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t .^ 





SarbartJ College fLibrarg. 



(Clan of X814), 

Received 22 March, 1875. 












uirooLiff'B-nnr vdcldb. 











""Son unhifl did, fortuitique sennonis, sed plurhnorum mensimn^ exaot»qu« 
histori»."~BRAKDOLINl, Dialog. 








Origin of Anabapiism. — CarUtadt and Munzer are Luther's children. — Doc- 
trines of the Anabaptists. — Melancthon, by order of Frederick, holds 
conferences with the Anabaptists, who had received the name of the pro- 
phets. — ^What he thinks of them. — He appeals from them to Luther. — 
Frederick tries, but ineffectually, to prevent the monk's return to Wittem- 
berg. — Luther's letter to the elector. — ^He returns to Wittemberg, ascends 
the pulpit> and preaches against the fitnatics. — Confers with Stubner and 
Gellarius, and cannot bring them back. — ^His interview with Munzer. — ^The 
prophets are expelled from Wlttembeig. — Garlstadt's books are confiscated. 
— ^What then had the prophets done ^-ZPoffe 1. 



Although the prophets were expelled from Wittemberg, the rebellion was not 
quelled. — It was necessary to supply a new aliment for the activity of mind 
created by free inquiry. — Luther preaches upon marriage. — Sketch of his 
sermon. — ^Erasmus looks upon it only as a joke. — He did not perceive 
Luther's secret intention. — What did Luther intend by his carnal illus- 
trations in the pulpit ? — ^The princes are silent on this scandal. — A collection 
of Luther's sermons is published at Wittembeiv, in which the monk is 
represented with the Holy Ghost over his head. — Staupitz, horrified by 
ttiese things, returns to Catholicism, and deserts his old friend. — Page 17. 



Development of Luther's principles. — ^Myconius, Bugenhagen, Capito, Hedlo, 
and CBcolampadius embrace Protestantism. — ^The secularised monks leave 
the monastery. — Attempts at propagating Lutheranism in the religious 
houses. — Special writing composed for their use by Dr. Luther. — The book 
against the priesthood. — ^Analysis of it. — Page 26. 




Florent of Utrecht ia eloTated to the pontifical chair, and takes the name of 
Adrian YI. — Character of that pope. — Estimate of it by Protestant histo- 
rians. — ^Reforms which he wishes to introduce in the Church. — He sends 
Cheregatus to the Diet assembled at Nuremberg. — ^Appearance of the 
assembly. — ^Attempts at reconciliation made by the popedom, and which are 
baffled by the inimical dispositions of the members of the Diet. — ^Writings 
published by Luther to foment defiance and hatred against Rome. — ^The 
Diet digests its memorial of grievances^ known by the name of " Centum 
Gravamina." — Luther's commentary. — Adrian's grief and mortification. — 
His death. — ^Luther's pamphlet against him whom he oaUs the old devil of 
MeiBsen. — Melancthon endeavours to justify Luther's rage. — Erasmus's 
opinion of the monk. — Page 88. 



The Captivity of the Church in Babylon excites a great sensation in England. 
— It is attacked by Henry VIII. — Specimen of the royid work. — ^Lu^er's 
reply to the king's pamphlet. — Bugenhagen and Melancthon approve of 
Luther's part in the controversy. — Henry complains to Germany of Luther's 
insults. — Sir Thomas More defends the king's aide. — His work. — Luther's 
daring explained. — ^New letter, wherein the monk humbly apologises to 
Henry. — ^And why ? — Page 60. 



How Luther makes use of pictures to destroy Catholidsm in Germany. — ^The 
pope-ass and monk-calf. — Legend which he appends to these two caricatures. 
— New pictures against the papacy. — Their success. — Melancthon joins 
Luther in insulting the representative of Catholicity. — Page 65. 



Literary glory of Erasmus. — His war with the monks. — Luther's theses. — 
Erasmus is jealous of the sensation caused by Luther. — Letter from Luther 
to him. — ^The philosopher's reply. — His cowardice. — His rival's indifference. 
— Erasmus conceives the idea of writing against Luther. — Adrian VI. 
applies to Erasmus. — He refuses, but continues to attack the monk secretly. 
— Luther breaks out. — Erasmus's versatility. — ^Free-will : Luther's psycho- 
lojg;ioal opinions. — Estimate of his system of philosophy. — Appeal to the 
Bible. — ^Erasmus discusses the principle of free-will. — His book on the sub- 
ject. — Luther's reply to it. — Erasmus refiites the "Servum Arbitrium." — His 
Hyperaspites. — His death. — Page 7L 




At Wartbuig Luther labonn to reduce to order the elements of his doctrine. 
— ^Tbe German Bible. — Account of the Doctor's version. — ^The excitement 
which it creates. — Emser criticises Luther's transUition. — ^The opinion of 
Genuanj in regard to it. — ^Blunders which he made. — ^The Catholic Church 
had translated the Bible into the vernacular before Luther. — She has never 
concealed, as she has been charged with doing, God's word ; and wherefore t 
— ^Dangers which the revealed word would run, if the Church did not watch 
over the deposit of the truths of the fiuth. — Protestant commentary. — 
Agricola. — Page 105. 



The legate Campecgio at the Diet of Nuremberg. — Aspect of the States. — 
Decrees of the Diet. — Luther's protest against the Orders. — ^The Catholics 
assemble at Batisbon in defence of their &ith.— Otho Pack deceives the 
reformed princes, by inventing a plan of conspiracy by the Catholics against 
the Protestants. — His imposture is detected by means of Duke George of 
Saxony .—Pcy/c 117. 


THE PEASANTS' WAR. 1524—1526. 

State of the public mind in Germany in 1524. — Boldness of the new doctrines. 
— Carlstadt at Orlamtinde. — Strauss at Eisenach. — Munzer in Thuringia. — 
Partial revolts of the peasantry. — ^The association of the Bundsohuh. — ^Conira- 
temity of the Tun. — Luther's manifesto, addressed to the German nobility, 
drives the people to rebellion. — Menzel's opinion on this point. — Insurrec- 
tionary movement in the country places. — Scbappeler, a priest^ draws up a 
manifesto for the peasants. — Effect of this appeal on the masses. — Insur- 
rection of one part of Germany. — Character of tbe strife. — Page 126. 




What part does Luther take in the rebellion of the peasants against their lords f 
— ^His address to the nobles. — The peasants, emboldened by his language, 
rise in all quarters. — Phiffer. — Munzer goes to the mines of Mansfeld. — 
Luther changes his opinion and language ; his manifesto to the rebels. — 
The prophet's reply.— -Osiander and Erasmus accuse Luther. — Progress of 
the rebellion. — Luther preaches the murder of the rebels. — Melancthon's 
language. — Battle of Franckenbausen. — Defeat of the peasants. — Munzer is 
reconciled to the Catholic Church, and dies denouncing Luther. — Is Luther to 


be aocnsed of hftving misled the peasantxy ?— The masket, the ultmute mtio 
to which the monk appeals for settlinjr the rebellion. — The Protestant prinoes 
rally to that theory of despotism. — It is one of the causes of the succesB of 
the new doctrine. — Pagt 138. 



The extinction of the peasants' war has not restored peace to Lather. — ^New 
dispntee arising from the principle of free inquiry. — Reappearance of Oarl- 
stadt. — Various pamphlets written by him to subvert theWittembei^ creed. 
— ^Rise of Sacramentarianism. — Luther preaches agunst the prophets at 
Jena. — Carlstadt's challenge to Lather. — The two theologians dispute 
( upon the Lord's Supper, at the Black Bear inn. — Luther at Orlamtinde, 
wnere he again meets Carlstadt. — Bickering with a shoemaker. — ^He is 
driven fr^m Orlamiinde. — Carlstadt has given the signal for new revolts 
against Luther. — Effi-onteries of the ratiomJists. — Pagt 159. 


RIAGE OF THE MONKS. 1524, 1526. 

How Luther contrived to legitimate the expulsion of the monks. — Disorders 
occasioned in the monasteries by the reformer's writings against celibacy. — 
The unfrocked monks enter the service of the printers. — ^They are active 
auxiliaries for the Reformation. — ^Froben of BAle. — Carlstadt.-~Monachal 
bigamies. — ^What Luther thought of them.— Po^tf 179. 



Lather, in order to win the princes over to his doctrines, offers them the spoils 
of the monasteries. — ^Feuaal Germany had long aspired to burst the tutdage 
in which Rome held her, for the sake of the nations. — ^Effects of Luther's 
preaching on the great vassals of the empire. — Code drawn up by the Saxon 
monk for the use of the princes who coveted the property of the Church. — 
Invasion of the temporal on the rights of the spiritual power. — ^These 
attempts are justified and commended by Luther, Melancthon, Bucer, 
Bullinger, and all the leaders of the Reformation. — ^Doctrines of flRtvery 
taught by them. — ^Pillage of the Catholic churches and properties. — ^Tardy 
indignation of Luther. — ^Had he not preached robbeiT andmurder f — ^Useless 
advances made by him to some of his adversaries. — Page 185. 



The Children in Germany were instructed by the religious. — ^After the seculari^a' 
tion of the monks/theeducation of the people was entirely neglected. — Luther's 
complaints of the neglect of the reformed princes to instruct the rising 


geneimtion. — ^Yintations of the oommmiities reoommended by the refoimer. 
— ^The prince selects the Tisitors. — ^The dei^man now only an instrament 
in the hands of the civil power. — Disorganization of the Catholic worship 
effected by Luther^ with consent of the princes. — ^The Gregorian chant 
abolished. — German songs appointed in place of onr hymns and proses. — 
Is it tme that Luther was the first in his laic strains to glorify the blood 
of Christ V—Page 197. 



Accosations of intolerance, suppression, and fiJsehood, brought against the 
reformers by Erasmus. — ^He has not told us all. — ^Fatal influences of the 
Reformation on morals and literature, admitted by Luther, Melancthon, 
Firkheimer, and others. — Page 208. 


Luther's celibacy. — The Catholics foresaw his marriage. — His reply to 
Argnla> who urges him to marry. — ^Motives which, perhaps^ may have 
induced Luther not to listen to her. — His letter to the archbishop of 
Mayence. — How he revenges himself on the cardinal who refuses to marry. 
— ^Unexpected marriage of Luther. — ^Letter to Justus Jonas on the subject. 
— ^Melancthon's regret — ^Rejoicing of the Catholic monks. — ^Emser's epi- 
thalamium. — Conrad Wimpina's caricature. — ^Erasmus's letters to Mauch 
of Ulm and Nicholas Ereiard, president of the high council of Holland, on 
Catherine's precoctous maternity. — Eridenoe of other writers. — Controversy 
on Bora's confinement. — ^The retractation of Erasmus. — ^What we should 
think of it. — Heniy yili:'s opinion of Luther's marriage. — ^Influence of this 
marriage of the monk.— Pc^ 215. 



Catherine Bora's extraction. — ^Her portrait, as drawn by Werner and Elraus. — 
Was Luther happy in his domestic state! — ^Bora's character. — Scenes of 
their private life.— Po^e 288. 



Luther the fiither of a fiunily. —Elisabeth and John, hfs children.— Luther at 
Cobnrg and the toy-merchant. — His letter to his son. — ^Luther a gardener. 
— In his own house. — Luther's residencc-^The monasteiy of Erfurt in 
1888. — Lnther at table. — ^His opinion of music. — Account of the expences 
of the city of Wittemberg for the doctor. — ^Luther's opinion as to dancing 


and mury.— A oaie of oonscienoe. — ^Tbe duds of Nimptachen. — Luther an 
iiiBolvent debtor. — HanB Lufft and Ammlorf. — ^The reformer's courage in 
adversity. — His charities. — His pride in poverty. — His devotion to the 
Moses. — Eobanus Hessus.— Pc^ 245. 



Luther at the Black Eagle tavern in Wittembei:g. — Evening conversations. — 
Why we collet them. — The object of these nocturnal gossipings. — T)ie 
devil. — SorceiT. — ^The pope. — ^The decretals. — ^Th^ bishops. — ^The papists. 
— On the death of some papists. — The monks. — P<ige 264« 



Diseases. — ^A jurist. — ^The Jews. — ^The ancient Church. — ^The Scriptures. — 
f Heretics. — ^The Sacramentarians. — St. Gregory. — St John. — St. Augustine. 
—The Fathers.— Eck, Faber.—Sadoletus.— Paradise.— God.— Pasr« 279. 



Woman, the fertile subject of conversation at table in the Black Eagle. — 
Luther's tempter. — ^How the doctor drove him away. — His advice to Weller, 
how to repel temptations. — Germany and the Tisch-Reden. — Page 287. 



The Catholic dogma on the real presence. — CarLstadt was the first who denied 
It. — His exegesis. — New spirit which rises in the church of Wittemberg. — 
By whom excited? — Zwinglius attacks the sacrament. — His dream. — The 
figurative sense of Zwinglius is determined by his doctrine on the sacra- 
ments. — Luther's theory on the Lord's Supper. — Hatred of popery the great 
argument of the Swiss for rejecting the real presence, comliated by Luther. — 
Conference of Marbdrg. — Luther refuses to call Zwinglius brother. — Ana- 
themas exchanged between Wittemberg and Zurich. — Appeal of the two 
schools to authority. — Lesson derived from that appeal. — Melancholy end of 
Carlstadt. — Schwenckfeld separates from Luther, and in his turn attacks the 
real presence. — Page 296. 




State of Germimy prior to the opening of the Diet. — Charles V. leftyes Italy 
to restore peace to the empire. — His entry into Augsburg. — ^Prooesaion of 
the Blessed Sacrament. — ^The Protestant princes refuse to assist at it. — 
Who these were. — Augsburg is disturbed by the preaching of the inno- 
yators. — Account of a Lutheran comedy performed in presence of Charles Y. 
—Catholic orators who take part in the proceedings of the diet. — PoQt 319. 



Opening of the Diet. — ^The Protestant princes present their confession of fiiith 
to the emperor. — ^Tbe confession of Augsburg is a manifesto against the 
original creed of Luther. — ^The doctor's contradictions. — Melancthon gives 
an account to his master of the deliberations of the Diet. — Luther at Cobuig. 
— Melancthon's dispositions of mind at Augsburg. — Various concessions 
which he makes to the Catholics. — Luther, from Coburg, opposes every kind 
of dealing*with the " papists." — Spalatinus and Jonas desire a reconciliation. 
— Anger of Luther, who will have peace at no price. — Brack is of a similar 
way of thinking. — Melanothon's chagrin and discouragement. — Cries of 
reprobation against the attempts at reconciliation made by the professor. — 
Luther's append to popular hatred. — ^The elector of Saxony clandestinely 
leaves Augsburg. — Melancthon, to be reconciled with the Swins, who could 
not obtain a hearing at the Diet^ alters the text of the confession. — ^The 
confession, considered as a dogmatic creed, does violence to the principle of 
free inquiry. — Pogt 382. 



Melancthon at the university of Wittemberg. — ^Portrait of the professor. — His 
mode of Hving. — Luther comprehends Melancthon. — His opinion of his dis- 
ciple's commentaries. — ^Melancthon by his mother's death-bed. — His doubts 
and weaknesses. — Luther's illness at Schmalkalden. — Melancthon at Hague- 
nau. — His influence on the Befonnation. — His philosophical opinions. — 
Pa^ 854. 


LUTHER'S POLICY. 1681, &o. 

League of Schmalkalden. — Luther attacks the Diet of Augsbui^ with his pen. 
— ^His Warning to the Germans, to which Melancthon supphes a pre&ce. — 
How can Luther's audacity be exphuned ? — An anonymous writer answers 
Luther. — His reply.— His theory on the right of resistance. — His letters to 
the abbess of Risaa.— The Anabaptists rebel, and have recourse to arms.— 
Pfsgt 867. 





Forced to leave Augsburg anheard, they enter WestphaUa.— -Munster receives 
them. — ^Bothmann disturbs the city by his preachings. — Description of him. 
— Melchior Hoffinann. — John .of Leyden is proclaimed king of Munster. — 
Biots caused by the Anabaptists in that city. — ^They establish community of 
goods there. — ^It is besieged by Bishop Waldeck. — Is captured. — Execution 
of the prophets. — David Greorge or Jons.— The Anabaptists charge Luther 
with the evils which stain Germany with blood. — Pagt 876. 



Efforts of Clement VII. to restore peace to the Church of Germany. — Paul III. 
sends Vergerio to Luther. — ^His interview with the nuncio. — He laughs at 
the legate. — ^Diets of Schmalkalden and Batisbon. — ^Vain attempts of the 
CathoUcs to reconcile the Protestants with the Church. — Melancthon strives 
in vain against Luther's obstinacy. — ^Luther's rage against Charles V. and 
Eric, duke of Brunswick. — Death of George, duke of Saxony. — Pa/gt 888. 



The Landgrave's morals.— His letter to Luther, desiring that the Wittemberg 
reformers would sanction his intended bigamy. — Motives which he assigns 
for having two wives. — Consultation and reply of the members of the Evan- 
gelical Church. — ^The Landgrave's marriage with one of his wife Christina's 
maids of honour. — ^Luther's repentance. — Pagt 400. 



Luther &]ls sick at Schmalkalden. — ^His wishes against the papacy. — He 
never knew how to pray. — ^Deathof his&ther. — His servant Dietricn. — Death 
of Magdalene. — The fibther's affectionate care for his child. — ^His last will. — 
Pagt 407. 



Doubt, the most cruel temptation to which Luther is a prey. — ^The doctor's 
mental prostral^on. — Disclosures on this subject, derived from his private 
coiTespondence.— His fiirewell to Borne.— Pagrc 416. 




QoArrols in the ftmUy of the Counts of Mansfeld. — Luther goee to Bisleben 
to suppress them. — Incidents on his journey. — He sits for the last time at 
table with his disciples. — His prophecy regarding the papacy. — His last 
moments and death. — His funeral. — Page 424. 



Distress of Catherine Bora. — Her death. — Relics of Luther at Eisleben, 
Erfurt, ko.—Pagt 482. 



Luther as an orator : he is the great preacher of the Reformation. — ^His style 
in the pulpit. — ^His Haus poetils.— Luther as an author. — ^As a musician. — 
Has he, as has been allegea, effected any improvement in religious music t — 
As a translator. — His version of the Bible. — Page 440. 



I. Epithalamia Martini Lutheri Wittebergensis Johannis Hessi Yratis- 

laviensis Page 471 

II. Erasmus's Letter to Daniel Mauch 473 

m. On the Tiach-Reden 474 

lY . Consultation of the Theologians of Wittemberg, addressed to Philip 

Landgrave of Hesse 480 

INDEX 485 




Origin of AnabftptiBin. — Cftrlafcadt and Mnnzer are Luther's children. — Doe- 
trines of the Anabaptists. — Melanothon, by order of Frederick, holds 
oonferenoes with the Anabaptists^ who had reeeiyed the name of the pro* 
phots.— What he thinks of them. — ^He appeals from them to Luther. — 
Frederick tries^ bnt ineffeotnallj, to prevent the monk's return to Wittem- 
berg. — ^Luther's letter to the elector. — ^He returns to 'Wittembeig, ascends 
the pulpit^ and preaches against the fimatics. — Ck>nfer8 with Stubner and 
Cellariiis, and oannot bring them back. — ^His interview with Manser.— The 
prophets are expelled from Wittemberg.— Caristadt's books are confiscated* 
— ^What then had the prophets done ! 

Akabaptism is the child of the Protestant Reformation ; its 
tXMdle was at Wittembeig, and not in the mountains of Sayo;, 
where the merchant of Lyons, Peter Yaldo, sought a refuge. 
Protestantism, like Anabaptism, proceeded from this fundamental 
idea, that the Holy Scriptures are the sole rule of fiuth. Luthar 
was satisfied with separating the Scriptures from the Church ; 
Munzer rejected the exertions of man to understand the Scrip- 
tures. A rigorous logician, he believed that the divine word 
could assume another than the sensible form, and he appealed 
to it to translate it faithfully by inward illumination, as Luther 
had positively taught. From that time, what need of the Bible ? 
It was from this desperate consequence of a principle established 
by the leader of the Saxon school, that Munzer himself, also a 
leader, but of a thundering legion, was impelled from fall to fiill, 
and from one depth to another. Bible soon signified nothing but 
Babd for this Satan of the reformation. 

Anabaptism, which, true to its adopted name, admitted but 
one article in its creed, faith in a second baptism, soon bor- 



rowed firom the ancient hereg&es i tnass of errors which it was to 
seal with its blood. It annotmeed a new world, in which the 
Son of God was to dwell in all his glory ; it promised to the 
nations a new heaven and a new earth, in which there should be 
an equality of temporal and spiritual goods, and in which, set 
firee from the bonds of obligatory marriage, the individual, unre- 
strained, should b^t issue free from stain. A Lutheran clergy- 
man, who long had associated with the prophets of the new 
alliance, has given us, in a brief narrative, a clear view of some 
of the socialist dogmas of that sect 

" They have,'' says he, " neither father nor mother, brother 
nor sister, wife nor children in the flesh, but are mere spiritual 
brethren and sisters among one another. Each one says, ^ I am 
not in mine, but in our house ; I lie uot in mine, but in our 
bed ; I clothe myself not with mine, but with our coat. It is 
not I and Kate, my wife, but I and Kate, our sister, keep house 
together : in short, no one has anything more of his own, but 
everything belongs to us, the brethren and sisters.' "^ 

The Anabaptist considered baptism useless to him who did not 
understand the nature of it ; he wished a second ablution for the 
profane individual, who was not bom in the kingdom of the new 
alliance. He who desired to enter into the New Jerusalem must 
renounce seven evil spirits,^ — ^fear, wisdom, understanding, art, 
counsel, strength, and ungodliness. 

To all who approached to receive baptism, Melchior Rink 
made use of the following formula : — 

" Art thou a Christian ? — * Yes.' What dost thou believe, 
then? — *I believe in God, my Lord Jesus Christ.' For what 
wilt thou give me thy works ? — ' I will give them for a penny.' 
For what wilt thou pve me thy goods ; for a penny also ? — 
* No.' For what wilt thou give, then, thy life ; for a penny 
also ? — ' No.' Thou art not a Christian ; thou art not rightly 
baptized ; thou art only baptized with water in St. John's bap- 
tism. I ask thee, dost thou, then, renounce creatures ? — ' Yes.* 
Dost thou renounce thyself ? — * Yes.' Then I baptize you."« 

' Justas MeninSy 1. c. Moehler's Symboliam, translated by Bobertson, 
vol. ii. p. 177. 

' JustiiB Meniufl, Der Wiedertaaffer Lehre auB heiliger Schrlft widerlegt, 
rait einer Voirede Lnther'a ; — Justus Menius^ The Doctrines of the Anabap- 


We cannot forget that this is one of the tritimphs of free 
inqniiy, which had long before been announced at Worms by 
Eck and Vehos. 

Private judgment, after having attacked works, denied human 
virtue, blotted out the papal supremacy, and upset the ecclesi- 
astical hierarchy, brutally struck at the efficacy of psedo-baptism. 
One ruin succeeded another. The mild reproaches, threats, and 
even tears, of the Catholic Church it had all disdained in its 
cold insensibility. Nicholas Storch, Mark Stubner, and Thomas 
Munzer had opened the book which everybody believed he was 
entitled to search, and had met with this text in the Gospel : — 
'^ Whoever shall believe and be baptized, shall obtain the king- 
dom of heaven ;" and, by virtue of Aristotle and Luther, that is 
to say, of the deceiver /, they had come to the conclusion that 
in order to be regenerated, and become children of Ood by bap- 
tism, it was necessary, in the first instance, to have faith. 
Melancthon was directed, by his highness the elector Frederick, 
to confer, if it were possible, with the new apostles. Melancthon 
accordingly interrogated them ; and he wrote to the prince that 
be must beware of despising this new doctrine.^ 

"Who commissioned you to preach?" Melancthon asked 
them. " The Lord," was their reply. What could be said to 
the new evangelists, who merely repeated what Luther had so 
often declared? Wherefore should God not have stirred up 
Storch to preach the words of salvation, as he had Luther ? If 
every man is a priest, as Luther teaches in the " Captivity of 
the Church at Babylon," the tailor has his letters of vocation 
in his pocket. If whoever reads the Bible recollectedly is en- 
lightened by the Holy Spirit, Mark Stubner the scholar has 
received the heavenly gift, for he has read the Scriptures. If 
Luther has declaimed against free-will by means of texts from the 
sacred books, Carlstadt the theologian has been enabled to reject 
infant baptism, supported by a passage of St. John. We there- 
fore think that Melancthon did right to prohibit the students. 

tists refbted by ibe Scripturas, with a prefiioe by Lather: Witt. 1551, part it. 

L292. Mo^er, 1. c. torn. ii. p. 163. Meknchthon, Unterrioht wider die 
hra der Wiedertauffer. 

' " Ich babe lie selbet Ternommeii, ich babe in Wahrbeit wiohtige Unnoben, 
daasiohiio niohtTeracfalen wiU.''~lIarbeinecke, 1. o. torn. i. 1816, pp. 206—807. 



who had made a bonfire of the pope's decretals, from tormentiog 
the '^ prophets ;" for such was the name which, in derision, they 
had given to the Anabaptists.^ 

Melancthon has not told us all. For a while he was so led 
away by the fanatics, that he felt inclined to throw aside his 
professor's gown, and become a baker, that he might no longer 
eat other bread than what his own hands baked.^ 

Luther beheld from Wartburg all these storms. His friends 
invoked his assistance ; Melancthon, Jonas, and Amsdorf wrote 
to him : " Come, or we perish/'* The Council of Wittemberg 
was not less urgent.'* 

'^ Yes, I shall go," he replied ; ^* time presses ; God calls me ; 
I hear his voice. My flock is at Wittemberg; my children 
in Jesus Christ are there ; I shall be guilty of their blood, if I 
do not go to their rescue ; for them I am ready to suffer every- 
thing, even deatL Satan has taken advantage of my absence 
to create disturbances among my sheep ; I will snatch them from 
him, for they are mine ; I have answered for them to the Eternal 
Father. I shall go, therefore, for my pen is useless here ; there 
is need for my lips and my ears . . . .* Pray for me, that I may 
crush the head of the serpent who rises up against the Gfospel 
at Wittemberg. Under the sun of the Gospel, I shall fight with 
the angel of light or the angel of darkness. Let Carlstadt per- 
sist or not, Christ will know how to bring his wicked efforts to an 

> Marbeineoke, 1. e. Melancthon said also : <'We may jud^e by sure signa 
that there are spirits among them, of whom Luther only can give testimony ;" 
-^ena man siehetaus Tielen Zeichen, daas in ibnen gewisae Geister aeyn 
m5gen, von den«i aber Niemand a]a Martinns urtbeilen kann. — Arnold, 1. o. 
p. 727. 

* *' Snnt qui e6 dementis progressom soribant, nt abdicate professione re- 
lictoqne litterario vits genere, pisturam meditaretur ; ne scilicet aliam panem 
comederet qukm manuum labore oomparatum."— Oocbl. in Act. Luth. SurioSy 
in Yitft Lutheri. Ulenberg, Vita et Bes gestss Philippi Melanchth. : Coloniso, 
1622, 12mo. p. 18. 

' *' Melanchthon crebris snis alionunque litteris permoyit Luthemm ut . 
Wittenbergam rediret. Nisi hoc fiicere matarftsset^ res ViTittenbergensis non 
modb graviter afflicta atque yexata, sed perdita et fanditiks dinita miaset."--* 
Gamerarius, in Vit& Melanchth. p. 51. 

* We read in the register of the chamber of aoeonnts at Wittemberg, 1525^ 
XLH. ffl. " Ber Dictua Schnlzin seben hat Dr. Martinus Lather yorzehrt, do 
er uffErfordemng dea Hatha and gemeyner Stadt wjrderumb gegen Witten- 
berg kommen. So er aoa der InaellFathmoB kommen ist yn dia Jahr allererat 
bezalt worden. 

' Aa den KurfUrsten, 12 Mai. De Wette, Luther's Briefe, torn. ii. 


end. We are masters of life and death, firom the moment that 
we haye faith in the Lord of death and life.^ I shall stop the 
mouth of the Holj Spirit, by whom the prophets say they are 

This is the most brilliant page of Lnther's history, and for 
all the world we wonld not tear it oat ; for the Reformer becomes 
great before ns, when fearless he bursts firom his exile, to restore 
the statues which Carlstadt had broken down; to purify the 
church of All Saints, polluted by so many profanities, and shut 
the mouths of the prophets. Luther is splendid in his wrath. 
Let Protestants with pride point out to us their father at Worms, 
with his eye directed, like that of a judge, upon the emperor ; 
when we for an instant reflect, we can only see in Luther at the 
diet the hero of the stage, who has studied beforehand the part 
which he has to perform, and who cannot for a moment tremble, 
because he knows well that the only man who can make him 
bleed has neither the will nor the power ; that at twenty years 
of age a king has not completed his apprenticeship of perjury, 
and that a hair plucked from his head, even in a motion of 
foolish anger, would set Germany in a flame. John Huss at 
Prague in noways resembled Luther at Worms. Besides that 
time is a school in which kings, as well as subjects, have to learn, 
the ideas of the two sectaries were not the same. John Huss 
came to change at once the Catholic £uth and the social politics 
of Germany ; he directed himself as much against the tiara as 
against the crowns. Luther had taken great care, firom the moment 
of his appearance in the revolt of Wittembeig, to separate the 
political firom the religious principle, which he was to confound at 
a later period. Erasmus reproached him with having flattered the 
great at the outset. It was necessary to intoxicate them, to turn 
their heads ; for without them he could not begin his war with 
Home. If Rome fell under his attacks, royalty, spared by 
Luther, would consider itself protected fix>m all danger, because 
it has not understood that the popedom is also a sovereignty ; 
that a pope, even more than a king, is stamped on the brow with 
the mark of God ; that pontiff and king are two authorities in 

> Spalfttmo, 12 Mart. De Wette, torn. ii. 

* '* 3«ik% denen derselbe nnter die Angen sagte, ihren Oeiflt hane er ttber die 
Schnauze."— Menzel, Keuere Geechichte der Deutechen, torn. i. pp. 129 — ^181. 


two different orders, or ratHer one and the game principle, in the 
eyes of God. 

In leaving his exile, it was no longer the papacy that Luth^ 
attacked, but the sovereignty of Charles V. ; it was the emperor 
whom he disregarded, when he escaped firom his prison to preach 
at Wittemberg, in spite of the orders of the diet, and agitate anew 
the world with his voice, althoii^h he had promised to be silent. 
Melancthon had good reason to be alarmed, when he saw him 
leave Wartburg ; for it was his life which he seemed to 
endanger, and with it the very fate of his doctrines, of which hia 
disciples wonld dispute the inheritance, and which would perish 
for want of a mind capable of sustaining their weight. If that 
work which, according to him, came from God, was in Luther's 
lifetime subjected to such blows, that it often could not be 
recognised, mutilated and wounded as it was ; what would it 
become if Luther himself were in the grave I 

Thus, as we have ah^ady observed, there are many serious 
thinkers who r^ret that Charles V. did not make use of the 
sword which, at his election, he promised to draw, if necessary, 
for the defence of social order ; and who would that kings should 
oftener remember that they resemble the Deity here below, and 
that the sword which hangs by their side was not given to them 
to remain useless. They believe that if the young emperor had 
drawn it, Germany would not at a subsequent period have been 
a prey to those cruel wars in which the blood of her children 
flowed. A few drops only, shed as an expiatory chastisement^ 
might have spared Germany an ocean. They ask if the mariner, 
to escape from the storm, would not tear down one of his sails, 
and if the course of a river is interrupted, by taking a little mud 
out of its bed.^ These inflexible logicians do not wish, for the 
good of human nature, that the principles of eternal order should 
be tampered with, and they justify their theories by hist<»y. Con- 
fining themselves in the limits wherein they discuss the great 
question of the power of life or death, given to the prince over 
any one who should desire to upset the common belief, — " See,'' 

' Thig is the idea wbich Hochsiraet had, it is said, asserted in his foresight 
of the future. Prior to Hochstraet, Luther had written this terrible sentence : 
" Melius est omnes episcopos occidi, omnia collegia monasteriaque eradicari, 
qvikm unam perire animam." 

luthbb'8 return to wittembbrq. 7 

say they, ^* what miserieB the neglect of justioe has brought upon 
unhappy (Jennany ! — ^the blood of a hnndred thousand peasants 
shed upon the battle-field ; murder organised ; robb^ reduced 
to an axiom; promiscnons intercourse with women publicly 
preached ; incest and adultery exalted into moral deeds ; the 
arts degraded ; civilization arrested ; and so much tears, blood, 
mis^, and shame, because an emperor has retreated before a 

That work, which might have suffered a violent death at 
Worms by the emperoi^s sword, would have now perished by 
a gradual decay, had Luther remained longer at Wartburg. 
It was not the edge of a sword which it had to fear, but the 
instrument by which it was produced, — speecL Luther knew the 
danger. His friends, who were not aware of it, seemed alarmed 
at the advice which they had at first given him to return ; and 
to intimidate him, they threatened him with the anger of 
Charles V. But although their voice could have been heard in 
the solitude of Wartburg, Luther would not have obeyed it ; for 
there was another which cried more powerfully, — " that which 
c^ke to Moses on Sinai, and smote down Paul on the road to 
Damascus — ^the voice of Ood,'' — ^which Luther said he heard at 
the depth of his heart. He appears to be filled with it when 
he replies to Frederick, who forbad him by John Osswald, the 
bailiff {Amtmann) of Eisenach,^ to come to Wittembeig : — 

'' Your highness knows well that my gospel comes not firom men, 
but firom Heaven, by our Lord Jesus Christ I might have, as I 
shall henceforth do, called myself his servant and evangelist .... 
I have done enough for your highness in imprisoning myself here 
for a year. It is not for fear, at least ; that the devil knows well ! 
He saw my heart at the moment when I entered Worms ; although 
there had been as many devils there as there are tiles on the roofs 
of the city, I should have scaled the walls with joy. Now, Duke 
Oeorge^ is not even as much worth as a deviL As the Father 
of infinite mercies has given me power by his Gospel over aD 

* Iiingke, 1. c. p. 117. 

' Buke George had oomplaiued to the elector of the religious oommotions 
at Wittemberg, and, as a member of the German Diet, had invoked the 
severity of the episcopal body against the disturbers. Seckendorf, book i. 
p. 217. Pktnck, L o. torn. ii. p. 60. De Wette, Dr. M. Luther's Briefe, 
torn. ii. p. 189. 


deyik and oyer death, and has delivered to me the kingdom of 
the fatnre^ your highness must clearly see that it would be an 
insult to my master were I not to trust to him, or to forget that 
I am beyond the reach of the anger of Duke George. Were Ood 
to summon me to Leipsic, as to Wittemberg, Tshould go (your 
highness will pardon this nonsense), although it should ndn 
Oeoiges for nine days, and each were nine times more fuiious 
than this devil of a duke.^ He takes my Christ for a reed ; 
neither Christ nor I shall suffer him longer. 

" I go to Wittemberg under the protection of a providence 
stronger than that of princes and electors. I have no need of 
your support ; but you have <^ mine : it wiU be of more 
advantage to you. If I knew that you wished to offer me your 
protection, I should not go. This is a matter which requires 
neither advice nor the edge of the sword ; God alone, and with 
no parade of visible force, is my master and protector. He who 
believes shall be my protector ; and you are too weak in the 
faith to enable me to recognise in you a support and a saviour. 

'^ Tou wish to know what you have to do on this occasion^ 
persuaded as you are that you have not done enough ? I tell you, 
respectfully, you have done &r too much, and you have nothing 
more to do. God does not wish you to be a partaker of my 
sorrows and vexations ; he reserves them for himself, and not 
for others .... But if I will not obey you, God will not 
impute to you either my fetters or my blood, if I faQ. Leave 
the emperor to act ; obey him as a prince of the empire ; if he 
should take my life, that is his concern. Tou must not heed, 
prince, if I do not consent that you should participate in my 
hardships and dangers ; Christ has not instructed me to show 
myself a Christian at the expense of my neighbour. Even 
should they push their folly so far as to insist upon your laying 
hands on me, I teU you what jon have to do. I desire that you 
should obey without considering your servant, and that you 
should not suffer for me either in your mind, your substance, or 
your person. 

" By God's grace, my prince, at another time, if necessary, we 

> " Wenns gleich (E. K. F. 6. Terzeihe mir mem niinisch Beden) neun Tage, 
eitel Henog Georgen regnete, and ein jeglioher wttre Deunfiich wtLthender, 
denn dieser ist."— An den KurfUnten Friedrich, 5 Man, 1522. 


shall disconnie at greater length. I make haste^ for fear your 
highness should be disturbed by the noise of my arrival ; my duty, 
as a good Christian, is to comfort every one and annoy nobody. 
I have to do with a different person than Bake (}eorge, who 
knows me well, ftnd whom I also know welL If your high- 
ness believes, you will see the kingdom of God ; as you do 
not believe, you have seen nothing. Love in the Lord for 
ever. Amen. From Boma, by the side of my guide ; Ash- 
Wednesday, 1522." 

It was not zeal for the word of Ood that tormented the 
elector, who always &ncied that he saw between him and 
Luther the spectre of the emperor. A prey to his worldly fears, 
he despatched to the monk courier after courier ; but Luther 
continued his journey, laughing at those weak human considera- 
tions with which they sought to alarm him. At some distance 
from Wittemberg he met his friend Schurf, who had orders firom 
the prince to try the effect of a friend's advice in preventing 
him from entering that. city. All that he could obtain was a 
few words in exchange for those which the messenger conveyed. 

*^ I shall go,'' said Luther ; " time presses, Ood calls me, he 
cries ; let my destiny be frdfilled, in Uie name of Jesus Christ 
the master of life and death. During my absence, Satan has 
entered into my sheepfold at Wittemberg, and made ravages in 
it which my presence alone can repair ; there is need of my eyes 
and my mouUi to see and to speak. They are my sheep whom 
Gh)d has given to me to tend, they are my children in the Lord. 
For them I am ready to suffer martyrdom. I go to accomplish, 
by the grace of God, what Christ demands from those who 
confess him (John x. 12). If my words were sufficient to chase 
away the evil, would I be called to Wittemberg ? I shall die 
sooner than delay — die for the salvation of my neighbour." 

And he dismissed the messenger.^ 

Such words well became Luther, who had suffered his beard to 
grow, cast off his priestly attire, and thrown aside his pilgrim's 
staff, to mount a horse, and taken the iron cuirass, the great 
sword, helmet, spurs and boots of a soldier of the sixteenth 

* CoiURiIt, as to the prelimiiiaries of this joornoy, mhI his entnr to Wit- 
tembeig, Luther's Letters to Spektinus, 17 Janoary ; the elector Frederiok, 
5 aod 7 March ; and Bpalatinus, 7 March, 1522. 


centniy. It is in this warlike ooettiiney in the midst of a doad 
of att^tidants aad dust, that the painter Lucas Granach has 
represented him entering Wittemberg. He was no longer called 
Luther, but the chevalier George.^ 

For our part, we like not this disgoise^ We regret the blade 
robe and the monk's cowl which he wore when we met him on 
the road to Worms ; and since he was on the way to martyr- 
dom, wherefore shoidd he cast aside the dress of a confessor of 
Christ ? 

Scarcely had he arriTed at Wittemberg when he ascended the 
pulpit in that church of All Saints, in which five years before 
he had sent forth his first cry of rebellion against the papacy. 
It was strewn with the fragments of statues, and resembled the 
workshop of a sculptor much more than a house of prayer. 
Carlstadt stood concealed behind one of the pillars, to escape the 
eye of his disciple, who sought for him in the crowd. The arch- 
deacon had not yentured to visit the doctor. 

The looks of Luther were directed for a considerable time 
in silence to these vestiges of anabaptistic fury ; the audience, 
crowded round the pulpit, waited in expectation for their master's 
words. Luther ble^ed the congr^tion according to the Catholic 

* In the library of the Leipsic Academy U preserred a portrait of Lnther 
setting out from Wartburg to Wittemberg. At the bottom of the frame are 
these four verses, which Luther had composed when ill at Schmaltalden, 
in 1537 :— 

" Quaefdtus toties, toties tibi Boma petitus, 

En ego per Christum vivo Lutherus adhuc. 
Una mihi apes est qnft non confdndar, leans, 

Hanc mihi dnm teneam, perfida Boma vale ! " 
— See Sa). Stepner, in Inscript. Lipsiensibus, p. 806. 

He has been represented in an old woodcut, preceded by a winged ser- 
pent, with this inscription : — 

" Zu Wartburg Doctor Luther war 

Verborgen fast ein gauzes Jahr ; 

Bin grosser Bart ihm war gewachsenj 

Wie damals trugen auch die Sachsen, 

Und ganz verandert sein Gestalt ; 

War neun und dreissig Jahr gleich alt. 

Gen Wittenberg geritten kam, 

Zu Kiclas Amsdorfl^ da er nahm 

Die Herberg, eh er seinen Bart 

Hat abgelegt, als bald er ward 

Von Lucas Kranach abgemalt, 

Als wie er ist hie gestalt.*' 
— Fred. Scharfii, Dissert, de Luthero omnium theologorum . . . oommoni 
pneceptoro : Wittemb. 1686. 


custom, bat on this oocaaon withoat invoking the Blessed 
Virgin. He niade no ezordinmy but roshed at once into the 
sabject of his disconise. 

'^ It is from the heart/' said he, pointing to the shattered 
statnes, ^^ that you ought to have removed them, and soon you 
would have seen them fieJl of themselves, or displaced by the 
hands of the magistrates. But you ought not to have given to 
an iU-regulated zeal the sembknce of a rebellion which I cannot 
approve. Daring my absence Satan has been to visit you, he 
has sent his prophets among you. He knows with whom he has 
to do, you ought to know that it is I only to whom you ought 
to listen. By God's aid, Doctor Martin Luther was the first to 
walk in the new way, the others have only come after him ; 
they ought to show themselves docile, like disciples ; obedience 
is tiieir portion. It is to me that Gk>d has revealed his word ; 
it is firom these lips that it proceeds free from all stain. I know 
Satan : I know that he does not sleep, that his eyes are open in 
the time of trouble and desolation. I have learned to wrestle 
with him, I fear him not ; I have given him more than one 
wound which he will feel for a long time. What is the meaning 
of those novelties which have been introduced in my absence ? 
Was I at such a distance that I could not be consulted ? Am I 
no longer the principle of the pure word ? I have preached it^ 
I have printed it, and I have done more harm to the pope while 
sleeping, or in an alehouse at Wittemberg, drinking beer with 
Philip and Amsdorf, than all the princes and emperors together.^ 
If I had been of a sanguinary disposition, if I loved commotions, 
how much blood I should have caused to be shed in Europe ! 
Would the emperor himself have been in safety at Worms, if I 
had not spared his life? Answer, spirits of confusion and 
discord ! What does the devil think when he sees you building 
up your £a,ncies ? the sly fox lies quiet in heQ, relying on the 
tragedies which those extravagant teachers excite. I wish that 
the monks and nuns would leave their cells to come and hear 
me : I should say to them, It is neither permitted nor forbidden 

■ «Id vorbnin, dum ego dormivi, dum Wittembergeniem oereviBUun biU 
onm Pbilippo meo et Amsdorf, tantum papain! detrimentum intuli quantum 
uUua unquam princeps yel imperator." — Oper. Luth. torn. vii. Chytr. Chron. 
Sax. p. 247. 


to liaye images. In troth, I should prefer that superstition had 
not introduced them among us ; hut since it has, it is not hy 
violence that they should be overturned. Tes, if the devil had 
begged it of me, I should have turned a deaf ear to him.'' 

Luther kept his audience captive for nearly two houni : the 
crowd was dumb, fascinated by the monk's preaching, so strong, 
so clear, so winning.^ 

On the third day, Luther again held fortL On this occasion 
he attacked the prophets, and scourged them with his eloquenceu 
Does it not seem that you listen to a Catholic voice ? What 
other aiguments would a priest of our Church make use of to 
castigate the foolish pride of the innovators ? 

<< Do you wish to found a new Church ? Let us see who 
sends you, from whom do you derive your ministry ? As you 
give testimony of yourselves, we ought not aQ at once to believe 
you, according to the advice of St. John, but prove you. Gbd 
has sent no one into the world who has not hem called by man 
or announced by signs, not even his own Son. The prophets 
derived their title from the law and the prophetic order, as we 
do from men. I do not care for you, if you have only a bare 
revelation to advance. Ood would not permit Samuel to speak 
except by virtue of the authority of HeU. When the law is to 
be changed, miracles are necessary. Where are your miracles ? 
What the Jews said to the Lord, so we say to you : * Master, 
we wish for a sign.'^ So much for your frmctions as evangelists. 

'' Let us now see what spirit breathes in you. I ask you if 
you have experienced those spiritual sufferings, those divine new 

I " GondoDee eo habente, omnia oonquiesoebant, et andiento^ chm siiiga- 
larem fiioaltaiem explicandi soBoeptaB rea^ turn dioendi yim, turn etiam ▼iitntem 
atqae fortitudinem admirabantar, et reyerebantar autoritatem." — Gamerarius, 
Vita M^lanoliibonis. 

' BuUinger has adopted this ai^ment» which he employs rerj ably agaiiuii 
the Anabaptists. Luther insisted, on seyeral occasions^ in his works, among 
others book iii. ch. ir. Adrersus Anabaptistas, on this obligation, imposed upon 
erery one who advances a new doctrine^, of proving his mission by miracles. 
At a later period he discovered that he had worked none (von beiden Gestalten 
des Sacraments), and that his greatest wonder had been to have smitten Satan 
on the fikce, and the papacy to the heart. The Lutheran Church has long since 
renounced the inirocation of mirades in testimony of a human yooation : " Nos 
mirscula non operamur, neo ea ad dootrin» yeritatem confirmandam necessaria 
judicamus." — Sutdifl^, in Ep. lib. D. Eelleinsonts, p. 8. *' Ex miraculis non 
posse suffidens testimonium, aut certum aigumentum colligi yere doctrinie," — 
Whitaker, De Ecd. p. 849. 

lutheb's rbturk to wittembebg. 13 

lirHhB, that death, thi^t hell, of which the Scripture speaks. If 
you have only sweet and gentle words, we will* not believe you 
even were you to say that you have been carried up to the third 
heaven : you want the sign of the Son of man, the Basanos or 
touchstone of the Christian. Do you wish to know the place, 
ibe time, the form of the divine colloquies, listen : ' He has 
bruised my bones like a lion, I have been cast fjEur^from the light 
of his eye, my soul has been filled with evils, my life has been 
brought nigh to hell." . . . The divine Majesty does not imme- 
diately appear, so that man may see it : it says, ' Man shall not 
see me, and live.' Our nature could not support one spark of 
his word ; he speaks, therefore, by the lips of men. Look at 
Mary, who was so troubled at the sight of the angel. What 
more shall I say t As if the splendour of God could converse 
fiuniliarly with the old man and not kill or wither him up, to 
drive from him the filthy odours ; for he is a consuming fire. 
The dreams and visions of the saints are terrible when pro- 
perly understood. Look ! Jesus himself was not glorious until 
after his crucifixion."' 

The prophets ware not present at the sermon, but they were 
represented there by their disciples ; one of them, on leaving the 
church, exclaimed in his enthusiasm that he had been listening 
to an angeL^ Mark Stubner arrived at Wittemberg the next 
day, to console his brethren and enter into controversy with the 
preacher. He sent his challenge to Luther, who, after a long 
conference with Melancthon, consented to receive the prophet, 
and Gellarius the neophyte. Luther has given an account of 
the interview. ' 

" I have received," says he to Spalatinus, ^ the abuse of the 
new prophets, Satan has befouled himself in his wisdom.' 
These turbulent and proud spirits cannot bear gentle admoni- 
tions, and wish to be believed on their own authority and fix)m 
the first word ; they will endure neither discussion nor inquiry ! 
When I saw them obstinate, tergiversating, and endeavouring to 
escape horn me in their confusion of words, I soon discovered 

' Gamenriai, in Vita Melanchihoiiis. Seckendor^ Comm. de Lnth. lib. i. 
aect. 48, § czix. p. 108. 

* "Et inTentiiB.«st Satan aese pennerdtae in sapientiA sdt.'*— Spalatino, 
12 April, 1562. De VfTette, torn. ii. 


the old serpent I ceaaed not to gay to them, Proye to me, at 
least, yonr doctrine by miracles ; for it is not in the Scriptures. 
They shuffled, and refnsed me ^e signs. I then threatened to 
force them to believe me. Master Martin Gellarius chafed and 
raged Uke one possessed, speaking without being asked, and not 
allowing me to put in a word. I sent them to their god, 
since they refused miracles to mine. Thus the interview ter- 
minated. . . " 

Gamerarius adds that Mark Stubner interrupted Gellarius, and 
said to the doctor : ^' As a proof that I am inspired by Ood, 
I can tell you what you are now thinking of." " Bah !" said 
Luther, in a tone half-jesting, half-serious. '^ Tes, you think 
that my doctrine cannot be true.'' Luther smiled : just at that 
moment there rolled on his tongue, " Go to the devil, wretch V* 

Luther has not told us all. The Anabaptist historians pretend 
that the prophet Stubner and Gellarius asked the Reformer what 
marvels he himself had wrought to prove that he had been sent 
from Ood. This rash question so enraged the doctor, that he 
dismissed the assembly without desiring to hear more. 

It is a very remarkable sight to behold Luther taking shelter 
in Gatholicism to confound his opponent, and employing against 
the fanatics the aiguments of St. Athanasius against Arius : 
that great proof written in heaven, which St. Thomas Aquinas, 
whom he so highly ridiculed, requires should, before all, be 
demanded from whoever rebels against unity ! Some few years 
after, another reformer, Zwinglius, contending with the Blue 
gowa (Soutane Ueue), George Blawrock, another fanatic begot 
by anabaptism, asked not for signs fi^m heaven, but appealed 
to authority and tradition against him. 

" If we were to permit," said he,^ " every enthusiast and sophist 
to difiuse among the public the foolish speculations of his brain, 

* " Si eDim hoc pennittamus nt capitosus qnisque et malb feriatas homo, 
mox ut noynrn aliquid et insolens in suo animo ooncepit, illud in publicum 
spargenB, disoipuloa colligat, et sectam instituat novam, brevi tot aectas et 
mctiones yidere licebit ut Christus qui Tix multo negotio, et snmmiB laboribus 
ad unitatem reductus est, in singulis ecelesiis, in partes quamplurimas denu5 
Bcindatur. Quapropter in ejusm<^ rebus, communis totius Eoclede auctoritas 
consulenda, et Irajus conalio, non cujusvis temerariA libidine, omnia hiec trans- 
igenda sunt. Judicium enim Scriptune nee meum, nee tnum, sed totius 
Ecdesiae est. Hujus enim daves, et dayium potestas.'* — ^Zwingli, De Bapt. 
p. 72. 


to make disciples, and institate a fonn of woiship, we should 
see sects and factions pullulate in that Church of Chiist which 
has only maintained unity after such great labour and struggles. 
It is therefore necessary on this occasion to consult the Churchy 
and not to haUsa to passion or prejudice. The interpretation of 
the Scriptures belongs neither to you nor to me, but to the 
Church : to her belong the keys and the power of the keys.'' 

Bullinger ^ reports that the Blue gown exclaimed : '' Have 
not you Sacramentarians broken with the pope, without con- 
sulting the Church which you left, and that a Church not of 
yesterday's date ? And shall we not be at liberty to abandon 
yours, which is but a few days old ; can we not do what you haye 
done V* Here Bullinger is silent. We should like to know 
what Zwinglius replied. 

Gellarius was not an opponent by a victory oyer whom Luther 
could have derived glory ; but it was otherwise with Munzer, 
whom he wished to attriMst by a secret sympathy for that rough 
character. Munzer, on his part, imagined that if he could 
have a conversation with Luther, he would gain him over to his 
cause. An interview was arranged between them.^ 

Munzer came to Wittemberg. The conferences were grave, 
and anxiously engaged men's minds. Luther made use of 
reason, passion, prayer, menaces ; his rival employed the same 
weapons. After a useless exchange of arguments, both parted 
never to meet again on this side of eternity : Luther maintaining 
that Munzer was a devil incarnate; Munzer affirming that 
Luther was possessed by a l^on of devils. Luth^, who had 
promised to make use of no other measures against his opponents 
except aignment, requested an edict of proscription against 
Munzer and his adherents, which his highness the elector quietly 
signed, and the confiscation of Carlstadt's books then at press, 
and which Frederick still more calmly ordered to be done.^ 

A few months had scarcely elapsed since Frederick left Worms, 
to avoid being present at the prpscription of his fitvourite by 
Charles V. 

> Bullinger, in Apol. AnAb. p. 254. 

* Sleidaa, lib. v. Meshovius, OttoTiaB^ Ac 

* '' Bine Sohrift Carlttodti, in leinem biaherigen Sinne abgefant» von der 
ichon einige Bogen abgedruckt waren, wurde von der Uniyeraiti&t, die dem 
KuriiirBten darttber benohtete, nnterdrttckt."~Ranke, I. c. torn. ii. p. 84. 


Munzer took leave of Luther like an ancient Parthian, dis- 
charging at him a pamphlet, in which the theologian of Wittem- 
bexg is transformed into Satan : a similar comparison to that 
made by the Saxon in regard of the emperor. 

And Oarlstadt, casting a last look on that nniyersity in which, 
some years previously, he had conferred honours on his beloved 
disciple, exclaimed : 

** Condemned by my own pupil unheard I" ^ 

On die expulsion of Carlstadt and Munzer from Wittembeig, 
people sorrowfiilly asked for what crime they suffared such a 
punishment? Carlstadt wished to give die communion under 
the two species : Ludier did so. Munzer had violently attacked 
auricular confession: Luther, without abolishing it, wished 
it not to be obligatory. Carlstadt denied the Mass to be a 
sacrifice : Luther sought to efiace from the canon all that could 
suggest to the laity the idea of a propitiatory oblation. Munzer 
inveighed against celibacy : Luther publishdL his treatise against 
monastic vows. Carlstadt had torn down the images : Luther 
desired that they should be peaceably removed from the churches. 
What then had Carlstadt and Munzer done to be driven from 
Saxony? They wished to appropriate to their advantage a 
revdation of which Luther de^red to remain the master and the 

'^ Doctor/' he was asked, " shall the Anabaptists be put to 
death V '' That is according to circumstances,'' replied Luther : 
'' if the Anabaptists are seditious, the prince can order them 
for execution ; if merely fiEinatical, he should be content with 
banishing them." ^ 

He forgot what he said when afraid of the emperor : '^ Christ 
did not seek the conversion of men by fire and sword." ' 

■ Arnold, L o. lib. zyI p. 697. 

* '* Eb Bind zweierley Wiedertaufer. Etliohe sind offentliche AufBobttrer, 
lehren wider die Obrigkeit : die mag ein Herr wol richten laaeen und todten. 
Etliohe aber haben BohwermeriBche Wahn und Meinung, dieBolben werden 
gemeiniglioh Terweiset." — ^Tiadi-RedeD, p. 409. 

* " ChristOB non volnit Ti et iffni oogere homineB ad fidem.** Meianotbon 
approved of and adyiaed the puni^ment of three AnabaptistB : JnBtns Muller, 
of Scbcenau ; J. PeiBker, of fhiBterdorf ; and Henry Kraut, tailor at Eberfeld. 

Gonanlt the TiBoh-Beden, pp. 408 — 410. Lather there speakB at great length 
of the Anabaptlsta, whom he lookB npon aB bo many derilfl. Arnold haa 
defended their nMmorj in the first part of his History of Heresies. 




Altliough^ the prophets were expelled from Wittemherg, the rebellion was not 
qaelled. — ^It was necessary to snpply a new aliment for the activity of mind 
created by free inqniry. — Lather preaches npon marriage. — Sketch of his 
sennoo. — Erasmns looks apon it only as a joke. — He did not perceive 
Luther's secret intention. — What did Lather intend by his carnal illas- 
trations in the palpitf— The princes are silent on this scandal. — A collection 
of Luther's sermons is published at Wittemberg, in which the monk is 
represented with the Holy Ghost over his head. — Staupitz, horrified by 
these things, returns to Catholicism, and deserts his old friend. 

It was andoubtedly a fine triumph which Luther's preaching 
bad obtained over fanaticism ! The prophets no longer daring to 
meet the monk's eye, left Wittemberg, and sought to diffuse 
their dreamy absurdities in the country and seduce the people to 
their fancies : they yielded in crowds. More daring than Luther, 
Munzer let loose upon the provinces burning words, w:hich 
" borrowed angels' wings for their flight," as formerly, if we 
remember, did Luther's propositions against indulgences. The 
peasantry began to rebel against their lords. A struggle was 
at hand in which the people were to play the game of dupes and 
martyrs ; and this storm Luther foresaw, and predicted the day 
when Germany would flow with blood. These popular storms 
were announced to him by signs which he had been accustomed 
to interpret,^ first, by fires which vanished at night ; then by 
the discovery of two monsters, a pope-ass and monk-calf, which 
had been found, the one in the Tiber, the other at Freyburg ; as 
if his own doctrines were not a sufficiently marked augury of 
the approaching calamities, and his language in the pulpit a 
dear manifesto against the social and religious order of Germany ! 

The rebellion was not quelled ; Luther was obliged to combat 
it in the pulpit, but on leaving the church he caressed and treated 
it, because to all people in rebellion there must be ruin or blood. 

* " Quo et mihi non est dabiam Gennanis portend!, yel sununam belli cala- 
mitatem, Tel extremum diem : ego tanttim Terser in particalari interpretationef 
qn» ad monachos pertinet." — ^Vvencesl. Linok. 16 Januar. 



Luther saved the images for an instant, but abolished the Mass 
to please the multitude. Prince Frederick, fond, like every one 
of taste, of the brilliant ceremonies of the Catholic worship, 
would have wished to preserve them ; but his power could 
inspire the Reformer neither with pity nor terror ; for Luther 
proclaimed as an axiom, that a prince is but a secular governor, 
who is at liberty to wield the sword, but cannot, without sinning, 
lay his hand on the censer. The chapter endeavoured to shelter 
itself behind the sword of his highness in braving the monk's 
wrath ; but the monk, who possessed the real force, defied the 
chapter in a letter in which menaces ikre tempered by keen 
irony, and in which he ridicules the impotent cries of the deigy. 
" Indeed,"" says he, " is the patience with which I have suffered 
your follies unseasonable ? Until now, as you know, I have 
merely invoked the assistance of the Lord ; will you compel me 
to have recourse to other arms V The chapter affected not to 
understand Luther. The monk soon explained himself: on« 
night a mob smashed with stones the windows of the chapter* 
house. The terrified canons promised to obey, and they did so. 
On that night the people abjured the priesthoodand royalty.^ 

A material must not be compajred with an intellectual 
revolution ; the former may be mastered, but the latter, never. 
Nothing was so easy to Luther as the restoration of the statues 
pulled down by the fanatics ; the artisan who had cast the cord 
over their necks wherewith to pull them down, replaced them 
triumphantly on their marble pedestals. But he could not 
deceive himself: the invisible artisan, the Satan who had caused 
these disturbances, had not left Wittembeig. For all those 
minds whom he had set in motion excitement was necessary : 
iJl had fallen into doubt, that disease of the mind, which rest 
would make mortal, Luther knew the spiritual wants of those 
whom he had driven into rebellion. So while the masons were 
engaged in repairing the havoc of the iconoclasts, he endeavoured 
to give food to that fever of innovation with which Wittemberg 
was tormented. Like his work, Luther could not exist but on 
the "condition that the activity created by free inquiiy should be 
incessantiy maintained. 

* Menzel, 1. c. torn. i. pp. 138 — 164. Die guiae Kinshenaogelegenheit war 
bereitfl VoUuaDgelegenlieit geworden. 


Some days after his inyectiyes against the prophets, he preached 
that sermon on marriage, which Bossaet has characterised as 
fiunons, — probably because he conld not find in his episcopal 
Tocabulary another word to describe it without offending the ear. 
We are not fettered by that chastity of language : the priest 
dared only to quote a few extracts, half-smothered under a 
timid phraseology. The historian may indulge in a boldness 
unbecoming a ibeol<^an. Nevertheless, the reader may be 
assured that we shall only lift a comer of the yeil Listen to 
the apostle of Saxony : ^ 

" Dieu a cr^ Fhomme ' afin qu^il £Dit mdle et femelle, dit la 
Oen^, ce qui nous enseigne que Dieu a form^ TStre double, 
Toulant qu'il flit homme et femme, ou male et femelle : et cette 
oduvie lui pint tellement qu'il jugea que ce qu'il ayait fait ^ait 

^'L'homme et la femme cr^, Bieu les b^nit en disant: 
Groiflsez et multipliez; d'otl nous ddduisons la n^cessit^ de 
Tunion des deux sexes pour op6rer la multiplication des dtres ; 
d'od encore que de mdme qu'il ne depend pas de moi que je ne 
sois homme, il n'est pas dans ma nature que je m'abstienne de 
femme : ei comme tu ne pourrais faire que tu ne sois femme, tu 
ne pounais pas non plus te passer d'homme. Ce n'est pas ici 
un conseil, une option, mais une n^cessit^ que le mflle s'unisse & 
la femelle, et la femelle au male. 

" Car ce mot de TEtemel : Croissez et multipliez, n'est pas 
seulement un pr^pte diyin, mais plus qu'un pr^pte, une 
ceruyre du Gr^teur que nous ne pouyons fuir ou omettre : il est 
de n^cessit^ souyeraine que je sois male, destin plus imp^rieux 
que de b<Mre, de manger, d'aller h la seUe, de me moueher, de 
yeiller et de sommeiUer. La nature et les instincts ont leurs 
ibnctions tout comme les membres du corps. Et de mdme que 
Dieu ne fait pas un commandement k Thomme qu'il soit male ou 
femeUe, aussi ne lui enjoint-il pas de croitre ou de mtdtiplier ; 
mais il lui donne une nature telle qu'il sort des mains de son 

' [It has been oonndered expedient to leave theee quotations in the original 
langnage. — TranalcUor.'] 

* Martini Lntheri de Matrimonio, senno habitus WittembeTg». Anno 1522^ 
torn. T. Oper. Lnth. Wittembei^, 1544, p. 19 et seq. 18 pp. fol. It is 
remarkable that this sermon is not to be fonnd in almost any edition of 
Luther's works pubUdied since that time. 



Dieu male oa femelle, et que la g^n^ration est de son essenoe. 
C'est ici une nature, et non un pr^cepte de conscience. . , . 

'' II y a trois vari^t^ d'hommes auxquels Dieu a ot^ le bien&it 
de la g^n^ration, ainsi qu'on le voit en Saint Matthieu : les 
eunuques de naissance, les eunuques par castration, les castrats 
par amour du r^e de TEvangile : dtez ces trois natures d'dtrsy 
qui personne ne songe k vivre sans une . compagne : crois et te 
multiplie, tu ne peux sans crime d^liner cet ordre de Dieu. 

" Les eunuques du ventre de leur mbre sont ces impuissants qui 
de leur nature ne sont idoines ni k procr^ ni k multiplier ; qui 
sont froids, maladifs, ou atteints de qudque affection qui leur 
ote la faculty prolifique. lis ressemblent au sourd on k Taveugle 
priv^ de la vision ou de Touie. . . . 

'' Quid d mulieri ad rem aptce ooniingat matitm impotens f 

" Ecce^ mi marite, debitam mihi benewlentiam prcBsiare nan 
potCBy meque et inutile carpus decepisti. Fave^ qucesOy ut cum 
fraJtre tuo aut proxime tibi sanguine juncto occultum matri- 
manium paeitcary sic ut nomen habecu, ne res turn in aUenos 

" Perresci porro maritum debere in ea re assentiri uxoriy 
eigne debitam benevolentiam spemque sobolis ea pacta reddere. 
Quod si renuat, ipsa dandestina fuga saluti suw consulat, et in 
aliam profecta terram^ alii etiam nubat. 

** Quant aux castrats volontaires^ c'est une esp^ de mulcts 
qui, non idoines au manage, ne sont pas d^vr& de la concupis- 
cence, et ont app^tit de femmes. . . . 

'' lUis acddit juxta proverbium iUud : qui canere nan potest, 
semper canere laborat. Hac via illi affiiffuntur, ut lubentius 
mulieribus conversentur, quum prcpstare tamen nihil queant. 

'' Le dernier ordre d'eunuques est form^ de ces esprits Aev^s 
et riches, beaux instincts que conduit le grfice, Stres qui sont 
propres a la cr^tion, mais que pr^f^rent vivre dans le c^bat, et 
qui se disent : Je pourrais de ma nature contracter et accomplir 
le manage : cela n'est pas dans mes goiits, j'aime mieux travailler 
h Toeuvre ^vang^que, ou enfanter des fils spirituels pour le 
royaume des cieux. Mais ceux-l& sont rares : il n'y en a pas un 
sur mille. . . . 

'^ Outre ces eateries d'eunuques^ Satan, qui se fait dans 
rhomme plus sage que Dieu, en trouve d'autres qu'il s^uit, et 


qai, ik sea insi^tions, renoncent ^ cr^ et k mxtltiplier ; qui 
s'emprisonnent dans des toileB d'araign^, c'est h, dire des yoenz 
et dee traditions hmnaines ; qui s'enferrent dans des chaSnes 
pour forcer la nature, Tempdcher de porter semence et de multi- 
plier, au m^pris de la parole de Dieu : comme s'il d^pendait de 
nous de conserver la yirginit^ ainsi qu'un v^tement ou un 
Soulier. S'il ne fieJlait que des liens de fer ou de diamant pour 
faire rebrousser la parole et Tceuvre de Dieu, j'aurais Tespoir de 
me munir de si bonnes armures que je changerais la femme en 
homme, et Thomme en pierre et en bois.'' 

The preacher proceeds with the same bold illustration, and 
treats of the impediments to marriage, of which he reduces the 
number fixed by the canons of the Church ; then of the disso- 
lutions of matrimony ; for he admits divorce, not merely on the 
ground of adultery or prolonged absence of one of the parties, 
but for the mere caprices of the woman ; and'here his language 
is as strange as his sentiments ; not merely his words but his 
imagination becomes more and more unblushing. 

The orator now puts a case. It must be remembered that the 
tapers on the altar are unextinguished ; that the church of 
Wittembei^ is filled with light, and that the sexes are mingled 
there as in our Catholic churches. 

** Beperiuntur enim itUerdum odeoperHfuieei uxores gucB 
eliamii decies in Wndinem prolaberetur maritus^ pro sua duritia 
nan curarmU, 

'^ Le cas ^h^nt, que dira le mari ? — Tu ne yeux pas, une 
autre youdra ; si madame refuse, yienne la servante ; toutefois, 
apr^ que le mari aura deux ou trois fois admonest^ sa femme, 
proclam^ Tent^tement de madame, et qu'en pr^ence de TEglise 
on lui aura reproch^ publiquement son obstination, si elle refuse 
encore le devoir conjugal, — ^renvoie-la, et, h la place de Vasthi, 
mets Esther, pour imiter Texemple d'Assu^rus le roi.^ 

" Done tu te serviras ici des paroles de Saint Paul, 1 Corinth, vii. : 
Le mari n'a pas la propri^t^ de son corps, mais bien la femme : 
et la femme n'est pas maitresse de son corps, mab bien le mari. 
Point de firaude, si ce n'est d'un consentement mutuel, encore 
Tapotre d^end-il ce vol: car, en se mariant, tons deux ont 

Sermo de Matrimonio, ib. pp. 128, 183. 


ali^D^ la jouisflance de lour corps, Ainsi, qnand Inn refose it 
Tautre le devoir^ il loi £Ekit un vol, il le spolicy et ce vol est 
d^fendu par le code conjugal, ce vol brise les liens da manage. 
Le magistrat doit done employer la force centre la femme 
rev^he ; en cas de besoin, la glaive. Si le magistrat use du 
fflaive, le mari imaginera que sa femme a 6t6 enleY^ et tu^e par 
des Yolears, et il en prendra une autre/' ^ 

The preacher then treats of the matrimonial bond, and of the 
husband's duties towards the wife when confined. 

'' Le manage *n'est qu'un contrat politique qu'on pent passer 
avec tout indiyidu iufid^le, gentil, Turc ou Juif ; et c*est devant 
le magistrat civil qu'on devrait porter toute cause matrimoniale. 

'' La femme est-elle d^vr^ ? O'est h I'homme de changer 
les draps, de laver le lingCi et de rendre k la m^re et h I'enfant,' 
mdme quand le nouveau-n^ serait issu d'un manage adults,' 
tons les petits services dont le monde se moque. — Mais on dira 
que Yous faites I'ofKce de femme, de singe : que vous importe ? 
Pieu h, son tour rira avec ses anges de ceut qui vous raUlent. . . . 
Moines et moinesses enchatn^ dans la chastet^ et I'ob^issance, 
et qui font sonner bien haut leur d^vouement, ne sent pas dignes 
de remuer les langes de I'enfant. . . ." 

Such was the sermon on Marriage preached in the German 
language in the great church of Wittemberg, in presence of the 
image of Christ, still standing upon the altar, the mutilated 
statues of saints which encircled the choir, the tombs of the 
priests and faithful departed, of the dead and of the living ; in 
presence of mothers, daughters, husbands and wives, and aged 
persons, who ran to listen to the pastor I Such are the terms in 
which the apostle sent from God, this man come from heaven, 
this ecclesiastic, this new Elias,'^ addressed his audience. And 
the Church remained silent ! How was it that no voice was 
raised to impose silence on the speaker? That mothers took not 
their daughters by the hand and dragged them from the sanctuary ; 
that no magistrate armed himself with a whip to drive from the 

> Sermo de Matrimonio, ib. p. :i2d. 

^ ** Ubi prolem e conjuge sustulerit, cunas motare, lavare iasoias, aliaque id 
penus viilgo contempta mioisteria, tarn matri qukm infanti exhibere debet." 
' " Vel illidto ooncubitu natus." 
< ^atbesiufl Prod. cone, i* p, 1 ; oonc. xv. p. 86 ; cone. xvii. p. 205, 


pvdpit this vendor of licentious language, which changed the 
holy place into a bvothel ? Did eyer, before the Reformation, a 
priest dare to make use of similar imagery ? What Catholic 
bishop would not hare interdicted the priest who should have 
had the effrontery to make use of such language ? It is observ- 
able that this was no extemporary discourse, but one after the 
mann^ of the schools^ composed in the closet, according to the 
rules of rhetoric^ with its text, divisions, points or parts, and 
peroration ; and after being preached, Luther translated it into 
Latin, in order that no word that issued from his lips should be 
lost to the ears of the learned. Its success must have been 
great, and the Vasthi, if such there were, must have submitted^ 
for fear their husbands should have taken the preacher at his 
word and delivered them over to the wrath of the magistrates. 

On reading Luther's sermon on Marriage, Erasmus exclaimed : 
'' It is a farce."' This was a man who found laughter in every- 
thing ! As if Luther, with his incomprehensible licentiousness^ 
had no other object in view than to make his audience laugh ! — 
as if he had been then seated at table, beside Jonas, Melancthon, 
and Amsdorf, the jolly companions of his ale-house suppers ! 
His sermon was not a jest These erotic praises of matrimony 
had an object, that of preparing the way for the emancipation of 
the convents, the marriage of priests, and of the preacher him- 
self. For if it is true that celibacy is an unnatural state, an 
offence against God, a rebellion of the flesh against the spirit, 
it is easy to see that he who asserts he has been sent from 
heaven to reform Christian society, will not long continue to 
wrestle with the Lord. These words, coming from the evan- 
gelical pulpit, must have disturbed the young woman consecrated 
to die Lord, the Levite who was preparing to ascend the altar, 
and the priest who had been living in chastity. If the union of 
the sexes — ^not to employ the monk's more free expression — is 
one of the necessities of our organisation, as much so as sleeping, 
eating, and drinking ; if it is as impossible for man or woman 
to avoid this law of increase, as to avoid " blowing of the nose, 
spitting, or other evacuations," it may be guessed whether the 
praises of virginity by the Catholic priest will hereafter go to 
the ear or the heart of the people. When then, by one of 
these inexplicable inconsistencies into which he so frequently 


falls, Luther says in the same discourse: ''God forbid that 
I should depreciate virginity ! '' who will not immediately 
reply to him : " You deceive us ; you knowingly deceive your- 
self :" for if marriage^ be a law of nature, and prescribed by 
Providence, to avoid it is to be guilty towards God and yourself ; 
it is a suicide, as a fast improperly prolonged would be. And we 
shall see Luther driven to this consequence by the iron hand 
of logic, against which he vainly stru^les, teaching that a 
prostitute is more agreeable to God than she who lives 
purely in a convent ; that a female pr^nant by an adulterous 
connection may be proud, because it is her work, and she has 
accomplished the divine precept '' increase and multiply ;'' and 
that it would be a wonder to narrate that five young persons, 
male or female, had preserved their virginity in a city to the age 
of twenty.* 

There was only one prince in all Germany who was alarmed 
at Luther's audacity. This was the Catholic duke George ; the 
others paid no attention to it' 

The following affects the mind more painfully than the sennon 
on marriage. 

Scarcely had it been delivered, when the collection of his 
discourses was printed under the doctor's own eyes. At the end 

■ " Quod si qaisquam prohibere molitur, egregib ut est perduriit, saumque 
meatum scortatione, adulteriOi koI iid iL^utvutv tS»v frapaimofidrwv qunritat.** 

* '<Ben^ si in aliquA nnA ciyitate rel qninque yirginefl et quinqae mareg 
annom vigerimum casti attigerint : idque plua esse qu&m tempore apostolonmi 
et martyrum . . . demtun non mintia vires natune traDagredi hominem oele- 
bem, qiikm si nihil omnino oomederet, Tel biberet." — ^Luth. Serm. de Tribns 
Begibus, p. 198. 

In 1843 there appeared, at Strasburg, a small pamphlet, entitled The True 
and the False Luther, — Der wahre nnd der falsche Luther. In this the 
sermon on marriage is thus estimated : " To judge' without prejudice this work 
of Luther, we must put ourselves in the preacher's place. What he meant by 
employing these shocking details, was to combat that fitlse opinion of the time, 
that celibacy, even with scandals apparent or concealed, was meritorious in 
the sight of God.'*— P. 20. Such is all the censure which the Protestant 
author inflicts upon Luther, and, as we see, slandering Catholicism, which has 
never pretended that impure celibacy was agreeable to God. 

But there are many more eccentricities in this apology for Luther; the 
author maintains in it that Luther was always extremely moderate in his 
language, in regard to the pope, the emperor, the princes, and his opponents. 

* We understand how Flaccius Illyricus might have said, in speaking of the 
University of Wittemberg, a member of which could with impunity preach 
such a sermon : 

" Recti&s fikcturos parentes si in lupanar liberos sues mittant, qu2un in Aca- 
demiam Wittenbeigenaem." — ^Ulenberg, Vita, etc. cap. ii. no. 4, p. 896. 


of the book, Luther is represented in a monk's dress. There is 
no mistaking him there: it is the disputant of Dresden, the 
prisoner of Wartburg, the man still in the flower of his youth. 
We recognise him by his emaciated face, his sunken eye, his 
projecting bones, as Mosellanus represented him to us at Leipsic, 
and as Lucas Cranach at that time has depicted him. There, 
the preacher has changed his nature : he is a saint whose head is 
circled with a large glory. Above him in the heavens floats the 
Holy Ghost in the form of a dove, whose golden wings over- 
shadow the head of the apostle. Luther holds in his hand the 
book of the Gospels : his countenance, filled with a celestial 
calm, has left the earth to bury itself in the rays of the divine 

We remember the former vicar-general of the Augustines, Stau- 
pitz, whom Luther had loved so well. He could not read without 
blushes the sermon upon marriage, and see without feeling scan- 
dalized that celestial crown which the Saxon evangelist permitted 
his bookseller to confer upon liim ; and suddenly, as if inspired 
by Heaven, he deserted all at once the doctor and the saints. 
God, with a beam of his mercy, had enlightened this father whose 
soul was all charity. Staupitz returned to the old faith of his 
monastery. He bade his farewell to the world in a small 
treatise, — a sort of Happy New-year, which the monks were in 
the habit, at Easter, of addressing to the individuals towards 
whom they felt the most regard. His little book is dedicated to 
the duchess of Bavaria.' Listen : would you not think that 
these lines proceeded from the author of the " Imitation V " To 
love, is to pray ; he who loves, prays ; he who loves not, prays 
not. He who loves God, serves him ; he who loves him not, 
could not serve him, even if he had the power of removing 

And Staupitz deplored his errors of doctrine, and rejected that 
dead faith which he had so long preached, to embrace the living 
and life-giving Catholic belief. A German of the old race, he 

> Predigt Dr. Martin Luther's. The collection bears no date, but it is 
evidently of 1522, when Luther was not in that exuberant health which he 
exhibited three years later, at the time of his marriage. In 1582 he still wore 
the monk's habit, which he was soon to throw off. 

* Ein BiUtgs newes Jar von der Lieb Gktttee. This little work, with notes in 
the autograph of Staupitz, is in the library of M. Alexander Martin. 


said to Lather : '' I leave yon, my brother, because I at length 
perceive that you have the eympathies of all those who &e* 
quent brothels." ^ 



DoTelopment of Luther's principles. — ^Mjooniusy Bugenhagwi, Gapito, Hedlo, 
and (Eoolfunpadius embrace Protestantism. — ^The secularised monks leave 
the monastery. — Attempts at propagating^ Lutheranism in the religious 
houses. — Special writing composed for their use by Dr. Luther. — ^The book 
against the priesthood. — ^Analysis of it. 

It seems as if fortune had been in collusion with Luther ; 
everything went as he pleased. The person who alone could 
annoy him at Wittemberg was a wanderer beyond its walls, not 
daring to cross its gates ; Garlstadt was concealed in obscurity ; 
Gabriel retracted publicly ;* Munzer vented his impotent rage 
in Thuringia ; and the monastery of the Augustinians held a 
synod, over which, according to Luther, the Holy Spirit had 
presided, and in which they had decided on abrogating the 

Duke George had vainly endeavoured to prevent Luther's 
works being introduced into his dominions. 

The monk triumphantly exclaimed : " Satan has been over- 
come ; the pope, with his abominations, is vanquished ; we have 
now to triumph by the wrath of the bulls : but is not the Lord 
the God of the living and the dead ? What have we to fear ? 
.... He cannot lie who said : ' You have cast all under his 
feet' All ! — does not that also include the bull of the man of 
Dresden ? Let them attempt, then, to throw down Christ from 
heaven ! We shall fearlessly see how the Father will with his 

' " Jactaris ab lis qui lupanaria oolunt." — Seckendorf, 1. o. tom. i. p. 48. 
Staupitz died abbot of St. Bridget, at Salsburg. 

' ** Gabriel in alium virum mutatus est." — ^Winoeslao Linck, 19 Mart. 1522. 
De Wette, 1. c. tom. ii. 

' ''Neque enim Spiritus Simctus unqukn in synodis monachorum videtur 
luisse, prseter istam."->Ibid. 


right arm protect his beloyed Son against the fiftce and the tail of 
these smoking brands."^ 

At Magdeburg, at Osnaborg, at Leipsic, Antwerp, Batisbon, 
DiUengen, Nuremberg, in Hesse, as in Wurtemberg, — ^wherever 
Luther's writings penetrated, the monks left their monasteries . 
and apostatized. John Stiefel, at Eslingen, announced that 
Luther was the angel of the Apocalypse,* flying through heaven, 
Bible in hand^ to deliver the nations that still walked in dark^ 
ness ; and he cdebrated the seraph in German verses.^ Fre- 
derick Myconius (Mecum), suddenly remembering a dream 
which he had had the night after he had taken his monk's 
habit, embraced the new doctrines. He had seen, during his 
sleep, a bald-headed man, such aa St. Paul is represented, who 
had led him to quench his thirst at a stream of water flowing 
from a crucifix. He had not the slightest doubt that the man 
resembling St. Paul was Luther, and that the mysterious stream 
of water was the word of life which the Saxon preached in his 
** Captivity of the Church,^' or in his sermon upon marriage.^ 

The conversion of Bugenhagen (Pomeranus) had likewise 
something of the miracle attending it. He was a Premonstra* 
tensian of Belbuck, in Pomerania. One day, at table, he opened 
the book of the " Captivity of the Church in Babylon," read 
some pages, and threw it aside indignantly, as the work of the 
most horrid heretic who had infested the Church since the death 
of Christ.^ At a later period^ after Luther had written against 
celibacy, Bugenhagen felt inclined to reperuse the " Captivity,"^ 
and on this occasion to tell the whole world it had been deceived, 
and that Luther alone discovered the trutL^ And some days 
thereafter, a party of the monks and priests of the monastery — 

I " Ut Pater Filiam in dexterd suA possit wirare 2k fade et caudA istorom 
titioDum fdmigantium." — ^WencesL Link, 16 Mart. 1522. 

* Strobe], Neue Beitrage, torn. i. p. 10. 

' Yon der ohristfbrmigen, rechtgegriindeten Lehre Doctoris Martini Lntheri. 

* Mjconiofl had another prophetic dream, which he narrated at Katzeberg. 
Seckendor^ L o. torn. iii. p. 269. This historian pretends that Luther hiul 
predicted that he would die six years before Myoonins. — ^Ib. p. 630. 

* " Multos \k paaso Christo salvatore hsBreticos ecclesiam infestasse, ac dariter 
exercoisse, sed nullum, ejus libri auctore, pestilentiorem unquam extitisse." — 
Scult. Ann. Evang. Benovati, 4to, p. 89, ed. de Van der Hart. 

* '' Quid ego vobis multa dioam ? Univenus mnndus ctecutit, et in Cim* 
meriis tenehns versatur. Hie vir unus et solus verum videt." — Id. ib. 


John Eyrich^ John Lorich, John Boldewin, and Christ. Eettelhut, 
— threw off an inconvenient gown, and married, in obedience to 
the command, ^^ Increase and muUiply ;" whilst at their insti- 
gation the young people of the town pulled down the statues 
which ornamented the choir of the church of the Holy Ghost, 
and threw them into the nearest wells.^ 

At Mainz, Gaspard Hedio and Gapito, under the eye of the 
archbishop, presumed to diffuse the new doctrines with a temerity 
of expression and a yiolence which (Ecolampadius himself cen- 
sured.' In each of these discourses, preached in the cloister, the 
pulpit, at the gate of the cemeteries, and sometimes in the open 
fields, under the lindens, as did Hermann Tast at Husum, the 
preacher hailed Luther by the names of " evangelist,^' — " apostle 
of the truth," — '* ecolesiafites according to God's own heart" 
According to them, God had revealed to none but Luther the 
mysteries of the eternal word. And some months, days perhaps, 
had scarcely elapsed, when Sebastian Hofimeister, a Minorite at 
Scaphus, taught that Christ cannot be present in the eucharist 
after his ascension,' a proposition which he surely did not find 
in the Paul of Wittemberg ; and (Ecolampadius wrote : '' Beware 
of saying to Luther that he is deceived ; that would be to reject 
the Gospel. No, no, my brother, you will not convince us though 
the Holy Ghost may have chosen his domicile at Wittembei^."^ 

If you follow the monks on their leaving the monasteries, you 
will find them, when they do not return to their residence, taking 
the road to Wittemberg, where Schneidewins employed them to 
republish Luther's pamphlets. They had long plenty of work, 
for nothing could equal the doctor's fecundity. Writing was for 
him even more than an intellectual recreation. In 1520, he 
published 133 small works; in 1522, 130; in 1523, 183.* 
These are sermons, homilies, postils, dialogues, exegeses, books 
polemical or controversial ; some of them, for example the 

> Scult. Ann. ib. p. 89. 

* ''Sed tu videaa no EvangelicK sermonU libertati ad amuaBun haso ton 
respondeat modestia." — Epist. CBoolampadii et Zwinglii, lib. i. 

* Scultetus, Ann. Evang. Benoy. I. c. p. 49. 

^ Ant wort auf Lnther'a Yorrede zom Syngranuna. Luther's Bhefis: Halle. 

* Panzer. Ann. Banke^ 1. c. torn. ii. p. 81. 


" CaptiTity of the Church in Babylon," would fonn several in 
octavo. Almost all of them had a title engraved on wood, the 
design of which was famished by the author. The printers com- 
pensated themselves for the austerities of the monastic life, by 
jovially spending their money in one of those pints which they 
found at the gates of the German towns. For want of pipes, as 
tobacco had not then been discovered, they had to r^ale them- 
selves with large pots of beer, which they emptied while 

" Who lores not woman, wioe, or aang, 
Is » fool, and will be all his life long." * 

One of those off-hand distichs of Luther's rare leisure moments, 
allowed him by the devil or the pope, and which has had the 
good fortune to outUve the doctor's creed. We have frequently 
heard it sung at evening on the terrace of the old castle of 
Seidelberg by the students of divinity. 

The monks were the foremost to show an example of public 
violation of their vows of xhastity. The nuns dared not leave 
their convents. Luther perhaps had reckoned too much on the 
effect of his sermon upon marriage ; the religious women blushed 
while they perused it. He came to the rescue of their startled 
modesty by publishing, for the use of those who wished to be 
free, a small tract, entitled, '' Reasons proving that Nuns may 
piously leave their Cells.''* 

A young woman might read tiie pleading in favour of marriage 
without too much fear for her virtue. It is in very decent terms 
that the priest recommends the precept given to our first parents. 

The book is dedicated to Leonard Eoeppe, citizen of Torgau, 
a youth aged twenty-four, with as fine a face as figure, and who, 
proud of this dedication, every night scaled the convents to 
remove from them the nuns disposed to escape. It was Eoeppe, 
as we shall see, who carried off from the convent of Nimptsch, 
Catherine Bora, Luther's future wife. For fear lest the noble 
Oerman in which the monk wrote so purely might not be under- 

1 " Wer nicht Hebt Wein, Weiber und Gesang, 
Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang." 

* Unaeb and Antwort^ dass Jangfranen ClSster gottlioh verlassen mogen. 
Dr. Martin Luther an Leonhard Koppen, BUrger zu Torgau : Wittemb. 1523. 


stood by all the mma, Luther caused his treatise to be tESDsIated 
into the old Saxon langaage of the common people.^ 

In this crusade against ecclesiastical celibacy, we recognise 
even females, — theologians in petticoats, — who lend Lathto 
drops of ink, which the monk is glad to accept. Argnla Stanf, 
since her yisit to Wartbnrg, laboured incessantly to propagate 
Luther's doctrines by preaching and writing. In a " Christian 
Admonition to the People as well as to the Ma^strates,"" she 
maintains that the Saxon doctrine proceeds from heaven, that 
vows of chastity are an invention of the devil, that women are 
entitled to discuss theological questions,^ and that she will talk 
in spite of all the Ecks in the world. Luther has extolled the 
tender piety of Argula. 

In room of the plebeians, men of learning offered themselves 
to take part in the religious disputes on the question of celibacy. 
With Bible in hand, they gravely ventured to decide whether the 
Catholic or Lutheran view rested upon the divine word. In 
some cities of the empire, the magistrates encouraged these 
theological controversies. On an appointed day, the two rivals 
ascended a theatre, formed by means of some empty casks bor- 
rowed from the town inn, and for ^n hour or two exchanged 
quotations in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew : then, says Schmidt, 
the magistrates, who knew nothing of any of those languages, 
pronounced their judgment.^ At Constance, the roles bore that 
it should be permissible to the two parties to quote Greek and 

Erasmus laughed at that swarm of ecclesiastics according to 
Luther, which lighted in Germany. Often^ than once, to 
supply the places of the priests who were deprived of their 
cures, masons, tailors, tanners, and shopkeepers were selected. 
In vain did a person of sense, like George Eberlein, think of 

^ Onacke uncle Antwort, dat Junekfhiwen Kloster godliken Torlataa mogen. 
Dr. Martin Luther an Leonhart Koppen, B&rger xa Torgau : 1523. 

' Ein christliche Sohrift einer ehrbaren Frauen yon Adel, darin ne alle 
christliche Stande und Obrigkeiten ermahnet, bei der Wahrbeit nnd dem 
Wort Gottee zu bleiben, nnd Bolches ans christlicber Pfliebt zum emstlichsten 
£n handbaben. — ^Argala StanffiBrin, an Herm Wilhem, PiUz-Grafen bey Bhein, 
Herzoge in Ober- und Nieder-Bayem : 1528. 

* Schmidt^ History of the Germans, torn. yi. p. 920. 

* Ibid. notOb 


addng these new apostles in whose name they came ; in vain 
did he exdaim impatiently : '^ Why, then, penoit eyery fool to 
preach who offeTS himself in the name of the Holy Ghost^ whom 
he has never known V These extempore priests had always the 
same answer : '^ Does not the Holy Ghost love to visit the 
simple and ignorant?" Luther, when subsequently conferring 
ordination on the journeymen printers, whom he sent, saying, 
^' Go and preach my sermons," had no more r^ard to rank than 
to mind. It was only the Catholic priest whom he wislyed to 

He managed to complete in a few days and nights — for he 
worked without intermission — his treatise against the sacerdotal 
hierarchy ;^ a pamphlet, says one of his biographers, which would 
seem to have been written not with ink, Wt with blood.^ He always 
makes ruins around him ; he will have no more popes, cardinals, 
bishops, priests ; the Church is an assembly in which all are popes^ 
cardinids, bishops, or priests. Have you faith ? — there is the tiara^ 
the cross, the mitre, the holy oil, the pastoral staff; you are a 
priest according to the order of Melchisedeck. Sing, catechise, 
lay on hands, — ^these are the fdnctions which baptism has conferred 
upon you. Let not the archbishop of Mayence, or the bishop of 
Brandenburg, offer to defexi^ the priesthood and its immunities. 

" Our priests are fine hobgoblins," crios the monk, " who strut 
with the gravity of bishops, because they know how to sprinkle 
and cense wood and stone, — stone sprinkling stone, wood censing 
wood ! Colleges, bishoprics^ monasteries, universities, are so 
many jakes and sinks in which the gold of princes and the whole 
world is buried. Pope ! — ^you are not pope, but Priapus ; for 
Papists, say Priapists. 

" These spirittuil fornicators believe that they serve God ; as 
if the God of heaven had become Priapus, 

" But some one will say to me : * Well ! you have rejected 
the pope; you wish, then, now to upset the episcopacy and 
ecclesiastical rule/ Hold ; be my judge, and pass sentence. 

1 Tbeodnltt'fe G«tm«hl, yon Baron Starck. Buohols G«0chichie der Begie^ 

rang Ferdinands J. : Yieimh, 1831, vol ii. p. 220 et ^oq, 
* ** Adversiis fiUsb nommatom statnm eodeeias papse et episcopomm."' 
' <'Non atramento, eed humaoo gangoine Bcripsiase videtur."-— Ulenberg, 

p. 161. 


Tell me, do I upset them, when I glorify God's word'? All our 
famous bishops, Cyprian, Hilary, Ambrose, Augustine, Irenieus, 
were merely bishops of one community ! But our proud knights, 
our gracious masters, what have they of a bishop about them ? — 
the name and the vestments. I wish that a painter would draw 
a picture, and write under it, ' This is the bishop of ... / 

'^ Listen, bishops ; listen, hobgoblins and devils, the doctor 
is about to read to you a bull which will not sound agreeable to 
your ears. This is the bull of Doctor Martin : ' Whoever shall 
assist with his person or means to lay waste the episcopacy and 
order of bishops, is the cherished child of God, and a good Chris- 
tian. If that is impossible, at least let them condemn it, and 
shun that soldiery. Whoever defends a bishop, or renders him 
obedience, is the servant of Satan.^ Amen.' " 

Then the war-song ends ; Pindar changes himself into Petro- 

nius, so that we dare not follow him. 


What, then, has become of the emperor's edict ?* 

* '' Attendite episoopi, imb larvaa diaboli, Doctor Lutheri ballun vobis et 
reformfttionem legere vult qnn vobis non ben^ sonabit. . . . Doctoris Lutheri 
bulla et reformatio. Quicumque opem feru^t> corpus^ bona et frmain in boo 
impendunt ut epiaoopatuB devastetur et episcoporum regimen exscindatur, hi 
sunt dilecti filii Dei, et veri Ohristiani, observantes prascepta Dei^ et ordina- 
tionibus dlaboli repugnantes." 

* The following works may be consulted, if the movement of mind in Ger- 
many, during 1522, be wished to be understood : — 

Ulrichi de Hutten equitis Germani ad Garolum imp. advershs intentatam 
sibi k Bomanistis vim et injuriam conquestio ; Ejusdem ad Albertum Bran- 
denburgensem et Fred. Sazonum ducem, prinoipes electores ; Onmibus omnis 
ordlnis ac status in GermaniA principibus, nobilitati et plebeiis ; SebasUano de 
Botenban Equiti aur. Jacta est alea : Wittenb. ; 

Ein schoner Dialogus von den vier grossten Beschwemissen eines jegUchen 
Pfiu-rherrs nach Sag eines sonderliohen Vers : 

" Die vier Handel thun den P&rr weh : 
Aussatzig, Judy Junker, M5nch." 
" Felix plebanus, felix porochia sub quA, 
Leprosus, judaras, prsefectus, monaohus," 
— ^Nec Naanima, Abraham, Sem, neque vivit Helias. 
" Ich kann nicht viel Neues erdenken. 
Ich will den Katzen die Schellen anhenken." 
— ExituB rerum prudentift metitur : Wittenb. ; 

Qubd expediat Epistolao et Evangelii Lectionem in MissA, vemaculo ser- 
mone plebi promulgari. (Ecolampadii ad Hedionem ooncionatorem Mogun- 
tinum, epistola^ nee non epistola Hedionis ad CBooIampadium, Ebemburgi ; 
De Interdicto esu Gamium . . . epistola apologetica Erasmi Bot. : Colonic ; 
Pasquilus sive Dialogus de Statu Bomano ; 
Ein Sermon von dem dritten GebotV wie man Ghristlich Feyren sol, mit 




Florent of Utreclit U elevated to the pontifiofJ chair, and takes the name of 
Adrian VI. — Character of that pope. — Estimate of it by Protestant histo- 
rians. — Reforms which he wishes to introduce in the Church. — He sends 
Cheregatns to the Diet assembled at Nuremberg. — Appearance of the 
assembly. — ^Attempts at reconciliation made by the popedom, and which are 
baffled by the inimical dispositions of the members of the Diet. — ^Writings 
published by Luther to foment defiance and hatred against Rome. — ^The 
Diet digests its memorial of grievances, known by the name of '' Centum 
Gravamina." — Luther's commentary. — Adrian's grief and mortification. — 
His death. — Luther's pamphlet against him whom he calls the old devil of 
Meissen. — Melanothon endeavours to justify Luther's rage. — Erasmus's 
opinion of the monk. 

While Luther preached in the church of Wittemberg his 
sennon on marriage^ a priest, on whom Providence had also his 
views, ascended the pontifical throne. His name was Doctor 
Florent. God had not bestowed on him the gifts which affect 
the multitude: his discourse was simple, devoid of worldly 
ornament, like his attire. He formerly occupied in the uni- 
versity of Louvain a small chamber, a mere cell, full of theo- 
logicsJ books. He rose early to study, and ate once only during 
the day. He loved the poor, and shared with them the thou- 
sand florins which his appointment ''as professor yielded him, 
and gave up' to them one of the two robes which the city was in 
the habit of presenting to him yearly. One day God took by the 
hand this Florent, whom Maximilian I. had appointed preceptor 
to Charles of Austria, and placed him upon the pontifical throne 
in place of Leo X. Florent took the name of Adrian VL* 

Adrian was altogether of a different disposition from liis pre- 
decessor, who foved pageantry and magnificence. He raised no 
monuments ; he spent not the treasures of the Vatican in enrich- 

Anaeig etlicher Missbriiaoh, gepredigt durch Dr. Urbanum Reginm, Prediger 
zn Hall im Intall, cum praef. ad Luoam Gasner ; 

Kayser all und Pabst all. £in kurzer Begriff aUer Eayser und Pabst His* 
torien. An Kayser Garolum, Doct. Jacob Mennel : Basil, 1522. 

I Spend, ad ann. 1521. Ciaconius, I. c. tom. iii. p. 430, 



ing Kome with masterpieces of art ; he did not cany on excava- 
tions for the discovery of ancient statues ; or perambulate the 
streets amidst clouds of dust, and poets, and historians. His 
tastes and mission were of another description. Educated hx 
from Italy, he had acquired on the benches of the school a 
great simplicity of character and behaviour. He loved literature, 
however, because it polishes the mind, and confers elegance on 
the manners. Above all, he was a being stamped with goodness, 
and who, to bring peace to the Church, would have sacrificed his 
rest and his life. 

His portrait has been drawn in a masterly manner by two 
Protestants. " He was an upright Fleming,'' says Schrceckh, 
" frank and sincere ; a grave and studious priest ; a pontiff of 
rare moderation, having under the tiara all tiiie simplicity of a 
private individual:"* '*a model of temperance and modesty,'* 
says Menzel,^ '* the enemy of pomp, worldly splendour, and the 
luxury of courts," 

Adrian had a sincere affection for all his scholars ; his first 
thoughts at Rome turned to Erasmus, who had been his 
best pupil at Louvain ; they were both persons to whom the 
clash of religious disputation was irksome, because it deprived 
them of what they most esteemed,--'peace of mind. So, on 
ascending the throne, Adrian lost no time in writing to his 
former pupil, In a letter, wherein the sovereign is carefully 
concealed, he entreats him to labour for the pacification of the 
Church, in the name of that God who will reward him richly in 
eternity, and also of their old and sacred friendship. He makes 
no secret of the faults of the papacy ; perhaps even he exagge- 
rates them, with intent to excite the zeal of Erasmus, so desirous 
is he to make an end of disturbances : at least, such is the charge 
brought against him by Catholic historians.* Adrian ¥rished 
that the philosopher should undertake the defence of Catholic- 
ism, and enter into controversy with the Reformer. 

" Arise," said the pope to Erasmus, " arise in defence of the 
Lord ; and, in order to his glory, make use, as you have hitherto 

1 Sohroeckh, 1. o. torn. i. p. 815L 

* Menzely 1. o. tom. i. p. 105. 

* PaUavidiii, Stori» del Gondlio di Trento, lib. ii. «ap. vii. 


done, of the marvelloas talents which he has heaped upon 

Erasmus hesitated ; he dared not enter upon the work sug- 
gested to him by the head of the Church ; he stammered out 
some feeble excuses about his age and infirmities, about his 
imagination that froze with his fingers, and on the difficulty of 
going to Rome, whither the pope pressed him to come. Accord- 
ing to him, howeyer, he was aware of the diseases of the Church, 
and the remedy necessary to be applied for them ; but this 
remedy he could not confide except to trusty messengers, and 
such he could not find. He is proud of having, from the outset, 
foreseen the drama about to be performed ; and when he could 
unfold it, he, the God descended, remissly draws back.^ 

'' I have from the beginning,'' he says, '^ preached upon the 
housetops, that the monks promoted Luther's cause, and I^was 
not regarded. Subsequently, I pointed out how they might get 
rid of the evil and cut it out by the root, and they rejected my 

Pope Adrian was a thorough German in his speech, dress, 
manners, and faith, which, to be excited, required not, like that 
of the Italians, symbols and imageries ; he was a thorough 
Christian of the primitive Church, but who, unfortunately, could 
not understand that external forms, to be lasting, must be reno- 
vated with the manners of a people. Attired more than simply, 
he was unrecognised as he walked through the streets of Rome, 
save by a retinue of lame, paralytic, and blind beggars of both 
sexes, who surrounded him, and to whom he distributed alms. 
No artists were in his train, for he loved them not, and reproached . 
them with usurping the goods of the poor ; not that he was a 
stranger to the sesthetics, but that charity was his only muse. 
One day, when somebody spoke to him of the magnificent pen- 
sion which Julius II. had bestowed upon the nobleman who had 
found the group of the Laocoon, he shook his head : *' These are 
idols," said he ;* "I know other gods whom I prefer ; the poor,, 
who are my brethren in Jesus Christ." We see whether the 

' Erasmi Epist. lib. zxiii. Seckendorf, Comm. lib. i. p. 309. Baynaldus, 
ann. T622, No, 70. 

* Opinions of Erumus Boterodamns, 12n]o. 

* LeUere de' Prinoipi : Vej&azia, 1664, torn. i. p. 96. 



conclave was righfc in making Adrian the suooessor of Leo X. 
If Florent had come sooner, when the arts required a golden 
hridge to enter Rome, perhaps he might have passed on, as he 
did when they showed him the Laocoon, and Rome might have 
heen deprived of one of its finest glories. Both fulfilled their 
mission ; — the one, by joining the movement of mind, by patro- 
nising and rewarding all who possessed the soul of an artist, to 
let the world know that the papacy, far from being the enemy rf 
knowledge, exalts it as a gift sent from God ; the other, when 
the arts were restored, and no longer feared the storm, by for- 
getting them for a while in endeavours to heal the sores of the 
Church ; a work very important, and which none better than 
Adrian could effect : for he was distinguished by all the qualities 
which Protestant Germany accused Leo X. of despising. He 
was partial to retirement, coarse clothing, a finigal board, sim- 
plicity in worship and ceremony, knowledge which hides itself, 
and piety which is afraid of being discovered. Long before 
Luther had touched indulgences with his fiery hand, he had 
studied the nature of those works of satisfaction, fixed their 
limits, and assigned to them their real character, skilfully sepa- 
rating the use from the abuse, and reconciling the necessity of 
the dogma with the light of wisdom. On his elevation to the 
pontificate, he issued a bull, in which are to be found the doc- 
trines which he had from the first professed with such great 
ability, on the merits of the blood of Jesus Christ, the treasure 
of indulgences, as the Church teachea In this he lifts his 
voice, with an energy of which some casuists have disapproved, 
^'against the scandals which the popedom had given to the 
world; the licentiousness of the prelates, and their uncurbed 
luxury ; and the shameful traffic in holy tilings, of which Rome 
had been the first to set the example." To prove ihat these 
complaints were well founded, he immediately reduced the price 
of the dispensations, which persons were obliged to purchase at 
Rome, for liberty to contract marriages within the forbidden 
degrees. Complaints were made, especially in Germany, of the 
prerogatives of the coadjutors of the chancery. Adrian deprived 
them of some of these. From the mendicant friars he took the 
power of giving and selling pardous. This was only the begin- 
ning of the reforms which he meditated^ if Germany had been 

ADRIAN Vr. 3? 


Willing to follow him in these ways of amendment ; but the good 
intentions of the pope were to be dashed in pieces against the 
caprices of the German commonalty, — Luther and his ad- 

The edict of Worms, promulgated by the emperor, had the fate 
of all laws which from the first are intended not to be administered, 
and are only meant to scare : it was laughed at when Protest- 
antism was seen boldly to advance and disseminate its doctrines. 
There was no hand in Germany sufficiently strong to enforce the 
emperor's orders. Charles Y., then in Spain, seemed deaf to the 
sound of the religious quarrels which troubled Germany. Vast 
thoughts occupied his mind. He dreamed of a monarchy on 
which the sun should never set. 

One man alone did his duty. When his faith and country 
were threatened, Duke George of Saxony was sure to be seen 
rushing to their defence at the peril of his blood. On the 6th of 
August, 1522, he sent to the diet some of the pamphlets in 
which the pope and the king of England were grossly insulted. 
"I have marked," said he, "the passages offensive to the 
emperor ; as for those in which the monk outrages Henry VIII. 
and Adrian VI., it would take too much time ; the book is filled 
with them."* The council of the regency replied very drily to 
the duke, that they were displeased with these insults. '' I do 
not doubt it," replied his highness ; '' but I demand that they be 
repressed." Being sharply attacked in a letter from Luther to 
Hartmuth von Kronberg,' the duke again denounced the monk 
to the council of regency, who paid no attention to the elector's 
complaints. " This, then, is the great bladder," said Luther, 
" who is to sit in heaven with his huge belly, and who imagines 
that he eats Christ, as a wolf swallows a fly."^ George, in- 
dignant, resolved to ask Luther if he had written the letter 

* It must not be forgfotten, that the reforms in the head and its members, 
as they then expressed it, had been oommeRced by Julius IT., and followed 
up by Leo X. See, in the second volume of our History of Leo X., the chap- 
ter entitled The Council of the Lateran. 

' Schmidty 1. a tom. Ti. p. 815. 

' An Hurtmuth Ton Kronberg, Feb. 1522. Luther's Werke: Leipzig, 
tom. sviii. p. 226. 

* Hat auch im Sinn er wolle Christum fressen wie der Wolf eine Miicke. 
Luther's Werke : Leipzig, tom. xviii. p. 227. 


which was circulated through Germany, and addressed to Hart- 
muth ; and the monk replied, without emotion, that the letter 
of which his highness complained was his, and that eveiything 
which he wrote, whether for publication or private use, and 
which was signed with his name, was the property of the monk 
whom men called Luther.^ 

He laboured unceasingly to bring the people over to his cause. 
They understood the language which he addressed to them, and 
welcomed with joy his declamations against oppression, full of 
hope that their turn would come, and that they might one day 
reckon with their masters, and, whether they would or not, play 
their game also. The manifesto published by Luther at this 
time, and which even Seckendorf has condemned, was calculated 
to excite disturbances, by increasing that fever of independence 
with which the multitude was infected. He entitled his book 
" The Secular Magistracy." * It commences in a strain of 
mockery and rage, " God," he exclaims, " inflames the brains 
of the princes. They believe that they must obey their caprices ; 
they place themselves under the shadow of Caesar, whose orders, 
according to them, they only obey like obedient subjects, as if 
they could conceal their iniquity from every eye ! Blackguards, 
who would wish to pass for Christians ! * And these are the 
hands to whom Caesar has intrusted the keys of Germany ; fools, 
who would exterminate the faith of our land, and make blas- 
phemy increase in it, if they were not resisted at least by force 
of speaking. If I attacked to his face the pope, that great 
Roman idol, ought I to be afraid of his scales V 

Luther then enters into the matter, and brings forward some 
texts of Scripture which treat of the civil power, and of the 
subject's obedience, and whicli at first sight seem contradictory. 
He sets himself to reconcile them. He divides society into two 
camps, one belonging to the kingdom of God, the other to the 
kingdom of this world ; the first, a company of the faithful, a 
Jerusalem of Christians, has no need of sword, or magistrates, 

' An den Herzog Georg yon Sachaen^ 8 Jan. 1523, De We tie, 1. c. torn. ii. 
p. 286. 

' De Magistratu aeculari, Opera La then, torn. ii. : Jenae, p. 189. "Negari 
non potest vehementi stylo acriptum esse libellmn." — Comm. lib. i. p, 211. 

' *' Olim nebulones, nunc ver6 ChriBti»ni priucipea appellari/' 


or political miniBters to govern it ; no anarchy exists there ; 
there all its members are on an equality ; there there is no 
master but Christ ; there the bishops and the priests are only 
distinguished by the ministry which has devolved upon them ; 
there no laws can be established or rules made without the assent 
of the common will. 

^* It is not for this select society that laws have been made, 
magistracies established, and tribunals founded, but properly for 
the assembly of unbelievers, who cannot exist without all these 
human inventions. Let priests or bishops wear the sword and 
exercise political magistracy, but only in that civil society of 
men who are Christians merely in name. No Christian ought 
to shelter himself under the sword of the civil law, or invest 
himself with the office of judge for administering justice. Who- 
ever disputes before the tribunals, who has recourse to them to 
sue or to defend his honour or temporal means, is unworthy to 
bear the noble name of a disciple of Christ ; he is a pagan, an 
infidel All have received baptism, but among those who have been 
regenerated, how few true Christians can Christ acknowledge!" 

After this, Luther hastens to throw aside the decency of meta- 
physical theories, which are not made for the people, and which 
&tigue if they are too long spun out ; such as those logical 
forms which are only addressed to exalted intellects, like Melanc- 
thon's or Jonas' ; and he returns to the strife impassioned with 
that language in which he is so powerful and unrivalled ; to that 
fiery eloquence which inflames, excites, itnd electrifies like a war- 
song, and which alarms even his disciples. 

" See how God," says he, " delivers the Catholic princes to 
their reprobate senses ; he wishes to make an end of them and 
aU the great ones of the Church ; their reign is over ; princes, 
bishops, priests^ monks, rascals upon rascals, are about to 
descend to the grave covered with the hatred of the human race. 
Since the beginning of the world a wise and prudent prince 
has been a rare bird on the earth,^ but rarer still a prince a 
good man. What are the most part of the great ? fools, good- 
for-nothing fellows, and the greatest rascals under the sun; 

* ** Ab initio raundi rara avis in terrft fait princeps prudentiA pollens ; mult6 
rarior probus princeps. Ut plorimum, yel maximi sunt moriones, vel nebulones 
omnium qui sub sole vivunt, pessimi.'' — Luther, L c. ibid. 


lictors and hangmen, whom God employs in his wrath to punish 
the wicked and preserve the peace of nations ; — for our God is 
great, and it is necessary that he shoidd have in his service 
noble, rich, and illustrious executioners ; and it pleases him that 
we should call these, his executioners and lictors, our very 
clement lords.^ Princes, the hand of God is suspended over 
your heads ; contempt will be poured upon you ; you will die, 
were your power above that of the Turk himself. Already your 
reward is at hand ; you are accounted rascals and scoundrels ; 
they judge you according to the part which you have played ; 
the people know you, and that terrible chastisement, which God 
calls contempt, presses you on all sides ; you cannot avert it 
The people, wearied of your tyranny and iniquity, can no longer 
bear it. God wills it not The world is no longer what it was, 
when you could chase men as you could deer." 

Place Luther at Florence, like Savonarola, and this hymn 
would rouse the multitude to rush to arms and crush these 
insfcruments of iniquity called princes. In Germany, the 
Reformer's language could not produce the same effect upon a 
phlegmatic nation, receiving only the influence of a watery 
sun, and accustomed, moreover, to a passive obedience to the 
powers of this world, an obedience which Catholicism had made 
an imperative duty. Open rebellion could with difficulty have 
organised itself, for a common bond did not unite the populations. 
If the peasantry were to rise, it would not at first be in the 
name of religion, but of interests entirely material ; a war of 
slaves, undertaken by another Spartacus. Luther knew the 
chances of his words and the nature of the beings to whom they 
were addressed. These people, long accustomed to the yoke, 
had foreseen the destinies of Charles V. ; they knew that he 
was not so far off that he could not retrace his steps, and drown in 
blood an open rebellion. In place then of attacking the powers in 
front, the people contented themselves with embarrassing them 
on their march, multiplying obstacles in their way, creating 
suspicions, importuning them with their complaints, dinning 
them with their grievances, calumniating their intentions, attri- 
buting to them sanguinary desires, and accusing them of seeking 

' ** Estqne ipsius benb plaoitam ut \iob carni6ce« clemeQiiniraos dominog 
fvppellenius." — Ibid. 

ADBiAK yr. 41 

in a hypocritical repose to rally their forces, to crash men's 
oonsdenoes with greater security ; snch was the theme indicated 
by Lather. The Catholic princes were especially threatened. 
Protestantism had fonnd means to slip into their courts. It 
denounced them to Luther, who was able sometimes to appear as 
if he possessed the gift of second sight ; for he prophesied events 
which subsequently came to pass : thus it was that he became 
acquainted with the secrets of the archbishop of Mayence, which 
were communicated to him by his secretary, Wolfgang Gapito, 
who was not slow to embrace Protestantism ; ^ and the plans of 
the elector Frederick were revealed to him by the prince's 
secretary, George Spalatinus. When the diet of Nuremberg was 
opened, in November, 1522, Luther was previously made aware of 
the views of the princes who composed it. The majority, without 
leaning to the new doctrines, dreaded the immense popularity 
which the monk enjoyed in Germany, and still more his language, 
which burned, bb with fire, every robe to which it fastened, and 
above all the purple or the ermine. He was certain that no 
unfriendly voice would exclaim: "Down with evangelism!" 
and that if such were to proceed from the bench of the Catholic 
princes, it would instantly be stifled by the very numerous 
voices which fear would make eloquent. At this congress of 
Nuremberg, every religious opinion of the time was represented : 
there were lukewarm Catholics, Lutherans, Anabaptists, Sacra- 
mentarians, Zwinglians, Melancthonians, who were called hierar* 
chists, Carlstadians, and indiiferents. The political sentiments 
presented a like confasion. In the emperor's absence all these 
voices bustled, clamoured, and wished to save Germany. The diet 
only exhibited the melancholy appearance of an assembly in 
which the secular princes were occupied with theology, and the 
ecclesiastical princes with power. If Cheregatus, Adrian's 
nuncio, had possessed the eloquence of Aleandro, the ambassador 
from Leo X., he would unquestionably have led all these feeble 
wills : no one would have attempted resistance. There was not 
in the assembly a single strong mind. The moment was favour- 
able : the Reformation might have been suppressed. But instead 
of that eloquence of Aleandro, lively, forcible, and sparkling 
with imagery, which seduced before convincing, there was only a 

* Ulenbei^ Historia de Vit6, etc. p. 182. 


heavy discourse, oncertaiii, weak, and timid. Cher^atus was 
rather like a prisoner at the bar than a judge on the bench. 
The diet seemed struck with astonishment, and waited for 
another tone of address. As it happened, the courage of all 
those heroes of the theatre returned, in presence of the nuncio who 
humbled the purple even unto prayer, for his speech was truly a 
confession. He admitted that ^' the chair of St. Peter had 
been the first sullied ;^ that the Church required to be reformed ; 
that if God had so cruelly punished it, it was because of the 
sins of its prelates and priests ; that for several years, the abuse 
of holy things, the insolence of power and scandals came from 
Rome ; that the ardent wish of his holiness was to labour to 
repair the past, and to make reform proceed from the head to the 
members ; that the pontifical chair, the principal seat of the 
evil, ought to be treated first ; and that once healed, the wounds 
of the Church would very soon close themselves." * The nuncio 
added, that it was necessary however to beware of all enthusiasm, 
to repel the heroic remedies which would only increase the malady, 
to employ the liniments which would cure the sick ; and that, by 
God's aid, the pope, who was only intrusted with the govern- 
ment of souls to obey the will of Heaven, would succeed in 
restoring peace to the Church. Then, addressing himself to the 
members of the diet : " I am prepared," said he, " to listen to 
your complaints ; if you have grievances, be pleased to state 
them ; the pope is disposed to receive them in his paternal 
kindness. Remember that the Orders owe to him the concur- 
rence of their will ; that there is an edict, — that of Worms, — 
which, in the emperor's absence, you are commissioned to enforce, 
and that it depends on you to adopt the most fitting measures, 
so that the heart of the common father of the faiti^ful be not 
afflicted by the triumph of heresy ; that the Church has spoken, 
and that, as docile children, you ought to obey her, and be 
vigilant in executing her decrees.' All who abjure their errois 
will be forgiven." * 

* " ScimuB in hAc sanctft sede, aliquot jam annis multa abomiDanda fuisee." 

* Edm. Kicherii, Hiatoris Conciliomm^ libri quatuor. 
' Mensel, Neaere G^eschichte der Deutschen, torn. i. 

