Johannes Janssen.

History of the German people at the close of the middle ages (Volume 16) online

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sacramental character, but also declared it to be a
purely outward, carnal union, which had nothing what-
ever to do with rehgion and church. He advocated
the abohtion of the command against intermarriage
between Christians, Jews and heathen, and taught that
polygamy was allowed by the Scriptures, and was only
sinful because Christians ' were obhged also to renounce
things permitted.' He did not scruple ' to give per-
mission to some to satisfy their desires outside marriage,
when they were not married, in order to give relief
to natural feehngs which they could not resist.' ^
Phihp Melanchthon went even further than Luther in
his views on polygamy. In a memorandum which
he drew up concerning the matrimonial proceedings
of Henry VHI of England, he openly encouraged
this monarch in polygamy. In a treatise written in 1541
at the suggestion of the Landgrave Philip of Hesse,
the preacher Lenning said that the command against
polygamy was based on a false understanding of Holy

' See Hagen, Deutschlands literarische und religiose Verhdltnisse, i.
233-234. Hagen adds : ' This view of marriage is almost the same as
that wliich was held in antiquity, and which later on came up again in the
French revolution.' Further proofs of wliat has been said above will bo
found in Janssen's Ein zweites Wort an meine Kritiker (17 u. 18 Tausend),
94 ff., and Ili'ilor.-poliL Bl. xi. 412 if.



1:>8 HISTORY OF 'rm



Online LibraryJohannes JanssenHistory of the German people at the close of the middle ages (Volume 16) → online text (page 12 of 45)