The Political Theories of Martin Luther

By Luther Hess D. Waring | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER X
AN ESTIMATE OF LUTHERS' PLACE IN THE HISTORY OF THE THEORY OF THE STATE

IT is difficult to follow, in almost any case, the direct not less than the indirect influence of a new truth or of a great principle; but, once deeply stirred by a great conception of truth, of opportunity, or of duty, a people is never again the same. In speaking of the Reformation, Carlyle invites attention to this thought. "Once risen into this divine white heat of temper," he says, "were it only for a season and not again, it is henceforth considerable through all its remaining history. Nations are benefited for ages by being thrown once into divine white heat in this manner, and no nation that has not had such divine paroxysms at any time is apt to come to much."

An idea, a concept, a truth, does not originate with the mass, but with the individual. Every invention, every discovery, every truth, every principle, comes, in the first instance, not from the many nor from the few, but from the one.

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