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which the bishops were bound. ' This abuse/ says
Minucci, ' prevails in all the dioceses of Germany, and
most of all in Salzburg, Katisbon, and Passau. It has
come to this, that the chapter has turned into bishops
and the bishops into canons/ The Nuncio insists on
the improvement of the Catholic colleges and seminaries,
on strict observation of the Tridentine decrees, and on
remedying the evil of scarcity of priests. Bavaria and
the archbishopric of Treves, he says, were the most
free from heresy. ' In the whole of Germany there
was an unmistakable backsliding in culture and an
increase of depravity.' i

' We see, alas, and experience daily,' wrote the Frei-
burg theologian, Professor Jodokus Lorichius, in 1583,
' that our Catholic people persist imintermittently in all
the sins of gluttony, drunkenness, unchastity, neglect of
divine service, vanity and luxury in dress, cursing and
swearing, usury, lying, deceit, envy, hatred and many
other grievous and abominable vices, and that we clergy
also have come to be little better. To cut the matter
short, the majority of both clergy and laity, both rulers
and subjects, among us Cathohcs, hve as if there were
no distress and disasters on earth or in the Church of
God to interest and grieve us. People dance and make
merry, give banquets, get up plays, pursue pleasure and
wantonness, indulge in smart clothing, in eating, drink-
ing, building and other worldly pursuits as if they knew
and heard nothing of those who despise the Christian
faith, revile and slander it.' ~

' Nuntiaturberichfe, iii. 1, 750, 752, 755, 763, 765 ff., 774 ff.
- Religionafried, 44-45.

a 2



84 HISTORY OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE

In Austria, (lesj)itc the indefatigable labours of the
Jesuits and the Capuchins, the state of things among
clergy and people continued to be very lamentable.
Inspections brought grievous abuses to hght. The
dearth of priests was still so great in 1591 that such
an inveterate enemy of priestly marriages as Klesl
proposed for the pastorate of Ips a man with a wife and
child, and the man was duly installed there. ^ In Vienna,
in the eighties of the sixteenth century, there were still
open unbelievers ; it is reported that three doctors
there, before their death, declared themselves to have
no creed whatever ; a fourth forbade the ringing of
bells at his interment and expressed the wish to be
buried in unconsecrated ground.-

Reports of a more pleasing nature come from the
Tyrol. Here the Cathohc restoration achieved important
results. Already in the seventies the Count of Hohenems
was able to assert that the rehgious condition of the
counties of Bregenz and Hohenberg was, with few
exceptions, altogether blameless ; the same happy
state of things was reported a few years later by the
coadjutor of the bishopric, of Brixen and also of Sterzing,
and the chancellor of the ' Vorlande ' annomiced in
1592 that the clergy were improving.^ All the same,
here also the work of destruction, which had gone on for
a century, could not be repaired in one generation. How
bad the conditions were in many ways among the nobles
and the people is seen from the work of the Tyrolese
physician Hippolytus Guarinoni, pubhshed at Ingol-
stadt in 1610, entitled ' Die Greuel der Verwiistung

1 Huber, iv. 322 £f., 295 ; cf. 227 fi.

- Puschmann, 283. See -present work, vol. vii. (German) 141.
■'' Him, i, 278 ; cf. 269 for the result of the inspection of the Brixen
clergy.



GENERAL MORAL AND RELIGIOUS CHAOS 85

menschlichen Geschlechts/ That which transpires
concerning Bavaria from the writings of the ducal
Court Secretary Aegidius Albertinus, viz. the existence
of deeply rooted immorahty in both higher and lower
classes, is confirmed by this epoch-making work of
Guarinoni, of such priceless value for the history of
civilisation in the Tyrol.

Very dreadful things are related by the Tyrolese
physician concerning the open immorality in the streets,
and especially in the bathing-houses, which, here as every-
where also in actual Germany, were regular breeding
dens of vice.^ ' Of what goes on in these bathing-places/
he says, ' I should have to write a special, huge book, and
even then I should not have exhausted the subject ;
a preacher of note, in a princely town in Germany, has
already dealt with the subject in some twenty sermons
and has scarcely yet touched the beginning. But if
the town authorities saw and knew of the terrible vice
and iniquity, as well as do God and the bathers, they
would not be so insensate and inert and allow such
scandalous abodes of vice to remain in their towns.'
The moral abominations of the pubhc baths, Guarinoni
says, are well-nigh innumerable. ' How much unutter-
able iniquity is concocted and carried out there ! How
many deeds of murder and villainy are planned and
sometimes also perpetrated there.' ^

It is deserving of the highest commendation that
even face to face with such conditions, the representatives
of the Catholic restoration movement, above all the
popular Capuchins and the learned Jesuits, never for a
moment flagged. Ever anew we see these men, full of
gentleness and strength, full of lioliness and spiritual

' Guarinoni, 929-930, 944-947, 950, 955. - Ibid. 948, 949.



