Martin luther thesis 95


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Vatican Files Leonardo De Chirico. How can we measure the effectiveness of church planting? Forgive us our debts. What do you think about Pope Francis? Loving People: A Confession I. Marriage as an apocalypse. Will Graham. Let me start today by asking a question.

So, let me hand you over to my friend, Martin. Thesis 27 They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory. Thesis 36 Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters. Thesis 37 Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.


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John Tetzel was one of many indulgence preachers in the times of Luther. Pope Leo X wanted to use the money gained from indulgences to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica. RATE Church unity is unity in the Spirit. Antonio Cruz. Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care?

It vindicated for the whole lay estate, and for all ranks and conditions of lay life, a spiritual dignity, and a place in the spiritual life of the Church. It restored a sense of independent responsibility to all natural authorities; and it reasserted the sacredness of all natural relations. Luther, by placing all men and women on the same spiritual standing ground, swept away any such privileges; and gave men as clear a conscience, and as great a sense of spiritual dignity, in the ordinary duties of marriage, of fatherhood, and in the common offices of life, as in any ecclesiastical order.

But it became at once a momentous question by what principles the exercise of that liberty was to be guided, and within what limits it was to be exerted. In a very short time fanatics sprung up, who claimed to exercise such liberty without any restrictions at all, and who refused to recognize any standard but that of their own supposed inspiration.

But the service which Luther rendered in repelling such abuses of his great doctrine was only second to that of establishing the doctrine itself. The Edition: current; Page: [ xxxi ] rule of faith and practice on which he insisted was indeed necessarily involved in his primary principle. Faith, as has been seen, was with him no abstract quality, but was simply a response to the word and promise of God. In the form of a simple promise, it is the basis of justification and of our whole spiritual existence; and similarly in its more general form, as recorded in the Holy Scriptures, it contains all truths, alike of belief and of practice, which are essential to salvation here and hereafter.

Martin Luther, the 95 Theses and the Birth of the Protestant Reformation

It must needs do so, if it be a reality at all; but no one has ever grasped this truth with such intense insight as Luther. Now in the Treatise on the Babylonish Captivity of the Church he applies this rule, in connection with his main principle, to the elaborate sacramental system of the Church of Rome. Here, too, the one consideration which overpowers every other in his view is the supreme import of a promise or word of God. But there are two institutions under the Gospel which are distinguished from all others by a visible sign, instituted by Christ Himself, as a pledge of the Divine promise.

A sign so instituted, and with such a purpose, constituted a peculiarly Edition: current; Page: [ xxxii ] precious form of those Divine promises which are the life of the soul; and for the same reason that the Divine word and the Divine promise are supreme in all other instances, so must these be supreme and unique among ceremonies. The distinction, by which the two Sarcaments acknowledged by the Reformed Churches are separated from the remaining five of the Roman Church, is thus no question of names but of things.

He hesitates, indeed, whether to allow an exception in favour of Absolution, as conveying undoubtedly a direct promise from Christ; but he finally decides against it, on the ground that it is without any visible and divinely appointed sign, and is after all only an application of the Sacrament of Baptism. If, moreover, the force of his argument on this subject is to be apprehended, due attention must be paid to the efficacy which he thus attributes to the two Sacraments. The cardinal point on which he insists in respect to them is that they are direct pledges from God, through Christ, and thus contain the whole virtue of the most solemn Divine promises.

They are, as it were, the sign and seal of those promises. They are messages from God, not mere acts of devotion on the part of man. In Baptism the point of importance is not that men dedicate themselves or their children to Him, but that He, through His minister, gives them a promise and a pledge of His forgiveness, and of His Fatherly good will. Similarly in the Holy Communion the most important point is not the offering made on the part of man, but the promise and assurance of communion with the Body and Blood of Christ, Edition: current; Page: [ xxxiii ] made on the part of God.

It is this which constitutes the radical distinction between the Lutheran and the so-called Zwinglian view of the Sacraments. Under the latter view they are ceremonies which embody and arouse due feelings on the part of men.

