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plenary satisfaction, and merited heaven, his age, by whose influence Ochino for the elect, which is the only righteous- had been deputed, at the solicitation ness and ground of salvation; secondly, that religious vows of human invention of the most respectable inhabitants, are not only useless, but hurtful and to preach at Venice a course of wicked; and thirdly, that the Roman Lent sermons in the year 1538, church, though calculated to fascinate the Dr. M'Crie urges the following senses by its external pomp and splendour, is unscriptural and abominable in the sight judicious and weighty reflections. of God," p. 110.
Ochino was at this period, and to the end of his days, distinguished by unrivalled talents as a preacher. "He was a natural orator: and the fervour of his piety and the sanctity of his life gave an unction and an odour to his discourses, which ravished the hearts of his hearers. In such reputation was he held' (says the annalist of the Capuchins, after Uchino had brought on them the stigma of heresy), that he was esteemed incomparably the best preacher of Italy; his powers of elocution, accompanied with the most admirable action, giving him the complete command of his audience; and the more so that his life corresponded to his doctrine.' His external appearance, after he had passed middle age, contributed to heighten this effect. His snow-white head, and beard flowing down to his middle, with a pale countenance, which led the spectators to suppose that he was in bad health, ren dered him at once venerable and deeply interesting. He never rode on horseback or in a carriage, but performed all his journeys on foot; a practice which he continued after he was advanced in years. When he paid a visit to the palaces of princes or bishops, he was always met and received with the honours due to one of superior rank; and he was accompanied, on his departure, with the same marks of distinction; yet, wherever he lodged, he retained all the simplicity and austerity of the religious order to which he belonged. As a preacher, he was admired and followed equally by the learned and illiterate, by the great and the vulgar. Charles V., who used to attend his sermons when in Italy, pronounced this high encomium on him: That man would make the stones weep!' Sadolet and Bembo, who were still better judges than his Imperial Majesty, assigned to Ochino the palm of po
"These extracts will be considered as
sufficient to establish the character of Ochino for piety and eloquence; but there is another reflection which they can scarcely fail to suggest. How deceitful are the warmest feelings excited by hearing the Gospel! and how do they vary with the external circumstances in which the truth is presented to the mind! Bembo was delighted with the sentiments which he heard, as well as the eloquence with which the preacher adorned them; and yet the future conduct of the Cardinal leaves us at no loss in determining, that he would have felt and spoken very differently, had he been told that the doctrine, to which he listened with such devout ravishment, was essentially Protestant. Names exert great influence over mankind; but let not those who can laugh at this weakness flatter themselves that they have risen above all the prejudices by which the truth is excluded or expelled. The love of the world outweighs both names and things. Provided men could enjoy the Gospel within the pale of their own church, within the circle of that soeiety in which they have been accustomed to move and shine, and without being required to forego the profits, honours, or pleasures of life, all the world' might be seen wondering after Christ-as it once wondered after the beast.' p. 115.
The principal scene of Ochino's labours, for some time, was Naples, where, in conjunction with John Mollio and the admirable Peter Martyr, he widely spread doctrines substantially Protestant. "The favourite doctrine of Ochino was justification by faith in Christ, which, as appears from his printed sermons, he perfectly understood, and explained with much scriptural
jesty, assigned to At Perugia, he pre- simplicity. Purgatory, penances,
vailed on the inhabitants, by his discourses, to bury all their animosities, and bring their litigations to an amicable settlement. And, in Naples, he preached to so numerous an assembly, and with such persuasive eloquence, as to collect, at one time, for a charitable purpose, the almost incredible sum of five thousand crowns." pp. 111, 112.
After giving some passages of rapturous commendation of his preaching from Cardinal Bembo, one of the most elegant scholars of
and papal pardons, fell before the preaching of this doctrine, as Dagon once did before the ark of Jehovah." P. 119.
