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Title: History of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century, Vol 2
Author: D'Aubigné, J. H. Merle
Language: English
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  J'appelle accessoire, l'estat des affaires de ceste vie caduque et
  transitoire. J'appelle principal le gouvernement spirituel auquel
  reluit souverainement la providence de Dieu.--THEODORE DE BEZE.

  By _accessory_ I mean the state of affairs in this fading and
  transitory life. By _principal_ I mean the spiritual government
  in which the providence of God is sovereignly displayed.










  CHAP. I.



  Luther's Dangers--God saves Luther--The Pope sends a
  Chamberlain--The Chamberlain--Legate's Journey--Briefs of
  Rome--Circumstances favourable to the Reformation--Miltitz
  with Spalatin--Tezel's Terror--Caresses of Miltitz--A Recantation
  demanded--Luther refuses, but offers to be silent--Agreement
  between Luther and the Nuncio--The Legate's Embrace--Tezel
  overwhelmed by the Legate--Luther to the Pope--Nature of the
  Reformation--Luther against Separation--De Vio and Miltitz at
  Treves--Luther's Cause extends in different Countries--Luther's
  Writings the commencement of the Reformation.                      1


  The War seems ended in Germany--Eck Revives the Contest--Debate
  between Eck and Carlstadt--The Question of the Pope--Luther
  Replies--Alarm of Luther's Friends--Luther's Courage--Truth
  triumphs single-handed--Refusal of Duke Georges--Delight
  of Mosellanus and Fears of Erasmus.                               13


  Arrival of Eck and the Wittembergers--Amsdorff--The Students--
  Carlstadt's Accident--Placard--Eck and Luther--Pleissenburg--
  Shall Judges be appointed?--Luther objects.                       19


  The Procession--Mass--Mosellanus--Veni, Sancte Spiritus!--
  Portraits of Luther and Carlstadt--Doctor Eck--Carlstadt's
  Books--Merit of Congruity--Natural Powers--Scholastic
  Distinction--Point where Rome and the Reformation Separate--
  Grace gives Man freedom--Carlstadt's Note-Book--Commotion
  in the Auditory--Melancthon during the Debate--Manœuvres of
  Eck--Luther Preaches--The Citizens of Leipsic--Quarrels of
  Students and Quarrels of Teachers.                                24

  CHAP. V.

  Hierarchy and Rationalism--Two Peasants' Sons--Eck and Luther
  begin--The Head of the Church--The Primacy of Rome--Equality
  of Bishops--Peter the Foundation--Christ the Foundation--Eck
  insinuates that Luther is a Hussite--Luther on the Doctrine
  of Huss--Agitation in the Audience--Pleasantry of Dr. Eck--The
  Word alone--The Court Fool--Luther at Mass--Saying of
  the Duke--Purgatory--Close of the Discussion.                     33


  Interest felt by the Laity--Luther's Opinion--Admissions and
  Boastings of Dr. Eck--Effects of the Discussion--Poliander--
  Cellarius--The Young Prince of Anhalt--The Students of Leipsic--
  Cruciger--Calling of Melancthon--Emancipation of Luther.          42


  Eck attacks Melancthon--Melancthon's Defence--Interpretation of
  Scripture--Luther's Firmness--The Bohemian Brethren--Emser--
  Staupitz.                                                         47


  Epistle to the Galatians--Christ for us--Blindness of Luther's
  Adversaries--First Ideas on the Supper--Is the Sacrament
  Sufficient without Faith?--Luther a Bohemian--Eck Attacked--Eck
  sets out for Rome.                                                50




  CHAP. I.

  Character of Maximilian--The Competitors for the Empire--
  Charles--Francis I--Inclination of the Germans--The Crown
  offered to Frederick--Charles is Elected.                         55


  Luther writes to the Emperor--Luther's Dangers--Instructions of
  Frederick to the Court of Rome--Luther's Sentiments--Melancthon's
  Fears--The German Nobles favourable to the Reformation--
  Schaumburg--Seckingen--Ulric de Hutten--Luther's Confidence--
  Luther's Greater Freedom--Faith the Source of Works--What
  Faith gives--Luther Judging his own Writings.                     59


  The Papacy Attacked--Appeal to the Nobility--The Three Walls--All
  Christians are Priests--The Magistrate's duty to Correct
  the Clergy--Abuses of Rome--Ruin of Italy--Dangers of Germany--
  The Pope--The Legates--The Monks--The Marriage of
  Priests--Celibacy--Festivals--The Bohemians--Charity--The
  Universities--The Empire--The Emperor must retake Rome--A
  Book not Published--Luther's Modesty--Success of the Address.     65


  Preparations at Rome--Motives to resist the Papacy--Eck at Rome--
  Eck gains the Day--The Pope is the World--God produces
  the Separation--A Swiss Priest pleads for Luther--The Roman
  Consistory--Preamble of the Bull--Condemnation of Luther.        74

  CHAP. V.

  Wittemberg--Melancthon--His Marriage--Catharine--Domestic
  Life--Beneficence--Good Humour--Christ and Antiquity--Labour--
  Love of Letters--His Mother--Outbreak among the Students.         80


  The Gospel in Italy--Discourse on the Mass--The Babylonish
  Captivity of the Church--Baptism--Abolition of Vows--Progress
  of the Reformation.                                               84


  New Negotiations--Miltitz and the Augustins of Eisleben--
  Deputation to Luther--Miltitz and the Elector--Conference at
  Lichtemberg--Luther's Letter to the Pope--Book presented to the
  Pope--Union of the Believer with Christ--Freedom and Bondage.     88


  The Bull in Germany--Eck's Reception--The Bull at Wittemberg--
  Interposition of Zuinglius.                                       95


  Luther Examines himself in the presence of God--Luther's opinion
  of the Bull--A Neutral Family--Luther on the Bull, and against
  the Bull of Antichrist--The Pope prohibits Faith--Effects of the
  Bull--The Faggot Pile of Louvain.                                 99

  CHAP. X.

  Decisive steps by the Reformer--Luther's Appeal to a General
  Council--Struggle at close quarters--The Bull burned by Luther--
  Meaning of this bold act--Luther in the Academic Chair--Luther
  against the Pope--New Work by Melancthon--How Luther encourages
  his Friends--Progress of the Contest--Melancthon's Opinion of
  the timid--Luther's work on the Bible--Doctrine of Grace--
  Luther's Recantation.                                            104


  Coronation of Charles V--The Nuncio Aleander--Will Luther's
  Books be burnt?--Aleander and the Emperor--The Nuncios and
  the Elector--The Son of Duke John pleads for Luther--Luther's
  Calmness--The Elector protects Luther--Reply of the Nuncios--
  Erasmus at Cologne--Erasmus With the Elector--Declaration of
  Erasmus--Advice of Erasmus--System of Charles V.                 112


  Luther on Confession--True Absolution--Antichrist--Rally around
  Luther--Satires--Ulric von Hutten--Lucas Cranach--The Carnival
  at Wittemberg--Staupitz Intimidated--Luther's Labours--Luther's
  Humility--Progress of the Reformation.                           120



  1521. (JANUARY-MAY.)

  CHAP. I.

  Conquest by the Word of God--The Diet of Worms--Difficulties--
  Charles demands Luther--The Elector to Charles--State of Men's
  Minds--Aleander's Alarm--The Elector sets out without Luther--
  Aleander awakens Rome--Excommunication of the Pope, and
  Communion with Christ--Fulmination of the Bull--Luther's
  Motives in the Reformation.                                      128


  A Foreign Prince--Advice of Politicians--Conference between the
  Confessor and the Elector's Chancellor--Uselessness of these
  Manœuvres--Aleander's Activity--Luther's Sayings--Charles
  gives in to the Pope.                                            135


  Aleander admitted to the Diet--Aleander's Address--Luther
  accused--Rome defended--Appeal to Charles against Luther--
  Effect of the Nuncio's Address.                                  141


  Sentiments of the Princes--Speech of Duke George--Character of
  the Reformation--A Hundred and one Grievances--Charles Yields--
  Tactics of Aleander--The Grandees of Spain--Luther's Peace--
  Death and not Retractation.                                      145

  CHAP. V.

  Will a Safe-conduct be given?--Safe-conduct--Will Luther go?--
  Holy Thursday at Rome--The Pope and Luther.                      151


  Luther's courage--Bugenhagen at Wittemberg--Persecutions in
  Pomerania--Melancthon wishes to set out with Luther--Amsdorff--
  Schurff--Suaven--Hutten to Charles V.                            156


  Departure for the Diet of Worms--Luther's Adieu--His
  Condemnation Published--Cavalcade near Erfurt--Meeting of
  Jonas and Luther--Luther in his old Convent--Luther Preaches
  at Erfurt--Incident--Faith and Works--Concourse of People--
  Luther's Courage--Luther to Spalatin--Halt at Frankfort--Fears
  at Worms--Plan of the Imperialists--Luther's Firmness.           160


  Entry into Worms--Chant for the Dead--Council held by Charles
  V--Capito and the Temporisers--Concourse around Luther--
  Citation--Hutten to Luther--Proceeds to the Diet--Saying of
  Freundsberg--Imposing Assembly--The Chancellor's Address--
  Luther's Reply--His Wisdom--Saying of Charles V--Alarm--
  Triumph--Luther's Firmness--Insults from the Spaniards--
  Council--Luther's Trouble and Prayer--Might of the
  Reformation--Luther's Oath to Scripture--The Court of the
  Diet--Luther's Address--Three kinds of Writings--He demands
  Proof of his Error--Solemn Warnings--He Repeats his Address
  in Latin--Here I am: I can't do otherwise--The "weakness" of
  God--New Attempt.                                                168


  Victory--Tumult and Calm--Duke Errick's Glass of Beer--The
  Elector and Spalatin--Message from the Emperor--Wish to violate
  the Safe-conduct--Strong Opposition--Enthusiasm for Luther--Voice
  for Conciliation--The Elector's Fear--Assemblage at Luther's
  Lodgings--Philip of Hesse.                                       184

  CHAP. X.

  Conference with the Archbishop of Treves--Wehe's Advice to
  Luther--Luther's Replies--Private Conversation--Visit of
  Cochlœus--Supper at the Archbishop's--Attempt on the Hotel
  of Rhodes--A Council proposed--Last Interview between Luther and
  the Archbishop--Visit to a sick Friend--Luther ordered to quit
  Worms.                                                           190


  Luther's Departure--Journey from Worms--Luther to Cranach--
  Luther to Charles V--Luther with the Abbot of Hirschfeld--The
  Curate of Eisenach--Several Princes leave the Diet--Charles signs
  Luther's Condemnation--The Edict of Worms--Luther with his
  Parents--Luther attacked and carried off--The ways of God--
  Wartburg--Luther a Prisoner.                                     198




  CHAP. I.

  Movements in Switzerland--Source of the Reformation--Democratic
  Character--Foreign Service--Morality--The Tockenburg--An
  Alpine Hut--A Pastoral Family.                                   206


  Young Ulric at Wesen--At Bale--At Berne--The Dominican
  Convent--Jetzer--The Apparitions--The Passion of the Lay
  Brother--The Imposture--Discovery and Punishment--Zuinglius
  at Vienna--At Bale--Music at Bale--Wittembach teaches the
  Gospel--Leo Juda--The Curate of Glaris.                          211


  Love of War--Schinner--Pension from the Pope--The Labyrinth--
  Zuinglius in Italy--Principle of Reform--Zuinglius and Luther--
  Zuinglius and Erasmus--Zuinglius and the Elders--Paris and
  Glaris.                                                          217


  Zuinglius in regard to Erasmus--Oswald Myconius--The Vagrants--
  Œcolampadius--Zuinglius at Marignan--Zuinglius and Italy--
  Method of Zuinglius--Commencement of Reform--Discovery.          223

  CHAP. V.

  Meinrad of Hohenzollern--Our Lady of Einsidlen--Calling of
  Zuinglius--The Abbot--Geroldsek--Companionship in Study--The
  Bible Copied--Zuinglius and Superstition--First Opposition to
  Error--Sensation--Hedio--Zuinglius and the Legates--The
  Honours of Rome--The Bishop of Constance--Samson and
  Indulgences--Stapfer--Charity of Zuinglius--His Friends.         229


  Zurich--The College of Canons--Election to the Cathedral--
  Fable's Accusations--Confession of Zuinglius--The Designs
  of God Unfolded--Farewell to Einsidlen--Arrival at Zurich--
  Courageous Declaration of Zuinglius--First Sermons--Effects--
  Opposition--Character of Zuinglius--Taste for Music--Arrangement
  of the Day--Circulation by Hawkers.                              237


  Indulgences--Samson at Berne--Samson at Baden--The Dean of
  Bremgarten--Young Henry Bullinger--Samson and the Dean--Internal
  Struggles of Zuinglius--Zuinglius against Indulgences--Samson
  Dismissed.                                                       246


  The Labours of Zuinglius--The Baths of Pfeffers--God's time--The
  Great Death--Zuinglius seized with the Plague--His Enemies--His
  Friends--Convalescence--General Joy--Effect of the Plague--
  Myconius at Lucerne--Oswald encourages Zuinglius--Zuinglius at
  Bale--Capito called to Mentz--Hedio at Bale--An Unnatural
  Son--Preparation for Battle.                                     251


  The Two Reformers--The Fall of Man--Expiation of the God-Man--
  No Merit in Works--Objections refuted--Power of Love to
  Christ--Election--Christ alone Master--Effects of this
  Preaching--Despondency and Courage--First Act of the
  Magistrate--Church and State--Attacks--Galster.                  260

  CHAP. X.

  A new Combatant--The Reformer of Berne--Zuinglius encourages
  Haller--The Gospel at Lucerne--Oswald Persecuted--Preaching
  of Zuinglius--Henry Bullinger and Gerold of Knonau--Rubli at
  Bale--The Chaplain of the Hospital--War in Italy--Zuinglius--
  Foreign Service.                                                 267


  Zuinglius against the Precepts of Man--Fermentation during
  Lent--Truth advances during Combat--The Deputies of the
  Bishops--Accusation before the Clergy and Council--Appeal to
  the Great Council--The Coadjutor and Zuinglius--Decree of the
  Grand Council--State of Matters--Attack by Hoffman.              273


  Grief and Joy in Germany--Ambush against Zuinglius--Mandate
  of the Bishop--Archeteles--The Bishop addresses the Diet--
  rohibition to attack the Monks--Declaration of Zuinglius--The
  Nuns of Œtenbach--Zuinglius' Address to Schwitz.              279


  A French Monk--He Teaches in Switzerland--Dispute between the
  Monk and Zuinglius--Discourse of the Leader of the Johannites--
  The Carnival at Berne--The Eaters of the Dead--The
  Skull of St. Anne--Appenzel--The Grisons--Murder and Adultery--
  Marriage of Zuinglius.                                           284


  How Truth Triumphs--Society at Einsidlen--Request to the
  Bishops--To the Confederates--The Men of Einsidlen
  Separate--A Scene in a Convent--A Dinner by Myconius--The
  Strength of the Reformers--Effect of the Petitions to Lucerne--
  The Council of the Diet--Haller at the Town-House--Friburg--
  Destitution of Oswald--Zuinglius comforts him--Oswald quits
  Lucerne--First Severity of the Diet--Consternation of the
  Brothers of Zuinglius--His Resolution--The Future--The Prayer
  of Zuinglius.                                                    293







     Luther's Dangers--God saves Luther--The Pope sends a
     Chamberlain--The Legate's Journey--Briefs of
     Rome--Circumstances favourable to the Reformation--Miltitz
     with Spalatin--Tezel's Terror--Caresses of Miltitz--A
     Recantation demanded--Luther refuses, but offers to be
     silent--Agreement between Luther and the Nuncio--The
     Legate's Embrace--Tezel overwhelmed by the Legate--Luther to
     the Pope--Nature of the Reformation--Luther against
     Separation--De Vie and Miltitz at Trèves--Luther's cause
     extends in different countries--Luther's writings the
     commencement of the Reformation.

Dangers had gathered round Luther and the Reformation. The doctor of
Wittemberg's appeal to a General Council was a new attack on papal
authority. By a bull of Pius II, the greater excommunication had been
denounced even against emperors who should dare to incur the guilt of
such a revolt. Frederick of Saxony, as yet imperfectly confirmed in
evangelical doctrine, was prepared to send Luther away from his
states;[1] and hence a new message from Leo might have thrown the
Reformer among strangers, who would be afraid to compromise themselves
by receiving a monk whom Rome had anathematised. And even should the
sword of some noble be drawn in his defence, mere knights, unable to
cope with the powerful princes of Germany, must soon have succumbed in
the perilous enterprise.

  [1] Letter of the Elector to his envoy at Rome, (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p.


But at the moment when all the courtiers of Leo X were urging him to
rigorous measures, and when one blow more might have placed his
adversary in his hands, the pope suddenly changed his course to one
of conciliation and apparent mildness.[2] It may be said, no doubt,
that he was under a delusion as to the Elector's feelings, and deemed
them more decided in Luther's favour than they really were. It may
also be admitted that the public voice and the spirit of the age,
powers which at this time were altogether new, seemed to throw an
impregnable barrier around the Reformer. It may even be supposed, with
one of Leo's biographers,[3] that he followed the promptings of his
mind and heart which inclined to gentleness and moderation. Still this
new mode of action on the part of Rome, at such a moment, is so
extraordinary that it is impossible not to recognise in it a higher
and mightier hand.

  [2] "Rationem agendi prorsus oppositam inire statuit," (Pallavicini,
  Hist. Conc. Trid. T. i, p. 51).

  [3] Roscoe's Life of Leo X.

There was then at the Court of Rome a Saxon noble who was chamberlain
to the pope and canon of Mentz, Trèves, and Meissen. He had turned his
talents to advantage. As he boasted of being, in some degree, allied
to the Saxon princes, the Roman courtiers sometimes designated him by
the title of Duke of Saxony. In Italy he made an absurd display of his
German nobility, while in Germany he aped the manners and polish of
the Italians. He was given to wine[4]--a vice which his residence at
the Court of Rome had increased. Still the Roman courtiers hoped great
things from him. His German extraction--his insinuating address--and
his ability in negotiation--all led them to expect that Charles de
Miltitz (this was his name) would, by his prudence, succeed in
arresting the mighty revolution which was threatening to shake the

  [4] Nec ab usu immoderato vini abstinuit, (Pallavicini Hist. Conc.
  Trid. i, p. 69).

It was of importance to conceal the true object of the chamberlain's
mission, and in this there was no difficulty. Four years before, the
pious Elector had applied to the pope for the golden rose. This rose,
the fairest of flowers, was emblematic of the body of Jesus Christ,
and being annually consecrated by the sovereign pontiff, was presented
to one of the first princes in Europe. On this occasion it was
resolved to send it to the Elector. Miltitz set out with a commission
to examine into the state of affairs, and to gain over the Elector's
counsellors, Spalatin and Pfeffinger, for whom he had special letters.
Rome hoped that, by securing the favour of the persons about the
prince, she would soon become mistress of her formidable adversary.


The new legate, who arrived in Germany in December 1518, was careful
as he came along to ascertain the state of public opinion. To his
great astonishment he observed, at every place where he stopped, that
the majority of the inhabitants were friendly to the Reformation,[5]
and spoke of Luther with enthusiasm. For one person favourable to the
pope, there were three favourable to the Reformer.[6] Luther has
preserved an anecdote of the journey--"What think you of the see
(seat) of Rome?" frequently asked the legate at the mistresses of the
inns and their maidservants. One day, one of these poor women, with
great simplicity, replied--"How can we know what kind of seats you
have at Rome, and whether they are of wood or stone?"[7]

  [5] "Sciscitatus per viam Miltitxius quanam esset in æstimatione
  Lutherus ... sensit de eo cum admiratione homines loqui."
  (Pallavicini, Hist. Concil. Trid. Tom. i, p. 51.)

  [6] "Ecce ubi unum pro papa stare inveni, tres pro te contra papam
  stabant." (L. Op. Lat. in Præf.)

  [7] Quid nos scire possumus quales vos Romæ habeatis sellas, ligneasne
  an lapideas (Ibid.)

The mere rumour of the new legate's arrival filled the Elector's
court, the university, the town of Wittemberg, and all Saxony, with
suspicion and distrust. "Thank God," wrote Melancthon, in alarm,[8]
"Martin still breathes." It was confidently stated that the Roman
chamberlain had received orders to possess himself of Luther's person,
by force or fraud; and the doctor was advised, on all hands, to be on
his guard against the stratagems of Miltitz. "His object in coming,"
said they, "is to seize you and give you up to the pope. Persons
worthy of credit have seen the briefs of which he is the bearer." "I
await the will of God," replied Luther.[9]

  [8] "Martinus noster, Deo gratias, adhuc spirat." (Corpus
  Reformatorum. Edidit Bretschneider, I,61.)

  [9] Expecto consilium Dei. (L. Ep. i, p. 191.)

In fact, Miltitz brought letters addressed to the Elector and his
counsellors, to the bishops and to the burgomaster of Wittemberg. He
was also provided with seventy apostolic briefs. Should the flattery
and the favours of Rome attain their object, and Frederick deliver
Luther into her hands, these seventy briefs were to serve as a kind of
passports. He was to produce and post up one of them in each of the
towns through which he had to pass, and hoped he might thus succeed in
dragging his prisoner, without opposition, all the way to Rome.[10]

  [10] Per singula oppida affigeret unum, et ita tutus me perduceret
  Romam. (L. Op. Lat. in Præf.)

The pope seemed to have taken every precaution. The electoral court
knew not well what course to take. Violence would have been resisted,
but the difficulty was to oppose the chief of Christianity, when
speaking with so much mildness, and apparently with so much reason.
Would it not be the best plan, it was said, to place Luther somewhere
in concealment until the storm was over?... An unexpected event
relieved Luther, the Elector, and the Reformation, from this difficult
situation. The aspect of affairs suddenly changed.


On the 12th of January, 1519, Maximilian, the Emperor of Germany,
died, and Frederick of Saxony, agreeably to the Germanic constitution,
became regent of the empire. From this time the Elector feared not the
schemes of nuncios, while new interests began to engross the court of
Rome--interests which, obliging her to be chary of giving offence to
Frederick, arrested the blow which Miltitz and De Vio were undoubtedly

The pope earnestly desired to prevent Charles of Austria, already King
of Naples, from ascending the imperial throne. A neighbouring king
appeared to him more formidable than a German monk; and in his anxiety
to secure the Elector, who might be of essential service to him in the
matter, he resolved to give some respite to the monk that he might be
the better able to oppose the king. Both, however, advanced in spite
of him.

In addition to the change thus produced in Leo, there was another
circumstance which tended to avert the storm impending over the
Reformation. The death of the emperor was immediately followed by
political commotions. In the south of the empire the Swabian
confederation sought to punish Ulric of Wurtemberg, for his infidelity
to it, while in the south, the Bishop of Hildesheim proceeded, sword
in hand, to invade the bishopric of Minden, and the territories of the
Duke of Brunswick. How could men in power, amid such disturbances,
attach any importance to a dispute relating to the remission of sins?
But, above all, the reputation for wisdom enjoyed by the Elector, now
regent of the empire, and the protection which he gave to the new
teachers, were made subservient by Providence to the progress of the
Reformation. "The tempest," says Luther, "intermitted its fury, and
papal excommunication began to fall into contempt. The gospel, under
the shade of the Elector's regency, spread far and wide, and in this
way great damage was sustained by the papacy."[11]

  [11] "Tunc desiit paululum sævire tempestas...." (L. Op. Lat. in

Moreover, the severest prohibitions were naturally mitigated during an
interregnum. In every thing there was more freedom and greater
facility of action. Liberty which began to shed its rays on the infant
Reformation, rapidly developed the still tender plant, and any one
might have been able to predict how favourable political freedom would
prove to the progress of evangelical Christianity.


Miltitz, having arrived in Saxony before the death of Maximilian, lost
no time in visiting his old friend Spalatin; but no sooner did he
begin his complaint against Luther than the chaplain made an attack
upon Tezel, acquainting the nuncio with the lies and blasphemies of
the vender of indulgences, and assuring him that all Germany blamed
the Dominican for the division which was rending the Church.

Miltitz was taken by surprise. Instead of accuser he had become the
accused. Turning all his wrath upon Tezel, he summoned him to appear
at Altenburg and give an account of his conduct.

