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THE CHRISTIAN GUARDIAN,
Church of England Magazine.
JANUARY 1, 1823.
MEMOIRS OF THE REFORMERS.
lence. This is a corollary of imThe diversity of opinion which mense value, and confirming the was originally found among the original demonstration. “ If any Reformers on minor points, was man will do his will, he shall urged against them by the Roman- know of the doctrine, whether it ists as an argument for their return be of God.” In the pursuit of to the bosom of that church which religious knowledge, success is professed infallibility. The cen- promised to sincerity; not that sinsurers themselves, however, could cerity is in itself a meritorious cause never show where this infallibility of proficiency; but, inasmuch as lay; for council opposed council, it is a state of miud which is unand pope contradicted pope. The prejudiced, serious, teachable, and enemies of revelation have taken honest, it is so far a gracious quathe same ground in their attacks on lification for the discernment of divine truth, and have recome truth and the detection of error. mended the pilotage of natural It is, in fact, a disposition of reason; yet have these also been heart, so intimately connected with, constrained to acknowledge, that and so closely allied to a sound after tossing them about on a sea understanding, that in the inspired of dispute, she has landed them on pages they are frequently used as the misty shore of endless uncer- convertible terms. Hence it may be tainty.
confidently asserted, that those exBut notwithstanding these errors cellent men, who in the fifteenth of superstition and infidelity, there and sixteenth centuries searched is an infallible guide, and a satis- for truth with the requisites of faith, factory exercise of the reasoning meekness, diligence, and conscipower. The infallible guide is entiousness, however they mightScripture, consistently interpreted; differ on certain topics, speculaand the proper office of reason is to tive or circumstantial, were right ascertain the authenticity of that in the main; and were ultimately Scripture, and then to receive its led, by celestial illumination and mysteries, which are true, though guidance, through the mazes of incomprehensible. Nor is this all. controversy into the belief of every The sincere inquirer after divine essential doctrine. Who can doubt truth is possessed of a peculiar ad- that the great Reformer of Basle vantage. In addition to the satis- was taught by the Spirit of God. faction derived from external and and eminently qualified for a mi-. internal evidence, he shall have nister of the sanctuary, though he experimental proof of its excel- not only joined Zuinglius in op
posing Luther, but also differed lumination and obscurity suggested from Zuinglius himself in the dis- by their respective appellations did pute on the Sacrament?
not escape the notice of Melchior His real name was John Hau- Adam, by whom we are informed schein, though known in church that he assiduously perused the history by the Grecised diminutive works of Thomas Aquinas, Riof Ecolampadius, or “ Light of chard, and Gerson, but neglected the House;" no inappropriate ap- the darkling subtleties of Scotus *. pellation for one who was a burn- His integrity, learning, and moing and shining lamp in the temple desty soon gained him a reputaof the Lord *. His native place tion which reached the ears of Phiwas Winsperg, in Franconia; his lip Elector Palatine, by whom he parentage respectable for birth, was nominated tutor to his younger wealth, and piety, and partly of children. But he soon grew weary Swiss descent, one of his grand- of a court life, which was neither fathers being a citizen of Basle. suited to his retired and devotional The sole survivor of many chil- habits, nor yet to his weak constidren, he was further endeared to tution, and resigned his charge. his parents by an amiable dispo- His parents, perceiving his decided sition and development of early ta- preference of the ministerial office, lent. His father designed him for now gave up their estate to the a mercantile life; but his mother support of a pastor for Winsperg, prevailed on her husband to in- and appointed him to the office; crease his scholastic information by but finding himself unequal to this sending him to the College of Heil- charge also, he quitted it in a fortbronn, and afterwards to the Uni- night, and returned to pursue his versity of Heidelberg, where, in favourite studies at Heidelberg, 1496, he was admitted to the de- having previously perfected himself gree of Bachelor, though only four- in Greek under Reuchlin of Stutteen years of age. Proceeding gard. soon after to a Mastership, he re- After adding Hebrew to his paired to Bologna with intent to other attainments, he returned to study civil law, where he renained Winsperg, and resumed the pastobut half a year, owing partly to the ral office. “Here he preached climate disagreeing with his health, Christ,” says his biographer, “with and partly to a disappointment the approbation of all who were sustained by his father from a mer- spiritually minded and well informchant who owed him a large süm; ed, although as yet with much and returning to Heidelberg, ap- mixture of the old superstition.” plied himself diligently to theolo. He was regarded as a preacher gical learning t.
very grave and severe, because, His piety and good sense led with a becoming sense of the sohim to reject the oracle of those lemnity of his work, he refrained days, Scotus, who “ darkened from those facetious trickeries with counsel by words without know- which the monks used to amuse their ledge,” and to whom he was not audience. He was very guarded less opposed by nature than by in forming friendships, but became name. The different ideas of il- intimate with Wolfgang Capito, at
Heidelberg, to whom he continued * “ Munere concionandi jam fungens, much attached in after-life, Through in ecclesiam Dei, videlicet Domum Dei, the recommendation of this friend, verbum quoque Dei ut Lucernam Chris
· who desired that he should enlarge tianorum intulit @colampadius."-Verhedenii Imag. Theol. p. 44.
+ Capito, Vita Ecol. præfix. Epist. *“ Scoti oxotadeis subtilitatés negZuing. et (Ecol.