* ** Detur venia iis qui errores suos abjurare Toluerint." — Instruciio pro 


We see all that i§ weak, embarrassed, and imprudent in this 
language of the representative of a court accustomed to speak 
so high. It certainly was not calculated to gire an exalted 
idea, either of the sovereign in whose name it was spoken, or of 
the orator who acted as his organ. The members of the diet 
could never have elevated themselves to the position in which 
the nuncio of his holiness placed them. Luther was not alto* 
gether sure of their disposition, he was afraid of the Catholic 
princes. To compromise them in the eyes of the German nation, 
he had taken care to represent them as instruments of vengeance 
in the hand of God. The nuncio's address made so many petty 
iron-handed despots of men who, left toiheir own instincts, would 
have been broken by an energetic breath. Beyond the Alps it 
caused misgivings and discouragement to the hearts of the Italian 
prelates, who felt that the language of Cheregatus was befitting a 
person of the age, but the very reverse in the mouth of a nuncio. 
Protestant Ckrmany boasted of having put Rome to silence ; and 
Luther at Wittemberg did not fail to institute a parallel between 
the address of Cheregatus at the diet of Nuremberg and that of 
Cajetan at Augsburg, and point out to the Reformers how much 
his cause had advanced, since a nxmcio was obliged to confess 
to the world that aU the disturbance hitherto had its origin in 
the disorders of the Roman court.^ 

The Nurembei^ assembly had no need to meditate long on 
its reply. The official harangue required a comment. It 
declared that if it had not enforced the emperor's edict against 
Luther's followers, the fault lay in Rome, of which Germany had 
so much to complain ; that rigorous measures would have served 
only to spread, instead of repressing, the new doctrines ; and 
that the people would have been excited to rebel against the 
authorities, under the pretence that they wished to extinguish 
gospel light. It complimented the pope, who had so frankly 
acknowledged the necessity of a reformation in the clergy, and 
expressed a hope that henceforth the produce of the first-fruits 
should not be diverted from their original destination — the war 
against the Turks and infidels.* 

' He published a portion of Adrian's Mandatum with marginal notes. — 
' Coch* in Act. Lutb« Ulenberg, Hiatoria de Vitft Lutheri. Maimbourg, 


In the opinion of the diet, the only means of restoring peace 
to Gennany ^as by summonitig a national council, in which 
every dissentient voice might be heard. In the mean while, the 
Orders promised to endeavour to effect a general reconciliation. 
They engaged to obtain from the elector that Luther should be 
silenced ; that the preachers should only expound the word of 
God, rested upon the teaching and tradition of the Church ; 
that the duty of punishing with canonical penalties the married 
priests or secularized monks should be left to the ordinaries, and 
that they might be deprived of their benefices or privileges without 
the magistrates interfering to prevent it.^ 

The archduke Frederick and the elector of Brandenburg 
wished to have recourse to the rigorous measures for which 
Gheregatus'had concluded by asking against those who should 
refuse to obey the edict of Worms. But they met with lively 
opposition in the diet ; and sharp words were exchanged between 
these princes and some members of the assembly. '' Do I not 
git here as representative of the emperor V exclaimed Ferdinand 
impatiently. '^ Doubtless,"' replied Planitz, " but after the diet 
and the Orders of the empire." The Protestant princes had 
brought with them two Lutheran preachers, who were not 
satisfied with fomenting religious antipathies, but who mounted 
the pulpit to insult the papacy. " Though the pope," said one 
of them in the church of St. Laurence, " to his three crowns 
should add a fourth, he would not make me abandon the word 
of God." « 

The diet published its edict on the 6th March, 1523, in the 
name of the absent emperor. Luther waited with impatience 
for the result of this deliberation ; the recess of that assembly 
was a triumph for him. He took care to extol his victory over 
the papacy, in a writing full of artifice,' in which flattery of the 

p. 76. Mensel, Neuere Gksohiohte der Deutschen, torn. i. p. 150. The acts 
of the Diet are to be found in Lather's works, vol. xv, pp. 2667, 2674, edit. 

1 ''KuUos libro« edendos ; Erangelinm pnr^ jnxt2k probatas et ab EcclesiA. 
receptas interpretationes docendum. — ^Ab episoopis diligendos homines idoneoa 
qui concionatores exorbitantes leniter castigent. — Sacei^otes, qui uxores duxe- 
rant, juxtk leges pontificias mulctandos." 

' Ranke, 1. c. torn. ii. p. 55, 

' Luther, Contrit fidsa Edicta Cesaris. 


Orders is dezteroasly tempered with admonitions which do not 
proceed £rbm himself, he says, but from God, whose command he 
obeys ; he is only like a feeble reed in the hands of the Lord, 
similar to those who are raised in hononrs and dignities, and 
whom the Lord would orerthrow with a breath, if ever his word 
were unheeded. He demands pardon for those priests and monks 
whom they would seek to punish because they have obeyed God's 
command to Adam and all his posterity. ^' Unhappy blindness,^' 
says he, " merciless severity of the pontiff! Prescription redolent 
of the devil ! To transform into a divine command that conti- 
nence, which our nature cannot preserve ! To decree chastity 
is as much as to order man to abstain from the functions of our 
wretched oi]gans, or retain his excrements !...." ^ 

This appeal to the vicdation of celibacy, so curtly expressed, 
had, in 1522, been mooted at length in a letter from Luther 
to the knights of the Teutonic Order.* '' My friends,'' he said 
to them, *' God's precept to multiply is much older than that of 
continence decreed by the councils ; it dates as far back as the 
time of Adam. It is much better to live in concubinage than 
in chastity ; the latter is an unpardonable sin, and the former, 
by God's aid, will not infer the loss of salvation.^ 

And Luther tells us wherefore: libertinism is an offence 
against God, but is not a contempt of his word, of all crimes 
the greatest. The libertine sins, but he does not obstinately 
resist the Gospel ; the reverse is the case of the continent. And 
as it happened that Rome occasionally released certain military 
men from their vows of chastity, to them Luther says, in these 
very words : " Let there be no such marriages, though one, a 
hundred, or a thousand councils should permit you ; with one, 
two, or three mistresses you may pass all your life, and yet 
obtain God's forgiveness, but there will be no mercy shown to 
one who marries a wife by permission of a council or papistical 

^ " Perind^ &cere qui continenter yivere inatkiuant, ac si qnis exorement* 
yel loticmk oontri natiuw impetum retUero velit." — Ule&berg, k c. p. 91. 

* Ad milites ordiois Tentonicij Oper. Luth. : Jense, torn. ii. p. 211. Dr. 
Martin Luther's ErmahnuDg an die Herren deutachen Ordens. 

' " In Btata soortationifl vel peocati, Dei proddio imploraio, de salate noa 
deiperandttm.*' — Ulenberg, I. c. p. 187« 


dispensatioB ; and why ? becaiise the pope and couDcil are instru* 
ments of the devil" > 

The diet set forth its grievances: a hundred in number, 
Centum ffravamina,^ of which they sought redress. They were 
remonstrances rather than complaints, rude and acrimonious, and 
to which, in general, the pope could not have attended without 
affecting his authority, the discipline of the Church, and the 
most holy traditions. Cher^atus was alarmed on glancing over 
this volume of complaints, which the secretary of the Orders 
sent to him. He suffered the penalty of his timidity. The 
diet formally refused to review its work ; besides, the press had 
got hold of it, republished, and circulated it throughout Germany. 
Cheregatus was obliged to submit. 

While he was on his way back to Rome, the printer of 
Wittemberg published the contents of the Centum gravamina in 
Latin and German, for the use of the learned and the people, 
with commentaries and remarks, half serious, half in jest, but all 
insulting to Catholicism, and besides replete with Luther. It was 
he who dictated those severe and biting lines, who stirred up all 
that gall, and made all that filth ; it was his breath and inspira- 
tion, for Ulrich von Hutten was sick and dying. Now, there is 
no mistaking him there. He himself has taken care to point 

' " Qaod IB qui per omnem Titam unnm vel duo, triave scorta domi &Tet, 
potits sit in gratiA Dei, qukm alias quifipiam qui iuxta oonoilii definitionem 
matrimonii se nezu yinciri patiatur." — Ulenbeiv, I.e. p. 187. See all these 
paasagee, and many others still more rash, in the German woriu of Luther : 
Leipsio, vol. zviii. p. 408 et seq. 

* Pontificii oratoris Legati in CouTentu Norimbeigensi, 1521^ inohoato, 
sequenti verb finite. link cum instructione ab eodem Legato consignatft : neo 
non responsione CsBsaren Majestatis ao reliquorum principum et procerum 
nomine reddilA. 

Was auf dem Keichstag zu Nlimberg, von wegen p&bstlicher Heiligkeit 
kayserlicher Majeetat Stadthalter und StiUide, lutherisoher Sachen hJben, 
gelanget, und darauf geantwortet worden ist. Item : Der weltlichen Beich- 
stande Beschwerden, so sie gegen den Siul zu Rom und andem geistlichen 
Standen haben, und der pabstlichen Heiligkeit Oiatorem, auf dem Reichstag 
xu Nlimberg, im Jahr 1522 angefiingen, und damach im 23. geendet, ttber* 
geben worden sind. £in Verzeichniss von etlicher teutecher Bisthttmer und 
Aebten Annata die sie gen Rom geben. Yon dem Mangel TOigesetzter An- 
naten. Yon Andem (befallen aus teutschen Landen gen Rom : Ntimberg, 

Teutscher Nation Beschwerden von den Geistlichen. Durch die weltlichen 
Reichstande, Ftirsten und Herrn, Pabst Adriano schriftlich tlberachickt, nechst 
vergangenen Reichstage zu Niimberg, im 22. Jahr ange£uigen, und im 28. 


out the mode of diyination, and it is very simple. ^' When 
upon a clean white page you see little black and viscous specks, 
you say, A fly has been upon this." * And we, when we per- 
ceive the fine face of an old man, such as Adrian or the cardinal 
archbishop of Mayence, flushed with a blow from the hand 
of a priest, we say, That hand is Luther's ; and we are not 

Luther is perhaps more severe when he reasons, instead of 
employing raillery. Gheregatus, a Southern rhetorician, fond of 
imagery, had said, in the opening of his speech : '' Pericles him- 
self felt nervous whenever he was obliged to speak in public ; you 
will not, then, be astonished that I am intimidated by the sight 
of so many princes assembled in this illustrious meeting." 

The marginal note said : '' This impious preface smells of the 

Gheregatus remarked, that if Hungary fell into the hands 
of the Turks, all Germany would become the slaves of the 

The note said snappishly : " We should prefer being under 
the Turks than the Papists.^ 

The Teutonic party, who formed the majority of the diet of 
Nuretnberg, believed they were making a bold act of opposition 
to Rome, in demanding the convocation of the council They 
hoped that the appeal would be considered beyond the Alps as a 
derision or insult to the papacy. These old Germans were mis- 
taken : Rome seemed inclined, in order to restore peace to the 
Church in Germany, to allow a general council to be held. Then 
Luther, who, since his conference with Gardinal Gajetan at 
Augsburg, had constantly posted the walls of the cathedral with 
an appeal to a future council, when he saw Rome willing to grant 
it, changed his mind, and furiously rejected this mode of con- 
ciliation. Would you know the secret of this palinode ? It was 
because a council could only be composed of the pope, bishops, 
priests, and monks : now, all these had cast off the Gospel. 
Such was one of his aiguments against holding a council. This 
is not the gravest ; every sheep, he formally asserts, has a right 
to determine whether the food which the shepherd gives it is 

> TiBch-Reden. * Scbmidt, 1. c torn vi. p. 821. 


Bound or corrapt ; then, to what purpose councils, priests, or 
learned men ?^ 

The unhappy Adrian, — this pope so pure, this Christian of 
the primitive Church, this good shepherd, who would have given 
his life for his sheep, this apostle, who " thought no evil," and 
of whom the world was not worthy,' according to the fine descrip- 
tion of a Protestant historian, — ^was broken-hearted when Chere- 
gatus returned, and grief killed him. All the poor of Borne 
followed his funeral weeping, and exclaiming : " Our father is 
dead ! " and as it passed by, the people knelt, and shed tears. 
Never had funeral pomp evoked a similar grief ; Rome at last 
knew the extent of her loss. Several cardinals accompanied the 
body to the church of St Peter : these were the Utrecht doctor's 
friends in boyhood. By their attention, a small monument was 
raised to preserve these cherished remains ; and on it was inscribed : 
*' Here lies Adrian VI., who considered power the greatest of 
misfortunes."' Subsequently, a German cardinal, Eckenwoirt, 
erected, at his own expense, in the church of Dell' Anima, a less 
simple cenotaph, bearing these words, which Adrian loved to 
repeat : '' Nothing is of consequence to the most virtuous person 
like the time he has lived." 

Some days before his death, Adrian had canonized Benno, 
bishop of Misnia,^ a holy priest, whose memory is still held in 
veneration throughout Catholic Saxony : he was another Martin, 
who oflien, after selling his valuables, divided his cloak to give 
it to the poor. Luther, who recommended to the veneration of 
Christians those of his disciples who died in the course of theuf 
mission, strove to prevent respect being paid to this new saint 

> Dr. Martin Ltither's Gmnd-Ursacbe aus der Sclirift, daas eine ohristliohe 
VersamrolaDg oder GtemeiDo Becht und Maoht babe, alle Lehre ca urtbeileo, 
und Lehrer zn berufen, ein- und abzosetzen. "— Lntber's Werke : lioipzig, 
torn, xviii. p. 429 et seq. 

' Ad. Meosel, torn. t. p. 111. Aus diesem VerdmsBe wurde der fromme 
Mann, desRen die Welt nicbt wertb war, zur Freude der Romer, am 14. Sep- 
tember 1525, durcb den Tod befreit. 

' " Hadrianus sIxtUB blc situs est, qui nibil sibi infelicits in vitA duxit qtikm 
qu6d imperaret.*' 

We baye of tbis pope : " Conunentarii de rebus theologicis in IT. sen ten- 
tiarum qusBstiones, unk cum qusestionibus quas quodlibetaa vocant." 

* Emser has written the life of thia bishop. — Ooch. in Act. pp. 108, 109. 


He wrote his book, '* Concerning the New Idol and the Old 
Devil/" in which he found means to insult both the living and 
the dead. 

" Satan," he says, " being unable to bear the splendour of the 
rising star of the Gospel, has resolved to be revenged, and, in 
ridicule of God, has devised a buffoonish farce, a capital fiction 
for the stage of a mountebank. He takes Benno's name, and 
desires to have it worshipped. For this comedy he makes use 
of Pope Adrian, whose chastity and innocence they vaunt ; an 
impious hypocrite, the determined enemy of God^s word, who has 
caused the death of two of our Augustinian friars at Brussels ; 
who kills the living saints of the Lord, and canonizes the slave 
of Rome, or rather the devil himself. Like as at Constance, 
where the Others of the council have shed the blood of John 
Huss and Jerome of Prague, two sons of God, two saints, two 
martyrs, and exalted Thomas Aquinas, the fountain and sink of 
heresies ! Who was this Benno ? The pimp of Gregory VIL, 
that mitred scoundrel, who has dethroned the ^nperor, Henry IV. 
If Benno did not do penance for that crime, he is damned to all 
eternity, and feU into the hands of the devil when he died.^ 
Misnians, you are called on to adore a cut-throat, an in&mous 
homicide, a robber stained with blood, the author of all the cala- 
mities which press upon Germany, the enemy of the Gospel, the 
companion of Antichrist, a saint such as Annas and Caiaphas.'' 

Afelancthon sorrowfully wrote to Erasmus : '^ Luther is of 
more worth than his pamphlets.'"' 

But Erasmus shook his head incredulously, and replied to his 
friend : *^ No, I cannot believe that men, whose manners are so 
opposite to the doctrines of Christ, are guided by his spirit. For- 
merly the Gospel made the fierce mild, the spoiler merciful, the 
turbulent peaceful, the slanderer charitable. Now our evangelists 
excite fury, possess themselves fraudulently of the property of 
others, create disturbances everywhere, and speak evil of those 

^ Contrib noTuin Idolum et aDtiqunm Diabolam qui Misens exaltabitur : 
Jeme, torn. ii. p. 446, b. 

' "Quern quidem yirom ego meliorem esse judico, quiun qualis yidetur 
fitdenti do eo ju(Uoiiim ex illis yiolentlB BoripUonibuB ipsiiiB.'* — Epist. ad 
Enam. inter Epiat. ad Camerar. p. 90. 



even whose conduct is exemplaiy. I see hypocrites and tyrants, 
but not one spark of the spirit of the Gospel."* 

Erasmus had not yet read Luther's letter to Henry VIII. ! 



The Captivity of tbe Church in Babylon excites a great Benaation in England, 
— It is attacked by Henry VIII. — Specimen of the royal work. — ^Luther'* 
reply to the king's pamphlet. — ^Bngenbagen and Mela&cUMm approve of 
Luther's part in the controversy. — ^Heniy complains to Germany of Luther's 
insults. — ^ir Thomas More defends the king's side. — His work. — Luther's 
daring explained. — ^New letter, wherein the monk humbly apologises to 
Henry. — ^And why I 

The " Captivity of the Church in Babylon/' widely diffused 
in Germany, eagerly read and praised by the antagonists of the 
school of Cologne, excited some noise in England. The school 
divinity had warm defenders at London among the clergy and 
seminaries. Luther's rebellion had caused them astonishment 
mingled with alarm. It happened that the most irritable theo- 
logian of the age was the very monarch who reigned over Great 
Britain. Henry VI IL was among the first who read Luther's 
pamphlet, and immediately undertook to refute it. Erasmus was 
aware of the king's fancy, and commended it. His majesty for 
some weeks closeted himself with his chancellor, the archbishop 
of York, Fisher, bishop of Rochester, and other prelates, who, 
if we are to believe Luther, supplied their master with their 
sophistry and rage. The reply appeared with the title of 
''Defence of the Seven Sacraments against Doctor Martin 
Luther." « 

* "Qui possim mihi persuadere illos agi Spiritu Christi quorum mores 
tanthm discrepant ^ doctrinft Christi ! OUm Bvangelium ex ferocibus red- 
debat mites, ex rapacibus benignos, ex tarbulentis pacificoe, ex maledicis 
beneficos ; hi redduntur furiosi, capiunt per fraudem aliena, concitant nbique 
tumultus, maledicunt etiam de bene merentibus. Novos hypooritas, novos 
tyrannos video, ac ue micam quidem Evangelii spiritfis.'* — Erasm. Epist. 
ep. 69, ad Melancbth. p. 726. 

' Assertio Septem Sacramentomm adversiis Martanum Luthenun. 


One night an apparition, much more real than that of Satan, 
came to torment the Reformer at Wartburg, — ^this was the 
spectre of Henry VIII. He entered the castle, not as historians 
represent him to ns, with that "fine appearance," which yielded 
only to that of Francis I., or, as Holbein has depicted him, with 
his rich ermine, his face embedded in a small-ruffled collar, and 
his yellow fox-eyes, — but in the garb of a monk, holding in his 
hand the defence of the Catholic faith, which he had dedicated 
to Leo X.1 

That apology for Catholicism by a crowned head was a great 
event in the religious world. Henry's work soon crossed the 
sea, and was reprinted in every form in Holland, Belgium, 
Germany, and France.* In Italy, there was a shower of sonnets, 
odes, and poems in honour of the king. It was celebrated in 
Latin verse by Vida and Cicoli : ' Erasmus lauded the prose, 
Eck the reasoning, of the prince. For more than six months, 
the only theme was Henry VIII. and his literary renown. That 
renown is forgotten, and the volume lies buried in a vellum 
shroud in some German libraries, where we have met with it 
beside the works of Frierias, Latomus, and CochlsBus, who also 
made so much noise on this earth. For an idea of the royal 
polemics we must look into it 

" There was a time,'' says Henry, " when the faith had no 
need of defenders ; it had no enemies. Now it has one who 
exceeds in maUgnity all his predecessors, who is instigated by 
the devil, who covers himself with the shield of charity, and, 
full of hatred aod wrath, discharges his viperish venom against 
the Church and Catholicism. Wherefore every Christian soul, 
every servant of Christ, of whatever age, sex, or order, must rise 
in their turn against this common enemy. . . . 

" What similar pestilence has ever attacked the Lord's flock ? 
What serpent can be compared with this monk who has written 

' The royal maDiisoript is preserved and exhibited in the Vatican. It is 
prefiu^d by the following distich : 

" Anglonim rex, Henricus, Leo decime, mittit 
Hoc opus et fidei testem et amicitise." 
The first edition of the book appeared at Loudon, in sedibus Pynsonianis, 1521. 
' In 1522, the Assertio was printed at Antwerp, in two forms, in ledibua 
Michaelis Hillenii. 

' VidsB Op. torn. ii. p. 161. 



upon the Babylonish captivity of the Church ? who sports with 
the language of Scripture to attack the sacraments ? — ^to this 
scoffer of our old traditions, who puts no faith in our holy fathers, 
or the ancient interpreters of our holy books, except when they 
agree with him ; who compares the Holy See to the impure 
Babylon, treats as a tyrant the sovereign pontiff, and makes that 
holy name synonymous with Antichrist ? He is a man of pride, 
blasphemy, and schism ! — ^a devouring wolf, who would rend the 
flesh of the Christian flock ! — a child of the devil, who seeks to 
wile the sheep from Christ their pastor! — a filthy soul, who 
attempts to revive heresies that have been buried for ages, who 
mixes new errors with the old, and, like Cerberus, drags to the 
light from hell blasphemies which slept in shameful darkness ; 
and glories in disturbing with his doctrine the Church and the 
Catholic communion/' * 

Henry enters at once into the subject, and combats and 
destroys the Saxon creed. The crowned theologian is close, 
concise, and cutting. He bears no likeness to those dis- 
putants whom we have seen at Worms, — to those gowned 
civilians who flattered Luther, lavished incense and honey on 
him, and strove by fair words to win back the wanderer to 
authority. Henry is the monarch as he appears in history and 
painting, — with flaming eye, brow swollen with rage, and lips 
quivering with fury. The theologian seems to wish to cast away 
the frock and seize the sword, wherewith to force his arguments 
down the throat of his adversary. 

" Wretch ! " he says to Luther, " do you not know how much 
obedience is better than sacrifice ? Tou do not reflect that if 
the punishment of death is pronounced in Deuteronomy against 
every proud spirit who rebels against the priest, his master, you 
deserve every sort of punishment for having disobeyed the 
supreme priest, the great judge on this earth. . . /' « 

There are sometimes eloquent parages in Henry's work. 
When he speaks of the majesty of crowned heads, of the respect 
due by subjects to their sovereign, and of insults offered by 

1 Assertio Septem Saor&mentorum advent Mart. Lnthenim, H«Drioo YIII. 
AngluB rege, anctore : PariBik, 1652, 12xbo. 

* Aasertio, etc. p. 10. 


Lather to the tiara, he becomes animated and glowing. His 
language expands, and he makes use of images foil of grandeur. 

" Let him deny, then, that the whole Christian community 
salutes Rome as her mother and spiritual guide ! Christians at 
the extremities of the world, and separated by oceans and deserts, 
obey the Holy See ! If, then, this immense power has been 
acquired by the pope neither by the orders of God nor the will 
of man, if it is a usurpation and a robbery, let Luther point 
out its origin ! The source of so great a power cannot be enve- 
loped in darkness, especially if its history is known. Let him 
assert that it goes no further back than two centuries at the 
most ; the pages of history will show the contrary. 

'' But if this power is so old that its beginning is lost in the 
night of ages, then he must be aware that human laws establish 
that aU possession is lawful, the origin of which memory cannot 
trace ; and that by the consent of nations, it is forbidden to 
touch that which time has made immutable. 

'' He must have rare assurance to affirm, when the contrary 
has been established, that the pope has founded his right by 
means of despotism. For whom does Luther take us ? Does he 
think that we are so stupid as to believe that a poor priest could 
have been able to establish such a power as his ? — that without 
a mission, or any sort of right, he has made so many nations 
subject to his sceptre? — that so many cities, provinces, and 
kingdoms could be found so prodigal of their liberties as thus to 
acknowledge a stranger, to whom they owed neither faith, nor 
homage, nor obedience."'^ 

The most curious page in Henry's book is that wherein he 
defends the Mass against the arguments of the Augustinian 
monk, in the double point of view of good work and sacrifice, 
qualities which Luther denies to this sacrament. In reading 
tills sound argument, well-woven, glowing with poetry at times, 
and which displays the rhetorician accomplished in the arts 
of the school, by his knowledge of the Scriptures, and the 
refinement of the Latin language, we have no difficulty in under- 
standing why, on the one hand, Luther suspected that the king 
merely wrote to the dictation of one of his prelates ; or, on the 

> ABsertio, etc. p. 10. 


Other, why the pope conferred on the royal theologian the title 
of " Defender of the Faith." Sadoletus, the pope's secretary, 
could not have done better ; his Latin certainly could not have 
been more elegant, or his periods more Ciceronian.^ 

Luther maintained that these words of Christ : " Whatsoever 
you shall unloose on earth, shall be unloosed in heaven," were 
addressed to the community of the faithful, to every Christian, 
male or female. 

Here Henry lays aside the professor ; he does not embarrass 
himself with the trammels of the school ; he recalls to mind his 
knowledge of ancient history, and brings up one of the great 
Roman departed, Emilius Scaurus, to discomfit his enemy. 

** Romans," exclaimed the old man, accused before his coun- 
trymen by a worthless fellow, " Varus affirms, and I deny. 
Whom do you believe ?" And the people applauded, and the 
accuser was confounded. '* I wish for no other argument in 
this question of the power of the kings. Luther says that the 
words of institution apply to the laity ; Augustine denies it. 
Whom will you believe ? — Luther says, Yes ; Bede says. No. 
Whom will you believe ? — Luther says, Yes ; the whole Church 
says, No. Whom will you believe V 

His majesty has left none of Luther's assertions unanswered. 
Eck, at Leipsic, was certainly not more pressing or mordant. 
How he seems to be delighted, — how complacently he exposes 
the monk's errors, — how he quotes texts from the Scriptures, to 
show his biblical knowledge ; and profane historians, to prove that 
he is not so covered with the dust of the schools, as to have 
forgotten the assiduous court which he formerly paid to the 
Greek and Latin muses ! When he approaches the end of his 
long defence, he becomes as rhetorical as Socrates, and in a flow 
of artfiiUy condensed periods, exhibits Luther such as he had 
found him to be.^ 

** Th^s, then, there is no doctor so ancient in the world, no 
saint so exalted in bliss, no scholar so versed in the knowledge 
of the Bible, whom this petty doctor, this little saint, this shadow 

'^ Luther acknowledged bim to be "inter omnes qui Qontr)^ Be scribunt 
latinissimum." — Roacoe, Life of Iieo X. vol. iv. p. 47, 

' Assertio, p. 55* 


of erudition,^ does not reject in the pride of his self-constituted 
authority. Since he despises everybody, since he only believes 
in himself, why should he be enraged when he receives contempt 
for contempt, and disdain for disdain ? What advantage can be 
gained by a contest with Luther, who is of nobody's opinion, and 
does not understand himself ; who denies what he has at first 
affirmed, and affirms what at the same time he denies ? If you 
arm yourself with faith to oppose him, he confronts you with 
reason ; if you buckle on the armour of reason, he entrenches 
himself in faith ; if you quote the philosophers, he appeals from 
them to the Scriptures ; if you invoke the Bible, he wraps himself 
up in sophistry. He is a shameless scribbler, who sets himself 
above the laws, who despises our old teachers, and in the pleni* 
tude of his pride ridicules the learning of the age ; who insults 
the majesty of pontiffs, outrages traditions, dogmas, manners, 
laws, canons, faith, and the Church herself, which he sees 
nowhere, except amongst two or three innovators, of whom he 
has ponstituted himself the leader/'' 

There was in Luther a fibre irritable to the last degree, — that 
of pride : woe to him who dared to touch it ! Henry knew his 
adversary well. He desired to make him suffer for the praises 
which had been showered upon him on all sides, and, with 
cruel delight, he provoked and bantered the monk's literary 
vanity. Think of Luther being styled doctarcidus, sanctvius^ 
eruditultu, diminutives not certainly to be found in the writers 
of the Augustan age, and which Henry employs only to make 
his contempt sink deeper.^ But Eck, Miltitz, even Latomus 
himself, had been more courteous, and did not deny his titles of 
doctor and scholar. Ah ! if Luther had had the gauntlet of his 
adversary, how he would have rejoiced to bury it in the sove- 
reign's body ! But he had luckily a pen which had stood him 
stead in more than one contest, and which could besmear with 
mud a countenance so as to make it undistinguishable. We use 
the word " mud" from decency ; for Sir Thomas More affirms 
that he went elsewhere for the filth with which he covered the 
face of his opponent. 

' DoctorculoB, saDctulus, eruditulua. 

• AsBertio, pp. 97, 98. 

' Luther afkerwards borrowed them from Heory. 


The reply to Hodij of England ^eedily appeared. Luther only 
took a few hours to compose it, and soon all Germany was 
invited to an unheard-of spectacle. 

It is now the monk's turn. 

** It is two years since I published a small book, entitled 
' The Captivity of the Church in Babylon.'* It has annoyed 
the Papists, who have spared neither falsehoods nor abuse against 
me. I willingly forgive them. OtheiB would have swallowed it 
cheerfully, but the hook was too hard and sharp for their throats. 
The Lord Henry, not by the grace of God, king of England, has 
recently written in Latin against that treatise. There are some 
who believe that this pamphlet has not been written by Henry : 
but whether it proceeds from the pen of Henry, or the devil, or 
from hell, is a matter of indifference. Whoever lies is a liar : I 
have no fear of such a one. What I think is, that King Henry 
has given one or two ells of coarse cloth, and that snivelling 
sophist,^ that swine of the Thomist herd (Lee), who has written 
against Erasmus, has taken needle and scissors, and made a cape 

Luther then follows Henry's example ; he passes in review 
his rival's assertions, and refutes them. 

" If a king of England spits his impudent lies in my &ce, I 
am entitled on my part to thrust them down his throat. If he 
blasphemes my sacred doctrines, and casts his dirt on the crown 
of my king and my Christ,^ why should he be astonished if I, in 
like manner, bespatter his royal diadem, and proclaim that the 
king of England is a liar and a rascal.^ 

" Perhaps he thought, * Luther is pursued ; he <jannot reply to 
me ; his books are burned ; my calumnies will go down. I am 
a king, they will believe that I speak the truth ! I can then 
venture to throw in the face of the poor monk whatever comes 

* Die Babylonischen (jefangDisBe. 

* *' Lens nie . . . fiigicb pituita sophista qnalem in grege ffuA alerent crassi 
illi porci Thomistee.'' 

■' This was a calfunnj ; HeDry at first was intended to have been in Orders, 
fie bad long studied theology. " Sub optimis prseceptoribus setatem trivisse 
ei in sacris scrip turis plurimUm versatum fuisse/' says «fohn Clark e, ambassador 
^m Henry YlII., in his Oratio ad ]jeonem habita. 

* Und schmieret seinen Dreck an die KroniS meines Konjg^ 
^ ^in Liigner ist und ein Unbiedermann, 


into m; head, publish what I please, and ran down his reputa- 
tion in a clear field/ Ah, my lad ! say whatever you like ; I 
shall compel you to hear some disagreeable truths ; I hope they 
will make you smart for your tricks. He accuses me of having 
written against the pope through hatred and malice ; of being 
quarrelsome, slanderous, and so proud as to think myself the 
only wise man in the world ! . . . . But I ask you, my lad, what 
matters it if I am vain, cross-grained, and wicked ? Is the 
papacy innocent, because I am worthless ? Therefore, because I 
consider him a fool, the king of England is a sage ! What will 
you say ? But the dear king, who has such a horror for lies 
and calumnies, has more of them in his envenomed book than I 
have in all my writings. Perhaps in this quarrel there must 
be a distinction of persons ? a king may at his will injure a poor 
monk, but play the courtier with the pope.'"^ 

We have seen that the king of England maintained with 
some eloquence that antiquity in human, as in sacred institutions, 
has a right to our respect, and that, consequently, the papacy 
ought not to be treated as a thing of yesterday. The monk avoids 
discussing the proposition, and to combat it has recourse to his 
ordinary weapon, raillery, 

" I wish to be done with the Papists once for all, and to reply 
to them in addressing the king of England. Your just man, 
though a century old, cannot be just for one hour. If age 
constituted right, the devil would be the justest on earth, for he 
is upwards of 5,000 years old." 

He follows his adversary through his theological work, not 
troubling himself much with dogmatic questions, neither dis- 
turbing himself with the voice of tradition, upon which the king 
lays so much stress, nor with the evidence of the great Catholic 
writers whom Henry calls to his aid, nor those terrible conse- 
quences for the peace of society which he had drawn from his 
rival's propositions. He reserved for the conclusion of his 
pleading his best arguments ;-r— the devil and the law of blood. 

" What astonishes me, is not the ignorance of Henry, king 
of England — not that he understands less of faith and works 
than a block does about God ; it is that the devil thus plays the 

* liUther's Leben, von Gust. Pfizer, p. 3d7, 


clown by means of his Henry, although he knows well that I 
laugh at him. King Henry is aware of the proverb : * There 
are no greater fools than kings and princes.' Who does not 
perceive the finger of God in the blindness and folly of this 
man ! .... I will leave him a moment of rest, for I have the 
Bible to translate, without reckoning other occupations, which 
will not admit of my dabbling long in his Majesty's filtL 
But I will, if God permit, take my time again to reply at my 
leisure to this royal mouth, which foams with falsehood and 
poison. I think that he has written his book as a penance, for 
his conscience loudly tells him that he haa stolen the crown of 
England, by putting to a violent death the last offspring of the 
royal line, and drying up the source of the blood of the 
kings of Great Britain. He trembles in his skin lest this blood 
should fall upon him, and therefore he clings to the pope in order 
that he may not lose the throne, and sometimes courts the 
emperor, and sometimes the king of France, as does one 
tormented by a guilty conscience. Henry and the pope are 
equally legitimate : the pope has stolen his tiara, as the king of 
England his crown ; which accounts for their rubbing each 
other like two mules. Whoever would not pardon me for my 
insults to his royal majesty, ought to know that I have only 
done so because he has not spared himself. See then, he lies in 
the fiace of heaven, and unblushingly spit-s out venom like an 
angry prostitute ; which is a clear proof that he has not a drop 
of noble blood in his veins." ^ 

Then, leaving this insignificant monarch as if he were unde- 
serving even of a look, he invokes the most glorious representa* 
tives of the school, the Thomists, and hurls at them this proud 

" Courage, you swine ; bum me then, if you dare ! Here I 
am : I attend you. I shall persecute you with my ashes after 

* So Bchilt er so bitter, giftig und ohne Unterlass, als keine offentliche 
zomige Hure schelten mag. 

Luther's reply to the king of England appeared in two languages ; in Ger- 
man and in Latin, with the title, Contrii regem Angliie Martinus Lutherus. 
The two texts, according to his biographer, Pnzer, present material variations. 
The Latin version is more bitter and cynical ; it is dedicated to Sebastiah 
Schlinck, a Bohemian noble, and is dated 15 July, 1522. See vol. ii. : Jenao^ 
lat. fol. 546 et seq. The German answer will be found in vol. ii. of the edition 
of Altenburg, foL 187 et seq. 


I am dead, although you should have scattered them to the winds 
and the waves. Alive, I shall be the enemy of the papacy ; 
dead, I shall be twice as much so. Swinish Thomists, do your 
utmost I Luther will be the bear on your road, the lion in your 
path ; he will follow you everywhere, be constantly before you, 
and will never give you peace or truce, until he shall have 
broken your iron skulls and brazen faces, for your salvation or 

These are strange words, doubtless, but which, notwith* 
standing, a disciple of Luther, has not been afraid to attribute to 
the Holy Ghost. '* At one time I thought," said Bugenhagen, 
**that our father Luther was too violent against Henry of 
England, but I now perceive that I was mistaken, and that he 
has been too gentle ; it is the Spirit of heaven who has dictated 
his every word ; the Spirit of holiness, truth, constancy, and in- 
vincible power/' ^ Melancthon himself dared not condemn his 
master's violence. To Capito, who censured it, he wrote : " Take 
care, my friend ; to reject Luther, is to reject the Gospel Tou 
are alarmed at his fury ; what if it is the zeal of God which 
consumes him ? Tou do not understand the state of the times, — > 
what salt is required to be used to these &t masters and lords. 
St Paul commands us not to quench the Spirit." ^ Instead of 
divine inspiration, Erasmus could only see in Luther's reply signs 
of madness and vulgarity.' 

Luther was of Bugenhagen's opinion ; and in the preface of 
his book, commended himself for his moderation and mildness.^ 

1 "Opinabar patrem nostrum Lathemm nimis yehementem esse in Hen- 
rionm r^gem Anglise, sed jam video nimis lenem flilsee. . . . Ita at &teri oogar 
Spiritom Sanctum dictitsse onmia verba Lutbero, oujus spiritus non est alius 
nisi sanotus, verax, oonstans et invictus." — Selnecoer, p. 144. Seckendorf, 
lib. i. sect, xlyii. § 114. 

' " Negare non potestis quin Kvangelium doceat ; id rejicitis, si Lutherus 
rejiciatur. Nee ignoro te acerbitate offbndi. Sed quid, si divinitiis accenda- 
tor ? Obeeoro, vide qui rerum ac temporum status sit, quo sale opus sit tarn 
pingnibus dominis. Paulus carere pneciplt ne spiritus extinguatur." — Secken- 
dorf, L 0. tom. i. p. 188. 

' Sentiments d'Erasme de Rotterdam, oonformes li ceuz de TEglise Catho- 
lique: Cologne, 1688, 12mo. p. 219. 

* "Deinde Ik virulentill et mendaoiis abstinui." He wrote, bowever, to 
Spalatinus, on tbe 4th of September : " Sciebam multos offensurum quidquid 
in regem Anglife scriberem, insulsum et virulentum Thomistam ; sed itit plncuit 
mibi atqne ade6 multis causis necessarium fiiit ; quod facio nescitur mod6, 
scietur post^" In August preceding, be said to one of his friends ; " Aliqui 


In the whole range of political and religions pamphlets, there 
will nowhere be fonnd snch revolting indecency, except perhaps 
in the " Vieux Cordelier " of Dnchesne ; but the journalist 
minded his business, and did not believe in a Ood; while 
the monk interrupted his translation of the Bible to reply to 

But what causes more painful astonishment is the silence of 
the Protestant princes; not one, even the elector of Saxony, 
wished to give this insolent monk a lesson, and teach him that 
such insults were not to be given to royalty unpunished. The 
libel was openly published, with the author's name and printer's 
device ; it was publicly sold at the fair at Frankfort ; it crossed 
the sea, it was circulated among the people ; and yet this 
scandal did not excite in these potentates either emotion or 
indignation ! 

Henry, however, complained of the monk's insults to the 
elector Frederick, in a letter* wherein he was even witty. 
"Your Luther is a singular fellow," said the prince, among 
other things ; " he be^ns by crying, then he becomes irritated, 
then enraged, then furious, then he storms, then he roars." * 

In his reply the elector protests his love for the Gospel, declares 
that it was contrary to his orders that Luther left Wartburg for 
Wittemberg, and relies much upon the next council, where God 
and his Christ will necessarily be present, according to the 
promise in St. Matthew, chap, xviii., vers. 19, 20 : " For where 
there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I 
in the midst of them :" but not a syllable with reference to 
Luther's insults to his majesty. 

Some Protestant writers, while censuring the expressions used 
by Luther in his letter to Henry, have inclined to admire the 
boldness of the monk, who, in the face of all Germany, dared to 

amioi mei saepb monnenxnt at mollitis scriberem, sed semper respond! et 
respondeo me id non esae &ctaram."-— Altenb. torn. ii. p. 207. Seckendorf. 
Ub. i. p. 187. 

' Serenissimi ac potentiasimi regis Anglise, Henrici ChrisidaDSB fidei de- 
fensoris, ad iUastrissimos ao clarissimos Sazonia) principea Fridericum elec- 
torem et Johannem et Georfinm duces de coercendo aoigendoque Luthera- 
nismo et Luthero ipso, epistou^ Grenwici, 1523. 

' ChurfUrst Freidrichs nnd Herzog Johannes Antwort auf rorheigefaendes 
Scbreiben Konig Heinrichs VIII. m. Ap. A. 1523. Luther's Werke : Leipzig, 
torn, xviii. p. 213. 


insult the most powerfdl ally of Charles V. It is a sorry 
triumph to Luther that they contend for. At the very time 
when his pamphlet appeared, La Tremouille expelled from the 
French territories the English forces commanded by the Duke of 
SujSblk ; and the emperor's attempts upon Burgundy and Ouienne 
had been forcibly repelled.* Luther, accordingly, could with 
safety brave the emperor and offend Henry : he was not afraid 
of Charles returning to Germany to punish him ; if the emperor 
had crossed the Rhine, Italy would have fallen into the hands of 
Francis I. 

There was in these insults to royalty a secret motive of which 
Luther, as he said, reserved to himself the explanation at some 
future time. It is not difBcult to divine the mystery. Luther 
directed them much more to the theologian than to the sovereign. 
He obeyed, without suspecting it, and at the risk of repudiating 
his principles of free inquiry, that Catholic constitution which 
does not recognise the right of princes to mix themselves up with 
questions of doctrine. We have surprised him in a moment of 
temper exclaiming that a prince ought never to touch the censer, 
forgetting that immediately before he had proclaimed that we are 
all priests. But if he had permitted Henry to defend the 
Catholic faith, Frederick, the elector of Saxony, might, like the 
king, become a theologian : there would then have been two apostles 
at Wittemberg ! And Luther wished to be the sole master of 
£Edth : he permitted people to read the Bible, but on the express 
condition that they found nothing in it but what he had dis* 
covered there. 

There were in Bngland two men who resolved to defend out- 
raged royalty : Fisher, bishop of Rochester, in a learned work 
published under the pseudonyme of William Ross,' and Sir 
Thomas More,' who, instead of summoning to his lud the high 
intellect with which he was gifted, preferred to make use of jest^ 

* Bobertflon's Histoiy of Charles V. yol. i. p. 460 et wq. 

> EruditiaBiim yiii, Qnlielmi Bosaei opxui el^gans, doetnm, ftstiTiiin, finta, 
pnlcherrimb retegit ao refellit inaanas Lntheri oalnmnias, quibns invictiBsimuiD 
AsglisB Gallinque regem Henricum ejus nomiDis ootavuin, fidei defeiiBorem, 
baud litterifl mints qvikm regno clamnij sccnra tnrpiBSunns insectatur. 

* Th. Mori Angli, omnia qnsB faucnsque ad manns nostras pervenemnty 
Latina Opera : Lovanii, 1566. M. Kisanl, Thomas Moms, Bevue des Deux 
Mondes, torn. ▼. p. 590 et seq. 


after the fashion of Lather. Unfortunately his is not natural, 
and smells of the lamp. His sarcasm really does not originate 
from his own head, but travels, before touching his rival, over 
the satirists of antiquity, especially Lucian, whom he particularly 
studied. His indignation is like that of a statesman. The 
chancellor imagines that he employs the language of the tavern, 
but he stammers and fails for want of practice. We know 
Luther's ability, when he wishes to imitate the style of a 
drunkard. Faceti», sallies, points, and conceits flow from his 
lips like the beer from his glass. The fable only imagined by 
More is witty. 

Luther is at table with his boon companions, — ^his bacchanalian 
senate, — considering, after many bumpers of Eimbeck beer, of 
his reply to the king of England. One of his companions helps 
him out of his difficulty : '* Insults, falling as thick as snow- 
flakes, are the only weapons,'' he says, '^ to use against the king." 

Luther approves of the plan ; but he refers to his dictionary, 
and finds that copious as it is, it could not furnish him with 
a sufficient stock of buSboneries, and he sends about this crowd 
of evil spirits to collect them wherever they can. Some go one 
way, some another, and all, like wasps, soon return to the 
common rendezvous with a plentiful booty, and go out again for 

They betake themselves to the crossways, the carriages, boats, 
batlis, gaming-houses, barbers^ shops, taverns, mills, privies and 
stews, observing with eye and ear what passes, and carefully 
collecting the coarse jokes of coachmen, impertinences of valets, 
chattering of porters, petulancies of prostitutes, buffooneries 
of parasites, indecencies of bathers, and the obscenities of other 

And after hunting some months for insults, sarcasms, obscene, 
indecent, and infamous expressions, through the haunts of the 
lowest and most profligate, they cast all these into the sewer of 
Luther's breast, from which, after being stirred together and 
mashed, all this accumulated filth is ejected — ^and the monk's 
book is complete.* 

* ** Illi igitur abeuot, alius, alio, quo quemque tulit aoimuB, et se per 
omnia plaustra, Tehicula, cymbas, thermas, ganeas, tonstrinas, tabemaa, lus- 
tra^ pistrina^ latrinas, lupaaaria» diffunduut : illio obBervaut sedul^ atque in 


It must be admitted that the honour of the crown might havo 
been otherwise defended. We cannot admit the excuse of 
Erasmus, that the ohancellor, when replying to Luther's pamphlet, 
wafl inspired by the writings of the Saxon monk. 

In this controversy Catholicism in Germany had but one 
worthy representative, Duke George, who, in the name of 
God, morality, and Germany, denounced Luther's insolence to 
the assembly at Nurembeig, and demanded that he should be 
punished.^ The Orders of the empire did not understand their 

The duke also wrote a prophetical letter to the States, and 
even pointed out a time near at hand when the outrages of 
Luther against popes and monarchs would produce their firuits. 
The duke did not require to consult the stars as to the 
future ; the blindness of the States was a sufficient indication 
of the wrath of God upon Grermany.* 

Two years elapsed when the king of England received another 
letter from Luther : 

'' Most serene and illustrious prince," wrote the monk, ^' 1 
should indeed fear to address your majesty, when I remember 
bow I insulted you in the pamphlet which I, a proud and vain 
man, yielding to evil advisers and not to my own inclination, 
published against you ; but what emboldens me to do so is your 
royal goodness, which is daily set before me in my conversation 
and correspondence. Being mortal, you will not maintain an 
immortal wrath. Besides, I know, on sure testimony, that the 
document published in your majesty's name, was not by the king 

tabellas reftmnt quicqnid aut auriga sordidb, ant servns yaniliter, ant meretrix 
petulanter, ant portitor improb^ ant parasitns scurriliter, ant leno tnrpiter, 
ant balneator spnrc^, ant caoator ohecen^ loqnntus sit. Atqne hsec qutaa 
aliquot fecinsent menses, ttmi demiun qnioquid undecnnqne collegissent con- 
▼idomm et scumlinm scommatnm, petuiantis, spnroitiaa, sordiunii Inti, ooeni, 
stercomm, omnem hanc coUuTiem in fosdiasimam oloaoam Lntheii pectus 
infiurdunt ; quam ille totam in libellnm istum auum per os illud impnrum velut 
comesam merdam, removit." — Opera Mori, p. 61. 

' Seckendor^ Comm. de Lntheraniamo, lib. i. § ovi. p. 187. The duke also 
wrote a noble letter to Henry VIII. : lUustrissimi Prindpis Ducis Greorgii ad 
Henrionm regem : Qnedlinbnrg, 7 idns Mali, anno 1528. 

' The Assertio Septem Sacramentorum was reprinted by the care of Gabriel 
de Saconaj, precentor or cantor of St. John's, at Lyons, who added a preface 
to the royal book. Calvin attacked Saoonay on the subject of this reprint. 
He is as violent as Luther, but much less literary. We have sketched this, 
controversy in the second volume of our History of Calvin. 


of England, as some shameless sophists would make it be 
believed, who are not aware with what ignominy they thereby cover 
yonr majesty, and among others that enemy of God and man 
(Lee).^ I blush for myself, and scarcely dare to lift my eyes to 
you, — I, a worm of dust and rottenness, deserving merely con- 
tempt and disdain, who, thanks to these workers of iniquity, 
have not feared to insult so great a prince. 

" Prostrate at yotur feet in all humility, I pray and beseech 
your majesty, by the cross and glory of Christ, to pardon my 
offences according to his command. Should your majesty deem 
it necessary for me to deny my words and extol your name in 
another letter, only deign to order me : I am ready and right 
willing to do so. However, the glory of my God will gain by it, 
if I am permitted to write to the king of England in behalf of 
the cause of the Gospel." • 

What then has happened in this brief period of time ? Has 
Henry restored the throne which he stole ? Has he studied the 
writers of the great age whom Luther accused him of n^lecting 
when he wrote to his majesty in the style of a porter: '' Veniatis, 
ego doeebo to$ f" ' No ! it is still the same Henry with mis- 
tresses besides, whom he royally entertains, and a concubine whom 
he wishes to place upon the throne, resolved to break with Rome, 
if the pope will not dissolve the marriage contracted with Catherine, 
daughter of Ferdinand the Catholic. Now Luther knew Henry well. 
He knew that to Francis Brian, who said to the prince — ^that to 
keep the mother and daughter was like eating the hen and the 
chicken, his majesty had replied : " Very well ; by God, I make 

^ Burnet, in hiB Histoiy of the Beformation of the Church of Engliuicl, 
praises the theological learning of the prince, and takes not the least notice of 
Luther's assertion as to Lee's literary guilt or complicity, which he would not 
have omitted if he had had any suspicion of the origin of the work. " Minimi 
taciturus," says Seckendorf, '* si quid eo pertinens ermsset."— Comm. de Luth. 
p. 189. 

• Op. Luth. tom. iv. : Witt. p. 284. Coch. p. 156. Ulenberg, p. 802 et seq. 

Henrico VIII. regi Angli© et Hibemise, 2 Sept. 1525. De Wette, 1. c. 
tom. iii. p. 24. Emser translated the letter under the title o^ Ein Sendbrief 
M. Luthers an den Koniff in England, Heinrichen, des Namens den Aohten, 
darinnen er Verzicht una Gnade bittet um dass|, damit er gemeldten Konig 
narrisch und zn jahe yerletzet habe : 1527, 4to. 

' *' Quid invitabat Luthernm ut dioeret in libello adrersus regem Angliae : 
Veniatis domine, Henrico, ego dooebo tos. Gert^ regis libelluB latinb loque- 
batur, neo inerudit^ !'*— Schult. Ann. Ep. 1. c. p. 46. 


jou my vicar in helL"" ^ Lather was certaixi that to carry out 
with a safe conscience that royal fancy, Henry would, if neces- 
sary, exterminate Catholicism in his. kingdom. 

This is the most simple explanation of the advances made by 
the monk to his majesty. 

In the mean time, the printer, Hans Lufb, successor of 
Schneidewins, continued to circulate the letter to Henry. In 
order that it might address itself still more powerfully to the 
eye, Luther had caused the king's likeness to be engraved on the 
title-page, in the character of a corpulent Thomist, with a stupid 
countenance, fixed on the '' Summa'' of the Angel of the Schools. 



How Luther makes nse of pictures to destroy Catholicism in Germany. — ^The 
pope-ass and monk-calf. — Legend which he appends to these two caricatares. 
— New pictures against the papacy. — Their success. — Melancthon joins 
Luther in insulting the representative of Catholicity. 

Luther was aware of the power of pictorial representations, 
and he made use of them to popularize his doctrines, and excite 
the masses against Catholicism. Such ought to address themselves 
both to the understanding and the feelings ; and he made of them 
coarse and biting caricatures. He generally supplied the designs, 
which Lucas Cranach or some other painter of the Nuremberg 
school, engraved on wood ; and the picture explained or illus- 
trated the page on which it was printed. When the work was 
done, copies were taken off separately, sold in the public places, 
exhibited in the windows of book-shops, and publicly vended in 
the fedrs of Germany. 

The pope-ass and the monk-calf zxe two designs calculated much 
more to excite the merriment than the anger of the people. The 
legend in which these two grotesque figures are introduced was 
addressed to those who believed in the marvellous. In these 

* Sandems, Hist da Sohisme d*Angleterre, tradoit par Maucroiz : Paris, 
1676, 12mo. p. 28. 



Melancthon and Luther make the Deity play an extraordinary 
part, who appears with his usual signs when he requires to 
punish the obstinacy of sinners. On this occasion, the signs 
did not appear in heaven, but at the bottom of the Tiber, whence 
the ** pope-ass " was fished up ; and at Freyberg, in Misnia, 
where the *' monk-calf" was brought forth. 

It is needless to observe that these two prodigies were hatched 
in the brains of the doctors. If we are called upon to wonder at 
that Lutheran comment which, in its graphic interpretation, seeks 
seriously to deceive the reader ; which lies so persuasively ; which 
sports with conviction, faith, the fear of Ood and his judgments ; 
which mimics fear, and laughs at the expense of what has been 
an object of veneration ; we will readily admit that it is a 
strange abuse of the name of God, to make it subservient to the 
propagation and illustration of such a falsehood. 

'' At all times, God has marked, as with his finger, his anger 
or his mercy, and by miraculous signs announced to men the 
overthrow, ruin, or splendour of empires, as we see in Daniel, 
chap, viii.* 

" During the pestilential reign of the papacy, he has multi- 
plied these signs of wrath, and recently, by this horrible figure 
of a pope-ass, lately found in the Tiber, has given so exact a 
representation of the papacy, that no human hand could have 
traced one more resembling it. 

'' And, 1st, the head of an ass, which so well designate the 
pope. The Church is a spiritual body, which has neither head 
nor members, but Christ only for ruler, lord, and master. . . . 

The Holy Scriptures understand by an ass an eccentric and 
carnal life. — Exodus, xiii. And so much as the brain of an ass 
differs from the wisdom of man, so much are the papal doctrines 
opposed to the teaching of Christ. 

'' Thus, the head of an ass, according to Scripture ; the head 
of an ass, according to the signification of the natural law and 

* Interpretatio duorum horribilium moiiBtrorum Papaselli, Romse in Tiberi, 
anno 1496, iirrenti, ei monachoviti FribergaB in Misnil^ anno 1528 editi, per 
Pbilippnm Melancbthonem et Martinum Lntbemm. Op. Luth. torn. ii. 
p. 892 et seq. The same pampblet appeared in Grerman, under the title of 
bentung der zwo greulichen Figuren, Bapstesels, zu Rom, und Mttnchkalbs 
■u Freiberg in Meissen fanden : Wittemb. ix. 184 : Jen. ii. 286 ; Waioh, xix. 


the light of reason ; as evidenced by the imperial jurists, who 
say, ' a mere canonist, — a mere ass/ 

" 2nd. The right hand like the foot of an elephant ; which 
signifies the spiritual power of the pope, wherewith he strikes 
and bruises trembling consciences, as tiie elephant with his 
trunk seizes, presses, breaks, and tears to pieces. For what is 
popery but a bloody sacrifice of consciences by means of con- 
fession, vows, celibacy, masses, false penitence, swindling indul- 
gences, superstitious worship of saints ? according to the words 
of Daniel, yiii. : ' He will slay the people of the saints/ 

" 3rd. The right hand of a man is the civil power of the pope, 
which Christ has denied to him (Luke, xxii.), and which he has 
usurped, by aid of the devil, to constitute himself the master of 
kings and princes. 

" 4th. The right foot of a btUl's hoof indicates the spiritual 
ministers of the papacy, the porters (bajuli), who aid and sup- 
port popery by the oppression of souls ; that is to say, the 
Catholic doctors, the Dominicans, the confessors, and that swarm 
of monks and nuns, and especially the scholastic theologians, a 
race of serpents, who inculcate and infiltrate among the people 
the decrees and ordinances of the papacy, and under the 
elephant's foot tie down captive consciences ; the basis and 
foundation of popery, which but for them could not have 
existed so long. 

" For what does scholastic theology contain but mad, foolish, 
useless, execrable, devilish dreams ? the reveries of monks, of 
which they make use to trouble, fascinate, deceive, and njyi 
souls ? Matth. xxiv. 

" 5th. The left foot of a griffin ; that is, the canonists, the 
ministers of the temporal power. When the griffin seizes its 
prey in its talons, it never lets it go ; in like manner do these 
satellites of popery, who by means of canonical hooks have 
fished the wealth of Europe, which they keep and retain. 

'^ 6th. The beUy and breast of a woman : the papal body ; to 
wit, the cardinals, bishops, priests, monks, saints, and martyrs 
of the Koman calendar, and that race, that farrow of the swine 
of Epicurus, who care for nothing but eating and drinking, and 
wallowing in all sorts of luxury with both sexes. As the pope- 
ass exhibits its female belly to all who will, so they carry their 



heads high, and make a parade of their filthiness, to the great 
injury of the people and of youth. 

" 7th. The fish-scales on the arms, feet, neck, and hare belly , 
are the princes and temporal lords of this kingdom. The scales 
(Job, xli.) signify union or compactness ; so the princes and 
the powers of the earth are united, and adhere to the papacy. 

'' And although these great ones of the earth cannot conceal^ 
approve, or palliate the luxury, libertinism, and infamous instincts 
of the papacy, — for the belly is bare to show its shamelessness, 
— ^yet they dissemble, are silent, suffer them, and cling to its 
neck, arms, and feet ; that is to say, they embrace, they hug it, 
and thus defend its tyrannical power. 

'' 8th. The old mans head adhering to the thigh, signifies the 
old age, decline, and fall of the papsJ kingdom. In Scripture, 
the face denotes rising and progress ; the back or posteriors, lying 
down and death. This representation, accordingly, shows us 
that the papal tyranny approaches its end, and that it grows old, 
and dies of sickness or consumption, exhausted by all its external 

" So, for the glory of the world, the farce is over, and the 
curtain falls. 

" 9th. The dragon that proceeds from the papal breech. The 
flame at the mouth expresses the menaces, the virulent bulls, 
and blasphemies which the pope and his satellites vomit on the 
world at the time when they perceive that their destiny is 
fulfilled, and that they must bid adieu to this world. 

^^ I beseech all you my readers not to despise this great prodigy 
of the divine Majesty, and to pluck yourselves from the conta- 
gion of Antichrist and his members. God's finger is in that 
picture, so faithful and elaborate ; it is a proof that God has 
pity on you, and wishes to draw you out of this sink of 

'' Let all of us Christians rejoice, and hail this sign as the 
morning-star which announces to us the day of our Lord and 
Redeemer Jesus Christ." 

We cannot imagine the success which this portraiture of the 
papacy had in Germany, — a success which still lasts. There 
are some simple people, of firm faith in Luther and his works, 
who call this device an inspiration of his good genius, a Gospd 


thought ; who believe in the sign announced by these twins of 
the Reformation, Melancthon and Luther, and in the discovery 
of the pope-ass in the Tiber. They look for the fall of the 
Antichrist predicted by the fire-vomiting dragon. Neither the 
daily-increasing splendours pf Catholicism, nor the wonders 
worked in our own times in fiivour of St. Peter's chair, nor the 
transformation, decrease, and ruin of Protestant principles, have 
been able to unseal their eyes. We have seen in Wittemberg 
the picture of the pope<ass hung at the bed-head of the poor 
peasants, in place of the old Catholic holy-water-pot of the 
Blessed Virgin, the consoler of the aflSicted, or of the patron 
saint of the parish ; we have found it in the booksellers' windows, 
as in the time of Luther, and among the stock of the printsellers 
of Eisenach and Frankfort 

This was not Luther's only graphic work. When at table 
with his friends, he fit^quently suggested the subject of a carica- 
ture, the drawing of which an artist, his messmate, brought next 
day to be corrected by the priest after his own fashion. Two of 
these efibrts, originating entirely with the doctor, obtained pro- 
digious success in Germany. 

In the first of these, the pope is represented in full pontificals, 
seated on a throne with clasped hands, and two huge ass's ears 
erect, like those of the animal when enraged. Around the 
pontiff a multitude of demons of various forms are hovering in 
the air : some are engaged in solemnly placing on his sacred 
head the tiara surmounted by an article which Luther has 
brought from the most unclean part of the monastery ; others 
are dragging him with ropes to hell ; others bring wood and fire 
to bum him ; while others lift up his feet, in order that he 
may descend gently injo Pandemonium. 

The second, which is known in Germany by the name of the 
Pope's SoWy represents the pontiff seated upon a sow with large 
flanks and swollen paps, which the rider pricks, like the horse 
in Job, with heavy spurs ; with one hand he blesses his wor* 
shippers, with the other he holds out the same stercoral emblem, 
but in an odorous cloud. The delighted sow lifts its snout, 
and inhales with satisfaction the fecal nectar. The pope is made 
to say — 

" Dirty beast, will you get on ; you have given me enough of 


annoyance mth your council. . . . Gk), then, tliis is the cotmcil 
which you so ardently desired."* 

Other anti-papal caricatures are also due to the monk of 
Erfurt ; in all of them, the sow, the pope, and the German dr€ck 
or Latin sterctis, form part of the design of the picture. 

The pictures were looked upon as prophecies, and unhappily 
no one laughed at them : they believed them. 

But this silly faith in Luther seems to us less wonderful than 
that Melancthon should have been an accomplice in some of 
these low designs ; that this man of elegant manners, the lover 
of the Muses, the polished writer, the Greek professor, drinking 
daily of the pure waters of antiquity, should degrade himself by 
participating in the pictures of the pope-ass and monk-calf! 
— ^that this Schwartzerde, who changed his inharmonious name 
to that of Melancthon, should wallow in such a mire of ideas and 
words, and soil his pen and paper by tracing such disgusting 
pictures ; — that this sparkling guest of the electoral courts — 
this diner with dukes — this friend of Erasmus and Sadoletus, 
should throw filth in the face of that spiritual royalty which has 
civilized the world, the object of the veneration of nations, and 
of the worship of his Catholic mother ! — ^that this glorious mind 
should believe, or pretend to believe, in the fall of the papacy 
predicted by a fiery dragon ! — that that soul of love should^ 
deceive the people, fanaticise and impel them to blasphemy by 
appealing to Heaven ! Is it not atrocious ? What a fall ! — 
what a transmutation ! 

Both spoke the truth when they said that Germany would 
soon be visited by God.* The prediction was about to be accom- 
plished. They had, in the beautiful words of Scripture, " touched 
the mountains, and they smoked."' When a nation suffers thus 
to be outraged all that is holy, it is certain that sooner or later 

^ * " San, du musst dicfa lassen reiten^ nnd meine Sporen erleiden, ob dn gleich 
nicht gem thnst. Du hast mir bisher des Concilii halben viel Virdriesse gethan^ 
damit du mich ttbel ausricbten und frei sicber schelten mogest. Siebe^ da bast 
du das Concilium welcbes du also oft begebrt bast." 

We refuse to translate, even into Latin, tbe following sentence by Lutber : 
** lob bab den Pabst mit der bosen Belderen sebr erzUrnt : o wie wird die 
Sau den Borzel in die H5be recken ; aber ob sie micb gleicb tostet, so frossen 
sie erst Dreck, so der Pabst, welcber auf der Saue reit, in der Hand hat." — 
TiscbReden. EUleben, f. 26 : Frankf. 19 Dresd. 618. 

* Wenc. Linck. 1528. * "Tange montes at fumigabunt."— Proph. 


it will bave to bear the punishment of its negligence, and be 
dastised in blood and tears. This must happen. 

But an enemy more formidable for the peace of Luther than 
Henry VIII. or Clement YII. appeared at this moment, and 
stroye to destroy the Saxon's sway in Germany. Erasmus waged 
war wiiih the doctor. 



Liteniy gloiy of Erasmnt. — His war with the monks. — Luthei's thesM. — 
Ensmus is jealous of the seDsation caused by Luther. — ^Letter from Luther 
to him. — ^The philosopher's reply. — His cowardice. — His rival's indifference. 
— Erasmus oonceives the idea of writing against Luther. — Adrian YI. 
applies to Erasmus. — He refuses, but continues to attack the monk secretly. 
— ^Luther breaks out. — Erasmus's yersatility. — Free-will : Luther's psycho- 
logical opinions. — Estimate of his system of philosophy. — ^Appeal to the 
Bible. — ^Erasmus discusses the principle of free>will. — His book on the sub- 
ject. — Luther's reply to it. — Erasmus refutes the "Servum Arbitrium." — ^BLis 
Hyperaspites. — ^His death. 

There was in the sixteenth century a man who filled the whole 
world with his name and his works ; who reckoned popes and 
emperors among his courtiers ; the correspondent of Henry VIII., 
Charles V., Francis I., and Maximilian of Austria ; whom the 
cities of Germany received under triumphal arches ; ^ who had 
for his admirers, Sir Thomas More, Bembo, Sadoletus, Melanc- 
thon, Ulrich Ton Hutten, Julius II., Leo X , and Adrian VI. ; 
who was addressed as " the prince of literature," " the star of 
Germany," " the sun of studies," *' the high-priest of scholars," 
" the yindicator of theology," without any risk of the letters 

> M. Nisard, in the Revue des Deux Moodes, has examined, under seyeial 
new aspects, and with admirable sagacity, the influence of Erasmus upon his 
times. He is liable to the objection of too much enthusiasm for the Dutch 

Sentiments d'Erasme de Rotterdam : Cologne, 12mo. 1688, p. 212. 

Under the title of Ansichten tlber Erasmus Charakter, M. Th. Effitier has 
endeavoured to give an idea of the character of the writer ; the portrait which 
he has drawn of it is not un£uthful. See Dr. Luther und seine Zeitgenossen, 
iom. 11. p. Ill et seq. 


being miscarried, for it was only Erasmus who deserved those 
glorious appellations. He was indeed the prince of literature, 
which he had roused from its slumbers ; the star of Germany, 
which for thirty years he had^ illuminated with the fire of his 
genius ; the sun of studies, who wanned them with his vnritings ; 
the high-priest of scholars, whose father and protector he was ; 
the vindicator of theology, who had rescued it from the limbo of 
the schools. Never of learning was so much made, and if glory 
were hurtful, Erasmus must have sunk under the weight of the 
wreaths which were woven for him, amid the incessant pasans of - 
the Muses, the strains of poets in Greek and Latin, the enco- 
miums of philosophers, the caresses of princes, the plaudits of 
the multitude. From 1500 to 1518 his life was the most 
delightfril which a literary man could hope for ; it was a succes- 
sion of triumphs, which attracted no hatred ; a slumber with 
only golden dreams ; an intellectual bliss which was made up of 
festivals, concerts, and hymns, composed in every European 
language ; the life of an artist, without care, indolent occa- 
sionally, always lively, independent, and spent without being 
impaired amidst books, at the tables of the learned, in the 
palaces of monarchs, or the studios of painters or sculptors. 
All contended for Erasmus, because it was Erasmus who con- 
ferred immortality, and, in the language of Sir Thomas More, 
'' deified all that he touched.'" Happy man ! happy genius ! 
whose good fortune lasted until Luther appeared in 1 518. Then 
that felicity vanished, the noise which he had made in the 
world gradually ceased. His crown became tarnished : a monk 
dethroned him. 

This was to be expected : Erasmus was the man of his time. 
When he appeared men's minds were in a state of slumber, out 
of which none sought to awake. The philosopher wished to 
rouse them, but gently. 

The monks then ruled in the schools, under the shadow of 
Aristotle : a revolution was required to overthrow their dynasty. 
Erasmus was one of the first to try it. He began by ridicule, 
and his contagious merriment passed from one to another until it 
became universal. Then was brought to bear upon the Capu- 
chins, Franciscans, and Dominicans, an entirely novel kind 
of polemics, in which epigram, insult, calumny, banter, and 


even reaaon was employed.* They were an unfortnnate race of 
men, to whom were attributed all the follies that were said or 
done in Europe. A monk was at one and the same time the 
representative of ignorance and licentiousness, pride and pedantry, 
hatred of knowledge and prejudice, corpulence and hypocrisy, 
gluttony and superstition. If all the deadly sins were lost, they 
would be found under a cowl. It was Erasmus who for half a 
century supplied the learned world with epigrams against the 
monastic orders, which every literary understrapper caught hold 
of as he passed, remodelled them after his own fashion, and sent 
them forth again as original. Thus was reduced into an apoph- 
th^m that scene in which Erasmus introduces a monk who 
boasts of never having read the works of the Dutch philosopher, 
because their Latin is too polished, and in such Latinity lurks 
heresy. In Reuchlin, Melancthon, and even Luther, will be 
found this singular definition of heresy : to understand Greek is 
to be a heretic ; the saying became proverbial.^ The monks 
made a poor defence ; they were not used to the weapon directed 
against them ; ridicule being prohibited to them as a sin, they 
employed the dry phraseology of their masters, Scotus, Durandus, 
Peter Lombard, and the syllogisms of Aristotle, the least witty 
individual that ever existed. Lucian and Aristophanes, whom 
Erasmus had studied, were to them unknown. They were 
accordingly defeated. Afterwards, they perceived the necessity 
for changing their style of controversy. They then appeared 
with some pleasantries hastily borrowed from the wits of the 
school ; but Erasmus had given way before a more potent rival. 
They found themselves opposed by an adversary who had him- 
self been educated in the schools, a monk also, who required 
no inspiration of wit from the ancients, but whose ridicule 
was as impassioned and fiery, as that of the Dutchman was 

' " Monachas monachos insectatus est."— Canisius. 

' ** Expolit^ loqui hseresis eet ; Gnec^ scire haeresia eat. Quidquid ipsi non 
fiuntint hseresis est." — Ep. Erasmi Alberto Gardinali Moguntino. Thus he 
makes Thomely de Diez, in 1526, say at lintz, " Would to God that Greek 
and Hebrew had never been introduced into this country I we should have been 
at peace now :'* a conyersation which never took place. A Protestant author, 
M. Ad. Muller, who has Utely written the life of Erannua, has observed, that 
while the philosopher was in Italy, he praised the 1^1 orals and learning of the 
monks ; but he had scarcely recrossed the Alps, when he calumniated their 
collegiate and cloistral lives. 


calm, and who was the first to introduce into theological oon- 
troversy warmth, eloquence, intemperate and coarse language, 
while Erasmus had only made use of cool reasoning and learned 
expressions. Erasmus argued in a polished style, and would 
have been ashamed to use any ornament that did not proceed 
direct from Rome or Athens. 

In the main, the monks might have taken up the cutting 
sarcasm of the rhetorician and used it, if needful, widiout much 
disadvantage ; but Luther's axe was too weighty for them to 
wield, and much less could they haye wrested it from the hxnds 
of their antagonist 

The star of Germany, then, was in all its brilliancy, when one 
day a messenger brought to him, amongst heaps of prose and 
verse, and sweet incense, Luther's theses on indulgences: a 
youth as obscure as his order, and concealed in a small spot 
which had not been visited by knowledge. Imagine his suarprise ! 
Here was an Augustinian who, with one dash of his pen, strudc 
out from the Catholic creed those spiritual remedies, upon which 
Erasmus had, in the boldness of philosophy, dropped a few spots 
of ink I A friar who grappled with the pope hand to hand, 
whilst Erasmus thought he had acted boldly in publishing weekly 
two or three jokes against the monastic orders ! A religious who 
sought to destroy the monasteries, when Erasmus after ten years 
had only discovered these two propositions : *' Every monk is 
ignorant : every monk is a glutton !" A youth still in the rudi- 
ments of his studies, and who made a greater sensation with his 
theological trifling — ntipw theolofficw, as Luther says himself — 
than Erasmus with his *' Commentaries on the New Testament," 
his contest with the Ciceronians, his controversy with Scaliger, 
his ^' Enchiridion of the Spiritual Life," and his jokes against 
Stunica ! For all he says, you can perceive in his correspondence 
a secret vexation at the eagle who soars alone from his nest, and 
whose flight is so high as to make all Germany wonder. He is 
jealous of the incipient fame of the young friar ; he is afraid that 
the philosopher will be forgotten, amidst the storms which 
Luther's attempt must raise. 

At this time it is likely that Luther was unacquainted with 
any of the works of this multifarious author. He only knew 
with what generous efforts the Dutchman had long since seconded 
the intellectual movement which was now everywhere visible. 


and how saocessfall; he had aided the emancipation of the mind. 
It was necessary to attach to his cause an ornament so powerful ; 
and as he knew the proverbial vanity of the writer, he judged it 
advisable, to secure him, to spread lavishly the perfume of flattery 
on the philosopher's beard. Erasmus was caught. Luther's 
letter to the scholar denotes already a profound acquaintance 
with the human heart. We shall see how small he makes him- 
self, what an adept he is in the language of adulation and the 
artifices of epistolary style ! Would he not be taken for one who 
had grown old in the courts of Italy ? 

" For a very long time* we have held the same opinions without 
being acquainted, my dear Erasmus, my glory and my hope : is 
not this monstrous ? What comer of the eart^ is ignorant of the 
name of Erasmus? Who is there who has not received his 
instructions, or does not acknowledge him as their master ? I 
speak of those who love literature. It is to me an inexpressible 
joy, that among the magnificent gifts which God has bestowed 
upon you, you possess that of displeasing many people, a mark 
whereby I am enabled to distinguish the gift of clemency firom 
the gift of the divine wrath. But see my folly in addressing you 
with such freedom ; I, who am a poor, obscure, solitary being, 
condemned to live among sophists, and who have not even 
learned to hail such a glory as yours ? Had it not been for 
this, I should by this time have wearied you with my letters, and 
not been satisfied with only hearing your voice in my chamber. 
But now, since I have learned from Capito that my name is 
known to you by my trifling work on indulgences,* and perceive 
from the preface to your " Enchiridion " that you are acquainted 
with my writings, which you have read and approved, I am 
obliged in my unpolished style to acknowledge the splendour of 
your genius. My dear Erasmus, countenance, I beseech you, a 
poor, humble firiar, who loves you so tenderly, yet who is so 
ignorant as to deserve only to be buried in some remote comer of 
the earth unvisited by the sun and the sky ; this sweet retire- 
ment I have always wished, and know not why I cannot have it. 
Am I not compelled to parade my unhappy ignorance before the 
most learned individual in the world ? I weary you with my 

' Erasmo, 28 Mart. De Wette, Dr. H. Luther^B Briefe, Sendsbhreiben und 
Bedenken, torn. i. p. 217. 
* " Per nugas illas indnlgentiarum nomen meum tibi cogQitum." 


verbosity : you must not forget that you ought sometimes to be 
weak with tiie weak." 

Erasmus immediately replied, in a polished, ornate style, but 
artificial and constrained. In every sentence we perceive that 
the writer has racked his brain in search of compliments that 
will flatter the vanity of his correspondent, without absolutely 
turning his head. We may fancy the disappointment of the 
poor monk, who firmly believed, because so informed by his firiend 
Capito, that Erasmus had perused his amusing gossip about 
indulgences, but whose vain illusion was dispelled by the declara- 
tion of the latter that he had not read a single line of his lucu- 
brations. He deceived Luther, for that he h€ul read the theses 
on indulgences is proved by his correspondence with his friends 
at that time. This was one of the lies peculiar to Erasmus, and 
which invariably told against himself What seemed to be in 
his mind was this : — 

Had he admitted his acquaintance with the theses, he must 
have given some expression of opinion. If he approved of the 
doctrines set forth in them, he must have separated himself from 
the Catholics. If he rejected them, he must have compromised 
a growing reputation of high promise. It must be allowed that 
Erasmus was incapable of either line of conduct. In the histoiy 
of the sixteenth century there is not to be found a more weak or 
effeminate soul than his, more anxious for quiet, which took 
refuge sooner in silence, on the least alarm ; or was more terrified 
by danger, at the very shadow of which he would grow pale ! 
In his long correspondence, he will be seen to tremble at the 
least word which may commit him, ever enveloped in obscurity, 
fond of mezzotinto, timorous, startled, obsequious to servility, 
greedy of praise, which he abuses ; flattering a crowd of obscure 
individuals, whose very names are forgotten. Of religious con- 
viction, or avowed creed, there is none. To Reuchlin, Erasmus 
addresses some involved sentences against confession ; to Hutten, 
two or three jokes against fasting ; to Melancthon, some weak 
sarcasms on clerical celibacy ; to Jonas, some worthless banter 
on the ambition of certain pontiffs whom he dreads to name. If 
he occasionally uses a somewhat bold expression, it is when 
speaking of monks in general ; for if he writes to one or two of 
them, such as Hochstraet, whom Luther and Hutten flagellate 


unmercifTilly, he commends the monastic life in a suppressed 
tone. It happened that, desirous of peace at any price, he 
stood upon the breach all his life ; that flattering and seeking to 
please every one, he pleased nobody. By the Catholics he was 
regarded as an infidel ; by the Lutherans, as a Papist ; he was 
railed at by the monks as having laid the egg which Luther 
hatched ; ^ and lashed like a helot by the Protestants, who accused 
him of having one foot in hell and the other in heaven, in order 
at the same time to keep &ir with God and the devil. The 
Franciscans considered him to be the dragon of the Psalmist, 
whose head was to be crushed ; and Luther^ deemed him a pagan, 
who sought to restore the worship of the false gods.' 

Afber 1518, by these miserable shiftings of a timorous vanity, 
Erasmus obtained a life of trouble, the hatred of all parties, the 
wrath and contempt of the two conmiunions, and a reputation 
for pusillanimity for which all the services he had rendered to 
philosophy and literature have scarcely atoned. 

So, in his reply to Luther, he accompanied flattering compli- 
ments with some commonplace remarks upon moderation, restraint 
in controversy, on the respect observable towards old institutions, 
and — will it be believed? — on the demon of pride, who lays 
snares for us in the very midst of thoughts of abnegation and 
humility ; and, as if he was alarmed at such an unusual fit of 
boldness on his part, he suddenly adds, " but wherefore these 
advices ? you have no need of them ; proceed as you have 
commenced.'^ * 

This letter offended both Luther and the Catholics. 

Cardinal Campeggio, the friend of Erasmus, was scandalized 
at it The philosopher was obliged to write a longietter to his 
eminence, in which he made a lame and confused apology, ending 
with this query, " Would you then consider it a crime in me to 
reply to the Sultan, if he chose to write to me V * 

In 1518, Erasmus had intrusted his friend Hutten to convey 

I " Enamns hat das Ey gelegt> imd Luther es ausgebriitet." 

* Erasmi, 18, lib. xxz. Vie d'Erasme, par De Burigni, torn. ii. 

* Annalee Soulteti, p. 197. 

* Ep. EraoDi, ep. 4, lib. yi. 30 Maii, 1519. De Burigni, torn. ii. pp. 85—88. 

* Vie d'Eraame, par 0e Burigni, torn. ii. p. 49. Einst. Eraami, ep. 42, 
lib. xiii. 


a letter to Cardinal Albert, archbishop of Majence: Hutten 
opened the letter, copied it, translated it into German, printed it 
in both languages, and dispersed it over Saxony. '' He is a 
man who has lighted the spark of evangelical piety,^' said 
Erasmus, speaking of Luther ; ^' if he follows the way of tz7ith> 
he may render important service to Christianity." It may be 
supposed that, according to his wont, Erasmus had qualified 
these commendations by some severe censure, like a female 
coquette desirous of captivating everybody. But Hutten had the 
audacity to expunge from, the translation all that might annoy 
Luther, whom Erasmus never styled '' our Luther, unser 
Luther.*' This letter caused great scandal ; and, in order to 
justify himself, Erasmus was obliged to disown the fraudulency 
of Hutten. The quarrel became envenomed by libels which 
each published against the other.^ 

Luther, who felt his power and his future influence, and who 
clearly perceived that the friendship or hatred of Erasmus could 
not impede it, did nothing to secure the one or avert the other. 
His indifference was sufficient ; he did not even care for hia 
silence. Thus, in the immense correspondence which he then 
maintained with the learned of Germany, the name of Erasmus 
scarcely occurs more than twice or thrice. When it does so in the 
course of an epistolary communication, Luther notices his literary 
merits by expressions of politeness rather than of eulogy. None 
of the gifts which God had bestowed upon Erasmus elevated him 
in the eyes of his rival, who considered that understanding of 
the Scriptures was the greatest boon which man could receive 
from his Creator ; a treasure which he did not believe had* been 

' Herm Ulrichen tod Hutten mit Erasmo von Rotterdam, Priester nnd 
Theologo, Handluug, allermeist die Lutherische Sache betreffend. 

Spongia Erasmi adverstia Aspergines Hutteni, seu purgatio Erasmi Rotter- 
dami ad expostulationem Ulrid Hutteni. Erasmus wrote on the subjeot of 
this quarrel : 

** 8ubit6 ac pnster omnem spem exortns fuisset TJhicns HQttenu% ez amioo 
repent^ versus in hostera. Hoc nemo scripsit in Erasmum hostilitls, nam 
omninb res ipsa loquitur, Huttenum non alio consilio scripsisse sic in me, 
qukm ut calamo jugularet, quern gladio non poterat^ et, ut sibi videbatur vir 
fortis, sic cogitabat \ seniculus est, valetudinarius est, meticulosus et imbecilliA 
est, mox efflabit animum, ubi legerit bs^c tam atrocia. Hoc ilium cogitftsse, 
voces etiam, quas jactabat, arguebant Ego Hutteni manibus, ubi mihi mors 
hominis est nuntiata^ animo Christiano precatus sum Dei miaerioordiam : et 
audio hominem sub mortem deplor&sse, qu6d deceptus quorumdam vexvutiii^ 
laoessisset amicum." 


given by Heaven to the philosopher. Had not hatred or admira- 
tion collected so many materials for it, we should have read 
Lather's bi(^raphy in the letters of Erasmus ; in none of which 
does his name not appear. Bnt yon will search in vain to dis- 
cover the real opinion of the writer on the particular work of the 
Reformer, his philosophical worth, his doctrines or instructions, 
or the action or influence of his apostleship ; Erasmus varies 
his expressions as he changes his correspondent, and his language 
is tinged, according as it is to be read in the Vatican by Cardinal 
Campe^o oV in the study of Melancthon : a useless precaution, 
for he might have read to Campeggio what he wrote to Melanc- 
thon, so much did he stand in awe of an enemy or an exalted 
partisan ! He only cared for hatreds or friendships as effeminate 
as his own character. This has been termed the wisdom of 
Erasmus ; it was not that of Luther. Their destinies could no 
more be similar than their minds. 

That star, which at first appeared but as a luminous speck in 
the horizon of Saxony, increased in splendour with constant 
rapidity, whilst the sun of Germany daily lost its strength and 
lustre, so that it died in sinking behind Basle without the world 
heeding it. The time was, however, when Erasmus might have 
eclipsed that star, by depriving it of its fire, and perhaps have 
extinguished it ; and that was when in the culminating point 
of his glory and talents, — when his influence upon men's minds 
was as active as it was incontestable, — and when his " Colloquies" 
had superseded in the hands of scholars the rude instruction of 
the monks. There was then no one who more truly exercised a sove- 
reignty over learning than Erasmus. We are astonished, in perusing 
his correspondence, to see the court which popes and monarchs 
paid him, to induce him to undertake the defence of Catholicism, 
and measure his strength with Luther. To reward his courage, 
popes speak of plenary indulgences and the purple ; monarchs^ 
of brilliant titles ; Bembo, of worldly immortality ; the clergy, 
his firiends, of heaven and eternal life ; and Tunstal, bishop of 
London, of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. ^ Erasmus was some- 
times tempted to listen to the syren's song, and to grapple with 

> " Te obBeoro, atque obtestor, Erasme, imo verb te orat atqne obteetatnr 
Ecxlesia, ut cum hAo hydrA tandem oongrediare. Aude tantiim, et orbis tibi 
spondet yioioriam." 


his young rival, neither for the love of the Catholic creed, the 
soundness of which he had not at heart, nor for the allurement 
of honours set before him, for which he showed his contempt, 
but because of his vanity, which suffered from Luther's success, 
and still more, perhaps, from his affected contempt. The monk 
learnt from his friends the vexation of Erasmus, and laughed at 
them in his sleeve : " He is, poor creature," he said, " tortured by 
a word the mysterious meaning of which he has never compre- 
hended ! " It is likely that Luther was prejudiced in his judg- 
ment of Erasmus, who had spent nine years of his life in a 
monastery of canons regular, and must have understood theo- 
logical matters. Besides, he did not want friends who might 
have assisted him in his dogmatic labours. Bembo, Sadoletus, 
Prierias, would have come to his aid ; especially Aleandro, who 
had made a study of those religious questions which Luther had 
been the first to unsettle, to transfer them from the schools to 
the people. 

It was, accordingly, at one time rumoured in Europe that Eras- 
mus was about to write against the new doctrines. Erasmus being 
unacquainted with Luther's creed, had written to the nuncio 
Aleandro for permission to read the Reformer's works. Aleandro 
had referred him to Bombasius, who procured a brief from the 
pope to that effect.^ This report excited much joy among the 
Catholics : they congratulated Erasmus on his future triumphs ; 
they celebrated his fame and courage both in prose and verse. 
" It is your fault," said Duke George of Saxony to him, " that 
Luther has made such conquests in Germany ; you could have 
stopped the eagle in his flight ; you have wanted courage ; but 
God comes to your aid, and there is nothing to be feared."' 

Sadoletus, bishop of Garpentras, depicted the sufferings of the 
Church, which he said only one man, Erasmus, could heaL 
'' Courage, then," said he to him, " and let us march to the 
rescue of the Catholic religion, which is perishing, assailed on all 
sides by implacable enemies."' 

The work which Erasmus had designed was a dialogue, 
consisting of three interlocutors — Thrasimachus, Eubulus, 

* Ep. Erasmi, ep. 14, lib. zyii. p. 590. 

* Ibid. ep. 78, lib. xxx. 

» Sad. Op. Veron», 1787, torn. i. p. 78. 


and Philalethes. Thrasimachus was a puritaDical Protestant, a 
Lutheran steeped in prejudice ; Eubulus, an humble Capuchin 
fiiar, a detester of heresy ; Philalethes, the Mend of truth, or 
Erasmus himself, a wise counsellor and man of peace, who, 
according to his wont, was to address the monk and the heretic 
in language which neither would have imderstood, — ^that of a 
courtier, honied, but indirect and tedious. With his timid 
su^estions, his lax expedients, and lukewarm blandishments, 
the writer would haye irritated both parties. Such, howeyer, 
was the plan of which the very idea threw Erasmus into a cold 
sweat, and which he did not wish to print " until he had left 
Qermany, for fear he should meet with a Tiolent death before he 
could appear on the arena.'' ^ 

Erasmus did not die ; he did not eyen need to quit Germany ; 
and of his work, so pompously announced, and so anxiously 
expected, not even the title appeared. The secret of this 
Erasmus kept to himself, while he tormented himself as if the 
book had been published ; and it was to cause these feeble 
symptoms of opposition to be forgotten, that for several suc- 
cessive months he repeated, in his correspondence with Luther^s 
adherents, his accustomed farce, in which a monk is always 
made the butt, and receives the blows intended for the Reformers. 
Still the monk is nameless ; he is neither Latomus nor Hoch- 
straet, but simply a monk, whose very order is not mentioned, 
because, had he been specially designated, the monk might have 
cried out, perhaps avenged himself, and have disturbed that 
tranquillity which the Dutchman would not have sacrificed for 
any price. 

The following was one of those little dramas in which the 
philosopher filled the principal part, that of duplicity. 

Charles V. had rested at Cologne on his way to the diet at 
Aix-la-Chapelle, where he was to receive the imperial crown. 
Erasmus was to be present at the coronation in his capacity as 
counsellor of the emperor, a title which had been conferred on 
him to engage him in the Catholic cause. The Elector Frederick 
of Saxony, Luther's protector, wished to converse with the phi- 
losopher on the subject of the troubles which afflicted the German 

* Ep« Begi Anglis, lib. zz. p. 85. 
VOL. 11. a 


Church. The interview was had at the hotel of the Three 
Kings, and the conversation in Latin, Spalatinus acting as 
interpreter. The Catholics were represented by Erasmus, the 
indifferents by Frederick, and the Protestants by an Angostinian 
friar. Erasmus stammered, simpered, and approached the duke 
with all the manner of a courtier who is afraid to give vent to 
the secret which weighs upon him. But the duke, looking at 
him steadily, took him by the arm, and said, '' Gome, now, 
doctor, will you speak ? Tell me, what crime has my monk 
committed, that they are so enraged against him ?"-^" Two 
very great ones,^' replied Erasmus ; ^' he has put his hand on the 
popes' tiaras and the monks' bellies."^ 

This sally spread through Germany, annoyed the Catholics, 
and enraged Luther, who said to one of his friends : '' This weak 
man has only one idea in his head, that of peace ; he is ignorant 
of the cross of Christ.'"* Some days after, Luther's writings 
were publicly burnt Erasmus wrote : " To bum is not to 
answer them;" and to Rosemondus, the rector of Louvain: 
'' Why, then, do you find fault with me ? Did I seem more sad 
when they burnt Luther's writings ? Have I not always said 
that they contained doctrines of which I could not approve ?"* 
When Leo X. published his bxdl, " Exsurge," Erasmus every- 
where said that it was the work of a monk ; and when Luther 
replied to the bull, and issued his anti-bull, Erasmus wrote to 
the pope that he had to use menaces to prevent Froben from 
publishing it at Basle.* 

When Adrian VL ascended the chair, which had been so 
gloriously filled by Leo X., his first thought was to send for 
Erasmus, his scholar at Louvain, with whom he had so often dis- 
coursed on the wounds of the Church, and the means of healing 
them. Adrian believed that in times of difficulty Gh>d always 
raised up, in his mercy, some being of an elevated character to 
oppose the storm ; whom, when his great mission was accom- 
plished, God removed from the earth : now, in his opinion, this 

1 <n 

* Luthenis peccavit in duobus, nempb quod tetigtt ooronam pontificis et 
ventrem monaohorum," — S«ckendor£ Comin. de Luth. lib. i. sect, zzxiy. § 81. 
pp. 126, 126. 

« Seckendort Ub. i. § 87, p. 140. 

' Ep. Erasmi, ep, 18, lib, xM ♦ Ibid. ep. 40, lib, xiv. 

EBAfiMTJS. 83 

Messiah was Erasmus. He therefore wrote to him the following 
fine letter : — 

'^ * I haye seen/ sajB the prophet, ' the wioked man exalted 
aboye the cedars of Lebanon ; I passed, and he was no more ; I 
looked, and could not discoyer the place where he abode.' .... 
Will you still, Erasmus, delay to attack this carnal man, whom 
God has cast from his presence ; who disturbs the peace of the 
Church, and precipitates in the paths of damnation so many 
unhappy souls ? Arise, arise to the rescue of God's cause ! 
forget not his maryeUous gifts ! belieye that to you it has been 
giyen to saye those whom Luther leads astray, to strengthen 
those whom he makes wayer, to raise up those whom he has 
cast down ! What glory that will bring to your name ! — ^what 
joy to the Catholics ! Becollect that sentence of the apostle 
St. James : ' He who causeth a sinner to be conyerted from the 
error of his ways, shall saye his soul from death, and shall coyer 
a multitude of sins.' I cannot express to you with what joy my 
heart would oyerflow if, by means of your pen, those whom the 
poison of heresy has tainted, should repent, without waiting for 
the application of canons and imperial decrees. You, with whom 
I sp^t such a charming retirement at Louyain, know whether 
seyere measures are agreeable to me. But if you think you can 
accomplish this work of salyation more safely at Rome, come 
when the winter is oyer, and the air is freed from the pestilential 
miasmata which haye for some time infected it ; come with a 
light heart and healthy body ; all the treasures of our libraries 
are open to you ; I offer you my own society, and that of all the 
kamed men in Bome."^ 

But Erasmus was old ; years and sickness had exhausted his 
ardour, withered his sarcasm, dimmed his eyes, and blanched his 
hair. His language, formerly exuberant with life and colour, was 
now as faded as his cheeks, and his laugh was the grin of an old 
man ; so that, when Adrian's letter reached him, Erasmus felt that 
it was too late, and that a contest with Luther was impossible. 

" Most holy father," he replied,* " I would most willingly obey 
you ; but there is a tyrant more cruel than Phalaris, to whom I 

Ep. Eiasmi, ep. 639. Sentiments d'Eraame de Botterdamy pp. 20— 37* 
•Ibid. ep. 640. 



must submit — ^the gravel, if you wish to know his name. The 
winter is past, the pestilence has left Rome, but the way is very 
long, and I cannot cross the snowy Alps, or encounter the stoves, 
the very smell of which makes me faint, the filthy and incom- 
modious inns, and the strong wines, which give me a headache. 
And then my style is like my body, — ^withered. I have masters 
now ; my learning is middling, and drawn from old writers, and 
adapted more for speaking than for controversy. I am a poor 
creature, who have lost all my gl^. What weight would the 
authority of Erasmus have in the eyes of those who defy that of 
the universities, the sovereigns, and the supreme pontiff himself ? 
If renown has been mine, it has much abated ; it has grown 
cold, and changed to hate. Once they addressed me as the 
great hero, the prince of literature, the star of Germany ; now 
they scarcely think of me, except to defame me. Gome to 
Rome ! You might as well say to a crab, * Fly.' ' (Jive me 
wings,' the crab would answer. And the crab would be right" 

But Erasmus, perhaps, did not say all the truth to his former 
teacher of theology ; the crab, if it could have flown, would not have 
alighted in Rome ; it would have been a&aid of the Wittemberg 
eagle, whose wings were now expanded, its fiery eye, and, above 
all, its talons, which had drawn blood, and left their marks on the 
faces of so many monks. There was nothing now to be gained 
by breaking the happy peace in which he had kept himself since 
Luther's appearance. Imagine this Athenian, of polished style, 
obliged to come in collision ^th a barbarian who voided insults 
and solecisms ; this scholar, who gravely charged Cicero with two 
errors of syntax, disputing with a writer who extemporized his 
language, and treated it like a veritable Papist ; this poet, fed 
on ambrosia, and experienced in the elegant phraseology of 
courts, battling with a monk who, in his visit to Rome, had not 
even remembered the name of one of its artists ; this courtier of 
the Medicis, obliged to make use of an invective style, which 
Luther possessed in all its force. Adieu, then, to that sweet 
repose which he had made, and which he so ardently loved. 
Once engaged with Luther, it would not have been as with the 
monks, who knew not to keep rancour, and whom the monastic 
rule commanded to forget injuries. Luther would not have 
feared to risk his soul's salvation to torment his enemy ; he 

EBA8MUS. 85 

would have given him neither peaoe nor trace ; he would have 
dragged him, without pity for his grey hairs and that glory 
which encircled his brow, upon the battle-field, and there, in 
order to fight him, he would have availed himself of every sort 
of weapon, even of calumny, had the victory been doubtful. 
Poor Erasmus ! what would have become of that &scination 
which still clung to your name, and which still exercised itself 
upon some gifted beings, and that reputation acquired by thirty 
years of literary labour ! You were indeed wise, when you 
asked Adrian to give wings to a crab ! 

But absolute silence would have been too much for Erasmus. 
He was obliged to indulge his taste for epigram, and for want of 
the sword, which he could not wield, employ the pen, which he 
had always handled so well. He therefore continued his petty 
war&re 'With Luther, showering upon his adversary's head, 
instead of rocks, epigrams and jests, and even prophecies, which 
often had the merit of being fulfilled, but which everybody else, 
who studied the monk of Wittemberg, might have done as well 
as the philologist, ridiculing with severity that passion for mar- 
riage which had seized upon the religious of both sexes, who at 
Luther's voice burst their vows of celibacy and the conventual 
gates. All these witticisms of Erasmus, these asides sufficiently 
loud to be heard by the audience, reached Luther's ears, who at 
first took no notice of them, so much was he taken up with his 
great conflict with the papacy. But now that the latter was, in 
his eyes, levelled to the earth to rise no more, these rumours 
buzzed about his ears like flies. He bore it p&tiently for some 
time, much longer than might have been expected from him, 
endeavouring, in his turn, in his private correspondence, to wear 
the mask of Erasmus ; but although he thought that he counter- 
feited the voice and pantomimic manner of the rhetorician, his 
friends had the charity to inform him that he would never per- 
form the part like his rival, and he himself soon perceived it 
He had not two thoughts or two tongues ; he must say at once 
what he had in his mind, and like a lion or eagle tear his adver- 
sary with his claws or talons : such was his nature. This was 
seen in his war with the pope, in whidi his voice, when he 
attempted to flatter, belled like a deer, or screamed like a 
bird of prey. 


Luther resolved, then, to have done with Erasmus, and he 
wrote to him the following letter. In perusing it, we must 
recollect that Luther could not bestow on the scholar of Rotter- 
dam, as he did on his enemies, the epithets of " papist," — 
" sycophant,'' — " ignorant," or " friend of darkness ; *' and that, 
whether inclined to it or not, he was forced to submit to the 
dictatorship which the philosopher had ex^sed for half a 
century in Europe to the benefit of literature : — 

" I, who am naturally irritable, have been irritated by others, 
and have felt inclined to write bitterly ; but I have only done so 
to obstinate and rebellious people. My own conscience and the 
public voice sufficiently testify my clemency and tenderness 
towards sinners and offenders. Thus it is that I have restrained 
my pen, in spite of your pin-pricking, and that I diall restrain 
it, as I have promised to my friends, until you have thrown off 
the mask. . . . What is to be done in this party excitement ? 
As a mediator of peace, I shall wish that your enemies would 
cease to attack you so violently, and leave your old age to. sleep 
quietly in the Lord. They ought to do so, in my opinion, in 
consideration of your weakness, and the greatness of that work 
which towers so above your petty height, especially when things 
are now in such a^state, that our Gospel has nothing to fear from 
Erasmus with all his strength, to say nothing of his nails and 
his teetL"! 

The supreme contempt that pervades Luther's letter must 
have deeply wounded the pride of Erasmus. How then is his 
silence to be explained ? How is it that no reply to this insolent 
defiance is to be found in his correspondence ? Was he then 
preparing his manifesto against Luther, and wished to lull him 
to sleep, that he might suddenly start from his slumber at the 
noise of that work on which he was silently engaged, and which 
the Catholic world expected for so many years ? On this we can 
merely form conjectures. It is certain that all epistolary com- 
munication between them was broken off ; they appeared to have 
forgotten each other ; especially Luther, who pursued his scheme of 
Beformation without troubling himself further about the rheto- 
rician, of whom he stood so much in awe on his entry upon the 

^ Erasmo Botierodamo. See Dr. Martin Lather's Briefe, torn. u. p. 498. 


theological arena. But it is remarkable that^ after this time, 
Erasmus showed much less respect to the Reiformers, whom he 
ridiculed to their faces, spoke of contemptuously in his corre- 
spondence^ and laughed at their self-assumption of learning, faith, 
morab, and even chastity; and that so loudly that Luther 
might have heard him in his Saxon Rome.^ How then is to be 
explained this fit of courage in Erasmus, who no longer conceals 
his convictions or belief, and boldly says to all who wish to hear 
him, " I am a Catholic f not merely to the cardinals and bishops, 
but to the new eyangelists, and even Melancthon. His spirit 
glows, his style sparkles ; he has recovered his young blood of 
twenty : fidth in place of indignation possesses him. The old 
athlete of Germany is Hke the linden-tree of Morat, which at 
three hundred years old shoots forth its leaves. Erasmus might 
still contend with Luther. Without having studied thoroughly 
the history of the sixteenth century, we cannot imagine the 
influence which he exercised on others, feeble as he was, as if the 
human mind believed in him, with such faith did they receive his 
words ! If he was not permitted to overcome Luther, at least he 
might have detached from the Reformation those who were not 
misled by Hutten's annunciation of Luther to Germany as an 
apostle of freedom. Erasmus ought not to have meddled with 
theology, which Luther understood much better than he, and 
should have written the history of the Reformation, considered 
in its influence upon the morals, intelligence, and society of 
Germany* What a fertile theme for critical raillery! What 
food and sport his sarcasm might have found in the Saxon's life, 
since his positions wherein he feigned submission to the pope 
down to his marriage with Catherine Bora ! What a picture he 
might have drawn of all the sects which were bom and perished 
in the same day ! What funereal images from those fields of 
Thuringia, Suabia, Westphalia, and Alsatia, fattened with the 
blood of peasantry whose only crime was their faith in Luther ! 
What scenes from the destruction of pictures, statues, stained 
glass, and other material victims to the hammer of the Reforma- 
tion ! What characters like those of Bernard, Carlstadt, Didy- 
mns, and Storch i What capital subjects for a painter those 

* See, in Eragmua's Epistles, the letters from 1522 to 1524, addressed to 
Meljuicthon, Campeggio, the Christiaiis of fiolland, &o. 


monks and nuns who roslied into matrimony from a gafitric 
impulse, as Luther decently expressed it ! What materials for 
new letters like those Virorum ohscwvrwn^ in the spontaneous 
creation of that myriad of embryo apostles and prophets, whose 
books resemble a cloud of locusts ; ^ evangelists of both sexes, 
who exorcise, anathematize, aaid damn each other, and close even 
against Luther the gates of heaven, which he had opened for 
them ! A whole volume might have been made by Erasmus from 
this fragment of Luther's letter to the Christians of Antwerp : * — 

'* The devil is among us : he daily sends mitors to knock at 
my door. One will not have baptism, another rejects the sacra- 
ment of the eucharist, a third announces that God will create a 
new worid before the last judgment, another that Christ is not 
God, another this, another that. There are nearly as many 
creeds as heads. There is not a booby who, if he dreams, does 
not believe that he is inspired by God, or, at least, that he is a 

" I am often visited by these men of visions, who all know 
more of them than I, and wish to explain them to me. I wish they 
were what they profess to be. One came to me yesterday. . . . 
* Master, I am sent from God, who created heaven and earth ;' 
and then the fellow began to preach like a veritable blockhead, 
that it was God's command that I should read the books of 
Moses to him. ' Ah ! and where did you find that command- 
ment of God V ' In the Gospel of St. John.' After he had had 
his say : ' Then, my friend, come back to-morrow ; for I cannot, 
at one sitting, read to you the books of Moses.' ' Adieu, 
master, our heavenly Father, who has shed his blood for us, 
points out to us, by his Son Jesus, the right way. Adieu.' 
Such are these chosen beings who know neither God nor Christ. 
When the papacy lasted, there were none of these divisions or 
differences ; the strong man peacefully reigned over hearts : but 
now, a stronger one has come, who has conquered and driven him 
forth^ and the former one storms and wishes not to depart A 

* " Rari sunt apud adversafSoa qal non aliqnid scribant, quorum libri non 
Jkm. st cancer serpunt, sed velut agmina locustaram yolitaint." — BeilarminuB, 
^m. i. Op. de Controv. Christians Fidei, in Pnefiit. 

^ Ein Brief Dr. Mart. Luther's an die Christen zu Antwerpen ; Wittenberg, 
1525, 4to. Dr. Mart. Luther's Briefe, torn. iii. p. 60. 


spirit of disturbance is also among you, who tempts and seeks to 
turn yon &om the right path. The signs whereby yon may know 
him are these : when he tells you that every man has the Holy 
Spirit ; that the. Holy Spirit is none other than the reason which 
God has given as ; that there is neither hell nor damnation ; 
that the flesh alone will be condemned, but the soul shall have 
life eternal ; that the law is not destroyed by concupiscence, so 
long as I do not delight in it ; that he who has not the Spirit does 
not sin, because he has not reason. . . . Begone, legion of Satan, 
stamped with the mark of error ; for God is a God of peace, and 
not of dissension/" ^ 

This finely-drawu sketch of Luther would, in the hands of 
Erasmus, have been transformed into a striking drama, wherein we 
should have seen the prophets. Anabaptists, Zwinglians, Sacra- 
mentarians, and all the swarm of dissenters produced by the 
doctrine of free inquiry, disputing together, and each appealing 
to the text of the Bible for proof of the truth of his doctrines. 
Erasmus might have expended all his wit and satire in drama- 
tizing the Reformation. It was by ridicule that Hutten acquired 
his success, and ruined the monaateries ; it was by hdicole that 
the Reformers shoold have been attacked ; and, in the Church of 
Wittemberg, there was more than one vulnerable monk. Is it 
not true that the devil employed by Luther ; the great white 
man of Zwinglius; the unknown one who wrung the neck of 
CBcolampadius, the familiar spirit of the prophets, were as good 
subjects as the devils who tempted St. Anthony in the desert, 
and which have been so often laughed at by the Reformers ? The 
latter, at leaat, did not talk blasphemously of the Mass, and were 
ignorant of Greek. 

Erasmus mistook himself. Luther has already told us that 
the philosopher had forgotten the little he had learned of theology 
in the study of antiquity, which he knew so marvellously well. 
In wishing to dispute with Luther, he ought carefully to have 
avoided doctrinal matters, in which his tne and lively intellect 
could not disport itself at ease as in a literary comedy. But 
what did he select from the immense variety supplied by Luther? 

* " lata Bectarum pugnantia signum et Satante esse quod docent, et qu5d 
spiritus Dei non sit disaensionis Peiu^ sed paois." — Micha^li SUefeli ^i Pe< 
cember, 1524. 


Free Will : of all questions discussed in the schools the moBt 
mysterious ; a prodigy, which will for ever confound reason, and 
must be believed in the same manner as we believe in eternity, 
the immortality of the soul, and the creation. It is the inward 
sentimait which proclaims moral liberty. If a man obeys the 
impulse of grace, and performs good works, his conscience is 
happy. If he is seduced and led away by concupiscence, he 
Bu£fers the gnawings of remorse ; but there is neither joy nor 
sorrow experienced in the performance of necessary acts. If man 
is not a free agent, of what use are commands, punishments, and 
rewards ? If he is the slave of sin, why condemn him ? he is 
nothing more than mere matter. Such is what Erasmus, with 
unquestionable talent, proves in his book entitled, " A Disserta- 
tion upon Free Will." * 

Luther believed in the fall of Adam and a great expiation of 
Nature, which is to endure until the creation of a new heaven and 
new earth. Scarcely had man rebelled against his God, when the 
light of the sun became dimmed ; the stars were veiled ; the flowers 
lost a portion of their perfume ; the animals and plants degene- 
rated ; the air lost its purity, and the light its ori^nal splendour. 
60 that what the human eye admires in the works of creation is 
but a shadow of its primitive state. But of all the beings most 
aeverely punished, because he had brought sin into the world, 
was the one whom God had created in his own image, and who 
had lost the attribute which approximated him nearest to his 
Maker, — ^free will ! Conceived in tears and corruption, the child, 
— a mere fixtm in the womb of his mother, is already a sinner ; ^ 
a piece of unclean clay, which before it is formed into a human 
vessel, commits iniquity, and gains damnation.' In proportion as 
he grows, the innate element of corruption increases, becomes 
developed, and bears its fruit He says to sin : '^ Thou art my 

* De Libero Arbitrio Difttriba sive CoUatio. 

' " Lutum illud, ex quo vasculuin hoc fingi coBpit, diimDabile est. Foetus 
in utero, antequim naacimur et homines esse incipimns, peceatum est." — 
Lnther, in PsaL 4. 

' This doctrine of the oomiption of human nature, which was afterwards 
slightlj modified by Luther, and especiaUy by his followers, is one of the 
articles of Calvin's creed ; " Ex corrupts hominis naturft, nihil nisi damnabile." 
— Inst. lib. ii. c. 3, p. 93. See Mcehler, who, in his Symbolism, has admirably 
developed the different teachings of the Church and Protestantism on the great 
question of original sin. 

KBAfiMUS. 91 

father/' and evety act that he does is a crime ; to the wonns : 
'' Ye are my brethren/' and he crawls like them in dirt and 
cormption. If he endeavours to raise his head, this motion, 
of which moreover he is not mast^, is a crime, like all that he 
thinks or does ; he is an evil tree that cannot produce good 
firoits ; a rock rent by lightning, that can no longer supply 
living waters ; a dunghill — ^for Luther makes use of all these 
similes — that can only exhale infectious odours. And what is 
most desolating in this psychological system is, that this monarch 
of creation is not permitted to raise himself from the abyss into 
which the fall of the first man has plunged him ; to efface from 
his brow the mark which the avenging hand of the Creator has 
stamped on it ; to recover the titles of his heavenly origin. More 
unhappy than that violet of which Luther not long since spoke, 
man knows himself; he knows all the happiness which he has 
lost, all the misery and ignorance which he retains, and the 
inheritance of glory which has escaped him. A few drops of 
water will revive the flower that droops on its stem ; but man is 
doomed to debasement ; nothing henceforth can vivify or restore 
him, — ^neither will, nor thought, nor deed ; for these mental 
operations are corrupted like their source ; and man sins even in 
doing good. Such was Luther's doctrine ; a doctrine of despair, 
which might be understood in hell, where the soul, surprised in sin, 
cannot merit ; but which, upon an earth cleansed by the blood of 
the Lamb, is only an outri^ on the Deity. Necessity impels 
the monk, and hurries him from blasphemy to blasphemy : he 
now proclaims that God damns some creatures who have not 
deserved such a fate ; ^ others even before they are bom ; ^ that 
he induces us to sin, and produces evil in us.^ And his disciples, 
in their turn, declare that God robs in the person of the robber, 
murders in the assassin, is a trunk in a trunk, a tree in a tree.** 

* DaM Gott etliche Mensohen yerdammet, die es nioht yerdient baben. 

' DaM Gott etliche Menschen zar Verdammniifl yerordnet habe, eb sie 
Sebobren worden : 8 Jen. Lat. fol. 207 a. t. 6 ; Witt. Ger, fol. 848 b^ 585 a. t ; 
Alt. 161. 249 b, 250. 

' Dass Gott die Menschen znr Sllnde antreibe, nnd alle Laster in ihnen 
witrcke ; 8 Lat. fol. 199 a. t. 6 ; Witt. fol. 522 b, 523 a. 

"Deum famri in fure, trucidare in latrone, ease tmncnm in trunoo, 
arborem in arbore." — ^Altbainmer, fol. 67* 


Thus disinherited, Luther's man is no longer his own master ] 
he sins in all that he does ; all wiU is extinct in him, and he is 
the slave of destiny. If he commits moral good or evil, it is 
not by his own will, for he has none, but because God or the 
devil holds the bridle. " Do not speak to me/' says the Reformer, 
"of free ¥rill ; it is a divine expression, which can only be applied 
to the divine Essence, which can do whatever it wills in heaven 
and on earth. To invest man with it, is to invest him with 
divinity, which is a blasphemy, and the greatest that can be 
imagined. Let theologians then banish that expression from their 
vocabulary, and reserve it for God. Let us cease to use it, and 
leave this holy and venerable name to the Lord." ^ 

Nobody better than Luther knew the power of imagery to 
reach the understanding. Whenever he wished to introduce an 
idea into the world, he invested it with a sensible form, and gave 
it a body and clothing ; and this idea, so personified, spread 
through society, gaining proselytes, as he who gave it life and 
language might have done. This gift of creation, beyond the 
domain of reality, has not been possessed by every leader of 
heresy. Melancthon, with his dogmatical disposition, could not 
comprehend, and never made use of it. At the beginning of the 
Beformation, he attacked the papacy with the ordinary weapons 
of innovators, old arguments fetched from the dust of the schools, 
and rise on their blunted points against the rock of St. Peter. 
Luther adopted a very different course. He devised a magic 
lantern in which the devil was shown ydth the cloven foot of an 
ass, ignorance with the puffed-out belly of a monk, and the spirit 
of innovation in the guise of an Anabaptist. So in his reply to 
the philosopher, he breathed upon the human will which Erasmus 
decked out as a queen, and drew from it two figures, first one of 
a horse, then one of salt. The horse is in the open field : " Does 
God leap into the saddle ? The horse is obedient, accommodates 
itself to every movement of the rider, and goes whither he wills it 
Does God throw down the reins ? Then Satan leaps upon the back 
of the animal, which bends, goes, and submits to the spurs and 
caprices of its new rider.* The will cannot choose its rider, and 

» Luih. De Servo Arbitrio, ad Eraftm. Rotterd. lib. i. fol. 117, 6. 
* " Sic humana volantas in medio posita est, seu jumentum ; si insederit 
Peus, viUt et vodit qub vult Deus, ut Psalmista dlcit: Factiui sum sicat 


cannot kick against the spur that pricks it. It most get on, 
and its very docility is a disobedience or a sin. The only struggle 
possible is between the two riders, God and the devil, who 
dispute the momentary possession of the steed. And then is 
fnlfilled that saying of the Psahnist : ' I am become like a beast 
of burden.'" 

It is easy to see that the philosophical system of Luther in 
regard to the liberty of man and the origin of evil, has nothing 
new in it but its plastic form, and that the original idea belongs 
to Manes ; it is the Persian dualism ; light and darkness, or the 
good and evil principles contending for the possession of man. 
But if the operation of God upon the creature is a mystery from 
which reason could never entirely lift the veil, the struggle which 
Luther institutes between God and the devil is a prodigy other- 
wise incomprehensible. The poetical idea of Satan contending 
with the Deity has been very dififerently handled by Milton in 
his *^ Paradise Lost," from that in the treatise of ^^ Man's Will 
Enslaved." Can the mind believe in such an antagonism ? From 
the instant Luther gives us the names of the combatants, his 
drama is unravelled. What is Satan against God? the finite 
against the infinite, the creature against the Creator ! With the 
poet, it is an allegory ; with Luther, it a doctrine, and conse- 
quently is devoid of all real poetry. The doctor's idea is a dogma. 
Melancthon, in order not to vex his master by an insoluble objec- 
tion, adopts Luther's doctrine of the servitude of the will, and 
makes God the author of the good and evil which happen here 
below ; of David's adultery, of St. Paul's apostleship, of the 
treachery of Judas ; and this, not as the schoolmen say, per- 
missively (permim^)^ but effectively (patenter).^ Melancthon 
maintains his argument from the Bible ; so that, if we are to 

jnmentum et ego semper teovm ; si iiiBederit Saton^ -mlt et vadii sient Satan, 
neo est in ejus arbitrio ad utrum sessorem currere, ant eum qnserere, sed 
ipsi sessores oertant ob ipsum obtinendum et possidendum." — Op. Lnth. 
torn. iii. p. 177, 6. 

* " H89C sit oerta sententia, k Deo fieri omnia, tarn bona^ qnkm mala. Nos 
dicimns non soltim permittere Deum oreaturis nt operentur, sed ipsum omnia 
proprib agere, ut sicut fatentur, proprium Dei opus fiiisse Pauli yocationem, 
itk fitteantur opera Dei propria esse sive quse media vocantur, ut oomedere, 
nye quse mala sunt, ut D>aTiais adulterium. Constat enim Deum omnia facere 
non permissiTd, sed potenter, id est ut sit ejus proprium opus, Judss proditio 
sieut Pauli yooatio/'--Mart. Ghemnits loc. theoL «dit. Leyser, 1Q16, pp. 1, 178. 


believe hiniy it is Qod, or the Bible^ who teaches us that man is 
the slaye of destiny. Bat then to what inspiration did he listen, 
when in 1530 he afl&rmed, in the Confession of Angabmg, that 
the cause of sin is the will of the evil one, that is to say, of the 
devil and the sinner, and that this will, nnless assisted saper- 
naturally, withdraws itself from God ? ^ 

At Leipsic, Luther compared man to a saw in the hands of a 
workman. In order to refiite the comparison, Eck said it 
screaked ; and this play of words produced more e£fect on the 
audience than a regular argument In his quarrel with Erasmus 
he changed the simile : Man is no longer a saw ; he is some- 
times, Hke the patriarch's wife, transformed into a pillar of salt, 
at others the trunk of a tree, or a shapeless block of stone, 
which can neither see nor hear, has neither heart nor sense.* 
What a hideous mockery is such a being, cast by God in the 
midst of creation, and which the Scripture tells us was formed 
after His own likeness I How, after this life, could the Supreme 
Judge demand an account of his desires, thoughts, looks, and 
actions, from this human carcase which has never lived, has never 
felt ; in which neither arteries nor blood are to be found? And 
how should human justice or society condemn this being, inno* 
minate in any language, and which is only clay or corruption ? If 
Luther be asked for the solution of this psychological problem, 
he replies only by comparisons taken from the tomb. Need we be 
astonished then at the cry of horror which this wretched doctrine 
wrung from the Catholics, when his own disciples blushed for 
their master 7 Honour at least to Pfeffinger, Victorinus, and 
especially to Strigel, who had the courage to appeal from it to 
the conscience, to refrite the imTiihi1<i.fiTig dogmas of the Reformer, 
and who restored to man that perception with which God when 
he created had endowed him ! 

