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Title: History of the Great Reformation, Volume IV
Author: D'Aubigné, J. H. Merle
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: J. H. MERLE D'AUBIGNÉ]








  VOL. IV.




When a foreigner visits certain countries, as England, Scotland, or
America, he is sometimes presented with the rights of citizenship.
Such has been the privilege of the "History of the Reformation of the
Sixteenth Century." From 150,000 to 200,000 copies are in circulation,
in the English language, in the countries I have just mentioned; while
in France the number hardly exceeds 4000. This is a real
adoption,--naturalizing this Work in the countries that have received
it with so much favour.

I accept this honour. Accordingly, while the former Volumes of my
History were originally published in France; now that, after a lapse
of five years, I think of issuing a continuation of it, I do so in
Great Britain.

This is not the only change in the mode of publication. I did not
think it right to leave to translators, as in the cases of the former
Volumes, the task of expressing my ideas in English. The best
translations are always faulty; and the Author alone can have the
certainty of conveying his idea, his whole idea, and nothing but his
idea. Without overlooking the merit that the several existing
translations may possess, even the best of them is not free from
inaccuracies, more or less important. Of these I have given specimens
in the Preface to the New Translation of the former Volumes by Dr.
WHITE, which has been revised by me, and which will shortly be
published by Messrs. OLIVER and BOYD. These inaccuracies, no doubt
most involuntary, contributed in giving rise to a very severe contest
that took place in America, on the subject of this Work, between the
Episcopalians and the Baptists on the one hand, and the Presbyterians
on the other,--a contest that I hope is now terminated, but in which
(as a New York correspondent informed me) one of the most beneficial
and powerful Christian Societies of the United States had been on the
brink of dissolution.

With such facts before me, I could no longer hesitate. It became
necessary for me to publish, myself, in English; and this I
accordingly do. But although that language is familiar to me, I was
desirous of securing, to a certain extent, the co-operation of an
English literary gentleman. Dr. HENRY WHITE, a Graduate of Cambridge,
and Member of a Continental University, has had the great kindness to
visit Switzerland for this purpose, although such a step exposed him
to much inconvenience, and to pass with me at Geneva the time
necessary for this labour. I could not have had a more enlightened
coadjutor; and I here express my obligations to him for his very able

I therefore publish in English this Continuation of the History of the
Reformation. I do not think that, as I publish, myself, in this
language, any one will have the power, or will entertain the idea, of
attempting another publication. It would be a very bad speculation on
the part of any bookseller; for where is the reader that would not
prefer the original text, as published by the Author himself, to a
translation made by a stranger?

But there is a higher question--a question of morality. Of all
property that a man can possess, there is none so essentially his own
as the labours of his mind. Man acquires the fruits of his fields by
the sweat of his servants and of his beasts of burden; and the produce
of his manufactures by the labour of his workmen and the movement of
his machines; but it is by his own toils, by the exercise of his most
exalted faculties, that he creates the productions of his mind.
Accordingly, in putting this History under the protection of the laws,
I place it at the same time under a no less secure safeguard,--that of
justice. I know that it is written in the consciences on the other
side of the Channel and of the Atlantic: _Ye shall have one manner of
law, as well for the stranger as for one of your own country: for I am
the Lord your God._[1] To English honour I confide this Work.

  [1] Levit. xxiv. 22.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first two Books of this Volume contain the most important epochs
of the Reformation--the Protest of Spire, and the Confession of
Augsburg. The last two describe the establishment of the Reform in
most of the Swiss cantons, and the instructive and deplorable events
that are connected with the catastrophe of Cappel.

It was my desire to narrate also the beginnings of the English
Reformation; but my Volume is filled, and I am compelled to defer this
subject to the next. It is true I might have omitted some matters here
treated of, but I had strong reasons for doing the contrary. The
Reformation in Great Britain is not very important before the period
described in this volume; the order of time compelled me, therefore,
to remain on the Continent; for whatever may be the historian's
desire, he cannot change dates and the order that God has assigned to
the events of the world. Besides, before turning more especially
towards England, Scotland, France, and other countries, I determined
on bringing the Reformation of Germany and German Switzerland to the
decisive epochs of 1530 and 1531. The History of the Reformation,
properly so called, is then, in my opinion, almost complete in those
countries. The work of Faith has there attained its apogee: that of
conferences, of interims, of diplomacy begins. I do not, however,
entirely abandon Germany and German Switzerland, but henceforward they
will occupy me less: the movement of the sixteenth century has there
made its effort. I said, from the very first: It is the History of the
Reformation and not of Protestantism that I am relating.

It is not, however, without some portion of fear that I approach the
History of the Reformation in England; it is perhaps more difficult
than elsewhere. I have received communications from some of the most
respectable men of the different ecclesiastical parties, who, each
feeling convinced that their own point of view is the true one, desire
me to present the history in this light. I hope to execute my task
with impartiality and truth. But I thought it would be advantageous to
study for some time longer the principles and the facts. I am at
present occupied in this task, and shall consecrate to it, with God's
assistance, the first part of my next Volume.

Should it be thought that I might have described the Reformation in
Switzerland with greater brevity, I beg my readers will call to mind
that, independently of the intrinsic importance of this history,
Switzerland is the Author's birthplace.

I had at first thought of making arrangements for the present
publication with the English and Scotch booksellers who had translated
the former portions. Relations that I had maintained with some of
these publishers, and which had gained my esteem for them, induced me
to adopt this course. They were consequently informed by letter of my
purpose, and several months later I had an interview with some of them
at Glasgow. I told them of my intentions, and desired to know theirs.
They replied, that they could not communicate them immediately, since
they would first have to come to an arrangement with their colleagues,
in order to make me a proposal in common. It would appear that they
did not succeed. However that may be, and although I allowed a
sufficient period of time to elapse, I received no communication from
the associated publishers. But at the same time, one of the first
houses in Great Britain, Messrs. OLIVER and BOYD of Edinburgh, who
were introduced to me by my highly respected friend Dr. CHALMERS, made
me a suitable and precise offer. I could wait no longer; and on the
very eve of my departure from London for the Continent, after a
sojourn of three months in Scotland and in England, I made
arrangements with them, which have since been definitively settled,
and the Work is now their property.

The French laws are positive to protect literary property in France,
even if it belongs to a foreigner. I am less familiar with the English
laws; but I will not do England the injustice of believing that its
legislation is surpassed by that of France in justice and in morality.


  EAUX-VIVES, GENEVA, _January 1846_.





  Twofold Movement of Reform--Reform, the Work of God--First Diet
    of Spire--Palladium of Reform--Proceedings of the Diet--Report of
    the Commissioners--The Papacy described--Destruction of Jerusalem--
    Instructions of Seville--Change of Policy--The Holy League--Religious
    Liberty proposed--Crisis of the Reformation--Italian War--Emperor's
    Manifesto--Italian Campaign--March on Rome--Revolt of the Troops--Papal
    Army--The Assault--The Sack--German Humours--Violence of the
    Spaniards--Profitable Calm--Constitution of the Church--Philip of
    Hesse--The Monk of Marburg--Lambert's Paradoxes--Friar Boniface--
    Disputation at Homburg--Triumph of the Gospel in Hesse--Constitution
    of the Church--Synods--Two Elements in the Church--Luther on the
    Ministry--Organization of the Church--Evils of State Interference--
    Luther's Letter to the Elector--German Mass--Melancthon's Instructions--
    Disaffection--Visitation of the Reformed Churches--Important Results--
    The Reformation Advances--Elizabeth of Brandenburg--A Pious Princess--
    Edict of Ofen--Persecutions--Winckler and Carpenter--Persecutions--
    Keyser--Alarm in Germany--Pack's Forgery--League of the Reformed
    Princes--Advice of the Reformers--Luther's pacific Counsel--Surprise
    of the Papist Princes--Pack's Scheme not improbable--Vigour of the
    Reformation--Alliance between Charles and Clement--Omens--Hostility of
    the Papists--Arbitrary Proposition of Charles--The Schism completed--
    The Protest--Principles of the Protest--The Supremacy of the Gospel--
    Union of Truth and Charity--Ferdinand rejects the Protest--Joy of the
    Protestants--Exultation of the Papists--Peter Muterstatt--Christian
    Unity a Reality--Escape of Grynæus--Melancthon's Dejection--The
    Princes, the true Reformers--Germany and Reform--Union necessary to
    Reform--Difficulty of Union--A Lutheran Warning--Proposed Conference at
    Marburg--Melancthon and Zwingle--Zwingle's Departure--Rumours in
    Zurich--Hoc est Corpus Meum--The Discussion--Figures--Scripture
    explained by Scripture--The Spiritual Eating--Zwingle's Old Song--
    Agitation in the Conference--Metaphor--Christ's Humanity Finite--
    Testimony of Augustin--Luther's Violence--End of the Conference--The
    Landgrave mediates--Their Last Meeting--Zwingle's Emotion--Sectarian
    Spirit of the Germans--Brotherhood Rejected--Christian Charity
    Prevails--The Real Presence--Luther's Dejection--State of Political
    Affairs--Luther's Battle Sermon.

  BOOK XIV.--PAGE 113.



  Two Striking Lessons--Charles V.--The German Envoys--Boldness of
    the Envoys--The Landgrave's Present--The Envoys under Arrest--Their
    Release and Departure--Meeting of Charles and Clement--Gattinara's
    Proposition--Clement's Objection--War Imminent--Luther's
    Objections--The Saviour is Coming--Charles's Conciliatory Language--The
    Emperor's Motives--The Coronation--Alarm of the Protestants--Luther
    advocates Passive Resistance--Brüch's Noble Advice--Spiritual
    Armour--Luther remains at Coburg--Charles at Innspruck--Two
    Parties at Court--Sentiments of Gattinara--The King of
    Denmark--Piety of the Elector--Wiles of the Romanists--Augsburg--The
    Gospel Preached--The Emperor's Message--The Sermons
    Prohibited--Firmness of the Elector--The Elector's Reply--Preparation
    of the Confession--The Church, the Judge--The Landgrave's
    Catholic Spirit--Augsburg--Violence of the Imperialists--Charles at
    Munich--Charles and the Princes--The Procession--Enters Augsburg--The
    Benediction--Charles and the Landgrave--The Margrave of
    Brandenburg--The Emperor's Silence--Failure of the Interview--Agitation
    of Charles--Refusal of the Princes--Procession of Corpus
    Christi--Exasperation of Charles--The Sermons prohibited--A Compromise
    proposed--A Compromise--Curiosity of the Citizens--The
    New Preachers--The Medley of Popery--Luther Encourages the
    Princes--Veni Spiritus--Mass of the Holy Ghost--The Sermon--Opening
    the Diet--The Elector's Prayer--Insidious Plan of the Romanists--Valdez
    and Melancthon--Evangelical Firmness Prevails--Zeal of the Elector--
    The Signing of the Confession--Luther's Anxiety--Luther's
    Texts--Luther to Melancthon--The Palatine Chapel--Recollections
    and Contrast--The Confession--Prologue--The Confession--Justification--
    Free Will and Works--Faith--Luther on the Confession--Abuses--Church and
    State--Duty of the Bishops--Epilogue--Remarks on the Confession--Church
    and State Distinct--Remarks--Moderate Tone of the Confession--Defects--A
    New Baptism--Effect on the Romanists--Luther demands Religious Liberty--
    Luther's Dominant Idea--Song of Triumph--An Ingenuous Confession--Hopes
    of the Protestants--Failure of the Popish Intrigues--The
    Emperor's Council--Luther opposes Concession--Infatuation of
    the Papists--Scheme of the Romish Doctors--Melancthon's Explanation--
    Refutation--Charles's Dissatisfaction--Interview with the Princes--The
    Swiss at Augsburg--Zwingle's Confession--Afflicting Divisions--The
    Elector's Faith--The Lion's Skin--The Refutation--Imperial
    Commands--Melancthon's Prescience--Policy of Charles--Stormy
    Meeting--Resolutions of the Consistory--The Prayers of the Saints--Two
    Miracles--The Emperor's Menace--The Mask--Omens--Tumult
    in Augsburg--Philip of Hesse--Temptation--Union Resisted--The
    Landgrave--Protestant Firmness--Philip of Hesse--Flight
    from Augsburg--Alarm in Augsburg--Metamorphoses--Unusual Moderation--
    Peace,    Peace--The Mixed Commission--The Three Points--Romish
    Dissimulation--The Main Question--Church Government--Danger
    of Concession--Pretended Concord--Luther's Letters--The
    Word above the Church--Melancthon's Blindness--Papist Infatuation--A
    New Commission--The Landgrave's Firmness--The Two Phantoms--Concessions--
    Rome and Christianity--Irritation--The Gordian Knot--The Council
    Granted--Alarm in Rome--Menaces--Altercations--Fresh Negotiations--
    Protestantism Resists--Luther's Exhortation--The Elector of Saxony--The
    Recess of Augsburg--Irritating Language--Apology of the Confession--
    Intimidation--Final Interview--Messages of Peace--Exasperation of the
    Papists--Restoration of Popery--Tumult in the Church--Union of the
    Churches--The Pope and the Emperor--Close of the Diet--Attack of
    Geneva--Joy of the Evangelicals--Establishment of Protestantism.

  BOOK XV.--PAGE 265.



  Three Periods of Reform--Two Movements in the Church--The Two
    Movements--Aggressive Spirit--The Schoolmaster--Farel's New
    Baptism--Farel's Studies--The Door is Opened--Opposition--Lausanne--
    Picture of the Clergy--Farel at Lausanne--Farel and the
    Monk--Opposition to the Gospel--The Converted Monk--Christian
    Unity--State-Religion--A Resolution of Berne--Almanack of Heretics--
    Haller--Zwingle's Exhortation--Anabaptists at Berne--Victory
    of the Gospel--Papist Provocations--Proposed Disputation--Objections
    of the Forest Cantons--Important Question--Unequal Contest--A
    Christian Band--The Cordeliers' Church--Opening of the Conference--
    Christ the Sole Head--Remarkable Conversion--St. Vincent's Day--A
    Strange Argument--Papist Bitterness--Necessity of Reform--Zwingle's
    Sermon--Charity--Edict of Reform--The Reformation Reproached--The
    Reform Accepted--Faith and Charity--First Evangelical
    Communion--Faith shown by Works--Head of Beatus--Threatening
    Storm--Revolt--Christ in Danger--A Revolt--Energy
    of Berne--Victory--Political Advantages--Romish Relics--Nuns of
    St. Catherine--Contests--Spread of Reform--A Popish Miracle--Obstacles
    in Basle--Zeal of the Citizens--Witticisms of Erasmus--Half
    Measures--The Petition--Commotion in Basle--Half Measures Rejected--
    Reformed Propositions--A Night of Terror--The Idols Broken--The
    Hour of Madness--The Reform Legalized--Erasmus in Basle--Objections--
    Principles of the Reformation--Farel's Commission--Farel
    at Lausanne--Farel at Morat--Neufchâtel--Farel's Labours--Farel's
    Preaching--Popery in Neufchâtel--Resistance of the Monks--The
    Hospital Chapel--Civil Power Invoked--Guillemette de Vugy--The
    Feast of Assumption--The Mass Interrupted--Farel's Danger--Ill
    Treatment of Farel--Apostles and Reformers Compared--Farel
    in the Cathedral--The Idols Destroyed--Interposition of the Governor--
    Reflections--Plans of the Romanists--The Governor's Difficulties--
    Preliminaries--Hatred and Division--Proposed Delay--The Romanist
    Protest--The Voting--Majority for Reform--Protestantism Perpetual--The
    Image of St. John--A Miracle--Popery and the Gospel--Reaction
    Preparing--Failure of the Plot--Farel's Labours--De Bely at
    Fontaine--The Pastor Marcourt--Disgraceful Expedient--The Reform

  BOOK XVI.--PAGE 361.



  Christian Warfare--Zwingle--Persecutions--Austrian Alliance--Animosity--
  Christian Exhortation--Keyser's Martyrdom--Zwingle and
  War--Zwingle's Error--Zwingle's Advice--War of Religion--Zwingle
  joins the Army--War--The Landamman Æbli--Bernese Interposition--Swiss
  Cordiality--The Zurich Camp--A Conference--Peace
  Restored--Austrian Treaty Torn--Zwingle's Hymn--Nuns of St.
  Catherine--Conquests of Reform--The Priest of Zurzack--The Reform
  in Glaris--Italian Bailiwicks--The Monk of Como--The Monk
  of Locarno--Letter to the German Church--The Monks of Wettingen--Abbé
  of St. Gaul--Kiliankouffi--Soleure--A New Miracle--Popery
  Triumphs--The Grisons Invaded--Forebodings to Berne--Mutual
  Errors--Failure of the Diet--Political Reformation--Activity
  of Zurich--Diet Arau--Blockade of the Waldsleddtes--Indignation--France
  Conciliates--Diet at Bremgarten--The Five Cantons Inflexible--Zurich--
  Zwingle's False Position--The Great Council--Zwingle
  at Bremgarten--The Apparition--Zwingle's Agony--Frightful
  Omens--The Comet--Zwingle's Tranquillity--New Mediations--Deceitful
  Calm--Fatal Inactivity--Zurich Forewarned--Manifesto
  of the Cantons--The Abbot Wolfgang--Infatuation of Zurich--The
  War Begins--A Fearful Night--The War--Army of Zurich--Zwingle's
  Departure--Anna Zwingle--Army of Zurich--Battle of Cappel--The
  March--Ambuscade--The Banner in Danger--The Banner
  Saved--Terrible Slaughter--Slaughter of the Pastors--Zwingle's Last
  Moments--Barbarity of the Victors--The Furnace of Trial--Distress--Zwingle
  is Dead--Funeral Oration--Army of Zurich--Another Reverse--Inactivity
  of the Bernese--Joy of the Romanists--End of the
  War--Death of Œcolampadius--Conclusion.




I. We have witnessed the commencement, the struggles, the reverses,
and the progress of the Reformation; but the conflicts that we have
hitherto described have been but partial; we are entering upon a new
period,--that of general battles. Spire (1529) and Augsburg (1530) are
two names that shine forth with more immortal glory than Marathon,
Pavia, or Marengo. Forces that up to the present time were separate,
are now uniting into one energetic band; and the power of God is
working in these brilliant actions, which open a new era in the
history of nations, and communicate an irresistible impulse to
mankind. The passage from the middle ages to modern times has arrived.

A great protest is about to be accomplished; and although there have
been protestants in the Church from the very beginning of
Christianity, since liberty and truth could not be maintained here
below, save by protesting continually against despotism and error,
Protestantism is about to take a new step. It is about to become a
body, and thus attack with greater energy that "mystery of iniquity"
which for ages has taken a bodily shape at Rome, in the very temple of

  [2] 2 Thess. ii.


But although we have to treat of protests, it must not however be
imagined that the Reformation is a negative work. In every sphere in
which anything great is evolved, whether in nature or society, there
is a principle of life at work,--a seed that God fertilizes. The
Reformation, when it appeared in the sixteenth century, did not, it is
true, perform a new work, for a reformation is not a formation; but it
turned its face toward the beginnings of Christianity, thither were
its steps directed; it seized upon them with adoration, and embraced
them with affection. Yet it was not satisfied with this return to
primitive times. Laden with its precious burden, it again crossed the
interval of ages, and brought back to fallen and lifeless Christendom
the sacred fire that was destined to restore it to light and life. In
this twofold movement consisted its action and its strength.
Afterwards, no doubt, it rejected superannuated forms, and combated
error; but this was, so to speak, only the least of its works, and its
third movement. Even the protest of which we have to speak had for its
end and aim the re-establishment of truth and of life, and was
essentially a positive act.


This powerful and rapid twofold action of reform, by which the
apostolic times were re-established at the opening of modern history,
proceeded not from man. A reformation is not arbitrarily made, as
charters and revolutions are in some countries. A real reformation,
prepared during many ages, is the work of the Spirit of God. Before
the appointed hour, the greatest geniuses and even the most faithful
of God's servants cannot produce it; but when the reforming time is
come, when it is God's pleasure to intervene in the affairs of the
world, the divine life must clear a passage, and it is able to create
of itself the humble instruments by which this life is communicated to
the human race. Then, if men are silent, the very stones will cry

  [3] Luke xix. 40.

It is to the protest of Spire (1529) that we are now about to turn our
eyes; but the way to this protest was prepared by years of peace, and
followed by attempts at concord that we shall have also to describe.
Nevertheless the formal establishment of Protestantism remains the
great fact that prevails in the history of the Reformation from 1526
to 1529.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Duke of Brunswick had brought into Germany the threatening message
of Charles the Fifth. The Emperor was about to repair from Spain to
Rome to come to an understanding with the Pope, and from thence to
pass into Germany to constrain the heretics. The last summons was to
be addressed to them by the Diet of Spire, 1526.[4] The decisive hour
for the Reformation was about to strike.

  [4] See Vol. III. book x. chap. xiv. The Diet of Spire, held in 1526,
  must not be confounded with that of 1529, at which the protest took

On the 25th June, 1526, the diet opened. In the instructions, dated at
Seville, 23d March, the Emperor ordered that the Church customs should
be maintained entire, and called upon the diet to punish those who
refused to carry out the edict of Worms,[5] Ferdinand himself was at
Spire, and his presence rendered these orders more formidable. Never
had the hostility which the Romish partisans entertained against the
evangelical princes, appeared in so striking a manner. "The
Pharisees," said Spalatin, "pursue Jesus Christ with violent

  [5] Sleidan, Hist Ref. book vi.

  [6] Christum pharisæis vehementer fuisse invisum.--(Seckend. ii. p.


Never also had the evangelical princes showed so much hope. Instead of
presenting themselves frightened and trembling, like guilty men, they
were seen advancing, surrounded by the ministers of the Word, with
uplifted heads and cheerful looks. Their first step was to ask for a
place of worship. The Bishop of Spire, count-palatine of the Rhine,
having indignantly refused this strange request,[7] the princes
complained of it as of an injustice, and ordered their ministers to
preach daily in the halls of their palaces. An immense crowd from the
city and the country, which amounted to many thousands, immediately
filled them.[8] In vain on the feast days did Ferdinand, the
ultra-montane princes, and the bishops assist in the pomps of the
Roman worship in the beautiful cathedral of Spire; the unadorned Word
of God, preached in the Protestant vestibules, engrossed the hearers,
and the Mass was celebrated in an empty church.[9]

  [7] Fortiter interdixit.--(Cochlœs, p. 138.)

  [8] Ingens concursus plebis et rusticorum.--(Cochlœus.) Multis
  millibus hominum accurrentibus.--(Seckend. ii. p. 48.)

  [9] Populum a sacris avertebant.--(Cochlœus, p. 138.)

It was not only the ministers, but the knights and the grooms, "mere
idiots," who, unable to control their zeal, everywhere extolled the
Word of the Lord.[10] All the followers of the evangelical princes
wore these letters braided on their right sleeves: V. D. M. I. Æ.,
that is to say, "The word of the Lord endureth for ever."[11] The same
inscription might be read on the escutcheons of the princes, suspended
over their hotels. The Word of God--such from this moment was the
palladium of the Reform.

  [10] Ministri eorum, equites et stabularii, idiotæ, petulanter
  jactabant verbum Domini.--(Cochlœus, p. 138.)

  [11] Verbum Domini Manet in Æternum.--(Ibid.)

This was not all. The Protestants knew that the mere worship was not
sufficient: the Landgrave had therefore called upon the Elector to
abolish certain "court customs" which dishonoured the Gospel. These
two princes had consequently drawn up an order of living which forbade
drunkenness, debauchery, and other vicious customs prevalent during a

  [12] Adversus inveteratos illos et impios usus nitendum esse.--(Seck.
  ii. p. 46.)


Perhaps the Protestant princes sometimes put forward their dissent
beyond what prudence would have required. Not only they did not go to
Mass, and did not observe the prescribed fasts, but still further, on
the meagre days, their attendants were seen publicly bearing dishes of
meat and game, destined for their masters' tables, and crossing, says
Cochlœus, in the presence of the whole auditory, the halls in which
the worship was celebrating. "It was," says this writer, "with the
intent of attracting the Catholics by the savour of the meats and of
the wines."[13]

  [13] Ut complures allicerentur ad eorum sectam, in ferculis
  portabantur carnes coctae in diebus jejunii, aperte in conspec
  nitotius auditorii.--(Cochlœus, p. 138.)

The Elector in effect had a numerous court: seven hundred persons
formed his retinue. One day he gave a banquet at which twenty-six
princes with their gentlemen and councillors were present. They
continued playing until a very late hour--ten at night. Everything in
Duke John announced the most powerful prince of the empire. The
youthful Landgrave of Hesse, full of zeal and knowledge, and in the
strength of a first Christian love, made a still deeper impression on
those who approached him. He would frequently dispute with the
bishops, and thanks to his acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures, he
easily stopped their mouths.[14]

  [14] Annales Spalatini.

This firmness in the friends of the Reformation produced fruits that
surpassed their expectation. It was no longer possible to be deceived:
the spirit that was manifested in these men was the spirit of the
Bible. Everywhere the sceptre was falling from the hands of Rome. "The
leaven of Luther," said a zealous Papist, "sets all the people of
Germany in a ferment, and foreign nations themselves are agitated by
formidable movements."[15]

  [15] Germaniae populi Lutherico fermento inescati, et in externis
  quoque nationibus, gravissimi erant motus.--(Cochlœus, p. 138.)

It was immediately seen how great is the strength of deep convictions.
The states that were well disposed towards the Reform, but which had
not ventured to give their adhesion publicly, became emboldened. The
neutral states, which demanded the repose of the empire, formed the
resolution of opposing the edict of Worms, the execution of which
would have spread trouble through all Germany, and the Papist states
lost their boldness. The bow of the mighty was broken.[16]

  [16] 1 Samuel ii. 4.


Ferdinand did not think proper, at so critical a moment, to
communicate to the diet the severe instructions he had received from
Seville.[17] He substituted a proposition of a nature to satisfy both

  [17] Some historians appear to think that these instructions were
  communicated in reality at the very opening of the diet. Ranke shows
  that this was not the case; but adds, that he sees no reason why the
  commissaries should have thought themselves authorized to make any
  other proposition. The motives that I have assigned appear to me the
  true ones. I shall state below why the commissaries returned
  afterwards to the imperial instructions.

The laymen immediately recovered the influence of which the clergy had
dispossessed them. The ecclesiastics resisted a proposal in the
college of princes that the diet should occupy itself with church
abuses, but their exertions were unavailing. Undoubtedly a
non-political assembly would have been preferable to the diet, but it
was already something that religious matters were no longer to be
regulated solely by the priests.

The deputies from the cities having received communication of this
resolution, called for the abolition of every usage contrary to the
faith in Jesus Christ. In vain did the bishops exclaim that, instead
of abolishing pretended abuses, they would do much better to burn all
the books with which Germany had been inundated during the last eight
years. "You desire," was the reply, "to bury all wisdom and
knowledge."[18] The request of the cities was agreed to,[19] and the
diet was divided into committees for the abolition of abuses.

  [18] Omnes libros esse comburendos. Sed rejectum est quia sic omnis
  doctrina et eruditio theologica interitura esset.--(Seckend. ii. p.

  [19] Civitatum suffragia multum valuerunt.--(Ibid.)

Then was manifested the profound disgust inspired by the priests of
Rome. "The clergy," said the deputy from Frankfort, "make a jest of
the public good, and look after their own interests only." "The
laymen," said the deputy from Duke George, "have the salvation of
Christendom much more at heart than the clergy."


The commissions made their report: people were astonished at it. Never
had men spoken out so freely against the pope and the bishops. The
commission of the princes, in which the ecclesiastics and the laymen
were in equal numbers, proposed a fusion of Popery and Reform. "The
Priests would do better to marry," said they, "than to keep women of
ill-fame in their houses; every man should be at liberty to
communicate under one or both forms; German and Latin may be equally
employed in the Lord's Supper and in Baptism; as for the other
sacraments, let them be preserved, but let them be administered
gratuitously. Finally, let the Word of God be preached according to
the interpretation of the Church (this was the demand of Rome), but
always explaining Scripture by Scripture" (this was the great
principle of the Reformation). Thus the first step was taken towards a
national union. Still a few more efforts, and the whole German race
would be walking in the direction of the Gospel.

The evangelical Christians, at the sight of this glorious prospect,
redoubled their exertions. "Stand fast in the doctrine," said the
Elector of Saxony to his councillors.[20] At the same time hawkers in
every part of the city were selling Christian pamphlets, short and
easy to read, written in Latin and in German, and ornamented with
engravings, in which the errors of Rome were vigorously attacked.[21]
One of these books was entitled, _The Papacy with its Members painted
and described by Doctor Luther_. In it figured the pope, the cardinal,
and then all the religious orders, exceeding sixty, each with their
costumes and description in verse. Under the picture of one of these
orders were the following lines:

    Greedy priests, see, roll in gold
      Forgetful of the humble Jesu:

under another:

    We forbid you to behold
      The Bible, lest it should mislead you![22]

and under a third:

    We can fast and pray the harder
    With an overflowing larder.[23]

  [20] Elector Saxoniæ conciliarios suos exhortatus est, in doctrina
  evangelica firmi.--(Seckend. ii. p. 48.)

  [21] Circumferebantur item libri Lutherani venales per totam
  civitatem.--(Cochlœus, p. 138.)

  [22] Dass die Schrift sie nicht verführe,
          Durft ihr keinen nich studir.--(L. Opp. xix. p. 536.)

  [23] Doch war ihr küch nimmer leer.--(Ibid.)

"Not one of these orders," said Luther to the reader, "thinks either
of faith or charity. This one wears the tonsure, the other a hood;
this a cloak, that a robe. One is white, another black, a third gray,
and a fourth blue. Here is one holding a looking-glass, there one with
a pair of scissors. Each has his playthings......Ah! these are the
palmer worms, the locusts, the canker-worms, and the caterpillars
which, as Joel saith, have eaten up all the earth."[24]

  [24] L. Opp. xix. p. 535. Joel i. 4.


But if Luther employed the scourges of sarcasm, he also blew the
trumpet of the prophets; and this he did in a work entitled _The
Destruction of Jerusalem_. Shedding tears like Jeremiah, he denounced
to the German people a ruin like that of the Holy City, if like it
they rejected the Gospel.[25] "God has imparted to us all his
treasures," exclaimed he; "he became man, he has served us,[26] he
died for us, he has risen again, and he has so opened the gates of
heaven, that all may enter......The hour of grace is come......The
glad tidings are proclaimed......But where is the city, where is the
prince that has received them? They insult the Gospel: they draw the
sword, and daringly seize God by the beard.[27]......But wait......He
will turn round; with one blow will he break their jaws, and all
Germany will be but one wide ruin."

  [25] Libelli, parvuli quidem mole, sed virulentia perquam grandes,
  sermo Lutheri Teuthonicus de destructione Jerusalem.--(Cochlœus, p.

  [26] Wird Mensch, dienet uns, stirbt fur uns.--(Luth. Opp. xiv. (L.)
  p. 226.)

  [27] Greiffen Gott zu frech in den Bart.--(Ibid.) Deo nimis ferociter
  barbam vallicant.--(Cochlœus.)

These works had a very great sale.[28] It was not only the peasants
and townspeople who read them, but nobles also and princes. Leaving
the priests alone at the foot of the altar, they threw themselves into
the arms of the new Gospel.[29] The necessity of a reform of abuses
was proclaimed on the 1st of August by a general committee.

  [28] Perquam plurima vendebantur exemplaria.--(Cochlœus, p. 139.)

  [29] Non solum plebs et rustica turba, verum etiam plerique optimatum
  et nobilium trahebantur in favorem novi Evangelii, atque in odium
  antiquæ religionis.--(Cochlœus, p. 160.)


Then Rome, which had appeared to slumber, awoke. Fanatical priests,
monks, ecclesiastical princes, all beset Ferdinand. Cunning, bribery,
nothing was spared. Did not Ferdinand possess the instructions of
Seville? To refuse their publication was to effect the ruin of the
Church and of the empire. Let the voice of Charles oppose its powerful
_veto_ to the dizziness that is hurrying Germany along, said they, and
Germany will be saved! Ferdinand made up his mind, and at length, on
the 3d August, published the decree, drawn up more than four months
previously in favour of the edict of Worms.[30]

  [30] Sleidan, Hist. de la Ref. liv. vi. p. 229.

The persecution was about to begin; the reformers would be thrown into
dungeons, and the sword drawn on the banks of the Guadalquivir would
pierce at last the bosom of Reform.

The effect of the imperial ordinance was immense. The breaking of an
axle-tree does not more violently check the velocity of a railway
train. The Elector and the Landgrave announced that they were about to
quit the diet, and ordered their attendants to prepare for their
departure. At the same time the deputies from the cities drew towards
these two princes, and the Reformation appeared on the brink of
entering immediately upon a contest with the Pope and Charles the

But it was not yet prepared for a general struggle. It was necessary
for the tree to send out its roots deeper, before the Almighty
unchained the stormy winds against it. A spirit of blindness, similar
to that which in former times was sent out upon Saul and Herod,[31]
then seized upon the great enemy of the Gospel; and thus was it that
Divine Providence saved the reform in its cradle.

  [31] 1 Sam. xvi. 14-23; Matt. ii.


The first movement of trouble was over. The friends of the Gospel
began to consider the date of the imperial instructions, and to weigh
the new political combinations which seemed to announce to the world
the most unlooked-for events. "When the Emperor wrote these letters,"
said the cities of Upper Germany, "he was on good terms with the Pope,
but now everything is changed. It is even asserted that he had told
Margaret, his deputy in the Low Countries, to proceed _gently_ with
respect to the Gospel. Let us send him a deputation." That was not
necessary. Charles had not waited until now to form a different
resolution. The course of public affairs, taking a sudden turn, had
rushed into an entirely new path. Years of peace were about to be
granted to the Reform.


Clement VII., whom Charles was about to visit, according to the
instructions of Seville, in order to receive in Rome itself and from
his sacred hands the imperial crown, and in return to give up to the
pontiff the Gospel and the Reformation,--Clement VII, seized with a
strange infatuation, had suddenly turned against this powerful
monarch. The Emperor, unwilling to favour his ambition in every point,
had opposed his claims on the states of the Duke of Ferrara. Clement
immediately became exasperated, and cried out that Charles wished to
enslave the peninsula, but that the time was come for re-establishing
the independence of Italy. This great idea of Italian independence,
entertained at that period by a few literary men, had not, as now,
penetrated the mass of the nation. Clement therefore hastened to have
recourse to political combinations. The Pope, the Venetians, and the
King of France, who had scarcely recovered his liberty, formed a _holy
league_, of which the King of England was by a bull proclaimed the
preserver and protector.[32] In June 1526, the Emperor caused the most
favourable propositions to be presented to the Pope; but these
advances were ineffectual, and the Duke of Sessa, Charles's
ambassador at Rome, returning on horseback from his last audience,
placed a court-fool behind him, who, by a thousand monkey tricks, gave
the Roman people to understand how they laughed at the projects of the
Pope. The latter responded to these bravadoes by a brief, in which he
threatened the Emperor with excommunication, and without loss of time
pushed his troops into Lombardy, whilst Milan, Florence, and Piedmont
declared for the Holy League. Thus was Europe preparing to be avenged
for the triumph of Pavia.

  [32] Sleidan, Hist. de la Ref. liv. vi.; Bullar. Mag. roman. x.

Charles did not hesitate. He wheeled to the right as quickly as the
Pope had done to the left, and turned abruptly towards the evangelical
princes. "Let us suspend the Edict of Worms," wrote he to his brother;
"let us bring back Luther's partisans by mildness, and by a good
council cause the evangelical truth to triumph." At the same time he
demanded that the Elector, the Landgrave, and their allies should
march with him against the Turks--or against Italy, for the common
good of Christendom.

Ferdinand hesitated. To gain the friendship of the Lutherans was to
forfeit that of the other princes. The latter were already beginning
to utter violent threats.[33] The Protestants themselves were not very
eager to grasp the Emperor's hand. "It is God, God himself, who will
save his churches."[34]

  [33] Ferdinandus, ut audio, graviter minatur.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 801.)

  [34] Imperator pollicetur......sed nemo his promissis movetur. Spero
  Deum defensurum esse suas Ecclesias.--(Ibid.)

What was to be done? The edict of Worms could neither be repealed nor
carried into execution.


This strange situation led of necessity to the desired solution:
religious liberty. The first idea of this occurred to the deputies of
the cities. "In one place," said they, "the ancient ceremonies have
been preserved; in another they have been abolished; and both think
they are right. Let us allow each one to do as he thinks fit, until a
council shall re-establish the desired unity by the Word of God." This
idea gained favour, and the _recess_ of the diet, dated the 27th
August, decreed that a universal, or at least a national free council
should be convoked within a year, that they should request the Emperor
to return speedily to Germany, and that, until then, each state should
behave in its own territory in a manner so as to be able to render an
account to God and to the Emperor.[35]

  [35] Unusquisque in sua ditione ita se gereret ut rationem Deo et
  imperatori reddere posset.--(Seckend. ii. p. 41.)

Thus they escaped from their difficulty by a middle course; and this
time it was really the true one. Each one maintained his rights, while
recognising another's. The diet of 1526 forms an important epoch in
history: an ancient power, that of the middle ages, is shaken; a new
power, that of modern times, is advancing; religious liberty boldly
takes its stand in front of Romish despotism; a lay spirit prevails
over the sacerdotal spirit. In this single step there is a complete
victory: the cause of the Reform is won.

Yet it was little suspected. Luther, on the morrow of the day on which
the _recess_ was published, wrote to a friend: "The diet is sitting at
Spire in the German fashion. They drink and gamble, and there is
nothing done except that."[36] "Le congrès danse et ne marche
pas,"[37] has been said in our days. It is because great things are
often transacted under an appearance of frivolity, and because God
accomplishes his designs unknown even to those whom he employs as his
instruments. In this diet a gravity and love of liberty of conscience
were manifested, which are the fruits of Christianity, and which in
the sixteenth century had its earliest, if not its most energetic
development among the German nations.

  [36] Potatur et luditur, præterea nihil.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 126.)

  [37] The congress dances but does not move forward.

Yet Ferdinand still hesitated. Mahomet himself came to the aid of the
Gospel. Louis, king of Hungary and Bohemia, drowned at Mohacz on the
29th August, 1526, as he was fleeing from before Soliman II., had
bequeathed the crown of these two kingdoms to Ferdinand. But the Duke
of Bavaria, the Waywode of Transylvania, and, above all, the terrible
Soliman, contested it against him. This was sufficient to occupy
Charles's brother: he left Luther, and hastened to dispute the two

[Sidenote: ITALIAN WAR.]

II. The Emperor immediately reaped the fruits of his new policy. No
longer having his hands tied by Germany, he turned them against Rome.
The Reformation had been exalted and the Papacy was to be abased. The
blows aimed at its pitiless enemy were about to open a new career to
the evangelical work.

Ferdinand, who was detained by his Hungarian affairs, gave the charge
of the Italian expedition to Freundsberg, that old general who had
patted Luther in a friendly manner on the shoulder as the reformer was
about to appear before the diet of Worms.[38] This veteran, observed a
contemporary,[39] who "bore in his chivalrous heart God's holy Gospel,
well fortified and flanked by a strong wall," pledged his wife's
jewels, sent recruiting parties into all the towns of Upper Germany,
and owing to the magic idea of a war against the Pope, soon witnessed
crowds of soldiers flocking to his standard. "Announce," Charles had
said to his brother,--"announce that the army is to march against the
Turks; every one will know what Turks are meant."

  [38] See Vol. II. book vii. chap. viii.

  [39] Haug mars chalk, surnamed Zeller.

Thus the mighty Charles, instead of marching with the Pope against the
Reform, as he had threatened at Seville, marches with the Reform
against the Pope. A few days had sufficed to produce this change of
direction: there are few such in history in which the hand of God is
more plainly manifested. Charles immediately assumed all the airs of a
reformer. On the 17th September, he addressed a manifesto to the
Pope,[40] in which he reproaches him for behaving not like the father
of the faithful, but like an insolent and haughty man;[41] and
declares his astonishment that, being Christ's vicar, he should dare
to shed blood to acquire earthly possessions, "which," added he, "is
quite contrary to the evangelical doctrine."[42] Luther could not have
spoken better. "Let your holiness," continued Charles the Fifth,
"return the sword of St. Peter into the scabbard, and convoke a holy
and universal council." But the sword was much more to the pontiff's
taste than the council. Is not the Papacy, according to the Romish
doctors, the source of the two powers? Can it not depose kings, and
consequently fight against them?[43] Charles prepared to requite "eye
for eye, and tooth for tooth."[44]

  [40] Caroli Imperat. Rescriptum ad Clementis Septimi
  criminationes.--(Goldasti, Constitut. Imperiales, i. p. 479.)

  [41] Non jam pastoris seu communis patris laudem, sed superbi et
  insolentis nomen.--(Ibid. p. 487.)

  [42] Cum id ab evangelica doctrina, prorsus alienum videtur.--(Ibid.
  p. 489.)

  [43] Utriusque potestatis apicem Papa tenet--(Turrecremata de
  Potestate Papali.)

  [44] Exod. xxi. 24.


Now began that terrible campaign during which the storm burst on Rome
and on the Papacy that had been destined to fall on Germany and the
Gospel. By the violence of the blows inflicted on the pontifical city,
we may judge of the severity of those that would have dashed in pieces
the reformed churches. While we retrace so many scenes of horror, we
have constant need of calling to mind that the chastisement of the
seven-hilled city had been predicted by the Divine Scriptures.[45]

  [45] Revel. xviii. We should not, however, restrict this prediction to
  the incomplete sack of 1527, and from which the city soon recovered.

[Sidenote: MARCH ON ROME.]

In the month of November, Freundsberg, at the head of fifteen thousand
men, was at the foot of the Alps. The old general, avoiding the
military roads, that were well guarded by the enemy, flung himself
into a narrow path, over frightful precipices, that a few blows of the
mattock would have rendered impassable. The soldiers are forbidden to
look behind them; nevertheless their heads turn, their feet slip, and
horse and foot fall from time to time down the abyss. In the most
difficult passes, the most sure-footed of the infantry lower their
long pikes to the right and left of their aged chief, by way of
barrier, and Freundsberg advances, clinging to the lansquenet in
front, and pushed on by the one behind. In three days the Alps are
crossed, and on the 19th November the army reaches the territory of

The Constable of Bourbon, who since the death of Pescara was
commander-in-chief of the imperial army, had just taken possession of
the duchy of Milan. The Emperor having promised him this conquest for
a recompense, Bourbon was compelled to remain there some time to
consolidate his power. At length, on the 12th February, he and his
Spanish troops joined the army of Freundsberg, which was becoming
impatient at his delays. The Constable had many men, but no money: he
resolved therefore to follow the advice of the Duke of Ferrara, that
inveterate enemy of the princes of the Church, and proceed straight to
Rome.[46] The whole army received this news with a shout of joy. The
Spaniards were filled with a desire of avenging Charles the Fifth, and
the Germans were overflowing with hatred against the Pope: all exulted
in the hope of receiving their pay and of having their labours richly
recompensed at last by the treasures of Christendom that Rome had been
accumulating for ages. Their shouts re-echoed beyond the Alps. Every
man in Germany thought that the last hour of the Papacy had now come,
and prepared to contemplate its fall. "The Emperor's forces are
triumphing in Italy," wrote Luther; "the Pope is visited from every
quarter. His destruction draweth nigh; his hour and his end are

  [46] Guicciardini, History of the Wars in Italy, book xviii. p. 698.

  [47] Papa ubique visitatur, ut destruatur; venit enim finis et hora
  ejus.--(Luther to Haussmann, 10th January, 1527. Epp. iii. p. 156.)


A few slight advantages gained by the papal soldiers in the kingdom of
Naples, led to the conclusion of a truce that was to be ratified by
the Pope and by the Emperor. At this news a frightful tumult broke out
in the Constable's army. The Spanish troops revolted, compelled him to
flee, and pillaged his tent. Then approaching the lansquenets, they
began to shout as loudly as they could, the only German words they
knew: _Lance!_ _lance!_ _money!_ _money!_[48] These words found an
echo in the bosoms of the Imperialists; they were moved in their turn,
and also began to cry with all their might: _Lance!_ _lance!_ _money!_
_money!_ Freundsberg beat to muster, and having drawn up the soldiers
around him and his principal officers, calmly demanded if he had ever
deserted them. All was useless. The old affection which the
lansquenets bore to their leader seemed extinct. One chord alone
vibrated in their hearts: they must have pay and war. Accordingly,
lowering their lances, they presented them, as if they would slay
their officers, and again began to shout, "Lance! lance! money!
money!"--Freundsberg, whom no army however large had ever frightened!
Freundsberg, who was accustomed to say, "the more enemies, the greater
the honour," seeing these lansquenets, at whose head he had grown
gray, aiming their murderous steel against him, lost all power of
utterance, and fell senseless upon a drum, as if struck with a
thunderbolt.[49] The strength of the veteran general was broken for
ever. But the sight of their dying captain produced on the lansquenets
an effect that no speech could have made. All the lances were
upraised, and the agitated soldiers retired with downcast eyes. Four
days later, Freundsberg recovered his speech. "Forward," said he to
the Constable; "God himself will bring us to the mark." Forward!
forward! repeated the lansquenets. Bourbon had no other alternative:
besides, neither Charles nor Clement would listen to any propositions
of peace. Freundsberg was carried to Ferrara, and afterwards to his
castle of Mindelheim, where he died after an illness of eighteen
months; and on the 18th April, Bourbon took the highroad to Rome,
which so many formidable armies coming from the north had already

  [48] Lanz, lanz, gelt, gelt.

  [49] Cum vero hastas ducibus obverterent indignatione et ægritudine
  animi oppressus, Fronsbergius subito in deliquium incidit, ita ut in
  tympano quod adstabat desidere cogeretur, nullumque verbum proloqui
  amplius posset.--(Seckend. ii. p. 79.)

[Sidenote: THE ASSAULT.]

Whilst the storm descending from the Alps was approaching the eternal
city, the Pope lost his presence of mind, sent away his troops, and
kept only his body-guard. More than thirty thousand Romans, it is
true, capable of bearing arms, paraded their bravery in the streets,
dragging their long-swords after them, quarrelling and fighting; but
these citizens, eager in the pursuit of gain, had little thought of
defending the Pope, and desired on the contrary that the magnificent
Charles would come and settle in Rome, hoping to derive great profit
from his stay.

On the evening of the 5th May Bourbon arrived under the walls of the
capital; and he would have begun the assault at that very moment if he
had had ladders. On the morning of the 6th the army, concealed by a
thick fog which hid their movements,[50] was put in motion, the
Spaniards marching to their station above the gate of the Holy Ghost,
and the Germans below.[51] The Constable, wishing to encourage his
soldiers, seized a scaling-ladder, mounted the wall, and called on
them to follow him. At this moment a ball struck him: he fell, and
expired an hour after. Such was the end of this unhappy man, a traitor
to his king and to his country, and suspected even by his new friends.

  [50] Guicciardini, vol. ii. p. 721.

  [51] Since the new wall built by Urban VIII. on the top of the
  Janiculum, the gates of the Holy Ghost and of Seltimiana have become

His death, far from checking, served only to excite the army. Claudius
Seidenstucker, grasping his long sword, first cleared the wall; he was
followed by Michael Hartmann, and these two reformed Germans exclaimed
that God himself marched before them in the clouds. The gates were
opened, the army poured in, the suburbs were taken, and the Pope,
surrounded by thirteen cardinals, fled to the Castle of St. Angelo.
The Imperialists, at whose head was now the Prince of Orange, offered
him peace on condition of his paying three hundred thousand crowns.
But Clement, who thought that the Holy League was on the point of
delivering him, and who fancied he already saw their leading horsemen,
rejected every proposition. After four hours' repose, the attack was
renewed, and by an hour after sunset the army was master of all the
city. It remained under arms and in good order until midnight, the
Spaniards in the Piazza Navona, and the Germans in the Campofiore. At
last, seeing no demonstrations either of war or of peace, the soldiers
disbanded and ran to pillage.

[Sidenote: THE SACK.]

Then began the famous "Sack of Rome." The Papacy had for centuries put
Christendom in the press. Prebends, annates, jubilees, pilgrimages,
ecclesiastical graces,--she had made money of them all. These greedy
troops, that for months had lived in wretchedness, determined to make
her disgorge. No one was spared, the imperial not more than the
ultramontane party, the Ghibellines not more than the Guelfs.
Churches, palaces, convents, private houses, basilics, banks,
tombs--every thing was pillaged, even to the golden ring that the
corpse of Julius II. still wore on its finger. The Spaniards displayed
the greatest skill; they scented out and discovered treasures in the
most mysterious hiding-places; but the Neapolitans were still more
outrageous.[52] "On every side were heard," says Guicciardini, "the
piteous shrieks of the Roman women and of the nuns whom the soldiers
dragged away by companies to satiate their lust."[53]

  [52] Jovius Vita Pompeii Colonnæ, p. 191; Ranke, Deutsche Gesch. ii.
  p. 398.

  [53] Guicciardini, ii. p. 724.


At first the Germans found a certain pleasure in making the Papists
feel the weight of their swords. But ere long, happy at finding food
and drink, they were more pacific than their allies. It was upon those
things which the Romans called "holy" that the anger of the Lutherans
was especially discharged. They took away the chalices, the pyxes, the
silver remonstrances, and clothed their servants and camp-boys with
the sacerdotal garments.[54] The Campofiore was changed into an
immense gambling-house. The soldiers brought thither golden vessels
and bags full of crowns, staked them upon one throw of the dice, and
after losing them, they went in search of others. A certain Simon
Baptista, who had foretold the sack of the city, had been thrown into
prison by the Pope; the Germans liberated him, and made him drink with
them. But, like Jeremiah, he prophesied against all. "Rob, plunder,"
cried he to his liberators; "you shall however give back all; the
money of the soldiers and the gold of the priests will follow the same

  [54] Sacras vestes profanis induebant lixis.--(Cochlœus, p. 156.)

Nothing pleased the Germans more than to mock the papal court. "Many
prelates," says Guicciardini, "were paraded on asses through all the
city of Rome."[55] After this procession, the bishops paid their
ransom; but they fell into the hands of the Spaniards, who made them
pay it a second time.[56]

  [55] Wars of Italy, ii. p. 723.

  [56] Eundem civem seu curialem haud raro, nunc ab Hispanis, nunc a
  Germanis ære mutuato redimi.--(Cochlœus, p. 156.)

One day a lansquenet named Guillaume de Sainte Celle, robes, and
placed the triple crown upon his head; others, adorning themselves
with the red hats and long robes of the cardinals, surrounded him; and
all going in procession upon asses through the streets of the city,
arrived at last before the castle of Saint Angelo, where Clement VII.
had retired. Here the soldier-cardinals alighted, and lifting up the
front of their robes, kissed the feet of the pretended pontiff. The
latter drank to the health of Clement VII., the cardinals kneeling did
the same, and exclaimed that henceforward they would be pious popes
and good cardinals, who would have a care not to excite wars, as all
their predecessors had done. They then formed a conclave, and the Pope
having announced to his consistory that it was his intention to resign
the Papacy, all hands were immediately raised for the election, and
they cried out "Luther is Pope! Luther is Pope!"[57] Never had pontiff
been proclaimed with such perfect unanimity. Such were the humours of
the Germans.

  [57] Milites itaque levasse manum ac exclamasse: Lutherus Papa!
  Lutherus Papa!--(Cochlœus, p. 156.)


The Spaniards did not let them off so easily. Clement VII. had called
them "Moors," and had published a plenary, indulgence for whoever
should kill any of them. Nothing, therefore, could restrain their
fury. These faithful Catholics put the prelates to death in the midst
of horrible tortures, destined to extort their treasures from them:
they spared neither rank, sex, nor age. It was not until after the
sack had lasted ten days, and a booty of ten million golden crowns had
been collected, and from five to eight thousand victims had perished,
that quiet began to be in some degree restored.

Thus did the pontifical city expire in the midst of a long and cruel
pillage, and that splendour with which Rome from the beginning of the
sixteenth century had filled the world faded in a few hours. Nothing
could preserve this haughty city from chastisement, not even the
prayers of its enemies. "I would not have Rome burnt," Luther had
exclaimed; "it would be a monstrous deed."[58] The fears of Melancthon
were still keener: "I tremble for the libraries," said he, "we know
how hateful books are to Mars."[59] But in despite of these wishes of
the reformers, the city of Leo X. fell under the judgment of God.

  [58] Romam nollem exustam, magnum enim portentum esset.--(Epp. iii. p.

  [59] Metuo bibliothecis.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 869.)

Clement VII., besieged in the castle of Saint Angelo, and fearful that
the enemy would blow his asylum into the air with their mines, at last
capitulated. He renounced every alliance against Charles the Fifth,
and bound himself to remain a prisoner until he had paid the army four
hundred thousand ducats. The evangelical Christians gazed with
astonishment on this judgment of the Lord. "Such," said they, "is the
empire of Jesus Christ, that the Emperor, pursuing Luther on account
of the Pope, is constrained to ruin the Pope instead of Luther. All
things minister unto the Lord, and turn against his adversaries."[60]

  [60] Ut Cæsar pro Papa Lutherum persequens, pro Luthero papam cogatur
  vastare.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 188.)


III. And in truth the Reform needed some years of repose that it might
increase and gain strength; and it could not enjoy peace, unless its
great enemies were at war with each other. The madness of Clement VII.
was as it were the _lightning-conductor_ of the Reformation, and the
ruin of Rome built up the Gospel. It was not only a few months' gain;
from 1526 to 1529 there was a calm in Germany by which the Reformation
profited to organize and extend itself. A constitution was now to be
given to the renovated Church.

The papal yoke having been broken, the ecclesiastical order required
to be reestablished. It was impossible to restore their ancient
jurisdiction to the bishops; for these continental prelates maintained
that they were, in an especial manner, the Pope's servants. A new
state of things was therefore called for, under pain of seeing the
Church fall into anarchy. Provision was made for it. It was then that
the evangelic nations separated definitely from that despotic dominion
which had for ages kept all the West in bondage.

Already on two occasions the diet had wished to make the reform of the
Church a national work; the Emperor, the Pope, and a few princes were
opposed to it; the Diet of Spire had therefore resigned to each state
the task that it could not accomplish itself.

But what constitution were they about to substitute for the papal

They could, while suppressing the Pope, preserve the Episcopal order:
it was the form most approximate to that which was on the point of
being destroyed.

They might, on the contrary, reconstruct the ecclesiastical order, by
having recourse to the sovereignty of God's Word, and by
re-establishing the rights of the christian people. This form was the
most remote from the Roman hierarchy. Between these two extremes there
were several middle courses.

[Sidenote: PHILIP OF HESSE.]

The latter plan was Zwingle's; but the reformer of Zurich had not
fully carried it out. He had not called upon the christian people to
exercise the sovereignty, and had stopped at the council of two
hundred as representing the Church.[61]

  [61] _Supra_, Vol. III. b. xi. ch. x.

The step before which Zwingle had hesitated might be taken, and it was
so. A prince did not shrink from what had alarmed even republics.
Evangelical Germany, at the moment in which she began to try her hand
on ecclesiastical constitutions, began with that which trenched the
deepest on the papal monarchy.

It was not, however, from Germany that such a system could proceed. If
the aristocratic England was destined to cling to the episcopal form,
the docile Germany was destined the rather to stop in a governmental
medium. The democratic extreme issued from Switzerland and France. One
of Calvin's predecessors then hoisted that flag which the powerful arm
of the Genevese Reformer was to lift again in after-years and plant in
France, Switzerland, Holland, Scotland, and even in England, whence it
was a century later to cross the Atlantic and summon North America to
take its rank among the nations.

None of the evangelical princes was so enterprising as Philip of
Hesse, who has been compared to Philip of Macedon in subtlety, and to
his son Alexander in courage. Philip comprehended that religion was at
length acquiring its due importance; and far from opposing the great
development that was agitating the people, he put himself in harmony
with the new ideas.

The morning-star had risen for Hesse almost at the same time as for
Saxony. In 1517, when Luther was preaching in Wittemberg the
gratuitous remission of sins, men and women were seen in Marburg
repairing secretly to one of the ditches of the city, and there, near
a solitary loophole, listening to the words that issued from within,
and that preached doctrines of consolation through the bars. It was
the voice of the Franciscan, James Limburg, who having declared that,
for fifteen centuries, the priests had falsified the Gospel of Christ,
had been thrown into this gloomy dungeon. These mysterious assemblies
lasted a fortnight. On a sudden the voice ceased; these lonely
meetings had been discovered, and the Franciscan, torn from his cell,
had been hurried away across the Lahnberg towards some unknown spot.
Not far from the Ziegenberg, some weeping citizens of Marburg came up
with him, and hastily snatching aside the canvass that covered his
car, they asked him, "Whither are you going?" "Where God wills,"
calmly replied the friar.[62] There was no more talk of him, and it is
not known what became of him. These disappearances are usual in the

  [62] Rommel, Phil. von Hesse, i. p. 128.

Scarcely had Philip prevailed in the Diet of Spire, when he resolved
on devoting himself to the Reformation of his hereditary states.

[Sidenote: Lambert's Paradoxes.]

His resolute character made him incline towards the Swiss reform: it
was not therefore one of the moderates that he required. He had formed
a connexion at Spire with James Sturm, the deputy from Strasburg, who
spoke to him of Francis Lambert of Avignon, who was then at Strasburg.
Of a pleasing exterior and decided character, Lambert added to the
fire of the South the perseverance of the North. He was the first in
France to throw off the cowl, and he had never since then ceased to
call for a radical reform in the Church. "Formerly," said he, "when I
was a hypocrite, I lived in abundance; now I consume frugally my daily
bread with my small family;[63] but I had rather be poor in Christ's
kingdom, than possess abundance of gold in the dissolute dwellings of
the Pope." The Landgrave saw that Lambert was such a man as he
required, and invited him to his court.

  [63] Nunc cum familiola mea panem manduco et potum capio in
  mensura.--(Lamberti Commentarii de Sacro Conjugio.)

Lambert, desiring to prepare the reform of Hesse, drew up one hundred
and fifty-eight theses, which he entitled "paradoxes," and posted
them, according to the custom of the times, on the church doors.

Friends and enemies immediately crowded round them. Some Roman
catholics would have torn them down, but the reformed townspeople
kept watch, and holding a synod in the public square, discussed,
developed, proved these propositions, and ridiculed the anger of the


A young priest, Boniface Dornemann, full of self-conceit, whom the
bishop, on the day of his consecration, had extolled above Paul for
his learning, and above the Virgin for his chastity, finding himself
too short to reach Lambert's placard, had borrowed a stool, and
surrounded by a numerous audience, had begun to read the propositions

  [64] Cum statura homines hujusmodi esset ut inter Pygmæos internosci
  difficulter posset, scabellum sibi dari postulabat, eoque conscenso,
  cœpit, &c.--(Othon. Melandri Jocorum Cent.)

"All that is deformed, ought to be reformed. The Word of God alone
teaches us what ought to be so, and all reform that is effected
otherwise is vain."[65]

  [65] Vana est omnis Reformatio quæ alioqui fit.--(Paradoxa Lamberti:
  Sculteti Annal.)

This was the first thesis. "Hem!" said the young priest, "I shall not
attack that." He continued.

"It belongs to the Church to judge on matters of faith. Now the Church
is the congregation of those who are united by the same spirit, the
same faith, the same God, the same Mediator, the same Word, by which
alone they are governed, and in which alone they have life."[66]

  [66] Ecclesia est congregatio eorum quos unit idem
  spiritus.--(Paradoxa Lamberti: Sculteti Annal.)

"I cannot attack that proposition," said the priest.[67] He continued
reading from his stool.

  [67] Hanc equidem haud impugnaverim. Illam ne quidem
  attigerim.--(Othon. Mel. Joc. Cent.)

"The Word is the true key. The kingdom of heaven is open to him who
believes the Word, and shut against him who believes it not. Whoever,
therefore, truly possesses the Word of God, has the power of the keys.
All other keys, all the decrees of the councils and popes, and all the
rules of the monks, are valueless."

Friar Boniface shook his head and continued.


"Since the priesthood of the Law has been abolished, Christ is the
only immortal and eternal priest, and he does not, like men, need a
successor. Neither the Bishop of Rome nor any other person in the
world is his representative here below. But all Christians, since the
commencement of the Church, have been and are participators in his

This proposition smelt of heresy. Dornemann, however, was not
discouraged; and whether it was from weakness of mind, or from the
dawning of light, at each proposition that did not too much shock his
prejudices, he failed not to repeat: "Certainly, I shall not attack
that one!" The people listened in astonishment, when one of
them,--whether he was a fanatical Romanist, a fanatical Reformer, or a
mischievous wag, I cannot tell--tired of these continual repetitions,
exclaimed: "Get down, you knave, who cannot find a word to impugn."
Then rudely pulling the stool from under him, he threw the unfortunate
clerk flat in the mud.[68]

  [68] Apagesis, nebulo! qui quod impugnes infirmesque invenire haud
  possis! hisque dictis scabellum ei mox subtrahit, ut miser ille
  præceps in lutum ageretur.--(Oth. Mel. Joc. Cent.)

On the 21st October, at seven in the morning, the gates of the
principal church of Homburg were thrown open, and the prelates,
abbots, priests, counts, knights, and deputies of the towns, entered
in succession, and in the midst of them was Philip, in his quality of
first member of the Church.

After Lambert had explained and proved his theses, he added: "Let him
stand forth who has anything to say against them." There was at first
a profound silence; but at length Nicholas Ferber, superior of the
Franciscans of Marburg, who in 1524, applying to Rome's favourite
argument, had entreated the Landgrave to employ the sword against the
heretics, began to speak with drooping head, and downcast eyes; but as
he invoked Augustin, Peter Lombard, and other doctors to his
assistance, the Landgrave observed to him: "Do not put forward the
wavering opinions of men, but the Word of God, which alone fortifies
and strengthens our hearts." The Franciscan sat down in confusion,
saying: "This is not the place for replying." The disputation,
however, recommenced, and Lambert, showing all the fire of the South,
so astonished his adversary, that the superior, alarmed at what he
called "thunders of blasphemy and lightnings of impiety,"[69] sat down
again, observing a second time, "This is not the place for replying."

  [69] Fulgura impietatum, tonitrua blasphemiarum.


In vain did the Chancellor Feige declare to him that each man had the
right of maintaining his opinion with full liberty; in vain did the
Landgrave himself exclaim that the Church was sighing after truth:
silence had become Rome's refuge. "I will defend the doctrine of
purgatory," a priest had said prior to the discussion; "I will attack
the paradoxes under the sixth head (on the true priesthood)," had said
another;[70] and a third had exclaimed, "I will overthrow those under
the tenth head (on images);" but now they were all dumb.

  [70] Erant enim prius qui dicerent: Ego asseram purgatorium; alius,
  Ego impugnabo paradoxa tituli sexti, etc.--(Lamberti Epistola ad

Upon this Lambert, clasping his hands, exclaimed with Zacharias:
_Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed
his people_.

After three days of discussion, which had been a continual triumph for
the evangelical doctrine, men were selected and commissioned to
constitute the churches of Hesse in accordance with the Word of God.
They were more than three days occupied in the task, and then their
new constitution was published in the name of the synod.

The first ecclesiastical constitution produced by the Reformation
should have a place in history, so much the more as it was then set
forward as a model for the new Churches of Christendom.[71]

  [71] This constitution will be found in Schminke, Monumenta Hassiaca,
  vol. ii. p. 588: "Pro Hassiæ Ecclesiis, et si deinde nonnullæ _aliæ_
  ad idem _nostro exemplo_ provocarentur."


The autonomy or self-government of the Church is its fundamental
principle: it is from the Church, from its representatives assembled
in the name of the Lord, that this legislation emanates; there is no
mention in the prologue either of state or of Landgrave.[72] Philip,
content with having broken for himself and for his people the yoke of
a foreign priest, had no desire to put himself in his place, and was
satisfied with an external superintendence, necessary for the
maintenance of order.

  [72] Synodus _in nomine Domini congregata_.--(Ibid.)

A second distinctive feature in this constitution is its simplicity
both of government and worship. The assembly conjures all future
synods not to load the Churches with a multitude of ordinances,
"seeing that where orders abound, disorder superabounds." They would
not even continue the organs in the churches, because, said they, "men
should understand what they hear."[73] The more the human mind has
been bent in one direction, the more violent is the reaction in the
contrary direction when it is unbent. The Church passed at that time
from the extreme of symbols to that of simplicity. These are the
principal features of this constitution:--

  [73] Ne homines non intelligant.--(Ibid. cap. 3.)

"The Church can only be taught and governed by the Word of its
Sovereign Pastor. Whoever has recourse to any other word shall be
deposed and excommunicated.[74]

  [74] Non admittimus verbum aliud quam ipsius pastoris
  nostri.--(Schminke, Monumenta Hassiaca, cap. 2.)

"Every pious man, learned in the Word of God, whatever be his
condition, may be elected bishop if he desire it, for he is called
inwardly of God.[75]

  [75] Si quis pius, in verbo sancto et exercitatus, docere petit verbum
  sanctum, non repellatur, a Deo enim interne mittitur.--(Ibid. cap.

"Let no one believe that by a bishop we understand anything else than
a simple minister of the Word of God.[76]

  [76] Ne quis putet, nos hic per episcopos, alios intelligere, quam
  ministros Dei verbi.--(Ibid.)

"The ministers are servants, and consequently they ought not to be
lords, princes, or governors.


"Let the faithful assemble and choose their bishops and deacons. Each
church should elect its own pastor.[77]

  [77] Eligat quævis ecclesia episcopum suum.--(Ibid. cap. 23.)

"Let those who are elected bishops be consecrated to their office by
the imposition of the hands of three bishops; and as for the deacons,
if there are no ministers present, let them receive the laying on of
hands from the elders of the Church.[78]

  [78] Manus imponant duo ex senioribus, nisi alii episcopi
  intersint.--(Ibid. cap. 21.)

"If a bishop causes any scandal to the Church by his effeminacy, or by
the splendour of his garments, or by the levity of his conduct, and
if, on being warned, he persists, let him be deposed by the

  [79] Deponat ecclesia episcopum suum, quod ad eam spectet judicare de
  voce pastorum.--(Ibid. cap. 23.)

"Let each church place its bishop in a condition to live with his
family, and to be hospitable, as St. Paul enjoins; but let the bishops
exact nothing for their casual duties.[80]

  [80] Alat quævis ecclesia episcopum suum sicque illi administret ut
  cum sua familia vivere possit.--(Schminke, Monumenta Hassiaca, cap.

"On every Sunday let there be in some suitable place an assembly of
all the men who are in the number of the saints, to regulate with the
bishop, according to God's Word, all the affairs of the Church, and to
excommunicate whoever gives occasion of scandal to the Church; for the
Church of Christ has never existed without exercising the power of

  [81] Fiat conventus fidelium in congruo loco, ad quem quotquot ex
  viris in sanctorum numero habentur......Christi ecclesiam nunquam
  fuisse sine excommunicatione.--(Ibid. cap. 15.)

"As a weekly assembly is necessary for the direction of the particular
churches, so a general synod should be held annually for the direction
of all the churches in the country.[82]

  [82] Ut semel pro toto Hessia celebretur synodus apud Marpurgum tertia
  dominica post pascha.--(Ibid. cap. 18.)


"All the pastors are its natural members; but each church shall
further elect from its body a man full of the Spirit and of faith, to
whom it shall intrust powers for all that is in the jurisdiction of
the synod.[83]

  [83] Universi episcopi......Quælibet ecclesia congregetur et eligat ex
  se ipsa unum plenum fide et Spiritu Dei.--(Ibid.)

"Three visiters shall be elected yearly, with commission to go through
all the churches, to examine those who have been elected bishops, to
confirm those who have been approved of, and to provide for the
execution of the decrees of the synod."

It will no doubt be found that this first evangelical constitution
went in some points to the extreme of ecclesiastical democracy; but
certain institutions had crept in that were capable of increase and of
changing its nature. Six superintendents for life were afterwards
substituted for these annual visiters (who, according to the primitive
institution, might be simple members of the church); and, as has been
remarked,[84] the encroachments, whether of these superintendents or
of the state, gradually paralyzed the activity and independence of the
churches of Hesse. This constitution fared as did that of the Abbé
Sièyes, in the year 8, which, being destined to be republican, served
through the influence of Napoleon Bonaparte to establish the despotism
of the Empire.

  [84] Rettig, Die Freie Kirche.

It was not the less a remarkable work. Romish doctors have reproached
the Reformation for making the Church a too interior institution.[85]
In effect, the Reformation and Popery recognise two elements in the
Church,--the one exterior, the other interior; but while Popery gives
precedence to the former, the Reformation assigns it to the latter. If
however it be a reproach against the Reformation for having an inward
Church only, and for not creating an external one, the remarkable
constitution of which we have just exhibited a few features, will save
us the trouble of reply. The exterior ecclesiastical order, which then
sprung from the very heart of the Reformation, is far more perfect
than that of Popery.

  [85] This is the opinion set forth in the _Symbolik_ of Dr. Möhler,
  the most celebrated defender of the Romish doctrine among our


One great question presented itself: Will these principles be adopted
by all the Churches of the Reformation?

Everything seemed to indicate as much. The most pious men thought at
that time that the ecclesiastical power proceeded from the members of
the Church. By withdrawing from the hierarchical extreme, they flung
themselves into a democratical one. Luther himself had professed this
doctrine as early as 1523. The Calixtins of Bohemia, on seeing the
bishops of their country refuse them ministers, had gone so far as to
take the first vagabond priest. "If you have no other means of
procuring pastors," wrote Luther to them, "rather do without them, and
let each head of a family read the Gospel in his own house, and
baptise his children, sighing after the sacrament of the altar as the
Jews at Babylon did for Jerusalem.[86] The consecration of the Pope
creates priests--not of God, but of the devil, ordained solely to
trample Jesus Christ under foot, to bring his sacrifice to naught, and
to sell imaginary holocausts to the world in his name.[87] Men become
ministers only by election and calling, and that ought to be effected
in the following manner:--

"First, seek God by prayer;[88] then being assembled together with all
those whose hearts God has touched, choose in the Lord's name him or
them whom you shall have acknowledged to be fitted for this ministry.
After that, let the chief men among you lay their hands on them, and
recommend them to the people and to the Church."[89]

  [86] Tutius enim et salubrius esset, quemlibet patrem-familias suæ
  domui legere Evangelium.--(L. Opp. lat. ii. p. 363.)

  [87] Per ordines papisticos non sacerdotes Dei sed sacerdotes Satanæ,
  tantum ut Christum conculcent.--(Ibid. p. 364.)

  [88] Orationibus tum privatis tum publicis.--(Ibid. p. 370.)

  [89] Eligite quem et quos volueritis. Tum impositis super eos manibus,
  sint hoc ipso vestri episcopi, vestri ministri, seu pastores.--(L.
  Opp. lat. ii. p. 370.)


Luther, in thus calling upon the people alone to nominate their
pastors, submitted to the necessities of the times. It was requisite
to constitute the ministry; but the ministry having no existence, it
could not then have the legitimate part that belongs to it in the
choice of God's ministers.

But another necessity, proceeding in like manner from the state of
affairs, was to incline Luther to deviate from the principles he had
laid down.

The German Reformation can hardly be said to have begun with the lower
classes, as in Switzerland and France; and Luther could scarcely find
anywhere that christian people, which should have played so great a
part in his new constitution. Ignorant men, conceited townspeople, who
would not even maintain their ministers--these were the members of the
Church. Now what could be done with such elements?

But if the people were indifferent, the princes were not so. They
stood in the foremost rank of the battle, and sat on the first bench
in the council. The democratic organization was therefore compelled to
give way to an organization conformable to the civil government. The
Church is composed of Christians, and they are taken wherever they are
found--high or low. It was particularly in high stations that Luther
found them. He admitted the princes as representatives of the people;
and henceforward the influence of the state became one of the
principal elements in the constitution of the evangelical Church.

In the mind of the Reformer, this guardianship of the princes was only
to be provisional. The faithful being then in minority, they had need
of a guardian; but the era of the Church's majority might arrive, and
with it would come its emancipation.


We may admit that this recourse to the civil power was at that time
necessary, but we cannot deny that it was also a source of
difficulties. We will point out only one. When Protestantism became an
affair of governments and nations, it ceased to be universal. The new
spirit was capable of creating a new earth. But instead of opening new
roads, and of purposing the regeneration of all Christendom, and the
conversion of the whole world, the Protestants sought to settle
themselves as comfortably as possible in a few German duchies. This
timidity, which has been called prudence, did immense injury to the

The organizing power being once discovered, the Reformers thought of
organization, and Luther applied to the task; for although he was in
an especial manner an assailant and Calvin an organizer, these two
qualities, as necessary to the reformers of the Church as to the
founders of empires, were not wanting in either of these great
servants of God.

It was necessary to compose a new ministry, for most of the priests
who had quitted the Papacy were content to receive the watchword of
Reform without having personally experienced the sanctifying virtue of
the Truth. There was even one parish in which the priest preached the
Gospel in his principal church, and sang mass in its succursal.[90]
But something more was wanting: a Christian people had to be created.
"Alas!" said Luther of some of the adherents of the Reform, "they have
abandoned their Romish doctrines and rites, and they scoff at

  [90] In æde parochiali evangelico more docebat, in filiali missi
  fiabat.--(Seck. p. 102.)

  [91] Sic enim sua papistica neglexerunt, et nostra contemnunt.--(L.
  Epp. iii. p. 224.)

[Sidenote: GERMAN MASS.]

Luther did not shrink from before this double necessity; and he made
provision for it. Understanding that a general visitation of the
churches was necessary, he addressed the Elector on this subject, on
the 22d October 1526. "Your highness, in your quality of guardian of
youth, and of all those who know not how to take care of themselves,"
said he, "should compel the inhabitants, who desire neither pastors
nor schools, to receive these means of grace, as they are compelled to
work on the roads, on bridges, and such like services.[92] The papal
order being abolished, it is your duty to regulate these things; no
other person cares about them, no other can, and no other ought to do
so. Commission, therefore, four persons to visit all the country; let
two of them inquire into the tithes and church property; and let two
take charge of the doctrine, schools, churches, and pastors." We
naturally ask, on reading these words, if the church which was formed
in the first century, without the support of princes, could not in the
sixteenth be reformed without them?

  [92] Als oberster vormund der Jugend und aller die es bedurfen, sall
  sie mit Gewalt dazu halten.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 136.)

Luther was not content with soliciting in writing the intervention of
the prince. He was indignant at seeing the courtiers, who in the time
of the Elector Frederick had shown themselves the inveterate enemies
of the Reformation, rushing now, "sporting, laughing, skipping," as he
said, on the spoils of the Church. Accordingly, at the end of this
year, the Elector having come to Wittemberg, the Reformer repaired
immediately to the palace, made his complaint to the prince-electoral,
whom he met at the gate, then without caring about those who stopped
him, made his way by force into his father's bedchamber, and
addressing this prince, who was surprised at so unexpected a visit,
begged him to remedy the evils of the Church. The visitation of the
churches was resolved upon, and Melancthon was commissioned to draw up
the necessary instructions.

In 1526, Luther had published his "German Mass," by which he signified
the order of church service in general. "The real evangelical
assemblies," he said, "do not take place publicly, pellmell, admitting
people of every sort;[93] but they are formed of serious Christians,
who confess the Gospel by their words and by their lives,[94] and in
the midst of whom we may reprove and excommunicate, according to the
rule of Christ Jesus.[95] I cannot institute such assemblies, for I
have no one to place in them;[96] but if the thing becomes possible, I
shall not be wanting in this duty."

  [93] Non publice, sive promiscue et admissa omnis generis plebe.--(De
  Missa Germ.)

  [94] Qui nomina sua in catalogum referrent, adds he.--(Ibid.)

  [95] Excommunicari qui Christiano more se non gererent.--(De Missa

  [96] Neque enim habeo qui sint idonei.--(Ibid.)


It was also with a conviction that he must give the Church, not the
best form of worship imaginable, but the best possible, that
Melancthon laboured at his Instructions.

The German Reformation at that time tacked about, as it were. If
Lambert in Hesse had gone to the extreme of a democratical system,
Melancthon in Saxony was approximating the contrary extreme of
traditional principles. A conservative principle was substituted for a
reforming one. Melancthon wrote to one of the inspectors:[97] "All the
old ceremonies that you can preserve, pray do so.[98] Do not innovate
much, for every innovation is injurious to the people."[99]

  [97] Dr. Dewette thinks this letter is Luther's (L. Epp. iii. p. 352).
  It appears clear to me, as also to Dr. Bretschneider, that it is
  Melancthon's. Luther never went so far in the way of concession.

  [98] Observo quantum ex veteribus cæremoniis retineri potest,
  retineas.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 990.)

  [99] Omnis novitas nocet in vulgo.--(Ibid.)

They retained, therefore, the Latin liturgy, a few German hymns being
mingled with it;[100] the communion in one kind for those only who
scrupled from habit to take it in both; a confession made to the
priest without being in any way obligatory; many saints' days, the
sacred vestments,[101] and other rites, "in which," said Melancthon,
"there is no harm, whatever Zwingle may say."[102] And at the same
time they set forth with reserve the doctrines of the Reformation.

  [100] Non aboleas eam totam (the Latin mass): satis est alicubi
  miscere Germanicas cantationes.--(Ibid.)

  [101] Ut retineantur vestes usitatæ in sacris.--(Corp. Ref. ad Jonam,
  20th December 1527.)

  [102] Vel si Zwinglius ipse prædicaturus sit.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

It is but right to confess the dominion of facts and circumstances
upon these ecclesiastical organizations; but there is a dominion which
rises higher still--that of the Word of God.

Perhaps what Melancthon did was all that could be effected at that
time: but it was necessary for the work to be one day resumed and
re-established on its primitive plan, and this was Calvin's glory.


A cry of astonishment was heard both from the camp of Rome and from
that of the Reformation. "Our cause is betrayed," exclaimed some of
the evangelical Christians: "the liberty is taken away that Jesus
Christ had given us."[103]

  [103] Alii dicerent prodi causam.--(Camer. Vita Melancthon, p. 107.)

On their part the Ultramontanists triumphed in Melancthon's
moderation: they called it a retractation, and took advantage of it to
insult the Reform. Cochlœus published a "horrible" engraving, as he
styles it himself, in which, from beneath the same hood was seen
issuing a seven-headed monster representing Luther. Each of these
heads had different features, and all, uttering together the most
frightful and contradictory words, kept disputing, tearing, and
devouring each other.[104]

  [104] Monstrosus ille Germaniæ partus, Lutherus septiceps.--(Cochlœus,
  p. 169.)

The astonished Elector resolved to communicate Melancthon's paper to
Luther. But never did the Reformer's respect for his friend show
itself in a more striking manner. He only made one or two unimportant
additions to this plan, and sent it back accompanied with the highest
eulogiums. The Romanists said that the tiger caught in a net was
licking the hands that clipped his talons. But it was not so. Luther
knew that the aim of Melancthon's labours was to strengthen the very
soul of the Reformation in all the churches of Saxony. That was
sufficient for him. He thought besides, that in every thing there must
be a transition; and being justly convinced that his friend was more
than himself a man of transition, he frankly accepted his views.

The general visitation began. Luther in Saxony, Spalatin in the
districts of Altenburg and Zwickau, Melancthon in Thuringia, and
Thuring in Franconia, with ecclesiastical deputies and several lay
colleagues, commenced the work in October and November 1528.


They purified the clergy by dismissing every priest of scandalous
life;[105] they assigned a portion of the church property to the
maintenance of public worship, and they placed the remainder beyond
the reach of plunder; they continued the suppression of the convents;
they established everywhere unity of instruction; and "Luther's
greater and smaller catechisms," which appeared in 1529, contributed
more perhaps than any other writings to propagate throughout the new
churches the ancient faith of the Apostles; they commissioned the
pastors of the great towns, under the title of superintendents, to
watch over the churches and the schools; they maintained the abolition
of celibacy; and the ministers of the Word, become husbands and
fathers, formed the germ of a third estate, whence in after-years were
diffused in all ranks of society learning, activity, and light. This
is one of the truest causes of the intellectual and moral superiority
that indisputably distinguishes the evangelical nations.

  [105] Viginti fere rudes et inepti, multique concubinarii et potatores
  deprehensi sunt.--(Seckend. p. 102.)

The organization of the churches in Saxony, notwithstanding its
imperfections, produced for that time at least the most important
results. This was because the Word of God prevailed; and because,
wherever this Word exercises its power, secondary errors and abuses
are paralyzed. The very discretion that was employed proceeded in
reality from a good principle. The reformers, unlike the enthusiasts,
did not utterly reject an institution because it was corrupted. They
did not say, for example: "The sacraments are disfigured, let us do
without them! the ministry is corrupt, let us reject it!"--but they
rejected the abuse, and restored the use. This prudence is the mark of
a work of God; and if Luther sometimes permitted the chaff to remain
along with the wheat, Calvin appeared later, and more thoroughly
purged the Christian threshing-floor.


The organization which was at that time accomplishing in Saxony,
exerted a strong reaction on all the German empire, and the doctrine
of the Gospel advanced with gigantic strides. The design of God in
turning aside from the reformed states of Germany, the thunderbolt
that he caused to fall upon the seven-hilled city, was clearly
manifest. Never were years more usefully employed; and it was not only
to framing a constitution that the Reformation devoted itself, it was
also to extend its doctrine.

The duchies of Luneburg and Brunswick, many of the most important
imperial cities, as Nuremberg, Augsburg, Ulm, Strasburg, Gottingen,
Gosslar, Nordhausen, Lubeck, Bremen, and Hamburg, removed the tapers
from the chapels, and substituted in their place the brighter torch of
the Word of God.

In vain did the frightened canons allege the authority of the Church.
"The authority of the Church," replied Kempe and Zechenhagen, the
reformer of Hamburg, "cannot be acknowledged unless the Church herself
obeys her pastor Jesus Christ."[106] Pomeranus visited many places to
put a finishing hand to the Reform.

  [106] Evangelici auctoritatem Ecclesiæ non aliter agnoscendam esse
  contendebant quam si vocem pastoris Christi sequeretur.--(Seckend. i.
  p. 245.)

In Franconia, the Margrave George of Brandenburg, having reformed
Anspach and Bayreuth, wrote to his ancient protector, Ferdinand of
Austria, who had knit his brows on hearing of his reforming
proceedings: "I have done this by God's order; for he commands princes
to take care not only of the bodies of their subjects, but also of
their souls."[107]

  [107] Non modo quoad corpus, sed etiam quoad animam.--(Seckend. ii. p.

In East Friesland, on new-year's day, 1527, a Dominican named Resius,
having put on his hood,[108] ascended the pulpit at Noorden, and
declared himself ready to maintain certain theses according to the
tenor of the Gospel. Having silenced the Abbot of Noorden by the
soundness of his arguments, Resius took off his cowl, laid it on the
pulpit, and was received in the nave by the acclamations of the
faithful. Ere long the whole of Friesland laid aside the uniform of
Popery, as Resius had done.

  [108] Resius, cucullum indutus, suggestum ascendit.--(Scultet. Ann. p.


At Berlin, Elizabeth, electress of Brandenburg, having read Luther's
works, felt a desire to receive the Lord's supper in conformity with
Christ's institution: a minister secretly administered it at the
festival of Easter, 1528; but one of her children informed the
Elector. Joachim was greatly exasperated, and ordered his wife to keep
her room for several days;[109] it was even said that he intended to
shut her up.[110] This princess, being deprived of all religious
support, and mistrusting the perfidious manœuvres of the Romish
priests, resolved to escape by flight; and she claimed the assistance
of her brother, Christian II. of Denmark, who was then residing at
Torgau. Taking advantage of a dark night, she quitted the castle in a
peasant's dress, and got into a rude country-waggon that was waiting
for her at the gate of the city. Elizabeth urged on the driver, when,
in a bad road, the wain broke down. The electress, hastily unfastening
a handkerchief she wore round her head, flung it to the man, who
employed it in repairing the damage, and ere long Elizabeth arrived at
Torgau. "If I should expose you to any risk," said she to her uncle,
the Elector of Saxony, "I am ready to go wherever Providence may guide
me." But John assigned her a residence in the castle of Lichtenberg,
on the Elbe, near Wittemberg. Without taking upon us to approve of
Elizabeth's flight, let us acknowledge the good that God's Providence
drew from it. This amiable lady, who lived at Lichtenberg, in the
study of His word, seldom appearing at court, frequently going to hear
Luther's sermons, and exercising a salutary influence over her
children, who sometimes had permission to see her, was the first of
those pious princesses whom the house of Brandenburg has counted, and
even still counts, among its members.

  [109] Aliquot diebus a marito in cubiculo detenta fuisse.--(Seckend.
  ii. p. 122.)

  [110] Marehio statuerat eam immurare.--(L. Epp. ad Lenkium, iii. p.

At the same time, Holstein, Sleswick, and Silesia decided in favour of
the Reformation: and Hungary, as well as Bohemia, saw the number of
its adherents increase.

[Sidenote: EDICT OF OFEN.]

In every place, instead of a hierarchy seeking its righteousness in
the works of man, its glory in external pomp, its strength in a
material power, the Church of the Apostles reappeared, humble as in
primitive times, and like the ancient Christians, looking for its
righteousness, its glory, and its power solely in the blood of Christ
and in the Word of God.[111]

  [111] Revelation xii. 11.

IV. All these triumphs of the Gospel could not pass unperceived; there
was a powerful reaction, and until political circumstances should
permit a grand attack upon the Reformation on the very soil where it
was established, and of persecuting it by means of diets, and if
necessary by armies, they began to persecute in detail in the Romish
countries with tortures and the scaffold.

On the 20th August, 1527, King Ferdinand, by the Edict of Ofen in
Hungary, published a tariff of crimes and penalties, in which he
threatened death by the sword, by fire, or by water,[112] against
whoever should say that Mary was a woman like other women; or partake
of the sacrament in an heretical manner; or consecrate the bread and
wine, not being a Romish priest; and further, in the second case, the
house in which the sacrament should have been administered was to be
confiscated or rased to the ground.

  [112] Die sollen mit den Feuer Schwerdt oder Wasser gestraft
  werden.--(Ferd. Mandat. L. Opp. xix. p. 596.)

Such was not the legislation of Luther. Link having asked him if it
were lawful for the magistrate to put the false prophets to death,
meaning the Sacramentarians, whose doctrines Luther attacked with so
much force,[113] the Reformer replied: "I am slow whenever life is
concerned, even if the offender is exceedingly guilty.[114] I can by
no means admit that the false teachers should be put to death;[115] it
is sufficient to remove them." For ages the Romish Church has bathed
in blood. Luther was the first to profess the great principles of
humanity and religious liberty.

  [113] Contra hostes sacramentarios strenue nobiscum certare.--(Epp. to
  Lenk, July 14, 1528.)

  [114] Ego ad judicium sanguinis tardus sum, etiam ubi meritum

  [115] Nullo modo possum admittere falsos doctores occidi.--(Epp. to
  Lenk, July 14, 1528.)


They sometimes had recourse to more expeditious proceedings than the
scaffold itself. George Winkler, pastor of Halle, having been summoned
before Archbishop Albert in the spring of 1527, for having
administered the sacrament in both kinds, had been acquitted. As this
minister was returning home along an unfrequented road in the midst of
the woods, he was suddenly attacked by a number of horsemen, who
murdered him, and immediately fled through the thickets without taking
anything from his person.[116] "The world," exclaimed Luther, "is a
cavern of assassins under the command of the devil; an inn, whose
landlord is a brigand, and which bears this sign, _Lies and Murder_;
and none are more readily murdered therein than those who proclaim
Jesus Christ."

  [116] Mox enim ut interfecerunt, aufugerunt per avia loca, nihil prædæ
  aut pecuniæ capientes.--(Cochl. p. 152.)

At Munich George Carpenter was led to the scaffold for having denied
that the baptism of water is able by its own virtue to save a man.
"When you are thrown into the fire," said some of his brethren, "give
us a sign by which we may know that you persevere in the faith."--"As
long as I can open my mouth, I will confess the name of the Lord
Jesus."[117] The executioner stretched him on a ladder, tied a small
bag of gunpowder round his neck, and then flung him into the flames.
Carpenter immediately cried out, "Jesus! Jesus!" and the executioner
having turned him again and again with his hooks, the martyr several
times repeated the word Jesus, and expired.

  [117] Dum os aperire licebit, servatoris nostri nomen profiteri
  nunquam intermittam.--(Scultet. ii. p. 110.)


At Landsberg nine persons were consigned to the flames, and at Munich
twenty-nine were thrown into the water. At Scherding, Leonard Keyser,
a friend and disciple of Luther, having been condemned by the bishop,
had his head shaved, and being dressed in a smock-frock, was placed on
horseback. As the executioners were cursing and swearing, because they
could not disentangle the ropes with which he was to be bound, he
said to them mildly: "Dear friends, your bonds are not necessary; my
Lord Christ has already bound me." When he drew near the stake, Keyser
looked at the crowd and exclaimed: "Behold the harvest! O Master, send
forth thy labourers!" He then ascended the scaffold and said: "O Jesu,
save me! I am thine." These were his last words.[118] "Who am I, a
wordy preacher," exclaimed Luther, when he received the news of his
death, "in comparison with this great doer?"[119]

  [118] Incenso jam igne, clara voce proclamavit: _Tuus sum Jesu! Salva
  me!_--(Seckend. ii. p. 85.)

  [119] Tam impar verbosus prædicator, illi tam potenti verbi
  operator.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 1214.)

Thus, the Reformation manifested by such striking works the truth that
it had come to re-establish; namely, that faith is not, as Rome
maintains, an historical, vain, dead knowledge,[120] but a lively
faith, the work of the Holy Ghost, the channel by which Christ fills
the heart with new desires and with new affections, the true worship
of the living God.

  [120] Si quis dixerit fidem non esse veram fidem, licet non fit viva,
  aut eum qui fidem sine charitate habet, non esse christianum, anathema
  sit.--(Conc. Frid. Sess. 6, p. 28.)

These martyrdoms filled Germany with horror, and gloomy forebodings
descended from the thrones among the ranks of the people. Around the
domestic hearth, in the long winter evenings, the conversation wholly
turned on prisons, tortures, scaffolds, and martyrs; and the slightest
noise alarmed the old men, women, and children. These narratives
gained strength from mouth to mouth; the rumour of a universal
conspiracy against the Gospel spread through all the Empire. Its
adversaries, taking advantage of this terror, announced with a
mysterious air that they must look during this year (1528) for some
decisive measure against the Reform.[121] One scoundrel resolved to
profit by this state of mind to satisfy his avarice.

  [121] Nescio quid mirari quod hoc anno contra reformationem
  expectandum sit.--(Seckend. ii. p. 101.)

[Sidenote: PACK'S FORGERY.]

No blows are more terrible to a cause than those which it inflicts
upon itself. The Reformation, seized with a dizziness, was on the
verge of self-destruction. There is a spirit of error that conspires
against the cause of truth, beguiling by subtlety;[122] the
Reformation was about to experience its attacks, and to stagger under
the most formidable assault,--perturbation of thought, and
estrangement from the ways of wisdom and of truth.

  [122] 2 Corinthians xi. 3.

Otho of Pack, vice-chancellor to Duke George of Saxony, was a crafty
and dissipated man,[123] who took advantage of his office, and had
recourse to all sorts of practices to procure money. The Duke having
on one occasion sent him to the Diet of Nuremberg as his
representative, the Bishop of Merseburg confided to him his
contribution towards the imperial government. The Bishop having been
afterwards called upon for this money, Pack declared that he had paid
it to a citizen of Nuremberg, whose seal and signature he produced.
This paper was a forgery; Pack himself was the author of it.[124] This
wretch, however, put an impudent face on the matter, and as he was not
convicted, he preserved the confidence of his master. Erelong an
opportunity presented itself of exercising his criminal talent on a
larger scale.

  [123] Homo erat versutus, et præterea prodigus, quo vitio ad alia
  inductus est.--(Seckend. ii. p. 94.)

  [124] It is still to be seen in the records at Dresden.

No one entertained greater suspicions with regard to the Papists than
the Landgrave of Hesse. Young, susceptible, and restless, he was
always on the alert. In the month of February 1528, Pack happening to
be at Cassel to assist Philip in some difficult business, the
Landgrave imparted to him his fears. If any one could have had any
knowledge of the designs of the Papists, it must have been the
vice-chancellor, one of the greatest enemies to the Reform. The crafty
Pack heaved a sigh, bent down his eyes, and was silent. Philip
immediately became uneasy, entreated him, and promised to do nothing
that would injure the Duke. Then, Pack as if he had allowed an
important secret to be torn from him with regret, confessed that a
league against the Lutherans had been concluded at Breslau on the
Wednesday following _Jubilate_ Sunday, 12th May 1527; and engaged to
procure the original of this act for the Landgrave, who offered him
for this service a remuneration of ten thousand florins. This was the
greatest transaction that this wretched man had ever undertaken; but
it tended to nothing less than the utter overthrow of the Empire.

The Landgrave was amazed: he restrained himself, however, wishing to
see the act with his own eyes before informing his allies. He
therefore repaired to Dresden. "I cannot," said Pack, "furnish you
with the original: the Duke always carries it about his person to read
it to other princes whom he hopes to gain over. Recently at Leipsic,
he showed it to Duke Henry of Brunswick. But here is a copy made by
his highness's order." The Landgrave took the document, which bore all
the marks of the most perfect authenticity. It was crossed by a cord
of black silk, and fastened at both ends by the seal of the ducal
chancery.[125] Above was an impression from the ring Duke George
always wore on his finger, with the three quarterings that Philip had
so often seen; at the top, the coronet, and at the bottom, the two
lions. He has no more doubts as to its authenticity. But how can we
describe his indignation as he read this guilty document? King
Ferdinand, the Electors of Mentz and of Brandenburg, Duke George of
Saxony, the Dukes of Bavaria, the Bishops of Salzburg, Wurtzburg, and
Bamberg, have entered into a coalition to call upon the Elector of
Saxony to deliver up the arch-heretic Luther, with all the apostate
priests, monks, and nuns, and to re-establish the ancient worship. If
he make default, his states are to be invaded, and this prince and his
descendants are to be for ever dispossessed. The same measure was next
to be applied to the Landgrave, only ("it was your father-in-law, Duke
George," said Pack to Philip, "who got this clause inserted") his
states shall be restored to him in consideration of his youth, if he
becomes fully reconciled to the Holy Church. The document stated
moreover the contingents of men and money to be provided by the
confederates, and the share they were to have in the spoils of these
two heretical princes.[126]

  [125] Cui filum sericum circumligatum, et sigillum cancellariæ
  impressum erat.--(Seck. ii. p. 94.)

  [126] Hortleber, De Bello Germanico, ii. p. 579.

Many circumstances tended to confirm the authenticity of this paper.
Ferdinand, Joachim of Brandenburg, and George of Saxony, had in fact
met at Breslau on the day indicated, and an evangelical prince, the
Margrave George, had seen Joachim leave Ferdinand's apartments,
holding in his hand a large parchment to which several seals were
attached. The agitated Landgrave caused a copy to be taken of this
document, promised secrecy for a time, paid Pack four thousand
florins, and engaged to make up the sum agreed upon, if he would
procure him the original. And then, wishing to prevent the storm, he
hastened to Weimar to inform the Elector of this unprecedented

"I have seen," said he to John and his son, "nay more--I have had in
my hands, a duplicate of this horrible treaty. Signatures,
seals--nothing was wanting.[127] Here is a copy, and I bind myself to
place the original before your eyes. The most frightful danger
threatens us--ourselves, our faithful subjects, and the Word of God."

  [127] Nam is affirmabat se archetypon vidisse, commemorabat
  σφρἁγιδας.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 986.)


The Elector had no reason to doubt the account the Landgrave had just
given him: he was stunned, confounded, and overpowered. The promptest
measures alone could avert such unheard of disasters: everything must
be risked to extricate them from certain destruction. The impetuous
Philip breathed fire and flames;[128] his plan of defence was already
prepared. He presented it, and in the first moment of consternation he
carried the consent of his ally, as it were by assault. On the 9th
March 1528, the two princes agreed to employ all their forces to
defend themselves, and even to take the offensive, and to sacrifice
life, honour, rank, subjects, and states, to preserve the Word of God.
The Dukes of Prussia, Mecklenburg, Luneburg, and Pomerania, the Kings
of Denmark and Poland, and the Margrave of Brandenburg, were to be
invited to enter into this alliance. Six hundred thousand florins were
destined for the expenses of the war; and to procure them, they would
raise loans, pledge their cities, and sell the offerings in the
churches.[129] They had already begun to raise a powerful army.[130]
The Landgrave set out in person for Nuremberg and Anspach. The alarm
was general in those countries; the commotion was felt throughout all
Germany,[131] and even beyond it. John Zapolya, King of Hungary, at
that time a refugee at Cracow, promised a hundred thousand florins to
raise an army, and twenty thousand florins a month for its
maintenance. Thus a spirit of error was misleading the princes; if it
should carry away the Reformers also, the destruction of the
Reformation was not far distant.

  [128] Mirabiliter incensus erat.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 986.)

  [129] Venditisque templorum donariis.--(Seck. ii. p. 95.)

  [130] Magno studio validum comparaverunt ambo exercitum.--(Cochl. p.

  [131] Non leviter commotos esse nostrorum animos.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

But God was watching over them. Supported on the rock of the Word,
Melancthon and Luther replied: "It is written, Thou shalt not tempt
the Lord thy God." As soon as these two men whom the danger threatened
(for it was they who were to be delivered up to the papal power) saw
the youthful Landgrave drawing the sword, and the aged Elector himself
putting his hand on the hilt, they uttered a cry, and this cry, which
was heard in heaven, saved the Reform.

Luther, Pomeranus, and Melancthon immediately forwarded the following
advice to the Elector: "Above all things, let not the attack proceed
from our side, and let no blood be shed through our fault. Let us wait
for the enemy, and seek after peace. Send an ambassador to the Emperor
to make him acquainted with this hateful plot."


Thus it was that the faith of the children of God, which is so
despised by politicians, conducted them aright, at the very moment
when the diplomatists were going astray. The Elector and his son
declared to the Landgrave that they would not assume the offensive.
Philip was in amazement. "Are not the preparations of the Papists
worthy an attack?" asked he.[132] "What! we will threaten war, and yet
not make it! We will inflame the hatred of our antagonists, and leave
them time to prepare their forces! No, no; forward! It is thus we
shall secure the means of an honourable peace."----"If the Landgrave
desires to begin the war," replied the Reformer, "the Elector is not
obliged to observe the treaty; for we must obey God rather than men.
God and the right are above every alliance. Let us beware of painting
the devil on our doors, and inviting him as godfather.[133] But if the
Landgrave is attacked, the Elector ought to go to his assistance; for
it is God's will that we preserve our faith." This advice which the
Reformers gave, cost them dear. Never did man, condemned to the
torture, endure a punishment like theirs. The fears excited by the
Landgrave were succeeded by the terrors inspired by the Papist
princes. This cruel trial left them in great distress. "I am worn away
with sorrow," cried Melancthon; "and this anguish puts me to the most
horrible torture.[134] The issue," added he, "will be found on our
knees before God."[135]

  [132] Landgravius præparamenta adversariorum pro agressione
  habebat.--(Seck. ii. p. 95.)

  [133] Man darf den Teufel nicht über die Thür malen, noch ihn zu
  gevattern bitten.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 321.)

  [134] Curæ vehementer cruciarunt.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 988.)

  [135] Εν γοηνασι θεου.--(Ibid. p. 988.)

The Elector, drawn in different directions by the theologians and the
politicians, at last took a middle course: he resolved to assemble an
army, "but only," said he, "to obtain peace." Philip of Hesse at
length gave way, and forthwith sent copies of the famous treaty to
Duke George, to the Dukes of Bavaria, and to the Emperor's
representatives, calling upon them to renounce such cruel designs. "I
would rather have a limb cut off," said he to his father-in-law, "than
know you to be a member of such an alliance."


The surprise of the German courts, when they read this document, is
beyond description. Duke George immediately replied to the Landgrave
that he had allowed himself to be deceived by unmeaning absurdities;
that he who pretended to have seen the original of this act was an
infamous liar, and an incorrigible scoundrel; and that he called upon
the Landgrave to give up his authority, or else it might well be
thought that he was himself the inventor of this impudent fabrication.
King Ferdinand, the Elector of Brandenburg, and all the pretended
conspirators made similar replies.

Philip of Hesse saw that he had been deceived;[136] his confusion was
only exceeded by his anger. He had therefore himself justified the
accusations of his adversaries who called him a hot-headed young man,
and had compromised to the highest degree the cause of the Reformation
and that of his people. He said afterwards, "If that had not happened,
it would no more happen now. Nothing that I have done in all my life
has caused me greater vexation."

  [136] Wir fühlten dass wir betrogen waren.--(Hortleber, iv. p. 567.)

Pack fled in alarm to the Landgrave, who caused him to be arrested;
and envoys from the several princes whom this scoundrel had
compromised met at Cassel, and proceeded to examine him. He maintained
that the original act of the alliance had really existed in the
Dresden archives. In the following year the Landgrave banished him
from Hesse, showing by this action that he did not fear him. Pack was
afterwards discovered in Belgium; and at the demand of Duke George,
who had never shown any pity towards him, he was seized, tortured, and
finally beheaded.

The Landgrave was unwilling to have taken up arms to no purpose. The
archbishop-elector of Mentz was compelled, on the 11th June, 1528, to
renounce in the camp of Herzkirchen all spiritual jurisdiction in
Saxony and Hesse.[137] This was no small advantage.

  [137] Kopp. Hess. Gerichts.--Verf. i. p. 107.


Scarcely had the arms been laid aside, before Luther took up his pen,
and began a war of another kind. "Impious princes may deny this
alliance as long as they please," wrote he to Link; "I am very certain
that it is not a chimera. These insatiable leeches will take no repose
until they see the whole of Germany flowing with blood."[138] This
idea of Luther's was the one generally entertained. "The document
presented to the Landgrave may be," it was said, "Pack's invention;
but all this fabric of lies is founded on some truth. If the alliance
has not been concluded, it has been conceived."[139]

  [138] Sanguisugæ insatiabiles quiescere nolunt, nisi Germaniam
  sanguine madere sentiant. 14th June, 1528.

  [139] Non enim prorsus confictares.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 988.)

Melancholy were the results of this affair. It inspired division in
the bosom of the Reformation, and fanned the hatred between the two
parties.[140] The sparks from the piles of Keyser, Winckler,
Carpenter, and so many other martyrs, added strength to the fire that
was already threatening to set the empire in flames. It was under such
critical circumstances, and with such menacing dispositions, that the
famous Diet of Spire was opened in March 1529. The Empire and the
Papacy were in reality preparing to annihilate the Reformation,
although in a manner different from what Pack had pretended. It was
still to be learnt whether there would be found in the revived Church
more vital strength than there had been in so many sects that Rome had
easily crushed. Happily the faith had increased, and the constitution
given to the Church had imparted greater power to its adherents. All
were resolved on defending a doctrine so pure, and a church government
so superior to that of Popery. During three years of tranquillity, the
Gospel tree had struck its roots deep; and if the storm should burst,
it would now be able to brave it.

  [140] Hæc minæ apud inimicos odia auxerint.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 985.)


V. The sack of Rome, by exasperating the adherents of the Papacy, had
given arms to all the enemies of Charles V. The French army under
Lautrec had forced the imperial army, enervated by the delights of a
new Capua, to hide itself within the walls of Naples. Doria, at the
head of his Genoese galleys, had destroyed the Spanish fleet, and all
the imperial power seemed drawing to an end in Italy. But Doria
suddenly declared for the Emperor; pestilence carried off Lautrec and
half of his troops; and Charles, suffering only from alarm, had again
grasped the power with a firm resolution to unite henceforward closely
with the Pontiff, whose humiliation had nearly cost him so dear. On
his side Clement VII., hearing the Italians reproach him for his
illegitimate birth, and even refuse him the title of Pope, said aloud,
that he would rather be the Emperor's groom than the sport of his
people. On the 29th June, 1528, a peace between the heads of the
Empire and of the Church was concluded at Barcelona, based on the
destruction of heresy; and in November a diet was convoked to meet at
Spire on the 21st February, 1529. Charles was resolved to endeavour at
first to destroy the Reform by a federal vote; but if this vote did
not suffice, to employ his whole power against it. The road being thus
traced out, they were about to commence operations.

Germany felt the seriousness of the position. Mournful omens filled
every mind. About the middle of January, a great light had suddenly
dispersed the darkness of the night.[141] "What that forebodes,"
exclaimed Luther, "God only knows!" At the beginning of April there
was a rumour of an earthquake that had engulfed castles, cities, and
whole districts in Carinthia and Istria, and split the tower of St.
Mark at Venice into four parts. "If that is true," said the Reformer,
"these prodigies are the forerunners of the day of Jesus Christ."[142]
The astrologers declared that the aspect of the quartiles of Saturn
and Jupiter, and the general position of the stars, was ominous.[143]
The waters of the Elbe rolled thick and stormy, and stones fell from
the roofs of churches. "All these things," exclaimed the terrified
Melancthon, "excite me deeply."[144]

  [141] An aurora borealis. "Magnum chasma, quo nox tota
  illuminabatur."--(L. Epp. iii. p. 420.)

  [142] Si vera sunt, diem Christi præcurrunt hæc monstra.--(Ibid. p.

  [143] Adspectum τετραγὁνων Saturni et Jovis.--(Corp.
  Ref. i. p. 1075.)

  [144] Ego non leviter commoveor his rebus.--(Ibid. p. 1076.)

[Sidenote: OMENS.]

The letters of convocation issued by the imperial government agreed
but too well with these prodigies. The Emperor, writing from Toledo to
the Elector, accused him of sedition and revolt. Alarming whispers
passed from mouth to mouth that were sufficient to cause the fall of
the weak. Duke Henry of Mecklenburg and the Elector-palatine hastily
returned to the side of Popery.

Never had the sacerdotal party appeared in the diet in such numbers,
or so powerful and decided.[145] On the 5th March, Ferdinand, the
president of the diet, after him the Dukes of Bavaria, and lastly the
ecclesiastical Electors of Mentz and Treves, had entered the gates of
Spire surrounded by a numerous armed escort.[146] On the 13th March,
the Elector of Saxony arrived, attended only by Melancthon and
Agricola. But Philip of Hesse, faithful to his character, entered the
city on the 18th March to the sound of trumpets, and with two hundred

  [145] Nunquam fuit tanta frequentia ullis conciliis ἁρχιερἑων
  quanta in his est.--(Corp. Ref. p. 1039.)

  [146] Mogantinum et Trevirensem cum comitatu armato.--(Seckend. ii. p.

The divergence of men's minds soon became manifest. A Papist did not
meet an Evangelical in the street without casting angry glances upon
him, and secretly threatening him with perfidious machinations.[147]
The Elector-palatine passed the Saxons without appearing to know
them;[148] and although John of Saxony was the most important of the
electors, none of the chiefs of the opposite party visited him.
Grouped around their tables, the Roman-catholic princes seemed
absorbed in games of hazard.[149]

  [147] Vultu significant quantum nos oderint, et quid
  machinentur.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 1040.)

  [148] Pfalz kennt kein Sachsen mehr.--(Epp. Alberti Mansfeld.)

  [149] Adversæ partes proceres alea tempus perdere.--(L. Epp. iii. p.


But erelong they gave positive marks of their hostile disposition. The
Elector and the Landgrave were prohibited from having the Gospel
preached in their mansions. It was even asserted at this early period
that John was about to be turned out of Spire, and deprived of his
electorate.[150] "We are the execration and the sweepings of the
world," said Melancthon; "but Christ will look down on his poor
people, and will preserve them."[151] In truth God was with the
witnesses to his Word. The people of Spire thirsted for the Gospel,
and the Elector wrote to his son on Palm Sunday: "About eight thousand
persons were present to-day in my chapel at morning and evening

  [150] Alii exclusum Spiræ, alii ademtum electoratum.--(Ibid.)

  [151] Sed Christus respiciet et salvabit populum pauperem.--(Corp.
  Ref. i. p. 1040.)

The Roman party now quickened their proceedings: their plan was simple
but energetic. It was necessary to put down the religious liberty that
had existed for more than three years, and for that purpose they must
abrogate the decree of 1526, and revive that of 1521.

