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times Charles himself (as great a catholic bigot as he was to the last) was not wanting to put a helping hand to expose the Pope's duplicities and wickedness. As an instance of this;-upon the Pope's publishing an angry brief against Charles, as a reason why the former had united with the king of France against him; Charles published a long reply; in which he enumerates many instances of the Pope's ingratitude, deceit, and ambition. He at the same time wrote to the college of car: dinals, complaining of the Pope's partiality and injustice; and requiring of them, that if the Pope still refus. ed to call a council to attend to the affairs of the reform. ation, (which he had hitherto refused to do; choosing rather to attempt to crush it by dint of power) they should show their concern for the peace of the Chris. tian church, "so shamefully neglected by its chief Pas. tor,” by summoning a council in their own names. This manifesto (but little inferior to Luther's charges against the Pope) flew over Germany, and did much toward confirming the charges of the reformers against the Papal corruptions. Many great and free cities of the first rank openly embraced the reformed religion.

Great advantages were on the side of the reformers. "Erudition, industry, accuracy of sentiment, purity of composition, even wit and raillery, were almost wholly on the side of the reformers, and triumphed with ease over illiterate monks, whose rude arguments, expressed in a perplexed and barbarous style, were found insufficient for the defence of a system of errors, for which all the arts and ingenuity of later and more learned advocates, have not been able to palliate.”* Erasmus of Rotterdam, a great wit, and of the first rate attainments in the literature of that day, was educated for the Church. But discovering the abominations of the Papal system, he tạrned all the torrent of his popular satirical acumen against those abominations. The landgrave of Hesse, the electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, the dukes of Brunswick and Lunenburg, and the prince of Anhalt, embraced and patronized the

• Hist. Ch. V. vol. ii, p. 155,

reformed religion. The Pope demanded a diet, to de: stroy Luther, and crush the reformation. But the princes informed him, that they could not comply with his order; for a reformation was absolutely necessary; and so many had embraced the reformed religion, that ịt would be dangerous to use any violence against them. This diet of the princes, assembled at Nuremberg, now drew up a remonstrance of an hundred articles, against the corruptions and abominations of the Papal see. The Pope's nuncio, perceiving what the diet were doing, and finding himself unable to prevent it, fed ab: ruptly from the city, even without taking leave of the diet, lest he should have to be the bearer of a message, which would be so painful to the court of Rome. The ecclesiastical princes also withdrew from a business, in which they, as well as their whole system of Papal corruption, were so deeply implicated. The secular princes united in their remonstrance of an hundred charges. They are two long to be enumerated. “They com. plained of the sums exacted for dispensations, absolutions, and indulgences; of the expense arising from law-suits, carried on by appeals to Rome; of the innu. merable abuses occasioned by reservations, commendams, and annates; of the exemption from civil juris. diction, which the clergy had obtained; of the art, by which they brought all secular causes under the cog nizance of the ecclesiastical judges; of the indecent and profligate lives, which not a few of the clergy led;" — and of many other particulars, which had long tortured the people of Germany, and had prepared the way for the quick reception and progress of the doctrines of the reformers. And the diet concluded their remonstrance by announcing, “that if the holy see did not speedily deliver them from these intolerable burdens, they had determined to endure them no longer; and would em. ploy the power and authority, with which God had enịrusted them, in order to procure relief.”* Thus the Pope was utterly defeated. The diet, instead of deşlroying Luther, and crushing the reformation, took a most effectual step to widen the sore upon the men, who had the mark of the Beast, and who worshipped his image, by exposing the intolerable wickedness of their system; and doing it with such authority, as to add an amazing weight to the event.

* Higt. Ch. V. vol. ii, p. 273.

These things opened the eyes of the people with a rapidity, which might be expected in such a case. And hundreds of thousands were astonished to behold the filthy depravity of the system, which had so long been held in the highest veneration. To add to the griev; ousness of the sore, and to give the most deadly force to the exposure of Papal corruption, Pope Adrian, who succeeded Leo X, most frankly acknowledged and bewailed these corruptions; and engaged to do all in his power to reform them: Upon which his clergy at Rome were highly offended, and complained that he was betraying their interest. Adrian suddenly died. And there was boldly fixed to the door of his chief physician in capitals, "To the deliverer of his country. Thus acknowledging, and rejoicing, that the Pope, who was betraying the corruptions of the Romish see, was hurried out of the world, with murderous design! These things added to the horror already excited at Papal corruption.

