did not regard them as heretics, der the name of Clement VII, but as Christian brethren. About whọ adopted a very different the same time, he wrote to the method from his predecessor, in Calixtins, who, though they re- terminating the religious distained all the rites of the Romish putes of Germany, determining church, except the restriction of to support all the abuses of the the communion to one kind, church, and to resist every were, for this heresy, denied proposal for the meeting of a ordination to their priests by general council.

He deputed the bishops of the country. - He Cardinal Campegius as his leendeavoured to open their eyes gate to the diet of Nuremberg, to the abuses which prevailed, which met in February, 1524, and contended, that the circum- with orders to procure the restances of their situation warrant- establishment of the edict of ed them to dispense with popish Worms, to delay answering the ordination, and to give to their hundred grievances formerly own teachers the authority of produced, and to elude the reordained pastors.*

quest of a free council. His enHitherto none but monks had deavours were ineffectual ; he requitted their cloisters, and re- tired mortified with his reception, nounced their vows; but during and enraged at the decree which this year, nine ladies of quali- was passed ; and which, though ty left the convent of Nimpt, marked with an inconsistence schen in Misnia, convinced by which can be explained only by the writings of Luther, of the the distraction of opinion which nullity of their religious obliga- pervaded its framers, defeated tions, and of the truth of the the wishes and plans of the hiedoctrines which he espoused. rarchal court. It ordained, that Among them was Catharine de the edict of Worms should be Bore, whom this reformer after- obeyed, as far as possible ; that wards espoused. They were the Pope should, without delay, conducted to Wittemberg, where convoke an assembly to dicide on an asylum was provided for them the subjects of dispute; that in the by Learnard Coppe, one of the interim, the diet to meet at Spires magistrates of Torgau, who, in should give them an attentive esconcert with Luther, devised amination ; while every prince means for their subsistence, af- should select men of knowledge ter their parents were in vain and integrity, who might prepare entreated to receive them. Lu- means of accommodation.. Luther also wrote their apology; ther was not more satisfied than and paved the way for their the Pope was with this decree. example being followed by oth- He published it along with the er nuns in similar circumstan- obnoxious edict to which it gave ces.

some authority; and in marginal Adrian died in September, notes, a preface, and a concludand was succeeded in the Ponti- ing address, treated all who ficate by Julius de Medicis, un-. should sanction its execution as

ferocious savages, and a new * Seck. $ 154. Beausob. tom. ii.p. 55-60. † Seck. 5 153. & ad. 1. * Seckend. Sect. 58, $ 162, 163.


race of giants raising their arms Erasmus, the friend of learning against Heaven ; lamented the and of learned men, who had blindness of Germany in obscur- long been urged to take a decided ing the truth, and opposing its part against the reformation, own salvation ; deplored the con- alarmed by the threats of his eneduct of the Princes in riveting mies, who were ready to deabout their own necks the chain nounce him as a heretic, and of bondage, which they had al- allured by the lattering expresmost thrown off ; and reproach- sions of favour wbich Rome held ed the Emperor, and the Kings out to him, notwithstanding the of England and Hungary, with remonstrances of his best friends, claiming the title of Defenders published a treatise on Free-will, of the Faith, while they exerted designed to be a refutation of themselves to subvert it.* Luther's sentiments on that sub

Carlostadt, who had lived in ject. It was received with great obscurity since his connexion coolness by the popish party, with the fanatics of Zwickaw, who scarcely knew whether to retired this year to Orlamund, consider it as favourable or hoswhere he established his opin- tile to their cause; and with jons, and procured the abolition great indignation by the friends of images, mass, and other Ro- of Luther, who resented the mish superstitions. Luther, asperity and contumely with with a violence unworthy of his which it treated him. It was an character, followed him thither, effort of complaisance, and it had and the result of the conference its reward. It was not answerwas an order for him lo leave the ed till 1525.4 * states of the Elector. He with.. In October, 1524, Luther redrew to Strasburg, and extended nounced the habit and name of an the interests of the truth in that Augustine monk, and assumed corner. He maintained that the habit and name of Doctor ; Christ is present in the Supper, and in June, 1525, married Cathin a figurative or representative arine de Bore, a lady of noble manner only. Luther, on the birth, who had renounced the contrary, asserted the real veil, and left her convent from a substantial presence under the conviction of the truth. This elements. Zuinglius and Oe- step astonished his friends, and colampadius defended Carlostadt, opened the mouths of his enewhich Luther no sooner knew, mies. They represented inthan he wrote against them in continence as the secret motive the bitterest and most abusive of his enmity to monachism, and style. This was the origin of the church which supported it; those fatal disputes, which so long and accused him of having lived divided the first reformers ; re- in impurity with her before their tarded the progress of the refor- marriage. Though his innomation, and at length produced cence was unquestionable, the a lasting schism in the Protes- coldness which his best friends tant church.t

