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Gbe Xibrarp 

of tbe 

of Toronto 

Mrs. RicnarcL A. Stapelli 






</> BV 





G. H. SMITH, F.G.S. 







A.D. 14831521. 


CHAPTER I. A.D. 1517 1521. Luther attacks the Indulgences. 
PAGE He burns the Papal Bull. Erasmus, Hutten, Franz 

A.D. 1483 1517. Birth, Education of Luther His von Sickingen Luther appears at the Diet of 
Ordination, Temptations, and Journey to Rome ... 3 Worms. He is carried off 6 

A.D. 15211528. 


A.D. 1523 1525. Carlstadt. MUnzer. War of the 

A.D. 1521 1524. Luther's Residence in the castle of Peasants 30 

Wartburg. He returns to Wittemberg without the 

Elector's authority. His Writings against the King CHAPTER IV. 

of England, and against Princes in general 18 j A.D. 1524 1527. Luther attacked by the Rationalists. 

Zwingle. Bucer, &c. Erasmus 41 


A.D. 1526 1529. Luther's Marriage. His Poverty, 

Beginnings of the Lutheran Church. Attempts at Or- Discouragement, Despair, Sickness. Belief in the 
ganisation, &c 26 approaching end of the World 43 


A.D. 15291546. 


CHAPTER I. A.D. 1534 1536. The Anabaptists of Munster 52 

A.D. 1529 1532. The Turks. Danger of Germany. CHAPTER III. 

Augsburg, Smalkalde. Danger of Protestantism ... 47 A.D. 1536 1545. Latter Years of Luther's Life. 

Polygamy of the Landgrave of Hesse, &c 56 


A.D. 15301546. 

Luther's Conversations on Domestic Life, on Wives and Of Schools ' Universities, and the Liberal Arts 64 

Children, and on Nature 59 CHAPTER IV. 

The Drama. Music. Astrology. Printing. Banking . 65 

The Bible. The Fathers. The Schoolmen. The Pope. Of Preaching. Luther's Style. He acknowledges the 

Councils 61 violence of his character 67 


Deaths of Luther's Father, of his Daughter, &c 68 Tem pt a tions.-Regrets and Doubts of his Friends and 

CHAPTER II. his Wife. Luther's own Doubts 73 

Of Equity ; of Law. Opposition of the Theologians to 

the Jurists , 69 CHAPTER VI. 

CHAPTER III. TheDevu.-Temptations 74 

Faith: the Law 70 CHAPTER VII. 

His Ailments. Longings for Death and Judgment. 
Of Innovations : the Mystics, &c 71 Death, A.D. 1546 79 



THE following work is neither the life of Luther turned into an historical romance, nor a history of the 
establishment of Lutheranism, but a biography, consisting of a series of transcripts from Luther's own 
ivvi hitions. With the exception of the events of the earliefyears of his life, when Luther could not 
have Been the penman, the transcriber has seldom had occasion to hold the pen himself. His task has 
been limited to selecting, arranging, and fixing the chronology of detached passages. Throughout the 
work Luther is his own spokesman Luther's life is told by Luther himself. Who could be so daring as 
to interpolate his own expressions into the language of such a man ! Our business is to listen to, not 
interrupt him : a rule we have observed as strictly as was possible. 

This work, which was not published till 1835, was almost entirely written during the years 1828 and 
1829. The translator of the Scienza Nuora* felt at that period a lively consciousness of the necessity of 
tracing from theories to their application, of studying the general in the individual, history in biography, 
humanity in one man; and this a man who had been in the highest rank of mankind, an individual who 
had been both an entity and an idea; a perfect man, too a man both of thought and action; a man, in 
fine, whose whole life was known, and that in the greatest detail a man, whose every act and word had 
been remarked and registered. 

If Luther has not written his own memoirs, he has, at the least, supplied admirable materials for the 
task-f-. His correspondence is scarcely less voluminous than Voltaire's; and there is not one of his dog- 
matic or polemical works into which he has not introduced some unintentional detail which the biographer 
may turn to advantage. All his words, too, were greedily garnered by his disciples; good, bad, insignifi- 
cant, nothing escaped them. Whatever dropped from Luther in his most familiar converse, at his fire- 
side, in his garden, at table, after supper, his most trifling remark to his wife or his children, his most 
trivial reflection, went straightway into their note-books. A man so closely watched and followed must 
have been constantly letting fall words which he would have wished to recall. Lutherans have subse- 
quently had occasion to regret their indiscreet records, and would willingly have erased this line, that 
page; but Quod scriptum est, scriptumest (What is written is written). 

In these records, then, we have Luther's veritable confessions careless, unconnected, involuntary, and, 
therefore, the more veritable confessions. Assuredly, Rousseau's are less ingenuous; St. Augustin's less 
full, less diversified. 

Had Luther himself written every word of this biography, it would take its rank between the two 
works just alluded to. It presents at once the two sides, which they give separately. In St. Augustin's, 
passion, nature, and human individuality, are only shown, in order to be immolated at the shrine of divine 
grace. The saint's confessions are the history of a crisis undergone by the soul, of a regeneration, of a 
vita nuova (& new life) ; he would have blushed at making us more intimately acquainted with that 
worldly life on which he had turned his back. The reverse is the case with Rousseau. Grace is out of 
the question ; nature reigns with undivided, all-triumphant, and undisguised sway; so much so, as at 
times to excite disgust. Luther presents, not grace and nature in equilibrium, but in their most 
agonising strife. Many other men have suffered the struggles of sensibility, the excruciating temptations 
of doubt. Pascal clearly endured them all, but stifled them, and died of the effort. Luther conceals 
nothing: he could not contain himself. He suffers us to see and to sound the deep plague-sore inherent 
in our nature, and is, perhaps, the only man in whose moral structure we can find a pleasure in studying 
this fearful anatomy. 

Hitherto, all that has been shown of Luther is his battle with Rome. We give his whole life, his 
struggles, doubts, temptations, consolations; a picture in which the man engrosses us as much as, and 
more than, the partisan. We show this violent and terrible reformer of the North not only in his eagle's 
nest at Wartbourg, or braving the emperor and the empire in the diet at Worms, but in his house at 
Wittemberg, in the midst of his grave friends, of his children, who cluster round his table, walking with 
them in his garden, by the border of the small pond, in that melancholy cloister which became a family 

* M. Michelet alludes to his version of Vice's great work. 

t For Luther's German works I have followed the Wittemberg edition, in 12 vols. fol. 15391559; for his Latin, the 
Wittemberg edition, in 7 vols. fol. 15451558, and, occasionally, that of Jena, in 4 vols. fol. 1600 1612 ; for the " Tischreden," 
the Frankfort edition, in fol. 1568. As for the extracts from Luther's letters, their dates are so carefully given in the text, 
that the reader has only to turn to De Wette's excellent edition (5 vols. 8vo., Berlin, 1825), to lay hands upon them at once. 
I have availed myself of some other works besides Luther's, of Eckert's, Seckendorff's, Mareineke's, &c. 


residence; here we hear him dreaming aloud, and finding in all surrounding objects, the flowers, the 
IVnit, the bird that flits by, food for grave and pious thoughts. 

But the sympathy which may be inspired by Luther's amiable and powerful personal character must 
not influence our judgment with regard to the doctrine he taught or the consequences which naturally 
flow from it. This man, who made so energetic a use of liberty, revived the Augustinian theory of the 
annihilation of liberty, and has immolated free-will to grace, man to God, morality to a sort of providen- 

Tlie friends of liberty in our days are fond of citing the fatalist, Luther. At first, this strikes one as 
strange. But Luther fancied that he saw himself in John Huss and in the Vaudois, champions of free- 
will The fact is, that these speculative doctrines, however opposed they may seem, take their rise in one 
and' the same principle of action the sovereignty of individual reason; in other words, in resistance to the 
traditional principle, to authority. 

Therefore, it is not incorrect to say that Luther has been the restorer of liberty m modern times. 
If he denied it in theory, he established it in practice. If he did not create, he at least courageously 
affixed his signature to that great revolution, which rendered the right of examination lawful in Europe. 
And if we exercise in all its plenitude at this day this first and highest privilege of human intelligence, 
it is to him we are mostly indebted for it; nor can we think, speak, or write, without being made conscious 
at every step of the immense benefit of this intellectual enfranchisement. To whom do I owe the 
power of publishing what I am even now inditing, except to the liberator of modern thought 1 

This debt paid to Luther, we do not fear to confess that our strongest sympathies do not lie this way. 
The reader must not expect to find here the examination of the causes which rendered the victory of 
Protestantism inevitable. We shall not display, after the example of so many others, the wounds of a 
Church in which we were born, and which is dear to us. Poor, aged mother of the modern world, denied 
and beaten by her son, it is not I, of a surety, who would wish to wound her afresh. Eleswhere, we 
shall take occasion to express how much more judicious, fruitful, and complete, if it be not more logical, 
the catholic doctrine appears to us than that of any of the sects which have risen up against her. It is 
her weakness, but her greatness likewise, to have excluded nothing of man's invention, and to have sought 
to satisfy at one and the same time the contradictory principles of the human mind. It was this, and 
this only, which afforded those who reduced man to such or such a given principle the means of their 
easy triumph over her. The universal, in whatever sense it be understood, is weak against the special. 
Heresy means choice, a speciality, speciality of opinion, speciality of country. Wickliff and John Huss 
were ardent patriots; the Saxon Luther was the Arminius of modern Germany. The Church, universal 
in time, space, and doctrine, was inferior to each of her opponents, inasmuch as she possessed but one 
common means. She had to struggle for the unity of the world with the opposing forces of the world; 
inasmuch as the larger number were with her, she was encumbered with the lukewarm and timid; in her 
political capacity she had to encounter all worldly temptations ; the centre of religious beh'ef, she was 
inundated with numberless local beliefs, against which she could hardly maintain her unity and perpetuity. 
She appeared to the world, even what the world and time had made her, and tricked out in the motley 
robe of history. Having undergone and embraced the whole cycle of humanity, she had contracted its 
littleness and contradictions. The small heretical communions, rendered zealous by danger and by 
freedom, isolated, and therefore the purer and more sheltered from temptations, misapprehended the 
cosmopolitan Church, and compared themselves to her with pride. The pious and profound mystic of the 
Rhine and of the Low Countries, the rustic and simple Vaudois, pure as the herb of his own Alps, could 

All this might be said, and ought to be developed; and no work would stand in greater need of an 
introduction than one dedicated to such a discussion. To know how Luther was compelled to do and to 
suffer that which he himself calls the extremest of miseries; to comprehend this great and unhappy man, 
who sent the human mind on its wanderings at the very moment that he conceived he had consigned it 
to slumber on the pillow of grace; to appreciate the powerlessness of his attempt to ally God and man, 
it would be necessary to be cognizant of the most important attempts of the kind, made both before and 
after his day, by the mystics and rationalists; in other words, to sketch the whole history of the Christian 
religion. At some future time, perhaps, I may be tempted to give such an introduction. 

Why, then, put off this too ? Why begin so many things, and always stop before you complete If 
the answer be thought of consequence, I willingly give it. 

Midway in Roman History, I encountered Christianity in its infancy. Midway in the History of 
France, I encountered it aged and bowed down; here, 1 have met it again. Whithersoever I go, it is 
before me; it bars my road and hinders me from passing. 

Touch Christianity ! it is only they who know it not, who would not hesitate For me, I call to 

mind the nights when I nursed a sick mother. She suffered from remaining in the same position, and 
would ask to be moved, to be helped to turn in her bed the filial hands would not hesitate; how move 
her aching limbs ! 

Many are the years that these ideas have beset me; and, in this season of storms, they ever 
constitute the torment and the dreams of my solitude. Nor am I in any haste to conclude this internal 
converse, which is sweet to myself at the least, and which should make me a better man, or to part as 
yet from these my old and cherished meditations. 



A.D. 14831521. 

A.D. 14831517. 


" IN the many conversations I have had with 
Melanchthon, I have told him my whole life from 
beginning to end. I am a peasant's son, and my 
father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were 
all common peasants. My father went to Mans- 
feld, and got employment in the mines there ; and 
there I was born. That I should ever take my 
bachelor of arts and doctor's degree, &c., seemed 
not to be in the stars. How I must have sur- 
prised folks by turning monk ; and then, again, by 
changing the brown cap for another ! By so 
doing, I occasioned real grief and trouble to my 
father. Afterwards I went to loggers with the 
pope, married a runaway nun, and had a family. 
Who foresaw this in the stars \ Who could have 
told my career beforehand ?" 

John Luther, the father of the celebrated Mar- 
tin Luther, was of Moera or Moerke, a small village 
of Saxony, near Eisenach. His mother was the 
daughter of a lawyer of the last named town ; or, 
according to a tradition, which strikes me as the 
preferable one of the two, of Neustadt hi Fran- 
conia. A modern writer states, but without giving 
any authority for the anecdote, that John Luther, 
having had the misfortune to kill a peasant who 
was herding his cattle in a meadow, was forced to 
fly to Eisleben, and afterwards to the valley of 
Mansfeld. His wife, who was in the family- way, 
accompanied him ; and, on reaching Eisleben, 
she was brought to bed of Martin Luther. The 
father, a poor miner, had great difficulty in sup- 
porting his family, and, as will presently be seen, 
his children were sometimes obliged to have re- 
course to charity. Yet, instead of making them 
help him with their labour, he chose that they 
should go to school. John Luther seems to have 
been a simple and single-hearted man, and a sin- 
cere believer. When his pastor was administering 
consolation to him on his death-bed : " He must 
be a cold-blooded man," was his remark, " who 
does not believe what you are telling me." His 

wife did not survive him a year (A.D. 1531). They 
were at this time in the enjoyment of a small 
property, for which they were no doubt indebted 
to their son. John Luther left at his death a 
house, two iron furnaces, and about a thousand 
thalers in ready money. The arms of Luther's 
father, for peasants assumed arms in imitation of 
the armorial bearings of the nobles, were a 
hammer, no more. Luther was not ashamed of 
his parents. He has consecrated their names by 
inserting them in the formulary of his marriage 
service : ," Wilt tJiou, Hans (John), take Greihe 
(Margaret) to thy wedded wife," &c. 

" It is my pious duty," he says in a letter to 
Melanchthon, informing him of his father's death, 
" to mourn him of whom it was the will of the 
Father of Mercy that I should be born, him by 
whose labour and sweat God has supported and 
made me what I am, worm though I be. Assuredly 
I rejoice that he lived unto this day, to see the 
light of truth. Blessed be the counsels and de- 
crees of God for ever ! Amen !" 

Martin Luther, or Luder, or Lother (for so he 
sometimes signs himself), was born at Eisleben, on 
thelOthof November, 1 483, at eleven in the evening. 
Sent at an early age to school at Eisenach (A.D. 
1489), he sang in the streets fora livelihood, as was 
a common practice of that time with poor German 
students. We are made acquainted with this cir- 
cumstance by himself : " Let no one speak con- 
temptuously before me of the poor ' companions,' 
who go about singing and crying at every door. 
Panein propter Deum! (bread for God's sake !) 
You know that the Psalm says 'Princes and 
kings have sung.' I, myself, have been a poor 
mendicant, and have received bread at the doors of 
houses, particularly in Eisenach, my beloved city!" 
He at length met with a more certain livelihood, as 
well as an asylum, in the house of dame Ursula, 
wife or widow of John Schweickard, who took pity 
on the poor wandering child ; and he was enabled 
by this charitable woman to study four years at 
Eisenach. In 1501, he entered the university of 
Erfurth, where he was supported by his father. 
I none of his works, Luther mentions his benefactress 
in terms of tenderest emotion, and for her sake 
valued the sex all his life. After essaying theology, 
he was pei'suaded by his friends, to devote himself 
B 2 


A.D. 1483-1517- 

to tlie study of the law, which, in that day, was the 
path to all lucrative offices iu both church and 
state ; but he never seemed to have been attached to 
it. He preferred general literature, and especially 
music, which was his passion, and which he culti- 
vated all his life, and taught his children. He 
does not hesitate to own his opinion that, next to 
theology, music is the first of the arts : " Music is 
the art of the prophets ; the only one which, like 
theology, can calm the troubles of the soul, and put 
the devil to flight." He touched the lute, played 
on the flute. Perhaps he would have succeeded in 
other arts. He was the friend of the great painter, 
Lucas Cranach. He was, it seems, skilful with his 
hands, and acquired the art of turning. His 
predilection for music and literature, and the con- 
stant reading of the poets, with which he diversified 
his study of logic and of law, were far from fore- 
shadowing the serious part which he was destined 
to play in the history of religion; and it is presum- 
able, "from various traditional anecdotes, that, 
notwithstanding his application to his studies, he 
led the life of the German students of the day, and 
participated in their noisy habits, their gaiety in 
the midst of indigence, their union of a warlike 
exterior with sweetness of soul and a peaceful 
spirit, and of all the parade of a disorderly life 
with purity of morals. Certainly, if any one had 
met Martin Luther, travelling on foot from Er- 
furth to Mansfeld, in the third week of Lent, in the 
year 1503, with his sword and hunting-knife at his 
side, and constantly hurting himself with these 
weapons of his, he would never have thought that 
the awkward student would in a short time over- 
throw the dominion of the catholic church through- 
out half of Europe. 

In 1505, the young man's life was accidentally 
turned into quite a new channel. A friend of his 
was struck dead by lightning at his side. He ut- 
tered a cry ; and that cry was a vow to St. Anne 
to turn monk. The danger over, he made no at- 
tempt to elude a vow into which he had been sur- 
prised by terror, he solicited no dispensation ; he 
regarded the stroke which he conceived himself to 
have narrowly escaped, as a menace and command 
from Heaven, and only deferred the fulfilment of 
the obligation he had undertaken for a fortnight. 
On the 17th of July, 1505, after having spent the 
evening pleasantly in a musical party, with his 
friends, he entered the same night the cloister of 
the Augustins, at Erfurth, taking with him only his 
Plautus and his Virgil. The next day, he wrote to 
various parties bidding them farewell, informed his 
father of the step he had taken, and remained se- 
cluded a whole month. He was conscious how much 
he still clung to the world ; and feared to face his 
father's respected countenance, his commands, and 
his prayers. In fact, it took two years to persuade 
John Luther to allow him his way, and to consent 
to be present at his ordination. A day on which 
the miner could quit his work was fixed for the 
ceremony ; and he came to Erfurth, accompanied 
by many of his friends, when he bestowed on the 
son he was losing twenty florins, the amount of his 

It must not be supposed that the new priest was 
impelled by any particular fervour to contract so 
serious an engagement. We have seen the bag- 
gage of mundane literature which he brought 
with him into the cloister. Let us hear his own 

confession of the frame of mind with which he en- 
tered : " When I said my first mass at Erfurth, 
1 was all but dead, for I was without faith. My 
o:ily thought was, that I was most acceptable. 1 
had no idea that I was a sinner. The first mass 
was an event much looked to, and a considerable 
sum of money was always collected. The horce 
canonicce were borne in with torches. Tlie dear 
young lord, as the peasants called their new priest, 
had then to dance with his mother, if she were still 
alive, whilst the bystanders wept for joy ; if dead, 
he put her, as the phrase runs, under the commu- 
nion-cup, and saved her from purgatory." 

Luther having obtained his wish, having become 
priest and monk, all being consummated and the 
door closed, there then began, I do not say regrets, 
but misgivings, doubts, the temptations of the flesh, 
the pernicious subtleties of the spirit. We of the 
present day can have but a faint idea of the rude 
gymnastics of the solitary mind. Our passions are 
regulated; we stifle them in their birth. How can 
we, plunged in the enervating dissipation of a thou- 
sand businesses, studies, and easy enjoyments, and 
blunted by precocious satiety both of the senses and 
the mind, picture to ourselves the spiritual conflicts 
entered into by the man of the middle age ? the 
painful mysteries of an abstinent and phantastic 
life; the fearful fights which have taken place, 
noiselessly and unrecorded, betwixt the wall and the 
sombre casement of the monk's poor cell ? An 
archbishop of Mentz was accustomed to say : " The 
human heart is like the stones of a mill; if you put 
corn between them they grind it and make it into 
flour; but if you put none, they keep turning till 
they grind themselves away." ..." When I was 
a monk," says Luther, " I often wrote to Dr. 
Staupitz. I once wrote to him, ' Oil ! my sins ! my 
sins ! my sins !' to which he replied, ' You desire to 
be without sin, and yet are free from all real sin. 
Christ was the pardon for sin.' "... "I fre- 
quently confessed to Dr. Staupitz, not about trifles 
such as women are in the habit of doing; but about 
thoughts which go to the root of the matter. He 
answered me, like all other confessors, ' I don't 
understand you.' At last he came to me as I was" 
sitting at table, and said, ' Are you so sad, then, 
f rater Martine?' 'Ah!' replied I, 'yes I am.' 
' You are not aware,' he said, ' that temptation of 
the kind is good and necessary for you, but only for 
you.' He simply meant that I was learned, and, 
without such temptations, would become proud and 
haughty ; but I afterwards knew that it was the 
Holy Ghost that was speaking to me." 

Elsewhere, Luther describes how those tempta- 
tions had reduced him to such a condition that he 
did not eat, drink, or sleep for a fortnight. " Ah ! 
were St. Paul now living, how should I wish to hear 
from himself what kind of temptation it was by 
which he was tried. It was not the sting of the 
flesh; it was not the good Tecla, as the Papists 
dream. Oh ! no; that were not a sin to rack his 
conscience. It was something exceeding the 
despair caused by sins ; it was rather the. tempta- 
tion alluded to by the Psalmist, when he exclaims, 
' My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me V 
As if he meant to say, ' Thou art my enemy without 
a cause;' or the cry of Job : ' I am, nevertheless, 
just and innocent.' I feel certain that the book of 
Job is a true history, out of which a poem was sub- 
sequently made. . . . Jerome and the other fathers 

A.D. 14831517. 


did not undergo such temptations. They suffered 
but puerile ones, those of the flesh, which, how- 
ever, have their own pangs too. Augustin and 
Ambrose had theirs; they trembled before the 
sword ; but this is nothing in comparison with the 
angel of Satan, who buffets with the fists. . . . If my 
life endure a little longer I will write a book on 
temptations, without undergoing which one can 
neither comprehend Holy Scripture nor know the 
love and fear of God.'' " .... 1 was ill in the in- 
firmary. The cruellest temptations exhausted and 
racked my frame, so that I had scarcely power to 
draw a breath. None gave me comfort. Those to 
whom I complained answered, ' We know nothing 
of this.' Then I said to myself: ' Am I alone to be 
so depressed in mind ? ' . . . Oh ! what horrible 
spectres and faces danced around me ! . . . But, 
for these ten years, God, by his dear angels, has 
given me the comfort of fighting and writing (in 
his cause ?)." 

Long after this, the year before his death, he 
explains the nature of these fearful temptations : 
" From the time that I attended the schools, I had 
felt, when studying St. Paul's Epistles, the most 
intolerable anxiety to know the intent of St. Paul's 
Epistle to the Romans. I stuck at one phrase 
Justitia Dei reeelatur in itto (for therein is the 
righteousness of God revealed). I hated that word, 
Justitia Dei (the rigliteousness of God), because I 
had learnt to understand it, with the schoolmen, of 
that active justice, through which God is just, and 
punishes the unjust and sinners. Leading the life 
of a blameless monk, yet disturbed by the. sinner's 
uneasy conscience, and unable to feel certain of 
justification before God, I could not love, rather, 
I must confess it, I hated this just God, the 
avenger of sin. I waxed wroth, and murmured 
loudly within myself, if I 'did not blaspheme 
' What,' I said, ' is it not enough that unhappy 
sinners, already eternally lost through original 
sin, are overwhelmed with innumerable woes by 
the law of the decalogue, but must God heap 
suffering upon suffering, and menace us in the 
Gospel itself with his justice and his wrath ?' . . . 
I was hurried out of myself on this wise by the 
uneasiness of my conscience, and kept constantly 
recurring to and sifting the same passage, witli 
a burning desire to penetrate St. Paul's meaning. 

" As I meditated day and night upon the words: 
' For therein is the righteousness of God revealed 
from faith to faith : as it is written, The just shall 
live by faith,' God at length took pity upon me. I 
perceived that the righteousness of God is that by 
which the just man, through God's goodness, lives, 
that is to say, faith ; and that the meaning of the 
passage is the Gospel reveals the righteousness of 
God, a passive righteousness, through which the 
God of mercy justifies us by faith. On this I felt 
as if I were born again, and seemed to be entering 
through the opening portals of Paradise. . . . Some 
time afterwards I read St. Augustin's work, Of the 
Letter and the Spirit, and found, contrary to my 
expectation, that he also understands by the right- 
eousness of God, that which God imputes to us by 
justifying us; a coincidence which afforded me grati- 
fication, although the subject is imperfectly stated 
in the work, and this father does not explain 
himself fully or clearly on the doctrine of im- 
putation " 

In order to confirm Luther in the doctrine 

of grace, there wanted but his visiting the country 
in which grace had become extinct, that is, Italy. 
We need not describe the Italy of the Borgias. 
There indisputably existed at this period a cha- 
racteristic of which history has seldom or never 
presented another instance ; a reasoning and scien- 
tific perversity, a magnificent ostentation of crime ; 
to sum up the whole in one word, the priest- 
atheist, king in his own belief of the world. This 
belonged to the age ; but what belonged to the 
country, and what cannot change, is the uncon- 
querable paganism which has ever existed in 
Italy ; where, despite every effort, nature is 
pagan, and art follows nature, a glorious comedy, 
tricked out by Raphael, and sung by Ariosto. The 
men of the North could but faintly appreciate all 
that there is of grave, lofty, and divine in Italian 
art, discerning in it only sensuality and carnal 
temptations ; their best defence against which was 
to close their eyes and pass on quickly, cursing as 
they passed. Nor were they less shocked by 
Italy's austerer part, policy and jurisprudence. 
The Germanic nations have ever instinctively 
rejected and cursed the Roman law. Tacitus de- 
scribes how on the defeat of Varus, the Germans 
took their revenge on the juridical forms to which 
he had endeavoured to subject them : having 
nailed the head of a Roman lawyer to a tree, one 
of these barbarians ran his tongue through with a 
bodkin, exclaiming, " Hiss, viper ! hiss, now !" 
This hatred of the legists, perpetuated throughout 
the Middle Age, was, as it will be seen, warmly 
participated in by Luther ; as^ indeed, might have 
been expected. The legist and the theologian are 
the two poles the one believes in liberty, the 
other in grace ; the one in man, the other in God. 
Italy has always entertained the first of these 
beliefs ; and the Italian reformer, Savonarola, 
who preceded Luther, only proposed a change in 
works and manners, and not in faith. 

Behold Luther in Italy. The hour that one first 
descends from the Alps into this glorious land is 
one of joy, of vast hopes ; and, indisputably, Luther 
hoped to confirm his faith in the holy city, and 
lay his doubts on the tombs of the holy apostles. 
Nor was he without a sense of the attraction of 
ancient, of classic Rome ; that sanctuary of the 
learning which he had so ardc:ntly cultivated in 
his poor Wittemberg. His first experience of the 
country is being lodged in a. monastery, built of 
marble, at Milan ; and so as he proceeds from 
convent to convent, he finds it like changing from 
palace to palace. In all, alike, the way of living 
is lavish and sumptuous. The candid German 
was somewhat surprised at the magnificence in 
which humility arrayed herself, at the regal 
splendour that accompanied penitence ; and he 
once ventured to tell the Italian monks that it 
would be better not to. eat meat of a Friday ; an 
observation which nearly cost him his life, for 
he narrowly escaped an ambush they laid for him. 
He continues his journey, sad and undecided, 
on foot, across the burning plains of Lombardy. 
By the time he reaches Padua he is fairly ill ; 
but he persists, and enters Bologna a dying man. 
The poor traveller's head has been overcome by 
the blaze of the Italian sun, by the strange sights 
he has seen, the strangeness of manners and of 
sentiments. He took to his bed at Bologna, the 
stronghold of the Roman law and the legists, in 


A.D. 1517. 

the firm expectation of speedy death ; strengthen- 
ing himself by whispering in the words of the 
prophet and the apostle, " The just man lives by 
faith." In one of his conversations he displays 
with much simplicity the horror felt of Italy by 
the worthy Germans : The Italians require no 
more to take away your life than that you should 
look into a glass; and can deprive you of all your 
senses by secret poisons. The very air is deadly 
in Italy. They close the windows with the greatest 
care at night, and stop up all the crevices." 
Luther asserts that both he and the brother who 
accompanied him fell ill through having slept with 
the windows open ; but two pomegranates that 
they eat, with God's grace, saved their lives. He 
resumed his journey, passed through Florence 
only, and at last entered Rome. He alighted at 
the convent of his order, near the Porta del 
Popdo. " As soon as I arrived I fell on my knees, 
raised my hands to heaven, and exclaimed, ' Hail, 
holy Rome, .sanctified by holy martyrs, and the 
blood which 'they have shed here !'".... In his 
enthusiasm, he says he hastened to every sacred 
spot, saw all, believed all. But he soon dis- 
covered that he was the only believer. Christianity 
seemed to be forgotten in this capital' of the 
Christian world. The pope was no longer the 
scandalous Alexander VI., but the choleric and 
warlike Julius II. ; and this father of the faithful 
breathed only blood and desolation. His great 
artist, Michael Angelo, represented him hurling 
his benediction at Bologna, like a Jupiter hurling 
thunder ; and Julius had just given him an order 
for a tomb to be as large as a temple. 'Twas the 
monument, of which the Moses, amongst other 
statues, has come down to us. 

The sole thought of the pope, and of Rome, at 
this period, was war with the French. Had Luther 
undertaken to speak of grace and the powerlessness 
of works to this strange priest, who besieged towns 
in person, and who but a short time before would 
not enter Mirandola except through the breach, he 
would have met with a patient listener ! His car- 
dinals, so many officers serving their apprentice- 
ships to war, were politicians, diplomatists, or else 
men of letters, learned men sprung from the ranks 
of the people, who only read Cicero, and would 
have feared to compromise their Latinity by opening 
the Bible. When speaking of the pope, they styled 
him high pontiff; a canonized saint was, in their 
language, relatus inter divos (translated to Olympus) ; 
and if they did happen to let fall an allusion to 
God's grace, it was in the phrase, Devrum immor- 
talium beneficiis (by the kind aid of the immortal 
Gods). Did our German take refuge in churches, 
he had not even the consolation of hearing a good 
mass. The Roman priest would hurry through the 
divine sacrifice so quickly, that when Luther was 
no further than the Gospels, the minister who per- 
formed service was dismissing the congregation 
with the words, " Ite, missa est," (Ye may go, ser- 
vice is over.) These Italian priests would often 
presume to show off the freethinker, and, when 
consecrating the host, to exclaim " Panis es, et panis 
inanebis." (Bread thou art, and bread thou shall 
remain.) To veil one's head and fly was the only 
resource left. Luther quitted Rome at the end of 
a fortnight, bearing with him, into Germany, the 
condemnation of Italy, and of the Church. In his 
rapid and saddening visit, the Saxon had seen 

enough to enable him to condemn, too little to allow 
lim to comprehend. And, beyond a doubt, for a 
mind preoccupied with the moral side of Christian- 
ty, to have discovered any religion in that world of 
art, law, and policy, which constituted Italy, would 
lave required a singular effort of philosophy. " I 
would not," he somewhere says, " I would not have 
missed seeing Rome for a hundred thousand florins" 
which words he repeats three times). I should 
iver have been uneasy, lest I might have done iii- 
ustice to the pope." 

A.D. 1517 1521. 


THE papacy was far from suspecting her danger. 
Ever since the thirteenth century, she had been 
clamoured against and railed at ; until the world 
appeared to her to have been lulled to sleep 
by the monotonous wranglings of the schools. 
There seemed nothing strikingly new left to be said : 
every one had talked himself out of breath. Wick- 
liff, John Huss, Jerome of Pi-ague, persecuted, con- 
demned, and burnt, had, nevertheless, had time to 
make full clearance of their minds. The doctors 
of the most Catholic University of Paris, the Pierre 
d'Aillys, the Clemengises, even the mild Gerson 
himself, had had, respectively, their blow at the 
papacy. Patient and tenacious, she lasted, how- 
ever, and made shift to live on ; and so the fifteenth 
century slipped away. The councils of Constance 
and Bale produced greater noise than result. The 
popes let them go on talking, managed to get the 
Pragmatic acts revoked, quietly re-established 
their dominion in Europe, and founded a great so- 
vereignty in Italy. Julius II. conquered for the 
church ; Leo X. for his family. The latter, young, 
worldly-minded, fond of literature, a man both of 
pleasure and of business, like the rest of the Me- 
dicis, had all the passions of his age, both those of 
the old popes and those of his own day. He aimed 
at making the Medici kings ; and he himself sus- 
tained the part of the first king of Christendom. 
Independently of that expensive scheme of diplo- 
macy which embraced all the states of Europe, he j 
maintained distant scientific relations, pushed his 
inquiries even into the north, and made a collection 
of the monuments of Scandinavian history. At 
Rome, he built St. Peter's, a duty bequeathed him 
by Julius II. ; who had not sufficiently calcu- 
lated his resources, for who could think of money 
when Michael Angelo laid such a plan before him ! 
Speaking of the Pantheon, he had said, " I will 
hang it up three hundred feet high in the air." 
The poor Roman state was not strong enough to 
contend with the magnificent genius of such artists, 
whose conceptions even the ancient Roman empire, 
the master of the world, would hardly have been 
able to realize. Leo X. had begun his pontificate 
by selling Francis I. what did not belong to him, 
the rights of the church of France ; and, shortly 
afterwards, in order to raise money, he had created 
thirty cardinals at once. These were trifling re- 
sources. He was not owner of the mines of 

A.D. 15171521. 


Mexico ; his mines were the ancient faith of the 
people, their credulous good-nature ; and he had 
sold the right of working them in Germany to the 
Dominicans, who succeeded the Austin friars in 
the sale of indulgences. The Dominican, Tetzel,an 
impudent mountebank, went about with great bus- 
tle, display, and expense, disposing of his ware in 
the churches, public squares, and taverns. He 
pocketed the proceeds, giving in the smallest re- 
turn lie possibly could ; a fact which the pope's 
legate brought home to him some time after. As 
the faith of purchasers waxed less, it became expe- 
dient to enhance the merit of the specific, which had 
been so long hawked about that the market had 
fallen. The fearless Tetzel had pushed rhetoric 
to the extremest limits of amplification. Boldly 
heaping pious lie on lie, he went into an enumera- 
tion of all the evils cured by this panacea, and, not 
contenting himself with known sins, invented 
crimes, devised strange, unheard-of wickednesses, of 
which no one had ever dreamed before ; and when 
he saw his auditory struck with horror, coolly 
added, " Well, the instant money rattles in the 
pope's coffers, all will be expiated !" 

Luther asserts that at this time he hardly knew 
what indulgences were; but when he saw a pro- 
spectus of them, proudly displaying the name and 
guarantee of the archbishop of Mentz, whom the 
pope had appointed to superintend the sale of 
indulgences in Germany, he was seized with indig- 
nation. A mere speculative problem would never 
have brought him into contact with his ecclesiastical 
superiors; but this was a question of good sense and 
morality. As doctor of theology, arid an influential 
professor of the university of Wittemberg which 
the elector had just founded, as provincial vicar of 
the Austin friars, and the vicar-general's substitute 
in the pastoral charge and visitation of Misnia and 
Thuringia, he, no doubt, thought himself more re- 
sponsible than any one else for the safeguard of the 
Saxon faith. His conscience was aroused. He 
run a great risk in speaking; but, if he held his 
tongue, he believed his damnation certain. He 
began in legal form, applying to his own diocesan, 
the bishop of Brandenburg, to silence Tetzel. The 
bishop replied, that this would be to attack the 
power of the Church ; that he would involve himself 
in trouble of every kind, and that it would be wiser 
for him to keep quiet. On this, Luther addressed 
himself to the primate, archbishop of Mentz and of 
Magdeburg (a prince of the house of Brandenburg, 
a house hostile to the elector of Saxony), and sent 
him a list of propositions which he offered to main- 
tain against the doctrine of indulgences. We 
abridge his letter, which runs to great length in 
the original (October 31st, 1517). 

" Venerable father in God, most illustrious prince, 
vouchsafe to cast a favourable eye on me, who am 
but dust and ashes, and to receive my request with 
pastoral kindness. There is circulated throughout 
the country, in the name of your grace and lord- 
ship, the papal indulgence for the erection of the 
cathedral of St. Peter's at Rome. I do not so 
much object to the declamations of the preachers of 
the indulgence, as to the erroneous idea entertained 
of it by the poor, simple, and unlearned, who are 
every where openly avowing their fond imaginations 
on the 'subject. This pains me, and turns me sick. 
.... They fancy that souls will be delivered from 
purgatory as soon as their money clinks in the 

(papal) coffer. They believe the indulgence to be 
powerful enough to save the greatest sinner, even 
one (such is their blasphemy) who might have vio- 
lated the holy mother of our Saviour ! . . . . Great 
God ! these poor souls, then, are to be taught, under 
your authority, to death and not to life. You will 
incur a fearful and heavily increasing responsibility. 
.... Be pleased, noble and venerable father, to 
read and take into consideration the following 
propositions, in which is shown the vanity of the 
indulgences which the preachers give out as a 

The archbishop making no reply, Luther, who 
misdoubted such would be the case, on the very 
same day at noon (October 31st, 1517, the day be- 
fore All Saints' Day) affixed his propositions to the 
door of the church of the castle of Wittemberg, 
which is still in existence. 

"The following theses will be maintained at 
Wittemberg, before the reverend Martin Luther, 
moderator, &c., 1517: 

" The pope neither can nor will remit any penalty 
except such as he has himself imposed, or in con- 
formity with the canons. 

" The penitential canons are for the living; they 
cannot impose any punishment on the soul of the 

" The changing of canonical punishment into 
the pains of purgatory is a sowing of tares: the 
bishops were clearly asleep when they suffered such 
seed to be sown. 

" That power of extending relief to souls in pur- 
gatory, which the pope can exercise throughout 
Christendom, belongs to each bishop in his own 
'diocese, each curate in his own parish .... Who 
knows whether all the souls in purgatory would 
wish to be released ? is said to have been asked by 
St. Severinus. 

" Christians should be taught, that unless they 
have a superfluity, they ought to keep their money 
for their family, and lay out nothing upon their sins. 

" Christians should be taught, that when the pope 
grants indulgences, he does not so much seek for 
their money as for their earnest prayers in his 

" Christians should be taught, that if the pope 
were made acquainted with the extortions of the 
indulgence-preachers, he would prefer seeing the 
basilica of St. Peter's reduced to ashes, to building 
it with the flesh, fleece, and bones of his sheep. 

"The pope's wish must be, if indulgences, a 
small matter, are proclaimed with the ringing of a 
bell, with ceremonial, and solemnity, that the 
Gospel, so great a matter, should be preached with 
a hundred bells, a hundred ceremonies, a hundred 

" The true treasure of the Church is the sacro- 
sanct Gospel of the gloi'y and grace of God. 

" One has cause to hate this treasure of the 
Gospel, by which the first become the last. 

" One has cause to love the treasure of indul- 
gences, by which the last become the first. 

" The treasures of the Gospel are the nets by 
which rich men were once fished for. 

" The treasures of indulgences are the nets with 
which men's riches are now fished for. 

" To say that the cross, placed in the pope's 
arms, is equal to the cross of Christ, is blas- 

" Why does not the pope, out of his nlost holy 


A.D. 15171521. 

charity, empty purgatory, in which are so many 
souls in punishment ? This would be a worthier 
exercise of his power than freeing souls for money 
(this money brings misfortune), and to put to what 
use ? to build a church. 

" What means this strange compassion of God 
and the pope's, who, for money's sake, change the 
soul of an impious person, of one of God's enemies, 
into a pious soul and one acceptable to the Lord ? 

" Cannot the pope, whose treasures at the present 
moment exceed the most enormous treasures, build 
a single church, the basilica of St. Peter's, with his 
own money, rather than with that of the poor 
faithful ? 

" What does the pope remit, what does he give 
those who, by perfect repentance, are entitled to 
plenary forgiveness ? 

" Far from us all those prophets, who say to the 
people of Christ 'Peace, peace,' and do not give 

" Far, very far, all those prophets who say to 
Christ's people ' The, cross, the cross,' and do not 
show the cross. 

" Christians should be exhorted to follow Christ, 
their head, through pains, punishments, and hell 
itself; so that they may be certified that it is 
through tribulations heaven is entered, and not 
through security and peace, &c." 

These propositions, which are all negative and 
polemic, found their complement in the following 
dogmatic theses, which were published by Luther 
almost simultaneously : 

" Man by his nature cannot will that God be 
God. He would rather himself be God, and that 
God was not God. 

" It is false that appetite is free to choose both 
ways ; it is not free, but captive. 

"There exists in nature, before God, nothing 
save concupiscence. 

" It is false that this concupiscence can be regu- 
lated by the virtue of hope. For hope is opposed 
to charity, which seeks and desires only what is of 
God. Hope does not come of our merits, but of 
our passions, which efface our merits. 

" The best and only infallible preparation and 

disposition for the reception ,of grace, are the 

choice and predestination of God from all eternity. 

"As regards man, nothing precedes grace, except 

indisposition to grace, or rather rebellion. 

" It is false that invincible ignorance is any 
extenuation. Ignorance of God, of oneself, of good 
works, is the invincible nature of man, &c." 

The publication of these theses, and the sermon 
in the vulgar tongue, which Luther delivered in 
support of them, fell like a thunderbolt upon 
Germany. This immolation of liberty to grace, 
of man to God, of the finite to the infinite, was 
recognized by the German people as the true 
national religion, the faith which Gottschalk had 
professed' in the days of Charlemagne, in the very 
cradle of German Christianity, the faith of Tauler, 
and of all the mystics of the Low Countries. The 
people threw themselves wildly and greedily on the 
religious food, from which they had been weaned 
since the fourteenth century. The propositions 
were printed by countless thousands, devoured, 
circulated, hawked about. Luther was alarmed at 
his own success. " I am grieved," he says, " to 
see them printed and circulated in such numbers ; 
'tis not a proper way of instructing the people. I 

myself still retain some doubts. I could have 
proved some points better, and should have omitted 
others, had I foreseen this." He seemed, indeed, 
disposed to retract everything, and to submit. " I 
desire to obey," he said ; " 1 should prefer obeying 
to working miracles, even had I the gift of miracles. 1 ' 
But these pacific resolutions were dissipated by 
Tetzel's conduct, in burning the propositions. The 
Wittemberg students retaliated on Tetzel's, and 
Luther expresses some regret at it. However, he 
published his Resolutions, in support of his first 
propositions. " You shall see," he writes to a friend 
my Resolutiones et Responsiones (resolutions and an- 
swers). Perhaps, you will think some passages 
more free than was required ; but so much the 
more intolerable must they seem to the flatterers of 
Rome. I had already published them : otherwise, 
I would have softened them down a little." 

The noise of this controversy spread beyond 
Germany, and reached Rome. It is said that Leo X. 
believed the whole to be a matter of professional 
jealousy, betwixt the Austin friars and Dominicans; 
and that he exclaimed, " Mere monkish rivalry ! 
brother Luther is a man of genuis !" Luther 
avowed his respect for the pope, and at the same 
time wrote two letters, one being addressed to 
Leo X., in which he submitted himself unreservedly 
to him and to his decision . " Most holy father," 
were his concluding words, " I cast myself at your 
feet, with the offer of myself, and all that is in me. 
Pronounce the sentence of life or death ; call, 
recall, approve, disapprove, I acknowledge your 
voice to be the voice of Christ, who reigns and 
speaks in you. If I have deserved death, I shall 
not flinch from dying, for the earth and the fulness 
thereof are the Lord's, whose name be blessed for 
ever and ever ! May he vouchsafe your eternal 
salvation ! Amen !" (Day of the Blessed Trinity, 
1518). The other letter was to Staupitz, the vicar- 
general, whom he begged to forward it to the pope. 
In this, Luther indicates that the doctrine he 
had maintained, had been taught him by Staupitz 
himself. " I call to mind, reverend father, that 
among those sweet and profitable discourses of 
yours, which through the grace of our Lord Jesus' 
were the source of unspeakable consolation to us, 
you treated of the subject of repentance, and that, 
forthwith, moved by pity for the numerous con- 
sciences which are tortured by innumerable and 
insupportable prescriptions as to the true way of 
making confession, we welcomed your words as 
words from heaven, when you said, " the only true 
repentance is that which IMS its beginning in the love of 
justice and of God," and that what is commonly 
stated to be the end of repentance, ought rather to 
be its beginning. This saying of yours sunk into 
me like the sharp arrow of the hunter. I felt 
emboldened to wrestle with the Scriptures, which 
teach repentance; wrestling full of charms, during 
which the words of Scripture were showered from 
all parts, and flew around hailing and applauding 
this saying. Aforetime, there was no harder word 
for me in Scripture than that one word, repent- 
ance ; albeit, I endeavoured to dissemble before 
God, and express my love of obedience. Now, no 
word sounds so sweetly in my ear. So sweet and 
lovely are God's commands when we learii to read 
them not in books only, but in the very wounds of 
the sweet Saviour!" Both those letters are dated 
from Heidelberg (May 30th, 1518), where the 

A.D. 1517 1521. 


Austin friars were then holding a provincial synod, 
which Luther attended to maintain his doctrines 
against every comer. This famous University, 
only two steps from the Rhine, and, consequently, 
on the great highroad of Germany, was indisputably 
the most conspicuous theatre from which the new 
doctrine could be declared. 

Rome began to be troubled. The master of the 
sacred palace, the aged Dominican Sylvestro de 
Prierio, wrote against the Austin monk, in defence 
of the doctrine of St. Thomas, and drew upon 
himself a furious and overwhelming reply (the end 
of August, 1518). Luther was immediately cited 
to appear at Rome within sixty days. The emperor 
Maximilian had recommended the papal court not 
to precipitate matters, promising to do whatever 
it should order with regard to Luther; but to no 
purpose. His zeal was somewhat mistrusted ; for 
certain speeches of his had travelled thither, which 
sounded ill in the pope's ears. " What your monk 
is doing, is not to be regarded with contempt," the 
emperor had said to Pfeffinger, the elector of Sax- 
ony's minister ; " the game is about to begin with 
the priests. Make much of him ; it may be that 
we may want him." More than once he had in- 
dulged in bitter complaints of priests and clerks. 
" This pope," he said, speaking of Leo X., " has 
behaved to me like a knave. I can truly say that 
I have never met with sincerity or good faith in 
any pope; but, with God's blessing, I trust this will 
be the last." This was threatening language ; and it 
was also recollected that Maximilian, by way of 
effecting a definitive reconciliation between the 
empire and the holy see, had entertained the idea 
of making himself pope. Leo X., therefore, took 
good care not to make him the umpire in this 
quarrel, which was daily growing into fresh 

All Luther's hopes lay in the elector's protec- 
tion. Either out of regard for his new university 
or personal liking for Luther, this prince had 
always taken him under his special protection. He 
had been pleased to defray the expenses of his 
taking his doctor's degree; and, in 1517, Luther re- 
turns thanks by letter for a present of cloth for 
a gown to keep him warm through the winter. 
Luther had little fear that the elector would be 
offended with him for an explosion, which laid all 
the blame at the door of the archbishop of Mentz 
and Magdeburg, a prince sprung from the house of 
Brandenburg, and, consequently, the enemy of that 
of Saxony. Finally (and this was a powerful motive 
to inspire him with confidence), the elector had an- 
nounced that he knew no other rule of faith than 
the Scriptures. Luther reminded him of this in 
the following passage (March 27th, 1519): 
" Doctor J. Staupitz, my true father in Christ, told 
me that, talking one day with your electoral high- 
ness of those preachers who, instead of declaring 
the pure word of God, preach to the people only 
wretched quibbles or human traditions, you ob- 
served, that Holy Scripture speaks with such 
majesty and fulness of evidence as to need none of 
these weapons of disputation, compelling one to ad- 
mit, ' Never man spoke like this man. He does not 
teach like the Scribes and Pharisees, but as one 
having authority.' And on Staupitz's approving 
those sentiments, you said to him, ' Your hand, then ; 
and pledge me your word that for the future you 
will preach this new doctrine.' " The natural com- 

plement of this passage occurs in a manuscript life 
of the elector by Spalatin: " With what pleasure 
did he not listen to sermons and read God's word, 
especially the Evangelists, whose beautiful and 
comforting sentences were ever in his mouth ! But 
that which he continually repeated was the saying 
of Christ, as recorded by St. John: ' Without Me 
ye can do nothing ;' and he used this text to combat 
the doctrine of free-will, even before Erasmus of 
Rotterdam had dared, in various publications, to 
maintain this wretched liberty against God's word. 
Often has he said to me, how can we have free will, 
since Christ himself has said, 'Sine me nihil potestis 
facere.' (Without me ye can do nothing.)" It 
would be a mistake, however, to infer from this that 
Staupitz and his disciple were only instruments 
in the elector's hands. The Reformation introduced 
by Luther was clearly spontaneous; and the elec- 
tor, as we shall have occasion to see, was alarmed 
by Luther's boldness. He relished, accepted, took 
advantage of, the Reformation, but would never 
have begun it. On the 15th of February, 1518, 
Luther writes to his prudent friend, Spalatin, the 
elector's chaplain, secretary, and confidant: 
"Look at the clamourers who go about reporting, to 
my great annoyance, that all this is the work of our 
most illustrious prince. To hearken to them, it is 
he who has been egging me on, in order to spite the 
archbishop of Magdeburg and of Mentz. I beg 
you to consider whether it be worth while to apprize 
the prince of this. It distresses me exceedingly that 
his highness should be suspected on my account. To 
become a cause of strife between such great princes 
is enough to terrify one." And he holds the same 
language to the elector himself, in the account he 
sends him of the conference of Augsburg (Novem- 
ber). On March 21st he writes to J. Lange, sub- 
sequently archbishop of Saltzburg : " Our prince 
has taken me and Carlstadt under his protection, 
and this without waiting to be entreated. He will 
not allow of my being dragged to Rome: this they 
know, and it is a thorn in their side." The inference 
would be, that Luther had already received positive 
assurance of protection from the elector. But, on 
the 21st of August, 1518, he writes to Spalatin in a 
more confidential letter: " I do not yet see how I 
can avoid the censures with which I am threatened, 
except the prince comes to my aid. And yet, I 
would rather endure all the censures in the world 
than see his highness blamed on my account. . . . 
The best step I can take, in the opinion of our wise 
and learned friends, is to ask the prince for a safe- 
conduct (salvum, ut wcant, conductum per suum do- 
minium). I am sure he will refuse me ; so that, they 
say, I shall have a good excuse for not appearing at 
Rome. Have the kindness, then, to procure me from 
our most illustrious prince a rescript, to the effect 
that he refuses to grant me a safe-conduct, and 
leaves me, if I venture on the journey, to my own 
risk and peril. You will be doing me a most im- 
portant service; but it must be done quickly, for 
time presses, and the day appointed is at hand." 
Luther might have spared himself the trouble of 
writing this letter, since the prince, though he did 
not apprize him of it, was busied providing for his 
safety. He had managed that Luther should be 
examined by a legate in Germany, in the free city 
of Augsburg, where he himself happened to be at 
this very moment, no doubt to concert measures 
with the magistracy for the security of Luther's 



A.D. 15171521. 

person in this dangerous interview. No doubt it is 
to the fact of this invisible providence's watching 
over Luther that we must attribute the restless care 
of those said magistrates to preserve him from any 
ambush the Italians might lay for him. For his 
own part, in his courage and simplicity he went 
straight forward, without clearly knowing what the 
prince would, or would not, do in his favour (Sept. 2). 
" I have said, and I repeat, that I do not want our 
prince, who is innocent of the whole affair, to take 
the slightest step in defence of my propositions. . . 
Let him secure me from violence, if he can do so 
without compromising his interests; if he cannot, I 
am ready to face all the danger." 

Caietano de Vio, the legate, was certainly a judge 
not much to be feared. He had himself written 
that it was lawful to interpret Scripture without 
following the torrent of the fathers (contra torren- 
tem SS. patrum). This and other daring opinions 
had rendered him somewhat amenable to the sus- 
picion of heresy. But, selected by the pope to 
compose this difference, he set about his business 
like a politician, and only attacked that part of 
Luther's doctrine which shook the political and 
fiscal power of the court of Rome; keeping to the 
practical question of the treasure of indulgences, with- 
out recurring to the speculative question of grace. 
" When I was cited to Augsburg, I obeyed the 
summons, but with a strong guard, and under the 
guarantee of Frederick, elector of Saxony, who had 
commended me to the authorities of Augsburg. 
They were exceedingly watchful over me, and 
warned me not to trust myself to the Italians, and 
to eschew all companionship with them. I did not 
know, they said, what a Goth was. I remained 
at Augsburg for three whole days without any safe- 
conduct from the emperor ; during which interval 
an Italian often came to invite me to visit the 
cardinal, being discouraged by no refusal. ' You 
ought to retract,' he would say; 'you have but to 
utter one word, revoco. The cardinal will report 
favourably of you, and you will return with honour 
to your prince.' " Amongst other instances which 
he adduces in order to persuade him, was that of 
the famous Joachim de Flores, who, since he made 
his submission, was not heretical, although he had 
advanced heretical propositions. 

" At the end of three days the bishop of Trent 
arrived, who showed the cardinal a safe-conduct 
from the emperor. On this I waited upon him 
with all humility. I sank at first on my knees, 
then abased myself to the ground, and so remained 
at his feet, nor did I rise until thrice ordered. He 
was exceedingly pleased, and conceived the hope 
that I should alter my resolution. The follow- 
ing day, when I positively refused to retract 
any thing, he asked me, ' Do you think the pope 
really minds Germany ? Do you believe the 
princes will go to war in your defence ? Oh, no ! 

Where will you find a resting-place ? ' 

' Under heaven,' was my answer. The pope 
subsequently lowered his tone, and wrote to the 
Church, and even to master Spalatm and Pfeffin- 
ger, begging them to give me up to him, and to 
insist on the execution of his decree. Meanwhile, 
my little book and my Resolutions went, or rather 
flew, in a few days, over all Europe. And so the 
elector of Saxony was confirmed and fortified. He 
would not carry the pope's orders into effect, and 
submitted himself to the cognizance of Scripture. 

Had the cardinal conducted himself with more 
sense and discretion towards me, had he welcomed 
me when I fell at his feet, matters would never 
have gone so far. For at that time I had but a 
faint notion of the papal errors. Had the pope 
been silent, I would readily have held my peace. 
It was then the style and custom of the court of 
Rome for the pope to say, in knotty and obscure 
matters, ' By virtue of our papal powers we call 
in this thing to ourselves, annul it, and make it as 
if it had never been.' On which there only re- 
mained for both parties to weep. I wager the 
pope would give three cardinals to have the 
business still in the bag." 

The following details are from a letter which 
Luther wrote to Spalatin (that is, to the elector), 
while he was at Augsburg, and the conference 
going on (October 14th): "For these four days 
the legate has been conferring with me, or rather, 
against me .... He refuses to dispute in public, 
or even in private, never ceasing to repeat,' Retract, 
confess your error, whether you think it one or not; 
the pope will have it so.'. ... At last, he was pre- 
vailed upon to allow me to explain myself in writ- 
ing, which I did in the presence of the baron of 
Feilitsch, the emperor's representative; but then 
the legate would have nothing to do with what I 
had written, and again began to call for retractation. 
He favoured me with a long discourse which he 
had ferreted out of one or other of St. Thomas's 
romances, and thought he had conquered me and 
closed my mouth. Ten different times I tried to 
speak, but he stopped me each time, thundering 
and usurping the sole right of speaking. At length, 
I began to raise my voice in my turn : ' If you can 
show me that this decree of your Clement VI. ex- 
pressly states that the merits of Christ are the 
treasure of indulgences, I retract.' God knows 
into what uproarious laughter they burst out at 
this. As for him, he snatched the book from me 
and turned breathlessly over the leaves (fervens et 
anhelans) till he came to the passage where it 
is written that Christ, by his passion, has acquired 
the treasures, &c. I stopped him at this word has 
acquired . . . After dinner, he sent for the reverend 
father Staupitz, and coaxed him over to induce me 
to retract, adding that I could not easily find any- 
one better inclined to me than himself." The dis- 
putants followed a different course; reconciliation 
became impossible. Luther's frjend feared an 
ambush on the part of the Italians. He quitted 
Augsburg, leaving an appeal to the pope, when 
thoroughly cognizant of the cause, and addressed a 
'long account of the conference to the elector. We 
learn from the latter, that in the discussion he had 
supported his opinions as to the pope's authority 
on the council of Bale, on the university of Paris, 
and on Gerson. He prays the elector not to give 
him up : " May your most illustrious highness 
follow the dictates of your honour and conscience, 
and not send me to the pope. The man (Luther 
means the legate) has surely in his instructions no 
guarantee for my safety at Rome; and for him to 
ask your most illustrious highness to send me 
thither, would be asking you to give up Christian 
blood, to become homicide. To Rome ! Why the 
pope himself is not in safety there. They have 
paper and ink enough there,and scribes and notaries 
without number, and can easily write word in what 
I have erred. It will be less expensive to proceed 

A.D. 15171521. 



against me, in my absence, by writing, than to make 
away with me, should I be present, by treachery." 
These fears were well founded. The court of 
Rome was about to address itself directly to the 
elector of Saxony. It required Luther at any cost. 
Already the legate had complained bitterly to 
Frederic of Luther's presumption, and had be- 
sought him to send him back to Augsburg, or to 
banish him, if he would not sully his own glory, 
and that of his ancestors, by protecting this 
wretched monk. " I heard yesterday from Nurem- 
berg that Charles von Miltitz is on his way with 
three briefs from the pope (according to an eye- 
witness worthy of all faith), to seize and hand me 
over bodily to the pontiff. But I have appealed to 
the forthcoming council." It was full time for him 
to reject the pope, since, as the legate had informed 
Frederic, he was already condemned at Rome. 
Luther, in making this fresh protest, adhered 
strictly to all the juridical forms. He avowed his 
willingness to submit to the judgment of the pope, 
when thoroughly cognizant of the cause; but here 
the pope might err, as St. Peter himself had erred. 
He appealed to the general council, which was 
superior to the pope, from all the pope's decrees 
against him. But he was afraid of some sudden 
violence ; of being privily borne off from Wittem- 
berg. " You have been misinformed," he writes 
to Spalatin, " I have not taken my leave of the 
people of Wittemberg. I have used, it is true, the 
following or similar terms: ' You are all aware 
that I am an uncertain and unsettled preacher. 
How often have I not left you without bidding you 
farewell ! Should this happen again, and I not re- 
turn, consider that I have bid you farewell now." 
On December 2nd, he writes, " I am advised to ask 
the prince to shut me up a prisoner in some castle, 
and to be pleased to write to the legate that he has 
me in a sure place, where I shall be compelled to 
answer." He wrote on the 19th of the preceding 
month, "It is beyond all doubt, the prince 
and the university are with me. A conversation 
has come to my knowledge that took place concern- 
ing me at the court of the bishop of Brandenburg. 
Some one observed, ' He is supported by Erasmus, 
Fabricius, and other learned persons.' ' The pope 
would care nothing for that,' replied the bishop, 
' were not the university of Wittemberg and the 
elector, too, on his side.' " Yet Luther spent the 
latter part of this year (1518) in lively anxiety, 
and had some thoughts of leaving Germany. " To 
avoid drawing down any danger on your highness, 
I will quit your dominions, and go whithersoever 
God in his mercy shall conduct me, trusting, what- 
ever may befall, in his divine will. I therefore re- 
spectfully bid farewell to your highness; and among 
whatever people I may take my abode, I shall re- 
member your kindness with never-ceasing grati- 
tude." At this moment, indeed, he might consider 
Saxony an insecure abode. The pope was endea- 
vouring to win over the elector. Charles von Miltitz 
was commissioned to offer him the golden rose, a 
high distinction usually conferred by the court of 
Rome on kings only, as the reward of their filial 
piety towards the Church. This was a difficult 
trial for the elector; as it compelled him to come to 
a distinct explanation, and, perhaps, to draw down 
great danger upon himself. The elector's hesita- 
tion is apparent from a letter of Luther's: " The 
prince was altogether against my publishing the 

acts of the conference of Augsburg, but after- 
wards gave me permission, and they are now print- 
ed. ... In his uneasiness about me, he would prefer 
my being any where else. He summoned me to 
Litchenberg, where I had a long conference with 
Spalatin on the subject, and expressed my resolve, 
in case the censures were fulminated, not to stay. 
He told me, however, not to be in such haste to 
start for France." This was written on the 1 3th 
of December; on the 20th, Luther's doubts were 
past. The elector had returned for answer, with 
true diplomatic reserve, that he professed himself 
a most obedient son of holy mother Church, and 
entertained a great respect for the pontifical sanc- 
tity, but required an inquiry into the matter by 
disinterested judges; a certain means of ensuring 
procrastination, since, in the interim, incidents 
might occur to lessen or delay the danger. To 
gain time was every thing. In fact, the emperor 
died in the following January; the interregnum 
commenced, and Frederic became, by Maximilian's 
own choice, vicar of the empire until the hour of 
election. Feeling himself secure, Luther addressed 
(March 3rd, 1519) a haughty letter to the pope, 
but respectfully worded: "Most holy father, I 
cannot support the weight of yo,ur wrath, yet know 
not how to escape from the burthen. Thanks to 
the opposition and attacks of my enemies, my words 
have spread more widely than I could have hoped 
for, and they have sunk too deeply into men's 
hearts for me to retract them. In these our days, 
Germany flourishes in erudition, reason, and genius; 
and if I would honour Rome before her, I must 
beware of retractation, which would be only sully- 
ing the Roman Church still further, and exposing 
it to public accusation and contempt. It is they 
who, abusing the name of your holiness, have made 
their absurd preaching subserve their infamous 
avarice, and have sullied holy things with the 
abomination and reproach of Egypt, that have 
done the Roman Church injury and dishonour 
with Germany. And, as if this was not mischief 
enough, it is against me, who have striven to oppose 
those monsters, that their accusations are directed. 
But I call God and men to witness, most holy 
father, that I have never wished, and do not now 
desire to touch the Roman Church or your sacred 
authority; and that I acknowledge most explicitly 
that this Church rules over all, and that nothing, 
heavenly or earthly, is superior to it, save Jesus 
Christ our Lord." 

From this moment, Luther had made up his 
mind. A month or two before, indeed, he had 
written, " The pope will not hear of a judge, and I 
will not be judged by the pope. So he will be the 
text, and I the gloss." In another letter he says 
to Spalatin (March 13), " I am in travail with St. 
Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, and am thinking of 
a sermon on the Passion ; whilst, in addition to my 
ordinary lessons, I teach children of an evening, 
and explain the Lord's prayer to them. Along 
with this, I turn over the decretals for matter for 
my new dispute, and find Christ so altered and cru- 
cified in them, that (hark in your ear) I am not 
sure that the pope is not antichrist himself, or the- 
apostle of antichrist." However far Luther might 
go, the pope had henceforward little chance of 
tearing his favourite theologian, from a power- 
ful prince, on whom a majority of the electors 
were conferring the empire. Miltitz changed his 



A.D. 15171521. 

tone, and stated that the pope would even yet be 
contented with a retractation. He met Luther as 
a friend, flattei-ed him, owned that he had got the 
whole world with him away from the pope, stated 
that on his journey he could scarcely find two men 
out of five to defend the papacy, tried to persuade 
him to go and explain to the archbishop of Toledo, 
but could not prove that he was authorized to make 
this proposition, either by the pope or the arch- 
bishop. The advice was suspicious ; Luther was 
aware that he had been burnt in effigy at Rome 
( papyraceus Martinus in campo Flora; publice com- 
bustusi, execratus, detotus). He returned a cool reply 
to Miltitz, and apprized him that one of his envoys 
had inspired such suspicions, at Wittemberg, as to 
have narrowly escaped being thrown into the Elbe. 
" If, as you intimate, my refusal will compel you to 
come yourself, God grant you a happy journey. 
For my part, I am extremely busy, and have nei- 
ther time nor money for such excursions. Fare- 
well, excellent man." (May l?th.) On Miltitz's 
arrival in Germany, Luther had said that he would 
hold his tongue, provided his opponents would 
theirs ; but they released him from keeping his 
word, for doctor Eck solemnly defied him to a dis- 
putation at Leipsic, and the faculties of Paris, Lou- 
vaine, and Cologne, condemned his propositions. 
In order to make a decent appearance at Leipsic, 
Luther was obliged to ask the parsimonious elector, 
who had forgotten to clothe him for two or three 
years, for a dress ; his letter is a curiosity : " I 
beseech your electoral grace to have the kindness 
to buy me a white cope and a black cope. I hum- 
bly ask for the white one, but your highness owes 
me the black, having promised it to me two or 
three years back ; only Pfeffinger is brought to 
untie his purse-strings with such difficulty, that I 
have been forced to buy one for myself. I humbly 
pray your highness, who considered that the Psalter 
deserved a black cope, to deign not to think the St. 
Paul unworthy of a white one." Luther felt, by 
this time, so completely secure, that not content 
with repairing to Leipsic to plead in his own de- 
fence, he assumed the offensive at Wittemberg. 
" He had the effrontery," says his catholic biogra- 
pher, Cochlseus, " he had the effrontery, with the 
authority of the prince, his protector, to issue a 
solemn summons to the ablest inquisitors, men 
who would think they could swallow iron and split 
the rock, to a disputation, and the prince not only 
offered them a safe-conduct, but undertook to lodge 
them and pay their expenses." Meanwhile, Lu- 
ther's principal opponent, doctor Eck, had re- 
paired to Rome to solicit his condemnation. Lu- 
ther was sentenced beforehand ; and it now only 
remained for him to judge his judge, and pronounce 
sentence of condemnation on authority, in the sight 
of the people. This he did in his terrible book on 
the Captivity of Babylon, in which he contended 
that the Church was captive, and that Jesus Christ, 
constantly profaned in the idolatry of the mass, and 
lost sight of in the dogma of transubstantiation, 
was the pope's prisoner. With daring freedom, he 
explains in his preface, how he has been gradually 
.forced on by his adversaries ; "Whether willingly 
or not, 1 improve every day, pushed as I am, and 
kept in wind by so many masters of fence at once. 
Two years ago, I wrote on indulgences ; but in a 
style which makes me deeply regret I ever pub- 
lished the work. At that period, I was still mar- 

vellously enamoured of the papal power, and durst 
not fling indulgences entirely over. Besides, I 
saw them approved of by numbers of persons, 
whilst I was the only one who undertook to set 
this stone rolling (hoc volvere saxuni). Since then, 
thanks to Sylvester, and other brothers who have 
defended them stoutly, I perceived that the whole 
was an imposture, invented by the flatterers of 
Rome, to dispossess men of faith and take posses- 
sion of their purse. Would to God I could induce 
booksellers and all who have read my writings on 
indulgences, to burn them, and not to leave a line 
behind, so that they would substitute for all 1 have 
said on the subject, this one axiom Indulgences are 
bubbles devised by tlie sycopliants of Rome ! Next 
Eck, Emser, and their band, proceeded to take us 
in hand on the question of the pope's supremacy. 
'Twould be ungrateful towards those learned per- 
sonages not to acknowledge that the trouble to 
which they put themselves was not thrown away 
upon me. Previously, I had denied that the pa- 
pacy was of divine, yet still admitted that it was of 
human, right ; but, after hearing and reading the 
super-subtle subtleties on which these poor people 
found the rights of their idol, I came to the perfect 
and satisfactory understanding and conviction, that 
the reign of the pope is that of Babylon, and of 
Nimrod, the mighty hunter. Wherefore, I earnestly 
pray booksellers and readers (that nothing may be 
wanting to my good friends' success), to commit to 
the flames my writings on this subject also, and 
to abide by the following axiom : The pope is ilie 
mighty hunter, theNimrod of the Roman episcopacy! " 
At the same time, to make it clear that he was 
assailing the papacy, rather than the pope, he ad- 
dressed a long letter, in both languages, to Leo 
X., in which he denied all personal feeling against 
him. " Though surrounded by the monsters of 
the age, against whom I have been these three 
years struggling, my thoughts ought, once at least, 
most honourable father, to revert to thee. The 
witness borne to thy renown by men of letters, and 
thy irreproachable life, ought to place thee beyond 
all attacks. I am not such a simpleton as to blame, 
when all the world praises thee. I have called 
thee a Daniel in Babylon, and have proclaimed thy 
innocence. Yes, dear Leo, I think of thee as of 
Daniel in the pit, Ezekiel among the scorpions. 
What canst thou, alone, against these monsters ; 
thou, and some three or four learned and virtuous 
cardinals ? You would all infallibly be poisoned 
did you dare attempt to reform such countless cor- 
ruptions. . . . The doom has gone forth against 
the court of Rome. The measure of God's wrath 
has been filled up ; for that court hates councils, 
dreads the name of reform, and fulfils the words 
uttered of its mother, of whom it is said, ' We would 
hare healed Babylon, but she is not healed : forsake 
Babylon.' Oh, hapless Leo, to sit on that accursed 
throne ! I speak the truth to thee, for I desire thy 
good. If St. Bernard felt pity for his pope Euge- 
nius, what must be our feelings now that corrup- 
tion is three hundred years the worse I Ay, thou 
wouldst thank me for thy eternal salvation, were I 
once able to dash in pieces this dungeon, this hell 
in which thou art held captive." 

When the bull of condemnation reached Ger- 
many, the whole people was in commotion. At 
Erfurth the students took it out of the booksellers' 
shops, tore it in pieces, and threw it into the 

A.D. 15171521. 



river with the poor pun, " A bubble (bulla) it is, 
and as a bubble so it should swim." Luther in- 
stantly published his' pamphlet, Against the Exe- 
crable Bull of Antichrist. On December 10, 1520, 
he burnt it at the city gates, and on the same day 
wrote to Spalatin, through whom he usually com- 
municated with the elector: " This 10th day of 
December, in the year 1520, at the ninth hour of 
the day, were burnt at Wittemberg, at the east 
gate, near the holy cross, all the pope's books, the 
Decree, the Decretals, the Extrqmgante of Clement 
VI., Leo X.'s last bull, the Angelic Sum, Eck's 
Chrysoprasus, and some other works of Eck's and 
Eraser's. Is not this news ?" He says in the 
public notice which he caused to be drawn up of 
these proceedings, " If any one ask me why I 
have done this, my reply is, that it is an ancient 
practice to burn bad books. The apostles burnt 
five thousand deniers' worth of them." The tra- 
dition runs that he exclaimed on throwing the 
book of the Decretals into the flames, " Thou hast 
tormented the Lord's holy one, may the everlasting 
fire torment and consume thee !" These things 
were news, indeed, as Luther said. Until then, 
most sects and heresies had sprung up in secret, 
and conceived themselves fortunate if they re- 
mained unknown ; but now a monk starts up who 
treats with the pope as equal with equal, and con- 
stitutes himself the judge of the head of the 
Church. The chain of tradition is broken, unity 
shattered, the robe without seam rent. It must not 
be supposed that Luther himself, with all his 
violence, took this last step without pain. It was 
uprooting from his heart by one pull the whole of 
the venerable past in which he had been cradled. 
It is true that he believed he had retained the 
Scriptures for his own ; but then they were the 
Scriptures with a different interpretation from 
what had been put upon them for a thousand 
years. All this his enemies have often said ; but 
not one of them has said it more eloquently than 
he himself. " No doubt," he writes to Erasmus in 
the opening of his sorry book, De Servo Arbitrio 
(The Will not Free), "no doubt you feel some 
hesitation when you see arrayed before you so 
numerous a succession of learned men, and the 
unanimous voice of so many centuries illustrated 
by deeply read divines, and by great martyrs, 
glorified by numerous miracles, as well as more 
recent theologians and countless academies, coun- 
cils, bishops, pontiffs. On this side are found 
erudition, genius, numbers, greatness, loftiness, 
power, sanctity, miracles, and what not beside ? 
On mine, Wickliff, Laurentius Valla, Augustin, 
(although you forget him,) and Luther, a poor 
man, a mushroom of yesterday, standing alone 
with a few friends, without such erudition, genius, 
numbers, greatness, sanctity, or miracles. Take 
them all together, they could not cure a lame 
horse. . . . Et alia' quce tw plurima fando enume- 
rare vales (and innumerable other things you 
could mention). For what are we ? What the 
wolf said of Philomel, Vox et proeterea nihil (a 
sound, no more). I own, my dear Erasmus, you 
are justified in hesitating before all these things ; 
ten years since, I hesitated like you. . . . Could I 
suppose that this Troy, which had so long vic- 
toriously resisted so many assaults, would fall in 
one day 1 I solemnly call God to witness that I 
.should have continued to fear, and should even 

now be hesitating, had not my conscience and the 
truth compelled me to speak. You know that my 
heart is not a rock; and had it been, yet beaten 
by such billows and tempests, it would have been 
shivered to atoms when all this mass of authority 
was launched at my head, like a deluge ready 
to overwhelm me." Elsewhere he writes : " . . . 
Holy Scripture has taught me how perilous and 
fearful it is to raise one's voice in God's church, 
to speak in the midst of those who will be your 
judges, when, on the day of judgment, you shall 
find yourself in presence of God, under the eye of 
the angels, all creation seeing, listening, hanging 
upon the divine word. Assuredly when this 
thought rises to my mind, my earnest desire is 

for silence, and the sponge for my writings 

How hard, how fearful to live to render an 
account to God of every idle word * !" On March 
27, 1519, he writes, "I was alone, and hurried 
unprepared into this business. I admitted many 
essential points in the pope's favour, for was I, a 
poor, miserable monk, to set myself up against the 
majesty of the pope, before whom the kings of the 
earth (what do I say 1 earth itself, hell, and 
heaven) trembled ? . . . How I suffered the first 
and second year. Ah ! little do those confident 
spirits who since then have attacked the pope so 
proudly and presumptuously, know of the de- 
jection of spirits, not feigned and assumed, but too 
real, or rather the despair which I went through. 
. . . Unable to find any light to guide me in dead 
or mute teachers (I mean the writings of theo- 
logians and jurists), I longed to consult the living 
council of the churches of God, to the end that if 
any godly persons could be found, illumined by 
the Holy Ghost, they would take compassion on 
me, and be pleased to give me good and safe 
counsel for my own welfare and that of all Christen- 
dom ; but it was impossible for me to discover 
them. I saw only the pope, the cardinals, bishops, 
theologians, canonists, monks, priests ; and it was 
from them I expected enlightenment. For I had so 
fed and saturated myself with their doctrine, 
that I was unconscious whether I were asleep or 
awake. . . . Had I at that time braved the pope 
as I now do, I should have looked for the earth 
instantly to open and swallow me up alive, like 
Korah and Abiram. ... At the name of the 
church I shuddered, and offered to give way. In 
1518, I told cardinal Caietano, at Augsburg, that 
I would thenceforward be mute ; only praying 
him, in all humility, to impose the same silence on 
my adversaries, and hush their clamours. Far 
from meeting my wishes, he threatened to con- 
demn every thing I had taught, if I would not 
retract. Now I had already published the Cate- 
chism to the edification of many souls, and was 
bound not to allow it to be condemned. ... So I 
was driven to attempt what I considered to be the 
greatest of evils. . . . But it is not my object to 
tell my history here ; but only to confess my folly, 
ignorance, and weakness, and to awe, by reciting 

* It is curious to compare these words of Luther's with 
the very different passage in Rousseau's Confessions : 
"Let the trumpet of the last judgment sound when it will, 
I will present myself with this book in my hand before the 
Judge of all, and will say aloud, ' Here is what I have done, 
what I have thought, what I was.' .... and then let any 
one say, if he dare, ' I was better than that man.'" 



A.D. 15171521. 

my own sufferings, those presumptuous bawlers 
or scribblers, who have not borne the cross, or 
known the temptations of Satan. . . ." 

Against the tradition of the middle age and the 
authority of the church, Luther sought a refuge in 
the Scriptures, anterior to tradition, and superior 
to the church herself. He translated the Psalms, 
and wrote his PostUs to the Gospels and Epistles. 
At no other period of his life did he so approximate 
to mysticism. He took his stand at this time on St. 
John no less than on St. Paul, and seemed on the 
point of running through all the stages of the doc- 
trine of love, without any misgivings of the fatal 
consequences which resulted thence to man's 
liberty and morality. There are, he lays it down in 
his work on Christian Liberty, two men in man the 
inner man, the soul, the outward man, the body; 
each distinct from the other. As works proceed 
from the outward man, their effects cannot affect the 
soul: if the body frequent profane places, eat, 
drink, pray not with the lips, and neglect all the 
hypocrites do, the soul will remain unaffected. The 
soul is united by faith to Christ, as the wife to her 
husband. All is, then, in common between the two, 

the good as well as evil We, who believe in 

Christ, are all kings and pontiffs. Raised by his 
faith above everything, the Christian becomes, by 
this spiritual power, lord of all things, so that 
nothing can injure \i\rn, imo omnia ei subjecta cogun- 
tur senire ad salutem (rather, all things are subject 
to him and compelled to minister to his salvation). 
.... If I believe, all things, good and bad, turn 
to my profit. This is the inestimable power and 
liberty of the Christian. " If you feel your heart 
hesitate and doubt, it is high time for you to repair 
to the priest, and seek absolution for your sins. 
You ought to prefer dying a thousand times to 
doubting the judgment of the priest, which is the 
judgment of God; and, if you can believe in this 
judgment, your heart ought to laugh with joy, and 
laud God, who, through man's intermediation, has 
comforted thy conscience. If you think yourself 
unworthy of pardon, it is because you have not yet 
done enough, because you are too little instructed in 
faith, and more than it needeth in works. It is a 
thousand times more important to believe piously 
in absolution than to be worthy of it and make 
atonement. Faith renders you worthy, and consti- 
tutes the true atonement. Man who, without this, 
through the mere restlessness of his heart, never per- 
forms any good work, can then serve his God joy- 
fully; and this is what is called the sweet burden of 
our Lord, Jesus Christ." (Sermon on Justification, 
preached at Leipsic in 1519.) This dangerous doc- 
trine was welcomed by the people and by the 
majority of the learned. Erasmus, the most cele- 
brated of the latter, seems to have been the only 
one who perceived its consequences. Of a critical 
and negative cast of genius, emulating the Italian 
bd etprit, Laurentius Valla, who had written- a work, 
De Libero Arbitrio (on Free-will), in the fifteenth 
century, he himself wrote against Luther under the 
same title. In 1519, he received the advances of 
the monk of Wittemberg coldly. Luther, who felt 
how necessary the support of the learned was to 
him, had written complimentary letters (A.D. 1518, 
1519) toReuchlin and Erasmus, which last returned 
a cold and highly significant answer (A.D. 1519): 
" I reserve all my powers to contribute to the re- 
vival of elegant literature; and it strikes me that 

greater progress is to be made by politic modera- 
tion (rnodestia cmli) than by passion. It is thus 
that Christ has brought the world to be subject 
unto him, and thus that Paul abolished the Judaic 
law, by applying himself to the interpretation of the 
letter. It is better to exclaim against such as abuse 
the power given to priests than the priests them- 
selves; and so, likewise, with regard to kings. 
Instead of bringing the schools into contempt, it 
would be well to win them back to healthier studies. 
Whenever the question is of things too deeply 
rooted in the mind to be eradicated by one pull, 
discussion and close and cogent reasoning are to be 
preferred to affirmations. . . . And it is essential 
to be on one's guard against saying or doing any- 
thing with an arrogant or rebellious air; such, in 
my opinion, is the course of proceeding consonant 
to the spirit of Christ. But I do not say this by way 
of teaching you what you ought to do; only to en- 
courage you to go on a:s you are now doing." Such 
timid precautions suited neither the man nor the 
hour. Enthusiasm was at its height. Nobles and 
people, castles and free towns, rivalled each other in 
zeal and enthusiasm for Luther. At Nuremburg, 
at Strasburg, and even at Mentz, his smallest pam- 
phlets were emulously caught up as fast as they ap- 
peared. The sheets were hurried and smuggled 
into the shops, all wet from the press, and were 
greedily devoured by the aspiring litterateurs of the 
German Companionship, by the poetic tinmen, the 
learned cordwainers: the good Hans-Sachs shook off 
his wonted vulgarity, left his shoe unfinished, wrote 
his best verses, his best production, and sang with 
bated voice the nightingale of Wittemberg, whose 
voice resounded everywhere. . . . Nothing seconded 
Luther more powerfully than the zeal of the printers 
and booksellers in behalf of the new ideas. " The 
works which were favourable to him," says a con- 
temporary, " were printed by the printers with 
minutest care, and often at their own expense, and 
large numbers of copies struck off. Many old 
monks, too, who had returned to a secular life, lived 
on Luther's works, and hawked them throughout 
Germany. The Catholics could only get their works 
printed by high pay, and even then they were printed 
in so slovenly a manner as to swarm with errors, so 
as to seem the productions of illiterate men. And 
if any printer, more conscientious than the rest, did 
them more justice, he was jeered and plagued in 
the market-places and at the fairs of Frankfort, for 
a Papist and a slave to the priests." 

Whatever the zeal of the cities, it was to the 
nobles that Luther had chiefly appealed, and they 
answered his summons with a zeal, which he him- 
self was often obliged to moderate. In 1519, 
he published in Latin a Defence of ilie articles 
condemned by the bull of Leo X., which he dedicated 
as follows, to the baron Fabian von Feilitzsch: "It 
has struck me to be desirable, in future, to ad- 
dress you laymen, a new order of priests, and, 
with God's will, to make a happy beginning under 
the favourable auspices of your name. May the 
present work, then, commend me, or rather the 
Christian doctrine, to you and all the nobles." He 
was desirous to dedicate the translation of this 
work to Franz von Sickingen, and another to the 
count of Mansfeld, but he abstained, he says, " from 
fear of awakening the jealousy of many others, 
and, in particular, that of the nobility of Fran- | 
conia." The same year he published his violent ' 

A.D. 15171521. 



pamphlet, To the Christian nobility uf Germany, on 
the amelioration of Christianity. Four thousand copies 
were sold at once. The leading nobles, Luther's 
friends, were Sylvester von Schauenberg, Franz von 
Sickingen, Taubenheim, and Ulrich von Hutten. 
Schauenberg had confided the education of his 
young son to Melanchthon, and had offered to assist 
the elector of Saxony, arms in hand, should the 
elector be exposed to any danger in the cause of 
reform. Taubenheim and others sent Luther money. 
" 1 have had a hundred pieces of gold from Tau- 
benheim, and fifty from Schart, so that I begin to 
fear God's paying me here below ; but I have 
vowed that I will not be thus gorged, but will give 
back all." The Margrave of Brandenburg had 
begged a visit from him : Sickingen and Hutten 
promised him their support against all and sundry. 
"Hutten," lie writes, " addressed me a letter, in 
September, 1520, burning witk wrath against the 
Roman pontiff, saying that he will fall with sword 
and pen on the sacerdotal tyranny. He is indig- 
nant at the pope's having attempted his life with 
both the dagger and the bowl, and has summoned 
the bishop of Mentz, in order that he may send him 
to Rome bound hand and foot." He goes on to say, 
" You see whait Hutten is seeking; but I would not 
have violence and murder employed in the cause 
of the gospel, and have written to this effect." 
Mean while the emperor summoned Luther to appear 
at Worms before the imperial diet. Both parties, 
friends and enemies, were about to come into 
presence. " Would to God," said Hutten, " I 
might be present at the diet ; I would set things 
in motion, and would very soon excite a disturb- 
ance." On the 20th of April, he writes to Luther, 
" What atrocities are these 1 hear ! There is no 
fury comparable to the fury of these men. I 
plainly see we shall have to come to swords, bows, 
arrows, cannons. Summon up thy courage, father, 
laugh at these wild beasts. I see the number of 
thy partisans daily increasing ; thou wilt not lack 
defenders. Numbers have come to me, saying, 
' God grant he may not lose heart, that he may 
answer stoutly, that he may not give way to any 
fear!' " At the same time, Hutten sent letters in 
every direction to the magistrates of the towns, in 
order to strike a league between them and the 
nobles of the Rhine ; in other words, to arm 
them against the ecclesiastical provinces*. He 
wrote to Pirkeimer, one of the chief magis- 
trates at Nuremberg. " Cheer and animate your 
brethren; I am in hopes you will find partisans in 
towns which are inspired by the love of liberty. 
Franz von Sickingen is for us; he burns with zeal. 
He is saturated with Luther. I make him read 
his pamplUets at meal-time. He has sworn not to 
fail the cause of liberty ; and what he has said, he 
will do. Preach him up. to your fellow-citizens; 
there is no greater soul in Germany." Luther 
had his partisans even in the assembly of Worms. 
Some one avowed in full diet an agreement to de- 
fend him, sworn to by four hundred nobles, adding 
Buntschuh, Buntschuh (the rallying cry, as will 
afterwards be seen, of the insurgent peasants). The 
catholics were not even very sure of the emperor. 
Hutten writes, whilst the diet is sitting, " Csesar, 
the report runs, has made up his mind to side with 

* See, in the Elucidations, the Dialogue of the Robbers, 
written by Hutten, in the view of combining the nobles and 
the burgesses against the priests. 

the pope." The Lutherans mustered strong in the 
town, and among the people. Hermann Busch 
writes Hutten word that a priest came out of the 
imperial palace with two Spanish soldiers, to en- 
deavour to make a seizure of eighty copies of the 
Captivity of Babylon, which were on sale close to the 
gates of the palace, but that he was quickly obliged 
to fly back into the palace for safety ; still, in order 
to induce Hutten to take up arms, he goes on to de- 
scribe how the Spaniards caracole haughtily on their 
mules, through the principal thoroughfares of 
Worms, and how the intimidated multitude retire 
before them. 

Cochlseus, the catholic biographer of Luther, 
describes the reformer's journey in a satiric strain: 
"A conveyance was prepared for him resembling 
a litter, and so closed in as to shelter him from the 
weather. He was surrounded by learned indi- 
viduals, the provost Jonas, doctor Schurff, Amsdorf 
the theologian, &c. ; and he was received wher- 
ever he passed by crowds of people. Good cheer 
reigned in the hostelries where he put up, and many 
a merry cup was quaffed, and even music heard. 
Luther himself, in order that he might become 
the cynosure of all eyes, played on the harp like 
another Orpheus, a tonsured and cowled Orpheus. 
And although the emperor's safe conduct set forth 
that he was not to preach by the way, he, never- 
theless, preached at Erfurth on Low Sunday, and 
published his sermon." This picture of Luther 
does not exactly assimilate with that drawn by a 
contemporary shortly before the diet of Worms. 
" Martin is of the middle size, and so emaciated 
by care and study, that you might count every 
bone in his body. Yet he is still in the very prime 
of life. His voice is clear and penetrating. Power- 
ful in doctrine, admirably read in the Scriptures, 
almost every verse in which he has by heart, he 
has acquired the Greek and Hebrew languages, in 
order to be enabled to compare and form a judg- 
ment on the translation of the Bible. He never has 
to stop, having facts and words at will (sylva 
ingens verborum et rerum). His manners are 
agreeable and easy, untinctured by severity or 
pride; and he is even no enemy of the pleasures of 
life ; being lively and good humoured in society, 
and seeming everywhere quite at his ease and 
free from any sense of alarm, despite the 
dreadful threats of his adversaries. So that it is 
difficult to believe that this man undertakes 
such great things without the Divine protection. 
Almost the only thing with which the world re- 
proaches him is, being too bitter in retort, and 
shrinking from no insulting expression." We are 
indebted to Luther himself for an admirable ac- 
count of the proceedings at the diet; an account 
that, generally speaking, agrees with those given 
by his enemies. " When the herald delivered me 
the summons on the Tuesday in Passion-week, and 
brought me a safe-conduct from the emperor and 
several princes, the same safe-conduct was, on the 
very next day, the Wednesday, violated at Worms, 
where I was condemned and my works burnt. 
This news reached me when 1 was at Erfurth. 
The sentence of condemnation was already pla- 
carded in all the towns; so that the herald himself 
asked me whether I was still minded to go to 
Worms? Although full of fears and doubts, I 
replied, ' I will go, though there should be there 
as many devils as tiles on the roofs !' Even on 


A.D. 1517152) 

my arriving at Oppenheim, near Worms, master 
Bucer met me, to dissuade me from entering the 
city. Sglapian, the emperor's confessor, had gone 
to him to beg him to warn me not to enter Worms, 
for 1 was doomed to be burnt there! I should do 
better, he said, to stay in the neighbourhood with 
Franz von Sickingen, who would gladly receive me. 
All this was done by these poor beings to hinder 
me from appearing ; since, had I delayed only 
three days, my safe-conduct would have been no 
longer available; they would have shut the gates, 
refused to listen to me, and have tyrannically con- 
demned me. But I went forward in the simplicity of 
my heart, and as soon as I was within sight of the 
city, wrote to inform Spalatin of my arrival, and 
ask where I was to put up. They were all 
thunder-struck at my unexpected arrival ; for they 
had expected that their stratagems and my own 
terror would have kept me outside the walls. Two 
nobles, the lord of Hirsfeld and John Schott, 
fetched me, by the elector of Saxony's orders, to 
their own lodgings. But no prince called upon 
me; only some counts and nobles who had a great 
regard for me. It was they who had laid before 
his imperial majesty the four hundred charges 
against the clergy, with a petition for the reform 
of clerical abuses, which, if neglected, they must, 
they said, take upon themselves. They all owe 
their deliverance to my gospel (preaching). The 
pope wrote to the emperor to disregard the safe- 
conduct, and the bishops egged him on to it; but 
the princes and the states would not consent, fear- 
ing the uproar that would ensue. All this greatly 
added to my consideration; they must have stood 
in greater awe of me than I of them. Indeed, the 
young landgrave of Hesse asked to hear me, 
visited me, talked with me, and said, as he took 
his leave, 'Dear doctor, if you are in the right, 
may our Lord God be your aid.' As soon as I 
arrived, I wrote to Sglapian, the emperor's con- 
fessor, begging him to have the goodness to come 
and see me, as his inclination and leisure might 
serve. But he declined, saying that it would be 

" I was summoned in due form, and appeared 
before the council of the imperial diet in the Guild- 
hall, where the emperor, the electors, and the 
princes were assembled*. Doctor Eck, the official 
of the bishop of Treves, began, and said to me, 
' Martin, you are called here to say whether you 
acknowledge the books on the table there to be 
yours ?' and he pointed to them. ' I believe so,' I 
answered. But Doctor Jerome Schurff instantly 
added, ' Read over their titles.' When this was 
done, I said, ' Yes, these books are mine.' He then 
asked me, ' Will you disavow them ?' I replied, 
' Most gracious lord emperor, some of the writings 
are controversial, and in them I attack my adver- 
saries. Others are didactic and doctrinal; and of 
these I neither can nor will retract an iota, for it is 
God's word. But, as regards my controversial 
writings, if I have been too violent, or have gone too 
far against any one, I am ready to reconsider the 
matter, provided I have time for reflection.' I was 
allowed a day and a night. The next day I was 

* There were present at the diet, besides the emperor, 
six electors, one archduke, two landgraves, five margraves, 
twenty-seven dukes, and numbers of counts, archbishops, 
bishops, &c.; in all, two hundred and six persons. 

summoned by the bishops and others who were to 
deal with me to make me retract. I told them, 
' God's word is not mine, I cannot give it up ; but 
in all else my desire is to be obedient and docile.' 
The margrave Joachim then took up the word, and 
said, ' Sir doctor, as far as I can understand, you 
will allow yourself to be counselled and advised, 
except on those points affecting Scripture I' ' Yes,' 
I answered, ' such is my wish.' They then told me 
that I ought to defer all to the imperial majesty; 
but I would not consent. They asked me if they 
themselves were not Christians, and able to decide 
on such things ? To this I answered, ' Yes, pro- 
vided it be without wrong or offence to the Scrip- 
tures, which I desire to uphold. I cannot give up 
that which is not mine.' They insisted, ' You ought 
to rely upon us, and believe that we shall decide 
rightly.' ' I am not very ready to believe that they 
will decide in my favour against themselves, who 
have but just now passed sentence of condemnation 
upon me, though under safe-conduct. But look 
what I will do: treat me as you like, and I will 
forego my safe-conduct and give it up to you.' On 
this, baron Frederick von Feilitzsch, burst forth with, 
' And enough, indeed, if not too much.' They then 
said, ' At least, give up a few articles to us.' I an- 
swered, ' In God's name, I do not desire to defend 
those articles which do not relate to Scripture.' 
Hereupon, two bishops hastened to tell the emperor 
that I retracted. On which, the bishop *** sent 
to ask me if I had consented to refer the matter to 
the emperor and the empire ? I replied that I had 
never, and would never, consent to it. So, I held 
out alone against all. My doctor and the rest were 
ill-pleased at my tenacity. Some told me that if I 
would defer the whole to them, they would in their 
turn forego and cede the articles which had been 
condemned by the council of Constance. To all this 
I replied, ' Here is my body and my life.' 

" Cochlseus then came, and said to me, ' Martin, 
if you will forego your safe-conduct, I will dispute 
with you.' This, in my simplicity, I would have con- 
sented to, had not Doctor Jerome Schurff inter- 
posed, laughing ironically, with, ' Ay, forsooth, 
that's what is wanted. 'Tis not an unfair offer; who 
would be such a fool ?' . . . So I remained under 
the safe-conduct. Some worthy individuals, besides, 
had interposed with, ' How ? You would bear him 
off prisoner ? That can't be.' Whilst this was 
going on, there came a doctor from the margrave 
of Baden, who endeavoured to move me by high- 
sounding words. ' I ought,' he said, ' to do and 
sacrifice much for the love of charity and mainte- 
nance of peace and union, and to avoid disturbance. 
Obedience was due to the imperial majesty as to 
the highest authority, and all occasion of scandal 
in the world ought to be sedulously avoided; conse- 
quently, I ought to retract. ' I heartily desire,' was 
my answer, ' in the name of charity, to obey and do 
everything in what is not against faith and the 
honour of Christ.' Then the chancellor of Treves 
said to me, ' Martin, you are disobedient to the im- 
perial majesty, wherefore you have leave to depart 
under the safe-conduct you possess.' I answered, 
' It has been done as it has pleased the Lord. And 
you, in your turn, consider where you are left.' 
Thus, I took my departure in my simplicity, without 
remarking or understanding all their subtleties. 
Then they put into execution the cruel edict of the 
law, which gave every one an opportunity of taking 

UD. 15171521. 



vengeance on his enemy, under pretence of his 
being addicted to the Lutheran heresy; and yet the 
tyrants have at last been obliged to revoke all those 
acts of theirs. And it befel me on this wise at 
Worms, where, however, I had no other support 
than the Holy Ghost." 

Some other curious details occur in a more ex- 
tended account of the conference at Worms, written 
immediately after it, and, perhaps, by Luther, 
though he is spoken of in it in the third person: 
" The day after Luther's arrival at Worms, at 
four o'clock in the afternoon, the master of the 
ceremonies of the empire, and the herald who had 
accompanied him from Wittemberg, came for him 
to his hostelry called The German Court, and led 
him to the town-hall by secret passages, to escape 
the crowd which lined the streets. Notwithstand- 
ing this precaution, numbers hastened to the doors 
of the town-hall and tried to enter with Luther, 
but were hindered by the guards. Many climbed to 
the roofs in order to see doctor Martin. When he 
entered the hall, many nobles came up to him one 
after the other, with words of encouragement : 
' Be bold,' they said to him, ' speak like a man, 
and have no fear of those who can kill bodies, but 
who are powerless against souls.' ' Monk,' said 
the famous captain George Frundsberg, laying 
his hand on his shoulder, ' look to it ; you are 
about to hazard a more perilous march than we 
have ever done. But if you are in the right road, 
God will not forsake you.' Duke John of Weimar 
had supplied him with the money for his journey. 
Luther replied both in Latin and in German to 
the questions put to him. He reminded the as- 
sembly at first that there were many things in his 
works which had met with the approbation even 
of his adversaries, and urged that undoubtedly 
it could not be this part which he was called upon 
to revoke. Then he went on as follows : ' The 
second portion of my works comprises those in 
which I have attacked papacy and the papists, as 
having by false doctrine and evil life and examples 
afflicted Christianity both in the things of the 
body and those of the soul. Now, no one can 
deny, &c. . . . Yet the popes have themselves 
taught in their Decretals that such of the pope's 
constitutions as may be opposed to the Gospel or 
the Fathers, are to be considered false and of no 
authority. Were I then to revoke this portion, I 
should only fortify the papists in their tyranny 
and oppression, and open doors and windows to 
their horrible impieties. ... It would be said 
that I had recanted my charges against them at 
the order of his imperial majesty and the empire. 
God ! what a disgraceful cloak I should become 
for their perversity and tyranny ! The third and 
last portion of my writings is of a polemical 
character. And herein I confess that I have often 
been more rough and violent than religion and my 
gown warrant. I do not give myself out for a 
saint. It is not my life and conduct that I am 
discussing before you, but the doctrine of Jesus 
Christ. Nevertheless, I do not think that it will 
suit me to retract this more than the rest ; since 
here, too, I should only be approving of the 
tyranny and impiety which persecute God's peo- 
ple. I am only a man. I can defend my doctrine 
only after my divine Saviour's example, who, 
when smote by the servant of the high priest, said 
to him, ' If 1 have spoken evil, bear witness of 

the evil.' If then the Lord himself asked to be 
interrogated, and that by a sorry slave, how much 
more may I, who am but dust and ashes, and may 
well fall into error, ask to be allowed to justify 
myself with regard to my doctrine ... If Scrip- 
ture testimony be against me, I will retract with 
all my heart, and will be the first to cast my books 
into the flames. . . . Beware lest the reign of our 
young and much to be praised emperor Charles 
(who is, with God, our present and great hope) 
should so have a fatal beginning, and an equally 
lamentable continuance and end. . . . Therefore, 
with all humility, I beseech your imperial majesty 
and your electoral and seignorial highnesses, not 
to allow yourselves to be indisposed towards my 
doctrine, save my adversaries produce just and 
convincing reasons.' 

" After this speech, the emperor's orator started 
to his feet, and said that Luther had spoken 
beside the question, that what had been once 
decided by councils, could not be again handled as 
doubtful ; and that, consequently, all he was asked 
was to say simply and solely whether he retracted 
or not. Luther then resumed as follows : ' Since 
your imperial majesty and your highnesses ask 
me for a short and plain answer, I will give 
you one without teeth or horns. Except I can be 
convinced by Holy Scripture, or by clear and 
indisputable reasons from other sources (for I 
cannot defer to the pope only, or to councils which 
have so often proved fallible), I neither can nor 
will revoke anything. As it has been found im- 
possible to refute the evidences that I have quoted, 
my conscience is a prisoner to God's word ; and 
no one can be compelled to act against his con- 
science. Here I stand ; I cannot act otherwise. 
God be my aid, Amen !' The electors and states 
of the empire retired to consult on this answer of 
Luther's ; and, after long deliberation, selected 
the judge of the bishops' court at Treves to 
refute him. ' Martin,' he said, ' you have not 
answered with the modesty becoming your con- 
dition. Your reply does not touch the question 
propounded to you. . . . What is the good of again 
discussing points which the Church and the coun- 
cils have condemned for so many centuries ? . . . . 
If those who oppose the decrees of councils were 
to force the Church to convince them of their 
errors through the medium of books, there would 
be an end to all fixity and certainty in Christen- 
dom ; and this is the reason his majesty asks you 
to answer plainly yes or no, whether you will 
retract.' On this, Luther besought the emperor 
not to allow of his being forced to retract in oppo- 
sition to his conscience, and without his being con- 
vinced that he had been in error ; adding that 
his answer was not sophistical, that the councils 
had often come to contradictory decisions, and 
that he was ready to prove it. The official briefly 
answered that these contradictions could not be 
proved ; but Luther persisted, and offered to 
adduce his proofs. By this time it being dusk, 
the assembly broke up. The Spaniards mocked 
the man of God, and loaded him with insults on 
his leaving the town-hall to return to his hostelry. 
" On the following day the emperor summoned 
the electors and states to take into consideration 
the drawing up of the imperial ban against Luther 
and his adherents ; in which, however, the safe- 
conduct was respected. 



A.D. 1521. 

" In the last conference the archbishop of Treves 
asked Luther what he would himself advise in 
order to bring the matter to a conclusion. Luther 
replied, ' The only advice to be given is that of 
Gamaliel in the Acts of the Apostles, " If this 
counsel, or this work, be of men, it will come to 
nought ; but if it be of God, ye cannot over- 
throw it."' Shortly after, the official of Treves 
called on Luther at his hostelry with the imperial 
safe-conduct for his return. It allowed him twenty 
days to reach a place of safety ; but enjoined him 
not to preach, or otherwise excite the people on 
his journey. He left on the next day, April 26, 
and was escorted by the herald on the emperor's 
verbal orders. When he reached Friedburg, 
Luther addressed a letter to the emperor, and 
another to the electors and states assembled at 
Worms. In the first, he' expresses his regret 
at having been necessitated to disobey the empe- 
ror, adding, ' but God and God's word are above 
all men.' He likewise regrets his having been 
unable to obtain an examination of the evidences 
which he had drawn from Scripture, and states 
his readiness to present himself again before any 
other assembly that may be pointed out, and to 
submit himself to it in every thing without ex- 
ception, provided God's word sustain no attaint." 
The letter to the electors and the states is to the 
same effect. To Spalatin he writes (May 14), 
" You cannot think how civilly the abbot of Hirs- 
feld received me. He sent his chancellor and 
his treasurer to meet us a long mile from his 
castle, and waited for us himself some short dis- 
tance from it with a troop of cavaliers to escort us 
into the city. The senate received us at the gate. 
The abbot treated us sumptuously in his monastery, 
and would make me lie in his own bed. On the 
morning of the fifth day they forced me to preach. 
I pointed out to them, but without avail, that 
they would lose their regales should the imperialists 
treat my preaching as a breach of faith, they 
having enjoined me not to preach on the road ; at 
the same time, I stated that I had never consented 
to tie up God's word, which was the truth. I also 
preached at Eisenach before a terrified clergyman 

and a notary, and witnesses who entered a protest 
against my proceedings, alleging fear of their 
tyrants as their excuse. So you may perhaps 
hear it said at Worms that I have broken my 
faith, but I have not. To tie up God's word is a 
condition beyond my power. Indeed, they thronged 
on foot from Eisenach to us, and we entered the 
city in the evening : all our companions had left 
in the morning with Jerome. For me, I crossed 
the forest to rejoin my flesh (his parents), and had 
just quitted them, intending to go to Walter- 
hausen, when, a few moments after, I was made 
prisoner near the fort of Altenstein. Amsdorf, no 
doubt, was aware that I should be seized, but he 
does not know where I am kept. My brother, 
having seen the horsemen timeously, leapt from 
the carriage without leave-taking, and I have been 
told that he reached Walterhausen on foot that 
evening. As for me, they took off my robe, and made 
me dress myself as a knight, and I have allowed 
my hair and beard to grow. You would have 
some trouble to recognize me, for it is a long time 
since I have been able to recognize myself. But 
here I am now living in Christian liberty, freed 
from all the tyrant's laws." 

Luther was conducted to the castle of Wart- 
burg, but did not clearly know to whom he was 
to attribute the mild and honourable captivity 
in which he was detained. Having dismissed the 
herald who escorted him a few leagues from 
Worms, his enemies have inferred that he was 
apprised of what was about to happen. His corre- 
spondence proves the contrary. A cry of grief, 
however, was raised throughout Germany. He 
was supposed to have perished, and pope and 
emperor were accused. In reality, it was the 
elector of Saxony, Luther's protector, who, taking 
alarm at the sentence launched against him, and 
unable either to support or abandon him, had 
devised this means of saving him from his own 
daring, and of gaining time while he strengthened 
his party. Hiding Luther was a sure way of 
raising the exaltation of Geiynany and its fears 
for the champion of the faith, to the height. 


A.D. 15211528. 



A.D. 1521 1524. 

WHILST all is indignation and rage at Worms, that 
the daring offender should have been allowed to 
escape, the time is gone by, and he soars invisibly 
over his enemies from the heights of the castle of 
Wartburg. Happy and safe in his dungeon, he 

can return to his flute, sing his German psalms, 
translate his Bible, and thunder at the devil and 
the pope quite at his ease. " The report gains 
ground," writes Luther, " that I have been made 
prisoner by friends sent from Franconia ;" and, at 
another time, " I fancy it was supposed that Luther 
had been killed, or condemned to utter silence, hi 
order that the public mind might relapse under 
that sophistical tyranny which I am so hated for 
having begun to undermine." However, Luther 
took care to let it be known that he was still alive. 
He writes to Spalatin, " I should not be sorry if 
this letter were lost by some adroit neglect on your 

A.D. 15211524. 


part, or on that of your friends, and should fall into 
our enemies' hands. Get the Gospel I send you 
copied out ; my writing must not be recognized." 
" It had been my intention to dedicate to my host, 
from this my Patmos, a book on the Traditions of 
men, as he had asked me for information on the 
subject ; but I was restrained through fear of thus 

disclosing the place of my captivity. I have had 

great difficulty to get this letter forwarded to you, 
such is the fear of my present retreat's being found 
out." (June, 1521.) " The priests and monks who 
played off their pranks whilst I was at large, have 
become so alarmed since I have been a prisoner, 
that they begin to soften the preposterous tales 
they have propagated about me. They can no 
longer bear up against the pressure of the increasing 
crowd, and yet see no avenue by which to escape. 
See you not the arm of the Almighty of Jacob in 
all that he works, whilst we are silent and rest in 
patience and in prayer ! Is not the saying of 
Moses herein verified, ' Vos tacebitis, et Dominus 
pugnabitpro vobis 1 (The Lord shall fight for you, and 
ye shall hold your peace). One of those of Rome 
writes to a pewit * of M entz, Luther is lost just as 
we could wish, but such is the excitement of the 
people, that I fear we shall hardly be able to escape 
with life, except we search for him with lighted 
candles, and bring him back." Luther dates his 
letters, From the region of the clouds ; From tlie re- 
gion of the birds; or else, From amidst the birds 
singing sweetly on tJte branches, and lauding God day 
and night, with all their strength ; or again, From the 
mountain ; From the island of Patmos. It is from 
this, his wilderness (ex eremo mea) that he pours 
forth in his sad and eloquent letters the thoughts 
which crowd upon him in his solitude. " What 
art thou doing at this moment, my Philip ?" he 
says to Melanchthon ; " art thou not praying for 
me ? For my part, seated in contemplation the 
live-long day, 1 figure to myself the image of the 
Church, whilst the words of the eighty-ninth 
Psalm are ever present to me, ' Nunquid vane con- 
stituisti omnes filios hominum?' (Wherefore hast 
thou made all men in vain ?) God ! what a hor- 
rible spectre of God's wrath is this abominable 
reign of the antichrist of Rome ! I hate the hardness 
of my heart which does not dissolve in torrents of 
tears, mourning over the sons of my murdered 
people. Not one is found to rise up, take his stand 
on God's side, or make himself a rampart unto the 
house of Israel, in this last day of wrath ? Oh, 
papal reign, worthy of the lees of ages ! God have 
mercy upon us !" (May 12th.) 

" When I revolve these horrible times of wrath, 
my sole desire is to find in my eyes floods of tears 
to bewail the desolation of souls brought on by this 
kingdom of sin and of perdition. The monster sits 
at Rome, in the midst of the Church, and gives 
himself out for God. Prelates flatter, sophists 
offer him incense, and there is nothing which the 
hypocrites will not do for him. Meanwhile, hell 
makes merry, and opens its immense jowl : Satan 
revels in the perdition of souls. For me, I sit the 
day long, drinking and doing nothing. I read the 
Bible in Greek and in Hebrew. I shall write 
something in German on the liberty of auricular 

1 This name, applied to one of the dignitaries of the 
Church, reminds one of Rabelais' marvellous birds, the 
papegots, evegots (pope-jays, bishop-jays), &c. 

confession. I shall also continue the Psalter, and 
the Commentaries (Postillas), as soon as the mate- 
rials I require are sent me from Wittemberg, 
among others, the Magnificat, which I have begun" 
(May 24th). This melancholy solitude was full of 
temptations and troubles for Luther. He writes 
to Melanchthon, *' Your letter has displeased me on 
two grounds : firstly, because I see that you bear 
your cross with impatience, give too much way to 
the affections, and obey the tenderness of your na- 
ture ; and, secondly, because you elevate me too 
high, and fall into the serious error of decking me 
out with various excellencies, as if I were absorbed 
in God's cause. This high opinion of yours con- 
founds and racks me, when I see myself insensible, 
hardened, sunk in idleness ; O grief ! seldom in 
prayer, and not venting one groan over God's 
church. What do I say ? my unsubdued flesh 
burns me with a devouring fire. In short, I who 
was to have been eaten up with the spirit, am de- 
voured by the flesh, by luxury, indolence, idleness, 
somnolency. Is it that God has turned away from 
me, because you no longer pray for me ? You 
must take my place ; you, richer in God's gifts, and 
more acceptable in his sight. Here is a week 
slipped away since I have put pen to paper, since I 
have prayed or studied, either vexed by fleshly 
cares, or by other temptations. If things do not 
go on better, I will to Erfurth without any at- 
tempt at concealment, for 1 must consult physi- 
cians or surgeons." At this time he was ill, and 
undergoing great pain ; but he describes his 
malady in too simple, rather gross terms, for 
us to translate them. His spiritual sufferings, 
however, were still more acute and were deeper 
seated (July 13th). " When I left Worms in 1521, 
was seized near Eisenach, and resided in my Pat- 
mos, the castle of Wartburg, I was in an apart- 
ment far from the world, and no one could approach 
me save two noble youths, who brought me my 
meals twice a day. They had bought me a bag of 
nuts, which I put in a chest. In the evening, when 
I had gone to bed in the adjoining room and had 
put out the light, I thought I heard the nuts 
rattling against each other and clicking against my 
bed. I did not trouble myself about the matter; 
but was awaked some time afterwards by a great 
noise on the staircase, as if a hundred barrels were 
being rolled from top to bottom. Yet, I knew 
that the staircase was so secured by chains and an 
iron door, that no one could ascend. I got up to 
see what it was, and called out, ' Is it you ?'.... 
Well! so be it. . . And I recommended myself to 
the Lord Christ, of whom iS is written, Omnia 
subjecisti pedibus ejus (Thou hast put all things 
under his feet), as it is said in the eighth psalm, 
and returned to my bed. Then, John von Ber- 
blibs' wife came to Eisenach, suspecting me to be 
in the castle and wishing to see me; but the thing 
was impossible. They put me in another part of 
the castle, and the lady in the room I had oc- 
cupied ; and so great was the uproar she heard in 
the night, that she thought there were a thousand 
devils there." 