In the year 1542 Ochino was again, in compliance with the earnest solicitation of the inhabitants, deputed, under the Papal sanction, to preach the Lent sermons at Venice. But the jealousy of the court
of Rome, as might naturally have been expected, was awakened, and instructions were sent to the Papal nuncio, to watch his conduct; and he was soon summoned before the nuncio, on the charge of having advanced doctrines at variance with the Catholic faith. He defended himself, however, so dexterously that he was dismissed. Perceiving that he was surrounded by spies, he proceeded cautiously; but at length, having heard that Julio Terentiano of Milan, with whom he had been intimate at Naples, was thrown into prison, he could no longer restrain himself: he noticed the subject with such bold and spirited animadversion, in a sermon at which the senators and principal persons of the city were present, that the nuncio instantly suspended him from preaching, and reported the matter to the Pope. But the Venetians were so importunate in his behalf, that the interdict was removed in three → days, and he again appeared in the pulpit. Soon after, however, he was cited to Rome, to answer certain charges, founded on what he had advanced in a course of lectures on
St. Paul's Epistles delivered at Verona; and, finding that his life was aimed at, or rather his death, resolved on, he fled to Geneva, and openly joined the Protestants. In 1547 he became the companion of Peter Martyr, in his removal into England, and exercised his talent of preaching in the metropolis; while Martyr occupied a professor's chair at Oxford. In 1554, in consequence of the change of religion produced by the death of Edward VI. and the succession of Mary, these distinguished foreigners retired to Zurich.
And here, alas! we come to the painful and monitory part of Ochino's history. Hitherto all, as far as appears, has been satisfactory: but let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Let us never consider ourselves past the reach of danger, till we have actually arrived within the gates of the celestial city. Let us
not feel as if even the fact of having
Such commanding pulpit eloquence as Ochino possessed, attracting the admiration of all ranks of people wherever he went, and melting the hearts of all hearers, is one of the most dangerous endowments that can be bestowed upon a frail mortal. We cannot conceive Ochino not to have been exposed to be lifted up by it; while, being wholly employed in the cause of religion, to inculcate truth, and to produce apparently the best impressions on others, this very circumstance might put its possessor the more off his guard. Then, if, with all this captivating talent, and the admiration which every where attended it, there were any point in which the possessor could not but be conscious of his own inferiority, and tempted to be jealous of others with whom he was associated, and who in this respect evidently excelled him; this might bring another class of corrupt passions into play, and increase his danger. And such was the case with Ochino. With all his brilliance, and unrivalled powers as a preacher, he was not a man of learning. At Zurich he was surrounded with learned men; and he fancied, and very likely only fancied, that they looked down upon him: and this he could not bear. Here, too, he was unsupported by his wonted popularity, because he could preach only to a small congregation accustomed to the Italian language. These circumstances contributed to lead him to form new associations, with men of unsound principles: and he finished his course at Zurich by writing in favour of polygamy and anti-Trinitarian doctrines! This produced his expulsion from Zurich.
tired into Bohemia, and died associated with persons of heretical sentiments sentiments allied at least to Socinianism. Such a close of his course is truly lamentable. He was at the time of his banishment seventy-six years of age. How far the infirmities of that time of life might concur to lead him astray, we do not determine: personally, we leave him to his Judge. But if old age, as perhaps appears in some other instances, may give Satan advantage against us, it only the more strikingly enforces some of the lessons already deduced, and should excite us to pray, "Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe."
The sagacious Bunyan particularly notices the "slips of Christian in going down into the valley of humiliation" as having been of dangerous tendency; and to them, in the second part of his work, he traces his hero's dangers in his conflict with Apollyon, in which he was "wounded in his understanding, faith, and conversation." No doubt the mortification at the sense of his inferiority on other points, which Ochino felt, was intended to check the vanity excited by his eloquence and popularity: but he went not down safely and well into "the valley of humiliation :" his foot slipped. Let others learn caution, and be incited to prayer. And let it be remembered, that the danger may exist on the other side, as well as on that on which Ochino proved vulnerable: the man who is in repute for talents or learning, but feels himself outstripped in popular estimation by persons of more superficial endowments, may be as much exposed in one way, as the most admired preacher who consciously fails in another.