Luther, riveted to the principle which he had laid down, 
struggled fruitlessly to escape from his chain ; he necessarily fell 
into Rationalism, for want of inclination to make use of fisdth 

■ Art. XIX. STmbolik von Mohler, p. 47. 

* " In spiritualibuB et divinia rebua quae ad ammiB Bdiitem speotMii, homo 
est inatar Btatua bbUm in qniun nxor patriarofae Loth eet convena ; iin6 oat 
Bimilifl tninoo et lapidi statiue, vit& carenti, qu» neque ocolonim, oris aut 
uUorum sensuum cordisque ufum babet." — Luth, in Gen. cxxix. 


to reconcile the divine presence with moral liberty. He had 
appealed from it to the Scriptures^ and a text interpreted by his 
own reason had obscured in him the most ordinary light. The 
Church taught how the text of Moses, wherein God says that he 
hardens Pharaoh's heart, should be interpreted ; but he preferred 
his own judgment to the general one, and it led him astray. 
Let us follow for an iostant all the deductions which he draws 
from an erroneous interpretation. Let the Christian know, then, 
that God foresees nothing in a contingent manner ; but that he 
foresees, proposes, and acts from his eternal and immutable will : 
this is the thunderbolt which destroys and overturns firee-will I 
Let those, then, who come forward as the champions of that 
doctrine deny first this thunderbolt. Thus it follows, irre- 
firagably, that every human action, although it seems to be 
done in a contingent manner, and subject to the doctrine of 
chances, is necessary and immutable in the order of Providence. 
Therefore it is not free-will, but necessity, which is the acting 
principle in us.^ Indeed, I wish that I could employ another 
term than that of necessity, which only imperfectly expresses 
my views, when we speak of human will. Coercion is a harsh 
and unsuitable expression, for neither the one nor the other of 
the two wills is necessarily constrained or subjected, but both 
obey thsir nature in producing good or evil ; it is an immutable 
and infallible will which governs another mutable and fallible, as 
in the words of the poet : — 

..." Stohilisqae maneiui das ounota moTerl" 
[Immoyeabley thou makest all things more.] 

But who will draw man out of that abyss of darkness into 
which Luther has plunged him ? Who will cry for him who has 
no Toice, or pray for that fallen angel whose every wish and 
thought is pollution ? Who will mediate for that soul crucified 
by sin ? Who will open the bosom of mercy to that child of 
Satan, that other Abbadona, but more unhappy than the pure 
spirit of Elopstock, for he could weep without sin ? Luther 
has nothing but grace ; he rushes headlong, and embraces it. 
But since man is not free, who will explain to us how Providence 
smites and crowns, punishes and pardons, condemns and rewards 

" Lather, De Servo Arbiirio ady. Erasm. Rotterd. Oper. Lat, Jens^ 
torn. iii. fol. 170, 171, 177. 


in eternity ? Whence is it that one is damned and another 
glorified, since neither had eyes wherewith to see, ears to hear, 
and instinct to choose ? — that both, in doing good or eyil, were 
impelled by an irresistible impulse, which is equally the work 
of God as the acts which they did ? What a god, then, has the 
Beformation given ns ? Certainly not the God of the Bible. 
Let them say as they will, they cannot find him in the Scrip- 
tures ; he is the god of their invention, a blind deity, like that 
imagined by the Onostic Marcion. 

Luther thus completes his" psychological system of human 
liberty : " As for myself, I confess, that were I oflfered free-will,^ 
I would not have it, or any other instrument that might aid in 
my salvation ; not only because, besieged by so many perils and 
adversities, amidst that horde of devils who assail me on all 
sides, it would be impossible for me to preserve or make use of 
that instrument of salvation, since one single devil is stronger 
than all men together, and no way of real salvation would be 
open to me ; but because, were the dangers surmounted, and 
the devils put to flight, I should labour in uncertainty, and my 
arm would be fatigued to no purpose by beating the air with 
useless blows. For, were I to live for ever, my conscience 
would never be certain of having satisfied God, After every act 
of presumed perfection, a scruple would always remain : Who 
shall say that I have pleased God ? That God has demanded no 
more from me ? as is proved by the experience of all souls reputed 
to be just, and mine unhappily more than all others. 

'' But as God has taken charge of my salvation, independently 
of my free-will, and has promised to save me by his grace and 
mercy without the concurrence of my works, I am certain that 
he will be faithfcd to his promise, that he will not lie, and that 
he is powerful enough to prevent me from being broken by 
adversity, or carried oflF by the devil ; for he has said : ' No one 
shall take him from me, because the Father who has given him 
to me is stronger than all.' So then, if all are not elect, much 
fewer will be so ; whilst by free-will none could be saved, and 
all would perish. Thus we are assured of pleasing God, not by 
the merit of our works, but through the mercy which he has 

] J>e Servo Arbitrio, Op. torn. i.p. 171. 


promised to us, and because he will not impute to us the more 
or less of evil that we shall commit, but will forgive and receive 
us into his fatherly favour. This is the glorification of the 
saints in the Lord/' 

Whether Luther strives or not against the consequences of the 
principle of moral slavery which he has laid down, his God will 
always be a blind or wicked deity, who will groundlessly save or 
destroy a soul that by itself is incapable of merit or demerit — a 
soul inert and passive. If there be any logical accuracy, the 
being who embraces Luther's doctrine has no refuge except in 
despair or indifferentism. His profession of faith amounts to 
this, — that no one will be happy in eternity, unless he believes 
in the inefficacy of free-will.* What, then, has become of that 
principle of free inquiry which he introduced into the world ? 
He has proclaimed the independence of reason, and he fetters 
thought and intellect. He has recovered, according to M. Charles 
Villers, the title-deeds to the kingdom of human knowledge, 
which had been buried in the Vatican, and he will not now 
consent to exhibit them until the queen whom he has set up 
shall perform an act of vassalage ; that is to say, that after 
having sought to destroy the popedom, he makes popery ! 
What must we think of the salvation of his disciples, who, in 
their different confessions, disobeyed their master's doctrine, 
and taught the dogma of moral freedom? The despotism 
of error is much more oppressive than that of truth : from the 
instant error has touched you with its finger, you become its 
property, and you are condemned to run through the entire 
circle of falsehood which it has drawn around you. When the 
Anabaptists preached the necessity for a second purification of 
original sin in adults, resting themselves on a Pharisaical inter- 
pretation, Luther loudly proclaimed that the letter killed, and 
the spirit must be observed. Now he says : " We must avoid, 
as a poison, all commentaries, and keep to the letter, however 
hard it may appear, unless the Scriptures force us to seek the 

> Lnih. De Serro Arbitrio adv. Eraam. Botterod. Op. torn. i. p. 286. "Baas 
Niemand selig werden koiine, der nicht gerade seine Meinnng von dem vdUifen 
UnyermSgen des freyen WiUens, obn EinscbriLnkung aoDehme." Das Resultat 
meiner Wanderungen, p. 262. Menzel, Neuere Gescbicbte der Deutacheo^ 
torn. i. ob. Y. 



mysteriofus signification concealed under the corering of the 
word ; ^ that the devil alone can maintain that the divine word 
is enyeloped in darkness, and requires to pass through man's lips 
to be understood ; that the spirit enlightens every one who comes 
to it with love, and reveals to him the hidden meaning of God's 

Erasmus, deafened with this clamour of the Reformers, who 
appealed to the Scriptures, as if the Bible had until then been a 
sealed book, and Luther, the angel of the Apocalypse, had 
been the first to open it, wished to put a stop to the noise, and 
show that the Scriptures, reduced to the bare letter, were not the 
sole foundation of the Christian faith. In examining Luther's 
principles, he had recovered his youthful powers and animated 
style, which at times seems to have assumed the wings of a poet. 
His style is concise, and carries his reader with it. 

" But I hear you say, * If the Scripture is so clear, what is 
the use of commentaries ?'.... I reply : If the Scripture is as 
luminous as you say, how is it that so many learned men have 
walked for centuries in darkness, when there was question of 
what interested them so deeply as moral freedom ? If there is 
no obscurity in the text of the sacred books, why had the written 
word need of commentaries, even in the time of the apostles 
themselves ? But I grant you that the Spirit is revealed to the 
simple and ignorant, and concealed from the wise, and that the 
words of Christ are accomplished : ' My Father, I thank thee 
that thou hast taught to the simple, and those whom the world 
considers fools, that which thou hast hidden from the wise,' 
Who knows if Dominic and Francis would not have become like 
to those of whom Christ speaks, if tliey had only followed their 
own sense ? If, when the gift of God was in all its strength, John 
wished that we should try whether those who came to us had the 
Spirit firom above, shall we not be permitted to make the same 
test in these times, when all flesh is corruptedj How shall they 
prove to us their mission ? By their gift of eloquence ? — but 
on all sides I see rabbis. By their acts ? — On every side I see 

^ Menzel, Neuere Geschiohte der Deutschen, torn. i. p. 144. Das Resuliat 
xneiner WaDdemngeD, &c., von D. Julius Honinghaus, p. 264. " Man boU alle 
verbliimte Worte meiden und fliehen wie Gift, und bei den klaren, durren 
Worten bleiben, wo nicht die Scbrift eelbst zwingt^ etUche Spriiche, als ver- 
blUmte Worte zu erkUiren.'* 


Binners: there is a choir of saints who proclaim that man is 
free. They say : * They are men ; ' but, observe, I compare man 
with man, and not n^an with God. They say : 'Of what use is 
this cloud of witnesses to affirm the gift of the Spirit ?' I reply: 
'Of what greater use are some talented people?' They say: 
' How does the priest's cap aid in understanding the Scriptures V 
I reply : * ' As much as the knight's mantle, or the monk^s cowl/ 
They say : * Of what avail are philosophy and science for under- 
standing the inspired writings ? ' I reply : ' And how much 
ignorance ? ' They say : ' Of what use are councils, in which 
not one member perhaps has received the Holy Ghost V I reply : 
* Or your conventicles, in which very likely God's gift is equally 
rare?' The apostles would not have been believed if they had 
not proved their teaching by miracles ; but every individual 
among you calling himself an inheritor of the truth would wish 
to be believed upon his word. When the apostles fascinated 
serpents, healed the sick, and raised the dead, they were obliged 
to believe them, although they preached things supernatural. 
And among those doctors who have told us so many marvels, is 
there even one who could have cured a lame horse ?* They say to 
me: ' You only invoke the testimony of men ; ' but, when I insist 
and demand upon what evidence they wish me to judge of the 
truth of a doctrine, if on both sides I hear only men's voices, they 
reply : * By the evidence of the Spirit ; ' and when I continue the 
interrogatory : ' How is it that the Spirit has been wanting 
rather to those whom the world has known by their wondrous 
works, than to the disciples of the new gospel V they would wish to 
make me believe that the Gospel has not been preached for thirteen 
centuries ! I ask for a doctrine founded upon works. They tell 
me that faith justifies, and not works. Give me miracles. They 
are useless, there have been enough, there is no need of them 
with the bright light of the Scriptures. In this case the Scrip- 
tures are not veiy clear, since I see so many men wander in 
darkness. And when they have the Spirit of God, who will 
prove to me that they also understand his word ? What am I to 
believe, when, in the midst of these contradictory dogmas, each 
pretends to dogmatic infallibility, sets himself up as an oracle, 

' " Ist noch keiner gewesen, der auch nnr ein lahmes Pferd hatte heilen 
konnen." — ^Menze), 1. o. 



and^ on his own private judgment, flies in the face of the teach- 
ing of all his predecessors ? What ! is it credible, that during 
thirteen centuries, among so many holy individuals whom he has 
given to the Church, God has never raised up one to whom he 
has revealed the truth of the Gospel ?".... 

When, at the present day, in the silence of our closet, we 
study the cases debated between these two learned men, we 
sometimes question the evidence of our eyes, and imagine that 
we are dreaming. Two priests stand before us: the one, 
Luther, who has studied mankind in books ; the other^ 
Erasmus, who has studied him in the works of creation. The 
former maintains that man acts by the impulse of fate, like 
the animal whose skin covers the volume over which the monk 
has grown pale ; the latter acknowledges that freedom of action^ 
the principle of all that he has found of the beautiful and great 
in the life of the nations which he has visited. From the text 
of Moses, Exodus, ch. vii. ver. 14, Luther concludes that God has 
hardened the heart of Pharaoh ; Erasmus maintains that we 
must not hold to the letter, which killeth, but raise ourselves to 
the Spirit, which giveth life ; and, in order to prove that the 
very letter itself demonstrates man's freedom, he quotes to his 
opponent the passage where St. Paul recommends the creature to 
work out his own salvation, and throw o£f the old Adam. 

Pressed to the grave of his dead letter, what says Luther ? " If 
Paul,'" says he, '^ speaks so, it is not because he supposes that we 
can ever cast off the old Adam. He and the apostles employ it 
as a figure: do that, if you can ; but you cannot ! "^ Is not this 
arrant nonsense ; and is not nonsense on such a subject real 
blasphemy ? 

Then the philosopher resumes, as would a child : " But are we 
not, then, free to wish ? "— " No," replies Luther drily. " And 
if we perish," continues Erasmus, "the fault, then, is God's?" 
" Doubtless ; but we distinguish," adds Luther, " between God's 
manifest will, which says. No ; and his secret will, which says, 
Yes : and it is this secret will into which we must not pry." 

When Plank, who has summed up the whole discussion 
with singular impartiality, arrives at this distinction drawn by 

^ De Libero Arbitrio Diatribe aea CSoUatio. 

ERASMUS. 101" 

the father of the Keformation, he is obliged to cover his 

Erasmus's work is a theological treatise which might be sup- 
posed to have proceeded from the pen of one of those monks 
who formed the butt of his ridicule ; it savours of the com- 
mentator, the disciple of Scotus, and very little of the man of 
genius. Erasmus accumulates texts, is involved in quotations, 
and brings into the field a whole cohort of the fathers: — St. Basil, 
St. Chrysostom, St. Cyril, St. John Damascene, Theophylact, 
TertuUian, St. Cyprian, Amobius, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, 
Si Hilary, the schoolmen, the faculties of theology, the councils, 
the doctors, the popes ; that is to say, evidence for which his 
adversary, who appealed from them to rationalism, cared not a 
rush. But what is remarkable in this discussion is, that Luther 
was obliged to make use of his opponent's weapons in answering 
him, and summon to his aid both divine and human authority. 
Erasmus was still the same character ; he impaired his work, 
already so feeble, by commonplace compliments to his opponent ; 
his exordium is a hymn to Luther, which roused the indig* 
nation of the Sorbonne. Erasmus was unwilling that Luther's 
error on free-will should shadow the truths which he had so 
piously taught as to the love of God and the inanity of mere 
works. His peroration is a new canticle in honour of his rival. 
His friends were scandalized. The prince of Carpi wrote to 
him : " You have confounded Luther ! — what skill, what intel- 
lect, what genius is displayed in your refutation ! — how copious 
your style and evidence ! — with what perspicuity you explain 
the most difficult matters ! But I have one complaint to make : 
you treat Luther too gently. He is a madman, an obstinate 
heretic I Your praise is indecorous, your mildness ridiculous ! "* 
Jerome Emser, that indefatigable champion of Catholicism, 
translated Erasmus's book into German, but omitted from his 
version the eulogies bestowed on the Reformer.* 

» Plank, 1. c. torn. ii. pp. 118, 181. 

^ Beep, ad Erasmuin. — Hist. Litt. Ref. part. i. p. 127« 

' Seckendori^ lib. i. p. 812. Emser wrote to Erasmus : " At tu cunctando, 
ut ingenub tecum agam, suspectum te nobis reddis. Vide igitnr, ut promisRum 
de retiqu& parte arbitrii persolvas." — ^Hermann de Hardt, Hist. Litt. Refonnat« 
part i. p. 10. 


The " Dresden goat," as Luther called Emseir, saw, no doubt, 
that these perfumed phrases, which Erasmus slipped so adroitly 
into the exordium and peroration of his book, were designed to 
pacify his rival, of whose irritable temper he was aware. How 
poor Erasmus deceived himself ! he expected a few grains of 
incense, which he flattered himself Luther would not fsdl to 
bum in honour of the great scholar of the age. 

The "Slave-Will,"* Luther's reply, is, like everything else 
proceeding from his pen, keen, violent, and occasionally coarse. 
Erasmus is represented in it as a Pyrrhonist, an epicurean, a 
blasphemer, and even an atheist ; he who at the very time made 
a vow to our Lady of Loretto, and composed, in praise of the 
Blessed Virgin, hymns which the archbishop of Besangon in- 
serted in his liturgy.* Luther's " Slave- Will " ran through ten 

Erasmus deluded himself in regard to the power of his name ; 
he fancied himself in the height of his former fame ; he therefore 
besought the elector of Saxony to punish Luther's insolence ; but 
his letter, which ten years previously Frederick would not have 
exchanged for a province, was unanswered. He thought to 
revenge himself for the silence of Duke John, who had succeeded 
to that prince, by writing to Luther himself, who also took no 
notice of his epistle. This which he had, nevertheless, carefully 
eLiborated, concluded with these words : " I would wish you a 
better disposition, if you were not so content with your own. You 
may, in your turn, wish me anything you please, provided that 
it be not your temper, unless you have changed it." These con- 
ceits were quite thrown away.* 

He then bethought him of a formal reply to his enemy's Diar 
tribe. He accordingly shut himself up in his cell, and there, 
with the blue waters of the Rhine, which laved his garden, 
the green mountains of Jura, and those flowers in which Basle is 
set as in a picture, before him, he 1 iboured for ten whole days i^ 
provoking his style, as one would a lion to make him roar ; but all 
to no purpose. He had, however, taken the precaution to keep 
constantly before him Luther's polemical writings, in order that he 

* De Seryo Arbiirio adverstis Liberuxn Arbitnum ab Ernsmo defen^ura. 
^ CtUiisios. ^ De Burigny, I, c, torn, iu p. 96. 


might borrow some irascible similes from them ; but, in spite of 
all his efforts, his work was a mere effort, without fancy, energy, 
or fluency. It was necessary that this painfully-produced volume 
should appear at the Frankfort fair. Froben, the printer, of 
Basle, to whom either faith was indifferent when business was 
concerned, put six presses at the service of Erasmus. Accord- 
ingly, the "Hyperaspites"^ appeared alongside of Luther's Dia- 
tribes at Frankfort They met with a good sale, and were severely 
criticised. Melancthon ridiculed them;^ Luther compared them 
to the hissing of a viper.* Then Erasmus, disenchanted, ex- 
claimed : " Such is my reward ! Had I done nothing, I would 
not write a single word to-day."* 

A letter from Melancthon to Camerarius, which soon spread 
over Germany, in some degree alleviated Erasmus's annoyance. 
Melancthon wrote thus : " Luther makes me many enemies, 
without my having deserved it. Am I not accused of having 
written several pages, and those the most virulent, of his book 
against Erasmus? I suffer in silence. Would to God that 
Luther had said nothing : unhappily, age and experience only 
make him more violent ; this pains me."^ 

Misfortune is sacred, especially when it affects men like 
Erasmus, at the time when, after having left all the excitement 
of life, they see themselves deprived of their glory as they 
approach the grave. The " Hyperaspites " may be regarded as 
a last will and testament. In perusing it, the heart is wrung in 
contemplating all the sufferings of Erasmus in his affections, his 
vanity, and his hopes ; all the contests which, when old and 
infirm, he has to enter into with a young and ardent spirit ; and 
all the laurels which the world decreed to him, which he will 
not bear with him to the tomb, but see transferred one by one to 
the head of his adversary ! When we think that, to the title 
of " restorer of learning," Erasmus might have added that of 
" defender of Catholic unity ; " that he refused to arrest or con- 
fine the difiusion of Protestantism ; to preserve to Germany its 

* Hyperaspites, Diatribe adyersts Servum Arbitrium Martini Luiheri. 

* £p. Camenurio, lib. iv. ' Seckendorf, lib. ii. § 32 

* Ep. Carpi. 

^ Epist. Melanchth. 28, lib. y. De Burigni, 1. c. torn. ii. p. 98. 


ancient faith and national liberties ; to prevent the wars which 
drained its blood, the sacrilegious devastations of its churches 
and their images, and the ruin of authority, we are tempted to 
upbraid him with having deserted the line of duty prescribed to 
him by Providence. In this voluntary shipwreck of Erasmus, 
at least there is this consolation, that he did not abandon the 
religion of his fathers, although he has been accused of it.^ The 
following lines, which shortly before his death he traced with 
failing hand in his '' Hyperaspites," happily prove the possibility 
of an alliance between feith and genius : — 

^' Before God who hears me, and from whose wrath I cannot 
escape, if I have ever wittingly sinned, I desire that all who 
have received baptism should know that I no less believe the 
silent words of Scripture than if Christ himself were now speak* 
ing to me with his own lips ; and that I have no more doubt of 
these material signs than of what I hear with my ears, see with 
my eyes, or touch with my hands : and as I believe that the 
Gospel has fulfilled all the figures of the law and the predictions of 
the prophets, I believe in the promises of the Sjecond advent It . 
is this lively faith which assists me to support pains and insults, 
sickness, old age, and all the reverses of life ; which cheers me, 
and makes me trust in divine mercy and life etemaL I do not 
think that I have willingly doubted ojae single word of Christ ; 
I would rather die a thousand deaths than touch one iota of 
the Oospel text ; in God is all my hope, in the Gospel all my 


'' Erasmus of Rotterdam is no more," said Luther at table ; 
" be was a writer who had every opportunity of rendering service 
to literature, for his life passed away without conflicts or disap- 
pointments. He lived and died without God, in all tnaiquillity 
of conscience. At the time of his death, he asked neither for 

* Tl^e c^non De Bam published at BrasselB, in 1842, a pamphlet, in 8yo., 
entitled Particulars of the Besidence of Erasmus at ^asle, and of the Last 
Moments of that celebrated Man. The learned author quotes a letter from 
the MS. collection in the imperial library at Vienna (Opuscula Polemica Var. 
Cod. MS. N. cxci. O. 1. 445, folio), which leaves no doubt of the religious 
sentiments entertained by Erasmus at the time of his death (see pp. 10 — 18). 
For some years past Belgium has been enriched with excellent philological 
works by M. de Bam, N^ve, and others. 

Louvain remembers the high position which it held in literature at the 
beginning of the sixteeoth century ; and its former failie begins to revive, 


priest nor sacrament ; and^ when about to breathe his last sigh, 
said, * Son of God, have mercy upon me ! ' Perhaps this excla- 
mation attributed to him is a lie : did he not study at Rome ?^ 
If for ten thousand gilders, I would not take Jerome's place in 
the next world, for many more I would not that of Erasmus/"^ 

This wrath towards a corpse not yet cold ; this outrage on one 
of the glories of Catholicism ; this calumny on the memory of 
a rival, and cruel play upon words on the soul of one of his 
brethren in Jesus Christ ; all issued at once from the breast of 
Luther ! 



At WaribnTg Luther labonn to reduce to order the elements of his doctrine. 
— The German Bible. — Account of the Doctor's version. — ^The excitement 
which it creates. — Emser criticises Luther's translation. — ^The opinion of 
Germany in regard to it. — Blunders which he made. — ^The Catholic Church 
had translated the Bible into the vernacular before Luther. — She has never 
concealed, as she has been charged with doing, God's word ; and wherefore t 
— Dangers which the revealed word would run, if the Church did not watch 
over the deposit of the truths of the fiuth. — Protestant commentaiy. — 

At Wartburg, Luther employed himself in founding a dogmatic 
rule, by which in future Protestants might be known. The Catho- 

1 Luther did not wait for the death of Erasmus. In 1526 he published 
against the philosopher a letter iull of calumnies, in which he tried to prove 
that the philosopher had only sought to establish paganism on the ruins of 
the Christian religion. This letter Erasmus refuted. —Erasmus ad calum- 
niosissimam Epistolam Lutheri. AnnaL Sculteti, p, 197. 

' ** Ich woUte nioht zehn Tausend Gulden nehmen, und in der Ge&hr stehen, 
ftir unserm Herm Gott, da St. Hieronymus inne stehet, viel weniger darinne 
Btehet Erasmus."— Hsch-Beden, p. 418. 

Luther parodied against Erasmus two lines of Virgil : 

" Qui Satanam non odit, amet tua carmina, Erasme, 
Atque idem jungat Furias et mulgeat Orcum." 

The following works may be consulted with reference to Erasmus : Adolf 
Muller, Leben des Erasmus von Kotterdam ; Hamburg, 1828, 8vo. ; Das Leben 
dee fiirtrefflichen Erasmi von Rotterdam, abge&sset von Knight, ins Deutsche 
ttbersetzt von Theodore Arnold : Leipsic, 1736, 12mo. ; Burscher, Spicil. ; 
Hottinger, Hist. Eccles. torn. vi. ; Melchior Adam, in Vit& Erasmi ; Strobel, 
Misoell. Litt. ; Les Propos de Table de Martin Luther, traduits par M. Gus- 
tavo Brunet: Paris, 1844, 12mo. pp. 845 — 848; Hoeninghaus, in the first 
volume of La R^forroe cootre la R^formQi 8vo. 1$45, 


lies reproaclied him with his constant shifting of doctrines. They 
ridiculed those capricions fancies, which even his own disciples 
could not apprehend or put in shape, and which Emser justly 
compared to the strange figures which the waves are ever making 
on the sand. They accordingly asked those who sought to tempt 
their faith, to give them a confession in which the creed of their 
master was contained. Luther felt that he must build upon the 
ruins of the old Church that New Jerusalem which he announced 
to mankind, and that it was not with faith es with learning, of 
which the conquests are indefinite, and the progress incessant 
Day and night he elaborated his creed at Wartjburg. With this 
view he composed several treatises^ in which are set forth very 
explicitly those fundamental points of Protestantism, of which 
we have already spoken. They are : his treatise on the abroga- 
tion of private masses,^ addressed to his brother Augustinians ; 
that on monastic vows,^ dedicated to his father Hans, in which, 
abstracting from it what pertains to dogma, there is an efiusion 
of filial piety which does honour to Luther's heart ; his pam- 
phlets against Ambrose Gatharinus, in which he sets himself to 
prove from the Scriptures that the beast of the Apocalypse lives 
and reigns in Rome ;' lastly, commentaries upon forty verses of 
David (Psalm xxxvi.), to keep up the courage of the flock at 
Wittemberg.* In these also, if we can forget how the theologian 
twists the text of the royal poet to suit his views, — to find in it 
menaces against the kingdom of Satan, represented by the pope 
and the cardinals, or arms against Emser, who; like a real 
spectre, always presents himself in his way, — ^it is very difficult 
not to admire the art with which the writer welds his thoughts 

• Vom AGssbrauche der Messe : Wittenberg, 1522. Luther, De AbrogandA 
MiBsA PrivatA, assigned by Olearius to 1521, but which did not appear until 
the beginning of January, 15i2, as is shown by Spalatinus' correspondence. 

• An Hans Luther, 21 November, 1521. It is the preface of the treatise, 
De Votis Monasticis M. Lutheri Judicium : Wittemb. 1521. Jonas translated 
it into German, with the title, Von den geistlichen und Kloeter-Gelubden, 
Martini Luther's Urtbeil. 

' Contrk Amb. Catharinum, sive ReveUitio Antichristi. 

• Der sechs und dreissigste Psalm des konigl. Propheten Davids, den Zom 
und Unmuth zu stiUen, in der Anfechtung der Gleissner und Muthwilligen. 
This frequently admirable paraphrase of the sacred writer, addressed to the 
Christians of Wittemberg, appeared with the altered title of Der seohs und 
dreissigste Psalm Davids einen christlichen Menschen zu ebren un trosteo, 
wider die MUtterei der bosen und freveln Gleissner. 


Kith thode of the Psalmist. His latigaage is impressed Trith 
oriental imagery, and, fix>m the intimate fasion of two styles 
that reflect each other, seems to live and move by the same 

But of all his works, — ^that at which he laboured with most 
application, because it was to have the greatest influence on the 
destiny of the Reformation, — his favourite work, his incon- 
testable glory, — ^was the translation of the Sacred Scriptures into 
the vulgar tongue.* For the sane or insane, rich or poor, high 
or low, whom he constituted with equal titles the interpreters of 
the revealed word, a book which thenceforward should have no 
mystery of language was required. As he had destroyed the 
priesthood, or, rather, as he had incarnated it in the human 
being, the man-priest should possess the charter in which his 
apostleship was written by the hand of God. To the intract- 
able miDd, which feeds on illusions, and loses itself in proud 
thoughts or ecstatic raptures, like those of Munzer and Storch ; 
to the dreamer, hallucinated like Garlstadt ; to the vacillating, 
like Didymus ; to the simple, like the Anabaptists, Luther had 
said : " There is the Book of Life ; it is no longer veiled or 
obscure to you ; you are the judges of the meaning of Scrip- 
ture ; you are to translate it, whether God has given you the 
rare gift of interpretation or not ! " Astonishing ! at the very 
moment that he speaks thus, he himself,-^Luther, — ^who had 
read and studied the Bible all his life, demands a new explanation 
of a verse in the Epistle to the Corinthians, which seems at first 
as clear as the sun : '^ Alioqui filii vestri immundi essent, nunc 
autem sancti sunt :"^ — Otherwise your children should be unclean, 


' Fred. Mayeri, Hist. Vers. Germ. Bibl. Lutheri, pp. 4—7. 

' " Volo enim scire nt tract&ris illnd, X Corinth, vii. etc. Num de solia 
adaltis ant de sanctitate oarnis iotelligi velisT" — Melanchthoni, 13 Jan. 1521. 
In a letter to Amsdorf, Luther admits that, in attempting to translate tho 
Bible, he has nndertalcen a work beyond his strength, and that jt is very 
difiScnIt to interpret the Latin text. Different texts are qaoted there : Ist, 
** Dormiunt cum patribus suis/' in speaking of the souls of the just ; and 
2nd, " Virum injustum mala capient in interitu," of the Psalmist, which the 
Keformer cannot comprehend, and to which he gives a sense quite difierent^ 
from Amsdorf. It is there that, after admitting his insufficient knowledge to 
translate several passages of the sacred books, he appeals against the prophets 
of Zwickau to Scripture. " Let them not trouble you," says he ; " to confound 
them you have Deuteronomy xiii. and the firdt verse of St. .John, ch.ip. v." 
Kow these prophets, Nicholas fcJtorgh, Mark Stubuer, M, Cellarius, aud Thomas 


but now they axe holy. And yet, at the same time, he thinks 
himself entitled to laugh at the mad inspirations of Garlstadt or 
Munzer. But if the Spirit was communicated to Munzer or 
Garlstadt, it was because both had read the sacred word in a 
volume, the immutable characters of which feared no longer the 
rust of time, or the equally corrupting fancies of criticism. The 
Gospel requires a dead language. Alas ! for that book, if it is 
to be understood by means of imagery as changeable as dress, 
which is altered at each transformation of mankind, and follows 
all the laws of material progression. Authority watchea in vain 
over the destiny of the revealed word, as over the precepts which 
it contains ; that word, which God has given us for our salva- 
tion, is only a capricious and lying guide. With a dead language, 
which has ceased to be in common use, the word of the Spirit is 
like the holy ark floating over the waves which cannot reach it. 
Therefore it is that the Catholic Church has preserved the Latin 
language in her liturgy. Every living language follows the 
human condition of the people who use it ; and there is no 
nation that will not some day die. Marot, in his time, attempted, 
amid the applause of his co-religionists, to stitch on the psalms 
some tinsel, which wafl then styled verse ; * a wretched poetry, now 
so faded, that we know not what to call it : it is the carcase of 
which Bossuet speaks. 

The Latin Bible was an assemblage of characters which 
required an interpreter. Now, according to Luther, the man- 
priest ought to be his own expositor. He therefore translated it 
in language intelligible to all who could read, and he said again, 
" Take and read it." But his own translation was, sooner or 
later, to become antiquated. 

Imagine for an instant Marot translating the words of Christ 
in the Gospel, or St. Paul in the Apostles, without the aid of the 
muse, if you choose, and see whether the language of the New 

Manzer, who had separated from the Heformer, predsely taught their doctrines 
from the Bible.— Amsdorf, 13 Jan. 1522. 

^ ^'^Qui habitat in ocbUs irridebit eos, et Dominns subsanabit eos." — Psal. 
" Mais oestny Ik qui les hauts deux habite, 
Ne s'en fera que rlre de Ik haut. 
Le Tout-Puissant de leur fa^on despite 
Se moquera, car d'eux il ne lui chaut." 



Testament would not be in our days most difficult to be under- 
stood ; if it were to reach us without a commentary, whether it 
would not be truly a myth, and frequently inexplicable, until 
some modem translation should replace that which time had 
caused no longer to be understood ; a fresh emblem, which per- 
haps would not survive the artist who had discovered it 

The idiom which Luther employed was pliant and docile, 
serving all his caprices and fancies ; this old Saxon German, so 
masculine and attractive ; the language of Hermann, which had 
never yielded to the Roman sword ; the only one, perhaps, which 
could be employed to advantage in translating the sacred text, has 
inveterated and experienced the lot of every human tongue. This 
translation of the Bible is, however, a noble literary monument ; 
a vast undertaking, which would seem to defy a man's life, 
but which Luther effected in the space of a few years. Although 
the critic may censure him for having commenced this labour 
with so imperfect a knowledge of the Hebrew, which he only had 
studied seriously while in his retirement at Wartburg,^ the poet 
will often praise this version, wherein the sacred muse lives 
natural and melodious, as in the original. It is certain that 
Luther's translation brings the original before us with a sim- 
plicity which touches the heart, and, as occasion requires, is 
stamped with a lyrical pomp, and subject to the artist's modi- 
fications ; simple in the narrative of the patriarch, elevated with 
the royal prophet, familiar with the evangelists, gentle and collo- 
quial in the epistles of Saints Peter and Paul, Imagery 
throughout follows imagery ; and it is firequently light for light, 
and flame for flame. To this is added that perfume of antiquity 
which Luther's language carries with it, and which charms like 
the dark tints which we see in the engravings of the old German 

We need not, then, be astonished at the enthusiasm excited in 
Saxony by this translation, which Luther did not in the first in- 
stance publish complete, but merely the New Testament, the most 
marvellous portion of the inspired volume. To both Catholics 
and Protestants, who regarded this work as an honour conferred 
on their national idiom, it was indeed a curious novelty to 

* See Richard Simon, in hid Histoire Critique da Nouvean Testament, 
book ii. ch. xxiii. 


observe the ancient Saxon reflecting, as in a faithful mirror, the 
various beauties of the original text. The learned were espe- 
cially delighted : in their opinion, this translation restored their 
language to a position wherein it might vie with all the oriental 
languages. They called it a wonder;^ his disciples, a miracle, 
— an inspiration from heaven.* The press, then directed by 
printers who had followed the national movement, and were 
bound to it by their own interest, sent forth the monk's master- 
work with an elegance and beauty of type previously unknown, 
and which is still at the present day an object of admiration. 
Hans Lufit cast a fount expressly for it, and threw off nearly 
three thousand sheets daily. From 1537 to 1574, one hundred 
thousand German Bibles were printed in Saxony.' Engraving, 
likewise, came into its service ; but as it could not be combined 
with printing at a time when so fierce a war was waged against 
images, it ornamented the wooden boards of the volume with 
scrolls, arabesques, flowers, and &ntastic figures, frequently 
designed by Lucas Granach or Albert Ducer. Luther's New 
Testament accordingly became a fashionable book, to be found 
at that time even on the toilet of ladies, who were seized with 
a rage for Luther's Bible. They carried it with them in their 
walks, read and commented on it with a fervour quite ascetio, 
and upheld its text, says Cochlseus, against priests, monks, 
doctors in theolc^, and Catholic magistrates, whom they taxed 
with gross ignorance,^ and called envious, as knowing nothing 
of the Scriptures, or of Greek, Hebrew, or Latin, which Luther 
alone understood ! The Reformer has praised the zeal of 
Argula,^ who offered to dispute in public upon the Scriptures, 
either in Latin or in German. " Christ," said she, " did not 
disdain to speak on religious topics with Magdalene and another 

' Mathes. Comm. 13, De Lath. Florimond de B^ond, book i. ch. zt. 

■ Georges d'Anhalt. 

' Geoi^. Zeltner, Abr^g^ de la Vie de Hans Lufit, pp. 55, h^, J. A. Fabri- 
cius, Cent. Lath. pp. 621, 622. 

^ " Ut non soltim cum laicis partis CathoHcse, yerbm etiam cum saoerdotibufl, 
et monacbis atque cum magistria diaputare non embeacerent. . . . £t quidem 
procacissim^ insultantes ignorantiamque improperanteB : id quod de nobili 
quAdam muliere compertum habetur." 

* Seckendorj^ Comm. de Luth. lib. i. § 126. 


poor Samaritan woman, or St. Jerome to correspond with females. 
Shame on those who dare to question the accuracy of Luther's 
version ! The doctor's language is a divine inspiration ; and 
even were he to desert it, I should defend and support if 

Catholicism was watching over the sacred deposit of the faith. 
At the time when Protestant Germany received this translation 
of the New Testament, a man appeared with whom the Reformer 
had become acquainted by the castigation which he had received 
from him ; this was '^ that goat''^ whom Luther entreated Qod 
to remove from his path: the "goat" was waiting for him. 
Emser kept his eye upon liis enemy, ready at the least signal to 
engage in another contest. That was a sharp on& Emser took 
the new version, dissected the preface, where the milk of the 
Lutheran doctrine was so cleverly concealed, discovered the 
poison of the marginal notes, where the doctor spoke with the 
authority of a father of the Church, and imposed on the reader 
an explanation preferable to that of the Septuagint. Emser 
exposed, without asperity, but with great force of truth and 
learning, the systematic corruptions of the text. Luther had to 
deal with a scholar versed in Greek and Hebrew, as well as 
general erudition. He lost his temper, and again summoned to 
his aid those impertinent epithets which no language like the 
German affords in such plenty. Emser is represented as a wild 
ass, a blockhead, a pedant, a basilisk, and a pupil of Satan. 
The learned did not laugh at these invectives as they did 
before; they were even so bold as to ridicule the Reformer, 
when they saw him revise his work, and correct many of the 
gross inaccuracies which his adversary had pointed out,^ pro* 
fessing all the while his haughty contempt for those papistical 
asses who were unworthy to judge his book.* ** It is A, vrretched 
work,'' said Emser, " in which the text is falsified in every page, 
and in which we can reckon more than a thousand altera- 

' Emser bore a goat in his blazon. 

' " Ipsum non pauca de quibns in notis snis litigat Emseros mntAsse; sup- 
pleviflse, aut que per errorem irrepserant sostoliBse." — Seckendorf, Oomm. ae 
Luth. lib. i. sect. lu. § 122. 

^ " Asinos pontifidos non cnro. Indigni enim sunt qai de laboribna meis 
Jndicent."— Seckendorf, Comm. de Luth. lib. i. sect. lii. § 127, p. 240. 


tions."^ '' It is one in which Lather HgJIs at every step/' 
added Bucer.* 

Time has done justice to Emser; Lather's translation is 
now looked apon in Germany as faulty and insufficient ; the Old 
Testament as incomprehensible by the faithful ;' the epistles as 
obscure ;* the version so full of error,* that in 1836 some con- 
sistories expressed a wish that it should be entirely revised.^ 

1 " Hunc fer^ libris, singalisque prop^ capitibus, Biblia falsftsBe ac fei^ xnille 
errorea hsBreticoB, mendaciaque oooultavisse." — Jer. Emser. in 

' ** Lutberi lapsus in yertendis, ezplanandisque soriptnris manifestos < 
nee pancoB." — ^Bucer. Dial, contrlb Meubnchth. 

Some of the errors exposed by Emser were, in Psalm czriii. t. 112 : "In- 
clinavit oor meum ad faciendas jusiificationes iuas in sternum," Luther had 
omitted " propter retribntionem.*' 

In the Epistle of St. John he has omitted the 7th yerse : ''Tree sunt qui 
testimonium/' etc. 

In St. Paul to the Romans, ch. iii. yer. 26, " Arbitramur hominem justi- 
ficari perfidem sine operibus;" he has added '^solam." To those who, like 
Emser, complained of that addition, Luther replied : " Si papista se morosum 
et difficilem probere yult de yoce told statim die : Papista et asinus eadem res 
est : Sic yolo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione yoluntas." He adds, in the Altenburg 
edition of hie works : " Ck>ntendunt papistsB solam fidem charitate formatam 
justificare. Hie debemus ropugnare et totis viribus nos opponere : hie nullis 
cedero debemus nee latum unguem, nee coBlestibus angelis, nee inferorum 
portis, nee Bauoto Paulo, nee centum imperatoribus, neo mille papis, nee totl 
mundo, et hisc sit mea tessera ao Bymbolum.** 

In 1 Cor. ch. ix. yer. 5, " Nunquid non habemus potestatem mulierem for- 
tem cireumducendi," he adds, "in uzorem.'' 

In Psalm Ixxy. yer. 12, ** Yoyite et roddite Domino Deo yestro," he trans- 
lates, " Habete Dominum pro Deo yestro." 

In Proy. eh. xxxi. yer. 10, " Mulierem fortem quis inyeniet," he puts in the 
margin, " Nihil melihs est in terrft amore mulierum, si heo son obtingat alicui, 
ut eo possint frui." 

In Acts, ch. xix. yer. 18, " Multique credentium yeniebant confitentes et 
annuntiantes actus," he writes, "Yeniebant et annuntiabant quid quisque 
eorum negotiatus esset." 

Osiander asserts that Luther has interpreted many passages of the Soripturea 
most fidsely and deceptively. 

' Neue deutsche Bibliothek, torn. ziii. p. 827. 

* Seruensee, AUgemeine deutsche Bibliothek, tom. Ixzyi. p. 60. 

* Ck)n8iBtorialrath Horstig's neue deutsche Bibliothek, tom. xiii. p. 66. See 
Geschichte der deutschen Bibel-Uebersetzung Dr. Martin Luther's : Leipsig, 
Kohler, 1886, yon Heinrich Schott. 

* Luther was assisted in his translation by Melancthon (to Spalatinus, 1522). 
He first published the Gospel of St. Matthew ; then that of St. Mark, the Epistle 
to the Bomans, and finally the other portions of the New Testament, which 
was then published complete in September, 1522. Towards the end of No- 
yember, 1522, he began to translate the Old Testament, with extraordinary 
ardour. In January of the following year he published the books of Moaes, 
which he had sent to press in the preceding December (to Spalatinus, 2 Noy.). 
Job, commenced in 1524, occasioned him much difficulty : '' It would seem," 


Protestants accuse the Catholics of having concealed the word 
of God until the advent of Luther. That a writer like M. de 
Villers should dare to assert in prints " that to translate the 
Bible into the vulgar tongue would have been an audacity 
deserving of death," surprises us beyond everything; for had 
not Bossuet said, in his " History of the Variations," " We had 
similar versions for the use of Catholics centuries preceding the 
Keformation?" Is the language of the bishop of Meaux to be 
despised ? John Lefevre d'Etaples, in fact, had published, in 
1523, his translation of the Bible, on which he was engaged 
before even Luther's name was known in France.* Previous to 
M. de Villers, Seckendorf wrote, that German translations of the 
Bible had appeared at Wittemberg in 1477, 1483, and 1490, 
and at Augsburg in 1518.^ Entirely prepossessed with the honour 
of Germany, M. de Villers is never tempted to glance at other 
countries to study their intellectual movement. Had he been 
acquainted with Italy, he would have seen that she anticipated 
other nations in elucidating the sacred text. Jacobus de Voragine, 
bishop of Genoa, and author of the ^' Golden Legend," translated 
the Bible into Italian about the end of the thirteenth century, 
nearly at the same time when Dante wrote. At Venice, about 
1421, Nicolo Malermi or Malerbi, a Camaldulensian monk, 
translated the word of God' so successfully, that his version was 
reprinted nine times in the fifteenth century, and nearly twenty 
times in the succeeding one.^ Another monk, Guido, translated 

he said to SpalatiDUB, " tliat the wnter did not wish that he should ever he 
traoslated." The Prophets appeared in 1 527 (to LanguB, 4 Feh.) ; Isaias in 
1528. In 1580 his translation was finished. It was revised and corrected 
SQCcesfdvely in 1541 and 1545. — Seckendorf, Comm. de Luther, lih, i. sect. U. 
§ 125, 126, p. 204. In the library at Wittemberg is a copy of tiie original 
edition of Lutber*8 New Testament, with this title : Das Newe Testament 
denttch : Wittenberg, folio, without the names of translator or printer, and 
without date. 

* John d'Etaples, vicar-general of Meauz, has been suspected of a leaning 
to the reformed doctrines ; but it is very certain that he was engaged on his 
translation long before he lent an ear to Luther's novelties. 

* Seckendorf, Comm. de Luther, lib. i. sect. li. § 125, p. 204. 

' Fontanini, Delhi Eloq. Ital. p. 673. Another translation of the Bible, 
which appeared in October of the same year, without the names of printer or 
author, is mentioned by Dibdin (^dee Althorp, torn. ii. p. 44). — ^BibL Spen* 
cer. torn. i. p. 63. 

* Foflcarini, Delia Letteratura Yeneziana, torn. i. p. 839. Proflpectos of a 
New Translation, by Dr, Geddes, p. 103. 



the four Gospels with the commentaries of Simon do Cascia ; 
and Federico of Venice published an exposition of the Apoca- 
lypse in 1394.1 Finally, in 15S0, Brucioli made a complete 
translation of the sacred books. It was to Brucioli that Aretino 
wrote, in 1537 :^ *' You are unequalled in the knowledge of the 
Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Chaldee ; " and the poet ought to 
have added Italian, for Brucioli wrote in that language, as Luther 
did in German. He was master of the old idiom of Dante's 
time, as Luther was of the ancient Saxon. The Church con- 
demned his translation, and Brucioli submitted. 

Let us, then, be no longer told that the Church is opposed to 
the diffusion of the Sacred Word. Why should she be so ? Is 
not this word the manifestation of her truth and immortality ? 
What she will not suffer is, that this living Word should be 
left like a profane text to every unauthorized commentator; 
that every one, whether resting or not on the faith of Jesus 
Christ, should experiment upon it as an ordinary human pro- 
duction, and expose to the world his folly or his doubts ; that 
the word of God should be treated like an old poem just dis- 
covered, and hitherto unexplained. " Writing," says Plato, ^' is 
not like speech ; speech can explain itself, but writing cannot." 
This word has spoken by the lips of the fathers, the doctors, and 
the martyrs of the new law. Does not the conduct of the here- 
siarchs justify her in her care of the Divine Word? What 
would have been its lot, had not the Church from the earliest 
ages watched over this sacred deposit ? 

We shall see; **It is very probable that the pure doctrine 
of Jesus Christ has not been preserved intact in the New 
Testament." « 

" The Gospel of St. Matthew is neither by an apostle nor an 

* Li Quattro Yolumim de gli Evangeli volgarizzati da Frate Guido, oon le 
loro Esposizioni Fatte per frate Simone da Gasoia : Yen. 1486. L'Apocaliase 
con le Chiose de Nioolo da Lira, iraslaxione di Maestro Federico da Yenesta, 
lavonita nel 1894, e atampatA : Yen. 1619. Erasme del Signore Marvhese 
Scipione Maffei, p. 19. Roveredo, 1739. 

* Ergotzlichkeiten nus der Kirchenhistorie und Literatur, von Schelhorn. 
Mazzucchelli. Scritt. It. torn. li. p. 4. Th. M'Orie, Hiatory of the Progress 
and Suppression of the Reformation in Italy in the Sixteenth Gentniy, p. 59 
et seq. 

3 August!, Theol. Monatsschrift, No. 9. 

* Fischer, cited by Ilc3eninghau8> 1. c. torn. 1. p. 176. 


" The Qoflpds of St Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke, have 
been derived from an Aramean manuscript.''^ 

*^ The Gospel of St. John is the composition of some philo- 
sopher of Alexandria."* 

" The Epistles attributed to St John are by an unknown 

" The Epistle to the Hebrews was composed by a philosopher 
of Alexandria."* 

" The Apocalypse of St John is repudiated by a great number 
of Protestant commentators." * 

" The history of Moses, until the attainment of the promised 
land, has been falsified by priests for the benefit of the Jewish 

" The book of Judith is a pious romance ; the Cantides, a 
pastoral idyll."^ 

" The Psahns are the production of a heated brain." « 

" The writings of Solomon are not in harmony with the New 

Permit the Bible now to be translated into the vulgar tongue 
by any one who believes in the right of free inquiry, and what 
will become of Christianity ? 

But when the Church is once satisfied of the fidelity of an 
interpreter, see how she acts. Bossuet distributed through France 
fifty thousand copies of Father Amelotte's translation of the New 
Testament, and as many Prayer-books in the vemacular.^^ It is 
thus that she conceals God's word from the faithful. 

Take one instance of the danger to which this word is 
exposed by leaving it to the interpretation of every one. 

* J. G. Elchhorn, Bibl. der bibl. Literatur, torn. v. pp. 761, 996. 

* Staadlin, Magazin der Heligionsgeschichte, torn. iii. 
' Claudius, quoted by Hoeninghaus, torn. i. p. 177. 

* Lucke, tJeberaicht der zur Hermeneiitik gehorigon Literatur, von Anfang 
1828 bis Miite 1829. Theol. Staod-Krit. 1830, torn. ii. p. 440. 

* Allgem. d. Real*£ncyklop. torn. iv. 

< Zur Yorlesung liber die Gesohichte des judischen Staats, 1828. 

^ Haffher, Einleitung zu der neuen, yod der Btrassb. Bibel-Gesellschaft 
veranstalteten Ausgabo der Heil. Schriit, 1819. 

^ Breteohneider, Handbucb der Dogmatik, torn. ii. p. 93. 

' Miaerva, Archenholz, Julius, 1809, p. 97. Bobelot, laflucnce de la Re- 
formation, 8vo. p. 418. 

*^ Bobalot^ Inflnonco de la B^fonuation, p. 389. 



" Hail ! full of grace," says the angel to that Virgin whom 
the Church styles the Morning Star ; — " Ka?/>c KBxapiTWfiivji/' 
says St. Luke ; — "Ave gratia plena/' says the Vulgate; — 
" Ave gratis dilecta," says Theodore Beza ;^ — " Ave gratiosa," 
says Erasmus of Rotterdam f — " Ave gratiam consecuta," says 
Andrew Osiander the younger ;* — "Who is received in grace," 
says the New Testament ;* — " Bist gegriisset, du Begnadete," says 
the Church of Zurich.* " Wretched translations i " here exclaims 
Luther. " ' Hail Mary ! full of grace,'—' gratiosa ! ' What 
German hoohy has made an angel speak thus ! ' Full of grace ; ' 
as one would say of a pot, ' full of beer ;' or of a purse, ' full 
of money. '^ I have translated it, ' Hail ! Most Holy,' — * du 
Holdselige.' My translation is the correct one ; I shall have no 
popish ass for my judge ; whoever rejects my version, may go to 
the devil ! " In 1523, a year after the appearance of his New 
Testament, Luther, forgetting his Satanic wish, translated it, in 
a postil on the angelic salutation ; '^ And the angel came and 
said, ' Hail ! Mary, full of grace : ' — Gegriisset seyst du Maria 
voUer Gnaden."^ 

Now mark the commentary on this by J. Agricola, Luther's 
disciple and successor in the administration of the Church of 
Wittemberg, a man of learning undoubtedly. 

" Gabriel, in the form of a young man, enters the bedchamber 
of the young woman, and intones a love-song, a nuptial choral, 
as if to obtain Mary's favour. ' Hail ! fair lady,' says he, ' Ave 
gratiosa !' The Virgin, ofiFended by such a salutation, ponders, 
is troubled, and cannot comprehend the message. Her modesty 
is alarmed, her chastity startled, — that modesty which she hopes 
never to lose, but which she feels so strongly attacked : she 
knows not what is to happen."® 

' In Novo Teatamento Gcnc^ et L&tind : aan. 1567, 1568« 

* 1520. Nov. TesUmentam : Basil. 

' Biblia Saora : Tubings, ann. KDO. foUo^ 

* Ann. 1587. 

^ Bible printed at Zurich, ann. 1580, 8to. 

* Welcher Deutsoher veretebet, was gesagt sey '. voll Gnaden ? £r muss 
denken an ein Fass voll Bier, oder Beatel voll Geld."-— Oper. Luib. torn. iv. 
fol. 160. 

^ Oper. Lutb. part. ii. : Jensa, 1565, fol. 510 a. 

* "Ingressas oubiculum puelleD Gabriel, adolescentis form^ amaforinm 


And J. Agricola publicly made this commentary to the lambs 
of the Beformation. The letter then may sometimes kill. 



Tlie legate Campeggio at the Diet of Nuremberg. — ^Aspect of the Statee. — 
Decrees of the Diet. — Luther's protest agaiust the Orders. — ^The Catholics 
assemble at Batisbon in defence of their faith. — Otho Pack deceiyes the 
reformed princes, by inventing a plan of conspiracy by the Catholics against 
the Protestants. — His impostiure is detected by means of Duke George of 

The Orders again assembled at Nuremberg in 1524. Cle- 
ment VII. had been elected pope. War was ravaging Italy, 
where Charles V. and Francis I. were contending for the empire 
of the world ; and the pope had entered into an alliance with the 
king of France, for fear of the emperor. These troubles occupied 
men's minds, and were serviceable to the progress of the Reforma- 
tion. Charles was more successfal than his rival ; he beat him, 
and the pope then threw himself into the arms of the conqueror. 
The emperor was great and generous ; he forgot the past, and 
promised to attend to the religious affairs of Germany. The 

quiddam et nuptiale ordituf, yirginem, ut apparet, peUecturus ad concubi- 
tum/' etc. 

The following are some examples of Protestant explanations : — 

When the shepherds, in the fields of Bethlehem, were illuminated with the 
Lord's glory, they only saw the light of a lantern, which they had held to their 

If Jesus laid the storm, it was because he managed the rudder properly ; and 
instead of walking on the waves, he walked upon the shore. 

Five thousand people were satisfied in the desert, but they had brought 
bread in their pockets. 

The dead who were brought to life were only entranced, or lethargic ; those 
from whom the devils were expelled, only enthusiasts or crazy people. 

When the Saviour rose from the tomb, he had not tasted of death, and 
had escaped under cover of a cloud, when the disciples believed that he had 
ascended into heaven. 

Lightning flashed beside Paul, and he fancied himself wrapped in light from 
heaven. — See Theodul's Grastmahl. 

Dr. ThieSB reckons eighty-five different commentaries on the parable of the 
unjust steward ; and one hundred and fifty on the text " Mediator autem unius 
non est ; Deus autem unus est." — On the Incompatibility of the Spiritual and 
Profane Power, p. 17, note 14. M. Lachat» Note on Moehler's Symbolism, 
voL ii. pp. 126, 120. 


pope selected as his repfesentative ot the diet, with the title of 
legate d latere, Cardinal Campeggio, a man of ability and cha« 
racter, an able theologian, an accomplished orator, and the 
friend and admirer of Erasmus.^ But the public mind in Ger- 
many was more and more excited ; the Lutherans daily acquired 
new strength, and increased in audacity as in power. The 
marks of Catholicism now displeased them as much as its 
dogmas, and they made open war upon them. They tore down 
the wayside crosses, the images and pictures, and proscribed or 
insulted the clerical and monastic costume. On his entry into 
Augsburg, Campeggio wished to bestow his benediction, but the 
people laughed at and mocked the legate.^ The princes, who 
waited to receive him at the gates of Nuremberg, entreated him 
to divest himself of the marks of his dignity, for fear lest the 
,populace should show him any insult. He was therefore neces- 
sitated to assume secular attire, and enter Nuremberg without 
any kind of ceremony. The cardinal expected to find the 
Elector Frederick, to whom he was charged to deliver from the 
pope a very kind brief. He relied on his natural eloquence 
to induce this prince to embrace the interests of the Catholic 
Church ; but the elector had left the city. Campeggio forwarded 
the brief to him ; but we are ignorant of the elector's reply. 

Next day, the cardinal was received in solemn audience by 
the princes and deputies from the imperial cities. He was fully 
prepared ; and his speech was deficient neither in address nor 
ability. He painted in a forcible manner the evils to which the 
new doctrines had consigned Germany, and predicted the future 
calamities to which they led. He made no allusion to the 
national council which the States had so urgently solicited, but 
he rested on the griefances which the diet sought to have 
redressed, and pledged his word that their complaints should be 
attended to, and justice done to them, on condition, however, 
that from this list of grievances they would expunge some articles 
that manifestly tended to the overthrow of the pope's authority, 
and the privileges of the Church.' 

* Sckmidt, History of GermaDy, vol. vi. p. 383. 

' Freilitschii Belatio ex Archir. do Comitiis. Schmidt^ 1. c. torn. vi. p. 334. 
^ Menzel, Nenere GoBchichte der Deutschen, torn. i. p. 151. CocKlieiis, In 
Act. Luth. Mnimbourg, Hist, da Lath^muisme, 4to, book i. p. 87. 


The strength of the two parties in the diet was thus divided : 
the legate could reckon upon the votes of the Archduke 
Ferdinand, the emperor's brother and lieutenant, the dukes of 
Bavaria, the cardinal archbishop of Salzburg, the bishop of 
Trent, and ten other secular or ecclesiastical princes. Nearly 
all the deputies of the imperial cities were tainted with Luther- 
anism ; and they formed the majority. The discussion was long 
and stormy. Charles V. had sent to the States a mandate, 
in which he insisted on the execution of the edict of Worms, 
and threatened them with his anger in case of disobedience. 
The Lutheran princes would have wished on that occasion to 
declare liberty of conscience, in other words, resistance to the 
imperial edict: they adopted a middle course. The diet 
resolved that the pope should summon, with the emperor's con- 
sent, a general council in Germany, to put an end to the 
religious differences, and that they should bold a new assembly 
at Spires, on the feast of St. Martin, in which the Orders, after 
having appointed competent theologians to examine what of 
Luther's doctrine should be admitted or rejected, should "for- 
mally pronounce their judgment. While awaiting the decision 
of the council, they promised to examine and, if possible, amend 
in some points the statement of the '^ Centum Gravamina" against 
the court of Bome, and, in obedience to the emperor, to put in 
execution the edict of Worms.^ 

The resolution of the diet was absurd ; it offended every one. 
It gave the laity a right to reconsider the doctrines which the 
Holy See had condemned, and the vassals of Charles the power 
of disobeying an imperial rescript. It recognised the decree of 
Worms as the law of the empire, and provoked Germany to 
disregard it. The Orders constituted themselves judges in the 
matter of faith and of legislation, and by a manifest contradic- 
tion, acquitted and condemned Luther, by approving of the 
edict of 1620, wherein he had been denounced as a heretic, and 
by ordering a fresh inquiry into his doctrines at Spires. 

The legate protested, and Charles's ambassador declared that 
he would carry his complaints to the feet of his master. 

The emperor was at that time absent. The pope apprised 

> MaimbouiiB;, 1. e. book i. p. 80. Bayaaldtta, Annal. Eccles. ad ann. 1524, 
No. 15. N. I. Der BeichBabBchied, torn. ii. p. 253. 


him of the resolation of the diet, and the contempt shown to 
the imperial edict and the decisions of the Church. Charles, 
offended, addressed a rescript to the German princes, in which 
he threatened with death all who should disobey the edict of 
Worms. But this was only a menace, to which the States paid 
no attention. Lntheranism did not hide itself ; it marched 
boldly, defying the pope and the emperor, proclaiming its griev- 
ances, and forcing the doors of the Catholic churches, when the 
keys were not given up to its followers. Magdeburg, Nurem- 
berg,^ and Frankfort openly abolished the forms of the Cathdic 
worship. At Magdeburg, on the 24th of June, 1523, the citizens 
assembled, and issued orders to the civil magistrates to close the 
convents, expel the priests, recognise the ministers sent from 
Wittemberg, and establish communion under the two species ; 
and the magistrates, who had not sufficient power to enforce 
the emperor's edict, found it nevertheless to obey these fanjt- 
tical citizens. Knights seriously offered the inhabitants of 
Nuremberg, if they would support them, not to leave the head 
of a bishop within a space of twenty miles ;' at Neustadt, some 
Lutherans laid an ambush for Ferdinand's chaplain, and muti* 
lated him.'' Luther was not satisfied ; the edict of the diet 
enraged him. Never did a political assembly subject itself to 
so severe a castigation. Had there been any drops of German 
blood in the veins of one of the members of the diet, they would 
have put Luther under the ban of the empire, as a chastisement 
for his insolence. If only in a literary point of view, his language 
is grand and magnificent. 

" How shameful in the face of day are all these cheats of the 
emperor and princes !* — ^how fearfully shameful those contradic- 

' At Nuremberg, two curates apostatized, and published their grounds for 
secession from Catholicism in a Grerman pamphlet, entitled, Reasons and CauHe 
of the Conduct of the Two Curates of St. Sebaldus and St. Laurence, &c. 
The pamphlet was scarcely published, when both of them married. 

' " Si receptum sibi et sociis in url)e 8U& daturi easent, effecturos se esse ut 
intra milliarum viginti spatium nullus reliquua esset episcopus.*' — Seckendor^ 
lib. i. p. 290. 

* "In sylvis propd Neustadium ab equitibus sex captus atque castratuB 
capellanus Ferdinandi."— Seckendorf, 1. c. p. 290. 

* ** Zvrei kaiserliche uneinige und widerwartige Gebote, das Wormser Edict 
und den NUmberger Reichsabschied, mit Anmerkungen und einer Bor- und 
Nachrede, ftc." — Luther's Werke, torn. xv. pp. 2, 712. Ad. Menxel, torn. i. 
pp. 135 et Beq. 190. Cochl. in Acta Luth. p. 116. 


tory deorees which they make against me^ proscribing me by the 
edict at Wonns on the one hand, and on the other appointing a 
diet at Spires to examine what is good or evil in my books ! — 
definitely condemned, and yet sent to be judged at Spires ! — 
guilty by the Orders in the eyes of the Germans, by whom I and my 
doctrines ought to be unceasingly pursued ! — guilty, but remitted 
for trial in a new court ! Blockheads and sodden-brained princes ! 
Well, Germans ! it appears that you must remain Germans, 
asses, victims of a pope, and permit yourselves to be brayed in 
a mortar like chaff, as Solomon says. Neither complaints, 
informations, prayers, tears, long-suffering, or the abyss of 
sorrow in which we are plunged, can avail us anything ! My 
dear princes and nobles, come, quickly despatch a poor wretch ; 
after my death, you will have fine doings. If you have ears to 
hear, I will tell you a secret : If Luther and his doctrine, which 
comes from God, were killed, do you think that your power and 
existence would be more secure, and that his death would not 
be a source of calamity to you ? Let us not trifle with Heaven ! 
Set to work, princes, kill and bum I What God wills, I 
will : here I am. I only entreat that, when you have killed 
me, you will not bring me to life again, to kill me a second 
time. I perceive that God does not wish me to deal with 
rational beings ; he delivers me to German brutes, as to wolves 
and boars. But I must inform all those who believe, that 
there is a God who forbids the execution of such commands. 
The Lord, who has given me power not to tremble before 
death, as I have shown, will make my last moments sweet and 
agreeable ; you will not hasten them ; your menaces are power- 
less ; you irill not prevail against me before God has called me. 
He, who for the last three years has supported me against your 
machinations, beyond even my hope, will prolong my days if he 
wishes it, and in spite of me. If they should kill me, my death 
will be a victory neither to my murderers nor their children. 
They will not be able to say that I spared to warn them ; 
but to what purpose? God has blinded and hardened them. 
Dear princes and nobles, whether you wish it to me or not, 
I beseech you to know that I desire no evil to you ; God is my 
witness, and I trust that you can do me little harm. I beseech 
you, by your own salvation, raise your eyes to heaven, and 


change your ptnpose. Indeed, to act aa you do is smfbl and 
irritating to the Lord. What would you have, my dear masters ? 
God is very powerful, he will crush you : fear his might ; trem- 
ble, lest he inspires you with these thoughts, lest he impels you 
afterwards to fdlfil them, and destroys you, as he does the strong 
ones of the earth, according to the words of the Psalmist : ' God 
dissipates the counsels of the nations' (P& z.) ; and of Moses : 

* For I have raised you up, to make manifest my power in you, 
and to spread my name among all nations ; ' as also of the 
Apostle : ' He has cast down the mighty from their seats ' (Luke, 
i. 52). This is what awaits you, my dear princes, mark it 
well .... Christians, I beseech you, raise your hands, and 
pray to God for these blind princes, of whom he makes use to 
chastise us in his great wrath ; and beware of giving your 
offerings and alms against the Turk, who is a thousand times 
more pious and wise than our masters. What success can such 
fools, who rebel against Christ, and despise his words, hope for 
in their war with the Turks ? Observe then this poor emperor, 
this worm of the earth, who is not sure of one hour of life, and 
who is not ashamed to proclaim himself the high and mighty 
defender of the Christian faith ! What says the Scripture ? 

* Faith is a rock stronger than the devil, death, or men : it is 
the arm of God.' And such an arm would require the protection 
of a mortal, whom the slightest illness can stretch on his bed ! 
My God ! is the world mad ? This is like that king of England 
who plumes himself also on his title of ' Defender of tho faith 
and the Church of Christ;' and the Hungarians, who sing in 
their Litany : ' Ut nos defensores tuos ezaudire dignoris ! ' — 
' Hear us, Lord ! thy defenders ! ' Ah ! if one king takes a 
fancy to make' himself the defender of the Lord, and another that 
of the Holy Ghost, what fine protectors will the Holy Trinity, 
Christ, and the Faith have found J I pity firom the bottom of 
my heart these Christians, — these assemblies of fools, madmen, 
blockheads, and idiots ! better far a thousand times to die, than 
to listen to such blasphemies against the Majesty of heaven. 
But it is their lot and their chastisement to persecute the word 
of God : their blindness is a punishment from the Lord : may he 
deliver us, then, from their hands, and in his mercy give us 
other masters ! Amen." 


The Catholic princes were alanned. Safe at Wittemberg, the 
Reformer brayed the emperor and the pope. His doctrines 
gained ground. From Upper Saxony they had spread in the 
northern provinces, and become established, partly by force, 
partly by persuasion, in the duchies of Lunenberg, Brunswick, 
and Mecklenbei^. Pomerania, Magdeburg, Bremen, Hamburg, 
Wismar, and Rostock had opened their gates to them ; they had 
crossed the Baltic, and invaded Livonia ; then Prussia, where 
the margrave Albert of Brandenburg had given them protection, 
and where the bishop George had openly confessed them by mar- 
rying.^ After the margrave Albert married, he had appropriated 
to himself, under pretext of a fief holding of Poland, Prussia, which 
belonged to the Teutonic Order, of which he was grand master ! ^ 
The two creeds were arrayed against each other ; Lutheranism 
wished to treat with Catholicism on equal terms ; from being 
oppressed, it had become the oppressor. Not satisfied with erecting 
places of worship for itself, it took possession of the Catholic 
churches, after tearing down their images, and there, by the sound 
of their bells, it summoned its gospellers to its service, and from 
the pulpit inveighed against the superstitions of a religion which 
it said was for ever extinct, and to which it boasted of having 
given a mortal wound. The Catholic princes, either through regard 
to their creed, or from fear for their crowns, felt the necessity of 
closer alliance. They met at Ratisbon in July, 1 524, to confer as to 
the means of supporting the Catholic religion. The assembly was 
numerous: it was composed of Ferdinand, the emperor's vicegerent ; 
Mathew Lang, cardinal and archbishop of Salzburg; William and 
Louis, dukes of Bavaria ; Bernard, bishop of Trent ; and John, 
duke of Bavaria, prince palatine, in capacity of commissioner of 
the church of Ratisbon. The following bishops were represented 
by plenipotentiaries : — Wigand, of Bamberg ; George, of Spires ; 
William, of Strasburg ; Christopher, of Augsbuig ; Hugh, of 
Constance ; Christopher, of Basle ; Philip, of Freysingen ; 
Sebastian, of Brixen ; and Ernest, prince of Bavaria, in capa* 
city of commissioner of the chapter of Passau.' They resolved 

' In the bishop's epitaph, the poet praises George, because that in contempt 
of public opinion, he had the courage to take a wife : '' Factns deinde maritus 
paterque." — Hartkuochius, lib. ii. o. i. p. 808. 

' Schmidt, 1. c. torn. vi. p. 876. ' Ibid. pp. 830, 840. 

124 histohy of luther. 

that the edict of Worms against Lnther and his adherents 
should be observed as a law of the empire ; that no alteration 
should take place in administering the sacraments, or in the 
ritual, commands, and traditions of the Catholic Church ; that 
the clergy who should marry, and the apostate monks, should be 
punished with all the rigour prescribed by the canons ; that the 
Gospel should be preached as interpreted by the fathers and the 
doctors ; that such of their subjects as were students at Wittem- 
berg should be compelled to quit that university within three 
months, under pain of confiscation of their property, add that 
those who had completed their studies should be disqualified 
from ever holding a benefice; that no exiled Lutheran should find 
asylum in the confederated States ; and that support and assist- 
ance should be given to any prince who might be attacked on 
account of any clause in the confederation. 

The l^te who attended this conference was the first to 
demand that the just claims of the Orders of Nuremberg against 
certain abuses which had crept in among the clergy should be 
satisfied. He published a constitution, in thirty-five articles, 
for regulating the ecclesiastical government, the administration 
of the parishes, and the payment of tithes. Some of these r^u- 
lations depict the manners of the time. For example, in one 
article ecclesiastics are ordered to wear a decent dress, and 
abstain from merchandise ; in another, they are forbidden to 
haunt taverns, or dispute on religious subjects over their wine.^ 

Seckendorf regards the conference of Eatisbon as the tocsin 
wliich roused Germany ; as if Catholicism, despoiled, persecuted, 
which could not protect its images in the cathedrals which it 
had built, or preach to the people whom it had converted to the 
faith, should submit to be delivered over to those whom Luther 
styled the beasts of the arena, — the multitude, and the great ! 
A man may suffer martyrdom without complaining ; but a reli- 
gion has another mission, and that is to live. If threatened 
with death, it must repel it in the name of him who has given 
it and preserves life. There are two prophecies, — the one of 
Jesus Christ, who has promised his Church to protect it unto 

* " Nicht in den Tabemen, sondern in Hermhausem, ordentlich leben, nnd 
vom Glanben nicht freventlich, hinter dem Wein dispntiren." — Menzel, 1. c. 
p. 166. 


the end of time ; the other of Lnther, who fixed the time when 
God should cease to support Catholicism. The Lutheran princes 
believed that the time predicted by the monk had arrived^ and 
they strove to fulfil the accomplishment of the oracle. Every- 
thing was right against the old German faith, — ^mockery, out- 
rage, persecution, robbery, exile ; and they were astonished that 
a religion '' which had served its time " should raise its head, 
and cling to a land which had been bathed with the blood of its 
martyrs ! and, as if violence had not sufficiently advanced the 
work of the Reformation, they had recourse to calumny. 

A wretch, named Otho Pack, offered to sell to the landgrave 
of Hesse an agreement to take up arms against the Protestants, 
lately concluded between Duke George and the electors of 
Mayence and Brandenburg, William and Louis of Bavaria. 
He put a high price on his felony : he asked four thousand 
guilders for the original treaty signed by his master, for he was 
chancellor to Duke Geoi^e. The landgrave immediately gave 
him the money, and communicated the information to the 
elector of Saxony, when both agreed to raise a numerous army 
to oppose the plans of the Catholic princes: and some thousands 
of men were soon under arms. Protestant Germany was in a 
state of excitement. Duke George demanded to see the con- 
vention which Pack had promised to deliver. On being pressed, 
Pack could only give a pretended copy, to which he had affixed 
his master's sesJ. Being arrested and 4ried at Cassel, he was 
obliged to admit his forgery ; and, being banished from Saxony 
as a punishment for his crime, he wandered about Germany for 
some years, and died at Antwerp, in 1536, by the hands of the 

' Arnold, 1. o. torn. i. p. 469. Frid. Horteleboderus^ von Ursachen des 
dentschen Krieges, torn. ii. lib. ii. Sleidan, torn. i. lib. vi. Chytrens, 1. c. 
lib. xii. 



THE PEASANTS' WAR 1624—1526. 

State of the public mind in Germany in 1624. — Boldness of the new doctrinee. 
— Carlstadt at Orlamiinde. — Strauss at Eisenach. — ^Munzer in Thuringia. — 
Partial revolts of the peasantry. — ^The association of the Bundschah. — Contnr 
ternity of the Tun. — ^Luther's manifesto, addressed to the German nobility^ 
drives the people to rebellion. — Menzel's opinion on this point. — Insurrec- 
tionary movement in the country places. — Schappeler, a priest, draws up a 
manifesto for the peasants. — Effect of this appeal on the ma88e& — ^Insur- 
rection of one part of Germany. — Character of Um strife. 

Anarchy threatened Luther's work ; in Tain the monk strove 
to arrest the religious and social movement which he had called 
into action: the rebellion increased. Luther formerly said to 
SpalatinuSi " They may burn these fragile leaves on which I 
have written my theses, but the spirit which has breathed upon 
them, never ! "' The doctor also had caused Garlstadt's books to 
be thrown into the flames, and the spirit which dictated them 
had escaped the commissioners of Ips highness the elector of 
Saxony ; it diffused itself everywhere, and even in Wittemberg, 
where Luther wished to reign master. 

Sheltered at Orlamiinde, a parish in the gift of the university 
of Wittemberg, Carlstadt destroyed the images, the statues of the 
saints, the tombs of the old bishops of Germany, the pictures of 
the old masters, the stained windows, and from the pulpit taught 
the people visions, which he said came direct from heaven. 
Luther laughed, and said, '' In a little while the doctor will 
introduce circumcision among his little flock'' Already poly- 
gamy was publicly preached at Orlamiinde. Appealing to the 
Old Testament, a peasant simply asked the iconoclast if he 
might not be the husband of two wives ; and the doctor, shaking 
his head, could only reply by a smile.* 

The greatest boldness of human language was no longer 
startling; every doctrine was called in question, — prayers, 

' Ranko, Deutsche Geschichte im Zuitalter der Beformation : Berlin, 18i2, 
toil), ii. cb. vi. 

THE peasants' WAR. 127 

public woraliip, aoiiciilar confession, purgatory, good works, 
Christ's divinity, and the Gospel 

At Eisenach, James Strauss, a turbulent individual, opposed, 
in the name of civil society, the lending of money at interest, 
taxation, and tithes ; and proclaimed, in Ood's name, the nigh 
approach of a spiritual kingdom, in which the poor should regain 
possession of the wealth of which their temporal princes had 
robbed them, and of those fine crops which the lance of the 
Landsknecht, the satellite of the feudal lord, had beat down in 
the labourer's fields ; new heavens which were to open, and a new 
earth which was to unfold, where the hand of man could gather 
aU that God's sun should cause to grow and spring in it. 

Not isiX from Eisenach, Munzer, still more audacious, sub- 
stituted for Luther's gospel an interior revelation, which in no 
case could deceive the soul disposed to listen to it docilely : a 
celestial voice which spoke to Ood's elect, and a thousand times 
preferable to that dead letter, written in unintelligible characters, 
which neither papists nor Lutherans could understand better the 
one than the other. From his elevated pulpit he hailed, like an 
inspired poet, his future Jerusalem. His language was as clear as 
it was savage. In order to found his new church, it was neces- 
sary, he said, to exterminate every miscreant: ''Blood!" he 
exclaimed, " to fertilize the word ; the blood of the nobility and 
the clergy ! " 

" Away," he said, " with all those priests who exact from the 
faithful money for their popish masses; they are worse than 
Judas." ^ At Strasburg, Otho Brunfels declared that the time 
was come for them to free themselves from that Mosaical tax of 
tithes which the poor paid to their curates. The priest ought 
to support himself, like ordinary men, by the sweat of his brow, 
in working the soil, for working was praying. Christopher 
Schappeler at Memmingen, James Wehe at Leipheim, Belthasar 
Hubmaier at Waldshut, and John Wolz in the villages round 
Hall, preached the same doctrine, Luther had taught that 
every man was a priest ; these preachers wished that every priest 
should be a man, subject, like the other sons of Adam, to the 

' '* Proditores Christi sant, Jud& pejores et saoerdotibns Baal, qui pro roifwifl 
papisticis et canonicM peculis decimas recipiuut." — Du Haiiooe DecimAHUA 
OthonU Branfelsii ProposltioneiBj p. 115. 


common law of labour. The peasantry thought these preachers 
right. ^ 

In general the peasantry were on Luther's side: his new 
doctrines were to deliver them from the yoke of their superiors ; 
and this was a weighty one indeed. 

On the death of the Hausvater [father of the family], the 
lord inherited the best pair of oxen belonging to the deceased ; 
on that of the Hauafrau [lady of the house], the best dress in 
her wardrobe. This right was termed the Tod/all [right of 
heriot]. Every peasant who changed his master was obliged 
to pay the LehnaschiUing [feu-shilling] ; the finest sheaf of 
wheat, the best bunch of grapes, the best fruit of his garden, 
the best piece of honeycomb in his hive belonged to the lord. 
On Shrove Tuesday he owed his master a hog ; at Martinmas, a 
pair of geese ; and at Michaelmas, fowls. '^ The temporal or 
spiritual lord," says Boettinger,' " treated his peasantry like 
slaves : in body as well as soul they were subject to him ; if he 
changed his religion, the vassal was obliged to adopt that of his 
master without a murmur." 

This pitiless sovereign disdained even to protect his property ; 
the Stegreifritter scoured over the fields of which he swept away 
or burned the crops; the Landsknecht, after sleeping in the 
villager's hut, would set out at daybreak, frequently carrying 
with him his host's wedding-cup. The peasant might mourn, 
but he never dared to complain ; and it must not be disguised, 
that the exactions of the priest, his spiritual lord, were often as 
cruel as those of his temporal master. 

So that under the herdsman's lowly thatch, from the foot of 
the Godesberg to the falls of the Traun, nothing was heard at 
tliis time but the wailings of despair: every place resembled 
Dante's hell.« 

Long before Luther, the peasantry had striven to cast off the 
double yoke of their " tyrants." In 1491 they rose at Kempten 
against tiieir abbot. In 1492, in Flanders, they flew to arms, 
to the number of 40,000, having taken for their device on their 
banner an enormous cheese. These brethren of the cheese spread 

' Bollinger, Geschichle von D^utacbland. Samuel Bauer, Geschichle des 

' H. Krcm, Der deulsche Bauemkrieg: Reullingen, 1838, 12nio. passim. 

THE peasants' wab. 129 

themselyes on the banks of the Rhine and the Moselle, where 
soon, by.the active measores of the spiritual and temponJ lords 
of the country, they were defeated and reduced to submission.^ 

They were more fortunate, some years later, in Holstein, aiid 
on the shores of the North Sea. The Danish princes, in order 
to subdue them, had recourse to that terrible black guard, com- 
posed of ruthless soldiers, whom the peasantry attacked with the 
cry, *' Beware, black guard, here are the peasants."* 

In 1502, the Bhine became the theatre of insurrectionary 
movements, and from the small town of Niedergrombach, be- 
longing to the bishopric of Spires, the signal of rebellion was 

Joseph Fritz constituted himself leader of the rebels, and gave 
the peasantry a watchword and Standard whereby to rally round 
him. The standard was a piepe of cloth, half blue and half white, 
with the figure of Christ cVucified in the centre, and below Christ 
a laced shoe, Bundschuh. The knights whoscampered over their 
newly-sown fields wore boots. To the well-fitting and polished 
boots of the Bitter they opposed the great shoe of the working 
man fastened with thongs, and shod with heavy nails ; hence the 
nVkOiQ q{ Bundschuh adopted by the association.^ 

" Who goes there ?" would be constantly heard on the high- 

" Bundschuh, Stiefd" peasant or Bitter would reply ; and one 
of the twain fell a corpse. 

If the peasant slew his adversary, he would clasp his hands, 
and exclaim: '^^lessed be God ! He who is humbled shall be 

If the knight felled his enemy to the earth, he would say with 
an oath : " To hell with the black soul of a boor ! " 

But next day a peasant, passing by the scene of the fray, 
would dip his handkerchief in his brother's blood, run to the 
next village, rouse its inhabitants by the eight of the victim's 
blood, and call for vengeance. He would generally say : '^ As 
there is but one God in heaven, so should there be but one 

^ Krem, 1. c. p. 7. 

* ** Httt dich Gard, nun kommt der Bftuer.'* 

* Krem, 1. o. p. 8. 

^ '< Was unten Ut, soil oben Btehea." 
VOL. 11. K 



master on earth/' At the close of this address, numerous pots 
of beer would be tossed oflF to the death of the tyrants, those 
spiritual ones especially whom Luther had wounded to the heart, 
but whom the countryman's axe must prevent from rising again. 
They did not always curse their enemies ; they believed them- 
selves already strong enough to laugh at them. 

" Patience ! " they would say, in the words of a pamphlet 

which at that time was widely circulated in the country; ''it 

will not always be as at present ; peasants and citizens are 

weary of the game they have been made to play so long : every- 

\a\ thing changes."* 

One day at Schoendorf, in Wurtemberg, a peasant named 
Conrad invited his comrades to come on the following Sunday 
to drink and be merry. Conrad was an arrant toper, careless 
of the future, who laughed at every one, even his own curate. 
They kept their appointment punctually. Conrad sat astride a 
large cade, his face lit up with the copious libations of wine 
which he had poured with his neighbours, according to wont. 
On his barrel he played the prophet, and promised to all those 
who would join his confraternity lands at the foot of the moun- 
tain of famine, flocks in the pastures of beggary, and fishponds 
in the sea of mendicity.* The association was soon formed. 
Conrad enrolled all those who loved to drink in secret as soon 
as they had got a groschen to buy good wine. In 1502, a con- 
fraternity had been already formed, but was obliged to dissolve 
by order of the Emperor Maximilian. 

Conrad did not vdsh to make war with the^ emperor, but to 
laugh. His arms were a tun. Every village bM soon a confra- 
ternity like that of Sch(Bndor£ They laughed, danced, sang, 
and got drunk : the authorities took no notice of them. In 
1514, the duke of Wurtemberg, who reckoned in his states a 
great number of these confraternities of the tun, increased the 
duty on wine. Conrad made a wry face at first, but ha soon 
resumed his merriment, and took it into his head (having 
drunk that day more than usual) to bring his master to trial 

■ Ein uogewohnlicher und der ander Sendbrief des Baaemfeyndia zu 
KarBtbaDDseD, gedruckt durch Johann Locher, von M tinohen. 

' Menze], Ncuero Gescbichte dcr Dcutschen^ tom^ j. pp. 805; Z06, 

THE peasants' WAB. 131 

The assises were to be held in the market-place of Schoendorf : 
the judges, his boon-companions, were appointed. 

It mnst be mentioned that the dnke, who was both ayaricious 
and needy, had, as was formerly done . at Constantinople, altered 
the weights and measures. Now, as banker, merchant, and 
privileged factor of the duchy, he was confident of making a 
good profit by it ; and he was not mistaken. Accordingly, the 
tribunal was constituted ; all the villagers were spectators ; the 
articles indicted — the weights lightened by his grace — were 
produced. Conrad took them and threw them into a vessel of 
water ; they fell to the bottom. The mob clapped their hands 
and laughed ; Ood had pronounced sentence, and the duke was 
condemned. Eight days after, in a great number of villages, 
dukes, electors, barons, and abbots i^ere summoned to the tri- 
bunal of God, and everywhere their symbol — a piece of iron 
thrown into water — ^was found too light, and the people shouted, 
" Hurrah ! hurrah ! '" Poor Conrad's confraternities increased 
in numbers ; but his associates were not all as light-hearted as 
the peasant. It was at this time that Luther appeared in the 
pulpit at Wittemberg, and announced that he came to deliver 
Germany from the " yoke of the papacy.'' Conrad's disciples 
flocked round the doctor, because he waged war with the nobility, 
and promised to the poor the crumbs which fell from the table 
of the wicked rich. Conrad continued to laugh ; they cut oiF 
his head to make him be quiet ; but the laughter did not cease ; 
the merriment went on in Carinthia, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, — 
above all, in electoral Saxony, that country of Germany where 
Charlemagne's foundations were so opulent Luther continued 
to pursue in his wrath the prelates who fattened themselves at 
the expense of Germany, and publicly from the pulpit denounced 
them as robbers and knaves. Now these prelates — ^frequently we 
know the temporal masters of the communities who paid to them 

revenues, taxes, and all sorts of duties, — ^were sons of. , 

according to the doctor's expression, — ^hellhounds, secretaries of 
the devil Menzel positively admits that Luther's was not 
merely a religious but a political doctrine, that must in the end 
upset society,* 

* " Auch liisst rich nicbt laugneu, diss Lather zuweilen Worte fidlen liess, 
in denen eine politisoho Beziehung henrortmt, und die nichts weniger ala 

K 2 


Listen to the Mirabeau of the cloisters: ''I am theevan-' 
gelist of Wittemberg ; Christ has so styled me : at the day of 
jadgment, he will say that it is his doctrine and not my own that 
I have taught. 

*' Defy the bishops as yon would the devil himself. If they 
tell you to beware of rising against the ecclesiastical hierarchy, 
I answer: — 

I " ' Would it be better to strive against the Lord and his 
i word? Would it be better to let the world perish and souls 
I be eternally lost, rather than to rouse these bishops from their 
1 soft slumbers ? ' 

I '' No, no ! let all the bishops, monasteries, and colleges 
perish, rather than one single souL 

" What folly to die for ^ set of idols and puppets who only 
fatten themselves in luxury at the expense of the labour and the 
sweat of others ! 

*' Bishoprics, colleges, monasteries, and universities are nests 
in which the wealth of princes is swallowedjip."^ 

" It does not do to trifle with the beer of Munich," says an 
old Bavarian adage : Luther's language was equally heady. His 
manifesto, after the meeting of the States at Nuremberg, was 
an appeal to rebellion — a war-song. 

During all the time of Luther's war with Rome, the peasantry 
remained quiet under the yoke of their masters. They waited 
for the result of this great struggle. Had Rome been victorious, 
they would have continued to demand redress for their grievances 
from the Diet or the empire, attempting, perhaps, if their com- 
plaints were unheard, some partial risings ; but rebellion would 
never have assumed a systematic form. Maximilian had on more 
than one occasion done right to the peasants' complaints, and we 
may believe that Charles V. would have granted them ample justice. 
When Luther was triumphant, the oppressed listened to those 
learned people who talked of liberty and enfranchisement, and they 
applied to themselves, says M. Michelet, what was not said for 
them,^ What mercy could they henceforward have for the masters 

geeignet waren, einen im Yolke TorhandeneD GabniDgslust zu beschwich' 
tigen." — Neuere Geschichte der Deutscben, torn. i. p. 16?^ 

' Contrk ffdsb noisinatum ordinem ecclesiasticum. 

' M, Michelety M^iuoires de Luther, torn. ii. p. 163. 

THE peasants' wab. 133 

whom Luther ptiblicljdenonnced from his pulpit as children of hell? 
The war in which the peasantry was to engage was a regular battle 
between archangels and devils ; if they failed, heaven would open 
for the conquered slave. Accordingly they flew to arms. 

The first insurrectionary movement in the country broke 
out in the Black Forest, near the source of the Danube. 
On the 24th of August, 1524, a shepherd, Hans MuUer, of 
Bulgenbach, at the head of a numerous band of peasants, and 
preceded by a tricoloured flag, red, black, and white, entered 
Waldshut, called together the inhabitants, and announced to 
them that he came in God's name to deliver them from bondage. 
Each member of the evangelical association, of which he had 
constituted himself the chief, was to pay a small sum intended 
for the furtherance of the rebellion by means of faithful messen- 
gers. At this time Munzer arrived in that part of the country.* 
After residing some weeks at Oriesheim, he crossed the Hegau 
and Eletgau, preaching on his way the redemption of Israel, 
and the establishment of a heavenly kingdom. The rebels 
soon won over the counties of Wertemberg, Montfort, Sulz, 
Reichnau, Constance, and Stulingen. The alarmed nobles 
applied to the Suabian league to repress these outbreaks ; the 
league employed entreaties and threats, but the peasants con- 
tinued in arms. In other times the empire alone could have 
suppressed the insurrection, but at this period it was weak, 
powerless, and divided. Luther had enervated the great German 
body, and destroyed that robust nationality which had cost 
Maximilian so much trouble to form ; the great vassals had 
ceased to walk in union with their lords. 

The peasants laid their grievances, of which they insolently 
demanded redress, before the imperial government at Eslingen. 
" If the lords," said they, " will not give us justice with good- 
will, we shall take it by force." The nobles, in order to escape 
from the clubs of the peasants, were compelled to take refuge 
within the walls of RatolffzelL* 

For a considerable time Munzer gave precedence to Hans MuUer 
of Bulgenbach, the acknowledged leader of the evangelical league ; 

^ Schreiber, Tascheobnch fur Stid-Dentflchland, torn. i. p. 72. 
* Certis de causis, — BuUinger adyenus Anabftptiaifcfui. 


for the rebellion was formed and recruited by means of the Bible. 
He cut a fine figure with his purple cloak shaped like a 
chasuble, his cap fashioned like a bishop's mitre, and his horse 
stolen from the abbot's stable.^ He marched, preceded bj an 
enormous standard drawn on a carriage ornamented with ribbons 
and foliage^ and resembling a Neapolitan corricolo. When he 
arrived before a village, he dismounted from his horse, demanded 
the keys of the monastic cellar, and drank with his companions, 
out of the vessels of the church, to the success of the holy league. 
He came not, he said, to bring war, but peace to men of good- 
will, that is to say, to the abbots and nobles who would consent 
to leave their splendid mansions to live like the peasant in a 
thatched cabin. In the meanwhile, he laid violent hands on 
the plate of the churches or castles, gave to his comrades for 
their attire the finest suits from the abbatial or seignorial ward- 
robes, and exchanged the work-horses of the rebels for the Meek- 
lemburg steeds which he found in the stables of his tyrants.^ 

When the expedition was ended, the chief of the rebel corps 
assembled the neighbouring villagers, by the sound of the tocsin, 
in a vast plain, and a herald, mounted on a cask, read to the 
silent mob the manifesto of the league. 

It was drawn up by an able priest, Christopher Schappeler, 
and consisted of twelve principal articles. 

In this " friendly complaint" the peasants demanded : — 

I. That they should be at liberty to choose their own pastors 
among those who preached the Gospel in its primitive purity, 
without the addition of human precepts, and depose him when 
necessary, should they be dissatisfied with him. 

II. That they should only pay taxes in com ; that the tax 
of blood (of cattiie) should no longer be exacted, because the Lord 
has created the lower animals for the use of man. 

III. That they should no longer be treated as slaves, as the 
property of their Iwds, both shepherd as well as emperor being 
redeemed by the blood of Christ. 

IV. That they should be permitted to hunt and fish freely, 

' Faesslin's Beitrage zu. Historie der Kirchen-Refonnation, torn. ii. p. 68. 
Walchner, Gesehichte von Batolphzell, p. 92. Banke, I. c. torn. ii. p. 198. 

' Schreiber, der Breisgan im Bauernkriege, im Taschenbnch far SUd- 
BeuUchland, torn. i. p. 235. Banke, 1. o. torn. ii. p. 201. 

THE peasants' wab. 135 

since God, in the person of Adam, had given them dominion over 
the fish of the waters and the birds of the air. 

V. That they might cut timber -in the forests for warming 
themselves, and preparing their food and shelter. 

VI. That the labour imposed on them should be mitigated. 

VII. That the lord should not exact from the peasant more 
gratuitous services than should be stipulated by mutual contract. 

VIII. That they should be at liberty to possess real property. 

IX. That the taxes should not exceed an equitable rate. 

X. That the fields and meadows which had been illegally 
taken from the people should be restored to them. 

XL That the tribute which they were bound to pay to the 
lords after the death of the &ther of a family should be abo« 
lished^ so that the widow and orphans should not be reduced to 

XII. That if these grievances were ill-founded, they should be 
disproved by the word of God.* 

Conveyed to the valley of Odenwald, called the Schupfer- 
grund, this manifesto, drawn up with studied moderation, excited 
all the rural districts. George Metzler, a tavern-keeper of Bal- 
lenburg, was elected leader of the rebels. He was a man of 
ruined-character, who had spent the greater part of his life in ale- 
houses, and would in a single day drink from twenty to thirty 
pints of beer. Metzler consented to make peace with the lords 
on certain conditions : the lord was to surrender the greatest 
portion of his lands to the common people, renounce statute- 
labour, abolish all feudal rights, and head the peasants in destroy- 
* ing the spiritual princes of the nation. His troop was called the 
"White Band ;" another, commanded by Hans Koelbenschlag, 
was called the " Black Band.'' Together they formed a mass of 
several thousand footmen and horsemen, who fought excellently, 
and seldom gave any quarter to a conquered foe. 

Suabia was soon overrun : the counts, of Hohenlohe and 
Loewenstein, and the baron of Rosenberg, were compelled to 
subscribe to the conditions imposed on them by their conquerors. 
Sometimes, as before Grunbuhl, a tinker stepped forth from 

■ Bensen, der Bauernkrieg in Ost-Fnmken : Erlangen, 1840. Karl Hagen, 
der Geist der Befonxiation and seine Qegeniditze : Brlangen, 1844, torn. ii. 
p. 135 et aeq. 


the ranks, and addressing the lords whom he saw on the 
eminence : " Brothers George and Albert/' he said, " come 
hither, and promise to serve ns like true brothers ; for jou are no 
longer lords, but mere peasants :'' and the two princes were 
obliged to descend the mountain, and shake the orator's hand in 
token of alliance.^ 

Woe to him who resisted the confederates, like the count of 
Helfenstein. The prisoner's wife, a natural daughter of the 
Emperor Maximilian, implored her husband's pardon on her 
knees, with her infant in her arms. The peasants were deaf 
to her tears and prayers : they formed a double line of soldiers 
armed with pikes, through which two men drove the unhappy 
count, who thus perished by the hands of his vassals. One of 
his servants attended him playing on a fife, as if he were con- 
ducting his master to a village ball.^ 

It was now the nobles' turn to implore mercy. From Oden- 
wald to the frontiers of Suabia they submitted without a 
murmur. The Winterstetten, the Stettenfels, the Zobel, the 
Oemmingen, the counts of Wertheim and Rheineck, and the 
Hohenlohe, delivered their artillery to the rebels.* Then the two 
great bands, the " White" and the " Black," united to march 
against the most powerful lord of Franconia, the bishop of 
Wurtzburg. On their way, the peasants met coming to them 
a renowned captain, Goetz von Berlichingen,* who, by placing 
himself at the head of the insurgents, sought means of revenge 
on his old enemy, the league of Suabia. Wurtzburg threw open 
its gates to the allies.^ 

Germany was in flames : the monasteries, says one historian, 
fell like card houses ; the peasantry thought that God had com- 
manded them not to stop until there remained nothing but 
cottages. The Frankish and Suabian races rushed upon the 
various countries of Germany to overturn the social institutions 
to their foundation. At that time the rebellion was much more 
of a religious than a political character. This was because it had 

* Banke, 1. o. torn. ii. p. 205. ' Benseii, 1. o. p. 526. 
' Chronik der Truchsessen, torn. ii. p. 195. 

* LebensbeschreibuQg des Gotz, p. 201. 

' Jobann Keinbard, WUrzburgiachd Chronik, in Ludwig Wlirzb. (jlescbicbt- 
Bohr. p. 886. 


ceased to be directed by mere peasants : the priest came to lead 
the masses. Munzer, the chief of the rebels, was in Thuringia, 
preaching through the country from morning to night the deli- 
yerance of Israel. He said that the poetic Christ of Luther — 
the Christ of love and mercy — had served his time ; that the 
true Christ had come, who desired that the weeds should be 
plucked out of the fields whose produce they choked. He 
refused to subscribe to the treaties which the peasants had 
settled with their masters in Suabia and Franconia. According 
to him, the world could not be ruled by princes. Under God's 
heaven every creature ought to be free, all property common, — 
air and water, fish and fowl, herbs and rocks. He acknowledged 
no law framed by man's hand i there was only one great law, he 
repeated, which should be obeyed, the inward revelation ; but 
there was need of a new Daniel to interpret it, and march at the 
head of the regenerated nations like Moses ; and Moses and 
Daniel were both personified in himself.* 

While Germany was a prey to these frightful convulsions, — 
while the blood of her children was flowing at the foot of the 
Harz, on the banks of the Rhine, and as far as the mountains 
of the Danube, a man, who had rendered signal service to the 
Beformation, expired in his castle of Lochau, a prey to terrible 
sufferings, which he bore with resignation. The court-preacher 
knocked at the door of the dying man, who raised himself on hi» 
couch to salute his visitor. " Thanks,'' said Frederick, duke of 
Saxony, to the minister, — " thanks for your kind visit ; the Gospel 
commands us to visit the sick ; and I am very ill." And making 
the priest approach his bed, he talked in a feeble voice of the 
peasants' insurrection, of Luther, the friend of his heart, of the 
destinies of the new doctrine, and of the future life. Then he 
summoned his domestics. " My children," said he to them, " if 
I have offended any of you, I beg your forgiveness, for the love 
of God. We princes often do wrong without being aware of it ; 
it is necessary to excuse us." He then asked for a devotional 
book, published by Spalatinus, of which he read a few pages, 
received the communion in both species,^ and expired. He was 

* ThmiDgia Sacra^ torn. ii. p. 173 et seq. Strobel, Leben, Schriften and 
Lehren Thoma Mtinzers, p. 95. 

* SpalatiD, Leben Friedricbs des Weisen, p. 60. 


a well-infonned man, of pure morals, and great mildness of dis- 
position, but weak and pusillanimous. As a lover of peace, he 
constantly refused to join in the measures which the emperor 
wished to adopt against the new doctrines. To put down the 
disturbances which Luther raised in Germany, it would have 
been necessary for him to emerge from that tranquillity in which 
he had buried himself. So, at every great peril which threat- 
ened the &ith and society, he withdrew, and betook himself in 
unworthy flight to the solitude of his green forests, where he 
fancied he should fulfil the orders of God, with a pagan poet in 
his hands. His mind resembled his body ; once gained by 
Luther, it quietly slept, without the admonitions of the Catholic 
Church being ever able to rouse it from its voluntary supineness. 
Of such princes let us not inquire the religious or political 
convictions ; they die as they have lived, in a philosophic calm 
which the world sometimes calls wisdom, but which is merely 
a chastisement of Heaven. 

Frederick died without issue, on the 4th of May, 1525. His 
brother John succeeded him. 


; 1526. 

What part does Luther take in the rebellion ^ the peasanti against their lords f 
— His address to the nobles. — ^The peasants, emboldened by his language^ 
rise in all qiiarters. — Phiffer. — Munzer goes to the mines of MansfSold. — 
Luther changes his opinion and language ; his manifesto to the rebels. — 
The prophet's reply. — Osiandeir and Erasmus accuse Luther. — Progress of 
the rebellion. — Luther preaches the murder of the rebels. — Melancthon'a 
language. — ^Battle of Franckenbausen. — Defeat of the peasants. — Munzer is 
reconciled to the Catholic Church, and dies denouncing Luther. — Is Luther to 
be accused of having misled the peasantry ? — ^The musket^ the ultimate ratio 
to which the monk appeals for settling the rebellion. — ^The Protestant princes 
rally to that theory of despotism. — It is one of the causes of the suooess of 
the new doctrine. 

Gebmany had its eyes fixed on Luther ; she anxiously inquired, 
what part would he take in this great crisis ? If he declared for 


the rebels, there was an end to society in Germany ; a new world 
wonld arise oat of the chaos which his almighty word was to form, 
— but what sort of a world ? If he was faithful to the doctrines of 
liberty which he had hitherto preached, inflexible logic inevitably 
wonld compel him to defend the insurrection of the peasants ; 
for they, in order to destroy the ecclesiastical hierarchy, employed 
those very Bible texts of which he so frequently had made use. 
How could he condemn a crusade undertaken against the priests 
of Rome, whom he had cursed and vilified both in the pulpit and 
in his writings ? At the commencement of that great war of the 
cottage against t^TlEon^E^^ISSihfi^aBCiLO^^ 
feroluliUilUI^ niovement would be directed by his implacable"" 
ml^rHii^ Iffnrizftr^^i^iit^^ hiTr^p^\f pu the ^d^ Q^--- "^^ 

tt^jlgasantry: — Jfcih^L-aSdreSses the nobility of Germany,* 
and his ^unsels resemble rather the transports of^pasBias^thkn 
tSradadcO-Mj^ wise mediaFdf. .^ 

'^ On you first, princes and lords, devolves the responsibility 
of these tumults and seditions ; on you especially, blind bishops, 
stupid priests, and monks ! ^ 

' " Ton, who persist in playing the fool, and attacking the 
Gospel, knowing perfectly weU that it will stand firm against 
your assaults. 

" How do you govern ? You only oppress, ravage, and pil- 
lage to maintain your pomp and arrogance. The people and the 
poor are sick of you. 

" The sword hangs over your heads, and you fimcy yourselves 
to be so firmly seated, that you cannot be upset. 

" You will see that this blind security will break your necks 
.... God presses and threatens you ; his wrath will burst upon 
you, if you do not repent. 

" Look at the signs in the heavens, those admonitions of the 
Lord t these denote no good, my dear masters ; these predictions 
from above, my good lords, announce that the people are weary 
of your yoke, and that the time is arrived when they are ready 
to break it. 

" There must be a change. Beware of God's wrath ; if you 

* Vermahniinff tan die Filrsten trad an die Bauern : Witt. Mail, 1525. 
Ulenberg, Vita Martini Lntheri, p. 262 et seq. 

* '' Primtun nemini poesum referre id tnmoltOB qukm robis prindpibos." 


do not apply to it with good-will, they will make nse of brute 

" If the peasants had not risen, others would have come ; and 
if you were to annihilate all the insurgents, others would appear. 
God will stir up new ones. He wishes to chastise you, and he 
will do so, my good lords ; it is not the peasantry who rebel 
against you, but God himself, who comes to visit you in your 

*' A drunken man gets a litter of straw ; the peasant must 
have a much softer bed Do not go to war with them, for you 
know not how that will end."* 
I iff ^^^ peasants, emboldened by this manifesto, and confident 
henceforward of Luther's assistance, rose in a mass. 

Thuringia, Alsatia, Saxony, Lorraine, and the Palatinate rose, 
relying on the Reformer's words ;* the fields were covered with 
rustic tents, from which ascended, instead of war-cries, sacred 
hymns. The peasants sang as they marched, armed with stakes, 
which they cut in the forests, and were protected in their camps 
by dense ramparts of chariots raised in form of intrenchments : they 
said that God, on the day of battle, would cover them with his 
buckler. God seemed to fight for them ; victory had provided 
^them with lances, pikes, horses, and even cannon. But what 
artillery was equal to that burning eloquence of some of their 
leaders, which swept before it the fields, and depopulated them 
to drive their inhabitants to revolt ? Storch was no more. It 
is said that nature creates beings expressly for times of com- 
motion, and keeps them in reserve, to produce them when the 
storm is about to burst. Such is the new man who presents 
himself in the name of Heaven, to fill the place of the absent 
prophet : he is a Catholic renegade, a Premonstratensian monk, 
dealing with the Lord, who reveals to him his pleasure in 

' " Non rusticos esse qui nunc insurgunt contrk principes, sed Deum ipsnm 
ezercere vindicfcam quam tyranni ipsorum merentur." — Ulenberg, 1. c. p. 262. 

* " Oedant fiirori popularium, nee acie cum illis cozifligant, Bed animoa illo- 
rum pertentent ob]at& transactione." — ^Ibid. 

' " Die Bauern seteten sich swar anfanglich mit Luther in Verbindung.*' — 
Karl Hagen, 1. c. torn. ii. p. 139. Vie may see in the work of M. Hagen, 
professor of histoxy at Heidelberg, how Luther deceived the peasantry. The 
Der Geist der Heformation und seine Gegensatze, of this Protestant author, is 
a conscientious work, in which the spirit of the Beformation is nearly always 
impartially judged. 



dreams. PhiiFer does not seek for his inspiration in the Bible ; 
he narrates the marvels of his slumbers, and this narrative rouses 
the multitude.^ 

Listen to one of his visions :— " I saw," says he, " a vast 
swarm of rats, who rushed into a bam to devour the grain ! 
Princes, you are the rats who oppress us ; nobles, you are the 
rats who devour us. But, during my sleep, I attacked these 
vermin, and made a great slaughter of them. To arms, then ! 
away from your fields ! — to your tents, Israel ! — now is the 
day of battle ; our tyrants and their castles fedl ! A rich booty 
waits us, which we shall carry to the feet of the prophet, who 
will apportion it faithfully among his disciples." 

Munzer, for his part, descended into the mines of Mansfeld. 

" Arouse, brethren, arouse ! " cried he ; " awake, you who 
sleep ;^'?&ke your hammers, and break the heads of the Philis- 
tines. Victory declares for our brethren at Eichsfeld : glory to 
them ! Let their example serve as a lesson for you. Gome to 
us, Balthasar, Bartlet, Krump, Walten, and Bischof. Take 
care of God's work. Brethren, let not your hammers remain 
unemployed ; strike with repeated blows on the anvil of Nim- 
rod; employ the iron of your mines against the enemies of 
Heaven ; God will be your master ! What, then, have you to 
fear, if he is with you? When Josaphat heard the words of 
the prophet, he threw himself with his face on the earth. 
Brethren, bow your heads, for behold God comes in person to 
your rescue." 

Then these subterranesin arsenals were seen to pour forth 
battalions of men black with smoke, armed with shovels, mat- 
tocks, and red-hot iron, responsive to the voice which summoned 
them with cries of blood against the nobles or priests. Munzer, 
like another Satan, — ^for we fancy we are reading a scene from 
Milton, — counts them, ranges them in battle- array, and points 
out to them the spot of the general muster. None of them were 

On issuing from the mines, he addressed this energetic appeal 
to other brethren in rebellion : — 

" Do you sleep, then, dear brethren ? Come, to fight the 

' Menzel, Neuere Geschichte der Deatschen, torn. i. pp. 190^ 1^99, &q. 


battle of heroes : the whole of Franconia has risen ; the maater 
shows himself ; the wicked fall. At Fulda, in Easter-week, four 
pestiferous churches have been pulled down ; the peasants of 
Klegen have run to arms. Were there only three confessors of 
Jesus among you, you would not have to fear a hundred thousand 
enemies. To work ! Dran, dran, dran ! — [At it, ai it, at it !] 
Now is the time ; the wicked shall be hunted like dogs. No 
mercy for these atheists ; they will pray, caress, and whimper to 
you like babies ; no mercy ; it is God's command by the lips of 
Moses, ver. 7. Dran, dwm, dran ! for the fire bums ; let not 
the blood get cold on the blades of your swords.^ Pink, pank, 
on the anvil of Nimrod ; let the towers fall beneath your blows. 
Dran, dran, dran ! Now is the time : God leads you ; follow 

Placed between the nobles, who loudly laid to his charge the 
troubles which rent Germany, and the peasants, who hailed him 
at once as their apostle and liberator, what was Luther to do ? 
If, as he said, it was not the peasants who rebelled against their 
lords, but God, who came to chastise their merciless oppressors, 
could he, without denying his own words, abandon the oppressed ? 
What bed was he to prepare for these unhappy rustics, for 
whom he demanded a couch softer than the straw whereon a 
drunken man was stretched ? When he implored, in cries of 
lamentation, mercy for the slave, the slave was not led by a 
Spartacus in a cassock. With Hans of Bulgenbach, Luther 
continued to be master of the consciences, which he directed and 
ruled ; but if Munzer triumphed, Luther would be unseated, and 
cease to be the ecclesiastes of Wittemberg, the Lord's chosen, 
the pure disciple of Christ : the " prophet of murder " is the 
spiritual master of Germany. 

Luther undertook to reply to the manifesto of the peasants.^ 
*' My brethren, the princes who oppose the propagation of the 
Gospel light among you are deserving of God s vengeance ; they 
merit dethronement. But would you not be also guilty, were you 

' " Lunet ener Schwert nicht kalt werden you Blut : sohmiedet pink, pvok 
auf dem Ambos Nimrod, werfet den Thunn zu Boden." — Luther*8 Werke, 
alit of Alteoburg, torn. ui. p. 134. Menzel, 1. c. torn. i. pp. 200—202. 

' Erraahnung zum Frieden : Auf die XII Artikel der Bauerscbaft ia Schwa- 
ben; Wittcjnberg, 1525, 4 to. 


to stain your hands and souls with the blood which you in* 
tend to shed ? I know that Satan conceals among you, under 
the guise of the Gospel, cruel-hearted men, whose infuriated 
tongues seek to destroy me ; but I despise them, and fear not 
their rage. They tell you that you will conquer, that you are 
inyincible. But cannot the God who destroyed Sodom crush 
you ? Tou have taken up the sword, — you shall perish by the 
sword. In resisting your rulers, you resist Jesus Christ You 
say : ' The yoke of our masters is unbearable ; let us break it, 
for they deprive us of the liberty of hearing the Lord's Yoice.' 
But the law of nature forbids you to take the law into your own 
hands ; you demand it in the name of an authority to which you 
have no right. Speak not of revelations as authorizing your 
rebellion ! Where are the miracles which attest them ? What I 
would the Spirit of the Lord come to confirm by prodigies, 
larceny, murder, rapine, and the usurpation of the rights of the 
magistrates ? They take your property from you, it is a sin ; you 
take from them their jurisdiction, you are equally guilty. What 
would the world be, were you to succeed, but a den of robbers, 
where violence, pillage, and homicide would prevail ? Jesus has 
no need of brute force to defend him. Peter drew his sword, 
when they sought to take the Redeemer's life, and the Gospel 
from his disciples. What did the Lord do ? He commanded 
Peter to return his sword to its scabbard : a noble lesson, that 
patience should be your only weapon in the day of trial. 
Observe that I have always respected the supreme authority. 
Under its powerful protection, I have heard unmoved the papists' 
cry of vengeance. However, I do not . protend to justify your 
rulers ; I know their injustice, and detest it : but wait, your 
day will come. 

** You ask to be permitted to hear the Gospel in liberty ; but 
that word is preached to you in more quart<;rs than one. 
Cannot you change your residence, and come hither to drink at 
the source of the Divine Word ? Come, you will find Jesus 
here. You wish to choose your own pastors ; your rulers are 
there, convey your wishes to them ; if they refuse to hear you, 
you are then frc^e ; if they employ force against you, let the 
shepherd fly, and his flock with him. * No more tithes ! ' you 
exclaim. By what right do you take them from their lawful 


possessors ? It is to convert them to charitable pnrposes. But 
ought you to be so liberal with what is not your own ? You wish 
to emancipate yourselves from slavery > but slavery is as old as the 
world. Abraham had slaves, and St Paul laid down rules for 
those whom the law of nations had reduced to servitude. The 
rights of fishing, hunting, and pasturage are regulated by the 
law of the land. On reading my letter, you will shout, and 
exclaim, that Luther has become the courtier of the princes ; 
but, before rejecting my counsels, examine them ; above sdl, do 
not listen to the voice of these new prophets, who deceive you : 
I know them." 

By way of reply, Munzer tore out a page of the pamphlet, 
entitled, ** Contra fals6 nominatum Ordinem Ecclesiasticum," 
and sent it to Luther. It was thus : — 

"Wait, my 'lord bishops, imps of the devil; Doctor Martin 
will read you a bull which will make your ears tingle. This is 
the Lutheran bull : * Whosoever with his arm, his fortune, and 
his estate, shall assist in destroying the bishops and the episcopal 
hierarchy, is a true son of God, a real Christian, who obeys the 
commandments of the Lord.' "^ 

Osiander, the Sacramentarian, regrets that Munzer had not 
been acquainted with this passage of Luther's pamphlet against 
Sylvester Prierias : — 

" If we hang robbers, behead murderers, and bum heretics, 
. / ought we not to wash our hands in the blood of these masters of 
/ / perdition, these cardinals, popes, serpents of Rome and Sodom, 
I who defile the Church of God ?"« 

" Alas ! poor peasants," adds Osiander, " whom Luther flatters 
and caresses, while they only attack the bishops and the clergy ! 
But when the rebellion increases, and the insurgents, laughing 
at his bull, threaten him and his princes, then appears another 
bull, in which he preaches the murder of the peasants, as he 



*"Nunc attendite yos episcopi, imb Iarv» diaboli, doctor Lutheras vnlt 
vobis bullam et refonnationem legere, qnie vobis non ben^ sonabit^ dootores. 
Doctoris bulla et reformatio : qaicamque opem ferunt, oorpaa, bona et famam 
impendunt ut episcopi devastentur et eplBcoporum regimen eztingnatur, hi 
sunt dilecti filii Dei et veri Ghristiani, observantea preoepta Dei et repugnantes 
ordinationibuB diabolL" — Op. Luth. torn. IL fol. 120 : Wittemben. Osiander/ 
Cent. 18, p. 87. ' 

« OsLvuder, Cent. 161, &c. p. 109. 


would of a flock.^ And when they are slain^ how will he cele- 
brate their frinerals ? — ^by marrying a nun ! "* 

And to the accusation of Osiander is added that of ErasmuB. 

'^ It is to no purpose that, in your cruel manifesto against the 
peasants, you repudiate all ideas of rebellion ; your books are at 
handy written in the vulgar tongue, wherein, in the name of Gospel 
liberty, you preach a crusade against the bishops and monks : in 
them is the germ of all these tumults.'"^ 

Meftnwhile, the rebellion daily made greater progress, and 
Munzer threatened Wittembeig. Luther felt the necessity of 
preventing, at all hazard, the triumph of his rival, although he 
^ust renounce his own logic, give the lie to his doctrines, alter 
his language, and demand the blood of Christians whom but 
recently he desired should be spared. Lately, the enslaved 
peasant was an oppressed being, deserving compassion ; now he 
is only a rebel, whom human justice ought to pursue with its 
ven^ance. Lately, Luther piously collected the tears of the 
poor, which he offered to GK>d as a holocaust of propitiation ; 
now, it is the blood of the rustic which he demands, as an 
expiation and a punishment 

Listen : let none of his new words be lost. He sings his 
MarseiUaise : — 

<' Gome, my princes,'' he cried, " to arms ! to arms ! the 
time has arrived, the wondrous time, in which a prince can 
easier win heaven with blood, than others with prayers.^ 

''Strike, slay, front or rear: for nothing is more devilish 

' *' Luthenia chm eoa inermes viderety nee satis potentes ad provBlendiun, 
eoB ad obedientiam bortatus est. Chm verb turmatim confluentes paci minimi^ 
acqnieecerent, sed bnUani Lutheri traosgredientesy non inod5 epimopos et 
demm, sed alios etiam prooeres impugnarent, aliam bullam edidit, quAeos 
omnes tanquam feras mactandafl esse statu! t." — Osiander, Cent. 6, p. 103. 

