Wednesday, May 04, 2005



Sermon by Martin Luther(1)

August 27, 1525

Dear friends, you have often heard that there has never been a public sermon from heaven except twice. Apart from them God has spoken many times through and with men on earth, as in the case of the holy patriarchs Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others, down to Moses. But in none of these cases did he speak with such glorious splendor, visible reality, or public cry and exclamation as he did on those two occasions. Rather God illuminated their heart within and spoke through their mouth, as Luke indicates in the first chapter of his gospel where he says, "As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old" [Luke 1:70].

Now the first sermon is in Exodus 19 and 20; by it God caused himself to be heard from heaven with great splendor and might. For the people of Israel heard the trumpets and the voice of God himself.

In the second place God delivered a public sermon through the Holy Spirit on Pentecost [Acts 2:2-4]. On that occasion the Holy Spirit came with great splendor and visible impressiveness, such that there came from heaven the sudden rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled the entire house where the apostles were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to preach and speak in other tongues. This happened with great splendor and glorious might, so that thereafter the apostles preached so powerfully that the sermons which we hear in the world today are hardly a shadow compared to theirs, so far as the visible splendor and substance of their sermons is concerned. For the apostles spoke in all sorts of languages, performed great miracles, etc. Yet through our preachers today the Holy Spirit does not cause himself to be either heard or seen; nothing is coming down openly from heaven. This is why I have said that there are only two such special and public sermons which have been seen and heard from heaven. To be sure, God spoke also to Christ from heaven, when he was baptized in the Jordan [Matt. 3:17], and [at the Transfiguration] on Mount Tabor [Matt. 17:5]. However none of this took place in the presence of the general public.

God wanted to send that second sermon into the world, for it had earlier been announced by the mouth and in the books of the holy prophets. He will no longer speak that way publicly through sermons. Instead, in the third place, he will come in person with divine glory, so that all creatures will tremble and quake before him [Luke 21:25-27]; and then he will no longer preach to them, but they will see and handle him himself [Luke 24:39].

Now the first sermon, and doctrine, is the law of God. The second is the gospel. These two sermons are not the same. Therefore we must have a good grasp of the matter in order to know how to differentiate between them. We must know what the law is, and what the gospel is. The law commands and requires us to do certain things. The law is thus directed solely to our behavior and consists in making requirements. For God speaks through the law, saying, "Do this, avoid that, this is what I expect of you." The gospel, however, does not preach what we are to do or to avoid. It sets up no requirements but reverses the approach of the law, does the very opposite, and says, "This is what God has done for you; he has let his Son be made flesh for you, has let him be put to death for your sake." So, then, there are two kinds of doctrine and two kinds of works, those of God and those of men. Just as we and God are separated from one another, so also these two doctrines are widely separated from one another. For the gospel teaches exclusively what has been given us by God, and not - as in the case of the law - what we are to do and give to God.

We now want to see how this first sermon sounded forth and with what splendor God gave the law on Mount Sinai. He selected the place where he wanted to be seen and heard. Not that God actually spoke, for he has no mouth, tongue, teeth, or lips as we do. But he who created and formed the mouth of all men [Exod. 4:11] can also make speech and the voice. For no one would be able to speak a single word unless God first gave it, as the prophet says, "It would be impossible to speak except God first put it in our mouth" [Num. 22:38]. Language, speech, and voice are thus gifts of God like any other gifts, such as the fruit on the trees. Now he who fashioned the mouth and put speech in it can also make and use speech even though there is no mouth present. Now the words which are here written were spoken through an angel. This is not to say that only one angel was there, for there was a great multitude there serving God and preaching to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai. The angel, however, who spoke here and did the talking, spoke just as if God himself were speaking and saying, "I am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt," etc. [Exod. 20:1], as if Peter or Paul were speaking in God's stead and saying, "I am your God," etc. In his letter to the Galatians [3:19], Paul says that the law was ordained by angels. That is, angels were assigned, in God's behalf, to give the law of God; and Moses, as an intermediary, received it from the angels. I say this so that you might know who gave the law. He did this to them, however, because he wanted thereby to compel, burden, and press the Jews.

What kind of a voice that was, you may well imagine. It was a voice like the voice of a man, such that it was actually heard. The syllables and letters thus made sounds which the physical ear was able to pick up. But it was a bold, glorious, and great voice. As told in Deuteronomy 4:12, the people heard the voice, but saw no one. They heard a powerful voice, for he spoke in a powerful voice, as if in the dark we should hear a voice from a high tower or roof top, and could see no one but only hear the strong voice of a man. And this is why it is called the voice of God, because it was above a human voice.

Now you will hear how God used this voice in order to arouse his people and make them brave. For he intended to institute the tangible and spiritual government. It was previously stated how, on the advice of Jethro, his father-in-law, Moses had established the temporal government and appointed rulers and judges [Exod. 18:13-26]. Beyond that there is yet a spiritual kingdom in which Christ rules in the hearts of men; this kingdom we cannot see, because it consists only in faith and will continue until the Last Day.

These are two kingdoms: the temporal, which governs with the sword and is visible; and the spiritual, which governs solely with grace and with the forgiveness of sins. Between these two kingdoms still another has been placed in the middle, half spiritual and half temporal. It is constituted by the Jews, with commandments and outward ceremonies which prescribe their conduct toward God and men.

The Law of Moses Binds Only the Jews and Not the Gentiles

Here the law of Moses has its place. It is no longer binding on us because it was given only to the people of Israel. And Israel accepted this law for itself and its descendants, while the Gentiles were excluded. To be sure, the Gentiles have certain laws in common with the Jews, such as these: there is one God, no one is to do wrong to another, no one is to commit adultery or murder or steal, and others like them. This is written by nature into their hearts; they did not hear it straight from heaven as the Jews did. This is why this entire text does not pertain to the Gentiles. I say this on account of the enthusiasts. (2) For you see and hear how they read Moses, extol him, and bring up the way he ruled the people with commandments. They try to be clever, and think they know something more than is presented in the gospel; so they minimize faith, contrive something new, and boastfully claim that it comes from the Old Testament. They desire to govern people according to the letter of the law of Moses, as if no one had ever read it before.

But we will not have this sort of thing. We would rather not preach again for the rest of our life than to let Moses return and to let Christ be torn out of our hearts. We will not have Moses as ruler or lawgiver any longer. Indeed God himself will not have it either. Moses was an intermediary solely for the Jewish people. It was to them that he gave the law. We must therefore silence the mouths of those factious spirits who say, "Thus says Moses," etc. Here you simply reply: Moses has nothing to do with us. If I were to accept Moses in one commandment, I would have to accept the entire Moses. Thus the consequence would be that if I accept Moses as master, then I must have myself circumcised, (3) wash my clothes in the Jewish way, eat and drink and dress thus and so, and observe all that stuff. So, then, we will neither observe nor accept Moses. Moses is dead. His rule ended when Christ came. He is of no further service.

That Moses does not bind the Gentiles can be proved from Exodus 20:1, where God himself speaks, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." This text makes it clear that even the Ten Commandments do not pertain to us. For God never led us out of Egypt, but only the Jews. The sectarian spirits want to saddle us with Moses and all the commandments. We will just skip that. We will regard Moses as a teacher, but we will not regard him as our lawgiver - unless he agrees with both the New Testament and the natural law. Therefore it is clear enough that Moses is the lawgiver of the Jews and not of the Gentiles. He has given the Jews a sign whereby they should lay hold of God, when they call upon him as the God who brought them out of Egypt. The Christians have a different sign, whereby they conceive of God as the One who gave his Son, etc.

Again one can prove it from the third commandment (4) that Moses does not pertain to Gentiles and Christians. For Paul [Col. 2:16] and the New Testament [Matt. 12:1-12; John 5:16; 7:22-23; 9:14-16] abolish the sabbath, to show us that the sabbath was given to the Jews alone, for whom it is a stern commandment. The prophets referred to it too, that the sabbath of the Jews would be abolished. For Isaiah says in the last chapter, "When the Savior comes, then such will be the time, one sabbath after the other, one month after the other," etc. [Isa. 66:23]. This is as though he were trying to say, "It will be the sabbath every day, and the people will be such that they make no distinction between days. For in the New Testament the sabbath is annihilated as regards the crude external observance, for every day is a holy day," etc.

Now if anyone confronts you with Moses and his commandments, and wants to compel you to keep them, simply answer, "Go to the Jews with your Moses; I am no Jew. Do not entangle me with Moses. If I accept Moses in one respect [Paul tells the Galatians in chapter 5:3], then I am obligated to keep the entire law." For not one little period in Moses pertains to us.

Question: Why then do you preach about Moses if he does not pertain to us?

Answer to the Question: Three things are to be noted in Moses.

I want to keep Moses and not sweep him under the rug, because I find three things in Moses.

In the first place I dismiss the commandments given to the people of Israel. They neither urge nor compel me. They are dead and gone, except insofar as I gladly and willingly accept something from Moses, as if I said, "This is how Moses ruled, and it seems fine to me, so I will follow him in this or that particular." (5)

I would even be glad if [today's] lords ruled according to the example of Moses. If I were emperor, I would take from Moses a model for [my] statutes; not that Moses should be binding on me, but that I should be free to follow him in ruling as he ruled. For example, tithing is a very fine rule, because with the giving of the tenth all other taxes would be eliminated. For the ordinary man it would also be easier to give a tenth than to pay rents and fees. Suppose I had ten cows; I would then give one. If I had only five, I would give nothing. If my fields were yielding only a little, I would give proportionately little; if much, I would give much. All of this would be in God's providence. But as things are now, I must pay the Gentile tax even if the hail should ruin my entire crop. If I owe a hundred gulden in taxes, I must pay it even though there may be nothing growing in the field. This is also the way the pope decrees and governs. But it would be better if things were so arranged that when I raise much, I give much; and when little, I give little.

