Full Text for Luther's Negotiations with the Hussites (Text)

C!tnurnrotu m~tnln!lttal tlnttfJJlg Continuing LEHRE UND WEHRE MAGAZIN FUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMlLETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLy-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. XX July, 1949 No.7 CONTENTS Page The Christian Pastor and Courtesy. R. R. Caemmerer ______ 481 Sermon Study on Judges 9:8-15. Walter Roehrs ____ , Luther's Negotiations with the Hussites. .1aroslav Pelikan, .1r •. ____ 496 Rhetoric in the New Testament: The Diction in Romans and Hebrews. Walter A • .1enmich-.-_. _________ . ___________ 518 A Series of Sermon Studies for the New Church Year ____________ 532 Theological Observer _______________________ 543 EIn Prec:Uger mUIB nlcht alleJn Wft- deft, also dllllll er die Schafe unter- weise. wle lie rechte Christen IOllen 1le1n.lOndern auch daneben den Woel- fen wehrn, das8 lie die Schafe nlcht angrelfen und mit falacher Lebre ver- fuehren und Irrtum eJnfuehren. Luther Es 181; keJn DIng. daI die Leute mebr bel der Klrche behaeIt denn die gute Predlgt. - ApologW, An. 24 If the trumpet give an uncertaJn lOund, who Iba1l prepare II1mR1f to the battle? -l Cor.l4:B PubUshed by The Lutheran Chureh - MIssouri Synod CONCORDIA PUBLISHING BOUSE, St. LouIs 18, 110. ___ v ..... Luther's Negotiations with the Hussites By JAROSLAV PELIKAN, JR. I As a result of contemporary efforts to bring about union within and between the existing Protestant communions, considerable at- tention is being devoted to the history of similar efforts in the past. The period of the Reformation remains a most fruitful source for a consideration of that history. For the Lutheran Church this means that an examination of the attitude and activity of Martin Luther in this problem is an important step in the determination of the distinctively Lutheran position in the matter. Too often, however, such examinations have contented them- selves with a presentation of the events connected with the Mar- burg Colloquy of 1529 and of the abortive attempt at that colloquy to effect a reconciliation between Luther and ZwinglLl But im- portant as it is to arrive at a careful evaluation of the meaning of the Marburg Colloquy, this event is by no means the only instance in Luther's career of negotiations toward understanding between the Church of the Augsburg Confession and other non-Roman bodies. At least as sig~ificant is the story of Luther's relations with the Hussites, particularly because those relations climaxed in agreement. This essay will seek to trace the history of Luther's negotiations with the Hussites, and a sequel will seek to interpret Luther's endorsement of the Confessio Bohemica of 1535. In the Leipzig Disputation of 1519 Luther was forced to admit for the first time that certain articles of John Hus, condemned at Constance in 1415, were Christian and evangelical. An essay recently published in this journal sketched the place of Luther, of his Catholic opponents, and of his friends and supporters in that development.2 It was inevitable that a fourth party should be added - the Czechs themselves. For despite the dissensions among them, there was a "messianic" hope alive in their midst. Since they had cut themselves off from Rome, they felt the need of establishing con- 1 In the near future I hope to be able to present an interpretation of the Marburg C.olloquy, under the title "The Meaning of Marburg," which will attempt to penetrate to the motifs underlying Luther's actions and words on that occasion. A failure to grasp those motifs seems to have obscured the significance and implications .of Marburg for the prob- lem of Church unity. 2 "Luther's Attitude Toward John Hus," CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY, XIX (1948), 747-63. [496] LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 497 tact with another Church. And when Luther arose as a powerful opponent of the Papacy, the Hussites eagerly investigated him and his teachings in the hope that he would fill that need. Certainly something was needed in Bohemia. Not only had the result of Hus's work so ravaged the country that, as Hieronymus Emser observed, even married couples were split Up;3 but there was not even unity among those who had broken away from Rome. In a manner strangely presentient of the Protestant situation that was to follow, Czech Hussitism had split into various factions, each claiming to be loyal to the New Testament and insisting that it alone had preserved the teachings of John Hus in an unadulterated form. Hussitism was divided into several groups, of which only two, the Utraquists and the Unity of Bohemian Brethren, are pertinent to our discussion.4 The Calixtines, or Utraquists,5 were a partly aristocratic, partly middle-class group, conservative both politically and re- ligiously. They derived their name from the fact that they com- muned sub utraque specie, granting the chalice to the laity. Already in the latter part of the fourteenth century, Mikulas Mnich, who died in 1380, had distributed the Sacrament in both kinds to lay- men. This practice was condemned by the Council of Constance; nevertheless - or, perhaps, therefore - it took deep root in Bo- hemia in 1417, when the preachers at Charles University in Prague proclaimed that Christ had ordained the Supper in both kinds. Beyond this, however, the Calixtines were unwilling to go: they never denied the authority of the Pope, and if they had been granted the cup, they would readily have gone back to Rome.6 Thus, when the Council of Basel gave them permission to use the chalice, the Utraquists thought that a reconciliation with Rome was in sight.7 This so-called Compact of 1433, which the Utra- quists and other enemies of Rome used to good advantage for 3 De disputatione Lipsicensi, quantum ad Boemos obiter defl,'?xa est, leaf 1 A. 4 Ernst Troeltsch's generalizing summary of the various groups seems to be quite sound, but needs to be replaced by a more thorough study. Die Soziallehren der christlichen Kirchen und Gruppen (Tue- bingen, 1923), pp. 402-10. 5 See Clemens Borowy, "Die Utraquisten in Boehmen," Archiv fuer oesterreichische Geschichte, XXXVI (1866), 239-89; Leopold Krummel, "Utraquisten und Taboriten," Zeitschrift fuer historische Theologie, XLI (1871), 163--256, 311-413, 465-530; on the Romanizing character of the Utraquists, esp. pp.221-3l. 6 Frantisek Palacky, Dejiny narodu ceskeho (Praha, 1921), pp. 710-17. 7 Christian Adolph Peschek, Geschichte der Gegenreformation in Boehmen (Leipzig, 1850), I, pp.25-26, with extensive quotations from the sources. 32 498 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES years to come,s granted them certain concessions, especially the cup, with the stipulation that the priests were to remind the people that Christ is wholly present in either kind; they were also to keep the faith as far as all other doctrines were concerned.9 Be- cause of the unrest which this had caused, Pope Pius II - Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who had traveled in Bohemia and written a book on the Czechs - revoked the decree of the Council of Basel.10 But the Utraquists continued in their practice of Communion under both kinds. Dissatisfied with both Roman Catholicism and Utraquism, a group of Czechs, under the influence of Peter Chelcicky 11 and under the leadership of a certain Gregory, met in Kunwald in 1459 and formed the Unitas Fratrum Bohemicorum.12 Into this body there came various groups of Czech religious life, and the Unity caught up many of the radical, sectarian elements which could find no religious satisfaction elsewhere. As a result, when Luther arose as a defender of John Hus, the Unity appeared to have very little unity in its religious convictions.13 8 Johann Cochlaeus saw the Compactata as the chief obstacle to reunion between Rome and the Utraquists: Cochlaeus to Johann Fabri, October, 28, 1534, Zeitschrift fuer Kirchengeschichte, XVIII (1898), 259. Luther and his followers took advantage of the peculiar situation to answer charges that their practice in this matter was heretical, "Ein Bericht an einen guten Freund von beider Gestalt des Sakraments aufs Bischofs zu Meiszen Mandat" (1528), Werke (Weimar, 1881 fl.; hereafter referred to as WA) 26, 600; in 1539 Prince George of Anhalt saw books at the nunnery of St. Ludmila, "welche die Behemen im Concilio zu Basel angezogen, darinnen gemeldet, wie der Priester sol dem volck, nach reichung des Leibes, den Kelch des HERRN reichen etc .... ": "Bericht an den Churfuersten Bericht von der Lehr und Ceremonien so zu Dessaw gehalten werden" in Des Hochwirdigen ... Georgen Fuersten zu Anhalt . . . Predigten vnd andere Schrifften (Wittenberg, 1555), fol. 351 A. This exceedingly rare book is in Pritzlafl Memorial Library. 