History of the christian church



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9539 Opera Zw., VII. 263.

0540 He wrote him a very respectful letter, March 28, 1519, thanking him for his great services to the cause of letters, and congratulating him for being heartily abused by the enemies of truth and light. Even in his book against Erasmus (De Servo Arbitrio), he says at the beginning: "Viribus eloquentiae et ingenio me longissime superas." And towards the close: "Fateor, tu magnus es et multis iisque nobilissimis dotibus a Deo ornatus ... ingenio, eruditione, facundia usque ad miraculum. Ego vero nihil habeo et sum, nisi quod Christianum esse me glorier."Op. Lat. VII. 367 (Erl. Frcf. ed.).

1541 See his letters to Lange and Spalatin in De Wette, I. 39 sq., 52; 87 sq. To Lange he wrote; "Ich fürchte, Erasmus breitet Christum und die Gnade Gottes nicht genug aus, von der er gar wenig weiss. Das Menschliche gilt mehr bei ihm als das Göttliche."

2542 De Wette, II. p. 352 sqq.

3543 In De Wette, II. 498 sq. Erasmus answered, May 5, 1524.

4544 Köstlin (I. 773) says that it is not surpassed by any work of Luther, "for energy and acuteness." But Döllinger and Janssen (II. 379) judge that Luther borrowed it from the Koran rather than from the New Testament.

545 "Ipsa ratione teste nullum potest esse liberum arbitrium in homine vel angelo aut ulla creatura."Op. Lat. VII. 366.

6546 "Multa facit Deus quae verbo suo non ostendit nobis, multa quoque vult, quae verbo suo non ostendit sese velle. Sic non vult mortem peccatoris, verbo scilicet, vult autem illam voluntate illa imperscrutabili." Vol. VII. p. 222. Erl. ed. Op. Lat. The scholastic divines made a similar distinction between the voluntas signi and the voluntas beneplaciti.

7547 In 1537 he wrote to Capito, "Nullum agnosco meum justum librum nisi forte De Servo Arbitrio et Catechismum." De Wette, V. 70. In the Articles of Smalkald he again denied the freedom of the will as a scholastic error; and in his last work, the Commentary on Genesis vi:6, and xxvi, he reaffirmed the distinction of the secret and revealed will of God, which we are unable to harmonize, but for this reason he deems it safest to adhere to the revealed will and to avoid speculations on the impenetrable mysteries of the hidden will. "Melius et tutius est consistere ad praesepe Christi hominis; plurimum enim periculi in eo est, si in illos labyrinthos divinitatis te involvas." On Gen. 6:6, in the Erl. ed. of Exeg. Opera, II. 170.

8548 Form. Conc., Art. II. and XI. See Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, I. 313 sq.

9549 Ibid., I. 102 sqq. Among the condemned propositions of Quesnel are these: "The grace of Christ is necessary for every good work; without it nothing can be done.""The will of man, before conversion by prevenient grace, is capable of all evil and incapable of good."

0550 When he heard of it in 1531, he wrote to a friend, "It is a good thing that two of their leaders have perished,—Zwingli on the battle-field, and Oecolampadius shortly after of fever and abscess."—Op. III. 1422.

1551 He gives a deplorable picture of the demoralizing effects of the Reformation in a letter to Geldenhauer in 1526, Opera X. 1578-1580, quoted in full in Latin and German by Döllinger, Die Reformation, I. 13-15. The Strasburg preachers, Capito, Bucer, and Hedio, tried to refute the charges in 1530. Erasmus again came out with the charge, among others, that luxury was never greater, nor adulteries more frequent, than among the self-styled evangelicals, and appeals in confirmation to admissions of Luther, Melanchthon, and Oecolampadius. Some of his last letters, discovered and published by Horawitz (Erasmiana, 1885, No. IV. p. 44 sqq.), contain similar complaints.

2552 In his letter to Link, March 7, 1529 (in De Wette, III. 426 sq.), he calls Erasmus "a[qeon, Lucianumque, Epicurum," and in a letter to his son John, 1533 (De Wette, IV. 497), he says: "Erasmus, hostis omnium religiorum et inimicus singularis Christi, Epicuri Lucianique perfectum exemplar et idea." Comp. his judgments in the Tischreden, LXI. 93-113 (Erl. ed.).

