§ 76. The Three Electors.

G. Spalatin: Friedrich d. Weise, Lebensgeschichte, ed. by Neudecker and Preller, Jena, 1851. Tutzschmann: Fr. d. W., Grimma, 1848. Ranke, vol. II. Kolde: Friedrich der Weise und die Anfänge der Reformation, Erlangen, 1881. Köstlin in the Studien u. Kritiken, 1882, p. 700, (vers. Kolde). Comp. §§ 26 and 61.


Shortly before the close of the Peasants’ War, Frederick III., surnamed the Wise, Elector of Saxony (1486–1525), died peacefully as he had lived, in his sixty-third year, May 5, 1525. His last hours at the castle of Lochau form a striking contrast with the stormy and bloody scenes around him. He hoped that the common people would not prevail, but admitted that they had reason to complain of harsh treatment. "Dear children," he said to his servants, "if I have wronged any one of you, I beg you to forgive me for God’s sake; we princes do many naughty things to the poor people." Shortly before his death, he partook of the holy communion in both kinds. This is the only distinct Protestant act in his life. His body was removed to Wittenberg, and buried in the castle church at which Luther had posted his Ninety-Five Theses. Melanchthon delivered a Latin oration; Luther wrote letters of condolence to his brother and nephew, who succeeded him, and praised his wisdom, his kindness to his subjects, his love of justice and hatred of falsehood. Aleander, the Pope’s legate at Worms, called him the old fox of Saxony, but in history he bears the name of the Wise. He had charge of the German Empire after the death of Maximilian; he modestly declined the imperial crown; he decided the election of King Charles of Spain, and was the only Elector who did not sell his vote.

Frederick was a devout Catholic, a believer in relics and indulgences, but at the same time a lover of fair dealing, an admirer of Luther, and much concerned for his university. He saved the German Reformation by saving the Reformer, without openly breaking with the Catholic Church. He never saw Luther, except at a distance in the Diet of Worms, and communicated with him chiefly through his chaplain and secretary, Spalatin. His cautious reserve was the best policy for the time.

Frederick was succeeded by his brother, John the Steadfast or Constant (1525–1532). He was less prudent and influential in politics, but a more determined adherent of the Reformation. He was too fat to mount his horse without the aid of a machine. He went to sleep at times under Luther’s sermons, but stood by him at every cost. His motto was:  "The word of God abideth for ever," which was placed on his ensigns and liveries.573  He was the first to sign the immortal protest of Speier in 1529, and the Confession of Augsburg in 1530.

His son and successor, John Frederick the Magnanimous (1532–1554), survived Luther. He founded the University of Jena. He suffered the disastrous defeat at Mühlberg (April 24, 1547), and would rather lose his Electorate and half of his estates than deny the evangelical faith in which he was brought up. How different was the conduct of Elector Augustus the Strong of Saxony, who sold the Lutheran faith of his ancestors for the crown of Poland (1697), and disgraced both by his scandulous life.

Luther has left some characteristic remarks about his three sovereigns. Of Frederick, whom he only knew from a distance, he said, "He was a wise, intelligent, able, and good man, who hated all display and hypocrisy. He was never married.574  His life was pure and modest. His motto ’Tantum quantum possim’ was a sign of his good sense .... He was a fine manager and economist. He listened patiently in his council, shut his eyes, and took notes of each opinion. Then he formed his own conclusion. Such a prince is a blessing from God." Of John he said, "He had six pages to wait on him. They read the Bible to him for six hours every day. He often went to sleep, but when he awoke he had always some good text in his mouth. At sermon he used to take notes in a pocket-book. Church government and secular affairs were well administered. The Emperor had only good to say of him. He had a strong frame, and a hard death. He roared like a lion." John Frederick he judged to be "too indulgent, though he hates untruth and loose living. He fears God, and has his five wits about him. You never hear an impure or dishonorable word from his lips. He is a chaste husband, and loves his wife,—a rare virtue among kings and princes. One fault he has: he eats and drinks too much. Perhaps so big a body requires more than a small one. Otherwise he works like a donkey; and, drink what he will, he always reads the Bible or some good book before he goes to sleep."575

These three Electors of Saxony are the model princes of the Lutheran Reformation, which owes much to their protection. Philip of Hesse was more intelligent, brilliant, liberal, and daring than any of them, but his bigamy paralyzed his influence. He leaned more to the Reformed side, and stood on good terms with Zwingli. The most pious of the princes of Germany in the sixteenth century was Frederick III., surnamed the Pious, Elector of the Palatinate (1559–1576), who introduced the Heidelberg Catechism.

The Protestant sovereigns became supreme bishops in their respective dominions. They did not preach, nor administer the sacraments, but assumed the episcopal jurisdiction in the government of the Church, and exercised also the right of reforming the Church (jus reformationis) in their dominions, whereby they established a particular confession as the state religion, and excluded others, or reduced them to the condition of mere toleration. This right they claimed by virtue of a resolution of the Diet of Speier, in 1526, which was confirmed by the Peace of Augsburg, 1555, and ultimately by the Peace of Westphalia, 1648. The Reformers regarded this secular summepiscopate as a temporary arrangement which was forced upon them by the hostility of the bishops who adhered to the Pope. They justified it by the example of Josiah and other pious kings of Israel, who destroyed idolatry and restored the pure worship of Jehovah. They accepted the protection and support of the princes at the sacrifice of the freedom and independence of the church, which became an humble servant of the state. Melanchthon regretted this condition; and in view of the rapacity of the princes, and the confusion of things, he wished the old bishops back again, and was willing even to submit to the authority of a pope if the pope would allow the freedom of the gospel. In Scandinavia and England the episcopal hierarchy was retained, or a new one substituted for the old, and gave the church more power and influence in the government.


 § 77. Luther’s Marriage. 1525.


I. Luther’s Letters of May and June, 1525, touching on his marriage, in De Wette’s collection, at the end of second and beginning of third vols. His views on matrimonial duties, in several sermons, e.g., Predigt vom Ehestand, 1525 (Erl. ed., xvi. 165 sqq.), and in his Com. on 1 Cor. vii., publ. Wittenberg, 1523, and in Latin, 1525 (Erl. ed., xix. l-69). He wished to prevent this chapter from being used as a Schanddeckel der falsch-berümten Keuschheit. His views about Katie, in Walch, XXIV. 150. His table-talk about marriage and woman, in Bindseil’s Colloquia, II. 332–336. A letter of Justus Jonas to Spalatin (June 14, 1525), and one of Melanchthon to Camerarius (June 16).

II. The biographies of Katharina von Bora by Walch (1752), Beste (1843), Hofmann(1845), Meurer(1854). Uhlhorn: K. v. B., in Herzog2, vol. II. 564–567. Köstlin: Leben Luthers, I. 766–772; II. 488 sqq., 605 sqq.; his small biography, Am. ed. (Scribner’s), pp. 325–335, and 535 sqq. Beyschlag: Luther’s Hausstand in seiner reform. Bedeutung. Barmen, 1888.

III. Burk: Spiegel edler Pfarrfrauen. Stuttgart, 3d ed. 1885. W. Baur (Gen. Superintendent of the Prussian Rhine Province): Das deutsche evangelische Pfarrhaus, seine Gründung, seine Entfaltung und sein Bestand. Bremen, 1877, 3d ed. 1884.


Amidst the disturbances and terrors of the Peasants’ War, in full view of his personal danger, and in expectation of the approaching end of the world, Luther surprised his friends and encouraged his foes by his sudden marriage with a poor fugitive nun. He wrote to his friend Link: "Suddenly, and while I was occupied with far other thoughts, the Lord has, plunged me into marriage."

The manner was highly characteristic, neither saint-like nor sinner-like, but eminently Luther-like. By taking to himself a wife, he wished to please his father, to tease the Pope, and to vex the Devil. Beneath was a deeper and nobler motive, to rescue the oldest ordinance of God on earth from the tyranny of Rome, and to vindicate by his own example the right of ministers to the benefit of this ordinance. Under this view, his marriage is a public event of far-reaching consequence. It created the home life of the evangelical clergy.

He had long before been convinced that vows of perpetual celibacy are unscriptural and unnatural. He held that God has created man for marriage, and that those who oppose it must either be ashamed of their manhood, or pretend to be wiser than God. He did not object to the marriage of Carlstadt, Jonas, Bugenhagen, and other priests and monks. But he himself seemed resolved to remain single, and continued to live in the convent. He was now over forty years of age; eight years had elapsed since he opened the controversy with Rome in the Ninety-Five Theses; and, although a man of powerful passions, he had strictly kept his monastic and clerical vow. His enemies charged him with drinking beer, playing the lute, leading a worldly life, but never dared to dispute his chastity till after his marriage. As late as Nov. 30, 1524, he wrote to Spalatin  I shall never take a wife, as I feel at present. Not that I am insensible to my flesh or sex (for I am neither wood nor stone); but my mind is averse to wedlock, because I daily expect the death of a heretic."576  But on April 10, 1525, he wrote to the same friend: "Why do you not get married?  I find so many reasons for urging others to marry, that I shall soon be brought to it myself, notwithstanding that enemies never cease to condemn the married state, and our little wiseacres (sapientuli) ridicule it every day."577  He got tired of his monastic seclusion; the convent was nearly emptied, and its resources cut off; his bed, as Melanchthon tells us, was not properly made for months, and was mildewed with perspiration; he lived of the plainest food; he worked himself nearly to death; he felt the need of a helpmate.

In April, 1523, nine nuns escaped from the convent of Nimptsch near Grimma, fled to Wittenberg, and appealed to Luther for protection and aid. Among them was Catharina von Bora,578 a virgin of noble birth, but poor, fifteen years younger than Luther,579 not remarkable for beauty or culture, but healthy, strong, frank, intelligent, and high-minded. In looking at the portraits of Dr. and Mrs. Luther in their honeymoon, we must remember that they were painted by Cranach, and not by Raphael or Titian.580

Catharina had been attached and almost engaged to a former student of Wittenberg from Nürnberg; but he changed his mind, to her great grief, and married a rich wife (1523). After this Luther arranged a match between her and Dr. Glatz of Orlamünde (who was afterwards deposed); but she refused him, and intimated to Amsdorf, that she would not object to marry him or the Reformer. Amsdorf remained single. Luther at first was afraid of her pride, but changed his mind. On May 4, 1525, he wrote to Dr. Rühel (councilor of Count Albrecht of Mansfeld, and of Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz), that he would, take his Katie to wife before he died, in spite of the Devil."581  He left his friends ignorant of the secret, deeming it unwise to talk much about such delicate matters. "A man," he said, "must ask God for counsel, and pray, and then act accordingly."

On the evening of June 13, on Tuesday after Trinity Sunday, he invited Bugenhagen, Jonas, Lucas Cranach and wife, and a professor of jurisprudence, Apel (an ex-Dean of the Cathedral of Bamberg, who had himself married a nun), to, his house, and in their presence was joined in matrimony to Catharina von Bora in the name of the Holy Trinity. Bugenhagen performed the ceremony in the customary manner. On the following morning he entertained his friends at breakfast. Justus Jonas reported the marriage to Spalatin through a special messenger. He was affected by it to tears, and saw in it the wonderful hand of God.582

On June 27 Luther celebrated his wedding in a more public, yet modest style, by a nuptial feast, and invited his father and mother and his distant friends to "seal and ratify" the union, and to "pronounce the benediction."583  He mentioned with special satisfaction that he had now fulfilled an old duty to his father, who wished him to marry. The University presented him with a rich silver goblet (now in possession of the University of Greifswald), bearing the inscription: "The honorable University of the electoral town of Wittenberg presents this wedding gift to Doctor Martin Luther and his wife Kethe von Bora." The magistrate provided the pair with a barrel of Eimbeck beer, a small quantity of good wine, and twenty guilders in silver. What is very remarkable, Archbishop Albrecht sent to Katie through Rühel a wedding gift of twenty guilders in gold; Luther declined it for himself, but let Katie have it.584  Several wedding-rings of doubtful genuineness have been preserved, especially one which bears the image of the crucified Saviour, and the inscription, "D. Martino Luthero Catharina v. Boren, 13 Jun. 1525." It has been multiplied in 1817 by several copies. They lived together in the old Augustinian convent, which was now empty. He was not much interrupted in his studies, and at the end of the same year he published his violent book against Erasmus, who wondered that marriage had not softened his temper.

The event was a rich theme for slander and gossip. His enemies circulated a slander about a previous breach of the vow of chastity, and predicted that, according to a popular tradition, the ex-monk and ex-nun would give birth to Antichrist. Erasmus contradicts the slander, and remarked that if that tradition was true, there must have been many thousands of antichrists before this.585  Melanchthon (who had been invited to the feast of the 27th of June, but not to the ceremony of the 13th), in a Greek letter to his friend Camerarius (June 16), expressed the fear that Luther, though he might be ultimately benefited by his marriage, had committed a lamentable act of levity and weakness, and injured his influence at a time when Germany most needed it.586

Luther himself felt at first strange and restless in his new relation, but soon recovered. He wrote to Spalatin, June 16, "l have made myself so vile and contemptible forsooth that all the angels, I hope, will laugh, and all the devils weep."587  A year after he wrote to Stiefel (Aug. 11, 1526): "Catharina, my dear rib, salutes you, and thanks you for your letter. She is, thanks to God, gentle, obedient, compliant in all things, beyond my hopes. I would not exchange my poverty for the wealth of Croesus."588  He often preached on the trials and duties of married life truthfully and effectively, from practical experience, and with pious gratitude for that holy state which God ordained in paradise, and which Christ honored by his first miracle. He calls matrimony a gift of God, wedlock the sweetest, chastest life, above all celibacy, or else a veritable hell.


 § 78. Luther’s Home Life.


Luther and Katie were well suited to each other. They lived happily together for twenty-one years, and shared the usual burdens and joys. Their domestic life is very characteristic, full of good nature, innocent humor, cordial affection, rugged simplicity, and thoroughly German. It falls below the refinement of a modern Christian home, and some of his utterances on the relation between the two sexes are coarse; but we must remember the rudeness of the age, and his peasant origin. No stain rests upon his home life, in which he was as gentle as a lamb and as a child among children.

"Next to God’s Word," he said from his personal experience, "there is no more precious treasure than holy matrimony. God’s highest gift on earth is a pious, cheerful, God-fearing, home-keeping wife, with whom you may live peacefully, to whom you may intrust your goods and body and life."

He loved his wife dearly, and playfully called her in his letters "my heartily beloved, gracious housewife, bound hand and foot in loving service, Catharine, Lady Luther, Lady Doctor, Lady of Zulsdorf.589  Lady of the Pigmarket,590 and whatever else she may be." She was a good German Hausfrau, caring for the wants of her husband and children; she contributed to his personal comfort in sickness and health, and enabled him to exercise his hospitality. She had a strong will, and knew how to take her own part. He sometimes speaks of her as his "Lord Katie," and of himself as her "willing servant." "Katie," he said to her, "you have a pious husband who loves you; you are an empress." Once in 1535 he promised her fifty guilders if she would read the Bible through; whereupon, as he told a friend, it became a very serious matter with her." She could not understand why God commanded Abraham to do such a cruel thing as to kill his own child; but Luther pointed her to God’s sacrifice of his only Son, and to the resurrection from the dead. To Katie and to Melanchthon he wrote his last letters (five to her, three to Melanchthon) from Eisleben shortly before his death, informing her of his journey, his diet and condition, complaining of fifty Jews under the protection of the widowed Countess of Mansfeld, sending greetings to Master Philip (Melanchthon), and quieting her apprehensions about his health.

"Pray read, dear Katie, the Gospel of John and the little Catechism .... You worry yourself about your God, just as if He were not Almighty, and able to create ten Doctor Martin Luthers for the old one drowned perhaps in the Saale, or fallen dead by the fireplace, or on Wolf’s fowling floor. Leave me in peace with your cares; I have a better protector than you and all the angels. He—my Protector—lies in the manger and hangs upon a Virgin’s breast, but He sits also at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. Rest, therefore, in peace. Amen."591

In his will (1542), seventeen years after his marriage, he calls her a "pious, faithful, and devoted wife, full of loving, tender care towards him." At times, however, he felt oppressed by domestic troubles, and said once he would not marry again, not even a queen. Those were passing moods. "Oh, how smoothly things move on, when man and wife sit lovingly at table!  Though they have their little bickerings now and then, they must not mind that. Put up with it." "We must have patience with woman, though she be it times sharp and bitter. She presides over the household machinery, and the servants deserve occasionally a good scolding." He put the highest honor of woman on her motherhood. "All men," he said, "are conceived, born, and nursed by women. Thence come the little darlings, the highly prized heirs. This honor ought in fairness to cover up all feminine weakness."

Luther had six children,—three daughters, two of whom died young, and three sons, Hans (John), Martin, and Paul. None inherited his genius. Hans gave him much trouble. Paul rose to some eminence as physician of the Elector, and died at Dresden, 1593. The sons accompanied their father on his last journey to Eisleben.592  His wife’s aunt, Magdalen von Bora, who had been a nun and head-nurse in the same cloister, lived with his family, and was esteemed like a grandmother by him and his children. Two orphan nieces, and a tutor for the boys, an amanuensis, and a number of students as boarders, belonged to the household in a portion of the former convent on the banks of the Elbe. The chief sitting-room of the family, his bedroom, and the lecture hall are still shown in "the Lutherhaus."

He began the day, after his private devotions, which were frequent and ardent, with reciting in his family the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and a Psalm. He went to bed at nine, but rose early, and kept wide awake during the day. Of his private devotions we have an authentic account from his companion, Veit Dietrich, who wrote to Melanchthon during the Diet of Augsburg, 1530, when Luther was at Coburg, feeling the whole weight of that great crisis: —

"No day passes that he does not give three hours to prayer, and those the fittest for study. Once I happened to hear him praying. Good God! how great a spirit, how great a faith, was in his very words!  With such reverence did he ask, as if he felt that he was speaking with God; with such hope and faith, as with a Father and a Friend. ’I know,’ he said, ’that Thou art our Father and our God. I am certain, therefore, that Thou art about to destroy the persecutors of Thy children. If Thou doest not, then our danger is Thine too. This business is wholly Thine, we come to it under compulsion: Thou, therefore, defend.’ ... In almost these words I, standing afar off, heard him praying with a clear voice. And my mind burned within me with a singular emotion when he spoke in so friendly a manner, so weightily, so reverently, to God."

Luther celebrated the festivals, especially Christmas, with childlike joy. One of the most familiar scenes of Christian family life in Germany is Luther with his children around the Christmas-tree, singing his own Christmas hymn:


"Good news from heaven the angels bring,

Glad tidings to the earth they ring."593


Nothing can be more charming or creditable to his heart than the truly childlike letter he wrote to his oldest boy Hans, then four years of age, from Coburg, during the sessions of the Augsburg Diet in the momentous year 1530.594


"Grace and peace in Christ, my dear little boy. I am pleased to see that thou learnest thy lessons well, and prayest diligently. Go on thus, my dear boy, and when I come home, I will bring you a fine fairing. I know of a pretty, delightful garden, where are merry children that have gold frocks, and gather nice apples and pears, cherries and plums under the trees, and sing and jump and are happy; they also ride on fine little horses with gold bridles and silver saddles. I asked the man who owns the garden, who the children were. He said, ’These are the children who love to pray and to learn, and are good.’  Then I said, ’Dear man, I also have a son who is called Hans Luther. May he not come to this garden and eat such pretty apples and pears, and ride on such fine little horses, and play with these children?’  The man said, ’If he likes to pray and to learn, and is pious, he may come to the garden, and Lippus595 and Jost596 may come also; and if they all come together, they shall have pipes and drums and lutes and fiddles, and they shall dance and shoot with little crossbows.’

"Then he showed me a smooth lawn in the garden laid out for dancing, and there hung the golden pipes and drums and crossbows. But it was still early, and the children had not dined; therefore I could not wait for the dance. So I said, ’Dear sir, I will go straight home and write all this to my little boy; but he has an aunt, Lene,597 that he must bring with him.’   And the man answered, ’So it shall be; go and write as you say.’

"Therefore, dear little boy Johnny, learn and pray with a good heart, and tell Lippus and Jost to do the same, and then you will all come to the garden together. And now I commend you to Almighty God. Give my love to aunt Lene, and give her a kiss for me. Anno 1530.

Thy loving father,

"Martinus Luther"


He was deeply grieved by the early death of his favorite daughter Lena (Magdalen), a pious, gentle, and affectionate girl of fourteen, with large, imaginative eyes, and full of promise.598  "I love her very much," he prayed; "but, dear God, if it is thy holy will to take her hence, I would gladly leave her with Thee." And to her he said, "Lena dear, my little daughter, thou wouldst love to remain here with thy father: art thou willing to go to that other Father?"—"Yes, dear father," she replied, "just as God wills." And when she was dying, he fell on his knees beside her bed, wept bitterly, and prayed for her redemption. As she lay in her coffin, he exclaimed, "Ah! my darling Lena, thou wilt rise again, and shine like a star,—yea, as a sun. I am happy in the spirit, but very sorrowful in the flesh." He wrote to his friend Jonas: "You will have heard that my dearest child is born again into the eternal kingdom of God. We ought to be glad at her departure, for she is taken away from the world, the flesh, and the devil; but so strong is natural love, that we cannot bear it without anguish of heart, without the sense of death in ourselves." On her tomb he inscribed these lines: —


"Here do I Lena, Luther’s daughter, rest,

Sleep in my little bed with all the blessed.

In sin and trespass was I born;

Forever would I be forlorn,

But yet I live, and all is good —

Thou, Christ, didst save me with thy blood."


Luther was simple, regular, and temperate in his habits. The reports to the contrary are slanders of enemies. The famous and much-abused adage, —


"Who does not love wife, wine, and song,

 Remains a fool his whole life long,"599-


is not found in his works, nor in any contemporary writing, but seems to have originated in the last century, on the basis of some mediaeval saying.600  He used beer601 and common wine according to the general custom of his age and country; but he abhorred intemperance, and justly complained of the drink-devil (Saufteufel) of the Germans.602  Melanchthon, his daily companion, often wondered (as he reports after Luther’s death) how a man with such a portly frame could live on so meager a diet; for he observed that Luther sometimes fasted for four days when in good health, and was often contented for a whole day with a herring and a piece of bread. He preferred "pure, good, common, homely fare." Occasionally he received a present of game from the Elector, and enjoyed it with his friends.

He had a powerful constitution, but suffered much of the stone, of headache, and attacks of giddiness, and fainting; especially in the fatal year 1527, which brought him to the brink of the grave. He did not despise physicians, indifferent as they were in those days, and called them "God’s menders (Flicker) of our bodies; "but he preferred simple remedies, and said, "My best medical prescription is written in John 3: ’God so loved the world.’ "  He was too poor to keep horse and carriage, but he kept a bowling-alley for exercise. He liked to throw the first ball himself, and elicited a hearty laugh when he missed the mark; he then reminded the young friends that by aiming to knock down all the pins at once, they might miss them all, as they would find out in their future calling. He warned Melanchthon against excess of study, and reminded him that we must serve God by rest and recreation as well as by labor, for which reason He has given us the fourth commandment, and instituted the Sabbath.

Luther exercised a generous hospitality, and had always guests at his table. He was indiscriminately benevolent to beggars, until rogues sharpened his wits, and made him more careful.603  There was an unbroken succession of visitors—theologians, students, princes, noblemen, and ladies, anxious to see the great man, to get his advice and comfort; and all were favorably impressed with his frank, manly, and pleasant bearing. At times he was wrapt in deep thought, and kept a monkish silence at table; but at other times he talked freely, seriously and merrily, always interestingly, about every thing under the sun. His guests called his speeches their "table-spice," and recorded them faithfully without discrimination, even his most trivial remarks. Once he offered a premium for the shortest blessing. Bugenhagen began in Low German: —


"Dit und dat,

Trocken und nat

Gesegne Gott."


Luther improved upon it in Latin: —


"Dominus Jesus

Sit potus et esus."


But Melanchthon carried the palm with


"Benedictus benedicat."