9 On the Compactata see Bohuslauus Balbinus, Epitome historica rerum Bohemicarum (Praha, 1677), pp.528-30 and passim. Balbinus quotes original documents which I have been unable to find any- where else. 10 Cf. Ludwig Pastor, History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages (London, 1907-38), III, 228-29. 11 See Matthew Spinka, "Peter Chelcicky, the Spiritual Father of the Unitas Fratrum," Church History, XII (1943), 271 fl. 12 The four standard non-Czech manuals on the Unitas Fratrum are: Anto Gindely, Geschichte der boehmischen Brueder (2 vols., 2d ed.; Praha, 1861-62); Bernhard Czerwenka, Geschichte der evangelischen Kirche in Boehmen (2 vols.; Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1869-70); Ernest de Schweinitz, History of the Church Known as the Unitas Fratrum (Bethlehem, Pa., 1901); and J. Mueller, Geschichte der boehmischen Brueder (3 vols.; Herrnhut, 1911 fl.). 13 This confusion within the Unity, of which we shall have more to say later on, is especially emphasized by Hermann Barge, "Kirchliche Stimmungen in Boehmen urn die Mitte des XVI. Jahrhunderts," Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft fuer die Geschichte des Protestantismus in Oesterreich, XXII (1901), 148-52. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 499 On two convictions, however, there seems to have been unanimity in Bohemia at the opening of the sixteenth century: that the Roman position on the Mass was wrong and that there was a necessity for the Cze·ch Christians to establish contact with some other Christian group. In 1450 the Utraquist estates held a synod at which it was decided to send a delegation to Constantinople in order to negotiate with the Patriarch of the East. The result was that the Patriarch and his supporters, expressing their joy over the unity of faith which had been established, promised to ordain the Utraquist priests; obtaining this promise had been the main pur- pose of the delegation.14 And in 1486 the Unity agreed to send out four men all over Christendom to try to find a church group with which the Unity could associate itself. When the men re- turned with the report that they had found no such church, the Brethren dispatched others, restricting themselves this time to Western Europe. This embassy found some Waldenses here and there; and relations between the Unity and the Waldenses, which had been going on for some time, were thereby strengthened. The Unity is even reported to have passed a resolution that "if God should raise up anywhere a faithful teacher or reformer of the Church, they wanted to unite with him." 15 Whether or not this report is true, it serves to illustrate the longing which the Czechs felt and for which they ultimately came to believe that Luther was the fulfillment. II The hope that Luther was indeed the fulfillment of their long- ing seems to have come to the Czechs quite early, and that first of all-probably because they were strong in Prague-to the Utra- quists.16 Some of their number were present at the Leipzig De- bate 17 and brought back favorable reports concerning Luther's support of Hus against Eck, thus substantiating the impression Lu- 14 Peschek, op. cit., pp. 31-32; it will be remembered, however, that the fall of Constantinople to the Turk occurred only three years later. 15 Reported by Theodor Brohm, "Luther und die boehmischen Brueder," Der Lutheraner, II (1846), 101; I have been unable to find any mention of such a resolution anywhere else. There can, however, be no denying the fact that the Hussites had influenced many Catholics to doubt the integrity of the Roman See and to hope for a chance; cf. Theodor Brieger, Die Reformation (Berlin, 1914), pp.20-21, for the effect on "die Stillen im Lande." 16 On Luther and the Utraquists see Josef Cihula, "Luther a cechove podoboji," 6esky casopis historicky, III (1897), 275 ff.; Georg Loesche, Luther, Melanthon [sic] und Calvin in Oesterreich-Ungarn (Tuebingen, 1909), pp. 36--42. 17 Cf. Luther's Attitude toward John Hus," pp.752-53, notes 42 and 48; also Wenzel Rozdalovsky to Luther, July 17, 1519, WA Briefe, 1, 419, on Iacobus quidem organarius," who attended the debate. 500 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES ther's writings had made in Bohemia.18 On the strength of these reports, two Utraquists, Jan Poduska and Wenzel Rozdalovsky, wrote to Luther soon afterward to express their sympathy with his stand.19 Congratulating Luther on his position, they exhorted him to stand firm. They backed up their exhortation with kind words about Elector Frederick 20 and with gifts: Poduska sent cutlery, and Rozdalovsky a copy of Hus's De Ecclesia.21 Rozda- lovsky promised to send a biography of Hus, too, should Luther desire it; there is no record of what came of that promise, and Luther did not refer to it when he reported the letters to Staupitz with the cryptic remark: "Erasmiant miro modo tam sensu, quam stylo." 22 Luther's contacts with the Utraquists are obscure for the next few years, but there seems to have been some communication be- tween them. For in the summer of 1522, when some of the Utra- quists were planning a reconciliation with Rome, a dissenting group sent a delegate to Luther.23 The Romanizing tendency among the Utraquists, to which we have already called attention,24 had be- 18 Jan Poduska to Luther, July 16, 1519, WA Briefe, 1, 417, "cum et multi et varii tractatus tui in manus nostras veniant," also the reference to Luther's "lucubrationes," Rozdalovsky to Luther, WA Briete, 1, 419. For the manner in which reformatory literature was spread, see P. Dedic, "Verbreitung und Vernichtung evangelischen Schrifttums in Inner- oesterreich im Zeitalter der Reformation und Gegenreformation," Zeit- schrift fuer Kirchengeschichte, LVII (1938), 433-58. 19 The letters, referred to already in previous notes, are: Poduska to Luther, July 16, 1519, WA Briefe 1, 417-18; Rozdalovsky to Luther, July 17, 1519, ibid., 419-20. 20 Rozdalovsky to Luther, p.419: "Qua quidem narratione . . • Illustrissimo Principi Friderico magnopea-e multum laudis attributum fuit." Whether RoZdalovsky suspected that Luther's opponents would take the tack that Eck tried (see "Luther's Attitude," p.754, note 54) or whether this was because the letters were sent through the court (Luther to Spalatin, October 3, 1519, WA Briefe, 1, 514) is hard to tell. Luther's words to the Utraque estates, "nunc per gratiam Dei nomen vestrum apud Proceres Germaniae optimos non male audiat," W A 10-11, 173, would seem to show that the Utraquists were concerned about the princes and had perhaps asked Luther orally for information. 21 The editor, WA Briefe, 1, 420, following Enders, could not deter- mine whether this was printed or written. It is perhaps the same copy which Luther sent on to Spalatin with his recommendation, Luther to Spalatin, March 19, 1520, WA Briefe, 2, 73, though the reference in note 5 on that page is to the copy printed in Hagenau (see "Luther's Attitude," p. 762, note 122). 22 Luther to Staupitz, October 3, 1519, WA Briefe, 1, 514. 