Luther found few books at Wartburg. He set 
ardently about the study of Greek and Hebrew ; 
and busied himself with replying to Latomus's 
book, which he describes as " so prolix, and so ill- 
written." He translated into German Melauch- 
thon's Apology, in reply to the Paris doctoi-s, and 



A.D. 1521 1524. 

dded a commentary to it. He displayed, indeed, 
extraordinary activity, and, from his mountain 
height, inundated Germany with his writings : ' I 
have published a small work in reply to that 
of Catharinus, on Antichrist, a treatise in German 
on Confession, an explanation of the Ixvii. Psalm in 
German, an explanation of the song of the blessed 
Virgin Mary, in German, an explanation of the 
xxxvii. Psalm in German, and a letter of comfort 
to the church of Wittemberg. I have in the press 
a commentary in German, on the epistles and 
gospels for the year ; I have also finished a public 
reprimand to the cardinal of Mentz, for the idol of 
indulgences which he has just set up in Halle, and 
an explanation of the miracle of the ten lepers- 
all in German. I was born for my Germans, and 
will serve them. I had begun from the pulpit at 
Wittemberg, a popular exposition of both Testa- 
ments, and had reached the xxxii. chapter of 
Genesis in the Old, and the coming of St. John the 
Baptist in the New; there I was stopped" (No- 
vember 1st). " I am all of a tremble, and troubled 
in conscience because, yielding at Worms to your 
advice and that of your friends, I allowed the 
spirit to wax weak within me, instead of showing 
an Elias to those idols. Let me but once again 
find myself in their presence, and they shall hear a 
far different tale " (September 9th). The allusion 
to the archbishop of Mentz, in the letter just 
quoted, deserves explanation. It is curious to note 
the energy exhibited by Luther in this transaction, 
and how he treats the powers, the cardinal arch- 
bishop, and the elector himself, as their master. 
Spalatin had written to beg him to suppress his 
public reprimand to the archbishop. Luther re- 
plies, " I think I never received a letter so dis- 
tasteful to me as your last. Not only have I 
deferred answering it, but I had even made up my 
mind not to answer it. In the first place, I will 
not endure your telling me, that the prince will not 
allow of any writing against the people of Mentz, and 
of the public peace being disturbed. I would annihilate 
(perdam) you all sooner, you, the archbishop, and 
every living being. You say, rightly enough, that the 
public peace ought not to be disturbed; and you will 
allow God's eternal peace to be disturbed by such 
impious and sacrilegious works of perdition 1 Not 
so, Spalatin, not so, prince; for Christ's sheep's sake 
will I resist with all my strength this devouring 
wolf, as 1 have resisted others. I send you a book 
against him ; it was all ready when I received your 
letter, which has not induced me to change a 
word in it. I must submit it, however, to Philip 
(Melanchthon) who is to make such alterations as 
he may think proper. Beware of not forwarding it 
to Philip, or of seeking to dissuade him ; the thing 
is settled, you will not be listened to " (November 

Some days afterwards, he writes to the bishop 
himself " This first and faithful exhortation ,which 
I addressed to your electoral grace, having brought 
npon me your jeers and ingratitude, I addressed 
you a second time, offering to receive your instruc- 
tion and advice. What was your grace's answer ? 
churlish and rude, unworthy of a bishop and of 
a Christian. Now, though my two letters have 
been thrown away, I will not be disheartened, but, 
in obedience to the gospel, will address your grace 
a third warning. You have just set up again at 
Halle the idol which beguiles good and simple 

Christians of their money and their souls, and you 
have thus publicly avowed that all which Tetzel did 
was done in concert with the archbishop of Mentz. 

This same God still lives, doubt it not, and 

can still withstand a cardinal of Mentz, though the 
latter had four emperors on his side. It is His 
pleasure to break the cedars, and to lower haughty 
and hardened Pharaohs. I beseech your grace not 
to tempt this God. Did you think that Luther was 
dead ? Believe it not. He is protected by that 
God, who has already humbled the pope, and is 
ready to begin such a game with the archbishop of 

Mentz, few have any idea of. Given 

from my wilderness, the Sunday after St. Catherine's 
day (November 25, 1521). Your well-wisher and 
servant, MARTIN LUTHER." 

To this, the cardinal replied humbly, and with 
his own hand : " Dear Doctor, I have received 
your letter, dated the Sunday after St. Catherine's 
day, and have read it with all good-will and friend- 
ship. Still, its contents surprise me, as the matter 
which led you to write has been remedied long 
ago. Henceforward I will conduct myself,withGod's 
aid, as it becomes a pious Christian, and ecclesias- 
tical prince. I acknowledge that I stand in need 
of God's grace, and that I am a poor mortal, a 
sinner, and fallible, sinning and deceiving himself 
daily. I know that without God's grace there is no 
good in me, and that of myself I am but a worthless 
dunghill. Such is my answer to your friendly 
exhortation, for I entertain every desire to do you 
all manner of grace and good. I cheerfully bear 
with a fraternal and Christian reprimand, and I 
hope that the God of mercy will endow me with 
his grace and strength, so that I may live accord- 
ing to his will in this and all other things. Given at 
Halle, St. Thomas's day (December 21st, 1521). 
Albertus, manu propria." 

The archbishop's chaplain and adviser, Fabricius 
Capito, in an answer to Luther's letter, had found 
fault with his asperity, and had said that the great 
ought to be tenderly treated, excuses made for 
them, and, at times, their faults even winked at. . . 
Luther replies: "You require gentleness and cir- 
cumspection; I understand you. But is there any 
thing in common between the Christian and the 
hypocrite? The Christian faith is a public and 
sincere faith; it sees and proclaims things as they 
really are .... My own opinion is, that every 
thing should be unmasked, that there should be no 
tenderness, no excuses, no shutting one's eyes to 
any thing, so that the truth may remain pure, 
visible, and open to the inspection of all. . . . 
Jeremiah (ch. xl.) has these words: ' Cursed be he 
that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully.' It is one 
thing, my dear Fabricius, to laud and to extenuate 
vice; another, to cure it by goodness and mildness. 
Above all, it behoveth to proclaim aloud what 
is just and unjust, and then, when the hearer is 
deeply impressed by our teaching, to welcome him 
and cheer him, despite the backslidings into which 
he may still lapse. ' Him that is weak in the faith re- 
ceive ye,' says St. Paul. ... I hope that I cannot 
be reproached with ever having failed in charity 
or patience towards the weak. ... If your cardinal 
had written his letter in the sincerity of his heart, 
O, my God, with what joy, what humility, would I 
not fall at his feet! How unworthy should I not 
esteem myself to kiss the dust beneath them ! For 
am I aught else than dust and ordure ? Let him 

A.D. 15211524. 


receive God's word, and I will be unto him as a 
faithful arid lowly servant. ... As regards those 
who persecute and condemn that word, the highest 
charity consists precisely in withstanding in every 
way their sacrilegious furies. . . . Think you to 
find Luther a man who will consent to shut his 
eyes, if he be only cajoled a little ?. . . . Dear 
Fabricius, I ought to give you a .harsher answer 

than the present My love inclines me to die 

for you, but whoso touches my faith touches the 
apple of my eye. Laugh at or prize lore as you like, 
but faith, the word you should adore and look 
upon as the holy of holies: this is what we require 
of you. Expect all from our love ; but fear, dread 
our faith. ... I forbear replying to the cardinal 
himself, since I am at a loss how to write to him 
without approving or blaming his sincerity or his 
hypocrisy: he must hear what Luther thinks 
through you. . . . From my wilderness, St. Antony's 
day" (January 17th, 1522). 

The preface which he prefixed to his explanation 
of the miracle of the lepers, and which he address- 
ed to several of his friends, may be quoted here: 
"Poor brother that I am! Here have I again 
lighted a great fire; have again bitten a good hole 
in the pocket of the papists; have attacked con- 
fession ! What is now to be done with me \ Where 
will they find sulphur, bitumen, iron, and wood 
enough to reduce this pestilent heretic to ashes. It 
will be necessary at the least to take the windows 
out of the churches, in order that the holy priests 
may find room for their preachings on the Gospel ; 
id est, for their reproaches and furious vociferations 
against Luther. What else will they preach to the 
poor people I Each must preach what he can and 
what he knows . . . ' Kill, kill, they call out, kill this 
heresiarch, who seeks to overthrow the whole eccle- 
siastical polity, who seeks to fire all Christendom.' 
I hope that I may be found worthy of their pro- 
ceeding to this extreme, and that they will heap 
upon me the measure of their fathers. But it is 
not yet time; my hour is not yet come; I must first 
exasperate still more this race of vipers, so as to 
deserve to find death at their hands.". . . . Being 
hindered from plunging into the mellay, he exhorts 
Melanchthon from the depths of his retirement: 
" Though I should perish it would be no loss to the 
Gospel, for you are now going beyond me; you are 
the Elisha who succeeds Elijah, and is invested with 
double grace. Be not cast down, but sing at night 
the hymn to the Lord which I have given to you, 
and I will sing it likewise, having no other thought 
than for the word. Let him who is in the dark, 
be in the dark; let him who is perishing, perish; 
provided they cannot complain that we have failed 
in our duty " (May 26th, 1521). He was next 
pressed to solve a question which he had himself 
raised, and which could not be decided by theologi- 
cal controversies that relating to conventual vows. 
The monks, from every quarter, desired the word 
that was to release them from their solitary cells, 
and Melanchthon shrunk from taking the respon- 
sibility upon himself; even Luther approaches the 
subject with hesitation: " You have not yet con- 
vinced me that the priestly and monastic vow are 
to be regarded in the same light. I cannot but feel 
that the sacerdotal order, instituted by God, is free, 
but not the monastic; whose votaries have chosen 
their state and voluntarily offered themselves to 
God. I do not hesitate to say that such as have 

not attained, or who have just arrived at mar- 
riageable age, and who have entered these cut-throat 
dens, need have no scruple in leaving them; but 1 
dare not say the same for those who are advanced 
in years, or who have long embraced the state. 
However, as Paul, speaking of priests, gives a very 
comprehensive decision, saying that it is the devil 
who has interdicted them marriage, and as the 
voice of Paul is the voice of the Majesty of 
Heaven, I nothing doubt that we ought openly to 
abide by the same; and so, although when they took 
the vow they bound themselves by this prohibi- 
tion of the devil's, yet, now that they know to what 
they have bound themselves, they may confidently 
unbind themselves (August 1st). For my own 
part, I have often dissolved, without any scruple, 
vows contracted before the age of twenty, and 
would still dissolve such, because every one must 
see that they have been contracted without deliber- 
ation or knowledge. But those whose vows I so 
dissolved had not yet changed their state or habit; 
as to such as have already discharged in their 
monasteries the functions of the sacrifice, I have 
as yet dared nothing. The vain beliefs of men 
still overshadow and perplex me" (August 6th, 
1521). Sometimes, he feels more confident and 
speaks out plainly: " As to monastic and priestly 
vows, Philip and I have conspired in right earnest 
to annihilate them. . . . Every day brings me such 
fresh proofs of the monstrosities arising from the 
accursed celibacy of the young of both sexes, that 
no words are more odious to my ears than the 
names of nun, monk, priest; and marriage seems to 
me a paradise even in the depths of poverty" 
(November 1st). 

In his preface to his work, De Votis Monasticis, 
written in the form of a letter to his father (No- 
vember 21st, 1521), Luther says : . ..." I did 
not turn monk voluntarily. Terrified by a sudden 
apparition, surrounded by death, and conceiving 
myself summoned by Heaven, I made an incon- 
siderate and forced vow. When I told you this, 
you answered, ' God send it be not a visioji of the 
devil's raising!' These words, as if God had 
spoken by your lips, sank deeply into me; but I 
shut my heart, as much as I could, against you 
and your words. In like manner, when I sub- 
sequently objected your anger to you, you returned 
me an answer which struck me as no other speech 
has struck me, and which has remained graven on 
my heart. You said to me, ' Have you not also 
heard that you should obey your parents ? ' But 
I was obdurate in my devotional intent, and 
hearkened to what you said as being only of man. 
Still, at the bottom of my soul I could never 
despise these words." ... "I remember that when 
I had taken my vows, my father by the flesh, who 
was at first highly irritated, exclaimed when he 
was appeased, ' Heaven grant it be not a trick of 
Satan's!' a saying which has struck such deep 
root in my heart, that I never heard any thing 
from his mouth which I remember more tena- 
ciously. Methinks God spoke by his lips." (Sep- 
tember 9th.) He advises Wenceslaus Link to 
allow the monks to quit their convents as they 
liked: " I am certain that you will neither do nor 
suffer any thing to be done contrary to the Gospel, 
though the annihilation of all monasteries were to 
follow. I do not like the tumultuous rush out 
that I have heard of. .... Yet I do not think 



A.D. 15211524. 

it good and convenient to call them back, although 
they have not acted well and suitably. You must, 
after the example of Cyrus, in Herodotus, allow 
those to leave who wish; but neither forcibly expel 

nor retain any one " He displayed similar 

tolerance when the inhabitants of Erfurth pro- 
ceeded to acts of violence against the Catholic 
priests. At Wittemberg, Carlstadt soon fulfilled and 
even exceeded Luther's instructions. " Good God!" 
exclaims the latter, in a letter to Spalatin, " will 
our Wittemberg folk make even the monks marry! 
For my part, they will not get me to take a wife. 
Be on your guard against marrying, that you may 
not fall into the tribulation of the flesh." (August 

This hesitation and those precautions are clear 
proofs that Luther rather followed than led the 
movement, which was hurrying all minds out of 
the ancient ways. "Origen," he writes to Spa- 
latin, " had a separate lecture for the women; why 
should not Melanchthon try something of the kind? 
He can and ought, for the people are athirst and 
a-hungered. I am exceedingly anxious also that 
Melanchthon should preach somewhere, publicly, 
in the town, on holydays, after dinner, to supplant 
gaming and drinking. One would thus learn to 
restore liberty, and to fashion it on the model of 
the ancient Church. For if we have broken with 
all human laws and shaken off the yoke, shall we 
stop at Melanchthon's not being shorn and anointed, 
at his being married? He is veritable priest, and 
discharges the priest's office; except that office be 
not the teaching of the word. Otherwise, no more 
will Christ be priest, since he sometimes teaches 
in the synagogues, sometimes on board ship, some- 
times on the sea-shore, sometimes on the mountain: 
he has filled every part, in every place, at every 
hour, without ceasing to be himself. Melanchthon, 
too, should read the gospel to the people in Ger- 
man, as he has begun to read it ha Latin, in order 
that he may thus gradually qualify himself for 
a German bishop, as he has become a Latin 
bishop." (September 9th.) Meanwhile, the emperor 
being taken up with the wars with the French 
king, the elector gained confidence, and allowed 
Luther a little more liberty : " I have gone 
hunting these two days, in order to see what this 
y\vKviriKpov (sweet-bitter) sport of heroes is like. 
We caught two hares, and some poor wretched 
partridges: a fitting occupation for idle men. I 
theologized, however, in the midst of the nets and 
dogs : as much pleasure as the sight gave me, just 
as much was it for me a mystery of pity and of 
pain. What does the amusement image forth ex- 
cept the devil with his impious doctors as dogs; 
that is to say, the bishops and theologians who 
hunt these innocent little beasts. I was deeply 
sensible of the sad mystery shadowed forth in 
these simple and faithful animals. Take another 
more atrocious picture. We had saved a leveret 
alive. I had covered it up in the sleeve of my 
gown ; but leaving it for a moment, the dogs found 
the poor thing, and broke its right leg and strangled 
it through the gown. It is thus that the pope and 
Satan rage to ruin even the souls that are saved. 
In short, I am sick of this sport. Methinks I 
should prefer piercing with darts and arrows 
bears, wolves, wild-boars, foxes, and the whole 

tribe of wicked doctors 1 write thus lightly 

to teach you courtiers, devourers of beasts, that 

you will be beasts in your turn in Paradise, where 
Christ, the great hunter, will know how to take 
and encage you. 'Tis you who are the sport while 
you are enjoying the sport of hunting." (August 
the 15th.) All things considered, Luther was not 
dissatisfied with his residence at Wartburg, 
where, in his liberal treatment, he recognized the 
elector's hand. "The owner of this place treats 
me much better than I deserve." (June 10th.) 
" I do not want to be a burthen to any one. But 
I am convinced that I live here at the expense of 
our prince, otherwise I would not stay an hour 
longer. You know that if any one's money should 
be spent, it is that of princes." (August 15th.) 

At the close of November, 1521, his desire to see 
and exhort his disciples led him to make a short 
excursion to Wittemberg; but he took care that the 
elector should know nothing of it. " I conceal," he 
writes to Spalatin, " both my journey and my re- 
turn from him. For what reason ? You know it 
well enough." 

This reason was, the alarming character assumed 
by the Reformation in the hands of Carlstadt, of 
theological demagogues, of breakers of images, 
Anabaptists, and others, who began to start up. 
" I have seen the prince of those prophets, Glaus- 
Stork, stalking about with the air and in the attire 
of those soldiers whom we call lanzkneckt; there was 
another, too, in a long gown, and Doctor Gerard, of 
Cologne. Stork seems to me carried away by a 
fickleness of mind, which will not allow him to de- 
pend on his own opinions. But Satan makes him- 
self sport with these men." (September 4th, 1522.) 
Still, Luther did not attach any great importance to 
this movement: " I quit not my retreat," he writes, 
" I budge not for these prophets, for they little 
move me.'' (January 17th, 1522.) He charged 
Melanchthon to try them; and it was on this occasion 
that he addressed to him the following fine letter: 
(January 13th, 1522): " If you wish to put their 
inspiration to the proof, ask them whether they 
have experienced those spiritual agonies and those 

divine births, those deaths and those hells 

If you hear only of sweet, and peaceful, and devout 
things (as they say), albeit they should profess to be 
caught up to the third heaven, sanction nothing of 
the kind. The sign of the Son of Man is wanting 
the pdoavog (touchstone), the sole proof of Chris- 
tians, the rule which distinguishes minds. Do you 
wish to know the place, the manner, and the time of 
divine colloquies ? Listen : ' As a lion, so will he 
break all my bones,' &c. ' Why easiest thou off my 
soul 1 why hidest thou thy face from me ? ' &c. ' The 
sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell 
gat hold upon me.' The Majesty of Heaven does not 
speak, as they pretend, immediately, and in sight of 
man: nay, ' No man shall see me and live.' There- 
fore, He speaketh by the mouth of men; because we 
cannot all receive His word. The Virgin even was 
troubled at the sight of an angel. Hearken, also, to 
the cry of Daniel and of Jeremiah : ' Correct me, but 
with judgment, not in thine anger.' " On January 
l?th he writes: 'Take care that our prince does 
not stain his hands with the blood of these new 
prophets. You must fight with the word alone, 

! conquer with the word alone, destroy with the word 

! what they have raised by force and violence 

i I condemn solely by the word: let him who belie veth 
believe and follow; let the unbeliever continue in 

| his unbelief and go his way. No one must be forced 

A.D. 15211524. 


unto the faith or the things of the faith, but be pre- 
vailed upon by the word. I condemn images, but 
by the word; not that they may be burnt, but that 
no trust may be put in them." 

But things were taking place in Wittemberg 
which would not suffer Luther to remain longer in 
his dungeon. He set off without asking the elector's 
leave. A curious account of his journey is given by 
one of the historians of the Reformation: 

"John Kessler, a young theologian of Saint-Gall, 
on his way with a friend to Wittemberg to finish 
his studies there, fell in one evening in an inn near 
the gates of Jena with Luther, who wore a riding 
dress. They did not know him. The horseman 
had a little book before him, which, as they saw 
afterwards, was the Psalter in Hebrew. He saluted 
them politely, and invited them to seat themselves 
at his table. In the course of conversation, he in- 
quired what was thought of Luther in Switzerland ? 
Kessler replied, that some did not know how to laud 
him enough, and thanked God for having sent him 
on earth to exalt the truth ; whilst others, and espe- 
cially the priests, denounced him as a heretic who 
was not to be spared. From something which the 
innkeeper said to the young travellers, they took him 
to be Ulrich von Hutten. Two traders came in. One 
of them drew from his pocket, and put on the table 
by him, a newly-printed work of Luther's, in sheets, 
and asked if they had seen it. Luther said a few 
words about the indifference towards serious matters 
manifested by the princes at that time assembled at 
the diet of Nuremberg. He also expressed his 
hopes ' that the Gospel truth would bear more fruit 
in succeeding generations, which should not have 
been poisoned by the Papal error.' One of the 
traders said, ' I am unskilled hi these questions; 
but, to my mind, Luther must either be an angel 
from heaven or a devil from hell; at all events, I 
will spend the last ten florins that I have saved up 
in going to confess to him.' This conversation took 
place during supper. Luther had settled before- 
hand with the hosteller to pay the reckoning of the 
whole company. When the party broke up, Luther 
shook hands with the two Swiss (the traders had 
been called away by their business), and begged 
them to bear his remembrances to Doctor Jerome 
Schurff, their countryman, as soon as they reached 
Wittemberg. And when they enquired whose re- 
membrances it was they were to bear, he replied: 
' Simply tell him that he who is to come salutes 
him; he will be sure to understand from whom the 
message comes.' When the traders returned, and 
learnt that it was Luther with whom they had been 
talking, they were in despair that they had not 
known it sooner, that they had not shown him more 
respect, and had spoken so sillily before him. The 
following morning they were up betimes, on purpose 
to see him before he left, and to tender him their 
most humble excuses. Luther only owned to its 
being himself by implication." 

On his road to Wittemberg he wrote to the 
elector, who had forbade him to leave Wartburg: 
" . . . . I do not hold the Gospel of men, but of 
Heaven, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and 1 might well 
have called myself his servant, and assumed the 
name of evangelist, as I intend doing henceforward. 
If I have sought to be examined, it is not that I 
doubted the goodness of my cause, but through de- 
ference and humility alone. Now, seeing that this 
excess of humility only depreciates the Gospel, and 

| that the devil, if I yield an inch of ground, seeks to 
I take possession of the whole, my conscience com- 
pels me to act differently. It is enough that, to 
pleasure your electoral grace, I have spent a year 
in retirement. Well does the devil know that this 
was through no fears of mine. He saw my heart 
when I entered Worms. Had that town been filled 
with devils I would joyfully have flung myself into 
it. Now, duke George cannot even pass for a devil ; 
and I leave it to your electoral grace whether it 
would not be offensive to the Father of all mercy, 
who bids us put our trust in Him, to fear the anger 
of this duke ? Did God summon me to Leipsic, his 
capital, as He summons me to Wittemberg, I 
would thither (forgive the silly expression) though 
it should rain Duke Georges nine days on end, and 
each nine times more furious than he. . . . He 
takes Jesus Christ, then, for a man of straw. The 
Lord may bear with this for a time, but not always. 
No more will I conceal from your electoral grace 
that I have more than once besought God with tears 
to be' pleased to enlighten the duke; and I will do 
so once more with all zeal, but it shall be for the 
last time. I also beg your grace's own prayers, 
and that you would order prayers to be put up, to 
the end that we may turn away from him, if God so 
please, that fearful judgment which, alas ! threatens 
him each day more nearly. I write this to apprize 
you that I am on my way to Wittemberg, under 
higher protection than that of the elector; so that I 
have no intention of asking your grace's support. 
Nay, I even believe that I shall be a better protec- 
tion to the elector than the elector to me; and did 
I think that I had to trust to him I should stay my 
steps. The sword is powerless here. God must 
act, without man's interference. He, in whom faith 
most abounds, will be the most efficacious protector; 
and, as I feel your grace's faith to be still weak, I 
can by no means recognize hi you him who is to 
protect and save me. Your electoral grace asks me 
what you are to do under these circumstances, 
thinking you have done little hitherto ? I answer, 
with all submission, that your grace has done only 
too much, and that you should do nothing. God 
desireth not all this uneasiness and turmoil about 
His cause; but that we should trust in Him alone. 
If your grace entertain this faith you will reap 
peace and security; if not, I at least will rest in 
faith, and shall be obliged to leave to your grace the 
torment with which God punishes unbelievers. 
Since, then, I decline complying with your grace's 
exhortations, you will be justified before God if I 
am taken or am put to death. And, before men, 
it is my wish your grace should act as follows: 
That you be obedient to authority like a good 
elector, allow the emperor to rule in his states con- 
formably with the laws of the empire, and forbear 
from resisting any power which shall attack my 
liberty or my life; for no one ought to disarm au- 
thority or resist it, save Him who has instituted it; 
else 'tis revolt, and against God. I only hope that 
they will have sense enough to discern that your 
electoral grace is too high in place to turn my 
gaoler; so that, if you leave the doors open and in- 
sist on the recognition of the safe-conduct, should 
they come to seize me, you will have satisfied the 
calls of obedience. On the contrary, if they are 
unreasonable enough to order your grace yourself 
to lay hands on me, I will so manage that you shall 
suffer on my account no prejudice in body, goods, 



A.n. 15211524. 

or soul. I will explain myself, if necessary, more 
at length another time. I forward this, for fear of 
your grace's being distressed at hearing of my ar- 
rival; for, as a Christian, I ought to comfort every 
one and harm none. If your grace had faith, you 
would behold the wondrous doings of God; but if 
you yet have it not, you have yet seen nothing. Let 
us love and glorify God for ever. Amen. Written 
at Borna, with my guide by me, Ash Wednesday, 
(March 5th,) 1522. Your electoral grace's most 
humble servant, MARTIN LUTHER." 

(March 7th.) The elector had requested Luther 
to explain to him his reasons for returning to Wit- 
temberg, in a letter which might be shown to the 
emperor. Luther, in his letter, gives three reasons: 
The urgent entreaties of the Church of Wittem- 
berg; the confusion that had arisen in his flock; 
and, thirdly, the desire to hinder, as far as in him 
lies, the outbreaks which he considers to be immi- 

"... My second reason for returning," he 
writes, " is, that during my absence Satan has 
entered my sheepfold, and has committed ravages 
which I can only repair by my own presence and 
lively word ; writing would have been useless. 
My conscience would not allow me to delay longer; 
I was bound to disregard not only your highness's 
favour or disfavour, but the whole world's wrath. 
It was my flock, the flock entrusted to me by 
God, my children in Christ Jesus ; I could not 
hesitate a moment I am bound to suffer death 
for them, and would cheerfully lay down my life, 
with God's grace, even as it is asked by Jesus 
Christ (St. John x. 11). Could my pen have 
remedied the mischief, wherefore should I have 
come ? Why not, if my presence were unneces- 
sary, have made up my mind to quit Wittemberg 
for ever ?" . . In the same month, soon after his 
return to Wittemberg, Luther writes to his friend 
Hartmuth von Kronberg. "... Satan, wlto is ever 
busy amongst the children of God, as Job says 
(i. 6, 7), has just done us all, and me in particular, 
a grievous mischief. Not all my enemies, however 
near they have often been to me, have ever struck 
me such a blow as I have sustained at the hands 
of my friends. I am forced to own that the 
smoke from this fire offends alike my eyes and 
heart. ' 'Tis by attacking him on this side,' Satan 
has said to himself, ' that I can prostrate Luther's 
courage, and overcome his stubborn mind. This 
time he will not escape me.' . . . Perhaps God 
designs to punish me by this stroke for having 
repressed the spirit within me at Worms, and 
spoken too gently to the tyrants. The pagans, 
it is true, have since then accused me of having 
shown pride. They know not what faith is. I 
yielded to the entreaties of my good friends, who 
would not have me appear too unpolished ; but 
I have often repented of this deference and 
humility. . . I myself no longer know Luther, and 
wish not to know him. What I preach comes not 
from him, but from Jesus Christ. Let the devil 
fly away with Luther if he can, I care not, so 
long as he leaves Jesus Christ reigning in all 

About the middle of this year, Luther broke out 
with the greatest violence against princes. A 
great number of princes and bishops (amongst the 
est, duke George), had just prohibited the trans- 
lation which he was then publishing of the Bible; and 

the price was returned to such as had purchased it. 
Luther boldly took up the gauntlet so thrown down: 
" We have reaped the first fruits of victory, and 
have triumphed over the papal tyranny, which had 
weighed down kings and princes; how much easier 
will it not be to bring the princes themselves to 
their senses ! . . . I greatly fear troubles arising, 
if they continue to hearken to that silly-pated duke 
George, which will bring ruin on princes and 
magistrates, over all Germany; and, at the same 
time, involve the clergy in a similar fate. Such 
is my view of the aspect of affairs. The people are 
agitated in all directions, and on the look-out. They 
will, they can no longer suffer themselves to be 
oppressed. This is the Lord's doing. He shuts 
the eyes of the princes to these menacing symptoms, 
and 'will bring the whole to a consummation, by 
their blindness and their violence. Methinks I see 
Germany swimming in blood! I tell them that the 
sword of civil war is hanging suspended over their 
heads. They are doing their utmost to ruin Luther, 
and Luther does his utmost to save them. De- 
struction is yawning, not for Luther, but for them ; 
and they draw nigh of themselves, instead of 
shrinking back. I believe the Spirit now speaks in 
me; and that if the decree of wrath goes forth in 
heaven, and neither prayer nor wisdom can avail, 
we shall obtain that our Josiah sleep in peace, and 
the world be left to itself in its Babylon. Although 
hourly exposed to death, in the midst of my 
enemies, and without any human aid, I have yet 
never so despised anything in my life as these 
stupid threats of prince George's and his fellows. 
The Spirit, doubt it not, will master duke George 
and his comrades in folly. I have written all this 
to you fasting, and at a very early hour, with my 
heart filled with pious confidence. My Christ lives 
andreigns; and I shall live and reign" (Marchl9th). 

About the same time, Henry VIII. published the 
work which he had got his chaplain Edward Lee to 
write, and in which he announced himself the 
champion of the church. 

" This work betrays royal ignorance, but a viru- 
lence and mendacity as well, which are wholly 
Lee's " (July 22nd). Luther's reply came out the 
following year, and exceeded in violence even all 
that might have been expected from his writings 
against the pope. Never had any private man, 
before him, addressed a monarch in such contemp- 
tuous and audacious terms: 

" To the words of fathers, men, angels, devils, I 
oppose, not ancient usage, or a multitude of men, but 
the word alone of the Eternal Majesty the Gos- 
pel which they themselves are forced to recognize. 
On this, I take my stand ; this is my glory, my 
triumph ; and from this, I mock popes, Thomists, 
Henricists, sophists, and all the gates of hell. I 
care little about the words of men, whatever their 
sanctity, and as little for tradition and deceitful 
usage. God's word is above all. If I have the 
Divine Majesty with me, what signifies all the rest, 
even if a thousand Austin friars, a thousand Cy- 
prians, a thousand of Henry's churches, were to 
rise up against me ? God cannot err, or be de- 
ceived ; Angustin and Cyprian, as well as all the 
elect, can err, and have erred. The mass conquered, 
we have, I opine, conquered the popedom. The 
mass was as it were the rock on which the popedom, 
with its monasteries, episcopacies, colleges, altars, 
ministers, and doctrines, on which, in fine, its whole 

A.D. 15211524. 


paunch was founded. All this will topple down 
along with the abomination of their sacrilegious 
mass. In Christ's cause I have trodden under foot 
the idol of the Roman abomination, which had 
seated itself in God's place, and had become mis- 
tress of kings, and of the world. Who then is this 
Henry, this new Thomist, this disciple of the mon- 
ster, that I should respect his blasphemies and his 
violence ? He is the defender of the Church ; yes, 
of his own church, which he exalts so high, of the 
whore who lives in purple, drunken with debauch, 
of that mother of fornications. My leader is Christ ; 
and with one and the same blow, I will dash in 
pieces this Church, and its defenders, who are but 
one. My doctrines, I feel convinced, are of heaven. 
I have triumphed with them over him who has 
more strength and craft in his little finger than all 
popes, kings, and doctors, put together. My doc- 
trines will remain, and the pope will fall, notwith- 
standing all the gates of hell, and all the powers of 
the air, the earth, and the sea. They have defied 
me to war ; well, they shall have war. They have 
despised the peace I offered them ; peace shall no 
more be theirs. God will see which of the two will 
first have enough of it, the pope or Luther. Thrice 
have I appeared before them. I entered Worms, 
well aware that Csesar was to violate the public faith 
in my person. Luther, the fugitive, the trembling, 
came to cast himself within the teeth of Behe- 
moth. . . . But they, these terrible giants, has one 
single one of them presented himself for these 
three years at Wittemberg ? And yet they might 
have come in all safety, under the Emperor's gua- 
rantee. The cowards ! Do they dare yet to 
hope for triumph ? They thought that my flight 
would enable them to retrieve their shameful ig- 
nominy. It is now known by all the world ; it is 
known that they have not had the courage to face 
Luther alone" (A. D. 1523). 

He was still more violent in the treatise which 
he published in German on the Secular Power : 
" Princes are of the world, and the world is alien 
from God ; so that they live according to the 
world, and against God's law. Be not surprised 
then by their furious raging against the Gospel, 
for they cannot but follow the laws of their own 
nature. You must know, that from the beginning 
of the world, a wise prince has been rare ; still 
more, an honest and upright prince. They are 
generally great fools, or wicked castaways (maxime 
fatui, pessiml nebulones super terrain). And so the 
worst is always to be expected from them, and 
scarcely ever good ; especially when the salvation 
of souls is concerned. They serve God as lictors 
and executioners, when he desires to chastise the 
wicked. Our God is a powerful King, and must 
have noble, illustrious, rich executioners and lic- 
tors, such as they, and wills them to have riches 
and honours in abundance, and to be feared of all. 
It is his divine pleasure that we style his exe- 
cutioners merciful lords, that we prostrate our- 
selves at their feet, that we be their most humble 
subjects. But these very executioners do not 
push the trick so far, as to desire to become good 
pastors. If a prince be wise, upright, a Christian, 
it is a great miracle, a precious sign of divine 
favour ; for, commonly, it happens as with the 
Jews, to whom God said, ' 1 will give thee a king 
in my anger, and take him away in my wrath' 
(Dabo tibi regem in furore meo, et auferam in in- 

dignatione mea). And look at our Christian 
princes who protect the faith, and devour the 
Turk. . . . Good people, trust not to them. In 
their great wisdom, they are about to do some- 
thing ; they' are about to break their necks, and 
precipitate nations into disasters and misery. . . . 
Now I will make the blind to see, in order that 
they may understand those four words in Psalm 
cvii. Effundit contemptum super principes (He 
poureth contempt on princes). I swear to you 
by God himself, that if you wait for men to 
come and shout in your ears these four words, 
you are lost, even though each of you were 
as powerful as the Turk ; and then it will avail 
you nothing to swell yourselves out and grind 
your teeth. . . Already there are very few princes 
who are not treated as fools and knaves; for the 
plain reason that they show themselves such, and 

the people begin to use their understanding 

Good masters and lords, govern with moderation 
and justice, for your people will not long endure 
your tyranny ; they neither can, nor will. This 
world is no more the world of former days, in 
which you went hunting down men like wild 
beasts." Luther remarks with regard to two 
severe rescripts of the emperor's against him : 
" I exhort every good Christian to pray with me 
for these blind princes, whom God has no doubt 
sent us in his wrath, and not to follow them against 
the Turks. The Turk is ten times more able and 
more religious than our princes. How can these 
wretches, who tempt and blaspheme God so hor- 
ribly, succeed against him ? Does not that 
poor and wretched creature, who is not for one 
moment sure of his life, does not our emperor 
impudently boast that he is the true and sovereign 
defender of the Christian faith ? Holy Scripture 
says that the Christian faith is a rock, against 
which the devil, and death, and every power shall 
be broken ; that it is a divine power, and that 
this divine power can be protected from death by 
a child, whom the slightest touch would throw 
down. God ! how mad is this world ! Here is 
the king of England, who, in his turn, styles him- 
self, Defender of the Faith ! Even the Hungarians 
boast of being the protectors of God, and sing in 
their litanies, ' Ut nos defensores tuos exaudire 
digneris' (Vouchsafe to hear us, thy defenders). . . 
Why are not there princes to protect Jesus Christ 
as well, and others to defend the Holy Ghost ? On 
this fashion, the Holy Trinity and the faith would, 
I conclude, at last be fitly guarded !" . . . (A.D. 

Daring like this alarmed the elector. Luther 
could hardly reassure him : " I call to mind, my 
dear Spalatin, what I wrote from Born to the 
elector, and would to God that, warned by such 
evident signs from God's own hand, you would but 
have faith. Have I not escaped these two years 
from every attempt ? 'Is not the elector not only 
safe, but has he not for this year past seen the rage 
of the princes abated ? It is not hard for Christ to 
protect Christ in this cause of mine ; which the 
elector espoused, induced by God alone. Could I 
devise any means of separating him from this cause, 
without casting shame on the Gospel, I should not 
grudge even my life. Nay, I had made sure that 
before a year was over, they would drag me to the 
stake ; and in this was my hope of his deliverance. 
Since, however, we cannot comprehend or divine 



A.D. 15211524. 

God's designs, we shall ever be perfectly safe if we 
say 'Thy will be done !' And I have no doubt but 
that the prince will be secure from all attack, so 
long as he does not publicly espouse and approve 
our cause. Why is he forced to partake our dis- 
grace ? God only knows ; although it is quite 
certain that this is not to his hurt or danger, but, 
on the contrary, to the great benefit of his salva- 
tion " (October 12th, 1523). 

What constituted Luther's safety, was the 
apparent imminency of a general revolutionary 
movement. The lower classes grumbled. The 
petty nobility, more impatient, took the initiative. 
The rich ecclesiastical principalities lay exposed as 
a prey; and it seemed as if their pillage would be 
the signal for civil war. The catholics themselves 
protested by legal means, against the abuses which 
Luther had pointed out in the church. In March, 
1523, the diet of Nuremberg suspended the execu- 
tion of the imperial edict against Luther, and drew 
up against the clergy the Centum Gravamina (The 
Hundred Grievances). Already the most zealous 
of the princes of the Rhine, Franz von Sickingen, 
had begun the contest between the petty barons and 
princes, by attacking the Palatine. "Matters," 
exclaimed Luther, " are come to a grievous pass. 
Certain signs indicate approaching revolution; and 
I am convinced Germany is threatened either with 
a most cruel war or its last day " (January 16th, 



THE most active and laborious period of Luther's 
life, was that succeeding his return to Wittemberg. 
He was constrained to go on with the Reformation, 
to advance each day on the road he had opened, to 
surmount new obstacles, and yet, from time to time, 
to stop in this work of destruction to reconstruct 
and rebuild as well as he might. His life loses the 
unity it presented at Worms, and in the castle of 
Wartburg. Hurried from his poetic solitude into 
a vortex of the meanest realities, and cast as a prey 
to the world, 'tis to him that all the enemies of Rome 
will apply. All flock to him, and besiege his door 
princes, doctors, or burgesses. He has to reply 
to Bohemians, to Italians, to Swiss, to all Europe. 
Fugitives arrive from every quarter. Indisputably, 
the most embarrassing of these are the nuns who, 
having fled from their convents, and having been 
rejected by their families, apply for an asylum to 
Luther. This man, thirty-six years of age, finds him- 
self obliged to receive these women and maidens, 
and be to them a father. A poor monk, his own 
situation a necessitous one (see, above, c. iv), he 
labours to get some small help for them from the 
parsimonious elector, who is allowing himself to 
die of hunger. To sink into these straits, after hi 
triumph at Worms, was enough to calm the re- 
former's exaltation. 

The answers he returns to the multitude that 
come to consult him, are impressed with a liberality 
of spirit which, afterwards, we shall see him occa- 
sionally lose sight of ; when, raised to be the head 
of an established church, he shall himself ex- 
perience the necessity of staying the movement 
which he had impressed on religious thought. 

First comes the pastor of Zwickau, Hausmann, 
calling on Luther to determine the limits of evan- 
gelical liberty. He. answers : " We grant full 
iberty with regard to the communion in both 
iinds ; but to such as approach becomingly and 
with fear. In all the rest, let us observe the usual 
ritual, let each follow his own lights, and each in- 
terrogate his own conscience, how to answer to 
the Gospel." The Moravian brethren come next, 
the Vaudois of Moravia, (March 26th, 1 522). " The 
sacrament itself," writes Luther to them, " is not so 
indispensable as to render faith and charity super- 
fluous. It is madness to be meddling with these poor 
matters, to the neglect of the precious concerns of 
salvation. Where faith and charity are, there can 
be no sin either in adoring or not adoring. On the 
contrary, where faith and charity are not, there can- 
not but be one enduring sin. If these wranglers 
will not say concomitance, let them say otherwise, 
and give over disputing, since they agree fundamen- 
tally. Faith, charity does not adore (it is the 
worship of saints that is alluded to), because it 
knows that adoration is not commanded, and that 
there is no sin in not adoring. So does it pass at 
liberty through the midst of these people, and re- 
conciles them all, by leaving each to enjoy his own 
opinion. It forbids wrangling with and condemning 
one another, for it hates sects and schisms. I 
would resolve the question of the adoration of God 
in the saints, by saying, that it is altogether in- 
different, and open to individual choice or rejec- 
tion." He expressed himself in regard to this 
latter subject with singular haughtiness : " To my 
own marvel, my opinion of the worship of saints is 
so called for by the whole world, that I feel forced 
to publish it. I had rather the question were 
suffered to rest, for the one reason that it is unne- 
cessary " (May 29th, 1522). " As to the exhibition 
of relics, I think they have already been exhibited 
over and over again, throughout the whole world. 
With respect to purgatory ; it seems to me a very 
doubtful matter. It is probable that, with the 
exception of a small number, all the dead sleep in a 
state of insensibility. I do not suppose purgatory 
to be a determinate spot, as imagined by the so- 
phists. To believe them, all those who are neither 
in heaven nor in hell, are in purgatory. Who 
dare affirm this 1 The souls of the dead may 
sleep between heaven, earth, hell, purgatory, and all 
things, as it happens with the living, in profound 
sleep. ... I take this to be the pain which is 
called the foretaste of hell ; and from which Christ, 
Moses, Abraham, David, Jacob, Job, Hczekiah, 
and many others, suffered such agony. And as 
this is like hell, and yet temporary, whether it take 
place in the body or out of the body, it is purgatory 
to me." (January 13th, 1522.) 

In Luther's hands, confession loses the character 
it had assumed under the Church. It is no longer 
that formidable tribunal which shuts and opens 
heaven. With him, the priest simply places his 
wisdom and his experience at the penitent's ser- 
vice; and from the sacrament which it was, con- 
fession is transformed into a ministry of comfort 
and good advice. " It needeth not, in confession, 
to recapitulate all one's sins; each can tell what he 
likes; we shall stone no one for this; if they confess 
from the bottom of their heart that they are poor 
sinners, we are satisfied. If a murderer said on 
his trial that I had given him absolution, I should 

A.D. 15211524. 



say I know not whether he is absolved, for it is 
not I who confess and absolve, it is Christ. A 
woman at Venice killed, and flung into the water, j 
a young gallant who had slept with her. A monk 
gave her absolution, and then informed against 
her. The woman produced in her defence the | 
monk's absolution. The senate decided that the \ 
monk should be burnt and the woman banished the I 
city. It was a truly wise sentence. But if I gave 
a notification signed with my own hand to an \ 
alarmed conscience, and it were handed to the j 
judge, I might lawfully insist on his giving it up to 
me, as I did with duke George; for he who holds 
another's letters, without a good title to them, is a 
thief." As to mass, from the year 1519, he treats 
its external celebration as a matter of perfect indif- 
ference; writing to Spalatin," You ask me for a model 
form of ceremonial for mass. I implore you not to 
trouble yourself about minutiae of the kind. Pray 
for those whom God shall inspire you to pray for, 
and keep your conscience free on this subject. It 
is not so important a matter as to require us 
to shackle still further by decrees and traditions 
the spirit of liberty: the prevailing traditions that 
overburthen the mass are enough, and more than 
enough." Towards the end of his life, in 1542, lie 
again wrote to the same Spalatin (November 10th): 
" With regard to the elevation of the host, do 
just as it pleases you. I wish no fetters forged on 
indifferent matters. This is the strain in which I 
write, have written, and ever shall write to all who 
worry me on this question." Nevertheless, he 
recognized the necessity of external worship: 
* Albeit ceremonies are not necessary to salvation, 
nevertheless they make an impression on rude 
minds. I allude mainly to the ceremonies of the 
mass, which you may retain as we have here at 
Wittemberg." (January llth, 1531.) " I condemn 
no ceremony, except such as are contrary to the 
Gospel. We have retained the baptistery and 
baptism; although we administer it in the vulgar 
tongue. I allow of images in the temple; mass is 
celebrated with the usual rites and habits, with the 
exception of some hymns in the vulgar tongue, and 
of pronouncing the words of consecration in Ger- 
man. In short, I should not have substituted the 
vulgar tongue for Latin in the celebration of mass, 
had I not been compelled to it." (March 14th, 1528.) 
" You are about to organise the church of Kcenigs- 
berg; I pray you, in Christ's name, change as few 
things as possible. You have some episcopal 
towns near you, and must not let the ceremonies of 
the new Church differ much from the ancient 
rites. If mass in Latin be not done away with, 
retain it; only, introduce some hymns in German. 
If it be done away with, retain the ancient ceremo- 
nial and habits." (July IGth, 1528.) 

The most serious change which Luther intro- 
duced into the mass, was translating it into the vul- 
gar tongue. " Mass shall be said in German for 
the laity ; but the daily service shall be performed 
in Latin, introducing, however, some German 
hymns." (October 28th, 1525.) " I am glad to find 
that mass is now celebrated hi Germany, in Ger- 
man. But that Carlstadt should make this impe- 
rative, is going too far. He is incorrigible. Al- 
ways laws, always obligations, sins of omission, or 
commission ! But he cannot help it. I should be 
delighted to sing mass in German, and am busied 
with it ; but I want it to have a true German air. 

Simply to translate the Latin text, preserving the 
usual tone and chant, may pass ; but it does not 
sound well, or satisfy me. The whole, text and 
notes, accent and gestures, ought to spring from 
our native tongue and voice ; otherwise, it can 

only be imitation and mockery " "I wish, 

rather than promise, to furnish you with a mass in 
German ; since I do not feel myself equal to this 
labour, which requires both music and brain-work. 
(November 12th, 1524.) " I send you the mass ; I 
will even consent to its being sung ; but I do not 
like to have Latin music with German words. I 
should wish the German chant to be adopted." 
(March 26th, 1525.) " I am of opinion that it would 
be advantageous, after the example of the prophets, 
and the ancient Fathers of the Church, to compose 
psalms in German for the people. We are looking 
for poets everywhere ; but sith you have been 
gifted with considerable fluency and eloquence in 
the German tongue, and have cultivated these 
gifts, I pray you to assist me in my labour, and 
to essay a translation of some psalm, on the mo- 
del of those I have composed. I am anxious to 
avoid all new words and court phrases. To be un- 
derstood by the people, you require to use the 
simplest and commonest language, attending, how- 
ever, to purity and precision ; and your phrases 
must be as clear and as close to the text as pos- 
sible." (A.D. 1524.) 

It was no easy task to organize the new Church. 
The ancient hierarchy was broken up. The prin- 
ciple of the Reformation was to reinstate every- 
thing according to Scripture warrant ; and to be 
consistent, the Church should have been restored to 
the democratic form it assumed during the first 
centuries. Luther, at first, seemed to incline to 
this. In his De Ministris Ecclesice Instituendis, (On 
the Appointment of Ministers to the Church,) ad- 
dressed to the Bohemians, he writes " What a 
notable invention it is of the papists, that the priest 
is invested with an indestructible character, which 
no fault he commits can deprive him of. ... 
The priest ought to be chosen, elected by the 
suffrages of the people, and then confirmed by 
the bishop ; that is to say, after election, the 
senior, the most venerable of the electors, should 
ratify it by imposition of hands. Did Christ, 
the first priest under the New Testament, require 
the tonsure and other fooleries of episcopal ordina- 
tion ? Did his apostles, his disciples ? . . . . All 
Christians are priests, all may teach God's word, 
administer baptism, consecrate the bread and wine ; 
for Christ has said, ' Do this in remembrance of 
me.' All of us Christians have the power of the 
keys. Christ said to his apostles, who represented 
the whole human race before him, ' I say unto you, 
that what you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed 
in heaven.*' But to bind and to unloose is no 
other thing than to preach and to apply the 
Gospel. To loose, is to announce that God has 
forgiven the sinner his errors. To bind, is to de- 
prive of the Gospel and announce that his sins are 
remembered. The names which priests ought to 
bear, are those of ministers, deacons, bishops (over- 
seers), dispensers. On a minister's ceasing to be 
faithful, he ought to be deposed ; his brethren may 
excommunicate him, and put some other minister 
in his place. Preaching is the highest office in 
the Church. Jesus Christ and Paul preached, but 
did not baptize." (A. D. 1523.) He would not, as 



A.D. 15211524. 

we have already seen, restrict all churches to oue 
uniform rule. " 1 do not opine that our Wittem- 
berg rules should be imposed on all Germany." 
And again, " It does not seem to me safe to call a 
council of ourselves, in order to establish uni- 
formity of ceremonies, a mode of proceeding 
fraught with evil consequences, as is proved by all 
the councils of the Church from the beginning. 
Thus, in the council of the Apostles, works and 
traditions received more attention than faith ; and, 
in the succeeding councils, the faith was never 
brought under consideration, but always opinions 
and minute questions, so that the name of council 
has become as suspicious and distasteful to me as 
that of free-will. If one church does not wish to 
imitate another in these external matters, what 
need of hampering ourselves with decrees of coun- 
cils, which soon become laws and nets for souls !" 
(November 12th, 1524.) 

He, nevertheless, felt that this liberty might be 
extended too far, and lead the Reformation into in- 
numerable abuses. " I have read your plan of 
ordination, my dear Hausmann, but think it would 
be better not to publish it. I have long since been 
repenting of what I have done ; for since all, in 
imitation of me, have proposed their refoi-ms, so 
infinite has been the increase in the variety and 
number of ceremonies, that we shall soon exceed 
the ocean of the papal ceremonial." (March 21st, 
1534.) With the view of introducing some unity 
into the ceremonies of the new church, annual 
visitations were instituted, and held over all Saxony. 
The visitors were to inquire into the lives and 
doctrines of the pastors, revive the faith of the 
erring, and exclude from the priesthood all whose 
manners were not exemplary. These visitors 
were nominated by the elector, on the recom- 
mendation of Luther ; who, as he had fixed 
his residence at Wittemberg, formed along with 
Jonas, Melanchthon, and some other theologians, a 
sort of central committee for the direction of all 
ecclesiastical affairs. " The inhabitants of Wins- 
heim have petitioned our illustrious prince, to 
allow you to take charge of their church ; on our 
advice, he has refused their prayers. He allows 
you to return to your own country, should we judge 
you worthy of the ministry there (November, 

Numerous similar notices occur amongst Luther's 
letters, signed by himself and many other protestant 

Although Luther enjoyed no rank which placed 
him above the other pastors, he yet exercised a 
kind of supremacy and control. "Still," he 
writes to Amsdorf, " still fresh complaints against 
you and Frezhans, because you have excommuni- 
cated a barber. As yet, I would fain not decide 
betwixt you ; but, tell me, I pray you, why this 
excommunication ?" (July, 1532). " We can only 
refuse the communion. To endeavour to give to 
religious excommunication all the effects of political 
excommunication, would be to get ourselves laughed 
at by try ing to assert a power incompatible with the 
present age, and which is above our strength . . . 
The province of the civil magistrate should not be 
interfered with. . ." (June 26th, 1533.) However, 
at times, excommunication seemed to him a good 
weapon to employ. A burgess of Wittemberg had 
purchased a house for thirty florins, and, after some 
repairs, asked four hundred for it. " If he per- 

sist," says Luther, " I excommunicate him. We 
must revive excommunication." As he spoke of 
reviving the consistorial courts, Christian Bruck, 
the juris-consult, said to him: "The nobles and 
citizens fear you are about to begin with the 
peasants in order to end with them." " Jurist," 
replied Luther, "keep to your law and to what 
concerns the public peace." In 1538, learning that 
a man of Wittemberg despised God, his word, and 
his servants, he has him threatened by two chap- 
lains. At a later period he excludes a nobleman, 
who was a usurer, from the communion table. One 
of the things which most troubled the reformer 
was the abolition of the monastic vows. About 
the middle of the year 1522, he published an ex- 
hortation to the four mendicant orders. In the 
month of March the Austin friars, in August the 
Carthusians, declared openly for him : " To the 
lieutenants of his imperial majesty at Nuremberg. 
. . . . God cannot ask for vows beyond human 
strength to fulfil. . . . Dear lords, suffer yourselves 
to be entreated. You know not the horrible and 
infamous tricks the devil plays in convents. Become 
not his accomplices; burden not your conscience 
therewith. Ah ! did my most infuriate enemies 
know the things I hear daily from all countries, 
they would help me to-morrow to do away with 
convents. You force me to cry out louder than I 
like. Give way, I beseech you, before these scan- 
dals become too disgracefully notorious." (August, 
1523.) " I am much pleased with the general de- 
cree of the Carthusians, allowing the monks liberty 
to leave and to renounce their habit, and shall pub- 
lish it. The example set by so considerable an 
order will further our wishes and support our deci- 
sions." (August 20th, 1522.) However, he wished 
things to be done without noise or scandal. He 
writes to John Lange: " You have not, I conclude, 
left your monastery without a reason; but I should 
have preferred your making your reasons public; 
not that I condemn your leaving, but that I would 
have our adversaries deprived of all occasion of 

Vain were his exhortations to avoid all violence. 
The Reformation slipped away from his hands, and 
extended itself every day externally. At Erfurth, 
in the year 1521, the people had forced the houses 
of several priests, and he had complained of it; the 
following year they went further in the Low Coun- 
tries. " You know, I believe, what has taken place 
at Antwerp, and how the women have forcibly set 
Henry of Zutphen at liberty. The brethren have 
been expelled from the convent; some are pri- 
soners in divers places; others have been let go 
after denying Christ; others, again, have held out; 
such as are by birth citizens of the town have been 
cast into the house of the Beghards; all the furni- 
ture of the convent has been sold, and the church, 
as well as the convent, shut, and they are about to 
pull it down. The holy sacrament was transferred 
with pomp to the church of the Holy Virgin, as if it 
had been rescued from an heretical spot. Burgesses 
and women have been put to the torture and 
punished. Henry himself is returning by way of 
Bremen, where he is stopping to preach the word, 
at the prayers of the people, and by order of the 
council, in despite of the bishop. The people are 
animated by marvellous desire and ardour; in fine, 
a chapman has been set up in business here by 
some individuals, in order to import books from 

A.D. 15211524. 



Wittemberg. Henry, indeed, required letters of 
licence from you; but we could not get at you 
quickly enough, so we have granted them in your 
name, under the seal of our prior." (December 19th, 
1522.) All the Austin friars of Wittemberg had 
left their monastery one after the other; the prior 
resigned its temporalities into the elector's hands, 
and Luther threw off the gown. On the 9th oi 
October, 1524, he appeared in public with a robe 
like the one worn at the present day by preachers 
in Germany; and it was the elector's present. 
Luther's example encouraged monks and nuns to 
re-enter the world; and these helpless females, sud- 
denly cast out of the cloister, and all at a loss in a 
world of which they knew nothing, hurried to him 
whose preaching had drawn them out of their con- 
ventual solitude. " Nine nuns came to me yester- 
day, who had escaped from their imprisonment in 
the convent of Nimpschen; Staupitza and two other 
members of Zeschau's family were of the number." 
(April 8th, 1523.) " I feel great pity for them, 
and especially for those others who are dying in 
crowds of this accursed and incestuous chastity. 
This most feeble sex is united to the male by 
nature, by God himself ; if they are separated, 
it perishes. tyrants ! cruel parents of 
Germany ! . . . You ask my intentions with 
respect to them. In the first place, I shall 
have their parents written to to receive them ; if 
they refuse, I shall provide for them elsewhere. 
Their names are as follow: Magdalen Staupitz, 
Elsa von Canitz, Ave Grossin, Ave Schonfeld, and 
her sister Margaret Schonfeld, Laneta von Golis, 
Margaret Zeschau, and Catherine von Bora. They 
made their escape in the most surprising manner. 
. . . . Beg some money for me from your rich 
courtiers, to enable me to support them for a week 
or fortnight, until I restore them to their parents, 
or to those who have promised me to take care of 
them." (April 10th, 1523.) "I am surprised, 
Spalatin, master mine, that you have sent this 
woman back to me, since you know my handwriting 
well, and give no other reason than the letter's not 
being signed. . . . Pray the elector to give some 
ten florins, and a new or old gown, or something of 
the kind ; in short, to give to these poor souls, vir- 
gins against their will." (April 22nd, 1523.) 

On April 10th, 1522, Luther writes to Leonard 
Koppe, a wealthy burgess of Torgau, who had 
aided nine nuns to escape from their convent, 
approving of his conduct, and exhorting him not to 
allow himself to be alarmed by any clamour that 
may be raised against him. " You have done a 
good work; and would to God we were able to 
effect a like deliverance for the numerous con- 
sciences still held in captivity. . . . God's word is 
now in the world, and not in convents." .... On 
June 18th, 1523, he writes to comfort three young 
ladies whom duke Henry, son of duke George, 
had expelled his court for having read Luther's 
writings: " Bless those who persecute you, &c. . 
. . . Unhappily, you are only too well avenged 
on their injustice. You must pity these insensates, 
these madmen, who do not see that they are hurry- 
ing their souls to perdition by seeking to do you 
harm." . . . . " You have already, no doubt, heard 
the news that the duchess of Montsberg has 
escaped, most miraculously, from the convent of 
Freyberg. She is at present in my house with 
two young girls, the one, Margaret Volckmarin, 

daughter of a Leipsic burgher; the other, Dorothea, 
daughter of a burgess of Freyberg." (October 
20th, 1528.) " This hapless Elizabeth von Reins- 
berg, expelled from the girls' school at Altenburg, 
has applied to me, after having petitioned the 
prince, who had referred her to the commissioners 
of the sequestered property, begging me to get 
you to interest yourself for her with them, &c." 
(March, 1533.) " That young girl of Altenburg, 
whose aged father and mother have been arrested 
in their own house, has applied to me for succour 
and advice. What I am to do in this business, 
God only knows." (July 14th, 1533.) From some 
expressions of Luther's we discover that his good- 
nature was often imposed upon by these women 
who flocked to him, and that in many cases even 
they were only pretended nuns: " What numbers 
of nuns have I not supported, at heavy expense. 
How often have I not been deceived by pretended 
nuns, mere harlots, whatever their noble birth 
(generosas meretrices)." (August 24th, 1535.) 

Luther's notions of the propriety of suppressing 
religious houses were soon modified by these im- 
positions. In an exordium addressed to the com- 
mune of Leisnick (A.D. 1523) he dissuades from 
their violent suppression, and recommends their 
being gradually extinguished by forbidding the 
reception of any more novices: "As no one ought 
to have force put upon him in matters of faith," he 
goes on to say, " such as are desirous of remaining 
in their convents, either from their advanced age, 
from love of an idle life and of good cheer, or from 
conscientious motives, ought neither to be expelled 
nor illtreated. They must be left until their time 
come as they have before been; for the Gospel 
teaches us to do good even to the unworthy; and 
we must take into consideration that these persons 
embraced their vocation, blinded by the common 
error, and have learnt no trade by which they can 

support themselves The property belonging 

to religious houses should be employed as follows: 
firstly, as I have just intimated, in supporting 
these monks who continue in them; next a certain 
sum ought to be given to those who leave (even 
though they should have brought nothing to the 
convent), to enable them to enter upon another 
way of life, as they quit their asylum for ever, and 
they may have learnt something whilst in the con- 
vent. As for those who brought property into the 
convent, the greater part, if not all, ought to be 
restored to them; the residue should be placed in 
a common chest for loans and gifts to the poor of 
the district. The wish of the founders will thus be 
fulfilled; since, although they suffered themselves 
to be seduced into parting with their property for 
monastic uses, still their intent was to consecrate 
it to the honour and worship of God. Now, there 
is no finer worship than Christian charity, which 
comes to the relief of the indigent; as Jesus Christ 
will bear witness on the day of judgment (Matt. 
ch. xxv.). . . . Yet, if any of the founder's heirs 
should happen to be in want, it would be equit- 
able and conformable to charity to put them in 
possession of a portion of the revenues of the 
"oundation, even all if necessary, as it could not 
lave been the wish of their fathers to deprive 
their children and heirs of bread to give it to 
strangers. . . . You will object to me that I make 
;he hole too large, and that on this plan but little 
will be left for the common chest ; each, you will 



A.D. 15231525. 

say, will come and pretend that he requires so 
much or so much, &c. But I have already said, 
that this ought to be a labour of equity and ot 
charity. Let each conscientiously examine how 
much he requires for his wants, how much he can 
give up to the chest ; and then let the commune 
weigh the circumstances in its turn, and all will go 
well. And though the cupidity of some individuals 

lasts, there loomed in the distance the revolt of 
tie peasants a Jacquerie, a more reasonable, and 
more levelling, servile war than those of antiquity, 
nd not less bloody. 

Bohemia. ... I would not recommend the aged 
to quit their monasteries; principally, because they 
would only return to the world to be a burden to 
others, and would be at a loss to meet, cold as 
charity is now-a-days, with the comforts they de- 
serve. By remaining within the monastery, they 
will not be chargeable to any one, or obliged to 
throw themselves on the care of strangers ; and 
they will be enabled to do much for the salvation 
of their neighbours, which in the world they would 
find difficult, nay, impossible." Luther ended by 
encouraging a monk to remain in his monastery: 
" I lived there myself some years, and should have 
lived longer, and even up to the present time, had 
my brethren and the state of the monastery allowed 
of my so doing." (Feb. 28th, 1528.) 

Some nuns in the Low Countries wrote to doctor 
Martin Luther, commending themselves to his 
prayers : pious virgins, fearing God, who supported 
themselves by their own industry, and lived in 
harmony. The doctor was moved with great com- 
passion for them, and says: " Poor nuns like these 
must be suffered to live in their own way; and so 
with the feldkloster, founded by princes for the 
nobility. But the mendicant orders ... It is 
from cloisters like those of which I was just now 
speaking, that able men may be drawn forth for the 
ministry of the Church, and for civil government 
and administration." This epoch of Luther's life 
was one of overpowering toil and business, in 
which he was no longer supported, as at first, by 
the excitement of the struggle and the sense of dan- 
ger. To Spalatin : " Deliver me, I beseech you. 
I am so overwhelmed by others' business, that my 
life is a burthen to me. . . . Martin Luther, 
courtier, not belonging to the court, and in his own 
despite (Aulicus extra aulain, et invtius)." (A.D. 
1523.) " I am fully occupied, being visitor, reader, 
preacher, author, auditor, actor, footman, wrestler, 
and I know not what besides." (October 29th, 
1528.) Parochial reform, uniformity of ceremo- 
nial, the drawing up of the great Catechism, an- 
swers to the new pastors, letters to the elector 
whose consent was to be obtained for every innova 
tion here was work enough, and tedium enough 
and, with all this, his enemies left him no rest. 
Erasmus published his formidable work De Lihero 
Arbitrio (On Free Will) against him ; which 
Luther did not make up his mind to answer unti 
1525. The Reformation itself seemed to turn 
against the reformer. His old friend, Carlstadt 
had hurried on in the path in which Luther was 
walking ; and it was to check his sudden and vio 
lent innovations, that Luther had so precipitately 
quitted the castle of Wartburg. It was no 
religious authority alone that was at stake ; th 
civil power was about to be brought into question 
Beyond Carlstadt, glimpses might be caught o 
Miinzer; beyond the sacramentarians and icono 

A.D. 1523 1525. 


' PRAY for me, and help me to trample under foot 
his Satan that has arisen at Wittemberg against 
he Gospel, in the name of the Gospel. We have 
now to combat an angel become, as he believes, an 
angel of light. It will be difficult to persuade 
Carlstadt to give way ; but Christ will constrain 
lim, if he does not yield of himself. For we are 
masters of life and death ; we who believe in the 
Master of life and death." (March 1 2th, 1523.) " I 
am resolved to forbid him the pulpit, into which 
le has rashly intruded without any vocation, in de- 
spite of God and man." (March 19th.) " I have 
angered Carlstadt by annulling his ordinations, 
although I have not condemned his doctrine. Yet 
[ am displeased at his busying himself with cere- 
monies and outward matters only, to the neglect of 
the true Christian doctrine ; that is, of faith and 
charity. ... By his foolish teaching, he induced 
lis hearers to fancy themselves Christians on such 
accounts as partaking of the communion in both 
dnds, renouncing confession, breaking images. . . . 
He has been seeking to become a new doctor, and 
,o impose his ordinances on the people, rising on 
the ruin of my authority (pressa mea auctoritate)." 
March 30th. "This very day I took Carlstadt 
aside, and begged him to publish nothing against 
me, since (otherwise), we should be forced to come 
to sharps with each other. Our gentleman swore 
by all most sacred, to write nothing against me. r " 
(April 21st.) . . . " We must teach the weak gently 
and patiently. . . . Would you, who have been a 
suckling yourself, cut off the breasts, and hinder 
others from imbibing similar nourishment ? Did 
mothers expose and desert their children, who can- 
not, as soon as born, eat like men, what would have 
become of yourself 1 Dear friend, if you have 
sucked enough, and grown enough, let others suck 
and grow in their turn . . . ." 

Carlstadt gave up his functions as professor anc 
archdeacon at Wittemberg, but not the emolu- 
ments, and repaired first to Orlamunde, then to 
Jena. " Carlstadt has established a printing- 
office at Jena. . . But the elector and our academy 
have promised, in conformity with the imperia 
edict, to allow no work to be published which has 
not previously been examined by the commis 
sioners. We must not allow Carlstadt and his 
friends to be the only persons exempt from sub 
mission to princes." (January 7th, 1524.) " As 
usual, Carlstadt is indefatigable. With his new 
presses at Jena he has published, and will pub 
lish, I am told, eighteen works." (January 14th. 
' Let us leave all sadness and anxiety to be Carl 
stadt's portion. Let us maintain the combal 
without allowing it to engross us. 'Tis God' 
cause, 'tis God's business : the work will be God's 
the victory God's. He can fight and conque 
without us. If he judge us worthy of a part in 
this war, we shall be devotedly ready. I writ 
this by way of exhorting you, and, through you 

A.D. 15231525. 



others, not to be alarmed at Satan, or to suffer your 
heart to be troubled. If we are unjust, must not 
we be overborne ? If just, there is a just God 
who will make our justice evident as the noon- 
day. Perish who may, survive who may, that is 
no business of ours." (October 22nd, 1524.) " We 
shall recall Carlstadt, in the name of the uni- 
versity, to his duty as teacher of the word, which 
he owes to Wittemberg, and from a spot whither 
he had no call ; and, if he does not return, shall 
accuse him to the prince." (March 14th, 1524). 
Luther thought it his duty to repair to Jena ; and 
Carlstadt, conceiving himself aggrieved by a ser- 
mon of Luther's, requested a conference ; and 
they met in Luther's apartments in presence of 
numerous witnesses. After much recrimination 
on both sides, Carlstadt said : " Enough, doctor, 
go on preaching against me, I shall know what 
course to take." Luther : " If you have anything 
you long to say, write it boldly." Carlstadt : " I 
will ; and without fearing any one." Luther : 
" Yes, write against me publicly." Carlstadt: "If 
such be your wish, I can easily satisfy it." Luther: 
" Do ; I will give you a florin by way of throwing 
down the gauntlet." Carlstadt : " A florin ?" Lu- 
ther : " May I be a liar, if I do not." Carlstadt : 
" Well ! I'll take up your gauntlet." On this, 
Luther drew a golden florin from his pocket and 
presented it to Carlstadt, saying, " Take it, and 
attack me boldly ; up and be doing." Carlstadt 
took the florin, showed it to all present, and said : 
" Dear brethren, here is earnest ; this is a token 
that I have a right to write against doctor Luther: 
be ye all witnesses of this." Then he put it in his 
purse, and gave, his hand to Luther. The latter 
drank to his health. Carlstadt pledged him, and 
added, " Dear doctor, I pray you not to hinder 
me from printing anything 1 shall wish, and not 
to persecute me in any manner. I think of sup- 
porting myself by my plough, and you shall be 
enabled to judge of its produce." Luther : " Why 
should I wish to hinder you from writing against 
me ? I beg you to do it, and have given you the 
florin precisely that you may not spare me. The 
more violent your attacks, the more delighted I 
shall be." They again gave each other their 
hands, and parted. 

However, as the town of Orlamunde entered too 
warmly into Carlstadt's opinions, and had even 
expelled its pastor, Luther obtained an order from 
the elector for Carlstadt's expulsion. Carlstadt 
read a solemn letter of farewell, first to the men, 
then to the women. They had been called to- 
gether by the tolling of the bell, and all wept. 
" Carlstadt has written to the inhabitants of Orla- 
munde, and has subscribed himself, Andrew Boden- 
stein, expelled, without having been heard or convicted, 
by Martin Luther. You see that I, who have been 
all but a martyr, have come to making martyrs in 
my turn. Egranus plays the martyr as well ; and 
writes that he has been driven away by the papists 
and the Lutherans. You cannot think how widely 
spread Carlstadt's doctrine is on the sacrament. . . 
* * has returned to his senses, and asks 
pardon. He, too, had been forced to quit the 
country. I have interceded for him ; but I am 
not sure that I shall succeed. Martin of Jena, 
who had also received orders to depart, has taken 
his farewell from the pulpit, all in tears, and im- 
ploring pardon. The only answer he got was five 

florins ; which sum, by begging through the 
town, was increased by twenty-five groschen. All 
this is likely to do good to preachers : it will be a 
trial of their vocation, and will, at the same time, 
teach them to preach and to conduct themselves 
with some fear before their eyes." (October 27th, 
1524.) Carlstadt repaired to Strasburg, and thence 
to Bale. His doctrines approximated closely to 
those of the Swiss, to OScolampadius's, Zuinglius's, 
&c. " I defer writing on the eucharist until Carl- 
stadt has poured forth all his poison, as he promised 
when taking a piece of gold of me. Zwingle, 
and Leo, the Jew, in Switzerland, hold the same 
opinions as Carlstadt, so the scourge is spreading : 
but Christ reigns, if he fights not." (November 
12th, 1524.) However, he conceived it right to 
reply to Carlstadt's complaint of having been 
driven by him from Saxony. " In the first place, 
I can safely say that I never mentioned Carlstadt 
to the elector of Saxony, for I have never spoken 
a word in my life to that prince, nor have ever 
heard him open his lips, and have even never 
seen him, except once at Worms, in the emperor's 
presence, when I was examined the second day. 
But it is true that I have often written to him 
through Spalatin, and in particular to entreat him 
to resist the spirit arising at Alstet*. But my 
solicitations were so ineffectual as to induce me to 
feel angry with the elector. Carlstadt then should 
have spared such a prince the reproaches which 
he has heaped upon him. ... As to duke John 
Frederick, I confess that I have often pointed out 
to him Carlstadt's attempts and perverse am- 
bition." ..." There is no joking with my lord Att- 
the-icorld (Herr OmnesJ; for which reason, God has 
constituted authorities : it being his will that there 
should be order here below." 

At last, Carlstadt broke out : " I heard yester- 
day of Carlstadt from a friend of mine at Stras- 
burg, which city he left for Bale, and has at 
length vomited forth five books, which are to be 
followed by two others. I am handled as double 
papist, the ally of Antichrist, and what not !" 
(Dec. 14th.) "I hear from Bale, that Carl- 
stadt's supporters have been punished 

He has been in the town, but privily. CEcolam- 
padius and Pellican have given in their adhesion to 
his doctrine." (Jan. 13th, 1525.) "Carlstadt had 
made up his mind to pitch his tent in Schweindorf ; 
but the count of Henneberg has forbidden this by 
letters express to the town council. I should like 
Strauss to be treated in the same manner." (April 
10th, 1525. Luther seems delighted with Carl- 
stadt's declaring himself : " The devil was silent," 
he writes, " until I won him over by a florin, which, 
thanks to God, has been well laid out, and I don't 
repent of it." He straightway published various 
pamphlets, written with wonderful energy, Against 
the Heavenly Prophets : " Men fear nothing, as if 
the devil were sleeping ; whereas, he prowls around 
like a cruel lion. But, as long as I live, I trust 
there will be no danger ; for whilst I live, I will do 
battle, hap what may ." He goes on to argue, that 
all seek what is agreeable to reason only. So 
with the Arians and Pelagians. So with the papacy, 
it was a well-sounding proposition that grace could 
be advantaged by free-will. The inculcation of 
faith and a good conscience is more important than 

Where Miinzer lived, the leader of the revolt of the 
peasants, spoken of further on. 



A.D. 15231525. 

the preaching of good works ; since, if works fail, 
whilst faith remains, there is still hope of aid. 
Spiritual means ought to be employed to win true 
Christians to a knowledge of their sins : " But for 
rude men, for my lord Etery-body (Herr Omnes), 
they must be driven, corporally and rudely, to 
labour and do their allotted works, so that will ye, 
uill ye, they may be pious outwardly, under the law 
and the sword, as we keep wild beasts in cages and 
chained. . . . The spirit of the new prophets as- 
pires to be the highest spirit, a spirit which has 
eaten the Holy Ghost, feathers and all. Bible, they 
cry out ; yes, bibel, bubel, babel. Well ! Sith the 
evil spirit is so obstinate in his opinion, I will not 
give way to him any more than I have done before. 
I will speak of images : firstly, according to the 
law of Moses, and I will say, that Moses forbids 
only images of God. Let us then confine ourselves 
to praying princes to put down images, and let us 
pluck them out of our own hearts." Further on, 
Luther breaks out into ironical surprise, that the mo- 
dern iconoclasts do not push their pious zeal so far, 
as to get rid of their money, and of all precious ar- 
ticles which have figures upon them. " To aid the 
weakness of these holy folk, and deliver them from 
that by which they are defiled, they should be gal- 
lants with but little in their fobs. The heavenly 
voice it seems is not strong enough to induce them 
to throw away everything of themselves : they need 
a little violence." 

" . . . . When I discussed the question of ima- 
ges at Orlamunde, with Carlstadt's disciples, and 
proved by the context, that in every passage they 
quoted from Moses, the allusion was to the idols of 
the pagans ; one of them, who, no doubt, fancied 
himself the ablest, got up and said to me ' Do thou 
listen ! 1 may be allowed to thee and thou you, if 
thou art a Christian.' I replied, ' Speak to me as 
thou listest.' But I noticed that he would much 
more willingly still have struck me ; he was so filled 
with Carlstadt's spirit, that the others could not 
get him to be silent. ' If thou wilt not follow 
Moses,' he went on to say, ' thou must at least 
admit the Gospel ; but thou hast thrown the Gos- 
pel under the table, and it must be taken up ; no, 
it cannot stay there.' ' What then doe? the Gos- 
pel say V I replied. ' Jesus says in the Gospel (so 
he answered), I cannot say the place, but my bro- 
thers here know it well, that the bride ought to 
take off her shift on the wedding night. There- 
fore, we must take off and break all images, in 
order to become pure and free from the creature.' 
Thus he .... What could I do with men of 
this sort 1 At all events, it enabled me to learn 
that breaking images was, according to the Gospel, 
taking off the bride's shift on her wedding night. 
These words, and the speech about the Gospel's 
being flung under the table, he had heard from his 
master ; for, no doubt, Carlstadt had accused me 
of throwing down the Gospel, in order to imply 
that he was come to raise it up. This pride has 
been the cause of all his misfortunes, and has 
driven him out of the light into darkness. . . . 
We are glad of heart and full of courage, wrestling 
with melancholy, timid, dejected spirits, that fear 
the rustle of a leaf, though not having the fear of 
God, as is usual with the wicked. (Psalm xxv.) 
Their passion is to domineer over God, and his 
word, and his works. They would not be so bold 
were not God invisible, intangible. Were he a 

visible man, present to their eyes, he would put 
them to flight with a straw. Whoso is inspired 
by God to speak, speaks freely and publicly, 
without giving himself any concern whether 
he is alone or unsupported. Thus did Jere- 
miah ; and I may boast of having done thus 
likewise*. It is then beyond a doubt the devil, 
that apostate and homicidal spirit, who slips into 
the background and then excuses himself, saying, 
that first he had not been strong enough in the 
faith. No; the Spirit of God does not make such 
excuses. I know thee well, my devil. ... If you 
ask them (Carlstadt's partisans) how this sublime 
spirit is attained, they do not refer you to the Gos- 
pel, but to their dreams, to imaginary spaces: ' Lie 
thee listlessly down,' say they, ' as I have lain me 
down, and thou wilt receive it in like manner. 
The heavenly voice will make itself heard, and 
God will speak to thee face to face.' If you then 
persist in inquiring what this listlessness (ennui) is, 
they know as much about it as Dr. Carlstadt does of 
Greek and Hebrew. . . . Do you not recognize the 
devil in this, the enemy of divine order 1 Do you 
see how he opens wide his mouth, crying, ' Spirit, 
Spirit, Spirit,' and, whilst so crying, how he 
destroys bridges, roads, ladders; in a word, all 
means by which the Spirit can reach thee: to wit, 
the external order established of God in holy 
baptism, in signs, and in his own word '( They 
wish you to scale the skies and ride on the wind, 
and tell you neither how, nor when, nor where, nor 
what; like them, you are to learn it of yourself." 

" Martin Luther, an unworthy minister and 
evangelist at Wittemberg, to all Christians in 
Strasburg, loving friends in God: I would will- 
ingly endure Carlstadt's intemperance in regard to 
images; and I have, indeed, done more injury to 
images by my writings, than he will ever do by all 
his violence and fury. But what is intolerable is 
the exciting and instigating men to all this, as if it 
were their bounden duty, and that there were no 
other proof of Christianity than breaking images. 
Beyond doubt, works do not make the Christian ; 
these outward matters, such as images and the Sab- 
bath, are left free in the New Testament, as well as 
all the other ceremonies of the law. St. Paul says, 
' We know that idols are nothing in the world.' 
If they are nothing, wherefore shackle and torture 
the conscience of Christians about them I If they 
are nothing, it matters not whether they are tum- 
bled down or are left standing.'" He proceeds to a 
loftier subject, the question of the real presence; 
the higher question of the Christian symbolism, of 
which that of images is the lower side. It was on 
this point, chiefly, that Luther found himself at 
variance with the Swiss reformers, and that Carl- 
stadt was brought into union with them, however 
far removed he might be from them by the boldness 
of his political opinions. " I acknowledge, that if 
Carlstadt, or any one else, could have proved to me 
five years ago that the sacramental elements are 

"The spirit of these prophets has invariably chival- 
rously taken to flight, yet see how it glorifies itself as a 
magnanimous and chivalrous spirit. But I, I presented 
myself in Leipsic to dispute in presence of a hostile popula- 
tion. I presented myself at Augsburg, without safe-conduct, 
before my greatest enemies ; at Worms, before Caesar and 
the whole empire, although well aware that the safe-conduct 
was trampled upon. My spirit has remained free, like a 
flower of the field." (A.D. 1524.) 

A.D. 15231525. 


bread and wine only, he would have done me 
a great service. I was then strongly tempted, 
and writhed, and struggled, and should have been 
most happy to have found a solution of the 
mystery. I saw clearly that I might so givo 
papistry the most fearful blow. . . . There were 
two more who wrote to me on this point, and abler 
men than doctor Carlstadt; and who did not, like 
him, torture words to suit their fancy. But I 
am bound down, I cannot set myself free ; the text 
is too powerful, nothing can tear it from my mind. 
Even now, if any one could convince by solid 
reasons that there is only bread and wine, there 
would be no need for attacking me so furiously. I 
am, unhappily, only too inclined to this interpreta- 
tion as often as I feel my Adam within me. But 
what doctor Carlstadt imagines and promulgates 
on this subject touches me so little, that I am but 
the more confirmed in my opinion ; and, if I had not 
before thought so, such idle tales found out of the 
Scriptures and in the clouds as it were, would be 
enough to convince me of the fallacy of his opinion." 
He had previously written in the pamphlet, Against 
the Celestial Prophets : " Carlstadt says that he can- 
not reasonably conceive how the body of Jesus Christ 
can be reduced into so small a compass. But if we 
consult reason, we shall no longer have faith in any 
mystery.". ... In the next page, Luther adds 
the following incredibly audacious piece of coarse 
humour: " Yon seem to think that the drunkard, 
Christ, having drunk too much at supper, bewildered 
his disciples with superfluous words." 

This violent polemic war of Luther's on Carl- 
stadt, was daily embittered by the fearful symp- 
toms of general disturbance which threatened 
Germany. The doctrines of the bold theologian 
responded to the thoughts and desires which already 
filled the minds of the masses in Suabia, Thuringia, 
Alsace, and the whole western half of the empire. 
The lower classes, the peasantry, who had so long 
slumbered under the weight of feudal oppression, 
heard princes and the learned speak of liberty, of 
enfranchisement, and they applied to themselves 
that which was not spoken for them*. The 
reclamation of the poor peasants of Suabia will 
remain, in its simple barbarism, a monument of 
courageous moderation. By degrees, the eternal 
hatred of the poor to the rich was aroused; less 
blind than in the jacquerie, but striving after a 
systematic form, which it was only to attain after- 
wards, in the time of the English levellers, and com- 
plicated with all the forms of religious democracy, 
which were supposed to have been stifled in the 
* The peasants did not wait for the Reformation to break 
out into rebellion, but had risen up in 1491 and in 1502. 
The free towns had followed the example ; Erfurth in 1509, 
Spires in 1512, and Worms in 1513. Disturbances broke 
out again in 1524 ; but this was the nobles' doing. Franz 
of Sickingen, their leader, thought the moment was come 
for despoiling the ecclesiastical princes of their temporalities, 
and boldly laid siege to Treves. He is said to have been 
under the guidance of the celebrated reformers, CEcolam- 
padius and Bucer, and of Hutten, who, at the time, was in 
the service of the archbishop of Mentz. The duke of 
Bavaria, the palatine, and the landgrave of Hesse, ad- 
vanced to raise the siege, and were for attacking Mentz, in 
order to punish the archbishop for his personal connivance 
of Sickingen. This nobleman fell ; Hutten was exiled, and, 
from this moment without an asylum, but always writing, 
always violent and a prey to passion ; he died no long time 
afterwards in extreme want. 

middle age. Lollards, Beghards, and a crowd of 
apocalyptic visionaries were in motion. At a later 
moment, the rallying cry was the necessity for a 
second baptism: at the beginning, the aim was a 
terrible war against the established order of things, 
against every kind of order a war on property, as 
being a robbery of the poor; a war on knowledge, 
as destructive of natural equality, and a tempting 
of God, who had revealed all to his saints. Books 
and pictures were inventions of the devil. The 
peasants first rose up in the Black Forest, and 
then around Heilbronn and Frankfort, and in the 
country of Baden and Spires; whence the flame 
extended into Alsace, and nowhere did it assume a 
more fearful character. Tt reached the Palatinate, 
Hesse, and Bavaria. The leader of the insurgents 
in Suabia was one of the petty nobles of the valley 
of the Necker, the celebrated Goetz of Berlichingen, 
Goetz mth the Iron Hand, who pretended they had 
forced him to be their general against his will. 

" Complaint and Loving Demand of the Con- 
federation of Peasants, with their Christian prayers ; 
the whole set forth very briefly in twelve principal 
articles. To the Christian reader, peace and divine 
grace through Christ ! There are, now-a-days, 
many anti-Christians who seize the occasion of the 
confederation of the peasants to blaspheme the 
Gospel, saying: 'These are the fruits of the new 
doctrines ; obedience is at an end ; each man starts 
up and spurns control; the people flock together 
and assemble tumultuously, seeking to reform and 
depose authorities, ecclesiastic and secular; and, 
perhaps, even to murder them.' To these perverse 
and impious allegations the following articles are 
answers. In the first place, they turn aside the dis- 
grace with which God's word is attempted to be 
covered; in the second, they, by Christian proof, 
clear the peasants from the reproach of disobedi- 
ence and revolt. The Gospel is not a cause of in- 
surrection or of trouble; it is a message which an- 
nounces the Christ, the promised Messiah; this 
message, and the life it teaches, are love, peace, 
patience, and union alone. Know, too, that all who 
believe in this Christ will be united in love, peace, 
and patience. Since, then, the articles of the 
peasants, as will be more distinctly shown hereafter, 
have no other aim than to secure the hearing of 
the Gospel, and the h'ving in conformity with it, 
how can anti-Christians call the Gospel a cause of 
trouble and disobedience ? If the anti-Christians 
and the enemies of the Gospel oppose demands of 
the kind, it is not the Gospel which is the cause, it 
is the devil, the mortal enemy of the Gospel, who, 
through disbelief, has excited in his victims the 
hope of crushing and effacing God's word, which is 
only peace, love, and union. Hence, it clearly fol- 
lows that the peasants, who, in their articles, de- 
mand such a Gospel for their edification and the 
regulation of their life, cannot be called disobedient 
or revolters. If God calls and invites us to live ac- 
cording to his word, if he choose to hearken to us, 
who will blame God's pleasure, who impeach his 
judgment, who strive against what he wills to do ? 
He heard the children of Israel when they cried unto 
him, and delivered them from the hand of Pharaoh. 
Cannot he still save his own at the present day ? 
Yes, he will save them, and speedily ! Read, then, 
the following articles, Christian rea'der; read them 
carefully, and judge." 
The articles follow: 


A.D. lo*)- 1525. 

I. " In the first place, it is our humble prayer 
and request, our unanimous wish, to enjoy hence- 
forward the power and the right of electing and 
choosing a pastor ourselves, with the power of de- 
posing him if he conduct himself improperly. The 
pastor whom we choose must preach the holy Gos- 
pel to us clearly, in its purity, without any additions 
of human precept or command. For, by always 
having the true faith declared to us, we are enabled 
to pray to God, to beseech his grace, to form this 
true faith within us, and to strengthen it. If the 
divine grace be not formed within us, we still re- 
main flesh and blood, and then we are worthless. 
'Tis clearly seen in Scripture that we can only reach 
God by the true faith, and attain beatitude by his 
mercy. Such a guide and pastor, then, fulfilling 
his office as instituted in Scripture, is indispensable 
to us." 

II. " Since the lawful tenth is established in the 
Old Testament (which the New has confirmed in 
everything), we will pay the lawful tenth of grain, 
but after suitable sort. . . . Being henceforward 
minded that the elders of a district receive and col- 
lect such tenth, supply the pastor elected by the 
district with sufficient for the fit support of him- 
self and family, acquainting the district therewith, 
and apply the remainder to the relief of the poor: 
any surplus beyond should be reserved for the 
charges of war, of convoy, and other like things, so 
as to relieve poor folk from the taxes levied on 
those accounts. If, on the other hand, found 
that one or more villages have, in the hour of want, 
sold their tithes, the purchasers shall have nothing 
to fear from us, for we will enter into arrangements 
with them according to circumstances, so as to in- 
demnify them proportionally as we shall be able. 
But as for those who, instead of acquiring the tithe 
of a village by purchase, have either they or their 
ancestors forcibly taken possession of it, we owe 
them nothing and shall give them nothing; this 
tithe is to be employed as specified above. With 
regard to small tithes, and the tithe of blood (of 
cattle), we will in no wise pay them, for God the 
Lord created animals to be freely used by man. 
We consider this tithe to be an unlawful tithe, in- 
vented by men; wherefore we shall no more pay it." 

In their Illrd article the peasants declare 
that they will no longer be treated as the property 
of their lords, " for Jesus Christ, by his precious 
blood, has redeemed all without exception, the 
shepherd the same as the emperor." They will be 
free, but only according to Scripture ; that is to 
say, without any licentiousness, and duly recog- 
nizing authority ; for the Gospel teaches them to 
be humble, and to obey the powers that be " in all 
fitting and Christian things" 

IV. "It is contrary to justice and charity that 
the poor should have no right in game, in birds, 
and in the fish of the running waters, or that they 
should be compelled to endure, without remon- 
strance, the enormous damage done to their fields 
by the beasts of the forests, since when God 
created man, he gave him power over all animals 
without distinction." They add, that in conformity 
with Gospetyrecepts, they will respect the rights 
of those nobles who can prove by title-deeds that 
they purchased their right of fishing ; but that the 
rest shall lose all without indemnity. 

V. " Those woods and forests which were anciently 
held in common, bnt have passed into the hands 

of a third party in any other way than by fair 
purchase, ought to return to their original pro- 
prietary, that is, to the commune ; and every 
inhabitant should have the right to take out of 
them such proportions of fuel as shall seem good to 
the elders." 

VI. They require the services imposed upon 
them, and which daily become more oppressive, to 
be alleviated; desiring to serve " like their fathers, 
after God's word." 

VII. The seignior must not require more gra- 
tuitous services from the peasants than is prescribed 
by their mutual covenant ( Vereiniguny}. 

VIII. The rents on many lands are grievously 
burthensome. The lords are required to accept 
the arbitrement of irreproachable persons, and to 
lower the rents according to equity, "that the 
peasant ma} 1 not toil in vain, since the labourer is 
worthy of his hire." 

IX. Justice is partially administered, and new 
penalties constantly imposed. No one is to be 
favoured, and the ancient rules to be the law. 

X. All fields and meadows taken from the 
common land, otherwise than by equitable pur- 
chase, to return to the commune. 

XI. Fines on deaths are revolting, and in open 
opposition to God's will, " being a spoiling of the 
widow and the orphan," and are to be wholly and 
for ever abolished. 

XII " If it happen that any one or 

more of the preceding articles be opposed to Scrip- 
ture (which we do not think is the case), we 
renounce such beforehand. If, on the contrary, 
Scripture suggest to us any others on the oppres- 
sion of one's neighbour, we reserve all such, and 
declare our adhesion to them equally beforehand. 
May the peace of Jesus Christ be with us all ! 

Luther could not be silent at this great crisis. 
The nobles accused him of being the originator of 
these troubles. The peasants availed themselves 
of his name, and prayed him to be the arbiter. 
He did not shrink from the dangerous office ; and 
in his reply to their twelve articles, acts as judge 
between the prince and the people. In none of his 
writings has he displayed more elevation. 

Exhortation to Peace, in reply to the Twelve 
Articles of the Peasants of Suabia, and also in oppo- 
sition to the spirit of murder and robbery evinced by 
the other peasants riotously assembled. " The pea- 
sants now assembled in Suabia have just drawn up 
and circulated, in print, twelve articles, containing 
their complaints against the powers that be. What 
I most approve of in this document, is their 
declaration in the twelfth article, of their readi- 
ness to receive any better evangelical instruction 
than their own on the subject of their griefs. In 
fact, if such be their true intentions (and as they 
have avowed their designs in the face of men, 
without fearing the light, I cannot conclude other- 
wise, a happy end to all these troubles may yet 
be looked for. And I, who am also of those who 
make the Holy Scriptures their study on this 
earth, I, to whom they apply by name (appealing 
to me in one of their printed statements), I feel 
myself singularly emboldened by this declaration of 
theirs to publish to the world my opinion also on 
the subject in question, in conformity with the 
precepts of charity which ought to bind all men 
together. By so doing, I shall free myself both 

A.D. 15231525. 



before God and men from the reproach of having 
contributed to the evil by silence, should this end 
fatally. Perhaps, too, they have only made this 
declaration by way of a blind ; and, no doubt, 
there are enow evil-disposed persons amongst 
them for this, since it is impossible that all should 
be good Christians in so vast a multitude ; it is 
the more likely that many of them make the 
honesty of the rest a cloak for their own evil 
designs. Well, if there be imposture in this 
declaration, I forewarn the impostors that they 
will not succeed, and that success would be their 
damnation, their eternal loss. This business in 
which we are engaged is great, and full of peril ; 
affecting both the kingdom of God and that of 
the world. In fact, if the revolt should spread 
and be triumphant, both would perish ; both 
secular government and God's word, and the 
whole land of Germany would be laid waste. 
Under such grave circumstances, then, we feel 
impelled to give our advice freely on all things, 
and without regard to persons. At the same 
time, we are all of us no less bounden to be- 
come at last attentive and obedient, and to 
cease closing our ears and hearts, the which has 
called forth the fulness of God's wrath and his 
most fearful thunders (seinen wllen Gang und 
Sckwang). The numerous alarming sights which 
have in these latter times appeared in heaven and 
earth, announce great calamities and unheard-of 
changes to Germany. To our misfortune, we have 
been but little moved by them ; but God will not 
the less pursue the course of his chastisements, 
until he at last softens our heads of iron." 

FIRST PART. To the Princes and Nobles. " We 
have no one on earth to thank for all this disorder 
and insurrectionary movement, if it be not you, ye 
princes and lords, and you, above all, ye blind 
bishops, insensate priests and monks, who, even to 
this day, hardened in your perversity, cease not to 
exclaim against the holy Gospel, albeit you know it 
for just and good, and that you can say nothing 
against it. At the same time, as secular authori- 
ties, you are the executioners and leeches of the 
poor, sacrificing every thing to your unbridled 
luxury and pride, until the people neither will nor 
can endure you any more. The sword is already at 
your throats, and you yet think yourselves so firm 
in the saddle that you cannot be overthrown. With 
this impious security of yours, you will break your 
necks. Many a time have I exhorted you to bear 
in mind this verse (Psalm cvii.), ' Effundit con- 
temptum super principes' (He poureth contempt 
upon princes). You are doing your utmost to have 
these words fulfilled in you ; you will have the 
mace, already uplifted, fall and crush you ; ad- 
vices, counsels, are superfluous. Nevertheless, the 
signs of God's wrath on earth and in the heavens 
are addressed to you. 'Tis you, and your crimes, 
that God wishes to punish. If these peasants who 
attack you now are not the ministers of his will, 
others will arise. Should you defeat them, you 
would 110 less be conquered. God would raise up 
others. He wishes to strike you, and he will strike 
you. You fill up the measure of your iniquity, by 
imputing this calamity to the Gospel, and to my 
teaching. Go on calumniating. You will now 
learn what my doctrine is, what the Gospel is ; 
there is another at the door who will teach you, if 
you do not amend. Have I not ever zealously and 

ardently exhorted the people to obedience unto 
authority, even to yours, tyrannical and intolerable 
as it has been ? Who has combated sedition more 
than I ? And so the prophets of murder hate me 
as much as you do. You persecuted my Gospel by 
every means in your power, whilst this Gospel was 
inducing the people to pray for you, and aiding to 
keep up your tottering power. And, truly, if I 
sought revenge, I need now only laugh in my sleeve, 
and look on whilst the peasants are at their work : 
I might even make common cause with them, and 
envenom the wound. God preserve me from 
such thoughts ! Wherefore, dear lords, friends or 
enemies, scorn not my loyal aid, albeit I am but a 
poor man; scorn not either this rebellion, I beseech 
you: not that I mean to say that they are too 
strong for you; it is not they I would have you 
fear, but God, the angry Lord. If he wishes to 
punish you (you have only deserved it too well), 
he will punish you; and if there be not peasants 
enough, he will change the stones into peasants 
one, in his hands, would slay a hundred of yours. 
As many as you are, neither your cuirasses, nor 
your might, would save you. 

" If you are still open to advice, dear lords, in 
God's name, retreat a little from before the wrath 
which you see let loose. One fears and shuns a 
drunken man. Cease your exactions; give truce to 
your sharp tyranny; treat the peasants as a man in 
his senses treats madmen, or the drunken. Do not 
plunge into a struggle with them; you cannot 
know how it will end. Employ mildness at first, 
for fear a slight spark, spreading all around, should 
kindle throughout Germany such a fire as cannot 
be extinguished. You will be no losers by mild- 
ness ; and even if you should, peace will indemnify 
you a hundred-fold. War may engulph and ruin 
you, body and soul. The peasants have drawn up 
twelve articles, some of which contain such just 
demands, as to dishonour you before God and 
men, and to realise Psalm cvii., for they cover 
the princes with contempt. Now I could easily 
draw up other articles against you, and more im- 
portant ones, perhaps, as regards your government 
of Germany, as I have done in my book To the 
German Nobility. But my words have been to you 
as the passing wind; and therefore, you have now 
to undergo all these reclamations from peculiar in- 
terests. As to the first article, you cannot deny 
them the free choice of their own pastors. They 
wish to have the Gospel preached to them. Autho- 
rity cannot and ought not to hinder this, but ought 
to allow every one to teach and to believe what he 
thinks right, whether it be the Gospel or falsehood: 
it is enough to prohibit the preaching of disorder 
and sedition. The other articles, touching the 
material condition of the peasants, fines on deaths, 
accumulation of services due, &c., are equally just; 
for authority was not instituted for its own interests, 
or to make subjects the tools of its caprices and bad 
passions, but for the interest of the people. Now 
your crying exactions cannot be long endured. 
What would it benefit the peasant to see his fields 
bear as many florins as blades of grass, or grains of 
wheat, if his lord should despoil him in the same pro- 
portion, and waste, like straw, the money he draws 
from him, in dress, castles, and feastings ? What 
it most behoveth to do, is to retrench all this luxury, 
and stop up the holes by which money escapes, so 
that something may be left in the peasant's pocket. 




A.D. 15231525. 

SECOND PART. To the Peasants. " Thus far, 
dear friends, you have seen but one side. I have 
set forth that the princes and lords who pro- 
hibit the preaching of the Gospel, and who bow 
down the people with intolerable burthens, have 
deserved that God should hurl them from their 
seats, for they have sinned against God and man, 
and are without excuse. Nevertheless, it is for 
you to prosecute your enterprise conscientiously 
and justly. If you are conscientious, God will 
aid you ; though you should even momentarily 
succumb, you would eventually triumph ; such 
of you as should fall in the struggle would be 
saved. But if justice and conscience be against 
you, you will succumb ; and though even you 
should not succumb, but slay all the princes, you 
would be none the less lost for ever, body and 
soul. This is no jesting matter. Your bodies and 
life eternal are at stake. You have to weigh well, 
not your strength and the wrongs of your adver- 
saries, but whether you are proceeding justly and 
conscientiously. Believe not, I beseech you, the 
prophets of murder whom Satan has raised up 
amongst you, and who come from him, although 
they invoke the holy name of Gospel. They will 
hate me for this advice which I am giving you, and 
will call me hypocrite ; but I care not. My wish 
is to save from God's wrath the good and honest 
amongst you ; I fear not the rest, and reck not of 
their contempt. I know One who is stronger than 
them all ; and He teaches me, by Psalm iii., to do 
what I am now doing. The hundred thousand 
affright not me 

" You call on God's name, and pretend to act 
according to his word. Then, forget not, above 
all, that God punishes him who calls upon his name 
in vain. Dread his wrath. Who are you, and 
what is the world ? Forget you that He is the 
omnipotent and terrible God, the God of the de- 
luge, and who rained his thunders upon Sodom ? 
Now, it is plain, that you honour not his name. 
Does not God say, ' They that take the sword, shall 
perish with the sword V And St. Paul, ' Be ye all 
obedient to authority in all respect and honour ?' 
How can you, after this, still pretend that you act 
according to the Gospel ? Beware; a fearful judg- 
ment awaits you. But, you say, authority is 
wicked, intolerable, will not allow us the Gospel, 
overwhelms us with burthens beyond all measure, 
is ruining us, body and soul. To this I reply, 
that the iniquity and injustice of authority are no 
excuse for revolt, for the punishment of the wicked 
does not appertain to every man. Besides, the 
natural law says, that no one should be judge in 
his own cause, or avenge himself, for the Proverb 
truly says, ' To strike the striker is naught.' The 
divine law teaches us the same thing : ' Ven- 
geance is "mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.' 
Your enterprise, therefore, is not only contrary to 
law, according to the Bible and the Gospel, but also 
to the natural law and simple equity. You cannot 
go on with it except you can prove that you have 
been called to it by a new commandment of God's, 
directed to yourselves, and confirmed by miracles. 
You see the mote in the eye of authority, but you 
cannot see the beam in your own. Authority is 
unjust in interdicting you the Gospel, and over- 
whelming you with burthens ; but how much more 
unjust are you, who, not content with interdicting 
God's word, trample it under foot, and arrogate the 

power reserved to God alone ? Again, who is the 
greater thief, (yourselves shall be the judge,) he 
who takes a part, or he who takes all ? Now, 
authority takes your goods unjustly from you ; but 
you strip it, not of goods only, but of body and 
life. You assert loudly, it is true, that you will 
leave it something ; who will believe you ? You 
have taken power from it ; who takes all does not 
fear to take part ; when the wolf devours the sheep, 
it devours ears as well. 

" And how is it you do not see, my friends, that 
if your doctrine were true, there would no longer 
be on earth authority, order, or justice of any kind ? 
Each would be his own judge; and there would 
be nothing to be seen but murder, desolation, and 
robbery. What would you do, if, assembled as you 
now are, each affected to be independent, to do him- 
self justice, and be his own avenger ! Would you 
allow it ? Would you not say, that judgment be- 
longs to one's superiors ? This law must be alike 
observed, by pagans, Turks, and Jews, if there is 
to be order and peace on earth. So far from being 
Christians, you are worse than pagans and Turks. 
What will Jesus Christ say, seeing his name so 
profaned by you ? Dear friends, I greatly fear 
Satan has sent amongst you prophets of murder, 
who covet the empire of this world, and who think 
to compass it through you, careless of the dangers, 
spiritual and temporal, into which they are plung- 
ing you. 

" But, now, to pass to the Gospel law. This 
does not bind pagans like the law of which we 
have just been treating. Does not Jesus Christ, 
from whom ye are named Christians, say, ' Resist 
not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on the 
right cheek, turn to him the other also ?'.... 
Do you hear him, ye assembled Christians ? How 
does your conduct square with this command ? If 
you know not how to endure, as our Lord requires, 
quickly resign his name; you are unworthy of it; 
or he will suddenly deprive you of it himself." 
(Here Luther quotes other scriptural injunctions to 
forbearance.) " Suffer, suffer the cross, the cross 
this is the law of Christ; there is none other. . . . 
Ah ! my friends, if you act thus, when will you attain 
unto that other command which bids you love your 
enemies and do them good ? . . . Oh ! would to 
God that the greater number of us were rather 
good and pious pagans, observing the natural law ! 
To show you how far you have been led astray by 
your prophets, I have only to remind you of some 
examples which throw light on the law of the 
Gospel. Look at Jesus Christ and St. Peter in the 
garden of Gethsemane. Did not St. Peter suppose 
that he was doing right in defending his Master 
and his Lord from those who were about to deliver 
Him to the executioners 1 And yet, you know that 
Jesus Christ upbraided him as a murderer for hav- 
ing resisted sword in hand. Again: what is the 
conduct of Jesus Christ on the cross ? Does he not 
pray for his persecutors ? does he not say, ' Father, 
forgive them, they know not what they do ?' And 
was not Jesus Christ glorified after having suffered, 
and has not his kingdom prevailed and triumphed \ 
In like manner, God would aid you if you knew how 
to suffer as he requires. To take an example of 
the present day: how has it happened that neither 
emperor nor pope could anything against me ? 
The greater their efforts to stay and destroy the 
Gospel, the greater its growth and power. I have 

A.D. 15231525. 


drawn no sword, raised no revolt, have ever 
preached obedience to authority even wheu perse- 
cuting me, have relied always on God, and put my 
trust in him. Hence, despite the pope and tyrants, 
he has not only preserved my life, itself a miracle, 
but has favoured and diffused my Gospel more and 
more. And how, now, are you thinking to serve 
the Gospel by directly contravening it ? In truth, 
you are inflicting a fearful wound on it in the minds 
of men; crushing it, if 1 may so say, by your per- 
verse and mad attempts. 

" I tell you all this, dear friends, to show you how 
you profane Christ's name and his holy laws. 
However just your demands may be, it becomes not 
a Christian to fight or to use violence: we must 
suffer injustice; such is our law. (1 Cor. vi.) I 
repeat to you, then, act now as you like; but lay 
aside the name of Christ, and do not shamefully 
take it as a cloak for your impious conduct. I 
will not permit it. I will not tolerate it. I 
will tear this name from you by every effort 
of which I am capable, to the last drop of my 

blood Not that I wish by this to 

justify authority; the injuries inflicted by it are, I 
acknowledge, immense; but what I wish is that, if, 
unhappily, (may God avert it !) if, I say, you come 
into collision, men may call neither party Christians. 
It will be a war of pagans, and nothing else; for 
Christians do not fight with swords and barque- 
busses, but with the cross and patience; even as 
their general, Jesus Christ, does not handle the 
sword, but suffers himself to be bound to the cross. 
Their triumph does not consist in dominion and 
power, but in submission and humility. The arms 
of our chivalry have no corporeal efficacy; their 
strength is in the Most High. 

" Call yourselves, then, men who wish to follow 
nature, and not endure evil. Such is the name 
which suits you ; and if you do not take it, but 
persist in retaining and constantly calling upon the 
name of Christ, I can only consider you as my 
enemies, as those of the Gospel, like the pope and 
the emperor. Now, know that in this case I have 
made up my mind to refer myself wholly to God, 
and to implore him, in order to enlighten you, to turn 
against you, and to shipwreck your enterprise. I 
shall so risk my life, as 1 have done by opposing 
the pope and the emperor ; for I see plainly that 
the devil having been unable to get the better of 
me through them, seeks to exterminate and de- 
vour me through the prophets of murder who are 
among you. Well, let him devour me ; the morsel 
will not be easy of digestion. However, dear 
friends, I humbly pray you, and as a friend who 
wishes your good, to reflect well before you proceed 
further, and to spare me fighting and praying 
against you ; albeit I myself am but a poor sinner, 
still I know that I should be so justified in this 
matter that God would infallibly listen to my 
prayers. He has himself taught us in the holy 
Pater Natter, to pray that his name may be hallowed 
on earth as It is in heaven. It is impossible for you 
to have the same trust in God; since Scripture and 
your conscience condemn you, and tell you that you 
are acting like pagans and enemies of the Gospel. If 
you were Christian you would not be using the fist 
and sword, but saying, ' Deliver us from evil,' and 
' Thy will be done' (here follow texts from Scripture 
in illustration). But you wish yourselves to be your 
own God and Saviour ; the true God, the true 

Saviour abandon you then. The demands which 
you have drawn up are not contrary to natural 
law and equity in their tenor, but in the violence 
with which you would force them from authority ; 
and he who has drawn them up is not a pious and 
sincere man, for he has referred to numerous 
chapters from Scripture, without citing the verses, 
in order to throw an air of speciousness around your 
enterprise, and to seduce you and plunge you into 
dangers. On reading these chapters, one does not 
see much bearing on your enterprise, but the con- 
trary rather ; to wit, to live and act Christianly. 
He must, I take it, be a seditious prophet who 
would wish to attack the Gospel through you. 
May God be pleased to oppose him, and to keep 
you from him. 

" In the first place, you boast in your preface, of 
only asking to be allowed to live according to the 
Gospel. But do you not yourselves confess that 
you are in rebellion 1 And how, I ask you, have 
you the audacity to colour such conduct with the 
holy name of the Gospel ? You cite the example 
of the children of Israel ; you say that God heard 
the cries they raised unto him, and delivered them. 
Why then not follow this boasted example ? Call 
on God, as they did, and wait till he send you also 
a Moses, who will prove his mission by his mira- 
cles. The children of Israel did not rebel against 
Pharaoh ; they did not combine for mutual aid as 
you propose to do. This example then is directly 
adverse to you, and damns instead of saving you. 
No more is it true that your articles, as you pro- 
claim in your preface, teach the Gospel, and are in 
conformity with it. Is there one out of the twelve 
which contains any point of evangelical doctrine ? 
Have they not all the one single object of enfran- 
chising your persons and your goods ? Do they 
not all treat of temporal things ? You, you covet 
power and worldly goods, and will endure no 
wrong. The Gospel, on the contrary, takes no 
care of these matters, and makes external life con- 
sist in suffering, in bearing injustice, the cross, in 
patience, and contempt of life and of all worldly 
matters. You must either then renounce your 
enterprise, and consent to suffer wrong, if you 
wish to bear the name of Christians ; or else, 
if you persist in your resolution, lay down this 
name and take another. Choose ; there is no 
alternative. You say that the Gospel is hindered 
from reaching you. I reply, that there is no 
power earthly or heavenly which can hinder it. 
Public teaching marches free under the heavens, 
and is as little bound to any place as the star 
which, traversing the clouds, announced to the 
wise men of the East the birth of Jesus Christ. . . 
If the Gospel be interdicted the town or village in 
which you are, follow it wheresoever it may be 
preached. . . Jesus Christ has said (Matthew x.), 
'But when they persecute you in this city, flee 
ye into another.' He does not say, ' If they per- 
secute you, stay there, conspire against the lords 
in the name of the Gospel, and make yourselves 
masters of the town.' What then are those Chris- 
tians who, in the Gospel's name, turn robbers and 
thieves ? Have they the effrontery to call them- 
selves evangelical ? " 

Reply to first article : " If the authorities will 
not cheerfully support the pastor desired by the 
commune, the latter," says Luther, " may charge 
itself with his support. If the authorities will not 



A.D. 15231525. 

tolerate the said pastor, let the faithful follow him 
into another commune." 

Reply to the second article: "You desire to 
dispose of a tithe which is not yours; this would 
be a robbery. If you wish to do good, do it out 
of your own means, not those of others. God 
says through Isaiah, ' A stolen offering I detest.' " 
Reply to the third article:" You wish to apply 
to the flesh the Christian liberty taught by the 
Gospel. Had not Abraham and the other patri- 
archs, as well as the prophets, slaves 1 Read 
St. Paul; the empire of this world cannot subsist 
without inequality of persons." 