On the 15th March the imperial commissaries announced to the diet that
the last resolution of Spire, which left each state free to act in
conformity with the inspirations of its conscience, having given rise
to great disorders, the Emperor had annulled it by virtue of his
supreme power. This arbitrary act, and which had no precedent in the
Empire, as well as the despotic tone with which it was accompanied,
filled the evangelical Christians with indignation and alarm.
"Christ," exclaimed Sturm, "has again fallen into the hands of
Caiaphas and Pilate."[152]

  [152] Christus est denuo in manibus Caiaphi et Pilati.--(Jung
  Beyträge, p. 4.)


A commission was charged to examine the imperial proposition. The
Archbishop of Salzburg, Faber, and Eck, that is to say, the most
violent enemies of the Reformation, were among its members. "The Turks
are better than the Lutherans," said Faber, "for the Turks observe
fast-days and the Lutherans violate them.[153] If we must choose
between the Holy Scriptures of God and the old errors of the Church,
we should reject the former."[154] "Every day in full assembly Faber
casts some new stone against the Gospellers," says Melancthon.[155]
"Oh, what an Iliad I should have to compose," added he, "if I were to
report all these blasphemies!"

  [153] Vociferatus est Turcos Lutheranis meliores esse.--(Corp. Ref. p.

  [154] Malle abjicere scripturam quam veteres errores Ecclesiæ.--(Ibid.
  p. 1046.)

  [155] Faber lapidat nos quotidie pro concione.--(Ibid.)

The priests called for the execution of the Edict of Worms, 1521, and
the evangelical members of the commission, among whom were the Elector
of Saxony and Sturm, demanded on the contrary the maintenance of the
Edict of Spire, 1526. The latter thus remained within the bounds of
legality, whilst their adversaries were driven to _coups d'état_. In
fact, a new order of things having been legally established in the
Empire, no one could infringe it; and if the diet presumed to destroy
by force what had been constitutionally established three years
before, the evangelical states had the right of opposing it. The
majority of the commission felt that the re-establishment of the
ancient order of things would be a revolution no less complete than
the Reformation itself. How could they subject anew to Rome and to her
clergy those nations in whose bosom the Word of God had been so richly
spread abroad? For this reason, equally rejecting the demands of the
priests and of the Evangelicals, the majority came to a resolution on
the 24th March that every religious innovation should continue to be
interdicted in the places where the Edict of Worms had been carried
out; and that in those where the people had deviated from it, and
where they could not conform to it without danger of revolt, they
should at least effect no new reform, they should touch upon no
controverted point, they should not oppose the celebration of the
Mass, they should permit no Roman catholic to embrace Lutheranism,[156]
they should not decline the Episcopal jurisdiction, and should tolerate
no Anabaptists or Sacramentarians. The status-quo and no proselytism--such
were the essentials of this resolution.

  [156] Nec catholicos a libero religionis exercitio impediri debere,
  neque cuiquam ex his licere Lutheranismum amplecti.--(Seckend. ii. p.


The majority no longer voted as in 1526: the wind had turned against
the Gospel. Accordingly this proposition, after having been delayed a
few days by the festival of Easter, was laid before the diet on the
6th April, and passed on the 7th.[157]

  [157] Sleidan, i. p. 261.

If it became a law, the Reformation could neither be extended into
those places where as yet it was unknown, nor be established on solid
foundations in those where it already existed. The re-establishment of
the Romish hierarchy, stipulated in the proposition, would infallibly
bring back the ancient abuses; and the least deviation from so
vexatious an ordinance would easily furnish the Romanists with a
pretext for completing the destruction of a work already so violently

The Elector, the Landgrave, the Margrave of Brandenburg, the Prince of
Anhalt, and the Chancellor of Luneburg on one side, and the deputies
for the cities on the other, consulted together. An entirely new order
of things was to proceed from this council. If they had been animated
by selfishness, they would perhaps have accepted this decree. In fact
they were left free, in appearance at least, to profess their faith:
ought they to demand more? could they do so? Were they bound to
constitute themselves the champions of liberty of conscience in all
the world? Never, perhaps, had there been a more critical situation;
but these noble-minded men came victorious out of the trial. What!
should they legalize by anticipation the scaffold and the torture!
Should they oppose the Holy Ghost in its work of converting souls to
Christ! Should they forget their Master's command: "_Go ye into all
the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature_?" If one of the
states of the empire desired some day to follow their example and be
reformed, should they take away its power of doing so? Having
themselves entered the kingdom of heaven, should they shut the door
after them? No! rather endure everything, sacrifice everything, even
their states, their crowns, and their lives!


"Let us reject this decree," said the princes. "In matters of
conscience the majority has no power."--"It is to the decree of 1526,"
added the cities, "that we are indebted for the peace that the empire
enjoys: to abolish it would be to fill Germany with troubles and
divisions. The diet is incompetent to do more than preserve religious
liberty until a council meets." Such in fact is the grand attribute of
the state, and if in our days the protestant powers should seek to
influence the Romish governments, they should strive solely to obtain
for the subjects of the latter that religious liberty which the Pope
confiscates to his own advantage wherever he reigns alone, and by
which he profits greatly in every evangelical state. Some of the
deputies proposed refusing all assistance against the Turks, hoping
thus to force the Emperor to interfere in this question of religion.
But Sturm called upon them not to mingle political matters with the
salvation of souls. They resolved therefore to reject the proposition,
but without holding out any threats. It was this noble resolution that
gained for modern times liberty of thought and independence of faith.

Ferdinand and the priests, who were no less resolute, determined
however on vanquishing what they called a daring obstinacy; and they
commenced with the weaker states. They began to frighten and divide
the cities, which had hitherto pursued a common course. On the 12th
April they were summoned before the diet: in vain did they allege the
absence of some of their number, and ask for delay. It was refused,
and the call was hurried on. Twenty-one free cities accepted the
proposition of the diet, and fourteen rejected it. It was a bold act
on the part of the latter, and was accomplished in the midst of the
most painful sufferings. "This is the first trial," said Pfarrer,
second deputy of Strasburg; "now will come the second: we must either
deny the Word of God or--be burnt."[158]

  [158] Das wort Gottes zu wiederrufen oder aber brennen.--(Jung
  Beyträge, p. 37.)


A violent proceeding of Ferdinand immediately commenced the series of
humiliations that were reserved for the evangelical cities. A deputy
of Strasburg should, in conformity with the decree of Worms, have been
a member of the imperial government from the commencement of April. He
was declared excluded from his rights, until the Mass should be
re-established in Strasburg. All the cities united in protesting
against this arbitrary act.

At the same time, the Elector-palatine and King Ferdinand himself
begged the princes to accept the decree, assuring them that the
Emperor would be exceedingly pleased with them. "We will obey the
Emperor," replied they calmly, "in everything that may contribute to
maintain peace and the honour of God."

It was time to put an end to this struggle. On the 18th April it was
decreed that the evangelical states should not be heard again; and
Ferdinand prepared to inflict the decisive blow on the morrow.

When the day came, the king appeared in the diet, surrounded by the
other commissaries of the Empire, and by several bishops. He thanked
the Roman catholics for their fidelity, and declared that the
resolution having been definitively agreed to, it was about to be
drawn up in the form of an imperial decree. He then announced to the
Elector and his friends, that nothing more remained to them than to
submit to the majority.


The evangelical princes, who had not expected so positive a
declaration, were excited at this summons, and passed, according to
custom, into an adjoining chamber to deliberate. But Ferdinand was not
in a humour to wait for their answer. He rose, and all the imperial
commissaries with him. Vain were all endeavours to stop him. "I have
received an order from his imperial majesty," replied he; "I have
executed it. All is over."

Thus Charles's brother notifies an order to the christian princes, and
then he retires without caring even if there was any reply to make. To
no purpose they sent a deputation entreating the King to return. "It
is a settled affair," repeated Ferdinand; "submission is all that
remains."[159] This refusal completed the schism: it separated Rome
from the Gospel. Perhaps more justice on the part of the Empire and of
the Papacy might have prevented the rupture that since then has
divided the Western Church.

  [159] Die artikel weren beschlossen.--(Jung Beytr. p. 90.)

VI. If the imperial party displayed such contempt, it was not without
a cause. They felt that weakness was on the side of the Reformation,
and strength on the side of Charles and of the Pope. But the weak have
also their strength; and this the evangelical princes were aware of.
As Ferdinand paid no attention to their reclamations, it remained for
them to pay none to his absence, to appeal from the report of the diet
to the Word of God, and from the Emperor Charles to Jesus Christ, the
King of kings and Lord of lords.

They resolved upon this step. A declaration was drawn up to that
effect, and this was the famous _Protest_ that henceforward gave the
name of _Protestant_ to the renovated Church. The Elector and his
allies having returned to the common hall of the diet, thus addressed
the assembled states:--[160]

  [160] There are two copies of this act; one of them is brief, and the
  other, which is longer, was transmitted in writing to the imperial
  commissaries. It is from the latter we extract the passages in the
  text. They will both be found in Jung Beyträge, p. 91-105. See also
  Müller's _Historie der Protestation_, p. 52.

[Sidenote: THE PROTEST.]

     "Dear Lords, Cousins, Uncles, and Friends! Having repaired
     to this diet on the convocation of his majesty, and for the
     common good of the Empire and of Christendom, we have heard
     and learnt that the decisions of the last diet concerning
     our holy Christian Faith are to be repealed, and that it is
     proposed to substitute for them restrictive and onerous

     "King Ferdinand and the other imperial commissaries, by
     affixing their seals to the last _Recess_ of Spire, had
     promised, however, in the name of the Emperor, to carry out
     sincerely and inviolably all that it contained, and to
     permit nothing that was contrary to it. In like manner,
     also, you and we, electors, princes, prelates, lords, and
     deputies of the Empire, bound ourselves to maintain always
     and with all our might all the articles of this decree.

     "We cannot therefore consent to its repeal.

     "Firstly, because we believe that his imperial majesty, as
     well as you and we, are called to maintain firmly what has
     been unanimously and solemnly resolved.

     "Secondly, because it concerns the glory of God and the
     salvation of our souls, and that in such matters we ought to
     have regard, above all, to the commandment of God, who is
     King of kings and Lord of lords; each of us rendering him
     account for himself, without caring the least in the world
     about majority or minority.[161]

     "We form no judgment on that which concerns you, most dear
     lords; and we are content to pray God daily that he will
     bring us all to unity of faith, in truth, charity, and
     holiness through Jesus Christ, our Throne of Grace and our
     only Mediator.

     "But in what concerns us, adhesion to your resolution (and
     let every honest man be judge!) would be acting against our
     conscience, condemning a doctrine that we maintain to be
     christian, and pronouncing that it ought to be abolished in
     our states, if we could do so without trouble.

     "This would be to deny our Lord Jesus Christ, to reject his
     holy Word, and thus give him just reason to deny us in turn
     before his Father, as he has threatened.

     "What! we ratify this edict! We assert that when Almighty
     God calls a man to His knowledge, this man cannot however
     receive the knowledge of God! Oh! of what deadly backsliding
     should we not thus become the accomplices, not only among
     our own subjects, but also among yours!

     "For this reason we reject the yoke that is imposed on us.
     And although it is universally known that in our states the
     holy sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord is
     becomingly administered, we cannot adhere to what the edict
     proposes against the Sacramentarians, seeing that the
     imperial edict did not speak of them, that they have not
     been heard, and that we cannot resolve upon such important
     points before the next council.

     "Moreover"--and this is the essential part of the
     protest--"the new edict declaring the ministers shall preach
     the Gospel, explaining it according to the writings accepted
     by the holy Christian Church; we think that, for this
     regulation to have any value, we should first agree on what
     is meant by this true and holy Church. Now, seeing that
     there is great diversity of opinion in this respect; that
     there is no sure doctrine but such as is conformable to the
     Word of God; that the Lord forbids the teaching of any other
     doctrine; that each text of the Holy Scriptures ought to be
     explained by other and clearer texts; that this holy book
     is, in all things necessary for the Christian, easy of
     understanding, and calculated to scatter the darkness: we
     are resolved, with the grace of God, to maintain the pure
     and exclusive preaching of his only Word, such as it is
     contained in the biblical books of the Old and New
     Testament, without adding anything thereto that may be
     contrary to it.[162] This Word is the only truth; it is the
     sure rule of all doctrine and of all life, and can never
     fail or deceive us. He who builds on this foundation shall
     stand against all the powers of hell, whilst all the human
     vanities that are set up against it shall fall before the
     face of God.


     "For these reasons, most dear Lords, Uncles, Cousins, and
     Friends, we earnestly entreat you to weigh carefully our
     grievances and our motives. If you do not yield to our
     request, we PROTEST by these presents, before God, our only
     Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, and Saviour, and who will one
     day be our Judge, as well as before all men and all
     creatures, that we, for us and for our people, neither
     consent nor adhere in any manner whatsoever to the proposed
     decree, in any thing that is contrary to God, to his holy
     Word, to our right conscience, to the salvation of our
     souls, and to the last decree of Spire.

     "At the same time we are in expectation that his imperial
     majesty will behave towards us like a christian prince who
     loves God above all things; and we declare ourselves ready
     to pay unto him, as well as unto you, gracious lords, all
     the affection and obedience that are our just and legitimate

  [161] Ein jeglicher fur sich selbt vor Gott stehen.--(Jung Beyträge,
  p. 96.)

  [162] Allein Gottes wort, lauter und rein, und nichts das dawieder
  ist.--(Jung Beyträge, p. 101.)

Thus, in presence of the diet, spoke out those courageous men whom
Christendom will henceforward denominate THE PROTESTANTS.

They had barely finished when they announced their intention of
quitting Spire on the morrow.[163]

  [163] Also zu verritten urlaub genommen.--(Jung Beyträge, p. 52.)

This protest and declaration produced a deep impression. The diet was
rudely interrupted and broken into two hostile parties,--thus
preluding war. The majority became the prey of the liveliest fears. As
for the Protestants relying, _jure humano_, upon the Edict of Spire,
and _jure divino_, upon the Bible, they were full of courage and


The principles contained in this celebrated protest of the 19th April
1529, constitute the very essence of Protestantism. Now this protest
opposes two abuses of man in matters of faith: the first is the
intrusion of the civil magistrate, and the second is the arbitrary
authority of the Church. Instead of these two abuses, Protestantism
sets up above the magistrate the power of conscience; and above the
visible Church the authority of the Word of God. It declines, in the
first place, the civil power in divine things, and says with the
Prophets and Apostles: _We must obey God rather than man._ In presence
of the crown of Charles the Fifth, it uplifts the crown of Jesus
Christ. But it goes farther: it lays down the principle, that all
human teaching should be subordinate to the oracles of God. Even the
primitive Church, by recognising the writings of the Apostles, had
performed an act of submission to this supreme authority, and not an
act of authority, as Rome maintains; and the establishment of a
tribunal charged with the interpretation of the Bible, had terminated
only in slavishly subjecting man to man in that which should be the
most unfettered--conscience and faith. In this celebrated act of Spire
no doctor appears, and the Word of God reigns alone. Never has man
exalted himself like the Pope; never have men kept in the back-ground
like the Reformers.

A Romish historian maintains that the word _Protestant_ signifies
_enemy of the Emperor and of the Pope_.[164] If by this it is meant
that Protestantism, in matters of faith, rejects the intervention both
of the Empire and of the Papacy, it is well. Even this explanation,
however, does not exhaust the meaning of the word, for Protestantism
rejected the authority of man solely to place Jesus Christ on the
throne of the Church, and his Word in the pulpit. There has never been
anything more positive, and at the same time more aggressive, than the
position of the Protestants at Spire. By maintaining that their faith
is alone capable of saving the world, they defended with intrepid
courage the rights of Christian Proselytism. We cannot abandon this
Proselytism without deserting the Protestant principle.

  [164] Perduelles in Pontificem ac Cæsarem.--(Pallavicini, C. T. I. p.


The Protestants of Spire were not content to exalt the truth; they
defended charity. Faber and the other Papal partizans had endeavoured
to separate the princes, who in general walked with Luther, from the
cities that ranged themselves rather on the side of Zwingle.
Œcolampadius had immediately written to Melancthon, and enlightened
him on the doctrines of the Zurich Reformer. He had indignantly
rejected the idea that Christ was banished into a corner of heaven,
and had energetically declared that, according to the Swiss
Christians, Christ was in every place upholding all things by the
Word of his power.[165] "With the visible symbols," he added, "we give
and we receive the invisible grace, like all the faithful."[166]

  [165] Ubique ut et portet omnia verbo vertutis suæ.--(Hospin. Hist.
  Sacr. ii. p. 112.)

  [166] Χἁριν γἁρ τἡν δὁρατον μετἁ των
  συμβὁλων ὁρἁτων.--(Ibid.)

These declarations were not useless. There were at Spire two men who
from different motives opposed the efforts of Faber, and seconded
those of Œcolampadius. The Landgrave, ever revolving projects of
alliance in his mind, felt clearly that if the Christians of Saxony
and of Hesse allowed the condemnation of the Churches of Switzerland
and of Upper Germany, they would by that very means deprive themselves
of powerful auxiliaries.[167] Melancthon, who was far from desiring,
as the Landgrave, a diplomatic alliance, for fear that it would hasten
on a war, defended the great principles of justice, and exclaimed: "To
what just reproaches should we not be exposed, were we to recognise in
our adversaries the right of condemning a doctrine without having
heard those who defend it!" The union of all evangelical Christians is
therefore a principle of primitive Protestantism.

  [167] Omni studio laborabat ut illos uniret--(Seck. ii. p. 127.)

As Ferdinand had not heard the protest of the 19th April, a deputation
of the evangelical states went the next day to present it to him. The
brother of Charles the Fifth received it at first, but immediately
after desired to return it. Then was witnessed a strange scene--the
king refusing to keep the protest, and the deputies to take it back.
At last the latter, from respect, received it from Ferdinand's hands;
but they laid it boldly upon a table, and directly quitted the hall.


The king and the imperial commissaries remained in presence of this
formidable writing. It was there--before their eyes--a significant
monument of the courage and faith of the Protestants. Irritated
against this silent but mighty witness, which accused his tyranny, and
left him the responsibility of all the evils that were about to burst
upon the Empire, the brother of Charles the Fifth called some of his
councillors, and ordered them instantly to carry back this important
document to the Protestants.

All this was unavailing; the protest had been enregistered in the
annals of the world, and nothing could erase it. Liberty of thought
and of conscience had been conquered for ages to come. Thus all
evangelical Germany, foreseeing these things, was moved at this
courageous act, and adopted it as the expression of its will and of
its faith. Men in every quarter beheld in it not a political event,
but a christian action, and the youthful electoral prince, John
Frederick, in this respect the organ of his age, cried to the
Protestants of Spire: "May the Almighty, who has given you grace to
confess energetically, freely, and fearlessly, preserve you in that
christian firmness until the day of eternity!"[168]

  [168] In eo mansuros esse, nec passuros ut ulla hominum machinatione
  ab ea sententia divellerentur.--(Seckend. ii. p. 121.)

While the christians were filled with joy, their enemies were
frightened at their own work. The very day on which Ferdinand had
declined to receive the protest, Tuesday, 20th April, at one in the
afternoon, Henry of Brunswick and Philip of Baden presented themselves
as mediators, announcing, however, that they were acting solely of
their own authority. They proposed that there should be no more
mention of the decree of Worms, and that the first decree of Spire
should be maintained, but with a few modifications; that the two
parties, while remaining free until the next council, should oppose
every new sect, and tolerate no doctrine contrary to the sacrament of
the Lord's body.[169]

  [169] Vergleich artikel.--(Jung Beyträge, p. 55.)


On Wednesday, 21st April, the evangelical states did not appear
adverse to these propositions; and even those who had embraced the
doctrine of Zwingle declared boldly that such a proposal would not
compromise their existence. "Only let us call to mind," said they,
"that in such difficult matters we must act, not with the sword, but
with the sure Word of God.[170] For, as Saint Paul says: _What is not
of faith is_ _sin_. If therefore we constrain Christians to do what
they believe unjust, instead of leading them by God's Word to
acknowledge what is good, we force them to sin, and we incur a
terrible responsibility."

  [170] In diesen Schweren Sachen, nichts mit Gewalt noch Schwerdt,
  sondern mit Gottes gewissem wort.--(Ibid p. 59.) This document is from
  the pen of Sturm.

The fanatics of the Roman party trembled as they saw the victory
nearly escaping from them; for they rejected all compromise, and
desired purely and simply the re-establishment of the Papacy. Their
zeal overcame everything, and the negotiations were broken off.

On Thursday, 22d April, the diet assembled at seven in the morning,
and the _Recess_ was read precisely as it had been drawn up before,
without even mentioning the attempt at conciliation which had just

Faber triumphed. Proud of having the ear of kings, he tossed himself
furiously about, and one would have said, to see him, relates an
eye-witness, that he was a Cyclops forging in his cavern the monstrous
chains with which he was about to bind the Reform and the
Reformers.[171] The Papist princes, carried away by the tumult, gave
the spur, says Melancthon, and flung themselves headlong into a path
filled with dangers.[172] Nothing was left for the evangelical
Christians but to fall on their knees and cry to the Lord. "All that
remains for us to do," repeated Melancthon, "is to call upon the Son
of God."[173]

  [171] Cyclops ille nunc ferocem se fecit.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 1062.)

  [172] Ut ingrediantur lubricum isti iter, impingendo stimulis

  [173] De quo reliquum est ut invocemus Filium Dei--(Ibid.)

The last sitting of the diet took place on the 24th April. The princes
renewed their protest, in which fourteen free and imperial cities
joined: and they next thought of giving their appeal a legal form.


On Sunday, 25th April, two notaries, Leonard Stetner of Freysingen and
Pangrace Saltzmann of Bamberg, were seated before a small table in a
narrow chamber on the ground-floor of a house situated in St. John's
Lane, near the church of the same name in Spire, and around them were
the chancellors of the princes and of the evangelical cities, assisted
by several witnesses.[174]

  [174] Unten in einem Kleinen Stüblein.--(Jung Beyträge, p. 78.
  Instramentum Appellationis.)

This little house belonged to an humble pastor, Peter Muterstatt,
deacon of St. John's, who, taking the place of the Elector or of the
Landgrave, had offered a domicile for the important act that was
preparing. His name shall in consequence be transmitted to posterity.
The document having been definitively drawn up, one of the notaries
began reading it. "Since there is a natural communion between all
men," said the Protestants, "and since even persons condemned to death
are permitted to unite and appeal against their condemnation; how much
more are we, who are members of the same spiritual body, the Church of
the Son of God, children of the same heavenly Father, and consequently
brothers in the Spirit,[175] authorized to unite when our salvation
and eternal condemnation are concerned."

  [175] Membra unius corporis spiritualis Jesu Christi et filii unius
  patris cœlestis, ideoque fratres spirituales.--(Seckend. ii. p. 130.)

After reviewing all that had passed in the diet, and after
intercalating in their appeal the principal documents that had
reference to it, the Protestants ended by saying: "We therefore appeal
for ourselves, for our subjects, and for all who receive or who shall
hereafter receive the Word of God, from all past, present, or future
vexatious measures, to his Imperial Majesty, and to a free and
universal assembly of holy Christendom." This document filled twelve
sheets of parchment; the signatures and seals were affixed to the


Thus in the obscure dwelling of the chaplain of St. John's was made
the first confession of the true Christian union. In presence of the
holy mechanical unity of the Pope, these confessors of Jesus raised
the banner of the living unity of Christ; and, as in the days of our
Saviour, if there were many synagogues in Israel, there was at least
but one single temple. The Christians of Electoral Saxony, of
Luneburg, of Anhalt, of Hesse and the Margravate, of Strasburg,
Nuremberg, Ulm, Constance, Lindau, Memmingen, Kempten, Nordlingen,
Heilbron, Reutlingen, Isny, Saint Gall, Weissenburg, and Windsheim,
clasped each other's hands on the 25th April, near the church of St.
John, in the face of threatening persecutions. Among them might be
found those who, like Zwingle, acknowledged in the Lord's Supper the
entirely spiritual presence of Jesus Christ, as well as those who,
like Luther, admitted his corporeal presence. There existed not at
that time in the evangelical body any sects, hatred, or schism;
christian unity was a reality. That upper chamber in which, during the
early days of Christianity, the apostles with the women and the
brethren "continued with one accord in prayer and supplication,"[176]
and that lower chamber where, in the first days of the Reformation,
the renewed disciples of Jesus Christ presented themselves to the Pope
and the Emperor, to the world and to the scaffold, as forming but one
body, are the two cradles of the Church; and it is in this its hour of
weakness and humiliation that it shines forth with the brightest

  [176] Acts i. 14.


After this appeal each one returned silently to his dwelling. Several
tokens excited alarm for the safety of the Protestants. A short time
previously Melancthon hastily conducted through the streets of Spire
towards the Rhine his friend Simon Grynæus, pressing him to cross the
river. The latter was astonished at such precipitation.[177] "An old
man of grave and solemn appearance, but who is unknown to me," said
Melancthon, "appeared before me and said: In a minute officers of
justice will be sent by Ferdinand to arrest Grynæus." As he was
intimate with Faber, and had been scandalized at one of his sermons,
Grynæus had gone to him, and begged him no longer to make war against
the truth. Faber had dissembled his anger, but immediately after
repaired to the king, from whom he had obtained an order against the
importunate professor of Heidelberg.[178] Melancthon doubted not that
God had saved his friend by sending one of His holy angels to forewarn
him. Motionless on the banks of the Rhine he waited until the waters
of that stream had rescued Grynæus from his persecutors. "At last,"
cried Melancthon, as he saw him on the opposite side, "he is torn from
the cruel teeth of those who drink innocent blood."[179] When he
returned to his house, Melancthon was informed that the officers in
search of Grynæus had ransacked it from top to bottom.[180]

  [177] Miranti quæ esset tantæ festinationis causa.--(Camerarius Vita.
  Mel. p. 113.)

  [178] Faber qui valde offenderetur orationi tali, dissimulare tamen

  [179] Ereptus quasi e faucibus eorum qui sitiunt sanguinem
  innocentium.--(Mel. ad Camer. 23d April, Corp. Ref. i. p. 1062.)

  [180] Affluit armata quædam manus ad comprehendum Grynæum
  missa.--(Camer. Vit. Mel. p. 113.)

Nothing could detain the Protestants longer in Spire. Accordingly, on
the morning after their appeal (Monday, 26th April), the Elector, the
Landgrave, and the Dukes of Luneburg, quitted the city, reached Worms,
and then returned by Hesse into their own states. The appeal of Spire
was published by the Landgrave on the 5th, and by the Elector on the
13th May.

Melancthon had returned to Wittemberg on the 6th May, persuaded that
the two parties were about to draw the sword. His friends were alarmed
at seeing him agitated, exhausted, and like one dead.[181] "It is a
great event that has just taken place at Spire," said he. "It is big
with dangers, not only to the Empire, but also to Religion
itself.[182] All the pains of hell oppress me."[183]

  [181] Ita fuit perturbatus ut primis diebus pene extinctus
  sit.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 1067)

  [182] Non enim tantum imperium, sed religio etiam

  [183] Omnes dolores inferni oppresserant me.--(Ibid, and p. 1069.)


It was Melancthon's greatest affliction, that all these evils were
attributed to him, as indeed he ascribed them himself. "One single
thing has injured us," said he; "our not having approved, as was
required of us, the edict against the Zwinglians." Luther did not
take this gloomy view of affairs; but he was far from comprehending
the force of the protest. "The diet," said he, "has come to an end
almost without results, except that those who scourge Jesus Christ
have not been able to satisfy their fury."[184]

  [184] Christo mastiges et Psycho-tyranni suum furorem non potuerunt
  explere.--(L. Epp. Linco, 6th May 1529.)

Posterity has not ratified this decision, and, on the contrary, dating
from this epoch the definitive formation of Protestantism, it has
hailed in the Protest of Spire one of the greatest movements recorded
in history.

Let us see to whom the chief glory of this act belongs. The part taken
by the princes, and especially by the Elector of Saxony, in the German
Reformation, must strike every impartial observer. These are the true
Reformers--the true Martyrs. The Holy Ghost, that bloweth where it
listeth, had inspired them with the courage of the ancient confessors
of the Church; and the God of Election was glorified in them. A little
later perhaps this great part played by the princes might have
produced deplorable consequences: there is no grace of God that man
may not pervert. But nothing should prevent us from rendering honour
to whom honour is due, and from adoring the work of the eternal Spirit
in these eminent men who, under God, were in the sixteenth century the
saviours of Christendom.

The Reformation had taken a bodily form. It was Luther alone who had
said No at the Diet of Worms: but Churches and ministers, princes and
people, said No at the Diet of Spire.

In no country had superstition, scholasticism, hierarchy, and popery,
been so powerful as among the Germanic nations. These simple and
candid people had humbly bent their neck to the yoke that came from
the banks of the Tiber. But, there was in them a depth, a life, a need
of interior liberty, which, sanctified by the Word of God, might
render them the most energetic organs of christian truth. It was from
them that was destined to emanate the reaction against that material,
external, and legal system, which had taken the place of Christianity;
it was they who were called to shatter in pieces the skeleton which
had been substituted for the spirit and the life, and restore to the
heart of Christendom, ossified by the hierarchy, the generous beatings
of which it had been deprived for so many ages. The Universal Church
will never forget the debt it owes to the Princes of Spire and to


VII. The protest of Spire had still further increased the indignation
of the Papal adherents; and Charles the Fifth, according to the oath
he had made at Barcelona, set about preparing "a suitable antidote for
the pestilential disease with which the Germans were attacked, and to
avenge in a striking manner the insult offered to Jesus Christ."[185]
The Pope, on his part, endeavoured to combine all the other princes of
Christendom in this crusade; and the peace of Cambray, concluded on
the 5th August, tended to the accomplishment of his cruel designs. It
left the Emperor's hands free against the heretics. After having
entered their protest at Spire, it was necessary for the Evangelicals
to think of maintaining it.

  [185] Illatamque Christo injuriam pro viribus ulciscentur.--(Dumont,
  Corp. Univ. Diplomatique, iv. p. 1, 5.)

The Protestant states that had already laid the foundations of an
evangelical alliance at Spire, had agreed to send deputies to Rothach;
but the Elector, staggered by the representations of Luther, who was
continually saying to him, "It is by keeping yourselves tranquil and
in quietness that you will be saved,"[186] ordered his deputies to
listen to the propositions of his allies, but to decide upon nothing.
They adjourned to a new conference, which never took place. Luther
triumphed; for human alliances failed. "Christ the Lord will know how
to deliver us without the Landgrave, and even against the Landgrave,"
said he to his friends.[187]

  [186] Isaiah xxx. 15. L. Epp. iii. p. 454.

  [187] Unser Her. Christus, &c.--(Ibid.) This confidence of Luther
  shocks a Lutheran historian--Plank, ii. p. 454.


Philip of Hesse, who was vexed at Luther's obstinacy, was convinced
that it arose from a dispute about words. "They will hear no mention
of alliances because of the Zwinglians," said he; "well then, let us
put an end to the contradictions that separate them from Luther."

The union of all the disciples of the Word of God seemed in fact a
necessary condition to the success of the Reform. How could the
Protestants resist the power of Rome and of the Empire, if they were
divided? The Landgrave no doubt wished to unite their minds, that he
might afterwards be able to unite their arms; but the cause of Christ
was not to triumph by the sword. If they should succeed in uniting
their hearts and prayers, the Reform would then find such strength in
the faith of its children, that Philip's spearmen would no longer be

Unfortunately this union of minds, that was now to be sought after
above all things, was a very difficult task. Luther in 1519 had at
first appeared not only to reform, but entirely renovate the doctrine
of the Lord's Supper, as the Swiss did somewhat later. "I go to the
sacrament of the Lord's Supper," he had said, "and I there receive a
sign from God that Christ's righteousness and passion justify me; such
is the use of the Sacrament."[188] This discourse, which had gone
through several impressions in the cities of Upper Germany, had
prepared men's minds for the doctrine of Zwingle. Accordingly Luther,
astonished at the reputation he had gained, published this solemn
declaration in 1527: "I protest before God and before the whole world
that I have never walked with the Sacramentarians."

  [188] In the writing entitled, _Dass diese Worte noch feste
  Stehen_.--(L. Opp. xix.)


Luther in fact was never Zwinglian as regards the Communion. Far from
that, in 1519, he still believed in Transubstantiation. Why then
should he speak of a sign? It was for this reason. While, according to
Zwingle, the bread and wine are signs of the body and blood of Christ,
according to Luther, the very body and blood of Jesus Christ are
signs of God's grace. These opinions are widely different from one

Erelong this disagreement declared itself. In 1527 Zwingle in his
_Friendly Exposition_[189] repeated Luther's opinion with mildness and
respect. Unfortunately the pamphlet of the Saxon Reformer "against the
enthusiasts" was then issuing from the press, and in it Luther
expressed his indignation that his adversaries should dare to speak of
christian unity and peace. "Well!" exclaimed he, "since they thus
insult all reason, I will give them a Lutheran warning.[190] Cursed be
this concord! cursed be this charity! down, down with it, to the
bottomless pit of hell! If I should murder your father, your mother,
your wife, your child, and then, wishing to murder you, I should say
to you, Let us be at peace, my dear friend! what answer would you
make?--It is thus that the enthusiasts who murder Jesus Christ my
Lord, God the Father, and Christendom my mother, wish to murder me
also; and then they say, Let us be friends!"

  [189] _Amica exegesis_, id est, Expositio Eucharistæ negotii ad M.
  Lutherum.--(Zw. Opp.)

  [190] Eine Lutherische Warnung.--(L. Opp. xix. p. 391. Wider die

Zwingle wrote two replies "to the excellent Martin Luther," in a cold
tone and with a haughty calmness more difficult to pardon than the
invectives of the Saxon doctor. "We ought to esteem you a vessel of
honour, and we do so with joy," said he, "notwithstanding your
faults." Pamphlet followed pamphlet, Luther always writing with the
same impetuosity, and Zwingle with the same coolness and irony.


Such were the doctors whom the Landgrave undertook to reconcile.
Already, during the sitting of the Diet of Spire, Philip of Hesse, who
was afflicted at hearing the Papists continually repeating, "You boast
of your attachment to the pure Word of God, and yet you are
nevertheless disunited,"[191] had made overtures to Zwingle in
writing. He now went farther, and invited the theologians of the
different parties to meet at Marburg. These invitations met with
various receptions. Zwingle, whose heart was large and fraternal,
answered the Landgrave's call; but Luther, who discovered leagues and
battles behind this pretended concord, rejected it.

  [191] Inter nos ipsos de religionis doctrina non consentire.--(Zw.
  Epp. ii. p. 287.)

It seemed, however, that great difficulties would detain Zwingle. To
travel from Zurich to Marburg, it was necessary to pass through the
territories of the Emperor and of other enemies to the Reformation;
the Landgrave himself did not conceal the dangers of the journey;[192]
but in order to obviate these difficulties, he promised an escort from
Strasburg to Hesse, and for the rest "the protection of God."[193]
These precautions were not of a nature to reassure the Zurichers.

  [192] Viam Francofurdi capias, quam autem hac periculosiorem esse
  putamus.--(Ibid. p. 312.)

  [193] Juvante Deo tuti.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p. 329.)

Reasons of another kind detained Luther and Melancthon. "It is not
right," said they, "that the Landgrave has so much to do with the
Zwinglians. Their error is of such a nature that people of acute minds
are easily tainted by it. Reason loves what it understands,
particularly when learned men clothe their ideas in a scriptural

Melancthon did not stop here, but put forth the very extraordinary
notion of selecting Papists as judges of the discussion. "If there
were no impartial judges," said he, "the Zwinglians would have a good
chance of boasting of victory."[194] Thus, according to Melancthon,
Papists would be impartial judges when the real presence was the
subject of discussion! He went still farther. "Let the Elector," he
wrote on the 14th May to the Prince Electoral, "refuse to permit our
journey to Marburg, so that we may allege this excuse." The Elector
would not lend himself to so disgraceful a proceeding; and the
Reformers of Wittemberg found themselves compelled to accede to the
request of Philip of Hesse. But they did so with these words: "If the
Swiss do not yield to us, all your trouble will be lost;" and they
wrote to the theologians among their friends who were convoked by the
Prince: "Stay away if you can; your absence will be very useful to

  [194] Papistische als unparteische.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 1066.)

  [195] Si potes, noli adesse.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 501.)


Zwingle, on the contrary, who would have gone to the end of the world,
made every exertion to obtain from the magistrates of Zurich
permission to visit Marburg. "I am convinced," said he to the secret
council, "that if we doctors meet face to face, the splendour of truth
will illuminate our eyes."[196] But the council that had only just
signed the first religious peace,[197] and who feared to see war burst
out afresh, positively refused to allow the departure of the Reformer.

  [196] Ut veritatis splendor oculos nostros feriat.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p.

  [197] See below, Book xvi. chap. ii. anno 1529.

Upon this Zwingle decided for himself. He felt that his presence was
necessary for the maintenance of peace in Zurich; but it was the
welfare of all Christendom that summoned him to Marburg. Accordingly,
raising his eyes towards heaven, he resolved to depart, exclaiming, "O
God! Thou hast never abandoned us; Thou wilt perform thy will for
thine own glory."[198] During the night of the 31st August, Zwingle,
who was unwilling to wait for the Landgrave's safe-conduct, prepared
for his journey. Rodolph Collin, the Greek professor, was alone to
accompany him. The Reformer wrote to the Smaller and to the Great
Council: "If I leave without informing you, it is not because I
despise your authority, most wise lords; but because, knowing the love
you bear towards me, I foresee that your anxiety will oppose my

  [198] Dei nunquam fallentis, qui nos nunquam deseruit, gratiam
  reputavi.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p. 356.)


As he was writing these words, a fourth message arrived from the
Landgrave, more pressing still than the preceding ones. The Reformer
sent the prince's letter to the burgomaster with his own; he then
quitted his house privily by night,[199] concealing his departure both
from his friends, whose importunity he feared, and from his enemies,
whose snares he had good cause to dread. He did not even tell his wife
where he was going, lest it should distress her. He and Collin then
mounted two horses that had been hired for the purpose,[200] and rode
off rapidly in the direction of Basle.

  [199] Sabbati die, mane ante lucem, 1 Septembris.--(Ibid.)

  [200] Equis conductoriis.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p. 361.)

During the day the rumour of Zwingle's absence spread through Zurich,
and his enemies were elated. "He has fled the country," said they; "he
has run away with a pack of scoundrels!" "As he was crossing the river
at Bruck," said others, "the boat upset and he was drowned." "The
devil," affirmed many with a malicious smile, "appeared to him bodily
and carried him off."[201]--"There was no end to their stories," says
Bullinger. But the council immediately resolved on acceding to the
wish of the Reformer. On the very day of his departure they appointed
one of the councillors, Ulric Funck, to accompany him to Marburg, who
forthwith set out with a domestic and one arquebusier. Strasburg and
Basle in like manner sent statesmen in company with their theologians,
under the idea that this conference would doubtless have also a
political object.

  [201] Der Tufel vere by imm gesin.--(Bulling. ii. p. 224.)

Zwingle arrived safe and sound at Basle,[202] and embarked on the
river on the 6th September with Œcolampadius and several
merchants.[203] In thirteen hours they reached Strasburg, where the
two Reformers lodged in the house of Matthew Zell, the cathedral
preacher. Catherine, the pastor's wife, prepared the dishes in the
kitchen, waited at table, according to the ancient German
manners,[204] and then sitting down near Zwingle, listened
attentively, and spoke with so much piety and knowledge, that the
latter soon ranked her above many doctors.

  [202] Integer et sanus Basiliam pervenit.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p. 361.)

  [203] Aliquos mercatorum fide dignos, comites.--(Ibid.)

  [204] Ich bin 14 Tag magd und Köchin gewesen.--(Fussl. Beytr. v. p.
  313.) See her remarkable correspondence with the superintendent
  Rabus.--(Ibid. p. 191-354.)


Zwingle, after discussing with the Strasburg magistrates the means of
resisting the Romish league, and the organization to be given to the
christian confederacy,[205] quitted Strasburg; and he and his friends,
conducted along by-roads, through forests, over mountains and valleys,
by secret but sure paths, at last arrived at Marburg, escorted by
forty Hessian cavaliers.[206]

  [205] De jure præsidendi conciliis civitatum christianarum.--(Ibid. v.
  p. 364.) See book xvi. of this History.

  [206] Per devia et sylvas, montes et valles, tutissimos et
  occultos.--(Ibid. p. 368.)

Luther, on his side, accompanied by Melancthon, Cruciger, and Jonas,
had stopped on the Hessian frontier, declaring that nothing should
induce him to cross it until he had a safe-conduct from the Landgrave.
This document being obtained, Luther arrived at Alsfeld, where the
scholars, kneeling under the Reformer's windows, chanted their pious
hymns. He entered Marburg on the 30th September, a day after the
arrival of the Swiss. Both parties went to inns; but they had scarcely
alighted, before the Landgrave invited them to come and lodge in the
castle, thinking by this means to bring the opposing parties closer
together. Philip entertained them in a manner truly royal.[207] "Ah!"
said the pious Jonas, as he wandered through the halls of the palace,
"it is not in honour of the Muses, but in honour of God and of his
Christ, that we are so munificently treated in these forests of
Hesse!" After dinner, on the first day, Œcolampadius, Hedio, and
Bucer, desirous of entering into the prince's views, went and saluted
Luther. The latter conversed affectionately with Œcolampadius in the
castle-court; but Bucer, with whom he had once been very intimate, and
who was now on Zwingle's side, having approached him, Luther said to
him, smiling, and making a sign with his hand: "As for you, you are a
good-for-nothing fellow and a knave!"[208]

  [207] Excepit in arce hospitio et mensa regali.--(Corp. Ref. i. p.

  [208] Subridens aliquantulum respondit: _tu es nequam et
  nebulo_.--(Sculteti Annal. ad 1529.)


The unhappy Carlstadt, who had begun all this dispute, was at that
time in Friesland, preaching the spiritual presence of Christ, and
living in such destitution that he had been forced to sell his Hebrew
Bible to procure bread. The trial had crushed his pride, and he wrote
to the Landgrave: "We are but one body, one house, one people, one
sacerdotal race; we live and die by one and the same Saviour.[209] For
this reason, I, poor and in exile, humbly pray your highness, by the
blood of Jesus Christ, to allow me to be present at this disputation."

  [209] State Papers of Cassel.

But how bring Luther and Carlstadt face to face? and yet how repel the
unhappy man? The Landgrave, to extricate himself from this difficulty,
referred him to the Saxon Reformer. Carlstadt did not appear.

Philip of Hesse desired that, previously to the public conference, the
theologians should have a private interview. It was however considered
dangerous, says a contemporary, for Zwingle and Luther, who were both
naturally violent, to contend with one another at the very beginning;
and as Œcolampadius and Melancthon were the mildest, they were
apportioned to the roughest.[210] On Friday the 1st October, after
divine service, Luther and Œcolampadius were conducted into one
chamber, and Zwingle and Melancthon into another. The combatants were
then left to struggle two and two.

  [210] Abgetheilt zu den rühren.--(Bull. ii. p. 225.)


The principal contest took place in the room of Zwingle and
Melancthon. "It is affirmed," said Melancthon to Zwingle, "that some
among you speak of God after the manner of the Jews, as if Christ was
not essentially God." "I think on the Holy Trinity," replied Zwingle,
"with the Council of Nice and the Athanasian creed." "Councils!
creeds! What does that mean?" asked Melancthon. "Have you not
continually repeated that you recognise no other authority than that
of Scripture?" "We have never rejected the councils," replied the
Swiss Reformer, "when they are based on the authority of the Word of
God.[211] The four first councils are truly sacred as regards
doctrine, and none of the faithful have ever rejected them." This
important declaration, handed down to us by Œcolampadius,
characterizes the Reformed theology.[212]

  [211] Ubi unquam concilia rejicimus, verbi divini auctoritati
  suffulta?--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 191.)

  [212] The word _Reformed_ is used to distinguish the doctrine and the
  church of Zwingle and Calvin from those of Luther.

"But you teach," resumed Melancthon, "like Thomas Munster, that the
Holy Ghost acts quite alone, independently of the sacraments and of
the Word of God." "The Holy Ghost," replied Zwingle, "works in us
justification by the Word, but by the Word preached and understood, by
the soul and the marrow of the Word, by the mind and will of God
clothed in human language."[213]

  [213] Mens et medulla verbi, mens et voluntas Dei amicta tamen humanis
  verbis.--(Zw. Epp. iv. p. 173.)

"At least," continued Melancthon, "you deny original sin, and make sin
to consist only in actual and external works, like the Pelagians, the
philosophers, and the Papists."

This was the principal difficulty. "Since man naturally loves
himself," replied Zwingle, "instead of loving God; in that there is a
crime, a sin that condemns him."[214] He had more than once before
expressed the same opinion;[215] and yet Melancthon exulted on hearing
him: "Our adversaries," said he afterwards, "have given way on all
these points!"

  [214] Malum, peccatum.--(Ibid. p. 172.)

  [215] De peccato originali ad Urb. Rhegium.--(Ibid. iii. p. 632.)

Luther had pursued the same method with Œcolampadius as Melancthon
with Zwingle. The discussion had in particular turned on baptism.
Luther complained that they would not acknowledge that by this simple
sign a man became a member of the Church. "It is true," said
Œcolampadius, "that we require faith--either an actual or a future
faith. Why should we deny it? Who is a Christian, if it be not he who
believes in Christ? However, I should be unwilling to deny that the
water of baptism is in a certain sense a water of regeneration; for by
it he whom the Church knew not becomes its child."[216]

  [216] Atque adeo ipse non negarim, aquam baptismi esse aquam
  regenerantem: fit enim puer ecclesiæ, qui dudum ab ecclesia non
  agnoscebatur.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 193.)

These four theologians were in the very heat of their discussions,
when domestics came to inform them that the prince's dinner was on the
table. They immediately rose, and Zwingle and Melancthon meeting
Luther and Œcolampadius, who were also quitting their chamber, the
latter approached Zwingle, and whispered mournfully in his ear: "I
have fallen a second time into the hands of Dr. Eck."[217] In the
language of the Reformers nothing stronger could be said.

  [217] Lutherum Œcolampadem ita excepit, ut ad me veniens clam
  queratur, se denuo in Eccium incidisse.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p. 369.)

It does not appear that the conference between Luther and Œcolampadius
was resumed after dinner. Luther's manner held out little hope; but
Melancthon and Zwingle returned to the discussion, and the Zurich
doctor finding the Wittemberg professor escape him like an eel, as he
said, and take "like Proteus a thousand different forms," seized a pen
in order to fix his antagonist. Zwingle committed to writing whatever
Melancthon dictated, and then wrote his reply, giving it to the other
to read.[218] In this manner they spent six hours, three in the
morning and three in the afternoon.[219] They prepared for the general

  [218] At Melancthon, cum nimis lubricus esset et Protei in morem se in
  omnia transformaret, me compulit, ut sumpto calamo manu

  [219] Istud colloquium sex in horas traximus.--(Ibid. 370.)

Zwingle requested that it should be an open one; Luther opposed this.
It was resolved that the princes, nobles, deputies, and theologians
should be admitted; but a great crowd of citizens, and even many
scholars and gentlemen, who had come from Frankfort, from the Rhine
districts, from Strasburg, from Basle and other Swiss towns, were
excluded. Brenz speaks of fifty or sixty hearers; Zwingle of
twenty-four only.[220]

  [220] Quinquaginta aut sexaginta colloquio præsentes.--(Zw. Opp. iv.
  p. 201.) Pauci arbitrii ad summum quatuor et viginti.--(Epp. ii. p.


On a gentle elevation, watered by the Lahn, is situated an old castle,
overlooking the city of Marburg; in the distance is seen the beautiful
valley of the Lahn, and beyond, the mountain-tops rising one above
another, until they are lost in the horizon. It was beneath the vaults
and Gothic arches of an ancient hall in this castle, called the
Knights' Hall, that the conference was to take place.

On Saturday morning (2d October) the Landgrave took his seat in the
hall, surrounded by his court, but so plainly dressed that no one
would have taken him for a prince. He wished to avoid the appearance
of playing the part of a Constantine in the affairs of the Church.
Before him was a table which Luther, Zwingle, Melancthon, and
Œcolampadius approached. Luther, taking a piece of chalk, bent over
the velvet cloth which covered it, and steadily wrote four words in
large characters. All eyes followed the movement of his hand, and soon
they read HOC EST CORPUS MEUM.[221] Luther wished to have this
declaration continually before him, that it might strengthen his
faith, and be a sign to his adversaries.

  [221] This is my body.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 175.)

Behind these four theologians were seated their friends,--Hedio,
Sturm, Funck, Frey, Eberard, Than, Jonas, Cruigerc, and others
besides. Jonas cast an inquiring glance upon the Swiss: "Zwingle,"
said he, "has a certain rusticity and arrogance;[222] if he is well
versed in letters, it is in spite of Minerva and of the Muses. In
Œcolampadius there is a natural goodness and admirable meekness. Hedio
seems to have as much liberality as kindness; but I find in Bucer the
cunning of a fox, that knows how to give himself an air of sense and
prudence." Men of moderate sentiments often meet with worse treatment
than those of the extreme parties.

  [222] In Zwinglio agreste quiddam est et arrogantulum.--(Corp. Ref. i.
  p. 1097.)


Other sentiments animated those who contemplated this assembly from a
distance. The great men who had led the people in their footsteps on
the plains of Saxony, on the banks of the Rhine, and in the lofty
valleys of Switzerland, were there met face to face: the Chiefs of
Christendom, separated from Rome, were come together to see if they
could remain one. Accordingly, from all parts of Germany, prayers and
anxious looks were directed towards Marburg. "Illustrious princes of
the Word,"[223] cried the evangelical Church through the mouth of the
poet Cordus, "penetrating Luther, mild Œcolampadius, magnanimous
Zwingle, pious Snepf, eloquent Melancthon, courageous Bucer, candid
Hedio, excellent Osiander, valiant Brenz, amiable Jonas, fiery Craton,
Mænus, whose soul is stronger than his body, great Dionysius, and you
Myconius--all you whom Prince Philip, that illustrious hero, has
summoned, ministers and bishops, whom the christian cities have sent
to terminate the schism, and to show us the way of truth; the
suppliant Church falls weeping at your feet, and begs you by the
bowels of Jesus Christ to bring this matter to a happy issue, so that
the world may acknowledge in your resolution the work of the Holy
Ghost himself."[224]

  [223] Insignes verbi proceres.--(Bull. ii. p. 236.)

  [224] Et cupido supplex vobis Ecclesia voto Vestros cadit flens ad
  pedes.--(Bull. ii p. 236.)

The Landgrave's chancellor, John Feige, having reminded them in the
prince's name that the object of this colloquy was the re-establishment
of union, "I protest," said Luther, "that I differ from my adversaries
with regard to the doctrine of the Lord's Supper, and that I shall
always differ from them. Christ has said, _This is my body_. Let them
show me that a body is not a body. I reject reason, common sense,
carnal arguments, and mathematical proofs. God is above
mathematics.[225] We have the Word of God; we must adore it and
perform it!"

  [225] Deum esse supra mathematicam.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 175.)


"It cannot be denied," said Œcolampadius, "that there are figures of
speech in the Word of God; as _John is Elias, the rock was Christ, I
am the vine_. The expression _This is my body_, is a figure of the
same kind." Luther granted that there were figures in the Bible, but
he denied that this last expression was figurative.

All the various parties, however, of which the Christian Church is
composed see a figure in these words. In fact, the Romanists declare
that _This is my body_ signifies not only "my body," but also "my
blood," "my soul," and even "my Divinity," and "Christ wholly.[226]"
These words, therefore, according to Rome, are a synecdoche, a figure
by which a part is taken for the whole. And, as regards the Lutherans,
the figure is still more evident.[227] Whether it be synecdoche,
metaphor, or metonymy, there is still a figure. In order to prove it,
Œcolampadius employed this syllogism:--

  [226] If any one denies that the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus
  Christ, with his soul and his divinity, and consequently the whole
  Jesus Christ (totum Christum), is contained in the sacrament of the
  Eucharist, let him be anathema.--(Council of Trent, Sess. 13.)

  [227] Tota Christi persona.--(Form. concord. viii.)

"What Christ rejected in the sixth chapter of St. John, he could not
admit in the words of the Eucharist.

"Now Christ, who said to the people of Capernaum, _The flesh profiteth
nothing_, rejected by those very words the oral manducation of his

"Therefore he did not establish it at the institution of his Supper."

LUTHER.--"I deny the minor (the second of these propositions); Christ
has not rejected all oral manducation, but only a material
manducation, like that of the flesh of oxen or of swine."[228]

  [228] Qualis est carnis bovillæ aut suillæ.--(Scult. p. 217.)

ŒCOLAMPADIUS.--"There is danger in attributing too much to mere


LUTHER.--"Every thing that God commands becomes spirit and life. If it
is by the Lord's order that we lift up a straw, in that very action we
perform a spiritual work. We must pay attention to him who speaks, and
not to what he says. God speaks: Men, worms, listen!--God commands:
let the world obey! and let us all together fall down and humbly kiss
the Word."[229]

  [229] Quum præcipit quid, pareat mundus; et omnes osculemur
  verbum.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 176.)

ŒCOLAMPADIUS.--"But since we have the spiritual eating, what need of
the bodily one?"

LUTHER.--"I do not ask what need we have of it; but I see it written,
_Eat, this is my body_. We must therefore believe and do. We must
do--we must do![230]--If God should order me to eat dung, I would do
it, with the assurance that it would be salutary."[231]

  [230] _Man mus es thun_ sæpe inculcabat.--(Ibid.)

  [231] Si juberet fimum comedere, facerem.--(Ibid.)

At this point Zwingle interfered in the discussion. "We must explain
Scripture by Scripture," said he. "We cannot admit two kinds of
corporeal manducation, as if Jesus had spoken of eating, and the
Capernaites of tearing in pieces, for the same word is employed in
both cases. Jesus says that to eat his flesh corporeally profiteth
nothing (John vi. 63); whence it would result that he had given us in
the Supper a thing that would be useless to us.--Besides there are
certain words that seem to me rather childish,--the dung, for
instance. The oracles of the demons were obscure, not so are those of
Jesus Christ."

LUTHER.--"When Christ says the flesh profiteth nothing, he speaks not
of his own flesh, but of ours."

       *       *       *       *       *

ZWINGLE.--"The soul is fed with the Spirit and not with the flesh."

LUTHER.--"It is with the mouth that we eat the body; the soul does not
eat it."[232]

  [232] Anima non edit ipsum (corpus) corporaliter.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p.

ZWINGLE.--"Christ's body is therefore a corporeal nourishment, and not
a spiritual."

LUTHER.--"You are captious."

ZWINGLE.--"Not so; but you utter contradictory things."

LUTHER.--"If God should present me wild apples, I should eat them
spiritually. In the Eucharist, the mouth receives the body of Christ,
and the soul believes in his words."


Zwingle then quoted a great number of passages from the Holy
Scripture, in which the sign is described by the very thing signified;
and thence concluded that, considering our Lord's declaration in St.
John, _The flesh profiteth nothing_, we must explain the words of the
Eucharist in a similar manner.

Many hearers were struck by these arguments. Among the Marburg
professors sat the Frenchman Lambert; his tall and spare frame was
violently agitated. He had been at first of Luther's opinion,[233] and
was then hesitating between the two Reformers. As he went to the
conference, he said: "I desire to be a sheet of blank paper, on which
the finger of God may write his truth." Ere long he exclaimed, after
hearing Zwingle and Œcolampadius: "Yes! the Spirit, that is what
vivifies!"[234] When this conversion was known, the Wittembergers,
shrugging their shoulders, said, "Gallic fickleness!" "What!" replied
Lambert, "was St. Paul fickle because he was converted from
Pharisaism? And have we ourselves been fickle in abandoning the lost
sects of Popery?"

  [233] See his Commentary on St. Luke (xxii. 19, 20.)

  [234] He added, that the body of Christ was in the Eucharist neither
  mathematically or commensurably, nor really (neque mathematice seu
  commensurative, neque re ipsa).--(Epist. Lamb. de Marb. col.)

Luther was, however, by no means shaken. "_This is my body_," repeated
he, pointing with his finger to the words written before him. "_This
is my body._ The devil himself shall not drive me from that. To seek
to understand it, is to fall away from the faith."[235]

  [235] Si interrogo, excido a fide.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p. 177.)

"But, doctor," said Zwingle, "St. John explains how Christ's body is
eaten, and you will be obliged at last to leave off singing always the
same song."


"You make use of unmannerly expressions," replied Luther[236]. The
Wittembergers themselves called Zwingle's argument "his old
song."[237] Zwingle continued without being disconcerted: "I ask you,
doctor, whether Christ in the sixth chapter of St. John did not wish
to reply to the question that had been put to him?"

  [236] Invidiose loqueris.--(Bull. ii. p. 228.)

  [237] Veterem suam cantilenam.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 221.)

LUTHER.--"Mr. Zwingle, you wish to stop my mouth by the arrogancy of
your language. That passage has nothing to do here."

ZWINGLE, hastily.--"Pardon me, doctor, that passage breaks your neck."

LUTHER.--"Do not boast so much! You are in Hesse, and not in
Switzerland. In this country we do not break people's necks."

Then turning towards his friends, Luther complained bitterly of
Zwingle; as if the latter had really wished to break his neck. "He
makes use of soldier-like and blood-stained words," said he.[238]
Luther forgot that he had employed a similar expression in speaking of

  [238] Verbum istud, tanquam castrense et cruentum.--(Hospin. p. 131.)

  [239] Vol. III. Book ix.

ZWINGLE resumed: "In Switzerland also there is strict justice, and we
break no man's neck without trial. That expression signifies merely
that your cause is lost and hopeless."

Great agitation prevailed in the Knights' Hall. The roughness of the
Swiss and the obstinacy of the Saxon had come into collision. The
Landgrave, fearing to behold the failure of his project of
conciliation, nodded assent to Zwingle's explanation. "Doctor," said
he to Luther, "you should not be offended at such common expressions."
It was in vain: the agitated sea could not again be calmed. The prince
therefore arose, and they all repaired to the banqueting hall. After
dinner they resumed their tasks.

"I believe," said Luther, "that Christ's body is in heaven, but I also
believe that it is in the sacrament. It concerns me little whether
that be against nature, provided that it is not against faith.[240]
Christ is substantially in the sacrament, such as he was born of the

  [240] Non curo quod sit contra naturam, modo non contra fidem.--(Zw.
  Opp. iv. p. 178.)

[Sidenote: METAPHOR.]

ŒCOLAMPADIUS, quoting a passage from St. Paul: "We know not Jesus
Christ after the flesh."[241]

  [241] 2 Cor. v. 16.

LUTHER.--"After the flesh means, in this passage, after our carnal

  [242] Pro carnalibus affectibus.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 202.)

ŒCOLAMPADIUS.--"You will not allow that there is a metaphor in these
words, _This is my body_, and yet you admit a synecdoche."

LUTHER.--"Metaphor permits the existence of a sign only; but it is not
so with synecdoche. If a man says he wishes to drink a bottle, we
understand that he means the beer in the bottle. Christ's body is in
the bread, as a sword in the scabbard,[243] or as the Holy Ghost in
the dove."

  [243] Corpus est in pane sicut gladius in vagina.--(Ibid.)

The discussion was proceeding in this manner, when Osiander, pastor of
Nuremberg, Stephen Agricola, pastor of Augsburg, and Brenz, pastor of
Halle in Swabia, author of the famous Syngramma, entered the hall.
These also had been invited by the Landgrave. But Brenz, to whom
Luther had written that he should take care not to appear, had no
doubt by his indecision retarded his own departure as well as that of
his friends. Places were assigned them near Luther and Melancthon.
"Listen, and speak if necessary," they were told. They took but little
advantage of this permission. "All of us, except Luther," said
Melancthon, "were silent personages."[244]

  [244] Fuimus κὡφα πρὁσωπα.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 1098.)

The struggle continued.

When Zwingle saw that exegesis was not sufficient for Luther, he added
dogmatical theology to it, and, subsidiarily, natural philosophy.


"I oppose you," said he, "with this article of our faith: _Ascendit in
cælum_--he ascended into heaven. If Christ is in heaven as regards his
body, how can he be in the bread? The Word of God teaches us that he
was like his brethren in all things (Heb. ii. 17). He therefore
cannot be in several places at once."

LUTHER.--"Were I desirous of reasoning thus, I would undertake to
prove that Jesus Christ had a wife; that he had black eyes,[245] and
lived in our good country of Germany.[246] I care little about

  [245] Quod uxorem et nigros oculos habuisset.--(Scultet. p. 225.)

  [246] In Germania diuturnum contubernium egisse.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p.

"There is no question of mathematics here," said Zwingle, "but of St.
Paul, who writes to the Philippians, μορφἡν δοὑλου λαβὡν."

  [247] Having taken the form of a servant.--(Phil. ii. 7.)

LUTHER, interrupting him.--"Read it to us in Latin or in German, not
in Greek."

ZWINGLE (in Latin).--"Pardon me: for twelve years past I have made use
of the Greek Testament only." Then continuing to read the passage, he
concluded from it that Christ's humanity is of a finite nature like
our own.

LUTHER, pointing to the words written before him.--"Most dear sirs,
since my Lord Jesus Christ says, _Hoc est corpus meum_, I believe that
his body is really there."

Here the scene grew animated. Zwingle started from his chair, sprung
towards Luther, and striking the table before him, said to him:[248]

  [248] Ibi Zwinglius illico prosiliens.--(Scultet. p. 225.)

"You maintain then, doctor, that Christ's body is locally in the Eucharist;
for you say Christ's body is really _there_--_there_--_there_," repeated
Zwingle. "_There_ is an adverb of place.[249] Christ's body is then of
such a nature as to exist in a place. If it is in a place, it is in
heaven, whence it follows that it is not in the bread."

  [249] Da, da, da. _Ibi_ est adverbium loci.--(Scultet. p. 225.)

LUTHER.--"I repeat that I have nothing to do with mathematical proofs.
As soon as the words of consecration are pronounced over the bread,
the body is there, however wicked be the priest who pronounces them."


ZWINGLE.--"You are thus re-establishing Popery.[250]"

  [250] Damit richtend ir das papstum uf.--(Zw. Opp. iii. p. 57.)

LUTHER.--"This is not done through the priest's merits, but because of
Christ's ordinance. I will not, when Christ's body is in question,
hear speak of a particular place. I absolutely will not."

ZWINGLE.--"Must every thing, then, exist precisely as you will it?"

The Landgrave perceived that the discussion was growing hot; and as
the repast was waiting, he broke off the contest.[251]

  [251] Cœna instabat et diremit certamen.--(Ibid. iv. p. 179.)

The next day was Sunday, the 3d October. The conference was continued,
perhaps because of an epidemic (the Sweating Sickness) that had just
broken out at Marburg, and did not allow of the conference being
prolonged. Luther, returning to the discussion of the previous
evening, said:

"Christ's body is in the sacrament, but it is not there as in a

ZWINGLE.--"Then it is not there at all."

LUTHER.--"Sophists say that a body may very well be in several places
at once. The universe is a body, and yet we cannot assert that it is
in a particular place."

ZWINGLE.--"Ah! you speak of sophists, doctor: really you are, after
all, obliged to return to the onions and flesh-pots of Egypt.[252] As
for what you say, that the universe is in no particular place, I beg
all intelligent men to weigh this proof." Then Zwingle, who, whatever
Luther said, had more than one arrow in his quiver, after having
established his proposition by exegesis and philosophy, resolved on
confirming it by the testimony of the Fathers of the Church.

  [252] Ad cæpas at ollas Ægyptiacas.--(Zw. Opp. ii. part 3, p. 57.)


"Listen," said he, "to what Fulgentius, bishop of Ruspa, in Numidia,
said, in the fifth century, to Trasamond, king of the Vandals: 'The
Son of God took the attributes of true humanity, and did not lose
those of true Divinity. Born in time, according to his mother, he
lives in eternity according to the Divinity that he holds from the
Father: coming from man, he is man, and consequently in a place;
proceeding from the Father, he is God, and consequently present in
every place. According to his human nature, he was absent from heaven
while he was upon earth, and he quitted the earth when he ascended
into heaven; but, according to his Divine nature, he remained in
heaven when he came down thence, and he did not abandon the earth when
he returned thither.'"[253]

  [253] Secundum humanam substantiam, absens cœlo, cum esset in terra,
  et derelinquens terram cum ascendisset in cœlum.--(Fulgentius to King
  Trasamond, lib. ii.)

But Luther still replied: "It is written, _This is my body_." Zwingle,
becoming impatient, said, "All that is idle wrangling. An obstinate
disputant might also maintain this expression of our Saviour to his
mother, _Behold thy son_, pointing to St. John. Vain would be all
explanation; he would not cease to cry, No, no! He said, _Ecce filius
tuus_, Behold thy son, behold thy son! Listen to a new testimony; it
is from the great Augustin: 'Let us not think,' says he, 'that Christ,
according to his human form, is present in every place; let us beware,
in our endeavour to establish his Divinity, of taking away his truth
from his body. Christ is now every where present like God; and yet, in
consequence of his real body, he is in a definite part of

  [254] In loco aliquo cœli propter veri corporis modum.--(Aug. Ep. p.

"St. Augustin," replied Luther, "is not here speaking of the
Eucharist. Christ's body is not in the Eucharist as in a place."

Œcolampadius saw that he might take advantage of this assertion of
Luther's. "The body of Christ," said he, "is not locally in the
Eucharist, therefore no real body is there; for every one knows that
the essence of a body is its existence in a place."

Here finished the morning's discussion.


Œcolampadius, upon reflection, felt convinced that Luther's assertion
might be looked upon as an approximation. "I remember," said he after
dinner, "that the doctor conceded this morning that Christ's body was
not in the sacrament as in a place. Let us therefore inquire amicably
what is the nature of Christ's bodily presence."

"You will not make me take a step further," exclaimed Luther, who saw
where they wished to drag him; "you have Fulgentius and Augustin on
your side, but all the other Fathers are on ours."

Œcolampadius, who seemed to the Wittembergers to be vexatiously
precise,[255] then said, "Name these doctors. We will take upon
ourselves to prove that they are of our opinion."

  [255] Quem omnes sperassemus mitiorem, interdum videbatur paulo
  morosior, sed citra contumeliam.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 201.)

"We will not name them to you,"[256] said Luther. "It was in his
youth," added he, "that Augustin wrote what you have quoted; and,
besides, he is an obscure author." Then, retreating to the ground
which he had resolved never to quit, he was no longer content to point
his finger at the inscription, _Hoc est corpus meum_, but seized the
velvet cover on which the words were written, pulled it off the table,
held it up in front of Zwingle and Œcolampadius, and placing it before
their eyes,[257] "See!" said he, "see! This is our text; you have not
yet driven us from it, as you had boasted, and we care for no other

  [256] Non nominabimus illos.--(Scultet. p. 228.)

  [257] Da hub Luther die Sammaten deck auf, und Zeigt ihm den Spruch,
  den er mit kreyden hett für sich geschrieben.--(Osiander; Niederer's
  Nachrichten, ii. p. 114.)

"If this be the case," said Œcolampadius, "we had better leave off the
discussion. But I will first declare, that, if we quote the Fathers,
it is only to free our doctrine from the reproach of novelty, and not
to support our cause by their authority." No better definition can be
given of the legitimate use of the Doctors of the Church.


There was no reason, in fact, for prolonging the conference. "As
Luther was of an intractable and imperious disposition," says even his
great apologist Seckendorf, "he did not cease from calling upon the
Swiss to submit simply to his opinion."[258]

  [258] Lutherus vero ut erat fero et imperioso ingenio.--(Seck. p.

The Chancellor, alarmed at this termination of the colloquy, exhorted
the theologians to come to an understanding. "I know but one means for
that," said Luther; "and this it is: Let our adversaries believe as we
do." "We cannot," replied the Swiss. "Well then," replied Luther, "I
abandon you to God's judgment, and pray that he will enlighten you."
"We will do the same," added Œcolampadius.

While these words were passing, Zwingle was silent, motionless, and
deeply moved; and the liveliness of his affections, of which he had
given more than one proof during the conference, was then manifested
in a very different manner. He burst into tears in the presence of

The conference was ended. It had been in reality more tranquil than
the documents seem to show, or perhaps the chroniclers appreciated
such matters differently from ourselves. "With the exception of a few
sallies, all had passed off quietly, in a courteous manner, and with
very great gentleness," says an eye-witness.[259] "During the colloquy
no other words than these were heard: 'Sir, and very dear friend, your
charity,' or other similar expressions. Not a word of schism or of
heresy. It might have been said that Luther and Zwingle were brothers,
and not adversaries."[260] This is the testimony of Brenz. But these
flowers concealed an abyss, and Jonas, also an eye-witness, styles the
conference "a very sharp contest."[261]

  [259] Omnia humanissime et summa cum mansuetudine
  transigebantur.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 201.)

  [260] Amicissime Domine, Vestra charitas, et id genus......Dixisses
  Lutherum et Zwinglium non adversarios.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 201.)

  [261] Acerrimo certamine.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 1096.)


The contagion that had suddenly broken out in Marburg was creating
frightful ravages, and filled everybody with alarm.[262] Each one was
anxious to leave the city. "Sirs," remarked the Landgrave, "you
cannot separate thus." And desirous of giving the doctors an
opportunity of meeting one another with minds unoccupied by
theological debates, he invited them all to his table. This was Sunday

  [262] Nisi _Sudor Anglicus_ subito Marburgum invasisset et terrore
  omnium animos percutisset.--(Hospin. p. 131.)

Philip of Hesse had all along shown the most constant attention, and
each one imagined him to be on his side. "I would rather place my
trust in the simple words of Christ, than in the subtle thoughts of
man," was a remark he made, according to Jonas;[263] but Zwingle
affirmed that this prince thought now as he did, although with regard
to certain persons he dissembled his opinions. Luther, sensible of the
weakness of his defence as to the declarations of the Fathers,
transmitted a note to Philip, in which several passages were pointed
out from Hilary, Chrysostom, Cyprian, Irenæus, and Ambrose, which he
thought were in his favour.

  [263] Dicitur palam proclamasse.--(Corp. Ref. p. 1097.)

The time of departure drew near, and nothing had been done. The
Landgrave toiled earnestly at the union, as Luther wrote to his
wife.[264] He invited the theologians one after another into his
closet;[265] he pressed, entreated, warned, exhorted, and conjured
them. "Think," said he, "of the salvation of the christian republic,
and remove all discord from its bosom."[266] Never had general at the
head of an army taken such pains to win a battle.

  [264] Da arbeit der Landgraf heftig.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 512.)

  [265] Unumquemque nostrum seorsim absque arbitris.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p.

  [266] Compellans, rogans, monens, exhortans, postulans ut Reipublicæ
  Christianæ rationem haberemus, et discordiam e medio


A final general meeting took place and undoubtedly the Church has
seldom witnessed one of greater solemnity. Luther and Zwingle, Saxony
and Switzerland, met for the last time. The Sweating Sickness was
carrying off men around them by thousands;[267] Charles the Fifth and
the Pope were uniting in Italy; Ferdinand and the Roman-catholic
princes were preparing to tear in pieces the Protest of Spire; the
thunder-cloud became more threatening every day; union alone seemed
capable of saving the Protestants, and the hour of departure was about
to strike--an hour that would separate them perhaps for ever.

  [267] Multa perierunt millia.--(Hospin. p. 131.)

"Let us confess our union in all things in which we agree," said
Zwingle; "and as for the rest, let us remember that we are brothers.
There will never be peace between the Churches if, while we maintain
the grand doctrine of salvation by faith, we cannot differ on
secondary points."[268] Such is, in fact, the true principle of
christian union. The sixteenth century was still too deeply sunk in
scholasticism to understand this: let us hope that the nineteenth
century will comprehend it better.

  [268] Quod nulla unquam Ecclesiarum pax constituta sit, si non in
  multis aliis dissentiendi a se facultatem faciant.--(Scultet. p. 207.)

"Yes, yes!" exclaimed the Landgrave; "you agree! Give then a testimony
of your unity, and recognise one another as brothers."--"There is no
one upon earth with whom I more desire to be united, than with you,"
said Zwingle, approaching the Wittemberg doctors.[269] Œcolampadius,
Bucer, and Hedio said the same.

  [269] Es werendt keine lüth uff Erden.--(Bull. ii. p. 225.)

"Acknowledge them! acknowledge them as brothers!" continued the
Landgrave.[270] Their hearts were moved; they were on the eve of
unity: Zwingle, bursting into tears, in the presence of the Prince,
the courtiers, and divines (it is Luther himself who records
this),[271] approaches Luther, and holds out his hand. The two
families of the Reformation were about to be united: long quarrels
were about to be stifled in their cradle; but Luther rejects the hand
that is offered him: "You have a different spirit from ours," said he.
These words communicate to the Swiss, as it were, an electrical shock.
Their hearts sunk each time Luther repeated them, and he did so
frequently. It is he himself who is our informant.

  [270] Idque Princeps valde urgebat.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 513.)

  [271] Swinglius palam lacrymans coram Langravio et omnibus.--(Hospin.
  p. 136.)


A brief consultation took place among the Wittemberg doctors. Luther,
Melancthon, Agricola, Brenz, Jonas, and Osiander, conferred together.
Convinced that their peculiar doctrine on the Eucharist was essential
to salvation, they considered all those who rejected it as without the
pale of the faith. "What folly!"[272] said Melancthon, who afterwards
almost coincided with Zwingle's sentiments: "they condemn us, and yet
they desire we should consider them as our brothers!" "What
versatility!" added Brenz: "they accused us but lately of worshipping
a bread-god, and they now ask for communion with us!"[273] Then,
turning towards Zwingle and his friends, the Wittembergers said: "You
do not belong to the communion of the Christian Church: we cannot
acknowledge you as brethren!"[274]

  [272] Vide eorum stultitiam!--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 1108.)

  [273] Nos tanquam adoratores panifici Dei traduxerant.--(Zw. Opp. iv.
  p. 203.)

  [274] Eos a communione Ecclesiæ Christianæ alienos esse.--(Ibid.)

The Swiss were far from partaking of this sectarian spirit. "We
think," said Bucer, "that your doctrine strikes at the glory of Jesus
Christ, who now reigns at the right hand of the Father. But seeing
that in all things you acknowledge your dependence on the Lord, we
look at your conscience, which compels you to receive the doctrine you
profess, and we do not doubt that you belong to Christ."

"And we," said Luther--"we declare to you once more that our
conscience opposes our receiving you as brethren."--"If such is the
case," replied Bucer, "it would be folly to ask it."

"I am exceedingly astonished that you wish to consider me as your
brother," pursued Luther. "It shows clearly that you do not attach
much importance to your own doctrine."


"Take your choice," said Bucer, proposing a dilemma to the Reformer:
"either you should not acknowledge as brethren those who differ from
you in any point--and if so, you will not find a single brother in
your own ranks[275]--or else you will receive some of those who
differ from you, and then you ought to receive us."

  [275] Nemo alteri vel inter ipsos frater erit.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 194.)

The Swiss had exhausted their solicitations. "We are conscious," said
they, "of having acted as if in the presence of God. Posterity will be
our witness."[276] They were on the point of retiring: Luther remained
like a rock, to the Landgrave's great indignation.[277] The Hessian
divines, Kraft, Lambert, Snepf, Lonicer, and Melander, united their
exertions to those of the Prince.

  [276] Id testabitur posteritas.--(Ibid.)

  [277] Principi illud durum videbatur.--(Ibid. p. 203.)

Luther was staggered, and conferred anew with his colleagues. "Let us
beware," said he to his friends, "of wiping our noses too roughly,
lest blood should come."[278]

  [278] Ne nimis mungendo, sanguinem eliceremus.--(L. Epp. in his letter
  written to Gerbellius on the same day--Monday.)

Then turning to Zwingle and Œcolampadius, they said: "We acknowledge
you as friends; we do not consider you as brothers and members of
Christ's Church.[279] But we do not exclude you from that universal
charity which we owe even to our enemies."[280]

  [279] Agnoscere quidem velimus tanquam amicos, sed non tanquam
  fratres.--(Zw. Opp. iv. p. 203.)

  [280] Charitate quæ etiam hosti debetur.--(Ibid. p. 190.)

The hearts of Zwingle, Œcolampadius, and Bucer, were ready to
burst,[281] for this concession was almost a new insult. Nevertheless
they resolved to accept what was offered them. "Let us carefully avoid
all harsh and violent words and writings," said they; "and let each
one defend himself without railing."[282]

  [281] Indignissime affecti sunt.--(Ibid.)

  [282] Quisque suam sententiam doceat absque invectivis.--(L. Epp. iii.
  p. 514.)

Luther then advanced towards the Swiss, and said: "We consent, and I
offer you the hand of peace and charity." The Swiss rushed in great
emotion towards the Wittembergers, and all shook hands.[283] Luther
himself was softened: christian charity resumed her rights in his
heart. "Assuredly," said he, "a great portion of the scandal is taken
away by the suppression of our fierce debates; we could not have hoped
for so much. May Christ's hand remove the last obstacle that separates
us.[284] There is now a friendly concord between us, and if we
persevere in prayer, brotherhood will come."

  [283] Dedimus tamen manus pacis et caritatis.--(Ibid. p. 513.)

  [284] Utinam et ille reliquus scrupulus per Christum tandem
  tollatur,--in his letter written to Gerbellius after leaving this


It was desirable to confirm this important result by a report. "We
must let the christian world know," said the Landgrave, "that, except
the manner of the presence of the body and blood in the Eucharist, you
are agreed in all the articles of faith."[285] This was resolved on;
but who should be charged with drawing up the paper? All eyes were
turned upon Luther. The Swiss themselves appealed to his impartiality.

  [285] Ut orbi Christiano notum fieret eos in omnibus fidei capitibus
  consentire.--(Hospin. p. 127.)

Luther retired to his closet, lost in thought, uneasy, and finding the
task very difficult. "On the one hand," said he, "I should like to
spare their weakness;[286] but, on the other, I would not in the least
degree strike at the holy doctrine of Christ." He did not know how to
set about it, and his anguish increased. He got free at last. "I will
draw up the articles," said he, "in the most accurate manner. Do I not
know that whatever I write, they will never sign them?"[287] Erelong
fifteen articles were committed to paper, and Luther, holding them in
his hand, repaired to the theologians of the two parties.

  [286] Het gern ihrer Schwachheit verschont.--(Niederer Nachr. ii. p.

  [287] Doch zuletz sprach er Ich will die artikel aufaller pesste
  stellen, sy werdens doch nicht annemen.--(Ibid.)


These articles are of importance. The two doctrines that were evolved
in Switzerland and in Saxony, independently of each other, were
brought together and compared. If they were of man, there would be
found in them a servile uniformity, or a remarkable opposition. This
was not the case. A great unity was found between the German and the
Swiss Reformations, for they both proceeded from the same Divine
teaching; and a diversity on secondary points, for it was by man's
instrumentality that God had effected them.

Luther took his paper, and reading the first article, said:

"First, we believe that there is one sole, true, and natural God,
Creator of heaven and earth and of all creatures; and that this same
God, one in essence and in nature, is threefold in person, that is to
say, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as was declared in the Nicene
Council, and as all the Christian Church professes."

To this the Swiss gave their assent.

They were agreed also on the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ; on
his death and resurrection, on original sin, justification by faith,
the operation of the Holy Ghost and of the Word of God, baptism, good
works, confession, civil order, and tradition.

Thus far all were united. The Wittembergers could not recover from
their astonishment.[288] The two parties had rejected, on the one
hand, the errors of the Papists, who make religion little more than an
outward form; and, on the other, those of the Enthusiasts, who speak
exclusively of internal feelings; and they were found drawn up under
the same banners between these two camps. But the moment was come that
would separate them. Luther had kept till the last the article on the

  [288] Quod mirari non satis potuimus.--(Brentius, Zw. Opp. iv. p.

The Reformer resumed:

"We all believe with regard to the Lord's Supper, that it ought to be
celebrated in both kinds, according to the primitive institution; that
the Mass is not a work by which a Christian obtains pardon for another
man, whether dead or alive; that the sacrament of the altar is the
sacrament of the very body and very blood of Jesus Christ; and that
the spiritual manducation of this body and blood is specially
necessary to every true Christian."[289]

  [289] Quod spiritualis manducatio hujus corporis et sanguinis
  unicuique Christiano præcipue necessaria sit.--(Scultet. p. 232.)


It was now the turn of the Swiss to be astonished. Luther continued:

"In like manner, as to the use of the sacrament, we are agreed that,
like the Word, it was ordained of Almighty God, in order that weak
consciences might be excited by the Holy Ghost to faith and charity."

The joy of the Swiss was redoubled. Luther continued: "And although at
present we are not agreed on the question whether the real body and
blood of Christ are corporeally present in the bread and wine, yet
both the interested parties shall cherish more and more a truly
christian charity for one another, so far as conscience permits; and
we will all earnestly implore the Lord to condescend by his Spirit to
confirm us in the sound doctrine."[290]

  [290] Osiander (a Lutheran) employs the accusative, "in _den_ rechten
  Verstand," which would indicate a movement towards an object that we
  do not possess: Bullinger and Scultet (both Reformed divines) have the

The Swiss obtained what they had asked: unity in diversity. It was
immediately resolved to hold a solemn meeting for the signature of the

They were read over again. Œcolampadius, Zwingle, Bucer, and Hedio,
signed them first on one copy; while Luther, Melancthon, Jonas,
Osiander, Brentz, and Agricola, wrote their names on the other; both
parties then signed the copy of their adversaries, and this important
document was sent to the press.[291]

  [291] Bullinger and others indicate the 3d October as the day on which
  the articles were signed; Osiander, an eye-witness, and whose
  narrative is very exact, says it was the 4th, which agrees with all
  the other data.

[Sidenote: REMARKS.]

Thus the Reformation had made a sensible step at Marburg. The opinion
of Zwingle on the spiritual presence, and of Luther on the bodily
presence, are both found in christian antiquity; but both the extreme
doctrines have been always rejected: that of the Rationalists, on the
one hand, who behold in the Eucharist nothing but a simple
commemoration; and of the Papists, on the other, who adore in it a
transubstantiation. These are both errors; while the doctrines of
Luther and Zwingle, and the medium taken by Calvin, already maintained
by some of the Fathers, were considered in ancient times as different
views of the same truth. If Luther had yielded, it might have been
feared that the Church would fall into the extreme of Rationalism; if
Zwingle, that it would rush into the extreme of Popery. It is a
salutary thing for the Church that these different views should be
entertained; but it is a pernicious thing for individuals to attach
themselves to one of them, in such a manner as to anathematize the
others. "There is only this little stumbling-block," wrote Melancthon,
"that embarrasses the Church of our Lord."[292] All,--Romanists and
Evangelicals, Saxons and Swiss, admitted the presence, and even the
real presence of Christ; but here was the essential point of
separation: Is this presence effected by the faith of the communicant,
or by the _opus operatum_ of the priest? The germs of Popery,
Sacerdotalism, Puseyism, are inevitably contained in this latter
thesis. If it is maintained that a wicked priest (as has been said)
operates this real presence of Christ by three words, we enter the
Church of the Pope. Luther appeared sometimes to admit this doctrine,
but he has often spoken in a more spiritual manner; and taking this
great man in his best moments, we behold no more than an essential
unity and a secondary diversity in the two parties of the Reformation.
Undoubtedly the Lord has left his Church outward seals of his grace;
but he has not attached salvation to these signs. The essential point
is the connexion of the faithful with the Word, with the Holy Ghost,
with the Head of the Church. This is the great truth which the Reform
proclaims, and which Lutheranism itself recognises. After the Marburg
conference, the controversy became more moderate.

  [292] Hic unus in Ecclesia hæret scrupulus.--(Corp. Ref. i. p. 1106.)

There was another advantage. The evangelical divines at Marburg marked
with one accord their separation from the Papacy. Zwingle was not
without fear (unfounded, no doubt) with regard to Luther: these fears
were dispersed. "Now that we are agreed," said he, "the Papists will
no longer hope that Luther will ever be one of them."[293] The Marburg
articles are the first bulwark erected in common by the Reformers
against Rome.

  [293] Pontifici non ultra possunt sperare Lutherum suum fore.--(Zw.
  Opp. ii. p. 370.)

It was not, then, in vain that, after the protest of Spire, Philip of
Hesse endeavoured, at Marburg, to bring together the friends of the
Gospel. But, if the religious object was partially attained, the
political object almost entirely failed. They could not arrive at a
confederation of Switzerland and Germany. Nevertheless, Philip of
Hesse and Zwingle, with a view to this, had numerous secret
conversations, which made the Saxons uneasy, as they were not less
opposed to Zwingle's politics than to his theology. "When you have
reformed the peasant's cap," said Jonas to him, "you will also claim
to reform the sable hat of princes."

The Landgrave, having collected all the doctors at his table on the
last day, they shook hands in a friendly manner,[294] and each one
thought of leaving the town.

  [294] Die Händ einander früntlich gebotten.--(Bull. ii. p. 236.)


On Tuesday the 5th October, the Landgrave quitted Marburg early, and
in the afternoon of the same day Luther departed, accompanied by his
colleagues; but he did not go forth as a conqueror. A spirit of
dejection and alarm had taken possession of his mind.[295] He writhed
in the dust, like a worm, according to his own expression. He fancied
he should never see his wife and children again, and cried out that
he, "the consoler of so many tortured souls, was now without any

  [295] Ego vix et ægre domum reversus sum.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 520.)

  [296] Sic me vexante Angelo Satanæ, ut desperarim me vivum et salvum
  visurum meos.--(Ibid.)


This state might partly arise from Luther's want of brotherly feeling;
but it had other causes also. Soliman had come to fulfil a promise
made to King Ferdinand. The latter having demanded, in 1528, the
surrender of Belgrade, the Sultan had haughtily replied, that he
would bring the keys himself to Vienna. In fact, the Grand Turk,
crossing the frontiers of Germany, had invaded countries "on which the
hoofs of the Mussulman war-horses had never trod," and eight days
before the conference at Marburg, he had covered with his innumerable
tents the plain and the fertile hills in the midst of which rise the
walls of Vienna. The struggle had begun under ground, the two parties
having dug deep galleries beneath the ramparts. Three different times
the Turkish mines were sprung; the walls were thrown down;[297] "the
balls flew through the air like a flight of small birds," says a
Turkish historian; "and there was a horrible banquet, at which the
genii of death joyously drained their glasses."[298]

  [297] Ipsam urbem in tribus locis, suffoso solo et pulvere supposito
  disjicit et patefecit.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 518.)

  [298] Dschelalsade, quoted by Ranke.

Luther did not keep in the background. He had already written against
the Turks, and now he published a _Battle Sermon_. "Mahomet," said he,
"exalts Christ as being without sin; but he denies that he was the
true God; therefore he is his enemy. Alas! to this hour the world is
such that it seems everywhere to rain disciples of Mahomet. Two men
ought to oppose the Turks: the first is Christian, that is to say,
Prayer; the second is Charles, that is to say, The sword." And in
another place, "I know my dear Germans well, fat and well-fed swine;
as soon as the danger is removed, they think only of eating and
sleeping. Wretched man! if thou dost not take up arms the Turk will
come; he will carry thee away into his Turkey; he will there sell thee
like a dog; and thou shalt serve him night and day, under the rod and
the cudgel, for a glass of water and a morsel of bread. Think on this;
be converted, and implore the Lord not to give thee the Turk for thy

  [299] Heer predigt wider die Türken.--(L. Opp. (W.) xx. p. 2691.)


The two arms pointed out by Luther were, in reality, vigorously
employed; and Soliman, perceiving at last that he was not the "soul of
the universe," as his poets had styled him, but that there was a
strength in the world superior to his own, raised the siege of Vienna
on the 16th October; and "the shadow of God over the two worlds," as
he called himself, "disappeared and vanished in the Bosphorus."

But Luther imagined that, when retiring from before the walls of
Vienna, "the Turk, or at least his god, who is the devil," had rushed
upon him; and that it was this enemy of Christ and of Christ's
servants that he was destined to combat and vanquish in his frightful
agony.[300] There is an immediate reaction of the violated law upon
him who violates it. Now Luther had transgressed the royal law, which
is charity, and he suffered the penalty. At last he re-entered
Wittemberg, and flung himself into the arms of his friends, "tormented
by the angel of death."[301]

  [300] Forte ipsum Turcam partim in isto agone cogor ferre et vincere,
  saltem ejus Deum, diabolum.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 520.)

  [301] Angelus Satanæ, vel quisquis est diabolus mortis ita me
  fatigat.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 515.)

Without, however, overlooking the essential qualities of a Reformer
that Luther manifested at Marburg, there are in God's work, as in a
drama, different parts. What various characters we see among the
Apostles and among the Reformers! It has been said that the same
characters and the same parts were assigned to St. Peter and to
Luther, at the time of the Formation and of the Reformation of the
Church.[302] They were both in fact men of the initiative, who start
forward quite alone, but around whom an army soon collects at the
sight of the standard which they wave.

  [302] Dr. Vinet.

But there was perhaps in the Reformer a characteristic that was not
found to the same degree in the Apostle; this is firmness.


As for Zwingle, he quitted Marburg in alarm at Luther's intolerance.
"Lutheranism," wrote he to the Landgrave, "will lie as heavy upon us
as Popery."[303] He reached Zurich on the 19th October. "The truth,"
said he to his friends, "has prevailed so manifestly, that if ever
any one has been defeated before all the world, it is Luther, although
he constantly exclaimed that he was invincible."[304] On his side,
Luther spoke in a similar strain. "It is through fear of their
fellow-citizens," added he, "that the Swiss, although vanquished, are
unwilling to retract."[305]

  [303] Das Lutherthum werde so schwer, als das Papsthum.--(Zw. Epp. p.

  [304] Lutherus impudens et contumax aperte est victus.--(Zw. Epp. p.

  [305] Metuebant plebem suam ad quam non licuisset reverti.--(Zw. Opp.
  ii. p. 19.)

If it should be asked on which side the victory really was, perhaps we
ought to say that Luther assumed the air of a conqueror, but Zwingle
was so in reality. The conference propagated through all Germany the
doctrine of the Swiss, which had been little known there till that
time, and it was adopted by an immense number of persons. Among these
were Laffards, first rector of St. Martin's School at Brunswick,
Dionysius Melander, Justus Lening, Hartmann, Ibach, and many more. The
Landgrave himself, a short time before his death, declared that this
conference had induced him to renounce the oral manducation of

  [306] Rommels Anmerkungen, p. 227-229.

Still the dominant principle at this celebrated epoch was unity. The
adversaries are the best judges. The Roman-catholics were exasperated
that the Lutherans and Zwinglians had agreed on all the essential
points of faith. "They have a fellow-feeling against the Catholic
Church," said they, "as Herod and Pilate against Jesus Christ." The
enthusiastic sects said the same,[307] and the extreme hierarchial as
well as the extreme radical party deprecated equally the unity of

  [307] Pontificiis et catabaptistis multum displicuit consensus
  Marpurgi.--(Scultet. p. 208.)


Erelong a greater agitation eclipsed all these rumours, and events
which threatened the whole evangelical body, proclaimed its great and
intimate union with new force. The Emperor, it was everywhere said,
exasperated by the Protest of Spire, has landed at Genoa with the pomp
of a conqueror. After having sworn at Barcelona to reduce the
heretics under the power of the Pope, he is going to visit this
pontiff, humbly to bend the knee before him; and he will rise up only
to cross the Alps and accomplish his terrible designs. "The Emperor
Charles," said Luther, a few days after the landing of this prince,
"has determined to show himself more cruel against us than the Turk
himself, and he has already uttered the most horrible threats. Behold
the hour of Christ's agony and weakness. Let us pray for all those who
will soon have to endure captivity and death."[308]

  [308] Carolus Caesar multo atrocius minatur et sævire statuit in nos,
  quam Turca.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 324.)

Such was the news that then agitated all Germany. The grand question
was, whether the Protest of Spire could be maintained against the
power of the Emperor and of the Pope. This was seen in the year 1530.



I. The Reformation was accomplished in the name of a spiritual
principle. It had proclaimed for its teacher the Word of God; for
salvation, Faith; for king, Jesus Christ; for arms, the Holy Ghost;
and had by these very means rejected all worldly elements. Rome had
been established by _the law of a carnal commandment_; the
Reformation, by _the power of an endless life_.[309]

  [309] Hebrews vii. 16.

If there is any doctrine that distinguishes Christianity from every
other religion, it is its spirituality. A heavenly life brought down
to man--such is its work; thus the opposition of the spirit of the
Gospel to the spirit of the world was the great fact which signalized
the entrance of Christianity among the nations. But what its Founder
had separated, had soon come together again; the Church had fallen
into the arms of the world; and this criminal Union had reduced it to
the deplorable condition in which it was found at the era of the

Thus one of the greatest tasks of the sixteenth century was to restore
the spiritual element to its rights. The Gospel of the Reformers had
nothing to do with the world and with politics. While the Roman
hierarchy had become a matter of diplomacy and a court intrigue, the
Reformation was destined to exercise no other influence over princes
and people than that which proceeds from the Gospel of peace.


If the Reformation, having attained a certain point, became untrue to
its nature, began to parley and temporize with the world, and ceased
thus to follow up the spiritual principle that it had so loudly
proclaimed, it was faithless to God and to itself.

Henceforward its decline was at hand.

It is impossible for a society to prosper if it be unfaithful to the
principles it lays down. Having abandoned what constituted its life,
it can find naught but death.

It was God's will that this great truth should be inscribed on the
very threshold of the temple He was then raising in the world; and a
striking contrast was to make this truth stand gloriously forth.

One portion of the Reform was to seek the alliance of the world, and
in this alliance find a destruction full of desolation.

Another portion, looking up to God, was haughtily to reject the arm of
the flesh, and by this very act of faith secure a noble victory.

If three centuries have gone astray, it is because they were unable to
comprehend so holy and solemn a lesson.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was in the beginning of September 1529 that Charles V., the victor
by battles or by treaties over the Pope and the King of France, had
landed at Genoa. The shouts of the Spaniards had saluted him as he
quitted the Iberian peninsula; but the dejected eyes, the bended
heads, the silent lips of the Italians given over to his hands, alone
welcomed him to the foot of the Apennines. Everything led to the
belief that Charles would indemnify himself on them for the apparent
generosity with which he had treated the Pope.


They were deceived. Instead of those barbarous chiefs of the Goths and
Huns, or of those proud and fierce emperors, who more than once had
crossed the Alps and rushed upon Italy, sword in hand and with cries
of vengeance, the Italians saw among them a young and graceful prince,
with pale features, a delicate frame, and weak voice, of winning
manners, having more the air of a courtier than a warrior,
scrupulously performing all the duties of the Romish religion, and
leading in his train no terrible cohorts of German barbarians, but a
brilliant retinue of Spanish grandees, who complacently paraded the
pride of their race and the splendour of their nation. This prince,
the victor of Europe, spoke only of peace and amnesty; and even the
Duke of Ferrara, who of all the Italian princes had most cause of
fear, having at Modena placed the keys of the city in his hands, heard
from his friendly lips the most unexpected encouragements.

Whence did this strange conduct proceed? Charles, had shown plainly
enough, at the time of the captivity of Francis I., that generosity
towards his enemies was not his dominant virtue. It was not long
before this mystery was explained.

Almost at the same time with Charles there arrived in Italy, by way of
Lyons and Genoa, three German burgesses, whose whole equipage
consisted of six horses.[310] These were John Ehinger, burgomaster of
Memmingen, who carried his head high, scattered money around him, and
did not pride himself on great sobriety; Michael Caden, syndic of
Nuremberg, a worthy, pious, and brave man, but detested by the Count
of Nassau, the most influential of Charles's ministers; and, lastly,
Alexis Frauentraut, secretary to the Margrave of Brandenburg, who,
having married a nun, was in very bad esteem among the Roman-catholics.
Such were the three men whom the Protestant princes, assembled at
Nuremberg, commissioned to bear to the Emperor the famous Protest of
Spire. They had purposely chosen these deputies from a middle station,
under the impression that they would incur less danger.[311] To carry
such a message to Charles V. was, to say the truth, a mission which
few persons cared to execute. Accordingly a pension had been secured
to the widows of these envoys in case of misfortune.

  [310] Legatis attribuerunt equos sex.--(Seckend. ii. p. 134.)

  [311] Ut essent tutiores.--(Ibid. p. 133.)


Charles was on his way from Genoa to Bologna, and staying at Piacenza,
when the three Protestant deputies overtook him. These plain Germans
presented a singular contrast in the midst of that Spanish pomp and
Romish fervour by which the young prince was surrounded. Cardinal
Gattinara, the Emperor's chancellor, who sincerely desired a reform of
the Church, procured them an audience of Charles V. for the 22d of
September; but they were recommended to be sparing in their words, for
there was nothing the Emperor so much disliked as a Protestant sermon.

The deputies were not checked by these insinuations and after having
handed the protest to Charles, Frauentraut began to speak: "It is to
the Supreme Judge that each one of us must render an account," said
he, "and not to creatures who turn at every wind. It is better to fall
into the most cruel necessity, than to incur the anger of God. Our
nation will obey no decrees that are based on any other foundation
than the Holy Scriptures."[312]

  [312] Neque suarum esse virium aut officii, ut eos ad impossibilia et
  noxia adigant--(Seckend. ii. p. 134.)

Such was the proud tone held by these German citizens to the Emperor
of the West. Charles said not a word--it would have been paying them
too much honour; but he charged one of his secretaries to announce an
answer at some future time.

There was no hurry to send back these petty ambassadors. In vain did
they renew their solicitations daily. Gattinara treated them with
kindness, but Nassau sent them away with bitter words. A workman, the
armourer to the court, having to visit Augsburg to purchase arms,
begged the Count of Nassau to despatch the Protestant deputies. "You
may tell them," replied the minister of Charles V., "that we will
terminate their business in order that you may have travelling
companions." But the armourer having found other company, they were
compelled to wait.[313]

  [313] Hortleben, von den Ursachen des deutschen Kriegs, p. 50.


These envoys endeavoured at least to make a good use of their time.
"Take this book," said the Landgrave to Caden at the very moment of
departure, giving him a French work bound in velvet, and richly
ornamented, "and deliver it to the Emperor."[314] It was a summary of
the Christian Faith which the Landgrave had received from Francis
Lambert, and which had probably been written by that doctor. Caden
sought an opportunity of presenting this treatise; and did so one day,
therefore, as Charles was going publickly to Mass. The Emperor took
the book, and passed it immediately to a Spanish bishop. The Spaniard
began to read it,[315] and lighted upon that passage of Scripture in
which Christ enjoins his apostles _not to exercise lordship_.[316] The
author took advantage of it to maintain that the minister, charged
with spiritual matters, should not interfere with those which are
temporal. The Papist prelate bit his lips, and Charles, who perceived
it, having asked, "Well, what is the matter?" the bishop in confusion
had recourse to a falsehood.[317] "This treatise," replied he, "takes
the sword from the christian magistrate, and grants it only to nations
that are strangers to the faith." Immediately there was a great
uproar: the Spaniards above all were beside themselves.

  [314] Libellum elegantur ornatum.--(Scultet. p. 253.)

  [315] Cum obiter legisset--(Ibid.)

  [316] Luke xxii. 26.

  [317] Falso et maligne relatum esset--(Seckend. ii. p. 133.)

"The wretches that have endeavoured to mislead so young a prince,"
said they, "deserve to be hung on the first tree by the wayside!"
Charles swore, in fact, that the bearer should suffer the penalty of
his audacity.

At length, on the 12th October, Alexander Schweiss, imperial
secretary, transmitted the Emperor's reply to the deputies. It said
that the minority ought to submit to the decrees passed in diet, and
that if the Duke of Saxony and his allies refused, means would not be
wanting to compel them.[318]

  [318] Sibi non defore media quibus ad id compellerentur.--(Seckend. ii
  p. 133.)


Ehinger and Caden thereupon read aloud the appeal to the Emperor drawn
up at Spire, whilst Frauentraut, who had renounced his quality of
deputy and assumed that of a notary,[319] took notes of what was
passing. When the reading was finished, the deputies advanced towards
Schweiss and presented the appeal. The imperial secretary rejected the
document with amazement; the deputies insisted; Schweiss continued
firm. They then laid the appeal on the table. Schweiss was staggered;
he took the paper, and carried it to the Emperor.

  [319] Tabellionis sive notarii officium.--(Ibid.)

After dinner, just as one of the deputies (Caden) had gone out, a
tumult in the hotel announced some catastrophe. It was the imperial
secretary who returned duly accompanied. "The Emperor is exceedingly
irritated against you on account of this appeal," said he to the
Protestants; "and he forbids you, under pain of confiscation and
death, to leave your hotel, to write to Germany, or to send any
message whatsoever."[320] Thus Charles put ambassadors under arrest,
as he would the officers of his guard, desirous in this manner of
publishing his contempt, and of frightening the princes.

  [320] Sub capitis pœna, ne pedem a diversario moveant.--(Seckend. ii.
  p. 133.)

Caden's servant slipped in alarm out of the hotel, and ran to his
master. The latter, still considering himself free, wrote a hasty
account of the whole business to the senate of Nuremberg, sent off his
letters by express, and returned to share in the arrest of his

  [321] A famulo certior factus, rem omnem senatui aperuit--(Ibid.)


On the 23d of October, the Emperor left Piacenza, carrying the three
Germans with him. But on the 30th he released Ehinger and Frauentraut,
who, mounting their horses in the middle of the night, rushed at full
speed along a route thronged with soldiers and robbers. "As for you,"
said Granvelle to Caden, "you will stay under pain of death. The
Emperor expects that the book you presented to him will be given up to
the Pope."[322] Perhaps Charles thought it pleasant to show the Roman
Pontiff this prohibition issued against the ministers of God to mingle
in the government of nations. But Caden, profiting by the confusion of
the court, secretly procured a horse, and fled to Ferrara, thence to
Venice, from which place he returned to Nuremberg.[323]

  [322] Ut idem scriptum exhibeat quoque Pontifici.--(Scultet. p. 254.)

  [323] Silentio conscendit equum.--(Ibid.)

The more Charles appeared irritated against Germany, the greater
moderation he showed towards the Italians: heavy pecuniary
contributions were all that he required. It was beyond the Alps, in
the centre of Christendom, by means of these very religious
controversies, that he desired to establish his power. He pressed on,
and required only two things: behind him,--peace; with him,--money.

On the 5th of November he entered Bologna. Everything was striking
about him: the crowd of nobles, the splendour of the equipages, the
haughtiness of the Spanish troops, the four thousand ducats that were
scattered by handfuls among the people;[324] but above all, the
majesty and magnificence of the young Emperor. The two chiefs of
Romish Christendom were about to meet. The Pope quitted his palace
with all his court; and Charles, at the head of an army which would
have conquered the whole of Italy in a few days, affecting the
humility of a child, fell on his knees, and kissed the Pontiff's feet.

  [324] In vulgus sparsum aurum quatuor millia ducatorum.--(L. Epp. iii.
  p. 565.)

The Emperor and the Pope resided at Bologna in two adjoining palaces,
separated by a single wall, through which a doorway had been made, of
which each had a key; and the young and politic Emperor was often seen
to visit the old and crafty Pontiff, carrying papers in his hand.

Clement obtained Sforza's pardon, who appeared before the Emperor sick
and leaning on a staff. Venice also was forgiven: a million of crowns
arranged these two matters. But Charles could not obtain from the Pope
the pardon of Florence. This illustrious city was sacrificed to the
Medici, "considering," it was said, "that it is impossible for
Christ's vicar to demand anything that is unjust."


The most important affair was the Reformation. Some represented to the
Emperor that, victor over all his enemies, he should carry matters
with a high hand, and constrain the Protestants by force of arms.[325]
Charles was more moderate; he preferred weakening the Protestants by
the Papists, and then the Papists by the Protestants, and by this
means raising his power above them both.

  [325] Armis cogandos.--(Seckend. ii. p. 112; Maimbourg, ii. p. 194.)

A wiser course was nevertheless proposed in a solemn conference. "The
Church is torn in pieces," said Chancellor Gattinara. "You (Charles)
are the head of the empire: you (the Pope) are the head of the Church.
It is your duty to provide by common accord against unprecedented
wants. Assemble the pious men of all nations, and let a free council
deduce from the Word of God a scheme of doctrine such as may be
received by every people."[326]

  [326] Oratio _de Congressu Bononiensi_, in _Melancthonis Orationum_,
  iv. p. 87, and Cælestinus Hist. Concil. 1830, Augustæ, i. p. 10.
  Respectable authors, Walsh, Muller, and Beausobre, incorrectly quote
  at full length the speeches delivered at this conference. They are
  amplifications; but to deny that they have some historical foundation
  would be flying to the opposite extreme.

A thunderbolt would not have so greatly startled Clement VII. The
offspring of an illegitimate union, and having obtained the Papacy by
means far from honourable, and squandered the treasures of the Church
in an unjust war, this Pontiff had a thousand personal motives for
dreading an assembly of Christendom. "Large congregations," replied
he, "serve only to introduce popular opinions. It is not with the
decrees of councils, but with the edge of the sword, that we should
decide controversies."[327]

  [327] Non concilii decretis, sed armis controversias
  dirimendas--(Scultet. p. 248; Maimbourg the Jesuit, ii. p. 177.)


As Gattinara still persisted: "What!" said the Pope, angrily
interrupting him, "you dare to contradict me, and to excite your
master against me!" Charles rose up; all the assembly preserved the
profoundest silence, and the prince having resumed his seat, seconded
his chancellor's request. Clement was satisfied with saying that he
would reflect upon it. He then began to work upon the young Emperor
in their private conferences, and Charles promised at last to
constrain the heretics by violence, while the Pope should summon all
other princes to his aid.[328] "To overcome Germany by force, and then
erase it from the surface of the earth, is the sole object of the
Italians," they wrote from Venice to the Elector.[329]

  [328] Pontifex, ut cæteri Christiani principes, ipsos pro viribus
  juvent.--(Guicciardini, xix. p. 908.)

  [329] Ut Germania vi et armis opprimatur, funditus deleatur et
  eradicetur.--(Cælestin. i. p. 42.)

Such was the sinister news which, by spreading alarm among the
Protestants, should also have united them. Unfortunately a contrary
movement was then taking place. Luther and some of his friends had
revised the Marburg articles in a sense exclusively Lutheran, and the
ministers of the Elector of Saxony had presented them to the
conference at Schwabach. The Reformed deputies from Ulm and Strasburg
had immediately withdrawn, and the conference was broken up.

But new conferences had erelong become necessary. The express that
Caden had forwarded from Piacenza had reached Nuremberg. Every one in
Germany understood that the arrest of the princes' deputies was a
declaration of war. The Elector was staggered, and ordered his
chancellor to consult the theologians of Wittemberg.

"We cannot on our conscience," replied Luther on the 18th November,
"approve of the proposed alliance. We would rather die ten times than
see our Gospel cause one drop of blood to be shed.[330] Our part is to
be like lambs of the slaughter. The cross of Christ must be borne. Let
your highness be without fear. We shall do more by our prayers than
all our enemies by their boastings. Only let not your hands be stained
with the blood of your brethren! If the Emperor requires us to be
given up to his tribunals, we are ready to appear. You cannot defend
our faith: each one should believe at his own risk and peril."[331]

  [330] Lieber zehn mal todt seyn.--(Epp. iii. p. 526.)

  [331] Auf sein eigen Fahr glauben.--(Ibid. p. 527.)


On the 29th November an evangelical congress was opened at Smalkald,
and an unexpected event rendered this meeting still more important.
Ehinger, Caden, and Frauentraut, who had escaped from the grasp of
Charles V., appeared before them.[332] The Landgrave had no further
doubts of the success of his plan.

  [332] Advenerant et gesta referebant.--(Seckend. ii. p. 140; Sleidan.
  i. p. 235.)

He was deceived. No agreement between contrary doctrines, no alliance
between politics and religion--were Luther's two principles, and they
still prevailed. It was agreed that those who felt disposed to sign
the articles of Schwabach, and those only, should meet at Nuremberg on
the 6th of January.


