Luther and the Reformation: eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 145 pages of information about Luther and the Reformation:.

And, whatever else may be alleged to his discredit, and whoever may arise to heap scandal on his name, the grand facts remain that it was chiefly through his marvelous qualities, word, and work that the towering dominion of the Papacy was humbled and broken for ever; that prophets and apostles were released from their prisons once more to preach and prophesy to men; that the Church of the early times was restored to the bereaved world; that the human mind was set free to read and follow God’s Word for itself; that the masses of neglected and downtrodden humanity were made into populations of live and thinking beings; and that the nations of the earth have become repossessed of their “inalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

“And let the pope and priests their victor scorn,
Each fault reveal, each imperfection scan,
And by their fell anatomy of hate
His life dissect with satire’s keenest edge;
Yet still may Luther, with his mighty heart,
Defy their malice. 
Far beyond them soars the soul
They slander.  From his tomb there still comes forth
A magic which appalls them by its power;
And the brave monk who made the Popedom rock
Champions a world to show his equal yet!”


[28] “It was by some of these qualities which we are now apt to blame that Luther was fitted for accomplishing the great work which he undertook.  To rouse mankind when sunk in ignorance and superstition, and to encounter the rage of bigotry armed with power, required the utmost vehemence of zeal as well as temper daring to excess.”—­Robertson’s Charles V.



It was in 1492, just nine years after Luther’s birth, that the intrepid Genoese, Christopher Columbus, under the patronage of Ferdinand, king of Spain, made the discovery of land on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.  A few years later the distinguished Florentine, Americus Vespucius, set foot on its more interior coasts, described their features, and imprinted his name on this Western Continent.  But it was not until more than a century later that permanent settlements of civilized people upon these shores began to be made.

During the early part of the seventeenth century several such settlements were effected.  A company of English adventurers planted themselves on the banks of the James River and founded Virginia (1607).  The Dutch of Holland, impelled by the spirit of mercantile enterprise, established a colony on the Hudson, and founded what afterward became the city and State of New York (1614).  Then a shipload of English Puritans, flying from religious oppression, landed at Plymouth Rock and made the beginning of New England (1620).  A little later Lord Baltimore founded a colony on the Chesapeake and commenced the State of Maryland (1633).  But it was not until 1637-38 that the first permanent settlement was made in what subsequently became the State of Pennsylvania.

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Luther and the Reformation: from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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