To the records of Veit Dietrich, Lauterbach, and Mathesius, which were often edited, though in bad taste, we owe the most remarkable "Table-Talk "ever published.604  Many of his sayings are exceedingly quaint, and sound strange, coarse, and vulgar to refined ears. But they were never intended for publication; and making due allowance for human weakness, the rudeness of the age, and his own rugged nature, we may agree with the judgment of one of his most accurate biographers, that "in all his words and deeds Luther was guided constantly by the loftiest principles, by the highest considerations of morality and religious truth, and that in the simple and straightforward manner which was his nature, utterly free from affectation or artificial effort."605  After dinner he indulged with his friends and children in music, sacred and secular songs, German and Latin hymns. He loved poetry, music, painting, and all the fine arts. In this respect he was ahead of those puritanical Reformers who had no taste for the beautiful, and banished art from the church. He placed music next to theology. He valued it as a most effectual weapon against melancholy and the temptations of the Devil. "The heart," he said, "is satisfied, refreshed, and strengthened by music." He played the lute, sang melodiously, and composed tunes to his hymns, especially the immortal, Ein feste Burg," which gives classic expression to his heroic faith in God and the triumph of the gospel. He never lost his love for Virgil and Cicero, which he acquired as a student at Erfurt. He was fond of legends, fables, and proverbs. He would have delighted in the stories of old "Mother Goose," and in Grimm’s "Hausmährchen." He translated some of Esop’s Fables, and wrote a preface to an edition which was published after his death.

He enjoyed the beauties of nature, loved trees and flowers, was fond of gardening, watched with wonder the household of the bees, listened with delight to the singing birds, renewed his youth with the return of spring, and adored everywhere the wisdom and goodness of nature’s God. Looking at a rose, he said, "Could a man make a single rose, we should give him an empire; but these beautiful gifts of God come freely to us, and we think nothing of them. We admire what is worthless, if it be only rare. The most precious of things is nothing if it be common."  "The smallest flowers show God’s wisdom and might. Painters cannot rival their color, nor perfumers their sweetness; green and yellow, crimson, blue, and purple, all growing out of the earth. And yet we trample on lilies as if we were so many cows." He delighted in a refreshing rain. "God rains," he said, "many hundred thousand guilders, wheat, rye, barley, oats, wine, cabbage, grass, milk." Talking of children, he said, "They speak and act from the heart. They believe in God without disputing, and in another life beyond the present. They have small intellect, but they have faith, and are wiser than old fools like us. Abraham must have had a hard time when he was told to kill Isaac. No doubt he kept it from Sarah. If God had given me such all order, I should have disputed the point with Him. But God has given his only begotten Son unto death for us."

He shared in the traditional superstitions of his age. He believed in witchcraft, and had many a personal encounter with the Devil in sleepless nights.606  He was reluctant to accept the new Copernican system of astronomy, because Joshua bade the sun stand still, not the earth." He regarded the comets, which he calls "harlot stars," as tokens of God’s wrath, or as works of the Devil. Melanchthon and Zwingli held similar opinions on these irregular visitors. It was an almost universal belief of mankind, till recent times, that comets, meteors, and eclipses were fire-balls of an angry God to scare and rouse a wicked world to repentance.607  On the other hand, he doubted the calculations of astrology. "I have no patience with such stuff," he said to Melanchthon, who showed him the nativity of Cicero from the stars. "Esau and Jacob were born of the same father and mother, at the same time, and under the same planets, but their nature was wholly different. You would persuade me that astrology is a true science!  I was a monk, and grieved my father; I caught the Pope by his hair, and he caught me by mine; I married a runaway nun, and begat children with her. Who saw that in the stars?  Who foretold that?  Astronomy is very good, astrology is humbug. The example of Esau and Jacob disproves it."

Luther gave himself little concern about his household, and left it in the hands of his wife, who was prudent and economical. He calls himself a negligent, forgetful, and ignorant housekeeper, but gives great credit to his "Herr Kathie." He was contented with little, and called economy the best capital. All the Reformers were poor, and singularly free from avarice; they moved in a lofty sphere, and despised the vanities of the world.

Luther’s income was very small, even for the standard of his times, and presents a striking contrast to the royal splendor and luxury of bishops and cardinals. His highest annual salary as professor was three hundred guilders; it was first a hundred guilders; on his marriage the Elector John doubled it; the Elector John Frederick added a hundred; a guilder being equal in value to about sixteen marks or shillings (four dollars) of the present day. He received no honorarium from the students, nor any salary as preacher in the town church; but regular payments in wood and grain, and occasional presents of a fine suit, a cask of wine, or venison, or a silver cup from the Elector, with his greetings. Admiring friends gave him rings, chains, and other valuables, which he estimated in 1542 at a thousand guilders. In his last years (from 1541) he, as well as Bugenhagen, Melanchthon, and Jonas, received an annual honorary pension of fifty guilders from the king of Denmark, who thereby wished to show his gratitude for the Lutheran Reformation, and had previously (1539) sent him a special present of a hundred guilders through Bugenhagen. From his father, who left twelve hundred and fifty guilders, he inherited two hundred and fifty guilders. The publishers offered him (as he reported in 1539) a yearly grant of four hundred guilders for the free use of his manuscripts, but he refused "to make money out of the gifts of God." If he had been rewarded according to modern ideas, the royalty of his German Bible Version alone would have amounted to a handsome fortune before his death. He bought in 1540 from his brother-in-law a little farm, Zulsdorf, between Leipzig and Borna, for six hundred and ten guilders, as a home for his family. His wife cultivated a little garden with fruit-trees, even mulberry and fig trees, raised hops and brewed beer for domestic use, as was then the custom. She also had a small fish-pond. She enjoyed hard work. Luther assisted her in gardening and fishing. In 1541 he purchased a small house near the convent, for his wife.608  He willed all his property, which amounted to about nine thousand guilders, to his wife during her lifetime, wishing that, she should not receive from her children, but the children from her; that they must honor and obey her, as God has commanded."

His widow survived him seven years, and suffered from poverty and affliction. The Elector, the Counts of Mansfeld, and the King of Denmark added small sums to her income; but the unfortunate issue of the Smalkaldian war (1547) disturbed her peace, and drove her from Wittenberg. She returned after the war. Melanchthon and Bugenhagen did for her what they could. When the pestilence broke out at Wittenberg in 1552, and the university was moved to Torgau, she followed with her children; but on the journey she was thrown from the wagon into a ditch, and contracted a cold which soon passed into consumption. She died Dec. 20, 1552, at Torgau; her last prayer was for her children and the Lutheran Church.

A few words about Luther’s personal appearance. In early life, as we have seen, he looked like an ascetic monk, pale, haggard, emaciated.609  But in latter years he grew stout and portly. The change is characteristic of his transition from legalistic gloom to evangelical cheerfulness. He was of middle stature, had a large head and broad chest, a bold and open face without any dissimulation lurking behind, prominent lips, short curly hair, and uncommonly brilliant and penetrating eyes. His enemies saw in them the fire of a demon. His countenance makes the impression of frankness, firmness, courage, and trust in God. He looks like a hero of faith, who, with the Bible in his hand, defies the world, the flesh, and the Devil. His feet are firmly planted on the ground, as if they could not be moved. "Here I stand, I cannot otherwise." His voice was not strong, but clear and sonorous. He was neat in his dress, modest and dignified in his deportment. He exchanged the monastic gown in 1524 for a clerical robe, a gift of the Elector. He disliked the custom of the students to rise when he entered into the lecture-room. "I wish," he said, "Philip would give up this old fashion. These marks of honor always compel me to offer a few more prayers to keep me humble; and if I dared, I would go away without reading my lecture."

The same humility made him protest against the use of his name by his followers, who nevertheless persisted in it. "I pray you," he said, "leave my name alone, and do not call yourselves Lutherans, but Christians. Who is Luther?  My doctrine is not mine. I have not been crucified for any one. St. Paul would not that any one should call themselves of Paul, nor of Peter, but of Christ. How, then, does it befit me, a miserable bag of dust and ashes, to give my name to the children of Christ?  Cease, my dear friends, to cling to those party names and distinctions,—away with them all! and let us call ourselves only Christians, after Him from whom our doctrine comes. It is quite proper, that the Papists should bear the name of their party; because they are not content with the name and doctrine of Jesus Christ, they will be Papists besides. Well, let them own the Pope, as he is their master. For me, I neither am, nor wish to be, the master of any one. I and mine will contend for the sole and whole doctrine of Christ, who is our sole master."


 § 79. Reflections on Clerical Family Life.


The Reformers present to us the first noted examples of clerical family life in the Christian Church. This is a new and important chapter in the history of civilization.

They restored a natural right founded in the ordinance of God. The priests and high priests of the Jewish theocracy down to the father of John the Baptist, as well as the patriarchs, Moses, and some of the prophets, lived in wedlock. The prince of the apostles, whom Roman Catholics regard as the first pope, was a married man, and carried his wife with him on his missionary journeys.610  Paul claimed the same right as "other apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas," though he renounced it for personal reasons. From the pastoral Epistles we may infer that marriage was the rule among the bishops and deacons of the apostolic age. It is therefore plainly a usurpation to deprive the ministers of the gospel of this right of nature and nature’s God.

But from the second century the opinion came to prevail, and still prevails in the papal communion, which is ruled by an unmarried priest, that marriage is inconsistent with the sacerdotal office, and should be forbidden after ordination. This view was based on the distinction between a lower and higher morality with corresponding merit and reward, the one for the laity or the common people; the other for priests and monks, who form a spiritual nobility. All the church fathers, Greek and Latin, even those who were themselves married (as Tertullian, Gregory of Nyssa, Synesius), are unanimous in praising celibacy above marriage; and the greatest of them are loudest in this praise, especially St. Jerome. And yet the mothers of Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, and Augustin, are the brightest examples of Christian women in the ancient Church. Nonna, Anthusa, and Monica were more useful in giving birth to these luminaries of the Church than any nuns.

This ascetic feature marks a decided difference between the Fathers and the Reformers, as it does between the Catholic and Evangelical churches. Anglicanism, with all its respect for the Fathers, differs as widely from them in this respect as any other Protestant communion.

The Oriental churches, including that of Russia, stopped half way in this ascetic restriction of a divine right. They approve and even enjoin marriage upon the lower clergy (before ordination), but forbid it to bishops, and regard the directions of Paul, 1 Tim. 3:2, 12 (compare 5:9), as a concession to the weakness of the flesh, and as a prohibition of second marriage. The Latin Church, understanding the advice of Paul, 1 Cor. 7:7, 32, 33, as, a counsel of perfection, "indicating a better way, imposed, as early as the fourth century, total abstinence from marriage upon all orders of the clergy, and brands the marriage of a priest as sinful concubinage. Pope Siricius, a.d. 385, issued the first prohibition of sacerdotal marriage. His successors followed, but it was not till Gregory VII. that the prohibition was rigidly enforced. It was done in the interest of hierarchical power, and at an enormous sacrifice of clerical purity. The Roman Catholic system makes marriage one of the seven sacraments; but by elevating celibacy above it, and by declaring it to be beneath the dignity of a priest of God, it degrades marriage as if it involved an element of impurity. According to the Gnostic and Manichaean theory, condemned by Paul as a doctrine of demons, 1 Tim. 4:1–3, marriage is a contact with sinful matter, and forbidden altogether.

In view of this state of public opinion and the long tradition of Latin Christendom, we need not wonder that the marriage of the Reformers created the greatest sensation, and gave rise to the slander that sensual passion was one of the strongest motives of their rebellion against popery. Erasmus struck the keynote to this perversion of history, although he knew well enough that Luther and Oecolampadius were Protestants several years before they thought of marrying. Clerical marriage was a result, not a cause, of the Reformation, as clerical celibacy was neither the first nor the chief objection to the papal system.611

On a superficial view one might wish that the Reformers had remained true to their solemn promise, like the Jansenist bishops in the seventeenth century, and the clerical leaders of the Old Catholic secession in the nineteenth.612  But it was their mission to introduce by example as well as by precept, a new type of Christian morality, to restore and re-create clerical family life, and to secure the purity, peace, and happiness of innumerable homes.

Far be it from us to depreciate the value of voluntary celibacy which is inspired by the love of God. The mysterious word of our Lord, Matt. 19:12, and the advice and example of Paul, 1 Cor. 7:7, 40, forbid it. We cheerfully admire the self-denial and devotion of martyrs, priests, missionaries, monks, nuns, and sisters of charity, who sacrificed all for Christ and their fellow-men. Protestantism, too, has produced not a few noble men and women who, without vows and without seeking or claiming extra merit, renounced the right of marriage from the purest motives.613  But according to God’s ordinance dating from the state of innocency, and sanctioned by Christ at the wedding feast at Cana, marriage is the rule for all classes of men, ministers as well as laymen. For ministers are men, and do not cease to be men by becoming ministers.

The Reformation has changed the moral ideal, and elevated domestic and social life. The mediaeval ideal of piety is the flight from the evil world: the modern ideal is the transformation of the world. The model saint of the Roman Church is the monk separated from the enjoyments and duties of society, and anticipating the angelic life in heaven where men neither marry nor are given in marriage: the model saint of the Evangelical Church is the free Christian and useful citizen, who shows his piety in the performance of social and domestic duties, and aims at the sanctification of the ordinances of nature. The former tries to conquer the world by running away from its temptations—though after all he cannot escape the flesh, the world, and the Devil in his own heart: the latter tries to conquer the world by converting it. The one abstains from the wedding feast: the other attends it, and changes the water into wine. The one flees from woman as a tempter: the other takes her to his heart, and reflects in the marriage relation the holy union of Christ with his Church. The one aims to secure, chastity by abstinence: the other proves it within the family. The one renounces all earthly possessions: the other uses them for the good of his fellow-men. The one looks for happiness in heaven: the other is happy already on earth by making others happy. The daily duties and trials of domestic and social life are a better school of moral discipline than monkish celibacy and poverty. Female virtues and graces are necessary to supplement and round out the character of man. Exceptions there are, but they prove the rule.

It may be expected that in the fervor and hurry of the first attempts in the transition from slavery to freedom, some indiscretions were committed; but they are as nothing compared with the secret chronique scandaleuse of enforced celibacy. It was reserved for later times to cultivate a more refined style of family life; but the Reformers burst the chains of papal tyranny, and furnished the practical proof that it is possible to harmonize the highest and holiest calling with the duties of husband and father. Though falling short of modern Protestant ideas of the dignity and rights of woman, they made her the rightful companion of the Christian pastor; and among those companions may be found many of the purest, most refined, and most useful women on earth. The social standing of woman is a true test of Christian civilization.

Melanchthon was the first among the Reformers who entered the state of matrimony; but being a layman, he violated no priestly or monastic vow. He married, at the urgent request of his friends, Katharina Krapp, the daughter of the burgomaster of Wittenberg, in November, 1520, and lived with his plain, pious, faithful, and benevolent wife, till her death in 1557. He was seen at times rocking the cradle while reading a book.614

Calvin was likewise free from the obligation of vows, but the severest and most abstemious among the Reformers. He married Idelette de Buren, the widow of an Anabaptist minister of Holland, whom he had converted to the Paedobaptist faith; he lived with her for nearly nine years, had three children who died in infancy, and remained a widower after her death. The only kind of female beauty which impressed him was, as he said, gentleness, purity, modesty, patience, and devotion to the wants of her husband; and these qualities he esteemed in his wife.615

Zwingli unfortunately broke his vow at Einsiedeln, while still a priest, and in receipt of a pension from the Pope. He afterwards married a worthy patrician widow with three children, Anna Reinhard von Knonau, who bore him two sons and two daughters, and lived to lament his tragic death on the field of battle, finding, like him, her only comfort in the Lord Jesus and the word of God.616

Ludwig Cellarius (Keller), Oecolampadius (the Reformer of Basel), Wolfgang Capito (the Reformer of Strassburg), and his more distinguished friend Martin Bucer (a widower who was always ready for union) were successively married to Wilibrandis Rosenblatt, the daughter of a Knight and colonel aid-de-camp of the Emperor Maximilian I. She accompanied Bucer to Cambridge in England, and after his death returned to Basel, the survivor of four husbands!  She died Nov. 1, 1564.617  She must have had a remarkable attraction for Reformers. Oecolampadius thought her almost too young for his age of forty-five, but found her a "good Christian "and "free from youthful frivolity." She bore him three children,—Eusebius, Alitheia, and Irene.618  It was on the occasion of his marriage that Erasmus wrote to a friend (March 21, 1528): "Oecolampadius has lately married. His bride is not a bad-looking girl" [she was a widow]. "I suppose he wants to mortify his flesh. Some speak of the Lutheran cause as a tragedy, but to me it appears rather as a comedy, for it always ends in a wedding."619

Archbishop Cranmer appears in an unfavorable light. His first wife, "Black Joan," died in childbed before his ordination. Early in 1532, before he was raised to the primacy of Canterbury by Henry VIII. (August, 1532), he married a niece of the Lutheran preacher Osiander of Nürnberg, and concealed the fact, the disclosure of which would have prevented his elevation. The papal bulls of confirmation were dated February and March, 1533, and his consecration took place March 30, 1533. The next year he privately summoned his wife to England; but sent her away in 1539, when he found it necessary to execute the bloody articles of Henry VIII., which included the prohibition of clerical marriage. He lent a willing hand to the divorces and re-marriages of his royal master. And yet with all his weakness of character, and time-serving policy, Cranmer must have been an eminently devout man if he translated and reproduced (as he certainly edited) the Anglican liturgy, which has stood the test of many generations to this day.620

John Knox, the Luther of Scotland, had the courage, as a widower of fifty-eight (March, 1563–64), to marry a Scotch lass of sixteen, Margaret Stuart, of royal name and blood, to the great indignation of Queen Mary, who "stormed wonderfully" at his audacity. The papists got up the story that he gained her affection by sorcery, and aimed to secure for his heirs, with the aid of the Devil, the throne of Scotland. His wife bore him three daughters, and two years after his death (1572) contracted a second marriage with Andrew Ker, a widower.621

The most unfortunate matrimonial incident in the Reformation is the consent of Luther, Melanchthon, and Bucer to the disgraceful bigamy of Landgrave Philip of Hesse. It is a blot on their character, and admits of no justification. When the secret came out (1540), Melanchthon was so over-whelmed with the reproaches of conscience and a sense of shame that he fell dangerously ill at Weimar, till Luther, who was made of sterner stuff, and found comfort in his doctrine of justification by faith alone, prayed him out of the jaws of death.

In forming a just estimate of this subject, we must not only look backward to the long ages of clerical celibacy with all its dangers and evils, but also forward to the innumerable clerical homes which were made possible by the Reformation. They can bear the test of the closest examination.

Clerical celibacy and monastic vows deprived the church of the services of many men who might have become shining stars. On the other hand, it has been calculated by Justus Möser in 1750, that within two centuries after the Reformation from ten to fifteen millions of human beings in all lands owe their existence to the abolition of clerical celibacy.622  More important than this numerical increase is the fact that an unusual proportion of eminent scholars and useful men in church and state were descended from clerical families.623

There is a poetic as well as religious charm in the home of a Protestant country pastor who moves among his flock as a father, friend, and comforter, and enforces his teaching of domestic virtues and affections by his example, speaking louder than words. The beauty of this relation has often been the theme of secular poets. Everybody knows Oliver Goldsmith’s "Vicar of Wakefield," which describes with charming simplicity and harmless humor the trials and patience, the domestic, social, and professional virtues of a country pastor, and begins with the characteristic sentence: "I was ever of opinion, that the honest man who married, and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only talked of population; from this motive I had scarcely taken orders a year, before I chose my wife, as she did her wedding-gown, not for a fine glossy face, but for such qualities as would wear well." Herder read this English classic four times, and commended it to his bride as one of the best books in any language. Goethe, who himself tasted the charm of a pastoral home in the days of his purest and strongest love to Friederike of Sesenheim, praises the "Vicar of Wakefield," as "one of the best novels, with the additional advantage of being thoroughly moral, yea in a genuine sense Christian," and makes the general assertion: "A Protestant country pastor is perhaps the most beautiful topic for a modern idyl; he appears like Melchizedek, as priest and king in one person. He is usually associated by occupation and outward condition with the most innocent conceivable estate on earth, that of the farmer; he is father, master of his house, and thoroughly identified with his congregation. On this pure, beautiful earthly foundation, rests his higher vocation: to introduce men into life, to care for their spiritual education, to bless, to instruct, to strengthen, to comfort them in all the epochs of life, and, if the comfort for the present is not sufficient, to cheer them with the assured hope of a more happy future."624  In his idyl "Hermann und Dorothea," he introduces a clergyman as an ornament and benefactor of the community. It is to the credit of this greatest and most cultured of modern poets, that he, like Shakespeare and Schiller, never disparaged the clerical profession.

In his "Deserted Village," Goldsmith gives another picture of the village preacher as


"A man who was to all the country dear,

And passing rich on forty pounds a year. ...

At church, with meek and unaffected grace,

His looks adorned the venerable place;

Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,

And fools who came to scoff remained to pray."


From a higher spiritual plane William Wordsworth, the brother of an Anglican clergyman and uncle of two bishops, describes the character of a Protestant pastor in his "Ecclesiastical Sonnets."


"A genial hearth, a hospitable board,

And a refined rusticity, belong

To the neat mansion, where, his flock among,

The learned Pastor dwells, their watchful lord.

Though meek and patient as a sheathèd sword

Though pride’s least lurking thought appear a wrong

To human kind; though peace be on his tongue,

Gentleness in his heart—can earth afford

Such genuine state, pre-eminence so free,

As when, arrayed in Christ’s authority,

He from the pulpit lifts his awful hand;

Conjures, implores, and labors all he can

For re-subjecting to divine command

The stubborn spirit of rebellious man!"


A Romish priest or a Russian pope depends for his influence chiefly upon his official character, though he may be despised for his vices. A Protestant minister stands or falls with his personal merits; and the fact of his high and honorable position and influence in every Protestant country, as a Christian, a gentleman, a husband and father, is the best vindication of the wisdom of the Reformers in abolishing clerical celibacy.


 § 80. Reformation of Public Worship.


I. Luther: Deutsches Taufbüchlein, 1523; Ordnung des Gottes-dienstes in der Gemeinde, 1523; Vom Gräuel der Stillmesse, 1524; Deutsche Messe und Ordnung des Gottesdienstes, 1526; Das Taufbüchlein verdeutscht, aufs neue zugerichtet, 1526. In Walch, X.; in Erl. ed., XXII. 151 sqq. Comp. the Augsburg confession, Pars II. art. 3 (De missa); Apol. of the Augsb. Conf. art. XXIV. (De missa); the Lutheran liturgies or Kirchenagenden (also Kirchenordnungen) of the 16th century, collected in Daniel: Codex Liturgicus Ecclesiae Lutheranae, Lips. 1848 (Tom. II. of his Cod. Lit.), and Höfling: Liturgisches Urkundenbuch (ed. by G. Thomasius and Theodos. Harnack), Leipz. 1854.

II. Th. Kliefoth: Die ursprüngliche Gottesdienstordnung in den deutschen Kirchen luth. Reformation, ihre Destruction und Reformation, Rostock, 1847. Grüneisen: Die evang. Gottesdienstordnung in den oberdeutschen Landen, Stuttgart, 1856. Gottschick: Luthers Anschauungen vom christl. Gottesdienst und seine thatsächliche Reform desselben, Freiburg i. B., 1887.


The reformation of doctrine led to a reconstruction of worship on the basis of Scripture and the guidance of such passages as, God is spirit,"625 and must be worshiped, in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24), and, Let all things be done decently and in order" (1 Cor. 14:40). Protestantism aims at a rational or spiritual service,626 as distinct from a mechanical service of mere forms. It acts upon the heart through the intellect, rather than the senses, and through instruction, rather than ceremonies. It brings the worshiper into direct communion with God in Christ, through the word of God and prayer, without the obstruction of human mediators.

The Reformers first cleansed the sanctuary of gross abuses and superstitions, and cast out the money-changers with a scourge of cords. They abhorred idolatry, which in a refined form had found its way into the church. They abolished the sale of indulgences, the worship of saints, images, and relics, processions and pilgrimages, the private masses, and masses for the dead in purgatory.627  They rejected five of the seven sacraments (retaining only baptism and the eucharist), the doctrine of transubstantiation, the priestly sacrifice, the adoration of the host, the withdrawal of the cup from the laity, and the use of a dead language in public worship. They also reduced the excessive ceremonialism and ritualistic display which obscured the spiritual service.

But the impoverishment was compensated by a gain; the work of destruction was followed by a more important and difficult work of reconstruction. This was the revival of primitive worship as far as it can be ascertained from the New Testament, the more abundant reading of the Scriptures and preaching of the cardinal truths of the gospel, the restoration of the Lord’s Supper in its original simplicity, the communion in both kinds, and the translation of the Latin service into the vernacular language whereby it was made intelligible and profitable to the people. There was, however, much crude experimenting and changing until a new order of worship could be fairly established.

Uniformity in worship is neither necessary nor desirable, according to Protestant principles. The New Testament does not prescribe any particular form, except the Lord’s Prayer, the words of institution of the Lord’s Supper, and the baptismal formula.

