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the new classical learning. In the union of humanistic ideals with the Christian faith born anew in the Reformation we find the thread that will guide us through the confused period of reorganization of the German school system.


Among the early humanists of northern Europe Erasmus easily held first place. His word was law in the learned world, Erasmus and His so profound was his scholarship and so striking his genius. To him, probably more than to any of his contemporaries, was due what of life and spirit was infused into the early humanism of Germany. While accepting Quintilian's theory of education of the orator he never lost sight of Quintilian's dictum that the good orator must first be a good man. It is not enough, he reiterated, to compass heaven and earth in the search for elegancies of expression-even for those of Cicero. Cicero uses words as the signs of ideas, and both words and ideas are invariably suited to his special purpose. Bare imitation, therefore, must always be a senseless task. Hence, true eloquence must be born of a good purpose, directed to definite ends and give expression to lofty thought. It is the purpose of education to make a happy, contented, broad-minded, Godfearing man. Such a man must needs be a scholar and a gentleman, a philosopher filled with the ancient wisdom and trained in the school of experience. His life transcends the petty limitations of nationality; he is the true citizen of the world of letters.


The schools of Germany were not much affected by the ideals of humanism until toward the end of the fifteenth century. In fact, it was not till the beginning of the sixteenth that many changes were introduced. The earliest teachers were wandering

Spread of Humanism.

scholars, irrepressible, uncouth and boastful of their abilities. The possession of the new learning was riches enough;


Cf. Taylor, Studies in German Literature, pp. 135-166.

? Kaemmel, Geschichte des deutschen Schulwesens im Übergange vom Mittelalter zur Neuzeit, Leipsic, 1882.

they affected to despise a settled position and worldly goods; even books were unnecessary to the man who carried the ancient world in his head. Between the years 1460 and 1490 Heidelberg, Erfurt and Leipsic were intermittently honoured by such masters of "Poetry." In 1494 Erfurt established a professorship of Poesie und Eloquenz. Greek, the classical literature and the New Testament gradually attained a place. Wittenberg, the first German University founded except by papal bull, was throughout humanistic from the beginning (1502). Luther began his lectures there in 1508; ten years later Melanchthon was called to the chair of Greek, and the same year instruction was first offered in Hebrew. Leipsic received her first professor of Greek in 1515, an Englishman who, after two years of residence, gave way to the learned Mosellanus. But even now the cause of humanism was won. The new scholars were the leaders in all the universities of the land. In 1519 both Erfurt and Leipsic, the strongest universities of central Germany, following the lead of Wittenberg, were reorganized in the humanistic sense. It was then that Erasmus could say that "the University of Leipsic, in which the old studies have long flourished, is now so enriched by the introduction of languages and sciences that she stands second to none." The same year also marks the beginning of the end of German humanism through Luther and the Reformation.

Enters the


Contemporaneous with the progress of humanism in the universities, similar changes were under way in the schools. All over Germany, particularly in the wealthier cities, there was a growing demand for better instruction in Latin. Nuremberg was typical of all. Its city schools were slightly modified as early as 1485. In 1496 a "poet" was engaged to teach literature, chiefly Latin poetry. A few years later the demand for training in eloquence, the ability to read, write and speak Ciceronian Latin, compelled the rectors of the city schools to extend their Latin course "in the new grammatica and poesie or arte oratoria." The climax was reached in 1521, when a

humanistic scholar was installed in the Sebaldus-Schule "to give instruction in Latin, Greek and Hebrew."1

Humanism Reaches its Height: 1520.

Humanism reached its height in the first twenty years of the sixteenth century. Scarcely a university or school of importance but had been won over to the new learning. Greek was everywhere recognized as the natural supplement of Latin, and wherever the practical utility of linguistic study outweighed its æsthetic value Hebrew was added to the list. The fact that so much attention was given to the reading of the Scriptures in the original texts was of no little significance in view of Luther's appeal from the Church to the Bible." He hatched a game-cock, as the monks declared, from the egg laid by the humanists.


