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Alexander Alesius' Lectures on the Psalms at Cambridge, 1536

  • Gotthelf Wiedermann (a1)
Extract

In the summer of 1535 Anglo-German relatios assumed a new dimension. Faced with the prospect of a Catholic alliance on the continent and the possibility of a general council in the near future, Henry VIII was forced to consider more seriously than ever before a defensive alliance with the German Protestants. In August of that year, while Robert Barnes was approaching Wittenberg via Hamburg, commissioned by Henry both to prevent Melanchthon's rumoured visit to France and to make preparations for a full diplomatic mission to the princes of Lutheran Germany, Philip Melanchthon sent copies of the latest edition of his Loci Communes to the king of England, to whom they had been dedicated. The envoy on this mission was the Scottish Augustinian, Alexander Alesius, who was lecturing at the University of Wittenberg at that time. Alesius had received his own university education in St Andrews. Upon his graduation in 1515, he had entered the Augustinian priory there and subsequently proceeded to the study of theology. As a successful student of scholastic theology he had felt himself called to refute Lutheran theology as soon as it began to be debated in Scotland. In February 1528 he was commissioned to bring about the recantation of Patrick Hamilton, but the discussions with this first martyr of the Scottish Reformation as well as the latter's steadfast death at the stake led to a profound questioning of his own convictions. In the following year Alesius emerged as a severe critic ofthe old Church, for which he paid dearly by persecution and imprisonment. After an adventurous escape from St Andrews and months of travelling he finally reached Wittenburg, where he was inscribed in the faculty of arts in October 1532. So far very litde is known about Alesius' activities in Wittenberg. Yet there are two reasons why some elucidation of his academic activities and theological development during his three years at Wittenberg is highly desirable. First, it would be surprising indeed if his first experiences at this university, and especially the direct contact with Luther and Melanchthon, had not left a mark on his thought and career as a reformer. Second, his close friendship with the English reformers and his involvement in the doctrinal debates in England during the late 1530s suggests that Alesius formed an important link between the Reformation in England and in Germany.

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1 For a detailed account of these developments see Prüser, F., England und die Schmalkaldener, 1535—1540, Leipzig 1929, and Rupp, E. G., Studies in the Making of the English Protestant Tradition, Cambridge 1966, 89127.

2 Corpus Reformatorum, Halle,Braunschweig 1834-1960, xxi. 333559. In a letter written to Queen Elizabeth on I September 1559, Alesius maintains that it was he who had persuaded Melanchthon to dedicate this edition to Henry VIII; cf. SP, Eliz, FS i. no. 1303, P. 525.

3 On Alesius see DNB i. 254-9; Theologische Realenzyklopädie ii 231-5; Pearson, A. F., ‘Alesius and the English Reformation’, RSCHC x/2 (1949), 5787;McNeill, J. T., ‘Alexander Alesius, Scottish Lutheran (1500-1565)’, AR lv (1964), 161–91.

4 Their confidence in the qualities of the Scottish theologian is demonstrated by his appointment as a lecturer in the arts faculty in 1533 and by his election as dean of that faculty for the summer term of 1534, cf. Foerstemann, C. E., Album Academiae Vitebergensis, Halle 1894-1905, i. 151; and Koestlin, J., Die Baccalaurei and Magistri der Wittenberger philosophischen Fakultät, Halle 1888, ii. 15 and 25.

5 See especially Pearson, ‘Alesius and the English Reformation’.

6 ‘Cogitabam de solo rursus vertendo, maxime cum a praeclarissimis Crumvello, et Archiepiscopo Cantuariensi essem in Britanniam vocatus…ego non tantum ab Archiepiscopo, & illustri Crumvello, atque aliis summis & praestantissimis viris, verum etiam a generosissimo Rege amantissime sum exceptus…’ Alesius, A., De Authoritate Verbi Dei, Strasbourg 1542, 14ff.

7 See CR ii. 947ff; LP ix. nos. 213(4), 219.

8 Dated I December 1535; cf. CR ii. 995-7.

9 Alesius repeatedly stated that it was at the king's orders that he lectured in Cambridge; see , Alesius, De Authorilate, 15ff; and SP, Eliz, FS i. no. 1303, pp. 524, 533. This discredits Rupp's remarks describing Alesius as ‘self-appointed Chorus to the English Reformation’; cf. Rupp, Studies, 122 and 135.