3553 See his letter to Caspar Börner, professor of literature in Leipzig, May 28, 1522, in De Wette, II. 199-201. The letter was intended also for Erasmus, and printed under the title, "Judicium D. M. Lutheri de Erasmo Roterodamo. Epistola ad amicum 1522." He says that he would not provoke Erasmus, but was not afraid of his attack.

4554 Döllinger gives, from the R. Catholic standpoint, a full account of these scholars in the first volume of his work on the Reformation (Regensburg, 1846). On Wizel we have an interesting university program of Neander: Commentatio de Georgio Vicelio. Berlin, 1840. Strauss notices several of them from the rationalistic standpoint, in his Ulrich von Hutten.

555 On his literary labors, see Karl Hagen, l.c., I. 280 sqq.

6556 He tells in his narrative the following anecdote of a brave and quick-witted Swiss maiden. When asked by the imperial soldiers, "What are the Swiss guards doing on their post?" she replied, "Waiting for you to attack them." — "How strong is their number?" — "Strong enough to throw you all back." — " But how strong?" — "You might have counted them in the recent fight, but fright and flight made you blind." —" What do they live of?" — "Of eating and drinking." The soldiers laughed, but one drew his sword to kill her. "Verily," she said, "you are a brave man to threaten an unarmed girl. Go and attack yonder guard, who can answer you with deeds instead of words." Comp. Münch, W. P.’s Schweizerkrieg und Ehrenhandel. Basel, 1826. Drews, l.c., p. 10.

7557 Unfortunately his moral character was not free from blemish. He became a widower in 1504, and lived in illicit intercourse with his servant, who bore him a son when he was already past fifty. Christoph Scheurl wrote: "I wish Melanchthon knew Pirkheimer better: he would then be more sparing in his praise. With the most he is in bad repute." See K. Hagen, l.c., I. 347, and Drews, l.c., 14 sq.

8558 Eccius dedolatus (Der abgehobelte Eck). Auctore Ioanne Francisco Cottalambergio, Poëta Laureato. 1520. See p. 182.

9559 Bilibaldi Birckheimheri de vera Christi carne et vero ejus sanguine, ad Ioan. Oecolampadium responsio. Norembergae, 1526. Bilibaldi Pirckheymeri de vera Christi carne, etc., reponsio secunda. 1527. I give the titles, with the inconsistencies of spelling from original copies in the Union Theol. Seminary. Pirkheimer calls Oecolampadius (his Greek name for Hausschein, House-lamp) "Coecolampadius" (Blindschein, Blind-lamp), and deals with him very roughly. Drews (pp. 89-110) gives a full account of this unprofitable controversy.

0560 Comp. Döllinger, Die Reform. i. 174-182.

1561 Hans Sachs (in his Gespräch eines evang. Christen mit einem katholischen, Nürnberg, 1524) warns the Nürnbergers against their excesses of intemperance, unchastity, uncharitableness, by which they brought the Lutheran doctrine into contempt. Döllinger, l.c., I. 174 sqq., quotes testimonies to the same effect from Konrad Wickner and Lazarus Spengler, both prominent Protestants in Nürnberg, and from contemporaries in other parts of Germany.

2562 Döllinger, I. p. 533 sq., gives this letter in Latin and German, and infers from it that Pirkheimer died a member of the Catholic Church.