On the former principle, they are ceremonies which embody direct messages and promises from God. It may be worth while to observe in passing the position which Luther assumes towards the doctrine of Transubstantiation. What he is concerned to maintain is that there is a Real Presence in the Sacrament.

All he is concerned to deny is that Transubstantiation is the necessary explanation of that Presence. In other words, it is not necessary to believe in Transubstantiation in order to believe in the Real Presence. Another interesting point in this Treatise is the urgency with which he protests against the artificial restraints upon the freedom of marriage which had been imposed by the Roman See. It would have been too much to expect that in applying, single-handed, to so difficult a subject as marriage, the rule of rejecting every restriction not expressly declared in the Scriptures, Luther should have avoided mistakes.

But they are at least insignificant in comparison with the value of the principle he asserted, that all questions of the marriage relation should be subjected to the authority of Holy Scripture alone. That principle provided, by its inherent force, a remedy for any errors in particulars which Luther or any individual divine might commit. He reasserted the true dignity and sanctity of the marriage relation, and established the rule of Holy Scripture as the standard for its due control.

They were applied in different countries in different ways; and we are justly proud in this country of the wisdom and moderation exhibited by our Reformers. But it ought never to be forgotten that for the assertion of the principles themselves, we, like the rest of Europe, are indebted to the genius and the courage of Luther. All of those principles—Justification by Faith, Christian Liberty, the spiritual rights and powers of the Laity, the true character of the Sacraments, the supremacy of the Holy Scriptures as the supreme standard of belief and practice—were asserted by the Reformer, as the Treatises in this volume bear testimony, almost simultaneously, in the latter half of the year At the time he asserted them, the Roman Church was still in full power; and the year after he had to face the whole authority of the Papacy and of the Empire, and to decide whether, at the risk of a fate like that of Huss, he would stand by these truths.

These were the truths—the cardinal principles of the whole subsequent Reformation, which he was called on to abandon at Worms; and his refusal to act against his conscience at once translated them into vivid action and reality. It was one thing for Englishmen, several decades after , to apply these principles with the wisdom and moderation of which we are proud.

It was another thing to be the Horatius of that vital struggle. The general effect of this teaching upon the condition of the world is evident. It restored to the people at large, to rulers and to ruled, to clergy and laity alike, complete independence of the existing ecclesiastical system, within the limits of the revelation contained in the Holy Scriptures. But the qualification is emphatic, and it would be wholly to misunderstand Luther if it were disregarded. Attempts are made at the present day to represent him as a pioneer of absolute liberty, and to treat it as a mere accident of his teaching and his system that he stopped short where he did.

But on the contrary, the limitation is of the very essence of his teaching, because that teaching is based on the supremacy and sufficiency of the Divine word and the Divine promise. But when men shrank from the boldness of his proclamation, and urged that he was overthrowing the foundations of Society, his reply was that he was recalling them to the true foundations of Society, and that God, if they would have faith in Him, would protect His own word and will. The very essence of his teaching is summed up in the lines of his great Psalm:.

Luther believed that God had laid down the laws which were essential to the due guidance of human nature, that he had prescribed sufficiently the limits within which that nature might range, and had indicated the trees of which it could Edition: current; Page: [ xlvi ] not safely eat. To erect any rules beyond these as of general obligation, to restrict the free play of nature by any other limitations, he treated as an unjust violation of liberty, which would provoke a dangerous reaction.

But let men be brought face to face with God, and with His reasonable and merciful laws, let them be taught that He is their Father, that all His restrictions are for their benefit, all His punishments for their reformation, all His restraints on liberty for their ultimate good, and you have then established an authority which cannot be shaken, and under which human nature may be safely left to develop. The result was a burst of new life wherever the Reformation was adopted, alike in national energies, in literature, in all social developments, and in natural science.