10 Mullinger, J. B., The University of Cambridge, Cambridge 1873-1911, i. 629, ff; Simon, J., Education and Society in Tudor England, Cambridge 1966, 197ff and 260.

11 Cf. his letter of September 1550 to Martin Bucer; Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, Parker MS 119, no. 77, fo. 215.

12 See Fuller, T., The History of the University of Cambridge, ed. Prickett, M., Wright, T., London 1840, 202; Porter, H. C., Reformation and Reaction in Tudor Cambridge, Cambridge 1958, 46.

13 Cf. H, C.. and Cooper, T., Athenae Cantabrigienses, Cambridge 1858-1961/1913, i. III and 542; Searle, W. G., The History of the Queens' College, Cambridge 1867-1871, i. 178ff; Gray, J. H., The Queens' College, London 1899, 70ff.

14 SP, Eliz, FS i. no. 1303, p. 533.

15 , Alesius, De Authoritate, 15; LP viii. no. 507; , Pearson, ‘Alesius and the English Reformation’, RSCHS, 68.

16 Cf., Mullinger, The University of Cambridge ii. 19; , Porter, Reformation and Reaction,59ff.

17 , Alesius, De Authoritate, 15ff.

18 Misprint for ‘absterrebar’?

19 , Alesius, De Authoritate, 16.

20 , Pearson, ‘Alesius and the English Reformation’, RSCHS, 69.

21 , McNeill, ‘Alexander Alesius’, AR, 176.

22 , Rupp,Studies, 135.

23 See for example CR iii. 81ff; 90ff; 104ff; 70gff; WA, Briefwechsel vii. 546ff.

24 CR iii. 709.

25 Ibid.

26 See Dickens, A. G., The English Reformation, 4th edn, London 1968, 175ff; Elton, G. R., Reform and Reformation, London 1977, 256ff.

27 Alesius to Aepin on 31 July 1536; ‘Nam praesens periculum non sinebat copiosius aut apertius scribere. Sed iam ex articulis et literis ad dominum Philippum meis intelliges, in quo discrimine versamur… ’ CR iii. 104. See also Luther's letter to Nikolaus Hausmann in which he refers to a letter by Alesius: ‘Ex Anglia hue scribit Alesius noster, Reginam novam Johannam coronandam esse festo Michaelis, hostem (sic dicit) Evangelii; Et est facies regni alia, ita ut Antonius /i.e. Robert Barnes] lateat & taceat, nee sine periculo.’ Briefwechsel vii. 546.

28 SP, Eliz, FS i. no. 1303, pp. 532ff.

29 Ibid. 527.

30 Ibid. 528.

31 Alexandri Alesii Epistola contra decretum quoddam Episcoporum in Scotia, quod prohibit legere novi Testamenti libros lingua vernacula, Wittenberg(?) 1533; andAlexandri Alesii Scotti Responsio Ad Cochlei Calumnias, Wittenberg(?) 1534.

32 See Strobel, G. T., Neue Beyträge zur Litteratur besonders des 16. Jahrhunderts, Leipzig 1790-1794, i. 145ff; Hartfelder, K., Philip Melanchthon als Praeceptor Germaniae, Berlin 1889, 519ff; Clemen, O.,‘Melanchthon and Alexander Alesius’,, AR, Ergänzungsband v. (1929),17ff.

33 Alesius, Responsio, fos. A8r, B1r, B5V.

34 Thomasius, J., Orationes Lipsicae, Leipzig 1683, 314; , McNeill, ‘Alexander Alesius’, 172ff; DNBi. 255.

35 Mitchell, A. F., The Scottish Reformation, Edinburgh 1900, 266.

36 , Pearson, ‘Alesius and the English Reformation’, RSCHS, 68.

37 House, Hatfield, ‘Cecil Papers’ 268 no. 3.

38 See HMS Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the Marquis of Salisbury, London 1883, 1. 11, no. 50. For MS no. 51, ‘Psalm ix, with commentary. 7 pp. Alexander Alesius?’, Alesius' authorship must be excluded on account of its violently anti-Lutheran contents.