Again in Moses it is also stipulated that no man should sell his field into a perpetual estate, but only up to the jubilee year [Lev. 25:8-55]. When that year came, every man returned to the field or possessions which he had sold. In this way the possessions remained in the family relationship. There are also other extraordinarily fine roles in Moses which one should like to accept, use, and put into effect. Not that one should bind or be bound by them, but (as I said earlier) the emperor could here take an example for setting up a good government on the basis of Moses, just as the Romans conducted a good government, and just like the Sachsenspiegel (6) by which affairs are ordered in this land of ours. The Gentiles are not obligated to obey Moses. Moses is the Sachsenspiegel for the Jews. But if an example of good government were to be taken from Moses, one could adhere to it without obligation as long as one pleased, etc.

Again Moses says, "If a man dies without children, then his brother or closest relative should take the widow into his home and have her to wife, and thus raise up offspring for the deceased brother or relative. The first child thus born was credited to the deceased brother or relative" [Deut. 25:5-6]. So it came about that one man had many wives. Now this is also a very good rule.

When these factious spirits come, however, and say, "Moses has commanded it," then simply drop Moses and reply, "I am not concerned about what Moses commands." "Yes," they say, "he has commanded that we should have one God, that we should trust and believe in him, that we should not swear by his name; that we should honor father and mother; not kill, steal, commit adultery; not bear false witness, and not covet [Exod. 20:3-17]; should we not keep these commandments?" You reply: Nature also has these laws. Nature provides that we should call upon God. The Gentiles attest to this fact. For there never was a Gentile who did not call upon his idols, even though these were not the true God. This also happened among the Jews, for they had their idols as did the Gentiles; only the Jews have received the law. The Gentiles have it written in their heart, and there is no distinction [Rom. 3:22]. As St. Paul also shows in Romans 2:14-15, the Gentiles, who have no law, have the law written in their heart.

But just as the Jews fail, so also do the Gentiles. Therefore it is natural to honor God, not steal, not commit adultery, not bear false witness, not murder; and what Moses commands is nothing new. For what God has given the Jews from heaven, he has also written in the hearts of all men. Thus I keep the commandments which Moses has given, not because Moses gave the commandment, but because they have been implanted in me by nature, and Moses agrees exactly with nature, etc.

But the other commandments of Moses, which are not [implanted in all men] by nature, the Gentiles do not hold. Nor do these pertain to the Gentiles, such as the tithe and others equally fine which I wish we had too. Now this is the first thing that I ought to see in Moses, namely, the commandments to which I am not bound except insofar as they are [implanted in everyone] by nature [and written in everyone's heart].

The second thing to notice in Moses

In the second place I find something in Moses that I do not have from nature: the promises and pledges of God about Christ. (7)

This is the best thing. It is something that is not written naturally into the heart, but comes from heaven. God has promised, for example, that his Son should be born in the flesh. This is what the gospel proclaims. It is not commandments. And it is the most important thing in Moses which pertains to us. The first thing, namely, the commandments, does not pertain to us. I read Moses because such excellent and comforting promises are there recorded, by which I can find strength for my weak faith. For things take place in the kingdom of Christ just as I read in Moses that they will; therein I find also my sure foundation.

In this manner, therefore, I should accept Moses, and not sweep him under the rug: first because he provides fine examples of laws, from which excerpts may be taken. Second, in Moses there are the promises of God which sustain faith. As it is written of Eve in Genesis 3:15, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head," etc. Again Abraham was given this promise by God, speaking thus in Genesis 22:18, "In your descendants shall all the nations be blessed"; that is, through Christ the gospel is to arise.

Again in Deuteronomy 18:15-16 Moses says, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren-him you shall heed; just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly," etc. Many are these texts in the Old Testament, which the holy apostles quoted and drew upon.

But our factious spirits go ahead and say of everything they find in Moses, "Here God is speaking, no one can deny it; therefore we must keep it." So then the rabble go to it. Whew! If God has said it, who then will say anything against it? Then they are really pressed hard like pigs at a trough. Our dear prophets have chattered thus into the minds of the people, "Dear people, God has ordered his people to beat Amalek to death" [Exod. 17:8-16; Deut. 25:17-19]. (8) Misery and tribulation have come out of this sort of thing. The peasants have arisen, not knowing the difference, and have been led into this error by those insane factious spirits.

Had there been educated preachers around, they could have stood up to the false prophets and stopped them, and said this to them, "Dear factious spirits, it is true that God commanded this of Moses and spoke thus to the people; but we are not this people. Land, God spoke also to Adam; but that does not make me Adam, God commanded Abraham to put his son to death [Gen. 22:2]; but that does not make me Abraham and obligate me to put my son to death. God spoke also with David. It is all God's word. But let God's word be what it may, I must pay attention and know to whom God's word is addressed. You are still a long way from being the people with whom God spoke." The false prophets say, "You are that people, God is speaking to you." You must prove that to me. With talk like that these factious spirits could have been refuted. But they wanted to be beaten, and so the rabble went to the devil.

One must deal cleanly with the Scriptures. From the very beginning the word has come to us in various ways. It is not enough simply to look and see whether this is God's word, whether God has said it; rather we must look and see to whom it has been spoken, whether it fits us. That makes all the difference between night and day. God said to David, "Out of you shall come the king," etc. [II Sam, 7:13]. But this does not pertain to me, nor has it been spoken to me. He can indeed speak to me if he chooses to do so. You must keep your eye on the word that applies to you, that is spoken to you.

The word in Scripture is of two kinds: the first does not pertain or apply to me, the other kind does. And upon that word which does pertain to me I can boldly trust and rely, as upon a strong rock. But if it does not pertain to me, then I should stand still. The false prophets pitch in and say, "Dear people, this is the word of God," That is true; we cannot deny it. But we are not the people. God has not given us the directive. The factious spirits came in and wanted to stir up something new, saying, "We must keep the Old Testament also..' So they led the peasants into a sweat and ruined them in wife and child. These insane people imagined that it had been withheld from them, that no one had told them they are supposed to murder. It serves them right. They would not follow or listen to anybody. I have seen and experienced it myself, how mad, raving, and senseless they were.

Therefore tell this to Moses: Leave Moses and his people together; they have had their day and do not pertain to me. I listen to that word which applies to me. We have the gospel. Christ says, "Go and preach the gospel," not only to the Jews as Moses did, but to "all nations," to "all creatures" [Mark 16:15]. To me it is said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" [Mark 16:16]. Again, "Go and do to your neighbor as has been done to you" [cf. Matt. 7:12]. These words strike me too, for I am one of the "all creatures." If Christ had not added, "preach to all creatures," then I would not listen, would not be baptized, just as I now will not listen to Moses because he is given not to me but only to the Jews. However because Christ says: not to one people, nor in this or in that place in the world, but to "all creatures," therefore no one is exempt. Rather all are thereby included; no one should doubt that to him too the gospel is to be preached. And so I believe that word; it does pertain also to me. I too belong under the gospel, in the new covenant. Therefore I put my trust in that word, even if it should cost a hundred thousand lives.

This distinction should be noticed, grasped, and taken to heart by those preachers who would teach others; indeed by all Christians, for everything depends entirely upon it. If the peasants had understood it this way, they would have salvaged much and would not have been so pitifully misled and ruined. And where we understand it differently, there we make sects and factions, slavering among the rabble and into the raving and uncomprehending people without any distinction, saying, "God's word, God's word." But my dear fellow, the question is whether it was said to you. God indeed speaks also to angels, wood, fish, birds, animals, and all creatures, but this does not make it pertain to me. I should pay attention to that which applies to me, that which is said to me, in which God admonishes, drives, and requires something of me.

Here is an illustration. Suppose a housefather had a wife, a daughter, a son, a maid, and a hired man. Now he speaks to the hired man and orders him to hitch up the horses and bring in a load of wood, or drive over to the field, or do some other job. And suppose he tells the maid to milk the cows, churn some butter, and so on. And suppose he tells his wife to take care of the kitchen and his daughter to do some spinning and make the beds. All this would be the words of one master, one housefather. Suppose now the maid decided she wanted to drive the horses and fetch the wood, the hired man sat down and began milking the cows, the daughter wanted to drive the wagon or plow the field, the wife took a notion to make the beds or spin and so forgot all about the kitchen; and then they all said, "The master has commanded this, these are the housefather's orders!" Then what? Then the housefather would grab a club and knock them all in a heap, and say, "Although it is my command, yet I have not commanded it of you; I gave each of you your instructions, you should have stuck to them."