German Reformers also

The Reformation was the natural sequence of the RenaisMen had been accustomed to go to the sources, to think for themselves and to find satisfaction in pagan culture. What more natural than that Humanists. they should reason together about theology and the practices of the clergy, that they should come to doubt the authority for papal absolutism and the efficacy of papal indulgences. With Luther conviction passed quickly into action. And his action was of incalculably greater consequence for Germany than all that the humanists had done. The humanists stood apart from the people; they represented a foreign civilization; they knew no nationality. Luther sprang from the common people; he was sympathetic, patriotic, and brave; he spoke the German language and he reached the German heart. At his bidding the traditions of centuries were broken, old associations ruthlessly cast aside and the bonds of authority set at naught. Thus the freedom that the

'The records of the Nuremberg schools are given by Paulsen, Gel. Unt., pp. 105-108.

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* Reuchlin's Hebrew Grammar, the first of its kind in Germany, appeared in 1506, and in 1516 the first edition of the New Testament in Greek was published by Erasmus.

3 Cf. Francke, Social Forces in German Literature, p. 150 ff.

Renaissance assured to the learned was offered by the Reformation to all mankind.

Luther's Aim.

Luther's whole life was dominated by a single idea, the salvation of human souls. With a singleness of purpose, that had been fanatical if not sublime, he fought "Beelzebub, Satan, the devil, the great dragon, the old serpent, and the god of this world" on every field. And for this warfare he conceived it every man's duty to prepare himself. The great purpose of life is to do the will of God and to escape the consequences of sin. "The will of God is everything which he requires us to believe, do and suffer, in order that His name may be hallowed and His kingdom come." "The consequences of sin are the wrath and displeasure of God, temporal death and eternal condemnation." Redemption is found in Christ alone. "Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit, by which, through faith in Christ, we turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God." "Faith in Jesus Christ is personal trust in Him alone for salvation;" and salvation means to be with Christ, "to live under Him and in His kingdom, and to serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness."1

Luther took his stand squarely on the doctrine of justification by faith; his sole authority was the Bible, "the word of God." "God makes Himself known to us partly through His works, mainly through His word." Repentance and personal faith in Christ, for which a knowledge of the Scriptures is an almost indispensable prerequisite, is the corner-stone of Lutheranism. The "works" which the Roman Church had enjoined were useless except they came from a regenerated heart.

In putting aside the observances, customs and traditions of the Roman Church, Luther abolished that "law" which had been the "school-master" of medieval Europe. By fasting, penances and prayer, by ritualistic worship in public and in private, by conversation, confession and preaching, by cate

'Extracts from Luther's Catechism.

A Change of School-Masters.

chising and formal discipline, the Roman clergy had fashioned the medieval Christians according to the ideals of the Papacy. This was the true educational system of the Middle Ages, and in it the church schools played only a subordinate part; the masses of the people were trained in the school of life, a school permeated with ecclesiastical ideas and calculated to produce a simple, obedient laity.

With the Reformation the authority of the Church was superseded by the authority of the Bible. All central Germany was let out of one school and invited to enrol itself under another teacher. Luther saw clearly the absolute necessity of making the new education as effective as the old had been, and accordingly he resolved to supplant the formal teachings of Rome with a rational training of head and heart. But an undertaking of such vast dimensions, freighted with such tremendous consequences, demanded the combined support of Family, State and Church. To secure harmony of action among these "three hierarchies established by God," and to se that the right means were used in the right waythis was the life-work of Luther once the Reformation of Germany was an assured fact. For this purpose he translated the Bible, wrote his two catechisms, composed popular hymns, and unweariedly laboured to uplift the peasantry and strengthen the government. The great pedagogical service of L ther, the most remarkable fact in a remarkable life, was his keen appreciation of Germany's need of an education broader than that of the schools if the shock of the protestant revolution were to be successfully withstood.

Duties of

The duty thus imposed upon parents, Luther declares, is a divine requirement. "Married people should know that they can perform no better and no more useful work for God, Christianity, the world, themselves and their children, than by bringing up their children well. Pilgrimages to Rome and to Jerusalem, building churches, providing for masses, or whatever else the work may be called, is nothing in comparison with the right train

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