39 For the purpose of quoting the manuscript I have numbered the leaves, starting with the title-page as fo. 1r.

40 The translation of the psalms is indeed from the Masoretic text and bears no resemblance to the Vulgate. For reasons of space, however, Alesius' translation cannot be examined here in detail.

41 Fo. 2v. No attempt has been made to correct or up-date the Latin spelling, but the punctuation has been revised in the interest of readability.

43 Fos. 3r ff.

44 ‘Neque negari potest ipsos plus lucis hac ratione enarrandi sacris libris attulisse quam alios …’, fo. 2r.

48 See Maurer, W., ‘Melanchthons Loci Communes von 1521 als wissenschaftliche Programmschrift. Ein Beitrag zur Hermeneutik der Reformationszeit’, Lutherjahrbuch xxvii (1960), 150, esp. 15-24.

49 Thus the title: ‘…ad locos communes doctrinae Christianae relati, ex quibus aliorum Psalmorum artificium, dispositionem et ornamenta facile deprehendere licet’. Similarly on fo. 2v: ‘… hec nos hoc libello in quibusdam psalmis, ex quibus aliorum dispositio poterit videri, commonstrare sumus conati’. For a comparison, see Melanchthon's preface to his Loci Communes: ‘Porro, quod ad argumenti summam attinet, indicantur hie Christianae disciplinae loci, ut intelligat iuventus…quae sint in scripturis potissimum requirenda…’ CR xxi. 81ff.

50 Out of 52 quotations 28 are from St Paul, including one from the Letter to the Hebrews.

51 Thus the argumentum on Psalm i becomes a tract on the Church; the one on Psalm vi a tract on faith; Psalm xiv a tract on original sin, etc. However, Alesius does not proceed as systematically as Melanchthon in his Loci Communes, but rather by association with the psalms.

52 Cf. , Maurer, ‘Melanchthon's Loci Communes’, 16ff.

53 Fo. 2r; the same criticism is expressed by , Melanchthon: ‘Ex Origine si tollas inconcinnas allegorias et philosophicarum sententiarum silvam, quantulum erit reliquum?CR xxi. 83.

54 Fo. 2V.

55 ‘…nihil certi docent in quo possunt conscientie acquiescere ac certificari de voluntate dei erga se…’ fo. 26v.

56 Fo. 9r.

57 ‘Hoc debet valere ad nos excitandos, ut ipsi quoque oremus…’ fo. 27r.

58 ‘…hec exempla…docent in talibus agonibus ante omnia apprehendum esse verbum de misericordia et in eo acquiescendum esse…’ fo. 29r.

59 ‘Ideo psalmi passim ostendunt remedia; primum depingunt has pestas…Deinde docent quomodo resistendum sit, viz. oratione adversus eos pugnandum esse.’ Fo. 34r.

60 ‘Prodest igitur psalmus turn ad doctrinam turn ad consolacionem.’ Fo. 4r.

61 ‘…psalmus…exemplum et quasi formulam orandi proponit’. Fo. 41 r.

62 ‘…hec exempla que nobis ostendunt spirituales experientias sanctorum patrum…’ fo. 29, r.

63 Fo. 13V.

64 WA Deutsche Bibel x(i), 102.23-7, quoted fromLuther's Works, ed. Pelikan, J., Lehmann, H. T., philadelphia 1943., xxxv. 253ff.

65 Fo. 4r.

66 Fo. 5V.

67 Fo. 9r.

68 WA xxxviii. 9-69.

69 Ibid. 17.25-18.6.

70 The distribution is as follows: Psalms ii, viii, xvi, xix, xxi, xxii, and xxiv are Prophetic Psalms; Psalms xiv an d xv are Psalms of Instruction; Psalms i and iv are Psalms of Consolation; Psalms v, vi, vii, x, xii, xiii, xvii, xx, and xxv are Psalms of Prayer; Psalms xviii and xxiii are Psalms of Thanksgiving; Psalms xi falls into categories three and four; Psalm iii into categories three and five; Psalm ix into categories one, three and five.

71 This applies in particular to the argumenta of Psalms ii, v, viii, ix, xii, xiii, xv, xvi, xvii, xviii, xxiii and xxiv.

