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"and there's no blessing to those who One day he saw an aged man do not believe it.” The parents of going the rounds, all absorbed in his William de Farel and their little boy devotions. He prostrated himself at were troubled with no doubts.
the stations, and lingered, repeating Though superstitious, young Farel his
He seemed the model thirsted for knowledge, and asked his of fervour and contrition; as the tears father's permission to study. But his fell, the lips quivered, and the voice father would have him to be a soldier, rose full and clear in the responses of like their neighbour, the Chevalier the public service. There was much Bayard, the brave knight “ without in his manner to charm the young fear and without reproach,” whose stranger; and he could not forget the name was bome on every breeze that earnestness of the good old man, sayswept across the Alps. “I would ing of him years
afterwards:"Never rather be a scholar," was the youth's had I seen a chanter of the mass sing ambition. 6. Let me read of Cæsar it with greater reverence.” This before I try to be like Cæsar. Let little, unpretending, aged man was knowledge be my armour, and the pen the eloquent, popular, and beloved my sword. I want not battles, but James Lefevre, a Professor in the books." Long and earnestly did he University. plead with his father, who felt it to be Lefevre was a “Reformer before the a great blow to all his hopes of seeing Reformation,” and had maintained imthe young
noble enter upon a military portant truth at a time when Luther career; but at last the old man gave had only just found the chained Bible way, and began to inquire for a com- in the convent of Erfurth, and five petent teacher.
years before he nailed his theses to The year 1510, which saw Luther the door of the old church in Wittemon his way to Rome, partially en- berg. But the French Professor was lightened, but still full of faith in the an earnest Roman Catholic notwithPope, and in the Roman church, saw standing. And to become acquainted Farel on his way to Paris, to study with him was young Farel's most in its then famous University. The ardent wish. How they met, we do young Dauphinese gave himself with not know ; but Farel “could not reequal zeal to his studies and to his strain his joy when he found himself religious devotions. On the walls kindly received by this celebrated of most Romish churches are hung
It seemed as if he had gained pictures of different scenes in the his object in coming to the capital. sufferings and death of our Lord. "From that time his greatest pleasure The worshippers begin at the first was to converse with him, to listen to and pass around to the last, kneeling him, to hear his admirable lessons, before each one, and repeating the and to kneel with him devoutly words of their penance or prayers.
before the same shrines. Often might These kneeling places are called sta- the aged Lefevre and his young distions on the way to the cross. Farel ciple be seen adorning an image of made it a matter of conscience to visit the Virgin with flowers; and alone, these stations, but the cross to which far from all Paris, far from its they led him was not the true cross. scholars and its doctors, they mur
mured in concert the fervent prayers Where salvation by an endless round they offered to Mary." The teacher, of works? Certainly not in the warring against certain errors, still Bible. But now came deeper perheld to some of the most absurd ; and plexity than ever. And his first the student, who had refused to take effort was the very reverse of what the sword, still clung to the rosary. the young Luther was now doing,
But Farel's spirit hungered, his when making the Church give way to soul found no rest. Lefevre scarcely the teachings of the Bible. The dared to tell him the little truth that monk of Erfurth thought, in his he was leaning upon; for he seemed best hours, that Christ must stand, not quite sure of it himself. The and the Pope must fall; God must student went, restless and wretched, be believed, though the church went to several doctors of the age; but to ruin. The Dauphinese student they only sent him away more scarcely ventured to think; but wretched than before. He told them attempted to make the Bible give that he wanted to be a real Christian, way to the teachings of Popery. and they gave him Aristotle as a But this was a hard task. And he guide. He read books, bowed to shut his eyes lest he should see. images, adored relics, invoked the He now left the Bible unopened, lest saints, kept the fasts and festivals, it should destroy his faith in the carried his reverence for Mary to a Church and in its rites. So his most superstitious extreme, and yet Romish fervour returned, and he all proved worse than in vain. It threw his whole soul into his old was sending him to the brambles, devotions. under a delusion that from them he The Lives of the Saints," so-called, would gather grapes.
