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  • by: by David Baker
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  • ISBN-10: 0816018545
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  • Publisher by: Facts On File
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  • Add date: 24.07.2016
  • Time add:19:06

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In 1523 Luther and Melanchthon jointly published a work under the title _Der Papstesel_--interpreting the significance of a strange, ass-like monster which, according to a popular story, had been found floating in the Tiber some time before. This book was illustrated by startling pictures, and both text and pictures were devoted to proving that this monster was "a sign from God," indicating the doom of Flight and Flying a Chronology papacy.

This treatise by the two great founders of German Protestantism pointed out that the ass's head signified the Pope himself; "for," said they, "as well as an ass's head Flight and Flying a Chronology suited to a human body, so well is the Pope suited to be head over the Church.

" This argument was clinched by a reference to Exodus. The right hand of the monster, said to be like an elephant's foot, they made to signify the spiritual rule of the Pope, since "with it he tramples upon all the weak": this they proved from the book of Daniel and the Second Epistle to Timothy. The monster's left hand, which was like the hand of a man, they declared to mean the Pope's secular rule, and they found passages to support this view in Daniel and St.

Luke. The right foot, which was like the foot of an ox, they declared to typify the servants of the spiritual power; and proved this by a citation from St. Matthew. The left foot, like a griffin's claw, they made to typify the servants of the temporal power of the Pope, and the highly developed breasts and various other members, cardinals, bishops, priests, and monks, "whose life is eating, drinking, and unchastity": to prove this Flight and Flying a Chronology cited passages from Second Timothy and Philippians.

The alleged fish-scales on the arms, legs, and neck of the monster they made to typify secular princes and lords; "since," as they said, "in St. Matthew and Job the sea typifies the world, and fishes men. " The Flight and Flying a Chronology man's head at the base of the monster's spine they interpreted to mean "the abolition and end of the papacy," and proved this from Hebrews and Daniel. The dragon which opens his mouth in the rear and vomits fire, "refers to the terrible, virulent bulls and books which the Pope and his minions are now vomiting forth into the world.

" The two great Reformers then went on to insist that, since this monster was found at Rome, it could refer to no person but the Pope; "for," they said, "God always sends his signs in the places where their meaning applies. " Finally, they assured the world that the monster in general clearly signified that the papacy was then near its end.

To this development of interpretation Luther and Melanchthon especially devoted themselves; the latter by revising this exposition of the prodigy, and the former by making additions to a new edition. Such was the success of this kind of interpretation that Luther, hearing that a monstrous calf had been found at Freiburg, published a treatise upon it--showing, by citations from the books of Exodus, Kings, the Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel, and the Gospel of St.

John, that this new monster was the especial work of the devil, but full of meaning in regard to the questions at issue between the Reformers and the older Church.

The other main branch of the Reformed Church appeared for a time to establish a better system. Calvin's strong logic seemed at one period likely to tear his adherents away from the older method; but the evolution of scholasticism continued, and the influence of the German reformers prevailed. At Flight and Flying a Chronology theological centre came an amazing development of interpretation.

Eminent Lutheran divines in the seventeenth century, like Gerhard, Calovius, Coccerus, and multitudes of others, wrote scores of quartos to further this system, and the other branch of the Protestant Church emulated their example.

The pregnant dictum of Flight and Flying a Chronology. Augustine--"Greater is Flight and Flying a Chronology authority of Scripture than all human capacity"--was steadily insisted upon, and, toward the close of the seventeenth century, Voetius, the renowned professor at Utrecht, declared, "Not a word is contained in the Holy Scriptures which is not in the strictest sense inspired, the very punctuation not excepted"; and this declaration was echoed back from multitudes of pulpits, theological chairs, synods, and councils.

Unfortunately, it was very difficult to find what the "authority of Scripture" really was. To the greater number of Protestant ecclesiastics it meant the authority of any meaning in the text which they had the wit to invent and the power to enforce. To increase this vast confusion, came, in the older branch of the Church, the idea of the divine inspiration of the Latin translation of the Bible ascribed to St. Jerome--the Vulgate. It was insisted by leading Catholic authorities that this was as completely a product of divine inspiration as was the Hebrew original.

Strong men arose to insist even that, where the Hebrew and the Latin differed, the Hebrew should be altered to fit Jerome's mistranslation, as the latter, Flight and Flying a Chronology been made under the new dispensation, must be better than that made under the old. Even so great a man as Cardinal Bellarmine exerted himself in vain against this new tide of unreason. [[308]] Nor was a fanatical adhesion to the mere letter of Flight and Flying a Chronology sacred text confined to western Europe.

About the middle of the seventeenth century, in the reign of Alexis, father of Peter the Great, Nikon, Patriarch of the Russian Greek Church, attempted to correct the Slavonic Scriptures and service-books. They were full of interpolations due to ignorance, carelessness, or zeal, and in order to remedy this state of the texts Nikon procured a number Flight and Flying a Chronology the best Greek and Slavonic manuscripts, set the leading and most devout scholars he could find at work upon them, and caused Russian Church councils in 1655 and 1666 to promulgate the books thus corrected.

But the same feelings which have wrought so strongly against our nineteenth-century revision of the Bible acted even more forcibly against that revision in the seventeenth century. Straightway great masses of the people, led by monks and parish priests, rose in revolt. The fact that the revisers had written in the New Testament the name of Jesus correctly, Flight and Flying a Chronology of following the Flight and Flying a Chronology wrong orthography, aroused the wildest fanaticism.

The monks of the great convent of Solovetsk, when the new books were sent them, cried in terror: "Woe, woe.

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