discovered in vindicating him, In the month of September, united to the handle which it

• Sock. $ 165.

† Ib. 174.

Seck. $ 179,

gave to his enemies, made such mercy in a small treatise Against an impression on his mind as re- the Celestial Prophete ; which, quired all the affection and elo- under the appearance of conquence of Melancthon to re- demning the new fanatics, seems move.*

to have had little other object Amid the fatal commotions in than to reproach Carlostadt, and 1525 and 1526, occasioned by refute the iconoclasts. In it, he the revolt of the peasants in argued for the continuation of the Germany, who rose against their term mass, for which Carlostadt masters, and with a frenzy im- had substituted the word supper ; pregnated in some minds by fa- for the elevation of the host, naticism, and in others by li- though he acknowledged it was centiousness, endeavoured to not practised by Christ; and for subvert the distinctions of rank the real presence, which he exand property, and equalize the plained by affirming that the bowhole mass of the people, Lu• dy of our Saviour is united to the ther was firm in the cause of or- elements, as fire with red hot der, and exerted himself to re- iron. Carlostadt was anxious for establish tranquillity on the reconciliation, offered to retract, principles of truth. The pre- declared his abhorrence of Muntext of Christian liberty, by cer's sentiments, and at length which some of the revolutionists effected an accommodation with justified their conduct, he suc- his adversaries. But the concessfully refuted'; and on the troversy with Zuinglius imone hand besought the people to mediately succeeded, and continconsider, that they were not im- ued for a long series of years ; partial judges in their own cause; during which Luther often had that they could not authorize conferences with the Sacramentafrom the gospel a spirit directly rians of Switzerland, and maniopposite to its precepts, which fested a spirit of intemperance enjoin obedience to magistrates, which led him more than once to even though capricious and un- forget the precepts of Chrisjust; that patience, not resist- tianity, and to oppose the prosance, was the duty of Christians, pects of tranquillity which were and that they ought to seek re-enjoyed. In the life of Zuinglidress by lawful means only : and us, we shall have occasion to on the other, censured the consider more fully the reasonprinces as the cause of these ings and conduct of his antagonist disturbances, and exhorted them on this point. to remove that iron rod of op- During 1526, Luther was enpression, which they had so long gaged chiefly in reforming the lifted up against the rights and mode of conducting the worship happiness of their subjects. and ceremonies of the church.

The unfortunate Carlostadt He established the use of catewas still in Germany, despised chisms, in which the creed, the by some, and hated by others. decalogue, and the Lord's prayLuther had treated him without er were explained ; the reading

and exposition of Scripture from • Seck. lib. 1. 9178. lib. ii. 95. † Ib. lib. i. p. 1-14.

Seckend. 59, and ad.

[ocr errors]

