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Death of Luther.
155 Saviour surpass your grief for a dead son,-or rather a son still living, though withdrawn from you. My wife and all our family desire to be remembered to you."
2nd April, 1530.
DEATH OF LUTHER. THE following account of the last moments of Luther is full of interest and instruction. The account is from an eye-witness
« On the 17th of Feb. 1546, his friends, perceiving more repose to be necessary for him, persuaded him to keep quiet in his study, which he did, frequently walking up and down, but conversing with animation. From time to time he would stop, and, looking out at the window, he would in that attitude, as his custom was, address fervent prayers to God. Then he would say, ' I was born and baptized here at Eisleben, what, if I should remain and even die here?' Before supper he complained of a pain in his chest, to which he was subject. It was, however, relieved by warm applications. After supper, it returned; but he would not have any medical aid
called. About nine o'clock he lay down on a couch · and fell asleep. He awoke as the clock struck ten,
and desired that those about him would retire to rest. When led into his chamber, he said, I go to rest with God,' and repeated the words of the psalm, Into thy hands, I commend my spirit,' &c. and, stretching out his hands to bid all good night, he added, “Pray for the cause of God.' He then went to bed; but, about one o'clock, he awoke Jonas, and another who slept in the room with him, desired that a fire might be made in his study, and exclaimed, 'How ill I am! I suffer dreadful oppression in my chest; I shall certainly die at Eisleben!"
• Justus Jonas,
He then removed into his study without assistance, and again repeating, Into thy hands I commend my spirit,' he walked backwards and forwards, and desired to have warm clothes brought him. In the mean time, his physicians were sent for, and also Count Albert, who presently caine, with his Countess. All Luther's friends, and his sons, were now collected around him ; medicines were given him, and he seemed somewhat relieved ; and, having laid down on a couch, he fell into a perspiration. This gave encouragement to some present; but he said,
It is a cold sweat the forerunner of death, I shall yield up my spirit.' He then began to pray, nearly in these words.
“O eternal and merciful God, my heavenly Father, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and God of all consolation! I thank thee that thou hast revealed to me thy Son Jesus Christ, in whom I have believed, whom I have preached, whom I have confessed, and whom I love and worship as my dear Saviour and Redeemer. I beseech thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, receive my soul! O heavenly Father, though I be snatched out of this life, though I must now lay down this body, yet know I assuredly that I shall dwell with thee for ever, and that none can pluck me from thy hands!' He then thrice again repeated the words, ' Into thy hands I commend my spirit! Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth. Also those words, 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but should have everlasting life ;' and that verse of the sixty-eighth psalm, 'Our God is the God, of whom cometh salvation; God is the Lord, by whom we escape death. He then became silent, and his powers began to fail him. But when several persons addressed him, Reverend father, you die in the constant confession of Christ, and his doctrine, which you have preached ? he distinctly answered, “Yes,' -and spoke no more ; but, about The Butterfly.
157 a quarter of an hour afterwards, between two and three o'clock in the morning, with his hands clasped together, and, without a feature being disturbed, he breathed his last."
First of all it is a small egg, which the warmth of the sun hatches, and it comes out a little maggot ; this insect feeds very heartily on some kind of tree, or herbage, according to its particular nature, and grows very fast till it attains the size and figure of a complete caterpillar; some caterpillars (particularly silk-worms) change their skins once or twice, and either spin a web for themselves, or creep into the earth, or some other secure place, and there, by degrees, change into chrysalisses. A chrysalis has somewhat the appearance of a bean, and it may be considered as a shroud and coffin, in which the insect that lately crawled about, lies wrapped up and imprisoned. In this inactive state the creature undergoes a most astonishing change, and at length, after having been closely shut up for some time, the shell or coffin gives way to its struggles to obtain liberty, and forth comes a winged insect, more beautifully adorned than any thing human art can produce, which sports about in the air. These insects give us a very lively image of our own passage through this life to the next. We are first infants, we attain to manhood by degrees, we alter in our outward appearance, our lives end, we lie for a time in the silent grave, and then break forth, and begin a new existence.
But here the comparison between mankind and the caterpillar tribe ends: for our resurrection will be very different from theirs. The butterfly rises only to sport itself in the sun-shine, and to enjoy for a short space the pleasures of this world. We shall rise either to enjoy the pleasures of heaven, which as the Scriptures tell us, are greater than words can describe, or the mind conceive: or to be plunged into destruction, which is the second death.
Let us, therefore, no longer confine our views to this transitory state, nor for the sake of any thing this world can give, incur the punishment of eternal death, but keep our minds constantly fixed on the great prize of our calling, a crown of glory in the regions of everlasting bliss.
C. H. N.
Say, is there aught that can convey
ON ETERNITY. (Part of these Verses have already been given in our 4th Vol.
Attend, O man! with awe divine,
When we consider heaven, and its happiness, how low and mean, how sordid and vile, how unworthy
our care and affection will all worldly things appear! What doth it concern us, in what rank or