DIVINE HISTORY OF JESUSCHRIST
LUTHER’S HIDDEN CRIME.
A short Essay about the Table of the Holy Drunkards
This is a subject that I have been holding quiet in the room of my thoughts until it had got for itself a body. I have found always very weird the conversion of a man to the life of a monk … because a storm! And he goes telling everybody that he did so, falling off the horse, just like Saint Paul. The light that stroke wasn’t the light of Jesus, but the light of a thunderbolt. I mean, was he a fool that fellow? Or the fools were his people?
Luther’s story was written when Fanaticism and Fundamentalism of the Protestant Movement. Jihad against the entire Catholic World was raging madly and bloodily. “The New Saint Paul fell of his horse, and saw the light of the Call of the Lord!”
“O Yes, he did?”
“And what was the color of that light, sir?”
“I don’t know, why you care, you’re a dead man!!”
Let’s now start.
Where that Holy that Holy Storm did take place?
Did it take place in a desert land, where storms are of sand, and rain hardly shows up, and clouds are a gift from the gods?
Or did that storm came to happen in a land where sun is as hard to see as a good woman and a sane man?
Because if that Holy Storm had place in a land where no rain or cloud or thunder was known, or very rarely known, well, the story has a point. Possibly not as strong as the point by that Holy Dove who came out of the blue and came to rest upon the head of the Lord. Do you find doves in the desert? That Holy Dove made a point so strong that Saint John the Elder, or the Baptist, call him as you fancy, he could not see but the Hand of the God.
I mean, a point is a situation room coming out of nowhere to claim that wonderful exception by which a miracle is done, the Invisible becomes Visible. ERGO: JESUS’S RESURRECTION.
A point is made thanks to the exceptionality of the event to which it gives meaning and expression. That Dove from the blue resting on the head of the Lamb of God, when everybody knows that ain’t dove to be found in a desert, that Dove made a point.
Now, what point could make a storm in bloody Germany? Can you figure out all of the Germans converting to the life of a monk every time a single storm shakes Good Old Germany? By this law today Germany would now a kind of Global Cluny, the greatest of the Monasteries of fools in the History of Earth. Am I wrong?
A German, from the East, from Mansfeld, getting scared because one of those millions of storms hitting Germany from the days of old? You gotta be kidding me, aren’t you?
Such a supposition, meaning one storm as the real cause of Luther’s imprisonment inside a monkish cloak, it leads us de facto to the edge of idiocy : A real German man, a born German to the bones, shaken by a common German storm?
My doubt is: Was that fellow a true German man? Or, was he a German born from a NON-BORN-Germans father, a son of an émigré, a man born in another country, his flesh and bones produced under a sweeter climate?
See the Spaniards. Phylogenetic makes Spain’s Children from Spanish Fathers love heat and feel great when sun hits the Castilian plateau. See the Scots now, can they suffer without turn into “tomato men” that wonderful heat of the Spanish August sun?
This doesn’t mean that a true German got to hate Sweet Mallorca; but it does mean that while an Islander may feel restless under a German storm, a German would keep on drinking his beer under the rain and the lightning and the thunder hitting sweet Ibiza; this means that while the Islander’s children will run to daddy for protection, and the prophets of disaster of the Island might have visions about the end of the world, a real, true German fellow will feel in his blood and nerves the sound of the beating of the drums of the God of Thunder of his Teutonic Fathers. Give me more! Give me more! Dame más!
Why this? Why before a same phenomena one man piss on his legs and another dance crazily?
In Luther Story’s stormy conversion to a monkish prison we have depicted a Man by Phylogenetic History not German at all. In an Italian from sweet Brindisi, oh yes, pissing on his pants under a mythical storm produced by Thor’s Hammer itself, well, a story to laugh. The poor Italian southern man, forged in the waves of the sweetest of the seas, raised beneath a fatherly sunny sky, shaken out by Thor’s Hammer! Well, yeah, the man pissing on his pants, why shouldn’t he?
Now we have an opera prima, instead of that Italian young lad we place a young German fellow born under the realm of the cold and the thunder. Here he comes, riding the horse, through the midst of the forests of old, those forests beneath whose branches the Germans of old used to hunt the Romans of the Tales. And here they come, Luther’s Holy Drunkards, to tell us that their Idol could not help pissing on his pants.
What? Why? Because a storm!
Why? What? You mean, was he a coward?
You can’t be serious!
Are you a German, a born German, from a German father, and a German grandfather, and so on and so forth?
Do you jump off from the horse and walk down into the abyss of total idiocy, and you do surrender for a free washing machine your brain in the name of country?
Man : All that story is a fake, a tale by the man himself invented to make a fool of his countrymen; man, the German Protestant Hero was the greatest of cowards born out of the womb of the Teutonic Race, a coward so big as to piss and shit on his pants… just because… just because a storm.
Can you figure out that true German-Teutonic Child of the Forest, the Great Arminius of old, shaking, pissing and shitting in his pants … because a storm? Most probably his own father would have go to his mother, have her stabbed to death, and not just because adultery, but because the bitch had commit adultery not with a brother in Teutonic Blood, but with a Roman from South Italy.
Germans are made by Phylogenetic History under the Storm, don’t they?
Does a real Arab Man get scared because a sand storm? He would make no sense, he would be taken as the greatest of cowards born from Arab stock.
The wonder in Luther’ Story is that he wasn’t taken as the greatest coward in Germany.
Can you believe it? No wonder that a people so deprived of the minimum common sense would follow Hitler to hell!
But let’s take a look at the world around the Sixteenth Century to find out if being a coward was that century Lord’s daily bread. However, I will not call History to stage; there is no need to be told what we all know.
During those days People had bollocks so big as those of the biggest bull. No wonder Spanish bollocks are represented by a “bull”, and whoever thinks of a real Spanish man he thinks of a bull. Leonidas the Spartan-Greek conquered with 300 men the glory of the dead; Cortez conquered with 300 men the Empire of the Mayas. Yeah, while Luther was pissing on his pants because a Motherland-Storm, the Spanish and Portuguese peoples were riding the unknown ocean’ storms, the storms on the other side of the abyss.
Neither cowards they were those War-Worshippers, the Ottoman Turks, riding the Balkan Mountains, heading straight to the heart of Europe, on their way selling their lives dearly.
Who ignores that French and Italian and English and Germans were war in and war out? There was no space for timidity, humbleness or sweetness in those days. In those days there was no room for a coward pissing on his pants because a .. storm? Yeah, because a storm! Came on man, don’t give me the crap!
Truth to tell, though not to worship, in those days Men had hearts as hard as a rock. Their blood was bloody vinegar dragging them down onto the fields of war. There was not space for cowards. A real, true German Man getting scared because a germa storm? In those days only a mad would call a man such a coward, pissing in his pants because a storm.
And again, if that man had been a Mediterranean child from the very Almeria or Naples, well, that could be taken as good excuse: the poor fellow had heard never before the god of the Thunder hitting the roads of the sky.
A man claiming to be a German from the Teutonic race, born and bred in the East of the country, getting scared because a storm?
No, that man could not be a German; or was a German, but a real coward; hey, everywhere grows good and bad, glory and misery.
But that what wonders me is this: How could they had, his countrymen, taken for a HERO as glory such a coward?
See Christopher. Colon was hitting the unknown ocean and leading men to the other side of the seas where there was not end and the waters fell in the abyss of the cosmos.
Gutenberg was hitting the highway to Civilization and opening to men the doors of a new Age.
Francis the First of France was making war because... well nobody knew exactly why; Charles V was to hold the reins of the Empire in the name of the Salvation of the European Civilization; Henry the Eight “the English Maddog” was murdering women after women and good man after good man; Solyman the Magnificent was on Holy War on Christendom. Were there room for a coward shaking bones “because a storm”?
So what? Was Luther a German, or was he an émigré?
Whilst the world was full of braves warriors, geniuses and conquerors, old good Germany was full of cowards? and there was nothing to feel weird about a coward running to a monastery because a thunderbolt?, was it after all those days Germany but a nation of cowards?
Of course No!
From Luther’s tale all what we can conclude, in a first instance, is that Germany was a nation of idiots. And because that global German idiocy, Germans thought natural of a German running to a monastery because ... a storm.
Well, Phylogenetic wasn’t a science to be learnt in the universities of those days; even so, Phylogenetic was ruling the universe.
In those days, as much as in our days, South Spanish Children felt as great during the summer heat as the Swedish Children feel as good beneath the golden Northern Sunshine. Bones and Flesh have been made throughout Millions of years to activate that “feeling good” under the natural climate to every family of men. If you are sick you may be excused to feel bad beneath the sun of your fathers, but in a normal healthy state your father’s habitat fits to you as the Moon to the sky. Myself I felt pretty bad one day that I was trapped under a fierce storm somewhere in the Island of Crete. Whether I was in Cataluña, Galicia or Extremadura, I never got scared under a Spanish Storm, no matter how hard it was. One thing, however, is to feel pretty bad and another to see the Devil running after you.
You may be thinking that the whole story going on is looking for a denial of Luther’s German Blood. And you are wrong. Even the braver among the bravest of men can kneel before the storm when his heart hides a crime, and it bend his mind to the point that he can’t carry the blame no more.
Considering that Luther was a true German Child, the point is made : What was the crime Luther was hiding in his heart, and the storm rooted out so powerfully as to make him feel that God was asking from him to accept due Punishment?
This way we turn inside out the question, right?
Martin was a true German Child. Martin was bred in the Historical Teutonic Climate of Germany, where children play under the storm and sleep by thunderbolts as easy as a nymph in the arms of Mother Muse.
First he studied in Magdeburg, North of Mansfield, and later in Eisenach. Later on he moved to Erfurt.
During all those years, from 1497 to0 1505, Martin rode his horse back and forth from school toward home. There was no train in those days, do you remember? Well, to bless the movie let’s say that Martin wasn’t riding a donkey, do you remember?, his father was a new rich man after all. Even if the fanatics of later years wanted to efface this fact, (to put him at the level of the Lord’s poverty, but was Jesus a poor man after all?) : the fact that Young Martin was riding a horse and not a donkey, says volumes about Martin’s father’s wealth. But as this is not a point, am just a messin’ ‘round, let’s ride back to Martin’ schooldays.
Martin studied Latin in Magdeburg. From Mansfield to Magdeburg we have around 41 miles. How many times did Martin rode those 41 miles in the year 1497? And where did Martin stayed that long once in Magdegurg?
Here is what WIKI got to say about the Brethren of the Common Life:
The Brethren of the Common Life was a Roman Catholic pietist religious community founded in the 14th century by Gerard Groote, formerly a successful and worldly educator who had had a religious experience and preached a life of simple devotion to Jesus Christ. Without taking up irrevocable vows, the Brethren banded together in communities, giving up their worldly goods to live chaste and strictly regulated lives in common houses, devoting every waking hour to attending divine service, reading and preaching of sermons, labouring productively and taking meals in common that were accompanied by the reading aloud of Scripture: “judged from the ascetic discipline and intention of this life, it had few features which distinguished it from life in a monastery”.
According to this Hans, Luther’s father, sent his son Luther to a Catholic Community where students lived as they do today in the Catholic Orders Seminaries; they eat and sleep there but go home for Christmas, Holy Week and Summer vacations. Martin had to ride back to Mansfield and back to Magdeburg, most probably with some fellow students. They had to ride the storm. As it is today storms are daily bread’s sky around those latitudes, “storm” wasn’t nothing to be afraid of; road robbers were the real threat to the riders, and because of them the riders make their road not alone.
The Dark Ages were still on, and History testify in which manner, compared with France, England and Spain, Germany was far back in the ways of the Law. The division of the German State in hundreds of principalities left the roads open to gangs of robbers at the service of the princes, whose kingdoms wasn’t more, in many cases, that the lands around their castles, and lived upon robbery to keep their train of life. A rider alone making this way from Mansfield to Magdeburg was a prey begging to be robbed. Martin did not commit such a foolish thing while staying in Magdeburg.
Next year, 1948, Martin was sent to Eisenach.
We have to hold in mind, while reading these lines, that the news of the Discovery of the New World was on the air, and that news was filling the hearts and minds of men with a feeling of greatness, rising their courage and expectation on the future of the Christian Civilization.
It wasn’t as the landing on the Moon, that nobody saw and no prove ever has been set on the table. The Landing on America was real.
Colon had brought back from America real people, real gold, real birds and things. It wasn’t a fake story to raise the moral of the people during those days of Cold War. America was, is real!
The Revolution of Civilization was real and was rising the Moral Force of Europe to a level unknown till that day. None but the young from the New Rich Class could feel better the historical meaning of this Event, the Power from the God of the Christians was calling His People to the head of the World. Gutenberg, Erasmus, Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Buonarrotti, the Firmament of the Christian Civilization was going through a rebirth.
Time for Harvest was there. Century after Century cultivating the Intellectual Power of Man has given its first Harvest. The Monasteries of the Catholic World could feel not higher, that Rebirth was their doing. Now it was the time for the laymen to take the Fire of Intelligence and spread the Seed of Reason over the Nations. The Brethren of Common Life under which rule Martin’s Mind and Body was being formed feet too that Historical Moment as theirs, and they did project the nature of such a wonder moment upon their students’ minds.
Again, from Mansfield to Eisenach there is around 70 miles. The climate does not change much all about that area. Cold in winter, stormy in summer, a pretty hell if you are not a German. If you are, well, roasted and toasted by the Spanish summer you will not get.
As a matter of fact there is nothing scary in the German summer storm, is not cold at all and if you find a spot to see the electric show, at the end of it you feel quite good, and you’ll keep on riding home.
As in Magdeburg, in Eisenach Martin was hosted by the Brethren.
Let’s see what J.P. Arthur in his Introduction to À kempis' Founders of the New Devotion, got to tell us about the Brethren of the Common Life:
THE LIVES OF GERARD GROOTE, FLORENTIUS RADEWIN AND THEIR FOLLOWERS BY THOMAS À KEMPIS
THE period covered by the Lives of Gerard Groote and his followers is the hundred years which elapsed between 1340, the date of Groote’s birth, and 1439, the year in which Henry Brune died. In order to understand the significance of the movement to which à Kempis has given the name of “The New Devotion”, it is necessary briefly to consider the conditions which prevailed at the time when that movement was initiated and the difficulties with which its adherents had to contend.