The Dominican, as great a coward as a bully, and afraid of the people
whom he had provoked by his impostures, had ceased his peregrinations
over town and country, and was living in retirement in the college of
St. Paul. He grew pale on receiving the letter of Miltitz. Even Rome
is abandoning, threatening, and condemning him--is insisting on
dragging him from the only asylum in which he feels himself in safety,
and exposing him to the fury of his enemies.... Tezel refused to obey
the nuncio's summons. "Assuredly," wrote he to Miltitz, on the 31st of
December, 1518, "I would not regard the fatigues of the journey if I
could leave Leipsic without endangering my life; but the Augustin,
Martin Luther, has so stirred up men in power, and incensed them
against me that I am not in safety any where. A great number of
Luther's partizans have conspired my death, and therefore I cannot
possibly come to you."[12] There was a striking contrast between the
two men, the one of whom was then living in the college of St. Paul at
Leipsic, and the other in the cloister of the Augustins at Wittemberg.
In presence of danger the servant of God displayed intrepid
courage--the servant of men despicable cowardice.

  [12] Löscher, ii, 567.

Miltitz had orders, in the first instance, to employ the arms of
persuasion; and it was only in the event of failure that he was to
produce his seventy briefs, and at the same time endeavour, by all the
favours of Rome, to induce the Elector to put down Luther. He
accordingly expressed a desire to have an interview with the Reformer.
Their common friend, Spalatin, offered his house for this purpose, and
Luther left Wittemberg on the 2nd or 3rd of January to repair to

At this interview Miltitz exhausted all the address of a diplomatist
and a Roman courtier. The moment Luther arrived the nuncio approached
him with great demonstrations of friendship. "O," thought Luther, "how
completely his violence is turned into gentleness! This new Saul came
into Germany provided with more than seventy apostolic briefs to carry
me alive and in chains to murderous Rome, but the Lord has cast him
down on the way."[13]

  [13] Sed per viam a Domino prostratus ... mutavit violentiam in
  benevolentiam fallacissime simulatam. (L. Ep. i, p. 206.)


"Dear Martin," said the pope's chamberlain to him in a coaxing tone,
"I thought you were an old theologian sitting quietly behind your
stove, and stuffed with theological crotchets; but I see that you are
still young, and in the full vigour of life.[14] Do you know,"
continued he in a more serious tone, "that you have stirred up the
whole world against the pope and attached it to yourself?"[15] Miltitz
was aware that to flatter men's pride is the most effectual mode of
seducing them; but he knew not the man with whom he had to do. "Had I
an army of twenty-five thousand men," added he, "assuredly I would not
undertake to seize you and carry you off to Rome."[16] Rome,
notwithstanding of her power, felt herself feeble in presence of a
poor monk, and the monk felt strong in presence of Rome. "God," said
Luther, "arrests the billows of the ocean at the shore, and arrests
them ... by the sand."[17]

  [14] O Martine, ego credebam et esse senem aliquem theologum, qui post
  fornacem sedens.... (L. Op. Lat. in Præf.)

  [15] Quod orbem totum mihi conjunxerim et papæ abstraxerim. (L. Ep. i,
  p. 231.)

  [16] Si haberem 25 millia armatorum, non confiderem te posse a me
  Romam perduci. (L. Op. Lat. in Præf.)

  [17] L. Op. (W.) xxii.

The nuncio, thinking he had thus prepared the mind of his opponent,
continued as follows: "Do you yourself bind up the wound which you
have inflicted on the Church, and which you alone can cure." "Beware,"
added he, letting a few tears fall, "beware of raising a tempest,
which would bring ruin on Christendom."[18] He then began gradually to
insinuate that a recantation was the only remedy for the evil; but he
at the same time softened the offensiveness of the term by giving
Luther to understand that he had the highest esteem for him, and by
expressing his indignation at Tezel. The net was laid by a skilful
hand, and how was it possible to avoid being taken in it? "Had the
Archbishop of Mentz spoken thus to me at the outset," said the
Reformer afterwards, "this affair would not have made so much

  [18] Profusis lacrymis ipsum oravit, ne tam perniciosam Christiano
  generi tempestatem cieret. (Pallavicini, i, 52.)

  [19] Non evasisset res in tantum tumultum. (L. Op. Lat. in Præf.)

Luther then replied. With calmness, but also with dignity and force,
he stated the just grievances of the Church; expressed all the
indignation he felt at the Archbishop of Mentz, and nobly complained
of the unworthy treatment he had received from Rome, notwithstanding
of the purity of his intentions. Miltitz, though he had not expected
this firm language, was able, however, to conceal his wrath.


Luther resumed, "I offer to be silent in future as to these matters,
and let the affair die out of itself,[20] provided my opponents also
are silent; but if they continue to attack me, a petty quarrel will
soon beget a serious combat. My armour is quite ready. I will do still
more," added he, after a momentary pause, "I will write his Holiness,
acknowledging that I have been somewhat too violent, and declaring
that it was as a faithful child of the Church I combated harangues
which subjected her to mockery and insult from the people. I even
consent to publish a document in which I will request all who read my
books not to see any thing in them adverse to the Roman Church, but to
remain subject to her. Yes: I am disposed to do every thing and bear
every thing; but as to retractation never expect it from me."

  [20] Und die Sache sich zu Tode bluten. (L. Ep. i, 207.)

Luther's decided tone convinced Miltitz that the wisest course was to
appear satisfied with the promise which the Reformer had just made,
and he merely proposed that an archbishop should be appointed arbiter
to decide certain points which might come under discussion. "Be it
so," said Luther, "but I am much afraid that the pope will not consent
to have a judge. In that case no more will I accept the judgment of
the pope, and then the strife will begin anew. The pope will give out
the text, and I will make the commentary."

Thus terminated the first interview between Luther and Miltitz. They
had a second, in which the truce, or rather peace, was signed. Luther
immediately informed the Elector of what had passed. "Most serene
prince and very gracious lord," wrote he, "I hasten very humbly to
inform your Electoral Highness, that Charles de Miltitz and I have at
length agreed, and have terminated the affair by means of the two
following articles:--

     "1st, Both parties are forbidden to preach or write, or to
     do any thing further in reference to the dispute which has

     "2ndly, Miltitz will immediately acquaint the holy father
     with the state of matters. His holiness will order an
     enlightened bishop to enquire into the affair, and specify
     the erroneous articles which I am required to retract. If I
     am found to be in error, I will retract willingly, and never
     more do any thing that may be prejudicial to the honour or
     the authority of the holy Roman Church."[21]

  [21] L. Ep. i, 209.

The agreement being thus made, Miltitz appeared quite delighted. "For
a hundred years," exclaimed he, "no affair has given the cardinals and
Roman courtiers more anxiety than this. They would have given ten
thousand ducats sooner than consent to its longer continuance."[22]

  [22] "Ab integro jam sæculo nullum negotium Ecclesiæ contigisse quod
  majorem illi sollicitudinem incussisset." (Pallavicini, Tom. i, p.


The chamberlain of the pope made a great show of feeling before the
monk of Wittemberg. Sometimes he expressed joy, at other times shed
tears. This display of sensibility made little impression on the
Reformer, but he refrained from showing what he thought of it. "I
looked as if I did not understand what was meant by these crocodile
tears,"[23] said he. The crocodile is said to weep when it cannot
seize its prey.

  [23] "Ego dissimulabam has crocodili lacrymas a me intelligi." (L. Ep.
  i, 216.)

Luther having accepted an invitation to supper from Miltitz, the host
laid aside the stiffness attributed to his office, while Luther gave
full scope to his natural gaiety. It was a joyous repast,[24] and when
the parting hour arrived, the legate took the heretical doctor in his
arms and kissed him.[25] "A Judas kiss," thought Luther, "I
pretended," wrote he to Staupitz, "not to comprehend all these Italian

  [24] "Atque vesperi, me accepto, convivio lætati sumus." (Ibid. 231.)

  [25] "Sic amice discessimus etiam cum osculo; (Judæ scilicet.)" (Ibid.

  [26] Has Italitates. (L. Ep. i, 231.)

Was this then to be in truth the kiss of reconciliation between Rome
and the dawning Reformation? Miltitz hoped so, and rejoiced at it, for
he had a nearer view than the courtiers of Rome of the fearful results
which the Reformation might produce in regard to the papacy. If Luther
and his opponents are silent, said he to himself, the dispute will be
ended, and Rome by availing herself of favourable circumstances will
regain all her ancient influence. It thus seemed that the debate was
drawing to a close: Rome had stretched out her arms and Luther had
apparently thrown himself into them; but the Reformation was the work
not of man but of God. The error of Rome consisted in seeing the
quarrel of a monk where she ought to have seen an awakening of the
Church. The revival of Christendom was not to be arrested by the
kisses of a pope's chamberlain.


Miltitz, in fulfilment of the agreement which he had just concluded,
proceeded from Altenburg to Leipsic, where Tezel was residing. There
was no occasion to shut Tezel's mouth, for, sooner than speak, he
would, if it had been possible, have hidden himself in the bowels of
the earth; but the nuncio was determined to discharge his wrath upon
him. Immediately on his arrival at Leipsic Miltitz summoned the
unhappy Tezel before him, loaded him with reproaches, accused him of
being the author of the whole mischief, and threatened him with the
pope's displeasure.[27] Nor was this all: the agent of the house of
Fugger, who was then at Leipsic, was confronted with him. Miltitz laid
before the Dominican the accounts of that house, together with papers
which he himself had signed, and proved that he had squandered or
stolen considerable sums. The poor wretch, who had stickled at nothing
in his day of glory, was overwhelmed by the justice of these
accusations: despair seized him, his health gave way, and he knew not
where to hide his shame. Luther heard of the miserable condition of
his old enemy, and was the only person who felt for him. In a letter
to Spalatin he says, "I pity Tezel."[28] Nor did he confine himself to
such expressions. He had hated not the man but his misconduct, and, at
the moment when Rome was pouring out her wrath upon him, wrote him in
the most consolatory terms. But all was to no purpose. Tezel, stung by
remorse, alarmed at the reproaches of his best friends, and dreading
the anger of the pope, not long after died miserably, and as was
supposed of a broken heart.[29]

  [27] Verbis minisque pontificiis ita fregit hominem, hactenus
  terribilem cunctis et imperterritum stentorem. (L. Op. in Præf.)

  [28] Doleo Tetzelium. (L. Ep. i, p. 223.)

  [29] Sed conscientia indignitate Papæ forte occulruit. (L. Op. in

Luther, in fulfilment of his promises to Miltitz, on the 3rd of March
wrote the following letter to the pope:--

     "Blessed Father! will your Blessedness deign to turn your
     paternal ears, which are like those of Christ himself,
     towards your poor sheep and kindly listen to its bleat. What
     shall I do, Most Holy Father! I am unable to bear the
     fierceness of your anger, and know not how to escape from
     it. I am asked to retract, and would hasten to do so could
     it lead to the end which is proposed by it. But, owing to
     the persecutions of my enemies, my writings have been
     circulated far and wide, and are too deeply engraven on
     men's hearts to be effaced. A recantation would only add to
     the dishonour of the Church of Rome, and raise an universal
     cry of accusation against her. Most Holy Father! I declare
     before God and all his creatures, that I have never wished,
     and do not now wish, either by force or guile, to attack the
     authority of the Roman Church or of your Holiness. I
     acknowledge that there is nothing in heaven or on the earth
     which ought to be put above this Church, unless it be Jesus
     Christ the Lord of all."[30]

  [30] Præter unum Jesum Christum Dominum omnium. (L. Ep. i, p. 234.)

These words might seem strange and even reprehensible in the mouth of
Luther, did we not reflect that the light did not break in upon him
all at once, but by slow and progressive steps. They show, and this is
very important, that the Reformation was not simply an opposition to
the papacy. Its accomplishment was not effected by warring against
this or that form, or by means of this or that negative tendency.
Opposition to the pope was only one of its secondary features. Its
creating principle was a new life, a positive doctrine--"Jesus Christ,
the Lord of all and paramount to all--to Rome herself," as Luther says
in the conclusion of his letter. To this principle the revolution of
the 16th century is truly to be ascribed.


It is probable that at an earlier period a letter from the monk of
Wittemberg, positively refusing to retract, would not have been
allowed by the pope to pass without animadversion. But Maximilian was
dead, the topic of engrossing interest was the election of his
successor, and amid the political intrigues which then agitated the
pontifical city, Luther's letter was overlooked.

The Reformer was employing his time to better purpose than his
powerful antagonist. While Leo X, engrossed by his interests as a
temporal prince, was straining every nerve to prevent a dreaded
neighbour from reaching the Imperial throne, Luther was daily growing
in knowledge and in faith. He studied the Decretals of the popes, and
made discoveries which greatly modified his views. Writing Spalatin he
says, "I am reading the Decretals of the popes, and, let me say it in
your ear, I know not whether the pope is Antichrist himself or only
his apostle;[31] to such a degree in these Decretals is Christ
outraged and crucified."

  [31] Nescio an Papa sit Antichristus ipse vel apostolus ejus. (L. Ep.
  i, 239.)

Still he continued to respect the ancient Church of Rome, and had no
thought of separating from her. "Let the Roman Church," said he in the
explanation which he had promised Miltitz to publish, "be honoured of
God above all others. On this point there cannot be a doubt. St.
Peter, St. Paul, forty-six popes, and several hundred thousand
martyrs, have shed their blood in her bosom, and there vanquished hell
and the world, so that the eye of God specially rests upon her.
Although every thing about her is now in a very sad condition that is
no ground for separating from her. On the contrary the worse things
are, the more firmly we should cling to her. Our separation is not the
means by which she can be improved. We must not abandon God because
there is a devil; nor the children of God who are still at Rome,
because the majority are wicked. No sin, no wickedness, can justify us
in destroying charity or violating unity; for charity can do all
things, and nothing is difficult to unity."[32]

  [32] L. Op. (L.) xvii, 224.

It was not Luther that separated from Rome, but Rome that separated
from Luther, and by so doing rejected the ancient catholic faith of
which he was then the representative. Nor was it Luther that deprived
Rome of her power and compelled her bishop to descend from an usurped
throne. The doctrines which he announced, the doctrine of the
Apostles, again divinely proclaimed throughout the Church with great
force and admirable purity, alone could prevail against a power by
which the Church had for ages been enslaved.


These declarations, which Luther published at the end of February, did
not fully satisfy Miltitz and De Vio. These two vultures, after both
missing their prey, had retired within the ancient walls of Trèves.
There, seconded by the Prince-archbishop, they hoped jointly to
accomplish the object in which they had failed individually. The two
nuncios were aware that nothing more was to be expected from
Frederick, now invested with supreme power in the empire. They saw
that Luther persisted in his refusal of retractation. The only plan,
therefore, was to withdraw the heretical monk from the protection of
the Elector, and entice him into their own neighbourhood. If the
Reformer were once in Trèves, in a state subject to a prince of the
Church, he would be dexterous indeed if he got away without giving
full satisfaction to the sovereign pontiff. The scheme was immediately
proceeded with. "Luther," said Miltitz to the Elector-archbishop of
Trèves, "has accepted your Grace as arbiter; call him therefore before
you." The Elector of Trèves accordingly (3rd May) wrote to the Elector
of Saxony, and requested him to send Luther. De Vio, and afterwards
Miltitz himself, also wrote, announcing that the rose of gold had
arrived at Augsburg, at the house of Fugger. Now, thought they, is the
moment to strike the decisive blow.

But things were changed, and neither Frederick nor Luther felt
alarmed. The Elector, understanding his new position, had no longer
any fear of the pope and far less of his servants. The Reformer,
seeing Miltitz and De Vio in concert, had some idea of the fate which
awaited him if he complied with their invitation. "Everywhere," says
he, "on all hands, and in all ways, they seek my life."[33] Besides,
he had requested the pope to decide; but the pope, engrossed with
crowns and intrigues, had given no answer. Luther thus wrote to
Miltitz: "How could I undertake the journey, without an order from
Rome, amid the troubles which shake the empire? How could I face so
many dangers and subject myself to so much expence, I who am the
poorest of men?"

  [33] Video ubique, undique, quocumque modo, animam meam quæri. (L. Ep.
  i, p. 274, 16th May.)

The Elector of Trèves, a man of wisdom and moderation, and a friend of
Frederick, was willing to meet his views. He had no desire, moreover,
to involve himself in the affair without being positively called upon.
He therefore agreed with the Elector of Saxony to defer the
investigation till the next diet. Two years elapsed before this diet
assembled at Worms.


While the hand of Providence successfully warded off all the dangers
which threatened him, Luther was boldly advancing to a result of which
he was not himself aware. His reputation was extending, the cause of
truth was gaining strength, and the number of the students of
Wittemberg, among whom were the most distinguished young men in
Germany, rapidly increased. "Our town," wrote Luther, "can scarcely
contain all who come to it;" and on another occasion, "The number of
students increases out of measure, like a stream overflowing its

  [34] Sicut aqua inundans. (L. Epp. i. p. 278, 279.)

But Germany was no longer the only country in which the voice of the
Reformer was heard. It had passed the frontiers of the empire, and
begun to shake the foundations of the Roman power in the different
states of Christendom. Frobenius, the famous printer of Bâle, had
published the collected Works of Luther, which were rapidly disposed
of. At Bâle even the bishop applauded Luther; and the Cardinal of
Sion, after reading his work, exclaimed somewhat ironically, and
punning on his name, "O, Luther, thou art a true Luther!" (a true
purifier, Lauterer.)

Erasmus was at Louvain when Luther's works arrived in the Netherlands.
The prior of the Augustins of Antwerp, who had studied at Wittemberg,
and according to the testimony of Erasmus, held true primitive
Christianity, and many other Belgians besides, read them with avidity.
"But," says the scholar of Rotterdam, "those who sought only their own
interest, and entertained the people with old wives' fables, gave full
vent to their grovelling fanaticism." "It is not in my power," says
Erasmus, in a letter to Luther, "to describe the emotions, the truly
tragic scenes, which your writings have produced."[35]

  [35] Nullo sermone consequi queam, quas tragœdias hic excitarint
  tui libelli. (Erasm. Ep. vi, 4.) I am not able by any words to
  describe the tragedies which your works have produced here.

Frobenius sent six hundred copies of the works into France and Spain.
They were publicly sold at Paris, and, as far as appears, the doctors
of Sorbonne then read them with approbation. "It was time," said
several of them, "that those engaged in the study of the Holy
Scriptures should speak thus freely." In England the Works were
received with still greater eagerness. Spanish merchants at Antwerp
caused them to be translated into their native tongue, and sent them
into Spain. "Assuredly," says Pallavicini, "these merchants were of
Moorish blood."[36]

  [36] Maurorum stirpe prognatis. (Pallav. i, 91.)

[Sidenote: FROBENIUS. ECK.]

Calvi, a learned bookseller of Pavia, carried a great number of copies
of the works into Italy, and circulated them in all the transalpine
towns. This learned man was animated not by a love of gain but a
desire to contribute to the revival of piety. The vigour with which
Luther maintained the cause of godliness, filled him with joy. "All
the learned of Italy," exclaimed he, "will concur with me, and we will
see you celebrated in stanzas composed by our most distinguished

Frobenius, in transmitting a copy of the publication to Luther, told
him all these gladdening news, and added, "I have disposed of all the
copies except ten, and never had so good a return." Other letters also
informed Luther of the joy produced by his works. "I am glad," says
he, "that the truth gives so much pleasure, although she speaks with
little learning, and in a style so barbarous."[37]

  [37] "In his id gaudeo, quod veritas tam barbare et indocte loquens,
  adeo placet." (L. Ep. i, 255.)

Such was the commencement of the revival in the different countries of
Europe. In all countries, if we except Switzerland, and even France
where the gospel had previously been heard, the arrival of Luther's
writings forms the first page in the history of the Reformation. A
printer of Bâle diffused these first germs of the truth. At the moment
when the Roman pontiff entertained hopes of suppressing the work in
Germany, it began in France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, England,
and Switzerland; and now, even should Rome hew down the original
trunk, what would it avail? The seeds are already diffused over every


     The War seems ended in Germany--Eck Revives the
     Contest--Debate between Eck and Carlstadt--The Question of
     the Pope--Luther Replies--Alarm of Luther's
     Friends--Luther's courage--Truth triumphs
     single-handed--Refusal of Duke George--Delight of Mosellanus
     and Fears of Erasmus.

While the combat was only beginning beyond the limits of the empire it
seemed to him almost ceased within it. The most blustering soldiers of
Rome, the Franciscan monks of Jûterbock, after having imprudently
attacked Luther, had, after a vigorous rejoinder from the Reformer,
hastened to resume silence. The partisans of the pope were quiet; and
Tezel was unfit for service. Luther's friends conjured him not to
persist in the contest, and he had promised to comply. The theses were
beginning to be forgotten. By this perfidious peace the eloquent
tongue of the Reformer was completely paralysed; and the Reformation
seemed to be arrested. "But," says Luther afterwards, when speaking of
this period, "men were imagining vain things, for the Lord had arisen
to judge the nations."[38] "God," says he in another place, "does not
lead but urges and hurries me along. I am not my own master. I would
fain be at rest, but am precipitated into the midst of tumult and

  [38] Dominus evigilavit et stat ad judicandos populos. (L. Op. Lat. in

  [39] Deus rapit, pellit, nedum ducit me: non sum compos mei: volo esse
  quietus et rapior in medios tumultus. (L. Ep. i, 231.)

[Sidenote: ECK. CARLSTADT.]

The person who renewed the contest was Eck the schoolman, Luther's old
friend, and the author of the Obelisks. He was sincerely attached to
the papacy, but seems to have been devoid of genuine religious
sentiment, and to have belonged to a class of men, at all times too
numerous, who value learning, and even theology and religion, merely
as a means of gaining a name in the world. Vain glory lurks under the
priest's cassock as well as the soldier's helmet. Eck had studied the
art of disputation according to the scholastic rules, and was an
acknowledged master in this species of warfare. While the knights of
the middle ages, and the warriors at the period of the Reformation,
sought glory in tournaments, the schoolmen sought it in the
syllogistic disputations, which were often exhibited in universities.
Eck, who was full of himself, stood high in his own opinion, and was
proud of his talents, of the popularity of his cause, and the trophies
which he had won in eight universities in Hungary, Lombardy, and
Germany, eagerly longed for an opportunity of displaying his power and
dexterity in debate with the Reformer. He had spared nothing to secure
the reputation of being one of the most celebrated scholars of the
age. He was ever seeking to stir up new discussions, to produce a
sensation, and by means of his exploits procure access to all the
enjoyments of life. A tour which he made in Italy had, by his own
account, been only a series of triumphs. The most learned of the
learned had been constrained to subscribe to his theses. A practised
bravado, he fixed his eyes on a new field of battle, where he thought
himself secure of victory. That little monk, who had grown up all at
once into a giant, that Luther, whom no one had hitherto been able to
vanquish, offended his pride, and excited his jealousy.[40] It might
be that Eck, in seeking his own glory, might destroy Rome ... but
scholastic vanity was not to be arrested by any such consideration.
Theologians, as well as princes, have repeatedly sacrificed the
general interest to their individual glory. Let us attend to the
circumstances which gave the doctor of Ingolstadt an opportunity of
entering the lists with his troublesome rival.

  [40] Nihil cupiebat ardentius, quam sui specimen præbere in solemni
  disputatione cum semulo. (Pallavicini, Tom. i, p. 55.)

[Sidenote: ECK'S THESES.]

The zealous but too ardent Carlstadt was still of one mind with
Luther--the special bond of union between them being their attachment
to the doctrine of grace, and their admiration of St. Augustine.
Carlstadt, who was of an enthusiastic temperament, and possessed
little prudence, was not a man to be arrested by the address and
policy of a Miltitz. In opposition to the Obelisks of Dr. Eck, he had
published theses in which he defended Luther and their common faith.
Eck had replied, and Carlstadt, determined not to leave him the last
word, had rejoined. The combat grew warm. Eck, eager to avail himself
of so favourable an opportunity, had thrown down the gauntlet; and the
impetuous Carlstadt had taken it up. God employed the passions of
these two men to accomplish his designs. Though Luther had taken no
part in these debates, he was destined to be the hero of the fight.
There are men whom the force of circumstances always brings upon the
scene. Leipsic was fixed upon, and hence the origin of the celebrated
discussion which bears its name.

