Each person took for himself all that he could; man's life was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."
" What my forefathers established at the council of Constance and other councils it is my privilege to maintain," he exclaims. Although, to Aleander's chagrin, the emperor consented to summon Luther to Worms, where he received a species of ovation, Charles readily approved the edict drafted by the papal nuncio, in which Luther is accused of having " brought together all previous heresies in one stinking mass," rejecting all law, teaching a life wholly brutish, and urging the lay people to bathe their hands in the blood of priests.
Moreover, in the universal unrest and oversetting of all authority, Christianity itself was in danger of perishing, not only as the result of the cultured paganism of the Renaissance, but also through the brutish ignorance of the common folk, deprived now of their traditional religious restraints.
In only two points can Rabelais be said to be definitely polemic. He certainly hated the monkish system in the debased form in which it existed in his time; he as certainly hated the brutish ignorance into which the earlier systems of education had suffered too many of their teachers and scholars to drop. At these two things he was never tired of striking, but elsewhere, even in the grim satire of the Chats fourres, he is the satirist proper rather than the reformer.
The most acrimonious of all his works is his Defence of Justification by Faith, an answer to what Bunyan calls "the brutish and beastly latitudinarianism" of Edward Fowler, afterwards bishop of Gloucester, an excellent man, but not free from the taint of Pelagianism.
The one is commonly transitory, a sound, a tongue, a dialect merely, almost brutish, and we learn it unconsciously, like the brutes, of our mothers.