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paradise and garden of delight. So, also, Moses calls the regions of Sodom and Gomorrah a paradise. Judea and Samaria were once a very beautiful land ; but we are told that the Holy Land, once praised for its golden meadows, has become very sandy. God has cursed that beautiful land on account of sin, and made it unfruitful. Where God gives not his blessing, nothing grows; where he blesses, there everything flourishes and is beautiful.”
There have been few men better qualified to discourse of trials and temptations than was Luther. 'They assailed him from within and without, and his whole life was one continued struggle against them. There are men too delicately constituted to be capable of much suffering, mental or physical. Luther was not one of these. Though of a robust frame, and capable of great labor and endurance, his health was never good. Few frames could have endured the half of his physical suffering. A tithe of his mental conflict would have driven most men into insanity. Towards the close of his life, he spoke of a period of spiritual temptation, when, for fourteen days, he could neither eat, drink, nor sleep. “Then,” says he, “I contended much and with great impatience with our Lord God. I cast up before him all his promises. Then the Lord taught me rightly to understand the Scriptures. We do not know much of God's Word when all goes well with us. He will not have us become impatient. He therefore demands that we should be strong and hope, as the Psalm says, “I will be strong in the Lord from one morning until another;' and then if God does not help us, he gives us grace that we may endure temptation."
'“ Such trials are necessary for us. They are not sent, as many think, to destroy us, but to instruct and admonish us. The Christian should know and be convinced, that without temptation he cannot know Christ aright. They are a school in which we can learn to know the Savior. I once complained of them to Staupitz. He said he had never felt them, “but this much I do understand,' said he, 'that they are more needful for you than food or drink. If Saian had not thus plagued me, I could not have known how hostile he was."
Luther was a man not of the nineteenth century, but of the sixteenth. Though the foremost man of that century, he was still of it. A very foolish man of our day may be wiser on many points than he. He is clearly of opinion that the Jews should not be tolerated. “If I were lord here,” says he, “I would call all the Jews together, and would ask them why they call Christ the son of a harlot, and his mother a harlot. If they could prove it, I would give them a thou
a sand crowns. If they could not, I would have their tongues torn out of their throats. We ought not, in fine, to suffer the Jews among us; we should neither eat nor drink with them."
It has already been stated, that he in nowise admits the truth of the Copernican system of astronomy. He says:
On Astronomy.-" There are three motions of the heavenly bodies. The first is primi mobilis et raptus. The whole firmament moves quickly and nimbly around, and revolves in twentyfour hours, in a course of thousands of miles, which is perhaps ordered by an angel. It is wonderful that such a great edifice can turn in so short a time. If the sun and stars were made of iron, silver, gold, or steel, they would soon melt in such a rapid career. The second movement is that of the planets. These have their own special and peculiar motions. The third is a wavering motion, which is called Trepidation, and has been lately discovered, and is very uncertain. I think highly of astronomy and mathematics; for they deal in demonstrations and certain proofs. A new sort of astronomy has been proposed, which would prove that the earth revolves, and not the firmament, the sun, and the moon; as when one rides in a carriage or boat, he thinks that he is still, and that the trees and shore are moving. So it goes; any one who would be thought wise, must be contented with nothing which another does; what he himself does is better than all. The fools would overthrow the whole science of astronomy. But the Holy Scriptures show that Joshua commanded the sun and moon, not the earth, to stand still."
