Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/472

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Strauss calls "the missionary of humanism." Johannes Sintius (Sin-theim), who taught with Hegius at Deventer and was himself a member of the Brotherhood, rendered a signal service to education in the Netherlands and in Germany by the successful revision of the Latin grammar which had held its own for centuries. But the schools of the Brethren were not seminaries of that narrower humanism which made the study of the classical tongues the sole method and all but the supreme object of education. They encouraged the reading of the Bible and the use of the service-books in the vulgar tongue, cherished the careful use and even the study of the vernacular, and thus brought about the beginning of a new educational movement which on the Upper Rhine was to lead to results such as it could hardly expect to command on the Lower. Many links connect the labours of the Brethren and the great movement which in the fifteenth century strove to quicken the religious life of the German people by bringing learning and education, and literature and art, into living harmony with it. Such a link may be found in the life of Rudolf Agricola, who died in 1485, and, although apparently not a pupil of the Brethren, was a native of the neighbourhood of Groningen, where one of their seminaries was placed. The last years of his life were spent at Heidelberg and Worms. He was a man of three tongues; but it was in theological rather than in philological study that he found the crown of his labours.

Of a very different character were the relations, in the Netherlands, between the Renaissance and University studies. The complete separation of academical from municipal government at Louvain, and the special attention devoted there to legal studies intended to prepare for the service of the central government, went some way towards estranging that University from popular and provincial interests; but the part which she was long to play in the history of the intellectual culture of the country was determined by the identification of her interests with those of Church and Clergy. The most illustrious of the earlier students and teachers of Louvain, Pope Adrian VI, in a sense typifies both her influence and that of the Brethren's school in which he had been previously trained. In matters concerning the Church he thought with vigour and honesty; but for "poetry" he had scant sympathy to spare. Especially in consequence of the influence exercised by the monastic orders, Louvain's academical character was even more conservative than that of Cologne. For the rest, the relations between Church and people in the fifteenth century were in the Netherlands affected by the general causes in operation throughout western Europe. The deep religious feeling of the people remained proof against the excesses alike and the shortcomings of the clergy; against a corruption which led even Philip the Good to approve of the attempt to divert the administration of charity into lay hands, and a license of life on the part of both seculars and regulars which defied repeated attempts at