It is like this with the word of God. Suppose I take up something that God ordered someone else to do, and then I declare, "But you said to do it." God would answer, "Let the devil thank you; I did not tell you to do it." One must distinguish well whether the word pertains to only one or to everybody. If, now, the housefather should say, "On Friday we are going to eat meat," this would be a word common to everybody in the house. Thus what God said to Moses by way of commandment is for the Jews only. But the gospel goes through the whole world in its entirety; it is offered to all creatures without exception. Therefore all the world should accept it, and accept it as if it had been offered to each person individually. The word, "We should love one another" [John 15:12], pertains to me, for it pertains to all who belong to the gospel. Thus we read Moses not because he applies to us, that we must obey him, but because he agrees with the natural law and is conceived better than the Gentiles would ever have been able to do. Thus the Ten Commandments are a mirror of our life, in which we can see wherein we are lacking, etc. The sectarian spirits have misunderstood also with respect to the images; for that too pertains only to the Jews.

Summing up this second part, we read Moses for the sake of the promises about Christ, who belongs not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles; for through Christ all the Gentiles should have the blessing, as was promised to Abraham [Gen. 12:3].

The third thing to be seen in Moses

In the third place we read Moses for the beautiful examples of faith, of love, and of the cross, as shown in the fathers, Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all the rest. (9) From them we should learn to trust in God and love him. In turn there are also examples of the godless, how God does not pardon the unfaith of the unbelieving; how he can punish Cain, Ishmael, Esau, the whole world in the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc. Examples like these are necessary. For although I am not Cain, yet if I should act like Cain, I will receive the same punishment as Cain. Nowhere else do we find such fine examples of both faith and unfaith. Therefore we should not sweep Moses under the rug. Moreover the Old Testament is thus properly understood when we retain from the prophets the beautiful texts about Christ, when we take note of and thoroughly grasp the fine examples, and when we use the laws as we please to our advantage.

Conclusion and Summary

I have stated that all Christians, and especially those who handle the word of God and attempt to teach others, should take heed and learn Moses aright. Thus where he gives the commandments, we are not to follow him except so far as he agrees with the natural law. Moses is a teacher and doctor of the Jews. We have our own master, Christ, and he has set before us what we are to know, observe, do, and leave undone. However it is true that Moses sets down, in addition to the laws, fine examples of faith and unfaith - punishment of the godless, elevation of the righteous and believing - and also the dear and comforting promises concerning Christ which we should accept. The same is true also in the gospel. For example in the account of the ten lepers, that Christ bids them go to the priest and make sacrifice [Luke 17:14] does not pertain to me. The example of their faith, however, does pertain to me; I should believe Christ, as did they.

Enough has now been said of this, and it is to be noted well for it is really crucial. Many great and outstanding people have missed it, while even today many great preachers still stumble over it. They do not know how to preach Moses, nor how properly to regard his books. They are absurd as they rage and fume, chattering to people, "God's word, God's word!" All the while they mislead the poor people and drive them to destruction. Many learned men have not known how far Moses ought to be taught. Origen, Jerome, and others like them, have not shown clearly how far Moses can really serve us. This is what I have attempted, to say in an introduction to Moses how we should regard him, and how he should be understood and received and not simply be swept under the rug. For in Moses there is comprehended such a fine order, that it is a joy, etc.

God be praised.

(1) Martin Luther, "How Christians Should Regard Moses," trans. and ed. by E. Theodore Bachmann, Luther's Works: Word and Sacrament I, vol. 35 (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960), 161-174. This sermon was delivered on August 27, 1525 in Luther's long series of seventy-seven sermons on Exodus preached from October 2, 1524 to February 2, 1527.

(2) The "enthusiasts" were the Anabaptists or radical reformers (the left wing extreme of the reformation) like Thomas Munzer, who Luther also refers to as "factitious or sectarian spirits" and "false prophets." These radicals should be distinguished from the magisterial reformers like Luther and Calvin. They were known for their millennialism (chiliasm; apocalyptic fanaticism), which led to their insistence of violent measures to bring about a more radical reformation. They were also known as "spiritualists" because they purported to receive direct revelations from the Holy Spirit who was leading them to stir up the masses (peasants) to use all means necessary, even violent rebellion and revolution against authorities, to bring in the new age. Luther was afraid that such preaching would bring massive anarchy throughout the land. Further, they argued that the social laws of the land ought to be replaced by judicial laws of the Mosaic covenant. "Pastor Jacob Strauss at Eisenach and the court preacher Wolfgang Stein at Weimar had brought their considerable influence to bear on the Saxon princes in favor of substituting the more humane laws of the Old Testament for the then current imperial and canon laws. Luther opposed the notion that the Scriptures would be properly exalted if Mosaic precepts were suddenly, as law, to replace laws of the German state and church. He warned that while seemingly honoring the Scriptures, one can actually distort the meaning and intention of the Word of God . . . 'Moses' is not the Word of God in the sense that 'Moses' could be substituted for a piece of human legislation . . . Anyone who, like the enthusiasts, erects Mosaic law as a biblical-divine requirement does injury to the preaching of Christ. Just as the Judaizers of old, who would have required circumcision as an initial requirement, so also the enthusiasts and radicals of this later era do not see that Christ is the end of the Mosaic law. For all the stipulations of that law, insofar as they go beyond the natural law, have been abolished by Christ. The Ten Commandments are binding upon all men only so far as they are implanted in everyone by nature. In this sense Luther declares that 'Moses is dead' . . . Besides, the Jewish assembly of Sinai and of the decalogue has been replaced by the Christian congregation of Pentecost and of the new covenant. The era of Mosaic law extends from Sinai to Pentecost. In this era the Jewish people served its particular purpose, for this people, alone among all the peoples, was during that time span both state and church. It was just one national ethnic group among others on earth, but at the same time it was peculiar people set apart for God as an instrument of his plan for all peoples. So far as 'Moses' is simply the Sachsenspiegel or law code of the Jewish people as a national ethnic group, it can be listed as just one code of laws among many, features of which may or may not be considered desirable in another age or nation. But so far as the Mosaic law is the law of the Old Testament congregation of God, it has a prophetic and promissory significance comparable to nothing in the laws of other peoples; and it has a continuing relevance not to any people simply as people but only to the post-Pentecost church of God spread among all peoples (from introduction to sermon, pp. 157-159; written by E. Theodore Bachman). This imposition of the Mosaic law upon the state sounds very similar to the modern error of theonomy or Christian reconstruction.

(3) In a letter to Chancellor Bruck of Saxony dated January 13, 1524, Luther wrote that the people of Orlamunde, Karlstadt's parish, would probably circumcise themselves and be wholly Mosaic.

(4) The reformers numbered the commandments differently. Calvin referred to this as the fourth commandment (Inst. 2.8.28).

(5) This is what Luther and Calvin would refer to as the "natural law." Calvin referred to these laws as the "equity" of the Mosaic law (Inst. 4.20.16). Both Calvin and Luther agreed that anything in the Mosaic law that was not "general," "common," or "equitable" to all nations no longer applied to the state, seeing that those specific laws were applicable only to Israel. Calvin argued, "I would have preferred to pass over this matter in utter silence if I were not aware that here many dangerously go astray. For there are some who deny that a commonwealth is duly framed which neglects the political system of Moses, and is ruled by the common laws of nations. Let other men consider how perilous and seditious this notion is; it will be enough for me to have proved it false and foolish . . . It is a fact that the law of God which we call the moral law is nothing else than a testimony of natural law and of that conscience which God has engraved upon the minds of men. Consequently, the entire scheme of this equity of which we are now speaking has been prescribed in it. Hence, this equity alone must be the goal and rule and limit of all laws. Whatever laws shall be framed to that rule, directed to that goal, bound by that limit, there is no reason why we should disapprove of them, howsoever they may differ from the Jewish law, or among themselves . . . For the statement of some, that the law of God given through Moses is dishonored when it is abrogated and new laws preferred to it, is utterly vain. For others are not preferred to it when they are more approved, not by a simple comparison, but with regard to the condition of times, place, and nation; or when that law is abrogated which was never enacted for us. For the Lord through the hand of Moses did not give that law to be proclaimed among all nations and to be in force everywhere; but when he had taken the Jewish nation into his safekeeping, defense, and protection, he also willed to be a lawgiver especially to it; and -- as became a wise lawgiver -- he had special concern for it in making its laws (Inst. 4.20.14, 16; also see Calvin's comments on Rom. 1:21-27 and 2:14-15).

(6) This "Saxon code of law" was a thirteenth century compilation of the economic and social laws obtaining in and around Magdeburg and Halberstadt; it was influential in the codification of German law until the nineteenth century. The radical Reformers sometimes sought to replace it with the law of Moses or the Sermon on the Mount.

(7) Here Luther refers to gospel given progressively in types and shadows throughout the Old Testament and looking forward to fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

(8) Thomas Munzer in a sermon of July, 1524, at Allstedt demanded that the princes wipe out all the godless, including godless rulers, princes, and monks.

(9) Here Luther argues that we can find many moral illustrations of good and bad behavior throughout the Old Testament.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Source: The American journal of theology By University of Chicago. Divinity School Published by University of Chicago Press, 1905 Item notes: v. 9

It is paradoxical to say that Luther has been a blessing and a curse to the Catholic church, yet it is true. Though he broke forever her dominance over a large part of Germany, though he wrought her irreparable injury, though no one fought her more bitterly, more manfully, more powerfully than he—for which reason he is more intensely hated than any other man by Catholics, so intensely hated that it is a question whether many of them hate Luther or the devil more—yet it is true that he did her great service. I do not mean in the general results of the Reformation, which reacted in all lands to the purification of the Catholic church; but I mean that Luther by his limitations, his extravagances, his coarseness, his errors in conduct, in speech, or in writing, has furnished such a handle to criticism that he has been a valuable asset to the Catholic church. She has won many a victory exploiting his failures; her best weapons she has forged out of his writings, and when she wants to win converts or keep her own faithful, she gives them a dose of Luther. In fact, she has made the failures of the Reformers, and especially of Luther, a kind of Catholic apologetic which she has wielded with tremendous, popular effect. This is her syllogism: If God, were to reform his church he would choose good, pious men to do it. The Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century, and especially Luther, were not such men. Therefore God did not choose them to reform his church. They were not sent by him.