72 WA xxxviii.23.19-33, quoted from Luther Deutsch, ed.Aland, K., Göttingen 1963, v. 188.

73 Fo. 33V ff.

74 This edition also contained Jonas's Latin rendering of , Luther'sPreface to the Psalter of 1528; cf. WA xxxviii. 3ff.

75 Ibid. 5.

76 See Ebeling, G., Lutherstudien. Tübingen 1971, i. 168.

77 WA xxxi/1. 258-383; the first printed edition (in Latin) did not appear until 1559, after two partial editions(in German) had already been printed in 1548.

78 Cf. W A xxxi/l. 258. As it was, the publication of the Summarien was not completed until May 1533.

79 Thus, for example, on Psalm cxx: ‘At magnum beneficium est habere etiam praescripta a Spiritu sancto verba, quibus in hoc periculo pii uti possum’. WA xl/3. 16.24ff. Similarly, on Psalm ii.8: ‘Pertinet igitur hic versus ad nos consolandos contr a scandalum crucis.’ WA xl/3, 266.34ff. Phrases like these occur in great abundance throughout Luther's expositions of the psalms of this time.

80 Cf. the argumenta on Psalm xix: WA xxxi/1. 578ff; on Psalm ii: WA xl/2. 19.2ff; on Psalm li: ibid. 315ff; on Psalm xlv: ibid. 472ff; on Psalms cxx-cxxxiv: WA xl/3. 9—475; on Psalm lc: ibid. 476ff.

81 WA xxxviii. 1.

82 Ebeling, Lutherstudien, 67ff.

83 So on Psalm ii.10; WA xl/2. 279.24ff.

84 Fo. 2r.

85 That he did so is confirmed by his own statement: ‘sic enim doctos homines in Germania, quibus potissimam meae eruditionis partem debeo, in suis prelectionibus facere animadverti’. Fo. 2r.

86 WA xl/3. 1–475.

87 After his return from England, Alesius lectured on the psalms in the Universities of Frankfurt-on-Oder and Leipzig. Printed works on the psalms are De autore et utilitate Psalmorum. Oratio, Frankfurt/Oder 1541, and the famous commentary, Primus liber Psalmorum iuxta Hebraeorum et divi Hieronymi supputationem expositusLeipzig 1554.

88 This is easy to see when comparing, for example, Luther's exposition of Psalm cxxvi, WA xl/3. 174ff, as a prophecy of the coming of Christ and his kingdom, with Alesius' argumenta on Psalms viii and xvi, which the latter expounds to the same effect. Similarly, as Psalm cxxvii, WA xl/3. 202ff., for Luther, so for Alesius Psalm xx is a prayer for secular government. It may be accidental, but it is certainly worth noting that Alesius quotes Psalm cxxvii in his argumentum on Psalm xx.

89 One wonders, for example, whether Alesius wasin any way inspired by Luther's exposition of the first twenty-five psalms at the Coburg castle. It is true that this exposition did not appear in print until 1548 viz. 1559; yet there are many cases of verbal similarity, if not agreement, to be found with Alesius' commentary. Compare, for example, the introductory sentences to Psalmxxv by Alesius: ‘Hic psalmus est precatio non de caussa aut negocio publico, sed conscientie privatim agentis cum deo, que disputat de voluntate dei erga se; cupit liberari dubitacione et certa reddi de remissione peccatorum…’ fo. 49r, with Luther on the same psalm: ‘Der Psalm ist gar privatus et de privatis causis. Nihil enim additur de publico ministerio verbi vel de administratione publica. Est enim simpliciter oratio privatae conscientiae, das ihm Gott woll gnedig sein, sund vergeben und ihn from machen, leiten und fuhren.’ WA xxxi/i. 373. 30-4. Further cases of such verbal agreement will be found when comparing Alesius' argumentum on Psalm ii with Luther's Enarratio Psalmi Secundi of 1532, WA xl/2. 193-312, and, more strikingly, between Alesius', argumentum on Psalm xix with , Luther'sEine sehr christliche kurze Auslegung über den 19. Psalm of 1531, WA xxxi/i. 580-6.

90 ‘Intolerable est mundo se spoliari sua gloria et sapientia’. Fo. 6v.

91 ‘…ut ex suis cogitacionibus iudicant de voluntate dei, ita etiam effingunt suos cultus, quibus putantdeum placari et se deo satisfacere, horum fiducia securi accedunt ad deum…’ fo. IIv. ‘…placent sibi opinione sapentie et iusticie, secure vivunt in illis cultibus et traditionibus a se effictis…’ fo. 4r.