The Protestant orders of worship differ widely in the extent of departure from the Roman service, which is one and the same everywhere. The Lutheran Church is conservative and liturgical. She retained from the traditional usage what was not inconsistent with evangelical doctrine; while the Reformed churches of the Zwinglian and Calvinistic type aimed at the greatest simplicity and spirituality of worship after what they supposed to be the apostolic pattern. Some went so far as to reject all hymns and forms of prayer which are not contained in the Bible, but gave all the more attention to the Psalter, to the sermon, and to extemporaneous prayer. The Anglican Church, however, makes an exception among the Reformed communions: she is even more conservative than the Lutheran, and produced a liturgy which embodies in the choicest English the most valuable prayers and forms of the Latin service, and has maintained its hold upon the reverence and affection of the Episcopal churches to this day. They subordinate preaching to worship, and free prayer to forms of prayer.

Luther began to reform public worship in 1523, but with caution, and in opposition to the radicalism of Carlstadt, who during the former’s absence on the Wartburg had tumultuously abolished the mass, and destroyed the altars and pictures. He retained the term "mass," which came to signify the whole public service, especially the eucharistic sacrifice. He tried to save the truly Christian elements in the old order, and to reproduce them in the vernacular language for the benefit of the people. His churchly instincts were strengthened by his love of poetry and music. He did not object even to the use of the Latin tongue in the Sunday service, and expressed an impracticable wish for a sort of pentecostal Sunday mass in German, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.628  At the same time he desired also a more private devotional service of converted Christians, with the celebration of the holy communion (corresponding to the missa fidelium of the ante-Nicene Church, as distinct from the missa catechumenorum), but deemed it impossible for that time from the want of the proper persons; for "we Germans," he said, "are a wild, rough, rabid people, with whom nothing can be done except under the pressure of necessity."

So he confined himself to provide for the public Sunday service. He retained the usual order, the Gospels and Epistles, the collects, the Te Deum, the Gloria in excelsis, the Benedictus, the Creed, the responses, the kneeling posture in communion, even the elevation of the host and chalice (which he afterwards abandoned, but which is still customary in the Lutheran churches of Scandinavia), though without the adoration. He omitted the canon of the mass which refers to the priestly sacrifice, and which, since the sixth century, contains the kernel of the Roman mass, as an unbloody repetition of the crucifixion and miraculous trans-formation of the elements.629  He had previously rejected this "horrible canon," as he calls it, in his "Babylonian Captivity," and in a special tract from the Wartburg. He assailed it again and again as a cardinal error in the papal system. He held indeed the doctrine of the real presence, but without the scholastic notion of transubstantiation and priestly sacrifice.

He gave the most prominent place to the sermon, which was another departure from previous custom. He arranged three services on Sunday, each with a sermon: early in the morning, chiefly for servants; the mass at nine or ten; and in the afternoon a discourse from a text in the Old Testament. On Monday and Tuesday in the morning the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer were to be taught; on Wednesday, the Gospel of Matthew; on Saturday, the Gospel of John; on Thursday, the Epistle lessons should be explained. The boys of the school were to recite daily some Psalms in Latin, and then read alternately one or more chapters of the New Testament in Latin and German.

Luther introduced the new order with the approval of the Elector in October, 1525, and published it early in 1526.630  The chief service on Sunday embraces a German hymn or psalm; the Kyrie Eleison, and Gloria in Excelsis (Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr); a short collect, and the Epistle for the day; a hymn; the Gospel for the day sung by the Minister; the Nicene Creed recited by the whole congrega-tion; a sermon on the Gospel; the Lord’s Prayer; exhortation; the holy communion, the words of institution sung by the minister (this being the consecration of the elements), with singing of the Sanctus (Isa. 6:1–4, rendered into German by Luther), the Benedictus, the Agnus Dei (John 1:29) or in German "O Lamm Gottes unschuldig" (by Decius), followed by the distribution, the collection, and benediction. Omitting the canon missae, or the offering of the sacrifice of Christ’s body, the new order was substantially the same as the old, only translated into German.

Melanchthon says in the Augsburg Confession of 1530:631 Our churches are wrongfully accused of having abolished the mass. For the mass is retained still among us, and celebrated with great reverence; yea, and almost all the ceremonies that are in use, saving that with the things sung in Latin we mingle certain things sung in German at various parts of the service, which are added for the people’s instruction. For therefore alone we have need of ceremonies, that they may teach the unlearned."

Luther regarded ceremonies, the use of clerical robes, candles on the altar, the attitude of the minister in prayer, as matters of indifference which may be retained or abolished. In the revision of the baptismal service, 1526, he abolished the use of salt, spittle, and oil, but retained the exorcism in an abridged form. He also retained the public confession and absolution, and recommended private confession of sin to the minister.632

The Lutheran churches in Northern Germany and in Scandinavia adopted the order of Wittenberg with sundry modifications; but the Lutheran churches in Southern Germany (Würtemberg, Baden, Palatinate, Alsace) followed the simpler type of the Swiss service.

The Lutheran order of worship underwent some radical changes in the eighteenth century under the influence of rationalism; the spirit of worship cooled down; the weekly communion was abolished; the sermon degenerated into a barren moral discourse; new liturgies and hymnbooks with all sorts of misimprovements were introduced. But in recent times, we may say since the third centennial celebration of the Reformation (1817), there has been a gradual revival of the liturgical spirit in different parts of Germany, with a restoration of many devotional treasures of past ages. There is, however, no uniform Lutheran liturgy, like the Common Prayer Book of the Church of England. Each Lutheran state church has its own liturgy and hymnbook.


 § 81. Prominent Features of Evangelical Worship.


Taking a wider view of the subject, we may emphasize the following characteristic features of evangelical worship, as compared with that of the Latin and Greek churches:

1. The prominence given to the sermon, or the exposition and application of the word of God. It became the chief part of divine service, and as regards importance took the place of the mass. Preaching was the special function of the bishops, but sadly neglected by them, and is even now in Roman-Catholic countries usually confined to the season of Lent. The Roman worship is complete without a sermon. The mass, moreover, is performed in a dead language, and the people are passive spectators rather than hearers. The altar is the throne of the Catholic priest; the pulpit is the throne of the Protestant preacher and pastor. The Reformers in theory and practice laid the greatest stress on preaching and hearing the gospel as an act of worship.

Luther set the example, and was a most indefatigable and popular preacher.633  He filled the pulpit of the town church alternately with Bugenhagen, the pastor, on Sundays and week-days, sometimes twice a day. Even in the last days of his life he delivered four sermons from the pulpit at Eisleben in spite of physical infirmity and pain.634  His most popular sermons are those on the Gospels and Epistles of the year, collected in the Kirchenpostille, which he completed in 1525 and 1527. Another popular collection is his Hauspostille, which contains his sermons at home, as taken down by Veit Dietrich and Rörer, and published in 1544 and 1559. He preached without notes, after meditation, under the inspiration of the moment.

He was a Boanerges, the like of whom Germany never heard before or since. He had all the elements of a popular orator. Melanchthon said, "One is an interpreter, one a logician, another an orator, but Luther is all in all." Bossuet gives him credit for "a lively and impetuous eloquence by which he delighted and captivated his hearers." Luther observed no strict method. He usually followed the text, and combined exposition with application. He made Christ and the gospel his theme. He lived and moved in the Bible, and understood how to make it a book of life for his time. He always spoke from intense conviction and with an air of authority. He had an extraordinary faculty of expressing the profoundest thoughts in the clearest and strongest language for the common people. He hit the nail on the head. He was bold and brave, and spared neither the Devil nor the Pope nor the Sacramentarians. His polemical excursions, how-ever, are not always in good taste, nor in the right spirit.

He disregarded the scholars among his hearers, and aimed at the common people, the women and children and servants. "Cursed be the preachers," he said, "who in church aim at high or hard things." He was never dull or tedious. He usually stopped when the hearers were at the height of attention, and left them anxious to come again. He censured Bugenhagen for his long sermons, of which people so often and justly complain. He summed up his homiletical wisdom in three rules: —


"Start fresh; Speak out; Stop short."635


The mass and the sermon are the chief means of edification,—the one in the Greek and Roman, the other in the Protestant churches. The mass memorializes symbolically, day by day, the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of the world; the sermon holds up the living Christ of the gospel as an inspiration to holy living and dying. Both may degenerate into perfunctory, mechanical services; but Christianity has outlived all dead masses and dry sermons, and makes its power felt even through the weakest instrumentalities.

As preaching is an intellectual and spiritual effort, it calls for a much higher education than the reading of the mass from a book. A comparison of the Protestant with the Roman or Greek clergy at once shows the difference.

2. In close connection with preaching is the stress laid on catechetical instruction. Of this we shall speak in a special section.

3. The Lord’s Supper was restored to its primitive character as a commemoration of the atoning death of Christ, and a communion of believers with Him. In the Protestant system the holy communion is a sacrament, and requires the presence of the congregation; in the Roman system it is chiefly a sacrifice, and may be performed by the priest alone. The withdrawal of the cup is characteristic of the over-estimate of the clergy and under-estimate of the laity; and its restoration was not only in accordance with primitive usage, but required by the doctrine of the general priesthood of believers.

Luther retained the weekly communion as the conclusion of the regular service on the Lord’s Day. In the Reformed churches it was made less frequent, but more solemn.

4. The divine service was popularized by substituting the vernacular for the Latin language in prayer and song,—a change of incalculable consequence.

5. The number of church festivals was greatly reduced, and confined to those which commemorate the great facts of our salvation; namely, the incarnation (Christmas), the redemption (Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter), and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Ascension and Pentecost), with the concluding festival of the Holy Trinity. They constitute the nucleus of the Christian year, and a sort of chronological creed for the people. The Lutheran Church retained also (at least in some sections) the feasts of the Virgin Mary, of the Apostles and Evangelists, and of All Saints; but they have gradually gone out of use.

Luther held that church festivals, and even the weekly sabbath, were abolished in principle, and observed only on account of the requirements of public worship and the weakness of the laity.636  The righteous need no laws and ceremonies. To them all time is holy, every day a day of rest, and every day a day of good work. But "although," he says, "all days are free and alike, it is yet useful and good, yea, necessary, to keep holy one day, whether it be sabbath or Sunday or any other day; for God will govern the world orderly and peacefully; hence he gave six days for work, and the seventh for rest, that men should refresh themselves by rest, and hear the word of God."637

In this view all the Reformers substantially agree, including Calvin and Knox, except that the latter made practically less account of the annual festivals, and more of the weekly festival. The Anglo-American theory of the Lord’s Day, which is based on the perpetual essential obligation of the Fourth Commandment, as a part of the moral law to be observed with Christian freedom in the light of Christ’s resurrection, is of Puritan origin at the close of the sixteenth century, and was first symbolically sanctioned by the Westminster standards in 1647, but has worked itself into the flesh and blood of all English-speaking Christendom to the great benefit of public worship and private devotion.638


 § 82. Beginnings of Evangelical Hymnody.


I. The "Wittenberg Enchiridion," 1524. The "Erfurt Enchiridion," 1524. Walter’s "Gesangbuch," with preface by Luther, 1524. Klug’s "Gesangbuch," by Luther, 1529, etc. Babst’s "Gesangbuch," 1545, 5th ed. 1553. Spangenberg’s "Cantiones ecclesiasticae," 1545. See exact titles in Wackernagel’s Bibliographie, etc.

II. C. v. Winterfeld: Luther’s geistl. Lieder nebst Stimmweisen. Leipz. 1840. Ph. Wackernagel: Luther’s geistl. Lieder u. Singweisen. Stuttgart, 1848. Other editions of Luther’s Hymns by Stip, 1854; Schneider, 1856; Dreher, 1857. B. Pick: Luther as a Hymnist. Philad. 1875. Emil. Frommel: Luther’s Lieder und Sprüche. Der singende Luther im Kranze seiner dichtenden und bildenden Zeitgenossen. Berlin, 1883. (Jubilee ed. with illustrations from Dürer and Cranach.)  L. W. Bacon and N. H. Allen: The Hymns of Luther set to their original melodies, with an English Version. New York, 1883. E. Achelis: Die Entste-hungszeit v. Luther’s geistl. Liedern. Marburg, 1884. Danneil: Luther’s geistl. Lieder nach seinen drei Gesangbüchern von 1524, 1529, 1545. Frankf. -a-M., 1885.

III. Aug. H. Hoffmann von Fallersleben: Geschichte des deutschen Kirchenlieds his auf Luther’s Zeit. Breslau, 1832; third ed., Hannover, 1861. F. A. Cunz: Gesch. des deutschen Kirchenlieds. Leipz. 1855, 2 parts. Julius Mützell: Geistliche Lieder der evangelischen Kirche aus dem 16ten Jahrh. nach den ältesten Drucken.  Berlin, 1855, in 3 vols. (The same publ. afterwards Geistl. Lieder der ev. K. aus dem 17ten und Anfang des 18ten Jahrh. Braunschweig, 1858.) K. Müllenhoff and W. Scherer: Denkmäler deutscher Poesie und Prosa aus dem 8ten his 12ten Jahrh. Berlin, 1864.

*Eduard Emil Koch (d. 1871): Geschichte des Kirchenlieds der christlichen, insbesondere der deutschen evangelischen Kirche. Third ed. completed and enlarged by Richard Lauxmann. Stuttgart, 1866–1876, in 8 vols. (The first ed. appeared in 1847; the second in 1852 and 1853, in 4 vols.)  A very useful book for German hymnody.

*Philipp Wackernagel (d. 1877): Das deutsche Kirchenlied von Luther his N. Hermann und A. Blaurer. Stuttgart, 1842, in 2 vols. By the same: Bibliographie zur Geschichte des deutschen Kirchenliedes im 16ten Jahrhundert. Frankf. -a-M., 1855. *By the same: Das deutsche Kirchenlied von der ältesten Zeit his zu Anfang des XVII Jahrhunderts. Leipzig, 1864–77, in 5 vols. (his chief work, completed by his two sons). A monumental work of immense industry and pains-taking accuracy, in a department where "pedantry is a virtue." Vol. I. contains Latin hymns, and from pp. 365–884 additions to the bibliography. The second and following vols. are devoted to German hymnody, including the mediaeval (vol. II.).

*A. F. W. Fischer: Kirchenlieder-Lexicon. Hymnologisch-literarische Nachweisungen über 4,500 der wichtigsten und verbreitetsten Kirchenlieder aller Zeiten. Gotha, 1878, ’79, in 2 vols. K. Severin Meister and Wilhelm Bäumker (R. C.): Das katholische deutsche Kirchenlied in seinen Singweisen von den frühesten Zeiten his gegen Ende des 17ten Jahrh. Freiburg-i. -B. 1862, 2d vol. by Bäumker, 1883. Devoted chiefly to the musical part.

On the hymnody of the Reformed churches of Switzerland and France in the sixteenth century, Les Psaumes mis en rime franaçaise par Clément Marot et Theodore de Bèze. Mis en musique à quatre parties par Claude Goudimel. Genève, 1565. It contains 150 Psalms, Symeon’s Song, a poem on the Decalogue and 150 melodies, many of which were based on secular tunes, and found entrance into the Lutheran Church. A beautiful modern edition by O. Douen: Clément Marot et le Psautier Huguenot. Paris, 1878 and 1879, 2 vols. Weber: Geschichte des Kirchengesangs in der deutschen reformirten Schweiz seit der Reformation. Zürich, 1876.

On the hymnody of the Bohemian and Moravian Brethren, see Wackernagel’s large work, III. 229–350 (Nos. 255–417), and Koch, l.c. II. 114–132.

Comp. the hymnological collections and discussions of Rambach, Bunsen, Knapp, Daniel, J. P. Lange, Stier, Stip, Geffken, Vilmar, etc. Also Schaff’s sketch of "German Hymnology," and other relevant articles in the forthcoming "Dictionary of Hymnology," edited by J. Julian, to be published by J. Murray in London and Scribner in New York, 1889. This will be the best work in the English language on the origin and history of Christian hymns of all ages and nations.


The most valuable contribution which German Protestantism made to Christian worship is its rich treasury of hymns. Luther struck the key-note; the Lutheran Church followed with a luminous train of hymnists; the Reformed churches, first with metrical versions of the Psalms and appropriate tunes, afterwards with new Christian hymns.

The hymn in the strict sense of the term, as a popular religious lyric, or a lyric poem in praise of God or Christ to be sung by the congregation in public worship, was born in Germany and brought to maturity with the Reformation and with the idea of the general priesthood of believers. The Latin Church had prepared the way, and produced some of the grandest hymns which can never die, as the "Dies Irae," the "Stabat mater," and the "Jesu dulcis memoria." But these and other Latin hymns and sequences of St. Hilary, St. Ambrose, Fortunatus, Notker, St. Bernard, St. Thomas Aquinas, Thomas a Celano, Jacobus de Benedictis, Adam of St. Victor, etc., were sung by priests and choristers, and were no more intelligible to the common people than the Latin Psalter and the Latin mass.639  The reign of the Latin language in public worship, while it tended to preserve the unity of the church, and to facilitate literary intercourse, kept back the free development of a vernacular hymnody. Nevertheless, the native love of the Germans for poetry and song produced for private devotion a large number of sacred lyrics and versified translations of the Psalms and Latin hymns. As there were German Bibles before Luther’s version, so there were also German hymns before his time; but they were limited in use, and superseded by the superior products of the evangelical church. Philip Wackernagel (the most learned German hymnologist, and an enthusiastic admirer of Luther) gives in the second volume of his large collection no less than fourteen hundred and forty-eight German hymns and sequences, from Otfrid to Hans Sachs (inclusive) or from a.d. 868 to 1518. Nor was vernacular hymnody confined to Germany. St. Francis of Assisi composed the "Cantico del Sol," and Jacopone da Todi (the author of the "Stabat Mater ") those passionate dithyrambic odes which "vibrate like tongues of fire," for private confraternities and domestic gatherings.640


German Hymnody before the Reformation.


In order to form a just estimate of German Protestant hymnody, we must briefly survey the mediaeval German hymnody.

The first attempts of Teutonic church poetry are biblical epics, and the leader of the Teutonic Christ-singers is the Anglo-Saxon monk Caedmon of Whitby (formerly a swineherd), about 680, who reproduced in alliterative verse, as by inspiration, the biblical history of creation and redemption, and brought it home to the imagination and heart of Old England.641  This poem, which was probably brought to Germany by Bonifacius and other English missionaries, inspired in the ninth century a similar production of an unknown Saxon (Westphalian) monk, namely, a poetic gospel harmony or life of Christ under the title "Heliand "(i.e., Heiland, Healer, Saviour).642  About the same time (c. 870), Otfrid of Weissenburg in the Alsace, a Benedictine monk, educated at Fulda and St. Gall, versified the gospel history in the Alemannian dialect, in fifteen hundred verses, divided into stanzas, each stanza consisting of four rhymed lines.643

These three didactic epics were the first vernacular Bibles for the laity among the Western barbarians.644

The lyric church poetry and music began with the "Kyrie Eleison" and "Christe Eleison," which passed from the Greek church into the Latin as a response of the people, especially on the high festivals, and was enlarged into brief poems called (from the refrain) Kirleisen, or Leisen, also Leichen. These enlarged cries for mercy are the first specimens of German hymns sung by the people. The oldest dates from the ninth century, called the "Leich vom heiligen Petrus," in three stanzas, the first of which reads thus in English: —


"Our Lord delivered power to St. Peter,
That he may preserve the man who hopes in Him.

Lord, have mercy upon us!
Christ, have mercy upon us!"


One of the best and most popular of these Leisen, but of much later date, is the Easter hymn,


"Christ is erstanden

von der marter alle,

des sul [sollen] wir alle fro sein,

Christ sol unser trost sein.
Kyrie leyson."


Penitential hymns in the vernacular were sung by the Flagellants (the Geisslergesellschaften), who in the middle of the fourteenth century, during a long famine and fearful pestilence (the "Black Death," 1348), passed in solemn processions with torches, crosses, and banners, through Germany and other countries, calling upon the people to repent and to prepare for the judgment to come.647

Some of the best Latin hymns, as the "Te Deum," the "Gloria in excelsis," the "Pange lingua," the "Veni Creator Spiritus," the "Ave Maria," the "Stabat Mater," the "Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem," St. Bernard’s "Jesu dulcis memoria," and "Salve caput cruentatum," were repeatedly translated long before the Reformation. Sometimes the words of the original were curiously mixed with the vernacular, as in the Christmas hymn, —


"In dulci jubilo
Nun singet und seit fro!

Unsres Herzens Wonne
Leit in praesepio

Und leuchtet wie die Sonne
In matris gremio
 Alpha es et O.


A Benedictine monk, John of Salzburg, prepared a number of translations from the Latin at the request of his archbishop, Pilgrim, in 1366, and was rewarded by him with a parish.649

The "Minnesänger" of the thirteenth century—among whom Gottfried of Strassburg and Walther von der Vogelweide are the most eminent—glorified love, mingling the earthly and heavenly, the sexual and spiritual, after the model of Solomon’s Song. The Virgin Mary was to them the type of pure, ideal womanhood. Walther cannot find epithets enough for her praise.

The mystic school of Tauler in the fourteenth century produced a few hymns full of glowing love to God. Tauler is the author of the Christmas poem, —


"Uns kommt ein Schiff geladen,"


and of hymns of love to God, one of which begins, —


"Ich muss die Creaturen fliehen
Und suchen Herzensinnigkeit,

Soll ich den Geist zu Gotte ziehen,
Auf dass er bleib in Reinigkeit.


The "Meistersänger" of the fifteenth century were, like the "Minnesänger," fruitful in hymns to the Virgin Mary. One of them begins, —


"Maria zart von edler Art

Ein Ros ohn alle Dornen."


From the middle ages have come down also some of the best tunes, secular and religious.651

The German hymnody of the middle ages, like the Latin, overflows with hagiolatry and Mariolatry. Mary is even clothed with divine attributes, and virtually put in the place of Christ, or of the Holy Spirit, as the fountain of all grace. The most pathetic of Latin hymns, the "Stabat mater dolorosa," which describes with overpowering effect the piercing agony of Mary at the cross, and the burning desire of being identified with her in sympathy, is disfigured by Mariolatry, and therefore unfit for evangelical worship without some omissions or changes. The great and good Bonaventura, who wrote the Passion hymn, "Recordare sanctae crucis," applied the whole Psalter to the Virgin in his "Psalterium B. Mariae," or Marian Psalter, where the name of Mary is substituted for that of the Lord. It was also translated into German, and repeatedly printed.652

"Through all the centuries from Otfrid to Luther" (says Wackernagel),653 we meet with the idolatrous veneration of the Virgin Mary. There are hymns which teach that she pre-existed with God at the creation, that all things were created in her and for her, and that God rested in her on the seventh day." One of the favorite Mary-hymns begins, —


"Dich, Frau vom Himmel, ruf ich an,

In diesen grossen Nöthen mein."654


Hans Sachs afterwards characteristically changed it into


"Christum vom Himmel ruf ich an."


The mediaeval hymnody celebrates Mary as the queen of heaven, as the "eternal womanly," which draws man insensibly heavenward.655  It resembles the Sixtine Madonna who carries the Christ-child in her arms.


German Hymnody of the Reformation.


The evangelical church substituted the worship of Christ, as our only Mediator and Advocate, for the worship of his virgin-mother. It reproduced and improved the old Latin and vernacular hymns and tunes, and produced a larger number of original ones. It introduced congregational singing in the place of the chanting of priests and choirs. The hymn became, next to the German Bible and the German sermon, the most powerful missionary of the evangelical doctrines of sin and redemption, and accompanied the Reformation in its triumphal march. Printed as tracts, the hymns were scattered wide and far, and sung in the house, the school, the church, and on the street. Many of them survive to this day, and kindle the flame of devotion.

To Luther belongs the extraordinary merit of having given to the German people in their own tongue, and in a form eclipsing and displacing all former versions, the Bible, the catechism, and the hymn-book, so that God might speak directly to them in His word, and that they might directly speak to Him in their songs. He was a musician also, and composed tunes to some of his hymns.656  He is the Ambrose of German church poetry and church music. He wrote thirty-seven hymns.657 Most of them (twenty-one) date from the year 1524; the first from 1523, soon after the completion of his translation of the New Testament; the last two from 1543, three years before his death. The most original and best known,—we may say the most Luther-like and most Reformer-like—is that heroic battle- and victory-hymn of the Reformation, which has so often been reproduced in other languages, and resounds in all German lands with mighty effect on great occasions: —


"Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott."

