Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Dürer were his personal friends and co- Melancthon, raising the almost broken workers. On hearing of the death of the spirit of the sick man with the powerful latter, he wrote: “It is painful, no doubt, to words of life. Melancthon had suddenly have lost him. Let us rejoice, however, fallen sick at Weimar, while on his way that Christ has released him by so happy to the monastery at Hagenau. Presenan end from this world of misery and of timents of death had accompanied him trouble, which soon, perhaps, will be thither; and a mental affliction, which desolated by greater troubles still. God undermined his strength, threatened the has been unwilling to suffer him, who was speedy dissolution of the almost exhausted born for happiness, to see such calamities. powers of life ; - his delicately strung May he rest in peace with his fathers !" mind was tormented by the bitterest pain (April, 1528.)

that can assail a poor mortal; he was at

war with himself, for his conscience could LUTHER PRAYING AT THE BICK-BED OF MELANCTHON.

not find rest from the reproach that he had We have seen Luther on a sick-bed, and not resisted more heroically the desires his friends grieving beside him ; here and demands of the Landgrave of Hesse, we find him by the side of the suffering and had thus, it might be said, sanctioned,

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]

in part at least, a public slight offered to in the picture he is represented surthe evangelical Church.

rounded by his children and friends practiAt the call of the elector, Luther and cing the first evangelical church-melodies Kreuziger came to him : the former saw under the direction of the electoral chapelwith terror the corpselike form of his master, John Walther. To the left stands friend, the failing eyes, the fleeting sense. the cantor, to the right Mathesius. “ God preserve me!” he cried; “ how has “I have,” relates Walther, “sung many the devil destroyed this organon."" and a delightful hour with him; and have often turning to the window, he poured out his observed how our beloved friend became anxious soul in the boldest and most glow-more and more cheerful as we sang, and ing prayer. Words passed through his never grew weary nor had enough of it. soul and crossed his lips which, coming He has himself composed the chants to from another mouth, might be condemned the Epistles and Gospels, has sung them as blasphemy, but which in him arose to me, and asked my opinion. He kept from the very depth of a sublime con- me three weeks at Wittemberg, until the fidence in God, and from an unconditional first German mass had been chanted in the faith in the Scriptures. “ This time I parish church. I attended it, and afterbesought the Almighty with great vigor; ward took a copy of this first German I attacked him with his own weapons, mass with me to Torgau, that I might quoting from Scripture all the promises I present it to the elector. could remember, that prayers should be “At table, as well as afterward, the granted, and said that he must grant my doctor sang sometimes; he also played the prayer, if I was henceforth to put faith in lute ; I have sung with him ; between the his promises." He then took the hand songs he introduced good words." of the sick man, saying, “Be of good! In the preface to his first collection of courage, Philip, thou shalt not die; sacred songs and psalms he says that they although the Lord might see cause to kill, I had been set for four voices, because he yet wills he not the death of a sinner, but wished " that the young people, who ought rather that he should turn to him and live! at all events to be instructed in music and God hath called the greatest sinners unto other proper arts, might be rid of their mercy; how much less then will he cast improper love-songs, and learn something off thee, my Philip, or destroy thee in sin good and instructive instead ; and to find and sadness! Therefore do not give way pleasure in that which is good, as it beto grief-do not become thine own murder- seemeth young people." er; but trust in the Lord, who can kill and He was an enthusiast for music. bring to life—who can strike and heal“ Music is one of the finest and most again.” Melancthon would rather have magnificent of God's gifts. Satan hates passed away in sleep to eternal peace, it. It dispels temptations and evil than have returned to earthly strife; but thoughts; the devil cannot hold out the spiritually powerful words of Luther against it.” Luther being entertained recalled him, “No, no, Philip; thou must (December 17th, 1538) in the house of a serve the Lord our God still further !” musical family, who played to him to his

He recovered ; “recalled from death great delight, he bursts out with, “If our unto life," he says himself, “by divine | Lord grants us such noble gifts in this power;" and Luther rejoicingly said," he life, which is but filth and misery, what would bring back the Magister Philip, will it be in the life everlasting? This is with the help of God, from the grave to a foretaste.” “ Singing is the best exercheerfulness."

cise; it has no concern with the word.