* *' Lntberos non aliter itinera eorom canit quiun ipse monacbas virginem 
Dei Totam Boram sibi oopalando." — Gent. 104, p. 100. See the learned work 
of BreUeins, translated into Latin by William Reynerius, by the tide of 
Apologia Protestantinm, etc. : Paris, 1665, 4to. 

* "Ta qoidem libello in agrioolas ssTinimo snspioionem abs te depulisU, 
nee tamen efficis qnominiks credant homines per tuos libellos, prassertim 6er- 
maniob soriptos, in oleatos et rasos, in monacbos, in episoopos pro libertate 
evangelioA, oontra tyi-annidem humanam, hisoe tumultibos datam occasionem." 
-r-Brasmi Hyperaspites. 

* ** Mirabile tempus, nimirbm ut principes mnltb faciliiu truddandis rustids, 
et sanguine fundendo, qn2an alii fhndendis ad Deum predbuB coelum merean- 
tur.'*--Oper, Luth. torn. ii. fol. 130. V\7ittcmb. torn. ii. fol. 8i> b. 



than sedition ; it is a mad dog that hites yon^ if yon do not 
destroy it. 

'' There mnst be no more sleep^ patience, or mercy > the times 
of the sword and wrath are not times of grace. 

'' If yott fall, you are martyrs in the sight of God, because 
you walk according to his word ; but if your enemies, the rebel- 
lious peasants, fall, they will have their inheritance in eternal 
fire, because they take up the sword contrary to God's com- 
mands : they are children of Satan.'' 

Melancthon concurred with his master to subdue the peasantry. 
Be said to the princes : — 

'^ These rustics are indeed unreasonable ; what, now, would 
these countrymen wish, who have ahready too much fireedom ? 
Joseph increased the burden of the Egyptians, because he knew 
that he must not give the people. the reins." ^ 

The rebels, placed in the dilemma of death or apostasy, did 
not hesitate ; in their eyes, death was martyrdom ; apostasy, 
eternal punishment. Their courage did not fail them, and, in 
sight of the gibbet with which he was threatened, Munzer main- 
tained all his daring. 

The letter which he wrote to the count of Mansfeld is a 
savage defiance. 

" To Brother Albert, count of Mansfeld, for his conversion.* 

^' Brother, you abuse a text of the apostle in preaching to us 
submission to the magistrates. Tou are still in the toils of that 
papacy which made Peter and Paul two tyrants to us. Do you 
not know that God, in his anger, often makes the people chas- 
tise princes, and hurl wicked kings from their thrones ? It is of 
you, and such as you, that the mother of Christ has said : ' The 
Lord hath put down the mighty, and hath exalted the humble.' 
In your Lutheran and Wittemberg repasts, have you not learned 
what Ezekiel prophesies in his 37th chapter, that God has com- 

' *' Ja 68 yfwe voimdihen, dass ein solch wild, nngezogen Yolk als Deutsche 
Bind, noch weniger Freiheit hatte, &,c" — Pfizer, Luther's Leben, p. 816. 

CDmpare Melancthon's aentimenta at this time with thoee which he held 
on S Feb. 1523. GorptiB Beformat. torn. i. p. 600. Earl Hagen, 1. c. torn. ii. 
p. 140. 

' Binder Albrechten von Mansfeld zur Bekehning geschrieben. — Leben, 
Schriften und Lehren Thoni& MUnzer's, tou Strobel : Numberg, 17^5, Svo. 
p. 08. 

END OP THB peasants' WAR. 147 

manded the fowls of the air to feed upon the flesh of princes, and 
the beasts of the field to drink of the blood of the great ? Are not 
the people whom you oppress more s^eeable in the sight of God 
than the wicked, who fatten on their substance ? Idolater, who 
take the name of Christian, you have the words of St. Paul in 
yonr mouth : you rush to destruction. Henceforward, dominion 
is to the people. Break the bands which bind you to our tyrants ; 
come to us ; our anns are open to receive you. If you advance 
against us, come on ; we despise your threats and your sword. 
Soon will the hand of God press upon your brow. From Thomas 
Munzer, armed with the sword of Gideon.''^ 

At the same time, the prophet sent to Count Ernest, the bro- 
ther of Albert of Mansfeld, then at Heldrungen, this insolent 
cartel: — 

" Tell me, then, count, wretched wormbag (Madensack), who 
has appointed you prince of that people, whom Christ has 
redeemed with his blood ? Prove to us that you are indeed a 
Christian ; I offer you a safe-conduct to come hither, to demon- 
strate your faith. Ton must exculpate yourself from the crime 
of tyranny ; if you do not come, I shall excite against you my 
brettiren, who will treat you like a Turk. You shall be exter- 
minated from the earth, for God has commanded us to hurl you 
from your throne ; you are good for nothing here on earth ; you 
are but the infamous dust-broom* of God's servant. We demand 
an answer to-day, or we shall march to seek it in the name of 
the God of battles." 

The two brothers kept the appointment. 

We now arrive at the catastrophe of this painfully-interesting 

The scene was at Franckenhausen, where all the princes were 
met. The army of the allied nobles was commanded by the 
landgrave of Hesse, and Duke George of Saxony, the prince 
whose love of literature has been praised by Erasmus,^ and whom 

' MeahoviuSy De Anabapt. lib. i. This ih the same Count Albert to whom 
Lather addressed a remarkable letter, on works and communion in both 
species. Witt. ix. 235, quoted by Wilh. Martin Leberecht de Wette, tom. ii. 
p. 341, Luther's Briefe. 

' "Deun du bist der Christenheit nichts niitz, du bist ein schandlicher 
Staubbesen der Freimde Gottes. "--Strobel. 1. c. p. 101. 

' Erasm. £p. 19, lib. ziii. 



Luther insults in every page of his correspondence. The duke 
revenged himself nobly on the Reformer ; he fought like a 

Thomas Munzer had selected for his encampment a hill, the 
base of which he had surrounded with broken trees and cars^ to 
render it ihaccessible to cavalry. 

The two armies presented a singular spectacle at sunrise. 
That of the allies was drawn up in ordelr of battle in a vast 
plain. The two wings were protected by squadrons of cavahry, 
whose glittering cuirasses seemed to light up with their fire the 
sides of the hill where the peasants were huddled together. In 
the centre, the infantry presented a black mass, broken at intervals 
by banners, on which was depicted the image of a saint, or the 
blazon of the house which they represented. Some old cannon, 
brought from the arsenals where they had long slumbered, or from 
fortifications which they had not defended for ages, were paraded 
before the lines to frighten the peasants. 

The hill, of which all the windings were filled with rebels, 
presented another aspect. There was no order, no regular tactics 
of war displayed by these irr^ular groups of combatants. There 
were only irregular masses, separated from each other by some 
inequality in the ground, and resembling in their movements 
clouds rolling over each other. Had it not been for the war-cries 
which at intervals escaped from them, — ^for the standards which 
the wind caused to wave above their heads, and on which was 
painted the wheel of fortune,^ this crowd of peasants might have 
been taken for one of Munzer's ordinary train of auditors. 

The princes should have had mercy on these unhappy wretches 
who marched to destruction. Some cannon-shots would have 
sufficed to put them to flight But Luther did not wish this. 
It was like a Roman battle. Everything proceeded as in a 
narrative of Livy : first came the military harangue ; then the 
trumpet- sound to charge. 

Munzer, from an eminence on which he stood, thus addressed 
his followers : — 

" You see before you those princes who make their courtiers 
and minions drunk on your blood and sweat. Ood, in Deuter- 

* Gropp. Chron. do Wurzburg. 



onomy, commands kings to have bat few horses ; and what do our 
princes do ? They care not to watch over the wel&re of their sub- 
jects ; they listen not to the voice of their poor ; they set justice 
aside ; they repress neither murder nor robbery ; they assist not the 
widows or orphans ; they take no care of the young ; they forget 
Ood ; pillage, arson, every iniquity they commit. Think you that 
God can any longer bear with their misdeeds and their tyranny ? 
No, no ; he smote the Canaanites, he will smite these miscreants. 
The hour of your revenge has come. 

" Do not yield to carnal fears, but boldly await the enemy's 
attack ; fear not the cannon, every hostile ball will sink into tke 
sleeve of my robe. God is with us. You see that rainbow 
which he has set above our heads, and which we bear upon our 
standards ; it is the sign of our victory, the sign of our tyrants' 
defeat. Courage ; stand firm in your trenches ! " 

When his harangue was finished, Munzer, to increase the 
fanaticism of the peasants, caused to be stabbed, in sight of the 
whole army, a young knight, Matemus von Qehofen, one of the 
parliamentary envoys sent to the rebels by the landgrave of Hesse. 
Whilst the young man writhed in the agonies of death, the 
peasants, at a sign from their general, fell on their knees, and 
sung the hymn : ** Come, Holy Ghost : " — 

*' Komm heiliger Geiet an." • 

The landgrave had also his harangue ; it was much shorter 
than that of Munzer, but savoured quite as much of the 
Bible : *' ' Whoever will draw the sword,' says the Lord, * shall 
perish by the sword ; ' and he who resists princes resists God. 
A subject ought to resemble Sem, who threw a fold of his robe 
over the nakedness of Noa' Forward ! " 

And he ordered the charge to be sounded. The artillery 
began to play, the halls whistled over the heads of the rebels 
without hitting any one. The peasants, who saw Munzer pray- 
ing upon an eminence, with his hands raised to heaven, believed 
that his prophecy was being accomplished, and resumed their 
hymn. But this error was merely of an instant's duration, the 
princes' cavalry charged among them. 

• See MTmzer*8 harangue at length, in the Prophet'e life by Sirobel, 1. c. 
pp. 110, 111. 

» Menzel, L c. torn. i. p. 207. * Ibid. p. 208. 


It was a butchery, rather than a regular fight. The peasants 
stretched out their necks singing to the Lord, who did not send 
his angel to deliver them, as the prophet had promised. The 
sword was weary of the work of death, and the cavaby were 
ordered to ride over all who still breathed. The miners, who 
relied upon their hammers, made a vigorous resistance. They stiU 
fought when the trumpets of the princes' army sounded victory. 
Not one of them begged quarter. All died pouring forth with 
their blood imprecations on their tyrants, and, says Sleidan, for 
the glory of God, and the liberty of their country.^ 

One of these wretches, who had fought valiantly, was taken 
and brought before Philip, landgrave of Hesse. " Let us see/' 
said the prince, " whether you love the rule of the princes or 
peasants best." — " On my word, my lord,'' replied the prisoner, 
" the swords would not cut better, were we peasants masters." 
He was pardoned.* 

Munzer was brought to the camp of the victors. He had been 
captured at Franckenhausen, stretched on a bed lent to him by 
some one to whom he was unknown ; he was bleeding profusely, 
much wounded in the breast, and with the pallor of death on his 
lips. The soldiers who were in search of him passed by, not 
?nishing to disturb the last moments of a dying man ; but the 
servant of a gentleman of Limbourg accidentally perceiving a 
courier's bag hanging by the sick man's bedside fastened to a 
stool, opened it, and found the letter which Count Albert had 
addressed to the prophet. " How came you by this letter ?" he 
asked the wounded man, who stammered some unintelligible 
words between his teeth. " Are you Munzer ? " added the 
servant, looking fixedly at him. The dying man turned his 
head away to avoid reply ; but, pressed with questions, he at 
length confessed that he was the prophet' He was not allowed 
time to dress, but was dragged half-naked into the tent of the 
conquerors. His appearance made them smile ; but, instead of 
reproaching him, the landgrave wished to enter into a contro- 
versy with the prisoner.* 

* '' OccnbueniDt videlicet illi honest^ ao pi^, pro gloriA nominis divini, 
proque salate patrise." — Sleidan, lib. zxii. 
' Mathesius, in der fUnften Predigt von Lnther, pp. 451, 452. 
^ Strobel, L c. p. 123. * Melanchthon's Historie Thoma Miinzer'B. 

E»D OF THE peasants' WAR. ]61 

The prophet did not decline it; but neither party could 
boast of victory. From the torture, Munzer was conveyed to 
prison, whither he was followed by a Catholic priest, who recon- 
ciled the Anabaptist to the Churcli, confessed him, and gave him 
the sacraments.^ Munxer, to his last breath, accpsed Luther of 
being the author of his misfortunes. Religion, rather than the 
approach of death, which he had braved so often, had tamed his 
spirit He trembled, but it was through fear of the judgments 
of God. Wh^ the hour of execution came, he drank off 
two pints of wine,* said his prayers, and walked with 
erect head to Heldrungen, the place of execution. The priest 
bade him kneel, and repeat the Greed. The sufferer's voice 
failed at the first word. Then the duke of Brunswick and the 
priest recited the prayer, which Munzer repeated in a low voice. 
It seemed as if a supernatural light had suddenly come to 
comfort his souL He arose, looked steadily at the crowd, and 
addressed to the princes who surrounded the scaffold an exhor- 
tation which brought tears to their eyes. When that was 
ended, he said to the executioner: '^ Gome on V — ^to the priest 
who attended him : " Adieu ! "" The executioner caused the 
rebel's head to roll off six paces ; a soldier kicked it back. The 
executioner lifted it, and stuck it on a pike surmounted by this 
inscription : '^ Munzer, guilty of treason ! " 

The rebellion of the peasants was extinguished in the blood of 
their chief His disciples hastily withdrew from a country where 
death menaced them at every step : some fled to Moravia ; others, 
in greater numbers, to Switzerland, which compassionately received 
them. It had no cause to repent of its hospitality. Their ardour 
for rebellion evaporated in religious disputes. Zwinglius opened 
meetings at Zurich and ZoUikon, where Anabaptists and Sacra- 
mentarians might ih peace, and under the protection of the magis- 
trates, discuss the fundamental points of their belief. Each sect 
claimed for itself the victory. Zwinglius finally triumphed over 
his opponents, because the senate was on his side. The Anabap- 

' ** Fidem Romanam professiis et totus &ctu8 est pootiSciiiB." — Joh. Buhel, 
Ep. ftd Lathenim. ** Munzenu znagnA fertur ftiisBe ductus posnitentiAy multA 
devotione, et errores mvodaae, et yenerabile sacramentum pnevift confessione 
rita Gatholico sub unA specie aooepisse, prinsqulua] ictum gladii Babiret.*'-^ 
CochlsBviSy in Gomm. de Act. et Scriptis Lutheri, p. 111. 

' " Dttoe congioe uno haustu ^biase didtur." 


tists had again to go into exile. The remains of the sect, under 
the name of '^ Moravian Brethren/' live dispersed in some proyinces 
of Holland, reconciled, if not to the great Catholic law, at least 
to the civil anthority, the peace of which they no longer disturb. 

Were we to bring an accusation against Luther, our testimony 
might perhaps be suspected. But who will dare to contradict 
these enemies of our religion, — the one, the Sacramentarian 
Hospinian, who says to Luther : '' It is you who have excited 
the peasants' war;"^ the other, Memno Simonius, who appeals 
to the conscience of the Lutherans themselves for the origin and 
spread of the sedition.^ We have heard the last sigh of Munzer 
escaping in maledictions against the Reformer ; Eramnus reproach- 
ing him to his face with having fomented the rebellion by his 
libels against the monks and shaven crowns ; and Luther him- 
self, in all our quotations from him. What more is required to 
draw up the sentence of the historian ? 

" At the day of judgment," says Cochlaeus, " Munzer and his 
peasants will cry before God and his angels : ' Vengeance on 
Luther !'"» 

There is a logic which the people has no need of learning, in 
books, and which it has received from a master as great as 
Aristotle. If you tell the people : It is written in the inspired 
volume that you may rebel with all safety of conscience against 
those ^ho are called the priests of the Lord, the people will not 
search even in that book for texts to justify their rebellion against 
the civil power ; wherefore should they not rise against the tem- 
poral master who refuses them bread, when they are at liberty to 
rebel against the master who denies them the bread of life ? For 
the people to live materially is the supreme law ; and if you have the 
anathema, they have the axe or the sword. There are not two logics, 
because there is but one Ood : the theses affixed to the church of 
All Saints placed the hammer in the peasants' hands. 

A Protestant historian has ventured to write : '' Had Munzer 
been victorious, his name would have ranked with those of 

* "Lntherns belli Oermanici caoaa non levis." — Hist. Saonun. part. ii. 
fol. 200—202. 

' "Quam peregrinas et sanguinolentas seditiones Lntfaerani etiam ad intro- 
ducdndam et oomprobandam doctrinam suatn, aDiiis aliquot proximis concit&rint^ 
id iUud ipsis expendendum reliqaimns.*' — Memno Simonitis, lib. de Gmoe. 

' Cochl. Defenaio Ducia Georgii, p. 63 : Ingolst. 1545, 4to. 


Stanffacher and Tell ; fortnne betrayed him, and he died on the 
scaflFold. Had Lnther yielded, there would have been an end of 
that glory which the half of Europe loves at present to contem* 
plate."' ^ It was in 1793 that Hammerdoerfer wrote this. 

During the two years in which God permitted the peasants 
to scourge society, it js reckoned that a hundred thousand men 
fell in battle, seven cities were dismantled, a thousand religious 
houses razed to the ground, three hundred churches bumt,^ and 
immense treasures of painting, sculpture, stained glass, and en- 
gravings destroyed,' If they had triumphed, Germany would 
have become chaos ; literature, arts, poetry, morals, dogmas, and 
authority, would have perished in the same storm. The rebellion 
which proceeded from Luther was a disobedient child ; but, at 
all evente, her father knew how to punish her. Whatever inno- 
cent blood was shed, must fall on his. head: '^ For," says the 
Reformer, *' it is I who have shed it, by God's commands ; and 
whoever has fallen in this war has lost body and soul, and is the 
prey of Satan."* 

It was the blood of the peasants for which Luther had no 
mercy, for he no longer needed it.^ 

'' Give the ass thistles, a pack-saddle, and the whip," says 
Luther to Ruhel ; " give the peasants oat-straw. Jf they are 
not content, give them the cudgel and the carbine ; it is their 
due. Let us pray that they may be obedient ; if not, show them 
no mercy ; if you do not make the musket whistle, they will be a 
thousand times more wicked."^ 

> <' Hatte Mlintzer Glilck gebabt> so wttrde sein Name neben dem Staufiacber 
und TeU prangeni Daa Gliiok verlieBS ihn, and er starb unter dem Belle dee 
Henkers. Ware Lntber nicht glficklich gewesen, wir wlirden ibn gewiss nichfc 
in dem Licbte betracbten, in dem ibn jetzt wenigstena balb Europa siebt." — 
Geadiicbte der latberiscben Heformation, part. i. p. 75 : Leipzig, 17dS, 8vo. 

* Tbe peasants waged merciless war on the ceUars. la tbe monasteiy of 
Erbach tbere was a vault containing eigbty-foar bogsheads of wine; tbey 
emptied nearly tbe whole of it. — Cocbbeus. 

' GenepeeuB calculates the number of slain at 110,000 ; Cocblasus at 150,000. 
In two years, 26,000 peasants were slaiD in Lorraine and Alsatia, 4,000 in the 
Palatinate, 6,000 in Hesse, and 8,000 in Wirtemberg. 

* "All ihr Bint ist anf meinem Halse, aber ieh weise es auf nnseren Herm 
Gott, der batt mir das zu reden befoblen. Welcbe seynd erscblagen worden, 
sind mit Leib und Seele verloren, und ewig des Teufels." — ^Tisch-KedeD, Eisl. 
p. 276, b. Op. Lntb. tom; iii. : Jen. Qerm, fol. p. 130, b. 

* " Vela vertlt, prout erat fortune flatus.^ — Ulenberg, 1. c. 

^ " Der weise Mann sagt ; cibus, onus, et virga asino ; in einem Bauem 


Hunted and tracked like deer in the forests of Germany, the 
peasants vainly implored mercy from the conquerors, who hnraed 
and hanged them. Occasionally, a judge, moved by compassion, 
wrote to his prince to solicit pardon for some criminals ; bat 
the prince seldom commuted the punishment of fire or gibbet : 
if he was mollified, he considered himself merciful in ordering 
the right hand of some and the ears of others to be cut off. In 
Luther's opinion, to ask pardon for the rebels was a crime. 
'' Speak to Luther in my behalf,'" says one of these generous 
people who were moved with compassion ; '^ I am denounced ; 
my clemency to the wretched peasants is accounted a crime. 
What would you have ? — ^how can I help being afBicted at seeing 
so many innocent persons imprisoned, the laws violated, and 
such frightful punishments inflicted on these unhappy people V'^ 

But Luther was inflexible. " A rebel," he wrote to Gaspard 
Muller, '' deserves not to be treated with logic ; we must answer 
him with the fist till his nose bleeds ; the peasants would not 
hear me, we must open their ears by means of the musket He 
who will not hear a mediator armed with tenderness, will hear the 
executioner armed with his sword ; I have done right in recom- 
mending against snch caitiffs ruin, extermination, and death. . . . 
The Scriptures call them deer. Let the peasants, then, become 
masters ; the devil vrill soon be abbot of the monastery ; let 
tyranny triumph, his mother will become its abbess.'' ^ 

gehort Haferetroh. Sie horen Dicht has Wort und and aDstnnig, so miissen 
sie die Yirgam, die Biichsen horen, und geschieht ihnen Recht. Betea sollen 
wir ftir sie, dass sie gehorchen, wo nicht, so gilt's hie nicht viel Erbarmeos. 
Lasso nnr die Biichsen unter sie sausen, sie machen's sonst tausendmal arger. 
An Joh. Ktthel."— De Wette, torn. ii. p. 669. Menzel, torn. i. pp. 216, 217. 

' " Velis me coram Luthero expurgare ; delatus sum, at audio, tanquam 
mal^ et iniqu^ egissem patrocinio meo pro rusticis. Videbam et audiebam in- 
Dooentes oaptos, ordo verb juris non observabatur, tormenta adhibebantur." — 
Weller, im Alten aus alien Theilen der Geschichte, torn. i. p. 167. 

' Luther's Sendbrief an Caspar MtiUem. Waloh, torn. xvi. p. 99. 

Luther, in his correspondence, recommends the princes to show no mercy to 
the peasants, and threatens them with the wrath of God if they pour oil into 
the wounds of their enemies. '* Nulla patientia rusticis debetur, sed ira et 
indignatio Dei et hominum. Hos eTg6 justificare, horum misereri, illis favere 
est Deum negare, blasphemare, et de coslo yelle eradicare." — Nicol. Amsdorfio, 
80 Mali, 1525. See also his letter to Ruhel, of 28 May, same year. Consult 
the work of Peter Gnodal, De Rustico Tumultu, lib. iii. ; Neuere Geschichte 
der Deutschen, tom. i. ch. iv. v. pp. 167 — ^21 7. But especially a pamphlet by 
Cochlseus, Adversus Latrocinantes et Raptorias Cohortes Rustioorum, Mart. 
Luthems; Responsio Johannis Cochltti Vuendelstini, mdxzv. Cochinus is 


We must acknowledge, with one of the most liberal organs of 
modem Protestantism, that Lather's conduct during the peasants' 
war, while blamable in logic and morality, was of a tact truly 
MachiaTellian. Except the elector Frederick of Saxony, no 
German prince had yet ventured publicly to declare himself for 
the new doctrines of the monk of Wittemberg.^ They were re- 
strained by fear of the theories of Christian liberty which he taught 
in his writings. How often had they not heard him maintain, 
both in the pulpit and in his pamphlets against Rome, firom texts 
of Scripture, that the word alone could explain the word? 
— a dangerous theory, which would not suit despots. But when 
they saw him defend the lawfulness of the '* Faustrecht" — ^that 
law of the strong arm which had so long ruled Teutonic society, — 
and teach, by means of his favourite disciple, that the back of 
the peasant was only fit to bear the burden of the ass ; and him- 
self proclaim that the cudgel and shot must be applied to the 
refractory animal if it refused to go ; their eyes were unsealed, 
and^they only saw in Luther the apostle of despotism. These 
were not, we admit, the social theories of Eck or Cochlsaus. If 
these doctors taught, with the apostle, that subjects should obey 
their masters, even if wicked ones, they did not erect into a 
dogma the political forfeiture of the peasants ; they did not make 
mute obedience an article of faith ; they did not make slavery 
of the Christian a divine command ; they did not fetter both 
the tongue and the soul of the subject ; they did not say : '^ Give 
the ass thistles, a pack-saddle, and the whip;'' on the con- 
trary, they taught that the peasant and the prince had alike 
been created after God's image, and ransomed by the blood of 

" Doubtless," here observes Hagen, '' the success of Munzer's 
theories would have been a real misfortune for Germany ; but we 
do not hesitate to acknowledge that Luther triumphed over the . 

occasionally eloquent. Under this text of Luther, " Idcircb et sanciuB Paulus, 
R. ziii., talem in ruaticos fert sententiam : Qui potestatl reaistunt, hi judi- 
cium super se acquirunt . . .** Cochlseus adds this oommentaij : " Hoc totum 
est verum, Luthere. At tu non debueras pediculos in pelliduin populi spar- 
nssoy ubi scribelMM : Quousque teneamur superioribus obedientiam prsestare ? 
Non debueras Csosarem Tocare saooum Yennium et principes &tuoB effemi- 
natpfl^" etc. 

* Karl Hagen, L o. torn. ii. p. 147. 


lebellion only by the sacrifice of the principle of the Reforma- 
tion/' * 

It i6 a melancholy spectacle for hnman nature to observe the 
haste of all these princes to fall into Lutheranism, by accepting 
the despotic theories of the Saxon.^ The landgrave of Hesse, 
the grand master of the Teutonic order, the dukes of Bruns- 
wick, Lunenburg, and Mecklenburg ; the prince of Anhalt ; 
the margraves of Anspach and Baireuth ; and the count of 
Mansfeld, one after the other embraced, with the fervour of 
neophytes, this new pditico-religious gospel, which transformed 
the husbandman into a pariah. Some of them did not blush io 
put their names to the code which thenceforth waa to rule the 

'^ No,'' said they, " nothing is more expressly taught in the 
Scriptures than the obligation of obedience to the princes of this 
world : whoever rebels against his prince, rebels against God ; 
woe, then, to those who disobey their masters. Do you wish not 
to fear the authorities ? — do what the authorities command you. 
Would you resist ? Tremble, for God has sent them the sword ; 
power comes from God. Christian liberty does not consist in 
denying tithes, quit-rents, taxes, statute-labour, and seignorial 
rights, but in blind obedience to all that the sovereigns of this 
world prescribe. Such is the doctrine of salvation which the cleigy 
must preach to their flocks ; if their flocks embrace the devilish 
liberty of the flesh, it is at the peril of their souls, their bodies, 
and their goods." 

One disaster brings with it another. It was not only the 

' " Aber eben so wenig dfirfen wir laugnen, dass durch die Besiegnng der 
volksthiimlichen Tendenzen und durch das Mittel, welches Luther anwendete, 
urn den Sieg zu erringen, der ganze Charakter der Reformation verandert 
ward, und zwar keineswegs zum Yortheil derseLbea." — ^Karl Hagen, 1. c 
torn. ii. p. 151. 

' Den durcblauchtigsten hochgebomen Fiirsten und Herren, Herm Casi- 
mirn und Herm Georgen, als den altesten regierenden G^brttder, Markgrafen 
zu Brandenburg; &c., meinen gnadigen Herm anzeigen, wie die geweeen 
Emporung und Aufrohr, mit den wenigsten Theil aus ungeechickten Predigem 
entstanden sind, und dus herwiederum durch frummen, gelehrt, geechickt^ 
christlioh Prediger v\e\ Aufruhr furkummen werden mog. Auch christenliche 
XJnterricht, wie hinfUro in ihrer F. G. Ftirstenthumben, Landen und Gebieten, 
von rechten, wahren christlichen Glauben und rechter wahrer christlicher 
Preiheit des Geistes gepredigt werden soil, damit ihrer Gnaden Unterthanen 
nit durch falsch widerwartig Predigt zu Aufruhr und Verderbung ihrer Seelen, 
Leib, Lebung und Guts verfuhrt werden : 1525. 


democratic principle, of which he had so often shown himself the 
eloquent defender, that Lather was to sacrifice in his stru^le 
with the '^ prophets of murder/' but his priesthood, which he 
made the appanage of every Christian, and even his fiedth without 
works, that '' beautiful pearl" which he had been the first to 
discover. With the priesthood incarnated in every being rege- 
nerated by Christ, whether priest or layman, how could he break 
the sword of the rebellious peasants who had received the holy oil 
upon their heads ? By means of the Bible, he had founded his 
human priesthood ; by means of the Bible, he- was to destroy it 
Bagenhagen, one of the lights of his school, imagined a new 
theory as to the clerical power, which should prevail in the 
reformed Church. 

'^ It is very true,'' said Bugenhagen, '^ that God has given us 
his Christ, but he has given him by the Oospel revelation : now, 
since it is to the priest that he has sent the Oospel, it is by the 
priest that Christ is preached to us ;^ by the priest that the word 
of salvation is spread. Who believes in this word will obtain 
eternal life ; that holy word of which the priest is the official 
distributor. Now, if it belongs to the priest to preach the word 
of Ood, to him must belong the dispensation of the sacraments 
and instruction ; spiritual functions which he derives not fix)m 
himself, but firom God ; heavenly gifts, which are only efficacious 
because they are divinely delegated." " It is the Spirit," added 
Bucer,* "the force supreme, the breath from above, which 
descends and rests on tiie priest." And Luther, going beyond 
his disciples, withdraws firom man this vital priesthood, which 
assimilates itself to the Christian after baptism, as the air to 
the lungs of the new-bom infant, and even the right, which he 
had so aften acknowledged, of being judge of his priests.' 

With faith unaccompanied by outward works, how could he prove 
to the peasants that they were the children of perdition, — they 
who boasted of being directed by an inward illumination, that is 
to say, by a supernatural communication with God to found their 
New Jerusalem ? Munzer had no need of visible signs .to prove 

* Disputatioii zu FlenBburg, 1526. 

' Von der wahren Seelsorgo und dem rechten Hirtendienste. 
» Von don Schleichern und VTinkelpredigern. Luther's Werke, Walch, 
torn. zx. pp. 2074, 2078, 2085. 


his faith in Christ. Luther is therefore obliged to amend his 
first teaching : so we see him maintain, in a sermon on the sacra- 
ment of the altar, that participation in the blood of Christ, even 
without faith, is profitable for salvation. Faith alone, then, is no 
longer in his eyes that pearl which he so proudly extols to us.^ 

> "Wahrend er and seine Anh&nger frfiher behauptet hatten, daas der 
Glaube AUes aei, und nichts ohne denselben etwas bedeute, kam er nun auf 
die Ansicht der katholischen Kirche, dass der &uasere Genuss des Sacramento 
etwas ntttze ; anch ohne Glaube." — Karl Hagun, 1. c. lorn. ii. p. 166. See, on 
ibis subject, the sermon, Von wiirdiger Emp&hnng des heil. Sacraments : 
JensB, tom. iii. p. 161, and Melanchthon, Uber die Wiedertauffer, Corpus Ref. 
torn. i. p. 832. 

The foUowing are the titles of some works pubhshed by Th. Munzer, when 
he was curate at Alstsedt : — 

Ordnung und Berechnung des teutschen Ampts zu Altstadt durch Thomam 
Miinzer, ^Iwarters, iin yorgangenen'Ostem au%ericht, 1523. Gedruckt zu 
Eilenburg. Several fragments are to be found in the Unschuld. Nadirichten 
ofl707, p. 611. 

Yon dem gedichteten Glauben auf nachste Protestation ausgegangen. Thoma 
MUnzers, Seelvarters, zu Altst&dt, 1524, 4to. 

Deutsch evangelische Messze etwann durch die Bebstische P&ffen in Latein 
zu grossem Nacteyl des Christen Glaubens vor ein Opfer gehandelt und ietz 
verordnet, in dieser fehrlichen Zeit, zu entdecken den Grewel aller Abgotterey 
durch solche Missbreuche der Messen lange Zeit getriben. Thomas MUnzer, 
Alstadt, 1524, 4to. (Compare also the Unschuld. Nachrichten, 1708, p. 393. 
Feuerlini Bybl. Symb. part. i. p. 346.) 

Deutsch Klrchen Ampt verordnet, aufizuheben den hinterlistigen Deckel 
unter welchem das Liecht der Welt vorhalten war, welche yetzt wiedenimb 
ersoheynt mit dysen Lobgesengen und gotlichen Psalmen, die so erbawen die 
zunemenden Christenheit, nach Gottes unwandelbarn WiUen, zum Untergang 
aller prechtigen Geperde der Gotlosen : Altstedt, 1524, 4to. 

Protestation oder Empietung Tome Munzers yon Stolberg am Hartzs, Seel- 
warters zu Altstedt seine Lore betreffende, und zum An&ng yon dem rechten 
Christen-Glauben und der Tawfe, 1524. (Compare also the Unschuld. Nach- 
richten, 1706, p. 29.) 

Hoch yerursachte Schutzrede und Antwort wider das geistlose sanfit lebende 
Fleysch zu Wittenberg. 1521. This is a bitter pamphlet against Luther, in 
which Munzer calls his riyal fool, impostor, scribbler, rascal, more than scoun- 
drel, infamous monk, doctor of lies, Wittemberg pope; dragon, basilisk, serpent^ 
harlot, devil, chancellor of hell. He accuses him of being a drunkard, and of 
emptying many bottles in bacchanalian orgies at the house of Melchior Lothe, 
in Leipsic. 

One might form a library of the works written upon the peasants' war. The 
following may be consulted : Sattler, Wttrtenbergische Geschichte ; Widemann, 
Chron. in Mencken, tom. iii. ; Haggenmtiller, Geschichte der Stadt und 
Gra&chaft Kempten ; Lang, Geschichte von Baireuth ; Lersner^s Frankfurter 
Chronik ; Thuringia Sacra ; Pauli Langii Chronica Numbergensia, in Men- 
cken, tom. ii. ; Brower, Annales Trevirenses, tom. zx. ; Zauner, Chronik von 
Salzburg, tom. iy. ; Luther's Letters, in De Wette's collection, vol. iii. ; the 
Correspondence of Capito, Hetzer, Sertorius, with Zwinglius, £p. Zwinglii, 
tom. i. ; Zwinglius's Letter to Badian, 11 Oct. 1515, Ep. tom. i. ; Die Uistoria 
Thomii Muntzers, des Anf angers der Diiriogischen Aufruhr, sehr niitzlich zu 
lesen : Hagenau, 1525 ; Aurfaack, Dissertatio de Eloquenti& inept& Th. Mun- 
tzeri : Vitteb. 1716, 4 to. ; Weller, Altes aus alien Theilen der Geschichte, 
tom. i. ; Arnold, Kirchen- und Ketzergeschichte, tom. ii. ; Plank, Grcschichte 


How powerful was Munzer ! The curate of Alstiedt com- 
pelled the Wittembeig ecclcBiastic to renounce his own doctrines. 
And yet Luther told us that he received them from heaven, and 
that if an angel were to bring him another gospel than that 
which he had preached, he would reject the divine messenger. 
This is easily explained. Luther was more afraid of Munzer 
than of an angel ; the invisible being would have resumed his 
flight, leaving the doctor his pulpit at Wittemberg. Now it was 
this pulpit of which Munzer wished to deprive the Saxon. 



The extinction of the peasants' war has not restored peace to Luther. — New 
dispates arising firom the principle of firee inquiry. — ^Reappearance of Carl- 
stadt. — ^Various pamphlets written by him to subvert the Wittemberg creed. 
— ^Riae of Sacramentarianism. — Luther preaches against the prophets at 
Jena. — Garlstadt's challenge to Luther. — The two theologians dispute 
upon the Lord's Supper, at the Black Bear inn. — Luther at Orlamlinde, 
where he again meets C^rlstadt. — ^Bickering with a shoemaker. — He is 
driyen from Orlamttnde. — Garlstadt has given the signal for new revolts 
against Luther. — Efironteries of the rationalists. 

Thb peasants' rebellion was suppressed : the castle had van- 
quished the cottage ; but all was not finished for Luther. Upon 
the blood of the hundred thousand rustics ^ spilt in Germany^ 
floated the code of free inquiry, which the Saxon monk had 
brought to the Teutonic nations, and which was incessantly to 
keep up religious or political factions. Garlstadt, as dastard a 
soldier as he was a sorry theologian, had for a brief space 
mingled in Franconia with the rebels, whom he deserted at the 
first cannon-shot, casting aside his warlike uniform, his peasant's 

proteetantisohen Lehrbegrifi&y torn. ii. ; Stark, Geschichte der Taufe und 
Taui^gefinnten ; Warlich, Gleechichte aus Obersachsen ftir einen deutschen 
Knaben, Mttntzers Unrcdie : Gottingen, 1786, 12mo. 

* "Rustieorum res quievit ubique, csssis ad centum millia, tot orphanis 
&ctis reliquis ver^ in vitft sic spoliatis^ ut Germanise fiicies miserior nunquain 
fuerit." — ^Epist. Luth. ad Briesmann, in Act. Boruss. torn. i. p. 800. 


cloak, and felt hat,^ to resame his original occnpation of pam* 
phleteer. His vocation was to blacken paper ; to throw ink on 
the head of Lather or his disciples, his delight and amusement 
He wrote by day and by night, and printed himself the lucnbrar- 
tions of his distempered brain.^ He published two dissertations 
intended to combat the doctrines of the Wittemberg school : the 
one upon sin,^ the other on Christian resignation.'^ 

In the first he treats of the divine wilL To God he assigns 
two wills : the will eternal, and the will temporal ; the one works 
good, illumines us and draws us to Christ ; the other works evil, 
and accommodates itself to the inclinations of the heart Who- 
ever attains to accomplish the eternal will, cannot wish but what 
God wills. It is never by outward practice that man obeys the 
eternal will. God is a spirit; he must therefore be served in 
spirit It is to the essence, and not to the suib/ce of the letter, 
that we must adhere : the letter is a sepulchre.^ 

In his second work, he follows up his spiritualist argument, 
and inveighs against the Lutheran &ith. He maintains that 
faith cannot exisjt without love: faith without love is a dead 
carcase — ^a mere paper &ith ; &ith, like love, must never proceed 
from the fear of punishment, and neither the one nor the other 
must look for reward. 

But it is in his theory on the eucharist in two parts, pam- 
phlets extremely virulent, that he principally studies to destroy 
Luther's impanation. 

In the one he seeks to demonstrate, that it is a gross error to 
believe that participation in the supper can operate the remission 
of sins ; faith alone, united to love, can reconcile the sinner with 
God. If the sacrament eflFects the redemption, it will follow 
from it that the blood of Christ, which was shed upon the cross. 

■ Bezusen, der Bauernkrieg in Ostfiranken, p. 79. 

' Von Manningfaltigkeit des einfaltigen einigen WUlen Gottea : Waa Sund 
sei. Andreas Bc^enstein von Garlatadt. Ein nener Lay. 

' Was gesagt ist, sioh gelassen and was Wort Gelassenheit bedente, nnd was 
in Helliger Sohrift begri&n. 

* *' Gott ist ein Geist, deshalben muss sich die gesohaffene Creatur mit and 
durch den Geist mit Gtottes ungeschaffenen Geist vereinen. Demnach mag 
und soil ein Jeder den Geist bes Buchstabens, and nicht die Rinden oder 
Schalen des Bachstabens ergrttnden." 


hafi been of no use to fallen humanity. We cannot grant to the 
bread and wine the power of raising man from his fiill.^ 

In the other, he examines the words of the institution of the 
Supper.^ " If we were to refer it," says he, " to Lather's inter- 
pretation, Christ, instead of his blood, to save man, would have 
given only material bread, made by the hands of a baker. 
Christ spoke to the future, and not to the present. At the 
encharistic repast he had not yet shed his blood ; what he said 
does not refer then to the supper. Had he wished to teach that 
his body is really under the species of bread and wine, he would 
have explained himself in clear and precise terms, especially if 
we admit that he wished to make his presence in bread and wine 
an article of £uth.'' 

It is useless to lay hold of everything in this deduction of 
falsity and foUy. Luther did right to laugh at it, without 
disguisbg from himself, however, that his professor's tropes had 
great chance of success in Germany, and especially in Switzer- 
land. " You could not believe," he writes to Amsdorf, ** what 
progress Garlstadt's dogma makes." ^ Reinhard, at Jena ; the 
curate of Gala ; Strauss, at Eisenach, publicly preached it ; ^ at 
Wittembeig it had made notable conquests ; ^ Nuremberg had 
adopted it ; at Heidelberg, Martin Frecht taught it, but with 
some oratoiial precautions ; ^ others more daring, such as Gapito, 
Bucer, and OUio Brunfels, at Strasburg, adhered to the arch- 
deacon's opinions. At Zurich, Zwinglius, after learning Garl- 
stadt's theory, transformed into a dogma the figurative presence 
of Christ in the Sacrament.^ All these freaks of the mind broke 
out in the midst of the peasants' war with their lords. The 

* "Von dem widerchristliohen Miasbrauoh des Herrn Brod und Keloh. 
Ob der Glaube in das Sacrament SUnde vei^be, und ob das Sacrament ein 
Anabo oder Pfimd sei der SUnde Vergebung." 

' " Ob man mit Heiliger Schrift erweisen moge, dass Christus mit Leib, 
Bint and Seele im Sacrament sei." 

' Lather's Briefe, Octob. 1824. De Wette, torn. li. 557. 

« Id. ibid. 

* Melanoh. Spalatino, Decemb. 1524. Corpus Beform. torn. ii. p. 369. 
" Nosti valgus. £t hoc dogma arridet sensui communi.** 

' Martin Frecht an Wolfgang Richard in Ulm, 1824, in Beesenmayer's 
Sanmilang von Aa&atzen, p. 182. 

7 (EcoUimpad an Zwingli, 21 Nov. 1524. £p. Zwinglii, torn. i. p. S69. 

VOL. ir. M 


mtfvelloiui aotivity of Luther was not a moment at faolt 
Amidst the thunder of the cannon, he fubninated his manifcstoeB 
against the rebels, and went from city to city to stifle the germs 
of a threatening heresy. 

At the time when a misguided study of the sacred text 
disclosed to Garlstadt the hidden sense of the words of the 
supper, an angel, as we know, revealed the mystery to Zwinglids. 
Then sprung up the sect of sacramentarians, who deny the real 
presence in the euchanstic sacrament, and the oblation in flesh 
and blood of the body of Jesus Christ in the communion. If 
the conditions of the intuition of the truth are such as Luther 
exacts, we must admit the testimony of Zwinglius. '' For, do 
you know why the Sacramentarians have never had the sense of 
the Scriptures ? It is because they have not the devil for their 
adversary ; if the devil is not fastened to our necks, we are but 
sorry theologians." ^ Now, that angel who appeared to Zwin- 
glius, and whose colour Zwinglius has not been able precisdy to 
tell us, was, according to these Lutheran theolo^ans, a fallen 
angel : an angel of darkness, — the deviL How, ihen, does he 
now make out, that Zwinglius and the Sacramentarians, in 
denying that the body and blood of Jesus Christ are really 
received in the Eucharist, are heretics who have Inroken o£f firam 
the Church of God? « 

Some mutual friends endeavoured, but in vain, to effect a 
reconciliation between Carlstadt and Luther. Neither of them 
would attend the interview at which it was hoped to be arranged : 
Carlstadt, because he would not be instructed by one who had 
been his pupil ; Luther, because he no longer r^arded his pro- 
fessor than as an old tyro and jabbering charlatan, who had 
for his confederate a chaplain, entrusted with the part of the 
spirit in the Lord's visions."^ 

In the mean time Luther, while visiting the cities into which 

'^ '^Qubd Bacramentarii aacram Bcripturam non intelligant, hiBC cauBa est 
quia verum opponentem, nemp^ diabolum, non habent, qui demom ben^ 
docere eos solet . . . quando diabolum ejusmodi coUo non habemua affixuniy 
nihil nisi gpeculattvi theologi sumus."— Luth. CoUoq. IsL do Yerbo Dei, fol. 28. 
CoU. Francf. f. 18. 

* "H«retico8 censemuB et alienos ab ecclesift Dei Zwinglianos et omnes 
saoramentarios qni nmnt corpus et sanguinem Christi ore oamali sumi in 
venerabili EucharistiA.'^— Lutbenu. 

' Luther's Briefer De Wette, torn. ii. passim. 


Anabaptknn had cr^t, arrived at Jena, which was in a state of 
excitement from the preaching of Garlatadt, who had set op a 
printing-press there.^ The Wittemberg monk had never been 
heard in Jena. He ascended the pnlpit which Garlstadt had 
occupied on the previous day. The church was full He 
preached against the prophets, less in the style of a Christian 
orator than as a man of letters of the sixteenth century, quite 
in the manner of Erasmus, amusing his audience at the expense 
of the fanatics, on whom he showered his raillery. All eyes 
looked for the poor archdeacon, who on this occasion had not 
concealed himself behind the broken statuary, as in the church of 
All'-Sauptts, but was seated opposite the south window, which con- 
centrated on his face a flood of dazzling light Luther perceived 
him, and his discourse, which had been general, was directed 
suddenly, like the blow of a miner's hammer, on Garlstadt's 
head. It was no longer one of those vague and general pictures 
applicable to all who had separated from the church of Wittem- 
berg, but an accurate sketch of the unhappy renegade, in which 
not a single trait ol resemblance was defective, not ev^ the scant 
hairs of him whom he thus placed before his audience. Never 
was tiiere such a martyr. Carlstadt rose ; sat down ; rose again, 
and was agitated like one possessed. Luther, regturdless of all 
these contortions,*-of this pantomime of aims and legs, which 
was intended to interrupt him, — continued his discourse, every 
sent^oe of which became more bitter and insulting. At length 
Garlstadt, unable longer to restrain himself, withdrew behind a 
pillar of the nave. The scene was not yet over. 

As soon a0 Luther descended from the pulpit, the archdeacon 
whispered in the ear of the preacher, who inade an affirmative 
nod of the head. It was a challenge, which Luther accepted. 
The Black Bear inn, where the monk lodged, was the place of 

Scarcely had Luther reached the inn, when he received a 
letter from Carlstadt, desiring a conference in formal terms, the 
nod not appearing to him sufficient. 

" Let him come,'* said Luther to the messenger ; " let him 
come, in God's name, I am ready." 

I An dea Eaiusler Brack. 7 Jan. 1524. De Wette, I. c. torn. ii. 



He speedily made his appearance, bringing with him some of 
his disciples; among others, (Gerard Westenberg, of Cologne. 
The inn had never before had so many visitors. Lather was 
mixed up in the crowd, seated at table, having on his right the 
burgomaster, whom he had requested to be present at the con- 

Garlstadt placed himself beside him, and commenced the 
debate on the Last Supper, at first in a very calm manner. 
They discussed the subject in a moderate tone, and without 
excitement ; but when Luther had developed his opinion on the 
real presence so clearly that the guests applauded his address, 
Garlstadt could contain himself no longer. The following 
dialogue then took place between the doctors : ^ — 

Garlstadt. — You must acknowledge, master, that you have 
treated me rudely in your sermon, in comparing me with those 
turbulent spirits who breathe nothing but sedition and murder. 
I protfit with all my might against such a comparison : I have 
nothing in conmion with such worthless characters. Between 
ourselves, you attribute to them, in regard to internal revelation, 
ideas which they never had.^ I do not come here as their 
apologist ; I speak for myself. I consider whoever would make 
me responsible for^the sanguinary doctrines of these hotheaded 
preachers, to be a wicked man and a liar. I have heard what you 
have preached : I only wish to speak of that portion of it which 
relates to the Eucharist. I maintain that, since the time of the 
apostles, doctrine similar to your's has never been heard on that 
matter. I tell you this to your face. I also have preached upon 
the Eucharist ; but my preaching is founded on the rock of truth, 
and you will not be able to establish the contrary. 

Luther. — My dear doctor, let us begin from the beginning. 
You will never prove that I have pointed at you in my dis- 
course. You say that you recognised yourself there, — ^that you 
saw the picture : be it so ; it has hit you. You have written 

« Oper. Luth. : Jenw, torn. ii. fol. 462—466 ; Wittemb. fol. 209— «12. The 
prooeedingi in this dispute have been colleoted and published by the preacher 
Martin Reinhard, of Jena, and are contained in Walch's edition, torn. xv. 
p. 242S et seq. 

' Garlstadt did not speak the truth, or he had not read Munzer's printed 
sermons. See Auslegung des andem Unterschieds Daoielis des Propheten, 
gepredigt aufin SohToss zu Altstedt vor den tetigen theuem Henogen 
und Yorstehem zu Saohsen, durch Thomam Miinzem, Diener des Worts 
Qottes : Altstedt, 1524. 


many sharp letters against me ; for what end I cannot imagine^ 
since there has been no discussion between us. You complain 
that my words have offended you : so much the worse, and so 
much the better. So much the better, since you have declared 
that you do not resemble those preachers ; so much the worse, if 
you recognize the portrait I have spoken against the prophets : 
I will speak against them again. If I have hurt you, I shall 
hurt you again. 

Ga&lstadt. — Say what you will, you did point at me in 
speaking of the sacrament; but you have only perverted the 
Gospel, and I will prove it ; you do me injustice in likening me 
to those homicidal individuals ; and I protest, Wore my brethren 
here assembled, that I have nothing to do with them. 

LuTHBB. — Why this protestation, doctor ? I have read the 
lettenrwhieh you wrote, from Orluniinde, to Thomas Munzer, 
and I saw that you rejected the seditious doctrines of the 

Caelstabt. — Then why say that the spirit which animates 
the prophets is the same which destroyed the images, and teaches 
that the Eucharist must be taken and received from its hands ? 

LuTHBB. — But I mentioned no names: your's least of all, 
doctor ! 

Cablstadt. — But I was obviously pointed at ; for I was the 
first who publicly taught the necessity of an immediate com- 
munion. Tou maintain that the spirit which speaks thus is the 
spirit which breathes, by the lips of the prophets of Alstaadt, 
murder and sedition : that is false. As for the letters which 1 
have written, I am ready to confer on tbiem with you. 

There was a moment's silence. Then Garlstadt resumed : — 

If I were in error, and you wished to do a Christian deed, you 
ought to have, in the first instance, advised me, and not shot 
your envenomed darts at me fix)m the pulpit Your constant 
cry is " charity, charity ! " Pretty charity, truly, to throw a 
morsel of bread to the poor, and leave on the road his wandering 
brother, without caring to bring him back to the fold ! 

LuTHEB. — What ! have I not preached the Gospel ? What 
then have I done ? 

Cablstadt. — Hold ! I tell you, and I will prove it, that the 
Christ whom you spoke of in your sermon on the Eucharist, is 
not the Christ who was nailed to the cross, but a Christ made 


by your hands^ and after your own image; beaideSi there are 
palpable contradictions in your teaching. 

IfUTHBR. — Well, then, doctor, get up into the pulpit in the 
£Ekoe of day, like an honest man, and show wherein I ha^e erred. 

Cablstadt. — That I shall do ; for I do not shun the light, s» 
you say. Will you debate with me at Wittemberg or Erfiurt, 
at table, in a friendly way ? We shall propound our reaaons ; 
others shall judge of them. I do not fear the light of day ; I 
only ask security for my person. 

LtJTHEE. — Of what are you s^raid ? Surely at Wittemberg 
you are safe. 

Cablstadt. — Yes. But it is long since I left it. In a 
public disputation we might treat each other sharply; and I 
know, to my cost, how the people are attached to you. 

LuTHBB. — Well, doctor, come ; I promise that no one shall 
molest you. 

Cablstadt. — Very well ; I shall dispute publicly, and I shall 
manifest the truth of Qoi or my shame. 

LuTHEB. — Say rather your folly, doctor.* 

Cablstadt. — My shame, which I shall bear for the glorifica- 
tion of Ood. 

LtJTHBB. — And which will fall back on your own shoulders,' 
I care not for your menaces. Who fears you ? 

Cablstadt. — And I, whom can I fear ? — ^my doctrine is pure ; 
it comes from Ood. 

LuTHEB. — Ah! if it comes from God, why have you not 
infosed into your hearers that spirit which made you break the 
images at Wittemberg ! 

Cablstadt. — That was a work which I did not undertake of 
myself alone, but with the assistance of the councillors and some 
of your disciples, who fled at the moment of danger. 

LuTHEB. — ^That is fetlse, I protest. 

Cablstadt. — And I affirm it. 

LuTHEB. — I adyise you not to go to Wittemberg ; you will 
not find there such zealous friends as you imagine. 

Cablstadt. — Nor you any longer, perhaps, creatures so de- 

' ** Fiet ; stoliditas toa manifestando veniet." 

' " Fortabo lubens ignominiam, ut Deo suus conatet honor." — " Bedundabit 
in te ignominia." 


▼oted :to you. At least, I may console myself, since the trath 
is on my side. The day of the Lord will ex{dain all mysteries ; 
then the veil will be lifted, and God will manifest his justice. 

LuTHEB. — Ton astonish me ! Tou always talk of God's 
justice. It is his mercy which I invoke. 

CABLmAJOT. — ^And why not his justice ? God makes no dis- 
tinction of persons ; he regards not man ; the weak and the 
strong will be weighed in the same balance. I desire that God 
may judge me according to his justice and his mercy. But now 
that you despise the spirit which lives in me, and that you ask 
why I do not go, why I stop in the way, I will tell you : it is 
because you bind me hand and foot, and that you strike me, 
bare and disarmed. 

LuTHEB. — I strike you ! 

Gablstadt. — Is it not to bind, and then to strike me, to 
write and preach against me, to print Ubels against me, and to 
hinder me from preaching, writing, and printing ?^ If you had 
left me speech and pen, you would have learned what spirit 
animates me. 

LuTHEB, — Preach without a vocation 1 Who has commis- 
sioned you to teach the people ? 

Cablstadt. — Do you speak of man's vocation ? — I am an 
archdeacon, and consequently authorised to teach. Of divine 
vocation ? — I also have my mission. 

LuTHBB. — Mission to preach in the parish church ? 

GabIiSTADT. — ^Are the people who attend the collegiate not 
the same with those who attend the parish church ? 

LuTHEB. — Tou, doctor, attack and calumniate me in your 
numerous libels. 

Cablstadt. — Libels ! — what libels ? My treatise on voca- 
tion, perhaps ? But when did you admonish me charitably ? 
I defy you to point out, in the whole course of my life, a single 
hour in which, belying my character, I have been deficient in 
duirity towards you ; whilst violence is your usual weapon. If 

' Luther, indeed, wrote in January, 1524 (De Wette, 1. c. torn. ii. p. 457), 
to the Chancellor Bruck, to procure firom the prince elector that the printing- 
house established by Carlstaat at Jena should be suppressed. Subsequently, 
ha beeouffht the university of l^ttemberg to remove the archdeacon from 
Orlamtl]i£», and supply his place with another preacher. — ^An Spalatin, 14 
March, 1524, ibid. p. 486. An den Ehurfuroten, 21 May, 1525, ibid. p. 521. 


you did not wish to admonish me alone, you might haye come 
with some of your friends. 

LuTHBR. — That is what I did, bringing with me Philip and 
Pomeranus to your study. 

Garlstabt. — That is false. Tou came, perhaps, but neyer to 
admonish me, — ^never to point out any enoneous articles taken 
from my writings or sermons. 

LuTHBR. — I brought you a statement from the university, 
in which were noted the articles which appeared to us cen- 

Carlstadt. — Doctor, you violate truth ; I have never seen 
such a document. 

Luthbb. — I will quote a thousand instances, in which you 
invariably charge me with fiJsehood. 

Carlstadt. — If you speak the truth, may the devil twist my 
neck ! * 

Luther. — But I brought these articles to your lodging. 

Carlstadt. — Well, doctor, what would you say were I to 
show you a letter, in which Jerome Schurff tells me that they 
would, if I wished it, show me the errors into which I had ft}len 7 
The university had not then assembled to point out these 

Luther was silent. Carlstadt broke this new silence by 
intreating the audience's forbearance if he defended himself 
with too much passion. 

Luther. — Doctor, I know you ; I know that you like to fly 
in the clouds, walk proudly, and exalt yourself in your own 

Carlstadt. — It is you who have given me the example ; you 
are hunting incessantly after honours and notoriety. 

Luthbr. — Remember that at Leipsic I publicly reproved you 
for your arrogance ; you wished to be allowed to dispute &8t, 
and I yielded to you that honour, of which I was unambitious. 

Carlstadt. — Ah! dear doctor, what assurance you have! You 
know that, at the outset of the controversy, it was a question 
whether you were to be permitted to dispute at all. I appeal 

' '* Wenn das wahr isi, was Luther sagt, so gebe Gott, dass mich dor Teufel 
vor euch alien zerreisse ! " 


to the ootincillorB of Duke George and tbe university of 

LiTTHBB. — Let U8 haye an end of this. I have preached 
against the prophets to-day ; I shall do so agun ; we shall see 
who will prevent me. 

Gablstadt. — Preach as long as you wish ; we shall see what 
we can do. 

LuTHBB. — Gome, doctor, if you have anything on your mind> 
say it openly. 

Gablstadt. — I shall do so fearlessly. 

LuTHEB. — You will not forget to support these poor prophets ? 

Gablstadt. — Whenever they have truth on their side ; if 
they Ml into error, the devil shaU serve them as acolyte. 

LuTHBB. — You will write openly against me, doctor ? 

Gablstadt. — If that pleases you, doctor. I shall not spare 

LuTHBB. — There is a florin for earnest, doctor. 

Gablstadt. — What a good-for-nothing fellow I should he, if 
I did not accept your wager, doctor ! 

Then Luther took from his pocket a gold florin, which he 
presented to Garlstadt, saying : '' Take this, and act boldly. "" — 
''See,'' said Garlstadt, showing the florin to those present, 
'' Doctor Martin has given me this florin in pledge and token of 
the authority which he gives me to write against him.'' Luther 
gave him his hand. '' Assuredly," said he, filling a glass of ale, 
and handing it to his opponent : " Your health, doctor." — 
'' Yours," said Garlstadt ; '' this is agreed, but on condition that 
you do not give further annoyance to my poor printers, and that, 
when the aflGur is ended, you shall not oppose any obstacle to 
the new kind of life which I may wish to lead ; for, after this 
dispute, I desire to become an agriculturist" 

LuTHEB. — Fear nothing ; I shall leave your printers alone, as 
I have challenged you to attack me ; I have given you a florin 
not to spare me ; the more violent your attack, the better I shall 
be content.^ 

' This is oorrect. After ihe duputaiion, so unfortimate for GarlBtadt, 
Melsocthon, in a letter to CEcolampadinSy commends the arohdeaoon's tlieo- 
logical learning, which at a later date he was to sacrifice to his sarcasm. See 
clu4>ters tu. and viii. of this yolume. 

' It is evident that Luther broke his word ; in this Protestant authors agree. 


Carlstadt. — May God assist you ! I shall eadoavour to 
satisfy yon. So said, they shook hands and parted.^ 

Lnther left Jena and went to Gala, whare the popnlaoe had 
broken the crucifix. Luther collected the fragments, and then 
ascended the pulpit, and preached upon the prophets and obe- 
dience to the audiorities. 

He then went towards Neustadt,^ and arrived on the 24th of 
August at Orlamiinde, where he was impatiently expected. He 
had sent Wolfgang Stein to the burgomaster of the city, to xequert 
him to assemble the council and the dtiz^is^ in order to confer 
with them, in aocordance with the desire whidi they had mani- 

The burgomaster, accompanied by the magistrates, received 
and paid his respects to the doctor at the gates of the city. The 
monk's coimtenance was severe, and almost impassioned. He 
did not lift his square cap to salute his hosts, but contented him* 
self with a slight inclination of the head. The burgomaster was 
about to address him, but he interrupted him, on the pretext 
that there would be time for discussion in the court-house. 
Luther entered Orlamiinde in a car, accompanied on each side 
by the magistrates and councillors. 

At the court-house the burgomaster resumed his address, 
thanked Luther, in i^e name of the council and people, for his 
kindness in coming to visit them, and besought him to preach 
the word of God.. 

Luther replied that he had not come to Orlamiinde to preach, 
but to confer with the council and the people on the subject of 
some letters which he had received. 

They sat down to table, and called for beer. Luther and 
those present exchanged numerous toasts, after the fashion of 
Germany. The news of Luther's arrival had spread throi]^ 
the city, and there soon arrived a crowd of citizens desirous to 
see and hear the Wittemberg doctor. AU intreated him to 
preach, for, said they, '' we know you suspect us, and call in 
question our faith. Ascend the pulpit, then, and if your doc- 

' Ulenberg, Vita et res geste Martini Lutheri, cap. xiii. fol. 229—212. 

' Ulenberg, 1. c. p. 243. Oper. Luth. : Witt torn. ix. p. 214 ; Jena, torn. i. 
p. 466. 


trine is that of truth, our eyes will be uBsealed, and we shall 
ocmfess onr exron.'" 

*' 1 have not oome to preach/" said Luther ; and drawing from 
his po<&et a letter which he had received on the 17th of the 
month: "Tell me," said he, *'what seal is this ?"—" These 
are the anns of the city,'' replied the burgomaster. " Is not 
this,'' returned Luther, '' the letter of Carlstadt, who, doubtless, 
the better to deceive me, has aflBxed the seal of Orlamiinde?'' 
— ^' It is indeed the letter," said the burgomaster, '^ which we 
addressed to you ; I recognise it. Carlstadt did not write or 
dictate a single syllable of it, and the seal of the city is too care- 
fully kept to leave room for suspicion that he could have had 
aeoesa to it^ 

Luther impatiently opened the letter and read it. 

'' The peace of Ood through Christ our Saviour. Dear bro- 
ther : — On his return from Wittembe^, Andrew Carlstadt, our 
pastor, informed us that from your pulpit you publicly railed 
against us, and represented us as spirits of disorder and error, 
although you have never visited or heard us. Tour writings 
prove that our pastor has not deceived us« In one of your pam- 
phlets, addressed to the princes of Saxony, do you not treat with 
contempt those who, Haithful to God's command, will not allow 
dumb idols or pagan pictures ? Tou depict Christians in colours 
which you may have found in your own brain, but never in the 
Scriptures. We, who are Christ's members and the Father's 
vine, cannot r^ard as the disciple of Jesus one who, instead of 
correcting us in the spirit of charity, lacerates us with his poig- 
nant irony. 

'' In tl^ name of God, then, we intreat you not to calumniate 
those who have been redeemed at the cost of the blood of Jesus, 
the only Son of Qod. * See,' you will say, ' those disciples of 
Christ who cannot bear the least reproach, and yet call them* 
selves the children of him who has suffered so much ! ' That is 
true ; but do you not know that Jesus soundly rated the Scribes 
and the Jews, who passed for just, and that he prayed for his 
executioners ? We are ready, however, to give an account of our 
&ith and our works, whenever you call on us to do so. Mean- 

* Ulenberg, 1. c. p. 244 ei seq. Oper. Luth. : Jenm, torn. ii. p. 266. 


while, oome and visit us ; come and confer with us ; and if we 
are deceived, lead ns out of error by the voice of gentleness and 
charity, in the name of Jesus, and the glory of his holy GhuicL 
Answer us in a spirit of peace. Orlamiinde, 17th of August, 

" You wish," said Luther, " that I should point out to you 
wherein you have sinned ; it is, in the ^rst place, by giving 
the name of pastor to Garlstadt, whose right to which title has 
never been acknowledged either by the duke of Saxony or the 
academy of Wittembeig." 

^' But," said one of the councillors, '^ if Garlstadt is not our 
lawful pastor, St. Paul's teaching is a lie, and your books a 
deception ; for we have chosen and elected him, as our letters 
to the academy of Wittembeig testify." 

Luther said nothing ;^ but, passing to another part of the 
letter: '' Tou have sinned," said he, " in the second place, by 
destroying the pictures and images."^ 

He was proceeding, when Garlstadt entered, and, after saluting 
Luther, took his place among the bystanders. ^' Doctor," said 
he, again saluting Luther, '^ with your pennission, I come to 
take my part in this interview." 

<' That is what I will not permit,'' said Luther. 

" As you please, doctor." 

" No, no ; you are my enemy, my adversary ; I reject you. 
Have not I given you a gold florin ?" 

'^ It is true, doctor ; I am the adversary and enemy of every 
one who will oppose God, and fight against Ghrist and the 

" Leave us, then," sharply replied Luther, '' we have no need 
of you here." 

*' But is not this a public meeting ? " asked the archdeacon ; 
" and if you have truth on your side, why be afraid of me ?" 

" It is because I suspect you," replied Luther ; *^ you would 
be both judge and client." 

'^ Suspected or not, I do not constitute myself your judge ; I 
am your enemy, your adversary : but what of that ?" 

Then Wolfgang Stein, turning to the archdeacon, said : 

Ulenborg, 1. c p. 247. * Oper. Luth. : Witt. torn. ix. p. 2H. 


'* Doctor, pray leave us ; go away/' — " Are you my master," 
said Garlstadt, ''to address me thus? Show me the pxince's 

Luther, impatient, made a sign to put the horses to his car- 
riage, and threatened to leave Orlamiinde if Carlstadt did not 

Some of the people present surrounded the archdeacon, and 
whispered in his ear, and Carlstadt left the room. 

Luther then resumed his discourse, and maintained that he 
had never, either in the pulpit or in his writings, spoken of the 
inhabitants of Orlamiinde, and that he had enough to do at 
Wittembei^, without troubling himself about them. '' Never- 
theless," said the town-clerk, '' you have, in more than one 
pamphlet, compared those who denounce pictures to spirits of 
darkness. How should we not recognise ourselves, since we 
have destroyed the images in our churches ? Do you, then, lie, 
doctor ?"» . 

" I have spoken in general terms," replied Luther ; " other 
cities besides yours have attacked images. You accuse me 
wrongfully ; your letter is insulting. In it you refuse me a 
title of honour which princes, the nobility, the people, and even 
my enemies, give me. The superscription bears : * To the 
Christian doctor, Martin Luther ;' and, in the course of the 
letter, you treat me as if I were not a Christian." 

'' Our expressions are courteous and paternal," said the bur- 
gomaster. '' Produce, then," added a voice from the crowd 
passionately, " a single insulting expression." — " This is,"' said 
the doctor, " the tone and passion of the prophets. Your eyes, 
my friend, are like two burning coals ; but they do not scorch 
me. But, let us see, where have you read in the Scriptures 
that images ought to be destroyed ?" There was a moment of 

" I will answer you," said a councillor. " Dear brother, do 
you consider Moses to be the promulgator of the Decalogue ?" — 
" Doubtless." — " Well, then, is it not written in the Decalogue, 
* You shall have no other God but me ?' and does not Moses 

' " Interim verb mendacium fuit quo noe tetigisti quando cum vertis^nosis 
spiritibus noB oonjungebas." — Ulenberg, 1. c. p. 249. 


add) as ezplanatoiy to this divine oommand : * Yoa shall 
take away from among you all images, and you shall keep 

'' But that applies to idols or images irtiich are woishipped ; 
it is not the inlage of Jesos cnicified that I woiafaip/' replied 

*' Well, then/' said a shoemaker, '' I have often, when pasBing 
by images, painted on walls or laised on the highways, lifted my 
eap. That was an act of idolatry which Qod certainly condemns ; 
images, therefore, mnst be abolished."' 

<< But that is an abuse ; and if, on acoonnt of abuse, we must 
destroy images, put away your wires, and stare your barrels/' 

^'By no means," ssdd another, '^for women and wine are 
created by God for our support and assistance, and God has not 
commanded us to put them away ; whereas, the command against 
images made by men's hands is express."^ 

" Once more," said Luther, "there is only question in the 
Decalogue of the idols that are made to be worshipped." 

*^ I would grant it," said the shoemaker, *' if Moses had not 
spoken of erery kind of images." 

" Moses ?" said Luther. 

" Let us argue the point," continued the shoemaker — " but, 
first, let us pledge ourselres to the discussion." Then Luther 
held out his hand, which the shoemakw seised and shook, whilst 
some one went for a Bible. 

The discussion was lirely and animated. The shoemaker ex- 
claimed and gesticulated like a madman^ quoting erery text of 
Scripture that occurred to his memory. " Are you a Christian ¥' 
he said to Luther in a loud roice ; ''since you reject Moses, you 
will, at least, admit the Gospel which you hare temslated. Let 
us see what the Gospel teaches. Jesus says in the Gospel — I do 
not know the place, but my brethren know it for me — that the 
wife ought to strip and throw aside eren her shift when she 
wishes to sleep with her husband."^ 

^"Nun ha siint Dei oreatuns in adjutoriom et Bustentationem nostmm 
quas non mandavit Deus k medio tolli ; vertixn de toUendis imaginibuB hominnm 
manu figictis prsBoeptum habemuB." 

' ''Jesus dicit, nescio qno looo; fratres mei noTerunt: Bpongam, si cum 
sponso eubare debeat, prorstiB opoitere nudam esse, etiam indusio exutam." — 
Ulenberg, 1. c. p. 251. 


Luther, who had be^ standing, sat down at this odd quota- 
tion, and covered his face to conceal his merriment. '' Stay, 
then,'' he said, after a hearty- burst of laughter, '' that means, in 
fact, that we mnst abolish images : this is troly admirable!'" 

*' Tes, doubtless," said another of the company, '' that, indeed, 
signifies that Ood wishes the soul should strip itself of all earthly 
ideas. When we set our affections on an earthly object, our 
heart is then filled with its image. Much more, then, does our 
sool become stained, when it rests upon forbidden images." 

They brou^t the books of Moses, transbted into German by 
Luther, and some one read the 20th chapter of Exodus, and 4th 
of Deuteronomy, and concluded firom them that images and all 
representations were prohibited by Ood, and that a Christian 
eould neither make nor keep them. 

" But read, then," the doctor repeated : " the question is as to 
idols which you shall not worship." 

" There is no mention of idols in the text," said one of the 
company, *' * Tou shall not make or keep any image.' " 

^'But the text of Deuteronomy is dear and express," re^ 
Slimed the shoemaker : " ' Take care of your souls ; on the day 
when the Lord spoke to you, you saw no similitude, lest you 
should be corrupted, and make to yourselves some image or 
representation in the form of male or female.' Is that dear ?" 

^* Qo on, pray," said Luther. 

'^ ' That you may not look up to heaven, and, seeing the sun 
and moon, adore, by grievous error, the stars of heaven.' " 

" Well, then," continued Luther, " why do you not blot out 
firom creation the sun and moon ?". 

*' Because the celestial luminaries," said the shoemaker, '' were 
not made by our hands ; the divine injunction does not relate to 

Then the burgomaster interposed, and maintained that they 
followed God's command ; that it was written they should neither 
add nor take firom the Lord's word. 

" So then," said Luther, •* you condemn me ?" 

*^ Certainly," said the dioemaker, '' you and all who speak and 
teach contrary to Ood's word." 

" Adieu, then," said Luther, getting into his carriage. 

But one of the company seized him by his robes, and said: 


'< Before you leave, master, a word as to baptism and the 

^' What ! have you not my books ?" said the monk impa- 
tiently to him ; " read them." 

'' I have read them, and, on my oonscience, they do not 
satisfy me." 

" If you find fault with anything in them, write against me /' 
and he drove off. 

" To the devil and all his imps with you ! " exclaimed the 
company, burgomaster, councillors, and shoemaker ; " may you 
break your neck and limbs before you get out of the city ! "^ 

Let us leave Luther to chant his victory over the burgomaster 
and shoemaker of Orlamiinde ; whilst from the breast of Garlstadt, 
the sceptic, that is to say, the personification of the Protestant 
principle, will burst forth a breath of life ; the archdeacon will 
sow among the briars and thorns, through which he walks a 
fugitive, in peasant's attire, and with a long sword by his side, 
the seeds of rebellion against him whom he styles the *^ pope of 
Wittemberg/' Until the end of time, every rising sun will 
cause one of these germs to blow. Luther would fain take 
refuge in that luminous cloud called ^' tradition," from which he 
has violently separated. But it is all in vain that he makes, as 
we admit, magnificent efibrts of mind and body to recall those 
who firom the outset had abandoned it, misled by his teaching 
and example ; Garlstadt, and all those whom his voice misleads, 
wiU no longer heed a letter which fetters the intellect ; it is 
Rationalism which henceforth shall be the ruler of the new 
Church ; and those remains of truth, which Luther still main- 
tains with admirable courage, will fiUl one by one under the 
strokes of those who boast of being his disciples, but who deny 
their master, when he wishes to stop them on the brink of 
the gulph ! 

In the city of Antwerp, preachers proclaimed that every man 
is possessed of the Spirit of God ; that this Spirit is none other 
than the reason which is bom with us ; that beyond this life 
there will be no punishment for the soul ; that the body only will 

* " Abi in nomine miUe dsmonum. Utinam pneceps oorruas fraotis cervi- 
xxibuB antaquam civitatem egrediaris/'—UIenberg, I. c. p. 254. 


suffer ; that nature wills that we should do to our neighbour what 
we should wish him to do to us ; that he who has not the Spirit 
cannot sin, because he is deprived of his reason.' 

John Denck, professor of literature at Nuremberg, taught his 
pupils that the Son and the Holy Ghost are not equal to the 

Louis Hetzer, of the same city, wrote a long treatise against 
the divinity of Jesus.* 

" Lo ! " mournfully exclaims Luther, " one rejects baptism ; 
another, the eucharist ; another constructs a new world between 
the present and that which will arise after the last judgment ; 
another, who strikes out revelation from his creed ; one says 
this ; the other, that ; there are as many sects as there are 
heads ; everybody wishes to become a prophet."* 

At Strasbuig, while Matthew Zell was in the pulpit, a man 
entered the cathedral, and called to the preacher : " You lie ; 
you lie to the Hojy Ghost ! " He was thrust out of the church, 
and when on the steps of the porch, exclaimed : " Your preachers 
deceive you f "^ 

At Zurich, the number of those who attacked Zwinglius's doc- 
trine was so great, that, to put an ^end to their outcries against 
the reformer, it was necessary to expel them the city. They 
then spread into other cities, — Schaffhausen, Saint Gall, Basle, 
Berne, Croire, and Soleure, everywhere endeavouring to stir up 
people against the Lutheran and Zwinglian creeds. 

Constance and Waldshut were filled with dissenters who, 

* " Jeder Menach hat den heiligen Geiat ; der faeilige Geist ist nichts weiier 
fds UDsere Vernunft und Veratand. Jeder Mensch glaubt. . . . Die Natur 
lehrt dass ich meinem Nachsten thun soUe, was ich mir will gethan haben, &c." 
— Karl Hagen. 1. c. torn. ii. p. 110. 

* " Norimberg» ludimagiater apud Sebaldi templum negavit Spiritum Sanc- 
tum et Filium ease sequalea Patri." — Capito Zwingl. ep. Zwinglii, torn. i. p. 47. 

See, in Earl Hagen, the chapter entitled, Louia Hetser and Jamea Eiautz. 
The author qnotea the following linea, by Hetzer, on the Trinity : — 
" Ich bin allein der einig Gott, 
Der ohne Httlf all Ding beachaffen hat. 

Fragat du, wie viel meiner aei t 
Ich bin'a allein, meiner aind nicht drei." 
— ^See, aa to Hetzer : Frank, Chronik, p. 425. 

' Fiiaati, Beitrage fUr die achweizeriache Reform. -Geachichte, torn. iii. p. 310. 

* Luther an die Chriaten zu Antwerpen. De Wette, 1. c. torn. iii. pp. 60, 64. 

* Epiat. Zwinglii, torn. i. p. 616. 


witli the Gospel in hand, announced themselves as the Lord's 

Ulm, Eslingen, Eentlingen, Rothenbmg on the Necker, 
Stuttgart, and Heilbronn^ opened their gates to Mnnzer's 

Rebellion of the poor against the rich, political and religious 
equality, were preached at Munich, Scherding, and Ratisbon.' 

Garlstadt's opinions on adoration in spirit, carried down by the 
Danube, were taught on both sides of the river.* 

If Luther complained of his disciples' treason, his disciples 
did not disguise the motives for their desertion. They accused 
him of having dastardly abandoned the cause of the poor to 
support the rich ; of showing no pity towards the oppressed ; and 
of having thrown aside the life-giving spirit of the pure Gospel, 
to preachy a letter which both killed body and soul. These 
complaints possess something which goes direct to the heart, 
because they fall from the lips of men deceived by the fine 
theories of liberty which the Saxon monk formerly promulgated, 
and who bore in exile the punishment of their blind faith in 
the apostle of Germany.* 

These dissensions tended more and more to absorb the Catholic 
principle. Other elements of disorganization, set in operation 
by Luther, were to hasten the fall of authority in Germany ; 
these were entirely human, namely, the secularization of the reli- 
gious houses, the marriage of the monks, the spoliation of the 
property of the clergy, and the usurpation of the civil over the 
spiritual power. 

Let us take a rapid survey of their fatal influences.^ 

' Haller to Zwinglios, Ep. torn. ii. pp. 49, 66. 

' Pfaff, Geschichte der Reicbstadt EsslingeD, 1840, p. 492. Gayler, Denk- 
wUrdigkeiten toq Beutlingen, 1840, p. 297. 

' Otto, Annales Anabapt. ad ann. 1626, 1527, pp. 44, 46, 49. 

* Raupacb, EvaDgeliBcbes Oestreich, p. 52. 

^ M. Alexander Weill has contributed to the Phalange (1845) several 
remarkable articles on the peasants* war, in which Lather's part in that 
struggle is properly appreciated. 

' The history of the development of the sectarian spirit, after the defeat of 
the peasants and the banishment of the prophets, belongs much more to the 
general history of the Reformation than to the biography of Luther. The 
following curious books may be consulted, on the variations of Protestantism 
at that time : — ^Nebr, Beitrage zur Kirchengeschichte von Windsheioi, 1801 ; 



RIAGE OF THE MONKS. 1524, 1525. 

How Luther contrived to legitimate the expulsion of the monks. — ^Disordera 
occasioned in the monasteries by the reformer's writings against celibacy, — 
The unfrodced monks enter the service of the printers. — ^They are active 
auxiliaries for the Reformation. — Froben of BAle. — Garlstadt. — ^Monachal 
bigamies. — What Luther thought of them. 

Thb secularization of the monks was one of the great measares 
contriyed hy the Reformer to destroy Catholicism ; it was neces- 
sarily followed by the spoliation of the religions hoases. 

Among the Protestants> some timorous persons searched the 
Scriptures for texts to appease the cry of their consciences, and 
palliate their attempts against individual and moral liberty. An 
angel seemed to hold the Bible open at that page in which Grod 
prohibits yiolence. They consulted Luther, and put this ques- 
tion to him : — 

'^ It is said, that to force consciences is forbidden ; yet, do not 
our princes expel the monks from their monasteries V 

" The casuist replies,* * Yes ; we must not compel any one 
to believe our doctrines ; we have never done violence to con- 
science ^ but it would be a crime not to prevent our doctrines 
from being profaned. To repel scandal is not to injure liberty. 
I cannot compel a rogue to become an honest man, but I can 
prevent him from doing mischief. A prince cannot compel a 
highwayman to confess the Lord; but he has a gibbet for 
malefactors.' "' 

''But do we not tolerate the Jews, who blaspheme the 

" The Jews belong neither to the clerical nor secular com- 

Jack, Materalien zur Gkschichte Ton Bamberg, torn. iii. ; Falkenstein, Chronik 
Ton Schwabach ; Will, Geschichte der Wiedertaufer in Ntimberg ; Winter, 
Geschichte der Wiedertaufer in Baiem. 

' ** Ob die FUrsten recht daran gethan, dass sie nicht haben dulden wollen 
das Klosterleben und die Messe."— Luther's Werke : Witt tom. ix. p. 456. 

N 2 


munities ; they are captives among us, and we do not suffer 
them to blaspheme God in our presence. A robber aboat to be 
hanged may insult his judges ; who could prevent him 1 But 
our monks wish to be * de utroque jure ;' to blaspheme publicly, 
and be entitled to do it ! They would wish to resemble the 
JeivSj and belong neither to Christ nor to CaBsar ; to proclaim 
themselves enemies of Christ and of Caesar ; and that we should 
permit thtm in their synagogues to blaspheme the Lord at their 
pleusure, and as long as they like ! " He continues : — 

** Soj when our princes were in doubt whether the monastic 
life and private masses were an offence against God, they would 
have done wrong to close the monasteries ; but since they have 
been enlightened, and see that the conventual life and the Mass 
are insults to the Deity, they would have been guilty, had they 
not exercised their power to proscribe them ; for it is written : 
* Thou Bhalt love God with all thy heart and all thy strength.' " 

The princes religiously obeyed Luther. 

Erasmus, who was in Germany at the time when Luther's pam- 
phlet against celibacy appeared, has left us some curious details of 
the disorders w^hich it excited in the monasteries. He represents 
certain towns in Germany crowded with cowled deserters and 
vagrant apostates, married priests, starving and half-naked 
monks, leapiag, dancing, getting drunk, and praying for bread 
and a wife for the rest of their lives, and paying no more r^ard 
to the Gospel than to a hair of their beards.* Wives they had 
in abundance ; when they could not find them in converts, they 
sought for tliem in brothels. What cared they for priestly bene- 
diction ? They married each other, and celebrated their nuptials 
in revelries, wherein both spouses seldom failed to lose their 

" Formerly," adds our philosopher, " men le^t their wives for 
the sake of the Gospel ; now, the Gospel is said to flourish when 
a monk has the luck to marry a rich wife.* All, however, are 
not so happy as (Ecolampadius, who, to mortify his flesh, has 
married a rich and pretty girl."^ 

' "Amtint yiaticum et uxorem, cstera pili non faciunt." — £p. Erasmi, 
p. 637. Jean Paul styles them " zweidrittels Mooche." 

■ *' Nuoe fioi^t Evangelium, si pauci ducant uxores benfe dotatas/' p. 768. 

' " Nuper CEoolampadius duxit uxorem^ puellam non iuelegantem ; volt, 



These apostate monks generally married nuns. At first, 
modest yoang women, or those who belonged to respectable 
families, would not marry them. Where could mothers be 
found so devoid of shame as to give their daughters to those 
monks who, in Luther's own words, had abandoned celibacy 
merely from lustful impulses ?' Besides, a great number of them 
had nothing to cover them except their monastic dress. The 
most of them entered into the service of printers or book- , 
sellers. Unhappily, there were many of them who could scarcely 
read, and who, after having for several days yielded to every 
temptation of the flesh, had no means of living, and were 
obliged to beg ; this was too severe a profession, which would 
have ended by disgusting the renegades with a wandering life, 
and a spectacle which would have brought shame on the Reforma- 
tion. Luther had foreseen this, and had divided the property 
of the monasteries into several parts, one of which was assigned 
for the support of the secularized religious. 

We might fancy that the Reformation was no gainer by these 
shameful desertions ; — we are mistaken : " Every apostasy," 
says Plank, '^ carried off from Catholicism an instrument of 
proselytism which in its sphere of activity could impede the 
progress of the Reformation." ^ Having renounced his faith, the 
apostate sought to avenge himself on his brethren, either by 
calumniating or driving them to perjury ; he played itmong feeble 
minds the part of spy and tempter ; the wicked monk trans- 
formed himself into a bad angel. 

At that period, they were to be seen in bands attacking the con- 
vents, and afterwards walking arm-in-arm with the virgins whom 
they had dishonoured. Erasmus, more than once, met monks 
laden with spoils which they had stolen from the churches, reeling 
under the fiimes of wine, and rushing shamelessly to brothels.' 

opinor, affligere camem. Quidam appellant Lutheranam tragoediam, mihi vide- 
tur ease comcedia ; semper enim in nuptias exeunt tumultus." — Ep. p. 632. 

' " Viele dieser Menschen werden bloss vom Bauche und tod Fleischesl listen 
getrieben, und bringen grossen Gestank in den guten Greruch des Evangeliums." 
— Menzel, Neuere Geschichte, &c. torn. i. p. 183. 

* Plank, 1. c. torn. iv. p. 83. Arnold, 1. c. lib. xyi. ch. vi. passim. 

• " Sunt rureus qui incident Opibus sacerdotum, et sunt, qui, ut sua fortiter 
profundunt, vino, scortis, et aieft, itk rapinia alienonim inhiant." — Erasmi, 
fep. p. 766. 


Some, yielding to the passion which tormented them, would 
mount a deserted pulpit, and preach to the people the doctrines . 
which their master had taught in his treatise on monastic tows, — 
such as : '^ That as in the early ages of Christianity the Church 
required to elevate the state of virginity in the midst of a heathen 
society, so now, that the Lord had let the light of his Gospd 
shine, she required to exalt marriage and honour it at the cost of 
the papistic celibacy ; and that, since Daniel and St. Paul repre- 
sented Antichrist as the adversary of marriage, they were bound 
to fulfil the law imposed by God upon our first parents, unless 
they wished to be stamped on. the brow with the mark of the 
beast." 1 

There were some who delivered long tirades extracted from 
the sermon upon marriage, and who, mounted on a bulk, ex- 
claimed to their auditors : " Get married ; the union of the sexes 
is as necessary as meat and drink.'^ Priests, still more shameless, 
like the curate of Strasburg, of whom we have spoken, drew from 
their cassock a general confession, and mentioned the day on 
which they had violated the sixth of God's commandments. 

There were Augustinians who made a business of difiusing in 
the country places the Lutheran pamphlets, poisoning ihe minds 
and living at the expense of the poor people whom they deprived 
of eternal life.* Cochl»us represents these monks as standing 
at the church-doors, and, during divine service, exclaiming: 
" Buy, buy the * Prophecies against Antichrist ; ' buy the * Pope- 
ass,' the ' Monk-calf;' buy the ' Pope and the Sow."'» The 
magistrates seldom ventured to turn them away ; first, because 
they also expected that a portion of the treasures which the 
closing of the Catholic churches and the expulsion of the religious 
would be given to them as the price of their toleration ; ♦ and, 
next, because these monks were protected by all the bad passions 
of the people, with whom they frequently divided the gains of 
their robbery. Besides, who knows whether such zeal on the 

' Oper. Lath. torn. i. p. 526 et seq. 

* " InfinituB jam erat numems qui victum ex Ltitheranis libris qtUBritantes^ 
in Bpedem bibliopolarum longb lat^ue per Grermanise proyindaa vagabantur.** 
— Gocid. in ActiB, &c. p. 68. 

' See chapter vi. of this yolume, entitled The Pictures. 

* ** Multos evexit et ditavit Lutberus, nonnullis profait esse Lutheranis."— - 
Eraami, Ep. p. 580. 


part of the inferior authorities might not have heen displeasing 
to the court, where the elector professed Lutheranism ? It is 
true that the emperor's edicts prohibited the anti-catholic books ; 
but, with the exception of Duke George, none of the great 
Christian princes of Germany cared to put them in force ; their 
empty threats were laughed at by the innovators. The magis- 
trates, who were ordered to search for the heterodox pamphlets, 
shut their eyes ; how, then, should the people have shown them- 
selves more ready than the magistrates to obey the imperial 
rescripts ? The booksellers lent themselves to this propagation 
of Lutheran libels, by printing them in every sort of form, 
selling them at a nominal price in the fairs of Germany, and 
firequently embellishing them with false titles, to deceive the 
piety of the simple folk.* Froben, of Basle, realized a hand- 
some fortune by this trade ; for many years his presses were 
occupied solely in reprinting the writings of the Reformer. 
Erasmus himself was a long time afraid of being unable to find 
a printer to publish his treatise on firee-will. He wrote to the 
king of England : ^' If your majesty and the learned men of 
your court desire to have my work, I shall finish it, and en- 
deavour to publish a portion of it, for I cannot find a printer 
here who will venture to print a single line against Luther : as 
r^rds the pope, it is otherwise."* See with what mercantile 
exultation Froben mentions his success in a letter to Luther ! 
" All your works move off," he says, " I have only ten 
copies left ; never had books such a sale."' If CochlsBus, 
Hochstraet, or some monk replied to the Reformer, they could 
scarcely find a publisher ; they were obliged to resort to unskil- 
ful workmen, who spoiled their books with solecisms and bar- 
barisms, which called forth the merriment of the learned, and 
consigned the author's name to the sarcasms of the Reformers. 
The monks who, after Luther's essay against the monastic life, 
had become journeymen printers for their bread, and lent their 
hands and learning to those masters whom the Reformation 
enriched, reproduced with inconceivable ardour the pamphlets of 
the innovators. If it happened that a Catholic had sufficient 

■ CochL in Actie, ftc. p. 50. * £p. Erasmi, p. 752. 

* Oper. Lath. tonf. i. pp. 888, 889. 


money to tempt the cupidity of a printer, his text came forth 
from the hands of apostates disfigured with errors ; and, after a 
long eSorty and irreparable loss of time, the unfortunate book 
appeared on the stalls of the booksellers of Frankfort, at the 
great Easter fair, with all its deformities of idiom, contemptible 
size, wretched type, and coarse paper, alongside of the Lutheran 
pamphlet in all its luxury of fine white leaves, beautiftd and 
skilful typography, and careful revision : " Then,'' says Coch- 
ladus, " there was no end to the laughter of the Frankfort mer- 
chants at the ignorance of the Papists." ^ 

Monks were to be seen who, after a few months' marriage, re- 
turned to their bachelor life, and answered to those who reproached 
them for deserting their wives, that Luther had found no text 
in the Scriptures forbidding divorces ; and others, who, the 
better to obey God's command to " increase and multiply," took 
two wives at a time. On the first example of bigamy given by a 
monk, the old morals of Germany were shocked ; they anxiously 
searched the Bible of the Wittemberg doctor for a text authorising 
polygamy. They consulted the translator, and this was hisi 
answer : " The prince ought to ask the bigamist, ' Have yoa 
obeyed your conscience directed by God's word ?' If he replies : 
^' It is by Garlstadt,' or some other, the prince has nothing more 
to object ; for he has no right to disquiet or hush the inward voice 
of that man, or decide in a matter entirely within the jurisdiction 
of him who, according to Zacharias, is commissioned to explain 
the divine law. For my part, I confess that I do not see how I 
can prevent polygamy ; there is not in the sacred texts the least 
word against those who take several wives at one time ; but there 
are many things permissible that ought not becomingly to be done : 
of these is bigamy."* 

* " £a tamen neglectim, itk festinantur ac vitios^ imprimebant, nt majorem 
prratiam eo obsequio referrent Lntheranis qukm Gatholicis. Si qui eorum 
justiorem Gatholicis openun impeDderent, hi k ceteris in publicis mercatiboii 
FraDCofordise et alibi vezabantur ac ridebantur velut papistae et sacerdotnm 
servi." — Cochl. in Actis, pp. 58, 59. See Die Uraachen der schnellen Verbrei- 
tuDg der Reformation zunachst in Deutschland, by James Marx, in which the 
action of the press on the diffusion of the refonned opinions is admirably 
described in the 12th chapter, entitled Die Buchdrucker nnd Buchhandler 
befordem die Reformation, p. 152 et seq. 

* " Ego sanb fateor me non posse prohibere si quis plnres yelit uxoree dncere, 
nee repugnat sacris litteris. Egregio viro D. Gregorio Brack, 18 Jan. 1524." 
-De Wette, 1. c. torn. ii. p. 469. 


Carlstadt, whom we find wherever there is scandisd, replied to 
Luther : " Since you have not, any more than myself, found any 
tezt in the Sciiptures against bigamy, let us be bigamists, triga- 
mists, or have as many wives as we can support. ' Increase and 
multiply,' — ^you understand ? Let us, then, obey the command 
of Heaven ! " 



Xiuther, in order to win the prinoes over to hia doctrines^ offers them the spoils 
of the monasteries. — Feudal Germany had long aspired to burst the tutelage 
in which Rome held her, for the sake of the nations. — ^Effects of Luther's 
preaching on the great vassals of the empire. — Code drawn up by the Saxon 
monk for the use of the princes who coveted the property of the Church. — 
Invasion of the temporal on the rights of the spiritual power. — These 
attempts are justified and commended by Luther, Melancthon, Bucer, 
BuUinger, and all the leaders of the ReformatioD. — Doctrines of slavery 
taught by them. — Pillage of the Catholic churches and properties. — ^Tardy 
indignation of Luther. — Had he not preached robbery and murder f — Useless 
advances made by him to some of his adversaries. 

JuRiBU has acknowledged that Geneva, Switzerland, the 
republics and firee cities, the electors and princes of Germany, 
England, Scotland, Sweden, and Denmark, drove out " popery,", 
and established their religious revolution only by the assistance 
of the civil power.* In Saxony, Lutheranism, left to the popular 
instincts, to prosely tism, and the action of the Reformer on men's 
minds, was but slowly developed ; its advance would have been 
checked every instant.^ It is enough to cast a glance at the 
court of Duke George of Saxony, where no one, while that prince 
lived, allowed himself to be seduced by the innovations, to com- 
prehend the influence of the civil power on religious opinions. 
He was scarcely dead, when the Reformation entered the electoral 

' Die Ursachen der schnellen Yerbreitung der Reformation, von Jakob 
Marx, p. 64. 

^ " £s ist klar dass die fUrstlichen Oewalten keineswegs giinstig fUr die 
Reformation gesinnt waren, und wir wisseu ja, dass ausser dem EhurfUrsten 
von Sachsen sich bis jetzt keiner fur sie erklarte." — Karl Hagen, L c. tom. u 
p. U6, 


palace, and from the palace soon gained Misnia and Thnringen. 
The human mind is seldom excited by opinions which give no 
advantage. Melancthon admits that, in the triumph of the 
Reformation, the princes had in view neither the purification of 
Christianity, the difiusion of learning, the exalting of a creed, 
nor the amelioration of morals, but wretched, profane, and earthly 
interests.* "They are worthy Lutherans," said the doctor, speaking 
of the Saxon princes, " who adjudge to themselves the treasures 
of the cloisters, and religiously keep the jewels of the churches ! " 
Luther, to win them, offered them in perspective the property 
of the clergy and the monasteries. Duke Oeorge was the only 
one capable of resisting him ; this prince stands out boldly 
among his contemporaries as an upright, ardent, and just man, 
whom no worldly ambition could move. 

Germany, in the middle ages, extended from the lake of Con- 
stance, or sea of Suabia, to the confines of Poland. Christianity 
had softened the savage manners of its natives, cleared its forests, 
changed its solitudes into cities, and assisted it to throw off the 
yoke of the Romans. For all that it possessed of fiiith, science, 
and intellectual art at Luther's advent, it waA indebted to its 
ancient bishops. The tree of feudalism had first flourished on 
its soil It was one of the European states in which the influence 
of the papacy was most sensibly felt. Its great vassals had often 
striven to free themselves from ultramontane dependence ; but 
their efforts had been vain, because they had not found a very 
zealous protector in the emperor. We have seen at the diet of 
Nuremberg the attempts of the Oermanic body to establish its 
independence. The secular and ecclesiastic princes set forth, in 
the name of the nation, grievances which they communicated to 
the pope's legate, with the consent of Ferdinand, the brother and 
representative of Charles V. They demanded the redress of a 
hundred grievances, as indispensable for maintaining peace in 
the German Church. Pope Adrian VI. had anticipated thdr 
wishes, and was inclined to grant some of the immunities which 
they sought ; but the bad feeling and constantly increasing 

' ** Sie bekUmmerten sich gar nicht um die Lehre : es aei ihnen bloss am die 
Frelheit und die Herrscfaaft zu thun." Gobbett has developed the B&me idea in 
his work on the reformation of England. 

* Luther, Von beider Gestalt des Sacraments : Witt. 1528. 


exactions of the refonned princes^ who wished to separate them- 
selves from Borne at all cost, thwarted this work of con- 

For a long time Hutten laboured to destroy the spiritual 
authority of Rome in (Jermany. " His plan," says M. Alexan- 
der Weill, " may be summed up in a few words ; — ^to re-establish 
the unity of Germany in the name of the new Gospel religion, 
and to expel all the reigning princes and bishops ; to unite the 
petty aristocracy to the citizens, and even to the peasantry, and 
proclaim liberty and confraternity in the name of the emperor 
and the Gospd. As to his emperor, he was ready made ; and 
never was hero more worthy than Franz von Sickengen to wear 
an imperial crown." ^ 

Under \he pretext of liberty, Hutten's partisans desired a 
schism. Then Rome might be unable to interfere, as she had so 
often done, in the quarrels between princes and their subjects, that 
is to say, between the oppressors and the oppressed. How often had 
the eye of the pope, fixed on the great German body, prevented 
the feudatories from trampling under foot the privileges and 
franchises of their vassals ! Protestants themselves have acknow- 
ledged the efficacy of that intervention in the struggles of the 
clergy with the empire. 

The truth is, that frequently the lay prebendaries and secular 
princes, who had received from the pope palaces, fine estates, 
and rich abbeys, bore with impatience a foreign tutelage. They 
would have desired to levy taxes at their own will, trample 
on their subjects at pleasure, and live by plunder like their 
ancestors, sheltered from the dread of Rome. They preferred 
the highways to the palaces, and had not entirely stripped off 
that savage nature which they had inherited from their ancestors 
for the misfortune of mankind. They passionately loved to 
hunt the deer, sound the horn, and mount fiery steeds. Who 
has not heard of the exploits of Goetz von Berlichingen, Wil- 
helm von Grumbach, or Franz von Sickengen, that hero of 
Hutten, who hunted monks as they do wild boars ? One his- 
torian describes Germany as being at this time changed into a 
very den of robbers, and the nobility contending among them- 

' The peasftats* war. La PhaLaage, Januaiy and February, 1845, p. 117. 


selves in rapacity.^ The Eoman chancery made them pay lai^ge 
sums for the war with the Turks, the judicial proceedings of 
various tribunals, and dispensations for certain observances, 
under pain of interdict and excommunication.^ Now, observe 
Luther assembling all these chiefs of clans, these highwaymen, 
these modem Nimrods, and saying to them : *' Tour power 
emanates from God alone, you have no master on this earth, you 
owe nothing to the pope, mind your own affairs, and let him 
mind his ; he is the Antichrist predicted by the prophet Daniel ; 
he is the man of sin, the sovereign of Babylon the whore ; you 
princes and nobles owe him neither first-fruits nor services for 
the abbeys which he has bestowed upon you. These abbeys are as 
much your property as the beasts which run on your lands, the 
birds which fly over your fields, or the fishes which swim in your 
ponds. The monasteries in which these pious hypocrites live are 
dens of iniquity, which infest your possessions, — chouses of abomi- 
nation, which devour the food of your subjects, — ^barren briars, 
which you must root out, if you wish God to bless you in this 
life or the next. Make a crusade against Rome, put between 
her and you an eternal wall of separation, and embrace the new 
Gospel. Cast off your chains, and, like Hermann, deliver Ger- 
many from the Eoman conquerors ; purge the earth from this 
vermin of monks, a theocracy a thousand times more shameful 
than the yoke of your ancient masters." 

Is it to be believed that such language — and Luther more 
than once made use of it — could fail to destroy all those whom 
the monk marked out to popular animadversion ? And when did 
Luther make it be heard ? When Charles V. was four hundred 
leagues from Wittemberg ; when all Germany was disorganised ; 
when the episcopal authority was violently attacked ; when the 
people believed in the advent of a new Messiah, announced by 
Phiffer and Munzer ; and when the Turk threatened Hungary. 

To those who set themselves in rebellion against the spiritual 
authority, the monk decreed an earthly crown composed of the 
diamonds, precious stones, gold and silver, of the monasteries ; 

' " Potentissima Germania et potentigaima et nobilissima, sed ea tota nuno 
QDum latrocinium est, etille inter nobiles gloriosiorqui rapacior." — Campanua^ 
in Freher, Script. Grerm. torn. ii. pp. 294/ 295. 

> Botteck, Hiflt. 06n^rale, torn. iii. p. 79. 


and a heavenly one fashioned by the hand of God. One 
of these alone was enough to excite the cupidity of the princes. 
The treasures of the cloisters resembled the martyr's blood of 
Tertullian, and daily produced new disciples to the Reformation. 
There was in the religious houses wherewith to allure covetousness : 
wine, com, gold, silver, and even nuns who formed part of the 
booty.* We have the testimony of Luther himself, who affirms 
that the ostensoria or monstrances of the Church had made 
many conversions.^ In like manner it was that Albert, mar- 
grave of Brandenbui^, apostatized, that he might with a safe 
conscience rob the Teutonic order of the country of Prussia, 
which he erected into a hereditary principality ; ' and that 
Franz von Sickengen, at the head of twelve thousand bandits, 
recruited in the forests, invaded the archbishopric of Treves, 
leaving on his march long tracts of blood. 

Luther had drawn up, for the use of those who coveted their 
neighbour's goods, a code, consisting of eight articles, in which 
legalized theft became a commandment of God. The first and 
largest share of the plunder was for the evangelical curates and 
preachers ; the second for the masters and mistresses who were 
to instruct children in the secularized religious houses ; the third 
for those who from age were unable to work, and for the sick ; 
the fourth for orphans ; the fifth for the parochial poor ; the 
sixth for destitute strangers and travellers ; the seventh for 
maintaining buildings ; and the eighth for forming granaries of 
corn in case of scarcity.* The princes were not mentioned in 
this plan of division ; but as Luther, in his Argyrophylax, had 
said to them, " In a short while you will see what tons of gold 
are concealed in the monasteries,'' ^ threatening them with the 
vengeance of heaven if they did not seize on them ; ^ the princes 

* Unpartheiische Kirchen- and KetzerhiBtorie, torn. ii. ch. xvi. 

' " XII. Predigt von Lather. Viele siod noch gut evangelisch, wiel efl noch 
katholische Moastranzen and KloBtergUtergibt." — Jak. Marx, p. 174. Menzel, 
torn. i. pp. 871—379. 

> Kotteck, 1. c. p. 98. 

^ De Fisco Commanl, voy. Cochl. in Actis, p. 84. 

* " Ezperiemini intra paacos menses quot centom aoreonim millia unius 
ezignsB ditionis Testrse nionachi et id g^nas hominam possideant." — Coobl. 
p. 148. 

' " GottloB seyen diejenigen die diese GUter nicht an sioh zogen, and sie 
beaser yerwendeten, als die Monche." 


coBjsidered tlieinselyes authorized to regulate the partition of the 
booty. They thoroughly oomprehended the lion's share ; firom 
compassion they gaye to the obstinate monks some clothing, that 
they might beg on the highways ; — a little money to those who 
had been obedient to Lather ; — and, by a singular generosity, the 
sacred vessels of the secularised monastery to the curate of the 
parish who consented to embrace Lutheranism ; all the rest went 
to their mistresses and courtiers ; and when they were as greedy 
as the landgrave of Hesse, they kept to themselves the vest- 
ments, sacerdotal robes, tapestries, chased plate, and vessels of 
the sanctuaries. ''To the devil!" soon exclaimed Luther, in 
his rage ; " to the devil with senators, castellans, princes, and 
nobles, and mighty lords, who leave not to the preachers, the 
priests and servants of the Oospel, wherewith to support their 
wives and children.''* This was the same landgrave who, 
not content with the property of the Churchy which he had 
openly robbed, yet wished to meddle with the organization of its 
worship, and suppress the elevation of. the chalice at the Mass.* 
Was it not a disgusting spectacle to witness those ducally, 
electorally, or princely crowned robbers, who, because they did 
not find, like Heliodorus, angels at the gates of the temples 
which they pillaged, presumed to r^ulate the forms of service 
in that old church from which they had torn down the image of 
Christ, expelled the priests, and transformed the vessels of the 
sanctuary into plate for their tables ; to say how many grains 
of incense should be burnt in a thurible, which had somehow 
escaped the hunt which they made after everything that had the 
colour of gold or silver, and teach the bishops the use of the 
ciborium? Thus the Reformation which, by the mouth of its 
apostle, was proclaimed in Germany as coming to free the people 
from the priestly yoke, created a pagan monstrosity, hierophant 
and magistrate, with one arm seizing the exterior or political act^ 
and the interior or religious one. Melancthon's eye had seen 
across the future the sacrifice of the people's liberties in those 
prerogatives which Luther conferred on the civil government. 
He would have preserved the episcopal jurisdiction, which the 

* In his Tisch-Reden, quoted by J. Marx, p. 175. 

* J. Marx, 1. c. p. 177. 


fiery refonner crashed to insure the snccess of his own doctrines.^ 
It was natoraly that once in possession of an authority so exor- 
bitant, the princes should not wish again to sacrifice it ; and, at 
the peace of Westphalia, they stipulated, as one of the prero- 
gatiyes of the civil power, for the right of reformation, jus refor^ 
mandi, in spiritual matters.^ 

But Melancthon does not tell us that, like his master, he 
▼olnntarily sacrificed the democratic principle of the Reforma- 
tion, in counselling the landgrave of Hesse, who consulted him 
on the subject of the religious disputes so frequent among the 
Protestant ministers, to withdraw the word fxom those who did 
not preach the trae gospel ; thus constituting a secular prince 
judge in the last resort of a bible text^ 

It was after the extermination of the peasants, for which 
Luther returned thanks to Ood, that the attempts of the Pro- 
testant princes against the civil and religious liberties of their 
subjects were everywhere openly made. The oppressed had lost 
the protector whom he believed had been sent to him by the 
Lord in the person of Luther ; for the temporal prince, hence- 
forward the Saxon evangelist's arm of flesh, the monk had 
digested a theory, which permitted him to dare all things, and 
to make use of the scourge and the ball against those who might 
seek to rebel That theory of doing as they pleased was sup- 
ported even by Melancthon. Bucer, on his part, preached 
slavery in terms still more precise. He taught that the civil 
authority is sole judge of its conduct: that to it exclusively 
belongs the decision whether it should act justly or capriciously, 
by blood or other punishments, as the living representative, .in 
all that it does, of God who sits in the highest heavens. The 
civil power must be obeyed : where there is civil power there is 
the law ; unless we rebel against God, we must obey the prince 
in everything which he prescribes, as the instrument of divine 

« J. Mwi, 1. c. p. 478. » Ibid. 

' Karl Hagen, L c. torn. ii. p. 156. 

* It is a Protestant who has found, in one of Bnoer's works, this apotheosis 
of despotism. The following are his words:— "Martin Bucer stellt ohne 
Weiteres den Grundsatz auf, dass jede Obrigkeit, mag sie nun ihre Gewalt 
exfaalten haben, wie sie will, rechtlioh oder unrechtlich, dutch Mord oder 
Bonstige Schandtbaten, schon durch die Thatsache als eine von Gott einge- 


That the civil power should be master of men's consciences, 
was a right which all the reformers conceded to it after the fall 
of the peasants. Bncer goes so far as to assert that the civil 
power may use fire and sword against all those who have em- 
braced error, because a heretic is more guilty than a robber or a 
murderer. He desires that the civil power should have the right 
of putting to death both the child and the wife, and the flock of 
the guilty ; and he appeals to the Old Testament in justification 
of his frightful doctrine. " Now,^' says he, " if the New Testa- 
ment has made obedience to the pure word of God a command- 
ment still more express than the old, does it not follow that 
disobedience to that word ought to be still more severely 
punished?'' Bo not speak to him of that law of love which 
Christ came to bring to men, and which in no case allows of 
confounding the innocent with the guilty ; he replies, " that in 
Christ's time tde men who held the reins of government had not 
yet embraced the Gospel, and that therefore to them the com- 
mandments of Christ were not addressed." * 

Old Erasmus, remembering Luther's profession of faith at 
Worms, wherein he insisted that no means but the Gospel should 
he used to convert the Christian who had ferred, now smiled, and 
muttered, " Oppression ! " But Bucer replied to him, " We 
must draw a distinction : it would be oppression to use violence 
to guide men into error ; but not so if, to lead them to truth. 

BOtzte zu betraohten sei ; denn fionst batte Gott die Gewalt niobt zugelaasen : 
daber mtisse man jeder Obrigkeit oboe Unterscbied geborchen, denn wo 
Gewalt, ist aucb daas Recbt Ja, er gebt so weit, dass er bebauptet, ancb wenn 
di^ Obrigkeit etwas wider das Gebot Gottes befeble, so mUsae der Untertban 
geborcben ; denn es sei anzunebmen, dass dann Gott denselben mit der Rntbe 
strafen woUe." — Karl Hagen, 1. c. pp. 154, 155. 

1 '< Er gebt dann so weit, dass er der Obrigkeit das Recbt einramnt, dieje- 
nigen, welcbe eine falscbe Religion baben, mit Feuer nnd Scbwert anszurotten, 
indem diese die Mutter aller Caster ware, nnd solcbe Leute eine viel bartere 
Strafe verdienten, als Diebe, Ranber, Morder. Ja^ er erlaubt sogar, ancb die 
nnscbnldigen Kinder nnd Weiber, selbst das Vieb solcber Mensoben zu erwiir- 
gen, nnd beruft siob dabei auf das Alte Testament, wo es Gott scbon geboten 
babe. Da nun aber das Neue Testament in der Gottesfurcbt nocb weiter geben 
solle, milsste die Strafe fUr ein solcbes Vergeben mindestens eben so gross sein, 
wie im Alten, wo nicbt grosser. Den Einwurf, dass Cbristus solcbe Gran- 
samkeit docb nicbt geboten babe, widerlegt er damit^ dass er sagt, zu Cbristi 
Zeiten batten die Obrigkeiten das Evangelium nocb nicbt angenommen gebabt : 
er babe es ibnen aucb nicbt gebieten konnen." — Karl Hagen, 1. c. torn. ii. 
p. 157. See Dialogi, oder Gespracbe von den gemeinsamen und den Kircben- 
Uebungen, und was jeder Obrigkeit von Amtswegen aus gottlicbem Befeble, 
an denselben zu verseben und zu bessem geblire : 1525. 


tre were to employ even the gibbet : against the dissenter into- 
lerance is a duty/' ^ 

The confiscation of the goods of the clergy, an attack on the 
rights of property, followed the common law of every revolu- 
tionary measure, and was accompanied by tumults, violent 
pillage, the fury of the victors and blood of the vanquished, 
ivhen the latter, using their right of lawful defence, endeavoured 
to repel force by force, or when, indifferent to the perishable 
goods of this life, they contended with words alone, in name 
of their fiedth and their conscience. A great number of priests 
repeated the noble example of the Christians of the primitive 
Church, suffered the justice of men to take its course, and sur- 
rendered without a murmur all that excited their covetousness. ' We 
have the songs of triumph of some Protestant historians for our 

At Bremen, in Lent, the citizens got up a masquerade, in 
which the pope^ cardinals, and monks figured. They raised on 
the place of execution a pile whereon all these Catholic personi- 
fications were thrown and consumed amidst shouts of delight ; 
the rest of the day was spent in celebrating with full libations 
the downfall of the papacy.* 

At Zwickau, on Shrove-Tuesday, they drew acro^ the market- 
place hare-nets, into which monks and nuns, hunted by the 
students, fell and were caught. At a short distance was the 
statue of St. Francis tarred and feathered. The historian 
glories in this insult as a victory, and concludes with these words 
his account of the day's proceedings : '^ Thus fell at Zwickau 
the papacy ; thus at length shone forth the pure light of the 
Gospel.'' ^ He adds that a band of citizens attacked a convent, 

' "Zum fiilsoheii Glauben solle man allerdings Niemanden zwineen, nnd 
geschehe es, so dttrfe man Widerstand leiaten ; aber gegen diejenigen, die 
selber den falschen Glauben haben, das heisse, einen andem als die orthodoxe 
Partei, soil man mit Strafen verfahren dfirfen, selbst roit Todesslrafe. Die 
Unduldsamkeit gegen Andersglaubiffe ist eine I^icht." — Buch wider die 
TS.ufer, p. 94. See also, for the development of this doctrine, Bncer's work, 
Schutzschrift wider des Wiener Bischofii Johanns (Faber) Trostbiichlein, 
welches er von dem wunderbarlichen, neu erlangten Siege herausgab. Fitssli, 
Bettrage, tom. iv. p. 804. 

' Arnold, tom. xvi. cap. vi. 

3 " Also ist das Papetthum abgeschafft, nnd hingegen die reine evangelische 
Lehre fortgepflanzt worden." — § 14, ch. vii. § 12. 



the gates of which they broke, pillaged the chests and tieasoiy, 
tossed the books out of the windows, and smashed all the glass. 
The authorities took no notice of it, and did not even exhibit a 
hypocritical indignation by denouncing these shocking outrages to 
the country.* 

At Stralsund, one day, some wretches took it into their heads 
to expel with stones the monks and nuns from their convents. 
The duke seized upon the goods which they had been forced to 
abandon, and confiscated them for the greater glory of God.^ 

Moreover, at Elemberg, the clergyman's house was given up 
to pillage for some hours, and one^f the students, an actor in this 
drama which excited the laughter of the mob, clothed himself 
in the curate's vestments, and, seated upon an ass, rode into the 

Sometimes we imagine that we are reading one of Cicero's 
orations against Verres. The proconsul of Sicily was not more 
ingenious than duke John of Saxony, Frederick's successor, in 
pillaging a monastery. Some days beforeo pening the campaign, 
he sent "to demand the registers of the monastery, then he went 
with a strong company of soldiers, surrounded the house, sum- 
moned the abbot, and the prince, with the register in his hand, 
caused him to deliver up the treasures which he had marked.^ 
Such an example was not without imitation, — at Rostock, for 
example ; there the senators in their official costume took posses- 
sion of the convent in the name of the city, and put its seal on 
the stolen articles. 

At Magdeburg, the council of the consular magistrates acted 
with clemency, put a stop to the pillage, and decreed that the 
monks during their lives should remain in their cells, and con- 
tinue to be supported at the expense of the house, on condition 
that tliey would throw ofiF their religious habit and embrace the 
Reformation.* Hunger made numerous apostates ; many monks 

* Id. Arnold, 1. c. torn. ii. lib. xvi. cap. vi. 

' Arnold, torn. ii. lib. xv. cap. ix. § 14, cap. vi. p. 59. Dr. Gust. Ludw. 
Baden (Geschichtw des danischen Reichs), Plank, and other I^oteatant hiato- 
riau8, have given very long details of the spoliation of the religioua houaes. 

^ Das Besnltat meiner WandeniDgen, &c. von Julius Honinghaus, p. 839. 

* Arnold, 1. c. torn. i. cap. 16, quoted by Hoeninghaus, p. 341. 