(A tower of strength is this our God.)658


This mighty poem is based upon the forty-sixth Psalm (Deus noster refugium et virtus) which furnished the key-note. It was born of deep tribulation and conquering faith, in the disastrous year 1527 (not 1521, or 1529, or 1530), and appeared first in print in 1528.659

Luther availed himself with his conservative tact of all existing helps for the benefit of public worship and private devotion. Most of his hymns and tunes rest on older foundations partly Latin, partly German. Some of them were inspired by Hebrew Psalms. To these belong, besides, Ein feste Burg" (Ps. 46), the following: —


"Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir" (1523).

(Out of the depths I cry to Thee. Ps. 130.)


"Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein" (1523).

(Help, Lord, look down from heaven above. Ps. 12.)


On the second chapter of Luke, which is emphatically the gospel of children, are based his truly childlike Christmas songs, —


"Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her" (1535),

(From heaven high to earth I come,)




"Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schaar" (1543).

(From heaven came the angel hosts.)


Others are free reproductions of Latin hymns, either directly from the original, or on the basis of an older German version: as, —


"Herr Gott, dich loben wir" (1543).

(Te Deum laudamus.)


"Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, heiliger Geist" (1524).

(Veni, Creator Spiritus.)


"Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland" (1524).

(Veni, Redemptor gentium.)


"Gelobet seist du, Jesus Christ" (1524).

(Grates nunc omnes reddamus.)


"Mitten wir im Leben sind" (1524).

(Media vita in morte sumus.)


"Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist" (1524).

(Now we pray to the Holy Ghost.)


"Christ lag in Todesbanden" (1524).

(In the bonds of death He lay.)
Surrexit Christus hodie.")660


Among his strictly original hymns are, —


"Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein" (1523).

(Rejoice, rejoice, dear flock of Christ.)


Bunsen calls this, the first (?) voice of German church-song, which flashed with the power of lightning through all German lands, in praise of the eternal decree of redemption of the human race and of the gospel of freedom."


"Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort,

Und steur des Papsts und Türken Mord" (1541).


This is directed against the Pope and the Turk, as the chief enemies of Christ and his church in Luther’s days.661

The stirring song of the two evangelical proto-martyrs at Brussels in 1523, —


"Ein neues Lied wir heben an." —


is chronologically his first, and not a hymn in the proper sense of the term, but had an irresistible effect, especially the tenth stanza, —


"Die Asche will nicht lassen ab,
Sie stäubt in alten Landen,

Hie hilft kein Bach, Loch, Grub noch Grab,
Sie macht den Feind zu Schanden.

Die er im Leben durch den Mord,
Zu schweigen hat gedrungen

Die muss er todt an altem Ort
Mit aller Stimm und Zungen
Gar frölich lassen singen."


(Their ashes will not rest and lie,
But scattered far and near,

Stream, dungeon, bolt, and grave defy,
Their foeman’s shame and fear.

Those whom alive the tyrant’s wrongs
To silence could subdue,

He must, when dead, let sing the songs

And in all languages and tongues
Resound the wide world through.)


Luther’s hymns are characterized, like those of St. Ambrose, by simplicity and strength, and a popular churchly tone. But, unlike those of St. Ambrose and the Middle Ages, they breathe the bold, confident, joyful spirit of justifying faith, which was the beating heart of his theology and piety.

Luther’s hymns passed at once into common use in church and school, and sung the Reformation into the hearts of the people. Hans Sachs of Nürnberg saluted him as the nightingale of Wittenberg.663  How highly his contemporaries thought of them, may be inferred from Cyriacus Spangenberg, likewise a hymnist, who said in his preface to the "Cithara Lutheri" (1569): "Of all master-singers since the days of the apostles, Luther is the best. In his hymns you find not an idle or useless word. The rhymes are easy and good, the words choice and proper, the meaning clear and intelligible, the melodies lovely and hearty, and, in summa, all is so rare and majestic, so full of pith and power, so cheering and comforting, that you will not find his equal, much less his master."

Before Luther’s death (1546), there appeared no less than forty-seven Lutheran hymn- and tune-books. The first German evangelical hymn-book, the so-called "Wittenberg Enchiridion." was printed in the year 1524, and contained eight hymns, four of them by Luther, three by Speratus, one by an unknown author. The "Erfurt Enchiridion" of the same year numbered twenty-five hymns, of which eighteen were from Luther. The hymn-book of Walther, also of 1524, contained thirty-two German and five Latin hymns, with a preface of Luther. Klug’s Gesangbuch by Luther, Wittenberg, 1529, had fifty (twenty-eight of Luther); Babst’s of 1545 (printed at Leipzig), eighty-nine; and the fifth edition of 1553, a hundred and thirty-one hymns.664

This rapid increase of hymns and hymn-books continued after Luther’s death. We can only mention the names of the principal hymnists who were inspired by his example.

Justus Jonas (1493–1555), Luther’s friend and colleague, wrote, —


"Wo Gott, der Herr, nicht bei uns hält" (Ps. 124).

(If God were not upon our side.)


Paul Ebert (1511–1569), the faithful assistant of Melanchthon, and professor of Hebrew in Wittenberg, is the author of


"Wenn wir in höchsten Nöthen sein,"

(When in the hour of utmost need,)




"Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’r Mensch und Gott."

(Lord Jesus Christ, true man and God.)


Burkhard Waldis of Hesse (1486–1551) versified the Psalter.

Erasmus Alber (d. in Mecklenburg, 1553) wrote twenty hymns which Herder and Gervinus thought almost equal to Luther’s.

Lazarus Spengler of Nürnberg (1449–1534) wrote about 1522 a hymn on sin and redemption, which soon became very popular, although it is didactic rather than poetic: –


"Durch Adam’s Fall ist ganz verderbt."


Hans Sachs (1494–1576), the shoemaker-poet of Nürnberg, was the most fruitful "Meistersänger" of that period, and wrote some spiritual hymns as well; but only one of them is still in use: —


"Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz?"

(Why doest thou vex thyself, my heart?)


Veit Dietrich, pastor of St. Sebaldus in Nürnberg (d. 1549), wrote: —


"Bedenk, o Mensch, die grosse Gnad."

(Remember, man, the wondrous grace.)


Markgraf Albrecht of Brandenburg (d. 1557), is the author of: —


"Was mein Gott will, gescheh allzeit."

(Thy will, my God, be always done.)


Paul Speratus, his court-chaplain at Königsberg (d. 1551), contributed three hymns to the first German hymn-book (1524), of which —


"Es ist das Heil uns kommen her"

(To us salvation now has come)


is the best, though more didactic than lyric, and gives rhymed expression to the doctrine of justification by faith.



"Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ"

(To Thee alone, Lord Jesus Christ)


appeared first in 1545, and is used to this day.

Mathesius, the pupil and biographer of Luther, and pastor at Joachimsthal in Bohemia (1504–65), wrote a few hymns. Nicolaus Hermann, his cantor and friend (d. 1561), is the author of a hundred and seventy-six hymns, especially for children, and composed popular tunes. Nicolaus Decius, first a monk, then an evangelical pastor at Stettin (d. 1541), reproduced the Gloria in Excelsis in his well-known


"Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" (1526),


and the eucharistic Agnus Dei in his


"O Lamm Gottes unschuldig" (1531).


He also composed the tunes.

The German hymnody of the Reformation period was enriched by hymns of the Bohemian Brethren. Two of them, Michael Weisse (d. 1542) and Johann Horn, prepared free translations. Weisse was a native German, but joined the Brethren, and was sent by them as a delegate to Luther in 1522, who at first favored them before they showed their preference for the Reformed doctrine of the sacraments. One of the best known of these Bohemian hymns is the Easter song (1531): —


"Christus ist erstanden."

(Christ the Lord is risen.)


We cannot follow in detail the progress of German hymnody. It flows from the sixteenth century down to our days in an unbroken stream, and reflects German piety in the sabbath dress of poetry. It is by far the richest of all hymnodies.665

The number of German’ hymns cannot fall short of one hundred thousand. Dean Georg Ludwig von Hardenberg of Halberstadt, in the year 1786, prepared a hymnological catalogue of the first lines of 72,733 hymns (in five volumes preserved in the library of Halberstadt). This number was not complete at that time, and has considerably increased since. About ten thousand have become more or less popular, and passed into different hymn-books. Fischer666 gives the first lines of about five thousand of the best, many of which were overlooked by Von Hardenberg.

We may safely say that nearly one thousand of these hymns are classical and immortal. This is a larger number than can be found in any other language.

To this treasury of German song, several hundred men and women, of all ranks and conditions,—theologians and pastors, princes and princesses, generals and statesmen, physicians and jurists, merchants and travelers, laborers and private persons,—have made contributions, laying them on the common altar of devotion. The majority of German hymnists are Lutherans, the rest German Reformed (as Neander and Tersteegen), or Moravians (Zinzendorf and Gregor), or belong to the United Evangelical Church. Many of these hymns, and just those possessed of the greatest vigor and unction, full of the most exulting faith and the richest comfort, had their origin amid the conflicts and storms of the Reformation, or the fearful devastations and nameless miseries of the Thirty Years’ War; others belong to the revival period of the pietism of Spener, and the Moravian Brotherhood of Zinzendorf, and reflect the earnest struggle after holiness, the fire of the first love, and the sweet enjoyment of the soul’s intercourse with her heavenly Bridegroom; not a few of them sprang up even in the cold and prosy age of "illumination" and rationalism, like flowers from dry ground, or Alpine roses on fields of snow; others, again, proclaim, in fresh and joyous tones, the dawn of reviving faith in the land where the Reformation had its birth. Thus these hymns constitute a book of devotion and poetic confession of faith for German Protestantism, a sacred band which encircles its various periods, an abiding memorial of its struggles and victories, its sorrows and joys, a mirror of its deepest experiences, and an eloquent witness for the all-conquering and invincible life-power of the evangelical Christian faith.

The treasures of German hymnody have enriched the churches of other tongues, and passed into Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, French, Dutch, and modern English and American hymn-books.

John Wesley was the first of English divines who appreciated its value; and while his brother Charles produced an immense number of original hymns, John freely reproduced several hymns of Paul Gerhardt, Tersteegen, and Zinzendorf. The English Moravian hymn-book as revised by Montgomery contains about a thousand abridged (but mostly indifferent) translations from the German. In more recent times several accomplished writers, male and female, have vied with each other in translations and transfusions of German hymns.

Among the chief English translators are Miss Frances Elizabeth Cox;667 Arthur Tozer Russell;668 Richard Massie;669 Miss Catherine Winkworth;670 Mrs. Eric Findlater and her sister, Miss Jane Borthwick, of the Free Church of Scotland, who modestly conceal their names under the letters "H. L. L." (Hymns from the Land of Luther);671 James W. Alexander,672Henry Mills,673 John Kelly,674 not to mention many others who have furnished admirable translations of one or more hymns for public or private hymnological collections.675

English and American hymnody began much later than the German, but comes next to it in fertility, is enriching itself constantly by transfusions of Greek, Latin, and German, as well as by original hymns, and may ultimately surpass all hymnodies.


 § 83. Common Schools.


Luther: An die Rathsherren aller Städte deutschen Landes, dass sie christliche Schulen aufrichten und halten sollen. Wittenberg, 1524. The book appeared in the same year in Latin (De constituendis scholis), with a preface of Melanchthon, the probable translator, at Hagenau. In Walch, x. 533; in the Erlangen. ed., xxii. 168–199.


Church and school go together. The Jewish synagogue was a school. Every Christian church is a school of piety and virtue for old and young. The mediaeval church was the civilizer and instructor of the barbarians, founded the convent and cathedral schools, and the great universities of Paris (1209), Bologna, Padua, Oxford, Cambridge, St. Andrews, Glasgow, Salamanca, Alcala, Toledo, Prague (1348), Vienna (1365), Heidelberg (1386), Cologne (1388), Erfurt (1393), Leipzig (1409), Basel (1460), Ingolstadt (1472), Tübingen (1477), Wittenberg (1502), etc. But education in the middle ages was aristocratic, and confined to the clergy and a very few laymen of the higher classes. The common people were ignorant and superstitious, and could neither read nor write. Even noblemen signed their name with a cross. Books were rare and dear. The invention of the printing-press prepared the way for popular education. The Reformation first utilized the press on a large scale, and gave a powerful impulse to common schools. The genius of Protestantism favors the general diffusion of knowledge. It elevates the laity, emancipates private judgment, and stimulates the sense of personal responsibility. Every man should be trained to a position of Christian freedom and self-government.

Luther discussed this subject first in his Address to the German Nobility (1520). In 1524 he wrote a special book in which he urged the civil magistrates of all the cities of Germany to improve their schools, or to establish new ones for boys and girls; this all the more since the zeal for monastic institutions had declined, and the convents were fast getting empty. He wisely recommended that a portion of the property of churches and convents be devoted to this purpose, instead of being wasted on secular objects, or on avaricious princes and noblemen. He makes great account of the study of languages, and skillfully refutes the objections. A few extracts will give the best idea of this very useful little book on a most important subject.


"Grace and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ … Although I am now excommunicated for three years, and should keep silent if I feared men more than God, ... I will speak as long as I live, until the righteousness of Christ shall break forth in its glory … I beg you all, my dear lords and friends, for God’s sake to take care of the poor youth, and thereby to help us all. So much money is spent year after year for arms, roads, dams, and innumerable similar objects, why should not as much be spent for the education of the poor youth?  ... The word of God is now heard in Germany more than ever before. But if we do not show our gratitude for it, we run the risk of sinking back into a worse darkness.

"Dear Germans, buy while the market is at the door. Gather while the sun shines and the weather is good. Use God’s grace and word while it is at hand. For you must know that God’s grace and word is a travelling shower, which does not return where once it has been. It was once with the Jews, but gone is gone (hin ist hin); now they have nothing. Paul brought it into Greece, but gone is gone; now they have the Turk. Rome and Italy have also had it, but gone is gone; they have now the Pope. And ye Germans must not think that you will have it forever; for ingratitude and contempt will not let it abide. Therefore, seize and hold fast, whoever can.

"It is a sin and shame that we should need to be admonished to educate our children, when nature itself, and even the example of the heathen, urge us to do so. … You say, the parents should look to that, it is none of the business of counselors and magistrates. But how, if the parents neglect it?  Most of the parents are incapable; having themselves learnt nothing, they cannot teach their children. Others have not the time. And what shall become of the orphans?  The glory of a town consists not in treasure, strong walls, and fine houses, but in fine, educated, well-trained citizens. The city of old Rome trained her sons in Latin and Greek and all the fine arts ....

"We admit, you say, there should and must be schools, but what is the use of teaching Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and other liberal arts?  Could we not teach, in German, the Bible and God’s word, which are sufficient for salvation?  Answer: Yes, I well know, alas! that we Germans must ever be and abide brutes and wild beasts, as the surrounding nations call us, and as we well deserve to be called. But I wonder why you never say, Of what use are silks, wines, spices, and other foreign articles, seeing we have wine, corn, wool, flax, wood, and stones, in German lands, not only an abundance for sustenance, but also a choice and selection for elegance and ornament?  The arts and languages, which do us no harm, nay, which are a greater ornament, benefit, honor, and advantage, both for understanding Holy Writ, and for managing civil affairs, we are disposed to despise; and foreign wares, which are neither necessary nor useful to us, and which, moreover, peel us to the very bone, these we are not willing to forego. Are we not deserving to be called German fools and beasts?  ...

"Much as we love the gospel, let us hold fast to the languages. God gave us the Scriptures in two languages, the Old Testament in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek. Therefore we should honor them above all other languages. … And let us remember that we shall not be able to keep the gospel without the languages. The languages are the sheath in which this sword of the Spirit is hid. They are the casket in which this treasure is kept. They are the vessels in which this drink is contained; they are the storehouse in which this food is laid by; and, as the gospel itself shows, they are the baskets in which these loaves and fishes and fragments are preserved. Yea, if we should so err as to let the languages go (which God forbid!), we shall not only lose the gospel, but it will come to pass at length that we shall not be able to speak or write correctly either Latin or German. ...

"Herewith I commend you all to the grace of God. May He soften and kindle your hearts so that they shall earnestly take the part of these poor, pitiable, forsaken youth, and, through Divine aid, counsel and help them to a happy and Christian ordering of the German land as to body and soul with all fullness and overflow, to the praise and honor of God the Father, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Amen."


The advice of Luther was not unheeded. Protestant nations are far ahead of the Roman Catholic in popular education. In Germany and Switzerland there is scarcely a Protestant boy or girl that cannot read and write; while in some papal countries, even to this day, the majority of the people are illiterate.676


 § 84. Reconstruction of Church Government and Discipline.


Aemil Ludw. Richter: Die evangel; Kirchenordnungen des 16 Jahrh., Weimar, 1846, 2 vols. By the same: Gesch. der evang. Kirchenver-fassung in Deutschland. Leipz., 1851. By the same: Lehrbuch des kath. und evang. Kirchenrechts, Leipzig, 5th ed., 1858. J. W. F. Höfling: Grundsätze der evang.-lutherischen Kirchenverfassung. Erlangen, third ed., 1853. Stahl: Die Kirchenverfassung nach Recht und Lehre der Protestanten. Erlangen, 1862. Mejer: Grundl. des luth. Kirchenregiments, Rostock, 1864. E. Friedberg: Lehrbuch des kath. u. evang. Kirchenrechts, Leipz., 1884.


The papal monarchy and visible unity of Western Christendom were destroyed with the burning of the Pope’s bull and the canon law. The bishops refused to lead the new movement; disorder and confusion followed. A reconstruction of government and discipline became necessary. The idea of an invisible church of all believers was not available for this purpose. The invisible is not governable. The question was, how to deal with the visible church as it existed in Saxony and other Protestant countries, and to bring order out of chaos. The lawyers had to be consulted, and they could not dispense with the legal wisdom and experience of centuries. Luther himself returned to the study of the canon law, though to little purpose.677  He hated it for its connection with popery, and got into conflict with the lawyers, even his colleague, Professor Schurf, who had accompanied him to the Diet of Worms as a faithful friend and counselor, but differed from him on matrimonial legislation. He abused the lawyers, even from the pulpit, as abettors of the Pope and the Devil.678  He was not a disciplinarian and organizer like John Calvin, or John Knox, or John Wesley, and left his church in a less satisfactory condition than the Reformed churches of Switzerland and Scotland. He complained that he had not the proper persons for what he wished to accomplish; but he did what he could under the circumstances, and regretted that he could do no more.

Four ways were open for the construction of an evangelical church polity: —

1. To retain the episcopal hierarchy, without the papacy, or to create a new one in its place. This was done in the Lutheran churches of Scandinavia, and in the Church of England, but in the closest connection with the state, and in subordination to it. In Scandinavia the succession was broken; in England the succession continued under the lead of Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury, was interrupted under Queen Mary, and restored under Queen Elizabeth.

Had the German bishops favored the Reformation, they would, no doubt, have retained their power in Germany, and naturally taken the lead in the organization of the new church. Melanchthon was in favor of episcopacy, and even a sort of papacy by human (not Divine) right, on condition of evangelical freedom; but the hostility of the hierarchy made its authority impossible in Germany.679  He had, especially in his later years, a stronger conception of the institutional character and historical order of the church than Luther, who cared nothing for bishops. He taught, however, the original equality of bishops and presbyters (appealing to the Pastoral Epistles and to Jerome); and held that when the regular bishops reject the gospel, and refuse to ordain evangelical preachers, the power of ordination returns to the church and the pastors.

2. To substitute a lay episcopate for the clerical episcopate; in other words, to lodge the supreme ecclesiastical power in the hands of the civil magistrate, who appoints ministers, superintendents, and church counselors as executive officers.

This was done in the Lutheran churches of Germany. The superintendents performed episcopal duties, but without constituting a distinct and separate grade of the ministry, and without the theory of the episcopal or apostolical succession. The Lutheran Church holds the Presbyterian doctrine of the parity of ministers.680  The organization of the Lutheran churches was, however, for a number of years regarded as provisional, and kept open for a possible reconciliation with the episcopate. Hence the princes were called Nothbischöfe.

3. To organize a presbyterian polity on the basis of the parity of ministers, congregational lay-elders, and deacons, and a representative synodical government, with strict discipline, and a distinction between nominal and communicant membership. This was attempted in Hesse at the Synod of Homberg (1526) by Lambert (a pupil of Zwingli and Luther), developed by Calvin in Geneva, and carried out in the Reformed churches of France, Holland, Scotland, and the Presbyterian churches of North America. Luther rather discouraged this plan in a letter to Philip of Hesse; but in 1540 he expressed a wish, with Jonas, Bugenhagen, and Melanchthon, to introduce Christian discipline with the aid of elders (seniores) in each congregation. Several Lutheran Church constitutions exclude adulterers, drunkards, and blasphemers from the communion.

4. Congregational independency; i.e., the organization of self-governing congregations of true believers in free association with each other. This was once suggested by Luther, but soon abandoned without a trial. It appeared in isolated attempts under Queen Elizabeth, and was successfully developed in the seventeenth century by the Independents in England, and the Congregationalists in New England.

The last two ways are more thoroughly Protestant and consistent with the principle of the general priesthood of believers; but they presuppose a higher grade of self-governing capacity in the laity than the episcopal polity.

All these forms of government admit of a union with the state (as in Europe), or a separation from the state (as in America). Union of church and state was the traditional system since the days of Constantine and Charlemagne, and was adhered to by all the Reformers. They had no idea of a separation; they even brought the two powers into closer relationship by increasing the authority of the state over the church. Separation of the two was barely mentioned by Luther, as a private opinion, we may say almost as a prophetic dream, but was soon abandoned as an impossibility.

Luther, in harmony with his unique personal experience, made the doctrine of justification the cardinal truth of Christianity, and believed that the preaching of that doctrine would of itself produce all the necessary changes in worship and discipline. But the abuse of evangelical freedom taught him the necessity of discipline, and he raised his protest against antinomianism. His complaints of the degeneracy of the times increased with his age and his bodily infirmities. The world seemed to him to be getting worse and worse, and fast rushing to judgment. He was so disgusted with the immorality prevailing among the citizens and students at Wittenberg, that he threatened to leave the town altogether in 1544, but yielded to the earnest entreaties of the university and magistrate to remain.681

The German Reformation did not stimulate the duty of self-support, nor develop the faculty of self-government. It threw the church into the arms of the state, from whose bondage she has never been able as yet to emancipate herself. The princes, nobles, and city magistrates were willing and anxious to take the benefit, but reluctant to perform the duties, of their new priestly dignity; while the common people remained as passive as before, without a voice in the election of their pastor, or any share in the administration of their congregational affairs. The Lutheran prince took the place of the bishop or pope; the Lutheran pastor (Pfarrherr), the place of the Romish priest, but instead of obeying the bishop he had to obey his secular patron.682


 §85. Enlarged Conception of the Church. Augustin, Wiclif, Hus, Luther.


Köstlin: Luthers Lehre von der Kirche. Stuttgart, 1853. Comp. his Luthers Theologie in ihrer geschichtl. Entwicklung, II. 534 sqq.; and his Martin Luther, bk. VI. ch. iii. (II. 23 sqq.). Joh. Gottschick: Hus’, Luther’s und Zwingli’s Lehre von der Kirche, in Briegers "Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte." Bd. VIII., Gotha, 1886, pp. 345 sqq. and 543 sqq. (Very elaborate, but he ought to have gone back to Wiclif and Augustin. Hus merely repeated Wiclif.)

Comp. also on the general subject Münchmeyer: Das Dogma von der sichtbaren und unsichtbaren Kirche, 1854. Ritschl: Ueber die Begriffe sichtbare und unsichtbare Kirche, in the "Studien und Kritiken" for 1859. Jul. Müller: Die unsichtbare Kirche, in his "Dogmatische Abhandlungen." Bremen, 1870, pp. 278–403 (an able defense of the idea of the invisible church against Rothe, Münchmeyer, and others who oppose the term invisible as inapplicable to the church. See especially Rothe’s Anfänge der christl. Kirche, 1837, vol. I. 99 sqq.). Alfred Krauss: Das protestantische Dogma von der unsichtbaren Kirche, Gotha, 1876. Seeberg: Der Begriff der christlichen Kirche, Part I., 1885. James S. Candlish: The Kingdom of God. Edinburgh, 1884.


Separation from Rome led to a more spiritual and more liberal conception of the church, and to a distinction between the one universal church of the elect children of God of all ages and countries, under the sole headship of Christ, and the several visible church organizations of all nominal Christians. We must trace the gradual growth of this distinction.