the pulpit ; and to obviate the In consequence of the edict of
want of pastors capable of in- Spires in June, 1526, by which
structing the people, composed the states of the empire were
a liturgy and homilies, which permitted to regulate the affairs
were adopted with success. He of religion, in each province,
advised the Elector John, who according as the princes judged
succeeded his brother Frederic most expedient, till a general
the preceding year, and who, council should be held, the Ro-
from the commencement of his manists, enraged at their ineffec-
reign, openly espoused the cause tual efforts to procure the con-
of the reformation, to write to demnation of Lutheranism, en-
the bishops, requiring them to tered into an alliance to attack
provide for the religious instruc- the Landgrave of Hesse, and the
tion of the people under their Elector of Saxony. These two
charge, informing them, that if princes received information in
they were negligent, he was de- 1528 of a treaty to this purpose,
termined to take steps to enforce said to have been made at Bres-
their diligence.* Towards the law, in May, 1527, and immedi-
close of the year, he was at ately united for the defence of
times seized with a depression their territories and religion, and
of spirits, which he imagined took steps to prevent or to resist
was a temptation of the devil, the designs of their enemies.
while it was only the effect of By the remonstrances of Luther
his incessant labours, intense and Melancthon, however, the
meditations, and anxious cares, Elector was convinced of the
which disordered his body, and precipitancy of his conduct; and
injured his health ; for by the the confederated Catholics unan-
use of medicines, he was re- imously disavowing the treaty
stored to his former tranquillity; which they were said to have
though his illness continued formed, the fear of war was re-
during the whole of 1527. He moved. This year Luther pub-
did not, however, discontinue lished a number of sermons on
his pulpit instructions ; though Genesis, remarkable for sim-
he was incapable of exerting his plicity of language, temperance
mind in any long or connected towards those who differed from
train of thinking. He accord- him, and fidelity in their applica-
ingly wrote scarcely any thing tion to the consciences of men ;
this year, but a short treatise on a commentary on Zechariah, in
the Lawfulness of Christians which he censured the allego-
making War ; in which he re- ries of mystics, and the dreams
stricts its lawfulness to the case of the German fanatics ; a trea-
of defensive operations, and tise on Communion in one kind,
denies the right of subjects to against the archbishop of Misnia;
fight against their rulers, how- and a letter against the Anabap-
ever tyrannical, if they do not tists, in which, to avoid one of
impose restraints on their con- their arguments against infant
science. I

baptism, he supposes infants to

be capable of exercising faith ;
• Seckend. 5 20, & ad.
$ Ib. 5 29 & 30, p. 80, 81.

$ Seck. $ 35, et. ad.


a novel opinion, and of which was every day becoming more nothing but the design with and more enslaved by the counwhich it was broached can be de- cils of the Pope, and thought of fended.*

meeting him in arms; but A diet was assembled at Spires through Luther's persuasion, in March, 1529, by order of the they laid aside their intention, Emperor, at which every art was and assembled in peace at the used by the Romish party to di- appointed time. Yet anxious as vide the friends of the reforma- this reformer was to have tion, by reviving the disputes another opportunity to speak the about the sacrament. Though truth before the Emperor and this was prevented, Luther, his court, he was too obnoxious whose mind was inflamed with to be openly protected by the prejudice against the Zuinglians, Protestants, and was accordingly so far forgot his usual principles, left in the castle of Cobourg, at as to advise the Elector to leave a little distance from Augsburg, them to the cruelty of their per, that his advice might be obtain. secutors, a condition on which ed, if necessary. In this retreat, the Lutherans were promised a he gave himself to meditation more favourable treatment. The and prayer, translated the proph. advice was rejected ; and on the ets, wrote his commentary on prevalence of the Romanists in the Psalms ; and published, be. the diet, who confirmed the for- fore the opening of the diet, An mer decree of Spires, the Lu- Address to the Clergy assembled theran princes and the represen- at Augsburg, justifying his doctatives of fourteen cities joined trine, and exhorting them to acin a formal protest, which they knowledge that truth, to sup afterwards strengthened by a press which, all their art or pow. solemn appeal to the Emperor, er would be altogether ineffec. or a future council, either univer- tual. I He re-animated the sal or national, in behalf of them- drooping spirits, and laboured to selves, their subjects, and their strengthen the faith of Melanc. successors, and all who should thon, whose fortitude was shaka embrace the same doctrines, en by the number and power of From this circumstance the Ger- his enemies, and his efforts were man Lutherans received the not unsuccessful. The follow, name of PROTESTANTS, a name ing extracts from his letters will by which all who embraced the shew the greatness of his mind, reformation from popery have and the extent of his views : "I long been distinguished.

am much weaker than you in When the Elector of Saxony, private conflicts : but in public

, and the other Protestant princes, you are like me in private. You were summoned to attend anoth- are not afraid of your own life, er diet at Augsburg in June, but you are afraid of the public 1530, they understood that they cause. I, on the contrary, look had nothing but injustice to ex. on this cause with tranquillity pect from the Emperor, who and fortitude, because I am con

* Seck. 55 38, 39, 40. $ Ib. 44.

ļh. 5 44. Beausubre, tom. iv. p.

250, et seq.

« VorigeDoorgaan »