36 HISTORY OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE

zeal, '^oin*^ forth in town and country to stem and
destroy iniquity and corruption, to labour for the good
of Church, state, and society.

The Protestant districts, with scarcely any exception,
show no traces of even the partial improvement of
moral conditions which was effected in Cathohc Germany
by the Church restoration. ' The evangelical counter-
part ' of the Council, the Formula of Concord, only
auf^mented still further the religious confusion and
the theological dissensions ; any resolute action, such
as the new Orders displayed among the Cathohcs, was d
friari impossible on the Protestant side. Not a few
well-intentioned and earnest Protestant pastors did
their best, certainly, to oppose the moral corruption,
especially by their * witness sermons ' ; but the labours
of these men remained isolated, and with their death all
effort came mostly to an end. Their utterances are
the most satisfactory evidence of the continual growth of
moral and rehgious anarchy in the Protestant districts ;
many of their complaints produce a thoroughly staggering
impression, and they are confirmed by the statements
of numerous other contemporaries. ^

' In this year 1556,' says Cyriakus Spangenberg,
* there were heard more frequently than before, in all
lands, complaints of murder and bloodshed, plunder and
robbery, usury, oppression of the poor, treachery and

• In the preface to the second volume of his work on the Reformation
(p. vii.), Dollinger lays stress on the importance of the evidence which
proceeds from the men of the second and third Protestant generations.
' It is not,' he says, ' by the aftertliroes, terrible but temporary, of the great
upheaval inseparable from a great religious revolution, that the conditions
here depicted can be even partially explained ; what is here manifest is the
result of fruitage of a deUberately planned system which had already
reached fixity, results and fruits which are independent, autochthonous,
and in no way the consequence of a reaction from earlier conditions,' &c. &c.



GENERAL MORAL AND RELIGIOUS CHAOS 87

dishonesty and many other scandalous sins, adultery,
whoredom and suchlike iniquities/ ^ At the same date
the Protestant pastor Justus Menius said : ' We see
all over the world how disgracefully the great masses
abuse the freedom of the faith and the evangel, just as
if the Son of God had only died that we might have
greater hberty to sin.' ' The ingratitude and self-
confidence which have followed on the revelation of the
gospel,' ^vrites a Nordhausen preacher in 1556, ' are
indescribable.' A pamphlet of the same year pubHshed
by Christopher Lasius, with a preface by Melanchthon,
paints the condition of the Lutherans in the darkest
shades. What sort of fruit the vineyard has brought
forth, is notorious : no amount of discipline avails any
longer, nobody dreads the wrath of God. Carnal
hberty, with many of those who boast of being evange-
Hcal, is the best treasure sought after from the evangel,
and the vineyard of the Christian Church, so well planted
for good ends, bears nothing else than the sour, unripe
berries of unfruitful Hves.' Lasius describes the ' living
and doing of those who set up for being saints ' in the
following manner : ' What care such potentates for our
preaching of repentance ? Is it not enough that they
are evangehcal ? Are they not clean if only they do
not commit the great offence ? So, too, is it with the
evangehcal nobles among whom are no small number of
peasant torturers, who do nothing but plague tenants
with farm services. Yea verily, some of them (the
nobles) plough the Church glebes, take whole wispels^
of corn from them, and then stick a donkey in the
pulpit, who spells the gospel out of the postils, takes
a dirty particle and considers his business well done.

' Siichsische Chronica, 685. ■^ Wispel = twenty-four busliels.



J^S ITISTORY OF THK CKHMAX I'KOIM.E

• The sluvwcl and cuuniiig peasants in the country
adopt the same style, and think that if they pray, go to
church and hear sermons, God is paid ; and if when
they go to market they bargain and fleece, and at home
carry on all sorts of iniquity, and never do their neigh-
l)iMirs a good turn, that doesn't matter at all, because
they are so pious in attending divine service. This,
Cod have pity on us, is the new obedience of the present
day, now that the evangel is preached so plainly and
clearly. AVith our people the favourite preaching is that
of sweet mercy and grace alone, very soft, easy treat-
ment and no serious talk about penitence. Too much
insistence on the law makes morbid and scrupulous
consciences, but omission of all preaching on penance and
punishment produces crops of impudent grace-trusting
sinners.' ' These people can chatter largely about the
evangel, they know exactly who Christ is, what sweet
grace he has obtained, item, that good works do not
save, and therefore they do them all the less because
they have no need to build on them, use the dear gospel
for carnal freedom, and thus bring great shame
on Christ and his word, and the new obedience is
nowhere. . . / ^