23 Luther to Johann Lang, July 16, 1522: "qui apud me legatum habuere," WA Briefe, 2, 579. This holds if, as O. Brenner and G. Koff- mane maintain, WA 10-11, 171, "blasphemos" is to be read "Bohemos." In 1523 Luther said to the Czechs that "sepenumero multorumque litteris rogatus sum, ut ad vos scriberem," "De instituendis ministris ecclesiae," W A, 12, 169; though this probably has reference primarily to recent requests, it may include earlier ones as well. 24 Cf. notes 6-7 above. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSlTES 501 come considerably stronger; a diet of the Utraquist estates was scheduled to decide on the question in June, 1522.20 That formed the occasion for Luther's open letter to the Czech estates.26 Luther opened the letter with a description of how he had once felt about the Bohemians and of how his attitude had changed to such an extent that rumor had made him a Czech native who was preparing to flee to Bohemia.27 After assuring the Utraquists that the German princes were well disposed to them, he went on to suggest a union between the Utraquists and the Lutherans; but this could not be accomplished without patience.28 The whole treatise is significant for the light it shed on Luther's view of church union, particularly on his attitude toward the Czech situa- tion. The parties would be united first "in unum sensum," then "in unum nomen."29 Union would have to be a gradual process of patiently permitting the Evangelists to work on both groups.30 And the U traquists should not be so afraid of becoming a sect rather than a church that they go back to Rome and thus blemish Hus's memory.3! 25 Palacky, Dejiny, pp.1260-61; a short summary of the situation in WA 10-II, 169, and 12, 160-161. 26 "Schreiben an die Boehmischen Landstaende," July 15, 1522, WA 10-II, 172-74. As a study of the introduction, pp.169-72, reveals, the text and other details of the writing are still in a confused state. 27 Cf. "Luther's Attitude," p. 756, notes 72-73, 75. 28 "Quanquam nunc per gratiam Dei nomen vestrum apud Proceres Germaniae optimos non male audiat, et apud pessimos mitius audiat quam mei ipsius nomen, ut mihi spes sit brevi tempore fore, ut et Bohemi et Germani per Euangelion in unum sensum et nomen conveniant, modo interim patientes simus, misericordiam Domini expectemus et, si quid alterutri desit, invicem tolleremus. Non possunt omnia subito aut vi mutari, sensim et per bonos Euangelistas trahemus populos has in unum Christum donantes invicem et nihil ad unguem quod aiunt exigentes," W A 10-II, 173. 29 See also "Contra Henricum Regem Angliae" of the same year for a refutation of the thesis that union is more important than unity, WA 10-II, 219-20: " ... deo nihil curae est, ut impii homines unum vel non unum sint, qui unitate spiritus inanes sunt. Suis filiis ad externam unitatem sufjicit unum Baptisma et unus panis." (Italics my own; cf. note 119 below.) 30 Luther quite consistently stressed the need of patience with the weak in faith. " ... eyn kleyner glaub ist auch eyn glaub, Er ist darumb ynn die welt kommen, das er die schwachen walt annemen, tragen und dulden .. " Wenn sie gleich heute nicht starck sind, so mag es sich ynn eyner stund begeben, das er das wort reichlicher fasset, denn wyr," Sermon, October 29, 1525, WA 17-1, 458-59. And even in the severely critical product .of his closing years, after stating "rund und rein gantz und alles gegleubt, oder nichts gegleubt, Der heilige Geist lesst sich nicht trennen noch teilen," he could still go on: "On wo schwachen sind, die bereit sind, sich zu unterrichten zu lassen": "Kurzes Bekenntnis vom heiligen Sakrament" (1544), W A 54, 158. n "Certe ego cum nostris Iohannem Huss asseremus, etiam (quod Deus avertat) si tota Bohemia negarit: noster erit, qui occidimus eum, si vos repudiaveritis eum, qui defendistis," WA 10-II, 174. 502 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES Because of Luther's appeal and other writings of his which circulated among them, the Utraquists were split into two parties, one pro-Lutheran, the other pro-Catholic. As representative and hopeful leader of the former, a man came to Wittenberg in the summer of 1523 who was to cause Luther much pain. His name was Gallus Cahera. After becoming friendly with Luther, Cahera prevailed upon him to write a treatise on ordination for the Utra- quists.32 He then returned to Praha with the treatise, written partly by himself, in the fall of 1523. It appeared first in Latin under the title "De instituendis ministris Ecclesiae" and was then translated into German several times.33 One of the translators, Paul Speratus, found this to be the essential meaning of the treatise: Kurtzlich, hie wird fuer gemalet, wie man sich mit dienern ym wort gottis versehen sol. ... Zu beschlus erman ich euch, lasset uns aIle eyn ding ynn Christo seyn, wie wyr denn ynn eynem geyst zu eynem leyb aIle getauffet synd, wyr seyn Deutzsch, Behemisch, Welsch oder Kriechisch. Der namen giltet keyner fur Gott. . .. Wyr sehen aber, das die tauff und das wort gottis unter den Behemen ist, welche zwey des christliche wesens die aller gewissisten zeychen synd, so folget, das auch on zweyfel Christen ynn Behem sind.34 The content of the treatise bears out what Speratus looked for in it. For it is a systematic review of all the prerogatives which the Roman Church claimed for the priest, and a demonstration that all of them belong to individual Christians, since they are priests.35 Discouraging the practice of private Communion in the home,36 Luther attempted to show that the Lord's Supper was inferior in 32 Cf. Luther to Burian Sobek von Kornitz, October 27, 1524, WA Briefe, 3, 363-64. 33 W A 12, 169-96. On the translations see ibid., pp. 164---65. For the date cf. Luther to Nikolaus Hausmann, November 13, 1523, WA Briefe 3, 195, "in hoc libello," indicating that he was sending it along. Ap- parently it had already been printed and Cahera had another copy. 34 In his "Zuschrift," reprinted WA 12, 166--68; it compares favor- ably with the material in note 29 above. For additional word on Speratus, C£. note 63 below. 35 For a comprehensive summary of this essay and comments from other treatises see A. W. Dieckhoff, Luthers Lehre von der kirchlichen Gewalt (Berlin, 1865), pp.90-96, and the critique, pp.97-106, also pp.109-10, 116-21, and note 2 on p.158. Unfortunately, Dieckhoff treats "De instituendis" almost completely in a vacuum as Luther's "doctrine," forgetting that, like much of Luther's writing, it is largely a Tendenz- schrift. 36 WA 12, 171-72; C£. also "Die Schmalkaldischen Artikel" (1537 to 1538), W A 50, 203, and the references in Julius Koestlin, The Theology of Luther, Translated by Charles E. Hay (Philadelphia, 1897), II, 520; also Werner Elert, Morphologie des Luthertums (Muenchen, 1931-32), II, 94. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 503 importance to the preaching of the Word and to Baptism,37 both of which belong to the layman as priest. But he also included a strong recommendation of Cahera, who had been legitimately or- dained; thus, he said, the Utraquists could overcome the qualms of those who were still somewhat squeamish about a congrega- tional polity.38 On the basis of this recommendation, Cahera was elected administrator of the Utraquist estates. But he soon began nego- tiating with the Catholic party, and his actions aroused much antagonism on the part of his fellow Utraquists. In the subse- quent tumult Cahera seems to have gone into exile to Ansbach- just when, it is impossible to determine.39 Luther wrote to him to express his bitter disappointment,40 and by the early part of the next year he was wrought up enough to refer to Cahera as "Bohemorum portentum." 41 III The tragic incident with Gallus Cahera seems to have ended the contact between Luther and the Utraquists. But even while those contacts were going on, Luther had begun his negotiations with the Unitas Fratrum;42 and out of these negotiations was to issue Luther's preface to the Confessio Bohemica in 1538. As has already been mentioned, the Brethren were earnestly seeking commendation from, and connection with, other Christians who seemed to be opposing the papal system. Thus they had 37 W A 12, 183: "quam raro Euangelistae et Apostoli mentionem Eucharistae faciant." 