On Astrology.—“I believe nothing in astrology. It is very true that the astrologers can announce the future to the ungodly, and tell what death they shall die ; for the devil knows their thoughts, has them in his power, and directs them as he will, as he is the prince of this world. But there is no power or efficacy in the stars, who may justly complain of the astrologers and star-gazers, who attribute to them a power and efficiency which God has not given them, and ascribe to them the harm which should be attributed to comets, which portend only evil, that star only excepted which appeared to the wise men in the East, and announced that the manifestation of the gospel was at hand. That astrology is a real science, neither Philip nor any one else can convince me. He has often endeavored to do so, but I hold to my own opinion. I have often narrated to him my whole life. I am a peasant's son; my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, were all peasants. That I should become Bachelor and Master of Arts, and a monk, was not ordered by the stars. Then that I should lay aside the crown cap; that I should fall into the Pope's hair, that he should oppose me, that I should marry a runaway nun, and become the father of children—who has seen all this in the stars ? Who could have predicted that it would happen? I should like to have this argument answered: Esau and Jacob were born of one father and one mother, at the same time, and under the same constellations, and yet they were of entirely opposite nature, character, and disposition. In short, what belongs to God and is his work, should not be attributed to the stars. The true Christian religion opposes THIRD SERIES, VOL. III.
and confutes all such fables and folly. Without religion the world is Epicurean and Lucianish, just as Erasmus has become.”
Luther's combats with the devil are well known. He had not refined the prince of the power of the air into a metaphysical abstraction, a personified principle. To the popular belief, in all rude ages, the universe is full of unseen and spiritual agencies. The invisible denizens of every land take their form and likeness from its visible inhabitants.
In the iron mines of Eisleben and Mansfield, where the youth of Luther was passed, the visible and invisible worlds were equally populous. But the demons who appeared to those coarse eaters and strong drinkers, were homely of visage, and coarse of feature. They were a band of ill-conditioned demons—the very peasants and miners themselves stripped of their virtues, and with their vices only remaining. These took strong hold of the youthful imagination of Luther; and when he grew up, his imagination, reacting upon the outward senses, presented them continually before him visibly and audibly. All the tales of the peasants' fire-sides found ready access to his belief; and he relates them with the most undoubting faith. How they steal upon his hours of privacy, filling his mind with doubts and anguish; how they take delight in petty annoyances; how they steal children from the cradle, leaving in their steads changelings who will eat more than four stout ploughmen, though fortunately these imps seldom survive the age of nineteen or twenty years; how they assume the form of either sex, making themselves generally mischievous in all earthly affairs—all this he relates with the most undoubting confidence, confirming the tales by incidents from his own personal experience. Luther's whole life was passed in conflicts with this invisible world. His combats with its prince were not less real than with the Pope; nay, were more so, as the walls of his Patmos at Wartburg bear visible testimony to this day. Satan bandied with him texts of Scripture and quotations from the Fathers as stoutly, and to Luther's belief as really, as did Eck and Emser. All this, of course, comes out in his table-talk, and without the delineation of these features, no correct picture can be given of his intellectual appearance. At Eisleben, in 1546, just before his death, he gave the following story of how he was plagued at Wartburg:
“When I left Worms in 1521, and was taken prisoner near Eisenach, and was kept in my Patmos in the castle at Wartburg, I was in an apartment far from all people, and where no one could come near me save two noble youths, who twice a day brought me my food and drink. They one day brought me a sack of hazelnuts, of which I ate.
I put them in a chest at night, went to bed in an adjoining chamber, having put out the light. As I lay in bed it seemed to me that the nuts were moving and rattling against each other, and against my bed. But I asked no questions,
as I was somewhat sleepy. Then arose on the stairs a great noise as though a number of barrels had been flung down the stairs. Yet, I knew very well that the staircase was so guarded by bolts and chains that no one could ascend it, or roll the barrels down it. I got up from my bed 10 see what was there, and cried out— Are you there?—-very well, be it so!' and cominended myself to the Lord Christ, of whom it is written, “Thou hast put all things under his feet,' and lay down again on my bed. The wife of John Von Berlibs came to the castle, suspecting that I was there, and wished to see me; but was not permitted to do so. They took me into another chamber, and put the woman in mine. There was such an uproar in the chamber that she thought there were a thousand devils there. The best way to drive him away is to call upon Christ, and despise the devil; he cannot bear that. We must say to him, as I did at Eisenach, 'Art thou a greater lord than Christ?