When I was a theological student, and later, I read a good deal of Catholic literature, and that was the burden of their song. Of course, I would deny both the major and minor members of that syllogism in the sense in which the Catholics use them. God uses the best men available for his work, whether or not they come up to his ideal of piety or to ours. Henry VIII, for instance, wrought a work of incalculable value to the church and state of England in reference to Rome, and yet he was one of the most cruel, most tyrannical and unscrupulous, of all English sovereigns. In fact, it is sometimes those very qualities, the excess of which makes one a bad man, which enable God to use a man for his purpose. I would, also deny the minor member of the Catholic syllogism. The Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century, on the whole, were good men and pious, who feared God and loved the truth. They had their failings; they made their mistakes both in doctrine and practice; but, on the whole, they were men who were worthy of their call. One need not agree with Renan when he calls Calvin "the most Christian man of his age,"1 to recognize in what light the Reformers may appear under impartial judgment.

1 Studies in Religious History, p. 83.

I said the Catholics have not been slow to exploit Luther. Let me give two or three instances. As giving a due to the method followed with so much success by later writers—that is, taking extracts from Luther's own writings—may be mentioned the convert John Pistorius, Anatomiae Lutheri pars prima; that is, out oj the seven bad spirits of many lost souls, the first three spirits: the fleshly spirit, the blaspheming spirit, and the lazy spirit. Also four other spirits which Luther paints in his own words, by which one can infallibly conceive and trace whether he is a prophet of God, etc. (Cologne, 1595; in German). The latest successor of Pistorius calls him the "celebrated Pistorius," the "feared, unconquerable opponent of Protestant pastors and theologians."2 The polemic of the sixteenth century reached its culmination in the Jesuit Conrad Vetter (died 1622), who wrote one hundred controversial tracts and books, mostly against Luther and the Protestants.3 In order to awaken more credibility among the latter, he wrote under the name of "Conrad Andrea, natural brother to Jacob Andrea of blessed memory," this lie on the title-page being a good introduction to the abusive and unscrupulous methods of his pen in the body of his books.4 A perfect thesaurus for later attacks is the slander-book of J. R. Weislinger, Friss Vogel oder stirb (1722; many later editions). Eusebius Englehard came as a good second in his book, with its engaging title: Lucifer Witten- bergensis, or the Morning Star of Wittenberg; that is the complete life of Catherine von Bora, the presumed wife of Dr. Martin Luther, composed mostly out of the books of Luther, out of his dirty tabletalk, spirited epistles, and other rare documents, in which all her apparent virtues, invented achievements, false appearances, and miserable wonderworks, by the side of the whole canonization process, are related by her husband during her lifetime (2 vols.; Landtsberg, 1747; 2d ed., 1749; German).

The nineteenth century brought a more worthy tone, which was particularly shown in Mohler's Symbolik (1832; 9th ed., 1884; translated into French, Italian, and English). Johann Adam Mohler was a brilliant professor of church history, first at Tubingen and then at Munich, who died at the early age of forty-two. He was almost the first Catholic to treat Protestantism with anything approaching a scientific spirit, and his work was received with acclaim by both parties. Of course, in real objectivity and adequacy of representation there are serious lapses in Mohler's book, but it was such an advance on anything that had gone before that it marks

1 Denifle, as below, pp. 302, 697.

3 Sommervogel, Bibliolheque de la Compagnie de Jesu, 2d ed., Vol. VIII, p. 617.

4 For him and others see Kolde, P. Denifle: Seine Beschimpfung Lvlhers und der evangelischen Kirche (Leipzig, 1904), pp. 10 ff.

a new era, and German Roman Catholic historians, like Alzog, Funk, and Kraus, have been true to his spirit, and have never descended to the depths of their predecessors. Something of the old method, however, came back in 1846, when Dollinger, the successor and friend of Mohler at Munich, wrote his two-volume History oj the Reformation, and followed it in 1851 by his Lutherskizze. Dollinger brought back the old Pistorian method— of course, scientifically brushed up—of using the writings of Luther and the other reformers and their contemporaries as witnesses to discredit them and their movement. His two books have done fine service for Roman Catholic controversialists, but are without scientific value, because they do not estimate the scope, the meaning, the connection, of the passages quoted, nor the historical or theological considerations behind them, but are simply collected and placed so as to put Luther and the Reformation in the worst possible light. The Erlangen professor, Johann Christian Hofmann, saw this weakness in Dollinger's work, and showed what the same method would do with Paul.5

A true successor of Dollinger in his method of treating Luther and the Reformation was Johannes Janssen, a Roman Catholic layman, who wrote a Geschichte des deutschen Volkes seit dem Ausgange des Mittelallers (6 vols., 1876-88; i4th ed., 1887), a masterful work, written with great skill and power, but with such a use of his sources as to give a distorted and at times false picture of Luther and the Reformation. The Reformation was an apostasy, an immoral revolution which brought the downfall of the nation. This was followed by books in the fourth centenary of Luther's birth, 1883, the chief on the Catholic side being Evers—formerly a Lutheran pastor (6 vols., 1883 f.). These Ultramontane distortions reached a fitting climax in P. Majunke's Luthers Lebensende (1890), in which he tried to prove that Luther committed suicide. To the credit of the Catholics, however, be it said that in 1896 and 1898, in two pamphlets, Dr. Nic. Paulus gave a final quietus to the suicide myth. Since that time no important work on Luther has come out on the Catholic side until 1904, when Father Heinrich Denifle, O.P., published his massive Luther und Lutherthum in der ersten Entwicklung (Mainz, Vol. I, 860 pages).

This Dominican friar has been well and widely known for his works in church history, especially for his books in mediaeval history, as that is the period he has most cultivated. With Ehrle he edited the Archiv jtir Litera- tur und Kirchengeschichie des Mittelalters (1885-93) > wrote three or four

s Paulus: Eine DSttingersche Skizze, id ed. by Kolde, 1890. In his Luther in rationalistischer und christlicher Belcuchtung (Mainz, 1904), p. 65, DeniSe calls Hofmann's pamphlet "miserable rubbish" (elenden Quark).

books on the mystics of that time; a great book, Die UniversiUUen des Mitlelalters bis 1400 (2 vols., 1885 ff.), which, however, shows a caustic controversial temper; edited the chartularies of the University of Paris (4 vols., 1889-97); wrote a book in French on the desolations of the church and monasteries in France about the middle of the fifteenth century (1897); and was selected by Pope Leo XIII as one of the editors of the definitive edition of the works of his favorite St. Thomas of Aquinas (1883 ff.). So that when his book on Luther appeared, Protestant scholars greeted it with high expectation, thinking that here at last was a scientific work on Luther from a Catholic pen—a pen guided by love of truth and by a hand trained in historical investigation, whose previous products in mediaeval historical research had been thankfully received, utilized, and praised by Protestant students.

What was their surprise, however, to find that we have to do with a book written in the bitterest spirit of the controversialist, a huge propagandist pamphlet, inspired, as he says in the preface, by the Los-von-Rom movement in Austria, full of the harshest judgments of Luther's person and writings, attributing to him all kinds of wickedness, making him a monster the like of which has hardly been known in the history of the world, distorting and misrepresenting all that he said and did, putting the worst construction on everything, and thus presenting a huge impeachment in the style of a prosecuting attorney. It is impossible, of course, that Denifle's learning in mediaeval literature, especially in Aquinas, should not make that part of his book where he criticises Luther's use of the mediaeval writers and Luther's representation of mediaeval teaching of independent value, and here and there, besides, he gives welcome information; but, so far as contributing to the understanding of Luther, or to an exact estimate of his character, work, and influence, is concerned, the black and bitter hate which pervades it, its fierceness of objurgation, its wealth of contumely, deprive it of any value. After reading, one is forced to the conclusion, not that Denifle has purposely misrepresented Luther, but that his hate makes him blind and drives him to the result we have before us. It seems morally impossible for a Catholic, much less a Catholic priest, still less a Catholic monk, to understand Luther and the Reformation. From the start their whole intellectual and spiritual vision is so prejudiced that they cannot see things as they are; everything is yellow with the jaundice of their hate. That seems to be the charitable view of their Luther work.

On the contrary, Protestants have given us admirable and most appreciative studies in Catholic history. Neander's Church History is so impartial that it might be used as a textbook in a Catholic seminary. One of the most enthusiastic books we have on a Catholic saint is our own Dr. Storr's Bernhard of Clairvaux (1893)—a book that errs, if anywhere, on the better side. When Paul Sabatier's book on St. Francis of Assisi came out in 1894, the pope was so pleased with it that he was on the point of sending, or actually did send, a letter of thanks to the author, the book showing such an inner and tender appreciation of the Christlikeness of its subject. In fact, we have a series of books on St. Francis, or editions of his writings, by Protestants that almost any learned Catholic might have written. No Catholic could be more appreciative of the moral heroism of Savonarola, or could write more impartially about him, than does Villari, who has given us his best life, translated into most of the languages of Europe. Will there ever be a Catholic Villari of Wesley ? John Henry Newman was about the only Catholic who had a good word to say of the great evangelical leaders of England, and the centenary of Wesley's death has called out hardly a single appreciation by a Catholic hand of his immense significance in the moral progress of the race. The fact that he did not favor Catholic emancipation in Ireland, and did not denounce the Gordon riots of 1780, is so set against him that his whole life of beneficent activity goes for nothing.

