Puslapio vaizdai

majesty. The points usually made by actors of this part,-in the soliloquy about Anne Boleyn and King Henry, at "How much, methinks, I might despise this man!" and at Wolsey's exit, with Campeius,-were admirably made by him, and, as usual, his elocution was superb, especially in the parting scene with Cromwell, and when he spoke those solemn words:

"Had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal I serv'd my king, he would not in my age Have left me naked to my enemies."

On the New York stage King Henry the Eighth has been notably acted by, among others, Lewis Hallam, H. B. Harrison, Henry Wallack, Thomas S. Hamblin, D. W. Waller, William Rufus Blake, and Otis Skinner. The King's age in the play is thirty. Mr. Skinner made him a young man. The stage custom has been to present him according to Holbein's portrait. Wolsey has been acted here by W. C. Macready, 1827; Charles W. Couldock, 1849; Charlotte Cushman, 1857; E. L. Davenport, 1858; William Creswick, 1871; Milnes Levick, 1874; George Vandenhoff, 1874; and John Lane, 1892. The part was also played by Lawrence Barrett and by John McCullough. Gustavus Vaughan Brooke's embodiment of Wolsey was shown in Australia, and enthusiastic encomium of it is cited from the Melbourne press by his judicious biographer, W. J. Lawrence of Comber, Ireland.

The character of the Duke of Buckingham,-proud, self-assertive, and of an imperious temper in his prosperous day, but simple, manly, patient, and pathetic in his ultimate state of ruin and in the hour of

death,-can be made exceedingly effective on the stage. Robert Wilks acted the part in 1723, and, by his clear discrimination between impetuosity at the beginning and nobility of resignation at the close, invested it with dramatic importance. Johnston Forbes-Robertson, in 1892, gave a memorably dignified, gentle, and touching performance of the unfortunate nobleman, presenting an image of innate ariseloquence of the Duke's farewell speech. tocracy, and doing especial justice to the

Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester (1485-1555), in life, was a bigoted, austere, and cruel person, and in Shakspere's play he is represented as arrogant and vindictive. The part, nevertheless, in the eighteenth century, was thought to be susceptible of facetious treatment, and it was customarily allotted to an eccentric or low comedian. Ben Johnson acted it in 1723; John Hippesley in 1743; William Parsons in 1777; and Richard Suett in 1788. Mention is made of a player named Taswell (prompter at Drury Lane), who, performing Gardiner, carried a crutch, and in following the Archbishop of Canterbury, when making the exit, at the close of the scene of the primate's discomfiture of the hostile council, shook that implement derisively over Cranmer's head! Parsons also used a crutch when playing Gardiner.

The play of "King Henry VIII" is neither symmetrical in construction nor uniform in style, and it commingles the constituents of spectacle with those of drama. It is not a perfect work of art, but it depicts with marvelous fidelity the ruin of greatness, and it illustrates with deep admonitory significance the mutability of fortune and the transitory lot of






Professor of Church History in Union Theological Seminary, New York

IN f Luther, the fused, and he found their authority block

N renouncing allegiance to the pope ing the needed reform. When they re

church in Saxony and elsewhere became in reality a new institution, going its own way and living its own life. But from Luther's point of view it was simply the old church with certain unessential and disturbing accessories stripped off. This fact explains the leisurely and almost casual way in which the new movement was organized and new churches were formed.

When Luther was condemned as a heretic, his activities both as professor and preacher should have ceased at once. But the papal bull counted for so little in Wittenberg that he could go on teaching and preaching as if nothing had happened. The imperial ban was taken more seriously by the elector, who induced Luther to go into retirement for a season; but in the spring of 1522, despite Frederick's protest, the reformer was back again in Wittenberg, carrying on his work in university and church just as before. The elector might have closed the doors of the university to him, and the town council might have refused to let him preach in the city church, but they preferred, in tacit defiance of pope and emperor, to keep their hands. off, and allow him to go on unmolested.