91 Fo. 40r.

93 Fo. 29V, following Rom. iii. 20.

95 ‘Et hie psalmus illos nature morbos velut acum tangit ac propriissime describit cum ait: An sit intelligens aut requirens deum?’ Fo. 29V.

96 Fo. 49r.

97 ‘Nolunt equari peccatoribus et stultis.’ Fo. 6v. ‘…hypocritae deum contemnunt; Igitur concipiunt ingentem fiduciam sue potentie, sapientie, iusticie contra verbum dei.’ Fo. 25r.

98 ‘Itaque etsi aliquamdiu securi et otiosis animis pergunt in illis cultibus, tamen ubi ventum est ad veros terrores, ubi serio incipiunt sentire magnitudinem et vim ire dei, non possunt non desperere [sic].’ Fo. 12r. ‘Nam fiducia proprie iusticie statim in tentacione excutitur conscientie. Postea sequuntur dubitatio et desperatio.’ Fo. 14V.

99 Fo. 12r.

100 Ibid.

101 Fo. 9v.

102 Fo 28r.

103 Fo. 49r.

104 Fo. 14r.

105 Fo. 13V; see almost exactly the same phrasing in , Melanchthon'sApologia xii. 2932, and it is interesting to note that in this context Alesius quotes the same passage from Isaiah (xxxviii. 10) as does Melanchthon.

106 So on Psalm vi.6: ‘Nam mors non debet intelligi naturalis tantum dissolucio, sed illi ipsi terrores sicut psalmus octogesimus nonus [Ps. xc. 7-8?] docet causam mortis esse agnitionem peccati’. Fo. 14r.

107 ‘…pingit nobis propheta egregiam imaginem summi [sic] evangelii, quid doceat et quomodo sumus iusti…’ fo. 39V.

108 ‘Antea lex predicata est, in qua arguitur peccatum nostrum et ostenditur ira dei, nee revelatur iusticia…’ fo. 8r. ‘…detrahit [evangelium] viribus et operibus humanis gloriam dignitatis et iusticie coram dei’. Fo. 20v.

109 Fo. 14r.

110 ‘…ne deterreamur ab invocando [deum], cum obstrepit sensus et conscientia peccati et indignitatis nostre…’ fo. 49V.

111 Fo. 8r.

112 ‘antea lex hesit in angustis finibus apud unam gentem. Nunc evangelium pervagabitur omnes gentes. Quid autem docebit? Gloriam dei. Nam sine evangelio non intelligitur misericordia dei; Ideo sola cognitio legis non glorificat deum, sed, ut paulusait, iram efficit’. Fo. 39V.

113 ‘…hoc est sine condicione seu respectu nostrorum operum aut proprie dignitatis’. Fo. 28v.

114 ‘Testatur enim [psalmus], quod remissio peccatorum contingat propter solam misericordiam, docet [quod] fiducia in certamine conscientie tantum debeat niti misericordia…’ fo. 49r.

115 ‘Hec est…unica ratio que affertefficacem consolacionem…’ fo. 28v. ‘Ita fiet, ut relevetur mens et tandem experiatur etiam veram liberacionem’. Fo. 2gr. ‘Hec fides vincit illas perturbaciones et consolatur mentem in omnibus terroribus’. Fo. 28v.

115 Fo. 29V; compare this to Apologia xii.29: ‘haec est summa praedicatdonis evangelii, arguere peccata et offerre remissionem peccatorum et iustitiam propter Christum…’

117 Fo. 40r.

118 For a comparison with Luther see, for example, his lecture on Psalm ii (1532): ‘Illa demum est vera religio, timere Deum et confidere Deo’. WA xl/2. 296. 25f; and his lecture on Psalm li (1532): ‘sunt autem in vera Poenitentia duo, cognitio peccati et cognitio gratiae, seu… timor Dei et fiducia misericordiae.’ WA xl/2. 317. 34ff. See also Seeberg, R., Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, Erlangen/Leipzig 1920, iv/2. 413, and Grane, L., Die Confessio Augustana, Göttingen 1980, 112ff.

