Luther, Zwingli, Melanchthon
Nobody today believes that Martin Luther stepped so
fully out in advance of all others that he could be said to have grasped
the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. Even Lutherans cut
two of his Ninety-five Theses, but wishing to keep the number the same
they divided two others. All agree, however, that about the time of
Luther, civilization took a step forward. Catholics are better Catholics
today, and Protestants better also.
Dr. Luther was the head of a Catholic College for the
instruction of German youth for the priesthood. He had heard about the
Bible, but like others for thirteen centuries before him, he trusted in
the decisions of the various "Apostolic Councils" of the
Church--the various promulgated Creeds. These he believed to be Biblical.
But one day he chanced to see a Latin copy of the New
Testament. His curiosity led him to read it. He was amazed at its
simplicity. He wrote the Pope, suggesting the calling of a Council to
ascertain whether there had been a gradual digression from the Bible. The
Pope did not take the suggestion kindly. Luther was branded a heretic,
unfrocked, excommunicated. This treatment only convinced him the more of
the difference between the Bible methods and teachings and the modern
ones. He began to write tracts which he scattered all over Germany,
amongst the comparatively few people then able to read--in any language.
Gradually, through much tribulation, the Bible became more prominent.
Those holy, honest-hearted Reformers only partially
comprehended the Bible. Much of the smoke of superstition and bigotry
still affected their mental eyes. Nor have we gotten out of the fog yet.
Thank God, however, Bible study is reviving, influencing people of every
denomination. Let us remember that only the few of old were able to read.
A Bible cost a fortune. It was thought useless because of erroneous trust
in Bishop-Apostles and their Creeds.
Luther Nailing Theses
Luther Burning Papal Bull