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writers of the Hecht and Vogel type, drew up a steady, calm reply of fifty anti-theses. They failed to stop or stay the career of the All Saints' Day document. Luther was begged to study calmly the questions and submit his teachings to authority. All was vain. And yet this learned man-whom generations have called divus et sanctus, sanctus Domini, propheta Germaniae-wrote in his violent pamphlet Hans Worst: As truly as Our Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed me, I did not know what an indulgence was.' At the time he wrote his theses, the author of the greatest theses the world has ever seen did not know the nature of the subject he disputed-Indulgences!

Archbishop Albert had official examinations and judgments on Luther's theses. Both the Board at Aschaffenburg and the Faculty of Mayence condemned them. Their findings were sent to Rome and Luther was enraged. He wrote to the Pope in May, 1518, six months after the publication of the theses, a letter professing respect and submission:

They are [he wrote] disputations, not doctrines, not dogmas, set out as usual in an enigmatical form; yet could I have foreseen it, I should certainly have taken care on my side, that they should be more easy to understand. . . . Wherefore, most blessed Father, I offer my self prostrate at the feet of Your Holiness, and give myself up to you with all that I am or have; quicken, slay, call, recall, approve, reprove, as shall please thee. It rests with Your Holiness to promote or prevent my undertaking; to declare it right or wrong. Whatever happens, I recognize the voice of Your Holiness as that of Christ abiding and speaking in thee. If I deserve death I do not refuse to die.

Can or could any priest put forth more humble expressions of respect and submission? Grace was struggling to win the soul of the priest; perhaps his words were sincere; perhaps he was struggling to right himself, struggling not to play false and yet to wrongly win. The Pope sent Cardinal Cajetan as Cardinal-Legate to Germany. Luther met him and fled. For three years he wavered, now storming against Rome and her doctrines, now apologizing for his words and works. In 1520 the revolt was widespread and had gained many adherents throughout Germany. Yet the author of the revolt wrote in that year to the Emperor that he (Luther) would die a true and obedient son of the Catholic Church, and that he would submit to the decision of impartial universities.

But Luther led millions from the true fold, outside,

which he, a renegade priest, died. In his professor's chair he said, when lecturing on the Psalms :


The principal sin of heretics is their pride. . . . In their pride they insist on their own opinions. Frequently they serve God with great fervour and they do not intend any evil; but they serve God according to their own will. Even when they are refuted they are ashamed to retract their errors and to change their words. . . . They think they are guided directly by God. . . . The things that have been established for centuries and for which so many martyrs died they begin to treat as doubtful questions. . . They interpret (the Bible) according to their own heads and their own peculiar views, and carry their own opinions into it.

His own life fulfilled his ideas of heresy and heretics.

This essay deals with the great theses of the most worldfamed theologian, Luther. It is not a study of his character nor of his life nor of his work. It gives his history as an introduction to his work. It is written to put the truth before priests who, in this the quarto-centenary year of the great revolt, and of the great theses, may meet with some partisan eulogies of the great German. În 1883 the world celebrated the quarto-centenary of Luther's birth. And the pages of staid quarterlies, of respectable monthlies, the daily papers, and the provincial weeklies, were aglow with praise of the light-bringer, Dr. Martin Luther. Country pulpits in England and Scotland poured forth torrents of praise on their hero and torrents of abuse on Pope and Papacy. How silly these read now, how ignorant, how unmerited! Their biographical notes are so glaringly inaccurate, and their judgments on the reformer's works are so false, so banal. Now, two Catholic scholars, Denifle and Grisar, have laid the ghost of the Luther legend and have shown, accurately and with fully documented proofs, the littleness of Luther and the havoc he wrought. When Denifle's masterly studies appeared, many swords flashed from their scabbards to defend the Augustinian rebel and his Dominican critic. Harnack, Seeberg, Kolde, Walther, Hassleiter, Baumans, Kaweran, Kohler, and others defended their hero with courage and bitterness. But all was in vain. The Dominican's views, backed up by his defenders, Sauers, Wurmhieper and Van Guilk, Michael, Pfulf, Noel, Salter, etc., were triumphant. The clear historical facts, giving chapter and verse, were irrefutable. Father Grisar, S.J., has perfected, by his Life of Luther, the work of the Dominican, who died some years ago. Scholars had set their seal of approval on Denifle's work.

Cambridge, a University not over partial to Rome, honoured him and his work by calling him to receive her highest honour. Professor Rashdall wrote: In particular, I think it right to add that though Father Denifle is a Dominican and under-archivist to the Holy See, I have hardly ever discovered any ground for the insinuation of an ultramontaine bias.' His is only one of countless favourable criticisms given to the Dominican and to his Jesuit follower.


