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for deliverance; but in all others of his day those elements of character were wanting which could bring all this private feeling and conviction to bear upon public life, and make them operative in the events of the age. As the energy of Saul of Tarsus when a persecutor was sanctified and employed by our Lord to make him valiant for the truth, and a preacher of the faith he once destroyed; so Luther's natural firmness and pugnacity were impressed into the service of the Church by the same Master at the very point and crisis of affairs when only such a mind could, humanly speaking, do what was wanting. View Luther in this light, and there is a grandeur about him which cannot well be surpassed : and whether burning the Pope's Bull at Wittenberg, or refusing to recant before the Diet of Worms, we see in him a manifest instrument of Divine Providence working out great and worthy ends. As the designer of a statue in bronze or marble chooses the loftiest point in the history of his hero, and places him there in the conception which his chisel is to embody and work out; so the historian—the moral describer and artificer—will always portray Luther as a public character, as he appeared at those great epochs of his life.
But when we contemplate Luther as a private man, or even as the acknowledged head of the Protestant states of Germany, his greatness melts away, and he becomes like ordinary mortals. As the greatest warriors in the field have been unable to maintain equal prestige in the senate or in private life, so Luther manifested an unfitness to control and direct safely the perturbed elements which he had aided in throwing into confusion. He would be a dictator, in circumstances which demanded the deliberation of many counsellors; he was dogmatic and overbearing among minds in many respects more wise than his own; he was coarse and uncharitable at a time when such qualities were but too common, and required repression and not culture. Luther combatting with the most holy Father, and fulminating the righteous indignation of all good men against the lawless rapacity of the papacy, takes his place with the heroes of all time, and will ever hold it; but Luther at Wittenberg, organizing the Church after his own fashion, quarrelling with Zwingle and abusing Erasmus, becomes but a little man after all-little, we mean, as compared with the towering height we have before seen him to possess.
Not that Luther's private life is destitute of deep interest; far from it. We know no more pleasing pictures than are presented by his occupancy of the old religious home at Wittenberg, his homely and playful intercourse with Kate and the little Luthers, and his conversations with the many fine characters who visited him, as described in his Table Talk. Two pictures of this still life are given by Mr. Worsley, which we will copy as both interesting in themselves and as bearing out our commendations. The first concerns Luther's public character in his privacy; that is, it exhibits him at home, and yet transacting and discussing matters of importance with public men.
“He lived in the Augustine convent, as one of the old patriarchs might have sat at his tent door, receiving all who claimed admission. The convent was an open house,-the asylum of the distressed, and the hospital for the sick. Distinguished men from all parts of Europe came to visit the great monk. The social meal was the supper. Luther would come to table, weary with the exhausting labours of many hours, generally with a book in his hand, which, for some while, perhaps, he continued to peruse. The Professors of the University, old friends from remote parts-Henceslaus Luck from Nurenburg, or James Probst from Bremen strangers on a visit of curiosity, or on an embassy from some court, would gather round the hospitable board. At length Luther would lift his eyes from off his book, and inquire the news; that was the signal that he was disposed for conversation, and until that moment a deferential silence had been observed. The conversation soon became general, the respect entertained for the host being evidenced by the appellation by which he was addressed, even by Melancthon and Jonas, of 6 Reverend Father.” As the conversation advanced, Luther's countenance would become more and more animated ; his eyes would wear those inner rays of lustre, which to Luck and others of his fanatical admirers, seemed the divine light of prophecy; the energetic expression of his face would soften into one of broad humour and mirth, and the pith and originality of his remarks would rivet the attention of his guests. Or, the scene, perhaps, would be different; eminent scholars, from distant lands, might be present ; and Luther would be inquiring, with the most intense interest and solemn gravity, their judgment on the true translation of a word or phrase in the Hebrew Bible, probably the very book he had brought to table with him, and offering his own comments in exchange. The converse ended, Aurifaber, or some other of the company who had listened with open ears, would hasten to commit to paper what Luther had said, and thus add a new page to the accumulating matter of what will ever be ranked as one of the most interesting books in the German tongue-Luther's Table Talk. The evening would wind up with a Latin chant, or a German hymn, or a chorus of voices,-Luther's fine tenor distinguishable amongst them, making the rafters of the old refectory echo with the rapture of harmony and the fervour of devotion. After this, if no pressing work was in hand, Luther would at once retire to rest, not forgetting (Antinomian as he has been called !) among his devotions, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten commandments, imploring God to give him grace to keep his law, not only in the letter but in the spirit. He then laid him down in his bed, and employed his last waking thoughts, in meditating on some passage of Scripture.”
The other picture gives us Luther in retirement, in the bosom of his family, enjoying humble pleasures, and engaged in common-place pursuits. On gazing upon it we may observe, what is often exhibited, the quiet and child-like goodness which characterized the fierce polemical theologian when no adversary was near :-—the lion playing with its cubs, and concealing the formidable talons, which could, on occasion, do so much mischief.