Eck cared little about combating with Carlstadt, and even vanquishing
him. Luther was the opponent whom he had in view. He accordingly
employed every means to bring him into the field; and with this view
published thirteen theses,[41] directed against the leading doctrines
which had been espoused by the Reformer. The thirteenth was in these
terms:--"We deny that the Roman Church was not superior to other
Churches before the time of Pope Sylvester; and we acknowledge at all
times, that he who has occupied the see of St. Peter and professed his
faith,[42] is the successor of St. Peter and the vicar of Jesus
Christ." Sylvester lived in the time of Constantine the Great; and
hence Eck, in this thesis, denied that the primacy which Rome enjoyed
was conferred on her by that emperor.

  [41] Defensio adversus Echii monomachiam.

  [42] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 242.

Luther, whose consent to remain silent had not been given without
reluctance, was strongly excited when he read these propositions. He
saw that he was the person aimed at, and felt that he could not, with
honour, evade the contest. "This man," said he, "names Carlstadt as
his antagonist, and at the same time makes his assault upon me. But
God reigns, and knows what result he designs to bring out of this
tragedy.[43] The question is not between Dr. Eck and me. God's purpose
will be accomplished. Thanks to Eck, this affair, which hitherto has
been mere sport, will at length become serious, and give a fatal blow
to the tyranny of Rome and the Roman Pontiff."

  [43] Sed Deus in medio deorum; ipse novit quid ex ea tragoeœdia
  deducere voluerit, (L. Ep. i, 230, 222.)


Rome herself broke the agreement. She did more; when she renewed the
signal for battle, she directed it to a point which Luther had not
previously attacked. The subject which Dr. Eck singled out for his
antagonists was the primacy of the pope. In thus following the
dangerous example which Tezel had given,[44] Rome invited the blows of
the champion; and if she left her mangled members on the arena, she
had herself to blame for the punishment inflicted by his mighty arm.

  [44] 1st vol. p. 402

The pontifical supremacy being once overthrown, the whole of the Roman
platform fell to pieces. Hence the papacy was in imminent peril; and
yet neither Miltitz nor Cajetan took any steps to prevent this new
contest. Did they imagine that the Reformation would be vanquished, or
were they smitten with that blindness by which the ruin of the mighty
is accomplished?

Luther, who, by his long silence, had given an example of rare
moderation, boldly met the challenge of his antagonist, whose theses
he immediately opposed by counter theses. The last was in these
terms:--"The primacy of the Church of Rome is defended by means of
miserable decretals of the Roman pontiffs, composed within the last
four hundred years; whereas this primacy is contradicted by the
authentic history of eleven centuries, the declarations of Holy
Scripture, and the canons of the Council of Nice, which is the purest
of all Councils."[45]

  [45] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 245.

At the same time Luther thus wrote to the Elector:--"God knows it was
my firm determination to be silent; and I rejoiced to see the game at
length brought to a close. So faithfully have I observed the paction
concluded with the pope's commissioner, that I did not reply to
Sylvester Prierias, notwithstanding of the taunts of adversaries and
the counsels of friends. But now Dr. Eck attacks me, and not only me,
but the whole University of Wittemberg besides. I cannot allow it to
be thus covered with obloquy."[46]

  [46] L. Ep. i, p. 237.

At the same time Luther wrote to Carlstadt, "I am unwilling, excellent
Andrew, that you should engage in this quarrel, since I am the person
aimed at." "I will gladly lay aside my serious labours and enter into
the sports of these flatterers of the Roman pontiff."[47] Then
apostrophising his adversary with disdain, and calling from Wittemberg
to Ingolstadt, he exclaims--"Now, then, my dear Eck, be courageous,
and gird thy sword upon thy thigh, thou mighty man.[48] Having failed
to please you as mediator, perhaps I will please you better as
antagonist. Not that I have any thought of vanquishing you, but after
all the trophies which you have gained in Hungary, Lombardy, and
Bavaria, (at least if we are to take your account for it,) I will give
you an opportunity of acquiring the name of the conqueror of Saxony
and Misnia, so that you will be for ever saluted by the glorious title
of Augustus."[49]

  [47] Gaudens et videns post-habeo istorum mea seria ludo. (Ibid. p.

  [48] Esto vir fortis et accingere gladie tuo super femur tuum,
  potentissime! (Ibid.)

  [49] Ac si voles semper Augustus saluteris in æternum. (Ibid. p. 251)


All Luther's friends did not share his courage, for up to this hour
none had been able to withstand the sophistry of Dr. Eck. But what
alarmed them most was the subject of dispute--the primacy of the
pope!... How does the poor monk of Wittemberg dare to encounter this
giant who for ages has crushed all his enemies? The courtiers of the
Elector begin to tremble. Spalatin the confidant of the prince, and
intimate friend of the Reformer, is full of anxiety. Frederick, too,
feels uneasy: even the sword of the Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, with
which he had been armed at Jerusalem, would be unequal to this
warfare. Luther alone feels no alarm. His thought is, "The Lord will
deliver him into my hands." The faith with which he is animated
enables him to strengthen his friends. "I beg of you, my dear
Spalatin," said he, "not to give yourself up to fear; you know well
that if Christ was not with me, all that I have done up to this hour
must have been my ruin. Was it not lately written from Italy, to the
chancellor of the Duke of Pomerania, that I had upset Rome, and that,
not knowing how to appease the tumult, they were purposing to attack
me not according to the forms of justice, but by Roman finesse, (the
very words used,) that is, I presume, by poison, ambush, and

"I restrain myself, and from love to the Elector, and the university,
keep back many things which I would employ against Babylon, were I
elsewhere. O! my poor Spalatin! it is impossible to speak of Scripture
and of the Church without irritating the beast. Never, therefore, hope
to see me at rest, at least, until I renounce theology. If this work
is of God, it will not be terminated before all my friends have
forsaken me, as Christ was forsaken by his disciples. Truth will
endure single-handed, and triumph in virtue of its own prowess, not
mine or yours, or any man's.[50] If I fall, the world will not perish
with me. But, wretch that I am, I fear I am not worthy to die in such
a cause." "Rome," he again wrote about this time, "Rome is burning
with eagerness to destroy me, while I sit quiet and hold her in
derision. I am informed that, in the field of Flora at Rome, one
Martin Luther has been publicly burned in effigy, after being loaded
with execrations. I abide their fury.[51] The whole world," continues
he, "is in agitation, heaving to and fro. What will happen? God knows.
For my part, I foresee wars and disasters. The Lord have mercy on

  [50] Et sola sit veritas, quæ salvet se dexterâ suâ, non meâ, non tuâ,
  non ullius hominis.... (L. Ep. i, 261.) And let truth stand alone; she
  will save herself by her own right hand--not by yours or mine, or that
  of any man.... (L. Ep. i, 261.)

  [51] Expecto furorem illorum. (Ibid. 280, 30th May, 1519.)

  [52] Totus orbis nutat et movetur, tam corpore quam animâ. (Ibid.) The
  whole world nods and is shaken both in body and soul.


Luther wrote letter after letter to Duke George,[53] in whose states
Leipsic is, entreating permission to repair thither and take part in
the debate, but received no answer. The grandson of the Bohemian king,
Podiebrad, alarmed at Luther's proposition concerning the pope, and
afraid of seeing Saxony involved in the wars of which Bohemia had so
long been the theatre, was unwilling to grant the doctor's request.
Luther, therefore, determined to publish explanations of his
thirteenth Thesis. But this treatise, far from persuading Duke George,
on the contrary, confirmed him in his resolution. Positively refusing
to give the Reformer authority to debate, he merely allowed him to be
present as a spectator.[54] This was a great disappointment to Luther.
Nevertheless, as he had only one wish, and that was to obey God--he
resolved to attend as a spectator, and await the result.

  [53] Ternis literis, a duce Georgio non potui certum obtinere
  responsum. (Ibid., p. 282.) After three letters, I could not obtain a
  decided answer from Duke George.

  [54] Ita ut non disputator, sed spectator futurus Lipsiam ingrederer.
  (L. Op. in Præf.)

The prince at the same time did every thing in his power to forward
the discussion between Eck and Carlstadt. Duke George was devoted to
the ancient doctrine; but he was upright and sincere, and friendly to
free enquiry, and did not think that an opinion was to be charged with
heresy, merely because it displeased the court of Rome. The Elector,
moreover, urged his cousin to permit the discussion; and the duke,
confirmed by Frederick's statements, ordered it to take place.[55]

  [55] Principis nostri verbo firmatus. (L. Ep. i, 255.)

Bishop Adolphus of Merseburg, in whose diocese Leipsic is situated,
was more alive than Miltitz and Cajetan, to the danger of trusting
such important questions to the chances of single combat. Rome could
not expose the fruit of the labours of so many ages to such hazard.
All the theologians of Leipsic were equally alarmed, and implored
their bishop to prevent the discussion. Adolphus accordingly presented
most energetic remonstrances to Duke George, who replied with much
good sense.[56] "I am surprised at seeing a bishop so terrified at the
ancient and laudable custom of our fathers in examining doubtful
questions as to matters of faith. If your theologians refuse to defend
their doctrines, the money given to them would be far better employed
in the maintenance of aged women and young children who would be able
at least to spin and sing."

  [56] Scheinder, Lips. Chr. iv, 168.


This letter had little effect on the bishop and his theologians. There
is in error a secret consciousness which makes it dread enquiry even
when making loud professions of being favourable to it. After an
imprudent advance it makes a cowardly retreat. Truth did not give the
challenge, but firmly stood its ground. Error gave it, and ran off.
Moreover, the prosperity of the university of Wittemberg, excited the
jealousy of that of Leipsic. The monks and priests inveighed from the
pulpits of that city, urging the people to shun the new heretics,
slandering Luther, and painting him, as well as his friends, in the
blackest colours, in order to stir up the fanaticism of the populace
against the Reformers.[57] Tezel, who was still alive, awoke to cry
from the depth of his retreat,--"It is the devil that is forcing on
this contest."[58]

  [57] Theologi interim me proscindunt ... populum Lipsiæ inclamant. (L.
  Ep. i, 255.) The theologians, in the meantime, inveigh against me, ...
  and declaim to the people of Leipsic.

  [58] Das walt der Teufel (L. Ep. i, 255.)

All the professors of Leipsic, however, did not participate in these
apprehensions. Some belonged to the indifferent class, consisting of
persons who are always ready to laugh at the faults of both parties.
Of this class was the Greek professor Peter Mosellanus, who cared very
little for John Eck, Carlstadt, and Martin Luther, but anticipated
great amusement from the strife. Writing to his friend Erasmus, he
says, "John Eck, who is the most illustrious of pen gladiators and
rhapsodists, and like the Socrates of Aristophanes, contemns even the
gods, is to have a turn in debate with Andrew Carlstadt. The battle
will end in uproar, and there will be laughter in it for ten

  [59] Seckend., p. 201.

The timid Erasmus, on the contrary, was frightened at the idea of a
combat, and his prudence, ever ready to take alarm, would fain have
prevented this discussion. In a letter to Melancthon, he says, "If you
will be advised by Erasmus, you will be more anxious to promote the
advancement of sound literature than to attack the enemies of it.[60]
My belief is that, in this way, our progress will be greater. Above
all, while engaged in this struggle, let us not forget that victory
must be obtained, not only by eloquence, but also by moderation and
meekness." Neither the alarms of priests, nor the prudence of
pacificators, could now prevent the combat. The parties made ready
their weapons.

  [60] Malim te plus operæ sumere in asserendis bonis literis, quam in
  sectandis harum hostibus. (Corpus Ref. ed. Bretschneider, i, 78, 22nd
  April, 1519.)


     Arrival of Eck and the Wittembergers--Amsdorf--The
     Students--Carlstadt's accident--Placard--Eck and
     Luther--Pleissenburg--Shall Judges be appointed?--Luther


At the time when the Electors met at Frankfort to give an emperor to
Germany, (June, 1519,) theologians met at Leipsic for an act which,
though unnoticed by the world, was destined to be not less important
in its results.

Eck was the first who arrived at the place of rendezvous. On the 21st
June he entered Leipsic in company with Poliander, a young man whom he
had brought from Ingolstadt to report the debate. All kinds of honours
were paid to the scholastic doctor, who, on the Fête Dieu, paraded the
town in full canonicals, and at the head of a numerous procession.
There was a general eagerness to see him. According to his own
account, all the inhabitants were in his favour. "Nevertheless," adds
he, "a rumour was current in the town that I was to be worsted in the

The day after the fête, viz., Friday, 24th June, (St. John's Day,) the
Wittembergers arrived. Carlstadt, Eck's destined opponent, came first
in a chariot by himself. Next, in an open carriage, came Duke Barnim
of Pomerania, who was then studying at Wittemberg under the direction
of a tutor, and had been elected rector of the University. On each
side of him sat the two great theologians, the fathers of the
Reformation, Melancthon and Luther. Melancthon had been unwilling to
quit his friend. He had said to Spalatin, "Martin, the soldier of the
Lord, has stirred up this fetid marsh.[61] I cannot think of the
shameful conduct of the pope's theologians without indignation. Be
firm, and adhere to us." Luther himself had expressed a desire that
his Achates, as he has been called, should accompany him.

  [61] Martinus, Domini miles, hanc camarinam movit. (Corp. Ref. i, p.

John Lange, vicar of the Augustins, some doctors in law, several
masters of arts, two licentiates in theology, and other ecclesiastics,
among whom Nicolas Amsdorf was conspicuous, closed the rear. Amsdorf,
the member of a noble family in Saxony, disregarding the brilliant
career which his birth might have opened to him, had devoted himself
to theology. The theses on indulgences having brought him to the
knowledge of the truth, he had forthwith made a bold profession of the
faith.[62] Vigorous in intellect and vehement in temper, Amsdorf often
pushed on Luther, by nature abundantly ardent, to acts which were
perhaps imprudent. Born to high rank, he was not overawed by the
great, and occasionally addressed them with a freedom bordering on
rudeness. "The gospel of Jesus Christ," said he one day in an assembly
of nobles, "belongs to the poor and afflicted, and not to you princes,
lords, and courtiers, whose lives are passed in luxury and joy."[63]

  [62] Nec cum carne et sanguine diu contulit, sed statim palam ad alios
  fidei confessionem constanter edidit. (M. Adami. Vita Amsdorf.) Nor
  did he confer with flesh and blood, but forthwith made a public and
  firm profession of his faith.

  [63] Weisman. Hist. Eccl. i, p. 1444.


But we have not yet mentioned the whole train from Wittemberg. A
large body of students accompanied their teachers. Eck affirms that
the number amounted to two hundred. Armed with pikes and halberds,
they walked beside the carriages of the doctors ready to defend them,
and proud of their cause.

Such was the order in which the body of Reformers entered Leipsic.
Just as they passed the Grimma gate, which is in front of St. Paul's
cemetery, one of the wheels of Carlstadt's carriage broke down. The
archdeacon, who, with great self-complacency, was enjoying the solemn
entry, tumbled into the mire. He was not hurt, but was obliged to
proceed to his lodgings on foot. Luther's chariot, which was
immediately behind Carlstadt's, moved rapidly forward, and delivered
the Reformer safe and sound. The inhabitants of Leipsic, who had
assembled to witness the entry of the Wittemberg champions, considered
the accident as a bad omen for Carlstadt; and the inference was soon
current over the town, viz., that he would be defeated in the combat,
but that Luther would come off victorious.[64]

  [64] Seb. Fröschel vom Priesterthum. Wittemb., 1585, in Præf.

Adolphus of Merseberg did not remain idle. As soon as he learned the
approach of Luther and Carlstadt, and even before they had lighted
from their carriages, he caused a notice to be posted up on all the
church-doors forbidding the discussion under pain of excommunication.
Duke George, astonished at his presumption, ordered the town council
to tear down the bishop's placard, and imprison the individual which
had been employed to put it up.[65] The Duke George, who had come in
person to Leipsic, attended by all his court--among others by Jerôme
Emser, with whom Luther spent the famous evening at Dresden, sent the
disputants the usual presents.[66] "The duke," boasted Eck, "presented
me with a fine stag, and gave Carlstadt only a roebuck."[67]

  [65] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 243.

  [66] First vol., p. 172.

  [67] Seckend. p. 190.

Eck was no sooner informed of Luther's arrival than he called upon
him--"What!" said he, "it is said that you refuse to debate with me."

_Luther._--"How can I when the duke forbids me?"

_Eck._--"If I cannot debate with you, I am not anxious to have any
thing to do with Carlstadt. It was for you I came here." Then, after a
short pause, he added--"If I obtain the dukes permission, will you
take the field?"[68]

  [68] Si tecum non licet disputare, neque cum Carlstatio volo: propter
  te enim huc veni. (L. Op. in Præf.)

_Luther_ (_joyfully_).--"Obtain it, and we shall debate."


Eck forthwith repaired to the duke, and tried to dissipate his fears,
representing to him that he was certain of victory, and that the
authority of the pope, so far from suffering by the discussion, would
come out of it more glorious. "We must strike at the head. If Luther
stands erect, so do all his adherents--if he falls, they all fall."
George granted permission.

The duke had caused a large hall to be prepared in his palace of
Pleissenburg. Two desks had been erected opposite to each other,
tables arranged for the notaries who were to take down the discussion
in writing, and benches for the spectators. The desks and benches were
covered with rich tapestry. At the doctor of Wittemberg's desk was
suspended the portrait of St. Martin, after whom he was named; and at
that of Dr. Eck, the portrait of the knight of St. George. "We shall
see," said the arrogant Eck, with his eye on the emblem, "whether I do
not, with my steed, trample down my enemies." Every thing bespoke the
importance which was attached to the combat.

On 25th June, the parties met in the castle to arrange the order of
proceeding. Eck, who had more confidence in his declamation and
gesture than in his arguments, exclaimed, "We will debate freely, off
hand, and the notaries will not take down our words in writing."

_Carlstadt._--"The agreement was, that the discussion should be
written down, published, and submitted to the judgment of all men."

_Eck._--"To write down every thing is to wear out the spirit of the
disputants, and protract the battle. In that case there can be no hope
of the vivacity requisite in an animated debate. Do not lay an arrest
on the flow of eloquence."[69]

  [69] Melancth. Op. i, p. 139. (Kœthe ed.)

Dr. Eck's friends supported his proposal, but Carlstadt persisted in
his objection, and Eck was obliged to yield.

_Eck._--"Be it so, let there be writing; but, at all events, the
debate, when taken down by the notaries, is not to be published before
it has been submitted to the decision of judges."

_Luther._--"The truth of Dr. Eck and the Eckians fears the light."

_Eck._--"There must be judges."

_Luther._--"And what judges?"

_Eck._--"After the debate is over we will agree upon them."

The object of the partisans of Rome was evident. If the theologians of
Wittemberg accepted judges, their cause was lost. It was obvious
beforehand who the persons were whom their opponents would suggest;
and yet the Reformers, if they refused them, would be covered with
obloquy, as it would be circulated every where that they were afraid
of submitting to impartial judges.


The judges whom the Reformers desired were not individuals whose
opinion was already declared, but the whole of Christendom. Their
appeal was made to the general voice. It mattered little who condemned
them, if, in pleading their cause in presence of the Christian world,
they succeeded in bringing some individuals to the light. "Luther,"
says a Roman historian, "demanded all the faithful for judges--in
other words, demanded a tribunal so numerous that there could be no
urn large enough to hold its votes."[70]

  [70] "Aiebat, ad universos mortales pertinebat judicium, hoc est ad
  tribunal cujus colligendis calculis nulla urna satis capax."
  (Pallavicini, T. i, p. 55.)

The meeting broke up. "See their stratagem," said Luther and his
friends to each other. "They would to a certainty ask to have the pope
or the universities for judges."

In fact, the theologians of Rome, next morning, sent one of their
party to Luther, with a proposal that the judge should be ... the
pope!... "The pope!" said Luther, "how could I accept him?"

"Beware," exclaimed all his friends, "of accepting conditions so
unjust." Eck and his friends having consulted anew, gave up the pope,
and proposed certain universities. "Don't take from us the liberty
which you have already granted us," replied Luther. "We cannot yield
this point," resumed Eck. "Then," exclaimed Luther, "I don't

  [71] I. Op. (L. xvii, p. 245.)

They again parted, and what had just passed was talked of over the
whole town. The Romans kept crying every where, "Luther won't
debate--he refuses to accept of any judge!" Commenting on, and
torturing his words, they endeavoured to represent them in the most
unfavourable light. "What! truly? he will not debate?" say the best
friends of the Reformer, and hasten to him to express their alarm.
"You decline the contest," exclaim they. "Your refusal will bring
eternal disgrace on your university and your cause." This was to
attack Luther in his most tender point. "Very well," replied he, his
heart filled with indignation, "I accept the terms which are imposed
on me; but I reserve a right of appeal, and I decline the Court of

  [72] Ibid., p. 246.



     The Procession--Mass--Mosellanus--Veni, Sancte
     Spiritus!--Portraits of Luther and Carlstadt--Doctor
     Eck--Carlstadt's Books--Merit of Congruity--Natural
     Powers--Scholastic distinction--Point where Rome and the
     Reformation separate--Grace gives man freedom--Carlstadt's
     Note-Book--Commotion in the auditory--Melancthon during the
     debate--Manœuvres of Eck--Luther Preaches--The Citizens
     of Leipsic--Quarrels of Students and quarrels of Teachers.

The 27th of June was the day fixed for the commencement of the
discussion. In the morning the parties met in the hall of the
university, and thereafter walked in procession to the Church of St.
Thomas, where high mass was celebrated by the order and at the expence
of the duke. After service, those present proceeded to the ducal
castle. At their head walked Duke George, and the Duke of Pomerania;
next came counts, abbots, knights, and other persons of distinction;
and, lastly, the doctors of the two parties. A guard composed of
seventy-six citizens, carrying halberds, accompanied the procession,
with colours flying, and drums beating, and halted at the castle gate.

On the arrival at the palace, each took his place in the hall where
the debate was to take place--Duke George, the hereditary Prince John,
Prince George of Anhalt, a boy of twelve, and the Duke of Pomerania,
occupying the seats allotted to them.

Mosellanus, by order of the duke, mounted a pulpit, to remind the
theologians of the manner in which the discussion was to be carried
on. "If you begin to quarrel," said the orator to them, "what
difference will there be between a theological disputant and a
swaggering duellist? What is victory here but just to recall a brother
from his error?... Each, it would seem, should be more desirous to be
conquered than to conquer."[73]

  [73] Seckend., p. 209.


At the conclusion of the address, sacred music echoed along the aisles
of the Pleissenberg, the whole assembly knelt down, and the ancient
hymn of invocation to the Holy Spirit, "Veni, Sancte Spiritus," was
sung. Solemn hour in the annals of the Reformation! The invocation was
thrice repeated; and, while the solemn chant was pealing, the
defenders of the ancient, and the champions of the new doctrines, the
men of the Church of the middle ages, and those desirous of
re-establishing the Church of the apostles, mingling together without
distinction, in lowly attitude bent their faces to the ground. The
ancient tie of one single communion still united all these different
minds, and the same prayer still proceeded from all these lips as if a
single heart had dictated it.

These were the last moments of external lifeless unity for which a new
spiritual living unity was about to be substituted. The Holy Spirit
was invoked in behalf of the Church, and the Holy Spirit was about to
answer by a revival of Christendom.

When the hymn and prayer were finished, the assembly rose up. The
discussion should have now commenced; but, as the hour of noon had
arrived, there was an adjournment of two hours.

The leading personages who proposed to attend the debate, having dined
with the duke, returned with him after dinner to the castle hall,
which was filled with spectators. Meetings of this description were
the public assemblies in which the representatives of the age
discussed questions of general and engrossing interest. The orators
were soon at their post. That a better idea may be formed of them, we
will give their portraits as drawn by one of the most impartial
witnesses of the debate.

"Martin Luther is of middle size; and so emaciated by hard study that
one might almost count his bones. He is in the vigour of life, and his
voice is clear and sonorous. His learning and knowledge of the Holy
Scriptures are beyond compare: he has the whole word of God at
command.[74] In addition to this he has great store of arguments and
ideas. It were perhaps to be wished that he had a little more judgment
in arranging his materials. In conversation he is candid and
courteous; there is nothing stoical or haughty about him; he has the
art of accommodating himself to every individual. His address is
pleasing, and replete with good humour. He displays firmness, and is
never discomposed by the menaces of his adversaries, be they what they
may. One is, in a manner, compelled to believe that, in the great
things which he has done, God must have assisted him. He is blamed,
however, for being more sarcastic in his rejoinders than becomes a
theologian, especially when he announces new religious ideas.

  [74] Seine Gelehrsamkeit aber und Verstand in heiliger Schrift ist
  unvergleichlich, so dass er fast alles im Griff hat. (Mosellanus in
  Seckend., 206.)

