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BO O K diet with observing, that there were two points, which chief, VII.
ly required consideration, the prosecution of the war against 1545.
the Turks, and the state of religion; that the former was the most urgent, as Solyman, after conquering the greatest part of Hungary, was now ready to fall upon the Austrian provinces; that the Emperor, who, from the beginning of his reign, had neglected no opportunity of annoying this formi. dable enemy, and with the hazard of his own person had resisted his attacks, being animated still with the same zeal, had now consented to stop short in the career of his success against France, that, in conjunction with his ancient rival, he might turn his arms with greater vigour against the common adversary of the Christian faith ; that it became all the members of the Empire to second those pious endeavours of its head ; that, therefore, they ought, without delay, to vote him such effectual aid, as not only their duty but their interest called upon them to furnish ; that the controversies about religion were so intricate, and of such difficult discus
sion, as to give no hope of its being possible to bring them at Ferdinand present to any final issue ; that by perseverance and repeatrequires ed solicitations the Emperor had at length prevailed on the
Pope to call a council, for which they had so often wished knowledge
and petitioned ; that the time appointed for its meeting was the council.
now come, and both parties ought to wait for its decrees, and submit to them as the decisions of the universal church.
the Germans to ac
The popish members of the diet received this declaration with great applause, and signified their entire acquiescence in every particular which it contained. The Protestants expressed great surprise at propositions, which were so manifestly repugnant to the recess of the former diet; they insisted that the questions with regard to religion, as first in dignity and importance, ought to come first under deliberation ; that, alarming as the progress of the Turks was to all Germany, the securing the free exercise of their religion touched them still more nearly, nor could they prosecute a foreign war with spirit, while solicitous and uncertain about their domestic tranquillity ; that if the latter were once rendered firm and permanent, they would concur with their countrymen in pushing the former, and yield to none of them
in activity or zeal. But if the danger from the Turkish BOOK arms was indeed so imminent, as not to admit of such a de
VII. lay as would be occasioned by an immediate examination of
1545. the controverted points in religion, they required that a diet should be instantly appointed, to which the final settlement of their religious disputes should be referred; and that in the mean time the decree of the former diet concerning religion should be explained in a point which they deemed essential. By the recess of Spires it was provided, that they should enjoy unmolested the public exercise of their religion, until the meeting of a legal council; but as the Pope had now called a council, to which Ferdinand had required them to submit, they began to suspect that their adversaries might take advantage of an ambiguity in the terms of the recess, and pretending that the event therein mentioned had now taken place, might pronounce them to be no longer entitled to the same indulgence. In order to guard against this interpretation, they renewed their former remonstrances against a council called to meet without the bounds of the Empire, summoned by the Pope's authority, and in which he assumed the right of presiding; and declared that, notwithstanding the convocation of any such illegal assembly, they still held the recess of the late diet to be in full force.
Ar other junctures, when the Emperor thought it of ad- Emperor vantage to sooth and gain the Protestants, he had devised arrives at
Worms. expedients for giving them satisfaction with regard to de. mands seemingly more extravagant; but his views at pre, sent being very different, Ferdinand, by his command, ad. hered inflexibly to his first propositions, and would make no concessions which had the most remote tendency to throw discredit on the council, or to weaken its authority. The Protestants, on their part, were no less inflexible ; and after much time spent in fruitless endeavours to convince each other, they came to no agreement. Nor did the presence
of the Emperor, who upon his recovery arrived at Worms, con- May 15. tribute in any degree to render the Protestants more compliant. Fully convinced that they were maintaining the cause of God and of truth, they showed themselves superior to the allurements of interest, or the suggestions of fear ;
BOO K and in proportion as the Emperor redoubled his solicitations VII.
or discovered his designs, their boldness seems to have in1545.
creased. At last they openly declared, that they would not The Pro- even deign to vindicate their tenets in presence of a council, testants disclaim all assembled not to examine, but to condemn them; and that connexion they would pay no regard to an assembly held under the incouncil of fluence of a Pope, who had already precluded himself from
all title to act as a judge, by his having stigmatized their opinions with the name of heresy, and denounced against them the heaviest censures which, in the plenitude of his usurped power, he could inflict".