With sentiments of respect and gratitude we for the present take leave of Dr. M'Crie, but shall be happy to greet him again, as he gives us the hope of doing, on Spanish ground. It has been our object rather to offer such an account
of his work as might gratify those who have not access to it, and stimulate those who have, than to attempt any elaborate critique upon it. His style, it will have sufficiently appeared, is clear, manly, and good. The volume is highly literary. In some parts religion will be thought, perhaps, to be rather overlaid, and in a measure hidden, by literature: while the author has sometimes rather excited longings, than satisfied them, by adverting to devout passages "to which he knows nothing superior," and letters full of "pious unction," of which he has allowed us but scantily to taste with him. His is one of the few volumes which might have been advantageously extended, by additions from such sources. Dr. M'Crie's reflections, again, are not frequent or copious, but, as the reader will judge from the specimens which have been given, they are just and weighty, and proceed upon the soundest principles. We would also notice with marked commendation, that Dr. M'Crie has not in this work introduced a syllable to offend the feelings of those who differ from him upon such subjects as church government, and other kindred topics. In his Life of Knox we were surprised and hurt by the very needless and impolitic introduction, as it appeared to us, of harsh and unfriendly reflections upon the Church of England. Dr. M'Crie is a man well qualified to write for the Christian world at large, and especially for the more enlightened part of it: and it always appears to us an object of regret, when a writer so qualified, in treating on a subject of general interest, incidentally introduces remarks, perhaps of a sharp and caustic kind, which are suited to prejudice respectable bodies of orthodox Christians against him. Never let him who is formed to be, in the best sense of the term, catholic, thus render himself sectarian.
The chief fault of the work as a
composition--and we wish it may have suggested itself to Dr. M'Crie's own feelings in time to prevent its recurrence in his promised volume on Spain-is its presenting to us its numerous notices of distinguished and most interesting characters by piece-meal. We meet with the disjecta membra heroum; which we are obliged to combine into a whole, as well as we can, by the help of an imperfect index. It is easy to see how the author has fallen into this mismanagement, which divides, and thus weakens the impression of, his sketches. Where a character lives and figures throughout the greater part of a history, it is natural and proper that he should thus come gradually before the reader, according to the regular succession of events; but where a number of persons are to be pre sented, of whom no one takes a leading part, and the accounts of whom amount, after all, only to detached notices, and not in any case to complete histories, we conceive that another method is to be adopted; and that the author's judgment and address should be shewn in selecting the proper places at which to introduce the substance of the entire information which he has to offer concerning them, respectively, in their rise, their period of service, and their close. In several of our notices and extracts, we have thus presented in one view what is scattered in detached portions throughout almost the whole of Dr. M'Crie's volume.-We have made these remarks, not in disparagement of the present work, which we estimate highly, but in the hope of rendering a promised one still more valuable.
Our account of the work has been too extended to admit of our indulging at any length in general reflections on the history which it presents to us. The volume cannot fail, in common with several others which have lately issued from the press, to produce a strong
impression of the fearful character of the whole Papal usurpation ;-of what we owe to Divine Providence for our deliverance from it, while to so many, to whom the same bright prospect seemed opening, it was soon clouded and lost again;— of the duty of using every exertion to enlighten and truly enfranchise those who are still held in the bondage of Antichrist; and of taking care, while we exercise the most cordial charity and kindness towards Papists, never to let any thing induce us to relax our abhorrence of Popery itself.