A very dismal picture of the conditions of morality
is given by the Protestant preacher Andrew Musculus in
1559 in his ' Unterrichtimg vom Himmel und der
Hell.' In the dedication of this book he points out
* the great assurance, scorn and ingratitude ' with
which the ' Germans, unhke any other people since
the time of the Apostles, have behaved in these most
wicked and dangerous times, in w^hich the ears of most
people are stopped up with arrogant self-confidence, so

' Dollinger, Reformation, ii. 176, 545, note, 266-267.



GENERAL MORAL AND RELIGIOUS CHAOS 89

that no amount of shouting, screaming or wailing,
has any effect upon them/ Accordingly he has pub-
lished three books : ' First, what we Germans especially
have to expect from God in the way of disaster, punish-
ment, and ^vrath. Secondly, how that the Day of
Judgment will not tarry long, but will soon come.
Thirdly, how insolently and disgracefully the great
masses in Germany, who have been so richly ^blessed
with the pure gospel, comport themselves.' Our poor
forefathers were not so lost to all sense of right, they
thought dihgently about futiu-e things, went about
seeking help and coimsel how to escape from future
torment, did all that they possibly could mth castiga-
tion, fasting, praying, almsgiving, endowments and
so forth ; but they had not been blessed by God with
' the right way of salvation, could not and would not
find or seek the gate to heaven save through man's ordin-
ances, and outside of God's word. We, however, who
have been so richly favoured with the knowledge of
God and the right way to eternal life, and have had
heaven opened so wide before our eyes, we behave
according to the words of the proverb : " When one
has not got a thing one longs for it ; when one has got
it one does not care for it." That for which our fathers
yearned with all their hearts, we loathe and despise
more than the Israehtes despised the manna, and
trample it under our feet. We are so nauseated with
the evangel, the Sacraments, the doctrine of confession
and penitence, as though we had been fed on them with
spoons, as the saying is.' * Fine, grand silk clothes,
good days, eating, drinking and carousing, that 's
what engrosses our whole heart and mind and thoughts.
For Abraham's bosom, for Moses, Luther and the



90 HISTORY OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE

Prophets we care not a straw. AVe no longer trouble
ourselves about heaven or hell, we no longer think
about God, or about the devil ; hogs, nothing but hogs,
does Germany breed now, hogs too, Christ will find
soon at His glorious coming, hogs w^iich never cry out
till the slaughterer strikes them on the head. The
nearer the Day of Judgment draws, the more self-
confident, audacious, hoggish and insolent do the
people become, and they hurry as fast to hell as hell
hurries to them. The coarse, reckless world eats and
drinks and lives in piggishness. But the time is at
hand when the devil will come and carry ofi thy soul
from the best-spread table and throw thee neck and
crop into such torment and anguish as the Lord has
foretold.' i Concerning the depravity of the young
especially, Musculus wrote : ' We are all crying out and
complaining that young people were never wickeder
since the world began than they are now, and that they
cannot w^ell become worse.' ~

Paul Eber, since 1559 town pastor of Wittenberg,
in consequence of the state of the Protestant Church
and the depravity of the people, began to have doubts
as to w^hether his Church was the true one. ' Our whole
evangehcal Church is full of so many and great disorders
and offences, that it seems to be nothing so little as
that which it boasts of being. For if we look at the
evangehcal teachers we see that some of them, from
ambition and greed, or from envy or arrogance, corrupt
the true doctrine and disseminate, or obstinately

' A. Musculus, Unterrichiung vom Himmel und der Hell, 'Erhat
(1559), chaps, iii., iv. For other utterances of Musculus, especially on the
religioiLs and moral conditions in the Electorate of Brandenburg, see
present work, vol. vii. p. 298 f.

- Theatr. DiaboL, 137''.