119 Fos. 49r-v.

120 So on Psalm xv: ‘Hie psalmus continet пαραινεσιν ad bona opera… ut sciamus etiam hanc doctrinam necessariam esse, et hoc precipuum habet psalmus, quod docet que vere sunt bona opera que requirit deus, viz. opera decimi preceptorum’. Fo. 31r.

121 Fo. 36r.

122 ‘Deinde vides psalmum alia opera docere, que vere sunt obedientia et fiunt ex veris motibus cordis, contra illos cultus, que [sic] fiunt ex opere operato; qualia erant multitudinis apud iudeos, qui putabant hunc esse cultum dei, si quam plurimum talium operum cumularent, cum interum fortiter negligerent hec opera, que decalogus precipit.’ Fo. 3iv. In his Loci Communes of 1535, Melanchthon defines the spirituales motus as ‘vera noticia dei, verus timor’ and ‘vera fiducia’; cf. CR xxi. 376.

123 For example, fos. 16r and 39V.

124 For example fos. 49V and 16r.

125 Cf. Handbuch der Dogmen- vend Theologiegeschichte, ed. Andresen, C., Göttingen 1980, 11. 92ff.

126 Cf. , Seeberg, Lehrbuch iv/2. 427ff and 471; Loofs, F., Leitfaden zum Studium der Dogmengeschichte, Halle/Saale, 1906, 847ff.

127 , Andresen, Handbuch, 78; , Seeberg, Lehrbuch, 46gf.

128 For example:‘…quod deus velit peccatores et indignos respicere et exaudire, modo ut afferant fidem que certo assentiatur promissioni’, fo. 49V; ‘promissiones fide accipi’, fo. 14V; ‘gratis propter misericordiam promissam accipere remissionem peccatorum’, fo. 20v.

129 Fo. 9r.

130 Cf. , Loofs, Dogmengeschichte, 844 ff; , Seeberg, Lehrbuch, 441ff; Haendler, K., Wort und Glaube bei Melanchthon, Gütersloh 1968, 494ff, esp. 525ff.

131 Further statements expressing the universality of God's promise are: ‘…quod deus vult nos tarn filios facere’, fo. 8r; ‘non igitur vult [deus] damnari quamlibet indignos et oneratos peccatis’, fo. 44V; ‘Est enim [psalmus] exemplum in universum omnibus propositum, et ad omnes pertinent promissiones…’, fo. 49V. Compare this to , Melanchthon'sLoci Communes of 1533,CR xxi. 33if; and of 1535, ibid. 419f, 428, 451.

132 ‘…promissiones requirunt fidem’, fo. 48r; ‘…modo ut adferant fidem’, fo. 49V.

133 ‘Sciamus nos debere hunc regem recipere’, fo. 48r.

134 This is particularly the case in the argumenlum on Psalm xxv, which reproduces almost the entire nomenclature of Melanchthon's teaching on justification, regeneration and new obedience; cf. fos. 49r-50r.

135 Fo. 4r.

136 ‘Et quidem specie ac titulo religionis vincunt vere pios, cum tamen vacent timore et fide erga deum, adeoque vera noticia dei, que non potest existere sine pura doctrina verbi dei…’ Fo. 4r.

137 ‘…neclecto [sic] et contempto verbo Dei docent et sequuntur suas ppiniones natas ex sapientia et iudicio rationis, quibus volunt placere deo et colere deum; Aut pariunt nova dogmata a sese inventa contra puritatem verbi dei.’ Fo. 4r.

138 …videmus enim nos hie ipso dei verbo cogi, ut dissentiamus et discedamus ab ilia impia doctrina et hypocrisi cultu…’ Fo. i2v. ‘…contempto verbo dei et vera ecclesia sequuntur sua somnia et suam quandam novam synagogam constituunt.’ Fo. 47r.

139 This is particularly true of Melanchthon's Apologia, where terms such as pura doctrina, vera doctrina purum verbum, vents cultus, etc. abound throughout. But Luther, too, made increasing use of these terms during this period; see, for example, WA xl/2. 317. 27-32; 323. 27ff; WA xl/3 46. 22f, 47.15 152. 30.

140 Psalm xii establishes ‘Antithesin…verbi dei pure et sincere traditi adversus doctrinam traditionum humanarum, quibus adulteratur et corrumpitur verbum.’ Fo. 12r.