Another point, which must deeply affect every Christian reader, is, the contrast of our situation and circumstances with those under which our brethren in past ages were called to follow their Redeemer. Oh, how are we dealt with! But what are our returns! what our gratitude! what our services! By what holy vigour, and zeal, and self-denial, and devotedness, do we give proof that we should have stood fast and confessed Christ in Italy in the sixteenth century? Yet the same temper of mind is requisite now as then. If we should not have been faithful then, it is to be feared we are not faithful now ;though, if we do really make the sacrifices now required of us, we are warranted to conclude that the same grace of God, which enables us to do this, would have enabled us then, and will, if we continue to rely upon it and earnestly seek it, enable us now, to stand fast in all circumstances into which we may ever be brought.
Finally, it is striking to observe to what extent the fundamental doctrines of Protestantism, especially that concerning justification, commanded the assent of enlightened men who never quitted the pale of the Romish church; till they were alarmed, and their prejudices excited by the cry of heresy, or till some secular interest (as in the case of Cardinal Pole) prevailed
over them. This may help to confirm our faith in these principles, as the catholic doctrine of the true Church of God in all ages, the essential verities of the Christian
Religion. May we only ever hold them fast in faith and love, and vindicate them by that holy life and conversation which they are suited to produce!
LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL INTELLIGENCE,
GREAT BRITAIN. PREPARING for publication:-The History of Portugal, by R. Southey ;-The Journal of Bishop Beckington, while on an Embassy from Henry VI.;-Popular and Practical Science, by Dr. Brewster;a Defence of the Missions in the SouthSea and Sandwich Islands against the Charges of the Quarterly Review ;Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. D. Bogue, by the Rev. James Bennett.
In the press-Remarks on the Mustard-tree mentioned in the New Testament, by J. Frost ;-a Memoir relative to the operations of the Serampore Missionaries;-a Translation into French of Bishop Watson's Apology for the Bible, by M. Ventouillac.
The Bishop of Bath and Wells has signified his disapprobation of the churches in his diocese being opened for oratorios, or any other purpose than Divine Worship.
There are now growing in the garden of the Apothecaries' Company, at Chelsea, more than 200 varieties of wheat, and several of barley and oats. They were brought over to England by a Spanish gentleman, who has been many years collecting them from different parts of the world. The Company conceive that the introduction of some of them might be beneficial to the agriculture of this country. At a recent meeting of the members of the Sheffield Mechanics' Library, it being proposed to admit novels and plays, a majority of about ten to one negatived the proposition, adhering to the original plan of the intitution, "that novels, plays, and infidel publications should form no part of the library."
Mr. Ellis, in his Letters on English History, lately published, has given from a Cottonian manuscript the ceremonial for the coronation of Henry VIII. prefixed to which is the oath of the Sovereign, altered and interlined by his own hand.
"One part," says Mr. Ellis, "indicates that Henry looked to something like supremacy in the Church of England at the very outset of his reign." The passages within brackets are Henry's interlineations, alterations, or additions.
"The King shall [then] swear, that he shall keep and maintain the [lawful] right and the liberties [of Holy Church, omilted] of old time granted by the righteous Christian Kings of England (to the Holy Church of England, not prejudicial to his jurisdiction and dignity royal;] and that he shall keep all the lands, honours, and dignities righteous, and freedoms] of the Crown of England in all manner whole, without any manner of minishment, and the rights of the Crown hurt, decayed, or lost, to his power shall call again into the ancient state, and that he shall keep the peace of the holy church, and of the clergy, and of the people, with good accord [altered into endeavour himself to keep unity in his clergy and temporal subjects], and that he shall do in his judgments equity and right justice, with discretion and mercy [altered into and that he shall according to his conscience in all his judgments minister equity, right, and justice, shewing where is to be shewed mercy], and that he shall grant to hold the laws and approved customs of the realm, and [lawful and not prejudicial to his crown or imperial duty] to his power keep them and affirm them, which the folk [altered to nobles] and people have made and chosen (with his consent], and the evil laws and customs wholly to put out; and stedfast and stable peace to the people of his realm keep and cause to be kept to his power (in that which honour and equity do require.]"
Lord Palmerston lately moved in Parliament for a return of the number of literary works and books of prints entered at Stationers'-hall. No books are in existence by which it can be ascertained what