« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
PITZ AND THE OTHER BRETHREN PREPARATORY TO
At the right hand of Pollich sits Johann the stable in which Christ was born. In Staupitz, vicar-general of the order of this miserable building it was the will of Augustine, and, as such, Luther's supe- God that his gospel was to be preached, rior; indeed it was he who had called the and his beloved Son Jesus Christ, as it latter to Wittemberg. Many years after
Many years after were, to be born again; not one among ward, in 1528, Luther expresses himself the cathedrals or other grand churches did as follows, writing to Staupitz : “ Through he choose for these excellent sermons." thee the light of the gospel was lit up for “When I was a young preacher," says the first time in the darkness of my soul.” | Luther himself, “I was fully in earnest,
and would willingly have made all the
world pious.” “God has led me to it as LUTHER PREACHES IN THE MONASTERY BEFORE STAU
he did Moses. Had I known all beforehand, he would have had greater trouble ere
he had led me thus far. Luther the teacher is also to have a cure
Well, as I have of souls ; the man of the school is to be- begun, I will go through with this work.” come the man of the Church. Unwillingly
In front the gray-headed Staupitz sits and fearfully did he comply with the wish among the hearers, listening attentively to of his friend Staupitz, that he should preach the address of his spiritual foster-son. "O, how I dread the pulpit! It is no trifling He lived to see the plant flourish which thing to speak to the people in the name
he had helped to rear. of God, and to preach to them!”
His first sermons, until the town church was open to him, he delivered in the small | A vow had led young Luther into a monruinous chapel of his monastery, only thir- astery; another row (added to a comty feet long and twenty broad. Myronius mission from his monastery) took him to says, “ This chapel might be compared to Rome. In the monastery, as on his pil
LUTHER'S JOURNEY TO ROME, 1510.
grimage thither, experience awaited him : on the tombs of the holy apostles. Nor in each case to be grievously undeceived. was he without a sense of the attraction
“In the year 1510,” writes Mathesius, of ancient, of classic Rome—that sanc“his monastery sent him to Rome. There tuary of the learned which he had so arhe saw the holy father the Pope, and his dently cultivated in his poor Wittemberg. pompous religion and impious courtiers. His first experience of the country is beThis greatly strengthened him afterward." ing lodged in a monastery, built of marble,
Behold Luther in Italy. The hour that at Milan ; and so as he proceeds from one first descends from the Alps into this convent to convent, he finds it like changglorious land is one of joy, of vast hopes ; | ing from palace to palace. In all, alike, and, indisputably, Luther hoped to confirm the way of living is lavish and sumptuous. his faith in the holy city, and lay his doubts | The candid German was somewhat sur
prised at the magnificence in which humil- | across the burning plains of Lombardy. ity arrayed herself, at the regal splendor By the time he reaches Padua he is fairly that accompanied penitence; and he once ill; but he persists, and enters Bologna, ventured to tell the Italian monks that it almost a dying man. The poor traveler's would be better not to eat meat of a Fri- head has been overcome by the blaze of day,—an observation which nearly cost the Italian sun, by the strange sights he him his life, for he narrowly escaped an has seen, the strangeness of manners and ambush they laid for him. He continues of sentiments. He took to his bed at Bohis journey, sad and undecided, on foot, logna, in the firm expectation of speedy
death ; strengthening himself by whisper- him high pontiff; a canonized saint was, ing in the words of the prophet and the in their language, relatus inter divos, apostle, “ The just man lives by faith.” (translated to Olympus ;) and if they did In one of his conversations he displays happen to let fall an allusion to God's with much simplicity the horror felt of grace, it was in the phrase, Deorum imItaly by the worthy Germans : “ The Ital mortalium beneficiis, (by the kind aid of the ians require no more to take away your immortal gods.) Did our German take life than that you should look into a glass; refuge in churches, he had not even the and can deprive you of all your senses by consolation of hearing a good mass. The secret poisons. The very air is deadly in Roman priest would hurry through the Italy. They close the windows with the divine service so quickly, that when Lugreatest care at night, and stop up all the ther was no further than the Gospels, the crevices." Luther asserts that both he minister who performed service was disand the brother who accompanied him fell missing the congregation with the words, ill through having slept with the windows “ Ite, missa est,” (Ye may go, service is open ; but two pomegranates that they eat, over.) These Italian priests would often with God's grace, saved their lives. He presume to show off the freethinker, and, resumed his journey, passed through Flor- when consecrating the host, to exclaim, ence only, and at last entered Rome. He “ Panis es, et panis manebis.” (Bread alighted at the convent of his order, near thou art, and bread thou shalt remain.) the Porta del Popolo.
