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may be—as is the case in our country-designated by the people, but he is invested with office by God's authority alone. The administration of the oath of office is his divine ordination. “The powers that be are ordained of God, and the ruler “is the minister of God”. (Rom. iii. 1-7). Whilst no particular form of government is recognized as alone divine, the "powers that be"—that is, the existing powers, whatever be their particular form, "are ordained of God." The ruler, therefore, is God's minister. God has put him into the place he occupies, and he is the organ of God's overruling power at the head of the nation. Now, the one, wliom God sets in this high place of earth, and clothes with His own power and will, him the regicide cuts off, thus defying and resisting God's will in the high places of His power.
Thus the regicide, in fact, disputes with God the right of governing nations! Whom God sets up, he undertakes to hurl down. The war of the regicide is not a war merely with the one he destroys—it is a direct fight with God Himself. He assaults Jehovah's own arm, and makes a thrust at the Ruler of rulers. He stains with anointed blood the
throne God Himself sits in the person of His earthly ruler!
The turpitude of ordinary murder consists in the fact that the human being whom he kills “was made in the image of God” (Gen. ix. 6). But the one whom the regicide destroys has not only the image of God, but, in addition to it, the consecration and power of God in office. Patricide and matricide are regarded as higher in the degree of crime than ordinary murder, because father and mother are not merely human beings to their own children, but besides this they are parents—the constitutional heads of the family. But first, so far as the State is a higher constitution than the family, so much more awful in degree is the crime of regicide than that of patricide or matricide. The ruler is the father of the great national family; in destroying him the regicide destroys more than his own father.
Besides all this, must be considered, that the ruler, especially in our own country, has been designated to that honor and high office by the will and voice of the people. Millions of men have chosen him as their ruler. But him whom millions designated to the head of power, one man undertakes to hurl down and destroy! His act is a direct war upon millions—and as their wills, wishes, hopes and purposes all lie in the one head, the war which the regicide makes upon the millions is a success.
He violently abrogates the national will!
This suggests the further consideration, that the regicide, as far as his act reaches, annihilates law and government. He, for the time being, destroys the head and power of government. The act is a proclamation of anarchy; and when the elements of anarchy are present in the people, his act is followed by all the results involved in it.
Such is the high and awful crime which has just been perpetrated. Well does the whole nation lift up its hands in awe to Heaven. Well does the moral sense of the land shudder and start back, as if the flames of hell had suddenly flashed up before us. Well do we all wonder how such a dreadful crime is possible ! Certainly it is only possible as the last and legitimate fruit of that dark and terrible treason, which has for four years aimed its fearful dagger at the heart of the Republic.
Elsewhere in this number, in an article written before this regicidal tragedy was enacted, we have lifted our feeble voice toward awakening a proper sense of the crime of treason. May not, in this view, this sad calamity be overruled in mercy for the health and safety of the Republic? We earnestly hope, that all manifestation of revenge may be checked, and, at the same time, the minds of our rulers and people may be deeply awakened to a sense of the absolute necessity of vindicating the law against treason. Vain is that policy, which seeks to be wiser than God, and more humane than He!
May not this awful tragedy, in the mysterious wisdom of God, be overruled to check that morbid tendency, which has lately manifested itself in the
way of unchristian sympathy with the awful crime of treason, and which has already begun to get up a public opinion in favor of what it calls-what a misnomer !—“ magnanimity" towards the instigators and leaders of the rebellion. We dread this sickly, anti-christian spirit more than all else before us as a nation. Should it appear, that the “minister of God” bears the sword in “vain,” all the moral effect of all the sacrifices of the war is virtually lost. Was this eadful sacrifice of the nation's head yet necessary to counteract this mawkish sentimentality?
May God preserve the moral sense for the majesty of law in the hearts of the people! Such men as Beecher and Greely, who are endeavoring to lead off in this miserable effort to degrade and ignore the eternal sanctions of divine and human law, and to convert unreflecting people to their crusade against the true idea and end of law, are now the enemies of the Republic. It is humiliating that our Christian journals manifest so little zeal and sensitiveness for the majesty of law, and the Christian principles which underlie the great question at issue. We earnestly pray, that this dreadful tragedy may arouse the nation to right views of the awful crime of treason -which is the cause and the essence of regicide—and conduce to the honor and vindication of the divine and human law.
THE OLD-TIME HEARTH-FIRE.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN IN THE JULY NO. 1864.
BY THE EDITOR.