"Carlstadt is of smaller stature; his complexion is dark and sallow,
his voice disagreeable, his memory less retentive, and his temper more
easily ruffled than Luther's. Still however he possesses, though in an
inferior degree, the same qualities which distinguish his friend.


"Eck is tall and broad shouldered. He has a strong and truly German
voice, and such excellent lungs that he would be well heard on the
stage, or would make an admirable town-crier. His accent is rather
coarse than elegant, and he has none of the gracefulness so much
lauded by Cicero and Quintilian. His mouth, his eyes, and his whole
features, suggest the idea of a soldier or a butcher, rather than a
theologian.[75] His memory is excellent, and were his intellect equal
to it he would be faultless. But he is slow of comprehension, and
wants judgment, without which all other gifts are useless. Hence, when
he debates, he piles up, without selection or discernment, passages
from the Bible, quotations from the Fathers, and arguments of all
descriptions. His assurance, moreover, is unbounded. When he finds
himself in a difficulty he darts off from the matter in hand, and
pounces upon another; sometimes, even, he adopts the view of his
antagonist, and changing the form of expression, most dexterously
charges him with the very absurdity which he himself was defending."

  [75] Das Maul, Augen, und ganze Gesicht, presentirt ehe einen
  Fleischer oder Soldaten, als einen Theologum. (Mosellanus in Seckend.,

Such, according to Mosellanus, were the men who drew the eyes of the
crowds who were then thronging into the great hall of Pleissenburg.

The discussion was opened by Eck and Carlstadt.

Eck, for some moments, fixed his eyes on the books which lay on the
little table in front of his opponent's desk, and seemed to give him
uneasiness: they were the Bible and the Fathers. "I decline the
discussion," exclaimed he suddenly, "if you are allowed to bring books
with you." A theologian have recourse to his books in discussion! The
astonishment of Dr. Eck was still more astonishing. "It is merely a
fig leaf which this Adam is employing to hide his shame," said Luther.
"Did Augustine consult no books in combating the Manichees?"[76] No
matter! Eck's partisans made a great noise. Carlstadt remonstrated.
"The man is altogether devoid of memory," said Eck. At last it was
decided, agreeably to the desire of the chancellor of Ingolstadt, that
each disputant should have the use only of his memory and his tongue.
"Thus then," said several, "the object in this debate will not be to
discover truth, but to show off the eloquence and memory of the

  [76] Prætexit tamen et hic Adam ille folium fici pulcherrimum. (L.
  Epp. i, p. 294.) "Here, however, this Adam too weaved for himself a
  most beautiful fig-leaf."

The discussion lasted seventeen days; but as it is impossible to give
the whole of it, we must, as a historian says, imitate painters who,
in representing a battle, place the most distinguished exploits in
front, and leave the others in the back ground.[77]

  [77] Pallavicini, i, 65.


The subject of discussion between Eck and Carlstadt was important.
"Before conversion," said Carlstadt, "the will of man is incapable of
doing good; every good work comes entirely and exclusively from God,
who gives first the will to do, and afterwards the ability to
perform." This truth is proclaimed by the Scriptures, which say, "_It
is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good
pleasure_,"[78] and by Augustine, who, in disputing with the
Pelagians, delivers it in almost the very same terms. Every work in
which there is neither love to God nor obedience to his will, is, in
his sight, devoid of the only quality which could render it truly
good, even should it be in other respects dictated by the most
honourable human motives. Now there is in man a natural enmity to
God--an enmity which he is utterly unable to suppress. He has not the
power to do so--he even wants the will. If ever, therefore, it is to
be suppressed, it must be by the power of God.

  [78] Philippians, ii, 13.

This is the doctrine of free will, so much declaimed against in the
world, and yet so simple. It had been the doctrine of the church. But
the schoolmen had explained it in a manner which caused it to be
misunderstood. "No doubt," said they, "the natural will of man cannot
do any thing which is truly pleasing to God; but it can do much to
render man more capable and more worthy of receiving divine grace."
These preparatives they termed merit of congruity;[79] "because," as
St. Thomas expressed it, "it is congruous for God to bestow peculiar
favour on those who make a good use of their will." In regard, again,
to the conversion which man must undergo, it is no doubt true that,
according to the schoolmen, the grace of God behoved to accomplish it,
but still without excluding his natural powers. "These powers," said
they, "have not been annihilated by sin; sin only puts an obstacle in
the way of their development; but as soon as this obstacle is removed
(and this, according to them, was what the grace of God had to do,)
these powers begin again to act." To use one of their favourite
comparisons--"the bird whose legs are tied does not thereby lose
either its powers, or forget the art of flying, though it must be
loosed by some other hand before it can be able again to use its
wings." "The same," said they, "is the case with man."[80]

  [79] Meritum congruum.

  [80] Planck, i, p. 176.


Such was the question discussed between Eck and Carlstadt. At first
Eck seemed to deny Carlstadt's propositions out and out, but feeling
the difficulty of maintaining his ground, said, "I grant that the will
has not power to do a good work, but receives it from God." "Confess
then," rejoined Carlstadt, overjoyed at obtaining such a concession,
"that every good work comes entirely from God." "Every good work comes
indeed from God," replied the schoolman subtlely, "but not entirely."
"There," exclaimed Melancthon, "goes a discovery well worthy of
theological science." "An apple," added Eck, "is all produced by the
sun, but not altogether, and without the co-operation of the
tree."[81] Assuredly no man ever thought of maintaining that an apple
is all produced by the sun.

  [81] Quanquam totum opus Dei sit, non tamen _totaliter_ a Deo esse,
  quemadmodum totum pomum efficitur a sole, sed non a sole _totaliter_
  et sine plantæ efficentiâ. (Pallavicini, Tom. i, p. 58.) Although the
  _whole_ work is of God, it is not _wholly_ of God--just as the _whole_
  apple is produced by the sun, but not _wholly_ by the sun, and without
  the co-operation of the plant.

"Very well," said his opponents, going still deeper into this delicate
question, so important in philosophy and in religion, "let us consider
how God acts on man, and how man conducts himself when so acted on."
"I acknowledge," said Eck, "that in conversion the first impulse comes
from God, and that the human will is entirely passive."[82] So far the
disputants were agreed. "I acknowledge," said Carlstadt, on his part,
"that after this first action on the part of God, something must come
from man, something which St. Paul calls _the will_, and which the
fathers designate by _consent_." Here again both parties were
agreed--but at this point the separation began. "This consent of man,"
said Eck, "comes partly from our natural will, and partly from the
grace of God."[83] "No," said Carlstadt, "this will in man is entirely
created by God."[84] Hereupon Eck began to express astonishment and
indignation at words so well fitted to impress man with a sense of his
utter nothingness. "Your doctrine," exclaims he, "makes man a stone or
a block, incapable of any counter action...." "What," replied the
Reformers, "does not the faculty of receiving the powers which God
produces in him (a faculty which we admit that he possesses)
sufficiently distinguish him from a stone and a block?" "But," resumed
their antagonist, "by denying man all natural power, you contradict
experience." "We deny not," was the reply, "that man possesses certain
powers, and has in him a faculty of reflecting, meditating, and
choosing. We only consider these powers and faculties as mere
instruments, incapable of doing any thing that is good until the hand
of God sets them in motion. They are like the saw in the hands of the

  [82] "Motionem seu inspirationem prevenientem esse a solo Deo; et ibi
  liberum arbitrium habet se passive." Preventing motion, or
  inspiration, is from God, and therein free-will is passive.

  [83] Partim a Deo, partim a libero arbitrio.

  [84] "Consentit homo, se consensus est donum Dei. Consentire non est
  agere." Man consents; but consent is the gift of God. Consent is not

  [85] Ut serra in manu hominis trahentis.


The great question of liberty was here debated, and it was easy to
demonstrate that the doctrine of the Reformers did not divest man of
the liberty of a moral agent or make him a passive machine. The
liberty of a moral agent consists in the power of acting conformably
to his choice. Every action done without external constraint, and in
consequence of the determination of the mind itself, is a free action.
The mind is determined by motives, but we constantly see that the same
motives act differently on different minds. Many do not act
conformably to the motives which their judgment approves. This
inefficiency of motives is attributable to the obstacles which they
meet with in the corruption of the understanding and the heart. Now,
God, by giving a new heart and a new spirit, removes those obstacles,
and thereby so far from depriving man of freedom, on the contrary,
removes what prevented him from acting freely, and in obedience to the
dictates of his conscience. In the language of the gospel it renders
him "free indeed." (John, viii, 36.)

A slight incident for a short time interrupted the debate. Carlstadt
(this is Eck's account[86]) had prepared different heads of argument;
and, as is done by many of the orators of our day, read what he had
written. Eck saw in this only a school boy's tactics, and objected.
Carlstadt embarrassed, and fearing he might be taken at a disadvantage
if deprived of his note-book, insisted on retaining it. "Ah!" said the
scholastic doctor, quite proud of the advantage which he thought he
had over him, "his memory is shorter than mine." The point having been
submitted to arbiters, it was decided that quotations from the Fathers
might be read, but that in other respects the discussion should be

  [86] Seckendorf, p. 192.

This first part of the discussion often met with interruption from the
audience. They ruffed and screamed. Any proposition offensive to the
ears of the majority instantly aroused their clamour, and then, as in
our day, it was necessary to call to order. The disputants also
occasionally allowed themselves to be carried away in the heat of


Melancthon sat near Luther, and attracted almost equal attention. He
was of short stature, and would scarcely have been thought more than
eighteen. Luther, who was a whole head taller, seemed to be united to
him by the closest friendship; they came in, went out, and walked
together. "To look at Melancthon," says a Swiss theologian,[87] who
studied at Wittemberg, "one would think him a mere boy, but in
judgment, learning, and talent he is a giant. It is difficult to
comprehend how so much wisdom and genius can be contained within so
puny a body." Between the sittings, Melancthon conferred with
Carlstadt and Luther. He assisted them in preparing for the debate,
and suggested arguments drawn from the stores of his vast erudition;
but during the discussion he remained quietly seated among the
spectators, giving close attention to every thing that was said by the
theologians.[88] Occasionally, however, he came to the aid of
Carlstadt.[89] When the latter was on the point of giving way under
the powerful declamation of the chancellor of Ingolstadt, the young
professor whispered a word in his ear, or slipt a paper to him on
which he had noted down the answer. Eck on one occasion perceived
this, and indignant that this grammarian, as he called him, should
presume to intermeddle with the discussion, turned towards him, and
haughtily said, "Be silent, Philip, keep to your own studies, and give
me no disturbance." Perhaps Eck had already a presentiment of the
formidable adversary he was afterwards to encounter in this young man.
Luther was offended at the rude insult given to his friend; "The
judgment of Philip," said he, "weighs more with me than that of a
thousand doctor Ecks."

  [87] John Kessler, afterwards reformer of St. Gall.

  [88] Lipsicæ pugnæ otiosus spectator in reliquo volgo sedi. (Corpus
  Reformatorum, i, 112.) At Leipsic I sat among the crowd as an idle

  [89] Tace tu, Philippe, ac tua studia cura, ne me perturba. (Ibid., i,

The calm Melancthon easily discerned the weak points of this
discussion. "We can only be surprised," says he with the wisdom and
grace conspicuous in all his words, "when we think of the violence
which was brought to the discussion of such subjects. How could any
advantage be derived from it? The Spirit of God loves retreat and
silence: there dwell those whose hearts he penetrates. The bride of
Christ does not stand in streets and public places, but conducts the
Bridegroom into her mother's house."[90]

  [90] Melancth. Op., p. 134.


Both parties claimed the victory. Eck employed all his address to make
it appear that he had gained it. As the points of divergence almost
met, he often exclaimed that he had brought over his opponent to his
opinion, or like a new Proteus, as Luther calls him, turning suddenly
round, he stated Carlstadt's own opinion in different words, and then
asked, with an air of triumph, if he did not feel constrained to
yield. The unskilful, who were unable to detect the sophist's
manœuvre, applauded and triumphed with him.... In several respects
the match was unequal. Carlstadt was slow, and sometimes left his
opponent's objections unanswered till next day. Eck, on the contrary,
was master of his subject, and could lay his hand at once on whatever
he required. He came forward with a haughty air, mounted his desk with
a firm step, and when there, stamped with his foot, moved backwards
and forwards, made the ceiling ring with his powerful voice, gave some
sort of reply to every argument, and astonished the audience with his
memory and adroitness. Still Eck, without perceiving it, conceded much
more in the discussion than he had intended. His partizans shouted
and laughed at each of his turns, "but," says Luther, "I strongly
suspect they only made a show of laughing, and were exceedingly vexed
at heart when they saw their chief, who had commenced with so much
bravado, quit his standard, abandon his army, and become a shameless

  [91] Relictis signis, desertorem exercitus et transfugam factum. (L.
  Ep. i, 295.)

Three or four days after the discussion had commenced, it was
interrupted by the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul.

The Duke of Pomerania requested Luther to preach before him, on the
occasion, in his chapel. Luther gladly complied. The chapel was soon
filled, and crowds still arriving, it became necessary to remove to
the great hall of the castle, where the discussion was held. Luther
preached from the text of the day, on the grace of God, and the power
of Peter, and gave a popular exposition of the views which he was wont
to maintain before a learned audience. Christianity causes the light
of truth to penetrate alike into the highest and the humblest
intellects, and is in this way distinguished from all other religions,
and from all philosophical systems. The theologians of Leipsic, who
had been present at the sermon, hastened to acquaint Eck with the
expressions which had offended them. "These subtile errors," exclaimed
they, "must be answered, must be publicly refuted." This was just what
Eck wished. All the churches were open to him, and on four successive
occasions he mounted the pulpit to declaim against Luther and his
sermon. Luther's friends were indignant, and demanded that the
theologian of Wittemberg should be heard in his turn. But they
demanded in vain. The pulpits were open to the enemies of evangelical
truth, but shut against those who proclaimed it. "I kept silence,"
says Luther, "and was obliged to submit to attacks, insults, and
calumnies, without being able to exculpate and defend myself."[92]

  [92] Mich verklagen, schelten und schmæhen.... (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p.


The ecclesiastics were not the only persons who displayed hostility to
the evangelical doctrine: the citizens of Leipsic were in this respect
of one mind with their clergy, and yielded themselves up with blind
fanaticism to the falsehoods and animosities which were industriously
propagated. The principal inhabitants did not visit either Luther or
Carlstadt. They left them unnoticed when they met them in the street,
and tried to prejudice the duke against them. On the other hand they
visited and gave daily entertainments to the doctor of Ingolstadt, who
enjoyed their good cheer, and learnedly discussed the comparative
merits of Saxony and Bavarian beer. His manners, somewhat free, did
not indicate a very strict morality.[93] The only thing offered to
Luther was the customary present of wine to the disputants. Moreover,
even those who wished him well were anxious that others should not
know it; several Nicodemites visited him by night or in secret. There
were only two who did themselves honour by publicly declaring their
friendship. These were Dr. Auerback, whom we have already met at
Augsburg, and Dr. Pistor, junior.

  [93] Eck to Haven and Bourkard, 1st July, 1519. (Walch, xv, p. 1456.)

The greatest excitement prevailed in the town. The two parties formed,
as it were, two hostile camps, and sometimes came to blows. In
taverns, frequent quarrels took place between the students of Leipsic
and Wittemberg. It was openly averred, even at meetings of the clergy,
that Luther carried about with him a devil, confined in a little box.
"Whether the devil is in a box, or only under his frock," said Eck,
maliciously, "I know not; but most assuredly he is in one or other of

During the discussion several doctors of both parties lodged with the
printer Herbipolis; and the dispute ran so high that the host was
obliged to station a town-officer at the top of the table with a
halbert to keep the peace, and prevent the guests from coming to
blows. One day Baumgartner, a vender of indulgences, had a scuffle
with a gentleman, a friend of Luther, and fell into such a rage that
he dropt down dead. Fröschel, who gives the account, says, "I was one
of those who carried him to the grave."[94] The general agitation
which prevailed was thus manifested. Then, as now, the discourses of
the desk were re-echoed in the drawing-room and in the streets.

  [94] Löscher, iii, 278.

Duke George, though very decidedly in favour of Eck, did not betray so
much passion as his subjects. He invited Eck, Luther, and Carlstadt to
dine together with him. He even asked Luther to pay him a visit in
private, but soon showed how strongly he was prejudiced against him.
"By your book on the Lord's Prayer," said the duke to him, with
bitterness, "you have led many consciences astray. There are persons
who complain of not having been able to say one _pater_ for more than
four days."


     Hierarchy and Rationalism--Two Peasants' Sons--Eck and
     Luther begin--The head of the Church--The primacy of
     Rome--Equality of Bishops--Peter the Foundation--Christ the
     Foundation--Eck insinuates that Luther is a Hussite--Luther
     on the doctrine of Huss--Agitation in the
     audience--Pleasantry of Dr. Eck--The Word alone--The Court
     Fool--Luther at Mass--Saying of the Duke--Purgatory--Close
     of the Discussion.


On the 4th of July the debate between Eck and Luther commenced. Every
thing announced that it would be keener, more decisive, and more
interesting than that which had just been concluded, and during which
the audience had gradually thinned away. The two antagonists descended
into the arena, resolved not to lay down their arms till victory
should declare in favour of one of them. All were in eager
expectation, for the subject to be debated was the primacy of the
pope. Christianity has two great adversaries: hierarchism and
rationalism. Rationalism, as applied to the doctrine of man's natural
powers, had been attacked by the Reformation in the former branch of
the Leipsic discussion. Hierarchism, viewed with reference to what is
at once its apex, and its base, viz., the doctrine of the pope, was
now to be considered. On the one side appeared Eck boasting of the
debates in which he had been engaged, as a general boasts of his
battles.[95] On the other side stood Luther, to whom the contest
seemed to promise only persecution and obloquy, but who came forward
with a good conscience, a firm resolution to sacrifice everything for
the cause of truth, and a confident expectation founded on faith in
God and the deliverance which he affords. New convictions had sunk
deep into his mind; as yet they were not arranged into a system, but
in the heat of debate they flashed forth like lightning. Grave and
intrepid, he manifested a decision which set all trammels at defiance.
His features bore marks of the storms which had raged within his soul,
and of the courage with which he was prepared to face new tempests.
Two peasants' sons, representatives of the two systems which still
divide Christendom, were on the eve of a contest, the issue of which
would go far to decide the future destiny of the State and the Church.

  [95] Faciebat hoc Eccius quia certam sibi gloriam propositam cernebat,
  propter propositionem meam, in qua negabam Papam esse jure divino
  caput Ecclesiæ; hic patuit ei campus magnus. (L. Op. in Præf.) Eccius
  did so because he anticipated certain victory, in consequence of my
  proposition, in which I denied that the pope was jure divino head of
  the church; here he had a wide field in which to expatiate.


At seven in the morning the two antagonists were in their desks, in
the midst of a numerous and attentive assembly.

Luther rose and, in the exercise of a necessary precaution, modestly

"In the name of the Lord! Amen. I declare, that the respect which I
feel for the Sovereign Pontiff would have disposed me to avoid this
discussion had the excellent Dr. Eck left me any alternative."

_Eck._--"In thy name, dear Jesus! before I descend into the arena I
protest in your presence, mighty lords, that whatever I shall say is
under correction of the first of all sees, and the master who occupies

After a momentary pause, Eck continued--"There is in the church of God
a primacy derived from Jesus Christ himself. The church militant is an
image of the church triumphant. But the latter is a monarchical
hierarchy, rising step by step up to the sole head, who is God, and,
accordingly, Christ has established the same gradation upon earth.
What kind of monster should the Church be if she were without a

  [96] "Nam quod monstrum esset, Ecclesiam esse acephalam!" (L. Op. Lat.
  i, p. 243.)

_Luther_, (_turning towards the audience_).--"The doctor is correct in
saying that the universal Church must have a head. If there is any one
here who maintains the contrary, let him stand up? the remark does not
at all apply to me."

_Eck._--"If the Church militant has never been without a monarch, I
should like to know who that monarch is, if he is not the pontiff of

_Luther._--"The head of the Church militant is not a man, but Jesus
Christ himself. This I believe on the testimony of God." "_Christ_,"
says the Scripture, "_must reign until he has put_ ALL HIS ENEMIES
_under his feet_."[97] "We cannot therefore listen to those who would
confine Christ to the Church triumphant in heaven. His reign is a
reign of faith. We cannot see our Head, and yet we have him."[98]

  [97] I Cor. xv, 25.

  [98] "Prorsus audiendi non sunt qui Christum extra Ecclesiam
  militantem tendunt in triumphantem, cum sit regnum fidei. Caput
  nostrum non videmus; tamen habemus." (L. Op. Lat. i, p. 243.)

Eck, not admitting that he was beaten, had recourse to other
arguments, and resumed, "According to St. Cyprian, sacerdotal unity is
derived from Rome."[99]

  [99] "Unde sacerdotalis unitas exorta est." (Ibid.)

_Luther._--"Granted in regard to the Western Church. But is not the
Church of Rome herself a descendant of the Church of Jerusalem, which
is properly the mother and nurse of all the churches?"[100]

  [100] Hæc est matrix proprie omnium ecclesiarum. (Ibid. 244.)


_Eck._--"St. Jerome declares, that unless an extraordinary power,
superior to all other powers, is given to the pope, churches will have
as many schisms as pontiffs."[101]

  [101] Cui si non exors quædam et ab omnibus eminens detur potestas.
  (Ibid. 243.)

_Luther._--"_Granted_, that is to say, this power might, by human
authority, be attributed to the Roman pontiff, provided all the
faithful consent to it.[102] And, in like manner, I, for my part, deny
not that if all the faithful throughout the world were to concur in
acknowledging the bishop, either of Rome, or of Paris, or of
Magdeburg, as prime and sovereign pontiff, it would be necessary to
acknowledge him as such in deference to this universal consent of the
Church. The thing, however, never has been, and never will be seen.
Even in our own day does not the Greek Church refuse her assent to

  [102] _Detur_, inquit, hoc est jure humano, posset fieri,
  consentientibus, cæteris omnibus fidelibus. (L. Op. Lat. i, p. 244.)

At this period Luther was quite ready to acknowledge the pope as first
magistrate of the Church, elected by her own free choice; but he
denied that he was of divine institution. At a later period he denied
that subjection was due to him in any respect, and this denial he owed
to the discussion at Leipsic. Eck had come upon ground which he did
not know so thoroughly as Luther. The latter, it is true, could not
maintain his thesis, that the papacy had not been in existence for
more than four centuries. Eck quoted authorities of an earlier date,
and these Luther was unable to obviate, criticism not having yet
attacked the spurious decretals. But the nearer the discussion was
brought to primitive times, the more Luther's strength increased. Eck
appealed to the Fathers. Luther quoted the Fathers in reply, and all
the hearers were struck with his superiority to his rival.

"That my exposition," said he, "is that of St. Jerome, I prove by St.
Jerome's own Epistle to Evagrius, in which he says, 'Every bishop,
whether at Rome, or Eugubium, or Constantinople, or Rhegium, or
Alexandria, or Tanis, has the same merit, and the same priesthood.'[103]
The power of riches, and the humiliation of poverty, constitute the
only precedence or inferiority among bishops."

  [103] "Ejusdem meriti et ejusdem sacerdotii est." (L. Op. Lat. i, p.

From the writings of the Fathers, Luther passed to the decrees of
Councils which regard the bishop of Rome as only a first among

  [104] Primus inter pares.


"We read," says he, "in the decree of the Council of Africa," "The
bishop of the first see must not be called either prince of the the
pontiffs, or sovereign pontiff, or any other similar name, but only
bishop of the first see. Were the supremacy of the bishop of Rome of
divine institution, would not these words be heretical?"

Eck replied by one of those subtile distinctions which were so
familiar to him.

"The bishop of Rome, if you will so have it, is not universal bishop,
but bishop of the universal church."[105]

  [105] Non episcopus universalis, sed universalis Ecclesiæ episcopus.
  (Ibid. 246.)

_Luther._--"I am quite willing to leave this reply unanswered: let our
hearers judge for themselves."

"Assuredly," said he, afterwards, "the gloss is worthy of a
theologian, and well fitted to satisfy a disputant thirsting for
glory. My expensive sojourn in Leipsic has not been for nothing, since
I have learned that the pope, though not indeed the universal bishop,
is the bishop of the universal church."[106].

  [106] Ego glorior me tot expensis non frustra.... (L. Ep. i, 299.)

