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panied by his three sons, he started a third this will end. St. Paul only preached for time (January 23d, 1546.) His Katherina forty years; and so the Prophet Jeremiah saw him depart with a sorrowful heart, and St. Augustin. And when each of as if she had a presentiment that she these forty years had come to an end, should never see him again, at least not in which they had preached the word of otherwise than in his coffin. In vain he God, it was no longer listened to, and sought to cheer her in his letters by gay great calamities followed." and grave remarks : “ Read St. John and The aged electress, when he was last the Little Catechism, my beloved Kate, at her table, wished him forty years more for thou seemest to fear for thy God as if of life. “I would not have heaven," said he were not almighty, and could not create he, “on condition that I must live forty ten Dr. Martins, if the one old one were years longer. . . . I have nothing drowned in the Saale." “ Do not trouble to do with doctors now. It seems they me with thine anxieties; I have a better have settled that I am to live one year protector than thee and all the angels. longer; so that I won't make my life a He lieth in the manger, or clings to the torment, but, in God's name, eat and drink breast of the Virgin, but sitteth also at the what I please.”—“I would my adversaries right hand of God our Father Almighty. would put an end to me; for my death Therefore rest in peace. Amen." now would be of more service to the
He had escaped death in crossing the Church than my life." (February 16th, Saale during a flood, (January 28th,) that 1546.) The conversation running much he might depart this life a few weeks later on death and sickness, during his last at the very place where he had entered it, visit to Eisleben, he said, “If I return to at Eisleben. At the frontiers of Mansfeld Wittemberg, I shall soon be in my coffin, he was received by the counts with a great and then I shall give the worms a good retinue : he went there to reconcile the meal on a fat doctor.” Two days after brothers and other relations who were this he died, at Eisleben. at issue among themselves about their Luther often said that it would be a worldly possessions. This task was a great disgrace to the pope were he to die most painful one for him. “In this in his bed. “All of you, thou pope, thou school," he says, “one may learn why the devil, ye kings, princes, and lords, are Lord in his Gospel calls riches thorns." Luther's enemies, and yet you can do him
no harm. It was not so with John Huss.
I take it that there has not been a man so LUTHER'S DEATH.
hated as I for these hundred years. I, An eventful great life, of which the results too, hate the world. In the whole round are incalculable, approaches its end ; the of life, there is nothing which gives me heart stands still, that had beaten so pleasure ; I am sick of living. May our warmly and faithfully for his people, for Lord then come quickly, and take me with Christianity, and for the gospel. During him. May he, above all, come with his the last years of Luther's life, his enemies day of judgment. I would stretch forth often spread reports of his death ; with the my neck . . . so that he hurled his addition of the most singular and tragic thunderbolt and I were at rest. . . ." circumstances. To refute these, Luther Luther had arrived, the 28th January, had printed in 1545, in German and Italian, at Eisleben, and, though already ill, he a pamphlet, entitled Lies of the Goths joined in all the conferences until the 17th touching the Death of Dr. Martin Luther. February. He preached also four times, “I tell Dr. Bucer beforehand, that who- and revised the ecclesiastical statutes for ever, after my death, shall despise the the earldom of Mansfeld. The 17th, he authority of this school and this Church, was so ill that the counts prayed him not will be a heretic and unbeliever; for it was to go out. At supper he spoke much of here first that God purified his word and his approaching end, and some one asking again made it known. . . . Who could him if he thought we should recognize do anything twenty-five years since ? each other in the other world, he replied Who was on my side twenty-one years that he thought so. On returning to his ago ?” “I often count and find that I ap- chamber with Master Cælius and his two proach nearer and nearer to the forty sons, he drew near the window, and years, at the end of which I believe all remained there a long time in prayer. After that he said to Aurifaber, who had utmost efforts to restore him to life, in just arrived, “I feel very weak, and my which they with difficulty succeeded. pains seem to increase :" on which they Doctor Jonas then said to him, “ Reverend administered some medicine to him, and father, do you die in constant reliance on endeavored to warm him by friction. He the faith you have taught ?" He replied spoke a few words to Count Albert, who distinctly, “Yes," and fell asleep again. had come to see him, and then laid him. Soon after he became alarmingly pale, self down on the bed, saying, “If I could then cold, and drawing one deep breath, only sleep for half an hour, I think it would he expired. refresh me.” He did sleep without wa- In the picture his two sons kneel beside king for an hour and a half. This was their dying parent; his faithful friend and about eleven o'clock. When he awoke, companion, Dr. Justus Jonas, addressed he said to those in attendance, “What, his last words to him; Michael Cælius still sitting up by me: why do you not go prays for the preservation of the beloved to rest yourselves?" He then commenced life; the physician, Simon Wild, holds the praying, and said with fervor, “ In manus now useless medicine-bottle in his hand; tuas commendo spiritum meum ; redemisti to the right stand Count Albracht and his me, Domine, Deus veritatis. (Into thy wife, for whose sake the weary warrior hands I commend my spirit; thou art my had undertaken this troublesome winter Redeemer, O God of truth."). He also journey. said to those about him, “ All of you pray, Below, Master Lukas Fortenagel, from my friends, for the gospel of our Lord, Halle, is kneeling at the coffin of the that his reign may be extended, for the departed, whose portrait he is about to Council of Trent and the pope threaten it take. Above, the swan prophesied by greatly.” He then slept again for about Huss, rises anew from the flames. an hour, and when he awoke, Doctor Jonas asked him how he felt, “ O my God,” he replied, “ I feel myself very bad. I think,
