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the reality and power of the religious principle which has supported men through suffering and persecutivn, true to their own convictions, even when erroneous, and only strengthened and consoled by the one true faith, that God never deserts those that earnestly, personally seek him, that all will work for the best to those ihat love the Almighty.
The first part of this work, complete in itself, contains an account of Luther, and his rival, and still greater, though far less moderate and successful, reformer, Munzer. Of Luther few will expect to learn more in fifty pages than they know already. His character is ably pourtrayed, and the leading events of his life which contributed to form his opinions, as well as to modify his dispositions, are sufficiently dwelt upon. With regard to Mr. Solly's particular exposition of the doctrine of “justification by faith," there will doubtless continue to be a wide diversity of opinion. While it is undoubtedly true, that “ beneath much that now appears to us local, temporary, and technical, both in Paul and Luther's talk about justification, we may be assured there are truths of world-wide application, and eternal value;" we can not agree with him that Paul ever used this phrase in a technical sense.
That appears to us to be the great fault only of interpreters, who could not, or did not, enter into his view of faith, and did not see its essential and necessary bearing upon life. Paul's faith appears to us to have embraced two elements: one of intellectual conviction, the other of a willcompelling emotion. The first part is best translated belief, the second part faith; but both are ever embraced in the usual use of the original term. It is a persuasion that involves confidence and love. James perhaps omits the latter elements in his use of the term, and on that ground is often supposed, erroneously, as he was by Luther, to contradict Paul, the same word being employed by him in a less extensive sense, as, the devils believe in one God, but, having no faith, they tremble. We think, that “the act of faith required by Paul for justification was the movement of the affections towards God;" for that was the faith of Christ which Paul ever preached. This removes all charge of “ a hard and material side” from the Apostles' writings. They are indeed emblematical when referring to now obsolete usages, which, when rightly understood, were themselves only emblematical, as “sacrifices for sin;" but, that does not prevent them being every where "spiritual and expansive.”
The portion of this part relating to Munzer has a freshness
about it, which it were difficult to impart to one so well known as Martin Luther. Munzer, usually regarded, as George Fox and all very earnest men have been, in the light of fanatical, or mad men, has here his real character and merits done ample justice, without the concealment of his extravagance and unfortunate delusions. To the author of “Byeways of History," Mr. Solly acknowledges his being indebted for a more favourable view of this man's character:
“He preached too plainly and fiercely to be tolerated by the ruling powers, and being forced to fly for his life, wandered sadly, with burning heart, wearily, wearily, communicating his fiery thoughts and glorious dreams to thousands of those whom oppression had maddened, whom the Gospel had awakened into men, but had hardly yet developed into Christians.”—p. 38.
Towards these men it seems that Luther advised far milder measures than the fiery Melancthon, who is often far too much praised for his temper, though perhaps not for his learning. Luther was contented to argue with them :
“He said, “Your rulers have done wrong in refusing to allow the gospel to be preached to you, and in depriving you of your temporal goods; but, much more do you do wrong that you do not trust in God's word alone.' 'Does not Christ say, “Resist not evil,' &c. Suffer, suffer; the cross, the cross; that is the law for the Christian ; that and no other.' True again, oh! how divinely true, but, Martin Luther, is it true only for the poor, not for the rich? only for the oppressed, not for the oppressors? Why did he not preach these glorious doctrines to baron and knight, to Dukes, Princes, and Diets ? If the Minister of Christ's Gospel is bound to preach endurance of wrongs to the peasant, and bid him, as he loves Christ and hopes for heaven, only overcome evil with good, what a tenfold weight of obligation rests upon him to urge these glorious doctrines upon the consciences of the rich and powerful, the privileged five-talent servants, to bring them also to bear the cross and deny themselves, sacrificing luxuries, ease, pleasure, even lawful indulgences and rights, and ministering to the temporal and spiritual wants of the heavy laden; that so labouring they may support the weak, and find how far more blessed it is to give than to receive.” p. 44.
We must close our notice with one more extract:“Let the ministers of Christ's gospel, and the members of his church, never forget, that as it was in the sixteenth century, so it ever is, and must be, while selfishness begets oppression; that when the labouring classes, or any class socially or politically wronged, see religious men look coldly on their grievances, turn away from their prayers, the sufferers inevitably lose all faith in a religion which cannot move its professors to exercise justice and mercy, they believe such a religion to be a hypocritical mockery; and, not having found Christianity their friend, they commit themselves to violent measures, or sink into debasing apathy, and sensual sins.”—p., 49.
NOTES OF A NATURALIST.
APRIL, fickle April, with its alternation of showers and fitful gleams of sunshine, has arrived. The month of Hope, when the swelling bud, the up-springing of flowers, the chaunt of the native warbler, and the return of the migratory tribes of the feathered creation, inspire our minds with a freshness of beauty and a recognition of old delights. The sweet violet (viola odorata), which began to appear in March, now covers the hedge banks in myriads. Let us not forget to learn a moral lesson from the violet; well has it been drawn by our own gifted Bowring :
Sweet flower! Spring's earliest, loveliest gem,
Then wake again and bloom for ever. The Pilewort (Ranunculus ficaria) fills the banks of woods and thickets with its golden flowers, the children crowding to gather the starry gems and to mingle them in their nosegays. In Nottinghamshire, and some other places, the Vernal Crocus covers acres with sheets of lilac bloom. Our Lady's Smock (Cardamine pratensis) now shows its pale blossoms in the meadows, receiving its name from the period of the Annunciation, and the mantle or chemise with which the Virgin was supposed to have been clothed. Daisies become common; the Dandelion appears here and there; the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) enriches the moist meadows and swamps with its large rich yellow flowers. The primrose (primula veris), old and welcome friend of the lover of nature, again makes its appearance. Who does not love the meek primrose, recalling happy, happy childhood's days, when we wandered to get handfuls of its blossoms. Who does not admire the chaste and elegant verse of Robert Nicol, one of Scotia's greatest bards, in reference to this flower :
The stars are bright at eventide
But cold and far away ;
But all unstable they.
