« ZurückWeiter »
mouthed! how little and mean is the con- “I was summoned in due form, and fidence of man in God! Do thou, O appeared before the council of the imperial Lord, assist me against all worldly wisdom diet in the Guildhall, where the emperor, and understanding ; do this, thou must do the electors, and the princes were asit, thou alone! It is not indeed my cause, sembled. Doctor Eck, the official of the but thine own; I myself have nothing to Bishop of Trèves, began, and said to me, do here and with the great princes of this Martin, you are called here to say whether world. But it is thy cause, which is just you acknowledge the books on the table and eternal; I rely upon no man. Come, there to be yours?' and he pointed to them. O come! I am ready to give up even my I believe so,' I answered. But Doctor life patiently, like a lamb; for the cause Jerome Schurff instantly added, Read is just; it is thine, and I will not depart over their titles.' When this was done, from thee eternally. This I resolve in I said, Yes, these books are mine.' He thy name: the world cannot force my then asked me, . Will you disavow them ?' conscience. And should my body be de- I replied, “ Most gracious lord emperor, stroyed therein, my soul is thine, and some of the writings are controversial, remaineth with thee forever."
and in them I attack my adversaries. The evening afterward, when he was Others are didactic and doctrinal; and of a out to appear before the emperor, he these I neither can nor will retract an iota, met at the very threshold of the hall the for it is God's word. But as regards my knight George of Frondsberg, who, lay-controversial writings, if I have been too ing his hand upon Luther's shoulder, said violent, or have gone too far against any kindlv, * Monk, monk, ('Mönchlein' being one, I am ready to reconsider the matter, a caressing diminutive,) thou enterest upon provided I have time for reflection.' I a path, and art about to take up a position, was allowed a day and a night. The next such as I and many other commanders day I was summoned by the bishops and have never braved even in our most serious others who were to deal with me to make battle-array. If thou have right on thy me retract. I told them, “God's word is side, and be sure of thy cause, then go on, not mine, I cannot give it up; but in all in the name of God, and be comforted; else my desire is to be obedient and docGod will not forsake thee!" Thus spoke, ile.' The margrave Joachim then took if we are to believe in tradition, the knight up the word, and said, “Sir doctor, as far of this world to the spiritual knight,-the as I can understand, you will allow yourmilitary hero to the hero of the faith; he self to be counselled and advised, except spoke with noble modesty, as the inferior on those points affecting Scripture?' 'Yes,' to the higher warrior.
I answered, such is my wish.' They The two protecting figures above, to then told me that I ought to defer all to the right and left of Luther, represent two the imperial majesty ; but I would not other German knights: Hutten, with his consent. They asked me if they themharp and sword, and the laurel-wreath of selves were not Christians, and able to the poet on his brow; and his friend, the decide on such things? To this I anvalorous Sickengen, with the general's swered, “Yes, provided it be without baton in his hand. They were ready to wrong or offense to the Scriptures, which protect their“ holy friend, the unconquera- | I desire to uphold. I cannot give up that ble theologian and evangelist, at Worms, by which is not mine.' They insisted, You their word and their sword," if necessary. ought to rely upon us, and believe that we
| shall decide rightly. I am not very ready
to believe that they will decide in our LUTHER BEFORE THE EMPEROR AND THE EMPIRE, 1521. I favor against themselves, who have but The decisive moment has come! Before just now passed sentence of condemnathe emperor and the empire Luther is to tion upon me, though under safe-conduct. prove whether the power of conscience is But look what I will do: treat me as you stronger in him than any other considera- like, and I will forego my safe-conduct tion. And it was stronger. “My con- and give it up to you.' On this, Baron science and the word of God," he says, Frederick von Feilitzsch burst forth with, “ hold me prisoner; therefore I may not • And enough, indeed, if not too much. nor will recant! Here I stand ; I cannot They then said, “At least, give up a few do otherwise ; God help me. Amen!" | articles to us.' I answered, “In God's