The Devil and his Works.—“No disease comes from God, for he is good, and does good to all; but all misery comes from the devil. When he comes among lawyers he makes discord, and
. turns the right into wrong. He has great influence among potentates, princes, kings, and emperors, and so brings about war and bloodshed. He comes among theologians, where he brings about such evils as no human cunning could devise. He robs the people by false doctrine, of goods and honor, life and soul. by his word, can silence or master him.”
" It was a great mercy under the old dispensation, that God fixed himself in a definite place, where he might be found; in the place namely, where the mercy-seat was, towards which they prayed; first at Shiloh and Sichem, afterwards at Gibeon, and finally in the temple at Jerusalem. The Greeks and other heathen imitated this, and built temples in various places for their gods, as that of Diana at Ephesus, and of Apollo at Delphi. Whenever God built a church the devil set up a chapel close by. As among the Jews the holy of holies was dark, without any light at all, so the places where the devil gave out his oracles was darkened in like manner, as at Delphi and elsewhere. For the devil is always trying to ape God. ... A village priest at Liptz, near Torgau, complained once to Luther that the devil made a great disturbance in his house by night; broke his pots and dishes, and flung the fragments at his head; plagued and derided him every way; that he could often hear him laughing, but could never see him. He had carried this on for more than a year, so that his wife and children dare not stay in the house. Luther encouraged him. Dear brother, be strong in the Lord, make sure of your faith in Christ, and do not give way to this murderer, the devil; endure his utmost mockery and uproar, and this temporal damage of breaking your pots and dishes. He cannot harm you in life and soul, as you have expe
rienced, for the angel of the Lord keeps guard about you, and protects you. Therefore let him have his sport with your dishes; but do you and your wife and children pray to God, and say, 'Off with yourself, Satan, I am master in this house, and not you!' And should he come of his own accord, without being invited by your sins, say to him, “I am by divine command and authority master of this house; and have a heavenly call to be pastor of this church. I confront you with testimony from heaven and earth. But you devil, creep into this house like a thief and a murderer; you are a villain and a murderer. Why did you not stay in heaven? Who invited you here? Then sing him a Litany and Legenda, and let him play his time out.”
Changelings.—The Devil plagues people with changelings and killkropifs. He will seize a maiden in the water, violate her, and keep her by him till she is delivered of a child. He will then lay this imp in the cradle and carry off the true child; but such changelings, they say, seldom live more than eighteen or nineteen years. Eight years ago, I, Doctor Martin Luther, saw and handled such a changeling at Dessau. He was twelve years old, and his countenance and appearance were the same as those of a genuine child. He would do nothing but eat, and that as much as four threshers or peasants. If any one approached him he would weep; and if anything happened amiss in the house he would laugh with joy. These two were all the faculties he had. I told the Prince of Anhalt if I were lord here, I would have the child flung into the Moldau, and would run the risk of homicide. The Prince would not follow my advice. Then, said I, prayers should be offered in the church that God would take the devil away. This was done every day; the brat died the next year, and there was an end of it."
Luther's method of dealing with all those annoyances, that which he recommended to others and practised himself, could not have been wiser had he attributed them to their true cause, an overtasked brain, excited nerves, and impaired digestion. The whole college of physicians could have given no better prescription than music, cheerful conversation, avoidance of too much brooding solicitude, and trust in God. “ The devil is a melancholy spirit,” says he, “and makes people melancholy. He cannot endure joyfulness. He, therefore, flies as far as possible from music, and will not stay where one sings, especially spiritual songs. Thus David with his harp calmed the anguish of Saul when Satan vexed him.”
" You must not be too much alone, for you are too weak for the devil, since he is stronger than a thousand worlds. Our Lord himself did not like to be alone, as is said in the sixteenth chapter of John, where he comforted himself with these words, The Father is with me."
The keenness of Luther's attacks on the papacy, and on all