A History of the Christian Church During the Reformation
by Charles Hardwick
Fifth Edition, Revised by W. Stubbs
[Spelling selectively modernized. Notes moved and in square brackets for web reading. Bible citations converted to all Arabic numerals.]
The following Chapters are intended as the sequel and companion to “A History of the Christian Church during the Middle Age.” The author had indulged the hope of giving this new portion to the public at a less distant interval, but found his progress constantly retarded by other duties and engagements.
In traversing ground which furnishes so many topics, always full of deep and sometimes melancholy interest to the student of Church history, he was actuated by the principles which guided him throughout the composition of the previous volume. His earnest wish has been to give the reader a trustworthy version of those stirring incidents which mark the Reformation period; without relinquishing his former claim to characterize particular systems, persons, and events, according to the shades and colours they assume, when contemplated from an English point of view, and by a member of the Church of England.
Cambridge, February 5, 1856.
This third edition is substantially a reprint of the second, which was published in 1865 under the editorship of the Rev. Francis Procter. A few passages have been rewritten and the whole carefully revised.
William Stubbs, Kettel Hall, Oct. 1872.
Chapter I – The Saxon School of Church Reformers, And Its Propagation
Germany, Prussia, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, Sweden, Poland, Bohemia and
Moravia, Hungary and Transylvania, Spain, Italy.
Chapter II – The Swiss School of Church Reformers, And Its Propagation
Switzerland, France, Scotland, The Netherlands.
Chapter III – Conflicts Between the Saxon And the Swiss Reformers.
Chapter IV – The English And Irish Reformation
Chapter V – Sects And Heresies Accompanying the New Movement
Freethinkers, First Race of Anabaptists, Second Race of Anabaptists, or Mennonites,
Socinians, Sohwenckfeldians, Family of Love, Brownists, or Independents.
Chapter VI – The Counter-Reformation
Mediating Party, Council of Trent, Inquisition, Jesuits.
Chapter VII – Relations of Eastern and Western Churches.
Chapter VIII – Constitution of the Church, And Its Relations To the Civil Power
Boman Communion, English Communion, Saxon Communion, Swiss Communion.
Chapter IX – State of Intelligence And Piety
Chapter X – Growth of the Church
A History of the Christian Church.
That Europe would ere long be shaken by some purifying tempest was the general expectation of farsighted men at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The scholar who was holding a familiar converse with past ages, or who noted from his cloister the portentous stillness which in spite of prevalent corruptions was pervading all the atmosphere of the Church, agreed in this foreboding with the politician who directed the affairs of nations, and mixed freely in the strifes and turmoils of the world. They could not, it is true, foresee the depth of the convulsion, nor the marvellous rapidity with which it would be propagated, nor the vast upheaving it would cause in every sphere of human thought. Much less could they divine the special nature of the instruments* whom GOD was shaping for the execution of His purpose. Yet their knowledge and experience told them that disorders such as they beheld in the administration of the Church had grown intolerable, and, unless a remedy were soon applied, might prove the ruin of the system which had fed them for so many years.
*[The nearest guess, perhaps, was made in the following passage, written just before the birth of Luther: ‘Ecelesiam per concilium reformare non poterit omnis humana facultas: sed alium modum Altissimus procurabit nobis quidem pro nunc incognitum, licet heu! prae foribus existat, ut ad pristinum statum ecclesia redeat:’ see Hottinger, Hist. Ecc. sec. xv. p. 413, quoted in Middle Age, p. 371, n. 3.]
A number of converging trains [Middle Age, pp. 415, 416.] of influence had been lately rousing and enlarging the mind of Western Christendom. It could no longer be subdued by motives, or repressed by fetters, which had once been all-constraining. New importance was attached to individual freedom, and a higher value set on individual souls. The hazy light which floated over the institutions of the Mediaeval period, adding to it much of its dignity, picturesqueness and romance, was giving way to fuller and more rational illumination: and as this increased the circle of its power, mankind grew more impatient of authority, and more inclined to question the traditions of their fathers. Every order of society was stirred: it silently drew up a catalogue of grievances,* and watched its opportunity to clamour for redress. The feelings of the many were exasperated by the scandalous lives of the ecclesiastics. Members of the higher class resented their encroachments, envied their predominance, and thirsted for a part of their superfluous wealth. Those bishops even who were desirous to promote the better organization of their dioceses, felt themselves restrained by the corrupt examples and the arbitrary intermeddling of the popes: while in addition to this general want of confidence in the existing state of things, a party of doctrinal reformers was emerging, almost simultaneously, in very different quarters. It consisted of friars, clerics, monks and laymen, all perceiving more distinctly every day, that most of the practical corruptions on the surface of society had sprung from deeper causes than was commonly supposed, and therefore, that a reformation to be really efficacious must commence with acts of daring, not to say of violence, – with rooting up the numerous aftergrowths of error, that had smothered, or at least obscured, the genuine dogmas of the Church.
*[A specimen is found in the well-known Centum Gravamina adversus sedem Romanam totumque ecclesiasticum ordinem arrayed before the diet of Nuremberg in 1522. Erasmus writing (Dec. 12, 1524) to Duke George of Saxony, who was adverse to the Lutherans, did not hesitate to make this declaration: “Cum Lutheus aggrederetur hanc fabulam [i.e. of indulgences], totus mundus illi magno consensu applausit. ... Susceperat enim optimam causam adversus corruptissimos Scholarum at Ecclesiae mores, qui eo progressi fuerant ut res jam nulli bono viro tolerabilis videretur.” Epist. lib. XXI. ep. 7. Lond. 1642. To the same effect writes Surius a contemporary, and one of Luther’s greatest enemies (in Gieseler, ‘Vierte Periode,’ p: 30, n. 17. Bonn, 1840, vol. v. p.231. ed. Edinb.): “In ipsis hujus tragoediae initiis visus est Lutherus etiam plerisque viris gravibus et eruditis non pessimo zelo moveri, planeque nihil spectare aliud quam Ecclesiae reformationem, cujus quidam deformes abusus non parum male habebant bonos omnes.”]
As these convictions gradually became more definite and urgent, it was necessary to inquire respecting the machinery by which a reformation might be carried into effect. Two plans seemed possible: the one involving the cooperation of the pope and hierarchy, and through them extending to the whole of western Christendom; the other starting from the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of each particular state or nation, and removing the abuses which especially affected it. According to the first idea, the Roman pontiff, wielding as of old a spiritual supremacy, might constitute himself the head and leader of the rising movement. Foremost to acknowledge that “many abominations had for a long time existed even in the holy see, yea, that all things had been grievously altered and perverted,”* he might call together the most able representatives of the Church, inquire more narrowly into the growth of prevailing evils, disinter the ancient canons, above all, give new publicity to the neglected oracles of God, and ascertaining, by the help of sounder scholarship now happily revived, how far the faith and practices of Christendom had swerved from early standards, might exert the remnant of his power in every court of Europe to replace religion on a firmer basis, and to restore it to its pristine purity.
*[This was actually the admission of Adrian VI in 1522. See his instructions to Francisco Chieregati, in Raynald. Annal. Eccl. ad an. 1522. § 66. The abbé Rohrbacher in his Hist. Univ. de l’Eglise Catholigue is unwilling to recognize the least corruption in the Mediaeval Church, and professes to rectify the blunders of such men as Boseuet, who could not shut their eyes to the most patent facts of history. The language of Adrian is, however, a great stnmblingblock in the way of M. Rohrbacher, owing to his exalted views of pontifical infallibility. See the opening of Liv. LXXXIV.]
(1) If such a project may have fairly been considered within the bounds of possibility when Pius III ascended the pontifical throne in 1503, the hope of realizing it expired with his brief reign of six and twenty days. [Döllinger, Ch. Hist. IV. 229. Engl. Transl.] It was agitated, for a while indeed, when Adrian occupied the place of Leo in 1522; yet the “reforming” pontiff (so he has been styled) had scarcely cherished the magnificent idea when he also was carried prematurely to his grave. [Serpi, Hist. du Concile de Trent, Liv. I. c. 27. (I. 59 ed. Conrayer.)] With these two slight exceptions, we shall find the Roman curia, throughout the first quarter of the sixteenth century, persisting in its resolution to discountenance all change whatever. Conscious though it afterwards became that reformation of some kind or other was inevitable, it manifested no activity until the slumbers of the Vatican were broken by the prospect of a general revolt. And as the pontiff would not himself institute reformatory measures, so would he not tolerate the schemes of other church authorities. The “constitutional” reformers, who inherited the feelings that found expression at Constance and Basel, were no less hateful in his eyes than Hussites or Waldenses. He construed every wish they breathed for the recovery of the Church into designs for circumscribing his jurisdiction, or draining his revenues. In 1460, Pius II had actually forbidden all endeavours to invoke the aid of councils under pain of damnation. [Bullarium, ed. Cocquelines, III. pt. iii. 97.] It was therefore not unnatural that many who sighed deeply over the degeneracy of Christendom should gradually lose faith in the pontifical authority, until they welcomed acts and agencies that once appeared abnormal, vicious and heretical.
This gradual loss of confidence was doubtless expedited by observing the personal demerit of the popes. Never had they, speaking generally, been so unworthy, so flagitious, and so despicable. When Luther was advancing to the highest academical distinction at Erfurt, the throne of St Peter, as men deemed, was still tenanted by Alexander VI [Middle Age, p. 339. Even Onuphrius Panvinius (the continuator of Platina), who thinks that the vices of Alexander were equalled by his virtues, characterizes him in the following terms: “perfidia plusquam Punica, saevitia immani, avaritia immensa, ac rapacitate, inexhausta parandi filio imperii per fas et nefas libidine. ... Mulieribus maxime addicttus, ex quibus quatuor filios et duas filias tulit,” etc. De Vit. Pontif, p. 360. Colon. 1600.] whose crimes have always staggered the most ardent champions of the papacy. When Luther crossed the Alps in 1511, himself, as he declares, [“Sciat [i. e. lector] me fuisse aliquando monachum et papistam insanissimum, cum istam causam aggressus sum, ita ebrium, ita submersum in dogmatibus papae, ut paratissimus fuerim omnes, si potuissem, occidere, aut occidentibus cooperari et consentire, si papae vel una syllaba obedientiam detractarent”: Luther. Opp. ed. 1545. “Praef.”] the very “maddest” of those devotees, he found that Julius II the reigning “representative of Christ,” bestowed his interest chiefly on the camp, and led his troops to battle. [Waddington, Hist. of the Reform. on the Continent, I. 58. Lond. 1841.] These charges, it is true, do not apply to Leo X, who was remarkable for the polish of his manners, for his patronage of arts and learning, and for the graceful brilliance of his court: yet even he associated with men who ill disguised their infidelity, and though untainted by their vices, played the part of the magnificent prince, instead of the unworldly prelate. [Onuph. Panvin., as above, p. 369; cf. Roscoe’s apology, in his Life and Pontificate of Leo X, chap. xxiv.] He could, therefore, only smile or sneer [According to a contemporary, Bandello, the episcopal novelist (Pref. to Novel. xxv.), the pope observed “che Fra Martino fosse un bellissimo ingegno, e che coteste erano invidie Fratesche.” Gieseler, v. 236.] when he perused the protestations of “brother Martin” against the impious sale of indulgences.
Nor, had the popes been willing to promote a general reformation of the Church, could they have realized their wishes in the present state of European politics. Their standing in relation to the civil power was now no longer what it had been when their edicts and anathemas found executioners in every province of the west, – when Innocent III disposed of kingdoms, or when Hildebrand could terrify an emperor, and make him toil across the great St Bernard in the depth of winter to solicit the papal absolution. The nominal head of Christendom had shrunk at last into a cypher and a shadow. His reanimation was itself one consequence of the religious war that stripped him of the half of his possessions. When Charles and Francis wrestled for the sovereignty of Europe, Leo was in turn the tool of the stronger party. After witnessing the overthrow of his valiant Swiss at Marignano, he abandoned the imperial cause, and threw himself into the arms of Francis, crying “Misericordia”. [Ralke, Popes during the Sixteenth Century, I. 81, 82. 2nd ed. Lond. 1841.] So far was he at least from listening to the groans and clamours of his spiritual subjects, that while their remonstrances were growing louder every day, he was occupied with diplomatic arts and specious subterfuges for preserving to himself a wreck of his ancient independence.
Whether, then, we have regard to the hereditary prejudices of their station, to their personal demerits, or their inability to move the leading sovereigns of the west, we find no reason for expecting that reformatory measures would be instituted by the Roman pontiffs.
(2) The other course, as we have indicated, was to substitute domestic for ecumenical machinery, to make the reformation of each country a separate concern by laying greater stress upon the principle of nationality, as distinguished from that of papal universalism. This project, in addition to the scriptural and patristic arguments alleged in its behalf, accorded with the state of public feeling, as well as with the special circumstances of the times. A marked tendency in the same direction had in fact been already manifested in proportion as men felt the transforming influences of the fifteenth century. We trace it in the “actions” of the council of Constance, where a deep distrust of ultramontane intermeddling prompted the idea of “vote by nations”. [Middle Age, p. 332.] That idea was afterwards embodied still more fully in the “Pragmatic Sanction” of Charles VII, [Ibid. p. 338.] which formed the bulwark of the “Gallican Liberties,” and which at one time Maximilian thought of introducing into Germany. [Ranke, Hist. of Ref. in Germany, I. 270. 2nd ed. Lond. 1845.] He also ventured to express a lively interest in the convocation of the anti-papal synod of Pisa (1511), [Middle Age, p. 340, n. 1.] stating that as the court of Rome was backward, he would himself put an end to the delay; and therefore, in his capacity of “steward and protector of the Church,” proceeded to convene “the council of which she was greatly in need.” [Ranke, ibid. It was on this occasion that the prelates wrote as follows (Nov. 12, 1511): “Assurge, igitur, Caesar Optime, adesto, vigila; labitur ecclesia, opprimuntur boni, impii efferuntur, mergitur justitia, colitur impietas, surgunt in sinumque recipiuntur infideles,” etc.: apud Richer. Hist. Concil. lib. IV. Part I. pp. 121, 122. Colon. 1681.] Another striking indication of this forwardness in separate countries under the guidance of the civil power occurred in 1527 during the captivity of the pope. In a treaty then arranged between Henry VIII and Francis I, it was provided that “whatsoever by the cardinal of York, assisted by the prelates of England assembled and called together by the authority of the King, should be determined concerning the administration of ecclesiastical affairs in the said kingdom of England ... should, the consent of the king being first had, be decreed and observed:” and corresponding stipulations were inserted in behalf of “Francis and his clergy”. [Herbert’s Life of Henry VIII. p. 209. Lond. 1672. The historian remarks: “And here certainly began the taste that our King took of governing in chief the clergy.”]
In strict accordance with these tendencies, we find the chief reformers of Germany and England placing themselves in close alliance with the secular authority, as that which ought to guide and stimulate the new religious movement. Luther in his bold address [Schriften, ed. Walch, a. 296 sq. It was written in German for the sake of reaching the public ear.] “to the Christian potentates of the German nation” (June, 1520) urged distinctly that as need required, and as the Roman pontiffs only hindered reformation, the “secular sword” would be exerted lawfully in redressing grievances by means of what he termed “a, right free council”. He was contemplating, it is probable, the convocation of some body representing all the western churches: yet the principle he advocates would equally in his opinion justify the conduct of a synod whose proceedings were restricted to the German empire, and even to particular states. The English, among whom, in spite of the high-sounding legislation of the Tudors, church authority was more clearly and consistently preserved, were taught to associate their reformation with the same idea of nationality. Thus in the preamble to the famous Act of Parliament [Stat. 24 Hen. VIII. c. 12.] relating to appeals (1532–3), which proved the harbinger of more decisive measures, it is declared on the authority of “sundry old authentic histories and chronicles,” that this realm of England is an empire made up of spiritualty and temporalty, and that it has here been customary, when causes “of the Law Divine,” or “of spiritual learning,” come in question, to decide them by consulting that “part of the body politic called the spiritualty, now being usually called the English Church ... without the intermeddling of any exterior person or persons.” And the same principle of action, variously applied, had been adopted in the other states and countries of the west. They all convinced themselves that it was now the first and paramount duty of “every prince to redress his own realm”. [In the “Kinges Protestation agaynst the Pope,” A.D. 1536 (Fox, p. 1085, col. 2. ed. 1583), where this expression occurs, it is observed: “They that be wisest do dispayre of a generall councel. Wherfore we think it now best that euery prince call a councell prouincial.” Cf. the reasons given at the same time (A.D. 1537) by the Germans, for not consenting to a proposed council to be held at Mantua. Le Plat, Monumenta Concil. Trident. II. 577. Lovan. 1782.]
We should remark, indeed, that notwithstanding occasional expressions of impatience and distrust, the project of submitting the grievances of the reformers to a body fairly representing all the Latin Church, was not abandoned till it grew entirely visionary. Melanchthon and his friends affirmed [Ranke, Hist. Reform. III. 286.] in 1530, that with regard to most of the disputed points they acted but provisionally. Hermann, the archbishop of Cologne, whose “Consultation” was the work of the same moderate school, looked hopefully as late as 1543 to some conciliar reformation: “Which thinges nevertheless we set furth to be receyued and obserued of men committed to our charge, none otherwise than as a beginninge of so holie and necessary a thinge, vntil a general reformation of congregacions [i.e. churches] be made by the holie empire, by a fre and Christian council, vniuersall or nationall.” [Consultation, sign. Rr. ii. Lond. 1547. See also Bucer’s kindred language in his Scripta Duo Adversaria, p. 255. Argentor. 1544.] And even Philip the Magnanimous, who shewed himself peculiarly erratic, and impatient, more than others, of all spiritual authority, evinced a willingness in 1545 to stand by the determinations of such a body, – “a free, pious and general council”. [See, however, Credner’s remarks on this profession in the “Vorwort” (p. ccv.) prefixed to his edition of the Reformatio Ecclesiarum Hassiae; Giessen, 1852.]
As soon, however, as the members of the counter reformation party had recruited their broken forces, and had published the elaborate decrees which are the fruit of their weary conferences at Trent, all hopes of peace, of unity, of reconciliation were utterly extinguished (1563). A synod, which the Romanist, however unhistorically, held to be a representation of the whole Church, having eventually obtained the formal sanction of the pontiff, was calculated to satisfy alike the Gallican and ultramontaue theories of infallibility, and therefore claimed the homage of all Christians who recognized the jurisdiction of the Roman see. On the other hand, the different bodies of Reformers also went their way to strengthen their ecclesiastical organization, and developing the evangelic principles that drove them at the first into collision with the unreformed, gave character and permanency to their system by stereotyping their Confessions and other symbolical books. The breach was thus to all appearance made irreparable. Christendom that had for centuries been parted into East and West resolved itself still further; now presenting to the eye a motley group (we cannot say confederation) of national and local churches.
Few perhaps of those who thoughtfully examine the modern history of Europe, will question that the great disruptions of the sixteenth century, though highly beneficial as a whole, entailed some formidable evils. The loss of that organic unity which served in bygone ages as a powerful evidence in aid of Christian truth; the intermission of fraternal fellowship between communities related to each other not by blood and language merely, but, in some essential points, by creed; the sad dismemberment of families; the multiplication of parties, schisms and factions rising out of religious prejudice, and often issuing in religious wars; the growth of mental habits leading either to indifferentism on one side, or to interdicted speculations on the other; the diffusion of an egotistic, self-complacent and subjective spirit, making light of all ecclesiastical traditions and exciting controversies whose vibrations are still felt in almost every part of Europe; – these were some of the immediate and, it may be, necessary accompaniments of struggles which then rose between the ancient and modern modes of thought, between the Mediaeval and Reforming principles. But while confessing and deploring such results, we should, on the other hand, reflect that in the present stage of man’s existence, great advantages must generally be purchased by corresponding sacrifices; and that if we fairly balance gain with loss, the Reformation is to be esteemed among our very choicest blessings. It recovered what is even more precious than ecclesiastical unity, – the primitive and Apostolic faith. From it, accordingly, has dated a new era in the moral progress of the Western nations, and the spiritual development of man. It has, to some extent, replaced him in the liberty wherewith Christ had made him free. It has unloosed the trammels that oppressed not only his understanding, but his conscience. It has led to the rejection of that semi-Judaism in thought and feeling, which however it was overruled for good in training the barbaric nations of the north, was, notwithstanding, a melancholy relapse into the servile posture of the Hebrew, as distinguished from the free and filial spirit that should characterize the children of God. Above all, the Reformation vindicated for our blessed Lord the real headship of the Church, exalting Him as the One source of life and righteousness, and thereby placing saints, and priests, and sacraments, in their true subordination. Personal faith in Him, the Reconstructor of humanity, the living Way unto the Father, was now urged with emphasis unequalled since the age of St Augustine: and this quickening of man’s moral consciousness imparted a new stimulus to individual effort. Doubtless many wild exaggerations followed, and still follow, in the track of the great movement, partly owing to the natural waywardness of men, and partly to the irrepressible force of the revulsion caused by hatred of the ancient superstitions; yet, in spite of all such drawbacks, it is manifest that the reformed are, as a rule, entitled to rank higher than the unreformed communities, surpassing these not only in the vigour of their intellectual faculties and their material prosperity, but also in the social, moral, and religious elevation of the people.
Chapter I – The Saxon School of Church Reformers, and Its Propagation.
To understand the nature of the Reformation as it rose and spread in Germany, we must become familiar with the life of him who was its centre and its chief. Martin Luther was born at Eisleben, a small town of Saxony, on the 10th of November, 1483. Like Hildebrand, whose reformations constitute another epoch in the annals of the Christian Church, he issued from the lower strata of society. [“I am a ‘peasant’s son,” he says in his Table Talk, “my father, my grandfather, and my great grandfather were genuine peasants (rechte Bauern).” Ranke observes that the family was from Möhra, a village in the Thuringian forest, not far from the spot where Boniface, the apostle of Germany, first preached the Gospel. Reform. Bk. II. ch. 1. (n. 316). Another form of the name was Lüder, out of which his enemies profess to have extracted the mystic number 666, the designation of the beast in the Apocalypse: cf. Audin, Hist. de la Vie de Martin Luther, I. 1, note. Paris, 1839.] A childhood, saddened by the hardness of his lot, and the undue severity of his parents, ended in his transfer at the age of fifteen to the thriving school of Eisenach, [In the village school of Mansfeld, whither his parents removed soon after his birth, he was taught, among other things, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer, together with the Latin Grammar of Donatus. The year before (1497) Luther had been sent to a school of higher rank at Magdeburg, but was withdrawn, owing to the inability of his parents to maintain him there. At Eisenach he had relatives, who contributed slightly to his support. The best contemporary biographies of him are Melanchthon’s Hist. Vit. Martin Luther. ed. Heumann, 1741, and a second by Matthesius, Historien von D. Martin Luthers Anfang, etc. first published in 1565.] where indigence compelled him not unfrequently to earn his bread by singing carols in the streets and neighbourhood. Yet no privations of this kind, however much they modified his natural temper, could depress the buoyant energies within him; and when arrangements had been made at length (1501) for sending him to the university of Erfurt, the leading features of his character were rapidly developed. In that large and sturdy frame, with appetites of corresponding vehemence, and passions ever calling loudly for restraint, there worked a spirit such as rarely tenants human flesh, – commanding, fierce, impetuous, dauntless, and indomitable, while maintaining what he felt to be the cause of truth and righteousness, and yet combining with these manlier elements an awful consciousness of his dependence upon God, and childlike singleness of purpose. Of his intellectual eminence a presage had been given at Eisenach, particularly by the force and eloquence of his compositions, both in verse and prose: but the superiority of his talents grew most apparent when, on entering at the university, he soon eclipsed his fellow students, and astonished his instructors, by the rapidity with which he mastered all the ponderous learning of the schools. It seems that Aristotle, whom he afterwards abhorred, [In a letter dated May 18, 1517 (ed. De Wette, I. 57), he spoke of Aristotle as then on the decline (“descendit paulatim”); and in 1520 he entirely abandoned the Aristotelic theory of substance and accident (De Captiv. Babylon. Eccl. Opp. II. fol. 263, b. Jenae, 1600). He declared that the Western Christians were generally orthodox on the Eucharist, “donec coepit Aristotelis simulata philosophia in Ecclesia grassari.” At last, according to Erasmus (Epist. lib. XXXI. ep. 99), he denounced the whole of the Aristotelic philosophy as diabolical. Singularly enough the dialectics and physics of the Stagirite had been the subject of his first academical lectures.] was one of the chief instruments in this evolving of his mental powers. He also read the other standard authors of the age, such as Thomas Aquinas, [See Middle Age, pp. 267 sq.] Duns Scotus, [Ibid. p. 270.] William of Ockham, [Ibid. p. 353 and n, 1.] Gabriel Biel [Ibid. p. 354 and n. 1.], Peter D’Ailly, [Ibid. p. 354, n. 2.] and Gerson; [Ibid. p. 358.] last of all, proceeding to the investigation of the Holy Scriptures, [On his “discovery” of a copy of the Latin Bible (1503) in the university library at Erfurt, see Merle d’Aubigné’s Hist. of the Reform. I. 208. Edinb. 1853, and Dr Maitland’s Dark Ages, pp. 469, 506. Lond. 1843.] which he studied with the help of the patristic commentators, more especially of St Augustine. His decided preference for the writings of this saint, a preference which involved considerations of the highest moment in relation to the history of Christian dogmas, may be traced in some degree to his initiation at Erfurt into the order of Augustinian hermits or friars (1505). The natural bent of Luther’s mind was certainly not in the direction of monasticism: he was social, cheerful, strongly sensuous, passionately fond of art and music, and himself no mean composer: yet on reaching his twentieth year he gradually became the victim of religious melancholy, which continued to hang over him and clouded all his being, until 1508. His mental agitations were peculiarly intense and awful, bordering, it would seem, on actual delirium, when he felt himself impelled into the cloisters of the Augustinian convent. [He had been brooding over the sudden death of an intimate friend (July, 1505) when he was overtaken in the mountains between Mansfeld and Erfurt by a terrific storm. His feelings were strongly excited by what he deemed the presence of a wrathful God, and he instantly made a vow to St Anne, that if he escaped he would enter a convent. On reaching Erfurt, he gave a farewell supper to his friends, and retaining only two books, his Virgil and Plautus, betook himself during the night of Aug. 17, 1505, to the place of his reclusion: cf. Waddington, I, 39 sq.] A noviciate of one year gave ample promise of his diligence, humility, and devotion. He resolved, with all the vigour of a dominant will, that if ascetic practices could open the gates of heaven to any, he for one would enter there. [Ranke, Reform. I. 319: Audin, Hist de Luther, I. 88, 89. His treatise De Votis Monasticis was written about sixteen years after. He there says that he became a recluse half unwillingly, “terrore et agone mortis subitae circumvallatus.”] But notwithstanding all such brave determinations, his disquietude went on increasing. As the lectures of the schools had failed to satisfy his yearnings after holiness, and could not draw him into closer communing with God, so neither did the self-inflicted privations of his cell. The Reformation that was destined to produce such mighty throes and conflicts in the whole of Christendom, was now foreshadowed in the night-long vigils of the penitent and terror-stricken friar. It is remarkable [Melanchthon, De Vit. Luth. p. 7.] that one of his first comforters was an aged inmate of the convent, who with great simplicity reminded him of the article of his creed, “I believe in the remission of sins,” – expounding it in such a way as to bring out more consciously man’s personal trust in a gratuitous redemption.* Hence the origin of the peculiar emphasis which Luther uniformly placed upon this doctrine all the rest of his life.
*[Ibid. The friar confirmed his interpretation by an extract from St Bernard. One passage in the Pauline Epistles (Rom. 1:17) caused Luther great perplexity while he was thinking out his doctrine of Justification. He had been taught to understand __________ ____ of the “active” righteousness in virtue of which God punished sinners; but he finally held it to mean His “passive” righteousness, by which the God of mercy justified mankind through faith in Christ. As early as April, 1516, he was engaged in actual warfare against the scholastic “opinion,” or rather “error,” as he adds. See his Letter to George Spenlein (De Wette, 16 sq.), where he goes on to exhort his brother friar in the following terms, and thus proves that his doctrine of Justification was already far developed: “Igitur, mi dulcis Frater, disce Christum et Hunc crucifixum: disce Ei cantare et de teipso desperans dicere Ei: Tu, Domine Jesu, es justitia mea, ego autem sum peccatum Tuum: Tu assumsisti meum, et dedisti mihi Tuum: assumsisti quod non eras, et dedisti mihi quod non eram. ... Igitur non nisi in Illo, per fiducialem desperationem tui et operum tuorum pacem invenies. Disce insuper ex Ipso, ut sicit Ipse suscepit te, et peccata tua fecit Sua, et Suam justitiam fecit tuam.” Gieseler, v. 221.]
In 1508 the scene of his activity was changed: John Staupitz, the provincial of his order, and his sympathetic guide, securing his appointment as philosophical lecturer in the university of Wittenberg, which had been founded by the elector Frederic, only six years before. He there took the degree of bachelor of divinity (1509), and henceforth his chief thoughts were concentrated on the study of the Bible. [In a letter dated March 17, 1509, Luther expressed a wish to enter more systematically on the study of theology, “ea inquam theologia, quae nucleum nucis et medullam tritici et medullam ossium scrutatur”: ed. De Wette, I. 6. He took his doctor’s degree Oct. 19, 1512, and by that step considered himself bound especially to preach the Word of God: Melancthon, De Vit. Luth. p. 22. He had been ordained priest in 1506. On the circumstances connected with his first celebration of mass, see Audin, I. 89, 90.] What had most attracted him in it were the epistles of St Paul, with which he now associated [Ranke (I. 323, note) has brought to light an interesting passage on this subject.] the anti-Pelagian writings of Augustine, and the sermons of John Tauler, [See Middle Age, p. 356, and n. 6.] his fellow countryman. The hours that were not occupied in preparing his academic lectures, he employed either in preaching to his brother friars, or in parochial work at Wittenberg; [He also acted for a while as deputy provincial of the Angustinians in the absence of Staupitz (Seckendorf, Lib. I. p. 20, col. 1), thus gaining a deeper insight into the state of practical religion, as well as manifesting great aptitude for matters of business.] and during this time his mental conflicts, though still frequent, had considerably abated. One remarkable effect of Luther’s growing influence in the university* was the dethronement of scholasticism both there and elsewhere. He shewed himself peculiarly hostile to the Mediaeval theories of human merit, and refuted these by “pointing, like the Baptist, to the Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world.” [See Melanchthon’s Life, as above, p. 12.] It is, however, easy to detect in his mind, as in that of St Augustine, his great model, the temporary coexistence of divergent, and, in many cases, heterogeneous elements. [E.g. when he visited Rome (1511), he tells us in the Table-Talk, that he climbed the Scala Santa on his knees in order to obtain the plenary indulgence attached to that act of penance: “but a voice within him constantly reproached him, while he did so, crying, The just shall live by faith.”] The Saxon friar clung at first to everything he found in the existing practice and traditions of the Church: yet, meanwhile he was fostering principles which in their logical results were adverse to the ruling spirit of the Mediaeval system.