“ His domestic life, like his character, was the growth of his religious doctrines. He was tenderly attached to Kate, and always spoke of her as the very partner suited to him. If he should lose her, and a queen should be offered to him, he would refuse her.' And although he called her his 'Lord Kate,' or Emperor Kate,' jesting at the love of rule common to the sex—he praised her submissiveness and obedience. Household matters he left entirely to her management, for he regarded these as the wife's special province. “Man,' he said, 'is created with broad shoulders and narrow hips, for activity in the world; woman with narrow shoulders and broad hips, for staying at home in her proper domestic sphere, guiding the house, and bringing up children.' And the internal arrangement of the Augustine Convent gave Kate quite enough to do. To a friend who had inquired of Luther what present would be most acceptable to him, he replied, That he was in want of a candelabrum ;' but he added, you know what sort of a house mine is ; let it be a candelabrum that will stand being knocked up and down stairs; and it will answer the purpose better, if it can clean itself.' The garden was under Luther's own supervision; he delighted in flowers, which he liked to see as he was studying, on the table near him; and he especially admired the rose. The man who could make one such flower would deserve an empire ;' and the burst and bloom of vegetation always reminded him of redemption and the resurrection. He was an indulgent, but a strict and vigilant father : for the parent, he declared, that neglected to train his children in God's ways, and to restrain them from evil, was 'worse than Turk or Tartar. He spoke of the Book of Proverbs as the best book on (Economics in the world; and its whole substance is summed up in this : *Fear God.' He greatly valued the classical languages, uniformly regretting his own deficient education, which had debarred him from the study of the Greek poets and historians; and of all studies, poetry, he said, was his favourite. Mirth, jests, good cheer, pastimes, and music, he regarded as capital expedients for driving away the proud melancholy Satan.' Hence the frequent references in his correspondence to what he ate and drank; in such allusions he was scoffing at Satan. Mathesius relates, that before going to bed he would sometimes call for a glass of must, with an apology to the bystanders : 'Old men, like the Elector and myself, have to find pillow and bolster in the can.' But Mathesius agrees with Melancthon in representing him as singularly abstemious and temperate. And although Luther could not see the sin of dances or acting plays, insisting that to be unworldly is to get the world out of one's self, yet in everything the prevailing passion rose to surface. As when out for the chase, he pursued theology : so his musical compositions, his famous Hymn, and the Old Hundredth, are the lasting echoes of his solemn and elevated strain for piety.”
An excess of subjectivity may be considered as Luther's prime defect, and as it coloured the acts of his life, so it has left its impress on the religious mind of Germany to the present day. While he lived, all must have upon it the mark of Luther, and when he died, that mark had been too deeply wrought in to be easily obliterated, even if the task had been attempted. But, unhappily, the teacher and the taught had both agreed “to mark the marble with their name”—to put their own “ image and superscription" on what had been done in the way of reformation, and so they called it Lutheranism. The example of the Holy Apostles, and the express prohibition of St. Paul, were alike forgotten as deprecating party-spirit in opposition to Catholicity; and as Germany had its fanatical sects in abundance, each bearing the name of its founder on its banner, so the more orthodox Protestants determined to take the name of Luther, to adopt all his doctrines, and to swear by his opinions. Very different was the state of things in England contemporaneously with the Reformation in Germany, for although Cranmer was the chief agent in bringing about a re-organization of the English Church, his labour never incurred the risk of being called Cranmerism. The English Archbishop and his co-adjutors in the great work then accomplished, were entirely different in the complexion of their minds from their German neighbour, and their great objectivity saved them from his errors. They desired to reform only, not to recreate, while Luther aimed at the latter; they intensely meditated on the past, Luther was too much engrossed by the present; they sought for precedents in the pure and primitive state of the Church, Luther was satisfied with the Bible as interpreted by himself, and therefore, as a matter of course, often read wrong. To give the name of Lutheranism to the new Church state of Germany seemed inevitable and almost proper, because that state was new; but to have called the reformed Church of England Cranmerism, would have been an entire misnomer, since what was new was but minute compared with the old.
The same remark holds good when we leave the champions of reform in their silent tombs, and turn to the relative results of their labours. By grouping the great truths of Christianity around the name of Luther, his followers introduced a disintegrating element in their ecclesiastical polity, which was not long in developing its pernicious influence. How sad is the reflection that on the continent of Europe the harvest of the Reformation was principally gathered in in one age, and that from Luther's time to this the Papacy has rather increased than lost its power! All the previous conflict and discussion, all the earnest longing for a General Council, was rendered nearly useless when that Council really assembled at Trent, because by that time Lutheranism was established, and as a separate sect could use no influence in that august assembly. But we must leave that topic, which would require far more space to do it justice than we can now command, and call the attention of our readers rather to the results of Lutheranism in Germany after the Reformer's death, and the dependence of these results on his individual mind. How an almost entire scepticism occupied the countries which acknowledged Luther's opinions as their standard of doctrine and practice; how all objective truth came to be neglected, then argued against, then denied—are matters of history; facts which have been patent down even to our own times. How far, it may properly be asked, can these sad results be traced up to Luther?
In breaking loose from the moorings of Catholicity, and desiring for himself and his followers an ecclesiastical organization, Luther acknowledged this principle :—that during the Papacy the Church of Christ had entirely lost its genuine form, and that instead of clearing away the ruins, and endeavouring to find the original temple, it was better to build afresh with the stones and wood scattered around. Now this is a mode of operation which exactly falls in with human pride; with that supremacy of the intellect which has always been man's greatest idol and snare, and against which the sacred writers of the New Testament so constantly guard us. If it were competent to Luther to find out a form of religion for himself, why should not his followers imitate his example? They did imitate it, and with fatal results, which history has chronicled for the warning of coming ages; for they gradually made Christianity a matter of opinion, varying with the character of the mind which undertook to criticize it and to decide upon it. The ancient landmarks being removed, license was soon introduced under the names of free thought and liberality of sentiment, until only the political and legally-defined skeleton of the Church remained, destitute of its animating soul. The law had said that the Lutheran clergy must, in order to retain their livings, profess certain doctrines, and conform to a fixed ritual, and they did so, but the constantly paraded example of their head and chief operated too potently to secure the integrity of his doctrinal sentiments among them. Reverence for the past—such a deference to the fixed opinions and practices of the early ages of the