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ence between old and young, the big ones and the little fellows. Neither do they respect our palace and hall, for their hall is vaulted by the fair, broad sky, their carpet is the open field, decked with fine green branches, and the walls are the end of the world. They do not care for borses and armaments. They move on feathery wheels, with which they escape the guns and flee from persecution. Great, mighty lords they be; but what they resolve, I know not. From an interpreter I learn that they propose a mighty campaign against wheat, barley, oats, malt and grains of every kind, and many of them mean to earn the knighthood and do great deeds.

Thus we sit here in the diet, look and see with loving joy, how the princes and lords together with all the estates of the realm sing merrily and live happily. But we have particular joy when we see them swagger knight-fashion, brandish their bills, and run down all opposition, that victory and honor may be theirs against corn and malt. We wish them all hail and luck, that every one of them may be speared on a fence rail. And I hold that such are the sophists and papists, with their sermons and essays. I must have them all before me in one company, that I may hear their lovely voices and sermons, and behold how very useful they are to examine whatever there is on earth, while they kick from too much leisure. To-day we have heard the first nightingale, for hitherto it would not trust in April. And we have had delightful weather, no rain, save yesterday a little. With you it has been different, perhaps. And now good-bye ; keep our house in good order. From the diet of the jack-daws, April 28, 1530.

MARTINUS LUTHER, D. From the same exile, as he called it, he wrote the famous letter to his son John,-probably the prettiest letter ever received by a young boy. Another letter told in detail what kind of a seal Luther desired to have made for bis use, namely, a black cross fixed in a heart having its natural color, because the cross “does not corrupt nature ;" the heart was to stand in a white rose, and the latter in a sky blue field surrounded by a golden ring. At the same time he wrote to princes of the realm and complained bitterly to Melanchthon that he and the Protestants at Augsburg had looked to Luther. “If it is my cause, I alone will attend to it,” he said: “I will not have it that

you recognize and name me as the principal and the beginner of this cause." His wife he addressed as “my dear master, Lady Kate," and to a friend in Nuremberg he sent the address, in which he recommended the establishment of public schools together with their compulsory attendance and their support out of the public funds. He congratulated the elector of Saxony on his escape “ from the hell at Augsburg." A friend


in Augsburg was thanked for two boxes of confectionery, and was told that Luther had lost more than half his time through "a noise and rattling in the head.” The peculiar resolution finally adopted in Augsburg Luther ridiculed as “worldly wisdom ” going to show that Christ can govern “not only talkers, but also fools.” Indeed, as he had been shocked from the beginning by the absurdity of the Papal arguments, so he was now amused by the impertinent order that the gospel should remain a strictly local affair. If bis adversaries would but keep the peace, he was very glad to accept it, “ for the Turk is after us." “We will suffer and yield whatever we can. But we beg that they will not ask of us what is not in our power." To a statesman in Augsburg, Luther expressed fair hopes for political peace, and added :

The other day I saw two miracles,----the first, when I looked out of my window, the stars in heaven, together with the whole, beautiful firmament of God; and yet I saw no pillars, on which the master bad rested his vault; but the heavens did not fall, and the mighty vault still remains firm. There are those who look for the pillars, and would fain touch and feel them. Inasmuch as they cannot, they wriggle and tremble as if the skies must surely fall from no other cause than that they cannot see and hold the pillars. If they could grasp them, the firmament would stand firm. And the second miracle consisted in vast heavy clouds that hung over us with a weight that one might liken them to a vast ocean; yet they had no foundation on which they rested ; neither were they contained in a great vessel. Nevertheless they did not fall upon us, but greeted us with a wry face, and hurried off. When they had passed away, there shone forth the foundation and our arch that held them, namely, the rainbow. Forsooth, it was a delicate, thin, slender foundation and arch, that vanished in the clouds, and was rather a haze, such as one sees through colored glass.

From the same fortress, Luther addressed an open letter to the primate of Germany, the cardinal-archbishop of Menz, who was also a secular prince. Agreement in matters of faith was declared impossible as between Protestants and Catholics, but political peace was offered and urged in pathetic terms. “Good God," Luther added, “our faith does not injure you; it keeps the peace, teaches peace, leaves you undisturbed, and teaches that we must take nothing from you, but leave you everything. That alone ought to be enough to move you to peace, if the truth alone could not do it. Verily, it helps to keep you all, and has done so hitherto." In the same letter


Luther appeals to the cardinal-archbishop as a patriot: “If German princes should attack one another, it would please the Pope, that fine product of Florence, and with a laugh he might say: Go to, you German brutes, if you will not have me for a Pope, take that." The letter concludes: “I cannot help it, I cannot but think of my poor, wretched, forsaken, despised, betrayed and inveigled Germany, which shall have from me no evil, but good alone, as is due to my own dear country."