*[He writes (May 18, 1517), “Theologia nostra et S. Augustine prospere procedunt et regnant in nostra nniversitate, Deo operante. ... Mire fastidiuntur lectiones sententiariae, nec est, ut quis sibi auditores sperare possit, nisi theologiam hanc, id est Bibliam, aut S. Augustinum, aliumve ecclesiasticae anctoritatis doctorem velit profiteri”: ed. De Wette, I. 57. In other words, Luther exactly reversed the state of things which prevailed in the time of Roger Bacon: see Middle Age, p. 298, n. 2. In the same year (Sept. 4, 1517) he had published a long list of theses vindicating Augustinianism in its more stringent form, and insisting most emphatically on the moral impotence of man unquickened by the Holy Spirit: Löscher’s Reformations-acta, I. 539 sq. Gieseler, V. 222.]
It was only when the doctrine of indulgences was practically forced upon him, in its most obnoxious shape, that he began to see the real contrariety between it and his view of justification by faith. The series of propositions which he posted up, on the 31st of October, 1517, challenging “a disputation for the purpose of explaining the power of indulgences,” evince [Middle Age, p. 411, pp. 430 sq.] a steadfast resolution to assail the very strongholds of scholasticism, – its theory of penances and superabundant merits. In putting forth those ever-memorable questions, where the “thoughts fly out from his mind like sparks from the iron under the stroke of the hammer,” [Ranke, Reform. I. 340.] he was more especially stimulated by discovering that some of his own parishioners* had gone with the multitude to Jüterbock, a neighbouring town, where Tetzel, the Dominican friar, advertised his wares for sale.** Yet Luther was still very far from contemplating any rupture with the church authorities. His animadversions were restricted to a class of topics on which several of the schoolmen had expressed themselves with freedom almost equal to his own. He even entertained a hope [In the Preface to his works, written the year before his death, he says, “In iis certus mihi videbar me habiturum patronum papam, cujus fiducia tum fortiter nitebar,” etc. Gieseler, V. 229.] that Leo X would prove his patron, or at least discountenance the shameless traffic which he laboured to repress. And such a hope is quite accordant with the general tone of Luther’s mind: for nothing can be more groundless than the idea that he was actuated by a revolutionary spirit, or had aught in common with the vulgar demagogue. He started with a feeling of the deepest reverence for all institutions which he had been taught to view as the depositories of Divine authority.*** One of these he recognized in the Latin Church as governed by the pontiffs, and therefore it was only after painful struggles that he lost all faith in their uprightness, and had courage to repudiate their claims. His confidence appears to have been shaken first on noticing the ultra-Romanism of those who undertook the advocacy of the old abuses.
*[See Luther’s own statement in his treatise against Hans Wuret (1541): Schriften, ed. Welch, XVII. 1703. His earnestness was also shown by the letter he addressed (Oct. 31, 1517) to Albert, archbishop of Mentz and Magdeburg (De Wette, I. 68), where he speaks as follows of the practical effect of preaching the indulgences: “in quibus non adeo accuso praedicatorum exclamationes, quas non audivi, sed doleo falsissimas intelligentias populi ex illis conceptas, quas vulgo undique jactant, videlicet, quod credunt infelices animae si literas indulgentiaram redemerint, quod securi sint de salute sua; item, quod animae de purgatorio statim evolent, ubi contributionem in cistam conjecerint; deinde, tantas esse has gratias, ut nnllum sit adeo magnum peccatum, etiam (ut aiunt) si per impossibile quis matrem Dei violasset, quin possit solvi: item, quod homo per istas indulgentias liber sit ab omni poena et culpa.”]
**[Audin’s remark on these transactions has more than his usual amount of candour: C’était un métier honteux dont toute Čme religiense rougissait pour Tezel, et l’on comprend la colŹre de Luther contre ce vendeur de choses saintes, ” etc. I. 124. It should be also added, that the papal nuncio Miltitz afterwards repudiated the extravagance of Tetzel, and censured him with great severity (Waddington, I. 193). Notwithstanding, the main principle on which indulgences were based was reaffirmed by Leo X (Löscher, II. 493).]
***[A remarkable instance of this may be seen in the letters which he wrote in 1517, when he sent (Oct. 31) copies of his theses on indulgences to Albert, archbishop of Mentz and Magdeburg (De Wette, I. 67 sq.), and to his own diocesan, the bishop of Brandenburg. The latter conjured him, by his love for peace, to stop the agitation he was raising, and for a while he hesitated whether he should recall his work or not: “Malo obedire quam miracula facere, etiamsi possem.” Letter to Spalatinus, ed. De Wette, I. 71: cf. Waddington, I. 85 sq., Stephen’s Essays in Eccl. Biogr. I. 313 sq.. 2nd ed.]
After skirmishing with Tetzel* and a more respectable scholar of the university of Frankfort-on-the-Oder, Conrad Koch, surnamed Wimpina,** Luther had to meet the formal charge of insubordination, brought against him by three ardent champions of the papacy. These were John Mayr of Eck, commonly known as Eckius,*** the vice-chancellor of the university of Ingolstadt, who from his eloquence and intellectual cultivation may be styled the Luther of southern Germany; Sylvester Mazolini da Prierio (Prierias*4), a Dominican of Rome, and “master of the sacred palace”; and an ignorant inquisitor, Hochstratenl, [Seckendorf, Lib. I. p. 38.] professor of theology at Cologne, and the unblushing advocate of persecution. As the arguments which they advanced were ultimately based upon the despotism and virtual omnipotence of the popes, they had necessitated an inquiry on the part of Luther into wider regions than his thoughts had hitherto been traversing. At first he shewed his usual reverence for the character and jurisdiction of Leo X,*5 but in the spring of 1518, while these feelings were still dominant, we find him drawing a distinction*6 between the infallibility of Holy Scripture and that of the most able pontiff, and denying to the latter any authority to “speak from himself alone,” independently of general councils, except indeed as the interpreter of the decrees which they had promulgated.
*[Tetzel’s own production (Löscher, I. 484) is in answer to Luther’s two sermons on indulgences, preached in German about the same period: cf. Seckendorf, Lib. I. p. 26, col. 1. As a Dominican, he was backed by all the influence of his order, so that for a time the disputation looked like a mere squabble between the Dominican and Augustinian friars. It might have been described far more accurately as a struggle between the Thomist champions of scholasticism and the new generation, who reverted directly to the Bible and the earlier Fathers.]
**[Wimpina was called in to his aid by Tetzel (Jan. 1518), at the suggestion of the archbishop of Mentz, who was profiting by the sale of the indulgences, and therefore felt that the attack from Wittenberg was levelled partly at himself. Luther ultimately (Pref. to his Latin works) charged on this prelate the whole blame of the disruption that ensued. Wimpina’s Disputations are printed in Löscher, I. 503 sq. He extolled the powers of the pope (“papa ea, quae fidei sunt, solus habet determinare”), and even committed himself to the following statement (Disp. II. § 17): “Docendi aunt Christiani, quod Ecclesia multa tenet ut catholicas veritates, quae, tamen sicut nec in canone Bibliae, ita nec a doctoribus antiquioribus ponuntur.” Gieseler, V. 232.]
***[For his Obelisci, together with the Asterisci, which Luther published in reply to them, see Löscher, III. 333: cf. Seckendorf, Lib. I. p. 30, col. 2. Up to this time they were intimate friends; but after Eck’s criticism had been circulated extensively (as he declared, contrary to his own wishes), he gradually became the chief antagonist of the reformer. On his high reputation as an academic, see Ranke, Ref. I. 444, 445, who adds (p. 449) that he, like Luther, was a peasant’s son.]
*4[His production (Dec. 1517) is entitled Dialogue in presumptuosas M. Lutheri Conclusicnes: LOscher, xx. 12 sq., Seckendorf, p. 31. He defends all the worst extravagances of Tetzel, and in reference to the papal power maintains (1) that the Church of Rome is ‘virtualiter’ the Church Catholic, and (2) that the supreme pontiff is ‘virtualiter’ the Church of Rome. Luther declares in reply, that he knows of no form in which the Church exists virtualiter ‘ except a council, repudiating the counter-theory by pointing to the monstrous’ deeds of pontiffs, such as Julius II. and Bonif ace VIII. Gieseler, v. 232.
Beekendorf, Lib. x. p. 38.]
*5[Thus he ends his letter to the pontiff (dated Trinity Sunday, 1518) with the following passage: “Prostratum me pedibus tuis, beatissime pater, offero, cum omnibus quae sum et habeo. Vivifica, occide, voca, revoca, approba, reproba, ut placuerit: vooem tuam vocem Christi, in te praesidentis et loquentis, agnoscam,” etc.: ed. De Wette, I. 122.]
*6[One of his main positions in answering Prierias is the well-known dictum of St. Augustine: “Ego solis eis libris, qui canonici appellantur, hunc honorem deferre didici, ut nullum eorum Scriptorum errasse firmissime credam,” etc. (Ep. ad S. Hieronym. inter Hieron. Opp. IV. pt. II. p. 630, ed. Bened.) Gieseler, V. 233. But he expressed himself more clearly on this head (May, 1518) in his Resolutiones Disputationum de Virtute Indulgentiarum. Löscher, II. 183 sq., Seokendorf, Lib. I. pp. 33–37. This document, though forwarded to the pope (May 30) and his own diocesan (May 22), was not printed till the following August.]
On the 7th of the following August (1518), Luther was cited to appear in Rome within sixty days, the charge against him now assuming, even in the highest quarters, the more serious form of heresy: [This charge though hinted at before was first advanced distinctly in the papal brief of Aug. 27 (Löscher, II. 437) and drew from him the strongest declaration of his catholicity. He had in fact already anticipated it (Aug. 21, 1518): “Haereticus nunquam ero; errare disputando possum, sed statuere nihil volo, porro nec opinionibus hominum captivus fieri”: ed. De Wette, I. 133.] but owing to the generous interposition of his friends at Wittenberg,* the task of judging him and thereby crushing the incipient reformation, was committed to the papal legate in Germany, the cardinal Thomas de Vio of Gaeta (hence called Cajetanus), who had made himself conspicuous both as a Dominican and as a defender of the Summa of Aquinas. Luther, armed with the safe conduct of the emperor Maximilian, met his adversary for the first time at Augsburg on the 10th of October.** He was then charged with contradicting a decision of Clement VI respecting the meritorious treasury of the Church; and, secondly, with holding that faith in the efficacy of sacraments is always an essential precondition in order to receive the grace which they communicate, – this latter doctrine being one which the cardinal denounced as altogether novel, though he afterwards expressed his willingness to pass it over, provided Luther would abandon the first of his positions. That indeed was made the battlefield of three successive conferences. Unmoved alike by the paternal mildness of the legate and his dignified remonstrance, the accused persisted in repudiating the scholastic dogma of indulgences; and on the last of these occasions did not hesitate to question the binding force of many papal edicts, which he now subordinated more distinctly to the voice of Holy Scripture, to the ancient Fathers, the determinations of general councils, and even to the reason of the individual Christian, where he chances to have been more accurately informed.*** To these and other arguments the cardinal replied by peremptory orders that Luther should at once recant [His determination not to cry “revoco” at the simple bidding of the legate is thus referred to in a letter dated Oct. 14 (De Wette, I. 161): “Aber ich will nicht zu einem Ketzer werden mit dem Widerspruch der Meinung, durch welche ich bin zu einem Christen worden: ehe will ich sterben” etc.] or come no more into his presence; and the culprit, apprehending that violence would be employed against him, escaped by night from Augsburg, after lodging an appeal to the Roman pontiff (Oct. 16).*4 Fresh machinery was soon, however, set in motion for reclaiming the erratic friar. On this errand, Charles von Miltitz, agent of the Elector Frederic at Rome, had been dispatched into his native country. [The pope manifested a strong desire to conciliate the Saxons, by sending their Elector the golden rose (Banke, Ref. I. 431); and it is probable that Miltitz was further influenced by remarking the almost universal popularity of the new movement. See the evidence collected by Gieseler, V. 242, ed. Edinb. (III. I. § 1. n. 37. ed. Bonn.)] Nor could Leo have employed an apter instrument. The conduct of the nuncio breathed conciliation and forbearance. He admitted the existence of scandalous abuses in the administration of the Church; and finding on his interview with Luther, at Altenburg, Jan. 3, 1519, that he could not persuade him to publish any formal recantation of his vehement language, he was ultimately content to leave the controversy for the adjudication of some German prelate, [The archbishop of TrŹves, who appears to have been a moderate man, was induced to undertake the task, but gave it up when the fresh complications arose soon afterwards.] only with the understanding that the two belligerent parties should be in the meantime bound to silence.*5
*[Luther thus alludes to the intercession of the Elector Frederic, who seconded the general wish of the university: “Scripsit mihi illustrissimus Princeps, se in cause mea egisse, ut legatus Cajetanus scripserit ad urbem pro mea causa committenda ad partes: et interim id me debere expectare. Ideo spero censuras non venturas esse. Displiceo autem multis, pluribus, pinrimis.” Letter to John Lange, Sept. 9, 1518; De Wette, I. 141.]
**[See his letter to Spalatinus of this date (Ibid. I. 143; his other letters written from Augsburg (pp. 145–161); Seckendorf, Lib. I. pp. 45 sq., and Ranke, I. 428, 429. It was on this occasion that Staupitz on his arrival at Augsburg, partly through fear and partly through affection, released the friar from his vow of obedience: cf. Waddington, I. 159, 160. Luther regarded this as no friendly act, and spoke of it as his first excommunication. His old superior hesitated for a while, as he expressed it, “inter Christum et papam” (De Wette, I. 558), and then finally abandoned him.]
***[He quotes a passage from the canonist Panormitanus in support of this last assertion. The whole passage is remarkable: “Prieterea, quam multae decretales priores correctae sunt per posteriores. Ideo et hanc forte [viz. an Extravagant of Clement VI] pro tempore suo corrigi posse. Panormitanus quoque, Lib. I. de elect. C. significasti, ostendit in materia fidei non modo generale concilium esse super papam, sed etiam quemlibet fidelem, si melioribus nitatur autoritate et ratione quam papa, sicut Petro Paulus, Galat. II.”: De Wette, I. 151.]
*4[The title of the document is “Appellatio a Pontifice male informato ad melius informandum” (Löscher, II. 484). He appears to have drawn it up in compliance with the wishes of his friends (see his letter to Cajetanus, Oct. 18: De Wette, p. 164). On his return to Wittenberg he prepared an appeal from “the pope to a future council” (Löscher, II. 505), pleading the recent example of the University of Paris, “adhaesurus Parisiensibus, in eventum quo hanc priorem appellationem de plenitudine potestatis, imo tyrannidis, refutaret papa.” Letter dated Oct. 31, 1518: De Wette, I. 166.]
*5[See Luther’s letter to the Elector Frederic, written immediately after the interview: De Wette, I. 207. Gieseler, V. 242. He expresses deep regret for the violence of his language with regard to the Church of Rome: cf. Audin’s denunciations of what he considers the hypocrisy of the reformer at this period (I. 233 sq.) with Waddington’s account, I. 193 sq.]
But this armistice, which seemed convertible into a lasting peace, was ere long broken by the entrance of another combatant. Andrew Bodenstein, or Carlstadt [See C. F. Jäger, Andreas Bodenstein von Carlstadt: Stettin, 1856.] (as he is more generally entitled from the name of his birthplace), was Luther’s senior by some years, being already dean of the theological faculty at Wittenberg, when the latter took his doctor’s degree. Although offended in the outset by the critical boldness [So we find Luther stating in 1516, when he proved that the treatise De vera et falsa poenitentia, quoted in the middle ages as St Augustine’s, was not really his: De Wette, I. 34.] of the new professor, Carlstadt soon adopted most of his reformatory principles, and in the end having pushed them, through his want of intellectual balance, to the wildest consequences,* grew notorious as an ultra-protestant, and a precursor of the German rationalists. [e.g. As early as 1520, “he entertained doubts whether Moses was really the author of the books which bear his name, and whether the Gospels have come down to us in their genuine form.” Ibid. II. 20.] He was, however, one of Luther’s bosom friends [See Luther’s letter to him, written in the spring of 1519: De Wette, I. 249 sq.] when he consented, in the summer of 1519, to hold an amicable disputation at Leipzig,** touching the contested doctrines of grace and human freedom. His opponent was no other than the erudite and brilliant Eck, whom we have seen already throwing down his gauntlet in behalf of the insulted schoolmen. Providence had so arranged that at the very time when the electors of the empire were resolving, by their vote at Frankfort, to enlarge the vast dominions of Charles V (June 28), the theological disputants [Their sessions lasted from June 27 to July 16: see Luther’s letters, written July 20 and August 15 (De Wette, I. 284 sq., I. 290 sq.), and a full collection of documents in Löscher, III. 215 sq., III. 292 sq.] had entered in their turn upon a series of questions that were destined to modify even more directly the whole course of European history. Several days indeed were suffered to elapse before the interest of the audience was thoroughly aroused (the controversy in the hands of Carlstadt having reference chiefly to the Augustinian doctrine [Carlstadt’s great proposition was: “Omne bonum opus totum est a Deo.” Eck’s counter proposition was: “Omne opus bonum esse a Deo, sed non totaliter.”] of freewill and other like recondite topics): but in the morning of July 4, a deep sensation was produced in every quarter of the hall when Luther’s thoughtful, resolute, and care-worn figure ascended the platform, and gave utterance to convictions hitherto but half developed even to himself. He had now reached the flower of manhood, being five-and- thirty years of age. Many circumstances had combined to point him out as the reformer of the German churches, and the vision of some sanatory movement,*** stretching far beyond the grievances discussed in mediaeval synods, had been actually presented to his mind: yet at this period there is not the slightest evidence of his intention to stand forward and assume the office of a leader. The pacification that grew out of his recent interview with the nuncio, added to the public disgrace [See above.] of Tetzel, his antagonist, disposed him more particularly to repress or moderate his vehemence: and therefore when he joined the Wittenbergers on their way to the theological tournament at Leipzig, he still thought himself in full communion with the Latin Church, if not on the most friendly footing with the pontiff.*4 His impetuous spirit had, however, been profoundly stirred, when he discovered that the points which Eck intended to reopen at this disputation included several which Miltitz had promised should not for the present be revived.*5 The irritation was again increased, when Eck, in the debate with Carlstadt, animadverted on certain arguments he had himself advanced respecting the nature of the primacy conceded to the Church of Rome.*6 On this absorbing question, therefore, turned the memorable struggle of July, 1519. It ended by eliciting from Luther a distinct avowal on the following subjects; – that the Latin Church is not exclusively the Church; that Orientals, *7 who have never recognized the papal monarchy, are not on that account ejected from the pale of Christendom; that the ascendancy at length obtained by Roman pontiffs is traceable to no Divine appointment in their favour, but to human laws and institutes; that the directing influence of the Holy Ghost is not of such a kind as to exempt the councils of the Church from possibility of error; and that one of these has erred in fact by censuring Huss, the great Bohemian reformer, some of the articles on which his condemnation rested being truly evangelical,*8 and borrowed from the works of St Augustine. The mingled horror, indignation, and dismay of the scholastics who had listened to the statement of these novel truths shewed that Luther’s sin had now become unpardonable.*9 Instead of limiting his opposition to the gross excesses of the vendors of indulgences, instead of combating the authority of individual doctors, like Aquinas, he had openly impugned the jurisdiction and decretals of the popes, and gone so far as to question the infallibility of councils. He was accordingly retained in outward union with the pontiff by a very slender thread; and even that was to be severed, after some delay,*10 by the condemnatory bull of Leo, launched against him, June 16, 1520, and publicly burnt at Wittenberg in the following December.*11
*[He was banished from Saxony in 1524, partly through Luther’s influence. At Orlamünde, a parish connected with the university, he had broached most extraordinary opinions, especially with regard to the obligation of the Mosaic law (Ranke, Ref. II. 204), and we shall afterwards find him proceeding to still greater lengths.]
**[It appears that Eck had spoken to Luther on this subject during the diet of Augsburg (1518), and after agreeing that the disputation should be conducted in the most friendly manner, had published a schedule or prospectus containing thirteen theses, in January 1519 (Lösoher, III. 210. Gieseler, V. 244).]
***[Thus in his Responsio’ to Prierias (1518), he makes the following statement (Losoher, xr. 301; Gieseler, v. 236): ‘Eoclesia indiget reformstione, quod non est unius hominis Pontificia, nee multorum oardinalium officium, sicut probavit utrnmque novissimum conoilium, sed totins orbis, imo solius Dei.’ He adds, however: Tempus autem hujus reformationis novit solus me, Qui condidit tempora.’ In 1519, writing to Christopher Scheurl (Feb. 20), he seems to have become more conscious of his mission, and more irreconcileably hostile to the papacy: Stepius hucusque lusum ease a me: nunc tandem seria in Romanum pontifioem et arrogantiam Romanam agentur De Wette, r. 230; Gieseler, v. 244.]
*4[Cf. n. 2. That his feelings continued to be more estranged in the interval appears from other letters; e.g. writing to Spalatinus March 13, he lets fall this hint: Verso et decreta pontificum, pro men disputatione, et (in aurem tibi loquor) need°, an papa sit antichristus ipse, vel apostohis ejus.’ Gieseler, v. 245. About a year later, the suspicion here noticed had considerably ripened. He had read the treatise of Lanrentius Valle, proving that the Donation of Constantine’ (see Middle Age, p. 361, n. 2) was a forgery, which so exasperated him that he thought the papacy capable of all enormities: Ego sic angor,’ he writes to Spalatinus, vigil. Matthias [Feb. 23], 1520, ut prope non dubitem papam ease proprie antichristum ilium, quern valgata opinions expectat mundus’ (De Wette, I. 420). As Ranke, however, well remarks, Luther meant no more by this . title than that the doctrine of the Church was corrupted, and must be restored to its original purity: Reform. I. 457: of. Audin, L 259. He still spoke half respectfully of Leo X. considered in his personal capacity, and represented him (Oct. 1520) as a Daniel in Babylon: De Wette, I. 498.]
*5[This departure from the terms of the pacification seemed to justify his own share in the discussion. For instance, in writing to the Elector Frederic (March 18), he says that he had felt himself bound to remain silent on the disputed topics, so long as the opponents did the same, and then adds: “Nun aber Doctor Ecke unverwarneter Sach mich also angreift, dass er nit mein, sundern der ganzen E. K. G. Universität zu Wittenberg Schand and Unehr suchen vermerkt wird” etc. De Wette, I. 237. ]
*6[Eck’s 13th thesis was a denial of the proposition, “Romanam Ecclesiam non fuisse superiorem aliis ecclesiis ante tempora Sylvestri,” which, as Luther wrote (De Wette, I. 261), “extorted” from him a counter-thesis, denying to the papacy its claim of “jus divinum”. Gieseler, V. 244. Audin’s remark is therefore not exaggerated: “Si Luther triomphe ą Leipzig, il n’y a plus de papauté ... si l’homme l’a fait, l’omme peut le défaire.”]
*7[The importance of this distinction was manifested soon afterwards, when Luther (Nov. 7, 1519) quoted the Greeks as an authority for denying that purgatory is to be pressed as an article of faith; “cum Graeci illud non credentes nunquam sint habiti ob hoc pro haereticis, nisi apud novissimos haereticantissimos haereticantes: De Wette, I. 367; Gieseler, V. 249.]
*8[Lösoher, III. 360. In Feb. 1520, Luther wrote to Spalatinus (De Wette, I. 425), that on reading the works of Huss, which now reached him from Bohemia, he was amazed at the correspondence of his own views with those of his precursor: “Ego imprudens [i.e. without being conscious of it] hucusque omnia Johannis Huss et docui et tenui: docuit eadem imprudentia et Johannes Staupitz: breviter sumus omnes Hussitae ignorantes: denique Paulus et Augustinus ad verbum sunt Hussitae.” This affinity between his views and those of the Bohemians had already furnished matter for a controversy between him and Jerome Emser, a Swedish canonist, who lectured at Leipzig, and was present at the great discussion: see De Wette’s note, Luthers Briefe, I. 837.]
*9[Immediately after the dispute (July 23), Eck addressed a letter to the Elector of Saxony, urging him to resist the errors propagated by Luther, and to burn his books. He also elicited opinions condemnatory of the reformers from the universities of Cologne, Leipzig and Louvain (cf. Audin, I. 266 sq.), and finally went to Rome to stir up the pontiff against his old adversary (Waddington, I. pp. 244, 245). On the 26th of Feb. 1520, Luther writes to Spalatinus: “Eccius Romam ivit impetraturus contra me abyssos abyssorum. ... Credo hominem totum in furiam versum” (De Wette, I. 421). Wrought upon by his representations, Leo X appointed Eck his nuncio for carrying out the sentence of excommunication (June 15, 1520), – an appointment little calculated to allay the animosity of the reformers (Roscoe, Life of Leo X. II. 217, Lond. 1846; Gieseler, V. 266). The process by which the bull was manufactured is detailed in Ranke, Reform. I. 473 sq.]
*10[See his letters to the emperor Charles V (Jan. 15, 1520), to the archbishop Albert (Feb. 4), and to the bishop of Merseburg (Feb. 4), complaining that he could not obtain a fair hearing (De Wette, I. 392 sq.): and especially his famous letter to Leo X written after Oct. 18, 1520, in Latin and German: De Wette, I. 497 sq. It is far from corresponding to Audin’s description (“oeuvre brutale, que ni Wiclif, ni Jean Huss, ni Jérôme de Prague, ni Arius, ni Pélage n’auraient osé tracer”: I. 274), being rather a most eloquent and biting satire on the court of Rome, partly concealed under professions of deference and respect. It was composed immediately after a last interview with Miltitz at Lichtenberg (Oct. 13; De Wette, I. 495), where, by invoking the mediation of Luther’s brother Augustinians (Staupitz in the number), he flattered himself that he had cemented a reconciliation with the pope. Eck, however, arrived at Leipzig (Oct. 3) with the excommunicatory bull, while these negotiations were proceeding (De Wette, I. 491); and the result was, that Luther, after wavering for a moment, answered the papal fulmination in a strain that bordered upon absolute defiance.]
*11[See Middle Age, p. 412. On Aug. 3, 1520, his mind was already made up. He wrote as follows to John Voigt, an Augustinian friar in Magdeburg: “Nihil timemus amplius, sed jam edo librum vulgarem contra Papam de statu Ecclesiae emendando; hic papam acerrime tracto, et quasi antichristum. Orate Dominum pro me, ut prosit verbum meum Ecclesiae Suae.” De Wette, I. 475: cf. p. 478. On the 17th of November he renewed his appeal to a future council, begging the German states to suspend their condemnation of him till he had been tried by fair judges, “et Scripturis dignisque documentis convictus.”]
In addition to these bold opinions on the subject of church authority, at least so far as such authority was absolutely vested in the court of Rome, the Saxon reformers had already been compelled to systematize their teaching with respect to faith, to penitence, to justification and freewill. These doctrines were, in truth, most intimately bound up with their discussions from the very first. Desirous above all things of exalting Christ [See Luther’s remarkable language cited above.] as the Redeemer of the world, they lost no opportunity of preaching free salvation in His name. The eye or hand by which the blessing of forgiveness is appropriated,* they held to be a true and lively faith, communicated supernaturally to the human spirit, acquiescing in the merciful purposes of God, and thus, in Augustinian phraseology, “obtaining what the law enjoins”. So strong indeed was their conviction of man’s actual and hereditary sinfulness, that language well-nigh failed them in describing his corruption and the impotence of all his spiritual and moral faculties until they are revivified from heaven. In other words, the Saxon reformers invariably directed their heaviest weapons at the current theories of justification, which ascribed undue importance to the human element, or factor, in the process by which man is reconciled to God. But while engaged in reasserting principles like these, they were at times betrayed, especially in the early stages of the Reformation, into distinct onesidedness, and even into serious errors.** Fresh from the perusal of the anti-Pelagian writings of Augustine, Luther more than once expressed himself in terms which almost did away with the necessity of repentance. His confusion may be further illustrated by the language of certain “Paradoxes” which he offered to maintain against all comers at Heidelberg (April 26, 1518). [Waddington, I. 114 sq.] One of these declared that “freewill after original sin is a mere name” (“res est de solo titulo”), – thus verging far in the direction of fatalism,*** by representing man as entirely passive under the influence of Divine grace: while others tended to beget a naked antinomianism, by stating that he is not justified who does many works, but he who without any work has much faith in Christ.” [“Non ille justus est qui multum operatur; sed qui sine opere multum credit in Christum. ”]
*[Thus in Luther’s Comment. on the Epist. to the Galatians, which was in the press as early as May 16, 1519 (De Wette, I. 274), he writes (on 2:16), in opposition to the “fides formata” of the schoolmen: “Fides Christiana non est otiosa qualitas vel vacua siliqua in corde, quae possit existere in peecato mortali, donec caritas accedat et eam vivificet; sed si est vera fides, est quaedam certa fiducia cordis et firmus assensus quo Christus apprehenditur; ita ut Christus sit objectum fidei, imo non objectum sed, ut sic dicam, in ipsa fide Christus adest. ... Haec vere sunt bona opera, quae fluunt ex ista fide et hilaritate cordis concepta, quod gratis habemus remissionem peccatorum per Christum.” In his small treatise, De Libertate Christiana, of which he sent a copy to the pope in 1520, he handles the same topics, asserting that true faith cannot subsist together with works, but explaining this paradox as follows: “h.e. si per opera quaecunque sunt simul justificari praesumas.” He afterwards adds in reference to Christian works: “Bona opera non faciunt bonum virum, sed bonus vir facit bona opera”; union with Christ being necessary to the production of real holiness.]
**[Thus, in 1524 (Pref. to the New Testament), Luther was disposed to estimate the worth of particular books of the Bible by the prominence with which they stated what he deemed the doctrine of Holy Writ. St John’s Gospel was • das einige zarte, indite Hauptevangelium;’ St Paul’s epistles, especially those to the Romans, Galatians and Ephesians, together with the first of St Peter’s, were the books that pointed men to Christ; in comparison of which, therefore, the epistle of St James might be neglected as an epistle of straw (‘ eine rechte strdherne Epistel gegen sie, denn sie doch keine evangelische Art an ihr hat’). It does not appear that this view was ever modified or retracted: Davidson’s Intr. to New Teat. in. 839. As early as 1520, when reasoning against the sacramental character of extreme unction, he seemed to have adopted an old suspicion respecting the Epistle of St James, as though it were unworthy of the spirit of an apostle: De Captiv. Babylon. Eccl.; Opp. n. fol. 284, Jews, 1600. See Gieseler, v. 268. For this he was severely rebuked by Henry VIII. in the Libellus Begins avenue Martinum Lutheran heresiarchum, sign. t. 1. Loud. 1521: cf. Lee’s Inapir. of Holy Scrip. p. 435, Lond. 1854. ]
***[As early, however, as 1527, some of the reformers abandoned this extreme position, partly owing to a controversy with Erasmus, of which more will be said hereafter. See the evidence fully stated by Laurence, Bampton Lectures, pp. 248 sq., pp. 282 sq., 3rd. ed.: cf. Möhler’s Symbolik, I. 48 sq., 124 sq. Eng. transl. The latter disputant neglects to mention that Luther strongly recommended Melanchthon’s Loci Communes in their corrected form, and thus virtually, at least, retracted his own assertion of an irresistible Divine necessity.]