38 W A 12, 194. 39 Burianus' chronicle narrates: "Gallus Czahera (Lutherizans) missus in exilium a Rege Ferdinando 1. abiit in Onspach ibique Uxorem duxit," quoted in Balbinus, op. cit., p.586. 40 Luther to Cahera, November 13, 1524, WA Briefe 3, 370-71: "Rede, mi Galle, et redi, quamdiu tempus habes, cessa Deo et Christo adversari. . .. Mi Galle, credisne Christum simul Deum esse, qui te intuetur et te tamen indicabit?" Cf. Luther to Burian Sobek von Kornitz, October 27, 1524, WA Briefe 3, 363. Luther, it will be remembered, had a similar unfortunate experience when he recommended Gabriel Zwilling for a parish post. 41 Luther to Nikolaus Hausmann, February 2, 1525, W A Briete 3, 431. 42 See F. M. Bartos, "Das Auftreten Luthers und die Unitaet," Archiv tuer Rejormationsgeschichte, XXXI (1934), 103-20; Josef cihula, "Pomer Jednoty Bratri Ceskych k Martinovi Lutherovi," Vestnik kra- lovske ceske spolocnosti nauk, 1897, and the review of Cihula, 6eskiJ casopis historicky, V (1901), 59; J.ohn Halko, "The Relation of the Mo- ravian Brethren with Martin Luther," Unpublished M. A. Dissertation, The University of Chicago, 1928; J. RuZicka, "cechove a doktor M. Luther, s poznamenanim 0 ostatcich bratrstva," 6eskobratrsky V·estnik (Praha, 1850), pp. 281 fl.; Loesche, Luther, Melanthon [sic] und Calvin, pp. 43-60; Erhard Peschke, Die Theologie der boehmischen Brueder in ihrer Frueh- zeit, I: Das Abendmahl, 1. Studien, No.5 of "Forschungen zur Kirchen- und Geistesgeschichte" (Stuttgart, 1935), pp. 307-80. 504 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES approached Erasmus in 1511 with a request for his approval of their confession of 1508. Excusing himself because of too much work, Erasmus expressed his fears concerning the impressi9n such ap- proval might make and declined to offer it,43 though he seems to have referred to them approvingly in the preface to his second edition of the New Testament.44. But the Brethren were still hopeful of making some sort of contact, and Luther's rise as Reformer seemed to appeal to that hope. As he had condemned Hus in his early days, so Luther had also condemned the Brethren. He was quite violent in his censure of them as late as Leipzig.45 But throughout his early life he regarded them as heretics. Although it is a problem whether the name "Pighardi" always refers to them,46 it is clear that he often used that name for the Bohemians.47 His chief criticism of them, as at Leipzig, was directed at their supposed pride and 10velessness;48 and in at least one place in his commentary on Romans 49 he refers to their views on sin and grace. For Luther, as for the entire Church, they were "perversores scripturae et subdoli calumniatores nostrae pietatis." 50 As Luther's opposition to the Papacy increased, however, and as he began his association with the Utraquists, his view of the Unitas Fratrum also underwent revisions. Late in 1519 he came into possession of an antipapal tract which may have been the work of Jan Lukas, bishop of the Unity. 51 And in June, 1520, he 43 See Christian Adolph Peschek, "Zur Charakteristik des Eras- mus," 6. of "Kirchengeschichtliche Miscellen," Zeitschrift fuer historische Theologie, xm (1843), 144--45. 44 So Loesche concludes, op. cit., p. 43. 45 Cf. "Luther's Attitude," p. 753, note 49. 46 For a discussion of this problem see Walter Koehler, Luther und die Kirchengeschichte nach seinen Schriften, I. (untersuchender) Teil, 1. Abteilung (Erlangen, 1900), p.l71. 47 " ••• nostri vicini Pighardi Boemiae," "Decem praecepta Witten- bergensi praedicata populo" (1518), WA 1, 506; "die Bickarden aus Boehem," "Auslegung des 109.Psalms" (1518), WA 1, 697. 48 "Sibi plaudunt de magnis illuminationibus et miris operibus, ut nostri Piccardi . . . ," "Sermo in vincula S. Petri" (August 1, 1516), WA 1, 69; "comprehendantur superbia sua ... nostri Pighardi vicini nostri," "Dictata super Psalterium" (1513-16), WA 3, 334; "a Pighardo Christus vocetur Pighardianus," ibid., W A 4, 361. 49 "Diui Pauli apostoli ad Romanos epistola" (1515-16), W A 56, 494. For the argument that other passages in the Romans commentary apply, cf. Peschke, op. cit., pp.338-40. 50 Decem praecepta Wittenbergensi praedicata populo" (1518), WA 1, 426; for another reference to their iconoclasm see Luther to Spalatin, December 31, 1516, W A Briefe 1, 82. 51 Luther to J.ohann Lang, December 18, 1519, WA Briefe 1, 597. The description of the tract as "eruditus et theologicus" would fit Lukas. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 505 was not as derogatory as he had been of the "Pighardi" 52 - and this in a letter to a man prominent in anti-Hussite activity.53 Nevertheless they remained heretics in Luther's opinion because of their doctrine of the Lord's Supper;54 and it was chiefly around this doctrine that future discussions between Luther and the Unity were to center. The doctrine of the Lord's Supper was the focal point of Hussite piety and thought for a full two centuries. 55 It was an especially troublesome point to Lukas, whose extensive literary output 56 was largely devoted to positive and polemical discussion of the Eucharist. Lukas' view of the Lord's Supper caused Luther much difficulty; and small wonder, for it is quite complicated. 57 In the form which it had before his first encounter with Lu- ther, Lukas' doctrine of the Eucharist was postulated on a particular theory of the modes of being in Christ. He gave best expression to it in his treatise of 1520 on the adoration of the Sacrament.58 Christ had fundamentally two modes of existence: the personal, essential, real (bytny) mode; and the spiritual mode. According to the personal mode He walked on the earth, suffered, died, and rose from the dead. The spiritual mode, on the other hand, is divided into the essential spiritual existence and the ministerial spiritual existence. By the essential spiritual existence Christ exists in Himself and in the believer, in this world and in the next. By the ministerial existence He serves through the ministers of 52 Luther to Hieronymus Dungersheim, mid-June, 1520, WA B'riefe, 2, 126. 53 Karl Schottenloher, Jakob ZiegTer aus Landau an der Isar, No. 8-10 of "Reformationsgeschichtliche Studien und Texte" (Muenster, 1910), pp. 22 ff., 380 ff. 54 Cf. "Vorclerung Doctoris Martini Luther etlicher Artickell yn seynem Sermon von dem heyligen sacrament" (1520), WA 6, 80, the first illdication that Luther knew of the various parties among the Hussites and of the several doctrines of the Lord's Supper current among them. 55 E. Peschke's Theologie der boehmischen Brueder (Stuttgart, 1935), referred to several times above, is an excellent discussion of the place of the Lord's Supper in Czech thought during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. It is, however, unfortunate that he chose Lukas' death (1528) as the terminus ad quem of his study, adding only a short paragraph on p.374, beginning: "Luther war sich auch in spae- terer Zeit nicht ueber die Abendmahlslehre der Brueder klar," and con- tinuing with references chiefly to the Tischreden. 56 Cf. Jan Jakubec, Dejiny literatury ceske, I (Praha, 1929), 630-35 646-47. ' 57 On Lukas' doctrine see Rudolf Vindis, "Bratra Lukasa Prazskeho nazory 0 eucharisti," Vestnik kralovske spolocnosti nauk (Praha, 1922 to 1923), which has been supplemented by Peschke, op. cit., pp.227-304. 58 The treatise has not been printed; it is quoted in Peschke, op. cit., p.274, note 4. Cf, Jakubec, op. cit., I, 633. 506 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES the Church and also through its ministrations; chief among these latter are the Word of the Gospel and the Sacraments.59 Working on the basis of such a theory, Lukas could come to what Peschke summarizes as "eine entschiedene Ablehnung der 'Transsubstantiations-, Konsubstantiations- und Zeichenlehre." 