But while we prize and celebrate the liberty thus won, let us beware of forgetting, or allowing others to forget, that it is essentially a Christian Liberty, and that no other Liberty is really free. If he was a great Reformer, it was because he was a great divine; if he was a friend of the people, it was because he was the friend of God.

There is hardly any instance on record in the annals of history of a single peaceful event having exercised such a lasting and baneful influence on the destinies of a nation, as the coronation of Charles the Great at Rome towards the close of the eighth century. It is true the ancient German institution of royalty was not actually abolished, but it was so much eclipsed by the more pompous, though recent dignity, that in the course of time its Edition: current; Page: [ xl ] former existence was almost entirely forgotten, or at least looked upon with contempt; so much so, that a German sovereign of the fourteenth century—Henry VII.

Thus it may be truly said, that on Christmas Eve of the year , Germany was conquered a second time, if not by the Romans, still by Rome. It was not long before the conflict between the two principal elements in the government of the world—the secular and the clerical—broke out in the two-headed Empire. This antagonism became manifest even under Charles the Great himself, in spite of the splendour of his reign, and the firmness and circumspection of his government.

The encroachments of the clergy soon showed in what sense they understood the division of power.


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  8. Everything was to be done for the clergy, but without it nothing. This ambitious aim revealed itself more openly and effectively under the descendants of Charles the Great, the internal dissensions of whose reigns greatly facilitated the victory of the clerical order in their interference in secular matters. Under the powerful rule of Henry I. People believed in the supremacy of the Pope, even when he was driven from his seat of government; for his realm was of a spiritual kind and he had his invisible throne, as it were, in the hearts of Christian believers.

    An erring Pope was still the visible representative of the Church. The priests for the most part remained faithful to him under all circumstances. Such, however, was not the case with the Emperors and the Princes. In the first instance the former had no absolute power; secondly, they were elected by men, who considered themselves their equals, and lastly from the moment they lost their throne—no matter what the reasons were—they ceased to have a claim on the obedience of the people.

    The priests wished for a powerful Pope, because he was the natural guardian of their interests, whilst the German Princes objected to a powerful Emperor, because they trembled for their own independence and local authority. Unfortunately, however, they were constantly attracted by the delusive brilliancy of possessions in Italy, as if by an ignis fatuus; thus leading on the best forces of Germany to moral and physical ruin, and Edition: current; Page: [ xlii ] leaving their native country an easy prey to scheming priests and ambitious nobles.

    The result was that, towards the end of the eleventh century, the Emperor of Germany had neither any influence on the priests, who now depended entirely upon Rome, nor any power over the nobles, whose fiefs had become hereditary; nor did he possess any considerable domains, or actual revenue in his Imperial capacity. As a matter of course under these circumstances all progress of national life and culture was impeded.

    It did not spring spontaneously from within, nor did it receive any impulse from without. The Germans did not benefit intellectually in any way by their contact with the Italians. The conquered have often times become the teachers of their conquerors; but only when the latter settled in the vanquished country and made it their home. The German hordes, however, who crossed the Alps at the behests of their sovereigns, and urged on by the desire for adventure, warfare, and rapine, never permanently settled, as a body, in the flowery plains and flourishing towns of Italy.

    Numbers of those who survived the sanguinary battles fought in Italy, perished in the unused climate; the others returned home, frequently enriched by plunder and generally tainted by depraved morals.

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    Thus the Germans did not even derive that small advantage from their connection with the Italians—who at that time did not themselves possess any literature or culture in the highest sense of the word—which a permanent settlement in Italy would have conferred on them. The intellectual life of the Germans did not begin to flourish before the times of the Hohenstaufen — Unfortunately both Frederick I. Barbarossa and Frederick II. The result was that Conrad IV. During the lawless times of the Interregnum — the power of the German Princes consolidated itself more and more amidst the general anarchy.