The horizon became hourly more threatening. The Papists of Germany
wrote one to another these few but significant words: "The Saviour is
coming."[333] "Alas!" exclaimed Luther, "what a pitiless saviour! He
will devour them all, as well as us." In effect, two Italian bishops,
authorized by Charles V., demanded in the Pope's name all the gold and
silver from the churches, and a third part of the ecclesiastical
revenues: a proceeding which caused an immense sensation. "Let the
Pope go to the devil," replied a canon of Paderborn, a little too
freely.[334] "Yes, yes!" archly replied Luther, "this is your saviour
that is coming!" The people already began to talk of frightful omens.
It was not only the living who were agitated: a child still in its
mother's womb had uttered horrible shrieks.[335] "All is
accomplished," said Luther; "the Turk has reached the highest degree
of his power, the glory of the Papacy is declining, and the world is
splitting on every side."[336] The Reformer, dreading lest the end of
the world should arrive before he had translated all the Bible,
published the prophesies of Daniel separately,--"a work," said he,
"for these latter times." "Historians relate," added he, "that
Alexander the Great always placed Homer under his pillow: the prophet
Daniel is worthy not only that kings and princes should wear him under
their heads, but in their hearts; for he will teach them that the
government of nations proceeds from the power of God. We are balanced
in the hand of the Lord, as a ship upon the sea, or a cloud in the

  [333] Invicem scriptillant, dicentes: Salvator venit.--(L. Epp. iii.
  p. 540.)

  [334] Dat de Duwel dem Bawst int Lieff fare.--(Ibid.)

  [335] Infans in utero, audiente tota familia, bis vociferatus

  [336] Dedication of Daniel to John Frederick.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 555.)

  [337] Schwebt in seiner Macht, wie ein Schiff auf dem Meer, ja wie
  eine Wolke unter dem Himmel.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 555.)

Yet the frightful phantom that Philip of Hesse had not ceased to point
out to his allies, and whose threatening jaws seemed already opening,
suddenly vanished, and they discovered in its place the graceful image
of the most amiable of princes.

On the 21st January, Charles had summoned all the states of the empire
to Augsburg, and had endeavoured to employ the most conciliatory
language. "Let us put an end to all discord," he said, "let us
renounce our antipathies, let us offer to our Saviour the sacrifice of
all our errors, let us make it our business to comprehend and weigh
with meekness the opinions of others. Let us annihilate all that has
been said or done on both sides contrary to right, and let us seek
after christian truth. Let us all fight under one and the same leader,
Jesus Christ, and let us strive thus to meet in one communion, one
church, and one unity."[338]

  [338] Wie wir alle unter einem Christo seyn und
  streiten.--(Forstenmanns, Urkundenbuch, i. p. 1.)


What language! How was it that this prince, who had hitherto spoken
only of the sword, should now speak only of peace? It will be said
that the wise Gattinara had had a share in it; that the act of
convocation was drawn up under the impression of the terror caused by
the Turkish invasion; that the Emperor already saw with how little
eagerness the Roman Catholics of Germany seconded his views; that he
wished to intimidate the Pope; that this language, so full of
graciousness, was but a mask which Charles employed to deceive his
enemies; that he wished to manage religion in true imperial fashion,
like Theodosius and Constantine, and seek first to unite both parties
by the influence of his wisdom and of his favours, reserving to
himself, if kindness should fail, to employ force afterwards. It is
possible that each of these motives may have exercised a certain
influence on Charles, but the latter appears to us nearer the truth,
and more conformable to the character of this prince.

If Charles, however, gave way to inclinations of mildness, the
fanatical Ferdinand was at hand to bring him back. "I will continue
negotiating without coming to any conclusion," wrote he to his
brother; "and should I even be reduced to that, do not fear; pretexts
will not be wanting to chastise these rebels, and you will find men
enough, who will be happy to aid you in your revenge."[339]

  [339] Bucholz Geschichte Ferdinands, iii. p. 432.

II. Charles, like Charlemagne in former times and Napoleon in latter
days, desired to be crowned by the Pope, and had at first thought of
visiting Rome for that purpose; but Ferdinand's pressing letters
compelled him to choose Bologna.[340] He appointed the 22d February
for receiving the iron crown as King of Lombardy, and resolved to
assume the golden crown as Emperor of the Romans on the 24th of the
same month--his birthday and the anniversary of the battle of Pavia,
and which he thought was always fortunate to him.[341]

  [340] Sopravennero lettere di Germania che lo sollicittavano à
  transferirsi in quella provincia.--(Guicciardini, L. xx.)

  [341] Natali suo quem semper felicem habuit.--(Seckend. ii. p. 150.)


The offices of honour that belonged to the Electors of the Empire were
given to strangers: in the coronation of the Emperor of Germany all
was Spanish or Italian. The sceptre was carried by the Marquis of
Montferrat, the sword by the Duke of Urbino, and the golden crown by
the Duke of Savoy. One single German prince of little importance, the
Count-palatine Philip, was present: he carried the orb. After these
lords came the Emperor himself between two cardinals; then the
members of his council. All this procession defiled across a
magnificent temporary bridge erected between the palace and the
church. At the very moment the Emperor drew near the church of San
Petronio, where the coronation was to take place, the scaffolding
cracked behind him and gave way, so that many of his train were
wounded, and the multitude fled in alarm. Charles calmly turned back
and smiled, not doubting that his lucky star had saved him.

At length Charles V. arrived in front of the throne on which Clement
VII. was seated. But before being made Emperor, it was necessary that
he should be promoted to the sacred orders. The Pope presented to him
the surplice and the amice to make him a canon of St. Peter's and of
St. John Lateranus, and immediately the canons of these two churches
stripped him of his royal ornaments, and robed him with these sacred
garments. The Pope went to the altar and began Mass; and the new canon
drew near to wait upon him. After the offertory, the imperial deacon
presented the water to the pontiff. He then knelt down between two
cardinals, and communicated from the Pope's hand. The Emperor now
returned near his throne, where the princes robed him with the
imperial mantle brought from Constantinople, all sparkling with
diamonds, and Charles humbly bent the knee before Clement VII.

The pontiff, having anointed him with oil and given him the sceptre,
presented him with a naked sword, saying: "Make use of it in defence
of the Church against the enemies of the faith!" Next taking the
golden orb, studded with jewels, which the Count-palatine held, he
said: "Govern the world with piety and firmness!" Last came the Duke
of Savoy, who carried the golden crown enriched with diamonds. The
Prince bent down, and Clement put the diadem on his head, saying:
"Charles, Emperor invincible, receive this crown which we place on
your head, as a sign to all the earth of the authority that is
conferred upon you."

The Emperor then kissed the white cross embroidered on the Pope's red
slipper and exclaimed: "I swear ever to employ all my strength to
defend the Pontifical dignity, and the Church of Rome."[342]

  [342] Omnibus viribus, ingenio, et facultatibus suis Pontificiæ
  dignitatis et Romanæ Ecclesiæ perpetuum fore defensorem.--(Cœlestin.
  Hist. Comit. Aug. 16.)

The two princes now took their seats under the same canopy, but on
thrones of unequal height, the Emperor's being half a foot lower than
the pontiff's, and the cardinal deacon proclaimed to the people "The
invincible Emperor, Defender of the Faith." For the next half-hour
nothing was heard but the noise of musketry, trumpets, drums, and
fifes, all the bells of the city, and the shouts of the multitude.
Thus was proclaimed anew the close union of politics with religion.
The mighty Emperor, transformed to a Roman deacon, and humbly serving
mass, like a canon of St. Peter's, had typified and declared the
indissoluble union of the Romish Church with the State. This is one of
the essential doctrines of Popery, and one of the most striking
characteristics that distinguish it from the Evangelical and Christian

Nevertheless, during all this ceremony the Pope seemed ill at ease,
and sighed as soon as men's eyes ceased to be turned on him.
Accordingly, the French ambassador wrote to his court that these four
months which the Emperor and Pope had spent together at Bologna, would
bear fruit of which the King of France would assuredly have no cause
to complain.[343]

  [343] Letter to M. L'Admiral, 25th February.--(Legrand, Histoire du
  Divorce, iii. p. 386.)


Scarcely had Charles V. risen from before the altar of San Petronio,
than he turned his face towards Germany, and appeared on the Alps as
the anointed of the Papacy. The letter of convocation, so indulgent
and benign, seemed forgotten: all things were made new since the
Pope's blessings: there was but one thought in the imperial caravan,
the necessity of rigorous measures; and the legate Campeggio ceased
not to insinuate irritating words into Charles's ear. "At the first
rumour of the storm that threatens them," said Granvelle, "we shall
see the Protestants flying on every side, like timid doves upon which
the Alpine eagle pounces."[344]

  [344] Tanquam columbæ, adveniente aquila, dispergentur.--(Rommel
  Anmerkungen, p. 236.)

Great indeed was the alarm throughout the Empire; already even the
affrighted people, apprehensive of the greatest disasters, repeated
everywhere that Luther and Melancthon were dead. "Alas!" said
Melancthon, consumed by sorrow, when he heard these reports, "the
rumour is but too true, for I die daily."[345] But Luther, on the
contrary, boldly raising the eye of faith towards heaven, exclaimed:
"Our enemies triumph, but erelong to perish." In truth the councils of
the Elector displayed an unheard-of boldness. "Let us collect our
troops," said they; "let us march on the Tyrol, and close the passage
of the Alps against the Emperor."[346] Philip of Hesse uttered a cry
of joy when he heard of this. The sword of Charles has aroused his
indolent allies at last. Immediately fresh courtiers from Ferdinand
were sent to hasten the arrival of Charles, and all Germany was in

  [345] Ego famam de qua scribis intelligo nimis veram esse, morior enim
  quotidie.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 122.)

  [346] Cum copiis quas habitant per Tyrolensem ditionem incedenti
  occurrere et Alpium transitum impedire.--(Seckend. ii. p. 150.)

Before carrying out this gigantic design, the Elector desired to
consult Luther once more. The Emperor in the midst of the Electors was
only the first among his equals; and independent princes were allowed
to resist another prince, even if he were of higher rank than
themselves. But Luther, dreading above all things the intervention of
the secular arm in church affairs, was led to reply on the 6th March
in this extraordinary manner: "Our princes' subjects are also the
Emperor's subjects, and even more so than princes are. To protect by
arms the Emperor's subjects against the Emperor, would be as if the
Burgomaster of Torgau wished to protect by force his citizens against
the Elector."


"What must be done then?--Attend," replied Luther. "If the Emperor
desires to march against us, let no prince undertake our defence. God
is faithful: he will not abandon us." All preparations for war were
immediately suspended, the Landgrave received a polite refusal, and
the confederation was dissolved. It was the will of God that his cause
should appear before the Emperor without league and without soldiers,
having faith alone for its shield.

Never perhaps has such boldness been witnessed in feeble and unarmed
men; but never, although under an appearance of blindness, was there
so much wisdom and understanding.

The question next discussed in the Elector's council was, whether he
should go to the diet. The majority of the councillors opposed it. "Is
it not risking everything," said they, "to go and shut oneself up
within the walls of a city with a powerful enemy?" Bruck and the
Prince-electoral were of a different opinion. Duty in their eyes was a
better councillor than fear. "What!" said they, "would the Emperor
insist so much on the presence of the princes at Augsburg only to draw
them into a snare? We cannot impute such perfidy to him." The
Landgrave on the contrary seconded the opinion of the majority.
"Remember Piacenza," said he. "Some unforeseen circumstance may lead
the Emperor to take all his enemies in one cast of the net."

The Chancellor stood firm. "Let the princes only comport themselves
with courage," said he, "and God's cause is saved." The decision was
in favour of the nobler plan.


This diet was to be a lay council, or at the very least a national
convention.[347] The Protestants foresaw that a few unimportant
concessions would be made to them at first, and then that they would
be required to sacrifice their faith. It was therefore necessary to
settle what were the essential articles of christian truth, in order
to know whether, by what means, and how far they might come to an
understanding with their adversaries. The Elector accordingly had
letters sent on the 14th March to the four principal theologians of
Wittemberg, setting them this task, all other business being laid
aside.[348] Thus, instead of collecting soldiers, this prince drew up
articles: they were the best armament.

  [347] Cum hæc comitia pro concilio aut conventu nationali haberi
  videantur.--(Seckend. ii. p. 17.--Letter to the Elector, Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 26.)

  [348] Different projects will be found in _Forstenmanns Urkundenbuch_,
  i. p. 63-108, and in the Corp. Ref. iv. p. 973, sqq. Those that were
  presented were doubtless the _Articuli non concedendi, Articles not to
  be conceded_. They treat of the communion in both kinds, of celibacy,
  the mass, orders, the pope, convents, confession, distinction of
  meats, and of the sacraments.--(Corp. Ref. iv. p. 981.)

Luther, Jonas, and Melancthon (Pomeranus remaining at Wittemberg),
arrived at Torgau in Easter week, asking leave to deliver their
articles in person to Charles the Fifth.[349] "God forbid!" replied
the Elector, "I also desire to confess my Lord."

  [349] Mirantibus hominibus.--(Seck. ii. p. 153.)

John having then confided to Melancthon the definitive drawing up of
the confession, and ordered general prayers to be offered up, began
his journey on the 3d April, with one hundred and sixty horsemen, clad
in rich scarlet cloaks embroidered with gold.

Every man was aware of the dangers that threatened the Elector, and
hence many in his escort marched with downcast eyes and sinking
hearts. But Luther, full of faith, revived the courage of his friends,
by composing and singing with his fine voice that beautiful hymn,
since become so famous: _Eine vaste Burg ist unser Gott_. Our God is a
strong tower.[350] Never did soul that knew its own weakness, but
which, looking to God, despises every fear, find such noble accents.

  [350] We have attempted a very feeble translation of the second

      With our own strength we nought can do,
        Destruction yawns on every side:
      He fights for us, our champion true,
        Elect of God to be our guide.
      What is his name? The Anointed One,
          The God of armies he;
      Of earth and heaven the Lord alone--
      With him, on field of battle won,
          Abideth victory.


This hymn was sung during the diet, not only at Augsburg, but in all
the churches of Saxony, and its energetic strains were often seen to
revive and inspirit the most dejected minds.[351]

  [351] Qui tristem etiam et abjectum animum erigere et exhilarare, et
  velut ενθουσιἁζειν possent.--(Scult. p. 270.)

On Easter-eve the troop reached Coburg, and on the 23d April the
Elector resumed his journey; but at the very moment of departure
Luther received an order to remain. "Some one has said, Hold your
tongue, you have a harsh voice," wrote he to one of his friends.[352]
He submitted however without hesitation, setting an example of that
passive obedience which he advocated so boldly. The Elector feared
that Luther's presence would still further exasperate his adversaries,
and drive Charles to extreme measures: the city of Augsburg had also
written to him to that effect. But at the same time John was anxious
to keep the Reformer within reach, that he might be able to consult
him. He was therefore left at Coburg, in the castle overlooking the
town and the river Itz, in the upper story on the south side. It was
from this place he wrote those numerous letters dated from the _region
of birds_; and it was there that for many months he had to maintain
with his old enemy of the Wartburg, Satan, a struggle full of darkness
and of anguish.

  [352] Sed erat qui diceret: Tace tu, habes malam vocem.--(L. Epp. iv.
  p. 2.)


On the 2d May the Elector reached Augsburg; it had been expected that
he would stay away, and, to the great astonishment of all, he was the
first at the rendezvous.[353] He immediately sent Dolzig, marshal of
the court, to meet the Emperor and to compliment him. On the 12th May,
Philip of Hesse, who had at last resolved on not separating himself
from his ally, arrived with an escort of one hundred and ninety
horsemen; and almost at the same time the Emperor entered Innspruck,
in the Tyrol, accompanied by his brother, the queens of Hungary and
Bohemia, the ambassadors of France, England, and Portugal, Campeggio
the papal legate, and other cardinals, with many princes and nobles
of Germany, Spain, and Italy.

  [353] Omnibus sepositis aliis rebus.--(L. Epp. iii. p. 564.)

How bring back the heretics to obedience to the Church? Such was the
great topic of conversation in this brilliant court among nobles and
priests, ladies and soldiers, councillors and ambassadors. They, or
Charles at least, were not for making them ascend the scaffold, but
they wished to act in such a manner that, untrue to their faith, they
should bend the knee to the Pope. Charles stopped at Innspruck to
study the situation of Germany, and ensure the success of his schemes.

Scarcely was his arrival known when a crowd of people, high and low,
flocked round him on every side, and more than 270,000 crowns,
previously raised in Italy, served to make the Germans understand the
justice of Rome's cause. "All these heretics," was the cry, "will fall
to the ground and crawl to the feet of the Pope."[354]

  [354] Zum kreutz kriechen werden.--(Mathesius Pred. p. 91.) The
  allusion is to the cross embroidered on the Pope's slipper.

Charles did not think so. He was, on the contrary, astonished to see
what power the Reformation had gained. He momentarily even entertained
the idea of leaving Augsburg alone, and of going straight to Cologne,
and there proclaiming his brother King of the Romans.[355] Thus,
religious interests would have given way to dynastic interests, at
least so ran the report. But Charles the Fifth did not stop at this
idea. The question of the Reformation was there before him, increasing
hourly in strength, and it could not be eluded.

  [355] Iter Coloniam versus decrevisse.--(Epp. Zw. May 13.)


Two parties divided the imperial court. The one, numerous and active,
called upon the Emperor to revive simply the edict of Worms, and,
without hearing the Protestants, condemn their cause.[356] The legate
was at the head of this party. "Do not hesitate," said he to Charles;
"confiscate their property, establish the inquisition, and punish
these obstinate heretics with fire and sword."[357] The Spaniards,
who strongly seconded these exhortations, gave way to their accustomed
debauchery, so that many of them were arrested for seduction.[358]
This was a sad specimen of the faith that they wished to impose on
Germany. Rome has always thought lightly of morality.

  [356] Alii censent Cæsarem debere, edicto proposito, sine ulla
  cogitatione damnare causam nostrum.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 57.)

  [357] _Instructio data Cæsari_ dal Reverendissimo Campeggio.--(Ranke,
  iii. p. 288.)

  [358] Sich die Spanier zu Inspruck unfläthig gehalten.--(Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 56.)

Gattinara, although sick, had painfully followed in Charles's train to
neutralize the influence of the legate. A determined adversary of the
Roman policy, he thought that the Protestants might render important
services to Christendom. "There is nothing I desire so much," said he,
"as to see the Elector of Saxony and his allies persevere courageously
in the profession of the Gospel, and call for a free religious
council. If they allow themselves to be checked by promises or
threats, I hesitate myself, I stagger, and I doubt of the means of
salvation."[359] The enlightened and honest members of the Papal
Church (and of whom there is always a small number) necessarily
sympathize with the Reformation.

  [359] Semper vacillaturum de vera et certa salutis adipiscendæ
  ratione.--(Seck. ii. p. 57.)

Charles V., exposed to these contrary influences, desired to restore
Germany to religious unity by his personal intervention: for a moment
he thought himself on the eve of success.


Amongst the persons who crowded to Innspruck was the unfortunate
Christian, king of Denmark, Charles's brother-in-law. In vain had he
proposed to his subjects undertaking a pilgrimage to Rome in expiation
of the cruelties of which he was accused: his people had expelled him.
Having repaired to Saxony, to his uncle the Elector, he had there
heard Luther, and had embraced the evangelical doctrines, as far at
least as external profession goes. This poor dethroned king could not
resist the eloquence of the powerful ruler of two worlds, and
Christian, won over by Charles the Fifth, publicly placed himself
again under the sceptre of the Roman hierarchy. All the papal party
uttered a shout of triumph. Nothing equals their credulity, and the
importance they attach to such valueless accessions. "I cannot
describe the emotion with which this news has filled me," wrote
Clement VII. to Charles, his hand trembling with joy; "the brightness
of your Majesty's virtues begins at last to scatter the darkness: this
example will lead to numberless conversions."

Things were in this state, when Duke George of Saxony, Duke William of
Bavaria, and the Elector Joachim of Brandenburg, the three German
princes who were the greatest enemies of the Reformation, hastily
arrived at Innspruck.

The tranquillity of the Elector, whom they had seen at Augsburg, had
alarmed them, for they knew not the source whence John derived his
courage; they imagined that he was revolving in his mind some
perfidious design. "It is not without reason," said they to Charles,
"that the Elector John has repaired the first to Augsburg, and that he
appeared there with a considerable train: he wishes to seize your
person. Act then with energy, and allow us to offer your Majesty a
guard of six thousand horse."[360] Conference upon conference
immediately took place. The Protestants were affrighted. "They are
holding a diet at Innspruck," said Melancthon, "on the best means of
having our heads."[361] But Gattinara prevailed on Charles to preserve
his neutrality.

  [360] Ut mascule ageret, sex mille equitum, præsidium ei
  offerentes.--(Seck. ii. p. 156.)

  [361] Ibi habentur de nostris cervicibus comitia.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

While all was thus agitated in the Tyrol, the Evangelical Christians,
instead of mustering in arms, as they were accused, sent up their
prayers to heaven, and the Protestant princes were preparing to render
an account of their faith.


The Elector of Saxony held the first rank among them. Sincere,
upright, and pure from his youth, early disgusted with the brilliant
tourneys in which he had at first taken part, John of Saxony had
joyfully hailed the day of the Reformation, and the Gospel light had
gradually penetrated his serious and reflective mind. His great
pleasure was to have the Holy Scriptures read to him during the latter
hours of the day. It is true that, having arrived at an advanced age,
the pious Elector sometimes fell asleep, but he soon awoke with a
start, and repeated the last passage aloud. Although moderate and a
friend of peace, he yet possessed an energy that was powerfully
aroused by the great interests of the faith. There is no prince in the
sixteenth century, and none perhaps since the primitive times of the
Church, who has done so much as John of Saxony for the cause of the
Gospel. Accordingly it was against him that the first efforts of the
Papists were directed.

In order to gain him over, they wished to put in operation very
different tactics from those which had been previously employed. At
Spire the Evangelicals had met with angry looks in every quarter; at
Augsburg, on the contrary, the Papists gave them a hearty welcome;
they represented as very trifling the distance that separated the two
parties, and in their private conversations uttered the mildest
language, "seeking thus to make the credulous Protestants take the
bait," says an historian.[362] The latter yielded with simplicity to
these skilful manœuvres.

  [362] Seckendorf.

Charles the Fifth was convinced that the simple Germans would not be
able to resist his star. "The King of Denmark has been converted,"
said his courtiers to him, "why should not the Elector follow his
example? Let us draw him into the imperial atmosphere." John was
immediately invited to come and converse familiarly with the Emperor
at Innspruck, with an assurance that he might reckon on Charles's
particular favour.

[Sidenote: AUGSBURG.]

The Prince-electoral, John Frederick, who on seeing the advances of
the Papists had at first exclaimed: "We conduct our affairs with such
awkwardness, that it is quite pitiable!" allowed himself to be caught
by this stratagem. "The Papist princes," said he to his father, "exert
every means of blackening our characters. Go to Innspruck in order to
put a stop to these underhand practices; or if you are unwilling,
send me in your place."

This time the prudent Elector moderated his son's precipitancy, and
replied to Charles's ministers, that it was not proper to treat of the
affairs of the diet in any other place than that which the Emperor had
himself appointed, and he begged, in consequence, that his majesty
would hasten his arrival. This was the first check that Charles met

III. Meantime Augsburg was filling more and more every day. Princes,
bishops, deputies, gentlemen, cavaliers, soldiers in rich uniforms,
entered by every gate, and thronged the streets, the public places,
inns, churches, and palaces. All that was most magnificent in Germany
was there about to be collected. The critical circumstances in which
the empire and Christendom were placed, the presence of Charles V. and
his kindly manners, the love of novelty, of grand shows, and of lively
emotions, tore the Germans from their homes. All those who had great
interests to discuss, without reckoning a crowd of idlers, flocked
from the various provinces of the empire, and hastily made their way
towards this illustrious city.[363]

  [363] Omnes alliciebat.--(Cochlœus, p. 191.)


In the midst of this crowd the Elector and the Landgrave were resolved
to confess Jesus Christ, and to take advantage of this convocation in
order to convert the empire. Scarcely had John arrived when he ordered
one of his theologians to preach daily with open doors in the church
of the Dominicans.[364] On Sunday the 8th May, the same was done in
the church of St. Catherine; on the 13th, Philip of Hesse opened the
gates of the cathedral, and his chaplain Snepff there preached the
Word of Salvation; and on the following Sunday (May 15) this prince
ordered Cellarius, minister of Augsburg and a follower of Zwingle, to
preach in the same temple. Somewhat later the Landgrave firmly settled
himself in the church of St. Ulric, and the Elector in that of St.
Catherine. These were the two positions taken up by these illustrious
princes. Every day the Gospel was preached in these places before an
immense and attentive crowd.[365]

  [364] Rogantibus Augustanis publice in templum Dominicorum.--(Seck.
  Lat. p. 193.)

  [365] Täglig in den kirchen, unverstört; dazu kommt sehr viel
  Volks.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 53.)

The partisans of Rome were amazed. They expected to see criminals
endeavouring to dissemble their faults, and they met with confessors
of Christ with uplifted heads and words of power. Desirous of
counterbalancing these preachings, the Bishop of Augsburg ordered his
suffragan and his chaplain to ascend the pulpit. But the Romish
priests understood better how to say Mass than to preach the Gospel.
"They shout, they bawl," said some. "They are stupid fellows," added
all their hearers, shrugging their shoulders.[366]

  [366] Clamant et vociferantur. Audires homines stupidissimos atque
  etiam sensu communi carentes.--(Ibid. p. 86.)

The Romanists, ashamed of their own priests, began to grow angry,[367]
and unable to hold their ground by preaching, they had recourse to the
secular arm. "The priests are setting wondrous machines at work to
gain Cæsar's mind," said Melancthon.[368] They succeeded, and Charles
made known his displeasure at the hardihood of the princes. The
friends of the Pope then drew near the Protestants and whispered into
their ears "that the Emperor, victor over the King of France and the
Roman Pontiff, would appear in Germany to crush all the
Gospellers."[369] The anxious Elector demanded the advice of his

  [367] Urebat hoc pontifices.--(Scultet. p. 271.)

  [368] Ὁι αρχιερεἱς miris machinis oppugnant.--(Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 70.)

  [369] Evangelicos omnes obtriturum.--(Scultet. p. 269.)

Before the answer was ready, Charles's orders arrived, carried by two
of his most influential ministers, the Counts of Nassau and of Nuenar.
A more skilful choice could not have been made. These two nobles,
although devoted to Charles, were favourable to the Gospel, which they
professed not long after. The Elector was therefore fully disposed to
listen to their counsel.


On the 24th May, the two Counts delivered their letters to John of
Saxony, and declared to him that the Emperor was exceedingly grieved
that religious controversies should disturb the good understanding
that had for so many years united the houses of Saxony and
Austria;[370] that he was astonished at seeing the Elector oppose an
edict (that of Worms) which had been unanimously passed by all the
states of the Empire; that the alliances he had made tended to tear
asunder the unity of Germany, and might inundate it with blood. They
required at last that the Elector would immediately put a stop to the
evangelical preachings, and added, in a confidential tone, that they
trembled at the thought of the immediate and deplorable consequences
that would certainly follow the Elector's refusal. "This," said they,
"is only the expression of our own personal sentiments." It was a
diplomatic manœuvre, the Emperor having enjoined them to give
utterance to a few threats, but that solely on their own account.[371]

  [370] These instructions may be found in Cœlestin, i. p. 50, and
  Forstemann Urk. i. p. 220.

  [371] Quidquid duri Electori denuntiabant suo veluti nomine et injussi
  dicebant.--(Seck. ii. p. 156.)

The Elector was greatly agitated. "If his majesty forbids the
preaching of the Gospel," exclaimed he, "I shall immediately return
home."[372] He waited however for the advice of his theologians.

  [372] Den nächsten heim zu reiten.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 88.)

Luther's answer was ready first. "The Emperor is our master," said he;
"the town and all that is in it belong to him. If your Highness should
give orders at Torgau for this to be done, and for that to be left
undone, the people ought not to resist. I should prefer endeavouring
to change his majesty's decision by humble and respectful
solicitations; but if he persists, might makes right; we have but done
our duty."[373] Thus spoke the man who has often been represented as a

  [373] L. Epp. iv. p. 18.


Melancthon and the others were nearly of the same opinion; only they
insisted more on the necessity of representing to the Emperor "that
they did not speak of controversy in their sermons, but were content
simply to teach the doctrine of Christ the Saviour.[374] Let us
beware, above all," continued they, "of abandoning the place. Let your
highness with an intrepid heart confess in presence of his majesty by
what wonderful ways you have attained to a right understanding of the
truth,[375] and do not allow yourself to be alarmed at these
thunder-claps that fall from the lips of our enemies." To confess the
truth, such was the object to which, according to the Reformers,
everything else should be subordinate.

  [374] Nullas materias disputabiles a nobis doceri.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

  [375] Quo modo plane inenarrabili atque mirifico.--(Ibid. p. 74.)

Will the Elector yield to this first demand of Charles, and thus
begin, even before the Emperor's arrival, that list of sacrifices, the
end of which cannot be foreseen?

No one in Augsburg was firmer than John. In vain did the Reformers
represent that they were in the Emperor's city, and only
strangers:[376] the Elector shook his head. Melancthon in despair
wrote to Luther: "Alas! how untractable is our old man!"[377]
Nevertheless he again returned to the charge. Fortunately there was an
intrepid man at the Elector's right hand, the chancellor Bruck, who
feeling convinced that policy, honour, and above all, duty, bound the
friends of the Reformation to resist the menaces of Charles, said to
the Elector: "The Emperor's demand is but a worthy beginning to bring
about the definitive abolition of the Gospel.[378] If we yield at
present, they will crush us by and by. Let us therefore humbly beg his
majesty to permit the continuance of the sermons." Thus, at that time,
a statesman stood in the foremost rank of the confessors of Jesus
Christ. This is one of the characteristic features of this great age,
and it must not be forgotten, if we would understand its history

  [376] In cujus urbe jam sumus hospites.--(Ibid. p. 46.)

  [377] Sed noster senex difficilis est.--(Ibid.)

  [378] Ein fügsamer Anfang der Niderbrengung des Evangelii.--(Ibid. p.


On the 31st May, the Elector sent his answer in writing to Charles's
ministers. "It is not true," it bore, "that the Edict of Worms was
approved of by the six Electors. How could the Elector, my brother,
and myself, by approving it, have opposed the everlasting word of
Almighty God? Accordingly, succeeding diets have declared this edict
impossible to be executed. As for the relations of friendship that I
have formed, their only aim is to protect me against acts of violence.
Let my accusers lay before the eyes of his majesty the alliances they
have made; I am ready to produce mine, and the Emperor shall decide
between us.--Finally, As to the demand to suspend our preachings,
nothing is proclaimed in them but the glorious truth of God, and never
was it so necessary to us. We cannot therefore do without it!"[379]

  [379] Quo carere non possit.--(Seck. p. 156; Muller, Hist. Prot. p.

This reply must necessarily hasten the arrival of Charles; and it was
urgent they should be prepared to receive him. To explain what they
believe, and then be silent, was the whole plan of the Protestant
campaign. A confession was therefore necessary. One man, of small
stature, frail, timid, and in great alarm, was commissioned to prepare
this instrument of war. Philip Melancthon worked at it night and day:
he weighed every expression, softened it down, changed it, and then
frequently returned to his first idea. He was wasting away his
strength; his friends trembled lest he should die over his task; and
Luther enjoined him, as early as the 12th of May, under pain of
anathema, to take measures for the preservation of "his little body,"
and not "to commit suicide for the love of God."[380] "God is as
usefully served by repose," added he, "and indeed man never serves him
better than by keeping himself tranquil. It is for this reason God
willed that the Sabbath should be so strictly observed."[381]

  [380] Ut sub anathemate cogam te in regulas servandi corpusculi
  tui.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 16.)

  [381] Ideo enim Sabbatum voluit tam rigide præ cæteris


Notwithstanding these solicitations, Melancthon's application
augmented, and he set about an exposition of the christian faith, at
once mild, moderate, and as little removed as possible from the
doctrine of the Latin Church. At Coburg he had already put his hand to
the task, and traced out in the first part the doctrines of the faith,
according to the articles of Schwabach; and in the second, the abuses
of the Church, according to the articles of Torgau, making altogether
quite a new work. At Augsburg he gave a more correct and elegant form
to this confession.[382]

  [382] More rhetorically. Feci aliquande ρητορικὡτερον quam
  Coburgæ scripseram.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 40.)

The Apology, as it was then called, was completed on the 11th May; and
the Elector sent it to Luther, begging him to mark what ought to be
changed. "I have said what I thought most useful," added Melancthon,
who feared that his friend would find the confession too weak; "for
Eck ceases not to circulate against us the most diabolical calumnies,
and I have endeavoured to oppose an antidote to his poisons."[383]

  [383] Quia Eckius addidit διαβολικωτἁτασ διαβοιἁς
  contra nos.--(Corp. Ref. p. 45.)

Luther replied to the Elector on the 15th May: "I have read Magister
Philip's Apology; I like it well enough, I have no corrections to
make. Besides, that would hardly suit me, for I cannot walk so meekly
and so silently. May Christ our Lord grant that this work may produce
much and great fruit."

Each day, however, the Elector's councillors and theologians, in
concert with Melancthon, improved the confession, and endeavoured to
render it such that the charmed diet should, in its own despite, hear
it to the very end.[384]

  [384] In Apologia quotidie multa mutamus.--(Ibid. p. 60.)

[Sidenote: LUTHER'S SINAI.]

While the struggle was thus preparing at Augsburg, Luther at Coburg,
on the summit of the hill, "on his Sinai," as he called it, raised his
hands like Moses towards heaven.[385] He was the real general of the
spiritual war that was then waging; his letters ceased not to bear to
the combatants the directions which they needed, and numerous
pamphlets issuing from his stronghold, like discharges of musketry,
spread confusion in the enemy's camp.

  [385] Mathesius Predigten, p. 92.

The place where he had been left was, by its solitude, favourable to
study and to meditation.[386] "I shall make a Zion of this Sinai,"
said he on the 22d April, "and I shall build here three tabernacles;
one to the Psalms, one to the Prophets, and one----to Esop!" This last
word is a startling one. The association belongs neither to the
language nor the spirit of the Apostles. It is true that Esop was not
to be his principal study: the fables were soon laid aside, and truth
alone engaged Luther. "I shall weep, I shall pray, I shall never be
silent," wrote he, "until I know that my cry has been heard in

  [386] Longe amænissimus et studiis commodissimus.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 2.)

  [387] Orabo igitur et plorabo, non quieturus donec, &c.--(L. Epp. iv.
  p. 2.)

Besides, by way of relaxation, he had something better than Esop; he
had those domestic joys whose precious treasures the Reformation had
opened to the ministers of the Word. It was at this time he wrote that
charming letter to his infant son, in which he describes a delightful
garden where children dressed in gold are sporting about, picking up
apples, pears, cherries, and plums; they sing, dance, and enjoy
themselves, and ride pretty little horses, with golden bridles and
silver saddles.[388]

  [388] This letter, which is a masterpiece of its kind, may be found in
  Luther's Epp. iv. p. 41, and also in Riddle's "Luther and his Times,"
  p. 268.


But the Reformer was soon drawn away from these pleasing images. About
this time he learnt that his father had gently fallen asleep in the
faith which is in Jesus Christ. "Alas!" exclaimed he, shedding tears
of filial love, "it is by the sweat of his brow that he made me what I
am."[389] Other trials assailed him; and to bodily pains were added
the phantoms of his imagination. One night in particular he saw three
torches pass rapidly before his eyes, and at the same moment he heard
claps of thunder in his head, which he ascribed to the devil. His
servant ran in at the moment he fainted, and after having restored
him to animation, read to him the Epistle to the Galatians. Luther,
who had fallen asleep, said as he awoke: "Come, and despite of the
devil let us sing the Psalm, _Out of the depths have I cried unto
thee, O Lord_." They both sang the hymn. While Luther was thus
tormented by these internal noises, he translated the prophet
Jeremiah, and yet he often deplored his idleness.

  [389] Per ejus sudores aluit et finxit qualis sum.--(Epp. iv. p. 33.)

He soon devoted himself to other studies, and poured out the floods of
his irony on the mundane practices of courts. He saw Venice, the Pope,
and the King of France, giving their hands to Charles V. to crush the
Gospel. Then, alone in his chamber in the old castle, he burst into
irresistible laughter. "Mr. _Par-ma-foy_, (it was thus he designated
Francis I.), _Innomine-Domini_ (the Pope), and the Republic of Venice,
pledge their goods and their bodies to the Emperor......_Sanctissimum
fœdus_. A most holy alliance truly! This league between these four
powers belongs to the chapter _Non-credimus_, Venice, the Pope, and
France become _imperialists_!......But these are three persons in one
substance, filled with unspeakable hatred against the Emperor. Mr.
_Par-ma-foy_ cannot forget his defeat at Pavia; Mr. _In-nomine-Domini_
is, 1st, an Italian, which is already too much; 2d, a Florentine,
which is worse; 3d, a bastard--that is to say, a child of the devil;
4th, he will never forget the disgrace of the sack of Rome. As for the
Venetians, they are Venetians: that is quite enough; and they have
good reason to avenge themselves on the posterity of Maximilian. All
this belongs to the chapter _Firmiter-credimus_. But God will help the
pious Charles, who is a sheep among wolves. Amen."[390] The former
monk of Erfurth had a surer political foresight than many diplomatists
of his age.

  [390] To Gasp. of Teutleben, 19th June.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 37.)


Impatient at seeing the diet put off from day to day, Luther formed
his resolution, and ended by convoking it even at Coburg. "We are
already in full assembly," wrote he on the 28th April and the 9th May.
"You might here see kings, dukes, and other grandees, deliberating on
the affairs of their kingdom, and with indefatigable voice publishing
their dogmas and decrees in the air. They dwell not in those caverns
which you decorate with the name of palaces; the heavens are their
canopy; the leafy trees form a floor of a thousand colours, and their
walls are the ends of the earth. They have a horror of all the
unmeaning luxury of silk and gold; they ask neither coursers nor
armour, and have all the same clothing and the same colour. I have
neither seen nor heard their emperor; but if I can understand them,
they have determined this year to make a pitiless war upon----the most
excellent fruits of the earth.--Ah! my dear friends," said he to his
messmates,[391] to whom he was writing, "these are the sophists, the
Papists, who are assembled before me in a heap, to make me hear their
sermons and their cries."--These two letters, dated from the "_empire
of ravens and crows_," finish in the following mournful strain, which
shows us the Reformer descending into himself after this play of his
imagination: "Enough of jesting!--jesting which is, however, sometimes
necessary to dispel the gloomy thoughts that prey upon me."[392]

  [391] An seine Tischgesellen.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 7.)

  [392] Sed serio et necessario joco qui mihi irruentes cogitationes
  repelleret.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 14.)


Luther soon returned to real life, and thrilled with joy at beholding
the fruits that the Reformation was already bearing, and which were
for him a more powerful "apology" than even the confession of
Melancthon. "Is there in the whole world a single country to be
compared to your highness's states," wrote he to the Elector, "and
which possesses preachers of so pure a doctrine, or pastors so fitted
to bring about the reign of peace? Where do we see, as in Saxony, boys
and girls well instructed in the Holy Scriptures and in the Catechism,
increasing in wisdom and in stature, praying, believing, talking of
God and of Christ better than has been done hitherto by all the
universities, convents, and chapters of Christendom?"[393] "My dear
Duke John, says the Lord to you, I commend this paradise to thee, the
most beautiful that exists in the world, that thou mayst be its
gardener." And then he added: "Alas! the madness of the Papist princes
changes this paradise of God into a dirty slough, and corrupting the
youth, peoples every day with real devils their states, their tables,
and their palaces."

  [393] Eswächst jetz daher die zart Jugend von Knäblin un
  Maidlin.--(Ibid. p. 21.)

Luther, not content with encouraging his prince, desired also to
frighten his adversaries. It was with this intent that he wrote at
that time an address to the members of the clergy assembled at
Augsburg. A crowd of thoughts, like lansquenets armed cap-a-pié,
"rushed in to fatigue and bewilder him;"[394] and in fact there is no
want of barbed words in the discourse he addresses to the bishops. "In
short," said he to them in conclusion, "we know and you know that we
have the Word of God, and that you have it not. O Pope! if I live I
shall be a pestilence to thee; and if I die, I shall be thy

  [394] Ut plurimos Lansknecktos, prorsus vi repellere cogar, qui
  insalutati non cessant obstrepere.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 10.)

  [395] Pestis eram vivus, moriens ero mors tua, Papa.--(L. Opp. xx. p.

Thus was Luther present at Augsburg, although invisible; and he
effected more by his words and by his prayers than Agricola, Brenz, or
Melancthon. These were the days of travail for the Gospel truth. It
was about to appear in the world with a might that was destined to
eclipse all that had been done since the time of St. Paul; but Luther
only announced and manifested the things that God was effecting: he
did not execute them himself. He was, as regards the events of the
Church, what Socrates was to philosophy: "I imitate my mother (she was
a midwife)," this philosopher was in the habit of saying; "she does
not travail herself, but she aids others." Luther--and he never ceased
repeating it--has created nothing; but he has brought to light the
precious seed, hidden for ages in the bosom of the Church. The man of
God is not he who seeks to form his age according to his own peculiar
ideas, but he who, distinctly perceiving God's truth, such as it is
found in his Word, and as it is hidden in his Church, brings it to
his contemporaries with courage and decision.


Never had these qualities been more necessary, for matters were taking
an alarming aspect. On the 4th June died Chancellor Gattinara, who was
to Charles the Fifth "what Ulpian was to Alexander Severus," says
Melancthon, and with him all the human hopes of the Protestants
vanished. "It is God," Luther had said, "who has raised up for us a
Naaman in the court of the King of Syria." In truth Gattinara alone
resisted the Pope. When Charles brought to him the objections of Rome:
"Remember," said the Chancellor, "that you are master!" Henceforward
every thing seemed to take a new direction. The Pope required that
Charles should be satisfied with being his "lictor," as Luther says,
to carry out his judgments against the heretics.[396] Eck, whose name
(according to Melancthon) was no bad imitation of the cry of Luther's
crows, heaped one upon another[397] a multitude of pretended heretical
propositions, extracted from the Reformer's writings. There were _four
hundred and four_, and yet he made excuse that, being taken unawares,
he was forced to restrict himself to so small a number, and he called
loudly for a disputation with the Lutherans. They retorted on these
propositions by a number of ironical and biting theses on "wine,
Venus, and baths, against John Eck;" and the poor Doctor became the
laughing-stock of everybody.

  [396] Tantum lictorem suum in hæreticos.--(Epp. iv. p. 10.)

  [397] Magnum acervum conclusionum congessit.--(Corp. Ref. p. 39.)


But others went to work more skilfully than he. Cochlœus, who became
chaplain to Duke George of Saxony in 1527, begged an interview with
Melancthon, "for," added he, "I cannot converse with your married
ministers."[398] Melancthon, who was looked upon with an evil eye at
Augsburg, and who had complained of being more solitary there than
Luther in his castle,[399] was touched by this courtesy, and was still
more fully penetrated with the idea that things should be ordered in
the mildest manner possible.

  [398] Cum uxoratis presbyteris tuis privatim colloqui non
  intendimus.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 82.)

  [399] Nos non minus sumus monachi quam vos in illa arce
  vestra.--(Ibid. p. 146.)

The Romish priests and laymen made a great uproar, because on fast
days meat was usually eaten at the Elector's court. Melancthon advised
his prince to restrain the liberty of his attendants in this respect.
"This disorder," said he, "far from leading the simple-minded to the
Gospel, scandalizes them." He added, in his ill-humour: "A fine
holiness truly, to make it a matter of conscience to fast, and yet to
be night and day given up to wine and folly!"[400] The Elector did not
yield to Melancthon's advice; it would have been a mark of weakness of
which his adversaries would have known how to take advantage.

  [400] Und dennoch Tag und Nacht voll und toll seyn.--(Ibid. p. 79.)

On the 31st May, the Saxon confession was at length communicated to
the other Protestant states, who required that it should be presented
in common in the name of them all.[401] But at the same time they
desired to make their reservations with regard to the influence of the
state. "It is to a council that we appeal," said Melancthon; "we will
not receive the Emperor as our judge; the ecclesiastical constitutions
themselves forbid him to pronounce in spiritual matters.[402] Moses
declares that it is not the civil magistrate who decides, but the sons
of Levi. St. Paul also says (1 Cor. xiv.), '_let the others judge_,'
which cannot be understood except of an entire christian assembly; and
the Saviour himself gives us this commandment: '_Tell it unto the
Church_.' We pledge, therefore, our obedience to the Emperor in all
civil matters; but as for the Word of God, it is liberty that we

  [401] In gemein in aller Fürsten und Stadte Nämen.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

  [402] Die _constitutiones canonicæ_ den Kaysern verbieten zu richten
  und sprechen in geistlichen sachen.--(Ibid. p. 66.)


All were agreed on this point; but the dissent came from another
quarter. The Lutherans feared to compromise their cause if they went
hand in hand with the Zwinglians. "This is Lutheran madness," replied
Bucer: "it will perish of its own weight."[403] But, far from
allowing this madness "to perish," the reformed augmented the disunion
by exaggerated complaints. "In Saxony they are beginning to sing Latin
hymns again," said they; "the sacred vestments are resumed, and
oblations are called for anew.[404] We would rather be led to
slaughter, than be Christians after that fashion."

  [403] De Lutheranis furoribus......sua ipsi mole ruent.--(Zw. Epp. ii.
  p. 432.)

  [404] Hinc Latinæ resumuntur cantiones, repetuntur sanctæ
  vestes.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p. 457.)

The afflicted Landgrave, says Bucer, was "between the hammer and the
anvil;" and his allies caused him more uneasiness than his
enemies.[405] He applied to Rhegius, to Brenz, to Melancthon,
declaring that it was his most earnest wish to see concord prevail
among all the Evangelical doctors. "If these fatal doctrines are not
opposed," replied Melancthon, "there will be rents in the Church that
will last to the end of the world. Do not the Zwinglians boast of
their full coffers, of having soldiers prepared, and of foreign
nations disposed to aid them? Do they not talk of sharing among them
the rights and the property of the bishops, and of proclaiming
liberty......Good God! shall we not think of posterity, which, if we
do not repress these guilty seditions, will be at once without throne
and without altar?"[406]--"No, no! we are one," replied this generous
prince, who was so much in advance of his age; "we all confess the
same Christ, we all profess that we must eat Jesus Christ, by faith,
in the Eucharist. Let us unite." All was unavailing. The time in which
true catholicity was to replace this sectarian spirit, of which Rome
is the most perfect expression, had not yet arrived.

  [405] Cattus inter sacrum et saxum stat, et de sociis magis quam
  hostibus solicitus est.--(Ibid.)

  [406] Keine Kirche und kein Regiment.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 95.)

[Sidenote: AUGSBURG.]

IV. In proportion as the Emperor drew near Augsburg, the anxieties of
the Protestants continued increasing. The burghers of this imperial
city expected to see it become the theatre of strange events.
Accordingly they said that if the Elector, the Landgrave, and other
friends of the Reformation were not in the midst of them, they would
all desert it.[407] "A great destruction threatens us," was repeated
on every side.[408] A haughty expression of Charles above all
disquieted the Protestants. "What do these Electors want with me?" he
had said impatiently; "I shall do what I please!"[409] Thus arbitrary
rule was the imperial law destined to prevail in the diet.

  [407] Wo Sachsen, Hessen, und andere Lutherische nit hie
  wären.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 89.)

  [408] Minatur nobis Satan grande exitium.--(Ibid. p. 92.)

  [409] Er wolte es machen, wie es Ihm eben wäre.--(Ibid. p. 88.)

To this agitation of men's minds was added the agitation of the
streets, or rather one led to the other. Masons and locksmiths were at
work in all the public places and crossings, laboriously fastening
barriers and chains to the walls, that might be closed or stretched at
the first cry of alarm.[410] At the same time about eight hundred foot
and horse soldiers were seen patrolling the streets, dressed in velvet
and silk,[411] whom the magistrates had enrolled in order to receive
the Emperor with magnificence.

  [410] Neu aufgerichte Ketten und Stöck.--(Ibid. p. 66.)

  [411] Mit sammet und seide auf's kostlichst ausgestrichen.--(Ibid.)

Matters were in this state, and it was about the middle of May, when a
number of Spanish quartermasters arrived, full of arrogance, and who
looked with contemptuous eyes on these wretched burghers, entered
their houses, conducted themselves with violence, and even rudely tore
down the arms of some of the princes.[412] The magistrates having
delegated councillors to treat with them, the Spaniards made an
insolent reply. "Alas!" said the citizens, "if the servants are so,
what will their master be?" The ministers of Charles were grieved at
their impertinence, and sent a German quartermaster who employed the
forms of German politeness to make them forget this Spanish

  [412] Den jungen Fürsten zu neubourg ihre wappen abgerissen.--(Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 55.)


That did not last long, and they soon felt more serious alarm. The
Council of Augsburg were asked what was the meaning of these chains
and soldiers, and they were ordered, in the Emperor's name, to take
down the one and disband the other. The magistrates of the city
answered, in alarm, "For more than ten years past we have intended
putting up these chains;[413] and as for the soldiers, our object is
simply to pay due honour to his majesty." After many parleys it was
agreed to dismiss the troops, and that the imperial commanders should
select afresh a thousand men, who should make oath to the Emperor, but
be paid by the city of Augsburg.

  [413] Vor zehn Jahren in Sinn gehalt.--(Ibid. p. 66.)

The imperial quartermasters then resumed all their impertinence; and
no longer giving themselves the trouble of entering the houses, and
the shops, they tore down the signboards of the Augsburg citizens, and
wrote in their place how many men and horses they would be required to

  [414] Gehen nicht mehr in die Haüser und schrieben an die
  Thür.--(Ibid. p. 89.)

Such were the preludes to the work of conciliation that Charles V. had
announced, and that he was so slow in beginning. Accordingly his
delay, attributed by some to the crowds of people who surrounded him
with their acclamations; by others, to the solicitations of the
priests, who opposed his entry into Augsburg until he had imposed
silence on the ministers; and by others, finally, to the lessons the
Pope had given him in the arts of policy and stratagem,[415] still
more estranged the Elector and his allies.

  [415] Cæsarem instructum arte pontificum quærere causas moræ.--(L.
  Epp. iv. p. 31.)


At last Charles, having quitted Innspruck two days after Gattinara's
death, arrived at Munich on the 10th June. His reception was
magnificent. At the distance of two miles from the town a temporary
fortress, soldiers' huts, cannon, horsemen, an assault, repeated
explosions, flames, shouts, whirlwinds of smoke, and a terrible
clashing of arms, all of which was very agreeable to the Emperor;[416]
in the city, theatres raised in the open air, the _Jewess Esther_,
the _Persian Cambyses_, and other pieces not less famous, the whole
combined with splendid fireworks, formed the reception given by the
adherents of the Pope to him whom they styled their Saviour.

  [416] Das hat Kais. Maj. wohl gefallen.--(Forstemann, Urkunden. i p.

Charles was not far distant from Augsburg. As early as the 11th June,
every day and every hour, members of the imperial household,
carriages, waggons, and baggage entered this city, to the sound of the
clacking whip and of the horn;[417] and the burghers in amazement
gazed with dejected eyes on all this insolent train, that fell upon
their city like a flight of locusts.[418]

  [417] Alle stund die Wagen, der Tross und viel gesinds nact einander
  harein.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 90.)

  [418] Finden aber wenig Frenden feuer.--(Ibid.)

At five o'clock in the morning of the 15th June,[419] the Elector, the
princes, and their councillors, assembled at the town-hall, and
erelong arrived the imperial commissaries, having an order for them to
go out and meet Charles. At three in the afternoon the princes and
deputies quitted the city, and, having reached a little bridge across
the river Lech, they there halted and waited for the Emperor. The eyes
of every member of the brilliant assemblage, thus stopping on the
smiling banks of an alpine torrent, were directed along the road to
Munich. At length, after waiting two or three hours, clouds of dust
and a loud noise announced the Emperor. Two thousand of the imperial
guard marched first; then Charles having come to within fifty paces of
the river, the Electors and princes alighted. Their sons, who had
advanced beyond the bridge, perceiving the Emperor preparing to do the
same, ran to him and begged him to remain on horseback;[420] but
Charles dismounted without hesitating,[421] and approaching the
princes with an amiable smile, shook hands with them cordially. Albert
of Mentz, in his quality of arch-chancellor of the empire, now
welcomed the Emperor, and the Count-palatine Frederick replied in
behalf of Charles.

  [419] Zu morgens, um fünf Uhr.--(F. Urkunden. i. p. 263.)

  [420] Ab Electorum filiis qui procurrerant rogatus.--(Seck. ii. p.

  [421] Mox ab equis descenderunt.--(Cochlœus.)


While this was passing, three individuals remained apart on a little
elevation;[422] these were the Roman Legate, proudly seated on a mule,
glittering with purple, and accompanied by two other cardinals, the
Archbishop of Salzburg and the Bishop of Trent. The Nuncio, beholding
all these great personages on the road, raised his hands, and gave
them his blessing. Immediately the Emperor, the King, and the princes
who submitted to the Pope, fell on their knees; the Spaniards,
Italians, Netherlanders, and Germans in their train, imitated their
movements, casting however a side glance on the Protestants, who, in
the midst of this humbly prostrate crowd, alone remained
standing.[423] Charles did not appear to notice this, but he doubtless
understood what it meant. The Elector of Brandenburg then delivered a
Latin speech to the legate. He had been selected because he spoke this
language better than the princes of the Church; and accordingly,
Charles, when praising his eloquence, slily put in a word about the
negligence of the prelates.[424] The Emperor now prepared to remount
his horse, when the prince-electoral of Saxony, and the young princes
of Luneburg, Mecklenburg, Brandenburg, and Anhalt rushed towards him
to aid him in getting into his saddle: one held the bridle, another
the stirrup, and all were charmed at the magnificent appearance of
their powerful sovereign.[425] The procession began to move on.

  [422] Auf ein ort geruckt.--(F. Urkunden. i. p. 256.)

  [423] Primum constantiæ specimen.--(Seck. ii. p. 101.)

  [424] Prelatorum autem negligentiam accusaret.--(Ibid.)

  [425] Conscendentem juniores principes adjuverunt.--(Ibid. and F.
  Urkunden. i. p. 258.)

First came two companies of lansquenets, commanded by Simon Seitz, a
citizen of Augsburg, who had made the campaign of Italy, and was
returning home laden with gold.[426] Next advanced the households of
the six electors, composed of princes, counts, councillors, gentlemen,
and soldiers; the household of the Dukes of Bavaria had slipped into
their ranks, and the four hundred and fifty horsemen that composed it
marched five abreast, covered with bright cuirasses, wearing red
doublets, while over their heads floated handsome many-coloured
plumes.--Bavaria was already in this age the main support of Rome in

  [426] Bekleit von gold.--(F. Urkunden. i. p. 258.)

Immediately after came the households of the Emperor and of his
brother, in striking contrast with this warlike show. They were
composed of Turkish, Polish, Arabian, and other led horses; then
followed a multitude of young pages, clad in yellow or red velvet,
with Spanish, Bohemian, and Austrian nobles in robes of silk and
velvet;[427] among these the Bohemians had the most martial air, and
skilfully rode their superb and prancing coursers. Last the
trumpeters, drummers, heralds, grooms, footmen, and the legate's
cross-bearers, announced the approach of the princes.

  [427] Viel sammete unde seiden Röcke.--(L. Opp. xx. p. 201.)

In fact these powerful lords, whose contentions had so often filled
Germany with confusion and war, now advanced riding peacefully side by
side. After the princes appeared the electors; and the Elector of
Saxony, according to custom, carried the naked and glittering imperial
sword immediately before the Emperor.[428]

  [428] Noster princeps de more prætulit ensem.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

Last came the Prince, on whom all eyes were fixed.[429] Thirty years
of age, of distinguished port and pleasing features, robed in golden
garments that glittered all over with precious stones,[430] wearing a
small Spanish hat on the crown of his head,[431] mounted on a
beautiful Polish hackney of the most brilliant whiteness, riding
beneath a rich canopy of red, white, and green damask borne by six
senators of Augsburg, and casting around him looks in which gentleness
was mingled with gravity, Charles excited the liveliest enthusiasm,
and every one exclaimed that he was the handsomest man in the empire,
as well as the mightiest prince in the world.

  [429] Omnium oculos in se convertit.--(Seck. ii. p. 160.)

  [430] Totus gemmis coruscabat.--(Ibid.)

  [431] Ein kilen Spanisch Hütlein.--(F. Urkunden, i. p. 260.)


He had at first desired to place his brother and the legate at his
side; but the Elector of Mentz, followed by two hundred guards arrayed
in silk, had claimed the Emperor's right hand; and the Elector of
Cologne, with a hundred well-armed followers, had taken his station on
the left. King Ferdinand and the legate were compelled to take their
places behind them, followed by the cardinals, ambassadors, and
prelates, among whom was remarked the haughty Bishop of Osma, the
Emperor's confessor. The imperial cavalry and the troops of Augsburg
closed the procession.

Never, according to the historians, had anything so magnificent been
seen in the Empire;[432] but they advanced slowly, and it was between
eight and nine o'clock in the evening before they reached the gates of
Augsburg.[433] Here they met the burgomaster and councillors, who
prostrated themselves before Charles, and at the same time the cannon
from the ramparts, the bells from all the steeples in full peal, the
noise of trumpets and kettle-drums, and the joyful acclamations of the
people re-echoed with loud din. Stadion, bishop of Augsburg, and his
clergy robed in white, struck up the _Advenisti desirabilis_; and six
canons, advancing with a magnificent canopy, prepared to conduct the
Emperor to the cathedral, when Charles's horse, startled at this
unusual sight, suddenly reared,[434] so that the Emperor with
difficulty mastered him. At length Charles entered the basilick, which
was ornamented with garlands and flowers, and suddenly illuminated by
a thousand torches.

  [432] Antea in imperio non erat visa.--(Seck. ii. p. 160.)

  [433] Ingressus est in urbem intra octavam et nonam.--(Ibid. p. 114.)

  [434] Da entsetzt sich K. M. Hengst für solchem Himel.--(F. Urkunden.
  i. p. 261.)


The Emperor went up to the altar, and falling on his knees, raised his
hands towards heaven.[435] During the _Te Deum_, the Protestants
observed with anxiety that Charles kept conversing in a low tone with
the Archbishop of Mentz; that he bent his ear to the legate who
approached to speak to him, and nodded in a friendly manner to Duke
George. All this appeared to them of evil omen; but at the moment when
the priests sang the _Te ergo quæsimus_, Charles, breaking off his
conversations, suddenly rose, and one of the acolytes running to him
with a gold-embroidered cushion, the Emperor put it aside, and knelt
on the bare stones of the church. All the assembly knelt with him; the
Elector and the Landgrave alone remained standing. Duke George,
astonished at such boldness, threw a threatening glance at his cousin.
The Margrave of Brandenburg, carried away by the crowd, had fallen on
his knees; but having seen his two allies standing, he hastily rose up

  [435] Ihr hand aufgehebt.--(Ibid.)

The Cardinal-archbishop of Salzburg then proceeded to pronounce the
benediction; but Campeggio, impatient at having as yet taken no part
in the ceremony, hastened to the altar, and rudely thrusting the
archbishop aside, said sharply to him:[436] "this office belongs to
me, and not to you." The other gave way, the Emperor bent down, and
the Landgrave, with difficulty concealing a smile, hid himself behind
a candelabrum. The bells now rang out anew, the procession recommenced
its march, and the princes conducted the Emperor to the Palatinate
(the name given to the bishop's palace), which had been prepared for
him. The crowd now dispersed: it was after ten at night.

  [436] Cardinalem legatus castigatum abegit.--(Seck. ii. p. 161.)

The hour was come in which the partisans of the Papacy flattered
themselves with the prospect of rendering the Protestants untrue to
their faith. The arrival of the Emperor, the procession of the holy
sacrament that was preparing, the late hour,--all had been calculated
beforehand; "the nocturns of treason were about to begin," said


A few minutes of general conversation took place in the Emperor's
apartments; the princes of the Romish party were then allowed to
retire; but Charles had given a sign to the Elector of Saxony, to the
Landgrave of Hesse, to George of Brandenburg, to the Prince of Anhalt,
and to the Duke of Luneburg to follow him into his private
chamber.[437] His brother Ferdinand, who was to serve as interpreter,
alone went in with them. Charles thought that so long as the
Protestant princes were observed, they would not yield; but that in a
private and friendly interview, he might obtain all he desired of

  [437] Ad conclave suum.--(Corp. Ref. p. 106 and 114.)

"His majesty requests you to discontinue the preachings," said
Ferdinand. On hearing these words the two old princes (the Elector and
the Margrave) turned pale and did not speak;[438] there was a long

  [438] Die beede alte Fürsten zum höchsten entsetz.--(Ibid.)

At last the Landgrave said: "We entreat your majesty to withdraw your
request, for our ministers preach only the pure Word of God, as did
the ancient doctors of the Church, St. Augustin, St. Hilary, and so
many others. It will be easy for your majesty to convince yourself of
it. We cannot deprive ourselves of the food of the Word of God, and
deny his Gospel."[439]

  [439] Se non posse cibo verbi Dei carere, nec sana conscientia
  Evangelium negare.--(Corp. Ref. p. 115.)


Ferdinand, resuming the conversation in French[440] (for it was in
this language that he conversed with his brother), informed the
Emperor of the Landgrave's answer. Nothing was more displeasing to
Charles than these citations of Hilary and Augustin; the colour
mounted to his cheeks, and he was nearly getting angry.[441] "His
Majesty," said Ferdinand in a more positive tone, "cannot desist from
his demand."--"Your conscience," quickly replied the Landgrave, "has
no right to command ours."[442] As Ferdinand still persisted, the
Margrave, who had been silent until then, could contain himself no
longer; and without caring for interpreters, stretched out his neck
towards Charles, exclaiming in deep emotion: "Rather than allow the
Word of the Lord to be taken from me, rather than deny my God, I would
kneel before your Majesty and have my head cut off!" As he uttered
these simple and magnanimous words, says a contemporary,[443] the
prince accompanied them with a significant gesture, and let his hands
fall on his neck like the headsman's axe. The excitement of the
princes was at its height: had it been necessary, they would all four
have instantly walked to the scaffold. Charles was moved by it:
surprised and agitated, he hastily cried out in his bad German, making
a show of checking the Landgrave: "Dear prince, not the head! not the
head!" But he had scarcely uttered these few words, when he checked

  [440] In Französischer Sprache.--(Ibid. p. 107.)

  [441] Sich darob etwas angeröt und erhitzt.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 115.)

  [442] K. M. gewissen sey aber kein Herr und meyster uber ihr
  gewissen.--(Ibid. p. 115.)

  [443] Ut simpliciter, ita magnanimiter, says Brenz.--(Ibid.)

These were the only words that Charles pronounced before the princes
during all the diet. His ignorance of the German language, and
sometimes also the etiquette of the Escurial, compelled him to speak
only by the mouth of his brother or of the Count-palatine. As he was
in the habit of consecrating four hours daily to divine worship, the
people said: "He talks more with God than with men." This habitual
silence was not favourable to his plans. They required activity and
eloquence; but instead of that the Germans saw in the dumb countenance
of their youthful Emperor, a mere puppet, nodding his head and winking
his eyes. Charles sometimes felt very keenly the faults of this
position: "To be able to speak German," said he, "I would willingly
sacrifice any other language, even were it Spanish or French, and more
than that, one of my states."[444]

  [444] Es wäre Spanisch oder Französisch und dazu eines Landes
minder.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 114.)


Ferdinand saw that it was useless to insist on the cessation of these
meetings; but he had another arrow in his quiver. The next day was the
festival of _Corpus Christi_, and by a custom that had never as yet
been infringed, all the princes and deputies present at the diet were
expected to take part in the procession. What! would the Protestants
refuse this act of courtesy at the very opening of a diet to which
each one came in a conciliatory spirit? Have they not declared that
the body and blood of Christ are really in the Host? Do they not
boast of their opposition to Zwingle, and can they stand aloof,
without being tainted with heresy? Now, if they share in the pomp that
surrounds "the Lord's body;" if they mingle with that crowd of clergy,
glittering in luxury and swelling with pride, who carry about the God
whom they have created; if they are present when the people bow down;
will they not irrevocably compromise their faith? The machine is well
prepared; its movements cannot fail; there is no more doubt! The craft
of the Italians is about to triumph over the simplicity of these
German boors!

Ferdinand therefore resumes, and making a weapon of the very refusal
that he has just met with: "Since the Emperor," said he, "cannot
obtain from you the suspension of your assemblies, he begs at least
that you will accompany him to-morrow, according to custom, in the
procession of the Holy Sacrament. Do so, if not from regard to him, at
least for the honour of Almighty God."[445]

  [445] Et saltem in honorem Dei illud facerent--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

The princes were still more irritated and alarmed. "Christ," said
they, "did not institute his sacrament to be worshipped." Charles
perseveres in his demand, and the Protestants in their refusal.[446]
Upon this the Emperor declares that he cannot accept their excuse,
that he will give them time for reflection, and that they must be
prepared to reply early on the morrow.

  [446] Persistit Cæsar in postulatione, persisterunt illi in
  recusatione.--(Ibid. 115.)


They separated in the greatest agitation. The Prince-electoral, who
had waited for his father in the first hall along with other lords,
sought, at the moment the princes issued from the Emperor's chamber,
to read on their countenance what had taken place. Judging from the
emotion depicted on their features that the struggle had been severe,
he thought that his father was incurring the greatest dangers, and
accordingly, grasping him by the hand, he dragged him to the staircase
of the palace, exclaiming in affright, as if Charles's satellites
were already at his heels, "Come, come quickly!"

Charles, who had expected no such resistance, was in truth confounded,
and the legate endeavoured to exasperate him still more.[447]
Agitated, filled with anger and vexation, and uttering the most
terrible threats,[448] the young Emperor paced hastily to and fro the
halls of his palace; and unable to wait till the morrow for the
answer, he sent in the middle of the night to demand the Elector's
final decision. "At present we require sleep," replied the latter;
"to-morrow we will let you know our determination."[449] As for the
Landgrave, he could not rest any more than Charles. Scarcely had he
returned home, when he sent his chancellor to the Nuremberg deputies,
and had them awoke to make them acquainted with what had taken

  [447] A sævitia Legati Romanensium captivi.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 116.)

  [448] Hinc secutæ sunt gravissimæ minæ, jactatæ sævissimæ Cæsaris

  [449] Quiete sibi opus esse dicens, responsum in diem alterum
  distulit--(Seck. ii. p. 162.)

  [450] Hat nächten uns aufwecken lassen.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 106.)

At the same time Charles's demand was laid before the theologians, and
Spalatin, taking the pen, drew up their opinion during the night. "The
sacrament," it bore, "was not instituted to be worshipped, as the Jews
worshipped the brazen image.[451] We are here to confess the truth,
and not for the confirmation of abuses. Let us therefore stay away!"
This opinion strengthened the Evangelical princes in their
determination; and the day of the 16th June began.

  [451] Wie die Juden die Schlange haben angebethet.--(Ibid. p. 111.)

The Elector of Saxony feeling indisposed during the night,
commissioned his son to represent him; and at seven o'clock the
princes and councillors repaired on horseback to the Emperor's

  [452] Heute zu sieben Uhren sind gemeldete Fürsten.--(Corp. Ref. iii.
  p. 107.)


The Margrave of Brandenburg was their spokesman. "You know," said he
to Charles, "how, at the risk of our lives, my ancestors and myself
have supported your august house. But, in the things of God, the
commands of God himself oblige me to put aside all commandment of man.
We are told that death awaits those who shall persevere in the sound
doctrine: I am ready to suffer it." He then presented the declaration
of the Evangelical princes to the Emperor. "We will not countenance by
our presence," said they, "these impious human traditions, which are
opposed to the Word of God. We declare, on the contrary, without
hesitation, and with one accord, that we must expel them from the
Church, lest those of its members that are still sound should be
infected by this deadly poison."[453] "If you will not accompany his
majesty for the love of God," said Ferdinand, "do so at least for love
of the Emperor, and as vassals of the Empire.[454] His majesty
commands you." "An act of worship is in question," replied the
princes, "our conscience forbids it." Then Ferdinand and Charles
having conversed together in a low tone: "His majesty desires to see,"
said the king, "whether you will obey him or not."[455] At the same
time the Emperor and his brother quitted the room; but the princes,
instead of following him, as Charles had hoped, returned full of joy
to their palaces.

  [453] Cælestin. i. p. 82.

  [454] Ut vassalli et principes imperii.--(Cochlœus, p. 192.)

  [455] Sie wolle sehen, ob sie I. M. gehorchsam leisten oder
  nicht.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 108.)


The procession did not begin till noon. Immediately behind the canopy
under which the Elector of Mentz carried the Host, came the Emperor
alone, with a devout air, bearing a taper in his hand, his head bare
and shorn like a priest's, although the noon-day sun darted on him its
most ardent rays.[456] By exposing himself to these fatigues, Charles
desired to profess aloud his faith in what constitutes the essence of
Roman-catholicism. In proportion as the spirit and the life had
escaped from the primitive Churches, they had striven to replace them
by forms, shows, and ceremonies. The essential cause of the Romish
worship is found in that decline of charity and faith which catholic
Christians of the first ages have often deplored; and the history of
Rome is summed up in this expression of St. Paul, _Having a form of
godliness, but denying the power thereof_.[457] But as the power was
then beginning to revive in the Church, the form began also to
decline. Barely a hundred citizens of Augsburg had joined in the
procession of the 16th June. It was no longer the pomp of former
times: the christian people had learned anew to love and to believe.

  [456] Clericaliter, detonso capillo.--(Zw. Epp. ii. p. 471.) Nudo
  capite sub meridíani solis ardoribus.--(Pallavicini, i. p. 228.)

  [457] 2 Timothy iii. 5.

Charles, however, under an air of devotion concealed a wounded heart.
The legate was less able to command himself, and said aloud that this
obstinacy of the princes would be the cause of great mischief to the
Pope.[458] When the procession was over (it had lasted an hour),
Charles could no longer master his extreme irritation; and he had
scarcely returned to his palace, when he declared that he would give
the Protestant princes a safe-conduct, and that on the very next day
these obstinate and rebellious men should quit Augsburg;[459] the diet
would then take such resolutions as were required for the safety of
the Church and of the Empire. It was no doubt the legate who had given
Charles this idea, whose execution would infallibly have led to a
religious war. But some of the princes of the Roman party, desirous of
preserving peace, succeeded, though not without difficulty, in getting
the Emperor to withdraw his threatening order.[460]

  [458] Sarpi, Council of Trent, i. p. 99.

  [459] Ut mox altera die, cum salvo-conductu, Lutherani abirent
  domum.--(Cochl. p. 193.)

  [460] Pacis et concordiæ avidi, supplicarunt ejus majestati ut sedata


V. Charles, being defeated on the subject of the procession, resolved
to take his revenge on the assemblies, for nothing galled him like
these sermons. The crowd ceased not to fill the vast church of the
Franciscans, where a Zwinglian minister of lively and penetrating
eloquence was preaching on the Book of Joshua.[461] He placed the
kings of Canaan and the children of Israel before them: his
congregation heard them speak and saw them act, and every one
recognized in Canaan the Emperor and the Ultra-montane princes, and in
the people of God the adherents of the Reformation. In consequence,
the faithful quitted the church enthusiastic in their faith, and
filled with the desire of seeing the abominations of the idolaters
fall to the ground. On the 16th June, the Protestants deliberated on
Charles's demand, and it was rejected by the majority. "It is only a
scarecrow," said they; "the Papists only desire to see if the nail
shakes in the wall, and if they can start the hare from the thicket."

  [461] Maximus populi concursus amplissima æde.--(Ibid.)

The next morning (17th June) before breakfast, the princes replied to
the Emperor. "To forbid our ministers to preach purely the holy Gospel
would be rebellion against God, who wills that his Word be not bound.
Poor sinners that we are, we have need of this Divine Word to surmount
our troubles.[462] Moreover, his majesty has declared, that in this
diet each doctrine should be examined with impartiality. Now, to order
us henceforward to suspend the sermons, would be to condemn ours

  [462] Nec se illo animæ nutrimento carere.--(Cœlestinus Hist. Comit.
  i. p. 88; Forst. Urkunden. i. p. 283.)


Charles immediately convoked the other temporal and spiritual princes,
who arrived at mid-day at the Palatine palace, and remained sitting
until the evening;[463] the discussion was exceedingly animated. "This
very morning," said some of the speakers, "the Protestant princes, as
they quitted the Emperor, had sermons delivered in public."[464]
Exasperated at this new affront, Charles with difficulty contained
himself. Some of the princes, however, having entreated him to accept
their mediation, he consented to it; but the Protestants were
immovable. Did these heretics, whom they imagined to reduce so easily,
appear in Augsburg only to humiliate Charles? The honour of the chief
of the Empire must be saved at any cost. "Let us ourselves renounce
our preachers," said the princes; "the Protestants will not then
persist in keeping theirs!"

  [463] Cæsar a meridie.--(Seck. p. 165.) Den gangen Tag.--(Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 113.)

  [464] Eo ipso die conciones continuatæ.--(Seckend. p. 165.)

The commission proposed accordingly that the Emperor should set aside
both Papist and Lutheran preachers, and should nominate a few
chaplains, with authority to announce the pure Word of God, without
attacking either of the two parties.[465] "They shall be neutral men,"
said they to the Protestants; "neither Faber nor his partisans shall
be admitted."--"But they will condemn our doctrine."--"By no means.
The preacher shall do nothing but read the text of the Gospels,
Epistles, and a general confession of sins."[466] The evangelical
states required time to reflect upon it.

  [465] Cæsare omnes tam papistarum quam evangelicorum
  conciones.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 116.)

  [466] Qui tantum recitent Evangelium et epistolam
  γραμματικὡς.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 119.)

"We must accept it," said Melancthon; "for if our obstinacy should
lead the Emperor to refuse hearing our confession, the evil would be
greater still."

"We are called to Augsburg," said Agricola, "to give an account of our
doctrine, and not to preach."[467]

  [467] Non sumus parochi Augustanorum, added he.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

"There is no little disorder in the city," remarked Spalatin. "The
Sacramentarians and Enthusiasts preach here as well as we: we must get
out of this confusion."

"What do the Papists propose?" said other theologians; "to read the
Gospels and Epistles without explanation. But is not that a victory?
What! we protest against the interpretations of the Church; and lo!
priests who are to read the Word of God without their notes and
commentaries, that is to say, transforming themselves into Protestant
ministers!" "O! admirable wisdom of the courtiers!" exclaimed
Melancthon, smiling.[468]

  [468] Vide miram sapientiam Aulicorum.--(Ibid.)


To these motives were added the opinions of the lawyers. As the
Emperor ought to be considered the rightful magistrate of an imperial
city, so long as he made it his residence, all jurisdiction in
Augsburg really belonged to him.

"Well, then," said the Protestant princes, "we agree to silence our
preachers, in the hope that we shall hear nothing offensive to our
consciences. If it were otherwise, we should feel ourselves
constrained to repel so serious an insult.[469] Besides," added the
Elector, as he withdrew, "we hope that if at anytime we desire to hear
one of our chaplains in our own palace, we shall be free to do

  [469] Ut de remediis propulsandæ injuriæ cogitent.--(Seck. ii. p.

  [470] Ob je einer einen Prediger in seiner Herberg fur sich predigen
liess.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 113.)

They hastened to the Emperor, who desired nothing better than to come
to an understanding with the Protestants on this subject, and who
ratified everything.

This was Saturday. An imperial herald was immediately sent out, who,
parading the streets of the city at seven in the evening to the sound
of trumpets,[471] cried with all his might: "O yes, O yes![472] Thus
ordains his imperial majesty, our most gracious lord: no preacher
whatever shall preach in Augsburg except such as his majesty shall
have nominated; and that under penalty of incurring the displeasure
and punishment of his majesty."

  [471] Per tubicines et heraldum.--(Sturmius, Zw. Epp. p. 466.)

  [472] Hört, Hört.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 124.)

[Sidenote: The New Preachers.]

A thousand different remarks were exchanged in the houses of the
citizens of Augsburg. "We are very impatient," said they, "to see the
preachers appointed by the Emperor, and who will preach (O!
unprecedented wonder!) neither against the evangelical doctrine nor
against the doctrine of the Pope!"[473] "We must expect," added
another, "to behold some Tragelaph or some chimera with the head of a
lion, a goat's body, and a dragon's tail."[474] The Spaniards appeared
well satisfied, with this agreement, for many of them had never heard
a single sermon in their lives; it was not the custom in Spain; but
Zwingle's friends were filled with indignation and alarm.[475]

  [473] Omnes hunc avidissime expectant.--(Ibid. p. 116.)

  [474] Chimæram aut Tragelaphum aliquem expectamus.--(Ibid.) The
  _Tragelaph_ is a fabulous animal partaking of the nature of a goat and
  a stag. Representations of it were common on drinking-bowls and
  goblets among the ancient Greeks.

  [475] Multos deterreat--(Sturm to Zwingle, Epp. p. 466.)

At length Sunday the 19th of June began; every one hastened to the
churches, and the faithful who filled them, with eyes fixed on the
priest and with attentive ears,[476] prepared to listen to what these
new and strange preachers would say.[477] It was generally believed
that their task would be to make an evangelico-papistical discourse,
and they were very impatient to hear this marvel. But

           "The mountain in labour, gave birth to a mouse!"

  [476] Arrectis auribus.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 116.)

  [477] Quid novi novus concionator allaturus sit.--(Ibid. p. 117.)

The preacher first read the commonprayer; he then added the Gospel of
the day, finished with a general confession of sins, and dismissed his
congregation. People looked at one another in surprise: "Verily," said
they, "here is a preacher that is neither Gospeller nor Papist, but
strictly textual."[478] At last all burst into laughter; "and truly,"
adds Brenz, "there was reason enough."[479] In some churches, however,
the chaplains, after reading the Gospel, added a few puerile words
void of Christianity and of consolation, and in no way founded on the
holy Scripture.[480]

  [478] Sic habes concionatorem neque evangelicum neque papisticum, sed
  nudum textualem.--(Ibid.)

  [479] Rident omnes, et certe res valde ridicula est.--(Ibid.)

  [480] Paucula quædam, eaque puerilia et inepta, nec Christiane, abaque
  fundamento verbi Divini et consolatione.--(Seck. ii. p. 165.)


After the so-called sermon, they proceeded to the Mass. That in the
Cathedral was particularly noisy. The Emperor was not present, for he
was accustomed to sleep until nine or ten o'clock,[481] and a late
Mass was performed for him; but Ferdinand and many of the princes were
present. The pealing notes of the organ, the resounding voices of the
choir--all were set to work, and a numerous and motley crowd, rushing
in at all the doors, filled the aisles of the temple. One might have
said that every nation in the world had agreed to meet in the
cathedral of Augsburg. Here were Frenchmen, there Spaniards, Moors in
one place, Moriscos in another, on one side Italians, on the other
Turks, and even, says Brenz, those who are called Stratiots.[482] This
crowd was no bad representation of the medley of Popery.

  [481] Dormire solet usque ad nonam aut decimam.--(Corp. Ref. ii p.

  [482] Ibi videas hic Gallos, hic Hispanos, hic Ethiopes, illic etiam
  Ethiopissas, hic Italos, illic etiams Turcas, aut quos vocant
  Stratiotas.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 117.)


One priest alone, a fervent Romanist, dared to offer an apology for
the Mass in the Church of the Holy Cross. Charles, wishing to maintain
his authority, had him thrown into the Grey Friars' prison, whence
they contrived to let him escape. As for the Evangelical pastors of
Augsburg, almost all left the city to bear the Gospel elsewhere. The
Protestant princes were anxious to secure for their churches the
assistance of such distinguished men. Discouragement and alarm
followed close upon this step, and even the firmest were moved. The
Elector was inconsolable at the privation imposed upon him by the
Emperor. "Our Lord God," said he, heaving a deep sigh, "has received
an order to be silent at the Diet of Augsburg."[483] From that time
forward Luther lost the good opinion he had previously entertained of
Charles, and foreboded the stormiest future. "See what will be the end
of all this," said he. "The Emperor, who has ordered the Elector to
renounce the assemblies, will afterwards command him to renounce the
doctrine; the diet will enter upon its paroxysm, and nothing will
remain for us but to rely upon the arm of the Lord." Then giving way
to all his indignation, he added: "The Papists, abandoned to devils,
are transported with rage; and to live, they must drink blood.[484]
They wish to give themselves an air of justice, by giving us one of
obstinacy. It is not with men that you have to deal at Augsburg, but
with the very gates of hell." Melancthon himself saw all his hopes
vanish. "All, except the Emperor," said he, "hate us with the most
violent hatred. The danger is great, very great.[485]......Pray to
Christ that he may save us!" But Luther, however full of sorrow he
might be, far from being cast down, raised his head and endeavoured to
reanimate the courage of his brethren. "Be assured and doubt not,"
wrote he to them, "that you are the confessors of Jesus Christ, and
the ambassadors of the Great King."[486]

  [483] Hac ratione, Deo ejusque verbo silentium est impositum.--(Seck.
  ii.p. 165.)

  [484] Ut nisi sanguinem biberint, vivere non possint.--(Seck. ii. p.

  [485] Magnum omnino periculum est.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 118.)

  [486] Ea fides vivificabit et consolabitur vos, quia Magni Regis estis
  legati.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 59.)

They had need of these thoughts, for their adversaries, elated by this
first success, neglected nothing that might destroy the Protestants,
and taking another step forward, proposed forcing them to be present
at the Romish ceremonies.[487] "The Elector of Saxony," said the
legate to Charles, "ought in virtue of his office of Grand-marshal of
the Empire to carry the sword before you in all the ceremonies of the
diet. Order him therefore to perform his duty at the Mass of the Holy
Ghost, which is to open the sittings." The Emperor did so immediately,
and the Elector, uneasy at this message, called together his
theologians. If he refused, his dignity would be taken away; and if he
obeyed, he would trample his faith under foot, thought he, and would
do dishonour to the Gospel.

  [487] Sarpi, Hist. Council of Trent, book i. p. 99.


But the Lutheran Divines removed the scruples of their prince. "It is
for a ceremony of the Empire," said they, "as Grand-Marshal, and not
as a Christian, that you are summoned; the Word of God itself, in the
history of Naaman, authorizes you to comply with this invitation."[488]
The friends of Zwingle did not think so; their walk was more decided
than that of Wittemberg. "The martyrs allowed themselves to be put to
death," said they, "rather than burn a grain of incense before the
idols." Even some of the Protestants hearing that the _Veni Spiritus_
was to be sung, said, wagging their heads: "We are very much afraid
that the chariot of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, having been
taken away by the Papists, the Holy Ghost, despite their Mass, will
never reach Augsburg."[489] Neither these fears nor these objections
were listened to.

  [488] 2 Kings v. 18. Exemplo Naamanis.--(Seck. ii. p. 167; Sarpi, p.

  [489] Ne ablato Spiritus vehiculo, quod est verbum Dei, Spiritus
  Sanctus ad Augustam præ pedum imbecillitate pervenire non
  possit.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 116.)

[Sidenote: THE SERMON.]

On Monday the 20th June, the Emperor and his brother, with the
electors and princes of the Empire, having entered the cathedral, took
their seats on the right side of the choir; on the left were placed
the legate, the archbishops, and bishops; in the middle were the
ambassadors. Without the choir, in a gallery that overlooked it, were
ranged the Landgrave and other Protestants, who preferred being at a
distance from the Host.[490] The Elector, bearing the sword, remained
upright near the altar at the moment of the adoration. The acolytes,
having closed the gates of the choir immediately after,[491] Vincent
Pompinello, archbishop of Salerno, preached the sermon. He commenced
with the Turks and their ravages, and then, by an unexpected turn,
began suddenly to exalt the Turks even above the Germans. "The Turks,"
said he, "have but one prince whom they obey; but the Germans have
many who obey no one. The Turks live under one sole law, one only
custom, one only religion; but among the Germans, there are some who
are always wishing for new laws, new customs, new religions. They tear
the seamless coat of Christ; they abolish by devilish inspirations the
sacred doctrines established by unanimous consent, and substitute for
them, alas! buffoonery and obscenity.[492] Magnanimous Emperor,
powerful King!" said he, turning towards Charles and his brother,
"sharpen your swords, wield them against these perfidious disturbers
of religion, and thus bring them back into the fold of the
Church.[493] There is no peace for Germany so long as the sword shall
not have entirely eradicated this heresy.[494] O St. Peter and St.
Paul! I call upon you; upon you, St. Peter, in order that you may open
the stony hearts of these princes with your keys; and upon you, St.
Paul, that if they show themselves too rebellious, you may come with
your sword, and cut in pieces this unexampled hardness!"

  [490] Abstinendo ab adoratione hostiæ.--(Seck. ii. p. 119.)

  [491] Erant enim chori fores clausæ, nec quisquam orationi
  interfuit.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 120.)

  [492] Diabolica persuasione eliminant, et ad scurrilia ac impudica
  quæque deducunt.--(Pallavicini, Hist. Trid. C. i. p. 23.)

  [493] Exacuant gladios quos in perversos illos perturbatores.--(Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 120.)

  [494] Nisi eradicata funditus per gladium hæresi illa.--(Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 120.)

This discourse, intermingled with panegyrics of Aristides,
Themistocles, Scipio, Cato, the Curtii and Scævola, being concluded,
the Emperor and princes arose to make their offerings. Pappenheim
returned the sword to the Elector, who had intrusted it to him; and
the Grand-marshal, as well as the Margrave, went to the offertory, but
with a smile, as it is reported.[495] This fact is but little in
harmony with the character of these princes.

  [495] Protestantes etiam ad offerendum munuscula in altari, ut moris
  erat, accessisse, sed cum risu.--(Spalat. Seck. ii. p. 167.)


At length they quitted the cathedral. No one, except the friends of
the nuncio, was pleased with the sermon. Even the Archbishop of Mentz
was offended at it. "What does he mean," exclaimed he, "by calling on
St. Paul to cut the Germans with his sword?" Nothing but a few
inarticulate sounds had been heard in the nave; the Protestants
eagerly questioned those of their party who had been present in the
choir. "The more these priests inflame people's minds, and the more
they urge their princes to bloody wars," said Brenz at that time, "the
more we must hinder ours from giving way to violence."[496] Thus
spoke a minister of the Gospel of peace after the sermon of the priest
of Rome.

  [496] Ut nostros principes ab importuna violentia retineamus.--(Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 120.)

After the mass of the Holy Ghost, the Emperor entered his
carriage,[497] and having reached the town-hall, where the sittings of
the diet were to take place, he took his seat on a throne covered with
cloth of gold, while his brother placed himself on a bench in front of
him; then all around them were ranged the Electors, forty-two
sovereign princes, the deputies from the cities, the bishops, and
ambassadors, forming, indeed, that illustrious assembly which Luther,
six weeks before, had imagined he saw sitting in the air.[498]

  [497] Imperator cum omnibus in curiam vectus est.--(Sturm to Zw. Epp.
  ii. p. 430.)

  [498] Ex volucrum monedularumque regno.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 13.)

The Count-palatine read the imperial proposition. It referred to two
points; the war against the Turks, and the religious controversy.
"Sacrificing my private injuries and interests to the common good,"
said the Emperor, "I have quitted my hereditary kingdoms to pass, not
without great danger, into Italy, and from thence to Germany. I have
heard with sorrow of the divisions that have broken out here, and
which, striking not only at the imperial majesty, but still more, at
the commandments of Almighty God, must engender pillage,
conflagration, war, and death."[499] At one o'clock the Emperor,
accompanied by all the princes, returned to his palace.

  [499] Nicht anders dann zu Raub, Brandt, und Krieg.--(F. Urkunden. i.
  p. 307.)

On the same day the Elector gathered around him all his
co-religionists, whom the Emperor's speech had greatly excited, and
exhorted them not to be turned aside by any threats from a cause which
was that of God himself.[500] All seemed penetrated with this
expression of Scripture: "Speak the word, and it shall not stand; for
God is with us."[501]

  [500] Cohortatus est ad intrepidam causæ Dei assentionem.--(Seck. ii.
  p. 108.)

  [501] Isaiah viii. 10.


The Elector had a heavy burden to bear. Not only had he to walk at the
head of the princes, but he had further to defend himself against the
enervating influence of Melancthon. It is not an abstraction of the
state which this prince presents to our notice throughout the whole of
this affair: it is the most noble individuality. Early on Tuesday
morning, feeling the necessity of that invisible strength which,
according to a beautiful figure in the holy Scriptures, causes us to
ride upon the high places of the earth; and seeing, as was usual, his
domestics, his councillors, and his son assembled around him, John
begged them affectionately to withdraw.[502] He knew that it was only
by kneeling humbly before God that he could stand with courage before
Charles. Alone in his chamber, he opened and read the Psalms, then
falling on his knees, he offered up the most fervent prayer to
God;[503] next, wishing to confirm himself in the immovable fidelity
that he had just vowed to the Lord, he went to his desk, and there
committed his resolutions to writing. Dolzig and Melancthon afterwards
saw these lines, and were filled with admiration as they read

  [502] Mane remotis omnibus consiliariis et ministris.--(Seck. ii. p.

  [503] Precibus ardentissimis a Deo successum negotii

  [504] Quæ cum admiratione legisse dicuntur.--(Seck. ii. p. 169.)

Being thus tempered anew in heavenly thoughts, John took up the
imperial proposition, and meditated over it; then, having called in
his son and the chancellor Bruck, and Melancthon shortly after, they
all agreed that the deliberations of the diet ought to commence with
the affairs of religion; and his allies, who were consulted, concurred
in this advice.


The legate had conceived a plan diametrically opposed to this. He
desired to stifle the religious question, and for this end required
that the princes should examine it in a secret committee.[505] The
Evangelical Christians entertained no doubt that if the truth was
proclaimed in the great council of the nation, it would gain the
victory; but the more they desired a public confession, the more it
was dreaded by the Pope's friends. The latter wished to take their
adversaries by silence, without confession, without discussion, as a
city is taken by famine without fighting and without a storm: to gag
the Reformation, and thus reduce it to powerlessness and death, were
their tactics. To have silenced the preachers was not enough: the
princes must be silenced also. They wished to shut up the Reformation
as in a dungeon, and there leave it to die, thinking they would thus
get rid of it more surely than by leading it to the scaffold.

  [505] Si acturi sunt secreto et inter sese, nulla publica disputatione
  vel audientia.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 43.)

This plan was well conceived: it now remained to be put in execution,
and for that purpose it was necessary to persuade the Protestants that
such a method would be the surest for them. The person selected for
this intrigue was Alphonso Valdez, secretary to Charles V., a Spanish
gentleman, a worthy individual, and who afterwards showed a leaning
towards the Reformation. Policy often makes use of good men for the
most perfidious designs. It was decided that Valdez should address the
most timid of the Protestants--Melancthon.

On the 16th or 17th of June, immediately after the arrival of Charles,
Valdez begged Melancthon to call on him. "The Spaniards," said he,
"imagine that the Lutherans teach impious doctrines on the Holy
Trinity, on Jesus Christ, on the blessed Mother of God.[506]
Accordingly, they think they do a more meritorious work in killing a
Lutheran than in slaying a Turk."

  [506] Hispanis persuasum esse Lutheranos impie de Sanctissima
  Trinitate.--(Ex relatione Spalati in Seck. ii. 165.)

"I know it," replied Melancthon, "and I have not yet been able to
succeed in making your fellow-countrymen abandon that idea."

"But what, pray, do the Lutherans desire?"

"The Lutheran question is not so complicated and so unseemly as his
majesty fancies. We do not attack the Catholic Church, as is commonly
believed;[507] and the whole controversy is reducible to these three
points. The two kinds in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the
marriage of pastors, and the abolition of private masses. If we could
agree on these articles, it would be easy to come to an understanding
on the others."

  [507] Non adeo per eos Ecclesiam Catholicam oppugnari, quam vulgo
  putaretur.--(Ibid. 100.)

"Well, I will report this to his majesty."

Charles V. was charmed at this communication. "Go," said he to Valdez,
"and impart these things to the legate, and ask Master Philip to
transmit to you in writing a short exposition of what they believe and
what they deny."

Valdez hastened to Campeggio. "What you relate pleases me tolerably,"
said the latter. "As for the two kinds in the sacrament, and the
marriage of priests, there will be means of accommodation;[508] but we
cannot consent to the abolition of private masses." This would have
been in fact cutting off one of the greatest revenues of the Church.

  [508] Mit beider Gestalt sacraments oder des Plaffen und Mönch
  Ehe--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 123.)

On Saturday, June 18, Valdez saw Melancthon again. "The Emperor begs
of you a moderate and concise exposition," said he, "and he is
persuaded that it will be more advantageous to treat of this matter
briefly and privately,[509] avoiding all public hearing and all prolix
discussion, which would only engender anger and division."--"Well,"
said Melancthon, "I will reflect upon it."

  [509] Die Sache in einer Enge und Stille vorzu nehmen.--(Ibid.)

Melancthon was almost won over: a secret conference agreed better with
his disposition. Had he not often repeated that peace should be sought
after above all things? Thus everything induced the legate to hope
that a public struggle would be avoided, and that he might be content,
as it were, to send mutes against the Reform, and strangle it in a

  [510] Cœlestin, Hist. Comit. August. p. 193. Intelligo hoc τους
  αρχιερεας moliri, ut omnino nihil agatur de negotiis
  ecclesiasticis.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 57.)


Fortunately the Chancellor and the Elector Frederick did not think
fit to entertain the propositions with which Charles had commissioned
the worthy Valdez. The resolution of these lay members of the Church
saved it from the false step its doctors were about to take; and the
wiles of the Italians failed against Evangelical firmness. Melancthon
was only permitted to lay the Confession before the Spaniard, that he
might look into it, and in despite of the moderation employed in it,
Valdez exclaimed: "These words are too bitter, and your adversaries
will never put up with them!"[511] Thus finished the legate's

  [511] Ac plane putarit πικρὁτερον esse quam ut ferre possent
  adversarii.--(Ibid. p. 140.)

VI. Charles, compelled to resign himself to a public sitting, ordered
on Wednesday, 22d June, that the Elector and his allies should have
their Confession ready for the ensuing Friday. The Roman party were
also invited to present a confession of faith; but they excused
themselves, saying that they were satisfied with the Edict of Worms.

The Emperor's order took the Protestants by surprise, for the
negotiations between Valdez and Melancthon had prevented the latter
from putting the finishing stroke to the Confession. It was not copied
out fair; and the conclusions, as well as the exordium, were not
definitively drawn up. In consequence of this, the Protestants begged
the Archbishop of Mentz to obtain for them the delay of a day; but
their petition was refused.[512] They therefore laboured incessantly,
even during the night, to correct and transcribe the Confession.

  [512] Dasselbige abgeschlagen.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 127.)

On Thursday, 23d June, all the Protestant princes, deputies,
councillors, and theologians met early at the Elector's. The
Confession was read in German, and all gave their adhesion to it,
except the Landgrave and the Strasburgers, who required a change in
the article on the sacrament.[513] The princes rejected their demand.

  [513] Argentinenses ambierunt aliquid ut excepto articulo sacramenti
  susciperentur.--(Ibid. p. 155.)


The Elector of Saxony was already preparing to sign, when Melancthon
stopped him: he feared giving too political a colouring to this
religious business. In his idea it was the Church that should appear,
and not the State. "It is for the theologians and ministers to propose
these things," said he;[514] "let us reserve for other matters the
authority of the mighty ones of the earth."--"God forbid that you
should exclude me," replied the Elector; "I am resolved to do what is
right without troubling myself about my crown. I desire to confess the
Lord. My electoral hat and my ermine are not so precious to me as the
cross of Jesus Christ. I shall leave on earth these marks of my
greatness; but my Master's cross will accompany me to heaven."

  [514] Non principum nomine edi sed decentium qui theologi
  vocantur.--(Camer. p. 120.)

How resist such Christian language! Melancthon gave way.

The Elector then approached, signed, and handed the pen to the
Landgrave, who at first made some objections; however the enemy was at
the door; was this the time for disunion? At last he signed, but with
a declaration that the doctrine of the Eucharist did not please

  [515] Landgravius subscribit nobiscum, sed tamen dicit sibi, de
  sacramento, a nostris non satisfieri.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 155.)


The Margrave and Luneburg having joyfully subscribed their names,
Anhalt took the pen in his turn, and said, "I have tilted more than
once to please others; now, if the honour of my Lord Jesus Christ
requires it, I am ready to saddle my horse, to leave my goods and my
life behind, and to rush into eternity, towards an everlasting crown."
Then, having signed, this youthful prince said, turning to the
theologians: "Rather renounce my subjects and my states, rather quit
the country of my fathers staff in hand, rather gain my bread by
cleaning the shoes of the foreigner, than receive any other doctrine
than that which is contained in this Confession." Nuremberg and
Reutlingen alone of the cities subscribed their signatures;[516] and
all resolved on demanding of the Emperor that the Confession should be
read publicly.[517]

  [516] Confessioni tantum subscripserunt Nuremberga et
  Reutlingen.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 155.)

  [517] Decretum est ut publicæ recitandæ concessio ab Imperatore
  peteretur.--(Seck. ii. p. 169.)

The courage of the princes surprised every one. Rome had crushed the
members of the Church, and had reduced them to a herd of slaves, whom
she dragged silent and humiliated behind her: the Reformation
enfranchised them, and with their rights it restored to them their
duties. The priest no longer enjoyed the monopoly of religion; each
head of a family again became priest in his own house, and all the
members of the Church of God were thenceforward called to the rank of
confessors. The laymen are nothing, or almost nothing, in the sect of
Rome, but they are the essential portion of the Church of Jesus
Christ. Wherever the priestly spirit is established, the Church dies;
wherever laymen, as these Augsburg princes, understand their duty and
their immediate dependence on Christ, the Church lives.

The Evangelical theologians were moved, by the devotedness of the
princes. "When I consider their firmness in the confession of the
Gospel," said Brenz, "the colour mounts to my cheeks. What a disgrace
that we, who are only beggars beside them, are so afraid of confessing
Christ!"[518] Brenz was then thinking of certain towns, particularly
of Halle, of which he was pastor, but no doubt also of the

  [518] Rubore suffundor non mediocri, quod nos, præ illis mendici,
  &c.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 125.)


The latter, in truth, without being deficient in devotedness, were
sometimes wanting in courage. Melancthon was in constant agitation; he
ran to and fro, slipping in everywhere (says Cochlœus in his
Philippics), penetrating not only the houses and mansions of private
persons, but also insinuating himself into the palaces of cardinals
and princes, nay, even into the court of the Emperor; and, whether at
table or in conversation, he spared no means of persuading every
person, that nothing was more easy than to restore peace between the
two parties.[519]

  [519] Cursitabat hinc inde, perreptans ac penetrans.--(Cochl. Phil. 4.
  in Apol.)

One day he was with the Archbishop of Salzburg, who in a long
discourse gave an eloquent description of the troubles produced, as he
said, by the Reformation, and ended with a peroration "written in
blood," says Melancthon.[520] Philip in agony had ventured during the
conversation to slip in the word Conscience. "Conscience!" hastily
interrupted the archbishop, "Conscience!--What does that mean? I tell
you plainly that the Emperor will not allow confusion to be thus
brought upon the Empire."--"Had I been in Melancthon's place," said
Luther, "I should have immediately replied to the archbishop: And our
Emperor, ours, will not tolerate such blasphemy."--"Alas!" said
Melancthon, "they are all as full of assurance as if there was no

  [520] Addebat Epilogum plane sanguine scriptum.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

  [521] Securi sunt quasi nullus sit Deus.--(Ibid, p. 156.)

Another day Melancthon was with Campeggio, and conjured him to
persevere in the moderate sentiments he appeared to entertain. And at
another time, as it would seem, he was with the Emperor himself.[522]
"Alas!" said the alarmed Zwinglians, "after having qualified one half
of the Gospel, Melancthon is sacrificing the other."[523]

  [522] Melancthon a Cæsare, Salisburgensi et Campegio vocatus
  est.--(Zwi. Epp. ii. p. 473.)

  [523] Ut cum mitigarit tam multa, cedat et reliqua.---(Ibid.)


The wiles of the Ultramontanists were added to Philip's dejection, in
order to arrest the courageous proceedings of the princes. Friday,
24th June, was the day fixed for reading the Confession, but measures
were taken to prevent it. The sitting of the diet did not begin till
three in the afternoon; the legate was then announced; Charles went to
meet him as far as the top of the grand staircase, and Campeggio,
taking his seat in front of the Emperor, in King Ferdinand's place,
delivered a harangue in Ciceronian style. "Never," said he, "has St.
Peter's bark been so violently tossed by so many waves, whirlwinds,
and abysses.[524] The Holy Father has learnt these things with pain,
and desires to drag the Church from these frightful gulfs. For the
love of Jesus Christ, for the safety of your country and for your own,
O mighty Prince! get rid of these errors, deliver Germany, and save

  [524] Ne que unquam tam variis sectarum turbinibus navicula Petri
  fluctuaverit.--(Seck. ii. p. 169.)

After a temperate reply from Albert of Mentz, the legate quitted the
townhall, and the Evangelical princes stood up; but a fresh obstacle
had been provided. Deputies from Austria, Carinthia, and Carniola,
first received a hearing.[525]

  [525] Oratio valde lugubris et miserabilis contra Turcas.--(Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 154.)

Much time had thus elapsed. The Evangelical princes, however, rose up
again, and the Chancellor Bruck said: "It is pretended that new
doctrines not based on Scripture, that heresies and schisms are spread
among the people by us. Considering that such accusations compromise
not only our good name, but also the safety of our souls,[526] we beg
his majesty would have the goodness to hear what are the doctrines we

  [526] Verum etiam ad animæ dispendium aut salutem æternam.--(Seck. ii.
  p. 189.)

The Emperor, no doubt by arrangement with the legate, made reply that
it was too late; besides, that this reading would be useless; and that
the princes should be satisfied with putting in their Confession in
writing. Thus the mine, so skilfully prepared, worked admirably; the
Confession, once handed to the Emperor, would be thrown aside, and the
Reformation would be forced to retire, without the Papists having even
condescended to hear it, without defence and overwhelmed with


The Protestant princes, uneasy, and agitated, insisted. "Our honour is
at stake," said they; "our souls are endangered.[527] We are accused
publicly; publicly we ought to answer." Charles was shaken; Ferdinand
leant towards him, and whispered a few words in his ear:[528] the
Emperor refused a second time.

  [527] Ihre Seele, Ehre und Glimpf belanget.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 128.)

  [528] Viderant enim eum subinde aliquid illi in aurem
  insusurrare.--(Seck. ii. p. 169.)

Upon this the Elector and princes, in still greater alarm, said for
the third time with emotion and earnestness:[529] "For the love of
God, let us read our Confession! No person is insulted in it." Thus
were seen, on the one hand, a few faithful men, desiring with loud
cries to confess their faith; and on the other, the great Emperor of
the West, surrounded by a crowd of cardinals, prelates, and princes,
endeavouring to stifle the manifestation of the truth.[530] It was a
serious, violent, and decisive struggle, in which the holiest
interests were discussed!

  [529] Zum dritten mal heftig angehalten.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 128.)

  [530] Circumsistebant Cæsarem magno numero cardinales et prælati
  ecclesiastici.--(Seck. ii. p. 169.)

At last Charles appeared to yield: "His majesty grants your request,"
was the reply to the princes; "but as it is now too late, he begs you
to transmit him your written Confession, and to-morrow, at two
o'clock, the diet will be prepared to hear it read at the Palatine

The princes were struck with these words, which, seeming to grant them
everything, in reality granted nothing. In the first place, it was not
in a public sitting at the town-hall, but privately in his own palace,
that the Emperor was willing to hear them;[531] then they had no doubt
that if the Confession left their hands it was all over with the
public reading. They therefore remained firm. "The work has been done
in great haste," said they, and it was the truth; "pray leave it with
us to-night, that we may revise it." The Emperor was obliged to yield,
and the Protestants returned to their hotels full of joy; while the
legate and his friends, perceiving that the Confession was inevitable,
saw the morrow approach with anxiety continually increasing.

  [531] Non quidem publice in prætorio, sed privatim in palatio
  suo.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 124.)


Among those who prepared to confess the Evangelical truth, was one,
however, whose heart was filled with sadness:--it was Melancthon.
Placed between two fires, he saw the Reformed, and many even of his
own friends, reproach his weakness; while the opposite party detested
what they called his hypocrisy. His friend Camerarius, who visited
Augsburg about this time, often found him plunged in thought, uttering
deep sighs, and shedding bitter tears.[532] Brenz, moved with
compassion, coming to the unhappy Philip, would sit down by his side
and weep with him;[533] and Jonas, endeavouring to console him in
another manner, exhorted him to take the Book of Psalms, and cry to
God with all his heart, making use of David's words rather than of his

  [532] Non modo suspirantem sed profundentem lacrymas
  conspexi.--(Camer. p. 121.)

  [533] Brentius assidebat hæc scribenti, una lacrymans.--(Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 126.)

One day intelligence arrived which formed a general topic of
conversation in Augsburg, and which, spreading terror among the
partisans of the Pope, gave a momentary relief to Melancthon. It was
said that a mule in Rome had given birth to a colt with crane's feet.
"This prodigy," said Melancthon thoughtfully, "announces that Rome is
near its end;"[534] perhaps because the crane is a bird of passage,
and that the Pope's mule thus gave signs of departure. Melancthon had
immediately written to Luther, who replied that he was exceedingly
rejoiced that God had given the Pope so striking a sign of his
approaching fall.[535] It is good to call to memory these puerilities
of the age of the Reformers, that we may better understand the high
range of these men of God in matters of faith.

  [534] Romæ quædam mula peperit, et partus habuit pedes gruis. Vides
  significari exitium Romæ per schismata.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 126.)

  [535] Gaudeo Papæ signum datum in mula puerpera, ut citius
  pereat.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 4.)

[Sidenote: LUTHER'S PRAYER.]

These idle Roman stories did not long console Melancthon. On the eve
of the 25th June, he was present in imagination at the reading of that
Confession which he had drawn up, which was about to be proclaimed
before the world, and in which one word too many or too few might
decide on the approbation or the hatred of the princes, on the safety
or ruin of the Reformation and of the Empire. He could bear up no
longer, and the feeble Atlas, crushed under the burden of the world
upon his shoulders, gave utterance to a cry of anguish. "All my time
here is spent in tears and mourning," wrote he to Vitus Diedrich,
Luther's secretary in the castle of Coburg;[536] and on the morrow he
wrote to Luther himself: "My dwelling is in perpetual tears.[537] My
consternation is indescribable.[538] O my father! I do not wish my
words to exaggerate my sorrows; but, without your consolations, it is
impossible for me to enjoy here the least peace."

  [536] Hic consumitur omne mihi tempus in lacrymis et luctu.--(Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 126.)

  [537] Versamur hic in miserrimis curis et plane perpetuis
  lacrymis.--(Ibid. p. 140.)

  [538] Mira consternatio animorum nostrorum.--(Ibid.)

Nothing in fact presented so strong a contrast to the distrust and
desolations of Melancthon, as the faith, calmness, and exultation of
Luther. It was of advantage to him that he was not then in the midst
of the Augsburg vortex, and to be able from his stronghold to set his
foot with tranquillity upon the rock of God's promises. He was
sensible himself of the value of this peaceful hermitage, as he called
it.[539] "I cannot sufficiently admire," said Vitus Diedrich, "the
firmness, cheerfulness, and faith of this man, so astonishing in such
cruel times."

  [539] Ex eremo tacita.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 51.) It is thus he dates his


Luther, besides his constant reading of the Word of God,[540] did not
pass a day without devoting three hours at least to prayer, and they
were hours selected from those the most favourable to study.[541] One
day, as Diedrich approached the Reformer's chamber, he heard his
voice,[542] and remained motionless, holding his breath, a few steps
from the door. Luther was praying, and his prayer (said the secretary)
was full of adoration, fear, and hope, as when one speaks to a friend
or to a father.[543] "I know that thou art our Father and our God,"
said the Reformer, alone in his chamber, "and that thou wilt scatter
the persecutors of thy children, for thou art thyself endangered with
us. All this matter is thine, and it is only by thy constraint that we
have put our hands to it. Defend us then, O Father!" The secretary,
motionless as a statue, in the long gallery of the castle, lost not
one of the words that the clear and resounding voice of Luther bore to
his ears.[544] The Reformer was earnest with God, and called upon him
with so much unction to accomplish his promises, that Diedrich felt
his heart glow within him.[545] "Oh!" exclaimed he, as he retired,
"How could not these prayers but prevail in the desperate struggle at

  [540] Assidue autem illa diligentiore verbi Dei tractatione
  alit.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 159.)

  [541] Nullus abit dies, quin ut minimum tres horas easque studiis
  optimas in orationibus ponat.--(Ibid.)

  [542] Semel mihi contigit ut orantem eum audirem.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p.