name, I do not desire to defend those ed, It has been done as it has pleased the articles which do not relate to Scripture.' | Lord. And you, in your turn, consider Hereupon, two bishops hastened to tell the where you are left.' Thus, I took my deemperor that I retracted. On which the parture in my simplicity, without remarkbishop * * * sent to ask me if I had con- ing or understanding all their subtilities." sented to refer the matter to the emperor Next to the young Emperor Charles and the empire. I replied that I had sits his brother Ferdinand : at their sides never, and would never, consent to it. So the three spiritual and the three temporal I held out alone against all. My doctor electors—the wise Frederick of Saxony and the rest were ill-pleased at my tenac- sits in front; opposite, on the bench for ity. Some told me that if I would defer the princes, we see Philip of Hesse lookthe whole to them, they would in their ing attentively at Luther. Dr. Hieronyturn forego and cede the articles which mus Schorf stands behind him as his legal had been condemned by the council of adviser; opposite to him, at the table Constance. To all this I replied, “Here covered with Luther's works, we see the is my body and my life.' * * * Then, imperial orator and official of the Archafter some worthy individuals had inter- | bishop of Trèves, Dr. John Eck; nearer posed with,. How? You would bear him to the emperor, the Cardinal Alexander of prisoner? That can't be'--the chan- holds in his hand the bull containing the cellor of Trèves said to me, “ Martin, you condemnation of Luther. In the backare disobedient to the imperial majesty, ground are seen the Spanish sentinels who wherefore you have leave to depart under mocked the German monk as he retired the safe-conduct you possess. I answer- | from the presence.
Is it the foot of God
Here, watching, let us kneel Upon the waters, that they seethe and blaze, Through the still darkness of this grave-like As when of old he trod
time, The desert ways,
Till on our ears shall steal And through the night
A whisper, then a chime, Fearful and far his pillar pour'd its light? | And then a chorus : earth has burst her prison,
The sign is in the skies ! the Sun is risen! O for quick wings to fly
Under the limit of yon dazzling verge, Where bright tints rapidly
. (For the National Magazine.) In brighter merge,
CHARITY. And yet more bright, "Till light becomes invisible through light! O, OPEN-HANDED, open-hearted maid!
Whose silent bounties ever ceaseless flow, What wonder that of yore
Thy generous hand to poverty convey'd Men held thee for a deity, great sun,
The sweetest blessings of the earth below. Kindling thy pyre before
“God loves a cheerful giver," and, like love, Thy race is run,
The more we give, the more we still receive; Casting life down
Our mite's at interest in the land above, At pleasure, to resume it as a crown!
We only lend what charities we give;
And they who hoard their useless thousands up, Or that our holier prayer
While hundreds round them, helpless cry for Still consecrates thy symbol, that our fanes bread, Plant their pure altars where
Shall drink, at last, the dregs of that cold cup, Thine Eastern glory reigns,
Whose bitter draught their fellow-mortals fed, And thy bright West
For earth belongs, with all its wealth, to God, Drops prophet-mantles on our beds of rest ? And he that robs him well deserves the rod.
THE CATACOMBS OF ROME.
THEIR INSCRIPTIONS AND LESSONS.
TN a preceding article
OSSOR-IN-PACE DEPO 1 we gave a description
KALE NDAS.OCTO, and brief history of the Roman Catacombs. We propose now to present some examples of their inscriptions and symbols, preparatory to the deductions to be hereafter drawn from them respecting theological and ccclesiastical questions.
We have already referred to the simplicity, we should, perhaps, say meagerness, of these cpitaphs, and of their almost total lack of artistic style; the reader must not therefore follow us in our reverent walks among them, with any exaggerated or fastidi “Diogenes the Fossor, buried in peace on the eighth before the
kalends of October," ous expectations. They speak but the more affectingly and power-terranean excavator ; while the spike by fully to the Christian heart by their direct, which the lamp is suspended from the their humble and unpretending speech. rock, the cutting instruments and comThey prove to us, what Christ assumed passes used for marking out the graves, to be the glory and demonstration of our and the chapel lined with tombs among faith, that the poor had the gospel preached which the fossor stands, mark as distinctly to them. They prove to us, too, what the the whole routine of his occupation, as the history of the Church generally attests, cross on his dress his Christian profession. that the poor are not only the first but the The painting is on a retiring part of the purest fruits of the faith; and there, in wall, and beneath it is the opening of a those dark and labyrinthine aisles—the grave. From the instruments represented great subterranean cathedral of Rome, in this valuable painting, as well as from hallowed by the saintliest memories of the testimony of authors, we conclude that primeval Christian worship, of heroic the fossors were employed to excavate suffering, and of innumerable martyrs, and adorn parts of the Catacombs. A what a contrast have we with the superb, / great portion of their work must have but meretricious pomps of the fallen been connected with the chapels, which Church above them!