Reply to the eight last articles: "As to your 
articles touching game, fuel, services, rent, &c., I 
refer them to the lawyers, it is not for me to judge 
of them; but I repeat to you that the Christian is 
a martyr, and has no care for all these things. 
Cease, then, speaking of Christian law, and rather 
say it is human law, the natural law which you 
claim; for the Christian law commands you to 
suffer, as regards these matters, and to complain 
to God alone." 

" Dear friends, such is my teaching in reply to 
your request to me. May it be God's will that you 
faithfully keep your promise, and be guided 
according to Scripture. Do not all cry out at 
once Luther is a flatterer of princes; he speaks 
contrary to the Gospel; but read first, and con- 
sider whether what I say is not founded on God's 

"Exhortation to both parties: Since, then, my 
friends, you neither of you are maintaining a 
Christian cause, but acting alike against God, 
forego, I beseech you, all violence. Otherwise, 
you will cover all Germany with horrible and 
endless carnage. For as you are both equally 
involved in injustice, you will but rush to mutual 
destruction, and God will chastise one offender by 
the other. 

" You, lords, have Scripture and history against 
you, which teach you the punishment which has 
ever followed tyranny. You are yourselves ty- 
rants and executioners, for you interdict the 
Gospel. There is no hope, then, that you will 
escape the fate which has hitherto visited your 
equals. Consider the empires of the Assyrians, 
the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, how they 
all perished by the sword after having begun by 
the sword. God wished to prove that it is he 
who judges the earth, and that no injustice shall 
remain unpunished. 

" You, peasants, you, too, have Scripture and 
experience against you. Revolt has never ended 
well, and God has sternly cared that the text, 
' They that take the sword, shall perish with the 
sword,' shall not be a deceitful one. Though you 
should conquer all the nobles; when conquerors of 
the nobles, you would turn upon and rend your- 
selves like wild beasts. The Spirit not reigning 
over you, but flesh and blood only, it would not 
be long before God would send an evil spirit, 
a destroying spirit, as he did to Sichem and its 


" What fills me with grief and pity (and would 
to heaven that it could be redeemed with my life !) 
are the two irreparable misfortunes which must 
fall upon both parties. In the first place, as you 
all fight for injustice, it is inevitable that those 
who shall perish in the struggle will be everlast- 

ingly lost, body and soul ; for they will die in their 
sins, without repentance, and unsuccoured by grace. 
The other misfortune is, that Germany will be laid 
waste; such a carnage once begun, there will be 
no ceasing until the destruction is complete. It is 
easy to commence the battle, but beyond our 
power to stop it. Madmen, what have those 
children, women, and old men, done to you whom 
you are hurrying to ruin with you, that you should 
fill the country with blood and rapine, and make 
so many widows and orphans ? Oh ! Satan is 
rejoicing ! God has waxed into his most fearful 
wrath, and threatens to let him loose upon us. 
Beware, dear friends; all are involved. What 
will it benefit you to damn yourselves gaily for 
ever, and to leave behind you a land ensanguined 
and desert ? Wherefore, my advice would be to 
choose some counts and lords from the nobility, 
and an equal number of councillors from the 
towns, and to entrust them with the amicable 
arrangement of the matters in dispute. You, 
lords, if you will listen to me, will renounce that 
outrageous pride of which you must at last divest 
yourselves, and will relax your tyranny so that 
the poor man also may enjoy a little ease. You, 
peasants, you will give way on your side, and 
will abandon some of your articles, which go too 
far. On this wise, matters will not, indeed, be 
treated according to the Gospel, but they will at 
least be arranged conformably with human law. 

" If you do not (which may God forfend !) follow 
some such plan, I cannot hinder you from coming 
into collision; but I shall be innocent of the loss of 
your souls, of your blood, of your goods. Your 
sins will lie at your own door. I have told you 
this is no struggle of Christians with Christians, but 
of tyrants and oppressors with robbers and profa- 
ners of the name of the Gospel. Those who shall 
perish will be everlastingly damned. For me, I 
and mine will pray to God to reconcile you, and to 
restrain you from proceeding to the extremes you 
contemplate. Nevertheless, I cannot conceal from 
you that the terrible signs which have been made 
manifest in these latter times sadden my soul, and 
fill me with fear lest God's wrath be too livelily 
kindled, and he may exclaim, as in Jeremiah: 
' Though these three men, Noah, Job, and Daniel, 
were in it, they only shall be delivered, but the 
land shall be desolate.' God grant that you may fear 
his wrath, and amend, that the calamity may at 
least be deferred ! Such are the counsels which, 
my conscience bears me witness, I tender you as a 
Christian and a brother; God grant they bring 
forth fruit. Amen !" 

The biographical character of this work, and the 
limits within which we must restrict it, do not allow 
us to enter into the history of this German jacquerie. 
(See, however, the Additions and Illustrations.) We 
must be contented here with citing the sanguinary 
proclamation issued by Dr. Thomas Miinzer, the 
leader of the Thuringian peasants, which contrasts 
strikingly with the mild and moderate tone obser- 
vable in the twelve articles given above: 
" The true fear of God before all. 

" Dear brethren How long will you slumber ? 
Will you for ever disobey God's will, because, in 
your limited comprehension, you deem yourselves 
abandoned ? How often have I repeated my ex- 
hortations ! God cannot longer reveal himself. 
You must be firm; if not, sacrifice and griefs will all 

A.I). 1523-1525. 


have been in vain. I forewarn you, your sufferings 
will in such case, re-commence. We must either 
suffer in God's cause, or become martyrs to the 
devil. Be firm, then; give not way to fear or sloth; 
cease from flattering dreamers and impious wretches 
who have wandered from the path. Arise, and 
fight the Lord's fight. Time presses. Make your 
brethren respect God's testimony; otherwise, all 
will perish. Germany, France, Italy, are wholly 
up in arms; the Master wishes to play his game; the 
hour of the evil-doers is come. At Fulda, during 
Passion week, four churches of the bishopric were 
sacked: the peasants of Klegen in Hegau, and 
those of the Black Forest, have risen to the 
number of three hundred thousand. Their mass 
increases daily. All my fear is, that these silly 
ones may be ensnared into some deceitful compact, 
the disastrous consequences of which they cannot 
foresee. Though you should be but three, yet, 
confiding in God and seeking his honour and glory, 
a hundred thousand enemies would not affright you. 
Up, up, up ! (Dran, dran, dran /) 'Tis time; the 
wicked tremble. Be without pity, though even 
Esau should speak you fairly. (Gen. xxxiii.) Listen 
not to the groans of the impious: they will suppli- 
cate you most tenderly; they will weep like children; 
be not moved by them; God forbade Moses to be 
so (Deut. vii.), and has made a revelation to us of 
the same prohibition. Raise the towns and vil- 
lages, above all, the miners of the mountains. . . . 
Up, up, up, whilst the fire is heating; let not the 
sword, warm with blood, have time to chill. Forge 
Nimrod on the anvil, pink pank. Slay all in the 
tower; whilst they shall live, you will never be freed 
from the fear of men. One cannot speak of God to 
you, as long as they reign over you. Up, up, 
up, whilst it is day. God goes before you; follow. 
The whole of this history is described and explained 
in St. Matthew, c. xxiv. Be not then afraid. God 
is with you, as it is said, c. ii., paragraph 2. God 
tells you to fear nothing. Fear not numbers. 'Tis 
not your battle, 'tis the Lord's; 'tis not you who 
fight. Be bold, and you will experience the power 
of succours from on high. Amen. Given at Miil- 
hausen, in 1525. THOMAS MUNZER, God's servant 
against the wicked." 

In a letter to the elector Frederick and duke 
John, Luther draws a comparison between himself 
and Miinzer. " As to me, I am only a poor man, 
and began my undertaking with fear and trembling, 
like St. Paul, as he himself confesses (1 Cor. ii. 
3 6), he who, nevertheless, could boast of having 
heard a heavenly voice. I hear not such voices, 
and am not sustained by the Spirit. With what 
humble and apologetic frame of mind did I not 
begin to attack the pope ! What internal struggles 
did I not go through ! What supplications did I 
not address to God ! My first publication attests 
this. Yet, with this poor spirit of mine, I have 
done what this terrible world-cracking ( Wdtfresser- 
geist,) spirit has not yet dared to attempt*. I have 
held disputations at Leipzig, in the midst of a hos- 
tile population. I have attended the summons of 
my greatest enemy to Augsburg. I have shown 
myself at Worms, before Caesar and the whole em- 
pire, although well-aware that my safe-conduct was 
broken through, that craft and treachery were on 

* Miinzer refused to dispute in any assembly, public or 
private, which was unfavourable to him. 

the watch for me. However weak and poor I then 
was, my heart, notwithstanding, assured me that I 
behoved to enter Worms, although I should find 

there as many devils as tiles on the roofs I have 

been compelled, in my career, to meet in argument, 
without remission, one, two, three, no matter how 
many, and upon their own ground. Weak and 
poor in mind, I have been necessitated to stay 
by myself like the flower of the field ; I could 
select neither adversary, nor hour, nor place, 
nor mode of attack, nor distance to be observed, 
but have been necessitated to hold myself ready 
to answer the whole world, as the apostle teaches 
(1 St. Peter, iii. 15). And this spirit who has 
soared above us all as high as the sun above 
the earth, this spirit who barely regards us 
as insects and worms, requires an assembly of 
such as are favourable to him, and from whom 
he has nothing to fear, and refuses to reply to 
two or three challengers who would question him 
apart. The reason is, that we have no other 
strength than that which Jesus Christ gives us ; 
if he leave us to ourselves, the rustling of a leaf 
will make us tremble; if he support us, our spirit 
is conscious within itself of the power and glory of 
the Lord. I am forced to vaunt myself, foolish 
though it be, and St. Paul was forced as well 
(2 Cor. xi. 16) ; but would willingly refrain, could I 
do so in the presence of these lying spirits." 

Immediately after the defeat of the peasants, 
Melanchthon published a brief account of Miinzer, 
of course, singularly unfavourable to the conquered. 
He asserts, that Miinzer fled to Frankenhausen, 
where he concealed himself in a bed, and feigned 
to be sick, but was found out by a cavalier, and 
recognized through his portfolio. " Whilst he was 
being handcuffed, he kept crying out, and duke 
George saying to him, ' You are in pain, Thomas ; 
but those poor people who have been killed, pushed 
on to their death by you, have suffered more to- 
day;' ' They would not have it otherwise,' was his 
reply, bursting out into laughter, as if possessed by 
the devil. Miinzer confessed, on his examination, 
that he had long thought of reforming Christen- 
dom, and that the insurrection of the Suabian 
peasants had struck him as a favourable opportu- 
nity. He showed extreme pusillanimity in his last 
moments, and was so bewildered, as to be unable 
to repeat the Credo of himself. Duke Henry of 
Brunswick repeated it, and he said it after him. 
He also publicly confessed that he had acted erro- 
neously. With regard to the princes, he exhorted 
them to be less hard to the poor, and to read the books 
of Kings, saying, that if they followed his advice, 
they would never have similar dangers to fear. He 
was then decapitated. His head was fixed upon 
a pike, and remained exposed as an example. 
Before his execution, he wrote to the inhabitants 
of Mulhausen, recommending his wife to them, and 
praying them not to avenge themselves on her. 
He added, that " before he quitted the world, he 
thought it his duty earnestly to exhort them to dis- 
continue the revolt, and avoid all fresh effusion of 

Whatever may have been the atrocities that 
sullied Miinzer and the peasants, one cannot but 
be surprised at the severity with which Luther 
speaks of their defeat. He could not pardon them, 
for having compromised the name of Reformation. 
" wretched spirits of troubles, where are now 



A.D. 15231525. 

the words with which you excited and stirred up 
poor people to revolt when you said that they 
were God's people, that God fought for them, that 
any one of them could beat down a hundred ene- 
mies, that with a hat they could kill five at a blow, 
and that the stones fired from the arquebuss, in- 
stead of striking those opposite, would turn, and 
kill those who fired them ? Where now is Miinzer, 
with that sleeve in which he boasted he could catch 
all the missiles directed against his people ? What 
is now that God, who for near a year has prophe- 
sied by the mouth of Miinzer ? I am of opinion, 
that all the peasants ought to perish, rather than 
the princes and magistrates, since they take up 
the sword without divine authority. The peasants 
deserve no mercy, no tolerance, but the indignation 
of God and man." (May 30th, 1525.) " The pea- 
sants," he says elsewhere, " are under the ban both 
of God and the emperor, and may be treated as 
mad dogs." In a letter dated the 21st of June, he 
enumerates the horrible massacres committed upon 
them by the nobles, without displaying the least 
sign of interest or pity. 

He showed more generosity towards his enemy 
Carlstadt, who was, at the time, exposed to the 
greatest dangers, and had infinite difficulty in 
justifying himself for having taught doctrines akin 
to those of Miinzer. He returned to Wittemberg, 
and humbled himself before Luther, who interceded 
for him, and obtained the elector's permission for 
his settling as a husbandman at Kemberg, which he 
desired to do. " I am grieved about the poor man; 
and your grace knows that we should have pity on 
the unfortunate, especially when they are inno- 
cent." (Sept. 12th, 1525.) On Nov. 22nd, 1526, he 
again writes. ... " Doctor Carlstadt earnestly 
prays me to intercede with your grace to allow him 
to inhabit the city of Kemberg, as the malice of 
the peasants renders living in a village irksome to 
him. Now, as he has kept himself quiet up to the 
present time, and as he will be under the eye of 
the provost of Kemberg, I humbly beseech your 
electoral grace to grant his request, although your 
grace have already done much for him, and have 
even drawn suspicion and calumnies on yourself on 
his account. But so much the more abundantly will 
God return it to you. 'Tis for him to think of the 
safety of his soul that is his concern ; to treat him 
well as regards his bodily wants, is ours." 

" To all dear Christians into whose hands the 
present writing shall fall, the grace and peace of God 
our Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ; Doctor 
Martin Luther. Doctor Andreas Carlstadt has just 
forwarded to me a small work, in which he clears 
himself of the charge of having been one of the lead- 
ers of the rebels, and earnestly entreats me to get it 
printed, in order to save the honour of his name, and, 
perhaps, even his life, which is endangered through 
the haste with which they will hurry through the 
trial of the accused. Indeed it is reported that rapid 
proceedings are about to be instituted against many 
poor persons, and the innocent to be executed along 
with the guilty, without hearing or proof, in the 
wantonness of rage ; and I much fear the cowardly 
tyrants, who before trembled at the fall of a leaf, 
waxing now so bold in glutting their rage, that, on 

the destined day, God will cast them down in their 
turn. Now, albeit doctor Carlstadt is my greatest 
enemy on questions of doctrine, and there is no 
hope of our agreeing on such points, the confidence 
with which he applies to me in his hour of fear, 
rather than to those old friends of his who erst excit- 
ed him against me, shall not be deceived, and I shall 
gladly do him this service, and others, if possible." 
Luther goes on to express his hopes that, by God's 
grace, all will yet turn out well for Carlstadt, and 
that he will at the last renounce his errors touching 
the sacrament. At the same time, he defends him- 
self against any charge that may be brought on 
account of his conduct on this occasion, of his 
yielding a jot on doctrinal points ; whilst to any 
charge of excess of credulity, he replies, " That it 
becomes neither him nor any one to judge another's 
heart. ' Charity suffereth long,' says St. Paul; 
and, elsewhere, ' Charity believeth all things, hopeth 
all things.' This, then, is my opinion. So long as 
doctor Carlstadt offers to take his trial, and to un- 
dergo fitting punishment should he be convicted of 
having taken part in the rebellion, I am bound to 
credit both his word and this writing of his, al- 
though previously inclined to consider himself and 
his friends animated with a seditious spirit, and am 
bound to aid him to procure the inquiry which he 

Luther next proceeds to ascribe much of what 
has happened, to the violence with which princes 
and bishops have opposed the spread of religion. 
" Hence that popular fury which, naturally, will 
not be appeased until the tyrants be low in the 
mud; since things cannot last when a master can 
only inspire fear instead of love. No, let us leave 
our black-coats and country squires to shut their 
ears against warnings : let them go on, let them go 
on; let them continue to accuse the Gospel of the 
evil which they have brought upon themselves; let 
them always say, ' What do I care for it ?' Soon 
will there come Another, who will answer them, 
' Yet a little while and there shall be nor prince 
nor bishop on the face of the earth.' Let them, 
then, alone; they will soon find what they have 
been so long looking for; the thing is set a-going. 
God grant they may yet repent in time! Amen. 
Therefore, I beseech nobles and bishops, and every 
one, to suffer doctor Carlstadt, on this solemn 
allegation of his that he can clear himself from all 
implication in the rebellion, to enter on his defence, 
for fear of tempting God more, and of the people's 
anger becoming more violent and justified. . . . He 
has never lied, He who has promised to hearken to 
the cries of the oppressed; and He wanteth not 
power to punish. May God grant us his grace. 
Amen." (A.D. 1525.) " Germany, I fear me, is 
lost. Perish she must, since the princes will only 
employ the sword. Ah! they think that they can 
thus pluck out, hair by hair, the good God's beard. 
He will smite them on the cheek therefore." (A.D. 
1526.) " The spirit of these tyrants is impotent, 
cowardly, foreign from every honest thought. 
They deserve to be the slaves of the people. But, 
by the grace of Christ, I am sufficiently avenged 
in the contempt I entertain for them, and for Satan, 
their god." (The end of December, 1525.) 

A.D. 15241527. 



A.D. 1524 1527. 


During the whole of this terrible tragedy of the 
war of the peasants, the theological war was raging 
against Luther. The Swiss and Rhenish reformers, 
Zwingle, Bucer, CEcolampadius, participated in 
Carlstadt's theological principles, differing from 
him in little save in their submission to the civil 
power. Not one of them would remain within the 
limits to which Luther desired to restrict the 
Reformation. Hard and frigid logicians, they 
daily effaced the traces of that antique Christian 
poesy which he sought to preserve. Less daring, 
but more dangerous still, the king of the literary 
world, the cold and ingenious Erasmus, rained 
fearful blows upon him. Zwingle and Bucer*, 
men of a political cast of mind, had long been 
striving to preserve, at any price, the apparent 
unity of Protestantism. Bucer, that grand architect 
of subtleties (Bossuet), concealed his opinions for 
some time from Luther, and even translated his 
German works. " No one," says Luther, " no one 
has translated my works into Latin more ably or 
exactly than master Bucer. He foists into them 
none of his vagaries touching the sacrament. Did 
I seek to display my inmost heart and thought in 
words, I could not do better." At another time, he 
seems to have detected the infidelity of the transla- 
tion. On September 13th, 1527, he writes to a 
printer, that Bucer, in translating his works into 
Latin, had so altered certain passages as to pervert 
the sense; "it is on this fashion that we have made 
the fathers heretics." And he begs him, should he 
reprint the volume, to prefix a preface from him- 
self, warning the reader of the changes introduced 
by Bucer. In 1527, he published a work against 
Zwingle and GEcolampadius, in which he styled 
them new Wickliffi tes, and denounced their opinions 
as sacrilegious and heretical. At length, in 1528, 
he said, " 1 know enough, and more than enough, 
of Bucer's iniquity to feel no surprise at his per- 
verting against me my own published sentiments 

on the sacrament Christ keep you, you who 

are living in the midst of these ferocious beasts, 
these vipers, lionesses, panthers, with almost more 
danger than Daniel in the lions' den." " I believe 
Zwingle to be worthy of a holy hate for his rash 
and criminal handling of God's word." (October 
27th, 1527.) "What a fellow is this Zwingle, 
with his rank ignorance of grammar and dia- 
lectics, not to speak of other sciences!" (November 
28th, 1527.) 

In a second publication against them, in 1528, 
he says, " I reject, and condemn as mere error, all 
doctrine which assumes the will to be free." This 
was the subject of his grand quarrel with Erasmus; 
which began in 1525, the year that Erasmus pub- 

The learned of the sixteenth century generally trans- 
lated their proper names into Greek. So, Kuhhorn (Cow- 
horn) changed his name into that of Bucer; Hausschein 
(House-light) into CEcolampadius ; Didier (from Desiderium, 
desire) into Erasmus; Schwarz-Erde (Black -earth) into 
Melanchthon, &c. Luther and Zwingle, the two popular 
reformers, are the only ones who retained their own proper 
appellations in the vulgar tongue. 

lished his De Libero Arbitrio. Up to that time, they 
had been on friendly terms. Erasmus had frequently 
stood forth in defence of Luther; and the latter, in 
return, consented to respect the neutrality of 
Erasmus. The following letter proves that down to 
1524, Luther thought it expedient to observe some 
delicacy towards him: "This has been a long 
silence, dear Erasmus; and although I waited for 
you, as my superior, to break it, charity now seems 
to bid me make a commencement. I do not re- 
proach you with having kept aloof from us through 
fear of embarrassing the cause which you abetted 
against our enemies, the papists; and, indeed, the 
only annoyance I feel is your having harassed us with 
some sharp stings and bites in various passages of 
the works which you have published, to catch their 
favour or mitigate their anger. We see that the 
Lord has not yet granted you sufficient energy or 
understanding to attack these monsters freely and 
courageously, and we are not the men who would 
exact from you what is above your strength. We 
have respected in you your weakness, and the 
measure of God's gifts. The whole world must 
bear witness to your successful cultivation of that 
literature by which we arrive at a true under- 
standing of the Scriptures, and this gift of God's 
has been magnificently and wonderfully displayed 
in you; calling for all thanks. And so I have 
never desired to see you quit the distance which 
you keep, in order to enter our camp. Great, 
doubtless, would be the services you could render 
us by your talent and eloquence; but, since your 
heart fails, better serve with what He has given 
you. There was a fear that you might suffer 
yourself to be led away by our adversaries to 
attack our doctrine publicly, when I should feel 
bound to oppose you to your face; and I have 
quieted some of our friends who had written with 
the design of forcing you into the arena: hence, I 
should have been glad that the Hutten's Expostulatio, 
and still more that thy Hutten's Sponge had not been 
published; a circumstance which may have taught 
you to feel how easy it is to write about moderation, 
and to accuse Luther of intemperance, but how 
difficult and impossible to practise these lessons 
except by a singular gift of grace. Believe it or 
not, Christ is my witness that I pity you from the 
bottom of my soul when I see such passions and 
hates against you, to which it were too much 
(weak and worldly as is your virtue to bear up 
against such storms) to suppose you insensible. 
Yet, perchance, our friends may be instigated by 
a lawful zeal, deeming themselves unworthily 
attacked by you. . . . For my own part, although 
irritable and often hurried away by anger to write 
bitterly, it has been in the case of the obstinate 
only; being merciful and mild to sinners generally, 
however insensate and iniquitous, as my conscience 
bears me witness, and numbers can tell. And 
thus I have restrained my pen, notwithstanding 
your goadings, and have resolved to restrain it, 
until you declare yourself openly. For what- 
ever be our points of disagreement, and with 
whatever impiety or dissimulation you express 
your disapprobation or your doubts on the 
most important points of religion, I neither can 
nor will accuse you of obstinacy. What steps 
take now ? On both sides there is exceeding ex- 
asperation. Might I be mediator, I would have 
them forbear their furious attacks upon you, and 



A.D. 15241527. 

suffer your declining years to sleep in peace in the 
Lord ; and they would do so, did they take into 
consideration your weakness and the greatness of 
our cause, which has long exceeded your small 
measure. We have advanced so far that we have 
scant need to fear for our cause, even though 
Erasmus should assemble all his forces against us. 
. . . However, there is some show of reason in 
our friends feeling so annoyed at your attacks ; 
for it is only human weakness to fidget and alarm 
itself about the name and authority of Erasmus. 
To be bitten by Erasmus but once, is a very differ- 
ent thing from being a prey to the attacks of all 
the papists put together. I have written to you 
thus, dear Erasmus, to prove my candour, and 
because I yearn that the Lord may grant you 
grace befitting your name. Should this be de- 
layed, yet I pray you to remain at least a spectator 
of our tragedy. Join not your forces to our ad- 
versaiies ; publish no books against me, and I will 
publish none against you. As for those who com- 
plain of being attacked in Luther's name, remem- 
ber that they are men like you and me, to whom 
we must grant indulgence and pardon, and that, as 
St. Paul says, 'we must bear each other's burden.' 
Biting is enough ; we must beware of devouring 
one another. . . " (April, 1524.) 

To Borner. "Erasmus knows less about pre- 
destination than even the sophists of the school. 
Erasmus is not formidable on this, any more than 
on any other Christian matter. I will not lunge at 
Erasmus, and shall let him lunge at me once or 
twice, without parrying and returning the thrust. 
It is not wise in him to be preparing the strength 

of his eloquence against me I shall present 

myself confidently before the most eloquent Eras- 
mus, stammerer as I may be in comparison with 
him, and caring not for his credit, his name, or his 
reputation. I am not angry with Mosellanus's 
attaching himself to Erasmus rather than me. 
Tell him to be Erasmian with all his strength." 
(May 28th, 1522.) This forbearance could not last. 
The publication of the De Libero Arbitrio was a 
declaration of war. Luther perceived that the 
true question was at last mooted. u What I 
esteem, what I laud in thee is, that thou alone 
hast touched the root of the subject, the whole 
gist of the matter, I mean free will. Thou dost 
not plague me with disputes foreign to the ques- 
tion, with the papacy, purgatory, indulgences, and 
other fooleries with which they have paid me off. 
Alone thou hast seized the knot, hast struck at the 
throat. Thanks, Erasmus ! ... It is irreligious, 
thou sayest, it is superfluous, a matter of pure 
curiosity, to inquire whether God be endowed with 
prescience, whether our will is operant as regards 
everlasting salvation, or is only acted upon by 
grace ; whether what good and evil we do, we do 
actively or passively ! . . Great God ! what then is 
religious, grave, useful \ Erasmus, Erasmus, it is 
difficult to accuse thee of ignorance ; a man of thy 
years, living in the midst of Christian people, and 
who has so long meditated upon the Scriptures ! 
It is impossible to excuse,, or to think well of thee. 
. . . What ! you, a theologian, you, a Christian 
doctor, not satisfied to abide by your ordinary 
scepticism, you to decide that those things are un- 
necessary, without which there is no longer God, 
nor Christ, nor Gospel, nor faith ; without which 
there remains nothing, I will not say of Chris- 

tianity, but of Judaism !" But all in vain is 
Luther powerful and eloquent; he cannot break 
asunder the bonds which entwine him. "Why," 
asks Erasmus, " does not God correct the viciousness 
of our will, since it is not in our power to control 
it ? or why does he impute it to us, since this 
viciousness of will is inherent in man ? . . . . The 
vessel says to the potter, ' Wherefore have you 
made me for the everlasting fire ?' . . . If man be 
not free, what is the meaning of precept, action, 
reward, in short, of all language ? Why speak of 
repentance, &c." Luther is exceedingly put to it 
to answer all this. " God speaks to us on this 
fashion," he says, " solely to convict us of our 
powerlessness if we do not implore his assistance. 
Satan said, ' Thou art free to act.' Moses said, 
' Act ;' in order to convict us before Satan of our 
inability to act." A cruel and seemingly silly 
answer ; equivalent to tying our legs, and then 
bidding us walk, and punishing us every time we 
fall. Recoiling from the consequences which 
Erasmus either deduces or hints at, Luther re- 
jects every system of interpretation for the Scrip- 
ture, and yet finds himself obliged to have recourse 
to interpretation in order to escape the conclusions 
of his adversary. For instance, he explains the 
" I mil harden Pliaraoh's heart," as follows : " God 
does evil in us, that is to say, through us, not 
through any defect in himself, but through the 
effect of our vices ; for we are sinners by nature, 
whilst God can only do good. By virtue of his 
omnipotence, he carries us along with him in his 
course of action, but, although good itself, he can- 
not prevent an evil instrument from producing 

It must have been glorious for Erasmus to behold 
the triumphant enemy of papacy writhing under 
his blows, and clutching to oppose him a weapon 
so dangerous to him who employs it. The more 
Luther struggles, the more he takes advantage; 
the more he pushes his victory, the deeper he sinks 
into immorality and fatalism, even to being con- 
strained to admit that Judas could do no other than 
betray Christ. Deep and lasting, therefore, was 
Luther's recollection of this quarrel. He did not 
deceive himself with regard to his triumph : he had 
not discovered the solution of the terrible problem; 
he felt this in his De Servo Arbitrio (On the Bon- 
dage of the Will) ; and, to his latest day, the name 
of him who had beaten him down to the most im- 
moral consequences of the doctrine of grace, is 
mixed up in his writings and sermons, with curses 
upon the blasphemers of Christ. 

He was, most of all, angered by Erasmus's ap- 
parent moderation ; who, not daring to attack the 
foundations of the edifice of Christianity, seemed 
desirous of destroying it slowly, stone by stone. 
This shifting and equivocation did not suit Luther's 
energy. " Erasmus," he says, " that amphibolous 
king, who sits quietly on the throne of amphibology, 
mocks us with his ambiguous words, and claps his 
hands when he sees us entangled in his insidious 
figures, like a quarry in the nets. Taking it as an 
opportunity for his rhetoric, he falls upon us with 
loud cries, tearing, flogging, crucifying, throwing all 
hell at our head, because, he says, we have under- 
stood in a slanderous, infamous, and Satanic sense, 
words which he, nevertheless, wished to be so un- 
derstood. . . . See him advance, creeping like a 
viper, to tempt simple souls, like the serpent that 

A.U. 15261529. 


beguiled Eve into doubt, and infused into her sus- 
picion of God's commands." Whatever Luther 
may say, this dispute occasioned him so much 
anxiety and trouble, that he at last declined battle, 
and prevented his friends from replying for him: 
" If I fight with dirt, conqueror or conquered, I am 
always defiled." " I would not," he writes to his 
son John, " for a thousand florins find myself in 
God's presence in the danger in which Jerome will 
stand, still less in Erasmus's place. If I recover 
health and strength I will fully and freely bear wit- 
ness to my God against Erasmus. I will not sell 
my dear little Jesus. I daily draw nearer to the 
grave ; and, before I descend into it, wish to bear 
witness to my God with my lips, and without put- 
ting forth a single leaf as my shield. As yet I have 
hesitated, and have said to myself, ' Shouldst thou 
kill him what would be his fate 1' I killed Miinzer, 
and his death is a load round my neck. But I 
killed him because he sought to kill my Christ." 
Preaching on Trinity Sunday, doctor Martin Luther 
says: " I pray all of you, who have seriously at 
heart the honour of Christ and of the Gospel, to be 
the enemies _of Erasmus. . . ." One day, doctor 
Luther exclaimed to doctors Jonas and Pomeranus, 
with energetic earnestness: " My dying prayers 
to you would be, ' Scourge this serpent.' . . . When 
I shall recover, with God's aid, I will write against 
him, and kill him. We have endured his mockery 
of us, and having taken us by the throat; but now, 
that he seeks to do the same by Christ, we will 
array ourselves against him. ... It is true, that 
crushing Erasmus is crushing a bug; but my Christ, 
whom he mocks, is nearer to me than Erasmus's 
being in danger." " If I live, I will, with God's 
aid, purge the Church of his ordure, "f is Erasmus 
who has given birth to Crotus, Egranus, Witzeln, 
(Ecolampadius, Campanus, and other visionaries or 
Epicureans. Be it thoroughly understood, I will no 
more recognize him as a member of the Church." 
Looking one day at a portrait of Erasmus, Luther 
said : " Erasmus, as his countenance proves, is a 
crafty, designing man, who has laughed at God and 
religion ;-he uses fine words, as, 'dear Lord Christ, 
the word of salvation, the holy sacraments,' but 
holds the truth to be a matter of indifference. 
When he preaches, it rings false, like a cracked 
pot. He has attacked the papacy, and is now draw- 
ing his head out of the noose." 

A.D. 1526 1529. 


THE firmest souls would have found it difficult to 
bear up against such a succession of shocks ; and 
Luther's visibly failed after the crisis of the year 
1525. His part had been changed, and most dis- 
tressingly. Erasmus's opposition was the signal 
for the estrangement of men of letters, who, at the 
first, had so powerfully aided Luther's cause. He 
had allowed the De Libero Arbitrlo to remain 
without any serious reply. The great innovator, 
the people's champion against Rome, saw himself 
outstripped by the people, and, in the war of the 

peasants, cursed by the people ; so that one cannot 
be surprised at the discouragement which over- 
whelmed him at this period. In this prostration of 
his mind, the flesh regained its empire ; he married. 
The two or three succeeding years are a sort of 
eclipse for Luther ; in which we find him for the 
most part preoccupied with worldly cares, that 
cannot, however, fill up the void he experiences. 
At last, he succumbs. A grand physical crisis 
marks the end of this period of atony. He is 
aroused from his lethargy by the dangers that 
threaten Germany ; which is invaded by Soliman 
(A.D. 1529), and threatened in its liberty and its 
faith at the diet of Augsburg, by Charles the Fifth. 
(A.D. 1530.) 

" Since God has created woman such as to re- 
quire of necessity to be near man, let us ask no 
more, God is on our side. So, let us honour mar- 
riage, as an honourable and divine institution. This 
mode of life is the first which it pleased God to 
ordain, is that which he has constantly maintained, 
is the last which he will glorify over every other. 
Where were kingdoms and empires when Adam 
and the patriarchs lived in marriage ? Out of 
what other kind of life do all states proceed ? 
Albeit, man's wickedness has compelled the ma- 
gistracy to usurp it for the most part, so that mar- 
riage has become an empire of war, whilst, in its 
purity and simplicity it is the empire of peace." 
(Jan. 17th, 1525.) " You tell me, my dear Spala, 
tin, that you wish to renounce the court, and your 
office. My advice to you is, to remain, except you 
leave to marry. For my part, I am in God's hand, 
a being whose heart he can change and change 
back, whom he can slay, or call to life, at each mo- 
ment, and at every hour. Nevertheless, in the 
state in which my heart has ever been, and still 
is, I shall not take a wife : not that I do not feel 
my flesh and my sex ; I am neither wood nor 
stone, but my mind inclines not to marriage whilst 
I am daily expecting the heretic's death and pu- 
nishment." (Nov. 30th, 1524.) " You need not be 
surprised that I, qui sic famosus sum amator (who 
am so notorious a lover), do not marry. You 
should rather be surprised that I, who have written 
so much upon marriage, and have constantly had 
so much to do with women, have not long since 
been changed into a woman rather than marrying 
one. Still, if you will regulate yourself by my 
example, it should be all-powerful with you to learn 
that I have had three spouses at the same time, 
and have loved them so much as to lose two, who 
are about to take other husbands. The third, I 
hardly detain by the left-hand, and she is slipping 
from me." (April 16th, 1525.) 

To Amsdorff. " Hoping to have my life spared 
for some time yet, 1 have not liked to refuse 
giving my father the hope of posterity. Besides, 
I have chosen to practise what I have preached, 
since so many others have shown themselves afraid 
to practise what is so clearly announced in the 
Gospel. I follow God's will ; and am not devoured 
with a burning, immoderate love for my wife, but 
simply love her." (June 21st, 1525.) 

His bride, Catherine von Bora, was a young girl 
of noble birth, who had escaped from her convent ; 
was twenty-four years of age, and remarkably beau- 
tiful. It appears that she had been previously 
attached to a young student of Nuremberg, Jerome 


A.D. 15261529. 

Baumgartner; and Luther wrote to liim (Oct. 12th, 
1524)." If you desire to obtain your Catherine von 
Bora, make haste before she is given to another, 
whose she almost is. Still, she has not yet over- 
come her love for you. For my part, I should be 
delighted to see you united." He writes to Stiefel, 
a year after his marriage. (Aug. 12th, 1526). 
" Catherine, my dear rib, salutes you. She is, 
thanks to God, in the enjoyment of excellent health. 
She is gentle, obedient, and complying in all things, 
beyond my hopes. I would not exchange my 
poverty for the wealth of Croesus." Luther, in 
truth, was at this time extremely poor. Pre- 
occupied with household cares, and anxiety about 
his future family, he turned his thoughts to ac- 
quiring a handicraft. " If the world will no longer 
support us in return for preaching the word, let 
us learn to live by the labour of our own hands." 
Could he have chosen, he would no doubt have 
preferred one of the arts which he loved the art 
of Albert Durer, and of his friend Lucas Cranach 
or music, which he called a science inferior to 
theology alone ; but he had no master. So he 
became turner. " Since our barbarians here know 
nothing of art or science, my servant Wolfgang and 
I have taken to turning." He commissioned Wen- 
ceslaus Link to buy him tools at Nuremberg. He 
also took to gardening and building. " I have 
planted a garden," he writes to Spalatin, "and 
have built a fountain, and have succeeded tolerably 
in both. Come, and be crowned with lilies and 
roses." (Dec. 1525.) In April, 1527, on being 
made a present of a clock by an abbot of Nurem- 
berg, " I must," he says, in acknowledging its re- 
ceipt, " I must become a student of mathematics 
in order to comprehend all this mechanism, for I 
never saw anything like it." A month afterwards 
he writes, " The turning tools are come to hand, 
and the dial with the cylinder and the wooden 
clock. I have tools enough for the present, except 
you meet with some newly-invented ones, which 
can turn of themselves, whilst my servant snores or 
stares at <he clouds. I have already taken my 
degree in clockmaking, which is prized by me as 
enabling me to tell the hour to my drunkards of 
Saxons, who pay more attention to their glasses 
than the hours, and care not whether sun, or clock, 
or whoso regulates the clock, go wrong." (May 
19th, 1527.) " You may absolutely see my melons, 
gourds, and pumpkins grow ; so I have known how 
to employ the seeds you have sent me." (July 5th.) 
Gardening was no great resource, and Luther 
found himself in a situation equally strange and 
distressing. This man, who governed kings, saw 
himself dependent on the elector for his daily food. 
The new church had only compassed her deliver- 
ance from the papacy, by subjecting herself to the 
civil power, which, at the outset, starved and neg- 
lected her. Luther had written to Spalatin in 1523, 
that he desired to resign the income which he 
drew frota his convent, into the elector's hands. 
..." Since we read no more, bawl no more, say 
mass no more, and, indeed, do nothing for which 
the house was founded, we can no longer live on 
this money which is no longer ours." (Nov. 1523.) 
" As yet, Staupitz has paid no fraction of our in- 
come. . . . We are daily plunging deeper into 
debt ; and I know not whether to apply to the 
elector again, or to let things go on, and the worst 
come to the worst, until want drives me forth from 

Wittemberg into the tender hands of pope and 
emperor." (Nov. 1523.) " Are we here to pay 
every one, and yet no one to pay us ? This is 
passing strange." (Feb. 1st. 1524.) "Each day 
burdens me with fresh debts ; I must seek alms by 
some other means." (April 24th, 1524.) "This 
life cannot last. Are not these delays of the prince 
justly calculated to arouse suspicion ? For my 
own part, I would long since have left my convent 
for some other abode, and have lived by my own 
labour (although I cannot now be said to live with- 
out labour), had 1 not feared to bring scandal on 
the Gospel, and even on the prince." (End of Dec. 

" You ask me for eight florins; but where shall 
I get them ? You know that I am obliged to use 
the strictest economy; and I have imprudently con- 
tracted debts this year to the amount of above a 
hundred florins. I have been forced to leave three 
goblets in pledge for fifty florins. It is true, that 
my Lord, who has thus punished me for my impro- 
vidence, has at last set me free. . . . Besides, 
Lucas and Christian will no longer take my security, 
finding that they either lose all, or else drain my 
purse to the bottom." (Feb. 2nd, 152?.) " Tell 
Nicolas Endrissus to ask me for some copies of my 
works. Although very poor, I have yet made cer- 
tain stipulations with my printers, asking them 
nothing for all my labour, except the power of taking 
occasionally a copy of my works. This is not ex- 
acting, I think, since other writers, even transla- 
tors, receive a ducat a sheet." (July 5th, 152?.) 
" What has happened, my dear Spalatin, that you 
write to me in so threatening and imperious a tone ? 
Has not Jonas experienced enough of your con- 
tempt and your prince's, that you still rage so 
furiously against that excellent man ? I know the 
prince's character, and how lightly he treats men. 
.... 'Tis thus, then, that the Gospel is honoured, 
by refusing a poor stipend to its ministers ! . . . . 
Is it not iniquitous and detestably perfidious to 
order him to leave, and yet to manage to make it 
appear that no such order had been given him ? 
And think you that Christ does not note the stra- 
tagem ? . . . I do not conceive, however, that the 
prince has sustained any injury through us. . . A 
tolerable proportion of the good things of this world 
has found its way into his purse, and each day is 
adding to it. God will find the means of feeding 
us, if you withhold your alms and some accursed 
money. . . Dear Spalatin, treat us, I pray you, us, 
Christ's poor and exiles, more gently, or else ex- 
plain yourself frankly, so that we may know what 
we are about, and no longer be forced to ruin our- 
selves by following an equivocal order, which, 
whilst it obliges us to leave, does not allow of our 
naming those who compel us to the step." (Nov. 
27th, 1524.) " We have been gratified, my dear 
Gerard Lampadarius, by the receipt of the letter 
and the cloth, which you have sent us with such 
candour of soul and benevolence of heart. . . . 
Catherine and myself use your lamps every night, 
and we reprove each other with having made you 
no present, and having nothing to seftd you to keep 
us in your recollection. I feel much shame at not 
having made you a present of paper even, though 
easy for me so to do. . . . Ere long I will send 
you a bundle of books, at the least. I would have 
forwarded to you, by this same conveyance, a Ger- 
man Isaiah, which has just seen the light, but I 

A.D. 15261529. 



have been stripped of every copy, so that I have 
not one left." (Oct. 14th, 1528.) 

To Martin Gorlitz, who had made him a present 
of beer: " Your Ceres of Torgau has been happily 
and gloriously consumed. It had been reserved for 
myself and for visitors, who were never weary of 
praising it above all they had ever tasked. Like a 
true boor, I have not yet sufficiently thanked your 
Emilia and you for it. I am so careless a house- 
keeper (oiKoBtffTroTtic) that I had utterly forgotten 
it was in my cellar, until reminded by my servant 
of it. Remember me to all our brethren, and, 
above all, to your Emilia and her son, the graceful 
hind and the young fawn. May the Lord bless you, 
and make you multiply by thousands, both accord- 
ing to the spirit and the flesh." (Jan. 15th, 1529.) 
Luther writes to Amsdorff, that he is about to ex- 
tend his hospitality to a young wife: " If my 
Catherine should be brought to bed at the same 
time, thou wouldst be the poorer for it. Gird thee, 
then, not with sword and cuirass, but with gold 
and silver and a good purse, for I will not let thee 
off without a present." (March 29th, 1529.) To 
Jonas: " I had got to the tenth line of this letter 
when they came to tell me that my Kate had given 
me a girl : ' All glory and praise to our Father who 
is in heaven !' My little John is safe. Augustin'a 
wife is doing well; and, lastly, Margaret Mochinn 
has escaped death, contrary to all expectation. By 
way of set-off, we have lost five pigs. . . . May 
the plague be satisfied with this contribution ! I am, 
as heretofore, an apostle truly, 'as dying, and behold, 
we live!'" Luther's wife was pregnant; his son ill, 
cutting his teeth; his two women-servants (Hannah 
and Margaret Mochinn) had been attacked by the 
plague, which was raging at the time at Wittem- 
berg. He writes to Amsdorff: " My house is turned 
into a hospital." (Nov. 1st, 1527.) "The wife of 
Georges, the chaplain, is dead of a miscarriage and 
the plague. . . . Every one is seized with terror. 
I have taken the curate and his family into my 
house." (Nov. 4th, 1527.) Your little John does 
not salute you, for he is ill, but begs your prayers. 
He has not touched food for these twelve days. It 
is marvellous to see how the child would fain be 
gay and cheerful as usual, but is too weak for the 
effort. The chirurgeon opened Margaret Mochinn's 
abscess yesterday, and she is beginning to recover. 
I have given her our winter apartment; we occupy 
the large front parlour; Hanschen is in my room, 
with the stove ; and Augustin's wife in hers. We 
are beginning to hope that the plague has run its 
course. Adieu. Embrace your daughter and her 
mother for us, and remember us in your prayers." 
(Nov. 10th, 1527.) 

" My poor son was dead, but has been resuscita- 
ted. He had not eaten for twelve days. The 
Lord has increased my family by a little girl. We 
are all well, save Luther himself, who, sound in 
body and utterly isolated from the world, suffers 
inwardly from the attacks of the devil and his 
angels. I am writing for the second and last 
time against the Sacramentarians and their vain 
words, &c." (December 31st, 1527.) " My little 
daughter Elizabeth is dead. I am surprised how 
sick she has left me at heart; a woman's heart, so 
shaken I am. I could not have believed that a 
father's soul would have been so tender towards 
his child." (August 5th, 1528.) " I can teach you 
what it is to be a father, especially of one of that 

sex which has the power of awakening your softest 
emotions beyond the reach of sons (prcesertim sexus 
qui ultra jttiorum casum etiam habet misericordiam 
valde. moventem)." (June 5th, 1530.) 

Towards the close of the year 1527, Luther 
himself was frequently seriously indisposed both 
in body and mind. Writing to Melanchthon, 
October 27th, he concludes his letter as follows: 
" I have not yet read Erasmus's new work, and 
what should I read, I, a sick servant of Jesus 
Christ's, I, who am scarcely alive ? What can I 
do ? What write ? Is it God's will thus to over- 
whelm me with all ocean's waves at once ? And 
it is they who ought to have compassion on me 
who come to give me the final blow after so many 
sufferings! May God enlighten them and their 
hearts! Amen." Two of Luther's intimate friends, 
doctors John Bugenhagen and Jonas, have left us 
the following account of a fainting fit with which 
Luther was seized about the end of 1527: "On 
the Saturday of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary 
(A.D. 1527), in the afternoon, doctor Luther com- 
plained of pains in the head and such inexpressibly 
violent humming in his ears, that he thought he 
must sink under it. In the course of the morning, 
he sent for doctor Bugenhagen to confess him; 
when he spoke to him with affright of the tempta- 
tions he had been going through, begged him to 
strengthen him, and to pray to God for him, and 
concluded by saying, ' Because I sometimes wear a 
gay and jovial air, many conclude that my path is 
on roses ; and God knows how far my heart is from 
any such feeling. Often have I resolved, for the 
world's sake, to assume a more austere and holier 
demeanour (I do not explain myself well), but God 
has not favoured my resolve.' In the afternoon of 
the same day he fell down senseless, turned quite 
cold, and gave no sign of life. When recalled to 
himself by unceasing care, he began to pray with 
great fervour: ' Thou knowest, my God!' he said, 
' how cheerfully I would have poured out my blood 
for thy word, but thou hast willed it otherwise. 
Thy will be done! No doubt, I was unworthy of it. 
Death would be my happiness; yet, my God! if 
it be thy will, gladly would I still live to spread 
thy holy word, and comfort such of thy people as 
wax faint. Nevertheless, if my hour be come, thy 
will be done ! In thy hands are life and death. 
my Lord Jesus Christ, I thank thee for thy grace 
in suffering me to know thy holy name. Thou 
knowest that I believe in thee, in the Father, and 
in the Holy Ghost; thou art my divine Mediator 
and Saviour. . . . Thou knowest, O my Lord, that 
Satan has laid numerous snares for me, to slay my 
body by tyrants and my soul by his fiery arrows, 
his infernal temptations. Up to this time, thou 
hast marvellously protected me against all his 
fury. Protect me still, my steadfast Lord, if it 
be thy will!' 

" Then he turned to us both (Bugenhagen and 
Jonas), and said, 'The world is prone to lying, and 
there will be many who will say that I retracted 
before I died. I call on you, therefore, at once to 
receive my profession of faith. I conscientiously 
declare that I have taught the true word of God, 
even as the Lord laid upon me and impelled me 
to do. Yea ; I declare that what I have preached 
upon faith, charity, the cross, the holy sacrament, 
and other articles of the Christian doctrine, is 
just, good, and conducive to salvation. I have 


A.D. 15261520. 

>een often accused of violence and harshness ; I 
acknowledge that I have sometimes been violent 
and harsh towards my enemies. Yet have I never 
sought to injure any one, still less the perdition of 
any soul. I had intended to write upon baptism, 
and against Zwingle ; but God, apparently, has 
willed the contrary.' He next spoke of the sects 
;hat will arise to pervert God's word, and will not 
spare, he said, the flock which the Lord has re- 
deemed with his blood. He wept as he spoke of 
these things. 'As yet;' he said, ' God has suf- 
fered me to join you in the struggle against these 
spirits of disorder, and I would gladly continue so 
to do ; alone, you will be too weak against them 
all. However, the thought of Jesus Christ re-as- 
sures me ; for he is stronger than Satan and all 
his arms ; he is the Lord of Satan.' Some short 
time after, when the vital heat had been a little 
evived by frictions, and the application of hot 
Billows, he asked his wife, 'Where is my little 
iieart, my well-beloved little John?' When the 
child was brought, he smiled at his father, who 
began saying, with tears in his eyes, ' Poor dear 
little one, I commend you to God, you and your 
good mother, my dear Catherine. You are penni- 
less, but God will take care of you. He is the 
father of orphans and widows. Preserve them, 
my God; inform them, even as thou hast preserved 
and informed me up to this day.' He then spoke 
to his wife about some silver goblets. 'Thou 
knowest,' he added, ' they are all we have left.' 
He fell into a deep sleep, which recruited his 
strength ; and on the next day, he was consider- 
ably better. He then said to doctor Jonas, ' Never 
shall I forget yesterday. The Lord takes man into 
hell, and draws him out of it. The tempest which 
beat yesterday morning on my soul, was much 
more terrible than that which my body underwent 
towards evening. God kills, and brings to life. 
He is the master of life and death.' " 

" For nearly three months, I have been growing 
weaker, not in body, but in mind ; to such a de- 
gree, that I can scarcely write these few lines. 
This is Satan's doing." (Oct. 8th, 1527.) " I want 
to reply to the Sacramentarians, but shall be able 
to do nothing except my soul be fortified." (Nov. 
1st, 1527.) " I have not yet read Erasmus, or the 
Sacramentarians, with the exception of some three 
sheets of Zwingle. It is well done of them to 
trample me so mercilessly under foot, so that I 
may say with Jesus Christ, ' He persecuted the poor 
and needy man, that he might even slay tlie broken in 
heart.' I alone bear the weight of God's wrath, 
because I have sinned towards him. The pope 
and Caesar, the princes, the bishops, the whole 
world, hates and assails, but yet 'tis not enough 
without my very brother come to torment me. 
My sins, death, Satan and his angels, rage inces- 
santly against me. And who would keep or com- 
fort me if Christ were to desert me ; for whose 
sake I have incurred their hate ? But he will not 
desert the wretched sinner when the end cometh ; 
for I think I shall be the last of all men. Oh i 
would to God that Erasmus and the Sacramenta- 
rians were to undergo for a quarter of an hour 
only the misery of my heart !" (Nov. 10th, 1527.] 
" Satan tries me with marvellous temptations, bul 
I am not left without the prayers of the saints, 
albeit the wounds of my heart are not easy to cure. 
My comfort is, that there are many others who 

lave to sustain the same struggles. No doubt, 
here is no suffering so great that my sins do not 
deserve it. But what gives me life and strengtli is, 
the consciousness that 1 have taught, to the salva- 
tion of many, the true and pure word of Christ. 
This it is which burns up Satan, who would wish to 
see me and the word drowned and lost. And so I 
iuffer nothing at the hands of the tyrants of this 
world, while others are killed, burnt, and die for 
Christ ; but I have so much the more to suffer 
spiritually from the prince of this world." (August 
2lst, 1527.) " When I wish to write, my head is 
illed as it were with tinklings, thunders, and if I 
did not stop at once, I should faint outright. I 
nave now been three days, unable even to look 
at a letter. My head is wearing into a small 
chapter ; and if this goes on, it will soon be no 
more than a paragraph, a period (caput rneumfac- 
tum est capitulum, perget vero fietque paragraphus, 
tandem periodus). The day I received your letter 
from Nuremberg, Satan visited me. 1 was alone. 
Vitus and Cyriacus had left me. This time he 
was the stronger. He drove me out of my bed, 
and forced me to go and seek the face of men." 
(May 12, 1530). " Although well in bodily health, 
I am ever ill with Satan's persecutions ; which 
hinder me from writing or doing anything. The 
last day, I fully believe, is not far from us. Fare- 
well, cease not to pray for poor Luther." (Feb. 28th, 
1529). " One may overcome the temptations 
of the flesh, but how hard it is to struggle against 
the temptation of blasphemy and despair. We 
neither comprehend the sin, nor know the re- 
medy." After a week of constant suffering, he 
wrote : " Having all but lost my Christ, I was 
beaten by the waves and tempests of despair and 
blasphemy." (Aug. 2nd, 1527.) 

Luther, far from receiving support and comfort 
from his friends, whilst undergoing these internal 
troubles, saw some lukewarm and timidly sceptical, 
others fairly embarked in the path of mysticism 
which he had himself opened up for them, and wan- 
dering further from him daily. The first to declare 
himself was Agricola, the leader of the Antinomians. 
We shall hereafter see how Luther's last days were 
embittered by his controversy with so dear a 
friend. " Some one has been telling me a tale of 
you, my dear Agricola, and with such urgency 
that I promised him to write and make inquiry of 
you. The tale is, that you are beginning to ad- 
vance the doctrine of faith without works, and 
that you profess yourself ready to maintain this 
novelty against all and sundry, with a grand 
magazine of Greek words and rhetorical artifices. 
... I warn you to be on your guard against the 
snares of Satan. . . . Never did event come more 
unexpectedly upon me than the fall of OZcolam- 
padius and of Regius. And what have I not now 
to fear for those who have been my intimate 
friends ! It is not surprising that I should trem- 
ble for you also, whom I would not see separated 
in opinion from me for aught that the world can 
bestow." (Sept. 1 1th, 1528.) " Wherefore should I 
be provoked with the papists ? They make open 
war upon me. We are declared enemies. Bul 
they who do me most evil are my dearest children 
fraterculi met, aurei amiculi mei ; they who, if Luther 
had not written, would know nothing of Christ anc 
the Gospel, and would never have thrown off the 
papal yoke ; at least, who, if they had had the 

A.D. 15291532. 



power, would have lacked the courage. I thought 
that I had by this time suffered and exhausted 
every calamity ; but my Absalom, the child of my 
heart, had not yet deserted his father, had not yet 
covered David with shame. My Judas, the terror 
of the disciples of Christ, the traitor who delivered 
up his master, had not yet sold me : and now all 
this has befallen me. 

" A clandestine, but most dangerous persecution 
is now going on against us. Our ministry is 
despised. We ourselves are hated, persecuted, 
and suffered to die of hunger. See what is now 
the fate of God's word. When offered to those 
who stand in need of it, they will not receive it. . . 
Christ would not have been crucified, had he left 
Jerusalem. But the prophet will not die out of 
Jerusalem, and yet it is only in his own country 
that the prophet is without honour. It is the 
same with us. ... It will soon come to pass that 
the great of this duchy will have emptied it of minis- 
ters of the word ; who will be driven from it by 
hunger, not to mention other wrongs." (Oct. 18th, 

" There is nothing certain with regard to the 
apparitions about which so much noise has been 
made in Bohemia : many deny the fact. But 
as to the gulfs which opened here, before my own 
eyes, the Sunday after Epiphany, at eight o'clock 
in the evening, it is a certainty, and has been 
noticed in many places as far as the sea-coast. 
Moreover, in December, doctor Hess writes me 
word, the heavens were seen in flames above the 
church of Breslaw ; and another day, he adds, 
two beams were in flames, and a tower of fire 
between. These signs, if I mistake not, announce 
the last day. The empire is falling, kings are 
falling, priests are falling, and the whole world 
totters ; just as small fissures announce the ap- 

proaching fall of a large house. Nor will it be 
long before this happen, unless the Turk, as 
Ezekiel prophesies of Gog and Magog, lose himself 
in his victory and his pride, with the pope, his 
ally." (March 7, 1529.) " Grace and peace in our 
Lord Jesus Christ. The world hastens to its end, 
and I often think that the day of judgment may 
well overtake me before I have finished my trans- 
lation of the Holy Scriptures. All temporal things 
predicted there are being fulfilled. The Roman 
empire inclines to its ruin, the Turk has reached 
the height of his power, the splendour of the 
papacy suffers eclipse, the world is cracking in 
every corner, as if about to crumble to pieces. 
The empire, I grant, has recovered a little under 
our emperor Charles, but 'tis, perhaps, for the 
last time ; may it not be like the light which, the 
moment before it goes out for ever, emits a livelier 
flash. . . . The Turk is about to fall upon us. 
Mark me ; he is a reformer sent in God's wrath." 
(March 15th.) 

" There is a man with me, just come from 
Venice, who asserts that the doge's son is at the 
court of the Turk : so that we have been only 
fighting against the latter until pope, Venetians, 
and French openly and impudently turn Turks. 
The same man states that there were eight hun- 
dred Turks in the army of the Frenchmen at 
Pavia ; three hundred of whom, sick of the war, 
have returned safe and sound to their own country. 
As you have not mentioned these montrosities to 
me, I conclude you to be ignorant of them ; but 
they have been told me both by letters and personal 
informants, with details which do not allow me to 
doubt of their truth. The hour of midnight ap- 
proaches, when we shall hear the cry, ' The bride- 
groom cometh, go ye out to meet him.' " (May 6th, 


A.D. 15291546. 

A.D. 15291532. 


LUTHER was roused from his dejection, and restored 
to active life, by the dangers which threatened the 
Reformation and Germany. When that scourge of 
God, whose coming he awaited with resignation, 
as the sign of the judgment, burst in reality on 
Germany, when the Turks encamped before Vi- 
enna, Luther changed his mind, called on the 
people to take up arms, and published a book 
against the Turks, which he dedicated to the land- 
grave of Hesse. On the 9th of October, 1528, he 
wrote to this prince, explaining to him the motives 
which had induced him to compose it : " I can- 
not," he says, " keep my peace. There are, un- 
fortunately, preachers among us who exhort the 

people to pay no attention to the invasion of the 
Turks ; and there are some extravagant 'enough to 
assert that Christians are forbidden to have re- 
course to temporal arms under any circumstances. 
Others, again, who regard the Germans as a nation 
of incorrigible brutes, go so far as to hope they ma} 
fall under the power of the Turks. These mad and 
criminal notions are imputed to Luther and the 
Gospel, just as, three years since, the revolt of the 
peasants was, and as, in fact, every ill which befalls 
the world invariably is; so that I feel it incumbeni 
on me to write upon the subject, as well to confounc 
calumniators, as to enlighten innocent consciences 
on the course to be pursued against the Turks 
. . ." " We heard yesterday that, by God's mira 
culous grace, the Turk has left Vienna for Hungary 
For, after having been repulsed in his twentietl 
assault, he sprang a mine, which opened a breach 
in three places, but nothing could induce his arm; 
to renew the attack. God had struck a panic int 



A.D. 15291532. 

it, and his soldiers preferred falling by the hands 
of their chiefs to advancing to another assault. 
Some believe that he has drawn off his forces 
through fear of bombards and our future army ; 
others think otherwise. God manifestly has fought 
for us this year. The Turk has lost twenty-six 
thousand men ; three thousand of ours have fallen 
in sorties. I have written this news to you, in order 
that we may offer up thanks and prayer together; 
for the Turk, now that he is our neighbour, will 
not leave us for ever in peace." (Oct. 27th, 1529.) 

Germany was saved, but German Protestantism 
was only the more endangered. The exasperation 
of the two parties had been brought to a climax, by 
a circumstance which occurred prior to Solyman's 
invasion. To believe Luther's Roman Catholic bio- 
grapher, Cochlseus, whom we have before quoted, 
duke George's chancellor, Otto Pack, feigned that 
the Roman Catholic princes had formed a league 
against the elector of Saxony and the landgrave of 
Hesse, and showed forged documents with the 
duke's seal to them, to the landgrave, who, be- 
lieving himself to be menaced, levied an army, and 
entered into close alliance with the elector. The 
Catholics, and, above all, duke George, vehemently 
repelled the charge of having ever thought of 
menacing the religious independence of the Luthe- 
ran princes, and disavowed the chancellor, who, 
perhaps, had only been guilty of divulging the 
secret designs of his master. "Doctor Pack, in 
my opinion a voluntary prisoner of the landgrave's, 
has hitherto borne the blame of having got up this 
alliance of the princes. He asserts that he can 
rebut the charge, and clear himself with honour ; 
and may God grant this plot to rebound on the 
head of the clown whom I believe to be its author, 
on that of our grand adversary ; you know whom 
I mean, duke George of Saxony." (July 14th, 
1528.) " You see the troubles this league of wicked 
princes, which they deny however, has stirred up. 
For my part, I look upon duke George's cold ex- 
cuse as a confession. God will confound this mad- 
headed fool ; this Moab, who exalts his pride above 
his strength. We will lift up our voice in prayer 
against these homicides ; enough indulgence has 
been shown. And, if they are still plotting, we 
will first invoke God, then summon the princes to 
destroy them without pity." 

Although all the princes had declared the docu- 
ments to be forgeries, the bishops of Mentz, Barn- 
berg, &c., were called upon to pay a hundred 
thousand crowns of gold, by way of indemnity for 
the armaments which the Lutheran princes had 
prepared ; and who, indeed, asked no better than 
to begin war. They had computed, and they felt 
their strength. The grand-master of the Teutonic 
order had secularised Prussia ; and the dukes of 
Mecklenburg and of Brunswick, encouraged by 
this great event, had invited Lutheran preachers. 
(A.D. 1525.) The Reformation prevailed over the 
north of Germany. In Switzerland, and on the 
Rhine, the Zwinglians, who increased daily in num- 
bers, were seeking to identify themselves with 
Luther. Finally, on the south and the east, the 
Turks, masters of Buda and of Hungary, constantly 
menaced Austria, and held the emperor in check. 
In default of the latter, duke George of Saxony, 
and the powerful bishops of the north, had consti- 
tuted themselves the opponents of the Reformation. 
A violent controversial war had long been going 

on between this prince and Luther. The duke 
wrote to the latter: " Thou fearest our having to 
do with hypocrites; the present letter will show thee 
how far this is the case, in which, if thou fiudest us 
dissemble, thou mayest speak as ill of us as thou 
likest; if not, thou must look for hypocrites there, 
where thou art called a prophet, a Daniel, the apostle 
of Germany, the evangelist. . . . Thou imaginest, 
perchance, that thou art sent of God to us, like 
those prophets whom God commissioned to convert 
princes and the powerful. Moses was sent to 
Pharaoh ; Samuel to Saul ; Nathan to David ; 
Isaiah to Hezekiah ; St. John the Baptist to Herod, 
as we well know. But, amongst all these prophets, 
we do not find a single apostate. They were consis- 
tent in doctrine, sincere and pious men, free from 
pride and avarice, and friends of chastity. . . . We 
reck little of thy prayers, or of those of thy asso- 
ciates. We know that God hates the assembly of 
thy apostates. . . . God punished Miinzer for his 
perversity, through us. He may well visit Luther 
likewise ; nor shall we refuse to be in this, too, his 
unworthy instrument. . . . No, Luther, rather re- 
turn thyself, and be no longer led astray by the 
spirit which seduced the apostate Sergius. The 
Christian church closes not her bosom against the 
repentant sinner. ... If it be pride which has 
lost thee, consider that haughty Manichean, St. 
Augustin, thy master, whose rule thou hast sworn 
to observe : return, like him ; return to thy fidelity 
and thy oaths ; be, like him, a light to Christen- 
dom. . . . Such are our counsels to thee for the 
new year. Conform to them, thou wilt be eternally 
rewarded by God, and we will do our utmost to 
obtain thy pardon from the emperor." (Dec. 28th, 

Luther's Protest against duke George, who had 
intercepted one of his letters, 1529: "As to the 
fine names duke George showers on me wretch, 
criminal, perjurer, I cannot but thank him. They 
are the emeralds, rubies, and diamonds, with which 
I ought to be adorned by princes in return for 
the honour and power which temporal authority 

receives from the restoration of the Gospel 

Would not one say that duke George knows no 
superior ? ' I, squire of squires,' he says, ' am 
alone master and prince, am above all the princes 
in Germany, am above the empire, its laws and 
customs. I am the one to be feared, the one to 
be obeyed; my will is law, despite what all others 
may think or say.' Where, friends, will the pride 
of this Moab stop ? There is only now left for 
him to scale heaven, to spy and punish letters and 
thoughts even in the sanctuary of God himself. 
See our little prince; and withal, he will be glori- 
fied, respected, adored ! Mighty well, gramercy." 
In 1529, the year of the treaty of Cambrai and 
of the siege of Vienna by Solyman, the emperor 
convened a diet at Spire (March 15th), where it 
was settled that the states of the empire were to 
continue to obey the decree launched against 
Luther in 1524, and that every innovation was to 
remain interdicted until the convocation of a 
general council. It was on this that the party of 
the Reformation broke out. The elector of 
Saxony, the margrave of Brandenburg, the land- 
grave of Hesse, the dukes of Luneburg, the prince 
of Anhalt, and, in conjunction with them, the depu- 
ties of fourteen imperial cities, published a solemn 
protest against the decree of the diet, declaring it 

A.D. 15291532. 


to be impious and unjust; and from this they kept 
the name of Protestants. 

The landgrave of Hesse, feeling the necessity of 
combining all the dissident sects so as to form a 
party which might be formidable to the Catholics 
of Germany, endeavoured to bring about a recon- 
ciliation between Luther and theSacramentarians; 
but Luther foresaw the inutility of the attempt: 
" The landgrave of Hesse has summoned us to 
attend at Marburg on St. Michael's day, in the 
view of reconciling us and the Sacramentarians. . . 
I augur no good from it; it is all a snare; and the 
victory, I fear, will be theirs, as in the age of 
Arius. Meetings of the kind are ever more injurious 
than useful. . .This young man of Hesse is restless 
and full of ebullient ideas. The Lord has saved 
us these two last years from two great conflagra- 
tions which would have set all Germany on fire." 
(August 2nd, 1529.) " We have been most sump- 
tuously entertained by the landgrave. CEcolampa- 
dius, Zwingle, Bucer, &c., were there; and all 
entreated for peace with extraordinary humility. 
The conference lasted two days. I opposed CEco- 
lampadius and Zwingle with the text, ' This is my 
body,' and refuted their objections. In short, 
they are ignorant persons, incapable of sustaining 
a discussion." (October 12th.) " I am delighted, 
my dear Amsdorff, that you are delighted with our 
synod of Marburg. The thing is apparently 
trifling; but, in reality, of great importance. The 
prayers of the pious have confounded, paralyzed, 
humiliated them. The whole of Zwingle's argu- 
ment is reducible to this, that there can be no 
body without place or dimension. CEcolampadius 
maintained that the Fathers called the bread a 
sign, and that therefore it was not very body. . . . 
They besought us to give them the name of 
brothers. Zwingle asked it of the landgrave with 
tears. ' There is no spot on earth,' he said, ' where 
I would sooner pass my life than Wittemberg.'. . . 
We only allowed them the name save as charity com- 
pels us to give it to our enemies. . . They conducted 
themselves in every way with incredible humility 
and candour; in order, as is now clear to be seen, 
to beguile us into a fictitious agreement, so as to 
make us the partisans and patrons of their errors. 
. . . O crafty Satan; but Christ, who has saved us, 
is abler than thou. I am now no longer astonished 
at their impudent lies. I see that they cannot act 
otherwise, and glorify myself for their fall." (June 
1st, 1530.) 

This theological war of Germany filled up the 
intervals of truce in the grand European war 
carried on by Charles the Fifth against Francis I. 
and against the Turks; indeed, seldom slackened 
even in the most violent crises of the latter. Ger- 
many, so absorbed at this moment in the considera- 
tion of religion as to be on the point of forgetting 
the impending ruin with which she was threatened 
by the most formidable enemies, presents an im- 
posing spectacle. Whilst the Turks were over- 
leaping all the ancient barriers, and Solyman 
pushing on his Tartars beyond Vienna, Germany 
was disputing on transubstantiation and free-will, 
and her most illustrious warriors sat in diets and 
interrogated doctors. Such was the phlegmatic 
intrepidity of the great nation; such its confidence 
in its massive strength. Charles the Fifth and 
Ferdinand were so taken up with the Turkish and 
the French war, with the taking of Rome and 

defence of Vienna, that the Protestants were 
granted toleration until the next council. But in 
1530, Charles, seeing France humbled, Italy sub- 
jected, and Solyman repulsed, undertook the grand 
trial of the Reformation. Both parties appeared 
at Augsburg. Luther's followers, designated by 
the general name of Protestants, were anxious to 
distinguish themselves from the other enemies of 
Rome whose excesses might injure their cause, 
from the republican Zwinglians of Switzerland, 
who were odious to the princes and nobles, and 
especially from the Anabaptists, proscribed as 
enemies of order and society. Luther, still ob- 
noxious to the sentence pronounced against him at 
Worms, by which he was declared a heretic, could 
not be present. His place was filled by the mild 
and peaceful Melanchthon, a gentle and timid 
being like Erasmus, whose friend he remained in 
despite of Luther. However, the elector brought 
him as near as possible to Augsburg, lodging him 
in the fortress of Cobourg, where Luther could be 
in constant correspondence with the Protestant 
ministers, and whence he wrote to Melauchthon 
on the 22nd of April: "I have arrived at my 
Sinai, dear Philip, but will make it a Zion, and 
erect thereon three tabernacles, one to the Psalm- 
ist, one to the prophets, one to ^Esop (whose fables 
he was then translating). There is nothing want- 
ing to render my solitude complete. I have a vast 
house which commands the castle and the keys of 
all the rooms. There are barely thirty persons in 
the fortress; and twelve of these are watchers by 
night, and two others sentinels, always posted on 
the towers." (April 22nd.) 

To Spalatin, (May 9th): "You are going to 
Augsburg without having taken the auspices, and 
not knowing when they will allow you to begin. I, 
indeed, am already in the midst of the comitia, in 
the presence of magnanimous sovereigns, kings, 
dukes, princes, nobles, who confer gravely on affairs 
of state, and with indefatigable voice fill the air 
with their decrees and preachings. They do not 
sit confined in the royal caves you call palaces, but 
have the heavens for their tent, the verdure of the 
trees for their rich and variegated carpet, and the 
earth, to its remotest bounds, for their domain. 
They have a horror of the stupid luxury of gold 
and silk, and all wear the same colours and counte- 
nances; they are all equally black; all indulge in 
the same music; and this song of theirs, on a single 
note, is varied only by the agreeable dissonance of 
the younger voices blending with the older. I have 
never heard a word about their emperor; and they 
have a sovereign contempt for that quadruped in 
which our knights delight, possessing something 
better with which they can laugh at the rage of 
cannons. As far as I can understand their decrees, 
they have unanimously determined upon making 
war the whole of this year on barley, wheat, and 
grain, and, in fact, on the choicest fruits and seeds. 
It is to be feared, too, that they will triumph in 
all directions, being a race of skilful and crafty 
warriors, equally skilled to seize their prey by force 
or by surprise. I, an idle spectator, have assisted 
with great satisfaction at their comitia. The hope 
I have conceived of the victories then? courage will 
ensure them over the wheat and barley, or any 
other enemy, has made me the sincere friend of 
these patres patrice, these saviours of the republic. 
And if I can aid them by vows, I ask of Heaven, that 


A.D. 15291532. 

delivered from the odious name of crows, &c. All 
this is trifling; but serious trifling, and necessary to 
chase the thoughts which oppress me, if chase them 
it can." (May 9th.) " The noble lords who form 
our comitia run, or rather sail, through the air. 
They sally forth early iu the morning to war, 
armed with their invincible beaks, and while they 
pillage, ravage, and devour, I am freed for a time 
from their eternal songs of victory. In the even- 
ing, they return in triumph; fatigue closes their 
eyes; but their sleep is sweet and light, like a con- 
queror's. Some days since I made my way into 
their palace to view' the pomp of their empire. The 
unfortunates were seized with terror, imagining 
that I came to destroy the results of their industry. 
When I saw that I alone made so many Achilleses 
and Hectors tremble, I clapped my hands, threw 
my hat into the air, and thought myself sufficiently 
avenged to be able to laugh at them. All this is 
not mere trifling; 'tis an allegory, a presage of what 
will come to pass. And, even thus, we shall see all 
these harpies, who are now at Augsburg screeching 
and Romanising, trembling before God's word." 
(June 19th.) 

Melanchthon, transformed at Augsburg into a 
partisan leader, and forced to do battle daily with 
legates, princes, and emperor, was exceedingly dis- 
composed with the active life with which he had 
been saddled, and often unbosomed his troubles to 
Luther, when all the comfort he got was rough re- 
buke: "You tell me of your labours, dangers, tears; 
am I on roses ? Do not I share your burden ? Ah ! 
would to heaven my cause were such as to allow me 
to shed tears !" (June 29th.) " May God reward 
the tyrant of Saltzburg, who works thee so much 
ill, according to his works ! He deserves another 
sort of answer from thee; such as I would have 
made him, perchance; such as has never struck his 
ear. They must, I fear, hear the saying of Julius 
Caesar: ' They would have i.' "... "I write in 
vain, because, with thy philosophy, thou wishest to 
set all these things right with thy reason, that is, 
to be unreasoning with reason. Go on; continue to 
kill thyself so, without seeing that neither thy hand 
nor thy mind can grasp this thing." (30th June, 
1530.) " God has placed this cause in a certain 
spot, unknown to thy rhetoric and thy philosophy 
that spot is faith; there all things are inaccessible 
to the sight ; and whoever would render them 
visible, apparent, and comprehensible, gets pains 
and tears as the price of his labour, as thou hast. 
God has said that his dwelling is hi the clouds and 
thick darkness. Had Moses sought a means of 
avoiding Pharaoh's army, Israel would, perhaps, 
still be in Egypt. ... If we have not faith, why 
not seek consolation in the faith of others, for some 
must necessarily have it, though we have not 1 Or 
else, must we say that Christ has abandoned us be- 
fore the fulfilment of time ? If he be not with us, 
where, is he in this world ? If we be not the church, 
or part of the church, where is the church ? Is 
Ferdinand the church, or the duke of Bavaria, or 
the pope, or the Turk, or their fellows ? If we have 
not God's word, who has ? These things are beyond 
thee, for Satan torments and weakens thee. That 
Christ may heal thee is my sincere and constant 
prayer !" (June 29th.) " I am in poor health. . . 
But I despise the angel of Satan, that is buffeting 
my flesh. If I cannot read or write, I can at least 
think and pray, and even wrestle with the devil; 

and then sleep, idle, play, sing. Fret not thyself 
away, dear Philip, about a matter which is not in 
thy hand, but in that of One mightier than thou, 
and from whom no one can snatch it." (July 31st.) 
Melanchthon believes it possible to reconcile 
the two parties ; but Luther had early seen its 
impracticability. At the commencement of the 
Reformation, he had often demanded public dis- 
putations, feeling bound to try every means before 
giving up the hope of preserving Christian unity ; 
but, towards the close of his life, in fact, from the 
holding of the diet of Augsburg, he declared 
against all such word-combats, in which the con- 
quered party will never own its defeat. " I am 
opposed to all attempts to bring the two doctrines 
into harmony ; for the thing is impossible, except 
the pope consent to abolish the papacy. It is 
enough for us to have rendered an account of our 
belief, and asked for peace. Why hope to convert 
them to the truth 2" (August 26th.) To Spalatin. 
(August 26th.) " I hear you have undertaken a 
marvellous task, to reconcile Luther and the pope. 
... If you accomplish it, I promise you to recon- 
cile Christ and Belial." In a letter of the 21st of 
July, to Melanchthon, he writes : " You will see 
how true a prophet I am in reiterating the impos- 
sibility of reconciling the two doctrines, and that it 
is enough for us to obtain the preservation of the 
public peace." His prophecies were unheeded ; 
conferences were held ; and the Protestants were 
asked for a confession of faith. Melanchthon drew 
it up, taking Luther's opinion on the most im- 
portant points. To Melanchthon. " I have re- 
ceived your apology, and am astonished at your 
asking what we are to cede to the papists. If the 
prince, indeed, be in any danger, that is another 
question. But, as far as I am concerned, more 
concessions are made in this apology than are 
becoming. If they reject them, I do not see how 
I can go further, except their arguments strike 
me with much more force on reflection than now. 
I pass my days and nights pondering, interpreting, 
analysing, searching the Scriptures, and am only 
daily more confirmed in my doctrine. Our adver- 
saries do not yield us a hair, and yet require us to 
yield them the canon, masses, communion in one 
kind, then? customary jurisdiction, and, still more, 
to acknowledge that they are justified in the 
whole of their conduct to us, and that we have 
accused them wrongfully ; in other words, they 
require us to justify them, and condemn ourselves 
out of our own lips, which would be not simply to 
retract, but to be trebly accursed by our own 
selves. ... I do not like your supporting your- 
selves in such a cause by my opinions. I will 
neither be nor seem your chief. . . If it be not 
your own cause, I will not have it called mine, and 
of my imposing. If I be its sole supporter, 1 will 
be its sole defender." (September 20th.) Two days 
previously he had written to him, " If I hear you 
are getting on badly, I shall hardly be able to 
refrain from facing this formidable row of Satan's 
teeth." And shortly after, " I would fain be the 
victim to be sacrificed by this last council, as John 
Huss was at Constance that of the last day of the 
papal fortunes." (July 21st.) 

The Protestant profession of faith was presented 
to the diet, " and read by order of Csesar before all 
the princes and states of the empire. 'Tis exceed- 
ing happiness for me to have lived to see Christ 

A.D. 15291532. 



preached by his confessors before such an assembly, 
and in so fine a confession." (July 6th.) This con- 
fession was signed by five electors, thirty ecclesias- 
tical princes, twenty-three secular princes, twenty- 
two abbots, thirty-two counts and barons, and thirty- 
nine free and imperial cities. " The prince elector 
of Saxony, the margrave George of Brandenburg, 
John Frederick the younger, landgrave of Hesse, 
Ernest and Francis, dukes of Luneburg, prince 
Wolfgang of Anhalt, the cities of Nuremberg and of 
Reutlingen have signed the confession. . . . Many 
bishops incline to peace, without caring about the 
sophisms of Eck and Faber. The archbishop of 
Mentz wishes for peace, as does duke Henry of 
Brunswick, who invited Melanchthon familiarly to 
dinner, and assured him that he could not deny the 
reasonableness of the articles touching communion 
in both kinds, the marriage of priests, and the 
inutility of making distinctions as to matters of 
food. All our people confess that no one has 
shown himself more conciliatory in all the con- 
ferences than the emperor, who received our prince 
not only with kindness,but with resgect." (July 6th.) 
The bishop of Augsburg, and even Charles V.'s 
confessor were favourably disposed to the Lu- 
therans ; and the Spaniard told Melanchthon that 
he was surprised at Luther's view of faith being 
disputed in Germany, and that he had always 
entertained the same opinion. But whatever Lu- 
ther may say of Charles V.'s graciousness, he 
closed the discussions by calling on the reformers 
to renounce their errors under pain of being put 
under the ban of the empire, seemed even inclined 
to use violence, and at one time closed the gates of 
Augsburg for a moment. " If the emperor chooses 
to publish an edict, let him ; he published one 
after Worms. Let us listen to the empei'or in- 
'asmuch as he is emperor, nothing more. What is 
that clown (he alludes to duke George) to us, who 
wishes to be thought emperor ?" (July 15th.) " Our 
cause can defend itself better from violence and 
threats than from the Satanic wiles which I dread, 
especially at the present moment. . . . Let them 
restore us Leonard Keiser, and the many whom 
they have unjustly put to death ; let them restore 
us the innumerable souls lost by their impious 
doctrine ; let them restore all the wealth which 
they have accumulated with their deceitful indul- 
gences and frauds of every kind ; let them restore 
to God his glory violated by such innumerable 
blasphemies ; let them restore, in person and in 
manners, that ecclesiastical purity which they have 
so shamefully sullied. What then ? Then we, 
too, shall be able to speak de Possessors." (July 

" The emperor intends simply to order all 
things to be restored to their pristine state, and 
the reign of the pope to recommence ; which, I 
much fear, will excite great troubles, to the ruin of 
priests and clerks. The most powerful cities, as 
Nuremberg, Ulm, Augsburg, Frankfort, Strasburg, 
and twelve others, openly reject the imperial de- 
cree, and make common cause with our princes. 
You have heard of the inundations at Rome, and 
in Flanders and Brabant ; signs sent of God, but 
not understood by the wicked. You are aware, 
too, of the vision of the monks of Spire. Brentius 
writes me word, that a numerous army has been 
seen in the air at Baden, and, on its flank, a sol- 
dier, triumphantly brandishing a lance, and who 

passed by the adjoining mountain, and over the 
Rhine." (Dec. 5th.) Hardly was the diet dissolved 
before the Protestant princes assembled at Smal- 
kalde, and concluded a defensive league, by which 
they agreed to form themselves into one body. 
(Dec. 3] st.) They entered a protest against the 
election of Ferdinand to the title of king of the 
Romans ; prepared for war, fixed the contingents, 
and addressed the kings of France, England, and 
Denmark. Luther was accused of having insti- 
gated the Protestants to assume this hostile atti- 
tude. " I have not advised resistance to the em- 
peror, as has been reported. My opinion, as a 
theologian, is, If the jurists can show by their 
laws that resistance is allowable, I would leave 
them to follow their laws. If the emperor have 
ruled in his laws, that in such a case he may be 
resisted, let him suffer by the law of his own 
making. The prince is a political personage ; in 
acting as prince, he does not act as Christian; for 
the Christian is neither prince, nor man, nor wo- 
man, nor any one of this world. If then it be law- 
ful for the prince, as prince, to resist Csesar, let 
him do as his judgment and his conscience dictate. 
To the Christian, nothing of the kind is lawful ; he is 
dead to the world." (Jan. 15th, 1531.) This year, 
(1531), Luther wrote an answer to a small work 
anonymously printed at Dresden, which accused 
the Protestants of secretly arming themselves, and 
wishing to surprise the Catholics, who were think- 
ing solely of peace and concord. " No one is to 
know the author of this work. Well, I will remain 
in ignorance too. I will have a cold for once, and 
not smell the awkward pedant. However, I will 
try my hand and strike boldly on the sack ; if the 
blows fall on the ass that carries it, it will not be my 
fault ; they were intended of course for the sack. 
Whether the charge against the Lutherans be true 
or not, is no concern of mine. I did not advise 
them to such a course ; but, since the papists an- 
nounce their belief in it, I can only rejoice in their 
illusions and alarms, and would willingly increase 
them if I could, were it only to kill them with fears. 
If Cain kills Abel, and Annas and Caiaphas perse- 
cute Jesus, 'tis just that they should be punished for 
it. Let them live in transports of alarm, tremble 
at the sound of a leaf, see in every quarter the 
phantom of insurrection and death 5 nothing juster. 
Is it not true, impostors, that when our confession 
of faith was presented at Augsburg, a papist said, 
' Here they give us a book written with ink ; 
would they had to record their answer in blood ? 
Is it not true that the elector of Brandenburg, and 
duke George of Saxony, have promised the em- 
peror a supply of five thousand horses against the 
Lutherans 2 Is it not true, that numbers of 
priests and lords have betted that it would be all 
over with the Lutherans before St. Michael's day ? 
Is it not true, that the elector of Brandenburg has 
publicly declared, that the emperor and all the em- 
pire would devote body and goods to this end ! Do 
vou think your edict is not known? that we are un- 
aware that by that edict all the swords of the 
empire are unsheathed and sharpened, all its ca- 
valry in saddle, to fall upon the elector of Saxony 
and his party, in order to put all to fire and sword, 
and spread far and wide tears and desolation ? 
Look at your edict ; look at your murderous de- 
signs, sealed with your own seal and arms, and 
then dare accuse the Lutherans of troubling the 




A.D. 15341536. 

general harmony ? O impudence, boundless hy- 
pocrisy ! . . . . But I understand you. You would have 
us neglect to prepare for the war with which you 
have been so long threatening us, so that we may 
be slaughtered unresistingly, like sheep by the 
butcher. Your servant, my good friends, I, a 
preacher of the word, ought to endure all this, and 
all, to whom this grace is given, ought equally to 
endure it. But that all the rest will, I cannot an- 
swer for to the tyrants. Were I publicly to recom- 
mend our party so to do, the tyrants would take ad- 
vantage of this, and I will not spare them the fear 
they entertain of our resistance. Do they wish to 
win their spurs by massacring us ? Let them win 
them with risk, as it becomes brave knights. Cut- 
throats by trade, let them expect at least to be 
received like cutthroats. 

..." 1 care not about being accused of violence; 
it shall be my glory and honour henceforward to 
have it said how I rage and storm against the 
papists. For more than ten years I have been hu- 
miliating myself, and speaking them fairly. To 
what end 1 Only to exasperate the evil. Those 
clowns are but the haughtier for it. Well! since they 
are incorrigible, since there is no longer any hope 
of shaking their infernal resolutions by kindness, I 
break with them, and will leave them no rest from 
my curses until I sink into the grave. They shall 
never more have a good word, from me; I would 
have them buried to the sound of my thunders and 
lightnings. I can no longer pray without cursing. 
If I say, ' Hallowed be thy name,' I feel myself con- 
strained to add, ' Accursed be the name of papists, 
and of all who blaspheme thee!' If I s&y,'Thy 
kingdom come,' I add, ' Cursed be the popedom, and 
all kingdoms opposed to thine.' If 1 say, ' Thy 
will be done,' I follow with, 'Cursed and disap- 
pointed be the schemes of the papists, and of all 
who fight against thee!' . . . Such are my ardent 
prayers daily, and those of all the truly faithful in 
Christ. . . . Yet do I keep towards all the world 
a kind and loving heart, and my greatest enemies 
themselves know it well. Often in the night, when 
unable to sleep, I ponder in my bed, painfully and 
anxiously, how the papists may yet be won to re- 
pent, before a fearful judgment overtakes them. 
But it seems that it must not be. They scorn re- 
pentance, and ask for our blood with loud cries. 
The bishop of Saltzburg said to Master Philip, at 
the diet of Augsburg : ' Wherefore so long dis- 
puting ? We are well aware that you are in the 
right ?' and another day: ' You will" not yield, nor 
will we, so one party must exterminate the other; 
you are the little, we the great one; we shall see 
which will gain the day.' Never could I have 
thought to hear of such words being spoken." 


A.D. 1534 1536. 

WHILST the two great leagues of the princes are in 
presence, and seem to defy each other, a third 
starts up between them to their common dismay 
the people, again, as in the war of the peasants, but 
an organized people, in possession of a wealthy city 
The jacquerie of the north, more systematic than 
that of the south, produces the ideal of the German 

democracy of the sixteenth century a biblical 
royalty, a popular David, a handicraft messhth. 
The mystic German companionship enthronises a 
tailor. His attempt was daring, not absurd. Ana- 
baptism was in the ascendant, not in Munster only, 
but had spread into Westphalia, Brabant, Guelders, 
Holland, Frisia, and the whole littoral of the Baltic, 
as far as Livonia. The Anabaptists formalised the 
curse imprecated by the conquered peasants on 
Luther. They detested him as the friend of the 
nobles, the prop of civil authority, the remora of the 
Reformation. " There are four prophets two true, 
two false; the true are David and John of Leyden, 
the false, the pope and Luther; but Luther is worse 
than the pope." 

" How ilte Gospel first arose at Munster, and how 
it ended there after the destruction of the Anabap- 
tists. A veritable history, and well worthy of being 
read and handed dmcn (for the spirit of the Anabap- 
tists of Munster still liveth) ; narrated by Henricus 
Dorpius of that city," We shall confine ourselves to 
a summary of this prolix narrative: 

Rothmann (a Lutheran or Zwinglian) first 
preached the Reformation at Munster in 1532, with 
such success that the bishop, at the landgrave of 
Hesse's intercession, allowed the Gospellers the use 
of six of his churches. Shortly afterwards a 
journeyman tailor (John of Leyden) introduced the 
doctrine of the Anabaptists into several families. 
He was aided in his labours by Hermann Stapraeda 
an Anabaptist preacher of Mcersa; and their secret 
meetings soon became so numerous, that Catholics 
and Reformers equally took the alarm, and expelled 
the Anabaptists from the city. But they boldly re- 
turned, intimidated the council, and compelled it to 
fix a day for a public discussion in the town-hall, 
on the baptism of children; and Rothmann himself 
became their convertite, and one of their leaders. . . 
One day, one of their preachers runs through the 
streets, exclaiming, " Repent, repent; reform and 
be baptized, or suffer God's vengeance!" Whether 
through fear or religious zeal, many who heard him 
hurried to be baptized; and on this the Anabap- 
tists throng the market-place, crying out, " Down 
with the pagans who will not be baptized." They 
seize the cannon and ammunition, take possession 
of the town-hall, and maltreat all Catholics and 
Lutherans they fall in with. The latter, in their 
turn, coalesce, and attack the Anabaptists. After 
various indecisive struggles, it was agreed that 
each party should be free to profess its own belief; 
but the Anabaptists broke the treaty, and secretly 
summoned their brethren in the adjoining cities 
to Munster : " Leave all you have," they wrote, 
"houses, wives, children; leave all, and join us; 

your losses shall be made up to you tenfold " 

When the richer citizens saw the city crowded 
with strangers, they quitted it as they could (in 
Lent, 1534). Emboldened by their departure and 
the reinforcements they were receiving, the Ana- 
baptists soon replaced the town council, which was 
Lutheran, with men of their own party. They 
next took to plundering the churches and con- 
vents, and scoured the city, armed with halberts, 

pitilessly drove forth all who were not of their 
own sect, sparing neither aged men nor pregnant 

A.D. 15341536. 



women. Many of these poor fugitives fell into 
the bishop's hands, who was preparing to lay siege 
to the city, and who, disregardless of the fact that 
they were not Anabaptists, threw some into prison, 
and executed others. 

The Anabaptists being now masters of the city, 
their chief prophet, John Matthiesen, ordered all 
to bring their goods into one common stock, without 
any reservation, under pain of death. The terrified 
people obeyed ; and the pi-operty of those they had 
expelled the city was also appropriated. The pro- 
phet next proclaimed it to be the will of the Father, 
that all books should be burnt save the Old and 
New Testament ; and twenty thousand florins' 
worth of books were accordingly burnt in the 
square before the cathedral. The same prophet 
shoots a farrier dead, who has maligned the pro- 
phets ; and, soon afterwards, runs through the 
streets, a halbert in his hand, crying out that the 
Father has ordered him to repulse the enemy. 
Hardly had he passed the gates before he was 
killed. He was succeeded by John of Leyden, who 
married his widow, and who reanimated the people, 
dispirited by the death of his predecessor. The 
bishop ordered the assault to be delivered on Pen- 
tecost, but was repulsed with great loss. John of 
Leyden named twelve of the faithful (among whom 
were three nobles) to be ancients in Israel. . . . 
He also announced new revelations from God con- 
cerning marriage ; and the preachers, convinced 
by his arguments, pi-eached for three days suc- 
cessively a plurality of wives. Many of the towns- 
men declared against the new doctrine, and even 
flung the preachers and one of the prophets into 
prison ; but were soon obliged to release them, 
with a loss of forty-nine on their part. 

On St. John's day, 1534, a new prophet, a gold- 
smith of Warendorff, assembled the people, and 
announced that it had been revealed to him that 
John of Leyden was to rule over the whole earth, 
and sit on the throne of David, until such time as 
God the Father should come and claim it. ... The 
twelve ancients were deposed, and John of Leyden 
proclaimed king. 

The more wives the Anabaptists took, the more 
the spirit of libertinism spread, and they committed 
fearful excesses on young girls of ten, twelve, and 
fourteen. These violences, and the distress conse- 
quent on the siege, alienated part of the inhabitants; 
and many suspected John of Leyden of imposi- 
tion, and thought of giving him up to the bishop. 
The king redoubled his vigilance, and nominated 
twelve bishops to maintain his authority in the 
town (Twelfth-day, 1534), promising them the 
thrones of all the princes of the earth, and distri- 
buting beforehand among them, electorates and 
principalities, exempting from this proscription 
" the noble landgrave of Hesse " alone, whom he 
hopes to have to call a brother in the faith. . . . 
He named Easter-day as the time the town would 
be delivered. . . . One of the queens, having ob- 
served that she could not think it to be God's will 
that the people should be left to die of misery and 
hunger, the king led her to the market-place, made 
her kneel down in the midst of his other wives in 
the same posture, and struck off her head, whilst 
they sang, " Glory to God in the higliest," and all 
the people danced ai'ound. Yet they were left 
with nothing to eat but bread and salt ; and, towards 
the close of the siege, regularly distributed the 

flesh of the dead, with the exception if such as had 
died of contagious diseases. On St. John's day, 
1535, a deserter informed the bishop how he might 
attack the city with advantage ; and it was taken 
the self-same day, after an obstinate resistance and 
a general massacre of the Anabaptists. The king, 
with his vicar and his lieutenant, was borne off 
prisoner between two horses, a double chain round 
his neck, and his head and his feet bare. . . . The 
bishop 'questioned him sternly on the horrible cala- 
mity of which he had been the cause, when he 
replied, " Francis of Waldeck (the bishop's name), 
if I had had my way, they should have all died of 
hunger before I would have surrendered the city." 

Many other interesting details are given in a 
document, inserted in the second volume oi 
Luther's German works (Witt's edition), under the 
following title: Nemo/ the Anabaptists of Mumter. 

"... A week after the repulse of the first 
assault, the king began his reign by forming a com- 
plete court, appointing masters of ceremonies, and 
all the other officers usual in the courts of secular 
princes ; and he chose a queen out of his wives, 
who has her court likewise. She is a handsome 
Dutch woman, of noble birth, who was the wife of a 
prophet recently killed, and who left her in the family 
way. The king has one-and-thirty horses covered 
with housings of cloth of gold, and has had costly 
robes made for himself, adorned with the gold and 
silver ornaments taken from the churches. His 
squire is similarly arrayed ; and he wears, besides, 
golden rings, as do the queen and her virgins. 
When the king parades the city in state, on horse- 
back, he is accompanied by pages ; one, on his 
right hand, bearing the crown and the Bible ; ! 
another, a naked sword. One of them is the bishop 
of Munster's son, who is a prisoner, and who is the 
king's valet. The king's triple crown is surmounted 
by a globe, transfixed with a golden and a silver 
sword ; and in the middle of the pummels of the 
two swords, is a small cross on which is inscribed, 
A king of justice over the world. The queen 
wears the same. In this array, the king repairs 
thrice a week to the market-place, where he seats 
himself on a throne made on purpose. His lieute- 
nant, named Knipperdolling, stands a step lower, 
and then come the councillors. All who have 
business with the king, incline their bodies twice 
before the king, and prostrate themselves on the 
ground at the third inclination, before entering on 
their business. One Tuesday, they celebrated the 
holy supper in the public square; about four thou- 
sand two hundred sat down to table. There were 
three courses ; bouilli, ham, then roast meat. The 
king, his wives, and their servants waited on the 
guests. After the meal, the king and the queen 
took barley bread, broke it, and distributed it, 
saying, ' Take, eat, and proclaim the Lord's death.' 
They then handed a jug of wine, saying, ' Take, 
drink all of you, and proclaim the Lord's death.' 
In like manner, the guests broke their cakes, and 
presented them to each other, saying, ' Brothers 
and sisters, take and eat. Even as Jesus Christ 
offered himself up for me, so do I wish to offer 
myself up for thee ; and even as the grains of 
barley are joined in this cake, and the grapes in 
this wine, so are we united.' They also exhorted 
one another to use no idle words, or break the law 
of the Lord ; and concluded by returning thanks to 
God, ending with the canticle, Glory be to God in 


A.D. 1534153(5. 

the highest. The king, his wives, and servants, then 
sat down with them at table. When all was over, 
the king asked the assembly, whether they were 
ready to do and suffer God's will ? They all re- 
plied, Yea. Then the prophet John of Warendorff, 
r rose and said, ' That God had bade him send forth 
some from among them to announce the miracles 
which they had witnessed;' adding, that those 
whom he should name were to repair to four towns 
of the empire, and preach there. . . . Each of 
these was presented with a piece of gold, of the 
value of nine florins, together with money for his 
expenses ; and they set out that very evening. 

" They reached the appointed cities on the eve of 
St. Gall, and paraded the streets, crying out, { Re- 
pent ye, for God's mercy is exhausted. The axe is 
already at the root of the tree. Your city must 
accept peace, or perish!' Taken before the coun- 
cil, they laid their cloaks on the ground, and casting 
into them the said pieces of gold, they said, ' We 
are sent by the Father to declare peace unto you. 
If you accept it, bring all your goods together in 
common; if you will not, we protest against you 
before God with this piece of gold, which shall be 
for a witness that you have rejected the peace 
which he sent you. The time is now come foretold 
by the prophets, the time when God wills there to 
be only justice upon earth; and when the king 
shall have established the reign of justice all over 
the earth, then Jesus Christ will remit the govern- 
ment into the hands of the Father.' They were 
then thrown into prison, and interrogated on their 

belief, way of life, &c They said that there 

were four prophets, two true, two false; that the 
true were David and John of Leyden; the false, 
the pope and Luther. ' Luther,' they said, ' is still 
worse than the pope.' They consider all Anabap- 
tists elsewhere as damned. . . . ' In Munster,' they 
said, ' we have in general from five to eight wives, 
or more ; but each is obliged to confine himself to 
one until she is pregnant. All young girls, above 
twelve, must marry.' . . . They destroy churches 
and all buildings consecrated to God. . . . They 
are expecting, at Muuster, people from Groningen 
and other countries of Holland, and when they 
come, the king will arise with all his forces, and 
subjugate the whole earth. They hold it to be im- 
possible to comprehend Scripture aright, without 
its being interpreted by prophets ; and when it is 
objected to them that they cannot justify their en- 
terprise by Scripture, some say that their Father 
does not allow them to explain themselves there- 
upon ; others answer, ' The prophet has com- 
manded it by God's order.' Not one of them 
would purchase mercy by retreating. They sang 
and returned thanks to God that they had been 
found worthy to suffer for his name's sake." 

The Anabaptists, who were called upon by the 
landgrave of Hesse to justify themselves for having 
elected a king, replied (Jan. 1535), " That the time 
for the restoration mentioned by the holy books 
was come; that the Gospel had thrown open to 
them the prison of Babylon ; and that it now be- 
hoved to render unto the Babylonians according to 
their works ; and that an attentive perusal of the 
prophets and the Apocalypse, &c., would show the 
landgrave whether they had elected a king of them- 
selves or by God's order, &c. 

After the convention entered into in 1533, be- 
tween the bishop of Munster and the city, and 

which was brought about by the mediation of the 
landgrave of Hesse's councillors . . . the Anabap- 
tists sent the landgrave their book De Restitutione. 
He read it with indignation, and ordered his theo- 
logians to reply to it, and to oppose the Anabap- 
tists on nine points, which he particularly specified, 
and in which he objects to them, amongst other 
things, 1st, The making justification consist not 
in faith alone, but in faith and works together. 
2nd, Of unjustly accusing Luther of never having 
preached good works. 3rd, Of defending free-will. 
In the De Restitutione, the Anabaptists classified 
the whole history of the world into three principal 
parts. " The first world, which lasted until Noah, 
was sunk beneath the waters. The second, that 
in which we live, will be melted and purified by 
fire. The third will be a new heaven and a new 
earth, inhabited by justice. This is what God pre- 
figured in the holy ark, in which there were the 
porch, the sanctuary, and the Holy of Holies. . . . 
The coming of the third world will be preceded by 
universal restitution and chastisement. The wicked 
will be put to death, the reign of justice prepared, 
Christ's enemies cast down, and all things restored. 
It is this time which is now beginning." 

"Discourse or Discussion, held at Beverger, by An- 
thony Corvinus and John Kymeus, icith John of Ley- 
den, king of Munster. When the king entered our 
room, with his gaoler, we gave him a friendly 
greeting, and invited him to take a seat by the 
fire. We enquired after his health, and how he 
felt in his prison. He replied that he suffered 
from the cold there, and was ill at heart, but that 
since it was God's will, he ought to endure all pa- 
tiently. By degrees, and conversing friendly with 
him, for we could get nothing out of him by any 
other means, we drew him on to speak of his king- 
dom and his doctrine as follows : 

Opening of the examination. The ministers. " Dear 
John, we have heard extraordinary and horrible 
things of your government. If they are as told us, 
and, unfortunately, the whole is only too true, we 
cannot conceive how you can justify your under- 
taking from Holy Scripture." 

The king. " What we have done and taught, we 
have done and taught rightfully, and we can justify 
our undertaking, our actions, and our doctrine before 
God, and to whomsoever it belongs to judge us." 

The ministers object to him, that the spiritual 
kingdom of Jesus Christ is alone spoken of in Scrip- 
ture ; " My kingdom is not of this world," are his 
own words. 

The king. " I clearly comprehend your argu- 
ment touching the spiritual kingdom of Jesus, and 
do not contravene the texts you quote. But you 
must distinguish the spiritual kingdom of Jesus 
Christ, which has reference to the time of suffering, 
and of which, after all, neither you nor Luther 
have any clear notion, from that other kingdom, 
which, after the resurrection, will be established in 
this world for a thousand years. All the texts 
which treat of the spiritual kingdom of Jesus, 
relate to the time of suffering ; but those which we 
find in the prophets and the Apocalypse, and which 
treat of the temporal kingdom, refer to the time 
of glory and of power, which Jesus will enjoy in 
this world with his followers. Our kingdom of 
Munster was an image of this temporal kingdom 
of Christ's. You know that God announces many 
things by figures. We believed that our kingdom 

A.D. 15341536. 



would last until the coming of the Lord ; but we 
now see our error on this point, and that of our 
prophets. However, since we have been in prison, 
God has revealed to us the true understanding 
. . I am not ignorant that you commonly refer those 
passages to Christ's spiritual kingdom, which ought 
to be understood of the temporal. But of what 
use are these spiritual interpretations, if nothing 
is to be one day realized ? . . . God's chief object 
in creating the world, was to take pleasure in men, 
to whom he has given a reflection of his strength 
and his power." 

The ministers. " And how will you justify yourself 
when God shall ask you on the day of judgment, 
' Who made you king 1 Who ordered you to dif- 
fuse such frightful errors, to the great detriment 
of my word !' " 

The king. " I shall answer, ' The prophets of 
Muuster ordered me so to do, as being your di- 
vine will ; in proof whereof they pledged me their 
body and soul.' " 

The ministers enquire what divine revelations 
he enjoyed touching his elevation to the throne. 

The king. " I was vouchsafed no revelation ; only 
thoughts came into my head, that there must be a 
king in Munster, and that I must be that king. 
These thoughts deeply agitated and afflicted me. 
I prayed to God to deign to consider my inability, 
and not to load me with such a burden ; but if he 
willed otherwise, I besought him to grant that I 
should be designated as the chosen person by 
prophets worthy of faith, and in possession of his 
word, so held my peace, and communicated my 
thoughts to no one. But a fortnight afterwards, a 
propliet arose in the midst of the people, and pro- 
claimed that God had made known to him that 
John of Leyden was to be king. He announced 
the same to the council, who immediately divested 
themselves of their power and proclaimed me king. 
He, likewise, placed in my hand the sword of jus- 
tice. On this wise it was that I became king." 

SECOND ARTICLE. The king. " We only resisted 
the authorities because they forbade us our bap- 
tism and God's word, and we resisted to violence. 
You assert that we acted wrongfully therein, but 
does not St. Peter say, that we are to obey God 
rather than men ? . . . You would not pass whole- 
sale condemnation on what we have done, did you 
know how those things took place." . . . 

The ministers. " Set off and justify your acts 
as you may, you will not the less be rebels and 
guilty of high treason. The Christian is bound to 
suffer ; and though the whole council had been of 
your party, (which was not the case,) you ought to 
have borne with violence rather than have begun 
such a schism, sedition, and tyranny, in opposition 
alike to the word of God, the majesty of the em- 
peror, the royal dignity, and that of the electorate, 
and princes and states of the empire." 

The king. " We know what we have done ; God 
be our judge." 

The ministers. " We, too, know the foundation we 
have for what we say: God be our judge, likewise!" 

THIRD ARTICLE. The king. " We have been be- 
sieged and destroyed on account of God's holy 
word ; for it, have suffered hunger and all evils, 
have lost our friends, and have fallen into this 
frightful calamity ! Those of us who still live will 
die unresistingly, and uncomplainingly, like the 
slaughtered lamb." . . . 

FIFTH ARTICLE. The king said, that he had long 
been of Zwingle's opinion ; but that he returned to 
the belief in transubstantiation. Only he does not 
grant his interlocutors that it is operant in him who 
is without faith. 

SIXTH ARTICLE. "... What then do ye make 
of Jesus Christ, if he did not receive flesh and 
blood from his mother Mary ? Will you have him 
to have been a phantom, a spectre ? Our Urbanus 
Regius must print a second book to teach to under- 
stand your native tongue, or your asses' heads will 
always be impervious to instruction." 

The king. " If you knew the infinite consolation 
contained in the knowledge that Jesus Christ, God 
and Son of the h'ving God, became man, and shed 
his blood, not Mary's, to redeem our sins (He who 
is without blemish), you would not speak as you do, 
and you would not entertain such contempt for our 

SEVENTH ARTICLE. On Polygamy. The king ob- 
jects to the ministers the examples of the patri- 
archs. The ministers entrench themselves behind 
the generally established custom of modern times, 
and declare marriage to be res politico,. The king 
contends that it is better to have many wives than 
many harlots, and concludes again with the words, 
" God be our judge." 

Although drawn up by the ministers themselves, 
the impression left by a perusal of this document is 
not favourable to them. One cannot help admiring 
the firmness, good sense, and modest simplicity of 
the king of Munster, which were made more con- 
spicuous still by the pedantic harshness of his 

Corvinus and Kymeus to the Christian reader : 
" We have reported our conversation with the 
king, almost word for word, without omitting one 
of his arguments; only we have put them into our 
own language, and stated them more scholarly. 
About a week after, he sent to beg us to confer 
again with him. We had a fresh discussion, which 
lasted two days. We found him more docile than 
the first time, but only saw in this a desire to save 
his life. He voluntarily declared, that if pardoned, 
he would, with the help of Melchior Hoffman, and 
his queens, exhort to silence and obedience all the 
Anabaptists, who, according to him, are very nume- 
rous in Holland, Brabant, England, and Frisia ; 
and even get them to baptize their children, until 
arrangements could be entered into with the civil 
power with regard to their religion." . . . There 
follows a new profession of faith, in which John of 
Leyden, whilst exhorting the Anabaptists to obe- 
dience, gives it to be understood that he means out- 
ward obedience only. He recants none of his pe- 
culiar doctrines, and desires liberty of conscience. 
With regard to the Eucharist, he declares all his 
brethren to be Zwinglians, but states that God has 
shown him his error on this point whilst in prison. 
This confession is signed in Dutch : I, John of Ley- 
den, signed with my own hand. 

On the 19th of January, 1536, John of Leyden, 
and Knipperdolling and Krechting, his vicar and 
his lieutenant, were removed from their dungeons; 
and the next day the bishop sent his chaplain to 
confer with them separately on their belief and 
acts. The king testified repentance and retracted; 
but the two others justified all they had done. . . . 
The morning of the 22nd all the gates of Munster 
were closed; and, about eight o'clock, the king, 



A.D. 15341536. 

stripped to the waist, was led to a scaffold erected 
in the market-place, which was guarded by two 
hundred foot soldiers and three hundred horse, and 
crowded with spectators. He was bound to a post, 
and two executioners tore off his flesh by turns with 
red-hot pincers, until at last one of them plunged a 
knife into his breast, and so finished the execution, 
which had lasted for an hour. " At the three first 
wrenches of the pincers the king uttered no cry; 
but, afterwards, kept incessantly exclaiming, with 
eyes raised to heaven, ' my Father, take pity on 
me !' and he prayed to God earnestly to forgive him 
his sins. When he felt himself sinking, he ex- 
claimed: ' my Father, I yield my spirit into thy 
hands,' and expired. His dead body was flung upon 
a hurdle, and dragged to the open place in front of 
St. Lambert's tower, where three iron panniers 
were ready, into one of which it was put, and secured 
with chains, and then hoisted to the top of the 
tower, where it was suspended by a hook. Knip- 
perdolling and Krechting were executed in the 
same horrible manner; and their bodies placed in 
the two other panniers, and suspended on either side 
of John of Leyden's, only not so high." 

Luther's preface to the News of the Anabaptists of 
Munster : " Ah ! what and how ought I to write 
against or upon these poor people of Munster ! Is 
it not clear that the devil reigns there in person, or, 
rather, that there is a whole troop of devils 1 Let 
us, however, recognize here the infinite grace and 
mercy of God. After Germany, by innumerable 
blasphemies and the blood of so many innocents, 
has deserved so severe a rod, still the Father of all 
mercy withholds the devil from striking his deadliest 
blow, and gives us paternal warning by the gross 
game Satan is playing at Munster. God's power 
constrains the spirit of a hundred wiles to set about 
his work awkwardly and unskilfully, in order to 
allow us time to escape by repentance from the 
better-aimed blows reserved for us. In fact, for 
the spirit who seeks to deceive the world to begin 
by taking women, by stretching forth the hand to 
grasp honours and the kingly sword, or else, by 
slaughtering people, is too gross. All can see that 
such a spirit only seeks its own elevation, and to 
crush all besides. To deceive, you should don a grey 
gown, assume a sad and piteous air, refuse money, 
eat no meat, fly women like poison, reject as dam- 
nable all temporal power, refuse the sword, then 
stoop gently down and stealthily pick up crown, 
sword, and keys. A show like this might deceive 
even the wise and spiritual. There were a fine 
devil, with feathers finer than peacock or pheasant ! 
But to seize the crown so impudently, to take not 
only one wife, but as many as caprice and lust dic- 
tates ! Ah ! this is the act of a devilkin in his 
horn-book ; or else, of the true Satan, the learned 
and able Satan, but fagoted by God's hands with 
such potent chains as to be unable to act more cun- 
ningly. And so the Lord warns us to dread his 
chastisements, lest he leave the field free to a 
learned devil, who will attack us, not with, the 
A, B, C, but with the true text, the difficult text. 
If he does such things as a devilkin at school, what 
would he not do as a rational, wise, learned, lawyer- 
like doctor of divinity devil ? 