60 He rejected the idea that John 6 applied to the Eucharist and held to what the Acta Unitatis Fratrum call "Communicatio y Diomatum." 61 If Peschke has caught his meaning, Lukas taught that the spiritual body received in the Sacrament is not the same body betrayed by Judas and crucified, but that by the reception of that spiritual body one participates in the natural, historical body as well. And so the presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper is neither spiritual nor symbolic nor sacramental nor real- but all of these! Approaching the problem of the Lord's Supper from within a totally different framework of reference, Luther was, of course, confused by such a viewpoint. As has already been pointed out,62 the Bohemian Brethren were known to have peculiar ideas on the Sacrament, and this was one of Luther's objections to them. It was, therefore, natural that Luther should speak of the Sacrament in his dealings with the Brethren. The situation was brought to a head by the difficulties which Paul Speratus had encountered in his work as preacher for the Dominican monastery at Iglau in Moravia.63 After arriving in Iglau early in May, 1522, Speratus had begun to make inquiries of the Utraquists and Brethren in the vicinity concerning their doctrinal position. Interviews and research produced a group of articles, and these he sent to Luther for his opinion.64 The letter reached Wittenberg just as Luther was entertaining a delegation 59 In 1510 Lukas had arranged his concepts in a somewhat different way; schematically set up by Peschke, op. cit., p.274, the modes are: I. Essential, natural, and corporeal II. Powerful A. According to His deity B. According to His humanity III. Spiritual A. In the souls of the believers B. In Word and Sacrament IV. Sacramental, spiritual, powerful, and true 60 Op. cit., p.287. 61 Ibid., p.280 on John 6; the communication of attributes on page 293. 62 See the lengthy passage referred to in note 54 above. 63 On Speratus see note 34 above. 64 For a summary of the articles see Peschke, op. cit., pp.357-58. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 507 from the Unitas Fratrum. Head of the delegation was Jan Roh;65 but who came along, whether Michal Weisse or not,66 we do not know. At any rate, Luther's conversations with Roh and his companion convinced him that despite their somewhat peculiar manner of speaking, the Brethren did not deny the real presence of Christ in' the Sacrament. They did, of course, teach that the body which was present in the Sacrament was different from that which was sitting at the right hand of the Father; not knowing that he would eventually address himself to the problema tics of just that relationship, Luther expressed the pious wish "dasz man sich in diesen Dingen nicht fast bekummert, sondern schlechtlich und einfaltiglich glaubet." 67 IV Luther's approval of the Brethren was modified by his dis- pleasure at the fact that, as quoted in Speratus' theses, they were still applying John 6 to the Eucharist. The indication that there was an almost completely symbolical interpreation of the Lord's Supper in some sections of the Unity even during Lukas' period of prominence 68 is substantiated by the views expressed in the hymns of Michal Weisse; and it is well to recall in this con- nection Dilthey's winged word that the religiousness of a group cannot be gauged from its theological treatises alone, but also from its prayers and hymns.69 Weisse's hymnody quite plausibly rep- resented a considerable segment of popular piety within the Unity. Although he was not averse to employing metaphysical ter- 65 On Roh (Horn, or Cornu) see James Mearns in John Julian (ed.), A Dictionary of Hymnology (London, 1925), p. 972 fI. 66 On Weisse see Mearns in Julian, op. cit., pp.1247-48. Joseph Mueller seems quite sure it was Weisse who probably came along, Ge- schichte, I, 401. Strangely enough, however, the German hymnal of the Brethren, published in 1639, mentions Roh as one "der Anno 1523 und darnach etliche mahle, beym Herrn Luthero legationsweise gewesen," reprinted in Philipp Wackernagel (ed.), Das deutsche Kirchenlied von der aeltesten Zeit bis zu Anfang des XVII. Jahrhunderts, I (Leipzig, 1864), 727. In its write-up of Weisse the hymnal does not refer to his having visited Luther at all, only that Luther commended him as a German poet. Also militating against Weisse's having been present is his doctrine of the Eucharist, for which see notes 70-79 below. 67 Luther to Speratus, May 26, 1522, W A Briefe 2, 531. 68 In 1526 Lukas wrote: "Odpis na spis Woldricha Zwinglia 0 swa- tosH dobre milosti" (Answer to Ulrich Zwingli's treatise on the Eucha- rist) , apparently the Swiss Reformer's Subsidium sive coronis de Eucharistia; and in the same year appeared another polemical treatise directed against the symbolic view. Cf. Mueller, Geschichte, I, 442-43, 561-62. 69 Wilhelm Dilthey, Weltanschauung und Analyse des Menschen seit Renaissance und Reformation, Gesammelte Schriften, II (Leipzig, 1914), 515. Though Dilthey is speaking specifically of Lutheranism here, the axiom can be applied generally; if anything, it would seem to fit. the untheological Unitas Fratrum even better than it does Lutheranism .. 508 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES minology in his hymns,70 Weisse's allusions to the Lord's Supper show that he wished to avoid the Christological speculation that had marked Lukas' approach to the problem of the Real Presence.71 Weisse therefore emphasized as his view that having personally ascended into heaven,72 Christ could be present only in one place at a given time;73 and since His transfigured and exalted body is glorious, His presence only before the throne of God is a com- forting fact.74 The logical conclusion from these facts, thought Weisse, is a spiritualistic 75 and somewhat moralistic 76 view of the Lord's Supper. Warning the believers against false prophets who teach Christ's personal presence in the Eucharist,77 Weisse stressed 70 So, for instance in a hymn ad!iressed to the Trinity: Deines wesens ort kan niemaat finden noch dein art vnn eigenschafft aufgruenden. No.340, st. 2: Wackernagel, III, 295; "Er is wesentlich vberal," No. 330, sta.4: Wackernagel, III, 288. 71 Cf. notes 58-61 above. 72 No. 413, st. 1: No. 314, st. 9: Christus jnn leiblicher perschon ist jmm himmel vor gottes trohn. . . . Wackernagel, III, 347; cf. "perschoenlich W ackernagel, III, 276. 73 Die schrieft zeiget vns reichlich an was christus sey vnn wz er kan, Auch wie er sey an einem ort vnd nicht auf ein mal hie unnd dort. No. 411, st. 6: Wackernagel, III, 346. 74 Christ's body is aufgestigen," ... gantz verklert, vnsterblich, se herlich vnd lieblich Allen auserwelten zu trost hie vnn auch dort ewiglich. No. 297, st. 8: Wackernagel, III, 265; indeed, in heaven . . . fromett er vns gar vil meer denn so er leiblich bey vns wer. No.409, st. 2: Wackernagel, III, 344. 75 Sein fieisch vnn blut geystlicher weisz jst seiner auserwelten speisz, die sich da zu schicken mit fieisz, Die vom heiligen geist besucht sich enthalten von boeser frucht vnn annehmen goetliche zucht. No. 305, st. 4: Wackernagel, III, 271. 76 See the last two lines of the previous quotation; also his admoni- tion that those who wish to partake of the Sacrament should check ... ob jhr innerlich seit bereit zu thun gotes gerechtigkeit. No. 411, st. 8: Wackernagel, III, 346; on the works of the worthy com- municant as "got angenehm, loeblich vnd gut," d. No. 409, st. 10: Wacker- nagel, III, 345. 77 No. 411, st. 5: Wacht, jhr christen, vnd seht euch fuer, das euch kein falsch prophet verfuer, Wenn sie kommen vnn sagen frey, das christus perschoenlich da sey! Wackernagel, III, 346. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 509 the testamental character of the Supper.78 His views are well summarized in the verses: Das sacrament bleibt wein vnn brot vnn wirt nicht verwandelt jnn got, Es wirt wol leib unn blut genant, hat aber geistlichen verstandt. Christi leib vnn blut, bIos vnn schlecht, macht niemanden vor gott gerecht, Aber der geist jnn seiner krafft giebt vielen doerren hertzen saft. Der herr redet an manchem ort durch gleichnis vnnd verborgne wort: Solt mans dann all fleischlich verstehn, so muest der glaub zu boden gehn.79 That such was actually Weisse's position is evident also from the fact that Roh criticized him for it in the preface to the 1544 edition of the hymnal of the Brethren as well as from the changes which Roh made in Weisse's hymns for that edition.8o With due realization of the shortcomings of such paralleliza- tions it can be suggested that Weisse represented a view similar to that of Zwingli and that Lukas' theory was closer to that of Calvin. The ambiguity which that implies was very significant in Luther's dealings with the Unity: he was repelled or attracted by their doc- trine because of the view of the man or group of men with whom he was dealing at a given moment. Thus, when Roh visited him, Luther came to believe that the Brethren were closer to his own position than many of them actually were. That is why Speratus was not satisfied with Luther's answer of May 16. A discussion with Benes Optat 81 had convinced him that there was more to the doctrine of the Brethren than Luther had supposed from his conversation with Roh, that, in short, Lu- 78 Wir glawben all vnd bekennen frey, das nach christi wort dis brot testamentlich sey, Sein leib, d' fuer vnser missethat am kreutz leid den bittern todt. No. 414, st. 1: Wackernagel, III, 348; it is "sein leib und bluts testaments weisz," No.409, st. 7: Wackernagel, III, 344. 79 No. 413, st. S-10: Wackernagel, III, 347; in the editions of the hymnal after 1531 this entire hymn was omitted. 80 Cf. the insertion of "wahrhaftigklich dein Leyb vnd Blut" and similar differences between No. 409 (Weisse's original) and No.410 (Roh's revision), Wackernagel, III, 345. Roh even brought in the communio indignorum: No. 412, st. 6: Wackernagel, III, 346. 81 Benes Optat was the author of an early Czech grammar and the translator of Erasmus' Latin New Testament into Czech in 1533; cf. Jaroslav Pelikan, "The Bible of Kralice," Unpublished B. D. Dissertation, Concordia Seminary, 1946, p. 15. • 510 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES ther had been duped. Optat was curious about the adoration of Christ in the Sacrament 82 and about the doctrine of "concomi- tantia," which underlay that custom.83 Though he regarded such questions as "importuna et stulta," 84 Luther replied that the veneration of the Sacrament was an adiaphoron and that they should hold to the simple faith of simple people in the real presence of Christ in the elements.85 He was sure that "nemo enim negat, nec fratres ipsi . . . corpus at sanguinem christi ibi esse" and urged Speratus to do everything he could to keep the Brethren from speculating about unnecessary problems.86 In a short time, however, Luther was to see that Speratus' suspicions about the Unity were justified.87 For sometime late in 1522 or early in 1523 the Brethren published a catechism in Czech and German.88 It seems to have been written partly at Luther's request 89 for clarification on their doctrine of the Sacrament. Lukas sent a Latin translation to Luther requesting that he edit and publish it; this Luther agreed to do. But a more thorough investigation of the contents of the brochure convinced him that he should first determine the view of the Brethren on Christ's presence in the Sacrament before going ahead with the publication. In order to clarify matters, Luther composed an extensive treatise on the adoration of Christ in the Sacrament, addressed to the Unity.9o 82 Weisse objected strenuously to this practice, insisting that the primitive Christians "beweysten yhm nicht goetlich ehr," No. 413, st.11: Wackernagel, III, 347. 83 On all of Benes' questions, cf. Mueller, Geschichte, I, 403 ff.; on the medieval concept of "concomitantia," cf. the brief but relevant comments of Gottfried Thomasius, Die ChristLiche Dogmengeschichte (Erlangen, 1874--76), II, 152-54. 84 Luther to Speratus, June 13, 1522, WA Briefe 2, 560, following the reading preferred by the editors (cf. p. 562, note i). 85 Cf. the reference to the questions as "inutiles et periculosae in vulgo, quod sua ruditate et levitate" would wander from the faith, ibid., 560, and to the danger of "rude vulgus his argutiis implicare," ibid., 561. 86 Ibid., 560. 87 There may have been another delegation between the second and the composition of "Von Anbeten." Luther refers, WA 11, 431, to the legates of the Unity who explained the doctrine to him and from whom he requested other questions and problems; but it is not clear whether the reference is to a third legation or to one of those already described above. 88 Cf. Joseph Mueller (ed.) , Die deutschen Katechismen de?' boeh- mischen Brueder, No.6 of "Monumenta Germaniae Paedagogica" (Berlin, 1887), for a complete history and edition of the German catechisms of the Brethren. 89 " ••• euch on zweyffel bewust ist, wie ich durch ewr geschickten zu myr euch bitten lies, das yhr dissen artickel eygentlich klar machtet durch eyn sonderlich buchlin," "Von Anbeten," WAll, 431. 90 "Von Anbeten des Sakraments des heiligen Leichnams Christi," WAll, 431-56. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 511 The treatise is highly significant for an understanding of Luther's relations with the Unity and of his stand in the later Sacramentarian controversies.91 In the first part he lists four pos- sible errors on the Sacrament and attempts to refute each one exegetically. Some Christians insisted "es sey schlecht brott und weyn ym sacrament, wie sonst die leutt brott essen und weyn trincken, und haben nicht mehr davon gehalten denn: das brott bedeutte den leyb unnd der weyn bedeutte das blutt Christi"; 92 a second group supposed that "das sacrament nicht anders sey denn gemeynschafft am leybe Christi odder viel mehr eyn eynleybung ynn seynen geystlichen leyb";93 the other extreme was taken by the Roman Catholic view that "ym sacrament keyn brot bleybe, sondern nur gestalt des brotts";94 and the fourth and "der aller schedlichst und aller ketzrischt" theory was that the Sacrament is "eyn opfier und gutt werck." 95 Either the first or the second of these possibilities seemed to Luther to have led the Brethren astray. As the cause of their error Luther suggested the existence of a rationalistic tendency among them and warned them against it.96 Though one of the more systematic of Luther's earlier works, the treatise "Von Anbeten" is very careful to avoid the logomachy caused by lingu- istic differences. Luther sent it to the Brethren with the hope "ob villeicht meyn deutsch sprach euch deuttlicher were denn ewre deutsch und latin myr ist." 97 He also recommended that they cultivate "die sprachen" - a course of action which was to characterize his followers in the Unity 98 - and promised that the 91 Cf. his reference to this treatise in "Schreiben an Johann Her- wagen" of 1526: "ante tres annos libro vernaculo ad Valdenses de Adoratione Sacramenti inter alios sermones de Eucharistia editos, abunde testatus sim ... quod sentiam," W A 19, 471. 92 "Von Anbeten," WAll, 434. 93 Ibid., WA 11, 437. 94 Ibid., p. 441. 95 Ibid., WAll, 441. It is very meaningful that in a treatise ad- dressed to the Unity Luther should point out that as in general Pelagian- ism is the "hauptketzerey," so in the doctrine of the Sacrament the worst of aU heresies is not the denial of Christ's presence, but the denial of His givenness. For a further evaluation d. my forthcoming article "Luther's Endorsement of the Confessio Bohemica." 96 See the reference to "vernunfft" (WAll, 438) and "vernunnft und witze" (WA 11, 434). 97 "Es mag aber auch wol seyn," he says toward the end of the essay, "wie die ewern sagen, das ewr ding gar viel bas ynn ewer Behe- mischer sprach lautte denn yhrs zu latin geben kundet. Darumb villeycht etlich stueck anders von uns verstanden werden denn yhrs haUtet," WAll, 455. See note 114 below. 