One of Luther's companions at Koburg mentioned that often the reformer would pass three hours a day in prayer. His working hours he devoted to the translation of the prophets,a masterpiece which is, like the whole of Luther's Bible, the foremost source of pure German, and so perfect in its way

that all attempts at revising and correcting have been unpopular, although no well-informed scholar believes that Luther's translation is as accurate as is even the common English version. Nor is it a mere sentiment which has made Luther's translation so dear to all Germans, the wisest Catholics included. In a very large sense it is the matchless style which has made Luther's translation peerless. And for this reason the greatest students and masters of German prose bave been uniformly averse to that revision for which there is sufficient reason on the ground of accuracy and scholarship. But Luther did not boast in vain that he had made the Holy Spirit speak honest German; he might have added that he had made the Germans speak a language, the spirit and syntax of which may be obscure in unskilled writers, but are none the less precise, clearly defined, and singularly philosophical. No one, however, bas surpassed Luther's own style, which is to German prose even more than the diction of Shakespeare is to English poetry. Thus the few weeks of the year 1530, which Luther passed in Koburg, reveal the character of the man as a son, husband, and father, as a loyal and patriotic citizen, as a man who dealt with princes and statesmen on terms of equality, as the lover of ancient learning, as the harbinger of the present age which has returned to Luther's love of roses, as the great author engaged on his masterpiece, as the gay companion and friend, as the comforter of those in spiritual distress, and above all else as the profoundly religious character that loved God as a child loves its father, and feared God as the culprit dreads his judge. If Luther presented such a picture as an outlaw, what must be have done during the many years that he was free! One answer is to be found in the stout quarto volumes of which he filled annually one during the thirty years of his authorship; another and less direct answer is to be found in the Protestant churches and states of our time.

A characterization of Luther as a great theological and religious character has no right to become a mere eulogy, for the greatest and truest honor which we can pay to an eminent man consists rather in understanding him than in agreeing with his statements or in accepting his conclusions. And simply to agree with a man, because he has acquired great authority or fame, is less noble than it is to appreciate bim, to understand his growth, and to comprehend his characteristics. For this reason it is always safe to apply to an eminent man like Luther the strictly historical method, to learn his story as the judge in court learns the facts of the cause before him, to apply to the record the critical knife, which separates fictions from facts, and to proceed altogether in a judicial spirit that is bound to learn the truth and to accept the consequences. Nor is it, perhaps, altogether unreasonable or unprofitable to hold up to the present time a picture of Luther, the theological character. For whatever may be the glories of the present age, its reverence for theological study is not among them. In fact, the Germans themselves have done greater justice to Luther's secondary and subsidiary attainments than to his central achievement. Scholars are impressed by the weeks and months wbich Luther passed in his ravenous, omnivorous, desperate studies, prolonged until he would sink down on his bed in physical exhaustion. The German philologians have traced the slow stages by which Luther acquired, mastered and shaped the German language. Professor Franz Delitzsch has described the manner in which Luther became a master of Hebrew. Professor Köstlin has compiled the facts of Luther's life with great accuracy. But one enters a larger world in passing from the historians and eulogists of Luther to the man himself, as he appears in his daily walk and work, and in his publications. He was undoubtedly a great man, a man of genius, and a

giant. But he will be misunderstood, unless he is treated first and last as a religious character.

Men of the world outside of Germany are disposed to underrate what is characteristic in Luther, namely, his national and bis religious individuality. But it is these rather than any other traits that make up the personality of Luther. It would be unhistorical to elevate Luther, and to lower Calvin. Quite likely Luther never appreciated Calvin ; but that is no reason why we should do likewise, any more than we follow Shakespeare in studying English history. It is useless, also, to elevate Luther; he needs no elevating, and it is childish to think wbat Luther would be, if he lived now. He does not live now, and he can no inore be our principal teacher in dogmatics, than can Augustine. On the other hand, it is useless to explain his theology away, or to deny that his greatness as a man rested in the main on his religious and theological character. The sixteenth century was not more theological than is the present time, and it was not the spirit of the age that made Luther religious, but it was Lutber's religion, right or wrong, that made him the most powerful writer of his day, and the greatest man of his century. Nor is it, perhaps, a mere accident that the foremost writers of English, French, and German prose in our day have been theological writers like Newman, Renan, and Strauss. In any event, Luther's greatness cannot for a moment be separated from his religious character. Indeed, he himself foresaw with his usual penetration that a later age would think him a politician, a revolutionist, or a sectarian leader. But he protests against this view. He desires his writings to be simply a stepping-stone toward the purer faith which he found in the Bible. His religion, therefore, is at the same time his honor and bis limitation; it is the test by which he must be judged.

; He himself demands this, for a few months before he went to Koburg he published a remarkable confession of faith in which occurs the following passage:

As I see that there is the longer the more of schism and scepticism, and no end to the fury and rage of Satan, lest now or hereafter people help themselves to my writings and misquote them in order to cover their errors, as the Sacramentarians and Anabaptists have begun to do, I shall confess in this writing, before God and the world, my faith from point to point,—wherein I propose to remain until death, to die, God


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