  [543] Tanta spe et fide ut cum patre et amico colloqui

  [544] Tum orantem clara voce, procul stans, audivi.--(Ibid.)

  [545] Ardebat mihi quoque animus singulari quodam impetu.--(Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 159.)

Luther might also have allowed himself to be overcome with fear, for
he was left in complete ignorance of what was taking place in the
diet. A Wittemberg messenger, who should have brought him forests of
letters (according to his own expression), having presented himself:
"Do you bring any letters?" asked Luther. "No!" "How are those
gentlemen?" "Well!" Luther, grieved at such silence, returned and shut
himself up in his chamber.

[Sidenote: LUTHER'S TEXTS.]

Erelong there appeared a courier on horseback carrying despatches from
the Elector to Torgau. "Do you bring me any letters?" asked Luther.
"No!" "How are those gentlemen?" continued he, fearfully. "Well!"
"This is strange," thought the Reformer. A waggon having left Coburg
laden with flour (for they were almost in want of provisions at
Augsburg), Luther impatiently awaited the return of the waggoner; but
he returned empty. Luther then began to revolve the gloomiest thoughts
in his mind, not doubting that they were concealing some misfortune
from him.[546] At last another individual, Jobst Nymptzen, having
arrived from Augsburg, Luther rushed anew towards him, with his usual
question. "Do you bring me any letters?" He waited trembling for the
reply. "No!" "And how then are those gentlemen?" "Well!" The Reformer
withdrew, a prey to anger and to fear.

  [546] Hic cœpi cogitare tristia, suspirans, vos aliquid mali me celare
  velle.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 60.)

Then Luther opened his Bible, and to console himself for the silence
of men, he conversed with God. There were some passages of Scripture
in particular that he read continually. We point them out below.[547]
He did more; he wrote with his own hand many declarations of Scripture
over the doors and windows, and on the walls of the castle. In one
place were these words from the 118th Psalm: _I shall not die, but
live, and declare the works of the Lord_. In another, those of the
12th chapter of Proverbs: _The way of the wicked seduceth them_; and
over his bed, these words from the 4th Psalm: _I will both lay me down
in peace and sleep; for thou, O Lord, only makest me dwell in safety_.
Never perhaps did man so environ himself with the promises of the
Lord, or so dwell in the atmosphere of his Word and live by his
breath, as Luther at Coburg.

  [547] 2 Tim. iii. 12; Philip. ii. 12, 13; John x. 17, 18; Matth. xvi.
  18; Psalm xlvi. 1, 2; 1 John iv. 4; Psalm lv. 23; xxvii. 14; John xvi.
  33; Luke xvii. 5; Psalm xxxii. 11; cxlv. 18, 19; xci. 14, 15; Sirach.
  ii. 11; 1 Maccab. ii. 61; Matth. vi. 31; 1 Peter v. 6, 7; Matth. x.
  28; Rom. iv. and vi.; Heb. v. and xi.; 1 Sam. iv. 18; xxxi. 4-8; ii.
  30; 2 Tim. ii. 17, 18, 19; i. 12; Eph. iii. 20, 21. Among these
  passages will be observed two verses taken from the Apocrypha, but
  whose equivalents might easily be found in the Word of God.


At length letters came. "If the times in which we live were not
opposed to it, I should have imagined some revenge," wrote Luther to
Jonas; "but prayer checked my anger, and anger checked my
prayer.[548] I am delighted at that tranquil mind which God gives our
prince. As for Melancthon, it is his philosophy that tortures him, and
nothing else. For our cause is in the very hands of Him who can say
with unutterable pride: _No one shall pluck it out of my hands_. I
would not have it in our hands, and it would not be desirable that it
were so.[549] I have had many things in my hands, and I have lost them
all; but whatever I have been able to place in God's, I still

  [548] Sed orandi tempus non sinebat irasci, et ira non sinebat
  orare.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 46.)

  [549] Nec vellem, nec consultum esset, in nostra manu esse.--(L. Epp.
  iv. p. 46.)

On learning that Melancthon's anguish still continued, Luther wrote to
him: and these are words that should be preserved. "Grace and peace in
Christ! in Christ, I say, and not in the world, Amen. I hate with
exceeding hatred those extreme cares which consume you. If the cause
is unjust, abandon it; if the cause is just, why should we belie the
promises of Him who commands us to sleep without fear? Can the devil
do more than kill us? Christ will not be wanting to the work of
justice and of truth. He lives; he reigns; what fear, then, can we
have? God is powerful to upraise his cause if it is overthrown, to
make it proceed if it remains motionless, and if we are not worthy of
it, he will do it by others.

"I have received your Apology,[550] and I cannot understand what you
mean, when you ask what we must concede to the Papists. We have
already conceded too much. Night and day I meditate on this affair,
turning it over and over, perusing all Scripture, and the certainty of
the truth of our doctrine continually increases in my mind. With the
help of God, I will not permit a single letter of all that we have
said to be torn from us.

  [550] The Confession revised and corrected.


"The issue of this affair torments you, because you cannot understand
it. But if you could, I would not have the least share in it. God has
put it in a 'common place,' that you will not find either in your
rhetoric or in your philosophy: that place is called Faith.[551] It is
that in which subsist all things that we can neither understand nor
see. Whoever wishes to touch them, as you do, will have tears for his
sole reward.

  [551] Deus posuit eam in _locum_ quendam _communem_, quem in tua
  rhetorica non habes nec in philosophia tua; is vocatur _fides_.--(L.
  Epp. iv. p. 53.)

"If Christ is not with us, where is he in the whole universe? If we
are not the Church, where, I pray, is the Church? Is it the Dukes of
Bavaria, is it Ferdinand, is it the Pope, is it the Turk, who is the
Church? If we have not the Word of God, who is it that possesses it?

"Only we must have faith, lest the cause of faith should be found to
be without faith.[552]

  [552] Tantum est opus fide, ne causa fidei sit sine fide.--(Ibid. p.

"If we fall, Christ falls with us, that is to say, the Master of the
world. I would rather fall with Christ, than remain standing with

Thus wrote Luther. The faith which animated him flowed from him like
torrents of living water. He was indefatigable; in a single day he
wrote to Melancthon, Spalatin, Brenz, Agricola, and John Frederick,
and they were letters full of life. He was not alone in praying,
speaking, and believing. At the same moment, the Evangelical
Christians exhorted one another everywhere to prayer.[553] Such was
the arsenal in which the weapons were forged that the confessors of
Christ wielded before the Diet of Augsburg.

  [553] Wittembergæ scribunt, tam diligenter ibi Ecclesiam orare.--(L.
  Epp. iv. p. 69.)


VII. At length the 25th June arrived. This was destined to be the
greatest day of the Reformation, and one of the most glorious in the
history of Christianity and of mankind.

As the chapel of the Palatine Palace, where the Emperor had resolved
to hear the Confession, could contain only about two hundred
persons,[554] before three o'clock a great crowd was to be seen
surrounding the building and thronging the court, hoping by this means
to catch a few words; and many having gained entrance to the chapel,
all were turned out except those who were not, at the least,
councillors to the princes.

  [554] Capiebat forsan ducentos.--(Jonas, Corp. Ref. ii. p. 157.)

Charles took his seat on the throne. The Electors or their
representatives were on his right and left hand; after them the other
princes and states of the Empire. The legate had refused to appear in
this solemnity, lest he should seem by his presence to authorize the
reading of the Confession.[555]

  [555] Sarpi, Hist. Council. Trent. i. p. 101.

Then stood up John Elector of Saxony, with his son John Frederick,
Phillip Landgrave of Hesse, the Margrave George of Brandenburg,
Wolfgang Prince of Anhalt, Ernest Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, and his
brother Francis, and last of all the deputies of Nuremberg and
Reutlingen. Their air was animated and their features radiant with
joy.[556] The apologies of the early Christians, of Tertullian and
Justin Martyr, hardly reached in writing the sovereigns to whom they
were addressed. But now, to hear the new apology of resuscitated
Christianity, behold that puissant Emperor, whose sceptre, stretching
far beyond the columns of Hercules, reaches the utmost limits of the
world, his brother the King of the Romans, with electors, princes,
prelates, deputies, ambassadors, all of whom desire to destroy the
Gospel, but who are constrained by an invisible power to listen, and,
by that very listening, to honour the Confession!

  [556] Læto et alacri animo et vultu.--(Scultet. i. p. 273.)

One thought was involuntarily present in the minds of the
spectators,--the recollection of the Diet of Worms.[557] Only nine
years before, a poor monk stood alone for this same cause in a hall of
the town-house at Worms, in presence of the Empire. And now in his
stead, behold the foremost of the Electors, behold princes and cities!
What a victory is declared by this simple fact! No doubt Charles
himself cannot escape from this recollection.

  [557] Ante decennium in conventu Wormatensi.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 153.)


The Emperor, seeing the Protestants stand up, motioned them to sit
down; and then the two chancellors of the Elector, Bruck and Bayer,
advanced to the middle of the chapel, and stood before the throne,
holding in their hands, the former the Latin, and the other the German
copy of the Confession. The Emperor required the Latin copy to be
read.[558] "We are Germans," said the Elector of Saxony, "and on
German soil; I hope therefore your majesty will allow us to speak
German." If the Confession had been read in Latin, a language unknown
to most of the princes, the general effect would have been lost. This
was another means of shutting the mouth of the Gospel. The Emperor
complied with the Elector's demand.

  [558] Cæsar Latinum prelegi volebat.--(Seck. ii. p. 170.)

Bayer then began to read the Evangelical Confession, slowly,
seriously, distinctly, with a clear, strong, and sonorous voice, which
re-echoed under the arched roof of the chapel, and carried even to the
outside this great testimony paid to the truth.[559]

  [559] Qui clare, distincte, tarde et voce adeo grandi et sonora eam
pronunciavit.--(Scultet. p. 276.)

"Most serene, most mighty, and invincible Emperor and most gracious
Lord," said he, "we who appear in your presence, declare ourselves
ready to confer amicably with you on the fittest means of restoring
one sole, true, and same faith, since it is for one sole and same
Christ that we fight.[560] And in case that these religious
dissensions cannot be settled amicably, we then offer to your majesty
to explain our cause in a general, free, and christian council."[561]

  [560] Ad unam veram concordem religionem, sicut omnes sub uno Christo
  sumus et militamus.--(Confessio, Præfatio. Urkunden. i. p. 474.)

  [561] Causam dicturos in tali generali, libero, et Christiano
  concilio.--(Ibid. p. 479.)


This prologue being ended, Bayer confessed the Holy Trinity,
conformably with the Nicene Council,[562] original and hereditary sin,
"which bringeth eternal death to all who are not regenerated,"[563]
and the incarnation of the Son, "very God and very man."[564]

  [562] Et tamen tres sunt personæ ejusdem essentiæ.--(Ibid. p. 682.)

  [563] Vitium originis, afferens æternam mortem his qui non
  renascuntur.--(Confessio, Præfatio. Urkunden. i. p. 483.)

  [564] Unus Christus, vere Deus, et vere homo.--(Ibid.)

"We teach moreover," continued he, "that we cannot be justified before
God by our own strength, our merits, and our works; but that we are
justified by Christ through grace, through the means of faith,[565]
when we believe that our sins are forgiven in virtue of Christ, who by
his death has made satisfaction for our sins: this faith is the
righteousness that God imputes to the sinner.

  [565] Quod homines non possint justificari coram Deo, propriis
  viribus, meritis, aut operibus, sed gratis, propter Christum, per
  fidem.--(Ibid. p. 484.)

"But we teach, at the same time, that this faith ought to bear good
fruits, and that we must do all the good works commanded by God, for
the love of God, and not by their means to gain the grace of God."

The Protestants next declared their faith in the Christian Church,
"which is," said they, "the assembly of all true believers and all the
saints,"[566] in the midst of whom there are, nevertheless, in this
life, many false Christians, hypocrites even, and manifest sinners;
and they added, "that it was sufficient for the real unity of the
Church that they were agreed on the doctrine of the Gospel and the
administration of the sacraments, without the rites and ceremonies
instituted by men being everywhere the same."[567]--They proclaimed
the necessity of baptism, and declared "that the body and blood of
Christ are really present and administered in the Lord's Supper to
those who partake of it."[568]

  [566] Congregatio sanctorum et vere credentium.--(Ibid. p. 487.)

  [567] Ad veram unitatem Ecclesiæ, satis est consentire de doctrina
  Evangelii et administratione sacra mentorum, nec necesse est,
  &c.--(Ibid. p. 486.)

  [568] Quod corpus et sanguis Christi, vere adsint et distribuantur
  vescentibus in cœna Domini.--(F. Urkund. i. p. 488.)


The Chancellor then successively confessed the faith of the
Evangelical Christians, touching confession, penance, the nature of
the sacraments, the government of the Church, ecclesiastical
ordinances, political government, and the last judgment. "As regards
Free-will," continued he, "we confess that man's will has a certain
liberty of accomplishing civil justice, and of loving the things that
reason comprehends; that man can do the good that is within the sphere
of nature--plough his fields, eat, drink, have a friend, put on a
coat, build a house, take a wife, feed cattle, exercise a calling; as
also he can, of his own movement, do evil, kneel before an idol, and
commit murder. But we maintain that without the Holy Ghost he cannot
do what is righteous in the sight of God."

Then, returning to the grand doctrine of the Reformation, and
recalling to mind that the doctors of the Pope "have never ceased
impelling the faithful to puerile and useless works, as the custom of
chaplets, invocations of saints, monastic vows, processions, fasts,
feast-days, brotherhoods," the Protestants added, that as for
themselves, while urging the practice of truly Christian works, of
which little had been said before their time,[569] "they taught that
man is justified by faith alone; not by that faith which is a simple
knowledge of the history, and which wicked men and even devils
possess, but by a faith which believes not only the history, but also
the effect of the history;[570] which believes that through Christ we
obtain grace; which sees that in Christ we have a merciful Father;
which knows this God; which calls upon him; in a word, which is not
without God, as the heathen are."

  [569] De quibus rebus olim parum docebant concionatores; tantum
  puerilia et non necessaria opera urgebant.--(F. Urkund. i. p. 495.)

  [570] Non tantum historiæ notitiam, sed fidem quæ credit non tantum
  historiam, sed etiam effectum historiæ.--(F. Urkund. i. p. 498.)

"Such," said Bayer, "is a summary of the doctrine professed in our
Churches, by which it may be seen that this doctrine is by no means
opposed to Scripture, to the universal Church, nor even to the Romish
Church, such as the doctors describe it to us;[571] and since it is
so, to reject us as heretics is an offence against unity and charity."

  [571] Nihil inesse quod discrepat a Scripturis vel ab Ecclesia
  Catholica, vel ab Ecclesia Romana, quatenus ex Scriptoribus nota
  est.--(Ibid. p. 501.)


Here terminated the first part of the Confession, the aim of which was
to explain the Evangelical doctrine. The Chancellor read with so
distinct a voice, that the crowd which was unable to enter the hall,
and which filled the court and all the approaches of the episcopal
palace, did not lose a word.[572] This reading produced the most
marvellous effect on the princes who thronged the chapel. Jonas
watched every change in their countenances,[573] and there beheld
interest, astonishment, and even approbation depicted by turns. "The
adversaries imagine they have done a wonderful thing, by forbidding
the preaching of the Gospel," wrote Luther to the Elector; "and they
do not see, poor creatures! that by the reading of the Confession in
the presence of the diet, there has been more preaching than in the
sermons of ten preachers. Exquisite subtlety! admirable expedient!
Master Agricola and the other ministers are reduced to silence; but in
their place appear the Elector of Saxony, and the other princes and
lords, who preach before his imperial majesty, and the members of the
whole Empire, freely, to their beard, and before their noses. Yes,
Christ is in the diet, and he does not keep silence: _the word of God
cannot be bound_. They forbid it in the pulpit, and are forced to hear
it in the palace; poor ministers cannot announce it, and great princes
proclaim it; the servants are forbidden to listen to it, and their
masters are compelled to hear it; they will have nothing to do with it
during the whole course of the diet, and they are forced to submit to
hear more in one day than is heard ordinarily in a whole
year......When all else is silent, the very stones cry out, as says
our Lord Jesus Christ."[574]

  [572] Verum etiam in area inferiori et vicinis locis exaudiri
  potuerit.--(Scultet. p. 274.)

  [573] Jonas scribit vidisse se vultus omnium de quo mihi spondet
  narrationem coram.--(L. Epp. iv. p. 71.)

  [574] L. Epp. iv. p. 82.


That part of the Confession destined to point out errors and abuses
still remained. Bayer continued: he explained and demonstrated the
doctrine of the two kinds; he attacked the compulsory celibacy of
priests, maintained that the Lord's Supper had been changed into a
regular fair, in which it was merely a question of buying and selling,
and that it had been re-established in its primitive purity by the
Reformation, and was celebrated in the Evangelical churches with
entirely new devotion and gravity. He declared that the Sacrament was
administered to no one who had not first made confession of his
faults, and he quoted this expression of Chrysostom: "Confess thyself
to God the Lord, thy real Judge; tell thy sin, not with the tongue,
but in thy conscience and in thy heart."

Bayer next came to the precepts on the distinction of meats and other
Roman usages. "Celebrate such a festival," said he; "repeat such a
prayer, or keep such a fast; be dressed in such a manner, and so many
other ordinances of men--this is what is now styled a spiritual and
christian life; while the good works prescribed by God, as those of a
father of a family who toils to support his wife, his sons, and his
daughters--of a mother who brings children into the world, and takes
care of them--of a prince or of a magistrate who governs his subjects,
are looked upon as secular things, and of an imperfect nature." As for
monastic vows in particular, he represented that, as the Pope could
give a dispensation from them, those vows ought therefore to be

The last article of the Confession treated of the authority of the
bishops: powerful princes crowned with the episcopal mitre were there;
the Archbishops of Mentz, Cologne, Salzburg, and Bremen; the Bishops
of Bamberg, Wurzburg, Eichstadt, Worms, Spire, Strasburg, Augsburg,
Constance, Coire, Passau, Liege, Trent, Brixen, and of Lebus and
Ratzburg, fixed their eyes on the humble confessor. He fearlessly
continued, and energetically protesting against that confusion of
Church and State which had characterized the Middle Ages, he called
for the distinction and independence of the two societies.


"Many," said he, "have unskilfully confounded the episcopal and the
temporal power; and from this confusion have resulted great wars,
revolts, and seditions.[575] It is for this reason, and to reassure
men's consciences, that we find ourselves constrained to establish the
difference which exists between the power of the Church and the power
of the sword.[576]

  [575] Nonnulli incommode commiscuerunt potestatem ecclesiasticam et
  potestatem gladii; et ex hac confusione, &c.--(Urkunden. Confes. Augs.
  i. p. 539.)

  [576] Coacti sunt ostendere discrimen ecclesiasticæ potestatis et
  potestatis gladii.--(Ibid.)

"We therefore teach that the power of the keys or of the bishops is,
conformably with the Word of the Lord, a commandment emanating from
God, to preach the Gospel, to remit or retain sins, and to administer
the Sacraments. This power has reference only to eternal goods, is
exercised only by the minister of the Word, and does not trouble
itself with political administration. The political administration, on
the other hand, is busied with everything else but the Gospel. The
magistrate protects, not souls, but bodies and temporal possessions.
He defends them against all attacks from without, and, by making use
of the sword and of punishment, compels men to observe civil justice
and peace.[577]

  [577] Politica administratio versatur enim circa alias res quam
  Evangelium; magistratus defendit non mentes sed corpora----et coercet
  homines gladio.--(Urkund. Confess. Aug. i. p. 541.)

"For this reason we must take particular care not to mingle the power
of the Church with the power of the State.[578] The power of the
Church ought never to invade an office that is foreign to it; for
Christ himself said: _My kingdom is not of this world_. And again:
_Who made me a judge over you?_ St. Paul said to the Philippians: _Our
citizenship is in heaven_.[579] And to the Corinthians: _The weapons
of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God_.

  [578] Non igitur commiscendæ sunt potestates ecclesiasticæ et

  [579] Greek, πολιτευμα.--(Philip. iii. 20. Scott and Henry Comment.)

"It is thus that we distinguish the two governments and the two
powers, and that we honour both as the most excellent gifts that God
has given here on earth.


"The duty of the bishops is therefore to preach the Gospel, to
forgive sins, to exclude from the Christian Church all who rebel
against the Lord, but without human power, and solely by the Word of
God.[580] If the bishops act thus, the churches ought to be obedient
to them according to this declaration of Christ: _Whoever heareth you,
heareth me_.

  [580] Excludere a communione Ecclesiæ, sine vi humana sed
  verbo.--(Urkund. Confes. Augs. i. p. 544.)

"But if the bishops teach anything that is contrary to the Gospel,
then the churches have an order from God which forbids them to obey
(Matt. vii. 15; Galatians i. 8; 2 Cor. xiii. 8, 10). And St. Augustin
himself, in his letter against Pertilian, writes: 'We must not obey
the catholic bishops, if they go astray, and teach anything contrary
to the canonical Scriptures of God.'"[581]

  [581] Nec catholicis episcopis consentiendum est, sicuti forte
  falluntur, aut contra canonicas Dei scripturas aliquid
  sentiunt--(Urkund. Confes. Augs. i. p. 544.)

After some remarks on the ordinances and traditions of the Church,
Bayer came to the epilogue of the Confession.

"It is not from hatred that we have spoken," added he, "nor to insult
any one; but we have explained the doctrines that we maintain to be
essential, in order that it may be understood that we admit of neither
dogma nor ceremony which is contrary to the Holy Scriptures, and to
the usage of the universal Church."

Bayer then ceased to read. He had spoken for two hours: the silence
and serious attention of the assembly were not once disturbed.[582]

  [582] Mit grosser Stille und Ernst.--(Brüch's Apologie, p. 59.)

This Confession of Augsburg will ever remain one of the masterpieces
of the human mind enlightened by the Spirit of God.


The language that had been adopted, while it was perfectly natural,
was the result of a profound study of character. These princes, these
warriors, these politicians who were sitting in the Palatine Palace,
entirely ignorant as they were of divinity, easily understood the
Protestant doctrine; for it was not explained to them in the style of
the schools, but in that of everyday life, and with a simplicity and
clearness that rendered all misunderstanding impossible.

At the same time the power of argumentation was so much the more
remarkable, as it was the more concealed. At one time Melancthon (for
it was really he who spoke through the mouth of Bayer) was content to
quote a single passage of Scripture or of the Fathers in favour of the
doctrine he maintained; and at another he proved his thesis so much
the more strongly, that he appeared only to be declaring it. With a
single stroke he pointed out the sad consequences that would follow
the rejection of the faith he professed, or with one word showed its
importance for the prosperity of the Church; so that while listening
to him, the most violent enemies were obliged to acknowledge to
themselves that there was really something to say in favour of the new

To this force of reasoning the Apology added a prudence no less
remarkable. Melancthon, while declining with firmness the errors
attributed to his party, did not even appear to feel the injustice of
these erroneous imputations; and while pointing out those of Popery,
he did not say expressly they were those of his adversaries; thus
carefully avoiding every thing that might irritate their minds. In
this he showed himself wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.

But the most admirable thing of all is the fidelity with which the
Confession explains the doctrines most essential to salvation. Rome is
accustomed to represent the Reformers as the creators of the
Protestant doctrines; but it is not in the sixteenth century that we
must look for the days of that creation. A bright track of light, of
which Wickliffe and Augustin mark the most salient points, carries us
back to the Apostolic age: it was then that shone in all their
brilliancy the creative days of Evangelical truth. Yet it is true (and
if this is what Rome means, we fully concur in the idea) never since
the time of St. Paul had the Christian doctrine appeared with so much
beauty, depth, and life, as in the days of the Reformation.

[Sidenote: REMARKS.]

Among all these doctrines, that of the Church, which had been so long
disfigured, appeared at this time in all its native purity. With what
wisdom, in particular, the confessors of Augsburg protest against that
confusion of religion and politics which since the deplorable epoch of
Constantine, had changed the kingdom of God into an earthly and carnal
institution! Undoubtedly what the Confession stigmatizes with the
greatest energy is the intrusion of the Church into the affairs of the
State, but can it be thought that it was to approve the intrusion of
the State in Church affairs? The evil of the Middle Ages was the
having enslaved the State to the Church, and the confessors of
Augsburg rose like one man to combat it. The evil of the three
centuries which have passed away since then, is to have subjected the
Church to the State; and we may believe that Luther and Melancthon
would have found against this disorder thunders no less powerful. What
they attack in a general sense, is the confusion of the two societies;
what they demand, is their independence, I do not say their
separation. If the Augsburg confessors were unwilling that things from
above should monopolize those of the earth, they would have been still
less willing for things of earth to oppress those from heaven.

There is a particular application of this principle, which the
Confession points out. It wills the bishops should reprimand those who
obey wickedness, "but without human power, and solely by the Word of
God." It therefore rejects the use of the sword in the chastisement of
heretics. This we see is a primitive principle, fundamental and
essential to the Reformation, as the contrary doctrine is a primitive
principle, fundamental and essential to the Papacy. If among
Protestants we find some writing, or even some example opposed to
this, it is but an isolated fact, which cannot invalidate the official
principles of the Reform--it is one of those exceptions which always
serve to confirm the rule.


Finally, the Augsburg Confession does not usurp the rights of the Word
of God; it desires to be its handmaid and not its rival; it does not
found, it does not regulate the faith, but simply professes it. "Our
churches teach," it says; and it will be remembered that Luther
considered it only as a sermon preached by princes and kings. Had it
desired more, as has since been maintained, by that very circumstance
it would have been nullified.

Was, however, the Confession able to follow in all things the exact
path of truth? We may be permitted to doubt it.

It professes not to separate from the teaching of the Catholic Church,
and even from that of the Romish Church--by which is no doubt
signified the ancient Roman Church--and rejects the popish
particularism which, for about eight centuries, imprisoned men's
consciences. The Confession, however, seems overlaid with
superstitious fears when there is any question of deviating from the
views entertained by some of the Fathers of the Church, of breaking
the toils of the hierarchy, and of acting, as regards Rome, without
blameable forbearance. This, at least, is what its author, Melancthon,
professes. "We do not put forward any dogma," said he, "which is not
founded on the Gospel or on the teaching of the Catholic Church; we
are prepared to concede everything that is necessary for the episcopal
dignity;[583] and, provided that the bishops do not condemn the
Gospel, we preserve all the rites that appear indifferent to us. In a
word, there is no burden that we reject, if we can bear it without

  [583] Concessuros omnia quæ ad dignitatem Episcoporum stabiliendam
  pertinent.--(Corp. Ref. ii. p. 431.)

  [584] Nullum detractavimus onus, quod sine scelere suspici

Many will think, no doubt, that a little more independence would have
been proper in this matter, and that it would have been better to have
passed over the ages that have followed the times of the apostles, and
have frankly put in practice the grand principle which the Reformation
had proclaimed: "There is for articles of faith no other foundation
than the Word of God."[585]

  [585] _Solum verbum Dei condit articulos fidei._


Melancthon's moderation has been admired; and, in truth, while
pointing out the abuses of Rome, he was silent on what is most
revolting in them, on their disgraceful origin, their scandalous
consequences, and is content to show that they are in contradiction to
the Scripture. But he does more; he is silent on the divine right of
the Pope, on the number of the sacraments, and on other points
besides. His great business is to justify the renovated, and not to
attack the deformed, Church. "Peace! peace!" was his cry. But if,
instead of all this circumspection, the Reformation had advanced with
courage, had wholly unveiled the Word of God, and had made an
energetic appeal to the sympathies of reform then spread in men's
hearts, would it not have taken a stronger and more honourable
position, and would it not have secured more extensive conquests?

The interest that Charles the Fifth showed in listening to the
Confession seems doubtful. According to some, he endeavoured to
understand that foreign language;[586] according to others, he fell
asleep.[587] It is easy to reconcile these contradictory testimonies.

  [586] Satis attentus erat Cæsar. (Jonas in Corp. Ref. ii. p. 184.)

  [587] Cum nostra confessio legeretur, obdormivit. (Brentius in Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 245.)

When the reading was finished, Chancellor Brück, with the two copies
in his hand, advanced towards the Emperor's secretary and presented
them to him. Charles the Fifth, who was wide awake at this moment,
himself took the two Confessions, handed the German copy, considered
as official, to the elector of Mentz, and kept the Latin one for
himself.[588] He then made reply to the Elector of Saxony and to his
allies that he had graciously heard their confession;[589] but as this
affair was one of extreme importance, he required time to deliberate
upon it.

  [588] The Latin copy, deposited in the archives of the imperial house,
  should be found at Brussels; and the German copy, sent afterwards to
  the Council of Trent, ought to be in the Vatican.

  [589] Gnedichlich vernohmen. (F. Urkunden, ii. p. 3.)


The joy with which the Protestants were filled shone in their
eyes.[590] God had been with them; and they saw that the striking act
which had so recently been accomplished, imposed on them the
obligation of confessing the truth with immovable perseverance. "I
thrill with joy," wrote Luther, "that my life was cast in an epoch in
which Christ is publicly exalted by such illustrious confessors and in
so glorious an assembly."[591] The whole Evangelical Church, excited
and renovated by this public confession of its representatives, was
then more intimately united to its divine Chief, and baptized with a
new baptism. "Since the apostolic age," said they (these are the words
of a contemporary), "there has never been a greater work or a more
magnificent confession."[592]

  [590] Cum incredibili protestantium gaudio. (Seck. ii. p. 170.)

  [591] Mihi vehementer placet vixisse in hanc horam. (L. Epp. iv. p.

  [592] Grösser und höher Werk. (Mathesius, Hist. p. 93-98.)

The Emperor, having descended from his throne, approached the
Protestant princes, and begged them in a low tone not to publish the
Confession;[593] they acceded to his request, and every one withdrew.

  [593] In still angeredet und gebethen. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 143.)


VIII. The Romanists had expected nothing like this. Instead of a
hateful controversy, they had heard a striking confession of Jesus
Christ; the most hostile minds were consequently disarmed. "We would
not for a great deal," was the remark on every side, "have missed
being present at this reading."[594] The effect was so prompt, that
for an instant the cause was thought to be definitively gained. The
bishops themselves imposed silence on the sophisms and clamours of the
Fabers and the Ecks.[595] "All that the Lutherans have said is true,"
exclaimed the Bishop of Augsburg; "we cannot deny it."[596]--"Well,
doctor," said the Duke of Bavaria to Eck, in a reproachful tone, "you
had given me a very different idea of this doctrine and of this
affair."[597] This was the general cry; accordingly the sophists, as
they called them, were embarrassed. "But, after all," said the Duke of
Bavaria to them, "can you refute by sound reasons the Confession made
by the Elector and his allies?"--"With the writings of the Apostles
and Prophets--no!" replied Eck; "but with those of the Fathers and of
the Councils--yes!"[598] "I understand," quickly replied the Duke; "I
understand. The Lutherans, according to you, are in scripture; and we
are outside."

  [594] Brücks Geschichte der Handl. in den Sachen des Glaubens zu
  Augsbourg. (Förstemann Archiv. p. 50.)

  [595] Multi episcopi ad pacem sunt inclinati. (L. Epp. iv. p. 70.)

  [596] Illa quæ recitata sunt, vera sunt, sunt pura veritas; non
  possumus inficiari. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 154.)

  [597] So hab man Im vor nicht gesagt. (Mathes. Hist. p. 99.)

  [598] Mit Propheten und Aposteln schriften----nicht. (Ibid.)

The Archbishop Hermann, elector of Cologne, the Count-palatine
Frederick, Duke Erick of Brunswick-Luneburg, Duke Henry of
Mecklenburg, and the Dukes of Pomerania, were gained over to the
truth; and Hermann sought erelong to establish it in his electorate.

The impression produced in other countries by the Confession was
perhaps still greater. Charles sent copies to all the courts; it was
translated into French, Italian,[599] and even into Spanish and
Portuguese; it circulated through all Europe, and thus accomplished
what Luther had said: "Our Confession will penetrate into every court,
and the sound thereof will go through the whole earth."[600] It
destroyed the prejudices that had been entertained, gave Europe a
sounder idea of the Reformation, and prepared the most distant
countries to receive the seeds of the Gospel.

  [599] Cæsar sibi fecit nostram confessionem reddi Italica et Gallica
  lingua. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 155.) The French translation will be found
  in _Förstemann's Urkunden_, i. p. 357.--_Articles principaulx de la

  [600] Perrumpet in omnes aulas Principum et Regum. (L. Epp. iv. p.


Then Luther's voice began to be heard again. He saw that it was a
decisive moment, and that he ought now to give the impulse that would
gain religious liberty. He boldly demanded this liberty of the
Roman-catholic princes of the diet;[601] and at the same time
endeavoured to make his friends quit Augsburg. Jesus Christ had been
boldly confessed. Instead of that long series of quarrels and
discussions which was about to become connected with this courageous
act, Luther would have wished for a striking rupture, even should he
seal with his blood the testimony rendered to the Gospel. The stake,
in his idea, would have been the real catastrophe of this tragedy. "I
absolve you from this diet, in the name of the Lord,"[602] wrote he to
his friends. "Now home, return home, again I say home! Would to God
that I were the sacrifice offered to this new council, as John Huss at

  [601] Epistle to the Elector of Mentz. (Ibid. p. 74.)

  [602] Igitur absolvo vos in nomine Domini ab isto conventu. (L. Epp.
  iv. p. 96.)

  [603] Vellem ego sacrificium esse hujus novissimi concilii, sicut
  Johannes Huss Constantiæ. (Ibid. p. 110.)

But Luther did not expect so glorious a conclusion: he compared the
diet to a drama. First, there had been the exposition, then the
prologue, afterwards the action, and now he waited for the tragic
catastrophe, according to some, but which, in his opinion, would be
merely comic.[604] Everything, he thought, would be sacrificed to
political peace, and dogmas would be set aside. This proceeding,
which, even in our own days, would be in the eyes of the world the
height of wisdom, was in Luther's eyes the height of folly.

  [604] Sed catastrophen illi tragicam, nos comicam expectamus. (Ibid.
  p. 85.)

[Sidenote: SONG OF TRIUMPH.]

It was the intervention of Charles which especially alarmed him. To
withdraw the Church from all secular influence, and the governments
from all clerical influence, was then one of the dominant ideas of the
great Reformer. "You see," wrote he to Melancthon, "that they oppose
to our cause the same argument as at Worms, to wit, still and for ever
the judgment of the Emperor. Thus Satan is always harping on the same
string, and that emaciated strength[605] of the civil power is the
only one which this myriad-wiled spirit is able to find against Jesus
Christ." But Luther took courage, and boldly raised his head. "Christ
is coming," continued he; "he is coming, sitting at the right
hand......Of whom? not of the Emperor, or we should long ago have been
lost, but of God himself: let us fear nothing. Christ is the King of
kings and the Lord of lords. If he loses this title at Augsburg, he
must also lose it in all the earth, and in all the heavens."

  [605] Sic Satan chorda semper oberrat eadem, et mille-artifex ille non
  habet contra Christum, nisi unum illud elumbe robur. (Ibid. p. 100.)

Thus a song of triumph was, on the part of the Confessors of Augsburg,
the first movement that followed this courageous act, unique doubtless
in the annals of the Church. Some of their adversaries at first shared
in their triumph, and the others were silent; but a powerful reaction
took place erelong.

On the following morning, Charles having risen in ill-humour and tired
for want of sleep, the first of his ministers who appeared in the
imperial apartments was the Count-palatine, as wearied and embarrassed
as his master. "We must yield something," said he to Charles; "and I
would remind your majesty that the Emperor Maximilian was willing to
grant the two kinds in the Eucharist, the marriage of priests, and
liberty with respect to the fasts." Charles the Fifth eagerly seized
at this proposition as a means of safety. But Granvelle and Campeggio
soon arrived, who induced him to withdraw it.


Rome, bewildered for a moment by the blow that had struck her, rose up
again with energy. "I stay with the mother," exclaimed the Bishop of
Wartzburg, meaning by it the Church of Rome; "the mother, the mother!"
"My lord," wittily replied Brenz, "pray, do not, for the mother,
forget either the Father or the Son!"--"Well! I grant it," replied the
Archbishop of Salzburg to one of his friends, "I also should desire
the communion in both kinds, the marriage of priests, the reformation
of the Mass, liberty as regards food and other traditions......But
that it should be a monk, a poor monk, who presumes to reform us all,
is what we cannot tolerate."[606]--"I should have no objection," said
another bishop, "for the Divine worship to be celebrated everywhere
as it is at Wittemberg; but we can never consent that this new
doctrine should issue from such a corner."[607] And Melancthon
insisting with the Archbishop of Salzburg on the necessity of a reform
of the clergy: "Well! and how can you wish to reform us?" said the
latter abruptly: "we priests have always been good for nothing." This
is one of the most ingenuous confessions that the Reformation has torn
from the priests. Every day fanatical monks and doctors, brimful of
sophisms, were seen arriving at Augsburg, who endeavoured to inflame
the hatred of the Emperor and of the princes.[608] "If we formerly had
friends," said Melancthon on the morrow of the Confession, "now we
possess them no longer. We are here alone, abandoned by all, and
contending against measureless dangers."[609]

  [606] Sed quod unus monachus debeat nos reformare omnes. (Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 155.)

  [607] Aus dem Loch und Winckel. (L. Opp. xx. p. 307.)

  [608] Quotidie confluunt huc sophistæ ac monachi. (Corp. Ref. ii. p.

  [609] Nos hic soli ac deserti. (Ibid.)


Charles, impelled by these contrary parties, affected a great
indifference. But without permitting it to be seen, he endeavoured,
meanwhile, to examine this affair thoroughly. "Let there not be a word
wanting," he had said to his secretary, when requiring from him a
French translation of the Confession. "He does not allow anything to
be observed," whispered the Protestants one to another, convinced that
Charles was gained; "for if it were known, he would lose his Spanish
states: let us maintain the most profound secresy." But the Emperor's
courtiers, who perceived these strange hopes, smiled and shook their
heads. "If you have money," said Schepper, one of the secretaries of
state, to Jonas and Melancthon, "it will be easy for you to buy from
the Italians whatever religion you please;[610] but if your purse is
empty, your cause is lost." Then assuming a more serious tone: "It is
impossible," said he, "for the Emperor, surrounded as he is by
bishops and cardinals, to approve of any other religion than that of
the Pope."

  [610] Nos, si pecuniam haberemus, facile religionem quam vellemus
  emturos ab Italis. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 156.)

This was soon evident. On the day after the confession (Sunday, 26th
June), before the breakfast hour,[611] all the deputations from the
imperial cities were collected in the Emperor's antechamber. Charles,
desirous of bringing back the states of the Empire to unity, began
with the weakest. "Some of the cities," said the count palatine, "have
not adhered to the last Diet of Spire: the Emperor calls upon them to
submit to it."

  [611] Heute vor dem morgenessen. (Ibid. p. 143.)

Strasburg, Nuremberg, Constance, Ulm, Reutlingen, Heilbronn,
Memmingen, Lindau, Kempten, Windsheim, Isny, and Weissemburg, which
were thus summoned to renounce the famous protest, found the moment
curiously chosen. They asked for time.

The position was complicated; discord had been thrown in the midst of
the cities, and intrigue was labouring daily to increase it.[612] It
was not only between the Popish and the Evangelical cities that
disagreement existed; but also between the Zwinglian and the Lutheran
cities, and even among the latter, those which had not adhered to the
Confession of Augsburg manifested great ill-humour towards the
deputies of Reutlingen and Nuremberg. This proceeding of Charles the
Fifth was therefore skilfully calculated; for it was based on the old
axiom, _Divide et impera_.

  [612] Es sind unter uns Städten, viel practica und Selt Sames wesens.
  (Corp. Ref. ii p. 151.)

But the enthusiasm of faith overcame all these stratagems, and on the
next day (27th June), the deputies from the cities transmitted a reply
to the Emperor, in which they declared that they could not adhere to
the _Recess_ of Spire "without disobeying God, and without
compromising the salvation of their souls."[613]

  [613] Ohne Verletzung der gewissen gegen Gott. (F. Urkunden. ii. P.


Charles, who desired to observe a just medium, more from policy than
from equity, wavered between so many contrary convictions. Desirous
nevertheless of essaying his mediating influence, he convoked the
states faithful to Rome on Sunday, 26th June, shortly after his
conference with the cities.

All the princes were present: even the Pope's legate and the most
influential Roman divines appeared at this council, to the great
scandal of the Protestants. "What reply should be made to the
Confession?" was the question set by Charles the Fifth to the senate
that surrounded him.[614]

  [614] Adversarii nostri jam deliberant quid velint respondere. (Corp.
  Ref. ii. 26th June.)

Three different opinions were proposed. "Let us beware," said the men
of the Papacy, "of discussing our adversaries' reasons, and let us be
content with executing the Edict of Worms against the Lutherans, and
with constraining them by arms."[615]--"Let us submit the Confession
to the examination of impartial judges," said the men of the Empire,
"and refer the final decision to the Emperor. Is not even the reading
of the Confession an appeal of the Protestants to the imperial power?"
Others, in the last place (and these were the men of tradition and of
ecclesiastical doctrine), were desirous of commissioning certain
doctors to compose a refutation, which should be read to the
Protestants and ratified by Charles.

  [615] Rem agendam esse vi, non audiendam causam. (Ibid. p. 154.)


The debate was very animated: the mild and the violent, the politic
and the fanatical, took a decided course in the assembly. George of
Saxony and Joachim of Brandenburg showed themselves the most
inveterate, and surpassed in this respect even the ecclesiastical
princes.[616] "A certain clown, whom you know well, is pushing them
all from behind,"[617] wrote Melancthon to Luther; "and certain
hypocritical theologians hold the torch and lead the whole band." This
clown was doubtless Duke George. Even the Princes of Bavaria, whom the
Confession had staggered at first, immediately rallied around the
chiefs of the Roman party. The Elector of Mentz, the Bishop of
Augsburg, the Duke of Brunswick, showed themselves the least
unfavourable to the Evangelical cause. "I can by no means advise his
majesty to employ force," said Albert. "If his majesty should
constrain their consciences, and should afterwards quit the Empire,
the first victims sacrificed would be the priests; and who knows
whether, in the midst of these discords, the Turks would not suddenly
fall upon us?" But this somewhat interested wisdom of the archbishop
did not find many supporters, and the men of war immediately plunged
into the discussion with their harsh voices. "If there is any fighting
against the Lutherans," said Count Felix of Werdenburg, "I
gratuitously offer my sword, and I swear never to return it to its
scabbard until it has overthrown the stronghold of Luther." This
nobleman died suddenly a few days after, from the consequences of his
intemperance. Then the moderate men again interfered: "The Lutherans
attack no one article of the faith," said the Bishop of Augsburg; "let
us come to an arrangement with them; and to obtain peace, let us
concede to them the sacrament in both kinds and the marriage of
priests. I would even yield more, if it were necessary." Upon this
great cries arose: "He is a Lutheran," they exclaimed, "and you will
see that he is fully prepared to sacrifice even the private
masses!"--"The masses! we must not even think of it," remarked some
with an ironical smile; "Rome will never give them up, for it is they
which maintain her cardinals and her courtiers, with their luxury and
their kitchens."[618] The Archbishop of Salzburg and the Elector of
Brandenburg replied with great violence to the motion of the Bishop of
Augsburg. "The Lutherans," said they abruptly, "have laid before us a
Confession written with black ink on white paper. Well! If I were
Emperor, I would answer them with _red ink_."[619]--"Sirs," quickly
replied the Bishop of Augsburg, "take care then that the red letters
do not fly in your faces!" The Elector of Mentz was compelled to
interfere and calm the speakers.

  [616] Hi sunt duces, et quidem acerrimi alterius partis. (Ibid.)

  [617] Omnes unus gubernat rusticus. (Corp. Ref. 26th June p. 176.)

  [618] Cardinel, Churstusanen, Pracht und Küchen. (Brück Apol. p. 63.)

  [619] Wir wokten antvorten mit einer Schrift mit Rubricken
  geschrieben. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 147.)


The Emperor, desirous of playing the character of an umpire, would
have wished the Roman party at least to have placed in his hands an
accusation against the Reform: but all was now altered; the majority,
becoming daily more compact since the Diet of Spire, no longer sided
with Charles. Full of the sentiment of its own strength, it refused to
assume the title of a party, and to take the Emperor as a judge. "What
are you saying," cried they, "of diversity between the members of the
Empire? There is but one legitimate party. It is not a question of
deciding between two opinions whose rights are equal, but of crushing
rebels, and of aiding those who have remained faithful to the
constitution of the Empire."

This haughty language enlightened Charles: he found they had
outstripped him, and that, abandoning his lofty position of arbiter,
he must submit merely to be the executer of the orders of the
majority. It was this majority which henceforward commanded in
Augsburg. They excluded the imperial councillors who advocated more
equitable views, and the Archbishop of Mentz himself ceased for a time
to appear in the diet.[620]

  [620] Non venit in senatum. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 175.)

The majority ordered that a refutation of the Evangelical doctrine
should be immediately drawn up by Romish theologians. If they had
selected for this purpose moderate men like the Bishop of Augsburg,
the Reformation would still have had some chance of success with the
great principles of Christianity; but it was to the enemies of the
Reform, to the old champions of Rome and of Aristotle, exasperated by
so many defeats, that they resolved to intrust this task.

[Sidenote: ITS AUTHORS.]

They were numerous at Augsburg, and were not held in great esteem.
"The princes," said Jonas, "have brought their learned men with them,
and some even their _unlearned_ and their fools."[621] Provost Faber
and Doctor Eck led the troop; behind them was drawn up a cohort of
monks, and above all of Dominicans, tools of the Inquisition, and
impatient to recompense themselves for the opprobrium they had so long
endured. There was the provincial of the Dominicans, Paul Hugo, their
vicar, John Bourkard, one of their priors, Conrad Koelein, who had
written against Luther's marriage; with a large body of Carthusians,
Augustines, Franciscans, and vicars of several bishops. Such were the
men who, to the number of twenty, were commissioned to refute

  [621] Quidam etiam suos ineruditos et ineptos.

One might beforehand have augured of the work by the workmen. Each one
understood that it was a question, not of refuting the Confession, but
of branding it. Campeggio, who doubtless suggested this ill-omened
list to Charles, was well aware that these doctors were incapable of
measuring themselves with Melancthon; but their names formed the most
decided standard of Popery, and announced to the world clearly and
immediately what the diet proposed to do. This was the essential
point. Rome would not leave Christendom even hope.

It was, however, requisite to know whether the diet, and the Emperor
who was its organ, had the right of pronouncing in this purely
religious matter. Charles put the question both to the Evangelicals
and to the Romanists.[622]

  [622] See the document extracted from the archives of Bavaria in F.
  Urkunden. ii. p. 9.

"Your highness," said Luther, who was consulted by the Elector, "may
reply with all assurance: Yes, if the Emperor wish it, let him be
judge! I will bear everything on his part; but let him decide nothing
contrary to the Word of God. Your highness cannot put the Emperor
above God himself.[623] Does not the first commandment say, _Thou
shalt have no other Gods before me_!"

  [623] Konnen den Kaiser nicht uber Gott setzen. (L. Epp. iv. p. 83.)


The reply of the Papal adherents was quite as positive in a contrary
sense. "We think," said they, "that his majesty, in accord with the
electors, princes, and states of the Empire, has the right to proceed
in this affair, as Roman Emperor, guardian, advocate, and sovereign
protector of the Church and of our most holy faith."[624] Thus, in the
first days of the Reformation, the Evangelical Church frankly ranged
itself under the throne of Jesus Christ, and the Roman Church under
the sceptre of kings. Enlightened men, even among Protestants, have
misunderstood this double nature of Protestantism and Popery.

  [624] Romischen Kaiser, Vogt, Advocaten und Obristen Beschirmer der
  kirken. (F. Urkunden. ii. p. 10.)

The philosophy of Aristotle and the hierarchy of Rome, thanks to this
alliance with the civil power, were at length about to see the day of
their long-expected triumph arrive. So long as the schoolmen had been
left to the force of their syllogisms and of their abuse, they had
been defeated; but now Charles the Fifth and the diet held out their
hands to them; the reasonings of Faber, Eck, and Wimpina were about to
be countersigned by the German chancellor, and confirmed by the great
seals of the Empire. Who could resist them? The Romish error has never
had any strength except by its union with the secular arm; and its
victories in the Old and in the New World are owing, even in our days,
to state patronage.[625]

  [625] Tahiti for instance.


These things did not escape the piercing eye of Luther. He saw at once
the weakness of the argument of the Papist doctors and the power of
Charles's arm. "You are waiting for your adversaries' answer," wrote
he to his friends in Augsburg; "it is already written, and here it is:
The Fathers, the Fathers, the Fathers; the Church, the Church, the
Church; usage, custom; but of the Scriptures----nothing!"[626]--"Then
the Emperor, supported by the testimony of these arbiters, will
pronounce against you;[627] and then will you hear boastings from all
sides that wilt ascend up to heaven, and threats that will descend
even to hell."

  [626] Patres, Patres, Patres; Ecclesia, Ecclesia; usus, consuetudo,
  præterea e Scriptura nihil. (L. Epp. iv. p. 96.)

  [627] Pronuntiabit Cæsar contra vos. (Ibid.)

Thus changed the situation of the Reform. Charles was obliged to
acknowledge his weakness; and, to save the appearance of his power, he
took a decisive part with the enemies of Luther. The Emperor's
impartiality disappeared: the state turned against the Gospel, and
there remained for it no other saviour than God.

At first many gave way to extreme dejection: above all, Melancthon,
who had a nearer view of the cabals of the adversaries, exhausted
moreover by long vigils, fell almost into despair.[628] "In the
presence of these formidable evils," cried he, "I see no more
hope."[629] And then, however, he added--"Except the help of God."

  [628] Quadam tristitia et quasi desesperatione vexatur. (Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 163.)

  [629] Quid nobis sit sperandum in tantis odiis inimicorum. (Ibid. p.

The legate immediately set all his batteries to work. Already had
Charles several times sent for the Elector and the Landgrave, and had
used every exertion to detach them from the Evangelical
Confession.[630] Melancthon, uneasy at these secret conferences,
reduced the Confession to its _minimum_, and entreated the Elector to
demand only the two kinds in the Eucharist and the marriage of
priests. "To interdict the former of these points," said he, "would be
to alienate a great number of Christians from the communion; and to
interdict the second would be depriving the Church of all the pastors
capable of edifying it. Will they destroy religion and kindle civil
war, rather than apply to these purely ecclesiastical constitutions a
mitigation that is neither contrary to sound morals nor to
faith?"[631] The Protestant princes begged Melancthon to go himself
and make these proposals to the legate.[632]

  [630] Legati Norinberg ad Senatum. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 161.)

  [631] Melancthon ad Duc. Sax. Elect. (Ibid. p. 162.)

  [632] Principes nostri miserunt nos ad R. D. V. (Ibid. p. 171.)


Melancthon agreed: he began to flatter himself with success; and, in
truth, there were, even among the Papists, individuals who were
favourable to the Reformation. There had recently arrived at Augsburg,
from beyond the Alps, certain propositions tolerably Lutheran;[633]
and one of the Emperor's confessors boldly professed the doctrine of
justification by faith, cursing "those asses of Germans, who cease
not," said he, "from braying against this truth."[634] One of
Charles's chaplains approved even the whole of the Confession. There
was something farther still; Charles the Fifth having consulted the
grandees of Spain, who were famous for their orthodoxy: "If the
opinions of the Protestants are contrary to the articles of the
faith," they had replied, "let your majesty employ all his power to
destroy this faction; but if it is a question merely of certain
changes in human ordinances and external usages, let all violence be
avoided."[635] "Admirable reply!" exclaimed Melancthon, who persuaded
himself that the Romish doctrine was at the bottom in accordance with
the Gospel.

  [633] Pervenerunt ad nos propositiones quædam Italicæ satis Lutheranæ.
  (Ibid. p. 163.)

  [634] Istis Germanis asinis, nobis in hac parte obgannientibus.

  [635] Hispanici proceres præclare et sapienter responderunt Cæsari.
  (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 179.)

The Reformation found defenders in even still higher stations. Mary,
sister of Charles the Fifth, and widow of King Louis of Hungary,
arriving at Augsburg three days after the reading of the Confession,
with her sister-in-law the Queen of Bohemia, Ferdinand's wife,
assiduously studied the Holy Scriptures; she carried them with her in
the hunting parties, in which she found little pleasure, and had
discovered therein the jewel of the Reform,--the doctrine of
gratuitous salvation. This pious princess made her chaplain read
evangelical sermons to her, and often endeavoured, although with
prudence, to appease her brother Charles with regard to the

  [636] Ἡ ἁδελφἡ ἁυτοκρατορος studet nobis placare
  fratrem. (Ibid. p. 178.)


Melancthon, encouraged by these demonstrations, and at the same time
alarmed by the threats of war that the adversaries did not cease from
uttering, thought it his duty to purchase peace at any cost, and
resolved in consequence to descend in his propositions as low as
possible. He therefore demanded an interview with the legate in a
letter whose authenticity has been unreasonably doubted.[637] At the
decisive moment the heart of the Reform champion fails--his head
turns--he staggers--he falls; and in his fall he runs the risk of
dragging with him the cause which martyrs have already watered with
their blood.

  [637] See the Corp. Ref. ii. p. 168

Thus speaks the representative of the Reformation to the
representative of the Papacy:--

"There is no doctrine in which we differ from the Roman Church;[638]
we venerate the universal authority of the Roman Pontiff, and we are
ready to obey him, provided he does not reject us, and that of his
clemency, which he is accustomed to show towards all nations, he will
kindly pardon or approve certain little things that it is no longer
possible for us to change......Now then, will you reject those who
appear as suppliants before you? Will you pursue them with fire and
sword?......Alas! nothing draws upon us in Germany so much hatred, as
the unshaken firmness with which we maintain the doctrines of the
Roman Church.[639] But with the aid of God, we will remain faithful,
even unto death, to Christ and to the Roman Church, although you
should reject us."[640]

  [638] Dogma nullum habemus diversum ab Ecclesia Romana. (Ibid. p.

  [639] Quam quia Ecclesiæ Romanæ dogmata summa constantia defendimus.

  [640] Vel si recusabitis nos in gratiam recipere. (Ibid.)


Thus did Melancthon humble himself. God permitted this fall, that
future ages might clearly see how low the Reform was willing to
descend in order to maintain unity, and that no one might doubt that
the schism had come from Rome; but also assuredly that they might
learn how great in every important work is the weakness of the
noblest instruments.

Fortunately there was then another man who upheld the honour of the
Reformation. At this very time Luther wrote to Melancthon: "There can
be no concord between Christ and Belial. As far as regards me, I will
not yield a hair's breadth.[641] Sooner than yield, I should prefer
suffering everything, even the most terrible evils. Concede so much
the less, as your adversaries require the more. God will not aid us
until we are abandoned by all."[642] And fearing some weakness on the
part of his friends, Luther added: "If it were not tempting God, you
would long ago have seen me at your side!"[643]

  [641] At certe pro mea persona, ne pilum quidem cedam. (L. Epp. iv. p.

  [642] Neque enim juvabimur ni deserti prius simus. (Ibid. p. 91.)

  [643] Certe jamdudum coram vidissetis me. (Ibid. p. 98.)

Never, in fact, had Luther's presence been so necessary, for the
legate had consented to an interview, and Melancthon was about to pay
court to Campeggio.[644]

  [644] Ego multos prehensare soleo et Campegium etiam. (Corp. Ref. ii.
  p. 193.)

The 8th July was the day appointed by the legate. His letter inspired
Philip with the most sanguine hopes. "The cardinal assures me that he
will accede the usage of the two kinds, and the marriage of priests,"
said he; "I am eager to visit him!"[645]

  [645] Propero enim ad Campegium. (Ibid. p. 174.)


This visit might decide the destiny of the Church. If the legate
accepted Philip's _ultimatum_, the Evangelical countries would be
replaced under the power of the Romish bishops, and all would have
been over with the Reformation; but it was saved through the pride and
blindness of Rome. The Papists, believing it on the brink of the
abyss, thought that a last blow would settle it, and resolved, like
Luther, to concede nothing, "not even a hair's breadth." The legate,
however, even while refusing, assumed an air of kindness, and of
yielding to foreign influence. "I might have the power of making
certain concessions, but it would not be prudent to use it without the
consent of the German princes;[646] their will must be done; one of
them in particular conjures the Emperor to prevent us from yielding
the least thing. I can grant nothing." The Roman prince, with the most
amiable smile, then did all he could to gain the chief of the
Protestant teachers. Melancthon retired filled with shame at the
advances he had made, but still deceived by Campeggio. "No doubt,"
said he, "Eck and Cochlœus have been beforehand with me at the
legate's."[647] Luther entertained a different opinion. "I do not
trust to any of these Italians," said he; "they are scoundrels. When
an Italian is good, he is very good; but then he is a black swan."

  [646] Se nihil posse decernere, nisi de voluntate principum Germaniæ.
  (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 174.)

  [647] Forte ad legatum veniebant Eccius et Cochlœus. (Ibid. p. 175)

It was truly the Italians who were concerned. Shortly after the 12th
of July arrived the Pope's instructions. He had received the
confession by express[648] and sixteen days had sufficed for the
transmission, the deliberation, and the return. Clement would hear no
mention either of discussions or of council. Charles was to march
straight to the mark, to send an army into Germany, and stifle the
Reformation by force. At Augsburg, however, it was thought best not to
go so quickly to work, and recourse was had to other means.

  [648] Nostra Confessio ad Romam per veredarios missa est. (Corp. Ref.
  ii. pp. 186, 219.)


"Be quiet; we have them," said the Romish doctors. Sensible of the
reproach that had been made against them, of having misrepresented the
Reformation, they accused the Protestants themselves as being the
cause. "These it is," they said, "who, to give themselves an air of
being in accord with us, now dissemble their heresy; but we will now
catch them in their own nets. If they confess to not having inserted
in their Confession all that they reject, it will be proved that they
are trifling with us. If, on the contrary, they pretend to have said
everything, they will by that very circumstance be compelled to admit
all that they have not condemned." The Protestant princes were
therefore called together, and they were asked if the Reformation was
confined to the doctrines indicated in the Apology, or if there was
something more.[649]

  [649] An plura velimus Cæsari præponere controversa quam fecerimus.
  (Ibid. p. 188.)

The snare was skilfully laid. The Papacy had not even been mentioned
in Melancthon's paper; other errors besides had been omitted, and
Luther himself complained of it aloud. "Satan sees clearly," said he,
"that your Apology has passed lightly over the articles of purgatory,
the worship of saints, and, above all, of the Pope and of Antichrist."
The princes requested to confer with their allies of the towns; and
all the Protestants assembled to deliberate on this momentous

They, looked for Melancthon's explanation, who did not decline the
responsibility of the affair. Easily dejected through his own anxiety,
he became bold whenever he was directly attacked. "All the essential
doctrines," said he, "have been set forth in the Confession, and every
error and abuse that is opposed to them has been pointed out. But was
it necessary to plunge into all those questions so full of contention
and animosity, that are discussed in our universities? Was it
necessary to ask if all Christians are priests, if the primacy of the
Pope is of right divine, if there can be indulgences, if every good
work is a deadly sin, if there are more than seven sacraments, if they
may be administered by a layman, if divine election has any foundation
in our own merits, if sacerdotal consecration impresses an indelible
character, if auricular confession is necessary to salvation?......No,
no! all these things are in the province of the schools, and by no
means essential to faith."[650]

  [650] Melancthonis Judicium. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 182.)


It cannot be denied that in the questions thus pointed out by
Melancthon there were important points. However that may be, the
Evangelical committee were soon agreed, and on the morrow they gave
an answer to Charles's ministers, drawn up with as much frankness as
firmness, in which they said "that the Protestants, desirous of
arriving at a cordial understanding, had not wished to complicate
their situation, and had proposed not to specify all the errors that
had been introduced into the Church, but to confess all the doctrines
that were essential to salvation; that if, nevertheless, the adverse
party felt itself urged to maintain certain abuses, or to put forward
any point not mentioned in the Confession, the Protestants declared
themselves ready to reply in conformity with the Word of God."[651]
The tone of this answer showed pretty clearly that the Evangelical
Christians did not fear to follow their adversaries wherever the
latter should call them. Accordingly the Roman party said no more on
this business.

  [651] Aus Gottes Wort, weiter bericht zu thun. (F. Urkundenbuch, ii.
  p. 19.)

IX. The commission charged to refute the Confession met twice a
day,[652] and each of the theologians who composed it added to it his
refutation and his hatred.

  [652] Bis die convenire dicuntur. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 472.)

On the 13th July the work was finished. "Eck with his band,"[653] said
Melancthon, "transmitted it to the Emperor." Great was the
astonishment of this prince and of his ministers at seeing a work of
two hundred and eighty pages filled with abuse.[654] "Bad workmen lose
much wood," said Luther, "and impious writers soil much paper." This
was not all: to the Refutation were subjoined eight appendices on the
heresies that Melancthon had dissembled (as they said), and wherein
they exposed the contradictions and "the horrible sects" to which
Lutheranism had given birth. Lastly, not confining themselves to this
official answer, the Romish theologians, who saw the sun of power
shining upon them, filled Augsburg with insolent and abusive

  [653] Eccius cum sua commanipulatione. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 193.)

  [654] Longum et plenum conviciis scriptum. (Ibid.)


There was but one opinion on the Papist Refutation; it was found
confused, violent, thirsting for blood.[655] Charles the Fifth had too
much good taste not to perceive the difference that existed between
this coarse work and the noble dignity of Melancthon's Confession. He
rolled, handled, crushed, and so damaged the 280 pages of his doctors,
that when he returned them two days after, says Spalatin, there were
not more than twelve entire. Charles would have been ashamed to have
such a pamphlet read in the diet, and he required, in consequence,
that it should be drawn up anew, shorter and more moderate.[656] That
was not easy, "for the adversaries, confused and stupified," says
Brenz, "by the noble simplicity of the Evangelical Confession, neither
knew where to begin nor where to end; they accordingly took nearly
three weeks to do their work over again."[657]

  [655] Adeo confusa, incondita, violenta, sanguinolenta et crudelis ut
  puduerint (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 198.)

  [656] Hodie auctoribus ipsis Sophistis, a Cæsare rursus esse redditam
  ut emendetur et civilius componatur. (Ibid.)

  [657] Nostra confessione ita stupidos, attonitos, et confusos. (Ibid.)

Charles and his ministers had great doubts of its success; leaving,
therefore, the theologians for a moment, they imagined another
manœuvre. "Let us take each of the Protestant princes separately,"
said they: "isolated, they will not resist." Accordingly, on the 15th
July, the Margrave of Brandenburg was visited by his two cousins, the
Electors of Mentz and of Brandenburg, and by his two brothers the
Margraves Frederick and John Albert. "Abandon this, new faith," said
they to him, "and return to that which existed a century ago. If you
do so, there are no favours that you may not expect from the Emperor;
if not, dread his anger."[658]

  [658] Corp. Ref. ii. p. 206; F. Urkund. ii. p. 93.


Shortly after, the Duke Frederick of Bavaria, the Count of Nassau, De
Rogendorf, and Truchses were announced to the Elector on the part of
Charles. "You have solicited the Emperor," said they, "to confirm the
marriage of your son with the Princess of Juliers, and to invest you
with the electoral dignity; but his majesty declares, that if you do
not renounce the heresy of Luther, of which you are the principal
abettor, he cannot accede to your demand." At the same time the Duke
of Bavaria, employing the most urgent solicitations, accompanied with
the most animated gestures[659] and the most sinister threats,[660]
called upon the Elector to abandon his faith. "It is asserted," added
Charles's envoys, "that you have made an alliance with the Swiss. The
Emperor cannot believe it; and he orders you to let him know the

  [659] Mit reden und Gebehrden prächtig erzeigt. (Ibid. p. 207.)

  [660] Minas diras promissis ingentibus adjiciens. (Zw. Epp. ii. p.

The Swiss! it was the same thing as rebellion. This alliance was the
phantom incessantly invoked at Augsburg to alarm Charles the Fifth.
And in reality deputies or at least friends of the Swiss, had already
appeared in that city, and thus rendered the position still more


Bucer had arrived two days before the reading of the Confession, and
Capito on the day subsequent to it.[661] There was even a report that
Zwingle would join them.[662] But for a long time all in Augsburg,
except the Strasburg deputation, were ignorant of the presence of
these doctors.[663] It was only twenty-one days after their arrival
that Melancthon learnt it positively,[664] so great was the mystery in
which the Zwinglians were forced to enshroud themselves. This was not
without reason: a conference with Melancthon having been requested by
them: "Let them write," replied he; "I should compromise our cause by
an interview with them." Bucer and Capito in their retreat, which was
like a prison to them, had taken advantage of their leisure to draw up
the _Tetrapolitan Confession_, or the confessions of the four cities.
The deputies of Strasburg, Constance, Nemmingen, and Lindau, presented
it to the Emperor.[665] These cities purged themselves from the
reproach of war and revolt that had been continually objected against
them. They declared that their only motive was Christ's glory, and
professed the truth "freely, boldly, but without insolence and without

  [661] Venimus huc, ego pridie solemnitatis Divi Johannis, Capito die
  dominica sequente. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 472.)

  [662] Rumor apud nos est, et te cum tuis Helvetiis comitia
  advolatarum. (Ibid. pp. 431, 467.)

  [663] Ita latent ut non quibuslibet sui copiam faciant. (Corp. Ref. p.

  [664] Capito et Bucarus adsunt. Id hodie certo comperi. (Ibid.)

  [665] Cinglianæ civitates propriam Confessionem obtulerunt Cæsari.
  (Corp. Ref. p. 187.) This Confession will be found in _Niemeyer_,
  Collectio Confessionum, p. 740.

  [666] Ingenue ac fortiter; citra procaciam tamen et sannas, id fateri
  et dicere quod res est. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 485.)

Zwingle about the same time caused a private confession to be
communicated to Charles,[667] which excited a general uproar. "Does he
not dare to say," exclaimed the Romanists, "that the _mitred and
withered race_ (by which he means the bishops) is in the Church what
hump-backs and the scrofula are in the body?"[668]--"Does he not
insinuate," said the Lutherans; "that we are beginning to look back
after the onions and garlic of Egypt?"--"One might say with great
truth that he had lost his senses," exclaimed Melancthon.[669] "All
ceremonies, according to him, ought to be abolished; all the bishops
ought to be suppressed. In a word, all is perfectly _Helvetic_, that
is to say, supremely barbarous."

  [667] See Niemeyer Coll. Conf. p. 16.

  [668] Pedatum et mitratum genus Episcoporum, id esset in Ecclesia,
  quod gibbi et strumata in corpore. (Ibid.) Zwingle compares the
  bishops to the dry and fruitless props that support the vines.

  [669] Dicas simpliciter mente captum esse. (Corp. Ref. p. 193.)

One man formed an exception to this concert of reproaches, and this
was Luther. "Zwingle pleases me tolerably," wrote he to Jonas, "as
well as Bucer."[670] By Bucer, he meant no doubt the Tetrapolitan
Confession: this expression should be noted.

  [670] Zwinglius mihi sane placet, et Bucerus. (L. Epp. iv. p. 110.)


Thus three confessions laid at the feet of Charles the Fifth, attested
the divisions that were rending Protestantism. In vain did Bucer and
Capito endeavour to come to an understanding with Melancthon, and
write to him: "We will meet where you will, and when you will; we will
bring Sturm alone with us, and if you desire it, we will not even
bring him."[671] All was unavailing. It is not enough for a Christian
to confess Christ; one disciple should confess another disciple, even
if the latter lies under the shame of the world; but they did not then
comprehend this duty. "Schism is in the schism," said the Romanists,
and the Emperor flattered himself with an easy victory. "Return to the
Church," was the cry from every side, "which means," interrupted the
Strasburgers, "let us put the bit in your mouths, that we may lead you
as we please."[672]

  [671] Veniemus quo et quando tu voles. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 208.)

  [672] Una tamen omnium vox: _Revertimini ad Ecclesiam_. (Zw. Epp. ii.
  p. 484.)

All these things deeply afflicted the Elector, who was besides still
under the burden of Charles's demands and threats. The Emperor had not
once spoken to him,[673] and it was everywhere said that his cousin
George of Saxony would be proclaimed Elector in his stead.

  [673] Colloquium ejus nondum frui potuisse. (Seck. ii. p. 154.)

On the 28th July, there was a great festival at the court. Charles,
robed in his imperial garments, whose value was said to exceed 200,000
gold ducats, and displaying an air of majesty which impressed respect
and fear,[674] conferred on many princes the investiture of their
dignities; the Elector alone was excluded from these favours. Erelong
he was made to understand more plainly what was reserved for him, and
it was insinuated, that if he did not submit, the Emperor would expel
him from his states, and inflict upon him the severest punishment.[675]

  [674] Apparuit Cæsar majestate......insignitus vestibus suis
  imperialibus (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 242.)

  [675] Müller, Gesch. der Protestation, p. 715.


The Elector turned pale, for he doubted not that such would certainly
be the termination. How with his small territory could he resist that
powerful monarch who had just vanquished France and Italy, and now saw
Germany at his feet? And besides, if he could do it, had he the right?
Frightful nightmares pursued John in his dreams. He beheld himself
stretched beneath an immense mountain under which he struggled
painfully, while his cousin George of Saxony stood on the summit and
seemed to brave him.

John at length came forth from this furnace. "I must either renounce
God or the world," said he. "Well! my choice is not doubtful. It is
God who made me Elector,--me, who was not worthy of it. I fling myself
into his arms, and let him do with me what shall seem good to him."
Thus the Elector by faith stopped the mouths of lions and subdued

  [676] Hebrews xi. 33, 34.

All evangelical Christendom had taken part in the struggle of John the
Persevering. It was seen that if he should now fall, all would fall
with him; and they endeavoured to support him. "Fear not," cried the
Christians of Magdeburg, "for your highness is under Christ's
banner."[677] "Italy is in expectation," wrote they from Venice; "if
for Christ's glory you must die, fear nothing."[678] But it was from a
higher source that John's courage was derived. "I beheld Satan as
lightning fall from heaven," said his Master.[679] The Elector, in
like manner, beheld in his dreams George fall from the top of the
mountain, and lie dashed in pieces at his feet.

  [677] Unter dem Heerpannyr Jesu Christi. (Ibid. p. 134.)

  [678] Etiamsi more subeunda tibi foret ob Christi gloriam. (Corp. Ref.
  ii. 228. L. P. Roselli.)

  [679] Luke x. 18.


Once resolved to lose everything, John, free, happy, and tranquil,
assembled his theologians. These generous men desired to save their
master. "Gracious lord," said Spalatin, "recollect that the Word of
God, being the sword of the Spirit, must be upheld, not by the secular
power, but by the hand of the Almighty."[680]--"Yes!" said all the
doctors, "we do not wish that, to save us, you should risk your
children, your subjects, your states, your crown......We will rather
give ourselves into the hands of the enemy, and conjure him to be
satisfied with our blood."[681] John, touched by this language,
refused, however, their solicitations, and firmly repeated these
words, which had become his device: "I also desire to confess my

  [680] Gottes Wort keines wegs durch weltlich Schwert. (F. Urkund. ii.
  p. 82.)

  [681] Sie wollen ihnen an ihrem Blüte genügen lassen. (Ibid. p. 90.)

It was on the 20th July that he replied to the pressing arguments by
which Charles had endeavoured to shake him. He proved to the Emperor
that, being his brother's legitimate heir, he could not refuse him the
investiture, which, besides, the Diet of Worms had secured to him. He
added, that he did not blindly believe what his doctors said, but
that, having recognised the Word of God to be the foundation of their
teaching, he confessed anew, and without any hesitation, all the
articles of the Apology. "I therefore entreat your majesty," continued
he, "to permit me and mine to render an account to God alone of what
concerns the salvation of our souls."[682] The Margrave of Brandenburg
made the same reply. Thus failed this skilful manœuvre, by which the
Romanists had hoped to break the strength of the Reformation.

  [682] Forstemann's Urkundenbuch, pp. 80-92, 113-119.


Six weeks had elapsed since the Confession, and yet no reply. "The
Papists, from the moment they heard the Apology," it was said,
"suddenly lost their voice."[683] At length the Romish theologians
handed their revised and corrected performance to the Emperor, and
persuaded this prince to present it in his own name. The mantle of the
state seemed to them admirably adapted to the movements of Rome.
"These sycophants," said Melancthon, "have desired to clothe
themselves with the lion's skin, to appear to us so much the more
terrible."[684] All the states of the Empire were convoked for the
next day but one.

  [683] Papistas obmutuisse ad ipsorum Confessionem. (Colch. p. 195.)

  [684] Voluerunt sycophantæ theologi λεοντἡν illam sibi circumdare,
  ut essent nobis formidabiliores. (Corp. Ref. p. 252.)

On Wednesday, 3d August, at two o'clock in the afternoon, the Emperor,
sitting on his throne in the chapel of the Palatinate Palace,
surrounded by his brother, and the electors, princes, and deputies,
the Elector of Saxony and his allies were introduced, and the
Count-palatine, who was called "Charles's mouthpiece," said to them:
"His majesty having handed your Confession to several doctors of
different nations, illustrious by their knowledge, their morals, and
their impartiality, has read their reply with the greatest care, and
submits it to you as his own, ordaining that all the members and
subjects of the Holy Empire should accept it with unanimous

  [685] Velut suam suaque publica auctoritate roboratam, ab omnibus
  unanimi consensu acceptandam. (Urkundenbuch, ii. p. 144.)

Alexander Schweiss then took the papers and read the refutation. The
Roman party approved some articles of the Confession, condemned
others, and in certain less salient passages, it distinguished between
what must be rejected and what accepted.

It gave way on an important point; the _opus operatum_. The
Protestants having said in their 13th Article that faith was necessary
in the Sacrament, the Romish party assented to it; thus abandoning an
error which the Papacy had so earnestly defended against Luther in
that very city of Augsburg, by the mouth of Cajetan.

Moreover, they recognised as truly Christian the Evangelical doctrine
on the Trinity, on Christ, on baptism, on eternal punishment, and on
the origin of evil.

But on all the other points, Charles, his princes, and his
theologians, declared themselves immovable. They maintained that men
are born with the fear of God, that good works are meritorious, and
that they justify in union with faith. They upheld the Seven
Sacraments, the Mass, transubstantiation, the withdrawal of the cup,
the celibacy of priests, the invocation of saints, and they denied
that the Church was an assembly of the saints.

This Refutation was skilful in some respects, and, above all, in what
concerned the doctrine of works and of faith. But on other points, in
particular on the withdrawal of the cup and the celibacy of priests,
its arguments were lamentably weak, and contrary to the well known
facts of history.

While the Protestants had taken their stand on the Scriptures, their
adversaries supported the divine origin of the hierarchy, and laid
down absolute submission to its laws. Thus, the essential character,
which still distinguishes Rome from the Reformation, stood prominently
forth in this first combat.

Among the auditors who filled the chapel of the Palatinate Palace,
concealed in the midst of the deputies of Nuremberg, was Joachim
Camerarius, who, while Schweiss was reading, leant over his tablets
and carefully noted down all he could collect. At the same time others
of the Protestants, speaking to one another, were indignant, and even
laughed, as one of their opponents assures us.[686] "Really," said
they with one consent, "the whole of this Refutation is worthy of Eck,
Faber, and Cochlœus!"

  [686] Multi e Lutheranis inepte cachinnabantur. (Cochlœus, p. 895.)

As for Charles, little pleased with these theological dissertations,
he slept during the reading;[687] but he awoke when Schweiss had
finished, and his awakening was that of a lion.

  [687] Imperator iterum obdormivit. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 245.)


The Count-palatine then declared that his majesty found the articles
of this Refutation orthodox, catholic, and conformable to the Gospel;
that he therefore required the Protestants to abandon their
Confession, now refuted, and to adhere to all the articles that had
just been set forth;[688] that, if they refused, the Emperor would
remember his office, and would know how to show himself the advocate
and defender of the Roman Church.

  [688] Petiit Cæsar ut omnes in illos articulos consentiant. (Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 345.)

This language was clear enough: the adversaries imagined they had
refuted the Protestants by commanding the latter to consider
themselves beaten. Violence--arms--war--were all contained in these
cruel words of Charles's minister.[689] The princes represented that,
as the Refutation adopted some of their articles and rejected others,
it required a careful examination, and they consequently begged a copy
should be given them.

  [689] Orationis summa atrox. (Corp. Ref. p. 253.)

The Romish party had a long conference on this demand: night was at
hand; the Count-palatine replied that, considering the late hour and
the importance of this affair, the Emperor would make known his
pleasure somewhat later. The diet separated, and Charles the Fifth,
exasperated at the audacity of the Evangelical princes, says Cochlœus,
returned in ill-humour to his apartments.[690]

  [690] Cæsar non æquo animo ferebat eorum contumaciam. (Cochl. p. 195.)

The Protestants, on the contrary, withdrew full of peace; the reading
of the Refutation having given them as much confidence as that of the
Confession itself.[691] They saw in their adversaries a strong
attachment to the hierarchy, but a great ignorance of the Gospel--a
characteristic feature of the Romish party; and this thought
encouraged them. "Certainly," said they, "the Church cannot be where
there is no knowledge of Christ."[692]

  [691] Facti sunt erectiore animo. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 259.)

  [692] Ecclesiam ibi non esse, ubi ignoratur Christus.


Melancthon alone was still alarmed; he walked by sight and not by
faith, and, remembering the legate's smiles, he had another interview
with him, as early as the 4th August, still demanding the cup for the
laity, and lawful wives for the priests. "Then," said he, "our pastors
will place themselves again under the government of bishops, and we
shall be able to prevent those innumerable sects with which posterity
is threatened."[693] Melancthon's glance into the future is
remarkable: it does not, however, mean that he, like many others,
preferred a dead unity to a living diversity.

  [693] Quod nisi fiet, quid in tot sectis ad posteros futurum sit.
  (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 148.)

Campeggio, now certain of triumphing by the sword, disdainfully handed
this paper to Cochlœus, who hastened to refute it. It is hard to say
whether Melancthon or Campeggio was the most infatuated. God did not
permit an arrangement that would have enslaved his Church.

Charles passed the whole of the 4th and the morning of the 5th August
in consultation with the Ultramontane party. "It will never be by
discussion that we shall come to an understanding," said some; "and if
the Protestants do not submit voluntarily, it only remains for us to
compel them." They nevertheless decided, on account of the Refutation,
to adopt a middle course. During the whole of the diet, Charles
pursued a skilful policy. At first he refused everything, hoping to
lead away the princes by violence; then he conceded a few unimportant
points, under the impression that the Protestants having lost all
hope, would esteem so much the more the little he yielded to them.
This was what he did again under the present circumstances. In the
afternoon of the 5th, the Count-palatine announced that the Emperor
would give them a copy of the Refutation, but on these conditions;
namely, that the Protestants should not reply, that they should
speedily agree with the Emperor, and that they would not print or
communicate to any one the Refutation that should be confided to

  [694] F. Urkund. ii. p. 179; Corp. Ref. ii. p. 256; Brück, Apol. p.

This communication excited murmurs among the Protestants. "These
conditions," said they all, "are inadmissible."--"The Papists present
us with their paper," added the Chancellor Brück, "as the fox offered
a thin broth to his gossip the stork."

    The savoury broth upon a plate by Reynard was served up,
    But Mistress Stork, with her long beak, she could not get a sup.[695]

  [695] Gluck wie der Fuchs brauchet, da er den Storch zu gast lud.
  (Brück, Apol. p. 74.)


"If the Refutation," continued he, "should come to be known without
our participation (and how can we prevent it?), we shall be charged
with it as a crime. Let us beware of accepting so perfidious an
offer.[696] We already possess in the notes of Camerarius several
articles of this paper, and if we omit any point, no one will have the
right to reproach us with it."

  [696] Quando exemplum per alios in vulgus exire poterat. (Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 76.)

On the next day (6th August) the Protestants declared to the diet that
they preferred declining the copy thus offered to them, and appealed
to God and to his Majesty.[697] They thus rejected all that the
Emperor proposed to them, even what he considered as a favour.

  [697] Das Sie es Gott and Kays. Maj. beschlen mussten. (Urkund. ii. p.

Agitation, anger, and affright, were manifested on every branch of
that august assembly.[698] This reply of the Evangelicals was war--was
rebellion. George of Saxony, the Princes of Bavaria, all the violent
adherents of Rome, trembled with indignation; there was a sudden, an
impetuous movement, an explosion of murmurs and of hatred; and it
might have been feared that the two parties would have come to blows
in the very presence of the Emperor, if Archbishop Albert, the Elector
of Brandenburg, and the Dukes of Brunswick, Pomerania, and
Mecklenburg, rushing between them, had not conjured the Protestants to
put an end to this deplorable combat, and not drive the Emperor to
extremities.[699] The diet separated, their hearts filled with
emotion, apprehension, and trouble.

  [698] Und darob wie man Spüren mag, ein Entzet zen gehabt. (Ibid.)

  [699] Hi accedunt ad nostros principes et jubent omittere hoc
  certamen, ne Cæsar vehementius commoveatur. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 254.)


Never had the diet proposed such fatal alternatives. The hopes of
agreement, set forth in the edict of convocation, had only been a
deceitful lure: now the mask was thrown aside; submission or the
sword--such was the dilemma offered to the Reformation. All announced
that the day of tentatives was passed, and that they were beginning
one of violence.

In truth, on the 6th July, the Pope had assembled the consistory of
cardinals in his palace at Rome, and had made known to them the
Protestant ultimatum; namely, the cup for the laity, the marriage of
priests, the omission of the invocation of saints in the sacrifice of
the Mass, the use of ecclesiastical property already secularized, and
for the rest, the convocation of a council. "These concessions," said
the cardinals, "are opposed to the religion, the discipline, and the
laws of the Church.[700] We reject them, and vote our thanks to the
Emperor for the zeal which he employs in bringing back the deserters."
The Pope having thus decided, every attempt at conciliation became

  [700] Oppositas religioni, disciplinæ, legibusque Ecclesiæ. (Pallav.
  i. p. 234.)

Campeggio, on his side, redoubled in zeal. He spoke as if in his
person the Pope himself were present at Augsburg.[701] "Let the
Emperor and the right-thinking princes form a league," said he to
Charles; "and if these rebels, equally insensible to threats and
promises, obstinately persist in their diabolical course, then let his
Majesty seize fire and sword, let him take possession of all the
property of the heretics, and utterly eradicate these venomous
plants.[702] Then let him appoint holy inquisitors, who shall go on
the track of the remnants of Reform, and proceed against them, as in
Spain against the Moors. Let him put the university of Wittemberg
under ban, burn the heretical books, and send back the fugitive monks
to their convents. But this plan must be executed with courage."

  [701] Als were der Papst selbst gegenwärtiggewest. (Brück, Apol. 62.)

  [702] Se alcuni......perseverassero in questa diabolica via quella S.
  M. potrà mettere la mano al ferro e al foco et _radicitus extirpare_
  questa venenata pianta. (Instructio data Cæsari a reverendissimo
  Campeggi in dieta Augustana, 1530.)

[Sidenote: TWO MIRACLES.]

Thus the jurisprudence of Rome consisted, according to a prophecy
uttered against the city which _is seated on seven hills_, in adorning
itself with pearls that it had stolen, and in becoming drunk with the
blood of the saints.[703]

  [703] Revelation xvii. and xviii.

While Charles was thus urged on with blind fury by the diet and the
Pope, the Protestant princes, restrained by a mute indignation, did
not open their mouths,[704] and hence they seemed to betray a weakness
of which the Emperor was eager to profit. But there was also strength
concealed under this weakness. "It only remains for us," exclaimed
Melancthon, "to embrace our Saviour's knees." In this they laboured
earnestly. Melancthon begged for Luther's prayers; Brenz for those of
his own church: a general cry of distress and of faith ran through
Evangelical Germany. "You shall have sheep," said Brenz, "if you will
send us sheep: you know what I mean."[705] The sheep that were to be
offered in sacrifice were the prayers of the saints.

  [704] Tacita indignatio. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 254.)

  [705] Habebitis oves, si oves ad nos mittatis: intelligitis quæ volo.
  (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 246.)


The Church was not wanting to itself. "Assembled every day," wrote
certain cities to the Electors, "we beg for you strength, grace, and
victory,--victory full of joy." But the man of prayer and faith was
especially Luther. A calm and sublime courage, in which firmness
shines at the side of joy--a courage that rises and exults in
proportion as the danger increases--is what Luther's letters at this
time present in every line. The most poetical images are pale beside
those energetic expressions which issue in a boiling torrent from the
Reformer's soul. "I have recently witnessed two miracles," wrote he on
the 5th August to Chancellor Brück; "this is the first. As I was at my
window, I saw the stars, and the sky, and that vast and magnificent
firmament in which the Lord has placed them. I could nowhere discover
the columns on which the Master has supported this immense vault, and
yet the heavens did not fall......

"And here is the second. I beheld thick clouds hanging above us like a
vast sea. I could neither perceive ground on which they reposed, nor
cords by which they were suspended; and yet they did not fall upon us,
but saluted us rapidly and fled away.

"God," continued he, "will choose the manner, the time, and the place
suitable for deliverance, and he will not linger. What the men of
blood have begun, they have not yet finished......Our rainbow is
faint......their clouds are threatening......the enemy comes against
us with frightful machines......But at last it will be seen to whom
belonged the ballistæ, and from what hands the javelins are
launched.[706] It is no matter if Luther perishes: if Christ is
conqueror, Luther is conqueror also."[707]

  [706] In fine videbitur cujus toni......(L. Epp. iv. p. 130.)

  [707] Vincat Christus modo, nihil refert si pereat Lutherus, quia
  victore Christo victor erit. (Ibid. p. 139.)

Never had the Roman party, who did not know what was the victory of
faith, imagined themselves more certain of success.

The doctors having refuted the Confession, the Protestants ought, they
imagined, to declare themselves convinced, and all would then be
restored to its ancient footing: such was the Emperor's plan of
campaign. He therefore urges and calls upon the Protestants; but
instead of submitting, they announce a refutation of the Refutation.
Upon this Charles looked at his sword, and all the princes who
surrounded him did the same.

[Sidenote: THE MASK.]

John of Saxony understood what that meant, but he remained firm. "The
straight line," said he (the axiom was familiar to him), "is the
shortest road." It is this indomitable firmness that has secured for
him in history the name of John the Persevering. He was not alone: all
those Protestant princes who had grown up in the midst of courts, and
who were habituated to pay an humble obedience to the Emperor, found
at that time in their faith a noble independence that confounded
Charles the Fifth.

With the design of gaining the Marquis of Brandenburg, they opened to
him the possibility of according him some possessions in Silesia on
which he had claims. "If Christ is Christ," replied he, "the doctrine
that I have confessed is truth."--"But do you know," quickly replied
his cousin the Elector Joachim, "what is your stake?"--"Certainly,"
replied the Margrave, "it is said I shall be expelled from this
country. Well! may God protect me!" One day Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt
met Doctor Eck. "Doctor," said he, "you are exciting to war, but you
will find those who will not be behindhand with you. I have broken
many a lance for my friends in my time. My Lord Jesus Christ is
assuredly worthy that I should do as much for him."

At the sight of this resolution, each one asked himself whether
Charles, instead of curing the disease, was not augmenting it.
Reflections, criticisms, jests, passed between the citizens; and the
good sense of the people manifested in its own fashion what they
thought of the folly of their chief. We will adduce one instance.

It is said that one day, as the Emperor was at table with many
Roman-catholic princes, he was informed that some comedians begged
permission (according to custom) to amuse their lordships. First
appeared an old man wearing a mask, and dressed in a doctor's robe,
who advanced with difficulty carrying a bundle of sticks in his arms,
some straight and some crooked. He approached the wide fireplace of
the Gothic hall, threw down his load in disorder, and immediately
withdrew.[708] Charles and the courtiers read on his back the
inscription--JOHN REUCHLIN. Then appeared another mask with an
intelligent look, who made every exertion to pair the straight and
the crooked pieces;[709] but finding his labours useless, he shook his
head, turned to the door, and disappeared. They read--ERASMUS OF
ROTTERDAM. Almost immediately after advanced a monk with bright eye
and decided gait, carrying a brasier of lighted coals.[710] He put the
wood in order, set fire to it, blew and stirred it up, so that the
flame rose bright and sparkling into the air. He then retired, and on
his back were the words--MARTIN LUTHER.

  [708] Persona larva contecta, habitu doctorali portabat struem
  lignorum. (T. L. Fabricius, opp. omnia, ii. p. 131.)

  [709] Hic conabatur curva rectis exæquare lignis. (T. L. Fabricius,
  opp. omnia, p. ii. 231.)

  [710] In azula ferens ignem et prunas. (Ibid.)

Next approached a magnificent personage, covered with all the imperial
insignia, who, seeing the fire so bright, drew his sword, and
endeavoured by violent thrusts to extinguish it; but the more he
struck, the fiercer burnt the flames, so that at last he quitted the
place in indignation. His name, as it would seem, was not made known
to the spectators, but all divined it. The general attention was soon
attracted by a new character. A man, wearing a surplice and a mantle
of red velvet, with an alb of white wool that reached to his heels,
and having a stole around his neck, whose ends were ornamented with
pearls, advanced majestically. Beholding the flames that already
filled the hearth, he clapped his hands in terror, and looking around
him sought to find something to extinguish them. He sees two vessels
at the very extremity of the hall, one filled with water, and the
other with oil. He rushes to them, seizes unwittingly on that
containing the oil, and throws it on the fire.[711] The flames then
spread with such violence that the mask fled in alarm, raising his
hands to heaven; on his back was read the name of LEO X.

  [711] Currens in amphoram oleo plenam. (T. L. Fabricius, opp. omnia,
  ii. p. 232.)

The mystery was finished; but instead of claiming their remuneration,
the pretended actors had disappeared. No one asked the moral of this

[Sidenote: OMENS.]

The lesson, however, proved useless; and the majority of the diet,
assuming at the same time the part assigned to the Emperor and the
Pope, began to prepare the means necessary for extinguishing the fire
kindled by Luther. They negotiated in Italy with the Duke of Mantua,
who engaged to send a few regiments of light cavalry across the
Alps;[712] and in England with Henry VIII., who had not forgotten
Luther's reply, and who promised Charles, through his ambassador, an
immense subsidy to destroy the heretics.[713]

  [712] Che tentano col Duca di Mantona d' avere il modo di condurre
  1000 cavalli leggieri d' Italia in caso si facesse guerra in
  Germanica. (Nic. Tiefolo Relat.)

  [713] Cui (Cæsari) ingentem vim pecuniæ in hoc sacrum bellum contra
  hæreticos Anglus promisisse fertur. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 484.)

At the same time frightful prodigies announced the gloomy future which
threatened the Reform. At Spire fearful spectres, having the shape of
monks, with angry eyes and hasty steps, had appeared during the night.
"What do you want?" they had been asked.--"We are going," they
replied, "to the Diet of Augsburg!" The circumstance had been
carefully investigated, and was found perfectly trustworthy.[714] "The
interpretation is not difficult," exclaimed Melancthon: "Evil spirits
are coming to Augsburg to counteract our exertions, and to destroy
peace. They forebode horrible troubles to us."[715] No one doubted
this. "Everything is advancing towards war," said Erasmus.[716] "The
diet will not terminate," wrote Brenz, "except by the destruction of
all Germany."[717] "There will be a slaughter of the saints,"
exclaimed Bucer, "which will be such that the massacres of Diocletian
will scarcely come up to it."[718] War and blood!--this was the
general cry.

  [714] Res et diligenter inquisita et explorata maximeque
  αξιὁπιστος. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 259.)

  [715] Monachorum Spirensium φἁσμα plane significat horribilem
  tumultum. (Ibid. p. 260.)

  [716] Vides rem plane tendere ad bellum. (Corp. Ref. Aug. 12, p. 268.)

  [717] Comitia non finientur nisi totius Germaniæ malo et exitio.
  (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 216.)

  [718] Laniena sanctorum qualis vix Diocletiani tempore fuit. (Buc. Ep.
  Aug. 14, 1530.)


Suddenly, on the night of Saturday, 6th August, a great disturbance
broke out in the city of Augsburg.[719] There was running to and fro
in the streets; messengers from the Emperor were galloping in every
direction; the senate was called together and received an order to
allow no one to pass the gates of the city.[720] At the same time all
were afoot in the imperial barracks; the soldiers got ready their
arms; the regiments were drawn up, and at daybreak (about three
o'clock on Sunday morning) the Emperor's troops, in opposition to the
custom constantly followed in the diet, relieved the soldiers of the
city and took possession of the gates. At the same time it was learnt
that these gates would not be opened, and that Charles had given
orders to keep a strict watch upon the Elector and his allies.[721] A
terrible awakening for those who still flattered themselves with
seeing the religious debates conclude peacefully! Are not these
unheard-of measures the commencement of wars and the signal of a
frightful massacre?

  [719] Tumultum magnum fuisse in civitate. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 277.)

  [720] Facto autem intempesta nocte Cæsar senatui mandavit, ne quenquam
  per portas urbis suæ emittant. (Ibid. p. 277.)

  [721] Daff man auf den Churfurst zu Sachsen aufschen haben soll.
  (Brück, Apol. p. 80.)

[Sidenote: TEMPTATION.]

X. Trouble and anger prevailed in the imperial palace, and it was the
Landgrave who had caused them. Firm as a rock in the midst of the
tempest with which he was surrounded, Philip of Hesse had never bent
his head to the blast. One day, in a public assembly, addressing the
bishops, he had said to them, "My lords, give peace to the Empire; we
beg it of you. If you will not do so, and if I must fall, be sure that
I will drag one or two of you with me." They saw it was necessary to
employ milder means with him, and the Emperor endeavoured to gain him
by showing a favourable disposition with respect to the county of
Katzenellenbogen, about which he was at variance with the country of
Nassau, and to Wurtemberg, which he claimed for his cousin Ulric. On
his side Duke George of Saxony, his father-in-law, had assured him
that he would make him his heir if he would submit to the Pope. "They
carried him to an exceeding high mountain, whence they showed him all
the kingdoms of the world and the glory thereof,"[722] says a
chronicler, but the Landgrave resisted the temptation.

  [722] Auf den hohen berg gefuhrt. (Lanze's Chronik.)

One day he heard that the Emperor had manifested a desire to speak to
him. He leapt instantly on his horse and appeared before Charles.[723]
The latter, who had with him his secretary Schweiss and the Bishop of
Constance, represented that he had four complaints against him;
namely, of having violated the Edict of Worms, of despising the Mass,
of having, during his absence, excited all kinds of revolt, and,
finally, of having transmitted to him a book in which his sovereign
rights were attacked. The Landgrave justified himself; and the Emperor
said that he accepted his replies, except with regard to the faith,
and begged him to show himself in that respect entirely submissive to
his majesty. "What would you say," added Charles, in a winning tone,
"if I elevated you to the regal dignity?[724] But, if you show
yourself rebellious to my orders, then I shall behave as becomes a
Roman Emperor."

  [723] Von ihr selbst gen Hof geritten. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 165.)

  [724] Quin et in regem te evehendum curabimus. (Rommel, Philip der Gr.
  i. p. 268.)

These words exasperated the Landgrave, but they did not move him. "I
am in the flower of my age," replied he, "and I do not pretend to
despise the joys of life and the favour of the great; but to the
deceitful goods of this world I shall always prefer the ineffable
grace of my God." Charles was stupified; he could not understand

From this time the Landgrave had redoubled his exertions to unite the
adherents of Reform. The Zwinglian cities felt that, whatever was the
issue of the diet, they would be the first victims, unless the Saxons
should give them their hand. But this there was some difficulty in


"It does not appear to me useful to the public weal, or safe for the
conscience," wrote Melancthon to Bucer, "to load our princes with all
the hatred your doctrine inspires."[725] The Strasburgers replied,
that the real cause of the Papists' hatred was not so much the
doctrine of the Eucharist as that of justification by faith. "All we,
who desire to belong to Christ," said they, "are one, and we have
nothing to expect but death."[726]

  [725] Nostros principes onerare invidia vestri dogmatis. (Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 221.)

  [726] Arctissime quoque inter nos conjuncti essemus, quotquot Christi
  esse volumus. (Ibid. p. 236.)

This was true; but another motive besides checked Melancthon. If all
the Protestants united, they would feel their strength, and war would
be inevitable. Therefore, then, no union!

The Landgrave, threatened by the Emperor, rejected by the theologians,
began to ask himself what he did at Augsburg. The cup was full.
Charles's refusal to communicate the Romish Refutation, except on
inadmissible conditions, made it run over. Philip of Hesse saw but one
course to take--to quit the city.

Scarcely had the Emperor made known the conditions which he placed on
the communication of the reply, than on Friday evening, 5th August,
the Landgrave, going alone to the Count-palatine, Charles's minister,
had begged for an immediate audience with his majesty. Charles, who
did not care about it, pretended to be busy, and had put off Philip
until the following Sunday.[727] But the latter answered that he could
not wait; that his wife, who was dangerously ill, entreated him to
return to Hesse without delay; and that, being one of the youngest
princes, the meanest in understanding, and useless to Charles, he
humbly begged his majesty would permit him to leave on the morrow. The
Emperor refused.

  [727] Cum imperator dilationem respondendi astu quodam accepisset.
  (Corp. Ref. ii. pp. 254, 276.)


We may well understand the storms this refusal excited in Philip's
mind: but he knew how to contain himself; never had he appeared more
tranquil; during the whole of Saturday (6th August), he seemed
occupied only with a magnificent tourney in honour of the Emperor and
of his brother Ferdinand.[728] He prepared for it publicly; his
servants went to and fro, but under that din of horses and of armour,
Philip concealed very different designs. "The Landgrave conducts
himself with very great moderation," wrote Melancthon to Luther, the
same day.[729] "He told me openly that, to preserve peace, he would
submit to conditions still harder than those which the Emperor imposes
on us, and whatever he could accept without dishonouring the Gospel,
he would do so."

  [728] Ad ludos equestres in honorem Cæsari instituendos publice sese
  apparavit. (Seck. ii. p. 172.)

  [729] Landgravius valde moderate se gerit. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 254.)

Yet Charles was not at ease. The Landgrave's demand pursued him; all
the Protestants might do the same, and even quit Augsburg
unexpectedly. The clue, that he had hitherto so skilfully held in his
hands, was perhaps about to be broken: it was better to be violent
than ridiculous. The Emperor therefore resolved on striking a decisive
blow. The Elector, the princes, the deputies, are still in Augsburg:
he must at every risk prevent them from leaving it. Such were the
heavy thoughts that on the night of the 6th August, while the
Protestants were calmly sleeping,[730] banished repose from Charles's
eyes; and which made him hastily arouse the councillors of Augsburg,
and send his messengers and soldiers through the streets of the city.

  [730] Ego vero somno sopitus dulciter quiescebam. (Corp. Ref. ii. p.

The Protestant princes were still slumbering, when they received, on
the part of the Emperor, the unexpected order to repair immediately to
the Hall of the Chapter.[731]

  [731] Mane facto Cæsar......convocavit nostros principes. (Ibid, p.
  277; Bruck, Apol. p. 79.)


It was eight o'clock when they arrived. They found there the electors
of Brandenburg and Mentz, the Dukes of Saxony, Brunswick, and
Mecklenburg, the Bishops of Salzburg, Spire, and Strasburg, George
Truchses, the Margrave of Baden's representative, Count Martin of
(OE)lting, the Abbot of Weingarten, and the Provost of Bamberg. These
were the commissioners nominated by Charles to terminate this great

It was the most decided among them, Joachim of Brandenburg, who began
to speak. "You know," said he to the Protestants, "with what mildness
the Emperor has endeavoured to re-establish unity. If some abuses have
crept into the Christian Church, he is ready to correct them, in
conjunction with the Pope. But how contrary to the Gospel are the
sentiments you have adopted! Abandon then your errors, do not any
longer remain separate from the Church, and sign the Refutation
without delay.[732] If you refuse, then through your fault how many
souls will be lost, how much blood shed, what countries laid waste,
what trouble in all the Empire! And you," said he, turning towards the
Elector, "your electorate, your life, all will be torn from you, and
certain ruin will fall upon your subjects, and even upon their wives
and children."

  [732] Ut sententiæ quam in refutatione audivissent subscribant. (Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 277.)

The Elector remained motionless. At any time this language would have
been alarming: it was still more so now that the city was almost in a
state of siege. "We now understand," said the Protestants to one
another, "why the imperial guards occupy the gates of the city."[733]
It was evident, indeed, that the Emperor intended violence.[734]

  [733] Intelligis nunc cur portæ munitæ fuerunt. (Ibid.)

  [734] Quia volebat Cæsar nostros violentia ad suam sententiam cogere.

[Sidenote: PHILIP OF HESSE.]

The Protestants are unanimous: surrounded with soldiers, at the very
gates of the prison, and beneath the thousand swords of Charles, they
will remain firm. All these threats will not make them take one step
backwards.[735] It was important for them, however, to consider their
reply. They begged for a few minutes' delay, and retired.

  [735] Sed hæ minæ nostros nihil commoverunt: perstant in sententia,
  nec vel tantillum recedunt. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 277.)

To submit voluntarily, or to be reduced by force, such was the dilemma
Charles proposed to the Evangelical Christians.

At the moment when each was anxious about the issue of this struggle,
in which the destinies of Christianity were contending, an alarming
rumour suddenly raised the agitation of all minds to its height.

The Landgrave, in the midst of his preparations for the tournament,
meditated the most serious resolution. Excluded by Charles from every
important deliberation, irritated at the treatment the Protestants had
undergone during this diet,[736] convinced that they had no more
chance of peace,[737] not doubting that their liberty was greatly
endangered in Augsburg, and feeling unable to conceal under the
appearance of moderation the indignation with which his soul was
filled, being besides of a quick, prompt, and resolute character,
Philip had decided on quitting the city and repairing to his states,
in order to act freely, and to serve as a support to the Reform.

  [736] Commotus indignitate actionum. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 260.)

  [737] Spem pacis abjecisse. (Ibid.)

But what mystery was required! If the Landgrave was taken in the act,
no doubt he would be put under arrest. This daring step might
therefore become the signal of those extreme measures from which he
longed to escape.


It was Saturday, the 6th August, the day for which Philip had
requested the Emperor's leave of absence. He waits until the
commencement of the night, and then, about eight o'clock, disguised in
a foreign dress, without bidding farewell to any of his friends,[738]
and taking every imaginable precaution,[739] he makes for the gates of
the city, about the time when they are usually closed. Five or six
cavaliers followed him singly, and at a little distance.[740] In so
critical a moment will not these men-at-arms attract attention? Philip
traverses the streets without danger, approaches the gate,[741] passes
with a careless air through the midst of the guard, between the
scattered soldiers; no one moves, all remain idly seated, as if
nothing extraordinary was going on. Philip has passed without being
recognised.[742] His five or six horsemen come through in like manner.
Behold them all at last in the open country. The little troop
immediately spur their horses, and flee with headlong speed far from
the walls of the imperial city.

  [738] Clam omnibus abit. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 260.)

  [739] Multa cum cautela. (Seck. ii. p. 172.)

  [740] Clam cum paucis equitibus. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 277; Mit 5 oder 6
  pferden. Ibid. p. 263.)

  [741] Seckendorf, and M. de Rommel no doubt after him, say that the
  Landgrave went out through a secret gate (porta urbis secretiori,
  Seck. ii. p. 172; Rommel i. p. 270.) I prefer the contemporary
  evidence, particularly that of Brenz, which says: Vesperi priusquam
  portæ urbis clauderentur, urbe elapsus est. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 277.)
  The chief magistrate of Augsburg, who alone had the keys of the
  wicket, would never have dared to favour the departure of the

  [742] Ubi erat ille ignotus. (Corp. Ref. p. 261.)

Yet Philip has taken his measures so well, that no one as yet suspects
his departure. When during the night Charles occupies the gates with
his own guards, he thinks the Landgrave still in the city.[743] When
the Protestants were assembled at eight in the morning in the
Chapter-hall, the princes of both parties were a little astonished at
the absence of Philip of Hesse. They are accustomed, however, to see
him keep aloof; he is in a pet, no doubt. No one imagines he is
between twelve and fifteen leagues from Augsburg.

  [743] Existimabat enim Cæsar adhuc præsto adesse. (Ibid.)


After the termination of the conference, and as each one was returning
towards his hotel, the Elector of Brandenburg and his friends on the
one hand, elated at the speech they had delivered, the Elector of
Saxony and his allies on the other, resolved to sacrifice everything,
inquiries were made at the Landgrave's lodgings as to the reason of
his absence; they closely question Salz, Nuszbicker, Mayer, and
Schnepf. At last the Hessian councillors can no longer keep the
secret. "The Landgrave," said they, "has returned to Hesse."

This news circulated immediately through all the city, and shook it
like the explosion of a mine. Charles especially, who found himself
mocked, and frustrated in his expectations--Charles, who had not the
least suspicion,[744] trembled, and was enraged.[745] The Protestants,
whom the Landgrave had not admitted to his secret,[746] are as much
astonished as the Roman-catholics themselves, and fear that this
inconsiderate departure may be the immediate signal for a terrible
persecution. There was only Luther, who, the moment he heard of
Philip's proceeding, highly approved of it, and exclaimed: "Of a truth
all these delays and indignities are enough to fatigue more than one

  [744] Cæsare nihil suspicante. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 277.)

  [745] Imperator re insperata commotus. (Seck. ii. p. 172.)

  [746] Unwissend des Churfursten von Sachsenund unserer. (Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 263.)

  [747] Es möchte wohl _ista mora et indignitas_ nocheinen Landgraven
  müde machen. (L. Epp. iv. p. 134.)

The Chancellor of Hesse gave the Elector of Saxony a letter that his
master had left for him. Philip spoke in this ostensible document of
his wife's health; but he had charged his ministers to inform the
Elector in private of the real causes of his departure. He announced,
moreover, that he had given orders to his ministers to assist the
Protestants in all things, and exhort his allies to permit themselves
in no manner to be turned aside from the Word of God.[748] "As for
me," said he, "I shall fight for the Word of God, at the risk of my
goods, my states, my subjects, and my life."

  [748] Ut nullo modo a verbo Dei abstrahi aut terreri se patiatur.
  (Seck. ii. p. 172.)


The effect of the Landgrave's departure was instantaneous: a real
revolution was then effected in the diet. The Elector of Mentz and the
bishops of Franconia, Philip's near neighbours, imagined they already
saw him on their frontiers at the head of a powerful army, and they
replied to the Archbishop of Salzburg, who expressed astonishment at
their alarm: "Ah! if you were in our place you would do the same."
Ferdinand, knowing the intimate relations of Philip with the Duke of
Wurtemberg, trembled for the estates of this prince, at that time
usurped by Austria; and Charles the Fifth, undeceived with regard to
those princes whom he had believed so timid, and whom he had treated
with so much arrogance, had no doubt that this sudden fit of Philip's
had been maturely deliberated in the common council of the
Protestants. All saw a declaration of war in the Landgrave's sudden
departure. They called to mind that at the moment when they thought
the least about it, they might see him appear at the head of his
soldiers, on the frontiers of his enemies, and no one was ready; no
one even wished to be ready! A thunderbolt had fallen in the midst of
the diet. They repeated the news to one another, with troubled eyes
and affrighted looks. All was confusion in Augsburg; and couriers bore
afar, in every direction, astonishment and consternation.

This alarm immediately converted the enemies of the Reform. The
violence of Charles and of the princes was broken in this memorable
night as if by enchantment; and the furious wolves were suddenly
transformed into meek and docile lambs.[749]

  [749] Sed hanc violentiam abitus Landgravii interrupit. (Corp. Ref. p.


It was still Sunday morning: Charles the Fifth immediately convoked
the diet for the afternoon.[750] "The Landgrave has quitted Augsburg,"
said Count Frederick from the Emperor; "his majesty flatters himself
that even the friends of that prince were ignorant of his departure.
It was without the Emperor's knowledge, and even in defiance of his
express prohibition, that Philip of Hesse has left, thus failing in
all his duties. He has wished to put the diet out of joint.[751] But
the Emperor conjures you not to permit yourselves to be led astray by
him, and to contribute rather to the happy issue of this national
assembly. His majesty's gratitude will thus be secured to you."

  [750] Nam cum paucis post horis resciscunt Landgravium elapsum,
  convocant iterum nostros. (Ibid.)

  [751] Zertrennung dieses Reichstags zu verursachen. (Corp. Ref. p.