"... When God, in his wrath, deprives us o: 
his word, no deceit of the devil's is too gross. The 
first attempts of Mahomet were gross; yet, God in- 
terposing no obstacle in his way, a damnable and 

nfamous empire has grown up, as all the world 
mows: and if God had not been our aid against 
Munzer, a Turkish empire would have arisen 
hrough him, like unto Mahomet's. In fine, no 
spark is so small, but that, if God suffers the devil 
;o blow at it, a fire may be kindled to consume the 
whole world. The best weapon against the devil is 
;he sword of the Spirit, the word of God. The 
devil is a spirit, and laughs at cuirass, horse, and 
jorseman. But our lords, bishops, and princes 
l not allow the Gospel to be preached, and souls 
to be rescued from the devil by the divine word: 
;hey think throat-cutting sufficient, and so rob the 
devil of bodies whilst leaving him souls. They will 
succeed in like manner as the Jews, who thought to 
exterminate Christ by crucifying him. . . . The 
Munsterites, among other blasphemies, speak of the 
birth of Jesus Christ as if he did not come (such is 
their language) of the seed of Mary, and yet was of 
the seed of David. But they do not explain them- 
selves clearly. The devil keeps the hot soup in his 
mouth, and only mutters mum, mum, meaning, pro- 
bably, to infer worse. All that one can make out 
is, that according to them, Mary's seed or flesh 
cannot redeem us. Well, devil ! mutter and spit 
as you list, that one little word born overthrows all 
you say. In all tongues, and over all the earth, 
the child of flesh and blood, who issues from the 
entrails of woman, is said to be born, and nothing 
else. Now, Scripture every where says, that Jesus 
Christ is born of his mother Mary, and is her first- 
born. So speak Isaiah, Gabriel, &c. ' Thou shalt 
conceive, &c.' To conceive, my duck, does not mean 
to be a funnel through which water flows (according 
to the Manichean blasphemy), but that a child is 
taken out of the flesh and blood of his mother, is 
nourished in her, grows in her, and is at last 
brought into the world. The other tenet main- 
tained by these folk, namely, that infant baptism 
is a pagan rite, is similarly gross. And since they 
regard all that the wicked possess as unholy, why 
did they not reject the gold, silver, and other goods 
they took from the wicked in Munster ? They 
ought to coin quite new gold and silver. . . Their 
wicked kingdom is so visibly a kingdom of gross 
imposture and revolt, that it recks not to speak of 
it. I have already said too much." 

A.D. 1536 1545. 


THE momentary union of the Catholics and Pro- 
testants against the Anabaptists, left them only the 
greater enemies. A general council was talked of ; 
but the pope dreaded it, and the Protestants re- 
jected it beforehand. " I hear from the diet that 
the emperor urges a council on our friends, and is 
indignant at their refusal. I cannot understand 
these monstrosities. The pope asserts that heretic 
cannot sit in a council ; the emperor wishes us to 
consent to the council and its decrees. Perhaps 
God is turning them mad. . . . But their mad de- 
sign, no doubt, is, that since pope, emperor, 
church, and diets have failed, they will try to cry 
us down by representing us as so lost and desperate, 
as to reject the council which we have so often 

A.D. 1536-1545. 



asked for. See Satan's cleverness against the poor 
fool of a God, who, undoubtedly, will be put to it to 
escape such well-laid snares ! . . . Now, it is the 
Lord who will make a mock of them who mock 
him. If we agree to a council so disposed towards 
us, why did we not five-and-twenty years since 
submit to the pope, the lord of councils and to all 
his bulls?" (July 9th, 1545.) 

A council might have concentrated the catholic 
hierarchy, but could not have re-established the 
unity of the church. The question could be settled 
by arms only. The Protestants had already driven 
the Austrians out of Wirtemberg, had despoiled 
Henry of Brunswick, who was turning the execu- 
tion of the decrees of the Imperial Chamber into a 
source of profit for himself, and were encouraging 
the archbishop of Cologne to follow the example of 
Albert of Brandenburg, and secularize his arch- 
bishopric, which would have given them a majority 
in the electoral council. However, some attempts 
were still made at reconciliation, and conferences 
uselessly opened at Worms and Ratisbon (A.D. 
1540, 1541), at which Luther did not even think it 
necessary to be present. He writes that he hears 
from Melanchthon that the numbers of learned per- 
sonages, from all quarters, in the synod at Worms, 
exceeds all precedent ; and, speaking of the strata- 
gems resorted to by the Catholic party, says, " One 
would fancy one saw Satan himself, with the break 
of day, running to and fro in a vain search for some 
den dark enough to shut out the light which pur- 
sues him." (Jan. 9th, 1541.) Luther's opinion 
was desired upon ten articles, which had been 
agreed upon by the two parties, when the elector, 
hearing that they were about to be forwarded with- 
out being first submitted to him, drew up a reply 
himself ; an interference which would have aroused 
Luther's indignation some years before, but by this 
time he seems to have felt wearied and disgusted 
with the consciousness that his labours to re- 
establish evangelical purity, had only furnished the 
great of the earth with the means of satisfying their 
terrestrial ambition. "Our excellent prince has given 
me the conditions of peace to read, which he intends 
to propose to the emperor and our adversaries. I 
see that they consider the whole affair as a comedy 
to be played amongst them, whilst it is a tragedy be- 
twixt God and Satan, in which Satan triumphs, and 
God is humiliated. But the catastrophe will come, 
when the Almighty, author of this tragedy, will 
give us the victory." (April 4th, 1541.) 

We noticed at an early period of this narrative, 
the melancholy state of dependance in which the 
Reformation was placed on the princes that es- 
poused the cause. Luther had time to foresee the 
results. These princes were men, with men's 
caprices and passions; and hence concessions, 
which, without being contrary to the principles of 
the Reformation, seemed to redound little to the 
honour of the reformers. The most warlike of 
these princes, the hot-headed landgrave of Hesse, 
submitted to Luther and the Protestant ministers, 
that his health would not allow of his confining 
himself to one wife. His instructions to Bucer for 
the negotiation of this matter with the theologians 
of Wittemberg, N are a curious mixture of sensuality, 
of religious fears, and of daring simplicity. " Ever 
since I have been married," he writes, " I have 
lived in adultery and fornication ; and as I won't 
give up this way of living, I cannot present myself 

at the holy table ; for St. Paul has said, that the 
adulterer shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." 
He proceeds to state the reasons which drive him 
into this course : " My wife is neither good-looking 
nor good-tempered ; she is not sweet ; she drinks, 
and my chamberlains can tell what she then does, 
&c. I am of a warm complexion, as the physicians 
can prove : and as I often attend the imperial 
diets, where- the body is pampered with high living, 
how am I to manage there without a wife, espe- 
cially as I can't be always taking a seraglio about 
with me ? . . . How can I punish fornication and 
other crimes, when all may turn round and say, 
' Master, begin with yourself ?' . . . Were I to 
take up arms for the Gospel's sake, I could only do 
so with a troubled conscience, for I should say to 
myself, 'If you die in this war, you go to the 
devil.' ... I have read both the Old and New 
Testament carefully, and find no other help indi- 
cated than to take a second wife ; and I ask before 
God, why cannot I do what Abraham, Jacob, 
David, Lamech, and Solomon have done !" The 
question of polygamy had been agitated from the 
very beginning of Protestantism, which professed 
to restore the world to scriptural life ; and, what- 
ever his repugnance, Luther durst not condemn 
the Old Testament. Besides, the Protestants held 
marriage to be res politico; and subject to the regula- 
tions of the civil power. Luther, too, had already 
held, theoretically, and without advising it to be 
put in practice, the very doctrine advanced by the 
landgrave. He had written years before : ... "I 
confess, I cannot say that polygamy is repugnant 
to Holy Scripture, yet would not have the practice 
introduced amongst Christians, who ought to abstain 
even from what is lawful, in order to avoid scandal, 
and in order to maintain that honestas (decorum) 
which St. Paul requireth under all circumstances." 
(Jan. 13th, 1524.) " Polygamy is not allowable 
amongst Christians, except in cases of absolute ne- 
cessity, as when a man is forced to separate from 
a leprous wife, &c." . . . (March 21st, 1527.) 
Having one day put the case to doctor Basilius, 
whether a man, whose wife was afflicted with some 
incurable malady, might take a concubine, and 
receiving an answer in the affirmative, Luther ob- 
served, "It would be of dangerous precedent, since 
excuses might be daily invented for procuring di- 
vorces." (A.D. 1539.) 

Luther was greatly embarrassed by the land- 
grave's message. All the theologians of Wittem- 
berg assembled to draw up an answer, and the 
result was a compromise. He was allowed a 
double marriage, on condition that his second wife 
should not be publicly recognized. " Your highness 
must be aware of the difference between establish- 
ing a universal and granting an exceptional law. 
. . . We cannot publicly sanction a plurality of 
wives. . . . We pray your highness to consider the 
dangers in which a man would stand who should 
introduce a law that would disunite families, and 
plunge them into endless law-suits. . . . Your 
highness's constitution is weak, you sleep badly, 
and your health requires every care. . . . The 
great Scanderbeg often exhorted his soldiers to 
chastity, saying that nothing was so injurious in 
their calling as incontinence. . . . We pray your 
highness seriously to take into consideration the 
scandals, cares, labours, griefs, and infirmities 
herein brought under your notice. ... If, never- 


A.D. 1536-1545. 

theless, your highness is fully resolved to take a 
second wife, we are of opinion that the marriage 
should be secret. . . . Given at Wittemberg, after 
the festival of St. Nicholas, 1539. MARTIN LUTHER, 

It was hard for Luther, who, both as theologian 
and as a father of a family, was identified with the 
sanctity of the marriage tie, to declare that in virtue 
of the Old Testament two wives might seat them- 
selves, with their jealousies and their hates, at the 
same domestic hearth ; and he groaned under this 
cross. " As to the Macedonian business, grieve not 
overmuch, since things are come to that pass, that 
neither joy nor sadness availeth. Why kill our- 
selves ? Why allow sorrow to banish the thoughts 
of him who has overcome all deaths and all sor- 
rows ? Did not he who conquered the devil and 
judged -the prince of this world, at the self-same 
time judge and conquer this scandal ? . . . Let 
Satan triumph, and let us be neither chagrined nor 
grieved, but let us rejoice in Christ, who will dis- 
comfit all our enemies." (June 18th, 1540.) He 
seems to have looked to the emperor's interfering. 
" If Caesar and the empire will, as they perforce 
must, put a stop to this scandal, an edict will soon 
stay it, and prevent its being hereafter used as either 
a right or an example." From this time forward, 
Luther's letters, and those of Melanchthon, are full 
of disgust and sadness. 

On Luther's being asked for a letter of recom- 
mendation to the court of Dresden, he replies, that 
he has lost all credit and influence there ; in that 
" worldly court," as he sometimes calls it. To a 
friend (Lauterbach) he writes : " I will be present 
at your marriage in mind, notin body, being hin- 
dered, not only by pressure of business, but by the 
fear of offending the Mamelukes and queen of the 
kingdom (the duchess Catherine of Saxony ?) for 
who is not offended with Luther's folly I" " You 
ask me, my dear Jonas, to write an occasional 
word of comfort to you. But I stand much more 
in need of your letters to revive me, who, like Lot, 
have so much to endure in the midst of this infa- 
mous and Satanic ingratitude, this horrible con- 
tempt for the Lord's word. ... I must, then, see 
Satan take possession of the hearts of those who 
fancy that the chiefest seats in the kingdom of 
Heaven are reserved for them alone !" The Pro- 
testants were already beginning to relax from their 
severity of manners, and the bagnios were re- 
opened. " Better," exclaims Luther, " not to have 
driven out Satan, than to bring him back in greater 
force." (Sept. 13th, 1540.) 

" The pope, the emperor, the Frenchman, and 
Ferdinand, have despatched a magnificent em- 
bassy to the Turks to demand peace .... and, 
last of all, for fear of offending the eyes of the 
Turks, the ambassadors have put themselves into 
Turkish robes. I trust these are blessed signs of 
the approaching end of all things !" (July 17th, 

To Jonas. " Hark in thy ears ! I shrewdly sus- 
pect that we Lutherans shall be packed off to fight 
the Turks single-handed. King Ferdinand has 
removed the war-chest from Bohemia, and forbade 
a single soldier to stir, and the emperor does 
nothing ; as if it were settled that we should be 
exterminated by the Turks." (Dec. 29th, 1542.) 
" Nothing new here, except that the margrave of 
Brandenburg is getting evil spoken of by every 
one, with regard to the war in Hungary. They 
speak just the same of Ferdinand. I descry so 
many and such probable reasons for it, that I can- 
not help believing there is horrible and deadly 
treachery there." (Jan. 26th, 1542.) "I ask, 
what will be the end of this horrible treachery 
of the princes and kings?" (Dec. 16th, 1543.) 
"May God avenge us on the incendiaries (Luther 
speaks, almost every month, of fires occurring at 
Wittemberg). Satan has devised a new plan for 
getting rid of us. Our wine is poisoned, and lime 
mixed with our milk. Twelve persons have been 
killed by poisoned wine at Jena. Perhaps they 
died of excess of drink ; but at all events, it is 
given out for certain that dealers have been de- 
tected selling poisoned milk at Magdeburg and 
Northuse." (April, 1541.) He writes to Amsdorf, 
on occasion of the plague at Magdeburg : " What 
you tell me of the alarm felt of the plague, reminds 
me of what I observed some years since ; and I 
am surprised to see that the more life in Christ 
Jesus is preached, the stronger grows the fear of 
death ; whether this fear were lessened, during 
the reign of the pope, by a false hope of life, and 
that now the true hope of life is placed before the 
people, they feel how weak nature is to believe 
in the conqueror of death, or that God tempts us 
by these weaknesses, and allows Satan to grow 
bolder and stronger on account of this alarm ! 
Whilst we believed in the pope, we were as drunk- 
ards, men asleep, or fools, mistaking death for life, 
that is, ignorant of the nature of death and of God's 
wrath. Now that the light has shone upon us, and 
that God's wrath is better known, nature has 
shaken off sleep and folly, and hence greater fear 
than before. . . . Here I "apply the passage of the 
seventy-first Psalm, ' Cast me not aicay in the time 
of age ; forsake me not when my strength faileth me.' 
For I think that these are the latter days of 
Christ, and the time of casting down ; that is, 
the time of the last great assault of the devil, 
as David, in his latter days, weakened by years, 
would have fallen before the giant, had not Abishai 
come to his aid. ... 1 have learnt almost all this 
year to sing with St. Paul, ' As dying, and beJiold, 
we live;' and ' By your rejoicing, which I have in 
Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.' When he says 
to the Corinthians, 'In deaths oft,' 'this was not 
meditating or speculating on death, but the sensa- 
tion of death itself, as if hope of life there were 
none." (Nov. 20th, 1538.) "I trust that with 
tiis rending of the world, Christ will hasten his 
coming and crush the globe to atoms, ut fractus 
illabatitr orbis." (Feb. 12th, 1538.) 

A.D. 1530-1540. 



A.D. 15391546. 



LET us pause in this sad history of the last years 
of his public life, and retire with Luther into his 
private life, seat ourselves at his table, by the side 
of his wife, and in the midst of his children and 
friends, and listen to the grave words of the pious 
and tender father of a family. 

" The man who insults preachers and women, 
will never succeed well. From women proceed chil- 
dren, the future heads of families and of the state. 
To despise them, is to despise God and man." 
" The Saxon law is too hard in giving the widow a 
chair and her distaff only. The first we should 
interpret to mean, a house ; the second, her main- 
tenance. We pay our lacquey ; what do I say, 
we give more to a beggar ?" " There can be no 
doubt, that women who die in the faith in child- 
bearing, are saved, because they die fulfilling the 
end for which God created them." " In the Low 
Countries, the priest, on his induction, chooses 
some little girl as his betrothed, in sign of hon- 
ouring the marriage state." 

Luther being asked whether a Christian 
preacher, who is bound to suffer imprisonment and 
persecution for the word's sake, ought not much 
more to do without marriage? replied: "It is 
easier to endure imprisonment than desire, as I 
know in my own person. The more I strove to 
macerate and subdue the flesh, the more I lusted. 
Even though gifted with chastity, one ought to 
marry to spite the pope. . . . Had I been seized 
with a fatal illness, I should have wished to sum- 
mon some pious maid to my death-bed, and wed her, 
presenting her with two silver goblets as a wedding- 
gift and morrow's present (monjengabe), in order to 
show how I honoured marriage." To a friend he 
writes: " If you lust, marry. You want a wife at 
once beautiful, pious, and rich. Well, you can have 
one painted, with red cheeks and white limbs, and 
such are the most pious; but they are worth nothing 
for kitchen or couch. ... No one will ever have to 
repent rising early and marrying young. ... It 
is no more possible to do without a wife than with- 
out eating and drinking. Conceived, nourished, 
borne within the body of woman, our flesh is mainly 
hers, and it is impossible for us ever to separate 
wholly from her. . . . Had I wished to make love, 
I should have taken thirteen years ago to Ave 
Schonfeldin, who is now the wife of doctor Basilius, 
the Prussian physician. At that time I did not 
love my Catherine, whom I suspected of being 
proud and haughty ; but it was God's will ; it was 
his will that I should take pity on her, and I have 
cause, God be praised, to be satisfied." 

" The greatest grace God can bestow is to have a 
good and pious husband, with whom you may live 
in peace, to whom you can trust every thing, even 
your body and your life, and by whom you have 

little children. Catherine, thou hast a pious hus- 
band, who loves thee; thou art an empress. Thanks 
be to God!" 

Alluding to immorality in men, Luther observed: 
"Let them know that they are, after all, but des- 
pisers of the sex, who were not created for their 
brutal pleasures. . . 'Tis a great thing for a young 
girl to be always loved, and the devil but seldom 
allows it. . . My hostess of Eisenach said well, 
when I was a student there: 'There is no svxeter 
pleasure upon earth than to be loved by a woman.' " 

" On St. Martin's day (doctor Martin Luther's 
birth-day), master Ambrosius Brend came to ask 
him his niece in marriage. . . . One day, surprising 
them in close conversation, he burst out laughing, 
and said: ' I am not surprised at a lover having so 
much to say to his mistress; can they ever tire ? 
We must not put them out of the way; they have a 
privilege above law and custom !' When he be- 
trothed her to him, he addressed him as follows: 
' Sir, and dear friend, I give you this' young maid, 
such as God in his goodness gave her unto me. I 
confide her to your hands. May God bless you, 
sanctify your union, and make it happy !' " 
" Being present at the mai-riage of John Luffte's 
daughter, he led her to her bed after supper, and 
said to the husband, that, according to common 
custom, he was to be master of the house .... 
when the wife was not in it; and, in token of this, 
he took one of the husband's shoes, and put it on 
the top of the bed, showing that he so assumed do- 
minion and government." 

Being one day in very high spirits at table, " Be 
not scandalized," he said, " to see me so merry. I 
have heard a great deal of bad news to-day, and 
have just read a letter violently abusing me. Our 
affairs must be going on well, since the devil is 
storming so !" 

" Were I to make love again, I would have an 
obedient wife carved for me in stone ; I should 
despair of getting one any other way." " Strange 
thoughts come into one's head the first year of 
marriage. When at table, one says to oneself, 
' Just now thou wert alone, now thou art two ' 
(selbander). On awaking, one sees another head 
by the side of one's own. The first year my 
Catherine used to sit by me whilst I was studying, 
and, not knowing what to say, she asked me, ' Sir 
doctor, in Prussia, is not the maitre d'hotel the 
margrave's brother ?' " " There should be no 
delay between the betrothals and the marriage. . . 

Friends interpose obstacles All my best 

friends kept crying, 'Don't take her, take an- 
' other.' " " A sure sign that God is hostile to the 
papacy is, that he has refused it the blessing of 
corporeal fruit (children). . . . When Eve was 
brought before Adam, he was filled with the Holy 
Ghost, and gave her the most beautiful and glorious 
of names, calling her Eva, that is, mother of all 
living. He did not call her his wife, but mother, 
mother of all living. This is woman's glory, and 



A.D. 15301546. 

most precious ornament. She is Fons omnium 
viventium, the source of all human life ; a brief 
phrase, but such as neither Demosthenes nor 
Cicero could have expressed. The Holy Ghost 
here speaks by our first father, and having passed 
so noble a eulogy on marriage, it is but right in us 
to extenuate the weaknesses of women. No more 
did Jesus Christ, the Son of God, despise mar- 
riage. He is himself born of woman, which is a 
high testimony to marriage." 

" We find an image of marriage in all creatures, 
not only in birds, beasts, and fishes, but in trees and 
stones too. Every one knows that there are trees, 
like the apple and the pear tree, which are, as it 
were, husband and wife, which desiderate each 
other, and which thrive more when they are planted 
together. The same is observable of stones, espe- 
cially precious stones, such as the coral, emerald, 
and others. The sky, also, is the husband of the 
earth, vivifying it by the warmth of the sun, by the 
rain and the wind, and so leading it to bear all sorts 
of plants and fruits." 

The doctor's little children were standing before 
the table, anxiously watching the fishes that were 
being served up, when he remarked, " If you 
wish to see the image of a soul in the fruition of 
hope, there it is. Ah ! would we could look forward 
to the life to come with the same delight." His 
little girl, Madeleine, being brought in to sing to her 
cousin the song beginning, The pope invokes the em- 
peror and the kings, &c., and refusing, notwith- 
standing coaxing and threats, the doctor said, 
" Nothing good comes of force : without grace, the 
works of the law are valueless." " I see nothing 
contradictory in the injunction, Seme the Lord with 
fear and rejoice with trembling. My little John does 
so with regard to me, but I cannot with regard to 
God. When writing, or otherwise busied, he will 
begin a little song, and if he sing too loud, and I 
check him, he will go on, but to himself, and with 
a touch of fear. So God wishes us to be always 
cheerful, yet with awe and reserve." One new- 
year's day, he and his wife were exceedingly put 
out at being unable to still the baby, who kept on 
screaming more than an hour ; at last, he said, 
" These are the vexations of married life. . . . 
This is the reason none of the Fathers has written 
any thing remarkably good on the subject. Jerome 
has spoken degradingly, I should almost say in an 
anti-Christian spirit, of marriage. ... St. Augus- 
tin on the contrary." . . . His wife placing his 
youngest child in his arms, he observed, " Would I 
had died at this age ; willingly would I forego any 
honour I may obtain in this world to die an in- 
fant !" The child dirtying him, he said, " Oh ! 
how much more must our Lord endure with us 
than a mother with her child." He addressed his 
baby with, " Thou art our Lord's innocent little 
fool, living under grace and not under the law. 
Thou art without fear or anxiety, and all that thou 
doest is well done." " Children are the happiest. 
We old fools are ever distressing ourselves with 
disputes about the word, constantly asking our- 
selves, ' Is it true ? Is it possible ? How can it 
be possible ?' Children, in their pure and guile- 
less faith, have no doubts on matters appertaining 
to salvation. . . . Like them, we ought to trust for 
salvation to the simple word ; but the devil is 
ever throwing some stumbling-block in our way." 
Another time, as his wife was giving the breast to 

his little Martin, he said, " The pope and duke 
George hate this child, and all belonging to me, as 
do their partizans and the devil. However, they 
give no uneasiness to the dear child, and he does not 
concern himself what such powerful enemios may do. 
He sticks to the teat, or crows laughingly aloud, 
and leaves them to grumble their fill." One day, 
that Spalatin and Lenhart Beier, pastor of Zwickau, 
were with him, he pointed to his little Martin 
playing with a doll, and said, " Even such were 
man's thoughts in Paradise, simple, innocent, and 
free from malice or hypocrisy ; he must have been 
like this child when he speaks of God and is so 
sure of him. What must have been Abraham's 
feelings when he consented to offer up his only 
son ! He said nothing of it to Sarah ; he could 
not ! Of a verity, I should dispute God's com- 
mands were he to order me sucli a thing." On 
this, the doctor's wife broke in with, " I will not 
believe that God can ask any one to kill his own 

" Ah ! how my heart sighed after mine own, when 
I lay sick to death at Smalkalde. I thought that 
I should never more see my wife or little ones; 
and how agonizing was the thought ! . . . . There 
is no one who can so overcome the flesh, as not to 
feel this bent of nature. Great is the force of the 
social tie which knits man and wife together.'' 

It is touching to see how each thing that at- 
tracted his notice led Luther to pious reflections 
on the goodness of God, on the state of man before 
the fall, and on the life to come; as, on Dr. Jonas 
laying on his table a fine bough laden with cherries, 
his wife's delight on serving up a dish of fish from 
their own pond, the mere sight of a rose, &c. . . . 
On the 9th of April, 1539, as the doctor was in 
his garden, gazing attentively at the trees, resplen- 
dent with flowers and foliage, he exclaimed with 
admiration, " Glory be to God, who thus calls to 
life inanimate creation in the spring. Look at 
those graceful branches, already big with fruit. 
Fine image this of man's resurrection : winter is 
death ; summer the resurrection !" After a violent 
storm on the evening of the 18th of April, J539, 
followed by a kindly rain, which restored the ver- 
dure of the fields and trees, he exclaimed, looking 
up to heaven, " This is thy gift, my God, and to 
us ingrates, full of wickedness and covetousness. 
Thou art a God of goodness ! This was no work 
of Satan's; no, 'twas a beneficent thunder, shaking 
the earth, and opening it to make it bear its fruits 
and spread a perfume similar to that diffused by 
the prayer of the pious Christian." Another day, 
walking on the Leipsic road, and seeing the whole 
plain covered with the finest wheat, Luther ex- 
claimed, with exceeding fervour, " O God of good- 
ness, this fruitful year is thy gift! Not for our 
piety is this, but to glorify thy holy name. Grant, 
O my God, that we may amend our lives and in- 
crease in thy Word! With thee all is miracle. 
Thy voice brings out of the earth, and even out of 
the arid sand, those plants and those beauteous 
ears of wheat which gladden the sight. 0, my 
Father, give all thy children their daily bread!" 
One evening, noticing a little bird perched on a 
tree as if to take up its roost for the night, he said, 
" This little thing has chosen its shelter, and is 
going peacefully to sleep; it does not disturb itself 
with thoughts of where it shall rest to-morrow 
but composes itself tranquilly on its little branch' 

A.D. 15301546. 



and leaves God to think for it." Towards evening, 
two birds began to build their nest in the doctor's 
garden, but were frequently disturbed by the 
passers by : " Ah !" he exclaimed, " dear little 
birds, don't fly away; I wish you well with all my 
heart, if you would only believe me ! Even so 
we refuse to trust in God, who, far from wishing 
our harm, has given his own Son for us." 



DOCTOR Martin Luther had written with chalk on 
the wall, behind his stove, the following words: 
" He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful 
also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is 
unjust also in much." (Luke xvi. 10.) " The little 
infant Jesus (he showed him painted on the wall) 
is sleeping in the arras of Mary, his mother. He 
will awake one day, and demand an account of what 
we have done." One day that Dr. Jonas was by, 
whilst Luther was being shaved, the latter said to 
him: "Original sin is within us, like the beard. We 
take it off to-day, and have a smooth face; to-mor- 
row, it is grown again, and it will not cease growing 
whilst we live. Just so, original sin cannot be ex- 
tirpated in us; but springs up our life long. Never- 
theless, we ought to resist it with all our strength, 
and cut it off without delay." " Human nature is 
so corrupt as not even to feel a want of heavenly 
things. It is like a new-born child, to whom one 
would promise in vain all the treasures and plea- 
sures the earth yields ; the child is without a 
thought, and knows but its mother's breast. In 
like manner, when the Gospel speaks to us of 
eternal life through Christ Jesus, we turn a deaf 
ear, harden ourselves in the flesh, and indulge in 
frivolous and perishable thoughts. Human nature 
does not comprehend, does not even feel, the mortal 
ill which weighs it down." " In divine things, the 
Father is the Grammar, for he imparts words, and 
is the source whence flow good, pure, and harmo- 
nious sayings. The Son is Logic, and suggests ar- 
rangement, order, and sequence of ideas. The Holy 
Ghost is Rhetoric, states, presses home, enlarges, 
and gives life and strength, so as to impress and 
hold the hearers' hearts." " The Trinity occurs 
throughout creation. In the sun are substance, 
light, and heat ; in rivers, substance, current, 
and force. So, in the arts : in astronomy are 
motion, light, and influence; in music, the three 
notes, re, mi, fa, &c. The schoolmen have neg- 
lected these important signs for silly trifles." " The 
decalogue is the doctrine of doctrines ; the creed, the 
history of histories ; the Lord's prayer, the prayer of 
prayers ; the sacraments, the ceremonies of cere- 

On his being asked whether those who had lived 
in the darkness of popery, and had not known the 
blessing of the Gospel, could be saved ? Luther re- 
plied: " I know not, save, perhaps, through bap- 
tism. I have seen the cross held out to many 
monks, on their death-bed, as was then the custom, 
and they may have been saved by their faith in 
Christ's merits and sufferings." " Cicero is far 
superior in his moral doctrine to Aristotle, and 
was a wise and laborious man, who did and who 

suffered much. 1 hope that our Lord will be 
merciful unto him and all like unto him ; albeit it 
belongs not to us to speak with certainty. That 
God should not make exceptions and establish 
distinctions between pagans, is what one cannot 
say. There will be a new heaven and a new earth 
much larger and vaster than those of our day." 
Being asked whether the offended party ought to 
seek pardon of the offender, Luther replied, " No ; 
Jesus Christ himself has set us no example, and 
has left us no command of the kind. It is enough 
to pardon offences in one's heart ; and publicly, if 
convenient, and prayed so to do. I, indeed, once 
went to ask pardon of two persons who had offended 
me, but they happened to be from home ; and 
I now thank God that I was not allowed to execute 
my purpose." Sighing one day at the thought of 
the sectaries who despised God's word, " Ah !" 
he exclaimed, " were I a great poet, I would write 
a magnificent poem on the utility and efficacy of the 
divine word. Without it. ... For many years 
I have read the Bible twice a year; 'tis a great and 
mighty tree, each word of which is a branch. I 
have shaken them all, so curious was I to know 
what each branch bore, and each time I have 
shaken off a couple of pears or apples." " For- 
merly, under papal rules, men used to go on pil- 
grimages to the saints, to Rome, to Jerusalem, to 
St. James of Compostella, to expiate their sins. 
Now we may make Christian pilgrimages in the 
faith. When we read attentively the prophets, the 
psalms, and the gospels, we peregrinate, not through 
the holy city, but through our thoughts and hearts, 
to God. That is visiting the true promised land, 
and the paradise of life eternal." " What are the 
saints compared with Christ ! Nothing more than 
small drops of night-dew on the beard of the 
bridegroom and in the curls of his hair." 

Luther did not like the miracles to be dwelt 
upon, considering this kind of proof as secondary. 
" The convincing proofs are in God's word. Our 
opponents read the translated Bible much more 
than we. I believe that duke George has read it 
more carefully than all the nobles on our side 
together. * Provided,' I hear he has said, ' pro- 
vided the monk have finished the translation of 
the Bible, he may be off when he likes.' " He 
used to say that Melanchthon had forced him to 
translate the New Testament. 

" Let our adversaries fume and rage. God has 
not opposed a wall of stone or a mountain of brass 
to the waves of the sea ; a bank of sand has been 

" In my early days, whilst a monk, I used to be 
fond of reading my Bible, but to no use ; I merely 
made Christ a Moses. Now I have found my 
beloved Christ. May I be thankful, and stedfast, 
and suffer for his sake what I may be called upon 
to suffer." " Why do we teach and keep the ten 
commandments ? The reason is, that nowhere is 
the natural law so well arranged and laid down as 
in Moses. I wish we had borrowed from him in 
temporal things as well ; such as the laws with 
regard to the bill of divorcement, the jubilee, the 
year of release, tithes, &c.; the world would be 
all the better governed. . . . So, the Romans took 
their Twelve Tables from the Greeks. ... As 
regards the Sabbath or Sunday, there is no neces- 
sity for keeping it ; but if we do, it ought to be, 
not on account of Moses' commandment, but be- 


A.D. 15301546. 

cause nature teaches us from time to time to take 
a day of rest, in order that men and animals may 
recruit their strength, and that we may attend the 
preaching of God's word. Since there is now-a- 
days a general movement towards restoring all 
things, as if the day of the universal restoration 
were come, it has come into my head to try 
whether Moses also cannot be restored, and the 
rivers recalled to their source. I have taken care 
to treat every subject in the simplest fashion, and 
to avoid mystical interpretations as they are called. 
. . . I see no other reason for God's choosing to 
form the Jewish people by these ceremonies, than 
his knowledge of their aptness to be caught by 
externals. To prevent these being empty phan- 
toms and mere images, he added his word to give 
them weight and substance, and render them grave 
and serious matters. I have subjoined to each 
chapter brief allegories ; not that I set much store 
by them, but to anticipate the mania many have 
for allegorical writing ; as we perceive in Jerome, 
Origen, and other ancient writers an unfortunate 
and sterile habit of devising allegories to recom- 
mend morality and works, whereas it is the word 
and faith that ought to be insisted on." (April, 

" My prayer is the Pater Noster ; and I am in 
the habit of blending with it something from the 
Psalms, in order to confound false teachers, and 
cover them with shame. There is no prayer com- 
parable to the Pater ; 1 prefer it to any Psalm *." 
" I frankly own that I know not whether or no I 
am master of the full meaning of the Psalms ; 
although I have no doubts about my giving their 
correct sense. One man will be mistaken in some 
passages ; another, in others. I see things which 
Augustin overlooked ; and others, I am aware, 
will see things which I miss. Who will dare to 
assert that he has completely understood a single 
Psalm ? Our life is a beginning and a progress ; 
not a consummation. He is the best, who comes 
nearest to the Spirit. There are stages in life and 
action, why not in understanding ? The apostle says, 
that we proceed from knowledge to knowledge." 

Of the New Testament. " The Gospel of St. John 
is the true and pure Gospel, the principal Gospel, 
because it contains more of Jesus Christ's own 
words than the rest. In like manner, the Epistles 
of St. Paul and St. Peter, are far above (?) the 
Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke. 
In fine, St. John's Gospel and his First Epistle, St. 
Paul's Epistles, especially those to the Romans, 
Galatians, and Ephesians, and St. Peter's First 
Epistle, are the books which show thee Jesus 
Christ, and which teach thee all that it is necessary 
and useful for thee to know, though thou wert 
never to see any other book." He did not con- 
sider either the Epistle to the Hebrews or the 
Epistle of St. James of apostolical authority. He 
says of that of St. Jude : " No one can deny that 
this Epistle is an extract from or copy of the 
Second of St. Peter ; the words are almost identi- 
cal. Jude speaks of the apostles as if he had been 
their disciple, and that they were dead ; and he 
cites texts and events nowhere to be found in 

Luther's opinion on the Apocalypse is remark- 
able : " Every one," he says, " must form his own 
judgment on this work according to his lights and 
* So says Montaigne in his Essays. 

gifts. I do not wish to force my opinion on any 
one, but simply speak as I think. I look upon it 
as being neither apostolic nor prophetic." . . And, 
in another passage, " Many of the fathers have re- 
jected this book ; and it is free to all to think of it 
as they shall be moved. For my own part, I can- 
not take to this work. One reason alone would 
give me a distaste to it ; which is, that Jesus 
Christ is neither adored nor preached in it such as 
we know him." 

Of the Fathers. " You may read Jerome for the 
sake of the history; of faith, good true religion, and 
doctrine, there is not a word in his works. I have 
already proscribed Origen. Chrysostom is no au- 
thority with me. Basil is but a monk ; I would 
not give a straw for him. Melanchthon's Apology is 
beyond the writings of all the doctors of the Church, 
not excepting Augustin ; Hilary and Theophylact 
are good, Ambrose also ; he walks steadily as to the 
most essential article, the pardon of sins. Bernard, 
as a preacher, eclipses all the doctors; in argu- 
ment, he is quite another man, and grants too 
much to the law and to free-will. Bonaventura is 
the best of the scholastic theologians. Amongst the 
fathers, Augustin holds, incontestably, the first 
place; Ambrose, the second; Bernard, the third. 
Tertullian is a true Carlstadt. Cyril has the finest 
sentences. Cyprian the martyr, is a poor theolo- 
gian. Theophylact is the best interpreter of St. 
Paul." (Arguments to prove that antiquity does 
not add to authority) : " We see how bitterly St. 
Paul complains of the Corinthians and Galatians; 
even amongst the apostles, Christ found a traitor 
in Judas.'' " There is never anything conclusive in 
the writings of the Fathers on the Bible; they leave 
the reader suspended betwixt heaven and earth. 
Read Chrysostom, the best rhetorician, and speaker 
of all." He observes, that the Fathers said nothing 
of justification by grace during their life, but be- 
lieved in it at their death. " This was more prudent, 
in order not to encourage mysticism or discourage 
good works. The dear Fathers have lived better 
than they have written.' 1 He eulogises the history 
of St. Epiphanius, and the poems of Prudentius. 
"Of^all, Augustin and Hilary have written with 
most clearness and truth ; the rest must be read cum 
judicio (with allowance). Ambrose was mixed up 
with worldly matters, as I am now; being obliged 
to busy myself in the consistory with marriage 
matters, more than with God's word. . . . Bona- 
ventura has been called the seraphic ; Thomas, the 
angelic ; Scot, the subtle ; Martin Luther will be 
named the arch-heretic." Observing a portrait of 
St. Augustin in a book, representing him with a 
monk's cowl, Luther remarked, " They do the holy 
man wrong, for he lived just as the world about 
him, and used silver spoons and cups, not even se- 
cluding himself like the monks." " Macarius, An- 
tony, and Benedict have done the Church great 
and signal injury with their monkery ; and I think 
they will be placed much lower in heaven than a 
pious, God-fearing citizen, father of a family. St. 
Augustin pleases me more than all the rest. The 
doctrine he teaches is pure, and regulated with 
Christian humility, by Holy Scripture. Augustin 
is favourable to marriage. He speaks well of the 
bishops who were the pastors of his day; but years, 
and his disputes with the Pelagians, embittered and 
distressed him at the last. . . Had he witnessed the 
scandals of the papacy, he certainly would not have 


allowed them. He is the first Fathev of the Church 
who wrote on the subject of original sin." After 
having spoken of St. Augustin, Luther adds, " But 
since God has given me grace to understand Paul, 
I have not been able to relish any doctors ; they 
have all become dwarfs in my eyes." "I know 
none of the Fathers whom I so much dislike as St. 
Jerome. He writes only on fasting, diet, virginity, 
&c., not a word on faith. Dr. Staupitz was wont 
to say, ' I should like to know how Jerome could 
be saved.' " s 

" The nominalists are a sect of the upper schools 
to which I used to belong; they are opposed to the 
Thomists, Scotists, and Albertists. The name they 
give themselves is Occamists. They are the newest 
sect of all, and, at present, the most powerful, es- 
pecially at Paris." Luther thinks highly of Peter 
Lombard's Master of Sentences ; but considers that 
the schoolmen in general laid too much stress on 
free-will and too little on grace. " Gerson alone, 
of all the doctors, has made mention of spiritual 
temptations. All the rest, Gregory of Nazianzen, 
Augustin, Scotus, Thomas, Richard, Occam, were 
conscious of corporal temptations only. Gerson 
alone has written of discouragement. The Church, 
in proportion to her advancing years, cannot but 
experience spiritual temptations of the kind; and 
we live in this age of the Church. William of 
Paris, too, felt such temptations in a degree; but 
the schoolmen never attained the knowledge of the 
catechism. Gerson is the only one who reassures 
and revives consciences. . . . He has saved many 
poor souls from despair by lessening and extenuat- 
ing the law, yet, so as that the law shall remain. 
But Christ does not tap the cask, he breaks it in. 
He says, ' Thou must not trust in the law, nor rely 
upon it, but upon me, upon Christ. If thou art 
not good, I am.' " " Dr. Staupitz one day speaking 
to me of Andrew Zachary, who is said to have 
overcome John Huss in disputation, told me that 
Dr. Proles of Gotha seeing a portrait of Zachary, 
in which he was represented with a rose in his 
bonnet, exclaimed, ' God defend me from ever 
wearing such a rose, for he overcame John Huss 
by a trick, by means of a falsified Bible. Y.ou will 
find in the thirty-fourth of Ezekiel, Behold, I 
myself will visit and punish my shepherds * ; to which 
they had added, ' and not the people.' The mem- 
bers of the council showed him the text in his 
own Bible, which had been falsified as well as 
the rest, and then drew the conclusion, it is not 
your business to punish the pope, as God takes it 
upon himself. And so the holy man was con- 
demned and burnt.' " " Master John Agricola 
reading one of John Huss's works, full of spirit, 
of resignation, and of fervour, in which you saw 
how in his prison he suffered martyrdom from 
the stone, and was exposed to the rebukes of the 
emperor Sigismund, Dr. Luther admired such 

spirit and courage It is most unjust," he 

exclaimed, " to call John Huss and me heretics. . . 
John Huss died, not as an anabaptist, but as a 
Christian. We discern Christian weakness in him ; 
but, at the same time, strength from God arouses 
his soul and buoys him up. It is sweet and touch- 
ing to see the struggle betwixt the flesh and the 
spirit in Christ and in Huss Constance is at 

* In our version, " Behold, I am against the shepherds, 
and I will require my flock at their hands . . . that they 
may not be meat for them." 

the present day a poor, wretched city. God, I 
opine, has chastised it. ... John Huss was burnt; 
and I, too, with God's will, believe that I shall be 
put to death. He rooted out some thorns from 
Christ's vineyard by only attacking the scandals 
of the pnpacy. But I, Dr. Martin Luther, coming 
into a richly-soiled and well-tilled field, have at- 
tacked the pope's doctrine and overthrown it. ... 
John Huss was the seed which had to be harrowed 
in the earth and die, to spring up afterwards and 
grow with renewed strength. . ." 

One day Luther improvised at table the follow- 
ing verse: 

" Pestis eram vivens, moriens ero mors tua, Papa*." 

" The head of antichrist is at once the pope and 
the Turk. The pope is antichrist's spirit, the Turk 
the flesh." 

"It is my poor and humble state (not to speak 
of the justice of my cause) which has been the 
pope's misfortune. ' If,' he said to himself, ' I have 
defended my doctrine against so many kings and 
emperors, why should I fear a simple monk ?' Had 
he looked upon me as a dangerous enemy, he 
might have crushed me at the outset. ... I con- 
fess that I have often been too violent, but not 
with regard to the papacy. One ought to have a 
language on purpose to use against it, every word 
of which should be a thunderbolt. . . . The papists 
are confounded and conquered by the testimonies of 
Scripture. Thank God I know their error under 
its every aspect, from the alpha to the omega. Yet, 
even now, when they confess the Scriptures to be 
against them, the splendour and majesty of the 
pope sometimes dazzle me, and I attack him with 
trembling. . . . The pope said to himself, ' Shall I 
give way to a monk, who seeks to despoil me 
of my crown and my majesty ? A fool if I do !' 
I would give both my hands to believe as firmly, as 
surely in Jesus Christ, as the pope believes Jesus 
Christ to be nothing. . . . Others, as Erasmus and 
John Huss, have attacked the morals of the popes. 
But I have pulled down the two pillars on which 
the popedom rested vows and private masses." 

Of Councils. " Councils are not for the ordering 
of faith, but of discipline." 

Dr. Martin Luther raised his eyes one day to 
heaven, sighed, and exclaimed, " Ah ! for a general, 
free, and truly Christian council ! God can do it ; 
'tis his business ; he knows and holds in his hand 
the inmost thoughts of men." 

" When Peter Paul Vergerius, the pope's legate, 
came to Wittemberg in the year 1533, and that 1 
called upon him, he cited and summoned me to ap- 
pear at the council. ' I will,' I said, adding, ' As 
for you papists, you labour in vain. If you hold a 
council, you do not take into consideration the 
sacraments, justification by faith, good works, but 
only babbling and childish matters, such as the 
length of robes, the width of priests' girdles, &c.' 
He turned away from me, leant his bead on his 
hand, and said to a person with him, ' Of a truth 
this man goes to the root of the matter.' " It 
being asked when the pope would convene a coun- 
cil ? "There will be none," said Luther, "before 
the last day, and then our Lord God will himself 
hold a council." Luther's advice was, not to 

* "Pope, I was thy plague living; dying, I shall be thy 



A.D. 15301546. 

refuse attending a council, but to require it to be 
free. " If this be denied, we cannot have a better 

Of Ecclesiastical Property. Luther wished it to 
be applied to the support of schools, and poor theo- 
logical students. He deplores the spoliation of the 
churches, and predicts that princes will soon 
quarrel for the spoil. " The pope is now lavishing 
ecclesiastical property on catholic princes, in order 
to buy friends and allies. ... It is not so much 
our princes of the confession of Augsburg who 
pillage the church, as Ferdinand, the emperor, and 
the archbishop of Mentz. The Bavarians, who 
iiave rich abbeys, are the greatest robbers. My 
gracious lord and the landgrave have only poor 
monasteries of mendicant monks in their territories. 
At the diet, it was proposed to place the monas- 
teries at the disposal of the emperor, who would 
have garrisoned them. I said, ' You must first 
brinq all the monasteries together into one spot. Who 
would suffer the emperor's officers in his territories 1 ' 
The archbishop of Mentz was the instigator of the 
proposition." In answer to a letter of the king of 
Denmark's, asking for his advice, Luther disap- 
proves of the annexation of church property to the 
crown. "Look," he says, "at our prince, John 
Frederick, how he applies the property of the 
church to the support of pastors and professors." 
" The proverb is in the right, ' Priests' goods do no 
good.' (pfajfengut raffengut.) Burchard Hund, coun- 
cillor to John, elector of Saxony, was wont to say, 
'We nobles have annexed church lands to our 
fiefs, and the church lands have devoured our fiefs, 
so that we now have neither the one nor the 
other.' " Luther adds the fable of the fox, who 
revenges the loss of his cubs by burning down the 
tree, with the eagle's nest and eaglets in it. An 
old tutor of Ferdinand's son (king of the Romans), 
named Severus, was telling Luther the story of the 
dog that fought for his piece of meat, yet took his 
share of it, when the other dogs snatched it from 
him. " Exactly what the emperor is now doing," 
exclaimed Luther, " with the estates of the church." 
(Alluding to Utrecht and Liege.) 

Of Cardinals and Bislwps. " In Italy, France, 
England, and Spain, the bishops are commonly the 
royal councillors, the reason being, that they are 
poor. But in Germany, where they are rich, 
powerful, and enjoy great consideration, the bishops 
govern in their own name. ... I shall strive to 
the utmost to preserve the canonries and small 
bishoprics, so as to endow out of their revenues 
preachers and pastors for the towns. The large 
bishoprics shall be secularised." Dining with the 
elector of Saxony on Ascension-day, and it having 
been settled that the bishops were to preserve their 
authority, provided they abjured the pope, Luther 
said, " Our people shall examine them, and shall 
ordain them by imposition of hands. This is the 
way I am bishop." The origin of monks being 
started in the disputations at Heidelberg, the 
reply was, " God having made priests, the devil 
wished to imitate him, but made the tonsure 
too great, and thence monks." "Monkery will 
never be re-established so long as the doctrine of 
justification shall be understood in its purity." 
Monks were formerly so highly esteemed, that the 
pope feared them more than kings and bishops ; 
for they had the common people in their hands. 
The monks were the pope's best fowlers. The 

king of England gains nothing by no longer recog- 
nizing the pope as the head of Christendom ; he 
only torments the body, whilst strengthening the 
soul of the papacy." (Henry VIII. had not yet 
suppressed the monasteries.) 



" SCHOOLS ought to supply pastors, for edification 
and the support of the church. Schools and pas- 
tors are better than councils." 

" I hope, if the world goes on, that the univer- 
sities of Erfurth and Leipsic will revive and flou- 
rish, provided they adopt sound views of theology, 
as they seem disposed to do ; but some will have 
to go to sleep first. I was at first surprised that a 
university should have been established here, at 
Wittemberg. Erfurth is excellently situated for 
the purpose. There must be a town on the spot, 
even though the present, which God forbid, should 
be burnt down. This university was formerly so 
renowned, that all others were considered only 
small schools in comparison. But now its glories 
have disappeared, and it is altogether dead." 
" Masters were formerly put forward and honoured ; 
torches used to be borne before them. Never was 
joy in the world comparable to that. Taking a 
doctor's degree was also made a high festival of ; 
one paraded round the town on horseback, and 
dressed oneself more carefully and ostentatiously 
than usual. All that is over ; but I wish these 
good customs were revived." "Wo to Germany, 
who neglects schools, despises them, and allows 
them to go to decay ! Wo to the archbishop of 
Mentz and Erfurth, who might with a word resus- 
citate the universities of those two cities, and who 
leaves them desolate and deserted ! One nook of 
Germany, that in which we are, still, thanks to 
God, flourishes in purity of doctrine and culture of 
the liberal arts. The papists will be for rebuilding 
the fold, when the wolf shall have eaten the sheep. 
It is the bishop of Mentz's fault, who is a scourge 
to schools, and all Germany ; and so is he justly 
punished for it. His face is the hue of death, like 
clay tempered with blood." 

" The most celebrated and best school is at 
Paris, in France. It has twenty thousand stu- 
dents and upwards. The theologians there have 
the pleasantest spot in the whole city ; being a 
street to themselves, with gates at each end : it is 
called the Sorbonne, a name derived, I fancy, from 
the fruit of the service tree (Sorbus), which grows 
by the Dead Sea, and which, beautiful without, are 
only ashes within. Even so the University of 
Paris shows a goodly multitude, but is the mother 
of many errors. In disputing, they bawl like 
drunken peasants, in Latin and in French ; so that 
the auditors are obliged to stamp with their feet 
to silence them. Before one can take one's de- 
gree as doctor of theology, one is obliged to have 
been a student of their sophistical and futile logic 
for ten years. The respondent must sit a whole 
day, and dispute with every comer, from six in the 
morning to six in the evening." " At Bourges, in 
France, at the public creation of doctors in theo- 
logy, which takes place in the metropolitan church 
there, each doctor has a net given him ; as a sign, 

A.D. 1530 154G. 


seemingly, that their business is to catch men." 
" We, thanks to God, have universities which have 
embraced the word of God, and many excellent pri- 
vate schools besides, which display good dispositions, 
as those at Zwickau, Torgau, Wittemberg, Gotha, 
Eisenach, Deventer, &c." 

Extract from Luther's Treatise on Education. "Do- 
mestic education is insufficient. The magistracy 
ought to superintend the education of the young, 
and the establishment of schools is one of their 
chief duties. Public offices, too, should only be 
entrusted to the most learned. So important is the 
study of tongues, that the devil fears it, and 
seeks to extinguish it. Is it not through this study 
that we have re-discovered the true doctrine ? The 
first thing Christ gave to his apostles was the gift of 
tongues." Luther complains that Latin is no 
longer known in the monasteries, and hardly Ger- 
man. " For my own part, if I ever have children, 
and my fortune permits it, I will make them mas- 
ters of tongues, and of history, and have them 
taught music and mathematics as well ;" on this 
he branches forth into a eulogium on poets and 
historians. " Children should at least be sent, an 
hour or two daily to school ; and the rest of their 
time be employed in the house, or in learning some 
trade." " There ought to be schools for girls like- 
wise." " Public libraries ought to be established, 
and furnished at first with theological works, in 
Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and German ; next, with 
books to form the style, as the orators and poets, it 
matters not whether they be Christian or pagan ; 
then works on the liberal and mechanical arts ; 
legal and medical works ; then, annals, chronicles, 
and histories, in the languages in which they were 
written ; these are the works which should hold 
the first place in a library." 

Of Languages. " The Greeks, compared with the 
Hebrews, have a number of good and pleasing 
words, but have no sentences. The Hebrew lan- 
guage is the richer; it does not beg, as Greek, Latin, 
and German do ; and is not forced to recur to 
compound words. The Hebrews drink at the 
source; the Greeks from the stream; the Latins 
from the bog." " I have little facility in Latin, 
brought up as I was in the barbarism of scholastic 
teaching." (Nov. 12th, 1544.) " I follow no par- 
ticular dialect of German; but use the common 
tongue, so as to be understood in Upper and 
Lower Germany. I model myself on the usage of 
the chancery court of Saxony, which is followed by 
all in Germany, in their public acts, whether kings, 
princes, or imperial cities, so that it lias become 
the general tongue. Thus the emperor Maximilian 
and the elector Frederic of Saxony have reduced 
the German dialects to one fixed tongue. The 
language of the Marches is still sweeter than that 
of Saxony." 

Of Grammars. " Grammar is one thing, the 
Hebrew language another. The Jews have, for 
the most part, lost the Hebrew language and 
positive grammar, which have declined with their 
state itself and with their understanding, as Isaiah 
says (ch. xxix.) The rabbis are no authority in 
sacred matters; they torture and do violence to 
etymology and construction, because they desire to 
force the matter by the words, to subject it to the 
words; whereas it is the matter which ought to 
command them. You see similar disputes between 
the Ciceronians and other Latinists. For my part, 

I am neither Latinist nor grammarian, still less 
Ciceronian; yet side with those who lay claim to 
the latter title. And so, in sacred literature, I 
would prefer being simply Mosaic, Davidic, or 
Isaiahic, to being a Hebrew Kimchi, or like any 
other rabbi." (A.D. 1537.) "I regret not having 
more time to devote to the study of poets and rhe- 
toricians; I had bought a Homer in order to become 
Greek." (March 29th, 1523.) " If I were to write 
a treatise on logic, I would reject every foreign 
word, as propositio, syllogismiis,enthymema,exemplum, 
&c., and give them German synonyms. . . . They 
who introduce new words ought also to introduce 
new things, as Scot with his reality, his hiccity ; 
and as the Anabaptists and preachers of sedition 
with their Besprengung, Entgrobung, Gelassenheit. 
Let us beware, then, of all who study to devise 
new and unusual words." Luther cited the fable 
of the lion's court, and said, " That after the Bible, 
he knew no better books than ^Esop's fables and 
Cato's works, and that Donatus seemed to him the 
best grammarian. These fables are not the work of 
any one man; many great minds have devoted 
themselves to their composition at each epoch of 
the world." 

Of Men of Learning. " In a few years, they will 
not be to be found. You may dig to unearth 
them, but to no purpose ; God is too much sinned 

To a Friend. " Do not give in to the fear of 
Germany's becoming more barbarous than ever, 
by the discredit into which letters will be brought 
by our theology." (March 29th, 1523.) 



Of Theatrical Representations. Luther does not 
blame a schoolmaster for getting up Terence's 
plays. He recapitulates the various advantages 
derivable from the drama. If you keep away 
from plays because they treat of love, you must on 
the same principle fear reading the Bible. " Our 
dear Joachim has asked me for my opinion on 
those plays from sacred story, which many of our 
ministers blame. Briefly, then, here it is. The 
command is, that all men are to spread and propa- 
gate God's word, by all means; not by preaching 
only, but by writings, paintings, sculpture, psalms, 
songs, music ; for, as the Psalm says, ' Praise him 
with the timbrel and dance : praise him with stringed 
instruments and organs.' And Moses says, . . . ' and 
ye shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, that 
they may be as frontlets between your eyes. . . . and 
thou shalt vn-ite them upon the door-posts of thine 
house, and upon thy gates' Moses wishes the word 
to be a frontlet between the eyes, and how can that 
be done better and more clearly than by repre- 
sentations of the kind, grave and modest ones, and 
not by farces, as formerly, under the papacy 1 
Spectacles of this nature take the eyes of the 
people, and work upon them frequently much 
more than public preachings. I know that in 
Lower Germany, where the public profession of 
the Gospel is prohibited, dramas, drawn from the 
Law and the Gospel, have converted numbers." 
(April 5th, 1543.) 



A.D. 1530 154G. 

Of Music. " Music is one of the finest and most 
magnificent of God's gifts. Satan bates it. It I 
dispels temptations and evil thoughts ; the devil 
cannot hold out against it. . . Some of the nobility 
and of the courtiers think that my gracious lord 
might spare three thousand florins a year for 
music ; thirty thousand are expended on useless 
matters." " Duke George, the landgrave of Hesse, 
and John Frederick, elector of Saxony, used to 
keep singers and musicians : now it is the duke of 
Bavaria, the emperor Ferdinand, and the emperor 
Charles who do so." Luther being entertained 
(Dec. 17th, 1538) in the house of a musical family, 
who played to him to his great delight, he bursts 
out with, " If our Lord grants us such noble gifts 
in this life, which is but filth and misery, what 
will it be in the life everlasting ? This is a fore- 
taste." " Singing is the best exercise ; it has no 
concern with the word. . . . Therefore do I re- 
joice that God has refused to the peasants (alluding, 
no doubt, to the peasants in revolt) so great a gift 
and comfort. They do not understand music, and 
listen not to the word." He one day said to a 
harp-player, " My friend, play me such an air as 
David used to play. Were he to return to earth, 
I think he would be surprised to find such skilful 
players." " How happens it that we have now-a- 
days so many fine things of a worldly kind, and 
nothing but what is cold and indifferent of a 
spiritual (and he repeated some German songs) ? 
I cannot agree with those who despise music, 
as do all dreamers and mystics." "... I will ask 
the prince to devote this money to the establish- 
ment of a musical academy." (April, 1541.) 

On the 4th of October, 1530, he writes to Ludovic 
Senfel, a musician of the court of Bavaria, to ask 
him to set the In pace in id ipsum to music : " The 
love of music overpowers my fear of being refused, 
when you shall see a name which, no doubt, you 
hate. This same love also gives me the hope that 
my letters will involve you in no disagreeables. 
Who could reproach you on their account, even 
were he a Turk ? . . . After theology, no art can 
be compared with music." Luther, introducing a 
painter named Sebastian to his friend Amsdorf, 
says: " I know not whether you want his services. 
I should like, however, to see your dwelling more 
tasteful and ornamented, on account of the flesh, 
which is the better for some recreation, provided it 
be sinless and unobjectionable." (Feb. 6th, 1542.) 

Of Painting. Luther's pamphlets against the 
pope were seldom published without symbolic en- 
gravings. " As for these three furies," he says, in 
explanation of one of these satirical engravings, 
" I had nothing else in my mind, when I applied 
them to the pope, than to express the atrocity of 
the papal abomination by these, the most forcible 
and most revolting figures known to the Latin 
tongue ; for the Latins know not what Satan or 
the devil is, any more than the Greeks and other 
nations." (May 8th, 1545.) Lucas Cranach was 
the designer of these figures. Luther says : " Mas- 
ter Lucas has little delicacy of feeling ; he might 
have spared the other sex, in consideration of our 
mothers and of God's work; and he might have 
painted other forms, worthier of the pope, I 
mean more diabolical." (June 3rd, 1545.) " I will 
do my utmost, if I live, to make Lucas substitute a 
more decent painting for this obscene one." (June 
15th.) Luther professed great admiration for 

Albert Durer; and, on hearing of his death, wrote: 
" It is painful, no doubt, to have lost him. Let 
us rejoice, however, that Christ has released him 
by so happy an end from this world of misery and 
of trouble, which soon, perhaps, will be desolated 
by greater troubles still. God has been unwilling 
to suffer him, who was born for happiness, to see 
such calamities. May he rest in peace with his 
fathers!" (April, 1528.) 

Of Astronomy and Astrology. " It is true that 
astrologers may predict the future to the ungodly, 
and announce the death which awaits them, for the 
devil knows the thoughts of the ungodly, and has 
them in his power." Mention being made of a 
new astronomer, who was for proving that it is the 
earth that revolves, and not the firmament, the sun, 
and the moon; it being the same, he said, with us 
as with men in a carriage or a ship, who think they 
see the shore and the trees moving past them*, 
Luther observed: "So it is with the world now-a- 
days; men, to be thought clever, won't content 
themselves with what others do and know. The 
fool wishes to change the whole art of astronomy; 
but, as holy Scripture saith, Joshua commanded the 
sun, not the earth, to stand still." " Astrologers 
are in the wrong in attributing to stars the evil in- 
fluences which proceed from comets." " Master 
Philip (Melanchthon) has often tried, but could 
never make me a believer in the art. He maintains 
it to be a real art; but that no professor of it is an 
adept." A nativity being shown him, Luther 
said: " It is a beautiful and pleasing fancy, and 
flattering to the understanding. You proceed re- 
gularly from one line to the other. ... It is with 
astrology as with the art of the sophists, de decent 
prcedicamentis realiter distinctis ; all is false and ar- 
tificial: but, in this vain and factitious science, there 
is an admirable unity, and, notwithstanding the 
lapse of ages, and the diversity of sects that have 
arisen Thomists, Albertists, Scotists its follow- 
ers have remained faithful to the same rules." 
"Sciences which have matter for their object are 
uncertain; for matter is without form, and is without 
qualities and properties. Now, astrology has matter 
for its object, &c." " The astrologers had predicted 
that there would be a deluge in 1524, and it did 
not take place until the following year, the epoch of 
the revolt of the peasants. Burgomaster Hendorf, 
however, had a quart of beer taken up to the top of 
his house, to wait for the deluge there." Master 
Philip said that the emperor Charles would live to 
be eighty-four. Dr. Luther replied: "The world 
will not last so long. Ezekiel is against it. If we 
drive out the Turk the prophecy of Daniel is ful- 
filled; and, of a certainty, the day of judgment is 
then at hand." A large red star, which had ap- 
peared in the sky, and which subsequently took the 
shape of a cross in 1516, appeared again, " but this 
time," says Luther, " the cross seemed to be broken, 
for the Gospel was obscured by sects and revolts. 
I see nothing certain in such signs; they are com- 
monly diabolical and deceitful. We have seen 
many in these fifteen latter years." 

Of Printing. " Printing is the best and highest 
gift, the suinmum et postremum donum, by which 
God advanceth the Gospel. It is the last flame 
which shines befoi-e the extinction of the world. 
Thanks to God that it hath come at last. Holy 
fathers, now at rest, liate desired to see this day of the 
* Alluding, no doubt, to Copernicus. 

A.D. 1530 1 540. 



revealed Gospel." Being shown a writing of the 
Fuggers, in letters of fantastical shape, so that no 
one could read it, he said, " This is invented by 
able men, and men of forethought; but such an 
invention is the sign of a most corrupt age. We 
read that Julius Caesar employed similar letters. 
It is said that the emperor, instructing his secreta- 
ries, makes them write, on matters of importance, 
in two contradictory manners, and that they know 
not to which of the two he shall affix his seal." 

Of Banking. " A cardinal, bishop of Brixen, 
reputed very wealthy, having died at Rome, no 
money was found upon him, but only a small note 
in his sleeve. Pope Julius II., suspecting it to be 
a letter of change, sent instantly for the agent of the 
Fuggers at Rome, and inquired whether he knew 
the hand ? ' Yes,' he replied, ' it is the acknow- 
ledgment of Fugger and Co. for three hundred thou- 
sand florins.' The pope asked him whether he 
could pay all this money ? ' Directly,' was the 
reply. The pope then sent for the French and 
English cardinals, and asked them whether their 
kings could raise three tons of gold in an hour ? 
They answered, ' No.' ' Well,' he said, ' a burgess 
of Augsburg can.' " " Fugger having one day to 
give in a return of his property to the council of 
Augsburg, told them that he could not say what he 
was worth, for that his money was out all over the 
world, in Turkey, Greece, Alexandria, France, 
Portugal, England, Poland, &c.; but that he could 
tell them what he had in Augsburg if they liked." 



"On! how I trembled when I had to ascend the 
pulpit for the first time ! But I was forced to 
preach, and to the brothers first of all. . . . Under 
this very pear-tree where we are now standing, I 
adduced fifteen arguments to Dr. Staupitz against 
my vocation for the pulpit : at last I said, ' Dr. 
Staupitz, you wish to kill me ; I shall not live three 
months.' He answered me, ' Well, our Lord has 
great business on hand above, and wants able 
men.'" " I set about collecting my works into 
volumes, with but little zeal and ardour ; I feel 
Saturn's hunger, and wish to devour all, for there 
are none of my books which please me, if I except 
the Treatise on the Bondage of the Will, and the Cate- 
chism." (July 9th, 1537.) " I do not like Philip to be 
present at my lectures or sermons; but I place the 
cross before me and say, ' Philip, Jonas, Pomer, 
and the rest, have nothing to do with the matter;' 
and then I endeavour to fancy that no one has sat 
in the pulpit abler than myself." Dr. Jonas said 
to him, " Sir doctor, I cannot at all follow you in 
your preaching." Luther replied, " I cannot my- 
self ; for my subject is often suggested either by 
something personal, or some private matter, ac- 
cording to times, circumstances, and hearers. 
Were I young, I should like to retrench many 
things in my sermons, for I have been too wordy." 
" I wish the people to be taught the Catechism 
well. I found myself upon it in all my sermons, 
and I pi-each as simply as possible. I want the 
common people, and children, and servants, to un- 
derstand me. I do not enter the pulpit for the sake 
of the learned ; they have my books." 

Dr. Erasmus Alberus, being about to leave for 
the March, asked Luther how he should preach 
before the prince. " Your sermons," said he, 
" ought to be addressed, not to princes, but to the 
rude and simple people. If, in mine, I was thinking 
of Melanchthon and the other doctors, I should do 
no good ; but I preach solely for the ignorant, and 
that pleases all. Hebrew, Greek, and Latin I 
spare until we learned ones come together ; and, 
then, ' we make it so curled and finical that God 
himself wondereth at us.'" "Albert Diirer, the 
famous painter of Nuremberg, used to say that he 
took no pleasure in paintings charged with colours, 
but in those of a less ambitious kind. I say the same 
of sermons." " Oh ! how happy should I have been 
when I was in the monastery of Erfurth, if I could 
once, but once, have heard but one poor little word 
preached on the Gospel, or on the least of the 
Psalms." " Nothing is more acceptable or more 
"useful to the general run of hearers, than to preach 
the law and examples. Sermons on grace and on 
justification are cold to their ears." Amongst the 
qualities which Luther desiderates in a preacher, 
is a fine person, and that he be such as to make 
himself loved by good women and maidens. In his 
Treatise on Monastic Vows, Luther asks pardon of the 
reader for saying many things, which are usually 
passed over in silence. " Why not dare to say 
what the Holy Ghost, for the instruction of men, 
has dictated to Moses ? But we wish our ears to be 
purer than the mouth of the Holy Ghost." 

To J. Brentius. " I seek not to flatter or to de- 
ceive thee, and I do not deceive myself when I say, 
that I prefer thy writings to my own. It is not 
Brentius whom I praise, but the Holy Ghost, who 
is gentler and easier in thee. Thy words flow pure 
and limpid. My style, rude and unskilful, vomits 
forth a deluge, a chaos of words, boisterous and 
impetuous as a wrestler contending with a thousand 
successive monsters ; and, if I may presume to 
compare small things with great, methinks there 
has been vouchsafed me a portion of the four-fold 
spirit of Elijah, rapid as the wind and devouring 
as fire, which 1'oots up mountains and dashes rocks 
to pieces ; and to thee, on the contrary, the mild 
murmur of the light and refreshing breeze. I feel, 
however, comfort from the consideration that our 
common Father hath need, in this his immense 
family, of each servant ; of the hard against the 
hard, the rough against the rough, to be used as a 
sharp wedge against hard knots. To clear the air 
and fertilize the soil, the rain which falls and sinks 
as the dew is not enough, the thunder-storm is 
still required." (August 20th, 1530.) "I am far 
from believing myself without fault ; but I can, at 
the least, glorify myself with St. Paul, that I cannot 
be accused of hypocrisy, and that I have always 
spoken the truth, perhaps, it is true, a little too 
harshly. But I would rather sin in disseminating 
the truth with hard words, than shamefully retain 
it captive. If great lords are hurt by them, they 
can go about their own business, without thinking 
of mine or of my doctrines. Have I done them any 
wrong or injustice ? If I sin, it will be for God to 
pardon me." (Feb. 5th, 1522.) 

To Spalatin. " I cannot deny that I was more 
violent than I need have been ; but they knew it, 
and should not have provoked the dog. You can 
judge by yourself how difficult it is to moderate 
one's fire, and restrain one's pen. And hence 1 


lave always hated appearing in public ; but the 
nore I hate, the more I am forced to it in my 
own despite." (Feb. 1520.) He often said, " I 
<eep three savage dogs, Ingratitude, Pride, and 
Envy ; he whom they bite is well-bitten." " When 
1 die, the papists will discover the kind of adver- 
sary they have had in me. Other preachers will 
not observe the same measure, the same modera- 
tion. They have found this out with Miinzer, 
Carlstadt, Zwingle,and the Anabaptists." " When 
roused to anger, I become firmer, and keener 
witted. All my temptations and enejnies are 
put to flight. I never write or speak better than 
when in anger." 

To Michael Mara. " Thou canst not think how 

I love to see my adversaries daily rising up more 
against me. I am never haughtier or bolder than 
when I hear I have offended them. Doctors, bishops, 
princes, what are they to me ? It is written : ' Why 
do the Jieathen rage, and the people imagine a rain thing 1 
The kings of the earth set tliemsehes, and the rulers 
take counsel together against the Lord, and against 
his anointed !' I have such a contempt for these 
Satans, that if I were not retained here, I would 
straight to Rome in my hate of the devil and all 
these furies. But I must have patience with the 
pope, with my disciples, with my servants, with 
Catherine von Bora, with every one ; and my life 
is nothing else than patience." 




" THERE is no union or society so sweet and happy 
as a well-assorted marriage. It is delightful to 
see a husband and wife living in unity and peace. 
But then nothing can be more bitter or more pain- 
ful than the dissolution of the tie. Next in bitter- 
ness is the death of children ; and this last sor- 
row, alas ! I have experienced." " I am writing 
in a melancholy mood, for I have just heard of my 
father's death ; that old Luther, so good and so 
beloved. And though, through me, he has had so 
peaceable and pious a death in Christ, and though 
delivered from the terrors of this world, he rests in 
everlasting peace, nevertheless, my bowels yearn, 
and I am moved to the soul for was it not to him 
that, by God's will, I owed my being." In a letter 
the same day, to Melanchthon : " I succeed to his 
name, and now I am to my family the old Luther. 
It is now my turn and my right to follow him 
through death to that kingdom promised us by 
Christ, as we, with him, are miserable and despised 

among men How I rejoice that he lived in 

these times, and that he was enabled to see the 
light of the truth. To God be blessing and praise, 
and thanks for all his acts, and all his designs !" 
(5th June, 1530.) 

" When the news came from Freyberg, that 
Master Hausmann was dead, we kept it from 
doctor Luther, and told him first that he was ill, 
then that he was confined to his bed, and then that 
he was sweetly asleep in Jesus. The doctor began 
to weep loudly, and said, ' These are perilous times ; 
God is purging his floor and his garner ; I pray 
him that my wife and children may not live long 
after me.' He remained sitting all the day, weeping 
and bemoaning himself. There were with him, 
doctor Jonas, Master Philip (Melanchthon), Master 
Joachim Camerarius, and Gaspard von Keekeritz, 
and he sat amongst them, weeping piteously." (A.D. 

When he lost his daughter Madeleine, aged 
fourteen, his wife cried and lamented, but he said 

to her, " My dear Catherine, think where she is 
gone; to a certainty she has made a happy ex- 
change. The flesh bleeds, indeed; that is our 
nature; but the spirit exults and finds all as it 
should be. Young people think not of disput- 
ing; as we tell them, so they believe; with them 
all is natural. They pass away without regret or 
anguish, without the trials and temptations even of 
death itself, almost without bodily pain; just as if 
they fell asleep.". . . As his daughter lay very ill, 
he exclaimed, " I love her much ! but, O my God ! 
if it be thy will to take her hence, I would give her 
up to thee without one selfish murmur." And 
when she was on her death -bed, he said to her, " My 
dearest child, my own Madeleine, I know you would 
gladly stay with your father here, and you will 
equally be ready to go to your Father which is in 
heaven ! will you not ? " And she replied, " Oh 
yes, my dear father, as God wills." " Dear little 
girl," he continued, " the spirit is willing, but the 
flesh is weak." He walked to and fro perturbedly, 
and said, " Ah yes! I have loved this dear child 
too much. If the flesh is so strong, what becomes 
of the spirit ? " 

He said, amongst other things, " God has not 
given such good gifts these thousand years to any 
bishop as he has to me. We may glorify ourselves 
in the gifts of God. Alas! I hate myself that I 
cannot rejoice now as I ought to do, nor render 
sufficient thanks to God. I try to lift up my heart 
from time to time to our Lord in some little 
hymn, and to feel as I ought to do." " Well ! 
whether we live or die, domini sumus, in the geni- 
tive or the nominative*. Come, sir doctor, be 
firm ! " 

" The night before Madeleine's death, her mother 
had a dream. She dreamed that she saw two 
fair youths beautifully attired, who came as if they 
wished to take Madeleine away with them, and 
conduct her to be married. When Philip Melanch- 
thon came the next morning and asked the lady 

* A play upon the word Dominus. " Domini sumus" may 
signify (Domini being construed in the genitive), " We are 
the Lord's," or else (construed nominatively), "We are 
lords" (i. e. masters, teachers). TRANSLATOR. 


how it was with her daughter? she related her 
dream, at which he seemed frightened, and re- 
marked to others, ' that the young men were two 
holy angels, sent to carry the maiden to the true 
nuptials of a heavenly kingdom.' She died that 
same day. When she was in the agony of death, 
her father threw himself on his knees by her 
bedside, and weeping bitterly, prayed to God that 
he would spare her. She breathed her last in 
her father's arms. Her mother was in the room, 
but not by the bed, on account of the violence 
of her grief. The doctor continued to repeat, 
' God's will be done ! My child has another 
Father in heaven V Then master Philip observed, 
that the love of parents for their children was an 
image of the Divine love impressed on the hearts 
of men. God loves mankind no less than part-nts 
do their children. When they placed her on the 
bier, the father exclaimed, ' My poor, dear little 
Madeleine, you are at rest now.' Then, looking 
long and fixedly at her, he said, 'Yes! dear child, 
thou shalt rise again, shalt shine like a star! Yes! 
like the sun! .... I am joyful in spirit; but oh! 
how sad in the flesh! It is a strange feeling this, 
to know she is so certainly at rest, that she is 
happy, and yet to be so sad.' " 

" And when the people came who were to help to 
carry the body, and said to him, as usual, how much 
they sympathized in his grief, he said to them, 
' Ah ! grieve no more for her, she is now a saint in 
heaven. Oh ! that we may each experience such a 
death : such a death I would willingly die this 
moment.' While they were singing 'Lord, re- 
member not our sins of old,' he added, ' not only 
our old sins, but those of to-day, this day ; for we 
are greedy, covetous, &c. The scandal of the mass 
still exists.' On returning from the burial, he said, 
amongst other things, ' The fate of our children, 
and above all of girls, is ever a cause of uneasi- 
ness. 1 do not fear so much for boys ; they can 
find a living anywhere, provided they know how to 
work. But it is different with girls ; they, poor 
things, must search for employment staff in hand. 
A boy can enter the schools, and become a shining 
character (ein feiner man), but a girl cannot do 
much to advance herself, and she is easily led away 
by bad example, and is lost. . . . Therefore, I give 
up without regret this dear one to our Lord.' " 

To Jonas. " Report has, no doubt, informed you 
of the transplanting of my daughter Madeleine to 
the kingdom of Christ ; and although my wife and 
I ought only to think of offering up joyful thanks 
to the Almighty for her happy deliverance and end, 
by which she has escaped from all the snares of 
the world, the flesh, the Turks, and the devil ; 
nevertheless the force of instinct (rrjg <m>py?je) is 
so great, that I cannot forbear from tears, sighs, 
and groans, say rather, my very heart dies within 
me. I feel engraven on my inmost soul her 
features, her words, and actions ; all that she was 
to me in life and health, and on her sick bed, my 
dear, my dutiful child. The death of Christ him- 
self (and oh ! what are all deaths in comparison ?) 
cannot tear her from my thoughts, as it should. 
. . . She was, as you know, so sweet, so amiable, 
so full of tenderness." (September 23rd, 1542.) 




" IT is better to direct one's conduct by natural 
reason than by the written law, for reason is the soul 
and queen of law. But where are they who are 
endowed with such an understanding ? You can 
scarcely meet with one in a century. Our gracious 
lord, the elector Frederick, was such a man. 
There was his councillor, too, Fabian von Feilitsch, 
a layman, who had not studied and who yet argued 
better on the points and the marrow of the law 
(super apices et inedwllam juris), than the jurists 
from their books. Master Philip Melanchthon so 
teaches the liberal arts, as to lend them more light 
than he derives from them. I myself, too, take my 
art into books, and do not draw it from them. He 
who should seek to imitate the four men of whom I 
have just spoken, would do well to abandon the idea, 
and content himself with learning and listening. 
Such prodigies are rare. The written law is for 
the people and the common herd of men. Natural 
reason and all-piercing thought for such men as 
those I have mentioned." "An eternal combat 
goes on between the jurists and the theologians ; 
there is the same opposition betwixt the law and 
grace." " The law is a lovely bride, as long as she 
remains in her nuptial bed. If she goes to another 
bed, and wishes to domineer over theology, she 
is a great . Law should doff her cap to theology." 

To Melanchthon. " I am of the same opinion 
that I always was with regard to the right of the 
sword. I think with you, that the Gospel has 
taught and counselled nothing with regard to this 
right, and that it could not possibly do so, because 
the Gospel is the law of will and liberties, which 
have nothing to do with the sword or the right of 
the sword. But this right is not abolished by the 
Gospel, but is even confirmed and recommended ; 
which is not the case with respect to things that 
are simply permitted." " Before me, there has 
been no jurist who has known what the law is, 
in relation to God ; what they know, they have 
from me. We do not find in the Gospel that we 
are to adore jurists. If our Lord God will be our 
judge, what are jurists to him ? As to the con- 
cerns of this world, I leave them masters. But in 
the things which concern God, they must be under 
me. My psalm, my own psalm is, Be wise now, 
therefore, ye kings ; if one of the two must perish, 
perish the law, reign Christ ! 

" ' The kings of the earth set themselves together.' 
David himself says, 'Against his Son there will 
array themselves the power, the wisdom, the mul- 
titude of the world, and he will be alone against 
many, foolish against the wise, powerless against 
the powerful ;' of a verity, a marvellous ordering 
of things. Our Lord God has all and every thing 
except the wise ; but beyond this, there peals the 
terrible, ' Be wise now therefore, ye kings ; be 
instructed, ye judges of the earth.'" "If the 
jurists will not pray for pardon for their sins, and 
receive the Gospel, I will so confound them that 
they shall not be able to extricate themselves. 1 
understand nothing of law, but I am lord of the law 
in things touching the conscience. We are indebted 
to the jurists for having taught and for teaching to 
the world such countless equivocations, tricks, and 
calumnies, that their language has become more 



confused than in Babel ; here, no one can com- 
prehend the other ; there, no one will under, 
stand the other. sycophants, O sophists, pests 
of mankind, I write to you, boiling over with 
passion, and I doubt whether I could teach you 
better were I cool and collected." (Feb. 6th, 1546.) 

Alluding to a student's being admitted the 
following day as Doctor of Law, Luther said, 
" To-morrow a fresh viper will be created to sting 
the theologians." 

" The saying is right, A good juiist is a bad 
Cliristian. In fact, the jurist esteems and vaunts 
the justice of works, as if we were justified by them 
before God. If he turn Christian, he is looked 
upon by his brother jurists as a monster, and 
has to beg his bread, being repudiated as se- 
ditious." " Strike at the conscience of the jurists, 
and they know not what to do. Munzer attacked 
them with the sword ; he was a madman." "Were 
I to study law for two years, 1 should become 
more learned than Dr. C., for I should speak 
of things just as they are, as being just or unjust, 
whilst he quibbles on words." " The doctrine 
of the jurists, is nothing but a nisi, an except. 
Theology does not proceed on this wise, but has a 
firm foundation.'' 

" The authority of theologians consists in their 
power of obscuring universals, and all connected 
with them. They can raise and lower. As soon as 
the word makes itself heard, Moses and the emperor 
must yield." " The law and laws of the Greeks and 
Persians are fallen into desuetude. The Roman 
or imperial law only holds by a thread. For if an 
empire or a kingdom fall, its laws and ordinances 
must likewise fall." " I leave cobbler, tailor, and 
jurist to their several callings. But let them not 
attack my pulpit !" . . . " Many believe that the 
theology which has been declared of our time, is 
naught. If this be the case whilst I live, what 
will it be after my death ? As a set off, many 
amongst us are big with this thought of which 
they will by and by be brought to bed, namely, 
that the law is naught." 

Sermon against the Jurists, preached on Twelfth 
Day. " Look at our haughty jurists and knights 
at law of Wittemberg. . . . They do not read our 
books, call them catonic (for canonic), take no 
heed of our Lord, and do not attend church. 
Well ! since they do not recognize Dr. Pomer to 
be bishop of Wittemberg, or me to be preacher 
to this church, I no longer reckon them amongst 
my flock. But, say they, you go against the 
imperial law. I this law which wrongs the poor." 
There follows a dialogue between a jurist and a 
litigant, in which the former promises for ten 

thalers to protract a law-suit for ten years 

" Good and pious folk like Reinicke Fuchs, in the 
poem of the Fox." ..." Good people, these are 
the reasons that make me pursue the jurists so 
relentlessly. . . . They vaunt the canon law, the 
of the pope, and represent it to be a magnifi- 
cent thing, after our having with such trouble 
expelled it from our churches. ... I warn you, 
jurist, to let the old dog to sleep. Once awakened, 
you will not easily get him back to his kennel ! 
The jurists are full of complaints and bitterness 
against me. What can I do ? Had I not to render 
an account of their souls, I would not chastise 
them." He subsequently stat s, that he excepts 
pious jurists. 



To Gerbellius. K In this tumult of scandals, fall 
not off from yourself. To sustain you, I render 
back the spouse (faith) that you formerly gave 
me ; I return her to you a spotless virgin. But 
what is most strange and admirable in her is, 
that she desires and attracts an infinity of rivals, 
and that she is all the more chaste for being the 
spouse of many. . . . Our rival, Philip Melanch- 
thon, salutes you. Adieu, be happy with the affi- 
anced bride of your youth." (January 23rd, 1523.) 

To Melanchthon. " Be a sinner, and be thy sins 
never so great, let thy faith be still greater, and 
rejoice thee in Christ, who is the conqueror of sin, 
of death, and of the world. We must sin, as long as 
we are here. This life is not the abode of righteous- 
ness ; no, ' we look,' as says St. Peter, ' for a new 
heaven, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righ- 
teousness.' .... Pray earnestly, for thou art a 
great sinner." " I am just now deep in the doc- 
trine of the remission of sins. I set at nought the 
law and all the devils. Whosoever can believe 
from his heart in the remission of sins, he shall be 
saved." " Just as it is impossible to meet in na- 
ture with the mathematical, indivisible point, so 
the righteousness demanded by the law is nowhere 
to be found. No man can entirely satisfy the law ; 
even lawyers themselves, spite of all their cunning, 
are very frequently obliged to have recourse to the 
remission of sins, for they cannot always hit the 
mark, and when they have given a wrong judg- 
ment, and the devil troubles their consciences, 
neither Bartolus nor Baldus, nor all their other 
doctors, are of any use to them. To bear up, they 
are forced to protect themselves with the tTritiiciia 
that is, with the remission of sins. They do their 
best to judge aright, and after that, all that remains 
for them, is to say : ' If I have given a wrong 
judgment, O my God, pardon me.' It is theo- 
logy alone which possesses the mathematical point. 
She does not grope in the dark. She has the word, 
even God's word. She says, ' Jesus Christ is all righ- 
teousness; whosoever lives in him, he is righteous.' " 

" The law is, without doubt, necessary, but not 
for salvation ; for no man can fulfil it: but the 
pardon of sins consummates and fulfils it." " The 
law is a true labyrinth which does but perplex the 
conscience, and the righteousness of the law is a 
minotaur, that is to say, a pure fiction, which, in- 
stead of conducting us to heaven, leads us to hell." 

Addition by Luther to a letter of Melanchthon upon 
grace and the late. . . . "To set myself entirely out 
of sight of the law and works, I do not content 
myself with seeing in Jesus Christ my master, 
my lord, my benefactor, I would see in him my 
doctrine, my gift, so that in him I possess all 
i things. He says, ' I am the way, the truth, and 
the life ;' not ' I show you, or give you the way, 
the truth, and the life;' as if he only wrought this 
within me, and was himself nevertheless apart from 
me." ..." Theology is summed up in one only 
point : true faith and trust in Jesus Christ. This 
article embraces all the rest. Our faith is 'a 
groan which cannot be uttered ;' and elsewhere, 
' that we are in bondage under the law' (which 
means, that we imprison ourselves in our own 
works, instead of mounting on the wings of faith." 


" The devil desires active righteousness only, a 
righteousness which we work out for ourselves, 
and iu ourselves, whereas we have really only a 
passive and extrinsic one, which he takes from 
us. If we were limited to active righteousness, 
we should be lost, for it is defective in all men." 
An English doctor, Antony Barns, asked Doctor 
Luther, if Christians, justified! by faith iu Christ, 
had any merit in the good works which followed, 
for that this question was often debated in Eng- 
land. Answer. " 1st. We are still sinners after 
justification. 2nd. God promises rewards to those 
who do well. Works do not merit heaven, but 
they adorn the faith which justifies us. It is his 
own gift to us, which God crowns." 

" Fidelis anlmce vox ad Christum. Ego sum tuum 
peccatum, tu mea justitia ; triumpho ig'itur secunis *, 
&c. To bear up against despair, it is not sufficient 
to have vain words upon the lips, or barren and 
languishing faith; but we must stand erect, con- 
firm our soul, and rely on Christ against sin, death, 
hell, the law, and an evil conscience. When the 
law accuses thee and reproaches thee with thy 
faults, thy conscience says to thee, ' Yea, God has 
given the law, and commanded it to be kept, under 
pain of eternal damnation : thou must therefore be 
damned.' To which thou shalt reply, ' I well know 
that God has given the law; but he has also given 
us the Gospel, by his Son, which says, " He that 
believeth and is baptized, shall be saved." This 
Gospel is above the whole law; for the law is 
of the earth, and has been transmitted to us by 
man; the Gospel is from Heaven, and has been 
brought to us by the Son of God.' ' It matters 
not,' says conscience, ' thou hast sinned and trans- 
gressed the commandment of God; thei'efore, thou 
shalt be damned.' Answer. ' I know very well that 
I have sinned, but the Gospel frees me from my 
sins, because I believe iu Jesus; and this Gospel is 
as high above the law as the heavens are high 
above the earth. This is the reason that the body 
must remain upon earth, to bear the burden of the 
law; but the soul ascends to the mountain with 
Isaac, and clings to the Gospel, which promises 
life eternal to all who believe in Christ Jesus.' 
' It matters not,' again says conscience, ' thou shalt 
go to hell; thou hast not kept the law.' Answer. 
' Yes, if Heaven had not come to my succour; but it 
has come to my succour, has been opened to me; 
our Saviour has said, " He that believeth and 
is baptized, shall be saved." ' God said to Moses, 
' Thou shalt see my back, but thou shalt not see 
my face.' The back was the law, the face is the 

" The law does not endure grace, and, in its 
turn, grace does not endure the law. The law is 
only given for the haughty, the arrogant, nobles or 
peasants, for hypocrites, and those who delight 
in a multitude of laws. But grace is promised 
to poor suffering hearts, to the humble, to the 
afflicted, and for the pardon of sins. Master 
Nicholas Hausmann, Cordatus, Philip Melanch- 
thon, and I look for grace." " There is no writer, 
save St. Paul, who has written fully and unanswer- 
j ably on the law, because reason is inadequate to 
judge of the law: it can only be judged by the 
Spirit." (August 15th, 1530.) 

* " The cry of a faithful soul to Christ. I am thy sin, 
thou my righteousness; I rejoice, then, in safety," &c. 

"Good and true divinity (theology) consists in 
practice, use, and exercise. Its foundation is Christ, 
whose passion, death, and resurrection are to be 
comprehended through faith. Some, in the present 
day, have devised a speculative theology, in accord- 
ance with reason. This belongs to the devil in 
hell. Thus, Zwingle and the sacramentarians 
speculate that the body of Christ is in the bread, 
but only in a spiritual sense. This is also the 
theology of Origen. David did not think thus; 
but he acknowledged his sins, and said, ' Have 
mercy upon me, Lord.' " 

" 1 saw lately two signs in the heavens. I looked 
from my window in the middle of the night, and I 
saw the stars and all the majestic vault of God, sus- 
taining itself without my being able to perceive the 
pillars upon which the Creator had propped it. 
Nevertheless, it crumbled not away. There are 
those, however, who search for these pillars, and 
who would fain touch them with their hands ; but, 
not being able to find them, they tremble, lament, 
and fear the heavens will fall. They might touch 
them, the heavens would never be moved. Again, 
I saw great and heavy clouds, floating over my 
head like an ocean. I perceived no prop which 
could sustain them, and still they fell not, but 
saluted us sadly, and passed on. And as they 
passed. I distinguished the arch which had upheld 
them a splendid rainbow. Slight it was, without 
doubt, and delicate ; one could not but tremble for 
it, under such a mass of clouds. Nevertheless, 
this aery line sufficed to support the load, and 
to protect us. There are those, however, who are 
alarmed at the weight of the clouds, and have no 
confidence in their frail prop. They would prove 
its strength, and not being able, they dread the 
clouds will dissolve and drown us with their floods. 
. . . Our rainbow is weak, their clouds are heavy ; 
but the end will tell the strength of our bow." 
(August, 1530.) 



" CURIOSITY is our bane ; it was the cause of Adam's 
fall. I fear two things epicurism and enthusiasm, 
two sects which have still to reign. Take away the 
decalogue aud heresy vanishes. The Holy Scrip- 
tures are the manual of all heretics." 

Luther called seditious and presumptuous-minded 
men, "precocious saints, who, attacked by the 
worm before arriving at maturity, were blown 
by the slightest gust from the tree. Dreamers 
(Schwermer) are like butterflies. At first, a grub 
which attaches itself to a wall, or builds itself a 
little house, is hatched by the warmth of the sun, 
and flies off' a butterfly. The butterfly dies on a 
tree, and leaves a long train of eggs." Dr. Mar- 
tin Luther said of false brothers and heretics, who 
fall away from us, that we ought to let them done, 
and not be vexed about them. If they will not 
listen to us, we can send them, with all their fine 
bravado, to hell. 

" When I began to write against indulgences, I 
lived for three years alone, without any holding 
forth their hand to me. Now they are all for 
claiming a share in the triumph. I suffer enough 
from my enemies, without the pain my good little 



brothers give me. But who can bear up against 
all ? Here am I attacked by young men, all fresh 
and unworked, whilst I am old and worn with 
great sufferings and great labours. Osiander may 
well hector, he has an easy time of it ; he has 
only two sermons to deliver a week, and has four 
hundred florins a-year." " In 1521, I had a 
visit from one Marcus, one of the religionists of 
Zwickau, an agreeable-mannered man enough, but 
of empty opinions and life, in the view of conferring 
with me on the doctrine they profess. As he 
kept talking to me of things quite foreign from 
Scripture, I told him that I recognized the word 
of God alone, and that if he sought to establish 
anything else, he must at least prove his mission 
by miracles. His reply was, ' Miracles ! Ah ! you 
will see miracles, indeed, in seven years. God himself 
cannot take my faith from me.' He also said, ' 1 
can see at once whether any one is of the elect or 
not.' After talking a long time about the talent 
which must not be hid, and about purification, 
weariness, expectation, I asked him who understood 
his language ? He answered that he preached 
only before believing and able disciples. ' How 
do you know that they are able V I asked. ' I 
have only to look at them,' he replied, 'to see 
their talent.' ' What talent, now, my friend, do 
you see in me ?' ' You are still,' he answered, ' in 
the first stage of mobility, but a time will come 
when you will be in the first of immobility like 
myself.' On this, I adduced to him several texts 
of Scripture, and we parted. Shortly after, he 
wrote me a very friendly letter, full of exhorta- 
tions ; to which my sole answer was, ' Adieu, dear 
Marcus.' " 

" Some time afterwards a turner came to me, 
who also called himself a prophet. He met me 
just as I was going out of my house, and said 
to me in a confident tone, ' Sir doctor, I bring you 
a message from my Father.' ' Who is thy Father ?' 
I said. ' Jesus Christ,' he replied. ' He is our 
common Father ; what hath he ordei-ed thee to 
announce to me ?' ' That God's anger is kindled 
against the world.' { Who told thee this 1' ' Yes- 
terday, just as I had passed through the gate of 
Koswick, I saw a small cloud of fire in the air ; 
which is a clear sign of God's wrath.' He then 
mentioned another sign ; ' In the midst of a deep 
sleep,' he said, ' I saw drunkards seated at table, 
who said, Drink, drink, and God's hand was over 
them. Suddenly one of them poured some beer 
on my head, and I awoke.' ' Listen, my friend,' I 
then said to him, ' do not make free in this manner 
with God's name and orders,' and I gave him a 

"Another time, again, I had to do with a man 
from the Low Countries, who wished to argue 
with me, to use his own terms, up to hell fire 
inclusively. When I saw his ignorance, I said, 
' Would it not be better to dispute over some cans 
of beer ?' He was nettled at this, and took himself 
off. The devil is a proud spirit, and can't bear 

Master Stiefel came to Wittemberg to confer 
privily with Dr. Luther, and showed him his 
opinion on the Day of Judgment, in twenty articles. 
He believed that it would take place on St. Luke's 
day. He was bade to remain quiet, and to keep 

his opinions to himself, which annoyed him ex- 
ceedingly. " Dear sir doctor," he said, " I am 
surprised at your forbidding me to preach this, 
and at your not believing me. Still, I must speak, 
albeit unwillingly." Luther replied, " Dear mas- 
ter, you have managed to hold your tongue for ten 
years on this matter, during the reign of the 
papacy ; keep quiet the little time that remains." 
" But this very morning, as I was setting out 
early, I saw a beautiful rainbow, and thought of 
the coming of Christ." " There will be no rain- 
bow when that day cometh ; the thunder-bolt will 
destroy every living creature instantaneously. A 
strong and powerful blast of the trumpet will 
arouse us all. They who are in the grave are not 
to be awakened by the piping of the shepherd's 
reed." (A.D. 1533.) " Michael Stiefel believes him- 
self to be the seventh angel announcing the last 
day, and is giving away his books and his chattels, 
as he will soon have no more use for them." 
" Bileas is certainly damned, although he has had 
astounding revelations, no less than those of Daniel, 
for they embrace four empires too. 'Tis a fearful 
warning for the proud. Oh ! let us humble our- 
selves !" 

Duke Henry of Saxony having come to Wittem- 
berg, Dr. Martin Luther spoke twice to him against 
Dr. Jeckel, exhorting the prince to think of the evil 
days upon which the church had fallen. Jeckel had 
preached the following doctrine: " Do what thou 
wilt, believe only, thou shalt be saved." He ought 
to have said: " When thou shalt be born again, and 
have become a new man, do then as thou art moved 
to do." . . A pastor of Torgau having complained 
to Luther of Dr. Jeckel's insolence and hypocrisy, 
and of his having won over the nobility, the council, 
and even the prince himself, by his wiles, the doctor 
shuddered, sighed, spoke not, but he took himself 
to prayer. That very day he ordered that Eisleben 
(Agricola) should be required to make a public re- 
traction, or that he should be publicly put down. 
" Dr. Luther, reproaching Jeckel for daring, with 
his limited experience and scanty skill in logic and 
rhetoric, to oppose his former masters and teachers, 
the latter replied: ' I ought to fear God more than 
my teachers. I have a God as well as you. . . .' 
Dr. Jeckel afterwards sat down at table to supper, 
but with a gloomy air. Dr. Luther eat heartily, as 
did the guests who had come from Freyberg. 
Then Luther broke out with, ' If I had made the 
court as pious as you the world, 1 should have 
laboured to some purpose,' &c. Jeckel still kept 
his eyes cast gloomily down, showing by his looks 
what was passing in his mind. At last Luther got 
up to take his leave, when Jeckel tried to detain 
him, and engage him in discussion; but the doctor 
would have nothing more to say to him." " Dr. 
Jeckel is one of the Eisleben kind. He was court- 
ing my niece Anna; but I said to him, 'Never, to 
all eternity.' And to the little girl : ' If thou wilt 
have him, take thyself from my sight for ever; for 
never will I see or listen to thee more.' " 

Of the Antinomians, and, in particular, of Eisleben. 
" Ah ! how painful it is to lose a good and dearly- 
loved friend ! This man used to be my guest, my 
companion, and would laugh and make merry with 
me. . . . And now, he turns against me ! . . . 
Such doctrine, however, must not be endured. Re- 
ject the law, without which there can be nor 
Church, nor government ! This is not tapping the 



cask, but breaking it in. . . . Now is the time to 
resist. . . . Can I bear to hear him puffing him- 
self up whilst I live, and seeking to be the master ? 
. ... It is no excuse for him to say that he has 
only spoken of Dr. Creuziger and of master Roerer. 
The Catechism, the Explanation of the Decalogue, 
and the Confession of Augsburg are mine, and not 
Creuziger's or Roerer's. . . . ~He would base re- 
pentance on the love of justice, and so preaches the 
revelation of the divine wrath to the just and 
pious only. He does not preach for the wicked. 
Yet St. Paul says the law is for the ungodly. In 
short, by taking away the law, he takes away the 
Gospel, and he withdraws our belief from the firm 
support of conscience to subject it to the caprices 
of the flesh. Who could have dreamt of this sect 
of the Antinomians 1 ... I have got over three 
cruel storms Miinzer, the Sacramentarians, and 
the Anabaptists. There is to be no end of writing, 
then. I do not wish to live long, for there is no 
peace to be hoped for." (A.D. 1538.) 

Dr. Luther ordered master Ambrose Bernd to 
instruct the professors at the university to abstain 
from faction, and from paving the way for schism, 
and at the same time prohibited their electing 
master Eisleben dean. ..." Tell that to your pro- 
fessors of faculties, and if they disregard it, I will 
denounce them from the pulpit." (A.D. 1539.) On 
the last day of November (A.D. 1538), as Luther 
was enjoying himself with his cousins, his brother, 
and sister, and some friends from Mansfeld, men- 
tion was made of master Grickel, and they inter- 
ceded for him. The doctor replied, " I held that 
man to be my most faithful friend, but he has 
grossly deceived me. Let him beware ; I shall soon 
write against him : there is no repentance in him." 
" Such was my confidence in that man (Eisleben), 
that, when I went to Smalkalde in 1537, I en- 
trusted my pulpit to him, my church, my wife, 
my children, my house, and all that was dearest to 
me." Dr. Luther was reading over, hi the evening 
of the last day of January, 1539, the propositions 
which Eisleben was going to maintain against him, 
and in which there were some absurdities about 
Saul and Jonathan, and there occured the expres- 
sion, " I have eat a little honey, and therefore I 
die." " Jonathan," said Luther, " is master Eis- 
leben, who eats honey and preaches the Gospel ; 
Saul is Luther. . . . Ah ! Eisleben, art thou such 
a ... Oh ! God forgive thee thy rancour." " If 
the law be thus transferred from the church to the 
council, to the civil power, the latter will say in its 
turn, ' We, too, are faithful Christians ; the law 
concerns not us ;' and the executioners, at last, 
will say the same. All will be grace and sweetness, 
and then unbridled passions and crimes will follow. 
Miinzer began on this wise." 

In 1540, towards the close of an entertainment 
which Luther gave to some of the principal mem- 
bers of the university, and when all were in good 
humour, a goblet was produced, stained in rings of 
various colours. Luther filled it with wine, and 
emptied it to the health of his guests ; and, in their 
turn, they all severally drained it to his health, 
until it came round to master Eisleben, when Luther 
said, as he held the glass out to him, " My friend, 
all in this glass, above the first ring, is the ten com- 
mandments ; the credo (belief) comes next ; then 
the pater noster ; the catechism is at the bottom ;" 
and then he quaked it off, filled it again, and pre- 

sented it to master Eisleben, who would not go 
beyond the first ring, but put the glass back on the 
table, and could not look at it without a kind of 
hoi'ror. Luther noticed this, and remarked to his 
guests, " I knew that master Eisleben would only 
drink off the commandments, and would leave the 
credo, the pater noster, and the catechism." Master 
Jobst, dining one day with Luther, showed him 
some propositions, according to which the law ought 
not to be preached, since we are not justified by it. 
Luther got angry, and exclaimed, " What, will my 
brethren propose such innovations even while I 
live? Ah ! how ought not master Philip to be 
honoured, who teaches with clearness and truth the 
use and utility of the law. Count Albert von 
Mansfeld's prophecy is being realised. He wrote 
to me: ' There is a Miinzer lurking behind that doc- 
trine^ and, indeed, he who pulls down the law, 
pulls down at the same time the whole framework 
of human polity and society (politiam et cecono- 
miam). If the law be thrust out of the church, there 
will no longer be anything recognized as a sin in 
the world, since the Gospel defines and punishes 
sin only by recurring to the law." (A.D. 1541.) 

" If, at the outset, I inveighed against the law, 
both from the pulpit and in my writings, the reason 
was, that the Christian Church was at the time 
overladen with superstitions, under which Christ 
was altogether buried and hidden, and that I 
yearned to save and liberate pious God-fearing 
souls from this tyranny over the conscience. But 
I have never rejected the law." 



MASTER Philip Melanchthon one day told the follow- 
ing fableat Dr. Martin Luther's table: " Aman had 
caught a little bird, and the bird desiring its liberty, 
said to him, ' O my good friend, let me go, and I will 
show you a beautiful pearl, worth thousands of 
florins.' ' Thou art fooling me,' said the man.' ' Oh 
no, place confidence in me, come with me, and I 
will show it thee.' The man lets the bird go, and 
it perches itself on a tree, and begins to sing, 
' Trust little, keep what thou hast, trouble not thy- 
self about what is irrecoverably lost.' (Crede parcum, 
tua serva, et quce periere, relinque.) Now, was not 
that a beautiful pearl 1" " Philip once asked me 
to glean a motto for him out of the Bible, which he 
would never be tired of. There is nothing you 
can give to man, which he will not grow tired of." 
" Had not Philip been so afflicted by temptations, 
he would have had strange ideas and opinions." 

Luther's idea of Paradise is gross and material. 
He believes that in the new heaven, and in the new 
earth, there will be the useful animals as well as 
men. " I often ponder upon the life everlasting 
and its delights, but I cannot comprehend how we 
shall pass our time, for there will be no changes, 
no work, no drinking, no eating, nor business ; but 
I conclude we shall have objects enough to con- 
template. On this, Philip Melanchthon said, very 
well, ' Master, show us the Father ; that is 
enough.' " " The peasants do not deserve the 
fruits which the earth so lavishly brings forth. I 
return more thanks to our Lord for a tree, than all 


the peasants for all the produce of their fields. 
' Ah ! Domine Doctor? said Melanchthon, ' except 
a few, as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac.' " 

" Dr. Jonas said at supper, ' Ah ! how magni- 
ficently St. Paul speaks of his death. I cannot, 
however, believe him !' ' It strikes me too,' said 
Dr. Luther, ' that St. Paul could not think on this 
subject as firmly as he spoke. I myself, un- 
happily, cannot make my faith equal to what I 
preach, speak, and write of the matter, or to 
what others suppose of me. And, perhaps, it 
were not good that we should be able to perform 
to the height of God's commands, or there would 
be an end of his divinity ; he would be found a 
liar and his words would no more be believed.' " 
" A wicked and horrible book against the holy 
Trinity was published in 1532, speaking of which, 
Dr. Luther said, ' Men of this chimerical turn of 
mind, do not think that others may have had 
temptations on this matter as well. But how op- 
pose my own poor thoughts to the word of God and 
to the Holy Ghost? (opponere tneam cogitationem terbo 
Dei et Spiritui Sanctol) Such an opposition will 
not bear examination." 

The doctor's wife said to him, " Sir doctor, how 
happens it that under the papacy, we prayed so 
often and so fervently, whilst now we pray so coldly 
and so seldom ?" The doctor replied, " The devil 
is ever at his servants to make them diligent in 
their worship of him." Once, exhorting his wife 
to read and to learn carefully God's word, and 
particularly the Psalter, she answered, that she 
heard and read quite enough of it every day, and 
could even repeat many things out of it. The 
doctor sighed, and said, " Even so begins a dislike 
of God's word; 'tis the sign of an evil future. New 
books will appear, and Holy Scripture will be 
despised, cast into a corner, and be, as the phrase 
runs, thrown under the table." Luther asking his 
wife if she believed herself to be holy, she was all 
surprised, and said, " How can I be holy ? I am a 
great sinner !" On which, he remarked, " You see, 
then, the horrid consequences of the papal doc- 
trine; how it has injured men's hearts, and pre- 
occupied the whole inward man, so that they can 
no longer see anything except the piety, and the 
personal and outward sanctity of the works one 
does, even for one's own sake." 

" The Pater Noster and faith give me confidence 
against the devil. My little Madeleine, and my 
little John too, pray for me, as well as many other 
Christians. ... I love my Catherine, I love her 
more than myself, for I would die sooner than see 
any harm happen to her or her children. I love 
my lord Jesus Christ, too, who, through pure pity, 
has shed his blood for me. But my faith ought to 
be much greater and livelier than it is. O, my 
God ! judge not thy servant !" " What contri- 
butes not a little to afflict and tempt me, is that 
God seems to be capricious and changeable. He 
gave Adam promises and ceremonies ; and that 
came to an end with the rainbow and Noah's ark. 
To Abraham he gave circumcision, to Moses mira- 
culous signs, to his people, the law ; but to Christ, 
and through Christ, the Gospel, which we look 
upon as annulling all this. And here come the 
Turks to efface the Divine promise, and to say, 
'Your law shall last yet a little, but shall be 
changed at last.' " (Luther subjoins no reflection). 



" ONCE, in our monastery at Wittemberg, I dis- 
tinctly heard the devil making a noise. As I was 
beginning to read the Psalter, after singing matins, 
and had sat down, and was about to study and 
write for my lecture, the devil came, and thrice 
made a noise behind my stove, as if he would have 
dragged it away. At last, as he would not give 
over, I put my little books by, and went to bed. . . . 
I heard him another night, in the room above my 
he.-.d, but, perceiving it was the devil, I paid no at- 
tention and went to sleep again." " A young 
girl, who was the mistress of the old miser at Wit- 
temberg, falling ill, saw a vision a fine and magni- 
ficent figure, 'that she took to be the Christ, and to 
which she accordingly addressed her prayers. They 
sent in All haste to the monastery for Dr. Luther. 
When he saw the figure, and that it was only a 
trick of the devil's, he exhorted the girl not to 
allow herself to be so cozened; and, indeed, as 
soon as she had spat in the phantom's face, the 
devil disappeared, and the figure changed into a 
great serpent, which suddenly bit the girl's ear, so 
that the blood flowed, and then disappeared. Dr. 
Luther saw this with his own eyes, together with 
many other persons." (The editor of Luther's con- 
versations does not say that he had this anecdote 
from Luther himself.) A minister of Torgau com- 
plained to Luther that the devil made an extraor- 
dinary tumult and clatter in his house of a night, 
breaking his pots and pans, and then throwing them 
at his head, and laughing. This racket had gone on 
for a year, so that his wife and children insisted on 
leaving the house. Luther said to him : " Dear 
brother, be strong in the Lord ; be not overcome by 
this murderous devil. If you have not invited this 
guest by your sins, you can say to him, ' I am here 
by divine authority, father of a family, and, by a 
heavenly call, pastor of the church ; but thou, thou 
devil, glidest into this house as a thief and murde- 
rer. Why dost thou not stay in heaven ? Who 
has asked thee here ? ' " 

On a young girl possessed by an evil spirit. " Since 
this devil is a merry spirit, and makes a mock of 
us, we must first pray seriously for this young girl, 
who is a sufferer on account of our sins, and then 
flout the spirit, and treat it contemptuously, but not 
try it by exorcisms and other grave forms, because 
the devil's pride laughs at all that. Let us perse- 
vere in prayer for the maiden, and in scorn for the 
devil, until, with the grace of Christ, it withdraws. 
It would be well for the princes, too, to reform their 
vices, through which this evil spirit plainly tri- 
umphs. I pray thee, since the thing is worthy to 
be made public, to make diligent inquiry into all 
the circumstances ; and, to guard against imposi- 
tion, ascertain whether the coins which this girl 
swallows be really gold, and sterling money. For 
I have been made the prey of so many cheats, 
tricks, plots, lies, and artifices, as to incline me to 
withhold my belief from anything I have not seen 
or heard." (August 5th, 1536.) " Let the pastor 
not be troubled in conscience at having buried the 
woman who killed herself, if, indeed, she did kill 
herself. I know many similar instances, but have 
commonly supposed the sufferers to have been 
killed simply and immediately by the devil, as a 


traveller is slain by a robber. For when it is 
evident that the suicide could not have taken place 
naturally ; when we hear of a string, or a' girdle, 
or (as in the case under consideration) of a loose 
veil, without any knot to be seen in it, and which 
would not be strong enough to kill a fly,, we ought, 
in my opinion, to conclude it to be. some fascination 
of the devil's, binding the sufferers to suppose they 
are doing something else, for instance, praying, 
and then he kills them. Nevertheless, the civil 
power acts rightly iu visiting such things severely, 
or Satan would grow bolder. The world deserves 
warnings of the kind, for it is growing epicurean, 
and thinks the devil nothing." (Dec. 1st, 1544.) 
" Satan has attempted our prior's life, by throwing 
down a large slip of wall upon him ; but God mira- 
culously preserved him." (July 4th, 1524.) 

