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ful fury. But Luther, who had watched its progress with a steady eye, was removed by death from feeling or beholding its destructive rage. In the beginning of 1546, he was sent for to his native country, to reconcile the differences which had for some time interrupted the harmony of Mansfeld. He preach ed his last sermon at Wittemberg on the 17th of January, and on the 23d, set out for Eisleben, whence he never returned. Though, during the journey, he complained of faintness and weakness, he was able to attend all the sittings of the court, before which the cause for which he had come was pled, till the 17th of February. That evening, a little before supper, he felt an unusual sickness arising from the disease under which he had laboured for some time, an oppression of the humours in the opening of the stomach. That day, he had indeed said to Justas Jonas, and some other friends, "I was born and baptized at Eisleben, what if I should remain and die here?" But his sickness went off, and he partook of his supper with his usual appetite. But immediately after, the pain returned, and continued with little abatement for some hours. About one in the morning of the 18th, he lay down on his bed for the last time; and when being excruciated with pain, he cried out, "O God! what oppression do I feel." Jonas said, "Reverend father, call on Jesus Christ our Lord and Great High Priest, that only Mediator whom thou hast preached." But feeling the Vol. II. No. 4.
chilling hand of death, he said, "this cold sweat is the forerunner of dissolution, I will give up my spirit." He then prayed, saying, "O heavenly Father, everlasting and merciful God, thou hast revealed to me thine own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, him I have preached, him I have confessed, him I love, and adore as my dearest Saviour and deliverer, though the ungodly persecute, revile, and blaspheme him, receive my spirit,— O my heavenly Father, though I must leave this body, and be taken out of this life, yet I know assuredly, that I shall live with thee forever, and none is able to pluck me out of thy hands. He that is our God is the God of salvation, and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.” He then repeated thrice, with an elevated tone, "Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit; Thou hast redeemed me, O God of truth :" after which he continued breathing, till about three in the morning, when he entered on that glory, in the faith and hope of which, he lived, and laboured, and died. He was attended in his last moments by the Count and Countess of Mansfeld, Melancthon, Justas Jonas, and several other friends, who ministered to his consolation, and joined with him in prayer, that God would preserve the doctrine of his Son's gospel among them. His body was carried to Wittemberg, and honourably interred without pomp or parade.* On his tomb the following inscription was put by the univer sity:
*Seckend. lib. iii. § 133. p. 634, &c.
And humbled both, than both more powerful far.
Go, fabling Greece, and bid Alcides know,
His club, as Luther's pen, gave no such blow.
Luther was above the middle size, his body robust, and his eye so piercing, that few could bear it, when he looked intently on them. His voice, though weak, was melodious; his appetite moderate; his diet plain. Though far from being rich, he was extremely liberal in proportion to his substance. His learning was chiefly theological; his writings are more forcible than elegant; his style often harsh and satirical. His mind was cast in a mould which gave it a form suited to the object to which it was to be directed. Acute, ardent, intrepid, persevering; vehement often to excess, confi
dent, and sometimes arrogant ;
regardless of men or opinions, indiscriminate in his censures of those who differed from him, zealous in defending what he believed to be the cause of truth; he was qualified to elude the sophistry, to despise the calumnies, and to brave the opposition of his popish adversaries. His moral conduct was irreproachable; not only correct, but approaching to austerity, as became the character of a Reformer; his invariable sanctity adorned the doctrine which he delivered, and his disinterestedness illustrated the sincerity of his profes sions. Even by the impetuosity of his temper, which cannot indeed be justified, but which appears to us much more censurable than it was thought by his contemporaries, on account of the superior delicacy and external politeness of the age in which we live, he was fitted for accomplishing the great work which he undertook. The silent censure of men whose lives reproved the corruptions of the church, as well as the complaints of the injured, had long been disregarded; sunk the world, though groaning to be in ignorance and superstition, delivered, was held in chains by the bigotry of priestcraft, supported by the secular power. To effect a revolution, therefore, energy, nay violence was requisite; and had Luther been more amiable, and less vigorous, or more gentle and accommodating, like Melancthon, he must have failed in the glorious enterprise which he so successfully achiev ed, and have left the world more involved than ever in the gloom of corrupt opinions, and supersti
For the Panoplist.
MEMOIRS OF PRESIDENT DAVIES.
WERE the homage, so generally paid to brilliant intellectual endowments, transferred to virtue and religion, it would be well. Yet when genius and learning are sublimated by piety, and devoted with ardour to the best interests of mankind, they furnish a character equally venerable and lovely. Such a character was President DAVIES. To dwell on the talents, the virtues and the exertions of so eminent a man, is an employment at once pleasant and edifying in a high degree. The present memoirs lay claim to little of originality. Their principal object is to methodize and incorporate the distinct and independent accounts which are already before the public. Whatever additional information they contain, is either suggested by his works, or drawn from other sources of unquestionable authority.
He was born November 3, 1724. His father was a planter, in the county of Newcastle, on the Delaware, of great simplicity of manners, and of reputed piety. His mother, an eminent Christian, had earnestly besought him of Heaven; and consider ing him as given in answer to prayer, she named him Samuel, and with great solemnity, devoted him to the Lord. "The event proved," says Dr. Finley, "that God accepted the consecrated boy, took him under his special care, furnished him for, and employed him in, the service of his church, prospered his labours with remarkable success,
and not only blessed him, but made himself a blessing."