At the time of Groote’s birth the Low Countries were divided into a number of small principalities, each of which was governed by its own Sovereign : of these the most powerful were the Counts of Holland and the Prince Bishops of Utrecht, who as Motley says, “divided between them the Sovereignty of what afterwards became the United States of the Netherlands”. By the death of William IV of Holland in 1355, that country was plunged into a whirlpool of civil discord which did not subside until 1437, when Philip of Burgundy, misnamed “The Good”, obtained undisputed possession of the supreme power.
The Bishops of Utrecht, in addition to their spiritual authority, enjoyed a large amount of temporal power, and were for many centuries the most formidable of the opponents to the Counts of Holland. The Bishopric was founded by Charles Martell in the eighth century, that prince having rewarded the Anglo-Saxon monk, Willibrord, with large possessions in the neighborhood of the town from which the See is named, in recognition of his labours on behalf of the Faith. Winfred or Bonifacius who succeeded, received further accessions of territory, and by his efforts and his martyr’s death at Dokkum, Christianity was established yet more firmly in the Netherlands. The power of his successors, the later Bishops, gradually but continually increased, and since in earlier years the authority of these prelates was frequently exercised in the defence of the people against oppression, it rested upon a foundation surer than any which could be laid by Royal Grant or Charter.
The district of Overyssel with which we are more immediately concerned, though it formed a portion of the dominions of the prince Bishops, enjoyed at this time a certain measure of independence, being administered by a council composed of representatives of the nobility and of the three cities, Deventer, Kempen and Zwolle. The Bishop, indeed, presided over this council, but he seems to have allowed to its members complete freedom of decision upon any points which arose, and to have waived his rights of interference even in cases concerning clerks who dwelt in the three towns above named. But though the power of the Bishops had in earlier days afforded protection to the people, their government became more and more arbitrary and despotic, a result which was due to a variety of causes too complex to enumerate; certain points, however, must be borne in mind, of which perhaps the most important is the slight deference shown by these Bishops to their Spiritual Head.
Some thirty-five years before our period begins, Clement V had removed the Papal Chair to Avignon, and thus he and his successors became unduly dependent upon the favour of the French Kings, and as a natural consequence the Papal authority was for the time greatly weakened. Of the Popes who reigned during the period under consideration the first five, namely, Benedict XII, Clement VI, Innocent VI, Urban V and Gregory XI, resided in France, but after the death of Gregory, the Great Schism broke out to still further relax the authority of the Holy See. It is impossible here to describe in detail the course of this unhappy feud, but since Groote is praised for his loyalty to Urban VI it is desirable to note the fact that the best authorities agree that the election of that Pontiff was regular, and that the action of the Cardinals who declared the election void was illegal. It should be remembered also that whereas the Popes named above were all of French nationality, Urban VI was an Italian, and that the Schism was due to political rather than to Religious considerations.
The election of Urban took place in 1378, and in the same year certain of the Cardinals, claiming that the menaces of the Roman populace had hindered their freedom of choice, elected Robert of Geneva, who took the title of Clement VII. Urban refused to recognize his deposition and took up his residence at Rome, while Clement went to Avignon. Thus there were two claimants to the Papacy, a condition of things which not only weakened the Church by dividing Catholic Christendom into two parties, but also embittered the already existing civil and political strife.
On the death of Urban VI the Italian party elected Boniface IX as his successor, and five years later Benedict XIII was chosen to succeed Clement at Avignon. Boniface was followed by Innocent VII, who, however, survived his election by two years only, and on his death the Italian Cardinals chose Angelo Corrario, who is known to History as Gregory XII. This pontiff and Benedict undertook to resign their claims if such resignation should seem likely to promote the peace of the church, but as events proved neither was willing to carry out his promise, and in 1409 nine of the Cardinals who had supported Benedict made common cause with the Italian party, and the latter being thus strengthened, convoked the Council of Pisa which condemned and deposed both Popes, and chose John of Candia, who took the name of Alexander V.
The deposed Pontiffs, however, refused to recognize the validity of this sentence, so that there were now three claimants to St. Peter’s Throne, and although Alexander died in 1410, the strife of parties was not thereby lessened, since the sixteen Cardinals who had elected him now chose in his place another Italian who is known as John XXIII. He it was who in 1414 convoked the council of Constance, perhaps expecting that Council to support his pretensions and depose his rivals, but if this was his expectation it was disappointed, for by the unanimous vote of the Council John was himself deposed, and shortly afterwards Gregory expressed his willingness to resign. Sentence of deposition was subsequently passed upon Benedict, who, however, continued to claim, and so far as he could to exercise, the Papal authority until his death in 1423, when the two Cardinals who had continued to support him chose Clement VIII in his place. Meanwhile the Council of Constance had chosen Otto de Colonna, who as Martin V succeeded in healing the Schism, for in 1429 Clement, the last of the Anti-Popes, was persuaded to resign.
Besides the Schism other causes tended to weaken the Papal authority in the country with which we have to deal. The Bishops of Utrecht were dependent rather upon the favour of the Emperor than upon that of the Pope, and even during the years which marked the increase of the Papal authority throughout Europe, there are many instances of strong resistance being offered to it both in the Low Countries and elsewhere in Northern Europe. Heresy, as Motley has pointed out, was a plant of early growth in the Netherlands, and “from the earliest times neither Prince People nor even Prelates had been very dutiful to the Pope”. Students of history will remember many instances of resistance to the Papal claims in England, especially during the reigns of Edward III and his immediate successors, and as early as 1413 the feeling of the people against the clergy led the commons to petition Henry V to seize certain revenues of the Church, and apply them to the service of the State.
It is necessary, however, to go back to an earlier period than this in order to trace the development of the feeling of which such acts were the outcome, and it is impossible to deny that ecclesiastical dignitaries and the subordinate clergy gave many provocations to the civil power and to the people at large in the years which preceded the time of which we speak.
As early as the beginning of the twelfth century the notorious Tanchelyn, an illiterate impostor, caused great commotion in Brabant by his denunciations of the clergy, and although his utterances were blasphemous and his conduct was grotesquely indecent, he gained for a time a considerable following, a result which could hardly have occurred had there been no substratum of truth in the protest which he made against clerical domination. During the progress of the same century other teachers arose to cause divisions and strife in the Church to which they professed allegiance, and, naturally enough, persecution followed, to be attended as usual by a yet more luxuriant growth in that which it strove to eradicate.
By the end of the thirteenth century the clerical power had begun to decline. The enormous wealth of the Church aroused the cupidity of the civil power, and the depravity of many clerks excited the indignation of thoughtful men. Even those who would not consent to rob the Church of her possessions, were forced to admit that the influence of great wealth was not wholly for good : that luxurious indolence was too often the effect of it: and that the austerity of life and sobriety of conduct which marked certain sects which were regarded as heretical, could not but give those sects a firm hold upon the minds of the people. It was perhaps to this feeling that the great popularity of the mendicant orders was due, but in any case that popularity grew continuously throughout the thirteenth century, and the orders themselves multiplied to an extent so inconvenient that the council of Lyons in 1274 had decreed the suppression of all such orders as had sprung up since the Pontificate of Innocent III. Thus four mendicant orders only were left, namely, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Carmelites and the Hermits of St. Augustine, and the reputation for sanctity enjoyed by these orders was such that it became a common practice for testators to provide in their wills that their bodies should be wrapped in a Dominican or Franciscan habit, in the hope of thereby obtaining mercy in the Day of Judgment. This popularity, however, was followed by a reaction; thus in our own country Richard of Armagh and others attacked the authority of the mendicants, and it was to his opposition to them that Wycliffe owed the sentence of deprivation that was passed on him.
In addition to the effect of such attacks from without, the societies were also weakened by internal dissensions, many of which appear to the modern reader as frivolous and puerile, being based upon philosophical rather than upon religious differences, though others had their origin in more serious matters. It is, however, only necessary for our purpose to remind the reader of the bitter quarrels between the different sections of Franciscans and of the long feud between the latter and the Dominicans.
Amongst other religious bodies which flourished during this period are the Lollards and Beguines, of whom it is necessary to make special mention, as they are referred to in the Lives. The former name is constantly used by English writers as if it were descriptive of the followers of Wycliffe only, whereas the term is applied by other authors to the Franciscan Tertiaries, the Cellites, the Brothers of the Common Life, and many others. The term Lollard with its variants, Lollhard, Lullhard, Lollert and Lullert means primarily “a singer”, and denotes one who is constantly singing hymns to God. Thus it is applied to various bodies, without reference to the orthodoxy of their opinions. This explains the use of the word in the text where it is used in its literal signification, although the name had already become a term of reproach in consequence of their hypocrisy and pernicious sentiments that were attributed to many persons who professed extraordinary piety. Thus Hocsemius, a Canon of Liege, writing of the year 1309 says, “certain strolling hypocrites who were called Lollards or ‘praisers of God’, deceived persons of quality”.
The name “Béguine” is also of somewhat uncertain signification, being applied both to that body which owed its origin to an austere branch of the Franciscan order, and also to certain German and Belgic societies which flourished during the thirteenth and following centuries. It is with the latter only that we have to do, and it is sufficient for our purpose to say that though it has been shown that certain societies called by this name were established in Holland and Flanders as early as the eleventh century, it was not until the thirteenth that they gained any great celebrity. It appears that a number of pious women associated themselves together and lived under the rule of a superior of their own sex, dividing their time between devotional exercises and honest labour. They did not, however, bind themselves by vows, but were at liberty to quit the society or to marry if so disposed. The name Beguine means—like Beghard—“one who is assiduous in prayer”, and having been used at first of pious persons generally, became afterwards applied to the societies above mentioned.
After a period of prosperity which lasted until the early part of the fourteenth century the Beguines fell into disrepute, and although John XXII and his successors afforded them some protection they continued to fall both in wealth and prosperity, because as it would seem they were supposed to have been corrupted by the infamous opinions of the Brethren of the Free Spirit. Hence it is that we find the name used in the Life of Florentius as a term of reproach. This period, marked as it was by civil and religious discord, was of course favourable to the production of fanatic enthusiasts and visionaries, such as the Flagellants who caused some commotion in 1340, and the Dancers who disturbed the Netherlands in 1373.
Somewhat later, but still during our period, arose the Brothers and Sisters of the Free Spirit, the Men of Understanding, and other sects, all of which added to the disorder of this unhappy time, and disturbed in a special degree the country in which Groote and his followers lived. Although the explosion caused by the condemnation of Huss took place in another land, its echoes were heard and some of its effects felt in Holland and the surrounding districts. Huss was condemned and suffered in 1415, and his friend Jerome of Prague in the following year; but the religious dissensions and the barbarous war which they caused continued to disturb further an already distracted world, until Aeneas Sylvius, the emissary of the Council of Basel, succeeded in reconciling the more reasonable section of the Hussites to the Church, in 1433.
Whatever view may be taken as to the justice or otherwise of the condemnation of the views of Huss there can be no doubt that the demands of those of his followers who are known as Taborites were grossly extravagant, that their doctrines were grotesque and heretical, and that their conduct was at least as barbarous and cruel as that of their most fanatical opponents. It was not by actual heretics only that the peace of the Church was disturbed; various abuses had slowly developed, and were tolerated by many persons whose orthodoxy was never questioned. We need, however, deal only with those to which reference is made in the text.
It will be observed that Groote lays great stress upon the evils of pluralism, and indeed the disastrous consequences of the non-enforcement of the Canons against this abuse must have been evident to all. According to Hallam there were cases of fifty, or even sixty benefices being held by a single incumbent, and in our own country it was found that in 1367 some clerks enjoyed more than twenty benefices. An abuse of a like nature was the holding by persons other than priests of ecclesiastical preferments. Thus Petrarch was enabled to enjoy the revenues of two benefices although he never took full orders. Closely connected with these abuses we find the crime of Simony, a term that, in the wider sense in which Groote uses it, must be taken to include many things besides the actual sale and purchase of benefices, such as the traffic in Indulgences which, as all who are conversant with the history of this period are aware, was lamentably common.
Odious as is any traffic in the temporalities attached to spiritual cures, the Church has found great difficulty in suppressing it: as early as the eleventh century such simony was a reproach to the clergy in Holland and to the patrons “who made their powers of nomination and investiture subservient to their rapacity”. By the ancient canons, indeed, a benefice was avoided by any simoniacal payment or stipulation, but for obvious reasons this law was seldom enforced; as time went on the practice became more and more common in spite of the protests of upright churchmen. In 1377 the English Parliament presented a petition to Edward III complaining of the greed of patrons, and in Germany, according to Sismondi, things were even worse than in England. Pope Urban VI owed no small part of his unpopularity with a section of churchmen to their fear that he would interfere with their illegitimate profits, and the council of Constance proposed to deal with this growing evil.
A modern reader might, perhaps, feel some surprise at the severity with which Groote speaks of usurers, but it is well known that from very early times the practice of usury was regarded as a criminal deed. In the year 1179 Alexander III decreed that usurers “should be expelled from the Kingdom of God, in the temporal and in the spiritual”. So, too, in Spain the Inquisition took cognizance of usury, and long after the Reformation, Anglican Divines continued to speak with horror of the practice — indeed, it may be doubted whether the prejudice against what is essentially a legitimate commercial transaction is even now dead, although the unanimous verdict of economists ought to have settled the question.
It is unnecessary to comment upon the protest made by Groote against the grosser sins of his contemporaries, but no one who takes the trouble to examine the evidence can doubt that his protests were fully justified. Since many references are made in the Lives to Schools and Universities, it may be well to review briefly the state of learning during this period.
The interest in classical studies, which had declined during the latter half of the thirteenth century, was revived to a great extent in the fourteenth, and during the lifetime of Groote and his followers many schools and universities were founded and became flourishing institutions, as, for example, at Cologne, Florence, Pisa, and Prague. The study of Greek, which had been neglected, was revived, owing to the influence of such scholars as Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Manuel Chrysolaras, and although the enthusiasm for classical learning was more marked in Italy than elsewhere, these great scholars had followers in Northern Europe as well as in their own land.
Somewhat earlier than the period with which we deal, Clement V had given encouragement to the study of Hebrew and other Oriental languages, which he directed “should be taught in public schools that the Church might never lack a sufficient number of missionaries properly qualified to dispute with Jews and Mohammedans, and to diffuse the light of the gospel throughout the East”. Mathematical study, which was regarded with some suspicion, owing to its supposed connection with astrology and magic, had been pursued with success by Thomas Bradwardine, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1349), although the history of such enquirers as Cecco d'Ascoli hardly encouraged others to pursue that branch of knowledge.