" The crazed, the halt, the blind, and the dumb, 
are all possessed with demons. Physicians who 
treat these infirmities as arising from natural 
causes, are fools, who know not the mighty power 
of the devil." (July 14th, 1528.) "There are 
places in many countries where devils have taken 
up their abode. Evil spirits abound in Prussia. 
In Switzerland, on a lofty mountain not far from 
Lucerne, is a lake, called Pilate's pool, where the 
devil has made a fearful settlement. There is a 
like pool in my country, into which if you cast a 
stone, a sudden tempest arises, and the whole sur- 
rounding country shakes. "fis the dwelling of 
imprisoned devils." " On Good Friday, at Sussen, 
the devil bore off three squires, who had sold them- 
selves to him." (A.D. 1538.) On the occasion of a 
tempest, Luther said, "This is the devil's work ; 
winds are nothing else than good and bad spirits. 
The devil puffs and blows." " Two noblemen had 
sworn to kill one another. The devil having killed 
one of them in his bed, with the other's sword, the 
survivor was brought forth into the market-place, 
where they dug up and carried off the ground 
covered by his shadow, and then banished him. 
This is called civil death. Dr. Gregory Bruck, 
chancellor of Saxony, told Luther this." Then come 
two stories of persons who were warned beforehand 
that they would be borne off by the devil, and who, 
notwithstanding they had received the holy sacrament, 
am.i that tlieir friends watclied by tliem with wax tapers, 
and in prayer, were borne off on the day and hour 
indicated. " The devil tormented our Lord himself. 
But, provided he bear not off the soul, all is well." 

" The devil leads people about in their sleep, in 
such sort that they act exactly as if they were 
awake. The papists, formerly, in their supersti- 
tion, said that such persons could not have been 
baptized, or that they must have been so by a 
drunken priest." " In the Low Countries, and in 
Saxony, there is a monstrous dog which smells out 
the dying, and prowls around the house. . . ." 
" Some monks were taking to their monastery one 
possessed. The devil that was in him said to the 
monks, ' my brothers, what have I done to you?'" 
They were talking at Luther's table one day how 
one of a party of gentlemen, who were riding out, 
exclaimed, clapping spurs to his horse, " The devil 
take the hindmost !" He was left the last, and the 
devil snatched up horse and all, and bore them off. 
Luther observed, " We should not ask Satan to our 
table. He comes without invitation. Devils swarm 
around us ; and we ourselves, who are daily watch- 
ing and praying, have enough to do with him." 

" An aged priest, at his prayers one day, heard the 
devil behind him, trying to hinder him, and grunt- 
ing as loud as a whole drove of pigs. He turned 
round without manifesting the least alarm, and 
said, ' Master devil, you have caught what you de- 
served ; you were a fine angel, and now you are a 
filthy hog.' The grunting stopped at once, for the 
devil cannot bear to be mocked. . . . Faith makes 
him weak as a child." " The devil dreads God's 
word. He cannot bite it ; it breaks his teeth." 

"A young, ill-conditioned scapegrace was carous- 
ing in a tavern one day with some friends. Having 
drunk out his money, he said that he would sell his 
soul to any who would pay a good round score for 
him. Shortly after, a man entered the tavern, and 
sitting down to drink with him, asked if he really 
meant that he would sell his soul ? He answered 
boldly, ' Yes ;' and the man paid for his drink the 
whole day. In the evening, when his victim was 
drunk, the unknown said to the others present, 
' Gentlemen, what think you now ; if I buy a horse, 
have I not a right to the saddle and bridle as well ?' 
They were exceedingly alarmed at these words ; 
but, as the stranger pressed them, at last stammered 
out in the affirmative ; upon which the devil (for it 
was he) seized the unfortunate wretch, and bore 
him off with him through the ceiling." " Another 
time, Luther told of a soldier who had entrusted his 
money to his landlord in the Brandenburg ; but 
when he asked for it back, the latter denied ever 
having had it. The soldier in his rage assaulted 
him violently, and the knave had him taken up on a 
charge of having violated the domestic peace (Haus- 
friede). Whilst the soldier was in prison, the 
devil appeared to him, and said, ' To-morrow, thou 
wilt be condemned to death, and executed. If thou 
wilt sell me thy soul and body, I will set thee free.' 
The soldier refusing, the devil said to him, ' If 
thou wilt not, at any rate take the advice I give 
thee. To-morrow, when thou shalt be brought up 
for trial, I will be near you in a blue cap with a 
white feather. Ask the judge to allow me to plead 
for thee, and I will get thee out of the scrape.' 
The soldier did so ; and, on the morrow, as his 
landlord persisted in denying all knowledge of the 
deposit, blue cap said to him, ' Friend, how canst 
thou perjure thyself so ? The soldier's money is in 
thy bed under the bolster. Send some one to 
search, my lord judge, and the truth of what I say 
will be made manifest.' Accordingly the money 
was found there, and brought into court. On this, 
blue cap said with a grin, ' I knew that I should 
have either the one or the other,' and straightway 
twisted the landlord's neck, and bore him off." 
After telling this story, Luther added, that he dis- 
approved of all swearing by the devil, as many were 
in the habit of doing : " For," he said, " the varlet 
is never far off ; there is no need of painting him 
when he is always present." 

"There were two students at Erfurth; one of 
whom was so passionately fond of a girl as to be 
like to lose his wits. The other, who was a sorcerer, 
though his companion knew nothing of it, said, ' If 
you will promise not to kiss her or take her in 
your arms, I will get her to come to you,' and the 
interview took place. The lover, who was a fine 
young man, received her with so much passion, 
and spoke to her so tenderly, that the sorcerer was 
kept in a fever of fear lest he should embrace her, 
which, at last, unable to contain himself, he did: 



on the moment, she fell down dead. They were 
greatly alarmed ; but the sorcerer said, ' Let us try 
our last resource,' and then the devil, through his 
agency, reconveyed her home, where she continued 
to go about her usual occupations, but was deadly 
pale, and never uttered a word. After three days 
had passed thus, her parents sent for some godly 
ministers, who had no sooner interrogated the 
maid than the devil came out of her, and she fell 
down a stiff and offensive corpse." " Doctor Luke 
Gauric, the sorcerer you sent for from Italy, has 
often acknowledged to me that his master used to 
hold conversations with the devil." "The devil 
can take the form of either man or woman; so as 
to make a man think that he is lying with a woman 
of flesh and blood, when it is a vain form ; for, as 
St. Paul says, the devil is on good terms with the 
sons of perdition. As children or devils are fre- 
quently the issue of such unions, commerce of the 
kind is revolting and horrible. Thus what we call 
the nix, lures women and virgins into the waters 
to procreate little devils. The devil, likewise, 
steals away children, during the first six weeks 
after their birth, and substitutes others in their 
place, called supposititii, and, by the Saxons, kil- 

" Eight years ago, I myself saw and touched .a 
child at Dessau, that had no parents and had come 
of the devil. He was twelve years old, and alto- 
gether like any other child. He did nothing but 
eat; and would eat as much as any four working 
men. If any one touched him, he cried out as one 
possessed. If any thing went wrong in the house, 
he would laugh and be merry; but, when all went 
on well, he was always moping and in tears. I ob- 
served to the princes of Anhalt, ' Were I in 
authority here, I would have that child thrown 
into the Moldau, and run the risk of committing 
murder.' But the elector of Saxony and the 
princes thought differently. I then recommended 
them to have prayers offered up in the church, 
imploring the Lord to take away the demon; and 
prayers were daily put for a year, at the end of 
which time the child died." After the doctor had 
told this story, some one asked him, why he wish- 
ed to have the child thrown into the river. " Be- 
cause," he replied, " I believe children of this kind 
to be nothing else than a soulless lump of flesh. The 
devil is able to produce such things, just as he can 
deprive men of then? senses by taking possession 
of their bodies: in the same manner that he enters 
men and makes them deaf and dumb for a time, 
so does he enter and animate these lumps of 
flesh. The devil must be very powerful to keep 
our spirits prisoners on this wise. Origen, as I 
conceive, has not thoroughly comprehended this 
power; otherwise, he would not have thought that 
the devil might obtain pardon on the last day. 
What a deadly sin to have rebelled, knowingly, 
as he did, against his God, his Creator!" " There 
was a man in Saxony, near Halberstadt, who had 
a kilkropff. This child could dram its mother and 
five other women of their milk, and would devour 
whatever was given it besides. The man was 
advised to make a pilgrimage to Holckelstadt to 
vow his kilkropff to the Virgin Mary, and to have 
it nursed there. So he bore off his child in a 
basket; but, as he crossed a bridge, another devil 
that was in the river began crying out, ' Kilkropff! 
kllkroyiff ! ' The child in thn hnL-of wl.r. Viori 

i never been known to utter a single word, answer- 
ed, ' Oh! Oh! Oh! ' The devil in the river then 
asked, ' Where are you going I ' The child in the 
basket, who had never yet spoken a single word, 
answered, ' 1 am going to Holckelstadt, to our 
dearest mother, to nurse.' The man, in his alarm, 
tossed child and basket into the river; on which 
the two devils made off together, crying out, ' Oh ! 
Oh! Oh! ' and tumbling one over the other." 

One Sunday as Luther was going out of church 
he was accosted by a landsknecht, who complained 
of being constantly tempted of the devil, and told 
how he often came to him, and threatened to bear 
him away. Whilst he was telling his tale, Dr. 
Pomer, who was passing by, joined Luther in 
giving him words of comfort. " Despair not," 
they said ; " for despite the temptations of the 
devil, you are not his. Our Lord Jesus Christ 
was tempted of him as well, but by God's grace 
overcame him. Defend yourself, in like manner, 
by God's word and by prayer." Luther added, 
" When the devil torments you, and threatens to 
bear you off, answer, ' I am Jesus Christ's, my 
Lord's ; in him I believe, and I shall one day be 
near him. He has himself said that no power can 
take Christians from his care.' Think more on 
God, who is in heaven, than on the devil ; and be 
no longer alarmed by his wiles. I know that he 
would be glad to bear you off, but he cannot. He 
is like a thief who longs to lay his hand on a rich 
man's strong box ; the will is not lacking, but the 
power. And even so, God will not allow the devil 
to do you any harm. Attend faithfully on the 
preaching of the divine word, pray fervently, 
work, avoid too much solitude, and you will see 
that God will deliver you from Satan, and preserve 
you of his fold." A farrier, a young man, asserted 
that a spectre constantly pursued him through the 
streets. Luther sent for him, and questioned him 
before many learned persons. The young man 
said that the spectre had reproached him with 
committing sacrilege, in having partaken the com- 
munion in both kinds, and had told him, " If you 
go back to your master's house, I will break your 
neck," and that he had therefore kept away for 
several days. The doctor, after much questioning, 
said, " Beware of lying, my friend ; fear God, 
attend the preaching of his word; return to your 
master's; apply yourself to your work; and if Satan 
troubles you again, say to him, ' I will not obey 
you, 1 will only obey God, who has called me to 
this way of life ; I will stick close to my work, and 
were an angel to come, he should not tempt me 
from it.' " 

Dr. Luther, as he advanced in life, experienced 
few temptations from men ; but, as he himself 
states, the devil would walk with him in the dormi- 
tory of the cloister, vex and tempt him. There 
were one or two devils who used to watch him, 
and when they could not reach his heart, they 
would clutch his head and torment it. . . " These 
things happened to me often. If 1 happened to 
have a knife in my hand, evil thoughts would enter 
my mind. Frequently I could not pray : the devil 
would drive me out of the room. For we have to 
do with great devils, who are doctors of divinity. 
The Turks and the papists have devilkins, who 
are no doctors, but only lawyers." . . . " I know, 
thanks to God, that my cause is good and holy. 

kilkropff!' The child in the basket, who had j I f Christ is not in heaven, and is not Lord of the 



world, I am in a bad predicament. The devil 
often presses me so hard in dispute, that I break 
out into a sweat. I am kept conscious of his con- 
stant animosity. He lies closer to me than my 
Catherine, and troubles me more than she joys 
me. ... At times, he urges, ' The Law is also 
God's word ; why always oppose the Gospel to it I' 
' Yes,' say I in my turn, ' but it is as far from the 
Gospel as earth from heaven.' " " The devil, in 
truth, has not graduated full doctor, still he is 
very learned and deeply experienced ; for lie has 
been practising his trade these six thousand years. 
If the devil have sometimes come out of those 
possessed when conjured by monks and popish 
priests, leaving some sign after him, as a broken 
pane of glass, or a strip of wall thrown down, it 
was only to make people suppose that he had quitted 
the body, but, in reality, to take possession of the 
mind, and to confirm men in their superstitions." 

In January, 1532, Luther fell dangerously ill ; 
and the physician feared it would end in apo- 
plectic seizure. Melanchthon and Rozer, who 
were near his bed, happening to allude to the joy 
which the news of his death would occasion the 
papists, he said to them with an assured tone, " I 
know for a surety I shall not die yet. God will 
not at present-confirm the abomination of papistry 
by my death. He will not, after those of Zwingle 
and CEcolampadius, grant the papists fresh cause 
for triumph. Satan's whole thought, it is true, is 
to make away with me ; he never quits me. But 
it is not his will which will be fulfilled, but the 
Lord's !" " My illness vertigoes and other at- 
tacks of the kind is not natural. Whatever I take 
does me no good, although I am careful to observe 
my physician's advice." In 1536, he officiated at 
the marriage of duke Philip of Pomerania with 
the elector's sister, at Torgau. In the middle of 
the ceremony, the wedding-ring slipped from his 
hand and rolled on the ground. He was terror- 
struck for a moment, but recovered, saying, 
" Hearken, devil, this is no business of thine, 'tis 
trouble lost," and he went on with the service. 
" Whilst Dr. Luther was talking at table with 
some friends, his wife, who had gone out, fell into 
a swoon. When she came to herself, the doctor 
enquired what her thoughts had been like ; and 
she related how she had experienced those peculiar 
temptations which are the certain signs of death, 
and which strike at the heart more surely than 
ball or arrow. . . . ' I advise,' he said, ' all who 
feel such temptations, to encourage lively thoughts, 
to take a cheerful draught, to take recreation, or 
else apply themselves to some honourable study ; 
but the best remedy, is to believe in Jesus Christ.' " 
" When the devil finds me idle and inattentive to 
God's word, he then vexes me by suggesting 
scruples as to the lawfulness of my doctrine, as to 
my having humbled and reduced authority, and 
been the cause of so many scandals and dis- 
turbances. But when 1 lay hold on God's word 
again, then I win the match. I battle with the 
devil, and say, ' What is all the world to God, 
however great it may be ! He has made his Son 
its lord and king. If the world seek to depose 
him, God will reduce it to ashes. Kiss the Son, 
lest he be angry. . . Be wise now, therefore, ye kings, 
TAKE YOURSELVES TO TASK, ye judges of the earth," 
(the erudimini, be instructed, of the Vulgate, is 
less forcible). .. ."Above all, the devil strives to 

deprive me of my doctrine on the remission of 
sins. ' What !' he suggests, 'preach what no one 
ha$ taught for all these centuries ! Should it be offen- 
sive to God /' " ..." Of a night, when I awake, 
the devil soon comes and begins arguing with me, 
and putting strange thoughts into my head, until I 

fly into a passion, and say, ' Kiss my ; God is 

not as vexed with me as thou sayest !' " This 
morning when I awoke, the devil said to me, 
' Thou art a sinner.' I answered, ' Tell me some- 
thing new, demon, I knew that before. . . I have 
enow real sins to answer for without thy inventing 
others for me.' . . . He went on with, ' What 
hast thou done with the monasteries ?' To which 
I replied, " What's that to thee ? Thou seest 
that thy accursed worship goes on as ever ?' " 

The conversation turning one evening at supper 
on the sorcerer Faustus, Luther said, in a serious 
manner, " The devil does not use enchanters 
against me. If he could injure me by their 
means, he would long since. He has often laid 
hold of me by the head, but has been forced 
to let me go. I have had ample experience what 
kind of companion the devil is. He has often 
squeezed me so hard, that I have not known 
whether I was dead or alive. At times, he has 
cast me into such despair, that I have not known 
whether there was a God, and have utterly 
doubted our dear Lord. But, with the aid of 
God's word," &c. " The devil sets the law, sin, 
and death, before my eyes, compels me to ponder 
on this trinity, and makes use of it to torment 
me." "The devil has sworn my death ; but he 
will crack a hollow nut." " The temptation of the 
flesh is little ; the remedy at hand. Eustochia 
would have cured St. Jerome. But God shield 
us from the great temptations which involve eter- 
nity ! Tried by them, one knows not whether 
God be the devil, or the devil God. Such trials 
are not passing ones." " When I incline to think 
on worldly or family matters, I recur to a psalm, 
or some comfortable saying of St. Paul's, and 
sleep thereon. But the thoughts suggested by the 
devil are harder to be overcome ; and I can only 
escape from them by some buffoonery or other." 
" The barleycorn suffers much from man. It is 
first cast into the earth to rot ; then, when it is 
ripe, it is cut, threshed, dried, and steeped, in 
order to turn it into beer, for drunkards to 
swill. Flax is, also, a martyr in its way. When 
ripe, it is plucked up, steeped, dried, beaten, 
heckled, carded, spun, woven, and made up into 
cloth for shirts and shifts, &c. When these are 
worn out, the rags are used for lint, or for spread- 
ing plasters for sores, or for tinder, or are sold to 
the paper-maker, who bruises, dissolves, and then 
converts them into paper, which is devoted to 
writing, or to printing, or to making playing cards, 
and lastly, is torn up and applied to the vilest uses. 
These plants, as well as other creatures, which are 
very useful to us, have much to suffer. Even so, 
good and pious Christians have much to endure 
from the wicked and impious." 

" When the devil comes to me of a night, I give 
him these and the like answers, and say, 'Devil ! I 
must now sleep, for the same is God's command 
and ordinance, to labour by day, and to rest and 
sleep by night.' Then, if he charge me with being 
a sinner, 1 say to spite him, ' Holy Satan, pray for 
me ;' or else, 'Physician, cure thyself!' " "If you 



wouldcomfort one who is tempted, you must kill , 
Moses and stone him; if, on the contrary, he j 
becomes himself again, and forgets his temptation, 
you must preach the law to him ; for ' affliction is 
not to be added to the afflicted: " " The best way 
to expel the devil, if he will not depart for texts 
from Holy Scripture, is to jeer and flout him." j 
" Those tried by temptations may be comforted by [ 
generous living ; but this will not do for all, espe- \ 
cially not for the young. As for myself, who am j 
now in years, a cheerful cup will drive away my ; 
temptations, and give me a sound sleep." " The , 
best cure for temptations is to begin talking about ; 
other matters, as of Marcolphus, the Eulenspiegel, | 
and other drolleries of the kind, &c. The devil 
is a melancholy spirit, and cheerful music soon 
puts him to flight." 

The following important document is in a man- 
ner the history of the obstinate war which Satan 
waged upon Luther the whole of his life : 

Preface written by Doctor Martin Luther be- 
fore his death. " Whoever reads with attention 
ecclesiastical history, the books of the holy 
fathers, and particularly the Bible, will see 
clearly, that ever since the commencement of 
the Church events have always taken the same 
turn. Wherever the word of God has made itself 
heard, and God has brought together a band of 
the faithful, the devil has quickly perceived the 
divine ray, and has begun to chafe, and blow, and 
raise tempests from every quarter, trying, with all 
his might, to extinguish the same. In vain we 
stop up one or two rents; he will find another 
and another; still noise and ever mischief. There 
never yet has been an end to this, and there never 
will, till the day of judgment. I hold that I my- 
self (let alone the ancients) have undergone more 
than twenty hurricanes, twenty different assaults 
of the devil. First, I had the papists against me. 
Every one knows, I suppose (pretty nearly), how 
many tempests of books and of bulls the devil has, 
through them, hurled against me, and in what a 
terrible manner they have devoured and torn me 
to pieces. It is true that I also sometimes blew, 
gently though, against them; but it was no good; 
they were the more irritated, and blew again more 
violently, vomiting forth flames and fire. It has 
been so, without interruption, to this present hour. 
I had begun to hope for a calm from these out- 
breaks of the devil, when he made a fresh attack 
through Miinzer and his revolt, which failed though 
to extinguish the light. Christ himself healed that 
breach ; when, lo ! in the person of Carlstadt, he 
came and broke my window-panes. There he was, 
bellowing and storming, so that I thought he was 
come to put out light, wax, and tinder at once. 
But God was at hand to aid his poor little light, 
nor would he permit it to be extinguished. Then 
came the Sacramentarians and the Anabaptists, 
who broke open doors and windows to put out this 
light. Again it was in great danger, but, thanks 
be to God, their spite was again disappointed. 
Others, again, have raged against the old masters, 
against the pope, and Luther, all at once, as. Ser- 
vetus, Campanus. ... As to those who have not 
assailed me publicly in printed books, but from 
whom I have borne in private letters and discourses 
filled with indignities, I shall not attempt to enume- 
rate them here. It is enough to say that I have 
now learned, by experience (I would not believe 

the accounts from history), that the Church, for 
the love of the word and of the blessed light, must 
never expect repose, but be ever on the look-out 
for fresh outrages from the devil; for so it has 
been from the beginning. 

"And though I should live a hundred years 
longer, and should quiet all these storms, past, pre- 
sent, and to come, 1 see clearly that this would not 
secure rest for those who come after me, so long as 
the devil lives and reigns. Therefore it is that I 
pi-ay God to grant me to live one short hour in a 
state of grace; I ask no longer -life. You who 
come after us pray to God with fervour, and dili- 
gently walk in his commandments. Guard well the 
poor candle of the Lord, for the devil neither sleeps, 
rests, and will not die until the final judgment. 
You and I shall die ; and, after we are gone, he will 
be the same that he has always been, ever raging 
against the Gospel. ... I see him from afar, 
blowing, puffing, and swelling out his cheeks, till he 
becomes red in the face; but our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ, who, at the beginning, smote him on 
his audacious visage, still maintains the combat 
with him, and will for ever. He who cannot lie 
has said: ' I will be with you to the end of the 
world; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
thee.' And in St. John he says: ' My sheep shall 
never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of 
my hand.' And again, in St. Matthew, x.: ' All the 
hairs of your head are counted.' . . . ' Fear not, 
then, for those who can kill the body.' Neverthe- 
less, it is commanded us to watch and keep this 
light as long as it is in us. It is said: ' Vigilate 
the devil is as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may 
devour.' Such was he when St. Peter pronounced 
this of him, and such he is and will be to the end 
of the world. . . ." 

(Luther then reverts to the subject of succour 
from God, without which, all our efforts are vain, 
and he continues thus :) " You and I were 
nothing a thousand years ago, and yet the Church 
has been saved without us, It has been so through 
the power of him of whom it is said : Heri ut hodie. 
It is the same now ; it is not we who preserve thu 
Church, for we could not reach the devil who is 
in the pope, and in seditious and all wicked people. 
The Church would perish before our eyes, and we 
with her, was it not for some higher power that 
protects it. We must leave Him to act, of whom it 
is said, Qui erit heri, ut hodie. (The same yesterday, 
and to-day, and for ever.) It is a lamentable thing to 
see our pride and our audacity, after the terrible and 
shameful examples of those, who, in their vanity, 
have believed that the Church was built upon 
themselves. ... To speak only of these times, 
how did Miinzer end ? he who thought the Church 
would fall if he were not here to support and go- 
vern it ? And more recently still, have not the 
Anabaptists been a terrible and sufficient warning 
to us, to remind us how subtle a devil is at ' our 
elbow, how dangerous are our high thoughts, and 
how needful it is (as Isaiah says), that we look well 
into our hands when we pick up anything, to see if 
it be God or an idol, gold or clay ? But all these 
I warnings are lost upon us ; we go on in full secu- 
rity. Yes, without doubt, the devil is far from us ; 
we have none of the same flesh which was even in 
St. Paul, and from which he could not separate 
himself, spite of all his efforts. (Rom. vii.) But we, 
we are heroes; we need not trouble ourselves about 


the flesh, and carnal thoughts; we are pure spirits, 
we hold captives at once the flesh and the devil, 
and whatever comes into our heads, is the im- 
maculate inspiration of the Holy Ghost. And this 
all ends so well, that horse and rider both break 
their necks. 

" The Papists, I know, will here tell me, ' Well ! 
thou seest ; it is thou that complainest of troubles 
and seditions ! Who has caused them, if not thou 
and thy doctrine ?' Behold the cunning artifice by 
which they think to overthrow Luther's doctrine 
from top to bottom. It matters not ! let them ca- 1 
lumniate ; let them lie as much as they will ; they 
must, at last, hold their peace. According to this 
grand argument, all the prophets also were here- 
tical and seditious, for they were held as such by 
their own people ; as such, they were persecuted, 
and mostly put to death. Jesus Christ, our Lord, 
was himself obliged to hear it said by the Jews, 
and in particular by the high priests, the pharisees, 
and scribes, &c., by those highest in power, that 
he had a devil, that he cast out devils by other de- 
vils, that he was a Samaritan, the companion of 
publicans and sinners. He was also, in the end, 
condemned to die upon the cross for blasphemy 
and sedition. ' Which of the prophets,' said St. 
Stephen to the Jews, who were about to stone him, 
' which have not your fathers persecuted and slain ? 
and you, their children, ye have sold and killed 
that Just One, whose coming those prophets fore- 
told.' The apostles and the disciples have not 
fared better than their Master; and his predictions 
were fulfilled in them. . . If thus it must be, and 
Scripture assures us it must, why be astonished if 
we also, who in these terrible times preach Jesus, 
and declare ourselves his followers, are, like him, 
persecuted and condemned as heretics, and dis- 
turbers of the public peace ! What are we com- 
pared with these sublime spirits, enlightened by 
the Holy Ghost, endowed with so many admirable 
gifts, and with so fervent a faith ? . . . Let us, then, 
not be ashamed of the calumnies and injuries with 
which our enemies pursue us. Let all this be 
without terror for us. But let us regard it as our 
highest glory to receive from the world the same re- 
ward which the saints have had from the beginning, 
for their faithful services. Let us rejoice in God 
that we also, poor sinners, and despised of men, 
have been thought worthy to suffer ignominy for 
Christ's name's sake ! . . . 

" The papists, with their grand argument, are 
like a man who should say that if God had not 
created good angels, there would have been no 
devils ; because, it was from among the good 
angels that they came. In like manner, Adam 
accused God of having given him the woman; as 
if, had God not created Adam and Eve, they would 
not have sinned. It would follow, from this fine 
reasoning, that God alone was the sinner, and 
that Adam and his children were all pure, and 
pious, and holy. From Luther's doctrine there 
have arisen many troublesome and rebellious 
spirits; therefore, they say Luther's doctrine is of 
the devil. But St. John says also (1 Ep. ii.): ' They 
went out from us, but are not of us.' Judas was 
one of Christ's disciples; then, according to their 
argument, Jesus Christ is a devil. No heretic has 
ever gone out from the pagans; they have gone out 
from the holy Christian Church ; the Church, 
therefore, must be the work of the devil! It was 

the same with the Bible under the pope; it was 
publicly denounced as an heretical book, and 
accused of giving countenance to the most damnable 
errors. And now the cry is ' The Chm-ch! the 
Church! against and above the Bible!' Emser, 
the wise Emser, did not know well what to say 
about the Bible being translated into German: per- 
haps he had not made up his mind whether it were 
right it should ever have been written in Hebrew, 
Greek, or Latin. The Bible and the Church do not 
agree too well together. If, then, the Bible, the book 
and the word of the Holy Ghost, has so much to en- 
dure from them, what have we to complain of their 
imputing to us the heresies and seditions which 
break out ? The spider draws its poison from the 
sweet and lovely rose, where the bee finds only 
honey. Is it the fault of the flower, if its honey 
turns to poison in the spider ? 

" It is, as the proverb says, ' The dog we want 
to punish has stolen some meat;' or, as ^Esop 
finely says, ' The sheep that the wolf would eat has 
troubled the waters, although standing at the 
bottom of the stream.' They who have filled the 
Church with errors, bloodshed, lies, and murder, 
are not the troublers of the waters; but we we 
who have withstood sedition and heresy. Wolf, 
eat; eat, my friend, and may a bone stick in thy 
throat. . . . They cannot act differently; such is 
the world and its god. If they have called the 
master of the house Beelzebub, will they treat his 
servants better ? And if the Holy Scriptures have 
been called heretical, how can we expect our 

books to be honoured ? The living God is the 
judge of all; he will one day make it clear whether 
we are to believe the witness of this heretical book 
called the Holy Scriptures. 

" May Jesus Christ, our beloved Saviour and 
keeper of our souls, bought by his precious blood, 
keep his little flock faithful to his holy word; to the 
end that it may increase, and grow in grace, in know- 
ledge, and in faith. May he vouchsafe to support 
it against the temptations of Satan and this world, 
and to take pity on the pi-ofound lamentations and 
the agonizing longings with which it sighs for the 
happy day of the glorious coming of our Saviour, 
when the fury and murderous bites of the serpents 
shall cease at last; and for the children of God 
shall begin that revelation of liberty and heavenly 

j bliss for which we hope, and for which we wait 
with longsuffering and patience. Amen. Amen." 


DEATH, A.D. 1546. 

"Both tooth-ache and ear-ache are cruel ail- 
ments ; I would rather have the plague or the . 

When I was at Coburg, in 1530, I suffered much 
from a noise and whizzing in my ears, as if wind 
was escaping from my head. . . . The devil had a 
hand in it." " When ill, one should eat well, and 
drink wine." He treated himself on this plan at 
Smalkalde, in 1537- A man complaining to him 
one day of the itch, Luther said, " I would give 
ten florins to change with you ; you know not how 
distressing vertigo is. At this very moment, I 
am unable to read a letter through at once, 



indeed, I cannot read more than two or three 
lines of my Psalter ; for when I make the attempt, 
such a buzzing comes on in my ears, that I am 
often on the point of falling from my seat. The 
itch, on the contrary, is a useful thing," &c. 

At dinner, after preaching at Smalkalde, he was 
attacked by a violent fit of the stone, and prayed 
fervently : " my God, my Lord Jesus, thou 
knowest how zealously I have taught thy word. 
If it be for the glory of thy name, come to my aid ; 
if not, deign to close my eyes. / shall die the 
enemy of thy enemies, and hating the accursed one, 
the pope, who has set himself above Christ." He 
then improvised four Latin verses on the subject. 
" My head swims so, and is so weak, that I can no 
longer read or write, especially fasting." (Feb. 9th, 
1543.) " I am weak, and weary of life, and think 
of bidding farewell to the world, which is now 
wholly the devil's. May the Lord grant me favour- 
able weather and a happy passage. Amen !" 
(March 14th.) 

To Amsdorf. " I am writing to thee after sup- 
per ; for, fasting, I cannot even look at a book 
without danger. I am much surprised at this 
illness of mine, and know not whether it be a 
buffet of Satan's, or a natural weakness." (August 
18th.) "I believe my true malady to be old age ; 
and, next to this, my overpowering labours and 
thoughts, but, mainly, the buffets of Satan ; and 
all the physic in the world cannot cure me of 
these." (Nov. 7th, 1543.) 

To Spalatin. " I must say, that in all my life, 
and all my cares about the Gospel, I have never 
gone through so troubled a year as that which has 
just ended. I have a tremendous quarrel on 
hand with the lawyers on the subject of private 
marriages ; in those whom I had believed to be 
stedfast friends of the Gospel, I find cruel enemies. 
Dost thou think that this is no pain to me, dear , 
Spalatin ?" (Jan. 30th, 1544.) I am idle, worn 
out, cold ; that is to say, old and useless. I have 
finished my journey ; it only remains for the Lord j 
to gather me to my fathers, and to render unto j 
corruption and the worms their share in me. I 
am satiated with life, if this be life. Pray for me, 
that my last moments may be salutary to myself 
and acceptable unto God. My only thoughts about 
the emperor and the empire are commending 
them to God in my prayers. The world seems to 
me to have arrived at its last hour, and, to use the 
psalmist's expression, to have grown old like a 
garment ; and now is the time come that we must 
change it." (Dec. 5th, 1544.) " Had I known at 
the beginning what enemies men are to God's 
word, I should indisputably have been silent, and 
held my peace. I imagined they only sinned 
through ignorance." 

He once said, " Nobles, citizens, peasants, I 
might add almost all men, think they know the 
Gospel better than Dr. Luther or St. Paul himself; j 
and look down on pastors, rather on the Lord and 
Master of pastors. . . . The nobles seek to govern, 
and yet know not how. The pope knows how to 
govern, and does govern. The least papist is more 
capable of governing than I cry them mercy 
ten of our court nobles." Luther was one day told 
that there were six hundred rich cures vacant in 
the bishopric of Wurtzburg. " No good will come 
of this," he said. " It will be the same with us if we 
go on despising God's word and his servants. If I 

desired to become rich, all I should have to do would 
be not to preach. . . The ecclesiastical visitors asked 
the peasants wherefore they would not support 
their pastors, when they kept cowherds and swine- 
herds ? ' Oh !' they said, ' we want these ; we 
cannot do without them.' They thought they 
could do without pastors." 

For six months Luther preached in his house to 
his own family every Sunday, but not in the 
church. "I do this," he said to Dr. Jonas, "to 
clear my conscience, and discharge my duty as 
the father of a family. But 1 know and see that 
God's word will riot be more minded here than in 
church." " You will have to succeed me as 
preacher, Dr. Jonas ; think on it, and acquit 
yourself well." He walked out of church one day, 
in anger at the people's talking (A.D. 1545). On 
the 16th of February, 1546, Luther remarked that 
Aristotle had written no better book than the fifth 
of his Ethica, where he gives this beautiful defi- 
nition, " The virtue of justice consists in mode- 
ration, as regulated by wisdom." (This eulogium 
on moderation in the last year of Luther's life 
is very remarkable.) 

The count von Mansfeld's chancellor, on his 
return from the diet of Frankfort, said at Luther's 
table, at Eisleben, that the emperor and the pope 
were sudden in their proceedings against the bishop 
of Cologne, Herman, and were thinking of expelling 
him from his electorate. On this, Luther said, 
" They have lost the game. Unable to do aught 
against us with God's word and Holy Scripture, 
they are attacking us with wisdom, violence, craft, 
practisings, deceit, force and arms (ergo Tolunt ta- 
pientia, violentia, astutia, practkd, dolo, ti et armis 
pugnare). What says our Lord to this ? He sees 
that he is only a poor scholar, and He says, ' What 
will become of my son and I V . . . For me, when 
they shall kill me, they must first eat ... I enjoy 
a great advantage ; my lord is called Schlejffkmini ; 
it is he who said, I will call ye up on the last day 
(ego stiscltabo ros in nomssimo die) ; and he will then 
say, Dr. Martin, Dr. Jonas, Sir Michael Coelius 
come to me, and he will call each of you by your own 
name, as the Lord Christ says in St. John, And he 
calls them by their names. Be ye, then, without fear. 
.... God holds a fine hand of cards, which is com- 
posed only of kings, princes, &c. He shuffles the 
cards, for instance, the pope with Luther; and then 
he does as children, who, after having held the cards 
for a time in vain, tire of the game and throw them 
under the table." " The world is like a drunken 
peasant: put him up on his saddle on one side, he 
tumbles over on the other. No matter what way 
you set about it, you can't help him. The world 
will be the devil's." 

Luther often said that it would be a great disgrace 
to the pope were he to die in his bed. " All of you, 
thou pope, thou devil, ye kings, princes, and lords, 
are Luther's enemies, and yet you can do him no 
harm. It was not so with John Huss. I take it 
that there has not been a man so hated as I for 
these hundred years. I, too, hate the world. In 
the whole round of life, there is nothing which 
gives me pleasure ; I am sick of living. May our 
Lord then come quickly, and take me with him. 
May he, above all, come with his day of judgment. 
I would stretch forth my neck ... so that he 
hurled his thunderbolt and I were at rest. . . ." 
He proceeds to console himself for the ingratitude 



of the world, by reflecting on the faies of Moses, 
Samuel, St. Paul, and of Christ. A guest of his 
said, that if the world were to last fifty years, many 
things might yet turn up. " God forbid," exclaimed 
Luther, " it would be worse than all the past. 
There would arise many other sects, which are now 
hidden within the hearts of men. .. May the Lord 
come, and cut all this short, for there is no hope of 
improvement !" " Life will be such a burthen, 
that there will be one universal cry from all the 
corners of the earth, ' Good God ! come with the 
day of judgment !' And, happening to have in his 
hand a chaplet of white agates, he added, ' God 
grant that day may soon come. I would eat this 
chaplet to have it to be to-morrow." 

Speaking at his table of eclipses, and the little 
influence they appeared to have on the death of 
kings and other great people, the doctor replied, 
"You are right; eclipses no longer produce any 
sensible effects ; and I think myself that our 
Saviour will come soon to veritable effects; and 
that ere long the judgment will put an end to all 
our cogitations, and all things else. I dreamt it was 
so the other day while I lay asleep in the afternoon, 
and I said then in pace in id ipsum requiescam seu 
dormiam. The day of judgment must soon come; 
for that the papal Church should reform is an im- 
possibility, neither will the Turks and Jews. ... In 
fact, there is no real improvement in the state of 
the empire; and see, for thirty years now have 
they assembled diets without deciding on any 
thing. ... I often think when ruminating in my 
walks of what I ought to ask in ray prayers for the 
diet. The bishop of Mentz is naught; the pope 
is lost for ever. I see nothing else to be done but 
to say, ' Lord, thy kingdom come! ' " 

" Poor, helpless creatures that we are, we eat 
our bread but in sin. Our first seven years of life 
we do nothing but eat, drink, sleep, and play. 
Thence to one-and-twenty, we go to school three 
or four hours a day ; then follow as our passions 
lead love or drink. After this, only, we begin 
seriously to work. Towards fifty, we have done, 
and turn children again! Add to all this that we 
sleep away half of our lives! Oh! out upon us! 
Out of our lives we do not give even a tithe to 
God; and do we think to merit Heaven by our 
good works ? What have I been doing now ? 
I have been prating for two hours, have been eat- 
ing for three, and have been idle for four ! Ah ! 
Domine, ne intres in judicium cum servo tuo." (Oh! 
Lord, enter not into judgment with thy servant.) 
After detailing all his sufferings to Melanchthon, 
he exclaims, " Please God to take my soul in the 
peace of Christ, by the grace of God I am ready to 
go; yea, desirous. I have lived and have finished 
the course marked out for me by God. . . . Oh 
may my soul, which is weary of its long pilgrim- 
age, now be suffered to mount to heaven." (April 
18th, 1541.) 

" I have not much time, my dear Probst, to 
write, for I am overcome by fatigue and old 
age: alt, kalt, ungestalt (old, cold, mouldy), as they 
say. Nevertheless, rest T cannot have, beset as I 
am by so many reasons and obligations to write. 
I know more than you can of the fatalities that 
await this age. The world is threatened with 
ruin; it is inevitable; the more the devil is allowed 
to roam, the more brutish the world becomes. 
There is but one consolation left us; it is that this 

day is nigh. The world has been sated with God's 
word, and taken a strange antipathy to it. Fewer 
false prophets arise. Why raise up new heresies 
when there is an epicurean disdain of the world? 
Germany is dead ; she will never again be what she 
has been. The nobles only think of extorting; the 
towns think but of themselves (and with reason): 
so that the kingdom is divided against itself, just 
when it ought to be confronting the legion of un- 
chained devils which compose the Turkish army. 
We seem to care little if God be for or against us, 
and think we shall triumph by our own strength 
over Turks, the devils, God, and every thing: such 
are the overweening confidence and stupid security 
of expiring Germany! And we, what can we do 
in the matter ? Complaints and tears are equally 
fruitless. All that is left for us to do is to reiterate 
the prayer, ' Thy will be done * !' " (March 26th, 
1542.) " I see, in every one, an indomitable 
cupidity, which to me seems one sign of the 
approach of the last day. It is as if the world in 
its old age and at its last gasp, became delirious ; as 
so often happens with the dying." (March 8th, 
1544.) " I do believe that I am that great trum- 
pet which prefaces and announces the coming of 
our Lord. Therefore, weak and failing as I may 
be, and small as may be the sound that I can 
make this world hear, my voice rings in the ears 
of the angels in heaven, who will take up the 
strain after us and complete the solemn call ! 
Amen, and Amen." (August 6th, 1545.) 

During the last years of Luther's life, his 
enemies often spread reports of his death ; with 
the addition of the most singular and tragic cir- 
cumstances. To refute these, Luther had print- 
ed in 1545, in German and Italian, a pamphlet 
entitled Lies of the Goths, touching the death of 
Dr. Martin Luther. " I tell Dr. Bucer before- 
hand, that whoever, after my death, shall despise 
the authority of this school and this church, will 
be a heretic and unbeliever; for it was here first 
that God purified his word and again made it 
known. . . . Who could do any thing twenty-five 
vears since ? Who was on my side twenty-one 
years ago ? " "I often count, and find that I 
approach nearer and nearer to the forty years, at 
the end of which I believe all this will end. St. 
Paul only preached for forty years; and so the pro- 
phet Jeremiah, and St. Augustin. And when each 
of these forty years had come to an end, in which 
they had preached the word of God, it was no 
longer listened to, and great calamities followed." 

The aged electress, when he was last at her 
table, wished him forty years more of life. |* I 
would not have Heaven," said he, K on condition 

that 1 must live forty years longer I have 

nothing to do with doctors now. It seems they 
have settled that I am to live one year longer ; so 
that I won't make my life a torment, but, in God's 
name, eat and drink what I please." " I would 
my adversaries would put an end to me; for my 
death now would be of more service to the Church 
than my life." (February 16th, 1546.) The con- 
versation running much on death and sickness, 

* These sad and desponding reflections may almost be 
traced in the beautiful portrait of Luther, in the collection of 
Zirumer, the publisher of Heidelberg. This painting also 
expresses the strain produced by the continuation of long 
and anxious exertions. 



during his last visit to Eisleben, he said, " If I 
return to Wittemberg, I shall soon be in my coffin, 
and then I shall give the worms a good meal on a 
fat doctor." Two days after this he died, at 
Lutlter's impromptu on the frailty of life : 

" Dat vitrum vitro Jonas (vitrum ipse) Lutherus, 
Se similem ut fragili noscat uterque vitro. 

We leave these verses in Latin, as they would lose 
all their merit in translation. 

A Note written at Euleben two days before his 
death : 

" No one can comprehend Virgil's Bucolics, who 
has not been five years a shepherd." 

" No one can understand Virgil's Georgics, who 
has not been five years a husbandman." 

" No one can comprehend Cicero's letters, if he 
has not lived twenty years a politician and states- 

" Let no one imagine that he has mastered Holy 
Scripture, who has not, for a hundred years, 
governed the affairs of the Church, with Elias and 
Elisha, with John the Baptist, with Christ and his 

Hanc tu ne divinam ^Eneida tenta, 
Sed vestigia pronus adora." 

Hoc est 

"We are all poor mendicants, 
verum. 16 Februarii, anno 1546. 

Prediction of the reverend father, Doctor Martin 
Luther, written in his own hand, and found after his 
death, in his library, by those whom the most illustrious 
elector of Saxony, John Frederic /., had entrusted to 
search it. 

" The time is arrived, at which, according to an- 
cient predictions, there must arise after the ap- 
pearing of Antichrist, men who will live without 
God in the world, every one after his own devices. 
The pope has long considered himself a god above 
God; and now all wish to do without God, and 
especially the Papists. Even we, now that we are 
free from the law of the pope, seek to deliver our- 
selves from the law of God, and follow only fickle 
politicians, and this only so far as our own caprice 
dictates. We imagine the times far off of which 
such things are predicted ; but I say they are now 
at hand ; these godless men are ourselves. There 
are amongst us some, who so impatiently desire the 
day of Man, as to have begun to exclude from the 
church the decalogue and the law ; of these are 
Master Eisleben (Agricola), &c. I am not uneasy 
about the papists ; they natter the pope, out of 
hatred to us, and thereby to gain power until they 
will become a terror to the poor pope. ... I feel 
great satisfaction when I see these flatterers laying 
snares for the pope, more to be dreaded by him 
than I myself, who am his declared enemy. It is 
the same with us ; my own people give me far 
more care and trouble than all the whole papacy 
together, which henceforth is powerless against us. 
So true it is, that when an empire is about to fall 
to ruin, it is chiefly through its own preponderating 
weight. Rome, for instance, 

" Mole ruit sufi .... 

.... Corpus magnum populumque potentem 
In sua victrici conversura viscera dextra." 

Towards the latter end of his life, Luther took 
a dislike to Wittemberg. He wrote to his wife, in 

July, 1545, from Leipzig, where he was staying : 
" Grace and peace to you, my dear Catherine ! our 
John will tell you of our journey hither; Ernest von 
Schonfeldt received us very kindly at Lobnitz, and 
our friend Scherle still more warmly here. I 
would fain so manage as never to return to Wit- 
temberg. I have no longer any affection for that 
town, and I do not like to live there any longer. I 
wish you to sell the cottage with the court and gar- 
den ; I will give back to my gracious lord the large 
house he was so good as to give me, and we will 
settle ourselves at Zeilsdorf. We can put our land 
in good order by laying out my stipend upon it, 
as I think my lord will not fail to continue it at 
least for one year ; the which, I firmly believe, 
will be the last I shall live. Wittemberg is be- 
come an actual Sodom, and I will not return thither. 
The day after to-morrow I am going to Merseburg, 
on count George's pressing invitation. I would 
rather pass my life on the high roads, or in begging 
my bread, than have my last moments tormented 
by the sight of the depravity of Wittemberg, where 
all my pains and labour are thrown away. You 
can communicate this to Philip and to Pomer, whom 
I beg to bless the town in my name. For my 
part, I can no longer live there." It required the 
most earnest entreaties of his friends, of the whole 
university, and of the elector, to make him re- 
nounce this resolution ; he returned to Wittem- 
berg on the 18th of August. 

Luther was not allowed to die in peace ; his last 
days were painfully employed in the endeavour to 
reconcile the two Counts von Mansfeld, whose 
subject he was born. He writes to count Albert, 
promising him to be at Eisleben: "Eight days more 
or less will not stop me, although I am much oc- 
cupied elsewhere. I should rest in peace in my 
grave if I could first see my dear masters recon- 
ciled and made friends." (December 6th, 1545.) 

(From Eisleben.) " To the very learned, and very 
profound lady Catherine Luther, my gracious wife. 
Dear Catherine, we are much tormented here, and 
should not be sorry to get home; however, we must, 
I think, remain another eight days. You can say 
to Master Philip, that he will not do amiss to cor- 
rect his commentary on the Gospel, for in writing 
it, he did not know why our Lord, in the Gospel, 
calls riches, thorns. This is the school where 
such things are learnt. The Holy Scripture 
threatens everywhere the thorns of eternal fire ; 
this terrifies me, and teaches me patience, for 
I must, with the help of God, make every effort to 
end well. . . ." (February 6th, 1546.) 

" To the gracious lady Catherine Luther, my beloved 
wife, wlio torments herself by far too much. Grace 
and peace in the Lord. Dear Catherine ! You must 
read St. John, and what is said in the catechism 
of the trust we ought to put in God. You alarm 
yourself as if God was not all powerful, and as if 
lie could not make doctors Martin by dozens, if the 
first should be drowned in the Saal, or perish in 
any other manner. I have One that takes care of 
me better than thou, or any of the angels could do, 
One who is seated at the right hand of God Al- 
mighty. Be comforted then. Amen. ... I in- 
tended setting out yesterday, in ira rnea : but the 
misery in which I find my native country detains 
me. Would you believe it ? I am become a 
lawyer. However, it will not answer any great 
end ; it would have been better had they left me 

A.D. 1546. 


a theologian. They stand in singular need of 
having their pride humbled ; they talk and act as 
if they were gods; but if they go on so, I fear they 
they will become devils. Lucifer was lost by his 

pride, &c Show this letter to Philip; I 

have not time to write to him separately." (Feb- 
ruary 7th, 1546.) 

" To my gentle and dear wife, Catheritie Luitter ton 
Bora. Grace and peace in our Lord. Dear Cathe- 
rine, God willing, we hope to return to you this 
week. He has shown the power of his grace in 
this affair. The lords are agreed upon all points, 
with the exception of one or two ; among others, 
upon the reconciliation of the two brothers, counts 
Gebhard and Albert. I am to dine with them 
to-day, and I shall endeavour to make them truly 
brothers again. They have written against each 
other with great bitterness, and have not exchanged 
a word during the conferences. However, our 
young lords are very gay, going about in sledges 
with the ladies, with bells tinkling at their horses' 
heads. God has heard our prayers ! I send you 
some trout, a present from the countess Albert. 
This lady is well pleased to see peace restored in 
her family. . . . The rumour runs here that the 
emperor is advancing towards Westphalia, and 
that the French are enlisting landsknechts, as well 
as the landgrave, &c. Let them talk, and invent 
news, we will wait God's will. I recommend you to 
his protection. MARTIN LUTHER." (February 14th, 

Luther had arrived, the 28th January, at Eisle- 
ben, and though already ill, he joined in all the 
conferences until the 17th February. He preached 
also four times, and revised the ecclesiastical sta- 
tutes for the earldom of Mansfeld. The 17th, he 
was so ill that the counts prayed him not to go out. 
At supper he spoke much of his approaching end, 
and some one asking him if he thought we should 
recognize each other in the other world, he replied 
that he thought so. On returning to his chamber 
with master Cselius and his two sons, he drew near 
the window, and remained there a long time in 
prayer. After that, he said to Aurifaber, who had 
just arrived, " I feel very weak, and my pains seem 
to increase :" on which they administered some 
medicine to him, and endeavoured to warm him by 
friction. He spoke a few words to count Albert, 
who had come to see him, and then laid himself 
down on the bed, saying, " If I could only sleep for 
half an hour, I think it would refresh me." He 
did sleep without waking for an hour and a half. 
This was about eleven o'clock. When he awoke, 
he said to those in attendance, " What, still sitting 
up by me: why do you not go to rest yourselves ?" 
He then commenced praying, and said with fervor, 
" In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum ; redemisti 
me, Domine, Deus veritatis. (Into thy hands I com- 
mend my spirit ; thou art my redeemer, O God 
of truth.)" He also said to those about him, " All 
of you pray, my friends, for the Gospel of our Lord, 
that his reign may be extended, for the council of 
Trent and the pope threaten it greatly." He then 
slept again for about an hour, and when he awoke, 
doctor Jonas asking him how he felt, " O my God," 
he replied, " I feel myself very bad. I think, my 
dear Jonas, that I shall remain here at Eisleben, 
where I was born." He then took a few steps 
about the room, and laid himself down again on the 
bed, where they covered him with soft cushions. 

Two doctors, and the count with his wife then 
arrived. Luther said to them, " I am dying ; I 
shall remain at Eisleben." And doctor Jonas ex- 
pressing a hope that the perspiration would perhaps 
relieve him: " No, dear Jonas," replied he, it is 
a cold and dry sweat, and the pain is worse." He 
then applied himself to prayer, and said, " my 
God ! Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thou the 
God of all consolation, I thank thee for having 
revealed to me thy well-beloved Son, in whom I 
believe ; whom I have preached and acknowledged; 
whom I have loved and honoured ; and whom the 
pope and the ungodly persecute. I commend my 
soul to thee, O my Saviour Jesus Christ ! I shall 
leave this terrestrial body ; I shall be taken from 
this life ; but I know that I shall rest eternally 
with thee." He repeated three times following, 
" In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum ; redemisti 
me, Domine veritatis." Suddenly his eyes closed 
and he fainted. Count Albert and his wife, as well 
as the doctors, used their utmost efforts to restore 
him to life, in which they with difficulty succeeded. 
Dr. Jonas then said to him, " Reverend father, do 
you die in constant reliance on the faith you have 
taught ?" He replied distinctly, " Yes," and fell 
asleep again. Soon after he became alarmingly 
pale, then cold, and drawing one deep breath, he 

His body was borne to Wittemberg in a leaden 
coffin, where he was buried the 22nd of February, 
1546, with the highest honours. His mortal re- 
mains lie in the church of the castle, at the foot of 
the pulpit. (Ukert, i. p. 327, sqq- Extract from 
the account drawn up by Jonas and Ccelius.) 

Will of Luther, dated January 6th, 1542. I 
the undersigned, Martin Luther, doctor, acknow- 
ledge by these presents, to have given as jointure 
to my dear and faithful wife Catherine, to enjoy 
for the whole of her life as seems good to her, 
the estate of Zeilsdorf, such as I bought it, and 
have since made it ; the house Brun, which I 
bought under the name of Wolf ; my goblets, and 
other valuable things, such as rings, chains, medals I 
in gold and silver, to the value of about a thousand | 
florins. I have made this disposition, first, be- 
cause she has ever been to me a pious and faithful 
wife, who has tenderly loved me, and, by the 
blessing of God, has given me and reared up five 
children happily, still living. Secondly, that she 
may take upon herself my debts, amounting to 
about four hundred and fifty florins, supposing 
that I do not discharge them before I die. Thirdly, 
and above all, because I would not that she should 
be dependent on her children, but rather that her 
children should depend upon her, honour her, and 
be subjected unto her, as God has commanded ; 
for I have often seen children, even pious children, 
excited by the devil to disobey this commandment, 
especially when the mothers were widows, and the 
sons had wives, the daughters husbands. Besides, j 
I think that the mother will be the best manager I 
of her children, and that she will not make use of 
this settlement to the detriment of her own flesh 
and blood, those whom she has carried at her 
breast. Whatever may become of her after my 
death (for I cannot limit the will of God), I have 
this confidence in her, that she will always con- 
duct herself as a good mother to her children, and 
will share with them conscientiously whatever she 
possesses. At the same time, I pray all my friends 



A.D. 1546. 

to be witnesses of the truth, and to defend my 
dear Catherine, if it should happen, as is possible, 
that she should be accused by evil persons of 
keeping money back for herself, and not sharing it 
with her children. I certify that we have neither 
ready money nor treasure of any kind. This need 
surprise no one, when it is considered that we have 
had no other income than my stipend and a few 
presents, and that we have, nevertheless, gone to 
the charge of building, and have borne the ex- 

penses of a large household. I look on it also as a 
particular mercy from God, which I thank him 
for without ceasing, that we have had sufficient for 
our wants, and that our debts are not greater. . . . 

" I also pray my gracious master, duke John 
Frederick, elector, to confirm and ratify this pre- 
sent deed, although it may not be in the form 
required by the lawyers. MARTIN LTJTHEK. 

" Witnesses MELANCHTHON, CRUZIGER, and Bu- 



PAGE 3, column 1. "and there I teas born." Coch- 
Iseus asserts that Luther was engendered by an 
incubus. When he was a monk, adds this writer, 
he was suspected of having dealings with the devil. 
One day while the Gospel was being read, at the 
part where it is said that Jesus forced a demon to 
come out of the body of one deaf and dumb, Luther 
fell on the ground, exclaiming, Non sum, non sum 
(It is not I, it is not I). Some Spaniards who 
were at the diet of Augsburg (A.D. 1530), seriously 
believed that Luther and his wife were to give 
birth to Antichrist. (Luth. Werke, t. i. p. 415.) 

Julius-Cesar Vanini, Cerdan, and Francis Junc- 
tiuus, discovered in the constellations that had 
accompanied the birth of Luther, that he was to 
be an arch-heretic and an arch-villain ; Tycho- 
Brahe and Nicholas Priicker, on the contrary, 
declared he was born under a happy sign. 

Page 3, col. 2. "Martin LutJier." Lotharius, 
lut-her, leute-herr ? Chief of Men, Head of the 
People \ 

Page 4, col. 2. " Luther describes how these temp- 
tations" &c. " When I was young, it happened 
that at Eisleben, on Corpus-Christi day, I was 
walking with the procession, in my priest's robes, 
when suddenly the sight of the holy sacrament, 
which was carried by doctor Staupitz, so terrified 
me, (thinking in my blindness that it was Jesus 
Christ himself the vicar-general was carrying, that 
Jesus Christ in person was there before me,) that 
a cold sweat covered my body, and I believed my- 
self dying of terror. The procession finished, I 
confessed to doctor Staupitz, and related to him 
what had happened to me. He replied : ' Your 
thoughts are not of Christ ; Christ never alarms ; 
He comforts.' These words filled me with joy, 
and were a great consolation to me." (Tischreden, 
p. 133, verso.) 

Doctor Martin Luther used to tell, that when he 
was in the monastery at Erfurth, he said once to 
doctor Staupitz : " Ah ! dear sir doctor, our Lord 
God deals with us in a manner so terrible : who 
can serve him, if he humbles us thus to the dust ? 
To which he answered me, ' Young man, learn 

* The "Life of Luther" has been given entire ; but with 
regard to the somewhat heterogeneous "Additions," the 
translator has exercised his discretion in condensing and 
retrenching; scrupulously, however, retain ing every passage 
illustrative of the great Reformer's life and doctrines. 


better how to judge God; if he did not act thus, 
how could proud hearts be humbled ? Lofty trees 
must be watched, least they reach the skies.' " 
(Tischreden, p. 150, verso.) 

Luther had great difficulty in bearing the ob- 
ligations imposed on him by monastic life ; he tells 
how, in the commencement of the Reformation, he 
tried in vain to read his prayer-book regularly : 
" Though I shall have done no more than deliver 
men from this tyranny, they will owe me some 
gratitude." (Tischreden, p. 150.) This constant 
repetition, at fixed times, of the same meditations, 
this materialism of prayer, which weighed so 
much on the impatient spirit of Luther, Ignatius 
Loyola, the contemporary of the German reformer, 
laid the greatest stress upon, in his singular Re- 
ligious Exercises. 

At Erfurth, Luther read the greatest part of the 
works left us by the ancient Romans, Cicero, Virgil, 
Livy. ... At the age of twenty he was honoured with 
the title of Master of Arts; and at the desire of his 
parents, he began the study of jurisprudence. . . . 
At the convent of Erfurth he excited admiration 
by his public exercises, and by the ease with which 
he extricated himself from the meshes of logic. . . | 
He read with avidity the prophets and the apostles, ; 
the books of Saint Augustin, his Explanation of the 
Psalms, and his book On ilw Spirit and the Letter, 
and learnt almost by heart the treatises of Gabriel 
Biel and of Pierre d'Ailly, bishop of Cambray, and 
was a diligent student of the writings of Occam, 
whose logic he preferred to that of Thomas or 
Scot. He was likewise a great reader of Gerson's 
writings, and above all, of those of Saint Augustin." 
(Life of Luther, by Melanchthon.) 

Page 1, col. 1. " The Dominican, Tetzel, an im- 
pudent mountebank." He preached, that if any one 
had violated the holy virgin, his sin would be par- 
doned by virtue of the indulgences; that the red 
cross which he had set up in churches had as much 
efficacy as that of Jesus Christ ; that he had saved 
more souls by his indulgences than St. Peter by 
his discourses ; and that the Saxons had only to 
give money, and their mountains would become 
mines of silver, &c. (Luther adv. Brunstic., Sec- 
kendorf, Hist. Lutheranismi, 1. i. 16, &c.) 

By way of indirect concession, the Catholics gave 
up Tetzel; and Miltitz relates, in a letter to Pfeffin- 
ger (Seckendorf, 1. i. p. 62), that he can prove, 


through an agent of the Fuggers, the great bankers 
of Augsburg, that he (Tetzel) made free with the 
money he received from the sale of indulgences. 
" I will write the pope a full account," he says, 
" and await his sentence." 

Page 7 col. 1. "he was seized with indignation." 
" When I undertook to write against the gross 
error of indulgences, doctor Jerome Schurff stopped 
me and said : 'Would you then write against the 
pope ? What are you about ? It will not be al- 
lowed.' 'What,' replied I; 'what, if they must 
allow it V " (Tischreden, 384, verso.) 

Page 8, col. 1. " tlte sermon in the vulgar tongue, 
which Luther delivered." He states in a clear, 
forcible manner, the doctrine of St. Thomas in the 
five first paragraphs, and especially in the sixth, 
which is very mystical. He then proceeds to show, 
from Scripture, in opposition to this doctrine, that 
the sinner's repentance and conversion can alone 
secure him pardon for his sins. ( ix.) " Though 
the church were to declare that indulgences efface 
sins better than works of atonement, it would be 
a thousand times better for a Christian not to buy 
them, but rather to do the works and suffer the 
penalties ; for indulgences are, and only can be, 
dispensations from good works and salutary pains." 
( xv.) " It is better and safer to give towards 
the building of St. Peter's, than to buy the indul- 
gences sold for this end. You ought, above all, to 
give to your poor neighbour ; and if there should be 
none in your town who need your assistance, you 
ought to give towards your own churches. . . . My 
counsel to all is, Buy not these indulgences ; leave 
them to be purchased by bad Christians. Let 
each follow his own path. . . ." ( xviii.) " I 
know nothing about souls being drawn out of pur- 
gatory by the efficacy of indulgences ; I don't 
believe they can. The safer way is to have recourse 
to prayer. . . . Leave the schoolmen to be school- 
men. All put together, they cannot stamp a doc- 
trine with authority." 

These would seem to be rather notes, to serve as 
heads of a discourse, than the sermon itself. (Lu- 
ther, Werke, vii. p. 1.) 

Page 8, col. 2. "It is said that Leo X. believed 
the whole to be a matter of professional jealousy." 
" The pope was formerly extremely proud, and de- 
spised every one. The cardinal-legate Caietano 
said to me at Augsburg, ' What ? do you think 
that the pope cares about Germany ? The pope's 
little finger is more powerful than all your princes.' 
When my first propositions upon indulgences were 
presented to the pope, ' This is a drunken Ger- 
man's doing,' he said, ' leave him to get sober, 
and he will talk differently.' It was in this jeering 
tone that he spoke of every one." 

Luther did not leave all the contempt to the 
Italians, but returned it to them with interest. 
" If this Sylvester continues to provoke me by these 
fooleries, I will put an end to the game, and, giving 
the reins to my mind and my pen, I will show him 
that there are men in Germany who can see through 
his tricks, and those of Rome ; and God grant 
the time was come. The juggling Italians, with 
their evasions and their subterfuges, have too long 
amused themselves at our expense, as if we were 
fools and buffoons." (September 1st, 1518.) 

" I am delighted that Philip (Melanchthon) has 
proved for himself the Italian character. These phi- 

losophers will believe nothing without experience. 
For my part, there is not one Italian I would trust 
any longer, not even the emperor's confessor. My 
dear Caietano loved me with so true a friendship, 
that he would have shed for me every drop of blood 
in ... my own veins. They are queer fellows. 
The Italian, if good, is really good; but is a prodigy, 
a black swan." (July 21st, 1530.) 

" I want Sadolet to believe that God is the Father 
of all men, even out of Italy ; but this is beyond 
an Italian's mind." (October 14th, 1539.) "The 
Italians," says Hutten, "who accused us of being 
unable to produce any work of genius, are now 
forced to admire our Albert Durer; and so strong is 
this admiration, that they even put his name on their 
own works in order to sell them." (Hutten, iii. 76.) 

Page 9, col. 1. " Either out of regard for his new 
university." The university of Wittemberg wrote 
to the elector, praying that he would extend his 
protection to the most illustrious of her members 
(p. 55, Seckendorf ). Luther's increasing celebrity 
attracted an immense concourse of students to 
Wittemberg. Luther himself says, " Studium nos- 
trum more formicarum fervet " (Our study is as 
busy as an ant's nest). A writer, almost contem- 
porary with him, says, " I have heard my tutors 
say that students flocked to Wittemberg from all 
countries to hear Luther and Melanchthon ; and 
that, as soon as they descried the city from a dis- 
tance, they used to return thanks to God with up- 
lifted hands, for that from Wittemberg, as formerly 
from Jerusalem, there came out the light of Gospel 
truth, to be spread unto the furthest corners of the 
earth." (Scultetus in Annalibus, anno 1517, P- 16 } 
17 ; quoted by Seckendorf, p. 59.) 

From a letter of Luther's, bearing date Nov. 1st, 
1524, the elector would appear to have been but 
parsimonious towards his favourite university. 
" I beg you," he writes, " dear Spalatin, to ask the 
prince whether he means to allow this academy to 
crumble away and perish ?" 

Page 9, col. 1. "this prince had always taken him 
under his special protection." The elector himself 
writes to Spalatin : " Our Martin's affair goes on 
well; Pfeffinger is full of hope." (Seckendorf, p. 53.) 

Page 9, col. 1. "tliat Holy Scripture speaks with 
such majesty." Schenk had been charged to buy 
relics for the church of Wittemberg; but, in 1520, 
the commission was recalled, and the relics were sent 
back to Italy, to be sold at any price they could 
fetch. " For here," writes Spalatin, " the lowest 
orders despise them, in the firm and true persua- 
sion, that it suffices to learn from Holy Scripture 
to have faith and confidence in God, and to love 
one's neighbour." (Maccre'e, p. 37, from Schlegel's 
Life of Spalatin, p. 59. Seckendorf, i. p. 223.) 

Page 10, col. 1. " Caietano de Vio, the legate, was 
certainly a judge not much to be feared." Extract 
from an account of the conferences between car- 
dinal Caietano and Luther: Luther having de- 
clared that the pope had no power but salta 
Scriptura, the cardinal laughed at his words, and 
said to him, "Dost thou not know that the pope is 
above councils ? has he not recently condemned 
and punished the council of Bale ?" Luther. " But 
the Paris university has appealed from him." 
The Cardinal. "And Paris shall be equally pun- 
ished." Again, Luther having quoted Gerson, the 
cardinal answered him, " What are the Gersonites 


to me ?" Upon which Luther asked him, in re- 
turn, " And who then are the Gersouites ?" " Oh, 
let us quit this subject," said the cardinal, and 
began to talk of other things. The cardinal sent 
Luther's answers to the pope, by an extraordinary 
express. He also sent word to Luther, by doctor 
Wenceslaus, that, provided he was willing to re- 
voke what he had advanced on the subject of in- 
dulgences, all might be arranged. " For," added 
he " the article on the faith necessary for the 
Holy Sacrament may very well bear a twist into 
a different sense." 

Luther said, on his return from Augsburg, that 
if he had four hundred heads, he would rather 
lose them all, than revoke his article on faith." 
" No man in Germany,'' says Hutten, " despises 
death more than Luther." 

He offered Caietano to submit his opinions to 
the judgment of the three universities of Bale, of 
Friburg (in Brisgau), and of Louvain, and, if re- 
quired, to that of the university of Paris, "es- 
teemed of all time the most Christian and most 

In a letter of Luther's to the elector of Saxony 
(Nov. 19th, 1518), he expressly rebuts Caietano's 
charge, that his attack on indulgences had been 
instigated by the elector, and states that none 
among his dearest friends were privy to his design, 
" save my lords the archbishop of Magdeburg, and 
the bishop of Brandenburg. 

Page 11, col. 2. "required an inquiry into the 
matter by disinterested judges" The legates, never- 
theless, confined their demands to requiring that 
Luther's works should be burnt. "The pope," 
they said, " will not soil his hands with the blood of 
Luther." (Luther, Opera, ii.) 

Page 11. col. 2. last line. " MUtitz changed his 
tone." In 1520, Luther's opponents were divided 
into two parties, represented by Eck and Miltitz. 
Eck, having held a public disputation against 
Luther, conceived that his repute as a theologian 
would be compromised unless he could either re- 
duce him to retract, or procure his formal condem- 
nation from the pope, and therefore he resorted to 
violent measures ; whilst Miltitz, on the contrary, 
as the direct agent of the Holy See, sought only to 
hush up matters, admitting everything that Luther 
advanced, spoke as freely as himself of the pope- 
dom, and only required him to promise silence. 

On the 20th of October, 1520, he writes to the 
elector to suggest the feasibility of the latter's 
sending two or three golden pieces, bearing his 
effigy, and as many silver ones, to the young car- 
dinals, the pope's relatives, in order to propitiate 
them, and begs for himself as well. He had 
written on the 14th, to say, that Luther had pro- 
mised to be silent, on condition that his adversaries 
would be silent too ; and assures the elector that 
he will baulk Eck and his faction. 

MiUitz seems to have been a boon companion. 
He writes to the elector, that spending his even- 
ing joyously at Stolpa, with the bishop of Misnia, 
a pamphlet of Luther's was brought in, in which 
the official of Stolpa was attacked ; and that while 
the bishop fumed, and the official swore, he and 
duke George did nothing but laugh. (A.D. 1520. 
Seckendorf, 1. i. p. 98.) He and Luther passed some 
time together, making good cheer at Lichtenberg. 
(Ibid. p. 99.) 

Miltitz met with a fitting end ; having tumbled 
into the Rhine, near Mentz, after copious libations, 
and being drowned. He had five hundred gold 
pieces about him. (Id. ibid. p. 117-) 

Page 12, col. 1. "owned that he had got the whole 
world with him away from tlie pope." Luther's 
works were already highly popular. John Froben, 
the celebrated printer of Bale, wrote to him, on the 
14th of February, 1519, that his books were read 
and approved, even at Paris, and even in the Sor- 
bonne ; that he had not a single copy left of all 
those he had reprinted, and that they were dis- 
persed over Italy, Spain, and elsewhere, and every 
where approved by the doctors. (Seckendorf, 
1. i. p. 68.) 

Page 12, col. 1. "not content with repairing to 
Leipsic, to plead in his own defence." Luther's 
journey to Leipsic : " First there was Carlstadt, 
alone in a chariot, preceding all the others; but a 
wheel coming off near to the church of Saint Paul, 
he fell, and this fall was considered a bad omen for 
him. Next came the chariot of Barnim, prince of 
Pomerania, who was then studying at Wittemberg, 
and bore the title of honorary rector. By his side 
were Luther and Melanchthon. A great number 
of armed scholars from Wittemberg accompanied 
the carriage." (June 19th, 1519.) (Seckendorf, 
1. i. p. 92.) 

Page 12, col. 1. "with the authority of the prince, 
his protector." Luther needed not any longer doubt 
the protection of the elector, when Spalatin, that 
prince's confidential adviser, translated and pub- 
lished in Germany his book, entitled Consolation to 
dl Christians." (February, 1520.) 

Page 12, col. 1. "to issue a solemn summons . . . 
to a disputation." At this period Luther, still some- 
what unsettled in his ideas of reform, sought to 
clear up his doubts by argument, and demanded and 
prayed for public conferences. On the 15th January, 
1520, he writes to the emperor: " It will now soon 
be three years since I have had to endure anger 
without end and outrageous wrongs, since I have 
been exposed to a thousand perils, and a prey to 
all the calumnies my enemies could devise against 
me. In vain have I asked pardon for what I have 
said; in vain have I offered to keep silence; in vain 
have I proposed conditions of peace; in vain have I 
entreated to be enlightened, if in error. Not a 
word has been listened to : one only object has 
been kept in view my ruin and that of the Gos- 
pel. Since I have, up to this present moment, 
tried everything in vain, I will, after the example 
of Saint Athanasius, invoke the imperial majesty. 
I humbly, then, implore your majesty, Charles, 
prince of the kings of the earth, to take pity, not on 
me, but on the cause of truth, for which alone it 
has been given you to bear the sword. Let me be 
allowed to prove my doctrine. Either I shall con- 
quer or I shall be conquered ; and if I am found 
impious or heretical, I ask neither protection nor 
mercy." (Opera Latina Lutheri, Wittem. ii. 42.) 

Page 12, col. 2, near the end. " When the butt of 
condemnation readied Germany." The universities 
of Louvain and Cologne approved the pope's bull, 
and, consequently, drew down the attacks of 
Luther. He accused them of having unjustly con- 
demned Occam, Pico de la Mirandola, Laurentius 
Valla, John Reuchlin. And to weaken (says 


Cochlseus) the authority of these universities, he 
attacked them unceasingly in his books, putting in 
the margin, whenever he met with a barbarism, or 
anything badly written, as they say at Louvain, as 
tltey say at Cologne, ' Lovanialiter, Colonialiter,' &c. 
(Cochlseus, p. 22.) At Cologne and Mentz, and in all 
the hereditary states of Charles V., Luther's works 
were burnt from the year 1520. (Cochlaeus, p. 25.) 

Page 13, col. 1. " not one of them Jias said it more 
eloquently than lie himself." He wrote on the 29th 
November, 1521, to the Austin friars of Wittem- 
berg: " I daily feel how difficult it is to divest one- 
self of scruples long entertained. Oh! the pain 
it has cost me, though with the Scriptures before 
me, to justify myself to myself, for daring singly to 
set myself up against the pope and hold him as 
Antichrist! What tribulations have I not suffered! 
How often have I not addressed to myself in 
bitterness of spirit the argument of the papists, 
' Art thou alone wise I are all others in error ? can 
they have been so many years deceived ? What 
if thou deceivest thyself, and draggest along with 
thee in thy error so many souls to everlasting 
damnation ? ' Thus I used to argue within myself 
until Jesus Christ with his own, his infallible word, 
fortified me, and strengthened my soul against 
such arguments, as a rock raised above the waves, 
laughs their fury to scorn.". . .(Luth. Briefe, t. ii. 
p. 107-) 

P. 14, col. 1. "He took his stand at this time on 
St. John." " It is necessary to take the Gospel of 
St. John in a very different point of view from the 
other evangelists. The idea of this evangelist is, 
that man can do nothing, has nothing of himself; 
that he owes every thing to the Divine mercy. . . . 
I repeat, and I will repeat, whoever would raise 
his thoughts to a salutary consideration of the 
Almighty, ought to make every thing subordinate 
to the humanity of Christ; ought to keep it ever 
before him, both in his life and in his Passion, till 
his heart is softened. Then, let him not rest there, 
but let him develope and extend the thought stili 
further. It is not of his own will, but of the will 
of God the Father, that Jesus did and suffered this 
or that. It is then that he will begin to taste the 
infinite sweetness of the will of the Father revealed 
in the humanity of Christ." 

Page 14, col. 2. " his smallest pamphlets were 
emulously caugftt up." The celebrated painter, Lu- 
cas Cranach, made designs for Luther's smaller 
works. (Seckendorf, p. 148.) 

Page 14, col. 2. " */ any printer more conscientious 
than the rest." The same at Augsburg. The con- 
fession of Augsburg was printed and spread all 
over Germany before even the end of the diet; 
the refutation of the catholics, which the emperor 
had ordered to be printed, was sent to the printers, 
but never appeared. Luther, ridiculing the 
catholics for not daring to publish this refutation, 
calls it a nightbird, an owl, a bat (noctua et vesper- 
tilio.) (Cochleeus, p. 202.) 

Page 14, col. 2. " it was to the nobles that Luther 
had chiefly appealed." " To his imperial majesty 
and to the Christian nobles of the German nation 
Dr. Martin Luther (A.D. 1520). 

" To the grace and glory of our Lord Jesus. . . . 
TheRomanists have cleverly surrounded themselves 
with three walls, by means of which they have up 

to this time shut out the Reformation, to the great 
prejudice of Christianity. First, they pretend 
that spiritual power is above temporal power; 
next, that it belongs to the pope alone to interpret 
the Bible; and thirdly, that the pope only has the 
right to call a council. 

" May it please God to come to our aid here, 
and to give us those trumpets which formerly 
overthrew the walls of Jericho, that we may 
blow down these walls of paper and rubbish, bring 
to light the artifices and lies of the devil, and win 
back, by repentance and amendment, the grace of 
God. Let us begin with the first wall. 

"First Wall. . . . All Christians are spiritually 
of the same condition, and there is no difference 
between them, but that which results from their 
different functions, according to the words of the 
Apostle (1 Cor.xii.),who says that we 'bemanymem- 
bers, yet but one body;' but that each member has an 
office peculiar to itself, by which it is useful to others. 
We have all the same baptism, the same Gospel, 
the same faith, and as Christians we are all equal. 
... It is with the priest as with the bailli, whilst 
in office he is above the rest; but when he has laid 
it down, he becomes that which he was a mere 
citizen. Indelible characters are but a chimera. . . . 
The secular power being instituted of God, in 
order that the wicked may be punished, the good 
protected, its ministry ought to extend to all 
Christians, without consideration of person, pope, 
bishop, monk, nun, or others, it matters not. . . . 
Has a priest been killed, all the country is laid 
under interdict. Why is it not so when a peasant 
has been murdered ? Whence this difference 
between Christians whom Jesus Christ calls equal? 
Simply from the laws and inventions of men. . . . 

" Second Watt. , . We are priests does not the 
apostle say it (1 Cor. ii.) : 'He that is spiritual 
judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no 
man ?' We have all, by faith, the same Spirit, says 
also the apostle; wherefore should we not be sensible 
as well as popes, who are often infidels, of what is 
conformable to the faith, what contrary to it ? 

" Third Wall. . . . The first councils were not 
convened by the popes ; the council of Nice, itself, 
was convoked by the emperor Constantino. ... If 
enemies surprised a town, the honour would be to 
him who should first cry 'to arms,' let him be 
burgomaster or not. Why should it not be the 
same for him who stands sentinel against our 
enemies, the powers of darkness, and who, seeing 
them advance, should be first to assemble the 
band of Christians against them 3 Must he be 
pope to do this ? . . . " 

The following is the summary of the reforma- 
tions proposed by Luther : That the pope shall 
retrench the luxury of his court, and approximate 
more to the poverty of Christ. His court absorbs 
immense sums; it is calculated that more than three 
hundred thousand florins leave Germany every year 
for Rome. Twelve cardinals would be sufficient, 
and they should be maintained by the pope. Why 
do the Germans allow themselves to be despoiled 
by the cardinals, who seize all their rich founda- 
tions, and spend the revenues at Rome ? The 
French do not suffer this. That no more contri- 
butions be levied to be employed against the 
Turks ; which is but a lure, a miserable pretext 
for getting our money. That the pope's right of 
investiture be no longer acknowledged. Rome 



draws all to itself by the most impudent practices. 
There is in this city a simple courtier, who is 
possessed of twenty-two curacies, seven priories, 
forty-four prebends, &c. That the secular authori- 
ties send no more annats to Rome as has been 
the custom for a century past. That it suffice for 
the installation of bishops, that they be confirmed 
by the two nearest bishops, or by their archbishop, 
conformably to the council of Nice. "In proposing 
these changes, my object is to induce reflection in 
such as are disposed to aid Germany in becoming 
Christian, and to free herself from the deplorable 
government of the pope, a government which is 

That there be fewer pilgrimages to Italy. The 
orders of mendicants to be allowed to die away ; 
they are degenerated, and do not fulfil the inten- 
tion of their founders. The marriage of priests to 
be permitted. Many of the holidays to be sup- 
pressed, or made to fall on Sundays. Fetes of 
patrons, so prejudicial to morals, to be abolished. 
Fasts to be suppressed. " Many things, formerly 
useful, are not so now." Begging to be put down. 
Each community to be held responsible for the 
care of its poor. The founding of private masses 
I to be forbidden. Further inquiry to be made into 
the doctrine of the Bohemians, and to join 
them in resisting the court of Rome. The De- 
cretals to be abolished. Houses of ill-fame to be 

" I know yet another song to sing to the court of 
Rome and the Romanists ; and if their ears itch 
for it, they shall have it, and to the last stave 
(highest octave ?). You understand, Rome ? (Lu- 
ther, Werke, vi. 544668.) 

Page 15, col. 1. " I would not have violence and 
murder employed in the cause of the Gospel." He 
wished Germany to separate itself peaceably from 
the holy see : it was with this view that he wrote 
in 1520 to Charles V. and to the German nobles, 
to induce them to renounce obedience to Rome. 
" The emperor," said he, " has equal power over 
the clergy and over the laity ; the difference 
between these two classes is but fictitious, since by 
baptism we all become priests." (Lutheri Opera, 
ii. p. 20.) 

Nevertheless, if one can believe the authority, 
suspicious enough we must allow, of Cochlteus, he 
was at this very time preaching war against Rome. 
Cochlseus makes him say, " If we have gibbets for 
thieves, axes for brigands, fires for heretics, where- 
fore not arms against these masters of sedition, 
these cardinals, these popes, against all this slime 
of the Roman Sodom, which is corrupting the 
Church of Christ ? Why not wash our hands in 
their blood ?" I am not aware from what work of 
Luther's Cochlaeus takes these words. (Cochlseus, 
p. 22.) 

Page 15, col. 1. " Hiitten . . . in order to strike 
a league between them and the nobles of the Rhine" 
From the opening of the diet inquiries were made 
of Spalatin, as to the course the elector would pur- 
sue in case of war; there was reason to believe 
that he would support his theologian, the glory of 
his university. " Who does not know," writes 
Luther to him, " that prince Frederick has become 
an example to princes for his patronage of lite- 
rature?" your Wittemberg Hebraizes and Hellenises 
successfully ; there Minerva governs the arts ; 

there the true theology of Christ triumphs." He 
writes to Spalatin (October 3rd, 1520): " Many 
think that I ought to ask our good prince to obtain 
for me an edict from the emperor forbidding any 
sentence against me, unless I am convicted of error 
out of Scripture: consider whether this be advis- 
able." It appears by what follows that Luther 
thought he could count on the sympathy of the 
Italians. " Instead of books, I would rather living 
books could be multiplied, that is to say, preachers. 
I send you what has been written to me from Italy 
on this subject." " If our prince were so inclined, 
I do not believe that he could undertake any work 
worthier of him; were the commonalty of Italy to 
join us our cause would be mightily strengthened: 
who knows ? God perhaps will raise them up. He 
preserves our prince to us in order to make him the 
medium of spreading the divine word. Consider 
then what you can do in this quarter, for the cause 
of Christ." Luther had not neglected to win the 
affection of the towns. We find him at the close of 
the year 1520, soliciting the elector to lower the 
taxes imposed on the town of Kemberg. " The 
people," he writes, " are drained even to misery by 
this detestable usury. . . . Fat livings are made 
fatter, religious ceremonies kept up, and even some 
fraternities enriched by this usury, rather by this 
sacrilegious taxation, this impious theft." 

Page 15, col. 1. Buntschuh (shoe of alliance). The 
sabot already served as a distinctive sign in the 
twelfth century. Sabatati was a name of the 
Vaudois. (See Dufresne, Glossar. at the word 

Page 16, col. 1 . " All this greatly added to my con- 
sideration." Spalatin relates in his annals (p. 50) 
that the second day Luther appeared, the elector of j 
Saxony on returning from the town-hall, sent for 
Spalatin to his chamber, and expressed to him the 
surprise he felt; " Doctor Martin has spoken nobly 
' before the emperor, and to the princes and states 
of the empire, only he was a little too bold." (Mar- 
heinecke, History of the Reformation, i. 264.) 

Page 18, col. 1. " In the last conference the Arch- 
bishop of Treres, <Jc. Luther ended this conference 
by saying, " In all that concerns the word of God 
and faith, every Christian can judge as well for 
himself as the pope; each must live and die accord- 
ing to his faith. The word of God is the peculiar 
property of each individual of the community; and 
each member must interpret it for himself. I cited 
in confirmation of this," continues Luther, " the pas- 
sage of St. Paul, 1st Corinthians xiv., where he 
says, f If anything be revealed to another that is sitting 
by, let the first hold his peace.' This text clearly 
proves that the master should follow his disciple, if 
the latter understand God's word better. They 
could not refute this testimony, and we broke up." 
(Luth. Werke, ix. p. 117-) 

Page 19, col. 2, near the end. " Luther found 
few books at Wartburg. He set ardently about the 
study of Greek and Hebrew" It was here he began 
his translation of the Bible. Several versions in 
German had been already published at Nuremberg, 
in 1477, 1483, 1490, and at Augsburg, in 1518 ; 
but none of them were made for the people, being 
forbidden to be read, and also infamously printed." 
(Nee legi permittebantur, nee ob styli typorum 
horriditatem satisfacere poterant.) Seckendorf, 
lib. i. 204. 


Before the end of the fifteenth century, Germany 
possessed at least twelve editions of the Bible 
in the vulgar tongue, while Italy had but two, 
and France only one. (Jung, Hist, de la Reforme, a 

The adversaries of the Reformation themselves 
contributed to increase the number of Bibles in the 
vulgar tongue. Thus, Jerome Emser published a 
translation of the Scriptures to oppose that of Lu- 
ther. (Cochlseus, 50.) Luther's did not appeal- 
complete until 1534. 

Canstein's printing-office at Halle alone printed, 
hi the space of a century, two millions of Bibles, 
one million of New Testaments, and as many 
Psalters. (Ukert, t. ii. p. 339.) 

" I was twenty years of age," says Luther him- 
self, " before I had ever seen the Bible. I believed 
that no other Gospels or Epistles existed than those 
in the sermon books. At last, I found a Bible in the 
library of Erfurth, and I often read out of it to 
Staupitz with great wonder." (Tischreden, p. 255.) 

Under the papacy, the Bible was all but un- 
known. Carlstadt began to read it after he had 
takenjiis doctor's degree eight years. (Tischreden, 
p. 6, verso.) 

At the diet of Augsburg (A.D. 1530), as the bishop 
of Mentz was looking over the Bible one day, one of 
his counsellors happened to come in, who said to 
him, " Gracious lord, what does your electoral 
grace make of this book 1" To which he replied, 
" I know not what to make of it, save that all I find 
in it is against us." " Doctor Usingen, an Augus- 
tin monk, who was my preceptor at the convent 
of Erfurth, used to say to me when he saw me 
reading the Bible with such devotion, ' Ah ! brother 
Martin, what is there in the Bible ? It is better to 
read the ancient doctors, who have sucked the 
honey of the truth. The Bible is the cause of all 
troubles.' ' ? (Tisch., p. 7-) 

Sehieccer, a contemporary of Luther's, relates 
that the monks would murmur at seeing Luther 
read the Holy Scriptures so assiduously, and tell 
him it was not in study of that kind, but by begging 
and collecting bread, meat, fish, eggs, and money, 
that he could be of any service to the community. 
.... His noviciate was extremely hard ; inside 
the monastery, the lowest and most laborious offices 
were given to him ; and outside, the begging with 
the sack. (Almanach des Protestants pour Nov. 
1810, p. 43.) 

Luther states that, when he was first a student, 
" the pagan Aristotle was held in such honour, 
that whoever had disputed his authority, would 
have been condemned at Cologne as a rank here- 
tic;" but that he was so little understood, that a 
monk, preaching on the Passion, favoured his 
hearers with a two hours' discussion of the question, 
' Whether quality were really distinct from substance,' 
stating, as an instance, ' / could pass my head 
through that hole, but not the size of my head.' " (Tisch- 
red., p. 15, verso.) 

" My brothers of the convent would say to me 
when I was studying, ' Sic tibi, sic mihi, saccum 
per nackum,' (Come, we are all alike here, put the 
bag round your neck.) (Tischred. p. 272.) 

Page 19, col. 2, last line. "He translated into 
German Melanchthon's Apology." He says, " Tuam 
in asinos Parisienses apologiam cum illorum insania 
statui vernacule dare adjectis annotation i bus." (I 

am going to translate into German, with notes of 
my own, your Apology to the Paris asses, and to 
prove their insanity.) 

Page 22, col. 2. " This reason was, the alarming 
character assumed by the Reformation." Before 
quitting his retreat, he often tried by letters to 
prevent his followers from going too far. To the 
inhabitants of Wittemberg. ..." You attack 
masses, images, and other trifles, while you over- 
look faith and charity, of which you have so much 
need. You have, by your scandals, afflicted many 
pious souls, perhaps better than yourselves. You 
have forgotten what was due to the weak. If the 
strong run as fast as they are able, must not the 
weak, left behind, faint by the way ? 

" God has granted you great grace, has given 
you the word in all its purity. Nevertheless, I 
see not a grain of charity in you ; you do not even 
bear with those who have never heard the word. 
You have no care for our brothers and sisters of 
Leipsic, and of Meissen, and of so many other 
countries, whom we ought to save with ourselves. 
. . . You have thrown yourselves headlong into 
this business, neither looking to the right nor 
to the left. Do not count therefore upon me ; 
I shall deny you. You have begun without me, 
you must end the same. . . " (December, 1521.) 

Page 24, col. 1. " th* confusion that had arisen 
in his flock." On his return to Wittemberg, he 
preached eight days running. These sermons 
effectually restored order in the town. 

Page 24, col. 1. "I myself no longer know Lu- 
ther." " A charitable exhortation of doctor Martin 
Luther to all Christians, to keep them from the 
spirit of revolt and disturbance." (A.D. 1524.) 

" In the first place, I pray you to leave my 
name alone, and not to call yourselves Lutherans, 
but Christians. Who is Luther ? My doctrine is 
not mine ! I have not been crucified for any one. 
St. Paul (1 Corinthians iii.) would not that anyone 
should call themselves of Paul, nor of Peter, but of 
Christ. How then does it befit me, a miserable 
bag of dust and ashes, to give my name to the 
children of Christ ? Cease, my dear friends, to 
cling to these party names and distinctions; away 
with them all ; and let us call ourselves only 
Christians, after him from whom our doctrine 

"It is quite just that the papists should bear 
the name of their party ; because they are not 
content with the name and doctrine of Jesus 
Christ, they will be papists besides. Well, let 
them own the pope, as he is their master. For 
me, I neither am nor wish to be master of any 
one. I and mine will contend for the sole and 
whole doctrine of Christ, who is our sole Master." 
(Luth. Werke, ii. p. 4.) 

Page 24, col. 2. " Never had any private man, 
before him, addressed a monarch. . . " At this very 
time he was exceeding all bounds in his attacks on 
the holy see. In his reply to pope Adrian's briefs, 
he says, " I grieve to be obliged to write such good 
German in reply to this pitiful kitchen Latin. But 
God wills to confound Antichrist in all things. . . . 
It is a disgrace to offer reasonable beings so stupid 
and absurd an interpretation of Scripture." 

" I would make one bundle of pope and cardinals, 
and fling the whole into our little ditch of the 



Tuscan Sea. Such a bath, I pledge my word, and 
back it with Jesus Christ as security, would cure 

" My little Paul, my little pope, my little don- 
key, trot gently; it is slippery, you will break a 
leg, you will injure yourself, and folk will cry out, 
' What the devil's this ? How our little popeling 
is injured !'" (A.n.1542? Bossuet's translation in 
his Variations, i. 45, 46.) 

Interpretation of the Monachovitulus (monk-calf ) 
and of two horrible popeling monsters found in the 
Tiber, at Rome, in the year 1496 ; published at 
Friburn, in Misnia, in 1523, by Philip Melanchthon 
and Martin Luther. " In all times God has mani- 
fested by evident signs his wrath or his mercy. 
Even so his prophet Daniel foretold the coming of 
Antichrist, in order that the faithful, being warned, 
might be on their guard against his blasphemies 
and idolatry. 

" During this reign of tyranny, God has given 
many signs, and, lately, the horrible popeling mon- 
ster, found dead in the Tiber in the year 1496. . . . 
First, the ass's head signifieth the pope ; for the 
Church is a spiritual body, which neither ought, 
nor can have any visible head. Christ alone is 
lord and head of the Church. The pope has sought, 
in opposition to God, to make himself the visible 
head of the Church ; therefore this ass's head, 
attached to a human body, can signify none but he. 
Indeed, an ass's head fits the human body better 
than the pope the Church ! As great as is the 
difference between an ass's brain and human 
intellect and reason, so great is the difference 
between the papal doctrine and the doctrine of 

" He has not only an ass's head as regards 
Scripture, but as regards natural law and human 
judgment. The jurists of the empire say that 
a true canonist is a true ass. 

" The monster's right hand, like to an elephant's 
foot, signifieth that he crushes the timid and fear- 
ful. And so he crushes and bruises souls by his 
decrees, which, without cause or reason, terrify 
consciences with a thousand sins of his invention, 
and the names of which even are not understood. 

" The left hand signifieth the pope's temporal 
power ; who, in opposition to Christ's word, has 
become the lord of kings and princes. Not one of 
them has excited or entered into so many wars ; 
not one has shed so much blood. Busied with 
worldly matters, he neglects the preaching of the 
word, and deserts the Church. 

" The right foot, like to an ox's hoof, signifieth 
the ministers of spiritual authority, who support 
and defend this tyrannical power to the oppression 
of souls ; to wit, pontifical doctors, confessors, the 
swarms of monks and nuns, and, above all, the 
school divines, all of whom go on extending the 
pope's intolerable laws, and so holding consciences 
prisoners under the elephant's foot. 

"'The left foot, which ends in a griffin's claws, 
signifieth the ministers of the civil power. Just 
as the griffin's claws do not readily let go what 
they have once seized, so the pope's satellites 
have seized by the books of the canons the goods 
of all Europe, and retain them so stubbornly that 
one cannot force them back. 

" The belly and the woman's breast signify the 
pope's body, that is, the cardinals, bishops, priests, 
monks, all the sacro-saint martyrs, all the pam- 

pered hogs of Epicurus's sty, who think only 
of eating, drinking, and voluptuous pleasures of 
every kind, and all this, not only freely, but with a 
reserve of peculiar privileges. . . . 

" Their eyes full of adultery, their hearts of 
avarice, these sons of perdition have abandoned 
the right road to follow Balaam, seeking the 
reward of his iniquity." 

Page 25, col. 1. "they have not had the courage 
to face Luther alone." According to Luther's own 
confession, this violent answer scandalized num- 
bers of his own party. King Christiern got him 
to write a letter of apology to Henry VIII., 
assuring him that that monarch was about to 
introduce the Reformation into England, in which 
he states, by way of excuse, that he had been 
informed that the work was not his, and offers " to 
sing a palinode" ( palinodiam cantare). Sept. 1st, 
1525. His letter had no effect on the irritated 
Henry ; so, some months after, he breaks out 
with, " These womanly-hearted tyrants have but 

an impotent and sordid mind But, by God's 

grace, I am sufficiently avenged by the contempt I 
feel for them, and for Satan, their God." (Dec. 

Page 26, col. 1. "Attempts at organization." 
When Luther felt the necessity of introducing 
some order and regularity into the new Church, 
finding himself called upon every day to judge 
matrimonial causes, and to decide on all the rela- 
tions between the church and the laity, he set 
himself to study the canon laws. 

" In this matter of marriage which has been 
submitted to me, I have decided according to the 
decrees of the popes. I have begun to read the 
regulations of the papists, and I find that they do 
not by any means follow them." (March 30th, 

" I would give my left hand for the papists to be 
obliged to observe their own canons. They would 
cry out more loudly against them than against 

"The Decretals are like the monster; the head, 
a woman's; the body, that of a devouring lion; the 
tail, a serpent's; nothing but falsehoods and de- 
ceit. Behold the image of the popedom." (Tisch- 
reden, p. 277 folio et verso.) 

' Page 26, col. i. " The answers he returns to the 
multitude that come to consult him." (October 1 1 th, 
1533.) To tJie community of Esslingen : " It is 
true, that I have said confession is good; in the 
same way that I forbid no one to fast, to keep holy 
days, to go on pilgrimages, &c. But I wish all 
these things to be done freely, and at every per- 
son's choice; not as if it was a mortal sin to omit 
them. . . . But, as there are many consciences 
captive to the laws of the pope, you will do well 
not to eat meat in the presence of those men still 
weak in the faith. This abstinence on your part 
becomes a work of charity; in that it spares the 
conscience of your neighbour. . . ." 

(October 16th, 1523.) To Michael Vander Stras- 
sen, tax-gatherer, at Borna (concerning a preacher 
of Oelsnitz, who exaggerated Luther's principles) : 
" You have seen what my opinion is by my book 
On Confession and on Mass, where I show that con- 
fession is good when a matter of choice, and that the 
mass, though neither a sacrifice nor a good work, 
is yet a testimony of religion, &c. Your preacher's 



fault is that he flies too high, and throws away his 
old shoes before he has new ones. He should begin 
by instructing the people in faith and charity. In 
a year or so, when they shall thoroughly under- 
stand Jesus Christ, it will be time to approach the 
points that he is now mooting. ..." I preached 
three years at Wittemberg before coming to these 
questions, and men of this stamp wish to do all in 
an hour. These hasty spirits work much harm. . . 
Let him refrain from prohibiting and punishing 
confession. . . ." 

Page 27, col. 1. "As to mass." " Please God, I 
will try to do away with these masses. 1 can no 
longer bear the tricks and plots of these three 
demi-canons against the unity of our Church." 
(November 27th, 1524.) 

" I have at last stirred up our canons to consent 
to the abrogation of masses." (December 2nd, 

" These two words, f mass and sacrament,' are 
as far from each other as light and darkness, as 
heaven and hell, as God and devil. . . ." 

" Questions were frequently put to him with 
regard to the baptism of children before delivery: 
" I have often hindered our midwives from bap- 
tizing children before they were brought into the 
world. They used to baptize the foetus as soon as 
the head appeared. Why not baptize over the 
mother's belly, or, better still, baptize the belly 
itself?" (March 13th, 1531.) 

Page 27, col. 2. " De Ministris Ecclesice Institu- 
endis" (Instructions to the Ministers of Wittem- 
berg): "To dismiss unworthy ministers; to abro- 
gate all masses and purchased vigils; in the 
morning, instead of mass, Te Deum, lecture and 
exhortation; in the evening, lecture and exposition; 
complines after supper. One mass only to be said 
on Sundays and holydays." (Briefe, August 19th, 

In 1520, he published a catechism; and ten 
years afterwards, another; in which he only kept 
baptism and the communion, and did away entirely 
with confession; at the same time exhorting to a 
frequent recurrence to the pastor's advice. 

He wished to preserve tithes in order to render 
ministers independent of the civil power. " Tithes 
seem to me the justest thing in the world. Would 
to God that all taxes were abolished, save tithes, or 
ninths, or eighths; what do I say * The Egyptians 
gave the fifth, and yet could live !" (June 15th, 

Page 27, col. 2. " that the priest is invested with 
an indestructible character." " Pastors and preach- 
ers who give cause for scandal, ought to be sus- 
pended and imprisoned; and the elector has resolved 
to erect a prison for this purpose.". ..." The 
doctor then alluded to John Sturm, whom he had 
often visited in the castle of Wittemberg, and who, 
persisting in holding the opinion that Christ had 
only died for the example's sake, was imprisoned 
in the tower of Schwrinitz, where he died." 
(Tischred. p. 196.) 

" Luther said that the Anabaptists were to be 
punished only inasmuch as they were seditious." 
(Tischred. p. 298.) 

Page 28, col. 1 . " he yet exercised a sort of supre- 
macy and controul." He decides that canons are 
obliged to share the public charges with the citi- 

zens. (Letter to the Council of Stettin, January 12th, 
1523). Applications were often made to him for 
church livings : 

" Put your mind at rest about having a parish. 
There is everywhere a great dearth of faithful 
pastors ; so much so, that we are forced to institute 
and ordain ministers with a rite of our own, with- 
out tonsure, without unction, without mitre, or 
staff, without gloves or censer, in fine, without 
bishops." (December 16th, 1530.) 

(A.D. 1531.) The inhabitants of Riga, and the 
prince Albert of Prussia, ask Luther to send them 

The king of Sweden, Gustavus the First, asks 
him also for a preceptor for his son. (April 1539.) 

Page 28, col. 2. " the abolition of the monastic 
vows." In his treatise De Vitanda Hominum Doc- 
trina, he says of the bishops and dignitaries of the 
church, " Let these hardened and impure ones, who 
have incessantly in their mouths ' Christianity, 
Christianity,' learn that it is not for them that I 
have written on the necessity of eating meat, of ab- 
staining from confession, and breaking images ; 
not for them, who are like the unclean that pol- 
luted the camp of Israel. If I have taught these 
things, it is to deliver the captive consciences of 
those unhappy monks, who doubt if they can break 
such vows without sin." (Seckendorf, lib. i. sect. 
50, p. 202.) 

Page 29, col. I. "Nine nuns came to me yester- 
day." Nine nuns had been carried off from their 
convent, and brought to Wittemberg. " They call 
me a ravisher," says Luther; " yes, and a thrice 
happy one like Christ, who also was a ravisher on 
earth, when, by his death, he took from the prince 
of this world his weapons and his power, and car- 
ried him away captive." (Cochlaeus, p. 73.) 

Page 30, col. 1. "His old friend Carlstadt." 
Carlstadt was canon and archdeacon of the colle- 
giate church of All Saints, and was its dean when 
Luther entered as doctor in 1512. (Seckendorf, 1. 

Page 30, col. 1, last line but one. "Beyond Carl- 
stadt, glimpses might be seen of M'unzer" Letter of 
doctor Martin to the Christians of Antwerp. " We 
believed, during the reign of the pope, that the 
spirits which make a noise and disturbance in the 
night, were those of the souls of men, who after 
death, return and wander about in expiation of 
their sins. This error, thank God, has been dis- 
covered by the Gospel, and it is known at present, 
that they are not the souls of men, but nothing else 
than those malicious devils who used to deceive 
men by false answers. It is they that have brought 
so much idolatry into the world. 

" The devil seeing that this sort of disturbance 
could not last, has devised a new one ; and begins 
to rage in his members, I mean in the ungodly, 
through whom he makes his way in all sorts 
of chimerical follies and extravagant doctrines. 
This won't have baptism, that denies the efficacy 
of the Lord's supper ; a third, puts a world 
between this and the last judgment ; others teach 
that Jesus Christ is not God ; some say this, others 
that ; and there are almost as many sects and be- 
liefs as there are heads. 

" I must cite one instance, by way of exemplifi- 
cation, for I have plenty to do with these sort of 



spirits. There is not one of them that does think 
himself more learned than Luther ; they all try to 
win their spurs against me ; and would to heaven 
that they were all such as they think themselves, 
and that I were nothing ! The one of whom I 
speak assured me, amongst other things, that lie 
was sent to me by the God of heaven and earth, 
and talked most magnificently, but the clown 
peeped through all. At last, he ordered me to read 
the books of Moses. I asked for a sign in confir- 
mation of this order, ' It is,' said he, ' written in 
the gospel of St. John.' By this time I had heard 
enough, and I told him, to come again, for that we 
should not have time, just now, to read the books 
of Moses. . . . 

" I have plenty to do in the course of the year with 
these poor people: the devil could not have found 
a better pretext for tormenting me. As yet the 
world had been full of those clamorous spirits 
without bodies, who oppressed the souls of men ; 
now they have bodies, and give themselves out for 
living angels . . . 

" When the pope reigned we heard nothing of 
these troubles. The strong one (the devil) was in 
peace in his fortress; but now that a stronger one 
than he is come, and prevails against him and 
drives him out, as the Gospel says, he storms and 
comes forth with noise and fury. 

" Dear friends, one of these spirits of disorder 
has come amongst you in flesh and blood ; he would 
lead you astray with the inventions of his pride: 
beware of him. 

" First, he tells you that all men have the Holy 
Ghost. Secondly, that the Holy Ghost is nothing 
more than our reason and our understanding. 
Thirdly, that all men have faith. Fourthly, that 
there is no hell, that at least the flesh only will be 
damned. Fifthly, that all souls will enjoy eternal 
life. Sixthly, that nature itself teaches us to do 
to our neighbour what we would he should do to 
us ; this he calls faith. Seventhly, that the law is 
not violated by concupiscence, so long as we are not 
consenting to the pleasure. Eighthly, that he that 
has not the Holy Ghost, is also without sin, for he 
is destitute of reason. 

" All these are audacious propositions, vain 
imaginations; if we except the seventh, the others 
are not worthy of reply. . . . 

" It is sufficient for us to know that God wills 
no sin. As to his sufferance of sin, we ought not to 
approach the question. The servant is not to know 
his master's secrets, simply his master's orders: 
how much less should a poor creature attempt to 
scrutinize or sound the mysteries and the majesty 
of the Creator ? . . . 

" To learn the law of God, and to know his sou 
Jesus Christ, is sufficient to absorb the whole of life. 
. . . A.D. 1525." (Luth. Werke,tom. ii. p. 61,sqq.) 

Page 31, col. 1. " Luther obtained an order from 
the elector for Carlstadt's expulsion." rt As to Carl- 
stadt's reproach, that I have driven him away, I 
xhould not much trouble myself if the complaint 
were well founded ; but with God's help I hope I 
can justify myself in the matter. At all events I 
am very glad that he is no longer in our country, 
and I would wish he were not in yours." 

" Basing himself on one of his writings, he would 
have almost persuaded me not to confound the 
spirit that animated him, with the seditious and 

homicidal one of Altstet (MUnzer's residence); but 
when at my sovereign's command I went myself 
among Carlstadt's good Christians, I found but too 
surely what seeds he had been sowing ; and I 
thank God I was not stoned or pelted with mud 
there, for the common form of benediction with 
which they greeted me was this : ' Get you gone, 
in the name of a thousand devils, and may you 
break your neck before you get out of the town.' " 
(Letter to the Strasburghers. Luther, Werke, t. 
ii. p. 58.) 

" In the disputations at Leipsig Carlstadt in- 
sisted on speaking before me; he left me though to 
combat Eck's propositions on the supremacy of the 
pope, and on John Huss. . . . He is a poor dis- 
puter, with a dull and opiniated head of his own, 
. . . but he had, however, a very merry Mary. 

" These subjects of scandal do much harm to 

the cause of the gospel. A French spy once told 

me that his king knew all about us ; for he had 

heard that we no longer respected either religion 

| or laws, or even marriage itself, but that with us, 

j it was like the beasts that perish. (Tischreden, p. 

! 417, 422.) 

Carlstadt's Death. " I wish to know whether 
Carlstadt died repentant or not. . . ." 

" They tell a story of Carlstadt's having been 
killed by the devil. A man of gigantic stature is 
said to have entered the church where Carlstadt 
was preaching, and to have afterwards gone to 
Carlstadt's house, where he caught up his son as if 
to dash out his brains against the floor, but set him 
down, and bade him tell his father that he would 
return in three days to bear him off. Carlstadt 
died the third day. ... I think it likely that he 
was seized with sudden terrors, and that he was 
killed by the fear of death alone : for he had always 
the greatest dread of dying." (April 7th, 1542.) 

Page 33, col. 2. " The peasants first rose up in the 
Black Forest." An important circumstance in the 
war of the peasants is, that it broke out while the 
troops of the empire were in Italy ; otherwise the 
insurrection would have been more quickly sup- 
pressed. The peasants of count Sigismond von 
Lupffen, in Hegovia (A.D. 1524), began the revolt, 
on account of the burdens laid on them (not for 
the cause of Lutheranism). They declared this to 
William von Furstemberg, who was sent to reduce 
them. . . This first insurrection was apparently 
suppressed, when Mttnzer roused the peasants of 
Thuringia to revolt. 

The pious, the erudite, the peaceable Melanch- 
thon showed how accordant the demands of the 
peasants were to the word of God and to justice ; 
and exhorted the princes to clemency. Luther 
thundered against both parties. (See the text.) 

A Franconian song, composed after the war of 
the peasants, had for its burthen the verse 
"Look out, peasant, or my horse will be over thee." 

This was the counterpart of the war-song of the 
Dithmarsen, after they had defeated the black 

" Look out, horseman, the peasant's upon thee." 

The common badge of the insurgent peasants, 
was a white cross. Some bodies had the wheel of 
fortune on their banners ; others seals, on which 
were engraved a ploughshare, with a flail, a rake, 



or a pitchfork, and a sabot placed cross-wise. 
(Gropp. Chronique de Wurtzburg, i. 97- Wachs- 
niuth, p. 36.) 

A violent pamphlet appeared anonymously, in 
1525, inscribed " To the Assembly of all the Pea- 
sants." It bears a wheel of fortune <5n the title- 
page, with this inscription in German verses : 

" Now is the time for the wheel of fortune, 
God knows beforehand who will keep uppermost 

Peasants, | Romanists, 

Good Christians. Sophists." 

And lower down 

" Who makes us sweat so ? 
The avarice of the nobles." 

And at the bottom 

" Turn, turn, turn, 
Will ye, nill ye, thou must turn." 

(Strobel, Memoirs on the Literature of the Six- 
teenth Century, ii. p. 44. Wachamuth, p. 55.) 

After the taking of Weinsberg, the peasants 
passed a resolution in their general council, that no 
quarter was to be granted to any prince, count, 
baron, noble, knight, priest, or monk, " in a word, 
to no men who live in idleness," and committed 
the most frightful excesses of every kind. In 
Franconia alone, they laid in ruius two hundred 
and ninety-three monasteries or castles. They 
used to drain the contents of the wine-cellars, and 
divide amongst themselves the church ornaments 
and the clerical vestments. One of their amuse- 
ments was making the nobles take off their hats to 
them. . . . The peasant women bore their share in 
the war, and marched under a banner of their 
own. (Jaeger, History of Heilbronn, ii. p. 34.) 

When the insurrection had been put down in 
Suabia, numbers .of the peasants were crucified, 
others beheaded, &c. In Alsace, where the spirit 
of revolt had made great progress, duke Antony of 
Lorraine collected a body of troops, chiefly out of 
the scattered remains of the battle of Pavia, de- 
feated the peasants in three encounters (A.D. 1525), 
and is said to have slain more than thirty thousand. 
He had three hundred prisoners beheaded. (D. 
Calmet, Histoire de la Lorraine, i. p. 495, &c.; 
Hottinger, Hist, de la Suisse, ii. p. 28 ; Sleidan, 
p. 115.) 

Page 34, col. 2. "Exhortation to Peace." "Dr. 
Martin Luther's sincere exhortation to all chris- 
tians, to beware of the spirit of rebellion, 1524. 

" The man of the people, tempted beyond all 
measure, and crushed by intolerable burthens, 
neither will nor can endure any longer, and has 
good reasons for striking with flail and mace, as 
John of the Mattock threatens to do. ... I am 
rejoiced to see the tyrants trembling. . . . 

" It belongs to the secular power and the nobles 
to complete the work (the work of Reformation). 
What is done by the regular authorities cannot be 
set down as sedition." 

After pointing out that a spiritual, not a tem- 
poi-al insurrection is required, he goes on to say: 
" Spread, then, spread the Holy Gospel ; teach, 
write, preach that all human establishments are 
nothing ; dissuade all from becoming priests, 
papists, monks, nuns ; exhort all who are such to 
renounce their way of life and to make their escape ; 
cease to give money for bulls, tapers, bells, pictures, 
churches ; tell them that Christian life consists in 
faith and charity. Go on two years on this wise, 

and you will see what will become of pope, bishops, 
cardinals, priesthood, monks, nuns, bells, church- 
towers, masses, vigils, surplices, copes, tonsures, 
rules, statutes, and the whole of this vermin, this 
buzzing swarm of the papal reign. The whole will 
have disappeared like smoke." 