In the New Testament the term ejkklhsiva (a popular assembly, congregation) is used in two senses (when applied to religion): 1, in the general sense of the whole body of Christian believers (by our Lord, Matt. 16:18); and 2, in the particular sense of a local congregation of Christians (also by our Lord, Matt. 18:17). We use the equivalent term "church" (from kuriakovn, belonging to the Lord) in two additional senses: of a denomination (e.g., the Greek, the Roman, the Anglican, the Lutheran Church), and of a church edifice. The word ejkklhsiva occurs only twice in the Gospels (in Matthew), but very often in the Acts and Epistles; while the terms "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven" are used very often in the Gospels, but rarely in the other books. This indicates a difference. The kingdom of God precedes the institution of the church, and will outlast it. The kingdom has come, is constantly coming, and will come in glory. It includes the government of God, and all the religious and moral activities of man. The visible church is a training-school for the kingdom. In many instances the terms may be interchanged, while in others we could not substitute the church for the kingdom without impropriety: e.g., in the phrase "of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3; Mark 10:14); or, "thy kingdom come" (Matt. 6:10) or, "the kingdom of God cometh not with observation, ... the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20, 21) or, "to inherit the kingdom" (Matt. 25:34; 1 Cor. 6:10; 15:30; Gal. 5:21); or, "the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." A distinction between nominal and real, or outward and inward, membership of the church, is indicated in the words of our Lord, "Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14), and by Paul when be speaks of a circumcision of the flesh and a circumcision of the heart (Rom. 2:28, 29). Here is the germ of the doctrine of the visible and invisible church.

The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds include the holy catholic church and the communion of saints among the articles of faith,683  and do not limit them by the Greek, Roman, or any other nationality or age. "Catholic" means universal, and is as wide as humanity. It indicates the capacity and aim of the church; but the actualization of this universalness is a process of time, and it will not be completed till the whole world is converted to Christ.684

The mediaeval schoolmen distinguished three stages in the catholic church as to its locality,—the militant church on earth (ecclesia militans), the church of the departed or the sleeping church in purgatory (ecclesia dormiens), and the triumphant church in heaven (ecclesia triumphans). This classification was retained by Wiclif, Hus, and other forerunners of Protestantism; but the Reformers rejected the intervening purgatorial church, together with prayers for the departed, and included all the pious dead in the church triumphant.

In the militant church on earth, Augustin made an important distinction between "the true body of Christ" (corpus Christi verum), and "the mixed body of Christ" (corpus Christi mixtum or simulatum). He substitutes this for the less suitable designation of a "twofold body of Christ" (corpus Domini bipartitum), as taught by Tichonius, the Donatist grammarian (who referred to Cant. 1:5). These two bodies are in this world externally in one communion, as the good and bad fish are in one net, but they will ultimately be separated.685  To the true or pure church belong all the elect, and these only, whether already in the Catholic Church, or outside of it, yet predestinated for it. "Many," he says, "who are openly outside, and are called heretics, are better than many good Catholics; for we see what they are to-day; what they shall be to-morrow, we know not; and with God, to whom the future is already present, they already are what they shall be hereafter."686  On the other hand, hypocrites are in the church, but not of the church.

It should be added, however, that Augustin confined the true church on earth to the limits of the visible, orthodox, catholic body of his day, and excluded all heretics,—Manichaeans, Pelagians, Arians, etc.,—and schismatics,—Donatists, etc.,—as long as they remain outside of fellowship with that body. In explaining the article "the holy church," in his version of the Creed (which omits the epithet "catholic," and the additional clause "the communion of saints"), he says that this surely means, the Catholic Church;" and adds, "Both heretics and schismatics style their congregations churches. But heretics in holding false opinions regarding God do injury to the faith itself; while schismatics, on the other hand, in wicked separations break off from brotherly charity, although they may believe just what we believe. Wherefore, neither do the heretics belong to the Church Catholic, which loves God; nor do the schismatics form a part of the same, inasmuch as it loves the neighbor, and consequently readily forgives the neigbbor’s sin."687  It is well known that this great and good man even defended the principle of forcible coercion of schismatics, on a false interpretation of Luke 14:23, "Constrain them to come in."

In the ninth century the visible Catholic Church was divided into two rival Catholic churches,—the patriarchal church in the East, and the papal church in the West. The former denied the papal claim of universal jurisdiction and headship, as an anti-Christian usurpation; the latter identified the Church Catholic with the dominion of the papacy, and condemned the Greek Church as schismatical. Hereafter, in Western Christendom, the Holy Catholic Church came to mean the Holy Roman Church.

The tyranny and corruptions of the papacy called forth the vigorous protest of Wiclif, who revived the Augustinian distinction between the true church and the mixed church, but gave it an anti-Roman and anti-papal turn (which Augustin did not). He defined the true church to be the congregation of the predestinated, or elect, who will ultimately be saved.688  Nobody can become a member of this church except by God’s predestination, which is the eternal foundation of the church, and determines its membership. No one who is rejected from eternity (praescitus, foreknown, as distinct from praedestinatus, foreordained) can be a member of this church. He may be in it, but he is not of it. As there is much in the human body which is no part of it, so there may be hypocrites in the church who will finally be removed. There is but one universal church, out of which there is no salvation. The only Head of this church is Christ; for a church with two heads would be a monster. The apostles declared themselves to be servants of this Head. The Pope is only the head of a part of the church militant, and this only if he lives in harmony with the commandments of Christ. This conception of the church excludes all hypocrites and bad members, though they be bishops or popes; and it includes all true Christians, whether Catholics, or schismatics, or heretics. It coincides with the Protestant idea of the invisible church. But Wiclif and Hus denied the certainty of salvation, as taught afterwards by Calvinists, and herein they agreed with the Catholics; they held that one may be sure of his present state of grace, but that his final salvation depends upon his perseverance, which cannot be known before the end.

Wiclif’s view of the true church was literally adopted by the Bohemian Reformer Hus, who depended for his theology on the English Reformer much more than was formerly known.689  From Hus it passed to Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, who agreed in denying the claims of the papacy to exclusive catholicity, and in widening the limits of the church so as to include all true believers in Christ. But they distinguished more clearly between the invisible and visible church, or rather between one true invisible church and several mixed visible churches.690  The invisible church is within the visible church as the soul is in the body, and the kernel in the shell. It is not a Utopian dream or Platonic commonwealth, but most real and historical. The term, "invisible" was chosen because the operations of the Holy Spirit are internal and invisible, and because nobody in this life can be surely known to belong to the number of the elect, while membership of the visible church is recognizable by baptism and profession.

Important questions were raised with this distinction for future settlement. Some eminent modern Protestant divines object to the term "invisible church," as involving a contradiction, inasmuch as the church is essentially a visible institution; but they admit the underlying truth of an invisible, spiritual communion of believers scattered throughout the world.691  As Protestantism has since divided and subdivided into a number of denominations and separate organizations, the idea of the church needs to be further expanded. We must recognize a number of visible churches, Greek, Latin, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and all the more recent Christian denominations which acknowledge Christ as their Head, and his teaching and example as their rule of faith and duty. The idea of denominations or confessions, as applied to churches, is of modern date; but is, after all, only an expansion of the idea of a particular church, or a contraction of the idea of the universal church, and therefore authorized by the double Scripture usage of ecclesia. The denominational conception lies between the catholic and the local conception. The one invisible church is found in all visible denominations and congregations as far as true Christianity extends. Another distinction should also be made between the church, and the kingdom of God, which is a more spiritual and more comprehensive idea than even this invisible catholic church, although very closely allied to it, and usually identified with it. But we cannot anticipate modern discussions. The Reformers were concerned first of all to settle their relation to the Roman Church as they found it, and to reconcile the idea of a truly catholic church which they could not and would not sacrifice, with the corruptions of the papacy on the one hand, and with their separation from it on the other.

Luther received a copy of Hus’s treatise De Ecclesia from Prague in 1519.692  He was driven to a defense of the Bohemian martyr in the disputation at Leipzig, and ventured to assert that Hus was unjustly condemned by the Council of Constance for holding doctrines derived from Augustin and Paul. Among these was his definition of the universal church as the totality of the elect (universitas praedestinatorum).

Luther developed this idea in his own way, and modified it in application to the visible church. He started from the article of the Creed, "I believe in the holy catholic church," but identified this article with the "communion of saints," as a definition of the catholic church.693  He explained the communion (Gemeinschaft) to mean the community or congregation (Gemeinde) of saints. He also substituted, in his Catechism, the word "Christian" for "catholic," in order to include in it all believers in Christ. Hence the term "catholic" became, or remained, identical in Germany with "Roman Catholic" or "papal;"694 while the English Protestant churches very properly retained the word "catholic" in, its true original sense of "universal," which admits of no sectarian limitation. The Romanists have no claim to the exclusive use of that title; they are too sectarian and exclusive to be truly catholic.

Luther held that the holy church in its relation to God is an article of faith, not of sight, and therefore invisible.695  But as existing among men the true church is visible, and can be recognized by the right preaching of the gospel or the purity of doctrine, and by the right administration of the sacraments (i.e., baptism and the Lord’s Supper). These are the two essential marks of a pure church. The first he emphasized against the Romanists, the second against what he called Enthusiasts (Schwarmgeister) and Sacramentarians (in the sense of anti-sacramentarians).

His theory acquired symbolical authority through the Augsburg Confession, which defines the church to be "the congregation of saints in which the gospel is rightly taught, and the sacraments are rightly administered."696  Worship and discipline, rites and ceremonies, are made secondary or indifferent, and reckoned with human traditions which may change from time to time. The church has no right to impose what is not commanded in the Word of God. In such things everybody is his own pope and church. The Lutheran Confession has always laid great—we may say too great—stress on the unity of doctrine, and little, too little, stress on discipline. And yet in no other evangelical denomination is there such a diversity of theological opinions, from the strict orthodoxy of the Formula Concordiae to every form and degree of Rationalism.

How far, we must ask here, did Luther recognize the dominion of the papacy as a part of the true catholic church?  He did not look upon the Pope in the historical and legal light as the legitimate head of the Roman Church; but he fought him to the end of his life as the antagonist of the gospel, as the veritable Antichrist, and the papacy as an apostasy. He could not have otherwise justified his separation, and the burning of the papal bull and law-books. He assumed a position to the Pope and his church similar to that of the apostles to Caiaphas and the synagogue. Nevertheless, whether consistently or not, he never doubted the validity of the ordinances of the Roman Church, having himself been baptized, confirmed, and ordained in it, and he never dreamed of being re-baptized or re-ordained. Those millions of Protestants who seceded in the sixteenth century were of the same opinion, with the sole exception of the Anabaptists who objected to infant-baptism, partly on the ground that it was an invention of the popish Antichrist, and therefore invalid.

Nor did Luther or any of the Reformers and sensible Protestants doubt that there always were and are still many true Christians in the Roman communion, notwithstanding all her errors and corruptions, as there were true lsraelites even in the darkest periods of the Jewish theocracy. In his controversy with the Anabaptists (1528), Luther makes the striking admission: "We confess that under the papacy there is much Christianity, yea, the whole Christianity, and has from thence come to us. We confess that the papacy possesses the genuine Scriptures, genuine baptism, the genuine sacrament of the altar, the genuine keys for the remission of sins, the true ministry, the true catechism, the Ten Commandments, the articles of the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer. … I say that under the Pope is the true Christendom, yea, the very élite of Christendom, and many pious and great saints."697

For proof he refers, strangely enough, to the very passage of Paul, 2 Thess. 2:3, 4, from which he and other Reformers derived their chief argument that the Pope of Rome is Antichrist, "the man of sin," "the son of perdition." For Paul represents him as sitting "in the temple of God;" that is, in the true church, and not in the synagogue of Satan. As the Pope is Antichrist, he must be among Christians, and rule and tyrannize over Christians.698  Melanchthon, who otherwise had greater respect for the Pope and the Roman Church, repeatedly expressed the same view.699  Luther came nearer the true position when he said that the Roman Church might be called a "holy church," by synecdoche or ex parte, with the same restriction with which Paul called the Galatian Christians "churches," notwithstanding their apostasy from the true gospel.700

He combined with the boldest independence a strong reverence for the historical faith. He derives from the unbroken tradition of the church an argument against the Zwinglians for the real presence in the eucharist; and says, in a letter to Albrecht, Margrave of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia (April, 1532, after Zwingli’s death): "The testimony of the entire holy Christian church (even without any other proof) should be sufficient for us to abide by this article, and to listen to no sectaries against it. For it is dangerous and terrible (gefährlich und erschrecklich) to hear or believe any thing against the unanimous testimony, faith, and doctrine of the entire holy Christian church as held from the beginning for now over fifteen hundred years in all the world. … To deny such testimony is virtually to condemn not only the holy Christian church as a damned heretic, but even Christ himself, with all his apostles and prophets, who have founded this article, ’I believe a holy Christian church,’ as solemnly affirmed by Christ when he promised, ’Behold, I am with you all the days, even to the end of the world’ (Matt. 28:20), and by St. Paul when he says, ’The church of God is the pillar and ground of the truth’ (1 Tim. 3:15)."701

A Roman controversialist could not lay more stress on tradition than Luther does in this passage. But tradition, at least from the sixth to the sixteenth century, strongly favors the belief in transubstantiation, and the sacrifice of the mass, both of which he rejected. And if the same test should be applied to his doctrine of solifidian justification, it would be difficult to support it by patristic or scholastic tradition, which makes no distinction between justification and sanctification, and lays as much stress on good works as on faith. He felt it himself, that on this vital point, not even Augustin was on his side. His doctrine can be vindicated only as a new interpretation of St. Paul in advance of the previous understanding.

Calvin, if we may here anticipate his views as expounded in the first chapters of the fourth book of his "Institutes of the Christian Religion," likewise clearly distinguishes between the visible and invisible church,702  and in the visible church again between the true evangelical church and the false papal church, which he assails as unmercifully as Luther; yet he also admits that the Roman communion, notwithstanding the antichristian character of the papacy, yea, for the very reason that Antichrist sits "in the temple of God," remains a church with the Scriptures and valid Christian ordinances.703  So the Jewish synagogue under Caiaphas retained the law and the prophets, the rites and ceremonies, of the theocracy.

The Westminster Confession implies the same theory, and supports it by the same questionable exegesis of 2 Thess. 2:3 sqq. and Rev. 13:1–8.704

The claims of the Roman Church rest on a broader and more solid base than the papacy, which is merely the form of her government. The papal hierarchy was often as corrupt as the Jewish hierarchy, and some popes were as wicked as Caiaphas;705 but this fact cannot destroy the claims nor invalidate the ordinances of the Roman Church, which from the days of the apostles down to the Reformation has been identified with the fortunes of Western Christendom, and which remains to this day the largest visible church in the world. To deny her church character is to stultify history, and to nullify the promise of Christ. (Matt. 16:18; 28:20.)




luther’s views on the church fathers.


Walch, XXII. 2050–2065. Erlangen ed. LXII. 97 sqq. (Tischreden). Bindseil: Mart. Lutheri Colloquia (1863), 3 vols.


In this connection it may be interesting to collect from his writings and Table Talk some of Luther’s characteristic judgments of the church fathers whose works began to be more generally known and studied through the editions of Erasmus.

Luther had no idea of a golden age of virgin purity of the church. He knew that even among the apostles there was a Judas, and that errors and corruptions crept into the Galatian, Corinthian, and other congregations, as is manifest from the censures, warnings, and exhortations of the Epistles of the New Testament. Much less could he expect perfection in any post-apostolic age. His view of the absolute supremacy of the Word of God over all the words of men, even the best and holiest, led him to a critical and discriminating estimate of the fathers and schoolmen. Besides, he felt the difference between the patristic and the Protestant theology. The Continental Reformers generally thought much less of the fathers than the Anglican divines.

"The fathers," says Luther, "have written many things that are pious and useful (multa pia et salutaria), but they must be read with discrimination, and judged by the Scriptures." "The dear fathers lived better than they wrote; we write better than we live." (Melius vixerunt quam scripserunt: nos Deo juvante melius scribimus quam vivimus. Bindseil, l.c. III. 140; Erl. ed., LXII. 103.)  He placed their writings far below the Scriptures; and the more he progressed in the study of both, the more he was impressed with the difference (Erl. ed., LXII. 107). To reform the church by the fathers is impossible; it can only be done by the Word of God (XXV. 231). They were poor interpreters, in part on account of their ignorance of Hebrew and Greek (XXII. 185). All the fathers have erred in the faith. Nevertheless, they are to be held in veneration for their testimony to the Christian faith (propter testimonium fidei omnes sunt venerandi. Erl. ed. LXII. 98).

Of all the fathers he learned most from Augustin. For him he had the profoundest respect, and him he quotes more frequently than all others combined. He regards him as one of the four pillars of the church (the claims of Ambrose, Jerome, and Gregory, he disputed), as the best commentator, and the patron of theologians. "Latina nostra ecclesia nullum habuit praestantiorem doctorem quam Augustinum" (Bindseil, I. 456). "He pleased and pleases me better than all other doctors; he was a great teacher, and worthy of all praise" (III. 147). The Pelagians stirred him up to his best books, in which he treats of free-will, faith, and original sin. He first distinguished it from actual transgression. He is the only one among the fathers who had a worthy view of matrimony. The papists pervert his famous word: "I would not believe the gospel if the Catholic Church did not move me thereto," which was said against the Manichaeans in this sense: Ye are heretics, I do not believe you; I go with the church, the bride of Christ, which cannot err (Erl. ed., XXX. 394 sq.). Augustin did more than all the bishops and popes who cannot hold a candle to him (XXXI. 358 sq.), and more than all the Councils (XXV. 341). If he lived now, he would side with us, but Jerome would condemn us (Bindseil, III. 149). Yet with all his sympathy, Luther could not find his "sola fide."  Augustin, he says, has sometimes erred, and is not to be trusted. "Although good and holy, he was yet lacking in the true faith, as well as the other fathers." "When the door was opened to me for the understanding of Paul, I was done, with Augustin" (da war es aus mit ihm. Erl. ed., LXII. 119).

Next to Augustin he seems to have esteemed Hilary on account of his work on the Trinity. "Hilarius," he says, "inter omnes patres luctator fuit strenuissimus adversus haereticos, cui neque Augustinus conferri potest" (Bindseil, III. 138). Ambrose he calls "a pious, God-fearing, and brave man," and refers to his bold stand against the Emperor Theodosius. But his six books on Genesis are very thin, and his hymns have not much matter, though his (?) "Rex Christe, factor omnium," is "optimus hymnus." He praises Prudentius for his poetry. Tertullian, whom he once calls the oldest of the fathers (though he lived after 200), was "durus et superstitiosus." Of Cyprian he speaks favorably. As to Jerome, he had to admit that he was the greatest Bible translator, and will not be surpassed in this line (Erl. ed. LXII. 462). But he positively hated him on account of his monkery, and says: "He ought not to be counted among the doctors of the church; for he was a heretic, although I believe that he was saved by faith in Christ. I know no one of the fathers, to whom I am so hostile as to him. He writes only about fasting, virginity, and such things" (LXII. 119sq.). He was tormented by carnal temptations, and loved Eustochium so as to create scandal. He speaks impiously of marriage. His commentaries on Matthew, Galatians, and Titus are very thin. Luther had no more respect for Pope Gregory I. He is the author of the fables of purgatory and masses for souls; he knew little of Christ and his gospel, and was entirely too superstitious. The Devil deceived him, and made him believe in appearances of spirits from purgatory. "His sermons are not worth a copper" (Erl. ed., LI. 482; LII. 187; LX. 189, 405; XXVIII. 98 sqq.; Bindseil, III. 140, 228). But he praises beyond its merits his hymn Rex Christe, which he wrongly ascribes to Ambrose (Bindseil, III. 149; comp. Daniel, Thesaurus Hymnol., vol. I. 180 sq.).

With the Greek fathers, Luther was less familiar. He barely mentions Ignatius, Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius, and Epiphanius. He praises Athanasius as the greatest teacher of the Oriental Church, although he was nothing extra (obwohl er nichts sonderliches war). He could not agree with Melanchthon’s favorable judgment of Basil the Great. He thought Gregory of Nazianzen, the eloquent defender of the divinity of Christ during the Arian ascendency, to be of no account ("Nazianzenus est nihil." Bindseil, III. 152). He speaks well of Theodoret’s Commentary to Paul’s Epistles, but unreasonably depreciates Chrysostom, the golden preacher and commentator, and describes him as a great rhetorician, full of words and empty of matter; he even absurdly compares him to Carlstadt!  "He is garrulous, and therefore pleases Erasmus, who neglects faith, and treats only of morals. I consulted him on the beautiful passage on the highpriest in Hebrews; but he twaddled about the dignity of priests, and let me stick in the mud (Bindseil, III. 136; Erl. ed. LXII. 102).

Of mediaeval divines Luther esteemed Nicolaus Lyra as a most useful commentator. He praises St. Bernard, who in his sermons "excels all other doctors, even Augustin." He speaks highly of Peter the Lombard, "the Master of Sentences," and calls him a "homo diligentissimus et excellentissimi ingenii," although he brought in many useless questions (Bindseil, III. 151; Erl. ed. LXII. 114). He calls Occam, whom he studied diligently, "summus dialecticus" (Bindseil, III. 138, 270). But upon the whole he hated the schoolmen and their master, "the damned heathen Aristotle," although he admits him to have been "optimus dialecticus," and learned from him and his commentators the art of logical reasoning. Even Thomas Aquinas, "the Angelic Doctor," whom the Lutheran scholastics of the seventeenth century highly and justly esteemed, he denounced as a chatterer (loquacissimus), who makes the Bible bend to Aristotle (Bindseil, III. 270, 286), and whose books are a fountain of all heresies, and destructive of the gospel ("der Brunn und Grundsuppe aller Ketzerei, Irrthums und Verleugnung des Evangeliums." Erl. ed. XXIV. 240). This is, of course, the language of prejudice and passion.—His views on Augustin are the most correct, because he knew him best, and liked him most.

Melanchthon and Oecolampadius from fuller knowledge and milder temper judged more favorably and consistently of the fathers generally, and their invaluable services to Christian literature.


 § 86. Changes in the Views on the Ministry. Departure from the Episcopal Succession. Luther ordains a Deacon, and consecrates a Bishop.


The Reformers unanimously rejected the sacerdotal character of the Christian ministry (except in a spiritual sense), and hence also the idea of a literal altar and sacrifice. No priest, no sacrifice. "Priest" is an abridgment of "presbyter,"706 and "Presbyter" is equivalent to "elder." It does not mean sacerdos in the New Testament, nor among the earliest ecclesiastical writers before Tertullian and Cyprian.707  Moreover, in Scripture usage "presbyter" and "bishop" are terms for one and the same office (as also in the Epistle of Clement of Rome, and the recently discovered "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles".708  This fact (conceded by Jerome and Chrysostom and the best modern scholars) was made the basis for presbyterian ordination in those Lutheran and Reformed churches which abolished episcopacy.709

In the place of a graded hierarchy, the Reformers taught the parity of ministers; and in the place of a special priesthood, offering the very body and blood of Christ, a general priesthood of believers, offering the sacrifices of prayer and praise for the one sacrifice offered for all time to come. Luther derived the lay-priesthood from baptism as an anointing by the Holy Spirit and an incorporation into Christ. "A layman with the Scriptures," he said, "is more to be believed than pope and council without the Scriptures."710

Nevertheless, he maintained, in opposition to the democratic radicalism of Carlstadt and the fanatical spiritualism of the Zwickau prophets, the necessity of a ministry, as a matter of order and expediency; and so far he asserted its divine origin. Every public teacher must be called of God through the Church, or prove his extraordinary call by miracles. And so the Augsburg Confession declares that "no man shall publicly teach in the church, or administer the sacraments, without a regular call."711

But what constitutes a regular call?  Luther at first took the ground of congregational independency in his writings to the Bohemian Brethren (1523), and advocated the right of a Christian congregation to call, to elect, and to depose its own minister.712  He meant, of course, a congregation of true believers, not a mixed multitude of nominal professors. In cases of necessity, which knows no law, he would allow any one who has the gift, to pray and sing, to teach and preach; and refers to the congregation of Corinth, and to Stephen, Philip, and Apollos, who preached without a commission from the apostles. In a conflagration everybody runs to lend a helping hand, to save the town. But, in ordinary cases, no one should be a teacher unless called and elected by the congregation. Even Paul did not elect elders without the concurrence of the people. The bishops of our days are no bishops, but idols. They neglect preaching, their chief duty, leaving it to chaplains and monks: they confirm and consecrate bells, altars, and churches, which is a self-invented business, neither Christian nor episcopal. They are baby-bishops.713

But congregations of pure Christians, capable of self-government, could not be found in Germany at that time, and are impossible in state churches where churchmanship and citizenship coincide. Luther abandoned this democratic idea after the Peasants’ War, and called on the arm of the govern-ment for protection against the excesses of the popular will.