A mind so resolute, capacious, and commanding soon attracted to itself disciples and auxiliaries. One whom he had gained on the occasion just referred to was Martin Bucer,* a Dominican of Alsace, who on displaying more than ordinary talents was sent by his superiors to complete his studies in the chief school of the Palatinate. In the following summer (Aug. 25, 1518), he was joined at Wittenberg by a more able and less vacillating colleague, Philip Schwarzerd, or Melanchthon, whose congenial spirit, while it freely yielded from the first to Luther’s influence, reacted with no inconsiderable force on his instructor, and has left a deep impression on the whole of the Saxon theology. Melanchthon sat at Luther’s side in the waggon that conveyed the disputants to Leipzig. He was then only two-and-twenty years of age, having been born at Bretten, a small town in the Palatinate, on Feb. 16, 1497; yet partly owing to his natural gifts, and partly to the careful lessons of John Reuchlin, [See Middle Age, p. 361, n. 4, and Ranke’s Reform. I. 297–305.] his famous kinsman, he had made such great proficiency in rhetoric, in classical studies, and in Hebrew, as to be the pride and wonder of the university.** The steps by which an earnest scholar of this class had passed into the theological standing ground of Luther were not long nor arduous. After the disputation of Leipzig, we find him addressing a very temperate account of it to his friend OEcolampadius (Hausschein), a Franconian, who had also manifested leanings to the new opinions. He next espoused the cause of Luther with much greater warmth in a reply to the emphatic sentence*** launched against him by the theological faculty of Paris (April 15, 1521). But the sphere of thought for which Melanchthon shewed the greatest aptitude, was that of systematic theology,*4 in which indeed it would be difficult to overrate the influence he exerted upon the mind both of Germany and of other European countries. This had been evinced especially by his Loci Communes Rerum Theologicarum, of which three editions appeared in 1521.*5 Though considerably modified from time to time, it kept its old position as the textbook of the Lutheran divines, embracing a calm statement of their favourite points of doctrine, and a formal vindication of their system in the eyes of Christendom at large. One feature in this work is very noticeable, – viz. the array of scriptural proofs which it exhibits, indicating Melanchthon’s determination that all arguments and all authority whatever ought to be subordinated to the written Word of God.
*[Luther makes the following reference to him (Feb. 12, 1520), in writing to Spalatinus, “Habes epistolam Bucerianam, fratris vel solius in ista secta [i.e. of the Dominicans] candidi, et optimae) spei juvenis, qui me Heidelbergae) et avide et simpliciter excepit atque conversatus fuit, dignus amore et fide, sed et spe”: De Wette, I. 412.]
**[Luther’s notice of him written Sept. 9, a fortnight after his arrival, is highly interesting: “Eruditissimus et Graecanicissimus Philippus Melanthon apud nos Graeca profitetur, puer et adolescentulus, si aetatem consideres, caeterum noster aliquis, si varietatem et omnium fere librorum notitiam spectes, tantnm valet non solum in utraque lingua, sed utriusque linguae eruditione: Ebraeas quoque non incognitas habet literas.” De Wette, I. 141. On Jan. 25, 1519, he was giving lectures in Hebrew: Ibid. p. 214. Döllinger (Die Reformation, I. 359 sq. Regensburg, 1851) has done far more justice to Melanchthon than to Luther.]
***[ The title is Adversus furiosum Parisiensium Theologastrorum Decretum Philippi Melanthonis pro Luthero Apologia: Luther. Opp. II. fol. 427 sq. Jenae, 1600. In fol. 428, b, we have this characteristic passage: “Jam cum articuli fidei nulli sint, nisi quos praescripserunt sacrae literae, cur impium est, vel a conciliis, vel ab universitatibus, vel a S. Patribus dissentire, modo a Scriptura non dissentiamus?” He had already contended for this view (Aug. 1519) in a small treatise Contra J. Eckium: Opp. ed. Bretschneider, I. 113.]
*4[Cf. Ranke, Reform. I. 458. It is interesting to notice the terms with which Luther speaks of him in writing to Staupitz as early as Oct. 8, 1519: “Si Christus dignabitur, multos ille Martinos praestabit, diabolo et scholasticae theologiae potentissimus hostis: novit illorum nugas simul et Christi petram: ideo potens potent. Amen.” De Wette, I. 341, 342.]
*5[“It was originally a mere collection of the opinions (?) of the apostle Paul concerning sin, the law and grace, made strictly in accordance with those severe views to which Luther had owed his conversion.” Ranke, Reform. II. 40: of. Gieseler, III. pt. 1. p. 100, n. 84. (V. 276, 277, ed. Edinb.)]
But while the master spirits of the Saxon reformation were proceeding hand in hand with their gigantic enterprise, a perfect model of true friendship, one of them peculiarly commissioned to abolish errors and give rise to holier impulses, the other, by a calmer and more philosophic process, disentangling truth from its perversions, and devising measures for its future conservation, letters of encouragement and even promises of active help came in from various quarters, and from men of very different temper. One of these was Ulrich von Hutten,* who after distinguishing himself as a contributor to the Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum, the most crushing satire which an age of satirists has levelled at the champions of medieval ignorance, put forth some dialogues against the crimes of the ecclesiastics and the scandals of the papal court. [These appeared in 1520, the most envenomed being called Vadiscus or Trias Romana. In the same year (before Sept. 11) he wrote to Luther “se jam et literis et armis in tyrannidem sacerdotalem ruere”; De Wette, I. 486: cf. p. 492.] As many of these libels were, however, calculated to excite political turbulence,** going so far even as to advocate an armed resistance to the church authorities, both Luther and Melanchthon openly renounced all friendship with their authors.*** The great battle of the sixteenth century was in its earlier stages to be fought with other weapons.
*[It has been usual to rank this turbulent spirit (half soldier half scholar, with the chief promoters of the Reformation; but as Seckendorf observes (Lib. I. p. 131, col. 1), the service which he rendered to it was in reality not so great. His works have been collected by Münch, Berlin, 1821. See Middle Age, p. 361, n. 4, and Hallam’s Liter. of Europe, 408 sq. Lond. 1840. Ranke (I. 462) mentions a satire which appeared in March, 1520, with the title Der abgehobelte Eck, surpassing, as he thinks, the Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum.]
**[To such results they actually led in the case of Franz von Sickingen, another of the “reforming” adventurers who made war upon the archbishop of TrŹves, and was slain while defending one of his castles in 1523. He had more than once urged Luther to confide in his protection: e.g. in 1520. De Wette, I. 470, 475; Gieseler, V. 252.]
***[Thus Luther, after corresponding with them (cf. De Wette, I. 451, 469), expressed his strong repugnance to their scheme (Jan. 16, 1521). He is writing to Spalatinus: “Quid Huttenus petat, vides. Nollem vi et caede pro Evangelio certari: ita scripsi ad hominem. Verbo victus est mundus, Verbo servata est Ecclesia, etiam Verbo reparabitur: sed et Antichristus, ut sine manu coepit, ita sine manu conteretur per Verbum.” Ibid. p. 543; Gieseler, V. 252.]
We have seen how confidently Luther threw himself on the protection of the civil power in 1520, urging, in the absence of general councils, a domestic reformation in each state. This German manifesto was succeeded by a work in Latin which he had composed with the intention of justifying his hatred of the schoolmen, and of stirring up the rest of Christendom to follow his example in breaking off the spiritual trammels of the papacy. The famous Prelude on the Babylonish Captivity of the Church was written in the autumn of 1520. It is everywhere disfigured, more than other treatises of Luther, by the coarse denunciations and unseemly bitterness which characterize too great a portion of the polemical literature of the age.* We may describe it as a vigorous fulmination against the mediaeval doctrine of the sacraments. Strictly speaking, he reduced the number of these holy ordinances from seven to two (“Baptismus et Panis”);** for although he concedes the name of sacrament to absolution (“poenitentia”), [Fol. 260 b.] he denies it any outward or visible sign appointed by the Lord Himself. According to his view the sacrament of Baptism was the only one which had not been seriously corrupted*** in the time of papal despotism. The Eucharist he argued ought to be administered under both kinds, departure from this primitive rule amounting to impiety. [Fol. 262 b: cf. fol. 417 a. He does not, however, deny the efficacy of the sacrament, even as administered under one kind, nor does he recommend the restoration of the cup by force.] He also entirely repudiated the Thomist view of consecration, and put forth in opposition to scholastic dogmas on the real presence what may be regarded as an outline of the “Lutheran” theory.*4 In every portion of the work he lays (as might have been anticipated) an unwonted stress on the necessity of faith, – the precondition or subjective ground without which sacraments are always inefficacious.*5
*[“If, at this great distance of time, we pick out of the writings of this individual many very harsh expressions, nay particular words which are not only coarse but absolutely gross, nothing of any moment can be proved or determined by such selection. Indeed the age in general, not only in Germany, but in other very highly civilized countries, was characterized by a certain coarseness in manners and language, and by a total absence of all excessive polish and over-refinement of character.” F. von Schlegel, Phil. of History, pp. 400, 401. Lond. 1847. The asperity of his denunciations had somewhat abated towards the close of his life: but in 1520 he was ready to defend it, by quoting the example of prophets, apostles, and the Lord Himself (De Wette, I. 499).]
**[“Proprie tamen ea sacramenta vocari visum est, quae annexis signis promissa sunt. Caetera, quia signis alligata non sunt, nuda promisea sunt. Quo fit, at si rigide logui volumus, tantum duo sunt in Ecclesia Dei sacramenta, Baptismus et Panis”: Opp. II. 285 b, Jenae, 1600; Gieseler, V. 264. The latter name gave great offence to Henry VIII whose Libellus Regius (in reply to Luther) is dated “quarto Idus Julii,” 1521: see sign. c. 2. When questioned on this part of his treatise at Worms (Opp. II. fol. 417), he qualified his language by the clause “licet non damnem usum et morem in sacramentis Ecclesiae nunc celebratum.”]
***[“Benedictus Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, Qui secundum divitias misericordiae Suae saltem hoc unicum Sacramentum servavit in Ecclesia Sua illibatum et incontaminatum a constitutionibus hominum”: fol. 270 b. He contended (fol. 271 a) that baptism is “primum et fundamentum omnium Sacramentorum,” and according to his royal censor elevated it in such a way as to disparage penance (sign. i. 1).]
*4[e.g. “Esse videlicet verum panem verumque vinum, in quibus Christi vera Caro verusque Sanguis non aliter nec minus sit, quam illi [i.e. the Thomists] sub accidentibus suis ponunt.” At Worms he explained (fol. 417 a) that he had not condemned the opposite view absolutely, but had declared it to be no “article of faith”. In his merciless reply to King Henry VIII (dated July 15, 1522), he went much further, and denounced the doctrine of transubstantiation as impious and blasphemous (Ibid. fol. 528 b).]
*5[Thus with regard to Baptism, he argues (fol. 270 b): “Nam in hac [i.e. the Divine promise] pendet universa salus nostra; sic autem est observanda, ut fidem exerceamus in ea, prorsus non dubitantes nos esse salvos postquam sumus baptizati. Nam nisi haec adsit aut paretur fides, nihil prodest baptismus, imo obest, non solum tum cum suscipitur, sed toto post tempore vitae”: cf. fol. 266 b, where he speaks of the clergy as generally in a most perilous condition, and even as “idolaters,” for losing sight of the necessity of faith in the Divine promise. Möhler (Symbolik, I. 288 sq. Engl. transl.) maintains the absolute need of this susceptibility in all persons whom the sacraments really benefit, and endeavours to make out that the Lutherans not only misrepresented the Schoolmen (cf. Ranke, Ref. I. 486, note), but were afterwards driven to a virtual readoption of the mediteval theory, viz. that “sacraments confer grace” (p. 295).]
But another doctrine, more important still in many of its practical relations, was now pushed into unusual prominence, – the sacerdotal character of all the baptized. He touched this question, it is true, in other works* composed about the same period, yet the meaning of it does not seem to have been fully grasped until the prospect of his excommunication made him look it more directly in the face. He then contended that ordination does not confer an indelible or distinctive character, that all Christians are the priests of God; and not this only, but that every official priest is a mere delegate of the congregation, elected by them as their organ, and performing all his ministrations in their name.** He also stated his conviction that neither pope, nor bishop, nor any man whatever, has the least right to impose his constitutions on private Christians, except with their consent;*** thus adding new importance [Cf. Middle Age, p. 324.] to the lay element in the church.
*[He had already touched upon it in his treatise De Libertate Christiana (cf. Waddington’s remark, I. 256), and more distinctly in his Address to the German nobles (June, 1520: Schriften, ed. Walch, X. 296 sq.). In the latter we have the following inference from 1 Pet. 2:5: “Darum ist des Bischofs Weihen nichts anders, denn als wenn er an Statt and Person der ganzen Sammlung einen aus dem Haufen nehme, die alle gleiche, und ihm befehl, dieselben Gewalt für die andern auszurichten. ” (Gieseler, V. 254.)]
**[Fol. 282 b. This principle (on the carrying out of which see Ranke, Ref. II. 494) led him to maintain in the following year that the right of evangelical teaching appertains to all the faithful (Waddington, I. 393, 394). At Worms, however (Opp. II. fol. 418 a, Jenae, 1600), when questioned on this point, he somewhat modified his language: “Non autem omnes habent usum et ministerium, sed solummodo ordinati in hac potestate.” Henry VIII’s critique has great force (sign. r. 2): “Qua ratione Christiani omnes sacerdotes sunt, eadem etiam ratione reges sunt.”]
***[Fol. 273 b. He then draws this sweeping inference: “Ideo orationes, jejunia, donationes et qumcunque tandem papa in universis Decretis tam multis quam iniquis statuit et exigit, prorsus nullo jure exigit et statuit, peccatque in libertatem Ecclesiae toties quoties aliquid horum attentaverit.” (Gieseler, V. 262.)]
The tendency of these opinions accorded so completely with the wants and wishes of the public mind in Saxony, that Luther had no immediate cause to fear the operation of the papal bull. As it was promulgated by Eck its able advocate, one town after another rose against it, or perused it with indifference and contempt. [See the evidence collected in Gieseler, V. 266, 267, n. 65. Still, as Ranke remarks (Reform. I. 477), the arms thus wielded by the pope had not lost all their ancient terrors.] The cause of the reformer was the cause of piety, of learning, and of freedom; it was also felt to be the cause of Germany [“Relinquat Romanos Germania et revertatur ad primates et episcopos suos” (Ibid. I. 468), is a fair specimen of the state of public feeling.]; and when at length the wise Elector Frederic* openly became its champion, influenced by the personal character of Luther, and in spite of a profound abhorrence of all heresy, it gained a vantage ground from which it could not be dislodged by all the engines of the papacy.
*[See respecting him the contemporary life by George Spalatinus, his chaplain (Friedrichs des Weisen Leben), reprinted at Jena, 1851. He first indicated some disposition to screen Luther from his enemies, Dec. 8, 1518; but on the 13th of that month (De Wette, I. 195) appears to have so far wavered that the reformer held himself in readiness to with. draw from the electorate into France. ... “dissensitque, ne tam cito in Galliam irem. Adhuc expecto consilium ejus.” It seems that he was finally confirmed in his devotion to the cause of Luther by a conversation which he held with Erasmus: Seckendorf, Lib. I. p. 125, col. 2.]
Even if Charles V had been more acquainted than he was with the workings of the German mind, it is not likely that the state of his other dominions, and his conflict with the French in Italy, would have allowed him to treat the Lutheran movement with a greater measure of forbearance. His present policy was to abstain from everything that might involve him in a quarrel with the pope.* To this result conspired the admonitions of Glapio his confessor, and the artifices of Aleander,** the learned but unscrupulous nuncio, who took part in the execution of the bull of Leo X. Directed by their influence Charles convoked his first Diet at Worms, and introduced himself to the assembled states on the 28th of January, 1521. As soon as the political business was concluded, Luther, in obedience to the summons of the emperor, determined*** to present himself, and vindicate his cause before his enemies. His progress was a kind of triumph; it elicited the frequent sympathy and acclamations of his countrymen, [Waddington, I. 339.] and even as he entered Worms (April 16), the crowd that flocked together gazed with deep emotion on the simple friar who had dared to call in question the supremacy of Rome. On the following day, [De Wette, I. 587. The best authority for what follows is the Acta printed in Luther’s Works, Jenae, 1600, II. fol. 411 b, sq.: cf. Ranke, Reform. I. 533 sq.] he was conducted to the grand assembly of the empire. There we find him reaffirming what he had so often urged on previous occasions, – that unless he were convicted of heresy by texts of Holy Writ, he neither could nor would subscribe a recantation of his doctrines.*4 After some delay in which the efforts of an intermediate party had been fruitlessly employed to modify his views, he claimed the protection of his passport, and set out immediately on his return to Wittenberg (April 26). Relieved by his withdrawal, the adversaries of the reformation now proceeded to insist on the forcible execution of the papal bull, by which he was condemned. A struggle followed, during which it grew more evident that Aleander and the ultra-montane party, whom he led, were still possessed of their old ascendancy among the princes of the empire;*5 and eventually, on May the 26th, an edict was extorted from the Diet, proclaiming the imperial ban against Martin Luther as a heretic and outcast from the Church of God. In this sentence every one of his protectors and adherents was equally involved; his writings were prohibited, and a censorship of the press [In matters theological this censorship was awarded to the bishop in conjunction with the faculty of the Holy Scriptures in the nearest university.] appointed to control the publication both of them and of all kindred works.
*[On these political questions, see Ranke, Reform. I. 518 sq. 541. In spite, however, of the wish of Charles to gratify the pope, the states of the empire signified their impatience of the temporal power of Leo by drawing up a long list of Gravamina: see it in Luther’s Schriften, ed. Walch, XV. 2058 sq.]
**[According to Audin and the school he represents, Aleander was “un des plus habiles négociateurs de l’époque, une des gloires, en mźme temps, des lettres et de la science” (Hist. de Luther, I. 343): while others (following Luther himself) draw a very different picture: Seckendorf, p. 125, col. 1. Glapio acted more the part of a mediator, and was even suspected of leaning towards Lutheranism: ibid. pp. 143, 144; Ranke, Reform. 531, 532.]
***[ As early as Dec. 21, 1520, and before the imperial summons (Nov. 28) was communicated to him by Frederic, he writes (De Wette, I. 534); “Ego vero si vocatus fuero, quantum per me stabit, vel aegrotus advehar, si sanus venire non possem.” The elector declined to let him go (p. 542), until Luther urged him, Jan. 25, 1521. In this letter (p. 552), the reformer expresses a strong desire to prove his own innocence before the Diet; “ut omnes in veritate experiantur, me hactenus nihil ex temeraria, indeliberata et inordinata voluntate, aut propter temporalem et saecularem honorem et utilitatem, sed, quicquid scripsi et docui, secundum meam conscientiam, juramentum, et obligationem ut indignum doctorem sanctae Scripturae,” etc. On March 19 (?), in answer to a first summons (dated March 6), that he should proceed to Worms, not for reexamination of the questions at issue, but simply to give or refuse his retractation, he informed the elector (De Wette, I. 575), that such an errand was likely to be altogether bootless. At this time he confidently expected that, in spite of the imperial safe-conduct, he should share the fate of Huss.]
*4[“Hic Lutherus: Quando ergo serenissima majestas vestra, dominationesque vestrae, simplex responsum petunt, dabo illud, neque cornutum, neque dentatum, in hunc modum: Nisi convictus fuero testimoniis Scripturarum, aut ratione evidente (nam neque Papae neque conciliis solis credo, cum constet eos errasse saepius, et sibi ipsis contradixisse,) victus sum scripturis a me adductis, captaque est conscientia in verbis Dei, revocare neque possum neque volo quidquam, cum contra conscientiam agere neque tutum sit neque integrum. Hie stehe ich. Ich kan nicht anders. Gott helff mir. Amen.” Ibid. fol. 414 a. Gieseler, V. 273. It was on this occasion that Luther won the good opinion of Philip of Hessen, who said, “If you be right, Sir Doctor, may God help you.” Ranke, Reform. I. 538.]
*5[It is remarkable, however, that his persecutors despaired of accomplishing his condemnation, so long as all the members continued at the Diet. It is said that to give the edict an authority which it did not possess, they misdated it on the 8th instead of the 26th of May on which it was issued. Waddington, I. 367, 368, Pallavicini, Hist. del Concilio di Trenti, lib. I. c. 28. The document itself in its German form is given by Welch, Luther’s Schriften, XV. 2264. The execution of the edict was far from general, many states suppressing it either from sympathy with Luther, or through fear of exciting turbulence among the people.]
But Luther was not suffered to expire like Huss, whose course his own had hitherto so strikingly resembled. As he entered the Thuringian forest on his return from Worms; he was arrested* by some friendly horsemen, and transferred by a circuitous route to the secluded castle of Wartburg, which belonged to his unswerving patron, the elector of Saxony. In the disguise of Junker George, he was enabled to pursue his theological labours,** and completed what has ever since been felt to be among his very best productions, – the translation of the New Testament*** into the standard dialect of Saxony. His active pen was also keenly occupied in controversial literature.*4 Perhaps the boldest of his new essays was the answer to Catharinus, [Cf. De Wette, I. 569, 570, 582. The treatise itself is in his Works, as above, fol. 350 sq.] a young Thomist and Dominican, who ventured to defend the most extreme opinions on the papal supremacy. In this treatise, while vigorously assailing the main position of his adversary, Luther did not hesitate to argue that the only notes or characteristics of a Christian church are the two sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist, and more especially the Word of God. [Fol. 356 b. He had also arrived at the conclusion that the “synagogue of Papists and Thomists” was not the Church, but Babylon, “nisi parvulos et simplices exceperis.”] He also dedicated separate works to the denunciation of “private masses,”*5 and “monastic vows”:*6 the former being in his eye an impious mechanism for elevating the clergy, and the latter an invasion of Christian liberty, and one of the impostures by which Satan had propped up the current theory of human merit.
*[See his own account, dated May 14, in a letter to Spalatinus; De Wette, III. 7. His disguise appears to have been rendered complete: “Ita, sum hic exutus vestibus meis et equestribus indutus, comam et barbam nutriens, ut to me difficile nosses, cum ipse me jamdudum non noverim.” The consternation which his disappearance caused among his friends and admirers is well expressed in a lament of Albert Dürer, quoted in Gieseler, III. 1, p. 95, n. 81 (v. 274, 275).]
**[“Ego otiosus hic et crapulosus sedeo tots die: Bibliam Graecam et Hebraeam lego. Scribo sermonem vernaculum de confessionis auricularis libertate: Psalterium etiam prosequar, et Postillas ubi e Wittemberga accepero, quibus opus habeo, inter quae et Magnificat inchoatum expecto.” De Wette, II. 6.]
***[The first edition appeared in September, 1522. The translation of the Old Testament was postponed (cf. De Wette, II. 123) for a short time, in order that he might consult his literary friends; but one part of it also appeared in 1523. The first complete edition of the Lutheran Bible, including the Apocrypha, was not published till 1534. Gieseler, V. 284. On the older German versions of the Scriptures, see Middle Age, p. 360, n. 2; and cf. The Bible in Every Land, p. 175, Lond. 1848, and Audin, Hist. de Luther, I. 496 sq.]
*4[“Besides those mentioned in the text, he wrote a fiery Confutatio of Latomus, a theologian of Louvain (Opp. II. fol. 379 sq. Jenae, 1600). The epilogue (dated ex Pathmo mea, XX Junii, 1521) contains the following passage (fol. 411): “Sola enim Biblia mecum sunt, non quod magni apud me pendatur libros habere, sed quod videndum, an dicta Patrum ab adversario bona fide citentur: ” cf. De Wette, II. 17 sq. It is dedicated to his friend Justus Jonas, who had joined him at Erfurt, and shared his danger at Worms. Another work (cf. n. 2) was a treatise on “Private Confession” (Von der Beicht), dedicated June 1, 1521, to Sickingen, and published in the following August or September (De Wette, II. 13). The object is to reform, not to abolish, the usage.]
*5[Opp. II. fol. 441 sq. This work, of which the German title is Vom Missbrauch der Messen, was dedicated to his brother friars the Augustinians of Wittenberg, Nov. 1, 1521, but was not published till “January 1522.” cf. De Wette, II. 106 sq. The Augustinians had already desisted from the performance of “private” masses.]
*6[Opp. II. fol. 477 b, sq. It was dedicated (Nov. 21, 1521) to his father: cf. De Wette, II. 100 sq. He had some time before made up his mind as to the lawfulness of marriage in the secular clergy, such as Carlstadt; but the members of religions orders who had bound themselves by special vows appeared to occupy a different position. He had soon afterwards (March 28, 1522) to deplore irregularities committed by several monks, who acted out his principles: “Video monachos nostros multos,” he wrote to John Lange, one of the self-emancipated friars, “exire nulla causa alia quam qua intraverant, hoc est, ventris et libertatis carnalis gratia, per quos Satanas magnum faetorem in nostri verbi odorem bonum excitabit.”
The furious vehemence that breathes throughout these treatises, an index of the mental tempest* in the midst of which they were composed, would naturally enkindle a desire in his more zealous followers to eradicate the system which had countenanced such vast and manifold enormities. The great reformer was himself indeed opposed to popular demonstrations which might lead to violent intermeddling with established usages, and so embarrass the civil power. But he soon found that he had been unconsciously stimulating passions which neither he nor his temperate colleagues were able to control in Wittenberg itself. The leader of these ultra-reformers was Carlstadt. Regardless of all counsels which suggested the propriety of pausing till the multitude could be more thoroughly instructed in the nature of the change proposed, he altered** the Eucharistic office on his own authority, abolishing the custom of previous confession, administering the elements in both kinds, and neglecting most of the usual ceremonies. One important section of the German church who hitherto beheld the march of the reformers with unmingled sympathy, had now seen cause to hesitate and tremble for the issue. Their forebodings were increased on learning that the town of Zwickau in Misnia, which had also felt the impulse of the Lutheran movement, was already giving birth to the distempered sect of Anabaptists, whose fanaticism, it will be noticed*** afterwards, imparted a distinctive shape and colour to the history of the times.
*[During his seclusion at Wartburg, Luther was assaulted by temptations to sensuality which he had scarcely known before: see his letters of July 13 and Nov. 4, 1521 (De Wette, II. 21, 89). So violent also were his mental agitations that, while occupied in preparing his treatise on the abuses of the mass, he believed that he was visited at midnight by the Evil Spirit, and constrained to hold a conference with him on that subject. Luther himself published a narrative of this interview in 1533: cf. Waddington, I. 398, 399; Audin, I. 421 sq.]
**[See the account in Melanchthon’s Works, ed. Bretschneider, I. 512. He had already attempted something of the kind in October, 1521, but did not carry out his plan fully until the next Christmas Day: Ranke, II. 19.]
***[See Chapter V. On the sects and heresies accompanying the new movement. The genuine representatives of the reformation at Zwickau were Frederic Myconius, a Franciscan priest, who became associated with Luther in 1518, and a second of his intimate friends, Nicholas Hausmann.]
Exactly when these troubles were assuming their most formidable aspect,* Luther reappeared at Wittenberg (March 7, 1522). He saw that nothing but his own personal influence could restrain or even regulate the torrent which was threatening to involve his work in the destruction he had planned for mediaeval errors; and therefore in spite** of all the anxious fears of Frederic, who had little chance of screening him from the imperial ban, he vowed with characteristic heroism, that, cost him what it might, a vigorous effort must be instantly made to vindicate his teaching. It is highly probable that the intense emotion caused by these disorders at Wittenberg contributed in some degree to moderate the whole of his future conduct. He had now discovered that one tendency of the reforming movement which he headed, was to shake men’s faith not only in what may be termed erroneous excrescences, but in the body of the truth itself; that intellectual, if not moral, licence would readily supervene on the removal of the ancient yoke; and that accordingly his followers must be guarded from the serious dangers which beset them, both on the right hand and on the left. He acted in this spirit when on Sunday, March 9, 1522, he resumed his pastoral duties. Carlstadt was condemned to silence;*** the apostles of Anabaptism were dismissed [See Letters of April, ibid. pp. 179, 181, and the fuller account of Camerarius, Vit. Melanchthonis, § 15.] in very coarse but truthful language; all the customary service was restored, except those passages in the Canon of the mass which plainly pointed to the notion of material sacrifice; the Eucharist was now administered under one or both kinds indifferently; and it is even noticeable in Luther’s teaching from the pulpit, that he laid far greater emphasis upon the need of sobriety and Christian charity, as fruits and consequences of justifying faith.*4
*[Three of the leading Anabaptists, to escape from the police, took refuge in Wittenberg, at the very end of the year 1521. On the 1st of January, 1522, Melanchthon speaks of them as then present (Works, I. 533). He was himself, in the first instance, too favourably disposed towards them (ibid. I. 513: “Magnis rationibus adducor certe, ut contemni eos nolim”). The point to which, after their prophetic gifts, they ventured to assign the chief importance, was a denial of infant baptism; and Melanchthon, perplexed by the paucity of direct scriptural proofs in its behalf, and by the doctrine of vicarious faith (“fides aliena”) which seemed to be involved in the discussion, wrote to Luther at Wartburg for advice. The reply of the reformer is dated Jan. 13, 1522 (De Wette, II. 124 sq.); and though it did not absolutely denounce the Anabaptistic teachers, it suggested considerations fatal to their claims (in this letter we find early traces of the Lutheran theory respecting the infusion of faith into the soul of the infant candidate for baptism). Carlstadt, on the contrary, allied himself at once with the prophets of Zwickau, and, sheltered by their oracles, proceeded to the most fanatical lengths (Ranke, II. 24–26): Melanchthon, in the mean time, seeming paralysed and offering little or no resistance, even while students went away from the university, urging that there was no longer any need of human learning. Gieseler, V. 278–281.]
**[See his very spirited letter to the Elector (March 5, 1522): De Wette, II. 137 sq.; Gieseler, V. 282, 283. The importance he attached to the present crisis was shewn in the following passage: “Alles bisher mir zu Leide gethan ist in dieser Sachen, ist Schimpf und nichts gewesen. Ich wollts auch, wenn es hätte können seyn, mit meinem Leben gern erkauft haben” (p. 138): cf. Audin, I. 481 sq.]