were very numerous, and afterward became We give an engraving of one of these elaborate in their details. This rude atearliest Christians—one of the fossors, or tempt of a cotemporary artist to represent quarrymen. The inscription reads :— the occupation of a poor Christian, em“ Diogenes the Fossor, buried in peace on ployed in burying in secret the deceased the eighth before the kalends of October.” members of a community to whom no Maitland, in explaining it, cannot avoid place on the face of the earth was granted some suggestive and very relevant re- for their long home, suggests some serious marks: “On either side is seen a dove reflections on the change which Christenwith an olive branch, the common emblemdom has since undergone. Could we of Christian peace; the pick-ax and imagine the humble Diogenes, whom we amp together plainly designate the sub- see engaged in his melancholy task, to
look out from the entrance to the crypt, attempts of the learned to decipher it. and behold, in their present splendor, the The Latinity is often utterly barbarous. domes and palaces of Christian Rome- Bishop Kip gives examples. Here is to see the cross which he could only wear one :in secret on his coarse woolen tunic, glittering from every pinnacle of the eternal city-how would he hail the arrival of a promised millennium, and confidently infer the abolition of idolatrous service! Glowing with the zeal of the Cyprianic age, he hastes to the nearest temple to give thanks for the marvelous change : he stops short at the threshold; for by a strange mistake he has encountered in
DOMITI IN PACE. LEA FECIT. cense, and images, and the purple-bearing
Domitius in peace. Les erected this. train of the Pontifex Maximus. What remains for him but to wander solitary Roughly carved upon the slab, says the beside the desolate Tiber, by those 'wa-bishop, over which its letters straggle with ters of Babylon to sit down and weep,' no attention to order, it tells plainly that while he remembers his ancient Zion!” it was placed there by the members of a
Such was the estimation in which these persecuted and oppressed community. humble men—the grave-diggers of the Here is another of an old saint, who martyrs—were held, that old Jerome says: selected, himself, his resting-place among “ The first order among the clergy is that his departed brethren. The Latinity is of the fossors, who, after the manner of so imperfect as to puzzle the antiquaryholy Tobit, are employed in burying the dead."
This underground city, larger even than We one above, doubtless had a vast popu.ation—a class the very lowest, it is probable, among the urban masses of the empire. Our fine dreams of classic culture and luxury are relevant only to the higher grades of Greek and Roman life. The lower strata of the masses, like these arenarii and fossors, were but the more depressed and crushed by the superincumbent pressure of luxury and magnificence. To them the new religion, with its humble but angelic virtues, its humane sympathies, and its pledges of future and eternal deliverance, could not
" In Christo. Martyrius vixit annos XCL.
Elexit domum vivus. In pace. but be acceptable. Hence the first
"In Christ. Martyrius lived ninety-one years. prayers to the “unknown God” uttered
He chose this spot during his life. 'In peace.” in the eternal city were breathed in these dark caverns of toil, and the first hymns Here is another, whose irregular letters of Christian hope and gratitude flowed show the effect of an unskilled but afalong these dreary mazes.
fectionate hand to record, in hasty brevity, The earliest inscriptions everywhere | perhaps in momentary apprehension of the bear testimony to the illiteracy of these persecutor, a name and a blessing for a poor but devout men. They are often mere departed disciple. scratches, the letters presenting all kinds of irregularities. The orthography is so bad in some instances as almost to defy the
Legarins Successus. In peace. VOL. V.-10
MRTU RUS UIXLTANUDN XCIELE XITD ONMUIUS INPACE