    Order was restored, however, by Rudolf von Hapsburg — , who concerned himself with the affairs of the country only. He had a right notion of what a King of Germany should be, and emancipated her—though temporarily only—from the fatal connection as an Empire with Rome. This patriotic proceeding received, however, a counter-check in the unworthy dealings of the mercenary Charles IV. He little thought that by resuming the connection with Rome he conjured up the greatest danger for his own son and successor, Wenceslaus, who was deposed through the conspiracy of Boniface IX.

    In the course of time a new power—the third Estate—arose in Germany; namely, the Middle Classes as represented by the thriving cities of the Empire. The burghers generally sided with the Emperors, to whom they looked up as their natural protectors against the exactions of priests and nobles. But being imbued with a true mercantile spirit, they did not give away their good will for nothing; they asked for sundry privileges as compensating equivalents. The Emperors had, therefore, now to contend against three powerful elements, the clergy, the nobles, and the burghers.

    The first were, through their chief representatives—as we have seen—at all times the most dangerous Edition: current; Page: [ xliv ] antagonists to Imperial authority, and generally achieved the victory in their contests with it. It was only during the time in which the Papacy had transferred its seat of government to Avignon, that the Romish hierarchy received a check, chiefly in consequence of the depravity of the Papal Court and its surroundings.

    With the return of the Popes to Rome by the Decree of the Council of Constance — , the Papacy recovered its former ground; but this recovery of the lost authority was external only, for with the cruel execution of John Huss—which no sensible Roman Catholic ever thought of justifying—the Papacy received a most fatal blow. That scandalous crime could not have been committed at a more unpropitious time both for the Roman hierarchy and the dignity of the Councils, which latter pretended, at times at least, to have received their mandate immediately from Christ, as the sovereign representatives of the universal Roman Catholic Church.

    Had the Council of Constance shown itself, not magnanimous, but merely just, towards the Bohemian Reformer, the ascendancy of the Councils, in general, over the Popes, would probably have been for ever established; whilst as it was, the next great Council—at Basle — —had to give way to the Pope, and the Roman hierarchy was once more re-established in its former strength and power.

    The results of the Councils of Constance and Basle were, however, particularly disastrous to Germany. The former brought about the terrible wars of the Hussites, while the latter was the indirect cause of placing the Imperial power in the hands of Frederick III. No wonder then that whilst the Imperial authority sank to the lowest level, the Papal supremacy rose higher than ever, and the Emperor became nothing more than the satellite of the Pope.

    Under these circumstances the German Princes began to raise the voice of opposition against their sluggish head; but as he was supported by the influential and subtle Pius II. The young King acquiesced in the constitutional demands of the Estates for concessions in return for various grants. Feuds were abolished for ever, an independent Chamber of Justice, Kammergericht, was established, and Germany received a new Imperial constitution. Nevertheless there were almost constant conflicts between the adventurous Maximilian and the Imperial Estates, so that the national unity, earnestly aimed at by both parties, could not be effected, in consequence of the absence of any connecting link between them.

    This designation was, however, not intended to convey at the same time the notion of a severance from Rome in spiritual matters. It was destined for one lowly born to break the fatal bondage in which Germany had been for centuries kept in durance vile by Rome. One of the few blessings which Germany derived in former times from her otherwise deplorable decentralization, was the establishment, throughout the country, of educational and other beneficial institutions, which even found their way into the most obscure nooks and corners, where under other political conditions no Government would have thought of founding any establishment of the kind.

    This is the reason why culture and learning—but more especially the latter—spread more generally in Germany than in other countries. What great centralized Government would ever have chosen the insignificant place of Wittenberg, which resembled more a village than a town, as the seat of an University? And this, too, by the side of the Universities of Leipzig and Erfurt which already enjoyed a high reputation and were well endowed? He had himself received a learned education, and it was his legitimate ambition to see his petty electoral principality adorned by a High School.

    The Elector himself was, as is well known, very poor. The only means at his disposal for such a learned foundation were the proceeds from the sale of Indulgences in his Electorate, which had been collected in for the purpose of a war against the Turks. Those moneys were deposited with him, and he refused to give them up to the Pope even at the intercession of the Emperor, unless they were employed for the purpose for which they had been collected.