The University of Paris at which Groote studied was specially famous for Scholastic Theology, and it is interesting to note that Groote is said to have acquired great learning in Civil as well as Common law, although the study of the former was prohibited in that university: we know, however, from other sources that the prohibition was disregarded.
The University of Prague, of which Florentius was a member, was not founded until 1350, but its repute grew rapidly and attracted many students, until, as Badius says, “it became infected by heresy”, when it fell into disrepute with orthodox Catholics. The reference is, of course, to the Hussite troubles which had their origin here, Huss having persuaded the authorities to take away three votes from the German party in University elections. This produced a secession, to which the University of Leipzig owes its origin, and the ill feeling which the action of Huss aroused was no doubt one of the causes which led to his condemnation.
Another great centre of learning was the school of Cologne, which is called by Angelius “the child of the University of Paris and the mother of that at Louvain”. This institution was founded by Urban VI in 1388, while the academy at Louvain was raised to the dignity of an university by John IV of Brabant in 1423.
Though we have some considerable knowledge as to the subjects taught and the methods pursued in the Universities during this period, very few records remain of school life. À Kempis himself, as he tells us in “The Life of Florentius”, was a pupil in the school of Deventer, of which institution John Boheme was master; and we learn that the subjects taught were Philosophy, Theology, Hebrew, and Civil law. As to the methods adopted we may gather some information from the chronicles of Windesheim by Buschius, a contemporary of à Kempis. In this work there is an account of John Cele, who is mentioned in the life of Groote, and his biographer gives some account of the school of Zwolle of which Cele was master from 1376 to 1417. In all probability the schools at Zwolle and Deventer were managed on similar lines, so that Buschius’ account of the former has some interest for us. Strict discipline seems to have been maintained among the eight hundred scholars, details of which may be found in the chronicle above-named, and in Kettlewell’s work, entitled, “Thomas à Kempis and the Brothers of the Common Life”. Further information about Cele himself may be derived from the chronicle of Mt. St. Agnes.
The principle of Association which led to the formation of Trade Guilds in this part of the world was extended so as to include other interests, and to this principle was due the formation of the Guilds of Rhetoric which flourished in most of the principal towns. The importance for our purpose of such association is the influence they exercised over the people, for it is a remarkable fact that the cultivation of the arts and the pursuit of knowledge were during the fourteenth century by no means confined to the upper classes. During the time of which we speak the influence of these Guilds in the Low Countries was not so great as it afterwards became, but in France and Germany such associations had already considerable importance. Amongst other things the guilds encouraged theatrical performances, some of which were conducted in the churches, as, for instance, “Herod and his Deeds”, which was enacted in Utrecht Cathedral in. Their efforts, however, were not confined to the exhibition of religious dramas, and it is not unlikely that the unlikely amusements and spectacles mentioned in the text were entertainments organized by these societies.
Some reference must be made to the social condition of the people in the days of Groote and his followers. In spite of the disturbances which perpetually recurred, this was a period during which wealth accumulated with astonishing rapidity. The flourishing condition of the wool trade in Flanders, Brabant and Hainault was the chief cause of this prosperity, but the fisheries of Zeland and Holland also contributed to it. Cologne had long been a great trading centre, and as early as 1220 the merchants of that city set up a factory in London. The opening of trade in the Baltic through the enterprise of the Hanseatic confederacy and the development of commercial intercourse with southern Europe during the fourteenth century also contributed to make this accumulation of wealth possible, and there can be no doubt that the Trade Guilds, to which reference has been made, assisted the merchants to resist the arbitrary measures of their nominal rulers and to amass riches which rivalled or surpassed those of the ancient nobility. Agriculture, too, had made considerable progress, largely owing to the efforts of the Religious Houses to which grants of waste land were made, and these being cleared and put under cultivation added largely to the wealth of the countries in which they were situated.
The continuance of this prosperity appears the more remarkable when we consider the fact that throughout this period the countries of which we speak were devastated from time to time by visitations of the Plague and the Black Death; no less than six of the Brothers whose lives are here written died of these diseases, and à Kempis notes that many others of the community met with a like fate. The horrible pestilence called the Plague seems to have reached Europe from the Levant in 1346. A year or two later it ravaged France and England, and in 1350 appeared in an aggravated form in Germany and the Low Countries. Other severe visitations occurred in 1361, 1366, 1398, 1404 and 1439, and although we must receive with reserve the statements of contemporary chronicles as to the mortality caused by these pestilences, there can be no doubt that a considerable proportion of the population was swept off by them. According to Sismondi between four and five millions died in France alone during the first plague, and although some of the later epidemics appear to have been less deadly, the devastation caused by them cannot but have affected detrimentally the material progress of the country, and great misery must have resulted, especially amongst the poor, to whose service the Brothers of the Common Life specially devoted themselves.
Another disease which scourged the country was leprosy, and this complaint is mentioned several times in the text. According to the greatest living authority leprosy is caused by a diet of more or less putrid fish. If this theory is correct, a country like that of which we speak would be likely to suffer, since in it fish formed the staple diet of many of the people, and in the inland parts especially salted fish was largely eaten, even on occasions when abstinence from flesh was not ordained.
The existence in France of two thousand leper houses, and in Europe as a whole of nineteen thousand such establishments, shows how severe a scourge this complaint must have been. The treatment to which the unfortunate victims of the disease were subjected added to the horror of their lot, and the action of the Brothers in ministering to them is the more laudable inasmuch as by so doing they ran counter to the prevailing prejudices and superstitions; for at this time — and indeed long afterwards — diseases in general and leprosy in particular were looked upon as indications of Divine wrath rather than as being due to natural causes. It appears that some of the Brothers had a knowledge of medicine, and though Groote deprecates the practice of this art it is probable that he was not altogether unacquainted with it; in any case he must have had the famous saying of Hippocrates in his mind when he laid down the rule “not to give remedies of doubtful virtue”.
It seems that the first suggestion for the formation of a Brotherhood came from Florentius, who with the assent of Groote gathered together a number of young clerks and copyists who were willing to live a Common Life. These persons took no formal vows, but undertook to obey such rules as might be drawn up from time to time for the government of the Community, and from this small beginning grew the Brotherhood of the Common Life. Although the credit for this suggestion is due in part to Florentius, yet Groote himself had formerly desired to found a religious community. Lack of means, however, and the opposition of the existing Orders, which he foresaw, had hindered the execution of this design: the former difficulty was overcome by the generosity of one Lambert Stuerman, who by his will left a large sum of money at Groote’s disposal; but Groote himself did not live long enough to carry out his desires. On his death-bed, however, he gave instructions to his followers to build and establish a House, and transfer to it such members of the original society as might desire to join. He particularly directed that this House should adopt the Rule of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, assigning the following reasons for his decision. He did not desire, he said, that the members of the Order should be wholly separated from the world like the Carthusians, nor that the Rule under which they lived should be as severe as that of the Cistercians. On the other hand, he was aware of the advantage to be derived by adhering to the rule of an established order, for by this means he hoped to overcome or avoid the opposition of the Mendicants, who would certainly do their utmost to crush an entirely new society.
Obedient to the directions given by their leader, Florentius, whom Groote had named as his successor, proceeded at once to build the House at Windesheim, a desolate place between Zwolle and Deventer. Afterwards, as the movement gained fresh adherents other houses were built, such as that near Arnheim, called “The Fount of the Blessed Mary”, that near Hoern, named “The House of the New Light”, and a third, called “The House of Mount St. Agnes”, at Nemel.
The Rule which was thus adopted had been summarized by Kettlewell, and contains the following headings :
I. To observe the fundamental law of Love, and to imitate the example of the Mother Church of Jerusalem in union of heart and in having all things in common.
II. To learn the lesson of Humility, according to the pattern of the Life of Christ and that of His nearest and most faithful followers.
III. To observe the Canonical Hours and times of prayer.
IV. To take charge of the sick and infirm wherever they be found, and to minister to their bodily and spiritual needs.
V. To avoid all affectation and singularity in dress.
VI. To give and receive fraternal correction and admonition from one another, to confess our faults and to submit ourselves wholly to our Superior.
VII. To promote in all things the interest of the Community; to be diligent in all duties and never to be idle.
VIII. To observe outward cleanliness and decency, and to take proper care of the body for the sake of the soul, both in health and sickness.
In connection with this last provision it is interesting to find that in consequence of the austerities practised by certain of the Brothers in the earlier days of the Community at Deventer their health failed, and therefore the custom was established at Windesheim of exacting from every member a promise “to endeavor to eat well, and sleep well”.
The habit adopted by the Brothers was of dark grey cloth, and when they became Canons Regular they wore a white rochet with a black hood.
It will be noticed that the only title given to the head of the community in the following lives is that of Rector. The first “Prior” of the Order appears to have been John à Kempis (elected in 1398), the elder brother of Thomas, to whom reference is made in the life of Gronde.
The members of the Brotherhood were divided into two classes, the Clerks and the Unlettered Brethren; and of these the former devoted themselves to the cause of education, and to copying books in addition to the duties above indicated, while the latter occupied themselves in manual labour.
It is beside our purpose to trace in detail the growth and decline of this society, but it may not be out of place to indicate some of the causes of that decline.
Some writers of repute have referred to à Kempis, Gerard Groote and others who belonged to this society as forerunners of the Reformation, and it is true enough to say that their teaching and that of certain leaders of the Protestant movement had points of contact. To say this, however, is to say very little, for the same statement might be made equally truly of the teaching of Luther and that of Bellarmine, whilst a very moderate degree of ingenuity would suffice to show that on many points Calvin was at one with St. Francis Xavier. Groote indeed protests against various abuses, but so also does Urban VI; and if Gerard of Zutphen advocates the dissemination of portions of the Scripture in the vulgar tongue, it was a Pope who praised the Archbishop of Florence for publishing the sacred writings in the language of his own country. It is hardly possible to read the lives which follow without admitting 1 that both their subjects and their author were loyal to their Church and to its head: on this point the appendix to the life of Lubert Berner would appear to be conclusive, for the temptations there described would probably be regarded in a very different light by one whose leanings were toward Protestantism.
It is perhaps more true to say that the movement called the New Devotion is one manifestation of a tendency which, according to the direction given to it, may become either a source of additional power, or a cause of disruption. This is not in any sense a controversial work, for which, indeed, the writer has no qualifications, and these lives, with the other writings of à Kempis, may be left to tell their own story; but since a late writer seems to represent the Reformation as the “fruit” of the labour of the Brothers of the Common Life, it is necessary to remark that the Founder of the Brotherhood uses the words, “Salvo Semper judicio Sacrosanctae Romanae ecclesiae cui humillime undique et ubique me submitto”, and his followers never departed from the principle here laid down. Had that principle been adopted universally, the Reformation could never have taken the course it did take.
There is a wide difference between protests that are directed against breaches of recognized law, and deliberate revolt against the fundamental principles upon which those laws are based. The former course was adopted by Groote and his followers, whilst Luther and his adherents chose the latter.
Moreover, neither Gerard Groote nor any of his followers whose lives are written here, attacked any doctrine of the Catholic creed, nor did they claim that liberty of interpretation which many Reformers allowed. The decline of the Community coincided with the rise of Protestantism, but the causes of that decline are not far to seek. In the first place the Brothers had supported themselves to a great extent by copying books, a source of revenue which came to an end with the introduction of the printing press. Secondly, their schools had to face the competition of similar institutions which sprang up during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In some cases their own pupils successfully competed with them, in others the Institutions founded by the Society of Jesus became popular at the expense of the schools maintained by the Brothers of the Common Life. Thirdly, “when the struggle about the Reformation became acute, the Papal Party insisted that those who clave to the Church as a divine institution, must either withdraw from their monasteries or give in their adherence to them”, and “This led to a great disbandment of the Brotherhood”. From this it appears that even in the later days to which the passage quoted refers, the Brotherhood as a whole had not adopted the tenets of the reforming party, while in earlier times, as we have already seen, the members were thoroughly loyal to Rome; indeed, the association received the approbation of the Council of Constance, which would not have been given had their fidelity been suspected.
And so, from this abridged note on the Origin of the Brethren, we see that the care of Hans Luther in placing the formation of the intelligence of his son in the hands of the Brethren was taken in consideration of the Learning of the Community as well as the Experience in teaching that the Brethren had, a wisdom whose inexistence in these days is one of the pillars of the ruin of the nations which we are observing.
The Formation of the Body and the Mind of the people being not related to Intelligence, but to productivity, is equal to pragmatism in politics, and ignorance in the citizen, explosive cocktail poured in the cup of the schools to serve the interests of the lords of wars and money makers. The revolutions are made, always, by the rising of the Intelligence of Man, becoming bloody because the jump from level to level is opposed, always, by the groups in Power.
History shows us that both, Power and Intelligence, grow together, and accordingly every Revolution become bloodier and bloodier as the Power grows in Experience by dealing with the going-on revolutions. A fact which push higher and higher the level of Blood to be spilt during the next Revolution to come.
In the beginning the Evolution of Civilization was founded on the Freedom association of the different Families of men. However, when Holy War on Peace and Freedom as the Natural Door to a continual higher state of Civilization was declared by the stupidity of the first Man who gave ears to the words of a Woman, once broken the Rule of Wisdom the Natural Freedom of Association was equaled with crime, and by the consequent Social Struggle: Revolution became the Main Force of History ever since the Fall of the First Man who committed the crime of listening his wife’s words against the Law of the People.
Anyway, we see, from the abridged chronicle of the Foundation of the Brethren, that Martin’s body and mind had been put in the right hands. We see, too, from the portraits of the young Luther, that Martin at the age of 21, after four years under the care of the Brethren, young Martin was of a man of strong constitution, brave at heart and not a man to be scared by a storm.
Not only the world around Martin was in turmoil, but his own house was moving forward under the hand of Hans, his father, a man running away from poverty just as one running out of hell.
That the poor was living in hell during those days, only a madman will deny; the Wars of the Peasants here and there give good account of the misery in which the poor lived and how superior the New Rich felt, a feeling by which was touched young Martin as well as all those who had the luck of living under the rising star of a entrepreneur father, as Hans, Luther’s father, was.
All this leads us again to the fact that only a hidden crime could have moved Martin, while riding home from Erfurt, to behave like a coward, and, like a coward to beg the protection of God “because a storm”.
Martin’s compulsion lead us to relate the nature of the storm to a hidden passion, in the moment of its liberation acquiring the form of a crime before God. In this way Martin acted like a pagan from the days before the Dark Ages, when men related the forces of the Nature to the gods. And a particular storm to himself: “The storm is because me”. A madman could not have reacted in another way.