The circumstances being what they were, the establishment of a new church seemed quite unnecessary. From the beginning it was reformation, not revolution, Luther wished-the old church brought into conformity with the word of God, not a new church independent of the old. At first he hoped that the ecclesiastical rulers, both pope and bishops, would cooperate with him in accomplish

ing the way, he became convinced that they were not a necessary part of the church. Even without them it remained intact. As he continued to administer the sacraments and preach in Wittenberg, he was still, he believed, within the church of his fathers, and to effect changes in its doctrine, discipline, and worship in defiance of pope and bishops was not to found a new church, but only to purify the old. No declaration of independence, no explicit renunciation of existing authorities, no formal constitution was needed, but simply quiet and gradual alterations as the new principles seemed to demand them and the new situation to justify them.

Had Luther been forced out of the existing organization he might have felt compelled to gather his followers into a new society, and they might have formed an independent sect, as some of the Protestants later did in England and elsewhere. But the necessity was not upon him, for he was left unmolested in the church he was in and was even allowed to reform it as he saw fit. To be sure, the ecclesiastical rulers withheld their consent; but without the elector's support they were powerless, and their fulminations went for naught. Though Luther was in active rebellion against them, and his conduct in open violation of law, the civil government was on his side. His rebellion was therefore crowned with success, and the local ecclesiastical institution, with all its belongings, was wrenched from the pope's control.

For some time no new government was formally substituted for the old. In the

city church of Wittenberg such changes as were made under Luther's direction had the approval of the town council, and no other permission was asked. The Bishop of Brandenburg, within whose jurisdiction Wittenberg lay, was entirely ignored, but he was not unfriendly to Luther and made no serious protest. In many other towns similar independence was shown, the municipal authorities taking things into their own hands and reforming as they saw fit. Sometimes the elector also lent his aid, as, for instance, in 1522, when, at Luther's solicitation, he supported the town council of Altenburg in appointing an evangelical pastor, in accordance with the wishes of the people, but against the protest of the authorities of the church. "It is the business of the Altenburg council," Luther wrote the elector, "and of your electoral Grace as well, to keep false preachers out and to permit, or if necessary see to it that a proper preacher is installed there, seals, letters, custom, law to the contrary notwithstanding." This did not mean the formal recognition of state control. It meant only that, when ecclesiastical rulers refused to take up the work of reformation, civil rulers must come to the rescue. Not official duty, but Christian love, required them to do what they could to provide for the religious welfare of their subjects.

Except on rare occasions, the Elector Frederick kept his hands off and took no active part in the work of reformation; but with the accession of his brother John, in May, 1525, the situation was changed. He was devoted heart and soul to Luther's cause and was glad to let it be known. Abandoning Frederick's policy of non-interference and ostensible neutrality, he took an active and open share in pushing the work in Saxony. One of the principal difficulties the new movement had to face was the lack of adequate financial support. In many cases those in control of ecclesiastical livings were out of sympathy with the Reformation and refused to employ evangelical preachers. In other cases the abolition of indulgences, private masses, and the like, greatly reduced the income of the churches, and too little was left to maintain a regular incumbent.

In the summer of 1525, Luther ad

vised the new elector not to respect the right of patronage when it operated to the disadvantage of the Reformation, and in the autumn he urged him to use his authority to prevent the complete impoverishment of the churches and to turn existing funds to the support of the gospel. Thus he wrote on October 31:

As the university is now in good order and the subject of worship has been taken in hand, there are two other matters demanding the attention of your Grace as civil ruler. The first is the wretched condition of the parishes. No one gives, no one pays. Offerings have ceased, and regular incomes are lacking altogether or are too meager. The common man respects neither preacher nor pastor, so that unless the parishes and pulpits are taken in hand by your Grace, and proper support provided, in a short time there will be no homes for the clergy left, and no schools or pupils. Thus God's word and service will fall to the ground. Therefore may your Grace permit God to make still further use of you, and may you be his true instrument, to your Grace's comfort and satisfaction of conscience. For to this God certainly calls you through us and through the existing need. Your Grace will find a way of doing it. There are cloisters, foundations, endowments, and funds enough, if your Grace will appropriate them to this purpose. God will also add his blessing, and will give the business success.