The rose is rich—but pride of place,
Is far too high for me,
My primrose, such as thee. The beautiful wood anemone (anemone memorosa) hangs out her chaste and meek bell-like flowers, studding the woodland slopes. 'Tis sweet to gaze on her elegant foliage, and flowers
“ Chaste and pure as the driven snow,
Yet faintly tinged with a purple glow.”
Nymph of the wood and the sheltered glade,
In her lowly bed,
In her drooping bells. The leafing and budding of trees proceed readily in this month, unless stopped by inclement weather. The blossoms on the apple, peach, apricot, nectarine, cherry, and other fruit trees, make a splendid appearance, even in the North, in sheltered spots. The leaves of the horse-chesnut begin to open; the laurel flowers, and the newlyopened leaves of the hedges, and of the beeches and early elms, array nature in a bright green attire. The catkins, or pendulous flowers of many of the trees are now peculiarly beautiful; the ash trees are black with their large conglomerated buds; the alder is covered with its dark bunches, and the elm is shrouded in its hop-like blossoms. The melody of the vernal songsters has also a most refreshing, and to refined minds, a hallowing effect. The return of migratory birds is also a delightful feature of the month. Not only the swallow tribe, and the cuckoo, “sweet messenger of spring,” but scores of old acquaintances suddenly salute you in your walks, with their wellremembered aspects and notes. White-throats, whinchats, reed sparrows, &c., perched on their old twigs, seem in no way fatigued, but carol as blithely as if they had but quitted some sound sleep. The woodlands teem with love scenes, and the boys are absorbed with bird nesting. We know carcely any
ject upon which it behoves the parent to guard his offspring with more care than on the subject of bird nesting. The wanton cruelties sometimes inflicted upon the feelings of the loveliest portion of the un-reasoning creation, by the robberies of birds' nests, has a hardening effect upon the youthful mind, and is one of those things upon which the parents' admonitions and vigilance should be frequent and unremitting.
We might fill the whole of this month's number were we to dwell
upon the opening beauties of Spring, or narrate the peculiarities of each flower, or bird, or insect, which now appears as the companion of Spring, much less have we space for the reflections and moral lessons which crowd upon us. We must content ourselves with subjoining a list of the arrivals, &c., of migratory birds, and a select botanical calendar for the month.
One parting word in favour of the contemplation of nature we must give, however, with these opening “Notes” which we hope to continue monthly. It is a lamentable circumstance, that in the feverish anxiety of commercial pursuits, the love of nature is so often neglected, and the deep religious feeling and reflective spirit which views all nature as a living temple, and rises in its reflection “up to nature's God,” is so little cultivated. It is, however, a truth that few, if any of us, might not with perfect ease devote some portion of our time to the fields, the woodlands, and the streams, without impeding the success of our business, and with manifest advantage to our health and comfort. May we not address the man of business, who sternly devotes his whole time to the warehouse and counting house, in the language of Beattie:
Oh! how canst thou renounce the boundless store
Of charms which Nature to her votary yields !
The pomp of groves and garniture of fields.
All that the genial ray of morning yields,
All that the mountain's sheltering bosom shields,
MIGRATING BIRDS ARRIVING IN APRIL.
Charadrius Hiaticula, Ring Dottrel, goes August, haunts sea shore. Columba Turtur, Turtle Dove, goes Sept., woods in Kent. Coturnix vulgaris, Quail, goes Aug. Sept., grassy fields. Cuculus canorus, Cuckoo, goes July Aug., fields generally. Curruca luscinia, Nightingale, comes from 12th to 20th, goes Aug., woods and copses, Kent and Counties south of Derbyshire. Curruca sylvia, Whitethroat, goes Sept., hedges and bushes. Curruca sylviella, Lesser Whitethroat, goes Sept., hedges and bushes. Curruca atricapilla, Blackcap, comes 13th, goes Sept., gardens. Curruca locustella, Grasshopper Lark, goes Sept., brakes and bushes. Curruca hortensis, Pettychaps, goes Sept.
, shrubberies in southern counties. Curruca sibilllatrix, Wood Wren, goes Sept., beech and oak woods. Cypselus apus, Swift, comes 24th, goes Aug. 15th, Eaves and towers. Fratercula arctica, Puffin, goes Aug., North coasts. Hirundo rustica, Swallow, comes 13th, goes Sept. Nov., chimneys. Hirundo riparia, Sand Martin, goes Oct., sand cliffs near water. "Hirundo urbica, Martin, goes Oct., Eaves.' Motacilla flava, Yellow Wagtail, goes Sept., green corn. Muscicapa atricapilla, Pied Flycatcher, goes Sept., woods. Rallus aquaticus, Water Rail
, goes Oct., sedgy Waters. Saxicola rubetra, Whinchat, comes 13th,