Let us now take some of the points alleged by Denifle against Luther and see what can be said concerning them.

Denifle rejects in tola the whole religious development of Luther as understood by Protestants for three hundred years. This development centered around a struggle for religious peace and certainty, carried on especially in his cloister days. This certainty he could not find in obedience to the instructions of his church, but he finally found it partly through the teachings of Staupitz, partly through his study of Paul, especially the Epistles to the Romans and the Galatians, in faith in Jesus Christ. Resting on him alone he found peace of conscience and certainty of salvation. He could not see the full implication of this at first, nor work himself clear from many Catholic views—he never worked himself clear from all of them; but through various external and internal impulses—notably, of course, the indulgence crusade of Tetzel—he was led to make his protest, and finally was excommunicated by the papal bull of 1520. Now, this has been the common understanding of Luther's development, based upon various hints here and there in his writings. Denifle says all this is fiction; that he never had any struggles in his days as a monk; that he never had any difficulty with Catholic teaching of which he became cured by his so-called faith; that this faith was a pure makeshift, a manufactured confidence, something invented to ease his conscience and cover his scruples so that he could sin the more readily. Denifle says the only trouble with Luther was his lust, his sin, and that to be free to sin, to be free to indulge his passions, he broke from the church, he repudiated his vows as a monk, he made up this doctrine of salvation by faith, which was not salvation from sin, but rest in sin; that it represented no inner cleansing, but an artificial covering of a life to be given over to indulgence—indulgence not only in the so-called small sins, but in gross transgressions. This is Denifle's philosophy of Luther's life. This is his portentous reconstruction of Reformation history.

I merely throw out, in passing, the question whether this tallies with the history of the world as we know it ? Can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit? Can the moral revolution which sprang from Luther; which sent tides of new intellectual and religious life eventually to all shores; which was the origin of the Reformation in England so far as it was Protestant—for Professor Jacobs has shown that all the positive evangelical elements in the Anglican confessions came from the Lutheran creeds;6 which helped to create Puritanism and nurtured Methodism, the two most powerful forces for moral regeneration and perfection in modern history—for in those doctrines of sin, and justification by faith alone, which Denifle imputes to Luther, the Reformed churches stood on the same platform with him, and Methodism sprang full-grown from his preface to the Epistle to the Romans; I say, can this moral revolution have sprung from a degenerate and a scoundrel, from a worthless, lustful drunkard and poltroon ?

I want now to test this account of Luther's development from his own words, and then ask: Was his docrtine of justification a cloak for sin?

As early as April 8, 1516, in his letter to a brother Augustinian, Spenlein, he shows himself working toward another conception of justification. He asks him whether he has not grown weary of his own righteousness, and does not wish to learn to confide in and aspire after the righteousness of Christ, that righteousness of God which is freely and fully given to us in Christ. "I once stuck in this error myself, but I have fought against it, though I have not yet perfectly overcome it."' Here we read of a struggle going on in Luther after what he considered an evangelical basis of confidence. This was in 1516. Denifle says these struggles are an invention of Luther in his later life.

In his explanation of Psalm 51, written in Latin in 1532, he speaks

6 See his Lutheran Movement in England (Philadelphia, 1890; rev. ed. 1894). i Enders, Briefwechsel Lathers, Vol. I, pp. 28 ff. See Kaweran, in Theologiscke Studien und Kritiken, 1904, No. 4, p. 615, to whom I am indebted for the quotations. thus of the words, "My tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness":

The word "justice" has cost me much sweat. For they readily explain it; justice is the truth whereby God for cause condemns or judges badly those who merit it, and they oppose the mercy of justice by which believers are saved. This exposition is very dangerous, besides that it is vain, because it stirs up secret hatred against God and his justice. For who can love him—those who are against his justice are willing to carry on their sins? Wherefore remember that the justice of God is that by which we are justified or receive the remission of sins.8

In a "Table Talk" given in Lauterbach's Tagebuch from Kummer's Tischredenhandschrijt we read:

These words Justus and justilia Dei were to me a thunderbolt in the conscience, anon I am filled with fear. Just, therefore he punishes. But once in that tower in the Augustinian cloister in Wittenberg, I am thinking of these words: "The just shall live by faith by the justice of God;" then I think: if we just live by faith, and if the justice of God is for the salvation of all believing— anon my soul is lifted up. Therefore the justice of God is that by which we are justified and saved. These words are most pleasant to me."9

In a "Table Talk" of September 12, 1538, we read:

That word justilia was in my heart like a thunderclap. For while in the papacy I used to read, "In justice thou shalt free me" (Psalm 31:2 Vulg.), that is, in thy truth, soon I am thinking of that justice vindicating its fury, that is, of the divine wrath. I was in my heart an enemy to Paul where I read: "The justice of God is revealed by the gospel." But afterward when I came to see that the Scripture says that the just shall live by his faith, and, moreover, could consult Augustine, then I was joyful; where I perceived the justice of God as mercy regarding the just, there the remedy touched my affliction.10

More distinctly still he says in a "Table Talk" of the winter of 1542-43, where he remarks on Rom. 1:16, 17:

This was always sticking in my mind. I could not understand this word justitia Dei, in any other way than that he was just and would judge justly. I was urging this with myself; I was standing and beating about if peradventure there might be someone who might explain it, and there was no one. I knew nothing of what it meant until, going on, I read: "The just shall live by his faith." That sentence is the exposition of this justice of God. When I found this, I was so pleased, in such great joy, that nothing could be more so. And thus it appeared clear where I read in the Psalms, "In thy justice make me free," that is, "In thy mercy free me." Before that I was in terror, and I hated the Psalms and the Scriptures where the justice of God was mentioned; that is, that by which he became just and judged according to our sins, not that by which he accepted us and made us just. All Scripture stood thus as a wall until reading I learned, "The just shall live by his faith." From this I have learned that the justice of God is faith in the mercy of God by which he justifies us freely by his grace."11

8 Opera exegetica, Vol. XIX, p. 130.

9 Lauterbach, Tagebuch, p. 81, note.

10 Ibid., p. 130; Forstemann-Bindseil, Tischreden, Vol. II, pp. 143, 170; Bindseil,

Colinquiil. Vol. II, p. 274.

Here we have five distinct and independent witnesses out of Luther's life from 1516 to 1543, first, that he at the start regarded the righteousness of God as that which condemned sinners; second, that he came to look upon it as the forgiving righteousness of God which comes to sinners through faith; and, third, that that change of view was attained only after struggle and anxiety, like bright sunshine after thunderpeals.

We must think, therefore, that Denifle does Luther great injustice in denying these narratives, making them pure inventions. Besides, they coincide with the whole course of Luther's life and explain it.

In one respect, however, Denifle is more accurate than the Reformer. Luther says that all the doctors except Augustine interpret Rom. 1:17 as referring to the retributive justice of God, and not as referring to the mercy by which he considers the sinner righteous by faith. On this assertion of Luther, Denifle says:

Of sixty teachers until Luther whose printed and MS writings I have searched through after that interpretation and conception of Rom. 1:17 and related passages (Rom. 3:21, 22; 10:3) falsely ascribed to them by him. not a single one of them (of whom Luther knew several) has confessed that; all, on the contrary, by the righteousness of God have not understood the anger of God or his retributive righteousness, but that by which we become justified, his unmerited justifying grace, of which one takes part through faith, a true and real justification of man from the side of God (of course, not in the sense of sola fides, faith alone, rejected by the whole church); and here, as especially in Rom. 10:3, have placed this justification after the manner of St. Paul over against their own.

Luther was not a scholar or a fair controversialist. He either did not read his mediaeval texts correctly, or he did not quote them correctly, as Denifle has shown. In other places Luther quotes his authorities with a rough correctness, but not with exactness. But Kawerau, the prcjfessor of church history at Breslau, has shown on his side that Denifle speaks too hastily here.12 For Lyra explains Rom. 1:17 ("from faith to faith") as from informal faith to formal faith, and it is only this last whose "acltts meritorius is of vitae beatae, which vivifies and justifies perfectly." Peter Lombard, the great mediaeval teacher, says: "When Christ speaks of " Kroker, Luther's Tischreden, pp. 309 f. « Kawerau, lac. cit., pp. 618, 619. justitia, the distributor or judge of merits is shown." '* But I suppose that it was not so much definite passages out of the great church teachers which Luther had in mind when he thought of Christ as the angry judge and when he imputed that thought to the church, but rather the general sentiment in the church, both among its teachers and the people. "We have feared before him" (Christ), says Luther, "more than before Moses; we knew not otherwise than that Christ was an angry judge, whose anger we with our good works and holy life would pacify, and whose grace we must obtain through the merits and intercession of the loving saints."1* That sentiment was a fact. Kawerau quotes the Dominican Job. Herold: "Whom the Son would destroy by his justice, the Mother draws in through mercy and indulgence." A song to Mary of 1477 says: "Mary, turn his wrath from me." A Franciscan vision in the Liber conformitalum sees two ladders leading to heaven. On trie top of one is Christ; on the other, Mary. St. Francis exhorts his brethren to ascend by the first. They try, but fall. Then they try the Mary ladder. "Forthwith, without any labor, they are received by the Virgin Mary into the kingdom of the heavens."15 It was this common feeling, this general sentiment concerning Christ as a judge and Mary as a helper, which Luther had in mind perhaps more than definite teachings of great theologians. In that sense he was right, even if in the last he was incorrect.