Page 38, col. 2. "Thomas Munzer, the leader of 
the Thuringian peasants." Munzer laid down cer- 
tain stages in the Christian's state. First, purifica- 
tion (Entyrobung), or the state of renouncing the 
grosser sins; as gluttony, drunkenness, debauchery. 
Second, the studious state, or that in which the 
mind dwells on another life and labours to improve. 
'Jhird, contemplation ; that is, meditations on sin 
and on grace. Fourth, weariness; that is, the 
state in which fear of the law makes us hate our- 
selves and inspires us with regret at our sins. 
Fifth, suspension of grace; that is, either profound 
dejection, profound incredulity, and despair like 
that of Judas, or, on the contrary, the throwing 
ourself through faith on God, and leaving all to his 
disposal. ..." He once wrote to me and Melanch- i 
thon, ' I like you of Wittemberg attacking the 
pope; but your prostitutions, which you call mar- 
riages, like me not.' " He taught that a man 
ought not to sleep with his wife except assured 
beforehand, by a divine revelation, that their off- 
spring would be holy; that else it was adultery. 
(Tischred. p. 292, 293.) 

Munzer professed to have received his doctrine 
by divine revelations, and to teach nothing but 
what was directly communicated by God. He 
had been expelled from Prague, and many other 
towns, when he took up his final residence at 
Alstet in Saxony, where he declaimed against 
the pope, and, what was more dangerous still, 
against Luther himself. 

Scripture, said Munzer, promises that God will 
grant to him who asketh. Now, he cannot refuse 
a sign to him who seeks a true knowledge of his 
will. ... He said that God manifested his will by 
dreams. (Gnodalius, ap.Rer. Germ. Scr. ii. p. 151 ; 
History of Munzer, by Melanchthon, Luth. Werke, 
t. ii. p. 405.) 

Page 39, col. 2. " One cannot but be surprised at 
tJie severity with which Luther speaks of their defeat." 
" The reason of my writing so violently against 
the peasants is my horror at seeing them forcing 
the timid into their ranks, and so dragging inno- 
cent sufferers under God's visitation. . . ." 

To John Ruhel, his brother-in-law : " It is 
piteous to see the vengeance which has overtaken 
these poor people. But what was to be done 1 It 
is God's will to strike terror into them; otherwise, 
Satan would be doing worse than the princes are 
now doing. The lesser evil must be preferred to 
the greater. . . ."(May 23rd, 1525.) 

Page 40, col. 2. " The violence with which princes 
and bishops." " Good princes and lords, you are 
in too great a hurry to see me die, me, who am 
only a poor man; with my death you feel assured 
of victory. But if you had ears to hear, I would 
tell you strange things; and one is, that if Luther 
died, not a man of you would be sure of his life and 
dominions. . . . Go on merrily, kill, burn ; but, 
with God's grace, I yield not an inch. I pray you, 
however, when you have killed me, not to call me 
to life in order to kill me again. ... I have not to 
do, I see, with rational beings. All the wild beasts 


of Germany are let loose upon me, like wolves or 
boars, to tear me in pieces. ... I write to warn 
you, but to no purpose. God has struck you with 
blindness." (Cochlaeus, p. 8?.) 

Page 41, col. 1. " Bucer .... concealed Ms 
opinions for some time from Lutlier." On the 14th 
of October, 1539, he wrote to Bucer, "Give my 
respectful regards to J. Sturm and J. Calvin 
whose books I have perused with singular gratifica- 

Page 41, col. 1. " Zwingle and (Ecolampadius.' 
" OZcolampadius and Zwingle said, ' We leave 
Luther in peace, because he is the first through 
whom God has vouchsafed us his Gospel; bni 
after the death of Luther we will push our own 
opinions! ' They knew not that they would die 
before Luther." (Tischred. p. 283.) 

"At first, CEcolampadius was a fine-hearted 
being; but he subsequently became sour and em- 
bittered. Zwingle, too, was at first full of vivacity 
and agreeability ; and he, too, turned morose and 
melancholy." (Ibid.) 

" After hearing Zwingle at the conference ol 
Marburg, I considered that he was an excellent 
man, and OZcolampadius as well. ... I have been 
much annoyed at seeing you publish Zwingle's 
book to the most Christian king, with a host of 
favourable testimonies prefixed to it, although you 
were aware that it contained matter offensive to 
myself and to all pious persons. Not that I envy 
the honours paid to Zwingle, at whose death I 
grieved ; but no consideration whatever should 
tempt any one to do aught prejudicial to purity of 
doctrine." (May 14th, 1538.) 

Page 41, col. 1. "I know enough, and more than 
enough of Sneer's iniquity." " Master Bucer for- 
merly thought himself exceedingly learned. He 
never was ; for he publishes that all people have 
but one and the same religion, and are so saved. 
This is madness with a vengeance." (Tischredeu, 
p. 184.) 

"Dr. Luther was shown a large book, written 
by one William Postel, a Frenchman, on Unity in 
the World, where he laboured to prove the articles 
of faith from reason and nature, in the view of con- 
verting the Turks and Jews, and bringing all men to 
one same belief. The doctor observes, ' We have 
had similar works on natural theology ; and this 
writer proves the proverb The French are lack- 
brains. We shall have visionaries arising who 
will undertake to reconcile all kinds of idolatry 
with a show of faith, and so extenuate idolatry.' " 
(Ibid. 68, verso.) 

Bucer made many attempts to be on good terms 
again with Luther. The latter writes (A.D. 1532), 
"As far as I am personally concerned, I could 
easily forbear you ; but there are crowds of men 
here (as you may have seen at Sraalkalde) ready 
to rebel against my authority. I can in no wise 
allow you to pretend that you have not erred, or to 
say that we have mistaken each other. The best 
plan for you is to acknowledge the whole frankly, 
or to keep your peace, and teach henceforward 
sound doctrine only. There are some among us, 
as Amsdorf, Osiander, and others, who cannot 
away with your subterfuges." 

After the revolt of the Anabaptists (A.D. 1535), 
fresh attempts were made to unite the reformed 
churches of Switzerland, Alsace, and Saxony under 

one common confession of faith. Luther writes to 
Capito (Kcepstein), Bucer's friend, and minister at 
Strasburg, " My Catherine thanks you for the gold 
ring you sent her ;" then, after mentioning that it 
had been either lost or stolen, he says, " The 
poor woman is greatly distressed, because I had 
told her the present was a happy gage of the 
future concord of your church and ours." (July 
9th, 1537.) 

Page 42, col. 1. " This forbearance could not last. 
The publication De Libero Arbitrio" (Of the Freedom 
of the Will). " You say less, but you grant more 
to freedom of the will than any one else ; for you 
do not define free-will, and yet grant it every 
thing. I would prefer receiving the doctrine of 
the sophists and of their master, Peter Lombard ; 
who tell us that free-will is no more than the 
faculty of distinguishing and choosing between 
good and evil, according as we are directed by 
grace or not. Peter Lombard believes with Au- 
gustin, that if free-will have nothing to direct it, it 
can only lead man to sin. So Augustin, in his 
second book against Julian, calls it the slave will, 
rather than free will." (De Servo Arbitrio, p. 477, 

Page 42, col. 1, the last line but one. " There is 
no longer God, nor Christ, nor Gospel." " If God 
has foreknowledge ; if Satan is the prince of this 
world ; if original sin has lost us ; if the Jews, 
seeking righteousness, have fallen into unrighteous- 
ness ; whilst the Gentiles, seeking unrighteousness, 
have found righteousness (freely offered unto 
them); if Christ has redeemed us by his blood ; 
there can be no free-will for men or for angels. 
Either Christ is superfluous ; or we must admit 
that he has only redeemed the vilest part of man." 
(De Servo Arbitrio, p. 525, vero.) 

Page 42, col. 2. " The more Luther struggles." 
Pushed hard by contradictions, Luther is reduced 
to maintain the following propositions : " Grace 
is gratuitously given to the most unworthy and 
least deserving ; it is not to be obtained by study, 
work, by any efforts, great or little ; it is not even 
granted to the ardent zeal of the best and most 
virtuous of men, whose sole pursuit is righteous- 
ness." (De Servo Arbitrio, p. 520.) 

Page 42, col. 2. "And, to his latest day, the 
name of him." " What you tell me of Erasmus's 

foaming against me, I can see in his letters 

He is a most trifling man, who laughs at all 
religions like his Lucian, and only writes seriously 
when he wishes to retort and annoy." (May 28th, 

" Erasmus shows a spirit worthy of himself by 
thus persecuting the name of Lutheran, which 
constitutes his safety. Why is he not oft' to his 
Hollanders, his Frenchmen, his Italians, his Eng- 
lishmen, &c. ? . . . He seeks by these flatterers to 
secure himself an asylum; but he will find none, 
and, betwixt two stools, will come to the ground. 
Had the Lutherans hated him as his own country- 
men do, he would live at Bale at the risk of his 
ife. But let Christ judge this atheist, this Epi- 
curus." (March 7th, 1529.) 

Page 43, col. 1. " If I fight with dirt, $c." The 
original epigram is as follows : 

" Hoc scio pro certo, quod, si cum stercore certo, 
Vinco vel vincor, semper ego maculor." 



Page 43. col. 2. " / have chosen to practise what 
I preached." Luther, in preaching the marriage 
of priests, thought only of putting an end to the 
shameful lie they daily gave to their monastic 
vows. It never occurred to him at _ this time 
that a married priest would be led to prefer his 
family according to the flesh, to that entrusted to 
him by God and the Church. Yet he himself 
could not always withdraw himself from the selfish 
feelings of a father ; and expressions sometimes 
escaped him, lamentably at variance with charity 
and devotion, as they are understood and fre- 
quently practised by Catholic priests. 

" It is quite sufficient," he says in one of his 
charges to a pastor, " if the people communicate 
three or four times in the year, and that publicly. 
To administer the communion in private would 
become too heavy a burthen on ministers, es- 
pecially in seasons of pestilence. Besides, the 
Church ought not to be rendered in this manner, 
as regards her sacraments, the slave of individuals, 
above all, of those who despise her, yet would, 
nevertheless, have the Church in all cases ever 
ready to administer to them, although they do 
nothing for the Church." (November 26th, 1539.) 

He himself, however, acted upon very different 
maxims ; displaying on serious emergencies all the 
heroism of charity. 

" I have turned my house into a hospital, as all 
others were frightened. I have received the pas- 
tor into my house (his wife has just fallen a victim) 
and all his family." (November 4th, 152?.) 

Doctor Luther, speaking of the death of Dr. 
S^bald and his wife, whom he had visited in their 
sickness and touched, said, " They died of sorrow 
and distress more than of the plague." He took 
their children into his house, and being told that 
he was tempting God's providence ; " Ah !" said 
he, "mine has been a good schooling, which has 
taught me to tempt God in this way." 

The plague being in two houses, they wanted to 
sequester a deacon who had entered them ; Lu- 
ther would not allow it, both from trust in God, 
and unwillingness to create alarm. (December, 
1538. Tischreden, p. 356.) 

Page 44, col. 1. " Pre-occupied with household 
cares." " We have excellent wine from the prince's 
cellar, and we should become perfect evangelists, if 
the Gospel fattened us equally." (March 8th, 

Luther usually concludes his letters, at this pe- 
riod, with such words as these : Mea costa, Domi- 
nus mem, imperatrix mea Ketha, te salutat. My dear 
rib, my master, my empress Ketha salutes thee. 

" My lord Ketha was at her new kingdom at Ziels- 
dorf (a small property belonging to Luther) when 
thy letters arrived." 

He writes to Spalatin : " My Eve wishes for thy 
prayers to God to preserve to her her two infants, 
and to help her happily to conceive and become 
the mother of a third." (May 15th, 1528.) 

Luther had three sons, John, Martin, Paul ; and 
three daughters, Elizabeth, Madeleine, and Mar- 
garet ; the two first daughters died young, one at 
the age of eight months, the other at thirteen 
years of age ; on the tomb of the first, is written, 
Hie dormit Elisabetha, jiliola Lutheri. The male 
line of Luther became extinct in 1759. (Ukert, i. 
p. 92.) 

There is, in the church of Kieritzseh (a Saxon 
village), a likeness of Luther's wife, in plaster, 
bearing the following inscription : Catarlna Luther, 
gebohren Ton Bohrau, 1540. This likeness had be- 
longed to Luther. (Ukert, i. 364.) 

Page 43, col. 2. " Marks tJie end of this period of 
atony." He was exceedingly wrath with too vehe- 
ment preachers. If N * * * cannot be more mo- 
derate, he writes to Hausmann, I shall get the 
prince to eject him. 

" I have already begged you," he writes to this 
same preacher, "to preach more peaceably the 
word of God, abstaining from all personalities, and 
from whatever gives annoyance to the people with- 
out adequate results. . . At the same time, you 
are too lukewarm about the sacrament, and are 
too long without communicating.'' (February 10th, 

" We have a preacher from Kcenigsberg, who 
wants to introduce I know not how many regula- 
tions, touching bells, wax-tapers, and other things 
of the like sort. . . . It is not needful to preach so 
often. I hear that they give three sermons every 
Sunday, at Koenigsberg. Where is the use of 
that ? two are quite enough ; and for the whole 
week, two or three. Daily preaching takes one 
into the pulpit without sufficient meditation, and 
we preach whatever comes uppermost, whether to 
the purpose or beside it. For God's sake, moderate 
the temper and the zeal of our preachers. This 
Koenigsberg preacher is too vehement, and trage- 
dises, and glooms and discourses about trifles." 
(July 16th, 1528.) 

" Did 1 want to grow rich, I would give up 
preaching, and turn mountebank. I should find 
more ready to pay for seeing me, than I have 
hearers gratis now." (Tischred. p. 186.) 

Page 43, col. 2. " So let us honour marriage." 
As early as the 25th of May 1524, he wrote to 
Capiton and Bucer: " I rejoice in the marriages 
you are contracting between the priests, monks, 
and nuns ; I love this array of husbands against 
the bishops of Satan, and approve the choice you 
have made for the different parishes; in fact, there 
is nothing that you tell me but gives me the live- 
liest satisfaction: go on and prosper. . . . I will say 
yet more, we have of late years made concessions 
enough to the weak. Besides, since they harden 
themselves daily, we must speak and act with all 
freedom. ... 1 am thinking myself of giving up 
the cowl, which I have worn so long for the sup- 
port of the weak, and in mockery of the pope." 
(May 25th, 1524.) 

Page 43, col. 2. " / luwe not liked to refuse giving 
my father the hope of posterity." " The affair of the 
peasants has emboldened the papists, and much 
injured the cause of the gospel; and so we Christians 
must now lift up the head higher. It is to this end, 
and that it may not be said we preach the gospel 
without practising it, that I am going to marry 
a nun ; my enemies were triumphing; they cried, 
lo ! lo ! I have wished to prove to them that I am 
not disposed to beat a retreat, though something 
old and infirm. And perhaps I may do yet some- 
thing else, at least I hope so, to damp their joy and 
to strengthen my own words." (August 16th, 

Hardly was Luther married before his enemies 
spread the report that his wife was about to be 



confined. Erasmus caught at the report with great 
eagerness, and hastened to spread it among all his 
correspondents, but he was compelled, at a subse- 
quent period, to eat his words. (Ukert, i. 189 192.) 
Eck and others attacked him with numerous 
satires on the occasion of his marriage, to which he 
replied in various pieces which were collected 
under the title of the Fable of the Lion and the Ass. 

Page 44. col. 1, near the end. " We are daily 
plunging deeper into debt." In 1527, he was obliged 
to pledge three of his goblets for fifty florins, and 
at last sold one for twelve florins. His ordinary 
income never exceeded two hundred Misnia florins 
a year. . . . The publishers made him an offer of 
four hundred florins yearly, but he could not re- 
solve on accepting it. In spite of his straitened 
means, his liberality was profuse ; he gave to the 
poor the presents made to his children at their 
baptism. A poor scholar once asking him for a 
little money, he begged his wife to give him some; 
but, she replying that there was none in the house, 
Luther then took up a silver vase, and putting it 
into his hands desired him to go and sell it to some 
goldsmith for his own use. (Ukert, ii. p. 7-) 

" Doctor Pomer brought Luther one day a 
hundred florins of which some nobleman had just 
made him a present, but he would not accept them; 
he instantly gave half of it to Philip, and wished 
Dr. Pomer to take back the rest, but he would 
not. (Tischr., p. 59.) " I have never asked a single 
farthing of my gracious lord." (Tischr., p. 53 60.) 

Page 44. col. 2. " asking them nothing for all my 
labour." " A lawful gain has God's blessing, as 
when one gains one farthing out of twenty, but a 
dishonest profit will be accursed. Thus it shall be 
with the printer of * * * who gains one farthing 
out of every two ... on the books he has had to 
print for me. The printer, John Grunenberger, said 
to me conscientiously, ' Sir doctor, this brings me in 
too much; I cannot supply copies enough.' This was 
a man fearing God, and he has been blessed." 
(Tischr. p. 62, verso.) 

" You know, my dear Amsdorf, that I alone 
cannot supply all the presses, and yet they all come 
to me for this food; there are here nearly six hun- 
dred printers." (April llth, 1525.) 

Page 46, col. 2. " Wherefore should I be pro- 
voked with the papists?" It seems, however, that 
they attempted to make away with him by poison. 
(See letters written by him in Jan. and Feb., 1525 ; 
Cochlseus, p. 25 ; Tischreden, p. 416, and p. 274, 

Page 47, col 1. " A clandestine but most dangerous 
persecution." " To the Christians of Holland, of 
Brabant, and of Flanders (on the occasion of the 
torture of two Austin friars, who were burnt to 
death at Brussels). 

" Oh ! how shocking a death have these two poor 
men suffered. But what glory are they now en- 
joying in God's presence ! It is a small thing to be 
despised and killed by this world, when we know 
that, as the Psalmist says (cxvi. 15.), ' Precious in 
the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints' And 
what is the world compared to God ? . . . What 
joy, what delight must the angels have felt when 
they welcomed these two souls ! God be praised 
and blessed to all eternity, who has permitted us, 
even us, to hear and to see true saints and real 

martyrs. We, who have aforetime honoured so 
many false saints !" (July, 1523.) 

" The noble lady Argula von Staufen, passes 
her life in continual suffering and peril. She is 
filled with the spirit, the word, and the knowledge 
of Christ. She has attacked the academy of 
Ingolstad with her writings, because of their forcing 
a young man, named Arsacius, into a shameful 
revocation of his faith. Her husband, who is him- 
self a tyrant, and who has just lost a post through 
her, is at a loss what to do. ... As for her, though 
surrounded by so many dangers, she maintains a 
firm faith, athough, when writing to me, she con- 
fesses her courage is sometimes shaken. She is a 
precious instrument in the hands of Christ. I 
mention her to you, that you may see how God can 
confound by this weak vessel the mighty of this 
world, and those who glorify themselves in their 
wisdom." (A.D. 1524.) 

Luther's translation of the Bible inspired a 
general itch of disputation. Even women chal- 
lenged theologians, and averred that all the doctors 
were in darkness. Some of them were for mounting 
the pulpits, and teaching in the churches. Had 
not Luther declared that by baptism we are all 
teachers, preachers, bishops, popes, &c.? (Coch- 
lseus, p. 51.) 

Page 47, col. 1. "and suffered to die of hunger." 
One day, when some observations were made at 
Luther's table, on the little generosity shown to 
preachers, he said, "The world is incapable of 
giving anything with hearty will ; it requires to be 
dealt with by clamour and importunity ; and such 
impudence is brother Matthew's, who, by dint of 
begging, got the elector to promise that he would 
buy him a fur robe ; but, as the prince's treasurer 
took no notice of it, brother Matthew called out in 
the middle of his sermon, as he was preaching 
before the elector, ' Where is my fur robe ?' The 
order was repeated to the treasurer, but he again 
forgot it ; so the preacher again referred to the 
gown in the elector's presence, saying this time, 
' Alas ! I have not yet seen my fur robe : where 
is it ?' And upon this he finally obtained the pro- 
mised boon." (Tischreden, p. 189, verso.) 

Nevertheless, Luther constantly complains of 
the miserable state of the ministers generally. 

" Their salaries," he says, " are often grudged 
them ; and those who formerly would squander 
millions of florins on a set of rogues and impos- 
tors, are unwilling in these days to spare one hun- 
dred to a preacher." (March 1st, 1531.) 

" There is now established here (at Wittemberg) 
a consistorial court for questions relating to mar- 
riage, and to oblige the peasants to better discipline 
in regard to the payments of their pastors ; a re- 
gulation which, perhaps, would be of equal benefit 
if observed towards some of the nobility and the 
magistracy." (January 12th, 1541.) 

Page 47, col. 1. " There is nothing certain with 
regard to the apparitions." " Joachim writes me 
word, that a child has been born at Bamberg with 
a lion's head ! but that it died almost instantly ; 
and that there had also appeared the sign of the 
cross over the city ; but the priests have taken 
care that these things should not be noised 
abroad." (January 22nd, 1525.) " Princes die in 
great numbers this year, which perhaps may ac- 



count for this number of signs." (September 6th, 

Page 47, col. 1. " wlien the Turks encamped." 
Luther's first idea seemed to have bee"h that the 
Turks were a succour sent him from God: " They 
are," says he," the instruments of divine vengeance." 
A.D. 1526. (Prceliari adrersus Turcas est repugnare 
Deo visitanti iniquitates nostras per illos.) He did 
not wish the Protestants to arm themselves against 
them in defence of Papists; for " these (he said) 
are no better than the Turks." 

He says, in a preface which he prefixed to a 
book of doctor Jonas's, that the Turks equal the 
Papists, or rather surpass them, in those very 
things which the latter think so essential to salva- 
tion ; such as alms-giving, fasts, macerations, pil- 
grimages, the monastic life, ceremonials, and all 
other external works; and that it is for this reason 
that the Papists are reserved touching the worship 
of the Mahomedans. He takes occasion from this 
to laud and elevate over these Mahomedan and 
Romanist practices, "that pure religion of the 
soul and spirit taught by the Holy Gospel." 

Elsewhere he draws a parallel between the Turk 
and the pope, concluding thus: " If we must needs 
oppose the Turk, so must we in like manner oppose 
the pope." Nevertheless, when he found the Turks 
seriously menacing the independence and peace of 
Germany, he repeatedly recommended the main- 
tenance of a permanent army upon the frontiers 
of Turkey, and often repeated that all who bore the 
name of Christians ought to be fervent in prayer 
to God for the success of the emperor's arms 
against the infidels. 

Luther exhorted the elector, in a letter of the 
29th of May, 1538, to take pavt in the war that was 
preparing against the Turks ; and begged of him 
to forget the intestine quarrels of Germany, in 
order to turn all his forces against the common 

A former ambassador in Turkey told Luther, 
one day, that the sultan had asked him, " Who is 
this Luther ? and what is his age ?" And that 
when he learnt he was forty-eight, he said, " I wish 
he was not so old ; tell him, that in me he has a 
gracious lord." " May God preserve me from all 
such gracious lords ! " said Luther, crossing him- 
self. (Tischreden, p. 432, verso.) 

Page 48, col. 1 . " the landgrave. . . .believing him- 
self to be menaced" Luther, in a letter to chancellor 
Briick, speaking of the landgrave's preparations 
for war, says," A similar aggression on our part would 
be a great reproach to the Gospel. It would not 
be a revolt of the peasants, but a revolt of princes, 
which would bring the most fearful evils on Ger- 
many. It is what Satan desires above all things." 
(May, 1528.) 

Page 48, col. 1. " duke George of Saxony." " Pray 
with me, that it may please the God of mercy to 
convert duke George to his Gospel, or that, if 
he be not worthy of it, he may be taken out of the 
world." (March 27th, 1526.) 

Luther writes to the elector, on the subject of his 
quarrels with duke George. (December 31st, 1528.) 
. ..." I pray your grace to abandon me entirely to 
the decision of the judges, supposing that duke 
George should insist upon it ; for it becomes my 
duty to expose my own life, rather than that your 
grace should incur the least detriment. Jesus 

Christ will, I feel sure, arm me with sufficient 
strength to resist Satan, singly." 

Page 48, col. 1. "this Moab, who exalts his 
pride." Duke George was, after all, a good-tem- 
pered persecutor enough. Having expelled eighty- 
four Lutherans from Leipsic, he Jillowed them per- 
mission to retain their houses, to leave there their 
wives and children, and to visit them at the time 
of the yearly fair. In another instance, Luther 
having advised the Protestants of Leipsic to resist 
the orders of their duke, he (the duke) contented 
himself with praying the elector of Saxony to in- 
terdict all communication between Luther and 
his subjects. (Cochloeus, p. 230.) 

Page 48, col. 2. " tlie party of the Reformation broke 
out." Luther still tried to restrain his favour- 
ers. On the 22nd of May, 1529, he wrote to the 
elector to dissuade him from entering into any 
league against the emperor, and to exhort him to 
put himself entirely in the hands of God. 

Page 49, col. 2. " the elector brought him as near 
as possible to Augsburg." He left Torgau the 3rd 
of April, and arrived at Augsburg the 2nd of May. 
His suite was composed of one hundred and sixty 
horsemen. The theologians who accompanied 
him were Luther, Melanchthon, Jonas, Agricola, 
Spalatin, and Osiander. Luther, excommunicated 
and proscribed the empire, remained at Coburg. 
(Ukert, t. i. p. 232.) 

Page 50, col. 1 . " all the comfort he got was rough 
rebuke." Sometimes, however, he sympathised 
with him in his trials : " You have confessed 
Christ, made peace-offerings, obeyed Csesar, suffer- 
ed injuries, endured blasphemies; you have never 
rendered evil for evil; in fact, you have been a 
worthy labourer in the Lord's vineyard, as be- 
cometh the godly. Rejoice, then, and be comforted 
in the Saviour. Man of long-suffering, look up, 
and raise your drooping head, for your redemption 
draweth nigh. I will canonize you as a faithful 
member of Christ; what more of glory would you 
| seek?" (September 15th, 1530.) 

Page 50, col. 2, last line but four. " The Protest- 
ant profession of faith." "At the diet of Augsburg, 
duke William of Bavaria, who was strongly op- 
posed to the reformers, having said to Dr. Eck, 
'Cannot we refute these opinions by the Holy j 
Scriptures ? ' ' No,' said he,' but by the Fathers.' 
The bishop of Mentz then said, ' Mark ! how 
famously our theologians defend us ! The Luther- 
ans show us their belief in Scripture, and we ours 
out of Scripture.' The same bishop then added, 
' The Lutherans have one article which we cannot 
confute, whatever may be the case with the rest, 
the one on marriage.' " (Tischred. p. 99.) 

Page 51, col. 1. " If the emperor chooses to publish 
an edict." Luther, conscious of his power, says, 
" If I were killed by the Papists, my death would 
protect those I leave behind; and these wild beasts 
would perhaps be more cruelly punished for it 
than even I could wish. For there is One who 
will say some day, Where is thy brother Abel ? And ' 
He shall mark them on the forehead, and they 
shall be wanderers on the face of the earth. . . . 
Our race is now under the protection of our Lord 
God, who has written, ' I will show mercy unto 
thousands in them that love me and keep my com- 



maudments.' And I believe in these words ! " 
(June 30th, 1530.) 

" If I were to be killed in any disturbance of the 
Papists, I should bear off with me such numbers 
of bishops, priests, and monks, that all would say, 
' Dr. Martin Luther is followed to the tomb by a 
grand procession indeed. He must have been a 
great doctor, learned and good, beyond all bishops, 
priests, and monks; therefore they must all be at 
his interment, and, like him, on their backs.' So we 
should take our last journey together." (A.D. 1531. 
Cochlceus, p. 211. Extract from the book of Lu- 
ther, entitled, " Advice to the Germans.") 

The Catholics, he was told, reproached him with 
many false interpretations in his translation of the 
Scriptures; he replied, " They have much too long 
ears ! and their hi-hau ! hi-hau ! is too weak to be 
able to judge of a translation from Latin into Ger- 
man. . . . Tell them that it is Dr. Martin Luther's 
pleasure that an ass and a Papist should be one and 
the same thing." 

" Sic volo, sic jubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas." 
(Passage cited by Coehloeus, 201, verso.) 

Page 51, col. 1. "Let them restore to us Leonard 
Reiser." " Not only the titfe of king, but also that 
of emperor is due to him, since he has conquered 
him who has no equal upon earth. He is not a 
priest only, but a sovereign pontiff, and a true 
pope, who has just offered up his own body as 
a sacrifice unto God. With good reason was he 
called LeonJiard, that is to say, ' the strength of 
a lion.' He was a lion for force and intrepidity." 
(October 22nd, 1527.) 

" If we were to believe Cochlseus, Luther was a 
persecutor in his turn. In 1532, a Lutheran having 
recanted, Luther had him taken up and carried to 
Wittemberg, where he was imprisoned, and a pro- 
cess commenced against him. The charge against 
him being insufficient, he was released, but was 
ever after persecuted in an underhand way by the 
Lutherans." (Cochlseus, p. 218.) 

Page 51, col. 2. " They entered a protest . . . pre- 
for war," Nevertheless, the issue of the 
struggle was so much feared on all hands, that, 
contrary to all expectation, peace was preserved. 
(June, 1531.) 

The fear of a fresh rising of the peasants, greatly 
contributed to keep the princes in their pacific in- 
tentions. (July 19th, 1530.) 

Page 51, col. 2. " Luther was accused of having 
instigated the Protestants." So far from it, he had 
ever since 1529 dissuaded the elector from entering 
into any league whatever against the emperor. . . . 
" We cannot approve of any such alliance. Should 
any evil result from it, say open war, all would fall 
upon our conscience ; and we would prefer death 
a hundred times to the reproach of having shed 
blood for the Gospel's sake." (November 18th, 1529.) 

Page 51, col. 2. " I liave not advised resistance to the 
emperor." In the Book of the Table Talk (p. 397, 
verso), Luther speaks more explicitly. " There 
will be no fighting for religion's sake. The em- 
peror has taken the bishoprics of Utrecht and of 
Liege, and has offered to allow the duke of Bruns- 
wick to seize that of Hildesheim. He hungers and 
thirsts for ecclesiastical property ; he absolutely 
devours it. Our princes will not suffer this ; they 

will want to eat with him ; on this they will come 
to buffets." (A.D. 1530.) 

" I have often been asked by my gracious mas- 
ter, what I should do were a highwayman or mur- 
derer to attack me ? I should resist, out of loyalty 
to the prince whose subject and servant I am. 1 
might slay the thief, even with the sword, and still 
afterwards receive the sacrament. But if it were 
for the word of God, and as a preacher, that I was 
attacked, I ought to suffer, and leave vengeance to 
God. I do not take a sword with me into the pul- 
pit, only on the road. The Anabaptists are knaves 
in despair ; they carry no arms, and boast of their 
patience." (1539.) Luther answers, on the question 
of right of resistance, " That according to public 
law, the law of nature and reason, resistance to 
unjust authority is permissible : there is no diffi- 
culty but upon the ground of religion." 

" The question would not have been difficult to 
resolve in the time of the apostles, for then all the 
authorities were pagans, not Christians. But now 
that all the princes are Christians, or pretend to be 
such, it is difficult to decide ; for a prince and a 
Christian are near of kin. Whether a Christian 
may resist the powers that be, is a question preg- 
nant with matter. ... In fine, it is from the pope 
I wrest the sword, not from the emperor." 

He thus sums up himself the arguments he might 
have addressed to the Germans, if he had exhorted 
them to resistance. 

" 1 . The emperor has neither the right nor the 
power to give such orders ; certain it is, if he does 
so order, we ought not to obey him. 

" 2. It is not I who excite disturbance; I prevent 
it, I am opposed to it. Let them consider whether 
they are not the beginners, who command that 
which is contrary to God. 

" 3. Do not make a jest of the matter: if you 
will make the fool drunk (narren Luprian) take 
care that he does not spit in your face; besides he 
is thirsty enough, and only desires to drink his fill. 

" 4, Well, then, you will fight ? bend your heads 
then for a blessing: success attend you! may God 
give you the victory ! I, doctor Martin Luther, your 
apostle, I have spoken, I have warned you as was 
my duty." . . . 

" To kill tyrants is a thing not permitted to any 
man who is not in some public capacity ; for the 
fifth commandment says : ' Thou shall not kill.' 
But if I surprise a man with my wife or my 
daughter, although he be not a tyrant, I am justi- 
fied in killing him. So, if he were to take by force 
such a man's wife, another man's daughter, or 
another's goods and estates, his citizens and sub- 
jects, sick of his violence and tyranny, might 
assemble and slay him as they would any other 
murderer or highway robber." (Tischreden, p. 397, 
verso, sqq.) 

'* The good and truly noble lord, Gaspard von 
Kokritz, has desired me, my dear John, to write to 
thee my opinion, in the event of Qesar's making war 
on our princes on account of the Gospel, whether it 
be lawful for us to resist and defend ourselves. I had 
already written my opinion on this subject in the 
lifetime of duke John. It is now a little late to 
ask my advice, since the princes have decided that 
they may and will both resist and defend themselves, 
and that they will not abide by what I shall say. 
. . . Do not strengthen the arms of the ungodly 
against our princes ; leave all to the wrath and 



judgment of God, which they have, up to this day, 
sought with fury, with laughter and riotous joy. 
Nevertheless moderate our side, by the example of 
the Maccabees who would not follow those that 
fought against Antiochus, but, in their simplicity 
of heart, chose death rather." (8th February, 

In his book De Seculari Potentate, dedicated to the 
duke of Saxony, he says : " In Misnia, in Bavaria, 
and other places, the tyrants have issued an edict, 
commanding all to deliver up the New Testament 
to the magistrates. If their subjects obey this edict, 
it is not a book which at the peril of their souls they 
deliver up ; it is Christ himself whom they give 
into the hands of Herod. However, if they are 
taken away by violence, it must be endured. 
Princes are of this world, and this world is the 
enemy of God." 

" We must not obey Caesar if he makes war 
against our party. The Turk does not attack his 
Alcoran, neither must the emperor attack his 
Gospel." (Cochlseus, p. 210.) 

Page 51, col. 2. "My opinion, as a theologian, 
is . . ." The elector had asked Luther if he might 
resist the emperor sword in hand. Luther replied 
in the negative, only adding : " If, however, the em- 
peror, not content with being the master of the states 
of princes, should go so far as to require of them 
to persecute, put to death, or banish their subjects 
on account of the Gospel, the princes, knowing 
that this would be acting in opposition to the will 
of God, ought to refuse obedience ; otherwise, they 
would be doing violence to their faith, and render- 
ing themselves the accomplices of crime. It is 
sufficient for them to suffer the emperor to take 
the matter into his own hands, he will have to 
answer for it, and to refrain from supporting their 
subjects against him." (March 6th, 1530.) 

Page 52, col. 1. "7 care not about being accused of 
violence.'" The elector had reprimanded Luther 'on 
account of two of his writings ( Warning to his 
beloved Germans, and, Glosses on the pretended -Im- 
perial Edict), which lie thought too violent. Luther 
replied to him (April Ifith, 1531), " It was impos- 
sible for me to keep silence any longer in this 
affair, which concerns me more than any one else. 
If I were silent under such a public condemnation 
of my doctrine, would it not be equivalent to aban- 
doning, to denying it ? Rather than this, I would 
brave the anger of all the devils, and of the whole 
world, not to mention that of the imperial council- 

Page 52, col. 2. " Anabaptism was in the ascen- 
dant." The Anabaptists had been for a long time 
spreading in Germany. " We have here a new kind 
of prophets, come from Antwerp, who pretend 
that the Holy Ghost is nothing more than the 
mind and natural reason." (March 27th, 1525.) 

" There is nothing new, save that they say the 
Anabaptists are increasing and spreading in every 
direction." (December 28ih, 1527.) 

He writes to Link (May 12th, 1528): " Thou 
hast, I think, seen my Antischwennerum and my 
dissertation on the bigamy of the bishops. The 
courage of these Anabaptists, when they die, is like 
that of the Douatists, of whom Saint Augustin 
speaks, or the fury of the Jews in wasted Jerusa- 
lem. Holy martyrs, such as our Leonard Koiser, 
die in fear and humility, praying for their exe- 

cutioners. The obstinacy of these people, on the 
contrary, when they are borne to execution, seems 
to increase with the indignation of their enemies." 

Page 56, col. 1 . " were executed in the same 
horrible manner" Extract from an old book of 
hymns used by the Anabaptists. " The words of 
Algerius are miracles. ' Here,' he says, ' others 
groan and weep, but I am full of joy. In my 
prison the army of heaven appears to me ; thou- 
sands of martyrs are with me daily. In all the 
joy, all the delight, all the ecstacy of grace, I 
am shown my Lord upon his throne.' 

" But thy country, thy friends, thy relatives, thy 
profession, canst thou voluntarily abandon them ? 
He answered those sent to him: ' No man can 
banish me from my country ; my country lies 
at the foot of the celestial throne ; there, my 
enemies shall be my friends, and shall join in the 
same song.' 

" ' Nor doctors, nor artists, nor workmen, can 
succeed here ; he that has not strength from on 
high, has no strength.' The angry judges threatened 
him with the flames. ' In the might of the flames,' 
said Algerius, ' you shall acknowledge mine.' " 
(Wunderhorn, t. i.) 


The following extracts from Ruchart (History 
of the Reformation in Switzerland) will serve to 
show the singular enthusiasm of the Anabaptists : 
"In the year 1529, nine Anabaptists were 
apprehended and thrown into prison at Bale. 
They were brought before the senate, which sum- 
moned the ministers to confer with them. CEco- 
lampadius first briefly explained to them the 
Apostles' Creed and St. Athanasius's Creed, and 
showed them that the belief therein expounded 
was the true and indisputable Christian faith (doc- 
trine) which Jesus Christ and his apostles had 
preached. Then the burgomaster, Adelbert Meyer, 
told the Anabaptists that they had just heard a 
sound exposition of the Christian faith, and that, 
since they complained of the ministers, they ought 
to speak out frankly and freely, and boldly ex- 
plain in what they felt aggrieved! But no one 
answered a word, and they stood looking at each 
other. Then the clerk of the chamber said to one 
of them, who was by trade a turner, ' How comes it 
that you do not speak now, after having prated so 
much elsewhere, in the streets, in the shops, and in 
prison ?' As they still remained silent, Mark 
Hedelin, the head tribesman, addressed their 
leader, asking, ' What answer, my brother, dost 
thou make to this proposition ? ' The Anabaptist 
replied, ' I do not recognize you as my brother.' 
' Why ? ' said this nobleman to him. ' Be- 
cause you are not a Christian. Repent first, 
reform, and quit the magistracy.' ' In what, then, 
do you think I sin so heavily \ ' said Hedelin. 
' You know well enough,' replied the Anabaptist. 

" The burgomaster then took up the word, ex- 
horted him to reply in a modest and becoming 
manner, and earnestly pressed him to speak to the 
question proposed. On this he replied, ' That no 
Christian could belong to a worldly magistracy, 
because he who fights with the sword will perish 
with the sword ; that the baptism of children pro- 
ceedeth from the duvil, and is an invention of the 
pope's; adults ought to be baptized, and not in- 
fants, according to Jesus Christ's commands.' 
H 2 



" (Ecolampadius undertook to refute him with 
all possible gentleness, and to show him that the 
passages which he had quoted bore a very different 
interpretation, as all the ancient doctors testified. 
' My dear friends,' he said, ' you do not understand 
Holy Scripture, and you handle it in a rude and 
insufficient manner.' And as he was proceeding 
to show them the sense of these passages, one of 
them, a miller by trade, interrupted him, accusing 
him of being a tempter, and an empty talker, say- 
ing, that his arguments had nothing to do with 
the subjeci ; that they had in their hands God's 
pure and very word, that they would not forsake 
it their life long, and that the Holy Ghost spoke 
at the present day through it. At the same time, 
he apologized for his want of eloquence, saying, 
that he had not studied, that he had not belonged 
to any university, and that from his youth he had 
hated human wisdom, which is full of deceit; and 
that he was well aware of the tricks of the scribes 
who were for ever seeking to throw dust in the 
eyes of the simple. Whereupon, he began crying 
and weeping, saying, that after he had heard the 
word of God, he had forsaken his irregular course 
of life ; and that now that, through baptism, he 
had received pardon for his sins, he was perse- 
cuted of all, whereas, whilst he was sunk in vice of 
every kind, no one had rebuked or imprisoned him, 
as was now the case. He had been confined in 
the gaol, like a murderer ; what was his crime ? 
&c. The conference having lasted to the hour of 
dinner, the senate broke up. 

" The senate meeting again after dinner, the mi- 
nisters began to question the Anabaptists on the 
subject of the magistracy ; and when one of them 
had given very fair and satisfactory answers, the 
rest evidenced their discontent, declaring that he 
was a waverer, and interrupted him. ' Leave us 
to speak,' said they to him ; ' we who understand 
Scripture better than thou, and can reply better 
touching these articles than thou, who art still a 
novice, and incapable of defending our doctrine 
against foxes.' Then the turner, beginning an 
argument, maintained that St. Paul (Rom. xiii.), 
when speaking of the superior powers, does not 
refer to the magistracy, but to the higher ecclesias- 
tical authorities. This (Ecolampadius denied, and 
asked in what part of the Bible he found it. The 
other said, ' Turn over the leaves of your Old and 
New Testament, and you will find that you are en- 
titled to a saLiry. You are better off than I, who 
have to support myself with the labour of my hands, 
so as to be a burthen to no one.' This sally made 
the bystanders laugh. CEcolampadius remarked to 
them, ' Gentlemen, this is not a time for laughing ; 
if I receive from the Church my means of support 
and existence, I can prove the reasoiiablenes of 
this from Scripture. Language of the sort is sedi- 
tious. Pray rather for the glory of the Lord that 
God may soften their hardened hearts, and illu- 
minate their hearts with his grace.' 

" After several other arguments, as the time of 
breaking up the sitting approached, one of them, 
who had said nothing the whole day, began howling 
and weeping. ' The last day is at hand,' he shouted 
forth; 'reform; the axe is already laid to the tree ; 
do not, then, calumniate our doctrine on baptism. 
I pray you, for the love of Jesus Christ, persecute 
not honest folk. Of a verity, the just Judge will 
soon come, and will cause all the ungodly to perish.' 

" The burgomaster interrupted him, to tell him 
there was no need of all this outcry, but that he 
should confine himself to reasoning on the points 
in question. Nevertheless, he attempted to per- 
severe in the same strain, but was prevented. At 
last, the burgomaster undertook to justify the con- 
duct of the senate towards the Anabaptists, and 
stated that they had been arrested, not on account 
of the Gospel, or on account of their good conduct, 
but on account of their irregularities, their per- 
juries, and their sedition ; that one of them had 
committed murder, another had preached that 
tithes were unlawful, a third had excited disturb- 
ances, &c. ; that it was for these crimes they had 
been arrested, until it had been settled what course 
should be pursued with them, &c. 

" Hereupon, one of them began crying out, 
' Brothers, resist not the ungodly ; though the ene- 
my should be at your gate, shut it not. Let them 
approach ; they cannot harm us without the will 
of our Father, since the hairs of our head are num- 
bered. More than this, I say, you must not even 
resist a robber in a wood. Think you not that 
God watches over you ?' They forced him to de- 
sist from this outcry." (Ruchart, Reforme Suisse, 
p. 498.) 

Another disputation. " The Zwinglian ministers 
spoke to them amicably and gently, proving to 
them that if they taught the truth, they were in the 
wrong to separate from the Church, and to preach 
in the woods and other solitary places. Then he 
briefly expounded to them the doctrine of the 
Church. One of the Anabaptists interrupted him 
with, ' We have received the Holy Ghost by bap- 
tism ; we have no need of instimction !' One of the 
lords deputies then said, ' We are commissioned 
to tell you that the magistrates are pleased to allow 
you to depart without further punishment, pro- 
vided you quit the country, and promise never to 
return, except you are minded to alter your way of 
life !' One of the Anabaptists exclaimed, ' What 
orders are these ? The magistrates are not masters 
of the land, to order us to quit it, or go elsewhere. 
God has said, Dwell in the land. I choose to obey 
this commandment, and to remain in the country 
where I was born, where I was brought up, and 
no one has a right to hinder me !' He was now, 
however, taught the contrary." (Idem, t. iii. 
p. 102.) 

" At Bale, an Anabaptist named Conrad in Gas- 
sen used to utter strange blasphemies ; for in- 
stance, ' That Jesus Christ was not our Redeemer, 
that he was not God, and that he was not born of 
a virgin !' He made no account of prayer, and 
when it was pointed out to him that Jesus Christ 
had prayed on the Mount of Olives, he answered 
with brutal insolence, ' Who heard him ?' Being 
found to be incorrigible, he was condemned to be 
beheaded. This impious fanatic reminds me of 
another of our own day, who persuaded certain of 
our neighbours, some years age, that it behoved to 
use neither bread nor wine. And when it was ob- 
jected to him one day at Geneva, that Christ's first 
miracle was changing water into wine, he answered, 
' That Jesus Christ was still young at that time; 
and that it was a venial fault, which ought to be 
forgiven him.' " (Idem, t. iii. p. 104.) 

The Reformation, born in Saxony, soon gained the 
banks of the Rhine, and proceeded up that stream 
to mingle, in Switzerland, with the rationalism of 



the Vaudois ; it even dared to cross into Catholic 
Italy. Melanchthon, who kept up a correspondence 
with Bembo and Sadolet, both secretaries to the 
apostolic chamber, was at first better known than 
Luther to the Italian literati ; and the glory of the 
first attacks on Rome was attributed to him. But 
Luther's reputation spreading with the importance 
of his reformation, the Italians soon learned to 
consider him the head of the Protestant party ; and 
it is, as such, that Altieri addressed him, in 1542, 
in the name of the Protestant churches of the 
north-east of Italy (the churches of Venice, 
Vicenza, and Trevisa). ..." Engage the most 
serene princes of Germany to intercede for us with 
the Venetian senate to relax the violent measures 
instituted against the Lord's flock, at the suggestion 
of the papal ministers. . . . You know the addi- 
tion made here to your churches, and how wide is 
the gate open to the Gospel. . . . Aid, then, the 
common cause." (Seckendorf, c. iii. p. 401.) 

Charles the Fifth himself contributed to spread 
the name and doctrines of Luther in the Italian 
peninsula, by constantly pouring into it from Ger- 
many new bands of landskneclits, among whom were 
many Protestants. It is well known that George 
Von Frundsberg, the leader of the Constable de 
Bourbon's German troops, swore that lie would 
strangle the pope with the gold chain that hung 
round his neck. . . . 

Luther himself was solemnly proclaimed: "A 
number of German soldiers assembled one day in 
the streets of Rome, mounted on horses and mules. 
One of them, named Grundwald, of remarkable 
stature, dressed himself up like the pope, placed a 
triple crown on his head, and mounted on a mule 
richly capai-isioned. Others tricked themselves 
out as cardinals, with mitres on their heads, and in 
either scarlet or white robes, according to the per- 
sonages they represented. They then set out in 
procession, with drums and fifes, followed by an 
immense crowd, and with all the pomp customary 
in pontifical processions. Whenever they passed a 
cardinal's house, Grundwald gave his benedic- 
tion to the people. He at last alighted from his 
mule; and the soldiei-s, setting him in a chair, bore 
him on their shoulders. On reaching the castle of 
St. Angelo he takes a large cup, and drinks to 
Clement's health, and his comrades follow his 
example. He then tenders the oath to his cardi- 
nals, adding that he binds them to do homage to the 
emperor, as their lawful and only sovereign, and 
makes them promise that they will no more trouble 
the peace of the empire by their intrigues, but that, 
following the commands of Scripture, and the 
example of Jesus Christ and the apostles, they will 
be submissive to the civil power. After an ha- 
rangue, in svhich he recapitulated the wars, parri- 
cides, and sacrileges of the popes, the mock pontiff 
volunteers a solemn promise to transfer, in form of 
a will, his powers and authority to Martin Luther, 
who alone, he said, could abolish all abuses of the 
kind, and repair the bark of St. Peter, so that it 
should no longer be the sport of winds and waves. 
Then raising his voice, he exclaimed: ' Let all who 
think with me lift up their hands.' The whole of 
the soldiery at once lifted up their hands, with 
shouts of ' Long live Pope Luther !' All this 
took place before the eyes of Clement VII." 
(Macree, Ref. in Italy, p. 66, 67.) 

Zwingle's works, being written in Latin, had a 

wider circulation in Italy than those of the re- 
formers of the north of Germany, who did not 
always use the universal and learned language. 
No doubt this is one of the reasons for the peculiar 
bias taken by the reformation in Italy, particularly 
in the academy of Vicenza where Socinianism 
had its birth. On February 14th, 1519, the chief 
magistrate of that city writes to him: "Blaise 
Salmonius, bookseller of Leipsic, has sent me some 
of your treatises. ... I have had them printed, 
and have sent six hundred copies to France and 
Spain. . . . My friends assure me that even in the 
Sorbonne there are those who read and approve of 
them. The learned of this country have long 
desired to see theology treated in an independent 
spirit. Calvi, bookseller of Pavia, has undertaken 
to distribute great part of the edition through 
Italy. He also promises to collect and send all 
the epigrams composed in your honour by the 
learned of this country. Such is the favour your 
courage and zeal have won for you and for the 
cause of Christ." 

On September 19th, 1520> Burchard Schenk 
writes from Venice to Spalatin: "Luther has 
long been known to us by reputation; we say here, 
he must beware of the pope! Two months since, 
ten of his books were brought here and at once sold. 
. . . May God keep him in the path of truth and 
charity !" (Seckendorf, p. 115.) 

Some of Luther's works found their way to 
Rome, and even into the Vatican, under the safe- 
guard of some pious personage, whose name was 
substituted on the title-page for that of the 
heretical author. In this manner, many cardinals, 
to their great mortification, were entrapped into 
loud encomiums on the commentary Upon the 
Epistle to the Romans, and the Treatise on Justifica- 
tion of a certain cardinal Fregoso, who was no 
other than Luther. 

Page 56, col. 2. " The momentary union of the 
Catholics and Protestants against tlie Anabaptists." 
To rebut the reproaches of the Catholics, who 
attributed the revolt of the Anabaptists to the 
Protestant preachers, the reformers of all sects 
made an effort at amalgamation. A conference 
took place at Wittemberg (A.D. 1536), to which 
Bucer, Capito, and others repaired in the month of 
May, to confer with the Saxon theologians. The 
conference lasted from the 22nd to the 25th; on 
which day the Formula of Concord, which had 
been drawn up by Melanchthon, was agreed to and 
signed. Both Luther and Bucer preached, and 
proclaimed the union which had just been con- 
cluded between the parties. (Ukert, i. p. 307.) 

Page 58, col. 1, top of the page. Given at Wit- 
temberg." We find in the Table-talk (p. 320), 
" The secret marriage of princes and of great lords 
is a true marriage before God; it is not without 
analogy to the concubineship of the patriarchs." 
(This may serve to explain the exception in favour 
of the landgrave.) 

Page 58, col. 2. " Our urine is poisoned." In 
1541, a citizen of Wittemberg, named Cle'mann 
Schober, followed Luther, harquebuss in hand, with 
the evident intention of killing him; he was arrested 
and punished. (Ukert, i. p. 323.) 

Page 59, col. 1. "Let us . . . seat ourselves at 



his table." Here he was always surrounded by 
his children and his friends Melanchthon, Jonas, 
Aurifaber, &c., who had supported him under his 
labours. A place at this table was an enviable 
privilege. " I would willingly," he writes to Gas- 
pard Miiller, " have received Kdgel as one of my 
boarders, for many reasons ; but, young Porse von 
Jena being about to return soon, my table will be 
full, and I cannot well dismiss my old and faithful 
companions. If, however, a place shall become 
vacant, which may occur after Easter, I will com- 
ply with your request with pleasure, unless my lord 
Catherine, which I cannot think, should refuse us 
her consent." (January 19th, 1536.) He often 
calls his wife, Domlnus Ketka. He begins a letter 
thus, which he wrote on the 26th July, 1540: " To 
the rich and noble lady of Zeilsdorf*, Madam, 
the doctoress Catherine Luther, residing at Wittem- 
berg, sometimes taking her pleasure at Zeilsdorf, 
my well-beloved spouse "... 

Page 59, col. 1. "father of a family." To 
Mark Cordel. " As we have agreed upon, my dear 
Mark, I send you my son John, that you may em- 
ploy him in teaching children grammar and music, 
and, at the same time, that you may watch over 
him, and improve his manners. If your care suc- 
ceeds with this one, you shall have, if I live, two 
others. I am in travail with theologians. I would 
also bring into the world grammarians and musi- 
cians." (August 26th, 1542.) 

Doctor Jonas remarked, one day, that the curse 
of God on disobedient children was accomplished 
in the family of Luther, the young man of whom he 
spoke being always ill and a constant sufferer. 
Doctor Luther added, " It is the punishment of 
his disobedience. He almost killed me at one 
time, ever since which my strength has utterly 
failed me. Thanks to him, I now comprehend the 
passage where St. Paul speaks of children who kill 
their parents, not by the sword, but by disobedience. 
They do not live long, and have no real happiness. 
. . . my God ! how wicked this world is, and in 
what times we live ! They are the times of which 
Jesus Christ has spoken: ' When the Son of man 
comes, thinkest thou He will find faith and cha- 
rity ?' Happy are they who die before such times." 
(Tischreden, p. 48.) 

Page 59, col. 1. "From women proceed children" 
" Woman is the most precious of all gifts ; she 
is full of charms and virtues ; she is the guardian 
of the faith. 

" Our first love is violent ; it intoxicates us, and 
deprives us of reason. The madness passed away, 
the good retain a sober love, the ungodly retain 

" My gracious Lord, if it be thy holy will that I 
live without a wife, sustain me against temptations ; 
if otherwise, grant me a good and pious maiden, 
with whom I may pass my life sweetly and calmly, 
whom I may love, and of whom I may be loved in 
return." (Tischreden, p. 329331.) 

Page 59, col. 2. " Take another." Lucas Cranach, 
the elder, had made a portrait of Luther's wife. 
When the picture was hung up, the doctor said, on 
seeing it, " I will have the portrait of a man painted. 

* Zeilsdorf, the name of a village near which Luther had 
a small property. 

I will send both portraits to the council at Mantua, 
and ask the holy fathers whether they would not 
prefer the marriage state to the celibacy of the 

Page 60, col. 1. " We find an image of marriage." 
" A marriage which the authorities approve of, and 
which is not against the word of God, is a good 
marriage, whatever may be the degree of consan- 
guinity." (Tischreden, p. 321.) 

He was loud in his blame of those lawyers who, 
"against their own consciences, against natural 
law, and the divine and imperial, maintained as 
valid secret promises of marriage. Every one 
ought to be left to settle the matter with his own 
conscience : one cannot force love. 

" Questions of dowry, nuptial presents, property, 
inheritance, &c., belong to the civil power ; and I 
will refer all such to it. ... We are pastors of 
consciences, not of bodies and goods." (Tischreden, 
p. 315.) 

Consulted in a case of adultery, he says, " You 
shall summon them, and then separate them. Such 
cases belong exclusively to the civil power, for 
marriage is a tempoi'al affair ; and the Church is 
interested no further than the conscience is con- 
cerned." (Tischreden, p. 322.) 

Page 60, col. 2. " Ah ! how my heart sighed after 
mine own.'" During the diet of Augsbui'g he wrote 
to his son John. ..." I know a lovely garden, 
full of children with golden robes, who wander 
about, playing under the trees, having plenty of 
fine apples, pears, cherries, nuts, and plums. 
They sing, and frisk, and are all merriment. They 
have pretty little horses, with golden bridles and 
silver saddles. Passing before this garden, I asked 
the owner who those children were. He answered, 
' Those who love to pray, to learn, and who are 
good.' Then I said, ' Dear friend, I, too, have 
a child, little John Luther. May not he come into 
this garden to eat these beautiful apples and pears, 
to ride these pretty little horses, and play with 
the other children ?' The owner answered, ' If he 
is very good, and says his prayers, and attends to 
his lessons, he can come, and little Philip and 
little James with him. They will find here fifes, 
cymbals, and other fine instruments to play upon ; 
and can dance, and shoot with little crossbows.' 
As he spake thus, the owner showed me, hi the 
middle of the garden, a beautiful meadow for 
dancing, where were hung fifes, timbrels, and little 
crossbows. But as it was morning, and the chil- 
dren had not had their dinner, I could not wait to 
see the dancing. I then said to the owner, ' Dear 
sir, I shall write directly to my dear little John, to 
tell him to be good, to pray, and to learn, that he, 
too, may come into this garden ; but he has an 
aunt Madeleine, whom he dearly loves, may he 
bring her with him ?' The owner replied, ' Yes ; 
they may come together.' Be, then, very good, 
my dear child, and tell Philip and James to be so, 
too, and you shall all come together to play in this 
fine garden. I commend you to the care of God. 
Give my love and a kiss for me to aunt Madeleine. 
Your loving father, MARTIN LUTHER." (June 19th, 

Page 60, col. 2. " It is touching to see how each 
thing tliat attracted his notice." " Philip and I are 
overwhelmed with business and troubles. I, who 



am old and emeritus, would prefer DOW to take an 
old man's pleasure in gardening, and in contem- 
plating the wonders of God in trees, flowers, herbs, 
birds, &c.; and these pleasures, and 'this life of 
ease, would be mine, had I not deserved by my sins 
to be debarred them by these importunate and often 
useless matters." (April 8th, 1538.) 

"Let us endure the difficulties which accompany 
our calling with equanimity, and hope for succour 
from Christ. See an emblem of our lot in these 
violets and daisies which you trample under foot, 
as you walk on your grassplots. We comfort the 
people (?) when we fill the church; here we find 
the robe of purple, the colour of afflictions, but in 
the background the golden flower recalls the faith 
which never fades. 

" God knows all trades better than any one else. 
As tailor, he makes the deer a robe which lasts 
nine hundred years without tearing. As shoe- 
maker, he gives him shoes which outlast himself. 
And is he not a skilful cook, who cooks and ripens 
everything by the fire of the sun ? If our Lord 
were to sell the goods which he gives, he would 
turn a decent penny ; but, because he gives them 
gratis, we set no store by them." (Tischr. p. 27.) 

Page 61, col. 1. " The decalogue is the doctrine of 
doctrines" " I begin to understand that the deca- 
logue is the logic of the Gospel, and the Gospel the 
rhetoric of the decalogue. Christ has all which 
is of Moses, but Moses has not all which is of 
Christ." (June 30th, 1530.) 

Page 61, col. 2. " There will be a new heaven and a 
new earth." " The gnashing of teeth, spoken of in 
Scripture, is the last punishment which will fall on 
an evil conscience, the desolating certainty of being 
for ever cut off from God." (Tischr. p. 366.) Lu- 
ther would thus seem to have entertained a more 
spiritual idea of hell than of paradise. 

Page 61, col. 2. " Men used to go on pilgrimages to 
the saints." " The saints have often sinned and gone 
astray. What madness to be ever setting up their 
words and acts as-infallible rules ! Let these insen- 
sate sophists, ignorant pontiffs, impious priests, sa- 
crilegious monks, and the pope with all his train 
know . . . that we were not baptized in the name 
of Augustin, of Bernard, of Gregory, of Peter, of 
Paul, nor in the name of the beneficent theological 
faculty of the Sodom (the Sorbonne) of Paris, nor 
in that of the Gomorrah of Louvain, but in the 
name of Jesus Christ, our master, alone." (De 
Abroganda Missa Pritata, Op. Lat. Lutheri, 
Witt. ii. p. 245.) 

" The true saints are all authorities, all servants 
of the Church, all parents, all children who believe 
in Jesus Christ, who do no sin, and who fulfil, 
each in his way of life, the duties God requires 
of them." (Tischreden, 134, verso.) 

" The legend of St. Christopher is a fine Christian 
poem. The Greeks, who were a learned, wise, 
and ingenious people, have wished to set forth 
by it what a Christian ought to be (CJiristophoros, 
he who bears Christ). So with the legend of 
St. George. That of St. Catherine is contrary to 
all Roman history, &c." 

Page 61, col. 2. " When we read attentively the pro- 
:." " I sweat blood and water to give the pro- 
phets in the vulgar tongue. Good God! what labour! 
how difficult to persuade these Jewish writers to 

speak German. They will not forsake their Hebrew 
for our barbarous tongue. It is as if Philomel, losing 
her gracious melody, was obliged ever to sing with 
the cuckoo one monotonous strain." (June 14tl>, 
1528.) He says, elsewhere, that whilst translating 
the Bible, he would often devote several weeks to 
elucidating the sense of a single word. (Ukert, ii. 
p. 337.) 

Page 62, col. 1. " With something from the Psalms." 
From his dedication of his translation of Psalm 
cxviii. to the abbot Frederick of Nuremberg. . . . 
" This is my psalm, my chosen psalm. I love them 
all; I love all holy Scripture, which is my consola- 
tion and my life. But this psalm is nearest my 
heart, and I have a peculiar right to call it mine. 
It has saved me from many a pressing danger, 
from which nor emperor, nor kings, nor sages, nor 
saints, could have saved me. It is my friend; 
dearer to me than all the honours and power of the 
earth. . . . 

" But it may be objected, that this psalm is com- 
mon to all ; no one has a right to call it his own. 
Yes; but Christ is also common to all, and yet 
Christ is mine. I am not jealous of my property; 
I would divide it with the whole world. . . And 
would to God that all men would claim the psalm 
as especially theirs! It would be the most touching 
quarrel, the most agreeable to God a quarrel of 
union and perfect charity. "(Coburg, July 1st, 1530.) 

Page 62, col. 2. " Of the Fathers." At the 
beginning of the year 1519, he wrote to Je- 
rome Diingersheim a remarkable letter on the 
importance and authority of the fathers of 
the Church, " The bishop of Rome is above all 
the others in dignity. It is to him that we must 
address ourselves in all difficult cases and great 
needs : but I allow, nevertheless, that I cannot 
defend against the Greeks this supremacy that 
I accord to him. If I recognized the pope as the 
sole source of power in the Church, I must, as a 
consequence of this doctrine, treat as heretics, 
Jerome, Augustin, Athanasius, Cyprian, Gregory, 
and all the bishops of the east who were established 
neither by him nor under him. The Council of 
Nice was not called by his authority ; he did not 
preside either in person or by a legate. What can 
I say of the decrees of this council ? Is any one 
master of them ? Can any one tell which among 
them to acknowledge I It is your custom and 
Eck's to believe any one's word, and to modify 
Scripture by the fathers, as if, of the two, they were 
to be preferred. For myself, I feel and act quite 
differently; like Saint Augustin and Saint Bernard, 
whilst respecting all authorities, I ascend from the 
rivulets to the river that gives them birth. (Here 
follow many examples of the errors into which some 
of the fathers had fallen. Luther criticises them 
philologically, showing that they had not understood 
the Hebrew text.) How many texts does not 
Jerome quote erroneously against Jovinian ? and 
so Augustin against Pelagius ? Thus Augustin says 
that the verse of Genesis : ' To make man in our 
own image,' is a proof of the Trinity, but there is in 
the Hebrew text, ' I will make man,' &c. The 
Magister Sententiarum has set a fatal example by 
endeavouring to reconcile the opinions of the 
fathers. The consequence is, that we have become 
a laughing-stock to the heretics when we present 
ourselves before them with these obscure phrases 



and double and doubtful meanings. Eck delights 
in being the champion of all these diverse and 
contrary opinions. And it is on this that our dis- 
putation will turn." (A.D. 1519.) 

" I always marvel how, after the apostles, Je- 
rome won the name of Doctor of the Church; and 
Origen, that of Master of the Chifrches. Their 
works would never make a single Christian. . . . 
So much are they led away by the pomp of works. 
Augustin himself would not have been a whit bet- 
ter, had not the Pelagians tried him and compelled 
him to defend the true faith." (August 26th, 1530.) 

" He who dared to compare monkhood with 
baptism was completely mad, was more a stock 
than a brute. What ! and would you believe 
Jerome when he speaks in so impious a way of 
God? when he actually lays it down, that, next to 
ourself, one's relatives should command our cares? 
Would you listen to Jerome, so often in error, so 
often sinful ? Would you, in short, believe in man 
rather than in God himself ? Go, then, and be- 
lieve, if you will, with Jerome, that you ought to 
break your parent's hearts in order to fly to the 
desert." (Letter to Severinus, an Austrian monk, 
October 6th, 1527.) 

Page 63, col. 1. "but consider that the schoolmen 
in general." " Gregory of Rimini has convicted the 
schoolmen of a worse doctrine than that of the Pela- 
gians. . . . For although the Pelagians think we can 
do a good work without grace, they do not affirm that 
we can obtain heaven without grace. The school- 
men speak like Pelagius when they teach that 
without grace we can do a good work, and not a 
meritorious work. But they out-herod the Pela- 
gians when they add, that man, by inspiration of 
natural reason, may subdue the will, whilst the 
Pelagians allow that man is aided by the law of 
God." (A.D. 1519.) 

Page 65. col. 1. " I regret not having more time to 
devote." To Wenceslaus Link of Nuremberg: " If it 
would not give you too much trouble, my dear Wen- 
ceslaus,! pray you to collect for me all the drawings, 
books, hymns, songs of the Meistersanger, and 
rhymes which have been written and printed in 
German this year in your town. Send me as many 
as you can collect; I am impatient to see them. 
Here, we can write works in Latin, but as to Ger- 
man books, we are but apprentices. Still, by dint 
of our earnest application, I hope we may soon suc- 
ceed, so as to give you satisfaction." (March 20th, 

Page 65, col. 1 . " no better books than JEsop's fables." 
In 1530, Luther translated a selection of ^Esop's 
fables, and in the preface he says, that most likely 
there never was any man of that name, but that 
these fables were apparently collected from the 
mouths of the people. (Luth. Werke, ix. p. 455.) 

Page 66, col. 1 . " Singing is tlie best exercise." 
Heine, Revue des deux Mondes, March 1st, 1534 : 
" Not less curious or significant than Luther's 
prose writings, are his poems; those songs, which 
burst forth from him in his exigencies and diffi- 
culties like the flower that struggles into exist- 
ence from between the stones; a lunar ray shedding 
light on an angry ocean. Luther loved music 
passionately; he wrote a treatise on the art, and 
his own compositions are sweet and melodious. 
He obtained and merited the title of the swan of 

Eisleben. Bat he was any thing but a gentle 
swan in those songs of his in which he rouses the 
courage of his followers, and lashes himself into a 
savage ardour. The song with which (for instance) 
he entered Worms, followed by his companions, 
was a true war-song. The old cathedral shook 
again at the strange sounds, and the ravens were 
disturbed in their nests on the summit of the 
towers. This hymn, the Marseillaise of the Re- 
formation, has preserved to this day its powerful 
energy and expression, and may some day again 
startle us with its sonorous and iron-girt words in 
similar contests. 

" Our God is a fortress, 
A sword and a good armour ; 
He will deliver us from all the dangers 
Which now threaten us. 
The old wicked serpent 
Is bent on our ruin this day ; 
He is armed with power and craft ; 
He has not his like in the world. 

" Your power will avail not, 
You will soon see your ruin ; 
The man of truth fights for us, 
God has himself chosen him. 
Seek you his name ? 
'Tis Jesus Christ, 
The Lord of Sahaoth ; 
There is no other God but He, 
He will keep his ground, He will give the victory. 

" Were the world full of devils 
Longing to devour us, 
Let us not trouble ourselves about them ; 
Our undertaking will succeed. 
The prince of this world, 
Although he grins at us, 
Will do us no harm. 
He is sentenced 
One word will o'erthrow him. 

" They will leave us the word, 
We shall not thank them therefore : 
The word is amongst us, 
With its spirit and its gifts. 
Let them take our bodies, 
Our goods, honour, our children. 
Let them go on 
They will be no gainers : 
The empire will remain ours." 

Page 66, col. 1. "Of Painting." The doc- 
tor was one day speaking of the talent and 
skill of the Italian painters. " They understand," 
said he, " how to imitate nature so wonderfully, 
that, besides giving the colouring and form, they 
express the very attitudes and sentiments to such a 
degree as to make their pictures seem living things. 
The Flemish painters follow in the track of Italy. 
The natives of the Low Countries, and, above all, 
the Flemings, are intelligent, and have an aptitude 
for learning foreign languages. It is a proverb, 
that if a Fleming were carried to Italy or France 
in a sack, he would, nevertheless, learn the lan- 
guage of the country." (Tischreden, p. 424, verso.) 

Page 67, col. 1. "Of Banking." He says 
in his treatise de Usuris, " I call usurers, those 
who lend at five and six per cent. The Scrip- 
tures forbid lending on interest ; we ought to 
lend money as willingly as we would a vase to our 
neighbours. Even civil law prohibits usury. It 
is not an act of charity to exchange with any one, 



and to gain by the exchange, but thieving. A 
usurer, then, is a thief worthy of the gallows. At 
the present day, in Leipsic, the usual 1 interest is 
forty per cent. Promises to usurers need not be 
kept. They are not to be allowed to communicate, 
or to be buried in holy ground. . . . The last advice 
that I have to give to usurers is this: They want 
money ! gold ! Well, let them apply to Him who 
will not give them ten or twenty per c,ent, but a 
hundred for every ten ! His treasures are inex- 
haustible; he can give without being impoverished." 
(Oper. Lat. Luth. Witt. i. 7, p. 419447.) 

Dr. Heuning proposed this question to Luther, 
" If I had amassed money, and did not wish 
to part with it, and were asked to lend, could I then 
with a good conscience reply, I have no money ?" 
" Yes," said Luther, " you might so do with a safe 
conscience, for it would be the same as saying, I 
have no money to spare. . . . Christ, when he bids 
us give, does not mean to the prodigal and dissi- 
pated. ... In this town, I reckon the most needy 
to be the scholars. Their poverty is great, but 
alas ! their laziness is greater still. . . . And must 
I take the bread from the mouths of my wife and 
children, to give to those whom no help benefits ? 
Certainly not." (Tischreden, p. 64.) 

Page 70, col. 1. " The Roman, or imperial law 
only holds by a thread." Still Luther preferred it 
to .the Saxon law. 

" Dr. Luther, speaking of the great barbarity 
and rudeness of the Saxon law, said that things 
would go on better, were the imperial law followed 
throughout the empire. But it is a settled belief at 
court that the change could not take place without 
great confusion and mischief." (Tischreden, p. 412.) 

Page 70. col. 1. "to let the old dog sleep." In his 
last letter but one to Melanchthon, (February 6th, 
1546,) he says, speaking of the legists, " syco- 
phants, O sophists, O pests of mankind ! . . . I 
write to thee in wrath, but I know not that I could 
indite better, were I cool." 

Page 70, col. 1, last line. " Pious jurists." He 
wishes that their condition could be bettered. 

" Doctors at law gain too little, and are obliged to 
turn attorneys. In Italy, a jurist has four hundred 
ducats, or more, yearly, whilst in Germany their 
salary is only a hundred. They ought to be ensured 
honourable pensions, as ought good and pious pas- 
tors and preachers. For lack of this, in order to 
support their families, they are obliged to apply to 
agriculture and domestic cares." (Tischreden. p. 

Confidential discussion between Luther and Me- 
lanchthon. (A.D. 1536.) 

MELANCHTHON inclined to the opinion of Saint 
Augustin, who held " that we are justified by faith 
and regeneration ;" and who, under the name of 
regeneration, includes all the graces and virtues 
that we derive from God*. " What is your opi- 
nion ?" he asked of Luther; " do you hold with 
Saint Augustin, that men are justified by regene- 
ration \" 

LUTHER replies, " I hold so, and am certain that 
the true meaning of the Gospel and of the Apostles 

* Melanchthon observes, that Saint Augustin does not 
express this opinion in his controversial works. 

is, that we are justified before God by faith gratis ; 
i. e. only by God's mere mercy, wherewith, and by 
reason whereof, he imputeth righteousness to us 
in Christ." 

MELANCHTHON then inquires, " But will you not 
allow me to say, Sir, that man is justified principa- 
liter (principally) by faith, and minus principaliter 
(in the least measure) by works ? yet in such man- 
ner that faith supplieth that which is wanting in 
the law ?" 

LUTHER. " The mercy of God is our sole justi- 
fication. The righteousness of works is but external, 
and can by no means deliver us from God's wrath, 
and sin, and death." 

MELANCHTHON. "I ask touching Saint Paul, 
after he was regenerated, how became he justified 
and rendered acceptable to God ?" 

LUTHER. " Solely by reason of this same rege- 
neration, by which he became justified by faith, 
and will remain so everlastingly." 

MELANCHTHON. " Was he justified by God's 
mercy only 1 or principally by the mercy, and less 
principally by his virtues and works 1" 

LUTHER. " No. His virtues and works were 
only pleasing to God because they were Saint 
Paul's, who was justified ; like as a work is pleasing 
or displeasing, good or evil, according to the person 
who performs it." 

MELANCHTHON. " Then it seems Saint Paul was 
not justified by mercy only. You yourself teach 
that the righteousness of works is necessary before 
God ; and that Saint Paul, who had faith and who 
did good works, pleased God as he would not have 
done if he had not these good works, making our 
righteousness a little piece of the cause of our 

LUTHER. " Not at all. Good works are necessary, 
but not out of compulsion by the law, but out of the 
necessity of a willing mind. The sun must needs 
shine that is a necessity ; but it is not by reason 
of any law that he shines, but by his nature, by a 
quality inherent and immutable. It was created to 
shine. Even so one that is justified and regenerate 
doeth good works not by any law or constraint, 
but by an unchangeable necessity. And Saint Paul 
saith, ' We are God's workmanship, created in Christ 
Jesus to good works,' <f~c." 

MELANCHTHON. " Sadolet accuses us of contra- 
dicting ourselves, in teaching that we are justified 
by faith yet admitting the necessity of good 

LUTHER. " It is, because the false brethren and 
hypocrites make a show, as if they believed that 
we require of them works, to confound them in 
their knavery." 

MELANCHTHON. " You say Saint Paul was justi- 
fied by God's mercy only ; to which I reply, that if 
our obedience followeth not, then are we not saved, 
according to these words (1 Cor. ix.), ' Woe is unto 
me, if I preach not tJte Gospel.' " 

LUTHER. " There is no want of any thing to 
add to faith. Faith is all-powerful, otherwise it is 
no faith. Therefore of what value soever the 
works are, the same they are through the power 
of faith, which undeniably is the sun or sunbeam 
of this shining." 

MELANCHTHON. " In Saint Augustin, works are 
directly excluded in the words sold fide." 

LUTHER. " Whether it be so or no, Saint Au- 
gustin plainly shows he is of our opinion when he 



saith, * I am afraid, but I do not despair, for I 
think upon the wounds of our Saviour ;' and else- 
where, in his Confessions, he saith : ' Woe be to the 
life of that human creature (be it ever so good and 
praiseworthy) that disregardeth God's mercy. . .' " 

MELANCHTHON. " Is it proper to say that right- 
eousness of works is necessary to salvation ?" 

LUTHER. " Not in the sense that works procure 
salvation, but that they are the inseparable com- 
panions of the faith which justifieth, as I, of 
necessity, must be present at my salvation. . . . 
' I shall be there as well as you,' said the man 
they were taking to be hanged, and who saw the 
people running as hard as they could towards the 
gallows. . . . The faith, which is the gift of God, 
is the beginning of righteousness ; after that, the 
works are required which are commanded by the 
law, and which must be done after and besides 
faith. The works are not righteousness themselves 
in the sight of God, although they adorn the per- 
son accidentally, who doeth them ; but they justify 
not the person, for we are all justified one way, in 
and by Christ. To conclude, a faithful person is a 
new creature, a new tree. Therefore all these 
speeches used in the law are not belonging to this 
case, as to say, a faithful person must do good works, 
the sun must shine, a good tree must bring forth 
good fruit, three and seven shall be ten. For the 
sun shall not shine, but it doth shine, by nature 
unbidden ; likewise a good tree bringeth forth 
good fruit without bidding. Three and seven are 
already ten, not shall be ; there is no need to 
command what is already done." 

The following passage is more to the purpose 
still, " I use to think in this manner, as if my 
heart were no quality or virtue at all, called faith 
or love (as the sophists do dream of), but I set all 
on Christ, and say mea for mails justitia, that is, my 
sure, constant, and complete righteousness (in which 
is no want nor failing, but is before God as it 
ought to be) is Christ my Lord and Saviour." 
(Tischreden, p. 133.) 

This passage is one of those which most strongly 
shows the intimate connexion of Luther's doctrine 
with the system of absolute identification. It is 
plain how the German philosophy ended in that of 
Schelling and Hegel. 

Page 71) col. 1. " good and true divinity." 
The Papists threw great ridicule on the four 
new Gospels : that of Luther, who condemned 
works ; that of Kuntius, who rebaptized adults ; 
that of Otho de Brunfels, who regarded the 
Scripture only as a purely cabalistic recitation, 
surda sine spiritu narratio ; and finally, that of the 
Mystics. (Cochlseus, p. 165.) They might have 
added that of Dr. Paulus Ricius, a Jewish doctor, 
who published, during the diet at Ratisbon, a 
little book in which Moses and St. Paul de- 
monstrated in a dialogue how all the religious 
opinions, which excited such disputes, might be 

Page 72, col. 1. " I saw a small cloud of fire in the 
air" " 1 incline to think from the comet, that some 
danger is threatening the emperor and Ferdinand. 
It turned its tail at first towards the north, then 
towards the south ; thus pointing out the two 
brothers." (October, 1531.) 

Page 72, col. 2. " Michael Stiefel believes himself." 
" Michael Stiefel, with his seventh trumpet, pro- 

phesies that the day of judgment will fall this year, 
about All Saints' Day." (August 26th, 1533.) 

Page 77> col. 1. " The devil, in truth, has not gradu- 
ated." " It is a wonderful tiling," says Bossuet, " to 
hear how solemnly and earnestly he describes his 
waking with a sudden start in the middle of the 
night manifestly the work of the devil come to dis- 
pute with him. The alarm which seized him ; the 
sweats; the tremblings; the horrible beatings of the 
heart in this combat; the pressing argumeutsof the 
demon, leaving the mind not one instant of rest; the 
tones of his powerful voice; the overwhelming man- 
ner of the dispute, in which question and answer 
were heard at one and the same moment. ' I now 
understand,' says he, ' how sudden deaths so often 
happen towards morning; it is, that not only 
the devil can kill and strangle men, but that he 
has the power to set them so beside themselves 
with these disputes, as to leave them half-dead, as 
I have several times experienced.' " (De Abro- 
ganda Missa Privata, t. vii. p. 222. Trad, de Bos- 
suet, Variations, ii. p. 203.) 

Page 80, col. 1. "At dinner, after preaching at 
Sma/kalde." He wrote to his wife upon this ill- 
ness, " I have been like to one dead . I recom- 
mended thee and our children to God and to our 
Saviour, believing that I should see you no more. 
I was much moved as I thought of you ; 1 beheld 
myself in the tomb. The prayers and tears of 
pious people who love me, have found favour before 
God. This very night I have had a favourable 
crisis, and I feel a ' new man.' " (February 27th, 

Luther experienced a dangerous relapse at Wit- 
temberg. Obliged to remain at Gotha, he thought 
himself dying, and dictated to Bugenhagen, who 
was with him, his last will. He declared that he 
had combated papacy according to his conscience, 
and asked pardon of Melanchthon, of Jonas, and 
of Creuziger, for the wrongs he might have done 
them. (Ukert, t. i. 325.) 

Page 80, col. 1. "/ believe my true malady" 
Luther suffered early in life from stone; and was a 
martyr to it. He was operated upon the 27th of 
February, 1537. " By God's grace, I am getting 
convalescent, and have begun to eat and drink, 
though my legs, knees, and joints tremble so that 
I can with difficulty support myself. I am only, 
not to speak of infirmities and old age, a walking 
skeleton, cold and torpid." (December 6th, 1537.) 

Page 82, col. 2. "his last days were painfully em- 
ployed." He had tried in vain to reconcile the 
counts of Mansfeld. "If," says he, "you would 
bring into your house a tree that has been cut 
down, you must not take it by the top, or the 
branches will stick in the doorway ; take it by the 
root, and the branches will yield to the entrance." 
(Tischreden, p. 355.) 

Page 84. We here throw together several par- 
ticulars relative to Luther. 

Erasmus says of him : " His morals are unani- 
mously praised ; it is the highest testimony man 
can have, that his enemies even can find no flaw 
in them for calumny.' 1 (Ukert, t. ii. p. 5.) 

Luther was fond of simple pleasures. He loved 
music, and would often bear his share in a friendly 
concert, or play a game of skittles with his friends. 
Mehinchthon says of him, " Whoever has known 
him, and seen him often and familiarly, will allow 



that he was a most excellent man, gentle and 
agreeable in society, not in the least obstinate or 
given to disputation, yet with all the/ gravity be- 
coming his character. If he showed any great 
severity in combating the enemies of the true doc- 
trine, it was from no malignity of nature, but from 
ardour and enthusiasm for the truth." (Ukert, 
t. ii. p. 12.) 

" Although he was neither of small frame nor 
weak constitution, he was extremely temperate in 
eating and drinking. I have seen him, when in 
full health, pass four days together without taking 
any food, and often go a whole day with only a 
little bread and a herring." (Life of Luther, by 

Melanchthon says, in his posthumous works : 
" I have myself often found him shedding bitter 
tears, and praying earnestly to God for the welfare 
of the Church. He devoted part of each day to 
reading the Psalms, and to invoking God with all 
the fervour of his soul." (Ukert, t. ii. p. 7-) 

Luther says of himself : " If I were as eloquent 
and gifted as Erasmus, as good a Greek scholar as 
Joachim Camerarius, as learned in Hebrew as 
Forscher, and a little younger into the bargain, 
ah ! what I would accomplish !" (Tischreden, p. 

" Amsdorf, the licentiate, is a theologist by na- 
ture ; doctors Creuziger and Jonas are so from 
study and reflection. But doctor Pomer and my- 
self seldom lay ourselves open in argument." (Tisch- 
reden, p. 425.) 

To Antoine Unruche, judge at Torgau. . . . " I 
thank you with all my heart, dear Anthony, for 
having taken in hand the cause of Margaret 
Dorst, and for not having suffered those insolent 
country squires to take from the poor woman the 
little she has. Doctor Martin is, you know, not 
only theologian and defender of the faith, but also 
the supporter of the poor in their rights, who come 
to him from all quarters, for his counsel, and inter- 
vention with the authorities; he willingly aids the 
poor, as you do yourself, and all who resemble you. 
You are truly pious, you fear God, and love his 
word; therefore Jesus Christ will not forget you." 
. . . (June 22nd, 1538.) 

Luther writes to his wife on the subject of an 
old servant who was about to quit their house : 
" Our old John must be honourably discharged; 
thou knowest that he has always served us faith- 
fully, with zeal, and as became a Christian ser- 
vant. How much have we not squandered on 
worthless people and ungrateful students, who 
have made a bad use of our money! We must not, 
therefore, be niggardly on this occasion, towards 
so honest a servant, on whom whatever we lay 
out will be laid out in a way pleasing to God. I 
well know we are not rich; I would willingly give 
him ten florins if I had them; in any case he must 
not have less than five, for he is not well clothed. 
Whatever more you can do for him, do it, I beg of 
you. It is true that he ought also to have some- 
thing out of the city chest for the various offices he 
has filled in the Church ; let them do as they will. 
Consider then how thou mayst raise this money; 
we have a silver goblet to place in pawn. God 
will not abandon us I feel sure. Adieu." (Febru- 
ary 17th, 1532.) 

" The prince has given me a gold ring ; but in 
order that I may well understand that I was not 

born to wear gold, the ring lias already fallen off 
my finger (for it is a little too large). I said, 
' Thou art but a worm of the earth, and no man : this 
gold would better have become Faber or Eck; 
for thee, lead, or a cord for thy neck, would suit 
thee better.'" (September 15th, 1530.) 

The elector on levying a tax for the war against 
the Turks, had exempted Luther from it. The latter 
said he accepted this mark of favour for his two 
houses, one of which (the ancient convent) it had 
cost him much to keep up without bringing him in 
any thing ; and for the other he had not yet 
paid. " But," continues he, " I pray your elec- 
toral grace, in all submission, to allow me to defray 
the assessment on my other possessions. I have a 
garden estimated to be worth five hundred florins, 
some land valued at ninety florins, and a small 
garden worth twenty. I prefer doing as the 
rest, fighting the Turks with my farthings, and 
not to be excluded from the army which is to 
save us. There are enough already who do not 
give willingly ; I would not be a cause of jealousy. 
It is better to give no occasion for complaint, so 
that they cannot but say, ' Dr. Martin is also obliged 
to pay.' " (March 26th, 1542.) 

To the Elector John. " Grace and peace in Jesus 
Christ. Most serene highness, I have long delayed 
to thank your grace for the robes you have been 
pleased to send me ; I do so now with my whole 
heart. Nevertheless, I humbly pray your grace, 
not to believe those who represent me as in utter 
destitution. I am but too rich, as my conscience 
tells me ; it does not behove me as a preacher to 
be in affluence ; I neither desire, nor ask it. The 
repeated favours of your grace truly begin to alarm 
me. I should not wish to be of those to whom the 
Saviour says, ' Woe to you, ye rich, for you have 
received your consolation !' Neither would I be a 
burden upon your grace, whose purse must be in 
constant requisition for so many importunate ob- 
jects. Already had your grace amply provided 
me by sending me the brown suit ; but, not to 
appear ungrateful, I will also wear in honour of 
your grace the black suit, although too rich for 
me ; if it had not been a present from your electoral 
grace, I should never have put on such a dress. 

" I therefore pray your grace will have the 
goodness to wait until 1 take the liberty of asking 
for something. This kindness on your grace's 
part will deprive me of courage to intercede for 
others, who may be far more worthy of favour. 
That Jesus Christ may recompense your generous 
soul, is the prayer that I offer up with my whole 
heart. Amen." (August 17th, 1529.) 

John the Constant made a present to Luther of 
the ancient convent of the Augustins at Wittem- 
berg. The elector Augustus bought it back of his 
heirs in 1564, to give it to the university. (Ukert, 
t. i. p. 347.) 

Places inJiabited by Luther, and objects kept in vene- 
ration of his memory. The house in which Luther 
was born, no longer exists ; it was burnt in 1 689. 
At Wartburg, they still show a stain of ink on the 
wall made by Luther in throwing his inkstand at 
the devil's head. The cell which he occupied at 
the convent of Wittemberg, has also been pre- 
served with the different articles of furniture 
belonging to him. The walls of this cell are 
covered with the names of visitors : Peter the 
Great's name is to be seen written on the door. 



At Coburg they show the room which he occupied 
during the diet of Augsburg (A. D. 1530). 

Luther used to wear a gold ring, with a small 
death's head in enamel, and these words, Mori 
scepe cogita (Think oft of death); round the setting 
was engraved, mors, ero mors tua (Death, I will 
be thy death). This ring is preserved at Dresden, 
with the medal of silver-gilt worn by Luther's 
wife. On this medal is represented a serpent raising 
itself on the bodies of the Israelites, with these 
words : Serpens exaltatus typus Ckristi crucifixi (The 
serpent exalted typifies Christ crucified). The 
reverse represents Jesus Christ on the cross, with 
this motto : Christus mortuus est pro peccatis nostrls 
(Christ died for our sins) On the one side one 
reads, D. Mart. Luter. Caterince suce dono D. H. F. 
(A present from Dr. Martin Luther to his wife). 
And on the other, Quce nata est anno 1499, 29 
Januarii (Who was born Jan. 29th, 1499). 

He had also a seal, which he has himself de- 
scribed to in a letter to Lazarus Spengler: " Grace 
and peace in Jesus Christ. Dear Sir and friend, 
You tell me I shall please you by explaining the 
meaning of what you see engraved upon my seal. 
I proceed, therefore, to acquaint you with what I 
have had engraved on it, as a symbol of my faith. 
First, there is a black cross, with a heart in the 
centre. This cross is to remind me that faith in 

the Crucified is our salvation. Whosoever believes 
in him with all his soul, is justified. The cross is 
black, to signify mortification, the troubles through 
which the Christian must pass. The heart, how- 
ever, preserves its natural colour, for the cross 
neither changes nature nor kills it ; the cross 
gives life. Justus fide mmt sed fide Crucifixi. The 
heart is placed on a white rose, to indicate that 
faith gives consolation, joy, and peace ; the rose is 
white, not red, because it is not the joy and peace 
of this world, but that of the angelic spirits. White 
is the colour of spirits and of angels. The rose is 
in an azure field, to show that this joy of the spirit 
and the faith is a beginning of that celestial hap- 
piness which awaits us, of which we already have 
the foretaste in the hope which we enjoy of it, but 
the consummation of which is yet to come. In 
the azure field you see a circle of pure gold, to in- 
dicate that the felicity of heaven is everlasting, and 
as superior to every other joy, all other good, as 
gold is to all other metals. May Jesus Christ, our 
Lord, be with you unto eternal life. Amen. From 
my desert at Coburg, July 8th, 1530." 

At Altenburg they preserved for a long time the 
drinking-glass which was used by Luther the last 
time he visited his friend Spalatin. (Ukert, t. i. 
p. 245, et seqq.) 


London: GILBERT and RIVINGTON, Printers, St. John's Square. 



























THE History of the Popes, &c., which has already appeared in this series, constitutes in 
the original German the last three of four volumes, entitled, collectively, " Sovereigns and 
Nations of Southern Europe in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries." The first of 
these volumes comprises the two historical treatises which are now for the first time 
presented to the English reader. These will he found to be in every respect worthy of 
the industrious, conscientious, and judicious author of the first-named history. Whilst 
they possess a high intrinsic interest as substantive works, they must obviously be 
regarded also as in some degree necessary complements to the history of the Papacy. 
The relations between that power and the Most Catholic King in particular were so 
numerous and important in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, that the political 
history of the latter becomes in fact an integrant and prominent part of that of the 

To accommodate purchasers, a double title, general and specific, is given ; so that both 
divisions of the general subject may be bound together under a common title, or either 
may be had separately in the form of a distinct work. 





Foundations of the Ottoman Power 5 

Digression respecting the modern Greeks in the Six- 
teenth Century 9 

On the decay of the Ottoman Power 11 

The Sultans 12 


Military Forces 


Posture of the Empire under Amurath IV. 
Conclusion .. 

... 15 

... 19 

... 21 

... 24 

.. 26 



1. Charles V 28 I 3. Philip III 

2. Philip II 30 I Conclusion 


1. The Court and State of Charles V 37 

2. The first Ministry of Philip II 39 

3. Digression respecting Don John of Austria 43 


4. The second Ministry of Philip II. 

5. Philip III. and Lerma 

I. Castile 56 

The Nobles ib. 

The Towns 57 

Digression respecting the range of action of the later 

Cortes 58 

The Clergy 60 

New Constitution 61 

The Inquisition ib. 

II. Aragon 63 

Old Constitution ib. 

Revolution 64 

III. Sicily 65 

IV. Naples 67 

The Nobles and the Towns 68 

The Clergy 

New Constitution 

Relation to the Pope 

Functionaries, the Army, Revenues . 

V. Milan 

The Senate 

The Archbishop 

The Communes 

VI. The Netherlands 

Monarchical Authority 

Provincial Rights 

Balance of the Constitution 

Misunderstandings under Philip .... 
The Troubles ... 


1. Under Charles V 84 

Income from America 88 

2. The Finances under Philip II 90 

Administration of Castile 

3. Finances under Philip III. 

1. Castile 98 

2. Catalonia 104 

3. Sicily, Milan, Naples 105 




4. The Netherlands ., 



Ottoman Empire ...................................................... 112 | The Spanish Empire .................................... 





THERE was a time when the power, and, in a great measure, the civilization of Europe, seemed to have 
their chief seat in the South ; a time when the Ottoman empire and the Spanish monarchy had grown 
up, face to face, to an overtopping greatness, dangerous to neighbouring and remote nations, and when 
no literature in the world could compare with that of Italy. 

Another followed, in which the Spanish monarchy, far from asserting its force over friends or foes, 
was rent and sub-divided by foreign politics, in which Italy, as well as Spain, was pervaded by a 
civilization of no native growth ; and in which the Ottomans ceased to be feared, and began themselves 
to fear. These changes, we know, constitute, in no small degree, the distinctive features that mark, 
respectively, two periods in modern history. 

What then produced these changes ? How did they arise ? Was it through the loss of decisive 
battles, or the invasion of foreign nations, or the stroke of inevitable disasters ? They were mainly the 
result of internal developments ; and these are what the present work proposes to investigate. As it 
contemplates the period filled by the vigour and seeming bloom of the two nations in question, from 
1540 to 1620, or thereabouts, it traces in the germ what succeeding times brought forth. 

It will, I think, be admitted, that even the more authentic and pains-taking works on the history of 
late ages, engrossed, as they are, with the events of political or religious strife, which occurred from day 
to-day, afford us but little information respecting the gradual revolution in the inward organization and 
economy of nations. Had I relied on these works only, I should never have "accomplished my own, 
imperfect as it is ; nay, I should never have undertaken it. But fortunately I found other aids, which 
afforded a more complete body of information; aids, frequently, of extraordinary value, and yet still 
unknown, which it is a main object of this work to bring within the circle of general knowledge. I 
purpose going through them upon another occasion, singly and in detail ; still I think it necessary to 
give a general description of them in this place. 

If, after the numerous labours of able men, posterity still feels how short-coming are the historical 
works belonging to the period in question, this feeling must have been much more strongly experienced 
by contemporaries ; above all, by those who were called on to take an active part in public affairs. 
These men soon turned from printed works, in which comprehensiveness of range and fluency of expres- 
sion were the chief things aimed at, to manuscript documents of more veracity. We have essays 
recommending the formation and study of collections of this kind ; we have such collections themselves 
in our possession. Among their contents the Venetian Relation! hold by far the most conspicuous 

'Placed repeatedly in the midst between two parties, having relations not only of politics, but still more 
of trade and commerce with half the world, not strong enough to rest wholly on her own strength, and 
yet not so weak as to be obliged inactively to wait what should be done by others, Venice had occasion 
enough to turn her eyes in every direction, and to form connexions in every quarter. She frequently 
sent her most experienced and able citizens to foreign courts. Not content with the despatches on 
current affairs regularly sent home every fourteen days, she further required of her ambassadors, when 
they returned, after an absence of two or three years, that they should give a circumstantial account of 
the court and the country they had been visiting. This was delivered in the council of the Pregadi, 
before men who had grown old in the service of the state, and who had, perhaps, themselves discharged 
the self-same embassies, or might soon be called on to do so. The reporter laboured to pourtray the 
person and character of the sovereign to whom he had been accredited, his court and his ministers, the 
state of his finances, his military force, his whole administration, the temper and feeling of his subjects, 
and, lastly, his relations with other states in general, and with Venice in particular. He then laid at the 
feet of his Siguoria the present made him by the foreign potentate. Sometimes these reports were very 
minute, and occupied several evenings in the delivery : we can see how the reporter breaks off, when 
arrived at the end of some division of his subject, to take breath. Sometimes, at least in earlier times, 
they were delivered from memory : they are all interspersed with direct addresses to the Doge and the 
assembly : their style and matter every where shows the freshness of personal observation ; every man 
strove to do his utmost ; he had an audience worthy of a statesman. The Venetians are not unfrequent 
in their praises of this institution. " In this way we learn, respecting foreign states, what it is alike 
serviceable to know in peace, and when discord has broken out ; we can draw also from their measures 
lessons for our own administration ; and the inexperienced are thus forearmed and prepared for public 



business. Whilst a scholar knows only the past, and a reconnoitrer can only communicate what ,is 
present, an ambassador, deriving credit from the importance of his country, and from his own, will 
easily make himself familiar with both, and be enabled to furnish satisfactory information." Others, 
on the contrary, not unfrequently found fault with the republic for this anatomy, as they called it, of 
foreign courts and states. They thought the Venetian ambassadors over-eager in prying into likings and 
dislikings, favour and disfavour, resources and designs of sovereigns, and far too liberal when the 
question was, how to discover secrets. Men who have taken an active part in business, and who have 
been personally privy to details, always possess a knowledge of existing things, and of the immediate 
past, of decisive positions and of ruling interests, which is hidden from the crowd, and which dies with 
themselves. The ambassadors of Venice gathered up no small stock of such knowledge in almost all the 
courts of Europe, for the behoof of their Signory. Their reports were inserted hi the archives of the 

How rich must these archives have been ! A law, passed as early as 1268, enjoins the ambassadors to 
note down and communicate whatever they could observe, that might be interesting to the government. 
The word " Relatione" came into use after 1465. Giovanni Casa, speaking of a report made by Gaspar 
Contarini, in 1526, says, that it was delivered after the usage of their predecessors. The republic 
continued this practice to the last days of her existence, and there is still extant a report of the Venetian 
embassy touching the commencement of the French revolution, which is full of striking and impartial 
revelations. But these performances obtained most note at the period the regular embassies came in 
vogue, and when Venice was strong and respectable in the eyes of other powers, namely, in the sixteenth 
century : between 1530 and 1620, we find them sometimes made use of, frequently alluded to, and 
continually copied and communicated. They constituted the chief part of the politico-historical collec- 
tions we have spoken of. 

But these contained many other important pieces besides. Similar reports were likewise called for, at 
times, by the Pope, the King of Spain, and the Dukes of Ferrara and Florence. Ex-ambassadors drew 
up instructions, full of detailed information for their successors. High functionaries and governors of 
provinces were inducted into their offices by their predecessors, or by others possessed of the necessary 
knowledge. There was a multitude of letters in circulation. All things of this kind were stored up in 
the above-mentioned collections, to afford materials for a conception of the then existing world. For us 
that world is long gone by : we can easily see how a consecutive series of such reports would necessarily 
become for us direct history, and that, too, such a one as we are now looking for ; one that deals not so 
much with individual occurrences as with the general aspect and condition of things, and with the 
development of inherent principles. But doubly valuable must these collections have been for contem- 
poraries themselves : only the question presents itself, how could they have come into existence ? If, as 
we are assured, it was no very difficult matter to get hold of those same MSS., provided one spared 
neither money nor trouble, still, it may be asked, how did so singular a traffic in private state papers 
arise, and how did it become general ? 

We have some information on this point too. In the year 1557, Paul IV. bestowed the cardinal's hat 
on Vitellozzo, of the house of Vitelli, a house that, for a considerable while, had been mixed up in all 
Italian movements. Vitellozzo himself had long in his hands all the papers of the Caraffeschi, who 
thought to revolutionize all Italy. He collected from Italian, French, and Spanish archives, invaluable 
memorials for the history of modern Rome. The popes esteemed him the best versed, of all men, in 
their affairs ; he was called the Interpreter of the Curia ; he always proved himself full of talent, apt, 
and docile. This cardinal was held to be the founder of the study of political MSS. " I will not omit to 
mention," says the author of an essay entitled, Memoranda for the Roman See, " that the endeavour to 
gain information from MSS, was principally introduced by Cardinal Vitellozzo, of glorious memory. If 
he was not the first to set up the practice, at least he gave it new animation. His excellency was ex- 
ceedingly eager on this point; he took the utmost pains to get together written pieces from various places, 
and spent a great deal of money for them. To such an extent did he push his exertions, that his 
archives were surpassingly rich, and commanded universal wonder." The practice came very speedily 
into vogue. Cardinals and papal nephews established archives of their own, for similar collections ; and 
we find instances of such-a-one being recommended to another as a man who had a quiet, noiseless way 
of going to work, and bringing together many fine things. Pallavicini found such collections in the 
possession of Cardinal Spada, in the Borghese Palace, and he employed them in the composition of his 
History of the Council of Trent. Cardinal Francesco Barberini deposited another, in a long series of 
volumes, in the library that still bears his family name. Another was kept in the library Delia Vallicella, 
founded at the same period by San Filippo Neri. Collections similarly composed are to be found in the 
Vatican, and in the mansions of the Chigi and Altieri families. But why attempt to enumerate them ? 
Rome was full of them ; Rome (says one reporter), where every thing is known, and nothing kept 
silent ; Rome (says another), a registry of all state transactions. It will not be supposed that every 
collector went back to the first fountain-heads. One copy produced twenty others ; and Vitellozzo's 
collection will probably have been the mother of the rest. A lively movement was continually kept up 
in this range of pursuit by the addition of new pieces. How should it have been difficult for a reigning 
nephew, the ambassador of a powerful sovereign, or an influential cardinal, to get possession of state 
papers, which, after all, did not always contain the very secrets of current negotiations, but were merely 
drawn up for the advice and guidance of the rulers ? At any rate, the Venetian Relationi, to which 
the state historiographers unambiguously allude, and collections of which in foreign libraries Foscarini 
mentions without suspicion, bear the full stamp of genuine authenticity. Collectors seem to have 
assisted each other by mutual exchanges. When we consider the ample stock that is extant of these 
writings, the wide range, and the abundance of their contents, it almost seems as though, even after the 


art of printing was in practice, there existed for the knowledge of modern history a literature apart, but 
only in manuscript ; a literature declared secret, and yet so diffused that works newly circulated excited 
public attention, and called forth replies ; a literature almost wholly unused, as regarded general 
knowledge, and yet rich, in manifold, 'instructive, well- written works. 

These collections did not remain confined to Rome. The archduke Cosmo of Tuscany appointed a man 
expressly to bring together and obtain copies of everything that had appeared there for a long while. In 
Venice, Agostino Nani had a stock of similar manuscripts. The library of Paris has so ample a store of 
Venetian Relazioni, that it seems almost in a condition to supply the place of the Venetian archives. They 
have also found their way to Germany. 

The royal library of Berlin contains a collection like those formerly made in Rome, and comprised in 
forty-eight vols. folio, of which forty-six are entitled Information! Politiche. It is made up of writings of 
the same kind, reports, particularly of Venetian ambassadors, instructions, and memoranda for high 
functionaries entering on office, narratives of conclaves, letters, speeches, reflections, and notices. Each 
volume contains no small number of these, but not arranged in any order. The heads under which they 
might be ranged, such as the times and the places to which they relate, the languages in which they are 
composed (for though far the majority are written in Italian, some are in Spanish and some in Latin), 
have not been made the basis of any classification ; no other order of succession is observed than that in 
which the copies came to hand ; the same work recurs two or three times. The bulk however of what 
we find in this collection belongs to a definite and not very extensive circle. Some of the documents 
relate to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries ; but these are not many, and are already known : perhaps 
only two amongst them may be deserving of reconsideration. It is not till we come to the sixteenth century 
that we find ourselves presented with a more varied store year by year. Instructions, reports, and letters 
fall most thickly between 1550 and 1580. After this, single points of time of pre-eminent importance 
for the general politics of Europe, 1593, 1606, 1610, 1618, present us with extraordinary abundance of 
materials. As we proceed, we find them continually decrease in frequency. The last manuscript is of 
the year 1650. Most of them are fairly written, revised by a corrector, and pleasanter to read than many 
a printed work. They are of very various worth : it is unnecessary to state that there are many excel- 
lent pieces among them. 

Twenty years ago Johann MUller had thoughts of publishing extracts and notices of the Berlin col- 
lection. He devoted lrimselT~wTtn" great animation to its study, particularly in September 1807, and an 
essay is extant in which he describes the general impression made on him by the first volume. But he 
left Berlin in the October of the same year. It was no more permitted him to carry out this design than 
others of greater magnitude with which his noble soul was filled. 

The ducal library, too, at Gotha contains volumes of kindred matter. There are three large ones, 
and one smaller, in folio : they are the more important for us, as their contents are confined to Venetian 
Relationi. When Frederick- William, a sovereign who participated vividly in the general movements of 
his times, kept his court as administrator of electoral Saxony between 1502 and 1601 on the Hartenfels 
at Torgau, George Koppen presented him with at least two out of those three volumes, which are 
marked as his property. Possibly he collected them when travelling in Italy. 

I can never sufficiently extol the kindness with which I was allowed the use of these manuscripts. 
Along with a volume of just the same kind which fell into my own possession, I had before me fifty-three 
folio volumes full of the greatest variety of papers, comprising perhaps upwards of a thousand larger and 
smaller treatises, from which I was at liberty to select whatever seemed particularly suitable to my 
purposes. For these it was my good fortune to find them copious in materials. 

In truth, thcsi: nuuiuscripts relate to almost all Europe. The pope sends his nuncios now to Switzer- 
land,~how to Poland, and here we have their reports. The connexions of Venice stretch afar : we possess 
reports on Persia and Moscow, above all on England : they meet us however but sparingly, and one by 
one. It strikes me as singular, that neither in our own, nor as it seems in other collections, is there to 
be found a single report on Portugal by a Venetian ambassador *. As Rome and Venice constitute 
the centres of the politics here disclosed, so the manuscripts chiefly throw light on that southern 
Europe about the Mediterranean, with which those powers were most directly connected. Repeatedly 
do we accompany the bailo of the Venetians along the well known coasts to the capital of that Ottoman 
empire which was for them so formidable a neighbour, to the divan of the vizier, and to the audience 
hall of the sultan. Not unfrequently we accompany the ambassadors of the republic to the court of 
Spanish kings, whether they stood in the midst of an agitated world, in Flanders or in England, or kept 
then* state in the quiet of Madrid. Piedmont, Tuscany, Urbino, and sometimes even Naples, are visited 
by special envoys ; but these are most constantly to be encountered in the Vatican and the Belvedere at 
Rome, in confidential discourse with the pope, in close relation with the pope's nephews and with many 
a cardinal, always engaged in the most weighty affairs, which keep their attention alive to every turn of 
things in that changeful court. Here we can take our place. Here we have native works instructing us 
as to a host of individual circumstances. The nuncios return to Rome after defending the rights of 
papal camera in Naples or in Spain, or consulting perhaps with the Catholic king on enterprises of great 
moment. Here Venice in her turn is made the subject of report, and so closes this circle. 

Were it but continuous and unbroken ! But in the midst of wealth we are sensible of our poverty. 

(Note to the second edition.) There have since indeed been found acouple of Relationi on Portugal, besides many others, 
with the aid of which the present work might have been considerably enlarged. But having engaged in studies that carry 
me far from this range of subject, I must make up my mind to leave the work unchanged in essentials. I beg the reader 
too to regard it for the future as a work of the year 1827. In the new edition, which I publish only to meet the demands of 
the public, I have merely sought to improve the style here and there. 


As a whole there is much ; but when we look to particulars, great wants are apparent. Printed works, 
no doubt, by learned men, afford us welcome aid and manifold information : but still we remain in the 
dark on many points ; many questions arise and are not solved. We feel like a traveller who has roamed 
over even the less known heights and valleys of a country, and who then not only investigates individual 
points with more minuteness, but believes himself too to have acquired novel and true views of the 
whole, yet still feels the wants under which he labours even more sensibly it may be than the acquisitions 
he has made, and has now no more earnest wish than to return and make his inspection complete. 
Meanwhile he is allowed to communicate even his imperfect observations. The like permission I ask 
for myself and my attempts. 

Let the reader then accompany me, in the times of which our manuscripts chiefly treat, to those 
southern nations and states which then maintained ;i pre-emiiu'nt position in Europe. 
The diversity of the European nations was far more striking in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 
than at present ; it was fully discernible in their systems of warfare. If the nations of Germanic and 
Roman origin every where furnished their territories with fortresses, and cultivated the use of artillery 
for the attack or defence of such strongholds ; if they took the field with no very numerous forces, and 
placed their chief reliance on their infantry ; the other nations on the contrary encountered each other 
on horseback in open and unfortified plains, and if a castle was any where to be seen, it served only to 
guard the treasures of the sovereign. Poland possessed so numerous a cavalry that it has been expressly 
computed that Germany, France, and Spain together would have been incapable of bringing a similar 
one into the field. The grand prince of Moscow could lead 150,000 mounted men to war ; the Szekler in 
Hungary alone were estimated at 60,000, the forces of the woiwodes of Transylvania, Moldavia, and 
Wallachia, at 50,000 horsemen ; to these were to be added the Tatar nations, whose lives were passed 
on horseback. It will at once be perceived that this difference must have inferred a thorough diversity 
upon all other points. 

The supremacy among the second of these two classes of nations belonged to the Ottomans ; Hungary 
bore their yoke ; the principalities obeyed them ; and the Tatars yielded them military service. They 
belonged indeed essentially to the latter, but they had the advantage over them of the institution of their 
Porte. Among the first class the Spaniards were predominant. Not only were they rulers over a good 
portion of Italy, but Charles V. carrieoTtKerri also into Gel-many ; they maintained themselves in at least 
half the Netherlands ; Philip II. was once king of England ; another time he had his armies at once in 
Provence and Bretagne, in Picardy and Burgundy, and his garrison in Paris. To match with him, the 
Italians asserted not physical force indeed, but the only supremacy left them, that of talent and address. 
This was evinced, not merely on occasions such as when cardinal Pole, during his administration in 
England, consulted with none but the Italians who had accompanied him thither, or when the two 
Medicean queens filled France with the1r~"owiT'countrymen, though this too had its significance ; but 
above all through their literature, the first of modern times which combined a deliberate cultivation and 
perfecting of form with scientific comprehension. To this were added accomplishments in various arts. 
We find that the only engineer in Poland, about the year 1560, was a Venetian ; that Tedali, a Florentine, 
offered to make the Dniester navigable for the dwellers on its banks, and that the grand prince of Moscow 
had the castle in his capital built by an Italian. We shall see that their commerce still embraced 
half the world. 

Whilst these three nations made themselves formidable or conspicuous among the rest, they encoun- 
tered each other directly in the Mediterranean ; they filled all its coasts and waters with life and motion, 
and formed there a peculiar circle of their own. 