The poets praise, in touching rhyme,
Now, sights like these are truly rare,
They ask no greater bliss to share
When I that hearth in fancy see,
LIFE PICTURES FROM CHURCH HISTORY, No. 21.
FROM THE GERMAN OF J. HARTMANN.
BY L. H. S.
This venerable witness for evangelical truth in the Reformation, was born, June 24, 1499, at Weil, a free town in Suabia, now a provincial town in Würtemberg, situated at the south-eastern foot of the Schwarzwald. His father, the city magistrate, and his mother of the family of Hennig) were, as Brenz states in his will, exceedingly careful about the religious instruction of their children; they were obliged to suffer even after death for their own fidelity to the evangelical confession-although they had been won over to it after their son—in that burial was denied in the church-yard, and they were buried outside of the city, in unconsecrated ground. After he had received rudimentary instruction at Baihingen and Heidelberg, he entered the University (in 1512) at the latter place, where a circle of youths, eager for knowledge, such as Melanchthon, Ecolampadius, Bucer, Lachmann, and Schnepf, received him into their midst. They shared the great work of church-reformation with him, ten years afterwards. When Luther came to Heidelberg, in 1518, after the ninety-five Theses had been read throughout all Germany, he rejoiced that he was able to express the hope, that these students should one day be the disciples of the true religion, in contrast with the older ministers, who were bound down by traditions.
Brenz made his appearance in Heidelberg, as teacher and preacher, with great success, although the adherents of the old doctrine soon held him in suspicion. He accepted a call as preacher to Swabian Hall, in 1522, with great pleasure, when scarcely twenty-three years old, and, even in his trial sermon, commended himself by his dignified deportment and the solid nature of his discourse. With gentleness and firmness he exposed the abuses of the old Church in doctrine and worship, and directed both church and school-life in an evangelical manner. With reference to the saints, he taught, that we dare not seek of them what they themselves do not demand; that they, who are a part of the body of Christ, should not be addressed instead of God, thus dividing one's prayers. When the peasants rebelled, in 1525, Brenz opposed them, in accordance with the gospel teaching, that one should not resist evil, but be obedient to the powers that be; their plan was not the proper one to conquer evangelical love and brotherhood. They should importune God with prayers, and entreat the authorities, where these are considerate—that they be kind enough to grant, etc. The State, he advised, should defend herself in the best manner possible; for if she yielded to the peasants, she would no longer exist. He looked upon it as a double duty to assist not only the people, but also the princes to a right understanding of the Word of God, so that the latter might govern the people in accordance with the will of God. Like Luther, he made the Christian education of youth a special object, and even published, a year before Luther, the first Evangelical Catechism—“Questions on the Christian Faith for the Youth of Swabian Hall,” 1528. From the
year 1525, he was involved in the discussions on the Lord's Supper, in which he maintained the Swiss view concerning the actual presence of Christ in the Supper, in opposition to that held by Luther, and established it from the Scriptures and the Church Fathers.
During a discussion at Marburg, in 1529, he saw Luther again, and made the acquaintance of the exiled Duke Ulrich of Würtemberg. His introduction of his excellent Church Order was not confined alone to Hall; his counsel was asked for at times from a distance, also, by the nobility in Kraichgaw, Hohenlohe, on the lower Neckar, in the Swabian imperial towns, in France and in Nürnberg and Anspach. The Margrave George of Brandenburg took him with him to Augsburg, at the Imperial Diet of 1530, when Brenz was selected on the committee appointed to arrange the business for the assembly. After his return, he married Margaret Gräter, a respectable widow, who bore him six children, three of whom survived him. In 1536 and 1537 he reconstructed the University of Tübingen, at the request of Duke Ulrich, after his restoration to power. Brenz was active in all the Protestant theological discussions held at Smalkald, Worms, etc. In 1546, shortly after Luther's death, the destructive Smalkald war broke out. The Imperials took Hall in the early part of 1547; Brenz was scarcely able to save his most important papers and his family. It was specially perilous for Brenz, since letters were found and brought to the emperor, in which he, who so long declaimed against resistance, and in favor of peace with the emperor, maintained that the defence of the assailed Protestants was not unrighteous nor an offence to Christian obedience. Brenz was obliged to take to the woods, on St. Thomas' Day—in the dead of Winter—and remain there until he could return to his plundered dwelling, after the departure of the imperial troops. His rest was not of long duration. The Interim, which was strongly urged by the emperor as a means of union of the Catholics and Protestants in doctrine and manner of worship, it was not possible for Brenz to approve. It was impossible, he