Denifle claims that this invented doctrine of justification by faith alone, was simply a cloak for sin, that it brought about no renewal, and had no necessary connection with good works. On this I would say:

It was characteristic of all the Reformers and all the Reformation creeds to lay tremendous stress on sin, on the fact of depravity. Sin clung to a man through his whole life. He could never get entirely rid of it, however sanctified he became. That idea, sprung from the misinterpretation of Rom., chap. 7, and from Augustine, passed into all the Reformation and post-Reformation creeds, and has ruled the Protestant churches from that day to this. Wesley was the only church teacher who saw the matter in its right relation, and who was bold enough to take at its face value the great words about the blood of Christ cleansing us from all sin, and yet insisted on total depravity in the sense that no man can be saved without the grace of God inciting; and after he is saved and entirely sanctified— as far as it is possible to be sanctified—he still has sins of weakness, inattention, and forgetfulness, for which to ask pardon.

'3 Sent. IV. Dist. 46, J3 [Migne 192: 953].

"4 Werke, Erlangen edition, Vol. I, pp. 20, 26; Vol. IV, pp. 33, 38.

«s Kawerau, with the references which he gives, p. 619.

But this overemphasis on depravity and the ever-remaining sin in Luther no more than in Calvin and the other Reformers meant that there was no saving element in justification and regeneration, and that the sin must not be striven against and conquered, and step by step driven out of the life. That is a calumny still repeated by Catholic and high-church writers. Luther says distinctly that we

must strive and fight against lust and the evil desires in us which excite us to sin. .... As often as thou feelest thyself tempted to sin, thou shouldest think immediately that thou withstand these darts, and pray to the Lord Jesus that these sins do not overtake and conquer thee, but that thou shalt overcome through his grace.16

Whereas Denifle says that his doctrine was only a pretext for a secure resting in sin, Luther really taught the exact opposite:

Even therefore teach we faith, that therewith the law may be fulfilled

Certain mad spirits preach, "Even if thou do not keep the commandments and simply believest, thou shalt be saved." No, dear man, that is not so. Thou shalt never possess the Kingdom of Heaven. It must come to this, that thou keepest the commandments and art in love with God and thy neighbor. So through Christ thy sins become altogether forgiven. But not thereto that we should not fulfil the law, but that it is only now possible to keep the law which is the eternal, irrevocable, unchangeable will of God. Therefore it is necessary to preach grace that one may find counsel and help how one should come to this (fulfilment of the law).1*

What we teach of faith is that it may serve thereto that we are able now to keep the Ten Commandments, that we may know how we may do that, whither and whereby such power can be received.'8

When will this eternal falsehood down, that Luther's doctrine of faith is only a cover for sin!

I do not say there was nothing lacking in Luther's conception of faith, regeneration, and sanctification. Here he was too external and Catholic. Faith as a personal, ethical appropriation of the saving Christ, as a living grip on the Savior, he did not emphasize as much as he should. His idea of faith remained too mediaeval. Kohler, of the University of Giessen, in his able pamphlet, Ein Wort zu Denifles Luther, has some admirable remarks here. He says:

What danger lurks in the unqualified form of Luther's statement, "Always and eternally certain of life in Christ!" We too easily rob it of its strength if we find

i« Loc. tit., Vol. XV, pp. 53 £f. -7 Ibid., Vol. XIV, pp. 179 ff. 18 Ibid., Vol. XXI, p. 94. An excellent discussion of this subject is found in Professor Walther (of Rostock), Deniftes Luther (Leipzig, 1904), pp. 30-40.

in it only the consciousness of being constantly supported by God. It means much more to Luther. It signifies for him, as for Paul, a standing in a superhuman sphere, a transcendent existence, a "spiritual consciousness of the Lord." There man is "certain," so certain that he can demand of God the gift to him of powers of grace. If God does not respond, man can then present his account as Shylock did his bond, and if God will not acknowledge the receipt written by the blood of Christ, then man can wash his hands of the entire matter. Luther constantly guarded against the misinterpretation of this "certainty" in the sense of moral laxity (Paul's freedom as a cloak for wickedness, Gal. 5:15; i Peter i: 16). He was never an out-and-out quietist. His ethical nature broke out again and again. The process of salvation was so strong that in the antino- mian strife he, against Agricola, attacked the freedom from moral condemnation through law preceding faith, and rejected the view that one can have a saving faith while remaining in the grossest sin against the law of God—but with all that Luther never found a satisfying relation between morality and religion. These two thoughts, inwardly sinful, outwardly justified, were both emphasized too strongly by Luther for him to solve satisfactorily the problem of religion and morality, from the side of religion in the process of salvation as well as from morality in everyday life. There was too little morality in both cases. No sufficiently firm theological dam was erected at that time against misconception; else we should not be able to explain the immorality that was carried on among the Lutherans under cover of Christian liberty. Nor can we explain the whole Anabaptist superstitious movement: it was a protest against the threatened mechanism of the Lutheran justification doctrine, and its neglect of moralism.1*

Let me take a few other points in Denifle's indictment. He says that Luther misrepresents the teachings of the Catholic church in claiming that it holds to two classes of persons—the perfect class, those who have taken the monastic vows, and the imperfect, the general run of Christians. But here Luther is right and Denifle wrong. St. Bernard of Clairveaux was a good Catholic when he said that the monastic life, on account of its perfect renunciation of the world, the wonderful height of its spiritual life, overtops all the other kinds of human life, and makes its confessors similar to angels, and'other men dissimilar.20 St. Thomas Aquinas says that all men ought to strive for perfection, and places the so-called evangelical counsels only as a means of acquiring it. But these counsels are sure means, and the highest means; therefore he can call the monastic state the status perjectionis: ex tribus votis status religionis integraiur ("the state of religion is perfected by the three vows")." He says again that if "one pledges his whole life to God, so that he can attend upon him in perfect works, he assumes simply the condition or state of perfection.""

'» Ein Wort zu Deniflcs Luther (Tubingen and Leipzig, 1904), pp. 44, 45.

*° Migne, Vol. CLXXXII, p. 889.

" Summa, 2. 2. q. 186 a. 7. " De perfection* vitae spirituals, chap. 17.

The Catholic conception of fulfilling such a pledge was the priesthood or


Luther says that there is a dependence on works rather than on Christ in the absolution formula; and Denifle says that Luther lies, that there is no mention of works, and never has been, in the absolution formula (p. 339). In his commentary on Galatians Luther gives a formula which the monks used among themselves, as follows:

Form of monastic absolution: The Lord have mercy upon thee, brother! In the remission of thy sins, in the increase of merits and of grace, and in the reward of eternal life, may there be granted to thee the merit of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the blessed Mary, always Virgin, and all the saints, by the merit of our order, weight of religion, humility of confession, contrition of heart, good works which thou hast done and shall do for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Now, inasmuch as Luther was himself a monk, and must frequently have heard this absolution, it is incredible that he invented it. Besides, his brethren could say: "We never heard of it." Nor is there anything contrary to Catholic doctrine in it. An actual form of absolution is that given in the RUuale Romanum (Regensburg, 1888), p. 58:

May the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, whatever of good you may do, or evil you may sustain, be to thee in remission of sins, augmentation of grace, and reward of eternal life.

Luther says that the Catholic authorities represented entrance into a monastery as virtually equivalent to a second baptism, as a purifying from sin.2-5 Denifle denies it (p. 231). Did they or did they not ? Luther's contemporary, the Franciscan of Leipzig, Marcus von Weida, says that those who enter a cloister, therefore giving up their free will to honor God, "receive grace from God, so that they are clean from all sin, and they are looked upon by him as an innocent child that has just been lifted out of baptism."24 This was not an extravagant opinion of the Leipzig Franciscan, but went back straight to the Doctor Angelicus, Thomas of Aquino, who teaches that all men who out of right thought take the monastic spiritual life, if they are obedient, deserve the perfect forgiveness of all their sins, are freed from pain and guilt, and are considered equally by God and the church as though they had just now come from the sacrament of holy baptism.*5 So much for the so-called monk's baptism.

'3 Loc. tit., Vol. XXXI, p. 478.

"4 See N. Paulus, "Markus von Weida," Zeitsckrift far hatholische Tkeologie, Vol. XXVI (19011), pp. 253 f.

"5 IV Sent. dist. 4, q 3 a; 5. Th. 2. 2. 9. 189 a. 3 ad. 3. See Kolde, of. tit., pp. 33-42; Kohler, op. tit., pp. 15-17.