***[Luther’s own account of this step (March 30, 1522) is worthy of especial notice: “Ego Carolstadium offendi, quod ordinationes suss cassavi, licet doctrinam non damnarim, nisi quod displicet in solis ceremoniis et externis faciebus laborasse eum, neglecta interim vera doctrina Christiana, hoc est, fide et charitate. Nam sua inepta docendi ratione eo populum perduxerat, ut sese Christianum arbitraretur per has res nihili, si utraque specie communicaret, si tangeret [i.e. the consecrated elements], si non confiteretur, si imagines frangeret. En malitiam Satanae, ut per novam speciem molitus est erigere ad ruinam Evangelii”: De Wette, II. 177: Gieseler, V. 283. Cf. Waddington, II. 11, 12. The mystical turn of Carlstadt had already excited the distrust of his former colleague.]
*4[Cf. Ranke, II. 39, 40, Audin, II. 16 sq.; and especially the course of sermons which Luther preached at this juncture on masses, pictures, communion in both kinds, and other controverted subjects (Schriften, ed. Welch, XX. 1 sq.). He had now fairly apprehended a principle which afterwards served him on many trying occasions, viz, that all ecclesiastical rites and usages were legitimate, provided they did not contravene some clear statement of Holy Writ (“Quod ergo non est contra Scripturam, pro Scriptura est, et Scriptura pro eo”: De Wette, I. 128). On this principle he retained a large proportion of the mediaeval usages (cf. his earliest liturgical regulations in Daniel’s Codex Lit. Eccl. Luther. pp. 75–112). “Fallitur mundus,” wrote Melanchthon soon afterwards (Works, I. 657), “cum unum hoc agi a Luthero judicat, ut publicae caeremoniae aboleantur. ...Verum non de caeremoniis dimicat Lutherus, majus quoddam docet, quid intersit inter hominum justitiam et Dei justitiam.” On the contrary, it is quite clear that in the application and working out of his convictions, Luther was continually guilty of extravagance. Not long after his return to Wittenberg, he leveled a (German) tract against the whole hierarchy. This was followed by his “Bull,” composed in a spirit as pontifical as that which had been manifested by any of his opponents. He soon afterwards put forth a sermon De Matrimonio, where his “intempérance d’imagination” has furnished Audin (II. 33 sq.) with materials for a powerful onslaught. Luther was himself married June 2, 1525, and, as if desirous of adding one scandal to another, was married to the nun, Catharine von Bora, who had escaped two years before from a convent in Misnia: cf. Waddington, II. 117–127, with Audin, II. 254–277.]
A second cause, however, soon conspired to bring the Lutheran doctrines into fresh discredit. They were taking root [The diffusion of the new opinions at this period in other European countries will, for the sake of clearness, be traced below.] both far and wide, when elements of discord and insubordination, such as we already witnessed in the Bohemian Taborites, broke out into the Peasants’ Wars (1524). [See Ranke’s excellent sketch of this outbreak, Reform. Bk. III. ch. vi. A fermentation had been already going on for more than thirty years.] The leaders of this insurrection were tainted by the Anabaptist doctrines recently suppressed at Wittenberg, and some were probably instigated by the violent harangues of Carlstadt, and other preachers of his school.* They went so far indeed as to proclaim that unbelievers might and ought to be exterminated by the sword (one instance of their gross perversion of the Old Testament), and that a kingdom should meanwhile be founded in Germany, consisting only of “the faithful”.** Their social theories were no less extravagant, yet notwithstanding all the prejudices it was likely to offend, the new contagion spread with marvellous rapidity, and fixed itself especially in Swabia, Franconia, Thuringia, and Alsace. Although these startling tendencies may have been considerably strengthened by a misconception of the Lutheran opinions, it is certain that as soon as the insurgents had avowed their objects, Luther*** shewed himself the most unflinching of their foes. He was no advocate of communism: he preached the sternest doctrines of obedience to the civil magistrate; and it was owing partly to his strenuous efforts that the south of Germany was rescued from the scourges of a general revolution. His influence had however been materially weakened by the recent course of politics, and in exact proportion as the hope of carrying out his reformations by the aid of the imperial legislature was shewn to be illusive.*4 He was, therefore, left without the power of guiding and counteracting many social impulses which his resistance to the papal despotism had stimulated into feverish activity; and henceforth our attention must be drawn to the conflicting operations of three different forms of thought: (1) the Mediaeval or scholastic, (2) the Lutheran or reforming, and (3) the Anabaptist or revolutionary. [Cf. Mr Hallam’s remarks, Lit. of Europe, I. 482 sq. Lond. 1840.]
*[On their expulsion from Saxony, both Carlstadt and the Anabaptist Thomas Münzer went into the district of the Upper Rhine. It is not quite clear, however, that the former, while proclaiming his new doctrine of the Eucharist, had circulated opinions directly tending to sedition: ibid. pp. 206, 222.]
**[Ibid. p. 105. The author of these ravings was Münzer, the best account of whom is that of Strobel, Leben, Schriften and Lehren T. Muntzers, Nürnberg, 1795. The same writer in his Beyträgen zur Literatur (II. 7 sq.) has printed the twelve articles (drawn up perhaps by Heuglin) in which the peasants stated their demands and grievances (Feb. 1525). The desire of spiritual as well as social reformation was expressed, which indicates some admixture of religious elements.]
***[He had already warned the Elector Frederic, Aug. 21, 1524 (De Wette, II. 538 sq.); and his Ermahnung zum Frieden auf die 12 Artikel der Bauerschaft in Schwaben (Schriften, ed. Walsh, XV. 58 sq.) appeared in May, 1525: cf. Melanchthon’s letter to Spalatinus (April 10, 1525): Opp. ed. Bretschneider, I. 733. The insurrection was finally suppressed by the united arms of the reforming and unreforming states, one of the most active leaders being the Elector John the Constant of Saxony, who succeeded on the death of Frederic (May 5, 1625).]
*4[A few days after Luther’s return from his seclusion, the states of the empire met together at Nuremberg. With them Adrian, the new pope (elected Jan. 9, 1522), opened a negothation; and while admitting the extreme corruptions of the church (cf. above, p. 3, n. 1), was anxious above all things to secure the extirpation of Lutheranism. The Diet answered (March 6, 1523) by the Centum Gravamina (Brown’s Fasciculus, I. 354 sq.), analogous to those drawn up at Worms (cf. above), and reflecting very strongly on existing church abuses. They also took no steps for carrying out the damnatory edict of the former Diet. Afterwards, indeed, when Clement VII succeeded Adrian (Nov. 19, 1523), and the states had reassembled at Nuremberg, it was decreed (April 18, 1524), among other things, that the edict of Worms should be vigorously executed, “as far as might be possible,” and that the pope should immediately assemble a free synod for the determination of religious differences. The papal legate Campeggi, by a series of diplomatic manoeuvres, was able at the same time to overthrow the Council of Regency, a majority of whom were favourable to the new doctrines. In consequence, however, of this act, a resolution was finally carried, to the effect that in the following November a meeting of the states should be convened at Spires, where lists of controverted topics should be openly presented and discussed by representatives of the different princes. But this “general assembly” was vehemently opposed by the legate, and as positively forbidden by the emperor; and in the place of it a provincial congress, consisting of determined enemies of the reformation, met at Ratisbon (Regensburg) in June, 1524 (Ranke, II. 177 sq.), for the purpose of cementing a religious league, and of repressing the Lutherans. Hence originated the religious separation of the German sovereigns, which has never since been healed.]
It was natural to expect that many persons, from their want of real sympathy with the dominant religion, would either directly or indirectly promote the objects of such men as Luther, till at last they were alarmed by the exaggerations of the ultra-reformers, and were driven, by the prospect of still wilder consequences, to revert in many particulars to their original position. By far the most distinguished member of this class [Other members of it, e.g. George Wizel (Wicelius), John Haner, John Wildenauer (Egranus), Crotus Rubeanus, Wilibald Pirkheimer, have been sketched by Döllinger, Die Reformation, I. 21 sq.] was Desiderius Erasmus [See the life prefixed to Le Clerc’s edition of his Works (from which Jortin’s biography was mainly taken), and Müller’s Leben des Erasmus von Rotterdam, Hamburg, 1828. Erasmus had many points of resemblance to Laurentius Valla; on whom see Middle Age, p. 361, n. 2.] of Rotterdam (b. 1467). He had preceded Luther in assaults on the scholastic methods; and the twenty-seven editions through which his principal satire (______ ________) passed during his own lifetime furnish proofs of the enormous influence he exerted on the spirit of the sixteenth century. He was perhaps the ablest classic of his age, and had few equals in theology. He contended that Christian knowledge should be drawn directly from the fountainhead of truth, the New Testament in the original.* He pointed to the vast superiority of the ancient Fathers as compared with the more popular authors of the Middle Ages;** and partly owing to his independent genius, and partly to the greater prominence which he assigned to doctors of the Eastern Church, his Paraphrases were the means of opening a new era in the history of biblical criticism. What Erasmus plainly wanted was religious depth and fervour, a deficiency that influenced not only the complexion of his scriptural exegesis, but the whole tone of his character. Ardently devoted to the interests of literature, he was unsparing in his censures of monastic ignorance and narrow mindedness, inelegance and obscurantism: he was also conscious that a swarm of gross abuses*** were disfiguring the administration and ritual system of the Church: he more than once had courage to proclaim the need of some extensive reformation, and even to avow affinity with Luther: [See, for example, his Colloquies which appeared in 1522, and of which 24,000 copies were printed in the single year 1527 (Hallam, Lit. of Europe, I. 490); or his Enchiridion Militis Christiani, published as early as 1503.] yet as soon as the defences of the papacy, which his own writings undermined, began to shrink and totter, his timidity and want of earnestness were instantly betrayed.*4 We see him parting company*5 with men like Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, and OEcolampadius, whom he formerly esteemed the benefactors of their generation, and the harbingers of brighter days; and although his hatred of mere scholasticism continued to be no less deep and vehement, it was eventually overbalanced by the feelings of disgust with which he contemplated the advances of the Lutheran party. The last important service which he rendered was to strengthen*6 the bias of the elector Frederic in favour of their cause (1520). In 1524, however, his neutrality was changing very fast into decided opposition. Little doubt existed on this point after the publication (in September) of his Diatribe de Libero Arbitrio,*7 where he vigorously assailed the new opinions in a quarter felt to be especially open to attack. He left the main positions of the Lutheran School untouched; he manifested no inclination to defend the pride, the profligacy, the impiety of the court of Rome or of the German ecclesiastics, but exhausted all his learned wit and metaphysical acumen, to disprove the tenet of necessity as advocated in the writings and discourses of the Saxon doctors. The reply of Luther, which appears to have occupied him till the following autumn, [His own unwillingness to enter on the controversy, as stated in the Preface, may have contributed to this delay: Opp. III. fol. 161, Jenae, 1603.] was entitled De Servo Arbitrio. It is throughout distinguished by his characteristic force and vehemence of tone; but argumentatively speaking is a failure. Every cloud of mystery enveloping the questions which he took in hand*8 continues to hang over them. The doctrine of God’s absolute predestination, with its complementary doctrine of absolute reprobation, is restated in the most emphatic terms. The freedom of the human will, in any sense, anterior to the infusion of the supernatural gift of faith, is quite as positively denied; and even after such infusion, it is argued, that the spiritual acts of man are not properly and ultimately his, but rather manifestations of some independent energy within him.*9 The author notwithstanding has declared that by these statements he does not disparage the importance of good works, nor teach that God is in the least degree indifferent to the qualities of human actions. The rejoinder of Erasmus, entitled Hyperaspistes Diatribes, and put forth immediately afterwards [A second book more carefully written was published in the following year.] (Feb. 20, 1526), was characterized by all the vehemence and bitterness of Luther. With it ended, for the present, this interminable controversy; but not until Melanchthon*10 was at least persuaded that far greater caution would be necessary in his future disquisitions touching the freedom of the human will, and other kindred subjects.
*[Like Laurentius Valls, he pointed out numerous errors in the Vulgate, and to correct them set about the preparation of his Greek Testament (cf. Middle Age, p. 361, n. 5). The Complutensian Polyglott (ibid. n. 2) manifests the opposite tendency by altering the Greek Text, in some cases at least, so as to make it square with the Vulgate.]
**[In the Dedication to his paraphrase on the Epist. of St James (Opp. p. 1115, ed. Le Clerc), he makes the following bold statement: “Si a solo Thoma [i.e. from Aquinas] dissentirem, videri possum in illum iniquior. Nunc et ab Ambrosio, et ab Hieronymo et ab Augustino non raro dissentio, sed reverenter; in Thomam etiam candidior quam ut multis bonis et eruditis viris gratum sit: sed hanc reverentiam non opinor me debere Hugonibus aut Lyranis omnibus, etiamsi Lyrano [cf. Middle Age, p. 360] nonnihil debemus.” It is worthy of notice, that wiile the favourite Latin commentator of Erasmus was St Jerome, Luther’s was St Augustine (“Augustino in scripturis interpretandis tantum posthabeo Hieronymum, quantum ipse Angustinum in omnibus Hieronymo posthabet”): Letter in De Wette, I. 40 (dated Oct. 19, 1516); cf. I. 52, where Luther adds (March 1, 1517) that a Christian is not truly wise who knows Greek and Hebrew, “quando et beatus Hieronymus quinque linguis monoglosson Augustinum non adaequarit, licet Erasmo aliter sit longe visum.”]
***[Thus he writes to Zwingli (Aug. 31, 1523; Zwingl. Opp. VII. pt. 1, 308, Zürich, 1828): “Lutherus scripsit ad OEcolampadium, mihi non multum esse tribuendum in iis, quae sunt Spiritus. Velim hoc ex te discere, doctissime Zwingli, quis sit ille Spiritus. Nam videor mihi fere omnia docuisse, quae docet Lutherus, nisi quod non tam atrociter, quodque abstinui a quibusdam aenigmatibus et paradoxis. ”]
*4[Perhaps fastidiousness and want of resolution would be fitter expressions; moreover it could hardly be expected that for the mere purpose of destruction Erasmus could join cordially with men whose moving principles were opposed to his own in such important points as that of freewill. However he says of himself: “Si corrupti mores Romanae curiae postulant ingens aliquod ac praesens remedium, certe meum aut mei similem non est hanc provinciam sibi sumere.” He had before stated in the same letter to the Cardinal Campeggi (Dee. 6, 1520): “Siquidem ut veritati nunquam fas est adversari, ita celare nonnunquam expedit in loco. ... Quaedam inter se fatentur theologi, quae vulgo non expediat efferri” (Opp. III. pt. 1, 596).]
*5[See Waddington’s impartial account in ch xxiii. Erasmus continued to exchange letters of frigid courtesy with Melanchthon after he had altogether broken with Luther. His last words respecting himself, written not long before his death at Basel (July 12, 1536), are very remarkable: “Lutherana tragoedia intolerabili illum oneravit invidia. Discerptus est ab utraque parte, dum utrique studet consulere” (ibid. p. 206): cf. his Epist. lib. XV. ep. 4, and Luther’s Briefe, X. 525, 526. Towards the close of his life he wrote a short treatise De Sarcienda Ecclesiae Concordia with a pacific object, which elicited a reply from Latomus of Louvain: see Latom. Opp. fol. 172 sq. Lovan. 1579. His influence in promoting the English reformation will be noticed below.]
*6[The Elector consulted him at Cologne (Nov. 5, 1520), on which occasion Erasmus declared: “Lutherus peccavit in duobus, nempe quod tetigit coronam Pontificis et ventres monachorum.” On the same occasion he drew up a number of Axiomata (decidedly favourable to Luther), which, to the great annoyance of their author, soon afterwards appeared in print: Luther, Opp. II. fol. 314 a, Jenae, 1600.]
*7[The ostensible cause of his separation from the reformers was a quarrel with Hutten (cf. Luther’s letter of Oct. 1, 1523; De Wette, II. 411, 412); but it is plain that other agencies (among the rest, the influence of Henry VIII of England) impelled him to the composition of the treatise on Free Will. When it was published he wrote (Sept. 6, 1524) to his royal correspondent, “Jacta est alea.” See Gieseler, V. 336.]
*8[Some of the mysteries were still further darkened by his own distinctions; e.g. fol. 189 b: “Illudit autem sese Diatribe ignorantia sua, dum nihil distinguit inter Deum praedicatum et absconditum, hoc est, inter Verbum Dei et Deum Ipsum. Multa facit Deus, quae verbo Suo non ostendit nobis. Multa quoque vult quae verbo Suo non ostendit Sese velle. Sic non vult mortem peccatoris, Verbo scilicet. Vult autem illam voluntate illa imperscrutabili.”]
*9[E.g. “Obsecro te, an non nostra dicuntur quarn rectissime, quae non fecimus quidem nos recepimus vero ab aliis? Cur igitur opera non dicerentur nostra, quae donavit nobis Deus per Spiritum? An Christum non dicemus nostrum, quia non fecimus Eum, sed tantum accepimus? ” fol. 194 a.]
*10[Cf. above. In subsequent editions of the Loci Communes he altered or suppressed the very passages which Luther had cited triumphantly in his own behalf. The extracts given by Gieseler, III. ii. 191 sq. (ed. Bonn) shew a gradual change in the convictions of Melanchthon. In 1535 he denounces the “stoical” notion of necessity, having learned in the meantime that the human will is a concurring party in the work of salvation, and possesses the power of resistance: “Deus antevertit nos, vocat, movet, adjuvat, sed nos viderimus ne repugnemus. Constat enim peccatum oriri a nobis, non a voluntate Dei.” The edition of 1548 was still more explicit on this point (ibid. p. 223, n. 31). The language there used is constantly quoted afterwards in what was called the “Synergistic controversy,” (touching the relation in which human liberty stands to freewill), – a fierce discussion stimulated in 1555 by the treatise of John Pfeffinger, De Libero Arbitrio, which was answered by Nicholas Amsdorf. This controversy is intimately connected with two others branching out of the same ideas: (1) the Majoristic, commencing about 1554, between George Major (a divine of Wittenberg) and Amsdorf, on the question whether good works are necessary to salvation (see Gieseler, III. ii. 213 sq. ed. Bonn); (2) the controversy between Flacius Illyricus (an ultra-Lutheran) and Victorinus Stregel of Jena (circ. 1560), in which the former argued that original sin is “quiddam substantiale in homine,” thus verging far in the direction of Manichaeism (ibid. pp. 253 sq.).]
In the meanwhile several states of Germany, determined to resist the progress of the new opinions, had constituted a religious league. [See above.] Their example was soon followed by negotiations of John* the Constant, elector of Saxony, and the landgrave Philip of Hessen, [Luther and he had met at the Diet of Worms (1521), and in 1524 Melanchthon had completed his conversion to the side of the Reformers (Opp. ed. Bretschneider, I. 703).] – two of the most powerful princes of the empire, and alike devoted to the cause of reformation. The treaty into which they entered is commonly called the “League of Torgau,” where it was ratified, May 4, 1526, although in truth concluded at Gotha in the previous February. [Ranke, Ref. II. 393.] Other princes, more particularly those of Lower Germany,** united in the compact, and on the 12th of June they all agreed at Magdeburg to stand by each other with their utmost might, in case they were violently assaulted “on account of the Word of God or the removal of abuses.” In this temper they proceeded to the Diet of Spires, which opened a few days afterwards (June 25) with fresh discussions on the state and prospects of the German Church.*** So prevalent was the desire among the representatives to extirpate ecclesiastical abuses that, in spite of vigorous efforts on the part of the clergy present, many salutary changes were recommended by the different committees. One of their reports insisted, for example, on the expediency of legalizing the marriage of the clergy, and of permitting the laity in future to cornmunicate either in one or in both kinds. It was proposed, in like manner, that the stringent regulations respecting fasts and confession should henceforth be mitigated, that private masses should be all abolished, and that in the administration of Baptism and the Eucharist, the Latin and German languages should both of them be used. An order on the subject of preaching which had issued from the Diet of 1523 was now republished, with an augmentation savouring also of the Lutheran tenets, viz. that Scripture must be always expounded by Scripture. But these memorable resolutions of the empire were again defeated by the obstinate adherence*4 of Charles V to the established usages of Christendom. At length indeed we see him driven, first, to the abandonment of his design for executing the anti-Lutheran edict of Worms by appealing to the sword, and secondly, compelled to sanction the great principle of domestic reformation, by tolerating the existing forms of worship and belief in single districts of the empire:*5 yet his failure to comply with the predominating wishes of this Diet was a very serious evil. It destroyed, perhaps forever, the religious unity of the German states, and left the advocates of reformation, in the absence of all synods, to proceed in organizing ecclesiastical constitutions each one for itself.
*[He was more resolute and active in the cause of reformation than his brother (who died May 5, 1525), and began his reign by recommending Luther’s Postills to the Saxon clergy, and urging them “ut Verbum Divinum et Evangelium secundum veram et Christianum sensum praedicarent et interpretarentur”: Seckendorf, II. 48, col. 2.]
**[The treaty was signed by the dukes Ernest and Francis of Brunswick Lüneburg, duke Henry of Mecklenburg Schwerin, prince Wolfgang of Anhalt Cöthen and the Counts of Mansfield Gebhard and Albert. The imperial city of Magdeburg was also admitted (June 14), and in the following September, Albert, duke of Prussia (formerly grand master of the Teutonic order), followed their example: Luther’s Schriften, ed. Walch, XVI. 532 sq. The cities of Nuremburg, Strasburg, Augsburg and Ulm soon afterwards gave in their adhesion. The cause of the allied reformers had been elaborately pleaded just before by Melanchthon and other Wittenberg divines, who undertook the task in obedience to the wishes of the Elector of Saxony, and sent their production to the diet of Augsburg (Nov. 1525). They contended (1) that it was lawful to abolish manifest abuses, without the permission, and even in spite, of the episcopal authorities: and (2) that it was lawful to continue the preaching of the new doctrines in defiance of the edict of the emperor: Waddington, II. 213.]
***[See all the Acts in Walch, XVI. 243 sq., and cf. Ranke, Ref. II. 397 sq. The place of the emperor, who found himself engrossed in the affairs of Italy, and in counteracting the influence of the “sainte Ligue de Cognac” (May 22, 1526), was occupied by his brother the archduke Ferdinand. This prince, although decidedly opposed to the Reformers, was so alarmed by the rapid progress of the Turks into the territories of the king of Hungary, that he did not venture to execute the rigorous orders of the emperor.]
*4[He had issued an admonition from Seville (March 28, 1526), to certain princes and lords of the empire, bidding them to remain steadfast in the “old faith,” and to use their influence for uprooting “heresy”. He had also charged his commissioners at the diet to withhold assent from every resolution that ran counter to established practices: Ranke, Ref. II. 391, 406.]
*5[The words of the Recess, derived from the report of a reformatory committee and accepted by the archduke Ferdinand, stand thus: “für sich also zu leben, zu regieren und zu halten, wie ein jeder solches gegen Gott und Kais. Mt. hoffet und vertranet zu verantworten.” See the whole of this important document in Walch’s Luther, XVI. 266.]
No sooner was this new machinery set in motion, than political circumstances tended for a while to favour its development. The emperor had been entangled on the one side in a quarrel with Clement VII* which terminated in the storming of Rome (May 6, 1527), and the surrender of the pontiff. On the other side, the fall of Lewis II [Ibid. Bk. IV. ch. iv.] king of Hungary and Bohemia, in his efforts to withstand the armies of the mighty Ottoman at Mohacz (Aug. 29, 1526), diverted the attention of the archduke Ferdinand (brother and representative of Charles), who trusted to enlarge the honours of the house of Austria by establishing his pretensions to the vacant thrones. The months consumed in struggles for the gaining of these objects proved a breathing time to the reformers.** They argued that the right of adjusting controversies, which was felt to be inherent in the whole collective empire, had been now transferred to individual states; and on this ground it was that the Saxon “visitors”*** commenced their task in 1527. The tenderness with which the leaders of it were disposed to handle the traditional usages of Christendom is everywhere apparent. While proclaiming with their former earnestness the doctrine of justification by faith, and thus repudiating the scholastic theories on human merit, and the efficacy of human ordinances, they laboured to suppress the controversies that still raged respecting minor questions, such as the authority of the pope or prelates generally. It seems to have become the foremost policy of Luther, quite as much as of Melanchthon, to subvert the Mediaeval errors by implanting vital truths of Christianity*4 within the hearts of his fellow countrymen; and seldom in the history of the Church have labours of this kind been followed by so large a measure of success. The other German states*5 in which the Lutheran tenets were adopted trod, with some occasional deviations, in the steps of Saxony.
*[The best account is in Ranke, Ref. Bk. IV. ch. iii. The state of feeling in the army is illustrated by the following passage: “Soldiers dressed as cardinals, with one in the midst bearing the triple crown on his head and personating the pope, rode in solemn procession through the city, surrounded by guards and heralds: they halted before the castle of St Angelo, where the mock pope, flourishing a huge drinking glass, gave the cardinals his benediction: they even held a consistory, and promised in future to be more faithful servants of the Roman empire: the papal throne they meant to bestow on Luther”: ibid. p. 449.]
**[Individuals among them, however, were cruelly handled, and even put to death for their opinions: e.g. a priest named Wagner (Carpentarius) was burnt at Munich (Feb. 8, 1527), and Leonhard Kaiser at Scherding, in the diocese of Passau (Aug. 18, 1527). Luther’s epistle to the second of these martyrs (May 20, 1527) is printed in De Wette, III. 179. The beginning is highly characteristic: “Captus est homo tuus vetus, mi Leonharde, sic volente et vocante Christo, Salvatore tuo, Qui etiam novum Suum hominem pro te tuisque peccatis dedit in manus improborum, ut sanguine Suo to redimeret in fratrem et cohaeredem vitae aeternae.” Sleidan also notices the death of two scholars at Cologne in 1529: Reform. p. 121 (Lond. 1689), and other instances of persecution are added by Ranke, Ref. III. 53 sq.]
***[Certain visitors were nominated by the elector to examine the moral and intellectual condition of each parish. The Instructions which were sent in their name to every clergyman in Saxony, drawn up by Melanchthon with the approval of Luther, are very remarkable (see them in Walch’s Luther, X. 1902 sq.; cf. Seckendorf s account, Lib. II. sect. xiii. §§ 36, 37). Erasmus, struck by the moderation of these visitors, declares (Epist. Lib. XX. ep. 63): “Indies mitescit febris Lutherana, adeo ut ipse Lutherus de singulis propemodum scribat palinodiam, ac caeteris [i.e. the Zwinglians and Anabaptists] habeatur ob hoc ipsum haereticus et delirus.” This critique, however, rests on a complete misconception of Luther’s principles. Provided institutions did not run directly counter to the Word of God, he was in favour of retaining them, or at least he viewed the retention of them as a matter of comparative indifference (cf. above). On the present occasion, it is true, he went as far as the utmost verge of moderation by allowing in some cases the administration of the Eucharist in one kind: but even this was quite consistent with his former opinions (cf. above).]
*4[These feelings strongly manifested at the present juncture, gave birth to Luther’s Catechisms (the smaller a compendium taken from the larger). They were both written in German, but translated almost immediately into Latin. See them in F. Francke’s Libri Symbolici Lutherana, Pars. II. pp. 63–245, with the editor’s prefatory observations, pp. xv. sq. The general adoption of them in schools led to their recognition as “symbolical”.]
*5[This was universally the ease in Lower Germany (Ranke, Ref. II. 514). A different scheme (as we shall see hereafter) had been adopted by Philip the landgrave of Hessen, in a kind of Synod held at Homburg (Oct. 21, 1526). The proceedings were materially influenced by Francis Lambert, formerly a Franciscan at Avignon, whose sympathies, especially on the doctrine of the Eucharist, were strongly Zwinglian: see his Epistola ad Colonienses (relating to this synod), Giessae, 1730, and the Reformatio Ecclesiarum Hassiae (1526), ed. Credner, Giessen, 1852.]
But all of them ere long had cause to tremble for the safety of their institutions when the storms of war passed over, leaving Charles and Ferdinand at liberty again to vindicate the old opinions. A fresh Diet was convoked at Spires [For the chief transactions with regard to the Reformers see Walch’s Luther, XVI. 315 sq.: cf. Ranke, Ref. Bk. V. ch. v.] for March 15, 1529. On this occasion the imperial message, breathing anger and intolerance, added to the flames already burning among the adversaries of the Reformation, and impelled them to resume more vigorous measures. After a sharp struggle the pacific edict* of the former Diet of Spires (1526), by virtue of which important changes had been consummated in numerous provinces of Germany, was absolutely repealed (April 5); and the reformers, pleading that such revocation violated both the laws of the empire and the sacred rights of conscience, fearlessly drew up the document** which has obtained for them and their posterity the name of Protestants (April 19). The resolution which they manifested at this crisis was indeed remarkable, sufficient even to convince the ministers of Charles V that nothing but the convocation of some free council in Germany itself was likely to compose the multiplying discords.
*[See above. The emperor at the same time pledged himself to call a general council, or at least a national assembly very soon. Anabaptists were to be punished by death, and preachers were in future to follow the interpretation of Holy Scripture that was approved by the Church.]
**[It proceeded from the elector John the Constant of Saxony, the margrave George of Brandenburg, Ansbach and Culmbach, the dukes Ernest and Francis of Brunswick Lüneburg, the landgrave Philip of Hessen, and Wolfgang of Anhalt Cöthen. Fourteen of the cities also joined in this protest: Strasburg, Nuremburg, Ulm, Constance, Lindau, Memmingen, Kempten, Nördlingen, Heilbronn, Reutlingen, Issna, St Gall, Weissenburg and Windsheim. In answering the argument of the imperial party with respect to the interpretation of the Bible, they contended that so long as the Church itself was the subject of dispute, the best method of expounding hard texts of Scripture was to call in the help of clearer passages.]
The force, however, of such protests was materially abated by contentions in the camp of the reformers. Postponing, as before, the full consideration of the different causes which produced these subdivisions, it should here be noticed, that a movement, similar at first in spirit to the Lutheran, though of independent growth, had risen in the midst of the Helvetic confederacy. Its author was a parish priest, Huldreich Zwingli. Instigated, it is possible, by Carlstadt, the evil genius of the Reformation, who, after taking refuge* in Basel (1524), assumed a posture of direct hostility to Luther and his school, the Swiss reformer had in 1525 arrived at the conclusion,** that the Eucharistic elements are in no respect the media or conductors by which the Body and Blood of Christ are conveyed to the communicant; or in other words, that “the sacrament of the altar” being designed to quicken our intellectual apprehension of spiritual things, there is in it “only bread and wine, and not the very Body and Blood of Christ.” In opposition to this tenet of the Sacramentarii, Luther*** taught, as one of the most central truths of Christianity, that nothing but the literal acceptation of our Saviour’s language was admissible. Without defining accurately the manner of the Eucharistic Presence, he contended that the Body of the Lord was truly there, and absolutely refused to hold communion with all persons who insisted on resolving the words of institution into figures, or who construed them as nothing more than symbolical expressions pointing to the barely commemorative aspect of the Lord’s Supper. To this divergency, which we shall see hereafter was connected with very different conceptions of other doctrines of the Gospel, must be traced the alienation that grew up between the Saxon theologians (of Northern and Middle Germany) and the Swiss (including also parts of Southern Germany*4). The incompatibility of their opinions was peculiarly apparent, when the landgrave Philip, anxious either to confirm his own belief respecting the Eucharist, or to strengthen the defences of the Reformation in its threatened conflict with the emperor, secured a meeting of the Protestant chiefs*5 at Marburg (Oct. 1, 1529).