The Spaniards and the Italians were very closely. knit .together .by the ties of church and. state. By 
the former, because after the general departure from its communion, the dwellers alone beyond the 
Pyrenees and the Alps remained wholly faithful to the Roman see. By the latter, because Naples and 
Milan were Spanish. Often was Madrid the abode of young Italian princes, of the Roveri, the Medici, the 
Farnese, and Rome the residence of young Spaniards desirous of cultivating their minds. The Castilian 
poets adopted the forms of the Tuscan masters ; all the martial fame of the Italians was won in Spanish 

The Ottomans set themselves in violent contrast to both. The Spaniards they encountered victoriously 
on the African, the Italians on the Greek coasts. They threatened Oran ; they attacked Malta with their 
whole force; they conquered Cyprus, and swarming round all the coasts they carried danger even into the 
haunts of peace. They were opposed therefore not alone by the old maritime powers of the two penin- 
sulas ; in Tuscany and Piedmont new knightly orders were founded for this strife ; the pope himself 
yearly despatched his galleys in May from Civita Vecchia to cruise against them ; the whole force of the 
two nations took part in this contest. Those fair coasts and many named seas that beheld in their 
antique grandeur the rise, the rivalry, and the extinction of the Shemitic, and the Greco-Roman sea 
dominions, that saw the mastery won successively by Arabs and by German Christians, were witnesses 
to a third struggle, when Ottomans came forth instead of Arabs, when Spaniards and Italians (for no 
other people stood by them in this cause, and the French were often leagued with the foe) had need to 
put forth all their strength to uphold the Christian name on the Mediterranean. Hereby was formed for 
the most immediate and vivid exertion of all the powers of these nations, a circle in which they are most 
at home, and which is often the horizon involuntarily bounding the thoughts and the fancy of their 
authors. The strife gave their genius free and vigorous play. It contributed to work out in them 
that singular mixture their minds then exhibited ; a mixture of pride and cunning, of illusion and eager- 
ness to discover the mystery of things, of romantic chivalry and insidious policy, of faith hi the stars, and 
implicit devotion to religion. 

Let us now enter into this circle, among these nations. 



HUMBLE indeed is the description the Ottomans 
give of their own origin. They relate that Othman, 
the founder of their empire and name, himself fol- 
lowed the plough with his servants, and that when 
he wished to break off from work at noon he used 
to stick up a banner as a signal to call them home. 
These servants and none besides were his first fol- 
lowers in war, and they were marshalled beneath 
the same signal. But even he, they add, had in his 
day a forecasting of his house's future greatness, 
and in a dream he beheld a tree grow up out of his 
navel that overshadowed the whole earth *. 

The new power that arose in Asia Minor having 
now established itself on its northern coasts, it 
chanced one day, as the story continues, that Soli- 
man, the grandson of Othman, rode along the shores 
of the Hellespont, passing on through the ruins of 
ancient cities, and fell into a silent reverie. " What 
is my khan thinking of ?" said one of his escort. 
" I am thinking," was the reply, " about our cross- 
ing over to Europe f." These followers of Soliman 
were the first who did cross over to Europe : they 
were successful; and Soliman's brother, Amu- 
rath I., was he who conquered Adrianople. 

Thenceforth the Ottoman power spread on the 
further side of the Hellespont, east and west from 
Brusa, and from Adrianople on this side northwards 
and southwards. Bajazeth I., the great-grandson 
of Othman, was master here of Weddin and Wal- 
lachia, yonder of Caramania and Caesarea. 

Europe and Asia, both threatened by Bajazeth, 
rose up to resist him. Europe however fell pros- 
trate at Nicopolis; and though Asia, for which 
Timur stood forth as champion, was victorious, still 
it did not destroy the dominion of Bajazeth. It was 
but fifty years after this defeat that Mahomet II. 
took Constantinople, the imperial city whose sway 
had once extended far over both quarters. The 
victor was not content with seeing the cities on the 
coasts of the Black Sea and the Adriatic own his 
supremacy; to bring the sea itself under subjection 
he built a fleet; he began to conquer the islands of 
the JLgean one after the other; and his troops 
showed themselves in Apulia. 

There seemed to be no bounds to the career of 
victory. Though Bajazeth II. did not equal his 

* Leunclavii Historia Musulmanae Turcorum de monu- 
mentis ipsorum exscriptse, iii. 113. 
t Leunclavii Annales Osmanidarum, p. 10. 

predecessors in valour, still his cavalry swept Friuli, 
his infantry captured fortresses in the Morea, and 
his fleets rode victorious in the Ionian Sea. But he 
was far outstripped by his son Selim and his grand- 
son Soliman. Selim overcame the Mamelukes of 
Cairo, who had often been victorious over Bajazeth; 
and he caused the Chutbe or prayer to be pronoun- 
ced in his noble name in the mosques of Syria and 
Egypt*. Soliman effected far more than he. One 
battle made him master of Hungary, and thence- 
forth he trod in that kingdom as in his own house. 
In the far east he portioned out the territory of 
Bagdad into sandshakates according to the banners 
of his troops. That Chaireddin Barbarossa, who 
boasted that his turban stuck on a pole scared the 
Christians and sent them flying for miles into the 
country, served him and made his name dreaded 
over the whole Mediterranean. With amazement 
and awe men reckoned up thirty kingdoms, and 
nearly 8000 miles of coast, that owned his sway. 
He styled himself emperor of emperors, prince of 
princes, distributer of the crowns of the world, 
God's shadow over both quarters of the globe, 
ruler of the Black and of the White Sea, of Asia 
and of Europe t- 

Foundations of the Ottoman Power. 

If we inquire what were the bases on which 
rested the essential strength and energy of this 
empire, and therewith the success of its efforts, our 
attention will be arrested by three things, viz. the 
feudal system, the institution of slavery, and the 
position of the supreme head. 

Every country overrun by the Ottomans was im- 
mediately after its conquest parcelled out according 
to banners and scymitars into a multitude of fiefs. 
The design was, the protection of the country once 
well provided for within and without, to keep its 
original conquerors ever ready for new achieve- 
ments. The great advantage of this system will be 
obvious, when it is considered that every possessor 
of the moderate income of 3000 aspers (sixty to a 
dollar) was required to hold a man and horse in 

See Selim's diploma of investiture in Hammer's Staats- 
verfassung und Staatsverwaltung des osmanischen Reichs, 
Bd. i. 195. 

t Soliman's letter to Francis I. Gamier, Histoire de 
France, xxv. p. 407. 


constant readiness for war, and another mounted 
soldier was to be furnished for every additional 
5000 aspers ; that in this way Europe could supply 
80,000, Natolia 50,000 sipahi (the name of this ca- 
valry) ; that to raise this force nothing more was 
requisite than an order to the two beglerbegs of 
the empire, from whom it found its way to the com- 
manders of the banners, the sandshakbegs, and 
through them to the commanders of the squadrons, 
the alaibegs, and so on to every possessor of a fief, 
large or small, of a siamet or a timar, whereupon 
the muster and the march followed forthwith*. 
Now comes the question how was the feudal sys- 
tem kept free from that principle of inheritance 
which has always prevailed in our feudal institu- 
tions! These fiefs conferred no title of nobility, 
neither were they properly entailed on sons. Soli- 
man ordered that if a sandshakbeg with an income 
of 700,000 aspers left behind him a son a minor, 
the latter should receive nothing but a timar of 
5000 aspers, with the express obligation of main- 
taining a mounted soldier out of the proceeds. 
There exist multitudes of similar ordinances ap- 
pointing to the son of a sipahi a larger timar if his 
father died in the field, a smaller if he died at home, 
but in all cases but a small one f. " Therefore," 
says Barbaro, " there is among them neither nobi- 
lity nor wealth; the children of men of rank, whose 
private treasures are taken possession of by other 
grandees, enjoy no personal distinction J." Still there 
did exist even here a principle of inheritance, but 
an inheritance not so much of individuals as of all 
together, not of the son from the father but of ge- 
neration from generation. It was a fundamental 
law that no one should obtain a timar but the son 
of a timarli . Every one was obliged to begin his 
career from the lowest grade. Putting all this to- 
gether we behold in the timarli a great community, 
tracing its origin essentially to the first companions 
of Othman, but afterwards numerously recruited 
by the events of war and by voluntary submission; 
a community void in itself of distinction of ranks, 
save such as is conferred by bravery, fortune, and 
the sultan's favour, which has imposed the sultan's 
yoke on the empire, and is ready to do the same by 
all the other realms of the world, and if possible to 
parcel them out in like manner among its own 

This correlation must have unfolded itself by a 
natural process of development, out of that origi- 
nally subsisting between the lord and his warlike 
servants, which, if I err not, much more resembled 
the personal subjection of the Mamelukes to the 
emirs, than the free allegiance owned by the bands 
of the west towards their condottieri ||. But a 

* Relatione di Constantinopoli del Cl Sg' Bernardo Nava- 
gero, MS. " Li sanzacchi sono obligati tener prima un allai- 
beg, che e un luogotenente del suo sanzacco, poi timarioti 
overo spahi,. 11 quali sott' il governo d'allaibeg sono con lui 
insieme sottoposti all' obedien/a del sanzacco." Later wri- 
ters, Marsigli for instance, mention alaibegs only on the 

t Canunname of Soliman to the beglerbeg Mustafa, Ham- 
mer, i. 349. Order of the same to Lutfi Pacha, ib. i. 364. 

J Relatione del C' Marcantonio Barbaro MS. " Li deseen- 
denti loro vanno totalmente declinando et restano affatto 
privi d'ogni minimo grado." 

Canunname of Aini, Hammer, i. 372. 

II Schlbzer's 7th section in the Origg. Osman, p. 150, with 
the motto "C'est tout comme chez nous," only points out the 

much more peculiar institution, for which I know 
not whether a parallel ever existed before or since, 
was the education of stolen children for soldiers or 
statesmen in the service of the sultan. 

Every five years it was the practice to make a 
seizure of the children of the Christians in the em- 
pire. Small bands of soldiers, each under a cap- 
tain furnished with a firman, marched from place 
to place. On their arrival the protogeros assem- 
bled the inhabitants with their sons. The captain 
was empowered to carry off all between the age of 
seven and that of manhood, who were distinguish- 
ed for beauty or strength, or who possessed any 
peculiar talent or accomplishment. He brought 
them like a tithe, as it were, to the court of the 
grand signer. Others were carried thither from 
the campaigns, as the portion of the booty by law 
reserved to the sultan. No pacha returned from 
an expedition without bringing the sultan a present 
also on his own part of young slaves. Thus were 
there gathered together at the Porte children of 
various nations, the majority of them natives of the 
country, but besides them Poles likewise, Bohe- 
mians and Russians, Italians and Germans *. They 
were divided into two classes. One of these was 
sent, especially in earlier times, to Natolia, where 
they served among the peasants, and were trained 
up as Moslem ; or they were kept in the serai, 
where they were employed in carrying water, in 
working in the gardens, in the barges, or in the 
buildings, being always under the inspection of an 
overseer, who kept them to their tasks with the 
stick. But the others, those who appeared to give 
evidence of superior qualities (many an honest 
German was persuaded that it was only by the 
help of evil spirits the fact was so happily discri- 
minated), passed into one of the four serais, that of 
Adrianople or of Galata, or the old or the new serai 
of Stambul. Here they were lightly dressed in linen 
or in cloth of Salonichi; they wore caps of Brusa 
stuff,- every morning they were visited by teachers, 
each paid eight aspers daily, who remained till 
evening instructing the children in reading the law 
and hi writing f. 

At the appointed age they were all circumcised. 
Those who were engaged in severer tasks became 
janissaries in process of tinfe ; those who were 
brought up in the serai were made either sipahi, 
(not feudatory but paid,) who served at the Porte, 
or higher state functionaries. 

Both classes were kept under strict discipline. 
Soranzo's Relatione informs us how the first named 
class especially was exercised by day in every kind 
of self-denial as to food, drink, and comfortable 

resemblance between Othman and a Sforza, which however 
is but a general one, but not their difference, which to me 
seems much stronger. 

* All Relationi, printed and unprinted, are full of the 
" scelta di piccoli giovanetti figliuoli di Christiani," as 
Barbaro expresses himself. Of the booty in war Morosini 
says, (Constantinopoli del 1584, MS.) " Vengono presentati 
quotidianamente al Gran Signore da suoi general!, cosi da 
terra come da mare, quando tornano dalla guerra." 

t Morosini : " Sono posti nel serraglio proprio del Gran Si- 
gnore, nel serraglio di Galata, in quello del hipodromo ed in 
quello d'Adrianopoli : ntlli quali 4 serragli continuamente 
si trovano il numero di 5 o 6 mila giovanni, quali non escono 
mai da detto serraglio, ma sotto una grandissima disciplina 
vengono ammaestrati et accostumati di buonissima creanza." 
The rest is from Navagero. 


clothing, in laborious hand labours, in shooting 
with the bow and the arquebus; how they passed 
the night in a long lighted hall, watched by an 
overseer who walked up and down continually and 
allowed them no rest *. Were they then enrolled 
among the janissaries ; did they enter those con- 
ventlike barracks in which the various odas ob- 
served such strict community in their economy 
that their military ranks derived their names from 
mess and soup, they continued to practise obe- 
dience, not only the young in silence and subjection 
to their elders f, but all of them under such strict 
rules that none durst pass the night beyond the 
walls, and that whoever suffered punishment was 
bound to kiss the hand of the muffled individual 
who inflicted it upon him. 

In no less strict discipline lived the young people 
in the serai, every ten of them under the inspection 
of an inexorable eunuch, and employed in similar 
exercises to the others, to which however were 
added literary and somewhat knightly tasks. Every 
three years the grand signer allowed their depar- 
ture from the serai. Those who preferred remain- 
ing rose in the immediate service of their lord, ac- 
cording to their age, from chamber to chamber, 
with a constant increase of pay, till they reached 
perchance to one of the four great offices of the in- 
nermost chamber, whence the way lay open to the 
dignity of beglerbeg, of capitan deiri, i. e. admiral, 
or even of vizier. Those, on the other hand, who 
availed themselves of the permission were received, 
each in accordance with his previous rank, into the 
first four regiments of paid sipahi serving at the 
Porte, which were more trusted by the sultan than 
his other body guards J. Merrily did they scamper 
out through the gates, decked in their new finery 
and swinging the purse of gold they had received 
as a present from the grand signor. 

A German philosopher once proposed a system 
of education for children, which was to be carried 
on apart from the parents in a special community, 
and in such a way that a new will should take the 
place of the old one. Here we have such an edu- 
cation. Here is total separation, strict community, 
the formation as it were of a new principle of life. 
The youths thus brought up forgot their childhood, 
their parents, their homes, knew no native land but 
the serai, no lord and father but the grand signor, 
no will but his, no hope but of his favour; they 
knew no life but one passed in rigid discipline and 
unconditional obedience, no occupation but war in 
his service, no personal purpose unless it were 
plunder in this life, and in death the paradise 
thrown open to him who fought for Islam. What 
the philosopher proposed in idea for the purpose of 

Soranzo, Viaggio MS. "GH Azamogliani (AdahemOglan) 
hanno un gran luogo, simile a un convitorio de frati : dove 
ciascuno la sera distende il suo straraazette et coperta; e vi 
si conca, havendo prima li guardian! accese per il lungo 
delle sala lampade." 

t Soranzo : " Sono obligati i Giannizzeri nuovi a servire i 
piu vecchi et anteriori nello spendere, apparecchiare et 
altri servitii." 

I Morosini : " Quelli della stanza del tesoro escono spahi 
della prima compagnia con 20 22 aspridipaga; quelli della 
stanza grande e piccola del proprio serraglio, dove sta S. M., 
escono medesimamente spahi della prima e seconda com- 
pagnia con 1820 aspri ; quelli delli altri tre serragli escono 
della 3 e 4 legione con aspri 1014 di paga." Respecting 
these sipahi see also Libri iii delle Cose de' Turchi. Aldine 
press F. 15. 

training up youth in morality, religion, and com- 
munion, was here put in practical execution centu- 
ries before his day, to the development of a spirit 
at once slavish and warlike. 

This institution perfectly fulfilled its intentions. 
Busbek, an Austrian ambassador at the court of 
Soliman, whose report is among the most celebrated 
and the best authenticated, cannot help overflowing 
with admiration as he describes the rigorous disci- 
pline of these janissaries, now seeming like monks, 
now like half statues, their extremely modest garb, 
the heron plume on their head-dress perhaps ex- 
cepted, their frugal habits of life, and the way in 
which they season their carrots and turnips with 
hunger *. Under their discipline brave and digni- 
fied men were produced, to the amazement of all 
beholders, out of lads who had run away from an 
inn, a kitchen, or a convent school in some Chris- 
tian country. They would suffer no one among 
them who had been brought up in the ease and 
softness of a parental dwelling. It cannot be de- 
nied that in decisive engagements they alone pre- 
served the empire. The battle of Varna, one foun- 
dation of all the Ottoman greatness, would have 
been lost but for them-f-. At Cossowa the Rumelian 
and the Natolian force had already taken to flight 
before the evil Jancu, as they called Johann Hun- 
niades ; but these janissaries won the victory J. 
They boasted that they had never fled in battle . 
The fact is admitted by Lazarus Schwendi, long a 
German commander-in-chief against them ||. They 
are designated in all reports as the nerve and the 
core of the Ottoman forces. It is a highly remark- 
able fact, that this invincible infantry was formed 
in the east just at the time (since 1367) that in our 
side of Europe the Swiss, foot soldiers likewise, de- 
vised and practised their equally invincible order 
of battle. Only the former consisted solely of slaves, 
the latter of the freest men of the mountains. 

The same discipline imposed on the janissaries 
was equally observed with the sipahi and the ser- 
vants of the serai, who were to rise thence to higher 
dignities. Inwardly to resist this discipline, and to 
return, should occasion offer, to Christendom, was 
an effort that demanded the soul of a Scanderbeg. 
Hardly will another example be found of one of 
these youths returning to the parents from whose 
arms he had been torn and to his old home. And 
how should they ? There was no hereditary aristo- 
cracy to interpose their claims, and dispute with 
them the rewards of their valour or their talents [[: 
on the contrary they were themselves destined to 
fill all the highest dignities of the empire, all the 
sandshakates; the aga of the janissaries was taken 
from their body; not only the whole government 
of the country, but the command too of its armies 
was in their hands ; every one saw before him a field 
of exertion, a career in life, with which before his 
eyes he might forget that he was a slave. Nay 

* Augerii Gislenii Busbequii legationis Turcicae Epistolse 
iv. Frankf. 1595, p. 200, 15, 78. Ejusdem de re militari 
contra Turcas instituenda Consilium, p. 352. 

t Callimachus, Experiens de clade Varnensi, in Oporinus, 
p. 311. 

I Leunclavii Histories Musulmanse d. i. T. m. e., p. 519. 

Paulus Jovius, Ordo militis Turcicse, p. 221. 

|| Lazari Suendii, Quomodo Turcis sit resistendum con- 
silium, in Couring's collection. Helmst. 1664, p. 383. 

1! This is particularly dwelt on by Ubertus Folieta de 
causis magnitudinis imperil Turcici, Leips. 1595, p. 6. 



on the very contrary the condition of these me: 
seemed possessed of high charms in the estimatio 
of those Christians who longed for adventures an 
brilliant promotion. Many voluntarily left thei 
native land to seek their fortunes among thes 
slaves. On their part they kept their own bod; 
rigorously aloof from foreign admixture, not suffer 
ing any born Turk, nor even the son of a gran 
vizier, though the father had risen from their own 
ranks, to become a sandshak*. Their sons entere<~ 
the fifth and sixth corps of the paid soldiers, o: 
into the number of the feudatory sipahi, or timarli 
among whom the empire was portioned out, and con 
tinually augmented and reinvigorated that body. 
Such was this institution of slaves. " It is in tl 
highest degree remarkable," exclaims Barbaro, tha 
" the wealth, the administration, the force, in sho: 
the whole body politic of the Ottoman empire re 
poses upon, and is intrusted to men born in th 
Christian faith, converted into slaves, and rearec 
up Mahometans." On this institution depends th 
character and the form of government of the 

If we have now made it clear that the power o: 
this empire, so far as those constitute the true 
power whose activity is apparent, consisted of two 
corporations, the timarli and that twofold body o 
slaves, the larger moiety of which constituted the 
elite of the army on horseback and on foot, and th 
smaller had the administration and the executivi 
in its hands, it is no less obvious that war was ab- 
solutely necessary to the empire on account of botl: 
these corporations ; on account of the timarli, be- 
cause their numbers grew continually by addition 
from among the slaves, and so there was a constant 
need of acquiring new timars ; and on account of 
the janissaries and the paid sipahi that they might 
practise what they had learned, and not be spoiled 
by sitting down inactively at the serai -f-. 

It is in war that we behold the physiology of tins 
warlike state in all its genuine character. The 
timarli are seen marshalled beneath the banners 
of their respective corps ; they carry bows and 
quivers, iron maces and daggers, scymitars and 
lances ; they know how to use these various wea- 
pons at the right moment with the utmost dex- 
terity ; they are trained with rare skill to pursue 
and to retire, now to hang back in alert suspense, 
now to dash forward and scour the country. Their 
horses too claim attention ; they come chiefly from 
Syria, where they have been reared with the ut- 
most care, and fondled almost like children. 
Judges indeed remarked that they were some- 
what ticklish to the stirrup, apt to swerve aside, 
and hard mouthed ; this however was rather 
the fault of the riders, who used tight bits and 
short stirrups ; otherwise the animals proved 

Barbaro: " Ne possono patire che ne un figliuolo de' 
[irimi visir sia fatto sangiacco." 

t Valieri, Relatione di Constantinopoli, MS. " Si va dis- 
correndo, che essendo stato quel iraperio per suo instinto 
quasi continuamente lontano della pace non possi in alcun 
tempo star lungamente quieto, ma ad unaguerra fa succeder 
'altra, e per desiderio de nuovj acquisti e per la necessita che 
stimano d'havere d'impiegar la militia, la quale facilmente 
pub causare sedition!, tuinulti et novita. Li corpi grossi con 
mosso si mantengono e si fanno piu robusti e con 1'otio si 

mpiotio di malo huraore Li fiumi, che corrono, con- 

ervano 1'acqua sana." 
J See the Relatione of Floriani, MS., particularly p. 217. 

tractable, serviceable, as well on mountainous anc 
stony ground as on the plain, indefatigable, anc 
always full of spirit. The most accomplished riders 
were furnished from many a district. It was sur- 
prising to see them hurl their maces before them 
gallop after them, and catch them again ere they 
fell *. Turning slightly round, with the horse at 
full speed, they would discharge their arrows back- 
wards with unerring aim. Next to these the Porte 
sent forth its paid sipahis and its janissaries. The 
former, in addition to their scymitars, were armed 
with those lances, by the small flags on which they 
were distinguished ; some also were furnished with 
bows. A few were equipped with coats of mai] 
and morions, but rather for show than for service ; 
their round shields and their turbans seemed to 
them defence enough. The janissaries lastly 
marched in long flowing garments, armed with 
scymitar and arquebus, in their girdles the hand- 
jar and the small hatchet ; dense in their array, 
their plumes like a forest. 

It was as though the camp was the true home ol 
this people. Not only was it kept in admirable 
order, so that not an oath or an altercation was to 
be heard, no drunken man, no gambling was to be 
seen in it ; nor anything to be found in it that could 
offend either sight or smell f. It was also to be 
remarked that the life the soldier led at home was 
but meagre and sorry compared with the magnifi- 
cence of the camp. For every ten janissaries the 
sultan maintained a horse to carry their baggage ; 
every five and twenty had a tent that served them 
in common ; in these they observed the regulations 
of their barracks, and the elder were waited on by 
the younger. No sipahi was so mean that he did not 
possess a tent of his own. How gallant and glitter- 
ing was their array as they rode in their silken 
surcoats, their particoloured richly wrought shield 
on their left arms, their right hands grasping the 
costly mounted sword, feathers of all hues waving 
in their turbans. But surpassingly splendid was 
the appearance of their leaders. Jewels hung 
round their horses' ears ; saddles and housings 
were studded with others ; chains of gold hung 
from their bridles. The tents shone with Turkish 
and Persian decorations ; here the booty was laid 
up ; a numerous retinue of eunuchs and slaves was 
in attendance. 

Religion, and morals were in harmony, with, this 
martial tendency that pervaded the whole. h?j^g O f 
the nation. It has frequently been remarked how 
much Islamism promoted arms, how strongly the 
belief it inculcated in an inevitable destim 

to inspire with courage in the fight. Besides this, 

' Portano i morsi stretti, le selie picciole, le staffe large et 
jorte." [The broad stirrup pointed on the inner side, serves 
he Turkish rider for a spur. TRANSLATOR.] 

* These accomplishments are best described in the Rela- 
ioneof!637, though it remarks that they had then grown 
are : " tanto che ridotti si trovano in rarita. Ferendo in 
litre cosi bene con 1'arco che mentre corre velocemente il 
^estriero, di saetta armano 1'arco, et rivoltandosi a dietro 
on 1'arco seguitato dall' occhio scoccano lo strale, e colpiscono 
ove disegnano ferire." 

t See, for somewhat earlier times indeed, Cuspinianus de 
lilitari institute etc. Turcorum in Caesaribus, p. 579, and 
jr the times before us Busbequius. Floriani: "Dallagran- 
ezza e dalla commodity che ha il Turco in campagna, si 
ede chiaramente ch'egli e nella sua propria residenza, e 
lie nelle terre egli e piu tosto forestiero che cittadino." 


it was the opinion in the sixteenth century, that 
the numerous ablutions which prevented the un- 
cleanliness to which so many disease^ owe their 
origin in camps, and even the prohibition of wine, 
were laudable and well considered measures. For 
in the first it cost inordinate trouble to procure 
wine and to convey it to the camp ; and when it 
was there, how many disorders did it give rise to 
in wcMiTii armies*. It was even thought that the 
dailyTauits of the Turks might be traced to the 
necessities of the camp. In Morosini's opinion the 
Turks sat on a plain carpet stretched on the 
ground, and ate on the ground, and slept where 
they had eaten, that they might find nothing 
strange which the life of the camp and the tent 
rendered indispensable f. Be this as it may, the 
Ottomans assuredly regarded themselves above all 
as warriors. In the edicts of Constantinople, by 
way of distinguishing them from the Christians, 
the latter are called citizens, while the former are 
styled soldiers, askery . 

Now, taking into consideration all these facts, 
first, that all were slaves (and most so those who 
stood highest), trained unceasingly to unconditional 
obedience ; that there was not a man among them 
possessed of any independent rights, of family pro- 
perty, jurisdiction, or retainers ; that every career 
depended on the beck of the sultan, from whom 
his slave expected either magnificent rewards, or 
degradation and death ; and lastly, that the whole 
system wa.-s thoroughly military iu its*orgauizatiou, 
that tlie state was warlike and its business war ; 
taking all this into account, it is very clear that 
the sultan was the soul of this singularly consti- 
tuted body, the origin of its very movement, and 
above all, that he too, if he would reign, must 
needs be of a warlike spirit. Bajazeth II. proved 
this by experience in his old age. When he could 
no longer take the field, disorder followed upon 
disorder, and he was at last compelled to give way 
to his martial son. Soliman, on the other hand, 
was altogether the ruler suited to that warlike 
state. Whilst his lofty stature, his manly features, 
and his large black eyes beneath his broad fore- 
head, plainly bespoke the soldier , he displayed 
all the vivacity, all the open-handedness and the 
justice that make a ruler beloved and feared. He 
would hardly ever have desisted from campaigns 
of conquest. It is very possible, indeed, that we 
shall never be able thoroughly to fathom his de- 
signs ; but thus much we know, that the Multeka||, 
a law-book he caused to be compiled, most pres- 
singly inculcates war against the unbelievers as 
an universal duty : they were to be called on to 
embrace Islam or pay the capitation tax, and if 
they refused both alternatives, they were to be 
pursued with arrows, and all implements of war, 
and with fire, their trees should be cut down, their 
crops laid waste. The fanatical book which is 

* These remarks are made by Floriani. 

t " Quelli popoli, come quelli che hanno sempre fatto pro- 
fessione delle cose della guerra, hanno sempre usato il modo 
del viver nelle case loro che e conforme a quello che e neces- 
sario in campo." 

I Muradgea d'Ohsson, from the decrees of Muhammed II 
Tableau de 1'empire Othoman, ii. 268. 

Navagero 237. "Ha il fronte largo e un poco promi- 
nente, gli occhi grossi e neri, il naso acquilino e un poco 
grandetto a proportione delle altre fattezze, e ha il collo un 
poco lungo." 

II Extract from book xiii. of the Multeka in Hammer i. 163. 

known unto us under the name of Trumpet Peal of 
the Holy War, a book which omits no exhortation, 
no promise, no command by which believers could 
be excited to the frenzy of a religious war, that 
bids the mussulman cling till death to the horse's 
forelock, and live in the shadow of the lances, 
till all men own the creed of Mahomet, was trans- 
lated into Turkish towards the close of his reign *, 
probably for the immediate use of the youth of the 

Digression respecting tlie modern Greeks in the 
Sixteenth Century. 

But whilst the Ottomans were disturbing and 
threatening the world, how lived they in whose 
country they had reared their empire ? 

"Whilst "'{he whole southern range of Asia, a 
native seat of civilization, no longer beheld aught 
but tyrannous rulers and peoples condemned in 
masses to hard servitude, the Ottoman transplanted 
this desolation to Europe. A state of things of 
this nature usually has two gi*eat epochs. As long 
as the dominant power is intrinsically strong, the 
conquered passively endure ; flight itself is courage ; 
the boldest retreat to inaccessible mountains. But 
as those grow weak, these rise up to isolated deeds 
of violence, to the wild retaliation of robbery and 
murder. So the Mahrattas rose against the Mo- 
guls, the Lores and Kurds against the Sofis, and 
the Wechabites, the children of the desert, against 
these same Ottomans. 

The Greeks in Soliman's time were in the stage 
of obedience. They had no part in war, politics, or 
public life, save as renegades or serfs. Their cha- 
raz f, the wretched produce of their toil, where- 
with they purchased the right of existing, filled the 
treasury of the Ottoman. There is nothing a nation 
more needs than an abundance of noble men who 
devote themselves to the common weal ! The 
Ottoman regularly carried off the flower of the 
Greek youth to the serai. On this institution he 
founded at once his own strength and subjection. 
He fed upon their marrow. 

Many superior Greeks, to please their lords, 
accommodated themselves to this enervation. No 
few descendants of the noble families of Constanti- 
nople, which had in earlier days themselves been 
native oppressors, farmed the revenues of the sul- 
tan. Palaiologoi and Kantakuzenoi were remarked 
in the capital, Mamaloi and Notaradai hi Pelo- 
ponnesus, Batazidai, Chrysoloroi, and Azanaioi in 
the ports of the Black Sea, Such as combined 
with these employments those commercial pursuits 
in which we find the Greeks engaged now in Mos- 
cow and now in Antwerp, could speedily arrive at 
great wealth. Michael Kantakuzenos was able in 
the year 1571 to make a present of fifteen galleys 
to the sultan : when he rode on his mule through 
the streets, six servants ran before him, and seven- 
teen followed him. These rich Greeks adopted 
oriental manners under the Ottomans, as they as- 
sumed those of Italy under the Venetians. They 
wore the turban, they imitated the domestic ar- 

Preface by Johann Miiller to Hammer's translation ol 
this book, p. 7. 

t Navagero, Relatione : " II carazzo e il tribute che pa- 
gano tutti li Christian! che habitano il paese, le persone un 
ducato per testa, le pecore aspro uno et mezzo per testa." 
It was otherwise at a later period. For the manner in which 
the charaz was exacted from poor herdsmen in 1676, see 
Spoil et Wheler, Voyage de Grcce, ii. 41. 



rangements of their conquerors ; they delighted in 
gorgeous finery. Their women wrapped their hair 
in golden nets, and decked their foreheads with 
diadems of pearls ; heavy jewelled drops hung 
from their ears ; their bosoms were covered more 
with golden chains than with drapery *. It was as 
though every man was in haste to enjoy an uncer- 
tain prosperity, as though he felt the hand of the 
tyrannous ruler suspended over him. Michael 
Kantakuzenos was in vain so submissive, nay, so 
liberal handed, to the sultan : the latter at last sent 
his capidji bashi, had him hanged before the door 
of the stately house he had built himself at Achilo, 
and his treasures carried to the serai {. 

The poorer people dragged on their days in want 
and servitude. A great part of the country was 
waste, depopulated, and ruined. What could thrive 
in the land where every sandshak strove to extort 
double the income assigned him, where rapacious 
contractors often filled his place J, and where 
every Osmanli bore himself as unlimited lord and 
master ? The people of the islands were decidedly 
better off. We find Lemnos and Lesbos very well 
cultivated in the year 1548. We see the people 
tilling their fields, planting their vines, attending 
to their springs and watercourses, and cultivating 
their gardens. Here they remained true to them- 

The people still manifested the noble qualities of 
their native stock. The sweet tone of Homeric 
words still lived in Chios : they still counted in 
those days fourteen villages of the Laconians in 
Peloponnesus, where a Greek almost identical with 
the ancient was spoken : the Athenians were still 
remarked for their surprising memory and their 
melodious voices : even in the household utensils 
the artistic forms of ancient sculpture have always 
been perceptible. So likewise in their social life 
there were preserved some elements of their for- 
mer civilization. The symposia of the men were 
everywhere found adapted as of old to a lofty 
strain of conversation ; where arms were allowed, 
they had those armed dances which were kept up 
for whole days by men girt with the sword, and 
arrayed with bow and quiver . The active and 
spontaneous ingenuity of the Greek character in 
labour and recreation, with sword and shield, 
above all at sea and on shipboard, was prover- 
bial ||. 

The most important authorities on this head are the 
writings, letters, and notices collected with care and love by 
Martin Crusius. who styles himself 0iXeX\|v, and who was 
the first that was justly entitled to the name. They are 
contained in his Turcogracia, Basle, 1584, fol. pp. 91. 211. 
225. 485. 

t The rich lord Michalis, whose death is described in the 
oldest of the Greek songs lately published by Fauriel, which 
he found written in the characters of the sixteenth century. 
(Tpayoi/dia 'Pwjuai'Ka. Ausg. von Mtiller, 1. 94) is doubtless 
none other than our Michael Kantakuzenos. This event 
excited the strongest sympathy. There exists an essay on 
the subject, "Per qual causa e come e stato impiccato 
Michael Cantacuseno a di 3 Marzo a Achilo davanti la 
porta di casa sua." Turcogr. 274. It is a pity it has not 
been preserved entire. The 'lo-ropia iro\mK>t Kiavtnavrmov- 
TroXewf (ib. p. 43) concludes with a reference to it. 

t Navagero and Barbaro's Relation!. 

These and many other traits are noticed by Bellon in 
his Observations de plusieurs singularites en Grece, i. ch. 
4, ch. 25, and elsewhere. See also Turcogr. 489. 209. 216. 

|| A rhyming proverb, still older than that oldest poem 

There was no room however for the free expan- 
sion of the mind, where the energies were directed 
only towards the most immediate necessities, and 
the whole state and being was debased. The 
language became overladen with Bulgarian, Turk- 
ish, and Italian words : it fell into a hundred dege- 
nerations of barbaric forms. No instruction was 
to be thought of, for there existed no instructor. 
So soon as men do not acknowledge nor seek to 
acknowledge the laws of the creation, its operations 
begin to stultify the soul and bewilder it with illu- 
sions : these Greeks were wholly possessed by a 
fantastic view of nature and her works. There 
remained only one element in which their mental 
life could give itself expression : they retained that 
utterance of nature, song. The Athenians were 
pre-eminently rich in lays in the sixteenth century*. 
We can imagine of what kind they were, when we 
find lovers sitting together and vying which shall 
outdo the other in repeating them. They were un- 
doubtedly that well-known kind of song that accom- 
panies with its monotonous and almost sad strains 
the joys and the sorrows of a simple life. Its sub- 
jects were joy, the sweets of love, and family en- 
dearments ; sorrow, death, and separation ; and 
then that loneliness that charges the moon with 
its greetings, that makes the birds its messengers, 
wanders with the clouds, has the stars and the sea 
for its confidants, and animates the lifeless world 
with a fancied sympathy. 

Thus does the people, once in the enjoyment of 
a life in which the human race beholds its pride 
and centuries their paragon, return to the condition 
of nature, after having lived for long ages con- 
strained within narrow forms, if not dishonourably, 
yet without renown. It pictures to itself its old 
forefathers as giants. An ancient grave stone is, 
by its account, the manger of Alexander's horse. 

But the return is not complete. How could 
they, if totally dismembered, maintain their nation- 
ality in the face of the victorious foe ? On the con- 
trary, religion and priesthood exercised over them 
their wonted sway. 

Through these it was that the Greeks were 
rigorously severed from the Ottomans. Historical 
works written in the sixteenth century call the 
sultan " the accursed " even in the midst of his 
victories, and his people " the strangers." Justice 
administered by the Ottomans was a thing sedu- 
lously avoided ; legal proceedings were presided 
over by the elders, by the good men of the various 
localities, and by the priests ; whoever withdrew 
from their authority was put under a ban some- 
times with his whole house. The Greek woman 
who married a Turk was excommunicated )-. They 
paid their charaz to the Turks, they endured what 
could not be remedied ; but in other respects they 
kept aloof from their oppressors ; the state to 
which they chose to belong was different from 
theirs ; it was the hierarchy. 

This hierarchy was built on the established sub- 
ordination of all priests to the patriarch of Con- 
stantinople. Even the patriarchs of Jerusalem, 
Antioch, and Alexandria, owned him for their 
head. His high priesthood was acknowledged over 

mentioned above, is given by Crusius from the lips of a 
Greek, Turcogr. 211. 
* Zygomalas to Crusius: jucXeo-i i<a06poit #6X701x71 roiit 

t Turcogracia, 25. 220. 



the whole eastern world, from the cataracts of the 
Nile almost to the Baltic, from Armenia to the 
Ionian islands. He sent his exarchs , every year 
into the provinces to receive the dues of the pa- 
triarchate from the metropolitans. Every five 
years he set out in person to visit his dioceses, to 
allay disputes, and to give them his blessing *. 

While his authority was thus wide in its range, 
it was no less minute in its application to the most 
individual details of life. There was nothing in 
which he was not appealed to. A lady who had 
married in Chios, and who was now, upon the death 
of her husband, ill-treated by laymen and priests, 
applies to him for succour. A certain person has 
had the water cut off from his garden: he lays the 
matter before the patriarch. A daughter by a 
second marriage has engrossed the whole inherit- 
ance; the daughter by the first marriage claims 
her share, and applies to the patriarch who is the 
father of the fatherless f. Mirzena, a noble lady 
of Wallachia, entreats the patriarch to select hus- 
bands for her daughters from among the Greeks of 
higher rank J. 

Must not this subjection, especially in matters 
of litigation, have been irksome to many ? What 
may it have been that bent their necks to the pa- 
triarch 1 Such is human nature, that whole nations 
may pass under the sway of an error, and that error 
may subserve their best interests ; the germs by 
which life is propagated may find shelter under 
such a covering. The whole force of the patriarchs 
consisted in excommunication. And what was there 
in this so coercive and formidable I The conviction 
was entertained that the body of a man cursed by 
the patriarch did not perish in the earth. So long 
as the devil had hold of the soul, so long the bonds 
of the flesh could not be loosed, till the patri- 
arch recalled the curse. The illusion was insisted 
on, even to the sultan, and confirmed by dreadful 
examples. There is no doubt that it was predo- 
minant in the sixteenth century, and that it was 
the terrific cause that forced the refractory to 
obedience . 

But others obeyed cheerfully. With joy they 
gazed on the holy cross erected on the patriarchion, 
and visible afar from land and sea. The patri- 
archion itself, near a church of the Virgin on an 
eminence in Constantinople, an enclosed court with 
a few trees containing the residence of the patri- 
arch, was in their eyes a holy spot||. None passed 
its gates without laying the hand on the breast, 
bowing, and making the sign of the cross as he 
proceeded on his way. It was believed for certain 
that yonder church of the Virgin shone like the 
sun even in the darkness. They even went the 
length of directly coupling these things with the 
Deity. " When we behold the priests and deacons 
advance in the sticharies and ovaries, surround 

* Gerlachii Liters, ad Crusium, Turcogr. p. 502, and 
Crusii Annotatt. p. 197. 

t The letters on these subjects are all given in the third 
book of the Turcogrsecia. 

t See the above mentioned Italian narrative, respecting 
Michael Kantakuzenos. 

"loTOpi'a TroXiTtx)/ KavtrTavTivowiroXeutt, p. 27. 'lirropia 
TTaTpiapxcKfj, p- 133. Another example in the 'lo-rop/a warp. 
p. 151. Heineccius, De absolutione mortuorum tympanico- 
rum in Ecclesia Graeca. 

|| A little sketch of this, but after the removal of the cross, 
is given in the Turcogr. p. 190. 

the throne and bend their heads in prayer, they are 
like the angels of God as they place themselves 
round the heavenly throne to offer up their ' Holy 
is God ! ' Nay, with God himself on his heavenly 
throne may be likened the patriarch, who repre- 
sents on his earthly throne a person of the Trinity, 
namely, Christ. The sanctuary of the beatified, 
an earthly paradise, has God made and no human 
hand * !" 

The thoughts in which a man completes his 
daily routine of life demand a mental terminus; 
they seek to connect themselves with whatever is 
supremely high. Strange as the result was in this 
case, yet to the power of the priests founded thereon 
is to be ascribed the salvation of the Greek na- 
tionality. Under this protection the Greeks che- 
rished and cultivated that hatred to the Turks, and 
that peculiar character, of which they now reap the 

On the decay of the Ottoman Power. 
Thus we behold t\vo hostile and irreconcilable 

linked together ; the rulers draw vital force, and 
ever fresh renovation from the vanquished, We 
rerert to the former. 

Weighing once more the facts we have observed 
in their case, we perceive that J;he instinct of des- 
jmtism here contrived for itself three organs; first, 
immediate slaves, who, commencing with personal 
service, executed the will of their lord in peace or 
war; men promoted for their talents, brought up 
in the ways of the Ottomans, of tried obedience, old 
in their master's favour, and partakers in the 
splendour of his sway ; next, that twofold body- 
guard, mounted and on foot, that was wont to 
guard the sultan when he reposed, and to accom- 
pany his victorious career when he took the field; 
these as well as the former were slaves of the 
serai, but their slavery involved a kind of prece- 
dence over others : lastly, those feudatories that 
held the conquered empire partitioned out among 
them, and who hoped to conquer and share among 
them the rest of the world, though without ever 
acquiring any possession independent of the sul- 
tan's nod. We perceive that this so constituted 
organization had need of two things : it needed for 
its animation a man filled himself with a vivid 
spirit and free and mighty impulses; and to give 
it movement and activity it required continual 
campaigns and progressive conquests; in a word, 
war and a warlike chief. 

All this seemed to subsist under Soliman in 
almost complete perfection. When it was consi- 
dered how an inviolable usage imposed some bril- 
liant enterprise or another on every new sultan, 
how even the religious ambition of being the buil- 
der of new mosques, was connected with the con- 
quests of new countries, for through these they 
were to be endowed; and how no enduring resist- 

At the end of the 'lorop/a T 
p. 184. KaSwr h tifo-rnt naO 

rpiapxiK^. Turcogr. lib. iii. 
eirl Opovov eir rov ovpavbv, 

ayiat -rpiaSot XpiffTou TOU Qeov fj/u5i/ xadnrcu ttti row 9fiou 
Opovov TOV kni^eiov. "Evat (earn) &e Kat Xt^erai avrot 6 vaot 
T?)f 7rajiijiiaKapi'<rTou tiri-feio'! ovpavof, i/t'a 2ia>v -rrpi OTTOIUV 
6KTi<r6v o Kvptos, Kai OVK avdpioTrof. This is founded on older 
opinions, such as put forth by Simeon Thessalonicensis, 
irepi TOV vaov. 



ance was to be expected either in the east from 
the manifestly weak empire of the Persians, nor 
in the west from Christendom, which had fallen 
into discord about the truth of its faith ; under 
such circumstances even intelligent men might 
well fear that the course of these victories would 
carry the Turks to universal monarchy. 

Whilst men thought thus, whilst they were filled 
with dismay and uttered gloomy forebodings as 
they compared the might and the valour of the 
Ottomans with those of the western nations, whilst 
it was shown in treatises that the Turks were in- 
vincible, and why they were so*, just then altera- 
tions took place among the latter which produced 
an essential revolution in the condition of their 

The empire needed warlike sovereigns; it began 
to experience a dearth of "them : it needed the un- 
swerving discipline of its military institutions, and 
its slave education ; this became corrupted : it 
needed continual conquests ; they began to fail. 
Our purpose is to show how all this took place. 

Ttie Sultans. 

The contrast has long been remarked in the 
west, that subsisted between all the sultans before 
Soliman and all those after him. Nor has it escaped 
the notice of the orientals. It is alleged that the 
grand vizier Mustafa Kiuperly frequently com- 
plained, that all the sultans since Soliman were 
without exception fools or tyrants ; that there, was 
no help for the empire if it did not get rid of that 
most perverted stock ). 

Now as Selim II. may be regarded as the first 
founder of this new line, as he shall have had a 
great influence over it, whether by his example or 
by the qualities inherited from him by nature, it is 
a very remarkable fact that he did not obtain the 
throne by right, but in preference to a better bro- 
ther by his mother's craft and his father's cruel 
and violent deed. 

Soliman had an elder son, the son of his youth, 
Mustafa, who was just like himself, and of whom 
the people thought that they were indebted for him 
to a special favour of Heaven, so noble, brave, and 
high-hearted they thought him; of whom his father 
deemed that he reflected the virtues of his ances- 
tors, and who was wont to say of himself, he hoped 
yet to do honour to the house of OthmanJ. 

How came it then that Soliman bore such ill 
will to the inheritor of those qualities by which he 
had achieved his own greatness ? 

If it must be admitted on close consideration 
that the institution of a harem is intimately asso- 
ciated with a military despotism, and that an ex- 
clusive passion for one woman is incompatible with 
it, because it attaches to home and gives occasion to 
many uncongenial influences, there was reason for 
serious apprehension in the very fact that Soliman 

* E. g. " Discorso sopra 1'imperio del Turco, il quale 
ancorche siatirannico e violento, e per essere durabile contra 
1'opinione d'Aristotele et invincibile per ragioni natural!," 
MS. Busbek and Folieta argue to the same effect. 

t Marsigli, Stato militare del imperio Ottomano, 1, 6, p. 28. 

J Navagero, Relazione ; classical on this point. " La fama 
che ha di liberale et giusto fa che ogn'uno lo brama;" p. 
246, a. "Solimano ha detto che Mustafa li par sia degno 
descendente della virtu de suoi passati ;" p. 247, b. "Mustafa 
per essere piu delli altri magnanimo etgeneroso . . . suole dire 
che egli e nato ancor per far honore alia casa Ottomana." 

devoted himself wholly to his slave Roxolana; but it 
was truly alarming that he broke through the estab- 
lished order of the harem, deposed the mother of 
the heir apparent, to whom the foremost rank 
belonged of right, and raised Roxolana to the con- 
dition of a wife. 

I find a letter of Codignac, a French ambassa- 
dor at the Porte*, who relates the following origin 
of this event: Roxolana wished to found a mosque 
for the weal of her soul, but the mufti told her that 
the pious works of a slave turned only to the ad- 
vantage of her lord ; upon this special ground So- 
liman declared her free. This was immediately 
followed by the second step. The free woman would 
no longer comply with those desires of Soliman 
which the bondswoman had obeyed, for the fetwa 
of the mufti declared that this could not be with- 
out sin. Passion on the one side and obstinacy on 
the other at last brought it about that Soliman 
made her his wife. A treaty of marriage was ra- 
tified, and Roxolana was secured an income of 5000 

This being done, the next and most perilous 
thing was, that Roxolana desired to procure the 
succession for one of her own sons instead of Mus- 
tafa. This was no secret to any one. It was sup- 
posed that she had no other motive for connecting 
herself with the grand vizier Rusthen by bestow- 
ing one of her daughters on him hi marriage J. 
When it was seen that Rusthen sought every where 
to establish sandshaks and agas of his own selec- 
tion, and to make himself friends by gifts out of 
his great wealth (it was said that he possessed 
fifteen millions, and could roof his house with gold), 
that he promoted his brother to be capudani derja, 
captain of the sea, all this was looked on as point- 
ing one way, namely, that in case of Soliman's 
death, the capudan derja should keep Mustafa, 
who had seated himself in Amasia, away from 
Europe ||. Soliman's personal intentions were re- 
garded with decidedly less alarm. If Mustafa's 
mother, who was with him, and whom he esteemed 
very highly, daily warned him to beware of poison, 
it was on the part of her fortunate rival she feared 
it, and as it is said not without reason. The Turks 
believed that the struggle would first break out 
after the father's death, and that the result would 
very possibly turn out fatally for the empire. 

But in this they were mistaken. The very quali- 
ties that seemed destined to exalt Mustafa to be 
the head of the empire, those which made him 
dear to the people, were perilous to him with his 

A Monsignor di Lodeva, Arab, in Venetia, 3 Ott. 1553. 
Lettere di Principi, iii. 141. 

t Ubert Folieta gives a precisely similar account in his 
De causis magnitudinis imperii Turcici, vol. iii. 

1 Navagero. " Li disegni della madre, cosi caraal Signore, 
et quelli del magnifico Rusten, che ha tant" autorita, non 
tendono ad altro fine che a questo, di fare in caso che morisse 
il patre herede del imperio Sultan Selim, figliuolo di lei et 
cognato di lui." 

Commentarii delle cause delle guerre mosse in Cipro 
MS. Informatt. xvii. 73. " Si 6 veduto un di questi (gran- 
visiri) chiamato Rusten venire a tante richezze die lascio 
morendo 15 millioni d'oro." 

|| Navagero : " Capitano di mare e suo fratello, il quale 
fara che continui in quest' officio per questo respetto, o 
levandolo mettera persona confidentissima : che aprohibire 
il Sultan Mustafa dalla successione dello stato, non e via piu 
secura d'impedirli il passo che con un armata." 



father. If every one wished him the inheritance 
of the throne, if the janissaries gave open proof 
how earnest was the good will they bore him, if 
not a slave of his father's passed through the 
range of his government without being captivated 
by his kindness or his bounty, the people remarked 
how good it was of Mustafa, that with such general 
good wishes in his behalf he never showed any 
resentment at his father's bestowing far greater 
marks of favour on his brothers than on him * ; 
but the father remarked nothing but those con- 
nexions which seemed to him of a suspicious cha- 
racter. The name of Mustafa seemed to throw 
him into agitation. It did the son little service 
that he sometimes sent presents of handsome 
horses to the Porte ; that when he was aware of 
his father's unfavourable feelings he never turned 
his foot, never turned his face, as he said himself, 
in the direction of his father's court, that he might 
not provoke his anger. Finally, when an alliance 
was talked of which Mustafa proposed forming 
with Persia, when Rusthen complained of the de- 
votion of the janissaries to the person of the for- 
mer in a campaign in the east, Soliman set out 
thither in anger and summoned his son before him. 
The latter might undoubtedly have escaped by 
flight, he might probably have been able to resist ; 
but his mollah told him that eternal blessedness was 
better than dominion over the whole earth ; and, 
guiltless as he was, he could hardly bring himself 
to fear the worst. He obeyed the summons, hav- 
ing first divested himself even of his dagger. The 
worst did befal. The mutes fell upon him ; Soli- 
man looked out from behind a thick curtain, and 
with threatening eyes urged them on : they stran- 
gled Mustafa (% 

The padichah had still two sons left, both by 
Roxolana, Selim, the elder, on whom the right 
of succession now devolved, and Bajazeth, the 
younger, more like his father, more affable and 
more beloved, but destined by the inveterate usage 
of the Turks to certain death. After many a 
quarrel, and many an attempt at insurrection on 
the part of the younger, open war at length broke 
out between the two brothers during their father's 
life. Mustafa, a pacha of whom we shall have fre- 
quent occasion to make mention, boasted that it 
was he decided the contest. He said, that Selim 
having actually fled the fight, he hastened after 
him, and went so far as to seize his horse by the 
bridle ; whereupon Bajazeth, seeing his brother 
return and the fight renewed, was seized with de- 
spair and determined to fly to Persia }. He fled, 
but he did not succeed in escaping. The shah 

* Navagero. " Una cosa e maravigliosa in lui, che si 
trova havere rnai non tentato di fare novita alcuna contra il 
patre, et stando li fratelli, figliuoli dell' altra matre, vicini a 
Constantinopoli et uno anco nel serraglio, esso per6 tanto 
lontano sta quieto. 

t See the extract from Busbequii Legationis Turcicae 
Epistola i. p. 50, which is the source of most of the narratives 
of this transaction, and that from the Lettera di Michiele 
Codignac a Monsignor di Lodeva, Lettere di Principi, iii. 
145, which, though less noticed, is more circumstantial and 

t Floriani, Descrittione dell' imperio Turch. MS. 230. 
" Non resto egli (il Bassa Mustafa) di ricordar modesta- 
mente al Signore che quando era Beglierbei di Maras et 
ch'egli (Selim) era gia posto in fuga da Bajazet suo fratello, 
lo prese per le redine del cavallo andandogli prontamente in 

allowed Soliman's executioner to seek him even 
there, and to strangle him. So hard was the 
struggle necessary to enable Selim to ascend the 
throne of Othman. It is not unlikely that his 
younger, it is in the highest degree probable that 
his elder brother would have inherited those war- 
like and manly qualities by which that house had 
become so great : but Selim, who preferred the 
society of eunuchs and of women, and the habits of 
the serai to the camp, who wore away his days in 
sensual enjoyments, in drunkenness and indolence, 
had no such gifts. Whoever beheld him and saw 
his face inflamed with Cyprus wine, and his short 
figure rendered corpulent by slothful indulgence, 
expected in him neither the warrior nor the leader 
of warriors. In fact nature and habit unfitted him 
to be the supreme head, that is the life and the 
soul, of that warlike state *. 

With him begins the series of those inactive 
.sultans, in whose dubious character we may trace 
one main cause of the decay of the Ottoman for- 
tunes. Many were the circumstances that contri- 
bute_d tq_ theftrfuTE 

The ancient sultans took their sons with them to 
the field, or sent them out upon enterprises of their 
own without any jealousy. Othman was still living 
when his son Orchan accomplished the most import- 
ant thing effected in his day, the conquest of Prusa. 
Again, the most important event under Orchan, 
the expedition to Europe, was accomplished under 
the command of his son Soliman. Succeeding sul- 
tans departed from this practice. They kept their 
sons aloof from themselves and from war, in a re- 
mote government under the inspection of a pacha f. 
At last it was thought better to shut up the heir 
apparent as a prisoner till the moment he was to 
ascend the throne J. 

But when that moment was come, when he was 
become sultan, what was then his business ? Mar- 
sigli narrates how the privilege of the janissaries, 
of being compelled to take the field only when the 
sultan did so likewise, was taken from them by 
Soliman. It is a question whom Soliman most in- 
jured by this measure, the janissaries or his own 
race. Since the janissaries, the elite of the forces, 
were indispensable, the sultans would have con- 
tinued under the necessity of marching with them 
in every war ; they would not have sat down the 
livelong year in the harem, which was now become 
the most pernicious of all their institutions, and 
wasted there all the energies of life in effeminate 

Some nobler qualities may be discovered in no 
few even of the latter sultans. The education and 
the habits of the serai, of which I have already 
spoken, but above all their unlimited despotic 

Barbaro, 294. " Delle quali laudabile conditioni (di 
Solimano) non viene gia detto ne anco dalli proprii Musul- 
mani che d'alcuna Selim sia stato herede, benche di tanti 
regni sia stato possessor. Questo principe e di statura piu 
tosto piccola che altrimente, pieno di carne, con faccia rossa 
e piu tosto spaventosa, d'eta di 55 anni, a quaN e commun 
judicio che pochi n'habbi ad aggiungere per la vita che 

t Relatione di Constantinopoli et Gran Turco, MS. 531. 
" Quando li figliuoli del Grand Turco sono di eta di 13 anni, 
si circoncidono et fra 13 giorni li convien partire et si man- 
dano per governo in qua'.che luogo di Natolia et in vita del 
Gran Turco sempre sono tenuti fuora della citta." 

t Muradgea d'Ohsson, Tableau general de 1'empire Otto- 
man ; Paris, 1787, fol. i. 294. 



power, by virtue of which they were not bound to 
regard, unless they pleased, any fetwa of their 
mufti, a power so exalted, that their excesses were 
declared to be the result of divine inspirations, 
enticed them to give way to their more ignoble 
qualities, and to suffer these gradually to become 
their second nature *. Such absolute power is not 
made for man. The people are not so petty and 
so mean as to be able to endure it. Neither will a 
ruler ever be found great enough to exercise it 
without being himself thereby utterly perverted. 

What fair hopes did Amurath III., the son of 
Selim, afford ? In striking contrast with his father, 
he appeared temperate, manly, given to study, and 
not averse to arms. He displayed, too, a very 
praiseworthy beginning of his reign. What I read 
of him in our Relation! strikes, me as especially-ad- 
mirable in a Turkish sultan. Every one is ac- 
quainted with that horrid custom, in compliance 
with which the sultans made it theiiTfirst business 
after the death of their father to have their bro- 
thers murdered +. It did not exist in primitive 
tinius ; the brothers of Othman fought in his bat- 
tles;, but it gradually became established and in- 
violable. Now Amurath, says the Reiatione, being 
tender-hearted, and unable to endure the sight of 
blood, would neither seat himself on the throne of 
the sultans, nor have his accession proclaimed, till 
he had first secured from death his nine brothers 
who lived with him in the serai J. He talked on 
this matter with his muallim, with the mufti, and 
other learned men. But so imperative seemed the 
necessity of this practice, that he could make no 
impression upon any of them ; on the contrary, he 
was himself constrained to give way, after holding 
out for eighteen hours. He then summoned the 
chief of the mutes, showed him his father's corpse, 
and gave him nine handkerchiefs to strangle his 
nine brothers. He gave them him, but with tears. 

There was in him a certain tincture of humanity, 
a trace of poetical studies, and a sort of resolution. 
Once, when he had the history of his ancestors read 
to him, he asked the by-standers which of the wars 
carried on by his predecessors they thought the 
most difficult ? They answered, " Without doubt 
the Persian." " That," he rejoined, " will I under- 
take ;" and he did so. German ambassadors 
described him as clever, sober, and just, a master 
in the art of rewarding and punishing ||. 

Such he was in the first beginning of his reign. 
But not all men faithfully retain the character 
evinced by them in their youth. The process of 

Muradgea d'Ohsson, Tableau General de 1'emp. Ott. 
Code religieux, i. 95. 

t Reiatione di Const, e di Gran Turco. " Per oblige di 
lege di stato Ottomano fa il successore strangulare tutti li 
fratelli maschi che si trovano nel serraglio, et se qualchune 
si truova fuori, lo manda incontinente a far morire sino 
bisognando con farli guerra." 

I Ib., " Sultan Murat essendo pietoso di non poter vedere 
far sangue, stette 18 hore, che non volse sedere in seggio 
imperiale ne publicare la sua venuta nella citta, desiderando 
e trattando prima di liberare li 9 fratelli maschi carnali. . . . 
Piangendo mando li muti." Leunclavius and Thuanus (lib. 
lix.) allude obscurely to this. 

Morosini, Rel. MS. 372. " Essendoli risposto, che indu- 
bitamente la piu" difficile era questa che potevano far li 
Signori Ottomani con Persiani : replico Sua Maesta, La ho 
in animo di far io." 

|| Gerlachius ad Hailandum, 1 Aug. 1576, in Crusii 
Turcogr. 499. 

development goes on even in manhood, and not 
always from harshness to mildness, from turbu- 
lence to sedateness. Some there are who, from 
modest, staid, and quiet youths, become passionate, 
boisterous, and insufferable men. 

Amurath's character unfolded itself far other- 
wise than had been expected. In the first place, 
he gave himself up to inactive retirement. Per- 
sonally he shunned war, and even avoided the 
chase *, and passed his day in silence and melan- 
choly, shut up in the seclusion of the palace with 
mutes, dwarfs, and eunuchs. He now suffered two 
insatiable passions to obtain the mastery over him ; 
the one was the passion for women^ which_he in- 
dulged to the destruction of all his energies, and to 
the violent aggravation of his predisposition to 
epilepsy ; the other was the passion for gold. 'The 
story had run of Selim, how he had the sequins 
that flowed in to him from many a realm cast into 
a huge ball, and rolled by the mutes into the cis- 
tern in which was contained his private treasure, 
the chasineh -f-. In Amurath was observed an 
almost involuntary fondness of coined metal. It 
sounds almost like a tale of mythology, when we 
read that he had made for him a quadrangular 
marble pit like a well, into which he every year 
cast nearly two and a half millions of gold, all in 
sequins and sultanins. He would strip the gold 
ornaments from old works of art, coin them into 
money, bearing the characters of his name, and 
throw them into the pit. Over the entrance to it, 
which was fastened up with the utmost care, stood 
the bed in which he slept +. Be this as it may, 
certain it is that the tribute of repeated presents 
was a sure means for securing the continuance of 
his favour, and that appointments very soon be- 
came venal. It may be asserted, that he, the 
head of this empire, let himself be suborned as it 
were. So strongly was he influenced by his unfor- 
tunate craving for pelf. 

When the creature had gone through his daily 
routine, that is to say when he had given that 
audience during which the presents brought by 
ambassadors or petitioners were carried before the 
windows so that he could have sight of them, an 
audience in which he did nothing but give ear to 
the ambassadors, who were led before him with 
almost running speed and then led off as rapidly , 

* Soranzo, Relation! o diario di viaggio MS. " Lontano 
dei negotii non essendo punto bellicoso ne amatore d'esser- 
citii militari, ritenendosi insino dalle caccie, particolar 
piacere de suoi precessori." 

t Reiatione di Const, e G. T. " Selim comincio ad usare 
di fondere tutto 1'oro che veniva dall" entrate de regni et 
fame una palla grande, quale faceva mettere rozzolando per 
terra dalli muti in quella cisterna accio non rivelassero 

t Reiatione di 1594. " Nella propria camera ha fatto una 
buca quadra molto profonda, in guiza d'un pozzo, cinta di 
finissimi marmi et la via impiendo tutta d'oro." The Rel. 
di Const, e G. T. agrees with this. " Sono le bocche serrate 
con tre coperchi di ferro conchiave et sopra vi sono murate 
da tre palmi, che non appare ci sia cosa alcuna." 

Soranzo of his own audience : " Ciascheduno era messo 
in mezzo de capigi bassi cioe mastri (li camera, et pigliato 
strettamente per le mani e maniche era condotto a piedi del 
signore, dove inginocchiatosi gli veniva porto da uno di loro 
due una manica della sua veste a baciare, il che fatto era 
reconduto indietro con la faccia sempre volta verso il Sig- 
nore: et intanto che si faceva questa ceremonia, passava il 
presente portato da i capigi, cioe da portieri, dinanzi a una 
finestra della camera del signore accio lo potesse vedere." 



stare at them with his large, lacklustre, melancholy 
eyes, and perhaps nod his head to them ; when 
he had done this he went back to his garden, 
where in deep sequestered spots his women played 
before him, danced and sang, or his dwarfs made 
sport for him, or his mutes, awkward and mounted 
on as awkward horses, engaged with him in ludi- 
crous combats, in which he struck now at the rider 
now at the horse, or where certain Jews performed 
lascivious comedies before him *. 

Was this a fit head for a state founded on war, 
and having its existence in war ? 

Neither were his successors so. Our Relationi 
are silent as to Mekgmfit ; but we know indepen- 
dently of them that this weak monarch was less 
a ruler than he was ruled. Ahmed was nobly en- 
dowed by nature. He ascended the throne in his 
fourteenth year; it was not till near the end of 
his reign that he was a man. He then showed him- 
self clement, active, full of noble designs. He less 
regretted the loss of ships taken by the Christians 
when they were his own than when they were the 
property of poor Moslem. He chose rather to de- 
clare a man insane who had thrown a stone at him, 
than to punish him-)-. He revived and maintained 
an incorruptible justice, and personally sifted all 
grievances to the bottom ; highly was he reverenced 
for this by the people, who reaped the immediate 
benefit of these qualities. But he had far greater 
things still in view. Daily to be seen on horseback, 
in the chase, busy with the bow and quiver, his 
thoughts were bent on war. When he read the 
deeds of Soliman it seemed his longing not only to 
equal these but to surpass them J. 

But nothing of the kind befel. Since the empire, 
just then weakened by wars and insurrections, pro- 
bably wanted in fact the strength for great enter- 
prizes; since the sovereign was thus perhaps with- 
held from actual deeds, and compelled to entertain 
himself with mere intentions, the result was that 
his mind, which could not put forth its whole force 
in great enterprises, was easily disgusted and sati- 
ated with pettier occupations. Unlimited power 
reacted singularly on Ahmed. He was neither 
used to encounter nor inclined to endure contradic- 
tion from others; but he constantly contradicted 
himself. His thoughts seemed often in direct vari- 
ance with each other; he repented of his acts in the 
moment even of their performance ; he recalled his 
orders in the very beginning of their execution. Even 
his daily life was filled with a violent spirit of un- 
rest; there was no place, no occupation, no enjoy- 
ment in which he did not soon find dissatisfaction . 

Relatione di 1594. 

t Valieri, Relatione di Constantinopoli : " Si dimostra 
assai osservante della lorolegge et della giustitia et del bene 
de suoi sudcliti, il che lo fa amare del popolo tutto, et quando 
pu6 havere notitia d'uno aggravio, se ne risente grande- 
mente e ne fa la provisione. Et negli accident! delle gallere 
prese da Fiorentini et Spagnuoli s'andara consolando con 
dire che la perdita non fosse di Mussulamani, ma toccasse al 
suo solo interesse. Non inchina al sangue, anzi piii tosto in 
alcune occurrenze si e dimostrato di natura mite." 

t "Spiriti grandi nutrisce con lamemoria di sultan Soliman, 
che va frequeutemente leggendo con pensiero non pure 
d'imitarlo ma di superarlo." 

Ibid. " La mal eupidita troppo cercando perde et dopo 
molta fatica subitamente getta quello che avidamente ha 
capito, et dal abondanza delle delizie nasce la satieta et 
dalla satieta la nausea. La leggierezza quasi turbine vol D 'e 
intorno tutte le cose." 

Thus all his endeavours were destined to run to 
waste, and his schemes to vanish in air. 

Among all his successors there was absolutely 
but one possessed of genuine innate vigour; this 
was Amurath IV. But we shall see how his cha- 
racter turned out, and how little he was a sovereign 
capable of ruling a people. 

In short, from the period of Soliman's unfortu- 
nate marriage with Roxolana, the organization of 
the Ottoman polemarchy began to lack the head in 
which its life was centred. The sultans continued 
to be emirs like their ancestors, with a warlike 
confederacy of slaves. What must needs have been 
the result, so soon as the spirit of the confederacy 
became alienated from the emir ? If the despotism 
had need of the slaves, the slaves had need of the 


But can it have been that no remedy was to be 
found in the constitution against an evil, the inevi- 
table occurrence of which, at least occasionally, 
might have been so easily foreseen ? 

There exists among the Ottomans an institution 
fitted to prevent the effects of incapacity in the sul- 
tan, the institution of the Veziri-aasam, that is of 
the grand viai,er. This officer they are accustomed 
to style an unlimited deputy, an essential feature 
in the world's order, nay a lord of the empire *. A 
great portion of the public weal depends on him, 
since he holds the administration, and when the 
sultan is incapable the whole executive power, in his 
hands. The grand difficulty is only to find a man, 
who, taking upon him his master's duties, possesses 
likewise all the virtues which the latter wants. 

Now it must be admitted that under Selim II. 
this power was committed to the hands of the 
fittest man that could be found, a Bosnian named 
Mehemet. He was brought from the house of his 
uncle, a priest of Saba, as a young slave into the 
serai; and there he had climbed thus high in dig- 
nity. As Selim seldom saw or spoke to any one 
but him; as the sultan was used to leave the whole 
routine of business to him, so that all propositions 
from foreign ambassadors, all reports from the in- 
terior of the kingdom, were submitted to him alone, 
and all measures in consequence were determined 
by him; as he had the appointment to all posts, 
and the disposal of all honours and dignities, as the 
whole body of civil and criminal jurisdiction rested 
with him, we may admit the truth of Barbaro's re- 
mark that he was the only ear in the empire to 
hear, and the only head to determine. The weal 
and the woe, the substance and the life of every 
subject were in the hands of this slave of Saba. It 
was matter of amazement how he contrived to ful- 
fil all his various avocations f. Not only did he 
hold his public divan on the four appointed days 
from an early hour till noon, giving audience upon 

* Hammer, Staatsverfassung der Osmanen, i. 451 ; ii. 

t Barbaro, 296 : " Chi potra dunque con ragipne compren- 
dere che basti il tempo a tante e cosi diverse attioni et come 
vi possa esser tanta intelligenza che a cosi importante go- 
verno supplisca '! ne pero e mai impedita audienza a qual- 
sivoglia ancora che minima persona ad ogni sua commoda 
satisfattione." Not a trace of this whole passage is to be 
found in the copy of this Relatione in the Tesoro Politico, i. 
p. 87. 



so many diverse questions that the dragoman of 
Venice, for example, thought it necessary to be 
constantly present that he might be ready with his 
answer on the spot, should any unexpected com- 
plaint be sent in from the frontiers; but he also 
gave audience in his own house both on the other 
days, and on these after the close of the divan. 
Every man, though he were the lowest, might 
address him; the hall was always full; yet not a 
sound was heard but that of the man who was 
stating his case, or qf the secretary reading a pe- 
tition. The decision was given on the spot, irre- 
vocably, and for the most part to the satisfaction 
of the parties concerned. Presents of slaves and 
horses, of costly textures, silks, and, above all, gold 
flowed abundantly into his house. There was a 
running fountain of gold therein, says Barbaro*. 
Rivers of gold and silver streamed into it, says 
Floriani. Nor was he a man to hoard up these 
good things. Three thousand men ate daily at his 
table. In no few places in Europe and Asia were 
seen mosques, baths, and aqueducts, bridges and 
dams erected by him. He was particularly fond 
of founding caravanserais, in which travellers were 
entertained gratis for three days together with 
bread, rice, and meat, and also with fodder for 
their horses. 

Mehemet was not puffed up by this fortune, this 
power and greatness. He is one of the noblest of 
his nation whose memory has come down to us. 
He was always found kind and pacific, sober and 
religious, without vindictiveness, and without rapa- 
city. Even at the age of sixty-five his aspect was 
that of a hale and vigorous man, handsome in per- 
son, tall and of stately presence t- 

Two things perhaps conduced to the moderation 
of his character. If it is one of the most difficult 
problems for regular constitutions to counteract 
the arbitrary will of the higher functionaries of 
state, a problem for the sake of which recourse is 
mainly had to them, it is on the other hand a most 
remarkable fact, that the problem is in a certain 
degree solved by despotism itself ; not however by 
law but by caprice, by the caprice of the despot's 
self. Mehemet saw his fortune and his life at the 
mercy of any small error, any trifling fault, that 
might produce a bad impression on the sultan. 
Add to this, that at this time there were besides 
the grand vizier others too at the Porte, the so 

* Barbaro, 287: "Horano quali credelaS. V. siano quelle 
(le richezze) di Mehemet Bassa : poiche oltre 1'infiniti 
donativi minor! ne sono molti ancora di 20, 30 et anco di 
piu di 52 miglia scudi 1'uno ; ma qui non debbo io allar- 
garmi, lasciando che da se medesime le S. V. lo considerino, 
sapendo che non si fa mentione di grado o d'altra cosa di 
gratia o di giustitia in quell' amplissimo imperio che egli non 
ne sia riconosciuto abondantemente, aggiongendovi di piu 
che ogn' uno per essere stabilito et accresciuto di honore et 
d'utilita lo tributa quasi del continuo, onde si pub quasi 
dire che sempre nella casa sua corre un fonte d'oro." Of 
this passage too, nine leaves before the former one, there is 
no trace in the printed copy. 

t Barbaro : " Nelle fatiche mai manca, responde grata- 
mente, non s'insuperbisce per la suprema dignita che tiene, 
ne manco per essere genero di Signore. Ha la moglie 
giovane assai bella, et con tut to che sia egli piu di 65 anni, 
si fa perd piu giovane : et ogni anno fa un figluiolo, matutte 
gli muorono." Besides Barbaro we have also made use of 
Floriani (223229, MS.), a classical authority as to Mehe- 

called viziers of the cupola; who, though their busi- 
ness seemed to be chiefly to obey and execute orders, 
yet they sometimes, though unfrequently, had ac- 
cess to the sultan, as for instance, when the latter 
rode to the mosque, or when he held a divan on 
horseback, or when it was afforded them by a confe- 
deracy in the serai. Among these were two vehe- 
ment opponents of Mehemet, Piali, who was also 
a son-in-law of Selim, and that Mustafa who de- 
cided the battle against Bajazeth, and who believed 
himself to possess no small claims on his master's 
gratitude. Sometimes they succeeded in carrying 
some point against him. When Selim thought of 
distinguishing his reign by some exploit, they were 
for an attack on Cyprus; Mehemet was for a bolder 
enterprise. The sultan's nature inclined to the 
easier undertaking, and its speedy success in the 
hands of his rivals was near bringing Mehemet 
into jeopardy. His intense inward emotion was 
visible in his face when he spoke of their persecu- 
tions*. He now took double heed to his ways. It 
were impossible to describe the deliberation, the 
forethought, with which he engaged personally in 
the smallest things. That he might not provoke 
envy he forbore from adorning Constantinople with 
Ills architectural works. 

He erected there nothing but a small mosque; 
yet this was the monument of his misfortune. It 
will be remembered that he was the son-in-law of 
the sultan. He buried his twelve children in that 

He was successful in maintaining his position at 
the summit of power under three sovereigns. The 
last two, Selim and Amurath, were indebted to him 
for their quiet accession to the throne. For Selim's 
sake he kept the death of Soliman before Sighet 
concealed. When Selim died he made a secret of 
his death likewise. He privately summoned young 
Amurath from Asia. Mehemet welcomed him in 
the garden, where he arrived by night sooner than 
expected, and under the tree where he had sat 
himself downf, and led him into the imperial 
apartments. How completely seemed the whole 
power of the empire to be then in his hands. He 
made the sultan sit still, they say, sent for the 
young man's mother, and asked her, was that her 
son, Sultan Amurath ? when she replied in the affir- 
mative he raised his hands to heaven, thanked 
God, and offered up the first prayer for the weal of 
the new sultan. 

Now, if the arbitrary power of the sultans was 
not unprofitable for the viziership, so long as the 
former remained within certain bounds, it could 
not fail to be fatal so soon as it was guided rather 
by distrust than by prudence, and so soon as it 
came to be exercised too often. 

Relatione del Barbaro delli negotii trattati di lui, MS. 380. 
" II Bassa in estremo si dolse di quello ch'era successo, 
et venendo alle lagrime si rammaricava quanto fosse da suoi 
emuli perseguitato, si come anco molte volte ha fatto meco 
con molta afflittione dell' animo suo." 

f Morosini, Constantinopoli del 1584, MS. 353. "Trovata 
una galeotta gionse a mezza notte in Constantinopoli, et 
accostandosi al giardino del suo serraglio, non trovato il 
Buttigi Basso il quale havea ordine d'aprirli la porta die 
entra in serraglio; smontato della galeotta si ripose a sedire 
nel giardino fuori della mura sott' un albero, nel qual 
luogho di poi ha fatto fare una bellissima fontana." The 
rest is told at full length. A similar account is given in 
Sagredo, Memorie Istoriche de Monarch; Ottomanni, p. 617. 



Mehemet's well-earned reputation caused Amu- 
rath III. some jealousy, and he favoured the subor- 
dinate viziers of the cupola in opposition to him *. 
But before this was productive of any mischief to 
Mehemet, he was murdered by an incensed timarli, 
whom he had deprived of his timar, perhaps with 
justice, and who made his way into the vizier's 
house in the disguise of a beggar. Thus fell a 
man with whom, as Floriani says, the virtue of the 
Turks descended to the grave. 

At least vigour and dignity were missed in the 
viziers who succeeded him. Viziers of characters 
mutually the most opposite followed each other in 
rapifl succession. From the hands of Achmet, 
first an opponent and now the successor of Mehe- 
met, a good old man on the whole, who, above all, 
would not endure a thought of corruption ), the 
administration was transmitted to that Mustafa 
who had fought against Bajazeth and against 
Cyprus. Though seventy years old, and of fear- 
fully repulsive aspect, with thick brows overhang- 
ing his eyes, and shadowing his swarthy features ; 
though infamous for his cruel deeds, especially in 
Cyprus, Mustafa yet knew how to conceal that im- 
petuous and violent temper, of which he had so 
often given proof, under polished manners, flatter- 
ing speeches, and a gracious manner of recep- 

For a while he exercised only the functions with- 
out the titles and dignities of his office : it is said 
that he laid violent hands on himself in disgust at 
his not receiving the seals J. Among the viziers 
of the second rank was an Albanian from the 
neighbourhood of Scutari, named Sinan, who alone 
of seven brothers had remained in the serai till he 
reached one of the four highest dignities, that of a 
chokahdar (who supports the hem of the sultan's 
mantle) whence a prospect opened to him of ap- 
pointments to important offices. Upon this he 
took advantage of Mehemet's quarrel with Mustafa, 
to ingratiate himself with the former, and of Amu- 
rath's incipient aversion to Mehemet to make good 
his footing with the sultan . The men of the 
west noticed in him a striking resemblance to car- 
dinal Granvella. This is no compliment to the 
cardinal. Sinan paraded his shameless want of 
principle openly and without reserve ||, and laughed 
when he thought he had appalled any one by his 
bravadoes. It was a fact, that he had been at an 
earlier date successful in some warlike exploits in 
Arabia and on the coasts of Africa. Upon his now 
marching against the Persians he boasted that he 
would fetch away the shah from Casbin and bring 
him to Constantinople ; and when he came back, 
not only without the shah, but even without hav- 

Soranzo, Diario MS. 465. " Venuto al imperio Sultan 
Amurath, comincio Mehemet declinare della solita gratia et 
favore, cercando il Signore ogni occasione di levargli il cre- 
dito et autorita acquistatasi in vita del patre." 

t Floriani : " Haveva (Achmet) pill tosto nobil natura 
che testa di negotii." 

I Soranzo : " Mustafa se ne mori per disperatione, o come 
altri vogliono, s'attossico, come ingratamente remunerate di 
tante imprese da lui condotte a felice fine." 

The details of these matters are to be found exclusively 
in Soranzo. 

|| Floriani : " E' Sinan ambitioso inconstante contumelioso 
enfiato imprudente impudente superbo e nella pratica senza 
nessuna sorte di maniera civile. E ancho chiamato da 
Turchi multo aventuroso." Soranzo agrees in this unfavour- 
able estimate of his character. 

ing achieved anything worth mentioning, he never- 
theless bragged that he had conquered a country 
for fifty sandshaks. But upon his venturing to 
hint, as the war in Persia was proceeding unfa- 
vourably, that it needed a shah to combat a shah, 
he fell into disgrace. 

Totally different again in character was his suc- 
cessor Sciaus, a Croat, polished, agreeable, affable, 
courteous, and a man of address. On the day 
when having set out to accompany his sister to her 
husband *, he was waylaid by the Turks, taken 
prisoner along with his brother and two sisters, and 
carried into slavery ; he had surely little hopes of 
such high rank and fortune as awaited him. But 
what an unenviable fortune it was after all. Amu- 
rath did not bear with him long. 

Amurath even abandoned the consecrated cus- 
tom of his predecessors, of taking their state func- 
tionaries and viziers only from among their slaves. 
The only leader who acquired renown in the Per- 
sian war was Othman Pacha. Though his father 
had been a beglerbeg, and his mother the daughter 
of a beglerbeg, and he was perhaps of the best 
blood in the empire next to the imperial family ; 
the sultan nevertheless fixed his choice on him. 
Othman, however, paid but too soon with his life 
for his gallant enterprises in Persia. 

Upon this Amurath departed still more widely 
from the practice of his forefathers. He turned 
again to the deposed vizier, but only for a short 
while f. Sinan, Sciaus, and a third named Ferhat, 
were seen to relieve each other as it were by turns, 
and there was witnessed the establishment of a 
ceremony for the deposition of a vizier. A mes- 
senger from the sultan suddenly made his appear- 
ance in the apartments assigned the vizier, and 
having first demanded of him the seal he carried 
in his bosom, he made him a sign that he must 
begone, after which he finally clapped the door to 
behind him. It was opened again for the new 
comer, who however had soon to share the same 
fate. Whether it was rather distrust or caprice 
that induced the sultan to make such continual 
changes, at any rate it was believed that his con- 
duct in this respect had much to do with his greedi- 
ness for gold. Sinan sometimes gave 100,000 
sequins, sometimes 200,000 to re-establish himself 
in his vacillating favour. The capudan Cicala made 
no secret of it that he must set out on a cruise for 
booty, to enable him to present the sultan with 
200,000 sequins, otherwise he had reason to fear 
his dismissal ; and in fact his rivals had already 
been summoned to the court J. 

Things continued under the succeeding sultans 
as under Amurath. Under Achmed, too, we see 
viziers of the most opposite character following 

So I understand Soranzo, 467 : " Pervenuto in mano de 
Turchi con modo si pu6 dire tragico, perche accompagnando 
insieme con un suo fratello due sorelle a marito (this how- 
ever admits of another interpretation) diede in una imbo- 
scata de Turchi E il piu trattabile et cortese." 

t Relatione di 1594: "Con diversi pretesti il piu delle 
volte leggieri gli fa, come dicono loro, Manzoli (le nom de 
Mazoul repond a deplace, destitue, Ohsson II. 272), cioe gli 
depone ; se ben dopoche gli ha fatto vivere un pezzo senza 
dignita et governo et ben mortificati, torna poi con il mezzo 
de danari e de present! a ricevergli in gratia." 

I Ibid. "II Signore prontamente accettd il consiglio di 
Ferrat Bassa, che lo persuase a chiamar a Constaminopoli 
Giafer, famoso capitano di mare, per accrescere maggior- 
mente al Cicala la gelosia." 




each other *. Now it is a Mehemet, a pacific, 
quiet, only not sufficiently resolute man, who how- 
ever duly hears every one, and endeavours to com- 
prehend the arguments laid before him. Now it is 
a Nasuf, an irritable and violent Albanian, who 
gives ear to others with reluctance, is always 
prone to the most violent courses, and with whom 
the Venetian bailo complains that he has fallen 
into a sea of difficulties. 

The consequence of this new practice was, that 
whilst the head of the government was constantly 
changed, the manner and course of the administra- 
tion, and the principles and usages of the higher 
functionaries were unsettled and subjected to no 
fewer changes. Above all, it ensued that the 
viziers, too dependent on the caprice of the sultan, 
were incapable of making good the latter's faults. 

If then the sultan himself happened not to be 
the man who could guide the state, if his vizier 
moreover was hindered from acquiring that inde- 
pendence and that stability, without which no ad- 
ministration is possible, on whom then devolved 
the conduct of public affairs, from whom did the in- 
ternal movements of the state receive their impulse ? 

What constantly befals Oriental despotisms oc- 
curred in this case likewise ; here, too, caprice 
called up some one who was able to master it. A 
new system of government grew up, situated in 
the hands of' the "favourites . within the palace, 
such as the sultan's mother, or his wives, or his 

We have seen the influence exercised by Roxo- 
lana : under Amurath too the women had much 
sway, and Sinan maintained himself chiefly through 
the protection of a countrywoman of his own, an 
Albanian, in the harem f. But even under this 
sultan the weightiest affairs were in other hands 
than the vizier's. While all other offices were 
fluctuating, Capu Agassi, aga of the gate of bliss, 
as they phrase it, head of the household and chief 
of the white eunuchs, maintained his credit un- 
abated J. He contrived to flatter his master's 
tastes, sometimes with ornaments for the female 
slaves of the harem, which he procured from 
Venice, and for which he sent at times impractica- 
ble orders ; sometimes with an agreeable present, 
were it only a golden vessel filled with fragrant 
oil. He once contrived to have a sumptuous gal- 

* Valiere speaking of the time of Ahmed : " Lo stato del 
primo visir et d'ogn' altro ministro di quel governo e lubrico 
assai, restando la sua grandezza appesa a debolissimo et 
picciolissimo filo. Avviene che o per piccolo disgusto die 
prende il re o pure per incontro d'altri accidenti et alle volte 
per brama di novita viene deposto dal governo et abbando- 
nato e negletto, et se vivo, resta poco men che sepolto nella 

t Of the female superior too of the harem, the Kadun 
Kietchuda, the Rel. di 1594 says; "Venetians se vagliono 
molto del favore di questa donna presso il Signore, sendo hor 
mai chiari che ella ottiene cio che vuole et il piu delle volte 
lo fa mutar pensiero." 

t Ibid. " Di natione Venetiano, nato bassamente, ma di 
bellissimo ingegno, e perfido Turco il quale si e tirato tanto 
innanzi nella gratia del Signore, che in la sola sua persona 
ha unito due carichi principali della camera, cioe il titolo et 
carico proprio del capi aga et anco di visir bassa." 

Ibid. " Ne risente Venetia perche hora il Bailo hora 
mercanti Venetiani hanao da lui carichi et disegni di cose 
quasi impossibili, come ultimamente volse un raso cremisino 
che fosse simplice raro e nondimeno che havesse il fondo del 
rovescio d'oro, et altre cose molto difficile et di gran spesa." 

lery erected in the serai without its being observed 
by Amurath : when it was finished he took him 
thither. It was placed in one of the most beauti- 
ful spots in that garden so remarkable for its fair 
situation, with a prospect over both seas. He 
threw it open before the eyes of the astonished 
sultan, and presented it to him. In this way he 
perfectly secured his good will. He had a thou- 
sand opportunities of turning this to account. As 
he alone laid petitions before the sultan, as he was 
the sole bearer of news to him, it was easy for him 
to exert an influence over his master's opinions. 
He often set persons at liberty who had been im- 
prisoned by a pacha ; frequently he contrived to 
have orders issued contradictory to others that 
had just preceded them, so that the pachas were 
thrown into confusion, and knew not what to do *. 

This manner of government became gradually 
inveterate. One at least of his wives had so much 
influence over Ahmed, that he never refused her a 
request ; she was complete mistress of his inclina- 
tions. But still greater was the influence of the 
kislar aga, that is the chief of the black eunuchs, 
the superintendent more peculiarly of the harem. 
He had always the ear of the sultan, he could 
direct his will as he pleased : how many a project 
of the vizier Nasuf did he singly defeat ! In out- 
ward appearance too, in manners, in the number 
of his servants, he was almost on an equality with 
his master )-. It was necessary to keep well with 
both the favourites : to effect this was a prime 
endeavour with foreign ambassadors. The lady 
was to be won with little civilities, with rare per- 
fumes and costly waters J. With the kislar it was 
necessary to go more earnestly to work. Large fowl, 
says Valieri, require good feeding : people who 
have gold in abundance are not to be had at a 
cheap rate . 

In this way there arose, within the walls of the 
harem, an interest opposed to the vizier, and by 
which he was himself ruled, and placed, and dis- 
placed ; not a general interest of the empire, nor a 
personal one of the sultan's, but an interest of 
women and of eunuchs, who now assumed the lead 
of this warlike state ||. 

The harem possessed yet another .influence. As 
the sullans began to give not only their sisters and 
their daughters, but also their slaves in marriage 
to the great, it followed that these women carried 
the manners of the serai into private houses Tf. 
What a wide departure was now made_ from the 

* Ibid passim. That this was generally known appears 
from the Ragionamento del re Filippo al suo figlio, MS. 
which ascribes to Amurath a " seguir contrario al deliberate." 

t Valieri : " Lascio in dubio veramente qual sia il re." 

J Ibid. " Mi sono ingegnato d'insinuarmi con la regina : 
con alcune gentilezze, che li riuscivano care, sopra ogni altra 
cosa, d'odori et d'altre acque di suo gusto, 1'ho resa inclinata 
alia casa: onde ben spesso faceva offerirmi 1'opera sua." 

Ibid. " Ma ogni spesa con questi e benissimo impie- 

|| On this turn of the viziership see also Businello, His- 
torical notices of the Ottoman monarchy, section xi. 

IT Relat. di 1594. "Manda alcune delle sue schiave 
pregato anco della Cagianandona, fuori, maritandole a suoi 
schiavi piu favoriti. E di qui ha presa forza la corruttela de 

costumi turcheschi Non piu sedono in terra ma in sedie 

di velluto e d'oro d'infinita spesa ; ne si contentano d'una 
sola et semplice vivanda, come si usava a tempo di Solimano, 
ma sono introdutti li cuochi eccellentissimi, li pasticci, le 
torte, li mangiari composti." 



old simplicity of the camp from which the nation 
had set out. They began to cover their seats with 
cloth of gold ; they slept in summer on the finest 
silk, and in winter wrapped in costly 'furs. A pair 
of shoes belonging to a Turkish lady of rank seemed 
worth more than the whole dress of an European 
princess. In lieu of the simple fare of Solimaii's 
time they outdid all the delicacies of Italy. 

Now if this had an injurious influence from the 
mere fact that even the humbler classes gradually 
became used to live in this way, it was a still worse 
result that the great were compelled by their ex- 
penses, and prompted by the sultan's example, to 
do or suffer every thing for gold. If ever the 
rearing up of slaves to high places in the sultan's 
household had been attended with a good effect, 
this was now utterly destroyed. Justice was venal; 
every office had its price. But as every thing was 
liable to be lost again at any moment, the conse- 
quence was everywhere tyranny, extortion, desola- 
tion, and despair. Constantinople indeed increased; 
but it was because men thought themselves some- 
what more secure there than under the grasp of 
the pachas and their feudatories, or because more 
was to be earned by a town trade than by agricul- 
ture. The empire declined whilst its capital in- 
creased*. "" 
-- jr ~ Military Forces. 

If the conclusion must be admitted, that the cor- 
ruption of the sultans and that of the system of go- 
vernment which have hitherto formed the subject 
of our inquiries, were related to each other as cause 
and effect, and were both to be traced to one origin; 
there were other alterations which arose indepen- 
dently of the former, and only co-operated with them 
to one result. 

Important changes took place in the warlike 
organization itself as well as in its head ; and, first, 
in that institution which was the core and the 
sinews of all the others, the institution of the ja- 

It is very well known how important the janis- 
saries were in the beginning ; it is no less 'known 
whaffney came to be at last; both facts are striking- 
ly obvious. It is less clear, but certainly not less 
deserving to be known, how this decay took place. 

When we put together the scattered notices in our 
Relationi, we discern some stages of this transition. 

In the first place let us recollect that the janis- 
saries were originally prohibited from marrying, 
and even to a late period they adhered to the cus- 
tom of not suffering any woman near their bar- 
racks. On no account, says Spandugino, \\vrc 
they to take wives f. Despotism, like the hierarchy, 
required people wholly devoted to itself, separated 
by no care for wife or child, by no domestic hearth, 
from the only interests they should know, the in- 
terests of their lord. But now marriage was allowed 
the janissaries, and tTfat undoubtedly as early as in 
Soliman's reign; at first indeed only 16 such "of 
them as were less fit for actual service, or who were 

* Relat. di 1594: "Chi non pub fuggire in altro paese, si 
salva in Constantinopoli. Onde si inganna chi da questo 
argomenta la grandezza del imperio, poiche imitando il corpo 
humano si veggono le vene correre per tutte le parti del 
corpo et non allargarsi ne ramificare vicino al cuore." 

t Trattato di Theodoro Spandugino de costumi de Turchi, 
printed in Sansovino's collection, p. 113. "I detti Geiiiz- 
zeri in alcun modo non possono prender moglie." 

stationed on the frontiers, but gradually to all with- 
out exception *. This change alone must have pro- 
duced no little mutation in the habits and way of 
thinking of the soldiery. 

But another change immediately came forth 
from the first, and directly threatened the very vita- 
lity of the institution. The question was, what was 
to be done with the children of the janissaries 1 The 
fathers demanded that their sons should be receiv- 
ed into their body. We learn from the Relatione 
of Giovanfrancesco Morosini, and as far as my in- 
vestigation has gone, from it alone, that they ob- 
tained this favour on the accession of Selim II. to 
the throne. It is very well known that the grand 
vizier Mehemet thought it expedient to keep secret 
the death of Soliman before Sighet. It was not till 
the army had begun its march homewards after 
the conquest of that place, and had already reached 
Belgrade, not till Selim, who had set out from 
Asia upon the first secret intelligence sent him by 
Mehemet, had arrived at the same point, that 
the death of the late sultan and the accession of 
the new were proclaimed at one and the same mo- 
ment t It now happened, as Morosini relates, 
that Mehemet, who was never very lavish of the 
imperial treasure, did not bestow upon the janissa- 
ries the present usual on the accession of a sultan, 
particularly as they had dispersed on the march 
home. Incensed at this they betook themselves 
to their quarters, with muttered threats that they 
would let it be seen in Constantinople who and 
what they were. They arrived before the sultan; 
they escorted him into the capital; but when the 
line of march was arrived before their odalar, their 
quarters, they halted, stepped forth, and declared 
that they would not suffer the sultan to enter the 
serai unless he satisfied their demands. Now their 
demands were not only to the effect that they should 
be granted the accustomed gratuities, and that their 
pay should be raised, but what is of most import- 
ance to our present consideration, that their sons, 
for whom the state had already condescended to 
make provision, should be admitted into the janis- 
sary corps as soon as they were grown up J. In vain 
the viziers dismounted from their horses to still the 
mutiny with fair words; in vain the aga of the janis- 
saries went among them, with his head enveloped in 
the handkerchief used for strangling, and implored 
them not to put this insult on the sultan ; the 

* Soranzo, 1581 : " Si maritano come piii lor piace ; il chf 
gia non It era permesso se non ad alcuno posto nelie fron- 
tiere overo consumato delle guerre, ma tutto con licenza et 
gratia dell' Aga." That this was the case under Soliman, is 
stated in Libri tre delle cose de Turchi, Venice 1539, p. 18. 

t Here likewise Morosini is exclusively our informant. 
"Alia qual gionta (the vizier's) ritrovandosi Sultan Selim 
accampato fuori della citta; riceve il corpo, al quale subito 
fatto secondo il costume turchesco la sua oratione, ipsofacto 
lo consegn6 ad Acmad Bassa Visir che lo dovesse condurre 
in Constantinopoli et sepelirlo nel giardino della sua mos- 
chea ; appresso postosi Sultan Selim a sedere realmente, li 
fu bacciato la mano." 

t Morosini : " Le dimande di Giannizzeri erano queste, 
che essendo stati dati loro solamente 2000 aspri di presente 
per uno et tagliati in parte il modo del accrescimento del 
loro soldo, fossegli accresciuto il presente sino alia somma di 
3000 aspri, come avea fatto Sultan Solimano, et che il 
accrescimento del soldo loro fosse nel medesimo modo, che 
i loro figliuoli subito nato dovessero secondo il solito essere 
descritti al pane et dopo eresciuti in etd dovessero medesima- 
mente essere fatti Giannizzeri." 

c 2 



viziers were forced to give way, the aga to with- 
draw. They did not suffer the sultan to enter th 
serai till in his name, and in his presence, the aga 
had promised all they demanded; they did no 
throw open the gates till Selim once more made 
them the same promise with his own lips, and raisec 
his hands above his head in testimony of his vow 
They then opened the gates, fell into rank, and 
saluted their sovereign with a full volley from their 
arquebuses. The next divan ratified what hac 
been thus granted them. 

Now if it was constitutional with this body-guarc 
to be made up of young people, who had lost &\] 
knowledge of their parental home, this principle 
was now decidedly violated, and that not exception- 
ally, but by distinct enactment. Ere long the sons 
of the janissaries were seen in the ranks of thai 
corps. It was impossible that they should have 
undergone the full rigour of discipline that had 
once been enforced. 

It may readily be conceived that this facilitated 
the passage to a third innovation. When thai 
Persian war in which Amurath embarked, because 
it seemed the most arduous of all Ottoman enter- 
prises, proved in reality to be very difficult, con- 
sumed whole armies and afforded no conquests ; 
when it made great havoc in the ranks of the ja- 
nissaries, and it was urgently necessary to recruit 
these in every way, it was then not enough that 
their sons should be admitted among them, admis- 
sion was likewise granted to other native Turks, 
and to Mussulmen of all nations, men unpractised, 
undisciplined, and incapable of all discipline*. This 
was carried to such a pitch as to produce an inter- 
nal division hi the body. How should the veterans, 
who had borne a part in Soliman's wars, have 
deemed this promiscuous rabble worthy comrades 
in arms ? There was often reason to fear that they 
would come to mutual hostilities. 

The door was thus flung open widely to every 
abuse. The metamorphosis made rapid way. 
Under Soliman the janissaries took themselves 
wives ; under Selim II. they had their sons en- 
rolled among them; under Amurath III. they were 
forced to admit among them native Turks, of 
totally different descent, who had not gone through 
their training; under Ahmed this warlike body was 
already brought to such a condition, that the pri- 
vates when stationed through the country or on the 
frontiers began to ply to trades, to engage in com- 
merce, and, satisfied with the advantage of their 
name, to think little of war and arms ). 

How badly now did they stand to then? arms ! A 
Frank could not refrain from laughing to see them 

* Relatione di 1594: "Gia scelti homini fatti d'ogni 
natione non hanno in loro altro che crudelta, insolenza et 
disobedienza verso li capi loro." Discorso dello stato del 
Turco, in the Tesoro politico i, 99. "Sono stati anco as- 
critti al luogo dei Giannizzeri nati Turchi contra 1'ordine 
invecchiato di quella porta, che non ha mai usata, se non per 
estraordinario favore, di far Gianizzero nessun altro se non 

t Valieri: "Resta assai alterata questa militia et nella 
gente et nella disciplina ; perche mold Turchi nativi sono 
ascritti in luogo d'altri, et la maggiore parte e sparsa nel 
paese, che fattasi con la nostra voce casalini attendono alia 
mercantiaetad ogni commereio senza curarsi d'altro, bastan- 
doli il commodo che apporta il nome de Giannizzeri, che e 
grande." Perhaps the gradations of the change will some- 
time or other be more accurately intelligible from more cir- 
cumstantial accounts. 

shoot. They clutched the stock of their piece 
tightly in their left hand, while with the right they 
applied the match; and so childish was their fear 
of the explosion that they hurriedly turned away 
their heads *. How far did they now fall short of 
their old invincible renown ? It passed soon into a 
proverb, The janissary has surely a good eye and 
good legs, the former to see if the cavalry waver, 
and the latter to run away with all speed there- 

If the janissaries were no longer capable of de- 
fending the empire as before, they now turned 
against the sultan the strength and the arms they 
had hitherto employed against his foes. Even in 
former times the rigour of then? discipline had not 
always sufficed to keep them under subjection; that 
rigour was now relaxed )-, but their old refractori- 
ness remained, along with their old rights and pre- 
tensions. When all those personal qualities of 
the several members are lost which may at some 
time have conferred privileges on any society or 
body corporate, still the spirit of the body does not 
depart, but clings to its prerogatives with aug- 
menting pertinacity. The insolence of these forces 
was insufferable. They compelled sultan Amurath 
to deliver up to them deftardars and pachas to be 
strangled. They slew a pacha of Cyprus, and 
Amurath sent them another. Fearing that the 
new man, however complaisant he affected to be, 
would punish them for what they had done to his 
predecessor, they promised him obedience at first, 
and lulled him into security ; then, when they saw 
their opportunity, they surrounded him and his 
staff, and killed them all J. Thus were the slaves 
become tyrants. 

One question now remains, when did the prac- 
tice cease of pressing Christian boys into the ser- 
vice of the palace ? It may be supposed that this 
was gradually abandoned from the time native 
Turks began to be employed. Marsigli, who made 
his observations in 1680, assures us, that the cus- 
tom had long fallen into desuetude . Valieri, on 
the other hand, whose Relatione belongs to the 
year 1618, describes it as in full operation. We 
must conclude therefore that it was left off between 
1630 and 1650. I find no trace of it in the Rela- 
tione of 1637. This was unquestionably the great- 
est good fortune that befel the Greeks. How could 
they have entertained a thought of rising, nay of 
at all sustaining themselves as a body, had the 
practice of regularly carrying off the flower of 
their youth into slavery been persisted in ? It is 
not till after this usage had ceased, not till the 
seventeenth century, that we first meet with a 

Relat. di 1637: "Un tenero figliuolino si mostrerebbe 
piu ardito." 

t Relat. di 1594 : "La militia e relassata da quella prima 
et ottiina sua disciplina; perche la falange de Giannazzeri, 
da cui valore sono sempre dependuti tutti li acquisti di 
questo imperio, a pena retiene la prima imagine ; non essendo 
educati con quella esatta disciplina, passando per quei 
cimenti che solevano li vecchi. . . Per il che non e maraviglia 
che siano pieni li avisi di tante scelerita da loro commessi 
sino in Constantinopoli su gli occhi del signore et sotto il 
medesimo Sinan Bassa." 

J Leunclavii Supplementum Annalium Turcicorum, p. 

Marsigli, dello stato militare, i. c. 6, p. 27. " Adinstanza 
de timarli, de siameti, de beg et beglerbeg e molto tempo 
che fu levato quel crudel tribute che queste nationi Chris 
iane doveano dare con un certo numero di ngli." 



klepht, celebrated in the national songs, Christos 
Milionis *. 

It is self-evident that these great changes, deci- 
sively influencing the whole constitutional eco- 
nomy of the empire, must have extended to the 
other slaves destined to the sultan's service. As 
early as the times of Selim II. the custom ceased 
of entrusting the higher offices of state exclusively 
to the Christian-born slaves brought up in the 
serai. Barbaro says, the sons of Turks are now 
admitted to these offices by a pernicious stretch 
of partiality ; an irregularity disapproved of by 
many, and which in his opinion was sure to be 
pernicious to the empire f. And in fact it was not 
long before a dearth of able men was thought to 
be evident. Only as the sultan still continued to 
keep the serai full of slaves, come whencesoever 
they might, as with the natural leaning of every 
despot he went on bestowing the highest stations 
on favourite slaves, the revolution could not be so 
complete in this case as in the others. 

It is easy too to see that the janissaries would 
necessarily communicate their own corruption to 
the sipahi at the Porte. The Persian war had a two- 
fold mischievous effect on the sipahi, since it not 
only cost them men, but also completely ruined 
that excellent breed of horses they had hitherto 
employed, and which had contributed not a little 
to their renown. Among the sipahi too were ad- 
mitted native Turks and people of all sorts J ; they 
too were always prompt to mutiny. In the year 
1589 they compelled Sultan Amurath to reinstate 
Sinan, who had recently been dismissed, in the 
rank of grand vizier . 

The condition of the timars was not very inti- 
mately connected with what we have been consi- 
dering ; but they too could not escape participa- 
tion in the general corruption. I find no account, 
either in print or in manuscript, of the manner in 
which they underwent change. It is fortunate 
therefore that there exist two unquestionably ge- 
nuine reports by Turks, which throw some light 
on the subject. Aini, a feudal officer under Sultan 
Ahmed, remarks that in old times it had been 
almost impossible for any other than the son of a 
sipahi to obtain a timar ; but subsequently this 
regulation had fallen into neglect, and even the 
lowest persons made pretensions to be timarli||. 
The question is how and when did this occur ? If 
I am not mistaken this may be discovered from a 
decree of Soliman 1J. He is given to understand, 
he says in that document, that the sons of the 
raajas who had obtained fiefs, were excluded from 
the timars under the pretence that they were fo- 
reigners, that they were plundered of their berat, 
that is their patents, and that contrivances were 
used to obtain firmans to eject them. He strongly 
censures this. " How should the inhabitants of my 
territories and states," he says, " be foreigners with 
respect to each other ? Sipahi and raajas are alike 

* Tpa^oujia 'Pwjuaifta, p. 2. 

t " Ben e vero che a questi tempi con cormttela et scan- 
dalo si va introducendo con favor figliuoli de Turchi." 

I Relat. di 1594 : " Cosl hanno perduti non pure quei 
vigorosi cavalli ma anco le razze ; et pero sendo fatti li 
spahi d'ogni sorted'huomini. . .teme tanto piu il Signoreche 
questa gente povera et avida desideri mutatione di stato." 

Sagredo, Memorie de Monarch! Ottoman!, 683. 

|| Kanunname of Aini, Hammer, Staatsverf.der Osm. i. 372. 

II Kanunname to the beglerbeg Mustafa, Hammer i, 3. 50. 

my servants, and should dwell quietly beneath the 
bounteous shadow of my favour." From this it is to 
be inferred, that the inferior classes had obtained 
under Soliman, and with his approval, those advan- 
tages of which Aini complains. He complains be- 
cause this innovation undoubtedly gave occasion to a 
multitude of irregularities. It is not well to alter or 
meddle too much with institutions on the steady sub- 
sistence of which rests the stability of a state. The 
consequence of these innovations was, that the sand- 
shaks and pachas, indebted for their own promo- 
tion to the sultan's inclination to favour his slaves, 
imitated the example, and seized the opportunity 
to bestow fiefs on then? own slaves, often worthless 
fellows. Having once succeeded in this they went 
further. They had already begun to apply the 
timars more to their own service than to that of 
the state; they now made them wholly subservient 
to their own profit, without maintaining the troops 
required by law. It was soon noticed hi the serai 
how profitable this was to them ; but those who 
might have stopped the abuse, instead of doing so 
indulged in it themselves. What had hitherto been 
done only by the governors of provinces, was 
now practised by the central authorities. They 
began to dispose of the timars as gratuities, with- 
out regard to their military destination *. Then 
followed gradually what Aini complains of, that 
for the space of twenty or thirty years no muster 
was held, that a sandshak, instead of a hundred 
sipahi scarcely furnished fifteen, and that frequent- 
ly not a tenth part of those registered in the books 
were actually forthcoming f. A chief cause of 
Nasuf's fall was that he attempted to stem this 
disorder. He employed for a while twenty scribes 
daily to aid him in his inquiries and in preparing new 
books, so that he might insist on the maintenance 
of the due number of sipahi J. But great loads, 
says Valieri, are not easily moved; he who attempts 
to divert rivers from their course exposes himself 
to danger. Nasuf was unable to abolish the abuse; 
the attempt proved his ruin. 

Thus we see the three foremost soldieries of this 
state fall simultaneously into manifest decay. They 
show plainly enough in themselves how this happen- 
ed. Still the corruption of the other institutions had 
also assuredly an important influence upon them. 
A state is so intimately interwoven as a whole, that 
the fatal evil which has seized on one part over- 
spreads the rest. The thing occurs, without our 
being able to say precisely how it occurs. 

It is certain that under Soliman the Ottoman 
empire, as it surpassed all others in intrinsic 
strength, so likewise was it more threatening than 
any other power to the rest of the world. 

Valieri: "II numero e impossibile che si sappia; perche 
molti tiraari si sono perduti per la dishabitatione del paese ; 
molti sono possess! dalle failure del serraglio, avuti in 
assegnamente di propria entrada: et molti viene detto esser 
tenuti anco dalli medesimi Visiri et Grandi della porta et 
del serraglio e de suoi ministri che con favore nelle vacanze 
facilmenle se ne impadroniscano." 

t Aini's Kanunname, Hammer i, 372. 

t Valieri : " Volse Nasuf, gia primo Visir, venir indietro 
di queslo negotio et deput6 piu di 20 scrivani per caverne 
1'intiero el fame un nuovo calasto, per ritrovare il numero 

et reinlegrarlo Ma la mollitudine interessata non am- 

mette ne vuole regola, ma ben spesso cambio la novita con 
la testa dell'autore." 



It nevertheless appears from our investigations, 
that under this very same Soliman the internal 
strength of this empire became afflicted with grave 
maladies. Under him the influence of women in 
the harem first gained the ascendancy ; under him 
those edicts were issued that gave the chief occa- 
sion to the change in the disposition of the timars ; 
under him the janissaries began to have wives ; 
through him it came to pass that the least worthy 
of his sons ascended the throne. Nor was this all. 
If a state has been founded on conquest, if it has 
hitherto known no pause to its progressive con- 
quests, can any one doubt that the shock to it will 
be severe when the progress is stayed, and con- 
quest ceases ? Under Soliman, warlike and vic- 
torious as he was, the empire yet began to have 
boundaries. In the east he encountered in Per- 
sia a weak people indeed, that intrinsically was 
by no means able to cope with him, but still a 
people who venerated their shah as a god, and even 
made vows to his name in their sicknesses *, that 
left their territory widely exposed to the foe, but not 
till they had first laid it waste, so that the assailants 
could never reach the fugitive defenders, and had 
enough to do to avoid being themselves assailed on 
their retreat. Christendom was Soliman's other 
foe, and it must be owned it was weakened by in- 
ternal dissensions. Now if the establishment of 
the Austro-Spanish power was in any point of view 
a fortunate thing for Christendom, it was so inas- 
much as it was fitted by circumstances, and had 
inherent strength enough, to resist the Turks at once 
in Africa, Italy, and Hungary. In this way it has 
earned the gratitude of all Christian nations. It 
crossed and resisted both the directions taken by 
the Turkish power in its outspread westward, the 
continental and the maritime. What tedious sieges 
were required to capture single small towns in 
Austrian Hungary ! What vast efforts were made 
to no purpose before Malta ! Those two nations, 
that had once set bounds to the broad empire of 
the Romans, the German, namely, and the Persian, 
should these be subjugated by the Turks, by whom 
they were now both assailed ? 

Such by all means were the hopes of the Turks 
and the fears of the rest of the world. If decay 
was present, it was little more than an alteration 
in the moral impulses still lurking within, and not 
to be at once discerned either by friend or foe. 