Most of the princes of Germany, who had favored the reformation, established that worship of God in their territories, which they approved; and suppressed the sites of the Papal church. Almost half the Germanic body revolted from the Papal see. And in the cities, which followed not this example, the Papal authority was much weakened. The emperor was troubled at the prevalence of the reformation. He viewed it unfavorable to that plan of dominion over the princes of Germany, which he had secretly in view. And the tolerance, which the urgency of his affairs abroad had obliged him to give to it, had offended the Papal pow.

Charles therefore assembled the diet at Spires in 1529, and demanded of them an order, that the innova. tions of religion should spread no further among those, who were now Papists, till a meeting of a general council. After much debate, a majority of votes was


obtained in the diet for this purpose. Upon this, the elector of Saxony, the margrave of Brandenburg, the landgrave of Hesse, the duke of Lunenburg, the prince of Anhalt, with the deputies of fourteen Imperial and free cities, entered their solemn protest against the decree, as unjust and impious; and they hence obtained the name of Protestants.

The Pope and Charles, upon making a temporary peace, agreed to exert themselves to suppress the reformation. The diet of Augsburg was accordingly called. Melancthon there drew up a confession of religion as soft and inoffensive as was possibly consistent with the views of the reformers. But the Popish clergy objected to it. And the divines in the reformation would come no lower. Charles turned from them to the princes of the reformation. But they were no less zealous, than were the divines. The emperor then obtained a vote of the majority of the diet, (there being many ecclesiastical princes in it) condemning the tenets of the reformers; and containing things of a threatening aspect. The Protestant states upon this were alarmed;

. and they assembled at Smalkalde, and formed a solemn league of defence. They also formed an alliance with Francis, king of France, and Henry, king of England; who confederated with them; not indeed to favor the reformation; but to cramp their great rival Charles. Upon this the emperor was alarmed, and became more moderate. And as the Turks were now threatening him, he formed terms of pacification with the Prot. estants at Nuremberg, which were ratified at the diet of Ratisbon, agreeing, that the laws in force against the Protestants should be void; and all should enjoy liberty of conscience, until a general council; which Charles engaged should be called if possible within six months The emperor had often proposed to the Pope to call a council to sit in Germany, to settle their religious disputes. But the Pope had ever been reluc. tant. He doubtless understood, better than did the emperor, that his affairs could not endure such an investigation; and especially of a council siiting in Ger. many, where all the Protestant divines had a right te


attend and act. The Pope wished rather to crush the reformation by dint of power. And the Protestants had good reason to believe that Charles designed to atteinpt the same, if inore peaceful means proved ineffectual. They therefore renewed their league of Smalkalde in 1535; and it was signed by the elector of Saxony, the duke of Brunswick, the landgrave of Hesse, the duke of Würtemburg, the dukes of Pomerania, the princes of Auhalt, the counts of Mansfield, the count of Nassau, and by the deputies of twenty four free cities. We here learn to how great a degree the sore, on the men, who had the mark of the Beast, became offensive; and to how great a degree, the abomination of the Papal system was unfolded.

The Pope, that he might crush the reformation with a better grace, set about a reformation in his own system. He deputed a number of cardinals and bishops, to inquire into the abuses and corruptions of the Rom. ish court; and to propose the best method of correcting them. In this duty they were reluctant, slow, and remiss. Defects they touched with a gentle band, afraid of probing too deep into the dismal sore. But many enormities they could not but expose; while the remedies suggested were wholly inadequate; or were never applied. The report of these deputies was designed to be kept a secret in the court of Rome. But it got air. It reached Germany. It was made public. And it afforded the Protestants ample matter for reflection and triumph. This added weight to the remonstrances of the reformers. And it evinced, that it was in vain to expect a reformation from the Catholics; who (as Luther on this occasion expressed it) "piddled at curing warts; while they overlooked, or confirmed Ulcers.' How striking, that Luther him. self, in expressing what was discovered in the Papal see, should, without any view of the language of the first vial, use the very word there used! The word there translated sore, in the original is 'Enxos, from which the English word ulcer is derived. Luther discovered a noisome and grievous sore on the men, who had the mark of the Beast.

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