_Eck._--"Very well, I come to the essential point. The venerable
doctor calls upon me to prove that the primacy of the church of Rome
is of divine institution--I prove it by these words of Christ: '_Thou
art Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church._' St. Augustine,
in one of his epistles, has thus expounded the passage, 'Thou art
Peter, and upon this rock, that is to say, on this Peter, I will build
my Church.' It is true, Augustine has elsewhere said that, by this
rock must be understood Christ himself, but he never retracted his
former exposition."

_Luther._--"If the reverend doctor would attack me, he should first
reconcile these contrary statements of Augustine. It is undeniable
that St. Augustine has again and again said that the rock was Christ,
and he may perhaps have once said that it was Peter himself. But even
should St. Augustine and all the Fathers say that the apostle is the
rock of which Christ speaks, I would combat their view on the
authority of an apostle, in other words, divine authority;[107] for it
is written, '_No other foundation can any man lay than that is laid,
namely, Jesus Christ._'[108] Peter himself calls Christ, '_the chief
and corner stone on which we are built up a spiritual house_.'"[109]

  [107] "Resistam eis ego unus, auctoritate apostoli, id est iure
  divino." (L. Op. Lat. i, p. 237.)

  [108] 1 Cor. iii, 11.

  [109] 1 Peter, ii, 4, 5.

_Eck._--"I am astonished at the humility and modesty with which the
reverend doctor undertakes single-handed to combat so many
distinguished Fathers, and to know better than sovereign pontiffs,
councils, doctors, and universities.... It would, certainly, be
astonishing that God should have concealed the truth from so many
saints and martyrs ... and not revealed it until the advent of the
reverend father!"


_Luther._--"The Fathers are not against me. The distinguished doctors,
St. Augustine, and St. Ambrose, speak as I do. '_Super isto articulo
fidei, fundata est ecclesia_,'[110] says St. Ambrose, when explaining
what must be understood by the rock on which the church is built. Let
my opponent then bridle his tongue. To express himself as he does is
to stir up strife, not to discuss like a true doctor."

  [110] On this article of faith the Church is founded. (L. Op. Lat. i,
  p. 254.)

Eck had not expected that his opponent would possess so much knowledge
of the subject, and be able to disentangle himself from the labyrinth
in which he tried to bewilder him. "The reverend doctor," said he,
"has entered the lists after carefully studying his subject. Your
highnesses will excuse me for not presenting them with such exact
researches. I came to debate and not to make a book." Eck was
astonished, but not beaten. Having no more arguments to give, he had
recourse to a mean and despicable artifice, which, if it did not
vanquish his opponent, would at least subject him to great
embarrassment. If the charge of being a Bohemian, a heretic, a Hussite
fastens upon Luther, he is vanquished, for the Bohemians were detested
in the Church. The scene of discussion was not far from the frontiers
of Bohemia. Saxony, which, immediately after the condemnation of John
Huss by the Council of Constance, had been subjected to all the
horrors of a long and ruinous war, was proud of the resistance which
she had then given to the Hussites. The university of Leipsic had been
founded to oppose their tenets, and the discussion was in presence of
nobles, princes, and citizens, whose fathers had fallen in that
celebrated struggle. To make out that Luther was at one with Huss was
almost like giving him the finishing blow, and this was the stratagem
to which the doctor of Ingolstadt had recourse. "From primitive times
downwards," says he, "it was acknowledged by all good Christians, that
the Church of Rome holds its primacy of Jesus Christ himself and not
of man. I must confess, however, that the Bohemians, while obstinately
defending their errors, attacked this doctrine. The venerable father
must pardon me if I am an enemy of the Bohemians, because they are the
enemies of the Church, and if the present discussion has reminded me
of these heretics; for, ... according to my weak judgment, ... the
conclusions to which the doctor has come are all in favour of their
errors. It is even affirmed that the Hussites loudly boast of

  [111] Et, ut fama est, de hoc plurimum gratulantur. (L. Op. Lat. i, p.


Eck had calculated well. All his partizans received the insinuation
with acclamation, and an expression of applause was general
throughout the audience. "These slanders," said the Reformer at a
later period, "tickled their fancy much more agreeably than the
discussion itself."

_Luther._--"I love not a schism and I never shall. Since the
Bohemians, of their own authority, separate from our unity, they do
wrong even were divine authority decisive in favour of their doctrine;
for at the head of all divine authority is charity and the unity of
the Spirit."[112]

  [112] Nunquam mihi placuit, nec in æternum placebit quodcumque schisma
  ... Cum supremum jus divinum sit charitas et unitas Spiritus (Ibid.)

It was at the morning sitting, on the 5th July, that Luther thus
expressed himself. Shortly after, the meeting adjourned for dinner.
Luther felt uneasy. Had he not gone too far in thus condemning the
Christians of Bohemia? Have they not maintained the doctrine which
Luther is maintaining at this hour? He sees all the difficulty of the
step before him. Will he declare against the Council which condemned
John Huss, or will he abjure the grand idea of an universal Christian
Church, an idea deeply imprinted on his mind? Resolute Luther
hesitated not. "I must do my duty come what may." Accordingly, when
the assembly again met at two o'clock, he rose and said firmly:--

"Certain of the tenets of John Huss and the Bohemians are perfectly
orthodox. This much is certain. For instance, 'That there is only one
universal church,' and again, 'That it is not necessary to salvation
to believe the Roman Church superior to others.' Whether Wickliffe or
Huss has said so I care not.... It is the truth."


This declaration of Luther produced an immense sensation in the
audience. The abhorred names of Huss and Wickliffe pronounced with
eulogium by a monk in the heart of a Catholic assembly!... A general
murmur was heard. Duke George himself felt as much alarmed, as if he
had actually seen the standard of civil war, which had so long
desolated the states of his maternal ancestors, unfurled in Saxony.
Unable to conceal his emotion, he struck his thigh, shook his head,
and exclaimed, loud enough to be heard by the whole assembly, "The man
is mad!"[113] The whole audience was extremely excited. They rose to
their feet, and every one kept talking to his neighbour. Those who had
fallen asleep, awoke. Luther's opponents expressed their exultation,
while his friends were greatly embarrassed. Several persons, who till
then had listened to him with pleasure, began to doubt his orthodoxy.
The impression produced upon the mind of the duke by this declaration
was never effaced; from this moment he looked upon the Reformer with
an unfavourable eye, and became his enemy.[114]

  [113] Das walt die Sucht!

  [114] Nam adhuc erat Dux Georgius mihi non inimicus, quod sciebam
  certo. (L. Op. in Præf.) For I was well assured that Duke George was
  not yet my enemy.

Luther was not intimidated by this explosion of disapprobation One of
his leading arguments was, that the Greeks had never recognised the
pope, and yet had never been declared heretics; that the Greek Church
had subsisted, was subsisting, and would subsist without the pope, and
was a Church of Christ as much as the Church of Rome. Eck, on the
contrary, boldly affirmed that the Christian Church and the Roman
Church were one and the same; that the Greeks and Orientals, by
abandoning the Church, had also abandoned Christian faith, and
unquestionably were heretics. "What!" exclaimed Luther, "Are not
Gregory of Nanzianzen, Basil the Great, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, and an
immense number of other Greek bishops in bliss? and yet they did not
believe that the Church of Rome was superior to other churches!... It
is not in the power of the pontiff of Rome to make new articles of
faith. The Christian believer has no other authority than the Holy
Scriptures--they alone constitute _divine law_. I pray the illustrious
doctor to admit that the pontiffs of Rome were men, and have the
goodness not to make gods of them."[115]

  [115] Nec potest fidelis Christianus cogi ultra Sacram Scripturam, quæ
  est proprie jus divinum. (L. Op. Lat. i, 252.) Nor can a Christian
  believer be forced beyond the Sacred Scripture, which is properly
  divine law.

Eck had recourse to one of those witticisms which at small cost give a
little air of triumph to the person employing them.

"The reverend father," says he, "not being well versed in the culinary
art, makes an odd mixture of Greek saints and heretics, so that the
perfume of holiness in the one disguises the poison in the

  [116] "At Rev. Pater, _artis coquinariæ_ minus instructus, commiscet
  sanctos græcos cum schismaticis et hæreticis, ut fuco sanctitatis
  Patrum, hæreticorum tueatur perfidiam." (Ibid.) But the Rev. Father,
  imperfectly skilled in the culinary art, confounds Greek saints with
  schismatics and heretics, that by the sanctity of the Fathers he may
  disguise the perfidy of the heretics.

_Luther_--(_hastily interrupting Eck_.)--"The worthy doctor is
impertinent. I do not hold that there is any communion between Christ
and Belial."


Luther had taken a large step in advance. In 1516, and 1517, he had
only attacked the discourses of the venders of indulgences, and had
respected the decrees of the popes. At a later period he had rejected
these decrees, but had appealed from them to a council. Now he had
discarded this last authority also, declaring that no council can
establish a new article of faith, or claim to be infallible. Thus all
human authorities had successively fallen before him. The sand brought
along by the rain and the floods had disappeared; and now, for
building up the ruins of the Lord's house, there remained only the
eternal rock of the Word of God. "Venerable father!" said Eck to him,
"if you believe that a council, lawfully assembled, can err, you are
to me only a heathen man and a publican."

Such were the discussions between the two doctors. The audience were
attentive but occasionally began to flag, and hence were pleased with
any incident which enlivened the scene and gave them a momentary
relaxation. The gravest matters have their comic interludes; and so it
was at Leipsic.

Duke George, according to the custom of the time, had a court fool, to
whom some wags said, "Luther maintains that a court fool may marry.
Eck maintains the contrary." On this the fool took a great dislike to
Eck, and, every time he came into the hall with the servants of Duke
George, eyed the theologian with a menacing air. The chancellor of
Ingolstadt, not disdaining to descend to pleasantry, one day shut one
eye, (the fool was blind of one,) and with the other began to squint
at the poor creature, who, in a perfect rage, let fly a volley of
abuse. "The whole assembly," says Peiffer, "burst into laughter." This
amusing incident somewhat relieved their minds from the stretch on
which they had been kept.[117]

  [117] L. Op. (W.) xv, 1440.--2 Löscher, iii, p. 281.

At the same time, both in the town and in the churches scenes occurred
which showed how much the partisans of Rome were horrified at Luther's
bold assertions. An outcry was raised against him, especially in the
convents attached to the pope.

Luther had one day walked into the church of the Dominicans, before
high mass. The only persons present were some monks, saying low mass
at the side altars. No sooner was it told in the cloister that the
heretic Luther was in the church than the monks came down in all
haste, laid hold of the _ostensorium_, and carrying it into the
tabernacle shut it up, carefully watching it, lest the holy sacrament
should be profaned by the heretical eye of the Augustin of Wittemberg.
At the same time, those who were saying mass hastily gathered up their
articles, quitted the altar, ran across the church, and took refuge in
the sacristy, "just," says a historian, "as if the devil had been at
their heels."


The discussion became the general subject of conversation. In the
inns, at the university, and the court, every one gave his opinion.
Duke George, whatever his irritation may have been, did not
obstinately shut his ears against conviction. One day, when Eck and
Luther were dining with him, he interrupted their conversation,
saying, "Let the pope be pope, whether by divine or human law; at all
events he is pope."[118] Luther was much pleased with the expression.
"The prince," says he, "never would have uttered it, if my arguments
had not made some impression on him."

  [118] Ita ut ipse Dux Georgius inter prandendum, ad Eccium et me
  dicat: "Sive sit jure humano, sive sit jure divino, papa; ipse est
  papa." (L. Op. in Præf.)

The discussion on the primacy of the pope had lasted during five days.
On the 8th of July, the doctrine of purgatory was discussed, and
occupied two days. Luther was still a believer in the existence of
purgatory; but he denied that the doctrine, as held by the schoolmen
and his opponent, was taught either in the Scriptures or by the
Fathers. "Our Doctor Eck," said he, referring to the superficial
knowledge of his opponent, "has to-day run over the Holy Scriptures
almost without touching them, just as an insect skims the water."

On the 11th July indulgences were discussed. "It was mere sport and
burlesque," says Luther. "Indulgences gave way at once, and Eck was
almost entirely of my opinion."[119] Eck himself said, "Had I not
disputed with Doctor Martin on the primacy of the pope, I could almost
agree with him."[120]

  [119] L. Op. (L.) xvii, 246.

  [120] So wollt'er fast einig mit mir gewest seyn. (Ibid.)

The discussion afterwards turned on repentance, absolution by the
priest, and satisfactions. Eck, as usual, quoted the schoolmen, the
dominicans, and the canons of the pope. Luther closed the discussion
with these words:--

"The reverend doctor flees before the Holy Scriptures, as the devil
does before the cross. For my part, with all due deference to the
Fathers, I prefer the authority of Scripture, and recommend it to our

  [121] Videtur fugere a facie Scripturarum, sicut diabolus crucem.
  Quare, salvis reverentiis Patrum, præfero ego auctoritatem Scripturæ,
  quod commendo judicibus futuris. (L. Op. Lat. i, p. 291.)

This closed the debate between Eck and Luther, but Carlstadt and the
doctor of Ingolstadt continued for two days longer to discuss the
subject of human merit and good works. On the 16th July, the whole
proceeding, after having lasted twenty days, was closed by a discourse
from the rector of Leipsic. The moment the discourse was finished,
thrilling music burst forth, and the whole concluded with the _Te

But, during this solemn chant, the feelings of the audience no longer
were what they had been during the _Veni Spiritus_. The presentiments
which several persons had expressed seemed to be actually realised.
The blows struck by the champions of the two systems had made a large
wound in the papacy.


     Interest felt by the Laity--Luther's Opinion--Admissions and
     Boastings of Dr. Eck--Effects of the
     Discussion--Poliander--Cellarius--The Young Prince of
     Anhalt--The Students of Leipsic--Cruciger--Calling of
     Melancthon--Emancipation of Luther.


These theological discussions, to which the worldly-minded of the
present day would not devote a few short moments, had been attended
and listened to with eagerness, during twenty days--laymen, knights,
and princes, taking a deep interest in them to the last. Duke Barnim,
and Duke George, seemed particularly attentive, whereas some of the
theologians of Leipsic, friends of Dr. Eck, slept, as an eye-witness
expresses it, "quite soundly." It was even necessary to awake them on
the adjournments, that they might not lose their dinner.

Luther was the first to quit Leipsic, and next Carlstadt. Eck remained
several days after they were gone.

No formal decision was given on the points discussed.[122] Every one
spoke as he thought. "There was at Leipsic," says Luther, "loss of
time, and no investigation of truth. During the two years in which we
have been examining the doctrines of our opponents, we have counted
all their bones. Eck, on the contrary, has hardly skimmed the
surface;[123] but he cried more in one hour than we did in two long

  [122] "Ad exitum certaminis, uti solet, nulla prodiit decisio."
  (Pallavicini, i, 65.) As usual no decision was given on the conclusion
  of the debate.

  [123] "Totam istam conclusionum cohortem multo acrius et validius
  nostri Wittembergenses . . . oppugnaverunt et ita examinaverunt ut
  ossa eorum numerare licuerit, quas Eccius vix in facie eutis leviter
  perstriuxit." (L. Ep. i, 291.) This whole host of conclusions our
  Wittembergers boldly and vigorously assailed, and so exposed that all
  their bones might have been counted, whereas Eck scarcely pierced
  their skin.


Eck, when writing privately to his friends, admitted his defeat to a
certain extent, though he was at no loss for an explanation. "The
Wittembergers," wrote he to Hochstraten on the 24th July,[124]
"defeated me on several points--first, because they brought books with
them--secondly, because they took down the debate in writing, and
examined it at home at their leisure--and thirdly, because they were
more numerous. Two doctors, (Carlstadt and Luther,) Lange, vicar of
the Augustins, two licentiates, Amsdorff, and a very arrogant nephew
of Reuchlin, (Melancthon,) three doctors of law, and several masters
of arts, lent their assistance both in public and private, whereas I
stood alone, having nothing but a good cause for my companion." Eck
forgot Emser, and all the doctors of Leipsic.

  [124] "Verum in multis me obruerunt." (Corpus Reform. i, 83.)

Though these concessions escaped Eck in familiar correspondence, he
acted otherwise in public. The doctor of Ingolstadt, and the
theologians of Leipsic, made a great noise with what they called
_their victory_. They everywhere set false reports in circulation,
while all the tongues of the party reiterated their expressions of
self-complacency. "Eck goes about triumphing,"[125] wrote Luther.
There were disputes, however, in the camp of Rome, in regard to the
laurels. "Had we not come to the help of Eck," said the theologians of
Leipsic, "the illustrious doctor would have been overthrown." "The
theologians of Leipsic," said Eck on his part, "are well enough, but I
had hoped too much from them--I did the whole myself." "You see," said
Luther to Spalatin, "how they are chanting a new Iliad, and a new
Æneid. They are kind enough to make me a Hector or a Turnus, while Eck
is their Achilles, or Æneas. Their only doubt is whether the victory
was gained by the arms of Eck, or by those of Leipsic. All I can say
to throw light on the matter is, that Eck uniformly kept bawling, and
the Leipsickers as uniformly held their peace."[126]

  [125] "Eccius triumphat ubique." (L. Ep. i, 290.)

  [126] "Novam quamdam Iliada et Æneida illos cantare".... (L. Ep. i, p.

"Eck," says the elegant, clever, and sagacious Mosellanus "has
triumphed in the estimation of those who do not understand the
subject, and who have grown old in poring over the schoolmen; but, in
the estimation of all men of learning, intellect, and moderation,
Luther and Carlstadt are the victors."[127]

  [127] "Lutheri Sieg sey um so viel weniger berühmt, weil der
  Gelehrten, Verstandigen, und derer die sich selbst nicht hoch rühmen,
  wenig seyen." (Seckendorff, 207.)


The Leipsic discussion, however, was not destined to vanish into
smoke. Every work which is devoutly performed bears fruit. The words
of Luther had penetrated the minds of his hearers with irresistible
force. Several of those who had daily thronged the castle hall were
subdued by the truth, whose leading conquests were made among her most
decided opponents. Even Poliander, the secretary, familiar friend and
disciple of Eck, was gained to the Reformation, and began, in 1522, to
preach the gospel at Leipsic. John Camerarius, professor of Hebrew,
one of the keenest opponents of the Reformation, impressed by the
words of the mighty teacher, began to examine the Holy Scriptures more
thoroughly; and, shortly after throwing up his situation, came to
Wittemberg to study at the feet of Luther. He was afterwards pastor at
Frankfort and Dresden.

Among those who had taken their place on the seats reserved for the
Court, and accompanied Duke George, was George of Anhalt, a young
prince, twelve years of age, of a family which had distinguished
itself in the wars against the Saracens. At this time he was studying
at Leipsic with his tutor. Great ardour for science, and a strong
attachment to truth, had already become the characteristics of the
illustrious young prince. He was often heard to repeat the words of
Solomon, _falsehood ill becomes a prince_. The Leipsic discussion
inspired this child with serious reflection, and with a decided
leaning to Luther.[128] Some time after a bishopric was offered to
him. His brother, and all his family, with the view of raising him to
high honour in the Church, urged him to accept it, but he resolutely
declined. His pious mother, who was secretly favourable to Luther,
having died, he became possessed of all the Reformer's writings. He
was constant and fervent in prayer to God, to incline his heart to the
truth; and, often in the solitude of his chamber, exclaimed, with
tears, "_Deal mercifully with thy servant, and teach me thy
statutes_."[129] His prayers were heard. Carried forward by his
convictions, he fearlessly joined the ranks of the friends of the
gospel. In vain did his guardians, and particularly Duke George,
besiege him with entreaties and remonstrances. He remained inflexible,
and the Duke, half convinced by his pupil's reasons, exclaimed, "I
cannot answer him; still, however, I will keep by my Church--I am too
old a dog to be trained." We will afterwards see in this amiable
prince one of the finest characters of the Reformation, one who
himself preached the word of life to his subjects, and to whom the
saying of Dion respecting the emperor Marcus Antoninus, has been
applied, "He was through life consistent with himself, he was a good
man, a man free from guile."[130]

  [128] L. Op. (W.) xv, p. 1440.

  [129] ... A Deo petivit, flecti pectus suum ad veritatem, ac lacrymans
  sæpe hæc verba repetivit.... (M. Adami, Vita Georgii Anhalt, p. 248.)

  [130] Ομοίος διὰ πάντων ἑγένετο,
  ἀγαθὸς δὲ ἠν, καὶ οὐδὲν πρὸς
  ποίητον εἶχεν. (Ibid. 255.)

But Luther's words met with an enthusiastic reception, especially from
the students. They felt the difference between the spirit and life of
the doctor of Wittemberg, and the sophistical distinctions, and vain
speculations, of the chancellor of Ingolstadt. They saw Luther
founding upon the word of God, and they saw Dr. Eck founding only on
human traditions. The effect was soon visible. The classes of the
university of Leipsic almost emptied after the discussion. One
circumstance partly contributed to this. The plague threatened to make
its appearance--but there were many other universities--for example,
Erfurt, or Ingolstadt, to which the students might have repaired. The
force of truth drew them to Wittemberg, where the number of the
students was doubled.[131]

  [131] Peifer Histor. Lipsiensis, 356.


Among those who removed from the one university to the other was a
youth of sixteen, of a melancholy air, who spoke little, and often
amid the conversation and games of his fellow-students seemed absorbed
by his own thoughts.[132] His parents at first thought him of weak
intellect, but they soon found him so apt to learn, and so completely
engrossed by his studies, that they conceived high hopes of him. His
integrity, his candour, his modesty, and his piety, made him a general
favourite, and Mosellanus singled him out as a model to all the
university. He was called Gaspard Cruciger, and was originally from
Leipsic. This new student of Wittemberg was afterwards the friend of
Melancthon, and the assistant of Luther in the translation of the

  [132] Et cogitabundus et sæpe in medios sodalitios quasi peregrinante
  animo. (Melch. Adami, Vita Crucigeri, p. 198.)

The Leipsic discussion produced results still more important, in as
much as the theologian of the Reformation then received his call.
Modest and silent, Melancthon had been present at the discussion
almost without taking any part in it. Till then his attention had been
engrossed by literature, but the discussion gave him a new impulse,
and gained him over to theology. Henceforth his science did homage to
the word of God. He received the evangelical truth with the simplicity
of a child. His audience heard him expound the doctrines of salvation
with a grace and clearness by which all were charmed. He boldly
advanced in this, which was to him a new career; "for," said he,
"Christ will never leave his people."[133] From this moment the two
friends walked side by side, contending for liberty and truth, the one
with the energy of St. Paul, and the other with the meekness of St.
John. Luther has admirably expressed the difference of their
calling:--"I was born," said he, "to enter the field of battle, and
contend with factions and demons. Hence, my writings breathe war and
tempest. I must root up the trunks, remove the thorns and the
brambles, and fill up the marshes and pools. I am the sturdy
wood-cutter who must clear the passage and level the ground; but
master Philip advances calmly and softly; he digs and plants, sows,
and waters joyously, in accordance with the gifts which God has, with
so liberal a hand, bestowed upon him."[134]

  [133] Christus suis non deerit. (Corp. Reform. i, 104.)

  [134] L. Op. (W.) xiv, 200.


If Melancthon, the quiet sower, was called to the work by the
discussion of Leipsic, Luther, the hardy wood-cutter, felt his arm
strengthened, and his courage still more inflamed by it. The mightiest
result of this discussion was produced in Luther himself. "Scholastic
theology," said he, "sunk entirely in my estimation, under the
triumphant presidency of Dr. Eck." In regard to the reformer, the
veil which the School and the Church had hung up in front of the
sanctuary was rent from top to bottom. Constrained to engage in new
enquiries, he arrived at unexpected discoveries. With equal
astonishment and indignation he saw the evil in all its magnitude.
While poring over the annals of the Church, he discovered that the
supremacy of Rome had no other origin than ambition on the one hand,
and credulous ignorance on the other. The narrow point of view under
which he had hitherto looked at the Church was succeeded by one both
clearer and wider. In the Christians of Greece and the East he
recognised true members of the Catholic Church; and, instead of a
visible head, seated on the banks of the Tiber, he adored, as sole
Head of his people, that invisible and eternal Redeemer, who,
according to his promise, is always, and in all parts of the world, in
the midst of those who believe in his name. The Latin Church Luther no
longer regarded as the universal Church. The narrow barriers of Rome
were thrown down; and he shouted for joy when he saw the glorious
domain of Jesus Christ stretching far beyond them. Henceforth he felt
that he could be a member of the Church of Christ without belonging to
the Church of the pope. In particular, the writings of John Huss made
a strong impression on him. To his great surprise, he discovered in
them the doctrine of St. Paul and St. Augustine, the doctrine to which
he had himself arrived, after so many struggles. "I believed," said
he, "and, without knowing it, taught all the doctrines of John
Huss.[135] So did Staupitz. In short, without suspecting it, we are
all Hussites, as are also St. Paul and St. Augustine. I am confounded
at it, and know not what to think.... O what dreadful judgments have
not men merited from God! Evangelical truth, when unfolded, and
published more than a century ago, was condemned, burned, and
suppressed.... Woe! Woe to the earth!"