The Luther legend is laid, is exploded. He was no light-bringer, no friend of mankind, no religious reformer, no saint, no scholar. He had good qualities and bad qualities. But the world no longer rings with his praise. Ĥis destructive work is apparent everywhere and to all. The unity of Christendom is the fervent prayer of millions daily. The time seems to have drawn men's gaze and thoughts to the open sore of revolt, dissent, and heresy. The sister island has often turned to gaze, to admire, to consult the Church of her fathers-Rome. Everyone who reads the religious press must have noticed her many steps towards the old doctrines, the old practices of once hated Rome. Imitation is the surest form of flattery, and how very close an imitation is to be found in Anglican England of to-day, in ceremonies, in sermons, and in publications. For, the most popular manuals of prayer in the Anglican and in the High Church of America and Australia-manuals which have reached circulations of millions-teach the doctrine of Confession, Eucharist, and, strange to say, the doctrine and practice of indulgences, the very doctrine which led to the Great Theses of All Saints' Eve.


1 The Universities of Europe and the Middle Ages, i. p. xi.




It is a recognized truism to say that 'history repeats itself.' History is inseparable from problems which call for and force a solution. Sometimes this solution is worked out in quiet and calm, sometimes in long-drawn or desultory agitation, sometimes in bloody revolution or in the shock of battle. But the recurrence of the same problems, more or less recognizable, is a commonplace of history.

In its conceit, each successive generation thinks that it is breaking new ground, and, if not going de virtute in virtutem, at least it is convinced that it is solving problems as they arise with a sagacity and superiority akin to its advanced capabilities; problems which, in its vanity, it believes that a previous age could neither touch nor handle for want of equipment. To the thinking mind the principle involved in this assertiveness is Fortuna favat fatuis. Problems recur irregularly; and it seems to be a disposition of nature that ample facilities are at hand for their solution at all times, possibly more so in earlier times, when good faith and disinterestedness prevailed, and not the selfish chicane and grovelling deceit of to-day. A little pinch of Attic salt thrown on the pompous display of patent problem-solvents, with which we are conversant, would reduce the serio-comic to the humorous and burlesque.

The labour problem has ever been recurring in history, though not with modern obstinacy. Class antipathy and mutual distrust have made a malignant and running sore of it nowadays. Much energy has been wasted, much ink has been spilt in the interest of a practical solution. Most of the conferences and reunions which are held are composed of labour representatives and deal with the burning question of wage, and the general well-being of the working man. The Churches are alive to the situation in its complex issues. The Catholic Church is in the van; she regards

herself as the champion of the poor and oppressed, as did her Founder. Her social workers know the conditions under which the worker lives, and are competent to suggest a remedy. Much information has been compiled by the Catholic Truth Societies of Ireland, England, and Scotland, and very practical steps have been taken by the Catholic Social Guild. For the moment, notwithstanding war and its horrors, it is an absorbing question, replete with thorny and acrimonious sides. Schools have sprung up, even in Catholic opinion. Some of the more advanced speak of a 'kind of Socialism,' which they excuse as being all a question of the point of view-mirabile dictu,—while reactionaries decry moderate social effort. At the moment the many State monopolies, as they increase day by day, have a bewildering effect and seem to call for new definitions.

Some notable contributions have been made of late to the vexed questions which are connected with Capital and Labour. Some regard principally the historic side of the struggle and the practical issues involved. The mention of 'The Servile State' by Hilaire Belloc, and 'The Real Democracy' by three members of the Rota Club,-Mann, Sievers, and Cox-will suffice to recall the ground which has been investigated, and the thoroughness and impartiality with which it has been done. It is noteworthy that men, working from different points of view, are finding a solution for the present stalemate between employer and employee in a recommendation of the Guild system which prevailed during the Middle Ages, which gave such satisfaction to the interested parties; and which, while making for the dignity of work, shielded the workman from the dangers of sweating, the miseries of old age, the discomfiture of sickness, and, more than all, concentrated his interest in the work, so that he gave of his best.

The public mind is aware of the Church's solution of the labour problem to-day from the Encyclicals of Leo XIII, as well as the many works which are partly commentaries on them, partly adaptations to the temper and conditions of certain countries. In the Middle Ages, when the exuberance of religious life gave forth organizations which breathed Catholic life, while catering for the individual in all his necessities, a Guild system, which so nearly approached the ideal that it can scarcely be ranked as temerity to say 'we shall not look upon its like again,'

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