141 Both on fo. 28v.

142 ‘Primum adferunt doctrinam accommodatam ad captum rationis et consentientem in carnalibus opinionibus de cultu dei…hanc cum invexerunt, postea ad earn verbum dei [i.e. Scripture]d detorquent.’ Fo. 26v.

143 Thesis 49 of Propositiones disputatae Wittenbergae pro doctoratu D. Hieron. Weller et M. Nik Müller, in WA xxxix/i. 44-53.

144 Fo. 29r.

145 Fo. 27r.

146 Fo. 28v.

147 So on Psalm ii. 6: ‘…novum verbum predicabitur de filio rege. Hie igitur testatur aliud verbum preter legem revelandum esse, ut legem abrogat’. Fo. 8r. ‘…mihi videtur [psalmus esse] plane evangelica concio, et…predicare sententiam toti generi humano, et arguere non solum peccata actualia, sed etiam totam naturam’. Fo. 29V.

148 ‘…per evangelium, in quo toti mundo predicatur misericordia ante a incognita de remissione peccatorum…’ fo. 19v.

149 ‘…Ecce deus recreat universum creaturam abolito peccata et morte, et spargit novum verbum in universum orbem.’ Fo. 39V.

150 Fo. 44V.

151 Fo. 32V. Compare this to Luther on Psalm ix: ‘Hie est verus cultus et novum sacrificium…Est enim agnoscere beneficia dei et pro his agere deo gratias.’ WA xxxi/i. 288.15ff.

152 ‘Repudiat illam ecclesiam, que sentit se iustam esse propter proprios cultus et iusticiam legis, et Christi beneficium aspernatur.’ Fo. 32V. ‘Nam opera ilia sunt proprie iusticie…sunt impia et ad hec obscurant veram doctrinam de misericordia…’ fo. 14.V.

153 ‘…non prosunt conscientiis…nihil certi docent, in quo possunt acquiescere ac certificari de voluntate dei erga se…’ fo. 26v; Luther never tired of expressing this criticism. See, for example, his comments on Psalm li: ‘Nam Theologiae proprium subiectum est homo peccati reus ac perditus et Deus iustificans ac salvator hominis peccatoris. Quicquid extra hoc subiectum in Theologia quaeritur aut disputatur, est error et venenum.’ WA xl/2. 328. I7ff. Similarly, his comments on Psalm exxi: ‘Hoc chaos infinitorum errorum et malorum sequitur, ubi non est vera Dei noticia, quae tantum ex verbo sumi potest.’ WAxl/3. 79. 12ff.

154 Fo. 49V.

155 Fo. 28v. Again, compare this to Luther's comments on Psalm ii. to: ‘Haec est vera theologia, quae animos docet et erigit in summis periculis…’ WA xl/2. 279. 24ff.

156 ‘…observemus et discrimen duplicis ecclesie vere et false, ut consolacionem habeamus adversus speciem false ecclesie.’ Fo. 32V.

157 ‘Itaque specie et opinione pietatis regnant et sunt in admiratione.’ Fo. IIV.

158 Alesius usually refers to Jews, Catholics and anabaptists, but it is clear that he has in mind any kind of religion that exalts its own rites as means of salvation: ‘Certe populus dei non significat iustos lege aut propriis operibus.’ Fo. 9v.

159 Fo. 29v.

160 Fo. 4v.

161 ‘…verbum dei seu vera doctrina, Que ubicunque est, ibi est vera ecclesia’. Fo. 46V. The true Church is where the Word is heard: ’…veram ecclesiam, in qua audire possumus verbum dei…’ fo. 47r.

162 Fo. 19r.

163 ‘Et quidem pingit [psalmus] formam huius regni, quod sit regnum benediccionis divine quidem eternum, in quo populus huius regis, id est credentes promissionibus datis de Christo benedicuntur, hoc est reconciliantur deo, accipiunt remissionem peccatorum, liberantur a malediccione et ira dei et morte eterna propter hunc regem missum a deo, ut afferat nobis spiritualia et eterna bona, iusticiam et vitam eternam…’ Fo. 42V.

164 See Holl, K., ‘Die Entstehung von Luthers Kirchenbegriff’, in Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Kirchengeschichte, 4th and 5th edns, Tübingen 1927, i. 288325.