Luther says (which angers Denifle) that the Catholic church by its monastic vows, despises and dishonors marriage and woman. This brings up Luther's whole teaching concerning marriage, which has been one of the chief causes of the hatred of him by the church. Luther based marriage on the physical constitution of the race, on the command of God to be fruitful and multiply; and he looked upon any rejection of that constitution, such as vows of celibacy, as a blasphemous infringement of the divine order of the world. For this reason he spoke with scorn and fierce invective against the Roman church which, while ostensibly making marriage a sacrament, had really lowered and actually rejected it in the case of thousands who sadly needed it, as results showed. He did not say that none had a call outside the life of marriage; he provided for such cases. He believed that God's wonder-working grace was sufficient for them. But marriage is a physical necessity for the race, and the church in denying it to so many of her members was a mother of immorality. In one respect Luther was still Catholic in his thought of marriage. Augustine and all the mediaeval teachers looked upon marriage as a kind of lesser and necessary evil, permitted on account of the concupiscence of mankind, which might, of course, be turned into a blessing by God's grace, but which was to be avoided by those who sought the higher reaches of holiness. Luther always abode in that sensuous, physical side. The modern conception of marriage as an intellectual and spiritual union, as a sacrament of love where two souls are united—emblem of the self-sacrificing love of Christ for the church, which therefore excludes polygamy as destroying the very essence of marriage—that spiritual side of marriage was out of Luther's thought, as it was out of the thought of his time. But that man could serve God better single, that there was sin in the marriage state, or that that state was lower than celibacy, Luther rejected with his whole soul. For that reason Catholics have turned the vials of their wrath on the Reformer.

Let me close with a thought or two growing out of this study. Luther undeniably offended in many ways. His coarseness of language was sometimes unendurable even to that coarse age. His denunciations of the church were sometimes too fierce for truth. He exaggerated, he quoted from memory, and so misquoted at times. His controversial methods, as judged by our exact and polite age, were abominable. So the birds have come home to roost. Time has brought about its revenges. With what judgment he judged he has been judged. All the coarseness and fierceness and exaggeration which he dealt out to his adversaries, they have from that day till now dealt out to him. They have paid him back in far worse than in his own coin. Not only so, but literary men among Protestants have joined in the war against Luther. Sir William Hamilton, the great Scotch philosopher, wrote a most damaging assault upon him. He has been followed by many, especially in the Episcopal church. Unless we love truth more than all things else, unless we are chaste in lip, honorable in controversy, charitable and broad-minded in our dealings with others, the measure we have dealt to others will be dealt to us. Our exaggerations, our misrepresentations, our lapses and slips, will come back upon us. But, for all this, Luther abides, for what he was and for the work he did, as the most significant man of his century. As a path-breaker for the human spirit he even overtops Calvin, in some respects a better and greater man. No man since Paul surpasses Luther in historical significance. Says Professor Seeberg, of Berlin:

He was no "saint," and the traits of those demonic qualities of the leaders of world-history give not only light but shadow. That is true also of Luther. But that signifies nothing over against the knowledge that he proclaimed the gospel to his people with a power and an innerliness as no German has before or since; that with a courage and a God-confidence such as scarcely anyone had before him since Paul he set forward the truth against a world of enemies; that he served, not himself, but the cause in the depth of battle no less than on the heights of success. That is always true of a great man and of a great Christian. Over against this, what will it do to say that he had his faults, that his historical learning had gaps, that his system was immature, that his polemic was sharp, and in some cases wrong?*6

What, then, is Luther's significance for us ? (i) He broke the back of Roman Catholic theology by restoring Christ's and Paul's doctrine of justification by faith alone. With that went a herd of false things—necessity of a pristhood between God and man, power of the priesthood, sacrifice of the mass, pilgrimages, shrines, Mariolatry, and all the thousand implements of mediaeval piety. Man stands again face to face with his God. That was the central point of his theology—not his sacramental doctrine, not his predestination, but that alone; and that has been the most fruitful acquisition which any man has given to the church since Paul's brave spirit went up to God outside of the walls of Rome. (2) He restored home te the clergy, made the ministry again a thing of naturalness, power, and Christian influence, resting on a pure morality centered on the divinest institution on earth—the home. Now men could begin to live among their fellows as men, loving God and their brothers, and finding the highest joy and the highest service and the highest reward in doing God's will

16 Luther und Luihertum in der neuesten katholischen Bcleuchtung, (Leipzig 1904), p. 30.

where He had placed them. (3) Luther will always remain^as an example and inspiration, as the greatest of modern men, who counted all things but loss, and dared death itself for the cross and the truth. " Here I stand! I can do no otherwise! God help me!" And he, being dead, yet speaketh.

John Alfred Faulkner. Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, N. J.

Catholic Encyclopedia: Heinrich Denifle

Heinrich Seuse Denifle

(Baptized JOSEPH.)

Paleographer and historian, born at Imst in the Austrian Tyrol, 16 Jan., 1844, d. at Munich, 10 June, 1905. His father, who was the village schoolmaster and church organist, had him educated in the episcopal seminary of Brixen. On his reception, at Graz, 22 Sept., 1861, into the Dominican Order, he took the name of Heinrich. His studies of Aristotle and St. Thomas were begun in Graz and continued in Rome and Marseilles. After his return to Graz, Father Denifle taught philosophy and theology for ten years (1870-1880), and during this period also he was one of the best preachers in Austria. A course of apologetic sermons delivered in Graz cathedral "Die katholische Kirche und das Ziel der Menschheit" was printed in 1872. Denifle, who had loved music from his boyhood and composed pieces at fifteen, also published in 1872, as his first literary essay, an article on the Gregorian Chant: "Schonheit und Würde des Chorals". That even then his mind was occupied with a subject about which his last and perhaps his greatest work was destined to be written, is evident from a series of articles entitled "Tetzel und Luther", which appeared in 1873. From that time onward, though he preached occasionally, the biography of Denifle is the description of his literary achievements. His life therefore may be divided into four periods characterized respectively by work on theology and mysticism, medieval universities, the Hundred Years War between France and England with its consequences to the Church, and Luther and Lutheranism.

A subject to which in early years he devoted much of his attention was the relation existing between scholastic theology and medieval mysticism. It was comparatively unknown, and had in fact been grossly misrepresented by some flippant writers according to whom the German mystics were the precursors of the German Reformers. Denifle's researches put the matter in its true light. He discovered in various libraries of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland copious materials in fourteenth century manuscripts, and a selection of 2500 texts was given to the public in his book "Das geistliche Leben. Eine Blumenlese as den deutschen Mystikern des 14. Jahrhunderts" (Graz, 1873). He also began a critical edition of Blessed Henry Suso's works (the first and only volume of Denifle's edition appeared in 1888 -- another edition is in progress 1908), and on Suso and other mystics he wrote several articles (fifteen in all with appendices) published in various periodicals from 1873 to 1889. His fame as a palæographer, German philologist, and textual critic arose from these investigations and especially from his studies on Tauler, Eckhart, and Blessed Henry Suso. Up to 1875 the most disputed problem in the history of German mysticism was that of the "Gottesfreund" and his marvellous influence. Denifle solved it simply by showing that the "Gottesfreund" was a myth. This discovery, which created quite a sensation, and several others brought him into controversy with Preger and Schmidt, who had till then been looked up to as authorities on the history of mysticism, and also into controversy with Jundt. He proved and demonstrated that Catholic mysticism rests on scientific theology. Denifle's remarks were often sharp, but there could be no doubt that his arguments and his destructive criticism were unanswerable. Catholic and non-Catholic savants. alike, as Schrörs, Kirsch, Müller, Schönbach, etc., have recognized that he was immeasurably superior to his adversaries. This was owing to his intimate knowledge of the Fathers, of theology -- both scholastic and mystic -- of medieval history, and lastly of Middle-High German with its dialects.