    The war against the Turks was not undertaken at the time, and so Frederick employed the money for the endowment of the new University. The Prince Elector hit further upon the expedient of connecting several clerical benefices with some of the professorial chairs, Edition: current; Page: [ xlvii ] and he hoped, moreover, that the members of the Augustine Order, settled at Wittenberg, would furnish some teachers for the learned institution, which was established by him in The connection of the new University with that Order was in many respects an intimate one.

    It was specially dedicated to St. Through his influence it was that several Augustine monks received a call to the University, and among those who responded was the monk Martin Luther. Poor as his parents were, he had received a learned education, and became, in consequence of the religious turn of his mind, a monk. It was then in his double capacity of scholar and priest that he became connected with the University of Wittenberg , and composed, and sent forth into the world, his famous 95 Theses, 1 against the wholesale disposal of Indulgences 31st Oct.

    Luther issued his challenge to the theological world from religious motives only, and it so happened that it fully coincided with the political views of the Elector; but, to the credit of both Prince and monk, it should be remembered that there was no mutual understanding between them. They had never seen each other before the publication of the 95 Theses; nor did they correspond on the subject, although they were of one accord about it.

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    BBC World Service - Witness History, Martin Luther's 95 Theses

    Frederick always viewed it with disfavour, and begrudged that such large amounts of money should be sent to Rome under the cloak of Indulgences, and we have seen how he had employed the proceeds resulting from their former sale. Now, however, he must have objected still more to the attempt to drain his poor country, because the object of the sale was not a holy war—if ever a war can be so called—but the alleged erection of St.

    If such was really the case, it might be truly said that Leo X. Peter for the sake of the Church of St. But people were incredulous. It was whispered, that the Pope required the money for the benefit of his family. He had promised to bear the expenses of obtaining the Pall himself, and having borrowed a considerable amount of money from the celebrated house of Fugger, he allowed their agents to travel about in company with the notorious Tetzel, as commercial controllers, and to take possession of half of the proceeds as they came in.

    Through this and other circumstances the affair assumed the ugly aspect of a very worldly and mercenary transaction, carried on in the meanest spirit. There was, besides, a tension between Frederick and the Prince Elector of Mentz; it was, therefore, natural that the step which Luther had taken should meet with his tacit approval. More than this Luther did not expect, for he well knew the lethargic character of Frederick; but under the circumstances that was quite sufficient, for the latter granted him shelter and protection, in spite of the urgent entreaties of zealots to deliver up the bold Augustinian monk at once to Rome.

    Now for the first time it was seen how fortunate it was for Luther and the cause he defended, that he had found a prudent and humane protector in the Prince who exercised sovereign power in his own limited territory. To repair to Rome under the accusation of heresy would have been like plunging with open eyes into an abyss.

    Confiding and courageous as Luther was, he saw this himself very clearly, and it was at his request that the Saxon Court preacher, Edition: current; Page: [ xlix ] Spalatin, who was one of his most constant and zealous friends, persuaded the Emperor Maximilian as well as the Prince Elector—both of whom were at that time at the Diet of Augsburg—that the accused monk should be arraigned before a German tribunal. Frederick readily acquiesced, although, as he repeatedly declared, he did not fully share the views of Luther; and the Emperor also consented, partly because he required the moral support of the Prince Elector at the approaching election of a successor in the Imperial dignity, and partly because he hoped one day to make use of the enlightened monk, in his endeavour to bring about the much-needed reforms in the Church.

    The Prince Elector should take good care of the monk, as he might one day be of use. The Papal Nuncio, Cajetan, discovered at once, in his interview with him at Augsburg , that he had to do with a superior power, when he heard the conclusive and thoughtful arguments of the Augustinian monk, and saw the divine fire of genius flashing from his eyes; and his friends already considered him of importance sufficient to induce them to bring about his sudden escape at night-time. Urged by the wrathful Papal Legate not to disgrace the honour of his Electoral house by giving shelter to a heretic friar, Frederick, encouraged by his own University, drily replied that as no scholar, either in his own or in foreign lands, had as yet refuted the theories of Luther, he would continue to give him shelter until that was done.