98 WA 11, 455; cf. note 108 below. 512 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES Germans would do something about the comparative lack of piety and morality in their midst.99 The treatise was well received by the Unity, and in a letter to Luther 100 the Bohemian elders expressed their appreciation of the kind way in which he dealt with the points on which the Bohemians differed with him. They promised to think the points through carefully and to try to formulate a statement of their position which Luther could better understand. Nevertheless there is an undertone of formality in the letter indicative of the aliena- tion that was already beginning. V Such was the nature of that sudden alienation that there seems to have been little or no contact between the Unity and Luther for almost a decade. Both Luther and the Unity were deeply involved in determining their future course; and the only relation there was between them seems to have been through the Bohemian students who came to Wittenberg.101 But the develop- ment of the Unity during these silent years from 1523 to 1533 was to mean much for their association with Luther. It will therefore be necessary briefly to outline that development.102 From the appearance of "Von Anbeten" until his death in 1528, Lukas carried on polemical activity against Luther and Lutheran- ism. His outstanding polemical attempt was entitled "Odpowed Bratrzie na Spis Martina Lutera," "Answer of the Brethren to Martin Luther's Writing"; it appeared on September 16, 1523.103 In this, as was to be expected, Lukas defended his view of the Lord's Supper;104 and it seemed to many that as long as Lukas lived, the Brethren were committed to a policy of isolation from the other anti-Catholic groups springing up around them. But shortly after Lukas' death the situation changed, and a 99 " ••. weyl ich hore, das von gottis gnaden bey euch szo eyn feyn tzuechtiger euserlicher wandel ist, das man nicht so schwelget, frist und seufft, flucht und schweret, pranget und offentlich ubel thutt wie bey uns," WAIl, 456. 100 The Elders of the Bohemian Brethren to Luther, before June 23, 1523, W A BTiefe 3, 98-99. 101 Cf. "Luther's Attitude," p.748, notes 4--5. 102 Because of the woeful lack of printed materials and the tem- porary inaccessibility of the archives of the Unity at Herrnhut, I have been forced to depend upon secondary sources for this account, notably on Mueller's Geschichte. 103 See a facsimile of the frontispiece to the "Odpowed" in Mueller, Geschichte, I, 415, and a summary, ibid., 414--17. 104 See notes 57-61 above. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 513 strongly pro-Lutheran party took charge of the Unity.105 Lukas' successor and chief supporter was Michal Skoda; in 1529 the Unity elected as his cobishops Jan Roh, Wenzel Bily, and Andrej CyklovskY. Of these three, Bily and Cyklovsky supported Skoda and hence Lukas; but, Roh, of whom we have spoken previously/o6 was one of the leaders of the new, pro-Lutheran party. Between 1529 and 1532 the new movement gained much momentum within the Unity that it practically eliminated the old guard, and in 1532 Skoda resigned. Skoda's place was taken by Jan Augusta, "the Czech Lu- ther." 107 Born in 1500 as the son of a Utraquist hatmaker, he rose to his high position without the benefit of an extensive formal education. He nevertheless joined that group in the Unity which felt the need for an educated clergy, the same group which attempted to break with Lukas' policy of isolation and to re- establish friendly contacts with the German reformers.108 Under the leadership of Augusta and Roh, that group pre- pared a confession of faith in 1532 for presentation to the Margrave George of Brandenburg. The confession was translated into Ger- man, apparently by Michal Weisse,l°9 and published in Zuerich in 1532; the tone of the translation seems to have been almost Zwin- glian.110 Alarmed at what this might mean for their relations with Luther, the elders of the Brethren quickly tried to stop the transla- tion, but to no avail. And so they did the next best thing: they retranslated the confession.ll1 This second translation somehow 112 came into Luther's hands; and in 1533 he published it in Wittenberg, together with his preface to it.113 The preface emphasized the fact "das man nicht umb wort 105 Cf. Mueller, Geschichte, II, 1-7; Loesche, Luther, Melanchthon und Calvin, pp.48-49; de Schweinitz, op. cit., pp. 240 ft.; and O. Clemen and O. Brenner in WA 38, 75-76. 106 Cf. notes 65-66 and note 80 above. 107 On Augusta, cf. Otakar Odlozilik, "Two Reformation Leaders of the Unitas Fratrum," Church History, IX (1940), 253-63. 108 These two courses of action came to be closely identified; see note 98 above. 109 On Weisse, cf. notes 66, 70-79 above. 110 See the references in Mueller, Geschichte, II, 45-46 in proof of this. 111 Mueller has tried to show, ibid., pp.47-48, that the Brethren purposely permitted both translations to appear and circulate, in order to satisfy everyone. It is a tantalizing theory, but one would like to have a little more evidence before stating it as baldly as Mueller does. 112 Cihula, op. cit., p.41, speaks of two delegates from the Unity to Luther; Mueller, Geschichte, II, 42, note 101, denies this. 113 See the facts of publication, WA 38, 76-77, and the preface itself, pp. 78---80. 33 514 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSlTES und rede zancken sol." 114 Despite their strange manner of speak- ing, the Brethren - so Luther was convinced - "doch im grunde eben mit uns helligen und gleuben, das im Sacrament der war- hafftige leib und blut Christi empfangen werde." Expressing the hope that the publication of the "Rechenschaft" would lead to more unity,l15 Luther sent it on its way. Nevertheless the confusion caused by the differing transla- tions persisted. In order to clear up the confused situation as well as to inform themselves about the moral convictions and conditions among the German Lutherans, the Brethren sent out a delegation in 1535.116 Although the delegation was intended as an embassy to both the Lutherans and the Zwinglians, it never got beyond Wittenberg. Here the delegates spent four weeks, from March 21 till April 18, in theological discussion. The chief subjects of con- versation were justification by faith and, as always, the Sacra- ments. Particular attention was devoted to the meaning of the "Rechenschaft," which had described Christ's presence in the Lord's Supper as "consecrated, spiritual, powerful, and true." 117 When the discussions were completed, both Luther and Me- lanchthon were so pleased that they sent cordial letters back to Bohemia with the delegates.1lS Luther's reaction to the visit was particularly enthusiastic. He had always maintained that "abunde satis est, si ecclesia sancta catholica in fide et doctrina consentit," and more explicitly that "ubi haec duo sacramenta recte adminis- 114 WA 38, 78; a little later on, p.79, he speaks of the Brethren's "weise zu reden." l15 "Well ich nu gem sehen wolt, das alle welt mit uns und wir mit aller welt eintrechtig wuerden inn einerley glauben Christi, zum wenig- sten, wo es mit den sprachen nicht kuend geschehen, doch mit dem hertz en und sinn," WA 38, 79. 116 It seems that some among the Brethren were advocating and practicing what seemed to the more pious to be libertinism and calling it Lutheranism; cf. note 99 above. Our knowledge of this delegation and of its work is derived chiefly from N. Slansky's chronicle, reprinted in Anton Gindely (ed.) , QueLlen zur Geschichte der boehmischen Brueder, vornehmlich ihren Zusammenhang mit Deutschland betretfend, No. 19 of "Fontes Rerum Austraicarum" (Wien, 1859), 16--71. 