  [135] Ego imprudens hucusque omnia Johannis Huss et docui, et
  tenui.... (L. Ep. ii, p. 452.)

Luther disengaged himself from the papacy, regarding it with decided
aversion and holy indignation. All the witnesses, who in every age had
risen up against Rome came successively before him to testify against
her, and unveil some of her abuses or errors. "O darkness!" exclaimed


He was not allowed to be silent as to these sad discoveries. The pride
of his adversaries, their pretended triumph, and the efforts which
they made to extinguish the light, fixed his decision. He advanced in
the path in which God was leading him, without any uneasiness as to
the result. Luther has fixed upon this as the moment of his
emancipation from the papal yoke--"Learn by me," said he, "how
difficult it is to disencumber oneself of errors which the whole world
confirms by its example, and which, from long habit, have become a
second nature.[136] For seven years I had been reading, and, with
great zeal, publicly expounding the Holy Scriptures, so that I had
them almost entirely by heart.[137] I had also all the rudiments of
knowledge and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,--that is to say, I knew
that we were not justified and saved by our works, but by faith in
Christ: and I even maintained openly, that the pope is not head of the
Christian Church by divine authority. And yet ... I could not see the
inference, viz.--that certainly and necessarily the pope is of the
devil. For whatever is not of God must, of necessity, be of the
devil."[138] Further on, Luther adds--"I no longer vent my indignation
against those who are still attached to the pope, since I myself,
after reading the Holy Scriptures so carefully, and for so many years,
still clung to the pope with so much obstinacy."[139]

  [136] Quam difficile sit eluctari et emergere ex erroribus, totius
  orbis, exemplo firmatis.... (L. Op. Lat. in Præf.)

  [137] Per septem annos, ita ut memoriter pene omnia tenerem....

  [138] Quod enim ex Deo non est, necesse est ex diabolo esse. (Ibid.)

  [139] Cum ego tot annis sacra legens diligentissime, tamen ita hæsi
  tenaciter. (Ibid.)

Such were the true results of the discussion of Leipsic--results far
more important than the discussion itself, and resembling those first
successes which discipline an army and inflame its courage.


     Eck attacks Melancthon--Melancthon's defence--Interpretation
     of Scripture--Luther's firmness--The Bohemian

Eck abandoned himself to all the intoxication of what he would fain
have passed off as a victory. He kept tearing at Luther, and heaped
accusation upon accusation[140] against him. He also wrote to
Frederick. Like a skilful general, he wished to take advantage of the
confusion which always succeeds a battle, in order to obtain important
concessions from the prince. Preparatory to the steps which he meant
to take against his opponent personally, he invoked the flames against
his writings, even those of them which he had not read. Imploring the
Elector to convene a provincial council, the coarse-minded doctor
exclaimed, "Let us exterminate all this vermin before they multiply
out of measure."[141]

  [140] Proscidit, post abitum nostrum, Martinum inhumanissime.
  (Melancthon Corp. Refor. i, 106.)

  [141] Ehe das Ungeziffer uberhand nehme. (L. Op. (L.) xvii, 271.)


Luther was not the only person against whom he vented his rage. He had
the imprudence to call Melancthon into the field. Melancthon, who was
in terms of the greatest intimacy with the excellent Œcolampadius,
gave him an account of the discussion, and spoke of Eck in eulogistic
terms.[142] Nevertheless, the pride of the chancellor of Ingolstadt
was offended, and he immediately took up the pen against this
"grammarian of Wittemberg, who, it is true," said he, "was not
ignorant of Latin and Greek, but had dared to publish a letter in
which he had insulted him, Dr. Eck."[143]

  [142] Eccius ob varias et insignes ingenii dotes.... (L. Op. Lat. i,
  p. 337.)

  [143] Ausus est grammaticus Wittembergensis, Græce et Latine sane non
  indoctus, epistolam edere.... (L. Op. Lat. i, p. 338.)

Melancthon replied. It is his first theological writing, and displays
the exquisite urbanity which characterised this excellent man. Laying
down the fundamental principles of Hermeneutics, he shows that the
Holy Scriptures ought not to be explained according to the Fathers,
but the Fathers according to the Holy Scriptures. "How often," says
he, "did not Jerome commit mistakes, how often Augustine, how often
Ambrose; how often do they differ in opinion, how often do they
retract their own errors; ... there is only one volume inspired by the
Spirit of heaven--pure and true throughout."[144]

  [144] Una est Scriptura, cœlestis Spiritus, pura, et per omnia
  verax. (Contra Eckium Defensio, Corp. Refor. i, p. 115.)

"Luther," it is said, "does not follow some ambiguous expositions of
the ancients, and why should he follow them? When he expounds the
passage of St. Matthew, "_Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will
build my Church_," he agrees with Origen, who by himself alone is
worth a host; with Augustine in his homily, and Ambrose in his sixth
book on St. Luke, to say nothing of others. What, then, you will say,
do the Fathers contradict each other? Is it surprising that they
should?[145] I believe in the Fathers, because I believe in the Holy
Scriptures. The meaning of Scripture is one, and simple, like heavenly
truth herself. We arrive at it by comparing different passages
together; we deduce it from the thread and connection of the
discourse.[146] There is a philosophy enjoined us in regard to the
Book of God, and it is to employ it as the touch-stone by which all
the opinions and maxims of men must be tried."[147]

  [145] Quid igitur? Ipsi secum pugnunt! quid mirum? (Contra Eckium
  Defensio, Corp. Refor., i, p. 115.)

  [146] Quem collatis Scripturis e filo ductuque orationis licet
  assequi. (Ibid. 114.)

  [147] Ut hominum sententias, decretaque, ad ipsas, ceu ad Lydium
  lapidem exigamus. (Ibid. p. 115.) By it (Scripture), as by a Lydian
  stone, let us test the decisions and opinions of men.


It was a long time since these great truths had been so elegantly
expounded. The Word of God was restored to its proper place, and the
Fathers to theirs. The simple method by which we ascertain the
meaning of Scripture was distinctly traced. The Word had precedence
over all the difficulties and the expositions of the School.
Melancthon furnished the answer to those who, like Dr. Eck, would
envelope this subject in the mists of a remote antiquity. The feeble
_grammarian_ had risen up, and the broad and sturdy shoulders of the
scholastic gladiator had bent under the first pressure of his arm.

The weaker Eck was, the more noise he made, as if his rhodomontades
and accusations were to secure the victory which he had failed to
obtain in debate. The monks and all the partisans of Rome re-echoing
his clamour, Germany rang with invectives against Luther, who,
however, remained passive. "The more I see my name covered with
opprobrium," said he in finishing the expositions which he published,
on the propositions of Leipsic, "the prouder I feel; the truth, in
other words, Christ, must increase, but I must decrease. The voice of
the Bridegroom and the bride delights me more than all this clamour
dismays me. Men are not the authors of my sufferings, and I have no
hatred against them. It is Satan, the prince of evil, who would
terrify me. But he who is in us is greater than he who is in the
world. The judgment of our contemporaries is bad; that of posterity
will be better."[148]

  [148] "Præsens male judicat ætas; judicium menus posteritatis erit."
  (L. Op. Lat. i, 310.)

If the Leipsic discussion multiplied Luther's enemies in Germany, it
also increased the number of his friends abroad; "What Huss was
formerly in Bohemia, you, O Martin, are now in Saxony," wrote the
brothers of Bohemia to him; "wherefore pray and be strong in the

About this time war was declared between Luther and Emser, now a
professor of Leipsic. The latter addressed a letter to Dr. Zach, a
zealous Roman Catholic of Prague, in which his professed object was to
disabuse the Hussites of the idea that Luther was of their party.
Luther could not doubt that under the semblance of defending him, the
learned Leipsicker's real purpose was to fasten on him a suspicion of
adhering to the Bohemian heresy, and he resolved to tear aside the
veil under which his old Dresden host was endeavouring to shroud his
enmity. With this view he published a letter addressed to the "goat
Emser," Emser's arms being a goat. Luther concludes with a sentiment
which well delineates his own character, "To love all, but fear

  [149] L. Op. Lat. i, 252.


While new friends and new enemies thus appeared, old friends seemed to
draw off from Luther. Staupitz, who had been the means of bringing the
Reformer out of the obscurity of the cloister of Erfurt, began to
show him some degree of coolness. Luther was rising too high for
Staupitz to follow him.--"You abandon me," wrote Luther to him. "The
whole day I have been exceedingly grieved on your account, like a
child just weaned and weeping for its mother.[150] Last night,"
continues the Reformer, "I dreamed of you, you were keeping aloof from
me, and I was sobbing and shedding tears; then you gave me your hand,
and told me to dry up my tears, for you would return to me."

  [150] Ego super te, sicut ablactatus super matre sua, tristissimus hac
  die fui. (Ep. i, p. 342.)

The pacificator, Miltitz, wished to make a new attempt at
conciliation. But what hold can be had on men while still under the
excitement of the contest? His endeavours led to no result. He brought
the famous rose of gold, but the Elector did not even take the trouble
to receive it in person.[151] Frederick knew the artifices of Rome,
and was not to be imposed upon.[152]

  [151] Rosam quam vocant auream nullo honore dignatus est; imo pro
  ridicula habuit. (L. Op. Lat. in Præf.) What is called the golden rose
  he held in no estimation, nay, he held it in derision.

  [152] Intellexit princeps artes Romanæ curiæ et eos (legatos) digne
  tractare novit. (Ibid.) The prince understood the arts of the Roman
  Court, and knew what treatment was due to them (the legates).


     Epistle to the Galatians--Christ for us--Blindness of
     Luther's Adversaries--First Ideas on the Supper--Is the
     Sacrament Sufficient without Faith?--Luther a Bohemian--Eck
     attacked--Eck sets out for Rome.


Far from drawing back, Luther uniformly continued to advance, and at
this time struck one of his severest blows at error, by publishing his
first commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.[153] It is true, the
second commentary was superior to the first; but still the first
contained a forcible exposition of the doctrine of justification by
faith. Every expression of the new apostle was full of life, and God
employed him to imbue the hearts of the people with divine knowledge.
"Christ gave himself for our sins," said Luther to his contemporaries.[154]
"It was not silver or gold that he gave for us, nor was it a man or
angels. He gave himself--himself, out of whom there is no true
greatness; and this incomparable treasure he gave ... for our sins.
Where, now, are those who proudly boast of the powers of our will?
where are the lessons of moral philosophy? where the power and
strength of the law? Our sins being so great that they cannot possibly
be taken away without an immense ransom, shall we pretend to acquire
righteousness by the energy of our will, by the power of the law, and
the doctrines of men? What will all these cunning devices, all these
illusions, avail us? Ah! we will only cover our iniquities with a
spurious righteousness and convert ourselves into hypocrites, whom no
worldly power can save."

  [153] 3rd September, 1519.

  [154] L. Op. (L.) x, 461.

But while Luther thus proves that man's only salvation is in Christ,
he also shows how this salvation changes his nature, and enables him
to abound in good works. "The man," says he, "who has truly heard the
word of Christ, and keeps it, is immediately clothed with the spirit
of charity. If thou lovest him who has made thee a present of twenty
florins, or done thee some service, or in some way given thee a proof
of his affection, how much more oughtest thou to love him, who, on thy
account, has given not silver or gold, but himself, received so many
wounds, endured a bloody sweat, and even died for thee; in one word,
who, in paying for all thy sins, has annihilated death, and secured
for thee a Father full of love in heaven!... If thou lovest him not,
thy heart has not listened to the things which he has done; thou hast
not believed them; for faith works by love." "This epistle," said
Luther, in speaking of the Epistle to the Galatians, "is my epistle--I
am married to it."

His opponents caused him to proceed at a quicker pace than he would
otherwise have done. At this time Eck instigated the Franciscans of
Juterbock to make a new attack upon him; and Luther, in his
reply,[155] not satisfied with repeating what he had already taught,
attacked errors which he had recently discovered. "I would fain know,"
says he, "in what part of Scripture the power of canonising saints has
been given to the popes; and also what the necessity, or even the
utility is, of canonising them?"... "However," adds he, ironically,
"let them canonise as they will."[156]

  [155] Defensio contra malignum Eccli judicium. (Lat. i, p. 356.)

  [156] Canoniset quisque quantum volet. (Ibid. p. 367.)

These new attacks of Luther remained unanswered. The blindness of his
enemies was as favourable to him as his own courage. They passionately
defended secondary matters, and said not a word when they saw the
foundations of Roman doctrine shaking under his hand. While they were
eagerly defending some outworks, their intrepid adversary penetrated
into the heart of the citadel, and there boldly planted the standard
of truth; and hence their astonishment, when they saw the fortress
sapped, blazing, and falling to pieces amid the flames, at the moment
when they thought it impregnable, and were hurling defiance at their
assailants. Thus it is that great changes are accomplished.


The sacrament of the Lord's supper began, at this time, to engage
Luther's attention. He looked for it in the mass, but in vain. One
day, shortly after his return from Leipsic, he mounted the pulpit. Let
us mark his words, for they are the first which he pronounced, on a
subject which afterwards divided the Church and the Reformation into
two parties. "In the holy sacrament of the altar," says he, "there are
three things which it is necessary to know; the sign, which must be
external, visible, and under a corporal form; the thing signified,
which is internal, spiritual, and within the mind; and faith, which
avails itself of both."[157] Had the definitions not been pushed
farther, unity would not have been destroyed.

  [157] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 272.

Luther continues. "It were good that the Church should, by a general
council, decree that both kinds shall be distributed to all the
faithful; not, however, on the ground that one kind is insufficient,
for faith by itself would be sufficient." These bold words pleased his
audience, though some were astonished and offended, and exclaimed,
"This is false and scandalous."[158]

  [158] Ibid. p. 281.

The preacher continues. "There is no union closer, deeper, or more
inseparable than that between food and the body which is nourished by
it. In the sacrament, Christ unites himself to us so closely that he
acts in us as if he were identified with us. Our sins attack him. His
righteousness defends us."

But Luther, not deeming it enough to expound the truth, attacks one of
the most fundamental errors of Rome.[159] The Roman Church pretends
that the sacrament operates by itself, independently of the
disposition of him who receives it. Nothing can be more convenient
than such an opinion, since to it, both the eagerness with which the
sacrament is sought, and the profits of the clergy are to be ascribed.
Luther attacks this doctrine,[160] and maintains its opposite[161]--viz.,
that faith and a right disposition of heart are indispensable.

  [159] "Si quis dixerit per ipsa novæ legis sacramenta _ex opere
  operato_ non conferri gratiam, sed solam fidem divinæ promissionis, ad
  gratiam consequendam sufficere, anathema sit." (Council of Trent,
  Sess. 7, can. 8.) If any man says that grace is not bestowed through
  the Sacraments of the New Covenant, by the mere act, (_ex opere
  operato_,) but that faith alone in the divine promise is sufficient to
  obtain grace, let him be anathema.

  [160] Known by the name of opus operatum, the work performed.

  [161] That of the _opus operantis_, the work of the performer, the

This energetic protestation was destined to overthrow ancient
superstitions; but, strange to say, it attracted no attention. Rome
overlooked what might have made her scream in agony, and impetuously
attacked the unimportant observation which Luther threw out at the
commencement of his discourse, concerning communion in two kinds. The
discourse having been published in December, a general cry of heresy
was raised. "It is just the doctrine of Prague unadulterated," was the
exclamation at the Court of Dresden, where the sermon arrived during
the Christmas festivals. "It is written, moreover, in German, in order
to make it accessible to the common people."[162] The devotion of the
prince was troubled, and on the third day of the festival he wrote to
his cousin Frederick. "Since the publication of this discourse, the
number of persons who receive the sacrament in two kinds has received
an increase of 6000. Your Luther, from being a professor of
Wittemberg, is on the eve of becoming a bishop of Prague, and an
arch-heretic".... The cry was, "he was born in Bohemia, of Bohemian
parents, he was brought up at Prague, and trained in the writings of

  [162] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 281.

Luther judged it right to contradict these rumours in a writing in
which he gravely detailed his parentage. "I was born at Eisleben,"
said he, "and was baptised in St. Peter's church. The nearest town to
Bohemia in which I have ever been, is Dresden."[163]

  [163] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 281.

The letter of Duke George did not prejudice the Elector against
Luther, for a few days after he invited him to a splendid
entertainment which he gave to the Spanish ambassador, and at which
Luther valiantly combated the minister of Charles.[164] The Elector's
chaplain had, by his master's order, requested Luther to use
moderation in defending his cause. "Excessive folly displeases man,"
replied Luther to Spalatin, "but excessive wisdom displeases God. The
gospel cannot be defended without tumult and scandal. The word of God
is sword, war, ruin, scandal, destruction, poison;"[165] and, hence,
as Amos expresses it, "it presents itself like a bear in the path, and
a lioness in the forest. I ask nothing, I demand nothing. There is one
greater than I who asks and demands. Whether he stands or falls, I am
neither gainer nor loser."[166]

  [164] Cærterum ego natus sum in Eisleben.... (L. Ep. i, p. 389.)

  [165] Cum quo heri ego et Philippus certavimus, splendide invitati.
  (Ibid. p. 396.) With whom Philip and I had a debate yesterday at a
  splendid entertainment.

  [166] Verbum Dei gladius est, bellum est, ruina est, scandalum est,
  perditio est, venenum est.... (L. Ep. i, p. 417.)

[Sidenote: ECK'S ATTACK.]

It was obvious that faith and courage were about to become more
necessary to Luther than ever. Eck was forming projects of revenge.
Instead of the laurels which he had counted on gaining, he had become
a laughing-stock to all men of intellect throughout the nation.[167]
Cutting satires were published against him. Eck was cut to the very
heart by "An Epistle of Ignorant Canons," written by Œcolompadius,
and a complaint against him probably by the excellent Pirckheimer of
Nuremberg, exhibiting a combination of sarcasm and dignity of which
the 'Provincial Letters' of Pascal alone can give some idea.

  [167] Ego nihil quæro; est qui quærat. Stet ergo, sive cadat; ego
  nihil lucror, aut amitto. (Ibid. p. 418.)

Luther expressed his dissatisfaction with some of these writings. "It
is better," said he, "to attack openly than to keep barking behind a

  [168] Melior est aperta criminatio, quam iste sub sepe morsus. (Ibid.
  p. 425.)

How greatly the chancellor of Ingolstadt had miscalculated! His
countrymen abandon him, and he prepares for a journey beyond the Alps,
to invoke the aid of strangers. Wherever he goes he vents his
threatenings against Luther, Melancthon, Carlstadt, and the Elector
himself. "From the haughtiness of his expressions," says the doctor of
Wittemberg, "one would say he imagines himself to be God
Almighty."[169] Inflamed with rage, and thirsting for vengeance, Eck,
having in February, 1520, published a work on the primacy of St.
Peter,--a work devoid of sound criticism, in which he maintained that
this apostle, the first of the popes, resided for twenty-five years at
Rome--set out for Italy in order to receive the reward of his
pretended triumphs, and to forge at Rome, near the papal capitol,
thunders mightier than the frail scholastic arms which had given way
in his hands.

  [169] Deum crederes omnipotentem loqui. (L. Ep. i, p. 380.)

Luther was aware of all the dangers to which the journey of his
antagonist would expose him--but he feared not. Spalatin, alarmed,
urged him to make proposals of peace. "No," replied Luther, "so long
as he clamours, I cannot decline the contest. I commit the whole
affair to God, and leave my bark to the winds and waves. It is the
battle of the Lord. How can it be imagined that Christ will advance
his cause by peace? Did he not combat even unto death, and have not
all the martyrs since done the same?"[170]

  [170] Cogor rem Deo committere, data flatibus et fluctibus nave.
  Bellum Domini est.... (Ibid. p. 423.)

Such was the position of the two combatants of Leipsic, at the
commencement of the year 1520. The one was stirring up the whole
papacy to strike a blow at his rival, who, on his part, waited for war
as calmly as if he had been waiting for peace. The year on which we
are entering will see the bursting of the storm.





     Character of Maximilian--The Competitors for the
     Empire--Charles--Francis I--Inclination of the Germans--The
     Crown offered to Frederick--Charles is Elected.

A new character was going to appear upon the stage. God saw meet to
place the monk of Wittemberg in presence of the most powerful monarch
who had appeared in Christendom since Charlemagne. He chose a prince,
in the fervid vigour of youth, to whom every thing presaged a reign of
long duration--a prince whose sceptre extended over a considerable
portion both of the old and the new world; so that, according to a
celebrated expression, the sun never set on his vast dominions--and
opposed him to this humble Reformation, which began with the anguish
and sighs of a poor monk, in the obscure cell of a convent at Erfurt.
The history of this monarch and his reign seems to have been destined
to give a great lesson to the world. It was to show the nothingness of
all "the power of man," when it presumes to contend with "the weakness
of God." Had a prince, friendly to Luther, been called to the empire,
the success of the Reformation would have been attributed to his
protection. Had even an emperor opposed to the new doctrine, but
feeble, occupied the throne, the triumphant success of the work would
have been accounted for by the feebleness of the monarch. But it was
the proud conqueror of Pavia who behoved to humble his pride before
the power of the Divine Word, that all the world might see how he, who
had found it easy to drag Francis I a captive to Madrid, was compelled
to lower his sword before the son of a poor miner.


The Emperor Maximilian was dead, and the electors had met at Frankfort
to give him a successor. In the circumstances in which Europe was
placed, this election was of vast importance, and was regarded with
deep interest by all Christendom. Maximilian had not been a great
prince; but his memory was dear to the people, who took a pleasure in
remembering his presence of mind and good-humoured affability. Luther
often talked of him to his friends, and one day related the following

A beggar had kept running after him asking charity, and addressing him
as his _brother_; "for," said he, "we are both descended from the same
father, Adam. I am poor," continued he, "but you are rich, and it is
your duty to assist me." At these words the emperor turned round and
said to him--"Hold, there's a penny: go to your other brothers, and if
each gives you as much, you will soon be richer than I am."[171]

  [171] L. Op. (W.) xxii, 1869.

The person about to be called to the empire was not a good-natured
Maximilian. Times were to undergo a change; ambitious potentates were
competing for the imperial throne of the West; the reins of the empire
were to be seized by an energetic hand; profound peace was to be
succeeded by long and bloody wars.


At the assembly of Frankfort, three kings aspired to the crown of the
Cæsars. A youthful prince, grandson of the last emperor, born at the
opening of the century, and consequently nineteen years of age, first
presented himself. He was named Charles, and was born at Ghent. His
paternal grandmother, Mary, daughter of Charles the Bold, had left him
Flanders and the rich States of Burgundy. His mother, Joan, daughter
of Ferdinand of Arragon and Isabella of Castile, and wife of Philip,
son of the Emperor Maximilian, had transmitted to him the united
kingdoms of Spain, Naples, and Sicily, to which Christopher Columbus
had added a new world, while the recent death of his grandfather put
him in possession of the hereditary States of Austria. This young
prince, who was endowed with great talents. To a turn for military
exercises (in which the dukes of Burgundy had long been
distinguished)--to the finesse and penetration of the Italians--to the
reverence for existing institutions which still characterises the
house of Austria, and promised the papacy a firm defender, he joined a
thorough knowledge of public affairs, acquired under the direction of
Chièvres, having from fifteen years of age taken part in all the
deliberations of his cabinet.[172] These diversified qualities were,
in a manner, shrouded under Spanish reserve and taciturnity. In
personal appearance he was tall in stature, and had somewhat of a
melancholy air. "He is pious and tranquil," said Luther, "and I
believe does not speak as much in a year as I do in a day."[173] Had
the character of Charles been formed under the influence of freedom
and Christianity, he would perhaps have been one of the most
admirable princes on record; but politics engrossed his life, and
stifled his great and good qualities.

  [172] Memoires de Bellay, i, 45.

  [173] L. Op. (W.) xxii, 1874.

