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THE HISTORY OF AN OLD BOOK AND ITS AUTHOR.
to come to Him, to come now! Tell the Reformation. The light that every man you meet, Christ for every arose within him shone out, and the man-Jesus Christ for every man. brand of heresy was soon fixed upon My blessed, blessed Saviour, world him by the bigots of the Italian without end. Amen. Blessed, blessed Church. In 1542 he was brought Jesus !"
before the Senate of Sienna, but for the Let us turn now away from the time escaped the penalty of his heresy. poor ignorant railroad - digger, to One Otho Melius Cotta was his another different person, a scholar and most determined enemy; and with a man of letters, the late Sir James this person three hundred leagued Mackintosh, and see how he, as well themselves in a resolution to destroy as his poor ignorant brother, made Paleario. In order to insure his conmuch of Christ. "Whenever a word demnation, twelve of these were from the Scriptures," says his son,“was selected to bear witness against him. repeated to him, he always manifested He had, in consequence, to defend that he heard it; and I especially ob- himself before the Senate of Sienna ; served that at every mention of the which he did with so much spirit that name of Jesus Christ, if his eyes were for the moment his defence was succlosed, he always opened them, and cessful. “There are some," said he, looked at the person who had spoken. “ so censorious as to be displeased I said to him at one time, Jesus when we give the highest praise to Christ loves you.' He answered the Author and God of our salvation, slowly, and pausing between each Christ, the King of all nations and word, Jesus Christ-love-the same people. For writing in the Tuscan thing. He uttered these last words language to show what great benefits with a sweet smile. After a long accrue to mankind from His death, a silence, he said, 'I believe.' We criminal accusation has been made said, in a voice of inquiry, 'In God?' against me. Is it possible to utter or He answered, 'In Jesus.' He spoke conceive anything more shameful? I but once after."
said that, since He, in whom Divinity Thus do learned and ignorant, high resided, has poured out His life's and low, need Christ; and thus it is blood so lovingly for our salvation, proved that all true Christians make we ought not to doubt the good-will much of Him whom their soul loveth. of Heaven, but may promise ourselves
the greatest tranquillity and peace. I
affirmed, agreeably to the most unTHE HISTORY OF AN OLD
questionable monuments of antiquity, BOOK AND ITS AUTHOR.
that those who turn with their souls (Concluded from page 11.) to Christ crucified, commit themselves AONIO PALEARIO, the author of to Him by faith, acquiesce in the prothe old book previously described, was mises, and cleave with assured faith born in the Campagna di Roma, at to Him who cannot deceive, are deVeroli, about the year 1503. Hestudied livered from all evil, and enjoy a full at Rome under the most eminent pardon of all their sins. These things masters, and soon took rank with the appeared so grievous, so detestable, so learned of that city. In 1530 he execrable, to the twelve, I cannot call went to Perugia, in the Romagna, them men, but inhuman beasts, that and thence to Sienna, a city of Tus- they judged that the author should be cany; where, in 1538, he married. He committed to the flames. If I must here taught the learned languages, undergo this punishment for the aforewhilst diligently studying the Scrip- said testimony, then, Senators, nothing tures and the works of the writers of more happy can befall me. In such
THE HISTORY OF AN OLD BOOK AND ITS AUTHOR.
times as these I do not think a Christian ought to die in his bed. To be accused, to be dragged to prison, to be scourged, to be hung up by the neck, to be sewed up in a sack, to be exposed to wild beasts, is little : let me be roasted before a fire, provided only the truth be brought to light by such
In 1546 he was invited to Lucca; whence, after ten years' service, he removed to Milan, at the invitation of its Senate, to take the post of Professor of Eloquence. Here his persecutors, who had dogged his steps for years, secured their prey. Paleario was seized by the Inquisitor Angelo di Cremona, about 1568, conveyed to Rome, and committed a close prisoner to the Torre di Nona.
The charges against him were disposed under the following four heads: - That he denied purgatory; that he disapproved of the burial of the dead in churches, and preferred the ancient Roman mode of sepulture without the walls of the cities; that he ridiculed the monastic life; and, lastly, that he ascribed justification solely to faith in the mercy of God forgiving our sins through Jesus Christ. In his examination he appears to have manifested great firmness. When questioned by the Cardinals of the Inquisition, he addressed them (it is an enemy who reports his words) : “Seeing that your Eminences have so many credible witnesses against me, it is unnecessary for you to give yourselves or me longer trouble. I am resolved to act according to the advice of the blessed Apostle Peter, when he says, ' Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps : who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth : who, when He was reviled, reviled not again, when He suffered He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.' Proceed, then, to give judgment: pronounce sentence on Aonio, and thus gratify his adversaries and
fulfil your office.” Judgment was given ; and he was condemned, after a lengthened imprisonment, to be suspended on a gibbet, and his body to be committed to the flames : more probably, however, he was burned alive.
