Imatges de pÓgina
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sities, he says, are schools of Greek fashion in which the blind heathen Aristotle rules more than Christ. The books of Aristotle should be abolished. In his best book, Of the Soul, he teaches that the soul dies with the body. We have the Holy Scriptures "to teach us fully of all things," but "this dead heathen has conquered." There is no book more contrary to the Christian virtues than Aristotle's Ethics. Such books should be kept from the reach of all Christians. His Logic, Rhetoric and Poetics should be used only for the improving of speaking and preaching.

This view Luther consistently applies to poverty, commerce, and business. Not much good, he says, has ever come into a land through commerce, and for this reason God let Israel dwell far from the sea. "I do not understand how . . . one guilder can gain another, and that not out of the soil, or by cattle, seeing that possessions depend not on the wit of men, but on the blessing of God." On this point the inward, spiritual Luther agrees with the blind heathen philosopher!

And what of the law? Here again Luther is consistent. There is nothing good in the Canon law. It only perverts the study of the Scriptures. It ought to be abolished. We are taught sufficiently in the Bible how we ought to act. The Civil law is better than the Canon law, but there is too much of it; "good governors judging according to the Scriptures, would be law enough."

As Christ put himself under Roman law, although he was himself a king, so we do certain works because we are in the world; but these works are no essential

part of us. Work is done either to discipline the body or to help our neighbors; it is not necessary for the individual's own salvation. We are, as Christians, as far as possible inward, spiritual beings. "Thus our doings, life, and being, in works and ceremonies, are done for the necessities of this life, and with the motive of governing our bodies; but we are not justified by these things."

The real man to Luther is the character regarded as an inner reality absolutely apart from any objective achievements in the physical world. The character, the will, the person, is "a substance" which must be good before any good works can be done. The fruit does not bear the tree. The building of a good house does not help to make a good carpenter. The workman must be a good carpenter before he can build a good house. A bishop is not a bishop through the performing of the duties of his office; his works would have no validity unless he had been previously consecrated a bishop. In the same way a man is not made more of a Christian through the doing of good works. Unless he were previously a Christian his good works would have no value at all; they would even be "impious and damnable sins."

If, then, this German monk, Martin Luther, held to the medieval ideal of the inner life; if he thought that Aristotle's logic should be used only to improve Christian preaching; if he distinguished profane knowledge of ordinary life from the inner knowledge which comes from the spirit; if he could see little or no good in property, in commerce, in economic goods, wherein was the revolution which was wrought by the Reforma

tion? The answer is that we are not now completely inward spiritual beings, that we are spirits in physical bodies, that we have sexual impulses and that we need the protecting arm of the state. Since we exist in physical bodies, work is a necessary form of spiritual discipline. Therefore there should be no mendicants, no friars. Work should take the place of poverty. Since we have sexual impulses, every one should be free to marry. Therefore chastity is not a Christian ideal. Since we need the state as a protection against wrongdoers, and since the state has itself become Christian, there are no longer two estates, clerical and lay. Clergy and laity are equal as servants in a Christian community. Here we see not the medieval but the modern revolutionary aspects of Luther's teaching.

The Reformation inherited from mediævalism its apotheosis of the inner life, its dualism of an inner and an outer world. The inner life, to Luther, was the same interior entity which it had been in the thought of Augustine and St. Francis. The medieval ideal of the inner life remained in Protestant thought. Nevertheless there are in Protestantism two distinct departures from mediævalism: there is an assumption of authority by the individual which marks the beginning of a new epoch, and there is a change of attitude on the part of the inner, spiritual, Christian mind toward the world in which it finds itself, toward property, the family, the state.

Luther gives work a low place in the scale of values. Deeds, results, objects achieved, are set over against the inner man. Nevertheless work is a means whereby we can discipline the body and bring it into harmony

with the inner realm of the spirit. Therefore there should be no pilgrims or mendicant monks, for many have become priests and monks to obtain support without labor. Knaves and vagabonds are supported under the name of mendicant monks. Indeed the monasteries are poor in order that they may be rich.

If one agrees with Luther that work is a virtue superior to poverty, he may later on come to see that work, that devotion of the will to objective ends, is essential to the will and that there is no inner man without work, without objective interests and objects. On all these questions Luther was introducing departures which if followed out would lead to the realistic views of the Renaissance. If one substitutes work for poverty, he may come to see that the objective ends. of work change and enlarge the will and the character. This is not only contrary to the mediæval inner ideal, but to Luther's inner life as well. But once work is substituted for poverty, a realistic interpretation of the will is in time sure to result.

Luther's view of marriage is the same as his view of work. The ideal Christian is a completely inward, spiritual being. But while in the body we are subject to sexual impulses. Because we are sexual beings "human frailty does not allow men to live an unmarried life." Comparatively few are able to keep the vow of chastity. Priests should marry or not as they please. Those in authority ought to consider how young people might be brought together in marriage. As it is, every man is urged to become a monk. Luther speaks of the clergy as "that unhappy crowd who now live in trouble with wife and children, and

remain in shame, with a heavy conscience, hearing their wife called a priest's harlot and their children bastards." Such is the "wretched unchaste chastity" of the papacy.

Because we are not yet thoroughly inward and spiritual beings, Luther is opposed to any mode of life determined by a perpetual vow. Every man should be at liberty to make private vows at his own peril. What time, he asks, shall we assign for a man to feel the impulses of the flesh or to feel himself avaricious? "There will never be any sure and legitimate vow, until we shall have become thoroughly spiritual, and so have no need of vows." Priests should not take

the vow of chastity and thus avoid danger and sin. There is no more authority for the vow of chastity "than to forbid a man to eat and drink." Vows should be left free to the spirit alone and not converted into a perpetual mode of life. Monasteries and convents should be schools in which individuals should remain so long as they wish. Now they are turned into "eternal prisons."

Luther regards marriage as the instrument through which the sexual life is brought into harmony with the inner life of the spirit. Luther is therefore opposed to the ideal of chastity. Chastity, like poverty, is to Luther not a Christian virtue. In spirit and motive Luther is mediæval but in practice he is revolutionary. Luther renounced monasticism because he regarded marriage as the means of molding the sex impulse into harmony with the life of the spirit. But to recognize the dependence of the will on sexual impulses and to treat marriage as the means of disci

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