. .. Therefore do I rejoice that

God has refused to the peasants (alluding, GERMAN CHURCH HYMNS AND CIIANTS. no doubt, to the peasants in revolt) so From Luther's friends we turn to his great a gift and comfort. They do not domestic relations; to which his singing | understand music, and listen not to the at home (Cantorei im Hause) forms a word.” He one day said to a harp-player, fitting link of connexion, while it serves “My friend, play me such an air as at the same time as a record of the im- David used to play. Were he to return mortal fame he has acquired by his zeal to earth, I think he would be surprised to in improving German vocal church-music. | find such skillful players.” “How happens

LUTHER'S SIXGING AT HOME. INTRODUCTION OF THE

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors]

it that we have now-a-days so many fine hope that my letters will involve you in things of a worldly kind, and nothing but no disagreeables. Who could reproach what is cold and indifferent of a spiritual? | you on their account, even were he a Turk? (and he repeated some German songs.) | .After theology, no art can be I cannot agree with those who despise compared with music." music, as do all dreamers and mystics." " .... I will ask the prince to devote this money to the establishment LUTHER'S JOYS OF SUMMER IN THE BOSON OF HIS of a musical academy." (April, 1541.)

FAMILY, AND US ORDINARY DINNER-GUESTS. On the 4th of October, 1530, he writes to The artist here presents to us Luther's Ludovic Senfel, a musician of the court summer pleasures in the circle of his of Bavaria, to ask him to set the In pace family; and at the same time calls atin id ipsum to music: “ The love of music tention to those habitual guests at his overpowers my fear of being refused, when table, to whom (as indicated by the young you shall see a name which, no doubt, you man who is writing behind Luther) we hate. This same love also gives me the owe the noting down of his table-talk.

A garden-scene could not indeed be omit- garden-seeds for him : “If Satan and his ted in a series of pictures, memorials of imps rave and roar, I shall laugh at him, the man whose heart ever opened in the and admire and enjoy, to the Creator's free air, in the sight and enjoyment of praise, God's blessings in the gardens." nature; who gladly observed and admired He writes to Spalatin in 1526 : “I have the creation with his pious, thoughtful, planted my garden and built a well, both and poetical eye.

with success. Come to me, and thou shalt He wrote to a friend who procured | be crowned with roses and lilies !"

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]

“If I live, I shall become a gardener,” | sidered the wisdom, might, and goodness he once said, while in this humor. “ The of God even in the smallest flower! world knows neither God their creator, We are at present in the dawn of a nor his creatures. Alas! how would man, future life; for we begin to recover if Adam had not sinned, have recognized the knowledge of creatures which we God in all his works, and loved and praised had lost through Adam's fall. In his him! Then he might have seen and con- creatures we recognize the power of his

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

LUTIIER'S WINTER PLEASURES.

word; how great that is !-He said, and beautiful still, when the old world shall it was so !!!

have been renewed, and a new spring shall His profoundly contemplative mind, in open and remain forever." its heartfelt enjoyment of nature, looked upon creation as the divine symbolic expression of the Invisible and Highest. Upon the pleasures of summer follow those He compared the Bible, for instance, to a of winter,—the Christmas festival; and beautiful forest, “in which there is no tree the garden which now delights Luther's at which my hand has not knocked.” eyes are his children, whom he looked Again, he said on a fine spring day (1541) | upon as God's greatest blessing. He exto Justus Jonas, in that tone of mind of pressed this one day to his friend Justus mingled melancholy and undefined longing, Jonas, who admired the branch of a cherrywhich sometimes overpowersus amid tree which hung over the table : “Why the joys of spring : “ If there were neither do you not consider this still more in your sin nor death, we might be satisfied with children, the fruits of your body, and who this paradise. But all shall be more are more beautiful and noble creatures of

« ZurückWeiter »