    This was no subterfuge on the part of Frederick. It was the key-note of his conduct, from the beginning of the Reformation to the end of his own life, to have the teachings of Luther properly tested by a learned discussion. Frederick was still a staunch Roman Catholic. He possessed a regular treasure of reliques—partly brought home from the Holy Land—which were displayed for the spiritual benefit of the devout on certain occasions, and it was known that he was yearning for the acquisition of the Golden Rose.

    Leo X. What the imperious haughtiness of the pompous Papal Legate was unable to achieve was, partly at least, effected by the shrewd bonhomie of Miltitz. It is well known how badly the antagonists of Luther kept faith with him, and that he was obliged, in consequence, to break his conditionally promised silence, and to take part in the great public Disputation at Leipzig, in He now had to vindicate against Dr.

    Eck, his most bitter opponent, not only his own honour, but also that of his University, and this circumstance formed the subject of his justification before the Prince Elector, to whose personal esteem he attached the highest value. When, however, that Disputation ended, as is the case with most learned discussions, in something like a drawn battle, Luther was driven to a declaration virtually involving his secession from Rome.

    Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

    Eck was, like Martin Luther, the son of a peasant—took the most Edition: current; Page: [ li ] prominent part, another momentous gathering took place at Frankfort-on-the-Main. The Emperor Maximilian had died on 12th January, , without being able to secure the succession in the royal dignity to his grandson Charles, Archduke of Austria and King of Spain and Naples.

    The circumstance that the seat of the Imperial Government was at Wittenberg during the present short Interregnum bestowed not a little lustre both on Frederick and his University; but the work of the incipient Reformation was not particularly promoted by it, because it coincided with the truce which Luther faithfully kept until it was faithlessly broken by his antagonists. There were three aspirants to the Imperial throne of Germany.

    The last-named monarch did not, however, seriously press his candidature. It was only when he saw the two other sovereigns contending for the prize that he deemed the moment favourable for securing it to himself. Not so the ambitious Francis I. And had not the French King sufficient wealth to buy the votes of both the secular and ecclesiastic Electoral Princes?

    He had, moreover, the precedent before him, that Philip VI. Both the French and Austrians lavishly distributed money in all directions. Frederick the Wise alone kept his hands pure, and he strictly prohibited even his officials and servants from accepting any presents. For a moment the Princes had turned their eyes to Frederick himself. But he had no confidence in his capability to sustain worthily and efficiently the functions incumbent upon the Imperial dignity.

    The Empire, as such, invested him with no material power and resources, and his own dynastic power was insignificant. How should he be able to hold his own against the ambitious and frequently turbulent Princes? He, therefore, declined the proffered honour, and the Princes, fearing lest the powerful French King should curb their independence, suddenly remembered that he was a foreign sovereign, and that in order to keep up the national freedom of the Empire, they should give the preference to the Archduke Charles, who was, partially at least, of German descent.

    The latter, to whom also Frederick of Saxony finally gave his vote, was accordingly chosen Emperor, and he soon proved that it is not always the Edition: current; Page: [ liii ] kinship which constitutes the sympathetic bond between a sovereign and his subjects. The time which elapsed from the election of Charles to his arrival in Germany, more especially to his presence at the Diet of Augsburg in , was most propitious for the spread of the work of Luther. It may be said that during that interval the Reformation assumed shape and form. Luther indefatigably continued to inculcate his religious principles on the minds of the people by sermons and numerous publications, and he found adherents so readily everywhere among all classes of the German nation, that Frederick, who still hoped the schism might be prevented by learned discussions, was of opinion, that if it should be attempted to suppress his teachings by force instead of by refutation, there would arise a great storm in Germany.