^ Marheineke, Geschichte der deuischen Keformation, torn. ii. p. 41. 


consented to exchange exile or misery for the gospel of Luther : 
and snch were the victories recorded by the Beformers and 
boasted of afterwards. There is an old chronicle, printed at 
Torgau in 1524, in which Leonard Eoeppe and some yonng 
stadents of the city narrate a noctomal expedition against the 
Franciscan monastery, speak of the rebellions monks whom they 
threw out of the windows, and of the nnns whom they spared 
because they were silent^ 

Lnther at last thundered against these disorders which com- 
promised his cause in Germany ; one day he exclaimed : '^ Who 
knows whether, at the last day, one of these monks will not be 
our judge?"'* As if he had not excited the pasrions of the 
peofde and the fdry of the nobles against the religions houses ! 
He wished, now that he was sure of the support of the Reformed 
princes, that they should compassionate a monk who, according 
to him, was an incarnation of every sin ; that they should spare 
some of them, while he regretted that he conld not toss the pope 
into the flames, as he had done his arms.' He wished that they 
would spare a Franciscan, when he laughed at the mere idea of 
seeing the pope, the cardinals, and their associates tied to the 
pHlory, with their tongues pulled out.^ He wished that the 
hands of undisciplined students would leave untouched the 
windows of the religious houses, while he had invoked on the 
monasteries the fires of heaven, the flames of hell, the leprosy of 
St. Anthony, and the plagues and boils of ancient Egypt, to punish 
in their inmates a reason fallen so low as to ignore itself.^ He 
wished that they should repress the violence of the populace, 

' HoQiiingliaus, L o. 

' " Es mbchte vielleicht unter ihnen einer seyn, der am jiingsten Crericht 
unser aller Richter seyn mochte." — Seckendorf, lib. ii. p. 64. Honingh'aua, 
das Resaltat, &c. p. 344. 

* ** DaEU mogen wlr seine Wappen, da er die SchlUaael fUhrt und seine 
Krone darauf, mit gutem Qewissen, an fa heimliche Gemach fuhren, nnd zur 
Untemothdtirffc gebrauchen, daruach ins Feuer werfen ; besaer ware es, den 
Papst selbst." — Luther wider das Papstthura za Bom, vom Teufel gestiftet, 
torn. viii. : JensB, fol. 208—248. 

* ''Damach soUte man ihn selbst, den Papst, Kardinal, und was seiner 
Abgotterei und Heiligkeit Gresindlin ist, nehmen, und ihnen die Zungeu hinten 
zum fials herausreissen und an den Galgen annageln." — Ibid. 

* ""Eb mochte wohl Jemand gem fluchen, dass sie der Blitz und Donner 
erschllige, hollisch Feuer yerbrennte, Pestilenz, Franzosen, St. Velten, St. An- 
tonij Aussatz, Carbunkel and alle Plagen hatten." — Ibid. 



while he continued to exclaim to kings, princes, nobles, and 
people : " Rome, Urbino, Bologna, and all the lands of the 
Church are yours ; take, in God's name, that which belongs to 
you/' ^ Osiander, (Ecolampadius,.and many others have reproached 
him with the rebellion and death of the peasants of Thuringia ; 
but we have no need of invoking the testimony of his disciples, 
since we find in almost every page of his writings a brutal appeal 
against the bishops, a furious outcry against the clergy, the 
sanctification of robbery, and the glorification of rapine. The 
texts are plain, we have not invented them. 

As a deserter from the cause of the people, a renegade from 
the principle of free inquiry, an apologist and £a>vourer of dis- 
putation, Luther required to forgive himself his voluntary 
apostasies. Thus we see him, at this time, wholly engaged in 
endeavouring, if possible, to be reconciled with his adversaries. 

He writes to the king of England, who wavers in his faith, 
and is on the point of breaking with Rome, a letter of studied 
humility,* in which he implores the prince to forget the trans- 
ports of a monk who repents of his unjust passion ; but Henry, 
too deeply wounded in his literary vanity ever to pardon him, 
laughs with his courtiers at the interested repentance of the 

He promises the archbishop of Mayence * to be silent hence- 
forward, if his grace will only consent to marry;* but the prelate 
has not the least inclination to break his vows. 

He writes to George of Saxony, and beseeches him on his 
knees to cease his hostility- to the doctrines of Wittemberg ; but 
the prince rejects the doctors prayers, and in a long letter 

' '' Und erstlich nebme man dem Papst Bom, Bomandiol, Urbin, Bolonia, 
und Alles was er hat als ein Papst." — Ibid. See Das Besultat meiner 
Wapdemngen, &c., oder die Nothwendigkeit der RUckkebr zur katholischen 
Religion, ausscbliesslioh durch die eigenen Eingestandniuse protestantischer 
Theologen und Philosophen, dargethan von Dr. Julius HoninghaUH : Aschaf- 
ienburg, 1835. This is a trustworthy book, in which the texts which lead to 
Catholic unity are extracted from the writings of the Reformers, and in which 
each of these texts is conscientiously indicated, in its order of chapter, page, 
line, and number. It has been translated into Frendi, by the title of La 
R^forme contre la R^forme, to which I have added a PreftMse (2 vols, 8vo.). 

* September, 1526. De Wette, torn. ii. 

3 Luther an den Erzbischof Albrecht, 2 June, 1825. Be Wette, I. c. torn. ii. 
p. 673. 

* 22 December, 1826. De We'tte, torn. iii. p. 55. 


reproaches Lnther with the blood of the peasants, the churches 
profaned, the clergy reduced to beggary, the dishonoured virgins, 
the fftithful monks exiled, the incest which stalks through the 
streets, the barefaced idolatry, the cities burned by the peasants, 
the infidelity taught in the professors' chairs, the impiety which 
prevails in the country districts, and asks him if it is possible to 
be reconciled to the man who has delivered over Germany to all 
these scourges. 

" Keep your Gospel,'" says George, with a soldier's frankness : 
*' I keep mine, which the Church of Christ has received and 
given to me/' * 



The Children inCrermany were iDstrucied by the religions. — ^Aftor the aecnlariza' 
tion of Uie monka, theeduoation of the people was entirely neglected. — Luther's 
complaints of the neglect of the reformed princes to instruct the rising 
generation. — Visitations of the conununities recommended by the reformer. 
— ^The prince selects the visiton. — ^The clergyman now only an instrument 
in the hands of the ciyil power. — ^Disorganization of the Catholic worship 
effected by Luther, with consent of the princes. — ^The Gregorian chant 
abolished. — German songs appointed in place of our hymns and proses. — 
Is it true that Luther was the first in his hue strains to glorify the blood 
of Christ? 

Before the Reformation, there were attached to every religious 
house schools where Catholicism summoned the children of the 
poor for food and instruction ; from these pious asylums pro- 
ceeded all the great lights of the sixteenth century in Germany : 
Luther, Erasmus, (Ecolampadius, Zwinglius, Eck, Faber, Bucer. 
The first book in which children were taught to read was the 
Bible, which was not a sealed volume, although Luther has said 
so,* but of which the text was explained by an oral interpre- 
tation. This commentary was always the same ; the dogmatic 

' This letter of G^rge of Saxony, admirable in all respects, is to be found 
in Luther's works, Leipsic, 1738, vol. zix. p. 361 et seq. 

* Jakob Marx, 1. c. p. 173. Tisch-Beden, p. 352, edit. Eisleben, 1566. 


texty in all the Catholic latitude, had a uniform sense ; it was 
the same sentiment, only portrayed to the eyes by different signs. 

Now it happened that, when the bishops were expelled from 
their sees, the priests from their presbyteries, and the monks and 
nnns from their convents, the children were depriyed both of 
mental and bodily food. Lather denounced the desertion of the 
clergy by the nobility and citizens, who only cared for their own 
comforts, and had no regard for the glory of the GospeL Strange 
astonishment of the Saxon apostle ! here obsenres a Protestant 
historian. Luther complains that they forget to pay titbes to 
his clergy, when he has incessantly preached that poverty is the 
lot of every Christian who has taken for his model Jesus and his 
apostles ! * 

At the sight of all these princes who, under Luther's eye, per- 
mitted thus to die of hunger the very people whom they had robbed 
of their wealth, some electors were moved. But while supplying 
food for the body, they believed that it was their province to 
distribute the spiritual manna, to supply the place of bishop, 
priest, and monk ; to point out the aliment necessary for the 
soul, the form of worship, the order of the ceremonies, and 
the internal policy of the churches.* They wished also to relate 
the teaching without the assistance of the priesthood. It was 
Luther who from the outset had encouraged this strange preten- 
sion of the civil power, by his complaints in an eloquently bitter 
diatribe on the neglect of the Gospel. 

" I should not be astonished," he said, " if God were at last 
to open the doors and windows of hell, and snow and hail clouds 
of devils, or shower upon our heads sulphur and flames from 
heaven, and bury us in gulfs of fire, like Sodom and Gomorrha. 
Had Sodom and Gomorrha received the gifts which have been 
granted to us, if they had had our visions and heard our preach- 
ings, they would have been still standing : they were, however, 
a thousand times less guilty than Germany, for they had not 
received the word of God from their preachers. And we who 
have received and heard it, only seek to rise up against God. 
Undisciplined minds compromise the word of God, and the rich 

* MeDzel, 1. o. torn. i. p. 231. 

' Jak. Marx, Die TJrsachen, kc, pp. 162—196. 


and noble labonr to deprive him of his glory, ao that we haye our 
deserta — the wrath of the Eternal ! Others torn aside their 
hands and refuse to pay their clergy and their preachers, and 
even to support them. If Qermany is to act thus, I blush to be 
one of her sons or speak her language ; and if I might silence 
,ihe voice of my conscience, I would call in the pope, and 
aasist him and his minions to enchain and torture us again. 
Formerly, when we were in the service of Satan and profaned 
the blood of Christ, their purses were open ; they had gold 
wherewith to endow churches, erect seminaries, and support 
supeistitian. Then nothing was spared to place children in 
convents and make them go to school ; but now that we require 
to build religious schools, and endow the Church of Christ, — 
no, not endow, but assist in preserving it ! for it is the Lord 
who has built that Church, and who watches over her, — ^now 
that we know the sacred word, and have learnt to honour 
the blood of our martyred God, their purses are closed with 
iron padlocka Nobody will give anything ! The children are 
neglected, and no one will let them be taught to serve God, or 
venerate the blood of Jesus, while they are cheerfully sacrificed 
to Mammon ! ^ The blood of Jesus is trampled under foot ! 
And these are Christians ! No more schools, no more cloisters ; 
the herb is withered and the flower fallen ! (Isaiah vii.) Now 
that carnal men are sure that they will no longer see their 
sons or their daughters sent into cloisters, reft of their patri- 
mony, there is no one to educate the young. ' Why should they 
be taught,' say they, * since they are neither to be priests nor 
iDonks V Were ten Moses' to lift their hands and bend their 
knees for us, their voices would not be heard ; and were I to 
supplicate Heaven for my beloved country, God would reject my 
prayer ; it would not reach his throne. God will save Lot and 
destroy Sodom. 

''Since the fall of the papacy, with its excommunications 
and spiritual punishments, the people despise the Scriptures ; 
care for the churches no longer disquiets them ; they have 
ceased to fear and honour God. It is therefore the duty of the 

' An die Bathsherm alter Stadte Deutschlands, dass sie die c^risUiclie 
Schulen aufrichten und balten sollen. — Menzel, 1. c. torn. i. p. 281. 


elector, as supreme head of the state, to watch over and protect 
the sacred work, which every one abandons ; it is his duty to 
compel the cities and towns which hare the means of doing so, 
to found schools and chairs of theology, and support the clergy, 
in the same way as they are bound to make bridges, highways, 
and monuments. I should wish, if it were possible, to leave 
these men without pastors, and let them live like swine. There 
is no longer either fear or love of God ; the pope's yoke has 
been broken, and each lives as he likes. But it is the duty of 
us all, and chiefly of the prince, to train up children in the fear 
and love of the Lord, and to give them teachers and pastors : 
the old people, if they do not wish such, may go to the devil I 
But it would be disgraceful for the civil power to leave the young 
to wallow in the mire/' ^ 

He added, that if the district was not rich enough to raise 
schools at its own cost, it would be necessary to take for that 
purpose what remained of the property of the monasteries, which, 
had been intended originally for the sole purpose of advancing the 
Gospel and learning ; and that a cry of execration would be raised 
if the academies and presbyteries were allowed to fall, and the 
nobility appropriated the treasures of the monasteries to their 
own use exclusively. He wished that the elector would name a 
commission of four persons to visit the countries which had 
embraced the Reformation, two of whom should superintend the 
administration of the property of the religious houses, the tithes 
and dues, and the other two the instruction and selection of the 

This project was for a long time unapplied ; for the elector 
was not sufficiently powerful yet thus to play with the clerical 
prerogatives. At a later period, in 1527, the prince, who had 
nothing more to fear from Rome, and who could without risk 
brave the emperor, then in Italy, desired to free himself from 
the rule of the Catholic clergy, and his most effective mode was 
immediately to apply Luther's theories of reform in the organiza- 
tion of the parishes. A commission of clergy and laymen was 
accordingly appointed, the members of which were selected by 

* Luther*s Werke, edit. Altenburg, torn. iii. p. 519. KeinhAnrs Bainmtliclie 
ReformatioDspredigteD, torn. Hi. p. 445. 


the elector, for yisiting the districts and attending to their 
spiritual administration. These visitors had for their mission to 
scrutinize the lives, the morals, and the doctrines of the clergy, 
with power, if necessary, to depose and excommunicate them. 
If a clergyman so degraded had to complain of the sentence of 
his judges, his appeal lay to his highness the elector, who,4n 
this case, discharged the office of king and pope. 

Thenceforward, the political power was charged ?dth watching 
over the choice of the clergy, the preaching of the Gospel, oral 
and written instruction, the worship and the liturgy.* , 

The lawyers encouraged the encroachments of the civil power, 
which was not slow in destroying the old Catholic franchises. 
Luther had to'deplore the abasement of the evangelical minister, 
who could not move in his church except at the will of the 
magistrate, whom he had first chosen as his protector, and who 
ended by becoming his master, and an arbitrary one. He 
endeavoured to protest in the name of the Gospel; but the 
historian Menzel, who has carefully traced the progressive 
advances of these political usurpations, sagely observes that 
Luther's voice had then no longer its former influence, and 
remained ?dthout an echo.^ 

"Our Grospel," said he in 1536, "teaches the necessity of 
separating the two policies, civil and religious ; they ought not 
to be mixed or combined ; the Church and the city are two distinct 
administrations, and the magistrate and the priest exercise two 
independent powers which ought not to be confounded, according 
to the recommendation of St. Paul, who says that we ought not 
to be aUotrio episcopi, that is to say, the curators or inspectors 
of others. Christ first established this division, and experience 
has taught us that there is no peace to be hoped for, when the 
magistrate or the state invades the priesthood, and when the 
priesthood desires to exercise the functions of the magistrate I" ' 
This was not what he at first taught. 

He had not perceived that in the new Church the pastor's 
dependence was a consequence of the mode of his ordination. 

* The same theories prevailed at Geneva nnder Calvin. See the second 
volume of my History of Calvin. 
' Menzel, 1. c. torn. 1. p. 289. 
' Luther's Werke : Walch. Auag. torn x. p. 1965, 


8nch as the doctor had settled it. In 1523, the Bohanians con- 
sulted him on the form of clerical institution to be followed 
in the Church of Christ, and Luther replied to them : *^ Assemble 
and proceed, in the name of the Lord, to select him whom you 
shall deem worthy of your votes ; impose your bands on him 
and confirm him, and acknowledge him as your bishop or 
pastor." ^ What ensued from this form of ordination established 
by Luther ? That the civil power, who necessarily exercised the 
police of the districts, might, when it pleased, prevent such 
assemblies, and, if it permitted them, direct the election at its 
pleasure ; and that the pastor was only considered by those who 
elected him, as the servant of the parish^ In a case where the 
pastor had appealed from it to the bishop of the diooese to 
confirm his election, they threatened him with deposition.* 

At the same time when he appealed against the interv^tioa 
of the civil power in the internal government of the Church, 
Luther was labouring to disorganize all the original forms of the 
Catholic worship. 

Throughout Saxony there was no more chanting, incense, or 
lights on the altar ; the walls of the churches were stripped bare ; 
the light no longer streamed through stained windows, for they 
had sma£ihed them, ' under the pretext that they tended to 
idolatry. The Protestant church resembled everything but the 
house of God. This anti-symbolic spirit is at| the present day 
severely censured by Protestants ! 

Yet Luther attempted occasionally to oppose the foUies of the 
sectaries, and give some forms of life to his new Church. He 
preserved, at first, of the Catholic baptism the salt which the 
priest puts on the infant's lips, the oil with which he anoints its 
shoulders, and the cross with which he signs its head.' Subse* 
quently, of these rites he only retained exorcism and the sign 

1 "ConFocatis et convenientibus llber^ quorum oorda Deus tetigerit» ut 
Yobiscum unum sentiant et sapiant, procedatis in nomine Domini et eligite 
quern et quos volueritis, qui digni et idonei visi fuerint ; confirmetis et oom- 
mendetiSy eos populo et ecclesi® seu univeraitati, sintque hoc ipso vestri epi- 
scopi, ministri, seu pastores." — Lutherus de instituendis Ministris EcdeBisB, ad 
clariflsimum Senatum Pragensem. Opera : Jena?, torn. ii. p. 554. 

' Dorfmaister und Gemaind zu Wendelstains Flirbalten den Amptleuten za 
Scbwobacb iren newangeenden Pfarrherm, gethan Mittw. nach GalU, 1524. 
Abgedruckt in Biederers Nacbrichten zur Biirgei^escbichte, torn. ii. p. 834. 

' Seckendorf, Comm. de Luther, lib. iii. p. 253. 


of the croBS.' He blamed the confidence placed in Mary ; and 
from the salntation he struck out the Ora pro nobis.^ 

In 1521, the chapter of Wittemberg, in Luther's absence, 
abolished the Mass ; but the people murmured. Luther replaced 
it, no longer as a private sign of oblation, but as an indifferent 
ceremony. He expunged from it both the offertory, the canon, 
and all the forms of the sacrifice, preserving the elevation of the 
bread and wine by the priest, the priest's salutation to the con- 
gregation, the mingling of water with the wine, and the use of 
the Latin language. 

He was undecided whether to abolish or preserve auricular 
confession.' He deprived it, however, of its Catholic character. 
The penitent approached the minister, and said : '4 have sinned ; " 
and that was sufficient. There was no enumeration of faults ; 
in Luther's eyes, there was no gradation in sin ; and falsehood 
and murder were offences equal in degree against God. 

In the hands of the ministers whom he ordained, and whom he 
set at the head of his churches, confession, such as Wittemberg 
had even wished to retain it, was no more obligatory. They con- 
fessed who wished to do so. In a pastoral to his parishioners of 
Wittemberg, Bugenhagen maintains that there is something in 
the act of confession preferable to the absoho te. This is the 
preaching of the Gospel : " To absolve is none other than to 
preach the Gospel."* 

At one time Luther, in his character of " ecclesiastes " of 
Wittemberg, was stunned with projects of reformation. These 
reformers were thorough levellers. Hausmann devised an ordi- 
nation by breathing, without any other ceremony. Justus Jonas 
denounced as devilish a mass wherein a single word of Latin 
was pronounced. Amsdorf retained excommunication, which he 
hurled at a poor barber, whose crime Luther could not divine.* 
A preacher of OUnitz wished to remodel the Liturgy after his 
own fashion, that is to say, wrote Luther, to throw his old 

> Ibid. p. 234. Daa Taufbiichlein. ' Kurze Auslegmig dee Ave-Maria. 

' Do Katione confiteDdi, Op. Luth. torn. iy. Alt. i. Jen. 
* '* Aus diesen Worten ist klar, das Absolution sprechen ist nichts anders 
als das Evangelium verktindigen." 
» To Nic. Amsdorf, July, 1532. 


shoes otit of the window before he has purchased a pair of new 

Luther uplifted his voice in vain ; it was unheard. To please 
some infatuated people, he consented that they should mingle 
with the Latin chants songs in the German language. 

He himself composed some to replace our hymns and proses, 
those precious remains of the poetiy of the first ages of Chris- 
tianity. In place of these melodies, so soft, so beautiful^ some- 
times grave and austere, by turns joyous and melancholy, accord- 
ing to the occasion, the Protestant churches had only a drawling 
medley. The reformed Church then lost a whole cycle of poems, 
inspirations, and symbols of the Catholic muse. 

In 1525, Luther wrote to the Christians of Strasbuig : '^ We 
can boast of being the first who have revealed Christ.'"^ Our 
sacred hymns flatly contradict him. 

In the prose, "Veni sancte Spiritus/' the Church sings: 
" Without thee, there is nothing pure on this earth :" — 

" Sine tuo numine 
Nihil est in homine, 
Nihil est innoxium." 

In the hymn of St. Thomas, " Adoro te devote latens deitas," 
the sinner exclaims : '^ Let but a drop of thy blood fall, and the 
world will be saved :" — 

" Cujus una stiUa salvam facere 
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere." 

Listen to the ancient choral which the Church intones on the 
grave of the dead, " Dies ir»," the strains of which made Mozart 
weep : *' Terrible Majesty, thou freely savest :" — 

" Rex tremendiB nukjestatls 
Qui salvando salyas gratis, 
Salva me fons pietatis." 

Such were the songs of the Saxon Church before Luther;' 
magnificent testimony of its ancient faith ; admirable harmonies, 
heavenly poems, which the Reformer banished from his Liturgy, 

' To Michel Van der Strassen, 1523. 

' ** Christus k nobis primb vulgatum audemus gloriari.*' — Joh. Pappo, in der 
WiderleguDg des Zweibriickiscben Berichts, p. 427. 

' See also the following hymns : Ghriste Bed emptor omnium ; Condi tor alme 
siderum ; Audi benigne conditor ; Ad ocenam agni ; Jesu nostra Kedemptio ; 
Victims paschali laudes ; Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem ; Jesu dulois memoria^ &c 


to substitute for them songs which have been constantly 
repatched, like old clothes, without regard for the monk's 
inspiration ! 

We remember his hymn on setting out, when the emperor sum- 
moned him to Worms ; before his time the Saxon nation sung 
in its own idiom songs full of simple grace. There is one which 
is still sung on Christmas-eve, the melody of which entrances the 
stranger's ear: " To us a little child is bom."^ Luther erred 
greatly in touching these sacred relics. 

Listen for a moment to those songs of admiration which Pro- 
testant Germany raises in honour of the harmonies of our ancient 

" When a poor pilgrim, worn out by fatigue, but with cheerful 
heart, kneels on the altar steps to thank Him who has preserved 
him from the dangers of a long journey ; when an afflicted 
mother enters the empty church to pray for her beloved son, of 
whose recovery the physicians have despaired ; when, at even- 
ing, as the last rays of the setting sun shoot through the storied 
pane athwart the figure of a girl at prayer ; when the flickering 
light of the tapers gently dies away on two lines of white-robed 
priests singing the praises of the Eternal ; ah ! tell me if Catho- 
licism then does not proclaim to us, in eloquent tones, that life 
should be but one constant prayer ; that art and imagination 
should unite in glorifying God, and that the church, in which 
so many hymns are simultaneously raised, and adoration 
assumes every possible human shape, has a right to our love 
and our respect'' * 

'' Admirable ceremonial, full of harmony ! diamond, that 

' Ein KiDddein so Ibbelich, 
let uns gebohren heute. 
Von einer Jungfirau reiniglich 
Znm Trost udb armen Lenten : 
War uns das Kindlein nicht gebohrn. 
So waren wir allznmalil verlohm, 
Das Heil ist unser aller. 
£y du siisser Jesu Christ, 
Weil fUr nns Mensoh worden bist, 
Behiit nns fiir die HoUe." 


The antiquity of this cantiole is acknowledged ; Isfc, in the Examen Des 
Heidelbergischen Berichts, p. 388 ; 2ndly, in the Christliches Gesangbuoh, 
p. 86. 

' Clausen, quoted by Hoeningfaaus, oh. x. torn. ii. . 


sparkles in the coronet of fisith ! Whoever is of a poetic cast 
of mind, cannot fail to be attracted to Catholicism."^ 

" How charming is its music!* how it speaks to the soul 
and the senses ! Who can doubt that these vocal and instru- 
mental melodies, these hymns which breathe of the spirit, these 
clouds of incense, these chimes which a disdainful philosophy 
affects to despise, must be pleasing to Ood. Architects and 
sculptors, you are right to ennoble your art in building churches 
and altars to the Divinity."* 

*' The Catholic church, with its doors open at all hours of the 
day, with its ever-burning lamps, its voices of sorrow or rejoic- 
ing, its hosannas and lamentations, its hymns, its masses, its 
festivals, and its memories, resembles a mother who extends her 
arms to receive her prodigal child ; it is a fountain of sweet 
water, round which are assembled numbers to imbibe from it 
vigour, life, and health."* 

A Franciscan was kneeling before a fresco painting of Christ 
on the wall of his cloister, admirable for its truth and beauty of 
expression. He rose at the approach of a stranger. 

'* Brother, that is truly beautiful I" said the traveller to the 
monk. '* Yes ; but the original is mor« so," said the monk 
smiling. " Then why do you make use of a material image in 
prayer?" said the traveller. "I see you are a Protestant," 
replied the friar ; " but do you not perceive that the artist 
modulates and purifies the fancies of my imagination? Have 
you never prayed without your fancy assuming a thousand 
different shapes ? I prefer infinitely, in such a mprtter, the work 
of a great master to that of my own fancy." And the traveller 
was silent.* 

" The custom of visiting the graves of the departed on the 
1st and 2nd of November is as beautiful as it is ancient. The 
peasants in the country flock to the cemeteries ; they kneel 

' Isidor (Count of Loeben), Lotoabliitter, 1817, torn. i. quoted by Hcening- 
haus, ch. X. torn. ii. 

* Bemerkungen wahnend meines Aufenthalta in Fninkreich, im Winter 
1815, 1816. 

» Leibn. Syst. Theol. p. 205. 

* Von Loben, Lotosblatter, 1817, torn. i. 

* Ch. Fr. D. Schubart, Leben und Geainnungen : Stuttgi^rt, 1791. 


before a wooden cross, or other fdnereal emblems ; they think on 
the past, on the shortness of life ; then the dead are crowned with 
flowers, emblematical of the life that is eternal ; the lamp bums, 
to remind ns of the light which shall never be extinguished."^ 

" How blind were our reformers ! In destroying most of the 
all^ries of the Catholic Church, they imagined that they were 
making war with superstition. It was the abuse that they ought 
to hare proscribed." * Luther mistook the spirit of Christianity. . 
Protestants acknowledge this. 

Descend from hearen, O Mary, ideal of maternal love ; listen 
to our hymns of love ; Fetzler wishes to restore your ancient 
festivals ! Arise, Ervin von Steinbach and Michael Angelo 
Buonarotti, and pile to the skies a new spire of Strasburg, a 
new dome of St. Peter's ; for, as De Wette has said, everything 
that is great elevates the soul to heaven, and places it in com- 
munion with Gk)d, and all which is exalted sings the glory of 
the Lord. Sculptors and painters, fill our churches with statues 
and pictures I Are not images the illustrated Bible of the 
people ? says Wohlfart ; and what is a flower, a tree, a wave, 
a star, and the whole universe, but magnificent mirrors, in 
which the power and the goodness of the Creator shine ? SmaU 
village-bell, continue to call to matin and vesper prayer, because 
at thy gentle tinkling the labourer uncovers his head to give his 
heart to him who bestows on him his daily bread. Hail, simple 
wooden cross, which the pious hand of the peasant rears on the 
road-side ! M. Henry, author of the " Life of Calvin," deplores 
that the iconoclasts of the sixteenth century have torn you down, 
under the false pretext of idolatry. Maiden, fear not to kneel 
before the image of your patron saint ; of this be certain, that 
you commit no sin in the eyes of your Maker by contemplating 
in one of these blessed creatures the power of faith and the 
empire of reason over the senses. Fear not to be present with 
your family at every festival of the Church : have the poor eaten 
their bread cheaper since Protestants abolished the feasts hal- 
lowed by Catholicism ? Catholic churches, preserve your splendid 
Liturgy, for, as Clausen has said, it is not the principle of 

■ C. Spindler, ZeiUpiegel. L. 1791. 
' f'eBzIer, Thei-eeia, torn. ii. p. 101. 


Christianity to break the ties which unite the soul to the body, 
matter to spirit. In the ages of faith the Gospel manifested 
itself in the domains of art, and was reflected in the sacred style 
of architecture, the harmonies of music, and the poetic creations 
of painting. No ! the Gospel desires not a worship that only 
recognises in the Christian a being purely intdlectual and bodi- 
less, and repels the wants of the material senses, instead of 
purifying and ennobling them. What then ! the omnipotent 
word of the Redeemer requires works to quicken the spirit, and 
shall we reject symbols, those truly external miracles ?* 



Accusations of intolerance, suppression, and falsehood, brought against the 
reformers by Erasmus. — He has not told us all. — Fatal influences of the 
Reformation on morals and literature, admitted by Luther, Melancthon, 
Pirkheimer, and others. 

There was a time in Germany when error, triumphant, might 
have loudly proclaimed, without fear of contradiction, that the 
Keformation had ennobled mankind, purified society, and revived 
learning; that Luther deserved to be blessed as a messenger 
from Heaven, because he had regenerated the understanding, 
enlarged the sphere of knowledge, and destroyed superstition. 
Then no voice in Wittemberg would have dared, as Cochlseus 
has told us, to repel these calumnies against Catholicism, which 
had not printing to refute them. Three centuries later, these 
identical falsehoods were openly crowned in the Institute, and 
the book in which they were printed, and which outraged truth 
and taste alike, was extolled as the work of a philosopher and 

At the present day, who would subscribe to the statements of 
M. - Charles Villers ? A few years have done justice to his 
admirations and paradoxes ! 

' The original texts of these quotations are contained in the work of 
HoeninghauB, Das Resnltat, &c. ch. x. of the translation, vol. ii. 


So it was in Lather's time. After the death of Erasmus, 
when religious rancours began to be softened, the correspondence 
of the philosopher was published by Froben, of Bade, very indif- 
ferent to the Catholic dogmas, nevertheless, and justice, therefore, 
was done to the foolish pretensions of the Reformation. Goch- 
Iseus might have been suspected, Erasmus could not be : let us 
hear, then, what this princely intellect says : — 

*' I love to hear Luther^ say that he does not wish the priests 
and monks, who have no means of existence, to be stripped of 
their revenues. At Strasburg, perhaps ;^ but anywhere else ? It 
is truly enough to make one laugh : they will support those who 
throw off the frock ; the devil may take those who would keep it ! 
It is still more ludicrous to hear them protest that they intend no 
harm to any one .... What do they mean ? Is it not doing 
harm to expel canons from their churches, monks from their 
cloisters, and rob bishops and abbots of their wealth ?^ 

" We do not kill them ! Whose fault is that ? — of those who 
prudently make their escape ? Neither do pirates kill, if they 
are not resisted ! 

'' We suffer our enemies to live peaceably among us. Whom 
do you call your enemies ? — all the Catholics ? And our bishops 
and priests, do you believe them to be safe in the heart of your 
cities? If you are so gentle, so tolerant, wherefore so much 
emigration ? why these general complaints that ascend to 
heaven ? 

<< They are allowed to reside among us, protected by the law 
of nations. Yes, if you do not subscribe to our teaching, you 
shall receive nothing ; you wish that they should not go a pil- 
grimage on some day in the year ! you wish them not to hear 
mass, or communicate in a Catholic chapel, else they shall be 
fined I If, at Eastertide, you do not approach our holy table, 
beware of the sentence of the magistrates ! 

'' None hate dissensions more than we do ; our whole desire 
is to maintain peace with the powers of the earth. Why, then, 
puD down the churches which they have built ? 

' In Pseud-Evang^lioos, lib. xxi^i. ep. 47 : Lond. Fleaher. 

' ErasmuB was mistaken ; Gapito, at Strasburg, oocnpied the presbyterium 
of St. Peter the Lees, firom which the curate bad been expelled. 

' Another mistake ; Sickingen and the iron gauntlets mutilated and slew 
the monks and priests. ^ 



''When the princes command impiety, we content onraelyes with 
paying no attention to their orders. Impiety ! you mean to say, 
what is displeasing to you ? But do yon forget, then, that you 
have refosed to Charles V. and Ferdinand the necessary sab- 
sidies for war against the Turks, following the advice of Luther, 
wbonowretracts it ? Have the evangelists not uttered these strange 
opinions, — that they would prefer to fight rather for the infidel 
Turk than for the baptized, one, that is to say, for the emperor ? 
Is it not enough to make one die of laughter ? You say : ^ To 
him who smites you on the right cheek, turn the left ; to him 
who takes your cloak, give your coat' And I mysdf know a 
person who was thrown into prison for some word he let fall 
against your clergy, and another whom they were on the point 
of putting to death. I need not speak of the mildness of 
Zwinglius.^ If you practise so well .the precepts of the Gospel, 
why this shower of pamphlets with which you pelt each 
other ? — Zwinglius against Emser ; Luther against the king of 
England, Duke George, and the emperor ; Jonas against Faber ;* 
Hutten and Luther against Erasmus ? 

'^ These people disseminate calumnies profusely. One of them 
says he knew a canon who stated that not a single strumpet was to 
be found in Zurich, whilst before the advent of Zwinglius there 
were an immense number. I showed the letter to the canon in 
question, and he assured me, with a smile of contempt, that 
such a word had never proceeded from his lips. With similar 
candour, they charge another priest with keeping company with 
females, although I, who am his intimate friend, affirm, and all 
who know him will testify the same of him, that he is irreproach- 
able in his words and actions. They say so of the canon, because 
he has a very bad opinion of these sectaries ; and of the priest, 
because, having at first inclined to their doctrines, he soon 
renounced them. 

'* They calumniate me, because I constantly assert that their 
gospel has frozen the desire for learning ; and they quote against 
me Nuremberg, where the professors are largely endowed. 3e it 
so ; but ask the inhabitants, and they will tell you that these 

* The curate of Einsiedlen said, with respect to Felix Manz, the AnAbaptiBt : 
"Qui iterum mergunt, mergantur." — Liraborch. Int. p. 71. 

• Faber is known by his book, De Antilogiis Lutheri. 


-ptokaaoia have scarcely any scholars ; that the master is as 
reluctant to teach a3 the pupil is to attend the lecture ; so that 
it will be necessary to pension both scholar and teacher. I know 
not what all these schools in towns and cities will produce ; but, 
down to the present moment, can you point out a single one who 
has come forth £rom them with the slightest tinge of learning ? 

'^ How csm one help being indignant, when we see these men 
of yesterday compare themselves to Christ and the apostles ; 
boasting proudly of announcing the Lord, proclaiming the truth, 
and difiusing a taste for learning, as if they had found among us 
neither Christianity, nor knowledge, nor Gospel ? You hear them 
speak of popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, and monks ; according 
to them, these are beings of infamous lives, and of devilish 
doctrines. They celebrate, in glowing terms, the moral purity, 
innocence, and piety of their disciples ! as if I could not instance 
many of their cities where libertinism and adultery openly strut ; 
as if Luther had not been compelled to send missionaries to reclaim 
a whole nation who had plunged into licentiousness ; as if the 
doctor had not confessed that he would infinitely prefer to return 
to the old yoke of the papists and monks, than make common 
cause with these dissolute men ; aa if Melancthon had not made 
the same admission, and (Ecolampadius also ! . . . . You hear 
them tell you that they walk in the light of the Holy Ohost. 
But that light, when it does illuminate, shines in the actions, the 
eye, and countenance of the person so inspired. If Zwinglius and 
Bucer are so filled with this breath firom above, why do we not 
find among us Catholics these privileged individuals ? " 

Such is the elevated language which truth elicits £rom a 
writer who at first showed himself so £sivourable to Luther. 

And the philosopher has not told us all. We finish the pic- 
ture, making use almost invariably of the evidence of contem- 
porary Protestants. 

Luther and Melancthon set out fipom Wittemberg to visit the 
countries from which Catholicism had been expelled ; but what 
a sight was presented to their sorrowful gaze ! — the majority of 
the parishes that had embraced the new doctrines had no pastors.* 
In the villages, the Protestant ministers had scarcely the means 

■ Melancthon Gamerario, Corpus Bef. torn. i. p. 881. 



of exLtjtence. On their return, Melancthon and Lather made 
bitter complaints ;^ but the elector John paid no heed to them. 
" No persons in the world have less regard for the Gospel/' 
wrote Melancthon sorrowfully to his friend Mjconius, ''than 
those princes who have so pompously declared themselves its 
protectors."* And he adds with tears : " How much we have 
been to blame in introducing theology to their courts ! I never 
desired anything so ardently as to escape as soon as possible 
from their deadly dwellings.''* 

Internal dissensions disturbed the quiet of the communities ; 
everywhere in the new parsonages reigned pride, covetousness, and 
ambition. Every town of any small importance had its own 
Lutheran pope.* At Nuremberg, Osiander made himself re- 
markable by his pomp and intolerance. For him and his friend 
the revenues of bishops were needed. Their allowance at first 
was a hundred crowns of gold, they demanded one hundred and 
fifty ; their residence was splendid, their table princely. They 
were not satisfied : they exacted two hundred crowns of gold per 
annum.^ One of the ministers of Nuremberg, Thomas Vena- 
torius, was nearly losing his place for making some wise remon- 
strances on the scandalous exactions of his colleagues.^ 

Osiander was fond of show. He resembled a comedian in the 

> Lutber an den ChnrfUraten Johann, De Wette, torn. iL p. 245. 

' Melancthon Myoonio, Corpus Reform, torn. ii. p. 259. 

' " Yaldd peocavimofl qa5d in aulam importavimus theologiam ; quare nihil 
in yitA ardentiiiB optayi ut me qoamprimiun ex his auliois deliberationibiu 
proniis yel onm magno meo incommodo ezpediam." — To Dietrich Veit. Corp. 
Beform. torn. ii. p. 259. 

^ " AUenthalben streben ine nach EinfluBS and Macht : fiist jede Stadt nnd 
jeder Ort hat seinen lutherischen Papst." — ^Karl Hagen, 1. o. p. 187. 

' ''Sunt apud noe conoionatores bini qui sub initium centum aureorom 
Btipendio ac yictu lauto pro se et fiunulis sunt professi ; csBterum, quiun yidia- 
sent se jam populo persuasisse, centum quinquaginta exegerant> ao paul6 post 
ultra habitationem propriam et yictum splendidum, ducentos petiere aureoa, 
aut se abituros sunt minati." — Pirkheiiuer Fhrygio, Strobel, Beitrage, torn. i. 
p. 495. 

* " Quibus yero cauponationem yerbi hano obsccenam displicere sensere, in 
eoB egregi^ deolamArunt. Venatorius noster nuUo yictu, sed centum aureorum 
Ktipendio tantum concionatur, yir profectb bonus et eruditus, cui quoque multa 
quiun displioerent, nee is ob ingenii bonitatem dissimulare sciat, quibusdam 
wimoduin est exoeus, et ni hucusque amioi prohibuissent, jampridem ob multam 
caasam esse exautoratus/* — Ibid. 


pulpit ; his clothes were of the finest cloth, and his fingers were 
covered with rings.* 

The majority of the new preachers ascended the pulpit without 
previous preparation, and gave forth whatever came to their lips ; 
when inspiration failed them, they amused themselves in de- 
crying their colleagues or parishioners.' " Our ministers," said 
Melancthon, " only think of obeying their petty passions ; the 
triumph of their angry vanities is what they everywhere seek."* 

What became of that literature of which Dalberg, Scultetus, 
Albert, and Langus took such pioas care in their dioceses before 
the Keformation ? — it was either neglected or proscribed. Listen 
for an instant to the lamentations of some of Luther's disciples on 
the universal abandonment of the sciences, provoked by all those 
social and religious disputes which the new gospel occasioned in 
Germany. Eobanus Hessus deplores with his friends the fall of 
classical studies ;^ Olareanus reproaches the clergy of his school 
with abandoning pagan antiquity, and making a parade of their 
ignorance ;^ Cuspinian, afflicted by seeing that Nuremberg, 
once the city of artists, thinks of nothing but pepper and safiron,^ 
writes to Pirkheimer : " Mark my words ; I foresee that in a 
short while the culture of learning will be extinguished. I had 
hoped that your patricians would have some regard to the ancient 
sciences ; but I have been deceived. I shall go to sleep like 
Epimenides, and throw all my poetic inspirations into the fire. 
Your school which Melancthon raised will not be left standing 

* Bnoer. Zwinglius, 18 Ang. 1527. Epist. Zwingl. torn. li. p. 81. See 
Liter. Muaeum, torn. ii. part ii. pp. 184 — 195. 

* "Kommen aie anyorbereitet auf die Elanzel, ho sagen eie was ihnen in daa 
Maul kommt ; nod haben sie sonst keinen Stuff, so werfen sie mch anfs Schimp- 
fen."— Luther an Balth. Thorinff, 16 July, 1628. De Wette, torn. iii. p. 852. 
See Lather's cnrions accounts of the Protestant clergy, in his letters to Haus- 
mann of Zwickau, 1529, De Wette, torn. iii. p. 482 ; to Justus Jonas, 1529, ib. 
p. 469 ; to Hausmann and Cordatus, 1529, ib. p. 489. 

* "Kostri sic indulgent iracundias, ut videantur glorin suae inservire.'* — 
Melancth. Balth. Thoering, Corpus Reform, torn. i. p. 995. 

< Eoban Hess an Jakob Micyllus, Sept. 1525. Epist. Famil. Marb. p. 42. 
To the same, 1526, ibid. To John Groning, 1 Aug. 1582. 

* Glareanus to Pirkheimer, 5 Sept 1525. Op. Pirk. pp. 316, 317. 

* Hess to Sturziades, p. 187 ; to Mycillus, ibid. p. 50. "Quid enim hlo 
agamus inter tanttim mercatores ?" 

7 25 Jan. 1827. Op. Pirkh. p. 227. 


But it ia poor Melancthoii who saffers in his teaderest afiec- 
tions, — he who had devoted so much sympathy to liteTatare, and 
who sees it banished from Wittemberg ! The religious quarrels 
have driven it away. In the eyes of the theologasters, who 
have the mastery of that disputatious city, the prafessor of hu- 
mauity is only a pedant who serves as the butt of their ridicule.' 
Melancthon k>ses some of his pupils daily, — ^very different &om 
former times, when his chair was surrounded by crowds of young 
men greedy to hear the lectures of this distiuguished professor. 
The elector forgets to pay him his salary. '^ It is a sad time/' 
exclaims the rhetorician, " in which Homer himself would be 
constrained to beg for an audience ! I had hoped, my friend, to 
have attracted them to the deserted benches of the university by 
the sweet harmonies of the second Olynthian ; for what is more 
beautiful than that oration of Demosthenes ? But I only see too 
clearly that our times are deaf to his accents. I scarcely see 
around me a few pupils who have only from deference to their 
master not deserted me ; to whom for their good-wiU I feel 

' " H\c enim et quidem k Dostris amicis indigniasimd tractor. Non. libet eft 
de re Bcribere."— Camerario, Noy. 1526. 

* ''Nunc tantus eeb contemptaB optimarum renim, at nisi gratis offeraniar 
et quidem pnelegantur ^ peritis, mendicMre Homerus auditores oogatur. . . . 
Speravi me suavitate secundae Olynthiacse invitaturum esse auditores ad 
Demosthenem cognoscendum. Quid enim duldus aut melius eft oratione cogi- 
tari potest t Sed, ut yides, surda est hec ntas ad hos auditores retineados. 
Vix enim pauoos retinui auditores qui mei honoris causft deserere me nolue- 
runt> quibus propter suum ei*ga me officium habeo gratiam.'* — Strobel, L c. 
torn. ii. pp. 184, 187. 

We Fccommend to our readers the fine literary picture of Germany before 
the Beformation, sketched by Carl Hagen, in his Deutsoblands litterarische 
und reljgiofie Yerhaltniaae im Beformations-Zeitalter : Brlangen, 1851, torn. i. 
They will see wbat venown the German universities possessed at that time, 
with what success literature began to be cultivated, and whut liberal efforts 
the C^olio dei^ made to diffuse learning. Once more, be it remembered, 
M. Carl Hageu is not a Catholic. 




liUther^B celibacy. — The Catholics foresaw his marriage. — His reply to 
Argnia, who urges him to marry. — Motives which, perhaps, may have 
induced Luther not to listen to her. — His letter to the arehblshop of 
Mayenee. — ^How he revenges himself on the cardinal who reftues to many. 
— ^Unexpected marriage of Lnther. — Letter to Jostus Jonas on the subject. 
— Melaacthon's regret. — Rejoicing of the Catholic monks. — Emser's epi- 
thalaminm. — Conrad Wimpina's caricature. — Erasmus's letters to Manch 
of trim and Kieholas Everard, president of the high oonnoil of Holland, on 
Catherine's pTecooiona maternity. — Evidence of other writers. — ^Controversy 
on Bora's ooniLnement. — The retractation of Erasmus. — What we should 
think of it. — Henry VIII.'s opinion of Luther's marriage. — Influence of this 
marriage of the monk. 

Foe those whom Luther had seduced, all hopes of a return to 
Catholicism were not lost. Carried away at first by that love of 
novelty to which the heart of man so rea(Uly abandons itself, they 
suddenly stopped, and, astonished at their fall, arose, and armed 
themselves with doubt as with a mirror. This was the case of 
Staupitz, Miltisch, Grotus, and so many others,^ whose defec- 
tions Luther carefully concealed, and who ended by acknow- 
ledging their errors, and becoming reconciled with Catholicism. 
That was a day of joy to the ChurcL 

The priest was ever on the watch, and on the least sign of 
repentance or regret on the part of the fallen angel, hastened to 
reconcile him with God. His voice would have been powerless 
to reclaim the married monk ; the wife was the bond which for 
ever fettered the apostate to Protestantism. We harve in vain 
searched for an instance of a married priest who, in the religious 
revolution of the fifteenth century, returned to Catholicism ; 
repentance never even sat by the pillow of the dying man. 
Erasmus, therefore, did wrong to laugh. Luther knew well 
that every marriage of a priest bound to the Reformation a 

> " Ego soleo 'dissimulare et oelarei quantiira possum, ubi aliqni nottrAm 
dissentiunt k nobis (quales multos jam agitat nesoio quis spiritus)." — Lutherus, 
FaK Capitoni, 25 May, 1524. 


being who would beget others of his own stamp. We now under- 
stand the warfEure against celibacy which he commenced at Waxt- 
burg, and continued through life. After the pope, Eck, Emser, 
and ErasmuS; Luther had no enemies whom he handled more 
rudely than celibacy ; and so to obtain victory over it, he made 
use of every weapon, — fury, contempt, sophistry, epigrams, puns, 
and jests. Sometimes you would fancy it was a guest from a 
supper of Petronius discoursing of marriage; and you must either 
extinguish the lights, or screen your face. The curious reader 
must therefore read the works of Luther in Latin or in German 
to undeftitand their author ; for the monk has not exhausted 
the subject in his sermon on marriage. There is at Naples a 
secret museum which in an hour will initiate the traveller in the 
morals of ancient Rome : Luther's museum veiy much resembles 
it ; but we cannot venture to act as cicerone there.* 

It was impossible that so petulant a panegyrist of marriage 
could preserve his vows of chastity and die a bachelor. Luther, 
who said whatever he felt, never concealed his liking for the 
women of Saxony, Rhenish wine, and Embeck beer. At Eise- 
nach he sang : ^' On, earth there is nothing sweeter than a 
woman's love.'' *• 

While young, he visited the house of a widow where lived a 
girl with whom he was captivated : full of his juvenile passion, 
he went to Spalatinus : ** Brother," said he, " that girl has 
smitten my heart. I shall never be happy until I possess such 
a treasure." To which Spalatinus replied : " Brother, you are 
a monk ; the girls do not care for you." * So Wolfgang Agricola 
informs us. 

The Catholics foresaw that Luther must yield to the physical 
necessities which he has described so forcibly.'' ** The people of 

1 " Hinc yidemus homines alioqui mulieribiis parium apios prooreando fc^i> 
natuiali inclinatione nihilomints esse plenissiinos, et qnS miniis inatructi t^t 
tig rb vaidoirouXv hoc magis sunt yvvaiJco^iXoi. Cnjusmodi nature ingeniVi 
est nt ibi minimum est, hie omnium fortissimo expetamus. Quare dyauog vivt^B 
yolens, planO Advvara Bripti, xai 8\oc BtofiaxtV — Ep. ad Keissenbucb, SeckeiM 
dorf, lib. ii. p. 21. * 

* '^ O Spalatine, du kannst nicht glauben, wie mir diess schone Madigen iit 
dem Herzen lieet ; iqh will nioht sterben bis icb so viel anricbtei dass icb auci 
ein sobon Madigen freyen darf." The discourse of Wolfgang Agricola, X 
Lutheran minister, was reprinted at Ingolstadt in 1580. \ 

' "Camis men indomitee uror magnis ignibus, came, libidine." See our, 
first volume. 


luthbb's marbiaob. 217 

Wittemberg, who gire wives to all the monks, will not give one 
to me ! " said the Saxon.^ Some of them required, to quiet 
their conscienoes, that he should yiohkte his vows of continence, 
and so they assailed him with their remonstrances. None of 
them at first dared openly to avow their shameless mar- 
riages. The people pointed at them, and to express their 
genesiacal fever, invented an expression which has become 
proverbial : — " se demoiner ! " (to unmonk oneself). Argula, 
that female doctor, who was such a propagandist of the Lutheran 
creed, and wished to have a theological disputation with Eck, 
wrote to Spalatinus, in 1524, '^ that it was time for the modem 
Elias to ascend to heaven, trample under his feet the serpent of 
monachism, and take to himself a wife." — '' Thanks for Argula's 
advice, my dear Spalatinus,'' replied Luther; "tell her that 
Ood holds in his hands the human heart, that he changes and 
rechanges, kills and vivifies at his own pleasure, and tliat this 
heart of mine, such as it is, has no inclination for marriage. Not 
that I do not feel the sting of the flesh and the imperious call of 
the senses, for I am made neither of stone nor of wood ; but I 
have no time to think of marriage, when death threatens me, 
and the punishment of a heretic awaits me every moment ! "^ 

And yet, some weeks had scarcely passed, when he wrote to 
Jerome Baumgaertner,' who was enamoured of Catherine : '' If 
you hold to your Ketha, come instantly ; for she will become 
another's, if you do not make hbste." 

It is probable that he would have married sooner, if he had 
not been afraid to incur the disfavour of the elector Frederick, 
who had expressed his opinion freely, and just about that time 
again, in a letter to the bishop of Misnia, on the marriage of 
priests and monks, which he called " a disguised concubinage." 
Luther feared also the railleiy of Erasmus, who had so smartly 
ridiculed Garlstadt, and of Schurf, who had written : " If ever 

* Mayer, Ehren-Gedachtniss, p. 26. 

' The foUowing dialogue between Calviu and Luther was printed : — Calyin : 
When did you nnmonk yourself? Lather : In 1525, when I b^gan to look at 
the pretty girls, and married a noble abbess, Catherine Bora. 

* Luther, in his correspondence, oftener than once, mentions this passion of 
Ketha for Baumgaertner ; he writes to this senator from Nuremberg : " Sain tat 
te reverenter ignis dim tuus, jam te ob prsdaras yirtutes tuas novo amore 
diligensy et nomini tuo ex animo benb volens.'* — De Wette, torn. iii. p. 402. 


this monk takei a wife, the detil wiU laugh heartily ! "^ Thii 
SchurfwoTild not receive commanion from the hand of a chaplain 
who had married a second time. Besides, in a confidential letter 
to Bnhel, in 1525,' Luther expressed some doubts as to his 
YiriHty, which were afterwards satisfactorily cleared np.' 

Ent when the elector died, Luther took courage. He was 
then at Seeburg, which he left to return to Wittembeig. '^ I 
go/' he writes to his beloved Buhel ; '' I wish to marry my little 
Eetha before I die !^ It is a bold act/' said he, " lor we monks 
and nuns have the imperial rescript befere us : ' Whoever 
espouses a monk or nun deserves to be hanged.' "^ History, 
however, makes no mention of the punishment either of Garlstadi 
or the cle^ or nuns who infringed the empercnr's orders. 

In a letter to the archbishop of Mayence and Magdeburg, 
Luther, as we have seen, had endeavoured to convert the prelate, 
and prove to him what a noble example Albert, who held muh 
an exalted rank in the hierarchy, and on whom Qod had be* 
stowed the gift of chastity, would give to the worid by openly 
marrying. *^ Has not 6od said that man ot^ht to have a com* 
panion ? Unless by a miracle, Ood cannot transform a man into 
an angel.' What will he reply at the day of judgment, when 
God shall say to him : ' I have created you man, not that you 
should be alone, but that you should take a companion ; where 
is your wife, Albert ? ' " 

The cardinal did not reply, 'Luther revenged himself in a 
torrent of insults that can scarcely be translated : ^' Begone, 
hangman of a cardinal, knavish lackey, blockhead, crazy monk, 
effeminate epicurean, papistical devil, mad dog, earthworm, that 
befouls with your excrement the emperor's council-chamber ! — 
you merit suspension on a gibbet of thrice the ordinary hdght ; 
you w hunter, you son of Cain, to whom Luther would give 

1 " Wann dieser Mbnch heiratben soUte, so wiirde die ganze Welt, ja der 
Teufel selbst lachen."— Melchior Adam, in "Vltia Theol p. 150. 

' Scultet. in AnnaL ad ann. 1625. 

' " Warum auch ich nicfat ein Weib nehme, soUet ihr anfcworten, dan ich 
imroer noch furchte, icfa seye nicht tuchtig genug dazu." 

* Op. Lath. torn. 1. Ep. p. 887. 

' XIach-Beden, p. 328, a. 

£utheb's mabeiagb. 219 

a Jollj camiyaL Learn to dance ; he will play the pipe to 

We do not require to search for the motiTes. of a marriage 80 
precipitate: Luther explains them. " It is the Lord who has 
80 quickly decided the marriage. In marrying Bora, without 
acquainting my friends of it, I wished to make the angels langfa 
and the derils weep/'* His Catholic cotemporaries do not seem 
quite satisfied with this pretence. They hare alleged that the 
doctor had a double object in his sudden marriage, — first, to 
silence the gossip to which his frequent visits to the young woman 
gave rise ; next, by yielding to the pestering of Bora, who could 
wait no longer, to conceal the error of the woman, and the name 
of the seducer. Mayer' is indignant at the evil tongues that 
would destroy the reputation of the nun of Nimptschen and the 
parson of Wittemberg: we tread upon delicate ground. 

On the ISth of June, 1526, Luther married Catherine Bora, 
aged twenty-six years, a nun of the convent of Nimptschen, 
whence she had been carried off by Leonard EoBppe, a young 
councillor of Torgau> 

The intelligence of this event was like a clap of thunder to 

' " Er nennei ihn den I)inii6e1ien Gardtnal, dessen Namen renpeit mid rer- 
dammt ist, einea cardinalisehen Henker^ adialkhaffleD Knecht, ioUen Kopi^ 
zornigen Heiligen, einen weiblicban S^ioumm, romischeii Teufel. Morder und 
Bhiibniid, einen wtlthigen nnd boebalten Tflckler, Ton dem viel bbse Thaten 
gebort weiden, einen nnveraehamten Wnnn, den aUe Welt fUr einen ianlen 
Arscbwiscb bait, der dem Kaiser in sein Kammergericbt scheiaset^ soil doch 
den Breek eelbet aoefegen. Han bibtte ibn sebnma] zn Mains an einen Gal- 
ff0Q, der bijher ware^ dann drei Giebiobsteine^ henbken soUen ; einen Hnren- 
Jager^ Dieb, Bauber, Juncker Cain, dem der Lntber eine Faatnacbt bringen 
will, cKe Inetig und gut sein wird. Er soil die Fttsse sum Tanz wobl jacken 
laesen, Lutber woUte der Ffeiler sein."— De Wette, 1. c. torn. iv. pp. 670, 678. 

We defy all tbe living or dead languages to translate tbe following passage 
of tbis letter : — " Weil denn £. K. F. 6. dem Kaiser in sein Kammex^ricbt 
■ckeiss^ der Stadt Halle die Freybeit^ und dem Scbweit zu Sacbsen sein Recbt 
nimpty dazu all Welt und Yemunft ftir &ule Arscbwiscbe bait (so lauten fiwt 
die Beden), und aUe Dinge sogar papstliob, romisob und oardinaliscb bandelt ; 
BO wirdSy ob Gott will, unser Herr Gott durcb in den Gibel scbicken einmal 
dass E. K. F. G. den Dreck selbst wird miissen ausfegen." — De Wette, tom. iy. 
p. 677. 

s " Dominus me subit6 aliaque oogitantem conjecit mir^ in oonjngium cum 
Catbarinil Borensi, moniali illA." — ^Ad Wences. LincI^. 20 Jun& "Sie me 
Tilem et contemptum bis nuptiis feci, ut angeloe ridere et omnes dAmonez flere 
sperem." — Ad Spalatinum, Seek. lib. iL p. 16. 

* Ebren-GedacbtniBB der Bora. 

* See tbe cbapter entitled Catberine Bora. 

220 HI8T0B7 OF LtJTHBB. 

Melanctbon ; he did not recover from it. Lather, who had 
never concealed anything from his favonrite disciple, had not 
mentioned a word to him about this marriage. 

'^ Lather has unexpectedly married/' writes Melancthon to 
Gamerarius; "I shall not venture to condemn these sudden nup- 
tials as a fall and a scandal, although God points to us in the 
conduct of his elect faults which we cannot approve. Woe to 
him who shall reject the doctrines because of the sins of the 
teacher !"i 

'' Health and peace 1 " wrote Justus Jonas to Spalatinus ; 
<< my letter will surprise you. Our Luther has married Catherine 
Bora. I was present at the marriage yesterday, and saw him in 
bed. I could not refrain from tears at the sight. My soul is 
fiUed with fear and suffering ; I know not what Ood has in store 
for us ; I wish this good-hearted and sincere man, our brother in 
God, all manner of happiness. The Lord is wonderful in his coun- 
sels and his works. Adieu .... To-day we have a few friends ; 
we shall celebrate the marriage somewhat later, I think, and you 
shall be of the party. I send you an express to tell you these 
great news. Our witnesses were the painter Lucas Granach 
and his wife, Doctor Pomer, and myself"* 

Luther had only confided the secret to two of his friends, 
Amsdorf and Kceppe.' '* It is indeed true, Amsdorf, that I 
have married Gatherine Bora. I shall live some years longer ; 
and I could not refrise my father this proof of filial obedience, in 
the hope of ofispring. It is necessary to strengthen precept by 
example, there are so many weak minds who dare not look the 
Oospel in the face ! It is the order and will of Ood, for in 
truth, it is not love, but merelj friendship, that I entertain for 
my wife !" 

In a letter to Koeppe, who had carried off Gatherine, of the 

' Mel. Ep. ad Camerarium. 

' " Heri adfui rei, et 7idi sponsum jaoentem in thalamo," etc. — ^Dr. Martin 
Luther's Leben, von G. Pfizer, p. 585. 

' Schelhom, torn. iv. Arocenit. Lit. pp. 423. 424, et seq. See, on the sub- 
ject of Luther's ouurriage, the letters of 15 June, to Ruhet Thur, and Caspar 
Muller ; of the 16th, to Spalatin ; of the 17th, to Leonard Koeppe and Mich. 
Stiefel ; of the 20th, to Wenoeslaus Linck ; of the 2l8t^ to J. Dolzig, Spalatin, 
and Amsdorf ; contained in the collection of Leberecht de Wette : Dr. Martin 
Luther's Briefe, &c. vol. iii. Berlin, 1827. 

lutheb's marbiaqe, 221 

17tli Jnne, the doctor slipped a small note to announce his 
marriage to him : — 

^* Ton are aware what has happened to me : I am caught in 
the snares of a woman. It is a perfect miracle ; God must 
have pouted at the world and me. Embrace your Audi for me, 
and come on the day of the wedding, and endeavour to learn 
from the bride if I am a man."' . . .^ 

The burgomaster of Wittemberg sent to the married pair a 
dozen of wine for the marriage-feast ; four bottles of Malmsey, 
four of Rhenish, and four of Franconian. The city presented 
them with a couple of rings.* 

Now was the day of triumph for the monks.' For fifteen 
years Luther had ridiculed them : they took their revenge, and 
it must be admitted that it was a severe one. Epithalamia, odes, 
hymns sacred and profane, distichs, heroic and comic poems, 
were poured forth by their muse in every measure and language. 
Should you ever meet with one of the numerous pamphlets called 
forth by the Reformation, and it bears the date of 1525, you are 
sure, if written by a monk, to find the name of Catherine Bora 
in it From Horace the monk borrows his iambics, from Solomon 
his fiigurative style, from the ancient poets their free imagery, from 
the pupil of Albert Durer his pencil, to depict even the nocturnal 
amusements of the Protestant pair ; for they were much bolder 
than at the commencement of the Reformation. *' In sooth,'" 
piteously exclaims Juncker, ''it is impossible to describe the 
merriment of the papists on the marriage ; they have even repre- 
sented these holy nuptials as incestuous.^ One monk, Conrad 
Collin, wrote a book entitled, "On the Coupling of Martin 
Luther." * " What is the difference between Luther and David V 
asked John Hasenberg. '' The latter played on his harp, and 

* ** Dass ihr meiner Bntut helft gut Zeugniss geben, wie ich em Mann aej, 
torn. ii. Alt. 903. De Wette, torn. iii. p. 9. Sedcendorf ia annoyed that this 
letter has been printed in the collected works of Luther : '' Epistola fiuniliaris 
et jocosa, quam omitti satiiis fuitiset." 

' See in this yolume the chapter entitled Kelics of Luther. 

3 Ulenberg, "Vita Lutheri, p. 197. 

* Melchior Adam, Vita Theologor. 

« Wider nie HnndB-Hochzeit Martin Lnthers : Ttlbingen; 8. 


the former on his nan." ^ That old theologian Emser, who had 
given Lather sach hearty blows, improvised an epithalamiom, 
both words and mosic : * — 

'^ Farewell cowl/' sang the poet^ ^'farewell oope, prior, goardian, 
abbot ; farewell vows, matins, prayers ; fear imd consoience, 
shame, adiea. Tol lol,'' &c 

The Reformers, to give popularity to their hatred of the 
monks, were not satisfied with rhyming : they set their words to 
mosio. There is an old Lutheran song still sang at Wittem- 
berg, of which the words and the mosic have survived. The 
notes are : — 

J , <J Kl \J ^ <J iJ "o , ^, -^LIH 


and the first verse : — 

** MaitinuB hat gerathen. 

Das Ri, Ba, Ritz, 
Man soil die Pfitffen brathen, 

DaB Ri, Bis Ritas, 
Die Monchen unteraobireD, 
Die Nonn' ins Frie-Haus fuhren." 

" Martin wishes. 
Das ri, TA, riiz. 
To roast the priests, 

Das ri, &o. 
To toast the monks, 

Das ri, Ac. 
To kiss the nuns, &c." 

Now, if you go through Saxony, where Catholicism flourishes, 

» " QoKm Luther est similis Davidl t Hie carmina lusit 
In eytharft ; in nonnft ludit et ille suA." 
— See Cochlseus, in Luthero Septicipite, p. 120. 

' " I cucallaj Yale capa, 
Yale prior, custos, abba, 
Cum obedientiA, 
Cum jubilo. 

" Ite vota, preces, hone, 

Vale timor cum pudore. 

Vale ooDBcientia, 

Cum jubilo. 

Id, To, Io, gaudeamus 

Cum jubilo," 

Cochl. in Act. Luth. fol. 118. 
See, in Confirmatory Evidenoe, Ko. 1, the Epithalamium composed by John 

lutjibb's ma&riaob. 223 

yoa will hear some old woman motter, or beggar sing through the 
noBe> other veiseB oompoded to a similar tone at the same period : — 

*' Lootfer vpon lik throiM^ 

Das ri, nun, ritasy 
Was a lovely angel, 

Daa ri, Ac. 
He from it has fallen, 

Daa ri, &c. 
With his fellow spiritB, 

Dasri, ftc"! 

Doctor Conrad Wimpina, the same who, if we are to believe 
Luther, wrote the theses of Tetael, printed at Frankfort-on-the- 
Oder a collection of religious controversies, in which are several 
curious woodcuts. In one the marriage of Luther is represented : 
on the left the monk gives the marriage-ring to Bora ; above the 
couple is the word " Vovbte ;" on the right is the nuptial bed 
with the curtains drawn, and at the foot " Reddite ;'" in the 
centre, the monk is dancing, holding the nun by the hand ; a 
scroll over their heads bears the inscription : — 

*' Discedat ab aria 
Col tnlit hesternft gaudia noote Venus." ' 

In the majority of the caricatures suggested by the marriage of 
Luther, the doctor is represented either dancing with Bora or 
seated at table with a glass in his hand ; and these designs 
should be studied. The engraver does not lie; he seldom 
invents^ only he does not care for the exact resemblance, and 
looks solely to the effect Seckendorf would have us believe that 
Luther's countenance on the day of his marriage bore marks of care, 
the engraver shows the contrary : he would have found means, 
doubtless, had Luther been as serious as his panegyrist represents 
him, to ridicule that gravity ; in place of a scene in a German 
alehouse, he would have given us a dance of devils, a banquet 
in hell. 

Long after the marriage, the sound of the bantering hymns 

* It is believed that this ooanterpart of the Lutheran long is the composition 
of F. SylviuBy a Dominican, who lived, in the time of Luther, in a monastery 
not fiur from Leipac HuUer, in his book, Defensio Lutheii defend : Ham- 
burg, 1659, p. 6, fias quoted this song. He thinks that the papist has con- 
ferred a great honour on Luther in comparing him to Lucifer. 

^ Luther never replied to Wimpina. " He grunts like a hog," said he, 
speaking of the doctor : D. Wimpina krochaet wie ein brunzend Sau." 


with which it had been hailed still lasted ; some lovers of 
scandal have preserved these epithalamia in collections which 
may at the present day be considered truly bibliographical gems. 
"We have gone through several of these hyperbolical poems, which 
nevertheless must be consulted if we wish to become acquainted 
with a mass of details, to which history cannot stoop. Had it not 
been for those poets, we should have represented to ourselves Luther 
at the time of his marriage, as his disciples describe him to have 
appeared at Leipsic, so thin that you might have counted his 
bones ; instead of which he was a rubicund monk, with a Rabe- 
laisian paunch, walking with difficulty under the weight of his 
exuberant flesh. Hutten would have ridiculed the Catholic, 
who, with so lively a flush of health, should have spoken as 
Luther did of the dangers of death which threatened him, and 
still more perhaps that sexual infirmity of which he gives his 
friend Ruhel a hint. Thus we see how frequently the poet 
corrects the historian. 

It appears that Catherine was a stout, fresh-looking woman, 
merry, and very active ; for Rempen describes her as skipping, 
leaping, capering, and exhibiting to the spectators of the dance 
more than is seemly ; a sort of wanton goat ; whilst Martin, 
impeded by his enormous stomach, cannot follow the movements 
of his partner, with difficulty raises his feet, and resembles a 
dromedary dancing to a harp.^ 

During these festivals of Hymen, the cannon were thundering 
and the blood of the peasants flowing in streams.* . Holbein has 
left us a portrait of Catherine, whom the painter has perhaps 

* We quote here some verses of this ode, highly poetical and coloured, and 
consequently difficult to translate : — 

" Atque levi sura glomerabat ovantia cmray 
More caprse brutee, vitulsque 2t Aine solutse, 
Multiplicans miros lascivo poplite gyros. 
Lutheras fessus, ventris pinguedine pressus, 
Non poterat tantns in saltum tollere plantas ; 
Qu5 se vertebat, pingui se mole movebat, 
Per tardos passus, gravitanti abdomine crassus, 
Subsultans duris ad stridula barbita suris 
Ut resonante chely salit hispida planta cameli.'* 


Bempen, the author of the ode, afterwards renounced Catholicity, and 
became a Lutheran. 

« See ch. xi. The Peasants* War. 


flattered too mucL If we are to credit Luther^s evidence, the 
young woman had not the wantonness attributed to her by 
Rempen, the author of the ode. " He would have done better," 
says CochlfiBus, " to marry one of those nuns who were carried 
off from Nimptschen and placed at Wittemberg, in the monas- 
tery of the Augustinians ; but they were too young." * . . . . 

Erasmus was at Basle when he heard of Luther's marriage ; 
and on the 7th October he wrote to Daniel Mauch, of Ulm, then 
at Kome, in the household of Cardinal Campeggio : — 

" This is a singular event ; Luther has thrown off the philo- 
sopher's mantle, and married a young woman of twenty-six, 
hiuidsome, well made, and of a good family, but penniless, and 
who for some time has ceased to be a vestal. The marriage has 
been celebrated under happy auspices ; for in a few days after the 
ceremony, the bride was confined ! Luther revels in blood, while 
a hundred thousand peasants descend to the tomb."* 

This letter of Erasmus caused, when it was known, great 
scandal among Luther's disciples : several took up their pens in 
defence of their master's honour, and the chastity of his partner. 
Our part, in such a dispute, is not that of a judge, but a mere 

Catholics, in inquiring into a material fact which their oppo- 
nents were interested in concealing from them, have first to draw 
moral inferences. They inquire how, except by a miracle, we 
can believe in the virtue of a yoimg woman who, at the very age 
when the passions are strongest, flies from her convent, and seeks 
an asylum in a city like Wittemberg, full of lecherous monks 
and libertine students ; whom her parents refuse to receive, and 
who, when sought in marriage by Doctor Glaz, declares with tears 
that she will marry no one but Luther or Amsdorf ? * " What 
warranty," says Wimpina, "will you give us also for the continence 
or chastity of a monk who delights to paint with such a coarse 
pencil the joys of marriage, and to describe all its mysteries ; 
who understands and speaks so well the language of love ; who 

' [Lather assiffxis a reaion for his preference, which may be found by the 
ouriooB in his collected works. GoU. Lat. tom. ii. p. 95. — T.] 

' Danieli Manchio TTlmano. Roms, in familift R. D. Card, Campegii. 

See the philosopher's letter, in Ko. 2 of Confirmatory Evidence. 

* " Vellet LnthemSy vellet Amedorfius, se paratam cum altemtro honestum 
inire matrimooium : cnm Glacio, nullo modo." — ^Belat. Amsdorfii Scul. 



is assaulted by such strong temptatioDd, and revels in such canml 
imagery ; and who writes to his friend in the grossest manner ? ' 
How/' he adds, '^ could Luther be chaste, when his language is 
so indecent ? an angel, with passions so ardent ? and how should 
nature, who, in his own words, ' impels us as irresistibly to the 
opposite sex as to meat or drink/ have been silent to him V 

Besides this positive letter of Erasmus in regard to Bora, there 
is another from the same writer to Nicolas Everard, president of 
the high council of Holland, at the Hague, in almost cdmilar 

But the date of the safe delivery of Catherine is determined 
with a painful precisionu The nun was confined fifteen days 
after her marriage with Luther.* And the letter which records 
this fact is not apocryphal ; it was seen, touched, and perused 
by Bayle. The original document is in a perfect state of pre- 
servation,' with the seal of Erasmus, bearing as a device the 
god Terminus, and " Nulli Cbdo." Wimpina and liis par- 
tisans also refer to the sermon of Agricola, which we have 
previously quoted : the "Defence of the Catholic Faith," by John 
Faber, bishop of Vienna, in which we read that in a month after 
her marriage the bride became a mother;^ the testimony of 
Odorico Binaldi, of Graveson,'' and many more ; and the common 
report of all Germany. 

They continue : Has not Luther said in his ' * Table-Talk : " "On 
13th June, 1525, during the time of the peasants' war, I married ; 
on 6th June, 1526, my first child John was bom ; in 1527, my 

' '* Salnta tnam oonjugem Buaviasimd, veram ut id turn fiicias, otun in iboro 
suaTisfflmia amplezibus et oBouliB GathariDam tenueris, ac sic oog^taveris : En 
hunc hominem, optimam creaturamm Dei mei donavit mihi Christas meui, at 
illi laus et gloria.* —Lnther's Briefe : De Wette, torn. iii. p. 58. 

* " Dnxit nxorem monacha monacbam, et ut Bciaa nnptias proBperis avibns 
initao, diebua )k decantato hymenaeo fenn^ qoatuordecim enim enixa eat nova 

' " I bave Been tbe original, "whicb iB in very good condition ; the aeal of 
ErasmuB, with tbe deus Terminus and NuUi cede upon it, is quite perfect. 
M. yon Wilhem, couuBellor of the court of Brabant^ had the kindness to show 
me this letter, and gave me a copy of it. The letter of Erasmus follows.** — 
Diet. art. Bore, torn. ii. 

* " Qu» illi altero mense h nuptiia, partum edidit.** — Defensio OrUx. Fidel 
Gath. contra Balthaaar. Paoimontanum, lib. iz. fol. 62. 

^ "Jam gravidam Lutberus sibi optavit," — Ann. Eocl. No. 52, ad ann. 1525. 
"FormA venuatiorem ex illis, jam gravidam sibi copulavit.** — Hist. Eccl. 
tract, rii. ad asm. 1525. 





second child, my daughter Elizabeth, was bom ; in 1529, 
Magdalene ; in 1531, on the 7th November, Martin ; in 1636, 
on the 28th January, Paul ; lastly, in 1534, Margaret V 

And in the same work is there not a letter of condolence from the 
doct<Mr to Jerome Weller, in which are these words : — " If I had 
not punished my son Andrew with the rod V > Who, theii, is this 
Andrew, of whom Luther here speaks for the first time, and who 
has no place in the preceding genealogical statement ? 

Catholic writers unhesitatingly reply : this is the child whom 
Erasmus mentions as bom so felicitously fifteen days after the 
marriage with Bora. But who was his father ? This question is 
more direct, and more difficult of solution. Some say Baum- 
giertner, with whom the young woman was captivated ; others 
Amsdorf, who loved her passionately ; others the young coun- 
cillor KoDppe, who carried her off; and others, Luther himself. 

But Catherine has had zealous defenders ; among others 
Makh, who is fhrious agaitist those who presume to doubt the 
purity which she brought to her husband. " Then explain to 
us," ask the Catholic critics, " the meaning of, *IfI had not 
whipped my son^ Andrew f" "Nothing easier,'* says Malsh ; 
who makes the printer responsible for the child by a process which 
we could never have guessed. For^/eum, in the original text, he 
substitutes the word famtdtim ; we must therefore read : *' If T 
had not whipped my aertant Andrew." " But people do not flog 
their servants."' " I know that as well as you," replies the 
Lutheran Aristarchus ; "instead oi tirgis puniviseem^ read eaiti- 
gassem. The sentence is then perfect, ' // / had not chastised 
my servant Andrew' " * 

The Catholics do not admit that they are beaten : they follow 
up Ae inquiry. 

In the " Table-Talk," but in German: " Tisch-Reden," 
page 20, part ii. of the edition of Frankfort-on-the-Maine, 
1569, we find this sentence: "My pregnant wife gives suck 
to an adulterine child : it is rather hard to have two guests 

* '' Conflolatio ad moBBtmn Hier. Wellemm : si Andream filium menm yirgia 
non puDiinem/' — Col. Lai. torn. ii. tit. De Morbis Lntheri, p. 226. Consult 
a carious book, by Eosebius Bngdhard, published at Angsbunr, in 1749, 
entitled, Lucifer Wittenbergensis, or, Vollstandiger Jiebens-Lauf Catharina 
Ton Bore. 

^ Engelhard, 1. o. pp. 179, 180, part ii. 



to support, one in the house and one out of doors." * Now who 
was this adulterine child whom Catherine so tenderly nursed, to 
the doctor's great dissatisfaction ? The question becomes more 
and more insidious. We must confess that in the very numerous 
pamphlets relating to Catherine we have met with no satisfac- 
tory reply. We mistake ; Engelhard proposes another reading, 
and for adulterum infantem substitutes ctdultum infantem : but 
Engelhard is a Catholic, and, what is worse, a monk. 

The Protestants have their way of explaining matters. " I 
was mistaken," writes Erasmus to Francis Sylvius. *' Luther is 
indeed married, but the rapid confinement of Catherine is a 
mere fable ; she is only said to be in the family way. You know 
it is a common saying that Antichrist is to be bom of a monk 
and a nun ; but if that is correct, what thousands of Anti- 
christs must be in the world by this time !" * 

This letter is dated 13th March, 1526, and is to be seen in 
the collection of the philosopher's letters printed at Basle, by 
Froben, in 1558. 
See how the Catholics dispose of this formal disclaimer. 
In the letter to Daniel Mauch, of Ulm, wherein the philo- 
sopher announced so gaily the impromptu maternity of Catherine 
Bora, it may be remembered were these words : " Atque ut scias 
auspicatas fuisse nuptias, pauculis diebus post decantatum 
hymenaeum, nova nupta peperit. Jocatur ille in crisin san- 
guinis." Now, in Froben's collection, there is not a woyd of 
the event. Why has the text been altered ? We have not for- 
gotten these lines in Erasmus' letter to Everard, president of the 
high council of Holland : '' Et ut scias nuptias prosperis avibus 
initas, diebus a decantato hymenseo ferme quatuordecim enixa 
est nova nupta." Now this letter, which Bayle has copied 
entire, is not to be found in the collection by Froben : why has 
it been suppressed ? If Froben took the liberty of altering the 
letter to Mauch and of suppressing that to Everard, might he 
not have interpolated in the text of one of the philosopher's 

^ " Uxor gravida adulterum adhuc lactabat in&ntem : Es ist schwer zwei 
Gaste zu eraahren, den einen im Haus, den andern vor der Thilr." 

> ** De oonjugio Luiheri certnm est, de partu maturo sponss Tanus erat 
mmor ; nunc tamen gravida esse dicitnr. 8i vera est vulgi fitbula : Anti- 
christum nasciturum ex monacho et monachA, qnemadmodom illi jactitant, 
quot antichristorum millia jam olim habet mnndus ! " 

Luther's mabriaoe. 229 

epistles a retractation of which he was innocent, especiallj when 
we know that in 1538, when the collection of Erasmus' letters 
appeared, the philosopher had been two years in his grave ; that 
at this time Basl^ had embraced Protestantism ; that Froben 
was interested in promoting the new gospel; and that the 
majority of his Mends were the principal leaders of the Pro- 
testant party ? 

Sach is the summary of a warm controversy between Catholics 
and Protestants. The lovers of scandal will find numerous 
pamphlets in which this question is considered in all its phases. 
We have read them, and, in truth, find it difficult to pronounce 
an opinion : besides, being Catholic, we decline to do so. But 
instead of Catherine Bora put a bishop's servant, and how 
Luther — who seriously narrates that one day the skulls of ^ix 
thousand newly-born infants were found in the fishpond of a 
convent- — would have enjoyed himself at the expense of the poor 
girl's reputation ! 

There was one person who did not laugh at Luther's marriage, 
and this was not a theologian, but a crowned head, Henry VIH. 
Peace was not yet concluded between these two potentates. From 
his palace of St. James, the king could not now find invectives 
enough to hurl at his adversary. Erasmus had for a time 
believed that the warlike ardour of Luther would exhaust itself 
in the arms of Catherine Bora ; he was mistaken : marriage had 
not mollified the recent bridegroom, who on the veiy next day 
steeped his pen again in that black and corrosive ink with which 
he bespattered every papist right and left, and one of Henry's 
ministers had received some spots of it. 

" You may well be ashamed," said the king to Luther, " to 
raise your eyes to me ; but I wonder how you can raise them to 
God, or look at any honest man, when you, an Augustinian 
monk, at the instigation of the devil, the suggestions of the 
flesh, and the emptiness of your understanding, have not been 
ashamed to violate with your sacrilegious embraces a virgin 
devoted to the Lord. Such an act, in Pagan Rome, would have 
caused the vestal to be buried alive, and you to be stoned to 
death. But this is a greater offence : you have contracted an 
incestuous marriage with this nun, whom you parade publicly, 
to the confusion of morality, in contempt of the holy laws of 


marriage, and those vows of continence at which yon langh with 
so much efirontery. Abomination ! when you ought to be 
sinking with shame, and endeavouring to make reparation, you, 
wretched man, glory in your crime; and, instead of asking 
pardon, carry your head high, and excite other monks to imitate 
your infamous conduct." * 

Neither Erasmus, Cochlsdus, the Olympus of the poets, nor 
Henry VI 11. understood Luther. He had not recourse to mar- 
riage for the gratification of sensual plea£(ures, which he could 
easily have procured otherwise, as swarms of nuns disturbed his 
solitude, and he tells us that he had three marriageable virgins 
residing in his house ! ^ Had he only sought to allay too violent 
temptations, he had the most efficacious remedies, and much 
more secret than marriage. His marriage, even if you will have 
it to proceed from physical causes, was, in truth, a political step 
for diffusing his doctrines. Till then public opinion had stig- 
matized as infamous all the marriages of the monka We may 
remember the excitement when Archdeacon Carlstadt led to the 
altar pretty Anna Mocha. These marriages between priests and 
nuns caused at first great scandal : the people murmured when 
they saw the faces of men and women peeping from under the same 
cowl. Wolfgang remained concealed a long while, in order not 
to provoke the people in the streets of Wittemberg. Luther, in 
his retirement at Wartburg, in the pulpit, and in his celly was 
for several months engaged in connecting passages of the Scrip- 
tures, which he cast as a sort of cloak over all these nudities ; 
but his labour was in vain, the cloak was transparent. For a 
time the Reformer's preaching was unfruitful; no one being 
found bold enough to exchange Luther's benedictions for the 
scourge of public opinion. But as he preached by example, 
there was in Germany something stronger than public opinion, — 
lechery, which with unblushing face stalked openly through the 
streets ; for in case of violence, it had for its concealment the 
robe of a married priest. 

An old semi- French historian, nearly cotemporary with Luther, 
has happily expressed the efiiect produced by the marriage of the 

* GochlsBUB, fol. 167 et eeq. Op. Fiaheri, epiac. Roflf. Wirzburgi, ann. 1597. 

• " Tres in domo meft habeo virgines nubiles, et orones virie optim^ nubere 
possint."— Colloq. Mens. torn. ii. 95. 

luthbr'b marriaqe. 231 

monks ; only we must recollect that he is Catholic in his creed 
and pagan in his style, which is foil of ideas drawn firom the 
mythological school. 

" Do you hear/' says Plorimond de Remond, " the trumpets 
of Gttpid ? Ladders are placed against the walb of the convents, 
the foundations of which are shaken and begin to fall ; a regiment 
of monks rushes through the breach, breathless with passion, and 
pursues the young nuns, especially those who, roused by the 
sound of the Lutheran flourishes, have burst their gratings, torn 
off iheir yeils, and are spread through the neighbouring camp, 
leaving some of their old companions as pledges for the convent/' 

This is what Florimond de Remond calls *' the fruits of the 
union of Luther and Catherine !" The monk knew well what 
he was about : his marriage was scarcely celebrated, when the 
most of the religious houses opened their portals, and foolish 
nuns and libertine monks came forth, seeking each other in 
open day, and publicly making Germany the witness of connec- 
tions which the Church regards as incestuous, but which 
Luther's example caused to be considered works of merit Among 
those who fell were churchmen, who in the eyes of men wore the 
priestly robe, but from whom God had long previously withdrawn : 
men who loved pleasure, and spent their lives in the luxurious 
enjoyments of the table or ,the field. They were thankful to 
Luther for permitting them to transform a concubine into a 
lawful wife, and accepted the shame, making religion subservient 
to their own ends, provided they were not obliged to blush in 

There were monasteries, particularly near Wittemberg, in 
which not a single monk remained ; and others which were only 
partiaUy abandoned. Sometimes, as at Orlamiinde, or where the 
Anabaptists prevailed, the people, roused by some fanatical 
preacher, attacked the monasteries and presbyteries, and expelled 
every inmate, down to the very cook. Next day Glaz ascended 
the pulpit, and said : '' I, the illustrious rector of the academy 
of Wittemberg, proclaim myself pastor of Orlamiinde." ^ When 
order was restored and the popular tempest allayed, the civil 
authorities took possession of the deserted monafiteiy, made 

* ** loh Rector magnificas der hohen Schule emenne mioh Caspar Glaz selbat 
zu einem Pfarrer in Orlamiinde." 


an inventory of its contents, confiscated for their own behoof the 
conventnal or ecclesiastical booty, and bestowed a few expressions 
of pity or hypocritical concern npon the indiyiduab whom 
they had expelled so inhumanly. " God will not abandon you," 
they would say, *' marry, and fulfil the injunction of Scripture.^' 
Then also Catholic Germany had another scandal to deplore, as 
we have said, in the robbery committed by the authorities, in 
contempt of the law of nations and chartered rights, some of 
which ascended to remote antiquity. The sacred vessels, which 
had been used at the celebration of the divine mysteries, were to 
be seen used as drinking-cups at the tables of certain electors ; 
and latterly, when they b^an to be ashamed, transferred to the 
shelves of public museums. Those marvellous manuscripts, 
those old crucifixes in lyood and ivory ; those episcopal rings, 
the gifts of popes or emperors ; those embroideries, that stained 
glass, those ciboria of gold and silver ; all these medisBval relics 
which are to be seen in the rich collections of Germany, belonged 
to the religious houses and the churches. So that after the 
lapse of three centuries nothing better has been found to give us 
an idea of German art at that period, than the display of the 
spoils of those whom they robbed when living, and calumniated 
when they were dead.* 

' CoDBolt Lucifer Wittenbergenais, oder der Morgenstem von Wittenbeig, 
das let : Tollstandiger Lebenslauf Catbarina von Bore, des Termevnten Ebeweibs 
Dr. Martin Lutberi : Augsburg, 1749, 8vo. Micbael Kubn, dean of tbe Au- 
gustinian mooasteir at Ulm, under the pseudonyme of Eusebiua, is the author 
of this curious book. Wahrhafte Geschichte der seligen Frau Catharina von 
Bora, Dr. Martin Luther's Ehegattin, wider Eusebii Engelhard's Morgenstem, 
zu Wittenberg: Halle, 1734, 2 vols. 8vo. Eversio Lutherani Epithalamii, per 
R. P. Conradum KoUin, Ulmensem sacne tbeologite professorem : Colonia?, 
1521, 4to. Taillepied, Life of Luther. 

The following are some of the tracts for or against clerical celibacy, which 
Luther's marriage called forth ; — 

Von dem ebelichen Stand der Bischdffe und Diaken, an Herm Wolfl|^ng 
Beissenbuach, der Bechte Doktor und Praceptor zu Lichtenberg, S. Antonius 
Ordens. Johann Bugenhagen Pommer, gedeutscht durch Stephanum Rodt 
von Zwickau: Wittenberg, 1529. 

Von den Gelttbden der Geistlichen, ein kurzer Unterricht tlber das Wort im 
Psalm : Vovete et reddite. Job. Bugenhagen Pomer, gedeutscht durch 
Stephanum Rodt: Wittenberg, 1525. 

Libellus F. BartholomsBi de Usingen, Augustiniani> De Falsis Prophetis, 
tam in personft quiim doctrinft vitandis k fidelibus. De Rectft et Mund& Prse- 
dicatione Evangelii, et quibus confurmiter illud debeat prsedicari. De Ckslibatu 
Sacerdotum Novsb Legis, et de Matrimonio eorum, necnon Monachorum ezi- 
tiosorum. Re8ponsio ad Sermonem Jjaogii de Matrimonio Sacerdotali, quem 


These civil disturbances were of service to Protestantism. In 
the midst of these outrages on Catholic aathority, the Latherans 
held public meetings, at which they excited themselves to rebel- 
lion. Luther, from Wittemberg, commended the courage of 
those whom he called the children of light. The children of 
darkness were Duke George, the duke of Bavaria, and the other 
princes who obeyed the emperor's orders : obedience being treated 
as rebellion by the Protestants, and rebellion exalted as an 
inspiration from heaven. There were rewards ready for felony 
and apostasy, and contempt and hatred for loyalty to God and 
the sovereign. The events of the time favoured Luther. War 
was declared between the emperor and Pope Clement VIL, who 
had embraced the cause of Francis L ; JPavia saw an end of 
that monarch's glory in Italy, where the arms of his rival were 
victorious : Rome had been taken and sacked by the constable 
of Bourbon. His army, partly composed of Lutherans, had 
filled the holy city with abominations: the menials of that 
prince had converted St. Peter's into a stable, littered their 
horses with the papal bulls, and, dressed in the cardinals' copes, 
had proclaimed Luther pope in a chapel of the Vatican.^ Clement 
having declared for France, Charles V. revenged himself by 

fecit in unptiis Culsameri Baoerdotis. Contra fiu^onem Lutheranun : Erphur- 
diiB, 1625. 

Anti-Lntheros Jodoci Cliohtovei Keoportnensifl, dooioiis theolog^ Academia 
Faiisiensis, tres libroB oomplectens : Primus contra effrenam vivendi licenttam, 
quam falso Ubertatem Chrisiianam ac evangelicam nominat Luthems, ostendit, 
Eoclesiam sanctam et ejos pnesides, constituendaroin sanctionum (qn» obligent 
populum Ghristianum et transgreBsorcB peocati mortalis reos ease definiant), 
potestatem habere. Secimdus contra abrogationem missse, quam inducere 
molitur Luthenia, demonstrate distinctos omcionim gradus, ao ordines esse 
in Eccleaift. Non omnes itidem Christianos esse saceKlotes, et sanctissimum 
Eucharistis sacramentnm, quod in missft consecratur, esse ver^ saorificium. 
TertiuB, contra eneryationem votorum monastioorum, quam invehere contendit 
Luthems, dedarat, relig^osorum vota etiam perpetua atque pro toto yitas 
cnrriculo rect^ fieri, idque vivendi in monastic^ discipline institutum sum- 
mopere esse commendandum. Insunt et prime hujus operis libro dissolu- 
tiones qusedam contra Erasmum Roterodamum, de uno aut tribus Dionysiis 
mintis benb sentientem. Ad Carolum Guillardum, Parisiensis senatiis pr»- 
sidem : Colon. 1525. 

Ein Send-Brieff und Erinnerung des ehrenfesten Caspar von Schwenckfeld, 
von Ossi^. an die Closter-Jungfrauen zu Naumburg, wie sie sich jetziger Zeit 
balten sollen, und wie sie des Closterlebens, nach Freyheit des Geistes, ntltz- 
lioh gebrauchen mochten. 

* Guicciardini, Sacco di Roma. Cocblssus. De Marillac, Vie du Connd- 
table de Bourbon. Maimbourg, Hist du Luth^ranisme, lib. i. 


pouring into Italy the swarms of Lutherans whom he wished to 
exterminate from Germany: these docile instruments of his 
wrath burned up even the grass of the fields, and sold for thm 
weight in gold the ears of their prisoners. All was oyer with 
the eternal city, if Gkni had not cast upon it a look of pity. 
He employed to drire them from Italy the pestilence which 
these hordes had spread on their way. At the same time, 
Soliman threatened Hungary, and sooner or later would compel 
Charles V. to recross the Alps in aid of Utie Archduke Frederick. 
When peace was restored to Italy, the emperor turned his eyes 
to Germany. A new diet was summoned to Spires in 1528, 
where the Catholics were in a majority. The presidents and com* 
missioners, were King Ferdinand, Frederick, the count palatine, 
William, duke of Bavaria, and the bishops of Trent and Hildech 
heim.^ A new sect, — ^that of the^ Sacramentarians, had resolved 
to oppose the Lutherans there^ The impmal cities were ahnost 
all infected with the doctrines of Zwinglius : the sectarians were 
divided among themselves. The landgrave of Hesse, perceiving 
the danger of such a schism, laboured to stifle it, but his efforts 
were ineffectual. The Catholic party prevailed in the end. 
After long debates, the assembly decreed, that wherever the 
edict of Worms had been received, change of religion should be 
prohibited ; that those cities which had embraced the new doo* 
trines might possess them until the council was held, but without 
either abolishing the mass, or depriving the Catiiolics of the free 
exercise of their worship ; that the Sacramentarians should be 
banished the empire, and the Anabaptists punished with deatk 

The Lutheran princes, John, elector of Saxony, Gfeorge, 
marquis of Brandenburg, Ernest and Francis, dukes of Lunen- 

* Sleidan, 1. c. lib. yi. PallaTicini, lib. ii. 

Sebastian Sohertlin, who was present at the sack of BomO; writes : " Od 
6th May, we carried the city by storm ; 6,000 men were slain in it. The whole 
city has been delivered over to pillage ; we have taken all that oould be found 
in the churches and other buildings, and have destroyed or torn all the regis- 
ters, letters, charters, &c. ; part of the city has been burnt." — Lebensbeschrei- 
bung Seb. Schertlins, p. 19. 

We possess an account of the sack of Borne, published in Germany, with the 
title of Warhafflige newe Zeitung aus Rom geschrieben, wie Herr Jeorgen von 
Fronsbehrssohn den Papst mit 18 Cardinalen gefangen hat (1527, 4 pp.). Here 
are a few lines of it : " 25,000 Man darynne erschlagen aJile Mdnch, P&ffen 
und Nonnen erstoohen und yun die Tiber geworff^n ; onn welohe iung und 
htibsch gewest seyn." 


bmg, Philip, landgrave of Hesse, and Wolfiang, prince of 
Anhalt ; the depnties of foorteen imperial cities, of Strashnig, 
among others, who desired to abolish the mass, assembled two 
days afterwards, and in a public protest declared in the name of 
God and man, that they conld not obey a decree so inimical to 
the truths of the Gospel, and that they appealed from the general 
council to the emperor and to all impartial judges. On that day 
the Reformers received the name of Protestants, which they 
adopted as a glorious appellation.^ 

The diet had demanded and voted subsidies for the war against 
the Turks ; the Catholics paid, the Protestants refused the sup- 
plies ; but the money of the Catholics was not sufficient to repel 
Soliman. His 200,000 soldiers accordingly advanced into Hun- 
gary, and on 26th September, 1529, planted their scaling-ladders 
against the walls of Vienna. The shameful desertion of their 
brethren fixes an indelible stain on the Protestants. In 
presence of a peril which threatened the cross of Jesus, all 
differences should have ceased. The country was in danger, the 
Christian name might have been effaced and Islamism triumphant, 
if these battered and breached walls had not been defended by 
noble and stout heart& Honour to these valiant leaders, Philip, 
count palatine, Nicholas of Salm, William of Begendorf, and 
that population of old men, women, and children who, a prey to 
&mine, sickness, and pestilence, for all were united to crush 
them, lost not their confidence in heaven, and pursued, even to 
Constantinople, the army of Soliman ! After God, they were 
indebted for their success to their own arms ; for the emperor, the 
empire, and its princes had abandoned them. One voice, that of 
Luther, had cried : '' Pea4se toith the Turks !" which was more 
powerful-than the voice of their weeping country and the cross 
of Christ. Let the reader pronounce between the Protestants 
and Catholics, and say in which veins ran the Christian blood f 

On the very day when Soliman reckoned on converting the 
church of Si Stephen into a mosque, the deputies of the minority 
entered the camp of Charles V., then at Boulogne, and presented 
to him their protest* 

"God will be your judge," said the emperor; "you have 

Sleidan, lib. yi. ' Hist. Hung. lib. z. 


refused the support of your arms and money to your besieged 
princes, and have yiolated a fundamental law of the empire/' ^ 

And he dismissed them, promising soon to go with all his army 
to settle the affairs of Germany.* 

There are inconsistencies in the character of Luther which 
Catholic historians carefully state, without fathoming the causes 
of them. Thus, on the subject of the war against the Turks, 
they endeavour to decry his fickle opinions, so as to bring to trial 
that Holy Spirit whose organ he called himself: a scholastic 
argument, excellent on the benches of a monastery ! But these 
contradictions speak something beyond the misery or despair of 
a mind. 

In 1520, Luther posts on the walls of the church of All 
Saints that the Turks are the instruments of God's vengeance, 
and that to oppose them is to fly in the toioe of Providence.' 
He persists in expressing these opinions, which his adversaries 
treat as absurd. 

In 1521, he does not wish a farthing to be given for repelling 
these enemies of our faith, who, in his view, are of infinitely 
greater worth than the papists, and it is not his fAvlt that the 
Danube is not covered with Catholic carcasses as &r as PestL 

But in 1528, he dedicates his treatise " De BeUo Turcico " * 
to the landgrave of Hesse, whom he praises as the scourge of 
''those wretched puppets, half-men half-devils, who go about 
dissuading the people from taking arms against the Turks, and 
who publicly teach, that a Christian must not wear the sword or 
exercise the functions of a civil magistrate !" — precisely what he 
himself had recently inculcated in his book on secular magis- 
tracy ! * 

All this may be easily explained.^ 

» Guicc. lib. xix. » Ibid. 

' " Pneliari adveretiB Turcas est repagiiare Deo visitanti iniqviitates nostras." 

* De Bello Turcico, Landg. Hess. torn. iv. Jense, p. 480 ad 431, a. b. 

^ De Magistratu Seculari, torn. ii. JensB, 189. 

^ "Qu6d in GrermaniA quosdam andiat inyeniri fiitiles et ineptos coneio- 
natores qui populum ab armis contra Turcam capiendis debortentur : quosdam 
verb ad earn insaniam provectos, nt dicant, non licere portare gladium Chris- 
tianis, vel politioum gerere inagistratnm : qnin GermaniaB populum ade6 femm 
et agrestem esse, semid»mones et semibomines ut non desint qui Turcarum 
adventam desiderare videantur." — Op. Luth. Jeuas, torn. iv. pp. 480, 481. 
Ulenberg, Vita^ etc. p. 850. 

Luther's marriage. 237 

Until 1528, Lather required to keep his implacable enemy, 
the house of Austria, engaged. The disturbances are a piece of 
good luck for Luther. The peasants' war will impede the execution 
of the edict of Worms, and serve him in diffusing his doctrines, 
in exciting the people, altering the liturgy, breaking up the con- 
vents, exciting the concupiscence of the monks, and making 
" the devil of the flesh " speak. 

While the emperor is in Italy, Luther can work without 
fear; when Charles returns to Germany, Luther is disturbed. 
Then is the time for him to frame his political code, in which we 
shall read : ''That no Christian can, without sin, wear the sword, 
or exercise a secular magistracy." If the prince has recourse to 
force to cause his edicts to be observed, the Reformer sees before 
him only executioners and martyrs : the judges are the execu- 
tioners; the martyrs, the rebellious subjecte. 

His doctrines gain ground. They pervade cities, duchies, 
electorates, kingdoms. For the new religion a police is 
necessary ; that is to say, a sword. We have seen that he 
wished no Christian to wield it ; with that weapon now he arms 
his magistrates. The Scriptures are pliant to his caprices. 
As they had by turns denied and admitted purgatory, prayers for 
the dead, confession, and the mass, so they will restore to him 
the sword which they have taken away. Thus his society is con- 
stituted, and his sword is raised, with which he threatens at once 
both the Turk and the wicked Christian who will not war with 
the infidel 

In 1521, it is a crime to contribute to the war against the 
Turks : he then had need of them. 

In 1528, he denounces those tap-room orators who dissuade 
the people from arming against the infidels : he was then afraid 
of the Turks. 

In 1522, to carry a sword or make use of it, is to upset 

" Ne uIlA ratione Beqnamxr eos priooipes Gatliolicos vel ad pugnaDdixm, vel 
ad oontribuendnm oontrib Turoam. Quandbquidem Turca decaplb prudentior 
est et jnstior qakm nostri principes :" Wittenb. torn. ix. fol. 197. 

" Quemadmodilm et glaaii JQiisve civilis prsudio nemo Chriatianns uti, Yel 
politic! judioiB offidnm ad juatitiam administrandain implorare possit aut 
clebeat : im6 quisquis id facit, quisquia litigat in judicio, aiTO de bonia tem> 
poralibua oontroveraia ait, aive de honore, enm (aaaerit) non Chriatiannm, 
sed anb Cbriati nomine gentilem esae vel infidelem :" JenfB, torn. ii. fol. 189. 
De Magiatrata Seculari. 


the fundamental laws of a Ohrbtian society : he was then afraid 
of the Bword. 

In 1528, the sword is a Christian attribute of the ciyil 
authorities : he then had need of it.^ 



Catherine Bora^a extraetion. — ^Hor portrait^ as drawn by Werner and Knos. — 
Was Luther happy in his domeitio state Y — ^Bora's chamcter. — Soenee of 
their priyate life. 

Catherine Bora, or Bore,* descended on the mother's side from 
the noble family of Haubitz, was bom on the 29th of January, 
1499. Her parents were poor ; at twenty-two years of age, 
she was placed in the convent of Nimptschen, of the order of 
St. Bernard, near Grimma, on the Mulde, on the 4th of April, 
1521. It seems that a conventual life was not agreeable to the 
young woman, who having in vain besought her parents to let 
her leave the convent, bethought of interesting the doctor of 
Wittemberg in her behalf Catherine gained over eight other 
nuns, weary like herself of the austerities of the community,* 
At Luther's instigation, Leonard Koeppe, assisted by a youth of 
his own age, introduced himself over-night to the cloister, the 

* He said of the Turks : " The Turk will go to Borne, as the prophecy of 
Daniel shows us ; but he will not reign above two hundred years." — Tisch- 
Beden, translated by M. Brunet, p. 60. 

'' I should rather prefer to have the Turks for enemies than the Spaniards 
for protectors." — Ibid. p. 68. 

"Some one exclaimed, 'May God preserve us from the Turks T 'No/ 
said Luther, ' they must come to chastise us, and they will assist us mate- 
rially.' "—Ibid. p. 68. 

* The name is spelt in the Dictionary of Nobility (Adels-Lexioon), Bora, 
Borrba, Boma, and Borne, p. 196. The old German poet, NiooI«s Menk, a 
shoemaker by trade, sings ot the young woman by the name of Bon : — 

" Cathrin von Bora bin ich genannt, 
Gebohren in dem Meissner Land." . . . 

' "In dieser Absicht wandten sie sich an ihre Eltem, konnton aber die 
Einwilllgung derselben nicht erhalten. Nun suchten sie Httlfe bei Luthem.** 
— Efiher, Luther und seine Genossen, tom. i. p. 187. 


doors of which he had forced.^ Nine nona were in readiness 
waiting for their liberator. At the gate of the Gonvent there 
stood a close carriage, in which Eodppe packed the yonz^ women 
*' like so many herrings/' as the chronicle of Torgan says.^ 
They had to pass through the territory of Dnke George, and a 
populous city like Torgau, and travd forty leagues. They 
escaped all dangers. Bora had at Wittemberg a chamber pre* 
viously bespoken, in the house of the former town-clerk, Philip 

In his tragedy of XiUther, Werner ha£ drawn a poetical cha* 
racter of Catherine, who has visions and ecstasies, and in her 
sleep sees the being to whom she is one day to be united. She 
is a virgin, whose mortal body alone belongs to this earth, but 
whose soul inhabits the starry heavens, and dwells with the pure 
spirits there. This ideal picture is destroyed by history, which 
represents the nun of Nimptschen, after her marriage, occupied 
with all the ordinary household details, with all the prosaiG 
habits of a German wife ; loving wine, if we may believe Kraus, 
much better than beer, distributing it with sparing hand to her 
husband and his companions, and frequenting her cellar as often as 
the chapel of the convent. We are informed by Aurifaber, that 
one day when she visited the cellar, which the elector of Saxony 
had just enriched with a butt of malmsey, a frightful noise was 
heard like the knell of a church-bell, or the scream of a bird of 
prey. The servant was alarmed, and fell back, and the husband 
and wife nearly lost their senses, so much were they frightened f 
Luther considered this unaccountable noise as a warning from 
Heaven. Ten years after, at table, when he remembered the 
circupistance, he said to his friends : " The hardened heart is 
moved by the promises, disturbed by the benefits, terrified by the 
threats, and corrected by the blows of Heaven.''^ 

' " Yigilia resnrrectionis dominiceBy horis nootumis, novem, imo dnodecim 
nnotimoDiales ordinlB sancti Bernardi in ooenobio Nymptschen ad oppidum 
Grimmas, in Misnia, in rip& fluvii MnldsB egressffi simul abierant: omnes 
nnptune." — Chr. Spalaiini. Gatharina de Bor^ nobili prognata stirpe, clau- 
stns ooenobii Nimptsoh effiractis ope oert^ onjusdam Torgaviensis Lchonardi 
Koppii libertati snsB resUtata anno 152d,— Jnncker, Yita Lutheri. 

' Wie Haringstonnen. 

' Concilia Wittenbeigensia, torn. iv. p. 19. These regieters are not of the 
sixteenth century ; they were digested and arranged in 1629. 

* Eisleben, 1566, folio, p. 620. 


Art has not always drawn Catherine in the colours of poetry. 
If the portrait by Lucas Cranach is a faithful likeness, Luther 
cannot have been tempted by the external charms of the young 
woman, with her great bony cheeks, her large, dull, and inex- 
pressive eye, her stretched-out nostrils, and rustic and coarse 
features. This vulgar face Bora sometimes endeavoured to set 
ofif by a plate> of brass on the forehead, at others by having 
her hab rolled round the ear, and falling over the temples, in 
the style of La belle Ferronni^re, or drawn over the back of the 
head, and inclosed in a silken net ; for contemporary pictures 
represent her with these different head-dresses. The younger 
Cranach painted her in 1526, and the picture is at present in 
the library of Weimar. Lucas Cranach took her likeness in 
oil in 1528 : it now belongs to the duke of Saxe-Gotha. 

This portrait must have been like her. " This is good,'' said 
Luther to the artist who brought it ; '' there is room enough 
on the canvas for painting another &ce, that of a man called 
Luther ; we shall send this picture to the fathers of the council, 
where it will create a sensation.''' 

Eetha was of a fair and ruddy complexion, infallible signs of 
piety and ignorance of cookery, according to the doctor, who has 
observed, that women with rosy cheeks and oruribus aUns are 
pious, but bad cooks and companions.^ She had fine hair, 
which she carelessly tucked under her nightcap, perhaps out of 
coquetry, and which on waking the doctor loved to see rolling in 
long tresses on the pillow.* 

Whether Luther was happy in his private life is a question 
which has been raised and discussed by Protestant historians, 
and received various solutions. Bredow* describes Catherine as 
a cross, haughty, and jealous woman, who tormented her hus- 
band. Bredow's opinion is borrowed from that of Nas, a con- 
temporary writer, who knew and visited Catherine, whom he 
represents as infatuated with the renown of her husband, dis- 

' Tisch-Beden, p. 514. 

' "Die Weiber mit rothen Wangen nnd weissen Beinen, dieselben seind die 
frombsten ; aber sie koohen nicht wohl, und batten libel. " — ^Tifich-BedeD, p. 482. 

' "Im Bette, wenn er erwacbt, sieht er ein Paar Z5pfe neben ibm liegeD." 
— Ibid. 

* Minerva, Taschenbuch fiir 1818, p. 886. 


dainfnl to her neighbours, puffed np with pride, and bad- 
tempered.' Bugenhagen and Justus Jonas give her a very 
different character. The doctor himself returns thanks to Ood, 
in his " Tisch-Reden/' " for having sent him a pious and wise 
companion, upon whom the heart of a man may repose, in the 
words of Solomon, ch. xxxi. ver. 11.'' Mayer has collected 
from Luther's writings all the testimonies which he can find in 
favour of Catherine, '' that angel upon earth, sent by God for 
the happiness of the Saxon monk." He quotes especially this 
passage from one of the Reformer's letters : '^ My master Eetha 
salutes you, my Ketha goes to Zolsdorf to-morrow ;"* and the 
superscription of a letter from Marburg, in 1529 : " To my dear 
and much-beloved lord, Catherine Lutherine, doctorine, and 
predicatorine at Wittemberg."* 

But it is to be observed that these expressions of love only 
last for a short while. Luther ceased to make use of them in 
1530 ; and then, when he writes to his friends, " my Eetha " 
becomes only " my wife Ketha." It was probably at this time 
that George Pontanus (Bruck), chancellor of the elector John of 
Saxony, cbrew such an unflattering portrait of his friend's com- 
panion, who, according to him, '* wishes to have the mastery at 
home, and rule the roast, is stingy and mean, and grudges the 
victuals." Pontanus was the friend of the family and guest 
of the doctor.* 

After his marriage, Luther must have regretted the silence of 
the cloister, so favourable to meditation. Catherine interrupted 
his studies. On more than one occasion, when the doctor 
required all his temper to reply to some papist, she troubled him 
with foolish questions. Then, to avoid Ketha's prating, he had 
no other recourse than to take some bread, cheese, and beer, and 
lock himself in his closet ; but this peacefrd asylum was not 
always impenetrable, and frequently the troublesome face of his 

' '* Bora war hochtragen^en Geistes, eigensinnig und stolz/' &c. — ^Reforma- 
tions- A Imanach, 1817} p. 69. 

' "Salutat te dominuB meua Ketha, eras meus Ketha profioiscelur ad 

* '* Meinem freundlichen lieben Herm, Oathariua Lutherin, Doctorio, Pre- 
digerin, zu Wittenberg." — HasieuB, BibL Brem. cap. iv. p. 984. 

* '' flochmtithig und regierattchtig, darbei aber karg und geizig im Essen 
and Trinken gewesen." — Critisches Lexicon : Bore. 

VOL. 11. R 


wife would come between that of the pope or some monk whom 
he was engaged in buffeting. 

Mayer, Catherine's encomiast, nairates that ^' one day, when 
he was shut in with his ordinary viaticum, turning a deaf ear 
to Eetha's voice, and continuing, in spite of a horrid noise 
which she was making at the door of the room, to labour at his 
translation of the 22nd Psalm, he suddenly heard these words 
through a small window : ' If you don't open the door, I shall 
go for the locksmith.' The doctor, absorbed with the Psalmist, 
rousing as if from a sound sleep, entreated his wife not to inter- 
rupt him in this blessed work. ' Open, open,' repeated Catherine. 
The doctor obeyed. ' I was afraid,' said Ketha, * that something 
annoying had happened to you, since you have been shut up in 
this closet for three days.' To which Luther replied, like 
a Socrates : ^ There is nothing annoying but that which I see 
before me.'"^ 

The best wish which the doctor had for a friend was that he 
might have an obedient wife.' 

* * * ** * * * 

During the first years of her married life, Ketha frequently 
looked back with regret to the quiet hours of the cloister ; for 
the world in which she found herself was unkind. The wives 
of the Catholic citizens of Wittemberg turned their heads aside 
when they saw her, to avoid saluting her ; and this hurt 
Catherine's pride, and she wept. The doctor would try to 
console her, embrace her, and say : " You are my wife, my 
honourable partner ; be sure that our marriage is quite lawful. 
Heed not the evil tongues of an ignorant world, but mind the 
words of Christ and follow them ; they will support you against 
the devil and his imps. God has created you a woman and me 
a man ; and what God has willed cannot be prohibited by 
St. Peter."> 

Catherine was fond of reading the Scriptures, especially the 
Psalms, in which she found great comfort ; but often also many 
obscure passages which puzzled her, and which the doctor en- 

' Ehren-Gedachtniss, p. 804. 

* Nicolao Amsdorf. De Wette, Dr. Martin Luther's Briefe, torn. iii. p. 625. 

* Op. Luth. JensB, torn. ii. p. 275. 



deayoored to explain, frequently admitting that ^' there were 
some which he could no more comprehend than a goose/' ^ 

Bat it was especially after his work, when he walked with 
Catherine in the little conventnal garden, by the borders of the 
pond wherein coloured fishes were disporting, that he loved to 
explain to his wife the wonders of creation and the goodness of 
the Creator. One evening, the stars blazed with extraordinary 
lustre ; the heavens seemed on fire. '' Do you see what splen- 
dour these luminous points emit?" said Catherine. Luther 
looked up. " What a glorious light," he said ; " it shines not 
for us ! " — " And wherefore V returned Bora ; " have we lost 
our right to the kingdom of heaven ?" Luther sighed. " Per- 
haps so," said he, " as a punishment for having left our con- 
vents." — " Should we not, then, return to them ?" said Catherine. 
'' It is too late, the car is sunk too deeply," replied the doctor ; 
and the conversation dropped.* 

One day the doctor asked Catherine if she thought herself a 
saint ? " How," replied Catherine, " a saint, I who am so great 
a sinner !" — " Oh, that abominable doctrine of the Papists," 
said Luther, " how it has woxmded consciences I Now-a-days 
we must have works, and outward ones." And turning to Bora, 
he said : '* Do you believe that you have been baptized, and are 
a Christian ? Ton ought also to believe that you are a saint, 
for baptism destroys sin, — not that it has not been committed, 
but in that it ceases to be a cause of reprobation."* 

We might infer, from some passages of his writings, that 
the Reformer had frequently to exercise his patience in his own 
house, for he boasts of that virtue, and makes a glory of it 
before God and his friends. " Patience with the pope, — patience 
with the fanatics, — ^patience with my disciples, — patience with 
Catherine Bora ; my life is one continual exercise of patience.^ 
I am like the man spoken of by the prophet Isaias, whose 
strength lies in patience and hope ! " 

' Tisch-Reden, p. 6. 

* Georg. Joaneck, Norma Yit®. Kraos, OTicul. part xi. p. 39. 

* Table-Talk, translated by M. Gastave Brunet, pp. 209—210. 
« Tisch-Beden : Eisleben, p. 204. 



*' We must learn to bear/' said he ; '' the tree endures a bad 
branch, the body a sore seat/'* 

We sometimes perceive in his writings a desire for liberty 
which necessity compelled him to suppress. " To be free/' said 
he, ''I would require to dig up a stone and make a woman of it ; 
she would be docile then ! Without such a step there would be 
no obedience."* 

Bora very often made him sensible that the poor sculptor had 
not yet found the block out of which he might make his model- 
wife. One day, when she wished by all means to be mistresfe, the 
doctor assumed a high tone, and said to her : ^' Mistress, mis- 
tress ! tliis may do in afiairs of the house ; but otherwise I will 
not have it. The wives have been mistresses since the time of 
Adam, and what good have they done? When Adam com- 
manded, before his fall, all went well ; but then came the wife, 
and farewell all peace and concord ; such are your wonders, 
Eetha ! Therefore it is that I resist."* 

His yoke did not always press on him ; he admitted her mas- 
tery, and even glorified in it during the first year of his marriage, 
when Ketha was his " dear doctor." ^ 

Eetha took pleasure in tormenting him in his learned retreat 
by asking him silly questions. Sometimes she would ask him 
if the king of France was richer than his cousin the emperor of 
Germany? sometimes, if the women of Italy were finer than 
those of Germany ? if Bome was as large as Wittemberg ? or if 
the pope had diamonds more valuable than those of the late 
elector of Saxony, Frederick ? 

" Master," she said to him one day, " how is it that when we 
were Papists we prayed with so much zeal and faith, and that 
now our prayers are so cold and tepid ?"* At other times, when, 
after Luther had risen from the couch where he had been 
admiring her fair tresses, he sat down to study, Eetha would 
steal gently to the table and, approaching his ear, say : '' Doctor, 
is not the grand master of the Teutonic order of Prussia the brother 
of the margrave ?"* They were one and the same person. 

* Einen schweren Dreck urn LeiVs Willen. 

* TiBchBeden : EiBleben, 1569, p. 443. 

' NicoL Ericeus, Sylvula Sententiarum Lutheri, p. 190. 

* TiBch-Iteden, p. 218, b. « Ibid. p. 422, a. 