And yet, we have seen Martin riding from North to South back and forth to the Brethren’s: year after year.
Many storms he went through. Many rains and thunderbolts and snows he had seen falling upon his head.
A young man, whose father is a rising star, opening to his son the doors of prosperity and comfort in the heart of the surrounding misery, a young man in a time when the entire world was in revolution by the genius and courage of individuals, a young man who has been protected from the Brethren of the vices of his age, formed in body and mind to be strong, intelligent and brave, a young man like that, hundred times under the storm, could not suddenly fail to himself and react like a coward just because a storm.
And so the Question for the next day is : Which was Young Martin’s Crime before God?
ON THE MYTH OF LUTHER
We see from Johannes Janssen’s short biography of Luther, this J.J. a German historian from before Hitler’s days, and because he is a perfect representative of the Protestant fanatism, when the hour come to speak about the Idiocy of the German man, in particular, and of the Protestant Religion, in general, ever since the days of Luther; we see in the Classic Biography of this J.J. the entire stupidity of the German Nation in its full essence, under which law Luther led the Pride of the German Man to the feet of the Supremacy of the Hitlerian Race. Let’s remember the Tale for Idiots born in the Cradle of the Reformation. Says J.J.:
“Martin Luther was born at Eisenach on November 10, 1483. His youth, passed at Mansfield, was a period of hardship and suppression, not so much on account of the poverty of his parents as from the extreme severity with which he was treated both at home and at school”.
The poverty of his parents???!!!!
“Martin Luther was born to Hans Luder and his wife Margarethe (née Lindemann) on 10 November 1483 in Eisleben, Germany, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. He was baptized as a Catholic the next morning on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. His family moved to Mansfeld in 1484, where his father was a leaseholder of copper mines and smelters and served as one of four citizen representatives on the local council”.
First he says that Luther was a poor, a line after he says that his father was a rich man. Let’s see.
To reconcile both beginnings we will play the absolute idiot, such as the Germans were the day they went behind Hitler to claim the entire world for their Race.
J.J. says Luther’s parents were so poor that they could not buy shoes for their son. But we see that Germany of the Sixteenth Century was based on the Principles of Modern Politics, on a level so high that even a shit-wreck citizen could rise to the office of Town Runner.
O Ye! Luther’s father was so poor that he was one of the four representatives of the local council … which leads us to think that if Luther’s father were not that “so poor”, but just a little bit less “so poor”, he could have been the Count of the province; and if he were just “a simple poor”, possibly it could have been “a Duke”, and if not poor at all, he could have ran for Empire. This poor was the father of Luther according the Germans before Hitler.
We conclude from this first paragraph that to speak with a Nation sank in the lowest levels of Love for Truth, as was Germany before Hitler, you have to be a kind of Saint Francis: who else could talk with that beast?
As History shows, and the hundreds of millions of dead by the Germans killed during the XXth Century says, there is no need of more words to catch the nature of the Germans after Luther and before Hitler.
We know, and we know because it is the truth, that Luther’s father was a representative of that new social class on the rise, the later on called the New Rich, a self-made people. Martin’s father was a hard-working man who fought his way out of hell and the miserable conditions by the common German peasants enjoyed, and by the power of his Free-will, the force of his arms and the use of his brain, Martin’s father rose from poverty to the heart of the new social class on the rise, the New Rich, where we see him as one of the four member of the town council.
Of course, if you want to preserve in the alcohol bottle of a National Religion a Movement born to be bloody and to end in a World Massacre, you got to create a myth, the myth of the poor “little Martin without shoes” going from home to the school, by foot, forty miles away, in winter, tears in his eyes, crying because her mama was “a whore who found a delicious pleasure in hitting to death his son”, and the papa was “a monster living in extreme poverty who”, miraculously, could pay his son a year on the Private Seminary of the Brethren and Four Years in University.
God, and he was a poor! Can you imagine if Martin’s father was rich?
Again, speaking of Martin’s Childhood and Youth the historian, J.J., says this :
“He himself –Luther– relates that his mother once whipped him till he bled, all about a miserable nut, and that another time his father punished him so cruelly that he was filled with hatred against him, and was very nearly running away from home”.
Can you believe that? A man claiming to be a man of God spitting upon his father’s and her mother’s memory? and in front of the entire world drawing in their graves “Go to Hell”!
And this is all about the German Reformation? A Nation of nuts spitting in their fathers’ memory, dancing upon their parents’ graves, like demons sending to Hell their own dad and mom?
Whoever read these words from J.J. : “his mother once whipped him till he bled”, all about a miserable nut, and that “another time his father punished him so cruelly that he was filled with hatred against him”, he is misled to believe that the German Nation of the XVIth Century had a Childhood and Youth Education so high and Perfect in its tenets that the Children were angels and the beating of a rascal was the masterwork of a demon.
What a good man was Luther the Reformer, not even by respect of the memory of the man and woman who gave them “earth and water” for free, he put hands to lips!
He who claimed to be a man of God, he got by the neck the Word of God : “Honor your father and your mother”, and threw God’ Words to the pigs : in front of the entire World.
Because real men, even when dad and mom are not perfect, we discuss with no one their behavior; that is a private matter, and whether my dad hitted me when I played the stupid fuck, this is an absolute private matter, and I will not discuss or enter into the discussion with no one in the entire world, less I am spitting in mom’s and dad’s memory around the table of a drunkard, which, at the end of his career this same man of God will show us to be: just a drunkard.
Of course to a Nation deeply connected with alcoholism as the Northern Nations were in those days, and some still are in our days, may the Russian serve as example, to be a drunkard and a man of God was a matter of sanctity, because did or did not Jesus used to drink?
And well, if so, why don’t you rise a dead from his grave, dear Luther?
So, we see how the falling of the Germans in the hands of Hitler was a written thing once the Myth of the Sanctity of Luther was written upon the wall of their national idiocy.
The German Historian believed that Luther gathered in his bosom the duty to spread the glory of the Lord of the German Reformation towards the four corners of the table… dictating the New Laws of God from that very table where the Holy Drunkard Nation Leaders were sharing the bottle of wine Jesus used to empty day in day out.
Well, when there is no mountain, why cannot a table full of wine and meat do the job?
Contrary to the idiocy by the Pre-Hitlerian Race promoted all over the Churches born from the Reformation Table, we find, once the Pride of the New Israel has been thrown to the bottomless pit of the XXTH Century World Wars, that Martin’s father was not a “poor man who hardly could feed his son”, but a New Rich Man, a representative of the new social class on the rise thanks to the winds by the Southern PIGS (Spaniard and Portuguese) put on motion over the waves of the, until then, unknown ocean.
This is to say, while the Coward Holy Man of the Reformation was trembling under the song of a storm, the Spaniard and Portuguese Nations were running that horizons inhabited by monsters of the Past, the new 300 hundred men of the New Leonidas, Cortez, facing a whole empire.
While people no Fear was leading the West to the New World, and people without scruples or prejudices, as Johannes Gutenberg was opening to the Civilization new frontiers, the secret of the printing press stole from Holland, so it is said: a poor little wreck, they says he was, hewas shaking and trembling, and why? under a storm!
And the nations born of the Reformation have been believing in this myth over a whole lot of five centuries!
Where is the wonder in seeing the New Saint Nation leading the World to the World Wars?
From Luther to Hitler the Chronicles are already written.
But let’s us keep on analyzing the Myth.
Yesterday, the day before Hitler, a man speaking like this on Luther’s German Myth should be facing death most probably.
By the English’ side the Legate of the Reformation for the Islanders was Hatred, Hatred, Hatred, and more Hatred, which came in form of an Anti-Catholic Persecution from the Islander Queens and Kings upon any man or woman, child or vieillard, who dared to say “I am a Catholic”. This confession meant death in the days of the Caesars. No wonder the English loved to compare their Empire with the Empire of the Caesars. Both were Anti-Catholic to the core.
However, we are not dealing with that “angelical English race” according to the words of the Catholic Bishop of Rome, Gregory the First. And yet, the persecution of Tony Blair by the Islander Queen and her Régime after the Irak War says all about the Nature of the English Crown. The Conversion of Tony Blair to Catholicism put him under the eye of the régime. The warning being taken, Tony Blair’s death was not necessary, the trial against the Ex-Prime Minister for High Treason to the Crown of the Islander Queen, this is to say, because Tony Blair’s Catholicism came to prove that a Catholic can be, and as a matter of fact he is, a hundred times more a man than any Puritan, or anyone of those whose God-head was a Human with a metal piece on his head, and a bloody sword to stop Man reaching the Tree of Life of the Catholic Faith.
Anyway, from the Myth of Luther we see a couple of facts.
First, the natural idiocy of the Germans before Hitler to believe in whatever their rulers told them.
Second, the tyranny of these rulers on the Historians, which duty being to Truth, they fell under death penalty, just as the Russian Putin has done these days against the Russian’s Historians, whenever comes the time to rewrite the History of Russia.
It was according the rule of this tyranny that a Historian, so wise and of knowledge so ample as J.J. shows in His History of the German People during the Reformation, that this J.J. played the rôle of the most stupid man when the hour came to deal with Luther’s Childhood and Youth.
As shown in the History of the Common Brethren, these guys were not ruling a kindergarden for the children of the poor; not at all. The Brethren was not a Charitas’ Institution. They were not classical monks. Theirs was not a monastery of the Medieval kind in whose doors the whores could leave their children to the care of the brothers. The Brethren’s rules were not made for poor children left at their door to be fed. No way!
You had to pay. You had to be someone’s child.
The Brethren were dreaming with perfection, not with children pissing on their beds; they weren’t there to clean children’ mess. The Rules of the Brethren were made for men and young people of the rich class, whether of “the new rich” or of the old, it really didn’t matter much. The food the Brethren had to give was food for the soul, not for the belly.
In the year 1497, when Hans, one of the four members of the town council of Mansfield, came to Magdeburg, and knocked on the door of the Brethren of the Common Life, a lay Institution, this is to say, not related to charity and care of the poor, the man who was received by the Brethren was not a poor leaving his son to the care of the monks as the whores of old used to do. The Brethren received the son of a wealthy man putting his darling son in their hands for the cultivation of his mind and body, the idea of Martin’s father being on the future of his son : to become a lawyer.
The Martin who entered that Private School, this is to say, the Lay Institution of the Brethren of the Common Life, was not a young fellow without shoes. Not at all. Martin was not led to the Private Institution of the Brethren to be fed and clothed. Martin was the son of a wealthy man, and a good man and better father, who put his son in the hands of the Brethren with his mind set on his son’s future.
Hans Luther did not want for his son the hardship he had gone through his rising from poverty to his wealthy state. Lawyers were on the rise too. The commercial revival by the Discovery of the New World was a fact; the horizon and the frontiers of Civilization became great and splendorous thanks to the Printing Press; these two facts, plus the gorgeous awakening of the Nations of the North to the Culture of the Renaissance; these facts were of a tremendous importance in the eyes of men like Hans Luther, men whose eyes were on the News of the day and understood the nature of the revolution that Europe was going through.
The fact that Hans Luther putting his son under the care of the Brethren instead of following the common proceedings, this simple fact honours his father and mother.
That to deal with children according to the Bible : “Share your club with your son”, was the main rule all over the world, who will deny it? Does this means that those fathers were criminals?
You got to be a criminal to say that your father was a criminal because he “shared with you the club”.
Now, to excuse yourself, you want me to believe that Margaret, the wife of wealthy man, hit his darling son to the death because a nut.
Hey, do you think am nuts?
What a kind of holy man we are dealing with!
Let’s get back to the door of the Brethren of Common Life.
Sweep off from your eyes that stupid vision of a boy without shoes, walking his 40 miles, alone, poor thing, in the winter cold, to knock on the doors of an Institution devoted to Perfection, not Monks, a Private People by Free-Will living together between the walls of Silence and Prayer, devoted to the Glory of the Lord, through the Education of the sons of the Rich People, born to be the Leaders of the New Brave World.
Yes, there are rich who want their sons to follow the family business, and who else but daddy to show him the way? Is it this a crime? And there is rich people, as Hans Luther, that wants for his son a future of his own, and as he can’t show him the way he pays the best and whatever it takes.
Was he a criminal, as his son, in one of his common debaucheries, said?
Most probably Martin, as the darling son of a new rich man, he was a young full of life, a kid of his time, crazy about to explore everything, and sometimes he did things, because his father’s position, that in another’s man’s child the law would had been harsh on. Nothing serious; kid staff, nothing that could not be corrected by putting his son under the care of someone who would have his eyes on him 24 hours.
We got to open our eyes and see the world at the beginning of the Sixteenth Century as it was. There was not kindergartens and not town schools. When Hans left his son in the hands of the Brethren, Martin knew already how to write and read, and this, in those days, when there was no school for the poor, it is a powerful shot against the Myth of the Poverty of Luther’s Family. Were the Brethren of the Common Life a kindergarten? Or a Primary School?
When one year after Hans moved his sons from Magdeburg to Eisenach, who would deny that Martin was perfectly enabled to enter in the secrets of the Trivium?
Martin was a perfect idiot at the age of fourteen, when first he enters in the Brethren of Magdeburg, and one year after he is ready to master Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric?
What was he, a god?
Of course he was a god. The Myth implies the existence of a god. A Drunkard, but a god. A butcher, as we see Luther dictating the extermination of the Peasants, just as Hitler did on the Jews, but a god.
And as a god, this god at fourteen he was an idiot who could not read and write? all his life walking no shoes and eating rats and cats? And the Private Institution of the Brethren of Common Life recognized the god in the young who came walking 40 miles, in the winter cold, to knock on their door to offer them the honor of teaching him the secrets of the runes?
We observe, line after line, as we get deep and deeper in the true History of Martin Luther, the whole lot of stupidity the Germans have been eating ate and drinking from the Reformation to the III Reich.
National lobotomy in the name of the New Israel, the New Holy Land, the New Religion born to save the World, even to save God from the Anti-Christ, was heavily implanted in the brain of the German, wherein a Barbarian Soul was fighting to death to survive in the midst of the Civilization, to finally lead Civilization to total destruction.
From the very beginning the German Race was the most lethal enemy of Civilization. When the German came to Civilization his intention was to subdue Civilization by making of the Church his own whore, just as the Byzantine Emperor had made the Orthodox Greek Church his; a goal not reached because the Latin Catholic Church rose to face the Holy Empire and managed to send back to the Black Forest the Germans of the first centuries of the Second Millennium.
Notwithstanding, as the devil tends to hell, the Germans could not help bringing war after war on the European Nations.
