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ABOVE, LUTHER PRAYING. PRINCIPAL SCENE, THE PRE
versy, became nevertheless the watch- his rash and criminal handling of God's word of party.
word.” (October 27th, 1527.) “What Zwingli dreaded a physical interpre- a fellow is that Zwingle, with his rank tation ; Luther, on the contrary, dreaded ignorance of grammar and dialectics, not the evaporation of the spiritual element to speak of other sciences !” (November of the sacrament of the communion. One 28th, 1527.) considered that he defended the corner- To the left of the picture, Melancthon stone of evangelical Protestantism ; the and Ecolampadius are conversing ; behind other the foundation of the Christian them, Philip of Hesse and Ulrich of Church. On one side the cry was, “ The Wurtemberg follow the conversation bespirit quickeneth, the flesh profiteth noth-tween Luther and Zwingli with extreme ing !" the other side maintained the pres- attention; to the right, several other ence of the entire Christ.
theologians belonging to the two contendProfound and insurmountable antitheses ing parties sit under the portrait of the of religious thought and practice, defying peaceable Frederick the Wise. the discriminating power of the human understanding!
In vain the Swiss sought to establish BENTATION OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION, 1530. a cordial union, notwithstanding these That which had been heard thirteen differences, or rather rising above them. years before at Wittemberg, on the 31st “ There are no people on earth with whom of October, 1517, like the voice of a watchI would more willingly be united than man at midnight, was in full daylight, on those of Wittemberg !" cried Zwingli in the 25th of June, 1530, proclaimed at the tears. “Ye have a different spirit from court of the Bishop of Augsburg, before ours !” was Luther's implacable reply. the emperor and the country, as the stead“ Conscience is a shy thing ; therefore fast conviction of many thousand German we must not act lightly in such great hearts. matters, nor introduce anything new, un- Melancthon, transformed at Augsburg less we have the distinct word of God into a partisan leader, and forced to do for it. We deem, truly, that our op- battle dayly with legates, princes, and ponents mean well ; but it will be seen emperor, was exceedingly discomposed that their arguments do not satisfy con- with the active life with which he had science, as opposed to the meaning of the been saddled, and often unbosomed his words, This is my body."
troubles to Luther, when all the comfort Even a Christian and brotherly union he got was rough rebuke: “You tell me was rejected. “To-day,” says Luther, of your labors, dangers, tears; am I on “ the Landgrave proposed that we should, roses ? Do not I share your burden? although maintaining different opinions, Ah! would to Heaven my cause were still keep together as brethren and mem- such as to allow me to shed tears !" bers in Christ. But we want not such (June 20th.) May God reward the brethren or members ; let us, however, tyrant of Saltzburg, who works thee so have peace and good-will!"
much ill, according to his works! He At other times he speaks with great deserves another sort of answer from thee; severity of them. In 1527, he published such as I would have made him, pera work against Zwingle and Ecolam- chance; such as has never struck his ear. padius, in which he styled them New They must, I fear, hear the saying of Wickliffites, and denounced their opinions Julius Cæsar: 'They would have it.' as sacrilegious and heretical. At length,
. . I write in vain, because, in 1528, he said, “I know enough, and with thy philosophy, thou wishest to set more than enongh, of Bucer's iniquity to all these things right with thy reason, feel no surprise at his perverting against that is, to be unreasoning with reason. me my own published sentiments on the Go on; continue to kill thyself so, withsacrament.
Christ keep you, out seeing that neither thy hand nor thy -you who are living in the midst of these mind can grasp this thing.” (30th June, ferocious beasts, these vipers, lionesses, 1530.) “God has placed this cause in a panthers, with almost more danger than certain spot, unknown to thy rhetoric and Daniel in the lions' den.” “I believe thy philosophy—that spot is faith ; there Zwingle to be worthy of a holy hate for all things are inaccessible to the sight;
and whoever would render them visible, “With sighs and prayer," he writes to apparent, and comprehensible, gets pains Melancthon, “ I am in truth faithfully by and tears as the price of his labor, as thou your side. The cause concerns me also, hast. God has said that his dwelling is indeed more than any of you; and it has in the clouds and thick darkness. Had not been begun lightly or wickedly, or for Moses sought means of avoiding Pharaoh's the sake of honors or worldly good; in army, Israel would, perhaps, still be in this the Holy Ghost is my witness, and Egypt. .
