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him the title of "Defender of the Faith," which has been retained by the English sovereigns to this day. This work did not escape the attention of Luther. He severely animadverted upon it, and treated it as a weak performance.
Some of the princes sided with the pope, and persecuted the reformers. During the two following years, several councils or diets were convened to suppress the reformation, but to no effect. The emperor of Germany was disposed to exterminate the Lutherans by force, but the manly opposition which was made by many of his princes, prevented this measure.
About 1534, the Baptists, a small sect which arose 12 years before, became riotous. Having taken possession of one of the cities in Germany, they banished those who would not join them, demolished the churches, &c. pretending to have direction from heaven in all these cases. But they were soon checked by the civil arm.
In 1545, on the death of Luther, the emperor of Germany concerted measures with the pope to extirpate the reformers, or protestants, as they were now called. But after taking the field with large armies, and coming to a few engagements, the matter was adjusted in favor of the protestants, who were left in the enjoyment of their own religion.
The account given of the reformation thus far has been confined to Germany, where it first commenced. But this was not the only place in which the reformation took footing. The protestant cause in Switzerland was nearly as prosperous as in Germany. In 1535, John Calvin rose to view in that country.
Soon after the reformation commenced in Germany, it spread to France and Spain, where it was violently opposed. In Spain the inquisition was resorted to, and many suffered death. In France also many sealed the reformation with their blood.
The reformation found its way into England at an early period. We have already seen that Henry VIII. king of England, was no friend to the reformation, having written against Luther. But a difficulty arising between him and the pope, the king withdrew all allegiance from him. Being however opposed to the protestant cause, he withdrew from the pope only to establish another tyranny in England, and consequently assumed to himself the title of the Supreme Head of the Church, and made all parties in religion dependent upon his will. This order of things has remained with very little variation unto this day.
In 1547, the king died, and was succeeded by his son Edward, who being a protestant, openly favored the reformation. But shameful to tell, though the reformers had but just obtained their liberty, they turned persecutors, and put to death some of the Baptists and Unitarians.
But in 1550, Edward dying, was succeeded by Mary, his sister, who was a bigoted Catholic. She reversed the order of affairs, and commenced a cruel persecution upon the reformers, when many suffered death, among whom was John Rogers, whose name is familiar in the catalogue of martyrs, and who immediately before was engaged in the work of persecution.
In 1558, the queen died, and was succeeded by Elizabeth, under whom the reformation was resumed. But the papists were not the only persecutors. Elizabeth destroyed vastly more than Mary. The latter burned them at the stake, but the former starved them in prison. The Baptists, Unitarians, and Waldenses suffered greatly in this reign. Even Calvin, the great reformer, and boast of his party, was a cruel persecutor. In 1588, Servetus, a Spanish physician, was burned alive by a slow, gradual fire, by the instigation of Calvin, only
because he rejected the doctrine of the trinity. Let the followers of Calvin, who ascribe so much to the founder of their sect, remember that his hands were stained with innocent blood.
This brings us down to the council of Trent in 1563, at which time the reformation was in a manner settled, and here we shall close this number.
There is perhaps no objection more frequently brought against the doctrine of the universal and impartial grace and goodness of our heavenly Father, than that it is of modern origin. Hence, "new doctrine," "new fangled scheme" and "modern invention," are epithets which very often occur in the writings and conversation of those who oppose the sentiment. Those who have not the means of informing themselves on the subject, are certainly excusable, but when individuals who have all necessary means of knowledge within their reach, voluntarily come forward in the public journals, and unqualifiedly assert such things, they are guilty, either of wilful misrepresentation, or unpardonable ignorance of the sentiment which they oppose.
I have been led to these reflections by a reperusal of the assertions of Mr. Ithamar Smith, which have from time to time appeared in the Repository. In his last communication addressed to me, I find the following bold and unqualified assertion; "I oppose a sentiment of modern date, a sentiment which, I venture to assert, cannot be found in the works of a single writer from the days of the apostles down to the time of Martin Luther,
In this assertion, I do not except even Origen, so often claimed by Universalists."
Our readers will probably recollect that in the controversy between Mr. Smith and myself, all I have attempted was to show in what manner the belief of endless punishment might have been introduced and become prevalent in the christian world, without admitting it to be taught in the scriptures; and that I have never attempted to show, from ancient writings, that this sentiment was not generally received in the early ages of the church. This I did not, from the state of the argument, at that time, think necessary. But that the public may not be left to believe that Mr. Smith's assertion is true or unanswerable, I shall proceed to lay before our readers some extracts from the writings of some of the most eminent christian fathers, of the second, third and fourth centuries. And this I choose to do in a separate communication, rather than in my reply to Mr. S. in which I shall confine myself to scripture arguments.
Clemens Alexandrinus, who wrote towards the close of the second century, and whom Mosheim styles the most illustrious writer of this century, was a Universalist. The following are extracts from his writings. "How is he a Savior and Lord, unless he is the Savior and Lord of all? He is certainly the Savior of those who have believed; and of those who have not believed, he is the Lord, until by being brought to confess him, they shall receive the proper and well adapted blessings for themselves." (Clementis Alexandrini Stromata, lib. vii. cap. 2, p. 883. edit. Potter, Oxon. 1715.)
"The Lord is the propitiation, not only for our sins, that is, for the faithful, but also for the whole world: therefore, he indeed saves all; but converts some by punishments, and others by gaining their free will; so
that he has the high honor, that unto him every knee should bow, of things in heaven, on earth and under the earth; that is, angels, men, and the souls of those who died before his advent." (Clem. Alexand. Fraginenta, Adumbratio in Epist. i. Johan. p. 1009.)
Of Origen, who flourished and wrote in the beginning of the third century, Dr. Mosheim thus writes. "Had the justness of his judgment been equal to the immensity of his genius, the fervor of his piety, his indefatigable patience, his extensive erudition, and his other eminent and superior talents, all encomiums must have fallen short of his merit. Yet such as he was, his virtues and labors deserve the admiration of all ages," &c. That he was a Universalist, is a point which is conceded, I believe, by all writers; and this is probably the reason why Mosheim speaks in the manner he does of "the justness of his judgment." But if any doubts remain respecting his sentiments, the following extract from his writings is sufficient to remove them. "But we suppose that the goodness of God, through Christ, will certainly restore all creatures into one final state; his very enemies being overcome and subdued. For thus saith the Scripture: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. To the same purpose, but more clearly, the apostle Paul says that Christ must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. But if there be any doubt what is meant by putting enemies under his feet, let us hear the apostle still further, who says, ALL things must be subjected to him. What, then is that subjection with which all things must be subdued to Christ? I think it to be that with which we ourselves desire to be subdued to him, and with which also the apostles and all the saints who have followed Christ, have been subdued to him. For the very expression, subjected to Christ, denotes the