*[Before he was compelled to quit Orlamünde (cf. above), Luther paid him a visit, and preached with great vehemence against fanatics of every class (image breakers included). He also condemned Carlstadt’s teaching on the Eucharist, and by the deposit of a piece of gold pledged himself to confute any vindication of it which Carlstadt might publish. The ultra-protestant soon afterwards spoke of Luther in the most contemptuous terms, styling him, “einen zweyfachen Papisten und Vetter des Antichrists”: Waddington, II. 90. This irritated Luther to write an Epistle to the Strasburgers (Dec. 16, 1524: De Wette, II. 577); and a short treatise Against the Celestial Prophets (Jan. 1525: Walch, XX. 186 sq.), in both of which he denounced the sacramental theories of his opponent. Carlstadt next apologized, recanted his erroneous tenets, and in the autumn of 1525 returned to Wittenberg. He seems, however, to have fallen back eventually on most of his old positions (? 1528: cf. De Wette, III. 549), and quietly withdrew to Switzerland, where he died, Dec. 24, 1543. The fullest biography of him is by Füsslin, Frankf. 1776.]
**[His views, of which more will be said hereafter, were developed in the De Vera et Falsa Religione, published in 1525. He differed in some shades from Carlstadt and others, but agreed with them substantially. Thus Carlstadt interpreted the words of institution _________ (maintaining that our Lord while pronouncing them pointed to His own body); OEcolampadius then at Basel gave the literal meaning to ____, but took the predicate __ ____ ___ figuratively: while Zwingli construed ____ as equivalent to “symbolizes” (significat): cf. Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, II. 296, 297, Edinb. 1852. In the Fidei Ratio which he addressed to Charles V in 1530 (Confess. in Eccl. Reform. ed. Niemeyer, Lips. 1840, pp. 24 sq.), Zwingli took a somewhat higher ground in speaking of the sacraments, but still denied that the outward and visible sign is ever made the medium for conveying the inward and spiritual grace: cf. Gieseler, III. ii. pp. 154, 155, Bonn. 1852.]
***[See the germs of the Lutheran doctrine above. He had been strongly tempted at one time to adopt the symbolical interpretation of our Saviour’s language (De Wette, II. 577, Gieseler, v. 338), but resisted what he thought would have been fatal to Christianity. His various treatises on the Eucharist as well as some by others of his party (e.g. Bugenhagen, Brentz and Schnepf) will be found in Walch, XX. Bucer, who tried to act as a mediator between the Swiss and Saxon schools on this question, regretted (in 1537) that any one had ever written against Luther, whose original impression was that Carlstadt wished to get rid of all “externals” in religion, and who therefore in opposing him attributed too much to the outward part of the Lord’s Supper. Luther was charged with holding the doctrine of “impanation,” but repelled the charge by stating that he left the “manner” of Christ’s presence an open question (Walch, XX. 1012). “Consubstantiation” is the term more commonly employed to characterize his own theory. In writing to the Swiss, however (Dec. 1, 1537: De Wette, V. 85), he puts the matter thus: “Wir lassens göttlicher Allmachtigkeit befohlen seyn, wie Sein Leib and Blut im Abendmal uns gegeben werde, wo man aus Seinem Befehl zusammen kömmt, und Sein Einsatzung gehalten wird. Wir denken da keiner Auffahrt and Niederfahrt, die da solit geschehen; sondern wir bleiben schlechts and einfältiglich bei Seinen Worten: das ist Mein Leib, das ist Mein Blut.“ Melanchthon’s views were, in the first instance, almost as rigorous as those of Luther. In 1529 he characterized the Zwinglian dogma as “impium” (Opp. ed. Bretschneider, I. 1077), but he afterwards approximated more nearly to the standing ground of Calvin and an intermediate school, who held at least the virtual Presence of Christ in the Eucharist: cf. below, and Gieseler, III. ii. 196.]
*4[Especially the towns of Strasburg and Ulm, the former being chiefly influenced by the moderate teaching of Capito and, in part, of Bucer (see their writings on this subject in Walch’s Luther, XX. 445 sq.); the latter by that of Conrad Sam. It was in Strasburg, however, that an intermediate party, with slight leanings in the direction of Zwinglianism, continued to exist; as we may judge especially from the Confessio Tetrapolitana (apud Niemeyer, pp. 740–770), which the reformers of that town, in conjunction with those of Constance, Memmingen and Lindan, presented to Charles V at Augsburg (July 11, 1530). For the definition respecting the Eucharist, see below.]
*5[Ranke, Ref. III. 189 sq. These “princes of the Word,” as a contemporary poet calls them (Ibid. p. 191), included Luther, OEcolampadius, Bucer, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Schnepf, Brentz, Hedio, Osiander, Justus Jonas, Myconius, Jacobus Sturm (of Strasburg), and others. Zwingli cleared himself from the suspicions which hung over his orthodoxy respecting the Divinity of our Blessed Lord; he also professed his agreement with the Wittenbergers on original sin and the effects of baptism. It was otherwise when the theologians entered on the fifteenth article of the series before them, that relating to the Eucharist. Both parties felt the difference to be fundamental, and they separated, not indeed without assurances of mutual charity, but with a firm conviction that their principles would not allow them to work together. Cf. Melanohthon’s account (Opp. ed. Bretschneider, I. 1098 sq.) with Zwingli’s (in Hospinian’s Hist. Sacramentaria, II. 77 sq.). Luther despaired of the conference from the first: see his letter to the landgrave (June 23) in De Wette, III. 473, and others written immediately after the conference (Ibid. pp. 511 sq. 518, 520, 559). One addressed to John Agricola (Oct. 12) contains the following “Postscript” of Melanchthon: “Valde contenderunt ut a nobis fratres nominarentur. Vide eorum stultitiam, cum damnent nos, cupiunt tamen a nobis fratres haberi. Nos noluimus eis de hac re assentiri. Sic omnino arbitror, si res adhuc integra esset, non moturos amplius tantam tragoediam. ”]
This fruitless conference is on other grounds remarkable, as giving birth to the first series of dogmatic definitions (fifteen in number), on which the Articles and other symbolical writings of the Lutherans were generally modelled. Subscription to the series, as revised and augmented at the conference of Schwabach* (Oct. 16, 1529), was made an indispensable condition of membership in the reforming league; and after undergoing, in the hands of Melanchthon, further modifications and additions, the seventeen Schwabach Articles, for the most part, reappeared in the Confession of Augsburg,** presented to Charles V on the 25th of June, 1530, during the sessions of the Diet in that place. Restrained by the political ascendancy of anti-Lutheran influences,*** alarmed by aberrations of the Anabaptists, and discouraged also by the recent failure to appease the scruples of the Swiss, the authors and compilers of this manifesto exceeded even their characteristic moderation, both in what they have pretermitted, and in what they have advanced.
*[See the XVII. Schwabach Articles in Walch’s Luther, XVI. 681. 778. Their spirit is essentially Lutheran throughout (cf. Ranke, III. 197). The immediate effect of this test was to exclude the cities of Ulm and Strasburg (cf. above) from the league; and at a meeting held at Schmalkald (Dec. 1529), the rest of the Oberländers followed their example.]
**[The fullest account of this document is in Weber’s Kritische Gesch. der Augsb. Confess. It is analysed in Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, ch. II. The idea of presenting such an apology was suggested by Brück (Pontanus), senior chancellor of the elector of Saxony (March 14, 1530). He also took part in the work of revision, which continued for some time (till May 31). That it received during this interval the approbation of Luther, who remained behind at Coburg, is shewn by his note to the elector John (May 15, 1530). He remarks very characteristically, that he was not the man to improve upon it, “denn ich so sanft und leise nicht treten kan.” When read before the states by Dr Bayer (the junior chancellor of Saxony) it bore the signatures of John, elector of Saxony; George, margrave of Brandenburg Ansbach; Ernest, duke of Lüneburg; Philip, landgrave of Hessen [who for the present surmounted his misgivings on the Sacramentarian controversy]; John Frederic, electoral prince of Saxony; Francis, duke of Lüneburg; Wolfgang, prince of Anhalt; the senate and magistracy of Nuremberg; and the senate of Reutlingen.]
***[To this new ascendancy contributed the retreat of the Turks, who had pitched their camp before Vienna itself (Sept. 20, 1529); the pacification of Italy and the investing of Charles V (Feb. 24, 1530) with the insignia of the Roman empire at Bologna (see Ranke, Ref. Bk. V. ch. vii. viii.); but still more the absolute refusal of Luther to sanction the active resistance of the Protestants, on the ground that their religion ought not even to be defended by appealing to the sword (Ibid. III. 202 sq. De Wette, III. 560 sq.). He went so far so to dissuade the elector John (May 22, 1529) from entering into a fresh league with the landgrave Philip, because such a step would involve religious communion with many persons who were holding fundamental errors (“wider Gott and das sacrament”): De Wette, III. 455; cf. IV. 23 sq.]
It consists of two parts, the former having reference to articles of faith, and proving how very much the Lutherans held in common with the rest of Christendom;* the latter** stating on what scriptural and patristic grounds they had rejected certain errors and abuses. The general tone of this Confession is humble, modest, and apologetic: yet so violent were some of the opponents of the Reformation who had listened to the reading of it, that they urged the emperor to gird on his sword immediately and execute the edict of Worms. Instead of this, however, Charles adopted the advice of the more moderate members*** of his party. He directed a committee of divines, then present at Augsburg, four of whom, Cochlaeus, Eck, Wimpina, and Faber, were among the ablest champions of scholasticism, to write a confutation*4 of the Lutheran document. Their answer was eventually recited before the Diet on the 3rd of August; and soon after, on the opening of a conference (Aug. 16) between the leading theologians*5 of each party, many of the serious differences on points of doctrine were so far adjusted that the rest appeared to those engaged in it no longer incapable of reconciliation. Such hope, however, weakened by the opposition of the sterner Lutherans, vanished altogether, when Campeggi*6 the papal legate reasserted all the strongest arguments in favour of the jurisdiction of the Roman Church. Inflamed by his representations, and more conscious as the interviews proceeded that real harmony was unattainable, the Diet finally issued another edict enjoining the reformers, at least until a council could be summoned, to appoint no more married priests, to practice auricular confession with the same minuteness as in former years, to abstain from mutilations of the Canon of the mass and from all language tending to disparage private masses, and even to acknowledge that communion in one kind is quite as valid as in both.*7 A threat was at the same time suspended over them, importing that if they continued firm in their resistance after May 5, 1531, the unreforming states would instantly adopt coercive measures.
*[The adherents of the Confession did not hesitate to make the following declaration (§ XXII.) on this point: “Haec fere summa est doctrinae apud nos, in qua cerni potest, nihil inesse quod discrepet a Scripturis, vel ab ecclesia Catholica, vel ab ecclesia Romana, quatenus ex Scriptoribus nota est” (or, as the last clause stands in Melanchthon’s contemporary version, “aus der Väter Schrift.”).]
**[The second Part of the Confession is based on Articles drawn up by certain Lutheran divines who met the elector at Torgau on the third Sunday in Lent (1530), in anticipation of the Diet: cf. Melanchthon’s Works, ed. Bretschneider, IV. 973: Gieseler, III. i. p. 246, n. 4.]
***[See the extracts in Gieseler, III. i. p. 250, n. 7, shewing that individual prelates were favourable to many of the changes introduced by the Lutherans, but could not endure the thought that these should emanate from an unauthorized friar (“hoc est turbare pacem, hoc non est ferendum”).]
*4[Printed in the Append. to Francke’s Libr. Symbol. Eccl. Luth. pp. 24–69. For some analysis of it, see Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, pp. 26 sq. 2nd ed. It underwent great modification after the first draft was shewn to the emperor (July 13). Another confutation was published by Hoffmeister, an Augustinian friar, with the title Judicium de Articulis Confess. August., quatenus scilicet a Catholicis admittendi sint aut rejiciendi, Colon. 1559.]
*5[The unreformed were represented by Eck, Wimpina and Cochlaeus; the reformed by Melanchthon, Brentz and Schnepf. See the particulars of this attempt at mediation in Walch’s Luther, XIV. 1668 sq. and Ranke, Ref. III. 306 sq. Melanchthon, much to his annoyance, was charged with treachery to the cause of the reformers, more especially on account of a concession by which he offered to subject them afresh to the jurisdiction of the bishops: cf. his letter addressed to Luther (Sept. 1. 1530; ed. Bretschn. II. 336) with Luther’s letter to him (Sept. 11: De Wette, IV. 162, 163). It is plain that the great reformer was vehemently opposed to very many of the concessions. The following are specimens: “Summa, mihi in totum displicet tractatus de doctrine conocrdia, ut quae plane sit impossibilis, nisi Papa velit papatum suum aboleri” (Aug. 26: De Wette, IV. 147). “Oro autem ut abrupta actione desinatis cum illis agere, et redeatis. Habent confessionem, habent Evangelium: si volunt, admittant; si nolunt, vadant in locum suum. Wird ein Krieg draus, so werde er draus; wir haben gnug gebeten und gethan” (Sept. 20: De Wette, IV. 171). We may not unnaturally suppose, that these and like expressions wrought a considerable change in Melanchthon. He soon afterwards indeed drew up his Apology for the Augsburg Confession (the second of the Lutheran symbolical books), departing far more freely from the medieval modes of thought. See respecting it Franke, Libri Symb. Eccl. Luth. Proleg. c. iii.]
*6[Ranke, Ref. III. 310. His opinion seems to have been that the controversy on matters of doctrine was chiefly, if not altogether, verbal (Gieseler, III. i. p. 260, n. 22): while Melanchthon assured him (ed. Bretsch. II. 170), that the reformers were continually incurring the hatred of many persons in Germany itself, “quia Ecclesiae Romane dogmata summa constantia defendimus.” It was on matters affecting the papal supremacy and the constitution of the Church that they ultimately fell off from each other.]
*7[Ranke, ibid. The Recess of the diet, which dissolved in November, 1530, is given in Walch, XVI. 1925 sq.]
The necessity of acting still more vigorously in self-defence now led to the formation of the Schmalkaldic League (March 29, 1531), [The jurists of Wittenberg laboured to abate the scruples still felt by many of the theologians with regard to the lawfulness of resisting the emperor, even in self-defence (Ranke, Ref. III. 348).] by which the Protestants bound themselves for six years to help each other in maintaining the distinctive ground which they had occupied in the Augsburg Confession. They next endeavoured to fortify their position by political alliances with France,* and other powers antagonistic to the house of Austria. But their preservation at this juncture is mainly traceable to the Ottoman Turks,** who in the summer of 1532 swept over the plains of Hungary with two hundred and fifty thousand men, and even climbed into the fastnesses of Styria, where they seem to have shaken for a moment the indomitable heroism of Charles V himself. In order to enlist the arms of every German province in repelling these invaders, he opened fresh negotiations with the Protestants, whom he ultimately satisfied by promulgating the religious peace of Nuremberg (July 23, 1632).*** According to the terms of this first concordat, the existing state of things was to continue among those of the reformers who recognized the Confession of Augsburg, till the subjects in dispute could be authoritatively adjusted either in some “general free council,” or in some future diet.
*[Ranke (in his Civil Wars and Monarchy in France, I. 198, 199, Lond. 1852) observes that the French monarch was inclined to extend these negotiations to religions matters, and that he had invited Melanchthon to take part in a free congress of theologians, which was only defeated by the vigorous efforts of the Sorbonne. That Francis intended to use the religions differences of Germany as a weapon against Charles is clear; it was a fatal weakness in the reformers to call in French aid at all under the circumstances.]
**[Ranke, Ref. Bk. VI. ch. vi. Miller, Hist. Philosophically Illustrated, III. 19, 20, Lond. 1849. The second of these writers has drawn attention to the fact that Solyman’s hostility was diverted from the German empire soon afterwards by his war with Persia, leaving the Protestants again at the mercy of Charles V.]
***[See the account of the negotiations in Sleidan, Ref. pp. 160, 161, Lond. 1689, and the documents in Walch, XVI. 2210 sq. John the Constant, elector of Saxony, died Aug. 16, 1532. His successor was John Frederic the Magnanimous.]
After the retreat of Solyman, the emperor attempted by all means to stimulate the reigning pontiff, so as to convoke the synod contemplated in the peace of Nuremberg. Although he made little or no progress during the pontificate of Clement VII, Paul III (elected Oct. 13, 1534) was more willing to start negotiations for this purpose with the Protestants;* and even when hostilities broke out again between the emperor and the French, he so far persisted as to make arrangements for the holding of a synod at Mantua (May, 1537).** On the other hand, the Wittenberg divines could not regard a council constituted in the papal fashion as either “free” or “general,” and accordingly proceeded to restate the doctrines which they felt themselves constrained to vindicate at all hazards, in a formal manifesto entitled the Schmalkaldic Articles,*** from its reception by the members of the Protestant League (Feb. 1537).
*[Clement VII. well knew that all the terms which he proposed be rejected: but his successor manifested more earnestness and equity (see Melanchthon’s Works, ed. Bretschn. II. 962 sq.). Luther (June 16, 1532) mentions the earlier “Articuli” of the papal and imperial nuncios: “... per quos Papa detulit noble articulos quosdam de concilio celebrando, scilicet ut agatur in ea re secundum suum placitum et more priorum conciliorum, h.e. in quo damnemur et comburamur, sed verbis lubricis et tali Pontifice dignis”: De Wette, IV. 454. And we can hardly avoid drawing a conclusion from other passages of his letters (e.g. one written in the previous April or May, in conjunction with Bugenhagen), that he was now opposed to any conciliar determination of the subjects in dispute. On his interview with Vergerio at Wittenberg, November 7, 1535, see the various accounts in Waddington, III. 189 sq.]
**[See the bull in Raynald. Annal. Eccl. ad an. 1536, § 35. The same pontiff, two years later (1538), appointed a reformatory commission, which produced the famous Consilium delectorum Cardinalium et aliorum praelatorum de emendanda Ecclesia, printed in Le Plat’s Monum. Coned. Trident. II. 596 sq. Lovan. 1782.]
***[This formulary was afterwards adopted as another “symbolical” writing of the Lutherans. See an account of its history as well as the work itself, in Francke’s Lib. Symb. Eccl. Luth. Part II. The original form of it was written by Luther himself in German (Dec. 1536), and submitted by him to his colleagues (p. vi.). Melanohthon signed it only with the following qualification respecting the pope (p. 40): “De Pontifice autem statuo, si evangelium admitteret, posse ei, propter pacem et communem tranquillitatem Christianorum, qui jam sub ipso sunt, et in posterum sub ipso erunt, superioritatem in episcopos, quam alioqui habet, jure humano etiam a nobis permitti.”]
Their opponents at the same time entered into a more formidable confederacy (the “Holy League”,* as it was called) including Charles V, Ferdinand, the elector of Mentz, the archbishop of Salzburg, the dukes of Bavaria, duke George of Saxony of the Albertine line (to be distinguished from the Elector, who was of the senior or Ernestine line), and duke Henry of Brunswick Wolfenbüttel. Counting as they did, however, on the help to be afforded by political adversaries** of the emperor, and also on the friendship of one section of the Swiss reformers,*** they were enabled to maintain their ground so firmly that fresh overtures were made by Charles to bring about, it possible, some lasting reconciliation.
*[The documents in Walch, XVII. 4 sq.: cf. Leo, Universalgeschichte, III. 157, 158, Halle, 1838.]
**[Chiefly that of Francis I and Henry VIII, the latter of whom, as we shall see hereafter, opened negotiations with the Lutherans on both diplomatic and religious grounds.]
***[Luther himself, as early as Jan. 22, 1531 (De Wette, IV. 216), had manifested a more pacific disposition towards the moderate party of the “Sacramenteries,” represented by Bucer (cf. above, respecting their Confessio). The four cities where they most abounded had in 1532 accepted the Augsburg Confession, and by establishing the Concordia Vitebergensis (May, 1536: see Melanchthon’s Works, ed. Bretschn. III. 75 sq.), the two parties were drawn still more closely to each other. On this occasion the phraseology respecting the Eucharistic presence stood as follows: “Cum pane et vino vere et substantialiter adesse, exhiberi et sumi Corpus Christi et Sanguinem” (at the same time denying the theories both of transubstantiation, of “local inclusion in the bread,” i.e. impanation, and also of “any lasting conjunction apart from the use of the sacrament”). In a new edition of the Augsburg Confession in 1548, Melanchthon went further still, and altered the authorized expressions, “quod Corpus et Sanguis Christi vere adsint et distribuantur in coena,” into “quod cum pane et vino vere exhibeantur Corpus et Sanguis Christi”: Leo, as above, p. 158. That his views never harmonized entirely with those of Luther on the subject of the Eucharist, is rendered probable by a statement reesatly brought to light in Ratzeberger’s Handschr. Gesch. über Luther, etc. ed. Neudecker, Jena, 1850, pp. 85, 86, 94. He felt that Luther had written on the mysterious presence “nimis crasse”. He was himself content, as he observes (Opp. VII. 343, ed. Bretschn.), with the “simplicity” of the words of institution, adding very forcibly: “Longe est alia ratio sacramentorum; ut in ipsa actione Spiritus Sanctus adest baptismo et est efficax in baptizato, sic cum sumitur coena, adest Christus, ut sit efficax. Nec adest propter panem, sed propter sumentem.”]
Never since the outbreak of the struggle did reformed and unreformed approximate so closely as at the Colloquy held in Ratisbon* (1541). The papal legate sent on this occasion was Gaspar Contarini, who on many subjects, more especially the doctrine of justification, had betrayed a leaning towards Protestantism; and as he found himself confronted by Melanchthon and others, all of whom evinced unusual readiness to make concessions for the sake of peace, a hope was entertained in almost every quarter, that the raging controversy was about to be composed. They actually arrived at an agreement (May 10) on the state of man before the Fall, on free will, original sin, and lastly, on what was felt to be a turning point in their discussions, on the justification of the sinner:** yet here even they perceived eventually that deeper sources of division existed in the ordinances and constitution of the Church as governed by the Roman pontiffs. Partly for this reason, and partly because the hotter spirits on both sides could not endure the thought of reconciliation, [Leo, as above.] the proceedings of the Colloquy were altogether void of fruit.
*[The fullest collection of the Acts is that given in Breischneider’s Melanchthon, IV. 119 sq. The Protestant representatives nominated by the emperor were Melanchthon, Pistorius, and Bucer; their opponents being Eck, Julius Pflug and John Gropper. Eck was, however, kept in the background by Contarini, respecting whom see Waddington, III. 311 sq. The basis of the conference was an essay called the Book of Concord, or Interim of Ratisbon (Melanchth. IV. 190 sq.), the author of which is unknown. It consisted of a string of definitions, so constructed “as to evade, as far as possible, the most prominent points of difference.”]
**[On this subject the collocutors arrived at the following conclusion: “Firma itaque est et sana doctrine, per fidem vivam et efficacem justificari peccatorem. Nam per illam Deo grati et accepti sumus propter Christum ... Et sic fide in Christum justificamur, seu reputamur justi, i.e. accepti, per Ipsius merita, non propter nostram dignitatem aut opera.” Cardinal Pole, among others, congratulated Contarini on this unison: see Ranke, Popes, I. 164, 165, by Austin, 2nd ed.]
An instance of the great rapidity with which the new opinions were diffused in many distant states occurred soon afterwards at Cologne, where Hermann* von Wied, the prince-archbishop, determined mainly by the arguments adduced at Ratisbon, had set on foot a vigorous reformation, and invited Bucer and Melanchthon to assist him in the carrying forward of his work.** Some kindred measures were advancing in other dioceses, when the sword of persecution was again unsheathed by Charles and his adherents. On the 18th of September, 1544, he concluded the peace of Crespy with his rival Francis, which enabled him to concentrate his energies against the Protestants. [According to this treaty, the French were also pledged to assist in “restoring the ancient religion and the unity of the Church.” Sleidan, as before, p. 336.] Their own divisions also tended to expose them still further to his violence. The cordiality of members of their League abated;*** and as the controversy of Luther*4 with the Sacramentaries broke out afresh in 1544, all hope of gaining positive assistance from the Swiss appeared to be cut off. The Romish party were moreover stimulated at this juncture by the convocation (Nov. 19, 1544) of the long expected council, [See below, on the Counter-Reformation, chap. VI.] which met at Trent in the following year; so that although another fruitless Colloquy was opened at Ratisbon (Jan. 27, 1546),*5 it grew apparent that the animosity of the imperial faction must ere long find vent in bloodshed.
*[One of the best accounts of him and the reformation which he headed is in Seckendorf, Lib. III. pp. 435–448. He struggled for some time against the papal excommunication launched in 1546, but was afterwards deposed, and died in seclusion, Aug. 13, 1552: Sleidan, Ref. pp. 340 sq., 573, Lond. 1689.]
**[See Melanchthon’s letters (Opp. V. 112, ed. Bretsch.) on the construction of Hermann’s Einfältiges Bedenken, etc., 1543, or, as the title stands in the Latin version of 1545, Simplex et Pia Deliberatio, etc. Either the German original, or this Latin version, was also translated into English in 1547, and (more correctly) in 1548. As a form of service it approximated closely to the “order” of Nuremberg, composed by Luther in 1533. He was, however, dissatisfied with expressions in the work relating to the Eucharist, supplied, as it appears (Melanchthon, as above) by Bucer; on the ground that the author had avoided clear statements touching the real presence; “von der Substanz (i.e. of the Eucharist) mummelt es, dass man nicht soll vernehmen, was er davon halte in aller Masse”: De Wette, V. 708.]
***[e.g. Maurice, duke of Saxony of the Albertine line, which was Protestant after the death of duke George in 1539, having quarrelled with the elector (of. Luther’s letter of April 7, 1542, in De Wette, V. 456), seceded from the League, although promising to act with members of it in defence of their religion.]
*4[His wrath expressed itself in what Melanohthon was constrained to call “atrocissimum scriptum,” – the Kurzes Bekenntniss vom Abendmahl (Walch, XX. 2195 sq.), where he speaks of the Zwinglian party as “soul-destroyers and heretics”: cf. Waddington, III. 227, 228.]
*5[The leading champion of the anti-reformers was Cochlaeus, who, after the death of Eck (Feb. 1543), had succeeded to his place. On the other side, Major and Bucer were the principal speakers. A Verissima Relatio of the proceedings, which lasted till March 20, was published immediately afterwards at Ingolstadt, by order of Charles V.]
Luther* breathed his last at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546, the victim of a grievous malady that poured fresh drops of bitterness into the feelings of dissatisfaction and disgust with which he contemplated the present aspect of ecclesiastical affairs, particularly the development of Zwinglianism, and the encroachment of secular ideas into the province of religion. He held his principles, however, with unshaken earnestness, and found in them the consolations that sustained his drooping spirit, and the strength that finally enabled her to wing her way into a happier sphere of being. By his death at this new epoch in the German reformation he was spared from witnessing the horrors of the struggle known as the Schmalkaldic War. It was in truth a fresh crusade, the Roman pontiff granting plenary indulgences to all who might assist in the extirpation of the Lutheran “heresy”: [See Sleidan, Ref. Bks. XVIII. XIX.: Leo, Universalgeschichte, III. pp. 175 sq. The first blow was however struck by the League, in the hope of crushing Charles before his preparations were completed.] The proximate issues of the war were soon determined by the sanguinary defeat of the Protestants at Mühlberg (April 24, 1547), where John Frederic, the elector of Saxony, on whose sincerity, zeal, and courage they had long depended, fell into the hands of Charles V. Inflexibly attached to his opinions,** he beheld his throne in the possession of his cousin Maurice, who had sided with the other party, while the emperor, for a season, had become the undisputed lord of Germany. The jealousy, however, that arose between him and the pope, conduced materially to the protection of the Protestants. Charles himself had, in the meanwhile, grown dissatisfied with the proceedings of the council of Trent. He contended that instead of rushing at once into anathemas against doctrinal aberrations, it should in the first place have addressed itself to the correction of practical abuses [Sarpi, Hist. du Concile de Trent, I. 247, Amsterdam, 1751.] even if in so doing it had trenched on the more extreme pretensions of the pontiff. On the contrary, Paul III, who was alarmed [Ibid. pp. 387, 388.] by the gigantic growth of the imperial power, foreboded that some of his own prerogatives might also be assailed, if not entirely wrested from his grasp. Under the influence, therefore, of such motives, he availed himself of a pretext afforded by the spread of some contagious disease, in order to transfer the council from Trent to Bologna (March 11, 1547), where he trusted that the emperor would not be able to bias the proceedings. On hearing of this transfer, Charles resented what he thought a fresh indignity, [He sent orders that the representatives opposed to this transfer of the council, chiefly Spaniards and others of his own subjects, should remain at Trent till they received further instructions: Sarpi, I. 488.] demanded that the representatives should all immediately revert to their old position in the Tyrol, and during the protracted negotiations [Ibid. I. 502 sq. To fortify himself, the pope had in the meanwhile concluded a fresh treaty with Henry II of Frame. Ibid. pp. 499, 500.] on this subject, and the consequent abeyance of synodic action, gave the Protestants an opportunity of recovering from their recent consternation. When all hopes of healing the divisions of the empire by the agency of general councils faded every day, a different project was suggested for that purpose. By an order issued at the Diet of Augsburg (May 15, 1548), the Protestants were directed to adopt a new formulary of belief and worship, drawn up, at the command of Charles, by John Agricola, an old reformer and preacher at the court of Brandenburg, and two moderate prelates of the counter-reformation party.*** This provisional arrangement, intended to expire when questions it concerned could be authoritatively handled in a council of the Western Church, was termed the Interim, or Interim Augustanum. Its tone and character were highly favourable to the mediaeval notions,*4 and as such it naturally proved distasteful to the great majority of Protestants. The emperor, it is true, endeavoured to facilitate their recognition of it, by prescribing (June 14) a Formula Reformationis [Printed several times, and (as Gieseler observes) with some additions of 1559, in Goldast’s Constit. Imper. II. 325 sq.] to the other party, his intention being to correct the most obnoxious class of practical abuses. But while these projects found a general acceptance in the non-reforming dioceses of the empire, the pope, as if desirous of adding to the complications and anomalies of the age, now raised his voice in condemnation of the scheme, alleging that Charles had overstepped his province in thus meddling with ecclesiastical affairs.*5
*[Döllinger (Die Reformation, I. 349 sq.) has ransacked his letters for the sake of adding to the stock of evidence as to the wretchedness of his later years. Audin, with still greater spite, has written three chapters on his “chagrins et souffrances,” his “tentations et doutes,” and finally, on his “derniers moments” (capp. xxii.–xxiv). For a more truthful representation, see the documents in Walch, XXI. 274 sq. and Mohnike’s collection entitled Doctor Martin Luther’s Lebensende (written by eyewitnesses), Stralsund, 1817. Some additional light is thrown upon this as well as other portions of the life of Luther by Ratzeberger’s Gesch. über Luther und seine Zeit, – written by an intimate friend, and recently edited in its genuine form by Neudecker, Jena, 1850.]