3563 This is substantially also the judgment of Drews, his most recent biographer, who says (l.c., p. 123): "Pirkheimer ist jeder Zeit Humanist geblieben ... In der Theorie war er ein Anhänger der neuen, gewaltigen Bewegung; aber als dieselbe anfing praktisch zu werden, erschrak er vor den Gährungen, die unvermeidlich waren. Der Humanist sah die schönen Wissenschaften bedroht; der Patrizier erschrak vor der Übermacht des Volkes; der Staatsmann erzitterte, als er den Bruch mit den alten Verhältnissen als eine Notwendigkeit fühlte. Nur ein religiös fest gegründeter Glaube war im Stande, über diesen Kämpfen den Sieg und den Frieden zu sehen. Daran aber fehlte es gerade Pirkheimer; alles theologische Interesse vermag dieses persönliche religiöse Leben nicht zu ersetzen. Wohl besass er ein lebendiges Rechtsgefühl, einen ethischen Idealismus, aber es fehlte ihm die Kraft, im eignen Leben denselben zu verwirk-lichen. Ihm war das Leben ein heiteres Spiel, solange die Tage sonnenhell waren; als sie sich umdüsterten, wollten sich die Wolken weder hinwegscherzen, noch hinwegschmähen lassen. Ein religiös, sittlicher Charakter war Pirkheimer nicht, ’Vivitur ingenio, caetera mortis erunt,’ diese Worte hat er unter sein von Dürer gezeichnetes Bild (1524) gesetzt. Sie enthalten das Glaubensbekenntnis Pirkheimers, das Geheimnis seines Lebens."

4564 Ranke (II. 126): "Dass Münzer und Karlstadt, und zwar nicht ohne Zuthun Luthers, endlich aus Sachsen entfernt wurden, trug zur Ausbreitung und Verstärkung dieser Bewegung ungemein bei. Sie wandten sich beide nach Oberdeutschland." Ranke attributes too much influence to Carlstadt’s false doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, which he published after his expulsion.

565 So called from the tied shoe which the peasants wore as a symbol of subjection, in contrast to the buckled shoe of the upper classes.

6566 On the connection of the earlier peasants’ insurrections with the movements preparatory to the Reformation, compare Ullmann’s essay on Hans Böheim of Niklashausen, in his Reformatoren vor der Reformation, vol. I. 419-446.

7567 They are given In German by Walch, Strobel, Oechsle, Gieseler, Weber. The authorship is uncertain. It is ascribed to Christoph Schappeler, a native Swiss, and preacher at Memmingen; but also to Heuglin of Lindau, Habmeier, and Münzer. See the note of Ranke, II. 135.

8568 Kurzum, eitel Teufelswerk treiben sie, und insonderheit ists der Erzteufel, der zu Mühlhausen regiert [Münzer],und nichts denn Raub, Mord, Blutvergiessen anricht, wie denn Christus von ihm sagt, Joh. 8:44, dass er sei ein Mörder von Anbeginn."Erl. ed., XXIV. 288.

9569 "Darum, lieben Herren, löset hie, rettet hie, erbarmet euch der armen Leute [i.e., not the peasants, but the poor people deluded by them]; steche, schlage, würge hie wer da kann. Bleibst du darüber todt: wohl dir, seliglicheren Tod kannst du nimmermehr überkommen. Denn du stirbst im Gehorsam göttlichs Worts und Befehls, Rom. 13:1." ... "So bitte ich nun, fliche von den Bauern wer da kann, als vom Teufel selbst."Ibid., xxiv. 294. In his explanatory tract, p. 307, this passage is repeated more strongly."Der halsstarrigen, verstockten, verblendeten Bauern erbarme sich nur niemand, sondern haue, steche, würge, schlage drein, als unter die tollen Hunde, wer da kann und wie er kann. Und das alles, auf dass man sich derjenigen erbarme, die durch solche Bauern verderbt, verjagt und verführt werden, dass man Fried und Sicherheit erhalte."

0570 Ibid., 298, 303, 307. See preceding note.

1571 Bishop Georg of Speier estimated the number of the killed at a hundred and fifty thousand. This does not include those who were made prisoners, beheaded, and hanged, or dreadfully mutilated. A hangman in the district of Würzburg boasted that he had executed by the sword three hundred and fifty in one month. Margrave George of Brandenburg had to remind his brother Casimir, that, unless he spared some peasants, they would have nothing to live on. Janssen, II. 563.

2572 Letter of Aug. 16, 1525, to Brismann (in De Wette, III. 22): "Rusticorum res quievit ubique, caesis ad centum millia, tot orphanis factis, reliquis vero in vita sic spoliatis, ut Germaniae facies miserior nunquam fuerit. Ita saeviunt victores, ut impleant suas iniquitates."

3573 "V. D. M. I. AE." = Verbum Dei manet in aetemum.