The Rise of France and Spain checked the German aspiration to Universal Supremacy, and we see Deutschland at the end of the Fifteenth Century, crawling like a wild beast in a stormy lake of corruption under the flags of the Thousand Counts and Dukes, Princes and gentilhommes, all good patriots, all ready to sack the property of the Church at the Call of …
But who would be the One ringing the Bell?
Hardly could have imagined Hans Luther that his son was to ring that bell. Just as hardly as Adolf ‘s dad could see his son turning into Hitler.
To rise an abyss between the truth and the reality, the Reformation built the Myth of Poor Martin hit to death by his mom because a nut. And he was Luther himself, not the enemy, who told the tale about his own mother, and he did so while drinking to death around the famous table of the those Holy Drunkards, Fathers of the Reformation. Those same Drunkards, Fathers of the Holy Reformation said in the Supremacy of their Sanctity on the Peasant Affair :
“let everyone who can, smite, slay, and stab, secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel”.
Holy Drunkards! Hundreds of thousands of peasants were killed like dogs by the Order of the Holy Table of the Drunkards, Fathers of the Holy Reformation, presided by Martin Luther, the Hero-God of the German Nation.
Yes, God created Man to His Image; do we read in those Words of the Holy Drunkards Fathers of the Reformation the Word of Sweet Jesus?
But whatever you may think on the Fall of the Myth of Luther, the God-Hero of the Reformation, and so much there is to say in a History to be Re-Written, from what we have read on Luther and Hutten as well as in the Origin of the Brethren of the Common Life, we may sign a first conclusion to work with from here in the future: the story on Luther’s Family Miserable Poverty was a fake, a fake as enormous as the Constantine Gift to the Bishop of Rome, a fake produced by the Nations of the Reformation around a table of Drunkards who imposed the Myth under Death Penalty on any Historian daring to put on trial that Fake.
As the Religion of Mahomet acted on the Nations slaved to the Islam Law by creating a schizoid mental process through which was erased from the Memory of the Nations their History before the Coming of the “Superior Religion of the Muslins”, same way the Reformation created a Mental War through which the Past of Europe, being related to the Latin Nations, in general, and to the Catholic Church, in particular, was demonized, with the consequent manipulation of the History of Europe and the Social Conditions of the European nations from the Coming of the Barbarians to the Rise of the Christian Civilization, finally shown unshakable about the times of Gregory the VII.
The War of the German Holy Empire on the Catholic Church known as the Question of the Investitures, was not a Question but a real War between Hell and Heaven for throwing the Church of the West down to the position of Imperial Whore, by the Orthodox Byzantine Church taken some time back in the First Millennium. To no institution, laic or cleric, European Civilization pays its existence but to the Catholic Church and the Latin Nations. Cursed as Anti-Christ both, the Catholic Church and the Latin Nations, the Reformation had to operate a schizoid process in the Nations thrown in the arms of the New Israel, producing in the Northern and Central European People the lobotomy on the History of their fathers, perfectly reflected in the story of Luther and his own father, whom he demonized by erasing the man in Hans Luther.
And even so, you may excuse me, we haven’t resolve the secret of the Hidden Crime of Luther, have we?
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE REVOLUTION MADE IN CHRISTIAN EUROPE BY THE EVOLUTION OF PRINTING
I’m going to diverse this river of words to another bed with the intention in bringing in here the “nice story” of how the German “Gutenberg discovered” the Printing, story in which is revealed the ability of the German family to self-brain-washing, which as times went on led them to the top of the mountain of madness, the Hitlerian Speech, which was preceded by a long evolution in the Art of Self Brain Washing, as this story of Gutenberg’s genius to steal the ideas of others will show.
The Story is told by the English SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, and was published at the end of the XIXth Century. My intention is to relate this Self Brain Washing Power of the German Nation to the TRADITIONAL, grotesque Story of Luther’s Conversion; but as the authors of this little Story went on I cannot help comparing the effect of the Revolution on Society and History made by the Printing, whatever its origin, with the Internet Revolution in our days.
The true Nature of the Revolution during the Sixteenth Century by the Printing made it can be described as the Power of the people to access, at a minimum cost, to the Treasure of the Culture by the Centuries created. This is the Power of the true and real Internet. The Masters of the Sciences and Letters, from all the nations and centuries are now at our disposal, as far as a click of our eyes. Until now this Treasure was reserved for few researchers, enabled by the official authorities to navigate through the National Libraries. Today those Doors are wide open. The Masters of Science, Literature, Theology, Philosophy ... are no more Idols in a Room reserved for the few. Soon the entire Treasure of the Centuries will be for free at our disposal, and as in the days of the Printing Revolution, the Rising of the Intellect of the People to the frontiers of the Genius and the Wise will cause a transformation of the entire system of the world far greater as the Printing did. No wonder then, that, as the First Printers were treated as Satan’s disciples, as you will read, in our days the Global Power is moving forward to control the effect of the Internet Rising ... through Democratic laws, (ACTA, and so on).
Too late though! You can't control the storm!
On the other hand, the printing Revolution caused an economic effect on the traditional society. The traditional Publishers became, suddenly, dinosaurs.
If you project that situation to our days and let your intellect fly free, you will understand the International Economic Crisis going on. Today’s dinosaurs don’t want to walk the road to their graveyard. Their system is rotten, and like a corpse in the open infects the air, so the corruption we see in our democracies is nothing but the disintegration of the body of those dinosaurs from the XXTH Century. We are ready to bring Machines to Full Work, and accordingly the entire actual conception of Human Society and Work Relations got to be and will be revolutionized. And there is nothing they can do about it.
But enough of words, I let you this revealing Story which says a lot on the nature of the Mind of the German Man; we will proceed touching the Secret of Martin, the son of Hans Luther, later on.
ORIGIN OF PRINTING
About the time that Marco Polo related his travels, the simplest form of printing began to be practised in Europe. Printing with wood engravings was effected in 1285 by the two Cunios, relatives of Pope Honorius IV, who resided in some part of Italy, bordering on the Gulf of Venice. Playing cards, invented to amuse the mad king Charles VI, were also printed from blocks about 1350, in precisely the same manner as the Chinese print, that is, with a brush; and this fact raises the presumption that the art was transplanted from China to Europe through Marco Polo’s description of it. Even cards furnish proof that “there is good in everything”; for “the use of cards”, as Ottley says, “although it does not appear to have given rise to the art of printing, powerfully operated towards its further promulgation; and it is on that account in a considerable degree connected with its early history”.
Next, little books were printed with blocks in the same manner as cards, and some of them are still in existence. They were of two sorts “Books of Images with texts”, and “Books of Images without texts”. One of these, printed in the year 1423, if the date it bears may be trusted, is now in the Spenser Collection. Another of them, called Biblia Pauperum, printed between the years 1430 and 1450, seems to have been regarded as a wonder in its day; for though it contains only forty leaves, yet even such a little book was considered a great one four hundred years ago. It was a kind of catechism of the Bible, each leaf containing a wood-cut with extracts from the Scripture descriptive of the subject The book was intended for the instruction of children and common people, and hence its title Biblia Pauperum, the Bible of the Poor. But in one sense this was a misnomer, however correct in another; for he who has the Scriptures possesses the richest treasure under heaven. In another sense, too, it was a misnomer; for these Bibles, mean as they would seem now, cost more money than the poor in those days could afford to give for them. That these Bibles were highly valued is clear from the fact that very few of them are in existence; whilst those few are much injured by frequent use. When the Bible of the Poor was printed, a written copy of the Scriptures was worth 100l, an enormous sum in those days. Yet by a strange change of circumstances one of these printed Bibles was sold in 1813 to the Duke of Marlborough for no less a sum than £257.
The introduction of moveable types forms a great stride in the progress of the art of printing. This improvement naturally grew out of block printing: yet it was effected somewhat circuitously, if, indeed, it was not entirely the result of accident.
From the time of the Romans, poets, lovers, and all others have been fond of cutting the names of their favorites, and their own, upon the bark of trees, just as Niebuhr, the great historian, has painted his name on the walls of Persepolis, and just as more obscure persons scratch their names on the pyramids of Egypt, to inform the world they have been there. This trick of personal vanity we may mention, has been carried to such an outrageous length by the admirers of Gustavus Adolphus, the “Lion of the Protestant faith, and the bulwark of the North”, that to prevent the total destruction of the monument erected where he fell on the battlefield of Lutzen, the authorities have set up a post close by, and an inscription, requesting all persons desirous of recording their visit to cut the post, and not the monument. From a cause so remote it would seem has resulted an effect so glorious as the greatest improvement in the art of printing.
The story was passed down for 150 years, as a lighted torch passes from hand to hand without being extinguished, until it was committed to the safe keeping of paper and print; and thus it runs:
The city of Haarlem, in the north of Holland, was a nourishing place even as early as the twelfth century. The streets were adorned with groves of trees by the liberal public spirit of its rich merchants, and for these, as well as for the culture of flowers, it has been long famous. There was a time when as much as 10,000 florins were given for a single tulip grown at Haarlem, and even now 100 florins are often paid for a single root of the hyacinth, a flower with which the city still supplies the remotest corners of Europe.
Amongst the inhabitants of Haarlem in the year 1424, was one Laurence Zanssen. He was church-warden, treasurer, and sexton of the parish church of St. Bavon, as many of his ancestors had been before him: and for that reason assumed the surname of Coster, that is, sexton. The office was one of much respectability and profit, and Coster, as we shall call him, was greatly esteemed by his fellow-citizens. He lived in a large and fashionable house opposite the royal palace. It is now the Town Hall, and owing to its association with Coster’s name, it is one of the show places of the city.
Coster, like other wealthy citizens who had leisure, used to walk in the groves which adorned the neighborhood. But he carried his home feelings with him into the quiet and solitude of the country. A troop of little grandchildren was growing up round the old man's knees, and he found pleasure in thinking how he might amuse them. For this purpose one day he formed some of the letters of the alphabet with the bark of the beech tree. Then he daubed them with some kind of colour, and stamped the letters on paper in the manner of a seal. The letters on the paper were, of course, reversed. Coster, therefore, cut out letters in a reversed position, so that the impression came right on the paper. Whilst thus engaged in sport, the thought struck him that the process might be turned to a useful account. The connection was natural in a reflective mind which builds thought upon thought. He saw that if he could print the letters of his grandchildren’s names, he could print the letters of books; just as the Marquis of Worcester reasoned, that if steam would lift the cover of a kettle, in greater quantity it would lift a greater weight.
Coster’s son-in-law, Thomas Peter, agreed with him, and both were men of genius and reflection. The result of their deliberations and experiments was the formation of moveable wooden types. Having found that the common ink made blots, owing to its thinness, they made ink which was thicker. At length they determined to print a book, and with infinite trouble, as we may reasonably suppose, they succeeded. Their first production contained the letters of the alphabet, the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed of the Apostles, and three short prayers. A copy of this book is still in existence, and it is considered that it was completed about the year 1439. It is printed on parchment, on one side only, and the leaves are pasted together in order that the eye might not be offended by the naked sides. The types are rude, the lines uneven, the pages differ in size, nor are they numbered; the words, whenever a part of one is turned into a following line, are divided incorrectly; there are no points, and there are other marks that the book is the work of men who had their trade to learn. When compared with books that were printed soon afterwards, it is at once seen that this was a first attempt.
It may be mentioned here that at a later period, Coster finding that letters of wood were not hard enough to resist the pressure used in printing, made them of lead, and afterwards of pewter. These metal types when worn out, were converted into drinking-cups which were preserved in Coster’s family house as late as the time when it was occupied by his great-grandson, Gerard Thomas, who lived to an advanced age.
Everybody understood the advantage of the art when Coster had practised it, just as the Spanish courtiers were able to make an egg stand on its end when Columbus, breaking the shell, had shown the way. Books were produced with marvellous ease and cheapness; admiration of the art grew, as books were disseminated; and the specimens stimulated the sale. To supply the demand, and reap the harvest of the invention, Coster found it necessary to increase the number of his workmen. These, in return for being taught the new art, were solemnly sworn to keep it secret. Thus printing, like architecture, was originally a system of freemasonry.
The fame of Coster and his invention of printing daily extended, and he grew in wealth; but wealth brought with it trouble, as indeed it ever does, and this, too, in the hateful form of ingratitude. Amongst Coster’s sworn workmen was one John Guttenberg, a native of Mentz, or Mayence, as it is more commonly called, the capital of a province in the grand duchy of Hesse Darmstadt. Guttenberg was a man of good family; but he had been forced by poverty to seek a livelihood in a foreign state. Coster took him into his service, and Guttenberg, being possessed of much talent, quickly learned the new art He seems to have been treated kindly by Coster, perhaps out of pity for his misfortunes, probably to keep him true to his oath. But the temptation was too great for his fidelity.
On Christmas-eve, 1439, while Coster and his family were at church, celebrating the festival of peace and good-will to all men, Guttenberg seized the opportunity, stole a quantity of his master's type, and fled no one knew whither. Coster’s discovery and Guttenberg's roguery were for many years afterwards a famous story amongst the citizens of Haarlem. Any connection with the history of Coster, was regarded as something worth boasting of. Thus one Cornelis, a bookbinder, who had worked in Coster’s printing office, would relate the many experiments his master had made, and the many disappointments he had experienced, before he was rewarded by success. He would vent his indignation at the manner in which Guttenberg had robbed Coster of his secret. “Cursed is my fate”, he would exclaim, with tears running down his face, “that I should have shared my bed with such a wretch. If he had been taken alive, I would have willingly executed him with my own hands”.
Nicholas Galius, an old schoolmaster, again, used to relate that he had heard and seen Cornelis speak thus with his own ears and eyes. And thus the story was handed down from mouth to mouth, generation by generation, until it reached Adrian the Younger, who wrote a history of Holland in 1578. The truth of the story has been doubted; but the evidence strongly favours the belief that Coster was the inventor of moveable wooden types, as well as the presumption that the man Jan who robbed him was no other than John Guttenberg.
A passage in the work of Henry Speichel, a Dutch poet of the sixteenth century, offers a remarkable confirmation. “Thou, first, Laurentius”, he writes, addressing Coster, “to supply the defect of wooden tablets, adopted wooden types, and afterwards didst connect them with a thread to imitate writing. A treacherous servant surreptitiously obtained the honor of the discovery. But truth itself though destitute of common and wide-spread fame truth, I say, remains”.