Lniher the &ther of a fiunily. —Elizabeth and John, his children. — Luther at 
CobmiS^ and the toy-merchant. — ^HLb letter to his son. — ^Lnther a gardener. 
— In his own house. — Luther's residence. — ^The monastery of Erfbrt in 
1838. — Lnther at table. — His opinion of music. — ^Account of the ezpencee 
of the city of Wittemberg for the doctor. — Luther's opinion as to dancing 
and usury. — A case of conscience. — ^The nuns of Kimptschen. — Luther an 
insoWent debtor. — Hans Lufit and Amsdorf. — ^The reformer's courage in 
adversity. — His charities. — His pride in poyerty. — His devotion to the 
Muses. — ^Eobanus Hessus. 

Revolutions have frequently prodaced men who conquer 
every obstacle to the accomplishment of one idea which they 
have determined to realize. Their mission being finished, we are 
astonished to see them fall back into obscurity. Such a man 
was Luther. Rather than bend the knee before the pope or the 
emperor, he would have preferred to die ; but when descended 
from the high position which he had so long occupied, he forgets 
himself and his past elevation, and, after having ruled men's 
minds, becomes obedient as a child to the humours of a woman 
of thirty, plays with his children as he had played with crowned 
heads, and cultivates his little garden at Wittemberg with the 
same patience which we have seen him display in his endeavours 
to convert Eck or Garlstadt. He must be seen in his private 
life. It must be a curious spectacle to observe the monk, whom 
Charles V. had been unable to subdue, losing, in the bosom of 
his &mily, all the memories of his past renown, and concealing 
himself from the world to surrender himself to the efFosions of 
friendship, the pleasures of the table, and the culture of his garden. 

Let us for awhile leave the Reformer, to study the private 
individual ; the pulpit of the sectary, to penetrate into the 
domestic life of a family-man ; and look at the monk transformed 
into a citizen of Wittemberg. But let us remember, those 
modest virtues which we are now to exhibit — for we have no 
interest in concealing them — are like the flowers in the solitude 
of that cloister, in which the obedient son of the Church dwelt 


BO long, and which the evil passions of the heresiarch have been 
unable entirely to stifle. 

'' Many children are a mark of God's blessing/' said Luther, 
"and thus you see that Duke George of Saxony had none !"* 
He himself had no cause of complaint, for Providence had 
sent him six. He exulted when Eetha felt that she was to 
become a mother, and immediately wrote to Briesger : " My 
chain salutes your chain ; she perceives the motion of the 
infant.* God be thanked ! " When John, his first-bom, came 
into the world, his heart overflowed with joy ; he was obliged to 
communicate his happiness to all his correspondents. His old 
friend Spalatinus was the first to receive the intelligence. " Joy 
and benediction ! I thank you, my dear Spalatinus, for all 
your kind wishes ; may the Lord grant them ! 1 am a father ; 
Catherine, my darling wife, has presented me with a son, a gift 
from Heaven : thank God, I am a father ! I wish with all my 
heart that Heaven may send you the same and more abundant 
blessings, for you are much better than I am. Pray to God, my 
dear friend, that he may preserve this child from Satan, who will 
neglect no means, as I know well, to break my heart in the 
person of this my beloved son. He already bears, wherefore I 
know not, all the marks of suffering. When will you come to 
see us, to renew our former intimacy ? I have planted a garden, 
and constructed a fountain ; with what taste you shall see. 
Come, then, that I may crown you with lilies and roses." * 

In 1526 Elizabeth was bom ; she lived only a few months, 
and died in her father's arms. " Poor child ! " said Luther, 
^' her death lacerates my heart Alaa ! I should never have 
believed that a father's heart was so weak ! Pray to God for 

' Befonnations-Almanaoh, 1817, p. 64. 

* "Salutat te et tuiim catenam mea, onjns foetus Be pnsbait sentiendnm 
jam fere sex hebdomadibus. Deo gratias.*' — Eberhardo Briesger. De Wette, 
torn. iii. p. 92. 1526. 

' Spalatinus was married in December, 1525. Luther wrote to bim : '* Sa- 
luta tuam conjugem, et cum in thoro suavissimis amplexibus et oeoulis Gatha- 
Tinam tenueris. . . ." — De Wette, 1. c. torn. iii. p. 58. 

Another letter, to Jonas : " Salutabis tuum Diotative multis basiis vice me& 
et Jonanelli mei qui hodie didicit flexis poplitibus solus in oronem angulum 
cacare, imo cacavit ver^ in omnem angulum miro negotio. Salutat te mea 
Ketha et orare pro se rogat, puerpera propediem future ; Christus assit. 19 
Oct. 1527." To Briesger : " Filiolam aliam habeo in utero, 8 Apr. 1528." 


me." He caused to be engraved upon her tomb : " Hie donnit 
Elizabetha, filiola Lutheri/' 

John grew apace ; but as he increased in years, the germs of 
disease which he had brought with him into the world became 
developed, so that all the doctor's happiness was poisoned. He 
forgot the world to speak of his child. '' My little one cannot 
embrace you," he writes, " but he earnestly commends himself 
to your prayers. For twelve days he has taken neither meat 
nor drink until yesterday, when he was a degree better. Poor 
little fellow, he is so playful, but so weak ! " 

There is a charming picture in Luther's life. At the diet of 
Augsburg, presided over by Charles V. in person. King Ferdi- 
nand, the landgrave of Hesse, the pope's nuncio, the electors of 
Saxony, and all the most illustrious warriors and learned men of 
Germany were assembled. Melancthon was to present to that 
assembly the Protestants' confession of faith. In consequence 
of the emperor's anger, Luther was obliged to conceal himself at 
Coburg. While walking through that town, he stopped before a 
toyshop, and suddenly remembered his son John, and returning 
to the citadel, he left the magnificent psalm, '' Quare iremuernnt 
gentes?" which he was translating into German with all the 
poetic fire of the original, to write to this child of four years' 
old the following letter, so adapted to the infant's compre- 
hension : — 

'' Grace and peace in the Lord, my dear child ! I hear with 
delight that you learn your lessons well, and say your prayers to 
our good God. Continue to do so, my dear child, and when I 
return I shall bring you a pretty toy. 

" I have seen a pretty little garden where there were many 
children dressed in golden robes, who were heaping up under the 
trees pears, apples, cherries, and plums. They were singing and 
dancing with joy ; they were also riding on pretty ponies with 
bridles of gold and saddles of silver. I asked the owner of the 
garden : * Whose children are these ?' — ' Oh ! ' he replied, ' these 
are good children, who say their prayers, and learn their lessons 
well, and love the good God.' And I said to him : * My good 
friend, I also have a son named Hans, might I bring him to this 
garden, where he could eat these nice apples and pears, and ride 
upon these pretty ponies, and play with these children ?' And 


the man replied : ' If he says his prayers, and learns his lesson 
well, and is very good, he shall come with Lippus and Jost, and 
when they are together . they shall ride about, play on the fife 
and the drum, and dance, and shoot with little cross-bows/ And 
the man showed me in the middle of the garden a fine green- 
sward for dancing, where were golden fifes, and silver drums, and 
cross-bows. But it was too early, the children had not dined, 
and I had not time to wait to see them dance. And I said to 
the man : * Ah, my dear sir, I shall write immediately to my 
little John to learn his lessons, and say his prayers, and be very 
good, that he may come to this garden ; he has an aunt whom 
he will bring with him/ And the man replied : ' Go and write 
to your little John.' 

'' My dear child, learn your lessons, say your prayers, and tell 
Lippus and Jost (Philip and James) to be very good, and you 
shall all come to the garden. Salute your aunt, and give her a 
kiss for me."* 

One can hardly believe that this playful efiusion wa£ written 
by the same hand as that which penned the letters to Henry VIII. 
and Leo X. And if you see him digging in his garden, pulling 
up the weeds, drawing water from the fountain for sprinkling 
his borders, and as proud of his flower-pots as of his translation 
of the New Testament, you will not recognise the ,pilgrim who at 
sight of Worms exclaimed : " Were there as many devils there 
as there are tiles on the housetops, I shall advance ! *' Do you 
know why he is so fond of his garden ? It is because, when 
he is tempted by the devil, he takes his spade, laughing in his 
sleeve at his adversary, from whom he escapes by taking refuge 
among the flowers.- 

" Send me the seeds which you promised me for the spring ; 
I look for them with impatience,'" he writes to his friend Lincke ; 
and when the seeds have germinated, he despatches another letter 
to inform him of the good news. ** My melons grow, my gourds 
are swelling ; what a blessing ! "^ 

He was passionately fond of flowers, and often knelt down to 
admire them more closely. " Poor violet," he would say, " what 

^ Gust. Pfizer, Dr. Martin Luther's Leben, p. 590. 

• Gust. Pfizer, 1. c. '5 Juillet, 1627. 


a peifdme you exhale ; bat how much sweeter it would be if 
Adam had not sinned ! How I admire your tints, oh, rose, 
which would be more brilliant, but for the fault of the first man ! 
Lily, whose splendour exceeds that of the princes of the world, 
what now would it be if our first father had not been disobedient 
to his Creator ?" He believed that after Adam's fall the hand 
of God had taken away from the material world a portion of the 
gifts which He had bestowed on it ; but, at least, he thought, 
^' nature does not show its ingratitude like man ; for the murmur 
of the streams, the perfume of the gardens, the breath of the 
winds, the rustling of the leaves, are so many hymns chanted to 
the Creator ; whilst man, made after the image of God, forgets 
Him entirely since his sin. Oh, man, how great were thy 
destinies, if Adam had not fallen ! Thou wouldst have studied 
and admired God in each of His works, and the smallest plant 
would have formed an inexhaustible source of meditation on the 
goodness and magnificence of him who created worlds ! And if 
God causes to spring from the rocks such a variety of flowers, 
with colours so brilliant and perfumes so sweet, that no painter 
or chemist can eqnal them, what still greater number of flowers 
of every hue, — ^blue, yellow, and red, could He have caused the 
earth to produce ! " 

One day, when at table, his children were admiring the colour 
of a peach, a fruit then very dear, and of which Luther had received 
a present : ^^ My children,"' said he, '' this is but a feeble image 
of what one day you may see on high ! Adam and Eve, before 
their fall, had peaches far finer than that, compared with which 
our peaches are but wild pears.'' He believed that after the 
day of judgment, in the world beyond the grave, of which we 
have only a dim idea, creation would resume its primitive beauty ; 
that the sun, the light of which he compared to that of an ordi- 
nary lamp, would advance in glory, like the giant of the Scrip- 
tures, and shine with new brilliancy, and blaze unbearable by 
mortal eyes. The stars would be so many suns, whose splendour 
would nevertheless be obscured by the moon. Then other 
heavens would ofea up, and an earth, of which ours is but a 
shadow, would appear decked with all the beauty which it had 
lost by Adam's faJL And after having discourised at length on 
these imaginary worlds, which the eye of man would one day see : 


" Poor Erasmus/' said he, without considering that this reflec- 
tion laid bare the misery of his nature, " you have no anxiety 
for this future creation ; what matters it to you how the fruit is 
formed, matured, and deyeloped ? You know nothing of the 
dignity, the grandeur, of sexual union. But we, thank Ood ! 
admire the power of the Creator in the works of his hands. 
What magnificence a single blade of grass conceals ! and how 
the might of his word is seen in His creatures : let them be, and 
they were made ! See this kernel of the peach, its taste is 
bitter, but it will open, and another wonder will issue from it. 
Tell Erasmus to admire these wonders, they are beyond his 
comprehension ; he contemplates creation as a cow does a new 
door." ^ Had Luther, then, not read the philosopher's works ? 

In 1524, the monks in a body left the Augostinian monastery ; 
none bat the prior and Luther remained. The prior lived at his 
ease ; but Luther was for a long time obliged to attend to the 
applications of the monks who, as a means of subsistence, 
required the revenues of the house. He handed them over to 
the elector Frederick, in order to get rid of an administration 
which subjected him often to the complaints and anger of his 
former brethren. He laid aside the cowl, which he had only 
continued to wear for the purpose of ridiculing the pope.* On 
the 9th of October, he preached for the first time in his new 
dress ; it was a gown with wide sleeves, shaped like a cassock, but- 
toned up to the middle of the breast, where it was turned over on 
each side, and displayed a black vest, with a small collar or rabat 
of white linen. Thus he appears in the painting by his friend 
Lucas Cranach. A few days before he assumed his new cos- 
tume, the elector had sent him a large piece of Prussian cloth 
with this note : " This will make you a preacher's cassock, 
a monk's gown, or a Spanish cape."' This was all the ward- 
robe of the period. Eck wore the cassock at Leipsic, Prierias 
the monk's gown, and Erasmus the Spanish cape. Luther 
did not wish to leave the cloister ; a superstitious feeling kept 
him there, as he believed that he was to die in it. It was there 

' Siehet er die Greaturen an wie die Rillie ein neues Thor. 
' ** Nam et incipiam tandem cacullum abjicere qnem ad ludibriom pap» 
bacteniis retinui.'* — Fab. Capitoni, 25 Maii, 1524. 
' G. Pfizer, Martin Lutber's Leben, p. 185. 


that he receiyed the envoy of King Ferdinand, who came to 
Wittemberg to inquire into the troth of the ramonr that the 
doctor had a strong guard of armed men. The envoy found him 
all alone with hijs books, and did not see even the legion of 
devils which the Anabaptists alleged to attend him, or that 
familiar spirit which daily dined with him, if we are to believe 
Luther's own tale.^ 

After the monks left, Luther removed to an apartment much 
larger than that which he first occupied, and where the devil 
had tempted him so violently, that in order to drive him away 
he was obliged to pitch the inkstand at his head ; the door all 
stained with ink still remains in evidence of the apparition. 
This was no longer a little cell of some few square feet, but a 
complete suite of rooms, in three divisions,- — one for a bed- 
chamber, another for study and reception, and a third for 
dining. The walls of his bedroom were daubed with texts from 
the Scriptures, written in charcoal, such as : '^ Verbum Bei 
manet in SBtemum/' which he had worked even on his servants' 
sleeves ; or quotations from the classic poets. Homer especially : 
'' He who watches over the destiny of a nation, ought not to 
sleep all night."* The selection of Bible texts was made by 
Staupitz. The study, which was plastered and whitewashed, 
was adorned with portraits in oil of Melancthon and the elector 
Frederick, by Lucas Granach, and some caricatures against the 
pope. Luther had suggested the subjects of these in his conver- 
sations at table. Some itinerant artist, as they all were, had 
collected them and carried them to Nuremberg, that great 
emporium of wood engravings. They were, as usual, sorry 
devices, — the pope on a sow, the pope carried ofiF by devils, or 
his holiness in the shape of a calf, an elephant, or a naked 
woman. These caricatures were encased in maple-wood frames, 
whence were suspended scrolls containing prophetic sentences in 
German ; such as, " The day of the Lord approaches \* — " Pope, 
I shall be to thee the bear on the highway ;" — '' I passed, and he 
was no more."^ Farther, the eye was disagreeably affected by a 

' lisch-Beden. * Reform&tioDS-Almanacb, 1817. p. S8. 

* Prophecies of the approaching fivll of the papacy were long in fashion 
among Protestants. There was no theologian, howeyer petty, who did not 
foretell the precise day and hour on which the Holy See was to perish. See 


clumsy wooden case, on which lay or stood a few books, which 
he called his library; among these the Bible, as the word of 
God in his mind, occupied the first place ; it was there in 
Hebrew, Greek, and Latin ; there were Melancthon's " Psalms," 
and Erasmus' "New Testament;" beside them, in confusion, 
lay the theses on indulgences, treatises on abrogation of the 
Mass, on the " Captivity in Babylon," the " Epistol» Obscu- 
rorum Yirorum," several works of John Huss, the editions of 
Virgil and Columella, printed by Froben, of Basle, and some 
ascetic books published at Mayence, which had been presented 
to him by his friends. The chamber was of an irregular figure, 
the lateral lines of which terminated in a large bay-window, 
from five to six feet in height. Coloured panes, of a round 
shape, soldered together with lead, threw the Ught in variegated 
hues upon the table. This table, which has been carefully pre- 
served as a relic, resembles a sort of desk d la Trofichin ; and 
on its centre is the ivory crucifix, the work of a Nuremberg 
artist, which constitutes its greatest ornament. The head of the 
Redeemer is admirably expressive. The artist must certainly 
have visited Italy, and been familiar with the works of Michael 
Angelo. It is believed to have been the gift of the elector, who 
probably found it in a monastery. It is this representation of 
Christ, but coarsely copied, which forms the frontispiece to the 
edition of Luther s works, published a few years after his death. 
The old arm-chair in which he sat, and in which he probably 
translated a part of the Bible, still exists ; this is a monastic 
piece of furniture, also presented to him by the prince ; perliaps 
it may have been the chair of some bishop, some disciple of 
Scotus or Durandus. On his return from Wartburg, Luther 
brought with him a dog, which the keeper of the castle had 
given to him, and which died of old age, after having passed 
fifteen years of his life with the doctor, at whose feet it lay while 
he worked. Hehce Luther, alluding to the theologians who 
boasted of having seen many books, contemptuously said : " And 
my dog also has seen many books, more perhaps than Faber, who 

on this subject a carious volume, published in 1527, Eine wunderliche Weissa* 
gung Ton dem Papstthumb, in Figuren oder Gemalden begriffen. Osiander 
wrote the preface, Hans Sachs the verses, and Hans Guldemuad printed it. 
See Hist. dipl. Mi^g;az. torn. i. p. 344. 


talks of nothing but the fathers and conncils. I know that 
Faber has seen many books, it is a glory which I do not enyy 
him."^ Near the door was a turner's lathe, which he got from 
Nuremberg, that he might earn his bread by his hands, if ever 
the word of God should be insufficient to support him. " My dear 
Lincke," he writes to his friend, " we have none but barbarians 
here, who know nothing of the arts ; Wolfgang and I have taken it 
into our heads to learn turning ; he is to act as my master. I send 
you, therefore, a florin, and request you will purchase with it the 
necessary tools for boring and turning, a pair of screws, and all 
that is required for the trade we wish to learn ; we have some 
tools, but those of Nuremberg are better ; your workmen are 
better than ours. If the florin is not enough, add what is need- 
ful, and I shall repay you.'' 

At the door were hung up, in place of those pipes which you 
now find in the room of every German student, a flute and a 
guitar, on both of which instruments he performed. When he 
felt fatigued by long composition, his brain weary, and that his 
ideas did not keep pace with his pen, — or that the devil, as he 
tells us, played him some trick, and came to tempt him, — he 
would take his flute, and play a tune, when his ideas became 
fresh, like a flower dipped in water, and the exorcised demon 
would take flight, and the writer return to his work with renewed 
energy. He considered music, like language, a divine revelation, 
of heavenly origin, and that without God man would not have 
discovered it. In his eyes no remedy was more efficacious 
than music for driving away the evil thoughts, angry desires, 
ambitious aspirations, and carnal suggestions, which we inherit 
from our first parent. It was the most certain voice by which 
man could convey to the throne of God his pains, his cares, his 
tears, his miseries, his love, and his gratitude ; it was the 
language of the angels in heaven, and on earth that of the old 
prophets. Next to theology he laved music, and often said : 
"The man who does not love music, cannot be loved by Luther.''^ 
What a charming science is music! its notes impart life to 
speech, it expels the cares, inquietudes, and sorrows of the heart. 

' An Jiutos JoDM : 1528. 

' " Wer die Musikanten veracbtet, wie denn alle Schwarmer thun, mit dem 
bin icb nicbt zufrieden, denn die Musika ist eine Gabe nnd Geschenk Gottee." 


Every instructor of youth, every clergyman should be a musician. 
A musician is a truly happy man : he has no bitter cares ; by 
the aid of a few notes he l»nishes ennui : ^^ pacts tempore regnat 
musica/' ^ He had retained and loved to sing, while digging in 
his garden, some old hymns of the Church : '^ A solis orttu 
iiderey Patris $apientia/' and especially, ** Bex Ckriste /actor 
omnium" of which both the words and the music delighted him 
much. When he entered Worms, he sung a hymn, of which he 
is said to have composed both the words and the music. This 
choral is one of the oldest musical relics which Germany has 
preserved, but it is not certain that the music is the same that 
Luther extemporized, for the music of Worms does not resemble 
that of Wittemberg ; in neither of them have we found but the 
imperfect element of Meyerbeer's choral. The song in German 
resembled greatly the melopoeia of the Greeks or the Gr^rian 
chant ; and Luther was right in saying that music was a gift 
which man received, like a grace, into his system. In Italy alone 
has man made it an art. 

Were Luther to return to the world, he would recognise neither 
his gospel nor his residence. The Augustinian monastery at 
Erfurt has undergone the fate of its doctrines : it has fallen to 
the ground, and nothing remains of it but the monk's cell, which 
is religiously preserved, and shown to the inquisitive traveller. 
It is, in truth, the great wonder of that city. Imagine a room 
of a few feet square, sufficiently large to contain a bed, one 
or two chairs, and a table. The window, excessively high, as in 
the monasteries of the sixteenth century, commands a view of 
the high towers of the neighbouring church. Their tall spires, 
ornamented with infinite labour, were the only external sight 
that could distract his attention. They no longer exist. Enclosed 
by thick walls, isolated from all other habitations, no sound could 
reach its occupant save the wind, which whistled through the fret- 
work of the pinnacles of the church, or the monotonous drip of the 
water that fell from the conventual fountain into a vast stone basin. 

Martin Goerlitz was his regular purveyor of Torgau beer. 
" Your Ceres," Luther writes to him, " goes oflF jollily ; it was 
reserved for me and my guests, who could not praise it enough, 

> Tisoh-Reden, pp. 577, 578. 


and preferred it to any that they had ever tasted. And I, clown 
that I am, who have not yet thanked yoa for it, or your EmiliuB 
either, am so oikodespotes, so negligent, that I forgot it at the 
bottom of my cellar, where it would have remained unknown 
had my servant not reminded me of it Thanks, then, for that 
acceptable gift, the magnificent gift of a Croesus in your 0¥m way. 
Health to your brothers, especially to Emilius and his son, the 
graceful hind and charming fawn. May Ood bless you, and 
make you abundantly rich in grace and the world's goods I" ^ 

It is certain that Luther loved the pleasures of the table ; 
beer and good wine especially, but taken in moderation. " The 
elector's wine is excellent, and we do not spare it," he writes to 
Spalatinus.^ Frederick had presented him with some Rhenish 
wine, and at the secularisation of the Augustinian monastery 
the entire cellar was given to him by the elector. These mo* 
nastic cellars were abundantly stored with the wines of Italy, 
which the popes frequently sent to the religious houses that had 
rendered service to the court of Rome. Besides, the German 
princes, who, by means of Luther, had become proprietors of 
the rich cellars of the reformed abbeys, seldom failed to send a 
few hogsheads as an acknowledgment to the doctor of Wittem- 
berg. It must be granted that Luther, when drinking ,the 
monks' Malmsey, ought to have been more sparing of those who 
had provided him with such a gratification. They were nearly all 
apostate monks whom he regaled at the expense of those who 
remained faithful to their ancient religion : Justus Jonas, 
Amsdorf, and Spalatinus. Melanothon, one of his &vorite 
guests, might have made himself elevated without ingratitude, 
for he had never worn the monastic habit. 

The townhall of Wittemberg contains registers of expenditure 
firom the fifteenth century. The follovring is extracted from that 
of the year 1526 : — 

^' XX. Grosch. for a small barrel of Malmsey, at 5 gros. the 

'^ VI. Orosch. for a small barrel of Rhenish wine. 

" VII. Grosch. for six cans of Franconian wine, at XIV. the 
quarter, for Dr. Martin, on Wednesday after Trinity. 

1 15 Jao. 1529. De Wette, torn. iii. p. 417. 
* D. O. SpaktiDO, 8 Mart. 1528. 


" XVL Grosch. VI. Stiib. for a hogshead of Eimbeck beer, 
for the use of Dr. Martin, on Tuesday after St. John. 

" I. Stiib. VII. Grosch. III. Hell, for a Suabian hood, as a 
new year's gift to Dame Catherine Bora, wife of Dr. Martin. 

" II. Stub. XVI. Grosch. for wine taken by Dr. Martin from 
the cellars of the city. 

" XLII. Grosch. paid for Dr. Martin when, at the request of 
the council of the district, he returned to Wittemberg from his 
Isle of Patmos. 

" VII. Stiib. XX. Grosch. for Dr. Martin, on the occasion of 
his marriage, taken from the treasury of the hospital." ^ 

The Reformer was temperate ; he drank little, and brought to 
table agreeable conversation, expansive gaiety, sarcastic sallies, 
and the treasures of his exhaustless memory. Every subject 
was discussed there, especially the monks, whom they would not 
have spared, even though their wine had been better than it was; 
then the pope, whose horoscope was drawn, and whose rule, both 
spiritual and temporal, was to be buried long before Luther ; 
women, the devil, the emperor, and even dancing. " Is dancing 
sinful ?" he was asked ; and he replied : " Did not the Jews 
dance ? I cannot tell you ; but we dance now-a-days ; dancing 
is a necessary, like dress with women, dinner, or supper ; and 
indeed I do not see why it should be forbidden ; if people sin, 
that is not the fault of the dance, which does not offend against 
faith or charity. Dance then, my children.'* The theatre did 
not appear to him to be more dangerous than dancing, and he 
did not condemn those who witnessed, acted, or composed scenic 
representations. "We must not," said he, "condemn the 
theatre because improprieties are said there, for, on the same 
principle, we must condemn the Bible."* After dinner, in 
summer, he would take off his coat, and play at skittles with 
Dietrich, or one of his friends. He said merrily : " Melancthon 
is a better Greek scholar than I am, but I beat him at skittles." 

The greatest men of his time, with whom Luther formerly 
took counsel, kept up a regular correspondence with him: he 

' Ausgabe yon den Baths-Gescbenken. 

' See the chapter entitled, Luther at Table. Seckendorf asserts that Capnio 
(Reuchlin) caused the first German comedy to be performed, in honour of 
Dalberg, bishop of Worms. — Comm. de Luth. sect, xxvii. § 70, p. 104. 


is the nniversal casaist, the father of the Saxon Church ; and 
he** answers every letter. " Doctor/' he is asked, " what do 
yon think of usury ?" " You have only to open my treatise * De 
Usuris/ He who lends at five or six per cent, is an usurer. 
When I lend you my vase, what do you return to me ? only my 
vase ; you rob me by gaining on your exchange. There are 
neither Sacraments nor paradise for usurers/' * 

At one time a poor monk, peculiarly tormented, informs Spala- 
tinus of the circumstance, who, treating it as a case of conscience, 
immediately writes to Wittemberg. Luther's decision savours 
alike of the casuist and the physician.^ 

Another time it is a young woman of Torgau in search of 
her betrothed, the prince's barber, and exhibiting the ring and 
medal which she had received from him as pledges of their 
approaching marriage. The betrothed has promised in presence 
of Dr. Schwerteger and Christian : but has forgotten Us vows. 
Luther engages to make him be reminded of them by the prince 
himself. " This is a good lesson," he says to Spalatinus, " for 
a class of worthless fellows who constantly trifle with youthful 
affections." ^ 

A nun of Freyberg wrote to him : " My beloved doctor, take 
me from my convent, and bring me to Saxony." ♦ 

For several years the door of his cell was besieged by religious 
of both sexes who came to ask him for a husband or a wife. 
Luther endeavoured to satisfy them ; and he had plenty of 
subjects on hand. Some of them, however, lost patience, and 
gave themselves up to all the disorders of libertinism ; such as 

John P , who was found in a brothel drunk, in a lay 

dress, and who had received a disgraceful blow.^ At the sight 

» Op. Luth. Wittenb. torn. vii. pp. 419—487. * 

' *' Seminiflaua iUe de quo mibi scribia, ei tamen fluit vernm semen, boo 
est cum Bummd voluptate et ooDCussioDe, qualia flazna esse si mulieri misoe" 
retur, nam sunt quibas fluxns ejusmodi tam tennis est, ao pen^ sine voluptate, 
nt tantum bumor quidam superfluus existimetnr, cui nee ninlier, nee ulla vis 
jnedebitur : bio st in otio vivit ao in secnritate, tentare poterit, primo ut cor- 
porali Ukbore et inedi& exerceat carnem, turn spes erit sanitatis: sin an tern 
laborare vel non vult, vel non potest, mandato Dei debet mulieri copnlari, 
alioqui tentabit Deum et manebit in peocato." — Spalattno, 6 Nov, 1523. 

' Spalatino, 4 April. 

* Lutber's Briefe, 29 June, 1528. 

* " Inventus k lictoribus in lupanari potatus prob^ et laicft veste, atqne etiam 
percu.ssus aliquft parte, ut audio." — Wencesl. Linck, 19 Dec. 1522. 

VOL. II. 8 


of the scandals given by the apostate monks, Lather exclaimed : 
" Truly, we are encompassed with shame I" * Some violated at 
the same time both their vows and the Christian conditions of 
marriage, by marrying decrepid women, whose riches attracted 
their covetousness. " Like this court-preacher who/' Luther says, 
** has just married an old fool, laden with years and money ; a 
marriage more worthy of Mammon than the Gospel. It would 
have been diflFerent had he married a young woman who could 
have brought him children." - 

One day, nine nuns came to him at once : Luther was at Ids 
wit's end. 

^' Nine apostate nuns, poor lambs, have been brought to me 
by Leonard Koeppe and Wolf Tomitzch. I am truly sorry for 
them, and others like them, who pine away in continence ; an 
infirm sex, so fitted for man by their nature and the command of 
God, and yet treated so inhumanly. paternal tyranny ! Who 
can sufficiently execrate the pope and cardinals ! 

" What am I to do with them ? I shall first write to their 
parents ; if they will not receive them I shall take charge of 
them, and marry them as well as I can. Their names are : 
Magdalen Staupitz, Elsa von Canitz, Ave Grossin, Ave Schoen- 
feldin ' and her sister Margaret, Lanete von Goles, Margaret 
Zeschau and her sister Catherine, and Catherine Bora. Their 
escape is wonderful ; they must be relieved. I entreat you then 
to do a work of charity, and procure for me some money from 
the rich lords of your court, to enable me to support them for 
fifteen days until l«can send them back to their families ; for 
my Caphamaites profit so much by the treasures of the word 
which I preach to them, that I have not been able to obtain the 
loan of ten florins for a poor creature, of which I had great 
need. The poor have nothing or they would have lent to me, 
The rich either refuse, or lend so unwillingly, that they lose all 
the merits of charity in God's sight. You know that my whole 

» Wencesl. Linck, 19 Dec. 1522. 

• " Yehementer displicent nuptise Wolfgangi quas tu Bignificas cum annosft 
ot nnramoBft vetul& : opprobrium est ETaugelii Bic quaerero Mammon.*' — Spala- 
tino, 19 Sept. 1523. 

' Luther married her to a physician, Basilius. 


income is only five hundred and thirty florins ; I have not a 
penny more for myself or my brethren/' * 

Luther did not tell the Ixue motive for the refusal of his co- 
religionists. When the time for payment came he was not 
always ready to discharge the debt, and his creditors lost their 
temper. At length he entirely lost credit in Wittemberg. Luther 
had then recourse to his mantel-piece, which was always adorned 
with silver goblets, his customary gifts from the electors. He 
sold, or pledged, or alienated them in perpetuity, for he was certain 
that he could never redeem them from the mortgagees. In 1527, 
he became surety for more than a hundred florins. He had the 
simplicity to ask fifty on a pledge of three goblets of exquisite 
workmanship, which were worth two hundred ; the lender, who 
knew Luther, was well pleased with his advantage over him ; 
but he was mistaken, and ''the Lord, who ought to have 
punished the doctor's imprudence, afibrded him the means of 
redeeming them." 

His printer, Hans LuSl, who had become a Lutheran because he 
gained much money by selling the doctor's works, was not more 
charitable than others. He would lend him nothing ; and yet 
Luther did not receive a farthing from his works.^ He merely 
reserved some five or six copies of each edition, to give one to 
the first poor person that asked for alms, when his purse was 
empty, — ^^hich was generally the case. 

It was not the first time that he had to complain of Lufil, 
who sent him proofs full of errors, overlooked the revises very 
carelessly, and frequently omitted to attend to the author's correc- 
tions. '' My printer is called John," said the doctor piteously, 
'' and John he will remain. The paper, type, all that he has 
done for me is detestable. . . . They are. all Uke him ; provided 
they make money, that is sufficient : if the authors be content, 
why should they trouble themselves ?" * But what would Luther 
have said had he walked into one of those German printing- 
houses where the majority of the compositors, Lutherans of their 

* Spalatino, 10 April, 1523. De Wette, 1. c torn. ii. p. 819. 
» Wencesl. Linck, 5 Jul. 1527. De Wette, torn. iii. p. 186. 
^ Spalatino, 15 Aug. Luther's Briefe, torn. ii. p. 42. 



trade, amused themselves by clouding with errors the Catholic 
writings which the monks published ? * 

Amsdorf was one of Luther's best friends, obliging, and service- 
able, with an ever-open purse of which the doctor did not fail to 
make frequent use. Amsdorf was his good star. One day there 
was nothing in the house, when unexpectedly a poor pregnant 
woman came there to be confined : Luther writes to his friend : 
'' Gersa will soon lie in here ; should that happen at the same 
time when Ketha is confined, you will require to be still more 
liberal, and to arm yourself, not with sword or mail, but with 
gold and silver, and a well-stocked purse to meet the emergency, 
for we will not let you oflF scot free." * Amsdorf came imme- 
diately, with his wallet on his back and his pockets well filled ; 
Luther went down to the cellar, drew from the cask some bottles 
of Rhenish wine, and the companions spent a few pleasant hours 
at table. In the evening they went to converse at the tavern 
near the church of All Saints. 

We have seen with what philosophic calmness Luther speaks 
of his poverty. Amidst all those vain triumphs which might 
have puflFed up a mind less worldly than his, he is always the 
same as we have seen him at the beginning of his contest with 
the pope. Then he asked a few florins from the elector to pur- 
chase a new cassock, his own being old and out at elbow. Now 
he who had opposed the emperor and the Orders of Germany at 
Worms ; who had roused with his anger all the princes of 
Saxony against the peasants ; and had bandied controversies 
with crowned heads, cannot find any one to lend him ten 
florins. It is certain that had he wished to sell his silence, he 
would have found more than one monarch to be its purchaser. 
This poverty is noble, and Luther bears it with courage. He 
never speaks of it, except to laugh at it with his friends, or 
express his vexation when any poor person comes to solicit alms. 
He sends them to the elector ; but it does not appear that this 
prince's charity was always very warm, if we may judge of it by 
Luther's murmurs. 

* We have before us a small work, beautifully printed at Kureinl)eTig;, by 
Baltbasar Scbleiffier, 1501 : Theodorici Kysichei Germani Oratio, in which, for 
want of types, the Greek words are left blank. 

' Nicol. Amsdorf, 29 March, 1529. De Wette, torn. iii. p. 432. 


One evening a poor man knocks at his door : Luther has no 
money. " Take this/' he says, " here is an o£fering made at a 
baptism.'' And when his wife looks displeased, he says to her, 
" God is rich, he will send ns something more beantiful." 

Another time, a student comes to ask something to assist his 
journey. " You come at an unfortunate time," says the doctor. 
The young man weeps. " Stop, stop," says Luther, as he casts 
his eyes on the mantelpiece, where shines a silver-gilt cup. " Take 
this ; I wish you a good journey : God be with you I" The 
student stares with surprise, while Eetha grumbles in a comer. 
Luther takes the cup and squeezes its sides together with his 
hands as if it had been in a vice : " carry this," he adds, *'to 
the goldsmith ; a pewter mug will serve me." * 

His letters of recommendation are short and animated. 

" The poor fellow who conveys this is going a journey ; he is 
a worthy man who must be assisted. You are well aware that I 
have very little, and have daily calls upon me. Endeavour to 
give him thirty groschen ; should that be too much, give him 
twenty, and I shall give him ten ; if that is still too much, give 
him the half, and I shall try to make up the difference. God 
will repay you." 

The elector Frederick generally paid attention to Luther's 
recommendations, but his successor, John, sometimes allowed 
them to remain unnoticed. He thought he did enough, in sending 
the doctor regularly every year a piece of cloth. Luther was in 
no haste to thank him, for he was poor, and proud as a mighty 
baron. He suffered some weeks to elapse before he wrote to the 
prince : — 

** I have long delayed to thank your highness for the robe and 
piece of cloth which you have had the extreme kindness to send 
me. I hope your highness does not believe those who say that I 
am in distress. Thank God, you have never let me want for 
anything ; I have even more than is necessary for me in con- 
science ; and I neither wish nor require superfluities. , To tell 
you the truth, I receive your highness' gifts with as much fear 
as gratitude, for I would not wish to be of the number of those of 
whom Christ has said : ' Woe to you, ye rich, you have received 

' Dr. Franz Volkmar Reinhard's sammtliche Reformationa-PredigteD, vol. ii. 
p. 110. 


your reward in your treasures/ I speak frankly to yon. I do 
not wish to be a burden to you ; your highness has so many to 
support that I fear you will have nothing left : there are too 
many drafts on your purse. I had enough, and even more than 
enough of that fine brown stu£f, for which I thank you heartily. 
But I wish to show my respect for you ; I shall accordingly wear 
the brown dress, although it is much too fine for me : had I not 
received it from you, I should never have put it on. I b^ and 
entreat your highness not to be so liberal, but wait until I ask 
you, so that another time, when occa^iion offers, I shall not feel 
ashamed to beg for others who are more deserving of your bounty 
than I am : otherwise your gifts would embarrass me. I pray, 
firom the bottom of my heart, that Christ may reward you 
according to your merits. Amen." * 

He was as much at his ease with the electors, great people, and 
lords of the ducal court as with his immediate friends. We have 
seen letters addressed to Frederick, written upon the covers of 
books, of which the two leaves had been pasted together by 

Justus Jonas was even more r^ardless of the customs of 
society, as Luther informs us in the following untranslateable 
letter : — 

'^ Gratia et pax. Non de cloaca papyrum sumo, quemadmodum 
Jonas noster qui te nihil pluris sastimat quam ut dignus sis qui 
schedas natales, hoc est de natibus purgatis legas." * 

For upwards of two years he and the prior had not been paid 
their moderate salary, so that they had to live on the charity of 
the faithful : but this did not prevent the tax-gatherers of 
Wittemberg from constantly insisting on payment of the 
seignorial impost. " Must we always hold out the hand," said 
Luther, " and receive nothing ? When is this to end ? Christ, 
I hope, will put things in order." But his complaint never 
assumes a bitter tone j he only raises his voice a little when a poor 
person comes to the monastery for Luther, who has frequently 
nothing to give him by way of alms but a recommendation to 
one of his firiends at court. That done, the monk betakes him- 

> An den Ehurfiirsten Johannes, 17 August, 1579. 
* Epist. Luth. edit, of Aurifaber : Eisleh. fol. 271. 


self to his books, to the Bible especially; which be prefers to 
all others. Sometimes he returns to the muses, whom he had 
deserted, and who could charm and console him so well. These 
daughters of Heaven bear him no spite ; on the contrary, thoy 
receive and feast him as the prodigal son, they inspire him, 
and procure him some hours of delightful relaxation. We 
cannot, then, imagine how the language of Luther becomes rich 
and florid, or tell that he had ever been familiar with any but 
the classical Latin, so sweet does it flow, and exhale such a per- 
fume of antiquity. He is again a poet. Erasmus has not a 
more beautiful page than that which the Saxon addresses to his 
friend Eobanus Hessus, on a Latin poem : — 

" Without the study of the languages, there is no theology : 
we have seen theology and literature perish in the same ship- 
wreck. Never did the great voice of God reveal itself to man 
until intelligence had prepared the way for it, like the precursor 
of the Messiah. It is, therefore, my most ardent wish that 
youth should cultivate the muses. Poets and orators come in 
crowds to initiate man in the mysteries of the Scriptures, and 
give him the understanding of the divine word. Wisdom can 
make the lips of childhood eloquent. Let us not despise the gift 
of tongues. My learned friend, make use of your own name and 
of mine, if you wish to invoke it, to give our youth a taste for 
poetry. All my regret is, that our age and my occupations prevent 
me from cultivating the ancient poets and orators, and thus learn 
Greet at my ease." ^ 

^ Eobano Hesso, 29 Marcli, 1523. J. Crotiis Riibeanus, the iutimaie friend 
of Lather, before his return to Catholicism, had sent him the poem of Eobanas 
Hessus, entitled The Captive. See Jac. Burckard. Comm. de Ling. Lat. in 
Germ, fatis, part. i. p. 170 ; part. ii. p. 438 et seq. 

Eobanas Hessus, author of the treatise, De Amantium Infelicitate conti^ 
Yenerem, de Cupidinis Impotenti&, and of whom we have made mention pre- 
viously, composed various poems in praise of Luther : In Evangelic! Doctoris 
Martini Lutheri laudem Defensionemque ; and a letter to him, entitled, £c- 
clesisB A£9ictfe Epistola ad Lutherum, &c. In each of these he abases the 
gluttony of the monks : — 

" Ignavi monachi, pepones et inertia terrie 
Pondera, degeneri dedita turba guise." 
Now, we have seen that Eobanas Hessus was the greatest drunkard of his age. 




Lnther at the Black Eagle tavern in Wittemberg. — Evening convenations. — 
Why we oollect them. — The object of these nocturnal goesipings. — The 
devil — Sorcery. — ^The pope. — The decretals. — The bishops. — ^The papists. 
— On the death of some papists. — ^The monks. 

The people of Germany are fond of evening-meetings at the 
tayem, in one of those large halls, so well warmed in winter 
and so cool in snmmer, always so well kept and lighted, and 
where the guests may spend whole hours at table imbibing glasses 
of sparkling beer. The Black Eagle tavern at Wittemberg, for 
fifteen years, from 1525 to 1540, had no more regular customer 
than Luther, the Beer pope, as the Sacramentarians called him.^ 
At nightfall the doctor would walk to his favourite resort. There 
he took his accustomed seat, and soon would be joined by his 
intimate and confidential friends or disciples ; such as Veit 
Dietrich, Mathesius, and Aurifaber, who placed themselves 
beside him and talked together until the castle clock struck ten. 
They then parted, to meet again on the next and every succeeding 
evening, except on Sundays and festivals, which they spent in 
their own houses. Each paid his own reckoning, but Luther 
was not always able to pay his. There, on an oaken bench, were 
held those conversations which have since been collected in Latin 
under the title of "Convivia Mensalia;" and in German by 
that of " Tisch-Reden :" familiar discourses, in which they 
talked after the fashion of Pico di Mirandola, de omni re sdfnli ; 
— of philosophy and witchcraft, criticism and poetry^ morals 
and astrology ; — of the kingdom of Antichrist, to wit, the pope, 
bishops, and priests ; — of the Catholic superstitions, that is to 
say^ of the sacraments of orders, extreme unction, works, celibacy, 
and communion under one species ; — of the future prospects of 
the Reformation, in other words, of the downfall of the modem 

' Der silchsische Bier-Papst. Erasmus Albertus, in his work entitled. 
Wider die Karlstadter. 


Babylon^ the extinction of popery, the shipwreck of the bark of 
St Peter, or of Sodom, as they were pleased to call it ; — of the 
triumph of God's worc(, exemplified in the closing of some 
monastery, the violation of some nnn, the apostasy of some 
friar, who had thrown his cord and cowl at the head of his 
superior ; or the marriage of some apostle of the new gospel 
The monks were frequently tlie subject of these conversations, 
and the companions were never at a loss for sarcasm, irony, and 
jokes against these unfortunate individuals, each guest having 
always a ready store. They spoke of the other sex in a manner 
that would shock the ear ; but in those days they were less 
refined than they are now, or perhaps were not afraid of being 

Our reader need not be astonished at the space which we shall 
devote to these alehouse scenes. It was in the tavern that this 
modem Salmoneus defied the thunders of the Vatican ; the 
tavern was his chair, his tribune, the ark of his sanctuary. 
There, amongst his jovial companions, hearty and ever-thirsty, 
before the foaming glass, he discovered the sense of many a passage 
which he had vainly looked for at home beside Bora. It was 
with a pewter mug before him, constantly replenished by a coarse 
Suabian servant, that he extemporised his most eccentric argu- 
ments against the celibacy of the clergy. The tavern was pro- 
ductive of more than one victory to the doctor. Had it been, 
instead of Luther, a theologian of Calvin's stamp, morose and 
atrabilious, who could neither eat nor drink, with an incessant 
cough, subject to headaches and dyspepsia, the Reformation 
would not have been so easily established among the people of 
Wittemberg. To have influence with the thorough German, it 
required a Reformer who could empty at a single draught a large 
glass of fermented liquor, caress the child of the landlady or her 
<log, joke with the waitress, believe in witches, tell broad stories, 
and drink and sing without being pressed. Luther has acknow- 
ledged the power of the tavern in the work gf the Reformation. 
" My desultory conversation in the tavern when drinking with 
Amsdorf shook the papacy more effectually than the princes and 
the emperor could have done with all their iron-mailed knights.'^ 
If of an evening the weary foot-traveller, after a long tramp 
across the mountains, goes into one of these taverns, redolent of 


tobacco, to quench his thirst, he is sure to hear the assembled 
guests singing over their cups the ordinary tavern ditty, — 
Luther's song upon women and wine. 

In all the writings of the Reformation, nothing is more curious 
than those scenes, enacted at night without spectators and with 
closed doors, among friends, -who talked of all that they had in 
their hearts or came into their heads ; in which none had a 
secret from his neighbour ; where the conversation flowed like 
the contents of the goblet ; where no language was studied, or 
speech was previously prepared ; where no one thought of 
posterity, which was not there to impose silence on their tongues ; 
whispered confidences, unreserved communications, frank con- 
versations that they never thought would be carried across the 
threshold, to be dressed up and tricked out for publication.^ 

Let us enter, then, the "Black Eagle" tavern at Wittemberg.- 
This evening the liquor in demand is Eimbeck beer, which Martin 
prefers to all the beers of Germany, probably because Eimbeck 
was one of the first places where the Keformation was adopted. 
The guests rise, the doctor has arrived. " Master, of what shall 
we speak first ?" says Veit Dietrich. " Honour to whom honour 
is due, — of the devil," replies Luther. 


" Beyond the heavens, there is only God ; but below, there are 
angels who watch over us by order of the Creator, and who pro- 
tect and defend us against the ambushes and wicked designs of 
the demon. They see God, and stand before his throne. When, 
therefore, the devU lays snares for us, the angel from heaven, 
for our good, covers us with his wing, and drives away the evil 

* See, in the Confirmatoiy Evidence, No. 8, our dissertation on the Tisch- 
Beden, or Table-Talk, which after three centuries some would wish to conmder 

' See 6. H. Getze, De Domesticis Lutheri Singularia: Lubeck, 1807, 4 to. 

' The quotations are^ nearly all taken from the Tisch-Reden, oder Colloquia 
Dr. Martin Luther's, so er in vielen Jahren, gegen gelarten Leuten, auch 
frembden Gesten und seinen Tischgesellen gef^ret, nach den Heubstiicken 
unserer christlichen Lere, susammen getragen. 

Johann 6 Gap. : 

Samlet die iibrigen Brocken, auff dass nichts umkcmme. 

Gedruckt zu Eisleben, bei Urban Gaubisch. 1566, foK 


spirit, for he has great power ; he sees God face to fece, and places 
himself before the sun, ever ready to assist ns in obeying the 
commands of the Lord. The demons also watch ns, are engaged in 
spying ns, and incessantly tempting us, to trouble us here and 
hereafter. Happily the good angels come to our relief, and 
succour us. There are demons in the forests, in the waters, in 
the deserts, in the marshes, — ^wherever they can find a creature 
to torment. Some dwell in the sides of black clouds, others 
excite tempests, rouse storms, dart lightnings and hurl thunder- 
bolts, infect the air and the fields. Philosophers and physicians 
attribute these phenomena to the influence of the stars.^ 

" One day, in winter, not far from Zwickau, a poor child lost 
his way in a forest, and was obliged to pass the night there. 
The snow fell heavily, so that the poor child was quite covered 
with it. He spent ^ee whole days in the midst of the snow, 
and every morning a man came who brought him some food, and 
then went away. On the third day the stranger came with the 
usual supply of food, and then set the child on his proper way 
home. The child told his parents what had happened to him. 
I think that the preserver of the poor creature was an angel 
from heaven.* 

'' The devil knows the thoughts of the wicked, for it is he who 
suggests them, who holds and governs their hearts, who surrounds 
them and catches them in his toils, so that they cannot think or 
act but according to his good pleasure ; but he knows not what 
passes in the minds of the just ; for, as he did not know what 
was in the mind of Christ, so he cannot know the thoughts of 
the just in whom Christ dwells.' 

''The apostle, Heb. 2, assigns the power of death to the 
devil, and Christ calls him the man of death. And, indeed, he 
is a skilful murderer, who could kill you with a tap of a switch, 
and who has in his pocket more deadly poisons than all the 
chemists in the world. If one fails, he immediately applies 
another. The devil is more powerful than we can believe or 
imagine ; nothing but the finger of Ood can overcome him.** It 
is the devil who lets loose tempests, and the angels who bring 
favourable winds. 

' Tiach-Ileden, p. 277. ' Ibid. 

> Ibid. * Ibid. p. 280. 


'' I believe that Satan is the author of all the maladies which 
afflict man, for Satan is the prince of death. Pestilence, dis- 
ease, and wars, are the work of the demon, and not of God. 
Whatever Osiander may say, there are hobgoblins whose business 
it is to torment us in our sleep, and beat us till they make us 
sick. In 1521, after I left Worms, I was confined in Wartburg, 
my Patmos, far from all observation, and where nobody could 
approach me but two young noblemen, who brought me food 
twice a day. One day th^y left in my chamber a bag of nuts, 
which I eat occasionally. At night, after I had extinguished 
my candle, and was going to bed, I heard a great noise ; it 
seemed as if my nuts were battering against each other ; I com- 
posed myself to sleep, but had scarcely shut my eyes, when the 
noise was repeated ; I thought that the stairs were &lling down ; 
I rose, and adjured the hobgoblin in the name of him of whom 
it is written : ' Omnia subjecisti pedibus ejus,' and went to bed 

" But the spirit of darkness is not always exorcised by texts 
of Scripture ; I have proof that pleasantries and jokes can drive 
him ofiF efiFectually.* I know a lady in Magdeburg who put the 
devil to flight by the effects of a carminative : ' Sathanam crepitu 
ventris fugavit.' 

" The devil loves to change himself, to torment us, into a 
serpent or an ape. 

" There are in various countries of the world places of which 
the evil spirits are fond ; Prussia is a country in which they take 
much delight In Switzerland, not far from Lucerne, on the 
top of a high mountain, is a lake called Pilate's Lake ; the 
devil often plays his pranks there. In the country, on Polters- 
berg, there is also a lake, into which if you throw a stone you 
are sure to raise a great storm ; .the whole neighbourhood becomes 
excited and troubled.' 

" The devil frequently changes children, in order to torment 
their parents ; he drags the nurse into the water, and gets her 
in the family-way ; she is confined, and the father puts the baby 
into the cradle, steals the real infant, and flies away. The 
changeling never lives longer than eighteen or nineteen years.^ 

» Tisch-Reden, p. 290. • Ibid. 

» Ibid. * Ibid. p. 296. 


** There was at Wittemberg ^ student named Valerius, very 
disorderly and disobedient to his master, George Mayer. When 
I reproved him for his conduct, he told me that he had sold him- 
self to the devil five years before, in these words : * Christ, I 
renounce thee, and wish to take another master.' I was horrir- 
ficd^ and asked him if he did not wish to repent and return to 
Qod? On his answering in the affinnative, I knelt with the 
others then present, and prayed thus : ' God of heaven, who has 
ordered us by thy beloved Son to pray, and hast established and 
regulated the ministry of thy word in the Gospel, we implore 
thee for thy servant, forgive his sins, and recall him to the bosom 
of tne holy Church, of thy beloved Son, Christ our Lord. Amen.' 
I then ordered the young man to say the following prayer : ' I 
Valerius, confess, in the presence of God and of his holy angels, 
and of his holy Church, that I have renounced my Saviour, and 
given myself to the devil ; that I now sincerely repent, and wish 
henceforward to be the enemy of Satan, to take God for my 
guide and protector, and to amend my life. Amen.' 

" The devil is like a fly : when he sees a fine book, the fly 
goes over its white pages, leaving its unmistakeable marks 
behind it, as if it wished to say : ' I have been here.' So the 
devil, when he has found a pure and innocent heart, settles on 
it, sullies and corrupts it.' 

" I have always been better treated by the devil than by man, 
and I would rather die by the hand of the devil than by that of the 
emperor ; I should, at least, die by the hand of a great man.* 

" The devil sleeps oftener with me than Ketha ; he has given 
me more pain than pleasure.' 

" The devil is a moody spirit, who only wishes to annoy, and 
w^hom joy afflicts. Music drives him aw^ay ; as soon as he hears us 
sing, especially spiritual hymns, he flies ofl: David soothed the 
mental sufferings of Saul with his harp. Music is a gift from 
heaven, a present from the Divinity, whom the devil hates, 
and which has the power of keeping off temptations and evil 

" One day I found a caterpillar on my path : * Look,' said I, 

• Tisch-Reden, edit. Francf. p. 365. * Ibid. p. 286. 

» Tisch-Beden, Eislebon, p. 173. * Ibid. p. 266. 


' this represents the devil's walk^ his changeable appearance and 

'^ Madmen, the lame, the blind, and the dumb are possessed 
by the devil. The physicians, who treat them by roles of art, 
know nothing of the matter."^ 


There was a considerable interval of silence. 

" Doctor," said Veit Dietrich, " can those who believe in God 
be enchanted?" 

'^ Doubtless, for the soul can be seduced and deceived ; but 
the illusion does not last long ; my maladies have never been 
natural, I believe, but the work of Satan, who by sorcery showed 
his hatred of me ; but God watched over me. 

" There are servants possessed by the devil who steal milk, 
butter, and eggs from the nests ; I have no mercy for these 
sorceresses, and should be inclined to bum them. It is said 
that their butter has a bad smell, and falls to the ground when 
any one eats of it. Whoever maltreats a witch is himself tor- 
mented by the devil ; certain schoolmasters and ecclesiastics can 
attest this. If our sins irritate and offend God, much more will 
sorcery, which has been properly called a crime of base iniquity 
against God, and rebellion against his infinite power. The jurists, 
who have so accurately discussed and reasoned upon rebellion, 
consider that the rebellion of a subject against his sovereign 
should be punished with death. Should not sorcery, then, 
which is an act of insurrection of the creature who refuses 
his faith to God and gives it to the devil, be visited with a like 


One of his disciples mentioned the pope. At the word 
Luther suddenly stopped, as it furnished the theme of a long 

" Every animal," said he, " is composed of a body and a soul ; 
the soul or spirit of Antichrist is the pope ; the Turk is his body 

' Calvin, like Luther, believed that some incurable diseases, such as epilepsy 
for example, could only be explained by demoniacal possession. — Harm. Evang. 
\}. 127. Comm. ad Math. 23. 


or flesh. The Turk troubles, torments, and lays waste the 
Church of Christ bodily or materially ; but the pope does so 
at once, both bodily and spiritually, by his satellites, his execu- 
tioners, and murderers. But the Church, which in the days of 
the apostles triumphed over the spiritual power of the Jews and 
the sword of the Romans, will in our time become victorious 
over the superstitions and the idolatry of Rome, and the tyranny 
of the Turks. 

*^ The cuckoo, as we all know, is naturally fond of the tomtit's 
eggs. It lays its eggs in the nest of the bird, who hatches them as 
if they were her own. When the cuckoos have burst the shell 
and grown big, it is all over with the tomtit : the cuckoos devour 
their mother. The cuckoo cannot bear the nightingale's song. 
The pope is a cuckoo, who eats the eggs of the Church, and then 
lays cardinals.^ Hardly is he bom, when he attacks his mother, 
the Church of Christ, to eat her up. The songs of the Church, 
that is preaching and teaching, are insupportable to him. 

" Wherever there is a lark, you will find a cuckoo, who 
fancies that his song is a thousand times more harmonious 
than that of his rival. So does the pope in his church, singing 
incessantly, and striving to drown the voice of the other churches. 
But the cuckoo is serviceable in one respect, for it announces to 
us that the summer is at hand ; and so the pope tells us that 
the day of judgment is not far off.^ 

" Thirty years ago the Bible was unknown,' and the prophets 
not understood ; it was thought that they could not be trans- 
lated. At twenty, I had read nothing of the Scriptures, and 
thought that there were no other gospel or epistles than those 

* Er frisst der Kirchen ihre Eyer, und scheiast dagegen Gardinele aus. 
TiBch-Reden, p. 342. 

* TischReden, p. 342. 

' This conceit of Luther wm long believed by Protestants. " In 1471, 
Italy had the Italian translation of the Bible by Nicol. di Mallermi, which 
was several times reprinted in the course of the sixteenth century. A Limou- 
sine translation was published at Valencia in 1478 ; at Nuremberg, the Bible, 
in German, was published in 1477; at Prague, in Bohemian, in 1488; at 
Kutenberg, another Bohemian version, in 1489 ; and the Old Testament, in 
Dutch, was printed at Delf in 1477."— M. GusUve Brunet, Propos de Table, 
p. 285, note. See a lengthened reply to this assertion by M. Carl Hagen, 
Deutschlands literarische und religiose Verh&ltnirae, Erlangen, 1841, tqm. i. 
Hain, Repertorium Bibliographicum, torn. i. Stuttgard, 1826, gives a list of 
the translations of the Bible in every language which had appeared before 
that of Luther. 

272 HISTORY OF luther. 

which are contained in the postils. At least, I found in the 
little town of Erfurt a Bible, which I read with the greatest 
astonishments The Papists do not know a word of it 

" A curate was severely reprimanded by his bishop, who 
reproached him with not knowing how to baptize. As the 
priest grew warm, the bishop took a doll, and said to him : 
* Come, then, baptize/ The priest, pretending to pour the 
water, said : ' Ego te baptiste in nomine Christe.'* Then the 
bishop, in a rage, scolded the priest for his ignorance of the bap- 
tismal words ; the curate, letting the doll fall : ' On my word,' 
said he, ' the words are like the baby and the baptism/' 

" May the name of the pope be damned ; may his kingdom 
be abolished ;' may his will be restrained ! If I thought that 
God did not hear my prayer, I would address myself to the devil* 

" Cursed be the pope, ^ho has done more harm to the kingdom 
of Christ and the Church than Mahomet ! The Turk kills the 
body, devastates and pillages the goods of Christians ; but the 
pope, more cruel than the Turk with his Alcoran, forces them to 
deny Christ. Both are enemies of the Church, and servants of 
Satan ; but the pope wishes to compel us to adore his canons 
and decretals, in order to oppress and extinguish the light of the 
Gospel. May the monster, then, perish eternally ! May he 
and his decretals be eternally execrated by the angels and 
saints ! 

" There were three popes who succeeded each other at short 
intervals. The first being dead, the second declared null the 
decretals of his predecessor, whom he caused to be disinterred, 
and his fingers cut ofi*; when the second died, the third ordered 
his body to be exhumed and thrown into the Tiber, after cutting 
ofiF his head.^ 


" Do you wish to know what a decretal is ? It is the excre- 
ment of his holiness ^ 

» Tisch-Reden, p. 852. « Ibid. p. 318. 

3 Ibid. p. 352. * Ibid. p. 218. 

^ Luther has not given us the names of these three popes. 

* Eisleben, fol. 880, a^ 562, a, b, 569, a, b. Kicht andera denn EseUfUrst 
Scheisserei, ja BUberei, Papst-Dreck und Fiirtz; Papst-Misst unk Drecke, 
Drecke und Drecketal. 

"Courteous reader," says Peter von Ludwig, "do not be too much soaa- 



Some students, who had been admitted by favour to Luther's 
table — ^for it was a compliment much sought after — ^were seized 
with a fit of laughter. Melancthon, who was silent, looked to 
his master, when their merriment ceased, and said : '' God is 
great ; he has already brought back some bishops in the fold." 
Luther shook his head .... 

" The bishops follow the instinct of their nature in all that 
they do ; they are dogs who love to bathe their feet in blood. 
They resemble Cain, and will have no rest until they have killed 
Abd. They seek war, and will lose themselves. I have 
announced and foretold it to them. We must now prepare 
ourselves for the battle, and seek arms in prayer.^ 

" A princess once asked me if there was any hope that the 

bishop of X would be converted ? and she added : * You 

will see ; I shall soon bring you the good news.' — * I do not 
believe it,' I replied ; * although I should greatly rejoice if he 
repented and did penance ; but I have not the least hope, of it, 
and should as soon expect the conversion of Pilate, Herod, Dio- 
cletian, and other great sinners.' — ' But,' returned the princess, 
' Ood is omnipotent, his mercy is infinite ; he would have par- 
doned Judas, had he repented.' — ' That is very true ; God would 
receive Satan into favour, if it were possible for the devil ever to 
say : ' Pardon me, for I have sinned.' There is, alas ! no hope 
of your bishop returning to God, for he opposes the truth wit- 
tingly, because it is the truth. It is only a few days since 
he shamefully allowed some poor Christians to die of hunger, 
who had taken communion in both kinds/' 

" That bishop* often wrote to me friendly letters ; his lips 
were so honied, that I advised him to take a wife. He deceived 
me by specious appearances, and laughed at me. It was only at 
Augsburg that I learned to know him.^ 

" One day he thus addressed a large assembly : ' My brethren, 

dalized by this imagery which our honest Lather employed to depict the 
Roman See. ' Decreten drecketen/ is a picturesque expression : the others 
are not behind it." — Johannes Petrus von Lndwig, privy counsellor to his' 
majesty the king of Prussia, 1780, in a panegyric on the Saxon reformer. 

* Tisch-Beden, p. 376. * Ibid. pp. 875, 376. 

* Albert of Mayenoe. * l^schReden, p. 876. 


be submissive, and communicate only under one kind. If you do 
88 I bid you, I shall be to you a good master, your father, bro- 
ther, and friend ; I shall obtain graces and great privileges from 
his majesty for you. If, on the other hand, you are disobedient, 
I proclaim myself your enemy, and I shall do all the injury in 
my power to this city.' Such language is worthy of the emperor 
of the Turks or the devil in hell.* 

" Bishop NN., although he has married, is a cursed Papist, 
who ridicules the Gospel, and only looks after his own interest. 
As a general rule, the bishops are the pest and poison of the 
Church and of the government ; they create disturbances every- 

" There was formerly on the banks of the Rhine, near its falls, 
a bishop who imprisoned the poor who came to beg alms from 
him. He closed the doors, and set fire to the prison. When 
the poor wretches cried out piteously : ' Do you hear,' he said, 
'how these rats squeak V The same bishop was ever after tor- 
mented by rats. As he could not get rid of these troublesome 
guests, he built a house of dressed stone in the middle of the 
Rhine ; but the rats crossed the river, followed the master of the 
house, and ate him.' 

'' When the Papists make a bishop, the devil runs and takes 
possession of them ; they make him swear homage and obedience 
to the pope, and vow opposition to the Lutheran doctrine. He 
promises to serve the devil, who immediately takes possession of 

" The archbishop of Salzburg said to Melancthon, in a con- 
versation at Augsburg : ' My dear Philip, we know very well 
that your doctrines are good ; but we priests never mend our 
lives. '^ 


'' I maintain that the pope, the emperor (Charles V.), and 
the bishop of Mayence are impious wretches, who have aban- 

* Tisch-Reden, p. 876. Lather gives neither the evidence of this speech nor its 
source. See what M. AlexanderWeill (an authority bejond suspicion in the eyes of 
a Protestant) says of this prelate : " Albrecht, crown prince of Brandenburg, as 
pious as he was liberal, played a great, although passive, part in the history of 
the Reformation. He was the German Medicis." — La Phalange, 1845, p. Hi, 

» Tisch-Reden, p. 877. » Ibii p. 878. 

* Ibid. » Ibid. p. 874. 


doned the ways of the Gospel, who have no just notion of the 
Divinity, and who never think of God.* May God qniet this 
sangoinary demon (Charles Y.) ; how it pains me when I see 
him persecuting the truth !* Our princes do nothing but works 
of malediction.' What is a prince in the kingdom of heaven, 
but small game ? Pilate is worth them all.^ 

" Do you wish me to define the Popish kingdom ? The pope 
and his court are idolaters and servants of the devil ; his doc- 
trines are those of Satan ; the Catholic Church is the Church of 
Satan ! Wretches ! you will all go to hell ; Papists ! you are 
nothing but asses.^ 

" Whoever does liot hate the pope from the bottom of his 
heart, will not gain the kingdom of heaven ; it is a sin not to 
hate the pope. They are blockheads who say to you : ' Beware 
of hating the pope ! '^ 

" I, doctor of doctors, wish to instruct and try the Papists, 
and cry to them : * You are asses ; I glory in the hatred of such 
ignorant fools as you. You say that you are doctors ! So am I ! 
I can interpret the Psalms and the prophets ; you cannot. I can 
translate the Sacred Scriptures ; that you are forbidden to do. 
I can read them ; you cannot I am a thousand times better 
than you. Papist and ass are synonymous terms. 

*' The Papists are lost. Where will they find priests and 
monks now ? There are many students here, but not one of 
them, that I know, would consent to open their mouths to 
swallow what the pope would put into them ; except it be 
Mathesius and Plato, my old scholars.*^ 

" The pope would willingly receive into favour the Lutherans 
and their wives, but on condition that they should only preach 
and teach what pleased him, and that they should regard their 
wives as mistresses or cooks. Fie, fie ! to despise or condemn 
marriage is to ofiend God. If Witzel does so with his com- 
panion, I shall never advise a pious woman to live with him.^ 

* Tisch-Beden, Nnremb. p. 508. * Ibid. pp. 482, 484. 
» Ibid. p. 77. 

* TieclirRedeii^ Nnremb. pp. 160, 470. Pistoriiifl, in bis Zweiter boser Geist 
liUtheri, Ac. torn. i. ii., bus collected a Urge number of Luther's invectives 
against the princes. 

* Ibid. pp. 51, 842, 853. « Ibid. pp. 480, 844. 
' Ibid. p. 875. « Ibid. p. 854. 

T 2 


" Two fools were one day disputing on the soul at the pope's 
table ; the one mdifitained that it was mortal ; the other, that it 
was immortal. * Well argued/ said the pope to the first ; * you 
are right.' And turning to the other : * Well said ; you have 
gained.' Such are the Epicureans to whom the kingdom of the 
Church is given ! Tou remember that at Basle the fathers of 
the council ordered the priests to wear a cassock which should 
reach the heels, with close shoes, and forbade them to dispute 
on the question of the soul's immortality.^ 

" Pope Paul JII. had a sister, whom he gave as a mistress to 
his predecessor, by which means he obtained the Roman purple.^ 
A priest, who had a child by his cook, was bound to pay the 
pope a coin called a ' milchpfenning ' (milkpenny). The mother 
had to pay a like sum. Thus the priests might keep mistresses 
at their will, without shame or scandal, and in all security of 


" People pay no regard to the miracles which God daily works. 
Witness the bishop of Treves, who suddenly expired at the coro- 
nation of Charles V., as he was putting the glass to his lips ; and 
Count N. de W., who was in a moment called out of life, as he 
was preparing to attack me ; and also that doctor who, before 
saying his first mass, maintained that the papistical juggleries 
were virtues, how miserably he died ! Do you not observe what 
a tragic end has been made this year by all those who persecuted 
with their hatred, their ridicule, their acts and deeds, and preach- 
ings, the word of God ? You have a terrible instance of (Jod's 
wrath in the death of that celebrated Papist A. L., who, just 
before expiring, and in the last throes of death, exclaimed: 
' Devil, you are my friend ! ' and of that Italian who, when 
dying, said : ' I give my property to the world, my body to the 
worms, and my soul to the devil.' You know how severely God 

' TiBch-Reden, p. 354. 

* Alexander Farnese was elected pope in 1584, and aasamed the name of 
Paul JII. He was then about seventy. Calvin said that he was a half-rotten 
carcjise. — ^Brief Exposition, Works, p. 450. Grespin, Estat de TEglise, p. 471, 
says that he kept 45,000 mistresses. Yet Banke has celebrated the virtues 
and worth of this pope ! In the end truth always prevails : although halting, 
she is sure to reach her point. 

» Tisch-Reden, p. 857. 


has punished that Papist who thought fit to preach against me ; 
as also what happened to that cnrate of F., near Frankfort, who 
preached the Gospel for eleven years. When the * black death ' 
ravaged the land, he proclaimed that Ood afflicted the world with 
a new plague, because it had received a new faith and erroneous 
teaching, and advised his parishioners to remain faithful to their 
mother the holy Church, telling them that on a certain day 
he would form a procession and pilgrimage to drive away the 
pestilence. On that very day he died, and was buried. The 
finger of God was here ; let it not be forgotten. On Trinity 
Sunday, the pastor of Eunwald said : ^ If the Gospel announced 
by Luther be true, may I be struek by thunder ! ' and he was 
killed on the spot by lightning. A certain unprincipled Papist 
doctor was one day disputing at the university of R., and argued 
thus : ' If we must not alter a testament made by man's hands, 
much less can we alter the testament made by God ; the supper 
under both species is the testament of our Lord Jesus, which no 
power can alter.' — ' Well,' said the doctor, on leaving the room, 
'how do you think I spoke?' — * Admirably,' replied the person 
whom he had addressed ; then, tapping him on the shoulder, he 
said : ' Doctor, the servant who knows the truth and does not 
practise it, will be severely punished : ' and next day the doctor 
suddenly died. Thus the Lord strikes \ he does not permit his 
word to be trifled with, but insists on its being observed. This 
is an awful example for all Christians.^ 

" Every time that Clement VII. dined or supped, his holiness's 
cook was sent to prison ; if the pope experienced no symptoms of 
poison, the cook was liberated, and restored to his place. Oh ! 
what a miserable state of life ! Moses speaks of it in the 28th 
chapter of Deuteronomy : * In the morning thou shalt say, Who 
will grant me evening? and at evening, Who will grant me 
morning ?' This Clement VII. knew how to compound poisons, 
and yet he died by poison."- 

' TiBcli-Ileden, p. 868, recto et verso. 

* Brueys, the Protestant, who believes that the pope is Antichrist, has not 
ventured to admit Luther's story. In our history of Henry YIII. we have 
given an account of the last moments of this pope, one of the most amiable that 
ever sat in the chair of St. Peter. 



** With the Papists all observances are easy ; it is easier for 
them to fast than for us to eat ; for one day of fasting they have 
three of feasting. At the evening collation each monk receives 
two jugs of excellent beer and a small cup of wine, spiced cakes 
or slices of bread with salt butter. The poor monks, like flaming 
cherubim, then go to their offices with a look of misery, and as 
if they were like to drop from inanition.* 

" That audacious and headstrong priest, that devil incarnate, 
Pope Julius II., took it into his head to reform the Franciscans, 
and subject them to one common rule. The monks had recourse 
to the kings and princes, entreating them to appeal for them 
against the resolution of the holy father ; but Julius paid no 
attention to it. Then the monks addressed a pressing suppli- 
cation to the pope, which they backed with thirty thousand 
crowns. * How is it possible,' said the pope, pointing to the 
images of the princes engraved on the coins, ' to resist so many 
mailed knights?' The pope altered his mind, and left the 
Franciscans undisturbed.* 

" The monks are the pillars of the papacy ; they defend the 
pope as some rats do their king. I am the quicksilver of the 
Lord diffused through the puddle, that is, monachism. The 
Franciscans are the lice which the devil stuck to the skin of 
Adam; the Dominicans, the fleas that incessantly bite. A 
monk is essentially wicked, virtue cannot abide in him either 
witliin or without the cloister. Like the fire mentioned by 
Aristotle, which bums in Ethiopia as well as in Germany, the 
circumstances of time or place cannot change their nature.' 

'* In the cloister they do not study but observe the Scriptures. 
A monk knows not what study is ; at certain hours, he mutters 
certain prayers called * canonical ; ' but as for the gift of reading 
the Scriptures, which has been conferred on me, not one monk 
has received it."* 

The clock struck ten, and Luther rose to depart. As he left 

the monastery. See vol. i. of this work. 

« Tisch-Reden, p. 370. " « Ibid. 

* Ibid. p. 871. See what Carl Hagen says of the monasteries before 
Luther's time, 1. c. torn. i. passim. 


the tayem, a poor man touclied his sleeye requesting ahns. 
"There," said the doctor, giving him a few groschen. " Thanks," 
said the b^gar; "may God repay you.'' Jonas smiled and 
whispered to Martin : " Who knows whether God will repay us V 
"Has he not already done it?'* said Luther; "let us give 
unconditionally;^ brother date is always followed by brother 

How deeply it is to be regretted that a being so splendidly 
gifted should have voluntarily closed his eyes to the light ! 



Difleasefl. — A jurist. — ^The Jews. — ^The ancient Ghnrcli. — ^The Scriptnres. — 
Heretics. — ^The Sacramentarians. — St. Gregory. — St John. — St. Augustine. 
—The Fathers.— Ecker, Faber.—SadoletUB.— Paradise.— God. 

Luther had one day some sparrows at table ; he took up one 
of the birds, and thus apostrophised it : '^ Franciscan, with your 
black cowl, you are of all birds the most rascally. The following 
fable may be useful : Two monks, a Franciscan and Dominican, 
were travelling together in quest of alms. It happened that envy 
insinuated itself into their hearts. One day the Franciscan 
ascended the pulpit, and addressing the audience, said : ' Dear 
brethren, dear country-folks, beware of the swallows, which are 
white beneath and black above ; it is a vile and mischievous 
bird, which when it is vexed pinches and bites the cattle, and 
blinds with its excrement, as in the case of Tobias.' Next day 
it was the Dominican's tui*n to preach. ' I will say nothing,' 
said he, * of the swallow ; but I would advise you to beware of 
the sparrow, a malicious and thieving bird, which pecks pears, 
plums, cheese, and cherries, and has only one cry : Scrip ! 
scrip ! ' He alluded to his brother the Franciscan.* 

'' In one word, the most pious monk is an impious scoundrel ; 

' M. Michelet, Memoirs of Luther, torn. ii. p. 350. 
' Tisch-Reden, p. 361. 


the monks are lineal descendants of Satan. When yon wish to 
paint the deyil, mujQle him np in a monk's habit. The monks 
are the ministers of Satan ; what a roar of laughter there mnst 
be in the infernal regions when a monk goes down there ! * 
They are the lice and fleas which the Almighty stuck on the 
skin of our father Adam.^ 

" In this century/' continued Luther, " they removed the 
nuns from the convent of Neuburg, in Austria, to give it to the 
Franciscan monks. The friars wished to build ; the workmen, 
while excavating the ground, found twelve cases, which they 
broke open, and found each contained the body of an infant."^ 


" ' Have faith, son,' said Jesus Christ to the paralytic man, 
' thy sins are forgiven thee/ What does that signify, unless it 
be that our sins are the causes of paralysis and all diseases ? 
See, in the ninth chapter of St. John, where Jesus says that 
neither the man bom blind nor his parents had sinned. The 
man's blindness did not proceed from original sin ; actual sin is 
the cause of diseases : the paralytic man had offended God, and 
he was punished ; the man blind from his birth had not sinned, 
and his blindness did not result from Adam's sin. If this malady 
were a necessary consequence, every man would be bom paralytic 
or blind. By taking away sin, Christ removed the bodily in- 
firmity. God sends diseases into the world by the intervention 
of the devil ; every pain and affliction of the body proceeds from 
the devil, and not from God. The Lord permits us to be stricken 
when we contemn and offend him. Whatever brings us to death 
is from the devil ; it is his work : whatever leads to life comes 
from God ; it is his gift, his mercy, his grace : the devil is the 
Lord's enemy. In time of pestilence, the devil pounces on a 
house, and woe to him whom he seizes in his fangs ! ^ 

'^ One day a man came to me, complaining piteously of the 
itch, which gave him no rest by day or by night. * You are 
very fortunate,' said I to him, * and I would willingly exchange 

1 Coll. Mens. p. 109. 

> Tiach-Eeden, Francf. pp. 264, 265, 266 ; Dresden, pp. 572, 579, 587, 593 ; 
Eisl. p. 371. 
3 Tisch-Reden, Eisl. p. 464. * Tisch-Beden, p. 492. 


-with you, and give yon my dizziness for your itch, and ten 
guilders to boot You do not know what a malady mine is, and 
how it fatigues and hammers my poor head, and does not permit 
it t-o read a letter all through, or two or three verses of a psalm, 
or meditate for any length of time^ or engage on any serious 
matter! When my dizziness comes on, if my ears tingle, I 
frequently fall from my chair. Why complain of the itch ? it is 
a very useful thing, which purifies apd strengthens the body, and 
prevents you neither from walking about, nor thinking, nor work- 
ing. I wish I had the itch to cure me ! * 

" Physicians assign only natural causes to diseases. Whence 
comes that disease ? what has produced it ? how shall it be cured ? 
That is all they trouble themselves about, and they are right. 
They do not see that it is the devil who afflicts the sick, and that 
the cause of the disease is not natural ; that there is a greater 
medicine than theirs that must be sought, and which will 
triumph over all the power of the evil spirit ; namely, faith and 
prayer." • 


" What is a jurist ? A cobbler, a broker, a botcher, who 
makes a trade of disputing things of which he knows nothiug, — 
of the sixth commandment of God, for example. I could never 
have believed that they are such papists are they are. They are 
imbedded in filth to the neck ; they are blockheads who cannot 
distinguish dung from sugar. ' Omnis juris ta, est aut nequista, 
aut ignorista.' When a jurist wishes to dispute with you, say 
to him : ' Hark ye, my boy, a jurist should never speak before 
he has heard a sow grunt.' ' Thank you, grandmother,' he will 
say, ' it is the first sermon I have bieaid for some time.' " ' 

■ Tisch-Beden, p. 492. * Ibid. p. 494. 

' " TJnd wenn ein Jurist davon disputiren will, so sagt zu ihm : Hore, du 
Gesell, ein Jurist soU hie oicht eher Y«den, es fartze denn eine Sau ; so soil er 
Bhgen : Dank habe, liebe Grossmutter, ich babe lang keine Predigt gebort." — 
Hsch-Reden, Eisleben, p. 571. 

The thirty to forty folio pages which Luther has devoted to the jurists in the 
Tisch-Keden, are filled with an insolence and crudity of expression that cannot 
be imagined. 

" Sie sind nur Suppenfresser, denn sie disputiren nur von Dreok-Handen. 
Ich weiss dass ibr l>ing Dreck ist. Sie sind grobe Tolpel. Sie sind noch 
zu grttn da zu wissen mit Zucker ein Dreck davon. Ists euch so wohl mit 



" The Jews are nearly all bastards : I consider them veritable 
epicureans. When a Christian meets them, they salute him thns: 
* Good morrow, Seth \' that is to say, devil ; for Seth, or Satan, 
is the name of the devil. If I were a magistrate, I wonld ask 
the Jews why they call Christ ein JEfurenkind, and his mother 
eine Hure. If they proved to me that they were right, I would 
give them a thousand guilders ; if not, I should hang them^up. 
In fine, we ought not to suffet the Jews among us, we ought 
neither to eat nor drink with them.^ 

" When God and his angels hear a Jew , how they laugh 

and dance.^ 

" Pye, fye, leave the Bible alone, Jews ; you ar© not worthy 
to read that sacred book : your Bible is that which is concealed 
by a sow's tail ; what drops from it is bread and wine for such 
prophets as you." ^ 


" The Church of Christ has become a real prostitute ! Before 
the Reformation she was so clouded with darkness, and so 
ignorant, that no one could answer these questions — What is 
God? what is Christ, faith, good works, heaven, earth, hell, 
the devil? With its dogmas of abstinence from meats, its 
cowls, its masses, and other filthy traditions, Kome has fettered 
the consciences of mankind." * 


*'It is impossible to dive into the meaning of the sacred 

den EselirfUrtzeD, bo fresnet sie. Wann die Juristen viel konneD, so konnen 
ale eiu Kuchen imd Sohmeisahaus anbauen." 

Besides, hie &miliar oorrespondeDce often resembles the TLBch-Reden. See 
his letters to Archbishop Albert. — De Wette, torn. iv. p. 676. 

» Tisch-Reden, p. 694. • Op. Luth. Jenae, torn, viii. p. 99. 

' ..." Ihr solltet allein die Bibel lesen die der Sau unter dem Schwantz 
stehet, und die Bucbstaben so daselbst herausfallen, fressen und saufen, daa 
ware eine Bibel fur solche Propbeten" (Jen®, torn. viii. foL 83, a.). — ^Von den 
Juden. This is only a scurvy joke ; but Luther is much more in earnest 
when he urges the necessity of expelling the Jews : " Man soil die Juden uioht 
hey uns leiden." 

* Our History of Leo X. shows what great theologians were in Italy before 
the Reformation. Carl Hagen has given a sketch of the study of the science 
of theology in Germany prior to the advent of Luther. — Deutschlands litera- 
rische und religiose Yerh^tnisse^ torn. i. 

TBB TIS0H-:R£DEN. 283 

Scriptures^ we can onlj skim the surface : it would be a miracle 
to comprehend their spirit We hardly know their alphabet. Let 
theologians say and do what they will ; to divine the mysteries 
of the holy word will always be above our understanding. This 
word is the inspiration of God, and defies human comprehension ; 
the Christian has only a glimpse of it.^ 

'' The Scriptures are clear and luminous ; sophists vainly 
allege that they are full of difficulties and involved in darkness. 
The Fathers endeavoured to interpret them ; but their inter- 
pretation only obscured them." * 


'^ It is said of the peacock that he has the dress of an English- 
man, the step of a tiiief, and the voice of the devil. This bird 
is the picture of a heretic ; for all heretics wish to pass for holy 
men, saints, and angels. At first they come stealthily, and 
assume the office of preachers, before they are called to it, and 
wish at all hazards to preach and teach. They have the devil's 
voice, because they only preach error, delusion, and heresy. 

'^ I have always taught the word of Ood in its entire purity 
and simplicity ; I shall continue to do so ; for otherwise I should 
be like a papist, who neither believes in the resurrection of the 
dead nor in eternal life. 

'^ This is the beginning of the butterfly. It is at first a 
caterpillar, which attaches itself to a wall, and weaves its 
envelope. In spring, when the sunbeams begin to be felt, the 
caterpillar bursts its cell, and a butterfly escapes, which, when 
about to die, attaches itself to a tree or a leaf, where it lays its 
eggs, from which will issue a generation of caterpillars. This is 
the generatio rectproca, a caterpillar which becomes again a 
caterpillar. I have often found in my garden a variety of cater- 
pillars : I believe the devil sent them to me ; they have likS 
horns in the nose ; wings of gold and silver ; without, their 
attire is brilliant ; within, they are full of poison. The heretics 
deck themselves in the garb of wisdom and piety, but they teach 
impious and damnable doctrines. When the butterflies die, they 
deposit a brood of eggs, and from one caterpillar is produced a 

'nsoh-Eedeo, Eislebeo, p. 556. ' Ibid. Fnucfort, pp. 3, 668. 


crowd of others : thus the heretic misleads and deceives others, 
who in their turn bring forth a multitude of troublesome spirits."^ 


" Begone, pedant, with your supper ; sty wherein hog feeds 
with hog ; ^ go to the devil V The Sacramentarians replied : 
" Begone ; in your eucharist, you eat and drink abomination, 
instead of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ : thy beer which 
I drank yesterday gave me the colic ; eat and drink, in mei 
memoriam. Away !".^ 


" Gregory the Great was a very holy man.* But he did what 

1 Tisch-Heden, p. 898. 

* " Bauern-Zech, wo eine Sau mit der andern frisst." — Op. Lutk. Jens, 
1557, torn. vi. p. 115. Repeated in the Tisch-Reden. 

' " Daas Bie nicht des Herm Christ! Leib und Blut mit dem Munde empfim- 
gen, sondem Dreck fressen." — Starmius, Theodorus Beza, apod Affelmannam 
Theol. Luth. in pnefat. *' Gerevisia ista quam hen hauai totum alvum mihi 
conturbavit. £n vobis unum vel alteram crepitum, in mei memoriam." — 
Weislinger's Gniudliche Antwort, torn. ii. p. 583. 

* Op. Luth. JenaB, torn. viii. fol. 252> a, b. Wider das Fapatthum zu Bom. 
Jensa, tom. t. fol. 820, a, b, 390, edit. 1557. 

In 1717, a pamphlet waa published at Leipsic, by the title of Gregoriud 
Magnus papa Lutheranus, in which the author, John Feter Stute, endeavours 
to prove that this pope taught in the seventh century the doctrines which 
Luther upheld in the sixteenth. We shall see what the Saxon doctor thought 
of Gregory I. 

A Lutheran, Lucas Osiander, no admirer of this pope, narrates (Cent vL 
lib. iv. ch. xvi. p. 287), that a monk, who was burning in hell for having hid 
three guilders in a corner of his cell, was liberated from that fiery abode at the 
cost of thirty masses, which the pope exacted. Luther has given the same 
anecdote a place in the Tisch-Reden, p. 855 ; but Osiander's hell is changed by 
Luther into purgatory. 

Frequently in our travels through Germany we have found, in the shops of 
dealera in second>hand and old books, volumes of which the very title provoked 
a smile. Could any one have imagined that our St. Bernard was merely an 
honest Lutheran ? Open the tract, De Lutheran ismo D. Bernardi Scfaediasma 
Theologicum, Dresden, 1701, you wiU there find Uiat the great saint inva- 
riably &ught Luther*8 doctrine of works, faith, and the eucharist. But we, 
who know Luther almost by heart, immediately turn to the Tisch-Reden, and 
read unamazed that St. Bernard has written, that God neither hears nor under- 
stands the prayers addressed to him : " Er spricht Gott h3re das Wort des 
Gebets nicht" (p. 208), which does not hinder Luther from affirming that 
Bernard was the best of the monks. — M. G. Brunet, 1. c. p. 172. 

Among our bibliographical rarities we possess a smaU octavo, entitled, 
Thomas Acquinas dictus Angelicus confessor veritatis Evangelicae, Aiigustanft 
confessione repetitas, 1565. The angel of the schools transformed into a 
defender of the Augsbure Confession ! George Dorsche, minister of Strasburg, 
has made this singular discovery. We are sorry that a Donunican, Leonard, 
believed it incumbent on him to answer Dorsche. Dorsche was silent. But 


the other popes haye done : he taught detestable doctrines. It 
was he who invented purgatory, masses for the dead, abstinence 
from flesh on Fridays and Saturdays, the monk's cowl, and other 
mummeries, with which he has enslaved mankind. The devil 
possessed him, and for all his writings I would not ^ve a penny." 


" I consider St. Jerome a heretic, who never speaks but of 
fasting, virginity, celibacy, &c. I would not have him for a 
chaplain." ^ 


" St Augustine often erred : he cannot be trusted.* Many 
of his writings are worthless.' It was a mistake to place him 
among the saints, for he had not the true faith." ^ 

"St. Augustine was well versed and skilled in the Holy 
Scriptures ; he had a remarkable judgment and a dear under- 
standing. He is the purest of all the doctors." ^ 


" The Fathers knew nothing about the text of St. Paul con- 
cerning widows who have brdken their first faith, — -primam Jidem. 
Augustine thinks that by ^primam fid^m* the apostle means 
the vow of chastity ; but I understand the text better than a 
thousand Augustines. This Father should have been sent to 
school: the Fathers are blockheads who have only written 

another Lutheran, who held by St. Thomas, Anthony Beiaaer, came forward to 
challenge the doctor. His work is entitled, Antonius Reisser in Tindiciis Evan- 
gelioo-lliomiBtiotB, qnibua Thomas de Aqnino, Teritatis Evangelice confessor 
orbi Catholico exhibetur, contrk Thomam Leonard! professoris Lovaniensem : 
Ulms, 1699. 

We quote the titles of some other books still more curious. For example : 

Johannis Wolfgangi Jiegeri cancellarii Tubingenras Dissertatio Theologica 
de veritate Augustanse Gonfessionis in Concilio Tridentino agnitie et defenssB : 
TubingSB, 1696. 

Johannis Friderioi Mayeri Ecolesia Papea Lutheran» patrona et oliens. 

F. B. de la fiarre, La Doctrine des Eglises Protestantes justifi^ par le Missel 
Bomain : Geneve, 1720. 

1 Tisch-Beden, Eisl. p. 553. 

2 Op. Luth. tom. ii. Jen. Germ. fol. 108 ; torn. vii. Witt. foL 858 ; torn. ii. 
Alt. fol. 142. Von Menschen-Lehre zu meiden. 

* Coll. Mens. Lat. tom. ii. p. 84. 

< Enarr. in xlv. cap. Genes, tom. ii. Witt. Germ. p. 227 ; Alt p. 1382. 

* Table-Tslk, translated by M. Gustavo Brunet, p. 171. 


fooleriee upon odibacy ; and besides, the apostle only speaks of 
widows ; now Bora is not a widow, any more than I am." ^ 


" The emperor Charles V. said : * My brother esteems Faber 
and Eck, and oonsiders them great men who defend the honour 
of the Christian faith/ Yes, unquestionably ; for the one 
passes the day in drinking, and the other is a hog and a wencher.^ 
I have never read a single book that the papists have written 
against me, with the sole exception of Erasmus' treatise on free- 


" Sadoletus was selected by the pope on accoant of his talents, 
to write against me : he knows nothing of the Scriptures, as may 
be easily seen by his ' Commentaries on the 51 st Psalm/ ^ My 
God, may thy light enlighten him, and guide him in the right 
way !" 


*' You ask me if there will be dogs and other animals in the 
kingdom of heaven ? Certainly, for the earth will not be stripped 
bare; it will not lose its inhabitants, and be changed into a 
desert. Does not St. Paul call the new, or the last day, a day 
of change, in which the heaven and the earth shall be changed ! 
As if he had said : ' or a new heaven and a new earth shall be 
created.' We shall then have pretty little dogs with golden 
heads and fiir of precious stones ; each of these little dogs shall 
have a collar of diamonds, with a small pearl on each hair. 
There will then be none of those vile animals, such as toads and 
bugs, created by our sins ; none of them will eat or torment 
each other; everything shall be harmless, and void of evil, 
and we shall be able to caress and play with them in complete 


" I owe more to my little Catherine and to Philip than even 

» Tiech-Reden, Francf. pp. 828, 872. 

' " Einer ist alle Tage tninken, der ondere ist em Hurentreiber, gar eine 
San."— Tisch-RedeD, p, S71. 

' Tisch-Beden, p. 817. * Ibid. p. 504. 


to Grod : neither Eetha, nor any man on earth, has suffered so 
much for me sa my favourite disciple/' ^ 

'' Ood has made many mistakes. I would have given him good 
advice had I assisted at the creation ; I should have made the 
sun shine incessantly : the day should have had no end.'' ' 

The cups were empty, but the drinkers were grave. Before 
leaving table, Luther was in the habit of amusing the company 
with some merry tale. On this occasion he was in high spirits, 
and narrated the story of the Bull for the edification of his 



Wommn, the iertUe robject of conyenation at table in the Black .Eagle.— 
Luther's tempter. — ^How the doctor drove him away. — His adyioe to Weller, 
how to repel temptations. — Germany and the Tisch-Beden. 


Woman is a fertile theme for Luther. Frequently, in the 
midst of a moral discourse in which she could not intervene by 
any rhetorical artifice, woman appears to condemn the pope and 
the decretals. Celibacy is the great crime which Luther imputes 
to Antichrist, the most visible mark which God has imprinted on 
the forehead of the beast. Singular thing I It is not only in 
the texts which of his own authority he declares to be authentic 
and fi*ee from all monkish interpolation, but in the writings which 
he has rejected as contaminated, that he searches for the proo& 

> Tisch-Beden, Francf. p. 124. • Ibid, part ii. p. 20. 

' [The translator, as in other instanceSi has been compelled to omit this 
gross tale, eren in Latin. Thoee who are ooriona in snch faoeti» will find it 
in the CoUoquia Mensalia, toL i. p. 251, or at p. 1 75 of the third volume of 
M. Audin's work, edit, of Paris (Maison's), I860.— T.] 

See also, Bysenteria Martini Lutheri in Merdipoetam LsBmichen, Coll. 
Mens. torn. i. p. 281, edit. Franof. ad Moenmn, ann. 1571, Svo. per Nicol. 
Basseum et Hieronymnm Feyerabend ; Martinus Lnthenis dicebat de Flan- 
dris, p. 76 ; Ann. 1532, 21 Aug. Doct. Jonas Lutherum oravit. Coll. Mens, 
tom. i. p. 119, b, de Principe. Mulier quasdam Garrula, GolL Mens. torn, i, 
p. 233. 


of the divinity of the command, ''Increase and multiply/' 
What do you think he opposes to the monks who also take the 
Scriptnres as their text-book, to enjoin on their adversaries the 
vow of chastity ? An episde of St Paul, perhaps ? No ; but 
the Apocalypse of St. John, which he so often ridicules, and 
treats as a dream or a fable. 

But it is at table especially that he is to be heard discoursing 
on this subject. In the '' GoUoquia," no fewer than a hundred 
pages are devoted to the fair sex. Luther is quite at his ease, 
and the boon companion is under less restraint than the preacher, 
who, however, allowed himself singular license. 


The life of Luther is little else than a series of contests with 
the devil, of which he has preserved to us the details, and in 
which the monk was always victor. But the devil was not dis- 
couraged, he returned to the charge : the battle was renewed, and 
invariably terminated in the same manner, — ^by the discomfiture 
of the old enemy of mankind. The demon did not give him a 
moment's rest ; he tormented him by day and by night, at meals 
and in slumber.; at church, at study, in his household, and even 
in his cellar.* Luther has not,ed and kept a register of all these 
assaults, in order, he says, to teach us how to baffle this clever 

In the monastery at Wittemberg, when he was beginning to 
read the Bible, or was at his desk translating the Psalms, the 
devil would come softly and stealthily, and suggest to him all 
sorts of evil thoughts. If he appeared not to understand him, 
then Satan got into a rage, upset his papers, opened and tore his 
books, and then blew out the candle. If Luther went to bed, 
the devil was there before him. 

It was known that Luther was frequently visited by the devil, 
and he was asked what should be done in such cases : '' What 
should I say to the devil when he comes to torment me?'' 

' (The translator is again under the necessity of referring to the original 
text. The freedom perinisdble to the author is not allowed to his inter- 
preter. — ^T.] 

' Tisch Reden, p. 819. 


** Nothing, neither speak to nor answer him ; leave him alone, 
and he will go about his business/' ^ 

He found the devil's image in a great number of the Creator's 
works, — in the wolf, and especially in flies. So when they 
rested upon his face or open book, he got into a passion. ** The 
devil take you i" he would say, ^' ape and follower of Satan. 
If I open my Bible, there you are, abominable fly, with your feet 
and filth ; as if to say, This is my book, I wish to dirty it.'' ^ 

Luther sometimes droye away the fallen angel by absolute 
silence, at otheis by the sign of the cross, the name of Jesus, or 
a short prayer. He speaks in glowing terms of the efficacy of 
prayer, which can resuscitate the dead, '^ as was instanced in 
the case of the doctor himself, who had breathed, it was thought, 
his last ; of his wife Eetha, who showed no signs of life ; and 
of Philip Melancthon, who, in 1540, at Weimar, had given up the 
ghost The devU was then overcome, and death surrendered his 

He was visibly annoyed if, in the course of -conversation, that 
invisible power was invoked to unravel a difficulty, or penetrate a 
mystery, and especially if, without good grounds, a troublesome 
person was got rid of by sending him to the deviL '' For who 
knows," he said, contracting his brow, ''but he might take you 
at your word ?" When his displeasure passed away, he said to 
his companion, " Listen to the following story : — 

" Two joUy Germans were enjoying themselves over their cups ; 
when a young traveller, weakly and much exhausted, arrived. As 
he sat down to table, he exclaimed in a melancholy tone : ' I 
would give my soul to the devil if I could enjoy myself like you 
for a whole day.' Presently arrived another traveller, who sat 
down beside the youth, and looking at him said : ' What was 
that which you said a little while ago, my young friend V ' Why, 
that I would give my soul to the devil for some good flagons of 
Rhenish.' ' Ha, ha I' replied the stranger, laughing heartily ; 
* waiter, bring some wine.' They drank and drank ; the hours 
glided away: the stranger had disappeared. He returned 
in the evening, and addressing the young man's fellow-topers, 
who had not yet left the table : ' Gentlemen,' said he, * when a 

» Tisch-Keden, p. 617. ' Ibid. p. 625, * Ibid. 



person buys a horse, does he not also buy the bridle and saddle V 
* Certainly, both bridle and saddle,' they replied, laughing. And 
instantly the devil, for it was he, flew off with the young man 
through the ceiling/' * 

The deyil who raged against Luther was a cunning sophist, who 
loved to embarrass his adversary ; a wicked disciple of Scotus, 
who laughed when he could nonplus the professor of Wittemberg. 
He most frequently appeared to Luther on his awaking. *' Toa 
are a sinner,'' said he to him one day, " an obstinate sinner ! " 
*' Have you nothing newer to tell me?" replied Luther; "I know 
as well as you that I have sinned ; but Ood has forgiven me. 
His Son has taken away my iniquities, they are no longer mine 
but Christ's, and I am not so foolish as to deny the grace of my 
Saviour. Have you nothing more to ask me? Are you not 
satisfied ? There," — and catching up the chamber-pot, — "there," 
said he, " my fine fellow, take that to wash your face with !" * 

This was unanswerable : the devil fled ! 

But he soon returned. If Luther was very much annoyed, 
he took his flute, and the black angel rapidly fled ; wherefore the 
doctor recommends music to those who are tempted. "Sing 
then, my friends," he' repeats, '^ sing, and dispute not, for the 
devil is a thousand times more knowing than you."' 

We know with what temptations the Saxon monk was assailed. 
If we are to believe him, Satan gave him rest neither by dtfy nor 
by night ; at night he sent him dreams, in which the pagan deities 
sat by his pillow ; voluptuous dreams that bedewed his face with 
perspiration. At other times he insinuated proud thoughts, and 
then the doctor of Wittemberg beheld all the crowns of earth ttt 
his feet, and believed himself greater than the sovereigns and 
pontifib who wore .them. Satan also strove to cast him into 
despair, by representing to him in sleep his dear Germany all 
torn to pieces by faction ; the Anabaptists rushing into the 
Lutheran churches ; Zwinglius leading men's minds astray ; his 
brethren leaving him, and his great work perishing in waves of 
blood, that flowed like those of the Elbe. Then the monks 
resumed their cowls ; the stinking Babylon, Rome, was propped 

^ Tisch-Reclen, p. 161. 

' '* So hab ich aach geschissen unci gepinkelt^ daran wische dein Maul, and 
heisse dich wohl damit." * Tuch-Redeo, p. 305. 


np by numerotw scarlefc robes ; the pope bestrode the beast of 
the Apocalypse""; the nuns fled from their abductors to their 
cloisters again ; Eck, Campeggio, Miltitz, and the whole 
" shabby priesthood of Rome," scoflFed at his impotent fury and 
his fruitless labours. It was necessary then for him to become ac* 
customed early to repel with vigour these assaults of the malignant 
spirit The anchorites of the Thebais had found prayer to be 
an effectual remedy against the rebellion of the old Adam : he 
tried prayer, and was not satisfied with it. Now this is his 
remedy, which he is serious in recommending to all his friends. 
" Poor Jerome Weller, you have temptations, you must get the 
better of fhem : when the devil comes to tempt you, — drink, my 
friend, drink deeply, make yourself merry, play the fool, and 
sin in hatred of the evil one, and to play him a trick. If the 
devil says to you : * You surely will not drink ;' answer him 
thus : ' I shall drink bump^s, because you forbid me ; I shall 
imbibe copious potations in honour of Jesus Christ.' Follow my 
example. I should neither eat, drink, nor enjoy myself so much 
at table, were it not to vex Satan. I wish I could discover some U 
new sin, that he might learn to his cost that I laugh at all that 1 
is sin, and that I do not think my conscience charged with it. | 
Away with the Decalogue, when the devil comes to torment us ! 
when he whispers in our ear : * But you sin, you deserve death 
and hell.' ' Yes, my God, I know it but too well, what would 
you have me to say V ' But you will be damned in the next 
world.' * That is false ; I know that there is one who 
suffered and satisfied for me, — Jesus Christ, the Son of God,- 
and where he is, there I shall be also.' ^ If the devil does 
depart, I cry to him: * In manum sume crepitum ventris cum 
istoqne baculo vade Romam.' " ' Luther often introduces this 
magnificent antidote in his wiitings, and it is with the greatest 
gravity possible that he recommends for silencing the voice of 
the devil eating, drinking, rejoicing, and taking care of the 
brain and belly, by filling the one with the fumes of good wine. 


1 nott 

» 6 November, to Jerome Weller, in Weller. Op. p. 208. Leberecht von 
Wette, Dr. Luther's Briefe, torn. iv. p. 188. 

* He mentions elsewhere the anecdote of a lady of Magdeburg : *' Quee Sa< 
thanam crepitu yeutris fugavit." — Propos de Table, par M. Gustave Brunet> 
p. 22. 



and the other with savoury food : " A good bumper of old wine,'' 
says he, '' is the best remedy for qnieting the senses, procuring 
sleep, and escaping from the devil/' ^ 

Poor Weller was a instant sufferer, and wa£ always implcxing 
Luther to deliver him from his temptations, but Luther never 
pointed out to him any other panacea except this obstreperous 
merriment and tumult of the senses. '^ Do you not see," he 
says to him again, '^ that God is not a God of sadness, but of 
joy ? has not Christ said, '• I am the God of the living, and not 
of the dead V What is it to live, but to rejoice in the Lord ? 
You cannot prevent the birds from flying above your head, but 
you can from building their nests in your hair." * 

Calvin was not tempted so much as Luther ; '^ pohaps,'' says 
his biographer, M. Paul Henri, '^ because Satan was well aware 
that this servant of God knew not what fear is," ' or perhaps 
also because the Genevan's brain was not so imaginative as that 
of Luther, which at the least motion of an external agent became 
gifted with violent activity. This inferiority of poetic power 
appears in every page of his " Christian Institutes." Calvin also 
maintained, in many of his writings, the influence of the evil 
spirit on the destinies of the Gospel, but never as Luther did, 
with such a faith as almost partook of his terrors. His theo- 
logical system is designed to give assurance from the first to him 
who listens to it Calvin taught that the devil, who can bring 
under subjection the soul of the sinner, is powerless over that of 
him who believes in Christ his Redeemer. He did not admit of 
the exorcising of infants, as Luther did. He said of our 
exorcist priests : " They do not know that they are themselves 
possessed : they act as if they had the power of working by the 
imposition of hands ; but they will never convince the devil that 
they have this gift ; in the fimt place, because they in no manner 
of way afiect the patient, and in the second, because they them- 
selves are the property of Satan ; there is scarcely one of them 
who is not possessed."* 

1 " MUii oportonum easet contrii tentatiooes remedium, fortis hauatos qui 
liommim induceret." 

« To Weller, 15 Jnne, 1630. Op. Waller, p. 204. 

' ** Oder dass der b<$6e Ckist wobl wiiBste, dies sei nicht der Weg, ihn za 
gtoren."— Tom. i. p. 6S8, 

* lost, lib, iv. cb. xix. § 24. 


Calvin admitted the existence of sorcererB and ^tchcraft ; 
bat he did not, like Lather, endow the devil with a creative 
power. He thought that the devil could not change material 
objects, but only deceive the spectator. Thus, in his system, the 
rod which Moses changed into a serpent (Exodus vii. 12), still 
remained a rod ; and that it was only the eyes of the lookers-on, 
who were fascinated by the devil, that saw an imaginary creature 
in a substance which had undergone not the slightest metamor- 

Luther's devil sometimes resembles the devil of the Scriptures, 
the roaring lion of the Gospel, that tempter who carried the Son 
of God to the mountain ; but he is more frequently a filthy 
papist, or a petty theologian in a cowl, whose eyes are dim from 
perusing Durandus, and his countenance emaciated by vigilance ; 
clownish, tattered, and incapable of speaking ought but the logic 
of Aristotle. He does not even know his part ; he is carefrd for 
the salvation of Luther, as if he were his guardian angel, anxious 
about the future state of his soul, always ready to show him the 
way to heaven, and if necessary, to bring him Jacob's ladder to 
aid his ascent. We can imagine a devil of this sort saying to 
Luther : ^' Are you not deceived in saying the Mass ? ^ Do you 
not perform an act of idolatry when celebrating the holy sacrifice? 
Fool that you are, you are sunk in popery; it is time you 
escaped from that fiery frirDace. With the Catholic rabble you 
reckon seven sacraments ; there are only two, baptism, and the 
eucharisf Do you understand a devil who, in full pride, comes 
at night with the staple ailment of every book, which Emser, 
Eck, and Faber have worn threadbare by use : the passage of 
St. Paul to Timothy, i. 5, 12, relating to widows who marry a 
second time, and '' so involve themselves in condemnation by 
violating the vows which they had previously sworn to keep V 
This was a text which the devil did not need to recall to Luther, 
since the Catholics had quoted it in all their disputations, to 
prove the necessity of the vow of continence. Luther may do 
what he will to exalt his devil, may torture himself to elevate 
the part which he makes him play; but after perusing the 
'* Tisch-Reden," we must have but a poor opinion of the devil's 

* See chajK xxxii. yol. i. Conference with the Devil. 


ability. Eck and Tetzel were more highly gifked. In Luther's 
words, '' these children of the devil knew more than their 

If the devil, who so frequently bandies theology with Luiher, 
is a sorry fellow, in spite of all the reputation for learning which 
his adversary would attribute to him, a student who should be 
sent back to his books when he attempts to quote the Scriptures, 
and who deserves to be whipped, we cannot, at least, reproach 
him with making oflFensive the places which he frequents. 

He is generally a jolly fellow who knows how to live, who is 
never angry with Luther, or has recourse to insults and coarse- 
ness. Thus he will say to the monk : " You are a sinner ; your 
conscience is blacker than coal ; you have occasioned the damna- 
tion of a great many souls ; '' but he would have been adiamed 
to use such language as the monk did in his reply, which may 
be seen in the "Tisch-Reden.''^ In the constant war of the 
two principles, the good and the bad, which continues during 
the whole of the doctor's life, the devil, who represents the 
latter, never makes one blush ; he would seem to be a companion 
of princes ; whilst Luther, on the contrary, who represents the 
former, appears always as if he had just emerged from a brothel 
in which he has spent the night. 

The historian should possess, like the poet, the gift of evoking 
the dead. He would like here to re-assemble these consumers of 
Saxon beer round their father. A Catholic would go to the 
tavern and sit down among the doctor's disciples, and in his 
turn, after three centuries, say to him : '^ Master, long ago you 
announced in this place that the end of the papacy was at halid ; 
were you a prophet ? 

'' Master, what has become of your hobgoblins, sorcerers, and 
possessed ones ? Nobody in Protestant Germany even believes 
there is a devil. 

'^ Master, you asserted that before your time the Bible was 
only known by sermons, and yet look at those copies which 
were printed in France, Italy, and Germany long before your 

" Yet you knew perfectly well that in the ninth century Louis 

Tisch-Beden, Eial. p. 290^ a. 


ihe Pious catised the Bible to be translated into German by 
Rabanns Maonui and Wilfrid Stra)>o ; that Ottfried of Weis- 
senbmg made a metrical yersion of the four gospels ; that the 
Bmperor Wenceslaiis, about 1400, ordered the Scriptures to be 
published in Grennan ; and that several translations of the Bible 
in that language had appeared before yours.^ 

" Master, you sud : ' The Papists do not know a word of 
Latin ; there is no one who understands Christ and his blood/ 
There are the ' Gantica ex Sacris Litteris in Eccleeia cantari 
solita cum Hymnis et GoUectis/ revised and enlarged by George 
Major, your disciple, in 1594 ;' and all the printed or manu- 
script 'Agenda,' belonging to every church in the Catholic 
world : ' a complete refutation of your conversation at table. 

" Master, can you tell us what has been done with the six 
thousand children's skulls found in a fishpond in Italy ? 

" Master, will you, then, show me a Lutheran ? They have 
erected a fine statue in your honour at Wittemberg ; but not 
one of those who made it, belieyed in your doctrines/' 

Old Protestant Germany has long subsisted on the marrow of 
the " Tisch-Reden ;'' it is there where the learned men have 
found their daily bread, that is, their prophecies against Anti- 
christ, ever come and ever coming ; their insults to our glories 
of Catholicism, — St. Jerome, St Augustine, or St. Cyprian ; 
their ribaldiy against the monasteries which have produced St. 

' M. Mart. Lipenius, co-reotor of the Lutheiaa academy ofLubeck. — Biblio- 
tlieca realis Theologica^ torn. i. p. 148. 
* Strasburg, Joiias Bichel. We find in it three hymns : 
" Ex more docti mystice 
Servemua hoc jejunium." . • , 

" Audi, benigne oonditor. 
Nostras preces com fletibns 
In hoc saoro jejunio. 
Pusas qoadragenario.^ 
which have been omitted in every Lutheran Oesangbnch. 

' These Affendas were a collection of the ceremonies used in the Tarions 
dioceses for the celebration of baptism, confirmation, and the other sacraments. 
Agenda in usum EoclesisB Aquitdnsis : Venetiis, 1495 ; Episcopatus Herbipo- 
lensis, 1480 ; In usimi EcclesisB Magdeburgensis : Magdeb. 1497, 4to. ; In 
usnm Eeclesie Moflruntinensis : Mogunt. 1480 ; In usum Ecclesin Patayiensis: 
Pat. 1400, etc. Vfe quote, Summa de Eucharistis Sacramento : Ulm«, 1498 ; 
De Eucharistiffi Sacramento Sermones XXXII. : Colon, imp. per Joh. Gulden- 
■ohaf ; Sermones aurei de Sacrosanoto Eucharistiaa Sacramento : Colonic, 1474 ; 
Summa de Officio Missse et Sacramento Eucharistiae : Argent. 1439. 


Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius Loyola, and St. Dominic ; their joked 
against the papacy, which, according to them, would have stran- 
gled learning, civilization, and morals, if Luther had not come. 
There are worthy Lutherans in Saxony who still repeat the sin* 
gular exorcism, the invention of which is assigned to the Catholics 
by Jodocus Hooker, in his " Theatrum Diabolorum," on the 
authority of the doctor.* These simple people have never read 
the ** Tisch-Reden," which they believe to be a prayer-book, in 
which their master has dififused a spiritual manna, the nutriment of 
pious souls ; and in which not a word occurs that can offend the 
ear, or shock modesty.^ Mathesius, Luther's disciple, has spoken 
thus of them ; and people believe him, for Mathesius was one of 
the guests who met at the ^' Black Eagle/' 



Tlie Catbolio dognuk on the real presence. — Carbtadt "was the first who denied 
it. — His exegesis. — New spirit which rises in the church of Wittembex^. — 
Bj whom excited! — Zwinglius attacks the sacrament. — His dream. — The 
fignratiye sense of Zwinglius is determined bj his doctrine on the sacra- 
ments. — ^Lnther's theory on the Lord's Supper. — Hatred of popery the great 
argument of the Swiss for rejecting the real presence, combated by Luther. — 
Conference of Marburg. — Luther refuses to call Zwinglius brother. — ^Ana- 
themas exchanged between Wittemberg and Zurich. — ^Appeal of the two 
schools to authority. — ^Lesson derived from that appeal. — Melancholy end of 
Carlstadt. — Schwenckfeld separates from Luther, and in his turn attiMsks the 
real presence. 

On the night before his death, Christ, seated at table with his 
disciples, took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the 
apostles, saying : " Take ye and eat ; this is my body, which 
shall be delivered for you.'* - And then blessing the chalice, 

* Amasatonte, Tiros, Posthos, Cicalos, Cicaltri, .^liapoli, Starras, Polen, 
Solemque, Livarrasque, Adipos adnlpes, Draphanus, XTlphajius, Trax, caput 
Orontis. Jacet hoc in virtute mentis. 

* " Ich habe so lang ich umb ihn gewesst, kein unschambar Wort ans seinem 
Munde gehort." — In der xii. Predigt, p. 137. 


Baid : " Take ye and drink, this is the new testament in my 
blood, which shall be shed for yon and for many, for the remission 
of sins/' It is the constant and nnanimons tradition of all the 
Chnrches ; it is the invariable teaching of the fathers, doctors, 
and martyrs, that Jesns Christ is really present in the Encharist, 
and that God, who changed water into wine at the marriage in 
Gana, changes in the Sacrament the substance of the bread and 
the wine into the body and blood of onr Redeemer.^ 

Garlstadt, as we have seen, was the first who called in ques- 
tion the dogma of the real presence, in a volume which he pub- 
lished, in 1524, by the title of '^ The Anti-Christian use of the 
Body and Blood of Jesus Christ."' His explanation of the 
words of institution has not even the merit of being serious. 
The archdeacon supposes that Christ, in saying, '' This is my 
body ; this is my blood," pointed with the hand which held the 
bread and the wine to his own body, which was soon to be deli- 
vered to save fiJlen man. It must be admitted that never was 
greater violence done to a dearer text. Carlstadt, nevertheless, 
led away some simple people, as there are always some to be 
found who believe every novelty to be a truth. 

Wittemberg, on the appearance of this pamphlet, which it 
sought to ridicule, learned, with mingled sorrow and alarm, that 
henceforward any one might probe and deny every article of the 
Lutheran creed. Scientific doubts then entered the Church, 
which had been founded with so much difficulty by the Saxon 

But in this insurrection of Carlstadt there was something quite 
difierent from a calculated disobedience to the Ecclesiastes of 
Wittembeig. It was evidentiy the awaking of a new spirit that 
sought to escape firom the exdusive principle of justification by 
futh, and to found its belief upon Rationalism. Carlstadt was 
the precursor of Calvin. 

Besides, if the ex^esis of Carlstadt is foolish, the principle 
whence it is derived is serious ; for the archdeacon proceeds 
logically from Luther and Melancthon. If every sacrament, as 
Luther has so often repeated, resembles the sign set in the 

* Moehler's Symbolism, translaied bj Bobertson, vol. i. p. 888. 

* "Von dem widerchristlicben MiaBbraaoh des Herrn Blot vnd Kelch.* 


rainbow ; if it produoes no fruit except by faith ; if there is no 
personal yirtne in it ; wherefore should Christ be in the 
£achari8t 7 If, as Melancthon says, Gideon would have ob- 
tained the victory without any external phenomenon,^ wherefore, 
once more, should Christ be in the sacrament of the Eucharist ? 
And, besides, is it comprehensible, if it is true that the Catholic 
Church has been for so many centuries in error, that Christ 
should descend upon the altar at the yoicd of a priest who 
believes in the pope, that is to say, in Antichrist ? 

