The last word of that Scotist theology which ruled at the close of the middle ages was that man must work out his own salvation, and Luther tried to do so in the most approved later medieval fashion by the strictest asceticism.
God always appeared to him as an implacable judge, threatening punishment for breaking a law which it was impossible to keep. He confessed to himself that he often hated this arbitrary Will which Scotist theology called God.
In political philosophy he maintained the Scotist position, that civil authority was derived from the popular will, but in theology he was a scholastic conservative, though he never failed to show his approbation of Gallicanism and its plea for the reform of ecclesiastical abuses.
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