His exile, however, was brief, and some years after his return he became involved in a dispute with his sovereign, Christian III., king of Denmark, because he refused to further the progress of Lutheranism in the island.
When Lutheranism arose, it spread rapidly in Prussia; Albert himself came into contact with Luther, and turning Protestant he secularized his territories, and (1526) made them into an hereditary duchy, still held as a fief of the king of Poland.
For a century of ter this the Modern Devotion flourished exceedingly, and its influence on the revival of religion in the Netherlands and north Germany in the 15th century was wide and deep. It has been the fashion to treat Groot and the Brothers of Common Life as "Reformers before the Reformation"; but Schulze, in the Protestant Realencyklopddie, is surely right in pronouncing this view quite unhistorical - except on the theory that all interior spiritual religion is Protestant: he shows that at the Reformation hardly any of the Brothers embraced Lutheranism, only a single community going over as a body to the new religion.
Dolet, &c. For a time her influence with her brother, to whom she was entirely devoted, and whom she visited when he was imprisoned in Spain, was effectual, but latterly political rather than religious considerations made him discourage Lutheranism, and a fierce persecution was begun against both Protestants and freethinkers, a persecution which drove Des Periers to suicide and brought Dolet to the stake.
His scholarship still moved in the old traditional lines, and he was also much exercised by religious scruples, the conflict of an independent mind with that submission to authority at the expense of reason encouraged by the Lutheranism in which he had been trained.
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