The Romanists, according to their frequent practice in such cases, pretended that Aonio was repentant and died in the communion of their Church. But this assertion is refuted by an author, Laderchius, who drew his materials from the records of the Inquisition, and who says, “When it appeared that this son of Belial was obstinate and refractory, and could by no means be recovered from the darkness of error to the light of truth, he was deservedly delivered to the fire, that, after suffering its momentary pains here, he might be found in everlasting flames hereafter.” Indeed, the last letters which Paleario wrote to his family on the morning of his death show the falsity of the pretended recantation. They would, we may readily conclude, have expressed his contrition, had he felt any, for opposing the Popish doctrines. Thus does the old man write from his dungeon in the face of a cruel death :
“MY DEAREST WIFE, - I would not wish that you should receive sorrow from my pleasure, nor ill from my good. The hour is now come when I must pass from this life to my Lord, and Father, and God. I depart as joyfully as if I were going to the nuptials of the Son of the Great King, which I have always prayed my Lord to grant me through His goodness and infinite mercy. Wherefore, my dearest wife, comfort yourself with the will of God and with my resignation, and attend to the desponding family which still survives, training them up and preserving them in the fear of God, and being to them both father and mother. I am now an old man of seventy years, and useless. Our children must provide for themselves by their virtue and industry, and lead
an honourable life. God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with thy spirit! Thy husband,
“AONIO PALEARIO. “ Rome, July 3d, 1570.”
Thus gladly did he meet death, and, giving himself up to his tormentors, entered into his eternal rest.
METHODISM. BY THE REV. DAVID HAY. RISING fresh from the study of that precious fragment of church-history, the Acts of the Apostles, we cannot fail to recognise, in the rise of Methodism, Christianity in carnest to fulfil its glorious mission to mankind, by preaching the Gospel to every creature, according to the command of its Divine Author. To every mind, interested in the spread of Christ's kingdom, it does undoubtedly present, in its origin and progress, a fitting subject for religious study and intelligent reflection ; for around it cluster facts of highest interest and most profound significance. It is now generally acknowledged by enlightened Ministers of every denomination, and by recent historians, and living essayists, that Methodism has been the chief instrument in promoting a great national revival of religion during the last century, and of extending its blessings to the distant regions of the earth. It may not, therefore, be unacceptable to the readers of the “Miscellany,” if we devote a few papers to the illustration of Methodist history, including incidents in the lives and characters of its founders, and in those also of their noble coadjutors; or, more fully, its Providential history, spiritual effects, and rapid progress. And for the accomplishment of our purpose abundant materials are at hand ; materials which have been furnished both by friends and foes, and which are continually increasing.
Methodism has, from the beginning,
been subjected to almost every kind of ordeal through which it was possible for it to pass. It has been openly assailed by ignorance and brutality in their wildest fury; learning has sneered at it from its high places; wit has ridiculed it; while rank and wealth have denounced it as a base, vulgar thing. Formality, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy have agreed to brand it with the opprobious epithets of “enthusiasm," " fanaticism,” and “religious madness.” Yet, it is admitted that all along it has wrought great reformation in men's lives, transforming the drunken and licentious into sober and chaste living, and making peaceful and happy many a once troubled and wretched home. But it is still, in the eyes of the world, a mean and despicable thing, endured and tolerated from mere necessity, and to a large extent the sect everywhere spoken against.
But, after more than a century of fiery trial, the derided thing still lives, and flourishes too, in every soil and climate under heaven ; and that not by the policy and power of man, but by the wisdom and power of God. Methodism is now a great fact, whatever the opinions of men respecting it; and though its very success has silenced some of its adversaries, and modified the opposition of others, yet it is not, by any means, even now, a general favourite with the world.
A great change, however, has come over the spirit of the dream of many of its antagonists. Once it was altogether bad ; from this “Nazareth” no good thing could possibly come ; therefore it was laughed to scorn. But of late years it has become the fashion partly to praise it, and partly to blame it; and, in spite of the anomaly, from the same fountain have come forth both sweet and bitter waters. It has entered upon a new era of its history, and is no longer to be assailed by brute force, or by that blind and bitter prejudice which will see no good in it at
all. It is in our day regarded as a proper theme for the polite essayist; and a late Poet Laureate discovered in its history gems which he deemed worthy of a rich literary setting; and hence we are treated to Southey's "Life of Wesley.” Another finds it a tempting subject for philosophical analysis; and the result is Taylor's "Wesley and Methodism." Others of less elevated mien, whose calling is to cater for the popular taste, and live by their employment, have found in Methodism a subject for a “People's Lecture ;" and their treatment of it has been in harmony with their calling.
From all this we fear nothing for Methodism, but anticipate much good both to it and to everybody. Most of its critics have derived some benefit from the acquaintance which they have been obliged to make with the real facts of its history, and the evangelical character of its teaching; while the prejudices which survive are just such as lie against Christianity itself, rightly interpreted. And we regard it as no unfavourable sign of the times, that the attention of minds $0 diverse in their character, should continue to be directed to that great revival of religion which commenced in the beginning of the last century, in the United Kingdom, and America, and which has extended its blessed influence to the most distant regions of the earth, and which now, like a mighty river, is irrigating and fructifying its vast moral deserts.
