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praise or censure in this declaration of the philosophers, that Jupiter engraved upon the vault of the skies precisely what they themselves draw in the sand of the earth.
When this in a proper manner is transferred to God, the Almighty Creator, this assumption may perhaps come near the truth. If this statement seems admissible, the Holy Trinity makes use of geometry in so far as it bestows manifold forms and images upon the creatures which up to the present day it has called into being, as in its adorable omnipotence it further determines the course of the stars, as it prescribes their course to the planets, and as it assigns to the fixed stars their unalterable position. For every excellent and well-ordered arrangement can be reduced to the special requirements of this science.
This science found realization also at the building of the tabernacle and temple; the same measuring rod, circles, spheres, hemispheres, quadrangles, and other figures were employed. The knowledge of all this brings to him, who is occupied with it, no small gain for his spiritual culture.
10. Music is the science of time intervals as they are perceived in tones. This science is as eminent as it is useful. He who is a stranger to it is not able to fulfil the duties of an ecclesiastical office in a suitable manner. A proper delivery in reading and a lovely rendering of the Psalms in the church are regulated by a knowledge of this science. Yet it is not only good reading and beautiful psalmody that we owe to music; through it alone do we become capable of celebrating in the most solemn manner every divine service. Music penetrates all the activities of our life, in this sense namely, that we above all carry out the commands of the Creator and bow with a pure heart to his commands; all that we speak, all that makes our hearts beat faster, is shown through the rhythm of music united with the excellence of harmony; for music is the
science which teaches us agreeably to change tones in duration and pitch. When we employ ourselves with good pursuits in life, we show ourselves thereby disciples of this art; so long as we do what is wrong, we do not feel ourselves drawn to music. Even heaven and earth, as everything that happens here through the arrangement of the Most High, is nothing but music, as Pythagoras testifies that this world was created by music and can be ruled by it. Even with the Christian religion music is most intimately united; thus it is possible that to him, who does not know even a little music, many things remain closed and hidden.
II. There remains yet astronomy which, as some one has said, is a weighty means of demonstration to the pious, and to the curious a grievous torment. If we seek to investigate it with a pure heart and an ample mind, then it fills us, as the ancients said, with great love for it. For what will it not signify, that we soar in spirit to the sky, that with penetration of mind we analyze that sublime structure, that we, in part at least, fathom with the keenness of our logical faculties what mighty space has enveloped in mystery! The world itself, according to the assumption of some, is said to have the shape of a sphere, in order that in its circumference it may be able to contain the different forms of things. Thus Seneca, in agreement with the philosophers of ancient times, composed a work under the title, “The Shape of the Earth."
Astronomy, of which we now speak, teaches the laws of the stellar world. The stars can take their place or carry out their motion only in the manner established by the Creator, unless by the will of the Creator a miraculous change takes place. Thus we read that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still in Gibeon, that in the days of King Josiah the sun went backward ten degrees, and that at the
death of the Lord the sun was darkened for three hours. We call such occurrences miracles (Wunder), because they contradict the usual course of things, and therefore excite wonder.
That part of astronomy, which is built up on the investigation of natural phenomena, in order to determine the course of the sun, of the moon, and stars, and to effect a proper reckoning of time, the Christian clergy should seek to learn with the utmost diligence, in order through the knowledge of laws brought to light and through the valid and convincing proof of the given means of evidence, to place themselves in a position, not only to determine the course of past years according to truth and reality, but also for further times to draw confident conclusions, and to fix the time of Easter and all other festivals and holy days, and to announce to the congregation the proper celebration of them.
12. The seven liberal arts of the philosophers, which Christians should learn for their utility and advantage, we have, as I think, sufficiently discussed. We have this yet to add. When those, who are called philosophers, have in their expositions or in their writings, uttered perchance some truth, which agrees with our faith, we should not handle it timidly, but rather take it as from its unlawful possessors and apply it to our own use.
XII. MARTIN LUTHER.
Martin Luther, the greatest of the Protestant reformers, was born at Eisleben, Germany, November 10, 1483. His father was a miner in humble circumstances. The hometraining he received was severe and hardening. At school he came under the prevalent cruel discipline, and was cruelly flogged for not accomplishing tasks that were entirely beyond his power. He was sent at the age of fourteen to the school at Magdeburg conducted by the Brethren of the Common Life. A year later he went to Eisenach, where he completed his secondary education under the learned humanist John Tribonius.
In 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt which, unlike many other universities of the time, welcomed the study of the Latin and Greek classics. He took the Master's degree there in 1505, and then entered the Augustinian convent of mendicant friars at Erfurt, where he passed through a profound religious experience. In 1507 he was ordained to the priesthood, and a year later was called to the newly founded University of Wittenberg, where he lectured first on Aristotle and then on the Scriptures. On the 31st of October, 1517, in opposition to John Tetzel, who was vending indulgences throughout Germany, Luther nailed his famous Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. Vittenberg. This event, which led to
, the subsequent conflict with the Papacy, is commonly regarded as the beginning of the Protestant revolution, which in the
next several decades firmly established itself among the Teutonic peoples of Europe.
The necessities of the Reformation, as well as his profound patriotism, gave Luther an intense interest in education. Apart from frequent discussions of the subject in other writings, he prepared two treatises which exhibit great
breadth of view and a marvelous though unrefined energy th of expression. The first of these is a " Letter to the Mayors
and Aldermen of All the Cities of Germany in Behalf of Christian Schools," which was written in 1524, and the second, a “Sermon on the Duty of Sending Children to School,” which was prepared in 1530. These treatises touch on nearly every important phase of education, and are admirable in their statement of principles and suggestion of methods. The commendation of Dittes, director of the Normal School in Vienna, is not unmerited: "If we survey the pedagogy of Luther in all its extent," he says, and imagine it fully realized in practice, what a splendid picture the schools and education of the sixteenth century would present! We should have courses of study, text-books, teachers, methods, principles, and modes of discipline, schools and school regulations, that could serve as models for our own age. But, alas! Luther, like all great men, was little understood by his age and adherents; and what was understood was inadequately esteemed, and what was esteemed was only imperfectly realized.”
With Luther education was not an end in itself, but a means of more effective service in church and state. If people or rulers neglect the education of the young, they inflict an injury on the cause of Christ and on the weal of the state; they advance the cause of Satan, and bring down upon themselves the wrath of heaven. This is the fundamental thought that underlies all Luther's writings on education.