Nor is this statement actually impugned by the citizens of Mayence, although they claim the honor of the invention for that city, and have set up a statue to Guttenberg as the inventor of printing. For the inscription placed upon Guttenberg’s house as early in the history of printing as the year 1547, declares that it is “as a token in honor of John Guttenberg, of Mayence, who first invented printing letters made of metal, and thus deserved well of all the world”. These words admit, rather than contradict, the statement that Coster invented moveable wooden types, which contained the principle of metal types, just as the wooden printing press contained the principle of the iron press which has entirely superseded it. Wooden types were superseded by metal types only because they were not sufficiently strong to bear the requisite pressure. Wooden presses have been superseded by iron presses only because they were not sufficiently strong to give the requisite pressure.
But whatever differences of opinion may exist elsewhere, there are none on the point amongst the citizens of Haarlem. A collection of books printed by Coster is the most precious part of the public library. The market-place has been adorned by his statue. The fourth centenary of the invention was celebrated in 1824 with great ceremony, and as if to signalize the circumstance under which the first letters were cut, a monument in honor of the ancient “wanderer through the woods”, was erected in the Haarlem Bosch, a delightful grove near the town, famous for the great height and beauty of its trees.
Guttenberg escaped with his booty to Amsterdam, from thence he removed to Cologne, and finally he settled in his native place, Mayence. He immediately commenced operations as a printer. “It is a known fact”, says Adrian the Younger, “that within the twelve months, that is in the year 1440, he published the Alexandri Galli Doctrinale”, a grammar at that time in high repute, “with Petri’s Hispani Tractalibus Logicis, with the same letters which Laurentius used. These were the first products of his press”. And now it is necessary to introduce another John Guttenberg, the existence of whom has aided in making “confusion worse confounded”.
In the early history of printing, Guttenberg had a younger brother, and they were distinguished from each other by their surnames, the elder being called John Geinsfleich and the younger John Guttenberg. It was not an uncommon thing for two brothers to bear the same Christian name in the days in which the Guttenbergs lived. The younger Guttenberg, like the elder, was a man of ability; he had also been forced to leave Mayence, having been implicated in an insurrection; and he was also driven to earn a subsistence by mechanical labour. While the elder Guttenberg was in the service of Coster, it would appear that the younger brother had visited him, and picked up a knowledge of the existence of the new art. He went to Strasbourg, and there he entered into a partnership with some of its citizens, binding himself to disclose to them an important secret, by which they should make their fortunes. But he had not yet acquired the secret himself. He had only discovered that there was a secret art of printing. He wasted his own time, and the money of his partners, in fruitless experiments. He never printed a book; they never received back an obolus of their money. Yet Strasbourg in after years, claimed the honor of being the birthplace of printing.
The elder Guttenberg, in the meantime, continued to reside at Mayence. His business largely increased, so that he required additional capital and assistance to carry it on. The first was supplied in 1443, by a wealthy goldsmith of the city, named John Faust, who engaged in printing, either for the sake of the profit, or the fame of practising what was then considered a noble art. The second he obtained in 1444 from the younger Guttenberg, who had left Strasbourg overwhelmed by debt, besides having been condemned in a lawsuit instituted by his disappointed partners. Until this period, Guttenberg had used wooden types; but these continually broke under the pressure required to obtain a good impression. As the material used was too soft, nothing was more natural than the idea of substituting for it something more durable. The Guttenbergs thereupon made their types of metal; and to this extent, but no farther, they were the inventors of printing.
The Abbot Trithemius, the most able and trustworthy supporter of the case of Mayence, does no more than assert that about the year 1450 “the art of printing and casting single types was found out anew”, and again, “the wonderful, and until then unknown art of printing books by metal types, was invented and devised by John Guttenberg”. If the art was found out anew, then it must have been known before. It is probable that the use of wood letters preceded the use of metal letters, just as in our days, a wooden mould always precedes a metal casting.
The first book printed with cut metal types was the Holy Bible. This is the “Mazarine Bible”, so called because after the existence of the edition had been forgotten in the lapse of time, a copy of it was found in Cardinal Mazarine’s library at Paris. It was printed in a large, handsome Gothic character resembling manuscript, and consisted of 637 leaves, with two columns of print on each page. The workmanship of the edition, remembering the circumstances under which it was executed, is worthy of the subject. The printers lavished time, labour, and money on it, and it was by far the handsomest book that had been printed up to the time of its appearance. Four thousand florins were spent in producing the first twelve sheets, and seven years had passed before the work was finished. It was published in the year 1450 or 1452. And here it may be convenient to state the manner in which the first books were printed.
Only one side of the leaf was printed on; the first letter of the chapter was left blank, and was afterwards painted, and blanks were left for Greek quotations, which were written in. At first thin vellum was used for printing on, but it was soon superseded by paper. In the year 1450 the elder Guttenberg ceased to be the partner of Faust. In the following year Faust entered into partnership with the younger Guttenberg. But the art of printing, although so great a benefit to the rest of the world, seems to have brought nothing but misfortunes upon the Guttenbergs. A quarrel took place respecting the money which Faust had advanced for carrying on the business. The younger Guttenberg apparently considered that his skill was equivalent to his partner's capital. Faust commenced a lawsuit, and Guttenberg was condemned to repay the money. Guttenberg was thus driven from the partnership in the year 1455, and Faust took possession of the stock of types in payment of the debt which he had not been able to obtain in money.
A most important discovery was made a year or two afterwards. Faust had a servant named Peter Schoeffer, who shared his master’s love of the art, and desired equally with him to improve it. After many trials Schoeffer succeeded in casting metal types. It should be remembered that the metal types previously used were cut, not cast; they were carved on solid pieces of metal, not shaped in a mould with melted metal. But Schoeffer now formed them with the punch and the matrix, tools which we proceed to describe.
Imagine a piece of well-tempered steel, one end of which is cut into the shape of a letter of the alphabet. This is a punch. The letter is struck into the surface of a piece of copper, and when the copper has received the impression it is called a matrix, and it is used as a mould, in which the types are cast by pouring hot liquid metal into it. Of course, as many punches and matrices are used, as there are letters in the alphabet Schoeffer having privately made punches and formed matrices for the whole alphabet, cast some letters. He then showed them to his master in triumph. Faust was greatly surprised and delighted by the diligence and ability of his servant A great thing had, in truth, been accomplished. Casting not only rendered the manufacture of types more easy, and, therefore, less costly, but it increased the beauty of printing. For though the metal types cut by hand greatly resembled each other, still there was some difference, and this gave an irregular appearance to the printing. But those cast in the matrix were alike, being really exact images of each other, and were therefore far more beautiful. Faust praised his servant, took him into partnership, and finally gave him Catherine, his daughter, in marriage.
At first the metal used was not hard enough to bear the force of the impression, but the defect was soon remedied by mixing another substance with it, just as more modern type founders mix antimony with lead for the same purpose. The first book printed with these improved types was Durandi Rationale in 1459.
We have already said that engraving preceded letter-press printing. But printing from engravings, as it is now practised, was not discovered until after printing with types. It originated in the year 1460 with a goldsmith, named Thomas Finneguerra, at Florence. He was, like many others at that time, a worker in niello. This consisted in engraving silver ornaments, cups, hilts of swords, &c. After the design had been cut, it was filled in with a black composition formed of silver and lead, called niello, and this produced the effect of light and shade, and gave the design very much the appearance of a print. But before filling the design with the niello, it was usual to prove the correctness of the engraving by rubbing into it a mixture of oil and charcoal; this, by making the lines black, enabled the artist to form an opinion of his work. One day, Finneguerra, whilst thus engaged, spilt some melted sulphur on the design, and on removing the sulphur he found that it had brought away with it the mixture of oil and charcoal which had filled the lines, and exhibited an exact copy of the design. He saw at once that what could be done with sulphur, might be done still better with paper. He therefore filled the lines of the design with ink, placed on the ink a sheet of moistened paper, pressed the paper down, and in this way printed the first engraving.
Guttenberg the younger, after he had separated from Faust, found a patron in Conrad Humery, who held the office of Syndic of Mayence. By his assistance Guttenberg was enabled to open another printing-office. He continued to use cut metal types. Amongst other books he published the Catholicon, in which he ascribed the honor of the invention of printing to the city of Mayence. Faust and Schoeffer had previously declared themselves the inventors of it. Though the parties were at variance as to the origin of the art, they agreed in keeping it secret. It was, indeed a common practice of the early printers to pretend that their books were manuscripts, their object being not simply to conceal the art, but also to obtain the high prices which were given for manuscript books. Books were curiosities because they were few; they were costly because to write one of them was a hard and tedious work. From the earliest times, in truth, they had been as valuable as houses and lands, and they were conveyed from the seller to the buyer, by notaries, in the same manner as estates.
Thus Cicero, having bought the written books of Atticus, considered himself richer than Crassus, and despised fine villas and gardens.
Thus Ptolemus Philadelphus, one of the Greek kings of Egypt, for whom the Holy Bible was first translated from Hebrew into Greek, gave fifteen talents and a great convoy of provisions to the Athenians, besides exempting them from the payment of all tribute, for the manuscripts of the tragedies of Eschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles.
Thus Fanorme, gave 120 golden crowns for a copy of Livy, calling it the “King of Books” and having done so, asked his friend Alphonsus, king of Sicily, “whether I or Poggius have done the best; he, that he might buy a country house near Florence, sold Livy, which he had writ in a very fair hand; and I, to purchase Livy, have exposed a piece of land for sale?”
The inducement held out by the value set on manuscripts being so great, the early printers attempted to hide their light under a bushel. They never sold their books as printed books, if they could avoid it. This duplicity, however, almost proved fatal to Faust, and indeed, for a time, cost him his liberty.
Soon after the partnership with Guttenberg had been dissolved, Faust proceeded to Paris to sell the expensive and beautiful edition of the Bible which had been printed in his office four yours previously. One copy of it he sold to the king for 750 crowns, and another to the Archbishop of Paris for 300 crowns. Other copies he sold to commoner people for 60 crowns the copy. Each purchaser thought that the world could not produce such another book as that which he possessed, and it was shown as a curiosity and a treasure. In this spirit, the Archbishop of Paris carried his book to the king, and, much surprised, the king produced his own. The two books were compared and discovered to be exactly alike. The initial letters, and other ornaments painted with the hand were, indeed, different; but the pages, lines, words, and letters of the one presented a magical resemblance to the pages, lines, words and letters of the other. The king and the archbishop were utterly confounded. They were convinced that the books had not been written in the ordinary manner, because one man could not have written them in a life-time. They were convinced that they could not have been written by more than one hand, because it would have been impossible for two or more hands to write so strikingly alike. Moreover they discovered that a large number of copies had been sold. What could they believe? They came to the conclusion that Faust was a magician, and that the holy books had been produced by the help of Satan. Had they turned over its Heaven-inspired pages, their superstitious ignorance would have been dissipated. They would have learnt that “if Satan rise against himself and be divided, he cannot stand, but have an end”. They must have felt that Satan could not have had a hand in a book which may save man from his arts. Yet Faust was put in prison as a magician, and orders were given that he should be tried for sorcery. And, then, in the fear of death, he disclosed the simple art of printing; and the parliament of Paris ordered him to be set at liberty in their admiration of so noble an invention. Before he had quitted Paris, however, he was struck by the plague and died.
In 1462 the Archbishop Adolphus sacked the city of Mayence; the printing trade of the place was ruined; the workmen dispersed themselves in search of a livelihood; and thus effectually spread the knowledge of the art which their first masters had so carefully concealed. Even war may, therefore, have its blessings; good undoubtedly came out of evil in this instance. The elder Guttenberg died in this year, and his brother in 1468. Conrad took possession of the younger Guttenberg's printing office, as he had not repaid, the money lent to him; but promised the archbishop that the types should not be sold except to a citizen of Mayence. Conrad broke his word, however, for he sold the types to one Nicholas Bechtermuntze of Altavilla, who in 1469 published a German and Latin vocabulary. A copy of this book is in the collection of the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim.
In the year 1471, Schoeffer still carried on the business of printing at Mayence, having also taken one of Faust's kinsmen and Conrad Humery into partnership. With one or two exceptions copies of all the books printed by Faust, Guttenberg, and Schoeffer are in the British Museum.
Such is the most consistent narrative of the early progress of printing into which the existing materials can be woven. The subject is obscured by doubts, and the inquirer is continually impeded by contradictions which defy the most learned. “It is wonderful, but it is true”, says Lemoine, “that the only art that can record all others should almost forget itself”. The reasons for this are, however, plain. The art was originally a personal secret; it was used to counterfeit writing : to sell cheaper printed books at the prices of dearer written books; and it was practised secretly in several places, so that the few years which give priority to one of them, has been almost lost in the distance of time. These things at least seem clear. The Chinese used block printing to multiply books, nine hundred years ago. Coster, of Haarlem, invented moveable wooden types; Guttenberg, of Mayence, invented cut metal types. Schoeffer invented cast metal types. These facts are reconcilable with each other, and form natural steps in the progress of the art. The sole honor of the invention is thus not given to one by disregarding the claims of another; but a portion of it is given wherever it appears to be due. To no one person can be rightfully assigned the invention of the art, but to several must be awarded the merit of improvements which fall little short of the invention.
Coster was clearly not the inventor of printing, for the Chinese printed before he did; nor Guttenberg, for Coster printed before he did. Yet it is hardly possible to say that the Chinese invented printing, for, except in the principle, there is not the slightest resemblance between the Chinese and European systems. The case of printing, in short, is similar to that of steam. The steam-engine is not the invention of one mind, but of many minds; it is not one contrivance but several contrivances, put together by several contrivers. One man has made use in it of that law of nature by which the house fly is enabled to walk on the ceiling of a room; another man of that law by which the planets move round the sun; and another man of that law by which air and other fluids rush into any place which is empty. Other men have contrived to make the steam-engine feed itself with water, and regulate its own motions, and cure its own defects, and guard against its own dangers. Neither of these improvers was the inventor of the steam-engine; yet if either of the improvements had not been made, the steam-engine could not have reached its present perfection. So it is with printing.
Little by little, and step by step, it has advanced. At first it was the mere stamping of one substance upon another, as a seal on clay, leather, or lead; then a wooden copy of a page of writing was made and printed on paper; then moveable wooden types were used; then cut metal types; then cast metal types : at first the impression on paper was obtained by the friction of a brush; then by the pressure of the naked hand; then by a screw; then by a wood press; then by an iron press; and, finally, by an elegant and rapid machine. In this way the art has progressed during the last four centuries until it has reached its present high state of perfection.