There is no indication at present that the origin of Methodism is likely to be lost to the knowledge of mankind. At the time we write, there are two elaborate and independent histories of Methodist issuing from the English and American presses ; the former by Dr. G. Smith, and the latter by Dr. Stevens. These works contrast favourably with some of those productions to which we have referred. They are at once comprehensive, impartial, and friendly in their tone and spirit. Their
authors, with other high literary qualifications, possess that which is essential to a true historian of Methodism ; namely, an enlightened, fervent piety. These histories are the production of men who possess the power of religious discrimination, and are, in consequence, able both to recognise and defend that work of God whose origin and progress they record.
The readers of the “Miscellany" are very numerous. Upwards of two hundred thousand minds come monthly in contact with it ; and though we are glad to know that it finds its way into various religious circles, yet the majority of its readers belong to the Methodist family, and many of them are numbered among its youth. All these, from their position, know more or less of Methodism ; but how many of them have read the Journals of the Wesleys, John and Charles, or the Lives of the two brothers, or those of the early Methodist Preachers ? Yet, the subject is fraught with interest to every one who takes pleasure in the progress of Christ's Gospel, to whatever denomination he may belong; and it should certainly be more especially so to the minds and hearts of those whom Providence has connected with the Methodist branch of the church of the Redeemer. Now no one is competent to form a correct view of the great religious revival to which the name of Method ism has been given, who does not know something of the religious state of the nation prior to its commencement. Individual Christians undoubtedly existed, and here and there little bands of those who feared the Lord, and thought upon His Name, spake often one to another in words of sympathy and encouragement; but as to the people generally, they were wholly uninfluenced by religion. There was a prevailing ignorance of the doctrines of the Gospel, and its morals were all but universally discarded, and that by high and low. After the restoration of the King to the throne, the flood
gates of iniquity were opened, and the abhors, of which we have not had for desolation was general. “Under the many years a plentiful and stilllast of the Stuarts, the Court became increasing harvest ? Such a complicaa royal brothel, and the play-house the tion of villanies of every kind, contemple of England. The drama of the sidered with all their aggravations; day could not now be exhibited ; nor such a scorn of all that bears the face even privately read, without blushes. of virtue ; such injustice, fraud, and Many of the most learned and devoted falsehood, we may defy the whole Clergymen, whose writings are im- world to produce. Just at this time, perishable in our religious literature, when we wanted little of 'filling up the were either silenced or displaced. The measure of our iniquities,' two or three ministrations of the Church grew Clergymen of the Church of England formal and ineffective; the Puritan began vehemently to call sinners to churches themselves at last fell into repentance.'” It was at this very general decay; while the masses of the period, when ungodliness was the unipeople sunk into incredible vice and versal, constant, peculiar characteristic brutality. England had lapsed into of the nation, that the Lord sent forth virtual Heathenism, when Wesley ap- a few of His servants, as with trumpetpeared."
tongues, to proclaim the everlasting Onthe Continent, infidelity prevailed, Gospel to a fallen Church, and a guilty decked out in all the tinsel show that land. poetry and eloquence could give it; and This testimony of Wesley, as to the at home, the most popular writers state of the kingdom in reference to reliwere sceptics and infidels. The Clergy gion, is confirmed by the direct stateof the day had neither learning norments of both Churchmen and Dissenheart to cope with the antagonists of ters, and admitted on all hands. Both Christianity; nay, many of themselves Southey and Taylor not only admit it, were deeply tainted with Socinian but confirm it; the latter acknowledge error, while the rest cared not for any ing that, beside its direct effects upon of these things. Publio worship was the masses of a people fast lapsing into. in a great measure neglected ; and Heathenism, Methodism reanimated the where it was observed at all, it was languishing Nonconformity of the last degraded into a mere empty, lifeless century, which, just at the time of the form. The higher classes laughed at Methodist revival, was rapidly in course piety, and prided themselves in to be found nowhere but in books. being above its fanaticism: the lower Never, in any country nominally classes were grossly ignorant, and Christian and Protestant, was a living, abandoned to vice. Wesley himself, earnest, and fearless preaching of the in his “ Appeal to Men of Reason and Divine doctrines of the Gospel more Religion," asks, “What can an im needed than in England, about a cenpartial person think concerning the tury and a halfago. Without the Church, present state of religion in England ? all was darkness; and within it, all was Is there a nation under the sun which death. The nation seemed gradually is so deeply fallen from the very first hastening to a perilous crisis, and yet principles of all religion ? Where is none appeared alive to its danger; or, if the country in which is found so utter at all apprehensive of approaching ill, a disregard to even heathen morality, knew not the remedy, and were not such a thorough contempt of justice able, therefore, to apply it. and truth, and all that should be dear But, loudly as the sins of the people and honourable to rational creatures ? cried to heaven for judgment, God did What species of vice can possibly be once more, in wrath, remember mercy; named, even of those that nature itself and from one of the most degraded,