165 Fo. 7v.

166 Fo. 48r; compare this to Apologia vii. 5: ‘At ecclesia non est tantum societas externarum rerum ac rituum sicut aliae politiae, sed principaliter est societas fidei et spiritus sancti in cordibus…’ and to Luther: ‘…das reich gottis…ist nit zu Rom / auch nit an Rom gebunden / wider hie noch da / sondern wo d a inwendig der glaub ist…’ WA vi. 292.

167 Fo. 16v.

168 ‘Nam ille persecuciones ab externis hostibus…quia tamen interim relinquitur doctrina pura, et passiones sunt quedam materi a exercende et corroborande fidei in sanctis.’ Fo. 23V.

169 ‘…depravant aut corrumpunt veram doctrinam opinionibus et tradicionibus humanis, quas ornant et vestiunt titulo verbi dei, ut decipiant imperitam multitudinem’. Fo. 26r.

170 ‘…propter ventrem aut propter alia sua commoda viciant aut depravant veram doctrinam’. Fo. 26r; ‘…ad stabiliendam suam dominationem vel ad questum’. Fo. 33V.

171 ‘…habent titulum et auctoritatem ecclesie’, fo. 4V; ‘…arrogant sibi solis ius et auctoritatem docendi tanquam irrefragibilem…’ fo. 27r; ‘qui nomine religionis et auctoritate ministerii seu officio docendi sibi ab ecclesia tradito abutantur ad parandum sibi regnum…’, fo. 22v; ‘Hie pretextus valde valet ad tegendos errores.’ Fo. 25V.

172 ‘Igitur concipiunt ingentem fiduciam sue potentie, sapientie, iusticie contra verbum dei.’ Fo. 25r; ‘…summa cum securitate contemnunt verbum dei et pios persequuntur ac occidunt, quasi deum his officiis demerentur…’ fo. 23V.

173 ‘Impii tenent regna mundi, securitatem, opes, gloriam, et has res mirantur ac expectant homines natura.’ Fo. 10v.

174 ‘…ecclesia Christi, quam quidem scriptura perpetuo sic pingit, quod versetur sub cruce…’ fo. 20r.

175 ‘Et hac calumnia infamatur Evangelium omnibus temporibus, quod labefactet publicam pacem et concordiam, quod prebeat occasionem publicis motibus et sedicionibus.’ Fo. 15V.

176 Fo. 20v, following Rom. viii. 29.

177 Thus on Psalm ii: ‘Primi duo versus habent descriptionem persecucionis Christi et ecclesie.’ Fo. 6r; and on Psalm xxii: ‘Est igitur cerva ilia matutina Christus; potest autem propter exemplum et ad ecclesiam, hoc est ad membra Christi transferre.’ Fo. 44r.

178 ‘…Christus sensit iram dei, quasi reiiceretur ac damnaretur sicut peccator’. Fo. 44r f.

179 ‘Quia hoc est ipsa morte tristius, quod mundus plane existimat Christum et sanctos summorum scelerum [r]eos esse, viz. impietatis adversus deum et sedicionis.’ Fo. 44V.

180 ‘Tertium genus affliccionum est ipsa mor s seu passiones corporis.’ Fo. 44V.

181 Fo. 23V; see also Apologia vii. 17: ‘Regnum Christi…tectum cruce’.

182 ‘Nam humana mens iudicat de voluntate dei ex fortuna.’ Fo. 10v.

183 For example WA xxxi/i. 273. 29, ff.

184 ‘Qua m maxime scire oportet, viz. quod afflicciones noh smt signa ire dei, quod afflicti non [sint] abiecti deo.’ Fo. 10v.

185 Fo. 32V.

186 ‘…uno verbo potest [deus] evertere Regnum, sicut fecit Israelites per Assirios, Romanis per gottos.’ Fo. 7V.

187 Fo. 45r.

188 Fo. 21r.

189 ‘…quod deus ecclesiam suam tamen defendat et conservet inter ipsas persecuciones et in media morte et cedibus sanctorum, et efficiat talem eventum passionum, ut tandem vincat, triumphet ecclesia…’ fo. 20v.

190 Fo. 21r, following I John v. 4.

191 Fo. 35V.

192 , Pelikan and , Lehmann, Luther's Works xxxv. 256f.

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The Journal of Ecclesiastical History
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  • EISSN: 1469-7637
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