Zvdnglius boasted of having been the first to understand the 
real sense of the words of the Supper. " Carlstadt/' said he, 
*' although a novice, deficient neither in cottage nor arms, but 
in brains, had lifted aside one of the veils which conceal the 
truth ; but I have torn it oS."^ It is unquestionable that Zwin- 
glitts, in 1523, had maintained against Thomas Wittenbach 
that the belief in the real presence waa positive idolatry. More- 
over, he modified Carlstadt's theoiy in this sense, that the 
expression of Christ seemed to him entirely figurative ; he 
accordingly translated '^ This is my body," by '' This signifies 
or represents my body.''* 

It was said that Zwinglius learned the mystery of the eucfaa- 
ristic text in a dream. Now this is the vision which the Con- 
fessionists of Augsburg ridiculed as much as the Swiss did 
Luther's conference with the devil. 

'^ About the first day of April, it seemed in my sleep that I 
was again disputing with my adversary the registrar (for on the 
previous day he had been disputing on the Eucharist with the 
registrar of Fribourg), and I waa so puzzled that I knew not 
what to reply. I was quite overcome with vexation > for dreams 
often oppress the sleeper ; and yet, although it was but a dream, 
that which I have learned is of no nnall impcnrtance, by God's 
blessing. In this state, I thought that I saw some one approach- 
ing me, borne upon some machine, and I could not say Whether 
he was white or black, for I narrate a vision. He told me that 
I could easily answer my adversary, and close his mouth, by 
quoting the text of Exodus xii. : ' For it is the phasis, that is 

' " Sine fligno Gedeon Ticturus erat, si oredidisset, et aino rigno jastificari 
potes, inod5 credas." — Mel. Loot Theologioi, p. 142. 
' Historia de CcbdA : Augsb. p. 42. ' Carl Hagen, 1. c. p. 204. 


to say, the passage of the Lord/ &c. I awoke with a starts and 
got out of bed ; I took the yersion of the Septnagint, and firom 
that time I have preached and explained it openly, and before 
all/'* — " A wonderful interpretation," says the Lutheran Weat- 
phal, ^' discoY€ared by a black or white interpreter ! " 

This dream, wonderful as it was, could not have had the 
influence upon Zwinglius which Catholics assign to it Long 
previous to the appearance of a black or white aa^el, Zwinglius 
had taught that tiie Sacrament was merely an external sign.* 
Now, if such be the nature of the Sacrament, what need was 
there for an invisible being to prove to the curate of Einsiedlen 
that Christ is not really in the Sacrament ? 

The doctrine of Ulrich Zwinglius spread in Switzerland, espe* 
dally in the dioeese of Basle, where (Eoolampadius taught it 
publicly, in defiance of the authority of Erasmus. The new 
churches were disturbed ; minds in a state of suspense knew 
not what doctrine to believe, or what explanation to adopt 
Carlstadt ridiculed Luther's impanated Qod, made by a baker.^ 

Here, as we perceive, was reproduced the main theory of 
Luther's teaching as to the external sign. In rejecting the real 
presence, that is to say, the visible sign, Carlstadt, Zwinglius, 
(Eoolampadius, and idl the Swiss, only deduced the strict 
consequences of the principle laid down by the head of the new 
school ; so that while refiising to fetter themselves by the Saxon 
dogma, they exalted the right of that free inquiry whidi Luther 
had wished to establish in Oermany. In what an unfortunate 
situation the father of Protestantism had voluntarily placed 
himself ! Evai in defending the truth, he could not logically 
demur to the error, unless he could pretend that an argument is 
merely composed of premises. 

Luther continued all his life struck with the clearness of the 
words of institution, because God, as Bossuet remarks, does not 
always permit innovators to afflict his Church as much as the; 

' Florimond de lUmond. Schlnssenb. in Procemio Tlieol. OaIt. 

* "Sunt ergo saenunenta aigna Tel eeremonue, qnibnB se homo Eecletia 
probai aut can^datum ant milt tern esse Christi, redduntqne Eccletiam totam 
potiiis certiorem de tnA fide quhm te." — ^De Verft et FalsH Religione, Comm. 
Op. tom. ii. pp. 197> 199. 

' " A pistore &cins, imponatua Deus."— Op. Lath. Jen», tom. iii. p. 284. 



would. He conld never persuade himself that words so simple 
were susceptible of so violent a metaphor, or could have any 
other meaning than that which was natural to the minds of all 
Christians both in the East and West 

" He was determined, however/' continues Bossuet, " to mix 
with it something of his own. All those who, to his time, had well 
or ill explained the words of Jesus Christ, had acknowledged that 
they wrought some sort of change in the sacred gifts. Those that 
would have the body there in a figure only, said that our Saviour's 
words wrought a change which was purely mystical, so that the 
consecrated bread became a sign of the body. Those that main- 
tained the literal sense, with a real presence, by an opposite 
reason, admitted accordingly an effectual change, for which reason 
the reality, together with the change of substance, had naturally 
insinuated itself into the minds of men; and all Christian 
Churches, in spite of whatever sense could oppose, had come into 
a belief so just and so simple. Luther, however, would not be 
directed by such a rule. * I believe,' says he, ' with WicUff, 
that the bread remains ; and with the sophists (so he called our 
divines), I believe that the body is there.' He explained his 
doctrine in several ways, which for the most part were very gross- 
One time he said the body was with the bread, as fire is with 
red-hot iron. At other times, he added these expressions : — 
' That the body was in the bread, and under the bread, as wine is 
in and under the vessel ;' from this the celebrated propositions, 
in, sttby cmn ; importing that the body is in the bread, under 
the bread, and with the bread. But Luther was very sensible 
that these words : ' This is my body,' required something more 
than placing the body in this, or with this, or under this ; and 
to explain ' This is,' he thought himself obliged to say that 
these words, — ' This is my body,' imported, this bread is 
substantially and properly my body ; a thing unheard of, and 
embarrassed with insuperable difficulties."^ 

Luther, in the controversy which he was about to enter on 
with the Sacramentarians, had logic on his side ; and we ought 
not to refuse him our admiration in that memorable discus- 
sion, in which he has brought to the service of truth his whole 

* Variations, torn. i. p. 58. 


Energy, eloquence, style, and too firequently temper. He is mag- 
nificent, as is admitted, when he treats of the old dogmas to 
which he yet clings, and the eagle-eyed Bossuet seems daaszled 
by the splendours of that genius, which wanted nothing but the 
regulation that can only be had in the Church, and under the 
control of a lawful authority. 

"We have Bibles in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German," 
wrote the Wittemberg Reformer to his brethren at Frankfort ; 
" let the Swiss, then, show us any version in which it is written : 
* This is the sign of my body/ If they cannot do this, let them 
be silent They are incessantly exclaiming : ' The Scriptures, 
the Scriptures ! ' but the Scriptures as loudly and distinctly 
proclaim: 'This is my body;' and these words defy them. 
There is not a child of seven years old who would give a different 
interpretation to the text.^ These wretches do not understand 
themselves ; may God, for our instruction, let them bite, tear, 
and devour each other ; for we know that the Spirit of God is a 
Spirit of unity, and that his word is one ; a strong evidence 
that these Sacranwntamagi come not firom God^ but from the 
devil ! "« 

' Luth. Befensio de Coenft Dom. 

' An einen UngeiiannteD, 5 Jan. An die Christen su BeutlingeD, 5 Jan. 

In 1527i Luther already reckoned eight different interpretations of these 
words of Christ: "Hoc est oorpns meum." Thirty years after there were 
eighty-five. The following were some of the most widely-spread meanings 
assigned to them : — 

" Hoc est oorpns menm." Hk: sive in hoc loco est corpus meuip : Geneva 
Bible. — Corpus meum est hoc, nemp^ panis : Schwenckfeld. — Corpus meum 
est hoc, id est, oibus spiritualis, ut Joh. vi. dicitur caro mea verb est cibus : 
Joh. Lang, in Comm. ad ApoL 2 Justini. — Hie mens est panis. Anabapt. — In, 
cum, sub pane est corpus meum, ut ptlula in oyo : Brencius, in Syntagmate 
contra GSoolampadium. — Circa panem est corpus meum, ut aer circumrasus : 
Schwenckfeld, quoted by Luth. in Confessione Bucharistias. — Corpus meum 
est hoc quatenhs mensss accumbit : Carlst. in Dialog, de EucharistiA. — Hoc 
significat corpus meum : Zuinglius, in Subddio Eucharistiia, Beza oontrik 
Westphalum. — Hiec est mea humana natura : Zoinglius, in Expositions rei 
EucharisticiB. — Hsbc est mors et passio mea: Zuinglius, lib. ii. De Instit. 
CoeuK. — Haec est commemomtio corporis mei : (Eoolampad. ad Theobaldum 
Billicanum. — ^Hec est protestatio et fivtifiti meoxum beneficiorum : Bucerus, 
In Apol. de DoctrinA Coene Dominice. — Hoc est corpus meum quod de vobis 
animo edendum, sicut panem ore : Petrus Martyr, In Tractatu de EucharistiA. 
— Hoc est corpus meum panis : Campanus h Lnthero notatus in Confessione 
de Eucharistift. — Hoc est roysticum corpus meum, sen Eoclesia sanctorum 
redempta meo corpore : Bulhng. In Tractatu de EcclesiA, Sacramentis ; Cal- 
vinns. In cap. v. ad Ephes. — Hspc ccsna est tessera et arrhabo corporis mei : 
j^tancarus. — Hoc est corpus meum in divinitatem transformatum : Schwenck- 
feld. — Hoc est corpus meum si fides adsit^ hypothetic^ : Melanchlh. 


The doctrine of ZwingliuB possessed the twofold advantage of 
not shocking the senses, and of opposing the Catholic dogma 
much more than Lather's theory of impanation. Hatred of 
the papacy was Zwinglios's great argument against the real 

" Wretched argument/' said Luther. " Deny the Scriptures 
also, for we have received them from the papacy. Ridiculous 
folly ! Christ found Scribes and Pharisees among the Jews, 
and he did not reject all that they taught. We must acknow- 
ledge that in the papacy are the truths of salvation, yes all the 
truths of salvation, and which we have inherited ; for it is in 
the papacy that we find the true Scriptures, true baptism, the 
true sacrament of the altar, the true keys which remit sins, truo 
preaching, the true catechism, which contains the Lord's Prayer, 
the articles of faith, the Ten Commandments ; nay, the whole 
essence of Christianity."^ A noble admission, which would cause 
us to rejoice, if almost immediately thereafter, when opposed to 
the Catholics, Luther was not ready to deny the very words which 
he hurled against Zwinglius. 

There was a time when Luther would have made use of the 
argument of hate so familiar to the Zwinglians ; as when he 
wrote : '^ Had Carlstadt, or any one else, five years ago, been 
able to prove to me that there is nothing but bread and wine in 
the Sacrament, he would have done me great service ; it would 
have been a great blow to the papacy ; but it is all in vain ; the 
text is too precise."' 

Thus, a few minutes in time, the striking of a clock too late, 

^ ** Sacramentarii vemm panem et yinum habere volant in despectum papfB, 
arbitrantea se hoc pacto rect^ Hubvertere poese papatam. Profectb friyoluni 
est hoc argumentom snprk quod nihil boni sdifioaturi sunt. Hoc enim pacto 
negare eos oporteret totam quoque Scripturam aaoram et prsdicandi offioium : 
hoc enim totum nimirum h pap& habemus. Stultitia eat hoc totum. Nam et 
Ghristus in gente Judaicft invenit Pharisasorom abusus : non tamen proptereA 
rejedt quod illi habuerunt et docuenmt Nob autem iatemur sub papatn 
plurimum esse boni Christiani, im6 omne bonum Ghriatianam, atque etiam 
illinc ad noe deveniBse. Quipp^ fatemur in papatu yenun esse Soripturam 
aaoram, yerum baptiamum, verum sacramentum altaria, yeraa olavea ad remia- 
stonem peccatorum, yerum pnedicandi offioium, yerum oatechiamum, ut aunt 
oratio dominica, articuli fidei, deoem pr^cepta. Dioo inauper in papatu veram 
Ohriatianitatem ease, imo verum nuoleum Chriatianitatia eaae." — De Rebua 
Encharistiie oontroveraia per 01. de Sainctea, Epiaoopum Ebroioenaem in Nor- 
manise Provincift : Paria, 16751 See Op. Luth. Jenie, Germ. fol. 408, 409. 

* Op. Luth. edit. Walch, torn. xv. p. 2448. Ad. Mensel, 1. o. tom. L 
pp. 269, 270, 


a caprice or a touch of bad hmnoiir, have decided a dogma for 
Lnther. By rejecting the real presence, he would have given a 
blow to the papacy ; this idea makes Luther smile. 

The Sacramentarians were not satisfied with disseminating 
their doctrines by oral teaching: they published writings in 
which the real presence was denied with an ability of argument 
which for an instant startled and put in peril the faith of Eras- 
mus.^ The Lutherans perceived the danger, and one of them, 
Brenz, printed, in opposition to Zwingiius's doctrine, the " Byn- 
gramma,'' which originally appeared in Latin, and was then 
translated into German by Bugenhagen, and published with a 
pr^iace by Luth^.' 'This theological work is written with mo- 
deration ; its style and diction are calm ; its reasoning close ; 
and the gravity of the subject is tempered iftith a genteel irony.* 
** Luther warns his readers against a sect which has as many 
bodies as the beast of the Apocalypse ; the one represented by 
Carlstadt, who builds his system on the rovro of the Oreek 
version ; the other by Zwinglius, who holds that the Latin est 
should be translated signifies ; the third by (Ecolampadius, who 
pretends that the reality is but an image^ and that the body is 
only a figure of the body."* 

" Say to Luther that he is mistaken," wrote (Ecolampadius ; 
Luther exclaims : " Blasphemy ! " — *' Tell him that, as a man, 
he may be mistaken ;" Luther laments, and sighs. ^' But, dear 
brother, you will never convince us that the Holy Ohost is con- 
fined to Wittemberg any more than to Basle, in your person any 
more than in that of another."* 

Zwinglius complained bitterly of the attacks of the Lutherans, 

' HypeTMpiteB, rab fina. 

'18 Feb. Job. Agrioolsd. Seckendorf, lib. ii. sect yi. § 11. 

' ZwiDgHas at first praised the eloquence and style of tbe Syngramma* 
" Etwas Eloqnenz und Sprachenkenntnise mag ihm nun wobl nicbt abzuepre' 
oben seyn." — Letter to CBoolampadius, quoted h^ Hess, in bis Life of CEco* 
lampadius, p. 123. A few weeks later, he calls its author's fellow-labourers, 
'* Tenebriones, triviales episoopulos," and BrenZj "iuCTatum animaL" — Ibid. 

In a letter to Pellican and Urbanus Rbegius (ad Tbeobaldi Bellicani et 
Urbani Rhegii epistolas responsio Huldrichi Zwingli, 4 to. Tig. 1526), Zwin- 
glius plainly says, that the Syngramma has been written under Satan's inspira- 
tion : " Ut illomm halitus Satanam ubique spirat." 

* Op. Luth. Jente, torn. iii. p. 284, b. In opposition to the Syngramma, 
CEoolampadius wrote an Antisyngramma, which was published at Basle. 

* CEoolampad. Antwort auf Luther's Vorrede zum Syngramma. 


in a Oerman work whioli he printed towards the end of 1526. 
" See, then," said he, " how these men, who owe everything to 
the word, wonld wish now to shut the mouths of those who 
differ from them. Christians like themselves. They cry out that 
we are heretics, who should not be listened to ; they proscribe 
our books, and denounce us to the magistrates ; is not this to 
do as the pope did formerly, when truth endeavoured to raise her 

The discussion waa no longer confined to the pulpit : it en- 
tered into books, quite as violent as those of Luther against the 
Catholics ; and in like manner as the monk of Wittemberg 
had delivered his adversary to the devil, ^ Zwinglius, as a last 
argument, handed over Luther to Satan. The Zwinglian called 
the Lutheran a devourer of God's flesh, " Gottesfleischesser," or 
^Hheophagus;" the Lutheran called the disciple of Zwinglius 
a '^ Sacramentarian."^ 

The landgrave of Hesse, who dreaded fresh disturbances in 
his unhappy country, wrote to the two leaders of these sects, 
inviting them to a conference at Marburg. Luther at first 
refused ; ' but he yielded to Melancthon's entreaties, and 
accepted the interview. The prince appoint^ the 23rd of Sep- 
tember for the opening of the conference. 

This was the first time that Luther and Zwinglius, these two 
apostles of Germany, as their disciples called them ; these two 
children of Satan, as they called each other, had met. Zwinglius, 
the cold and formal orator, the dull dialectician, the dry theolo- 
gian, was to be opposed to the fiery and impassioned Luther. 
That he might have no look of the papist about him, Zwinglius 
wore a sort of French military cloak, with a baldrick, from 
which depended a long rapier. In this costume he appeared at 

That he might come to the conference all barbed with argu- 
ments, Luther devised a preliminary debate, in which two of his 

' Eine klare Unterrichtuiig vom Nachtmahle Christi durch Hnldrichen 
Zwingeln, Tutscfa, als vormals nie, urn der einfaltigen Will«n, djunit de mit 
iiieiDandfl SpttzfUDdigkeit hiutei^ngen mogen werden : Zurich, 1526. 

* Seckendorf, 1. o. lib. ii. Myconius, BefbrmatioiiBgeflchichte, p. 90. 
LiDgke, 1. c. p. 180. 

' Oper. Luth. Jensd, torn. ii. fol. 460.— Letter to the Landgrave, 23 July. 

* Ulenberg, I. c. p. 350. 


disciples veie to act the parts of Zwinglius and (Ecolampadios, 
iprho were to accompany the minister of Zorich. These were 
Vitus Theodorus and Hermann,^ both W9II trained in scholastic 
disputation, who were completely beaten by their master, aSd con- 
fessed their defeat with an abnegation of self-loye which could 
not have been found in the Sacramentarians, still less in Zwin- 
glius than in (Ecolampadius, who was wavering in his opinions, 
and would readily have abandoned his master's creed, could he 
have retracted without too much shame in the eyes of his co- 
religionists. He had been a Bridgettine monk, and had thrown 
ofiF the cowl without being able to divest himself of its spirit. 
(Ecolampadius was a man of fine intellect, but a subtie sophist, 
who had more reliance on the in£EdIibility of Aristotle than of 
Zwinglius, and who had taught Erasmus all that he knew of 
Hebrew, which, says Richard Simon,^ was " very little." 

(Ecolampadius had published at Basle the explanation of the 
words of institution of the Holy Supper, according to the authors 
of antiquity ; and his work was so eloquently persuasive, that 
the elect themselves, had God permitted it, might have been 

Luther brought with him Philip Melancthon, Justus Jonas, 
and G. Creuziger ; Zwinglius, (Ecolampadius, Martin Bucer, 
and Gaspard Hedion, whom he took up when passing by Stras- 
burg. Andrew Osiander came from Nuremberg, John Brenz 
from Halle, and Stephen Agricola from Augsburg, to assist 
at the conference. All these theolo^ans met for the first time 
at the residence of the landgrave, where the former curate of 
Einsiedlen nobly maintained, it is said, the reputation of the 
Swiss topers. Luther, before dinner, amused himself by scratch- 

' Luiheri Op. Jens, torn. iv. p. 867 ; Wittem. torn. iz. p. 288. Historia 
Rei Sacnunentaris ab HoBp'miano, pars altera, fol. 109 et seq. : Geneyie, 1681. 
Hoepinian is a fitnatical Sacramentarian, who treats Luther very ill, and 
repreaentB him, thronghont his work, as a person devoid of fSuth and oonacience. 

' Hifltoire Critique du Nouveau Testament^ 4 to. p. 41. Lope Stunica, a 
learned Spaniard, has pointed out the numerous errors into which (Ecolam- 
padius led Erasmus. 

' " Exortum est novum dogma, in EuoharistiH nihil esse prater panem et 
vinum. Id ut sit difficillimum refellere fecit (Ecolampadius qui tot testimoniis, 
tot ai^mentis eam opinionem communivit, ut seduci posse videantur etiam 
elect!."— Erasmus, Kich. Budse, Epis. Ligonensi, Epist. 766, edit. Cler. The 
work of CEoolampadius is entitled, De genuine Yerborum Ghrlsti Signifioa- 
tione : hoc est coipus meum. 



ing upon the table, with the point of his knife : " This is my 
body."* The table was splendidly served, " plan^ /3a(rcXiic<^ " 
[quite regally], says Justus Jonas.* It was arranged during 
dinner, that, in order to please the landgrave, before the public 
disputation, they should discuss in pairs ; — Luther against 
(Ecolampadius, and Melancthon against Zwinglius. Next day 
the double disputation took place, and went off quietly. The 
dispute turned on some points controverted by the Church of 
Zurich : original sin, — the efficacy of baptism in r^rd to 
guilt, — ^the operation of the Holy Spirit by the word of the 
minister, — the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the mystery of the 
Holy Trinity. Zwinglius's profession of faith was clear and 
explicit, and agreed with Luther's doctrine. But when the 
question of the Eucharist was mooted, the debate became ani- 
mated ; (Ecolampadius and Zwinglius were obstinate, and 
refused to allow any weight to the argument of their opponents. 
The landgrave then summoned them to a public controversy, at 
which he promised to be present with some of his courtiers.^ 

Much has been written about the proceedings at Marburg, 
but the accounts given by the Lutherans and Zwinglians are 
both partial. A writer, Rodolph Colli, who was present at the 
conference, has traced the animated and impassioned appearance 
of the discussion, without letting us be aware to which side he 
inclined. We shall extract from his narrative some of the most 
conspicuous parts. 

The first argument of the Sacramentarians was drawn from 
the 6th chapter of St John. 

(Ecolampadius. — The important passage of the apostle, " Ego 
sum p£^nis vivus,'' deduces the spiritual from the carnal mandu* 

Luther. — The 6th chapter of Si John must be entirely set 
aside : there is not a word in it which speaks of the Sacrament ; 
not only because the Sacrament had not been then instituted, 
but because the meaning of the expression shows that the apostle 

* Pfixer, Dr. Martin Lather's Leben. 

* Epist Jnfit. JontB ad BeiffeDstein. 

' Selnec. in Hist. Lath. p. 85. Cochlffius, Act. p. 170. Sleidan, lib. vi. 
Schlttsa, p. 298. Osiander, Hist. Eoclea. lib. ii. cap. x. Annales Eocl. p. 296. 
Matthes. p. 71 et seq. Ulenberg, p. 359. 


speaks of faith in Jesus Christ. I acknowledge^ however^ the 
metaphor ; hut *' hoc est corpus meom '^ is a demonstratiYe 

OEcoLAMPADiTJS, — But " panis vivus " is demonstrative also. 

LuTHEB. — And far from inferring the spiritual from the 
carnal manducation, I see that the Jews believed that they 
should eat the body as bread and meat are eaten, off a plate, 
'' sicut panis et caro editur ex patin&.'' 

(EcoLAMPADius. — That idea is too gross : besides, to believe 
that Christ is bread is an opinion, and not an article of faith. 
There is danger in attributing too much to the element or 
appearance of the Sacrament. 

LuTHEB. — ^When God speaks, man — a mere earth-worm — 
must listen with fear ; when he commands, the worm must obey. 
Let us embrace and lay hold of the word, without seeking else- 
where a deceptive meaning. 

(EcoLAMPADius. — But, since we have the spiritual food, of 
what use is the corporeal ? 

LuTHEB. — That is not my business ; that is God's concern. 
There is the " aocipite," I obey and bow : " Man muss es thun" 
[it must be done]. Were God to say to me, " Take this bit of 
dung and eat it,'^ I would take and eat it ; for I am certain that 
it would be for my salvation. 

ZwiNGLius. — But, in the Scriptures, is not the sign frequently 
taken for the thing signified, the trope for the reality, the image 
for the substance ? For example, the Fasch of Exodus, and the 
wheel of Ezekiel. Do you mean that God proposes things incom- 
prehensible to his creatures ? 

LuTHEB. — The Fasch and the wheel are all^orical ; I do not 
wish to dispute with you about a word ; that " is " [est] means 
" signifies,"' I appeal to Christ, who said : " Hoc est enim corpus 
meum.'' The devil cannot get out of it (" Da kann der Teufel 
nicht fiir"). To doubt, is to fall from the faith. Why do you 
not also see a trope in " ascendit in coelum" [he ascended into 
heaven] ? " God made man," — " the word made flesh,'' — " God 
suffering death,'' all these are incomprehensible things, which 
nevertheless you must believe, on pain of everlasting damnation. 

ZwiNGLius. — Tou do not prove your theme ; there must be 
no begging of the principle. You must vary your note (" Ihr 



werdei mir anders singen'"). Do you think that Christ (St. John 
vi.) wished to accommodate himself to the ignorant ? 

Luther. — Do you deny it? "This is a hard saying/' — 
" Durus est hie senno/' — muttered the Jews, who spoke of it 
as a thing impossible and obscure. This passage cannot serve 

ZwiNQLius. — Bah ! it breaks your neck (" Nein, nein, brecht 
euch den Hals ab"). 

Luther. — Softly ! do not be so haughty ; you are not in 
Switzerland, but in Hesse, where they do not break the necks of 
their opponents in this manner (" Die Halse brechen nicht 


ZwiKQLius. — But I read in your annotations that Christ 
said : " Caro non prodest '' [the flesh profiteth nothing] ; and 
in Melancthon, that the body eaten corporeally (" corponJiter ") 
is an erroneous expression. 

Luther. — It matters little what I or Melancthon have taught. 
The word of man and the word of Ood have no resemblance to 
each other. Were St. Peter to come to life again and be among 
us, I should not ask him what he believed. It is the word of 
God that sanctifies a man, and not the pure life that he has led. 
In a word, the priest, even if impious, produces sanctification. 

ZwiNGLius. — What an absurdity ! the impious can do nothing 

Luther. — Does not the wicked man baptize ? 

(Ecolampadius wished -to bring back the question to its 
original subject. " Ton make a great work,'' said he, " about 
a trope which you will not grant to us, and you yourself make 
use of a synecdoche against the Catholic meaning." 

Luther. — There is a synecdoche also ; it is the sword in the 
scabbard ; the body is in the bread, as the sword is in its sheath ; 
the text requires this figure, but there is no metaphor in it ; the 
body is not put for the figure of the body. 

Zwinglius then began to quote Fulgentius, Augustine, Lac- 
tantius, and a great number of Catholic authorities, to prove that 
the body must be in one place, and cannot be in several* 
" Therefore," said he, " Christ, who is seated at the right hand 
of the Father, cannot be in the Sacrament of the altar." 

Luthbr. — What a mathematical argument ! divisibility* 


^extension ! it is not a qaeetion here of what flails under the 

ZwiNGLius.— *0c iv juo/o^y Otov virapxfov — Philip, ii. — 
[Who being in the form of GodJ. 

Luther. — Read in Latin or German, but not in Greek. 

ZwiNGLivs. — Excuse me ; for during the last twelve years I 
have exclusively used the Greek text. I sieiy, then, Christ is 
finite inasmuch as we are finite. 

Luther. — " Concede." For example ; the nut and the shell, 
so also the body of Jesns Christ. God cannot make it be and 
not be " in loco " [in place]. 

ZwiNQLius. — But if you admit that the body of Jesus Christ 
is finite, therefore it is local ; if it is local, therefore it is in 
heaven, and not in the bread. I repeat: the body of Jesus 
Christ is finite, " ergo in loco" [therefore in place]. 

Luther. — " Non est in loco " [it is not in place]. When it 
is in the Sacrament, it may be in place and out of it ; for 
example, the world is a body, and is not '' in loco " [in place] ; 
moreover, let God explain this mystery, it concerns me not 

ZwiNGLius. — You are b^ing the question ; it is as if you 
were to maintain that John is the son of Mary, because Jesos 
said to her on the cross : " Woman, behold ihy son." 

Luther. — An article of faith does not prove itself like a 
mathematical axiom. 

ZwiNGLius. — But, in fine, give us a precise answer. Is the 
body " in loco " or not ? 

Brekz. — The body is " sine loco" [without place]. 

ZwiNGLius and ^golampadius both exclaimed, St. Augus- 
tine has written : '' In uno loco esse oportet" [it must be in one 

Luther. — St. Augustine does not speak of the Supper ; but 
what, if I grant that Christ is not in the Sacrament, ^' tanqulun 
in loco" [as if in place] ? 

(BijOLAMPADius (smiling). — Therefore he is not there corpo- 
really with his true body. 

The question again changed. Zwin^us and (Ecolampadius 
quoted a multitude of texts from the fathers of the Church, 
which they said confirmed their doctrine ; and Melancthon and 
Luther to each human text opposed another from the same 


author. The question was becoming perplexed, and Luther 
threatened his adversaries. The landgrave requested that they 
Vrould bring the matter to an end. 

'' In the presence of God/' said (Ecolampadius and Zwinglius, 
" Christ is only spiritually in the Supper." 

'' He is there oorporeaUy/' said Melancthon and Luther. 

'' At least/' said Zwinglius, clasping his hands, '^ you do not 
refuse to consider us as brethren, who wish to die in the com- 
munion of Wittemberg V^ 

" No, no," replied Luther ; " cursed be such an alliance, 
which would endanger the cause of Ood and men's souls ; begone, 
you are possessed by another spirit than ours ; but beware, for 
before three years the anger of God will fall upon you."* 

This awful prediction, say the Lutherans, was literally ful- 
filled ; for Zwinglius perished miserably on the field of Cappel, 
where his body was exposed to the sacrilegious mockeries of the 
Catholic soldiers ; and (Ecolampadius was strangled in his bed 
by the devil, that good master who had instructed him how to 
interpret the words of the Supper.* 

'' This wretched man," says Zwinglius, speaking of Luther, 
'* by his jealousy, caused the schism of the Sacramentarians.'^ 
The devil tempts us by obstinate men, who, vexed to see the 
truth of the Lord's Supper discovered by others than themselves, 
like madmen and fools, cease not to cry out more unreasonably 
than the Papists." 

Before the reformers parted, the landgrave wished them to 
dine with him. A formulary was drawn up, which the two 
Churches signed ; both parties declared the most lively charity 
for each other, although they might not agree as to the presence 
of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. 

Zwinglius returned to Zurich, and Luther to Wittemberg; 
and for some time there was a constant exchange of maledictions 
and anathemas between these two cities. 

" Wretched and wicked Zwinglius," exclaimed those of Wit- 

'ZwiDgl. in Pr»&t. De Yerft et Faint Beli^one. 
' Ensmi. Ep. ad CochlflBom. 
' Lath. De Miasft PrivatA^ in Defeasione de Ooend. 
* Transl. of Florimond de B^ond. 


temberg, " do you wish to destroy Christianity with your new 
interpretation ? Listen not to these Sacramentarians ; fly from 
them as if they were Satan ! You Zwinglius are a false prophet, 
a mountebank, a hog, a heretic !" ^ 

Zurich answered by the mouth of Campanus : '^ It is as certain 
that Luther is a devil, as it is that God is God.'^ 

Zurich and Wittemberg simultaneously celebrated the victory 
of their respective apostles. 

" See,'' said Zurich, " it is not now as formerly at Leipsic, 
where the Saxon had the papists only to oppose : at Marburg 
he warred with a servant of God, inspired and filled with his 
Spirit. Hence the darkness could not bear the light. What a 
wonderful intellect is that of Luther, who is afraid of Greek, 
who cannot distinguish a trope, and confounds the shadow with 
the substance !" * 

Basle added : '^ Thanks be to Jesus Christ, who assisted his 
servant against the crafts of Luther ; who now holds his peace, 
either because he has lost confidence in his cause, or because he 
wishes to crush us with his contemptuous silence. His ape, 
Bugenhagen, now takes his place.'' ' 

Luther soon broke silence in these words of insult and 
defiance : '' They say that they have overcome me. In this they 
lie, as is their wont : a race of hypocrites and impostors ! Did 
they not retract at the conference all that they previously 
taught as to baptism, the use of the Sacraments, the power of 
the word, and so many other pestilent doctrines ? I had no need 
to retract Although perplexed, pressed, and defeated, they 
would not confess their error as to the eucharist, because they 
were afraid of the rabble of the canton, who sooner or later 
would have made them pay dearly for their courage. And how 
could they have resisted me ? Zyringlius incessantly reiterated 
the same argument : that a body cannot be without space and 

' Luther, De Goenlt ; liber oontiit Sacramentarios. 

' Pasko, Letter to the King of Poland. Hosp. Hisiorin Sacramentaris 
pars altera^ p. 109 et seq. Stnrmins, p. 197. Consult^ on this dispute. Me- 
lanchthon. Epist. ad Elect. Sax. de Marpnrg. GoUoquii AoUs ; Responsio 
Tigurins Eoclesitd Ministromm ad Lutheri nJumnias de Marpuigensi col- 

* " At nunc prodit Bugenhagins illius sixnius afferens et ipse oonfessionem 
nltimam."— (Eoolampadius ZwingUo, 1. c. p. 516. 


dimension. But does not philosophy teach ns that heaven is 
naturally without space ? They could not answer this ; and 
(Ecolampadius quoted the Fathers, who call the* sign the body, 
therefore it is not a body ! They were anidous that we should 
give them the name of brethren. Zwinglius, with tears in his 
eyes, took the landgrave and his court to witness that there were 
no men in the world with whom they would wish to live on 
better terms than those of Wittemberg ; but I would never 
consent to call them brethren. ' Go,' said I, ' you are possessed 
by another spirit than ours !' They were furious. Those 
hypocrites affected humility and modesty with us, because they 
wished to make us the participators and patrons of their heresy. 
Diabolical cunning ! But Christ shielded us with his buckler. 
I am not astonished that they lie so impudently : falsehood is 
their element, although it covers them with shame." ^ 

What an important lesson the Reformation teaches us in tbe 
conference of Marburg I It had declared that we could attain to 
truth only by the Bible, and that there was no other infallible 
tribunal but the written word. At the present day it gives men 
this advice, " Search the Scriptures, examine, reflect, judge for 
yourselves ; do not suffer yourselves to be swayed by any authority, 
neither by the Fathers, the councils, your ancestors, nor even by 
the Reformers, who were faulty and fallible like yourselves ; nor 
by confessions of faith, nor by synods." ^ 

And to arrive at what ? To this double manifesto, — of 
Loescher, that the devil was the author of Carlstadt's interpreta- 
tion ; ^ of CEcolampadius, that the devil revealed to Luther the 
real presence ! * 

In 1617, when he posted his theses ; in 1518, at his interview 
with Cajetan ; in 1619, at Leipsic, when opposed to Doctor Eck ; 
in 1621, at Worms, in presence of the emperor, — Luther always 
pointed to one awful word. Scripture, traced by the finger of God 
on the wall, as was the sentence of Balthazar. That word. 

' Epist. Luth. ad. Jacobnm pnopoBitum Bremens. Selnec pp. 241, 262. 
Ulenberg, pp. 864—366. 

' Des Causes qai retardent, ohes lea Bdform^, les Progrbs de la Th^logie, 
par M. Cheaevibre, p. 24. 

' Hist. Motuam, p. 89. Plank, Geschichie der Enistehung, &c. torn. ii. 
p. 297. 

* Plank, 1. c. torn. ii. p. 297. 


written in a language often unintelligible, and which he wished 
every one to read because the Spirit of God would explain its 
meaning ; that word, which in rousing the worst passions of the 
human heart, has for ever disturbed the peace of Germany. 
And now that there is a combat, no longer between Protestant 
and papist, but between Luther and Zwinglius, two brothers 
nourished with the same milk, and who have grown up under 
the same sun, the Reformation no longer appeals to the word 
of God ; it becomes a monk, and in order to explain a text 
of the apostle, invokes, not the celestial ray which illuminates 
the souls of all who read with faith, but the authority of the 
Fathers ! Zwinglius invokes the Fathers ! He who in his 
exposition of the Christian faith has said, that *^ if it depended 
on himself, he would prefer to be where Seneca and Socrates are, 
than be with the popes of Home, the doctors, emperors, and 
popish princes ; for, although these heathens did not believe in 
Jesus, tiiey were more holy and pious than all the Dominicans 
and Franciscans/' ^ 

Luther, too, invokes the Fathers,' and even Si Augustine, 
" who has firequently erred, and whom it is not safe to trust I" 
But how shall the Reformation get out of the pit which it has 
dug for itself? This same word of God, to which it appeals, is 
a sign for Zwinglius, a reality for Luther ; a trope, according to 
(Ecolampadius, and flesh in the opinion of Melancthon : it is a 
double word, carnal and spiritual ; a multiple figure, synecdoche 
and metaphor. Tou appeal then to the word of God, which 
conceals two mysteries, two creeds in one unity! Tou make 
then the Holy Ghost descend to reveal to Zwinglius a myth, 
which Luther treats as Satanic, and to Luther an interpretation 
which Zwinglius considers a damnable anthropomorphism i And 
if the Reformation abandons Scripture, it is only to fall into 
another pit ; for what is the text of St. Augustine, of St. Ful- 
gentius, and other Fathers, upon which it rests when the language 
of Scripture embarrasses them ? a dead and fallible letter, since 

* Tranal. of Florimond de B^mood. 

* To show that the Fathers were on his side, in the qnestion of the real 
presence, Lnther collected all the testimonies of thq Catholic doctors, of which 
he formed a sort of elenchos, or epitome, and dedicated it to the landgpraye of 
Hesse.— See Riederer, Nachricht zor Kirohenhist. torn. yii. pp. 849 — 852. 


it comes to us from men : as they have asserted it to be. Now 
raise that haman letter as high as the word of God, there is 
still another difficulty ; for that letter, like God's word, has 
a multiple signification ; it is at the same time single and double, 
since Luther and Zwinglius derive from the very same word their 
evidence that Christ is, and is not, corporeally in the Sacrament 
Let the Beformation do as it will ; without authority it can 
never found a creed. It will only make comments ; and when, 
unfaithful to its principle, it shall have recourse to human 
traditions for explaining or justifying its belief, it will condemn 
and destroy the work of him who, in founding it, rejected 
authority aa a blasphemy. 

Somewhat later, Luther is obliged to fall back upon authority 
in order to defend himself against the Sacramentarian interpre- 
tations. A magnificent retreat, which amply proves all the 
weakness of that reason which he at first rated so highly, but 
which, in the hour of danger, he finds is nothing better in his hand 
than a blunt sword. Listen now to him who used to deify reason, 
proclaiming that there is neither safety nor shelter but in tradi- 
tion. Luther writes to the Margrave Albert of Brandenbuig : 
^* Since the institution of Christianity, the Church has never 
lield any other doctrine, and its constant and uniform testimony 
ought to satisfy us, and prevent us from attending to the spirits 
of trouble and error. There is danger in rising up against the 
voice, the belief, and the teaching of the holy Church, which for 
sixteen centuries has never varied upon this dogma. To doubt 
them, is nothing else than to disbelieve the Church, and to 
condemn her as &lse, and, with her, Christ himself, the apostles, 
and the prophets. Is it not written, ' Behold, I am with you all 
days, erven to the consummation of the world ;' — St. Matthew ; 
and in St. Paul, * The house of God is the Church of the living 
God, the pillar and ground of the truth ?' ^ I think, then, that 
since the dispute is becoming eternal, silence must be imposed on 
the dissentients ; and it is not I only who give you this advice, but 
the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of the apostle : ' Avoid him who 
is a heretic, after the first or second admonition ; knowing that, 

* Luther*8 Sendbrief wider edicbe Rottenffeister, an Markgraf Albrecht zu 
Brandenburg, 1532. See Adolpbus Menzel, Kenere Geschiohte der BeutKhen,^ 
torn. i. p. 263. 


^ch a one is perverted, and that he speaks like a mait who 
condeoms himself hy his own judgment' " 

Thus, then, we see Luther reduced, after having yidnly 
invoked against his adversaries the Bible, the Fathers, and 
Tradition, to demand that they should be treated as veritable 
heretics ; that is to say, that their tongues should be tied, and if 
needful cut out. He returns to the heroic remedy of which he 
bragged in the peasants' war : ^ ** Give the ass the whip, and, if 
he kicks agaiuBt it, the ball/' 

Death relieved Luther from two powerful enemies, Z winglius and 
(Ecolampadius. Carlstadt dragged out a lifeof suffering andsorrow. 
Driven from Saxony at Luther's instigation, he went from city to 
city, living upon alms, which he repaid with doctrines that killed 
the soul, and persecuted, less by remorse than by the renown of the 
success of his former pupil. Weaiy of wandering about, like Gain, 
pointed at by the people, an object of pity to the Lutheran clergy, 
and of contempt to the learned and the great, he halted in his 
course, and be^ed his enemy to give him breatL Luther acted 
generously, say his biographers : he sold him his native air at the 
price of his retractation. Imagine what this must have cost Carl- 
stadt, who had only the word for his consolation ! He resigned 
himself to his fate, promised to preach and teach no longer, and to 
make an end of all theological controversy. On this condition, he 
was permitted to lead an exile's life in Eemberg and Bergwitz, two 
little villages, from which the spires of Wittembeig are visible. 
There he went with his wife ; and both lived for scmie time, like 
the children of Adam, by the sweat of their brow : the former 
tilled the ground ; the latter sometimes sold cakes in the evening, 
and sometimes carried wood to the market, in a dirty jacket, 
with an old rusty sword in a broken scabbard, and was known 
by the name of " Neighbour Andrew." * At length Carlstadt 
forgot his promise, and took up the Bible. It is said that the 
tempter introduced himself into the theologian's apartment in 
the guise of a councillor of Wittemberg, who came to propose to 
him his pretended doubts on the sixth chapter of St John, and 
that this spirit of darkness was sent by Luther himself,' who 

1 See the chapter entitled The Peasants' War. 

' Ulenberg, Vita Lutheri. Cochlsens, etc. 

' Ulenherg. Menzel, Neuere Geschiohte der Deutsohen, torn. i. p. 269. 


began to be distrustful of Garlstadt's patience ; but the trick 
has not been so well proved as to admit of our staining the 
Reformer's memory with it Besides, the archdeacon carried 
about him a devil who, sooner or later, was to triumph over his 
vows of obedience, the same which had seduced his first parent — 
pride ! He listened to his suggestions, doffed his frock, resumed 
his moth-eaten black gown, which he had worn at Orlamiinde, 
and began to sermonize again on the last supper, to him an 
exciting subject. 

At Wittemberg had been residing recently two theol<^ans 
who, for having rebelled against Luther, were obliged to leave 
Saxony : these were Erautwald and Schwenckfeld, who had pre- 
sumed to ridicule the monk's theory of impanation. Carlstadt 
wrote to them a letter, wherein he complained bitterly of the 
intolerance of the Saxon Ecdesiastes, and drew a painful picture 
of his own poverty. " I shall soon be compelled to sell all I 
have to support existence : my moveables, my clothes, my 
crockery, my whole furniture ; nobody has compassion on me, I 
believe that they will see me and my child die of hunger." At 
the same time he addressed a long statement to Chancellor 
Bruck, in which he detailed all that he had had to suffer from 
Luther, who forbade him to preach or teach. Luther heard of 
Carlstadt's complaints, and determined to silence them for ever. 
The archdeacon was accordingly compelled again to quit Saxony, 
and seek for hospitality in Switzerland. Basle opened to him 
the gates which it had closed against Erasmus.^ 

After Zwinglius came another explanator, who also boasted of 
having received from the Holy Ghost a revelation of the meaning 
of the words of the Sacrament This was Schwenckfeld the 
Silesian, an imaginative youth, fond of disputation, wherein he 
delighted to scatter the treasures of a mind rich in lively 
fancies.* When we read Schwenckfeld, we can understand how 
a philosopher so original could aspire to be the leader of a sect, 
a position which he would have successfully occupied, if he had 
only had men of learning for his disciples. Schwenckfeld is 
ingenious and spirited ; he seeks for effect, has a strong desire to 

' See the chapter entitled Ensmus. 
' Schroeckh. L o. torn. !▼. p. 618. 


startle his readers, and delights in paradox : as if Rousseau and 
Beaumarchais were united in a religious propagandism. We 
should have thought that this Latin est, which for six years had 
suffered so many tortured explanations, would have been allowed 
at last to rest in peace ; but Schwenckfeld stirred it again, to 
remove it from the place which it bad held in the Gospel for 
fifteen centuries. Instead of " This is my body," he said, 
'' My body is this ;" that is to say, '' This bread is my body, 
my body is this bread ;" and he ventured gravely to lay to the 
charge of the apostle St. John this inversion, infinitely more 
ridiculous than the explanation of Garlstadt, of which he made 
so much sport. 

Would it be believed that Schwenckfeld, by dint of wit, con- 
trived to bring over to his opinions some men of consequence, 
among the rest a duke? Besides, '^ papists" and Lutherans 
were equally the object of the Silesian's raillery. The former 
believed they would have been honouring Schwenckfeld too much 
by attacking his transposition, and so they preserved a dignified 
sUence. But Luther re-appeared in the arena, and avenged the 
dogma of the real presence with indisputable eloquence. It is 
to be regretted that in playing upon the name of the interpreter, 
he should have sought in Schwenckfeld a filthy fiM, in which 
the Silesian might have found his inversion.^ 

At the time when, wearied of disputation, Zwinglius and 
Luther rained, the one his beautiful lake of Zurich, the other 
his green mountain of Poltersberg, a theologian left Marbuig, 
regretting that he had been prevented from entering the field 
with either of those distinguished controversialists ; this was 
John Campanus, who had taken to Marburg a new explanation 
of the meaning of the words of the sacrament. According to 
him, neither Zwinglius, (Ecolampadius, nor Luther knew any 
more than the pope did about the institution of the eucharist : 
they were a set of blockheads, whose understandings the Lord 
had blinded. They treated his opinion with silent contempt ; and 
for this he revenged himself by making them the objects of his 
insulting buffoonery.^ 

* Menzel, 1. o. torn. i. p. 469. See Die Gkgenwart des Leibes und Bluiea 
Christi im Sacnunent des heiHgen AbendnuUilB. 

* Lather's TiBch-Beden, p. 496. As to ihe interpretation of Ganipano^ see 


In reading the yarious ridiculous attempts at interpretation 
which entered the head of every sectary at that time, one might 
belieye in the allegory of Swedenborg, a yisionary equally 
enlightened as his predecessors. The Swede represents the word 
as inclosed in a tabernacle : if a pure spirit attempts to touch it, 
it shines like Christ on Mount Thabor, and his garments seem 
resplendent with flame ; but should an evil spirit stretch out his 
hand to it, the demon, suddenly enyeloped in dense darkness, 
falls struck with lightning.^ 

Schelhoro, AmcBoit. Lit. torn. ix. pp. 1 — 92 ; and Lather^a Works^ Halle^ 
torn. XX. p. 2204. 

' '' Si autem id tang^t Terbiini, fit exploaio cam fragore, et iUe projioitnr ad 
angnliim oonclayis et per honilam ibi jacet sicut mortuus." 

A very curioas work might be made of The Keformers agunst the Reformers. 
CEcolampadiiu said of Luuier : '* De Lutheri libello scribnnt Capito et Baoenis 
cni6d nihil magis aophisticum vol calummosam viderint. In nos ambos debac- 
chatnr." — (Ecolam|MMdiuB, Zwinglio, 16 April. Lebensgeechichte Dr. Johann 
(Ecolampads : Zurich, 1798, 8vo. p. 808. 

" Jam opus erit Luthero at reupondeaj, placido et quieto animo, non at ille 
calanmiandi magieter et sophistonim prinoeps meretur, sed at yeiitatis patro- 
ciniom postalat. — ^Ibid. pp. 510, 511. 

Lather writes ae to Zwinglios : *' Ferox ille Helveticas qai rem Christi patat 
agi Helvetic^ ferociil,'' 1527, 31 May. " ZwiDglium credo sancto dignisBimam 
odio, quo tam procaciter et neqoiter agit in aanoto Yerbo Dei." 27 Oct., to 
Melancth. 1527. 

The foUowine works relating to the real presence may be consulted : 

Martini Lutheri Sermo Elegantisshnus super Sacnmento Corporis et San- 
guinis Christi, in quo respondetur obiter et ejusdem Sacramenti oalumnia- 
toribus : Item, Quateniis Moses k Christianis accipi debeat. Sermo Martini 
Lutheri, ehm pro oondone legeret Exodum, dictus in cap. xix. et zx. Epi- 
stola ejusd. adversus Bucerum, sacramentarium errore m novum refellens. 
Oratio Job. Bugenhagi qu5d ipsius non sit opinio ilia de EuoharistiA, quae in 
Psalterio sub nomine ejus G^ermanio^ translate legitur. Querela Fidei, auctoro 
YinoentioObsoopoeo, skI Dominicum Sleupnerum, Korimbergte, ad S. Sebaldum 
dirini verbi ministrum : Haganose, 1527. 

Dass diese Worte Christi (das ist mein Leib^ &c.) noch fest stehen wider die 
Schwermgeister. Iklartin Luther, 1527. 

Ein Bericht an einen guten Freund von beyder Gestalt des Sacraments, au& 
Bisohoflb zu Meissen Muidat. Martin Luther : Wittenberg, 1528. 

Yom Abendmahl Christi, Bekantniss Martin Luthers : Wittenberg. 

Ex yetustiss. orthodoxorum Patrum, Cypriani, Hilarii, Ambrosii, AugustiDi, 
Hieronymi, Isichii et Pascasii, de genuine Eucharistiss negotii intellectu et 
usu, libellus. Contrit omnes veeano sacramentario spiritu Yertiginosos (qui ctim 
ipsi Patrum opinionibus pertinacissim^ innitautur) plan^ Achilleum telum. 
Nuper ex perretusto exemplari bonis oTibus in &aatioorum omnium intemi- 
ciem depromptus. Cum pr»&t. Jobi Gastii ad D. Johannem Brentium, 
pneceptorem suum : Hagan. 1528. 

Unterricht warum die Thum-Prediger zu Magdebui^ nicht disputiren wolleo, 
and doch uns <Jffentlich auf der Kantiel geeisohet und gefodert haben. Nidas 
AmsdorfF: Magdeburg, 1528. 

Job. Bugenhagi Pomerani publica, de Sacramento Corporis et Sanguinis 
Christi, ex Christ! institutione, Confessio, qu& suae fidei de coenA Domini 
reddit rationem, et dicit vale iis, qui audire nolunt. Cum epistolis ejuad. ad 




State of Germany prior to the opening of the Diet — Charles T. leaves Italy 
to restore peaee to the empire. — His entry Into Angsburg. — Prooession of 
the Blessed Sacrament. — ^The Protestant princes refuse to assist at it — 
Who these were. — ^Augsbarg is distnrbed by the preaching of the inno- 
Yators. — Acoount of a Lutheran comedy performed in presence of Charles Y. 
— Catholic orators who take part in the proceedings of the diet 

It would be impossible not to feel aiBicted, on surveying 
Germany at that time. Every religious and social tie had been 
dissolved : the voice of Clement VII. was no more regarded than 
that of the emperor. Luther had made of the great feudatories 
of the empire so many tyrants, who tormented the body and 
outraged the conscience ; soul and body, all were compelled to 
obey them. They reigned despotic in the electoral palace as well 
as in the sanctuary ; they y^eaee the police of the community and 
of the Church. It was under their inspiration that the minister 
of the Gospel was chosen, anointed, consecrated, preached and 
administered the sacraments; as judges of the orthodoxy of 
the pastor, they could turn him off when they had decided that 
he did not preach the pure word of Christ : ^ they were the 
infallible interpreters of the spirit and letter of the Scriptures. 
Melancthon has told us with sorrow what the Grospel became 
after theology had found its way into court The pulpit then 
became a mere tribune, which some ignorant apostate ascended 
to distribute the bread of life to the lambs of his official flocks 
Avarice, pride, and depravity, were the prominent vices of the 
new clergy. The benches of the universities were deserted, and 

Job. Brentinm, Hale Suevomm concionatorem ; Hessnm XJratislaTiensii 
Ecclesie pastorem ; Johannem Agricolam, Islebianse schols archididascalum : 
Wittembeiig, 1528. 

Yergleichnng Dr. Lathers nnd seines Gegentheils Torn Abendmahl Christi, 
Dialogns, das ist, ein . fireundlich Gesprach, gar nah alles so Dr. Luther in 
seinem letzten Buoh, Beki&ntniss genennet, flugebracht hat, wird hierin. 
g^andelt» wie das zu Erkentniss der Wahrheit und ohrisUiohen Friede dienet^ 
Cum prsBf. Buoeri. 1528. 

* See chapters xiy. and xy. of this volume. 


DemoBthenes was obliged, by means of his learned interpreter, 
to beg for pupils. Melancthon, that iUustrioos son of the muse 
of antiquity, had not even wherewith to purchase a new dress as 
a new year's gift for his wife. In the estimation of the petty 
theologians who swarmed in the smallest towns, a scholar was 
a mere pedant: the professor of rhetoric held out his hand, 
and received, with averted head, thirty florins of annual charity.^ 
Wherever the doctrines of Luther prevailed, art, science, lite- 
rature, and even liberty was extinct. From Meissen to Basle 
nothing was to be seen but burnt cottages, demolished monas- 
teries, and ruined palaces : every bush of the Black Forest was 
tinged with the blood of a peasant. If the eyes looked along 
the banks of the Rhine for the airy spires which Gothic art 
had reared, it found them prostrated by the blows of fanatical 
peasants. If by some miracle an ancient church remained with 
its four walls standing, not one of its statues in stone, its paint* 
ings on wood, its chased plate or storied missak, that once 
ornamented it, could be seen. All such treasures, when not 
destroyed, had become the property of some elector, to whom 
Luther delivered them as the price of an apostasy, and who suffered 
to die of hunger, both those to whom they formerly belonged 
and the disciples of the person who had given him their prepay. 
The printing presses were no longer occupied in the reproduction 
of the works of the ancient authors, but of wretched pamphlets 
suggested by ignorant fury. 

We speak not of the Catholic clergy, who only met with their 
deserts : remaining futhful to their God, banishment and spolia* 
tion was the justice done to them by the conqueror: but ot 
Schwenckfeld, Garlstadt, and so many more, who, on Luther's 
authority, took upon them to interpret the Bible, and wera 
condemned to beg their bread on the highways, because they 
translated a monosyllable in a different way from the doctor ! 
Let us not be accused of slandering the Reformation. Whoever 
has perused our pages, must have seen that this sad picture of 
Germany, in 1530, is drawn from the writings of Luther, 
Melancthon, Pirkheimer, Jonas, and other evangelists. 

Charles V. could not remain long in Italy: he left it to 

See chapter xyi. of this Tolume. 


suppress, if it were possible, the disturbances which devastated the 

Od the 15th of June, 1530, he made his entry into Augsburg. 
It was one of the finest sights that had ever been witnessed in a 
German city.* 

Every eye was on the emperor. Young, handsome, well- 
formed, mounted on a white Polish steed, which he managed 
with all the grace of a perfect horseman, he saluted with hand 
and smile the people that crowded the way. Three hundred 
bells rang at once, and mingled their sounds with the roaring of 
cannon, the flourishes of the trumpets, the music, and shouts of 
the people, which were louder than all together. Never did 
prince appear invested with so much glory.* He wore a Spanish 
cloak, embroidered and sparkling with precious stones : the 
saddle of his horse was ornamented with topazes and rubies, and 
his stirrups were of silver gilt. He advanced under a canopy of 
crimson velvet, interspersed with golden bees, and borne by 
the senators of Augsburg, clad in Spanish costume. The order 
prescribed by the Golden Bull, and the regulations issued by 
Charles IV., in 1356, were observed. John, the elector of 
Saxony, as grand marshal of the empire, preceded the emperor, 
between the count palatine, represented by the marquis of 
Erbach, and George, margrave of Brandenburg: he held the 
imperial sword in his right hand ; the count palatine carried 
the apple, the margrave of Brandenburg the sceptre, all three 
abreast, clothed in scarlet cloaks, lined with ermine, and blazoned 
with their arms. The elector of Saxony bore party per fesse 
sable and argent, two swords in saltier gules, quartered with 
all the provinces which he possessed, as well as those to which he 
laid claims, such as the duchies of Juliers, Gleves, and Berg ; 
the margrave of Brandenburg, hereditary great chamberlain of 

* Georg. Sabin, Carmen de Ingressu Cisflaria Aug. Georg. Goeleetin. His- 
toria Comitiorum Au^. torn. i. p. 105, &c. Maimbourg, lib. ii. Diasertatio 
Inauguralis et Histonca de D. Martino Luthero, h comitis Angufitanis ann. 
1530, corpore quidem absente, in illis tamen animo prsasente, Thesis, h Christ. 
Mauritio Lochnero, Altorf, 1783, 4to. 

• See Melanothon*8 letter on this subject to Charles V., Epistolae Selectiores 
aliquot Philippi Melanchthonis editse k Gasparo Peucero, 1565, p. 263. And 
compare his opinion of it with that of Luther. "In my opinion," writes 
Melancthon, ** the gods, as Horace says, could not make the earth a more 
precious gift, even were they to bring back the golden age." 



the Holy Empire, bore azure, a sceptre in pale, or, with arms 
quartered. Ferdinand, archduke of Austria, hereditary arch- 
butler of the empire, elected king of Bohemia in 1527, walked 
by himself, immediately after the emperor, wearing the crown, 
and escorted by three hundred guards, clothed in jackets of red 
and white velvet The archbishop of Mayence, dean of the 
ecclesiastical electors, preceded the princes who carried the Aulic 
insignia ; they were surrounded with two hundred guards, clothed 
in jackets of yellow and black velvet ; and on the left appeared 
the archbishop of Gol(^e, at the head of another guard in full 
airmour. The ecclesiastical electors wore scarlet caps, turned up 
with ermine. The streets were hung with tapestry, and strewn 
with leaves. On the emperor's appearing, the people knelt to 
receive the legate's benediction. Among the crowd it was easy to 
recognise the Lutherans, who contented themselves with inclining 
the head, but did* not bend the knee. At the gates of Augsbuig, 
when Charles mounted the state horse which was provided for 
him, and which Cardinal Campeggio had blessed, the prince- 
electors uncovered their heads, but did not bow.^ 

The eye looked in vain for him who had excited this great 
multitude, who had torn the emperor from the scene of his glory, 
and whose name and image filled all minds. Luther was absent. 
He kept himself retired in the citadel of Coburg, whither the 
elector of Saxony ^ had taken him, lest his presence in Augsbui^ 
should have roused the anger of Charles V., for he was under 
the ban of the edict of Worms.'"* Spalatinus, Jonas, and 
Melancthon had accompanied him, and then continued their 
journey to Augsburg, singing the first verse of the Psalm, 
" Deus in adjutorium," previously translated into German verse 

' Menzely 1. o. torn. i. ^ 

* Cochlsus in Actis Latheri, p. 124 : ** Elector Lntberam ad Augustam 
tamen usque non perdaxit, eo quod esset k Cssare in edicto WormatienBi pro 
haeretioo notorio damnatua^ et proecriptuB ; itaqne reliqnit enm in mnnitissiniA 
aroe suA Gobnrg.'' PaUavicini in Hist. Cone. Trid. lib. iii. cap. iii. : *' Lntbenia 
Angostam addncttui non est) ne tarn aperto deepicatu CRsar ofiendereiur, eo 
ante ipdns oonspeotiun obtruso, quern Bererissimo edicto WormatieDBi pro- 
Bcripserat.'' Maimburgius in Hist. Lutheranismi, lib. ii. sect. xzi. : " Elector 
veritns, ne imperatorem prsesentia bominis, quern in edicto Womiatieniii 
nominatim proscripserat, irritaret> reliquit eum Coburgi, in munimento, quod 
habebat, prsecipuo : translated by Locbner, 1. c. 

' Muller, Yon der Evang. Stamme protest, und Auffsbnrg. Confeflsion, 
lib. il. cap. vii. § 6, p. 456. OyprianuB, In Hist. Aug. Conf. cap. yi. § 8, p. 59. 


and Bet to music by Lather, and which was sung in the evan- 
gelical chnrches daring the diet.^ 

However, if we are to credit Protestant accoants, it depended on 
Lather to tarn all this triumphal pomp into mourning. The elector 
of Saxony and the Protestant princes, who feared the emperor's 
wrath, were assembled to avert the storm. The elector was of 
opinion that they should go with sufficient troops and await the 
emperor at the foot of the Alps, to prevent him from entering 
the Tyrol : this was a desperate measure, which would have been 
&tal to the Beformation. Luther perceived the danger, and 
Wrote to the duke : *^ Prince, it is not by arms that we must 
defend our cause, but by patience and resignation, and above all, 
by unbounded confidence in the Lord and his all-powerful arm/' 
This was prudent counsel, and the elector followed it* Maim- 
bourg and other Catholic historians have allowed themselves to 
be caught by this worldly wisdom of the Reformer ; * probably 
they had not read his appeal to the German nation. 

The procession advanced towards the cathedral, where the 
'* Te Deum " was sung in thanksgiving, and the legate gave his 
benediction to the assembly. The following day was a festival of 
the Church, — the feast of Corpus Christi, when the blessed 
Sacrament was to be carried in procession through the streets of 
Augsburg. Charles invited the Protestant princes to this cere- 
mony : they had previously arranged their reply, which was quite 
a scenic exhibition. George, the margrave of Brandenburg, 
putting his hand to his neck, declared that he was ready to 
mount the scaffold and lose his head, sooner than renounce the 
Gospel* The emperor smiled, and said, " No head ! no head i" 
but nothing more ; either because he was not very well ac- 
quainted with the German language, or disliked long conver- 
sation, or perhaps because, in accordance with the usage of the 
Spanish court, he let his lieutenant, his brother Ferdinand, king 
of Bohemia, speak for him. The Protestants could not com- 
prehend how this prince, who remained mute before them, 
motionless as a pagoda, and only expressed his feelings by 

' Coelestin. lib. i. fol. 20. 

' CceleBtin. torn, i, fol. Id. Luth. Epist. ad Elect. Sax. apud Ckslest. p. 20. 
' Maimbourg, lib. ii. p. 174. * Adolph Mensel, 1. c. torn. i. p. 441. 



wagging his head or contracting his eyebrows, could have made 
the world tremble. They thought they would have to address a 
man, and they found only a statue. More than one Protestant 
noble was indebted for his courage next day to this taciturnity 
on the part of the emperor. 

''What a fine fellow V said Luther; ''he speaks less in a 
year than I do in a day." * 

The Protestant princes held a council at night, and resolved 
not to assist at the procession. Next morning they attended the 
emperor's levee, and presented him with their written protest 

The margrave of Brandenburg was again the spokesman : 
" Rather,'' said he, putting his hand to his neck, " than deny 

the Gospel " Charles interrupted him, saying, "No head!" 

and relapsed into his habitual silence.' Ferdinand attempted to 
overcome the margrave's obstinacy, but in vain. The cannon 
and church-bells soon announced the setting out of the pro- 

It was prehaps more magnificent than the triumphal one of 
the previous day. George Sabinus [Schalten] has exhausted all 
the treasures of poetry in describing it. The archbishop of 
Mayence carried a massive gold remonstrance, sparkling with all 
sorts of gems. Six princes, who relieved each other, bore a 
canopy worked with gold and silver, and decorated at the four 
comers with plumes of ostrich feathers. In every public place 
an altar was raised, adorned with flowers, lace, and valuable 
paintings. King Ferdinand walked on the archbishop's right, and 
on his left Joachim I., elector of Brandenburg : before the canopy 
were two lines of priests and choristers ; then the two masters 
of the ceremonies of the imperial and royal households, followed 
by the heralds, trumpeters, and other musicians ; next came 
the senators of the empire, the members of the Aulic and royal 
councils, the magistrates of the city, and the official members of 
the palace. Behind the canopy came the emperor, clothed in a 
large purple mantle, lined with cloth of silver, carrying a torch, 
bareheaded and unprotected by parasol from the heat of the 
summer sun. In his majesty's train were the legate, the arch- 
bishops and bishops, the deputies of the imperial cities, the 

1 Tiach-Reden, ch. xlv. p. 842. > Seckendorf, 1. c. lib. ii. p. 162. 


grandees of Spain, the Italian and Flemish nobility^ and lastly, 
the guards of the emperor and the king of Bohemia. The 
assistants carried torches, walking silently and slowly, and knelt 
whenever the archbishop elevated the Blessed Sacrament, and 
presented it for the adoration of the faithful. The choir 
children strewed flowers on the path of the procession. The 
Protestant princes awaited the emperor in the church, which they 
had received permission from Luther to enter. John the elector 
carried the imperial sword, in discharge of the duties of his 
office. However, he had thought it right to consult ii^me theo- 
logians, and among others Doctor Martin, who allowed him to 
perform his duties as grand vassal, after the example of Naaman, 
who supported with his hand the king of Syria, his master, when 
he went to adore the idol Rimmon.^ The reformed theologians 
did not cloak their language. The emperor was the infidel prince 
of Syria ; the Catholic church the pagan temple ; and Christ, 
whom the people were to adore, was the idol Bimmon. 

The Protestant princes, after his majesty entered the church, 
took the places assigned to them. Charles was seated on his 
throne, facing the altar. The choir was hung with crimson 
velvet ; on the right and left of the high altar were six chairs, 
each inscribed: "Mayence,"' "Cologne," "Bohemia," "Bavaria," 
" Saxony," " Brandenburg ;" one chair was left vacant, and 
marked the place of the elector of Treves, then absent. The 
officers of the electors stood before them, with their swords 
resting on their shoulders. As soon as the electors were seated, 
various princes and counts entered the -choir ; then the count of 
Pappenheim closed the doors, and handed the keys to the 
chamberlain. The archbishop of Mayence then intoned the 
" Veni Creator," and all present rose simultaneously : next followed 
the Mass of the Holy Spirit, according to the constitution of the 
Golden Bull. After the Gospel, the two assistants, followed by 
priests and preceded by two acolytes, bearing tapers, advanced, 
made three low obeisances to the emperor, and thrice incensed 
him : and the same once to the electors of Mayence and Cologne, 

' XJleiiberg, Historia de VitA, Moribus, &c. Martini Lutheri, p. 374. 
Calvin, in his Nicodemites, has examined the question of the presence of 
"Christians" in a Catholic church, and has come to a different conclusion 
from Luther : the example of Naaman appears to him of no value. See our 
History of Calvin. 


the king of Bohemia^ the elector of Saxony, and the maigrave of 
Brandenhurg, to all of whom they gave the Gospel to kiaa. 
During the " Agnus Dei/' the assistants carried a silver cross to 
the emperor and the electors to kiss. When the Mass was over, 
the archbishop took off his vestments behind the altar, put on a 
cope, and kneeling down intoned a hymn, which the emperor's 
band finished. 

The procession then, in the same order, returned to the 
episcopal palace, where his majesty resided. 

Let us see who these scrupulous parties were who were afraid 
of sullying their innocence by entering a Catholic church with- 
out Luther s permission. There was, first, the elector John, one 
of the greatest gluttons of his time, whose overcharged stomach, 
laden with meat and drink from mom to night, required an iron 
girdle to support it, lest it should fall ; the devoted adherent of 
a creed which abolished fasting and Lent, and permitted flesh to 
be eaten on Friday and Saturday. The sideboard of this elector 
was considered to be the most richly furnished in Germany, with 
vessels of aU kinds, stolen from the monastic refectories or the 
sacristies of the churches.^ There was his son Frederick, who 
spent his time and health at the table or in hunting, and, like 
his father, a jolly companion, devoted to wine and good cheer, 
and scarcely acquainted with his catechism. There was the 
landgrave of Hesse, whose lechery had become proverbial, a 
shameless adulterer, who, to resist carnal temptations, demanded 
and obtained leave to cohabit with a couple of wives,^ and who 
caused himself to be waited on at table by servants upon whose 
sleeves were embroidered these five capital letters: " V.D.M.LiE.'' 
^'Verbum Domini manet in SBtemum ;" — "The word of the 
Lord endures for ever." There was Wolfgang, prince of Anhalt, 
so grossly ignorant, that he never knew, it was said, how to 
make the sign of the cross. There were Ernest and Francis of 
Luneburg, who did not give their servants the trouble of robbing 
the churches, but stole, with their own hands, the sacred vessels. 
Such were the princes whose consciences were alarmed at the 
very idea of entering Catholic churches. 

' Ber ChurfUrst war ein Freund des Weines und der Jagd. — Adolph Menzel, 
torn. i. p. 338. 
* See chap. xxx. Bigamy of the Landgrave of Hesse. 


As soon as the emperor was seated, the archbishops and 
prelates came after each other to say grace. The archbishop of 
Mayence laid the seals of state on ^ the table ; and the emperor 
handed them to the chancellor of Angsbnrg, who suspended the 
great seal from his neck. Then came the margrave of Branden- 
burg, carrying a damask napkin, and silver basin and ewer, 
which he presented to the emperor to wash his hands. Next the 
count palatine, carrying four silver dishes, each weighing three 
marks, filled with warm viands, which he laid on the table; 
lastly, the king of Bohemia, grand butler, with a silver jug 
weighing twelve marks, full of wine and water, which he 
offered respectfully to the emperor. 

The edict of Worms expressly forbade the innovators to preach 
their doctrines. The edict had not beenrecaUed, but the Pro- 
testant princes, under the pretext that they could not do with- 
out spiritual nourishment, had, on arriving at Augsburg, opened 
in their private chapels a course of sermons, which the people 
attended in crowds. They went to hear the papists insulted, the 
pope and the bishops nicknamed Antichrist, and the celibacy of 
the clergy anathematized. An order of the emperor, proclaimed 
by sound of trumpet in all the public places, was necessary to 
silence these preachers, as Augsburg was menaced with the same 
scourges which desolated the lower empire, where every inhabitant 
had become a controversialist The city swarmed with Zwinglians, 
Anabaptists, Garlstadians, Illyrians, and Lutherans, all affirming 
that they were sent by God to preach his word. This cloud of 
gospellers settled here and there, and converted every stile into a 
pulpit to harangue the multitude, who, drawn from all quarters, 
knew not to whom to listen. Erasmus, with his usual sarcasm, 
has sketched this medley of doctrines, this confusion of subjects, 
this incessant hum of interrogatories, this deafening knell of 
Bible texts. " Here comes one, with the New Testament in his 
hand, and cries out: * Show me purgatory ;' another, * Where is 
infant baptism V a third, ' Where is the Trinity ; the divinity of 
Jesus V another, if there be in the hypostatic union this thing 
or thai Wait, it is not all over : I see one who asks how there 
can be accidents in the eucharist ; another, if the bread and 
wine are reduced to nothing, or changed into his body by alte- 


ration ; a third, if the body subsists in him who receives it, or is 
changed into his substance/' ^ 

Truly Erasmus was fortunate in being sick in Switzerland ; 
for at Augsburg, whither Melancthon had invited him, his ears 
would have been cruelly tortured, and his head, already over- 
worked, would have turned giddy. 

He would not probably have been more satisfied with certain 
Catholic preachers who, before the arrival of Charles V., had 
publicly denounced many of the great men of the age. Such, 
for instance, was a Franciscan, whose name was not bestowed on 
him by the resentment of Erasmus,^ and whose sermons were in 
great repute, because he spared in them neither priests, bishops, 
pope, emperor, nor the learned, to which latter he attributed all 
the evils that desolated Qermany. " My brethren," said he, " I 
announce to you a new luminary, which has just dawned in our 
horizon ; my tongue sticks to my palate ; I wish to tell you of 
a long-eared doctor, a thorough ass, who has the impudence to 
attempt to correct the * Magnificat,' a canticle inspired by the 
Holy Ghost ! This precursor of Luther has corrupted the 
Gospel, and infected Germany." It was Erasmus whom the 
friar meant. John Faber,' confessor of Charles V., and the 
cardinal of Trent, imposed silence on him, and forbade him to 
preach, to the great dissatisfaction of the people of Augsburg, 
who loved his vituperative discourses. 

Erasmus has preserved for us the sketch of a comedy which 
savours of Lutheranism, and was audaciously performed before 
the emperor, who did not discover its meaning until the close. 

The court was assembled in the hall of the diet, where the 
king of Bohemia, the prelates, and the reformed princes were 
present. Suddenly appeared a man with a mask, in the long 
gown of a doctor, having inscribed on his back in large letters 
the name of Keuchlin. He held in his hand a faggot, the 
branches of which were bent in the form of a fan, and which he 
placed in the middle of the hall. Then appeared a masked 
ecclesiastic, with a sharp nose, twinkling eye, and sneering lip. 

* Enusmi Epistol®, ep. 1094. 

' Concio, sive Merdordus. The Franciscan^s name was Merdard. 

' " Joh. Faber, scortatioDis patronns ei unus ex prsecipuis papistis, qui beaio 
Luthero, vel veritis Spiritai sancto, restiterunt/' aays a disciple of Luther. 


who was immediately recognised for Erasmus. He advanced, 
bowing on each side, with a mincing gait, and looked with a 
smile at the bent branches, which he endeavoured to bend back ; 
but his efforts being vain, he was obliged to throw them aside in 
disgust, and departed, muttering between his teeth some unin- 
telligible words, and grinning with a diabolical leer. A monk 
succeeded him with a large forehead, and blown-up face, purpled 
with wine, who bellowed with a deep voice, and set fire to the 
faggot : then came an emperor with a large sword, with which 
he stirred the fire, which crackled and threw out sparks on all 
sides : then a pope in full pontificals, carrying in each hand a 
cruet ; in the right one of water, in the left one of oil. He 
approached for the purpose of extinguishing the fire, but unfor* 
tunately by mistake threw the oil instead of the water on the 
fire, which blazed up and consumed the faggot Charles was 
offended, and ordered the culprit to be sought for ; but he could 
not be found.* 

The diet opened on the 20th of June, in the presence of 
the emperor, King Ferdinand, the electors, princes of the empire, 
and deputies of the imperial cities, in a vast hall hung with 
velvet. In the middle of a semicircle, the sides of which were 
furnished with crimson velvet arm-chairs, prepared for the 
sovereign princes, — rose the emperor's throne, covered with cloth 
fringed with gold and silver. On either side were pages dressed 
in the Spanish costume. Charles wore a mantle which swept 
the ground, and on his head the imperial crown ; the elector of 
Saxony, who discharged the functions of grand marshal of the 
empire, carried the imperial sword ; the hand of justice was held 
by the margrave. The cushion on which the crown was to be 
laid when Charles uncovered himself was kept by two pages. 
On the second row of the semicircle were the seats of the arch- 
bishops and bishops, the papal nuncio, and the ambassadors ; 
below these were the folding chairs reserved for the Catholic 
doctors, Eck, Cochlaeus, and Nausea. Eck we already know. 

CochlaDus bore no resemblance to Eck ; instead of laying nets, 
he wove a spider's web, in which he waited patiently until his 
adversary was caught. " He was a nettle which flourished amidst 

* Life of Erasmus, by De Borigni, torn. ii. p. 272. 


roses and lilies/' says the poet : ^ moreoyer, he waa a brare 
cavalier, of noble appearance, who sometimes sounded the trampet 
admirably, and hurled a bold defiance at his adversary. This 
cartel of Gochl»us was not unworthy the acceptance of Luther. 

" Cochl«us to Luther. — If you are a man, come with arms 
and not with insults ; take up the sword of the Holy Spirit, 
which is the word of Grod, and let us measure our strengtL 
Here is one prepared to fight for the faith and the honour of 
religion. Gome, if you have courage : come, and dispute in open 
day, in any place that the emperor may appoint, clearly and 
intelligibly : come, and let us harangue without circumlocutions, 
evasions, or reservations. If I &il, I shall not refose exile, 
imprisonment, the wheel, the stake, or the sword, or any punish- 
ment that the arbiters of the contest may please to inflict on the 
vanquished. It will be a glorious thing for me to fight, conquer, 
or die for my faith. Come, then ; struggle, contend, triumph, 
or fall in returning to the truth. I send this challenge to you, 
or such of your disciples as may wish to maintain the honour of 
your Babylon. None but a womanish soul would, in such a case, 
make use of jokes and jests, ridicule and offensive similes. 
Men have other arms. Come then, armed eap-i-ptef — ^you, or 
your second, in your name. I await you. I have said it, 
and my act shall make good my word. May God assist me ! 

The Beformer 8 disdain for Cochlaaus is singular. He did 
not condescend to reply to him even once. He must have con- 
sidered him unimportant, since Cochlseos never provoked him to 
anger.* When his celebrated work, " The Seven-headed Beast^" 
appeared, Luther said, " I have but one, which they cannot cut 
ofiF ; what would it be if I had seven of them ?" * 

* ** Attamen annumerat tantis quoque mu8a mereniem 
Luminibus ; virtas qu6d vel in hoste placet, 
Lilia sic inter crescens urtica, rosafique 
Geiininat et fruitnr floris honore boni." 

* Cochlseus died at Breslau, 10 January, 1552. He is especially known by 
his history, De Actia et Scriptis Martini Lutheri. 

' See Articuli ccccc Mart. Lutheri, quibus sinji^latim responsum est k 
Job. CocblsDO : Colonise, 1525, 4to. Sept. Lutherus, ubique sibi suis scriptis 
contrariuB, per Cochleenm editus. Lipsise, Schumann, 1529, 4 to. 

* "Job. CochlsBUS multijugft instructus eruditione, et sacris totus deditna 
litteris,'* according to the testimony of the Lutheran Reusner, in his Icon. 
Virorum, &c. p. 85. 


Frederick Nausea, Cardinal Campeggio's Becreiaiy, had been 
for four years one of the great Catholic polpit orators of May- 
ence ; he was somewhat diffuse, destitate of fire and feeling, but 
deeply read in the Scriptures and the Fathers. After severe 
study^ he had receiyed the doctorates of law and theology. He 
was a scholar devoted to classical literature, a taste for which he 
endeavoured to diffuse in Qermany. Like all men of intellect 
at that time, he possessed a vast deal of information ; and was 
at once physician, lawyer, philosopher, poet, and astronomer.^ 

John Faber was a theologian of the renaissance, who knew 
Aristotle and St. Thomas by heart, devoted like a laureated 
student to Horace and Virgil, a man of the world, and as par- 
ticular in his dress as in his language. At Rome, he had 
disputed with Hortensius the prize for memory ; and had it been 
necessary would have recalled to Luther, if he had forgotten it, 
everything that the monk had written for fifteen years, without 
even foigetting the offensive portions. He had good luck. 
Instead of growing pale over books to reftite his adversary, he had 
made himself acquainted with him, and was then about to compose 
Luther's '* Antilogia.'' Open the book, you meet Arius, Manes, 
Berengarius: turn the page, you find Scotus and Durandus; 
and often on the same leaf, Huss and Cajetan. 

Faber's work had caused amusement. 

But Luther was jpigry. " I shall not reply," he said, " either 
to CochlsBus or Faber : there is not an ass that does not obtain 
the degree of doctor as soon as he attacks Luther. Luther is a 
god who makes beggars lords, asses doctors, scoundrels saints, 
and changes dirt into precious atones: it was I who raised 
Adrian to the tiara, and you shall see that I will make Faber a 
cardinal." * 

Faber was an able controversialist, who, according to Melanc- 
thon, displayed no less learning than zeal to reconcile parties at 
Augsburg. It was he who said in the pulpit at the diet of 

' He wrote: Consilia de Puero Litteris instituendo ; Disticba in Omnia 
Capita Librorum Lactaotii ; Principia Dialectioes ; De NaturA CommoDda- 
tioneqne Thennamm ; Lib. VII. Renim Mirabilium ; Orationes, Epi^rammata, 
&o. Dnpin, Bibl. des Aut. Ecd. du Seizi^e SihcLe, Senurii Mogunt. Ber. 
lib. i. cap. xl. No. 18, p. 176. 

' Adyersus iteratnm Edictum Episcopi Misnensia pro Commanione sub unft 
Specie : a pamphlet which Seckendorf ealla " yehemeoB et aculeatum." 


Spires : '^ I would sooner believe in Mahomet than in Luther ; 
for the former has preserved fasting, abstinence, prayers, and 
good works." " I fear much," replied Luther at table, " that 
he may have prophesied like Caiaphas, and may one day become 
a Turk." * Luther was mistaken, for Faber died in his diocese 
of Vienna, which Ferdinand conferred on him as the reward of 
his literary labours. ''Here is another elevated by this poor 
fellow Luther," exclaimed Erasmus, on hearing of the nomination 
of Faber, whose piety and learning he, however, revered.* 



Opening of the Diet. — ^The Protestant princes present their confession of faith 
to the emperor. — The confession of Augsbni^ is a manifesto against the 
original creed of Luther. — ^The doctor's contradictions. — Melancthon gives 
an account to his master of the deliberations of the Diet. — Luther at Cobuig. 
— Melancthon's dispositions of mind at Augsburg. — Various concessions 
which he makes to the Catholics. — ^Luther, from Cobuig, opposes every kind 
of dealing with the " papists." — Spalatinus and Jonas desire a reconciliation. 
— Anger of Luther, who will have peace at no price. — Bruck is of a similar 
way of thinking. — Melancthon's chagrin and discouragement. — Cries of 
reprobation against the attempts at reconciliation made by the professor. — 
Luther's appeal to popular hatred. — ^The elector of Saxony clandestinely 
leaves Augsburg. — Melancthon, to be reconciled with the Swiss, who could 
not obtain a hearing at the Diet^ alters the text of the confession. — ^The 
confession, considered as a dogmatic creed, does violence to the principle of 
free inquiry. 

When the Count Palatine, in the name of the emperor, had 
pronounced the opening discourse, all present standing uncovered, 
a herald-at-arms sounded the trumpet on tlie steps of the palace. 
At this signal the gates of the great hall were opened, and the 
most distinguished of the citizens entered, and took their seats 
in the places which had been prepared for them. The emperor 
had reserved several of them for the theologians of his own party: 
— Justus Jona8 and Spalatinus, who died, it is said, in the faith 

» Tisch-Reden, pp. 364, 865. 

* Hist, de la Reformation, par Sleidan, lib. vii. torn. ii. p. 202. 


of their maater ; Melancthon, who rejected some of the doctrines 
of the Saxon school ; and Agricola of Eisleben, the leader of 
the Antinomians, who abandoned and afterwards returned to 
Latheranism, and died at Berlin, half Catholic and half Pro- 
testant.^ Zwinglians, Anabaptists, and Carlstadians, were 
mingled in the crowd. The Lutherans, who came to Augsburg 
to demand liberty of conscience, were ready to co-operate in any 
rigorous measures which the authorities might adopt against the 
dissenting innovators. 

Then the elector of Saxony, the margrave of Brandenburg, 
Duke Francis and Ernest of Luneburg and Brunswick, Philip, 
landgrave of Hesse, and Wolfgang, prince of Anhalt, rose from 
their seats, and approached the emperor's throne. Then Oeorge 
Pontanus (Bruck), chancellor of John the elector, requested his 
majesty^s permission to read openly before the Orders the con- 
fession of faith of the Protestant princes ; in the view of opening 
the eyes of those who ascribed heretical opinions to them. The 
emperor appointed them to meet him on the following day in the 
hall of the episcopal palace. 

In the mean time, he requested them to send to him the con- 
fession ; but the princes excused themselves, under the pretext 
that the copy had been hastily made, was full of errors, omis- 
sions, and words deleted and illegible.' 

The bishop's palace could not hold all the reformers ; many of 
them were obliged to remain in the adjoining apartments, and in 
the lobbies, where they waited with inexpressible anxiety the 
effect of the reading of the reformed creed. The chancellor. 
Christian Baier, who waa commissioned to read Mdancthon's 
confession, had a sonorous voice. His words, listened to in 
profound silence, were heard, it is said, in the court of the 
castle, where numerous Protestants drew, from the silence which 
was accorded to the reader, bright auguries for the future 
prospects of their confession.' 

When the confession was read, the emperor, whose counte- 
nance evinced no emotion, gave a copy of it in German to the 

* Sleidan, L c. lib. vi. p. 232, note. 

' Goelestin. torn. iii. fol. 1 et aeq. MaimboiiT|f, lib. ii. p. 189. 

» GiiBtaT Pfizer, 1. o. p. 628. 


archbishop of Mayence, kept for himself the Latin one, which 
he had received from the chancellor, Christian Baier,^ and dis- 
missed the princes, after exacting a promise from them that they 
would not publish the confession without his express permission. 
Notwithstanding their promise, the princes caused five editions 
of it in German and two in Latin* to be printed in the course 
of that yery year, all presenting marked variations from each 

In the whole history of the Reformation, there is no more 
luminous manifesto against Luther's mission than the creed of 
Melancthon, known by the name of the '^ Augsbui^ Confession/' 
A monk announces himself as the priest of God's word, as anew 
Ecclesiastes or Eliseus. He desires that his authority should 
prevail over that of the Catholic Churcbp; and people, either 
misled or surprised, have walked in its light. At intervaJfl, God 
raises up doctors who undertake the defence of the truth ; but 
evil passions stifle their voice, and their profession is the great 
obstacle which prevents their being listened to. But now the 
Jeremias of the Reformer, the disciple on whom Luther has set 
his affections, the child of his heart and teaching, when com- 
pelled to show to the world the creed of the new teachers, pre- 
sents, after many days of labour, a confession which smells of 
the lamp, so much has it been read, reperused, corrected, and 
blurred Luther countersigned and noted it with these remark- 
able words : '' Let whoever teaches the contrary to this be con- 
demned ! " Tet let it not be supposed that this was a faithful 
exposition of the doctrines which he had hitherto taught. We 
remember his violence towards Erasmus on the subject of free- 
wiU,' which the divine prescience destroys in creatures; that 
enslaving of man which he discovered in the Scriptures, and 
which he imposes on our belief under pain of damnation. Well ! 
he consents to subscribe to the eighteenth article of Mdancihon's 
confession, wherein it asserts " that free-will is to be acknow- 
ledged in all men who have the use of reafion ; not for the things 

' The originalB of the oonfessioii are lost. The Latin one was for some time 
belieyed to be preeenred at Ma^enoe ; but Weber has proTed (Critisohe Qe- 
schichte der Augsbarger Confession), that it was only an inAconrate transcript. 

^ Schmidt^ History of the Germans, toI. yu p. 414. 

' See chap. viii. Erasmus and Free Will, 


of Qoi, which cannot be b^on or completed without Him, but 
merely for the things of this present life, and the duties of civil 
society." Melancthon adds, in his '' Apology,'' to render more 
intelligible a passage already so clear : " For the exterior works 
of the law of Ood."^ But this is what Erasmus said, and which 
excited Luther's brutality. 

" I do not want your free-wiU," said the Saxon ; " keep it ; 
if God were to offer it to me, I should refuse it/'* And now 
he accepts it, and makes it an article of his faitL 

It reminds us of that desolating axiom which he sought to 
enforce with all his erudition : " That God works sin in us." 
This was also a luminous ray which he derived from the Scrip- 
tures, and which he accused us of rejecting ; and yet he declares, 
in the nineteenth article, *^ that the will of man is the cause of 
sin ! " Emser, Gochlaeus, Eck, and Erasmus, — ^poor doctors ! 
— ^it is scarcely five years since yon denounced that doctrine of 
despair I What, then, had the Holy Spirit done ? — what so 
disturbed the mind of the father of the Eeformation ? Was it 
the letter that killed his understanding ? Whom, then, are we 
to believe ? — Luther, in his pulpit at Wittemberg ; or Melanc- 
thon, at the diet of Augsburg ? Let them now boast of the 
illuminations which the Bible suddenly emits, and which are 
possessed by any one who reads it. Either Luther was deceived 
himself, or deceived others. 

We have not forgotten the doctor's theories as to good works, 
which he considers sinful, although done by a righteous person.' 
To delude us, he corrupted the text of St Paul* by interpreta- 
tions which made the Catholics remonstrate ; but he ridiculed 
those Papists whom he dismissed to the schoolmen. If, to em- 
barrass him, the epistle of St. James was quoted : '' What an 
authority ! " he would say : " An apocryphal epistle, — an epistle 
of straw ! " And yet, after all, we were right. It was Luther 
who erred ; for now he says : " Good works are worthy of great 
praise ; they are necessary, and merit reward."' 

» Bo8BQet» Vamtiona, yoL i. p. 111. Conf. Act. 18, ApoL ad eund. loo. 

* Lath. De Lib. Arb. adyer. Eras. Bot. torn. i. fol. 226. 

* Lath. Assert. 86 omnium art. Op. torn. ii. fol. 525, 6. 

* Mcehler, Symbolism, translated by Bobertson^ vol. i. p. 289. 
» Synt. Gen. art. vi. pp. 12, 20. 


Let, then, all those sleep in peace whom Luther condemned 
when, resting his elbow on the table of his alehotise at Wittem- 
berg, between two pots of Torgau beer, he answered one of his 
companions, who asked him whether a Papist could be saved, — 
" Really, I do not know/'* Now Anthony, Bernard, Dominick, 
and Francis, are reckoned among the saints by Melancthon's 
" Apology ;" consequently they were sons of the true Church.- 
It was only St. Thomas Aquinas whom he damns without mercy, 
" probably," says Bossuet^ " because he was a Dominican/' We 
may even henceforth, in all safety of conscience, assist at mass^ 
— that invention of Satan ;* — for, says the " Apology," the 
Reformers have not abolished it. 

" It is celebrated among us," continues Melancthon, " with 
extreme reverence ; and all the ordinary ceremonies are pre- 
served in it/'* At that time, indeed, a Catholic would have 
been deceived on entering some of the reformed churches near 
Wittemberg. With his missal, he might have followed the 
priest, and recognised the introit, the kyrie, the collect, epistle, 
gospel, credo, preface, sanctus, words of consecration, elevation. 
Lord's Prayer, agnus, communion, and thanksgiving. The 
tapers burned on the altars, the incense smoked, they sang in 
Latin and German ; the priest had his vestments, the chasuble, 
with the embroidered cross, the surplice, and the amice. Melanc- 
thon had insisted on retaining the Catholic liturgy, which partly 
remained in some remote provinces until his death, and then 
was abolished, with the few truths which he had preserved. In 
Bavaria, at certain Lutheran masses, you might still have prayed 
for the dead, as was done in the primitive church ; this is 
acknowledged by the " Apology," which does not prohibit these 
pious efiusions. Mark this ! the veneration of the departed, the 
belief in the expiation of souls in the next life ;^ these two great 
superstitions, against which Luther had declaimed ; these prac- 
tices of yesterday's growth, sprung from a papistical brain ! But 
there is yet something more astonishing : '' Sodom and Qomorrha, 

> Ttflch-Reden, p. 499. 

' Apol. Reap, ad Argam. p. 99 ; de votis mon. p. 281. 

» Von der Mease, Tiaoh-Reden, p. 886. 

^ Forma Miasas, cap. iL Boaauet, Variations, book iii. p. 144. 

* Boaauet, p. 135. Apol. cap. de Vocab. Mias. p. 284. 


the great whore of Babylon/' — ^the CathoKc Ghnrch, in short, — 
IB restored to favour, justified, and glorified by Lather ; " for," 
says the ^ Apology/ " this is the soimnary of oar creed, in which 
nothing will be found contrary to Scripture, the Catholic or 
even the Roman Church/'^ What more can be wished? here 
is an eulogy on tradition, an appeal to the doctors of the fiedthi 
an ofiPering to the saints whom we revere. '' We do not despise 
the dogmas of the Catholic Church, nor do we wish to maintain 
the impieties which she has condemned ; for it is not irregular 
passions, but the authority of (Jod's word and of the ancient 
Church which has led us to embrace this doctrine to augment 
the glory of God ; the doctrine of the prophets and the apostles, 
the holy fathers, of Saints Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, &c/'* 
But when did the reign of the ancdent Church terminate? 
Neither Melancthon nor Luther have informed us. *It could not 
have been in the fifteenth century, since Luther elsewhere calls 
Gerson, who had condemned Wiclif and John Huss at the 
Council of Constance, "in every respect an admirable man."' 
So, remarks Bossuet, the Roman Church was still the mother of 
saints in the fifteenth century.^ 

What, then, are we to think of this confession of fidth of 
Augsbuxg ? Had Luther made it at the disputation at Leipsic, 
wodd heresy have rent the Church, or Saxony been deluged with 
the blood of the peasants ? Had there been a Melancthon in 
1519, the religious revolution would not have taken place ; had 
there not been a Luther in 1530, the revolution would have been 
ended ; at least, we believe so. 

On hearing this confession, the Catholic doctors were struck 
with astonishment. They looked at each other, exchanged silent 
.signs, and could not comprehend this guarded language, which 

* Conf. Aug. Genevse, pp. 22, 23. Apol. Besponno ad Argmnent., p. 441 

* Besponsio ad Argument, edit. Geneyie, art. 21, p. 144. 

While at the diet Melancthon, in the name of the reformed prinoes, 
spoke thus of our Fathers, Luther wrote to Brenz : " Ben^ cum indignatione 
admiror qnomodo Hieronjmus nomen doctoris Eoclesite, et Origenes magistri 
ecdesiarum poet epistolas meruerint, chm in utroque auctore non fiusilb tres 
versus invenias de fidei justitiA docentes, neoue Christianum uUum facere 

fneas ex universis utriusque scriptis. Neque alius fuisset Augustinus,'* &c. — 
trentio, 26 Aug. De Wette, tom. iv. p. 150. 

^History of Variations, hook iii. p. 182. 



the Beformers ha4 always disdained ; this sober and cahn arga- 
mentation ; this candid exposition, in which the ear vainly 
expected an angry expression ; in which occasionally some 
leaven of novelty fermented, or some heresy rose, but concealed 
under the graces of a phraseology of which the model had been 
for some time lost. 

The princes were told that their confession would be carefully 
examined, and that a formal refutation of it would be given to 
them, at the time appointed by the emperor. 

The Protestants wished that the Catholics should also draw 
up their confession. '' What need is there for it V said Faber ; 
'' we believe to-day what we believed yesterday, and what we 
will believe to-morrow." 

Luther, to whom Melancthon communicated the deliberations 
of the diet, was sick at Coburg. With his imagination, which 
coloured everything, he had given a poetical name to his new 
prison. Wartburg was the Patmos of the new evangelist, the 
citadel of Coburg was his Sinai. He had, as we see, grown 
mighty. At Wartburg, he was an evangelist ; at Coburg, he is 
Jehovah ; in the morning enveloped in clouds, in the evening 
among owls.^ 

Luther was then suffering from pains in his ears and head, 
and dizziness to such an extent that he could not even dwell 
on serious subjects. ^' My head rings, or rather thunders,'^ said 
he ; '' if I did not give over work, I should faint ; my head is 
nothing but a small chapter, it will soon become a paragn^h, 
and end by becoming a period."'^ ^' It is not a natural malady/' 

■ He writes to Melanothon : " Wir sind endlioh einnud in nnsenn 8inai 
an^relanget. Wir wollen aber auch diesem Sinai ein Sion machen..'* — ^L other's 
8&nmtUche Werke : HaUe, torn. xv. p. 2827. 

In the chamber occupied bv the doctor in the citadel of Coburg, and 
adjoining a plantation, is the following inscription set to music : — 



Kon mo-ri-arsed Ti-rametnar-ra-bo o - pe-ra Do • - - mi-ni. 

M. Luiherus D. 15, c. 80. 

> Lutberus ad Cordatum d. d. 23 Sept. ex arce Coburg. in Cosiest, torn, iii . 
fol. 89, et Bttdd. Suppl. n. clxxzii. p. 211. " Totum hoc tempus, quo hlc fiii, 
pend dimidium periit mihi otio molestissimo ; jam violentitis et pertinaeiiia 
caput meum oppressit et vexavit tinnitus, sen bombus potiiis yentorum tnr- 
bini similis." Ad Melanchth. d. d. 12 Maii ap. Budd. num. cxviii. p. 92, et 


he \nrote to his friend ; '^itia the finger of Satan that presses on 
me. Bat if I cannot read or write^ I can at least pray, and 
resist his arm. God permits me to sleep, walk about, sing and 
play."' And elsewhere : " I have received yonr letter ; I was 
learning to know Satan. I was alone, Veit and Cyriacns had 
left me The devil did his business so well, that he forced me to 
leave my chamber, and mingle with the residents.'" Sometimes 
he sought refuge from temptations in the chapel of the castle, at 
the foot of the cross.^ But a visible power tormented him more 
than the prince of darkness; this was the emperor, whom he 
studiously flattered in the letters which he wrote to his friends, 
and which they might show to the prince. But from Melancthon 
he concealed neither his fears nor his despair. 

When at intervals the pains in his head become easier, and 
his brain is free from. that misty atmosphere which conceals 
from his eyes all the objects of creation, and even God himself ; 
then, like Gcetz von Berlichingen nailed to his chair, he resumes 
his pen to write to his friends letters in which all the fresh ideas 
of his youth appear, and that poetic style which he alone of the 
Beformers of his period possessed ; as in this jesting letter to his 
companions : — 

*^ A small orchard is above my window, quite a miniature forest, 
in which the crows and rooks have established their diet. They 
come and go, croak and scream incessantly, by day and by night, 
as if they were drunk or mad. Both old and young scream 
together, so that it is a miracle that their breath or voice does 
not fail them. I should like to know if you have those noble 
birds ; I believe they have assembled here from the four quarters 
of the world. I have not, as yet, seen their emperor, but fre- 
quently their margrave and barons. They hover and fly con- 
stantly before me ; their attire is not veiy handsome ; they have 
but one colour, and that is black. They all sing the same air, 
but with slight variations, suited to their ages and ranks. I believe 
that they are not very fond of fine palaces. The hall of their 

Coelest. torn. i. fol. 41, 6. ** Caput tmnitibus, im5 tonitruls coepit impleii et 
nisi f ubitb deaiissent, statim in syncopen fuissem lapsus, quam segrd hoc bidno 
evBsi. Itaque jam tertia dies est, quod ne liiteram quidem inspioere volui, 
nee potui. Caput menm &ctum est capitulum, perget rero fietqae paragra- 
phus, tandem periodus." 

' Gustav. P6zer, 1. c. p. 644. 



conference has for a ceiling a large and magnificent sky, and the 
ground on which they rest their feet is a field, in which strong 
branches serve for a table ; their boundary is infinity. They 
have no need of horses ; for they have rapid wheels at ^eir com- 
mand to escape firom the gun, or provoke the sportsman. They 
are high and mighty lords ; but what they decide in their diet I 
do not yet know. As £Ar as I am able to learn from a skilful 
interpreter, they come to arrange a crusade against com, barley, 
oats, malt, — in short, against all cereals ; and their knights 
threaten to do wonders. This is my diet, in which I take great 
interest ; these orders of the empire sing admirably, I assure you, 
and live still better. It is a pleasure to see these noble knights 
hovering in the air, sharpening their beaks, and preparing their 
arms to plunder as they go along. Oo, and may the thorn be your 
blazonry ! To conclude, I believe that these flights of crows and 
rooks represent the sophists and papists, with their concerts of 
preaching and writings, of which I must bear the assaults, and 
listen to their chants and lectures ; a notable example, which 
teaches us that this rabble has been created to cat whatever is 
on the earth, and to yelp and scream for a long time yet."^ 

The Catholic doctors assembled, examined Melancthon's con- 
fession, and condemned it, as opposed in many parts to the 
d(^mas of the Church of Rome. They have been reproached 
with acting more as scholars than masters in theology, in hold- 
ing up with too bitter irony and too clamorous exultation the 
versatility of the Lutheran doctrine. They would wish that the 
heart of a theologian should be proof agaiiist vanity, and that he 
could change his nature, and cease to be a man ; but that is 
impossible ! A monk, who has been represented as an imp of 
Antichrist, who for many years has employed- his learning to 
prove that he has nothing to do with the spirit of darkness, and 
that the pope is not the angel of the abyss foretold by St John ; 
a monk, to whom his very enemies now open the gates of heaven, 
while they bow before the pontifif whom until now they have 
been constantly abusing, — may not this monk feel a little proud ? 
And may he not be forgiven for having committed the sin of vanity, 

* Gustav. Pfizer, Dr. Martin Luther*8 Leben, pp. 669, 670. 
Luther has reproduced the same picture, but vrith different details, in a letter 
to Justus Jonaa, 22 April, 1530. 


when his adversary has committed those of envy and wrath ? Sub- 
sequently, Luther regretted that he had so readily agreed to ^ve the 
kingdom of heaven to these wretched Papists ; and in his " Tisch-. 
Rcden/' he cannot find enough of fire in hell to bum them. 

The answer of 4;he Catholics was reconsidered at the emperor's 
express desire.* 

During the whole of Luther's existence, chequered by so many 
controversies, sorrows, sicknesses, and temptations, there was no 
time in which he suffered so much as at the diet of Augsburg. 
On that occasion, his afflictions were the more acute, because 
they proceeded not from the Papists, but from those who were 
dearest to him in the world, his disciples, who were to watch 
during his exile at Goburg over the common interests of the 

Melancthon was weary of controversy. He was desirous of 
peace for the remaining years of his master and for Germany, 
which for fifteen years had shed so much blood and tears ; for 
the head of the Church, towards whom his youthfrd prepossessions 
drew him ; for that holy army of Catholic prelates, who fer so many 
years had stood in the breach, and who, by an unbroken chain, 
remounted to the very cradle of Christianity. At Augsburg we 
were shown the doister where at evening he loved to walk, 
recalling to memory that ancient legion of bishops whose remains 
were covered by some sculptured slabs. To Melancthon's eyes, 
antiquity presented something solemn. As he could not pass an 
ordinary ruin without emotion, so he could not think without r^ret 
that the Catholic edifice would crumble away one day like the 
stones of the material building, for he had the weakness to believe 
in his master's vaticinations of the approaching end of the papacy. 
He wished to prevent that papacy from perishing, by preserving 
the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Tradition, then, must be a beautiful 
thing, since in that atmosphere of passions in which the Lutherans 
at the diet were involved, Melancthon trembled at the bare idea 
of laying hands on it. He wished to put an end to the schism, 
and return without too much shame to the bosom of the Church 
which he had left ; we know not what he might have done, if 
the devil had not tormented him from his prison at Coburg ! 

* The firot report of the Cathdio commifiBion is partly to be found in CkskS' 
tiuufi, Uistoria Comitiorum August, torn. ii. p. 234. 


Lather was ill ; a prey to pains which split his head as with 
an axe, which hissed in his ears like snakes, and stmck on his 
brain like thunderbolts or avalanches — ^for such are the similes 
he employs to express his sufferings ; — ^yet, at the mere mention 
of reconciliation, at which his disciple hinted in. one of his letters, 
he gets up, takes his pen; and at the terrible word restitution, 
heaps insults and calumnies on the Catholics. '' What ! we 
restore ? Let them begin by restoring to us Leonard Eeyser, 
and the many victims whom they have slain ! Let them restore 
to us the souls who have been lost by their impious doctrines !— ^ 
the noble intellects destroyed by their fraudulent indulgences ! 
Let them Restore the glory of God, obscured by their blaj^phemies ; 
— the clerical purity, which they have sullied and insulted ; then 
we shall reckon and see to whom the balance is due ! '" ^ 

Melancthon felt his soul moved, and communicated his secret 
griefs to the bosom of his master. Luther forgot his own suffer- 
ings to revive the courage of his disciple. For a moment, a 
blush had covered Philip's cheek when Faber quoted the passages 
in which the Reformer maintained the necessity of auricular 
confession. He had no answer to give. They could not be 
rejected. The books were there, with the pages folded down at 
the different places where the Catholic doctrine had been defended 
by Luther. He could not answer, as Jonas did, when hard 
pressed by his opponents, — that Lutiier, when he wrote them, was 
then in the swaddling-bands of the papacy ; for he had by that 
time burst them. Melancthon contented himself with candidly 
laying the objection before Luther, who answered it in a singular 

'' My adversaries quote my contradictions to make a parade of 
their learning ; blockheads ^t they are ! How can they judge 
of the contradictions of our doctrines, who do not understand the 
texts which clash with each other ? How can our doctrine appear 
to them otherwise than embarrassed with contradictions, when it 
demands and condemns works, rejects and authorises the neces- 
sity of rites, honours and censures the magistracy, affirms and 
denies sin ? But why carry water to the sea ?"* 

' JusiuB Jonas, 13 July. Do Wette, torn. iv. p. 89. 

- '' Ciun Bimul exigat et (Uimnet opera, simal tollat et restituat ritus, simul 


Is not this a strange refdtation i Melancthon was certainly 
in no Iiuny to show it to Faber. There was not a Catholic in 
all Germany who woold have attempted a similar justification in 
answer to Luther. 

At night, after the conference with the Catholic doctors waa 
over, Melancthon returned to his lodgings with a heavy heart 
and tearful eyes. His letters to Luther frequently conclude 
thus : '^ We are in grief and despair." ^ '^ Brenz, who accompanies 
and tries to console me, unites his teats with mina"' 

Jonas was alarmed with these tears, as a sign of discourage* 
ment, or perhaps of despair, and wrote to Luther intreating him 
to rouse his disciple's courage ; but the master's voice was power-^ 
less. Melancthon was a victim to doubt His friends foresaw 
afjEuilure ; and Obsopffius writes to Gamerarius : *^ They say, my 
friend, that Melancthon behaves as if he were in the pope's pay, 
and that, indeed, it would be impossible to find a better advocate 
for the cause of popery than he. He acts like Architophiles, 
say some ; like Erasmus, say others ; but I, like Melancthon 
himself." » 

Melancthon agreed that it was necessary not to strip the 
bishop of his authority, to leave him the r^ulation of the cere- 
monies of worship, and the maintenance of certain observances 
and practices in use among his flock. Luther, without rejectmg 
the bishop, denied his right to establish rules, which he gave to 
what he called the Church or assembly of the faithful, and which 
he made sole queen and mistress^ of the external or liturgical 
ceremonials. ^'But," said Faber, ''who, then, will assemble 
and convoke this Church, since you reject the pope's authority ?" 
— " The bishop," replied Luther, "who is, in reality, nothing 

magistratom oolat et arguat, simnl peccatum asserat et neget. Sed quid aquas 
i& mare t"— Ph. Melanclktlioiij, 20 July, 1580. 

' "Venamur hlo in uuBerrimia curia et planb perpetuis laorymis."— £p. 
Mel. Mens. July, p. 21. 

' " Brentius aasidebat bso scribenti et quidem laorynuum." — Ep. Mel. 25 
Jan. 1530. Chytr. in Hist. Aug. Conf. p. 73. 

' " Aiunt omninb : si conductus quanta ipee voluiHaet pecuniA It napA easet, 
nunquam illius dominationem melitis potuisset asserere. Yooant quiaam Archi- 
tophilica concilia ; alii qui modestiores sunt, Erasmica : ut ego puto> propria 
ilhua."— Cam. in VitA Lulh. p. 135. Chytrseua, 1. c. p. 308. Ulenberg, 1. c. 
p. 57. 


but a steward/'^ And seiiotig difficulties began to embanass 
the mind of his disciple ; fiist, from the interference of the £sdth- 
ful in mattexs to which they were strangers, the danger to the 
doctrines from a popular action unrestrained by any authority, and 
the degradation of the sacerdotal character from its dependence 
on the multituda For example, if the people prescribe or reject 
fasting, to whom is the appeal from their decision ? Melancthon 
was folly aware that such a constitution directiy led to a denial 
of the Lutheran apostieship ; for Luther had not assembled the 
communion of the faithful to preach against indulgences, to 
abolish monastic tows, to abrogate the mass, to mutilate the 
Catholic teaching, to proscribe prayers for the dead, purgatory, 
and some of the sacraments. If the bishop had not the right 
to establish external practices, processions, or pilgrimages, could 
a monk, of his own personal authority, efiface from the catechism 
three principal dogmas, and like Luther give a new creed to the 
Christian world ? Were not Eck and Faber justified in exclaim- 
ing: '^ Oh ! misery of the human heart I" 

Let justice be done to Melancthon. If the schism had been 
represented at Augsburg only by conciliatory persons like him- 
self, it would have been extinguished. He knew weU that large 
assemblies are only calculated to foment party hatreds ; and he 
therefore proposed to select from the two communions theologians 
who should debate upon the controverted questions, without 
calling any one to their discussions. This proposition had be^ 

There were on both sides select individuals,— orators who were 
accustomed to debate, and casuists versant in all the niceties of 
controversy. The different articles of the Lutheran confession 
were successively examined ; — ^faith, the merit of works, penance, 
the sacrament of the Eucharist. The memories of Faber and 
Eck were prodigious ; they knew Luther's works by heart 
Eck, in his figurative language, assigned to the fiither of the 
Reformation many heads, whose several tongues taught, according 
to the times, different doctrines on the same dogma. The Reforma- 
tion was no longer so haughty ; its language was less assuming. 
The morning was devoted to matters of dogma ; the evening, to 
those of discipline. Melancthon was present at all the conferences, 

* MelanchthoDi, 20 July. De Wette, torn. iv. p. 105. 


and often repressed by his mildness the feelings which were 
frequently on the point of breaking forth to destroy the work of / 
conciliation, with which he connected all his reputation. Unfor- ^ 
tonatelyy what he effected with so much difficulty in the mom- \ 
' ingy was at evening submitted to the derisive and stem review ' 
of some Protestant puritans who desired neither peace nor tmce / 
with Kome. Luther was the leader of these intractable men.' 

Mdancthon, for example, acknowledged the authority of i 
bishops for the advantage of political and religious society. 
They had expelled the bishops from their sees, — ^he consented 
that they should be restored. ^' And how dare we be so bold/' 
said he, ^'to consecrate this triumph by bmtal violence, if, 
the bishops leave us our doctrines ? Must I say what I think ? 
Well, then, I should wish to restore to them both episcopal 
power and spiritual administration. Without the Church had a 
governing power, we should langtiish under a tyranny more in- 
tolerable than the present.''^ 

He went still further ; he wished to preserve the pope as the w 
visible head of the Church. On the 6th of July, he wrote to ^ 
the legate Camp^gio the following letter, the tone of which 
bears a strong contrast to Luther's habitual acrimony : — 

'^ We have no other doctrine than that of the Roman ChurcLi 
We are ready to obey her, if she will extend to us those treasures 
of good-will whereof she is so lavish to her other children. We 
are ready to cast ourselves at the feet of the Roman pontiff, and 
acknowledge the ecclesiastical hierarchy, provided iiiat we are 
not repulsed. And why should he reject the prayer of sup- 
pliants ? — why employ fire and sword, when the mptured unity 
can be so easily hesded V ' 

Unfortunately the princes had advisers whose interest it was 
to baffle the plan of pacification. They were courtiers who had 
gained a brilliant existence since the Reformation, and who could 
play the despot, under cover of their master's name, like the Chan- i 
cellor Bmck, who concealed his hatred to the pope under zeal for 

' Menzel, Keuere Geachiohte der Deutsohen, torn. i. p. S75 et Beq. 

• "Video pofltea multo fore kitolerabiliorem tynumidem qu2un antea un- 
quam fuit." — Ep. Camerorio, pp. 148, 151. 

* CcelesL Hiat. August. Confesaioms, torn. iii. p. 18. Pallavicini, Hist. 
Concil. Trid. lib. iii. cap. iii. 


region, and said, with a hypocritical tone of oompnnction, " that 
he could not conscientiously acknowledge the Antichrist who had 
been predicted by the apostle St Paul/'^ 

Melancthon replied to him : ^' Take care, it is dangerous to 
overturn an edifice that has stood for so many centuries ; even 
if the pope be Antichrist, we can live under him, as the Israelites 
did under Pharaoh/' * 

But Bruck's voice was more powerful His friends, formerly 
in orders, but now occupying fine situations at court, repeated 
with him : ''No peace with Antichrist^ and the beast of the 
Apocalypse/' The magistrates joined the priests ; a numerous 
faction, who had only embraced the Reformation to throw off 
the sacerdotal yoke, and who had gained honours and wealth by 
changing their religion. For a time Melancthon was decried, 
and accused of treachery and venality. The meek disdple 
yielded to the storm. He saw with sorrow that he had under- 
taken a task which the evil dispositions of his brethren rendered 
impossible ; " for," as he said to his master, in exposing to him 
the wounds of the Reformation, '' it is not for the Gospel that 
they contend, but for power. They give themselves small concern 
for instruction and religion, and only aim at despotism and 

Bruck knew well that Melancthon's attempt to reconcile the 
two religions would be defeated, for Luther was opposed to it 
Every idea of peace appeared to the Saxon an impiety, a sacri- 
lege While Philip employed his energies, his fervour of mind and 
pen, and even his tears — ^which Gochlsaus unjustly considers hypo- 
critical,^ — to effect a reconciliation ; Luther, in his '' Commen- 
tary on the Second Psalm," dedicated to that great martyr of 
Catholic constancy, the archbishop of Mayence, appealed to the 
hatred and stirred up the wrath of the German princes against 

' Seckendorf, Comm. de Lutheranismo, lib. ii. p. 176. 

' Coelest. Hist. Aug. Confess, torn. iiL p. 82. Miiller's Historie von der 
evangelischen Stande Protestation. Melancthon's original reply and the anno- 
tations of Bruck and Luther are in the archives of Weimar, £. t 87, n. 1. 
Act. fol. 83 et seq. 

' ''So sehr streiten unser^ Genossen fUr ihre Herrschaft, nicht fiir das 

* Cochlaei de Fraudulently Httsreticorum, Philippica I. apud Raynolduni^ 
ad ann. 1530, n. 85. 



the papacy, and offered his blood as a holocaust for the triumph 
of his passions.^ 

'' Let the king rage/' said he, ^' the pope roar, and the princes 
storm ; our King reigns, and the Son of the house. My dear 
masters, you shall leave him quiet, or else send him a challenge, 
and throw in his hce your anger and defiance, so that he may take 
precautions, don his armour, and build for himself a fort. But 
shall we Germans not cease to believe in the pope until he has 
provided us with a bath^ not of warm water, but of blood ? It 
is fine fiin for the pope when our princes take one another by 
the hair ; he laughs in his sleeve, and says : ^ These German 
blockheads will not have me as pope, but here I am/ I am no 
prophet, but I beseech you to take care that you have not to do 
with the pope and his adherents, but with the devil and his 
tricks, which I know/' 

And as Melancthon seemed intimidated, he addresses him in 
these contemptuous and insulting terms: '^ Whoever dies of 
fear, should have the braying of asses for his funeral dirge ; but 
for you, who die of sheer cowardice, what requiem should be 

Spalatinus, like Melancthon, was anxious for peace. He waa 
old, broken, and infirm ; the storms in which Luther had in- 
volved him had worn him out. He only sought the grave, and 
wished to descend to it quietly before Luther, for whom he sought 
to procure some hours of repose. 