4574 But he left two illegitimate sons.

575 Extracts from the Tischreden, Erl. ed., vol. LXI., 379, 380, 385, 387, 389, 393, 394.

6576 De Wette, II. 570.

7577 Ibid., II. 643.

8578 Also spelled Bore or Boren.

9579 She was born Jan. 29, 1499, and was in the convent from 1509.

0580 Erasmus, in a letter of 1525, ascribed to Catharina from hearsay extraordinary beauty: "Lutherus duxit uxorem, puellam mire venustam, ex clara familia Bornae, sed ut narrant indotatam, quae ante annos complures vestalis esse desierat." Michelet (Life of Luther, ch. V.), probably misled by this letter, calls her "a young girl of remarkable beauty."

1581 De Wette, II. 655. On June 2, 1525, he advised Cardinal Archbishop and Elector Albrecht of Mainz, in an open letter, to marry, and to secularize the archbishopric. Ibid., p. 673.

2582 "Lutherus noster duxit Catharinam de Bora. Heri adfui rei et vidi sponsum in thalamo jacentem. [An indecent German custom of the time; see Köstlin, II. 767.] Non potui me continere, adstans huic spectaculo, quin illachrymarem, nescio quo affectu animum percellente … mirabilis Deus a in consiliis et operibus suis."

3583 See his letters of invitation in De Wette, III. 1, 2, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

4584 Ibid., III. 103, 104. Tischreden, IV. 308. Köstlin, I. 772.

585 In his letter to Franciscus Sylvius (1526): "De conjugio Lutheri certum est, de partu maturo sponsae vanus erat rumor, nunc tamen gravida esse dicitur. Si vera est vulgi fabula Antichristum nasciturum ex monacho et monacha quemadmodum isti jactitant, quot Antichristorum millia jam olim habet mundus ? At ego sperabam fore, ut Lutherum uxor redderet magis cicurem. Verum ille praeter omnem expectationem emisit librum in me summa quidem cura elaboratum, sed adeo virulentum, ut hactenus in neminem scripserit hostilius."

6586 The letter was published in the original Greek by W. Meyer, in the reports of the München Academy of Sciences, Nov. 4, 1876, pp. 601-604. The text is changed in the Corp. Reform., I. 753. Mel. calls Luther a very reckless man (ajnh;r wJ" mavlista eujcerhv"), but hopes that he will become more solemn (semnovtero").

7587 De Wette, III. 3.

8588 Ibid., III. 125.

9589 From his little farm.

0590 Saumärkterin. They lived near the pigmarket.

1591 Feb. 7, 1546, In De Wette, V. 787.

2592 Nobbe, Stammbaum der Familie des Dr. M. Luther, Grimma, 1846.

3593 The Nativity hymn,—

"Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her ,"

was written for his children in 1535. He abridged it in 1543:—

"Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schaar ."



4594 De Wette, IV. 41 sq. Comp. Luther’s Brief an sein Söhnlein Hänsigen. With woodcuts and original drawings by Ludwig Richter, Leipz. 1883. Fronde calls it "the prettiest letter ever addressed by a father to a child."Luther, p. 53.

595 Philip, son of Melanchthon.

6596 Jodocus, son of Jonas.

7597 Great-aunt, Magdalen.

8598 Erl. ed., vol. LXV. 237, in Latin and German. Lena died Sept. 20, 1542. See her picture by Cranach in Köstlin’s small biography, p. 545.

9599 "Wer nicht liebt Weib, Wein und Gesang,

Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang."

0600 The lines appeared first in the present form in the Wandsbecker Bote for 1775, No. 75, p. 300, and then in 1777 in the Musenalmanach of J. H. Voss (the poet, and translator of Homer), who was supposed to be the author, and to have foisted them upon Luther. Herder gave them a place among his Volkslieder, 1778, I. 12. Seidemann, in Schnorr’s "Archiv," vol. VIII. (1879), p. 440, has shown that the sentiment is substantially pre-Lutheran, and quotes from Luther’s Table Talk, Ser. IV., a sentence somewhat analogous, but involving a reproach to the Germans for drunkenness: "Wie wollt ihr jetzt anders einen Deutschen vorthun denn Ebrietate, praesertim talem qui non diligit Musicamet Mulieres?" See Köstlin, II. 678 sq. Another similar sentence has since been found by L. Schulze in the "Reformatorium viae clericorum " of 1494: "Absque Venere et mero rite laetabitur nemo."