The Protestants replied, that the departure of the Landgrave had taken
place without their knowledge; that they had heard of it with pain,
and that they would have dissuaded him. Nevertheless they did not
doubt that this prince had solid reasons for such a step; besides he
had left his councillors with full powers, and that, as for them, they
were ready to do everything to conclude the diet in a becoming manner.
Then, confident in their rights, and decided to resist Charles's
arbitrary acts, they continued: "It is pretended that the gates were
closed on our account. We beg your majesty to revoke this order, and
to prevent any similar orders being given for the future."

Never was Charles the Fifth less at ease: he had just spoken as a
father, and they remind him that a few hours back he had acted like a
tyrant. Some subterfuge was requisite. "It is not on your account,"
replied the Count-palatine, "that the Emperor's soldiers occupy the
gates......Beware of believing those who tell you so......Yesterday
there was a quarrel between two soldiers,[752] and a mob was
collected......This is why the Emperor took that step. Besides, such
things shall not be done again without the Elector of Saxony, in his
quality of marshal of the Empire, being first informed of them." An
order was given immediately to reopen the gates.

  [752] Es habe ein Trabant mit einem andern ein Unwill gehabt. (Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 265.)

[Sidenote: PEACE! PEACE!]

No exertions were now spared by the Roman party to convince the
Protestants of their good-will: there was an unaccustomed mildness in
the language of the Count-palatine and in the looks of Charles.[753]
The princes of the Papal party, once so terrible, were similarly
transformed. They had been hastily forced to speak out; if they
desired war, they must begin it instantly.

  [753] Nullo alio tempore mitius et benignius quam tunc cum
  protestantibus egerit. (Seck. ii. p. 172.)

But they shrunk back at this frightful prospect. How, with the
enthusiasm that animated the Protestants, take up arms against them!
Were not the abuses of the Church everywhere acknowledged, and could
the Roman princes be sure of their own subjects? Besides, what would
be the issue of a war but the increase of the Emperor's power? The
Roman-catholic states, and the Duke of Bavaria in particular, would
have been glad to see Charles at war with the Protestants, in the hope
that he would thus consume his strength; but it was, on the contrary,
with their own soldiers that the Emperor designed attacking the
heretics. Henceforth they rejected the instrumentality of arms as
eagerly as they had at first desired it.

Everything had thus changed in Augsburg: the Romish party was
paralyzed, disheartened, and even broken up. The sword already drawn
was hastily thrust back into the sheath. Peace! peace! was the cry of

XI. The diet now entered upon its third phasis, and as the time of
tentatives had been followed by that of menaces; now that of
arrangements was to succeed the period of menaces. New and more
formidable dangers were then to be encountered by the Reform. Rome,
seeing the sword torn from its hands, had seized the net, and enlacing
her adversaries with "cords of humanity and bands of love," was
endeavouring to drag them gently into the abyss.


At eight o'clock in the morning of the 16th August, a mixed commission
was framed, which counted on each side two princes, two lawyers, and
three theologians. In the Romish party, there were Duke Henry of
Brunswick, the Bishop of Augsburg, the Chancellors of Baden and
Cologne, with Eck, Cochlœus, and Wimpina; on the part of the
Protestants, were the Margrave George of Brandenburg, the Prince
Electoral of Saxony, the Chancellors Brück and Heller, with
Melancthon, Brenz, and Schnepf.[754]

  [754] P. Urkundenbuch, ii. p. 219.

They agreed to take as basis the Confession of the Evangelical states,
and they began to read it article by article. The Romish theologians
displayed an unexpected condescension. Out of twenty-one dogmatical
articles, there were only six or seven to which they made any
objection. Original Sin stopped them some time: at length they came to
an understanding; the Protestants admitted that Baptism removed the
guilt of the sin, and the Papists agreed that it did not wash away
concupiscence. As for the Church, they granted that it contained
sanctified men and sinners; they coincided also on confession. The
Protestants rejected especially as impossible the enumeration of all
the sins prescribed by Rome. Doctor Eck yielded this point.[755]

  [755] Die Sünd die man nicht wisse, die durff man nicht beichten. (F.
  Urkunden, ii. p. 228.)

There remained three doctrines only on which they differed.

The first was that of Penance. The Romish doctors taught that it
contained three parts: contrition, confession, and satisfaction. The
Protestants rejected the latter, and the Romanists clearly perceiving
that with satisfaction would fall indulgences, purgatory, with other
of their doctrines and profits, vigorously maintained it. "We agree,"
said they, "that the penance imposed by the priest does not procure
remission of the guilt of sin: but we maintain that it is necessary to
obtain remission of the penalty."


The second controverted point was the Invocation of Saints; and the
third, and principal one, was Justification by Faith. It was of the
greatest importance for the Romanists to maintain the meritorious
influence of works: all their system, in reality, was based on that.
Eck therefore haughtily declared war on the assertion that faith alone
justifies. "That word _sole_," said he, "we cannot tolerate. It
generates scandals, and renders men brutal and impious. Let us send
back the _sole_ to the cobbler."[756]

  [756] Man soll die _Sole_ ein weil zum Schuster Schicken. (Urkund. ii.
  p. 225.) This wretched pun of Eck's requires no comment.

But the Protestants would not listen to such reasoning; and even when
they put the question to each other, Shall we maintain that faith
alone justifies us gratuitously? "Undoubtedly, undoubtedly," exclaimed
one of them with exaggeration, "_gratuitously and uselessly_."[757]
They even adduced strange authorities: "Plato," said they, "declares
that it is not by external works, but by virtue that God is adored;
and every one knows these verses of Cato's:

    "Si deus est animus, nobis ut carmina dicunt,
    Hic tibi precipue pura sit mente colendus."[758]

  [757] Omnino, omnino, addendum etiam _frustra_. (Scultet. p. 289.)

  [758] If God is a spirit, as the poets teach, he should be worshipped
  with a pure mind.

"Certainly," resumed the Romish theologians; "it is only of works
performed with grace that we speak; but we say that in such works
there is something meritorious." The Protestants declared they could
not grant it.

They had approximated however beyond all hope. The Roman theologians,
clearly understanding their position, had purposed to appear agreed
rather than be so in reality. Every one knew, for instance, that the
Protestants rejected transubstantiation: but the Article of the
Confession on this point, being able to be taken in the Romish sense,
the Papists had admitted it. Their triumph was only deferred. The
general expressions that were used in all the controverted points,
would permit somewhat later a Romish interpretation to be given to the
Confession; ecclesiastical authority would declare this the only true
one; and Rome, thanks to a few moments of dissimulation, would thus
reascend the throne. Have we not seen in our own days the Thirty-nine
Articles of the Anglican Church interpreted in accordance with the
Council of Trent? There are causes in which falsehood is never
awanting. This plot was as skilfully executed, as it was profoundly

The Commissioners were on the best terms with one another, and concord
seemed restored. One single uneasiness disturbed that happy moment:
the idea of the Landgrave: "Ignorant that we are almost agreed," said
they, "this young mad-brain is doubtless already assembling his army;
we must bring him back, and make him a witness of our cordial union."
On the morning of the 13th, one of the members of the Commission (Duke
Henry of Brunswick), accompanied by a councillor of the Emperor, set
out to discharge this difficult mission.[759] Duke George of Saxony
supplied his place as arbitrator.

  [759] Brunswigus coactus est abire πρὁς τὁν μακἑδονα quem
  timent contrahere exercitum. (Scultet. p. 299.)

They now passed from the first part of the Confession to the second:
from doctrines to abuses. Here the Romish theologians could not yield
so easily, for if they aἑppeared to agree with the Protestants, it was
all over with the honour and power of the hierarchy. It was
accordingly for this period of the combat that they had reserved their
cunning and their strength.

They began by approaching the Protestants as near as they could, for
the more they granted, the more they might draw the Reform to them and
stifle it. "We think," said they, "that with the permission of his
holiness, and the approbation of his majesty, we shall be able to
permit, until the next council, the communion in both kinds, wherever
it is practised already; only, your ministers should preach at Easter,
that that is not of Divine institution, and that Christ is wholly in
each kind.[760]

  [760] Vorschläge des Anschlusses der Sieben des Gegentheils. (Urk. ii.
  p. 251.)


"Moreover," continued they, "as for the married priests, desirous of
sparing the poor women whom they have seduced, of providing for the
maintenance of their innocent children, and of preventing every kind
of scandal, we will tolerate them until the next council, and we shall
then see if it will not be right to decree that married men may be
admitted to holy orders, as was the case in the primitive Church for
many centuries.[761]

  [761] Wie von alters in der ersten Kirche etliche Hundert Jahre, in
  Gebrauch gewesen. (Urk. ii. p. 254.)

"Finally, we acknowledge that the sacrifice of the Mass is a mystery,
a representation, a sacrifice of commemoration, a memorial of the
sufferings and death of Christ, accomplished on the cross."[762]

  [762] Zu Errinnerung und Gedächtniss. (Ibid. p. 253.)

This was yielding much: but the turn of the Protestants was come; for
if Rome appeared to give, it was only to take in return.

The grand question was the Church, its maintenance and government: who
should provide for it? They could see only two means: princes or
bishops. If they feared the bishops, they must decide for the princes:
if they feared the princes, they must decide for the bishops. They
were at that time too distant from the normal state to discover a
third solution, and to perceive that the Church ought to be maintained
by the Church itself--by the christian people. "Secular princes in the
long-run will be defaulters to the government of the Church," said the
Saxon divines in the opinion they presented on the 18th August; "they
are not fit to execute it, and besides it would cost them too
dear:[763] the bishops, on the contrary, have property destined to
provide for this charge."

  [763] Ist Ihmen auch nicht möglich. Dazu Kostet es zu viel. (Urk. ii.
  p. 247.)

Thus the presumed incapacity of the state, and the fear they
entertained of its indifference, threw the Protestants into the arms
of the hierarchy.


They proposed therefore to restore to the bishops their jurisdiction,
the maintenance of discipline, and the superintendence of the priests,
provided they did not persecute the Evangelical doctrine, and did not
oppress the pastors with impious vows and burdens. "We may not," added
they, "without strong reasons rend that order by which the bishops are
over the priests, and which existed in the Church from the beginning.
It is dangerous before the Lord to change the order of governments."
Their argument is not founded upon the Bible, as may be seen, but upon
ecclesiastical discipline.

The Protestant divines went even farther, and, taking a last step that
seemed decisive, they consented to acknowledge the Pope as being (but
of human right) supreme bishop of Christendom. "Although the Pope is
Anti-christ, we may be under his government, as the Jews were under
Pharaoh, and in later days under Caiaphas." We must confess these two
comparisons were not flattering to the Pope. "Only," added the
doctors, "let the sound doctrine be fully accorded to us."

The chancellor Brück alone appears to have been conscious of the
truth: he wrote on the margin with a firm hand: "We cannot acknowledge
the Pope, because we say he is Antichrist, and because he claims the
primacy of right divine."[764]

  [764] Cum dicimus eum Antichristum. (Urk. p. 247.)

Finally, the Protestant theologians consented to agree with Rome as
regards indifferent ceremonies, fasts, and forms of worship; and the
Elector engaged to put under sequestration the ecclesiastical property
already secularized, until the decision of the next council.


Never was the conservative spirit of Lutheranism more clearly
manifested. "We have promised our adversaries to concede to them
certain points of church government, that may be granted without
wounding the conscience," wrote Melancthon.[765] But he began to be
very doubtful whether ecclesiastical concessions would not drag with
them doctrinal concessions also. The reform was drifting
away......still a few more fathoms, and it was lost. Already disunion,
trouble, and affright began to spread among its ranks. Melancthon has
become more childish than a child, said one of his friends;[766] and
yet he was so excited, that the Chancellor of Lunenburg having made
some objections to these unprecedented concessions, the little Master
of Arts proudly raised his head, and said with a sharp and harsh tone
of voice: "He who dares assert that the means indicated are not
christian is a liar and a scoundrel."[767] On which the Chancellor
immediately repaid him in his own coin. These expressions cannot,
however, detract from Melancthon's reputation for mildness. After so
many useless efforts, he was exhausted, irritated, and his words cut
the deeper, as they were the less expected from him. He was not the
only one demoralized. Brenz appeared clumsy, rude, and uncivil;
Chancellor Keller had misled the pious Margrave of Brandenburg, and
transformed the courage of this prince into pusillanimity: no other
human support remained to the Elector than his chancellor Brück. And
even this firm man began to grow alarmed at his isolation.

  [765] Nos politica quædam concessuros quæ sine offensione conscientiæ.
  (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 302.)

  [766] Philippus ist kindischer denn ein kind warden. (Baumgartner,
  Ibid. p. 363.)

  [767] Der lüge als ein Bösewichst. (Ibid. p. 364.)


But he was not alone: the most earnest protests were received from
without. "If it is true that you are making such concessions," said
their affrighted friends to the Saxon divines, "christian liberty is
at an end.[768] What is your pretended concord? a thick cloud that you
raise in the air to eclipse the sun that was beginning to illumine the
Church.[769] Never will the christian people accept conditions so
opposed to the Word of God; and your only gain will be furnishing the
enemies of the Gospel with a specious pretext to butcher those who
remain faithful to it." Among the laymen these convictions were
general. "Better die with Jesus Christ," said all Augsburg,[770] "than
gain the favour of the whole world without him!"

  [768] Actum est de christiana libertate. (Baumgartner, Corp. Ref. ii.
  p. 295.)

  [769] Quid ea concordia aliud esset quam natæ jam et divulgatæ luci
  obducere nubem. (Ibid. p. 296.)

  [770] Die gange Stadt sagt. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 297.)

No one felt so much alarm as Luther at the moment when he saw the
glorious edifice that God had raised by his hands on the point of
falling to ruin in those of Melancthon. The day on which this news
arrived, he wrote five letters,--to the Elector, to Melancthon, to
Spalatin, to Jonas, and to Brenz, all equally filled with courage and
with faith.

"I learn," said he, "that you have begun a marvellous work, namely, to
put Luther and the Pope in harmony; but the Pope is unwilling, and
Luther begs to be excused.[771] And if, in despite of them, you
succeed in this affair, then after your example I will bring together
Christ and Belial.

  [771] Sed Papa nolet et Lutherus deprecatur. (L. Epp. iv. p. 144.)

"The world I know is full of wranglers who obscure the doctrine of
justification by faith, and of fanatics who persecute it. Do not be
astonished at it, but continue to defend it with courage, for it is
the heel of the seed of the woman that shall bruise the head of the

  [772] Nam hic est ille unicus calcaneus seminis antiquo serpenti
  adversantis. (Ibid. p. 151.)

"Beware also of the jurisdiction of the bishops, for fear we should
have soon to recommence a more terrible struggle than the first. They
will take our concessions widely, very widely, always more widely, and
will give us theirs narrowly, very narrowly, and always more
narrowly.[773] All these negotiations are impossible, unless the Pope
should renounce his Papacy.

  [773] Ipsi enim nostras concessiones large, largius, largissime, suas
  vero, stricte, strictius, strictissime. (Ibid. p. 145.)

"A pretty motive indeed our adversaries assign! They cannot, say they,
restrain their subjects, if we do not publish everywhere that they
have the truth for them: as if God only taught his Word, in order that
our enemies might at pleasure tyrannize over their people.


"They cry out that we condemn all the Church. No, we do not condemn
it; but as for them, they condemn all the Word of God, and the Word of
God is more than the Church."[774]

  [774] Sed ab ipsis totum verbum Dei _quod plus quam ecclesia est_
  damnari. (L. Epp. iv. p. 145.)

This important declaration of the Reformers decides the controversy
between the Evangelical Christians and the Papacy: unfortunately we
have often seen Protestants return, on this fundamental point, to the
error of Rome, and set the visible Church above the Word of God.

"I write to you now," continues Luther, "to believe with all of us
(and that through obedience to Jesus Christ), that Campeggio is a
famous demon.[775] I cannot tell how violently these conditions
agitate me which you propose. The plan of Campeggio and the Pope has
been to try us first by threats, and then, if they do not succeed, by
stratagems; you have triumphed over the first attack, and sustained
the terrible coming of Cæsar: now, then, for the second. Act with
courage, and do not yield to the adversaries except what can be proved
with evidence from the very Word of God.

  [775] Quod Campeggius est unus magnus et insignis diabolus. (Ibid. p.

"But if, which Christ forbid! you do not put forward all the Gospel;
if, on the contrary, you shut up that glorious eagle in a sack;
Luther--doubt it not!--Luther will come and gloriously deliver the
eagle.[776] As certainly as Christ lives, that shall be done!"

  [776] Veniet, ne dubita, veniet Lutterus, hanc aquilam liberaturus
  magnifice. (L. Epp. iv. p. 155.)


Thus spoke Luther, but in vain: everything in Augsburg was tending
towards approaching ruin; Melancthon had a bandage over his eyes that
nothing could tear off. He no longer listened to Luther, and cared not
for popularity. "It does not become us," said he, "to be moved by the
clamours of the vulgar:[777] we must think of peace and of posterity.
If we repeal the episcopal jurisdiction, what will be the consequence
to our descendants? The secular powers care nothing about the
interests of religion.[778] Besides too much dissimilarity in the
Churches is injurious to peace: we must unite with the bishops, lest
the infamy of schism should overwhelm us for ever."[779]

  [777] Sed nos nihil decet vulgi clamoribus moveri. (Corp. Ref. ii. p.

  [778] Profani jurisdictionem ecclesiasticam et similia negotia
  religionem non curent. (Corp. Ref. ii.)

  [779] Ne schismatis infamia perpetuo laboremus. (Ibid.)

They too readily listened to Melancthon, and they vigorously laboured
to bind to the Papacy by the bonds of the hierarchy the Church that
God had wonderfully emancipated. Protestantism rushed blindfold into
the nets of its enemies. Already serious voices announced the return
of the Lutherans into the bosom of the Romish Church. "They are
preparing their defection, and are passing over to the Papists," said
Zwingle.[780] The politic Charles the Fifth so acted that no haughty
word should compromise the victory; but the Roman clergy could not
master themselves: their pride, their insolence increased every day.
"One would never believe," said Melancthon, "the airs of triumph which
the Papists give themselves." There was good reason! the agreement was
on the verge of conclusion: yet one or two steps.......and then, woe
to Reform!

  [780] Lutherani defectionem parant ad Papistas. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 461.)

Who could prevent this desolating ruin? It was Luther who pronounced
the name towards which all eyes should be turned: "Christ lives," said
he, "and he by whom the violence of our enemies has been conquered
will give us strength to surmount their wiles." This was in truth the
only resource, and it did not fail the Reform.


If the Roman hierarchy had been willing, under certain admissible
conditions, to receive the Protestants who were ready to capitulate,
it was all over with them. When once it held them in its arms, it
would have stifled them; but God blinded the Papacy, and thus saved
his Church. "No concessions," had declared the Romish senate; and
Campeggio, elated with his victory, repeated, "No concessions!" He
moved heaven and earth to inflame the Catholic zeal of Charles in this
decisive moment. From the Emperor he passed to the princes. "Celibacy,
confession, the withdrawal of the cup, private masses!" exclaimed he:
"all these are obligatory: we must have all." This was saying to the
Evangelical Christians, as the Samnites to the ancient Romans: "Here
are the Caudine Forks: pass through them!"

The Protestants saw the yoke, and shuddered. God revived the courage
of the confessors in their weakened hearts. They raised their heads,
and rejected this humiliating capitulation. The commission was
immediately dissolved.

This was a great deliverance; but soon appeared a fresh danger. The
Evangelical Christians should have immediately quitted Augsburg; but,
said one of them,[781] "Satan, disguised as an angel of light, blinded
the eyes of their understanding." They remained.

  [781] Baumgartner to Spengler. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 363.)

All was not yet lost for Rome, and the spirit of falsehood and of
cunning might again renew its attacks.

It was believed at court that this disagreeable termination of the
commission was to be ascribed to some wrong-headed individuals, and
particularly to Duke George. They therefore resolved to name another,
composed of six members only: on the one side, Eck, with the
chancellors of Cologne and Baden; on the other, Melancthon, with the
chancellors Brück and Heller. The Protestants consented, and all was
begun anew.


The alarm then increased among the most decided followers of the
Reformation. "If we expose ourselves unceasingly to new dangers, must
we not succumb at last?"[782] The deputies of Nuremberg in particular
declared that their city would never place itself again under the
detested yoke of the bishops. "It is the advice of the undecided
Erasmus that Melancthon follows," said they. "Say rather of
Ahithophel" (2 Sam. xv.), replied others. "However it may be," added
they; "if the Pope had bought Melancthon, the latter could have done
nothing better to secure the victory for him."[783]

  [782] Fremunt et alii socii ac indignatur regnum Episcoporum restitui.
  (Ibid. p. 328.)

  [783] Si conductus quanta ipse voluisset pecunia a Papa esset. (Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 333.)

The Landgrave was especially indignant at this cowardice.
"Melancthon," wrote he to Zwingle, "walks backwards like a crab."[784]
From Friedwald, whither he had repaired after his flight from
Augsburg, Philip of Hesse endeavoured to check the fall of
Protestantism. "When we begin to yield, we always yield more," wrote
he to his ministers at Augsburg. "Declare therefore to my allies that
I reject these perfidious conciliations. If we are Christians, what we
should pursue is, not our own advantage, but the consolation of so
many weary and afflicted consciences, for whom there is no salvation
if we take away the Word of God. The bishops are not real bishops, for
they speak not according to the Holy Scriptures. If we acknowledge
them, what would happen? They would remove our ministers, oppress the
Gospel, re-establish ancient abuses, and the last state would be worse
than the first. If the Papists will permit the free preaching of the
pure Gospel, let us come to an understanding with them; for the truth
will be the strongest, and will root out all the rest. But if
not!--No. This is the moment, not to yield, but to remain firm even to
the death. Baffle these fearful combinations of Melancthon, and tell,
from me, the deputies of the cities to be men, and not women.[785] Let
us fear nothing: God is with us."

  [784] Retro it, ut cancer. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 506.)

  [785] Das sie nicht weyber seyen sondern männer. (Corp. Ref. ii. p.


Melancthon and his friends, thus attacked, sought to justify
themselves: on the one hand, they maintained, that if they preserved
the doctrine it would finally overthrow the hierarchy. But then why
restore it? Was it not more than doubtful whether a doctrine so
enfeebled would still retain strength sufficient to shake the Papacy?
On the other hand, Melancthon and his friends pointed out two
phantoms before which they shrunk in affright. The first was _war_: it
was, in their opinion, imminent. "It is not only," said they,
"numberless temporal evils that it will bring with it,--the
devastation of Germany, murder, violation, sacrilege, rapine; but it
will produce spiritual evils more frightful still, and will inevitably
bring on the perturbation of all religion."[786] The second phantom
was the supremacy of the state. Melancthon and his friends foresaw the
dependence to which the princes would reduce the Church, the
increasing secularization of its institutions and of its instruments,
the spiritual death that would result, and they shrunk back with
terror from the frightful prospect. "Good men do not think that the
court should regulate the ministry of the Church,"[787] said Brenz.
"Have you not yourselves experienced," added he ironically, "with what
wisdom and mildness these boors ('tis thus I denominate the officials
and prefects of the princes) treat the ministers of the Church, and
the Church itself. Rather die seven times!"--"I see," exclaimed
Melancthon, "what a Church we shall have if the ecclesiastical
government is abolished. I discover in the future a tyranny far more
intolerable than that which has existed to this day."[788] Then, bowed
down by the accusations that poured upon him from every side, the
unhappy Philip exclaimed: "If it is I who have aroused this tempest, I
pray his majesty to throw me, like Jonas, into the sea, and to drag me
out only to give me up to torture and to the stake."[789]

  [786] Confusio et perturbatio religionum. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 382.)

  [787] Ut aula ministerium in ecclesia ordinet bonis non videtur
  consultum. (Ibid. p. 362.)

  [788] Video postea multo intolerabiliorem futuram tyrannidem quam
  unquam antea fuisse. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 334.)

  [789] Si mea causa hæc tempestas coacta est, me statim velut Jonam in
  mare ejiciat. (Ibid. p. 382.)


The Romish episcopacy once recognised, all seemed easy. In the
Commission of Six, they conceded the cup to the laity, marriage to the
pastors, and the article of prayer to saints appeared of little
importance. But they stopped at three doctrines which the Evangelicals
could not yield. The first was the necessity of human satisfaction for
the remission of the penalties of sin; the second, the idea of
something meritorious in every good work; the third, the utility of
private masses. "Ah!" quickly replied Campeggio to Charles the Fifth,
"I would rather be cut in pieces than concede anything about

  [790] Er wollte sich ehe auf Stücker Zureissen lassen. (L. Opp. xx. p.

"What!" replied the politicians, "when you agree on all the great
doctrines of salvation, will you for ever rend the unity of the Church
for three such trivial articles? Let the theologians make a last
effort, and we shall see the two parties unite, and Rome embrace

[Sidenote: IRRITATION.]

It was not so: under these three points was concealed a whole system.
On the Roman side, they entertained the idea that certain works gain
the Divine favour, independently of the disposition of him who
performs them, and by virtue of the will of the Church. On the
Evangelical side, on the contrary, they felt a conviction that these
external ordinances were mere human traditions, and that the only
thing which procured man the Divine favour was the work that God
accomplished by Christ on the cross; while the only thing that put him
in possession of this favour was the work of regeneration that Christ
accomplishes by his Spirit in the heart of the sinner. The Romanists,
by maintaining their three articles, said: "the Church saves," which
is the essential doctrine of Rome; the Evangelicals, by rejecting
them, said: "Jesus Christ alone saves," which is Christianity itself.
This is the great antithesis which then existed, and which still
separates the two Churches. With these three points, which placed
souls under her dependence, Rome justly expected to recover
everything; and she showed by her perseverance that she understood her
position. But the Evangelicals were not disposed to abandon theirs.
The Christian principle was maintained against the ecclesiastical
principle which aspired to swallow it up: Jesus Christ stood firm in
presence of the Church, and it was seen that henceforward all
conferences were superfluous.

Time pressed: for two months and a half Charles the Fifth had been
labouring in Augsburg, and his pride suffered because four or five
theologians checked the triumphal progress of the conqueror of Pavia.
"What!" said they to him, "a few days sufficed to overthrow the King
of France and the Pope, and you cannot succeed with these Gospellers!"
They determined on breaking off the conferences. Eck, irritated
because neither stratagem nor terror had been effectual, could not
master himself in the presence of the Protestants. "Ah!" exclaimed he,
at the moment of separation, "why did not the Emperor, when he entered
Germany, make a general inquest about the Lutherans? He would then
have heard arrogant answers, witnessed monsters of heresy, and his
zeal suddenly taking fire, would have led him to destroy all this
faction.[791] But now Brück's mild language and Melancthon's
concessions prevent him from getting so angry as the cause requires."
Eck said these words with a smile; but they expressed all his
thoughts. The colloquy terminated on the 30th of August.

  [791] Hæc inflammassent Imperatorem ad totam hanc factionem delendam.
  (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 335.)

The Romish states made their report to the Emperor. They were face to
face, three steps only from each other, without either side being able
to approach nearer, even by a hair's breadth.


Thus, then, Melancthon had failed; and his enormous concessions were
found useless. From a false love of peace, he had set his heart on an
impossibility. Melancthon was at the bottom a really Christian soul.
God preserved him from his great weakness, and broke the clue that was
about to lead him to destruction. Nothing could have been more
fortunate for the Reformation than Melancthon's failure; but nothing
could, at the same time, have been more fortunate for himself: his
friends saw that though he was willing to yield much, he could not go
so far as to yield Christ himself, and his defeat justified him in the
eyes of the Protestants.

The Elector of Saxony and the Margrave of Brandenburg sent to beg
Charles's leave to depart. The latter refused at first rather rudely,
but at last he began to conjure the princes not to create by their
departure new obstacles to the arrangements they soon hoped to be able
to conclude.[792] We shall see of what nature these arrangements were.

  [792] Antwort des Kaisers, &c. (Urkund. ii. p. 313.)

They appeared to redouble their exertions. If they now let the clue
slip, it is lost for ever: they laboured accordingly to reunite the
two ends. There were conferences in the gardens, conferences at the
churches, at St. George's, at St. Maurice's, between the Duke of
Brunswick and John Frederick the Elector's son, the Chancellors of
Baden and of Saxony, the Chancellor of Liege and Melancthon; but all
these attempts were unavailing. It was to other means they were going
to have recourse.

Charles the Fifth had resolved to take the affair in hand, and to cut
the Gordian knot, which neither doctor nor princes could untie.
Irritated at seeing his advances spurned and his authority
compromised, he thought that the moment was come for drawing the
sword. On the 4th September the members of the Roman party, who were
still endeavouring to gain over the Protestants, whispered these
frightful intentions in Melancthon's ears. "We scarcely dare mention
it," said they: "the sword is already in the Emperor's hands, and
certain people exasperate him more and more. He is not easily enraged,
but once angry it is impossible to quiet him."[793]

  [793] Nescio an ausim dicere, jam ferrum in manu Cæsaris esse. (Corp.
  Ref. ii. p. 342.)

[Sidenote: ALARM IN ROME.]

Charles had reason to appear exacting and terrible. He had at length
obtained from Rome an unexpected concession--a council. Clement VII.
had laid the Emperor's request before a Congregation: "How will men
who reject the ancient councils submit to a new one?" they had
replied. Clement himself had no wish for such an assembly. His birth
and his conduct made him equally dread it.[794] However, his promises
at the Castle of St. Angelo and at Bologna rendered it impossible for
him to give a decided refusal. He answered, therefore, that "the
remedy would be worse than the disease;[795] but that if the Emperor,
who was so good a Catholic, judged a council absolutely necessary, he
would consent to it, under the express condition, however, that the
Protestants should submit in the meanwhile to the doctrines and rites
of the Church." Then as the place of meeting he appointed Rome!

  [794] In eam (concilii celebrationem) Pontificis animus haud
  propendebatur. (Pallavicini. i. p. 251.)

  [795] Al contrario, remedio e piu pericoloso e per partorir maggiori
  mali. (Lettere de Principe, ii. p. 197.)

Scarcely had the news of this concession spread abroad, than the fear
of a Reformation froze the Papal court. The public charges of the
Papacy, which were altogether venal, immediately fell, says a
cardinal, and were offered at the lowest price,[796] without even
being able to find purchasers.[797] The Papacy was compromised; the
merchandise was in great danger; and the _price current_ immediately
declined on the Roman exchange.

  [796] Evulgatus concilii rumor......publica Roma munera......jam in
  vilissimum pretium decidissent. (Pallav. i. p. 251.)

  [797] Che non se non trovano danari. (Lett. di Prin. iii. p. 5.)

On Wednesday, 7th September, at two in the afternoon, the Protestant
princes and deputies having been introduced into the chamber of
Charles the Fifth, the Count-palatine said to them, "that the Emperor,
considering their small number, had not expected they would uphold new
sects against the ancient usages of the Universal Church; that,
nevertheless, being desirous of appearing to the last full of
kindness, he would require of his Holiness the convocation of a
council; but that in the meanwhile they should return immediately into
the bosom of the Catholic Church, and restore everything to its
ancient footing."[798]

  [798] Interim restitui debere omnia Papistis. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 355.
  See also _Erklärung des Kaisers Karl_, v. Urkunden, ii. p. 391.)

[Sidenote: MENACES.]

The Protestants replied on the morrow, the 8th September, that they
had not stirred up new sects contrary to the Holy Scriptures;[799]
that, quite the reverse, if they had not agreed with their
adversaries, it was because they had desired to remain faithful to the
Word of God; that by convoking in Germany a general, free, and
christian council, it would only be doing what preceding diets had
promised; but that nothing should compel them to re-establish in their
churches an order of things opposed to the commandments of God.

  [799] Nit neue, Secten wieder die heilige Schrifft. (Brück. Apol. p.

It was eight in the evening when, after a long deliberation, the
Protestants were again called in. "His majesty," said George Truchses
to them, "is equally astonished both that the Catholic members of the
commissions have accorded so much, and that the Protestant members
have refused everything. What is your party in the presence of his
imperial majesty, of his Papal holiness, of the electors, princes,
estates of the Empire, and other kings, rulers, and potentates of
Christendom? It is but just that the minority should yield to the
majority. Do you desire the means of conciliation to be protracted, or
do you persist in your answer? Speak frankly; for if you persist, the
Emperor will immediately see to the defence of the Church. To-morrow
at one o'clock you will bring your final decision."

Never had such threatening words issued from Charles's mouth. It was
evident he wished to subdue the Protestants by terror; but this end
was not attained. They replied the next day but one--a day more having
been accorded them--that new attempts at conciliation would only
fatigue the Emperor and the diet; that they only required regulations
to maintain political peace until the assembling of the council.[800]
"Enough," replied the redoubtable Emperor; "I will reflect upon it;
but in the mean time let no one quit Augsburg."

  [800] Urkunden. ii. p. 410; Brück, Apol. p. 139.


Charles the Fifth was embarrassed in a labyrinth from which he knew
not how to escape. The state had resolved to interfere with the
Church, and saw itself compelled to have immediate recourse to its
_ultima ratio_--the sword. Charles did not desire war, and yet how
could he now avoid it? If he did not execute his threats, his dignity
was compromised, and his authority rendered contemptible. He sought an
outlet on one side or the other, but could find none. It therefore
only remained for him to close his eyes, and rush forward without
knowing what might happen. These thoughts disturbed him: these cares
preyed upon him; he was utterly confounded.

It was now that the Elector sent to beg Charles would not be offended
if he left Augsburg. "Let him await my answer," abruptly replied the
Emperor; and the Elector having rejoined that he would send his
ministers to explain his motives to his majesty: "Not so many
speeches," resumed Charles, with irritation; "let the Elector say
whether he will stay or not!"[801]

  [801] Kurtz mit Solchen worten ob er erwarten wolte oder nicht?
  (Brück, Apol. p. 143.)


A rumour of the altercation between these two powerful princes having
spread abroad, the alarm became universal; it was thought war would
break out immediately, and there was a great cry in all Augsburg.[802]
It was evening: men were running to and fro; they rushed into the
hotels of the princes and of the Protestant deputies, and addressed
them with the severest reproaches. "His imperial majesty," said they,
"is about to have recourse to the most energetic measures!" They even
declared that hostilities had begun: it was whispered that the
commander of Horneck (Walter of Kronberg), elected by the Emperor
grand-master of the Teutonic order, was about to enter Prussia with an
army, and dispossess Duke Albert, converted by Luther.[803] Two nights
successively the same tumult was repeated. They shouted, they
quarrelled, they fought, particularly in and before the mansions of
the princes: the war was nearly commencing in Augsburg.

  [802] Ein beschwerlich Geschrey zu Augsbourgden selben abend
  ausgebrochen. (Ibid. p. 145.)

  [803] Man würde ein Kriegs-volk in Preussen Schicken. (Brück, Apol. p.

At that crisis (12th September), John Frederick, prince-electoral of
Saxony, quitted the city.

On the same day, or on the morrow, Jerome Wehe, chancellor of Baden,
and Count Truchses on the one side; Chancellor Brück and Melancthon on
the other, met at six in the morning in the church of St.

  [804] Ibid. p. 155-160.

Charles, notwithstanding his threats, could not decide on employing
force. He could no doubt by a single word to his Spanish bands or to
his German lansquenets have seized on these inflexible men, and
treated them like Moors. But how could Charles, a Netherlander, a
Spaniard, who had been absent ten years from the Empire, dare, without
raising all Germany, offer violence to the favourites of the nation?
Would not the Roman-catholic princes themselves see in this act an
infringement of their privileges? War was unseasonable. "Lutheranism
is extending already from the Baltic to the Alps," wrote Erasmus to
the legate: "You have but one thing to do: tolerate it."[805]

  [805] A mare Baltico ad Helvetios. (Erasm. Epp. xiv. p. 1.)

The negotiation begun in the Church of St. Maurice was continued
between the Margrave of Brandenburg and Count Truchses. The Roman
party only sought to save appearances, and did not hesitate, besides,
to sacrifice everything. It asked merely for a few theatrical
decorations--that the Mass should be celebrated in the sacerdotal
garment, with chanting, reading, ceremonies, and its two canons.[806]
All the rest was referred to the next council, and the Protestants,
till then, should conduct themselves so as to render account to God,
to the council, and to his majesty.

  [806] Ingewöhnlichen Kleidungen mit Gesang und Lesen. (Urk. ii. p.
  418.) The canon was a frame of card-board placed on the altar before
  the priest, and which contained the Apostles' Creed with various


But on the side of the Protestants the wind had also changed. Now they
will no longer have peace with Rome: the scales had at last fallen
from their eyes, and they discovered with affright the abyss into
which they had so nearly plunged. Jonas, Spalatin, and even Melancthon
were agreed. "We have hitherto obeyed the commandment of St. Paul, _Be
at peace with all men_," said they; "now we must obey this commandment
of Christ, _Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is
hypocrisy_. On the side of our adversaries is nothing but cunning and
perfidy, and their only aim is to stifle our doctrine, which is truth
itself.[807] They hope to save the abominable articles of Purgatory,
Indulgences, and the Papacy, because we have passed them by in
silence.[808] Let us beware of betraying Christ and his Word in order
to please antichrist and the devil."[809]

  [807] Estel List gefährliche Tücke, &c. (Jonas. Urkund. ii. p. 423.)

  [808] Die gräuliche artikel. (Spalat. Ibid. p. 428.) De Primatu Papæ,
  de Purgatorio, de Indulgentiis. (Melancthon, Cord. Ref. ii. p. 374.)

  [809] Dem Teufel und antichrist zu gefallen. (Urk. ii. p. 431.)

Luther at the same time redoubled his entreaties to withdraw his
friends from Augsburg. "Return, return," cried he to them; "return,
even if it must be so, cursed by the Pope and the Emperor.[810] You
have confessed Jesus Christ, offered peace, obeyed Charles, supported
insults, and endured blasphemies. I will canonize you, I, as faithful
members of Jesus Christ. You have done enough, and more than enough:
now it is for the Lord to act, and he will act! They have our
Confession, they have the Gospel; let them receive it, if they will;
and if they will not, let them go----. If a war should come, let it
come! We have prayed enough; and we have discussed enough. The Lord is
preparing our adversaries as the victim for the sacrifice; he will
destroy their magnificence, and deliver his people. Yes! he will
preserve us even from Babylon, and from her burning walls."

  [810] Vel maledicti a Papa et Cæsare. (L. Epp. iv. p. 162-171.)


XII. Thus Luther gave the signal of departure. They replied to the
Reformer's appeal, and all prepared to quit Augsburg on Saturday, 17th
September. At ten at night Duke Ernest of Luneburg assembled the
deputies of Nuremberg and the ministers of the Landgrave in his hotel,
and announced to them that the Elector was determined to leave the
next morning, without informing any one, and that he would accompany
him. "Keep the secret," said he to them, "and know that, if peace
cannot be preserved, it will be a trifling matter for me to lose,
combating with you, all that God has given me."[811]

  [811] Alles das, so Ihm Gots geben hätt, dorob zu vertieren ein
  geringes wäre. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 379.)

The Elector's preparations betrayed his intentions. In the middle of
the night Duke Henry of Brunswick arrived hastily at his hotel,
beseeching him to wait,[812] and, towards morning, Counts Truchses and
Mansfeldt announced that, on the morrow between seven and eight, the
Emperor would give him his _congé_.

  [812] In der selben Nacht. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 379.)

On Monday, 19th September, the Elector purposing to leave Augsburg
immediately after his audience with Charles, breakfasted at seven
o'clock, then sent off his baggage and his cooks,[813] and ordered his
officers to be ready at ten o'clock. At the moment when John quitted
the hotel to wait upon the Emperor, all the members of his household
were drawn up on each side booted and spurred;[814] but, having been
introduced to Charles, he was requested to wait two, four, or six days

  [813] Præmissis fere omnibus impedimentis una cum cocis. (Corp. Ref.
  ii. p. 385.)

  [814] Gestiefelt und gespornt. (Ibid. p. 380.)


As soon as the Elector was alone with his allies, his indignation
burst forth, and he even became violent. "This new delay will end in
nothing,"[815] he said; "I am resolved to set out, happen what may. It
seems to me, from the manner in which things are arranged, that I have
now completely the air of a prisoner." The Margrave of Brandenburg
begged him to be calm. "I shall go," the Elector still replied. At
last he yielded, and having appeared again before Charles the Fifth,
he said, "I will wait until Friday next; and, if nothing is done by
that time, I shall leave forthwith."

  [815] Etwas darob schwermütig und hitzig erzeight. (Ibid. p. 380.)

Great was the anxiety of the Protestants during these four days of
expectation. Most of them doubted not that, by acceding to Charles's
prayers, they had delivered themselves into the hands of their
enemies. "The Emperor is deliberating whether he ought to hang us or
let us live," wrote Brenz.[816] Fresh negotiations of Truchses were
without success.[817]

  [816] Adhuc deliberat Cæsar pendendum ne nobis sit, an diutius
  vivendum. (Corp. Ref. ii.)

  [817] Urkunden. ii. p. 455-472.

All that now remained for the Emperor was to draw up, in common with
the Romish states, the _recess_ of the diet. This was done; and, that
the Protestants might not complain of its having been prepared without
their knowledge, he assembled them in his palace on Thursday, 22d
September, the day previous to that fixed for the Elector's departure,
and had his project read to them by the Count-palatine. This project
was insult and war. The Emperor granted to the Elector, the five
princes, and the six cities,[818] a delay of six months, until the
15th April next year, to come to an arrangement with the Church, the
Pope, the Emperor, and all the princes and monarchs of Christendom.
This was clearly announcing to them that the Romanists were very
willing to delay until the usual period for bringing armies into the

  [818] Nuremberg and Rentlingen, to which were added the cities of
  Kempten, Heilbrunn, Windsheim, and Weissemberg. (Corp Ref. ii. p.


Nor was this all: this delay was granted only on the express condition
that the Protestants should immediately join the Emperor in reducing
the Anabaptists, and all those who opposed the holy sacrament, by
which were meant the Zwinglian cities. He wished by this means to tie
the hands of the Protestants, and prevent the two families of the
Reform from uniting during the winter.

Finally, the Protestants were forbidden to make any innovations, to
print or sell anything on the objects of faith, or to draw any one
whatever to their _sect_, "since the Confession had been soundly
refuted by the Holy Scriptures." Thus they officially proclaimed the
Reform a _sect_, and a sect contrary to the Word of God.

Nothing was more calculated to displease the friends of the Gospel,
who remained in Charles's presence astonished, alarmed, and
indignant.[819] This had been foreseen; and, at the moment when the
Protestants were about to enter the Emperor's chamber, Truchses and
Wehe, making signs to them, mysteriously slipped a paper into their
hands, containing a promise that, if, on the 15th April, the
Protestants required a prolongation of the delay, their request would
certainly be granted.[820] But Brück, to whom the paper was given, was
not deceived. "A subtle ambuscade," said he; "a masterpiece of
knavery! God will save his own, and will not permit them to fall into
the snare."[821] This trick, in fact, served only still more to
increase the courage of the Protestants.

  [819] Protestantes vehementer hoc decreto minime expectato territi
  (Seck. ii. p. 200.)

  [820] Brück, Apologie, p. 182.

  [821] Betrüge, meisterstuck, aber Gott errettet die sernen. (Ibid.)


Brück, without discussing the _recess_ in a political point of view,
confined himself to what was principally at stake, the Word of God.
"We maintain," said he, "that our Confession is so based on the holy
Word of God, that it is impossible to refute it. We consider it as the
very truth of God, and we hope by it to stand one day before the
judgment-seat of the Lord." He then announced that the Protestants had
refuted the Refutation of the Romish theologians, and holding in his
hand the famous Apology of the Confession of Augsburg written by
Melancthon, he stepped forward, and offered it to Charles the Fifth.
The Count-palatine took it, and the Emperor was already stretching out
his hand, when Ferdinand having whispered a few words, he motioned the
Count, who immediately returned the Apology to Doctor Brück.[822] This
paper and the "Commonplaces," are the masterpieces of the Reformer.
The embarrassed Emperor told the Protestants to come again at eight
the next morning.

  [822] Auf König Ferdinandus wincke wieder geben. (Apologie, p. 184.)

Charles the Fifth, resolving to employ every means to get his decree
accepted, began by entreaties; and scarcely was the Margrave of
Brandenburg seated to take his evening repast, when Truchses and Wehe,
appearing before him, used every kind of discourse and argument, but
without success.[823]

  [823] Nach essen allerley Rede Disputation und Persuasion furgewendt.
  (Urk. ii. p. 601.)

The next day (Friday, 23d September), the Evangelical princes and the
deputies of the cities, assembling at five in the morning in the
Margrave's hotel, the _recess_ was there read anew in the presence of
Truchses and Wehe, and Chancellor Brück detailed seven reasons for its
rejection. "I undertake," said Wehe, "to translate the _recess_ into
German in such a manner that you can accept it. As for the word
_sect_, in particular, it is the clerk who placed it there by
mistake."[824] The mediators retired in haste to communicate to
Charles the complaints of the Protestants.

  [824] Sondern vom Schreiber gesetzt, der dis nicht geacht. (Urk. ii.
  p. 606.)


Charles and his ministers gave up every idea of reconciliation, and
hoped for nothing except through fear. The Protestants having arrived
at eight o'clock at the imperial palace, they were made to wait an
hour; the Elector of Brandenburg then said to them in Charles's name:
"His majesty is astonished beyond measure that you still maintain your
doctrine to be based on the holy Scriptures. If you said the truth,
his majesty's ancestors, so many kings and emperors, and even the
ancestors of the Elector of Saxony, would have been heretics! There is
no Gospel, there is no Scripture, that imposes on us the obligation
of seizing by violence the goods of another, and of saying afterwards
that we cannot conscientiously restore them. It is for this reason,"
added Joachim, after these words, which he had accompanied with a
sardonic smile, "I am commissioned to inform you, that if you refuse
the _recess_, all the Germanic states will place their lives and their
property at the Emperor's disposal, and his majesty himself will
employ the resources of all his kingdoms to complete this affair
before leaving the Empire."

"We do not accept it," replied the Protestants firmly,--"His majesty
also has a conscience," then resumed the Elector of Brandenburg, in a
harsh tone; "and if you do not submit, he will concert with the Pope
and the other potentates on the best means of extirpating this sect
and its new errors." But in vain did they add threat to threat: the
Protestants remained calm, respectful, and unshaken. "Our enemies,
destitute of all confidence in God!" said they, "would shake like a
reed in presence of the Emperor's anger, and they imagine that we
should tremble in like manner; but we have called unto God, and he
will keep us faithful to his truth."

The Protestants then prepared to take their final leave of the
Emperor. This prince, whose patience had been put to a severe trial,
approached to shake hands according to custom: and beginning with the
Elector of Saxony, he said to him in a low voice: "Uncle, uncle! I
should never have expected this of you." The Elector was deeply
affected: his eyes filled with tears: but, firm and resolute, he bent
his head and quitted Charles without reply. It was now two in the


While the Protestants were returning to their hotels, calm and happy,
the Romish princes returned to theirs, confused and dispirited, uneasy
and divided. They doubted not that the _congé_ that had just been
given the Protestants would be regarded by them as a declaration of
war, and that on quitting Augsburg, they would rush to arms. This
thought terrified them. Accordingly, the Elector of Saxony had hardly
reached his palace, when he saw Dr. Ruhel, councillor of the Elector
of Mentz, hastening towards him, commissioned by his master to deliver
this message: "Although my brother the Elector (Joachim of
Brandenburg) has declared that all the states of the Empire are ready
to support the Emperor against you, know that both myself and the
ministers of the Elector-palatine and of the Elector of Treves
immediately declared to his majesty that we do not adhere to this
declaration, seeing that we think very favourably of you.[825] I
intended saying this to the Emperor in your presence, but you left so
precipitately, that I was unable."

  [825] Wüssten auch nicht anders denn wohl und gut. (Urk. p. 210.)

Thus spoke the primate of the German Church, and even the choice of
his messenger was significant: Dr. Ruhel was Luther's brother-in-law.
John begged him to thank his master.

As this envoy retired, there arrived one of the gentlemen of Duke
Henry of Brunswick, a zealous Romanist. He was at first refused
admittance on account of the departure, but returned hastily, just as
Brück's carriage was leaving the court-yard of the hotel. Approaching
the carriage-door, he said: "The Duke informs the Elector that he will
endeavour to put things in a better train, and will come this winter
to kill a wild boar with him."[826] Shortly after, the terrible
Ferdinand himself declared that he would seek every means of
preventing an outbreak.[827] All these manifestations of the
affrighted Roman-catholics showed on which side was the real strength.

  [826] Ein Sawe fahen helfen. (Ibid. 211.)

  [827] Corp. Ref. ii. p. 397.

At three o'clock in the afternoon the Elector of Saxony, accompanied
by the Dukes of Luneburg and the Princes of Anhalt, quitted the walls
of Augsburg. "God be praised," said Luther, "that our dear prince is
at last out of hell."[828]

  [828] Ein mal aus de Hölle los ist. (L. Epp. iv. p. 175.)


As he saw these intrepid princes thus escaping from his hands, Charles
the Fifth gave way to a violence that was not usual with him.[829]
"They want to teach me a new faith," cried he: "but it is not with
the doctrine that we shall finish this matter: we must draw the sword,
and we shall then see who is the strongest."[830] There was a concert
of indignation around him. They were astonished at the audacity of
Brück, who had dared call the Romanists--heretics![831] But nothing
irritated them so much as the spirit of proselytism which in those
glorious days characterized Evangelical Germany; and the anger of the
Papists was particularly directed against the Chancellor of Luneburg,
"who," said they, "had sent more than a hundred ministers into
different places to preach the new doctrine, and who had even publicly
boasted of it."[832]--"Our adversaries thirst for our blood," wrote,
as they heard these complaints, the deputies of Nuremberg, who
remained almost alone at Augsburg.

  [829] Der Kaiser ist fast hitzig im Handel. (Corp. Ref. ii. 591.)

  [830] Es gehören die Fauste dar zu. (Ibid. p. 592; Urkund. ii. p.

  [831] Fur ketzer angezogen. (Ibid.)

  [832] Bis in die Hundert Prediger in andere Lande Schiken helfen
  daselbst die neue Lehre zu predigen. (Urkund. ii. p. 646.)

On the 4th October, Charles the Fifth wrote to the Pope; for it was
from Rome that the new crusade was to set out. "The negotiations are
broken off; our adversaries are more obstinate than ever; and I am
resolved to employ my strength and my person in combating them. For
this reason I beg your holiness will demand the support of all
christian princes."


The enterprise began in Augsburg itself. The day on which he wrote to
the Pope, Charles, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast it
was, re-established the Cordeliers in that city, and a monk ascending
the pulpit said: "All those who preach that Jesus Christ alone has
made satisfaction for our sins, and that God saves us without regard
to our works, are thorough scoundrels. There are, on the contrary, two
roads to salvation: the common road, namely, the observance of the
commandments; and the perfect road, namely, the ecclesiastical state."
Scarcely was the sermon finished ere they began to remove the benches
placed in the church for the Evangelical preaching, breaking them
violently (for they were fixed with chains), and throwing them one
upon another. Within these consecrated walls two monks, in particular,
armed with hammers and pincers, tossed their arms, and shouted like
men possessed. "From this frightful uproar," exclaimed some, "one
would say they were pulling down a house."[833] It was in truth the
house of God that they wished to begin destroying.

  [833] Ein alt Haus abbrechen. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 400.)

After the tumult was appeased, they sang Mass; then a Spaniard
desiring to recommence breaking the benches, and being prevented by
one of the citizens, they began to hurl chairs at each other; one of
the monks, leaving the choir, ran up to them and was soon dragged into
the fray; at length the captain of police arrived with his men, who
distributed their well-directed blows on every side. Thus recommenced
in Germany the restoration of Roman-catholicism: popular violence has
often been one of its most powerful allies.

On the 13th October the _recess_ was read to all the Romish states,
and on the same day they concluded a Roman league.[834]

  [834] Ratschlag, &c. (Urkund. ii. 737-740.)

Two cities had signed the Confession, and two others had assented to
it; the Imperialists hoped, however, that these powerless
municipalities, affrighted at the imperial authority, would withdraw
from the Protestant union. But on the 17th October, instead of two or
four cities, sixteen imperial cities, among which were the most
important in Germany, declared it was impossible to grant any support
against the Turks, so long as public peace was not secured in Germany

  [835] Wo sie nicht einen gemeinen Friedensversichert. (Corp. Ref. ii.
  pp. 411, 416.)


An event more formidable to Charles had just taken place. The unity of
the Reformation had prevailed. "We are one in the fundamental articles
of faith," had said the Zwinglian cities, "and in particular
(notwithstanding some disputes about words among our theologians), we
are _one_ in the doctrine of the communion in the body and blood of
our Lord. Receive us." The Saxon deputies immediately gave their
hands. Nothing unites the children of God so much as the violence of
their adversaries. "Let us unite," said all, "for the consolation of
our brethren and the terror of our enemies."[836]

  [836] Diesem Theil desto mehr Freude und Trost und dem gegentheil
  Erschrecken. (Urkund. ii. p. 728.)

In vain did Charles, who was intent on keeping up the division among
the Protestants, convoke the deputies of the Zwinglian cities; in
vain, desiring to render them odious, had he accused them of fastening
a consecrated wafer to a wall and firing bullets at it;[837] in vain
did he overwhelm them with fierce threats;--all his efforts were
useless. At length the Evangelical party was one.

  [837] An eine Wand geheftet und dazu geschossen. (Corp. Ref. ii. p.

The alarm increased among the Roman party, who resolved on fresh
concessions. "The Protestants call for public peace," said they: "well
then, let us draw up articles of peace." But, on the 29th October, the
Protestants refused these offers, because the Emperor enjoined peace
to all the world, without binding himself. "An Emperor has the right
to command peace to his subjects," haughtily answered Charles; "but it
has never been heard that he commanded it to himself."[838]

  [838] These negotiations will be found in Forstermann's Urkunden, pp.

Nothing remained but to draw the sword; and for that Charles made
every preparation. On the 25th October, he wrote to the cardinals at
Rome: "We inform you that we shall spare neither kingdoms nor
lordships; and that we shall venture even our soul and our body to
complete things so necessary."

[Sidenote: CLOSE OF THE DIET.]

Scarcely had Charles's letter been received, before his major-domo,
Pedro de la Cueva, arrived in Rome by express. "The season is now too
far advanced to attack the Lutherans immediately," said he to the
Pope; "but prepare everything for this enterprise. His majesty thinks
it his duty to prefer before all things the accomplishment of your
designs." Thus Clement and the Emperor were also united, and both
sides began to concentrate their forces.

On the evening of the 11th November, the _recess_ was read to the
Protestant deputies, and on the 12th they rejected it, declaring that
they did not acknowledge the Emperor's power to command in matters of
faith.[839] The deputies of Hesse and of Saxony departed immediately
after, and on the 19th November the _recess_ was solemnly read in the
presence of Charles the Fifth, and of the princes and deputies who
were still in Augsburg. This report was more hostile than the project
communicated to the Protestants. It bore, among other things (this is
only a sample of the urbanity of this official doctrine), that "to
deny free-will was the error not of a man, but of a brute."--"We beg
his majesty," said the Elector Joachim, after it was read, "not to
leave Germany, until by his cares one sole and same faith be
re-established in all the Empire."

  [839] Urkunden, ii. p. 823; Corp. Ref. ii. p. 437.

The Emperor replied, that he would not go farther than his states of
the Low Countries. They desired deeds should follow close upon words.
It was then nearly seven in the evening; a few torches, lighted here
and there by the ushers, and casting a pale light, alone illuminated
this assembly: they separated without seeing each other; and thus
ended, as it were by stealth, that diet so pompously announced to the
christian world.

On the 22d November, the _recess_ was made public, and two days after
Charles the Fifth set out for Cologne. The ruler of two worlds had
seen all his power baffled by a few Christians; and he who had entered
the imperial city in triumph, now quitted it gloomy, silent, and
dispirited. The mightiest power of the earth was broken against the
power of God.


But the Emperor's ministers and officers, excited by the Pope,
displayed so much the more energy. The states of the Empire were bound
to furnish Charles for three years, 40,000 foot, 8000 horse, and a
considerable sum of money;[840] the Margrave Henry of Zenete, the
Count of Nassau, and other nobles, made considerable levies on the
side of the Rhine; a captain going through the Black Forest called its
rude inhabitants to his standard, and there enrolled six companies of
lansquenets; King Ferdinand had written to all the knights of the
Tyrol and of Wurtemberg to gird on their cuirasses and to seize their
swords; Joachim of Talheim collected the Spanish bands in the Low
Countries, and ordered them towards the Rhine; Peter Scher solicited
from the Duke of Lorraine the aid of his arms; and another chief
hastily moved the Spanish army of Florence in the direction of the
Alps. There was every reason to fear that the Germans, even the
Roman-catholics, would take Luther's part; and hence principally
foreign troops were levied.[841] Nothing but war was talked of in

  [840] 40,000 zu Fuss und 8000 zu Ross. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 399.)

  [841] Legati Norinb. ad Senatum, 11th October. (Corp. Ref. ii. p.
  402); Legati Sax. ad Electorem, 10th October. (Urkund. ii. p. 711.)


On a sudden a strange rumour was heard.[842] The signal is given, said
every one. A free city, lying on the confines of the Germanic and
Roman world,--a city at war with its bishop, in alliance with the
Protestants, and which passes for reformed even before really being
so, has been suddenly attacked. A courier from Strasburg brings this
news to Augsburg, and it circulates throughout the town with the
rapidity of lightning. Three days after Michaelmas, some armed men,
sent by the Duke of Savoy, pillaged the suburbs of Geneva, and
threatened to take possession of the city, and put all to the edge of
the sword. Every one in Augsburg was amazed. "Ho!" exclaimed Charles
the Fifth, in French, "the Duke of Savoy has begun too soon."[843] It
was reported that Magaret, governor of the Low Countries, the Pope,
the Dukes of Lorraine and Guelders, and even the King of France, were
directing their troops against Geneva. It was there that the army of
Rome intended fixing its _point d'appui_. The avalanche was gathering
on the first slopes of the Alps, whence it would rush over all
Switzerland, and then roll into Germany, burying the Gospel and the
Reformation under its huge mass.[844]

  [842] Shortly before the close of the diet.

  [843] Hatt der Kayser unter andern in Franzosisch geredet. (Ibid. p.

  [844] Geneva expugnata, bellum etiam urbibus Germaniæ Superioris
  inferretur. (Corp. Ref. ii. p. 402.)

Never had this sacred cause appeared to be in such great danger, and
never in reality had it gained so noble a triumph. The _coup de main_
attempted on those hills, where six years later Calvin was to take his
station, and plant the standard of Augsburg and of Nazareth, having
failed, all fears were dispelled, and the victory of the confessors of
Christ, for an instant obscured, shone forth anew in all its

While the Emperor Charles, surrounded by a numerous train of princes,
was approaching the banks of the Rhine sad and dispirited, the
Evangelical Christians were returning in triumph to their homes.
Luther was the herald of the victory gained at Augsburg by Faith.
"Though our enemies should have around them, beside them, with them,
not only that puissant Roman Emperor, Charles, but still more the
Emperor of the Turks and his Mahomet," said he, "they could not
intimidate, they could not frighten me. It is I who in the strength of
God am resolved to frighten and overthrow them. They shall yield to
me--they shall fall! and I shall remain upright and firm. My life
shall be their headsman, and my death their hell![845]......God blinds
them and hardens their hearts; he is driving them towards the Red Sea:
all the horses of Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen, cannot
escape their inevitable destiny. Let them go then, let them perish,
since they will it so![846] As for us, the Lord is with us."

  [845] Mein leben soll ihr Henker seyn. (L. Opp. xx. p. 304.)

  [846] Vadant igitur et pereant, quomodo sic volunt. (L. Epp. iv. p.


Thus the Diet of Augsburg, destined to crush the Reformation, was what
strengthened it for ever. It has been usual to consider the peace of
Augsburg (1555) as the period when the Reform was definitively
established. That is the date of legal Protestantism; Evangelical
Christianity has another--the autumn of 1530. In 1555 was the victory
of the sword and of diplomacy; in 1530 was that of the Word of God and
of Faith; and this latter victory is in our eyes the truest and the
firmest. The evangelical history of the Reformation in Germany is
nearly finished at the epoch we have reached, and the diplomatic
history of legal Protestantism begins. Whatever may be done now,
whatever may be said, the Church of the first ages has reappeared; and
it has reappeared strong enough to show that it will live. There will
still be conferences and discussions; there will still be leagues and
combats; there will even be deplorable defeats; but all that is a
secondary movement. The great movement is accomplished: the cause of
Faith is won by Faith. The effort has been made: the Evangelical
doctrine has taken root in the world, and neither the storms of men,
nor the powers of hell, will ever be able to tear it up.



I. The divisions which the Reformation disclosed within its bosom, on
its appearance before the Diet of Augsburg, humbled it and compromised
its existence; but we must not forget that the cause of these
divisions was one of the conditions of the existence of the
regenerated Church. No doubt it would have been desirable for Germany
and Switzerland to have agreed; but it was of still greater importance
that Germany and Switzerland should have each its original Reform. If
the Swiss Reformation had been only a feeble copy of the German, there
would have been uniformity, but no duration. The tree, transplanted
into Switzerland, without having taken deep root, would soon have been
torn up by the vigorous hand that was erelong about to seize upon it.
The regeneration of Christianity in these mountains proceeded from
forces peculiar to the Helvetic Church, and received an organization
in conformity with the ecclesiastical and political condition of that
country. By this very originality it communicated a particular energy
to the principles of the Reformation, of much greater consequence to
the common cause than a servile uniformity. The strength of an army
arises in great measure from its being composed of soldiers of
different arms.


The military and political influence of Switzerland was declining. The
new developments of the European nations, subsequent to the sixteenth
century, were about to banish to their native mountains those proud
Helvetians, who for so long a period had placed their two-handed
swords in the balance in which the destinies of nations were weighed.
The Reformation communicated a new influence in exchange for that
which was departing. Switzerland, where the Gospel appeared in its
simplest and purest form, was destined to give in these new times to
many nations of the two worlds a more salutary and glorious impulse
than that which had hitherto proceeded from its halberds and its

       *       *       *       *       *

The history of the Swiss Reformation is divided into three periods, in
which the light of the Gospel is seen spreading successively over
three different zones. From 1519 to 1526 Zurich was the centre of the
Reformation, which was then entirely German, and was propagated in the
eastern and northern parts of the Confederation. Between 1526 and 1532
the movement was communicated from Berne: it is at once German and
French, and extended to the centre of Switzerland from the gorges of
the Jura to the deepest valleys of the Alps. In 1532 Geneva became the
focus of the light; and the Reformation, which was here essentially
French, was established on the shores of the Leman lake, and gained
strength in every quarter. It is of the second of these periods--that
of Berne--of which we are now to treat.


Although the Swiss Reformation is not yet essentially French, still
the most active part in it is taken by Frenchmen. Switzerland
_Romande_[847] is yoked to the chariot of Reform, and communicates to
it an accelerated motion. In the period we are about to treat of,
there is a mixture of races, of forces, and of characters, from which
proceeds a greater commotion. In no part of the christian world will
the resistance be so stubborn; but nowhere will the assailants display
so much courage. This petty country of Switzerland Romande, enclosed
within the colossal arms of the Jura and the Alps, was for centuries
one of the strongest fortresses of the Papacy. It is about to be
carried by storm; it is going to turn its arms against its ancient
masters; and from these few hillocks, scattered at the foot of the
highest mountains in Europe, will proceed the reiterated shocks that
will overthrow, even in the most distant countries, the sanctuaries of
Rome, their images and their altars.

  [847] The French part of Switzerland, comprising the cantons of
  Geneva, Vaud, Neuchatel, and part of those of Friburg, Berne, and


There are two movements in the Church: one is effected inwardly, and
its object is its preservation; the other is effected outwardly, and
the object aimed at is its propagation. There is thus a doctrinal
Church and a missionary Church. These two movements ought never to be
separated, and whenever they are disunited, it is because the spirit
of man, and not the spirit of God prevails. In the apostolic ages
these two tendencies were evolved at the same time and with equal
power. In the second and third centuries the external tendency
prevailed; after the Council of Nice (325) the doctrinal movement
resumed the superiority; at the epoch of the irruption of the northern
tribes the missionary spirit revived; but erelong came the times of
the hierarchy and of the schoolmen, in which all doctrinal powers
warred within the Church to found therein despotic government and an
impure doctrine--the Papacy. The revival of Christianity in the
sixteenth century, which emanated from God, was destined to renovate
these two doctrines, but by purifying them. Then indeed the spirit of
God acted at once externally and internally. In the days of the
Reformation there were tranquil and internal developments; but there
was also a more powerful and aggressive action. Men of God had for
ages studied the Word, and had peacefully explained its salutary
lessons. Such had been the work of Vesalia, Goch, Groot, Radewin,
Ruybrook, Tauler, Thomas à Kempis, and John Wessel; now, something
more was required. The power of action was to be united with the power
of thought. The Papacy had been allowed all necessary time for laying
aside its errors; for ages men had been in expectation; it had been
warned, it had been entreated; all had been unavailing. Popery being
unwilling to reform itself, it became necessary for men of God to take
its accomplishment upon themselves. The calm and moderate influence of
the precursors of the Reform was succeeded by the heroic and holy
revolutionary work of the Reformers; and the revolution they effected
consisted in overthrowing the usurping power to re-establish the
legitimate authority. "To everything there is a season," says the
Preacher, "and a time to every purpose under heaven: a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to break down,
and a time to build up."[848] Of all Reformers, those who carried the
aggressive spirit to its highest degree were the men who came from
France, and more especially Farel, whose labours we have now to

  [848] Eccles. iii. 1, 2, 3.

Never were such mighty effects accomplished by so puny a force. In the
government of God we pass in an instant from the greatest to the least
of things. We now quit the haughty Charles V. and all that court of
princes over which he presides, to follow the steps of a schoolmaster;
and we leave the palaces of Augsburg to take our seats in the lowly
cottages of Switzerland.

The Rhone, after issuing near St. Gothard from the mountains of the
Furka, from beneath an immense sea of eternal ice, rolls its noisy
waters through a rugged valley separating the two great chains of the
Alps; then issuing from the gorge of St. Maurice, it wanders through a
more smiling and fertile country. The sublime Dent du Midi on the
south, the proud Dent de Morcles on the north, picturesquely situated
opposite each other, point out from afar to the traveller's eye the
beginning of this latter basin. On the tops of these mountains are
vast glaciers and threatening peaks, near which the shepherds in the
midst of summer lead their numerous flocks to pasture; while in the
plain, the flowers and fruits of southern climes grow luxuriantly, and
the laurel blooms beside the most exquisite grapes.


At the opening of one of the lateral valleys that lead into the
Northern Alps, on the banks of the Grande Eau that falls in thunder
from the glaciers of the Diablerets, is situated the small town of
Aigle, one of the most southern in Switzerland. For about fifty years
it had belonged to Berne, with the four parishes (_mandemens_) which
are under its jurisdiction, namely, Aigle, Bex, Ollon, and the chalets
scattered in the lofty valleys of the Ormonds. It is in this country
that the second epoch of the Swiss Reformation was destined to begin.

In the winter of 1526-1527, a foreign schoolmaster, named Ursinus,
arrived in this humble district. He was a man of middle stature, with
red beard and quick eyes, and who, to a voice of thunder (says Beza),
united the feelings of a hero: his modest lessons were intermingled
with new and strange doctrines. The benefices being abandoned by their
titularies to ignorant curates, the people, who were naturally of rude
and turbulent habits, had remained without any cultivation. Thus did
this stranger, who was no other than Farel, meet with new obstacles at
every step.

Whilst Lefevre and most of his friends had quitted Strasburg to
re-enter France, after the deliverance of Francis I., Farel had turned
his steps towards Switzerland; and on the very first day of his
journey, he received a lesson that he frequently recalled to mind.

He was on foot, accompanied by a single friend. Night had closed
around them, the rain fell in torrents, and the travellers, in despair
of finding their road, had sat down midway, drenched with rain.[849]
"Ah!" said Farel, "God, by showing me my helplessness in these little
things, has willed to teach me what I am in the greatest, without
Jesus Christ!" At last Farel, springing up, plunged into the marshes,
waded through the waters, crossed vineyards, fields, hills, forests,
and valleys, and at length reached his destination, covered with mud
and soaked to the skin.

  [849] Gravabat nox, opprimebat pluvia......coegit viæ difficultas in
  media sedere via sub pluvia. (Farel to Capito and Bucer; Neuchatel,

[Sidenote: FAREL'S STUDIES.]

In this night of desolation, Farel had received a new baptism. His
natural energy had been quelled; he became, for some time at least,
wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove; and, as not unfrequently
happens to men of such disposition, he at first overstepped his aim.
Believing that he was following the example of the Apostles, he
sought, in the words of Œcolampadius, "to circumvent by pious frauds
the old serpent that was hissing around him."[850] He represented
himself to be a schoolmaster, and waited until a door should be opened
to him to appear as a Reformer.[851]

[850] Piis artibus et apostolicis versatiis ad circumveniendum illum
opus est. Œcol. to Farel, 27th December, 1526. Neuchatel MS.)]

[851] Ubi ostium patuerit, tunc adversariis liberius obsistetur.

Scarcely had Magister Ursinus quitted the schoolroom and his primers,
than, taking refuge in his modest chamber, he became absorbed in the
Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, and the most learned treatises of the
theologians. The struggle between Luther and Zwingle was commencing.
To which of these two chiefs should the French Reform attach itself?
Luther had been known in France for a much longer time than Zwingle;
yet Farel decided in favour of the latter. Mysticism had characterized
the Germanic nations during the Middle Ages, and scholasticism those
of Roman descent. The French were in closer relation with the
dialectician Zwingle than with the mystic Luther; or rather, they were
the mediators between the two great tendencies of the Middle Ages;
and, while giving to the christian thought that correct form which
seems to be the province of southern nations, they became the
instruments of God to spread through the Church the fulness of life
and of the Spirit of Christ.


It was in this little chamber at Aigle that Farel read the first
publication addressed to the German by the Swiss Reformer.[852] "With
what learning," cries he, "does Zwingle scatter the darkness! with
what holy ingenuity he gains over the wise, and what captivating
meekness he unites with a forcible erudition! Oh, that by the grace of
God this work may win over Luther, so that the Church of Christ,
trembling from such violent shocks, may at length find peace!"[853]

  [852] Pia et amica ad Lutheri sermonem apologia. (Opp. vol. ii. t. 2,
  p. 1.)

  [853] Ut Christi succussa undique Ecclesia, pacis non nihil sentiat.
  (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 26.)

The schoolmaster Ursinus, excited by so noble an example, gradually
set about instructing the parents as well as the children. He at first
attacked the doctrine of purgatory, and next the invocation of Saints.
"As for the Pope, he is nothing," said he, "or almost nothing, in
these parts;[854] and as for the priests, provided they annoy the
people with all that nonsense, which Erasmus knows so well how to turn
into ridicule, that is enough for them."

  [854] Papa aut nullus aut modicus hic est. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 36.)

Ursinus had been some months at Aigle: a door was opened to him; a
flock had been collected there, and he believed the looked for moment
had arrived.

Accordingly, one day the prudent schoolmaster disappears. "I am
William Farel," said he, "minister of the Word of God." The terror of
the priests and magistrates was great, when they saw in the midst of
them that very man whose name had already become so formidable. The
schoolmaster quitted his humble study; he ascended the pulpit, and
openly preached Jesus Christ to the astonished multitude. The work of
Ursinus was over: Farel was himself again.[855] It was then about the
month of March or April, 1527, and in that beautiful valley, whose
slopes were brightening in the warm rays of the sun, all was
fermenting at the same time, the flowers, the vineyards, and the
hearts of this sensible but rude people.

  [855] The name of Ursinus was doubtless taken from the bear (ursa),
  which was on the shield of Berne. Ursinus meant Bernese.

Yet the rocks that the torrent meets as it issues from the Diablerets,
and against which it dashes at every step as it falls from eternal
snows, are more trifling obstacles than the prejudice and hatred that
were shown erelong in this populous valley to the Word of God.

[Sidenote: OPPOSITION.]

The Council of Berne, by a license of the 9th of March, had
commissioned Farel to explain the Holy Scriptures to the people of
Aigle and its neighbourhood. But the arm of the civil magistrate, by
thus mingling in religious affairs, served only to increase the
irritation of men's minds. The rich and lazy incumbents, the poor and
ignorant curates, were the first to cry out. "_If_ this man," said
they one to another, "continues preaching, it is all over with our
benefices and our Church."[856]

  [856] J. J. Hottinger, H. K. G., iii. p. 364.

In the midst of this agitation, the bailiff of Aigle and the governor
of the four mandemens, Jacques de Roverea, instead of supporting the
minister of their excellencies of Berne, eagerly embraced the cause of
the priests. "The Emperor," said they, "is about to declare war
against all innovators. A great army will shortly arrive from Spain to
assist the Archduke Ferdinand."[857] Farel stood firm. Upon this the
bailiff and Roverea, exasperated by such boldness, interdicted the
heretic from every kind of instruction, whether as minister or
schoolmaster. But Berne caused to be posted on the doors of all the
churches in the four mandemens a new decree, dated the 3d of July, in
which their excellencies, manifesting great displeasure at this
interdiction "of the very learned Farel from the propagation of the
Divine Word,[858] ordered all the officers of the state to allow him
to preach publicly the doctrines of the Lord."

  [857] Ferdinando adventurum esse ingentem ex Hispania exercitum.
  (Zwinglius, Epp. ii. p. 64; dated 11 May, 1527.)

  [858] Inhibita verbi divini propagatio. (Choupard MS.)

[Sidenote: LAUSANNE.]

This new proclamation was the signal of revolt. On the 25th July great
crowds assembled at Aigle, at Bex, at Ollon, and in the Ormonds,
crying out, "No more submission to Berne! down with Farel!" From words
they soon proceeded to actions. At Aigle the insurgents, headed by the
fiery syndic, tore down the edict, and prepared to fall upon the
Reformed. These, uniting with promptitude, surrounded Farel, resolved
to defend him. The two parties met face to face, and blood was near
flowing. The firm countenance of the friends of the Gospel checked
the partisans of the priests, who dispersed, and Farel, quitting Aigle
for a few days, carried his views farther.

In the middle of the beautiful valley of the Leman, on hills which
overlook the lake, stands Lausanne, the city of the bishop and of the
Virgin, placed under the patronage of the Dukes of Savoy. A host of
pilgrims, assembling from all the surrounding places, knelt devoutly
before the image of Our Lady, and made costly purchases at the great
fair of indulgences that was held in its precincts. Lausanne,
extending its episcopal crosier from its lofty towers, pretended to
keep the whole country at the feet of the Pope. But the eyes of many
began to be opened, thanks to the dissolute life of the canons and
priests. The ministers of the Virgin were seen in public playing at
games of chance, which they seasoned with mockery and blasphemy. They
fought in the churches; disguised as soldiers, they descended by night
from the cathedral hill, and roaming through the streets, sword in
hand and in liquor, surprised, wounded, and sometimes even killed the
worthy citizens; they debauched married women, seduced young girls,
changed their residences into houses of ill-fame, and heartlessly
turned out their young children to beg their bread.[859] Nowhere,
perhaps, was better exemplified the description of the clergy given us
by one of the most venerable prelates of the sixteenth century:
"Instead of training up youth by their learning and holiness of life,
the priests train birds and dogs; instead of books, they have
children; they sit with topers in the taverns, and give way to

  [859] Histoire de la Reformation Suisse by Ruchat, i. p. 35.

  [860] Pro _libros_ sibi _liberos_ comparant, pro studio concubinas
  amant. (Tritheim Just. Vitæ Sacerdotalis, p. 765.) The play upon
  _libros_ and _liberos_ (books and children) cannot be conveyed in


Among the theologians in the court of the bishop Sebastian of
Montfaucon, was Natalis Galeotto, a man of elevated rank and great
urbanity, fond of the society of scholars, and himself a man of
learning,[861] but nevertheless very zealous about fasts and all the
ordinances of the Church. Farel thought that, if this man could be
gained over to the Gospel, Lausanne, "slumbering at the foot of its
steeples," would perhaps awaken, and all the country with it. He
therefore addressed himself to him. "Alas! alas!" said Farel,
"religion is no longer but an empty mockery, since people, who think
only of their appetites, are the kings of the Church. Christian
people, instead of celebrating in the sacrament the death of the Lord,
live as if they commemorated Mercury, the god of fraud. Instead of
imitating the love of Christ, they emulate the lewdness of Venus; and
when they do evil, they fear more the presence of a wretched swineherd
than of God Almighty."[862]

  [861] Urbanus, doctus, magnus, consuetudine doctorum obligatus. (Farel
  to Galeotto, Neuchatel MS.)

  [862] Pluris faciunt miserrimi subulci aspectum quam omnipotentis Dei.
  (Farel to Galeotto, Neuchatel MS.)

But Galeotto made no reply, and Farel persevered, "Knock; cry out with
all your might," wrote he in a second letter; "redouble your attacks
upon our Lord."[863] Still there was no answer. Farel returned to the
charge a third time, and Natalis, fearing to reply in person,
commissioned his secretary, who forwarded a letter to Farel full of
insulting language.[864] For a season Lausanne was inaccessible.

  [863] Pulsare, vociferari perge, nec prius cessa quam, &c. (Ibid.)

  [864] Næniis totas implevit et conviciis. (Ibid.)

After having thus contended with a priest, Farel was destined to
struggle with a monk. The two arms of the hierarchy by which the
Middle Ages were governed had been chivalry and monachism. The latter
still remained for the service of the Papacy, although falling into
decay. "Alas!" exclaimed a celebrated Carthusian, "what an obstinate
devil would fear to do, a reprobate and arrogant monk will commit
without hesitation."[865]

  [865] Quod agere veretur obstinatus diabolus, intrepide agit reprobus
  et contumax monachus. (Jacob von Juterbock; de Negligentia


A mendicant friar, who dared not oppose the reformer in a direct
manner at Aigle, ventured into the village of Noville, situated on the
low grounds deposited by the Rhone as it falls into the lake of
Geneva. The friar, ascending the pulpit, exclaimed, "It is the devil
himself who preaches by the mouth of the minister, and all those who
listen to him will be damned." Then, taking courage, he slunk along
the bank of the Rhone, and arrived at Aigle with a meek and humble
look, not to appear there against Farel, whose powerful eloquence
terribly alarmed him, but to beg in behalf of his convent a few
barrels of the most exquisite wine in all Switzerland. He had not
advanced many steps into the town before he met the minister. At this
sight he trembled in every limb. "Why did you preach in such a manner
at Noville?" demanded Farel. The monk, fearful that the dispute would
attract public attention, and yet desirous of replying to the point,
whispered in his ear, "I have heard say, that you are a heretic and
misleader of the people." "Prove it," said Farel. Then the monk "began
to storm," says Farel,[866] and, hastening down the street,
endeavoured to shake off his disagreeable companion, "turning now this
way, now that, like a troubled conscience."[867] A few citizens
beginning to collect around them, Farel said to them, pointing to the
monk, "You see this fine father; he has said from the pulpit that I
preach nothing but lies." Then the monk, blushing and stammering,
began to speak of the offerings of the faithful (the precious wine of
Yvorne, for which he had come begging), and accused Farel of opposing
them. The crowd had now increased in number, and Farel, who only
sought an opportunity of proclaiming the true worship of God,
exclaimed, with a loud voice, "It is no man's business to ordain any
other way of serving God than that which He has commanded. We must
keep his commandments without turning either to the right hand or to
the left.[868] Let us worship God alone in spirit and in truth,
offering to him a broken and a contrite heart."

  [866] Commença de se tempester; in the narrative he gives of this
  adventure to the nuns of Vevay. (Neuchatel MS.)

  [867] Tournant maintenant de ça, maintenant de là, comme fait la
  conscience mal assurée. (Ibid.)

  [868] Il n'appartient à personne vivante d'ordonner autre manière de
  faire service à Dieu, que celle qu'il a commandée. Nous devons garder
  ses commandemens, sans tirer ni à la dextre, ni à la senestre.
  (Neuchatel MS.)

The eyes of all the spectators were fixed on the two actors in this
scene, the monk with his wallet, and the reformer with his glistening
eye. Confounded by Farel's daring to speak of any other worship than
that which the holy Roman Church prescribed, the friar was out of his
senses; he trembled, and was agitated, becoming pale and red by turns.
At last, taking his cap off his head, from under his hood, he flung it
on the ground, trampling it under foot, and crying: "I am amazed that
the earth does not gape and swallow us up!"[869]......Farel wished to
reply, but in vain. The friar with downcast eyes kept stamping on his
cap, "bawling out like one out of his wits:" and his cries resounding
through the streets of Aigle, drowned the voice of the reformer. At
length one of the spectators, who stood beside him, plucked him by the
sleeve, and said, "listen to the minister, as he is listening to you."
The affrighted monk, believing himself already half-dead, started
violently and cried out: "Oh, thou excommunicate! layest thou thy hand
upon me?"

  [869] Hors de sens, trembloit, s'agitoit, palissoit, et rougissoit
  tour à tour. Enfin tirant son bonnet de sa tête, hors da chaperon, il
  le rua à terre, jettant et mettant son pied sus, en s'écriant: "Je
  suis esbahi comme la terre ne nous abyme!" (Ibid.)

The little town was in an uproar; the friar at once furious and
trembling, Farel following up his attack with vigour, and the people
in confusion and amazement. At length the magistrate appeared, ordered
the monk and Farel to follow him, and shut them up, "one in one tower
and one in another."[870]

  [870] L'un en une tour, et l'autre en l'autre. (Neuchatel MS.)

On the Saturday morning Farel was liberated from his prison, and
conducted to the castle before the officers of justice, where the monk
was already present. The minister began to address them: "My lords,
to whom our Saviour enjoins obedience without any exception, this
friar has said that the doctrine which I preach is against God. Let
him make good his words, or, if he cannot, permit your people to be
edified." The violence of the monk was over. The tribunal before which
he was standing, the courage of his adversary, the power of the
movement which he could not resist, the weakness of his cause--all
alarmed him, and he was now ready to make matters up. "Then the friar
fell upon his knees, saying: My lords, I entreat forgiveness of you
and of God. Next turning to Farel: And also, Magister, what I preached
against you was grounded on false reports. I have found you to be a
good man, and your doctrine good, and I am prepared to recall my

  [871] Lors le frère se jeta à genoux, disant: Messeigneurs, je demande
  merci à Dieu et à vous......Et aussi, Magister, ce que j'ai prêché
  contre vous a été par de faux rapports, &c. (Neuchatel MS.)

Farel was touched by this appeal, and said: "My friend, do not ask
forgiveness of me, for I am a poor sinner like other men, putting my
trust not in my own righteousness, but in the death of Jesus."[872]

  [872] Je suis pauvre pécheur comme les autres, ayant ma fiance, non en
  ma justice, mais à la mort de Jesus. (Ibid.)

One of the lords of Berne coming up at this time, the friar, who
already imagined himself on the brink of martyrdom, began to wring his
hands, and to turn now towards the Bernese councillors, now towards
the tribunal, and then to Farel, crying, "Pardon, pardon!"--"Ask
pardon of our Saviour," replied Farel. The lord of Berne added: "Come
to-morrow and hear the minister's sermon; if he appears to you to
preach the truth, you shall confess it openly before all; if not, you
will declare your opinion: this promise in my hand." The monk held out
his hand, and the judges retired. "Then the friar went away, and I
have not seen him since, and no promises or oaths were able to make
him stay."[873] Thus the Reformation advanced in Switzerland Romande.

  [873] Puis quand le frère fut parti, depuis ne l'ai vu, et nulles
  promesses ni sermens ne l'ont pu faire demeurer. (Ibid.)


But violent storms threatened to destroy the work that was hardly
begun. Romish agents from the Valais and from Savoy had crossed the
Rhone at St. Maurice, and were exciting the people to energetic
resistance. Tumultuous assemblages took place, in which dangerous
projects were discussed; the proclamations of the government were torn
down from the church-doors; troops of citizens paraded the city; the
drum beat in the streets to excite the populace against the reformer:
everywhere prevailed riot and sedition. Thus on the 16th February,
Farel ascended the pulpit for the first time after a short absence,
some Papist bands collected round the gate of the church, raised their
hands in tumult, uttered savage cries, and compelled the minister to
break off in his sermon.


The council of Berne thereupon decreed that the parishioners of the
four mandemens should assemble. Those of Bex declared for the Reform;
Aigle followed their example, but with indecision; and in the
mountains above Ollon, the peasants not daring to maltreat Farel, set
their wives at him, who rushed upon him with their fulling-clubs. But
it was especially the parish of the Ormonds which, calm and proud at
the foot of its glaciers, signalized itself by its resistance. A
companion of Farel's labourers, named Claude (probably Claude de
Glontinis), when preaching there one day with great animation, was
suddenly interrupted by the ringing of the bells, whose noise was such
that one might have said all hell was busy pulling them. "In fact,"
says another herald of the Gospel, Jacques Comralis, who chanced to be
present, "it was Satan himself, who, breathing his anger into some of
his agents, filled the ears of the auditors with all this
uproar."[874] At another time, some zealous Reformers having thrown
down the altars of Baal, according to the language of the times, the
evil spirit began to blow with violence in all the chalets scattered
over the sides of the mountains; the shepherds issued precipitously
like avalanches, and fell upon the Church and the Reformers. "Let us
only find these sacrilegious wretches," cried the furious Ormondines;
"we will hang them,--we will cut off their heads,--we will burn
them,--we will throw their ashes into the Great Water."[875] Thus were
these mountaineers agitated, like the wind that roars in their lofty
valleys with a fury unknown to the inhabitants of the plains.

  [874] Sed Sathan per ejus servos, voluit aures auditorum ejus sono
  cymbali implere. (Neuchatel MS.)

  [875] Quo invento suspenderetur primum, deinde dignus comburi,
  alterius capitis obtruncatione, novissime in aquis mergeretur.
  (Neuchatel MS.)

Other difficulties overwhelmed Farel. His fellow-labourers were not
all of them blameless. One Christopher Ballista, formerly a monk of
Paris, had written to Zwingle: "I am but a Gaul, a barbarian,[876] but
you will find me a man pure as snow, without any guile, of open heart,
through whose windows all the world may see."[877] Zwingle sent
Ballista to Farel, who was loudly calling for labourers in Christ's
vineyard. The fine language of the Parisian at first charmed the
multitude; but it was soon found necessary to beware of these priests
and monks disgusted with Popery. "Brought up in the slothfulness of
the cloister, gluttonous and lazy," says Farel, "Ballista could not
conform to the abstemiousness and rude labours of the Evangelists, and
soon began to regret his monk's hood. When he perceived the people
beginning to distrust him, he became like a furious monster, vomiting
waggon-loads of threats."[878] Thus ended his labours.

  [876] Me quantumvis Gallum et barbarum. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 205.)

  [877] Absque ullo fuco, niveum, et aperti fenestratique pectoris.

  [878] Quam beatus hic venter incanduit! quot minarum plaustra! Solent
  tales belluæ, &c. (Neuchatel MS.)

[Sidenote: STATE--RELIGION.]

Notwithstanding all these trials, Farel was not discouraged. The
greater the difficulties, the more his energy increased. "Let us
scatter the seed everywhere," said he, "and let civilized France,
provoked to jealousy by this barbarous nation, embrace piety at last.
Let there not be in Christ's body either fingers, or hands, or feet,
or eyes, or ears, or arms, existing separately and working each for
itself, but let there be only one heart that nothing can divide. Let
not variety in secondary things divide into many separate members that
vital principle which is one and simple.[879] Alas! the pastures of
the Church are trodden under foot, and its waters are troubled! Let us
set our minds to concord and peace. When the Lord shall have opened
heaven, there will not be so many disputes about bread and water.[880]
A fervent charity--that is the powerful battering-ram with which we
shall beat down those proud walls, those material elements, with which
men would confine us."[881]

  [879] Ne in digitos, manus, pedes, oculos, nares, aures, brachia, cor
  quod unum est discindatur, et quæ in rebus est varietas, principium
  non faciat multiplex. (Ibid.)

  [880] An allusion to the controversies on anabaptism and the real
  presence. Non tanta erit super aqua et pane contentio, nec super
  gramine, solutaque obsidione. (Neuchatel MS.) The sense of these
  latter words is obscure.

  [881] Charitas fortissimus aries. (Farel to Bucer, 10th May, 1529.)

Thus wrote the most impetuous of the Reformers. These words of Farel,
preserved for three centuries in the city where he died, disclose to
us more clearly the intimate nature of the great Revolution of the
sixteenth century, than all the venturesome assertions of its Popish
interpreters. Christian unity thus from these earliest moments found a
zealous apostle. The nineteenth century is called to resume the work
which the sixteenth century was unable to accomplish.


II. Of all the Swiss cantons, Berne appeared the least disposed to the
Reformation. A military state may be zealous for religion, but it will
be for an external and a disciplined religion; it requires an
ecclesiastical organization that it can see, and touch, and manage at
its will. It fears the innovations and the free movements of the Word
of God: it loves the form and not the life. Napoleon, by restoring
religion in France in the _Concordat_, has given us a memorable
example of this truth. Such, also, was the case with Berne. Its
government, besides, was absorbed by political interests, and although
it had little regard for the Pope, it cared still less to see a
Reformer put himself, as Zwingle did, at the head of public affairs.
As for the people, feasting on the "butter of their kine and milk of
their sheep, with fat of lambs,"[882] they remained closely shut up
within the narrow circle of their material wants. Religious questions
were not to the taste either of the rulers or of their fellow-citizens.

  [882] Deut. xxxii. 14.

The Bernese government, being without experience in religious matters,
had proposed to check the movement of the Reform by its edict of 1523.
As soon as it discovered its mistake, it moved towards the cantons
that adhered to the ancient faith; and while that portion of the
people whence the Great Council was recruited, listened to the voice
of the Reformers, most of the patrician families, who composed the
Smaller Council, believing their power, their interests, and their
honor menaced, attached themselves to the old order of things. From
this opposition of the two councils there arose a general uneasiness,
but no violent shocks. Sudden movements, repeated starts, announced
from time to time that incongruous matters were fermenting in the
nation; it was like an indistinct earthquake, which raises the whole
surface without causing any rents: then anon all returns to apparent
tranquillity.[883] Berne, which was always decided in its politics,
turned in religious matters at one time to the right, and at another
to the left; and declared that it would be neither Popish nor
Reformed. To gain time was, for the new faith, to gain everything.

  [883] Hundeshagen, Conflikte der Bernischen Kirche, p. 19.


What was done to turn aside Berne from the Reformation, was the very
cause of precipitating it into the new way. The haughtiness with which
the five primitive cantons arrogated the guardianship of their
confederates, the secret conferences to which Berne was not even
invited, and the threat of addressing the people in a direct manner,
deeply offended the Bernese oligarchs. Thomas Murner, a Carmelite of
Lucerne, one of those rude men who act upon the populace, but who
inspire disgust in elevated minds, made the cup run over. Furious
against the Zurich calendar, in which the names of the saints had been
purposely omitted, he published in opposition to it the "Almanack of
Heretics and Church-robbers," a tract filled with lampoons and
invectives, in which the portraits of the Reformers and of their
adherents, among whom were many of the most considerable men of Berne,
were coupled with the most brutal inscriptions.[884] Zurich and Berne
in conjunction demanded satisfaction, and from this time the union of
these two states daily became closer.

  [884] Quum nudus-tertius _Murneri_ Calendarium legissem, partim
  ridendo hominis stultissimam impudentiam. (Œcolamp. to Zwingle, Febr.
  1527, Epp. ii. p. 26.)

This change was soon perceived at Berne. The elections of 1527 placed
a considerable number of friends of the Reform in the Great Council;
and this body, forthwith resuming its right to nominate the members of
the Smaller Council, which had been usurped for twenty years by the
Bannerets and the Sixteen, removed from the government the most
decided partisans of the Roman hierarchy, and among others Gaspard de
Mulinen and Sebastian de Stein,[885] and filled the vacancies with
members of the Evangelical majority. The union of Church and State,
which had hitherto checked the progress of the Reform in Switzerland,
was now about to accelerate its movements.

  [885] Mullinen e Senatoria dignitate protrusus est. Lapides quoque.
  (Haller to Zwingle, April 25, 1527. Ibid. p. 49.)


The Reformer Haller was not alone in Berne. Kolb had quitted the
Carthusian monastery at Nuremberg, in which he had been compelled to
take refuge, and had appeared before his compatriots, demanding no
other stipend than the liberty of preaching Jesus Christ. Already
bending under the weight of years, his head crowned with hoary locks,
Kolb, young in heart, full of fire, and of indomitable courage,
presented boldly before the chiefs of the nation that Gospel which
had saved him. Haller, on the contrary, although only thirty-five
years old, moved with a measured step, spoke with gravity, and
proclaimed the new doctrines with unusual circumspection. The old man
had taken the young man's part, and the youth that of the graybeard.

Zwingle, whose eye nothing escaped, saw that a favourable hour for
Berne was coming, and immediately gave the signal. "The dove
commissioned to examine the state of the waters is returning with an
olive-branch into the ark," wrote he to Haller; "come forth now, thou
second Noah, and take possession of the land. Enforce, be earnest, and
fix deeply in the hearts of men the hooks and grapnels of the Word of
God, so that they can never again be rid of them."[886]--"Your bears,"
wrote he to Thomas ab Hofen, "have again put forth their claws. Please
God that they do not draw them back until they have torn everything in
pieces that opposes Jesus Christ."

  [886] Aculeos ac hamos, sic in mortalium pectora dimitte, ut etiam si
  velint, non possint. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 10.)


Haller and his friends were on the point of replying to this appeal,
when their situation became complicated. Some Anabaptists, who formed
everywhere the extreme party, arriving in Berne in 1527, led away the
people from the Evangelical preachers "on account of the presence of
idols."[887] Haller had a useless conference with them. "To what
dangers is not Christianity exposed," cried he, "wherever these furies
have crept in!"[888] There has never been any revival in the Church,
without the hierarchical or radical sects immediately endeavouring to
disturb it. Haller, although alarmed, still maintained his unalterable
meekness. "The magistrates are desirous of banishing them," said he;
"but it is our duty to drive out their errors, and not their persons.
Let us employ no other weapons than the sword of the Spirit."[889] It
was not from Popery that the Reformers had learnt these principles. A
public disputation took place. Six Anabaptists declared themselves
convinced, and two others were sent out of the country.

  [887] Ne plebem dehortentur ab auditione concionum nostrarum ob
  idolorum præsentiam. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 49.)

  [888] Consideravimus omnes periculum urbis nostræ et totius
  Christianismi, ubi illæ furiæ irrepserint. (Ibid. p. 50.)

  [889] Nostrum est, omnio gladio spiritus refellere. (Ibid.)

The decisive moment was drawing near. The two great powers of the age,
the Gospel and the Papacy, were stirring with equal energy; the
Bernese councils were to speak out. They saw on the one hand the five
primitive cantons taking daily a more threatening attitude, and
announcing that the Austrian would soon reappear in Helvetia, to
reduce it once more into subjection to Rome; and on the other they
beheld the Gospel every day gaining ground in the Confederation. Which
was destined to prevail in Switzerland--the lances of Austria or the
Word of God? In the uncertainty in which the councils were placed,
they resolved to side with the majority. Where could they discover a
firm footing, if not there? _Vox populi, vox Dei._ "No one," said
they, "can make any change of his own private authority: the consent
of all is necessary."[890]

  [890] Ut privata auctoritate nemo quippiam immutare præsumat (Haller
  to Vadian.)

The government of Berne had to decide between two mandates, both
emanating from its authority: that of 1523, in favour of the free
preaching of the Gospel, and that of 1526, in favour "of the
sacraments, the saints, the mother of God, and the ornaments of the
churches." State messengers set out and traversed every parish: the
people gave their votes against every law contrary to liberty, and the
councils, supported by the nation, decreed that "the Word of God
should be preached publicly and freely, even if it should be in
opposition to the statutes and doctrines of men." Such was the victory
of the Gospel and of the people over the oligarchy and the priests.


Contentions immediately arose throughout the canton, and every parish
became a battle-field. The peasants began to dispute with the priests
and monks, in reliance on the Holy Scriptures. "If the mandate of our
lords," said many, "accords to our pastors the liberty of preaching,
why should it not grant the flock the liberty of acting?"--"Peace,
peace!" cried the councils, alarmed at their own boldness. But the
flocks resolutely declared that they would send away the Mass, and
keep their pastors and the Bible.[891] Upon this the Papal partisans
grew violent. "Heretics, rascals, wantons," said the banneret
Kuttler[892] to the good people of Emmenthal; and these peasants
obliged him to make an apology. The bailiff of Trachselwald was more
cunning. Seeing the inhabitants of Rudersweil listening with eagerness
to the Word of God, which a pious minister was preaching to them, he
came with fifers and trumpeters, and interrupted the sermon, inviting
the village girls by words and by lively tunes to quit the church for
the dance.

  [891] Incolas vallis Emmenthal Senatum adiisse, _missam_que _missam
  fecisse_. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 104.)

  [892] Pueros, hereticos, et homines lascivos. (Ibid. p. 106.)

These singular provocations did not check the Reform. Six of the city
companies (the shoe-makers, weavers, merchants, bakers, stone-masons,
and carpenters) abolished in the churches and convents of their
district all masses, anniversaries, advowsons, and prebends. Three
others (the tanners, smiths, and tailors) prepared to imitate
them;[893] the seven remaining companies were undecided, except the
butchers, who were enthusiasts for the Pope. Thus the majority of the
citizens had embraced the Gospel. Many parishes throughout the canton
had done the same; and the avoyer d'Erlach, the great adversary of the
Reformation, could no longer keep the torrent within bounds.

  [893] Haller to Zwingle, 4th November, 1527. (Epp. ii. p. 105.)


Yet the attempt was made: the bailiffs were ordered to note the
irregularities and dissolute lives of the monks and nuns; all women of
loose morals were even turned out of the cloisters.[894] But it was
not against these abuses alone that the Reformation was levelled; it
was against the institutions themselves, and against Popery on which
they were founded. The people must therefore decide.--"The Bernese
clergy," said they, "must be convoked, as at Zurich, and let the two
doctrines be discussed in a solemn conference. We will proceed
afterwards in conformity with the result."

  [894] J. J. Hottinger, H. Kirchen, viii. p. 394.

On the Sunday following the festival of Saint Martin (11th November),
the council and citizens unanimously resolved that a public
disputation should take place at the beginning of the succeeding year.
"The glory of God and his Word," said they, "will at length appear!"
Bernese and strangers, priests and laymen, all were invited by letter
or by printed notice to come and discuss the controverted points, but
by Scripture alone, without the glosses of the ancients, and
renouncing all subtleties and abusive language.[895] Who knows, said
they, if all the members of the ancient Swiss confederation may not be
thus brought to unity of faith?

  [895] Solam sacram Scripturam, absque veterum glossematis. (Haller to
  Zwingle, 19th November 1527. Epp. ii. p. 113.)

Thus, within the walls of Berne, the struggle was about to take place
that would decide the fate of Switzerland; for the example of the
Bernese must necessarily lead with it a great part of the


The Five Cantons, alarmed at this intelligence, met at Lucerne, when
they were joined by Fribourg, Soleure and Glaris. There was nothing
either in the letter or in the spirit of the federal compact to
obstruct religious liberty. "Every state," said Zurich, "is free to
choose the doctrine that it desires to profess." The Waldstettes,[896]
on the contrary, wished to deprive the cantons of this independence,
and to subject them to the federal majority and to the Pope. They
protested, therefore, in the name of the confederation against the
proposed discussion. "Your ministers," wrote they to Berne, "dazzled
and confounded at Baden by the brightness of truth, would desire by
this new discussion to hide their shame; but we entreat you to desist
from a plan so contrary to our ancient alliances."--"It is not we who
have infringed them," replied Berne; "it is much rather your haughty
missive that has destroyed them. We will not abandon the Word of our
Lord Jesus Christ." Upon this the Roman cantons decided to refuse all
safe-conduct to those who should proceed to Berne. This was giving
token of sinister intentions.

  [896] The inhabitants of the primitive democratic cantons, Schwytz,
  Uri, Underwald, and Lucerne, to which Zug may be added.

The four bishops of Lausanne, Constance, Basle, and Sion, being
invited to the conference under pain of forfeiting all their
privileges in the canton of Berne, replied that, since it was to be a
disputation according to the Scriptures, they had nothing to do with
it. Thus did these priests forget the words of one of the most
illustrious Roman doctors of the fifteenth century: "In heavenly
things man should be independent of his fellows, and trust in God

  [897] John Goch, Dialogus de quatuor erroribus, p. 237.

The Romanist doctors followed the example of the bishops. Eck, Murner,
Cochlœus, and many others said everywhere: "We have received the
letter of this leper, of this accursed heretic Zwingle.[898] They want
to take the Bible for their judge; but has the Bible a voice against
those who do it violence? We will not go to Berne; we will not crawl
into that obscure corner of the world; we will not go and combat in
that gloomy cavern, in that school of heretics. Let these villains
come out into the open air, and contend with us on level ground, if
they have the Bible on their side, as they say." The Emperor ordered
the discussion to be adjourned; but on the very day of its opening,
the council of Berne replied, that as every one was already assembled,
delay was impossible.

  [898] Epistolam leprosi, damnati, hæretici Zwinglii accepi. (Eck to G.
  A. Zell, Zw. Epp. ii. p. 126.)


Then, in despite of the doctors and bishops, the Helvetic Church
assembled to decide upon its doctrines. Had it a right to do so?
No;--not if priests and bishops were appointed, as Rome pretends, to
form a mystic bond between the Church and our Lord; Yes--if they were
established, as the Bible declares, only to satisfy that law of order
by virtue of which all society should have a directing power. The
opinions of the Swiss Reformers in this respect were not doubtful. The
grace which creates the minister comes from the Lord, thought they;
but the Church examines this grace, acknowledges it, proclaims it by
the elders, and in every act in which faith is concerned, it can
always appeal from the minister to the Word of God. _Try the
spirits--prove all things_, it says to the faithful. The Church is the
judge of controversies;[899] and it is this duty, in which it should
never be found wanting, that it was now about to fulfil in the
disputation at Berne.

  [899] _Judex controversiarum_--1 John iv. 1; 1 Thess. v. 21.

The contest seemed unequal. On one side appeared the Roman hierarchy,
a giant which had increased in strength during many centuries; and on
the other, there was at first but one weak and timid man, the modest
Berthold Haller. "I cannot wield the sword of the Word," said he in
alarm to his friends. "If you do not stretch out your hands to me, all
is over." He then threw himself trembling at the feet of the Lord, and
soon arose enlightened and exclaiming, "Faith in the Saviour gives me
courage, and scatters all my fears."[900]

  [900] Fides in Dominum me animat, ut nihil verear. (Zw. Epp. ii. p.

Yet he could not remain alone: all his looks were turned towards
Zwingle: "It was I who took the bath at Baden," wrote Œcolampadius to
Haller, "and now it is Zwingle who should lead off the bear-dance in
Berne."[901]--"We are between the hammer and the anvil," wrote Haller
to Zwingle; "we hold the wolf by the ears, and know not how to let him
go.[902] The houses of De Watteville, Noll, Tremp, and Berthold are
open to you. Come, then, and command the battle in person."

  [901] An allusion to the dispute at Baden, a celebrated bathing-place,
  and to the arms of Berne. (Ibid. p. 118.)

  [902] Lupum auribus tenemus. (Zurich MS.)


Zwingle did not hesitate. He demanded permission of the Council of
Zurich to visit Berne, in order to show there "that his teaching was
full of the fear of God, and not blasphemous; mighty to spread concord
through Switzerland, and not to cause troubles and dissension."[903]
At the very time that Haller received news of Zwingle's coming,
Œcolampadius wrote to him: "I am ready, if it be necessary, to
sacrifice my life. Let us inaugurate the new year by embracing one
another to the glory of Jesus Christ." Other doctors wrote to the same
effect. "These, then," cried Haller with emotion, "these are the
auxiliaries that the Lord sends to my infirmity, to aid me in fighting
this rude battle!"

  [903] Neque ad perturbationem nostræ almæ Helvetiæ. (Zw. Epp. ii. p.

It was necessary to proceed with circumspection, for the violence of
the oligarchs and of the Five Cantons was well known.[904] The doctors
of Glaris, Schaffhausen, St. Gall, Constance, Ulm, Lindau and
Augsburg, assembled at Zurich, to proceed under the same escort as
Zwingle, Pellican, Collin, Megander, Grossman, the commander Schmidt,
Bullinger, and a great number of the rural clergy, selected to
accompany the reformer. "When all this game traverses the country,"
said the pensioners, "we will go a-hunting, and see if we cannot kill
some, or at least catch them and put them into a cage."

  [904] Oligarchæ in angulis obmurmurent. (Ibid. p. 123.)

Three hundred chosen men, selected from the companies of Zurich and
from the parishes within its precincts, donned their breastplates and
shouldered their arquebuses; but in order not to give the journey of
these doctors the appearance of a military expedition, they took
neither colours, fife, nor drum; and the trumpeter of the city, a
civil officer, rode alone at the head of the company.


On Tuesday the 2d of January they set out. Never had Zwingle appeared
more cheerful. "Glory be to the Lord," said he, "my courage increases
every day."[905] The burgomaster Roust, the town-clerk of Mangoldt,
with Funck and Jaëkli, both masters of arts, and all four delegated by
the council, were on horseback near him. They reached Berne on the 4th
of January, having had only one or two unimportant alarms.

  [905] Crescit, Domino gloria, mihi animus in hac pugna. (Zw. Epp.

The Cordeliers' Church was to serve as the place of conference.
Tillmann, the city architect, had made arrangements according to a
plan furnished by Zwingle.[906] A large platform had been erected on
which were placed two tables, and around them sat the champions of the
two parties. On the evangelical side were remarked, besides Haller,
Zwingle, and Œcolampadius, many distinguished men of the Reformed
Church, strangers to Switzerland, as Bucer, Capito, and Ambrose
Blarer. On the side of the papacy, Dr. Treger of Friburg, who enjoyed
a high reputation, appeared to keep up the fire of the combat. As for
the rest, whether through fear or contempt, the most famous Roman
doctors were absent.

  [906] Tillmannus urbis architectus locum juxta tuam deformationem
  operabit. (Ibid. ii p. 123.)

The first act was to publish the regulations of the conference. "No
proof shall be proposed that is not drawn from the Holy Scriptures,
and no explanation shall be given of those scriptures, that does not
come from Scripture itself, explaining obscure texts by such as are
clear." After this, one of the secretaries, rising to call over the
roll, shouted with a loud voice that re-echoed through the
church,--The Bishop of Constance! No one replied. He did the same for
the bishops of Zion, Basle, and Lausanne. Neither of these prelates
was present at this meeting, either in person or by deputy. The Word
of God being destined to reign alone, the Roman hierarchy did not
appear. These two powers cannot walk together. There were present
about three hundred and fifty Swiss and German ecclesiastics.


On Tuesday, 7th January, 1528, the burgomaster Vadianus, of St. Gall,
one of the presidents, opened the disputation. After him the aged Kolb
stood up, and said: "God is at this moment agitating the whole world,
let us, therefore, humble ourselves before him," and he pronounced
with fervour a confession of sins.

When this was done, the first thesis was read. It was thus drawn up.
"The Holy Christian Church, of which Christ is the sole head, is born
of the Word of God, abideth in it, and listeneth not to the voice of a

ALEXIS GRAT, a Dominican monk,--"The word _sole_ is not in Scripture.
Christ has left a vicar here below."

HALLER.--"The vicar that Christ left is the Holy Ghost."

TREGER.--"See then to what a pass things have come these last ten
years. This man calls himself a Lutheran, that a Zwinglian; a third, a
Carlstadtian; a fourth an Œcolampadist; a fifth, an Anabaptist......"

BUCER.--"Whosoever preacheth Jesus as the only Saviour, we recognize
as our brother. Neither Luther, nor Zwingle, nor Œcolampadius, desires
the faithful to bear his name. Besides, you should not boast so much
of a mere external unity. When antichrist gained the upperhand
throughout the world, in the East by Mahomet, in the West by the Pope,
he was able to keep the people in unity of error. God permits
divisions, in order that those who belong to him may learn to look not
to men, but to the testimony of the Word, and to the assurance of the
Holy Ghost in their hearts. Thus then, dearly beloved brethren, to the
Scriptures, the Scriptures![907] O Church of Berne, hold fast to the
teaching of Him who said, _Come unto me_, and not, _Come unto my

  [907] Darum fromme Christen! Zur Schrift, zur Schrift! (Acta Zw. ii.
  p. 92.)