GENERAL MORAL AND RELIGIOUS CHAOS 91

champion, false doctrine ; that some stir up needless
strife, carried on with implacable ill-will and hatred, some
bend and twist rehgion to suit the taste of the rulers
or of the people, whose goodwill and favour they esteem
higher than the glory of God and the spread of truth,
while some, with their wanton and scandalous living,
destroy all that they have built up with the veritable
doctrine. These spots and offences in the teachers
cause no httle distress to the godly and turn away
many from the evangelical doctrine. On the other
hand, if we look at the evangehcal people, we see scandal-
ous abuse of religion and Christian freedom, contempt
and neglect of the holy Church service, much vicious
disputation, squandering of Church goods, ingratitude
towards the faithful ministers of the Word, the over-
throw of all discipline, unbridled refractoriness among
the young, and the most abundant daily crops of every
kind of vice. At sight of such evils we may well be
terribly alarmed, and may ahnost doubt whether our
evangehcal Church, in which there are so many divisions,
dissensions and abominable sins, can be the true
Church.' 1

In accents equally hopeless spoke at the same date
the Protestant philologist Joachim Camerarius.

The Lutheran preacher, Bartholomew AVolfhart, saidj
in 1563, that things had come to such a pass that
though the people were satisfied to receive the com-
munion once in two, three, or four years, or on their
deathbeds, and never troubled about baptism or the
Lord's Supper, knew nothing of Christ and His merits,
nor of sin or justification, yet the poor preachers must
be on the spot from hour to hour, preach incessantly

' Dollinger, Reformation, ii. 160-16L



92 HISTORY OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE

of s^raco and forgiveness of sins, administer Sacraments
and conduct Christian burials ; if they refused to do
this, then the Khine and the Danube were on fire. Not
only, Wolfhart goes on, had love grown cold, but it
had quite gone out, and hearts were filled instead with
nothing but bitter hatred, envy, anger, hostihty and
murder. There was no discipline and no honour ;
whoredom, adultery, and suchlike scandalous vices
had so gained the upper hand, that he doubted whether
things could ever be improved. Feast days were spent
in nothing but eating, drinking, gambling, dancing,
and so forth ; God's word and ministers were so despised
that anyone who could * jolly well ' worry and plague
a priest was ' Hans Dampf ' in all the streets. ' Now-
adays, w^hen w^e have escaped from the abominable
Babylonish captivity of the scarlet whore of Rome
through the revelation of the holy evangel, and when
we can quite easily, and without special trouble, expense,
and danger learn and acquire all that is necessary and
good for soul and body, there is nobody w^ho cares
at all about it ; when the gospel is preached the greater
number do not come to listen to it ; those who do come,
listen to a little bit and then hurry off ; and as for
those who hsten to the end, it goes in at one ear and
out at the other.' ^

The Franconian preacher, John Schrymphius, also
saw no trace of any ' improvement of Hfe.' ' Carnal
licence, unbridled audacity had brought in their train
Babylonish anarchy and utter barbarity and bestiahty
of hving.'

A year later the Protestant theologian, Nicholas
Selnekker, wrote : * In short, there is no manner of

' DolUnger, ii. 593, 303-304.



GENERAL MORAL AND RELIGIOUS CHAOS 93

vice that can be imagined or mentioned which is not
committed wholesale among the people, and for the
most part unpunished. What shall we come to in the
end ? The Word of God is so frightfully reviled,
slandered and scorned throughout the whole of Ger-
many, that it is impossible but that something terrible
will happen. Men and women will no longer submit to
being punished by the Spirit of God, let the preachers
say what they will. " What," they ask, " has the parson
said that ? What do you mean, are we to put up with
that ? Hulloh, Hulloh. Off to the tower with the
scoundrel ; I 'l\ put an end to his song, the devil may
fetch him then." ' Selnekker divides the crowd of
the ' evangehcals ' in two parts : the one lives reck-
lessly, the other in despair. ^

Precisely similar experiences as to the religious and
moral condition of the Protestant people are described
by the Tiibingen theologian Jakob Andreae. * The
Lutheran multitude in Germany certainly allow place
and room to the Word of God as far as preaching it goes,
but no improvement in life is discernible, only a wild,
epicurean, bestial sort of existence with eating and
drinking, pride and vanity, and blasphemy of the name
of God.' ' Every word of reproof is regarded as new
popery and new monkdom. " We have learnt," say
they, " that we can only be saved through faith in
Jesus Christ, who paid for all our sins with his
death ; we cannot pay for them ourselves by fasting,
almsgiving, prayer, and other works. Therefore, do
not bother us about these works, we can be saved all
right through Christ." And in order that all the
world may see that they are not popish, and do not