LUTHER'S OBSEQUIES. my dear Jonas, that I shall remain here at Once more we stand at Wittemberg before Eisleben, where I was born." He then Luther ; but the eloquent lips are silent, took a few steps about the room, and laid the eve is closed which once he raised himself down again on the bed, where they with holy confidence to the emperor and covered him with soft cushions. Two the country, to the pope and the cardinals ; doctors, and the count with his wife, then he is silent forever in the Church to which arrived. Luther said to them, “I am he had affixed thirty years before a word dying: I shall remain at Eisleben.” And that was to shake the world. His body Doctor Jonas expressing a hope that the had been carried, as ordered by the elector, perspiration would perhaps relieve him : in solemn procession from Eisleben to “ No, dear Jonas," replied he, “it is a cold Wittemberg, that a place of rest might be and dry sweat, and the pain is worse." prepared for it in the electoral chapel. He then applied himself to prayer, and Next to the coffin stands his friend Melancsaid, “O my God, Father of our Lord thon, who had during twenty-eight years Jesus Christ, thou the God of all con- fought indefatigably by his side. On the solation, I thank thee for having revealed morning of the 19th of February he had, to me thy well-beloved Son, in whom I deeply affected by the news of the death, believe; whom I have preached and ac- pronounced in his lecture-room, with few knowledged; whom I have loved and but emphatic words, the testimony of hishonored ; and whom the pope and the un- tory and of the Protestant world upon the godly persecute. I commend my soul to departed : “ The doctrine of the forgivethee, O my Saviour Jesus Christ! I shall ness of sins and of faith in the Son of God leave this terrestrial body ; I shall be has not been discovered by any human taken from this life ; but I know that I understanding, but has been revealed unto shall rest eternally with thee." He re- us by God through this man, whom he peated three times following, “In manus had raised up." On the day of the funeral luas commendo spiritum meum ; redemisti also, after Dr. Bugenhagen had preached, me, Domine veritatis.” Suddenly his eyes he once more bore witness to the value closed and he fainted. Count Albert and of the labors of the departed : “His dochis wife, as well as the doctors, used their trine does not consist in rebellious opinions
made known with violence; it is rather a book which was then seldom to be met an interpretation of the divine will and of with, and almost unknown. It excited the true worship of God, an explanation his liveliest interest; he was utterly asof the Scriptures, a sermon of the word tonished to find that the book contained of God, namely, the gospel of Christ. something beyond the fragments from the . . . . Now he is united with the gospels and epistles, which were selected prophets, of whom he loved to talk ; now | by the Church, for people to read at they greet him as their fellow-laborer, and public worship on each Sunday in the with him thank the Lord who collects and year. He had always thought that in maintains his Church.”
these was comprised the whole word of Three times has the centenary festival God; but here he found pages, chapters, of his death been celebrated in Wittemberg; entire books, of which he had never an but still Germany and the German Evan idea before! His heart beat high as he gelical Church await a second Luther. held in his hand the whole of that Scrip. To many has been given the power to ture which is divinely inspired. With an develop in an equal or a higher degree eagerness and interest that no words could some one single feature of his sublime express, he ran over all those leaves of the being ; but where find a second time that Book of God. The first page that caught inexhaustible depth of faith, with the same his attention, told him the story of Hannah irresistible command of the popular lan and the boy Samuel, and in reading it he guage, united to the same strength of will could with difficulty control his emotions. and readiness for action ? where this That child, lent by his parents to the Lord blessed absorbing in God, with the power for the whole of his life ; the song of of ruling mankind? where find once more Hannah, in which she declares that the that union of qualities, the non-existence Lord raiseth up the poor out of the dust, of which as thus united has constituted for and lifteth up the beggar out of the dungcenturies the hereditary want of Germany ? | hill to set him among princes; the boy Even to-day we still ask this at the grave Samuel growing up in the temple before of the German reformer.
| the Lord—the whole history—the whole
word then discovered, made him exWe close this series of articles with a perience feelings before unknown to him. beautiful engraving of Campbell's picture- He went home with a full heart, thinking, “ Martin Luther's first view of the Bible.” “ ( that God would give me such a book Luther, it will be remembered, entered the to be my own!” Luther did not yet know University of Erfurt in 1501, being then Greek or Hebrew. There is little probin his eighteenth year. It was here, ability of his having studied those tongues while in quest of knowledge, that the during the first two or three years of his grand episode of his life occurred—the university course, and it was a Latin opening of his mind to the blessed truths of Bible that had thrown him into such a Christianity as they exist in the Bible. transport of joy. He was not long in Here he first distinguished himself, and returning to his treasure in the library ; formed the principles which had after he read and read again ; and with minward so much effect upon the Christian gled surprise and delight he still returned world.
to read. It was then that the first dawn Every moment that could be spared of a truth, entirely new to him, gleamed from his academical labors, the young upon his mind. student spent in the university library. What a blessing to mankind was this Books were as yet hard to be had, and ac- simple but wonderful discovery of the poor cess to the treasures brought together in student of Erfurt! Throughout all time, that vast collection was to him a great wherever the light of the gospel shines, privilege. After having been two years the name of Martin Luther will be reat Erfurt, and being then about twenty, vered. When monarchs, warriors, and he happened one day to be turning over a statesmen are forgotten, and the laurels number of books in the library, to see who they won shall have faded away, the their authors were, when a volume, which narrative of his glorious deeds and selfhe opened in its turn, struck his attention ; sacrifices will be related with the same until that hour he had seen nothing resem- enthusiasm that they are now, and, we bling it; he reads the title-it was a Bible! I trust, with equally good results.