The disputation then turned successively on Tradition, the Merits of
Christ, Transubstantiation, the Mass, Prayer to the Saints, Purgatory,
Images, Celibacy, and the Disorders of the Clergy. Rome found numerous
defenders, and among others, Murer, priest of Rapperswyl, who had
said: "If they wish to burn the two ministers of Berne, I will
undertake to carry them both to the stake."


On Sunday, the 19th of January the day on which the doctrine of the
Mass was attacked, Zwingle, desirous of acting on the people also,
went into the pulpit, and reciting the Apostles' Creed, made a pause
after these words: "He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right
hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge
the quick and the dead." "These three articles," said he, "are in
contradiction to the Mass." All his hearers redoubled their attention;
and a priest, clothed in his sacerdotal vestments; who was preparing
to celebrate the holy sacrifice in one of the chapels, stopped in
astonishment at Zwingle's words. Erect before the consecrated altar on
which lay the chalice and the body of the Saviour, with eyes fixed
upon the reformer, whose words electrified the people, a prey to the
most violent struggles, and beaten down by the weight of truth, the
agitated priest resolved to sacrifice every thing for it. In the
presence of the whole assembly, he stripped off his priestly
ornaments, and throwing them on the altar, he exclaimed: "Unless the
Mass reposes on a more solid foundation, I can celebrate it no
longer!" The noise of this conversion, effected at the very foot of
the altar, immediately spread through the city,[908] and it was
regarded as an important omen. So long as the Mass remains, Rome has
gained everything: as soon as the Mass falls, Rome has lost all. The
Mass is the creative principle of the whole system of Popery.

  [908] Das lachet menklich und ward durch die gantzen Stadt kundt.
  (Bulling, i. p. 436.) In this and other quotations, we preserve the
  orthography of the times.

[Sidenote: ST. VINCENT'S DAY.]

Three days later, on the 22d January, was the feast of St. Vincent,
the patron of the city. The disputation that had been carried on
during Sunday was suspended on that day. The canons asked the council
what they were to do. "Such of you," replied the council, "as receive
the doctrine of the theses ought not to say Mass; the others may
perform divine worship as usual."[909] Every preparation was
accordingly made for the solemnity. On St. Vincent's eve the bells
from every steeple announced the festival to the inhabitants of Berne.
On the morrow the sacristans lit up the tapers; incense filled the
temple, but no one appeared. No priests to say Mass, no faithful to
hear it! Already there was a vast chasm in the Roman sanctuary, a deep
silence, as on the field of battle, where none but the dead are lying.

  [909] Bullinger says, on the contrary, that the council positively
  forbade the Mass. But Bullinger, who is a very animated writer, is not
  always exact in diplomatic matters. The council would not have come to
  such a resolution before the close of the discussion. Other
  contemporary historians and official documents leave no room for doubt
  on this point. Stettler, in his Chronicle, pars ii. p. 6, ad annum
  1528, details these proceedings as in the text.

In the evening it was the custom for the canons to chaunt vespers with
great pomp. The organist was at his post, but no one else appeared.
The poor man left thus alone, beholding with sorrow the fall of that
worship by which he gained his bread, gave utterance to his grief by
playing a mourning-hymn instead of the majestic _Magnificat_: "Oh,
wretched Judas, what hast thou done, that thou hast thus betrayed our
Lord?" After this sad farewell, he rose and went out. Almost
immediately, some men, excited by the passions of the moment, fell
upon his beloved organ, an accomplice in their eyes of so many
superstitious rites, and their violent hands broke it to pieces. No
more Mass, no more organ, no more anthems! A new Supper and new hymns
shall succeed the rites of Popery.

On the next day there was the same silence. Suddenly, however, a band
of men with loud voices and hasty steps was heard. It was the
Butchers' Company that, at this moment so fatal to Rome, desired to
support it. They advanced, carrying small fir-trees and green
branches, for the decoration of their chapel. In the midst of them was
a foreign priest, behind whom walked a few poor scholars. The priest
officiated; the sweet voices of the scholars supplied the place of the
mute organ, and the butchers retired proud of their victory.


The discussion was drawing to a close: the combatants had dealt
vigorous blows. Burgauer, pastor of St. Gall, had maintained the real
presence in the Host; but on the 19th January he declared himself
convinced by the reasonings of Zwingle, Œcolampadius, and Bucer; and
Matthias, minister of Saengen, had done the same.

A conference in Latin afterwards took place between Farel and a
Parisian doctor. The latter advanced a strange argument. "Christians,"
said he, "are enjoined to obey the devil;[910] for it is said, _Submit
unto thine adversary_ (Matt. v. 25); now, our adversary is the devil.
How much more, then, should we submit to the Church!" Loud bursts of
laughter greeted this remarkable syllogism. A discussion with the
Anabaptists terminated the conference.

  [910] Nos tenemur obedire diabolo. (J. J. Hottinger, iii. p. 405.)

The two councils decreed that the Mass should be abolished, and that
every one might remove from the churches the ornaments he had placed

Immediately twenty-five altars and a great number of images were
destroyed in the cathedral, yet without disorder or bloodshed; and the
children began to sing in the streets (as Luther informs us):[911]--

    By the Word at length we're saved
    From a God in a mortar brayed.

  [911] Pueri in plateis cantant: se esse a Deo pisto liberatos. (L.
  Epp. iii. p. 290.)


The hearts of the adherents of the Papacy were filled with bitterness
as they heard the objects of their adoration fall one after another.
"Should any man," said John Schneider, "take away the altar of the
Butchers' Company, I will take away his life." Peter Thorman compared
the cathedral stripped of its ornaments to a stable. "When the good
folks of the Oberland come to market," added he, "they will be happy
to put up their cattle in it." And John Zehender, member of the Great
Council, to show the little value he set on such a place of worship,
entered it riding on an ass, insulting and cursing the Reform. A
Bernese, who chanced to be there, having said to him, "It is by God's
will that these images have been pulled down,"--"Say rather by the
devil's," replied Zehender; "when have you ever been with God so as to
learn his will?" He was fined twenty livres, and expelled from the
council.[912] "What times! what manners!" exclaimed many; "what
culpable neglect! How easy would it have been to prevent so great a
misfortune! Oh! if our bishops had only been willing to occupy
themselves more with learning and a little less with their

  [912] History of Berne, by Tillier, iii. p. 257.

  [913] Si studiorum quam scortorum nostri episcopi amantiores essent.
  (Ruchat, i. p. 576. Letter of J. de Munster, priest at Soleure.)

This Reform was necessary. When Christianity in the fourth century had
seen the favour of princes succeed to persecution, a crowd of heathens
rushing into the church had brought with them the images, pomps,
statues, and demigods of Paganism, and a likeness of the mysteries of
Greece and Asia, and above all of Egypt, had banished the Word of
Jesus Christ from the Christian oratories. This Word returning in the
sixteenth century, a purification must necessarily take place; but it
could not be done without grievous rents.


The departure of the strangers was drawing near. On the 28th January,
the day after that on which the images and altars had been thrown
down, while their piled fragments still encumbered here and there the
porches and the aisles of the cathedral, Zwingle crossing these
eloquent ruins, once more ascended the pulpit in the midst of an
immense crowd. In great emotion, directing his eyes by turns on these
fragments and on the people, he said: "Victory has declared for the
truth, but perseverance alone can complete the triumph. Christ
persevered even until death. _Ferendo vincitur fortuna._ Cornelius
Scipio, after the disaster at Cannæ, having learnt that the generals
surviving the slaughter meditated quitting Italy, entered the
senate-house, although not yet of senatorial age, drew his sword, and
constrained the affrighted chiefs to swear that they would not abandon
Rome. Citizens of Berne, to you I address the same demand: do not
abandon Jesus Christ."

We may easily imagine the effect produced on the people by such words,
pronounced with Zwingle's energetic eloquence.

Then, turning towards the fragments that lay near him: "Behold," said
he, "behold these idols! Behold them conquered, mute, and shattered
before us! These corpses must be dragged to the shambles, and the gold
you have spent upon these foolish images must henceforward be devoted
to comforting in their misery the living images of God. Feeble souls,
ye shed tears over these sad idols; do ye not see that they break, do
ye not hear that they crack like any other wood, or like any other
stone? Look! here is one deprived of its head......(Zwingle pointed to
the image, and all the people fixed their eyes upon it); here is
another maimed of its arms.[914] If this ill usage had done any harm
to the saints that are in heaven, and if they had the power ascribed
to them, would you have been able, I pray, to cut off their arms and
their heads?"

  [914] Hie lüt einer, dem ist's houpt ab, dem andern ein arm, &c. (Zw.
  Opp. ii. p. 228.)

"Now then," said the powerful orator in conclusion, "stand fast in the
liberty wherewith Christ has made you free, and be not entangled again
with the yoke of bondage (Gal. v. 1). Fear not! That God who has
enlightened you, will enlighten your confederates also, and
Switzerland, regenerated by the Holy Ghost, shall flourish in
righteousness and peace."


The words of Zwingle were not lost. The mercy of God called forth that
of man. Some persons condemned to die for sedition, were pardoned, and
all the exiles were recalled. "Should we not have done so," said the
council, "had a great prince visited us? Shall we not much more do so,
now that the King of kings and the Redeemer of our souls has made his
entry among us, bearing an everlasting amnesty?"[915]

  [915] Da der König aller Könige......(Haller, by Kirchhofer, p. 439.)

The Romish cantons, exasperated at the result of the discussion,
sought to harass the return of the doctors. On arriving before
Bremgarten, they found the gates closed. The bailiff Schutz, who had
accompanied them with two hundred men-at-arms, placed two halberdiers
before Zwingle's horse, two behind him, and one on each side; then
putting himself at the Reformer's left hand, while the burgomaster
Roust stationed himself on the right, he ordered the escort to
proceed, lance in rest.[916] The avoyers of the town being
intimidated, came to a parley; the gates were opened; the escort
traversed Bremgarten amidst an immense crowd, and on the 1st February
reached Zurich without accident, which Zwingle re-entered, says
Luther, like a conqueror.[917]

  [916] Mit iren Spyessen für den hauffen. (Bull. chr. i. p. 439.)

  [917] Zwingel triumphator et imperator gloriosus. (L. Epp. iii. p.

The Roman-catholic party did not dissemble the check they had
received. "Our cause is falling," said the friends of Rome.[918] "Oh!
that we had had men skilled in the Bible! The impetuosity of Zwingle
supported our adversaries; his ardour was never relaxed. That brute
has more knowledge than was imagined.[919] Alas! alas! the greater
party has vanquished the better."[920]

  [918] Ruunt res nostræ. (Letter of the priest J. de Muller, an
  eye-witness of the discussion. Rachat. i. p. 575.)

  [919] Doctior tamen hæc bellua est quam putabam. (Ibid.)

  [920] Vicitque pars major meliorem. (Ibid.)

The Council of Berne, desirous of separating from the Pope, relied
upon the people. On the 30th January, messengers going from house to
house convoked the citizens; and on the 2d February, the burgesses and
inhabitants, masters and servants, uniting in the cathedral, and
forming but one family, with hands upraised to heaven, swore to defend
the two councils in all they should undertake for the good of the
State or of the Church.

[Sidenote: EDICT OF REFORM.]

On the 7th February 1528, the council published a general edict of
Reform, and "threw for ever from the necks of the Bernese the yoke of
the four bishops, who," said they, "know well how to shear their
sheep, but not how to feed them."[921]

  [921] Bull. Chron. i. p. 466.

At the same time the Reformed doctrines were spreading among the
people. In every quarter might be heard earnest and keen dialogues,
written in rhyme by Manuel, in which the pale and expiring Mass,
stretched on her deathbed, was loudly calling for all her physicians,
and finding their advice useless, at last dictating with a broken
voice her last will and testament, which the people received with loud
bursts of laughter.

The Reformation generally, and that of Berne in particular, has been
reproached as being brought about by political motives. But, on the
contrary, Berne, which of all the Helvetic states was the greatest
favourite of the court of Rome--which had in its canton neither a
bishop to dismiss nor a powerful clergy to humiliate--Berne, whose
most influential families, the Weingartens, Manuels, Mays, were
reluctant to sacrifice the pay and the service of the foreigner, and
all whose traditions were conservative, ought to have opposed the
movement. The Word of God was the power that overcame this political

  [922] Hundeshagen, conflicte der Bernerkirche, p. 22.


At Berne, as elsewhere, it was neither a learned, nor a democratic,
nor a sectarian spirit that gave birth to the Reformation. Undoubtedly
the men of letters, the liberals, the sectarian enthusiasts, rushed
into the great struggle of the sixteenth century; but the duration of
the Reform would not have been long had it received its life from
them. The primitive strength of Christianity, reviving after ages of
long and complete prostration, was the creative principle of the
Reformation; and it was erelong seen to separate distinctly from the
false allies that had presented themselves, to reject an incredulous
learning by elevating the study of the classics, to check all
demagogic anarchy by upholding the principles of true liberty, and to
repudiate the enthusiastic sects by consecrating the rights of the
Word and of the christian people.

But while we maintain that the Reformation was at Berne, as elsewhere,
a truly christian work, we are far from saying that it was not useful
to the canton in a political sense. All the European states that have
embraced the Reformation have been elevated, while those which have
combated it have been lowered.

III. It now became a question of propagating throughout all the canton
the reform accomplished in the city. On the 17th February, the council
invited the rural parishes to assemble on the following Sunday to
receive and deliberate upon a communication. The whole Church,
according to the ancient usage of Christendom, was about to decide for
itself on its dearest interests.

The assemblies were crowded; all conditions and ages were present.
Beside the hoary and the trembling head of the aged man might be seen
the sparkling eye of the youthful shepherd. The messengers of the
council first read the edict of the Reformation. They next proclaimed
that those who accepted it should remain, and that those who rejected
it should withdraw.

Almost all the assembled parishioners remained in their places. An
immense majority of the people chose the Bible. In some few parishes
this decision was accompanied with energetic demonstrations. At
Arberg, Zofingen, Brugg, Arau, and Buren, the images were burnt. "At
Stauffberg," it was said, "idols were seen carrying idols, and
throwing one another into the flames."[923]

  [923] Da tregt ein Götz den andern in das fhüwr. (Bull. Chron. ii. p.
  1.) A man whose business it was to shear the flocks, and who had been
  nicknamed Götz-scherer (idol-shearer), had made himself very
  distinguished among those who carried the images to the fire. Such was
  the origin of this popular legend, and it is the key to many others.


The images and the Mass had disappeared from this vast canton. "A
great cry resounded far and wide," writes Bullinger.[924] In one day
Rome had fallen throughout the country, without treachery, violence,
or seduction, by the strength of truth alone. In some places, however,
in the Hasli, at Frutigen, Unterseen, and Grindelwald, the malcontents
were heard to say: "If they abolish the Mass, they should also abolish
tithes." The Roman form of worship was preserved in the Upper
Simmenthal, a proof that there was no compulsion on the part of the

  [924] Das wyt und breit ein gross geschrey und wunder gepar. (Bull.
  Chron. ii. p. 1.)

The wishes of the canton being thus manifested, Berne completed the
Reformation. All excesses in gambling, drinking, and dancing, and all
unbecoming dress, were forbidden by proclamation. The houses of
ill-fame were destroyed, and their wretched inhabitants expelled from
the city.[925] A consistory was appointed to watch over the public

  [925] J. J. Hottinger, iii. p. 414.

Seven days after the edict, the poor were received into the Dominican
cloister, and a little later the convent of the Island was changed
into an hospital; the princely monastery of Königsfield was also
devoted to the same useful purpose. Charity followed everywhere in the
steps of faith. "We will show," said the council, "that we do not use
the property of the convents to our own advantage;" and they kept
their word. The poor were clothed with the priests' garments; the
orphans were decorated with the ornaments of the Church. So strict
were they in these distributions, that the state was forced to borrow
money to pay the annuities of the monks and nuns; and for eight days
there was not a crown in the public treasury.[926] Thus it was that
the State, as it has been continually repeated, grew rich with the
spoils of the Church! At the same time they invited from Zurich the
ministers Hoffmeister, Megander, and Rhellican, to spread throughout
the canton the knowledge of the classics and of the Holy Scriptures.

  [926] Hoc unum tibi dico secretissime. (Haller to Zwingle, 21st
  January, 1530.)


At Easter the Lord's Supper was celebrated for the first time
according to the Evangelical rites. The two councils and all the
people, with few exceptions, partook of it. Strangers were struck with
the solemnity of this first communion. The citizens of Berne and their
wives, dressed in decent garments, which recalled the ancient Swiss
simplicity, approached Christ's table with gravity and fervour;[927]
the heads of the state showed the same holy devotion as the people,
and piously received the bread from the hands of Berthold Haller. Each
one felt that the Lord was among them. Thus Hoffmeister, charmed at
this solemn service, exclaimed: "How can the adversaries of the Word
refuse to embrace the truth at last, seeing that God himself renders
it so striking a testimony!"[928]

  [927] Relucet enim in illorum vestitu et habitu nescio quid veteris
  illius Helvetiæ simplicitatis. (Hoffmeister to Zwingle. Zw. Epp. ii.
  p. 167.)

  [928] Ea res magnam spem mihi injecit de illis lucrandis qui hactenus
  fuerunt male morigeri verbo. (Ibid.)

Yet everything was not changed. The friends of the Gospel witnessed
with pain the sons of the chief families of the republic parading the
streets in costly garments, inhabiting sumptuous houses in the city,
dwelling in magnificent mansions in the country--true seignorial
abodes, following the chase with hound and horn, sitting down to
luxurious banquets, conversing in licentious language, or talking with
enthusiasm of foreign wars and of the French party. "Ah!" said that
pious people, "could we but see old Switzerland revive with its old

[Sidenote: HEAD OF BEATUS.]

There was soon a powerful reaction. The annual renewal of the
magistrature being about to take place, the councillor Butschelbach, a
violent adversary of the Gospel, was ejected for adultery; four other
senators and twenty members of the Great Council were also replaced by
friends of the Reformation and of public morality. Emboldened by this
victory, the Evangelical Bernese proposed in the diet that every
Swiss should renounce foreign service. At these words the warriors of
Lucerne started under their weighty armour, and replied with a haughty
smile: "When you have returned to the ancient faith we will listen to
your homilies." All the members of the government, assembled at Berne
in sovereign council, resolved to set the example, and solemnly
abjured the pay of foreign princes. Thus the Reformation showed its
faith by its works.

Another struggle took place. Above the lake of Thunn rises a chain of
steep rocks, in the midst of which is situated a deep cavern, where,
if we may believe tradition, the pious Breton, Beatus, came in ancient
times to devote himself to all the austerities of an ascetic life; but
especially to the conversion of the surrounding district that was
still heathen. It was affirmed that the head of this saint, who had
died in Gaul, was preserved in this cavern; and hence it was visited
by pilgrims from every quarter. The pious citizens of Zug, Schwytz,
Uri, and Argovia, groaned, as they thought that the holy head of the
apostle of Switzerland would hereafter remain in a land of heretics.
The abbot of the celebrated convent of Muri in Argovia and some of his
friends set out, as in ancient times the Argonauts went in quest of
the Golden Fleece. They arrived in the humble guise of poor pilgrims,
and entered the cavern; one skilfully took away the head, another
placed it mysteriously in his hood, and they disappeared. The head of
a dead man!--and this was all that Rome saved from the shipwreck. But
even this conquest was more than doubtful. The Bernese, who had gained
information of this procession, sent three deputies on the 18th May,
who, according to their report, found this famous head, and caused it
to be decently interred before their eyes in the cemetery belonging to
the convent of Interlaken. This contest about a skull characterizes
the Church that had just given way in Berne before the vivifying
breath of the Gospel. _Let the dead bury their dead._


The Reformation had triumphed in Berne; but a storm was gathering
unperceived in the mountains, which threatened to overthrow it. The
State in union with the Church recalled its ancient renown. Seeing
itself attacked by arms, it took up arms in its turn, and acted with
that decision which had formerly saved Rome in similar dangers.

A secret discontent was fermenting among the people of the valleys and
mountains. Some were still attached to the ancient faith; others had
only quitted the Mass because they thought they would be exempted from
tithes. Ancient ties of neighbourhood, a common origin, and similarity
of manners had united the inhabitants of the Obwald (Unterwalden) to
those of the Hasli and of the Bernese Oberland, which were separated
only by Mount Brunig and the high pass of the Yoke. A rumour had been
set afloat that the government of Berne had profaned the spot where
the precious remains of Beatus, the apostle of these mountains, were
preserved, and indignation immediately filled these pastoral people,
who adhere firmer than others to the customs and superstitions of
their forefathers.

But while some were excited by attachment to Rome, others were aroused
by a desire for liberty. The subjects of the monastery of Interlaken,
oppressed by the monkish rule, began to cry out, "We desire to become
our own masters, and no longer pay rent or tithes." The provost of the
convent in affright ceded all his rights to Berne for the sum of one
hundred thousand florins;[929] and a bailiff, accompanied by several
councillors, went and took possession of the monastery. A report was
soon spread that they were about to transfer all the property of the
convent to Berne; and on the 21st of April bands of men from
Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, Ringelberg, Brienz, and other places,
crossed the lake, or issued from their lofty valleys, and taking
forcible possession of the cloister, swore to go even to Berne in
quest of the goods which the citizens had dared to take from them.

  [929] Totum regnum suum tradiderunt in manus magistrates nostri
  (Haller to Zwingle, 31st March.)

[Sidenote: REVOLT.]

They were quieted for a time; but in the beginning of June, the
people, at the instigation of Unterwalden, again arose in all the
Hasli. The Landsgemeinde[930] having been convoked, it decided by a
majority of forty voices for the re-establishment of the Mass. The
pastor Jaëkli was immediately expelled; a few men crossed the Brunig,
and brought back some priests from Unterwalden, to the sound of fifes
and trumpets. They were seen from afar descending the mountain, and
shouts, both loud and long, replied to them from the bottom of the
valley. At last they arrived:--all embraced one another, and the
people celebrated the Mass anew with great demonstrations of joy. At
the same time, the people of Frutigen and of the fertile valley of
Adelboden assailed the castellan Reuter, carried off his flocks, and
established a Roman-catholic priest in the place of their pastor. At
Aeschi even the women took up arms, drove out the pastor from the
church, and brought back the images in triumph. The revolt spread from
hamlet to hamlet and from valley to valley, and again took possession
of Interlaken. All the malcontents assembled there on the 22d October,
and swore, with hands upraised to heaven, boldly to defend their
rights and liberty.

  [930] The assembly of all the people.


Never, perhaps, had the republic been in greater danger. All the kings
of Europe, and almost all the cantons of Switzerland, were opposed to
the Gospel. The report of an army from Austria, destined to interpose
in favour of the Pope, spread through the Reformed cantons.[931]
Seditious meetings took place every day,[932] and the people refused
to pay their magistrates either quit-rent, service, tithes, or even
obedience, unless they shut their eyes to the designs of the
Roman-catholics. The council became confused. Amazed and confounded,
exposed to the mistrust of some and to the insults of others, they
had the cowardice to separate under the pretext of getting in the
vintage, and folding their arms, in the presence of this great danger,
waited until a Messiah should descend from heaven (says a reformer) to
save the republic.[933] The ministers pointed out the danger,
forewarned and conjured them; but each one turned a deaf ear. "Christ
languishes in Berne," said Haller, "and appears nigh perishing."[934]
The people were all in commotion; they assembled, made speeches,
murmured, and shed tears! Everywhere--in all their tumultuous
meetings--might be heard this complaint of Manuel on Papists and the

    With rage our foes their hateful threats denounce,
      Because, O Lord, we love Thee best of all;
      Because at sight of Thee the idols fall;
    And war and bloodshed, shuddering, we renounce.

  [931] Audisti nimirum quam se apparent _Austriaci_ ad bellum, adversus
  quos ignoratur. Suspicantur quidam in Helvetios. (Œcol. to Zw. Epp.
  ii. p. 161.)

  [932] Seditiosorum concursus sunt quotidiani. (Zw. Epp. ii p. 227.)

  [933] Nunc, nunc suum Messiam advenisse sperantes. (Ibid.)

  [934] Ita languet Christus apud nos. (Ibid.)

  [935] Dass wir hand d'Gotzen geworfen hin. (Hymn and Prayer.)

Berne was like a troubled sea, and Haller, who listened to the roaring
of the waves, wrote in the deepest anguish: "Wisdom has forsaken the
wise, counsel has departed from the councillors, and energy from the
chiefs and from the people! The number of the seditious augments every
day. Alas! what can the Bear, oppressed with sleep, oppose to so many
and to such sturdy hunters?[936] If Christ withdraw himself, we shall
all perish."

  [936] Quid hæc inter tot et tantos venatores robustos. (Zw. Epp. ii.
  p. 223.)

[Sidenote: ENERGY OF BERNE.]

These fears were on the point of being realized. The smaller cantons
claimed to have the power of interfering in matters of faith without
infringing the federal compact. While six hundred men of Uri kept
themselves ready to depart, eight hundred men of Unterwalden, bearing
pine-branches in their hats, symbols of the old faith, with haughty
heads and gloomy and angry looks, crossed the Brunig under the ancient
banner of the country, which was borne by Gaspard de Flue, a very
unworthy grandson of the great Nicholas.[937] This was the first
violation of the national peace for many years. Uniting at Hasli with
the men of Brienz, this little army crossed the lake, passed under the
cascades of Geisbach, and arrived at Unterseen, thirteen hundred
strong, and ready to march on Berne to re-establish the Pope, the
Idols, and the Mass in that rebellious city. In Switzerland, as in
Germany, the Reformation at its outset met with a peasant war. At the
first success, new combatants would arrive and pour through the passes
of the Brunig upon the unfaithful republic. The army was only six
leagues from Berne, and already the sons of Unterwalden were proudly
brandishing their swords on the banks of the lake of Thunn.

  [937] A celebrated hermit who prevented a civil war in Switzerland in

Thus were the federal alliances trodden under foot by those very
persons who aspired to the name of conservatives. Berne had a right to
repel this criminal attack by force. Suddenly calling to mind her
ancient virtues, the city roused herself, and vowed to perish rather
than tolerate the intervention of Unterwalden, the restoration of the
Mass, and the fiery violence of the peasants.[938] There was at that
moment in the hearts of the Bernese one of those inspirations that
come from above, and which save nations as well as individuals. "Let
the strength of the city of Berne," exclaimed the Avoyer d'Erlach, "be
in God alone, and in the loyalty of its people." All the council and
the whole body of the citizens replied by noisy acclamations. The
great banner was hastily brought forth, the townspeople ran to arms,
the companies assembled, and the troops of the republic marched out
with the valiant avoyer at their head.

  [938] Quam missam reducem aut violentiam villanorum pati. (Haller to
  Zwingle, 26th October.)

[Sidenote: VICTORY.]

Scarcely had the Bernese government acted thus energetically, before
it saw the confidence of its friends increase, and the courage of its
adversaries diminish. God never abandons a people who are true to
themselves. Many of the Oberlanders became intimidated, and deserted
the ranks of the revolt. At the same time deputies from Basle and
Lucerne represented to Unterwalden that it was trampling the ancient
alliances under foot. The rebels, disheartened by the firmness of the
republic, abandoned Unterseen, and retired to the convent of
Interlaken. And soon after, when they beheld the decision of their
adversaries, distressed besides by the cold rains that fell
incessantly, and fearing that the snow, by covering the mountains,
would prevent their return to their homes, the men of Unterwalden
evacuated Interlaken during the night. The Bernese, to the number of
five thousand men, entered it immediately, and summoned the
inhabitants of the Hasli and of the bailiwick of Interlaken to
assemble on the 4th November in the plain that surrounds the
convent.[939] The day being arrived, the Bernese army drew up in order
of battle, and then formed a circle within which D'Erlach ordered the
peasants to enter. Hardly had he placed the rebels on the left and the
loyal citizens on the right, before the muskets and artillery fired a
general discharge, whose report re-echoing among the mountains, filled
the insurgents with terror, who thought it the signal of their death.
But the avoyer only intended to show they were in the power of the
republic. D'Erlach, who addressed them immediately after this strange
exordium, had not finished his speech, before they all fell on their
knees, and, confessing their crime, begged for pardon. The republic
was satisfied: the rebellion was over. The banners of the district
were carried to Berne, and the Eagle of Interlaken, in union with the
Wild-goat of Hasli, hung for a time beneath the Bear, as a trophy of
this victory. Four of the chiefs were put to death, and an amnesty was
granted to the remainder of the rebels. "The Bernese," said Zwingle,
"as Alexander of Macedon in times of old, have cut the Gordian knot
with courage and with glory."[940] Thus thought the Reformer of
Zurich; but experience was one day to teach him, that to cut such
knots is required a different sword from that of Alexander and of
D'Erlach. However that may be, peace was restored, and in the valleys
of the Hasli no other noise was heard than the sublime tumult borne
afar by the Reichenbach and all the surrounding torrents, as they pour
from the mountain-tops their multitudinous and foaming waters.

 [939] Tradition says that it was on the spot where the hotel of
 Interlaken now stands.

 [940] Bernenses pro sua dignitate nodum hunc, quemadmodum Alexander
 Macedo, Gordium dissectari. (Zw. Epp. ii. p 243.)


While we repudiate on behalf of the Church the swords of the Helvetic
bands, it would be unwise not to acknowledge the political advantages
of this victory. The nobles had imagined that the Reformation of the
Church would endanger the very existence of the State. They now had a
proof to the contrary: they saw that when a nation receives the
Gospel, its strength is doubled. The generous confidence with which,
in the hour of danger, they had placed some of the adversaries of the
Reformation at the head of affairs and of the army, produced the
happiest results. All were now convinced that the Reformation would
not trample old recollections under foot: prejudices were removed,
hatred was appeased, the Gospel gradually rallied all hearts around
it, and the ancient and remarkable saying was verified, which was so
often repeated by the friends and enemies of that powerful
republic--"God is become a citizen of Berne."

IV. The reformation of Berne was decisive for several cantons. The
same wind that had blown from on high with so much power on the
country of De Watteville and Haller, threw down "the idols" in a great
part of Switzerland. In many places the people were indignant at
seeing the Reformation checked by the timid prudence of diplomatists;
but when diplomacy was put to flight at Berne, the torrent so long
restrained poured violently onwards.

[Sidenote: ROMISH RELICS.]

Vadianus, burgomaster of St. Gall, who presided at the Bernese
disputation, had scarcely returned home, when the citizens, with the
authority of the magistrates, removed the images from the church of
St. Magnus, carried to the mint a hand of the patron saint in silver,
with other articles of plate, and distributed among the poor the money
they received in exchange; thus, like Mary, pouring their precious
ointment on the head of Christ.[941] The people of St. Gall, being
curious to unveil the ancient mysteries, laid their hands on the abbey
itself, on the shrines and crosses which had so long been presented to
their adoration; but instead of saintly relics, they found, to their
great surprise, nothing but some resin, a few pieces of money, several
paltry wooden images, some old rags, a skull, a large tooth, and a
snail's shell! Rome, instead of that noble fall which marks the ends
of great characters, sunk in the midst of stupid superstitions,
shameful frauds, and the ironical laughter of a whole nation.

  [941] War gemünzet und den Armen ausgetheilt. (J. J. Hottinger, iii.
  p. 415. St. Matthew xxvi. 7.)

Such discoveries unfortunately excited the passions of the multitude.
One evening some evil disposed persons, wishing to alarm the poor nuns
of St. Catherine, who had obstinately resisted the Reform, surrounded
the convent with loud cries. In vain did the nuns barricade the doors;
the walls were soon scaled, and the good wine, meat, confectionaries,
and all the far from ascetic delicacies of the cloister became the
prey of these rude jesters. Another persecution awaited them: Doctor
Schappeler having been appointed their catechist, they were
recommended to lay aside their monastic dress, and to attend his
heretical sermons "clothed like all the world," said the sister
Wiborath. Some of them embraced the Reform, but thirty others
preferred exile.[942] On the 5th February 1528, a numerous synod
framed the constitution of the church of St. Gall.

  [942] Arx. Gesch. St. Gall, ii. p. 529. J. J. Hottinger, p. 416.
  Müller; Hottinger, ii. p. 91.

[Sidenote: CONTESTS.]

The struggle was more violent at Glaris. The seeds of the Gospel
truth, which Zwingle had scattered there, had prospered but little.
The men in power anxiously rejected every innovation, and the people
loved better "to leap and dance, and work miracles, _glass in hand_,"
as an old chronicle says, "than to busy themselves about the Gospel."
The Landsgemeinde having pronounced, on the 15th May 1528, in favour
of the Mass by a majority of thirty-three voices, the two parties were
marked out with greater distinctness: the images were broken at Matt,
at Elm, at Bettschwanden, and as each man remained aloof in his own
house and village, there was no longer in the canton either council of
state or tribunal of justice. At Schwanden, the minister Peter
Rumelin, having invited the Roman-catholics to a disputation with him
in the church, the latter, instead of discussing, marched in
procession to the sound of drums round the place of worship in which
the Reformed were assembled, and then rushing into the pastor's house,
which was situated in the middle of the city, destroyed the stoves and
the windows: the irritated Reformed took their revenge and broke the
images. On the 15th April 1529, an agreement was concluded, by virtue
of which every man was free to choose between the Mass and the Sermon.


At Wesen, where Schwytz exercised sovereignty conjointly with Glaris,
the deputies of the former canton threatened the people. Upon this the
young men took the images out of the churches, carried them to an open
place near the banks of the picturesque lake of Wallenstadt, above
which soar the mountains of the Ammon and of the Seven Electors, and
cried: "Look! this road (that by the lake) leads to Coire and to Rome;
that (to the south) to Glaris; this other (to the west) to Schwytz;
and the fourth (by the Ammon) to St. Gall. Take which you please! But
if you do not move off, you shall be burnt!" After waiting a few
moments, these young people flung the motionless images into the fire,
and the Schwytz deputies, eye-witnesses of this execution, withdrew
in consternation, and filled the whole canton with projects of
vengeance that were but too soon realized.

In the canton of Appenzell, where a conference had been opened, there
suddenly appeared a band of Roman-catholics, armed with whips and
clubs, and crying out: "Where are these preachers? we are resolved to
put them out of the village!" These strange doctors wounded the
ministers and dispersed the assembly with their whips. Out of the
eight parishes of the canton, six embraced the Reform, and Appenzell
became finally divided into little sections, the one Romanist and the
other Reformed.

In the Grisons religious liberty was proclaimed; the parishes had the
election of their pastors, several castles were rased to the ground to
render all return to arbitrary government impossible, and the
affrighted bishop went and hid in the Tyrol his anger and his desire
for vengeance. "The Grisons," said Zwingle, "advance daily. It is a
nation that by its courage reminds us of the ancient Tuscans, and by
its candour of the ancient Swiss."[943]

  [943] Gens animo veteres Tuscos referens, candore veteres Helvetios.
  (Zw. Epp.)


Schaffhausen, after having long "halted between two opinions," at the
summons of Zurich and of Berne removed the images from its churches
without tumult or disorder. At the same time the Reformation invaded
Thurgovia, the valley of the Rhine, and other bailiwicks subordinate
to these cantons. In vain did the Roman-catholic cantons, that were in
the majority, protest against it. "When temporal affairs are
concerned," replied Zurich and Berne, "we will not oppose a plurality
of votes; but the Word of God cannot be subjected to the suffrages of
men." All the districts that lie along the banks of the Thur, of the
Lake of Constance, and of the Upper Rhine, embraced the Gospel. The
inhabitants of Mammeren, near the place where the Rhine issues from
the lake, flung their images into the water. But the statue of St.
Blaise, after remaining some time upright, and contemplating the
ungrateful spot whence it was banished, swam across the lake to
Catahorn, situated on the opposite shore, if we may believe the
account of a monk named Lang.[944] Even while running away Popery
worked its miracles.

  [944] J. J. Hottinger, iii. p. 426.

Thus were the popular superstitions overthrown in Switzerland, and
sometimes not without violence. Every great development in human
affairs brings with it an energetic opposition to that which has
existed. It necessarily contains an aggressive element, which ought to
act freely, and by that means open the new path. In the times of the
Reformation the doctors attacked the Pope, and the people the images.
The movement almost always exceeded a just moderation. In order that
human nature may take one step in advance, its pioneers must take
many. Every superfluous step should be condemned, and yet we must
acknowledge their necessity. Let us not forget this in the history of
the Reformation, and especially in that of Switzerland.

Zurich was reformed; Berne had just become so: Basle still remained,
before the great cities of the Confederation were gained over to the
Evangelical faith. The reformation of this learned city was the most
important consequence resulting from that of the warlike Berne.


For six years the Gospel had been preached in Basle. The meek and
pious Œcolampadius was always waiting for happier times. "The
darkness," said he, "is about to retire before the rays of
truth."[945] But his expectation was vain. A triple aristocracy--the
superior clergy, the nobles, and the university--checked the free
expansion of christian convictions. It was the middle classes who were
destined to effect the triumph of the Reformation in Basle.[946]
Unhappily the popular wave invades nothing without tossing up some
foul scum.

  [945] Sperabam enim tenebras veritatis radio cessuras tandem. (Zw.
  Epp. ii. p. 136.)

  [946] Major pars civitatis quæ toto corde dolet tantis nos dissidiis
  laborare. (Ibid. p. 36.)

It is true that the Gospel had many friends in the councils: but being
men of a middle party, they tacked backwards and forwards like
Erasmus, instead of sailing straight to the port. They ordered "the
pure preaching of the Word of God;" but stipulated at the same time
that it should be "without Lutheranism." The aged and pious bishop
Utenheim, who was living in retirement at Bruntrut, tottered daily
into the church, supported by two domestics, to celebrate Mass with a
broken voice. Gundelsheim, an enemy of the Reformation, succeeded him
erelong; and on the 23d September, followed by many exiles and with a
train of forty horses, he made his triumphal entry into Basle,
proposing to restore everything to its ancient footing. This made
Œcolampadius write in alarm to Zwingle: "Our cause hangs upon a

But in the citizens the Reform found a compensation for the disdain of
the great, and for the terrors inspired by the new bishop. They
organized repasts for fifty and a hundred guests each; Œcolampadius
and his colleagues took their seats at these tables with the people,
where energetic acclamations and reiterated cheers greeted the work of
the Reformation. In a short time even the council appeared to incline
to the side of the Gospel. Twenty feast-days were retrenched, and the
priests were permitted to refuse celebrating the Mass. "It is all over
with Rome," was now the cry. But Œcolampadius, shaking his head,
replied; "I am afraid that, by wishing to sit on the two stools, Basle
will at last fall to the ground."[947]

  [947] Vereorque ne dum semper utraque sella sedere velit, utraque
  extrudatur aliquando. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 157.)


This was at the period of his return from his discussion at Berne. He
arrived in time to close the eyes of his pious mother; and then the
reformer found himself alone, succumbing under the weight of public
and domestic cares; for his house was like an inn for all fugitive
Christians. "I shall marry a Monica,"[948] he had often said, "or else
I shall remain a bachelor." He thought he had now discovered the
"christian sister" he was in search of. This was Wilibrandis, daughter
of one of the Emperor Maximilian's knights, and widow of a master of
arts named Keller,--a woman already proved by many trials. He married
her, saying: "I look to the ordinances of God, and not to the scowling
faces of men." This did not prevent the sly Erasmus from exclaiming:
"Luther's affair is called a tragedy, but I maintain it is a comedy,
for each act of the drama ends in a wedding." This witticism has been
often repeated. For a long time it was the fashion to account for the
Reformation by the desire of the princes for the church-property, and
of the priests for marriage. This vulgar method is now stigmatized by
the best Roman controversialists as "a proof of a singularly narrow
mind.--The Reformation originated," add they, "in a true and
christian, although unenlightened zeal."[949]

  [948] The name of St. Augustin's mother.

  [949] See Möhler's _Symbolik_, both in the preface and in the body of
  the work. This is one of the most important writings produced by Rome
  since the time of Bossuet.

The return of Œcolampadius had still more important consequences for
Basle than it had for himself. The discussion at Berne caused a great
sensation there. "Berne, the powerful Berne, is reforming!" was passed
from mouth to mouth. "How, then!" said the people one to another, "the
fierce bear has come out of his den......he is groping about for the
rays of the sun......and Basle, the city of learning--Basle, the
adopted city of Erasmus and of Œcolampadius, remaining in darkness!"

[Sidenote: HALF-MEASURES.]

On Good Friday (10th April, 1528), without the knowledge of the
council and Œcolampadius, five workmen of the Spinners' Company
entered the church of St. Martin, which was that of the reformer, and
where the Mass was already abolished, and carried away all the
"idols." On Easter Monday, after the evening sermon, thirty-four
citizens removed all the images from the church of the Augustines.

This was going too far. Were they desirous, then, of drawing Basle and
its councils from that just medium in which they had till this moment
so wisely halted? The council met hastily on Tuesday morning, and sent
the five men to prison; but, on the intercession of the burghers, they
were released, and the images suppressed in five other churches. These
half-measures sufficed for a time.

On a sudden the flame burst out anew with greater violence. Sermons
were preached at St. Martin's and St. Leonard's against the
abominations of the cathedral; and at the cathedral the Reformers were
called "heretics, knaves, and profligates."[950] The Papists
celebrated mass upon mass. The burgomaster Meyer, a friend of the
Reform, had with him the majority of the people; the burgomaster
Meltinger, an intrepid leader of the partisans of Rome, prevailed in
the councils: a collision became inevitable. "The fatal hour
approaches," says Œcolampadius, "terrible for the enemies of

  [950] Ketzer, schelmen, und büben. (Bulling, ii. p. 36.)

  [951] Maturatur fatalis hora et tremenda hostibus Dei. (Zw. Epp. ii.
  p. 213.)


On Wednesday the 23d December, two days before Christmas, three
hundred citizens from all the companies, pious and worthy men,
assembled in the hall of the Gardeners' Company, and there drew up a
petition to the senate. During this time the friends of Popery, who
resided for the most part in Little Basle and the suburb of St. Paul,
took up arms, brandishing their swords and lances against the Reformed
citizens at the very moment that these were bearing their petition to
the council, and endeavoured, although ineffectually, to bar their
road. Meltinger haughtily refused to receive the petition, and charged
the burghers, on the faith of their civic oath, to return to their
homes. The burgomaster Meyer, however, took the address, and the
senate ordered it to be read.

"Honoured, wise, and gracious Lords," it ran, "we, your dutiful
fellow-citizens of the companies, address you as well-beloved fathers,
whom we are ready to obey at the cost of our goods and of our lives.
Take God's glory to heart; restore peace to the city; and oblige all
the Pope's preachers to discuss freely with the ministers. If the Mass
be true, we desire to have it in our churches; but if it is an
abomination before God, why, through love for the priests, should we
draw down His terrible anger upon ourselves and upon our children?"

Thus spoke the citizens of Basle. There was nothing revolutionary
either in their language or in their proceedings. They desired what
was right with decision, but also with calmness. All might still
proceed with order and decorum. But here begins a new period: the
vessel of Reform is about to enter the port, but not until it has
passed through violent storms.

V. It was the bishop's partisans who first departed from the legal
course. Filled with terror on learning that mediators were expected
from Zurich and Berne, they ran into the city, crying that an Austrian
army was coming to their aid, and collected stones in their houses.
The Reformed did the same. The disturbance increased hourly, and in
the night of the 25th December the Papists met under arms: priests
with arquebuse in hand were numbered among their ranks.

Scarcely had the Reformed learnt this, when some of them running
hastily from house to house, knocked at the doors and awoke their
friends, who, starting out of bed, seized their muskets and repaired
to the Gardeners' Hall, the rendezvous of their party. They soon
amounted to three thousand.


Both parties passed the night under arms. At every moment a civil war,
and what is worse, "a war of hearths," might break out. It was at last
agreed that each party should nominate delegates to treat with the
senate on this matter. The Reformed chose thirty men of
respectability, courage, faith, and experience, who took up their
quarters at the Gardeners' Hall. The partisans of the ancient faith
chose also a commission, but less numerous and less respectable: their
station was at the Fishmongers' Hall. The council was constantly
sitting. All the gates of the city, except two, were closed; strong
guards were posted in every quarter. Deputies from Lucerne, Uri,
Schaffhausen, Zug, Schwytz, Mulhausen, and Strasburg, arrived
successively. The agitation and tumult increased from hour to hour.

It was necessary to put an end to so violent a crisis. The senate,
faithful to its ideas of half-measures, decreed that the priest should
continue to celebrate the Mass; but that all, priests and ministers,
should preach the Word of God, and for this purpose should meet once
a-week to confer upon the holy Scriptures. They then called the
Lutherans together in the Franciscan church, and the Papists in that
belonging to the Dominicans. The senate first repaired to the former
church, where they found two thousand five hundred citizens assembled.
The secretary had hardly read the ordinance before a great agitation
arose. "That shall not be," cried one of the people.[952] "We will not
put up with the Mass, not even with a single one!" cried another; and
all repeated, "No Mass,--no Mass,--we will die sooner!"[953]

  [952] Quidam e plebe clamitabat: Hoc non fiet! (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 255.)

  [953] Nos plane ea non feremus, aut moriemur omnes. (Ibid.)

The senate having next visited the Dominican church, all the
Romanists, to the number of six hundred, among whom were many foreign
servants, cried out: "We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the
Mass. We swear it, we swear it!" repeated they with uplifted hands.
"If they reject the Mass--to arms! to arms!"[954]

  [954] At altera pars minitabat prælia si missam rejicerent (Ibid.)

The senate withdrew more embarrassed than ever.


The two parties were again assembled three days after. Œcolampadius
was in the pulpit. "Be meek and tractable," said he; and he preached
with such unction that many were ready to burst into tears.[955] The
assembly offered up prayers, and then decreed that it would accept a
new ordinance, by virtue of which, fifteen days after Pentecost, there
should be a public disputation, in which no arguments should be
employed but such as were drawn from the Word of God: after this a
general vote should take place upon the Mass, that the majority should
decide the question, and that in the meanwhile the Mass should be
celebrated in three churches only; it being however understood, that
nothing should be taught there that was in opposition to the Holy

  [955] Ut nemo non commoveretur et profecto fere mihi lacrymas
  excussisset. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 255.)

The Romanist minority rejected these propositions: "Basle," said they,
"is not like Berne and Zurich. Its revenues are derived in great
measure from countries opposed to the Reformation!" The priests having
refused to resort to the weekly conferences, they were suspended; and
during a fortnight there was neither sermon nor mass at the cathedral,
or in the churches of St. Ulric, St. Peter, and St. Theodore.

Those who remained faithful to Rome resolved upon an intrepid defence.
Meltinger placed Sebastian Muller in the pulpit at St. Peter's, from
which he had been interdicted, and this hot-headed priest vented such
abusive sarcasms against the Reform, that several of the Evangelicals,
who were listening to the sermon, were insulted and nearly torn in

[Sidenote: A NIGHT OF TERROR.]

It was necessary to arouse Basle from this nightmare, and strike a
decisive blow. "Let us remember our liberty," said the reformed
citizens, "and what we owe to the glory of Christ, to public justice,
and to our posterity."[956] They then demanded that the enemies of the
Reformation, friends and relations of the priests, who were the cause
of all these delays and of all these troubles, should no longer sit
in the councils until peace was re-established. This was the 8th
February. The council notified that they would return an answer on the

  [956] Cogitans quid gloriæ Christi, quid justitiæ publicæ, quidque
  posteritati suæ deberet. (Œcol. Zurich MS.)

At six o'clock in the evening, twelve hundred citizens were assembled
in the corn-market. They began to fear that the delay required by the
senate concealed some evil design. "We must have a reply this very
night," they said. The senate was convoked in great haste.

From that period affairs assumed a more threatening attitude in Basle.
Strong guards were posted by the burghers in the halls of the
different guilds; armed men patrolled the city, and bivouacked in the
public places, to anticipate the machinations of their adversaries;[957]
the chains were stretched across the streets; torches were lighted,
and resinous trees, whose flickering light scattered the darkness,
were placed at intervals through the town; six pieces of artillery
were planted before the town hall; and the gates of the city, as well
as the arsenal and the ramparts, were occupied. Basle was in a state
of siege.

  [957] Ne quid forte ab adversariis insidiarum strueretur. (Ibid.)

There was no longer any hope for the Romish party. The burgomaster,
Meltinger, an intrepid soldier and one of the heroes of Marignan,
where he had led eight hundred men into battle, lost courage. In the
darkness he gained the banks of the Rhine with his son-in-law, the
councillor Eglof d'Offenburg, embarked unnoticed in a small boat, and
rapidly descended the stream amid the fogs of the night.[958] Other
members of the council escaped in a similar manner.

  [958] Clam conscensa navicula fuga, nescio senatu, elapsus est. (Œcol.
  Zurich MS.)


This gave rise to new alarms. "Let us beware of their secret
manœuvres," said the people. "Perhaps they are going to fetch the
Austrians, with whom they have so often threatened us!" The affrighted
citizens collected arms from every quarter, and at break of day they
had two thousand men on foot. The beams of the rising sun fell on
this resolute but calm assembly.

It was midday. The senate had come to no decision: the impatience of
the burghers could be restrained no longer. Forty men were detached to
visit the posts. As this patrol was passing the cathedral, they
entered it, and one of the citizens, urged by curiosity, opened a
closet with his halberd, in which some images had been hidden. One of
them fell out, and was broken into a thousand pieces against the stone
pavement.[959] The sight of these fragments powerfully moved the
spectators, who began throwing down one after another all the images
that were concealed in this place. None of them offered any
resistance: heads, feet, and hands--all were heaped in confusion
before the halberdiers. "I am much surprised," said Erasmus, "that
they preformed no miracle to save themselves; formerly the saints
worked frequent prodigies for much smaller offences!"[960] Some
priests ran to the spot, and the patrol withdrew.

  [959] Cum halpardis quasi per ludum aperirent armarium idolorum,
  unumque idolum educerent. (Ibid.)

  [960] Erasm. Opp. p. 291.

A rumour, however, having spread that a disturbance had taken place in
this church, three hundred men came to the support of the forty.
"Why," said they, "should we spare the idols that light up the flames
of discord?" The priests in alarm had closed the gates of the
sanctuary, drawn the bolts, raised barricades, and prepared everything
for maintaining a siege. But the townspeople, whose patience had been
exhausted by the delays of the council, dash against one of the doors
of the church: it yields to their blows, and they rush into the
cathedral. The hour of madness has arrived. These men are no longer to
be recognized, as they brandish their swords, rattle their pikes, and
utter formidable cries: are they Goths, or are they fervent
worshippers of God, animated by the zeal which in times of yore
inflamed the prophets and the kings of Israel? However that might be,
these proceedings were disorderly, since public authority alone can
interfere in public reforms. Images, altars, pictures--all were thrown
down and destroyed. The priests who had fled into the vestry, and
there concealed themselves, trembled in every limb at the terrible
noise made by the fall of their holy decorations. The work of
destruction was completed without one of them venturing to save the
objects of his worship, or to make the slightest remonstrance. The
people next piled up the fragments in the squares and set fire to
them; and during the chilly night the armed burghers stood round and
warmed themselves at the crackling flame.[961]

  [961] Lignis imaginum usi sunt vigiles, pro arcendo frigore nocturno.
  (Zurich MS.)

The senate collected in amazement, and desired to interpose their
authority and appease the tumult; but they might as well have striven
to command the winds. The enthusiastic citizens replied to their
magistrates in these haughty words: "What you have not been able to
effect in three years, we will complete in one hour."[962]

  [962] De quo vos per triennium deliberastis, nihil efficientes, nos
  intra horam omnem absolvemus. (Œcol. Capitoni, Basle MS.)

In truth the anger of the people was no longer confined to the
cathedral. They respected all kinds of private property;[963] but they
attacked the churches of St. Peter, St. Ulric, St. Alban, and of the
Dominicans; and in all these temples "the idols" fell under the blows
of these good citizens of Basle, whom an extraordinary zeal inflamed.
Already they were making preparations to cross the bridge and enter
Little Basle, which was devoted to the cause of Popery, when the
alarmed inhabitants begged to be allowed to remove the images
themselves, and with heavy hearts they hastily carried them into the
upper chambers of the church, whence they hoped to be able after a
time to restore them to their old position.

  [963] Nulli enim vel obolum abstulerunt. (Ib.)


They did not stop at these energetic demonstrations; the most excited
talked of going to the town-hall, and of constraining the senate to
accede to the wishes of the people; but the good sense of the majority
treated these brawlers as they deserved, and checked their guilty

The senators now perceived the necessity of giving a legal character
to this popular movement, and of thus changing a tumultuous revolution
into a durable reformation.[964] Democracy and the Gospel were thus
established simultaneously in Basle. The senate, after an hour's
deliberation, granted that in future the burghers should participate
in the election of the two councils; that from this day the Mass and
images should be abolished throughout all the canton, and that in
every deliberation which concerned the glory of God or the good of the
state the opinion of the guilds should be taken. The people, delighted
at having obtained these conditions, which secured their political and
religious liberty, returned joyful to their houses. It was now the
close of day.[965]

  [964] Cedendum plebi. (Œcol. Capitoni, Basle MS.)

  [965] His conditionibus plebs læta domum rediit, sub ipsum noctis
  crepusculum. (Ibid. Zurich MS.)

[Sidenote: OBJECTIONS.]

On the morrow, Ash-Wednesday, it was intended to distribute the ruins
of the altars and other ornaments of the Church among the poor, to
serve them for firewood. But these unhappy creatures, in their
eagerness for the fragments, having begun to dispute about them, they
constructed great piles in the cathedral close and set fire to them.
"The idols," said some wags, "are really keeping their Ash-Wednesday
to-day!" The friends of Popery, turning away their horror-stricken
eyes from this sacrilegious sight, says Œcolampadius, shed tears of
blood. "Thus severely did they treat the idols," continues the
reformer, "and the Mass died of grief in consequence."[966] On the
following Sunday hymns in German were sung at every church; and on the
18th February a general amnesty was published. Everything was changed
in Basle. The last had become first, and the first last. While
Œcolampadius, who a few years before had entered the city as a
stranger, without resources and without power, found himself raised to
the first station in the Church, Erasmus, disturbed in the quiet study
whence during so long a period he had issued his absolute commands to
the world of letters, saw himself compelled to descend into the arena.
But this king of the schools had no desire to lay down his sceptre
before the sovereign people. For a long time he used to turn aside his
head when he met his friend Œcolampadius. Besides he feared by
remaining at Basle to compromise himself with his protectors. "The
torrent," said he, "which was hidden underground has burst forth with
violence, and committed frightful ravages.[967] My life is in danger:
Œcolampadius possesses all the churches. People are continually
bawling in my ears; I am besieged with letters, caricatures, and
pamphlets. It is all over: I am resolved to leave Basle. Only shall I
or shall I not depart by stealth? The one is more becoming, the other
more secure."

  [966] Ita sævitum est in idola, ac missa præ dolore expiravit. (Œcol.
  Cap. Zurich MS.)

  [967] Basilica torrens quidem, qui sub terra labebatur, subito
  erumpens, &c. (Er. Epp. ad Pirkheimer July, 1539.)

Wishing as much as possible to make his honour and his prudence agree,
Erasmus desired the boatman with whom he was to descend the Rhine to
depart from an unfrequented spot. This was opposed by the senate, and
the timid philosopher was compelled to enter the boat as it lay near
the great bridge, at that time covered with a crowd of people. He
floated down the river, sadly bade adieu to the city he had so much
loved, and retired to Friburg in Brisgau with several other learned

New professors were invited to fill the vacant chairs in the
university, and in particular Oswald Myconius, Phrygio, Sebastian
Munster, and Simon Grynæus. At the same time was published an
ecclesiastical order and a confession of faith, one of the most
precious documents of this epoch.


Thus had a great transformation been effected without the loss of a
single drop of blood. Popery had fallen in Basle in despite of the
secular and spiritual power. "The wedge of the Lord," says
Œcolampadius, "has split this hard knot."[968]

  [968] Malo nodo suus cuneus obvenit. (Œcol. Capit.)

We cannot, however, help acknowledging that the Basle Reformation may
afford ground for some objections. Luther had opposed himself to the
power of the many. "When the people prick up their ears, do not
whistle too loud. It is better to suffer at the hand of one tyrant,
that is to say, of a king, than of a thousand tyrants, that is to say,
of the people." On this account the German Reformer has been
reproached for acknowledging no other policy than servilism.

Perhaps when the Swiss Reformation is canvassed, a contrary objection
will be made against it, and the Reform at Basle, in particular, will
be looked upon as a revolution.

The Reformation must of necessity bear the stamp of the country in
which it was accomplished: it will be monarchical in Germany,
republican in Switzerland. Nevertheless, in religion as in politics,
there is a great difference between reformation and revolution.

In neither of these spheres does Christianity desire either despotism,
servitude, stagnation, retrogression, or death. But while looking for
progress, it seeks to accomplish it by reformation and not by

Reformation works by the power of the Word, of doctrine, cultivation
and truth; while revolution, or rather revolt, operates by the power
of riot, of the sword, and of the club.

Christianity proceeds by the inner man, and charters themselves, if
they stand alone, cannot satisfy it. No doubt constitutions are one of
the blessings of our age; but it is not sufficient for these
securities to be committed to parchment; they must be written in the
heart, and guaranteed by the manners of the people.

Such were the principles of the Swiss Reformers, such were those of
the Reform at Basle, and by these it is distinguished from a


There were, it is true, some excesses. Never perhaps has a
reformation been accomplished among men without some mixture of
revolution. But it was doctrines, however, that were in question at
Basle: these doctrines had acted powerfully on the moral convictions
and on the lives of the people; the movement had taken place within
before it showed itself without. But more than this: the Reformation
was not satisfied with taking away; it gave more than it took; and,
far from confining itself to the work of destruction, it scattered
rich blessings over all the people.[969]

  [969] Hagenbach, Vorlesungen, ii. pp. 125, 200.

VI. The recoil of the discussion at Berne had overthrown Popery in a
considerable part of German Switzerland. It was also felt in many of
the churches of French Switzerland, lying at the foot of the Jura, or
scattered amid the pine forests of its elevated valleys, and which up
to this time had shown the most absolute devotion to the Roman

Farel, seeing the Gospel established in the places where the Rhone
mingles its sandy waters with the crystal Leman, turned his eyes to
another quarter. He was supported by Berne. This state, which
possessed jointly with Friburg the bailiwicks of Morat, Orbe, and
Granson, and which had alliances with Lausanne, Avenches, Payerne,
Neuchatel, and Geneva, saw that both its interest and its duty alike
called it to have the Gospel preached to its allies and subjects.
Farel was empowered to carry it among them, always with reserve of the
consent of the respective governments.

One day, therefore, journeying towards Morat, Farel arrived and
preached the Gospel at the foot of those towers and battlements that
had been attacked at three different periods by the armies of Conrad
the Salic, Rodolph of Hapsburg, and Charles the Bold. Erelong the
friends of the Reform amounted to a great number. A general vote
having nevertheless declared in favour of the Pope, Farel proceeded to

[Sidenote: FAREL AT MORAT.]

He was at first driven away by the bishop and the clergy, but soon
reappeared provided with a letter from the lords of Berne. "We send
him to you," said their excellencies to the authorities of the city,
"to defend his own cause and ours. Allow him to preach the Word of
God, and beware that you touch not a hair of his head."

There was great confusion in the councils. Placed between Berne and
the bishop, what could they do? The Council of Twenty four, finding
the matter very serious, convoked the Council of Sixty; and this body,
excusing itself, they convoked the Council of Two Hundred, on the 14th
November 1529. But these in their turn referred the business to the
smaller council. No one would have anything to do with it. The
inhabitants of Lausanne, it is true, complained loudly of the holy
members of their chapters, whose lives (they said) were one long orgy;
but when their eyes turned on the austere countenance of Reform, they
were still more terrified. Besides, how deprive Lausanne of her
bishop, her court, and her dignitaries? What! no more pilgrims in the
churches,--no more suitors in the ecclesiastical courts,--no more
purchasers in the markets, or boon companions in the taverns! The
widowed and desolate Lausanne would no longer behold the noisy throng
of people, that were at once her wealth and her glory!--Better far a
disorder that enriches, than a Reform that impoverishes! Farel was
compelled to depart a second time.

He returned to Morat, and soon the Word gained over the hearts of the
people. On feast-days, the roads from Payerne and Avenches were
covered with merry bands, who laughingly said to one another, "Let us
go to Morat and hear the preachers!" and exhorted each other slily, as
they went along the road, "not to fall into the nets of the heretics."
But at night, all was changed. Grasped by the strong hand of truth,
these very people returned,--some in deep thought, others discussing
with animation the doctrines they had heard. The fire was sparkling
throughout all this district, and spreading in every direction its
long rays of light. This was enough for Farel: he required new

[Sidenote: NEUCHATEL.]

At a short distance from Morat lay one of the strongholds of
Popery--the Earldom of Neuchatel. Joan of Hochberg, who had inherited
this principality from her ancestors, had married, in 1504, Louis of
Orleans, Duke of Longueville. This French nobleman having supported
the King of France in 1512, in a war against the Swiss, the cantons
had taken possession of Neuchatel, but had restored it to his widow in

Few countries could have presented greater difficulties to the daring
reformer. The princess of Longueville, residing in France in the suite
of Francis I., a woman of courtly habits, vain, extravagant, always in
debt, and thinking of Neuchatel only as a farm that should bring her
in a large revenue, was devoted to the Pope and Popery. Twelve canons
with several priests and chaplains formed a powerful clergy, at whose
head was the provost Oliver of Hochberg, natural brother to the
princess. Auxiliaries full of zeal flanked this main army. On the one
side there was the abbey of the Premonstrantes of Fontaine-André,
three quarters of a league beyond the town, the monks of which, after
having in the twelfth century cleared the ground with their own
hands,[970] had gradually become powerful lords; and, on the other
side, the Benedictines of the Island of St. John, whose abbot, having
been deposed by the Bernese, had taken refuge, burning with hatred and
vengeance, in his priory at Corcelles.

  [970] Propriis manibus. (Hist. of Neuchatel, by F. de Chambrier, p.

[Sidenote: FAREL'S LABOURS.]

The people of Neuchatel had a great respect for ancient rights, and it
was easy to take advantage of this state of feeling, considering the
general ignorance, to maintain the innovations of Popery. The canons
improved the opportunity. For the instructions of the Gospel they
substituted pomps and shows. The church, situated on a steep rock, was
filled with altars, chapels, and images of saints; and religion,
descending from this sanctuary, ran up and down the streets, and was
travestied in dramas and mysteries, mingled with indulgences,
miracles, and debauchery.[971]

  [971] Mémoires sur l'Eglise collegiale de Neuchatel, p. 240.

The soldiers of Neuchatel, however, who had made the campaign of 1529
with the Bernese army, brought back to their homes the liveliest
enthusiasm for the Evangelical cause. It was at this period that a
frail boat, quitting the southern bank of the lake, on the side
opposite Morat, and carrying a Frenchman of mean appearance, steered
towards the Neuchatel shore. Farel, for it was he, had learnt that the
village of Serrière, situated at the gates of Neuchatel, depended in
spiritualities on the evangelical city of Bienne, and that Emer
Beynon, the priest of the place, "had some liking for the Gospel." The
plan of his campaign was immediately drawn up. He appeared before
parson Emer, who received him with joy; but what could be done? for
Farel had been interdicted from preaching in any church whatever in
the earldom. The poor priest thought to reconcile everything by
permitting Farel to mount on a stone in the cemetery, and thus preach
to the people, turning his back upon the church.[972]

  [972] M. de Perrot, ex-pastor of Serrière, and author of a work
  entitled "L'Eglise et la Réformation," has shown me the stone on which
  Farel stood.

A great disturbance arose in Neuchatel. On one side the government,
the canons, and the priests, cried "Heresy!" but, on the other, "some
inhabitants of Neuchatel, to whom God had given a knowledge of the
truth,"[973] flocked to Serrière. In a short time these last could not
contain themselves: "Come," said they to Farel, "and preach to us in
the town."

  [973] "Aucuns de Neuchatel, auxquels Dieu avaient donné connoissance
  de la vérité," &c. (Choupart MS.)


This was at the beginning of December. They entered by the gate of the
castle, and leaving the church on the hill to the left, they passed in
front of the canons' houses, and descended through the narrow streets
inhabited by the citizens. On reaching the market-cross, Farel
ascended a platform and addressed the crowd, which gathered together
from all the neighbourhood,--weavers, vine-dressers, husbandmen, a
worthy race, possessing more feeling than imagination. The preacher's
exterior was grave, his discourse energetic, his voice like thunder:
his eyes, his features, his gestures, all showed him a man of
intrepidity. The citizens, accustomed to run about the streets after
the mountebanks, were touched by his powerful language. "Farel
preached a sermon of such great efficacy," says a manuscript, "that he
gained over much people."[974]

  [974] Quoted in the Choupart MS.

Some monks, however, with shaven crowns,[975] glided among his
hearers, seeking to excite them against the heretical minister. "Let
us beat out his brains," said some. "Duck him, duck him!" cried
others, advancing to throw Farel into a fountain, which may still be
seen near the spot where he preached. But the reformer stood firm.

  [975] Rasorum remoramenta. (Farellus Molano, Neuchatel MS.)


This first preaching was succeeded by others. To this Gospel
missionary every place was a church; every stone, every bench, every
platform was a pulpit. Already the cutting winds and the snows of
December should have kept the Neuchatelans around their firesides;
"the canons made a vigorous defence;"[976] and in every quarter "the
shorn crowns" were in agitation, supplicating, menacing, howling, and
threatening,--but all was useless. No sooner did this man of small
stature rise up in any place, with his pale yet sunburnt complexion,
with red and unkempt beard, with sparkling eye and expressive mouth,
than the monks' labour was lost: the people collected around, for it
was the Word of God that fell from his lips.[977] All eyes were fixed
on him: with open mouth and attentive ears they hung upon his
words.[978] And scarcely does he begin to speak, when--Oh! wonderful
work of God! he himself exclaims--this multitude believes as if it had
but one soul.

  [976] Contra tyrannica præcepta. (Far. Mol. Neuchatel MS.)

  [977] Ad verbum festinarent. (Ibid.)

  [978] Avide audientes. (Ibid.)

The Word of God carried the town, as it were, at the first assault;
and throwing down the devices Rome had taken ages to compose,
established itself in triumph on the ruins of human traditions. Farel
saw in imagination Jesus Christ himself walking in spirit through the
midst of this crowd, opening the eyes of the blind, softening the hard
heart, and working miracles,[979]......so that scarcely had he
returned to his humble residence before he wrote to his friends with a
heart full of emotion: "Render thanks with me to the Father of
mercies, in that he has shown his favour to those bowed down by a
weighty tyranny;" and falling on his knees, he worshipped God.[980]

  [979] Quid Christus in suis egerit. (Ibid.)

  [980] Gratias ergo, Fratres, mecum agite Patri misericordiarum, quod
  sit propitius gravi pressis tirannide. (Ibid.)

But during this time what were the adherents of the Pope doing in

The canons, members of the General Audiences, of which they formed the
first estate, treated both priests and laymen with intolerable
haughtiness. Laying the burden of their offices on poor curates, they
publicly kept dissolute women, clothed them sumptuously, endowed their
children by public acts, fought in the church, haunted the streets by
night, or went into a foreign country to enjoy in secret the produce
of their avarice and of their intrigues. Some poor lepers placed in a
house near the city were maintained by the produce of certain
offerings. The rich canons, in the midst of their banquets, dared take
away the bread of charity from these unhappy wretches.


The abbey of Fontaine-André was at a little distance from the town.
Now the canons of Neuchatel and the monks of Fontaine were at open
war. These hostile powers, encamped on their two hills, disputed each
other's property, wrested away each other's privileges, launched at
one another the coarsest insults, and even came to blows. "Debaucher
of women!" said the canons to the abbot of Fontaine-André, who
returned the compliment in the same coin. It is the Reformation which,
through faith, has re-established the moral law in Christendom,--a law
that Popery had trodden under foot.

For a long time these conventual wars had disturbed the country. On a
sudden they cease. A strange event is passing in Neuchatel,--the Word
of God is preached there. The canons, seized with affright in the
midst of their disorders, look down from their lofty dwellings on this
new movement. The report reaches Fontaine-André. The monks and priests
suspend their orgies and their quarrels. The heathen sensualism that
had invaded the Church is put to the rout; Christian spiritualism has

Immediately the monks and canons, so long at war, embrace and unite
against the Reformer. "We must save religion," said they, meaning
their tithes, banquets, scandals, and privileges. Not one of them
could oppose a doctrine to the doctrine preached by Farel: to insult
him was their sole weapon. At Corcelles, however, they went farther.
As the minister was proclaiming the Gospel near the priory, the monks
fell upon him; in the midst of them was the prior Rodolph de Benoit,
storming, exciting, and striving to augment the tempest. He even had a
dagger in his hand, according to one writer.[981] Farel escaped with

  [981] Rosselet in Annotat. Farel Leben von Kirchofer.

[Sidenote: FAREL'S LABOURS.]

This was not enough. Popery, as it always does, had recourse to the
civil power. The canons, the abbot, and the prior, solicited the
governor George de Rive at the same time. Farel stood firm. "The glory
of Jesus Christ," said he, "and the lively affection his sheep bear to
his Word, constrain me to endure sufferings greater than tongue can
describe."[982] Erelong, however, he was compelled to yield. Farel
again crossed the lake; but this passage was very different from the
former. The fire was kindled!--On the 22d December he was at Morat;
and shortly after at Aigle.

  [982] At levia facit omnia Christus, added he. Farel to Dumoulin, 15th
  December. (Neuchatel MS.)

He was recalled hence. On the 7th January, religion was put to the
vote at Morat, and the majority was in favour of the Gospel. But the
Romish minority, supported by Friburg, immediately undertook to
recover its ancient position by insults and bad treatment. "Farel!
Farel!" cried the reformed party.[983]

  [983] Choupart MS. (Chambrier, Hist. de Neuchatel, p. 293.)

A few days after this, Farel, accompanied by a Bernese messenger,
scaled that magnificent amphitheatre of mountains above Vevay, whence
the eye plunges into the waters of the Leman; and soon he crossed the
estates of Count John of Gruyère, who was in the habit of saying, "We
must burn this French Luther!"[984] Scarcely had Farel reached the
heights of St. Martin de Vaud,[985] when he saw the vicar of the place
with two priests running to meet him. "Heretic! devil!" cried they.
But the knight, through fear of Berne, remained behind his walls, and
Farel passed on.

  [984] Missive of Berne to the Count of Gruyère, 5th and 16th January

  [985] To the left of the modern road from Vevay to Friburg.


The Reformer, not allowing himself to be stopped by the necessity of
defending himself in Morat, or by the inclemency of the season,
immediately carried the Gospel to those beautiful hills that soar
between the smiling waters of lakes Morat and Neuchatel into the
villages of the Vully. This manœuvre was crowned with the most
complete success. On the 15th February four deputies from the Vully
came to Morat to demand permission to embrace the Reform, which was
immediately granted to them. "Let our ministers preach the Gospel,"
said their excellencies of Berne to the Friburgers, "and we will let
your priests play their monkey tricks. We desire to force no
man."[986] The Reform restored freedom of will to the Christian
people. It was about this time that Farel wrote his beautiful letter
"To all lords, people, and pastors," which we have so often

  [986] Missive of Berne, Choupart MS.

  [987] A tous seigneurs, peuples, et pasteurs. See above, Vol. III.
  book xii.

The indefatigable reformer now went forward to new conquests. A chain
of rocks separates the Juran valley of Erguel, already evangelized by
Farel, from the country of the ancient Rauraci, and a passage cut
through the rock serves as a communication between the two districts.
It was the end of April when Farel, passing through the
_Pierre-Pertuis_,[988] descended to the village of Tavannes, and
entered the church just as the priest was saying Mass. Farel went into
the pulpit: the astonished priest stopped,--the minister filled his
hearers with emotion, and seemed to them an angel come down from
heaven. Immediately the images and the altars fell, and "the poor
priest who was chanting the Mass could not finish it."[989] To put
down Popery had required less time than the priest had spent at the

  [988] Petra Pertusa.

  [989] Donc le pauvre prêtre qui chantoit sa messe ne la peut pas
  achever. (Old MS. quoted in the Choupart MS.)

A great part of the bishopric of Basle was in a few weeks gained over
to the Reformation.

During this time the Gospel was fermenting in Neuchatel. The young men
who had marched with Berne to deliver Geneva from the attacks of
Savoy, recounted in their jovial meetings the exploits of the
campaign, and related how the soldiers of Berne, feeling cold, had
taken the images from the Dominican church at Geneva, saying: "Idols
of wood are of no use but to make a fire with in winter."


Farel re-appeared in Neuchatel.[990] Being master of the lower part of
the town, he raised his eyes to the lofty rocks on which soared the
cathedral and the castle. The best plan, thought he, is to bring these
proud priests down to us. One morning his young friends spread
themselves in the streets, and posted up large placards bearing these
words: "_All_ _those who say Mass are robbers, murderers, and
seducers of the people_."[991] Great was the uproar in Neuchatel. The
canons summoned their people, called together their clerks, and
marching at the head of a large troop, armed with swords and clubs,
descended into the town, tore down the sacrilegious placards, and
cited Farel before the tribunal as a slanderer, demanding ten thousand
crowns damages.

  [990] Farellus suo more magna fortitudine jam jam agit. Megander to
  Zwingle, 6th Aug. 1530.

  [991] De Chambrier, Hist. de Neuchatel, i. p. 293

The two parties appeared in court, and this was all that Farel
desired. "I confess the fact," said he, "but I am justified in what I
have done. Where are there to be found more horrible murderers, than
these seducers who sell paradise, and thus nullify the merits of our
Lord Jesus Christ? I will prove my assertion by the Gospel." And he
prepared to open it, when the canons, flushed with anger, cried out:
"The common law of Neuchatel, and not the Gospel, is in question here!
Where are the witnesses?" But Farel, always returning to that fearful
assertion, proved by the Word of God that the canons were really
guilty of murder and robbery. To plead such a cause was to ruin
Popery. The court of Neuchatel, that had never heard a similar case,
resolved according to ancient custom to lay it before the Council of
Besançon,[992] which not daring to pronounce the first estate of the
General Audiences guilty of murder and robbery, referred the matter to
the Emperor and to a general council. Bad causes gain nothing by
making a disturbance.

  [992] Prendre les _entraives_.


At every step they wished to drive him back, Farel made one in
advance. The streets and the houses were still his temple. One day
when the people of Neuchatel were around him, "Why," cried they,
"should not the Word of God be proclaimed in a church?" They then
hurried Farel along with them, opened the doors of the Hospital
Chapel, set the minister in the pulpit, and a numerous crowd stood
silent before him. "In like manner as Jesus Christ, appearing in a
state of poverty and humility, was born in a stable at Bethlehem,"
said the Reformer; "so this hospital, this abode of the sick and of
the poor, is to-day become his birthplace in the town of Neuchatel."
Then feeling ill at ease in the presence of the painted and carved
figures that decorated the chapel, he laid his hands on these objects
of idolatry, removed them, and broke them in pieces.[993]

  [993] Choupart MS.

Popery, which anger had blinded, now took a step that it undoubtedly
had a right to take, but which destroyed it: it had recourse to the
secular arm, and the governor sent a deputation to the Bernese
council, praying the removal of Farel and his companions.

But almost at the same time deputies from the townspeople arrived at
Berne. "Did not these hands bear arms at Interlaken and at Bremgarten
to support your Reformation? and will you abandon us in ours?"

Berne hesitated. A public calamity was at that time filling the whole
city with mourning. One of the most illustrious citizens of the
republic, the Banneret of Weingarten, attacked by the plague, was
expiring amid the tears of his sons and of his fellow-citizens. Being
informed of the arrival of the Neuchatelans, he rallied his waning
strength: "Go," said he, "and beg the senate in my name to ask for a
general assembly of the people of Neuchatel for Sunday next."[994]
This message of the dying banneret decided the council.

  [994] Wingarterus iste infectus peste apud senatum nostrum, pia
  legatione. (Megander to Zwingle.)

The deputies from Berne arrived in Neuchatel on the 7th August. Farel
thought that during the debates he had time to make a new conquest,
and quitted the city. His zeal can be compared only to St. Paul's. His
body was small and feeble, but his activity was wholly apostolic:
danger and bad treatment wasted him every day, but he had within him a
divine power that rendered him victorious.


VII. At the distance of a league from Neuchatel, beyond the mountain,
extends the Val de Ruz, and near its entrance, in a precipitous
situation, where roars an impetuous torrent surrounded by steep crags,
stands the town of Valangin. An old castle, built on a rock, raises
its vast walls into the air, overlooking the humble dwellings of the
townspeople, and extending its jurisdiction over five valleys of these
lofty and severe mountains at that time covered with forests of pine,
but now peopled by the most active industry.[995]

  [995] Here are situated Chaux de Fonds, Locle, &c.

In this castle dwelt Guillemette de Vergy, dowager-countess of
Valangin, strongly attached to the Romish religion and full of respect
for the memory of her husband. A hundred priests had chanted high mass
at the count's burial; many penitent young women had been married, and
large alms distributed; the curate of Locle had been sent to
Jerusalem, and Guillemette herself had made a pilgrimage for the
repose for the soul of her departed lord.

Sometimes, however, the Countess of Gruyère and other ladies would
come and visit the widow of Vergy, who assembled in the castle a
number of young lords. The fife and tambourine re-echoed under its
vaulted roofs, chattering groups collected in the immense embrasures
of its Gothic windows, and merry dances followed hard upon a long
silence and gloomy devotion.[996] There was but one sentiment that
never left Guillemette--this was her hatred against the Reformation.

  [996] Chambrier, Hist. de Neuchatel, p. 276.


Guillemette and the priests had in fact reason to tremble. The 15th
August was a great Romish festival--Our Lady of August, or the
Assumption. All the faithful of the Val de Ruz were preparing to keep
it. This was the very day Farel selected. Animated by the fire and
courage of Elijah, he set out for Valangin, and a young man, his
fellow-countryman, and, as it would appear, a distant relation,
Anthony Boyve, an ardent Christian and a man of decided character,
went along with him.[997] The two missionaries climbed the mountain,
plunged into the pine forest, and then descending again into the
valley, they traversed Valangin, where the vicinity of the castle did
not give them much encouragement to pause, and arrived at a village,
probably Boudevilliers, proposing to preach the Gospel there.[998]

  [997] Annals of Boyve and a family MS.--This family has since given
  several pastors to the church of Neuchatel.

  [998] There are two original manuscripts (both quoted in the Choupart
  MS.) which give an account of this transaction. One says that Farel
  preached at Valangin, the other indicates a village near Valangin.
  Ruchat has adopted the former version; I think the latter preferable.
  The second MS. appears to me older and more correct than the first.

Already on all sides the people were thronging to the church; Farel
and his companion entered also with a small number of the inhabitants
who had heard him at Neuchatel. The reformer immediately ascended the
pulpit, and the priest prepared to celebrate the Mass. The combat
begins. While the voice of Farel is preaching Jesus Christ and his
promises, the voices of the priests and of the choir are chanting the
missal. The solemn moment approaches: the ineffable transubstantiation
is about to take place: the priest pronounces the sacred words over
the elements. At this instant the people hesitate no longer; ancient
habits, an irresistible influence, draw them towards the altar; the
preacher is deserted; the kneeling crowd has recovered its old
worship; Rome is triumphant.......Suddenly a young man springs from
the crowd,--traverses the choir,--rushes to the altar,--snatches the
host from the hands of the priest, and cries, as he turns towards the
people: "This is not the God whom you should worship. He is above,--in
heaven,--in the majesty of the Father, and not, as you believe, in the
hands of a priest."[999] This man was Anthony Boyve.

  [999] Choupart MS.

[Sidenote: FAREL'S DANGER.]

Such a daring act at first produced the desired effect. The Mass was
interrupted, the chantings ceased, and the crowd, as if struck by a
supernatural intervention, remained silent and noiseless. Farel, who
was still in the pulpit, immediately took advantage of this calm, and
proclaimed that Christ "whom the heaven must receive until the times
of restitution of all things."[1000] Then the priests and choristers
with their adherents rushed to the towers, ran up into the belfry,
and sounded the tocsin.

  [1000] Acts iii. 21.

These means succeeded: a crowd was collected, and if Farel had not
retired, his death and Boyve's would have been inevitable. "But God,"
says the chronicle, "delivered them." They crossed the interval that
separates Boudevilliers from Valangin, and drew near the steep gorges
of the torrent of the Seyon. But how traverse that town, which the
tocsin had already alarmed?

Leaving Chaumont and its dark forests to the left, these two heralds
of the Gospel took a narrow path that wound beneath the castle: they
were stealing cautiously along, when suddenly a shower of stones
assailed them, and at the same time a score of individuals,--priests,
men, and women,--armed with clubs, fell furiously upon them. "The
priests had not the gout either in their feet or arms," says a
chronicler; "the ministers were so beaten that they nearly lost their

  [1001] Les prêtres n'avoient pas la goutte aux pieds et aux bras, et
  ils les battirent tellement que peu s'en fallut qu'ils ne perdissent
  la vie. (Choupart MS.)

Madame de Vergy, who descended to the terrace, far from moderating the
anger of the priests, cried out: "Drown them!--drown them! throw them
into the Seyon--these Lutheran dogs, who have despised the
Host!"[1002] In fact, the priests were beginning to drag the two
heretics towards the bridge. Never was Farel nearer death.

  [1002] A l'eau! à l'eau! jettez les dans le Seyon ces chiens de
  Luthériens qui ont méprisé le bon Dieu! (Choupart MS.)


On a sudden, from behind the last rock that hides Valangin in the
direction of the mountain, there appeared "certain good persons of the
Val de Ruz coming from Neuchatel"[1003] and descending into the
valley. "What are you doing?" asked they of the priests, with the
intention no doubt of saving Farel; "put them rather in a place of
safety, that they may answer for their proceedings? Would you deprive
yourselves of the only means in your power of discovering those
infected by the poison of heresy?"

  [1003] Choupart MS.

The priests left off at these words, and conducted the prisoners to
the castle. As they were passing before a little chapel, containing an
image of the Virgin, "Kneel down," said they to Farel and Boyve,
showing them the statue; "prostrate yourselves before Our Lady!" Farel
began to admonish them; "Worship one God alone in spirit and in
truth," said he to them, "and not dumb images without life or power."
But they, continues the chronicle, "greatly vexed at his words and his
firmness, inflicted on him so many blows, that he was covered with
blood, which even spirted on the walls of the chapel. For a long time
after the traces of it might still be seen."[1004]

  [1004] Choupart MS. Mais eux rudement fachés de ses propos et
  constance, lui donnèrent tant de coups, qu'ils le mirent tout en sang,
  jusques là que son sang jailissoit sur les murailles de la chapelle.
  On en voyoit long temps après encore les marques.

They resumed their march--they entered the town--they climbed the
steep road that led to the esplanade where Guillemette de Vergy and
her attendants waited for the "Lutherans;" so that, continues the
chronicle, "from beating them thus continually, they conducted them
all covered with filth and blood to the prisons, and let them down
almost lifeless into the dungeon (_croton_) of the castle of
Valangin." Thus had Paul at Lystra been stoned by the Jews, drawn out
of the city, and left for dead.[1005] The Apostles and the Reformers
preached the same doctrine and suffered the same treatment.

  [1005] Acts xiv. 19.


It may perhaps be said, that Farel and Boyve were too violent in their
attack; but the Church of the Middle Ages, which had fallen back into
the legal spirit of Judaism, and into all the corruptions that flow
from it, needed an energetic opposition to lead it again to the
principle of grace. Augustin and St. Paul reappeared in the Church of
the sixteenth century; and when we read of Boyve rushing in great
emotion on those who were about to worship the bread of the Mass, may
we not recall to mind the action of St Paul, rending his clothes, and
running in among the people, who were desirous of worshipping "men of
like passions with themselves?"[1006]

  [1006] Acts xiv. 14.

Farel and Boyve, thrust into the dungeons of the castle, could, like
Paul and Silas in the prison at Philippi, "sing praises unto God."
Messire de Bellegarde, ever ready to persecute the Gospel, was
preparing for them a cruel end, when some townsmen of Neuchatel
arrived to claim them. Madame de Valangin dared not refuse, and at the
demand of the Bernese even instituted an inquiry, "to put a good face
on the matter," says a manuscript. "Nevertheless that priest who had
beaten Farel most, never after failed to eat daily at the lady's
table, by way of recompense."[1007] But this was of little
consequence: the seed of truth had been sown in the Val de Ruz.

  [1007] Choupart MS.

At Neuchatel the Bernese supported the Evangelical citizens. The
governor, whose resources were exhausted, sent ambassadors to the
princess, "begging her to cross the mountains, to appease her people,
who were in terrible trouble in consequence of this Lutheran

  [1008] Letter from the Governor to the Princess.

Meantime the ferment increased. The townspeople prayed the canons to
give up the Mass: they refused; whereupon the citizens presented them
their reasons in writing, and begged them to discuss the question with
Farel. Still the same refusal!--"But, for goodness' sake, speak either
for or against!" It was all of no use!


On Sunday, the 23d of October, Farel, who had returned to Neuchatel,
was preaching at the hospital. He knew that the magistrates of the
city had deliberated on the expediency of consecrating the cathedral
itself to the Evangelical worship. "What then," said he, "will you not
pay as much honour to the Gospel as the other party does to the
Mass?......And if this superstitious act is celebrated in the high
church, shall not the Gospel be proclaimed there also?" At these words
all his hearers arose. "To the church!" cried they; "to the church!"
Impetuous men are desirous of putting their heads to work, to
accomplish what the prudence of the burgesses had proposed.[1009] They
leave the hospital, and take Farel with them. They climb the steep
street of the castle: in vain would the canons and their frightened
followers stop the crowd: they force a passage. Convinced that they
are advancing for God's glory, nothing can check them. Insults and
shouts assail them from every side, but in the name of the Truth they
are defending, they proceed: they open the gates of the Church of our
Lady; they enter, and here a fresh struggle begins. The canons and
their friends assembled around the pulpit endeavour to stop Farel; but
all is useless. They have not to deal with a band of rioters. God has
pronounced in his Word, and the magistrates themselves have passed a
definitive resolution. The townspeople advance, therefore, against the
sacerdotal coterie; they form a close battalion, in the centre of
which they place the reformer. They succeed in making their way
through the opposing crowd, and at last place the minister in the
pulpit without any harm befalling him.[1010]

  [1009] This is the conclusion I draw from various papers, and in
  particular from the report of the meeting held at Neuchatel by the
  Bernese deputies, in which the heads of the burgesses declare, _that
  it appeared to them a very good matter to take down the altars_, &c.
  Hitherto only one phasis of this action has been seen,--the popular
  movement; and the other, namely, the legal resolution of the
  magistrates of the city, seems to have been overlooked.

  [1010] Choupart MS.

Immediately all is calm within the church and without; even the
adversaries are silent, and Farel delivers "one of the most effective
sermons he had hitherto preached." Their eyes are opened; their
emotion increases; their hearts are melted; the most obstinate appear
converted; and from every part of the old church these cries resound:
"We will follow the Evangelical religion, both we and our children,
and in it will we live and die."[1011]

  [1011] Ibid.


Suddenly a whirlwind, as it were, sweeps over this multitude, and
stirs it up like a vast sea. Farel's hearers desire to imitate the
pious King Josiah.[1012] "If we take away these idols from before our
eyes, will it not be aiding us," said they, "in taking them from our
own hearts? Once these idols broken, how many souls among our
fellow-citizens, now disturbed and hesitating, will be decided by this
striking manifestation of the truth! We must save them as it were by

  [1012] 2 Chron. xxxiv. 7.

  [1013] Choupart MS.

This latter motive decides them, and then begins a scene that fills
the Romanists with horror, and which must, according to them, bring
down the terrible judgment of God on the city.

The very spot where this takes place would seem to add to its
solemnity. To the north the castle-walls rise above the pointed crags
of the gloomy but picturesque valley of the Seyon, and the mountain in
front of the castle presents to the eye little more than bare rocks,
vines, and black firs. But to the south, beneath the terrace on which
this tumultuous scene is passing, extend the wide and tranquil waters
of the lake with its fertile and picturesque shores; and in the
distance the continuous summits of the higher Alps with their dazzling
snows, their immense glaciers, and gigantic peaks, lie before the
enraptured eye.

On this platform the people of Neuchatel were in commotion, paying
little attention to these noble scenes of nature. The governor, whose
castle adjoined the church, was compelled to remain an idle spectator
of the excesses that he could not prevent; he was content to leave us
a description of them. "These daring fellows," says he, "seize
mattocks, hatchets, and hammers, and thus march against the images of
the saints." They advance--they strike the statues and the
altars--they dash them to pieces. The figures carved in the fourteenth
century by the "imagers" of Count Louis are not spared; and scarcely
do the statues of the counts themselves, which were mistaken for
idols, escape destruction. The townspeople collect all these fragments
of an idolatrous worship; they carry them out of the church, and throw
them from the top of the rock. The paintings meet with no better
treatment. "It is the devil," thought they with the early Christians,
"who taught the world this art of statues, images, and all sorts of
likenesses."[1014] They tear out the eyes in the pictures of the
saints, and cut off their noses. The crucifix itself is thrown down,
for this wooden figure usurps the homage that Jesus Christ claims in
the heart. One image, the most venerated of all, still remains: it is
our Lady of Mercy, which Mary of Savoy had presented to the collegiate
church; but Our Lady herself is not spared. A hand more daring than
the rest strikes it, as, in the fourth century, the colossal statue of
Serapis was struck.[1015] "They have even bored out the eyes of Our
Lady of Mercy, which the departed lady your mother had caused to be
made," wrote the governor to the Duchess of Longueville.

  [1014] Diabolum sæculo intulisse artifices statuarum et imaginum et
  omnis generis simulacrorum. (Tertullian, de idolatria, cap. 3.)

  [1015] Socrates v. 16.

The Reformed went still further: they seized the patens in which lay
the _corpus Domini_, and flung them from the top of the rock into the
torrent; after which, being desirous of showing that the consecrated
wafers are mere bread, and not God himself, they distributed them one
to another and ate them......At this sight the canons and chaplains
could no longer remain quiet. A cry of horror was heard; they ran up
with their adherents, and opposed force to force. At length began the
struggle that had been so much dreaded.

[Sidenote: REFLECTIONS.]

The provost Oliver of Hochberg, the canons Simon of Neuchatel and
Pontus of Soleilant, all three members of the privy council, had
repaired hastily to the castle, as well as the other councillors of
the princess. Until this moment they had remained silent spectators of
the scene; but when they saw the two parties were coming to blows,
they ordered all "the supporters of the Evangelical doctrine" to
appear before the governor. This was like trying to chain the winds.
Besides, why should the Reformers stop? They were not acting without
legitimate authority.[1016] "Tell the governor," replied the
townspeople haughtily, "that in the concerns of God and of our souls
he has no command over us."[1017]

  [1016] "Par les quatre du dit Neuchatel," by the Four (the municipal
  authorities) of the said Neuchatel, remarks the priest Besancenet. See
  also the _recess_ of the council held at Neuchatel by MM. of Berne,
  4th November 1530.

  [1017] The Governor's letter to the Princess.

George de Rive then discovered that his authority failed against a
power superior to his own. He must yield, and save at least some
remnants. He hastened therefore to remove the images that still
remained, and to shut them up in secret chambers. The citizens of
Neuchatel allowed him to execute this measure. "Save your gods,"
thought they, "preserve them under strong bars, lest perchance a
robber should deprive you of the objects of your adoration."[1018] By
degrees the tumult died away, the popular torrent returned within its
channel, and a little after, in commemoration of this great day, they
inscribed these words on a pillar of the church:--

                  DE CEANT PAR LES BOURGEOIS.[1019]

  [1018] Cur vos sub validissimis clavibus, ingentibusque sub claustris
  conservatis, ne forte fur aliquis irreptat? (Arnobius contra gentes,
  vi. p. 257.)

  [1019] On the 23d of October 1530, idolatry was overthrown and removed
  from the church by the citizens.


An immense revolution had been effected. Doubtless it would have been
better if the images had been taken away and the Gospel substituted in
their place with calmness, as at Zurich; but we must take into
consideration the difficulties that so profound and contested a change
brings with it, and make allowance for the inexperience and excesses
inseparable from a first explosion. He who should see in this
revolution its excesses only, would betray a singularly narrow mind.
It is the Gospel that triumphed on the esplanade of the castle. It was
no longer a few pictures or legends that were to speak to the
imagination of the Neuchatelans: the revelation of Christ and of the
Apostles, as it had been preserved in the Holy Scriptures, was
restored to them. In place of the mysteries, symbols, and miracles of
Popery, the Reformation brought them sublime tenets, powerful
doctrines, holy and eternal truths. Instead of a Mass, void of God,
and filled with human puerilities, it restored to them the Supper of
our Lord Jesus Christ, his invisible yet real and mighty presence, his
promises giving peace to the soul, and his Spirit, which changes the
heart, and is a sure pledge of a glorious resurrection. All is gain in
such an exchange.

VIII. The governor and his trusty friends had not, however, lost all
hope. "It is only a minority," said they at the castle, "which has
taken part in the destruction of the images; the majority of the
nation still obeys the ancient doctrine." M. de Rive had yet to learn
that if, in a popular movement, only the minority appears, it is in
some cases because the majority, being of the same mind with it,
prefers leaving the action to others. However that may be, the
governor, thinking himself upon sure ground, resolved to put the
preservation of the Mass to the vote. If the majority were doubtful,
the combined influence of the government and clergy would make it
incline to the side of Rome. The friends of the Reformation perceiving
this trick, and feeling the necessity of securing the integrity of the
votes, demanded the presence of Bernese commissioners. This was at
first refused. But Neuchatel, divided into two hostile parties, might
at any time see her streets run blood: De Rive therefore called Berne
to his aid.


Anthony Noll and Sulpice Archer, both members of the council, with
Jacques Tribolet, bailiff of the Isle of St. John, all three devoted
to the Reform, made their entry into Neuchatel on the 4th
November,--an eventful day for the principality, and one which would
decide on its reformation. The deputies proceeded to the castle, and
there spoke with haughtiness.[1020] "Their excellencies of Berne,"
said they to the governor, "are much astonished that you should oppose
the true and pure Word of God. Desist immediately, or else your state
and lordship may suffer for it."[1021]

  [1020] Trois ambassadeurs qui me tinrent assez gros et rudes propos.
  (The Governor to the Princess.)

  [1021] Ibid.

George de Rive was amazed; he had thought to summon helpers, and he
had found masters. He made, however, an attempt to escape from the
strait in which he was caught. The Roman-catholic cantons of Lucerne,
Friburg, and Soleure, were also allies of the state. The governor
insinuated to the Bernese deputies, that he might well claim their
intervention. At these words the deputies indignantly arose, and
declared to M. de Rive, that if he did so, he might be the cause of
his sovereign's losing Neuchatel. The governor saw the impossibility
of escaping from the net into which he had fallen. There remained no
alternative but submission, and to watch the current of events which
it was impossible for him to direct.

It was not thus with the canons and the nobles. Not considering
themselves beaten, they surrounded the Bernese; and mingling, as they
always do in similar cases, religion and politics, endeavoured to
shake them. "Do you not see," said they, "that unless we support the
spiritual power, we shall compromise the civil power? The surest
bulwark of the throne is the altar! These men, whose defenders you
have become, are but a handful of mischief-makers: the majority are
for the Mass!"--"Turn which way you like," replied one of the stubborn
Bernese, "even though the majority should be on your side, still you
must go that way; never will our lordships abandon the defenders of
the Evangelical faith."[1022]

  [1022] Chambrier, Hist. de Neuchatel, p. 296. (The governor's letter.
  Quand bien _le plus_ sera des votres, si passerez vous par là, &c.)


The people assembled at the castle for the definitive vote. The
destiny of Neuchatel was about to be decided. On one hand were crowded
around the governor the privy council, the canons, and the most
zealous of the Romanists; on the other were to be seen the four
aldermen, the town-council, and a great number of the citizens,
gravely ascending the steep avenue leading to the government-house,
and drawing up in front of their adversaries. On both sides there was
the same attachment to the faith they had embraced, the same decision;
but around the canons were many anxious minds, troubled hearts, and
downcast eyes, while the friends of the Reform advanced with uplifted
heads, firm looks, and hearts full of hope.

George de Rive, wishing to gain over their minds, began to address
them. He described the violence with which the Reformed had broken the
images, and thrown down the altars; "And yet," continued he, "who
founded this church? It was the princess's predecessors, and not the
citizens. For which reason, I demand that all those who have violently
infringed our sovereign's authority, be obliged to restore what they
have taken away, so that the holy Mass, and the canonical hours may be
celebrated anew."[1023]

  [1023] Choupart MS.; Reces du MM. de Berne.

Upon this the _prudhommes_ of Neuchatel advanced. They were not a
troop of young and giddy persons, as the Papists had pretended; they
were grave citizens, whose liberties were guaranteed, and who had
weighed what they had to say. "By the illumination of the Holy Ghost,"
replied they, "and by the holy doctrines of the Gospel, which are
taught us in the pure Word of God, we will show that the Mass is an
abuse, without any utility, and which conduces much more to the
damnation than to the salvation of souls. And we are ready to prove
that by taking away the altars, we have done nothing that was not
right and acceptable to God."[1024]

  [1024] (Ibid.)


Thus the two parties met face to face with "great hatred and
division," says the Bernese report. The arbitrators consulted
together. The governor persisted, feeling that this movement would
decide the future. A few votes would suffice for the triumph of Rome,
and he reckoned on gaining them by his assurance. "You should
understand," said he, "that the majority of this town, men and women,
adhere firmly to the ancient faith. The others are hot-headed young
soldiers, vain of their persons, and puffed up with the new
doctrine."[1025]--"Well!" replied the Bernese deputies, "to prevent
all mischief, let us settle this difference by the plurality of
suffrages, in accordance with the treaty of peace made at Bremgarten
between the cantons."

  [1025] Devez entendre que la pluspart de cette ville, hommes et
  femmes, tiennent fermement à l'ancienne foi. Les autres sont jeunes
  gens de guerre, forts de leurs personnes, remplis de la nouvelle
  doctrine, ayants le feu à la tête. (Choupart MS.)


This was what the Reformed desired. "The vote! the vote!" cried they
according to the expression consecrated to such cases.[1026] But the
lord of Prangins and the priests, who had desired it when they were
alone, shrunk back in the presence of Berne. "We ask for time," said
they. If the Reformed allowed themselves to be cheated by these
dilatory measures, it was all over. When once the Bernese had quitted
Neuchatel, the governor and the clergy would easily have the
upperhand. They therefore remained firm. "No, no!" said they,
"now!--no delay!--not a day! not an hour!" But the governor, in the
face of a proceeding that would decide the legal fall of Popery,
trembled, and obstinately opposed the cries of the people. The
magistrates were already indignant, the burghers murmured, and the
most violent looked at their swords. "They were resolved to compel us,
sword in hand," wrote the governor to the princess. A fresh storm was
gathering over Neuchatel. Yet a few more minutes' resistance, and it
would burst forth upon the church, the town, and the castle,
destroying not only statues, images, and altars, but "there would have
remained dead men," said the lord of Rive.[1027] He gave way in
trouble and affright.

  [1026] _Le plus_, the majority.

  [1027] The Governor's letter to the Princess.

At the news of this concession, the partisans of Rome saw all their
danger. They confer, they concert their measures, and in an instant
their resolution is taken: they are resolved to fight.[1028] "My
lord," said they, turning to M. de Rive, and touching the hilt of
their swords, "all of us who adhere to the holy Sacrament are resolved
to die martyrs for our holy faith."[1029] This demonstration did not
escape the notice of the young soldiers who had returned from the
Genevese war. One minute more and the swords would have been drawn,
and the platform changed into a battlefield.

  [1028] Ibid.

  [1029] Ibid.

Monseigneur de Prangins, more wily than orthodox, shuddered at the
thought. "I cannot suffer it," said he to the most violent of his
party; "such an enterprise would forfeit my mistress's state and
lordship."[1030]--"I consent," said he to the Bernese, "to take the
votes, with reserve nevertheless of the sovereignty, rights, and
lordship of Madame."--"And we," replied the townspeople, "with the
reserve of our liberties and privileges."

  [1030] Ibid.

The Romanists, seeing the political power they had invoked now failing
them, felt that all was lost. They will save their honour at least in
this great shipwreck; they will subscribe their names, that posterity
may know who had remained faithful to Rome. These proud supporters of
the hierarchy advance towards the governor; tears course down their
rough cheeks, betraying thus their stifled anger. They write their
signatures as witnesses at the foot of the solemn testament that
Popery is now drawing up in Neuchatel, in the presence of the Bernese
deputies. They then added, with tears in their eyes, "that the names
and surnames of the good and of the perverse had been written in
perpetual memory, and declared that they were still good and faithful
burghers of Madame, and would do her service unto death."[1031]

  [1031] Alors iceux dirent en pleurant que les noms et les surnoms. des
  bons et des pervers fussent écrits en perpétuelle mémoire, et qu'ils
  protestoient être bons et fidèles bourgeois de Madame, et lui faire
  service jusqu' à la mort.


The reformed townspeople were convinced that it was only by frankly
bearing testimony to their religious convictions that they could
discharge their debt before God, their sovereign, and their
fellow-citizens. So that the Catholics had scarcely protested their
fidelity towards their lady, when, turning towards the governor, the
Reformed cried out: "We say the same in every other thing in which it
shall please our Mistress to command us, save and except the
Evangelical faith, in which we will live and die."[1032]

  [1032] Governor's letter. Nous disons le semblable en toute autre
  chose où il plaira à Madame nous commander, sauf et reserve icelle foi
  évangelique, dans laquelle nous voulons vivre et mourir.

Everything was then prepared for taking the votes. The church of our
lady was opened, and the two parties advanced between the shattered
altars, torn pictures, mutilated statues, and all those ruins of
Popery, which clearly foretold to its partisans the last and
irrevocable defeat it was about to undergo. The three Lords of Berne
took their station beside the governor as arbitrators of the
proceedings and presidents of the assembly, and the voting began.

George de Rive, notwithstanding the despondency of his friends, was
not altogether without hope. All the partisans of the ancient worship
in Neuchatel had been forewarned; and but a few days previously the
Reformed themselves, by refusing the voting, had acknowledged the
numerical superiority of their adversaries. But the friends of the
Gospel in Neuchatel had a courage and a hope that seemed to repose on
a firmer basis. Were they not the victorious party, and could they be
vanquished in the midst of their triumph?


The two parties, however, moved forward, confounded one with the
other, and each man gave his vote in silence. They counted each other:
the result appeared uncertain; fear froze each party by turns. At
length the majority seemed to declare itself;--they took out the
votes,--the result was proclaimed. A majority of eighteen voices gave
the victory to the Reformation, and the last blow to the Papacy!

The Bernese lords immediately hastened to profit by this advantage.
"Live henceforth," said they, "in good understanding with one another;
let the Mass be no longer celebrated; let no injury be done to the
priests; and pay to your Lady, or to whomsoever they may be justly
due, all tithes, quit-rent, cense, and revenues." These different
points were proclaimed by the assembly, and a report was immediately
drawn up, to which the deputies, the governors, and the magistrates of
the city of Neuchatel affixed their respective seals.[1033]

  [1033] Reces de MM. de Berne, MS. Et que l'on paie à Madame ou à qui
  il sera dû justement dîmes, cens, rentes et revenus.

[Sidenote: THE IMAGE OF ST. JOHN.]

Farel did not appear in all this business: one might have said that
the reformer was not at Neuchatel: the citizens appealed only to the
Word of God; and the governor himself, in his long report to the
princess, does not once mention him. It was the Apostles of our Lord,
St. Peter, St. John, St. Paul, and St. James, who by their divine
writings re-established the true foundations of the Church in the
midst of the people of Neuchatel. The Word of God was the law of the
prudhommes of Neuchatel. In vain will the Roman Church say, "But these
very Scriptures,--it is I who give them to you; you cannot therefore
believe in them without believing in me." It is not from the Church of
Rome that the Protestant Church receives the Bible. Protestantism has
always existed in the Church. It has existed alone in every place
where men have been engaged in the study of the Holy Scriptures, of
their divine origin, of their interpretation, and in their
dissemination. The Protestantism of the sixteenth century received the
Bible from the Protestantism of every age. When Rome speaks of the
hierarchy, she is on her own ground: as soon as she speaks of the
Scriptures, she is on ours. If Farel had been put forward in
Neuchatel, he would not perhaps have been able to stand against the
Pope; but the Word of Christ alone was concerned, and Rome must fall
before Jesus.

Thus terminated, by a mutual contract, that day at first so
threatening. If the Reformed had sacrificed any of their convictions
to a false peace, disorder would have been perpetuated in Neuchatel. A
bold manifestation of the truth and the inevitable shocks that
accompanied it, far from destroying society, preserved it. This
manifestation is the wind that lifts the vessel from the rocks and
brings it into the harbour.

The Lord of Prangins felt that, between fellow-citizens, "it is better
to touch one another, even if it be by collision, than to avoid each
other continually." The free explanation that had taken place had
rendered the opposition of the two parties less irritating. "I give my
promise," said the governor, "to undertake nothing against the vote of
this day, for I am myself a witness that it has been honest, upright,
without danger, and without coercion."[1034]

  [1034] Ungefährlich, ungezwringen, aufrecht und redlich. (Berne to the
  Governor, 17th Dec. 1530.)

It was necessary to dispose of the spoils of the vanquished party: the
governor opened the castle to them. Thither were transported the
relics, the ornaments of the altars, the church papers, and even the
organ; and the Mass, expelled from the city, was there mournfully
chanted every day.

All the ornaments, however, did not take this road. Some days after,
as two citizens, named Fauche and Sauge, were going out together to
their vineyards, they passed a little chapel, in which the latter had
set up a wooden figure of St. John. He said to his companion, "There
is an image I shall heat my stove with to-morrow." And, in fact, as he
returned, he carried away the saint and laid it down in front of his

[Sidenote: A MIRACLE.]

The next morning he took the image and put it on the fire. Immediately
a horrible explosion spread dismay through this humbly family. The
trembling Fauche doubts not that it is a miracle of the saint, and
hastens to return to the Mass. In vain does his neighbour Sauge
protest to him upon oath that, during the night, he had made a hole in
the statue, filled it with gunpowder, and closed it up again. Fauche
will listen to nothing, and resolves to flee from the vengeance of the
saints. He went and settled with his family at Morteau in Franche
Comté.[1035] Such are the miracles upon which the divinity of Rome

  [1035] Boyve Annals, MS.

By degrees everything became settled: some of the canons, as Jacques
Baillod, William de Pury, and Benedict Chambrier, embraced the
Reformation. Others were recommended by the governor to the priory of
Motiers, in the Val de Travers; and, in the middle of November, at the
time when the winds begin to rage among the mountains, several canons,
surrounded by a few singing-boys,--sad relics of the ancient,
powerful, rich, voluptuous, and haughty chapter of Neuchatel,
painfully climbed up the gorges of the Jura, and went to conceal in
these lofty and picturesque valleys the disgrace of a defeat, which
their long disorders and their insupportable tyranny had but too
justly provoked.


During this time the new worship was organized. In room of the
high-altar were substituted two marble tables to receive the bread and
wine; and the Word of God was preached from a pulpit stripped of every
ornament. The pre-eminence of the Word, which characterizes the
Evangelical worship, replaced in the church of Neuchatel the
preeminence of the sacrament, which characterizes Popery. Towards the
end of the second century, Rome, that ancient metropolis of all
religions, after having welcomed the Christian worship in its
primitive purity, had gradually transformed it into mysteries; a magic
power had been ascribed to certain forms; and the reign of the
sacrifice offered by the priest had succeeded to the reign of the Word
of God. The preaching of Farel had restored the Word to the rights
which belong to it; and those vaulted roofs, which the piety of Count
Ulric II. had, on his return from Jerusalem, dedicated to the worship
of the Virgin, served at last, after four centuries, to nourish the
faithful, as in the time of the Apostles, "in the words of faith and
of good doctrine."[1036]

  [1036] 1 Tim. iv. 6.

IX. The convention, drawn up under the mediation of Berne, stipulated
that "the change should take place only in the city and parish of
Neuchatel." Must the rest of the country remain in darkness? This was
not Farel's wish, and the zeal of the citizens, in its first fervour,
effectually seconded him. They visited the surrounding villages,
exhorting some, combating others. Those who were compelled to labour
with their hands during the day went thither at night. "Now, I am
informed," writes the governor to the princess, "that they are working
at a reformation night and day."

