This is an subject that I have been holding quiet in
the room of my thoughts until it had got for itself a body. I 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 though, but the light of
a thunderbolt. I mean, was he a fool that fellow? Or were his people the fools?
Luther’s story was written when the 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 never rain, and clouds are a gift from the gods?
Or did that storm came to happen in a land, where the
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
makes a point. Possibly not as strong as the point by that Holy Dove who came
out of the white towns of Galilee and crossing the desert she 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 on her flight.
I mean, a point is something coming out of nowhere to
claim that wonderful exception by which miracle the Invisible is known to the
Visible. So with the Resurrection.
A point is made thanks to the exceptionality of the
event to which it gives meaning and expression. That Dove crossing the desert
to rest 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 Germany would be by 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, de facto it leads us to the edge of idiocy : A real German man, a
born German to the bones, and 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. See the Scots now, can they
suffer without turn into “tomato men” that wonderful heat of ther 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 ant the other 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 thing, 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 pissed 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, he wasn’t a coward?
You can’t be serious at all!
Are you a German, a born German, from a German father,
and a German grandfather, and so son and so forth?
Do we jump off from our horse and walk down into the
abyss of total idiocy and let our brain free to the patriot washing machine? or
will we stand our ground and give it a juicy thought?
Man : All that story is a fake, a tale by the man
himself invented to make a fool all his countrymen; or well, the hero was the
greatest of cowards born out of the womb of the Teutonic Race, a coward so big
as to piss and shit and 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 and 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 Sixteenth
Century Germany 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 bulls. No wonder Spanish bollocks are represented by a “bull”, and
whoever thinks of a real Spanish man 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.
No less cowards, those War-Worshippers, the Ottoman
Turks, riding the Balkan Mountains and heading straight to the heart of Europe,
on the way selling their lives dearly.
Who ignores that French and Italian and English and
Germans too were all 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 shit!
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 to the fields of war. There was not space for cowards. A coward getting
scared because a storm? In those days only a mad would call a man a coward like
that, pissing in his pants because a storm.
And again, if that piece of a shit were a
Mediterranean child from the very Almeria or Naples, well, that could be taken
as a good excuse, the poor fellow had heard never before the god of the Thunder
hitting the roads in 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 shit, that man could not be a German; or was a
German, but a real coward; hey, everywhere grows good and bad, glory and shit,
The wonder is this : How could by his countrymen this
piece of a shit be taken as glory, this coward be taken as a hero?
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
So what? Was Luther a German, or was he an émigré?
Might it be that while the world was full of braves
warriors and geniality 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, wasn’t after all Germany a nation of cowards?
Hell not! 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 dark sky of the Long Winter North. Bones and Flesh are made
during Millennia to activate “feeling good” in the Families of Man under the
climate natural 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
fathers habitat fits to you as the Moon to the sky. Myself I felt pretty shit a
day 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
shit 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 in his heart he
hides a crime bending his mind to the point that he can't carry the blame no
Considering that Luther was a true German Child, the
point is made : What was the crime Luther was hiding and the storm rooted out
so powerfully as to make him feel that God was asking from him to accept the
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 Mansfeld, and
later in Eisenach South West of his parent’s home.
Later on he moved to Erfurt, still farthest south.
During all those years, from 1497 to0 1505, Martin
went from school to home and back, riding his horse. There was no train in
those days, do you remember? Well, to play a bit of a motherfucker let’s say
that Martin wasn’t riding a donkey, his father was a new rich man after all.
Even if his 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?), this
fact : 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 Mansfeld to
Magdeburg we have around 41 miles. How many times did Martin ride this 41 miles
in the year 1497? And where did Martin stayed that long?
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 Mansfeld and back to
Magdeburg, most probably with some fellow students. Storm of not, storm they
rode. And as storm was as it is today’s 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 and murder to keep their train of life. A rider
alone making this way from Mansfeld 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 got, always, to hold in mind that the news of the
Discovery of the New World was on the air, and 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 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 could not but feel this
Historical Moment as theirs, and so projected its image upon their students’
Again, from Mansfeld 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
Let's see what J.P. Arthurt 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
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
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
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
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 criminal. 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
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
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
III. To observe the Canonical Hours and times of
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
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
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
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
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 strong constitution, brave at heart and not a man to be scared by a
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 lived in hell during those days only a
madman will deny, the War 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
to live under the star of such a father.
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 other way.
And yet, we have seen Martin riding home from North
and South back home and back to the Brethren’s. And this during many years.
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 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
I have left the answer to Mystery of Crime’s Luther
resting on the quiet bloody waves of the Massacre of the Syrian Nation, with
the intention to allow you to think by yourself, to discover your own brain
power, which is, with the Human Rights, the one thing distinguishing Human
Beings from Wild Beasts.
A man who is alienated from Human Rights, case of the
Syrian Nation, by the Council of the United Nations, is, according to that
alienation, a beast, and thence the UN have given its blessing to the Tyrant to
massacre, with no retaliation, to massacre the entire Syrian Population. If
there was among the politician of the West one man, just one single man, at
this hour the International Court would be dealing with an accusation on Russia
and China for Crime against Humanity. To say that there is no true man between
the Politician of the West, what? The Syrian Massacre should be, after all, an
Arab Affair, the question is why does the Arab World move not an eye in favor
of their Brothers in Religion?