**[He had succeeded his father John, who died immediately after the peace of Nuremberg (1532). His life was now spared at the intercession of the elector of Brandenburg, who remained neutral (Sleidan, pp. 427, 428), but he was, notwithstanding, compelled to renounce all claim to the electoral dignity, for both himself and his children. Maurice, who replaced him (cf. above), used his influence with Charles to beg off the landgrave of Hessen, who, accordingly, made his peace (June 19, 1547), but was detained a prisoner (Ibid. pp. 432, 433; Leo, p. 183). A fuller account of the whole proceedings is given by Rommel, in his Philipp der Grossmüthige.]
***[See Gieseler’s account of its origin and composition, III. i. p. 342, n. 1. Bucer was fetched from Strasburg to Augsburg with the hope of gaining his sanction to the scheme (Sleidan, as before, p. 454). This, however, he declined to give, notwithstanding the importunity of the elector of Brandenburg, who was anxious to effect a reconciliation. (Ibid. p. 458).]
*4[Printed, in 1548, both in the German original and in a Latin version. It is now most accessible in Bieck’s Das dreyfache Interim, Leipzig, 1721. Sleidan (pp. 458, 459) furnishes a summary of its contents. The two chief concessions which it made to the Reformers were the legalizing, for the present, of the marriages of such ecclesiastics as had already taken wives, and the toleration of communion in both kinds.]
*5[It was even imputed to him among other things, that the new manifesto contained doctrines at variance with decrees of the suspended council, on grave questions like justification and the authority of the pope (Raynald. Annal. Eccl. ad an. 1548, § 62; cf. Sarpi, I. 531).]
In the meantime, though the Interim was not without its advocates, particularly in Southern Germany, it roused a stormy opposition in some districts of the north.* The stricter Lutherans always viewed it in the light of an ungodly compromise: they went so far indeed as to withhold communion from members of their body who were tainted by the slightest contact with it. Illustrations of this firmness soon occurred, especially in Saxony, where Maurice the elector, while he did not absolutely reject the Interim, endeavoured, with the aid of his divines, to modify its operation** in such a way as to preserve the essence of the Lutheran doctrines, although associated with many of the ritual institutions handed down from the Middle Ages. A conforming party thus grew up in Wittenberg under the guidance of Melanchthon. From the disposition they evinced to treat one large cycle of ecclesiastical ordinances as indifferent or non-essential*** (________), their controversy with the other Lutherans*4 was entitled “Adiaphoristic”. They form the earliest representatives of that gentler, and, on some occasions, over-pliant class of thinkers, who by preaching peace, allaying discords, and reducing irregularities, have exercised a very powerful influence on the spirit of the German reformation.
*[Sleidan, as before, pp. 460, 461: Gieseler, III. i. 356–360. Many of the leading divines (e.g. Musculus, Brentz, Osiander) were now driven out of the conforming states, and sought a shelter in countries to which the Interim did not reach, or where it was resisted by the Protestants.]
**[Maurice assembled a committee of divines and others at Meissen (July 1). Fresh meetings were afterwards convened until Dec. 22, when the Interim Lipsiense was accepted in the electorate of Saxony. It is printed in Bieck, as above.]
***[Thus at the conference of July 1, mentioned in the previous note, the theologians made the following statement: “Si in rebus istis adiaphoris bono consilio eorum, quibus gubernatio Ecclesiarum commissa est, aliquid deliberatum fuerit, quod ad concinnitatem aliquam rituum, et ad bonam disciplinam faciat, in hoc concordiae et bono ordini non deerimus. Nam de rebus per se mediis non volumus quicquam rixari, quod ad externum attinet usum.” In replying (April 16, 1549) to a letter addressed to him by the consistory of Hamburg (Opp. ed. Bretschn. VII. 367) on this question, Melanchthon explains himself at length, and with his usual moderation.]
*4[This party was headed by Flacias Illyricus, the Wittenberg professor of Hebrew, who, having associated at Magdeburg with others of the same school, denounced the present teaching of Melanchthon as a departure from the purity of the Lutheran Creed. The controversy lasted for several years, and in September, 1556, we find Melanchthon writing to Flacius (Opp. VIII. 841), and offering for the sake of unity to confess that he was in the wrong: “Fateor etiam hac in re a me peccaturn esse, et a Deo veniam peto, quod non procul fugi insidiosas illas deliberationes.” The “Philippists” and “Flacianists,” however, long continued to represent distinct shades of Lutheranism, the former predominating in the university of Wittenberg, the latter in that of Jena. The spirit of Melanchthon as distinguished from that of Luther is also traceable in Osiander, the reformer of Nuremberg, who, on being expelled from thence during the ascendancy of the Interim, was appointed to a professorship in Prussia at Königsberg. He there published two disputations, one of which, on the doctrine of justification, reaffirmed the views propounded by some of the older mystics, who had laid especial stress on holiness as the result of the inhabitation of Christ in all the faithful: e.g. “Fides eat justificans, cum tamen non fides, sed Christus fide comprehensus justificet. ... Justitia illa, quam fide apprehendimus, est justitia Dei, non tantum quia Deo est accepta, sed quia revera justitia Dei. ... Haec justitia non confertur cuiquam, nisi prius ei remissa fuerint peccata per sanguinem Christi. ...Glacie frigidiora docent, nos tantum propter remissionem peccatorum reputari justos, et non etiam propter justitiam Christi per fidem in nobis inhabitantis.” A controversy on these topics continued to rage for some years after the death of Osiander (Oct. 17, 1552): see Gieseler, III. ii. pp. 275 sq.]
The death of Paul III (Nov. 10, 1549) presented a more favourable opportunity for trying to obtain a lasting settlement of the disputed dogmas. In pursuance of his object Charles prevailed on the new pontiff, Julius III to reestablish* the council of Trent (May 1, 1551). On this occasion also many of the Protestant communities were stimulated to draw up confessions of their faith, the principal being the Confessio Saxonica,** an expanded form of that delivered to the emperor at Augsburg in 1530, and the Confessio Virtembergensis,*** a document of kindred origin, and actually submitted to the council Jan. 24, 1552. It seems, however, that the critical moment when the Protestants were in great danger of compromising their independence and of undergoing reabsorption into the dominant system of belief, was destined to behold their triumph and to set them free for ages.
*[Sarpi, I. 542 sq. The Protestant princes, on being asked to submit to its decisions, would only consent on these conditions, (1) that subjects already determined at Trent should be reopened, (2) that the theologians of the Confession of Augsburg not only should be heard in self-defence, but should have the right of voting, (3) that the pope should not be the president, and should submit to the council like other persons (Ibid. p. 554).]
**[Printed in the Append. to Franoke’s Lib. Symb. Eccl. Luther. pp. 69 sq. Melanohthon, who composed it, states in his Preface that it was meant simply as a “repetition” of the Augsburg Formulary.]
***[In Le Plat, Monum Concil. Trident. IV. 420 sq. On its presentation see Sarpi, II. 104. The ambassadors of the elector of Saxony were introduced to the council on the same occasion (Ibid. p. 102); and certain of the Protestant theologians soon afterwards started for the Tyrol to vindicate their doctrines (Ibid. p. 112; Sleidan, pp. 529, 530).]
The elector Maurice, who in earlier life had been the cause of their depression, suddenly took the field in their behalf (March, 1552).* Allied with France and favoured by a fresh irruption of the Turks, the Protestants were ultimately enabled to extort from Charles and Ferdinand the memorable peace concluded in the diet of Augsburg (Sept. 25, 1555).** It was there ruled that every land proprietor should have the liberty of choosing between the “old religion” and the “new,” so far as this had been embodied in the Augsburg Confession; while his tenants and dependents, in conformity with the prevailing modes of thought, were all expected to abide by his decision and to follow closely in his steps. The two great parties in the German empire, having thus obtained a sort of equilibrium, were content for the remainder of the century to regard each other with comparative respect and outward toleration. Feelings of this kind were strengthened when, in spite of papal opposition, the succession of Ferdinand was finally recognized by the diet (March 8, 1558);*** for the new emperor, though always personally attached to the unreformed opinions,*4 was in later years restrained not only by the spread of Lutheranism in many of his own territories, [Ibid. p. 325: cf. Raupach, Erläutertes Evangel. Oesterreich, I. 31 sq.] but still more by his continued misunderstanding with the pontiff. The same policy was cordially adopted by his son and successor Maximilian II (1564–1576), who in his youth at least had shewn considerable predilection for some portions of the Protestant belief. It is plain, however, that towards the close of his administration, the efforts of the new army of papal volunteers, [See below Chap. VI. on “the Counter-Reformation” for some account of this new order, and its rapid progress in counter-working the reformers.] the Order of the Jesuits (founded in 1540), had so far succeeded in many quarters, that symptoms of a counter-reformation grew distinctly visible. The long and comparatively peaceful reign of Rudolph II (1576–1612), whose education had been guided by the Jesuits, was still further marked by these reactions. While the Lutheran doctors*5 were disputing with each other, or with followers of the school of Calvin, on the very deepest mysteries of Holy Writ; while they were fortifying their conclusions on these topics by the publication in 1577 of what they termed the Formula of Concord, [The aim and structure of this document, the last of the Lutheran “symbolical books,” will also be most fitly considered in Chap, III.] their disciples were excluded step by step from hamlets, towns, and districts, [Leo, pp. 330 sq., Gieseler, III. i. pp. 403 sq.] where not many years before they had outnumbered their opponents. Ancient jealousies were thus revived, and quarrels, hitherto but half-composed, were exasperated and extended, till the seeds of envy, hatred and fanaticism, disseminated with the largest hand in every part of continental Europe, sprouted forth into that crop of human misery and carnage which appals us in the history of the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648).
*[His ostensible object was the liberation of his father-in-law, the landgrave of Hessen, who was still unrighteously detained in captivity (cf. above). On the struggle which ensued see Leo, as before, pp. 186 sq., and Sleidan, bks. XXIV. XXV. The prelates all dispersed from Trent on hearing that Augsburg had fallen into the hands of Maurice (Sleidan, p. 547). Charles V himself, who was an invalid at Innsbruck, escaped with difficulty across the Alps to Villach, accompanied by his brother King Ferdinand (Ibid. p. 560). He first, however, set the ex-elector, John Frederic, at liberty, and after the treaty of Passau (Aug. 2, 1552) the landgrave Philip was also released (Ibid. p. 573). Maurice in the following year (July 9) was killed in battle while fighting against the margrave Albert Alcibiades of Brandenburg, who would not be a party to the late pacification. His place was supplied by his brother Augustus.]
**[Sleidan, pp. 620 sq.: see also the documents adduced or pointed out in Gieseler, III. i. pp. 372 sq., and Leo’s remarks on the decree, pp. 190 sq. Charles V, disgusted with this termination of the struggle, resigned his honours in the following year, – the empire in favour of Ferdinand, his own kingdom in favour of his son Philip II, and withdrew to a convent in Extremadura, where, however, till his death (Sept. 21, 1558), he manifested all his ancient zeal against the Reformation: see Stirling’s Cloister-Life of Charles V, 2nd ed. Two years later, when his presence was no longer absolutely needed to restrain and guide the counsels of the Saxon Protestants, expired Melanohthon (April 19, 1560).]
***[The pope was offended on account of the “religious peace,” against which indeed he had protested, and on that account declined to crown the new emperor. Hence the establishment of the principle, that personal coronation by the pope was not requisite: see Miller, Hist. Philos. considered, III. 131, 3rd ed.]
*4[Yet even with regard to matters of religion he was far more independent than the papal court: e.g. he favoured the concession of the cup to the laity, clerical marriage, and the use of the vernacular in part of the church service: cf. Leo, pp. 311, 342.]
*5[Allusion has been made above to several controversies, especially to that respecting the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. On some new phases of the latter, and also on the numerous points where the disciples of Luther and Calvin were opposed, see below, Chap. III.]
Before proceeding to indicate the various steps by which the Lutheran doctrines were diffused and ultimately established in very distant countries, it is desirable to pause a moment and sketch their progress through the several states, which in the sixteenth century constituted the Germanic empire.
The soil in which those doctrines were first planted, and from which indeed they drew their principal support, was the electorate of Saxony, including [Seckendorf, Lib. II. p. 101, col. 2.] in the period now before us Osterland [Its chief towns were Jena, Altenburg and Zwickau.] and Thuringia, together with parts of Misnia and Franconia. All their leading towns were rapidly awakened and illuminated by the university of Wittenberg; and as early as the Saxon visitation [Above.] of 1527 the people had been for the most part Lutheranized. Saxony was thus ready to become a refuge and asylum for the persecuted Protestants of other countries, who also would naturally be strengthened in their faith by personal conferences with the religious chieftains. [See Ranke, Ref. II. 89. He mentions the following more distinguished refugees: Eberlin, Stiefel, Strauss, Seehofer, Ibach from Frankfurt; Bugenhagen from Pomerania; Kauxdorf from Magdeburg, Mustaeus from Halberstadt.] Ducal Saxony, however, did not yield to the Reformation movement until 1539, when duke George, who corresponded with Erasmus, but continued all his life the bitter enemy of Luther, was succeeded* by his brother, the evangelical duke Henry, father of the great Maurice. Leipzig, Dresden and other influential towns were then converted, and the union of the duchy and electorate under Maurice tended to decide the triumph of the new opinions.
*[It is observable that when duke George became convinced of the importance of the Lutheran movement and its growth among his subjects, he endeavoured, chiefly through the help of George Wizel (above), to occupy a middle place between reformed and unreformed. Seckendorf, Lib. III. pp. 208 sq.]
From Saxony the agitation spread into the neighbouring states of Philip, landgrave of Hessen, whom we have already seen promoting its extension with characteristic ardour. The university which he inaugurated at Marburg was the center of all his operations, and after two years they may be said to have been completed by the “synod” held at Romberg (Oct. 21, 1526).
In the Franconian or Bavarian principalities of Brandenburg the progress of the reformation was obstructed for a time by the unfriendly bearing of the margrave Casimir. He died, however, in the Hungarian campaign, and his brother George, succeeding to his inheritance, [Ranke, Ref. II. 506 sq. His chief advisers were Hans von Schwarzenberg and George Vogler (the chancellor).] commended and established the doctrines of Luther in the provincial diet of Anspach (March 1, 1528). His name is accordingly found appended to the Augsburg Confession. [Above.] On the contrary, some years elapsed before the reformation was publicly accepted in the Electorate of Brandenburg. [Seckendorf, Lib. III. pp. 234 sq.] The wife of Joachim I. by reason of her leaning to the new opinions was forced to leave her home and seek a shelter in Saxony. Her son, however (Joachim II), followed in her steps; and with the cooperation of the bishop of Brandenburg, Matthias von Jagow, who proclaimed himself a convert, lost no time in urging all his subjects to cast off the papal yoke (1539).
Lüneburg, a still more northern principality, had thrown itself into the cause of Luther as early as 1527; the ducal edict of that year having, in conformity with the voice of the diet of Scharnebeck,* enforced an evangelic style of preaching, while it left the ritual of the church comparatively undisturbed.
*[Ranke, Ref. II. 514, 515. The dukes of Lüneburg (as we saw) subscribed the Augsburg Confession; and, as a specimen of the earnestness with which they adhered to it, the following passage is extracted from the “Vorrede” of their Kirchen-Ordnung, put forth by the authority of Julius, duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg in 1569, and reaffirmed in 1615: “...dass es ein öffentlich Gezeugniss seyn sol, dass wir nach abtrettung von den Bäpstischen Irrthümben vnd Missbreuchen, von dem alten, rechten, warhafftigen, Apostolischen, Catholischen, Christlichen Glauben, nicht abgefallen ... dass wir alle Rotten vnd Secten, Zwinglianer, Schwenckfeldianer, Wiederteuffer, vnd wie sie mehr Namen haben mögen, so dem Wort Gottes, vnd vnserer Christlichen Confession zu wieder, verwerffen, vnd vns allein zu dem reinen vnuerfelschten Wort Gottes, vermöge angeregter Christlicher Augspurgischer Confession, in allen Artickeln bekennen”: p. x. Hannover, 1853.]
Mecklenburg, Holstein, and Pomerania, had preceded* Lüneburg, in their adhesion to the Lutherans, and a prince of Anhalt, counting on the hearty acquiescence of his people, actually subscribed the Augsburg Confession in 1530. [Ibid.]
*[See Wigger’s Kirchengesch. Mecklenburgs, Parchim, 1840. The chief preachers were Slütter and Wöllens. Holstein, though belonging to the German empire, had been influenced chiefly through the medium of Schleswig, on both of which see Minter, Kirchengesch. von Dänemark, III. 562 sq. With regard to Pomerania, where a beginning was made in Treptow by Bugenhagen as early as 1520, see Medem, Gesch. der Einführung der evangel. Lehre in Pommern, Greifswald, 1837.]
In 1535, a second group of minor states were animated by enough of zeal and courage to declare themselves adherents of the Schmalkaldic League.* Of these the most important was Würtemburg, where duke Ulric entered vigorously upon the work of reformation in 1534.**
*[Seckendorf gives the list, Lib. III. p. 98. It includes two dukes of Pomerania, two princes of Anhalt, and count William of Nassau.]
**[See Hartmann, Gesch. der Reform. in Würtemberg, Stuttgart, 1835. The principal agents were Brentz, Schnepf, and Blaaren. Some other states were not decisively impressed till 1542; e.g. the duchy of Brunswick Wolfenbüttel, the county palatine of Neuburg, and the duchy of Cleves: see Gieseler, III. i. pp. 319, 320 (ed. Bonn): to which the margraviate of Baden may be added.]
Another great accession to the ranks of Lutheranism was Frederic, the elector Palatine, who had for many years indeed encouraged the diffusion of the new opinions, but hesitated in his formal abjuration of the Roman pontiff till 1546.
In the case of the Palatinate, however, as in that of some few others mentioned in the present summary, the ultimate character of the established creed was rather Swiss than Saxon, and as such will be considered afterwards. [See Chapter III.]
The duchy of Bavaria,* and even districts of Austria, [Cf. above.] Styria, Carniola and Carinthia, felt the quickening impulses communicated at this period to the central members of the German empire, though in them the civil power was always adverse to the Lutheran movement, and therefore at the close of the sixteenth century it was effectually counteracted.
*[Gieseler, III. i. p. 401, n. 15 (ed. Bonn). Against this province, which already possessed a stronghold of Romanism in the university of Ingolstadt, were directed the first energies of the Jesuits on their counterreformation.]
Yet other countries, lying on the different outskirts of the empire, took their place among the earliest and most zealous champions in the cause of reformation. For example, in the province of East Friesland, Lutheran opinions had in 1519 begun to generate a strong and healthy fermentation, which enlarged its compass till with scarcely any struggle it penetrated almost every corner and possessed itself of nearly every parish* (1527).
*[Ranke, Ref. II. 515, 516. In the year 1528, the East Frieslanders had already published a full confession of faith. Ibid. The final organization of the reformers was much indebted to the Polish ecclesiastic Laski (or, as he was often called, John ą Lasco), who having been shaken by an interview with Zwingli in 1524, abandoned all his dignities at home (1537), and settled at Emden, the capital of Friesland. From 1543 to 1548, when the operations of the Interim (above) drove him thence (finally in 1550 to England), he had taken a prominent part in regulating the ecclesiastical affairs of the East Frieslanders. During this interval he drew up a new confession of faith almost entirely on “Swiss” principles, which gave great offence to numbers of his flock, and also to his “Lutheran” correspondents. Krasinski, Ref. in Poland, I. 251 sq. Lond. 1838.]
Silesia, in like manner, was peculiarly docile and susceptible. The bishop of Breslau, John Thurso, who died in 1520, had been a regular correspondent of Erasmus, and had also extended his admiration to the Wittenberg reformer. [Luther wrote a consolatory letter to him in the year of his death: Waddington, II. 74.] During the episcopate of his successor (Jacob of Saltza), who inherited his genial spirit, one of Luther’s pupils, named John Hess [Ranke, Ref. II. 517 sq.] availed himself of his position as a leading parish priest at Breslau (1523), and after a few years was able to secure the peaceful triumph of the new religion.
This gigantic progress* in all classes of society, and almost every quarter of the empire, is alone explainable on the hypothesis that men were thirsting for instruction which they could no longer find among the priests and prelates of their neighbourhood. Unhallowed motives may have sometimes mingled with religious in impelling them to recognize the Lutheran dogmas, and occasionally selfish, base, or worldly considerations may have swayed them altogether: yet when due allowance has been made on all these grounds the solemn fact remains indisputable, – that a spirit of devotion far exceeding aught that we can trace in previous centuries had now diffused itself in Germany, and that its yearnings found their only satisfaction in the views of Christianity propounded by the Wittenberg reformers.
*[Some idea can be formed of this rapidity by reflecting that in the years 1523 and 1524, the principles of the reformation had been generally welcomed in large and distant towns like Frankfort-on-the-Main, Magdeburg, Ulm, Strasburg, Hall (in Swabia), Nuremberg, Hamburg, Bremen, and Stettin: see Gieseler, III. i. pp. 122–125 (ed. Bonn).]
Nothing had more powerfully contributed to this result than Luther’s own productions. He had every quality of thought, of feeling and of style, that characterizes authors who are destined to impress and elevate the multitude: he was homely, practical, and always perfectly intelligible; while the cogency of his arguments, the force and eloquence of his appeals, and his convulsive earnestness, electrified in almost equal measure both his readers and his hearers. It has been calculated that in one year (1523) as many as 183 books were published in his name.* A second agency by which the new opinions were extensively circulated were the thoughtful lectures of Melanchthon. Wittenberg had grown into a kind of literary metropolis, and in the crowd of students who frequented the classroom of its chief professor might be seen not only Germans of all countries, from the Baltic to the Tyrol, but Poles, Hungarians, Transylvanians, Bohemians, Danes, French, Erglish, and even Greeks and Italians. [See the interesting revelation in Ratzeberger, Handsehr. Gesch. über Luther, etc. ed. Neudecker, Jena, 1850, p. 80.] Still it may be doubted if the masses would have been so speedily propitiated in favour of the new opinions, had not other agents emanating from a different quarter added an especial impulse. These were members of the mendicant brotherhoods, whom pontiff after pontiff [Middle Age, pp. 231 sq.] had invested with that freedom of speech and elasticity of organization which converted them into the aptest instruments for aiding to dethrone their patron. Immediately after the promulgation of the edict of Worms, we find a host of itinerant friars,** Dominicans, Augustinians, and, most of all perhaps, Franciscans, ardently declaiming in the cause of Luther: the only effect of their expulsion from one town or village being to scatter seeds of Protestantism in many others far and wide. Such desultory efforts were at length, however, superseded and forbidden when the different states, as we have seen, completed each one for itself the organization of their new religious systems, and thus checked the menacing preponderance of democratical ideas which the course of Luther’s movement had been tending produce.
*[Panzer, as quoted by Ranke, Ref. II. 90, 91. In addition to these works of Luther, 215 were published in 1528 by other persons in favour of the reformation, while not more than 20 can be enumerated on the opposite side. From the same year are dated the first Lutheran “hymns” which produced an immense effect. Art also was enlisted in the same service. After Lucas Cranach went to live at Wittenberg, woodcuts of his more polemical pictures were frequently inserted in Luther’s works.]
**[The Augustinians of Misnia and Thuringia, many of whom were Luther’s personal friends, were the first to join his party, and we soon hear of zealous Augustinians preaching at Magdeburg, Osnabrück, Antwerp, Ratisbon, Nuremberg and other distant places (cf. Ranke, Ref. II. 74). Of the more distinguished Franciscans we may mention Brismann, Frederic Myconius, Conrad Kling and AEgidius Mechler, Eberlin of Günzburg, Henry of Kettenbach and Stephen Kempen. The Dominicans had an able representative in Bucer: cf. above. The Carmelites, or fourth order of friars, yielded Eck’s favourite pupil, Urban Regius (König); while from the order of the Praemonstratensian Canons issued one of the most active of the northern reformers, Bugenhagen.]
It is impossible to ascertain exactly or, to state in general terms, how far the “old religion” kept its ground in those parts of Germany where both the government and a majority of the people had accepted Lutheranism. Still if we may argue from the application of one single test, – the measure of resistance offered to the Interim, – the reformation must have always been more deeply rooted in the north than in the south.
We now pass onward to review the bursting forth of Luther’s spirit into states and countries not included in the limits of the German empire. One of these was eastern Prussia, subject to Albert, margrave of Brandenburg, in his capacity of grand master of the Teutonic order.* During his stay at Nuremberg, 1522, he was impressed by the discourses of Osiander, and in the following year was ready to admit the Lutheran preachers into his own territory. [See above. The preachers sent were Brismann and Amandus.] By their influence the bishop of Samland, George Polentz,** the earliest prelate who manifested a decided leaning to the Wittenbergers, promoted an efficient reformation. In 1525 the progress of the new opinions was so great that when the country was converted into a secular dukedom, the entire population signified their cordial acquiescence, and rejoiced to rank themselves among the followers of Luther. A German liturgy was soon afterwards introduced, adhering as closely as might be to the ancient forms;*** the convents were changed into hospitals; and by the help of Postills, or expository discourses on the Epistles and Gospels regularly sent from Wittenberg, the doctrines of the clergy were kept in general harmony with each other, and also with the tenets advocated in the Lutheran metropolis. It was only when he planted the university of Königsberg (1544) that Albert made provision for the future independence of the Prussian Church.*4
*[Middle Age, p. 215. The political status of the Order had been changed, however, by the “peace of Thorn,” 1466, in virtue of which the Western, or best, portion of their territory had passed into the hands of Poland, and even the remainder was held of the Polish king as feudal lord. This modified supremacy was only resigned as late as 1666, while Prussia was not erected into a kingdom until 1701.]
**[Ranke, Ref. II. 526. The other bishop, Erhardt von Queis, bp. of Pomezania, afterwards joined the movement. One of the best authorities for the early church history of Prussia, both before and since the reformation, is Hartknoch’s Preuss. Kirchenhist. Frankf. 1686.]
***[Ranke, Ibid. p. 532. We gather from the same source that owing to the continued prevalence of Slavonic dialects (cf. Middle Age, p. 240), it was necessary to appoint interpreters (“tolken”) to help the German parish priests, by rendering their sermons into the ancient language of the country.]
*4[The reforming party in Prussia was greatly strengthened in 1548 by the arrival of multitudes of Bohemian brethren, who were ordered under most severe penalties to leave their country within forty-two days (May 4, 1548). Duke Albert offered them an asylum in his states, whither they migrated under the guidance of Matthias Sionius, the chief of the whole community. Krasinski, Ref. in Poland, I. 149, 150. Lond. 1838. On the early influence of Königsberg, see Ibid. p. 158.]
Polish, or Western Prussia,* together with the minor states** of Curland and Livonia, gradually underwent a similar transformation, owing partly*** to their frequent intercourse with Wittenberg, and partly to the favourable influence of the Polish sovereign, Sigismund Augustus, who by granting plenary freedom of religion to the towns of Dantzig, Thorn, and Elbing had facilitated the triumph of the Protestant opinions (circ. 1560).
*[This province had submitted to the Polish king Casimir III to escape from the oppressions of the Teutonic knights: Krasinski, I. 111.]
**[See Tetsch, Kurländ. Kirchengesch. Riga, 1767. Luther had addressed a circular letter to reformers in Riga and the neighbourhood as early as August, 1523 (De Wette, II. 374).]
***[Dantzig, roused by the example of Knade (1518) and other preachers, took the lead in casting off the Medieval superstitions. The archbishop of Gnesen, John Laski, tried in vain to soothe the agitation, which issued in acts of violence. Five churches were seized by the reforming party, and given to those who favoured Lutheranism (Krasinski, as before, I. 112 sq.). After proceeding to greater lengths the popular movement was repressed under Sigismund I. (Ibid. pp. 119 sq.) by a sanguinary counter-revolution (1526). But the check thus given to the reforming doctrines was of short duration (Ibid. pp. 124 sq.). Their revival was mainly due to Klein, a Dominican, who lived in Dantzig till 1546.]
Denmark, Norway, and Iceland.
It was very natural for Albert, duke of Prussia, to ally himself by marriage with the royal family of Denmark, since in 1526 that country also had received the Lutheran preachers, and evinced its resolution to stand forth in their defence. Upon the dissolution of the union of Calmar,* by which Denmark, Sweden, and Norway had been formerly linked together, Frederic I, duke of Schleswig-Holstein, occupied the throne vacated by the tyrant, Christian II.** (1523). One of the severe conditions pressed on their new monarch by the Danish hierarchy, had required that he should by no means tolerate those “heretics of Luther’s school,” [Münter, III. 145.] whose efforts seem to have already won for them a band of followers anxious to subvert or revolutionize the church establishment. Accordingly, although the personal convictions of Frederic sided with the advocates of reformation, whom he openly favoured in his other territories, he was under the necessity of pausing ere his plans were carried out. Some progress, it is true, was made in August, 1524, when he put forth an edict guaranteeing to his subjects in the duchy of Schleswig the liberty of choosing their own religion:*** for the Lutherans, encouraged by this public manifestation of the royal sympathy, advanced with greater boldness in his new dominions. Jutland was the province where their tenets, planted first at Wiburg by John Tausen,*4 yielded the most plenteous fruit. In 1526 the king himself was no longer able to disguise his predilections, but passed over to the side of the reformers: and in the following year a diet held at Odense endeavoured to adjust the controversy which had been excited, by granting liberty of conscience to adherents of both parties.*5 While the German Protestants were drawing up their first Apology (1530), the Danes put forth a kindred manifesto*6 in the diet of Copenhagen. It consisted of forty-three articles, embracing a plain summary of scriptural truths, especially as they were held to have been misconceived or undervalued during the Mediaeval period. Frederic died April 10, 1533, and left the task of carrying out his reformations to his son, Christian III. This monarch had some years before been brought under the personal influence of Luther*7 while travelling in Germany, and therefore when his struggles with the partisans of his youthful brother John, and also of his exiled predecessor, Christian II, had resulted in the triumph of his arms,*8 he earnestly promoted the ascendancy of the new opinions. The higher clergy, who had joined his rivals, were imprisoned and despoiled of their temporalities:*9 and on the 12th of August, Christian in order to proclaim his absolute adoption of Lutheranism, was crowned*10 by Bugenhagen, whom he fetched from Wittenberg for that purpose. Under the same auspices the reformation was diffused through every part of Denmark. “Bishops,” or, more strictly speaking, superintendents,*11 were established in the ancient sees; the university of Copenhagen was reorganized;*12 the Lutheran forms supplied a model for the new liturgical regulations, and in 1538 the name of Christian III of Denmark was inscribed among the warlike Protestants who banded together at Schmalkald.