A year later he wrote the elector again:

Since all of us, particularly rulers, are commanded above everything else to educate the young, who are daily born and are growing up among us, and to keep them in order and in the fear of God, schools and preachers and pastors are necessary. If the parents won't see to it, let them go to the devil. If the young remain uncared for and uneducated, the fault is the government's. Moreover, the land becomes full of wild and loose persons, so that not only God's command, but our common need, compels us to find some way to meet the situation. Since papal and clerical law and order are now at an end in your Grace's realm, and all cloisters and foundations have fallen into the hands of your Grace as chief ruler, you have also the duty and responsibility to look

after these affairs. For there is no one else who can or should do it.

Where a city or village has sufficient means, your Grace has the power to compel them to support schools, pulpits, and churches. If they will not do it for their own good, it is the duty of your Grace, who are the chief guardian of the young and of all in need, to compel them by force to do it, just as they are compelled to contribute money and labor for the building of bridges and roads and for other needed improve


About the same time, at the suggestion of others, Luther urged upon the elector the appointment of a commission to visit the churches throughout the country and to report on their condition and needs.

The visitation began early in 1526, and,

after being carried on for a time in a somewhat desultory fashion, was finally carefully organized and became a most important agency in the reformation of Saxony. The visitors did not confine themselves to

the financial status of the churches, but took up the whole matter of life, worship, and doctrine. They did much to improve religious conditions and to give strength and homogeneity to the new movement. As they were named by the elector and reported to him, the control of the church by the civil government received an added impetus.

In his preface to a book of instructions prepared by Melanchthon for the use of the visitors, Luther wrote:

Now that the gospel, by the rich and unspeakable grace of God, has mercifully been restored to us, and shines so clearly that we can see how deranged, distracted, and torn Christendom is, we should have liked to erect again the genuine office of bishop and visitor, which is greatly needed.

But as

none of us was called, or had a clear commission thereto, and St. Peter will have nothing done among Christians unless it be certain it is God's work, there was no one to undertake it rather than another. And so, wishing to do only what we were sure of, we kept to the law of love, which is laid upon all Christians alike, and humbly and earnestly begged the serene, high-born, Prince John, Duke of Saxony, etc., our most gracious lord, ordained of God to be our country's prince and our earthly ruler, that out of Christian love-for by civil law he is

not bound thereto-and for the sake of God, the good of the gospel, and the benefit and salvation of the poor Christians in his dominions, he would graciously summon and appoint certain qualified persons to this office, which by God's good pleasure his Grace has kindly done.

The visitation of the churches of his diocese had always been one of the most important, though widely neglected, functions of the bishop, and the new commissioners, under the elector's authorization, were therefore assuming episcopal duties and prerogatives. As Luther remarked, when referring to the matter in a letter to Amsdorf, "We are visitors; that is, bishops."

plorable state. For a long time the reThe visitors found things in a very deligious interests of the people had been sadly neglected, and the Reformation had not done much to mend the situation. Rather it had brought wide-spread demoralization, and had broken down resupplying new ones to take their place. spect for the old sanctions, without as yet Luther himself was loud in his complaints of what he found. Thus he wrote Spala

tin, in 1529:

Everywhere the condition of the churches is most miserable. The peasants learn nothing, know nothing, and do nothing except abuse their liberty. They do not pray at all, nor do they go to confession or communion. They act as if they were wholly free from religion. As they neglected their own papal usages, they now despise ours. Dreadful it is to contemplate the administration of the Roman bishops.

