Saturday, February 8, 2014

“I am rough, boisterous, stormy, and altogether warlike."

Saturday was overcast and a little cooler; as Heinrich peered out the window, he wondered about tomorrow; if it rained, it would make for an uncomfortable trip. But rain or shine he was determined to get there. He came downstairs and greeted his mother and Rebekah with “Good Sabbath” and they returned the greeting.

Breakfast consisted mostly of cold fare since Rebekah explained that no fires were to be started on the Sabbath. Heinrich didn’t quite understand the reasons for that, but the ladies had made some good tasting pastries in advance and he gladly sampled them. After breakfast he said, “I know it doesn’t fit the ideal of Sabbath, but I need to go into town this afternoon to get the horse and wagon. I’ll put the horse in our shed for the night. Rebekah replied, “as Jesus said, Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath; I guess He’ll understand.”

Rebekah was going to miss Heinrich. She wanted to know more about him; “Tell me about your time at the University.” He thought about that for a while as his mind filtered through images and emotions, “It’s been a few years; funny you should ask because Martin just asked me if I missed school. Actually I enjoyed the University very much. It was just starting to gain recognition in the region when I had to leave. My two most famous professors were Luther and Philip Melanchthon, who was brought in to chair the Greek Department at 21 years of age!” Heinrich went over to a bookshelf and retrieved a volume. “This is a book that Melanchthon wrote at Wittenberg; Luther wrote the preface to it; I think it’s interesting.” At this he began to read from the preface: “I am rough, boisterous, stormy, and altogether warlike. I am born to fight against innumerable monsters and devils. I must remove stumps and stones, cut away thistles and thorns, and clear the wild forests; but Master Philip comes along, softly and gently, sowing and watering, with joy, according to the gifts which God has abundantly bestowed upon him.” Heinrich resumed his comments, “They became the best of friends and Melanchthon was one of his biggest supporters. As this movement gets underway, he’s helping to give it some order and structure. It was an honor to study under him; he’s knowledgable about astronomy and philosophy as well as Greek. Oh yes, I also had Andreas Karlstadt for a class in theology; he was more of a reformer than Luther but ended up leaving for some reason. It was a stimulating environment; and we all felt we were part of an exciting revolution. Change was in the air and the old ways were crumbling around us.”

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