*[On the subject of this union, which lasted from 1397 to 1524, see Miller, Hist. philos. illustrated, II. 357 sq. 3rd ed. The agent, who dissolved it and liberated his country, was Gustavus Vasa, on whose achievements see Geijer, Hist. of the Swedes, ch. VIII. translated by J. H. Turner, and a History of Gustavus Vasa (anonymous), Lond. 1852.]
**[He once affected to embrace the Reformation (see Münter, Kirchengesch. von Dänemark und Norwegen, III. 19 sq. Leipzig, 1833); but whatever may have been his personal belief (pp. 84 sq.), his efforts chiefly aimed at the depression of the ecclesiastics. See the constitutions which he published for this purpose in 1521: Ibid. pp. 41 sq. At his invitation the theological faculty of Wittenberg had dispatched to Copenhagen (Dec. 1520) a reformer named Reinhard, whose discourses being for the most part unintelligible to the Danes, were interpreted by a Carmelite of Helsingor, Paul Elia (Ibid. pp. 20, 26). This remarkable Carmelite afterwards quitted the reformers, and reverted, like Erasmus, to his old position (Ibid. p. 167), on the grounds stated by himself in the following extract: “Ab initio iis (i.e. Protestantibus) favere visus est, quando res e carpendis tantum abusibus coepta fuit: et ubi ab indulgentiarum abusibus (unde coepta est omnis tragoedia) ad ipsas indulgentias tollendas, a sacerdotum abusibus ad exterminandum ipsum sacerdotium, a sacramentorum abusibus ad ipsa sacramenta evertenda, breviter ad ipsum Christi nomen ex orbe delendum res coepit progredi, retrocessit.” Quoted, from his Confutation of the Danish Confession, by Minter, as above, p. 442, n. – Christian I rendered further service to the reformation by promoting the translation of the New Testament, the work being done by two of his nobles, Michelsen and Pedersen (Ibid. p. 84, pp. 128 sq.).]
***[Ibid. p. 565. The closing words are remarkable: “sondern ein Jeder sich in seiner Religion also sollte verhalten, wie er’s gegen Gott den Allmächtigen mit reinem Gewissen gedächte zu verantworten.”]
*4[He was born in Fühnen (1494), and after studying at Louvain and Cologne proceeded to Wittenberg, where the lectures of Melanchthon determined him to advocate the Lutheran doctrines (Ibid. p. 74), after his return to his convent at Antworskow in 1521. From Jutland the reformation was propagated next in Mahmoe (1527), which so alarmed the bishops that they wrote in search of coadjutors to the anti-Lutherans of Germany (Ibid. pp. 188–197).]
*5[Ibid. p. 207. The bishops, who might be consecrated in future, were forbidden to fetch the pallium from Rome, and the marriage of the monks and clergy was legalized.]
*6[Ibid. p. 299. They were already in possession of the Schwabach and Torgau Articles (see above), which explains the partial resemblance of the two Confessions. Although the Danes did not include the aberrations of Zwingli or the Anabaptists in their present censures, they held fast the “Lutheran” tenets on all controverted points: e.g. Art. XXVIII on the Eucharist. See the entire series, as above, pp. 308–317, and the troubles it excited, pp. 336 sq. The Augsburg Confession was finally accepted by the Danish duchies in 1562, and by the kingdom of Denmark in 1569: Ibid. p. 305.]
*7[He had attended the memorable diet of Worms with his accomplished tutor John Rantzau, both of whom were filled with admiration of the great reformer (Münter, Ibid. p. 146).]
*8[Ibid. p. 435. The part of John was taken almost entirely by the clergy, in the hope of counteracting the known tendencies of his brother. The revival of the claims of Christian II was due to the commercial jealousy of the people of Lüubeck, who felt that both Sweden and Denmark under the new regime would interfere with the ascendancy of the “Hanseatic league:” cf. Miller, III. 113, 115.]
*9[Münter, Ibid. pp. 448 sq. Most of the canonries and prebends, owing to the intercession of Luther, were not confiscated. Ibid. p. 450. The prelates, with one exception, were afterwards set at liberty, on the understanding that they should not oppose the Reformation: p. 458.]
*10[pp. 500 sq. Luther’s remark is (De Wette, V. 88): “Pomeranus [i.e. Bugenhagen] adhuc est in Dania, et prosperantur omnia, quae Deus facit per eum. Regem coronavit et Reginam, quasi verus episcopus.” Most of the ceremonial was adapted from the “Pontificale Romanum.”]
*11[These were “consecrated” by Bugenhagen (Sept. 2, 1537): Ibid. pp. 502, 503. The government of the Danish church was in future carried on by twelve of these bishops,’ of which six were established in Denmark, four in Norway, and two in Iceland: while in the two duchies of Schleswig and Holstein the Lutheran consistories were substituted for episcopacy.]
*12[Among other things three divinity professors were appointed to lecture on the Old and New Testament and the Fathers: pp. 476, 477.]
The kingdom of Norway, absorbed by Denmark in 1537, evinced no general disposition to imitate the policy of Frederic, so long as she continued in possession of her ancient independence. Very slight impressions had been made upon the coast at Bergen, [Münter, as before, p. 372: cf. p. 157.] where correspondents of the Hanseatic league kept up some intercourse with northern Germany. But after the accession of Christian III the archbishop of Drontheim and his powerful partisans were all compelled to bow before the Danish influence. [For an account of the struggle, see, as before, pp. 515 sq.] Some of the refractory prelates were violently handled, others signified their readiness to be divested of their temporal jurisdiction, and ultimately contributed to the establishment of Lutheranism, [Ibid. p. 526.] according to the forms received already in the dominant country.
Iceland, also, after some resistance, followed in this track, the chief of the reforming party being the youthful Gisser Einarsen,* elected to the bishopric of Skalholt in 1540. His German education, partly carried on at Wittenberg itself, prepared him for the work confided to his hands; and, aided by the countenance of Christian III, the revolution which he wrought in his own diocese was propagated in the other districts of the island.
*[ Ibid. pp. 534 sq. He was examined by the professors at Copenhagen, confirmed by the king, and ordained as “bishop” or superintendent at the age of twenty-five. The leader of the anti-reformation party was John Aresen, bp. of Holum, who after the death of Einarsen in 1548 excited the populace to rebellion, and was executed at Skalholt, Nov. 7, 1550: pp. 542–547.]
In spite of brief reactions in the sixteenth century, and of more vigorous efforts stimulated chiefly by the Jesuits in the seventeenth, all these countries have maintained their strictly Lutheran character.
The same events that gave to Frederic the supremacy of Denmark placed Gustavus Vasa on the neighbouring throne of Sweden (June 7, 1523).* But years before his elevation the reforming doctrines had been scattered at Strengness in his native country by students fresh from Wittenberg (1519). The chief of these were two brothers, Olaf and Lawrence Peterson,** who on the outbreak of a persecution designed to extirpate the modern “heresy,” experienced the protection of Gustavus. A disputation*** was subsequently held (Christmas, 1524) in order to prepare the church in general for the changes contemplated by the court. In 1526 we find the king himself discoursing [Geijer, p. 114.] from his saddle on the uselessness of Latin service, and suggesting the abolition of monastic orders. Soon. afterwards, on learning that his measures would provoke a spirited resistance, he convened a diet in Westerns, and threatened to resign his sceptre.*4 All the representatives, alarmed at the remembrance of the old oppressions of Christian II, besought Gustavus to continue as their leader, and even granted him the power of occupying the castles and strongholds of the bishops and of settling the future incomes both of them and of their canons.*5 He next asserted his entire supremacy [Geijer, p. 119.] in matters ecclesiastical, appropriated to the service of the crown a large fraction of the clerical revenues, suppressed the monasteries,*6 and restraining some of the extreme adherents of Lutheranism*7 as well as of the Mediaeval tenets, organized the Swedish church in nearly the same form as that which we have seen adopted by Christian III of Denmark. Lawrence Peterson, a preacher of moderate views, was made the “archbishop” of Upsala: and in a second diet*8 held at Westeras in 1544, the reformation as moulded by his influence was at length established everywhere in Sweden. But changes based so generally upon the royal fiat were not likely to be carried out in peace, especially among a people, who have been with justice designated “Frenchmen of the North”. Gustavus therefore had to quell a very formidable insurrection, headed by the peasant Nils Dacke and inflamed in East and West-Gothland by reactionary priests [Geijer, pp. 125, 126.] (1537–1543). The reign of the distempered and ill-fated Eric,*9 deposed in 1569 and ultimately poisoned, had been marked by no fresh phases in the aspect of the Swedish Church, excepting what may have been silently produced by his devotion to the Calvinistic tenets: but no sooner was the monarchy transmitted to his brother, than the ashes of extinguished controversies were all lighted up afresh. John was married to a Polish princess, who zealously adhered to the hereditary faith. He was moreover always fond of studying ancient literature,*10 and longed to see the pictures which his warm imagination drew of early Fathers and of primitive Christianity displayed in actual life. Impelled by these ideas he arranged a new liturgy for Sweden (1576) in such a manner as to justify suspicions of his tenderness for Mediaeval doctrines.*11 Anxious to propitiate the papacy on political [Ranke, as above, p. 82.] as well as on religious grounds, he did not scruple to dispatch an envoy to the court of Gregory XIII*12 and even entrusted certain Jesuits*13 whom he invited from the Netherlands with the management of a college he had lately founded in Stockholm. In 1578 an able and accomplished member of that order, Anthony Possevin,* [Ranke, pp. 84, 85; Anjou, pp. 509 sq.] arrived in Sweden for the purpose of completing what he hoped would prove the “reconciliation” of the whole country. Lawrence Peterson, the venerable archbishop of Upsala, had died five years before this crisis (Oct. 1573), and had been succeeded by a man of very different principles, Lawrence Peterson Gothus,*14 his son-in-law, and no less willing than was the king to surrender the distinctive dogmas of the Lutherans for the sake of outward unity with Christendom at large. But exactly when all things favoured the belief that Sweden would ere long be subjected afresh to the dominion of the Roman pontiff, the capricious monarch suddenly changed his course and persecuted those whom he had recently caressed. Owing either to the efforts of the Protestants of other countries, or to the stiffness of the pope himself in holding back concessions without which there was no prospect of conciliating the acquiescence of the Swedes, a second mission of the Jesuit Possevin resulted in his absolute discomfiture.*15 His colleagues were compelled to leave the country; and on the death of queen Catharine (1583) scarcely any vestige of the late reaction could be traced except in the perverse determination [See Geijer, p. 170. “Priests who refused to follow it were deposed, incarcerated, and driven into exile.”] of the king to force his own Romanizing liturgy on his unwilling subjects. It was formally revoked, [The Service book introduced by Lawrence Peterson was now stamped with synodical authority, and Luther’s short Catechism became again the recognized manual of instruction: Geijer, p. 184.] however, in the famous “Kirk-mote” held at Upsala in 1593 under the auspices of his brother Charles, duke of Südermanland; at which period also the Augsburg Confession*16 was solemnly adopted as the standard of Swedish orthodoxy, to the absolute exclusion of all other symbols.
*[Frederic I. put forth a claim to the allegiance of the Swedes, but met with no encouragement (Geijer’s Hist. of the Swedes, by Turner, p. 107). The history of the reformation in Sweden has been written by Dr Anjou, bishop of Wisby, and translated by Dr. Mason, New York, 1859.]
**[Anjou, pp. 70–75; Geijer, p. 110. Their first antagonist was Bishop Brask of Linköping, who procured a brief from pope Adrian VI to authorize the forcible repression of Lutheranism. He speaks in 1523 of the tendency of the new movement as “contra decreta Sanctae Romanae ecclesiae ac ecclesiasticam libertatem ad effectum, ut status modernae ecclesiae reducatur ad mendicitatem et statum ecclesiae primitivae.” Ibid. n. 1. Notwithstanding his protests, Gustavus patronized the two reformers, making the elder of them chief pastor at Stockholm, and giving the latter a professorship of theology at Upsala. One of their distinguished followers, Lawrence Anderson of Strengness, was at the same time elevated to the chancellorship. To him the Swedes were indebted for a translation of the New Testament.]
***[The disputants were Olaf Petersen and doctor Galle, provost of Upsala. Although Gustavus maintained that the changes which he contemplated would have reference chiefly to external matters (“de ritibus quibusdam ab hominibus inventis, praesertim immunitate praelatorum ecclesiae”: cf. Gieseler, III. i. p. 482, n. 2), it is quite obvious, from the present string of questions, that nearly all the main points of Lutheranism were already mooted (Geijer, p. 110, n. 2). For this reason the Danish theologian Elia now attacked both Gustavus and Petersen with great vehemence: see Münter, as before, III. 243 sq.]
*4[Geijer, pp. 115 sq.; Anjou, p. 192. There were present four bishops, of whom Brask was one. Alluding more especially to him Gustavus asked, Who would be the king of such mere creatures of the pope? (p. 117.)]
*5[Geijer, p. 118; Anjou, pp. 202, 203. Another point conceded was that preachers should have liberty to proclaim the pure word of God; and although the representatives of the burghers, miners, and peasants, indicated little or no sympathy with this decree, or with the Lutheran movement generally, the barons added to the phrase “pure word of God,” “but not uncertain miracles, human inventions and fables, as hath been much used heretofore.”]
*6[E.g. He did not scruple to adjudicate in spiritual causes, and he appointed and deposed ecclesiastics simply on his own authority. Two bishops whom he had deposed in 1523 retired to the Dales, and excited a rebellion (Hist. of Gustavus, as above, p. 118 sq.) They were eventually executed at Upsala, Feb. 1527. Ibid. p. 125.]
*7[E.g. He advocated the retention of nearly all the ancient service books and ceremonial, at least until the people could be better instructed in the elements of Christianity (Ibid. pp. 119, 125, 168); and this course was chosen by the clergy in a synod held at Oerebro in 1529. On their proceedings, which Geijer omits, see Baaz, Inventariunt Eccl. Sueo-Gothorum, pp. 239, Lincop. 1642; Anjou, pp. 255–262.]
*8[Geijer, 127. In 1539 the king had grown dissatisfied with some of the superior clergy, and seemed desirous of substituting Presbyterianism in the place of the Episcopal form of government. George Norman, recommended to him by Melanchthon, was appointed as inspector-general of the whole clerical order (Geijer, p. 125; Anjou, p. 299). Sweden has, however, continued to be governed by an archbishop and thirteen bishops, on whose consecration see Palmer, Treatise on the Church, I. 297, 298, 3rd ed., and especially the Colonial Church Chronicle for 1861.]
*9[pp. 145 sq.; Anjou, p. 370. On his proposals for the hand of our Queen Elizabeth, see Geijer, p. 141. He was stimulated by Burrey, a French Calvinist, formerly his tutor.]
*10[He had leisure for these studies during his imprisonment, which commenced Aug. 12, 1563. Of modern writers none struck him so much as the conciliatory Belgian, George Cassander (Geijer, p.166; Anjou, p. 440), whose Consultatio de Articulis Religionis inter Catholicos et Protestantes controversis he afterwards (1577) caused to be printed at Stockholm.]
*11[Cf. on these subjects Ranke, Hist. of the Popes, II. 83–87. Lond. 1841. The Liturgy of king John is in both Swedish and Latin. It was drawn up (according to Geijer, p. 160) by himself and his secretary, Peter Fechten, on the plan of the missal authorized by the Council of Trent, but with sundry omissions and modifications. It was published with a preface by the new archbishop, and as his work. One other bishop had also sanctioned it already, and at the diet of 1577 it was very generally adopted, not however without provoking a decided opposition from the bishops of Linköping and Strengness. The former of these was afterwards stripped of his episcopal vestments in his own cathedral for calling the pope Antichrist.]
*12[He actually requested that the pope would institute prayers throughout the whole world for the restoration of “the catholic religion”. Among the conditions under which this change was to be wrought, he stipulated that the Eucharistic service should be in Swedish, that the laity should communicate in both kinds, and that no claims should be made by the ecclesiastics on those church estates that had been confiscated: Geijer, p. 169.]
*13[Their own account is still extant, and is used by Geijer. Two of their number arrived from Louvain in 1576, giving themselves out as evangelical preachers, and quoting the reformers as their own. The king ordered all the clergy of Stockholm to attend their public lectures, and himself took part in theological disputations, where the adversary of the pope was generally worsted. “Progreditur tamen pater,” says the narrative, “quotquot auditores verdant, insinuat se in familiaritatem aliquorum, nunc hunc, nunc illum, dante Deo, ad fidem occulte reducit”: p. 168, n. 4.]
*14[After his nomination he subscribed seventeen articles, in which the restoration of the convents, the veneration of saints, prayers for the dead, and the reception of the Mediaeval ceremonies were approved. He was then consecrated (1575) with great pomp: Geijer, pp. 167, 168.]
*15[Ranke, p. 86. It is not improbable that the failure of some political schemes in which he had calculated on the papal cooperation may have tended to produce this sudden estrangement. This much is certain, that he issued a proclamation threatening to banish every Romanizer, and that some of the converts were very roughly handled: Geijer, p. 169.]
*16[Geijer, p. 184; Anjou, p. 594. Notwithstanding the bias of the duke himself in favour of Calvinism, the bishops and others who were present on this occasion proved their “orthodoxy” by denouncing the followers of Zwingli and Calvin by name (Ibid. p. 185). When Charles afterwards ascended the throne (1599), he continued to labour hard in his study with the hope of reconciling the Lutheran and Calvinistic Formularies (Ibid. pp. 201 sq.), but was ultimately driven to confirm the Augsburg Confession in a royal assurance given at Upsala (March 27, 1607). His liberal spirit was, however, transmitted to his son, Gustavus Adolphus, the religious hero of the Thirty Years’ War.]
Attention has been drawn already to the progress of the Lutheran tenets in the western provinces of Poland. Their reception in those provinces had been facilitated by the influence of the Hussites, who, as we have seen, [Middle Age, p. 410.] existed in considerable force, at least until the middle of the fifteenth century. The fermentation they produced was afterwards revived by the migration of a host of refugees whom Ferdinand extruded from Bohemia in 1648. Owing to their close relationship and cognate language, these Bohemians were enabled to disperse [Krasinski, I. 336 sq.] “reforming” tenets far more widely than their German fellow workers. Still a party tinctured with the Lutheran principles* had formed themselves into a secret society at Cracow long before the death of Sigismund I. (1548). The members of it were distinguished by their rank and learning; but the licence of their speculations very soon divided them from each other and propelled the more adventurous into wild and deadly errors. It was only after the accession of Sigismund Augustus (1548) that Protestantism according to its genuine form obtained a wider circulation among the Poles. This monarch was himself a fautor at least of the new opinions,** and during his reign of four-and-twenty years they penetrated into all orders of society in spite of the most resolute opposition.*** Their progress was, however, somewhat checked when at the death of Sigismund Augustus the crown of Poland became simply elective, and her sovereigns, mostly drawn from other countries, threw their weight into the Romish scale. At first indeed this change was scarcely sensible, the Transylvanian prince, Stephen Bathori,*4 who was elevated to the throne in 1575, proclaiming himself the friend of religious toleration: yet in the following reign of Sigismund III crown prince of Sweden*5 (1587–1632), his devotion to the Mediaeval principles inherited from a Polish mother and his Romanizing father John, had strengthened the reactionary movement, which by gaining over the nobility and educational establishments resulted in the overthrow of Protestantism. Sigismund was materially assisted in this work by the untiring efforts of the Jesuits. But their triumph is perhaps still more attributable to the conflicts which distracted and disabled their opponents. During the brief interregnum that followed the death of Sigismund Augustus, the Polish diet resolved (Jan. 6, 1573) to maintain a reciprocal indulgence of all religious factions in the state, uniting, in a spirit of complete impartiality, to treat them all as “Dissidents”:*6 not because they had departed from some authorized doctrines, but merely as an indication that they disagreed among themselves. These “Dissidents,” however, included not only the Romish party, and the three phases of “orthodox” Protestantism, the Saxon, Swiss, and Bohemian (vulgarly called “Waldensian”), but also a large body of “Socinians,”*7 many of them being Poles by nation, and the remnant refugees whose errors were not tolerated in the other parts of Europe. When the anti-Trinitarians began to celebrate their worship in several of the principal districts, Rakow [On its great importance as a school, see, as before, pp. 380 sq. It was, however, abolished in 1638, and in 1658 the Socinians were expelled from Poland. by an edict of the diet.] serving them as a metropolis, the indignation of all the Christian bodies turned against them; and it may have been the general feeling of alarm excited by their progress that induced the jarring confraternities of the reformers to neglect their minor quarrels and negotiate a peace. This object had in truth been gained already [At the synod of Kozminek (1555); Ibid. I. 342, 343.] by two of the contending parties, the Swiss and the Bohemians; and after some anxious correspondence [Ibid. pp. 368 sq.] with the “school of Wittenberg,” the Polish Lutherans yielded to the representations of the rest and were included in their union by the “Consensus”*8 of Sandomir (April 14, 1570). But notwithstanding the pacification thus effected, there was still no cordial sympathy between the Saxon and the Swiss reformers. The divergences, which we shall trace at length hereafter in their fundamental principles, were fatal to all schemes for binding them together. As early as 1578 the Lutherans of Lithuania, who as Germans had a strong affection for the Augsburg definitions, laboured hard to dissolve [Krasinski, II. 77.] the union of Sandomir. Other machinations countenanced by eminent divines in Germany were set on foot with the same object, and although the spirit of dissension was occasionally checked*9 and softened, it could never be extinguished. The chief energy of both these parties was expended in unseemly acrimony, instead of wrestling with the errors of the anti-Trinitarian or the Romanist.*10
*[The Italian, Francis Lismasini, provincial of the order of Franciscans and confessor to Queen Bona, was the leading spirit of this club. He possessed a large library of anti-Romish books. Some of his fellow members are enumerated by Krasinski, Ref. in Poland, I. 138 sq. At one of their meetings where religious subjects were discussed with the greatest freedom, a priest of Belgium, named Pastoris, to the horror of some others, attacked the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which had already been impugned elsewhere by Servetus. Hence the origin in Poland of the sect misnamed Socinians (Ibid. p. 140).]
**[In 1549 Calvin dedicated to him the Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, urging him to proceed with the work of the Reformation: “Agedum ergo, magnanime Rex, faustis Christi auspiciis, curam cum regia tua celsitudine, tum heroica virtute dignam suscipe; ut aeterna Dei veritas, qua et Ejus gloria, et hominum salus continetur, quacunque imperium tuum patet, jus suum Antichristi latrocinio ereptum recuperet.” Laski, the Polish ecclesiastic (see above), on his return to his native country (Dec. 1556), repeated these exhortations, and strengthened them by letters from Melanchthon, and by presenting (a modified form of) the Augsburg Confession. The king, however, seemed unwilling to act decisively until the reformers could agree among themselves (Krasinski, I. 275): but still shewed his bias by appointing men who favoured the reformation to the vacant bishoprics (p. 414).]
***[This evinced its power especially in the synod of Petrikow (1551), where Hosius, bishop of Varmia (Ermland), who afterwards introduced the Jesuits into Poland (Ibid. pp. 406 sq.), advocated the most bitter persecution (Ibid. pp. 172 sq.): see his own Confessio Catholicae Fidei at the beginning of his Works, Colon. 1584, and cf. Krasinski, I. 400 sq. On the contrary, the Polish diet which assembled in the following year manifested a decided leaning to the Protestants (pp. 186 sq.). But these afterwards suffered much by the secession of their champion Orzechowski (Orichovius), formerly a student at Wittenberg, who, 1559, after several oscillations, finally reverted to the Roman Catholic Church (Ibid. p. 198).]
*4[The brief reign of Henry of Valois had intervened, extending only to four months of 1574. On the reign of Stephen, see Krasinski, II. 43 sq. Miller (Phil. Hist. III. 108) quotes him as saying that “the Deity had reserved three things to Himself, the power of creating, the knowledge of futurity, and the government of the consciences of men.” He was, notwithstanding, a patron of the Jesuits, and founded, chiefly for them and their disciples, the university of Vilna (Krasinski, II. 53), besides winking at their persecution of the Protestants, pp. 58 sq.]
*5[See Geijer, Hist. of the Swedes, p. 165: Krasinski, II. 91, 92. The reaction is again visible in the proceedings of the Romish synod held at Gnesen in 1589, where the most ultramontane principles are reaffirmed, with the sanction of pope Sixtus V (Ibid. II. 96, 97).]
*6[See Jura et Libertates Dissidentium in Religione Christiana in Regno Poloniae, etc. pp. 7 sq. Berol. 1708, and Krasinski, II. 11 sq. The name “Dissidents” subsequently meant “Dissenters,” or sectaries distinct from the religious body authorized by the state.]
*7[Cf. above, p. 83, n. 2, and below, chap. V. Laelius Socinus (the elder Socinus) visited Poland in 1551, and appears to have determined Lismanini in favour of anti-Trinitarianism (Krasinski, I. 279). Soon afterwards (1556), Peter Goniondzki (Gonesius) openly asserted this heresy, combining with it a denial of infant baptism, which he also treated as a development” (p. 347). Others (many of them foreigners) followed in his steps (pp. 350 sq.). The “Swiss” school of Reformers solemnly condemned these errors in 1563 (p. 359), but still their authors (called Pinczovians from the town of Pinczow where they flourished) were able to keep their ground. A few years later they divided among themselves, one party advocating “Arianism,” the other naked “Socinianism”. Faustus Socinus, nephew of Laelius, settled in Cracow (1579). His errors were embodied in the Rakovian Catechism composed by Smalcius and Moskorzewski, and published first in Polish (1605): Ibid. II. 357 sq.]
*8[See the document, as confirmed by a subsequent meeting held at Vlodislav in 1583 (Niemeyer, Confess. Eccl. Reform. pp. 551 sq. and the editor’s Pref. pp. lxix. sq.). On the doctrine of the Eucharist, which was a turning point in their disputes, the following is their definition: “Deinde vero quantum ad infelix illud dissidium de Coena Domini attinet, convenimus in sententia verborum Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ut illa orthodoxe intellecta sunt a Patribus, ac inprimis Irenaeo, qni duabus rebus, scilicet terrena et coelesti, hoc mysterium constare dixit: Neque elementa signave nuda et vacua illa ease asserimus, sed simul reipsa credentibus exhibere et praestare fide, quod significant: Denique ut expressius clariusque loquamur, convenimus, ut credamus et confiteamur sabstantialem praesentiam Christi non significari duntaxat, sed vere in Coena eo vescentibus repraesentari, distribui et exhiberi Corpus et Sanguinem Domini symbolis adjectis ipsi rei, minime nudis, secundum Sacramentorum naturam.” Cf. Krasinski, I. 381 sq.]
*9[As by the synod of Vlodislav mentioned above. Several of the fresh discussions had reference to the way in which the outward and inward parts of sacraments are connected with each other. Ibid. II. 83 sq.]
*10[One of the last attempts to draw them more nearly to each other was in the Colloquium Charitativum held at Thorn in 1645 (Ibid. II. 245 sq.: Niemeyer, pp. 669 sq.): but the theological faculty of Wittenberg dissuaded the Lutheran nobles of Poland from taking part in it, on the ground that the Confessions of the two great parties were incompatible.]
Bohemia And Moravia.
The close affinity between the principles [See above, and Middle Age, p. 410, n. 6.] of Huss and Luther would naturally promote an interchange of friendly offices among the schools which they had founded. Some of the Calixtines or Utraquists, who maintained a separate existence notwithstanding the occasional absorption of members of their confraternity into the Latin Church, [Middle Age, pp. 409 sq.] had opened a correspondence with the Wittenbergers as early as 1519; and although their doctrines did not seem entirely unexceptionable, Luther offered them the right hand of Christian fellowship.* He had still, however, no sympathy with “Picards”’ (the Moravians, or United Brethren), stamping them as little better than heretics on account of their theory touching the manner of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist** (1520). But two years later he saw cause to moderate his condemnation of them,*** and finally assisted in completing what he deemed the minor imperfections of their creed. In 1532 they published with the sanction of himself and other Wittenberg divines a formal statement of their tenets*4 in the shape of an Apology addressed to George, margrave of Brandenburg, which was followed in 1535 by the presentation of a regular Confession of faith to Ferdinand, king of Bohemia.*5 So decided were the leanings of this country in favour of the Reformation, that in 1546 an army of volunteers arrayed themselves upon the side of the elector of Saxony as he embarked in the Schmalkaldic war, [See above.] Accordingly, the overthrow of the Protestants entailed on them a series of most bitter persecutions. All who recognized the title “Brethren” were ejected from Bohemia by a royal edict (May 4, 1548), and to the number of a thousand proceeded through Poland and Silesia in quest of the asylum granted them by Albert, duke of Prussia. [Above.] In the meantime a majority of the Calixtines who were not included in this persecution grew dissatisfied with the imperfect freedom [The Compactata, as above.] which had been conceded to their forefathers. They determined to assume the standing ground of Protestants, in spite of vigorous efforts of the Jesuits,*6 who attempted by all possible means to isolate them, with the hope of thus facilitating their “conversion”. In conformity with precedents already shewn in Poland, [In the Consensus Sendomiriensis, above.] they now effected a religious union with the remnant of Bohemian Brethren, presenting the Confession*7 by which it had been ratified to Maximilian II in 1575, and subsequently in 1608 to Rudolph II. But although the pressure of political difficulties occasionally enabled them to wring concessions [e.g. A perfect religious equality was granted them in 1609, but the grant was soon rescinded.] from the imperial government, the influence of the counter-reformation party, and especially the machinations of the Jesuits, prevailed ere long in banishing every one of them who had the courage to avow his principles (1827). The author of this sentence was Ferdinand II,*8 who with equal rigour extirpated Protestantism, wherever he was able, from the rest of his dominions.
*[Ranke mentions notwithstanding, that the more rigorous section of them were hostile to Luther in 1526, when Ferdinand, on his election to the throne of Bohemia, gave full efficacy to the Compactata (see Middle Age, p. 409, n. 2). Still the number of the Lutheranized Calixtines was very considerable, and one effect of the Reformation was to draw them far more closely to the Brethren. Some of them eventually united themselves with the Swiss Confession. See the extracts in Gieseler, III. pt. i. pp. 444, 445.]
**[Middle Age, p. 410, n. 1, and Luther’s Schriften, XIX. 554 sq., where he speaks of these Brethren as heterodox on other points as well(“etliche mehr Ketzerstück haben”): cf. also XIX. 1593 sq.]