> DoUinger, 320, 170, 339 £f., 342 ff,



91 HISTORY OF 'nil': r.ERMAN PEOPLE

trust in good woiks. they do none whatever. Instead
of fastini;, thoy diink and gorge day and night ; instead
of giving ahns, they fleece the poor ; instead of praying,
they eiu'se, blaspheme and revile the name of God so
terribly, that even the Turks do not equal them in
maledictions of Christ. Instead of humihty, pride,
pomp, arrogance, luxury in dress are rampant. All
this must be regarded as evangelical, and these poor
people really persuade themselves that they have a
true faith in God in their hearts, that they have a gracious
God, and arc better than the idolatrous and pseudo-
apostolic papists.' 1

* One devil, the popish devil, has been exorcised,'
says Christopher Lasius, in a pamphlet printed in
1568, * but he has returned with seven worse ones.'
The cause of this is ' the Flacian " Sammetbusse "
(velvet penance). This makes everything very easy
and comfortable, puts its silken penitents on velvet
cushions, and teaches that conversion may come to
those who do nothing themselves in the matter and
feel neither penitence nor sorrow.' The Flacian — that
is to say, the Lutheran doctrine of the passivity of
man in his conversion — is also blamed in a memorandum
of the Leipzig and Wittenberg theologians of 1570
as the cause of the prevaihng corruption. ' The great
multitude,' it says here, ' have fallen into a wild, de-
praved, godless state of existence, and all heed and
diligence to keep to the Word of God are given up,
as, alas, we see daily before our eyes, for everywhere
the people, both of high and low degree, lead such
epicurean lives that there is not a single place in the
whole world where one does not find better discipline,

' See present work, vol. viii. 400.



GENERAL MORAL AND RELIGIOUS CHAOS 95

more respectability and virtue, than among those who
hear God's word every day/ ^

With Hke despair spoke the Thiiringian pastor,
John Belzius : ' If you want to see a multitude of savage,
coarse, godless people collected together from all
classes, go into any town where the holy Evangel is
taught and the best preachers are found ; there you will
see them in crowds/ ~ ' The holy Evangel,' wrote
Ludwig Milichius in 1568, ' which has now been preached
faithfully for more than forty years, has produced
so httle fruit that the people are viler at the present
day than they ever were before. At first, when we
had got rid of the Antichrist, and the convents were
put down and the Christian goods were squandered,
the Evangel was precious and acceptable. Now,
however, that we are free from bondage and the church
robbery is at an end, we have grown tired of the
Evangel : "A curse devours the land, for it is they
who dwell in the land who are the cause of the
evil." ' 3 * There is more cursing, swearing, drinking
and usury,' wrote, three years earlier, the preacher
Hoppenrod, ' than have ever before been seen or
heard.' ^•

Marius Mening, superintendent in Bremen, said in
1569 : ' While the preachers are raging at each other and
tearing each other to pieces, and for ever fabricating
new doctrines, the disciphne of Church and State is
neglected, and the whole world is consequently becoming
hypocritical, self-satisfied, epicurean, and licentious ;
the worst sins and vices, because they have grown
into fashions and habits, are regarded as virtues, and

' Bollinger, Reformation, ii. 261-263. - Dollinger, ii. 200-201.

^ Schrap'Teufel, Bl. V . •* Wider den Hurenteufel, Bl. A. 4.



96 IIISTOHY OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE

I ho worKl siartoly recognises any other sins now but
murder and theft. Sins against the other command-
ments of the first and second tables are thought very

liglitlyof.' '

The evangeheals had indeed the pure word of Clod,
said the Protestant theologian, Simon Musaeus, in
1576, but they abused it so scandalously, that the
words of Isaiah apply to them : ' Hear the words of the
Lord, ye rulers of Sodom, give ear to the law of our
Ciod, ye people of Gomorrah . . . when you multiply
your prayer I will not hear : for your hands are full
of blood ' (Isaiah i. 10-15).

Of the present times Christ had said : ' When the Son
of Man conies, thmk ye he will find faith on earth ? '
* And it was greatly to be feared that the present sinful
conditions in all classes had cried loud to heaven, and
that the fierce anger of God had aheady gone forth.' ~

' Old and experienced men,' said Caspar Hofmann,
professor at Frankfort-on-the-Oder, in 1578, * spend
themselves in sighs and laments, and can scarcely
refrain from tears when they think of the uprightness,
the rehgiousness, the order and moral disciphne of former
times, and see nowadays nothing but iniquity, divisions,
and melancholy disorder. They are well aware of what
must be the final outcome of all this unbridled anarchy,
and fear nothing less than complete barbarism.' ' If
we compare the pious, mifeigned love of our fathers and



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