At Augsburg, the Catholics anxiously urged the restoration 
of the Mass. Spalatinus was inclined to restore the Sacrament^ 
but he was afraid to offend Luther. He accordingly wrote to 
him a friendly and deferential letter ; and Luther thus rudely 
treats him : — 

'' It is Jesus Christ who has instituted the Mass, but he has 
not spoken to his Church of private masses. It is not enough 
to say : 'I have a good intention,' but rather, ' I have God ob 
my side/ Let no new worship be introduced without the express 
command of the Lord, as I have so often taught. You will say, 
on the same principle : ' I wish to become a monk, on grounds 
of piety;' but monks and private masses have all been con- 

^ Menzul, Neuere Getachichte^- &c. torn i. p. 382. 


demned; they must not be again pardoned, lest they shotdd 
revive. Let the robber be hanged ; it is his desert''^ 

What an immense advance towards peace ! Melancthon con- 
sents to acknowledge the power of the keys and the supremacy 
— consequently the infallibility — of the pope, episcopal jurisdic- 
tion, the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and expiation in the present 
j and future life by prayer and repentance. Justus Jonas is 
willing to restore the property of the clergy, to give back his cell 
I to the monk, his parsonage to the curate, and his palace to the 
'] bishop ; and Spalatinus wishes to re-establish private masses 
'and conventual life! Thus the Reformation was inclined to 
conciliation ; it renounced Luther, and only preserved some old 
grudges against doctrines which cost the self-love of its theo- 
logians too much to disavow ; while it ended by agreeing with 
Faber on the efficacy of works sustained by faith in Jesus Christ 
But Luther was there, ready to extinguish and stifle all thoughts 
of reconciliation : he desires neither peace nor truce, but war to 
the knife ; one of the two must die. Woe to him who inter- 
poses between Luther and the pope ; he renounces him as a 
brother. Neither the blood which had flowed in Germany for 
the triumph of doctrines which his disciples themselves are then 
ready to disavow, nor that which is to flow in a no distant 
future, the term of which Luther foretells, makes him tremble. 
He is determined to carry out his design, and advance till he 
finds no Catholic to oppose him ; until he has trampled under 
his foot the old serpent, who is called the pope ;* and until the 
pope has abolished the papacy.' " A pretty work you have un- 
dertaken,'' he writes to Spalatinus, '' to reconcile the pope and 
\ Luther ! The pope wishes to have no more to do with Luther, 
\' than Luther with the pope ! If you succeed, I shall imitate 
>you, and endeavour to reconcile Christ with Belial.* Let Pha- 
raoh perish, provided Israel be saved. No peace with the 
murderers who are choked with the blood of the just Abd, 
and cannot Uve without drinking that of their brethren."^ 

' SpalatinuB, 27 July. De Wette, torn, iv. p. 113. 

' Brentio, 26 Aug. 1530. 

' ** Summa mihi in totum displicet tractatuB de doctrinas coiicordi&, ui qus 
plaD^ sit impoaaibilifi nisi papa velit papatum aboleri." — Melauoth. 2(5 Aug. 

' * Spalatino, 20 Aug. ^ Joh. Agricols, 30 June, 1530. 


When Charles V. is about to enter Angsbnig, Lather takes 
care to sound his praise among the Catholics : according to him 
he is a man of God, an ambassador from heaven, a new Augustus, 
whom the wishes of the whole world attend ; and his friends do 
not forget to ask the Papists if this is the austere theologian 
who is constantly represented as the emperor's enemy. But 
wait ; the emperor then has need of peace, and is desirous to 
put an end to those religious dissensions which the Reformation 
caused in Gkrmany. He allows the Reformers to live in the free 
enjoyment of their churches, creed, and books ; and only de- 
mands that they shall be silent until the council which they had 
sought for so many years shaU have pronounced its sentence. 
Then all is changed; no more hope must be placed in the 
emperor's clemency ;' he and his councillors are no longer men, 
but gates of hell ; judges who canno't judge his cause, and to 
whom he will not give up a single bristle of his beard.^ 

The princes, influenced by Luther, were only watching for an 
opportunity to quit Augsburg, and protest against the decree 
with which the Reformers were threatened. They soon contrived 
one. In a quarrel which was intentionally raised, a soldier was 
killed ; the citizens concealed the murderer ; and during the 
tumult, the elector of Saxony made his escape by the eastern 
gate, at the very instant when the emperor, who had suspected 
the intention of the princes, ordered a guard to be set there.^ 

Some days afterwards appeared the imperial decree, in which 
Charles allowed the Protestants until the end of April, 1531, 
'^ to examine whether they would return to the Catholic com- 
munion, rather than persevere in their schism ; and to draw up 
a statement of their grievances, to be laid before the council, 
which was to be held in six months." 

The princes protested against the refutation of their doctrines 

1 Joh. Agriools, 80 June, 1580. 

^ Melancihon, 18 June. 

Oochlsns in Actis Lutheri, p. 282. " Interek dum h»c Hgerentur Angiistset, 
Lntheras Tsurios edidit libellofl Teiitonioos, qnibns et Oesarem Germanisy et 
episoopoB plebi ac nobilitati, odioeos reddere studebat^ et ii libri non solum 
per diyersas Germanise urbes spargebantur ; sed et Augustam mittebaotur, 
atque etiam palam prop^ curiam elecioris Siuonis interdum vendebantur." — 
Be interdicto Gesaris d. 27 Julii promu]gato, yid. Auctor. Apologia mat. in 
Mulleri Hist. Protest, et A. 0. 

' CoBlest. 1. c. torn. iii. p. 187. 


by texts from the Bible. They complained of the silence with 
which their reply to the Catholic doctors had been treated. 
These complaints were presented by Brack to the emperor, who 
would not receive them. The deputies from Strasburg, Mem- 
mingen, Constance, and Lindau, refused to subscribe the decree 
of the diet. Strasburg had embraced Buoer s confession, and, 
a&aid of open violence, had formed a league with Berne, Zurich, 
and Basle. The treaty bore, — that if the emperor or the princes 
threatened their religious liberty, these three cities should send 
troops to their assistance ; that Strasbui^ should famish 20,000 
crowns of gold monthly for every thousand infantry ; that if the 
Swiss cantons should be disturbed, it should pay a monthly 
subsidy of 3,000 crowns of gold ; and that if the allies were 
attacked, it would provide 10,000 measures of gunpowder, and 
Zurich 10,000 of wheat, which were to be stored in Basle. 
This convention was signed without the emperor's consent, and 
was a felonious act, which Luther vaunted as a divine inspira- 
tion. He forgot that he had stigmatised those Christians who, 
under the name of peasants, had resisted the civil magistrates, 
and shed their blood in defence of some obscure texts of 

The confession of faith of the reformed Churches, which had 
been presented to the emperor, was published in Germany. 
Then were renewed the doubts, anxieties, and we must say 
the merited chagrin of Melancthon. We are less severe, how- 
ever, than a Protestant author, M. Charles Hagen, who does 
not hesitate to accuse the favoarite disciple of Luther of having 
deceived the Swiss.^ Melancthon said, in a letter to Egidius : 
" If I seek to make peace with the Catholics, it is because I am 
afraid of a union between the Wittembergians and Zwinglians ; 
such an alliance would be the ruin of ail our Christian dogmas."^ 
Thus it was that he exerted himself to the utmost to prevent the 
Zwinglians being heard at the diet ; and he was successful. But 
he soon regretted having silenced the dissentients, and sought 
to unite himself with the Swiss, although at the sacrifice of his 
private opinions ; foj it must be admitted that Melancthon 

* Man kann nicht laugneo, dam sich Melanchthon gegen die Zwinglianer 
iiberbaupt perfid benommen, 1. c. torn. ii. p. 445. 

* Egidio, 80 Aug. Corpns Reform, torn. ii. p. 382. 


had never any settled conyiction, as is the case with irresolute 
and gentle individuals. Place Melancthon before Sadoletus, 
and he will renounce one by one the doctrines of the Saxon 
school ; bnt we should not wish him to meet Luther on leaving 
the conference ; one look or word from the doctor of Wittem- 
berg will make him relapse. 

The Swiss deputies returned in sorrow to their native moun- 
tains, bitterly complaining of Luther's intolerance. Were they 
not justified in so doing ? Like Luther, they had found in the 
Bible that confession which, in the name of truth, they had gone 
to make triumphant in the imperial city ; their sole crime con- 
sisted in translating the Greek i<mv diiOTerently from the Saxon 
apostle. Melancthon reproached himself on account of the 
crying injustice which he had done to his brethren of Zurich. 
There was but one way of pacifying them, and this was, if not 
to remodel, at least skiUully to modify the confession which they 
came to present to the Orders of the empire. Like an imperfect 
scholar, be accordingly corrected his theme : we shall see how. 

The 10th article of the original confession was as follows: 
" With respect to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, we hold 
that the body and blood of Christ are reaUy present under the 
species of the bread and the wine, and taken and distributed : 
aJl doctrine to the contrary we reject." 

The Catholic theologians were disposed to adopt this article, 
on which they merely made a few verbal alterations to render it 
still more distinct It was much too strong for the Swiss theo- 
logians ; so Melancthon retired, and endeavoured to engraft upon 
the unlucky article some learned obscurities, in which he was 

The article, as we see, contains three propositions : the first, 
wherein the real presence, and distribution, and manducation of 
the body and blood are formally enunciated ; the second, in 
which the change of substance or Catholic transubstantiation is 
set forth ; the third, in which the trope of Zwinglius, Schwenck- 
feld, and Carlstadt is rejected. 

In the first proposition Melancthon cancelled some terms which 
deprived it of its strong affirmative character. He took away 
the second member, the conversion of the blood and wine, as 
savouring of " popery," and substituted for it this ambiguous 


formtila : that the body ancL blood of Christ are offered with the 
bread and wine to the communicants. And with a stroke of his 
pen he deleted the third member^ the visible sign of the condemna- 
tion of the Sacramentarians.^ 

At Zurich, Melancthon's mutilations of the confession were 
highly applauded, as inspired by the Holy Ghost ; the rignificcU 
of the former curate of Einsiedlen preponderated over the Latin 
est and the Greek i<mv. At Wittemberg, the rigid Lutherans 
cried shame ! The elector was alarmed, and thought it his duty, 
with a view to pacify their murmurs, to send George Pontanus 
(Bruck) to Melancthon, to inquire of the professor the motives 
for these doctrinal contradictions. Luther was present at the 
interview, and did not spare his disciple. '' Who has given you 
authority to alter a public confession?" he asked; ''the con- 
fession of Augsburg is neither mine nor yours ; it is the creed of 
all who bear the name of Christians in Wittembei^." * 

The confession of Augsburg, considered as a dogmatic creed, 
— the point of view under which Protestant historians have 
j examined it, — attacked the principle of free inquiry laid down 
/ by the Saxon monk, by giving to the Reformation a unity of 
/ doctrine which it ought necessarily to have rejected. Catechisms 
are inconsistent with the right of interpretation. In this con- 
fession of £uth, the Reformation dethroned the individual reason 
which it had so gloriously crowned. That reason is no longer 
sovereign when dogmas, faith, and a creed are given to ha*, 
s/ Luther had said to her, " Thou art free -" and now he damns 
/ her, both in this life and the next, if she rejects the real presence. 
He has given wings to thought, permitted her to soar to heaven, 
investigate mysteries which God conceals from his creatures, 
sound depths where no eye dares to penetrate, reject the authority 
of centuries, the teaching of the &thers, the unvarying doctrine 
of the bishops, and to believe what she pleases. But now he 
clips her wings ; he makes her fall from heaven, and stretches 
her on the bed of Procrustes. If she endeavours to stir, Luther 
accuses her of rebellion and disobedience, and is ready to denounce 
her as an infidel It was free inquiry that produced the Sacra- 

^ Jacob And. in Cone, de Gone. D. 4. b. 
* Selnec. in Praefat. uU. Conf. de Gcend, p. 



mentarians ; and when these sectaries come to Augsburg to 
demand liberty of conscience, they constrain them, and seek to 
impose a formula of £uth upon them : is not that authority ? ^ 
In Catholicism, at least, the mind willingly obeys, since it 
believes that the Spirit of Qod rests in the pope, the living 
image of Christ on this eartL But what are we to think of a 
creed like the confession of Augsburg, written on parchment, and 
which Melancthon elaborates, makes, unmakes, polishes, corrects, 
restores, and transmits to Luther, who criticises, reviews, extends, 
curtails, prunes, and patches it, to forward it by the first mes- 
senger to his disciple, who proclaims this work of the Keforma- 
tion as the manifestation of the truth and inspiration of the Holy 
Spirit ? This singular gospel bears no resemblance to itself, for 
in the five times that it was published within half a century, on 
each of these five occasions it appeared with new variations ; ^ 
'^ until, after six successive overrunnings, it acquires the width 
of a boot or Polish cloak, in which the good God and the devil 
might easily conceal themselves.'"^ 

At present, every logical mind in the two Protestant and 
reformed communions rejects confessions. Such, as M. De la 
Harpe has lately remarked, '^ are contrary to the principles of 
the Reformation. The principle of the Reformation is liberty,! 
the right to choose, the right to place the Bible beyond thai 
authority of men : a confession of &ith is the pope.''^ 

Melancthon's work is therefore condemned. Let us for an 
instant consider him who took so much trouble to write it.^ 

' Pbilipp Niooki in seiner Yerantwortong an Petnun Plancimn, pp. 288, 
289, 408. 

* Andrew MubcuIhb, a Lutheran, said at the oonference of Hertzberg, that 
the oonfeesion had twelve times changed its appearance. ** Dass die Augs* 
burgiache Confeflsion wohl zwolfmale seye geandert worden." Calvin called it 
a brand of discord. £p. fol. 524. 

* " TJnd dadurch zu einem polnischen stiefel nnd weiten Mantel geworden, 
hinter welchem der liebe Gott and der Tenfel gar bequem sich veigraben 
konnte.** — ^Henke, quoted by Hoeninghaus, Das Besultat, &c. p. 476. 

* First sitting of the Council of Lausanne, 1887. 

* The religions question, agitated in 1580 at the Diet of Augsburg, is treated 
at length in the following works : — 

Vermahnung an die GeistUchen, versamlet auf dem Beiohstag zu Augsburg, 
ann. 1530. Martin Luther : Wittenberg, 4to. 1530. 

Confessio ezhibita CsBsari in comitiis Augustie, ann. 1530. Psalm czix. : 
'' £t loquebar de testimoniis tuis in conspectu reg^um, et non confiindebar." 

^ne Ermahnung Beimens-Weis, an ujisem allergnftdigsten Herm Carolum^ 

VOL. II. 2 A 




Melanothon at the oniTersity of Wittemberg. — Portrait of tbe profesBor.— Hit 
mode of living. — Luther comprehends Melancthon.— Hia opinion of his dis- 
ciple's commentaries. — Melanothon by his mother's death-bed. — ^His dombta 
and weaknesses. — Luther's illness at Sohmalkalden. — ^Melanothon at Hague- 
nan. — His influence on the Beformation. — His philosophical (pinions. 

In 1518, Reuchlin wrote to Melanothon : — 

" I send you the letter of our dear prince, entirely written by 
his own hand, and in which he makes such kind mention of yon. 
I will not speak to yon poetically; but I will speak as a prophet, 
and nse the words which God addressed to his servant Abraham: 
' Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and out of 
thy father's house, and come into the land which I shall show 
thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will 
bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed.' 
((Jenesis xii.) Such is my prophecy, such are my hopes, my 
dear^Philip. Courage, then ! send me your clothes to Stuttgart. 
Then we shall see what you will want at Wittemberg : that is my 
concern. If you will take my advice, you will go by Pforz- 
heim and salute your mother, and after having taken leave of 
your friends, you shall come to me. But do not tarry on the 

Bomischen Kayser, Ferdinandum Seiner Majestat Bruder, KSnig lu Hunffem 
und Behem, alle geistliche und weltliche Thurfursten und Fttrsten des heil. 
BSmiscdien Reichs, den loblichen Bund su Schwaben, alle geist- und weltlich 
Obrigkeit, damit ihnen Gott, der AUmachtige, in diesen jetst angehenden and 
llbfgenommenen kayserlichen Reichstag und concilio an Augsburg den heil. 
Geurty das Wort Gotten zu erhalten, geben und senden woUe, mit Auzeigung 
der Heil. Schrifit gar htipsch, lieUic^ andachtig zu lesen und zu horen : 15S0. 

EiD knrzer JLuszug aus dem piipstlichen Bechten, Decret und Decretalen, in 
den Artionhiy die ungefahrlioh Gottes Wort und Evangelio gemass sind, oder 
sum Wenigsten nicht widerstreben : 1580. 

Auf den deutschen Ausszug ttbers Decret, von unbenannten Leuten gemacht, 
Antwort D. Job. Coclei, ad senatum Lipsiensiem : Dressden, 1530. 

Ad Oarolum Roman, imperatorem, fioei Huldrichi Zwinglii ratio. Ejusdem 
que ad iUustrissimos Germanin prindpes Augustos congregates epistola. 

Absdiied dee Reichstags zu Augsbuiv, ann. 1580 gehalten : Mayntz, 1581. 
Romischer kayserlicher Mijesti&t Oranung und Reformation guter Polizey 
in heil. romischen Reich, ftc 1530 zu Augsburg aufgertcht : Mayntz, 1584. 


way, lest the place slip from yon. I have pledged myself for 
your arrival. And that yon may see in what light you are con- 
sidered at court, I send yon a letter from Spalatinns, the prince's 
friend: this is all of importance that I have now to write. 
I repeat ; pack up all your clothes, and send them to me to 
Stuttgart; and that as soon as possible. Remember, first to 
Tubingen to see your friends, then to your mother, then to Pforz- 
heim to salute Augustine and my sister, and then fly hither. 
Princes- are inconstant. Take courage, and act like a man. No 
one is a prophet in his own country. I salute you. — Stuttgart, 
the eve of St James. John Reuchlin." * 

This was a fine letter from Beuchlin to his cousin Melancthon, 
then not yet twenty-two years old,^ and whom Frederick the 
elector invited to the professorship of ancient languages in the 
university of Wittemberg. Schwartzerde, whose name Reuchlin 
had gr»cised,^ mounted his horse and set out to Nuremberg, 
where he contracted friendship with Bilibaldus Pirkheimer, a 
noble youth much devoted to literature. He soon reached 
Leipsic ; where he found Mosellanus, who filled the place of 
Richard Groke in the Greek chair, and became acquainted with 
Andrew Frank Kamitz, a youth of great promise, who subse- 
quently became counsellor of Duke Oeorge Henry, and the 
elector Maurice. 

He arrived at Wittemberg on the 25th of August, 1518. A 
few days after he delivered his inaugural discourse ; the subject 
of which was the improvement of the studies of youth, " De 
corrigendis adolescentise studiis." He was eloquent and diffuse. 
Luther, who was one of the audience, frequently interrupted him 
by his murmurs of approbation. Melancthon declared himself a 
reformer, and denouncM^d the old scholasticism, the worn out form 
of teaching, and the traditions of the past From that day a 

* Dr. Fimnz Yolkmar Bamhard's Bammiliche znm Theil noch tmgedrackto 
Beformatioiis-Predigten, part ii. p. 11 et seq. 

* He was boni at Bretten, a small town of the Palatinate, 16 Feb. 1497. 
On the town-house of Bretten is the following inscription : 

** Bretta» qu6d egregii patria ea prsdara Fhilippi, 
Hoc satis ex nno nobilitatis nabes." 

* Beformations-Almanaoh, 1817, p. 24. Melancthon called himself PuUi- 
Bolns, h pullns, Schwartz, et soliim, Erde. He only signs Melanthon, Heu- 
mann, De Oausft cur Philippos Melanchthon fuerit creatus Doct. Theologiee : 
Gottingae, 1757. 

2 a2 


secret Efympathy attracted to each other these two persons so well 
formed for a feUow-feeling. 

In a short time the large hall of the university could not 
contun the numbers who crowded to hear his lectures.^ Among 
them were to be seen counts, barons, margraves, princes, knights. 
Melancthon successively explained the comedies of Aristophanes, 
the orations of Demosthenes, Hesiod, Homer, Theocritus, Thucy- 
dides, and ApoUonius. He was proud of his title of professor. 
<< The life of a professor,'' he said to John Sturm, " is not so 
brilliant as that of a courtier ; but how much more useful and 
serviceable to mankind ! sacred profession, which: teaches 
us to know the nature of God, the duties of man, and the 
wonders of science !" • 

At Wittemberg they were astonished to see this delicate young 
man, who kept his eyes fixed on the ground, beardless, pale com- 
plexioned, and with a voice so weak that he could scarcely be 
heard. ** Imagine,'' says one of his contemporaries, ^^ a iJiin, 
spare youth, buried in the ample robe of a professor with hanging 
sleeves ; a scholar apparently but fifteen, who, when he walked, 
scarcely reached Luther's shoulder, but who is a perfect giant in 
learning and languages. A fragile frame which contains we 
know not what treasures of wisdom and erudition !" 

When seated for the first time at his cousin Reuchlin's table, 
he was served with some Rhenish wine, with which he scarcely 
moistened his lips, but which violently affected his head, as him- 
self informs us. Reuchlin had never more than two dishes for 
his dinner, and one for his supper. He loved the society of 
young people, especially when they were fond of study, and 
opened to them his library, which was rich in fine editions of 
the ancient poets. After two hours spent in silent study» 
Melancthon and his companions walked in the garden, then 
returned to table, where each guest had set before him a bottle of 
white wine of the marquisate, which he emptied cheerfully, while 
Reuchlin contented himself with drinking piquette (loram). 

Philip suffered from wakefulness, of which he was cured by 
attention to his diet and the use of Rhenish wine, which he 

* Heerbrand's Leichenrede auf Melanchthon. 

* Rainhard, 1. c. torn. ii. p. 15. 

MELANOTHOlir. 867 

gradually came to like. He vent rc^arly to bed after supper, 
and rose at three in the morning to study. When it became 
known that wine had been prescribed for him, he was supplied 
with it on all hands. The elector Frederick, on presenting 
him with a cask of Rudesheimer, said to him : ^' St. Paul 
recommends good wine, and we must obey the apostle/' Melanc- 
ihon obeyed. He preferred fish and vegetables to meat. When 
at Tubingen, he used to have a plate of vegetable soup substi- 
tuted for his plate of meat He liked his meat warm, and new- 
laid eggs, and complained of the elector's table, where the dinner 
was neither hot nor cold.^ 

At the first glance Luther saw what Melancthon was. At 
their first interview, which lasted several hours, Melancthon 
became Luther's, body and soul ; the treaty was signed. The 
young professor brought to the monk a letter from their mutual 
firiend Reuchlin. Some days had scarcely elapsed when Luther 
wrote to one of his disciples : ^' I concur in all you say of our 
Philip. He has delivered his first lecture with so much eloquence 
that every one is charmed with him. I wish no other professor 
of Greek ; what concerns me is to know how this delicate young 
man will agree with our mode of living, and how he will be able 
to support himself with the small income he receives. The 
people of Leipsic already talk of taking him away from us. 
He is indeed a man worth having." Some weeks later he wrote : 
— " Philip is a much abler Greek scholar than you imagine ; 
what an audience he has ! he has inflamed all theologians of 
high and low degree with a sudden desire to learn Greek." * 

In return for all those Grecian treasures which Melancthon so 
liberally bestowed on him, Luther opened to his favourite the 
sources of theology, a science full of attraction, which served as 
an aliment to his religious reveries. His mind was naturally 
inclined to contemplation. It was to satisfy his own inquiries, 
and not to magnify the Reformation, that he devoted himself at 
first with all the zeal of a convert to the study of scholasticism. 
His progress was so rapid that Luther ceased to fear lest death 
should interrupt the work which he had commenced : Melancthon 

* Reinhard, 1. c. torn. ii. pp. 1 9, 23. 

^ G. Pfizer, Dr. Martin Lnther's Leben, p. 610 et seq. 


would doubtleBS complete it. " If I die," said he, " my work 
will not be lost ; for my dear Philip will take it up, and with 
Clod's aid finish it gloriously/^ In 1522, Melancthon had com- 
pleted his scholia on three Epistles of St Paul ; it was this 
commentary which Luther a^hnired so mucL Master Philip 
(the name he bore at Wittemberg, for he was too poor to purchase 
a doctor's degree) would not consent to publish it. " What does 
it signify,'' said Luther, anxious for the glory of his disciple, 
'* whether it pleases you or not, if it pleases me ? I tell you that 
the commentaries of Jerome and Origen, compared with yours, 
are nothing but absurdities." ^ But Luther could not overcome 
Melancthon's timid modesty: his entreaties, reproaches, and 
anger were unavailing. He then stole his Mend's manuscript, 
and caused it to be printed clandestinely. But whether tiie 
printer was too much hurried, or that Luther was not yet prac- 
tised in revising proofs, the work appeared disfigured with errors 
which caused its author much torture. He had not courage to 
be angry, but he laughed with a melancholy which his master fully 
comprehended. It was the first time that the eaglet left Luther's 
wing to fly in the open air. Imagine then his confiision when 
he fell heavily to the earth. The Catholics rejoiced at his fall, 
and, in the mythological style of the time, compared Melancthon 
to Icarus and St. Paul to the sun, whither the young fool had 
flown to bum himself alive. Luther's voice alone could rouse 
the commentator's spirit ; the master's praises compensated the 
disciple for the criticisms of the learned world. What is truly 
admirable is the composure of Melancthon, who did not become 
angry with his adversaries, but received their blows as a merited 
chastisement. Luther would not have treated his opponents bo« 
Philip revised his work carefiodly, corrected the oversights of the 
reader, upon whom he did not even frown for an instant, and 
paid no regard to the exaggerated commendations of firiendship. 
He firmly believed that St. Jerome was a more able commentator 
than the professor of Wittemberg ; and he was right 

It must be admitted that Melancthon throughout life was but 
an indifferent theologian. When he endeavours to fathom the 

' Die Commentare des HierooymuB und Origenes lautre Possen aeynd gegen 
deine Aumerkungen. 

MELAlffCTHON. 359 

great problems of original cdn, the ML and the redemption of 
mankhidy or the ori^n of moral evil, he does not comprehend 
that the strictly supernatural character of the GathoHc £uth 
rests npon a solid basis. He subjects all human actions to 
necessity, and to humble the wise, proclaims that God teorks all 
thtHffs,^ He imputes as a crime to the mediflBval theologians 
that which is their best title to glory, — the position and a£Brma- 
tion of the doctrine of liberty; subsequently he became sensible 
of the abyss into which his fiitalist doctrines plunged mankind, 
and to save them from it combated his former opinions.' Melanc- 
then was a genius more accurate than fertile, a professor more 
solid than brilliant, a rhetorician more simple than eloquent. 
He loved euphemistic language ; his phraseology is especially 
limpid and clear, free from imagery, but proper in the selection 
of words. If the ear was pleased, it was as much by the harmony 
of the sound as by the accuracy of the expression. 

" The fond search for expressions which distinguishes Melanc- 
thon,'' says a learned organ of modem Protestantism, " explains 
also, to a certain extent, the perturbation of words, and conse* 
quently of doctrines, which he threw into more than one of the 
Wittemberg commentaries."' To attribute them to an excessiye 
devotion to euphemistic language, is to colour awkwardly the 
marked contradictions into which the professor fell. 

The soul of Melancthon was superior to all the seductions of 
vanity. Luther was his whole glory, his happiness, and adora* 
tion. He always continued to be the ingenuous scholar who left 
Thuringia to teach Oreek at Wittemberg, and who was caught 
by Luther's doctrines like a bird by lime. The youth had 
ever before his eyes the legend which he borrowed from his 
professor of grammar, John Ungher of Pforzheim : '^ Cave ac 
cede." ^ Never did the yoke of this great renown seem weighty 
to him. It must also be acknowledged that Luther omitted 
nothing to make it light for him. With Spalatinus, Amsdorf, and 

> Melanchth. Loci Theologioi, ed. Ang. 1522. 

' In 1522, Melanothon reproached the Bchoolmen with having taught the 
doctrine of absolute necessity ; in 1536, of daring so far as to maintain that of 

* AnU Theod. Effner, Dr. Martin Luther und seine Zeitgenossen, part ii. 
p. 16. 


Jonas he had squabbles^ quarrels, and even threats ; he soolded, 
pestaredy and frowned at them : bat for Melancthon he had only 
words of sweetness and affection. " Isaias/' said Spalatinns, 
'^ neyer raises his voice as in the Scripture : he neither thunders 
nor lightens when his Jeremias appears to quit the road marked 
out for him ; he is a &ther, who carries his weakness so fiur as 
to shut his eyes to the faults of his child^ lest he should make him 
weep.'' Melancthon was often culpable ; his heart was so tender 
that when he turned a look to the past he could not, even before 
Luther, conceal his sadness. If his grief was too acute, Melanc- 
thon would hang oyer the bed of his little Anna, whom he would 
fold in his arms, and who would stroke his beard, when he would 
for a moment forget his sorrow.^ He had known the truth ; and 
when he looked to heaven with an indescribable melancholy, he 
would recal the image of his old &ther, the smith, as he rose at 
night to kneel and pray to his Maker ; ^ and that last prayer of 
his mother who, on her deathbed, had said to him : " My son, 
you see your mother for the last time : I am about to leave this 
world, and you also must die, and have to give an accoxmt of 
your actions to the Supreme Judge. You know that I was a 
Catholic, and that you induced me to abandon the religion of 
my fore&thers. WeU, I adjure you by the living Ood, tell me 
unreservedly in what &ith ought I to ^e V To which Melanc- 
thon had answered: "Mother, the new faith is the most 
convenient ; the other is most secure." ' Now, from the memory 
of his old dying mother, and of his father, praying with so much 
fervour to the saints, whom the Reformation would have wished 
to make deaf to our devotions, there rose something to serve as 
an antidote to the murmurings which his heart might have made 
against the belief of those who had given him life : a ray of light, 
that dissipated all the shadows which Luther had gathered with 
such cruel care in a soul where faith and doubt contended so 
strongly ; an ambrosia of truth which attended him, without his 

1 Ant. Theod. Effner, torn. ii. p. 59 et »eq. Anna married the poet G. 
Sabinus, and was unfortunate in her domestio relations. 

^ "Geoi^us Schwartzer fuit vir pins et penb nsqne ad superstitionem 
religiosus ; singulis noctibus hora 12 consuevit ^ lecto snrgere ad nsitatarum 
precum recitationem." — ^Vitus Winshemius, in Orat. funebr. Melaochthonis. 

' " Dieses ist zwar anuehmlicher, der Catholische aber sicherer." — ^^gidius 
Albertinus, im 4. Theile des deutschen Lusthauses, p. 143. 

MELAKCTHOlir. 361 


being consdous of it, and caused him to be distinguished among 
the rest of his brethren. Read his writings, and yon will see 
that therein he teaches that eclipses, constellations, meteors, and 
especially comets, are messengers sent to announce to men the 
will of Qod ; ^ bnt never that the pope is the devil's vicar. 
Twice or thrice he joined in the coarse anger of Luther, as, for 
instance, in the caricatures of the pope-cus and monk-calf; but 
he very soon repented of such complicity. 

He wrote from Augsburg to one of his fiiends : ^* At Bome a 
cow has brought forth a calf with two heads, the sign of an 
approaching revolution.^' ^ 

He was at Torgau with other reformers to treat of the 
pacification of religious matters. Despair had possessicm of 
their minds : and Melancthon partook of their common fears. 
During the debate, he went into a chamber adjoining that of the 
assembly and saw a woman there suckling an infant, while at 
the same time she was hearing a little girl say her prayers, and 
was putting some vegetables into a pot for her husband's dmner. 
Philip immediately returned to his friends with a beaming coun- 
tenance. '^ What is the matter V asked Luther. '^ Courage, 
master,^' replied Melancthon, " the women and children are on 
our side ; I have seen them at prayers in the next apartment 
God will not be deaf to them." * 

While a youth Melancthon had sated his thirst at Catholic 
fountains, and to them, in spite of Luther, in his riper years, he 

■ Weislinger. Epist. Lutheri, paarim. 

' AH the reformersy -without ezoeptioiiy belieyed in &8tnl inflnenoes ; An- 
drew Osiander, more than all the rest. Not content with diaooTering in the 
akies the signs of God's wrath against Borne, he sought for them in old pio- 
turesy mannscripts, and popular legends. At Nuremberg, he met with some 
▼erses of the end of the fourteenth century, and immediately wrote to his 
friend John Petrens : " Tou have seen, I think, the old book in the senatorial 
library, in which the future destiny of the popedom is clearly written and 
foretold. In glancing through it, I. met these prophetic lines, which I hasten 
to send you." And he transcribed : 

** Papa cito moritur, Gtesar dominatur ubique 
Bub quo tunc van! cessabit gloria cleri." 

Osiander's original letter belongs to M. Al. Martin. 

Consult, on the subject of astrology, the Tisch-Beden, pp. 570, 580, et seq. 
Luther believes in the immobility of the earth, and bugha at those fools who 
pretend that the sun is fixed. 

^ Goes, quoted by Hosninghaus, p. 274. See Melancthon, Declamatio, 
vol. i. p. 334 : Strasburg, 1558, De Dignitate Astrologi». 


felt tenderly attracted. He i^CBembles Dante's dove, ever 
retoming to its nest, but with drooping wings. Probably had he 
not been afraid of the world's censure, he might have retnmed 
to Catholicism. To become reconciled to the Church he had 
not, like Luther, to cast off an enormous weight of hatred, pre- 
judice, and fanaticism. He was not far from the fold of the good 
shepherd, when he wrote to Cardinal Campeggio, in 1547 (the 
date is important, as at that time there was a complete rupture 
between the Catholics and the Reformers) ; " We would acknow- 
ledge the supremacy of the pope and the hierarchy of the 
bishops, if the pope would not reject us \' ^ and to the chaplain 
of Charles V. : " We would all be ready to obey the holy Roman 
Church, so gracious to us as she has been in all ages to her 
children, if she would concede to us a few unimportant points, 
which with every inclination we cannot retract.'" ^ How much 
then must Luther have loved Melancthon, when he forgave him 
00 many doubts, hesitations, yearnings, and regrets for the past, 
and so many failings and lapses ! Melancthon was led away by 
every specious novelty that appeared in the religious world ; as 
when Didymus discovered in a passage of the Oospel the neces- 
sity for a second baptism of adults ; when Carlstadt invented 
for the Christian a life of manual labour ; when the angel of 
unknown hue appeared to Zwinglius ; or when Erasmus, in his 
^' Hyperaspites," defended the liberty of man against Luther's 
fatalism. And yet all these lapses, and many more besides, were 
instantly forgiven ! There was -something so pure in the disciple's 
devotion to his master, that Luther would have regretted to 
disturb the youth's conscience ; and he left him in peace. There 
were Amsdorf, Jonas, Spalatinus, Linck, and many other fiiends 
also, upon whom the monk could vent his ill-humour when he 
chose : but they knew how to retort when they required ; 
especially Spalatinus, who sometimes had the obstinacy of a 
Saxon, and suffered himself to be well smitten, on condition of 
being heard, for which Luther could not foi^ve him. Melanc- 

> Oonrad Scblusselburg. Theol. GalT. 

' Wir sind erlnetig der heiligen romischen papstlichen Kircbe gehonam 
Eu seyDj wofem sie oach ihrer Gelindigkeit, die sie zu alien Zeiten gegen alle 
Volker gebraucht hat, etliche geriDgschatzige Dinge Iftsst hingehen, oder 
nachgiebt, die wir jetzund, wann wir lUlbereit wollten nicht andern koonea. 



thon, in the like circamstances, would have suffered in silence ; 
his heart would have been broken with grief, sooner than he 
would have breathed a single complaint. But how paternally 
Luther concealed himself from his much-loved friend ! Once 
only was nature stronger in him than friendship, and then it was 
but a vague murmur which escaped him in Mekmcthon's absence, 
and which he had confided to some friends, whom he had not 
bound to secrecy. This was on occasion of the diet of Augsburg, 
in reference to that confession which Philip had undertaken to 
present to the emperor, and of which, like a skilful painter, he 
had softened the strong colours, so as not to offend the eye of the 
Catholics. He was so anxious for peace, that he would have 
purchased it at all sacrifices, even of his self-love. When he 
hears that his incessant revisions of the text are regarded by 
Luther as indications of real weakness of mind, he then becomes 
troubled, and humbly intreats pardon of his father. And Luther 
immediately forgives him, and repents of his momentary irrita- 
tion, as of a sin ! 

'^ I was bom to contend with the devil," said Luther ; ^' hence 
my writings are full of fury. It is my destiny to roll rocks and 
masses, to eradicate thorns and briars, to fill up marshes, and 
trace out roads ; but Philip has another mission : he walks 
silently and softly ; ^nd builds, plants, waters, and sows in peace 
and joy of heart." * 

There are two scenes in the history of the reformers, of which 
Lucas Cranach might have made two exquisite paintings : this 
was when death threatened to separate them. 

Luther feU dangerously iU near Schmalkalden. Melancthon, 
at his master's request, wrote to George Sturz, physician at 
Wittemberg : ** I implore you not to lose a moment, that such a 
man as Luther may not be without advice. It is a duty to hasten, 
when we are called to assist our neighbour, and you know that 
the Lord will look on whatever you do for Luther, as if you had 
done it for Ood himselt" 

The physician came. While he was feeling the sick man's 
pulse, tears streamed from the eyes of Melancthon. Luther 
observed his disciple's affliction, and raising his hand, said : 

R4)formatioDB-Almanach, p. 26, note. 


" Do not weep, Philip. Do you not know what Hans Loescr is 
wont to say ? ^ It is no hardship to drink good ale ; bnt to drink 
bad, — ^that is the difficulty/ I am accustomed to the apothecary's 
draughts. God be praised, I shall not lose my courage in this 
struggle with death.'' 

The danger passed away ; and Melancthon, on the assurance 
of the physician and at his friend's express wish, had returned to 
Wittemberg, whither, in a few days after, a letter from Luther 
followed him. " God be praised, my dear Philip ; in this night 
of trial the Lord has had pity on you, your tears, and your 
prayers, and has come to my aid." " God be praised I" replied 
the disciple to his beloved master ; ^' from the bottom of my 
heart I return thanks to the Father of mercies, and the Saviour 
of all, that he has sent a remedy to your sufferings and your 
sorrows. I rejoice in your convalescence, both for your own 
sake and that of the Church of Christ : and my joy increases, 
because I see, in your restoration to health, a sign of the mercy 
of God on our little flock.'' 

In 1540, Melancthon set out for Haguenau : he fell sick at 
Weimar. Before leaving Wittemberg he had consulted the 
stars ; ^ the stars were silent, but he had a dream and fancied 
that he should die on the way. He accordingly made his will, 
in which Luther was not forgotten. '^ I thank the worthy doctor 
Martin Luther for having taught the doctrines of the Gospel ; 
and especially for the proofs of affection which he has showered 
upon me from day to day : I desire that all my friends may 
honour him as a father, for no one better than myself knows 
with what heroic courage, what strength of mind, and what 
remarkable virtues God has endowed him ; let all love, honour^ 
and trust him with their whole heart, as I have ever done." 

At the first intelligence of his friend's indisposition, the 
elector ordered his carriage : Luther accompanied him. When 
they entered his chamber an alarming sight presented itself to 
the Reformer's view : the eyes of the eicpiring man were closed, 
his reason gone, his tongue cold ; and he was quite unconscious. 
Luther took the elector aside, and said with heavenward look, 
" See how the devil has spoiled our work !" While the prince 

' Herrnscbmidt, Yit. Lutb. ch. xii. 


was looking on the livid countenance of the dying man for some 
sign of hope, Luther turned towards the window, and prayed. 
When he was done^ he returned to his friend, took him by the 
hand, and inclining to his ear said to him : " Courage, Philip, 
you shall not die ; Qod could take you from us, but he desireth 
not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted 
and live. He will not abandon or forsake you; he will not 
permit pestilence or despair to triumph over you, my friend. 
Gome, then, no despondency or self-sacrifice ; but turn to the 
Lord, the giver of life and of death.'' ^ Then, according to some 
historians who do not believe in the miracles worked by the 
intercession of the saints, God heard the prayer of his servant. 
Melancthon opened his eyes, recovered his senses, sat up in his 
bed, and took the doctor by the hand. " I should have died," 
he said, ''if Luther had not snatched me from the grasp of 
death." ^ Luther also believed that a miracle had been wrought 
on this occasion by the omnipotence of prayer. " Prayer," said 
he, '' does wonders : in our days has it not raised the dead, — 
me, my Eetha, and Master Philip Melancthon ? It is a trifling 
miracle, if you will, to deliver the body from its sufferings, but 
it must not be kept secret for the sake of weak souls." ' It 
would be difficult to reconcile the power attributed by Luther to 
prayer with the jhtalism which he professes in his treatise '' De 
Servo Arbitrio." How, in his system, could a few words articu- 
lated in a low voice arrest that inexorable destiny, that necessity 
which urges and impels man with its leaden hand, which nothing 
resists, and which shall itself be broken against the tomb-stone ? 
What is become of his double anthropomorphism of good and 
evil ? There again he is unfaithful to his own doctrines. If his 

* Unschnldige Kaohrichten, torn. xzv. p. 859. 

* " Qni nisi ad me venisset, mortuoB eaaem." — HerrnBchmidt, 1. c. 

' " Dtts Kirchen-Gebet thiit grosse Mirakel. Es hat zn unserer Zeit drei 
▼on Todten anferwecki : mioh der idi oft bin todt krank gelecen ; meine HauB- 
fran Ketha die auch todt krank war, und Magistrum Philippum Melanch- 
thonem, welcber Anno 1540 im Winter todt krank lag."— Tiash-Reden: Els- 
leben, fol. 436, 496. 

See also the chapter, Vom Gebet, l^h-Reden, p. 207 et aeq., wherein the 
doctor, daring a season of drought, implores the Lord for rain, and is imme- 
diately heard. 

Eben dieselbige folgende Nacht damach kam ein sehr guter firuchtbarer 


appeal to tradition in his dispute with the Sacramentarians is a 
triumphant refutation of his principle of free inquiry, his prayer 
by Melancthon's death-bed is quite a Yolume against his slave* 

Melancthon has rendered few services to the Reformation as a 
theologian, and many as a writer. Augusti has remarked that 
the Lutherans borrowed from him a portion of their terminology. 
We must beware, however, of exaggerating the influence which 
the professor exercised upon literature. People are mistaken 
when they say that he was the first in Germany to perceive the 
utility of elementary works for the use of the scholar.- We have 
seen that the Catholic schools, taught by the monks, all possessed 
Greek and Latin grammars and lexicons prior to the Keforma- 
tion. Hip love for antiquity may be commended, but not at 
the expense of truth. Our feelings are frequently excited by the 
passionate accents with which the professor of Wittembeig hails 
the triumph of the Muses. But long before him, doctor Eck, 
Luther's great antagonist, exclaimed at the sight of that holy 
flame which he contributed to light : '' Oh happy age, in which 
Ignorance is sent back to its obscurity, sophistry falls under the 
merciless shafts of ridicule, so many Latin, Greek, and Hebrew 
works are brought to light, and in which our eyes are dazzled by 
that literary pleiad composed of Erasmus, Wimpheling, Pirk- 
heimer, Cuspinian, Peutinger, Beatus Bhenanus, and Henry 
Bebelius : oh, how happy we ought to be that we live in such a 
golden age as ours I" ^ 

Melancthon had studied at Tubingen, with Stadianus, Aris* 
totle's philosophy, and conceived the intention of introducing it 
at the university of Wittemberg ; where it was then only known 
by the exposition of Master Peter Tartaretus.® Melancthon 
did not admit without restriction the celebrated axiom, '^ nihil 
est in intellectu, quod non prills frierit in sensu :"" he believed 
with Plato that the images which the senses supply to the mind, 
are only the occasional causes which develope general ideas. He 
acknowledged the existence of three minds, the reasoning, the 

' Eiederer, Nachiichten zur Kirchen- uod Gdlehrtengeacbiohte, torn. iii. 
p. 44. 

* Expositio magiBtri Petri Tartareti super rammiilas Petri Hispani cum 
allegatione paasuum Sooti, Doctoris subtilissimi. 

hjther's policy. 867 

sensitive, and the y^etative. His arguments in favonr of the 
immortality of the incorporeal substance, are partially borrowed 
firom the moral harmony of the world : metaphysical arguments 
appear to him of small value to prove the non-materiality of the 
mind. He calls astrology, physical destiny; and his opinions 
considerably strengthened the £uth which people then had in 
that pretended science.^ 


LUTHER'S POLICY. 1581, &o. 

League of Sohmalkalden. — Lntber attacks the Diet of Augsburg with his pen. 
— ^His Warning to the Germans, to which Mehmcthon sappHes a prelaoe.— > 
How can Luther's audacity be explained ? — An anonymoufl writer answeri 
Luther. — ^His reply. — His theoxy on the right of resistance. — His letters to 
the abbess of Bissa. — ^The Anabaptists rebel, and have recourse to anns. 

Melancthon's efiForts to restore peace to the Church of Oer- 
many had been rendered abortive by Lather. It was at the 
latter's instigation that Philip of Hesse suddenly left Augsburg, 
in defiance of the emperor's orders. The Protestants entrusted 
their destinies in the hands of this prince, whose character his- 
tory has described as an alehouse hero, very valiant when there 
was no danger, and a thorough cowaid when it in the least 
approached him.^ Under his auspices a league, offensive and 
defensive, was concluded at Schmalkalden by the Protestant 
princes, from which he broke off at the first demonstration of 
the emperor's wrath, and which he renewed until Charles V., 
after the battle of Muhlberg, so fatal to the Reformation, made 
the landgrave expiate his perpetual waverings by throwing him 
and John Frederick into prison, where they would have died, 
had Maurice of Saxony not delivered them.' 

The league of Schmalkalden must have been fatal to the repose 
of the country. Luther had impelled the princes to rebellion. 

* Histoire de la Philosophic, par Buhle, trad, par Jourdan, torn. li. p. 424 
et. seq. 

* Reformations- Almanach, 1817, p. 411 et seq. 
' Schmidt, History, &c. 


Scarcely had the diet of Augsburg been closed, when Luther 
wrote to denounce it in a sort of savage war-song, which he 
entitled : " Warning to my dear Germans/'^ 

" Woe to you/' he said, " who have defended the papacy at 
Augsburg ! Shame fall on your heads ! Posterity will blush 
for you ; it will scarcely believe that it had such ancestors. 
Oh ! infamous diet, such as never had and never will have your 
equal ! you have covered with infamy our princes and the 
nation, and stamped your seal on the brow of our Oermans 
before God and men. What will the Turk, what will the 
Muscovites and the Tartars say, on hearing such a scandal ? 
After this, who will fear or respect us Germans, when they 
know that we have permitted ourselves thus to be insulted, 
ridiculed, treated as children, as stocks, as stones, by the pope 
and his gang, and that, to amuse this rabble of Sodomites, 
we have suffered truth and justice to be crushed under the 
weight of this scandal of scandals ? Every German must be 
ashamed of the name of his country/' ^ 

After the diet of Augsbui^, a Protestant casuist asked if it 
were consistent with a Christian's duty to wage war with the 
emperor ? He wished a reply that might set at rest the remorse 
of his conscience ; and he found it in Luther's " Warning." 

'^ When," said the monk, " cut-throats and bloodhounds have 
only one desire, — of killing, burning, and roasting, — there is no 
harm in rising up against them, in opposing force to force, and 
sword to sword. We must not regard as rebellion what these blood- 
hounds call rebellion. They would wish to shut our mouths and 
bind our hands, saii prevent us from employing against them either 
pen or fist. That they might preach at their ease, and live 
without fear or danger, they would like to make use of violence, 
and alarm the world by the cry of rebellion. Very fine, my 
friend, your definition is worthless ; I tell you so, and I shall 
prove it. Whoever resists the law does not rebel; rebellion 
only is when neither magistrates nor justice are tolerated, — 
when they are openly attacked, — ^when Uie insurgents seek to be 
masters and tyrants, as was the case with Munzer : ^ aliud est 

* ViTaraimg an meine lieben Deutschen; in Latin, Gommonitio ad Germanos, 
with a prefieiM by Melanothon. 

* Lather's Werke : Altenb. Menzel, torn. i. pp. 428, 424. 

luthbb's policy. 369 

invasor, alind transgressor ;' such is rebellion. To resist, then, 
these bloodhounds, is not rebellion ; papist and oppressor are 
synonymous terms. That is rebellion which has neither human 
nor divine law on its side, but wickedly resembles a murderer 
and madman.'^ ^ 

How quickly have dried these tears which Melancthon shed 
at the diet of Augsburg, when that fierce puritan Bruck opposed 
all plans of reconciliation with the Catholics ! Were they not, 
then, merely hypocritical, as Gochlisus said ? At Wittemberg, 
Luther dares to ask his disciple for a pre&ce to his '^ Warning 
to the Germans ;''* and Melancthon unhesitatingly complies with 
the request ! He consents to inscribe his name on the first page 
of a diatribe, in which the red hat of a cardinal is constantly 
called a hat of blood ; in which the pope is designated a mad 
dog; and Catholics are insulted, anathematized in this world, 
and damned in the next as idolaters and murderers ! He ought 
to hide his fiice. 

Were we less acquainted with the Saxon monk, we should 
perhaps be astonished by his appeal to rebellion, drawn up in 
terms so transparent by one who, instead of a manger, cradled 
his Christianity in ducal ermine. But of whom has he to be 
afiraid ? if necessary, to defend him we should see arise all the 
princes whom he has enriched with the plunder of the churches 
and the monasteries, the great and powerful lords, who would 
prefer open revolution to restitution. The Protestant princes at 
Schmalkalden have concluded a league offensive and defensive. 
They have protested against the elecjaon of Ferdinand to the 
title of king of the Romans, and on all sides are preparing for 
battle.' Already some of the electors are privately arranging an 
alliance with Francis I., thus sacrificing the greatest glory of a 
people, — ^its nationality. Daily new cities withdraw firom the 
Teutonic confederacy ; Eslingen and Heilbronn have agreed to 
the convention of Spires ; Henry VIII. has renounced Catholi- 

' MenzeFs Nenere Geaohichte, &o. torn. i. p. 425. Luther's Werke : Leipzig, 
torn. zx. p. 807. 

* Dr. Martin Luther's Wamang an seine lieben Deutschen, Fhilippi Me- 
lanchthon's Yorrede. 

' M. Michelet^ M^m. de Luther, torn. iii. p. 22. 

VOL. IL 2 B 


cism, and the Turks are within a few days' march from the capital 
of Austria. Accordingly, Lather has nothing to fear. 

A Catholic of Dresden had the courage to denounce to Oer- 
many the seditious doctrines of the " Warning." He attacked 
Luther to his face, stripped the wily monk of his serpent-skin, 
exposed the latent venom of his pamphlet, and held ,\if to con- 
tempt the political and doctrinal versatilities of his adversary. 
This Dresden writer was a deep thinker, a warm-hearted German, 
a prophet for whom God, as He often does, had lifted a comer 
of the veil which conceals futurifcy. 

Luther answered him in his usual style, steeped in gall and 
wormwood ; ^ he revived his exhausted chimera of popery to alarm 
the Germans. 

** The Papists/' says he, '' vend at Leipsic a disgraceful and 
anonymous pamphlet against me ; from whom it proceeds no one 
knows, and I care not to know either ; for once I wish to have 
the catarrh to he unable to smell the rascal. But I shall beat 
upon the sack ; let the ass beware ! If I hit him, it will not be 
the ass but the sack that I have beaten. 

'^ When my adversary says that I urge the Germans to rebel- 
lion, he lies like an arrant knave, like a real Papist My books 
are publicly sold with my name distinctly attached to them. What 
have I said ? — that if the emperor wishes to war against God, we 
ought to refuse him obedience. What of that ? He translates 
this as if I had taught that we ought in every case to refuse 
to obey the emperor and the authorities. Tou will see that 
St Maurice and his glorious knights are eternally damned for 
having refiosed to obey the emperor, and fight against the Lord. 
But know, that when Luther speaks of disobedience, it is towards 
the tyrants who set themselves against God." 

Luther sets himself to depict the outrages of the Catholic princes 
agsdnst the disciples of the Gk>spel. He points out these dogs who 
thirst for the blood of the Christians, and are known by the name 
of pope, cardinab, bishops, priests, and monks, as ready to strangle 
every Lutheran ; and he asks if these martyrs whom they seek to 
cast to the beasts of the amphitheatre should sit with their arms 

* Wider den Menchler in Drefiden, Luther's Werke : Leipzig, torn, 
p. 38a« 

Luther's policy. 371 

folded, and suffer themselves to be slain like sheep led to the 
slaughterhouse. '^ No, no/'*>he says, '^ I, the priest of the Lord, 
ought to bear all that, but for the others I cannot allow the 
i^rants so to use them : expect, yon bloodhounds, to be treated as 
murderers. No, no, you know well that a Lutheran who pro- 
tects himself against these murderers is not a rebel. 

'' For more than ten years I haye caressed them and humbled 
myself : to what purpose ? Has not my patience only made them 
worse, as it once did the peasants ? Well, since they continue 
impenitent ; since their only desire is evil ; since they are 
abandoned by God, henceforward let them not expect from me 
one word of pity ; I shall follow them to the grave with my 
imprecations and anathemas ; I shall ring their fnneral-kneU 
with the thunders and lightning of my wrath ! ^ 

'' For I can no longer pray without cursing. If I say, ' Hal- 
lowed be thy name ! ' I add, ' Cursed, my Ood ! be the name 
of Papist, and all those who blaspheme Thee I' If I say, ' Thy 
kingdom come,' I add, ' Cursed and destroyed be the papacy, and 
all the kingdoms of the earth who rise ikgainst Thee, my Gh)d l' 
If I say, ' Thy will be done ! ' I add, ' Cursed and annihilated 
be the designs of the Papists, and of all those who fight against 
Thee, my Gk>d ! ' Such is my daily prayer, the prayer of my 
lips and of my heart, and I hope it will be heard ; for I am a 
gentle, mild, and loving Christian, as my enemies know by 

To what must we ascribe these transports of fury which inces- 
santly recur in the Reformer's polemics ? To that feverish over- 
excitement in which his struggle with the Catholics always kept 
him, say the Protestant historians of our time. They know not 
Luther ; anger with him is not always the spontaneous effusion 
of a distempered brain ; it frequency falls from his pen like a 
cipher. Read attentively his '' Warning to the Oermans,'' his 
reply to the murderer of Dresden, his commentaries on the edict 
of Charles V. at Augsburg, and you will find in them a display 
of coarse expressions, a parade of furious epithets, a proud luxury 
of insulting synonyms, which savour of the orator, and which he 

* " Hoc oonvitiorum ezecrationiimque tonitm ao fulgar erit mibi campa- 
narum instar, quibus ad sepolturam ipsoram insonabo." 
' Luther*8 Werke : Leipzig, torn. xx. p. 344. 



has collected in his dictionary by dint of search ; he is a scholar 
who labours at his theme with his lexicon in his hand. 

Germany was not duped by the art with which Luther handled 
insults, pretty much as the sculptor handles stone, — ^plasticly. 
From all quarters he was asked to express himself more clearly, 
and to reply distinctly to this question : " Are we entitled to wage 
war with the emperor ? " They remembered that a few years pre- 
viously it had been submitted to Luther in nearly similar terms, 
and that he had declared that, as subjects of Caesar, the princes 
could not war with Gsesar, not even with Caesar's subjects.^ 
They accordingly waited wi& mischievous curiosity for Luther's 
answer : they soon received it. 

" If the emperor wars with us, he either wishes to destroy our 
religion, or prohibit the free exercise of it If such is his design, 
Charles loses his right as emperor, and becomes a mere tyrant. 
It is, then, useless to ask if we may have recourse to arms to 
defend our &ith, in other terms, the word of Christ It is a 
duty to fight for our wives, our children, our servants, and our 

'^ If I live a little longer, I shall demonstrate that we are obliged 
to defend ourselves against a powerful injustice. First, let us 
not forget that the emperor is the head of the body in the tem- 
poral kingdom, and that each individual is a member of the social 
body, which he is bound to defend and protect ; for, if he for- 
sakes it, he in a manner commits suicide. 

" The emperor is not the only monarch in Oermany ; there are 
other princes who are the living members of the empire. The 
duty of each of them is to watch over the welfare of the state. 
If, therefore, the emperor should invade the liberties of Germany, 
it is the duty of the princes to resist him. 

*' But can the emperor depose the prince electors ? and can 
these princes, in their turn, depose the emperor ? 

** Here an important distinction presents itself. There is in 
every person a real duality : he is a Christian and a citizen. As 

* " Aller FUraten TJnterthanen Beyen^ach des ELajsera Untertbanen, ja mehr 
denn der Ftinten, and es schicke sioh nicht» daas Jemand mit Gewalt des 
Kaysen TJnterthanen wider den Kayeer, ihren Herm, Bchtitze. Gleichwie 
dich'a nicht zieme, dais der Btlrgermeister in Torgau woUte die Burger mit 
Gewalt aobUtzen wider den CbarfUisten zu Saohsen^ so laoge erChurfUrst sei." 
— ^Menzel, torn. i. p. 290, note. 

Luther's policy. S73 

a Christian, he neither eats, drinks, prosecutes, nor has any part 
in the temporal government of the nation ; he mnst therefore 
suffer and endure eveijthing. 

'' As a citizen, he must protect and defend himself and all 
belonging to him, in virtue of the obedience which he owes to 
the laws of the kingdom. 

'^ Let a wretch attempt to offer violence to my daughter, I kill 
him, or call for assistance : the duality becomes effaced ; in my 
person there is nothing but an individual, the outraged father, 
the citizen. 

'' Then let us remember, that if the emperor attacks us, he 
does not act motu proprio, but is the instrument of tyranny, the 
slave of the pope and the Soman idolatry ; it is therrfore against 
the pope that we rebel, and not against the emperor. 

** They will say : * But David, chosen by God to be king, and 
consecrated by Samuel, would not resist King Saul; therefore 
we ought not to resist the emperor.^ 

''Once more let us observe the distinction. David at that 
time was not king, he had only the sovereignty in expectation ; 
so, in a similar case, we do not take arms against Saul, but 
against Absalom, with whom David went to war, and who fell by 
the hand of Joab/'^ 

It seems that Luther could not determine more clearly the 
right of every citizen to rebel against his prince. Some of his 
disciples, however, who felt their consciences affected, urged him 
again to express himself categorically. 

• Luther replied to Linck : '' No, my dear friend, I have not 
given advice to those who ask me if they may resist the emperor. 
But as they say that a theologian has nothing to do in this 
matter, of which the solution belongs to the jurist, I have said : 
' If the jurists can demonstrate that they can lawfully make war 
with the emperor, I am of opinion that they should obey the law.' 
I admit that the prince, as prince, represents a political indivi- 
duality, and that, in the sphere of his princely rights, he does 
not act as Christian."* 

To Spongier : " ' Render to Caesar the things which are 

1 Propos de Table, translated by M. G. Bronet, p. 183 et aeq. 
' Wenceelao Linck, 15 Jan. 1831. De Wette, torn. iii. p. 213. 


Caesar's/ Now, what is Gsesar's is to resist him when he pre- 
scribes what is unjust. I say : We must obey all that G»8ar 
or the law has established. Now the law in each case prescribes 
resistance ; ergoy &c. We lay down the major proposition, — 
that we must obey the sword in matters poUticd ; the minor 
we neither maintain nor wish to know. I therefore draw no 
conclusion ; that is the province of the jurists. If they prove 
the minor, — ^and that does not concern us, — we cannot reject 
the conclusion, since we prove the major." ^ 

And somewhat later, to John Lubeck, minister of the '' Word" 
in Gotbus, when the question of right of resistance is before 
him : — 

'^ If it is lawful to resist or make war with the Turks, much 
more is it with the pope, who is worse than the Turks. Now if 
Caasar should enrol himself in the service of the Turks or of the 
pope, let him reap the fruits of his conduct. In such a case, our 
friends are of opinion that Caesar is no longer Caesar, but the 
constable and soldier of the pope. When King Joachim wished 
to slay Jeremias, the princes of Abikam resisted his sanguinary 
orders. Now, our German princes are more independent of the 
emperor than the princes of Abikam were of King Joachim ; he 
is not an absolute monarch ; he cannot confiscate to his own use 
the authority of the electors, and alter the constitution of Ger- 
many, without their being entitled to resist him."* 

We confess that we are unable to understand how Doctor de 
Wette, who has collected with such pious care the letters which 
we have quoted, was not afraid to write, in the face of Germany, • 

* '' I^ate Ccesari qu» sunt Gssaria, et Ceeaaris est sibi reBistendum esse in 
notorib injustis. Qiiiquid statuit Cesar seu lex Cssaris, est servandmn. Sed 
lex Btatuit resistere sibi in tali casa. Ergo resistendum est, etc. None mi^'o- 
rem nos haotenus doouimus : qubd sit obediendum gladio in rebus politieis. 
Sed mlnorem nos neque asserimus, neqne soimas. . . . Qn6d si juristss minorem 
probaverint de quo nihil ad nos, non possamus conclusionem negare qui docui- 
mus majorem."— Lazaro Spenglero, 15 Feb. 1581. De Wette, torn. iu. p. 222. 

* "Si igitar licet contra Turcam bellare, seu se defendere, malt6 magis 
contrk papam qui pejor est. Qu6d si Gassar sese misouerit inter pape vel 
Turcae militiam, expetet sortem tali militiA dignum. Ideb nostri judicftmnt 
Os«arem in hoc casu Ceesarem non esse, sed miUtem et latrmiem pape. . . . £t 
cum rex Joiaklm vellet Jeremiam occidere, restiterunt principes Abikam et 
alii. Jam principes Germaniie plus juris habent contrk Csesarem quam popu- 
lus Abikam contrit Jo][akim."-^ohanni Lubeck, ministro verbi in Cotbos, 
8 Fob. 1539. De Wette, 1. c. fom. v. pp. 159—161. 

luthbe's policy. 375 

'' The Gospel makes obedience even to unjust powers a duty, 
and Luther incessantly preached it/'^ 

At the time when Luther fatigued his hand in heaping up 
against the Catholics the worn-out abuses of Gelsus and Por- 
phyry, he addressed to the nuns of Bissa two letters, in which 
his filthy fancy difiuses itself in imagery exclusively his own. 
We recognise in them the priest who five years ago discoursed 
upon marriage. He again descants upon those painful neces- 
sities for sexual intercourse, which he so warmly painted in the 
pulpit ; and, to show that the creature is obliged to give way to 
those carnal appetites which impel the sexes irresistibly towards 
each other, he sketches the life which he supposes to be led by 
the sisters at Rissa. We shall only give here the superscription 
of one of those letters : '' To the mother abbess of the brothel at 
Rissa !"* On hearing of this epistle, which a market-porter at 
Wittemberg would not have dared to write, George of Saxony 
felt his face flush, and complained like a soldier to John the 
elector of this outrage by Luther. The elector was ashamed, 
and sharply reprimanded his prot^g6^ who on this occasion had 
the courage to lie and deny the letter. 

Now the original, entirely autograph of the monk, remains 
between two blank leaves in the historical archives of Weimar. 

While writing these lines, we have before us some eloquent 
pages firom the pen of C. H. L. Poelitz, of Leipsic, on the spirit 
of liberty which the Reformation developed. 

" Hail, sacred liberty ! " exclaims the doctor. ** It is for 
thee that the apostles contended, the martyrs shed their blood ; 
for thee Arnold of Brescia and Peter of Vaud raised their voices ; 
for thee John Huss was burnt ; for thee Luther was put to the 
ban of the mpire."' 

M. Poel; z has not, then, heard the cries uttered simultaneously 
by the Sacramentarians, Anabaptists, and all the sects who 

^ " Grelionam gegen die Obrigkeit, nnd selbst die nngerechte, gebietet freilich 
dii8 Evangelium, und Luther weiBS dies nicht genug einziucharfen." — Ueber 
den seltlichen Greist der Refbrmation in Beziehung auf nnsere Zeit. Before 
matjona- A Imanach, 1817, p. 257. 

' An den Hurenwirth, an die Hurenwirthin in Riiusa. 

' Die Aebnlicbkeit des Kampfee um bttrgerlicbe und politische Freiheit in 
unsenn Zeitalter. SO Oct. 1817. 


demand firom Luther that liberty of conscience which he pro- 
mised at the banning of his apostleship ? 

The Anabaptists, weary of waiting, came to the determination 
of making prevail by force of arms tiiat " Word of God" which 
Wittemberg desired to stifle. 


THE ANABAPTISTS. 1584—1586. 

Foroed to leave Augsburg tmlieard, they enter Westphj^ia.— Minister reoeiyes 
them. — Rothmann diaturbB the city hj his preachings. — Description of him. 
— Melchior Hoffinann. — John of Leyden is proclaimed king of Mnnster. — 
Riots caused by the Anabaptists in tiiat city. — ^They establish community of 
goods there. — It is besieged by Bishop WaJdeck. — Is captured. — ^Execution 
of the prophets. — David Gkorge or Jons.— The Anabaptists chatge Luther 
with the evils which stain Germany with blood. 

Anabaptists, Zwinglians, Lutherans, Caxlstadians, and Buce- 
rians, all assembled at the diet of Augsburg.^ The Anabaptists 
were the most fervid ; on the very day of their arrival, without 
having obtained permission from the senators, who were nearly 
all Lutherans,^ they opened conferences, whence they sent 
forth a daring defiance to those who differed from them. A 
Lutheran having accepted the challenge, inquired of the Ana- 
baptist, " From whom have you received mission to preach V — 
"Prom whom?" replied the Anabaptist; "do you not, then, 
know the book which your master says he has been reading all 
his life ? Now, what is yrritten in this inspired volume ? — that 
the charity of Christ is a sufficient warrant to preach his word/' 

To prove that the Lutherans had not this testimony of which 
the apostle speaks, the Anabaptist gave a satiric sketch of the 
morals of the Reformers. He represented the disciples of the new 
gospel scaling convents and carrying off the nuns, making merry 
with them in taverns, cramming themselves with meat and wine, 
and indulging in all licentiousness. The people laughed. 

' Mesh. lib. v. cap. xv. xviii. &c. 

^ Senatus eoim ferb totus Lutheranus. — Ibid. 


But the Lutheran seized the moment when the laugh ceased 
to answer his adversary.^ 

'' Apostle of iniquity, you corrupt St. Paul, you blaspheme the 
Gospel Doubtless all Christians ought to practise the works of 
charity ; but every Christian is not called to announce the divine 
word. To disseminate it, you must have other titles and another 
mission than holiness and love for your neighbours/' 

"Vocation, without doubt," returned the Anabaptist; "I 
understand you ; but tell me from whom you have it ?" 

" From the magistrates ; it is from them that we have received 
authority to publish the Gospel" 

" And I from our churches ; are not our churches as good as 
your magistrates ? Open, then, our common book, which is for 
you a dead letter, but for us the life ; where do you find in it 
that Christ has bestowed on the magistrates the power of sending 
apostles, and of saying to them, ' Go, preach, announce the word 
of life, in the name of Christ, the Saviour of men V " 

Then the Anabaptist became inspired, lifted his eyes, seemed 
as it were absorbed, and then, with the voice of a prophet, an- 
nounced that he came in the name of the Lord, who had appeared 
to him in a dream, and said : " Arise, take the road of Augsburg ; 
lo, I shall be with thee on the way, I shall precede thee, as the 
bright star went before the wise men. I shall put wisdom in 
thy mouth ; thou shalt preach my word to the people of the 
imperial city ; I shall soften their hearts, and streams of honey 
shall flow from thy lips." 

Generally some police, sent by the senate, put a stop to these 
religious exhibitions ; the Anabaptist descended from the pulpit, 
and went to excite the people in some other quarter. 

Elsewhere another preacher, who came from Munster, assem- 
bled his audience to a conference in the open air. He was one 
of the thousand theologians called into life by the sun of this 
new Sion of modem times, which was reverenced in their dreams 
by all those sectaries whose minds Luther had unsettled. These 
fanatics wished to play the part of the Saxon, called themselves 
prophets, and gave themselves the names of Elias, Enoch, and 

' All theee arguments had been recently repeated in a disputation which took 
place at Strasburg, in 1532, between the Lutherans and Anabaptists. See 
Bullinger, Adversus Anabaptistas, lib. ii. cap. xiii. 


Moses ; poor creatares^ whose brains had be^ tamed by the 
'' Captivity in Babylon ;" uninstracted minds, who had suddenly 
emerged from the obscurity in which they should have died, and 
who, perverted by reading heretical works, fiincied themselves 
called to regenerate the world. 

From being, before Luther's appearance, a perfect Thebais, 
quietly resting under the direction of its pastors,^ Munster 
suddenly became a city of confusion and disturbance, restless, 
uneasy in its obscurity, and aspiring to be the rival of Wittem- 
berg. It was rich and commercial, and had cultivated literature 
with considerable success. Its university had acquired some 
fiEune in the learned world. It loved antiquity, especially Greece, 
whose poets it had interpreted or elucidated. This was its 
passion, until the time when it opened its gates to the Saxon's 
disciples ; then that city — half-Oreek, half-Latin, by its man- 
ners and instincts — ^threw itself into the theological controversy, 
and its professors abandoned the study of Cicero and Homer, 
to become interpreters of the sacred volume. God knows 
what novelties they discovered in these inspired writings which 
our priests had never taught ! Then, dl the classic divi- 
nities fled from Munster, like swallows in the spring, but 
never to return to it; and in their place came a punctilious 
theology, to disturb the peace of students, professors, and 

At this moment appeared a pretended restorer of the Oospd 
text. Bernard Rothmann, curate of St. Maurice-without-the- 
walls, had for some time begun to teach Luther's doctrines. 
The senate, who dreaded his seductive preaching, ordered him to 
leave the city and go to Cologne to study theology, which he 
had not sufficiently cultivated. Rothmann departed, taking 
with him a considerable sum which he had received for com- 
pleting his studies, and which he spent on the way. He went 
to Wittemberg, where he frequently saw Luther. On his return 
to Munster, he resumed in his church his religious conferences, 
less to attack the doctrines than the person of the Catholic priest 
On the feast of St. Lambert, the Franciscan John of Deventer 
had preached upon purgatory : at the conclusion of his discourse 

* Meshovius, lib. vi. 


Rothmann excited the passers-by agaixmt the firiar, whom he 
denounced as an infidel and son of perdition. The bishop sus- 
pended him^ but Bothmann set the prelate's threats at open 
defiance, and sketched out thirty articles of belief which every 
Christian must adopt if he wished to gain heayen. The 
rector of St Maurice closed the church doors against the mad 
preacher ; but beside the church was a charnel-house, in which, 
by means of some rotten planks, Bothmann soon erected a tem- 
porary pulpit, whence he thundered against the images. Scarcely 
had the preacher concluded his dithyrambic, when his audience 
rushed into the churches, and broke down the altars. 

But Bothmann had be^ in a special manner seduced by 
Zwinglius. He was a thorough fanatic of the tropical sense 
revealed to the curate of Einsiedlin. To defame the Catholic 
d(^ma, he mixed in the same dish bread and wine, of which he 
made a sort of porridge, which he distributed to his communi- 
cants. On one occasion, to prove that the body of Christ is not 
under the species of bread and wine, he took a consecrated wafer, 
which he broke and trampled under foot, exclaiming, ^^ Where 
then is the flesh and blood ? If God were there, you would see 
him rise from the ground, and take his place on the altar." ^ 

Generally of an evening, Bothmann and some of his disciples 
met in the gardens of the syndic Wigger, to discuss the articles 
of the new creed which should rule the heavenly Jerusalem, the 
empire of which God was to give to his disciple? Among his 
auditors was the syndic's wife, who was seized with a violent 
passion for Bothmann, whom she married after getting rid of her 
husband by poison.^ 

* " Anfimgs hatte er Semmel and Wein in eine groBBe SchiiMel geiluui, nnd 
die Communicanten darauB zugreifen laaeen. NachmaU hielt er das Abend- 
mahl mit Oblaten, war aber so eifrig dabei die Lehre von der leiblichen 
Gegenwart zu widerlegen, dan er wohl die Oblaten zerbrach nnd mit den 
Worten zur Erde warf : Seht, wo ist hier Blut und Fleisoh ? Wenn das Gott 
ware, wUrde er sich wohl von der Erde aufheben and an den Altar stellen/'— - 
Bopii^ Wahrhaftige Historie wie das Evangelium zu MUnster ange&ngen : 

' ''Habebant conjogem mirabilem qnie coepit inaanire amore Bothmanni, 
quapropter et Tiram yeneno interemit." — Looorum commanium collectanea 
k Johanne Manlio exoerpta, p. 488. M. Banke, in the third volume of his 
History of the Reformation, p. 657, note, finds a mat analogy between the 
religious doctrine which Rothmann professed in his von tidliker nod irdischer 
Gewalt, and that which Robespierre proclaimed on 8 June, 1794. 


Meanwhile some Anabaptists, expelled from different parts of 
Qennany, came for shelter to Monster : they were disciples of 
Melchior Hofimann, the prophet of Soabia, who for some time 
had exhibited his foolish ecstasies in Belgium and Holland.^ 
They had several conferences with Rothmann, who, convinced by 
their aigoments, or perhaps irritated with Luther for condemning 
the disturbances at Monster, became a convert to Anabaptism 
and one of its most enthusiastic aposties. Bat this fresh 
apostasy injored his fortunes. John Bockelson, tailor at Leyden, 
and John Mattys, brass-foonder at Haerlem, who had recently 
come to Monster, and boasted of an intimate commonication 
with the Deity, soon became the idols of the popolace. As Hoff- 
mann, who had for some weeks retomed to Monster, had a 
ready, ornate, and extempore flow of langoage, and was pretty 
well versed in the Scriptores, Bockelson, who soon assumed the 
name of John of Leyden, selected him f(v his (»rator and 
secretary. Henry Rolle, a monk of Haerlem, gave the signal 
for those epileptic scenes, in which the wretched inhabitants of 
Monster were for so long to discover divine manifestations. He 
rolled on the groond, twisted aboot his arms, roared, foamed, and 
with mod-stained lips called upon Christ ; and Christ, according 
to the fanatics, immediately descended from heaven. The crisis 
ceased, and the demoniac announced that God had appeared to 
bim, and ttjat it was now time to do penance. To do penance, 
m\E to demolish the churches, raze the monasteries, break the 
imag^, and melt the sacred vessels to distribute the money 
obtained for them to the poor ; to pillage the rich, and hasten 
the kingdom of the heavenly Jerusalem, where the children of 
God should have community of goods and wives. Another 
prophet fell with his face to the ground, and from the gutter in 
which he rolled, announced that God commanded the people of 
Monster to choose John of Leyden for their head ; and Munster 
had its king.^ 

John of Leyden soon had a royal mansion ; before him walked 
two young men of family, one bearing his majesty's crown, the 
other hm bare sword ; and in the public square was set a 

* Bjinke, 1. c. tort. iii. p. 631. 
Meozel, Neuere Geschichte der Deutschen, torn. ii. p. 52. 


tbrone, covered with cloth of gold, on which he sat to administer 

On the 27th February the Anabaptists assembled at the town- 
halL Whilst they knelt in prayer, the prophet appeared to be 
plunged in a deep sleep ; suddenly John of Leyden awoke, and 
casting a wild look on the multitude, declared that Ood had 
revealed to him his divine will. '^ Away with the children of 
Esau,^' he exclaimed, '^ the Lord's inheritance belongs to the 
children of Jacob/' Then the multitude, as if it had received 
a message from heaven, cried with one voice : '' Away with the 
children of Esau !" and all the Anabaptists precipitately 
descended the ste|» of the town-hall, burst open the doors which 
were closed upon them, and drove before them all who refused to 
be re-baptized. Eersenbroik, an eye-witness of those frightful 
violences, committed at the time when a hot sun was melting the 
snow that covered the ground, depicts to us the poor little 
children holding their fathers' hands, mothers carrying in their 
arms their new-bom infants, and old men leaning on their 
staves, who at the city-gate were forcibly deprived of their last 
fruiihing and last morsel of bread.^ The Anabaptists were 
masters of Munster. 

An edict was issued which, in the name of Christ and his 
Gospel,* commanded that all the churches should be razed to the 
ground. The people obeyed ; and a mob, who asserted them- 
selves to be filled with the Spirit of Gk>d, might be seen breaking 
with axes the church-doors, burning the organs and pulpits, 
dn^ng the statues and pictures into the market-place, where 
a huge fire soon reduced them to ashes, tearing the relics from 
their shrines, tossing to the winds the bones of the early martyrs, 
drinking out of the sacred vessels, and ending, by the light of 
the altar candles, by frdfilling in the sanctuary the injunction 
given to our first parents to increase and multiply. 

On this day of profanation, Munster was styled the new Sion, 
and a rescript posted by order of John of Leyden, decided that 
as only one book — the Bible, was necessary for salvation, all 
others should be burnt as useless or dangerous. Two hours after 

' Keraenbroik, Historia Anabaptistica, MSS. 
* Catron, Hist, des Anabaptistes, book ii. 


the library of Rodolph Langins, almost entirely oomposed of Greek 
and Latin manuscripts, perished in the flames.^ 

After this doable victory over the living and the dead, the 
Anabaptists bethought them of organization. An order of the 
prophet, posted and proclaimed in every street, commanded each 
inhabitant to carry to the town-hall iJl the gold and silver he 
possessed: this was obeyed without mormnr. In the new 
society no one conld any longer have private property : all goods 
were common, and woman was considered a treasure which eyery 
member might enjoy. The titles of smith, tailor, and shoe- 
maker were considered as honourable distinctions. At mid-day 
and evening large tables were spread, at which they ate together. 
To eyery table a brother and sister were appointed to serve the 
guests by turns, while from a wooden pulpit one of the number 
read porfcions of the Bible.^ Meanwhile, a few of the citizens, 
under the guidance of a goldsmith named Mollenhoech, endea- 
youred to organize an opposition to the prophets. At first they 
were somewhat successful ; but the people, especially the opera- 
tives, who had tasted the sweets of life without labour, united, 
attacked, and routed Mollenh(ech's associates, after a sanguinary 
combat. The prophet's vengeance waa terrible. EnipperdoUing 
was appointed executioner : and every morning he cut off the 
heads of some of the vanquished.^ 

But at length Ood hstd compassion on his old church of 
Munster. She had for her bishop a man still young, of masculine 
courage, ready if needs were, when his chapter made it a law for 
him, to gird on the soldier's sword in defence of his flock. At 
the sight of those German prelates, armed from head to foot 
and bestriding their war-steeds, our surprise is great : but this 
astonishment ceases when we have studied the constitution of 
the German empire. We then know that at the yoice of the 

* MesbovitiB. Catron, Hist, des AnabaptisteSy book v. p. 101. 

* Ordinatio politicl Begiminis k 12 senioribua reoeDS introducta (§ 9). " lit 
in rebiiB administrandifl legitimus seiretur ordo, pnefecti hujus rei, officii sai 
raemores, ejtisdem generis fercula usi hactenus, fieri oonsuevit dngulis diebua 
fratribuB sororibiuqne in disjunctia et disparatis niensis modesii et cum vere- 
cundift sedentibns apponent."->KerBenbroik, p. 218. 

% * '* PoBne exeontio Knipperdollingo committitur, qui singulis diebus aliquoe 
pro arbitrio sno productos et tandem ad unum omnes capite plecUt." — Ker- 
senbroik, 1. o. 


chapter, the bishop, who, in those remote times, both blessed and 
fought, had in his stables a horse always saddled, and armour 
ever ready, to defend, even to bloodshed, the rights of those 
under his authority. The new bishop was the count of Waldeck, 
who laid siege to Munster. 

The besieged believed themselves bound to strict obedience to 
John of Leyden, as to another Moses. He mustered them in 
the public square, and offering to them a piece of bread : '^ Take 
this," he said, " and announce the Saviour's death." And 
men, women, and children threw themselves on their knees, 
munched the bread which the prophet gave them, drank the wine 
which the women distributed to them, and rising up, exclaimed, 
"Here we are!" "Will you obey Gods word?" "Yes!" 
"Well then, our heavenly Father orders that twenty-eight 
doctors immediately go forth to teach the nations. And of the 
thousand who offered themselves, six set out for Osnabui^h, six 
for Warenburg, eight for Susat, and eight for Coiffeld. They 
were all captured, put to torture, and led to the scaffold, pouring 
forth with their dying breath anathemas on all unbelievers. 

The city was sore pressed : the people were famishing, and 
one of John of Leyden's wives murmured and complained. He 
led her to the market-place, made her kneel down, cut off her 
head, and then intoned a canticle of thanksgiving, in which his 
other queens joined.^ 

Munster could hold out no longer : the garrison, decimated by 
jhmine, was soon reduced to eat vermin, and men were appointed 
to hunt for rats. Every sick person who died was immediately 
devoured ; and people even killed their children and ate them.^ 
• Spring had covered the ramparts and the gardens of the city 
with a little verdure. John of Leyden caused it to be cut and 
distributed to his soldiers ; but a violent wind, accompanied with 
snow and firost, swept away those blades of grass ; and had the 
besi^ed not made a successful sally, in spite of the prophet's 
orders, they would have perished with hunger. Not one voice, 

* Sleidan, lib. z. Ghytneus, 1. o. lib. ziv. Conr. Heresbach, Blst. Anab. 
Van de Yomftemste Hoost-Ketteren : Lyden, 1608. 

* ** Sdo pueroe comesoB ibi ease, id quod ab lis aaditum mihi est qai in 
roliqiuaB qoaadam oi^tA urbe ejus rei testes inoidenmt." — Corrinns ad Spa- 


however, from among the famished crowd was raised for mercy. 
The bishop who pressed the siege had compassion on these 
wretches, and sent a soldier to John of Leyden, to summon him, 
in God's name, to surrender ; but in vain. The Anabaptists 
encouraged each other to die : one of them, mounted on a white 
horse, like that of the Apocalypse, sounded a trumpet, and pro- 
claimed that the dead would rise from their grayee and come to 
the assistance of the town. But the dead slept their eternal 
slumber. For a month the cannon battered the walls of 
the rebellious city without effect; when treachery opened its 
gates, and the bishop's army marched into the great square. 
There remained no more than three hundred Anabaptists, who, 
intrenched behind wa^ns, sought death singing hymns. 
Hunger made their arms faJl from their hands ; and they were 

John of Leyden still fought : the lance of a soldier unhorsed 
him. He was seized, bound with cords and chains, and dragged 
before the bishop. The prelate was on horseback, upon an 
eminence from which his eye could command the whole town, 
and his ear catch the groans of the dying. '^ This is your 
work," he said to John of Leyden ; '' look at all these churches 
and palaces reduced to ashes, those houses destroyed, the grass of 
the streets moistened with the blood of your brethren." " Wal- 
deck," replied the Anabaptist, " what great harm have I done ? 
Tour city was dismantled : I have fortified it. Do you wish to 
know an excellent plan whereby to reimburse yourself for your 
outlay in besieging Munster ? Put me in a cage and take me to 
all the cities of Europe, and, at a florin per head to see the 
king of Sion, you will have as many spectators as will give you 
wherewith to pay off your debts and increase your revenue." 
" That I shall do," said the bishop. 

John of Leyden and the other leaders who were intended for 
execution, were taken to the castle of Bevergen.* The people 
crowded from all quarters to see and insult the vanquislied. 

' Lamb. Hortensius, Tamnltuiim Anabaptistanun liber nntu ; in Echard. 
Script. Ber. Genn. torn, it 

* Gatrou. Ant. Cory. De miaerabili Moniifiteriensium Anabaptistarum 
Obridione et Ezcidio, memorabilibtiB rebus tempore obsidionis in urbe geatis 
regis Knipperdolli, ao Kreohtingi confessione et exitu. Epistola Antonii 
Corrini ad Georg. Bpalatinum. De Wette, 1586. 


To quench their thirst, a man presented them a phial filled with 
hlood. The Lutheran preachers sometimes made them halt, 
and, snrrounded by their disciples, offered to dispute with these 
wretched creatures. The prophet accepted the challenge of 
Gorvinus, one of the ministers of the landgrave of Hesse : the 
debate principally turned on the plurality of wives. '^ Read 
St. Paul,'' said John of Leyden ; " what does he teach ? that a 
bishop should be the husband of one wife : therefore, in the time 
of the apostles, he who was not a bishop might have two or three 

" But," replied Corvinus, " marriage is a matter of policy, and 
the civil law, which regulates the present state of society, not 
being the same as that in the times of the apostles, we can only 
lawfully have one wife : you condemn yourself/' 

*' I fulfil the precept of the old law," said John of Leyden ; 
"jrere I to listen to your doctrines, I should be clearly mad." 

" But," continued Corvinus, who left both the Church and 
tradition to shelter himself in the civil law, " the authority 
which comes from God having power to regulate the external 
policy, it is much better to obey it than the old law, which is 
abrogated." ^ Then, as if he felt he had done wrong in exalting 
a matter merely human, he added : '^ Is it not written, that a 
man shall leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife ; 
to his wife, and not to his wives ; and has not St. Paul said : 
* Let every man live with his wife ;' and not with his wives ?" 
" Ah !" replied the king, " St. Paul did not speak of all wives, 
but of each in particular : the first is my wife, I live with her ; 
the second is my wife, I live with her ; the third is my wife, I 
live with her ; that is very simple ; and besides is it not much 
better that I should have several wives than several concubines?"* 

The last argument of the king of Leyden is precisely that 
which will soon be made use of by PhiHp, the landgrave of 
Hesse, and to which neither Luther nor Melancthon will be able 
to reply I 

Three men were to terrify the world by their awful punish- 

' This was the docirme of Luther, who only looked upon marriage as a civil 
oontract. — ^Ranke, 1. o. torn. iii. p. 452. 

' Gesprach oder Disputation Antonii Corvini und Johann Kymei mit Johann 
▼on Leiden. 

VOL. IL 2 


ment — John of Leyden, Enipperdolling, and Erechtingk — ^for 
Rothmann had died fighting. A scaffold was erected in the 
market-place of Munster, opposite the yerj palace where John 
of Leyden used to appear in all the splendour of his regal attire, 
and surrounded with a seraglio of wives.^ He was then between 
his two accomplices, a little more elevated, that he might be seen 
at the greater distance. The executioner had burning pincers, 
with which he tore off his flesh, while John of Leyden prayed. 
The punishment lasted for nearly an hour; and at last was 
ended by a sword thrust through his body. His two companions 
suffered the like death. The remains of John of Leyden were 
placed in an iron cage, which was placed on the top of the tower 
of St. Lambert, as a terror to the Anabaptists. The ashes of 
Enipperdolling and Erechtingk were scattered to the winds. 

The Protestants could not conceal their joy at the fall of the 
Anabaptists at Munster : they hoped to get possession of the 
ruins of that unfortunate city ; but the old worship, which had 
suffered so much in its struggle with John of Leyden, was, by a 
decision of the diet of Worms, restored in all its rights ; only it 
had to restore the ruins which heresy had made. For a time the 
name of Anabaptist was a mark of reprobation, and whoever 
bore it could not find an asylum in any Protestant city. 

One of BrOthmann's disciples adopted, with considerable modi- 
fications, the doctrines of the prophets of Munster : like J^hn 
of Leyden, David Gteorge or Joris boasted of being in commu- 
nication with the Holy Spirit. He asserted that the Holy Spirit 
which had descended upon Mary, had, in like manner, over- 
sbadowed him ; and that he was the son of God in body and 
souL He had many followers ; but being expelled from Germany, 
he took refuge in Switzerland, where for some years he taught his 
reveries undisturbed. He had predicted that on the third day 
after his death he would rise from the grave. At sunrise, on the 
day foretold, some simple souls joyfully watched the prophet's 
tomb : but the tomb did not open.^ 

' Des Miinsterischen Kbnigreicbs An- und Abgaog, Bluthandel nnd Ende. 
Samstag nacfa Sebastiano, anno 1586. 

* David Georgen aus Holland, dee Erzketzers, wahrbaflige Historie : Re- 
gensburg, 1560, 4to. Aufgedeckte Larve ^avids Georgii, von M. Fried. 

Je ^' ' 

Kiel, 1670, 4io. Lanr. Surius, Ghr. ann. 1556, p. 254. Nicol. 
Blesdikias, in Hiatoria D. Georgii, edita per Jacob. Revium, p. 15 et seq. 


The Anabaptists still refer to these stormy times, in which 
their constancy wearied the arm of the civil power, as times of 
trial sent by God in fevour to the Church of his predilection. 
They recall with pride the names of some of their confessors who 
preferred to suffer imprisonment, exile, and even death, rather 
than deny the word of Jesus : they have hymns for their first 
martyrs, and words of contemptuous pity for the Saxon monk, 
who, in 1628, in his book " De GodxA Chrisfci," * and in another 
treatise, ^' Contra P»dobaptismum,'' had at first so energetically 
defended liberty of conscience. And their only revenge is to 
recall to memoiy the tears which Luther one day shed, when 
Balthazar Hubmayer, one of their brethren, was executed by 
order of Ferdinand of Austria, and the language, even more 
eloquent than his tears, of his letter to his parishioners : * "In 
God's name, let there be no flames or gibbets, no bloodshed 
among us ! let every one believe as his conscience dictates. Are 
not the flames of hell sufficient punishment for the heretic ? 
Wherefore punishments in this world, if he has committed no 
other crime than error in faith ?" * 

Anabaptism would never have ensanguined Germany, had 
Luther ts^en it under his protection, and left its disciples at 
liberty to teach their visions. In the Catholic point of view, 
the question is quite different: Anabaptism, at the bar of 
authority, is a rebel which the law must punish; but in the 
eyes of Lutherans, what is -an Anabaptist ? at most, a Christian 
who deceives himself, and not a heretic ; since his faith is the 
result of his reason, and the light of his own intelligence explains 
every interpretation of the controverted texts. Rothmann at 
Augsburg, is Luther at Worms. 

At Worms, Luther was permitted to be heard before a Catholic 
tribunal : at Augsburg, Luther imposes silence on Rothmann.* 

' Op. Luth. torn. iii. Jenn, p. 458, a. 

3 Op. Luth. torn. iv. Jene, p. 819. Coohl. in Act. p. 198. 

' "Cuilibet penniitendam ene libartatem oredendi quod lubet Quod el 
quisquam db fide non rect% seniiat, eum in inferno sataB habiturum supplioiiy 
ubi mt iffnibus sempiteniifl oremanduB." 

like Melancthon and Luther, Brenz was of opinion that fire and Rword 
miffht be uaed against the Anabaptists. See Unterricht Philipp Melanchthons 
wider die Lehre der Wiedertaufer duroh Feuer und Schwert vom Leben sum 
Tod richten laraen. Johann Brenz. 1585. 

* Consult, Der Wiedert&ufer, Lehre und Geheimnisse aus Heiliger Schrift^ 





EffortB of Clement YII. to restore peace to the (^urcfa of Gennany. — Piaul 111. 
aends Yergerio to Lutber. — His interview with the nuncio. — He laughs at 
the legate. — Diets of Sohmalkalden and Batisbon. — ^Yain attempts of the 
Catholics to reconcile the Protestants with the Church. — Melancthon strives 
in vain against Luther's obstinacy. — Luther's rage against Charies Y. and 
EriCj duke of Brunswick. — ^Death of Qeorge, duke of Saxony. 

At the diet of Augsburg, the emperor had engaged to request 
from the pope the session of a council, to bring back, if possible, 
the dissenters to unity.^ The Catholics, simple souls, deluded 
themselves into the belief that an oecumenical council of the 
prelates would extinguish the last germs of rebellion. Luther 
was always appealing _to a future council. How often, since his 
theses, had he proclaimed to his country that he was ready to 
give an account of his faith in a national synod ! The reformers, 
who knew not these alehouses in which Luther laughed every 
evening at what he had taught during the day, believed in his 
sincerity. The emperor had great projects : but at the very time 
when he was about to realize them, he found himself impeded by 
a monk. To put an end to the schism which increased daily, he 
had tried his imperial authority, which was slighted, and in the 
Low Countries even executioners, who were braved. There 
remained yet one means, — the voice of the Church in a general 
council. He wished his Germans to hear it, in the hope that it 

widerlegt duroh Justum Menium, in the Works of Luther : Wittemberg, 
torn. ii. p. 262 ; Dass weltliche Obrigkeit den Wiedertaufern mlt leiblicher 
Strafe zu wehren schuldig sey : Etlicher Bedenken zu Wittenberg. 1586. 

Nene Zeitung, wie die Stadt MUnster erobert und eingenommen durch die 
Landskneohte, am Freytag nach Johannis, zu Mittemacht, mit einem An&U. 
Hermann von Mengeriffen : 1585. 

Widerlegung der Munsterisohen neuen Yalentinianer und Donatisten Be- 
kenntniss. An die Christen zu Ossnabruck in Westphalen. Durch D. Ur- 
banum Begium. Mit einer Yorrede Dr. Martin Luthers : Wittenberg, 1535. 

Widerlegung etlicher undhristlicher Artikel, welohe die Wiedertaufer fUrge- 
ben : Wittenl^rg. 

Eil'che Proporitiones wider die Lehre der Wiedertaufer, gestellt durch 
PhU. Melanchthon : 1585. 

1 Osiander, Hist. Eccles. lib. ii. 


would work some miracles, as in the primitive Church. Twenty 
years before, when Luther stormed against indulgences, perhaps 
this sovereign voice might have been omnipotent : now it had 
been too long silent : would it not demand the restitution of 
ecclesiastical property ? and all, princes as well as subjects, had 
stolen the property of others. The most difficult commandment 
was, not to render to God the things that were Ood's, but to 
Cffisar the things that were GsDsar's. Luther himself would not 
have been heard, for the German nobility had already sold the 
bishops' horses, the tapestries of the churches, the sacred vessels, 
the pictures, the statues, and, for future subsistence, expected 
that the Reformation would make farther progress and feirther 
ruins. It was the sincere wish of the pope, that the session of 
one of these great assizes, in which the voice of the Church 
could be heard, should show to the Christian world all thtft her 
visible head on earth had done for twenty years, by persuasion 
and tears, to bring back her rebellious children to her pale.^ 

If the tiara has ever been honoured, it was by Clement VII. ; 
an unprejudiced and dllpassionate pontiff, gentle and high- 
hearted, the sincere friend of learning, learned in sciences un- 
impersonated in preceding popes, — at once mechanician, engineer, 
and architect ! And yet he was unhappy : his policy was timid 
and anxious ; and he was afraid both of France and of Charles V. 
He was always haunted by the idea of weakening the empire by 
France, and France by the empire. He threw himself into the 
arms of Charles when the Biai of France Beemed to bum too 
brightly, and in those of his rival when the emperor's star pre- 
vented him from heeding France. He died (^ grief; having 
as vicar of Jesus Christ, no cause for self-reproach, and sleeping 
in the Lord after a life of purity ; but as a temporal sovereign, 
mourning over that timorous policy which he had adopted for 
the sake of his earthly crown.^ And see, remarks Ranke, the 
powerful vitiility of Catholicism ! it seems that it must have 

* AU the Catholics were unanimoiia in demiuiding a general counoiK Goch* 
hdvA, the warm opponent of Luther, said to the pope, in dedicating to his 
Holiness his treatise, De Matrimonio Serenissimi Regis Anglias : " Si quando 
dederit nobis Sanotitas tua generale concilium, id quod omnes pii ac fidelea 
Christiani longis desideriis, magnisque gemitibus et suspiriis abs te petunt ei 
efflagitant," etc. 1525, 4to. 

^ Maimbourg, Hist, du Luih(^ranisme, 4 to. pp. 123, 131, et seq. 


perished or become enfeebled in the weak hands of this pontiff, 
and yet it springs np with increased splendour nnder his soo- 
cessor, Panl III. Scarcely had he ascended the throne, whea 
kings and nations eqnally admired his noble and easy manners, 
his elegance without pomp, and mildness without infirmity. 
The papacy was exalted by that noble reply of Paul to the 
emperor, who asked him for the cardinal's hat for his two grand* 
sons : '' I shall give it,^' he said, ^'when I hare been shown that 
children have been made cardinals/' Clement left to his 
successor a great task to perform : to overcome Protestantism, or 
at least to oppose a barrier to its encroachments, to repair the 
Catholic edifice, restore what it had lost of vitality and renown 
in men's eyes, and stamp it with unity. He had to rouse the 
Catholic south against the Protestant north ; to oppose a 
Catholic to a Protestant league, and when this should be effected, 
to impel Europe against the Ottoman Porte, and extinguish the 
quarrels of princes friendly to the Holy See, which did injury to 
the cause of Christianii^, by reconciling France and Spain. Of 
almost all these grand thoughts which %ere present to his mind, 
he had the gloiy to labour in the accomplislunent.-' Time, more 
powerful than Paul, prevented him from triumphing everywh^e 
in the same degree ; but his great work, which has crowned him 
with honour, even in the eyes of honest Protestants, is the 
council which he opened at Trent,^ and of which the name will 
for ever be associated with the fame of his pontificate. If at 
Trent an insurmountable barrier arose between the two religions, 
Catholicism acquired new strength and force, by uniting, with an 
indissoluble bond, all the nations that belonged to her. The 
North might detach itself from the union ; but the chidn which 
bound the South was for ever riveted. Next to the creed of 
St. Athanasius, no book is more revered among Catholics than 
the " Catechism of the Council of Trent," which is itself but 
the luminous devdopment of that creed ; by it the inviobbility 
of doctrine, the papal supremacy, and Christian unity have 
been secured from all the assaults of error and novelty. Ranke, 

^ Fessler has^ in like manner, commended the importance of the Council of 
Trent. " Auch das Werk der zn Trient versammelten ehrwurdig^n Paters 
war die durchaus folgerichtige Festsetznng der katholisch-kirchlichen Glau- 
benslehre ausgemittelt aus der H. Schrift und Apostolischer UeberiieferangBn.** 


whom we love to quote, justly observes that the Saxon hammer 
seemed to have broken the last stone of the modem Babylon, but 
at Trent it was clearly seen that the Catholic edifice had not even 
been chipped. Then it was that, to compensate for the defection 
of Germany, there arose religions orders whose mission was to go 
to all parts of the globe, to bring souls to the Holy See, to fill 
up the places which the Reformation had left vacant, and carry 
to the verge of creation the glorious name of Rome. What* 
ever is great in modem history, says the same autiior, is the 
work of these orders, and especially of the Jesuits, a republic 
which equals in power and wisdom that of Romulus. If Luther 
took firom Rome two millions of Christians, Ignatius of Loyola 
gave her ten. 

Paul III., of the family of the Famese, sought to efiect a 
work of conciliation which unforeseen events had prevented his 
predecessors from accomplishing. Vergerio, his legate, had orders 
to go to Germany and announce to Charles V., his brother 
Ferdinand, and the princes of Christendom, that the council 
which the people had so long demanded would at length be opened 
at Mantua. 

In the beginning of November, 1535, Vergerio arrived at 
Wittemberg, and evinced at once a desire to converse with Luther. 
The doctor waited for the legate, and laughed with his friends at 
him : '^ They have announced to me," he vnites to.Melancthon, 
** a most reverend cardinal, a legate, who will resemble all other 
legates, a sharper, a robber, the devil in person. I wish that 
there were many kings like Henry VIII. of England, who knows 
so well how to get rid of this rabble.'' ^ 

An old Protestant writer of the time has preserved an account 
of this interview : " As soon as Doctor Martin Luther knew the 
hour of meeting, he called his barber. ^ Master,' said the barber 
to him, ' what means this, that you call me so early to shave 
you ?' The doctor replied : ' Because I am about to be received 
by the envoy of the holy father ; and you see, I must appear 
with a smooth chin, that I may resemble an Adonis, and the 
legate will think : The deuce, if Luther who is so young has 

* " UtinAm haberent plures reges Angliee qui illos oociderent." — Melancbth. 
1535. Im Dezeraber. Martin Luther'a Leben von Gustav Pfizer, p. 705. 
HiBtoria de Vitft Martini Lutheri, p. 515, Aut. Ulenbergio. 


caused us so much trouble, what will he do in the vigour of 
age V When Henry had soaped and shaved him, Luther put on 
his best coat and a gold necklace. ^ But you are going to joke/ 
said the barber, stifling a laugh. ' Tou are right/ replied the 
doctor ; ' they have laughed at us long enough, it is now our 
turn to rouse them. Thus foxes and serpents must be treated.' 
^ Oo in peace/ added the barber ; ' May the Lord be with you 
and convert them by your lips.' ^ I shall not do that/ said 
Luther, ^ but that might happen, and I propose to rebuke him."' 

This said, he and Pomeranus entered the carriage which the 
legate had politely sent for him, and drove to the citadel As 
he took his seat in the vehicle he laughed, and said to his com- 
panion, ''Here is a real miracle; the pope of Germany and 
Cardinal Pomeranus seated side by side !" 

Luther omitted the cerem<my usually paid to the papal l^tes. 
He caused himself to be announced ; Uie legate took him by the 
hand and led him into his apartment After some indiffi^ent con- 
versation, Vergerio began to speak of the counciL " Bah ! " said 
Luther, shaking his head, '' your council will be nonsense : if the 
pope holds one, it will be to treat of monks' cowls, the tonsure of the 
clergy, meats and wine, and other such trivial fooleries ; butnothing, 
absolutely nothing of faith, repentance, justification, or the bond 
of charity which should unite all who lead the same life ; with 
which grave and solemn doctrines the Breformation has hitherto 
been occupied, illuminated by the light of the Holy Spirit 
What need then have we of your council, which is only good for 
the poor nations which you hold in captivity ? You papists do 
not even know what you believe. Qo on, go on : assemble your 
council if you will ; I shall go to it, I promise you, even if I 
knew that the gibbet or the stake awaited me." 

The l^ate did not retort by any harsh word ; he merely bowed 
his head in sign of satisfaction, as if he had obtained all that he 
wanted from Luther. '' But tell me, doctor," he asked, " where 
would you wish the council to be held?" ''I," replied the 
Saxon, smiling, ''where you please; at Mantua^ Padua^ or 
Florence, it matters littie to me." " Or Bologna ?" said the 
legate. "To whom does that city belong?" inquired Luther. 
" To the pope," replied the l^te. " Good God !" exclaimed 
Luther, " this is another city which the pope has stolen. Well, 


I will go to Bologna." '^ The pope himself would come to 
Wittemberg,'' returned the l^te, '' if the salvation of souls 
required ii'^ " Oh, by Q — ! let him come," said Luther, " we 
shall receive him as well as we can." ** And how would you 
wish him to come," asked Vergerio, " with or without armed 
attendants ?" . " As he pleases," said Luther, interrupting him, 
'* he will be always welcome." 

The conyersation changed. The l^te asked Luther if there 
were any ordinations among the Protestants. " Certainly, we 
ordain, since the pope forbids his subjects to confer the priest- 
hood on us. And there, my lord," said he, pointing to Pome- 
ranus, '' is a bishop of our making, Doctor Pomeranus, who has 
received episcopal consecration." 

The whole of this interview was an insolent mockery,* in 
which Luther treated the papal nuncio as '' a sharper and a 
rogue." When Vergerio mounted his steed to leave Wittemberg, 
he gave his hand to Luther, reminding him of his promise on 
the preceding day. '^ Adieu, my lord," said Luther ; '' I shall 
go, and bring my head on my shoulders." Next day he related 
to Melanothon and Justus Jonas his interview with the l^te. 

" Our legate has gone away : he only showed himself here. 
This man flies, and does not mlk. He asked me and Pomera- 
nus to breakfast ; I had refused to sup with him. I have eaten 
at his table. No human being can recount i^hat took place 
between us : during the whole time I was Luther." ' 

It is certain that he wished to amuse himself at the expense 
of the Catholics, and that he had no intention of keeping his 
promise to be present at the council. In his view this council 
was a work of Satan, to which he refused to be instrumental The 
pamphlets which he published at that time clearly demonstrate 
that he would not be reconciled with Rome at any price.' 

The Protestant princes had an interview at Schmalkalden to 
oppose every effort that Rome might make for the sake of peace 

' PaUavioini, lib. iii. 

* Justo Jons, 10 Not. 1585. Vei^rio afterwards apostatized from the 
Chiuroh, and from that moment was ranked among fidthzol and enlightened 
men. — ^M'Orie, History of the Beformation in Italy. 

3 Locus ex jure canonico do Donatione Gonstantini Magni. Epistolie 
aliquot J. Huss. Narratio de Johanne Chrysoetomo. 


of confluence. At the instigation of the elector of Saxony, 
Luther, Justus Jonas, Gaspard Greuziger, John Bugenhagen 
(Pomeranus), Nicholas Amsdorf, Melancthon, and John Agricola, 
met at Wittemberg to draw up a formulary of belief, that should 
thenceforward be the unalterable basis of the doctrines of the 
new church.* 

Luther examined one by one the twenty- four articles of the 
Protestant creed, which he approved and sent to Spalatinus, who 
transmitted it to John the elector. 

Melancthon subscribed the formulary, but with this express 
reservation, that if the pope would acknowledge the (Jospel,* he 
would admit the pontiff's supremacy over the bishops. It was 
somewhat bold in the professor to recognise, even in the terms 
which he laid down, the spiritual jurisdiction of the pope, whom 
hislnost moderate colleagues looked upon as Antichrist. 

Luther, although unwell, then went to Schmalkalden in ord^r 
to maintain the Saxon creed,-^ 4k human work imposed on the 
consciences of all who bore the name of Protestants, but which 
beyond the Rhine was resisted as an outrage on the liberty of 
thought On this occasion he no longer travelled on foot : he 
had horses of his own,^ which he lent to Bugenhagen and 
Melancthon, who accompanied him. 

On the 2nd February, 1537, the travellers reached Altenbui^, 
where Spalatinus entertained them sumptuously: this hospi* 
tality Luther repaid with a few indifferent verses.* At Weimar 
he preached on the 4th of February, Sexagesima Sunday, a 

Dan. Lanr, SalfcheniuB, de Art Smalk. p. 15. 

* " Ego PhilippuB Melanchthon faos articulos suprk poeitos probo tanqoam 
veros. Ad pontificem autem quod attinet sic sentio : Si admittere velit Evan- 
gelinm, qnod tunc pacis et publicse ooncordise gratift propter Christianoa qui 
sub ipso jam sunt et fdturis temporibus esse forsau possunt, superioritas in 
episcopos, quam alioquin habet, jure bumano per noa ilU sit quoque coace- 
denda." — Oper. Lutb. Jeuse, Germ. fol. 622. 

* Laurent. Reinbard, Comm. de Vitft Jonae, cap. vii. § 4. 

* Und zwar mit seinen eignen Pferden, Lingke, 1. o. Lutber's Sammtlicbe 
Bcbriften : Halle, torn. xzi. p. 892. 

' " Ut tua sunt Cbristo gratissima £M;ta, Georgi, 
Sic sit grata cobors bsec peregriua tibi. 
Tendimus ad celebrem pro nostro Gbalcida coetu ; 

Magna Dei cogit causa per istud iter. 
Tu quoque nostrarum pars magna, yir optime, rerum, 
Nobiscum venies duxque comosque vise." 


yiolent seimon agamst the kings and bishops. He accused them 
of conspiring to destroy the word of God ; and insisted that the 
pope was worse than the Turk, and wished to extinguish the 
Gospel.^ His holiness's nuncios heard the monk's insults, without 
the power of suppressing them. 

On the loth of February, Luther was at Schmalkalden, where 
a great number of persons of distinction were assembled ; — ^the 
elector of Saxony, the Undgrave of Hesse, Dukes Ernest and 
Francis of Luneburg, Duke Ulrich of Wurtemberg, Princes 
Wolf, Geoi^ and Joachim of Anhalt, Counts Gebhard and 
Albert of Mansfeld, the counts of Nassau and Beichlingen, Duke . 
Henry of Mecklenbui^, Princes Bupert of Denx-Ponts and Philip 
of Grubenhagen. Among the Protestant theologians were Gabriel 
Didymus, Urbanus Regius, Frederick Myconius (Mecum), Brenz, 
John Langius, Martin Bucer, Paul Fagius, Boni&ce Wolfart, 
John Fontanus, and Ambrose Blaurer, nearly aU of whom aban- 
doned the doctrines which they came to defend at the diet.' 

Mathias Held, vice-chancellor of the emperor Charles V., who 
was preparing to go from Genoa to Spain, left Vienna in Jan- 
uary, and on the 15th of the following month opened the diet 
with a long harangue. To the complaints and demands drawn 
up by the Orders since the former diet, on *the question of 
liberty of conscience, and expressed so energetically by certain 
people of Germany, he replied that the emperor his master would 
take them into consideration ; but, in the meanwhile, he de- 
manded that the treaty signed at Nuremberg should be observed. 
He added, that at the counoil summoned by the pope they would 
soon have an opportunity of discussing religious matters, and that 
it was his majesty's intention to be personally present there, as a 
guarantee to his subjects of his desire for their liberties.' 

At Schmalkalden, we find Melancthon timidly endeavouring, 
but in vain, to excite a desire for peace in the theologians ani« 
mated with Xuther's sentiments. Melancthon did not object 

I " Er klagte dass die Kbniffe und Biscbofe gegen das Evangelium in den 
ffriJflsem Haas hfttten, als die TOrken, welches die Gefahrten des piipstlioheii 
Nunoti mit anhdrten."^LiQgke, 1. o. p. 234. Melanchth. Ep. lib. ▼. p. 40. 

' Lingke, L o. pp. 236, 237. Acta Hist. Ecd. torn. ii. p. 372 et seq. 

' Sleidan, Hist, de la R^foimation, torn. ii. pp. 4, 5. Christ. Mttnde, Hist. 
Vorbericht zu den Schmalkaldischen Artikeln. 


to a council ; he admitted the pope's right to snmmoii it^ but he 
denied the pontiff's right to be supreme judge. His opponents 
declared, in opposition to his counsels, that a reconciliation with 
the Catholics was impossible ; and then Melancthon, lus he 
usually did, returned to his lodgings sick in head and heart, 
and consoled himself by embosoming to a firiend his grieft and 

Meanwhile the Holy See, with the emperor's, ooncurrenoey 
once more attempted a reconciliation between the two religions. 
They hoped, by means of words, to reunite the parties whom 
. words had separated. To this end the emperor multiplied 
diets, and the pope constantly changed nuncios. At the diet of 
Ratisbon, the Catholic speakers were all either profound theo- 
logians or brilliant orators. To Faber, Nausea, and John Eck, 
was intrusted the defence of Catholicity. All arrived by differait 
routes at the place of rendezvous ; and at the same time might 
be seen leaving Wittemberg Luther's beloved disciple Mdanc- 
thon, who without murmuring set out, after tenderly embracing 
his father, to endeavour to perform that which was impossible. 
Had you looked in his face, you would have beheld it emaciated by 
afflictions of the heart, of all others the most cruel, his eyes dim, 
his beard grey and unshorn, and his whole frame moving painfully : 
he walked to martyrdom. At Wittembeig one man remained, 
an evil spirit, who had previously given his lesson to this Pro- 
testant messenger ; let there be no peace with the wicked, he 
had said to him ; and lest while at Ratisbon he might be worked 
upon, he ahnost daily sent to him a fresh courier with written 
orders, so implacable, that we suffer while we read them. 

" Away with-C»sar," he writes, "such is my advice ; hasten 
to leave that Sodom, for in the end the wrath of God will fall 
upon our heads. I have prayed enough for the emperor ; if he 
will not have our blessing, let him be accursed ! There is no 
one more guilty than this devil of Mayence ; Ca^ar is of no con- 
sequence, he is a hypocrite who pretends to be deaf, and to have 

' *' Nostra sententU semper fiiit ne simplioiter recoaaretur synodus : qnift 
etiamsi pap» non lioeat esse judicem, habet tamen jus indioeude synodi, 
deindb judicium constitui h synodo. Bed homines acutiores disputabant has 
meas rationes argutas quidem esse et xens, sed inutiles. . . . Pericakim esss 
video ingentiB motfts, nisi Dens succurrerit." — Epist. ad Oamerarium, p. 279. 
TJlenberg, Vita et Kes gestiB Ph. Melanchth. 1. c. pp. 135—137. 


gone to Batisbon to listen to debates which he has no intention 
to hear ; as if, for the sake of religion, he was not sometimes 
forced to eat or . . . ."^ 

At Ratisbon, the dispute on the Eucharist was resumed. 
Calvin came from Geneva to mix in the controversy, with a view 
to promote his own doctrines, and, if possible, convert Melanc- 
thon to the figurative system which he had succeeded in making 
prevalent in Switzerland ; he was an incarnation of the serpent's 
cunning and wiles, who was never more happy than when he 
had succeeded in involving his opponent in the folds of a cap- 
tious argument. Melancthon was like one entangled. If he 
struggled, it was because the eye of his master was upqn him, 
and that he was more afraid of his anger than of the Genevan 
reformer's craft. It is easy to perceive, in reading the formula 
as to the real presence which he laid before the conference, that 
the figure or trope perplexed him. Had Luther died at that 
moment, Wittemberg would have had a fresh apostasy to deplore. 

Charles V., who presided at the diet, often saw Melancthon, 
who invariably returned from his conferences with a more pro- 
found respect for the qualities of the prince, whom he admired, 
and/ almost loved. Wherefore Luther, who knew Philip's blind 
side, omitted nothing which might ruin Charles in the opinion 
of the deputies from Wittemberg, and of his dear disciple espe- 
cially. His threat of cursing the emperor was merely momentary. 
Five days after, it was no longer a question of leaving ofiF prayer 
in behalf of his majesty, such punishment would not be enough ; 
he threatens him with his hatred, and the sword and arm of all 
his adherents. 

" The people," he writes to Melancthon, ** will soon be unable 
to bear Caesar's pusillanimity longer. I hate this CsBsar, who, 
spoiled by our praises, torments us daily more and more. I shall 
do against him as much as I have done for him."^ 

' " Spero TOfl ATOcari k prindpe, id enlm oonsulni. . . . Cogitate et festinate 
egredi ez istA Sodomft, veoit ira JDei saper nos in finem. Oratum eat satis nro 
Cassare ; ri noUt benedictionem, ferat znaledictionem. Non potest esse culpa 
solins cUaboli Mogantini, si ipse non esset purus hypoorita. Tot querelas 
faausit surdft anre, fingens se religionis cansft istlinc deferre, qnas nunqaam 
cogitat andiTOy quasi pro religionis causft non interim etiam comedere oogatur, 
aut oacare."— Be Wette, torn. y. pp. 340, 369. Melanchthoni Epistola. 

' " Ego plani odium conce^i in GsBflarem yer^ . . . et agam, si qua potero, 
contrk eura, quanta pro eo feci."— De Wette, 1. c. p. 872. 


The efiFecfc of these instJts to the royal dignity of Charles V. 
was, that some princes who had at first been earned away by 
Luther's theories, ended by deserting his doctrines and returning 
to the Church ; such was Eric II., duke of Brunswick, who, not 
satisfied with making a rough onslaught on the Protestant 
princes, attacked in a writing, of which the tone doubtless might 
have been more moderate, John, the elector of Saxony, and 
Philip, the landgrave of Hesse, both of whom were the warm pro- 
tectors of the Saxon monk.^ It was a daring act in Duke Eric to 
bewail as he did that old faith of his ancestors, which was out- 
raged and insulted openly in that Germany which the Catholic 
religion had rescued from pagan darkness. He was well aware 
of the castigation which Luther would bestow upon him ; but he 
said, like his father, Brunswick Calemberg, ^' My conscience is 
above Poltesberg, and God above my conscience." Luther took 
his revenge ; but who will venture to employ the language in 
which he did so ? Daring for daring, that of Luther is the most 
startling * 

Next came the turn of his &ther, lately deceased. The 
decorator of Pompeii would never have represented in his mosaics 
such images as the monk of Wittemberg does not hesitate to 
use. In honour of the Latin language, we would not be com* 
peUed to reproduce them ; we leave it, therefore to the Oerman : 
at least, we shall not injure the dead.^ 

Tou remember that generous Catholic who, at the diet of 
Worms, when Luther was exhausted with fatigue, sent him a 
huge can of ale, which the monk swallowed at a draught ? — ^that