined never to relinquish. On
THE LATTER DAY SAINTS.
BY JOSEPH SMITH NAUVOO, ILLINOIS.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter minister in one set of ordinances, he would Day Saints, was founded upon direct reve- not teach another principles which were lation, as the true church of God has diametrically opposed. Believing the word ever been, according to the scriptures of God, I had confidence in the declara(Amos iii. 7, and Acts i. 2.) And through tion of James, “ If any man lack wisdom the will and blessings of God, I have let him ask of God, who giveth to all men been an instrument in his hands, thus far, liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall to move forward the cause of Zion. There- be given him." fore, in order to fulfil the solicitation of I retired to a secret place in a grove, your letter of July last, I shall commence and began to call upon the Lord. While with my life.
fervently engaged in supplication, my I was born in the town of Sharon, Wind- mind was taken away from the objects sor county, Vermont, on the 23d of De. with which I was surrounded, and I was cember, A. D. 1805. When ten years enrapt in a heavenly vision, and saw two old, my parents removed to Palmyra, glorious personages, who exactly resemNew York, where we resided about four bled each other in features and likeness, years, and from thence we removed to surrounded with a brilliant light, which the town of Manchester, a distance of six eclipsed the sun at noonday. They told miles.
me that all the religious denominations My father was a farmer, and taught were believing in incorrect doctrines, and me the art of husbandry: When about that none of them was acknowledged of fourteen years of age, I began to reflect God as his church and kingdom. And I upon the importance of being prepared for was expressly commanded to "go not af. a future state ; and upon inquiring the ter them," at the same time receiving a place of salvation, I found that there was promise that the fulness of the gospel a great clash in religious sentiment; if I should at some future time be made known went to one society they referred me to unto me. one place, and another to another; each On the evening of the 21st Septem. one pointing to his own particular creed ber, A. D. 1923, while I was praying as the “summum bonum” of perfection. unto God and endeavoring to exercise Considering that all could not be right, faith in the precious promises of scripand that God could not be the author of ture, on a sudden a light like that of day, so much confusion, I determined to inves. only of a far purer and more glorious ap. tigate the subject more fully, believing | pearance and brightness, burst into the that if God had a church, it would not be room; indeed the first sight was as though split up into factions, and that if he taught the house was filled with consuming fire. one society to worship one way, and ad- | The appearance produced a shock that