His experiences as a visitor only increased Luther's distrust of the common people already sown in his heart by the peasants' war. He became more than ever convinced that they were not fit for selfgovernment, and needed to be controlled with a strong hand in religious as well as in civil affairs. To the end of his life he retained his belief in the universal priesthood of believers, so beautifully expressed in his book on Christian liberty, and the church he defined as a community of true Christians already saved, completely free, and needing no rulers and no laws. But though he had this ideal always in mind,

he was too practical, and too much concerned for the welfare of the mass of men, to become absorbed in the formation of such a select community of saints. He would be glad to have a company of genuine Christians meet for mutual edification and inspiration, but he would not have them separate themselves from the larger church, and, forming an independent sect, live in selfish communion with kindred souls. The church existed for the sake of the world, not for the sake of its own members. Its great mission was to proclaim the gospel to unbelievers and halfbelievers. The last thing he wished was. to substitute for the existing church, to which all sorts of people flocked, whatever their spiritual state, a small and private conventicle accessible only to the elect. On the contrary, he would gather all he could into the churches day by day, and so reach as many as possible with the Christian message.

He did draw a distinction between the indifferent masses and genuine Christians. To the Lord's Supper he would admit only the latter, thus making it a means of testifying publicly to one's Christian faith. But baptism, he insisted, should continue as heretofore to be administered to every child in the community, that all might share in the promise of forgiveness, and none grow up alien to the church. Thus, whatever his theory of a true spiritual. company of saints, for all practical purposes the church continued, as it had been, a public institution, constituting an integral part of the life of the community.

Luther's notion of the church as established to proclaim the gospel made it necessary, so he thought, to see that it actually did proclaim the true, and not a false, gospel. To permit its ministers to go on opposing the word of God and leading the people astray was to destroy the church altogether by making it a curse instead of a blessing to the community. Accordingly, as early as 1522 we find him insisting that only evangelical preachers shall be allowed to minister in the churches, and those opposing the gospel shall be removed from their positions. "For it is not unjust," he declared in a letter of that year to Count John Henry of Schwarzburg, “but the highest justice, to drive the wolf out of the sheepfold, and not to mind if he be disemboweled in the process. A preacher

is paid to do good, not harm. If he does harm, he thereby forfeits his stipend."

In 1526, in a letter to the Elector John, he went so far as to say that only one kind of preaching should be allowed in any town. When preachers disagree, discord is sown among the people, and it is the duty of the civil ruler to prevent all uproar and tumult.


In the matter of religious rites and ceremonies he was more liberal. Here he was quite willing that the widest variety should reign even in a single community. In 1524, a clerical friend urged the convening of a synod to agree upon a common form of worship for all the churches in sympathy with the new movement; but Luther opposed the plan as tending to produce mechanical conformity and infringe liberty in unessential matters. little over a year later, in response to numerous requests, he published his "Deutsche Messe," or "German Order of Worship," not as a law to govern the services, but as an indication of what was done in the Wittenberg church. "First of all," he said, "I beg those who examine this order of worship, and desire to follow it, not to make out of it a binding rule or constrain any one's conscience, but in accordance with Christian liberty to use it as they please when, where, and as long as it proves adapted to the need.”

The book, he goes on to say, is not intended for those already Christians, they have their own spiritual worship and need none of his help,-but for those who wish to become Christians and particularly for the young and immature. "For their sakes you must read, sing, pray, write, and versify. If it would do any good, I should be glad to have all the bells ring and organs play and everything make a noise that could." And a little farther on: "Let us not be too proud and despise such child's play. When Christ wished to attract men, he had to become a man; and if we would attract children, we must become children with them."

He recommended the use of German in the services, but, with the interest of a pedagogue rather than a pastor, he wished to retain some Latin as a help to pupils in the schools. For the same reason, he said, he would be glad to introduce Greek and Hebrew, if they were as generally studied as Latin.

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