In the first years of the Reformation the congregations were supplied by Romish ex-priests and monks. But who was to ordain the new preachers educated at Wittenberg?  The bishops of Saxony (Naumburg-Zeiz, Meissen, and Merseburg) remained loyal to their master in Rome; and there was no other ordaining power according to law. Luther might have derived the succession from two bishops of Prussia,—Georg von Polenz, bishop of Samland, and Erhard von Queis, bishop of Pomesania,—who accepted the Reformation, and afterwards surrendered their episcopal rights to Duke Albrecht as the summus episcopus (1525).714  But he did not wish to go outside of Saxony, and hated the whole hierarchy of pope and bishop as a human invention and spiritual tyranny. He congratulated the bishop of Samland that he, as by a miracle of grace, had been delivered from the mouth of Satan; while all other bishops raged like madmen against the reviving gospel, although he hoped that there were some timid Nicodemuses among them.715

With these views, and the conviction of his own divine authority to reform the church, he felt no reluctance to take the episcopal prerogative into his hands. He acted to the end of his life as an irregular or extraordinary bishop and pope in partibus Protestantium, being consulted by princes, magistrates, theologians, and people of all sorts.

He set the first example of a Presbyterian ordination by laying hands on his amanuensis, Georg Rörer (Rorarius), and making him deacon at Wittenberg, May 14, 1525. Rörer is favorably known by his assistance in the Bible Version and the first edition of Luther’s works. He died as librarian of the University of Jena, 1557. Melanchthon justified the act on the ground that the bishops neglected their duty.716

But Luther ventured even to consecrate a bishop, or a superintendent; as John Wesley did two hundred and fifty years afterwards in the interest of his followers in the United States. When the bishopric of Naumburg became vacant, the chapter, backed by the Roman-Catholic minority of the nobility and people, regularly elected Julius von Pflug, one of the ablest, purest, and mildest opponents of the Reformation. This choice displeased the Protestants. The Elector John Frederick, by an illegal use of power, confiscated the property of the diocese, and appointed a counter-bishop in the person of Nicolaus von Amsdorf, Luther’s most devoted friend, who was unmarried and a nobleman, and at that time superintendent at Magdeburg. The consecration took place on June 20, 1542, in the dome of Naumburg, in the presence of the Elector, the Protestant clergy, and a congregation of about five thousand people. Luther preached the sermon, and performed the consecration with the assistance of three superintendents (Medler, Spalatin, and Stein) and an abbot, by the laying-on of hands, and prayer.717  This bold and defiant act created great sensation and indignation, and required a public defense, which he prepared at the request of the Elector.718  He used the strongest language against popery and episcopacy to overawe the opposition, and to make it contemptible. He even boasts of having made a bishop without chrism, butter, and incense. "I cannot repent," he says, "of such a great and horrible sin, nor expect absolution for it." He assigns, among the reasons for setting aside the election of a Catholic bishop, that God had in the first three commandments, as by a thunder-stroke of judgment, forever condemned to hell the chapter of Naumburg, together with the pope, cardinals, and all their régime, for breaking those commandments by their idolatry and false worship. Christians are forbidden, on pain of eternal damnation, to hear and tolerate them. They must flee a false prophet, preacher, or bishop, and regard a popish bishop as no bishop at all, but as a wolf, yea, as a devil.719  "And what does the most hellish father in his hellish Church?  Does he not depose all bishops, abbots, priests, whom he finds heretics or apostates from his idolatry?  ... Yea, he interferes even with secular and domestic government, deposes emperors, kings, princes, separates man and wife, dissolves marriage, abolishes obedience, duty, and oath, simply for disobedience to his audacious devilish decretals and accursed bulls." But, as the holy Virgin sings in her Magnificat, "the Lord hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, and hath put down princes from their thrones" (Luke 1:51, 52) and as St. Peter writes, "Deus superbis resistit" (1 Pet. 5:5). The proud and haughty, whether he be pope, emperor, king, prince, nobleman, citizen, or peasant, will be humbled, and come to a bitter end. The chapter of Naumburg elected a bishop who would have been bound by obedience to the pope to persecute the gospel, "to worship the devil," and to let the pope, the archbishop of Mainz, and their courtiers rule and ruin at pleasure. The papists have been playing this game for more than twenty years. It is high time to stop it. He who rules in heaven and also here in our hearts turns the wise into fools, and "taketh the wise in their craftiness" (1 Cor. 3:19).

This is the spirit and language of this apologetic Tract. It was followed by a still fiercer attack upon popery as an invention of the Devil" (1545).

Amsdorf was forced upon the chapter and the people by the Elector, but lost his bishopric in the Smalcaldian War (1547), took a leading and ultra-Lutheran part in the bitter theological controversies which followed, and died at Eisenach, 1565, in his eighty-second year. His ephemeral episcopate was, of course, a mere superintendency.

Several of Luther’s friends and pupils were appointed superintendents; as Lauterbach at Pirna (d. 1569); Heidenreich, or Heiderich, at Torgau (d. 1572), who with Mathesius, Dietrich, Weller, and others, preserved his "table spice" (condimenta mensae), as they called his familiar conversations.

The appointment of these superintendents was in the hands of the prince as summus episcopus over his territory. The congregations had not even the power of electing their own pastors.720

In the cities the magistrate assumed the episcopal power, and appointed the superintendents.

The further development of the episcopal, territorial, and collegial system in the Lutheran Church lies beyond our limits.


 § 87. Relation of Church and State.


In January, 1523, Luther published a remarkable book on the civil magistrate, dedicated to Prince John, in which he proved from Rom. 13:1 and 1 Pet. 2:13 the duty to obey the civil magistrate, and from Acts 5:29 the duty to obey God more than man.721  On the ground of Christ’s word, Matt. 22:21, which contains the wisest answer to an embarrassing question, he drew a sharp distinction between the secular and spiritual power, and reproved the pope and bishops for meddling with secular affairs, and the princes and nobles for meddling with spiritual matters. It sounds almost like a prophetic anticipation of the American separation of church and state when he says: —

"God has ordained two governments among the children of Adam, the reign of God under Christ, and the reign of the world under the civil magistrate, each with its own laws and rights. The laws of the reign of the world extend no further than body and goods and the external affairs on earth. But over the soul God can and will allow no one to rule but himself alone.722  Therefore where the worldly government dares to give laws to the soul, it invades the reign of God, and only seduces and corrupts the soul. This we shall make so clear that our noblemen, princes, and bishops may see what fools they are if they will force people with their laws and commandments to believe this or that.723  ... In matters which relate to the soul’s salvation nothing should be taught and accepted but God’s word. … As no one can descend to hell or ascend to heaven for me, as little can any one believe or disbelieve for me; as he cannot open or shut heaven or hell for me, neither can he force me to faith or unbelief … Faith is a voluntary thing which cannot be forced. Yea, it is a divine work in the spirit. Hence it is a common saying which is also found in Augustin: Faith cannot and should not be forced on anybody."724

Here is the principle of religious liberty which was proclaimed in principle by Christ, acted upon by the apostles, re-asserted by the ante-Nicene fathers against the tyranny of persecuting Rome, but so often violated by Christian Rome in her desire for a worldly empire, and also by Protestant churches and princes in their dealings with Romanists and Anabaptists. Luther does not spare the secular rulers, though this book is dedicated to the brother of the Elector.

"From the beginning of the world wise princes have been rare birds, and pious princes still rarer. Most of them are the greatest fools or the worst boobies on earth.725  Therefore we must fear the worst from them, and expect little good, especially in divine things which affect the soul’s welfare. They are God’s hangmen, and his wrath uses them to punish evil-doers, and to keep external peace."

He refers to Isa. 3:4, "I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them;" and to Hos. 13:11, "I have given thee a king in mine anger, and have taken him away in my wrath." "The world is too bad," he adds, "and not worthy to have many wise and pious princes."

To the objection that the secular magistrate should afford an external protection, and hinder heretics from seducing the people, he replies: —

This is the business of bishops, and not of princes. For heresy can never be kept off by force; another grip is needed for that; this is another quarrel than that of the sword. God’s word must contend here. If this fails, the worldly power is of no avail, though it fill the world with blood. Heresy is a spiritual thing that cannot be hewn down by iron, nor burned by fire, nor drowned by water.726  But God’s word does it, as Paul says, ’Our weapons are not carnal, but mighty in God’ (2 Cor. 10:4, 5)."

In his exposition of the First Epistle of St. Peter, from the same year (1523), he thus comments on the exhortation "to fear God and honor the king:"727

"If the civil magistrate interferes with spiritual matters of conscience in which God alone must rule, we ought not to obey at all, but rather lose our head. Civil government is confined to external and temporal affairs. … If an emperor or prince asks me about my faith, I would give answer, not because of his command, but because of my duty to confess my faith before everybody. But if he should go further, and command me to believe this or that, I would say, ’Dear sir, mind your secular business; you have no right to interfere with God’s reign, and therefore I shall not obey you at all.’ "

Similar views on the separation of church and state were held by Anabaptists, Mennonites, the English martyr-bishop Hooper, and Robert Browne the Independent; but they had no practical effect till a much later period.728

Luther himself changed his opinion on this subject, and was in some measure driven to a change by the disturbances and heresies which sprang up around him, and threatened disorder and anarchy. The victory over the peasants greatly increased the power of the princes. The Lutheran Reformers banded the work of re-organization largely over to them, and thus unwittingly introduced a caesaropapacy; that is, such a union of church and state as makes the head of the state also the supreme ruler in the church. It is just the opposite of the hierarchical principle of the Roman Church, which tries to rule the state. Melanchthon justified this transfer chiefly by the neglect of the pope and bishops to do their duty. He says, if Christ and the apostles had waited till Annas and Caiaphas permitted the gospel, they would have waited in vain.729

The co-operation of the princes and magistrates in the cities secured the establishment of the Protestant Church, but brought it under the bondage of lawyers and politicians who, with some honorable exceptions, knew less and ruled worse than the bishops. The Reformers often and bitterly complained in their later writings of the rapacity of princes and nobles who confiscated the property of churches and convents, and applied it to their own use instead of schools and benevolent purposes. Romish historians make the most of this fact to the disparagement of the Reformation. But the spoliations of Protestant princes are very trifling, as compared with the wholesale confiscation of church property by Roman-Catholic powers, as France, Spain, and Italy in the last and present centuries.

The union of church and state accounts for the persecution of papists, heretics, and Jews; and all the Reformers justified persecution to the extent of deposition and exile, some even to the extent of death, as in the case of Servetus.730

The modern progress of the principle of toleration and religious liberty goes hand in hand with the loosening of the bond of union between church and state.


 § 88. Church Visitation in Saxony.


Melanchthon: Articuli de quibus egerunt per visitatores in regione Saxoniae. Wittenb., 1527. Reprinted in the Corpus Reform., vol. XXVI. (1858), 9–28. The same in German with preface by Luther: Unterricht der Visitatoren an die Pfarrherrn im Kurfürstenthum zu Sachsen. Wittenb., 1628. In Walch, X. 1902, and in Corp. Reform., XXVI. 29–40. Also Luther’s Letters to Elector John, from the years 1525 to 1527, in De Wette, vol. III. 38 sqq.

Burkhardt: Gesch. der sächsischen Kirchen- und Schulvisitationen von 1524–45. Leipzig, 1879. Köstlin: M. L., II. 23–49.


In order to abolish ecclesiastical abuses, to introduce reforms in doctrine, worship, and discipline, and to establish Christian schools throughout the electorate of Saxony, Luther proposed a general visitation of all the churches. This was properly the work of bishops. But, as there were none in Saxony who favored the Reformation, he repeatedly urged the Elector John, soon after he succeeded his brother Frederick, to institute an episcopal visitation of the churches in his territory, and to divide it into three or four districts, each to be visited by two noblemen or magistrates.731  He presented to him, in his strong way, the deplorable condition of the church: the fear of God, and discipline are gone; the common people have lost all respect for the preachers, pay no more offerings, and let them starve; since the Pope’s tyranny is abolished, everybody does as he pleases. We shall soon have no churches, no schools, no pupils, unless the magistrates restore order, and take care at least of the youth, whatever may become of the old people.732

It was a dangerous step, and the entering wedge of a new caesaropapacy,—the rule of statecraft over priestcraft. But it seemed to be the only available help under the circumstances, and certainly served a very useful purpose. Luther had full confidence in the God-fearing Elector, that he would not abuse the authority thus temporarily conferred on him.

The Elector, after considerable delay, resolved upon the visitation in July, 1527, on the quasi-legal basis of the Diet of Speier, which a year before had temporarily suspended, but by no means abolished, the Edict of Worms. He directed Melanchthon to prepare a "formula of doctrine and rites" for the instruction of the visitors. Melanchthon elaborated in Latin, and more fully in German, a summary of the evangelical doctrines of faith and duty, which may be regarded as the first basis of the Augsburg Confession. He treats, in seventeen articles, of faith, the cross (affliction), prayer, the fruits of the Spirit, the magistrate, the fear of God, righteousness, judgment, the sacraments (Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Confession), the sign of the eucharist, penitence, marriage, prohibited cases, human traditions, Christian liberty, free-will, and the law. The order is not very logical, and differs somewhat in the German edition. The work was finished in December, 1527.

Luther wrote a popular preface and notes to the German edition, and explained the object. He shows the importance of church visitation, from the example of the apostles and the primary aim of the episcopal office; for a bishop, as the term indicates, is an overseer of the churches, and an archbishop is an overseer of the bishops. But the bishops have become worldly lords, and neglect their spiritual duties. Now, as the pure gospel has returned, or first begun, we need a true episcopacy; and, as nobody has a proper authority or divine command, we asked the Elector, as our divinely appointed ruler (Rom. 13), to exercise his authority for the protection and promotion of the gospel. Although he is not called to teach, he may restore peace and order, as the Emperor Constantine did when he called the Council of Nicaea for the settlement of the Arian controversy.733

Melanchthon wisely abstained from polemics, and advised the preachers to attack sin and vice, but to let the pope and the bishops alone. Luther was not pleased with this moderation, and added the margin: "But they shall violently condemn popery with its devotees, since it is condemned by God; for popery is the reign of Antichrist, and, by instigation of the Devil, it terribly persecutes the Christian church and God’s Word."734

The Elector appointed Luther, Melanchthon, Jonas, Spalatin, and Myconius, besides some prominent laymen, among the visitors. They carried on their work in 1528 and 1529. They found the churches in a most deplorable condition, which was inherited from the times of the papacy, and aggravated by the abuse of the liberty of the Reformation. Pastors and people had broken loose from all restraint, churches and schools were in ruins, the ministers without income, ignorant, indifferent, and demoralized. Some kept taverns, were themselves drunkards, and led a scandalous life. The people, of course, were no better. "The peasants," wrote Luther to Spalatin, "learn nothing, know nothing, and abuse all their liberty. They have ceased to pray, to confess, to commune, as if they were bare of all religion. As they despised popery, so they now despise us. It is horrible to behold the administration of the popish bishops."735

The strong arm of the law was necessary. Order was measurably restored. The property of churches and convents was devoted to the endowment of parishes and schools, and stipends for theological students (1531). The appointment of ministers passed into the hands of the Elector. The visitations were repeated from time to time under the care of regular superintendents and consistories which formed the highest ecclesiastical Councils, under the sovereign as the supreme bishop.

In this way, the territorial state-church government was established and order restored in Saxony, Hesse, Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Mecklenburg, East Friesland, Silesia, and other Protestant sovereignties of Germany.


 § 89. Luther’s Catechisms. 1529.


I. Critical editions of Luther’s Catechisms in his Works, Erl. ed., vol. XXI. (contains the two catechisms and some other catechetical writings); by Mönckeberg (Hamburg, 1851, second ed. 1868); Schneider (Berlin, 1853, a reprint of the standard ed. of 1531 with a critical introduction); Theodos. Harnack (Stuttgart, 1856; a reprint of two editions of 1529 and 1539, and a table of the chief textual variations till 1842);   Zezschwitz   (Leipz. 1881); Calinich (Leipz. 1882). See titles in Schaff: Creeds of Christendom, I. 245. The Catechisms are also printed in the editions of the Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church, and the Little (or Small) Catechism, with English translation, in Schaffs Creeds, etc., vol. III. 74–92. The text in the Book of Concord is unreliable, and should be compared with the works mentioned.

II. Discussions on the history and merits of Luther’s Catech., by Köcher, Augusti, Veesenmeyer, Zezschwitz  , and others, quoted by Schaff, l.c. 245. Add Köstlin: M. L., bk. VI. ch. IV. (II. 50–65).


The Catechisms of Luther are the richest fruit of the Saxon church visitations. Intended as a remedy for the evils of ignorance and irreligion, they have become symbolical standards of doctrine and duty, and permanent institutions in the Lutheran Church. The Little Catechism, which is his best, bears the stamp of his religious genius, and is, next to his translation of the Bible, his most useful and enduring work by which he continues a living teacher in catechetical classes and Sunday schools as far as the Lutheran confession extends. He here adapts the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven to the capacity of children, and becomes himself a child with children, a learner with the teacher, as he said, "I am a doctor and a preacher, yet I am like a child who is taught the Catechism, and I read and recite word by word in the morning the Ten Commandments, the Articles of the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer, and cheerfully remain a child and pupil of the Catechism." A great little book, with as many thoughts as words, and every word sticking to the heart as well as the memory. It is strong food for men, and milk for babes. It appeals directly to the heart, and can be turned into prayer. In the language of the great historian Leopold von Ranke, "it is as childlike as it is profound, as comprehensible as it is unfathomable, simple and sublime. Happy he whose soul was fed by it, who clings to it!  He possesses an imperishable comfort in every moment; under a thin shell, a kernel of truth sufficient for the wisest of the wise."736

Catechetical instruction was (after the model of the Jewish synagogue) a regular institution of the Christian church from the beginning, as a preparation for membership. In the case of adult converts, it preceded baptism; in the case of baptized infants, it followed baptism, and culminated in the confirmation and the first communion. The oldest theological school, where Clement and the great Origen taught, grew out of the practical necessity of catechetical teaching. The chief things taught were the Creed (the Nicene in the Greek, the Apostles’ in the Latin Church) or what to believe, the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster) or how to pray, and the Ten Commandments or how to live. To these were added sometimes special chapters on the sacraments, the Athanasian Creed, the Te Deum, the Gloria in excelsis, the Ave Maria, Scripture verses, and lists of sins and virtues. Cyril’s Catechetical Lectures were a standard work in the Greek Church. Augustin wrote, at the request of a deacon, a famous book on catechising (De catechizandis rudibus), and a brief exposition of the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer (Enchiridion), which were intended for teachers, and show what was deemed necessary in the fifth century for the instruction of Christians. In the middle ages the monks Kero (720) and Notker (912), both of St. Gall, Otfrid of Weissenburg (870), and others prepared catechetical manuals or primers of the simplest kind. Otfrid’s Catechism contains (1) the Lord’s Prayer with an explanation; (2) the deadly sins; (3) the Apostles’ Creed; (4) the Athanasian Creed; (5) the Gloria. The anti-papal sects of the Albigenses, Waldenses, and Bohemian Brethren, paid special attention to catechetical instruction.

The first Protestant catechisms were prepared by Lonicer (1523), Melanchthon (1524), Brentius (1527), Althamer, Lachmann (1528), and later by Urbanus Rhegius (Rieger).737  Luther urged his friends and colleagues, Justus Jonas and Agricola, to write one for Saxony (1525);738 but after the doleful experience of popular ignorance during the church visitation, he took the task in hand himself, and completed it in 1529. He had previously published popular expositions of the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer (1520).739

He wrote two Catechisms, both in the German language. The "Great Catechism" is a continuous exposition, and not divided into questions and answers; moreover, it grew so much under his hands, that it became unsuitable for the instruction of the young, which he had in view from the beginning. Hence he prepared soon afterwards (in July, 1529) a short or little Catechism under the name Enchiridion. It is the ripe fruit of the larger work, and superseded it for practical use. The same relation exists between the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly.

With his conservative instinct, Luther retained the three essential parts of a catechism,—the Decalogue, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer. He called the first the doctrine of all doctrines; the second, the history of all histories; the third, the highest of all prayers. To these three chief divisions he added, after the Catholic tradition and the example of the Bohemian Catechism, an instruction on the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, in two separate parts, making five in all. He retained in the address of the Lord’s Prayer the old German Vater unser (Pater Noster), and the translation "Deliver us from evil" (a malo); but in his Bible he changed the former into Unser Vater (Matt. 6:9), and in his Large Catechism he refers the Greek to the evil one, i.e., the Devil (oJ ponhrov"), as our arch-enemy. Yet in practice these two differences have become distinctive marks of the Lutheran and German Reformed use of the Lord’s Prayer.740

The later editions of the Little Catechism (since 1564) contain a sixth part on "Confession and Absolution," or, "The Power of the Keys," which is inserted either as Part V., between Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, or added as Part VI., or as an appendix. The precise authorship of the enlarged form or forms (for they vary) of this part, with the questions, "What is the power of the keys?" etc., is uncertain; but the substance of it—viz. the questions on private or auricular confession of sin to the minister, and absolution by the minister, as given in the "Book of Concord"—date from Luther himself, and appear first substantially in the third edition of 1531, as introductory to the fifth part on the Lord’s Supper. He made much account of private confession and absolution; while the Calvinists abolished the same as a mischievous popish invention, and retained only the public act. "True absolution," says Luther, "or the power of the keys, instituted in the gospel by Christ, affords comfort and support against sin and an evil conscience. Confession or absolution shall by no means be abolished in the church, but be retained, especially on account of weak and timid consciences, and also on account of untutored youth, in order that they may be examined and instructed in the Christian doctrine. But the enumeration of sins should be free to every one, to enumerate, or not to enumerate such as he wishes."741  The practice of private confession is still retained in some sections, but has entirely disappeared in other sections, of the Lutheran Church.

The Church of England holds a similar view on this subject. The Book of Common Prayer contains, besides two forms of public confession and absolution, a form of private confession and absolution. But the last is omitted in the liturgy of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

Besides these doctrinal sections, the Little Catechism, as edited by Luther in 1531 (partly, also, in the first edition of 1529) has three appendices of a devotional or liturgical character: viz., (1) A series of short family prayers; (2) a table of duties (Haustafel) for the members of a Christian house hold, consisting of Scripture passages; (3) a marriage manual (Traubüchlin), and (4) a baptismal manual (Taufbüchlin).

The first two appendices were retained in the "Book of Concord;" but the third and fourth, which are liturgical and ceremonial, were omitted because of the great diversity in different churches as to exorcism in baptism and the rite of marriage.

The Little Catechism was translated from the German original into the Latin (by Sauermann) and many other languages, even into the Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac. It is asserted by Lutheran writers that no book, except the Bible, has had a wider circulation. Thirty-seven years after its appearance, Mathesius spoke of a circulation of over a hundred thousand copies. It was soon introduced into public schools, churches, and families. It became by common consent a symbolical book, and a sort of "layman’s Bible" for the German people.

Judged from the standpoint of the Reformed churches, the catechism of Luther, with all its excellences, has some serious defects. It gives the text of the Ten Commandments in an abridged form, and follows the wrong division of the Latin Church, which omits the Second Commandment altogether, and cuts the Tenth Commandment into two to make up the number. It allows only three questions and answers to the exposition of the creed,—on creation, redemption, and sanctification. It gives undue importance to the sacraments by making them co-ordinate parts with the three great divisions; and elevates private confession and absolution almost to the dignity of a third sacrament. It contains no instruction on the Bible, as the inspired record of Divine revelation and the rule of faith and practice. These defects are usually supplied in catechetical instruction by a number of preliminary or additional questions and answers.


 § 90. The Typical Catechisms of Protestantism.


In this connection we may anticipate a brief comparison between the most influential manuals of popular religious instruction which owe their origin to the Reformation, and have become institutions, retaining their authority and usefulness to this day.

These are Luther’s Little Catechism (1529), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Anglican Catechism (1549, enlarged 1604, revised 1661), and the Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647). The first is the standard catechism of the Lutheran Church; the second, of the German and Dutch Reformed, and a few other Reformed churches (in Bohemia and Hungary); the third, of the Episcopal Church of England and her daughters in the British Colonies and the United States; the fourth, of the Presbyterian churches in Scotland, England, and America. They follow these various churches to all their missionary fields in heathen lands, and have been translated into many languages.

They are essentially agreed in the fundamental doctrines of catholic and evangelical religion. They teach the articles of the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer; that is, all that is necessary for a man to believe and to do in order to be saved. They thus exhibit the harmony of the chief branches of orthodox Protestant Christendom.