“ As soon as
I To vail one's head and fly was the only rived I fell on my knees, raised my hands resource left. Luther quitted Rome at the to heaven, and exclaimed, “Hail, holy end of a fortnight, bearing with him into Rome, sanctified by holy martyrs, and the Germany the condemnation of Italy and blood which they have shed here !'” of the Church. In his rapid and saddenIn his enthusiasm, he says he hastened to ing visit, the Saxon had seen enough to every sacred spot, saw all, believed all. enable him to condemn, too little to allow But he soon discovered that he was the him to comprehend. And, beyond a doubt, only believer. Christianity seemed to be for a mind preoccupied with the moral forgotten in this capital of the Christian side of Christianity, to have discovered world. The pope was no longer the" any religion in that world of art, law, and scandalous Alexander VI., but the chol- policy, which constituted Italy, would have eric and warlike Julius II. ; and this father required a singular effort of philosophy. of the faithful breathed only blood and des-“ I would not,” he somewhere says,
“I olation. His great artist, Michael An- would not have missed seeing Rome for a gelo, represented him hurling his benedic- hundred thousand florins,” (which words tion at Bologna, like a Jupiter hurling he repeats three times.)
“ I should ever thunder; and Julius had just given him have been uneasy, lest I might have done an order for a tomb to be as large as a injustice to the pope.” temple. 'T was the monument, of which Of the outward show of the prince of the Moses, among other statues, has come the Church, he says, “Rome has now its down to us.
pomps; the pope goes about in triumph, The sole thought of the pope, and of fine, richly adorned horses before him, and Rome, at this period, was war with the he beareth the host on a white horse." French. Had Luther undertaken to speak Luther left the holy city with a sharp of grace and the powerlessness of works thorn in his side. “I would wish that to this strange priest, who besieged towns every one who is to become a preacher in person, and who but a short time be- had been first at Rome, and seen how fore would not enter Mirandola except matters are carried on there.” “I have through the breach, he would have met myself heard it said at Rome, “It is imwith a patient listener! His cardinals, so possible that matters can remain in that
officers serving their apprenticeships state ; things must change or break down.' to war, were politicians, diplomatists, or Again, “ Pope Julius said, “If we do not else men of letters, learned men sprung choose to be pious ourselves, let us at from the ranks of the people, who only read least not prevent others.' I have heard Cicero, and would have feared to compro- say at Rome, “If there be a hell, Rome mise their Latinity by opening the Bible. has been built on the top of it.' Rome When speaking of the pope, they styled | has been the most holy city ; but now
LUTHER IS WITH GREAT BOLEMNITIFS CREATED AND
CONSECRATED DOCTOR OF DIVINITY AND TEACHER
it has become the most unrighteous and Luther
says, “But I, Doctor Martinus, disgraceful. Whoever has been at Rome have been called upon, compelled to beknows that things are worse there than come a teacher, without any wish of my can be expressed in words, or believed.” own, from pure obedience. I had to take
upon myself the degree of doctor, and vow and promise to my beloved Holy Scriptures that I would teach and preach them
faithfully in their purity. Teaching acOn the 18th and 19th of October, 1512, cordingly, popedom has come in my way, Luther was solemnly sanctified to his great and wanted to stop me; the consequences work, as teacher of his Church and people. whereof may be seen by all who have Mathesius says,
“ Brother Martin was eyes.” appointed on St. Luke's day doctor of Staupitz had had as much trouble to the Holy Scriptures, and took the oath, persuade Luther to accept the dignity of and promised to study and proclaim them doctor as previously to persuade him to all his life ; also to defend the holy Christ- preach. To his many objections Stauian faith in writing and preaching against pitz replied, “It seems that our God will all heretics, so help him God!"
soon have much work to be done for him