were now resorted to. In his heart In his distress he learned one piece Farel admired the invented stories of of good news. It was that the “Holy their zeal, their coarse fare, and rough Father, the Pope," was willing to burry garments, their barefoot pilallow the Old and New Testaments grimages, their self-tortures, the visits to be called the Holy Bible. And paid them by angels, and by the Virgin Farel betook himself to the Bible. Mary, and their alleged freedom from The Pope and the Apostles, he mortal sin. The most disgusting tales thought, must agree in their teach- of their voluntary filthiness were beauings! But as he read the sacred tiful romances of a willing humiliation. page, he was amazed at seeing how He mistook their low and idle lives for they disagreed, and how different a high and heavenly existence, and everything in Romanism was from began to think of living like them. the Christianity of the New Testa- “My dear William," said Lefevre, ment. Where was the mass taught one day when returning from the mass, in the Bible? Where prayer to the
6 God will renew the world, and you saints ?
Where the adoration of will see it." relics? Where the worship of the “ Often have you said this to me, Virgin Mary? Where confession to but I do not yet fully understand your priests? Where the paying of money words.” for a pardon? Where Purgatory? “ Ah! one cannot tell what light
is until it fills his eye, nor 'what life was breathed into his heart. The is until he feels it in his soul. God University was astonished and moved will soon give us both ; new light by by the doctrines which he taught. His holy truth, new life by His Holy Farel listened as for life. The Spirit. The word of God will take the doctrine that Jesus was the only place of the word of the church. We Saviour, and that one such Saviour must give up the Lives of the Saints, was enough, had a weighty charm and read the words of the Apostles." for his heart, and a glorious power
“But are you not going on to over his soul. No sooner had Lefevre publish those “Lives?" I have been put forward this doctrine than Farel delighted with the two monthly embraced it with all the ardour of his numbers now issued."
nature. He had undergone labour “No, no.
I began with zeal the and conflicts enough to be aware that laborious task of collecting and arrang- he could not save himself. In later ing them in the order of their names years he wrote:-“Lefevre extricated in the Calendar. But I am weary of me from the false opinion of human them. They disgust me. They are merits, and taught me that everything foolish legends at best, and many came from grace, which I believed as of them are the false tales of monks, soon as it was spoken." who could write a life to order, with- Farel now found the true cross. out any knowledge of the facts. In his native Alps he had bowed
“You astound me, Father Lefevre." before the “Holy Cross," which he
“I wish to, if there be no other then thought was made of the very way to keep you from having any- wood of the one on which Christ was thing more to do with these legends. crucified. In Paris he had been They are puerile superstitions, and adoring another cross, of which the are no better than brimstone, fit to same story was told-although the kindle the fire of idolatry. They wood was of a different kind. Now cause us to idolize the saints, and to he bowed in spirit before the cross on treat our Lord with neglect. They which Christ had made atonement for are too paltry fables to keep us from sin, and gloried in that atonement, as the sublime word of God.”
did his teacher when he exclaimed : “How came you to know this so “Ineffable exchange! The innocent suddenly?”
One is condemned, and the criminal “By one of those beams of light acquitted ; the Blessing is cursed, which come from heaven through the and He who was cursed is blessed; Holy Scriptures. All at once I was and Life dies, and the dead live : the struck with the impiety of address- Glory is covered with shame, and He, ing prayers to the saints. Go, dear who was deep in shame, is covered William, to the Bible.”
with glory.” This was in 1512. Lefevre had One conflict more the young soul now taken a long and sure step. of Farel must pass through, that he Not the Breviary, but the Bible, might be disciplined to sympathize, should henceforth be his authority. in his after ministry, with those who He studied the epistles of Paul, and might be tempted in like manner. light beamed on his mind, and life The admiration of the saints returned
upon him like a Satanic spell. To pray only to the Master. Our prayers pray to them seemed easier than to must reach the willing ear of God, or pray to Christ.
They had no merit they are useless. Then let them go to give him ; they must not be up directly to Him." trusted in for salvation ; Jesus only The soul of Farel was for a time was the Saviour on whom his faith
shaken by conflict. Now he inclined must be fixed. He saw all that; but to the saints, now to the Saviour. But yet, might not the saints help to bear God struck the blow for him; the his prayers to God? Christ alone spell was broken, the enchantment must be trusted ; but was Christ gone. The saints were in a cloud, alone. to be invoked ? He and Christ appeared in His glory, as troubled, and he carried his question deserving of all adoration. “Then,” to Lefevre.
