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The nameless novice-master, whom even Luther designates as "an excellent man, and without doubt even under the damned cowl, a true Christian," must "have been a worthy representative of his order" (Oerger, ). Kostlin, who repeated it (Luther's Leben, I, 1883, 63) drops the date altogether in his latest edition. This allows the unprecedented interval of more than two months to elapse between the ordination and first Mass.

There is no reason to doubt that Luther's monastic career thus far was exemplary, tranquil, happy ; his heart at rest, his mind undisturbed, his soul at peace.

The metaphysical disquisitions, psychological dissertations, pietistic maunderings about his interior conflicts, his theological wrestlings, his torturing asceticism, his chafing under monastic conditions, can have little more than an academic, possibly a psychopathic value. Unfortunately Luther himself in his self-revelation can hardly be taken as a safe guide.

Although the tone of the university, especially that of the students, was pronouncedly, even enthusiastically, humanistic, and although Erfurt led the movement in Germany, and in its theological tendencies was supposedly "modern", nevertheless "it nowise showed a depreciation of the currently prevailing [ Scholastic ] system" (ibid.).

Luther himself, in spite of an acquaintaince with some of the moving spirits of humanism, seems not to have been appreciably affected by it, lived on its outer fringe, and never qualified to enter its "poetic" circle.

cit.), or Luther's assertion that he had "never seen a Bible until he was twenty years of age", or his still more emphatic declaration that when Carlstadt was promoted to the doctorate "he had as yet never seen a Bible and I alone in the Erfurt monastery read the Bible ", which, taken in their literal sense, are not only contrary to demonstrable facts, but have perpetuated misconception, bear the stamp of improbability written in such obtrusive characters on their face, that it is hard, on an honest assumption, to account for their longevity. Parenthetical mention must be made of the fact that the denunciation heaped on Luther's novice-master by Mathesius, Ratzeberger, and Jurgens, and copied with uncritical docility by their transcribers -- for subjecting him to the most abject menial duties and treating him with outrageous indignity -- rests on no evidence.

The Augustinian rule lays especial stress on the monition that the novice "read the Scripture assiduously, hear it devoutly, and learn it fervently" (Constitutiones Ordinis Fratr. These writers are "evidently led by hearsay, and follow the legendary stories that have been spun about the person of the reformer" (Oerger, , 80). A strange oversight, running through three centuries, placed the date of his ordination and first Mass on the same day, 2 May, an impossible coincidence.

Luther addresses him in a letter (1518) as not only "the first theologian and philosopher ", but also the first of contemporary dialecticians.

Usingen was an Augustinian friar, and second only to Trutvetter in learning, but surpassing him in literary productivity.

His schooling at Mansfeld, whither his parents had returned, was uneventful.

He attended a Latin school, in which the Ten Commandments, "Child's Belief", the Lord's Prayer, the Latin grammar of Donatus were taught, and which he learned quickly. At eighteen (1501) he entered the University of Erfurt, with a view to studying jurisprudence at the request of his father.

cit.) Seckendorf, who made careful research, following Bavarus (Beyer), a pupil of Luther, goes a step farther, calling this unknown friend Alexius, and ascribes his death to a thunderbolt (Seckendorf, "Ausfuhrliche Historie des Lutherthums", Leipzig, 1714, 51).

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