These things considered we return to Luther’s Hidden
We see from Johannes Janssen’s short biography of
Luther, this J.J. a German historian from before Hitler’s days, and because
this such J.J. a perfect representative, when the hour comes to speak about the
Reformation, of the Idiocy of the German Nation, in particular, and 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 Mansfeld, 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???!!!!
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”.
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 the Empire. This
poor was the father of Luther according of 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? No one! 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
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 he 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 hit 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, 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
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. Writing that J.J., the German
Historian, gathered in his bosom to spread the glory of the Lord of the German
Reformation towards the four corners of the table where the Holy Drunkard
Luther was dictating the New Laws to the People of God, the German Nation.
Well, when there is no mountain, why cannot a table do
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, during a numberless of centuries under the yoke of alcohol
free, 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 the Johannes Gutenberg who
stole the secret of the printing press from Holland and took off to Germany,
the New Holy Land, was opening to the Civilization new frontiers, a poor little
wreck, so he says he was, was shaking and trembling, and why? because a storm!
And the nations born of the Reformation have been
believing this shit over a whole lot of five centuries! Why wonder when we hear
that the New Israel fell once and again in the World War Game, until at the end
Holy Germany threw the weight of the Hitlerian Hate,
born in the entrails of Luther, against the Old Israel.
From Luther to Hitler the Chronicles was already
But let’s us keep on analyzing the Myth.
Yesterday, the days 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 on 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.
Whatever, we are not dealing with that “angelical
race” according to the words of the Catholic Bishop of Rome, Gregory the First.
Yet, the persecution on Tony Blair by the Islander Queen and her Regime after
the Irak War says all about the Nature of the English
Religion after the Persecution to the death against the Catholic Religion was
cut short. 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 of a man than any English Islander, whether
Puritan, or simply one of those Idolater 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
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 role of the
most stupid fuck when the hour came to deal with Luther’s Childhood and Youth.
As I have 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.
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’s’ 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 Mansfeld, 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 fuck 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 left in the hands of the Brethren his son
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 on the
horizon and the frontiers of Civilization shining great and splendorous from
the tables of the Printing Press, these facts, plus the gorgeous wakening 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 out his son under the care
of the Brethren instead of following the common proceedings, this simple fact
wash Luther’s father memory of the entire mountain of shit that his son, on his
own will, put on the honor of his father and mother.
Again, that to deal with the 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 our 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
Hey, do you think am nuts?
What a holy man we are dealing with!
Let’s get back to the door of the Brethren of Common
Life. Sweep off 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, one of their resources, to doing so, the Education of the sons of
the Rich People.
Yes, there is rich people and rich people. There is
rich people who wants his son to follow the family business, and who else but
daddy to show him the way? 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 pay the
best and whatever it takes to lead his son all the way.
Was he a criminal, as his son, in one of his common
debaucheries, said, was Luther’s father a criminal for doing so?
Most probably Martin, as the darling son of a new rich
man, Martin was a kid 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 Martin. 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 the 24 hours of the day.
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
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. But 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 shit the Germans ate and
drank 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 in 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
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
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 Shit! Hundreds of thousands of peasants were
killed like dogs by the Order of the Holy Table of the Drunkard 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
Race of the Arabs”, 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
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 officials 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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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 dome 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
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
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 got Luther’s brain that day in the
storm. 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 what was the secret he was hiding
from everybody, and was the element which three him in the middle of the bridge
over an abyss where the fall from was falling in hell. And the only salvation :
to be a monk. A madman could have not responded otherwise to the pressure. Who
put this pressure on Martin? And why could that pressure put that hard to turn
a sane man into a madman? Again : What was the 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 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 by the hero of the myth around
the Table of the Holy Drunkards. And a Legend made after the famous massacre of
Once the connection between the Reformers’ Table of
the Drunkards and the poor people broken by the demonic speech of Luther
against the Peasants, the Peasant Butcher 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
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,
and a boy who have no shoes either. This story for intellectually retarded
people cannot be fixed in the structure of the Science of History. It simply
does not go with the beat of Science.
Printing Press is making its way. The New World is
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 these New Men, hardworking
piece of metal soul, fighting for his family non-rest. His son will go to
school, will be a lawyer, will be a someone, his son would not have his own
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 evil in their 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
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 dream and dream 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
neither. 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, son of a bitch Martin Luther, 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 the 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”.
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 the Alcohol. 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
“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 drinks 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 University 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 saw 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
But what Hans could not imagine was : what Martin will
See the picture, 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 Lady 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!
He was fucking
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.
But Hans Luther had to provide his young bull 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
How could a widow a step far from the grave be equal
to the task of taking care of young Martin, a “boy” who used 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 stay. 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 the Myth will present us
the social conditions of Germany before the Reformation in a light so unnatural
that only a retarded brain can 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, if the dead was a poor, the only
door left alone for a widow. Depending 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, need 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
the German. 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
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
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
That was all about Martin’s struggle. While a man can
bite a piece of hot bread, another devour rocky bones to the core. While one
gets sick for a kiss, another gets fat for a hug. That what kills a man, makes
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