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the denunciation of the pope. Being forbidden to preach at the university, he withdrew to the living of Lutterworth, where he continued to write and to preach against the corruption in the church.

While Wycliffe sought to destroy what was false, he labored to build up the true, and he was indefatigable in his efforts to teach the gospel to the people. He was called the evangelical doctor. The standard of faith with him was the Holy Scriptures. He refused to accept any other authority for religious doctrine.

With the withdrawal of the support of the nobility, Wycliffe was led to make his appeal more and more to the people. In order to instruct them in the principles of the gospel, he organized bands of itinerant preachers, who addressed the crowds at market places, in the fields, or wherever they could get a hearing, teaching the saving truths of the gospel as set forth in the Word of God.

To instruct these preachers, and to assist them in their work of unfolding the gospel principles to the common people, Wycliffe, with the help of a learned friend, translated the entire Bible into the English of his day. This great achievement was accomplished only a few years before a stroke of paralysis put an end to the busy activities of the great scholar. It did more than anything else to spread abroad in Great Britain the light of primitive Christianity. And although a few years later, in the early part of the fifteenth century, the Word of God was put under the ban, being forbidden to the people under pain of death, and the very bones of Wycliffe were exhumed and burned and scattered on the waters of the Swift, yet the work thus nobly begun never could be stopped; the Bible, once rendered into the mother tongue, continued secretly to circulate among the people till by the labors of Tyndale in the sixteenth century, with the aid of the printing press, the Word of God was literally sown throughout the land.

Wycliffe's work reached farther than England. His Oxford pupils carried his doctrines back to the Continent. His writings also circulated outside of Great Britain, and in course of time there grew up at the University of Prague, in Bohemia, a group of earnest men who adopted the Wycliffe reforms in their entirety. The foremost men in this movement were Huss and Jerome, both of whom were faithful unto death, laying down. their lives for the gospel.

While the rest of Europe was in darkness, the Waldenses, living in the fruitful valleys of the Italian Alps, maintained for many years a church polity and system of doctrines based on

the Scriptures. Their colporteurs carried portions of the Scriptures to various parts of Europe, and thus they were gradually preparing the way for the Reformation of the sixteenth century.

Martin Luther, the leader in the great Reformation, was the son of a miner of Eisleben, in Saxony. He received his preparatory training in the schools of Magdeburg and Eisenach, entering Erfurt University, then one of Germany's leading centers of learning, at the age of eighteen. At the university he applied



himself especially to the study of literature and philosophy. One day, while looking over the books of the library, he came across a Latin Bible. It was the first time he had seen the book, his previous knowledge of the Scriptures having been confined to the meager portions read at public worship. He had then been at the university for two years. The book proved wondrously attractive to his eager mind, and again and again he left his assigned work in the classic authors to turn its sacred pages, and muse over the sublime truths therein contained.

Meanwhile he continued his regular university studies with great success, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1502, and three years later the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. It was his father's intention that he should take

up the study of law, but Luther's mind was drawn toward the church. Ever since he made the acquaintance of that Latin Bible he had yearned for a deeper religious experience. The thirst for knowledge had given way, in large part, to the thirst for holiness. He was prepared to sacrifice all earthly prospects in order to be right with God. To do this in those days meant to be a monk. Luther accordingly entered the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt.

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The time he could claim as his own was devoted to a diligent study of theology. Especially fruitful were the hours spent in poring over a Latin Bible chained in the library of the monastery. But though he read the divine Word, it was for a time with eyes strangely holden by preconceived notions, so that it did not yield him, to begin with, the peace and comfort which he so earnestly sought. Oppressed with a feeling of his unworthiness, and of his inability to attain to that perfect holiness demanded by the law, he went to confession daily, and practised the severest mortifications, so that he seriously undermined his health. But it availed nothing. He was obliged to acknowledge to himself that entering the monastery and performing punctiliously all the duties incumbent upon a monk had not in the least

degree changed his nature, nor had it rendered him one whit less guilty in the sight of a perfectly holy God.

In this time of crisis, God raised up a friend for Luther in the person of the vicar-general of the Augustinian order, John Staupitz, one of the remarkable men, sometimes called mystics, who remained connected with the Roman Church at the same time that they held and taught distinctly evangelical views. Staupitz encouraged Luther by telling him that the severe trials and conflicts through which he was passing were probably intended as a preparation for some future work God would intrust to his hands. He advised him, moreover, to put away the philosophy of the schools, and derive all his theology from the Holy Scriptures. Little did the pious mystic realize how implicitly his advice would be followed, or what tremendous consequences would ensue.

After Luther had been two years in the monastery, he was ordained to the priesthood. A year later he was called to teach at the new University of Wittenberg. He first lectured on philosophy, which was not particularly to his taste, but early in 1509 he took the degree of Bachelor of Theology, and began to lecture on the Holy Scriptures.

In the year 1511 Luther had the privilege of visiting Rome, being sent thither to attend to some matters connected with the order. He journeyed on foot, as the custom was, lodging by night at the various monasteries on the way, and as he neared the "eternal city," he was surprised and shocked at the dissolute conduct that prevailed in the Italian establishments. At Rome he piously sought out all the objects of reverence, believing every marvelous tale. But his conscience was greatly disturbed over the unblushing worldliness of priests and monks.

On returning to Wittenberg, Luther was made Doctor of Theology, and began to preach, first in the chapel attached to the monastery, and later in the city church. His preaching was founded on the Word of God; it was intensely practical, and bore fruit in a general quickening of the religious life of the community.

The atmosphere of the university underwent a great change. The philosophy of the Schoolmen, which had helped to hold Europe in intellectual bondage for so many generations, gave way to the quickening influence of an enlightened evangelism. The Word of God was magnified. The psalms of David, the Gospels, and the epistles of Paul once more imparted to men their life-giving message. The whole region round about Wittenberg was permeated with the teaching, and conditions ap

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