Many persons have greatly assisted in improving it; but no one can claim the invention as his own sole work. The art, having been once disclosed, spread with the swiftness of good tidings. The process itself was as simple as the advantages of the invention were clear. It was universally regarded as an art which gave reputation to the people amongst whom it flourished. It was practised in Italy, at Subiaco, in the Roman states, in the year 1465; in England, at Oxford, in 1468; in France, at Paris, in 1469; in Spain, at Barcelona in 1475. In the year 1490 it also reached Turkey, and in 1560 it penetrated into Russia. The art improved as rapidly as it extended. The shape of the types was changed from Gothic or German, to semi-Gothic, a kind of Roman letter, first used at Rome in 1467. Three years afterwards, Jenson of Venice improved the Roman letters, giving them the proportions which that kind of type retains at this day. In 1488, Aldus, a learned printer, also of Venice, invented Italic letters, and the Aldine printing in after years became famous for its beauty. The object sought by the use of Italic was to get rid of the great number of abbreviations then used in printing.
Greek types had been cast at Mayence in 1465, and was followed in 1482 by Hebrew types. Aldus printed the works of nearly all the Greek authors in their own language in rapid succession, and with singular beauty. Learned men became printers. Others took a pride in correcting the press; and the printers published the names of their eminent assistants on the title-pages, as those of editors are now used, to invest the work with a higher guarantee of character and ability. But the art had to encounter great opposition. It was regarded with suspicion, because it appeared to be so wonderful, and because, in order to conceal the process, it had been so mysteriously practised. Faust, as it has already been stated, narrowly escaped punishment as a sorcerer. “The Printer’s Devil” is a character originating with the art itself, and furnishing an amusing proof of the light in which the art was formerly regarded. It was also bitterly opposed, because a craft was endangered by it. In England, for instance, a book was published by reading it over three days successively before the members of one of the universities, and if it was approved of, persons called brief-men, were permitted to make copies of it for sale. These copyists formed a numerous class throughout Europe, and they were appalled by the invention of printing. It not only multiplied books faster, but better, than they could. It rendered their art useless, and took away their bread. But printing furnishes a striking example that the improvement of an art increases employment, instead of diminishing it.
A single printer can, indeed, do the work of at least two hundred writers, and at first sight this seems a hardship; for a hundred and ninety-nine people might have been, and probably were, thrown out of their accustomed employment. But what was the consequence in a year or two? Where one written book was sold, a thousand printed books were required. The old books were multiplied in all countries, arid new books were composed by men of talent and learning, because they could then find numerous readers. The printing press did the work more neatly and more correctly than the writer, and it did it infinitely cheaper. What then? The writers of books had to turn their hands to some other trade it is true; but type-founders, paper-makers, printers, and bookbinders were set to work by the new art or machine to at least a hundred times greater number of persons than the old way or making books employed. If the old pen-and-ink copyists could break the printing presses and melt the types that are used in London alone at the present day, twenty thousand people would at least be thrown out of employment to make room for two hundred at the utmost; and what would be even worse than all this misery, books could only be purchased, as before the invention, by the few rich, instead of being the guides and comforters and best friends of the millions who are now within reach of the benefits and enjoyments which they bestow.
The value of the art of printing may be illustrated by the following true story. Seventy years since a widow, named Lee, lived in the village of Longnor, near Shrewsbury. She was very poor, and had to support three children with the labour of her own hands. The eldest of the children was a boy, who, at the age of twelve years, was put apprentice to a carpenter, through the charity of a neighboring gentleman. The boy underwent hardships which boys even of his age will seldom endure patiently; but he had no father to protect him; he knew that his mother, having still two children to support, was unable to provide for him better and he judged it best to submit to his lot. The boy was fond of reading, and he read every book which fell in his way at his lodgings. But he was occasionally confounded by Latin quotations, and was, therefore, unable to comprehend the subject fully. At the age of 17, then, he determined to learn the Latin language, a determination in which he was confirmed by seeing many Latin books and hearing Latin read, whilst working in a chapel attached to the residence of Sir Edward Smith, a Roman Catholic gentleman, at Acton Burnel. He bought a Latin grammar at an old book-stall, and soon learnt the whole of it by heart; then he bought a Testament, and then a book of exercises. One day, emboldened by the progress he was making, he asked a priest whom he frequently saw while working at the chapel, to explain some things in the language which he could not understand. The priest uncivilly repulsed him, selfishly saying, “Charity begins at home”. But the boy did not despair. He was mortified, indeed, but he was also stimulated to do that for himself which another had refused to do for him; and he resolved from that time, if it were possible, to excel the priest himself in the knowledge of Latin. But there was one thing even more powerful than unkindness in opposing him; it was poverty. He was at that time only an apprentice; he had but six shillings a week to live on and to pay for his lodging and washing; yet out of this, with much stinting of stomach, he resolutely saved something that he might increase his stock of knowledge. Soon after the priest had refused to assist him, the boy's wages were raised a shilling a week; the next year they were raised a shilling a week more; and during that time he read the Latin Bible and all the best Latin authors. It may be asked how, with his scanty wages, he obtained all these books? He bought one book, read it, and then sold it; the price he got, with a little more added, enabled him to buy another; and having read this he also sold it to obtain the next. By thus getting one book at a time, he got all that he desired. He was now out of his apprenticeship, and having mastered Latin, he determined to learn Greek. Again he bought and sold book after book; and having acquired Greek, he thought he might just as well attempt Hebrew. He now seemed to be fast drawing to the summit of his wishes, having really become very learned. But his pursuit of knowledge was not uninterrupted; it was retarded by frequent suffering from inflammation of the eyes; and his acquaintances threw every possible discouragement in his way. They could not understand what a poor carpenter's lad could want with learning. But habit, and a fixed determination to proceed, had now made study his greatest happiness. His daily work done, he returned to his books, rather as a source of recreation and rest; and the bodily privations which he suffered were amply repaid by the intellectual gratification which could be felt only by a mind so nobly actuated. One day chance threw in his way a Chaldaic book, and having the Chaldaic grammar in one of his Hebrew books, he soon learned to read it. He proceeded next to the Syriac language, and also mastered that. During his former studies, he had occasionally looked over portions of the Samaritan language, and as the Samaritan Pentateuch differs very little from the Hebrew, except in a change in the letters, he found no difficulty in reading quotations of it; but with quotations he was obliged to content himself, as books in the Samaritan were scarce and costly, and therefore were entirely out of his reach. The boy was now a man. He had reached his 25th year, and notwithstanding his outlay in books, had got together a chest of tools worth. His master sent him into Worcestershire to superintend the repairs of a clergy-man's house. And now he began to consider seriously the business of life. He thought he would relinquish the study of languages, perceiving that however excellent the acquisition might have appeared, it was useless to him in his position of life. He therefore sold his books, and turned over a new leaf, as the phrase is; he married, and looked to his calling as his only means of support. The prospects of the future, too, were bright, promises of advancement in his occupation having been made to him by his friends. But a different and distressing appearance was soon afterwards given to his affairs. “Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward”. A fire destroyed the house at which he was working; his tools were consumed; and all his hopes vanished. He was now cast on the world without a shilling in his pocket, without a friend to aid him, and without even the means of earning a living. This indeed he would himself have felt lightly, having always been the child of misfortune, but then the partner of his life was involved in his afflicting circumstances. Having no tools, he had no alternative but to turn his thoughts to some new course in life; and it struck him that his former studies might be made available. He determined to become a country schoolmaster, and therefore studied Murray's English grammar, and improved himself in arithmetic. Yet there was still a great obstacle in the way; he had no money to begin with, nor a friend to lend him any. He was at the point of despair, but Providence, though it tries a man, never deserts him : “The darkest day, Live till tomorrow, will have passed away”. At this juncture, Archdeacon Corbett, having heard of his attachment to study, sought him out, listened to his story, and befriended him by getting him appointed head master of the Blue School at Shrewsbury. He took the opportunity of acquiring the Arabic, Persian, and Hindustani languages, from other learned men with whom he became acquainted. And now having obtained a firm footing amongst scholars, nothing could prevent him from reaping the reward of his industry and talent. Some friends provided him with money to enter Cambridge University, and he became a clergyman; he was chosen its professor of Arabic and Hebrew; the king appointed him a dignitary of Bristol cathedral; he made his name celebrated by many a learned book; and he died at a venerable age in 1852, one of the greatest scholars and most honored men of his time and country. We have described, almost in his own words, the career of the Rev. Dr. Lee. What books have done for Dr. Lee, printing has done for the whole world.
Before the invention of the art, the great body of people in every country was sunk in ignorance. Learning was confined to a few persons; and these, if they had the inclination, had not the means of diffusing it. The poorest man in the present day is in a better position, in this respect, than the richest man was before printing had been discovered. The poorest man may now obtain the books which kings and princes and learned men once counted amongst their richest possessions. The poorest man may now store his mind with the best thoughts of the best minds of all ages; for printing has placed all learning within the reach of almost all sorts and conditions of people. Printing has enabled men to instruct themselves in the ways of wisdom, both human and divine; to make knowledge serve them in earning their daily bread; and to enjoy in their leisure one of the most innocent of human pleasures.
A child possessing a knowledge of the alphabet, holds the key which can unlock all the treasuries of learning. Printing, in short, has added to the learning of the learned, and instructed the unlearned; it has created new springs of success in industry, and new sources of contentment. Printing, as the visible form of knowledge, is, at once, a comforter and a guide. Printing has above all aided in the strengthening and diffusion of religion. The early printers, as if it were really “the Divine art” which it was sometimes styled, employed themselves at first in printing the Holy Scriptures, Psalters, and other books of religion.
“It is a very striking circumstance”, observes Hallam, “that the high-minded inventors of this great art, tried at the very outset so bold a flight as the printing an entire Bible, and executed it with such astonishing success. We may see in imagination this venerable and splendid volume leading up the crowded myriads of its followers, and imploring, as it were, a blessing on the new art, by dedicating its first fruits to the service of Heaven”.
Remembering the cheat which the early printers practised as long as they could, in selling their printed Bibles as written ones, we are forced to believe that they were actuated more by the love of money than of religion. Nevertheless, the fact remains that they were benefactors of the world. By multiplying Bibles, they diffused religion. There was very little religious learning before the invention of printing, and that little was confined to the clergy. Not one man in five hundred could spell his way through a psalm. A Bible never sold for less than 30L; and, therefore, a copy of the blessed volume, inferior in beauty to those which every cottager may now command, cost more than very many of the clergy could afford to spend. But when printing cheapened the price of books, the Word of God ceased to be sealed up in a comparatively unknown tongue. It was translated into the common language; and the poor and simple, as well as the rich and learned, were enabled to obey the command, “Search the Scriptures”.
Eloquent discourses delivered from the pulpit, too, which had previously passed away with the breath that uttered them, were perpetuated; heard by few they were made visible to many by being printed. Commentaries were written, because form and texture could be given to ideas and opinions. Thus the “knowledge which maketh wise unto salvation” spread farther and farther. Learned men, without seeing each other, cooperated in establishing truth, comparing, testing, and amassing their thoughts to the advantage of future generations. A grand effect was soon witnessed.
“To the art of printing”, says Dr. Knox, “it is acknowledged we owe the Reformation. It has been justly remarked, that if the books of Luther had been multiplied only by the slow process of hand-writing, they must have been few, and would have been easily suppressed by the combination of wealth and power; but poured forth in abundance from the press, they spread over the land with the rapidity of an inundation, which acquires additional force from the efforts made to obstruct its progress”.
END OF THE SECRET SIN OF MARTIN LUTHER
In a beautiful sunny morning, after a week fighting back a virus that got me wrong, let’s hit once again the road of the Myth of Luther. We haven’t got yet the answer that in the first place led us to the question: How could a born German, from north-east Germany, got scared to death because a storm?
We saw in the formers sections that the origin of the gods, when men were crossing the frontiers between animal and human, was related very much to the process of abstraction of the existence of the deity from the natural events, such as heavy storms with thunderbolts and all the paraphernalia of the winds beating the drums of the vault of the firmament. But those days were long gone when Martin was born. The response of Martin to that famous storm in the root of his giving up his studies, that response enters exactly in the area of the frontiers between the animal and the human long time ago left behind by the Christian Civilization.
The storm was the manifestation of God, ergo, he, Martin, will do as requested and he will penance his sin, whatever it was, retiring from civil life. It was that, or … death.
A primitive mind would had not acted differently; only the answer would had been different.
What makes real the existence of a “secret sin” it is this primitive reaction of Luther. As I said before and I will not hit back the road, it is more than obvious that the nature of the times as the nature of the man in study, both gather to sigh the sentence of oblivion against the Myth by the Reformation created on Poor Little Martin Luther, poor as a rat in the house of Lazarus the Hungry Cat, boiling old shoes for soup, his “papa” a monster, his “mama” a bitch who sucks his bones for a miserable pea, and so on and on.
There was a time when if a man dared to put to the test this Luther’s self-version of the “History of my life” that man was put, not to the test, but on the wire of High Treason against the New Religion. This, High Treason upon the dissenters, en masse, was the New Rule by which the New Christians were recognized. In the Old Days the Rule was: “Look at them, how they love each other”; under the Reformation the Rule changed for, accordingly to their builders, the better: “Look at them, how very much they hate each other”.
The Psychology of the Myth accept not bargain about the Nature of the Mental Process leading from animal to human. In that Abstraction the light of intelligence was making its way from the realm of the Instinct to the Kingdom of the Thought. And was it, yes, that first light the road which led the first humans to spell the first great word ever: GOD. A word loaded with millions of years of vital experience and enclosing in it the life of millions of species, beasts, plants, birds, fishes … We may still find in our phylogenetic memory the picture of our prehistoric Sapiens Fathers staring at the Valley below from the doors of their Mountain Caves while the storm was hitting the drum of the Firmament of Heavens. A great feeling, a powerful sensation. Earth was home. Human blood and bone was metal molded in the mold of Mother Earth. How can the features of “mama” be a terrible thing to her son? To come to happen this, a son hating a mother who she never changed in her heart and soul, a madness got to catch the heart and the brain of that son. We don’t see this madness in the domes of Altamira and Lascaux. What we see in the Walls of the Sapiens Dwellings is a healthy Sapiens fighting the global change of weather taking place all around with a fine view of the future to come, a day when the Sapiens Families will hit the road to the Valley to become the king of the world. There was nothing pathological in the process of abstraction which pushed the Anthropos to the bridge over the Abyss between the animal and the human.