In 1880 Denifle was made socius, or assistant, to the general of his order, and summoned to Rome, where a new field of inquiry awaited him. Leo XIII had commanded that a critical edition of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas should be begun, and Denifle was commissioned to search for the best manuscripts. He visited the libraries in Italy, Austria, Germany, Bavaria, Holland, England, France, Spain, and Portugal. Nothing escaped his eagle eye, and while preparing for the new edition, before his return to Italy in 1883, he had also gathered abundant materials for his own special study. In the autumn of 1880 Leo XIII had opened the secret archives of the Vatican to scholars; he had in 1789 appointed as archivist Cardinal Hergenröther. On the latter's recommendation the pope now (1 Dec., 1883) mace Denifle sub-archivist, a post which he held till his death. Since the beginning of his residence in Rome, Denifle, who found nothing there for his contemplated history of mysticism, had been investigating the career of a celebrated prophet, i.e. the Abbot Joachim, and the reasons of the condemnation of his "Evangelium Æternum" by the University of Paris. This led him to study the controversy between the university and the mendicant orders. As he found du Boulay's history of the university inaccurate, Denifle, who was a foe to adventurous statements and hasty generalizations, resolved to write a history based on original documents, and as an introduction to it, to commence with a volume on the origin of the medieval university system, for which he already had prepared copious transcripts and notes. His leading idea was that to appreciate the mystics one should understand not only the theology they had learned, but also the genius of the place where it was commonly taught. The first and only volume appeared in 1885 under the title "Die Universitäten des Mittelalters bis 1400" (xlv-814). The wealth of erudition it contains is extraordinary. The work was everywhere applauded; it led, however, to a somewhat bitter controversy. G. Kaufmann attacked it, but was worsted by the erudite and unsparing author. The most copious collection on the subject to be found in any archives is that possessed by the Vatican, and this Denifle was the first to use. Munich, Vienna, and other centres supplied the rest. Among his discoveries two may be mentioned, namely, that the universities did not, as a rule, owe their origin to cathedral schools, and that in the majority of them at first theology was not taught. The University of Paris formed an exception. Denifle had planned four other volumes; viz. a second on the development of the organization of universities, a third on the origin of the University of Paris, a fourth on its development to the end of the thirteenth century, and a fifth on its controversies with the mendicant orders. But the Conseil Général des Facultés de Paris, which had in 1885 decided on publishing the "Chartularium", or records of the University of Paris, resolved on 27 March, 1887, to entrust the work of Denifle, with Emile Chatelain, the Sorbonne librarian, as collaborateur. This quite suited Denifle, for he had resolved not to write before he had collected all the relevant documents, so with the assistance of Chatelain he began his gigantic task. In less than ten years four folio volumes of the "Chartularium" appeared as follows: 1889, volume I, A.D. 1200-1286 (xxxvi-714 pp.), 530 original documents, with fifty-five from the preparatory period, 1163-1200; 1891, volume II, 1286-1350 (xxiii-808 pp.), 661 documents; 1894, volume III, 1350-1384 (xxxvii-777 pp.), 520 documents; 1897, volume IV, 1384-1452 (xxxvi-835 pp.), 988 documents, and two volumes of the "Auctarium". This monumental work, the "Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis", contains invaluable information regarding its inner life, organization, famous professors and students, relations with popes and kings, controversies, etc., during the period when this university was the chief centre of theological learning. "With its aid", as Kirsch remarks, "a history of medieval theology has at last become possible." Some idea of the labour involved in its preparation may be gathered from the fact that all the great libraries and archives in Europe were visited, that Denifle travelled from Paris to Rome forty times, and that in the Vatican archives alone he examined 200,000 letters, of which he utilized 80,000 in his notes (see II, p. 17), though of course more material was found in Paris than in Rome. In order to preserve the unity of the "Chartularium", any reference to the "nations" was relegated to the "Auctarium". The two volumes published contain the "Liber Procuratorum Nationis Anglicanæ 1333-1446". Fournier, who rashly criticized Denifle and Chatelain, fared badly at their hands. After Denifle's death the materials he had collected for another volume were entrusted to Chatelain, so that the work right be continued. Owing to the vastness and completeness of his research and to his amazing erudition, what Denifle gave to the world, even though for him it was only a preliminary study, has sufficed to make him the great authority on medieval universities. (See Merkle, Dreves, etc., or Rashdall's "Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages", Oxford, 1895.) In order to publish valuable texts which he had deciphered and the results of his studies on various subjects, together with Father Ehrle, S.J., the sub-librarian of the Vatican, he founded in 1885 the "Archiv für Literatur und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters". The two friends were the only contributors. The first five years of this serial contain several articles from his pen, on various universities, on Abelard and other scholars, on religious orders, on popes, etc., Denifle's extensive acquaintance with manuscripts and his skill in palæography were also put at the service of beginners in the art of deciphering by his annotated "Specimina palæographica Regestorum Pontificum ab Innocentio III ad Urbanum V" (Rome, 1888). Among its sixty-four plates, that representing the Vatican transcript of the "Unam Sanctam" is especially valuable. The work was the offering of the papal archivists to Leo XIII on his golden jubilee.

A work of another kind suggested itself to him while gathering in the Vatican archives materials for his annotations on the "Chartularium". Denifle noticed in the three hundred volumes of "Registers of Petitions" addressed to Clement VI and Urban V, between 1342 and 1393, that many came from France during the Hundred Years War between that country and England. So for the sake of a change of occupation, or "un travail accessoire" as he calls it, Denifle went again through these volumes (each about 600 pages folio). In 1897 he published: "La désolation des églises, monasteres, hôpitaux, en France vers le milieu du XVe siècle". It contains a harrowing description of the state of France, based on 1063 contemporary documents, most of which were discovered in the Vatican. Then, in order to give an explanation a similar account of the cause of all these calamities, he published in 1889: "La guerre de cent ans et la désolation des églises, monastères, et hôpitaux, tom. I, jusqu'à la mort de Charles V" (1385). Though the work was not continued the enormous amount of recondite information brought together and illustrated for the first time makes the volume indispensable to historians (see e.g., his account of the Battle of Crécy and the Black Prince).

Denifle had for years been studying the history of medieval theology and mysticism, as well as the lives of saints and scholars by whom in both departments progress had been effected, on the other hand his investigations revealed the decadence of ecclesiastical life during the Hundred Years War and caused him to amass documents (about 1200) showing the many abuses then prevalent among the clergy both secular and regular. The contrast was marked. As was his wont he resolved to solve the problem that arose, to see what could have been the result of such moral corruption. These new researches were not confined to France, they gradually extended to Germany. Denifle found proof that in both countries, with praiseworthy exceptions, during the fourteenth century things went from bad to worse, but he saw that the end had not been reached yet. He traced the downward course of profligacy to the third decade of the sixteenth century, and there he stopped for he had found the abyss. Crimes which ecclesiastics and religious were ashamed of in the preceding era now became to one section a cause of self-glorification, and were even regarded as miracles and signs of sanctity. At the beginning of this painful investigation Denifle had not a thought about Luther, but now he saw that he could not avoid him; to estimate the new departure it was necessary to understand Luther, for of this appalling depravity he was the personification as well as the preacher. So Denifle devoted many years to the task of ascertaining for himself how, and why, and when Luther fell. The Vatican archives and various libraries, particularly those of Rostock and Kiel, supplied original documents to which this independent study was confined. As usual Denifle made a series of discoveries. His work, which is divided into three parts, if we take its second edition, is in no sense a biography. The first part is a critique of Luther's treatise on monastic vows. It examines his views on the vow of chastity in detail, and convicts him of ignorance, mendaciousness, etc. The second part which is entitled "a contribution to the history of exegesis, literature and dogmatic theology in the Middle Ages", refutes Luther's assertion that his doctrine of justification by faith, i.e. his interpretation of Romans 1:17 was the traditional one, by giving the relevant passages from no fewer than sixty-five commentators. Of these works many exist only in manuscript. To discover them it was necessary to traverse Europe; this part which appeared posthumously is a masterpiece of critical erudition. The third part shows that the year 1515 was the turning point in Luther's career, and that his own account of his early life is utterly untrustworthy, that his immorality was the real source of his doctrine, etc. No such analysis of Luther's theology and exegesis was ever given to the learned world for which it was written.

For some time previous it had been known that Denifle was engaged on such a work, but when in 1904 the first volume of 860 pages of "Luther und Luthertum in der ersten Entwicklung quelienmässig darstellt" appeared, it fell like a bomb into the midst of the Reformer's admirers. The edition was exhausted in a month. The leading Protestants and rationalists in Germany, Seeberg, Harnack, and seven other professors, besides a host of newspaper writers attempted to defend Luther, but in vain. Denifle's crushing answer to Harnack and Seeberg, "Luther in rationalistischer und christlicher Beleuchtung" appeared in March, 1904, and two months afterwards he issued a revised edition of the first part of the first volume; the second was brought out in 1905 and the third in 1906 by A. Weiss, O.P. He has the second volume on Lutheranism, for which the author left materials, ready (1908) for the press.

Denifle has been censured by some and praised by others for the tone of this work. Perhaps if it were less indignant the amazing erudition displayed would produce a greater effect. There was no need of hard words in a work, to use the words of Cambridge University when it honoured Denifle, on "Lutherum ab eodem ad fidem documentorum depictum". He has thrown more light on Luther's career and character than all the editors of Luther's works and all Luther's biographers taken together. Denifle wished to offend no man, but he certainly resolved on showing once and for all the Reformer in his true colours. He makes Luther exhibit himself. Protestant writers, he remarks betray an utter lack of the historical method in dealing with the subject, and the notions commonly accepted are all founded on fable. As he pointedly observes: "Critics, Harnack and Ritschl more than others, may say what they like about God Incarnate; but let no one dare to say a word of disapproval about Luther before 1521". Denifle's impeachment is no doubt a terrible one, but apart from some trifling inaccuracies in immaterial points it is established by irrefragable proofs.

Denifle, who was beloved by Leo XIII and Pius X was a conductor of the cardinalitial Commission of Studies, a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences (Vienna), and of those of Paris, Prague, Berlin, Göttingen, honorary Doctor of the Universities of Münster and Innsbruck, member of the Legion of Honour, of the Order of the Iron Crown, etc. He was on his way to Cambridge, where he and his friend Father Ehrle were to be made Honorary Doctors of that university, when he was struck down by the hand of death.

Denifle's Works in Acta Cap. Gen. Ord. Praed. 1907 (official obituary notice); KIRCH, Le P. Henri Suso Denifle O.P. (reprint Louvain, 1905); GRABMANN, P. Heinrich Denifle, O.P., Eine Würdigung seiner Forschungearbeit (Mainz, 1905); GRAUERT, P. Heinrich Denifle, O.P., Ein Wort zum Gedächtniss und zum Frieden. Ein Beitrag auch zum Luther-Streit (Freiburg 1906); WEISS, Lutherpsychologie als Schlüssel zur Lutherlegende -- Denifle's Untersuchungen kritisch nachgeprüft (Mainz, 1906).

About this page
APA citation. Walsh, R. (1908). Heinrich Seuse Denifle. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved May 2, 2009 from New Advent:

MLA citation. Walsh, Reginald. "Heinrich Seuse Denifle." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 2 May 2009 .

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Albert Judy, O.P.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York