George de Rive, in alarm, convoked the magistrates of all the
districts in the earldom. These good folks believed that their
consciences, as well as their places, depended upon Madame de
Longueville. Affrighted at the thought of freely receiving a new
conviction from the Word of God, they were quite ready to accept it
from the countess as they would a new impost. A sad helotism, in which
religion springs from the soil, instead of descending from heaven! "We
desire to live and die under the protection of our lady," said the
magistrates to the Lord of Rive, "without changing the ancient faith,
_until it be so ordered by her_."[1037] Rome, even after her fall,
could not receive a deeper insult.

  [1037] Choupart MS. Nous voulons vivre et mourir sous la protection de
  Madame, sans changer l'ancienne foi, _jusqu' à ce que par elle en soit


These assurances of fidelity and the absence of the Bernese restored
De Rive's confidence, and he secretly prepared a reaction among the
nobles and the lower classes. There is in every historical
catastrophe, in the fall of great establishments, and in the spectacle
of their ruins, something which excites and improves the mind. This
was what happened at the period in question. Some were more zealous
for Popery after its fall than in its day of power. The priests
gliding into the houses said Mass to a few friends mysteriously called
together around a temporary altar. If a child was born, the priest
noiselessly arrived, breathed on the infant, made the sign of the
cross on its forehead and breast, and baptized it according to the
Roman ritual.[1038] Thus they were rebuilding in secret what had been
overthrown in the light of day. At length a counter-revolution was
agreed upon; and Christmas day was selected for the restoration of
Roman-catholicism. While the Christians' songs of joy should be rising
to heaven, the partisans of Rome were to rush into the church, expel
the heretical assembly, overthrow the pulpit and the holy table,
restore the images, and celebrate the Mass in triumph. Such was the
plan of the Neuchatelan vespers.[1039]

  [1038] Berne to Neuchatel, 17th December.

  [1039] Berne to the Governor, 23d December.

The plot got wind. Deputies from Berne arrived at Neuchatel on the
very eve of the festival. "You must see to this," said they to the
governor: "if the Reformed are attacked, we, their co-burghers, will
protect them with all our power." The conspirators laid down their
arms, and the Christmas hymns were not disturbed.

This signal deliverance augmented the devotion and zeal of the friends
of the Gospel. Already Emer Beynon of Serrière, where Farel had one
day landed from a small boat, ascending the pulpit, had said to his
parishioners: "If I have been a good priest, I desire by the grace of
God to be a still better pastor." It was necessary for these words to
be heard from every pulpit. Farel recommenced a career of labours,
fatigues, and struggles, which the actions of the apostles and
missionaries alone can equal.

[Sidenote: FAREL'S LABOURS.]

Towards the end of the year 1530, he crossed the mountain in the
middle of winter, entered the church of Valangin, went into the
pulpit, and began to preach at the very moment that Guillemette de
Vergy was coming to Mass. She endeavoured to shut the reformer's
mouth, but in vain, and the aged and noble dowager retired
precipitately, saying: "I do not think this is according to the old
Gospels; if there are any new ones that encourage this, I am quite
amazed."[1040] The people of Valangin embraced the Gospel. The
affrighted lieutenant ran to Neuchatel, thence to Berne, and on the
11th February 1521 laid his complaint before the council; but all was
useless. "Why," said their excellencies of Berne to him, "why should
you disturb the water of the river? let it flow freely on."

  [1040] Chambrier, Hist. de Neuchatel et Valangin, p. 299. Je ne crois
  pas que ce soit selon les vieux évangiles; s'il y en a de nouveaux qui
  fassent cela faire, j'en suis esbahie.

Farel immediately turned to the parishes on the slopes between the
lake and Mount Jura. At Corcelles a fanatic crowd, well armed and led
on by the curate of Neuchatel, rushed into the church where the
minister was preaching, and he did not escape without a wound. At
Bevay, the abbot John of Livron and his monks collected a numerous
body of friends, surrounded the church, and having thus completed the
blockade, entered the building, dragged the minister from the pulpit,
and drove him out with blows and insults. Each time he reappeared,
they pursued him as far as Auvernier with stones and gunshots.


While Farel was thus preaching in the plain, he sent one of his
brethren into the valley; it was John de Bély, a man of good family
from Crest in Dauphiny. Beyond Valangin, at a little distance from
Fontaine, on the left side of the road to Cernier, was a stone that
remains to this day. It was here in the open air, as if in a
magnificent temple, that this herald of the Gospel began to proclaim
salvation by grace.[1041] Before him stretched the declivity of
Chaumont, dotted with the pretty villages of Fenin, Villars, Sole, and
Savagnier, and beyond, where the mountains fell away, might be seen
the distant and picturesque chain of the Alps. The most zealous of
his hearers entreated him to enter the church. He did so; but suddenly
the priest and his curate "arrived with great noise." They proceeded
to the pulpit, dragged Bély down; and then turning to the women and
young persons of the place, "excited them to beat him and drive him

  [1041] It does not appear that Bély could have stood and preached on
  this stone, as is generally said, unless what now remains is but a
  fragment of the original.

  [1042] MS. AA. in the Choupart MS.

John de Bély returned to Neuchatel, hooted and bruised, like his
friend after the affair at Valangin; but these evangelists followed
the traces of the Apostle Paul, whom neither whips nor scourges could
arrest.[1043] De Bély often returned to Fontaine. The Mass was
abolished erelong in this village; Bély was its pastor for
twenty-seven years; his descendants have more than once exercised the
ministry there, and now they form the most numerous family of
agriculturists in the place.

  [1043] 2 Cor. xi. 24, 25.

Farel, after evangelizing the shores of the lake to the south of
Neuchatel, had gone to the north and preached at St. Blaise. The
populace, stirred up by the priests and the lieutenant, had fallen
upon him, and Farel escaped from their hands, severely beaten,
spitting blood, and scarcely recognisable. His friends had thrown him
hurriedly into a boat, and conveyed him to Morat, where his wounds
detained him for some time.[1044]

  [1044] De Perrot: L'Eglise et la Réformation, ii. p. 233.

At the report of this violence the reformed Neuchatelans felt their
blood boil. If the lieutenant, the priest, and his flock have bruised
the body of Christ's servant, which is truly the altar of the living
God, why should they spare dead idols? Immediately they rush to St.
Blaise, throw down the images, and do the same at the abbey of
Fontaine-André,--a sanctuary of the ancient worship.


The images still existed at Valangin, but their last hour was about to
strike. A Frenchman, Anthony Marcourt, had been nominated pastor of
Neuchatel. Treading in Farel's footsteps, he repaired with a few of
the citizens to Valangin on the 14th June, a great holiday in that
town.[1045] Scarcely had they arrived when a numerous crowd pressed
around the minister, listening to his words. The canons, who were on
the watch in their houses, and Madame de Vergy and M. de Bellegarde
from their towers, sought how they could make a diversion against this
heretical preaching? They could not employ force because of Berne.
They had recourse to a brutal expedient, worthy of the darkest days of
Popery, and which, by insulting the minister, might divert (they
imagined) the attention of the people, and change it into shouts and
laughter. A canon,[1046] assisted by the countess's coachman, went to
the stables and took thence two animals, which they led to the spot
where Marcourt was preaching. We will throw a veil over this scene: it
is one of those disgraceful subjects which the pen of history refuses
to transcribe.[1047] But never did punishment follow closer upon
crime. The conscience of the hearers was aroused at the sight of this
infamous spectacle. The torrent, that such a proceeding was intended
to check, rushed out of its channel. The indignant people, undertaking
the defence of that religion which their opponents had wished to
insult, entered the church like an avenging wave; the ancient windows
were broken, the shields of the lords were demolished, the relics
scattered about, the books torn, the images thrown down, and the altar
overturned. But this was not enough: the popular wave, after sweeping
out the church, flowed back again, and dashed against the canons'
houses. Their inhabitants fled in consternation into the forests, and
everything was destroyed in their dwellings.

  [1045] This incident is generally attributed to Farel, but Choupart,
  following an older manuscript, says, _le ministre de Neuchatel_, by
  which title he always means Marcourt, and never Farel.

  [1046] Some historians say "the coachman of the countess;" but
  Choupart, on three different occasions, writes _a canon_. The latter
  is no doubt more revolting; but there is nothing incredible in it.

  [1047] De equo admissario loquitur qui equam init.


Guillemette de Vergy and M. de Bellegarde, agitated and trembling
behind their battlements, repenting, but too late, of their monstrous
expedient, are the only ones who have not yet suffered the popular
vengeance. Their restless eyes watch the motions of the indignant
townspeople. The work is completed! the last house is sacked! The
burghers consult together.--O horror!--they turn towards the
castle,--they ascend the hill,--they draw near. Is then the abode of
the noble counts of Arberg about to be laid waste? But no!--"We come,"
said the delegates standing near the gate of the castle, "we are come
to demand justice for the outrage committed against religion and its
minister." They are permitted to enter, and the trembling countess
orders the poor wretches to be punished who had acted solely by her
orders. But at the same time she sends deputies to Berne, complaining
of the "great insults that had been offered her."[1048] Berne declared
that the Reformed should pay for the damage; but that the countess
should grant them the free exercise of their worship. Jacques Veluzat,
a native of Champagne, was the first pastor of Valangin. A little
later we shall see new struggles at the foot of Mount Jura.

  [1048] Curate of Bezancenet's chronicle. Des grands vitupères qu'on
  lui avait faits.

Thus was the Reformation established at Valangin, as it had been at
Neuchatel: the two capitals of these mountains were gained to the
Gospel. Erelong it received a legal sanction. Francis, Marquis of
Rothelin, son of the Duchess of Longueville, arrived in the
principality in March, 1581, with the intention of playing on this
small theatre the part of a Francis I. But he soon found out that
there are revolutions which an irresistible hand has accomplished, and
that must be submitted to. Rothelin excluded from the estates of the
earldom the canons who had hitherto formed the first power, and
replaced them by four bannerets and four burgesses. Then, availing
himself of the principle that all abandoned property falls to the
state, he laid his hands upon their rich heritage, and proclaimed
freedom of conscience throughout all the country. All the necessary
forms having been observed with Madame, the politic M. de Rive became
reformed also. Such was the support Rome received from the State, to
which she had looked for her deliverance.


A great energy characterized the Reformation of French Switzerland;
and this is shown by the events we have just witnessed. Men have
attributed to Farel this distinctive feature of his work; but no man
has ever created his own times; it is always, on the contrary, the
times that create the man. The greater the epoch, the less do
individualities prevail in it. All the good contained in the events we
have just related came from that Almighty Spirit, of which the
strongest men are but weak instruments. All the evil proceeded from
the character of the people; and, indeed, it was almost always Popery
that began these scenes of violence: Farel submitted to the influence
of his time, rather than the time received his. A great man may be the
personification and the type of the epoch for which God destines him:
he is never its creator.

But it is time to quit the Jura and its beautiful valleys, brightened
by the vernal sun, to direct our step towards the Alps of German
Switzerland, along which thick clouds and horrible tempests are
beginning to gather. The free and courageous people, who dwell below
the eternal glaciers, or on the smiling banks of the lakes, daily
assume a fiercer aspect, and the collision threatens to be sudden,
violent, and terrible. We have just been witnessing a glorious
conquest: a dreadful catastrophe awaits us.



I. It was the will of God that at the very gates of his revived Church
there should be two great examples to serve as lessons for future
generations. Luther and the German Reformation, declining the aid of
the temporal power, rejecting the force of arms, and looking for
victory only in the confession of the truth, were destined to see
their faith crowned with the most brilliant success; while Zwingle and
the Swiss Reformation, stretching out their hands to the mighty ones
of the earth, and grasping the sword, were fated to witness a
horrible, cruel, and bloody catastrophe fall upon the Word of God--a
catastrophe which threatened to engulf the Evangelical cause in the
most furious whirlpool. God is a jealous God, and gives not his glory
to another; he claims to perform his own work himself, and to attain
his ends sets other springs in motion than those of a skilful

We are far from forgetting that we are called upon to relate facts and
not to discuss theories; but there is a principle which the history we
are narrating sets forth in capital letters: it is that professed in
BUT MIGHTY THROUGH GOD! In maintaining this truth we do not place
ourselves on the ground of any particular school, but on that of
universal conscience and of the Word of God.

[Sidenote: ZWINGLE.]

Of all carnal support that religion can invoke, there is none more
injurious to it than arms and diplomacy. The latter throws it into
tortuous ways; the former hurries it into paths of bloodshed; and
Religion, from whose brow has been torn the double wreath of truth and
meekness, presents but a degraded and humiliated countenance that no
person can, that no person desires to recognise.

It was the very extension of the Reform in Switzerland that exposed it
to the dangers under which it sunk. So long as it was concentrated at
Zurich, it continued a religious matter; but when it had gained Berne,
Basle, Schaffhausen, St. Gall, Glaris, Appenzell, and numerous
bailiwicks, it formed inter-cantonal relations; and--here was the
error and misfortune--while the connexion should have taken place
between church and church, it was formed between state and state.

As soon as spiritual and political matters became mingled together,
the latter took the upperhand. Zwingle erelong thought it his duty to
examine not only doctrinal, but also federal questions; and the
illustrious reformer might be seen, unconscious of the snares beneath
his feet, precipitating himself into a course strewn with rocks, at
the end of which a cruel death awaited him.

The primitive Swiss cantons had resigned the right of forming new
alliances without the consent of all; but Zurich and Berne had
reserved the power. Zwingle thought himself therefore quite at liberty
to promote an alliance with the Evangelical states. Constance was the
first city that gave her adhesion. But this Christian co-burghery,
which might become the germ of a new confederation, immediately raised
up numerous adversaries against Zwingle, even among the partisans of
the Reformation.

There was yet time: Zwingle might withdraw from public affairs, to
occupy himself entirely with those of the Gospel. But no one in Zurich
had, like him, that application to labour, that correct, keen, and
sure eye, so necessary for politicians. If he retired, the vessel of
the state would be left without a pilot. Besides, he was convinced
that political acts alone could save the Reform. He resolved,
therefore, to be at one and the same time the man of the State and of
the Church. The registers prove that in his latter years he took part
in the most important deliberations; and he was commissioned by the
council of his canton to write letters, compose proclamations, and
draw up opinions. Already, before the dispute with Berne, looking upon
war as possible, he had traced out a very detailed plan of defence,
the manuscript of which is still in existence.[1049] In 1528 he did
still more; he showed in a remarkable paper, how the republic should
act with regard to the Empire, France, and other European states, and
with respect to the several cantons and bailiwicks. Then, as if he had
grown grey at the head of the Helvetic troops (and it is but just to
remark that he had long lived among soldiers), he explained the
advantages there would be in surprising the enemy; and he described
even the nature of the arms, and the manner of employing them. In
truth, an important revolution was then taking place in the art of
war. The pastor of Zurich is at once the head of the state and general
of the army: this double--this triple part of the reformer was the
ruin of the Reformation and of himself. Undoubtedly we must make
allowances for the men of this age, who, being accustomed to see Rome
wield two swords for so many centuries, did not understand that they
must take up one and leave the other. We must admire the strength of
that superior genius, which, while pursuing a political course, in
which the greatest minds would have been absorbed, ceased not however
to display an indefatigable activity as pastor, preacher, divine, and
author. We must acknowledge that the republican education of Zwingle
had taught him to confound his country with his religion, and that
there was in this great man enough to fill up many lives. We must
appreciate that indomitable courage which, relying upon justice,
feared not, at a time when Zurich had but one or two weak cities for
allies, to confront the redoubtable forces of the Empire and of the
Confederation; but we should also see in the great and terrible lesson
that God gave him, a precept for all times and for every nation; and
finally, understand what is so often forgotten, "that the kingdom of
Christ is not of this world."

  [1049] Escher et Hottinger, Archives, ii. p. 263.


The Roman-catholic cantons, on hearing of the new alliances of the
Reformed, felt a violent indignation. William of Diesbach, deputy from
Berne at the diet, was forced to submit to the keenest reproaches. The
sitting, for some time interrupted, was resumed immediately after his
departure. "They may try to patch up the old faith," said the Bernese,
as he withdrew, "it cannot, however, last any longer."[1050] In truth,
they patched away with all their might, but with a sharp and envenomed
needle that drew blood. Joseph Am Berg of Schwytz and Jacques Stocker
of Zug, bailiffs of Thurgovia, treated with cruelty all who were
attached to the Gospel. They enforced against them fines,
imprisonment, torture, the scourge, confiscation, and banishment; they
cut out the ministers' tongues, beheaded them, or condemned them to be
burnt.[1051] At the same time they took away the Bibles and all the
evangelical books; and if any poor Lutherans, fleeing from Austria,
crossed the Rhine and that low valley where its calm waters flow
between the Alps of the Tyrol and of Appenzell,--if these poor
creatures, tracked by the lansquenets, came to seek a refuge in
Switzerland, they were cruelly given up to their persecutors.

  [1050] Mögen sie blätzen am alten Glauben. (Hottinger, Zwingli, p.

  [1051] Die Zungen geschlitzt, mit dem Schwerdt richten und verbrännt.
  (Bull. ii. p. 31.)


The heavier lay the hands of the bailiff on Thurgovia and the
Rhienthal, the greater conquests did the Gospel make. The Bishop of
Constance wrote to the Five Cantons, that if they did not act with
firmness, all the country would embrace the Reform. In consequence of
this, the cantons convoked at Frauenfeld all the prelates, nobles,
judges, and persons of note in the district; and a second meeting
taking place six days after (6th December 1528) at Weinfeld, deputies
from Berne and Zurich entreated the assembly to consider the honour of
God above all things, and in no respect to care for the threats of the
world.[1052] A great agitation followed upon this discourse. At last a
majority called for the preaching of the Word of God: the people came
to the same decision; and the Rheinthal, as well as Bremgarten,
followed this example.

  [1052] Die Eer Gottes, uwer Seelen Heil. (Bulling. Chron. ii. p. 28.)

What was to be done? The flood had become hourly encroaching. Must
then the Forest Cantons open their valleys to it at last? Religious
antipathies put an end to national antipathies; and these proud
mountaineers, directing their looks beyond the Rhine, thought of
invoking the succour of Austria, which they had vanquished at
Morgarten and at Sempach.[1053] The fanatical German party that had
crushed the revolted Swabian peasants was all-powerful on the
frontiers. Letters were exchanged; messengers passed to and fro across
the river; at last they took advantage of a wedding in high rank that
was to take place at Feldkirch in Swabia, six leagues from Appenzell.
On the 16th February 1529, the marriage party, forming a brilliant
cavalcade, in the midst of which the deputies of the Five Cantons were
concealed, made their entry into Feldkirch, and Am Berg had an
immediate interview with the Austrian governor. "The power of the
enemies of our ancient faith has so increased," said the Swiss, "that
the friends of the Church can resist them no longer. We therefore turn
our eyes to that illustrious prince who has saved in Germany the faith
of our fathers."

  [1053] Ibid. p. 48.

This alliance was so very unnatural, that the Austrians had some
difficulty in believing it to be sincere. "Take hostages," said the
Waldstettes, "write the articles of the treaty with your own hands;
command, and we will obey!"--"Very good!" replied the Austrians; "in
two months you find us again at Waldshut, and we will let you know our

[Sidenote: ANIMOSITY.]

A rumour of these negotiations being spread abroad excited great
dissatisfaction, even in the partisans of Rome. In no place did it
burst out with greater force than in the council of Zug. The opposing
parties were violently agitated; they stamped their feet, they started
from their seats, and were nearly coming to blows; but hatred
prevailed over patriotism. The Waldstette deputies appeared at
Waldshut; they suspended the arms of their cantons by the side of
those of the oppressors of Switzerland; they decorated their hats with
peacocks' feathers (the badge of Austria), and laughed, drank, and
chattered with the Imperialists. This strange alliance was at last
concluded.[1054] "Whoever shall form new sects among the people," it
ran, "shall be punished with death; and, if need be, with the help of
Austria. This power, in case of emergency, shall send into Switzerland
six thousand foot soldiers, and four hundred horse, with all requisite
artillery. If necessary, the reformed cantons shall be blockaded, and
all provisions intercepted." To the Romish cantons, then, belongs the
initiative of this measure so much decried. Finally, Austria
guaranteed to the Waldstettes the possession, not only of the common
bailiwicks, but of all the _conquests_ that might be made on the left
bank of the Rhine.

  [1054] Bullinger gives the treaty at full length. (Chron. ii. p.

Dejection and consternation immediately pervaded all Switzerland. The
national complaint, which Bullinger has preserved, was sung in every

    Wail, Helvetians, wail,
      For the peacock's plume of pride
    To the forest-cantons' savage bull
      In friendship is allied.


All the cantons not included in this alliance, with the exception of
Friburg, assembled in diet at Zurich, and resolved to send a
deputation to their mountain confederates, with a view to
reconciliation. The deputation, admitted at Schwytz in the presence of
the people, was able to execute its mission without tumult. At Zug
there was a cry of "No sermon! no sermon!" At Altorf the answer was:
"Would to God that your new faith was buried for ever!" At Lucerne
they received this haughty reply: "We shall know how to defend
ourselves, our children, and our children's children, from the poison
of your rebellious priests." It was at Unterwalden that the
deputation met with the worst reception. "We declare our alliance at
an end," said they. "It is we,--it is the other Waldstettes who are
the real Swiss. We graciously admitted you into our confederation, and
now you claim to become our masters!--The Emperor, Austria, France,
Savoy, and Valais will assist us!" The deputies retired in
astonishment, shuddering as they passed before the house of the
secretary of state, where they saw the arms of Zurich, Berne, Basle,
and Strasburg hanging from a lofty gibbet.

The deputation had scarcely returned to Zurich and made their report,
when men's minds were inflamed. Zwingle proposed to grant no peace to
Unterwalden, if it would not renounce foreign service, the alliance
with Austria, and the government of the common bailiwicks. "No! no!"
said Berne, that had just stifled a civil war in its own canton, "let
us not be so hasty. When the rays of the sun shine forth, each one
wishes to set out; but as soon as it begins to rain, every man loses
heart! The Word of God enjoins peace. It is not with pikes and lances
that faith is made to enter the heart. For this reason, in the name of
our Lord's sufferings, we entreat you to moderate your anger."

This christian exhortation would have succeeded, if the fearful news
that reached Zurich, on the very day when the Bernese delivered their
moderate speech, had not rendered it unavailing.


On Saturday the 22d May, Jacques Keyser, a pastor and father of a
family in the neighbourhood of the Greiffensee, after coasting the
fertile shores of this little lake, crossed the rich pastures of the
bailiwick of Gruningen, passed near the Teutonic house of Bubikon and
the convent of Ruti, and reached that simple and wild district bathed
by the upper part of Lake Zurich. Making his way to Oberkirk, a parish
in the Gaster district, between the two lakes of Zurich and
Wallenstadt, of which he had been nominated pastor, and where he was
to preach on the morrow, he crossed on foot the lengthened and rounded
flanks of the Buchberg, fronting the picturesque heights of the
Ammon. He was confidently advancing into those woods which for many
weeks he had often traversed without obstruction, when he was suddenly
seized by six men, posted there to surprise him, and carried off to
Schwytz. "The bailiffs," said they to the magistrates, "have ordered
all innovating ministers to be brought before the tribunals: here is
one that we bring you." Although Zurich and Glaris interposed;
although the government of Gaster, where Keyser had been taken, did
not then belong to Schwytz; the Landsgemeinde desired a victim, and on
the 29th May they condemned the minister to be burnt alive. On being
informed of his sentence, Keyser burst into tears.[1055] But when the
hour of execution arrived, he walked cheerfully to death, freely
confessed his faith, and gave thanks to the Lord even with his latest
breath. "Go and tell them at Zurich how he thanks us!" said one of the
Schwytz magistrates, with a sarcastic smile, to the Zurich deputies.
Thus had a fresh martyr fallen under the hands of that formidable
power that is "drunk with the blood of the saints."[1056]

  [1055] Weinet häfftig. (Bull. ii. p. 149.)

  [1056] Rev. xvii. 6.

The cup was full. The flames of Keyser's pile became the signal of
war. Exasperated Zurich uttered a cry that resounded through all the
confederation. Zwingle above all called for energetic measures.
Everywhere,--in the streets, in the councils, and even in the
pulpits,--he surpassed in daring even the most valiant captains. He
spoke at Zurich,--he wrote to Berne. "Let us be firm, and fear not to
take up arms," said he. "This peace, which some desire so much, is not
peace, but war: while the war that we call for is not war but
peace.[1057] We thirst for no man's blood, but we will clip the wings
of the oligarchy.[1058] If we shun it, the truth of the Gospel and the
ministers' lives will never be secure among us."

  [1057] Bellum cui nos instamus, pax est, non bellum. (Vita Zwinglii
  per O. Myconium.)

  [1058] Oligarchiæ nervi succidantur. (Ibid.)

[Sidenote: ZWINGLE'S ERROR.]

Thus spoke Zwingle. In every part of Europe he beheld the mighty ones
of the earth aiding one another to stifle the reviving animation of
the Church; and he thought that without some decisive and energetic
movement, Christianity, overwhelmed by so many blows, would soon fall
back into its ancient slavery. Luther under similar circumstances
arrested the swords ready to be crossed, and demanded that the Word of
God alone should appear on the field of battle. Zwingle thought not
thus. In his opinion war was not revolt, for Switzerland had no
master. "Undoubtedly," said he, "we must trust in God alone; but when
He gives us a just cause, we must also know how to defend it, and,
like Joshua and Gideon, shed blood in behalf of our country and our

If we adopt the principles of justice which govern the rulers of
nations, the advice of Zwingle was judicious and irreproachable. It
was the duty of the Swiss magistrates to defend the oppressed against
the oppressor. But is not such language, which might have been
suitable in the mouth of a magistrate, blamable in a minister of
Christ? Perhaps Zwingle forgot his quality of pastor, and considered
himself only as a citizen, consulted by his fellow-citizens; perhaps
he wished to defend Switzerland, and not the Church, by his counsels;
but it is a question if he ought ever to have forgotten the Church and
his ministry. We think we may go even further; and while granting all
that may be urged in favour of the contrary supposition, we may deny
that the secular power ought ever to interfere with the sword to
protect the faith.

[Sidenote: ZWINGLE AND WAR.]

To accomplish his designs, the reformer needed even in Zurich the
greatest unity. But there were many men in that city devoted to
interests and superstitions which were opposed to him. "How long," had
he exclaimed in the pulpit on the 1st December 1528, "will you support
in the council these unbelievers, these impious men, who oppose the
Word of God?"[1059] They had decided upon purging the council, as
required by the reformer; they had examined the citizens individually;
and then had excluded all the hostile members.

  [1059] Den rath reinigen. (Füssli Beyträge, iv. p. 91.)

II. On Saturday the 15th June 1529, seven days after Keyser's
martyrdom, all Zurich was in agitation. The moment was come when
Unterwalden should send a governor to the common bailiwicks; and the
images, having been burnt in those districts, Unterwalden had sworn to
take a signal revenge.[1060] Thus the consternation had become
general. "Keyser's pile," thought they, "will be rekindled in all our
villages." Many of the inhabitants flocked to Zurich, and on their
alarmed and agitated features, one might, in imagination, have seen
reflected the flames that had just consumed the martyr.

  [1060] Den götzen brand, an inen mitt der Hand zu rächen. (Bull.
  Chron. ii. p. 193.)

[Sidenote: WAR OF RELIGION.]

These unhappy people found a powerful advocate in Zwingle. The
reformer imagined that he had at last attained the object that he
never ceased to pursue--the free preaching of the Gospel in
Switzerland. To inflict a final blow would, in his idea, suffice to
bring this enterprise to a favourable issue. "Greedy pensioners," said
Zwingle to the Zurichers, "profit by the ignorance of the mountaineers
to stir up these simple souls against the friends of the Gospel. Let
us therefore be severe upon these haughty chiefs. The mildness of the
lamb would only serve to render the wolf more ferocious.[1061] Let us
propose to the Five Cantons to allow the free preaching of the Word of
the Lord, to renounce their wicked alliances, and to punish the
abettors of foreign service. As for the Mass, idols, rites, and
superstitions, let no one be forced to abandon them. It is for the
Word of God alone to scatter with its powerful breath all this idle
dust.[1062] Be firm, noble lords, and in despite of certain black
horses, as black at Zurich as they are at Lucerne,[1063] but whose
malice will never succeed in overturning the chariot of Reform, we
shall clear this difficult pass, and arrive at the unity of
Switzerland and at unity of faith." Thus Zwingle, while calling for
force against political abuses, asked only liberty for the Gospel; but
he desired a prompt intervention, in order that this liberty might be
secured to it. Œcolampadius thought the same: "It is not a time for
delay," said he, "it is not a time for parsimony and pusillanimity! So
long as the venom shall not be utterly removed from this adder in our
bosoms we shall be exposed to the greatest dangers."[1064]

  [1061] Lupus lenitate agni, magis magisque vorax fit. (Zwing. Epp. ii.
  p. 296.)

  [1062] Dei verbum enim hos pulveres omnes facile flatu suo disperget.

  [1063] The Pensioners.--Exceptis aliquot nigris equis. (Zwing. Epp.
  ii. 298.)

  [1064] Venenum a domestico illo colubro. (Ibid.)

The council of Zurich, led away by the reformer, promised the
bailiwicks to support religious liberty among them; and scarcely had
they learnt that Anthony ab Acker of the Unterwalden was proceeding to
Baden with an army, than they ordered five hundred men to set out for
Bremgarten with four pieces of artillery. This was the 5th June, and
on the same evening the standard of Zurich waved over the convent of

[Sidenote: WAR.]

The war of religion had begun. The horn of the Waldstettes re-echoed
afar in the mountains: men were arming in every direction, and
messengers were sent off in haste to invoke the assistance of the
Valais and of Austria. Three days later (Tuesday the 8th June), six
hundred Zurichers, under the command of Jacques Werdmüller, set out
for Rapperschwyl and the district of Gaster; and, on the morrow, four
thousand men repaired to Cappel, under the command of the valiant
Captain George Berguer, to whom Conrad Schmidt, pastor of Kussnacht,
had been appointed chaplain. "We do not wish you to go to the war,"
said Burgomaster Roust to Zwingle; "for the Pope, the Archduke
Ferdinand, the Romish cantons, the bishops, the abbots, and the
prelates hate you mortally. Stay with the council: we have need of
you."--"No!" replied Zwingle, who was unwilling to confide so
important an enterprise to any one; "when my brethren expose their
lives I will not remain quietly at home by my fireside. Besides, the
army also requires a watchful eye, that looks continually around it."
Then, taking down his glittering halberd, which he had carried (as
they say) at Marignan, and placing it on his shoulder, the reformer
mounted his horse and set out with the army.[1065] The walls, towers,
and battlements were covered with a crowd of old men, children, and
women, among whom was Anna, Zwingle's wife.

  [1065] Soudern sass auf ein Ross, und führte eine hubsche Helparten
  aufden Achseln. (Füssli Beytr. iv. p. 103.)

Zurich had called for the aid of Berne; but that city, whose
inhabitants showed little disposition for a religious war, and which
besides was not pleased at seeing the increasing influence of Zurich,
replied, "Since Zurich has begun the war without us, let her finish it
in like manner." The Evangelical states were disunited at the very
moment of struggle.

The Romish cantons did not act thus. It was Zug that issued the first
summons; and the men of Uri, of Schwytz, and of Unterwalden had
immediately begun the march. On the 8th June, the great banner floated
before the townhouse of Lucerne, and on the next day the army set out
to the sound of the antique horns that Lucerne pretended to have
received from the Emperor Charlemagne.

On the 10th June, the Zurichers, who were posted at Cappel, sent a
herald at daybreak to Zug, who was commissioned, according to custom,
to denounce to the Five Cantons the rupture of the alliance.
Immediately Zug was filled with cries and alarm. This canton, the
smallest in Switzerland, not having yet received all the confederate
contingents, was not in a condition to defend itself. The people ran
to and fro, sent off messengers, and hastily prepared for battle; the
warriors fitted on their armour, the women shed tears, and the
children shrieked.


Already the first division of the Zurich army, amounting to two
thousand men, under the command of William Thöming, and stationed
near the frontier below Cappel, was preparing to march, when they
observed, in the direction of Baar, a horseman, pressing the flanks of
his steed, and galloping up as fast as the mountain which he had to
ascend would permit. It was Aebli, landamman of Glaris. "The Five
Cantons are prepared," said he, as he arrived, "but I have prevailed
upon them to halt, if you will do the same. For this reason I entreat
my lords and the people of Zurich, for the love of God and the safety
of the Confederation, to suspend their march at the present moment."
As he said these words, the brave Helvetian shed tears.[1066] "In a
few hours," continued he, "I shall be back again. I hope, with God's
grace, to obtain an honourable peace, and to prevent our cottages from
being filled with widows and orphans."

  [1066] Das redt er mitt weynenden Ougen. (Bull. ii. p. 169.)

Aebli was known to be an honourable man, friendly to the Gospel, and
opposed to foreign service: his words, therefore, moved the Zurich
captains, who resolved to halt. Zwingle alone, motionless and uneasy,
beheld in his friend's intervention the machinations of the adversary.
Austria, occupied in repelling the Turks, and unable to succour the
Five Cantons, had exhorted them to peace. This, in Zwingle's opinion,
was the cause of the propositions brought to them by the landamman of
Glaris. So at the moment Aebli turned round to return to Zug,[1067]
Zwingle approaching him said with earnestness, "Gossip landamman, you
will render to God an account of all this. Our adversaries are caught
in a sack: this is why they give you sweet words. By and by they will
fall upon us unawares, and there will be none to deliver us."
Prophetic words, whose fulfilment went beyond all foresight! "Dear
gossip!" replied the landamman, "I have confidence in God that all
will go well. Let each one do his best." And he departed.

  [1067] Alls nun der Amman wiederumm zu den 5 orten ryten wollt. (Bull.
  Chron. ii. p. 170.) Zwingle was godfather to one of Aebli's children.


Then, instead of advancing upon Zug, the army began to erect tents
along the edge of the forest and the brink of the torrent a few paces
from the sentinels of the Five Cantons; while Zwingle, seated in his
tent, silent, and in deep thought, anticipated some distressing news
from hour to hour.

He had not long to wait. It was the deputies of the Zurich Council who
came to give reality to his fears. Berne, maintaining the character
that it had so often filled as representative of the federal policy,
declared that if Zurich or the cantons would not make peace, they
should know how to compel them; this state at the same time convoked a
diet at Arau, and sent five thousand men into the field, under the
command of Sebastian Diesbach. Zwingle was struck with consternation.

Aebli's message, supported by that of Berne, was sent back by the
council to the army; for, according to the principles of the time,
"wherever the banner waves, there is Zurich." "Let us not be
staggered," cried the reformer, ever decided and firm; "our destiny
depends upon our courage; to-day they beg and entreat, and in a month,
when we have laid down our arms, they will crush us. Let us stand firm
in God. Before all things, let us be just: peace will come after
that." But Zwingle, transformed to a statesman, began to lose the
influence which he had gained as a servant of God. Many could not
understand him, and asked if what they had heard was really the
language of a minister of the Lord. "Ah!" said one of his friends, who
perhaps knew him best, Oswald Myconius, "Zwingle certainly was an
intrepid man in the midst of danger; but he always had a horror of
blood, even of his most deadly enemies. The freedom of his country,
the virtues of our forefathers, and, above all, the glory of Christ,
were the sole end of his designs.[1068]--I speak the truth, as if in
the presence of God," adds he.

  [1068] Libertas patriæ, virtutes avitæ, et imprimis gloria Christi.
  (Osw. Myc. De vita Zw.)


While Zurich was sending deputies to Arau, the two armies received
reinforcements. The men of Thurgovia and St. Gall joined their banners
to that of Zurich; the Valaisans and the men of St. Gothard united
with the Romanist cantons. The advanced posts were in sight of each
other at Thunn, Leematt, and Goldesbrunnen, on the delightful slopes
of the Albis.

Never, perhaps, did Swiss cordiality shine forth brighter with its
ancient lustre. The soldiers called to one another in a friendly
manner, shook hands, styled themselves confederates and brothers. "We
shall not fight," said they. "A storm is passing over our heads, but
we will pray to God, and he will preserve us from every harm."
Scarcity afflicted the army of the Five Cantons, while abundance
reigned in the camp of Zurich.[1069] Some young famishing Waldstettes
one day passed the outposts: the Zurichers made them prisoners, led
them to the camp, and then sent them back laden with provisions, with
still greater good-nature than was shown by Henry IV. at the siege of
Paris. At another time, some warriors of the Five Cantons, having
placed a bucket filled with milk on the frontier line, cried out to
the Zurichers that they had no bread. The latter came down
immediately, and cut their bread into the enemies' milk: then the
soldiers of the two parties began with jokes to eat out of the same
dish--some on this side, some on that. The Zurichers were delighted
that, notwithstanding the prohibition of their priests, the
Waldstettes ate with heretics. When one of the troop took a morsel
that was on the side of his adversaries, these sportively struck him
with their spoons, and said to him: "Do not cross the frontier!" Thus
did these good Helvetians make war upon one another; and hence it was
that the Burgomaster Sturm of Strasburg, one of the mediators,
exclaimed: "You Confederates are a singular people! When you are
disunited, you live still in harmony with one another, and your
ancient friendship never slumbers."[1070]

  [1069] A measure of corn was sold for a florin, and one of wine for a
  half-batz, about three halfpence. (Bull. Chron. ii. p. 182.)

  [1070] Wenn ihr schon uneins sind, so sind ir eins. (Bull. Chron. ii.
  p. 183.)

[Sidenote: A CONFERENCE.]

The most perfect order reigned in the camp of Zurich. Every day
Zwingle, the commander Schmidt, Zink abbot of Cappel, or some other
minister, preached among the soldiers. No oath or dispute was heard;
every disorderly woman was turned out of the camp; prayers were
offered up before and after every meal; and each man obeyed his
chiefs. There were no dice, no cards, no games calculated to excite
quarrels; but psalms, hymns, national songs, bodily exercise,
wrestling, or pitching the stone, were the military recreations of the
Zurichers.[1071] The spirit that animated the reformer had passed into
the army.

  [1071] Sondern sang, sprang, wurf, und Stiess die Steine. (Füssli
  Beyt. iv. p. 108.)

The assembly at Arau, transported to Steinhausen in the neighbourhood
of the two camps, decreed that each army should hear the complaints of
the opposite party. The reception of the deputies of the Five Cantons
by the Zurichers was tolerably calm; it was not so in the other camp.

On the 15th June, fifty Zurichers, surrounded by a crowd of peasants,
proceeded on horseback to the Waldstettes. The sound of the trumpet,
the roll of the drum, and repeated salvos of artillery announced their
arrival. Nearly twelve thousand men of the smaller cantons, in good
order, with uplifted heads and arrogant looks, were under arms. Escher
of Zurich spoke first, and many persons from the rural districts
enumerated their grievances after him, which the Waldstettes thought
exaggerated. "When have we ever refused you the federal right?" asked
they. "Yes, yes!" replied Funk, Zwingle's friend; "we know how you
exercise it. That pastor (Keyser) appealed to it, and you referred
him--to the executioner!" "Funk, you would have done better to have
held your tongue," said one of his friends. But the words had slipped
out; a dreadful tumult suddenly arose; all the army of the Waldstettes
was in agitation; the most prudent begged the Zurichers to retire
promptly, and protected their departure.


At length the treaty was concluded on the 26th June 1529. Zwingle did
not obtain all he desired. Instead of the free preaching of the Word
of God, the treaty stipulated only liberty of conscience; it declared
that the common bailiwicks should pronounce for or against the Reform
by a majority of votes. Without decreeing the abolition of foreign
pensions, it was recommended to the Romish cantons to renounce the
alliance formed with Austria; the Five Cantons were to pay the
expenses of the war, Murner to retract his insulting words, and an
indemnity was secured to Keyser's family.[1072]

  [1072] Supra, p. 753. The treaty is given entire in Bullinger, ii. p.
  185, and Ruchat, ii.

An incontrovertible success had just crowned the warlike demonstration
of Zurich. The Five Cantons felt it. Gloomy, irritated, silently
champing the bit that had been placed in their mouths, their chiefs
could not decide upon giving up the deed of their alliance with
Austria. Zurich immediately recalled her troops, the mediators
redoubled their solicitations, and the Bernese exclaimed: "If you do
not deliver up this document, we will ourselves go in procession and
tear it from your archives." At last it was brought to Cappel on the
26th June, two hours after midnight. All the army was drawn out at
eleven in the forenoon, and they began to read the treaty. The
Zurichers looked with astonishment at its breadth and excessive
length, and the nine seals which had been affixed, one of which was in
gold. But scarcely had a few words been read, when Aebli, snatching
the parchment, cried out: "Enough, enough!"--"Read it, read it!" said
the Zurichers; "we desire to learn their treason!" But the Bailiff of
Glaris replied boldly: "I would rather be cut in a thousand pieces
than permit it." Then dashing his knife into the parchment, he cut it
in pieces in the presence of Zwingle and the soldiers,[1073] and threw
the fragments to the secretary to commit them to the flames. "This
paper was not Swiss," says Bullinger with sublime simplicity.

  [1073] Tabellæ fœderis a prætore Pagi Glaronensis gladio concisæ et
  deletæ, id quod ipse vidi. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 310.)

[Sidenote: ZWINGLE'S HYMN.]

The banners were immediately struck. The men of Unterwalden retired in
anger; those of Schwytz swore they would for ever preserve their
ancient faith; while the troops of Zurich returned in triumph to their
homes. But the most opposite thoughts agitated Zwingle's mind. "I
hope," said he, doing violence to his feelings, "that we bring back an
honourable peace to our dwellings. It was not to shed blood that we
set out.[1074] God has once again shown the great ones of the earth
that they can do nothing against us." But when he gave way to his
natural disposition, a very different order of thoughts took
possession of his mind. He was seen walking apart in deep dejection,
and anticipating the most gloomy future. In vain did the people
surround him with joyful shouts. "This peace," said he, "which you
consider a triumph, you will soon repent of, striking your breasts."
It was at this time that, venting his sorrow, he composed, as he was
descending the Albis, a celebrated hymn often repeated to the sound of
music in the fields of Switzerland, among the burghers of the
Confederate cities, and even in the palaces of kings. The hymns of
Luther and of Zwingle play the same part in the German and Swiss
Reformation as the Psalms in that of France.

    Do thou direct thy chariot, Lord,
      And guide it at thy will;
    Without thy aid our strength is vain,
      And useless all our skill.
    Look down upon thy saints brought low,
    And prostrate laid beneath the foe.

    Beloved Pastor, who hast saved
      Our souls from death and sin,
    Uplift thy voice, awake thy sheep
      That slumbering lie within
    Thy fold, and curb with thy right hand
    The rage of Satan's furious band.

    Send down thy peace, and banish strife,
      Let bitterness depart;
    Revive the spirit of the past
      In every Switzer's heart;
    Then shall thy Church for ever sing
    The praises of her heavenly King.

  [1074] Cum non cædem factum profecti sumus. (Ibid.)


An edict, published in the name of the Confederates, ordered the
revival everywhere of the old friendship and brotherly concord; but
decrees are powerless to work such miracles.

This treaty of peace was nevertheless favourable to the Reform. No
doubt it met with a violent opposition in some places. The nuns of the
vale of St. Catherine in Thurgovia, deserted by their priests and
excited by some noblemen beyond the Rhine, who styled them in their
letters, "Chivalrous women of the house of God," sang Mass themselves,
and appointed one of their number preacher to the convent. Certain
deputies from the Protestant cantons having had an interview with
them, the abbess and three of the nuns secretly crossed the river by
night, carrying with them the papers of the monastery and the
ornaments of the church. But such isolated resistance as this was
unavailing. Already in 1529 Zwingle was able to hold a synod in
Thurgovia, which organized the church there, and decreed that the
property of the convents should be consecrated to the instruction of
pious young men in sacred learning. Thus concord and peace seemed at
last to be re-established in the Confederation.


III. When, however, the conqueror abandons himself to his triumph, in
that very confidence he often finds destruction. Zurich and Zwingle
were to exemplify this mournful lesson of history. Taking advantage of
the national peace, they redoubled their exertions for the triumph of
the Gospel. This was a legitimate zeal, but it was not always wisely
directed. To attain the unity of Switzerland by unity of faith was the
object of the Zurichers; but they forgot that, by desiring to force a
unity, it is broken to pieces, and that freedom is the only medium in
which contrary elements can be dissolved, and a salutary union
established. While Rome aims at unity by anathemas, imprisonment, and
the stake, christian truth demands unity through liberty. And let us
not fear that unity, expanding each individuality beyond measure, will
produce by this means an infinite multiplicity. While we urge every
mind to attach itself to the Word of God, we give it up to a power
capable of restoring its diverging opinions to a wholesome unity.

Zwingle at first signalized his victory by legitimate conquests. He
advanced with courage. "His eye and his arm were everywhere." "A few
wretched mischief-makers," says Salat, a Romanist chronicler,
"penetrating into the Five Cantons, troubled men's souls, distributed
their frippery, scattered everywhere little poems, little tracts,
little testaments, and ceased not from saying that the people ought
not to believe the priests."[1075] This was not all; while the Reform
was destined to be confined around the lake of the Waldstettes to a
few fruitless efforts, it made brilliant conquests among the
cantons,--the allies and subjects of Switzerland; and all the blows
there inflicted on the Papacy re-echoed among the lofty valleys of the
primitive cantons, and filled them with affright. Nowhere had Popery
shown itself more determined than in the Swiss mountains. A mixture of
Romish despotism and Helvetian roughness existed there. Rome was
resolved to conquer, and yet she beheld her most important positions
successively wrested from her.

  [1075] Die sectischen haltend vil elends Hüdel volk gefunden, &c.
  (Salat, Chron.)

In fact, on the 29th September 1529, the citizens of Schaffhausen
removed the "great God" (_le bon Dieu_) from the cathedral, to the
deep regret of a small number of devotees, whom the Roman worship
still counted in this city; then they abolished the Mass, and
stretched out their hands to Zurich and to Berne.


At Zurzack, near the confluence of the Rhine and the Aar, at the
moment when the priest of the place, a man devoted to the ancient
worship, was preaching with zeal, a person named Tüfel (devil),
raising his head, said to him: "Sir, you are heaping insults on good
men, and you are loading the Pope and the saints of the Roman calendar
with honour; pray, where do we find that in the Holy Scriptures?" This
question, put in a serious tone of voice, raised a sly smile on many
faces, and the people with their eyes fixed on the pulpit awaited the
reply. The curate in astonishment and at his wit's end, answered with
a trembling voice: "Devil is thy name; thou actest like the devil, and
thou art the devil! For this reason I will have nothing to do with
thee." Then hastily leaving the pulpit, he ran away as if Satan
himself had been behind him. Immediately the images were torn down,
and the Mass abolished. The Roman-catholics sought to console
themselves by repeating everywhere: "At Zurzack it was the devil who
introduced the Reformation."[1076]

  [1076] That der Tüffel den ersten Angriff.


The priests and warriors of the Forest Cantons beheld the overthrow of
the Romish faith in countries that lay nearer to them. In the canton
of Glaris, whence by the steep passes of the Klaus and the
Pragel,[1077] the Reform might suddenly fall upon Uri and Schwytz, two
men met face to face. At Mollis, Fridolin Brunner, questioning himself
every day by what means he could advance the cause of Christ,[1078]
attacked the abuses of the Church with the energy of his friend
Zwingle,[1079] and endeavoured to spread among the people, who were
passionately fond of war, the peace and charity of the Gospel. At
Glaris, on the contrary, Valentine Tschudi studied with all the
circumspection of his friend Erasmus to preserve a just medium between
Rome and the Reform. And although,--thanks to the preaching of
Fridolin!--the doctrines of purgatory, indulgences, meritorious works,
and intercession of the saints, were looked at by the Glaronais as
mere follies and fables,[1080] they still believed with Tschudi that
the body and blood of Christ were substantially in the bread of the
Lord's Supper.

  [1077] This is the road by which the army of Suwaroff escaped in 1799.

  [1078] Nam cotidie cogitare soleo quanam re Christianum adjuvem
  profectum. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 13.)

  [1079] Audeo ego intrepide omnem ecclesiæ abusum et omnia humana
  precepta in enunciatione verbi Dei damnare. (Ibid.)

  [1080] Nugas esse et fabulas. (Zw. Epp. ii.)


At the same time a movement in opposition to the Reform was taking
place in that high and savage valley, where the Linth, roaring at the
foot of vast rocks with jagged crests--enormous citadels which seemed
built in the air,--bathes the villages of Schwanden and Ruti with its
waters. The Roman-catholics, alarmed at the progress of the Gospel,
and wishing to save these mountains at least, had scattered with
liberal hands the money they derived from their foreign pensions; and
from that time violent hatred had been seen to divide old friends, and
men who appeared to have been won over to the Gospel basely sought for
a pretext to conceal a disgraceful flight.[1081] "Peter[1082] and I,"
wrote Rasdorfer, pastor of Ruti, in despair, "are labouring in the
vineyard, but, alas! the grapes we gather are not employed for the
sacrifice, and the very birds do not eat them. We fish, but after
having toiled all night, we find that we have only caught
leeches.[1083] Alas! we are casting pearls before dogs, and roses
before swine!" This spirit of revolt against the Gospel soon descended
from these valleys with the noisy waters of the Linth as far as Glaris
and Mollis. "The council, as if it had been composed only of silly
women, shifted its sails every day," said Rasdorfer;[1084] "one day it
will have the cowl, on the next it will not."[1085] Glaris, like a
leaf carried along by one of its torrents, and which the waves and
eddies drive in different directions, wavered, wheeled about, and was
nearly being swallowed up.

  [1081] Jam ære convicti palinodiam canunt. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 292.)

  [1082] Pierre Rumelin; pastor of Schwanden.

  [1083] Tota enim nocte piscantes, sanguisugas, aspendios cepimus. (Zw.
  Epp. ii. p. 13.) Rasdorfer evidently alludes to what Pliny says of a
  kind of vine termed _Aspendios_: E diverso aspendios, damnata aris.
  Ferunt eam nec ab alite ulla attingi. (Hist. Nat. lib. xiv. cap. xviii
  § 22.)

  [1084] Vertit vela indies senatus noster muliercularum more. (Ibid.)

  [1085] Vult jam cucullum, post non vult. (Ibid.) That is, at one time
  it recognises, at another rejects, the Abbot of Saint Gall.

But this crisis came to an end: the Gospel suddenly regained strength,
and on Easter Monday 1530, a general assembly of the people "put the
Mass and the altars to the vote." A powerful party that relied upon
the Five Cantons vainly opposed the Reform. It was proclaimed, and its
vanquished and disconcerted enemies were forced to content themselves,
says Bullinger, with mysteriously concealing a few idols, which they
reserved for better days.

In the meanwhile, the Reform advanced in the exterior _Rhodes_ of
Appenzell,[1086] and in the district of Sargans. But what most
exasperated the cantons that remained faithful to the Romish
doctrines, was to see it pass the Alps and appear in Italy, in those
beautiful districts round Lake Maggiore, where, near the embouchure of
the Maggia, within the walls of Locarno, in the midst of laurels,
pomegranates, and cypresses, flourished the noble families of Orelli,
Muralto, Magoria, and Duni, and where floated since 1512 the sovereign
standard of the cantons. "What!" said the Waldstettes, "is it not
enough that Zurich and Zwingle infest Switzerland! They have the
impudence to carry their pretended Reform even into Italy,--even into
the country of the Pope!"

  [1086] See Benedict Noll's letter to Zwingle, Epp. ii. p. 635.

[Sidenote: THE MONK OF COMO.]

Great irregularities prevailed there among the clergy: "Whoever wishes
to be damned must become a priest," was a common saying.[1087] But the
Gospel succeeded in making its way even into that district. A monk of
Como, Egidio à Porta, who had taken the cowl in 1511, against the
wishes of his family,[1088] struggled for years in the Augustine
convent, and nowhere found peace for his soul. Motionless, environed,
as it appeared to him, with profound night, he cried aloud: "Lord,
what wilt thou that I should do?" Erelong the monk of Como thought he
heard these words in his heart: "Go to Ulric Zwingle and he will tell
thee." He rose trembling with emotion. "It is you," wrote he to
Zwingle immediately, "but no! it is not you, it is God who, through
you, will deliver me from the nets of the hunters." "Translate the New
Testament into Italian," replied Zwingle; "I will undertake to get it
printed at Zurich." This is what Reform did for Italy more than three
centuries ago.

  [1087] St. Chorles Barromeo, Archbishop of Milan, suppressed somewhat
  later several convents in this district: "Monialium non dicam
  collegia, sed amantium contubernia," said he. (Die evangel Gem. in
  Locarno von F. Meyer, i. p. 109.)

  [1088] Subduxi memet a parentum patrocinio, cucullumque nigrum ex
  animo suscepi. (Zw. Epp. i. p. 448.)

Egidio therefore remained. He commenced translating the Gospel; but at
one time he had to beg for the convent, at another to repeat his
"hours," and then to accompany one of the fathers on his
journeys.[1089] Everything that surrounded him increased his distress.
He saw his country reduced to the greatest misery by desolating
wars,--men formerly rich, holding out their hands for alms,--crowds of
women driven by want to the most shameful degradation. He imagined
that a great political deliverance could alone bring about the
religious independence of his fellow-countrymen.

  [1089] Confratres nonnulli viri certe et pietate et eruditione
  nequaquam contemptibiles. (Zw. Epp. i. p. 533.)


On a sudden he thought that this happy hour was arrived. He perceived
a band of Lutheran lansquenets descending the Alps. Their serried
phalanxes, their threatening looks were directed towards the banks of
the Tiber. At their head marched Freundsberg, wearing a chain of gold
around his neck, and saying: "If I reach Rome I will make use of it to
hang the Pope." "God wills to save us," wrote Egidio to Zwingle:
"write to the constable;[1090] entreat him to deliver the people over
whom he rules,--to take from the shaven crowns, whose God is their
belly, the wealth which renders them so proud,--and to distribute it
among the people who are dying of hunger. Then let each one preach
without fear the pure Word of the Lord.--The strength of Antichrist
is near its fall!"

  [1090] Bourbon, who commanded in Italy on behalf of the Emperor.
  (Supra, book xii.)

Thus, about the end of 1526, Egidio already dreamt of the Reformation
of Italy. From that time his letters cease: the monk disappeared.
There can be no doubt that the arm of Rome was able to reach him, and
that, like so many others, he was plunged into the gloomy dungeon of
some convent.


In the spring of 1530, a new epoch commenced for the Italian
bailiwicks. Zurich appointed Jacques Werdmüller bailiff of Locarno; he
was a grave man, respected by all, and who even in 1524 had kissed the
feet of the Pope; he had since then been won over to the Gospel, and
had sat down at the feet of the Saviour.[1091] "Go," said Zurich, "and
bear yourself like a Christian, and in all that concerns the Word of
God conform to the ordinances." Werdmüller met with nothing but
darkness in every quarter. Yet, in the midst of this gloom, a feeble
glimmering seemed to issue from a convent situated on the delightful
shores of Lake Maggiore. Among the Carmelites at Locarno was a monk
named Fontana, skilled in the Holy Scriptures, and animated with the
same spirit that had enlightened the monk of Como. The doctrine of
salvation, "without money and without price," which God proclaims in
the Gospel, filled him with love and joy. "As long as I live," said
he, "will I preach upon the Epistles of St. Paul;"[1092] for it was
particularly in these Epistles that he had found the truth. Two monks,
of whose names we are ignorant, shared his sentiments. Fontana wrote a
letter "to all the Church of Christ in Germany," which was forwarded
to Zwingle. We may imagine we hear that man of Macedonia, who appeared
in a vision to Paul in the night, calling him to Europe, and saying,
"Come over and help us."[1093]--"O, trusty and well-beloved of Christ
Jesus," cried the monk of Locarno to Germany, "remember Lazarus, the
beggar, in the Gospel,--remember that humble Canaanitish woman,
longing for the crumbs that fell from the Lord's table! hungry as
David, I have recourse to the show-bread placed upon the altar. A poor
traveller devoured by thirst, I rush to the springs of living
water.[1094] Plunged in darkness, bathed in tears, we cry to you who
know the mysteries of God to send us by the hands of the munificent J.
Werdmüller all the writings of the divine Zwingle, of the famous
Luther, of the skilful Melancthon, of the mild Œcolampadius, of the
ingenious Pomeranus, of the learned Lambert, of the elegant Brenz, of
the penetrating Bucer, of the studious Leo, of the vigilant Hütten,
and of the other illustrious doctors, if there are any more. Excellent
princes, pivots of the Church, our holy mother, make haste to deliver
from the slavery of Babylon a city of Lombardy that has not yet known
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are but three who have combined
together to fight on behalf of the truth;[1095] but it was beneath the
blows of a small body of men, chosen by God, and not by the thousands
of Gideon, that Midian fell. Who knows if from a small spark God may
not cause a great conflagration?"

  [1091] Luke x. 39.

  [1092] Se dum vivat satis de Epistolis Pauli concionaturum esse. (Zw.
  Epp. ii. p. 497.)

  [1093] Acts xvi. 9.

  [1094] Debilis et infirmus apud piscinam, salutem mei et patriæ toto
  mentis affectu citissime expecto. (Hottinger, sæcul. 16, pars 2, p.

  [1095] Confederati conjunctique in expeditionem veritatis tres tantum
  numero sumus. (Hottinger saecul. 16, pars 2, p. 630.)

Thus three men on the banks of the Maggia hoped at that time to reform
Italy. They uttered a call to which, for three centuries, the
Evangelical world has not replied. Zurich, however, in these days of
its strength and of its faith, displayed a holy boldness, and dared
extend her heretical arms beyond the Alps. Hence, Uri, Schwytz,
Unterwalden, and all the Romanists of Switzerland gave vent to loud
and terrible threats, swearing to arrest even in Zurich itself the
course of these presumptuous invasions.


But the Zurichers did not confine themselves to this: they gave the
Confederates more serious cause of fear by waging incessant war
against the convents,--those centres of Ultramontane fanaticism. The
extensive monastery of Wettingen, around which roll the waters of the
Limmat, and which, by its proximity to Zurich, was exposed more than
any other to the breath of Reform, was in violent commotion. On the
23d August 1529, a great change took place; the ice was broken and the
downfall complete. The monks ceased to sing Mass; they cut off each
other's beards, not without shedding a few tears; they laid down their
frocks and their hoods, and clothed themselves in becoming secular
dresses.[1096] Then, in astonishment at this metamorphosis, they
listened devoutly to the sermon which Sebastian Benli of Zurich came
and preached to them, and erelong employed themselves in propagating
the Gospel, and in singing psalms in German. Thus Wettingen fell into
the current of that river which seemed to be everywhere reviving the
Confederation. The cloister, ceasing to be a house for gaming,
gluttony, and drunkenness, was changed into a school. Two monks alone
in all the monastery remained faithful to the cowl.

  [1096] Bekleitend sich in erbare gemeine Landskleyder. (Bull. Chron.
  ii. p. 221.)

The commander of Mulinen, without troubling himself about the threats
of the Romish cantons, earnestly pressed the commandery of St. John at
Hitzkirch towards the Reformation. The question was put to the vote,
and the majority declared in favour of the Word of God. "Ah!" said the
commander, "I have been long pushing behind the chariot."[1097] On the
4th September the commandery was reformed. It was the same with that
of Wadenswyl, with the convent of Pfeffers, and others besides. Even
at Mury the majority declared for the Gospel; but the minority
prevailed through the support of the Five Cantons.[1098] A new
triumph, and one of greater value, was destined to indemnify the
Reform, and to raise the indignation of the Waldstettes to the
highest pitch.

  [1097] Diu me in hoc curru promovendo laborasse, priusquam tam longe
  processit. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 334.)

  [1098] Das das minder müst das meer sin. (Bull. ii. p. 241.)

[Sidenote: ABBEY OF ST. GALL.]

The Abbot of St. Gall, by his wealth, by the number of his subjects,
and the influence which he exercised in Switzerland, was one of the
most formidable adversaries of the Gospel. In 1529, therefore, at the
moment when the army of Zurich took the field against the Five
Cantons, the Abbot Francis of Geisberg, in alarm and at the brink of
death, caused himself to be hastily removed into the strong castle of
Rohrschach, not thinking himself secure except within its walls. Four
days after this, the illustrious Vadianus, burgomaster of St. Gall,
entered the convent, and announced the intention of the people to
resume the use of their cathedral-church, and to remove the images.
The monks were astonished at such audacity, and having in vain
protested and cried for help, put their most precious effects in a
place of safety, and fled to Einsideln.

Among these was Kilian Kouffi, head-steward of the abbey, a cunning
and active monk, and, like Zwingle, a native of the Tockenburg.
Knowing how important it was to find a successor to the abbot, before
the news of his death was bruited abroad, he came to an understanding
with those who waited on the prelate; and the latter dying on Tuesday
in Holy Week, the meals were carried as usual into his chamber, and
with downcast eyes and low voice the attendants made every inquiry
about his health. While this farce was going on round the dead body,
the monks who had assembled at Einsideln repaired in all haste to
Rapperswyl, in the territory of St. Gall, and there elected Kilian,
who had so skilfully managed the affair. The new abbot went
immediately to Rohrschach, and on Good Friday he there proclaimed his
own election and the death of his predecessor. Zurich and Glaris
declared they would not recognise him, unless he could prove by the
Holy Scriptures that a monkish life was in conformity with the Gospel.
"We are ready to protect the house of God," said they; "and it is for
this reason we require that it be consecrated anew to the Lord. But
we do not forget that it is our duty also to protect the people. It is
in the bosom of a free people that the free Church of Christ should
raise its head." At the same time the ministers of St. Gall published
forty-two theses, in which they asserted that convents were not
"houses of God, but houses of the devil."[1099] The abbot, supported
by Lucerne and Schwytz, which with Zurich and Glaris exercised
sovereign power in St. Gall, replied that he would not dispute about
rights which he held from kings and emperors. The two natives of the
Tockenburg, Zwingle and Kilian, were thus struggling around St.
Gall,--the one claiming the people for the abbey, and the other the
abbey for the people. The army of Zurich having approached Wyl, Kilian
seized upon the treasures and muniments of the convent, and fled
precipitately beyond the Rhine. Then when peace was concluded, the
crafty monk clothed himself in a secular dress, and crept mysteriously
as far as Einsideln, whence on a sudden he made all Switzerland
re-echo with his cries. Zurich replied only by publishing in
conjunction with Glaris a constitution, by which a governor,
"confirmed in the evangelical faith," should preside over the
district, with a council of twelve members, while the election of
pastors was left to the parishes.[1100] Not long afterwards, the
abbot, expelled and a fugitive, while crossing a river near Bregentz,
fell from his horse, got entangled in his frock, and was drowned. Of
the two combatants from the Tockenburg, it was Zwingle who gained the

  [1099] Thesis 8. (Bull. ii. p. 115.)

  [1100] Die Pfarer soll den Gmeinden irs gfallens zu erkiessen
  Zugestelt syn. (Bull. ii. p. 268.)

[Sidenote: SOLEURE.]

The convent was put up to sale, and was purchased by the town of St.
Gall, "with the exception," says Bullinger, "of a detached building,
called _Hell_, where the monks were left who had not embraced the
Reform."[1101] The time having arrived when the governor sent by
Zurich was to give place to one from Lucerne, the people of St. Gall
called upon the latter to swear to their constitution. "A governor has
never been known," replied he, "to make an oath to peasants; it is the
peasants who should make an oath to the governor!" Upon this he
retired: the Zurich governor remained, and the indignation of the Five
Cantons against Zurich, which so daringly assisted the people of St.
Gall in recovering their liberties, rose to the highest paroxysm of

  [1101] Alein was ein gebuw die _Hell_ genampt, das liess man den
  Munchen blyten. (Ibid. p. 271.)

A few victories, however, consoled in some degree the partisans of
Rome. Soleure was for a long time one of the most contested battle
fields. The citizens and the learned were in favour of Reform: the
patricians and canons for Popery. Philip Grotz of Zug was preaching
the Gospel there, and the council having desired to compel him to say
Mass, one hundred Reformed appeared in the hall of assembly on the
13th September 1529, and with energy called for liberty of conscience.
Zurich and Berne having supported this demand, it was granted to them.

[Sidenote: A NEW MIRACLE.]

Upon this the most fanatical of the Roman-catholics, exasperated at
the concession, closed the gates of the city, pointed the guns, and
made a show of expelling the friends of the Reform. The council
prepared to punish these agitators, when the Reformed, willing to set
an example of christian moderation, declared they would forgive
them.[1102] The Great Council then published throughout the canton
that the dominion of conscience belonging to God alone, and faith
being the free gift of His grace, each one might follow the religion
which he thought best. Thirty-four parishes declared for the
Reformation, and only two for the Mass. Almost all the rural districts
were in favour of the Gospel; but the majority of the city sided with
the Pope.[1103] Haller, whom the Reformed of Soleure had sent for,
arrived, and it was a day of triumph for them. It was in the middle
of winter: "To-day," ironically observed one of the Evangelical
Christians, "our patron saint (St. Ours) will sweat!" And in
truth---oh! wonderful!--drops of moisture fell from the holy image. It
was simply a little holy water that had frozen and then thawed. But
the Romanists would listen to no raillery on so illustrious a prodigy,
reminding us of the blood of St. Januarius at Naples. All the city
resounded with piteous cries,--the bells were tolled,--a general
procession moved through the streets,--and high mass was sung in
honour of the heavenly prince who had shown in so marvellous a manner
the pangs he felt for his dearly beloved. "It is the fat minister of
Berne (Haller) who is the cause of the saint's alarm," said the devout
old women. One of them declared that she would thrust a knife into his
body; and certain Roman-catholics threatened to go to the Cordeliers'
church and murder the pastors who preached there. Upon this the
Reformed rushed to that church and called for a public discussion: two
hundred of their adversaries posted themselves at the same time in the
church of St. Ours and refused the discussion. Neither of the two
parties was willing to be the first to abandon the camp in which it
was entrenched. The senate wishing to clear the two churches thus
transformed into citadels, announced that at Martinmas, _i. e._ nine
months later, a public discussion should take place. But as the
Reformed found the delay too long, both parties remained for a whole
week more under arms. Commerce was interrupted,--the public offices
were closed--messengers ran to and fro,--arrangements were
proposed;--but the people were so stiffnecked,[1104] that no one would
give way. The city was in a state of siege. At last all were agreed
about the discussion, and the ministers committed four theses to
writing, which the canons immediately attempted to refute.

  [1102] Ruchat, ii. p. 139.

  [1103] Major pars agri abolita superstitione a parte nostra stat.
  Major et potior pars urbis a papistis. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 489.)

  [1104] Tam duræ cervicis populus est. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 489.)


Nevertheless they judged it a still better plan to elude them. Nothing
alarmed the Romanists so much as discussion. "What need have we of
any?" said they. "Do not the writings of the two parties declare their
sentiments?" The conference was, therefore, put off until the
following year. Many of the Reformed, indignant at these delays,
imprudently quitted the city; and the councils, charmed at this
result, which they were far from expecting, hastily declared that the
people should be free in the canton, but that in the city no one
should attack the Mass. From that time the Reformed were compelled
every Sunday to leave Soleure and repair to the village of Zuchsweil
to hear the Word of God. Thus Popery, defeated in so many places,
triumphed in Soleure.

Zurich and the other reformed cantons attentively watched these
successes of their adversaries, and lent a fearful ear to the threats
of the Roman-catholics, who ceased not from announcing the
intervention of the Emperor; when on a sudden a report was heard that
nine hundred Spaniards had entered the Grisons; that they were led by
the Chatelain of Musso, recently invested with the title of marquis by
Charles the Fifth; that the chatelain's brother-in-law, Didier d'Embs,
was also marching against the Swiss at the head of three thousand
imperial lansquenets; and that the Emperor himself was ready to
support them with all his forces. The Grisons uttered a cry of alarm.
The Waldstettes remained motionless; but all the reformed cantons
assembled their troops, and eleven thousand men began their
march.[1105] The Emperor and the Duke of Milan having soon after
decreed that they would not support the chatelain, this adventurer
beheld his castle rased to the ground, and was compelled to retire to
the banks of the Sesia, giving guarantees of future tranquillity;
while the Swiss soldiers returned to their homes, fired with
indignation against the Five Cantons, who by their inactivity had
infringed the federal alliance.[1106] "Our prompt and energetic
resistance," said they, "has undoubtedly baffled their perfidious
designs; but the reaction is only adjourned. Although the parchment
of the Austrian alliance has been torn in pieces, the alliance itself
still exists. The truth has freed us, but soon the imperial
lansquenets will come and try to place us again under the yoke of

  [1105] Bull. Chron. ii. p. 357.

  [1106] Ward ein grosser Unwilt wieder sie. (Ibid. p. 461.)


Thus in consequence of so many violent shocks, the two parties that
divided Switzerland had attained the highest degree of irritation. The
gulf that separated them widened daily. The clouds--the forerunners of
the tempest--drove swiftly along the mountains, and gathered
threateningly above the valleys. Under these circumstances Zwingle and
his friends thought it their duty to raise their voices, and if
possible to avert the storm. Thus Nicholas de Flue had in former days
thrown himself between the hostile parties.


On the 5th September 1530, the principal ministers of Zurich, Berne,
Basle, and Strasburg,--Œcolampadius, Capito, Megander, Leo Juda, and
Myconius,--were assembled at Zurich in Zwingle's house. Desirous of
taking a solemn step with the Five Cantons, they drew up an address
that was presented to the Confederates at the meeting of the Diet at
Baden. However unfavourable the deputies were, as a body, to these
heretical ministers, they nevertheless listened to this epistle, but
not without signs of impatience and weariness.[1107] "You are aware,
gracious lords, that concord increases the power of states, and that
discord overthrows them.[1108] You are yourselves a proof of the first
of these truths. Setting out from a small beginning, you have, by a
good understanding one with another, arrived at a great end. May God
condescend to prevent you also from giving a striking proof of the
second! Whence comes disunion, if not from selfishness? and how can we
destroy this fatal passion, except by receiving from God the love of
the common weal? For this reason we conjure you to allow the Word of
God to be freely preached among you, as did your pious ancestors.
When has there ever existed a government, even among the heathens,
which saw not that the hand of God alone upholds a nation? Do not two
drops of quicksilver unite so soon as you remove that which separates
them? Away then with that which separates you from our cities, that
is, the absence of the Word of God; and immediately the Almighty God
will unite us, as our fathers were united. Then placed in your
mountains, as in the centre of Christendom, you will be an example to
it, its protection and its refuge; and after having passed through
this vale of tears, being the terror of the wicked and the consolation
of the faithful, you will at last be established in eternal

  [1107] Lecta est epistola nostra in comitiis Badensibus. (Œcol. to
  Bucer. 28th December 1530.)

  [1108] Wie mit einhalligkeit kleine Ding gross werdend. (Zw. Opp. ii.
  p. 78.)

Thus frankly did these men of God address their brothers, the
Waldstettes. But their voice was not attended to. "The ministers'
sermon is rather long,"[1109] said some of the deputies yawning and
stretching their arms, while others pretended to see in it fresh cause
of complaint against the cities.

  [1109] Libellum supplicem ad quinque pagos breviorum vellent. (Zw.
  Epp. ii. p. 511.) Fastidiunt tam sancta. (Œcol.)

This proceeding of the ministers was useless: the Waldstettes rejected
the Word of God, which they had been entreated to admit; they rejected
the hands that were extended towards them in the name of Jesus Christ.
They called for the Pope and not for the Gospel. All hope of
reconciliation appeared lost.

Some persons, however, had at that time a glimpse of what might have
saved Switzerland and the Reformation,--the _autonomy_ (self-government)
of the Church, and its independence of political interests. Had they
been wise enough to decline the secular power to secure the triumph of
the Gospel, it is probable that harmony might have been gradually
established in the Helvetic cantons, and that the Gospel would have
conquered by its Divine strength. The power of the Word of God
presented chances of success that were not afforded by pikes and
muskets. The energy of faith, the influence of charity, would have
proved a securer protection to Christians against the burning piles
of Waldstettes than diplomatists and men-at-arms. None of the
Reformers understood this so clearly as Œcolampadius. His handsome
countenance, the serenity of his features, the mild expression of his
eyes, his long and venerable beard, the spirituality of his
expression, a certain dignity that inspired confidence and respect,
gave him rather the air of an apostle than of a reformer. It was the
power of the inner word that he particularly extolled; perhaps he even
went too far in spiritualism. But, however that may be, if any man
could have saved Reform from the misfortunes that were about to befall
it--that man was he. In separating from the Papacy, he desired not to
set up the magistrate in its stead. "The magistrate who should take
away from the churches the authority that belongs to them," wrote he
to Zwingle, "would be more intolerable than Antichrist himself (_i.
e._ the Pope)."[1110]--"The hand of the magistrate strikes with the
sword, but the hand of Christ heals. Christ has not said,--If thy
brother will not hear thee, tell it to the magistrate, but--_tell it
to the Church_. The functions of the State are distinct from those of
the Church. The State is free to do many things which the purity of
the Gospel condemns."[1111] Œcolampadius saw how important it was that
his convictions should prevail among the Reformed. This man, so mild
and so spiritual, feared not to stand forth boldly in defence of
doctrines then so novel. He expounded them before a synod assembly,
and next developed them before the senate of Basle.[1112] It is a
strange circumstance that these ideas, for a moment at least, were
acceptable to Zwingle;[1113] but they displeased an assembly of the
brethren to whom he communicated them; the politic Bucer above all
feared that this independence of the Church would in some measure
check the exercise of the civil power.[1114] The exertions of
Œcolampadius to constitute the Church, were not, however, entirely
unsuccessful. In February 1531, a diet of four reformed cantons
(Basle, Zurich, Berne, and St. Galls) was held at Basle, in which it
was agreed, that whenever any difficulty should arise with regard to
doctrine or worship, an assembly of divines and laymen should be
convoked, which should examine what the Word of God said on the
matter.[1115] This resolution, by giving greater unity to the
renovated Church, gave it also fresh strength.

  [1110] Intolerabilior enim Antichristo ipso magistratus, qui Ecclesiis
  auctoritatem suam adimit. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 510.)

  [1111] Ipsorum functio alia est et ecclesiastica, multaque ferre et
  facere potest quæ puritas evangelica non agnoscit. (Ibid.)

  [1112] Orationis meæ quam, fratrum nomine, coram senatu habui. (Ibid.)

  [1113] Ut mihi magis ac magis arridet. (Ibid. p. 518.)

  [1114] Ut non impediat alicubi magistratum Christianum. (Bucer to Zw.
  p. 836.)

  [1115] J. J. Hottinger, iii. p. 554.


IV. But it was too late to tread in this path, which would have
prevented so many disasters. The Reformation had already entered with
all her sails set upon the stormy ocean of politics, and terrible
misfortunes were gathering over her. The impulse communicated to the
Reform came from another than Œcolampadius. Zwingle's proud and
piercing eyes,--his harsh features,--his bold step,--all proclaimed in
him a resolute mind and the man of action. Nurtured in the exploits of
the heroes of antiquity, he threw himself, to save Reform, in the
footsteps of Demosthenes and Cato, rather than in those of St. John
and St. Paul. His prompt and penetrating looks were turned to the
right and to the left,--to the cabinets of kings and the councils of
the people, whilst they should have been directed solely to God. We
have already seen, that as early as 1527, Zwingle, observing how all
the powers were rising against the Reformation, had conceived the plan
of a _co-burghery_ or Christian State,[1116] which should unite all
the friends of the Word of God in one holy and powerful league. This
was so much the easier, as Zwingle's reformation had won over
Strasburg, Augsburg, Ulm, Reutlingen, Lindau, Memmingen, and other
towns of Upper Germany. Constance in December 1527, Berne in June
1528, St. Gall in November of the same year, Bienne in 1529, Mulhausen
in February, Basle in March, Schaffhausen in September, and Strasburg
in December, entered into this alliance. This political phase of
Zwingle's character is in the eyes of some persons his highest claim
to glory: we do not hesitate to acknowledge it as his greatest fault.
The Reformer, deserting the paths of the Apostles, allowed himself to
be led astray by the perverse example of Popery. The primitive Church
never opposed their persecutors but by the dispositions of the Gospel
of peace. Faith was the only sword by which it vanquished the mighty
ones of the earth. Zwingle felt clearly that by entering into the ways
of worldly politicians, he was leaving those of a minister of Christ:
he therefore sought to justify himself. "No doubt, it is not by human
strength," said he, "it is by the strength of God alone that the Word
of the Lord should be upheld. But God often makes use of men as
instruments to succour men. Let us therefore unite, and from the
sources of the Rhine to Strasburg let us form but one people and one

  [1116] Civitas Christiana.

  [1117] Dass von oben hinab hie dises Rhyns, bis gen Strasbourg ein
  Volk und Bundniss würde. (Zw. Opp. ii. p. 28.)


Zwingle played two parts at once--he was a reformer and a magistrate.
But these are two characters that ought not more to be united than
those of a minister and of a soldier. We will not blame the soldiers,
we will not blame the magistrates; in forming leagues and drawing the
sword, they act according to their point of view, although it is not
the same as ours; but we will decidedly blame the christian minister,
who becomes a diplomatist or a general.

In October 1529, as we have already observed, Zwingle repaired to
Marburg, whither he had been invited by Philip of Hesse; and while
neither of them had been able to come to an understanding with Luther,
the Landgrave and the Swiss Reformer, animated by the same bold and
enterprising spirit, soon agreed together.


The two reformers differed not less in their political than in their
religious system. Luther, brought up in the cloister and in monastic
submission, was imbued in youth with the writings of the fathers of
the Church; Zwingle, on the other hand, reared in the midst of Swiss
liberty, had, during those early years which decide the course of all
the others, imbibed the history of the ancient republics. Thus, while
Luther was in favour of a passive obedience, Zwingle demanded that the
tyrants should be opposed.

These two men were the faithful representatives of their respective
nations. In the north of Germany, the princes and nobility were the
essential part of the nation, and the people--strangers to all
political liberty--had only to obey. Thus, at the epoch of the
Reformation, they were contented to follow the voice of their doctors
and chiefs. In Switzerland, in the south of Germany, and on the Rhine,
on the contrary, many cities, after long and violent struggles, had
won their civil liberty; and hence we see in almost every place the
people taking a decided part in the Reform of the Church. There was
good in this; but evil was close at hand. The Reformers, themselves
men of the people, who dared not act upon princes, might be tempted to
hurry away the people. It was easier for the Reformation to unite with
republics than with kings. This facility nearly proved its ruin. The
Gospel was thus to learn that its alliance is in heaven.


There was, however, one prince with whom the reformed party of the
free states desired to be in union: this was Philip of Hesse. It was
he who in great measure prompted Zwingle's warlike projects. Zwingle
desired to make him some return, and to introduce his new friend into
the evangelical league. But Berne, watchful to avert anything that
might irritate the Emperor and its ancient confederates, rejected this
proposal, and thus excited a lively discontent in the "Christian
City."--"What!" cried they, "do the Bernese refuse an alliance that
would be honourable for us, acceptable to Jesus Christ, and terrible
to our adversaries?"[1118]--"The Bear," said the high-spirited
Zwingle, "is jealous of the Lion (Zurich); but there will be an end to
all these artifices, and victory will remain with the bold." It would
appear, indeed, according to a letter in cipher, that the Bernese at
last sided with Zwingle, requiring only that this alliance with a
prince of the Empire should not be made public.[1119]

  [1118] Ipsis et nobis honestius, ob religionis et caritatis causam,
  Christo gratius, ob conjunctas vires utilius, hostibusque terribilius.
  (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 481.)

  [1119] Tantum recusaverunt aperte agere. (Ibid. p. 487.) The cipher 3
  appears to indicate the Bernese.

Still Œcolampadius had not given way, and his meekness contended,
although modestly, with the boldness of his impetuous friend. He was
convinced that faith was destined to triumph only by the cordial union
of all believers. A valuable relief came to reanimate his exertions.
The deputies of the Christian co-burghery, being assembled at Basle in
1530, the envoys from Strasburg endeavoured to reconcile Luther and
Zwingle. Œcolampadius wrote to Zwingle on the subject, begging him to
hasten to Basle,[1120] and not show himself too unyielding. "To say
that the body and blood of Christ are really in the Lord's Supper, may
appear to many too hard an expression," said he, "but is it not
softened, when it is added--spiritually and not bodily?"[1121]

  [1120] Si potes, mox advola. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 547.)

  [1121] Christi corpus et sanguinem adesse vero in cœna fortasse
  cuipiam durius sonat, sed mitigatur dum adjungitur animo non corpore.


Zwingle was immovable. "It is to flatter Luther that you hold such
language, and not to defend the truth.[1122] _Edere est
credere._"[1123] Nevertheless there were men present at the meeting,
who were resolved upon energetic measures. Brotherly love was on the
eve of triumphing: peace was to be obtained by union. The Elector of
Saxony himself proposed a concord of all Evangelical Christians: the
Landgrave invited the Swiss cities to accede to it. A report spread
that Luther and Zwingle were about to make the same confession of
faith. Zwingle, calling to mind the early professions of the Saxon
Reformer, said one day at table before many witnesses, that Luther
would not think so erroneously about the Eucharist, if he were not
misled by Melancthon.[1124] The union of the whole Reform seemed about
to be concluded: it would have vanquished by its own weapons. But
Luther soon showed that Zwingle was mistaken in his expectation. He
required a written engagement by which Zwingle and Œcolampadius should
adhere to his sentiments, and the negotiations were broken off in
consequence. Concord having failed, there remained nothing but war.
Œcolampadius must be silent, and Zwingle must act.

  [1122] Hæc omnia fieri pro Luthero neque pro veritate propugnandi
  causa. (Ibid. p. 550.)

  [1123] To eat is to believe. (Ibid.)

  [1124] Memini dudum Tiguri te dicentem cum convivio me exciperes,
  Lutherum non adeo perperam de Eucharistia sentire, nisi quod
  Melancthon ex alio eum cogeret. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 562.)

[Sidenote: HIS FORESIGHT.]

And in truth from that hour Zwingle advanced more and more along that
fatal path into which he was led by his character, his patriotism, and
his early habits. Stunned by so many violent shocks, attacked by his
enemies and by his brethren, he staggered and his head grew dizzy.
From this period the reformer almost entirely disappears, and we see
in his place the politician, the great citizen, who, beholding a
formidable coalition preparing its chains for every nation, stands up
energetically against it. The Emperor had just formed a close alliance
with the Pope. If his deadly schemes were not opposed, it would be all
over, in Zwingle's opinion, with the Reformation, with religious and
political liberty, and even with the Confederation itself. "The
Emperor," said he, "is stirring up friend against friend, enemy
against enemy: and then he endeavours to raise out of this confusion
the glory of the Papacy, and above all his own power. He excites the
Chatelain of Musso against the Grisons--Duke George of Saxony against
Duke John--the Bishop of Constance against the city--the Duke of Savoy
against Berne--the Five Cantons against Zurich--and the Bishops of the
Rhine against the Landgrave; then, when the confusion shall have
become general, he will fall upon Germany, will offer himself as a
mediator, and ensnare princes and cities by fine speeches, until he
has them all under his feet. Alas! what discord, what disasters, under
the pretence of re-establishing the Empire and restoring
religion!"[1125] Zwingle went farther. The reformer of a small town in
Switzerland, rising to the most astonishing political conceptions,
called for a European alliance against such fatal designs. The son of
a peasant of the Tockenburg held up his head against the heir of so
many crowns. "That man must either be a traitor or a coward," wrote he
to a senator of Constance, "who is content to stretch and yawn, when
he ought to be collecting men and arms on every side, to show the
Emperor that in vain he strives to re-establish the Romish faith, to
enslave the free cities, and to subdue the Helvetians.[1126] He showed
us only six months ago how he would proceed. To-day he will take one
city in hand, to-morrow another; and so, step by step, until they are
all reduced. Then their arms will be taken away, their treasures,
their machines of war, and all their power......Arouse Lindau, and all
your neighbours; if they do not awake, public liberty will perish
under the pretext of religion. We must place no confidence in the
friendship of tyrants. Demosthenes teaches us that there is nothing so
hateful in their eyes as την των πολεων ελευθεριαν.[1127]
The Emperor with one hand offers us bread, but in the other he conceals a
stone."[1128] And a few months later Zwingle wrote to his friends in
Constance: "Be bold; fear not the schemes of Charles. The razor will
cut him who is sharpening it."[1129]

  [1125] Quæ dissidia, quas turbas, quæ mala, quas clades! (Zw. Epp. ii.
  p. 429.)

  [1126] Romanam fidem restituere, urbes liberas capere, Helvetios in
  ordinem cogere. (Ibid. March 1530.)

  [1127] "The freedom of cities." These words are in Greek in the

  [1128] Cæsar altera manu panem ostentat, altera lapidem celat. (Zw.
  Epp. March 1530.)

  [1129] Incidet in cotem aliquando novacula. (Ibid. p. 544.)


Away, then, with delay! Should they wait until Charles the Fifth
claimed the ancient castle of Hapsburg? The Papacy and the Empire, it
was said at Zurich, are so confounded together,[1130] that one cannot
exist or perish without the other. Whoever rejects Popery should
reject the Empire, and whoever rejects the Emperor should reject the

  [1130] Bapst und Keyserthumen habend sich dermassen in einandern
  geflickt. (Bull. ii. p. 343.)

It appears that Zwingle's thoughts even went beyond a simple
resistance. When once the Gospel had ceased to be his principal study,
there was nothing that could arrest him. "A single individual," said
he, "must not take it into his head to dethrone a tyrant; this would
be a revolt, and the kingdom of God commands peace, righteousness, and
joy. But if a whole people with common accord, or if the majority at
least, rejects him, without committing any excess, it is God himself
who acts."[1131] Charles V. was at that time a tyrant in Zwingle's
eyes; and the reformer hoped that Europe, awakening at length from its
long slumber, would be the hand of God to hurl him from his throne.

  [1131] So ist es mit Gott. (Zw. Opp.)


Never since the time of Demosthenes and of the two Catos had the world
seen a more energetic resistance to the power of its oppressors.
Zwingle in a political point of view is one of the greatest characters
of modern times: we must pay him this honour, which is, perhaps, for a
minister of God, the greatest reproach. Everything was prepared in his
mind to bring about a revolution that would have changed the history
of Europe. He knew what he desired to substitute in place of the power
he wished to overthrow. He had already cast his eyes upon the prince
who was to wear the imperial crown instead of Charles. It was his
friend the Landgrave. "Most gracious prince," he wrote on the 2d
November 1529, "I write to you as a child to a father; it is because I
hope that God has chosen you for great events......I dare think, but I
dare not speak of them[1132]......However, we must bell the cat at
last.[1133]......All that I can do with my feeble means to manifest
the truth, to save the Universal Church, to augment your power and the
power of those who love God--with God's help, I will do." Thus was
this great man led astray. It is the will of God that there be spots
even in those who shine brightest in the eyes of the world, and that
only one upon earth shall say--"Which of you convinceth me of sin?" We
are now viewing the faults of the Reformation: they arise from the
union of religion with politics. I could not take upon myself to pass
them by; the recollection of the errors of our predecessors is perhaps
the most useful legacy they have bequeathed to us.

  [1132] Spero Deum te ad magnas res......quasquidem cogitare sed non
  dicere licet. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 666.)

  [1133] Sed fieri non potest quin tintinnabulum aliquando feli
  adnectatur. (Zw. Epp. ii.)

It appears already that at Marburg Zwingle and the Landgrave had drawn
out the first sketch of a general alliance Against Charles V. The
Landgrave had undertaken to bring over the princes, Zwingle the free
cities of Southern Germany and Switzerland. He went still further, and
formed a plan of gaining over to this league the republics of
Italy--the powerful Venice at least--that she might detain the Emperor
beyond the Alps, and prevent him from leading all his forces into
Germany. Zwingle, who had earnestly pleaded against all foreign
alliances, and proclaimed on so many occasions that the only ally of
the Swiss should be the arm of the Almighty, began now to look around
for what he had condemned, and thus prepared the way for the terrible
judgment that was about to strike his family, his country, and his

He had hardly returned from Marburg, and had made no official
communication to the great council, when he obtained from the senate
the nomination of an ambassador to Venice. Great men, after their
first success, easily imagine that they can do everything. It was not
a statesman who was charged with this mission, but one of Zwingle's
friends, who had accompanied him into Germany, to the court of the
future chief of the Empire--the Greek professor, Rodolph Collin, a
bold and skilful man, and who knew Italian. Thus the Reform stretched
its hands to the Doge and the Procurator of St. Marc. The Bible was
not enough for it--it must have the _Golden Book_: never did a greater
humiliation befall God's work. The opinion which Protestants then
entertained of Venice may, however, partly excuse Zwingle. There was
in that city more independence of the Pope, more freedom of thought,
than in all the rest of Italy. Luther himself about this time wrote to
Gabriel Zwilling, pastor at Torgau: "With what joy do I learn what you
write to me concerning the Venetians. God be praised and glorified,
for that they have received his Word!"[1134]

  [1134] Lætus audio de Venetis quæ scribis, quod verbum Dei receperint,
  Deo gratia ac gloria. (7th March 1528. L. Epp. iii. p. 289.)


Collin was admitted, on the 26th December, to an audience with the
Doge and senate, who looked with an air of astonishment at this
schoolmaster, this strange ambassador, without attendants, and without
parade. They could not even understand his credentials, in so singular
a style were they drawn up, and Collin was forced to explain their
meaning. "I am come to you," said he, "in the name of the council of
Zurich and of the cities of the Christian co-burghery--free cities
like Venice, and to which common interests should unite you. The power
of the Emperor is formidable to the Republics; he is aiming at a
universal monarchy in Europe; if he succeeds, all the free states will
perish. We must therefore check him."[1135] The Doge replied that the
Republic had just concluded an alliance with the Emperor, and betrayed
the distrust that so mysterious a mission excited in the Venetian
senate. But afterwards, in a private conference,[1136] the Doge,
wishing to preserve a retreat on both sides, added, that Venice
gratefully received the message from Zurich, and that a Venetian
regiment, armed and paid by the Republic itself, should be always
ready to support the Evangelical Swiss. The chancellor, covered with
his purple robe, attended Collin to the door, and, at the very gates
of the ducal palace, confirmed the promise of support. The moment the
Reformation passed the magnificent porticos of St. Marc it was seized
with giddiness; it could but stagger onwards to the abyss. They
dismissed poor Collin by placing in his hands a present of twenty
crowns. The rumour of these negotiations soon spread abroad, and the
less suspicious, Capito for example, shook their heads, and could see
in this pretended agreement nothing but the accustomed perfidy of

  [1135] Formidandam rebus-publicis potentiam Cæsaris, quæ omnino ad
  Europæ monarchiam vergit (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 445.)

  [1136] Postea privatim alia respondisse. (Ibid.)

  [1137] Perfidiam adversus Cæsarem, fidem videri volunt. (Capito, Zw.
  Epp. ii. p. 445.)

This was not enough. The cause of the Reform was fated to drink the
cup of degradation to the very dregs. Zwingle, seeing that his
adversaries in the Empire increased daily in numbers and in power,
gradually lost his ancient aversion for France; and, although there
was now a greater obstacle than before between him and Francis
I.,--the blood of his brethren shed by that monarch,--he showed
himself favourably disposed to a union that he had once so forcibly

Lambert Maigret, a French general, who appears to have had some
leaning to the Gospel--which is a slight excuse for Zwingle--entered
into correspondence with the reformer, giving him to understand that
the secret designs of Charles V. called for an alliance between the
King of France and the Swiss Republics. "Apply yourself," said this
diplomatist to him in 1530, "to a work so agreeable to our Creator,
and which, by God's grace, will be very easy to your Mightiness."[1138]
Zwingle was at first astonished at these overtures. "The King of
France," thought he, "cannot know which way to turn."[1139] Twice he
took no heed of this prayer; but the envoy of Francis I. insisted
that the reformer should communicate to him a plan of alliance. At the
third attempt of the ambassador, the simple child of the Tockenburg
mountains could no longer resist his advances. If Charles V. must
fall, it cannot be without French assistance; and why should not the
Reformation contract an alliance with Francis I., the object of which
would be to establish a power in the Empire that should in its turn
oblige the King to tolerate the Reform in his own dominions?
Everything seemed to meet the wishes of Zwingle; the fall of the
tyrant was at hand, and he would drag the Pope along with him. He
communicated the general's overtures to the secret council, and Collin
set out, commissioned to bear the required project to the French
ambassador.[1140] "In ancient times," it ran, "no kings or people ever
resisted the Roman Empire with such firmness as those of France and
Switzerland. Let us not degenerate from the virtues of our ancestors.
His most Christian Majesty--all whose wishes are, that the purity of
the Gospel may remain undefiled[1141]--engages therefore to conclude
an alliance with the Christian co-burghery that shall be in accordance
with the Divine law, and that shall be submitted to the censure of the
evangelical theologians of Switzerland." Then followed an outline of
the different articles of the treaty.

  [1138] Operi Creatori nostro acceptissimo, Dominationi tuæ facillimo,
  media gratia Dei. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 413.)

  [1139] Regem admodum desesperare et inopem concilii esse, ut nesciat
  quo se vertat (Ibid. p. 414.)

  [1140] Bis negavi, at tertio misi, non sine conscientia Probulatarum.
  (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 422.)

  [1141] Nihil enim æqui esse in votis Christianissimi Regis, atque ut
  Evangelii puritas illibata permaneat. (Ibid. p. 417.)


Lanzerant, another of the king's envoys, replied the same day (27th
February) to this astonishing project of alliance about to be
concluded between the reformed Swiss and the persecutor of the French
Reformed, _under reserve of the censure of the theologians_......This
was not what France desired: it was Lombardy, and not the Gospel that
the king wanted. For that purpose, he needed the support of all the
Swiss. But an alliance which ranged the Roman-catholic cantons against
him, would not suit him. Being satisfied, therefore, for the present
with knowing the sentiments of Zurich, the French envoys began to
look coolly upon the Reformer's scheme. "The matters you have
submitted to us are admirably drawn up," said Lanzerant to the Swiss
commissioner, "but I can scarcely understand them, no doubt because of
the weakness of my mind......We must not put any seed into the ground,
unless the soil be properly prepared for it."

Thus, the Reform acquired nothing but shame from these propositions.
Since it had forgotten these precepts of the Word of God: "Be ye not
unequally yoked together with unbelievers!"[1142] how could it fail to
meet with striking reverses? Already Zwingle's friends began to
abandon him. The Landgrave, who had pushed him into this diplomatic
career, drew towards Luther, and sought to check the Swiss Reformer,
particularly after this saying of Erasmus had sounded in the ears of
the great: "They ask us to open our gates, crying aloud--the Gospel!
the Gospel!......Raise the cloak, and under its mysterious folds you
will find--democracy."

  [1142] 2 Cor. vi. 13.

[Sidenote: LANDERS.]

While the Reform, by its culpable proceedings, was calling down the
chastisement of Heaven, the Five Cantons, that were to be the
instruments of its punishment, accelerated with all their might those
fatal days of anger and of vengeance. They were irritated at the
progress of the Gospel throughout the Confederation, while the peace
they had signed became every day more irksome to them. "We shall have
no repose," said they, "until we have broken these bonds and regained
our former liberty."[1143] A general diet was convoked at Baden for
the 8th January, 1531. The Five Cantons then declared that if justice
was not done to their grievances, particularly with respect to the
abbey of St. Gall, they would no more appear in diet. "Confederates of
Glaris, Schaffhausen, Friburg, Soleure, and Appenzell," cried they,
"aid us in making our ancient alliances respected, or we will
ourselves contrive the means of checking this guilty violence; and
may the Holy Trinity assist us in this work!"[1144]

  [1143] Nitt ruwen biss sy der banden ledig. (Bull. ii. p. 394.)

  [1144] Darzu helfe uns die helig dryfaltikeit (Bull. ii. p. 330.)

[Sidenote: VIOLENCE.]

But they did not confine themselves to threats. The treaty of peace
had expressly forbidden all insulting language--"for fear," it is
said, "that by insults and calumnies, discord should again be excited,
and greater troubles than the former should arise." Thus was concealed
in the treaty itself the spark whence the conflagration was to
proceed. In fact, to restrain the rude tongues of the Waldstettes was
impossible. Two Zurichers, the aged prior Ravensbühler, and the
pensioner Gaspard Gödli, who had been compelled to renounce, the one
his convent, and the other his pension, especially aroused the anger
of the people against their native city. They used to say everywhere
in these valleys, and with impunity, that the Zurichers were heretics;
that there was not one of them who did not indulge in unnatural sins,
and who was not a robber at the very least;[1145]--that Zwingle was a
thief, a murderer, and an arch-heretic; and that, on one occasion at
Paris (where he had never been,) he had committed a horrible offence,
in which Leo Juda had been his pander.[1146] "I shall have no rest,"
said a pensioner, "until I have thrust my sword up to the hilt in the
heart of this impious wretch." Old commanders of troops, who were
feared by all on account of their unruly character; the satellites who
followed in their train; insolent young people, sons of the first
persons in the state, who thought everything was lawful against
miserable preachers, and their stupid flocks; priests inflamed with
hatred, and treading in the footsteps of these old captains and giddy
young men, who seemed to take the pulpit of a church for the bench of
a pot-house: all poured torrents of insults on the Reform and its
adherents. "The townspeople," exclaimed with one accord these drunken
soldiers and these fanatic priests, "are heretics, soul-stealers,
conscience-slayers, and Zwingle--that horrible man, who commits
infamous sins--is the _Lutheran God_."[1147]

  [1145] Es were kein Zurycher er hatte chuy und merchen gehygt. (Bull.
  p. 336.)

  [1146] Alls der zu Parys ein Esel gehygt; und habe imm Leo Jud
  denselben geliept (Bull. ii. p. 336.)

  [1147] Der lutherischen Gott. (Bull. ii. p. 337.)

They went still further. Passing from words to deeds, the Five Cantons
persecuted the poor people among them who loved the Word of God, flung
them into prison, imposed fines upon them, brutally tormented them,
and mercilessly expelled them from their country. The people of
Schwytz did even worse. Not fearing to announce their sinister
designs, they appeared at a Landsgemeinde wearing pine-branches in
their hats, in sign of war, and no one opposed them. "The Abbot of St.
Gall," said they, "is a prince of the Empire, and holds his
investiture from the Emperor. Do they imagine that Charles V. will not
avenge him?"--"Have not these heretics," said others, "dared to form a
_Christian Fraternity_, as if old Switzerland was a heathen country?"
Secret councils were continually held in one place or another.[1148]
New alliances were sought with the Valais, the Pope, and the
Emperor[1149]--blamable alliances, no doubt, but such as they might at
least justify by the proverb: "Birds of a feather go together;" which
Zurich and Venice could not say.

  [1148] Radt schlagtend und tagentend heymlich v. c. (Bull. ii. p.

  [1149] Nüwe fründschaften, by den Walliseren, dem Bapst, und den
  Keysserischen, (Bull, ii.)


The Valaisans at first refused their support: they preferred remaining
neuter; but on a sudden their fanaticism was inflamed. A sheet of
paper was found on an altar--such at least was the report circulated
in their valleys,--in which Zurich and Berne were accused of preaching
that to commit an offence against nature is a smaller crime than to
hear Mass![1150] Who had placed this mysterious paper on the altar?
Came it from man? Did it fall from heaven?......They knew not; but
however that might be, it was copied, circulated, and read everywhere;
and the effects of this fable, invented by some villain, says
Zwingle,[1151] was such that Valais immediately granted the support it
had at first refused! The Waldstettes, proud of their strength, then
closed their ranks; their fierce eyes menaced the heretical cantons;
and the winds bore from their mountains to their neighbours of the
towns a formidable clang of arms.

  [1150] Ut si quis rem obscænam cum jumento sive bove habeat, minus
  peccare quam si missam inaudiat (Zw. Epp. p. 610.)

  [1151] Perfidorum ac sceleratorum hominum commentum. (Zw. Epp.)

At the sight of these alarming manifestations the evangelical cities
were in commotion. They first assembled at Basle in February 1531,
then at Zurich in March. "What is to be done?" said the deputies from
Zurich, after setting forth their grievances; "how can we punish these
infamous calumnies, and force these threatening arms to fall?"--"We
understand," replied Berne "that you would have recourse to violence;
but think of these secret and formidable alliances that are forming
with the Pope, the Emperor, the King of France, with so many princes,
in a word with all the priests' party, to accelerate our ruin;--think
on the innocence of so many pious souls in the Five Cantons, who
deplore these perfidious machinations;--think how easy it is to begin
a war, but that no one can tell when it will end."[1152] Sad
foreboding! which a catastrophe, beyond all human foresight,
accomplished but too soon. "Let us therefore send a deputation to the
Five Cantons," continued Berne; "let us call upon them to punish these
infamous calumnies in accordance with the treaty; and if they refuse,
let us break off all intercourse with them."--"What will be the use of
this mission?" asked Basle. "Do we not know the brutality of this
people? And is it not to be feared that the rough treatment to which
our deputies will be exposed, may make the matter worse? Let us rather
convoke a general diet." Schaffhausen and St. Gall having concurred in
this opinion, Berne summoned a diet at Baden for the 10th April, at
which deputies from all the cantons were assembled.

  [1152] Aber sin end und ussgang möchte nieman bald wüssen. (Bull. ii.
  p. 346.)

[Sidenote: MUTUAL ERRORS.]

Many of the principal men among the Waldstettes disapproved of the
violence of the retired soldiers and of the monks. They saw that these
continually repeated insults would injure their cause. "The insults of
which you complain," said they to the diet, "afflict us no less than
you. We shall know how to punish them, and we have already done so.
But there are violent men on both sides. The other day a man of Basle
having met on the highroad a person who was coming from Berne, and
having learnt that he was going to Lucerne:--'To go from Berne to
Lucerne,' exclaimed he, 'is passing from a father to an arrant
knave!'" The mediating cantons invited the two parties to banish every
cause of discord.

But the war of the Chatelain of Musso having then broken out, Zwingle
and Zurich, who saw in it the first act of a vast conspiracy, destined
to stifle the Reform in every place, called their allies together. "We
must waver no longer," said Zwingle; "the rupture of the alliance on
the part of the Five Cantons, and the unheard of insults with which
they load us, impose upon us the obligation of marching against our
enemies,[1153] before the Emperor, who is still detained by the Turks,
shall have expelled the Landgrave, seized upon Strasburg, and
subjugated even ourselves." All the blood of the ancient Swiss seemed
to boil in this man's veins; and while Uri, Schwytz, and Unterwalden
basely kissed the hand of Austria, this Zuricher--the greatest
Helvetian of the age--faithful to the memory of old Switzerland, but
not so to still holier traditions, followed in the glorious steps of
Stauffacher and Winkelried.

  [1153] Sy gwaltig ze überziehen. (Bull. ii. p. 366.)


The warlike tone of Zurich alarmed its confederates. Basle proposed a
summons, and then, in case of refusal, the rupture of the alliance.
Schaffhausen and St. Gall were frightened even at this step: "The
mountaineers, so proud, indomitable, and exasperated," said they,
"will accept with joy the dissolution of the Confederation, and then
shall we be more advanced?" Such was the posture of affairs, when, to
the great astonishment of all, deputies from Uri and Schywtz made
their appearance. They were coldly received; the cup of honour was not
offered to them; and they had to walk, according to their own account,
in the midst of the insulting cries of the people. They unsuccessfully
endeavoured to excuse their conduct. "We have long been waiting," was
the cold reply of the diet, "to see your actions and your words
agree."[1154] The men of Schwytz and of Uri returned in sadness to
their homes; and the assembly broke up, full of sorrow and distress.

  [1154] Und wortt und werk mit einandern gangen werind. (Bull. ii. p.


Zwingle beheld with pain the deputies of the evangelical towns
separating without having come to any decision. He no longer desired
only a reformation of the Church; he wished for a transformation in
the Confederacy; and it was this latter reform that he now was
preaching from the pulpit, according to what we learn from
Bullinger.[1155] He was not the only person who desired it. For a long
time the inhabitants of the most populous and powerful towns of
Switzerland had complained that the Waldstettes, whose contingent of
men and money was much below theirs, had an equal share in the
deliberations of the diet and in the fruits of their victories. This
had been the cause of division after the Burgundian War. The Five
Cantons, by means of their adherents, had the majority. Now Zwingle
thought that the reins of Switzerland should be placed in the hands of
the great cities, and, above all, in those of the powerful cantons of
Berne and Zurich. New times, in his opinion, called for new forms. It
was not sufficient to dismiss from every public office the pensioners
of foreign princes, and substitute pious men in their place; the
federal compact must be remodelled, and settled upon a more equitable
basis. A national constituent assembly would doubtless have responded
to his wishes. These discourses, which were rather those of a tribune
of the people than of a minister of Jesus Christ, hastened on the
terrible catastrophe.

  [1155] Trang gar häfftig uff eine gemeine Reformation gemeiner
  Eydgenoschaft. (Bull. ii. p. 368.)

And indeed the animated words of the patriot reformer passed from the
church where they had been delivered into the councils and the halls
of the guilds, into the streets and the fields. The burning words that
fell from the lips of this man kindled the hearts of his
fellow-citizens. The electric spark, escaping with noise and
commotion, was felt even in the most distant cottage. The ancient
traditions of wisdom and prudence seemed forgotten. Public opinion
declared itself energetically. On the 29th and 30th April, a number of
horsemen rode hastily out of Zurich; they were envoys from the
council, commissioned to remind all the allied cities of the
encroachment of the Five Cantons, and to call for a prompt and
definitive decision. Reaching their several destinations, the
messengers recapitulated the grievances.[1156] "Take care," said they
in conclusion; "great dangers are impending over all of us. The
Emperor and King Ferdinand are making vast preparations; they are
about to enter Switzerland with large sums of money, and with a
numerous army."

  [1156] They are to be found in Bullinger, ii. p. 368-376.

[Sidenote: DIET OF ARAU.]

Zurich joined actions to words. This state, being resolved to make
every exertion to establish the free preaching of the Gospel in those
bailiwicks where it shared the sovereignty with the Roman-catholic
cantons, desired to interfere by force wherever negotiations could not
prevail. The federal rights, it must be confessed, were trampled under
foot at St. Gall, in Thurgovia, in the Rheinthal; and Zurich
substituted arbitrary decisions in their place, that excited the
indignation of the Waldstettes to the highest degree. Thus the number
of enemies to the Reform kept increasing; the tone of the Five Cantons
became daily more threatening, and the inhabitants of the canton of
Zurich, whom their business called into the mountains, were loaded
with insults, and sometimes badly treated. These violent proceedings
excited in turn the anger of the reformed cantons. Zwingle traversed
Thurgovia, St. Gall, and the Tockenburg, everywhere organizing synods,
taking part in their proceedings, and preaching before excited and
enthusiastic crowds. In all parts he met with confidence and respect.
At St. Gall an immense crowd assembled under his windows, and a
concert of voices and instruments expressed to the reformer the public
gratitude in harmonious songs. "Let us not abandon ourselves," he
repeated continually, "and all will go well." It was resolved that a
meeting should be held at Arau on the 12th May, to deliberate on a
posture of affairs that daily became more critical. This meeting was
to be the beginning of sorrows.

V. Zwingle's scheme with regard to the establishment of a new
Helvetian constitution did not prevail in the diet of Arau. Perhaps it
was thought better to see the result of the crisis. Perhaps a more
Christian, a more federal view--the hope of procuring the unity of
Switzerland by unity of faith--occupied men's minds more than the
pre-eminence of the cities. In truth, if a certain number of cantons
remained with the Pope, the unity of the Confederation was destroyed,
it might be for ever. But if all the Confederation was brought over to
the same faith, the ancient Helvetic unity would be established on the
strongest and surest foundation. Now was the time for acting--or
never; and there must be no fear of employing a violent remedy to
restore the whole body to health.


Nevertheless, the allies shrunk back at the thought of restoring
religious liberty or political unity by means of arms; and to escape
from the difficulties in which the Confederation was placed, they
sought a middle course between war and peace. "There is no doubt,"
said the deputies from Berne, "that the behaviour of the cantons with
regard to the Word of God fully authorizes an armed intervention; but
the dangers that threaten us on the side of Italy and the Empire--the
danger of arousing the lion from his slumber--the general want and
misery that afflict our people--the rich harvests that will soon cover
our fields, and that the war would infallibly destroy--the great
number of pious men among the Waldstettes, and whose innocent blood
would flow along with that of the guilty:--all these motives enjoin us
to leave the sword in the scabbard. Let us rather close our markets
against the Five Cantons; let us refuse them corn, salt, wine, steel,
and iron; we shall thus impart authority to the friends of peace among
them, and innocent blood will be spared."[1157] The meeting separated
forthwith to carry this intermediate proposition to the different
Evangelical cantons, and on the 15th May again assembled at Zurich.