But they also differ, and reflect the peculiar genius and charisma of these churches. The Lutheran Catechism is the simplest, the most genial and childlike; the Heidelberg Catechism, the fullest and the richest for a more mature age; the Anglican Catechism, the shortest and most churchly, though rather meagre; the Westminster Catechism, the clearest, precisest, and most logical. The first three are addressed to the learner as a church-member, who answers the questions from his present or prospective experience. The Westminster Catechism is impersonal, and gives the answers in the form of a theological definition embodying the question. The first two breathe the affectionate heartiness and inwardness which are characteristic of German piety; the other two reflect the sober and practical type of English and Scotch piety. The Lutheran and Anglican Catechisms begin with the Ten Commandments, and regard the law in its preparatory mission as a schoolmaster leading to Christ. The other catechisms begin with an exposition of the articles of faith, and proceed from faith to the law as a rule of Christian life, which the Heidelberg Catechism represents as an act of gratitude for the salvation obtained (following in its order the Epistle to the Romans, from sin to redemption, and from redemption to a holy life of gratitude). Luther adheres to the Roman division of the Decalogue, and abridges it; the others give the better division of the Jews and the Greek Church, with the full text. The Lutheran and Anglican Catechisms assign to the sacraments an independent place alongside of the Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer; while the Heidelberg and Westminster Catechisms incoporate them in the exposition of the articles of faith. The former teach baptismal regeneration, and Luther also the corporeal real presence, and private confession and absolution; the latter teach the Calvinistic theory of the sacraments, and ignore private confession and absolution. The Anglican Thirty-nine Articles, however, likewise teach the Reformed view of the Lord’s Supper. The Westminster Catechism departs from the catholic tradition by throwing the Apostles’ Creed into an appendix, and substituting for the historical order of revelation a new logical scheme; While all the other catechisms make the Creed the basis of their, doctrinal expositions.742

The difference is manifest in the opening questions and answers, which we give here in parallel columns: —


luther’s catechism

The First Commandment.

Thou shalt have no other gods.

What does this mean?

We should hear and love God, and trust in Him, above all things

The Second [Third] Commandment.

Thou shalt not take the name of thy God in vain.

What does this mean?

We should so fear and love God as not to curse, swear, conjure, lie, or deceive, by his name; but call upon it in every time of need, pray, praise, and give thanks.

The Third [Fourth] Commandment.

Thou shalt keep the holy Sabbath day.

What does this mean?

We should hear and love God as not to despise preaching and His Word, and willingly hear and learn it.


heidelberg catechism.

What is thy only comfort in life and in death?

That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ, who with his precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live unto Him.

How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou in this comfort mayest live abd die happily?

Three things: First, the greatness of my sin and misery. Secondly, how I am redeemed from all my sins and misery. Thirdly, how I am to be thankful to God for such redemption.


anglican catechism

What is your name?

N. or M.

Who gave you this name?

My Godfathers and Godmothers 743 In my Baptism; wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.

What did your godfathers and godmothers [sponsors] then for you?

They did promise and vow three things in my name. First, that I should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh. Secondly, that I should believe all the Articles of the Christian Faith. And thirdly, that I should keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in them all the days of my life.


westminster catechism.

What is the chief end of man?

Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.

What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?

The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.

What do the Scriptures principally teach?

The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man.

What is God?

God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.



* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, corrected¸ and emended (according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.

573  "V. D. M. I. AE." = Verbum Dei manet in aetemum.

574  But he left two illegitimate sons.

575  Extracts from the Tischreden, Erl. ed., vol. LXI., 379, 380, 385, 387, 389, 393, 394.

576  De Wette, II. 570.

577  Ibid., II. 643.

578  Also spelled Bore or Boren.

579  She was born Jan. 29, 1499, and was in the convent from 1509.

580  Erasmus, in a letter of 1525, ascribed to Catharina from hearsay extraordinary beauty: "Lutherus duxit uxorem, puellam mire venustam, ex clara familia Bornae, sed ut narrant indotatam, quae ante annos complures vestalis esse desierat." Michelet (Life of Luther, ch. V.), probably misled by this letter, calls her "a young girl of remarkable beauty."

581  De Wette, II. 655. On June 2, 1525, he advised Cardinal Archbishop and Elector Albrecht of Mainz, in an open letter, to marry, and to secularize the archbishopric. Ibid., p. 673.

582  "Lutherus noster duxit Catharinam de Bora. Heri adfui rei et vidi sponsum in thalamo jacentem. [An indecent German custom of the time; see Köstlin, II. 767.] Non potui me continere, adstans huic spectaculo, quin illachrymarem, nescio quo affectu animum percellente … mirabilis Deus a in consiliis et operibus suis."

583  See his letters of invitation in De Wette, III. 1, 2, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

584  Ibid., III. 103, 104. Tischreden, IV. 308. Köstlin, I. 772.

585  In his letter to Franciscus Sylvius (1526): "De conjugio Lutheri certum est, de partu maturo sponsae vanus erat rumor, nunc tamen gravida esse dicitur. Si vera est vulgi fabula Antichristum nasciturum ex monacho et monacha quemadmodum isti jactitant, quot Antichristorum millia jam olim habet mundus ? At ego sperabam fore, ut Lutherum uxor redderet magis cicurem. Verum ille praeter omnem expectationem emisit librum in me summa quidem cura elaboratum, sed adeo virulentum, ut hactenus in neminem scripserit hostilius."

586  The letter was published in the original Greek by W. Meyer, in the reports of the München Academy of Sciences, Nov. 4, 1876, pp. 601-604. The text is changed in the Corp. Reform., I. 753. Mel. calls Luther a very reckless man (ajnh;r wJ" mavlista eujcerhv"), but hopes that he will become more solemn (semnovtero").

587  De Wette, III. 3.

588  Ibid., III. 125.

589  From his little farm.

590  Saumärkterin. They lived near the pigmarket.

591  Feb. 7, 1546, In De Wette, V. 787.

592  Nobbe, Stammbaum der Familie des Dr. M. Luther, Grimma, 1846.

593  The Nativity hymn,—

"Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her ,"

was written for his children in 1535. He abridged it in 1543:—

"Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schaar ."

594  De Wette, IV. 41 sq. Comp. Luther’s Brief an sein Söhnlein Hänsigen. With woodcuts and original drawings by Ludwig Richter, Leipz. 1883. Fronde calls it "the prettiest letter ever addressed by a father to a child."Luther, p. 53.

595  Philip, son of Melanchthon.

596  Jodocus, son of Jonas.

597  Great-aunt, Magdalen.

598  Erl. ed., vol. LXV. 237, in Latin and German. Lena died Sept. 20, 1542. See her picture by Cranach in Köstlin’s small biography, p. 545.

599        "Wer nicht liebt Weib, Wein und Gesang,

 Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang."

600  The lines appeared first in the present form in the Wandsbecker Bote for 1775, No. 75, p. 300, and then in 1777 in the Musenalmanach of J. H. Voss (the poet, and translator of Homer), who was supposed to be the author, and to have foisted them upon Luther. Herder gave them a place among his Volkslieder, 1778, I. 12. Seidemann, in Schnorr’s "Archiv," vol. VIII. (1879), p. 440, has shown that the sentiment is substantially pre-Lutheran, and quotes from Luther’s Table Talk, Ser. IV., a sentence somewhat analogous, but involving a reproach to the Germans for drunkenness: "Wie wollt ihr jetzt anders einen Deutschen vorthun denn Ebrietate, praesertim talem qui non diligit Musicamet Mulieres?" See Köstlin, II. 678 sq. Another similar sentence has since been found by L. Schulze in the "Reformatorium viae clericorum " of 1494: "Absque Venere et mero rite laetabitur nemo."

601  He liked the beer of Eimbeck and Naumburg. In one of his last letters (Feb. 7. 1546) to his wife from Eisleben, where he was treated like a prince by the counts of Mansfeld, he gives her this piece of information: "We live here very well, and the town-council gives me for each meal half a pint of ’Rheinfall’ (Rhine wine), which is very good. Sometimes I drink it with my friends. The wine of the country here is also good, and Naumburger beer is very good, though I fancy its pitch fills my chest with phlegm. The Devil has spoilt all the beer in the world with pitch, and the wine with brimstone. But here the wine is pure, such as the country gives." De Wette, V. 788.

602  He preached some strong sermons against intemperance, and commends the Italians and Turks for sobriety. See Colloquia, ed. Bindseil, I. 195 sqq.

603  He wrote to Justice Menius, Aug. 24, 1535 (De Wette, IV. 624), that he was often deceived, "per fictas Nonnas et generosas meretrices."

604  See St. Louis ed. of Walch, vol. XXII., much improved by Hoppe, 1887.

605  Köstlin, small biography, N. Y. ed. p. 554, Ger. ed. p. 592. But In his large work, vol. II. 519, he makes this just qualification: "Derbe, plumpe, unserm Ohre anstössige Worte kommen in Luther’s Reden wie in seinen Schriften, ja einigemale sogar in seinen Predigten vor. Seine Art war in der That keine feine; sie steht aber auch so noch bedeutend über dem Ton, der damals durchschnittlich in weltlichen und geistlichen Kreisen, bei Bürgern, hohen Herren und Kirchenfürsten herrschte, und jene ungünstigen Eindrücke müssen der edeln Kraft, dem Salz und Mark gegenüber, die seine Gespräche und Schriften durchdringen, auch für uns weit zurücktreten."

606  See above, p. 334 sq.

607  See a curious tract of Andrew D. White, A History of the Doctrine of Comets, in the "Papers of the American Historical Association," N. Y., 1887, vol. II. 16.

608  On Luther’s Vermögensumstände, see Seidemann, Luther’s Grundbesitz, 1860. Köstlin, II. 498 sqq., and his references, p. 678.

609  See the description of Mosellanus, p. 180, and Cranach’s engraving from the year 1520, in Köstlin, p. 120 (Scribner’s ed.).

610  In spite of this fact attested by St. Paul, 1 Cor. 9:5, in the year 57, Dr. Spalding (in his Hist. of the Prot. Reformation, I. 177, 8th ed. 1875) asserts that Peter’s wife was "probably dead before he became an apostle."

611  Archbishop Spalding, in his History of the Reformation (I. 176), following the example of unscrupulous Romish controversialists, thus echoes the joke of Erasmus: "Matrimony was, in almost all cases, the dénouement of the drama which signalized the zeal for reformation." He refers for proof to Moore’s Travels of an Irish Gentleman in Search of a Religion, ch. XLVI., "where the great Irish poet enters into the subject at length, giving his authorities as he proceeds, and playing off his caustic wit on the hymeneal propensities of the Reformers." In looking at that chapter (for the first time), I find that it abounds in misstatements and abuse of the Reformers, whom the Irish poet calls not only "fanatics" and "bigots," but "the coarsest hypocrites" and "slaves of the most vulgar superstition " (p. 246, Philad. ed. 1833). The same poet gives us the startling piece of information (p. 248) that the Protestants were subdivided on the eucharistic question alone into countless factions such as "Panarii, Accidentarii, Corporarii, Arrabonarii, Tropistae, Metamorphistae, Iscariotistae, Schwenkenfeldians, etc., etc., etc.," and that "an author of Bellarmine’s time counted no less than two hundred different opinions on the words, ’This Is my body’ " ! Moore was evidently better at home in the history of Lord Byron than in the history of the church.

612  The Old Catholic Bishop Reinkens and Bishop Herzog, Drs. Döllinger, Friederich, Reusch, and Langen, remained single after their excommunication in 1870. But Père Loyson-Hyacinthe, who occupies a similar position of Tridentine or rather Gallican Romanism versus Vatican Romanism, followed the example of the Reformers, and married an American widow, whom he had converted to the Roman Church by his eloquent sermons in Notre Dame, before she converted him to herself. They were joined together by Dean Stanley in Westminster Abbey. It is reported that Pope Pius IX., on being informed of the fact, and asked to excommunicate the ex-monk, wittily replied, "It is not necessary, since he has taken the punishment into his own arms." A Pope’s view of the blessed estate of matrimony!

613  We may mention the saintly Archbishop Leighton, Dr. Samuel Hopkins, the missionary Zeisberger, Dr. William Augustus Mühlenberg (the founder of St. Luke’s Hospital In New York and of St. Johnland, and the singer of "I would not live alway"), the model pastor Ludwig Harms of Hermannsburg, the historian Neander and his sister, and the nurses or deaconesses of Kaiserswerth and similar institutions.

614  C. Schmidt, Philipp Melanchthon, pp. 47 sqq., 617, 710 sqq.

615  Stähelin, Johannes Calvin, vol. I. 272 sqq.

616  R. Christoffel, Huldreich Zwingli, pp. 336-339, 413. The slanderous exaggerations of Janssen have been refuted by Ebrard, Usteri, and Schweizer.

617  Hagenbach (Oekolampad, p. 108, note) gives this date, and refers to the Reformations-Almanach, 1821.

618  Herzog, Leben Joh. Oekolampadius, vol. II. 70 sqq.; Hagenbach, Joh. Oekolampad und Oswald Myconius, p. 107. Hagenbach says that the names of his children were the pillars of his home: godliness, truth, and peace.

619  In a letter to Adrianus Arivulus: "Nuper Oecolampadius duxit uxorem, puellam non inelegantem. Vult opinor affligere carnem. Quidam appellant Lutheranam tragaediam, mihi videtur esse comaedia. Semper enim in nuptias exeunt tumultus." He afterwards apologized to Oecolampadius, and disclaimed any intention to satirize him. See his letter to Oecolampadius in Drummond’s Erasmus, II. 319. Archbishop Spalding (l.c. I. 176) thus repeats the joke: "The gospel light seems to have first beamed upon Oecolampadius from the eye of a beautiful young lady, whom, in violation of his solemn vows plighted to Heaven, he espoused, probably, as Erasmus wittily remarked, to mortify himself." He says nothing of the apology of Erasmus to his friend and associate.

620  Strype’s Memorials of Cranmer (Bk. I., chs. 1, 4, 19; Bk. III., chs. 8 and 38); Hook’s Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury (vols. VI. and VII.); Hardwick’s History of the Reformation, ed. W. Stubbs (1873), p. 179; and art. Cranmer in Leslie Stephen’s "Dictionary of National Biogr.," vol. XIII.

621  Dr. M’Crie’s Life of John Knox, Philad. ed., pp. 269 and 477 (Append. Note HHH); and Dav. Laing’s Preface to the 6th vol. of his ed. of Works of John Knox, pp. LXV. sqq.

622  Ranke states this fact.

623  Among distinguished sons of clergymen may be named Linné, the botanist; Berzelius, the chemist; Pufendorf, the lawyer; Schelling, the philosopher; Buxtorff, the Orientalist; Euler, the mathematician; Agassiz, the scientist; Edward and Ottfried Müller, the classical philologists; John von Müller, Spittler, Heeren, Mommsen, Bancroft, among historians; Henry Clay, Senator Evarts, and two Presidents of the United States, Arthur and Cleveland, among statesmen; Charles Wesley, Gellert, Wieland, Lessing, the brothers Schlegel, Jean Paul, Emanuel Geibel, Emerson (also the female writers Meta Heusser, Elizabeth Prentiss, Mrs. Stowe), among poets; John Wesley, Monod, Krummacher, Spurgeon, H. W. Beecher, R. S. Storrs, among preachers; Jonathan Edwards, Schleiermacher, Hengstenberg, Nitzsch, Julius Müller, Dorner, Dean Stanley, among divines; Swedenborg, the seer; with a large number of prominent and useful clergymen, lawyers, and physicians, in all Protestant countries.

624  From the tenth book of his Wahrheit und Dichtung. Herder directed his attention to the "Vicar," while they studied at Strassburg, and read it to him aloud in German translation. In the same book Goethe describes in fascinating style his visits to the parsonage of Sesenheim.

625  i e., all spirit, nothing but spirit, (without the article, as in the margin of the Revised Version), according to the Greek: pneu'ma(emphatically put first) oJQeov", in opposition to all materialistic conceptions and local limitations. Compare the parallel expressions: " God is love" (1 John 4:8), " God is light" (1 John 1:5), where neither the definite nor the indefinite article is admissible.

626  logikh; latreiva, Rom. 12:1; comp. the "spiritual sacrifices" (pneumatikai; qusivai), 1 Pet. 2:5

627  Missae de sanctis, missae votivae missae pro defunctis. Melanchthon, in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, art. XXIV., says: "The fact that we hold only public or common mass is no offense against the Catholic Church. For in the Greek churches even to-day private masses are not held; but there is only a public mass, and that on the Lord’s Day and festivals." Masses for the dead, which date from Pope Gregory I., imply, of course, the doctrine of purgatory, and were among the crying abuses of the church.

628  "Wenn ichs vermöchte," he says in his tract on the German Mass, January, 1526, "und die griechische und ebräische Sprache wäre uns so gemein als die lateinischen und hätte so vielfeiner Musica und Gesangs als die lateinische hat, so sollte man einen Sonntag um den andern in alten vier Sprachen, deutsch, lateinisch, griechisch und ebräisch, Messe halten, singen, und lesen." Such a polyglot service was never even attempted except at the Propaganda in Rome. Melanchthon (Apol. Conf. Aug., art. XXIV.) defends the use of a Latin along with German hymns in public worship.

629  The canon missae ("Te igitur," etc.), embraces five or six prayers bearing upon the consecration and the offering of Christ’s body. It begins with an intercession for the Pope and all orthodox Catholics. Janssen says (III. 64): "In der Messe liess Luther den Canon, den Kern und das Wesen der katholischen Messe, fort," and unfairly adds: "Das Volk jedoch sollte dieses nicht wissen." As if Luther were the man to deceive the people!

630  Deutsche Messe und Ordnung des Gottesdiensts, with musical notes for the parts to be sung.

631  Part II. art. III. Comp. his "Apology of the Conf.," art. XXIV., De missa.

632  The Augsburg Confession, Part II. art. IV., says: "Confession is not abolished in our churches. For it is not usual to communicate the body of our Lord, except to those who have been previously examined and absolved. ... Men are taught that they should highly regard absolution, inasmuch as it is God’s voice, and pronounced by God’s commsand."

633  His sermons fill 16 vols. in the Erl. ed. of his Works.

634  They were taken down in short-hand, and first published by his companion Aurifaber. In the Erl. ed., XVI. 209 sqq.

635  "Tritt frisch auf; Mach’s Maul auf; Hör’ bald auf." Literally: Get up freshly; Open your mouth widely; Be done quickly. Comp. E. Jonas, Die Kanzelberedtsamkeit Luthers, Berlin, 1852; Beste, Die bedeutendsten Kanzelredner der älteren luth. Kirche, 1856 (pp. 30-36); G. Garnier, Sur la predication de Luther, Montauban, 1876; Thomas S. Hastings, Luther as a Preacher, In the "Luther Symposiac" by the Professors of the Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1883.

636  "Propter necessitatem Verbi Dei" and "propter infirmos."

637  On Luther’s views of Sunday, see his explanation of the third (fourth) commandment in his catechisms, and Köstlin, Luthers Theologie, II. 82 sqq.

638  On the history of Sunday observance, see Hessey, Sunday; its Origin, History, etc. (Oxford, 1860); Gilfillan, The Sabbath (Edinb. 1861); and the author’s essay on the Christian Sabbath in "Christ and Christianity" (New York and London, 1885, pp. 213-291).

639  On Greek and Latin hymnology and the literature, see Schaff, Church History, III. 575 sqq., and IV. 402 sqq. and 416 sqq.

640  Comp. Ozanam, Les poetes Franciscains en Italie au 13mesiècle. Paris, 1852.

641  Bouterweck, Caedmon’s des Angelsachsen biblische Dichtungen, Elberfeld, 1849-54. Bosanquet, The Fall of Man, or Paradise Lost of Caedmon, translated in verse from the Anglo-Saxon, London, 1860.

642  E. Sievers, Der Heliand und die angelsächsische Genesis. Halle, 1875.

643  Flacius first edited Otfrid’s Evangelienbuch (Evangeliorum liber), Bas. 1571. Recent editions by Graff, under the title Krist, Königsberg, 1831; and Kelle, Otfrid’s Evang.-buch, Regensb. 1856 and 1859, 2 vols. Specimens in Wackernagel’s D. Kirchenlied (the large work), vol. ii. 3-21. A translation into modern German by G. Rapp, Gotha, 1858.

644  Comp. Hammerich, Aelteste christliche Epik der Angelsachsen, Deutschen und Nordländer. Translated from the Danish by Michelsen, 1874.

645  Wackernagel, II. 22, published the whole hymn from a manuscript in Munich.

646  Wackernagel, II. 43 sq., gives several forms. They were afterwards much enlarged. In a Munich manuscript of the fifteenth century, a Latin verse is coupled with the German:—

"Christus surrexit,

 mala nostra texit,

 et quos hic dilexit

 hos ad coelum vexit

Kyrie leyson ."

647  See specimens in Koch, I. 194 sq., and in Wackernagel, II. 333 sqq.

648  Several forms in Wackernagel, II.

649  Wackernagel (II. 409 sqq.) gives forty-three of his hymns from several manuscripts in the libraries at Munich and Vienna.

650  Wackernagel, II. 302 sqq.; Koch, I. 191.

651  Meister and Bäumker, in the Katholische deutsche Kirchenlied in seinen Singweisen, give a collection of these catholic tunes, partly from unpublished manuscript sources. They acknowledge, however, the great merit of the Protestant hymnologists who have done the pioneer work in mediaeval church poetry and music, especially Winterfeld and Wackernagel.

652  Wackernagel, in his Biblogr., p. 454 sqq., gives extracts from an edition printed at Nürnberg, 1521.

653  II p. xiii.; compare Nos. 222, 226, 728, 870, 876.

654  Wackernagel, II. 799 sqq., gives this hymn in several forms. It was sung on the feast of the Nativity of Mary, and at other times.

655  I allude, of course, to the mystic conclusion of the second part of Goethe’s Faust:—

"Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan."

656  According to Koch (I. 470), Luther is certainly the author of the tunes to "Ein feste Burg," and to "Jesaja dem Propheten das geschah," and probably of six more; the tunes to the other Luther-hymns are of older or of uncertain origin.

657  Wackernagel, III. 1-31, gives fifty-four Luther-poems, including the variations, and some which cannot be called hymns, as the praise of "Frau Musica," and "Wider Herzog Heinrich von Braunschweig."

658  Carlyle’s translation,—

"A safe stronghold our God is still,"

is upon the whole the best because of its rugged vigor and martial ring. Heine called this hymn the Marseillaise of the Reformation; but it differs as widely from the Marseillaise as the German Reformation differs from the godless French Revolution.

659  The hymn appears in Joseph Klug’s Gesangbuch of 1529 (and in a hymn-book of Augsburg, 1529), and to that year it is assigned by Wackernagel (III. 20), Koch, and also by Köstlin in the first ed. of his large biography of M. Luther (1875, vol. II. 127), as a protest against the Diet of Speier held in that year. But since the discovery of an older print apparently from February, 1528, Köstlin has changed his view in favor of 1527, the year of the pestilence and Luther’s severest spiritual and physical trials. He says (I.c. II. 182, second and third ed.): "Aus jener schwersten Zeit, welche Luther bis Ende des Jahres 1527 durchzu-machen hatte, ist wohl das gewaltigste seiner Lieder, das ’Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott,’ hervorgegangen." Schneider (1856) first fixed upon Nov. 1, 1527, as the birthday of this hymn from internal reasons, and Knaake (1881) added new ones. The deepest griefs and highest faith often meet. Justinus Kemer sings:—

"Poesie ist tiefes Schmerzen,

 Und es kommt das schönste Lied

 Nur aus einem Menschenherzen,

 Das ein tiefes Leid durchglüht."

660  The third stanza of this resurrection hymn is very striking:—

"Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg,

 Da Tod und Leben rungen:

 Das Leben das behielt den Sieg,

 Es hat den Tod verschlungen.

 Die Schrift hat verkündet das,

 Wie da ein Tod den andern frass,

 Ein Spott aus dem Tod ist worden.



(That was a wondrous war, I trow,

 When Life and Death together fought;

 But Life hath triumphed o’er his foe.

 Death is mocked and set at naught.

.’Tis even as the Scripture saith,

 Christ through death hath conquered Death.)

661  The second line, which was very offensive to the Papists, is changed in most modern hymnbooks into,—

"Und steure alter Feinde Mord."