Not contented with all the sceptres which he grasped in his hand,
young Charles aspired to the imperial dignity. "It is like a sunbeam,
which throws lustre on the house which it illumines," said several,
"but put forth the hand to lay hold of it and you will find nothing."
Charles, on the contrary, saw in it the pinnacle of all earthly
grandeur, and a means of acquiring a magic influence over the spirit
of the nations.

Francis I was the second of the competitors. The young paladins of the
court of this chivalric king were incessantly representing to him that
he was entitled, like Charlemagne, to be the emperor of all the West,
and reviving the exploits of the ancient knights, to attack the
crescent which was menacing the empire, discomfit the infidels, and
recover the holy sepulchre.

"It is necessary," said the ambassadors of Francis to the electors,
"it is necessary to prove to the Dukes of Austria, that the imperial
crown is not hereditary. Besides, in existing circumstances, Germany
has need not of a young man of nineteen, but of a prince who, to an
experienced judgment, joins talents which have already been
recognised. Francis will unite the arms of France and Lombardy to
those of Germany, and make war on the Mussulmans. Sovereign of the
duchy of Milan, he is already a member of the imperial body." These
arguments, the French ambassadors supported by four hundred thousand
crowns, which they distributed in purchasing votes and in festivities,
by which they endeavoured to gain over their guests.

The third competitor was Henry VIII, who, jealous of the influence
which the choice of the electors might give to Francis or Charles,
also entered the lists, but soon left his powerful rivals sole
disputants for the crown.

The electors were not disposed to favour either. Their subjects
thought they would have in Francis a foreign master, and a master who
might deprive the electors themselves of their independence, as he had
lately deprived the nobles of his own dominions. As to Charles, it was
an ancient rule with the electors not to choose a prince who was
already playing an important part in the empire. The pope shared in
these fears. He wished neither the king of Naples, who was his
neighbour, nor the king of France, whose enterprising spirit filled
him with alarm; "Choose rather some one from amongst yourselves," was
his message to the electors. The elector of Trèves proposed Frederick
of Saxony, and the imperial crown was laid at the feet of Luther's


This choice would have obtained the approbation of all Germany.
Frederick's wisdom, and affection for his people, were well known.
During the revolt of Erfurt, he had been urged to take the town by
assault, and refused, in order to spare blood. "But it will not cost
five men." "A single man would be too many," replied the prince.[174]
The triumph of the Reformation seemed on the eve of being secured by
the election of its protector. Ought not Frederick to have regarded
the offer of the electors as a call from God himself? Who could have
presided better over the destinies of the empire than a prince of so
much wisdom? Who could have been stronger to oppose the Turks than an
emperor strong in faith? The refusal of the Elector of Saxony, so much
lauded by historians, was perhaps a fault. For the contests which
afterwards tore Germany to pieces he is perhaps partly to blame. But
it is difficult to say whether Frederick deserves censure for his want
of faith or honour for his humility. He thought that even the safety
of the empire made it his duty to refuse the crown.[175] "To save
Germany," said this modest and disinterested prince, "an emperor more
powerful than I is requisite."

  [174] L. Op. (W.) xxii, p. 1858.

  [175] "Is vero heroïca plane moderatione animi magnifice
  repudiavit".... (Pallavicini, i, p. 79.) With a moderation amounting
  to heroism he nobly declined it.

The legate of Rome seeing that the choice would fall upon Charles,
intimated that the pope withdrew his objections; and on the 28th of
June, the grandson of Maximilian was elected. "God," said Frederick
afterwards, "gave him to us in mercy and in anger."[176] The Spanish
envoys sent a present of thirty thousand gold florins to the Elector
of Saxony, as a mark of their master's gratitude; but the prince
refused it, and charged his ministers not to accept of any present. At
the same time he secured the German liberties by an engagement, to
which the envoys of Charles took an oath in his name. The
circumstances in which the latter prince encircled his head with the
imperial crown seemed still better fitted than the oath to secure the
Germanic liberties, and the success of the Reformation. The young
prince was jealous of the laurels which his rival, Francis I, had
gained at Marignan. The struggle was to be continued in Italy, and in
the meantime the Reformation would doubtless be made secure. Charles
left Spain in May, 1520, and was crowned on the 22nd of October, at

  [176] L. Op. (W.) xxii, p. 1880.


     Luther writes to the Emperor--Luther's dangers--Instructions
     of Frederick to the court of Rome--Luther's
     sentiments--Melancthon's fears--The German nobles favourable
     to the Reformation--Schaumburg--Seckingen--Ulric de
     Hütten--Luther's Confidence--Luther's Greater Freedom--Faith
     the source of Works--What Faith gives--Luther judging his
     own writings.


Luther had foreseen that the cause of the Reformation would soon be
brought before the new emperor; and, when Charles was still at Madrid,
addressed a letter to him, in which he said, "If the cause which I
defend is worthy of being presented before the heavenly Majesty, it
cannot be unworthy of engaging the attention of a prince of this
world. O, Charles! prince of the kings of the earth, I cast myself as
a suppliant at the feet of your most serene majesty, and beseech you
to deign to take under the shadow of your wings, not me, but the very
cause of eternal truth, for the defence of which God has entrusted you
with the sword."[177] The young king of Spain threw aside this odd
letter from a German monk, and returned no answer.

  [177] Causam ipsam veritatis.... (L. Ep. i, p. 392. 15th Jan., 1520.)

While Luther was turning in vain toward Madrid, the storm seemed
gathering around him. Fanaticism was rekindled in Germany.
Hochstraten, indefatigable in his efforts at persecution, had
extracted certain theses from Luther's writings, and obtained their
condemnation by the universities of Cologne and Louvain. That of
Erfurt, which had always had a grudge at Luther, for having given
Wittemberg the preference, was on the eve of following their example.
But the doctor, having been informed of it, wrote Lange, in terms so
energetic that the theologians of Erfurt took fright, and said
nothing. Still, however, there was enough to inflame the minds of men
in the condemnation pronounced by Cologne and Louvain. More than this;
the priests of Misnia who had espoused Emser's quarrel said openly
(such is Melancthon's statement) that there would be no sin in killing
Luther.[178] "The time is come," said Luther, "when men think they
will do Jesus Christ service by putting us to death." The murderous
language of the priests did not fail of its effect.

  [178] "Ut sine peccato esse eum censebant qui me interfecerit." (L.
  Ep. i, p. 383.)


"One day," says a biographer, "when Luther was in front of the
Augustin convent, a stranger, with a pistol hid under his arm,
accosted him, and said, Why do you walk about thus quite alone?" "I
am in the hands of God," replied Luther; "He is my strength and my
shield." "Thereupon," adds the biographer, "the stranger grew pale,
and fled trembling."[179] About the same time Serra Longa, the orator
of the conference of Augsburg, wrote to the Elector, "Let not Luther
find any asylum in the states of your highness, but, repulsed by all,
let him be stoned to death in the face of heaven. This would please me
more than a gift of ten thousand crowns."[180]

  [179] Was kann mir ein Mensch thun? (Keith, L. Umstände, p. 89.)

  [180] Tenze, Hist. Ber. ii, p. 168.

But the sound of the gathering storm was heard, especially in the
direction of Rome. Valentine Teutleben, a noble of Thuringia, vicar of
the Archbishop of Mentz, and a zealous partisan of the papacy, was the
representative of the Elector of Saxony at Rome. Teutleben, ashamed of
the protection which his master gave to the heretical monk, could not
bear to see his mission paralysed by this imprudent conduct; and
imagined that, by alarming the Elector, he would induce him to abandon
the rebel theologian. Writing to his master, he said, "I am not
listened to, because of the protection which you give to Luther." But
the Romans were mistaken if they thought they could frighten sage
Frederick. He knew that the will of God and the movements of the
people were more irresistible than the decrees of the papal chancery.
He ordered his envoy to hint to the pope that, far from defending
Luther, he had always left him to defend himself, that he had moreover
told him to quit Saxony and the university, that the doctor had
declared his readiness to obey, and would not now be in the electoral
states had not the legate, Charles de Miltitz, begged the prince to
keep him near himself, from a fear that in other countries he would
act with still less restraint than in Saxony.[181] Frederick did still
more; he tried to enlighten Rome. "Germany," continues he, in his
letter, "now possesses a great number of learned men distinguished for
scholarship and science; the laity themselves begin to cultivate their
understanding, and to love the Holy Scriptures. Hence, there is great
reason to fear that, if the equitable proposals of Doctor Luther are
not accepted, peace will never be re-established. The doctrine of
Luther has struck its roots deep in many hearts. If, instead of
refuting it by passages from the Bible, an attempt is made to crush
him by the thunders of ecclesiastical power, great scandal will be
given, and pernicious and dreadful outbreaks will ensue."[182]

  [181] Da er viel freyer und sicherer schreiben und handeln möchte was
  er wollte.... (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 298.)

  [182] Schreckliche, grausame, schädliche und verderbliche Empörungen
  erregen. (Ibid.)


The Elector, having full confidence in Luther, caused Teutleben's
letter to be communicated to him, and also another letter from
cardinal St. George. The Reformer was moved on reading them. He at
once saw all the dangers by which he was surrounded, and for an
instant his heart sank. But it was in such moments as these that his
faith displayed its full power. Often, when feeble and ready to fall
into despondency, he rallied again, and seemed greater amid the raging
of the storm. He would fain have been delivered from all these trials;
but, aware of the price that must have been paid for repose, he
spurned it with indignation. "Be silent!" said he, "I am disposed to
be so, if I am allowed--that is to say, if others are silent. If any
one envies my situation he is welcome to it. If any one is desirous to
destroy my writings, let him burn them. I am ready to remain quiet,
provided gospel truth is not compelled to be quiet also.[183] I ask
not a cardinal's hat; I ask neither gold, nor aught that Rome esteems.
There is nothing which I will not concede, provided Christians are not
excluded from the way of salvation.[184] All their threatenings do not
terrify--all their promises cannot seduce me."

  [183] Semper quiescere paratus, modo veritatem evangelicam non jubeant
  quiescere. (L. Ep. i, p. 462.)

  [184] Si salutis viam Christianis permittant esse liberam, hoc unum
  peto ab illis, ac præterea nihil.... (Ibid.)

Animated by these sentiments, Luther soon resumed his warlike
temperament, preferring the Christian combat to the calmness of
solitude. One night was sufficient to revive his desire of
overthrowing Rome. "My part is taken," wrote he next day. "I despise
the fury of Rome, and I despise her favour. No more reconciliation,
nor more communication with her for ever.[185] Let her condemn and
burn my writings! I, in my turn, will condemn and publicly burn the
pontifical law, that nest of all heresies. The moderation which I have
shown up to this hour has been useless, and I have done with it!"

  [185] Nolo eis reconciliari nec communicare in perpetuum.... (Ibid. p.
  466, 10th July, 1520.)

His friends were far from feeling equally tranquil. Great alarm
prevailed at Wittemberg. "We are waiting in extreme anxiety," said
Melancthon. "I would sooner die than be separated from Luther.[186]
Unless God come to our assistance we perish." Writing a month later,
in his anxiety, he says, "Our Luther still lives, and God grant he
long may; for the Roman sycophants are using every mean to destroy
him. Pray for the life of him who is sole vindicator of sound

  [186] Emori malim, quam ab hoc viro avelli. (Corp. Reform. pp. 160,

  [187] Martinus noster spirat, atque utinam diu.... (Corpus Refor. i,
  pp. 190, 208.)


These prayers were not in vain. The warnings which the Elector had
given Rome, through his envoy, were not without foundation. The word
of Luther had been every where heard, in cottages, and convents, at
the firesides of the citizens, in the castles of nobles, in academies,
and in the palaces of kings. He had said to Duke John of Saxony, "Let
my life only have contributed to the salvation of a single individual,
and I will willingly consent that all my books perish."[188] Not a
single individual, but a great multitude, had found light in the
writings of the humble doctor; and hence, in all quarters, there were
men ready to protect him. The sword which was to attack him was on the
anvil of the Vatican; but there were heroes in Germany who would
interpose their bodies as his buckler. At the moment when the bishops
were waxing wroth, when princes were silent, when the people were
awaiting the result, and when the thunder was already grumbling on the
seven hills, God raised up the German nobility, and placed them as a
rampart around his servant.

  [188] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 392.

At this time Sylvester of Schaumburg, one of the most powerful nobles
of Franconia, sent his son to Wittemberg with a letter for the
Reformer, in which he said, "Your life is exposed to danger. If the
support of electors, princes, or magistrates fails you, I beg you to
beware of going into Bohemia, where, of old, very learned men had much
to suffer; come rather to me; God willing, I shall soon have collected
more than a hundred gentlemen, and with their help, will be able to
keep you free from harm."[189]

  [189] "Denn Ich, und hundert von Adel, die Ich (ob Gott will)
  aufbringen will, euch redlich anhalten".... (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p.


Francis of Seckingen, the hero of his age, whose intrepid courage we
have already seen,[190] loved the Reformer, because he found that he
was worthy of love, and also because he was hated by the monks.[191]
"My person, my property, and services, all that I possess," wrote he
to him, "is at your disposal. Your wish is to maintain Christian
truth, and in that I am ready to assist you."[192] Harmuth of
Cronberg, spoke in similar terms. Ulric von Hütten, the poet and
valiant knight of the sixteenth century, ceased not to speak in
commendation of Luther. But how great the contrast between these two
men! Hütten wrote to the Reformer--"We must have swords, bows,
javelins, and bullets, to destroy the fury of the devil." Luther, on
receiving these letters, exclaimed--"I have no wish that men should
have recourse to arms and carnage in order to defend the gospel. It
was by the Word the world was overcome, by the Word the Church has
been saved, and by the Word will she be re-established." "I despise
not his offers," said he on receiving the above letter from
Schaumburg, "but still I wish to lean on none but Christ."[193] So
spake not the pontiffs of Rome when they waded in the blood of the
Vaudois and Albigenses. Hütten was sensible of the difference between
his cause and Luther's, and accordingly wrote with noble frankness: "I
am occupied with the things of man, but you, rising to a far greater
height, give yourself wholly to those of God."[194] After thus
writing, he set out to try, if possible, to gain over Ferdinand and
Charles V to the truth.[195]

  [190] "Equitum Germaniæ rarum decus;" "the pink of German knights,"
  says Melancthon on this occasion. (Corp. Reform. i, p. 201.)

  [191] Et ob id invisus illis (Ibid. p. 132.)

  [192] (Ibid.)

  [193] "Nolo nisi Christo protectore niti." (L. Ep. i, p. 148.)

  [194] Mea humana sunt; tu perfectior jam totus ex divinis pendes. (L.
  Op. Lat. ii. p. 175.)

  [195] Viam facturus libertati (cod. Bavar veritati) per maximos
  principes. (Corp. Reform. i, p. 201.) To make a way for liberty (in
  the Bavarian MS. "truth,") by means of the greatest princes.

Thus, on the one hand, Luther's enemies assail him, and on the other,
his friends rise up to defend him. "My bark," says he, "floats here
and there at the pleasure of the winds, ... hope and fear reign by
turns, but what matters it?"[196] Still his mind was not uninfluenced
by the marks of sympathy which he received. "The Lord reigns," said
he, "and so visibly as to be almost palpable."[197] Luther saw that he
was no longer alone; his words had proved faithful, and the thought
inspired him with new courage. Now that he has other defenders
prepared to brave the fury of Rome, he will no longer be kept back by
the fear of compromising the Elector. He becomes more free, and, if
possible, more decided. This is an important period in the development
of Luther's mind. Writing at this time to the Elector's chaplain, he
says, "Rome must be made aware, that though she should succeed, by her
menaces, in exiling me from Wittemberg, she will only damage her
cause. Those who are ready to defend me against the thunders of the
papacy are to be found not in Bohemia, but in the heart of Germany. If
I have not yet done to my enemies all that I am preparing for them,
they must ascribe it neither to my moderation nor to their tyranny,
but to my fear of compromising the name of the Elector, and the
prosperity of the university of Wittemberg. Now, that I have no longer
any such fears, I will rush with new impetuosity on Rome and her

  [196] "Ita fluctuat navis mea; nunc spes, nunc timor regnat." (L. Ep.
  i, p. 443.)

  [197] "Dominus regnat, ut palpare possimus." (Ibid. p. 451.)

  [198] "Sævius in Romanenses grassaturus".... (L. Ep. i, p. 465.)


Still Luther's hope was not placed on the great. He had often been
urged to dedicate a book to Duke John, the Elector's brother, but had
never done it. "I fear," he had said, "that the suggestion comes from
himself. The Holy Scriptures must be subservient only to the glory of
God's name."[199] Luther afterwards laid aside his suspicions, and
dedicated his discourse on good works to Duke John, a discourse in
which he gives a forcible exposition of the doctrine of justification
by faith, a mighty doctrine, whose power he rates far higher than the
sword of Hütten, the army of Seckingen, or the protection of dukes and

  [199] "Scripturam sacram nolim alicujus nomini nisi Dei servire."
  (Ibid. p. 431.) I would not have sacred Scripture subservient to any
  name but that of God.

"The first, the noblest, the sublimest of all works," says he, "is
faith in Jesus Christ.[200] From this work all other works should
proceed; they are all the vassals of faith, and from it alone derive
their efficacy.

  [200] Das erste und höchste, alleredelste ... gute Werck ist der
  Glaube in Christum.... (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 394.)

"If a man's own heart assures him, that what he is doing is agreeable
to God, the work is good should it be merely the lifting up of a
straw, but in the absence of this assurance the work is not good,
though it should be the raising of the dead. A pagan, a Jew, a Turk, a
sinner, can do all other works, but to trust firmly in the Lord, and
feel assured of pleasing him, are works of which none are capable but
the Christian strengthened by grace.

"A Christian, who has faith in God, acts, at all times, with freedom
and gladness, whereas, the man who is not at one with God is full of
cares, and is detained in thraldom; he anxiously asks how many works
he ought to do, he runs up and down interrogating this man and that
man, and, nowhere finding any peace, does everything with
dissatisfaction and fear.

"Hence, I have always extolled faith. But it is otherwise in the
world: there the essential point is to have many works, works great
and high, and of all dimensions, while it is a matter of indifference
whether or not faith animates them. Thus men build their peace, not on
the good pleasure of God, but on their own merits, that is to say, on
the sand.... (Matt. vii, 27.)

"To preach faith is, it is said, to prevent good works; but though a
single man should have in himself the powers of all men, or even of
all creatures,[201] the mere obligation of living by faith would be a
task too great for him ever to accomplish. If I say to a sick person,
be in health and you will have the use of your members--will it be
said that I forbid him to use his members? Must not health precede
labour? The same holds true in the preaching of faith; it must be
before works, in order that works themselves may exist.

  [201] Wenn ein Mensch tausend, oder alle Menschen, oder alle Creaturen
  wäre. (L. Op. (L.) p. 398.) "Were one man a thousand, or all men, or
  all creatures."

"Where then, you will ask, is this faith found, and how is it
received? This, indeed, is the most important of all questions. Faith
comes solely from Jesus Christ, who is promised, and given


"O, man! represent Christ to thyself, and consider how in him God
manifests his mercy to thee without being anticipated by any merit on
thy part.[202] In this image of his grace receive the faith and
assurance that all thy sins are forgiven thee. Works cannot produce
it. It flows from the blood, the wounds, and the death of Christ,
whence it wells up in the heart. Christ is the rock out of which come
milk and honey. (Deut. xxxii.)

  [202] Siehe, also musst du Christum in dich bilden, und sehen wie in
  Ihm Gott--seine Barmherzigkeit dir fürhält und arbeut (Ibid. p. 401.)

Not being able to give an account of all Luther's works, we have
quoted some short fragments of this discourse on good works, on
account of the opinion which the Reformer himself had of it. "It is in
my judgment," said he, "the best work that I have published." He
immediately subjoins this profound observation. "But I know that when
any thing I write pleases myself, the infection of this bad leaven
prevents it from pleasing others."[203] Melancthon, in sending a copy
of this discourse to a friend, thus expressed himself, "Of all Greek
and Latin authors none has come nearer the spirit of St. Paul than

  [203] "Erit meo judicio omnium quæ ediderim, optimum: quanquam scio
  quæ mihi mea placent, hoc ipso fermento infecta, non solere aliis
  placere." (L. Ep. i, p. 431.)

  [204] "Quo ad Pauli spiritum nemo proprius accessit" (Corp. Refor. i,
  p. 202.)


     The Papacy Attacked--Appeal to the Nobility--The Three
     Walls--All Christians are Priests--The Magistrate's duty to
     Correct the Clergy--Abuses of Rome--Ruin of Italy--Dangers
     of Germany--The Pope--The Legates--The Monks--The Marriage
     of Priests--Celibacy--Festivals--The Bohemians--Charity--The
     Universities--The Empire--The Emperor must retake Rome--A
     Book not Published--Luther's Modesty--Success of the

[Sidenote: THE THREE WALLS.]

But the substitution of a system of meritorious works for the idea of
grace and amnesty was not the only evil existing in the Church. A
domineering power had risen up among the humble pastors of Christ's
flock. Luther must attack this usurped authority. A vague and distant
rumour of Eck's intrigues and success at Rome awakened a warlike
spirit in the Reformer, who, amid all his turmoil, had calmly studied
the origin, progress, and usurpations of the papacy. His discoveries
having filled him with surprise, he no longer hesitated to communicate
them and strike the blow which was destined, like the rod of Moses of
old, to awaken a whole nation out of a lethargy, the result of long
bondage. Even before Rome had time to publish her formidable bull, he
published his declaration of war. "The time of silence," exclaims he,
"is past; the time for speaking has arrived. The mysteries of
Antichrist must at length be unveiled." On the 24th June, 1502, he
published his famous '_Appeal to his Imperial Majesty, and the Christian
Nobility of Germany, on the Reformation of Christianity._'[205]
This work was the signal of the attack which was at once to complete
the rupture and decide the victory.

  [205] L. Op. (L.) xvii, 457-502.

"It is not from presumption," says he, at the outset of this Treatise,
"that I, who am only one of the people, undertake to address your
lordships. The misery and oppression endured at this moment by all the
States of Christendom, and more especially by Germany, wring from me a
cry of distress. I must call for aid; I must see whether God will not
give his Spirit to some one of our countrymen, and stretch out a hand
to our unhappy nation. God has given us a young and generous prince,
(the Emperor Charles V,)[206] and thus filled our hearts with high
hopes. But we too must, on our own part, do all we can.

  [206] Gott hat uns ein junges edles Blut zum Haupt gegeben. (Ibid., p.

"Now, the first thing necessary is, not to confide in our own great
strength, or our own high wisdom. When any work otherwise good is
begun in self-confidence, God casts it down, and destroys it.
Frederick I, Frederick II, and many other emperors besides, before
whom the world trembled, have been trampled upon by the popes, because
they trusted more to their own strength than to God. They could not
but fall. In this war we have to combat the powers of hell, and our
mode of conducting it must be to expect nothing from the strength of
human weapons--to trust humbly in the Lord, and look still more to the
distress of Christendom than to the crimes of the wicked. It may be
that, by a different procedure, the work would begin under more
favourable appearances, but suddenly in the heat of the contest
confusion would arise, bad men would cause fearful disaster, and the
world would be deluged with blood. The greater the power, the greater
the danger, when things are not done in the fear of the Lord."

After this exordium, Luther continues:--

"The Romans, to guard against every species of reformation, have
surrounded themselves with three walls. When attacked by the temporal
power, they denied its jurisdiction over them, and maintained the
superiority of the spiritual power. When tested by Scripture, they
replied, that none could interpret it but the pope. When threatened
with a council, they again replied, that none but the pope could
convene it.


"They have thus carried off from us the three rods destined to
chastise them, and abandoned themselves to all sorts of wickedness.
But now may God be our help, and give us one of the trumpets which
threw down the walls of Jericho. Let us blow down the walls of paper
and straw which the Romans have built around them, and lift up the
rods which punish the wicked, by bringing the wiles of the devil to
the light of day."