When Selim II. came to the throne, two enter- 
prises presented themselves to him, both in that 
maritime direction towards the west which Maho- 
met II. had opened. The one was against Spain f, 
the prime foe of the Muhamedan name ; an enter- 

* Relatione di Mr. Vincenzo delli Alessandri delle cose da 
lui osservate nello regno di Persia, MS. Berol. : " Si tiene 
felice quella casa che pub havere qualche drappo o scarpe di 
esso Re, overo dell' acqua dove egli si ha lavato le mani, 
I usandola contra la febbre. Non pur i popoli, ma i figliuoli e 
Sultani parendoli, di non poter ritrovare epiteti convenienti 
a tanta grandezza, gli dicono : Tu sei la fede nostra et in te 
crediamo: cosl si osserva nelle citta vicine fino a questo 
termino di riverenza, ma nelle ville e luoghi piu lontar.i 
molti tengono che egli, oltre 1'havere lo spirito della profetia, 
riusciti li morti et faccia altri simili miracoli." 

t Mehemet was in favour of this enterprsie. Relatione 
dello stato " Concetto gia fu di Mehemet di assaltare la 
Spagna per gettare sopra di lei li Mori." .... Relatione di 
Barbaro delli negotii trattati da lui con Turchi per lo spatio 
di sei anni, MS. " Mehemet proponendo con buone ragioni 
il soccorrere i Mori in Spagna ribellati dal re catholico, 

prise glorious for its boldness even should it fail, 
but should it prosper, one that promised the grand- 
est results. That kingdom was just then thrown 
into serious peril by the insurrection of the Moors, 
whose numbers were computed at 85,000 families. 
They even sent repeatedly to Constantinople, and 
most urgently besought the aid of their brethren in 
faith. The other enterprise was against Venice 
and Cyprus. The Venetians had been peaceful, com- 
pliant, almost submissive, always with presents in 
their hands for the sultan and his vizier. If the 
capudan when cruising abstained from piracy in 
their waters, they were never slack in remember- 
ing it to him. They were of all foreigners the 
most liberal to the dragomans, as the latter re- 
marked in their books *. Cyprus was already half 
subdued, and as an Egyptian fief yielded a tribute 
of 8000 ducats. Here there were no oppressed 
Muhamedans, nor any great glory to be acquired. 
On the contrary, it would be necessary to break a 
peace just sworn. 

Sultan Selim did not ponder what were the man- 
liest, the grandest enterprises, and the most useful 
to his fellow believers ; he only considered what 
might be the easiest, the surest, and the nearest 
conquest. A landing could hardly be prevented in 
Cyprus. If it came then to sieges, as it would be 
sure to do, how should any resistance be made by 
the capital Nikosia ? the reason for making which 
town the capital was merely that it lay between 
mountains that tempered the heat of the climate. 
The fall of Nikosia would necessarily infer that 
of the whole island. Some even went the length 
of supposing that Venice would never engage in 
earnest war for the defence of Cyprus f ; it had 
too urgent need of Turkish goods for its commerce, 
and of Turkish corn for its sustenance. In spite 
of the repeated and strenuous opposition of Mehe- 
met, and often as the mufti called attention to the 
distresses of the unfortunate Moors, distresses it 
was the sultan's indefeasible duty to relieve, still 
Selim's unwarriorlike ambition decided for the 
attack on Cyprus ; his army embarked, landed, 
conquered the capital, and took the island. 

And now, strange to say, the easier undertaking 
proved to be attended with more dangerous conse- 
quences than could ever have ensued from the 
more difficult one. 

Had Spain been attacked, Venice would never 
have resolved on lending that country her strenu- 
ous aid ; the neighbourhood of the Turks on all 
her frontiers would have been too alarming to 
allow of this J. But when Venice was attacked, 

dimostrando quanto maggior gloria e profltto dovesse appor- 
tarli quella impresa." 

* Navagero, Relatione : " Ibraimbei (Dragomano) m'ha 
detto molte volte, haver veduto il libro di Sanusbei, ove 
erano scritti li doni che li facevano tuiti li principi et altri 
che negotiavano a questa porta, e ritrovato che niun altro 
li dava tanto ne cosl spesso come la Signoria di Venetia, al 
che molte volte ho riposto che cosi la Signoria vuole trattare 
li suoi buoni amici." 

+ Barbaro delli negotii trattati : " Niun altra causa haveva 
mosso piu 1'animo del Signore al tentare 1'impresa di Cipro 
che il persuadersi d'ottenere la cession di quel regno senza 
contrasto d'armi ; si come i maggiori della Porta si lascia- 
vano chiaramente intendere, mossi si per la poca estimatione 
che tacevano delle forze di questa republica come anco per 
il timido modo col quale s'era seco proceduto." 

t This is hinted at in Avvertimenti di Carlo V. al re il 
Filippo II. " Che sia il Turco per rompere prima con i 



since it was the interest of Philip II. to keep the 
war, which would otherwise have threatened him 
at home, in remote waters, the consequence was, a 
confederation of the two maritime powers. It was 
joined by the pope ; three fleets stood- together to 
sea to meet the Turks. 

The naval like the military force of the Turks 
was constituted with a view to continuous conquest. 
The timars in the islands, the holders of which served 
in the fleet, were similar to those on the mainland. 
The Turks ruled the Mediterranean in war and 
piracy ever since that day in the year 1538, when 
Chaireddin Barbarossa attacked with wonderful 
daring, and vanquished the far superior fleet of the 
Christians at Prevesa. They believed that the 
Christians would never venture again to stand before 
them in open fight. This superiority endured till 
the year 1571. The individual must often stand 
for the whole ; the vicissitudes in human events 
are often determined by the talent and the will of 
one distinguished man. The Turks were now con- 
fronted by a youth who for daring, energy, fortune, 
and grand conceptions might well be compared 
with Chaireddin Barbarossa ; this was Don John 
of Austria. The Christians were victorious under 
his command ; the Turks had no equal to oppose 
to him ; the day of Lepanto broke down the Otto- 
man supremacy. 

But it must not be supposed that the maritime 
power of the Turks was nothing before Chaireddin's 
time, and that it was instantaneously reduced again 
to nothing by Don John. Growth and decay are 
the slow work of time ; those two remarkable days 
only mark two great crises. 

The Turks lost all their old confidence after the 
battle of Lepanto *. They were soon conscious of 
the vices in their naval system. The grand defect 
was, that they would only condescend to bear arms, 
leaving all the rest to slaves )% Slaves were com- 
pelled to build their ships, and these men, as it 
was not their own affair, carelessly employed un- 
seasoned wood : the consequence was, that the 
vessels, however handsomely they might be con- 
structed in other respects, were prone to leak, 
and that usually out of several hundred galleys, 
hardly fifty were to be found seaworthy. They 
employed slaves linked in a chain to navigate their 
vessels. But as they nevertheless treated their 
crews as slaves, that is to say not as men, the 

Venetian! che con voi, non e verisimile, perche potrebbe 
stimare che in tal case haverebbe insieme ancora voi ; ove 
rompendo primo con voi, pu6 sperare che i Venetiani si 
sieno almeno stare di mezzo, si per la loro gia 
tant' anni dall" anni, si ancora per haverli esso fitte 1'unghie 
adosso et quasi il freno in bocca posto per rispetta dell' isola 
di Candia et di Cipri." 

Barbara: " E' levata non solo a Turchi quell a superba 
impressione che Christiani non ardirebbono affrontarli, ma 
in eontrario sono al presente gli animi loro talmente oppress! 
da timore che non ardiscono affrontarsi con gli nostri, con- 
fessando essi medesimi che le loro gallere sono in tutte parte 
inferior! alia bonta delle nostre, cosi di gente piu atta al com- 
battere, come dell' artiglieria et di tutte altre cose pertinent! 
alia navigatione ; et veramente e cosi." 

f Floriani : " I Turchi non hanno applicato il pensiero a 
nessun esercitio e massimamente a quello delle cose mari- 
time." Barbaro : " Nelle cose maritime non hanno li Turchi 
vocabolo della lingua loro, ma tutti sono greci o franchi." 
[The Turks have not a single naval term proper to their own 
language, but all borrowed from those of the Greeks or the 

majority of them perished. Barbaro saw the fleet 
return five times, and each time completely un- 
manned. Under these circumstances, if ever they 
came to an engagement, the captains had no longer 
the prospect of making prizes before them, but 
might foresee the loss of their slaves to the enemy, 
if they were faithful, or their insurrection if they 
were not so. There was nothing they more dreaded 
than coming to close quarters with the Christians 
hi the open sea. 

The bad condition of the fleet, the worthlessness 
of the working crews, and that spiritless temper of 
the armed men, which first made glaringly obvious 
all those other defects that had before been covered 
by courage and good fortune, lastly, the enormous 
costs of equipment, for a long while made Selim's 
successors averse to enterprises of magnitude by 
sea, and necessarily produced a pause hi this branch 
of the Turkish conquests. 

But as yet there was no cessation to their conti- 
nental efforts. The lust of dominion over the 
world was too deeply rooted in the minds of these 
sultans. Though himself so unmanly, and under 
such unmanly guidance, Amurath nevertheless 
carried on continual wars for conquest, and this 
freely and spontaneously, to the no small diminu- 
tion of the treasures he amassed with such eager- 
ness *. He would never grant a peace except 
upon the most unequal conditions. That love of 
conquest, which covets only the acquisition of terri- 
tory, whether it be that it takes delight in the 
active occupations of war, or that it may be in- 
dulged without the necessity of leaving home, is 
equally insatiable as voluptuous lust or the greed of 
gold ; it seems to depend upon the self-same prin- 
ciple in the mental constitution as these two passions. 

Be this as it may, Amurath embarked in two 
wars, the Persian and the Hungarian, that even- 
tually exhausted the best energies of the empire. 
The two presented him with totally distinct diffi- 
culties. In Persia he had to do with a country 
destitute indeed of castles and towns, but likewise 
without villages or inhabitants for a space of six 
or seven days' journey f. His troops no doubt 
marched unresisted through wide tracts of this 
purposely devastated frontier land; they establish- 
ed themselves beyond it in Shirvan, built vessels in 
Temicarpi, and navigated the Caspian, and even 
founded a fortress in Tauris, above the lofty moun- 
tain range that divides Iran from Mesopotamia. 
Yet these were no conquests to afford means of 
filling treasuries and building mosques. Even the 
country which the conquerors held with some 
degree of security was not capable of being divided 
out into timars. For as the remnants of the inha- 
bitants either fled to the mountains, where they 
defied control, or into the interior of Iran, where 
there was no getting at them; there remained no 
subjects either to maintain the timarli and his 

Relat. di 1594. " Ha bisognato il paese tenere in freno 

con forti, che costano ad esso Amurath un tesoro Del 

quale rispetto si valsero assai gli emuli di Mustafa, mos- 
trando che egli con poco guidicio haveva divisato di pigliar 
la porta della Persia, poiche si e scoperto che questo 6 un 
tarlo et Una ruina perpetua all' erario del Signore." 

f " Le fortezze del Re di Persia sono al presente 1'haver 
fatto desertare i paesi verso i confini del Turco per ogni 
parte in sei o sette giornate di cammino, et quelli castelli 
che vi erano li ha fatto ruinare per assicurarsi tanto piu." 
Vincenzo degli Alessandri, Relatione di Persia. 



horse, or to pay the capitation tax. Amurath had 
to make up his mind to build castles, and to pay 
the garrisons out of his privy purse *. Only the 
longing to possess every country that had ever 
borne the hoof-prints of Ottoman horses, only the 
illusive belief that he was destined to be lord of the 
east and of the west, could ever have induced him 
to prosecute wars in which his people had to con- 
tend more with hunger and the inclemency of the 
elements than with the sword of the foeman; and in 
which his generals had to strive no less against the 
mutiny of their own men than against the resistance 
of the enemy. Ere long too the dissensions of the 
Persian princes, which had hitherto been subser- 
vient to the success of the Turks, came to an end, 
and the throne of Persia was ascended by Shah 
Abbas, a very different man from these descend- 
ants of Othman, affable and estimable, energetic, 
brave in the field, and victorious +; a sovereign 
who, after successful wars in Khorasan, allying him- 
self with those Georgians who boasted that every 
man of them was a match single handed for five 
Turks, soon won back the lost frontiers. They 
used to say in the sixteenth century, that these fron- 
tiers were for the Turks what Flanders was for Spain. 
But if the sultan had some partial success in 
Persia, at least in the beginning, this was not the 
case in Hungary. The dreams of his commanders 
of carrying the dominion of the Porte into Ger- 
many and Italy, or at the least of conquering Bo- 
hemia :, were crossed by difficulties, different in 
kind from those encountered in Persia, but no less 
formidable. These were the military dispositions 
on the frontiers, important fortresses, and, in the 
beginning at least, the decisive hostility of Transyl- 
vania, and the vacillating temper of Wallachia . 
This is not the place to go into the history of this 
war. It is clear that the Ottoman conquests had 
met with that check, which it was foreseen even 
in Soliman's time they would one day sustain. 
The Persians and the Germans remained unvan- 
quished. Thus then the main lines of march pur- 
sued by the Ottoman victories being three, one by 
sea in the Mediterranean, and two by land, in the 
east and in the north-west, we see that in all three 
they halted, in the first under Selim, and in the 
last two under Amurath. 

RelaHone dello stato etc. di 1594, f. 495. "Li soldat 
turchi non vogliono accettar timari, poiche non hanno il 
modo di far lavorare i terreni, con i quali possano notrire i 
cavalli descritti per nuovi timarioti in augumento dell' eser- 
cito. Le gabelle delle paese acquistati non rendon alcun 
utile. Oude conviene ad Amurath pagare li presidii dal 
suo Casna." 

t Giacotno Fava, Lettera scritta in Spahan a di 20 Luglio, 
1599. Tesoro politico ii. 258. 

t Relat di 1594 : " lattavano di voler passare 1' Austria et 
voler andare in Bohemia, nel qual regno havevano molte 
loro spie per torre in nota li fiumi, le fortezze et il sito del 
paese, sperando per quella loro alterezza turchesca di ac- 
quistar facilmente tutti quei paesi mettendo inanzi a] Signore 
che con questi si farebbe riechissimo il suo esercito." [They 
boasted that they would overrun Austria and enter Bohemia, 
in which kingdom they had numerous spies reconnoitring 
the rivers, the fortresses, and the posture of the country, 
hoping, with their Turkish arrogance, that they would easily 
acquire all those territories, and suggesting to the grand 
signer how much these would enrich his army.] 

Laurentii Soranzi Ottomanus, in Conring's collection, is 
classical on this head. See also Anonymi Dissertatio de 
statu imperil Turcici cujusmodi sub Amuratho fuit, in the 
same collection, particularly p. 325. 

Posture oftlw empire under Amurath IV. 

Wholly altered was now the aspect of the Otto- 
man empire from that presented in former times. 
That inward energy was lost which had knit together 
the military monarch and his army and fitted them 
for continuous conquests. The helm of state \vas 
in the hands of favourites within the serai, of women 
and eunnchs. The sovereign's body guards, that had 
once given him victory and security, were now des- 
titute of their ancient valour and discipline. Neigh- 
bouring nations had no more reason to dread the 
Osmanlis than any other foes, and might sit down 
more at ease, relieved from their former incessant 
mortal combats for freedom or bondage. 

But the elements of this state, that before had 
worked together to such mighty achievements 
abroad, now turned their force against each other 
in intestine strife. 

It has been repeatedly asserted, that the old 
notion of the sultan's unlimited authority was erro- 
neous ; that he was restricted now by the hierarchy 
of the ulemas, and now by the power of the sol- 
diery *. And in point of fact both these often 
gave their lord and chief no little trouble. 

But if it be considered that the sultan is first 
iman and khalif, of whom an article of faith de- 
clares that he is invested with absolute authority, 
that every one is subordinate to him, and that none 
must be recognized as co-ordinate with him f ; a 
second, that he needs neither be just, nor virtuous, 
nor in other respects free from blame J ; and finally, 
a third asserts that neither tyranny on his part nor 
other faults justify his subjects in deposing him : 
if these things be considered, how were it possible 
to withstand him without rebellion, that is, without 
violation at once of his person and of the law ? When 
Amurath IV. annulled a first principle of Muham- 
medanism, and allowed the use of wine, did the 
ulemas, who should have been the guardians of 
the holy law, resist him ? The mufti, the head of 
the whole hierarchy, is after all but the deputy of 
the sultan, who appoints him and can depose him 
at pleasure ||. 

Had the soldiery then the right of resisting, either 
by themselves or hi concert with the ulemas ? Mu- 
radgea remarks that every revolution affecting the 
throne was still invariably regarded as illegitimate, 
as an offence against the consecrated majesty of 
the sovereign. 

The truth is, that people take in practice the 
right that is not conceded them by theory. The 
sovereign shall command without restriction ; the 
subject shall obey unconditionally : but it frequent- 
ly happens that the latter feels strong enough to 

* After Marsigli, particularly Toderini, Literature of the 
Turks, vol. i. p. 64. 

t Omer Nessefy's Catechism, with Sadeddin's Explana- 
tions, article 33. 

I Omer Nessefy, article 36. 

Ibid. art. 37, ap. Muradgea d'Ohsson, Tableau etc. i. p. 95. 

|| Muradgea : Du Scheik-ul Islam ou Mouphty, Tableau 
etc. ii p. 259. Relatione di 1637 : " Di poi che il Gransi- 
gnore ha private di vita il precessore di questo ( Mufti) cono- 
scendo non voler la legge superiore alia sua volonta, deposta 
ogni autorevole forma di trattare, si serve di sommissione. 1 ' 
[Since the grand signer put the predecessor of the present 
Mufti to death, the latter, seeing that the grand signer would 
own no law superior to his own will, has laid aside all pre- 
tensions to authoritative conduct, and is all submission.] 


defy the sovereign's will, and the sovereign feels 
too weak to enforce his commands. It then comes 
to a struggle between the commander and the com- 

After the death of Ahmed I. it seemed as 
though the janissaries would completely subjugate 
the throne and seize the power of disposing of it as 
they pleased. Ahmed had been clement enough 
to spare his brother Mustafa. The latter was 
idiotic, so much so that his unconnected words 
were thought to embody oracles *. Notwithstand- 
ing this, the janissaries brought him forth and set 
him on the throne of the sultans, which till then 
had never passed but from father to son. It was 
their pleasure soon afterwards to depose him again, 
and to enthrone Othman, the son of Ahmed. No 
one ever felt more burthened by their intolerable 
fraternity than Othman. But when he showed 
symptoms of an inclination to withdraw from them 
(it is said he wished to transfer the seat of empire 
to Damascus or Cairo) they instantly rallied against 
him, and brought out his idiot uncle, dragging him 
up with a rope from the subterranean dungeon in 
which he lay as it were entombed. He thought 
they brought him forth to die ; but death was 
destined for his nephew, the throne for him. It 
may easily be imagined how he filled it. We are 
told, though I know not whether we are to under- 
stand the story in a proverbial or in a literal sense, 
that he flung money into the sea, saying that the 
fishes ought to have something to spend f. He 
made most serious inroads on the treasures col- 
lected by Selim and Amurath. At last the janis- 
saries bethought them, and set him aside for Amu- 
rath IV., Ahmed's second son. 

But with him they became involved in deadly 
strife. Amurath on arriving at manhood possess- 
ed extraordinary bodily strength and agility. He 
was one of the best of riders, and sprang with 
ease from the back of one horse to another's. He 
flung the djereed with unfailing precision ; he 
drew the bow with such force that the arrow shot 
further than the ball from the hunter's gun, and 
he is said to have sent it through an iron plate 
four inches thick J. In other respects there was 
little to distinguish him. Whilst his mother (whom 
the author of our report found in her forty- fifth 

* Relatione di 1637 : " Andando dalui per interpretatione 
di sogni et per altre risposte, come gli antichi facevano con 
oraculi, a quali mentre spropositatamente responde senza 
alcuno imaginable senso, tengono vi si includino gran mis- 
terii nel oscurita di quel dire, venerandolo come profetico." 

t Ibid. " Nel corso di pochi mesi che per fortuna pote 
impugnare lo scettro, rese cosl povera la camera impe- 
riale che Murad suo nepote, quando all' imperio fu as- 
sunto, non haveva denaro per fare alle militie il solito 
donative : et cio perche Mustafa in grandissima copia a 
tutti ne prestava, dandone sinp alii pesci del mare, dicendo 
che era bisogno che havessero ancora loro da spendere." See 
also Majolino Bosaccioni, Vite d'alcune Imperatori Ottoman!, 
in Sansovino's collection, edition of 1654, p. 345. 

t Ibid. "Gioca di zagaglia con non poca maestria, cosl 
fieri colpi menando che alcuna volta lo scherzo tramutato 
in tragedia ha piu della battaglia che del gioco o dello spas- 
so : non potendosi alcuno agguagliare alia robustezza del 
braccio suo, col quale piega si facilmente la durezza di 
ogni arco che sbarra la saetta piu lontana che fa la palla 
d'un archibuzzio di caccia ; havendo alcuna volta per esperi- 
nientar la sua forza, trapassato con frezza una lastra di ferro 
grossa quattro et piu dita." The accounts in Kantemir (Os- 
man. Geschichte, i. 380) are in a style of eastern hyperbole. 

year still beautiful and engaging, and besides this 
good-natured, virtuous, wise, and above all bounti- 
ful) continued to maintain the influence she had 
acquired under Ahmed, whilst the viziers were 
changed after every less prosperous campaign, and 
the soldiery fluctuated between mutiny and obedi- 
ence, he himself passed his time in his athletic ex- 
ercises, or surrounded with buffoons and musicians 
he indulged in wine, which he loved to a drunken 
excess. At last it was a great insurrection of the 
sipahi and the janissaries that gave his character 
its final bent. The insurgents murdered all who 
then possessed his confidence, the grand vizier, the 
aga of the janissaries, the deftardar, and even a 
boy, merely because he was liked by the sultan. 
He resolved to punish them*. Not being able to 
do this by open force, he had the ringleaders 
secretly assassinated one after the other, and their 
corpses were often seen at morning floating upon 
the sea. In this way he got rid of them assuredly, 
but the passion for murder was thus awakened 
within him. Perhaps it is not an erroneous sup- 
position, that after these private executions had 
given him the first taste for blood, he was confirmed 
in it by the desire for amassing treasure to which 
they afforded aliment. What could well have 
been more profitable to him than the execution of 
one of his grandees \ That of Rezep Pacha alone 
brought him in a million. This opinion cannot 
however be affirmed with certainty : the most per- 
nicious passions are those that take most rapid 
possession of the soul; but true it is, at all events, 
that he was filled with a raging thirst for blood. 
This was evident even in the chase. His pleasure 
was not in the pursuit of the game ; this was 
driven together by many thousand men, and his 
whole delight was in slaughtering it when thus 
collected. It was computed in the year 1637, that 
he had executed 25,000 men within the last five 
years, and many of them with his own hand. He 
was now terrific to behold. His savage black eyes 
glared threateningly in a countenance half hidden 
by his dark brown hair and long beard ; but never 
was its aspect more perilous than when it showed 
the wrinkles between the eyebrows. His skill with 
the javelin and the bow was then sure to deal death 
to some one. He was served with trembling awe. 
His mutes were no longer to be distinguished from 
the other slaves of the serai, for all conversed by 
signs. While the plague was daily carrying off 
fifteen hundred victims in Constantinople, he had 
the largest cups brought from Pera, and drank half 
the night through, while the artillery was dis- 
charged by his orders f. 

* Ibid. " Comprobando la mia opinione 1'essere lui vis- 
suto con assai placida et humana natura sin all 652, havendo 
promosso et eccitato alia strage 1'arroganza et insolenza delle 
sue militie, quando con cosi poco rispetto et timore del Si- 
gnore loro et disprezze della legge propria volsero che nelle 

Divano o Camerlengo, che vogliamolo dire." Siri, Mercuric, 
libro i. p. 173, displays on the whole but moderate acquaint- 
ance with the subject. 

t Ibid. " Non passan due mesi che ho inteso per lettere 
da quelle parti, che discorrendo un giorno (Amurath) con 
un suo favorito della peste che alhora andavo publicando i 
progress! suoi con ascendere a somma di mille et cinque- 
cento et seicento il giorno, .... disse, che lasciasse che 
Dio nella stagione d'estate castigasse i cattivi, che poi nel 


Violent remedies may be of good effect against 
deeply rooted evils. But in this man murder was 
no longer a means, but an indulgence. It is not 
thus that states are renovated. 

Nor did it prove so in his case. His excessive rigour 
undoubtedly tamed the refractory soldiery. Along 
with the use of coffee and tobacco he forbade 
them those meetings in which they sat whole days 
giving themselves up to those half-exciting, half- 
stupifying indulgences, and plotting together *. 

He compelled the sipahi to change their dress at 
his pleasure, and he cleared the streets of their 
noise and turbulence. He turned out the unser- 
viceable members of the janissary corps, and forced 
the efficient men to take the field in spite of their 
dispensations. He restored order in the timars 
that were dispensed from the serai. But with all 
this he could not bring back courage and victory 
to his troops. The sipahi missed the bounty of 
former sultans, and as their pay was not sufficient 
for them, they often abandoned pay and service 
together. The janissaries seemed now made to 
strike terror into the men of the west only by their 
looks and their shouts, not by their arms. In pre- 
sence of the enemy they displayed neither training 
nor courage. Their aga having marched on one 
occasion from Constantinople with the whole body 
of the janissaries, he reached Aleppo with only 
three thousand, the rest having all gone off by the 
way. The posts in the army which were formerly 
coveted with eagerness and sought for by bribery 
and every other means, were now as sedulously 
shunned. The earliest condition of the Ottoman 
army was now brought back, and the timarli once 
more appeared as its choicest portion. But even 
the best of them, those who were posted on the 
Hungarian frontiers, and kept in practice by the 
continual wars, were no great soldiers ; the Chris- 
tians congratulated themselves, that, luckily for the 
faithful, God had given the Turks but little ability f . 
Their battle array was compared to the aspect of a 
bull ; threatening, seemingly perilous, but to be 
overcome with judgment and address by a far in- 
ferior force. No great achievements could be 
looked for under this condition of the army, in 
which the less important household troops of the 
sultan, and those belonging to the pachas, now 
found opportunity to push themselves forward. 
Amurath made a campaign for the recovery of 

verno sariano statii buoni sovvenuti da lui, et per guardarsi 
da quel pericolo che lui minacciava la malincolia, volendo 
scacciare da lui fece portare una gran copia di vini, et con 
piil grandi bicchieri che in tutta Pera si potevano ritrovare 
diede principle ad un dilettevole giuoco." 

Relatione di 1637 : " Li ha levato il modo di piil potersi 
unire a conspirare contro la sua persona con la prohibitione 
del tabacco, con pena di fbrcada essere irremissibilmente ese- 
guita et di tutti quelli ridotti dove si beveva il caffe, che e un' 
acqua nera che fanno d'una specie di zece che vien dal Cairo, 
molto gioyevole al capo et al stomacho et cio perche non 
habbmo occasione come facevano prima, d'ivi fermarsi et 
1'hore et i giorni intieri a discorrere et far radunanze." All 
the other particulars are from the same Relatione. 

t Ibid. " I piii pregiati sono i confinanti di Buda nel 
regno d'Ungheria e i confinanti di Bossina col stato della 
rep. Veneta ; havendogli gli essercitii frequenti nell' armeg- 
giare con discapito loro continue. Sono arditi alia zuffa poco 
meno delli nostri, da quali giornalmente vanno apprendendo 
qualche gesto nell' armi, assuefacendosi all' uso delli terzetti 
e pestoni d'arcione, senza pero progress! considerabili per la 
poca attitudine che gli vien permessa del cielo a pro dei fideli." 

Bagdad, and he actually captured the city ; but if 
he did, it was only by driving back the fugitive 
soldiers to the fight with his sword, and killing his 
vizier with his own hand. 

But, after all, strong and self-sustained as Amu- 
rath might seem, he was not free from the influ- 
ence of the serai. He divested his pious mother 
indeed of her credit and authority, and twice 
banished her to the old palace. She had nothing 
hi her power unless it were to mitigate the effects 
of some of his evil deeds by presents, or to redeem 
unfortunate debtors from prison, that she might 
thereby obtain the blessings of Heaven for her son. 
But, on the other hand, he gave himself up with- 
out reserve to his favourites. There are a multi- 
tude of stories about his fondness for the drunken 
Mustafa. Our Relatione mentions his silahdar, a 
Bosnian, who enjoyed his full favour. Amurath 
gave him a special body guard of 3000 men, who 
were implicitly at his command, and exalted him 
so that he would no longer attend the divan, be- 
cause he was too proud to pay deference to the 
grand vizier, and he bestowed his daughter upon 
him. The sultan used to say, that this man was per- 
fectly on a par with himself. Indeed, whoever made 
a present to the master did not forget the servant; 
the one would have been in vain without the other. 

We know that the sultan loved gold. We are as- 
sured that neither prayers nor intercessions, neither 
law nor justice availed with him so much as gold, for 
which he displayed a thirst there was no allaying *. 
There was no need of seeking sumptuous stuffs or 
costly manufactures for him ; the number of purses 
presented to him was all he looked too. Hence 
every one strove to appear poorer than he really 
was. The use of gold and silver utensils was 
shunned ; men hid their money, and dreaded lest 
they should provoke the sultan's two passions at 
once, his rapacity and his thirst for blood. 

Such was the manner hi which Amurath swayed 
the state. Undoubtedly he filled his exchequer ; 
undoubtedly he secured his personal safety, and he 
died hi his bed as padishah. But the means of 
terror that made him secure paralyzed the energies 
of the empire ; the sword that won him wealth 
robbed the realm of those men, of those names 
that awed Christendom f. 


The Ottoman empire was founded not by a 
people, not by a ruling stock, nor yet by soldiers 
freely combined; but, if we are not wholly mis- 
taken, by a lord and his bondsmen. Like the 
khalifs, whom we picture to ourselves with the 
Koran in one hand and the sword in the other, this 
warlike family, filled with a wild religious delusion, 
and fired with the hist of conquest, flung them- 
selves on all their neighbours, and thought to sub- 

* Ibid. " Arse di questa sete dell' oro nel diletto che 
prese impatronandosi di un milione di zecchini che trovossi 
nelle faculta di Rezep Bassa suo cognato, quando levo gli la 
vita: il quale tanto affannossi a bere che fatto idropico piu 
che possiede, piu brama." 

t Ibid. " Come successe a miei giorni ad Abasa Passa, 
il quale mentre si persuase di vedere soggiogata la Polonia 
et forse poi debellata la Christianita con somministrar nella 
mente regia vasti pensieri et speranze di felicissimi eventi, 
quando meno pensava, precipito della gratia, restando estinto 
con un pezzo di laccio. Et U simile occorse al capitain del 
mare Zafer Passa." 



jugate the world. The name of the lord has pro- 
perly become that of the whole body. 

Now, when the ties between the lord and the 
bondsmen grew slack, when the inward impulse 
declined, and the efforts for conquest were checked 
in mid career, there ensued what might have been 
expected ; things fell into more natural bearings 
towards each other. That they should return 
completely to a natural condition was not possible, 
since they had set out from a principle at variance 
with humanity, from despotism. This principle 
was propagated anew through every subordinate 
member, and so became inextinguishable. 

After the Ottomans ceased to be conquerors 
they remained encamped in the midst of their old 
strongholds. There is a proverb, that no grass 
grows where the foot of an Ottoman horse hath 
once trodden ; and it seems amply confirmed by 
the desolation of the fairest countries of the world 
fallen under their sway. It is true that many of 
them possess virtues that adorn the man ; they are 
lauded as free from falsehood, stedfast, beneficent, 
and hospitable ; bjit_JhjvJ^yei)vex^ttaindJ-a 
liberal development of the intellectual powers ; 
they have evermore remained barbarians. Their 
conceptions of what is beautiful in material things 
scarcely extend beyond the charms of gold and of 
women ; they evince hardly a trace of a disposi- 
tion to bring home the natural world to their 
understandings by a cognizance applied to the 
reality of things, not to the illusions of fancy ; they 
live and move among the relics of a nobler exist- 
ence, and they heed them not. Errors there are 
that engross and penetrate the whole soul, that 

render the eye purblind to all that is intellectual 
and to the brightness of truth, and that cramp life 
in, within the bounds of a dull self-sufficiency. 
Such errors are theirs. 

Yet their state cannot be denied the possession 
of a certain inward vitality. It is always conceiv- 
able that a sultan should return to the qualities of 
his predecessors, and brace anew the relaxed 
sinews of the empire : such a possibility was admitted 
by Muradgea d'Ohsson in his own day. Or a vizier 
may overcome the obstacles thrown in his way by the 
serai and the body-guards, and arouse the people to 
greater endeavours. This was really the case with 
the Kiuprilis. The first of these made use of the 
body-guards to rid himself of the favourites in the 
serai who stood in his way ; after this he con- 
trived to master the soldiery in their turn, and 
thenceforth he kept them busy with war after war. 
The Ottomans were then at least a match for their 
neighbours. They conquered Candia from the 
Venetians, and often appeared victoriously on their 

Thus they have continued to subsist for centu- 
ries even in their decay. It has been their good 
fortune, first, that there has broken out in the east 
no national movement like those of old to which 
they owed their own success ; and next, that since 
the European policy has reached its mature growth, 
there exists in the west that jealousy with which 
each of our states is watched by all the rest seve- 
rally and collectively : this has always in their 
utmost dangers procured them allies, and brought 
them safety. 



WE turn from the east to the west, from a Turkish 
slaVe-state to a Romano-German monarchy. 

The total contrast strikes us Instantaneously; the 
contrast between a state of which the sovereign is 
lord and unlimited proprietor, and one which, based 
on individual freedom, confers just so much autho- 
rity on the sovereign, as is requisite to defend that 
freedom from foes without and foes within. The 
oriental monarch is sole autocrat among serfs, and 
even the ancient Roman imperial authority had 
merged into that condition : the Germanic sove- 
reign, on the contrary, is the protector of the com- 
mon freedom, the upholder "of personal rights, the 
safeguard of the country. 

If the distinction is even still striking and self- 
evident, it was yet more so in former times, when 
there reigned in the east monarchs of distinguished 
personal qualities, who swayed their states at will 
in perfect subjection and unity; whilst in the west 
privileges, and the chartered and indefeasible rights 
of individuals and of subordinate assemblies, re- 
stricted and hindered the power of the sovereign. 

The latter was the condition of the Spanish em- 
pire. It was far from being a state in our sense of 
the word, a state of organic unity, pervaded by a 
single ruling interest. It had not been so put to- 

gether by conquest that any one province had lost 
its local rights, or that any leading division could 
have asserted and maintained its pretensions to 
command the rest: but it consisted of co-ordinate 
parts, each of which had its own rights; of a mul- 
titude of separate provinces of German, French, 
Italian, Casl'flian, Catalonian, and Basque tongues; 
provinces of dissimilar traditions and customs, 
unlike laws, discordant character, yet homogeneous 
rights. If we ask what it was that cemented these 
various provinces together, and kept them com- 
bined, we find that it was no inherent community of 
interests, but a casual inheritance that had joined 
them to each other; and that even when war was 
the immediate efficient cause of their union, it was 
always a war of inheritance, and they were com- 
bined together under the sovereign upon whom 
they devolved. The principle of inheritance was 
not however identical throughout them all, and the 
sovereign stood in a different relation to each seve- 
ral country composing the empire. The long title 
given themselves by the princes of the house of 
Habsburg was no mere piece of ostentation, as the 
French court was pleased to consider it, but their 
monarchy was in reality quite different in Castile 
from what it was in Sicily or in Aragon : in Flan- 



ders they were nothing but counts, in Guipuscoa 
their authority was founded on the fact that they 
were barons and hereditary lords of the country; 
whilst the American possessions belonged to them 
as a sort of crown domains. This diversity in the 
nature of their authority is indicated by their titles. 

If we now proceed to contemplate this monarchy 
and its development in the course of a century, we 
find two antagonizing forces present themselves to 
view.~ Though ' the ' sovereign was limited in all 
points, yet he acquired prominent importance from 
the fact that the union of the whole body was cen- 
tered in his person ; but for him it would not have 
existed. Frequently we see him called upon to 
direct the energies of the several countries in a 
common enterprize; he seeks to rule them all upon 
one general principle. Will the provinces be able 
under these circumstances to maintain their sepa- 
rate existence, and to abide by their ancient usages ? 
Or will the sovereign force them into more inti- 
mate coalition ? Will he compel them to perform 
his will I They confront him in their individuality. 

This division constitutes the foremost subject of 
our inquiry. It is not our purpose to set forth in 
detail the relations in which the monarchy stood to 
the rest of Europe ; we must take some notice of 
these, but only as a subordinate consideration. Our 
intention is rather to set before the reader the 
struggle within the range of the empire itself, be- 
tween the supreme authority and the isolated in- 
terests of the several provinces. First we shall 
consider the character and the designs of the rulers, 
including the kings and their councils; secondly, 
the resistance they encountered in the several pro- 
vinces, and the greater or less success with which 
they combated this ; lastly, the state economy they 
now established, and the conditions in which the 
rovinces were placed. 

Our views are not aimed however merely at the 
general aspect of the combined whole : it is not by 
such means alone that nature and history engage 
OjUj sympathy. Man fixes his eye with lively curi- 
osity, first of all, on the individual object. Happy 
is he to whom it is granted to comprehend it at 
once in the essence of its being, and in the fulness 
of its peculiar phenomena. 



Charles V. 

IN the pictures which the old legends give us of 
their heroes, they now and then set before us some 
who spend a long period of their youth sitting idly 
at home, but who, when they have once bestirred 
themselves never rest again, but rush on from en- 
terprise to enterprise, with indefatigable buoyancy 
of spirit. It is not till the energies are fully aroused 
that they find the career befitting them. 

Charles V.* may be compared with the charac- 
ters of such a cast. He was but sixteen when he 
was called to the throne, but he was far from having 
then arrived at the condition suitable for under- 

Though he was the first of his name of Spain, we con- 
tinue to give him the designation by which he was known to 
the rest of Europe. 

taking its duties. People were long disposed to 
apply to him a nickname given his father, because 
he relied too implicitly on his counsellors. His 
constant byeword was, " Not yet." A. Croi com- 
pletely governed him and his whole realm. Even 
whilst his armies were subjugating Italy, and win- 
ning repeated victories over the bravest enemies, 
he himself sat still in Spain, and was regarded as 
insensible and indifferent, weak and dependent. 
Such he was thought to be till 1529, when he ap- 
peared in Italy in his thirtieth year *. 
Hnw verv diflfcrpnfr dit] 

from what had been expected ! for the first time 
how totally his mm master, and how fully decided ! 
His privy council had been unwilling that he should 
go to Italy, had warned him against John Andrew 
Doria, and suggested to him suspicions as to Genoa. 
It was beheld with astonishment that he neverthe- 
less went to Italy, that he reposed his confidence in 
that very Doria, and that he persisted in his deter- 
mination to disembark in Genoa. So it was through- 
out. No minister was observed to possess any pre- 
ponderating interest ; Charles himself gave no evi- 
dence of passion or precipitation, but all his reso- 
lutions were mature, all were deliberately weighed; 
his first word was his lastf. 

This was the first thing noticed in him; next to 
that, how personally active, how industrious he was. 
It required some patience to listen to the long 
speeches of the Italian ambassadors; he took pains 
to understand the complicated relations of their 
sovereigns and powers. The Venetian ambassador 
was surprised to find him not a little more accessi- 
ble and free of speech than he had been three 
years before in Spain J. He expressly selected a 
lodging in Bologna, from which he could visit the 
pope unobserved, that he might do so as frequently 
as possible, and arrange all disputed points with his 

From that time forth he began to direct his 
negotiations, and to lead his armies in person ; he 
began to hasten continually from country to coun- 
try, wherever the wants of the moment and the 
posture of affairs required his presence. We find 
him now at Rome complaining to the cardinals of 
the implacable hostility of Francis I., now in Paris 
courting and winning the favour of Estampes ; 
frequently hi Germany presiding at the diet for the 
appeasing of religious discord, and again in the 
cortes of Castile exerting himself to have the tax 
of the Servicio voted. These are peaceful occupa- 
tions: but we often see him at the head of his 
army. He crosses the Alps into France, and over- 
runs Provence ; he advances to the Marne, and 
strikes terror into Paris. He then turns away to 
the east and the south. He checks the victorious 
career of Soliman on the Raab ; he seeks and 

* Micheli, Relatione d'Inghilterra, MS. : "L'imperatore da 
ognuno o de la maggior parte era tenuto per stupido o per 
addormentato, et poi si puo dire che ad un tratto et inespet- 
tatamente si suegliasse et riusci cosi vivo, cosi ardito et cosl 
bravo come sa Vostra Signoria." [The emperor was thought 
by all, or almost all, to be stupid or lethargic, and then he 
awoke, as it were, all at once, and became so full of life, so 
ardent, and so brave, as your signory is aware.] 

t Storia Florentina di Messer Benedetto Varchi, ix. 228. 
233. Sigonius, de vita Andreae Doriae, 243. 

% Contarini, Relazionedi Bologna. Marzo, 1530, MS. 

Zenocarus a Scauwenburgo: De republica et vita 
Caroli Maximi. Gandavi, 1560, fol. p. 175. 



assails the crescent at Algiers. The army that had 
served him in Africa follows him to the Elbe, and 
the war cry of Spain is heard on the heaths of 
Lochau. Charles is now the busjgst in 
the .world, he irequently sails across the Medi- 
terranean, across the Ocean. Meanwhile his ma- 
riners are discoverers in unploughed seas, his sol- 
diers conquerors of untrodden lands. Even at such 
remote distance he remains their ruler and their 
lord. His motto, " More, further," is gloriously 

Such is his life contemplated as a whole ; full of 
activity after unusually long repose. It may be 
remarked that the same phenomena, at first inert- 
ness and a passive looking on, by and by action, 
continually recur in the several circumstances of 
all his most stirring life. 

Although the general cast of his will was tho- 
roughly determined, still his resolutions were taken 
but slowly, and step by step. His first reply to 
every proposal was indefinite, and it was necessary 
to beware of taking his vague expressions for a 
positive sanction *. He then pondered over the 
matter, repeatedly turned over the arguments for 
and against, and put the whole train of reasoning 
into such perfect connection and sequence, that 
whoever granted him his first proposition was 
forced to admit his last. He paid a visit to the 
pope at Bologna, with a paper in his hand, on which 
he had accurately noted down all the points they 
had to discuss f. Granvella was the only one to 
whom he used to communicate every intelligence, 
every proposal; the ambassadors always found that 
minister instructed as to every particular, even to 
the very words they had uttered. All measures 
were determined between him and Charles. These 
resolutions were taken slowly: Charles frequently 
delayed the courier for some days beyond the ap- 
pointed time. 

But when things had been brought thus far, 
there was no power in the world that could bring 
him to change his mind. It was said he would 
let the world perish rather than do anything upon 
compulsion } . There never was an instance known 
of his having been forced into anything by violence 
or by danger. He once made a frank confession on 
this point, saying to Contarini, " I am naturally 
given to abide obstinately by my own opinions." 
" Sire," replied the other, " to abide by sound 
opinions is not obstinacy but stedfastness." " Ay, 
but," said Charles, " I sometimes abide by unsound 
ones ." 

But from resolving to executing the way is still 
long. Charles felt an involuntary repugnance to 
taking things in hand, even though he very well 
knew what was to be done. Tiepolo says of him ||, 

* Relazione del Cl. Monsignor Marino Cavallo, MS. : 
" Parla molte volte ambiguo, quando importo : di modo che 
si gli ambasciatori non sono bin cauti, puo S. Maesta et li 
consiglieri dire con quella dubieta parole che intendere 
possono a questo et a quell" altro modo." 

t Contarini. " II papa mi ha detto, che ragionando con lui 
(Carlo) portava un memoriale notato di sua mano di tutte le 
cose che haveva a negotiare, per non lasciarne qualch' uno." 

t Cavallo : " Lasciera piu tosto ruinare il mondo che fa 
cosa violentata." 

Contarini : " Qualche fiate io son fermo in le cattive." 

|| Relazione del convento di Nizza, MS. " Nelli pericoli 
delle cose sue proprie ritarda qualche volta tauto che pa- 
tiscono prima qualche incommode." 

that in the year 1538, he dallied so long that his 
cause was endangered, nay, actually injured in some 
degree. Pope Julian III. was aware of this; he 
knew that Charles revenged him no doubt, but 
that he must first receive some thrusts before he 
would bestir himself *. The emperor often wanted 
money too : the entanglements of policy offered 
him a thousand grounds for hesitation and reflec- 

While he was obliged to wait he kept his eye 
incessantly on his enemies. He watched them so 
narrowly that ambassadors were astonished to find 
how well he was acquainted with their govern- 
ments, how happily he conjectured beforehand 
what they would do \'. At last came the occasion, 
the favourable or the urgent crisis. Then he was 
all alert, then he put into execution what he had 
perhaps pondered over for twenty years. 

Such was the policy which his foes regarded as 
detestable craft, his friends as a paragon of pru- 
dence. At any rate it can hardly be regarded as 
an effect of choice, of deliberate volition. Thus to 
lie still, to gather information, to await, and not 
till long after to rise and strike the blow, all this 
was the very nature of this monarch. 

In how many other things did he display the 
same disposition ! He punished, but not till he had 
borne a great deal. He rewarded, but not indeed 
at once. Many had to linger for years unpaid, and 
then he would provide for them with one of those 
fiefs or benefices, of which he had so many at his 
disposal that he could enrich whomsoever he 
pleased, without any cost to himself. By this 
means he brought others to endure any hardships 
that might befal them in his service. 

When his servants were putting on his armour 
he was observed to tremble all over : but once 
fully caparisoned he was full of courage, so much 
so that it was thought he was emboldened by the 
notion that an emperor had never been shot J. 

Such a man, full of calmness and moderation, affa- 
ble enough to accommodate himself to various per- 
sons, strict enough to keep many at once in subjec- 
tion, appears to have been well fitted for presiding 
over a combination of several nations. It is alleged 
in praise of Charles that he conciliated the good will 
of the Netherlanders by his condescension, of the 
Italians by his shrewdness, and of the Spaniards by 
his dignity. But what had he wherewith to please 
the Germans ? His nature was incapable of attain- 
ing to that truehearted openness, which the Ger- 
man nation assuredly acknowledges, loves, and 
reveres in its men of distinction and high station. 
Though lie willingly imitated the manner in which 
the old emperors bore themselves towards princes 
and lords; though he took pains to assume Ger- 
man habits, and even wore his beard after the na- 
tional fashion then in Germany , still he was 
always looked on as a foreigner by the Germans. 
A mounted artilleryman, whom he urged angrily 
to make more speed, let him feel the whip ; a 

* Lettera, MS. del Papa a Giovambattista di Monte. 

t Cavallo, 240 : " Conosce eccellentissimamente la natura 
di tutti li principi con chi lui negotia, et in questo spende 
gran tempo ad instruirsene di avantaggio. Pero quasi 
mai s'inganna de pronostici che fa di questa eccellentis- 
ma republica." 

t Zenocarus a Scauwenburgo. 

Ibid. p. 168. 



landsknecht at Algiers even levelled his weapon at 
him *, both these men having taken him for a Spa- 
niard. He fell at variance with the feelings of the 
nation, particularly after the war of Schmalkalde. 
His two opponents were called the Magnanimous; 
but he, Charles of Ghent, as he was called, was said 
to have laughed slily to think how he had taken the 
honest elector prisoner, and with what craft he 
had seized the person of the landgrave in Halle ! 
Whilst the Italians praised his simple habits, mark- 
ing how he rode into their towns with his brilliant 
and richly dressed escort, himself wrapped in a 
plain cloak )-, the Germans found something to set 
off against this. When he was surprised by a 
shower of rain outside the walls of Naumburg, he 
sent into the city for his old bsnnet, meanwhile 
putting the new one he was wearing under his 
arm. " Poor emperor, thought I to myself," says 
Sastrow, " warring away tons of gold, and standing 
bareheaded in the rain for the sake of a velvet 
cap J." In short, he was never quite at home in 
Germany. The dissensions of the country con- 
sumed all his exertions without affording him re- 
nown ; the climate was prejudicial to his health ; 
he was not well acquainted with the high German 
tongue ; the majority of the nation misunderstood 
and disliked him. 

It was late when his life began to be self-de- 
pendent, and its decline was early. His growth 
was long retarded, and a variety of aliments were 
sought to help it forward . His constitutional 
development was unusually backward, till it was 
observed "mtntf ~year 1521 tliat he was getting a 
beard and becoming more manly ||. From that time 
he enjoyed a long period of healthy adolescence. 
He began to love field sports. He more than once 
lost himself so far in the Alpuxarra, and in the 
Toledan moors, that no one could hear his horn, 
and he had to trust to some Morisco guide to show 
him the way home in the evening, lights being 
already placed in the city windows, and the bells 
rung to call the people to search after him TJ. He 
jousted on horseback sometimes in the lists, some- 
times in the open field ; he practised with his gun 
and his gineta ; nor did he recoil from exercises on 
foot **. The proposal to terminate his quarrel with 
Francis I. by single combat was on his part, at least, 
made in perfect seriousness. We have a portrait of 
him at this period of his life, the mouth closed and 
somewhat imperious, the eyes large and fiery, the 
features compressed ; the figure is full length, and 
he holds a hound by the collar. Gradually, however, 
yet too soon, the discrepancy began to show itself, 
which is noticed in most of his portraits between 
the upper and the lower half of his countenance. 
The lower half projects, the mouth is open, the 

* Sepulveda, de Rebus Gestis Caroli V. lib. xi. p. 19. 

t Ripamonte, Historia Mediolanensis ap. Graev. Verri, 
Storia di Milan o, ii. 321, from Burigozzo. 

t Bartholomai Sastrowen, Herkommen, Lebenslauf, u.s.w. 
Bd. ii. 

Thomas Leodius, de vita Frederici Palatini, iii. 10. 

11 Petrus Martyr : Epistolarum Opus, Ep. 734. 

IF Sandoval : Vida y hechos del Emperador Carlos, xv. 
p. 811. 

Cavallo: "Ha giostrato bene a lizza et a campo aperto. 
Ha combattuto alia sbarra. Ha giocato a canne et caroselle 
et ammazzato il tauro, et brevemente tutto quello che alia 
ginnetta et alia brida si pub fare." 

eyelids droop. At the moment when he first entered 
fully into active life, his healthy vigour was already 
gone, and it was with a strange feeling of envy he 
marked the eager appetite with which his private 
secretary, come fresh from a journey, devoured the 
roast meat set before him. In his thirty-sixth year, 
just as he was dressing in Naples, to make himself 
pleasing forsooth to the ladies, as he owns, he ob- 
served the first white hairs on his temples. It was 
to no purpose lie had them removed ; they always 
came again *. In his fortieth year he felt his 
strength half gone. He missed the old confidence 
in himself and in his fortune ; and it is remarkable 
that his memory was more tenacious of facts that 
had occurred to him before that year than after it, 
though the latter were so much more recent f. 
From that time he became particularly subject to 
the gout. He was obliged to travel for the most 
part in his litter. At times, indeed, he still brought 
down a stag or a wild hog in the chase ; but usu- 
ally he was obliged to content himself with going 
into the woods with his gun and shooting crows 
and daws. His enjoyment was to remain within 
doors, where his fool forced a half smile from him 
as he stood behind his chair at table, and his 
steward of the household, Monfalconet, amused 
and delighted him with his happy replies J. But 
his malady grew upon him apace. The gout, says 
Cavallo in 1550, flies frequently to his head, and 
threatens with sudden death. His physicians 
urgently advised him to leave Germany ; but the 
increasing entanglement of public affairs kept him 
fast in those regions. The tendency to gloomy so- 
litude which had long possessed him, now acquired 
overwhelming strength ; it was in point of fact the 
same that had so long kept his mother in the world 
a stranger to the world. Charles saw no one he had 
not expressly summoned to his presence. It often 
vexed him even to sign his name. The mere open- 
ing of a letter gave him a pain in his hand. He 
used to be for hours on his knees in a chamber 
hung with black, and lighted with seven tapers. 
When his mother died, he sometimes fancied he 
heard her voice calling him to follow her . 

In this condition he resolved to quit life before 
he was yet removed by death. 

2. Philip IL 

If an intelligent man pondered over the posture 
of the world in those days, what must he have 
expected of the son of such a father ? 

It was manifest that only a sovereign of liberal feel- 
ings, only one more disposed to gratify the world and 
to enjoy it than to dispose of it after his own views, 
and capable of allowing others a spontaneous course 
of action, would have been in a condition, if not to 
reconcile the discordant feelings of the nations, at 
least to soothe them, and prevent the outbreak of 

* Extrait de la Relation du voyage de Mr 1'amirai de Cha- 
tillon vers 1'Empereur Charles, in Ribier and in the Appen- 
dix to Rabutin's Memoires : Collect. Univers. xxxviii. 483. 

t Hormayr : " From papers never before made use of" in 
the Archiv fur Geographic, Historic, &c. Jahrg. 1810, p. 8. 

t Cavallo: "II barone Monfalconetto, suo maestro di casa 
il quale in vero, per 1'argutie et prontezze sue e per la libertA 
che si piglia di dire ogni cosa, e di giocondissima et dilettis- 
sima pratica al imperatore." 

Extrait. Zenocarus, Hormayr. Galuzzi, Storia del Gran- 
ducato di Toscana, i. 2. 208. 


their passions. It was plain that the heir of the 
Spanish monarchy, destined to the sovereignty 
over such heterogeneous countries, had need of 
manners marked by dignified condescension and 
affability, and of a cheerful temper to win the con- 
fidence of every individual. If this was undoubt- 
edly to be wished, it might also perhaps have been 
expected. It might have been supposed that a 
sovereign, brought up under a sense of his great 
destiny, would have elevated his soul to a nobler 
view of things than such as is usually afforded by 
the narrowing influences of a meaner station. 
Reared in the feeling that he was the head of the 
nobility, should he not have sought to fashion his 
character to that cheerful, engaging chivalry, that 
sits so well on the young 1 

When Philip left Spain for the first time, and 
presented himself in other countries, the first thing 
remarked in him was the great external resem- 
blance he bore to his father. There was the same 
white rather than pale visage, the same fair hair, 
the same chin and mouth. Neither was tall ; 
Philip was somewhat less in stature, more neatly 
made, and weaker than his father *. The compa- 
rison was soon carried further. The son's features 
did not seem to indicate the acute penetration that 
characterized those of the father. It was per- 
ceived that Philip, far from vying with the latter in 
natural affability, was far surpassed by him in that 
respect. Whilst Charles was used, when escorted 
home by princes of the empire, to turn round, 
take off his hat, offer his hand to each and dismiss 
him with marks of amity, it was remarked with 
displeasure, that when the same attention was paid 
to Philip, he never once looked round him, but 
straight forward, as he ascended the steps to his 
apartments f. He took no delight in the chase, or 
in arms; he even declined the invitations of his 
father, preferring to remain at home, and to con- 
verse with his favourites J. It was evident that he 
lacked all those qualities that engage the affections 
of the people : the Italians and the Flemings were 
not a little averse to him, the Germans decidedly 

It seemed, however, on his second departure from 
Spain in 1554, as though he abjured his former 
haughty, repulsive bearing, as though he sought to 
resemble his father in his outward deportment, and 
had got rid of that foolish fancy of which he was 
accused, namely, that he the son of an emperor was 
more than his father, who was but the son of a 
king. He displayed more condescension and affa- 
bility, gave audience readily, and returned satis- 
factory answers . But in reality there was no 
change in him. He took heed to himself, because 
he wished to please the English, over whom he 
desired to be king. He nevertheless retained that 

Micheli, Relatione d'Inghilterra : "E il re Filippo la 
stessa imagine dell' imperatore suo patre conformissimo di 
carne et di faccia et di lineament!, con quella bocca et labro 
pendente et con tutte Faltre qualita dell' imperatore, ma di 
minore statura." 

t Sastrowen, i. 269. 

t Cavallo, Rel. " Ha piacere di starsi in camera co' suoi 
favoriti a raggionare di cose private, et se talhora 1'impera- 
tore lo manda in visita, si scusa per godere la sollta quiete." 

Micheli. "Ha il costume et maniere dell' imperatore 
imitando per quanto pu6 le vie et attioni sue di dignita et 
humanita, havendo del tutto lasciata quell' altierezza con la 
quale uscl la prima volta di Spagna et riusci cosi odioso." 

proud, isolated impassibility which the Spaniards 
call sosiego *. Sympathy and frankness were no 
virtues of his ; he did not even concern himself to 
display a bountiful character ; he showed himself 
averse to all personal participation hi war. 

From the time he returned to Spain after the 
peace of 1559, he never quitted the peninsula again. 
Even there he abstained from travelling from 
place to place, as his father and the kings before 
him had done. He fixed his royal residence in the 
castle of Madrid, and only left it to pursue that 
dreary road, shadowed by no tree, enlivened by no 
brook, that led to the Escurial, which he built 
among small naked hills, hi a stony valley, as a 
residence for monks of the order of San Geronimo, 
and as a sepulchre for his father; or to go in spring 
to Aranjuez, where indeed he accompanied the chase 
to the mountains, and condescended to alcaldes and 
monteros, but without asking them a word about any 
thing else than their offices, or suffering them to speak 
of any thing besides their business. " Every one," 
says Cabrera, " was duly regarded according to his 
station )-." At times we find him in the woods 
about Segovia, and once in Lisbon ; but with these 
exceptions always at home. At first he used to 
show himself there on popular holydays, afterwards 
he suffered himself to be seen only once or twice 
a-year in a gallery leading from his residence to 
his chapel ; and in his latter years he desisted even 
from this, and remained constantly shut up in his 
apartments J. The habitual expression of his face 
and figure was that of imperturbable calmness, a 
gravity carried to the utmost pitch, and its effect 
was felt to be exceedingly depressing. Even prac- 
tised and esteemed orators were put out when they 
stood before him, and he measured them as usual 
with his eyes from head to foot. " Compose your- 
self (Sosegaos)," he would then say to them. He 
used to smile slightly in replying to any one . 

Philip II. lacked, as we see, the physical activity 
of his lather. He was no friend to those constant 
journeys, those hurried excursions to all places, 
wherever the sovereign's presence seemed neces- 
sary. He agreed with those who had applauded 
Ferdinand the Catholic, because he had rather 
caused his foreign wars to be carried on, than 
directed them in person, and who called to mind 
that even the armies of Charles had been more 
successful under the command of Pescara and 
Leira than under his own ||. Philip carried- on 
warjbut he remained aloof from it. A stirring life 
makes the soul more open, freer, and warmer. If 
there was always a certain rigidity of temper ob- 

* Tiepolo, MS. " E' di natura tardissimo, essendo flegma- 
tico di complessione, et 6 anco per volontzt tale per osservar 
maggior decoro nelle cose sue." 

f Cabrera, Felipe el segundo, p. 598. 

J Thorn. Contarini, Rel. della Spagna anno 1593, MS. 
Infermat. Politt. xi. 474 : " Soleva per il passato lasciarsi 
vedere dal popolo una o due volte 1'anno per un corridore 
che dalle sue stanze passa nella sua capella, ma hora sta 
sempre ritirato." 

Tiepolo, Relat. della Spagna: "E ajutato d'un poco di 
suo riso, che fa ordinariamente nel rispondere et rende ad 
ognuno molto amabile." 

|| Micheli, 76 : " Levata la necessity di andarvi so che pub 
li occorrere di far guerre : egli stima et approva piu il pro- 
ceder del re cattolico suo avo, che le faceva fare tutte per 
mano dei suoi capitani senza andarvi lui in persona, che'l 
proceder dell' imperatore suo padre, ch ha voluto farle lui : 
et a questo lo consigliano li Spagnuoli, li suoi intimi." 



servable in Philip, it might possibly have been 
owing to the want of this activity. 

On the other hand T .-PJiiHp,.inlierited from .his 
father a larger share of the latter's energy ill the 
affairs of the cabinet. True he avoided, even here 
too, all immediate intercourse with others, and we 
neither find him negotiating in person, nor taking 
part in the sittings of the council of state. But we 
shall see how the machinery of his government 
was so arranged that all the affairs of his wide 
spread empire tended to his table as to a common 
centre. Every "resolution of his council of any 
importance was laid before him on a sheet of paper, 
on the margin of which he noted his own views and 
emendations*. The petitions and the letters ad- 
dressed to him, the suggestions of his ministers, 
and the secret reports, were all laid before him in 
his closet. His business and his pleasure was to 
read them, to reflect upon, and to reply to them. 
Seated there, sometimes assisted by a trusty secre- 
tary, but often quite alone, he governed the large 
portion of the world subject to his sway, and exer- 
cised a kind of inspection and control over the rest; 
there he set in motion the hidden machinery that 
moved a great portion of the public affairs of the 
age. His diligence in this occupation was inde- 
fatigable. We have letters written by him at 
midnight : we find him dispatching the unpleasant 
affairs of Flanders at one of his country seats, 
whilst his carriage halted on his way to join the 
queen. If he had to be present at an entertain- 
ment, he fixed it for a day on which there was at 
least no regular post to send off. He did not make 
his short journeys even to the Escurial without 
taking his papers with him, and perusing them by 
the way. As Margaret of Parma and Granvella, 
though inhabiting the same palace, communed 
together more by letter than by word of mouth, so 
he too wrote innumerable notes to his confidential 
ministers: Antonio Perez had two chests full of 
such autographs. Thus he was beyond comparison 
the most fully employed man of business in the 
world. His attention to his finances was uninter- 
rupted, and we find him at times more accurately 
informed respecting them than his presidents f. 
He wished to know every thing that concerned his 
dominions. He had materials collected for a gene- 
ral statistical account of Spain for his own use, six 
volumes of which work are still preserved in the 
Escurial J. But he wished his information to 
extend even to particulars. He had correspondents 
in every diocese, who reported to him how the 
clergy and the holders of the benefices conducted 
themselves. He had always a prelate at each of 
the universities who acquainted him how the 
members of the colleges were versed in the sciences. 
Those who were candidates for any place he usually 

" E diligentissimo nel governo dello stato, et vuole che 
tutte le cose di qualche importantia passino per le sue mani, 
perche tutte le deliberation! di momento gli sono mandate 
da i consiglieri, scritte sopra un foglio di carta, lasciandone 
la meta per margine, nella quale poi S. M. ne scrive il suo 
parere, aggiungendo, scernendo et corrigendo il tutto a suo 
piacere. E sopravanzandole tempo lo spende tutto in rive- 
dere et sottoscrivere suppliche etc., nel che s'impiegaS o 4 
hore continue, si ehe non tralascia mai per alcuno minimo 
punto la fatica." 

t See a calculation by Philip in a letter to Eraso, Cabrera, 

I Rehfues, Spanien nach eigener Ansicht, iv. S. 1348. 

knew, even before they were presented, as well as 
though he had been personally acquainted with 
them : he was aware of their character and their 
peculiarities; and once, when they were speaking to 
him in praise of a certain person's learning and 
ability, he retorted, " You say nothing to me of his 
amours *." Thus he ruled his dominions in peace ; 
in turbulent times he redoubled his attention. It 
excited wonder to see, when the troubles broke out 
in Flanders, how accurately he was informed about 
all pel-sons who might have had any leaning to the 
new opinions, how exactly he knew, not only their 
meetings, but also the age, appearance, character, 
and intercourse of each ; and how, instead of re- 
ceiving information from Margaret on these mat- 
ters, he was, on the contrary, able to impart it to 
her-f-. Now, it was just in the same manner he 
managed his foreign affairs. He had at all the 
leading courts, not only public ambassadors who 
sent him reports, or came to Spain to give him 
information by word of mouth, but he had also 
secret emissaries whose letters were addressed 
directly to himself. A historian might well cherish 
the wish that he mightsTiare with this king the 
comprehensive and thorough knowledge he pos- 
sessed of his own times. Philip sat and read all 
these reports, and concentrated all their contents, 
and directed them to his own ends. He weighed 
them for himself. If he thought good he com- 
municated them to one or other of his confidential 
ministers ; if not, he buried them in perpetual 
silence J. Thus he lived in complete solitude, and 
yet was personally acquainted, as it were, with the 
whole world ; secluded from its contemplation, and 
yet its real governor ; himself in almost motion- 
less repose, and yet the originator of movements 
that affected all the world. Grown old and grey, 
weary and dim-sighted over his toils, he still did 
not give them up. His daughter, the infanta Isa- 
bella, who was moulded entirely after his own 
heart, for whom he had a cordial regard, and to 
whom he would go even at night, and communi- 
cate to her some welcome news, used to sit fur 
three or four hours with him ; and though he did 
not admit her into all his secrets, still she helped 
him to read the petitions and memorials of private 
persons, and to provide for the affairs of the home 
administration . 

Now what -was the aim of such incessant jndus- 
try throughout his long life ? Was it the welfare 
of {he kingdoms of which he swayed the sceptre ? 
the prosperity of his subjects ? This might have 
been supposed in the beginning of his reign, so long 
as he seemed to abjure his father's schemes, and 

* Cabrera, p. 1064, and elsewhere. The Cortes expressed 
a wish in 1554 that visitadores should be secretly sent to all 
the pueblos to inquire into the habits of the regidores, the 
judicial personages, and the knights. Peticion xxviii. 

t Strada, who himself possessed more than one hundred 
letters from Philip to Margaret, De Bello Belg. iv. p. 81. 

I Contarini. " Usa S. M. una squisitissima secretezza 
nelle cose sue ; .... ma e altro tanto desiderosa di scoprire 
i disegni et secret! degl" altri principi, nel che impiega ogni 
cura et diligentia, spendendo una infinita quantita d'oro in 
spie in tutte le parti del mondo et appresso a tutti i principi, 
et queste spie spesse volte hanno anco ordine d'indrizzare le 
lettere a S. M., la quale non communica le cose important! 
a persona alcuna et solamente quelle di Fiandra al duca di 

Contarini : " Ajutandogli ella a leggere queste tali scrit- 
ture." Cf. Strada ii. lib. vii. p. 216. 


his thirst for glory, and to look only to his own 
dominions. But he soon began to play a very busy 
part in the complicated affairs of Europe. Was it 
then his purpose, as it was perhaps hi his power, 
to heal the wounds of his times 1 We cannot affirm 
either the one or the other. Obedience and the 
catholic faith at home, the catholic faith and sub- 
jection in all other countries, this was what he had 
at heart, this was the aim of all his labours. He 
was himself devoted, with monkish attachment, to 
the outward observances of the catholic worship. 
He kissed the hand of a priest after mass, to show 
archdukes who visited him what reverence is due 
to such men. To a lady of rank, who stood upon the 
steps of the altar, he said, " That is no place either 
for you or me." How diligently, with what care and 
expense, did he gather the sacred relics from all 
countries that had become protestaut, that such 
precious things might not be lost to Catholicism and 
Christendom *. This was surely not from indwell- 
ing religion ; yet a sort of indwelling religion, capa- 
ble of swaying the moral character, had grown up 
in him, out of the conviction that he was born to 
uphold the external service of the church, that he 
was the pillar of the church, that such was his 
commission from God. If by this means he brought 
it to pass, that the majority of Spaniards, full of 
the like feelings, did, as an Italian says, " not merely 
love, not merely reverence, but absolutely adore 
him, and deem his commands so sacred, that they 
could not be violated without offence to God f ;" at 
the same time, by a singular illusion (if indeed we 
are justified, in supposing his conduct to have sprung 
from an illusion of his own, and not to have been 
deliberately pursued to delude others), he came 
to regard the progress of his own power and the 
progress of religion as identified, and to behold the 
latfer in the former. In this he was confirmed by 
the people of the Netherlands, who revolted simul- 
taneously from him, and from the pope. In truth, 
the zeal that animated him was none other than 
that which had actuated Charles the Bold and 
Maximilian I., the. zeal, namely, of exalting the 
Burgundian and Habsburg house, which had lie- 
come conjoined with religious purposes since the 
days of Charles V., only the union, of these two 
motives was much stronger in him : and if he 
sought to conquer England, and to obtain the 
crown of France for his nephew and his daughter, 
it was with the full persuasion that he was acting 
for the best interests of the world, and for the weal 
of souls. If, on the one hand, his reserve and his 
gravity unfitted him for presiding over the nations 
he ruled with kindness, affability, and as a father ; 
on the other hand his narrow and fanatical constitu- 
tion of mind placed it far beyond his power to be- 
come the reconciling spirit of his distracted times ; 
he was, on the contrary, a great promoter and aug- 
menter of the discord. 

Two points are further to be remarked, with 
reference to his administration. The one, as re- 
gards his ministers ; the other, as regards the 
means he employed to obtain his ends. 

* Michel! ; above all Cabrera. 

t Relatione et sommario dell' historic antiche et moderne 
di Spagna, in the Tesoro politico i. Contarini: "Questa 
opinione die di lui si ha, rende le sue leggi piti sacrosancte 
et inviolahili." 

Whether it was from the compulsory pressure of 
his multitudinous businesses, or that he was in- 
duced thereto by personal confidence, he left his 
ministers great freedom, and an open range of 
action. Espinosa was long called the monarch of 
Spain * ; Alva had his hands free in the Nether- 
lands. We will look more minutely into the changes 
of his ministers, and their position. He seemed 
to be dependent on, and ruled by, many of his con- 
fidential advisers. Moreover, it was to no purpose 
any one proffered a complaint against these men : 
his first answer was, that he relied on his advisers ; 
and however often their accusers returned to the 
charge, they were always met with the same re- 
ply. People complained, that not only the inte- 
rests of foreign powers, but those of the king 
himself, were betrayed and ruined through the 
private feelings and passions of these ministers f. 
Now, it is very well worth noting his manner of 
dealing with them. To their best suggestions he 
seemed to lend but half an ear, and for a while it 
was as though they had said nothing ; but at last, 
he put their ideas into operation, as though they 
had proceeded from himself. He used to say, that he 
stayed away from the council of state, in order that 
the passions of the several members might be free 
to display themselves the more unreservedly, and 
that if he had but a faithful reporter of all that 
passed, he could have no better means of informa- 
tion J. But he went still farther than this. He 
suffered incensed enemies to pursue each other 
into his very cabinet, and he received the memorials 
of the one party against the other . As the close 
secresy he observed on all things was notorious, 
no one scrupled to confide to him the most private 
matters, and things that would never have been im- 
parted to any other. Such communications did not 
always produce the full effect intended, but some of 
them did ; and Philip was always filled with suspi- 
cion. Never was it easier for any one than for him 
to withdraw his accustomed confidence, and to stint 
in his wonted favour. For awhile he would con- 
ceal his secret displeasure. Perhaps the minister 
had important matters still in hand, perhaps his 
personal co-operation was necessary for the accom- 
plishment of some purpose. So long as the case 
stood thus, he dealt with him warily as with a 
foreign power, and frequently, meanwhile, would 
neither comply with the minister's desires, nor 
absolutely reject them. But at last, his displeasure 
broke out all at once. Cabrera remarks of no few, 
that his disfavour was their death. So much may 
have been implied by the saying proverbial at his 
court, that it was not far from his smile to his dag- 
ger. The whole spirit of his favourites hung on 
his good will ; without it they sank into nothing- 

As he changed his ministers, so too he changed 
the measures they were to carry out, ever keeping 

* Famianus Strada, de Bello Belgico, i. lib. vi. p. 161. 

t Tiepolo : " II ritrovar poi S. M. per ottener piu di quello 
ha fatto il detto consiglio cosa in tutto superflua : per il 
che da se non risponde cosa alcuna, rna si rimette a quello e 
stato risoluto. II che causa senza dubio danno ai negotii. 
Spesso avviene che il giuditio di suoi ministri e corrutto o 
da interesse particolare o da alcuna passione." 

J Cartas de Antonio Perez. 

For instances see Cabrera passim. He mentions " pa- 
peles que le davan emulos invidiosos y malos por odio y 



his ends steadily in view. How numerous, and 
how various, wore the courses he struck out in the 
affairs of Flanders alone *. It is a mistake, to 
suppose he knew how to adopt no other devices 
than those of force. Undoubtedly he acquiesced in 
Alva's cruel measures, not however from cruelty, 
but for the sake of the result he expected. When 
this did not ensue, he selected Requesens for the 
express reason, that he was a moderate man, and 
commissioned him to employ milder means f. He 
sent don John, who was acceptable to the-people of 
the Netherlands, because he appeared to be.Jheir 
countryman J, with definite orders to conclude a 
peace. Failing in this, he again reverted to force. 
In~fnis he may be compared to his great grand- 
father, Maximilian, who was continually adopting 
new means to arrive at his ends : only Maximilian 
broke off at an early stage of his proceedings, whilst 
Philip always pushed matters to the very utmost ; 
Maximilian always seemed highly excited, Philip 
invariably maintained the most unruffled compo- 
sure. Never did he give way to any impulse of 
temper . There never arrived a despatch from 
Flanders, however good or bad its news, that could 
produce the least change in his countenance. On 
receiving the first intelligence of the victory at 
Lepanto, the greatest that had been achieved by 
Christendom for 300 years, he said, " Don John 
risked a great deal," and not a word more. Upon 
the greatest mischance that could befal him, the 
loss of his fleet, on which he had exhausted the 
resources of Spain, on which he had built the 
grandest hopes, and which he had deemed invin- 
cible, he said, " I sent it out against men, and not 
against the billows ;" and having said this, he 
seemed perfectly calm. The only gesticulation he 
was observed to make, when anything occurred 
quite contrary to his expectation, or when any word 
let fall provoked him very much, was that same 
one which is noticed in the gravest Arabs ; he 
clutched his beard in his hand. 

There are in this dismal life some spots of sur- 
passing gloom. Why was his son Don Carlos dis- 
posed to rebel against him ? It is now but too 
certain that he wished to do so. Assuredly the 
prince presented a decided contrast to his father ; 
the latter, particularly at first, all calm and pacific ; 
the former, on the contrary, fired with an enthu- 
siastic love of arms, ardently attached to the sol- 
diery, and of an impetuosity of character that dis- 
dained to conceal ambition, cruelty, or any other 
passion. He displayed a brilliant munificence, 
strikingly opposed to the king's frugality ||. The 

* This was remarked by Cabrera, lib. xi. p. 869. "El 
rey catolico haviendo usado para reduccion de los Flamencos 
del rigor, blandura : castigo, perdon : annas, paz : y sin 

t Cabrera mentions the "medio di concerto y blandura 
que S. Magestad havia mostrado querer provar tras los de 
las armas y rigor." 

t Lippomano, Relatione di Napoli. 

Contarini : "E' gravissimo in tutte sue operationi, si 
che non esce mai parola della bocca sua ne atto alcuno dalla 
sua persona che non sia molto bene ponderato et pesato. 
Modera felicissimamente tutti i suoi affetti." 

H Tiepolo : " E nelle attioni sue cosl ardente et si pub dir 
precipitoso. Si sdegna facilmente et prorumpe tanto che si 

pu6 dir crudele E amico della verita et nemico de 

buffoni. Si diletta di gioie, perche di man sua ne intaglia. 

more restrictions there were imposed on him, the 
more passionate became his inclinations. He was 
still very young when the question began to be 
agitated of entrusting him with some lieutenancy. 
But this was not done. He had reason to expect a 
greater degree of independence from his marriage, 
which was already negotiated and agreed on ; but 
the father took to himself the son's destined bride. 
As often as a war broke out he longed to join in it, 
and he always was forced to remain at home. At last 
he made it the sole object of his wishes, that the 
pacification of the Netherlands should be com- 
mitted to him : Alva was preferred to him. Thus 
this impetuous spirit, shut out on all sides from 
active exertion, and driven back upon itself, was 
thwarted and irritated to madness. Now would 
Carlos kill Alva, and escape by flight from his 
father ; now had he no rest day or night, till he 
cried out that he meditated a deed against a man 
he hated, for which he besought absolution before- 
hand, till he was frantic enough to give the theo- 
logians of Atocha grounds for surmising that his 
father was the hated foe whose life he threatened *. 
Did his father then leave him to pine away and die 
in prison ? Or is the story really true, that the 
coffin in which Carlos lay was opened, and his head 
found severed from his body ? Be it enough to 
say, that Philip lived on such deplorable terms 
with his son, that he must either fear every 
thing at his hand, or doom him to death without 

This matter had no doubt some influence on the 
subsequent discipline practised by this monarch 
with his children. When he had his heir apparent, 
Philip, brought up for an unusual length of time, 
and with injurious severity, among women, it was 
thought that he bore Don Carlos in mind-)-. He 
took care not to give him a grandee for his tutor. 
He did not even suffer, as it is said, that his son 
and his faithful daughter, Isabella, should speak 
with each other unknown to himself. 

He lived, however, to see the natural and inevi- 
table result of all this. As his end drew nigh he 
saw his kingdom exhausted of men, and burdened 
with debts, his foes and his revolted subjects 
powerful, alert, and provided with means of at- 
tack ; but the successor, who might have remedied 
those evils, and resisted those enemies, he saw not. 
His son was wholly incapable. It is said that this 
conviction once quite overcame him. He bewailed 
it to his son-in-law, Albert of Austria, and to Isa- 
bella, whom he greatly loved : " To his grace in 
bestowing on him so great a realm, God had not 
been pleased to add the grace of granting him a 
successor capable of continuing to rule it. He 
commended the realm to them both." The old 

Stima poco ognuno, se ben e grande, parendoli a gran lungo 
che nessun li possa pareggiare. Suol dire : Chi debbe far 
elemosine, se non le danno i principi ? E 1 splendidissimo in 
tutte le cose et massime nel beneficiar chi lo serve." Soriano 
(MS.) thus describes Carlos : " E' simile al padre di faccia, e 
per6 dissimile de costumi ; perche e animoso, accorto, cru- 
dele, ambitioso, inimicissimo de buffoni, amicissimo de sol- 

L'histoiredel'huissier, in Llorente, Hist. del'Inquisition, 
iii. 151. It has been sufficiently proved in recent times that 
Carlos perished through his irregularities in prison. (Note 
to the second edition.) 

t Khevenhiller's account of 1621. Annal. Ferdin. ix. 



king said this with tears, he who had shed no tears 
at the death of his children *. 

3. PhUip III. 

The Spaniards have a book relating to Philip 
III., which ascribes many virtues to that monarch. 
If I mistake not, human virtues are of two kinds : 
in the one case their active impulses are directed 
outwards, and are expansive in their nature ; hi the 
other, these are turned hi wards with a self-contract- 
ing force : and whilst the virtues of the former 
class belong more to the stronger minded, and 
those of the latter to the weaker, it is the due com- 
bination of both that constitutes the faultless man. 
Now just such a combination does the book we 
speak of ascribe to the king : it describes him as 
brave, open-handed, and sage, and at the same 
time clement, pious, and chaste. Why then was 
Philip II. alarmed at the prospect of being suc- 
ceeded by a son so well endowed ? Why did he 
think of setting governors over him ? 

Porefio, the author of the book, does not leave 
us in doubt. For what is the bravery he extols in 
Philip ? It is that he controls himself, and refuses 
to take vengeance. In what consists his open- 
handedness ? He makes donations to churches, 
founds colleges, and sends money to the Persians, 
that they might keep the Turks employed, and 
hinder them from infesting the coasts of Spain. 
Lastly, wherein does his sagacity display itself? 
In the fact that he submits to be instructed, that 
he shapes his course according to the judgment of 
others -J-. And so vanish all his active virtues. 

We have seen how Charles V. was so constituted, 
that his nature could hardly attain to a free exer- 
cise of its powers ; but it did arrive at that stage 
of growth at last ; that monarch was indefatigable 
in the field and hi the council. Again, we saw how 
one half of this active capacity remained for ever 
denied to Philip II. ; how sedulously that sovereign 
avoided all energetic movements, all personal con- 
tact with others ; but in solitude and in his cabinet 
he too was unwearied in his labours. Philip III. 
could brace himself to neither of these courses. 
He was very far from taking delight in a stirring 
life in the field or in the fight ; but he also resigned 
to others the business of the cabinet. 

Don Philip III. was of a small, well-shaped 
person, with a small, round, agreeable, white and 
red face ; he had the family lips. He had been 
taught to display a certain air of dignity when he 
appeared in public ; but naturally he was alto- 
gether cheerful and unpretending in his appear- 
ance. He had passed his youth in weakness, obe- 
dience, and not very profitable occupations. An 
unhealthy nurse had communicated to him a ma- 
lady of which he never thoroughly got rid : it 
was not till his fourteenth year that he cut his 

Rel. della vita del re di Spagna, MS. " Gli disse che 
egli ben sapeva il gran valore et le qualitii dell' infanta, che 
erano tali che in essa et in suo marito haveva poste le sue 
speranze : gia che dio per li suoi peccati, ancorche gli ha- 
vesse fatto gratie di tanti regni et dominii, non gli haveva 
per reggerli et governarli dato figliuoli : perche il principe 
non era che un ombra di principe, non havendo talento per 
comandare, di maniera che dubitava che non dovesse essere 
occasione di raolti gran danni alia sua casa." 

t Porefio, Dichos y hechos del Rey Don Felipe III. cap. 
ii. vii. xi. 

second teeth, so slowly did his constitution unfold. 
He was certainly not entirely destitute of the talent 
to comprehend ; nevertheless his tutor, Loaisa, 
with all his minute and pedantic rigour, did not 
carry him much further than grammar and a smat- 
tering of St. Thomas. Was it the trial befitting a 
prince's mettle, that they made him support theses 
and syllogisms in the Escurial ? Above all they 
instilled into him the strictest obedience to his 
father, and never was that duty more inviolably 
observed by a son. The charge has been gravely 
alleged against Loaisa that he educated the prince 
with a view to ruling him at a future time*. 

At any rate, the prince seemed from the first 
more fitted and more inclined to receive impulses 
from others than to impart them. When his 
father announced to him that he should now take 
part in the affairs of state, that he should return as 
a man to the chamber he had left more like a child, 
he said not a word, kissed his father's hand, and 
remained the same as ever. Even when Philip 
showed him the portraits of three young princesses, 
one of whom he might select for his bride, and 
repeatedly urged him to make his choice, there 
was no bringing him to a decision, " for his father's 
will was his taste." He left it, so to speak, to 
death to decide for hmif. Two of the three prin- 
cesses died. 

After the death of his father, when he himself 
became king, he resigned all authority from the 
very first into the hands of the duke of Lerma, as 
we shall presently see. Other sovereigns have done 
something of the same kind, but only that they 
might be free to pursue their pleasures. He knew 
no pleasures to which he could wish to devote him- 
self. What he seemed to have most taste for was 
travelling, playing at ball, and throwing dice till a 
late hour of the night. But his fondness even for 
these amusements was not very decided. It was 
plain after all that he only played to pass away the 
time, not for any gratification such occupations 
afforded him J. 

Thus he appears in this world without taking 
part in it, without acquiring any active character, 
without suffering himself to be tempted to the in- 
dulgence of any passion. He blushes and casts 
down his eyes if a lady looks upon him with viva- 
city in the palace. He affirms, and we may really 
take his word for it, he looks upon a beautiful 
woman only from thankfulness to God for having 
made so perfect a creature . 

But no ! there is something hi him that does at 

* Relatione della vita del re di Spagna et delli privati. 
" Pate tutta via una certa infirmiti et la chiamano usogie (?) 
Don Francesco de Avila, marchese di Velada, fu quello a 
cui si raccomand& et comise la custodia di questo principe : 
e Garzia de Loaisa, che morse arcivescovo di Toledo, fu 
maestro per insegnarli le scienze et virtu christiane et poli- 
tiche che bisognano a cosl gran discepolo. Questi hcbbero 
per scopo, poiche il padre era vecchio, infermo et molto 
vicino alia morte, di allevare S. M. in maniera che'l potes- 
sero reggere et maneggiare come loro tornava commodo et 
quasi tiranneggiarlo. Questo scopo hebbe piu di ogn' altro il 

t Khevenhiller, Annales Ferdinandei, an. 1598. 

caccia, et in questa materia urare piu i im ucoou. . . . . 
Gioca ancora et molto bene a dadi buona parte della notte, et 
questo piu per spassarsi che per dilettarsi del gioco." 

Porefio, Dichos y hechos de Felipe III. c. iv. p. 

r, O 


times incite him to action. There lives within him, 
interwoven with the very core of his existence, a 
spirit of rigorous Catholic devotion, whether inhe- 
rited from his father or implanted in him by edu- 
cation. How often meeting with the procession of 
the host does he accompany it even beneath the 
poorest roof ! It is with great unwillingness he re- 
turns from Valladolid, whither the court had been 
transferred, to Madrid; but he does so because his 
confessor tells him it is for God's service. He 
kneels down before a poor friar to receive his bless- 
ing, and thinks his indisposition relieved when he 
has obtained it. After the death of his wife there 
needs a heavenly voice to comfort him, speaking in 
very choice Castilian; yet he does not conceive the 
least suspicion*. 

This turn of thought sometimes impels him to 
active exertion. It seems to him an important duty 
to bring all men to acknowledge " the mystery of 
the immaculate conception of the angel queen, the 
most holy Mary." For this he consults with his 
learned men, for this he makes his bishops and 
archbishops write to Rome, and is ready even to 
make a pilgrimage thither on foot if necessary ; 
nor can his children afford him greater delight 
than by repeating, " Holy Mary conceived without 
sin." " So, my children," he answers, " do I also 
believe )-." 

But all the results of his religious promptings 
were not equally inoffensive. We see him making 
warlike preparations in the year 1609. The veteran 
Spanish troops are summoned from Spain. The 
galleys of Naples and Sicily, of Castile, of Portugal 
and Catalonia, put to sea, and the names of Doria 
and Santa Cruz, are heard again upon the waters. 
The king makes a vow to St. James, and to his 
wife, the Blessed Virgin, to obtain success in the 
proposed attempt. And for what was all this done ? 
What was the enemy to be encountered \ The cam- 
paign was against a people that raised its corn and 
its sugar for the kingdom, against the poor Moris- 
coes of Valentia, who had long been baptized and 
disarmed. The crime imputed to them was cer- 
tainly not very clear; their grand fault was that 
they were not yet thoroughly Catholic. And, be- 
hold, an image of the Virgin has wept ; whole 
clouds of steaming sweat have oozed from another; 
the bell of Velilla has struck : now is the king 
fully determined; he will not hear one word of re- 
monstrance. And now when all has been accom- 
plished, when the streets of Valentia have been 
strewed with corpses, when so many Moors have 
perished by sea under the cruel treatment of their 
robberlike captors, and scarcely a third part of them 
have been landed in Africa ; then goes the queen 
and lays the foundation-stone of the church she 
had vowed, and the king undertakes his pilgrimage 
to St. Jago ; whilst the Spaniards reckon up 3700 
battles fought within the last 800 years between 
them a'nd these Moors, now finally expelled; and 
they appoint a solemn holyday for an everlasting 
memorial of this enterprise J. 

If religious opinions were the sole causes that 

* Davila, Vida y hechos de Felipe III., p. 81 et seqq. 

t Poreiio, cxii. " De su devocion," p. 330. 

J Geddes, The History of the Expulsion of the Moris- 
coes out of Spain, in Miscellaneous Tracts, i., particularly 
p. 106. Our information is taken from Porefio, pp. 282. 291, 
and Davila, an. 1610, authors not made use of by Geddes. 

could prompt Philip III. to action, so were they 
also the only source of his uneasiness. Before we 
can fully understand the how and the wherefore of 
this matter, we must take more minute note of the 
administration of his favourites. Here it is enough 
to state that the thought smote him at last, he had 
done sinfully in conceding so much power to those 
favourites ; and that no consolatory arguments were 
strong enough to assure him of that blessedness in 
another world, for which he had lived a life of 
such purity, chastity, and devotion to the church; 
so that he departed in a kind of despair *. 


These are the three sovereigns whose admini- 
stration we propose considering further. But first 
it is well worth our noting how like each other, and 
yet how different .they wefei 

The Spanish line of the house of Habsburg is 
remarkable for having continued itself by marriages 
exclusively within its own family. 

The wife of Charles V. was his own niece by 
blood; that wife of Philip II. who bore him his heir, 
was of the house of Austria, and so likewise was 
the queen of Philip III. Philip IV. married his 
own niece, and from the marriage sprang Charles 
II., the last scion of the house of Habsburg in 

From this may have arisen the fact, that in no 
other race have the children so much resembled 
their parents in form and features as in this. There 
is a curious substantiation of this fact in our Rela- 
tion}. Leonardo Moro pourtrays king Philip IV. 
in the very words employed by Soriano to describe 
Philip II. ; whether it was that this was an acci- 
dental coincidence, or that Moro saw the descrip- 
tion of the grandfather to be quite applicable to the 

Now where education, circumstances, and habits 
of life are the same, it is not at all unlikely that 
the physiognomy of the soul should be as hereditary 
as that of the body, a fact of which we daily see 
thousands of instances ; maxims and thoughts may 
pass consciously or unconsciously from father to 
son ; but is the force, the indwelling energy that 
alone constitutes the man of action, that gives him 
his value and his influence on society, is this too 
hereditary ? 

We know the prophetic words spoken of the 
Merovingian race by the bride of Childerick, on 
her nuptial night, and how they proved but too 
true. The race of Pepin long brought forth men 
and heroes, and Charlemagne was surrounded by 
valorous sons. The nation had sworn never to de- 
part from them. But from that time forth there 
was a continual descent, generation after genera- 
tion, down to weaklings, who remained all their 
lives in a state of non-age. Three nations were 
constrained to abjure them in spite of the oath. 
The Spanish line of the house of Habsburg may be 
compared with the sons of Pepin and the Mero- 

We are here verging on the mysteries of life, 
where it is fed by 'hidden and sometimes sealed 
fountains. This only we may venture to assert, 
that the man is not fashioned by nature alone. 

* Khevenhiller, an. 1621, p. 1250. 




Of the Court and the Ministers. 

IF we have duly comprehended the character 
and habits of the monarchs before us, we shall 
understand as a matter of course what was the 
position of their ministers. We shall conclude that 
they could not have possessed any extraordinary 
importance under Charles V. ; that the personal 
qualities of Philip II. afforded them scope for free 
action upon all beneath them, and for a considera- 
ble re-action upon himself; and that lastly, under 
Philip III. they must have been omnipotent. 

But it is not enough to know this. It is perhaps 
necessary to be acquainted with the intimates, the 
immediate organs of the monarchs of independent 
character ; but it is much more important to be- 
come acquainted with those on whom much, with 
those on whom everything, depended. Contempo- 
raries too felt this. The Relation! belonging to the 
times of Charles V. have reference chiefly to the 
general form of his court and state ; those per- 
taining to Philip II. carry us further into the 
heart of the subject ; and when we come to the 
times of Philip III. we find the description of the 
ministries the chief theme of the Relationi. It is 
just the same with the printed works. The infor- 
mation they give us respecting Charles V. is not 
very minute ; they are much more so respecting 
Philip II., but still there is something suppressed; 
but as to Philip III., they make no concealment. 
The importance of a thing augments the attention 
with which it is regarded. We, too, shall both 
voluntarily and of necessity adhere to the same 
course of proceeding ; voluntarily, in consideration 
of the nature of our subject, and of necessity, by 
reason of the character of our materials. 

1. The Court and State of Charles V, 

The court of Charles V., it must be owned, was 
of much importance at the time when he had not 
yet overcome the obstacles to his own freedom of 
action inherent in himself. It was a thoroughly 
Burgundian court, constituted "exactly after the 
fashion of those of Philip the Good and Charles 
the Bold ; it consisted of gentlemen *. The imme- 
diate servants of the prince were persons of princely 
blood +: they were under the directions of a lord 
high chamberlain, who slept in the chamber of the 
prince, by whom a table was daily provided for 
them. The household was full of inferior persons 
of gentle blood J. Some of these served as armed 
retainers ; others waited at table, and served bread 
and wine ; several of them had been brought up 

* Olivier de la Marche, Memoires, App. Collect. Univers. 
torfa 1x,. 

t Cavallo : " Ha S. M. 36 gentilhuomini della camera sua, 
alii quali non si da piil che un scudo il giorno di provisione, 
et questi per il piu sono principi et di parentado di principi." 
[His majesty has 36 gentlemen of his chamber, who receive 
each only a scudo a day, and these are for the most part 
princes and of princely extraction.] 

1 Ibid. "Li gentilhuomini della casa sono intorno a 
cento, tenuti a servire con armi et cavalli in ogn'un occa- 
sione, come allo stato loro ci conviene : delli quali secondo 
i meriti suoi si eleggono quelli che si chiamano della bocca 
et sono intorno a 50 : oltre al servitio d'armi et cavalli ser- 
vono al mangiar dell' imperatore." 

in the household. All these were under a grand 
steward of the household, a mayor-domo-mayor, or 
patron of the court as they called him. Such were 
the provisions for the service of the household. 
But when the monarch left the palace, the func- 
tions of the master of the horse came into play ; 
for not only was the whole retinue of heralds and 
trumpeters, of saddlers and tent-keepers, under 
his control, but his services were particularly re- 
quired when the monarch set out for a tourna- 
ment, or armed for battle. On these occasions he 
dressed the monarch in his armour, and received 
him on his return ; and he was in his immediate 
proximity in the busiest moments *. With these 
three officers was associated the father confessor f. 
He had the control of the two preachers, the chap- 
lains, and those forty musicians who constituted 
the most perfect choir in the world, and upheld 
the fame of the Netherlands as the native place of 
music. The confessor could moreover boast that 
the sovereign was under his influence in his most 
solemn and perhaps his most important moments. 

We see what were the four chief personages of 
the court, and it is not to be denied that at first 
they had great influence on the administration of 
the state. This has always been so in Germanic 
nations. There is sometimes reason to doubt which 
was the original of the two, power and princely 
dignity, or service about the royal person. The 
high offices of the German electors certainly admit 
of no doubts of the kind ; but in the case of the 
palatines of the West Goth kings, which was the 
earlier of the two, their functions in the palace, or 
their rank in the kingdom ? Was the power of a 
major domus derived from his position about the 
Prankish kings, or was that position conferred on 
one already possessed of power ? Be this as it 
may, Chievres, lord high chamberlain to Charles 
V., established an almost unlimited authority over 
the kingdom, upon the almost constant proximity 
in which he stood to the sovereign. Maingoal de 
Lanoi, the same monarch's master of the horse, a 
man of no remarkable intrinsic ability, but who had 
won his sovereign's favour , found means thereby 
to make his own importance acknowledged in the 
weightiest affairs of Europe. It caused the Spanish 
grandees no little mortification, on the arrival of 
Charles in the country, to find the first places oc- 
cupied by Flemings, and themselves excluded 
from every station immediately about the king's 
person. This very circumstance contributed to 
excite the comunidades to their insurrection. 

Now, if the chief personages of the court pos- 
sessed such decisive influence, the younger mem- 
bers also might look forward to various stations of 
weight and dignity. No few young men of noble 
blood, most of them younger sons of great houses, 
served the court as chaplains, as private priests, 
and chanted vespers in their surplices. They per- 
formed these services, because they were destined 
for clerical honours, and the disposal of these was 

tti questi sono sotto il confessore. 

Petrus Martyr, ep. 758. Varchi, Stor. Fiorent. ii. p. 10. 


in the hands of the court. At the end of from six 
to ten years, they obtained a bishopric or an abbey*. 
If a young Croi, on the arrival of Charles in Spain, 
obtained the first prelacy in the kingdom, the arch- 
bishopric of Toledo, he was undoubtedly indebted 
for this to his connexion with the court. Was it 
likely it should have been otherwise with secular 
appointments ? Was it likely the sovereign should 
not bethink him, in the first place, of those he had 
known from their youth upward ? The court be- 
came a nursery for the state. Obviously it was to 
be regarded as the centre of the whole system of 
public life. It is plain how dangerous it were, if a 
sovereign should become too dependent on its 

We cannot contemplate this court, or the others 
of those times, without making one general obser- 
vation. If we reflect how influential was the edu- 
cation of the nobility, how important in its effects 
on all the rest of society must have been the 
change in its notions of what was noble, respect- 
able, and desirable, it will not appear superfluous 
to inquire, how it was that the knight passed into 
the cavalier. The qualities that make the knight 
are valour guided by lofty aims, inviolable fidelity 
to the suzerain to whom he has pledged his alle- 
giance, and disinterested devotion as regards the 
fair sex. The cavalier's characteristics are supe- 
rior personal endowments and accomplishments, 
which he employs according to the received notions 
of honour ; as regards his sovereign, unconditional 
obedience, and the complaisance of a courtier; as 
regards women, address in whining their favour. 
The broad-sword is the weapon of the former, the 
small sword that of the latter. It seems to me 
that courts, such as was the Burgundian court 
under Charles V., and such as it further became 
under his successors, contributed not a little to 
bring about this change. There were always about 
forty pages brought up hi them. In what were they 
instructed ? In the whole course of modern train- 
ing for young men of rank. Dancing and vaulting, 
riding and fighting ; not much science or litera- 
ture -J-. Now if the hope of obtaining gracious 
marks of his favour from the sovereign, prompted 
to submissive deference towards him ; and if the 
cavalier's daily occupations forced him to attain 
peculiar proficiency in the before-mentioned exer- 
cises, he soon acquired, moreover, a certain gal- 
lantry, particularly when the consort of the sove- 
reign likewise kept her court. That tone of feeling, 
which has been set before us by Calderon, unfolded 
itself among the Spaniards, to whose minds the 
Catholicism of their monarchy gave a peculiar kind 
of elevation. 

When Charles began to act for himself, he com- 
pletely dissolved the connexion of the court with 
public affairs. Nassau and Biiren, who played im- 

Cavallo. " Sono de secondogeniti de suoi principi, per- 
sonaggi di gran qualita de suoi stati, H quali, havendo ser- 
vito sei, dieci o talhor piu anni, sono rimunerati con pen- 
sioni, abbatie, vescovati, si come pare a S. M." 

t Cavallo : " Ha S M. da 20 in 40 paggi, figliuoli di conti 
et signori suoi vasalli et anco alcuni d'altra natione, per il 
vivere de quali S. M. paga un sesto di scudo (they had ac- 
cording to the Ordine della casa a governatore, who provided 
for them, and received five scudi a month for each) : di piu 
li veste ogn'anno, ma non molto sontuosamente : gli tiene 
maestri che gl'insegnano bellare et di giuoco di spada, caval- 
care, volteggiare a cavallo et un poco di lettere." 

portant parts there in the year 1630, and who stood 
particularly high in the emperor's favour *, had no 
share in the administration of the state. After 
Nassau's death, the post of lord high chamberlain 
was abolished f, and we do not find that the so 
called somiglier du corps, who took the duties of 
the suppressed office upon him, was ever of much 
importance. Alva was grand steward of the house- 
hold, but he never had any decided influence under 
Charles ; and if he did possess some weight , he 
owed this to other things than his position at court. 
We hear no more of the power of the grand-master 
of the horse after Lanoy. The father confessor 
alone, whose office, as we have seen, constituted an 
important feature of the court establishment, was 
of course not to be dispensed with by Charles. 
There were so many clerical affairs to be discussed, 
so many that related to the councils, to Turks and 
Moors, to new Christians and protestants, besides 
many others, in which he needed the aid of a 
ghostly counsellor. On all these the father confes- 
sor was consulted. It was perceived, however, 
that he had need to put forward his opinions with 
all modesty, and to back them by cogent argu- 
ments, if he would have them attended to . It is 
only over weak natures that confessors have ob- 
tained a paramount control. It is no bad proof of 
the independence with which Charles bore him, 
that we hear nothing of factions at his court, nothing 
even of remarkable visitations of disfavour. 

Thus gradually vanishes the influence at first 
exercised by this court ; institutions of state arise, 
which are independent of the court. 

But as the provinces of the Spanish realm had 
distinct administrations, it became a question of 
commanding interest, how far Charles would have 
the power to give these a certain unity. The most 
peculiar institution we find at his court is a supreme 
administrative council, selected from the several 
councils of all the provinces. " His majesty," says 
Cavallo, who is our sole informant on this subject, 
" has a council for the government of his states 
collectively, consisting of several regents (the supe- 
rior members of the colleges are so called), one 
from Sicily, one from Naples, one from Milan, one 
from Burgundy, one from the Netherlands, one 
from Aragon, and one from Castile ; and in addi- 
tion to these, there are two or three doctors. These 
councillors deliberate on all important matters that 
concern the emperor or the empire at large ; each 
member takes care to make himself acquainted 
with the concerns of his own province, and reports 
thereon. The younger Granvella, bishop of Arras, 
is president of this council ||." If the utility of 

Relat. di Contarini : " Amatissimi da Cesare." 

t Ordine della casa : Monsr di Praia is here styled 
secondo ciamberlano, Monsr di Rye somiglier. 

I Cavallo: " E vero che per ceremonia piu che per altro 
ha ammesso il duca d'Alva." 

Ibid. " Questo confessore entra in tutti li consigli dove 
si trattano cose pertinente alia conscienza, et per questo 
viene ammesso dove si parla di guerra et anco si parla di 
giustitia, et particolarmente quando si consultano le deno- 
mination! de beneficii, .... A'usure et quasi di tutte le 
cose che faccia 1'imperatore. Bisogna che lui con destrezza 
non manchi di dire 1'opinion sua fondatamente et con buona 
ragione et veda di diria con tanta modestia che sia accettata 
la verita : altrimenti fa poco frutto et diminuisce 1'autorita 
sua infinitamente." 

|| Cavallo : ' Li quali tutti insieme massime nelle cose d'im- 



such a council would be obvious even in a monarchy 
possessed of an organic unity, how much more 
must this have been the case in an empire made 
up of co-ordinate, and almost independent king- 
doms. Its members might be looked on as at once 
organs of the executive, and as representatives of 
their native states. If, on the one hand, they were 
bound to uphold the several local interests against 
that of the general body, on the other hand, they 
could not be blind to the necessity for combination; 
they could not obstinately stand out against this ; 
and the provinces must have found it easier to obey 
what was enjoined by a council, in which they saw 
one of their own people sitting as a member *, than 
what was imposed on them by absolute authority, 
without appeal. In such a council, too, there was 
a greater facility for duly balancing the mutual 
relations of the provinces. 

This council, however, was not considered singly 
sufficient. There was, certainly, need of another, 
of more strict unity, for the control of the compli- 
cated monied affairs of the empire. The emperor 
had a council of finance, which he consulted on the 
state of his income and expenditure, the loans he 
proposed to make, and the interest he was willing 
to grant +. The respective characteristics of these 
two councils I imagine to have been, that the one 
demanded what the other unwillingly granted. 

There was over both these, in the latter part of 
the reign of Charles, a council of state, which, how- 
ever, was of but little importance. Alva and the 
father confessor were members of it. Cavallo 
asserts, that this council had but little to do. 

The emperor was fond of taking counsel of a 
single individual ; Gattinara and the elder Gran- 
vella successively enjoyed his confidence. Gatti- 
nara was an Italian, from the foot of the Alps, who 
acquired his experience in the administration of 
Upper Burgundy. We have letters of his that 
bespeak a certain boldness even to the sovereign's 
face, and in contradiction to him, and the most 
lively sense of honour. " I would live hi accord- 
ance with the laws of honour," he says, " though 
no one saw me, though I lived in the heart of a 
forest." These letters are remarkable for the 
happy art with which they always hit the very 
central point of policy J. We know, however, that 
their author's influence was not paramount. Though 
a man of penetration, and firmly rooted in the 
favour of Charles, still he could not enforce his 
views on important occasions. It has already been 
mentioned how close and constant was the commu- 
nity of ideas between Granvella and his master. 
The emperor sent him every report, and all the 
negotiations carried on with foreign ambassadors ; 

portanza consultano et giudicano ogni cosa particolare perti- 
nente all'imperatore o alii stati, et separamente ogn'uno di 
loro della sua propria provincia s'instruisce et riferisce a gli 
altri, sollecitando 1'espeditione : capo de quali tutti e Mon- 
signor d' Arras : et questi hanno di provisione dall' impera- 
tore da mille scudi sino in 1500 1'anno." 

" Respecting the Neapolitan member, see Giannone, Storia 
di Napoli, xxx. c. 2. The Cortes of Madrid, 1552, Petic. i. 
say that two members of the council of Castile must always 
accompany the imperial court. 

t Cavallo: " Sono vi poi a parte di tesoriere consultori, 
che sono ragionati (perhaps ragionatori), e con U consiglio 
d'alcuni di questi S. M. piglia a cambio." 

I His letters to Margaret, governess of the Netherlands, 
in the Lettres de Louys XII. vol. iv. 

and Granvella used, every evening, to send the 
emperor a note containing his notions respecting 
the business for the following day. When an oral 
consultation was held between the two, the con- 
fessor was indeed admitted to it, but he had no part 
in the decision *. Now, neither do we find it said 
of Granvella that he led Charles ; it is only said 
that he agreed with his master. 

The execution of those matters which were thus 
determined between the king and his confidential 
advisers, was further discussed with the two coun- 
cils. The chanceries, one of which had charge of 
matters pertaining to the Germanic empire, another, 
of those of the Italian states independent of that 
empire, and third, of those of Spain, made out the 
orders which were then transmitted to the several 
provincial administrations. 

We see how much the unity of the whole body 
politic was centred hi the person of the emperor. 
No doubt he encountered multiplied limitations hi 
the constitutions of his dominions, the policy of his 
neighbours, and the frequently inauspicious turn of 
affairs ; still we find him, to the very close of his 
life, always firm and independent of extraneous 
influence in the exercise of supreme authority. 

2. The first Ministry of Philip II. 

We have seen that the calm and reserved nature 
of Charles had pliancy enough to accommodate 
itself to various nations. We admit that his reign 
was conspicuous for the personal independence he 
maintained, and for the equal regard he extended 
to all his dominions. 

Did his son succeed him as well in his system of 
government as in his rights ? 

Again and again in the history of the house of 
Habsburg, we find it endeavouring to coerce one 
nation by means of another, and to rule such as 
were ill-disposed to it by foreign aid. Rudolf I. 
subjugated the Austrians with the help of Swa- 
bians, many a man of whom marched with him on 
foot, and ere long acquired an income of 10,000 
marks, and against whose permanent dominion 
Austria vainly struggled f. To make himself 
master of the Netherlands, Maximilian made use of 
the resources of Austria, of those troops Gaudenz 
von Ems brought him from the Tyrolese wars, and 
of German auxiliaries. Again, Philip I. entered 
Spain with Flemish and German troops ; and it 
was to Flemings that Charles at first entrusted the 
government of Spairu 

But Charles corrected himself, and hi his later 
years we find Spaniards, Flemings, and Italians 
treated by him with equal favour. 

But a peculiar re-action exhibited itself under 
Philip U. " As the Spaniards acquired the habit of 
regarding themselves, though not altogether justly, 
as the victors in the Italian and German wars, and 
the founders of the monarchy, as their pride arro- 
gated to themselves the first rank among the na- 
tions constituting the same, and that so success- 

Cavallo : " Si serve 1'imperatore del consiglio suolo di 
Monsignor Granvella. La cosa si risolve tutta fra 1'impera- 
tore et Monsignor Granvella. Rare volte, anzi dico rarissime, 
sono discrepanti fra loro d'opinione o conclusioni, non solo 
nelli negotii di stato, ma in qual altra cosa possa occorrere a 
lui, come d'andare, stare, far venire, licentiare et risolvere 
tutte le cose." 

f Albertus Argentinensis, ap. Urstis, ii. p. 103. 



fully, that the two sons of Charles, the legitimate 
Philip, and the illegitimate Don John, both insisted 
on being nothing but genuine Spaniards*, so they 
gradually made pretensions to a predominant share 
in the general government. Philip admitted their 
claims. The first deviation from Charles's system 
was that Philip regarded Castile as the head of the 
empire. Next, the council composed of natives of 
the several provinces disappeared. After Philip 
took up his residence permanently in Spain, and 
indeed, in consequence of that circumstance, he 
adopted a systsm of administration by which 
the other territories were treated as subordinate 
provinces of Castile. There had for some time 
existed distinct councils for judicial affairs, for 
the inquisition, the knightly orders, and the Indies, 
and now certain new ones were added to these, 
namely for Aragon, for Italy, and for the Ne- 
therlands; and though the latter were essentially 
quite different from the former, they seemed so 
only in incidentals +. All these councils were in 
immediate contact with the king. True, he never 
was present at their sittings ; but he made it a 
practice, at least in the earlier part of his reign, to 
have their resolutions brought forward in, a con- 
sulta$. It continued, certainly, to be the custom 
for some native representatives to sit in these com- 
mittees, but the former sittings and consultations 
in general assembly fell into disuse. 

The care of the general body of the realm lay 
principally with the privy council. May this have 
consisted of members selected from the various 
territories of the Spanish empire ? 

The manner in which Philip II.'s privy council of 
state was constituted, is highly deserving of notice. 
While he was yet princlpe he had a court assigned 
him, constituted in the Burgundian fashion, and 
made up almost wholly of Castilians. The duke of 
Alva was grand steward of the household ; Don 
Antonio de Toledo, of the same family as Alva, was 
master of the horse ; Figueroa, count of Feria, 
likewise nearly related to Alva, commanded the 
Spanish body-guards. Among the chamberlains 
(for the office of lord high chamberlain, abolished 
by the father, was not continued in the household of 
the son) we remark especially Don Ruy Gomez de 
Silva ; he was a scion of the Portuguese branch of 
a family extensively ramified in Spain and Por- 
tugal, and he became conspicuous for the decided 
favour in which he stood with Philip. These were 
the persons essentially constituting the court of the 
priiicipe. How great must our surprise be to 

* Lippomano on Don John : " in somma vuole essere 
tenuto Spagnuolo in tutte le cose." 

t Sommario dell' ordine che se tiene alia corte di Spagna 
circa il governo delli stati del re catolico, MS., thus enume- 
rates the eleven councils : " II consiglio delle Indie di 
Castilia, (i. e. the supreme court of judicature of Castile) 
d'Aragona 1 d'inquisitione di camera (a part of the supreme 
court before-mentioned) dell" ordini di guerra, (i. e. the 
privy council, with the addition of some persons acquainted 
with military affairs) di hazienda di giustitia d'ltalia 
et di stato " 

t Tiepolo : "Non si trova mai S. M. presente alle delibe- 
ration! nei consigli, ma deliberate chiama una delle tre con- 
suite, secondo che il negotio gli aspetta : 1'una e di Spagna, 
1'altra delle Indie et la terza d'ltalia, alia qual sempre si 

Sandoval, Vida y hechos del Emperador Carlos V. 
ii. 756. 

see him after he had become king, though he hud 
his father's system of business before him, though 
he was not so young as to give himself up to whom- 
soever chance happened to place near him, forming, 
nevertheless, his privy council out of these same 
persons, and committing to their guidance the 
affairs of the whole united empire. Alva, Toledo, 
Ruy Gomez, and Feria, were all members of this 
council. Two other Spaniards were associated with 
them, Manrique de Lara, the queen's mayor-domo- 
mayor, and the duke of Francavilla. On the other 
hand, neither the victories of Emanuel of Savoy, 
nor the ties of blood between the king and Ottavio 
Farnese, nor the old services of Ferrante Gon- 
zaga, nor the recent and distinguished services of 
Egmont, were potent enough to give them a place 
in the council. Even the younger Granvella, who 
had been engaged ever since his youth in the policy