1601 He liked the beer of Eimbeck and Naumburg. In one of his last letters (Feb. 7. 1546) to his wife from Eisleben, where he was treated like a prince by the counts of Mansfeld, he gives her this piece of information: "We live here very well, and the town-council gives me for each meal half a pint of ’Rheinfall’ (Rhine wine), which is very good. Sometimes I drink it with my friends. The wine of the country here is also good, and Naumburger beer is very good, though I fancy its pitch fills my chest with phlegm. The Devil has spoilt all the beer in the world with pitch, and the wine with brimstone. But here the wine is pure, such as the country gives." De Wette, V. 788.

2602 He preached some strong sermons against intemperance, and commends the Italians and Turks for sobriety. See Colloquia, ed. Bindseil, I. 195 sqq.

3603 He wrote to Justice Menius, Aug. 24, 1535 (De Wette, IV. 624), that he was often deceived, "per fictas Nonnas et generosas meretrices."

4604 See St. Louis ed. of Walch, vol. XXII., much improved by Hoppe, 1887.

5605 Köstlin, small biography, N. Y. ed. p. 554, Ger. ed. p. 592. But In his large work, vol. II. 519, he makes this just qualification: "Derbe, plumpe, unserm Ohre anstössige Worte kommen in Luther’s Reden wie in seinen Schriften, ja einigemale sogar in seinen Predigten vor. Seine Art war in der That keine feine; sie steht aber auch so noch bedeutend über dem Ton, der damals durchschnittlich in weltlichen und geistlichen Kreisen, bei Bürgern, hohen Herren und Kirchenfürsten herrschte, und jene ungünstigen Eindrücke müssen der edeln Kraft, dem Salz und Mark gegenüber, die seine Gespräche und Schriften durchdringen, auch für uns weit zurücktreten."

606 See above, p. 334 sq.

7607 See a curious tract of Andrew D. White, A History of the Doctrine of Comets, in the "Papers of the American Historical Association," N. Y., 1887, vol. II. 16.

8608 On Luther’s Vermögensumstände, see Seidemann, Luther’s Grundbesitz, 1860. Köstlin, II. 498 sqq., and his references, p. 678.

9609 See the description of Mosellanus, p. 180, and Cranach’s engraving from the year 1520, in Köstlin, p. 120 (Scribner’s ed.).

0610 In spite of this fact attested by St. Paul, 1 Cor. 9:5, in the year 57, Dr. Spalding (in his Hist. of the Prot. Reformation, I. 177, 8th ed. 1875) asserts that Peter’s wife was "probably dead before he became an apostle."

1611 Archbishop Spalding, in his History of the Reformation (I. 176), following the example of unscrupulous Romish controversialists, thus echoes the joke of Erasmus: "Matrimony was, in almost all cases, the dénouement of the drama which signalized the zeal for reformation." He refers for proof to Moore’s Travels of an Irish Gentleman in Search of a Religion, ch. XLVI., "where the great Irish poet enters into the subject at length, giving his authorities as he proceeds, and playing off his caustic wit on the hymeneal propensities of the Reformers." In looking at that chapter (for the first time), I find that it abounds in misstatements and abuse of the Reformers, whom the Irish poet calls not only "fanatics" and "bigots," but "the coarsest hypocrites" and "slaves of the most vulgar superstition " (p. 246, Philad. ed. 1833). The same poet gives us the startling piece of information (p. 248) that the Protestants were subdivided on the eucharistic question alone into countless factions such as "Panarii, Accidentarii, Corporarii, Arrabonarii, Tropistae, Metamorphistae, Iscariotistae, Schwenkenfeldians, etc., etc., etc.," and that "an author of Bellarmine’s time counted no less than two hundred different opinions on the words, ’This Is my body’ " ! Moore was evidently better at home in the history of Lord Byron than in the history of the church.
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