  [1157] Und dadurch unshuldiez Blüt erspart wurde. (Bull. ii. p. 383.)

Convinced that the means apparently the most violent were nevertheless
both the surest and the most humane, Zurich resisted the Bernese
proposition with all its might. "By accepting this proposition," said
they, "we sacrifice the advantages that we now possess, and we give
the Five Cantons time to arm themselves, and to fall upon us first.
Let us take care that the Emperor does not then attack us on one side,
while our ancient confederates attack us on the other; a just war is
not in opposition to the Word of God; but this is contrary to
it--taking the bread from the mouths of the innocent as well as the
guilty; straitening by hunger the sick, the aged, pregnant women,
children, and all who are deeply afflicted by the injustice of the
Waldstettes.[1158] We should beware of exciting by this means the
anger of the poor, and transforming into enemies many who at the
present time are our friends and our brothers!"

  [1158] Kranke alte shwangere wyber, kinder und sunst betrubte. (Bull.
  ii. p. 384.)


We must acknowledge that this language, which was Zwingle's, contained
much truth. But the other cantons, and Berne in particular, were
immoveable. "When we have once shed the blood of our brothers," said
they, "we shall never be able to restore life to those who have lost
it; while, from the moment the Waldstettes have given us
satisfaction, we shall be able to put an end to all these severe
measures. We are resolved not to begin the war." There were no means
of running counter to such a declaration. The Zurichers consented to
refuse supplies to the Waldstettes; but it was with hearts full of
anguish, as if they had foreseen all that this deplorable measure
would cost them.[1159] It was agreed that the severe step that was now
about to be taken should not be suspended except by common consent,
and that, as it would create great exasperation, each one should hold
himself prepared to repel the attacks of the enemy. Zurich and Berne
were commissioned to notify this determination to the Five Cantons;
and Zurich, discharging its task with promptitude, immediately
forwarded an order to every bailiwick to suspend all communication
with the Waldstettes, commanding them at the same time to abstain from
ill-usage and hostile language. Thus the Reformation, becoming
imprudently mixed up with political combinations, marched from fault
to fault; it pretended to preach the Gospel to the poor, and was now
about to refuse them bread!

  [1159] Schmerzlich und kummersachlich. (Bull. ii. p. 386.)


On the Sunday following--it was Whitsunday--the resolution was
published from the pulpits. Zwingle walked towards his, where an
immense crowd was waiting for him. The piercing eye of this great man
easily discovered the dangers of the measure in a political point of
view, and his christian heart deeply felt all its cruelty. His soul
was overburdened, his eyes downcast. If at this moment the true
character of a minister of the Gospel had awoke within him; if Zwingle
with his powerful voice had called on the people to humiliation before
God, to forgiveness of trespasses, and to prayer; safety might yet
have dawned on "broken-hearted" Switzerland. But it was not so. More
and more the Christian disappears in the Reformer, and the citizen
alone remains; but in that character he soars far above all, and his
policy is undoubtedly the most skilful. He sees clearly that every
delay may ruin Zurich; and after having made his way through the
people, and closed the book of the Prince of Peace, he hesitates not
to attack the resolution which he has just communicated to the people,
and on the very festival of the Holy Ghost to preach war. "He who
fears not to call his adversary a criminal," says he in his usual
forcible language, "must be ready to follow the word with a
blow.[1160] If he does not strike, he will lie stricken. Men of
Zurich! you deny food to the Five Cantons, as to evil-doers: well! let
the blow follow the threat, rather than reduce poor innocent creatures
to starvation. If, by not taking the offensive, you appear to believe
that there is not sufficient reason for punishing the Waldstettes, and
yet you refuse them food and drink, you will force them by this line
of conduct to take up arms, to raise their hands, and to inflict
punishment upon you. This is the fate that awaits you."

  [1160] Das er wortt und faust mitt einander gan lasse. (Bull. ii. p.

These words of the eloquent reformer moved the whole assembly.
Zwingle's politic mind already so influenced and misled all the people
that there were few souls christian enough to feel how strange it was
that on the very day when they were celebrating the outpouring of the
Spirit of peace and love upon the Christian Church, the mouth of a
minister of God should utter a provocation to war. They looked at this
sermon only in a political point of view: "It is a seditious
discourse; it is an excitement to civil war!" said some. "No," replied
others, "it is the language that the safety of the state requires!"
All Zurich was agitated. "Zurich has too much fire," said Berne.
"Berne has too much cunning," replied Zurich.[1161] Zwingle's gloomy
prophecy was too soon to be fulfilled!

  [1161] It was Zwingle who characterized the two cities:--

      Bern: klage Zurich wäre zu hitzig:
      Zurich: Bern wäre zu witzig.--(Stettler.)


No sooner had the reformed cantons communicated to the Waldstettes
this pitiless decree than they hastened its execution; and Zurich
showed the greatest strictness respecting it. Not only the markets of
Zurich and of Berne, but also those of the free bailiwicks, those of
St. Gall, of the Tockenburg, of the district of Sargans and of the
valley of the Rhine, a country partly under the sovereignty of the
Waldstettes, were shut against the Five Cantons. A formidable power
had suddenly encompassed with barrenness, famine, and death, the noble
founders of Helvetian liberty. Uri, Schwytz, Unterwalden, Zug, and
Lucerne, were, as it seemed, in the midst of a vast desert. Their own
subjects, thought they at least, the communes that have taken the oath
of allegiance to them, would range themselves on their side! But no;
Bremgarten, and even Mellingen, refused all succour. Their last hope
was in Wesen and the Gastal. Neither Berne nor Zurich have anything to
do there; Schwytz and Glaris alone rule over them; but the power of
their enemies has penetrated everywhere. A majority of thirteen votes
had declared in favour of Zurich at the Landsgemeinde of Glaris; and
Glaris closed the gates of Wesen and of the Gastal against Schwytz. In
vain did Berne itself cry out: "How can you compel subjects to refuse
supplies to their lords?" In vain did Schwytz raise its voice in
indignation; Zurich immediately sent to Wesen----gunpowder and
bullets. It is upon Zurich, therefore, that falls all the odium of a
measure which that city had at first so earnestly combated. At Arau,
at Bremgarten, at Mellingen, in the free bailiwicks, were several
carriages laden with provisions for the Waldstettes. They were
stopped, unloaded, and upset: with them were barricades erected on the
roads leading to Lucerne, Schwytz, and Zug. Already a year of dearth
had made provisions scarce in the Five Cantons;--already had a
frightful epidemic, the _Sweating Sickness_, scattered everywhere
despondency and death: but now the hand of man was joined to the hand
of God; the evil increased, and the poor inhabitants of these
mountains beheld unheard-of calamities approach with hasty steps. No
more bread for their children--no more wine to revive their exhausted
strength--no more salt for their flocks and herds! Everything failed
them that man requires for subsistence.[1162] One could not see such
things, and be a man, without a broken heart. In the confederate
cities, and out of Switzerland, numerous voices were raised against
this implacable measure. What good can result from it? Did not St.
Paul write to the Romans: "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he
thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire
on his head?"[1163] And when the magistrates wished to convince
certain refractory communes of the utility of the measure: "We desire
no religious war," cried they. "If the Waldstettes will not believe in
God, let them stick to the devil!"

  [1162] Deshalb sy bald grossen mangel erlittend an allem dem das der
  Mensh geläben soll. (Bull. ii. p. 396.)

  [1163] Bull. ii. p. 396.--Romans xii. 20.

[Sidenote: INDIGNATION.]

[Sidenote: BLOCKADE.]

But it was especially in the Five Cantons that earnest complaints were
heard. The most pacific individuals, and even the secret partisans of
the Reform, seeing famine invade their habitations, felt the deepest
indignation. The enemies of Zurich skilfully took advantage of this
disposition; they fostered these murmurs; and soon the cry of anger
and distress re-echoed from all the mountains. In vain did Berne
represent to the Waldstettes that it is more cruel to refuse men the
nourishment of the soul than to cut off that of the body. "God,"
replied these mountaineers in their despair, "God causes the fruits of
the earth to grow freely for all men!"[1164] They were not content
with groaning in their cottages, and venting their indignation in
councils; they filled all Switzerland with complaints and
menaces.[1165] "They wish to employ famine to tear us from our ancient
faith; they wish to deprive our wives and our children of bread, that
they may take from us the liberty we derive from our forefathers. When
did such things ever take place in the bosom of the Confederation? Did
we not see, in the last war, the Confederates with arms in their
hands, and who were ready to draw the sword, eating together from the
same dish? They tear in pieces old friendships--they trample our
ancient manners underfoot--they violate treaties--they break
alliances......We invoke the charters of our ancestor. Help!
help!......Wise men of our people, give us your advice, and all you
who know how to handle the sling and the sword, come and maintain with
us the sacred possessions, for which our fathers, delivered from the
yoke of the stranger, united their arms and their hearts."

  [1164] Hartmann von Hallwyll to Albert of Mulinen, 7th August.

  [1165] Klagtend sich allent halben wyt und breit. (Bull. ii. p. 397.)

At the same time the Five Cantons sent into Alsace, Brisgau, and
Swabia to obtain salt, wine, and bread; but the administration of the
cities was implacable; the orders were everywhere given and everywhere
strictly executed. Zurich and the other allied cantons intercepted all
communication, and sent back to Germany the supplies that had been
forwarded to their brethren. These Five Cantons were like a vast
fortress, all the issues from which are closely guarded by watchful
sentinels. The afflicted Waldstettes, on beholding themselves alone
with famine between their lakes and their mountains, had recourse to
the observances of their worship. All sports, dances, and every kind
of amusement were interdicted;[1166] prayers were directed to be
offered up; and long processions covered the roads of Einsideln and
other resorts of pilgrims. They assumed the belt, and staff, and arms
of the brotherhood to which they each belonged; each man carried a
chaplet in his hands, and repeated paternosters; the mountains and the
valleys re-echoed with their plaintive hymns. But the Waldstettes did
still more: they grasped their swords--they sharpened the points of
their halberds--they brandished their weapons in the direction of
Zurich and of Berne, and exclaimed with rage: "They block up their
roads, but we will open them with our right arms!"[1167] No one
replied to this cry of despair; but there is a just Judge in heaven
to whom vengeance belongs, and who will soon reply in a terrible
manner, by punishing those misguided persons, who, forgetful of
Christian mercy, and making an impious mixture of political and
religious matters, pretend to secure the triumph of the Gospel by
famine and by armed men.

  [1166] Stelltent ab spielen, Tanzen.--Tschudi der Capeller krieg,
  1531. This MS. is attributed to Egidius Tschudi, who must have written
  it in 1533, in favour of Five Cantons, and was printed in the
  "Helvetia," vol. ii. p. 165.

  [1167] Trowtend auch die Straassen uff zu thun mit gwalt. (Bull, ii.
  p. 397.)


Some attempts, however, were made to arrange matters; but these very
efforts proved a great humiliation for Switzerland and for the Reform.
It was not the ministers of the Gospel, it was France--more than once
an occasion of discord to Switzerland--that offered to restore peace.
Every proceeding calculated to increase its influence among the
cantons was of service to its policy. On the 14th May, Maigret and
Dangertin (the latter of whom had received the Gospel truth, and
consequently did not dare return to France),[1168] after some
allusions to the spirit which Zurich had shown in this affair--a
spirit little in accordance with the Gospel--said to the council: "The
king our master has sent you two gentlemen to consult on the means of
preserving concord among you. If war and tumult invade Switzerland,
all the society of the Helvetians will be destroyed,[1169] and
whichever party is the conqueror, he will be as much ruined as the
other." Zurich having replied that if the Five Cantons would allow the
free preaching of the Word of God, the reconciliation would be easy,
the French secretly sounded the Waldstettes, whose answer was: "We
will never permit the preaching of the Word of God, as the people of
Zurich understand it."[1170]

  [1168] Ep. Rugeri ad Bulling., 12th November 1560.

  [1169] Universa societas _Helvetiorum_ dilabetur, si tumultus et
  bellum inter eam eruperit. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 604.)

  [1170] Responderunt verbi Dei predicationem non laturos, quomodo nos
  intelligamus. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 607.)


These more or less interested exertions of the foreigners having
failed, a general diet became the only chance of safety that remained
for Switzerland. One was accordingly convoked at Bremgarten. It was
opened in presence of deputies from France, from the Duke of Milan,
from the Countess of Neuchatel, from the Grisons, Valais, Thurgovia,
and the district of Sargans; and met on five different occasions,--on
the 14th and 20th June, on the 9th July, and the 10th and 23d August.
The chronicler Bullinger, who was pastor of Bremgarten, delivered an
oration at the opening, in which he earnestly exhorted the
Confederates to union and peace.

A gleam of hope for a moment cheered Switzerland. The blockade had
become less strict; friendship and good neighbourhood had prevailed in
many places over the decrees of the state. Unusual roads had been
opened across the wildest mountains to convey supplies to the
Waldstettes. Provisions were concealed in bales of merchandise; and
while Lucerne imprisoned and tortured its own citizens, who were found
with the books of the Zurichers,[1171] Berne punished but slightly the
peasants who had been discovered bearing food for Unterwalden and
Lucerne; and Glaris shut its eyes on the frequent violation of its
orders. The voice of charity, that had been momentarily stifled,
pleaded with fresh energy the cause of their confederates before the
reformed cantons.

  [1171] Bull. ii. p. 30.

But the Five Cantons were inflexible. "We will not listen to any
proposition before the raising of the blockade," said they. "We will
not raise it," replied Berne and Zurich, "before the Gospel is allowed
to be freely preached, not only in the common bailiwicks, but also in
the Five Cantons." This was undoubtedly going too far, even according
to the natural law and the principles of the Confederation. The
councils of Zurich might consider it their duty to have recourse to
war for maintaining liberty of conscience in the common bailiwicks;
but it was unjust--it was a usurpation, to constrain the Five Cantons
in a matter that concerned their own territory. Nevertheless the
mediators succeeded, not without much trouble, in drawing up a plan of
conciliation that seemed to harmonize with the wishes of both parties.
The conference was broken up, and this project was hastily transmitted
to the different states for their ratification.

[Sidenote: ZURICH.]

The diet met again a few days after; but the Five Cantons persisted in
their demand, without yielding in any one point. In vain did Zurich
and Berne represent to them, that, by persecuting the Reformed, the
cantons violated the treaty of peace; in vain did the mediators
exhaust their strength in warnings and entreaties. The parties
appeared at one time to approximate, and then on a sudden they were
more distant and more irritated than ever. The Waldstettes at last
brake up the third conference by declaring, that far from opposing the
Evangelical truth, they would maintain it, as it had been taught by
the Redeemer, by his holy Apostles, by the Four Doctors, and by their
holy mother, the Church--a declaration that seemed a bitter irony to
the deputies from Zurich and Berne. Nevertheless Berne, turning
towards Zurich as they were separating, observed: "Beware of too much
violence, even should they attack you!"

This exhortation was unnecessary. The strength of Zurich had passed
away. The first appearance of the Reformation and of the Reformers had
been greeted with joy. The people, who groaned under a twofold
slavery, believed they saw the dawn of liberty. But their minds,
abandoned for ages to superstition and ignorance, being unable
immediately to realize the hopes they had conceived, a spirit of
discontent soon spread among the masses. The change by which Zwingle,
ceasing to be a man of the Gospel, became the man of the State, took
away from the people the enthusiasm necessary to resist the terrible
attacks they would have to sustain. The enemies of the Reform had a
fair chance against it, so soon as its friends abandoned the position
that gave them strength. Besides, Christians could not have recourse
to famine and to war to secure the triumph of the Gospel, without
their consciences becoming troubled. The Zurichers "_walked not in the
Spirit, but in the flesh; now, the works of the flesh are hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions_."[1172] The danger
without was increasing, while within, hope, agreement, and courage
were far from being augmented: men saw on the contrary the gradual
disappearance of that harmony and lively faith which had been the
strength of the Reform. The Reformation had grasped the sword, and
that very sword pierced its heart.

  [1172] Galatians, v. 19, 20.

Occasions of discord were multiplied in Zurich. By the advice of
Zwingle, the number of nobles was diminished in the two councils,
because of their opposition to the Gospel; and this measure spread
discontent among the most honourable families of the canton. The
millers and bakers were placed under certain regulations, which the
dearth rendered necessary, and a great part of the townspeople
attributed this proceeding to the sermons of the Reformer, and became
irritated against him. Rodolph Lavater, bailiff of Kibourg, was
appointed captain-general, and the officers who were of longer
standing than he were offended. Many who had been formerly the most
distinguished by their zeal for the Reform, now openly opposed the
cause they had supported. The ardour with which the ministers of peace
demanded war, spread in every quarter a smothered dissatisfaction, and
many persons gave vent to their indignation. This unnatural confusion
of Church and State which had corrupted Christianity after the age of
Constantine, was hurrying on the ruin of the Reformation. The majority
of the Great Council, ever ready to adopt important and salutary
resolutions, was abolished. The old magistrates, who were still at the
head of affairs, allowed themselves to be carried away by feelings of
jealousy against men whose non-official influence prevailed over
theirs. All those who hated the doctrine of the Gospel, whether from
love of the world or from love to the Pope, boldly raised their heads
in Zurich. The partisans of the monks, the friends of foreign service,
the malcontents of every class, coalesced in pointing out Zwingle as
the author of all the sufferings of the people.


Zwingle was heart-broken. He saw that Zurich and the Reformation were
hastening to their ruin, and he could not check them. How could he do
so, since, without suspecting it, he had been the principal accomplice
in these disasters? What was to be done? Shall the pilot remain in
the ship which he is no longer permitted to save? There was but one
means of safety for Zurich and for Zwingle. He should have retired
from the political stage, and fallen back on that _kingdom which is
not of this world_; he should, like Moses, have kept his hands and his
heart night and day raised towards heaven, and energetically preached
repentance, faith, and peace. But religious and political matters were
united in the mind of this great man by such old and dear ties, that
it was impossible for him to distinguish their line of separation.
This confusion had become his dominant idea; the Christian and the
citizen were for him one and the same character; and hence it
resulted, that all resources of the state--even cannons and
arquebuses--were to be placed at the service of the Truth. When one
peculiar idea thus seizes upon a man, we see a false conscience formed
within him, which approves of many things condemned by the Word of

This was now Zwingle's condition. War appeared to him legitimate and
desirable; and if that was refused, he had only to withdraw from
public life: he was for everything or nothing. He therefore, on the
26th July, appeared before the Great Council, with dimmed eyes and
disconsolate heart: "It is now eleven years," said he, "since I have
been preaching the Gospel among you, and that I have warned you
faithfully and paternally of the woes that are hanging over you; but
no attention is paid to my words; the friends of foreign alliances,
the enemies of the Gospel, are elected to the council, and while you
refuse to follow my advice, I am made responsible for every
misfortune. I cannot accept such a position, and I ask for my
dismissal." The reformer retired bathed in tears.


The council shuddered as they heard these words. All the old feelings
of respect which they had so long entertained for Zwingle were
revived; to lose him now was to ruin Zurich. The burgomaster and the
other magistrates received orders to persuade him to recall his fatal
resolution. The conference took place on the same day; Zwingle asked
time for consideration. For three days and three nights he sought the
road that he should follow. Seeing the dark storm that was collecting
from all quarters, he considered whether he ought to quit Zurich and
seek refuge on the lofty hills of the Tockenburg, where he had been
reared, when his country and his Church were on the point of being
assailed and beaten down by their enemies, like corn by the hailstorm.
He groaned and cried to the Lord. He would have put away the cup of
bitterness that was presented to his soul, but could not gather up the
resolution. At length the sacrifice was accomplished, and the victim
was placed shuddering upon the altar. Three days after the first
conference, Zwingle reappeared in the council: "I will stay with you,"
said he, "and I will labour for the public safety--until death!"


From this moment he displayed new zeal. On the one hand, he
endeavoured to revive harmony and courage in Zurich; on the other, he
set about arousing and exciting the allied cities to increase and
concentrate all the forces of the Reformation. Faithful to the
political character he imagined he had received from God
himself--persuaded that it was in the doubts and want of energy of the
Bernese that he must look for the cause of all the evil, the Reformer
repaired to Bremgarten with Collin and Steiner, during the fourth
conference of the diet, although he incurred great danger in the
attempt. He arrived secretly by night, and having entered the house of
his friend and disciple, Bullinger, he invited the deputies of Berne
(J. J. de Watteville and Jur Hag) to meet him there with the greatest
secrecy, and prayed them in the most solemn tone earnestly to reflect
upon the dangers of the Reform. "I fear," said he, "that in
consequence of our unbelief, this business will not succeed. By
refusing supplies to the Five Cantons, we have begun a work that will
be fatal to us. What is to be done? Withdraw the prohibition? The
cantons will then be more insolent and haughty than ever. Enforce it?
They will take the offensive, and if their attack succeed, you will
behold our fields red with the blood of the believers, the doctrine
of truth cast down, the Church of Christ laid waste, all social
relations overthrown, our adversaries more hardened and irritated
against the Gospel, and crowds of priests and monks again fill our
rural districts, streets, and temples......And yet," added Zwingle,
after a few instants of emotion and silence, "that also will have an
end." The Bernese were filled with agitation by the solemn voice of
the reformer. "We see," replied they, "all that is to be feared for
our common cause, and we will employ every care to prevent such great
disasters."--"I who write these things was present and heard them,"
adds Bullinger.[1173]

  [1173] These words are in Latin: Hæc ipse, qui hæc scribo, ab illis
  audivi, præsens colloquio. (Bull. ii. p. 49.)


It was feared that if the presence of Zwingle at Bremgarten became
known to the deputies of the Five Cantons, they would not restrain
their violence. During this nocturnal conference three of the town
councillors were stationed as sentinels in front of Bullinger's house.
Before daybreak, the reformer and his two friends, accompanied by
Bullinger and the three councillors, passed through the deserted
streets leading to the gate on the road to Zurich. Three different
times Zwingle took leave of Bullinger, who was erelong to be his
successor. His mind was filled with a presentiment of his approaching
death; he could not tear himself from that young friend whose face he
was never to see again; he blessed him amidst floods of tears. "O my
dear Henry!" said he, "may God protect you! Be faithful to our Lord
Jesus Christ, and to his Church!" At length they separated; but at
that very moment, says Bullinger, a mysterious personage, clad in a
robe as white as snow, suddenly appeared, and after frightening the
soldiers who guarded the gate, plunged suddenly into the water, and
vanished. Bullinger, Zwingle, and their friends did not perceive it;
Bullinger himself sought for it all around, but to no purpose;[1174]
still the sentinels persisted in the reality of this frightful
apparition. Bullinger in great agitation returned in darkness and in
silence to his house. His mind involuntarily compared the departure of
Zwingle and the white phantom; and he shuddered at the frightful omen
which the thought of this spectre impressed upon his mind.

  [1174] Ein menschen in ein schneeweissen Kleid. (Bull. ii. p. 49.)


Sufferings of another kind pursued Zwingle to Zurich. He had thought
that by consenting to remain at the head of affairs, he would recover
all his ancient influence. But he was deceived: the people desired to
see him there, and yet they would not follow him. The Zurichers daily
became more and more indisposed towards the war which they had at
first demanded, and identified themselves with the passive system of
Berne. Zwingle remained for some time stupefied and motionless before
this inert mass, which his most vigorous exertions could not move. But
soon discovering in every quarter of the horizon the prophetic signs,
precursors of the storm about to burst upon the ship of which he was
the pilot, he uttered cries of anguish, and showed the signal of
distress. "I see," exclaimed he one day to the people from the pulpit,
whither he had gone to give utterance to his gloomy forebodings,--"I
see that the most faithful warnings cannot save you: you will not
punish the pensioners of the foreigner......They have too firm a
support among us! A chain is prepared--behold it entire--it unrolls
link after link,--soon they will bind me to it, and more than one
pious Zuricher with me......It is against me they are enraged! I am
ready; I submit to the Lord's will. But these people shall never be my
masters......As for thee, O Zurich, they will give thee thy reward;
they will strike thee on the head. Thou willest it. Thou refusest to
punish them; well! it is they who will punish thee.[1175] But God will
not the less preserve his Word, and their haughtiness shall come to an
end." Such was Zwingle's cry of agony; but the immobility of death
alone replied. The hearts of the Zurichers were so hardened that the
sharpest arrows of the reformer could not pierce them, and they fell
at his feet blunted and useless.

  [1175] Straafen willt sy nitt, des werden sy dich straafen. (Bull. ii.
  p. 52.)

But events were pressing on, and justified all his fears. The Five
Cantons had rejected every proposition that had been made to them.
"Why do you talk of punishing a few wrongs?" they had replied to the
mediators; "it is a question of quite another kind. Do you not require
that we should receive back among us the heretics whom we have
banished, and tolerate no other priests than those who preach
conformably to the Word of God? We know what that means. No--no--we
will not abandon the religion of our fathers; and if we must see our
wives and our children deprived of food, our hands will know how to
conquer what is refused to us: to that we pledge our bodies--our
goods--our lives." It was with this threatening language that the
deputies quitted the Diet of Bremgarten. They had proudly shaken the
folds of their mantles, war had fallen from them.

The terror was general, and the alarmed citizens beheld everywhere
frightful portents, terrific signs, apparently foreboding the most
horrible events. It was not only the white phantom that had appeared
at Bremgarten at Zwingle's side: the most fearful omens, passing from
mouth to mouth, filled the people with the most gloomy presentiments.
The history of these phenomena, however strange it may appear,
characterizes the period of which we write.

On the 26th July, a widow chancing to be alone before her house in the
village of Castelenschloss, suddenly beheld a frightful
spectacle--blood springing from the earth all around her![1176] She
rushed in alarm into the cottage......but, oh horrible! blood is
flowing everywhere--from the wainscot and from the stones;[1177]--it
falls in a stream from a basin on a shelf, and even the child's cradle
overflows with it. The woman imagines that the invisible hand of an
assassin has been at work, and rushes in distraction out of doors,
crying murder! murder![1178] The villagers and the monks of a
neighbouring convent assemble at the cry--they succeed in partly
effacing the bloody stains; but a little later in the day, the other
inhabitants of the house, sitting down in terror to eat their evening
meal under the projecting eaves, suddenly discover blood bubbling up
in a pond--blood flowing from the loft--blood covering all the walls
of the house. Blood--blood--everywhere blood! The bailiff of
Schenkenberg and the pastor of Dalheim arrive--inquire into the
matter--and immediately report it to the lords of Berne and to

  [1176] Ante et post eam purus sanguis ita acriter ex dura terra
  effluxit, ut ex vena incisa. (Zw. Epp. ii. p. 627.)

  [1177] Sed etiam sanguis ex terra, lignis, et lapidibus effluxit. (Zw.
  Epp. ii. p. 627.)

  [1178] Ut eadem excurreret cædem clamitans. (Zw. Ep. ii. p. 627.)

[Sidenote: THE COMET.]

Scarcely had this horrible recital--the particulars of which are
faithfully preserved in Latin and in German--filled all minds with the
idea of a horrible butchery, than in the western quarter of the
heavens there appeared a frightful comet,[1179] whose immense train of
a pale yellow colour turned towards the south. At the time of its
setting, this apparition shone in the sky like the fire of a
furnace.[1180] One night--on the 15th August as it would
appear[1181]--Zwingle and George Mühler, formerly abbot of Wettingen,
being together in the cemetery of the cathedral, both fixed their eyes
upon this terrific meteor. "This ominous globe," said Zwingle, "is
come to light the path that leads to my grave. It will be at the cost
of my life and of many good men with me. Although I am rather
shortsighted, I foresee great calamities in the future.[1182] The
Truth and the Church will mourn; but Christ will never abandon us." It
was not only at Zurich that this flaming star spread consternation.
Vadianus being one night on an eminence in the neighbourhood of St.
Gall, surrounded by his friends and disciples, after having explained
to them the names of the stars and the miracles of the Creator,
stopped before this comet, which denounced the anger of God; and the
famous Theophrastus declared that it foreboded not only great
bloodshed, but most especially the death of learned and illustrious
men. This mysterious phenomenon prolonged its frightful visitation
until the 3d September.

  [1179] Ein gar eschrocklicher comet. (Bull. ii. p 46.) It was Halley's
  comet, that returns about every 76 years. It appeared last in 1835.

  [1180] Wie ein fhuwr in einer ess. (Ibid.) Perhaps Bullinger alludes
  in this way to the phenomenon remarked by Appian, astronomer to
  Charles V., who observed this comet at Ingoldstadt, and who says that
  the tail disappeared as the nucleus approached the horizon. In 1456,
  its appearance had already excited great terror.

  [1181] Cometam jam tribus noctibus viderunt apud nos alii, ego una
  tantum, puto 15 Augusti. (Zw. Epp. p. 634.)

  [1182] Ego cæculus non unam calamitatem expecto. (Ibid. p. 626.)

When once the noise of these omens was spread abroad, men could no
longer contain themselves. Their imaginations were excited; they
heaped fright upon fright: each place had its terrors. Two banners
waving in the clouds had been seen on the mountain of the Brunig; at
Zug a buckler had appeared in the heavens; on the banks of the Reuss,
reiterated explosions were heard during the night; on the lake of the
Four Cantons, ships carrying aërial combatants cruised about in every
direction. War--war;--blood--blood!--these were the general cries.


In the midst of all this agitation, Zwingle alone seemed tranquil. He
rejected none of these presentiments, but he contemplated them with
calmness. "A heart that fears God," said he, "cares not for the
threats of the world. To forward the designs of God, whatever may
happen,--this is his task. A carrier who has a long road to go must
make up his mind to wear his waggon and his gear during the journey.
If he carry his merchandise to the appointed spot, that is enough for
him. We are the waggon and the gear of God. There is not one of the
articles that is not worn, twisted, or broken; but our great Driver
will not the less accomplish by our means his vast designs. Is it not
to those who fall upon the field of battle that the noblest crown
belongs? Take courage, then, in the midst of all these dangers,
through which the cause of Jesus Christ must pass. Be of good cheer!
although we should never here below see its triumphs with our own
eyes. The Judge of the combat beholds us, and it is he who confers the
crown. Others will enjoy upon earth the fruits of our labours; while
we, already in heaven, shall enjoy an eternal reward."[1183]

  [1183] Zw. Opp. Comment. in Jeremiam. This work was composed the very
  year of Zwingle's death.

Thus spoke Zwingle, as he advanced calmly towards the threatening
noise of the tempest, which, by its repeated flashes and sudden
explosions, foreboded death.

VI. The Five Cantons, assembled in diet at Lucerne, appeared full of
determination, and war was decided upon. "We will call upon the cities
to respect our alliances," said they, "and if they refuse, we will
enter the common bailiwicks by force to procure provisions, and we
will unite our banners in Zug to attack the enemy." The Waldstettes
were not alone. The Nuncio, being solicited by his Lucerne friends,
had required that auxiliary troops, paid by the Pope, should be put in
motion towards Switzerland, and he announced their near arrival.


These resolutions carried terror into Switzerland; the mediating
cantons met again at Arau, and drew up a plan that should leave the
religious question just as it had been settled by the treaty of 1529.
Deputies immediately bore these propositions to the different
councils. Lucerne haughtily rejected them. "Tell those who sent you,"
was the reply, "that we do not acknowledge them as our schoolmasters.
We would rather die than yield the least thing to the prejudice of our
faith." The mediators returned to Arau, trembling and discouraged.
This useless attempt increased the disagreement among the Reformed,
and gave the Waldstettes still greater confidence. Zurich, so decided
for the reception of the Gospel, now became daily more irresolute! The
members of the council distrusted each other; the people felt no
interest in this war; and Zwingle, notwithstanding his unshaken faith
in the justice of his cause, had no hope for the struggle that was
about to take place. Berne, on its side, did not cease to entreat
Zurich to avoid precipitation. "Do not let us expose ourselves to the
reproach of too much haste, as in 1529," was the general remark in
Zurich. "We have sure friends in the midst of the Waldstettes; let us
wait until they announce to us, as they have promised, some real

It was soon believed that these temporizers were right. In fact the
alarming news ceased. That constant rumour of war, which incessantly
came from the Waldstettes, discontinued. There were no more alarms--no
more fears! Deceitful omen! Over the mountains and valleys of
Switzerland hangs that gloomy and mysterious silence, the forerunner
of the tempest.


Whilst they were sleeping at Zurich, the Waldstettes were preparing to
conquer their rights by force of arms. The chiefs, closely united to
each other by common interests and dangers, found a powerful support
in the indignation of the people. In a diet of the Five Cantons, held
at Brunnen on the banks of the Lake of Lucerne, opposite Grutli, the
alliances of the Confederation were read; and the deputies, having
been summoned to declare by their votes whether they thought the war
just and lawful, all hands were raised with a shudder. Immediately the
Waldstettes had prepared their attack with the profoundest mystery.
All the passes had been guarded--all communication between Zurich and
the Five Cantons had been rendered impossible. The friends upon whom
the Zurichers had reckoned on the banks of the Lakes Lucerne and Zug,
and who had promised them intelligence, were like prisoners in their
mountains. The terrible avalanche was about to slip from the icy
summits of the mountain, and to roll into the valleys, even to the
gates of Zurich, overthrowing everything in its passage, without the
least forewarning of its fall. The mediators had returned discouraged
to their cantons. A spirit of imprudence and of error--sad forerunner
of the fall of republics as well as of kings--had spread over the
whole city of Zurich. The council had at first given the order to call
out the militia; then, deceived by the silence of the Waldstettes, it
had imprudently revoked the decree, and Lavater, the commander of the
army, had retired in discontent to Rybourg, and indignantly thrown far
from him that sword which they had commanded him to leave in the
scabbard. Thus the winds were about to be unchained from the
mountains; the waters of the great deep, aroused by a terrible
earthquake, were about to open; and yet the vessel of the state, sadly
abandoned, sported up and down with indifference over the frightful
gulf,--its yards struck, its sails loose and motionless--without
compass or crew--without pilot, watch, or helm.

Whatever were the exertions of the Waldstettes, they could not
entirely stifle the rumour of war, which from chalet to chalet called
all their citizens to arms. God permits a cry of alarm--a single one,
it is true--to resound in the ears of the people of Zurich. On the 4th
October, a little boy, who knew not what he was doing, succeeded in
crossing the frontier of Zug, and presented himself with two loaves at
the gate of the reformed monastery of Cappel, situated in the farthest
limits of the canton of Zurich. He was led to the abbot, to whom the
child gave the loaves without saying a word. The superior, with whom
there chanced to be at this time a councillor from Zurich, Henry
Peyer, sent by his government, turned pale at the sight. "If the Five
Cantons intend entering by force of arms into the free bailiwicks,"
had said these two Zurichers to one of their friends in Zug, "you will
send your son to us with one loaf; but you will give him two if they
are marching at once upon the bailiwicks and upon Zurich." The abbot
and the councillor wrote with all speed to Zurich. "Be upon your
guard! take up arms," said they; but no credit was attached to this
information. The council were at that time occupied in taking measures
to prevent the supplies that had arrived from Alsace from entering the
cantons. Zwingle himself, who had never ceased to announce war, did
not believe it. "These pensioners are really clever fellows," said
the reformer. "Their preparations may be after all nothing but a
French manœuvre."[1184]

  [1184] Dise ire Rustung mochte woll eine französische prattik sein.
  (Bull. ii. p. 86.)

He was deceived--they were a reality. Four days were to accomplish the
ruin of Zurich. Let us retrace in succession the history of these
disastrous moments.

On Sunday, 8th October, a messenger appeared at Zurich, and demanded,
in the name of the Five Cantons, letters of perpetual alliance.[1185]
The majority saw in this step nothing but a trick; but Zwingle began
to discern the thunderbolt in the black cloud that was drawing near.
He was in the pulpit: it was the last time he was destined to appear
in it; and as if he had seen a formidable spectre of Rome rise
frightfully above the Alps, calling upon him and upon his people to
abandon the faith:--"No, no!" cried he, "never will I deny my

  [1185] Die ewige Bünd abgefordert. (J. J. Hottinger, iii. p. 577.)
  According to Bullinger, this did not take place until Monday.

At the same moment a messenger arrived in haste from Mulinen,
commander of the Knights-hospitallers of St. John at Hitzkylch. "On
Friday, 6th October," said he to the councils of Zurich, "the people
of Lucerne planted their banner in the Great Square.[1186] Two men
that I sent to Lucerne have been thrown into prison. To-morrow
morning, Monday, 9th October, the Five Cantons will enter the
bailiwicks. Already the country-people, frightened and fugitive, are
running to us in crowds."--"It is an idle story," said the
councils.[1187] Nevertheless they recalled the commander-in-chief
Lavater, who sent off a trusty man, nephew of James Winckler, with
orders to repair to Cappel, and if possible as far as Zug, to
reconnoitre the arrangements of the cantons.

  [1186] Ire paner in den Brunnen gesteckt. (Bull. ii. p. 86.)

  [1187] Ein gepöch und prögerey und unt darauff setzend. (Ibid.)


The Waldstettes were in reality assembling round the banner of
Lucerne. The people of this canton; the men of Schwytz, Uri, Zug, and
Unterwalden; refugees from Zurich and Berne, with a few Italians,
formed the main body of the army, which had been raised to invade the
free bailiwicks. Two manifestoes were published--one addressed to the
cantons, the other to foreign princes and nations.

The Five Cantons energetically set forth the attacks made upon the
treaties, the discord sown throughout the Confederation, and finally
the refusal to sell them provisions--a refusal whose only aim was
(according to them) to excite the people against the magistrates, and
to establish the Reform by force. "It is not true," added they,
"that--as they cease not to cry out--we oppose the preaching of the
truth and the reading of the Bible. As obedient members of the Church,
we desire to receive all that our holy mother receives. But we reject
all the books and the innovations of Zwingle and his companions."[1188]

  [1188] Als wir vertruwen Gott und der Wel antwurt zu geben. (Bull. ii.
  p. 101.)

Hardly had the messengers charged with these manifestoes departed
before the first division of the army began to march, and arrived in
the evening in the free bailiwicks. The soldiers having entered the
deserted churches, and having seen the images of the saints removed
and the altars broken, their anger was kindled; they spread like a
torrent over the whole country, pillaged everything they met with, and
were particularly enraged against the houses of the pastors, where
they destroyed the furniture with oaths and maledictions. At the same
time the division that was to form the main army marched upon Zug,
thence to move upon Zurich.


Cappel, at three leagues from Zurich, and about a league from Zug, was
the first place they would reach in the Zurich territory, after
crossing the frontier of the Five Cantons. Near the Albis, between two
hills of similar height, the Granges on the north, and the Ifelsberg
on the south, in the midst of delightful pastures, stood the ancient
and wealthy convent of the Cistertians, in whose church were the tombs
of many ancient and noble families of these districts. The Abbot
Wolfgang Joner, a just and pious man, a great friend of the arts and
letters, and a distinguished preacher, had reformed his convent in
1527. Full of compassion, rich in good works, particularly towards the
poor of the canton of Zug and the free bailiwicks, he was held in
great honour throughout the whole country.[1189] He predicted what
would be the termination of the war; yet as soon as danger approached,
he spared no labour to serve his country.

  [1189] That armen lüten vil guts......und by aller Erbarkeit in
  grossern ansähen. (Bull. iii. p. 151.)

It was on Sunday night that the abbot received positive intelligence
of the preparations at Zug. He paced up and down his cell with hasty
steps; sleep fled from his eyes; he drew near his lamp, and addressing
his intimate friend, Peter Simmler, who succeeded him, and who was
then residing at Kylchberg, a village on the borders of the lake, and
about a league from the town, he hastily wrote these words: "The great
anxiety and trouble which agitate me prevent me from busying myself
with the management of the house, and induce me to write to you all
that is preparing. The time is come......the scourge of God
appears.[1190]......After many journeys and inquiries, we have learnt
that the Five Cantons will march to-day (Monday) to seize upon
Hitzkylch, while the main army assembles its banners at Baar, between
Zug and Cappel. Those from the valley of the Adige and the Italians
will arrive to-day or to-morrow." This letter, through some unforeseen
circumstance, did not reach Zurich till the evening.

  [1190] Die Zyt ist hie, das die rüt gottes sich wil erzeigen. (Bull.
  p. 87.)

Meanwhile the messenger whom Lavater had sent--the nephew of J.
Winckler--creeping on his belly, gliding unperceived past the
sentinels, and clinging to the shrubs that overhung the precipices,
had succeeded in making his way where no road had been cleared. On
arriving near Zug, he had discovered with alarm the banner and the
militia hastening from all sides at beat of drum: then traversing
again these unknown passes, he had returned to Zurich with this

  [1191] Naben den Wachten, durch umwag und gestrupp. (Bull. iii. p.

It was high time that the bandage should fall from the eyes of the
Zurichers; but the delusion was to endure to the last. The council
which was called together met in small number. "The Five Cantons,"
said they, "are making a little noise to frighten us, and to make us
raise the blockade."[1192] The council, however, decided on sending
Colonel Rodolph Dumysen and Ulric Funk to Cappel, to see what was
going on; and each one, tranquillized by this unmeaning step, retired
to rest.

  [1192] Sy machtend alein ein geprög. (Ibid. p. 103.)

They did not slumber long. Every hour brought fresh messengers of
alarm to Zurich. "The banners of four cantons are assembled at Zug,"
said they. "They are only waiting for Uri. The people of the free
bailiwicks are flocking to Cappel, and demanding arms......Help!

Before the break of day the council was again assembled, and it
ordered the convocation of the Two Hundred. An old man, whose hair had
grown gray on the battle-field and in the council of the state--the
banneret John Schweizer--raising his head enfeebled by age, and
darting the last beam, as it were, from his eyes, exclaimed, "Now--at
this very moment, in God's name, send an advanced guard to Cappel, and
let the army, promptly collecting round the banner, follow it
immediately." He said no more; but the charm was not yet broken. "The
peasants of the free bailiwicks," said some, "we know to be hasty, and
easily carried away. They make the matter greater than it really is.
The wisest plan is to wait for the report of the councillors." In
Zurich there was no longer either arm to defend or head to advise.

[Sidenote: THE WAR BEGINS.]

It was seven in the morning, and the assembly was still sitting, when
Rodolph Gwerb, pastor of Rifferschwyl, near Cappel, arrived in haste.
"The people of the lordship of Knonau," said he, "are crowding round
the convent, and loudly calling for chiefs and for aid. The enemy is
approaching. Will our lords of Zurich (say they) abandon themselves,
and us with them? Do they wish to give us up to slaughter?" The
pastor, who had witnessed these mournful scenes, spoke with animation.
The councillors, whose infatuation was to be prolonged to the end,
were offended at his message. "They want to make us act imprudently,"
replied they, turning in their arm-chairs.

They had scarcely ceased speaking before a new messenger appears,
wearing on his features the marks of the greatest terror: it was
Schwyzer, landlord of the "Beech Tree" on Mount Albis. "My lords
Dumysen and Funck," said he, "have sent me to you with all speed to
announce to the council that the Five Cantons have seized upon
Hytzkilch, and that they are now collecting all their troops at Baar.
My lords remain in the bailiwicks to aid the frightened inhabitants."

This time the most confident turned pale. Terror, so long restrained,
passed like a flash of lightning through every heart.[1193] Hytzkilch
was in the power of the enemy, and the war was begun.

  [1193] Dieser Bottschaft erschrack menklich büel. (Bull. iii. p. 104.)

[Sidenote: A FEARFUL NIGHT.]

It was resolved to expedite to Cappel a flying camp of six hundred men
with six guns; but the command was intrusted to George Goldli, whose
brother was in the army of the Five Cantons, and he was enjoined to
keep on the defensive. Goldli and his troops had just left the city,
when the captain-general Lavater, summoning into the hall of the
Smaller Council the old banneret Schweizer, William Toning, captain of
the arquebusiers, J. Dennikon, captain of the artillery, Zwingle, and
some others, said to them, "Let us deliberate promptly on the means of
saving the canton and the city. Let the tocsin immediately call out
all the citizens." The captain-general feared that the councils would
shrink at this proceeding, and he wished to raise the Landsturm by the
simple advice of the army and of Zwingle. "We cannot take it upon
ourselves," said they, "the two councils are still sitting; let us lay
this proposition before them." They hasten towards the place of
meeting; but, fatal mischance! there were only a few members of the
Smaller Council on the benches. "The consent of the Two Hundred is
necessary," said they. Again a new delay, and the enemy is on the
march. Two hours after noon the Great Council met again, but only to
make long and useless speeches.[1194] At length the resolution was
taken, and at seven in the evening the tocsin began to sound in all
the country districts. Treason united with this dilatoriness, and
persons who pretended to be envoys from Zurich stopped the Landsturm
in many places, as being contrary to the opinion of the council. A
great number of citizens went to sleep again.

  [1194] Ward so vil und lang darim gerad schlagt. (Bull. iii. p. 104.)

It was a fearful night. The thick darkness--a violent storm--the
alarm-bell ringing from every steeple--the people running to arms--the
noise of swords and guns--the sound of trumpets and of drums, combined
with the roaring of the tempest, the distrust, discontent, and even
treason, which spread affliction in every quarter--the sobs of women
and of children--the cries which accompanied many a heartrending
adieu--an earthquake which occurred about nine o'clock at night, as if
nature herself had shuddered at the blood that was about to be spilt,
and which violently shook the mountains and valleys:[1195] all
increased the terrors of this fatal night,--a night to be followed by
a still more fatal day.

  [1195] Ein startrer Erdbidem, der das Land, auch Berg und Thal
  gwaltiglich ershütt. (Tschudi; Helvetia, ii. p. 186.)

[Sidenote: THE WAR.]

While these events were transpiring, the Zurichers encamped on the
heights of Cappel to the number of about one thousand men, fixed their
eyes on Zug and upon the lake, attentively watching every movement. On
a sudden, a little before night, they perceived a few barks filled
with soldiers coming from the side of Arth, and rowing across the lake
towards Zug. Their number increases--one boat follows another--soon
they distinctly hear the bellowing of the bull (the horn) of
Uri,[1196] and they discern the banner. The barks draw near Zug; they
are moored to the shore, which is lined with an immense crowd. The
warriors of Uri and the arquebusiers of the Adige spring up and leap
on shore, where they are received with acclamations, and take up their
quarters for the night: behold the enemies assembled! The council are
informed with all speed.

  [1196] Vil schiffen uff Zag faren, und hort man luyen den Uri Stier.
  (Bull. iii. p. 109.)

The agitation was still greater at Zurich than at Cappel: the
confusion was increased by uncertainty. The enemy attacking them on
different sides at once, they knew not where to carry assistance. Two
hours after midnight five hundred men with four guns quitted the city
for Bremgarten, and three or four hundred men with five guns for
Wadenshwyl. They turned to the right and to the left, while the enemy
was in front.

Alarmed at its own weakness, the council resolved to apply without
delay to the cities of the christian co-burghery. "As this revolt,"
wrote they, "has no other origin than the Word of God, we entreat you
once--twice--thrice, as loudly, as seriously, as firmly, and as
earnestly, as our ancient alliances and our christian co-burghery
permit and command us to do--to set forth without delay with all your
forces. Haste! haste! haste! Act as promptly as possible[1197]--the
danger is yours as well as ours." Thus spake Zurich; but it was
already too late.

  [1197] Ylentz, ylentz, ylentz, uffs aller schnellist. (Bull. iii. p.

At break of day the banner was raised before the town-house; instead
of flaunting proudly in the wind, it hung drooping down the staff--a
sad omen that filled many minds with fear. Lavater took up his station
under the standard; but a long period elapsed before a few hundred
soldiers could be got together.[1198] In the square and in all the
city disorder and confusion prevailed. The troops, fatigued by a hasty
march or by long waiting, were faint and discouraged.

  [1198] Sammlet sich doch das volck gmachsam. (Ibid. p. 112.)


At ten o'clock, only 700 men were under arms. The selfish, the
lukewarm, the friends of Rome and of the foreign pensioners, had
remained at home. A few old men who had more courage than
strength--several members of the two councils who were devoted to the
holy cause of God's Word--many ministers of the Church who desired to
live and die with the Reform--the boldest of the townspeople and a
certain number of peasants, especially those from the neighbourhood of
the city--such were the defenders who, wanting that moral force so
necessary for victory, incompletely armed, without uniform, crowded in
disorder around the banner of Zurich.

The army should have numbered at least 4000 men; they waited still;
the usual oath had not been administered; and yet courier after
courier arrived, breathless and in disorder, announcing the terrible
danger that threatened Zurich. All this disorderly crowd is
agitated--they no longer wait for the commands of their chiefs, and
many without taking the oath rush through the gates. About 200 men
thus set out in confusion. All those who remained prepared to depart.

Then was Zwingle seen to issue from a house before which a caparisoned
horse was stamping impatiently; it was his own. His look was firm, but
dimmed by sorrow. He parted from his wife, his children, and his
numerous friends, without deceiving himself, and with a bruised
heart.[1199] He observed the thick waterspout, which, driven by a
terrible wind, advanced whirling towards him. Alas! he had himself
called up this hurricane by quitting the atmosphere of the Gospel of
peace, and throwing himself into the midst of political passions. He
was convinced that he would be the first victim. Fifteen days before
the attack of the Waldstettes, he had said from the pulpit: "I know
what is the meaning of all this:--it is all about me. All this comes
to pass--in order that I may die."[1200] The council, according to an
ancient custom, had called upon him to accompany the army as its
chaplain. Zwingle did not hesitate. He prepared himself without
surprise and without anger,--with the calmness of a Christian who
placed himself confidently in the hands of his God. If the cause of
Reform was doomed to perish, he was ready to perish with it.
Surrounded by his weeping wife and friends--by his children who clung
to his garments to detain him, he quitted that house where he had
tasted so much happiness. At the moment that his hand was upon his
horse, just as he was about to mount, the animal violently started
back several paces, and when he was at last in the saddle, it refused
for a time to move, rearing and prancing backwards, like that horse
which the greatest captain of modern times had mounted as he was about
to cross the Niemen. Many in Zurich at that time thought with the
soldier of the Grand Army when he saw Napoleon on the ground: "It is a
bad omen! a Roman would go back!"[1201] Zwingle having at last
mastered his horse, gave the reins, applied the spur, started forward,
and disappeared.

  [1199] Anna Rheinhard par G. Meyr of Knonau. (Bull. iii. p. 33.)

  [1200] Ut ego tollar fiunt omnia. (De vita et obitu Zwinglii,

  [1201] Ségur: Hist. de Napoléon et de la Grande Armée, i. p. 142.

[Sidenote: THE SCENE OF WAR.]

At eleven o'clock the flag was struck, and all who remained in the
square--about 500 men--began their march along with it. The greater
part were torn with difficulty from the arms of their families, and
walked sad and silent, as if they were going to the scaffold instead
of battle. There was no order--no plan; the men were isolated and
scattered, some running before, some after the colours, their extreme
confusion presenting a fearful appearance;[1202] so much so, that
those who remained behind--the women, the children, and the old men,
filled with gloomy forebodings, beat their breasts as they saw them
pass, and many years after, the remembrance of this day of tumult and
mourning drew this groan from Oswald Myconius: "Whenever I recall it
to mind, it is as if a sword pierced my heart." Zwingle, armed
according to the usage of the chaplains of the Confederation, rode
mournfully behind this distracted multitude. Myconius, when he saw
him, was nigh fainting.[1203] Zwingle disappeared, and Oswald remained
behind to weep.

  [1202] Nullus ordo, nulla consilia, nullæ mentes, tanta animorum
  dissonantia, tam horrenda facies ante et post signa sparsim currentium
  hominum. (De vita et ob. Zwinglii.)

  [1203] Quem ut vidi repentino dolore cordis vix consistebam. (Ibid.)

He did not shed tears alone; in all quarters were heard lamentations,
and every house was changed into a house of prayer.[1204] In the midst
of this universal sorrow, one woman remained silent; her only cry was
a bitter heart, her only language the mild and suppliant eye of
faith:--this was Anna, Zwingle's wife. She had seen her husband
depart--her son, her brother, a great number of intimate friends and
near relations, whose approaching death she foreboded. But her soul,
strong as that of her husband, offered to God the sacrifice of her
holiest affections. Gradually the defenders of Zurich precipitate
their march, and the tumult dies away in the distance.

  [1204] Manebamus non certe sine jugibus suspiriis, non sine precibus,
  ad Deum. (Ibid.)

[Sidenote: THE ENEMY AT ZUG.]

VII. This night, which was so stormy in Zurich, had not been calmer at
Cappel. They had received the most alarming reports one after another.
It was necessary to take up a position that would allow the troops
assembled round the convent to resist the enemy's attack until the
arrival of the reinforcements that were expected from the city. They
cast their eyes on a small hill, which lying to the north towards
Zurich, and traversed by the highroad, presented an uneven but
sufficiently extensive surface. A deep ditch that surrounded it on
three sides defended the approaches; but a small bridge, that was the
only issue on the side of Zurich, rendered a precipitate retreat very
dangerous. On the south-west was a wood of beech-trees; on the south,
in the direction of Zug, was the highroad and a marshy valley. "Lead
us to the Granges," cried all the soldiers. They were conducted
thither. The artillery was stationed near some ruins. The line of
battle was drawn up on the side of the monastery and of Zug, and
sentinels were placed at the foot of the slope.

Meantime, the signal is given at Zug and Baar: the drums beat: the
soldiers of the Five Cantons take up their arms. A universal feeling
of joy animates them. The churches are opened, the bells ring, and the
serried ranks of the cantons enter the cathedral of St. Oswald; Mass
is celebrated; the Host is offered up for the sins of the people, and
all the army begin their march at nine o'clock, with banners flying.
The avoyer John Golder commands the contingent of Lucerne; the
landamman Jacques Troguer, that of Uri; the landamman Rychmut, a
mortal enemy of the Reformation, that of Schwytz; the landamman
Zellger, that of Unterwalden; and Oswald Dooss that of Zug. Eight
thousand men march in order of battle: all the picked men of the Five
Cantons are there. Fresh and active after a quiet night, and having
only one short league to cross before reaching the enemy, these
haughty Waldstettes advance with a firm and regular step under the
command of their chiefs.

[Sidenote: ARMY OF ZURICH.]

On reaching the common meadow of Zug, they halt to take the oath:
every hand is upraised to heaven, and all swear to avenge themselves.
They were about to resume their march, when some aged men made signs
to them to stop. "Comrades," they said, "we have long offended God.
Our blasphemies, our oaths, our wars, our revenge, our pride, our
drunkenness, our adulteries, the gold of the stranger to whom our
hands have been extended, and all the disorders in which we have
indulged, have so provoked his anger, that if he should punish us
to-day, we should only receive the desert of our crimes." The emotion
of the chiefs had passed into the ranks. All the army bend the knee in
the midst of the plain; deep silence prevails, and every soldier, with
bended head, crosses himself devoutly, and repeats in a low voice
five paters, as many aves, and the credo. One might have said that
they were for a time in the midst of a vast and stilly desert.
Suddenly the noise of an immense crowd is again heard. The army rises
up. "Soldiers," said the captains, "you know the cause of this war.
Bear your wives and your children continually before your eyes."

Then the chief usher (_grand sautier_) of Lucerne, wearing the colours
of the canton, approaches the chiefs of the army: they place in his
hands the declaration of war, dated on that very day, and sealed with
the arms of Zug. He then sets off on horseback, preceded by a
trumpeter, to carry this paper to the commander of the Zurichers.

It was eleven in the morning. The Zurichers soon discovered the
enemy's army, and cast a sorrowful glance on the small force they were
able to oppose to it. Every minute the danger increased. All bent
their knees, their eyes were raised to heaven, and every Zuricher
uttered a cry from the bottom of his heart, praying for deliverance
from God. As soon as the prayer was ended, they got ready for battle.
There were at that time about twelve hundred men under arms.


At noon the trumpet of the Five Cantons sounded not far from the
advanced posts. Goldli, having collected the members of the two
councils who happened to be with the army, as well as the commissioned
and non-commissioned officers, and having ranged them in a circle,
ordered the secretary Rheinhard to read the declaration of which the
Sautier of Lucerne was the bearer. After the reading, Goldli opened a
council of war. "We are few in number, and the forces of our
adversaries are great," said Landolt, bailiff of Marpac, "but I will
here await the enemy in the name of God." "Wait!" cried the captain of
the halberdiers, Rodolph Zigler; "impossible! let us rather take
advantage of the ditch that cuts the road to effect our retreat, and
let us everywhere raise a levée _en masse_." This was in truth the
only means of safety. But Rudi Gallmann, considering every step
backwards as an act of cowardice, cried out, stamping his feet
forcibly on the earth, and casting a fiery glance around him,
"Here--here shall be my grave!"[1205]--"It is now too late to retire
with honour," said other officers. "This day is in the hands of God.
Let us suffer whatever he lays upon us." It was put to the vote.

  [1205] Da, da mus min Rilchhof sin. (Bull. ii. p. 118.)

The members of the council had scarcely raised their hands in token of
assent, when a great noise was heard around them. "The captain! the
captain!" cried a soldier from the outposts who arrived in haste.
"Silence, silence!" replied the ushers, driving him back; "they are
holding a council!"--"It is no longer time to hold a council," replied
the soldier. "Conduct me immediately to the captain."......"Our
sentinels are falling back," cried he with an agitated voice, as he
arrived before Goldli. "The enemy is there--they are advancing through
the forest with all their forces and with great tumult." He had not
ceased speaking, before the sentinels, who were in truth retiring on
all sides, ran up, and the army of the Five Cantons was soon seen
climbing the slope of Ifelsberg in face of the Granges, and pointing
their guns. The leaders of the Waldstettes were examining the
position, and seeking to discover by what means their army could reach
that of Zurich. The Zurichers were asking themselves the same
question. The nature of the ground prevented the Waldstettes from
passing below the convent, but they could arrive by another quarter.
Ulric Brüder, under bailiff of Husen in the canton of Zurich, fixed
his anxious look on the beech-wood. "It is thence that the enemy will
fall upon us!" "Axes--axes!" immediately cried several voices; "let us
cut down the trees!"[1206] Goldli, the abbot, and several others, were
opposed to this: "If we stop up the wood, by throwing down the trees,
we shall ourselves be unable to work our guns in that direction," said
they.--"Well! at least let us place some arquebusiers in that
quarter."--"We are already so small a number," replied the captain,
"that it will be imprudent to divide the forces." Neither wisdom nor
courage were to save Zurich. They once more invoked the help of God,
and waited in expectation.

  [1206] Ettliche schrüwend nach Achsen das man das Wäldi verhallte.
  (Bull. iii. p. 118.)

At one o'clock the Five Cantons fired the first gun: the ball passing
over the convent, fell below the Granges; a second passed over the
line of battle; a third struck a hedge close to the ruins. The
Zurichers, seeing the battle was begun, replied with courage; but the
slowness and awkwardness with which the artillery was served in those
days prevented any great loss being inflicted on either side. When the
enemy perceived this, they ordered their advanced guard to descend
from Ifelsberg and to reach the Granges through the meadow; and soon
the whole army of the Cantons advanced in this direction, but with
difficulty and over bad roads. Some arquebusiers of Zurich came and
announced the disorder of the Cantons. "Brave Zurichers," cried Rudi
Gallmann, "if we attack them now, it is all over with them." At these
words some of the soldiers prepared to enter the wood on the left, to
fall upon the disheartened Waldstettes. But Goldli perceiving this
movement, cried out: "Where are you going?--do you not know that we
have agreed not to separate?" He then ordered the skirmishers to be
recalled, so that the wood remained entirely open to the enemy. They
were satisfied with discharging a few random shots from time to time
to prevent the Cantons from establishing themselves there. The firing
of the artillery continued until three o'clock, and announced far and
wide, even to Bremgarten and Zurich, that the battle had begun.

[Sidenote: THE MARCH.]

In the meanwhile the great banner of Zurich and all those who
surrounded it, among whom was Zwingle, came advancing in disorder
towards the Albis. For a year past the gaiety of the reformer had
entirely disappeared: he was grave, melancholy, easily moved, having a
weight on his heart that seemed to crush it. Often would he throw
himself weeping at the feet of his Master, and seek in prayer the
strength of which he stood in need. No one had ever observed in him
any irritation; on the contrary, he had received with mildness the
counsels that had been offered, and had remained tenderly attached to
men whose convictions were not the same as his own. He was now
advancing mournfully along the road to Cappel; and John Maaler of
Winterthour, who was riding a few paces behind him, heard his groans
and sighs, intermingled with fervent prayers. If any one spoke to him,
he was found firm and strong in the peace that proceeds from faith;
but he did not conceal his conviction that he should never see his
family or church again. Thus advanced the forces of Zurich. Awful
march! resembling rather a funeral procession then an army going to

As they approached they saw express after express gallopping along the
road from Cappel, begging the Zurichers to hasten to the defence of
their brothers.[1207]

  [1207] Dan ein Manung uff die ander, von Cappel kamm. (Bull. iii. p.

At Adliswil, having passed the bridge under which flow the impetuous
waters of the Sihl, and traversed the village through the midst of
women, children, and old men, who, standing before their cottages,
looked with sadness on this disorderly troop, they began to ascend the
Albis. They were about half way from Cappel when the first cannon-shot
was heard. They stop, they listen: a second, a third succeeds......There
is no longer any doubt. The glory, the very existence of the republic
are endangered, and they are not present to defend it! The blood
curdles in their veins. On a sudden they arouse, and each one begins
to run to the support of his brothers. But the road over the Albis was
much steeper than it is in our days. The badly harnessed artillery
could not ascend it; the old men, the citizens, little habituated to
marching, and covered with weighty armour, advanced with difficulty:
and yet they formed the greater portion of the troops. They were seen
stopping one after another, panting and exhausted, along the sides of
the road near the thickets and ravines of the Albis, leaning against
a beech or an ash tree, and looking with dispirited eyes to the
summit of the mountain covered with thick pines.

They resume their march, however; the horsemen and the most intrepid
of the foot-soldiers hasten onwards, and having reached the "Beech
Tree," on the top of the mountain, halt to take council.

What a prospect then extended before their eyes! Zurich, the lake and
its smiling shores--those orchards, those fertile fields, those
vine-clad hills, almost the whole of the canton. Alas! soon, perhaps,
to be devastated by the Forest-bands.

Scarcely had these noble-minded men begun to deliberate, when fresh
messengers from Cappel appear before them and exclaim, "Hasten
forwards!" At these words many of the Zurichers prepared to gallop
towards the enemy.[1208] Toning, the captain of the arquebusiers,
stopt them. "My good friends," cried he to them, "against such great
forces what can we do alone? Let us wait here until our people are
assembled, and then let us fall upon the enemy with the whole
army."--"Yes, if we had an army," bitterly replied the captain-general,
who, in despair of saving the republic, thought only of dying with
glory; "but we have only a banner and no soldiers."--"How can we stay
calmly upon these heights," said Zwingle, "while we hear the shots
that are fired at our fellow-citizens? In the name of God I will march
towards our warriors, prepared to die in order to save them."[1209]--"And
I too," added the aged banneret Schweizer. "As for you," continued he,
turning with a contemptuous look towards Toning, "wait till you are a
little recovered."--"I am quite as much refreshed as you," replied
Toning, the colour mantling on his face, "and you shall soon see
whether I cannot fight." All hastened their steps towards the field of

  [1208] Uff rossen häftig ylttend zum augriff. (Bull. iii. p. 113.)

  [1209] Ich will Kacht, in den namen Gotts, zu den biderben luten und
  willig mitt und under inen sterben. (Ibid. p. 123.)

The descent is rapid; they plunge into the woods, pass through the
village of Husen, and at length arrive near the Granges. It was three
o'clock when the banner crossed the narrow bridge that led thither;
and there were so few soldiers round it that every one trembled as he
beheld this venerated standard thus exposed to the attacks of so
formidable an enemy. The army of the Cantons was at that moment
deploying before the eyes of the new-comers. Zwingle gazed upon this
terrible spectacle. Behold, then, these phalanxes of soldiers!--a few
minutes more, and the labours of eleven years will be destroyed
perhaps for ever!......

A citizen of Zurich, one Leonard Bourkhard, who was ill-disposed
towards the reformer, said to him in a harsh tone, "Well, Master
Ulric, what do you say about this business? Are the radishes salt
enough?......who will eat them now?"[1210] "I," replied Zwingle, "and
many a brave man who is here in the hands of God; for we are his in
life and in death."--"And I too--I will help eat them," resumed
Bourkhard immediately, ashamed of his brutality,--"I will risk my life
for them." And he did so, and many others with him, adds the

  [1210] Sind die Rüben gesaltzen! wer will sie ausessen. (J. J. Hott.
  iii. p. 383.)

It was four o'clock; the sun was sinking rapidly; the Waldstettes did
not advance, and the Zurichers began to think that the attack would be
put off till the morrow. In fact, the chiefs of the Five Cantons
seeing the great banner of Zurich arrive, the night near at hand, and
the impossibility of crossing under the fire of the Zurichers the
marsh and the ditch that separated the combatants, were looking for a
place in which their troops might pass the night. "If, at this moment,
any mediators had appeared," says Bullinger, "their proposals would
have been accepted."


The soldiers, observing the hesitation of their chiefs, began to
murmur loudly. "The big ones abandon us," said one. "The captains fear
to bite the fox's tail," said another. "Not to attack them," cried
they all, "is to ruin our cause." During this time a daring man was
preparing the skilful manœuvre that was to decide the fate of the day.
A warrior of Uri, John Jauch, formerly bailiff of Sargans, a good
marksman and experienced soldier, having taken a few men with him,
moved towards the right of the army of the Five Cantons, crept into
the midst of the clump of beech-trees that, by forming a semicircle to
the east, unite the hill of Ifelsberg to that of the Granges,[1211]
found the wood empty, arrived to within a few paces of the Zurichers,
and there, hidden behind the trees, remarked unperceived the smallness
of their numbers, and their want of caution. Then, stealthily
retiring, he went to the chiefs at the very moment the discontent was
on the point of bursting out. "Now is the time to attack the enemy,"
cried he. "Dear gossip," replied Troquer, captain-in-chief of Uri,
"you do not mean to say that we should set to work at so late an hour;
besides, the men are preparing their quarters, and everybody knows
what it cost our fathers at Naples and Marignan for having commenced
the attack a little before night. And then it is Innocents' day, and
our ancestors have never given battle on a feast-day."[1212]--"Don't
think about the Innocents of the calendar," replied Jauch, "but let us
rather remember the innocents that we have left in our cottages."
Gaspard Goldli of Zurich, brother of the commander of the Granges,
added his entreaties to those of the warrior of Uri. "We must either
beat the Zurichers to-night," said he, "or be beaten by them
to-morrow. Take your choice."

  [1211] This wood no longer connects the two hills. The present pastor
  of Cappel told me that when first he went into that district the wood
  was much more extensive than it is at present.

  [1212] An einem solchen Tag Blut ze vergiessen. (Tschudi, Helv. ii. p.

[Sidenote: AMBUSCADE.]

All was unavailing; the chiefs were inflexible, and the army prepared
to take up its quarters. Then the warrior of Uri, understanding like
his fellow-countryman Tell that great evils require great remedies,
drew his sword and cried: "Let all true confederates follow
me."[1213] Then hastily leaping to his saddle, he spurred his horse
into the forest;[1214] and immediately arquebusiers, soldiers from the
Adige, and many other warriors of the Five Cantons, especially from
Unterwalden--in all about 300 men, rushed into the wood after him. At
this sight Jauch no longer doubts of the victory of the Waldstettes.
He dismounts and falls upon his knees, "for," says Tschudi, "he was a
man who feared God." All his followers do the same, and together
invoke the aid of God, of his holy mother, and of all the heavenly
host, They then advance; but soon the warrior of Uri, wishing to
expose no one but himself, halts his troops, and glides from tree to
tree to the verge of the wood. Observing that the enemy was as
incautious as ever, he rejoins his arquebusiers, leads them stealthily
forward, and posts them silently behind the trees of the forest,[1215]
enjoining them to take their aim so as not to miss their men. During
this time the chiefs of the Five Cantons, foreseeing that this rash
man was about to bring on the action, decided against their will, and
collected their soldiers around the banners.

  [1213] Welche redlicher Eidgnossen wärt sind, die louffind uns nach.
  (Bull. iii. p. 125.)

  [1214] Sass ylends wiederum uff sin Ross. (Tschudi, Helv. ii. p. 191.)

  [1215] Zertheilt die Hagken hinter die Bäum im Wald in grosser Stille
  (Tschudi, Helv. ii. p. 191.)

VIII. The Zurichers, fearing that the enemy would seize upon the road
that led to their capital, were then directing part of their troops
and their guns to a low hill by which it was commanded. At the very
moment that the invisible arquebusiers stationed among the beech trees
were taking their aim, this detachment passed near the little wood.
The deepest silence prevails in this solitude: each one posted there
picks out the man he desires to bring down, and Jauch exclaims: "In
the name of the Holy Trinity--of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Ghost--of the Holy Mother of God, and of all the heavenly host--fire!"
At the word the deadly balls issue from the wood, and a murderous
carnage in the ranks of Zurich follows this terrible discharge. The
battle, which had begun four hours ago, and which had never appeared
to be a serious attack, now underwent an unforeseen change. The sword
was not again to be returned to the scabbard until it had been bathed
in torrents of blood. Those of the Zurichers who had not fallen at
this first discharge, lie flat on the ground, so that the balls pass
over their heads; but they soon spring up, saying: "Shall we allow
ourselves to be butchered? No! let us rather attack the enemy!"
Lavater seizes a lance, and rushing into the foremost rank exclaims:
"Soldiers, uphold the honour of God and of our lords, and behave like
brave men!" Zwingle, silent and collected, like nature before the
bursting of the tempest, was there also halberd in hand. "Master
Ulric," said Bernard Sprungli, "speak to the people and encourage
them." "Warriors!" said Zwingle, "fear nothing. If we are this day to
be defeated, still our cause is good. Commend yourselves to God!"

The Zurichers quickly turn the artillery they were dragging to another
quarter, and point it against the wood; but their bullets, instead of
striking the enemy, only reach the top of the trees, and tear off a
few branches that fall upon the skirmishers.[1216]

  [1216] Denn das die Aest auf sie fielent (Tschudi, p. 182.)

Rychmuth, the landamman of Schwytz, came up at a gallop to recall the
volunteers; but seeing the battle begun, he ordered the whole army to
advance. Immediately the five banners moved forward.


But already Jauch's skirmishers, rushing from among the trees, had
fallen impetuously upon the Zurichers, charging with their long and
pointed halberds. "Heretics! sacrilegists!" cried they, "we have you
at last!"--"Man-sellers, idolaters, impious Papists!" replied the
Zurichers, "is it really you?" At first a shower of stones fell from
both parties and wounded several; immediately they come to close
quarters. The resistance of the Zurichers was terrible.[1217] Each
struck with the sword or with the halberd: at last the soldiers of the
Five Cantons were driven back in disorder. The Zurichers advanced, but
in so doing lost the advantages of their position, and got entangled
in the marsh. Some Roman-catholic historians pretend that this flight
of their troops was a stratagem to draw the Zurichers into the

  [1217] Der angriff war hart und währt der Wiederstand ein gute Wyl.
  (Tschudi, p. 192.)

  [1218] Catholici autem, positis insidiis, retrocesserunt, fugam
  simulantes. (Cochlœus, Acta Luth. p. 214.)

In the mean time the army of the Five Cantons hasten through the wood.
Burning with courage and with anger, they eagerly quicken their steps;
from the midst of the beech-trees there resounded a confused and
savage noise--a frightful murmur; the ground shook; one might have
said that the forest was uttering a horrible roar, or that witches
were holding their nocturnal revels.[1219] In vain do the bravest of
the Zurichers offer an intrepid resistance: the Waldstettes have the
advantage in every quarter. "They are surrounding us," cried some.
"Our men are fleeing," said others. A man from the canton of Zug
mingling with the Zurichers, and pretending to be of their party,
exclaims: "Fly, fly, brave Zurichers, you are betrayed!" Thus
everything is against Zurich. Even the hand of Him who is the disposer
of battles, turns against this people. Thus was it also in times of
old that God frequently chastised his own people of Israel by the
Assyrian sword. A panic terror seizes upon the bravest, and the
disorder spreads everywhere with frightful rapidity.

  [1219] Der Boden erzittert; und nit anders war, denn als ob der Wald
  lut bruelete. (Tschudi, p. 123.)


In the meanwhile the aged Schweizer had raised the great banner with a
firm hand, and all the picked men of Zurich were drawn up around it;
but soon their ranks were thinned. John Kammli, charged with the
defence of the standard, having observed the small number of
combatants that remained upon the field of battle, said to the
banneret: "Let us lower the banner, my lord, and save it, for our
people are flying shamefully:"--"Warriors, remain firm," replied the
aged banneret, whom no danger had ever shaken. The disorder
augmented--the number of fugitives increased every minute; the old man
stood fast, amazed and immoveable as an aged oak beaten by a frightful
hurricane. He received unflinchingly the blows that fell upon him, and
alone resisted the terrible storm. Kammli seized him by the arm: "My
lord," said he again, "lower the banner, or else we shall lose it:
there is no more glory to be reaped here!" The banneret, who was
already mortally wounded, exclaimed: "Alas! must the city of Zurich be
so punished!" Then, dragged off by Kammli, who held him by the arm, he
retreated as far as the ditch. The weight of years, and the wounds
with which he was covered, did not permit him to cross it. He fell in
the mire at the bottom, still holding the glorious standard, whose
folds dropped on the other bank.

The enemy ran up with loud shouts, being attracted by the colours of
Zurich, as the bull by the gladiator's flag. Kammli seeing this,
unhesitatingly leaps to the bottom of the ditch, and lays hold of the
stiff and dying hands of his chief, in order to preserve the precious
ensign, which they tightly grasped. But it is in vain; the hands of
the aged Schweizer will not loose the standard. "My lord banneret!"
cried this faithful servant, "it is no longer in your power to defend
it." The hands of the banneret, already stiffened in death, still
refuse; upon which Kammli violently tears away the sacred standard,
leaps upon the other bank, and rushes with his treasure far from the
steps of the enemy. The last Zurichers at this moment reach the ditch,
they fall one after another upon the expiring banneret, and thus
hasten his death.


Kammli, however, having received a wound from a gunshot, his march was
retarded, and soon the Waldstettes surround him with their swords. The
Zuricher, holding the banner in one hand, and his sword in the other,
defends himself bravely. One of the Waldstettes catches hold of the
staff--another seizes the flag itself and tears it. Kammli with one
blow of his sword cuts down the former, and striking around him, calls
out: "To the rescue, brave Zurichers! save the honour and the banner
of our lords." The assailants increase in number, and the warrior is
about to fall, when Adam Næff of Wollenwyd rushes up sword in hand,
and the head of the Waldstette who had torn the colours rolls upon the
plain, and his blood gushes out upon the flag of Zurich. Dumysen,
member of the Smaller Council, supports Næff with his halberd, and
both deal such lusty blows, that they succeed in disengaging the
standard-bearer. He, although dangerously wounded, springs forward,
holding the blood-stained folds of the banner in one hand, which he
carries off hastily, dragging the staff behind him. With fierce look
and fiery eye, he thus passes sword in hand through the midst of
friends and enemies: he crosses plains, woods, and marshes, everywhere
leaving traces of his blood, which flows from numerous wounds. Two of
his enemies, one from Schwytz, the other from Zug--were particularly
eager in his pursuit. "Heretic! villain!" cried they, "surrender and
give us the banner."--"You shall have my life first," replied the
Zuricher. Then the two hostile soldiers, who were embarrassed by their
cuirasses, stopped a moment to take them off. Kammli took advantage of
this to get in advance: he ran; Huber, Dumysen, and Dantzler of
Naenikon were at his side. They all four thus arrived near Husen,
half-way up the Albis. They had still to climb the steepest part of
the mountain. Huber falls covered with wounds. Dumysen, the
colonel-general, who had fought as a private soldier, almost reaches
the church of Husen, and there he falls lifeless: and two of his sons,
in the flower of youth, soon lie stretched on the battle-field that
has drunk their father's blood. Kammli takes a few steps further; but
halts erelong, exhausted and panting, near a hedge that he would have
to clear, and discovers his two enemies, and other Waldstettes running
from all sides, like birds of prey, towards the wavering standard of
Zurich. The strength of Kammli sinks rapidly, his eyes grow dim,
thick darkness surrounds him: a hand of lead fastens him to the
ground. Then, mustering all his expiring strength, he flings the
standard on the other side of the hedge, exclaiming: "Is there any
brave Zuricher near me? Let him preserve the banner and the honour of
our lords! As for me, I can do no more!" Then casting a last look to
heaven, he adds: "May God be my helper!" He fell exhausted by this
last effort. Dantzler, who came up, flung away his sword, sprung over
the hedge, seized the banner, and cried, "With the aid of God, I will
carry it off." He then rapidly climbed the Albis, and at last placed
the ancient standard of Zurich in safety. God, on whom these warriors
fixed all their hopes, had heard their prayers, but the noblest blood
of the republic had been spilt.

The enemy were victorious at all points. The soldiers of the Five
Cantons, and particularly those of Unterwalden, long hardened in the
wars of the Milanese, showed themselves more merciless towards their
confederates than they had ever been towards foreigners. At the
beginning of the battle, Goldli had taken flight, and soon after he
quitted Zurich for ever. Lavater, the captain-general, after having
fought valiantly, had fallen into the ditch. He was dragged out by a
soldier, and had escaped.


The most distinguished men of Zurich fell one after another under the
blows of the Waldstettes.[1220] Rudi Gallmann found the glorious tomb
he had wished for, and his two brothers stretched beside him left
their father's house desolate. Toning, captain of the arquebusiers,
died for his country as he had foretold. All the pride of the
population of Zurich, seven members of the Smaller Council, nineteen
members of the Two Hundred, sixty-five citizens of the town, four
hundred and seventeen from the rural districts: the father in the
midst of his children,--the brother surrounded by his brothers,--lay
on the field.

  [1220] Optimi et docti viri, quos necessitas traxerat in commune
  periculum patriæ et ecclesiæ veritatisque defensandæ, quam et suo
  sanguine redemerunt. (Pell. Vit. MS. p. 6.)

Gerold Meyer of Knonau, son of Anna Zwingle; at that time twenty-two
years of age, and already a member of the council of Two Hundred,--a
husband and a father,--had rushed into the foremost ranks with all the
impetuosity of youth. "Surrender, and your life shall be spared,"
cried some of the warriors of the Five Cantons, who desired to save
him. "It is better for me to die with honour than to yield with
disgrace," replied the son of Anna, and immediately struck by a mortal
blow, he fell and expired not far from the castle of his ancestors.

The ministers were those who paid proportionally the greatest tribute
on this bloody day. The sword that was at work on the heights of
Cappel thirsted for their blood: twenty-five of them fell beneath its
stroke. The Waldstettes trembled with rage when they discovered one of
these heretical preachers, and sacrificed him with enthusiasm, as a
chosen victim, to the Virgin and the saints. There has, perhaps, never
been any battle in which so many men of the Word of God have bitten
the dust. Almost everywhere the pastors had marched at the head of
their flocks. One might have said that Cappel was an assembly of
christian churches rather than an army of Swiss companies. The Abbot
Joner, receiving a mortal wound near the ditch, expired in sight of
his own monastery. The people of Zug, in pursuit of the enemy, uttered
a cry of anguish as they passed his body, remembering all the good he
had done them.[1221] Schmidt of Kuprach, stationed on the field of
battle in the midst of his parishioners, fell surrounded by forty of
their bodies,[1222] Geroldseck, John Haller, and many other pastors,
at the head of their flocks, suddenly met in a terrible and unforeseen
manner the Lord whom they had preached.

  [1221] Es klagtend inn insonders die Züger. (Bull. iii. p. 151.)

  [1222] Uff der Walstett warder funden, under und by sinen Kussnachern.
  (Ibid. p. 147.)


But the death of one individual far surpassed all others. Zwingle was
at the post of danger, the helmet on his head, the sword hanging at
his side, the battle-axe in his hand.[1223] Scarcely had the action
begun, when, stooping to console a dying man, says J. J. Hottinger, a
stone hurled by the vigorous arm of a Waldstette struck him on the
head and closed his lips. Yet Zwingle arose, when two other blows
which struck him successively on the leg,[1224] threw him down again.
Twice more he stands up; but a fourth time he receives a thrust from a
lance, he staggers, and sinking beneath so many wounds, falls on his
knees. Does not the darkness that is spreading around him announce a
still thicker darkness that is about to cover the Church? Zwingle
turns away from such sad thoughts; once more he uplifts that head
which had been so bold, and gazing with calm eye upon the trickling
blood, exclaims: "What evil is this? They can indeed kill the body,
but they cannot kill the soul!"[1225] These were his last words.

  [1223] The chaplains of the Swiss troops still wear a sword. Zwingle
  did not make use of his arms.

  [1224] Hatt auch in den Schenklen yween Stiche. (Tschudi, Helv. ii. p.

  [1225] In genua prolapsum dixisse: "Ecquid hoc infortunii? Age! corpus
  quidem occidere possunt, animam non possunt" (Osw. Myconius, Vit. Zw.)

He had scarcely uttered them ere he fell backwards. There under a tree
(Zwingle's Pear-tree) in a meadow, he remained lying on his back, with
clasped hands and eyes upturned to heaven.[1226]

  [1226] Was er nach lebend, lag an dem Ruggen und hat seine beide händ
  zamen gethan, wie die betenden, sach mit synem angen obsich in hymel.
  (B. iii. p. 136.)


While the bravest were pursuing the scattered soldiers of Zurich, the
stragglers of the Five Cantons had pounced like hungry ravens on the
field of battle. Torch in hand, these wretches prowled among the dead,
casting looks of irritation around them, and lighting up the features
of their expiring victims by the dull glimmering of these funereal
torches. They turned over the bodies of the wounded and the dead;
they tortured and they stripped them.[1227] If they found any who were
still sensible, they cried out, "Call upon the saints and confess to
our priests!" If the Zurichers, faithful to their creed, rejected
these cruel invitations, these men, who were as cowardly as they were
fanatical, pierced them with their lances, or dashed out their brains
with the butt-ends of their arquebuses. The Roman-catholic historian,
Salat of Lucerne, makes a boast of this. "They were left to die like
infidel dogs, or were slain with the sword, or the spear, that they
might go so much the quicker to the devil, with whose help they had
fought so desperately."[1228] If any of the soldiers of the Five
Cantons had recognised a Zuricher against whom they had any grudge,
with dry eyes, disdainful mouth, and features changed by anger, they
drew near the unhappy creature, writhing in the agonies of death, and
said: "Well! has your heretical faith preserved you? Ah ha! it was
pretty clearly seen to-day who had the true faith......To-day we have
dragged your Gospel in the mud, and you too, even you are covered with
your own blood. God, the Virgin, and the saints have punished you."
Scarcely had they uttered these words before they plunged their swords
into their enemy's bosom. "Mass or death!" was their watchword.

  [1227] Ein gross plünderen, ein ersuchen und usgiessen der todten und
  der wunden. (Bull. iii. p. 135.)

  [1228] Damit sie desto eher zum Teufel, damit sie mit allen vieren
  fechtend, geführt würdend. (Salat.)


Thus triumphed the Waldstettes; but the pious Zurichers who expired on
the field of battle called to mind that they had for God one who has
said: "_If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons;
for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?_"--"_Though he slay
me, yet will I trust in him._" It is in the furnace of trial that the
God of the Gospel conceals the pure gold of his most precious
blessings. This punishment was necessary to turn aside the Church of
Zurich from the "broad ways" of the world, and lead it back to the
"narrow ways" of the Spirit and the life. In a political history, a
defeat like that of Cappel would be styled a great misfortune; but in
a history of the Church of Jesus Christ, such a blow, inflicted by the
hand of the Father himself, ought rather to be called a great

Meanwhile Zwingle lay extended under the tree, near the road by which
the mass of the people was passing. The shouts of the victors, the
groans of the dying, those flickering torches borne from corpse to
corpse, Zurich humbled, the cause of Reform lost,--all cried aloud to
him that God punishes his servants when they have recourse to the arm
of man. If the German Reformer had been able to approach Zwingle at
this solemn moment, and pronounce these oft-repeated words:
"Christians fight not with sword and arquebus, but with sufferings and
the cross,"[1229] Zwingle would have stretched out his dying hand, and
said, "Amen!"

  [1229] Christen sind nicht die für sich selbst mit dem Schwerdt oder
  Büchsen streiten, sondern mit dem Kreuz und Leyden. (Luth. Opp.)


Two of the soldiers who were prowling over the field of battle, having
come near the reformer without recognising him, "Do you wish for a
priest to confess yourself?" asked they. Zwingle, without speaking
(for he had not strength), made signs in the negative. "If you cannot
speak," replied the soldiers, "at least think in thy heart of the
Mother of God, and call upon the saints!" Zwingle again shook his
head, and kept his eyes still fixed on heaven.[1230] Upon this the
irritated soldiers began to curse him. "No doubt," said they, "you are
one of the heretics of the city!" One of them, being curious to know
who it was, stooped down and turned Zwingle's head in the direction of
a fire that had been lighted near the spot.[1231] The soldier
immediately let him fall to the ground. "I think," said he, surprised
and amazed, "I think it is Zwingle!" At this moment Captain Fockinger
of Unterwalden, a veteran and a pensioner, drew near: he had heard the
last words of the soldier. "Zwingle!" exclaimed he; "that vile
heretic Zwingle! that rascal, that traitor!" Then raising his sword,
so long sold to the stranger, he struck the dying Christian on the
throat, exclaiming in a violent passion, "Die, obstinate heretic!"
Yielding under this last blow, the reformer gave up the ghost: he was
doomed to perish by the sword of a mercenary. "Precious in the sight
of the Lord is the death of his saints." The soldiers ran to other
victims. All did not show the same barbarity. The night was cold; a
thick hoar-frost covered the fields and the bodies of the dying. The
Protestant historian, Bullinger, informs us that some Waldstettes
gently raised the wounded in their arms, bound up their wounds, and
carried them to the fires lighted on the field of battle. "Ah!" cried
they, "why have the Swiss thus slaughtered one another!"

  [1230] Und sach uber sich in Hymel. (Bull. iii. p. 136.)

  [1231] Veyn Fuwr besach. (Tschudi, Helv. ii. p. 194.)

The main body of the army had remained on the field of battle near the
standards. The soldiers conversed around the fires, interrupted from
time to time by the cries of the dying. During this time the chiefs
assembled in the convent sent messengers to carry the news of their
signal victory to the confederate cantons, and to the Roman-catholic
powers of Germany.


At length the day appeared. The Waldstettes spread over the field of
battle, running here and there, stopping, contemplating, struck with
surprise at the sight of their most formidable enemies stretched
lifeless on the plain; but sometimes also shedding tears as they gazed
on corpses which reminded them of old and sacred ties of friendship.
At length they reached the pear-tree under which Zwingle lay dead, and
an immense crowd collected around it. His countenance still beamed
with expression and with life. "He has the look," said Bartholomew
Stocker of Zug, who had loved him, "he has the look of a living rather
than of a dead man.[1232] Such he was when he kindled the people by
the fire of his eloquence." All eyes were fixed upon the corpse. John
Schönbrunner, formerly canon of Zurich, who had retired to Zug at the
epoch of the Reformation, could not restrain his tears; "Whatever may
have been thy creed," said he, "I know, Zwingle, that thou hast been a
loyal confederate! May thy soul rest with God!"

  [1232] Nicht einem Todten sondern einem Lebenden gleich. (Zwingli fur
  dass Volk von J. J. Hottinger.)

But the pensioners of the foreigner, on whom Zwingle had never ceased
to make war, required that the body of the heretic should be
dismembered, and a portion sent to each of the Five Cantons. "Peace be
to the dead! and God alone be their Judge!" exclaimed the avoyer
Golder and the landamman Thoss of Zug. Cries of fury answered their
appeal, and compelled them to retire. Immediately the drums beat to
muster; the dead body was tried, and it was decreed that it should be
quartered for treason against the Confederation, and then burnt for
heresy. The executioner of Lucerne carried out the sentence. Flames
consumed Zwingle's disjointed members; the ashes of swine were mingled
with his: and a lawless multitude rushing upon his remains, flung them
to the four winds of heaven.[1233]

  [1233] Tschudi Helvet. ii. p. 195. "Cadaver Zwinglii......in quatuor
  partes secatur, in ignem conjicitur, in cinerem resolvitur." (Myc. de
  Vit. Zw.)


Zwingle was dead. A great light had been extinguished in the Church of
God. Mighty by the Word as were the other reformers, he had been more
so than they in action; but this very power had been his weakness, and
he had fallen under the weight of his own strength. Zwingle was not
forty-eight years old when he died. If the might of God always
accompanied the might of man, what would he not have done for the
Reformation in Switzerland, and even in the Empire! But he had wielded
an arm that God had forbidden; the helmet had covered his head, and he
had grasped the halberd. His more devoted friends were themselves
astonished, and exclaimed: "we know not what to say!......a bishop in
arms!"[1234] The bolt had furrowed the cloud, the blow had reached
the reformer, and his body was no more than a handful of dust in the
palm of a soldier.

  [1234] Ego nihil certe apud me possum statuere, maxime de Episcopo in
  armis. (Zuickius Ecolampadio, 8th November 1531, Zurich MS.)


IX. Frightful darkness hung over Zurich during the night that followed
the afflicting day of Cappel. It was seven in the evening when the
first news of the disaster arrived......Vague but alarming reports
spread at first with the rapidity of lightning. It was known that a
terrible blow had been inflicted, but not of what kind; but soon a few
wounded men, who arrived from the field of battle, cleared up the
frightful mystery. "Then," said Bullinger, whom we shall allow to
speak, "there arose suddenly a loud and horrible cry of lamentation
and tears, bewailing and groaning." The consternation was so much the
greater that no one had expected this disaster. "There is not enough
for a breakfast," had said some haughty worldly men; "With one blow we
shall be masters of the _Five Chalets_," had said another; and an old
soldier added with disdainful sneer, "We shall soon have scattered
these five dunghills." The christian portion, convinced that Zurich
was fighting in a good cause, had not doubted that victory would be on
the side of truth......Thus their first stupefaction was succeeded by
a violent outburst of rage. With blind fury the mob accused all their
chiefs, and loaded with insults even those who had defended their
country at the price of their blood. An immense crowd--agitated, pale,
and bewildered, filled all the streets of the city. They meet, they
question and reply; they question again, and the answer cannot be
heard, for the shouts of the people interrupted or drowned the voice
of the speakers. The councillors who had remained in Zurich, repaired
in haste to the town-hall. The people, who had already assembled there
in crowds, looked on with threatening eyes. Accusations of treason
burst from every mouth, and the patricians were pointed out to the
general indignation. They must have victims. "Before going to fight
against the enemy on the frontiers," said the mob, "we should defend
ourselves against those who are within our walls." Sorrow and fear
excited the minds of all. That savage instinct of the populace, which
in great calamities leads them, like a wild beast, to thirst for
blood, was violently aroused.

A hand from the midst of the crowd points out the council-hall, and a
harsh and piercing voice exclaims: "Let us chop off the heads of some
of the men who sit in these halls, and let their blood ascend to
heaven, to beg for mercy in behalf of those whom they have slain."

But this fury is nothing in comparison with that which breaks out
against the ministers, against Zwingle, and all those Christians who
were the cause (say they) of the ruin of the country. Fortunately the
sword of the Waldstettes had withdrawn them from the rage of their
fellow-citizens; nevertheless, there still remained some who could pay
for the others. Leo Juda, whom Zwingle's death was about to raise to
the head of religious affairs, had scarcely recovered from a serious
illness; it is on him they rush. They threaten, they pursue him; a few
worthy citizens carry him off and hide him in their houses. The rage
of these madmen is not appeased: they continue shouting that atonement
must be made for the slaughter at Cappel, by a still more frightful
slaughter within the very walls of the city. But God placed a curb in
the mouths of these infuriate beasts of prey, and subdued them.

On a sudden, grief succeeded to rage, and sobs choked the utterance of
the most furious. All those whose relatives had marched to Cappel,
imagine that they are among the number of the victims. Old men, women,
and children, go forth in the darkness by the glimmering light of
torches, with haggard eyes and hurried steps; and as soon as some
wounded man arrives, they question him with trembling voice about
those whom they are seeking. To some they reply: "I saw him fall close
by my side.--He was surrounded by so many enemies," they say to
others, "that there was no chance of safety for him."[1235] At these
words the distracted family drop their torches, and fill the air with
shrieks and groans.

  [1235] Dermassen umbgäben mit Tygenden, dass kein Hoffnung der rettung
  uberig. (Bull. iv. p. 163).

[Sidenote: ZWINGLE IS DEAD.]

Anna Zwingle had heard from her house the repeated discharges of
artillery. As wife and mother, she had passed in expectation many long
hours of anguish, offering fervent prayers to heaven. At length the
most terrible accounts, one after another, burst upon her.

In the midst of those whose cries of despair re-echoed along the road
to Cappel, was Oswald Myconius, who inquired with anxiety what had
become of his friend. Soon he hears one of the unfortunates who had
escaped from the massacre, relating to those around him that Zwingle
had fallen![1236].....Zwingle is no more! Zwingle is dead! The cry is
repeated: it runs through Zurich with the rapidity of lightning, and
at length reaches the unhappy widow. Anna falls on her knees. But the
loss of her husband is not enough: God has inflicted other blows.
Messengers following each other at short intervals announce to her the
death of her son Gerold of Knonau, of her brother the bailiff of
Reinhardt, of her son-in-law Antony Wirz, of John Lustchi the husband
of her dear sister, as well as of all her most intimate friends. This
woman remains alone--alone with her God; alone with her young
children, who, as they see her tears, weep also, and throw themselves
disconsolate into their mother's arms.

  [1236] Ut igitur mane videram exeuntem, ita sub noctem audio nuntium,
  pugnatum quidem acriter, tamen infeliciter, et Zwinglium nobis
  periisse. (Myc. Vit. Zw.)


On a sudden the alarm-bell rings. The council, distracted by the most
contrary opinions, has at last resolved to summon all the citizens
towards the Albis. But the sound of the tocsin re-echoing through the
darkness, the lamentable stories of the wounded, and the distressful
groans of bereaved families, still further increased the tumult. A
numerous and disorderly troop of citizens rushed along the road to
Cappel. Among them is the Valaisan, Thomas Plater. Here he meets with
a man that has but one hand,[1237]--there with others who supported
their wounded and bleeding heads with both hands;--further still is a
soldier whose bowels protrude from his body. In front of these unhappy
creatures peasants are walking with lighted torches, for the night is
very dark. Plater wishes to return; but he cannot, for sentinels
placed on the bridge over the Sihl allow persons to quit Zurich, but
permit no one to reenter.

  [1237] Ettlich kamen, hatten nur eine hand. (Libensbeschreibung
  Plateri, p. 297.)

On the morrow the news of the disgraceful treatment of Zwingle's
corpse aroused all the anger of Zurich; and his friends, uplifting
their tear-bedimmed eyes, exclaimed, "These men may fall upon his
body; they may kindle their piles, and brand his innocent
life......but he lives--this invincible hero lives in eternity, and
leaves behind him an immortal monument of glory that no flames can
destroy.[1238] God, for whose honour he has labored, even at the price
of his blood, will make his memory eternal." "And I," adds Leo Juda,
"I, upon whom he has heaped so many blessings, will endeavour, after
so many others, to defend his renown and to extol his virtues." Thus
Zurich consecrated to Zwingle a funeral oration of tears and sighs, of
gratitude and cries of anguish. Never was there a funeral speech more

  [1238] Vivit adhunc, et æternum vivit fortissimus heros. (Leonis Judæ
  exhort. ad Chr. Sect. Enchiridio Psalm. Zwinglii præmissa.)

[Sidenote: ARMY OF ZURICH.]

Zurich rallied her forces. John Steiner had collected on the Albis
some scattered fragments of the army for the defence of the pass: they
bivouacked around their fires on the summit of the mountain, and all
were in disorder. Plater, benumbed with cold (it is himself who gives
us the account), had drawn off his boots to warm his feet at the
watch-fire. On a sudden an alarm is given, the troop is hastily drawn
up, and, while Plater is getting ready, a trumpeter, who had escaped
from the battle, seizes his halberd. Plater takes it back, and
stations himself in the ranks; before him stands the trumpeter,
without hat or shoes, and armed with a long pole. Such is the army of

The chief captain Lavater rejoined the army at daybreak. Gradually
the allies came up; 1200 Grisons, under the orders of the
captain-general Frey of Zurich, 1500 Thurgovians, 600 Tockenburgers,
and other auxiliaries besides, soon formed an army of 12,000 men. All,
even children, ran to arms. The council gave orders that these young
folks[1239] should be sent back to share in the domestic duties with
the women.

  [1239] Jungen fasels, young brood. (Bull. Chr. iii. p. 176.)

Another reverse erelong augmented the desolation of the Reformed
party. While the troops of Berne, Zurich, Basle, and Bienne, amounting
to 24,000 men, were assembling at Bremgarten, the Five Cantons
intrenched themselves at Baar, near Zug. But Zwingle was wanting to
the Reformed army, and he would have been the only man capable of
inspiring them with courage. A gust of wind having thrown down a few
fir-trees in the forest where the Zurichers were encamped, and caused
the death of some of their soldiers, they failed not to see in this
the signal for fresh reverses.


Nevertheless, Frey called loudly for battle; but the Bernese
commandant Diesbach refused. Upon this the Zurich captain set off in
the night of the 23d October at the head of 4000 men of Zurich,
Schaffhausen, Basle, and St. Gall; and, while the Bernese were
sleeping quietly, he turned the Waldstettes, drove their outposts
beyond the Sihl, and took his station on the heights that overlook the
Goubel. His imprudent soldiers, believing victory to be certain,
proudly waved their banners, and then sunk into a heavy sleep. The
Waldstettes had observed all. On the 24th October, at two in the
morning, by a bright moonlight, they quitted their camp in profound
silence, leaving their fires burning, and wearing their white shirts
over their dresses that they might recognise one another in the
obscurity. Their watch-word was "Mary, the mother of God." They glided
stealthily into a pine forest, near which the Reformed troops were
encamped. The men stationed at the advanced guard of the Zurichers
having perceived the enemy, ran up to the fires to arouse their
friends, but they had scarcely reached the third fire before the
Waldstettes appeared, uttering a frightful shout.[1240]
"Har......Har......Har......Har!......Where are these impious
heretics?......Har......Har......Har......Har?" The army of the cities
at first made a vigorous resistance, and many of the white-shirts fell
covered with blood; but this did not continue long. The bravest, with
the valiant Frey at their head, having bitten the dust, the rout
became general, and 800 men were left on the field of battle.

  [1240] Mit einem grossen grusamen geschrey. (Bull. iii. p. 201.)

In the midst of these afflictions the Bernese remained stubborn and
motionless. Francis Kolb, who, notwithstanding his advanced age, had
accompanied the Bernese contingent as chaplain, reproached in a sermon
the negligence and cowardice of his party. "Your ancestors," said he,
"would have swam across the Rhine, and you--this little stream stops
you! They went to battle for a word, and you even the Gospel cannot
move. For us it only remains to commit our cause to God." Many voices
were raised against the imprudent old man, but others took up his
defence; and the captain, Jacques May, being as indignant as the aged
chaplain at the delays of his fellow-citizens, drew his sword, and
thrusting it into the folds of the Bernese banner, pricked the bear
that was represented on it, and cried out in the presence of the whole
army, "You knave, will you not show your claws?"[1241] But the bear
remained motionless.

  [1241] Bëtz, Bëtz, willt dan nicht kretzen! (Bull. iii. p. 215.)


The whole of the Reformation was compromised. Scarcely had Ferdinand
received intelligence of the death of the arch-heretic Zwingle, and of
the defeat at Cappel, than with an exclamation of joy, he forwarded
these good news to his brother the Emperor Charles the Fifth. "This is
the first of the victories destined to restore the faith," he had
written. After the defeat at the Goubel, he wrote again, saying that
if the Emperor were not so near at hand, he would not hesitate,
however weak he might be, to rush forward in person, sword in hand,
to terminate so righteous an enterprise. "Remember," said he, "that
you are the first prince in Christendom, and that you will never have
a better opportunity of covering yourself with glory. Assist the
cantons with your troops; the German sects will perish, when they are
no longer supported by heretical Switzerland."[1242]--"The more I
reflect," replied Charles, "the more I am pleased with your advice.
The imperial dignity with which I am invested, the protection that I
owe to Christendom and to public order, in a word, the safety of the
house of Austria,--everything appeals to me!"

  [1242] Quo se perdo deslar i camino para remediar las quiebras de
  nuestra fé y ser Va. Md. Senor de Allemana. (Ferdinand to Charles V.
  11th November 1531.)

Already about two thousand Italian soldiers, sent by the Pope and
commanded by the Genoese De l'Isola, had unfolded their seven
standards, and united near Zug with the army of the Five Cantons.
Auxiliary troops, diplomatic negotiations, and even missionaries to
convert the heretics, were not spared. The Bishop of Veroli arrived in
Switzerland in order to bring back the Lutherans to the Roman faith by
means of his friends and of his money.[1243] The Roman politicians
hailed the victory at Cappel as the signal of the restoration of the
Papal authority, not only in Switzerland, but throughout the whole of
Christendom.[1244] At last this presumptuous Reformation was about to
be repressed. Instead of the great deliverance of which Zwingle had
dreamt, the imperial eagle let loose by the Papacy was about to pounce
on all Europe, and strangle it in its talons. The cause of liberty had
perished on the Albis.

  [1243] Con proposita di rimóver Lutheriani dalla loro mala opinione,
  con mezzo di alcuni suoi amici e con denari. (Report of Basadonna,
  Archbishop of Venice.)

  [1244] Ranke, Deutshe Geschichte, iii. p. 867.

[Sidenote: END OF THE WAR.]

But the hopes of the Papists were vain: the cause of the Gospel,
although humbled at this moment, was destined finally to gain a
glorious victory. A cloud may hide the sun for a time: but the cloud
passes and the sun reappears. Jesus Christ is always the same, and the
gates of hell, which triumphed on the field of Cappel, cannot prevail
against his Church.

Nevertheless everything seemed advancing towards a grand catastrophe.
The Tockenburgers made peace and retired. The Thurgovians followed
them; and next the people of Gaster. The evangelical army was thus
gradually disbanded. The severity of the season was joined to these
dissensions. Continual storms of wind and rain drove the soldiers to
their homes.

Upon this the Five Cantons with the undisciplined bands of the Italian
general Isola threw themselves on the left bank of the lake of Zurich.
The alarm bell was rung on every side; the peasants retired in crowds
into the city, with their weeping wives, their frightened children,
and their cattle that filled the air with sullen lowings. A report too
was circulated that the enemy intended laying siege to Zurich. The
country-people in alarm declared that if the city refused to treat,
they would treat on their own account.


The peace party prevailed in the council; deputies were elected to
negotiate. "Above all things, preserve the Gospel, and then our
honour, as far as may be possible!" Such were their instructions. On
the 16th November, the deputies from Zurich arrived in a meadow
situated near the frontier, on the banks of the Sihl, in which the
representatives of the Five Cantons awaited them. They proceeded to
the deliberations. "In the name of the most honourable, holy, and
divine Trinity," began the treaty, "Firstly, we the people of Zurich
bind ourselves and agree to leave our trusty and well-beloved
confederates of the Five Cantons, their well-beloved co-burghers of
the Valais, and all their adherents lay and ecclesiastic, in their
true and indubitable Christian faith,[1245] renouncing all evil
intention, tricks, and stratagems. And, on our side, we of the Five
Cantons agree to leave our confederates of Zurich and their allies in
possession of their faith."[1246] At the same time, Rapperswyl,
Gaster, Wesen, Bremgarten, Mellingen, and the common bailiwicks, were
abandoned to the Five Cantons.

  [1245] By ihren wahren ungez wyfflten christenlichen glauben.
  (Tschudi, p. 247.)

  [1246] By ihren Glauben. (Tschudi, p. 247.)

Zurich had preserved its faith; and that was all. The treaty having
been read and approved of, the plenipotentiaries got off their horses,
fell upon their knees, and called upon the name of God.[1247] Then the
new captain-general of the Zurichers, Escher, a hasty and eloquent old
man, rising up, said as he turned towards the Waldstettes: "God be
praised that I can again call you my well-beloved confederates!" and
approaching them, he shook hands successively with Golder, Hug,
Troger, Rychmut, Marquart, Zellger, and Toss, the terrible victors at
Cappel. All eyes were filled with tears.[1248] Each took with
trembling hand the bottle suspended at his side, and offered a draught
to one of the chiefs of the opposite party. Shortly after a similar
treaty was concluded with Berne.

  [1247] Knuwet mencklich wider und bättet. (Bull. iii, p. 253.)

  [1248] Und luffend ihnen allen die Angen über. (Tschudi, p. 245.)

X. The restoration of Popery immediately commenced in Switzerland, and
Rome showed herself everywhere proud, exacting, and ambitious.

After the battle of Cappel, the Romish minority at Glaris had resumed
the upperhand. It marched with Schwytz against Wesen and the district
of the Gaster. On the eve of the invasion, at midnight, twelve
deputies came and threw themselves at the feet of the Schwytzer
chiefs, who were satisfied with confiscating the national banners of
these two districts, with suppressing their tribunals, annulling their
ancient liberties, and condemning some to banishment, and others to
pay a heavy fine. Next the mass, the altars, and images were
everywhere re-established, and exist until the present day.[1249] Such
was the pardon of Schwytz!

  [1249] Es würdent mäss, altär und götren vieder uff gericht. (Bull.

It was especially on Bremgarten, Mellingen, and the free bailiwicks
that the Cantons proposed to inflict a terrible vengeance. Berne
having recalled its army, Mutschli, the avoyer of Bremgarten, followed
Diesbach as far as Arau. In vain did the former remind the Bernese
that it was only according to the orders of Berne and Zurich that
Bremgarten had blockaded the Five Cantons. "Bend to circumstances,"
replied the general. On this the wretched Mutschli, turning away from
the pitiless Bernese, exclaimed, "The prophet Jeremiah has well
said,--_Cursed be he that trusteth in man!_" The Swiss and Italian
bands entered furiously into these flourishing districts, brandishing
their weapons, inflicting heavy fines on all the inhabitants,
compelling the Gospel ministers to flee, and restoring everywhere at
the point of the sword, mass, idols, and altars.

On the other side of the lake the misfortune was still greater. On the
18th November, while the Reformed of Repperschwyl were sleeping
peacefully in reliance on the treaties, an army from Schwytz silently
passed the wooden bridge nearly 2000 feet long which crosses the lake,
and was admitted into the city by the Romish party. On a sudden the
Reformed awoke at the loud pealing of the bells, and the tumultuous
voices of the Catholics: the greater part quitted the city. One of
them, however, by name Michael Wohlgemuth, barricaded his house,
placed arquebuses at every window, and repelled the attack. The
exasperated enemy brought up some heavy pieces of artillery, besieged
this extemporaneous citadel in regular form, and Wohlgemuth was soon
taken and put to death in the midst of horrible tortures.


Nowhere had the struggle been more violent than at Soleure: the two
parties were drawn up in battle-array on each side of the Aar, and the
Romanists had already discharged one ball against the opposite bank,
another was about to follow, when the avoyer Wenge, throwing himself
on the mouth of the cannon, cried out earnestly: "Fellow-citizens, let
there be no bloodshed, or else let me be your first victim!" The
astonished multitude dropped their arms; but seventy Evangelical
families were obliged to emigrate, and Soleure returned under the
Papal yoke.

The deserted cells of St. Gall, Muri, Einsideln, Wettingen, Rheinau,
St. Catherine, Hermetshwyll and Guadenthall witnessed the triumphant
return of Benedictines, Franciscans, Dominicans, and all the Romish
militia; priests and monks, intoxicated with their victory, overran
country and town, and prepared for new conquests.

The wind of adversity was blowing with fury: the Evangelical Churches
fell one after another, like the pines in the forest whose fall before
the battle of the Goubel had raised such gloomy presentiments. The
Five Cantons, full of gratitude to the Virgin, made a solemn
pilgrimage to her temple at Einsideln. The chaplains celebrated anew
their mysteries in this desolated sanctuary; the abbot, who had no
monks, sent a number of youths into Swabia to