***[The following characteristic passage occurs in a letter to Spalatinus (July 4, 1522; De Wette, II. 217): “Picardi apnd me legatos habuerunt, de fide sua consulentes. Inveni ferme omnia sana, nisi quod obscura phrasi et barbara utuntur pro Scripturae phrasi. Deinde quae me movent, sunt, quod, parvulorum baptismum nullius fidei et fructus asserunt, et tamen eos baptizant [cf. Middle Age, p. 294, n. 3], et rebaptizant ad se venientes ex nostris; deinde septem sacraments ponunt. Nam coelibatus sacerdotalis inter eos placet, cum non necessarium faciant, sed liberum. Adeo nusquam est in orbe puritas Evangelii. An et fidei et operam sanam habeant sententiam, nondum liquet, valde enim dubito: de Eucharistia nihil falsum video, nisi fallant verbis, sic nec de baptismo.”]
*4[To this Luther himself wrote a preface (Walch, XIV. 306). On its literary history, see Niemeyer, Confess. Eccl. Reform. Praef. pp. XXXVI. sq., and Gieseler, III. pt. i. 440, n. 4.]
*5[Printed in Niemeyer, as above, pp. 771 sq. Subsequently (1542), a deputation of them visited Luther, and completed this religious alliance. They were headed by George Israel, a pastor of great eminence, who afterwards, while in Poland, contributed largely to the establishment of the Consensus Sendomiriensis: see above.]
*6[These had entered the country as early as 1552; see Balbinus, de Rebus Bohem. Lib. V. c. 12, and The Reformation and Anti-Reformation in Bohemia (anonymous), (Lond. 1845), I. 73 sq. The College called the “Clementinum” was organized for them by the learned Canisius. At first they captivated the people by professing that their main object was to teach the sciences gratis.]
*7[Printed in Niemeyer, as above. The subscription to the Epistola Dedicatoria is as follows: “Barones, Nobiles, Pragenses, et reliquae civitates omnium trium Statuum regni Bohemici sub utraque communicantium”; the three Estates being the Saxons, Swiss and Bohemian Brethren: cf. The Reformation, &c. in Bohemia, I. 105 sq.]
*8[See Schiller, Thirty Years’ War, pp. 60 sq. Lond. 1847; and in greater detail, The Reformation, &c. in Bohemia, I. 256 sq. His plans were formed in early life, while he was a pupil of the Jesuits at Ingotstadt.]
Hungary and Transylvania.
Owing partly to the links of intercommunication furnished by “Waldenses”:* or, in later times, Bohemian brethren, partly to the force of national sympathy among the numerous Saxon colonists who had been planted for some years in Hungary and Transylvania, both of these distant regions felt the impulse of the Lutheran movement at a very early stage.** In spite of bloody persecutions instigated by the members of the hierarchy, the reformers were enabled to gain complete ascendancy in several towns and districts.*** Many of the youths who flocked for education to the German universities had found their way to Wittenberg, and nearly all of them on their return attempted to diffuse the principles which they had learned from Luther and his colleagues. [To them is due the foundation of the flourishing High School at Oedenberg (Ibid. pp. 71, 95).] After the defeat and death of Louis II of Hungary in 1526 [See above.] the right of succession was vigorously disputed*4 by Ferdinand I and John Zápolya, voyvode of Transylvania, both of whom endeavoured to secure the cooperation of the bishops by denouncing the promoters of religious change.*5 But, favoured by the long continuance of the civil war and the comparative impunity which it afforded, Lutheran tenets never ceased to root themselves more deeply in all quarters and in minds of every class. In Hermannstadt and other towns of Transylvania where the monks had clamoured for the execution of the penal edicts, they were driven from their cloisters and threatened with death itself if they persisted in refusing to “live according to the Gospel.”*6 One of the more active propagandists in that region was John Honter, [Gieseler, III. pt. i. p. 463: Hist. of Prot. Church in Hungary, p. 59.] who on his return from Switzerland in 1533 established a printing office at Cronstadt, and by it as well as by his exhortations from the pulpit laboured to disseminate the new opinions. In the meantime Hungary was profiting by the discourses of Matthew Devay,*7 a favourite pupil of the Wittenberg reformers. He published in 1533 a Magyar translation of the Epistles of St Paul,*8 which was followed three years later by a version of the Gospels; and in other ways contributed effectually to the enlightenment and moral exaltation of his countrymen. It seems that in the early part of the unbroken reign of Ferdinand (1540–1564), this influential reformer (called the “Luther of Hungary”) abandoned his original views*9 respecting the nature of the Presence in the Eucharist, and joined the standard of the Swiss (circ. 1544). Chiefly in consequence of his defection, all the miserable altercations we have traced elsewhere had reappeared among his converts. The arguments of Lutheran polemics on the one hand, and the fulminations of the diet of Presburg on the other, strove in vain to check the innovations of the “Sacramentarians”. [They were as usual classed with Anabaptists: see Ribini, on the diet of Presburg, I. 70.] A rupture between the two Confessions grew inevitable; and after the middle of the sixteenth century, if we except the German residents, a great majority of the Hungarian reformers had evinced their bias for the Calvinistic dogmas. Their Confessio Czengerina*10 (drawn up at Csenger in 1557 or 1558) is strongly marked by such peculiarities, while in 1566 they openly united themselves with the Swiss school.*11
*[About 1315 we find as many as 80,000 Waldenses in Hungary: Hist. of the Protestant Church in Hungary, translated by Craig (Lond. 1854), p. 16. Their descendants in Upper Hungary, Transylvania, Moldavia, and Wallachia were called Hussites, and their numbers were in all probability augmented by the followers of Huss (Ibid. pp. 18 sq.), with whom they had a manifest affinity.]
**[Merchants of Hermannstadt imported some of Luther’s books, which they purchased at Leipzig fair, into Transylvania as early as 1521: and in the same year, George Szákmáry archbishop of Grán, ordered a condemnation of similar books to be read from the pulpits of the principal churches of Hungary (Ibid. p. 88). Severe edicts were also issued against Lutheranism in 1523 and 1525, by the influence of other prelates: see Ribini, Memorabilia Augustanae Confessions in Regno Hungariae, etc. I. 10 sq.]
***[Among other favourers was queen Mary, who had listened to the arguments of her chaplain, John Henkel: Hist. of Prot. Church in Hungary, p. 30. As usual, the preaching friars were efficient auxiliaries (Ibid. p. 86).]
*4[Ranke, Ref. II. 476 sq. Among the supporters of Ferdinand was Peter Perényi, the first reforming magnate in Hungary. Ibid. p. 479.]
*5[Hist. of Prot. Church in Hungary, pp. 42 sq. Ferdinand, in his edict given at Ofen, Aug. 20, 1527, complains that even Anabaptists and Sacramentarians (Zwinglians) were gaining ground.]
*6[Hist. of Prof. Church in Hungary, p. 49. The monks and nuns either left the place, or laid aside the dress of their order in eight days.]
*7[Ibid. pp. 50 sq. He was more than once imprisoned before his second visit to Wittenberg (1536) and his ultimate establishment in the district between the Raab and the Balaton lake (1537).]
*8[Ibid. p. 52. The whole of the New Testament appeared soon afterwards in Magyar (Ibid. pp. 58, 59), and in Croatian as early as 1562 (Ibid. p. 77).]
*9[He had cordially accepted the Augsburg Confession in 1536: Ibid. Another of the waverers was the count Francis von Reva, who corresponded with Luther on this matter, and received his reply dated Wittenberg, Aug. 4, 1539: Ibid. pp. 56, 57. In proof of different tendencies five of the leading cities of Upper Hungary on this side of the Theiss were ready to avow their old devotion to Lutheranism, by drawing up (in 1549) the Confessio Pentapolitana, which is a mere extract from that of Augsburg, as modified by Melanchthon. It is printed at length in Ribini, as above, I. p. 78 sq. The earlier synod of Erdöd, held in 1545, is claimed by both parties: Hist. of Prot. Church in Hungary, pp. 61, 62. In 1563 party spirit raged even more fiercely at the synod of Tarczal (Ibid. pp. 80, 81), and later in the century instigated the Wittenbergers to expel from their University no less than twenty-five Hungarian students who would not sign the Formula Concordiae (cf. above): Ibid. p. 107.]
*10[Printed in Niemeyer, pp. 539 sq. On the mistakes of Bossuet respecting it, see Niemeyer’s Pref. p. lxix. It is still the common Confession of the Reformed Hungarians.]
*11[The Helvetic Confession which they now embraced had been printed at Torgan in 1556, and was already laid before a Convention of ministers at Débrécsin, in 1558: Prot. Church in Hungary, pp. 69, 85.]
It was different in the province of Transylvania, where Saxons formed the chief ingredient of the population. After the death of John Zápolya (1540), his widow, mainly through the favour of the Turks, succeeded in establishing the claims of her son who was a minor; and on finding that the reformation party had become politically superior to their adversaries, granted like religious privileges to that class of them who recognized the Augsburg Confession* (1557). Similar concessions were at length extended to the Transylvanian followers of the Swiss. Nor was the toleration of the prince John Sigismund restricted to these three varieties of “orthodox” Christianity. He afterwards included among “authorized religions” that propounded by the anti-Trinitarians of Poland, [See above; and cf. Paget’s Hungary and Transylvania, II. 502, Lond. 1839.] who on failing to establish their principles in Hungary [Bibini, as before, I. 204 sq.] retired into Transylvania,** and infected nearly all the inhabitants of Clausenburg. Accordingly, as soon as the Jesuits were let loose on this divided province, under the patronage of Stephen Bathori [See above.] king of Poland (1579), they began to reap considerable harvests, and would probably have been still more successful, had they not been forcibly expelled [Hist. of Prot. Church in Hungary, p. 104.] by a decree of December 16, 1588. Their efforts at the same conjuncture were especially concentrated on the neighbouring states of Hungary,*** and with the old results.
*[The following extract from the royal edict is given by Gieseler from Benkö’s Transsilvania (Vindebon. 1778): “Ecclesias quoque Hungaricas in religione cum Saxonibus idom sentientes regina sub patrocinium recipit, et ministris illarum justos proventus integre reddi et adrainistrari mandaturam se promittit.”]
**[An Italian, Blandvater, was their chief, and a synod held at Wardein openly repudiated the doctrine of the Holy Trinity: Hist. of Prot. Church in Hungary, p. 86.]
***[Ibid. pp. 101 sq. According to the same authority (p. 73), when their extraordinary remedies began to be applied, “only three families of the magnates adhered still to the pope. The nobility were nearly all reformed, and the people were, thirty to one, attached to the new doctrine.” In like manner we find Paul Bornemisze (al. Bornemissa), bishop of Weissenburg in Transylvania, quitting the country in 1556, on account of the almost universal prevalence of anti-Romish doctrines: Ibid. p. 69.]
It was natural that a movement which convulsed the whole of Germany should be transmitted to the other territories of Charles V. In Spain, moreover, strong predispositions* in favour of the Reformation had existed for some time anterior to the breach between the pope and Luther, partly owing to the scandalous corruptions of the Spanish Church, [See Middle Age, p. 348.] and partly to disgust excited by the Inquisition,** which had there put forth its most malignant energies. Accordingly, we find the writings*** of the Saxon friar translated and distributed in the Peninsula as early as the date of his excommunication; papal briefs admonishing the state authorities to check the new opinions on the threshold, and the watchful eye of the inquisitor-general superintending their repression. [De Castro, pp. 16, 17.] For a while, however, all such measures proved entirely ineffectual. Headed by two brothers, Juan*4 and Alfonso*5 de Valdés, the reforming school increased from day to day in numbers and importance. It had representatives among the retinue of Charles V himself; and both in Seville and Valladolid the crowd of earnest Lutherans was so great that cells could hardly be at last procured for their incarceration. Seville owed its knowledge of the Lutheran doctrines to a native of Andalucia, Rodrigo de Valero, [De Castro, pp. 26 sq.; M’Crie, pp. 146 sq.] who suddenly abandoned a life of idle gaiety and dissipation, and devoted himself entirely to the study of the holy Scriptures and the interpretation of them to all persons who came within his reach.*6 He afterwards evinced the depth of his convictions by adhering to this course in spite of the Inquisitors; by whom he was eventually shut up in a monastery at San Lucar (1541). The most famous of his converts was doctor Juan Gil (Egidius), whose academical distinctions*7 induced the emperor to nominate him for .the valuable bishopric of Tortosa (1550). His affection for Valero had not, however, escaped the eye of the Inquisitors. He was, accordingly, accused of Lutheranism, and lodged in prison till he had expressed his willingness to make a public abjuration*8 of some points alleged against him (Aug. 21, 1552). But even this measure did not satisfy his persecutors, who restrained him from the exercise of all his ministerial duties, and condemned him to the dungeons of the “Holy Office”. When he finally regained his liberty (1555) he settled at Valladolid. Some of the inhabitants of that city were devoted to the Reformation,*9 and until his death in the following year, Egidius had the courage to avow himself a member of the Lutheran confraternity. Another of their leading pastors was Domingo de Rojas,*10 a Dominican of noble birth, who circulated the productions of the Wittenberg divines, and also added to them many kindred writings of his own. By his exertions Agustin Cazalla,*11 one of the court preachers, who had been converted to the Lutheran creed while travelling in Germany, took up his residence at Valladolid; and favoured by his talents and authority the new opinions were diffused not only there, but in the neighbouring towns and villages. [M’Crie, p. 231.] Cazalla was, however, wanting in the courage of the Christian martyr: at the scaffold, [De Castro, p. 96. He was allowed to be strangled and then burnt, instead of being burnt alive.] with the “sambenito” on his shoulders, he expressed a strong desire of reconciliation with the Church, and thus obtained a partial commutation of his sentence.
*[Even Balmez, Protestantism and Catholicity, c. xxxvii. Engl. Trans., admits the existence of this feeling as well as the rapid spread of Lutheranism. See the evidence collected by De Castro, Spanish Protestants, passim, Lond. 1851, and M’Crie, Hist. of the Reform. in Spain, Edinb. 1829.]
**[See Llorente, Historia crítica de la Inquisition. In its earlier form (cf. Middle Age, p. 290, n. 2), it had suppressed the Cathari of Spain, but was even more terrible when reestablished in Castile (1478), for the purpose of detecting Jews (Ibid. p. 319: Prescott’s Ferdinand and Isabella, ch. VII). On the outbreak of the Lutheran reformation (1521), the pope was under the necessity of revoking the mitigation of its severities, which he had before determined upon at the request of the Cortes: Ranke, Ref. I. 526.]
***[M’Crie, pp. 123, 124. These volumes, which included the Commentary on the Galatians, appear to have been supplied through Antwerp.]
*4[Juan de Valdés was a jurisconsult highly esteemed by the emperor. He became secretary to the Spanish viceroy at Naples, where he also made numerous disciples, and died in 1540 (Ibid. pp. 17, 18, Ticknor, Hist. of Spanish Literature, II. 19). For a list of his writings, see De Castro, pp. 23, 24. The first in the series is entitled Tratado utilisimo del Beneficio de Jesuoristo. M’Crie, (pp. 142 sq.) points out the mystical turn of his writings, which may be attributable to his acquaintance with the works of John Tauler, whom Luther also strongly admired: cf. above.]
*5[De Castro, pp. 25 sq. Alfonso was for some years secretary to the high chancellor of Charles V: but there is great confusion between the acts and writings of the two brothers: Ibid. p. 26, M’Crie, p. 141, note. In a contemporary account of the diet of Augsburg (1530) in Walch’s Luther, XVI. 912, mention is made of an Alphonsus “Kais. Maj. Hispanischer Conzlar,” who informed Melanchthon in a friendly spirit that his countrymen were taught to regard the Lutherans as no better than infidels. The charges formally adduced by the inquisitors may be seen in Llorente.]
*6[“Whether he had any other means of instruction [than the Vulgate], or what these were, must remain a secret; but it is certain that he was led to form a system of doctrine not different from that of the reformers of Germany, and to lay the foundations of a church in Seville, which was Lutheran in all the main articles of its belief”: M’Crie, p. 147.]
*7[De Castro, pp. 30 sq. He was educated at Alcalá, and promoted to the office of magistral canon (chief preacher) in the cathedral at Seville in 1537. Valero advised him to abandon the scholastic authors, and give himself exclusively to the study of the Bible. Respecting his more distinguished coadjutors, see M’Crie, pp. 154 sq., pp. 206 sq.]
*8[See De Castro, pp. 34 sq., who throws new light on this subject. The applications for the vacant see of Tortosa furnish M’Crie with ample materials for reflecting at large on the “duplicity, the selfishness and the servility of the clergy” (p. 163).]
*9[It seems to have been planted there by Francisco de San Roman, a native of Burgos, who had spent his early years in Flanders (De Castro, p. 40, M’Crie, pp. 170 sq.). He learned to reverence Luther while resident at Bremen, and finally died a martyr’s death (circ. 1545) at Valladolid.]
*10[De Castro, pp. 114 sq.; M’Crie, p. 225 sq. He was educated by Carranza, the future archbishop of Toledo, respecting whom see below.]
*11[De Castro, pp. 93 sq.; M’Crie, pp. 226 sq. His confessor in early life was the same Carranza. At first he was an active opponent of the Lutherans both in Germany and in Flanders.]
It was on discovering the extensive propagation of the Lutheran doctrines that the efforts of the “Holy Office” were now directed with redoubled zeal to the repression of all heresies and innovations. Charles V,* from his seclusion at Yuste, was continually advocating this repressive policy; and when his son Philip II arrived in 1559 to take the government, it grew obvious that the days of Spanish Protestantism were numbered.** Philip has been termed the Nero of Spain:*** His dark and saturnine fanaticism displayed itself in guiding the machinery of the Inquisition and extracting pleasure from the torment of his victims. Informations, arrests and autos-de-fé were multiplied, [See M’Crie, pp. 239–336. Prescott’s Philip II. Bk. II. ch. iii. Ticknor, Hist. Span. Lit. I. 427 sq.] the sufferers being almost universally addicted to the principles of Luther, *4 and embracing men and women of all ranks. In 1570 the work of extermination was completed. Before that date, however, many of the Spanish Protestants had found a quiet resting place in other countries, in Germany, in Switzerland, in France, in the Netherlands, and more especially in England.*5 Francisco de Enzinas (otherwise called Dryander*6) was an example of this class. He had pursued his studies, in the university of Louvain,*7 where, excited by the biblical writings of Erasmus, he prepared a Castilian version of the New Testament, which was published at Antwerp in 1543. For some time he had cultivated the friendship of Melanchthon, and on being charged with heresy at Brussels escaped to Wittenberg. In 1548 he found his way to England, where the interest of archbishop Cranmer,*8 to whom he was strongly recommended, soon installed him in the professorship of Greek at Cambridge.
*[De Castro, pp. 84, 85: cf. Stirling’s Cloister Life of Charles V, from which it appears that he never manifested the slightest inclination to relent.]
**[The Inquisitors had reserved a large number of Protestants, in order that their execution might signalize his return. He was accordingly present with his court at an auto held in Valladolid, Oct. 8, 1559, where many illustrious prisoners suffered at the stake (De Castro, pp, 110 sq.).]
***[Ibid. p. 120, where the parallel is drawn at length: cf. Schiller’s portrait, Revolt of the Netherlands, I. 391, 392, Lond. 1847. De Castro (ch. XXII.) attempts to make out that the alleged unnatural hatred of Philip to his son, Don Carlos, originated in the prince’s tenderness for Lutheranism.]
*4[On the charge of Lutheranism brought against Carranza, archbishop of Toledo, see De Castro, ch. IX–XII. This prelate had already distinguished himself in England by preaching down the Reformation, and also at the council of Trent: but the occurrence of Lutheran phraseology in his Commentaries on the Christian Catechism, printed at Antwerp in 1558, excited the suspicions of the Inquisition, and the hatred of his enemies, one of whom was the learned Melchior Cano. On the other hand, the Catechism obtained the approbation of certain deputies appointed to examine it by the Council of Trent: but their report was not ratified by the whole of that assembly. To escape from the violence of the Inquisition, Carranza next appealed to Pius IV, who, in spite of the murmurs of Philip, took the case into his own hands. Difficulties were, however, constantly thrown in the way of a decision till the accession of Gregory XIII, who ruled that the Spanish primate had drawn “bad doctrine from many condemned heretics, such as Luther, OEcolampadius, Melanohthon,” etc., and called upon him to abjure the errors contained in sixteen propositions (Ibid. pp. 181, 182). Carranza read the abjuration provided for him, and died soon afterwards at Rome (May 2, 1576). See the Vida de Bart. Carranza, written by Salazar de Mendoza, a work which was kept back by the Inquisition, and published at last in 1788. He evidently believed that the prosecution of Carranza was suggested by the policy of Philip II, or the rival hatred of Valdez. The propositions which he was made to abjure cannot be found in his suspected Catechismo.]
*5[See M’Crie, p. 347. They formed a congregation in London during the reign of Elizabeth (p. 367); their pastor, after 1568, being Antonio del Corro (Corranus), whose orthodoxy was suspected (p. 372): cf. Parker’s Correspondence, ed. P. S. p. 340, n. 1, and p. 476.]
*6[Enzina = “evergreen oak”. De Enzinas was accordingly styled Du Chesne by French writers, and Dryander by himself and others. On his translation of the New Testament and other attempts of the sort in Spain, see Ticknor, Hist. Span. Lit. I. 425. A large collection of the works of the Spanish reformers was printed between 1850 and 1865 under the title “Reformistas Antiguos EspaĖoles,” Madrid, ed. B. B. Wiffen.]
*7[De Castro, pp. 37 sq., M’Crie, pp. 188 sq. He had two distinguished brothers, Juan and Jayme, both of whom were like himself devoted to Lutheranism. The former was put to death by the Roman Inquisition.]
*8[M’Crie, p. 197. John Laski, or ą Lasco, to whom he was previously known (p. 189), informs us that on July 19, 1548, Dryander was already in London, where he was preparing to take part in a religious comference: Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, p. 72, n. 2: 2nd ed. On June 5, 1549, we find him sending a Latin compendium of the Prayer Book to Bullinger (Original Letters, ed. P. S. p. 350, Camb. 1846), and complaining of some parts of that formulary.]
The inability of the Reformation to strike its roots in Southern Europe was still further illustrated by its rise and fall in every part of Italy. When Luther called in question the established theories of human merit, the literature of that country had been for some years contracting a most skeptical and anti-christian tone: [Middle Age, p. 352, n. 1; p. 355: Waddington, Reform. I. 57 sq.] but at the close of the reign of Leo X the symptoms of improvement were becoming visible. A club, or confraternity, of devout scholars, [Ranke, Hist. of Popes, I. 135 sq. Lond. 1841.] to the number of fifty persons, and including Gaspar Contarini, Sadoleti, Giberto and Caraffa, all of whom were afterwards advanced to the rank of cardinal, was organized at Rome itself, under the designation “Oratory of Divine Love”. There is indeed no evidence of a direct connection between this body and the Lutheran movement;* but the fundamental doctrine of the Wittenberg reformer, that of justification by faith in Christ, was also the inspiring principle of Contarini and his friends. In the political troubles that befel the rest of Italy soon afterwards, one section of them had retired to Venice, where the spirit of devotion which hitherto animated them was strengthened by continued intercourse. Of fresh accessions to their body, none were more distinguished by their zeal and piety than Reginald Pole the English refugee,** and Brucioli, the author of a new Italian version of the Holy Scriptures.*** They had also an ally in cardinal Morone, [M’Crie, Ref. in Italy, pp. 54 sq. The New Testament appeared in 1530, and the remaining books in 1532.] archbishop of Modena: while similar principles were zealously diffused at Naples by the Spanish secretary Juan de Valdés [Cf. above.] who died in 1540. It was out of this evangelic movement that a very influential treatise on the Benefit of Christ’s Death had issued in 1543. By whomsoever written*4 it secured the powerful patronage of Morone, [Ranke, Ibid. The same charge is brought against Morone in the proceedings mentioned above.] and must henceforth have contributed to the dissemination of a healthier spirit, not indeed identical with Luther’s, but presenting very strong analogies to it. When the Inquisitor at length arose to counteract the spread of “Lutheranism” in Italy, as many as forty thousand copies of this work, either in the original or in translations, fell into his hands.
*[Luther’s works, however, as well as those of Melanchthon, Bucer and Zwingli, were circulated in Italy at an early period, and read with great avidity: M’Crie’s Hist. of Reform. in Italy, pp. 34 sq. Edinb. 1827. For Contarini’s approximation to the Lutherans at Ratisbon, see above. His own works have on this account suffered frequent mutilations: e.g. his treatise De Justificatione (cf. Ranke, Ibid. p. 206, note), and his treatise De Potestate Pontificis (cf. Twysden, Vind. of Church of England, p. 144, n. 5, Camb. 1847).]
**[He had visited Padua (“the Athens of Europe”) as early as 1519, and had thus become acquainted with many of the Italian literati: see Phillips’s Life of Pole. With regard to Contarini’s teaching on the doctrine of justification, Pole declared that his friend had “brought to light the jewel which the Church kept half concealed” (Ranke, Popes, I. 138); and Flaminio, another of their circle, stated the same doctrine exactly in the style of Luther (Ibid. p. 139).]
***[See an account of him in Schelhorn’s Amoenitates Literariae, XII. 537 sq. In 1557 he was imprisoned by order of Paul IV, and certain Articles brought against him proving his tendency towards Lutheranism. According to the third of the series (Ibid. p. 568), “dixit Concilium Tridentinum quoad articulum justificationis esse retractandum,” and according to the eighth, “tenuit, opera nostra, quantumcunque in gratia Dei facta, non esse meritoria.”]
*4[The Italian original of this very scarce work was reprinted in 1855 with a learned Introduction by Mr Churchill Babington. The author was probably Aonio Paleario (della Paglia), a friend of Pole, Flaminio, and others of that school. He was at last apprehended by the Inquisitors, and committed to the flames at Rome (1570). The Spanish form of the treatise Del Beneficio di Giesu Christo Crocifisso, referred to above, was in all probability one of the numerous translations of it, and may have been due to “un monaco di San Severino in Napoli, discepolo del Valdes,” which explains the language of the Inquisitors cited by Ranke, Popes, I. 141, note.]
But meanwhile other forms of thought, [Cf. M’Crie’s classification, pp. 165, 166.] directly borrowed from the writings of the Wittenberg and Swiss divines, had gained extensive currency in districts lying far beyond the Alps. We find reformers taking shelter in the duchy of Ferrara, [Calvin himself was one of these (circ. 1535), and exercised great influence over the mind of the duchess: M’Crie, Ref in Italy, p. 70.] and even welcomed at the court. At Modena, Locarno, Milan, Lucca, Mantua, Siena, and still more at Naples, [See the evidence collected by Gieseler, III. i. p. 498, n. 16 (ed. Bonn).] Luther had his correspondents and auxiliaries. [M’Crie, pp. 75 sq.] Bologna in like manner, notwithstanding its position in the Papal States, excited the congratulations of Martin Bucer [Ibid. p. 83.] on the zeal and numbers of the converts: while in all the leading towns of the republic of Venice,* owing partly to the anti-Romish spirit that prevailed, and partly to the thriving commerce that expanded her intelligence and laid her open to suggestions from the neighbouring countries, “Lutheranism” had won a series of brilliant victories (1530–1542). Two of its most active propagators in Italy at large were Bernardino Ochino [See M‘Crie, pp. 108 sq.] a capuchin, of small acquirements, but unwearying in devotion to the cause he had embraced; and Pietro Martire Vermigli,** a canon regular of the order of St Augustine and a very able scholar. The sermons of Ochino, who remained in outward communion with the Church, were interrupted (1542) by a message questioning his orthodoxy, and citing him before the Roman tribunals; on which he fled across the mountains to Geneva. Peter Martyr was ere long compelled to follow his example, seeking an asylum at Zurich and Strasburg; and after various fortunes both the exiles*** went to England (1547), and became the guests of archbishop Cranmer. All the lamentable feuds which had divided the camp of the Reformers in other districts reproduced themselves in Italy, [Ibid. pp. 138 sq. The Italians, as a body, were most favourable to the Swiss.] where anti-Trinitarianism, as we encountered it in Poland, threatened to be also rife. [M’Crie, pp. 149 sq., pp. 385 sq. On the Socini (Laelius and Faustus), with whom Ochino was allied at Zürich, see below, Chap. V.] But few disciples of either the orthodox or heterodox were able to survive the barbarous activity of the Inquisition.*4
*[Ibid. pp. 89 sq. As early as 1528 Luther wrote (De Wette, III. 289): “Laetus audio de Venetis quae scribis, quod verbum Dei receperint.” See also Original Letters, ed. P. S. pp. 357, 358. From the Venetian territory sprung Matthias Flacio (Flacius Illyricus, also called Francowitz), the chief compiler of the Catalogus Testium Veritatis (cf. Middle Age, p. 372, n. 3), and the Centuriae Magdeburgenses (see Dowling, Study of Eccl. Hist. pp. 105 sq.). He became a pupil of Melanchthon, but was afterwards violently opposed to him: cf. above. Another of the Venetian reformers was Pierpaolo Vergerio, bishop of Capo d’Istria, who, after serving as papal legate in Germany (above), seceded to the Protestants in 1548, diffused their principles in the Grisons, and died at Tübingen in 1565 (M’Crie, pp. 378, 379). His brother Giovanni Battista Vergerio, bishop of Pola, also joined the Reformation (Ibid. p. 137).]
**[Ibid. pp. 117 sq. He was called Vermigli, to distinguish him from a second Peter Martyr, a Milanese of Anghiera (hence Anglerius), who spent the greater part of his life at the court of Madrid. On the reformer see Schmidt’s Vie de Pierre Martyr Vermigli, Strasburg, 1835.]
***[See Strype’s Cranmer, II. 153, n.; ed. Eccl. Hist. Soc. Their travelling expenses, of which a curious bill is preserved (Archeologia, XXI. 471), were paid by the privy council. Ochino, who had obtained a prebend at Canterbury (May 9, 1548), writes from London (July 17, 1548) to Musculus of Augsburg, denouncing the “abominable Interim”: Original Letters, ed. P. S. p. 335. Peter Martyr was made professor of divinity at Oxford in 1549: but both of them retreated on the accession of queen Mary, establishing themselves eventually at Zürich (M’Crie, p. 383). There, however, Ochino was charged with advocating anti-Trinitarianism and polygamy (Ibid. pp. 391 sq.), and after ineffectual attempts to find a shelter in other countries, died in Moravia (1564). Another of his fellow countrymen, Jerome Zanchi, who was on the point of joining him and Peter Martyr on their visit to England (Ibid. p. 403), distinguished himself by his opposition to these errors, and by the general sobriety of his theological views (Ibid. pp. 390, 405).]
*4[See M’Crie’s fifth chapter, on “the Suppression of the Reformation in Italy.” The leader of the counter-movement, which began in 1542, was Cardinal Caraffa, afterwards Paul IV, whose nephew, Caraccioli son of the marquis of Vico, was one of the most eminent of the Italian reformers.]