    Several distinguished members of the lower nobility, such as the brave Hutten and the martial Sickingen and many others, placed their swords at the disposal of Luther; the former was already active for him with the all-powerful weapon of the pen. He was not what we should call a politician, but, unlike so many of his learned countrymen, he had a true patriotic instinct. The mere title of the appeal seems already to contain a protest against the designation of Germany as the Holy Roman Empire.

    The German Edition: current; Page: [ liv ] people in general had no power whatever in those days. It only obtained in the course of time a voice in the management of public affairs through the Reformation. In appealing to the German Nobility, Luther addressed himself to the legitimate representatives of Germany; and he did so in the candid belief, that it was only necessary to open the eyes of those in power, in order to effect at once the abolition of any abuses. To address himself to the people, would have required his placing himself at the head of a revolution; but Luther was no revolutionist.

    It should also be remembered that a large number of noblemen had offered him support and shelter. Political power lay mainly in the hands of the nobles, who alone, in conjunction with the Emperor, could decide on the destiny of Germany. It is, however, a significant fact, that he wrote his appeal, not in Latin, but in German. In this way, indeed, he actually addressed himself to the German people. In the meantime Leo X. When it arrived at Wittenberg both the University and the Government of the Prince Elector decided to take no notice of it, and now it again became manifest what a powerful support Luther had found in Frederick.

    On his return journey from the coronation of Charles V. The threat uttered on this occasion was certainly curious. A more Edition: current; Page: [ lv ] fortunate fate, in truth, could not have befallen the German Empire than its total political severance from Rome; but in those days the empty glory of the baneful union was still highly valued, and so the Elector asked time to consider.

    He further agreed with Luther in insisting on the question being examined and tried by the tribunal of public discussion. We know that this opinion fully coincided with the views of the Elector, and his answer to the threatening Papal Legates ran in accordance with his views. His additional and often-repeated assurance, that he had never made common cause with Luther, and that he would greatly disapprove of it, if the latter wrote anything adverse to the Pope, was of the greatest importance.

    On his return to Saxony, Frederick sent to Luther a reassuring message, and the latter continued his work by teaching, writing and preaching, unmolested and without remission. In other parts of Germany the Papal Bull was proclaimed with varying and unequal effect. The same fate befell them at Cologne and Mentz. By the public burning of the Papal Bull before the Elstergate of Wittenberg , the act of secession from Rome was consummated. What no Emperor had dared before him, the humble Augustine monk accomplished courageously and deliberately.

    Martin Luther 95 Theses

    Well might he do so. He acted on conviction with that moral courage which knows no fear, and he had the German people at his back to support him. They were written at a time when it was still doubtful whether Leo X. This concession was, however, entirely opposed to the views of the young Emperor, who was completely guided by his Dominican confessor.

    Under these circumstances it was deemed expedient to make use of Luther as a kind of bugbear in order to frighten the Pope. To people not accustomed to the tortuous windings of politics it seems, of course, bewildering, that a heretic should be favoured in one country, in order to make it possible to enforce the rigours of the Inquisition in another country.

    In like manner Francis I. In France he persecuted and burnt mercilessly the opponents of the Roman Catholic Church, Edition: current; Page: [ lvii ] whilst in Germany he befriended the adherents of the Reformation. There, he translated the New Testament into German and wrote numerous essays. His teachings quickly spread across the European continent. The conflict with the Catholic Church, as the Roman Church was by then known, grew increasingly violent.

    Both sides took up arms. The religious conflict eventually evolved into the Thirty Years' War - , which ended with a treaty declaring religious freedom in Germany and Europe. Author: Matthias von Hellfeld dc. They worship the same God, but the principles of their faith are different. Five hundred years after the Reformation, there are still painful divisions between Protestants and Catholics.

    More info OK. Wrong language? Change it here DW. COM has chosen English as your language setting. COM in 30 languages. Deutsche Welle. Audiotrainer Deutschtrainer Die Bienenretter. Portrait of Martin Luther.

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