Puslapio vaizdai


[ocr errors]

of political sovereignty over the Western earlier writings show, Luther's thought world. He republished the work with a was largely occupied with educational and fiery preface of his own, and from that religious questions. Now he began to contime on was one of the bitterest opponents cern himself with other matters altogether, of the Roman see. He became convinced and to dream of a reformation which that Germany's subjection to it was the should affect every phase of national life. principal cause of all the ills of his native Hutten's friendship for Luther also land, and exchanged the career of a mere brought the reformer the support of many litterateur for that of a political agitator. other German noblemen, and gave him a Before long he was widely recognized as feeling of personal security and indepenthe most influential member of the young dence quite unknown before. In his letGerman party and

ters of 1520 he rethe chief leader in

ferred frequently the movement for

and with great satthrowing off the

isfaction to his new Roman yoke. At

allies. Writing to Augsburg, in 1518,

Spalatin in July he he did much to

said: arouse the enmity of the members of

I enclose a letter the diet to the holy

from the Francosee. He had no

nian knight, Sylvesinterest as yet in

ter Schaumberg, and Luther his

should be glad, if cause. He looked

it is not too much with contempt upon

trouble, to have the the whole thing as

prince mention it in a mere monk's quar

his communication rel. But after the

to the Cardinal of Leipsic debate, per

St. George, that haps under the in

they may

know, fluence of his old

even if they drive friend Crotus, he

me out of Witsaw that the Wit

tenberg, with their tenberg professor

detestable attacks, was the most for

they will accommidable opponent

plish nothing, but the papacy had yet

will only make their encountered and From the painting by Lucas Cranach

case worse. For now thought of him as DUKE GEORGE OF SAXONY

not merely in Boa possible ally. At

hemia, but in the the time he was in the service of Arch- heart of Germany itself, there are those bishop Albert of Mayence and there were able and willing to protect the exile in difficulties in the way of forming an ac- spite of them and all their thunders. There quaintance with Luther; but he sent him is danger that, once under their protecgreetings, and in the spring of 1520, tion, I shall be much more severe in atthrough the intervention of common tacking the Romanists than if I remain unfriends, the two men got into communi- der the dominion of the prince, engaged in cation with each other, and though only the work of teaching. This without doubt temporary, their friendship, while it lasted, will occur unless God prevents. I shall not was of great importance for them both. then be obliged to consider the prince, whom It opened Hutten's eyes to the religious I have hitherto respected on many occasions, issues involved in the national movement, even when provoked. Let them know that and Luther's to the importance of that I frequently refrain from attacking them movement for his own cause. Hitherto, not because of my own modesty or their while not blind to the economic and social tyranny or merit, but because of the name evils of the day, as many passages in his and authority of the prince, as well as the


From a carbon print by Braun & Co.


common good of the Wittenberg students. Under the influence of his newly formed As for me, the die is cast. Rome's fury and connection with such warriors as these, favor are alike despised. Never will I be Luther even went so far as to give expresreconciled, or commune with her.

sion to sentiments of a decidedly violent

sort. In June, referring to a new attack Not simply Schaumberg, but also no

by Prierias, he wrote: less a person than Franz von Sickingen, friend and protector of Hutten, and the It seems to me, if the fury of the Romanmost powerful and widely feared knight ists goes on in this fashion, no remedy is left of Germany, offered the reformer an asy- except for emperor, kings, and princes to lum and assured him of his warm interest. arm themselves and attack these pests of Sickingen and Schaumberg, Luther wrote the whole world, and settle the affair no to Spalatin, had freed him altogether from longer with words, but with the sword. For the fear of men.

what do these lost men, deprived even of common sense, say? Exactly what was pre- and murder, and I have written the man to dicted of antichrist, as if we were more that effect. By the word the world has been irrational than blockheads. If we punish conquered and the church preserved, and thieves with the halter, brigands with the by the word it will be repaired. Antichrist sword, heretics with fire, why do we not also, as he began without violence, will withstill more attack with every sort of weapon out violence be overthrown by the word. these masters of perdition, these cardinals, these popes, and all this crowd of Roman And a little later: Sodom, who corrupt the church of God unceasingly? Why do we not bathe our hands

I am without blame, for I have striven to in their blood that we may rescue ourselves bring it about that the German nobility and our children from this general and most

should check the Romanists, as they are dangerous confiagration?

well able to do, with resolutions and edicts, not with the sword. For to attack the un

armed masses of the clergy would be like To be sure, too much should not be

making war upon women and children. made of such utterances. They are exceptional in Luther's writings. As a rule, he earnestly deprecated physical violence he was evidently feeling the influence of

But in the spring and summer of 1520 and armed revolution. The following his new friends and entering rather reckwinter he declared himself entirely out of sympathy with Hutten's warlike plans, he steadied himself again and realized that

lessly into their warlike ideas. Gradually writing to Spalatin:

the cause he was interested in would only You see what Hutten desires. I do not be hindered by violence and war. Thencewish to battle for the gospel with violence forth he was unalterably opposed to both.

(To be continued)

[blocks in formation]
[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed]








« AnkstesnisTęsti »