If we have not faith, the cause itself has shown it until now. why not seek consolation in the faith of If we fall, Christ falls with us—he, the others, for some must necessarily have it, ruler of the world : and though he should though we have not? Or else, must we fall, I would rather fall with Christ than say that Christ has abandoned us before stand with the emperor. Christ is the the fulfillment of time? If he be not with conqueror of the world ; that is not false, us, where is he in this world? If we be not I know! Why then should we fear the the Church, or part of the Church, where conquered world, as if it were the conis the Church? Is Ferdinand the Church, queror ?" or the Duke of Bavaria, or the pope, or the The artist has grouped the Reformers Turk, or their fellows? If we have not to the left, and the Catholics to the right God's word, who has ? These things are of the spectator. There stands Melancbeyond thee, for Satan torments and weak- thon, with his careworn, thoughtful counens thee. That Christ may heal thee is tenance, full of grief over the impending my sincere and constant prayer!" (June separation of the Churches; beside him, 29th.) “I am in poor health.
with hands folded in prayer, the elector, But I despise the angel of Satan, that is John the Constant; behind him, the marbuffeting my flesh. If I cannot read or grave, George of Brandenburg; and, write, I can at least think and pray, and leaning on his sword, Philip of Hesse. even wrestle with the devil; and then Before the emperor stands the chancellor, sleep, idle, play, sing. Fret not thyself Christian Baier, reading with a loud voice away, dear Philip, about a matter which the evangelical confession. On the stairs is not in thy hand, but in that of One in the background, the people are seen mightier than thou, and from whom no one pushing in, and listening with attention. can snatch it."
Above, in the Gothic arch, Luther is seen “Great is my joy,” says Luther,“ to have in prayer. In the lower compartment lived till this hour, when Christ is pro- appear Luther's and Melancthon's coatclaimed by such confessors, before such of-arms, connected by a band, on which an assembly, through so glorious a con we read Luther's motto of those days, fession! Now the word is fulfilled: "I taken from his favorite Psalm : Non will speak of thy testimony also before moriar, sed vivam, “ I shall not die, but kings.' The other also will be fulfilled: live, and declare the works of the Lord.” • Thou hast not let me be put to shame;' | Such was the presentiment of his soul for "whosoever shall confess me before regarding himself and his mission. men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in heaven.'”
In this spirit he comforted his friends with the most joyful confidence: “Ye have The members of the Evangelical Church confessed Jesus Christ; ye have offered had published their General Confession at peace, rendered obedience to the emperor, Augsburg. It is true the source of this borne evil, have been covered with con Confession could only be found in the tumely, and have not returned evil for Bible; and the Bible became their propevil. To sum all, ye have worthily car- erty only through Luther's translation. ried on the sacred work as it becometh “ This is one of the greatest miracles," his saints. Look up, and lift up your says Mathesius, “which our Lord has heads, for your deliverance is nigh!" caused to be performed, by Dr. Martin
Being in the castle at Coburg—which, Luther, before the end of the world, that froin a Sinai, he intended to make his he giveth us Germans a very beautiful Sion-Luther could only in the spirit and version of the Bible, and explaineth to us in prayer be present with his friends during his eternal divine nature, and his merciful the decisive hours at Augsburg.
will, in good intelligible German words.
THE TRANSLATION OF TIE BIBLE
“When the whole German Bible had joined by strange doctors and other learnbeen published, Dr. Luther began anew to ed men
—Dr. Bernhard Ziegler, Dr. Forrevise it with great zeal, industry, and stenius, and others. prayer. And as the Son of God had “ After our doctor had looked through promised, that where two or three were the published Bible, and consulted Jews gathered together in his name, he would and foreign philologists, and had also inbe in the midst of them,' he caused a quired among old German persons for sanhedrim, as it were, of the best people fitting German words, he joined the above then about him to assemble weekly, for a assembly with his Latin and new German few hours before supper, at his house ; Bible ; he had also the Hebrew text namely, Dr. Bugenhagen, Dr. Justus always with him. Melancthon brought Jonas, Dr. Kreuziger, Melancthon, Mat- the Greek text ; Dr. Kreuziger, both the theus Aurogallus, and also George Rörer Hebrew and the Chaldee Bibles. The the corrector. These were frequently professors had several tables beside them;
and Dr. Pomacer had also a Latin text “I hold that the magistrates ought to before him. Every one had previously force parents to send their children to prepared himself by studying the text. school. Can they not force their subjects Then Luther, as president, proposed a to bear pikes and muskets in war-time ? passage, and collected the votes, and heard why not much more then to send their what each one had to say on it, according children to school ? for in this instance a to the peculiarity of the language, and the worse war impendeth against the detestinterpretation of the old doctors." able devil, who seeketh to drain all cities
In the picture, Luther stands between and countries dry of all worthy people, Melancthon and Bugenhagen; to the until he have extracted the kernel, so left, looking up at Luther, Jonas; beside that only the empty useless shell of worthhim, Dr. Forstenius; and to the right, Dr. less people be left standing, whom he may Kreuziger, conversing with the rabbis. play with and deceive as he listeth!
Therefore let all those work who can!
you enough: ye have heard your prophet.” AMONG the finest fruits of the reform In this spirit he presented to the youth movement was the religious instruction of of his nation that masterpiece of popular youth in the schools of the people; and instruction in the elementary truths of nothing lay more at Luther's heart. Christianity, his Little Catechism.