he wrote afterwards, " Popery was · My dear son,” said the spiritual utterly overthrown in my heart. * * father, “we cannot be sure that the O Lord, would that my soul had saints hear any words we speak. We prayed to
prayed to Thee and honoured know they cannot hear different per- Thee as much as I have given sons, in different places, at the same my heart to the mass, and to serve time. We are sure that Jesus, the that enchanted wafer, giving it all Father, and the Holy Ghost, do hear honour. I have known Thee us, and to this Holy Trinity only we too late. Too late have I loved are at liberty to pray. We must Thee.” hold to what is certain, and abandon But not too late. He lived to be everything that is doubtful."
the “Father of the Church at Geneva," “But the saints have such a feel- the “ beginning” of the Reformation ing for us.”
in his native land. Enemies honoured “ Jesus has infinitely more. He him with the title of the 66 Valais is touched with the feeling of our Luther.” Michelet calls him infirmities. He knows us altogether. Bayard of the battles of God." His No saint can have such a tender latest biographer calls him “the sympathy for us as Christ. He only Elijah of the Alps.” And how God hath trodden the winepress.
He blessed and honoured him for nearly only is the head of the Church. fifty years after his emancipation Let us not call ourselves after St. from the bondage of Rome, forms one Paul or St. Peter; but, in Christ let of the noblest chapters in the history us be Christians. Let the servant of "the kingdom of God."
NEW LIGHT ON AN OLD SHADOW FROM THE CLAY OF
By Beb. Henry T. Robjohns, B.A. When Christian advocates meet in seeming difficulty would disappear.” the Word of God with apparent con- They feel so sure of the entire reliatradictions, they often say :—“Had bility of the Divine Word, that they we more information, no doubt the are convinced this would be the case. Sometimes perplexities do thus. the least, as other historians. We vanish. Further information does shall have to bear this in mind, in the come to hand, and Holy Scripture is present case, for we shall have to take vindicated. No rolling away of cloud Daniel's uncorroborated word for it, is, perhaps, more remarkable than that Belshazzar was a “son,” that is that relating to the person of Bel- descendant of the great king shazzar. Only so recently as the Nebuchadnezzar. writing of Barnes' “Commentary on In January, 1854, Oppert anDaniel,” the cloud was still dark and nounced to Professor Olshausen by impenetrable. The Rev. A. Barnes letter, and in the same month Sir could give no satisfactory explana- Henry Rawlinson to the "Athenæum," tion. The contradiction between the that the name Belshazzar was at last statements of Daniel and of profane found on some Babylonian cylinders. history appeared inexplicable.
Sir Henry Rawlinson says :—"Mr. It was on this wise. Belshazzar's J. Taylor, who has been employed name never occurs in profane history. during the winter in conducting the On that point, the book of Daniel British Museum excavations in was our sole authority. Not only was Southern Chaldæa under my superinhis name not mentioned, but another tendence, has lately disinterred & was said to have been the last king. number of clay cylinders, in the ruins That last king, Nabonadius, was not of Um-Qeer (the ancient Ur of the slain when Babylon was taken. On Chaldees, and near the modern Arab the contrary, he offered battle, in the capital of Sook-ess-Shookh on the open field, to the Persian. Nabonadius Euphrates). Two of these cylinders thereupon shut himself up in Borsippa, have already reached me, and I have a town a little to the south of Babylon. found them to contain a memorial of After Babylon was taken, Cyrus be- the works executed by Nabonadius sieged Borsippa, took it and the king. (the last king of Babylon) in Southern Cyrus treated him with the gentleness Chaldæa. They describe among other shown commonly by the Persians to things the restoration of temples, orithose of royal dignity, and assigned ginally built by the Chaldæan monhim a residence and estates in Car- archs, at least 1,000 years previously, mania, which formed a kind of princi- and further notice the re-opening pality. All this seemed in the teeth of canals dug by Nabopolasser and of Daniel's statements. But the Nebuchadnezzar. The most impordifficulty has at last been solved. tant fact, however, which they disIt might never have been; and close, is, that the eldest son of Nabothat teaches us, what has so often to nadius was named Bel-shar-ezar, and be insisted on, that fuller information that he was admitted to a share of the would in every case vindicate the government. This name is nndoubtBible, and illustrate the minutest edly the Belshazzar of Daniel, and detail. There is also another truth thus furnishes us with a key to the to be borne in mind, and that is, that, explanation of that great historical even placing the Bible writers on the problem which has hitherto defied level of other mere historians, they are solution. We can now understand surely quite as worthy of credit, to say how Belshazzar, as joint king with