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of political sovereignty over the Western world. He republished the work with a fiery preface of his own, and from that time on was one of the bitterest opponents of the Roman see. He became convinced that Germany's subjection to it was the principal cause of all the ills of his native land, and exchanged the career of a mere litterateur for that of a political agitator. Before long he was widely recognized as the most influential member of the young German party and the chief leader in the movement for throwing off the Roman yoke. Augsburg, in 1518, he did much to arouse the enmity of the members of the diet to the holy see. He had no interest as yet in Luther or his cause. He looked with contempt upon the whole thing as a mere monk's quarrel. But after the Leipsic debate, perhaps under the influence of his old friend Crotus, he saw that the Wittenberg professor was the most formidable opponent the papacy had yet encountered and thought of him as a possible ally. At

earlier writings show, Luther's thought was largely occupied with educational and religious questions. Now he began to concern himself with other matters altogether, and to dream of a reformation which should affect every phase of national life.

Hutten's friendship for Luther also brought the reformer the support of many other German noblemen, and gave him a feeling of personal security and independence quite unknown before. In his let

From the painting by Lucas Cranach DUKE GEORGE OF SAXONY

the time he was in the service of Archbishop Albert of Mayence and there were difficulties in the way of forming an acquaintance with Luther; but he sent him greetings, and in the spring of 1520, through the intervention of common friends, the two men got into communication with each other, and though only temporary, their friendship, while it lasted, was of great importance for them both. It opened Hutten's eyes to the religious issues involved in the national movement, and Luther's to the importance of that movement for his own cause. Hitherto, while not blind to the economic and social evils of the day, as many passages in his

ters of 1520 he referred frequently and with great satisfaction to his new allies. Writing to Spalatin in July he said:


I enclose a letter from the Franconian knight, Sylvester Schaumberg, and should be glad, if

it is not too much trouble, to have the prince mention it in his communication to the Cardinal of St. George, that they may know, even if they drive me out of Wittenberg, with their detestable attacks, they will accomplish nothing, but will only make their case worse. For now not merely in Bohemia, but in the heart of Germany itself, there are those able and willing to protect the exile in spite of them and all their thunders. There is danger that, once under their protection, I shall be much more severe in attacking the Romanists than if I remain under the dominion of the prince, engaged in the work of teaching. This without doubt will occur unless God prevents. I shall not then be obliged to consider the prince, whom I have hitherto respected on many occasions, even when provoked. Let them know that I frequently refrain from attacking them not because of my own modesty or their tyranny or merit, but because of the name and authority of the prince, as well as the


From a carbon print by Braun & Co.


common good of the Wittenberg students. As for me, the die is cast. Rome's fury and favor are alike despised. Never will I be reconciled, or commune with her.

Not simply Schaumberg, but also no less a person than Franz von Sickingen, friend and protector of Hutten, and the most powerful and widely feared knight of Germany, offered the reformer an asylum and assured him of his warm interest. Sickingen and Schaumberg, Luther wrote to Spalatin, had freed him altogether from the fear of men.

Under the influence of his newly formed connection with such warriors as these, Luther even went so far as to give expression to sentiments of a decidedly violent sort. In June, referring to a new attack by Prierias, he wrote:

It seems to me, if the fury of the Romanists goes on in this fashion, no remedy is left except for emperor, kings, and princes to arm themselves and attack these pests of the whole world, and settle the affair no longer with words, but with the sword. For what do these lost men, deprived even of

common sense, say? Exactly what was predicted of antichrist, as if we were more irrational than blockheads. If we punish thieves with the halter, brigands with the sword, heretics with fire, why do we not still more attack with every sort of weapon these masters of perdition, these cardinals, these popes, and all this crowd of Roman Sodom, who corrupt the church of God unceasingly? Why do we not bathe our hands in their blood that we may rescue ourselves and our children from this general and most dangerous conflagration?

To be sure, too much should not be made of such utterances. They are exceptional in Luther's writings. As a rule, he earnestly deprecated physical violence. and armed revolution. The following winter he declared himself entirely out of sympathy with Hutten's warlike plans, writing to Spalatin:

You see what Hutten desires. I do not wish to battle for the gospel with violence

and murder, and I have written the man to that effect. By the word the world has been conquered and the church preserved, and by the word it will be repaired. Antichrist also, as he began without violence, will without violence be overthrown by the word.

And a little later:

I am without blame, for I have striven to bring it about that the German nobility should check the Romanists, as they are well able to do, with resolutions and edicts, not with the sword. For to attack the unarmed masses of the clergy would be like making war upon women and children.

But in the spring and summer of 1520 he was evidently feeling the influence of his new friends and entering rather recklessly into their warlike ideas. Gradually he steadied himself again and realized that the cause he was interested in would only be hindered by violence and war. Thenceforth he was unalterably opposed to both.

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