The prayers and vows of this excellent woman were succeeded by active exertions. There being no school at hand, she took upon herself the task of teaching her son to read and her efforts were early rewarded in the uncommon proficiency of her pupil. He continued with his parents till about the age of ten. They had not the happiness, during this period, of observing any special impressions of religion made on his mind; but he behaved himself as is common for a sprightly, towardly child, under the influence of pious example and instruction. After this, he was sent to an English school, at some distance from home, where he continued two years, and made great progress in his studies. But failing of the pious instructions to which he had been accustomed, he became more careless of the things of religion, than before.
Yet even at this period, he habituated himself to secret prayer, especially in the evening. The reason for this punctuality, as stated in his diary, was, that "he feared lest he should perhaps die before morning." It is likewise remarkable, that, in his prayers, he supplicated nothing so ardently, as that he might be introduced into the gospel ministry.
The time was now come, when that God, to whom he had been solemnly dedicated, and who designed him as an eminent instrument of shewing forth his praise, would bring him home to himself. He was awakened to solemn and serious concern re
specting eternal things. In the light of divine truth, he was led to see himself a sinner, exposed to the awful displeasure of God, and to all its insupportable consequences. These impressions were full of anxiety and terror. In this distress, he was enabled to discern the necessity, the importance and all-sufficiency of the salvation revealed in the gospel. This divine system of mercy now appeared in a new light. It satisfied his anxious inquiries, and made provision for all his wants. In the blood and righteousness of the REDEEMER, he perceived a solid ground of hope, an unfailing source of consolation. Here he was enabled to place his whole reliance. Here he found a peace and satisfaction before unknown. "Believing, he rejoiced with joy unspeakable, and full of glory." His religious comforts were, however, long intermingled with doubts and perplexities. But after some years of repeated and impartial self-examination, he attained a confidence respecting his state, which continued to the
close of life.
From this happy period, his mind seemed almost entirely absorbed by heavenly things. His great concern was to keep his heart, and set a watch over every thought, word, and action. Animated with love to God, he felt stronger desires than ever, to serve him in the gospel of his Son. Having tasted the sweets of religion, he longed for nothing so much as to be instrumental in bringing his fellow sinners to know the same pure and substantial delights.
Inspired by these sublime objects, he engaged, with new ar
dour, in the pursuit of knowl. edge. His progress was impeded by a variety of obstacles, But the native vigour of his genius, united to an indefatigable assiduity, surmounted them all. Sooner than could have been rationally expected, he was found qualified for the gospel ministry. He passed the usual previous trials with distinguished approbation, and consecrated all his faculties and acquirements to the service of the sanctuary.
Being now licensed to preach the gospel, he applied himself to unfold and enforce those precious truths, whose power he had happily experienced on his own heart. In the exercise of this sacred and delightful office, his fervent zeal and undissembled piety, his popular talents and engaging methods of address, soon excited general admiration, and acquired him a distinguished character. Scarce was there a congregation where he was known, but would have esteemed it a happiness to enjoy his stated ministrations. But how mysterious are the ways of Heaven! He was about this time attacked with complaints, which were supposed consumptive, and which brought him apparently to the borders of the this enfeebled state, and without hope of recovery, he determined to spend the remainder of what he apprehended an almost exhausted life, in endeavouring to advance his Master's glory in the good of souls. Being among a people who were destitute of a minister, he assiduously laboured, in season and out of season. While, by night, his hectic was
so severe as to render him sometimes delirious, and make it ne:
cessary that he should be attend- erful energy of the divine Spirit. The wilderness, and the solitary places rejoiced, and blossom
ed by watchers, he still preached in the day. Nor did his indefatigable and heroic zeal go unreward-ed as the rose. A great number,
ed. God gave him some precious first-fruits of his ministry, particularly, in the remarkable conversion of two gentlemen, who manifested in their future lives and conduct, that they were saints indeed.
In consequence of an earnest application, he removed, after a time, to some of the distant settlements of Virginia, where he undertook the charge of a dissenting congregation. Nothing but the purest motives of selfdenying benevolence could have dictated such a step. It separated him from the beloved society of his friends, and his brethren in the ministry; it plunged him into a sea of anxious, unremitted labours; while it exposed him to the bitter censures and resentments of many. Numbers of the inhabitants were but little removed from absolute heathenism. All the obstacles which could arise from blindness and prejudice, from profaneness and immorality, his preaching encountered. Yet his patience and perseverance, his magnanimity and piety, added to his evangelical and powerful ministrations, were not without success. The more he was known, the more was he esteemed.
Contempt and aversion were gradually turned into reverence. Opposition yielded to the doctrines of the cross, and the pow
both of whites aud blacks, were hopefully converted to the living God. In this success, the benevolent soul of Mr. Davies found a rich gratification, His tract of preaching was singularly extensive, his labours almost ineessant, and his pecuniary compensation small. But to be an instrument of spreading the Redeemer's triumphs, and of adding new subjects to his spiritual kingdom, though from among the despised and oppressed natives of Africa, was to him, the highest reward.
From this scene of toil and of enjoyment, the providence of God now summoned him away. He was chosen by the synod of New York, at the instance of the trustees of New Jersey college, to accompany the Rev. Mr. Gilbert Tennent to Great Britain and Ireland, in order to solicit benefactions for the college. This election evinced the confidence both of the synod and corporation, in his superior abilities and popular talents; a confidence, which the issue of the affair no wise disappointed. service in itself difficult and delicate, in its consequences precarious, and involving a temporary sacrifice of those domestic enjoyments, which were peculiarly dear to him, he cheerfully undertook, and executed with singular spirit and success. The benefactions he received from the patrons of religion and learning in Great Britain, were nųmerous and liberal, and such as placed the college in a prosperous condition.