But there is a pathological process in crossing back that bridge, as lethal as a non-way-back regression from manhood to childhood. This pathological process is the one which Luther hit. And as in the clinical disorder review this process is related to a personal event, which can be mental or bloody, we can’t let go Luther to the monastery without opening his chest and see which was the secret he was hiding from everybody, and was it the element that pushed him from the middle of the bridge down into the hell of the life
A madman could have not responded otherwise to the pressure. Bu who put such a pressure on Martin?
And how could that pressure turn a sane man into a madman?
Again : Which secret Martin was hiding?
In the first place we proved that part of the Myth, poor little Martin boiling shoes for soup, a sign of the pathological symptoms which growing up in time would lead the German Nation to the Absolute Self-Brain Washing observed in the Hitlerian Behavior. All about that poor childhood was a self-fabrication myth forged around the Table of the Holy Drunkards.
Once the connection done, between the Reformers’ Table of the Drunkards and the poor people broken by the demonic speech of Luther against the Peasants, the Anti-Peasant Preacher invented that Childhood, kind of Little Jesus without shoes, to rebuild the flow and ebb between the poor and the Reformer. The shouts of the holy drunkards around the table of the Reformation, while the blood of the hundreds of thousands of peasants were running high, that shouts can still be heard, “Heil heil heil, poor little Martin without shoes”.
In the second place, that a boy fourteen years old who never saw the alphabet was accepted as pupil by one of the most private spiritual German organizations of the moment, the Brethren of the common life…. This story for intellectually retarded people cannot be fixed in the structure of the Science of History. It simply does not go with the beating heart of the Science of History.
Printing Press was making its way. The New World was bringing into society a new class, the new rich, people who could claim education for his children in the name of gold.
Few were the schools, whether secular or lay.
Aristocracy, nobility, was first. Teachers do eat, teachers make family, teachers need money, you’re rich, you got to pay them. You’re poor, you cannot.
Suddenly the Birth of the Middle Class is on the run. Gold is pushing nobility out of the way.
Hans Luther was one of those New Men, hardworking man, fighting for his family non-rest. His son will go to school, his Martin will be a lawyer, he will be a someone, his son would not have his own childhood.
And so it was done.
We have Martin at the age of nineteen, what a gorgeous age, isn’t?, jumping from Eisenach to Erfurt.
Speaking on this, his nineteen years age of old, the builders of the Myth of Luther paint their hero with the same dark color and gloomy midst of stupidity called by them sanctity. How could the Devil had taken the Germans from Luther to Hitler had he not made Stupidity their National Honor and Pride?
Can’t you see the Devil in the picture?
They always give us the icon of “the Monk”; and even after burning his monkish clothes he was always painted as a monk, “the last of the monks”. His hand in the heart, the innocent look, a man who never order such a thing as the Massacre of the Peasants.
Where young Martin was gone?
Did he never had a girl friend?
Did he not like women?
From 1501 to 1505, four years in the University, and he never had an affair?
Was Martin gay?
I mean, Luther sent his father and mother to hell, Luther sent little Martin to boil shoes for soup, but when it comes the time to speak on those four years in the life of every young man the best time of all, Luther had not a single word. SILENCE! the immaculate Luther has a blank in the brain. When it comes to the more gorgeous four years in the life of every man, the time when the rest of his life is going to be worked out, Luther falls in full amnesia, he remembers nothing.
No good in the head. No one is perfect, you know?
19 years old, 20, 21, 22, man, what would you give to be 19 again! And look at this, this man remembers nothing of his four years in the University.
Oh yeah, he remembers something. SILENCE: he was so poor that he had to sing in the street to earn his daily bread.
Where did we hear this song before?
Poor young Martin! while all those wild, crazy young people were dreaming with the creatures of the New World, and the hundred Books they will fill their houses with, now that the printing Press was at hand, and between dreams and dreams those crappy fellows were running after the crazy girls, poor young Martin was singing song to pay the bill, moaning along in his bed, sharing tears with the mouse in the window, no fun for poor young Martin. His childhood was house of horror, and his youth: a hall of ghosts.
I mean, were the Germans sane in their head?
Get off that monkish cloth, Martin! Show us the crazy, wild, young and brave Martin Luther, born to be a lawyer, the greatest, lawyer for the empire, servant of the emperor, man, wat a dream! the son of Hans Luther, in his golden room with view to the heart of Erfurt, in the house of a wealthy young widow, what a sweet candy, Martin!
Is she not sweet?
How old? 25, 30 years old?
WAR! What a pretty thing for males! Kill ‘em all, leave women solitaire, poor widows, you know? Need protection, affection, crazy little thing called “Widow”!
Erfurt, what a beautiful town in the days of crazy, wild, young Martin. Here he comes, 19 years old, no more the eyes of those Brethren on his shoulders, free as a bird to sing “for your eyes, girl”; to drink for your kiss, sex, magic and religion; 20 years old, and growing stronger, healthier, powerful and smarter.
“Papa Hans”, the Master of the house of Little Martin’s Horror, he is generous, and he pours his gold in the hand of Lady Widow. Martin knows what a penny is worth and how to conquer fun without throw his gold to the dust. He can sing with this friends from Inn to Inn.
“La Tuna of Erfurt University is here, sing us a song young fellows, here is your gold”.
“Keep your gold, we want your women, you idiots!”
This thing “La Tuna” was one of those culture interchange that took place in the days when the German and the Spanish married the same Empire. The Spanish came from a background dominated by a kind of fundamentalist religious rule pervading all the spheres of society.
Centuries under the Muslim rule had sealed the Spanish Catholicism with a specific lore. While alcoholism was natural to the Germans through the centuries, the Spanish were cut off from alcohol by the Muslim rule. This particularity made of the Spanish a case apart in the group of nations of the Sixteenth Century.
“La Furia Española” had a lot to do with this relation between the Spanish and Alcohol Free. That natural seating of religious fellows around a table of drunkards was absolutely inconceivable by the Sixteenth Century Spanish Church. The Struggle for the Reconquista of their Country against a people Alcohol-Free as the Mussulmen were, led the Spanish people to the sober life of a soldier always in state of war. And this attitude had pervaded all the spheres of the activity of the Spanish Nation.
“La Tuna”, as it is seen today in the Castilian cities of Spain, was an unacceptable behavior in the Spain of the Sixteenth Century. That going-out of the German Students to sing for drink and some pieces of silver to keep the party, this was an invention strictly German, that the Spanish in the days of Charles V and Philip II imported from Germany and, when, under the Rule of the New Bigots was proscribed from the University German Towns, it found a home in the Universities of the Spanish Cities, as can be seen still today in the streets of Salamanca.
There was nothing miserable and crappy in that going out of the German students of the beginning of the Sixteenth Century. First, he was hilarious; second, it was delirious. It was the best and most healthy way to have fun and conquer “the girl”. Prostitutes are always there, but a young man who has himself for a real man he conquers, not pay, he hunts, not buy, he use his charm and his wit, his magic and his male hallo to bring in his arm the woman, the smell of a real girl.
The builders of Luther’s Myth wants us to believe that in the Sixteenth Century Germany, everybody could go to University, for free, and the books to study they could get it in the shop next door for a cent. As touching the question of Guttenberg, some lines above, we see the prices of the first generations of books, and from this infinite truth lying beyond the manipulation of the protestants bigots of all times, we understand that his son’s studies cost Hans Luther a lot of gold. Money that he could pay, and he paid, and he did do so without regret.
That picture of Martin Luther begging his room’s bill with a song from Inn to Inn it was another Crime against the History of Truth following which path the Germans would reach the door of Hitler.
Erfurt was a trading town with a very rich life, not a village of peasants at all, (no wonder that he who never had connection at all with the peasantry shared the hate of the nobility against the peasants).
In the first place Hans did not send his son to study in a monastery devoted to the poor, but to the Brethren of the Common Life, a private Institution devoted to the Perfection of the Members and which had included the formation of the mind and body of the sons of the rich people as a mean to support themselves. They had done a great job with the adolescent. When young Martin reach University, Hans keeps on paying the bill and anything it takes to see his son a lawyer. Martin is smart, he is strong, he will fight the natural weakness of youth with the virtues of the soul, Hans knows that his son will conquer.
But what Hans could not imagine was that SHE who Martin would conquer.
See the picture, my boy. A young and wild and most seductive student at the door of his lawyer degree, a young adored by his companion boon, a young man who fills the house of Widow with the noise of youth and the joy of life, and SHE is there, standing in the dark of her room, little by little her gloomy, lonely heart getting filled by the light of the company of this young man who makes flowers to bloom wherever he goes. One year, two years, three years…
When did start the romance?
Oh yes, the Bigots fathers of the Myth will tell us that the Widow was older that the Witch of the famous fairy tale. Because in those days Germany knew no war; and Germany had never been at war; Germany, in fact, had never waged war on no one, never, ever.
So? There could be no such a thing as “widows of war” in Luther’s Germany.
Germans were pure, innocent, angels come down from heaven to light Europe with the Star of Most Great Men: Henry the IV, the Fucker who sought to rape the Wife of the Lord; Frederick the II, the Divine Butcher of Milan; Luther, the heavenly Gosh born in the heart of a Storm; and finally, the son of the Devil itself, Adolf Hitler. What a gallery!
So what! He was loving the widow!
Was he the first young man to do so?
The Bigots will paint us a Widow 500 years old, no teeth, the nose of a vulture, and the skin of a corpse.
Hans Luther had to provide his bull body with a table equal to the task, his boy was on his way to become a lawyer. Someone had to roast the meat, fry the egg, clean the dishes, wash his clothes, keep tidy his room, heat the milk in the morning, get ready the breakfast for Han’s boy.
You know, they know, I know, boys in the early twenties are a pain in the ass. They do nothing, you got to give them everything.
How could a Widow a thousand light years f from the grave be equal to the task of taking care of young Martin, a “boy” who loved to live the life of a New Rich?
First “big mama Margarethe”, later the Brethren.
Martin knew not how to fry an egg, the wreck!, and he was 19 years old.
He had ahead four years before coming back home as a lawyer, the pride of Hans and Margarethe. Where would Hans find for his son “a mother and a servant”?
There were many houses for the students to rent. Most probably Hans saw every inch of the path his son had ahead. And he took the correct decision, instead of massing his son with other students he gave him as “mother and servant” a Widow, a young woman left alone in this world by the things of war, a woman who by her honor will not admit no one in her house, but who given her status and her economic conditions will accept a guest, “a wealthy man’s son” by a sum of gold, a little grown up “the son”, but, anyway, gold would save her honor and her position.
Again, the Bigot Fathers of Luther’s Myth will present us the social conditions of Germany before the Reformation in a light so unnatural that only a retarded brain will accept the tsunamis of corruption, already drowning Germany, getting stop at the feet of Our Lady Widow’s Door, the Virgin Widow nursing in her maternal affection Han’s son.
We can see the effect of War in our days. In the whole we say that for every certain amount of men killed there is an average of women also killed. Whether for every ten men 1 woman, or for every 50 men 3 women, the case is that War is a Widow’s Hive Maker.
War is the source of Polygamy. Woman left alone with their children need protection, it was just natural that the male alive gathered under his arms the widow of his brothers or friends. The more the number of widow the more the number of wives. Later on when Nature reestablished the proportion, polygamy lovers waged war for women.
In the case of Christian Europe Polygamy was never accepted. Neither was the root of polygamy, War, disaffected. It was a crazy contrast. People would not accept polygamy, but could not help loving war.
The source of polygamy was raging, and in consequence widows became lovers. What else?
Prostitution was, the dead being a poor, the only door left alone for a widow. Depending on their social position widows could marry again; and if not so, it was absolutely normal to be the lover of this or that another man. That was Nature. Young woman, left alone, needs love; hi there!
Of all the countries of Europe no other as Germany could put on the table more widows. Germany was at war with itself. It was the situation of the City States of Mesopotamia. The Barbarian had never died in Germany. The worshipper of the God of War was still alive. Every year the number of widows went higher and higher.
Why to set his son in a room full of students devoted to fun when he could find him a house with a Widow devoted to his material cares? Gold is a magic key; he whom everybody looks today like a frog, because gold, tomorrow they look as a prince. You just got to have it, shake it, make it sing, and the world will dance the waltz of the golden fleet.
How could Hans imagine his son to be so stupid as to see a sin in being the lover of a widow? That was what widows meant to be!
Hans did not mean that for him in the first place, Martin was 19 years old, and she was a Widow. But things happen, you know?
Martin is having an affair with “the Sweet Widow”! So they said his boon companions. And they were right.
Widows were for free. Students were angels coming down from Heaven to satisfy their need and keep them in the path of Religion.
Only retarded, handicapped, robbers, criminals, and so on used prostitutes. Real boys had real girls.
The answer to many student’s prayers were Widows. Students were the answer to many widows’ prayers. Nature always keep the balance.
No reason to make a big deal about it. You’re going get your lawyer degree, Martin, and she is going to get herself another young and crazy horse. What’s your problem?
Martin’s problem was his education. Hans had done a great job. He chose for his son the most serious, dedicated and advanced private institution of the days, the Brethren. They had four years to cultivate the body and the mind of Martin. The Brethren had sealed Martin’s mind and soul, they had strengthened his flesh and blood. Martin’s mind arriving at Erfurt to begin his Lawyer studies was their work. Their ideal of perfection was their gift for him, their sense of power based on virtue was their heritage for Martin. He could be the leader singer of “La Tuna” of Erfurt, the master of ceremonies of their boon companions, but in the bottom there was a soul riding the wind of times to the meeting of the man in Luther. He will be slave to nothing.
She? Well, she was his Achilles’ heel. A sin to keep in secret, no need for his father to know of it. Erfurt will be left behind soon; and with it the memory of his sin. God will forgive his sin. He was young. She was there, magnificent, adorable, his servant, his lover.
Got you, Martin! This moral conflict will be your ruin.
That was all about Martin’s struggle. While a man can bite a piece of hot bread, another devours rocky bones to the core. While one gets sick for a kiss, another gets fat for a hug. That what kills a man makes another stronger.
The dream of every student in the day of Martin in Erfurt, have a widow for lover, no moral conflict coming out of it, caused in Martin the moral conflict which undermined the ground beneath his feet and pushed his soul straight towards the bridge between the animal and the human.
“That Storm was the Punishment of God on his Sin, and he would enter in the monastery to expiate his fault”.
Just as those psycho-killers hear the voice in the head “kill kill kill”, Martin head the voice in the wind : “Run Run Run …. to the monastery”.
And all for what, because a Storm and an affair with a widow!