Conduct of While the Protestants, with such union as well as firm-
ish war, Maurice of Saxony alone showed an inclination to
tentions. That he might augment their security, he apAugust 4. pointed a diet to be held at Ratisbon early next year, in or
der to adjust what was now left undetermined; and previ. ous to it, he agreed that a certain number of divines of each party should meet, in order to confer upon the points in dis
r Sleid. 343, &c. Seck. iii. 543, &c s Seck. iii. 571.
Thuan. Histor. lib. ii. p. 56.
t Sleid. 351.
But, how far soever this appearance of a desire to main- BOOK tain the present tranquillity might have imposed upon the Protestants, the Emperor was incapable of such uniform and
1545. thorough dissimulation, as to hide altogether from their The Proview the dangerous designs which he was meditating against begin to them. Herman Count de Wied, Archbishop and Elector suspect the of Cologne, a prelate conspicuous for his virtue and primi- emperor. tive simplicity of manners, though not more distinguished for learning than the other descendants of noble families, who in that age possessed most of the great benefices in Germany, having become a proselyte to the doctrines of the Reformers, had begun in the year one thousand five hundred and forty-three, with the assistance of Melancthon and Bucer, to abolish the ancient superstition in his diocese, and to introduce in its place the rites established among the Protestants. But the canons of his cathedral, who were not possessed with the same spirit of innovation, and who foresaw how fatal the levelling genius of the new sect would prove to their dignity and wealth, opposed from the beginning, this unprecedented enterprise of their Archbishop, with all the zeal flowing from reverence for old institutions, heightened by concern for their own interest. This opposition, which the Archbishop considered only as a new argument to demonstrate the necessity of a reformation, neither shook his resolution, nor slackened his ardour in prosecuting his plan. The canons, perceiving all their endeavours to check his career to be ineffectual, solemnly protested against his proceedings, and appealed for redress to the Pope and Emperor, the former as his ecclesiastical, the latter as his civil superior. This appeal being laid before the Emperor, during his residence in Worms, he took the canons of Cologne under his immediate protection; enjoined them to proceed with rigour against all who revolted from the established church ; prohibited the Archbishop to make any in- : novation in his diocese; and summoned him to appear at: Brussels within thirty days, to answer the accusations which should be preferred against him".
u Sleid. 310. 340. 351. Seck, üi. 443. 553.
BOOK To this clear evidence of his hostile intentions against the VII.
Protestant party, Charles added other proofs still more explicit. In his hereditary dominions of the Low-Countries, he persecuted all who were suspected of Lutheranism with unrelenting rigour. As soon as he arrived at Worms, he silenced the Protestant preachers in that city. He allowed an Italian monk to inveigh against the Lutherans from the pulpit of his chapel, and to call upon him, as he regarded the favour of God, to exterminate that pestilent heresy. He dispatched the embassy, which has been already mentioned, to Constantinople, with overtures of peace, that he might be free from any apprehensions of danger, or interruption from that quarter. Nor did any of these steps, or their dangerous tendency, escape the jealous observation of the Protestants, or fail to alarm their fears, and to excite their solicitude for the safety of their sect.
Death of MEANWHILE, Charles's good fortune, which predomithe Duke of Orleans.
nated on all occasions over that of his rival Francis, extricated him out of a difficulty, from which, with all his saga
city and address, he would have found it no easy matter to Sept. 8. have disentangled himself. Just about the time when the
Duke of Orleans should have received Ferdinand's daughter in marriage, and together with her the possession of the Milanese, he died of a malignant fever. By this event, the Emperor was freed from the necessity of giving up a valu. able province into the hands of an enemy, or from the indecency of violating a recent and solemn engagement, which must have occasioned an immediate rupture with France. He affected, however, to express great sorrow for the untimely death of a young Prince, who was to have been so nearly allied to him; but he carefully avoided entering into any fresh discussions concerning the Milanese ; and would not listen to a proposal which came from Francis, of newmodelling the treaty of Crespy, so as to make him some reparation for the advantages which he had lost by the demise of his son. In the more active and vigorous part of Francis's reign, a declaration of war would have been the certain and instantaneous consequence of such a flat refusat to comply with a demand seemingly so equitable; but the