117 " •.. poswatne duchowne mocne a prawe," ibid., p.46. The Czech text of the "Rechenschaft" seems never to have appeared in print; nor could I get access to the German translations. The Latin translation is reprinted in Balthasar Lydius, Waldensia (Rotterdam, 1616), I b, 92-367, which I had the privilege of using at the library of the Columbia Uni- versity, New York. 118 Melanchthon's letter, Corpus Reformatorum (Halle, p. 1834 fl.), 2, 854, was most likely written at this time, not around February, as Bretschneider held; this is shown by a comparison with Luther's letter and with Slansky's account. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 515 trantur, cetera omnia observata facilia sunt." 119 This agreement had been established between the Unity and Luther; "in qua re seu sententia," wrote Luther, referring to the Lord's Supper, "non video, quid difl'eramus, licet nos aliis verbis utamur. Verum, ut dicitur, frustra de verbis discepatur, ubi res ipsae conveniunt." 120 Nor did differences in practice militate against that essential agree- ment; for, formulated Luther, "doctrina enim efficit aut christianos aut haereticos, vita autem sanctos aut peccatores." 121 Encouraged by this warm reception, the Brethren proceeded to work up a new confession of their faith and to present it to King Ferdinand.122 This was the Confessio Bohemka of 1535. And although the monarch did not even deign to read the document, it eventually became the basis for the friendly relations between the Unity and Luther that brought on his endorsement of the Confessio in 1538. The Confessio Bohemica was presented to Ferdinand on No- vember 14, 1535, as the official doctrinal position of the Unity. Almost a year later -just why they waited so long is unclear- the Brethren sent Jan Augusta, Erasmus Sommerfeld, and Jiri Israel to Luther with the Confession and a letter of introduction.123 The letter, whose original is unfortunately lost,124 is a classic for its evangelical and irenic attitude.125 In presenting their confession 119 Luther to Benedict Baworinsky, April 18, 1535, in D. Martin Luthers Briefwechsel, Edited by Ludwig Enders, Gustav Kawerau, and others (Franckfurt, Calw, and Stuttgart, 1884 ff.; hereafter abbreviated as E-K) , 10, 142; d. also Luther's statement that "es mus unns die offentliche warheit eynis machen unnd nit die eygensinnigckeit," "An christlichen Adel" (1520), WA 6, 455, and notes 29 and 34 of this essay. This sentiment found its way into the seventh article of the Augsburg Confession; see the excellent exposition by Elert, Morphologie des Lu- thertums, I, 233--40. 120 See note 114 above. 121 The other letter from Luther to Bohemia under the same date and addressed to an unknown Benedict Gub, E-K 10, 143-44, is almost identical with the one to Baworinsky - so much so, in fact, that one suspects with Enders, E-K 10, 144, and Mueller, Geschichte, II, 58, note 129, that the letter is a retranslation from a Czech translation of Luther's letter to BaworinskY. Just how "Gub" could come from "Baworinsky' still remains a problem. 122 The interesting story of this political attempt and of its failure, which is not sufficiently relevant to our problem to bear repetition here, is told for the first time by Mueller, Geschichte, II, 59-77, esp. 68-77. 123 Augusta seems to have been the chief author, together with Roh, of the Confession; on Augusta see notes 107-108 above, and on Roh, notes 65--66 and note 80 above. 124 It was burned in the great fire at Liromerice in 1546. To make matters worse, the existing copy, a Czech translation of the original, is to be had only in the Herrnhut manuscript. What we have on hand is Mueller's translation of the translation! 125 The Elders of the Bohemian Brethren to Luther, October 8, 1536, E-K 11, 93-97. 516 LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES to Luther for his reaction and, if possible, his assistance with its publication, the Brethren were willing to be corrected, as they had been on the rebaptizing of converts from Catholicism,126 or to have Luther indicate his disagreement with any particular point by means of marginal glosses. As a reason for requesting his aid in publishing the Confession, they referred to the lack of printers and of Latin type and to the restrictions on printing in Bohemia; they were, of course, also very eager to receive endorsement from the leader of a strong religious and political bloc in the Empire. That endorsement was not immediately forthcoming. Luther was grateful to the Brethren for their willingness to clarify the issues, as well as for their gift. With the Confession he found him- self in substantial agreement: only two minor points were unclear to him. The Brethren stated "nusquam illum a ministro ab- solvendum esse, qui male actae vitae poenitentiam usque ad ex- tremum spiritum distulerit"; they also had men in their midst who preferred a celibate life. Luther expressed the desire that they clarify the first point and make it plain with regard to the second that this is purely a personal and optional matter.127 On both these points the Brethren gave in to Luther. In June, 1537, they sent another delegation to him with the revised Con- fession and a Latin translation of the "Rechenschaft," now called "Apologia." 128 Luther promised to have them both printed, though he added the warning that it might take some time. On the strength of that promise the Brethren circulated the report of the Re- former's intended action all over Germany.129 But for some rea- son - his health was very poor throughout this time - Luther did not get at the job as soon as the Brethren had expected and hoped. They therefore wrote to him on November 27, 1537, to repeat and emphasize their request and to remind him of his promise.lSO No printer had been willing to undertake the printing at his own expense, was Luther's explanation; but he promised to keep trying.lSl 126 E-K 11, 94-95; this will be discussed in a subsequent article. 127 Luther to the Elders of the Bohemian Brethren, November 5, 1536, E-K 11, 118. 128 It is in the Latin translation that the "Rechenschaft" is now available; see note 117 above. 129 The narrative above is drawn from the letter of the Unity to Luther, November 27, 1537, E-K 11, 292-93. 130 This is the letter referred to in the previous note, E-K 11, 291-94. Like the letter of October 8, 1536 (see note 124 above), it is accessible only in a German translation of a Czech translation of a lost Latin original. 131 N. Slansky in Gindely, Quellen, p.25. LUTHER'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE HUSSITES 517 Though he tried to find a printer, he did not succeed. Of making books, as the Preacher had pointed out, there is no end; and bad books were finding a more ready market than good ones. Therefore Luther felt obliged regretfully to return the manu- scripts to the Brethren with a word of deep admiration and sym- pathy for their patience and perseverance.132 But the Brethren would not be stopped by any monetary consideration, now that Luther's approval of their Confession was assured. And so they sent the books back with a statement of their willingness to under- write the printing. Now Luther engaged George Rhau, his Wit- tenberg printer, and saw the "Apologia," with Agricola's preface,133 and the Confessio Bohemica, with his own preface, through the press. Thus it came to pass that after fifteen years of dealing and discussion, Luther and the Unitas Fratrum came to a public agree- ment. This agreement was attested to from Luther's side by his preface and from the Unity's side by the Confessio Bohemica. In a subsequent essay we shall seek to evaluate the Reformer's en- dorsement of the Confessio Bohemica in the light of other union movements in which he was involved and to place the doctrinal considerations implied in that endorsement into the general context of Luther's theology. Valparaiso University 132 Luther to the Bohemian Brethren, E-K 11, 345-46. The date of the letter is questionable, but April 28, 1538, given by Kawerau, is almost impossible; cf. Mueller, Geschichte, II, 110, note 246, who is not sure, but suggests December 7, 1537. 133 See "Luther's Attitude," p.762, note 127.