662  See the whole in Wackernagel, III. 3, 4. Thomas Fuller says of the ashes of Wiclif, that the brook Swift, into which they were cast (1428), "conveyed them into the Avon, the Avon into Severn, Severn into the narrow seas, they into the main ocean; and thus the ashes of Wiclif are the emblems of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over."

663        "Die wittenbergisch Nachtigall,

 Die man jetzt höret überall."

664  See Koch, I. 246 sqq., and Wackernagel’s Bibliographie, p. 66 sqq.

665  It is characteristic of the voluminous Ultramontane work of Janssen, that it has not a word to say about the hymnological enrichment of public worship and Christian piety by Luther and his followers.

666  In his Kirchenlieder-Lexicon, 1878.

667  Sacred Hymns from the German, London, 1841, new ed. with German text, 1865.

668  Psalms and Hymns, partly original, partly selected, for the use of the Church of England, Cambridge, 1851. Many of the pieces are from the German. He contributed most of the translations to Ernest Bunsen’s Hymns for Public Worship and Private Devotion, London, 1848.

669  Luther’s Spiritual Songs, London, 1854; and Lyra Domestica, translations from Spitta’s Psaltery and Harp, London, 1860; second series, 1864.

670  Lyra Germanica, first and second series, Lond. and N. Y., 1855 and 1858, in several editions. Also the beautiful Chorale Book for England, London, 1863, which contains many hymns from the Lyra Germanica, partly remodelled, with seventy-two others translated by the same lady, together with the old tunes edited by Bennet and Goldschmidt. Several translations of Miss C. W., especially from Paul Gerhardt, have passed into hymn-books. Comp. Theo. Kübler, Historical Notices to the Lyra Germanica (dedicated to Miss C. W.), London, 1865.

671  Hymns from the Land of Luther, translated from the German by H. L. L., Edinburgh and New York, in 4, parts, 1854; fifth ed., Edinb. 1884 (15th thousand), enlarged by the Alpine Lyrics of Mrs. Meta Heusser. The translations of Miss Borthwick reproduce the spirit rather than the letter of the original. Several of them have become more widely known through hymnbooks and private collections: as Franck’s eucharistic hymn, "Schmücke dich, Oliebe Seele.""Soul, arise, dispel thy sadness;" Gerhardt’s "Ich bin ein Gast auf Erden.""A pilgrim and a stranger, I journey here below;" Tersteegen’s "Gott rufet noch.""God calling yet;" Schmolck’s "Mein Jesu, wie Du willst, So lass mich allzeit wollen" "My Jesus, as Thou wilt;" Zinzendorf’s "Jesu, geh voran.""Jesus, still lead on;" Spitta’s "Was macht ihr, dass ihr weinet.""What mean ye by this wailing" and his "Angel of Patience" (Es zieht ein stiller Engel."" A gentle angel walketh throughout this world of woe"); Lange’s "Was kein Auge hat gesehen."" What no human eye hath seen; "Mrs. Heusser’s "Noch ein wenig Schweiss und Thränen," " A few more conflicts, toils and tears;" "O Jesu Christ, mein Leben."" O Christ, my Life, my Saviour;" besides other religious lyrics which are not intended for hymns. Miss Borthwick has since published Lyra Christiana, a Treasury of Sacred Poetry, edited by H. L. L., Edinb. 1888, which contains a few German poems, but is mostly selected from English sources.

672  Presbyterian minister in New York City, died 1859. He Is the best translator of Gerhardt’s "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden" ("O sacred Head, now wounded"), and several other famous hymns, German and Latin. His translations were first published in Schaff’s "Kirchenfreund"or 1849-’51 (with the originals), then in the "Mercersburg Review" for 1869, pp. 304 sqq., 414 sqq., and have since passed into many American hymn-books.

673  Horae Germanicae, Auburn and New York, 1845, 2d ed. 1856. Mills was professor of biblical criticism in the Presbyterian Theol. Seminary at Auburn, N. Y., and died 1867.

674  Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, London, 1867.

675  e.g., for Schaff’s Christ in Song, New York, 1868, and London, 1870. In my German Hymn-book (Philad. 1859, revised and enlarged ed., 1874), I have noted the English translations as far as I knew them.

676  In Spain, once the richest and proudest monarchy of Europe, sixty per cent of the adult population could not read in 1877, according to the official census. Compare this with the educational statistics of Prussia, which in the sixteenth century was a poor, semi-barbarous principality. The contrast between North America and South America in point of popular education is still more striking.

677  Letter to Spalatin, March 30, 1529 (De Wette, III. 433): "Jura papistica legere incipimus et inspicere."

678  Comp. A. Kohler, Luther und die Juristen, Gotha, 1873; Köstlin, M. Luth., II. 476 sqq., 580 sq. In his Table Talk (Erl. ed., LXII., 214 sqq.), Luther has much to say against the lawyers, and thinks that few of them will be saved. "Ein frommer Jurist," he says, "ist ein seltsames Thier."

679  Apol. Conf. Aug., Art. XIV. (Müller’s ed. of the Lutheran symbols, p. 205): "Nos summa voluntate cupere conservare politiam ecclesiasticam et gradus in ecclesia, factos etiam humana auctoritate." He subscribed the Smalcald Articles (1537), with a clause in favor of a limited papal supervision.

680  See the Appendix to the Smalcald Articles, which have symbolical authority, on the Power and Primacy of the Pope (Müller’s ed., p. 341): "Quum jure divino non sint diversi gradus episcopi et pastoris manifestum est ordinationem a pastore in sua ecclesia factam jure divino ratam esse. Itaque cum episcopi ordinarii fiunt hostes ecclesia aut nolunt impartire ordinationem, ecclesiae retinent ius suum."

681  See his letters to Jonas, Lauterbach, Link, Probst, and others, in De Wette, vol. V. To Lauterbach he wrote, Nov. 10, 1541 (V. 407), "Ego paene de Germania desperavi, postquam recepit inter parietes veros illos Turkas seu veros illos diabolos, avaritiam, usuram, tyrannidem, discordiam et totam illam Lernam perfidiae, malitiae, et nequitiae, in nobilitate, in aulis, in curiis, in oppidis, in villis, super haec autem contemtum verbi et ingratitudinem inauditam." To Jonas he wrote, March 7, 1543 (V. 548), that the German nobility and princes were worse than the Turks, and bent upon enslaving Germany, and exhausting the people. To the same he gives, June 18, 1543 (V. 570), an account of the immorality of Wittenberg, and the indifference of the magistrate, and concludes, "Es ist ein verdriesslich Ding um die Welt." He thought that the end of the wicked world was near (Letter to Probst, Dec. 5, 1544, vol. V. 703).

682  Friedberg, Kirchenrecht, p. 57, correctly says, "Die Reformation hat schliesslich wohl Pfarrsprengel geschaffen, aber keine Gemeinden." This is true even now of the Lutheran churches in Northern Germany; but in Westphalia, on the Rhine, and in America, the congregational life is more or less developed, partly through contact with Reformed churches.

683  Yet not in the strict and deeper sense in which the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are articles of (saving) faith; hence the preposition eij", in, is omitted before ecclesiam, and the following articles, at least in the Latin forms (the Greek Nicene Creed has eij").

684  The term "catholic" (kaqolikov", from kata;and o{lo", whole, entire, complete) does not occur in the New Testament (for the inscrip-tions of the Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude, ejpistolai; kaqolikaiv, or simply kaqolikaiv, are no part of the apostolic text, but added by transcribers), and is first used as an epithet of the Church by Ignatius of Antioch, the enthusiast for episcopacy and martyrdom (Ad Smyrn., c. 8), and in the Martyrium of Polycarp (in Eusebius, II. E., IV. 14). It was applied also to faith, tradition, people, and became equivalent with Christian, in distinction from Jews, idolaters, heretics, and schismatics.

685  De Doctr. Christ., III. 32 (in Schaff’s "Nicene and Post-Nicene Library;" Works of St. Augustin, vol. II. 509).

686  De Bapt. contra Donat., IV. 5. For a fuller exposition of his doctrine of the church, see his Donatist writings, and Reuter’s Augustin. Studien (1887).

687  De Fide et Symbolo, c. 10 (in Schaff’s ed., III. 331).

688  Tractatus de Ecclesia, c. I., "congregatio omnium praedestinatorum ... Illa est sponsa Christl ... Jerusalem mater nostra, templum Domini, regnum coelorum et civitas regni magni." Then he quotes the distinction made by Augustin, to whom he refers throughout the book more frequent-ly than to all other fathers combined. This important tract was recently published for the first time from three MSS. in Vienna and Prague by the "Wyclif Society," and edited by Dr. Johann Loserth (professor of history in the University of Czernowitz), London (Trübner & Co.), 1886, 600 pp. But the same view of the church is taught in other books of Wiclif, and correctly stated by Dr. Lechler in his Joh. von Wiclif, Leipz., 1873, vol. I. 541 sqq.

689  The close affinity has recently been shown by Joh. Loserth, Hus und Wiclif; zur Genesis der hussitischen Lehre (Prag and Leipz., l884), and is especially apparent from a comparison of Wiclif’s and Hus’s treatises De Ecclesia. Wiclif’s book exerted little influence in England, but became known in Bohemia in 1407 or before, and the reproduction of it by Hus created a great sensation. The arrangement, the ideas, and arguments of the two books are the same, and often the very language. Comp. Loserth’s Introduction to Wiclif’s De Ecclesia.

690  Luther first used the term "invisible." Zwingli first added the term "visible" in his Expositio christianae. fidei (1531): "Credimus et unam sanctam esse catholicam, h.e. universalem ecclesiam. Eam autem esse aut visibilem aut invisibilem." Zwingli was the only one among the Reformers who included the elect heathen in the invisible church. The clearest symbolical statement of the Protestant doctrine of the invisible and visible church is given in the Westminster Confession, ch. xxv. (Schaff’s Creeds of Christendom, III. 657).

691  Rothe (Anfänge der christl. Kirche, I. p. 101) says that the idea of a moral and spiritual union and communion of all believers in Christ, or of the communion of saints, is in the highest sense real (ist nach unsrer innigsten Ueberzeugung eine im höchsten Sinne reale), but cannot be called a church. He resolves and dissolves the church ultimately into the kingdom of God, which he identifies with the ideal state.

692  Under the date of Oct. 3, 1519, he informed Staupitz that he had received from Prague letters of two priests, "una cum libello Joannis Hus." De Wette, I. 341. An edition of the Tractatus de Ecclesia was published at Mainz and Hagenau in 1520.

693  This identification may be questioned. The holy catholic church corresponds rather to the church visible, the communion of saints to the church invisible. The communion of saints means that inward and spiritual fellowship of true believers on earth and in heaven which is based on their union with Christ. It is their fellowship with God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Comp. 1 John 1:3; 1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 2:1), and with each other, a fellowship not broken by death, but extending to the saints above. A most precious idea.

"The saints in heaven and on earth

 But one communion make;

 All join In Christ, their living Head,

 And of his grace partake."

The article of the communio sanctorum (as well as the epithet catholica) is a later insertion, and not found in the creeds before the fifth century. See Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, I. 22 and II. 52. The oldest commentators understood it of the communion with the saints in heaven. According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, it means "a community of spiritual blessings," especially the sacraments enjoyed in the Catholic Church. A more comprehensive and satisfactory exposition is given by Pearson on the Creed, Art. IX., and in the Westminster Confession, Ch. XXVI.

694  The German proverb, ."Das ist um katholisch zu werden" (This is to turn Catholic), describes a condition of things that drives one to desperation or madness.

695  In his second Commentary on the Galatians (Erl. ed., III. 38): "Recte igitur fatemur in symbolo, nos credere ecclesiam sanctam. Est enim invisibilis, habitans in Spiritu, in loco inaccessibili, ideo non potest videri ejus sanctitas."

696  Art. VII., "Est autem ecclesia congregatio sanctorum [Germ. ed., Versammlung aller Gläubigen], in qua evangelium recte [rein] docetur, et recte [laut des Evangelii] administrantur sacramenta." Comp. the Apol. Conf., Art. VII. and VIII. The same definition is substantially given in the Anglican Art. XIX. It would exclude the Quakers, who reject the external sacraments, yet are undoubted believers in Christ. The Calvinistic Confessions (e.g., Conf. Belgica, Art. XXIX.) and characteristically to those two marks a third one, the exercise of discipline In punishing sin.

697  "Ich sage, dass unter dem Papst die rechte Christenheit ist, ja der rechte Ausbund der Christenheit, und viel frommer, grosser Heiligen." (Von der Wiedertaufe, Erl. ed. XXVI. 257 sq.) The Roman Catholic Möhler does not fail to quote this passage in his Symbolik, p. 422 sq. He says of Luther’s conception of the church (p. 424), that it is not false, but only one-sided (nicht falsch, obgleich einseitig). He virtually admits the Protestant distinction between the visible and the invisible church, but holds that the Catholics put the visible church first as the basis of the invisible, while the Protestants reverse the order.

698  Ibid. p. 258. Critical commentators have long since abandoned this interpretation. Whatever be the wider applicability of this passage, Paul certainly meant a "mystery of lawlessness" (not tyranny) already at work in his time (h[dh ejnergei'tai, 2 Thess. 2:7), long before popery existed, or before there was even a bishop of Rome (unless it be Peter). Moreover, "lawlessness," which is the proper translation of ajnomiva, is not characteristic of popery, but the very opposite. If Paul refers to Rome at all, it is rather as a "restraining" force, to; katevcon, vers. 6, 7 (Comp. Rom. 13:1). The term "Antichrist" occurs only in the Epistles of John, and he speaks of "many Antichrists" in his own day. In a wider sense all is antichristian that is contrary to the spirit and aim of Christ in any church or any age.

699  In his Judicium de Jure reformandi, 1525 ("Corp. Ref." I. 767): "It is written that the Antichrist will have a great and powerful reign in the last times, as Paul says, Antichrist will be seated and rule in the temple of God, that is, in the church." And again in the "Apology of the Augsburg Confession" (1530), arts. VII. and VIII. (Müller’s ed., p. 152): "Paulus praedicat futurum, ut Antichristus sedeat in templo Dei, hoc est, in ecclesia dominetur et gerat officia."

700  Com. in Ep. ad Gal. (Erl. ed., 1. 40 sq.): "Paulus vocat ecclesia Galatiae per synecdochen ... Sie et nos hodie vocamus ecclesiam romanam sanctam et omnes episcopatus sanctos, etiamsi sint subversi et episcopi et ministri eorum impii. Deus enim regnat in medio inimicorum suorum; item, Antichristus sedet in templo Dei, et Satan adest in medio filiorum Dei … Manet in romana urbe quamquam Sodoma et Gomorra pejore baptismus, sacramentum, vox et textus evangelii, sacra scriptura, ministeria, nomen Christi, nomen Dei."

701  De Wette, Briefe, IV. 354.

702  Lib. IV., c. i., §§ 4 and 7. He speaks most eloquently of the ecclesia visibilis, as our mother in whose womb we are conceived to enter into spiritual life.

703  Lib. IV., c. ii., § 12: "Antichristum in templo Dei sessurum praedixerunt Daniel et Paulus (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:4): illius scelerati et abominandi regni ducem et antesignanum, apud nos facimus Romanum Pontificem. Quod sedes ejus in templo Dei collocatur, ita innuitur, tale fore ejus regnum quod nec Christi nec ecclesiae nomen aboleat. Hinc igitur patet nos minime negare, quin sub ejus quoque tyrannide ecclesiae maneant: sed quas sacrilega impietate profanarit, quas immani dominatione afflixerit, quas malis et exitialibus doctrinis, ceu venenatis potionibus, corruperit, et propemodum enecarit, in quibus semisepultus lateat Christus, obrutum Evangelium, profligata pietas, cultus Dei fere abolitus: in quibus denique omnia sic sint conturbata, ut Babylonis potius quam civitatis Dei sanctae facies illic appareat." Comp. IV., 7, § 25; and Calvin’s commentary on 2 Thess. 2:3.

704  Ch. XXV. 6: "The Pope of Rome ... is that Antichrist, that man of sin and perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ and all that is called God." And yet there are American divines who derive from this passage the very opposite conclusion; namely, that the Roman Church is no church at all, and that all her ordinances are invalid. An attempt to sanction this conclusion was made at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church at Cincinnati in 1885, but failed. The Westminster Confession never calls the Roman Church Antichrist, but only the Pope, who is no more the Roman Church than the Moderator of the General Assembly is the General Assembly, or the President of the United States is the American people, or the Czar of Russia is Russia. The government is only one factor in the life of a nation or a church.

705  Dante locates them in the Inferno; and Möhler says, "Hell has swallowed them up."

706  Milton, in his discontent with the Presbyterians and zeal for independency, said, "Presbyter is priest writ large."

707  The exceptional designation of the Christian prophets as "highpriests" (ajrcierei'", in the Didaché, ch. XIII. 3, is probably figurative. See Schaff, The Oldest Church Manual, p. 206 sq.

708  See Schaff, l.c. p. 74 sq., and 211.

709  See the passage in the Appendix to Luther’s Articles of Smalcald, quoted above on p. 517, note 2.

710  Comp. § 44, p. 207, and Melanchthon in his Apology of the Augsb. Conf., arts. XIII. and XXIV.

711  Art. XIV.

712  In the address De instituendis ministris, to the magistrate and people of Prag, and in his tract "Dass eine christliche Versammlung oder Gemeinde Recht und Macht habe, alle Lehrer zu urtheilen und Lehrer zu berufen, ein- und abzusetzen." (Erl. ed., XXII. 140 sqq.; and Walch, X. 1795 sqq.)

713  "Es sind verkehrt, verblendete Larven, und rechte Kinderbischöfe." The last word of his German tract to the Bohemians. Erl. ed., XXII. 151.

714  The conversion and attempted reformation of Archbishop Herrmann of Cologne occurred much later, in 1543.

715  In the preface to his commentary on Deuteronomy, which he dedicated to the bishop of Samland, 1525 (Erl. ed. of Opera Latina, XIII. 6): "Non enim te laudamus, sed insigne illud miraculum gratiae Dei extollimus, quam in te valere, regnare et triumphare videmus et audimus cum gaudio ut ... te unicum et solum inter omnes episcopi orbis elegerit Dominus et liberaverit ex ore Satanae quod dilatavit sicut infernum et devorat omnes. Nihil enim videmus in ceteris episcopis (quanquam esse inter eos sperem aliquot Nicodemos) nisi quod subversis caesare et regibus ac principibus fremunt et insaniunt contra resurgens vel potius oriens evangelion, ut denuo impleant illud Psalmi secundi," etc. Comp. his letter to Spalatin, Feb. 1, 1524, and to Briesmann, July 4, 1524, in De Wette, II. 474 and 525 sqq.

716  Corp. Ref., I. 765. Comp. Seckendorf, Hist. Lutheranismi, vol. II. 29.

717  See an account of the consecration in Seckendorf, III. 391 sqq.; Köstlin, II. 561 sqq.; Janssen, III. 483-492. Janssen describes the sickening details of the violence, intrigues, and robberies connected with the Protestantizing and secularizing of the three Saxon bishoprics.

718  Exempel, einen rechten christlichen Bischof zu weihen, 1542. Erl. ed., XXVI. 77-108; Walch, XVII. 122. He begins with the characteristic sentence: "Wir armen Ketzer haben abermal eine grosse Sünde begangen wider die höllische unchristliche Kirche des allerhöllischten Vaters, des Papstes, dass wir einen Bischof im Stift Naumburg ordinirt und eingeweihet haben, ohne allen Chresem [Chrisma, Salböl],auch ohne Butter, Schmalz, Speck, Teer, Schmeer, Weihrauch, Kohlen und was derselben grossen Heiligkeit mehr ist: dazu wider ihren Willen; doch nicht ohne ihr Wissen." Comp. also his letter to Jacob Probst, March 26, 1546 (De Wette, V. 451), where he calls this consecration "audax facinus et plenissimum odio, invidia at indignatione."

719  " ... gezwungen durch Gottes Gebot, sich von ihm zu sondern, und ihn für keinen Bischof, sondern für einen Wolf, ja für einen Teufel zu halten." Erl. ed., p. 80.

720  "Die Gemeinde," says Friedberg, l.c., p. 61, "tritt bei dieser Organisation ganz zurück. Sie ist der ’Pöbel,’ der unter der Zucht des Wortes und der Polizei des Kirchenregimentes steht … Eine Mitwirkung an der Handhabung der Kirchenzucht findet sich nur in den Kirchenordnungen, wo reformirte Einflüsse bemerkbar sind."

721  Von weltlicher Obrigkeit, wie weit man ihr Gehorsam schuldig sei. Erl. ed. XXII. 59-105.

722  The Westminster Confession, ch. XX. 2, says: "God alone is Lord of the conscience."

723  L.c.p. 82: "Das weltlich Regiment hat Gesetze, die sich nicht weiter strecken, denn über Leib und Gut, und was äusserlich ist auf Erden. Denn über die Seele kann und will Gott niemand lassen regieren, denn sich selbst alleine. Darumb wo weltlich Gewalt sich vermisset, der Seelen Gesetze zu geben, da greift sie Gott in sein Regiment, und verführet und verderbet nur die Seelen. Das wollen wir so klar machen, dass mans greifen solle, auf dass unsere Junkern, die Fürsten und Bischöfe sehen, was sie für Narren sind, wenn sie die Leut mit ihren Gesetzen und Geboten zwingen wollen, sonst oder so zu glauben."

724  "Zum Glauben kann und soll man niemand zwingen." As to St. Augustin, he changed his views on this subject, as Luther did afterwards. The anti-Manichaean Augustin was tolerant (he himself had been a Manichaean for nine years), but the anti-Donatist Augustin was intolerant. The former said, "Credere non potest homo nisi volens;" the latter misinterpreted the words: "Compelle intrare ut impleatur domus mea" (Luke 14:23), as a justification of forcible coercion. Comp. above, § 11, p. 54 sq.

725  "Die grössten Narren oder die ärgsten Buben auf Erden" (p. 89).

726  "Ketzerei ist ein geistlich Ding, das kann man mit keinem Eisen hauen, mit keinem Feuer verbrennen, mit keinem Wasser ertränken."

727  In the Erl. ed., vol. LI. p. 419 sq.

728  See § 12, p. 76, note.

729  Judicium de jure reformandi (1525), in the "Corp. Reform." I. 763 sqq.

730  See § 12, p. 59 sqq.

731  See his letters of Oct. 31, 1525, Nov. 30, 1525, Nov. 22, 1526, Feb. 5, 1527, Oct. 12, 1527.

732  "Wollen die Alten ja nicht, mögen sie immer zum Teufel hinfahren. Aber wo die Jugend versäumet und unerzogen bleibt, da ist die Schuld der Obrigkeit" (De Wette, III. 136). In the same letter he says that the people live "wie die Säue: da ist keine Furcht Gottes, noch Zucht mehr, weit des Papstes Bann ist abgegangen, und thut jedermann was er nur will."

733  "Denn obwol S. K. F. Gnaden zu lehren und geistlich regieren nicht befohlen ist, so sind sie doch schuldig, als weltliche Obrigkeit, darob zu halten, dass nicht Zwietracht, Rotten und Aufruhr sich unter den Unterthanen erheben, wie auch der Kaiser Constantinus die Bischöfe gen Nicaea fordert," etc. Corp. Ref., XXVI. fol. 46.

734  See the note in full, l.c., fol. 85.

735  Letter of February, 1529, in De Wette, 1II. 424. Comp. also the prefaces to his Catechisms. It is characteristic of the Ultramontane history of Janssen, that, while he dwells largely on the lamentations of Luther over the wretched condition of the churches in Saxony, and derives them from his doctrine of justification by faith alone (vol. III. 67-69), he completely ignores Luther’s Catechisms which were to cure these evils.

736  To this and other testimonies, may be added that of Köstlin, II. 63: "Der Kleine Katechismus steht in erster Reihe unter den Schriften des Reformators."

737  Hartmann, Aelteste Katechetische Denkmale, Stuttgart, 1844.

738  Jonas is probably the author of the Laienbiblia, 1525 (republished by Schneider in 1853), and this was probably the basis of "Cranmer’s Catechism." 1548. See Schaff, Creeds, I. 655, note 2.

739  Erl. ed., vol. XXII. 1-32. Comp. also his Taufbüchlein verdeutscht, 1523, and reproduced 1526 (?), ibid. XXII. 157 sqq. and 290 sqq.

740  If German farmers in Pennsylvania are asked, "What is the difference between the Lutherans and the Reformed?" the reply is, "The one pray Vater unser, the other Unser Vater."

741  Articuli Smalcald. P. III., cap. 8.

742  For a fuller comparison, see Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, I. 543 sqq.

743 The American Episcopal Prayer book reads instead: My Sponsors.