Luther next commences the attack, and shakes to the foundation that
papal monarchy which had for ages united the nations of the West into
one body under the sceptre of the Roman bishop. There is no sacerdotal
caste in Christianity. This truth, of which the Church was so early
robbed, he vigorously expounds in the following terms:--

"It has been said that the pope, the bishops, the priests, and all
those who people convents, form the spiritual or ecclesiastical
estate; and that princes, nobles, citizens, and peasants, form the
secular or lay estate. This is a specious tale. But let no man be
alarmed. All Christians belong to the spiritual estate, and the only
difference between them is in the functions which they fulfil. We have
all but one baptism, but one faith, and these constitute the spiritual
man. Unction, tonsure, ordination, consecration, given by the pope or
by a bishop, may make a hypocrite, but can never make a spiritual man.
We are all consecrated priests by baptism, as St. Peter says, 'You are
a royal priesthood;' although all do not actually perform the offices
of kings and priests, because no one can assume what is common to all,
without the common consent. But if this consecration of God did not
belong to us, the unction of the pope could not make a single priest.
If ten brothers, the sons of one king, and possessing equal claims to
his inheritance, should choose one of their number to administer for
them, they would all be kings, and yet only one of them would be the
administrator of their common power. So it is in the Church. Were
several pious laymen banished to a desert, and were they, from not
having among them a priest consecrated by a bishop, to agree in
selecting one of their number, whether married or not, he would be as
truly a priest, as if all the bishops of the world had consecrated
him. In this way were Augustine, Ambrose, and Cyprian elected.

"Hence it follows that laymen and priests, princes and bishops, or, as
we have said, ecclesiastics and laics, have nothing to distinguish
them but their functions. They have all the same condition, but they
have not all the same work to perform.


"This being so, why should not the magistrate correct the clergy? The
secular power was appointed by God for the punishment of the wicked
and the protection of the good, and must be left free to act
throughout Christendom without respect of persons, be they pope,
bishops, priests, monks, or nuns. St. Paul says to all Christians,
'_Let every soul_,' (and consequently the pope also,) '_be subject to
the higher powers; for they bear not the sword in vain_.'"[207]

  [207] Πᾶσα Ψυχή, Rom. xiii. 1. 4.

Luther, after throwing down the other two walls in the same way, takes
a review of all the abuses of Rome. With an eloquence of a truly
popular description he exposes evils which had, for ages, been
notorious. Never had a nobler remonstrance been heard. The assembly
which Luther addresses is the Church, the power whose abuses he
attacks is that papacy which had for ages been the oppressor of all
nations, and the Reformation for which he calls aloud is destined to
exercise its powerful influence on Christendom, all over the world,
and so long as man shall exist upon it.

He begins with the pope. "It is monstrous," says he, "to see him who
calls himself the vicar of Jesus Christ displaying a magnificence,
unequalled by that of any emperor. Is this the way in which he proves
his resemblance to lowly Jesus, or humble Peter? He is, it is said,
the lord of the world. But Christ, whose vicar he boasts to be, has
said, '_My kingdom is not of this world_.' Can the power of a
vicegerent exceed that of his prince?..."

Luther proceeds to depict the consequences of the papal domination.
"Do you know of what use the cardinals are? I will tell you. Italy and
Germany have many convents, foundations, and benefices, richly
endowed. How could their revenues be brought to Rome?... Cardinals
were created; then, on them, cloisters and prelacies were bestowed,
and at this hour ... Italy is almost a desert--the convents are
destroyed--the bishopricks devoured--the towns in decay--the
inhabitants corrupted--worship dying out, and preaching abolished....
Why? Because all the revenues of the churches go to Rome. Never would
the Turk himself have so ruined Italy."

Luther next turns to his countrymen.


"And now that they have thus sucked the blood of their own country,
they come into Germany. They begin gently, but let us be on our guard.
Germany will soon become like Italy. We have already some cardinals.
Their thought is--before the rustic Germans comprehend our design they
will have neither bishoprick, nor convent, nor benefice, nor penny,
nor farthing. Antichrist must possess the treasures of the earth.
Thirty or forty cardinals will be elected in a single day; to one will
be given Bamberg, to another the duchy of Wurtzburg, and rich
benefices will be annexed until the churches and cities are laid
desolate. And then the pope will say, 'I am the vicar of Christ, and
the pastor of his flocks. Let the Germans be resigned.'"

Luther's indignation rises.

"How do we Germans submit to such robbery and concussion on the part
of the pope? If France has successfully resisted, why do we allow
ourselves to be thus sported with and insulted? Ah! if they deprived
us of nothing but our goods. But they ravage churches, plunder the
sheep of Christ, abolish the worship and suppress the word of God."

Luther then exposes the devices of Rome to obtain money and secure the
revenues of Germany. Annats, palliums, commendams, administrations,
expected favours, incorporations, reservations, etc., all pass in
review. Then he says, "Let us endeavour to put a stop to this
desolation and misery. If we would march against the Turks--let us
begin with the worst species of them. If we hang pickpockets, and
behead robbers, let us not allow Roman avarice to escape--avarice,
which is the greatest of all thieves and robbers, and that too in the
name of St. Peter and Jesus Christ. Who can endure it? Who can be
silent? Is not all that the pope possesses stolen? He neither
purchased it nor inherited it from St. Peter, nor acquired it by the
sweat of his own brow. Where then did he get it?"

Luther proposes remedies for all these evils, and energetically
arouses the German nobility to put an end to Roman depredation. He
next comes to the reform of the pope himself. "Is it not ridiculous,"
says he, "that the pope should pretend to be the lawful heir of the
empire? Who gave it to him? Was it Jesus Christ, when he said, '_The
kings of the earth exercise lordship over them, but it shall not be so
with you'?_ (Luke, xxii, 25, 26). How can he govern an empire, and at
the same time preach, pray, study, and take care of the poor? Jesus
Christ forbade his disciples to carry with them gold or clothes,
because the office of the ministry cannot be performed without freedom
from every other care; yet the pope would govern the empire, and at
the same time remain pope."...


Luther continues to strip the sovereign pontiff of his spoils. "Let
the pope renounce every species of title to the kingdom of Naples and
Sicily. He has no more right to it than I have. His possession of
Bologna, Imola, Ravenna, Romagna, Marche d'Ancona, etc., is unjust and
contrary to the commands of Jesus Christ. '_No man_,' says St. Paul,
'_who goeth a warfare entangleth_ _himself with the affairs of this
life_,' (2 Tim. ii, 2). And the pope, who pretends to take the lead in
the war of the gospel, entangles himself more with the affairs of this
life than any emperor or king. He must be disencumbered of all this
toil. The emperor should put a bible and a prayer book into the hands
of the pope, that the pope may leave kings to govern, and devote
himself to preaching and prayer."[208]

  [208] Ihm die Biblien und Betbücher dafür anzeigen .... und er predige
  und bete. (L. Op. xvii, p. 472.)

Luther is as averse to the pope's ecclesiastical power in Germany as
to his temporal power in Italy. "The first thing necessary is to
banish from all the countries of Germany, the legates of the pope, and
the pretended blessings which they sell us at the weight of gold, and
which are sheer imposture. They take our money--and why? For
legalising ill gotten gain, for loosing oaths, and teaching us to
break faith, to sin, and go direct to hell.... Hearest thou, O, pope!
not pope most holy, but pope most sinful.... May God, from his place
in heaven, cast down thy throne into the infernal abyss!"

The Christian tribune pursues his course. After citing the pope to his
bar, he cites all the abuses in the train of the papacy, and
endeavours to sweep away from the Church all the rubbish by which it
is encumbered. He begins with the monks.

"And now I come to a lazy band which promises much, but performs
little. Be not angry, dear Sirs, my intention is good; what I have to
say is a truth at once sweet and bitter; viz., that it is no longer
necessary to build cloisters for mendicant monks. Good God! we have
only too many of them, and would they were all suppressed.... To
wander vagabond over the country never has done, and never will do

The marriage of ecclesiastics comes next in course. It is the first
occasion on which Luther speaks of it.


"Into what a state have the clergy fallen, and how many priests are
burdened with women and children and remorse, while no one comes to
their assistance? Let the pope and the bishops run their course, and
let those who will, go to perdition; all very well! but I am resolved
to unburden my conscience and open my mouth freely, however pope,
bishops, and others may be offended!... I say, then, that according to
the institution of Jesus Christ and the apostles, every town ought to
have a pastor or bishop, and that this pastor may have a wife, as St.
Paul writes to Timothy, "_Let the bishop be the husband of one wife_,"
(1 Tim. iii. 2,) and as is still practised in the Greek Church. But
the devil has persuaded the pope, as St. Paul tells Timothy (1 Tim.
iv, 1-3), to forbid the clergy to marry. And hence, evils so
numerous, that it is impossible to give them in detail. What is to be
done? How are we to save the many pastors who are blameworthy only in
this, that they live with a female, to whom they wish with all their
heart to be lawfully united? Ah! let them save their conscience! let
them take this woman in lawful wedlock, and live decently with her,
not troubling themselves whether it pleases or displeases the pope.
The salvation of your soul is of greater moment than arbitrary and
tyrannical laws, laws not imposed by the Lord."

In this way the Reformation sought to restore purity of morals within
the Church. The Reformer continues:--

"Let feast-days be abolished, and let Sunday only be kept, or if it is
deemed proper to keep the great Christian festivals, let them be
celebrated in the morning, and let the remainder of the day be a
working-day as usual. For by the ordinary mode of spending them in
drinking and gaming and committing all sorts of sins, or in mere
idleness, God is offended on festivals much more than on other days."

He afterwards attacks the dedications of Churches, (which he describes
as mere taverns,) and after them fasts and fraternities. He desires
not only to suppress abuses, but also to put an end to schisms. "It is
time," says he, "to take the case of the Bohemians into serious
consideration, that hatred and envy may cease, and union be again
established." He proposes excellent methods of conciliation, and
adds--"In this way must heretics be refuted by Scripture, as the
ancient fathers did, and not subdued by fire. On a contrary system,
executioners would be the most learned of all doctors. Oh! would to
God that each party among us would shake hands with each other in
fraternal humility, rather than harden ourselves in the idea of our
power and right! Charity is more necessary than the Roman papacy. I
have now done what was in my power. If the pope or his people oppose
it, they will have to give an account. The pope should be ready to
renounce the popedom, and all his wealth, and all his honours, if he
could thereby save a single soul. But he would see the universe go to
destruction sooner than yield a hair-breadth of his usurped
power.[209] I am clear of these things."

  [209] Nun liess er ehe dei Welt untergehen, ehe er ein Haarbreit
  seiner varmessenen Gewalt liesse abbrechen. (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p.

Luther next comes to universities and schools.


"I much fear the universities will become wide gates to hell, if due
care is not taken to explain the Holy Scriptures, and engrave it on
the hearts of the students. My advice to every person is, not to place
his child where the Scripture does not reign paramount. Every
institution in which the studies carried on lead to a relaxed
consideration of the Word of God must prove corrupting;[210] a weighty
sentiment, which governments, literary men, and parents in all ages
would do well to ponder."

  [210] Es muss verderben, alles was nicht Gottes Wort ohn Unterlass
  treibt. (L. Op. L. xvii, p. 486.)

Towards the end of his address he returns to the empire and the

"The popes," says he, "unable to lead the ancient masters of the Roman
empire at will, resolved on wresting their title and their empire from
them and giving it to us Germans. This they accomplished, and we have
become bondmen to the pope. For the pope has possessed himself of
Rome, and bound the emperor by oath never to reside in it; and the
consequence is, that the emperor is the emperor of Rome without having
Rome. We have the name; the pope has the country and its cities. We
have the title and the insignia of empire; the pope its treasury,
power, privileges, and freedom. The pope eats the fruit, and we amuse
ourselves with the husk. In this way our simplicity has always been
abused by the pride and tyranny of the Romans.

"But now, may God who has given us such an empire, be our aid! Let us
act conformably to our name, our title, our insignia; let us save our
freedom, and give the Romans to know that, through their hands it was
committed to us by God. They boast of having given us an empire. Very
well! let us take what belongs to us. Let the pope surrender Rome, and
every part of the empire that he possesses. Let him put an end to his
taxes and extortions. Let him restore our liberty, our power, our
wealth, our honour, our soul, and our body. Let the empire be all that
an empire ought to be; and let the sword of princes no longer be
compelled to lower itself before the hypocritical pretensions of a

In these words there is not only energy and eloquence, but also sound
argument. Never did orator so speak to the nobility of the empire, and
to the emperor himself. Far from being surprised that so many German
states revolted from Rome we should rather wonder that all Germany did
not proceed to the banks of the Tiber, and there resume that imperial
power, the insignia of which the popes had imprudently placed on the
head of their chief.

Luther thus concludes his intrepid address.


"I presume, however, that I have struck too high a note, proposed many
things that will appear impossible, and been somewhat too severe on
the many errors which I have attacked. But what can I do? Better that
the world be offended with me than God!... The utmost which it can
take from me is life. I have often offered to make peace with my
opponents, but, through their instrumentality God has always obliged
me to speak out against them. I have still a chant upon Rome in
reserve, and if they have an itching ear, I will sing it to them at
full pitch. Rome! do ye understand me?"... It is probable that Luther
here refers to a treatise on the papacy which he was preparing for
publication, but which never was published. Rector Burkhard, writing
at this time to Spengler, says, "There is, moreover, a short tract,
_De Execranda Venere Romanorum_, but it is kept in reserve." The title
of the work seems to intimate something which would have given great
offence, and it is pleasing to think that Luther had moderation not to
publish it.

"If my cause is just," continues he, "it must be condemned on the
earth, and justified only by Christ in heaven. Therefore, let pope,
bishops, priests, monks, doctors, come forward, display all their
zeal, and give full vent to their fury. Assuredly they are just the
people who ought to persecute the truth, as in all ages they have
persecuted it."

Where did this monk obtain this clear knowledge of public affairs,
which even the states of the empire often find it so difficult to
unravel? Whence did this German derive this courage which enables him
to hold up his head among his countrymen who had been enslaved for so
many ages, and deal such severe blows to the papacy? By what
mysterious energy is he animated? Does it not seem that he must have
heard the words which God addressed to one of ancient times; "Lo! I
have strengthened thy face against their faces, I have made thy
forehead like a diamond, and harder than flint; be not then afraid
because of them"?


This exhortation, being addressed to the German nobility, was soon in
the hands of all those for whom it was intended. It spread over
Germany with inconceivable rapidity. Luther's friends trembled, while
Staupitz, and those who wished to follow gentle methods, thought the
blow too severe. "In our days," replied Luther, "whatever is treated
calmly falls into oblivion, and nobody cares for it."[211] At the same
time, he displayed extraordinary simplicity and humility. He was
unconscious of his own powers. "I know not," writes he, "what to say
of myself; perhaps I am the precursor of Philip (Melancthon). Like
Elias, I am preparing the way for him, in spirit and in power, that he
may one day trouble Israel, and the house of Ahab."[212] But there was
no occasion to wait for any other than he who had appeared. The house
of Ahab was already shaken. The _Address to the German Nobility_ was
published on the 26th of June, 1520, and, in a short time, 4000 copies
were sold, a number at that period unprecedented. The astonishment was
universal, and the whole people were in commotion. The vigour, spirit,
perspicuity, and noble boldness by which it was pervaded, made it
truly a work for the people, who felt that one who spoke in such terms
truly loved them. The confused views which many wise men entertained
were enlightened. All became aware of the usurpations of Rome. At
Wittemberg, no man had any doubt whatever, that the pope was
Antichrist. Even the Elector's court, with all its timidity and
circumspection, did not disapprove of the Reformer, but only awaited
the issue. The nobility and the people did not even wait. The nation
was awakened, and, at the voice of Luther, adopted his cause, and
rallied around his standard. Nothing could have been more advantageous
to the Reformer than this publication. In palaces, in castles, in the
dwellings of the citizens, and even in cottages, all are now prepared,
and made proof, as it were, against the sentence of condemnation which
is about to fall upon the prophet of the people. All Germany is on
fire, and the bull, come when it may, never will extinguish the

  [211] Quæ nostro sæculo quiete tractantur, mox cadere in
  oblivionem.... (L. Ep. i, p. 479.)

  [212] Ibid. p. 478.


     Preparations at Rome--Motives to resist the Papacy--Eck at
     Rome--Eck gains the Day--The Pope is the World--God produces
     the Separation--A Swiss Priest pleads for Luther--The Roman
     Consistory--Preamble of the Bull--Condemnation of Luther.

At Rome every thing necessary for the condemnation of the defender of
the liberty of the Church was prepared. Men had long lived there in
arrogant security. The monks of Rome had long accused Leo X of
devoting himself to luxury and pleasure, and of spending his whole
time in hunting, theatricals, and music,[213] while the Church was
crumbling to pieces. At last, through the clamour of Dr. Eck, who had
come from Leipsic to invoke the power of the Vatican, the pope, the
cardinals, the monks, all Rome awoke and bestirred themselves to save
the papacy.

  [213] Sopra tutto musico eccellentissimo, e quando el canta con
  qualche uno, li fa donar cento e più ducati.... (Zorsi. MS. C.) And
  above all a most excellent musician, and any person with whom he sings
  he presents with a hundred ducats.


Rome, in fact, was obliged to adopt the severest measures. The
gauntlet had been thrown down, and the combat was destined to be
mortal. Luther attacked not the abuses of the Roman pontificate, but
the pontificate itself. At his bidding, the pope was humbly to descend
from his throne, and again become a simple pastor, or bishop, on the
banks of the Tiber. All the dignitaries of the Roman hierarchy were
required to renounce their riches and worldly glory, and again become
elders or deacons of the churches of Italy. All the splendour and
power which had for ages dazzled the West behoved to vanish away and
give place to the humble and simple worship of the primitive
Christians. These things God could have done, and will one day do, but
they were not to be expected from men. Even should a pope have been
disinterested enough, and bold enough to attempt the overthrow of the
ancient and sumptuous edifice of the Romish Church, thousands of
priests and bishops would have rushed forward to its support. The pope
had received power under the express condition of maintaining whatever
was entrusted to him. Rome deemed herself appointed of God to govern
the Church; and no wonder, therefore, that she was prepared with this
view to adopt the most decisive measures. And yet, at the outset, she
did show hesitation. Several cardinals and the pope himself, were
averse to severe proceedings. Leo had too much sagacity not to be
aware that a decision, the enforcement of which depended on the very
dubious inclinations of the civil power, might seriously compromise
the authority of the Church. He saw, moreover, that the violent
methods already resorted to had only increased the evil. "Is it
impossible to gain this Saxon monk?" asked the politicians of Rome.
"Would all the power of the Church, and all the wiles of Italy, be
ineffectual for this purpose? Negotiation must still be attempted."


Eck accordingly encountered formidable obstacles. He neglected nothing
to prevent what he termed impious concessions. Going up and down Rome,
he gave vent to his rage, and cried for vengeance. The fanatical
faction of the monks having immediately leagued with him he felt
strong in this alliance, and proceeded with new courage to importune
the pope and the cardinals. According to him all attempts at
conciliation were useless. "The idea of it," said he, "is only the
vain dream of those who slumber at a distance from the scene." But he
knew the danger; for he had wrestled with the audacious monk. The
thing necessary was to amputate the gangrened limb, and so prevent the
disease from attacking the whole body. The blustering disputant of
Leipsic solves objections one after another, and endeavours, but finds
it difficult to persuade the pope.[214] He wishes to save Rome in
spite of herself. Sparing no exertion, he spent whole hours in
deliberation in the cabinet of the pontiff,[215] and made application
both to the court and the cloisters, to the people and the Church.
"Eck is calling to the depth of depths against me," said Luther, "and
setting on fire the forests of Lebanon."[216] At length he succeeded.
The fanatics in the councils of the papacy vanquished the politicians.
Leo gave way, and Luther's condemnation was resolved. Eck began again
to breathe, and his pride felt gratified by the thought that his own
efforts had procured the ruin of his heretical rival, and thereby
saved the church. "It was well," said he, "that I came to Rome at this
time, for little was known of Luther's errors. It will one day be seen
how much I have done in this cause."[217]

  [214] Sarpi. Hist. of Council of Trent.

  [215] Stetimus nuper, papa, duo cardinales .... et ego per quinque
  horas in deliberatione .... (Eckii Epistola, 3 Maii. L. Op. Lat. ii,
  p. 48.) The pope, two cardinals, and I lately remained five hours in

  [216] Impetraturus abyssos abyssorum.... succensurus saltum Libani....
  (L. Ep. i, p. 421, 429.)

  [217] Bonum fuit me venisse hoc tempore Romam .... (Epist. Eckii.)

No one exerted himself so much in seconding Dr. Eck as the master of
the sacred palace, Sylvester Mazzolini De Prierio, who had just
published a work, in which he maintained, that not only to the pope
alone appertained the infallible decision of all debateable points,
but also that papal ascendancy was the fifth monarchy of Daniel, and
the only true monarchy; that the pope was the prince of all
ecclesiastical, and the father of all secular princes, the chief of
the world, and even in substance the world itself.[218] In another
writing he affirmed, that the pope is as much superior to the emperor
as gold is to lead;[219] that the pope can appoint and depose emperors
and electors, establish and annul positive rights; and that the
emperor, with all the laws and all the nations of Christendom, cannot
decide the smallest matter contrary to the pope's will. Such was the
voice which came forth from the palace of the sovereign pontiff, such
the monstrous fiction which, in union with scholastic dogmas, aimed at
suppressing reviving truth. Had this fiction not been unmasked, as it
has been, and that even by learned members of the Catholic Church,
there would have been neither true history nor true religion. The
papacy is not merely a lie in regard to the Bible, it is also a lie in
regard to the annals of nations. And hence the Reformation, by
destroying its fascinating power, has emancipated not only the Church,
but also kings and nations. The Reformation has been described as a
political work, and in this secondary sense it truly was so.

  [218] Caput orbis et consequenter orbis totus in virtute (De juridica
  et irrefragabili veritate Romanæ Ecclesiæ. Bibl. Max. xix, cap. iv.)

  [219] Papa est imperatore major dignitate plus quam aurum plombo. (De
  Papa et ejus potestate, p. 371.)


Thus God sent a spirit of delusion on the doctors of Rome. The
separation between truth and error must now be accomplished, and it is
to error that the task is assigned. Had a compromise been entered
into, it must have been at the expense of truth; for to mutilate truth
in the slightest degree is to pave the way for her complete
annihilation. Like the insect, which is said to die on the loss of one
of its antennæ, she must be complete in all her parts, in order to
display the energy which enables her to gain great and advantageous
victories, and propagate herself through coming ages. To mingle any
portion of error with truth is to throw a grain of poison into a large
dish of food. The grain suffices to change its whole nature, and death
ensues slowly, it may be; but yet surely. Those who defend the
doctrine of Christ against the attacks of its adversaries keep as
jealous an eye on its farthest outposts as on the citadel itself, for
the moment the enemy gains any footing at all he is on the highway to
conquest. The Roman pontiff determined at the period of which we now
treat to rend the Church; and the fragment which remained in his hand,
how splendid soever it may be, in vain endeavours under pompous
ornaments to hide the deleterious principle by which it is attacked.
It is only where the word of God is, that there is life. Luther,
however great his courage was, would probably have been silent had
Rome been so and made some faint show of concession. But God did not
leave the Reformation to depend on a weak human heart. Luther was
under the guidance of a clearer intellect than his own. The pope was
the instrument in the hand of Providence to sever every tie between
the past and the future, and launch the Reformer on a new, unknown,
and to him uncertain career, and the difficult avenues to which he
would, if left to himself, have been unable to find. The papal bull
was a writing of divorce sent from Rome to the pure Church of Jesus
Christ, as personified in him who was then her humble but faithful
representative. And the Church accepted the writing on the
understanding that she was thenceforth to depend on none but her
heavenly Head.


While at Rome, Luther's condemnation was urged forward with so much
violence, a humble priest, dwelling in one of the humble towns of
Helvetia, and who had never had any correspondence with the Reformer,
was deeply moved when he thought of the blow which was aimed at him;
while even the friends of the Wittemberg doctor trembled in silence,
this mountaineer of Switzerland resolved to employ every means to stay
the formidable bull. His name was Ulrick Zwingle. William des Faucons,
who was secretary to the papal Legate in Switzerland, and managed the
affairs of Rome during the Legate's absence, was his friend, and a few
days before had said to him, "while I live you may calculate on
obtaining from me everything that a true friend can be expected to
give." The Helvetian priest, trusting to this declaration, repaired to
the Roman embassy. This, at least, may be inferred from one of his
letters. For himself, he had no fear of the dangers to which
evangelical faith exposed him, knowing that a disciple of Jesus Christ
must always be ready to sacrifice his life; "All I ask of Christ for
myself," said he to a friend to whom he was unbosoming his solicitude
on Luther's account, "all I ask is to be able to bear like a man
whatever evils await me. I am a vessel of clay in his hands. Let him
break or let him strengthen me as seemeth to him good."[220] But the
Swiss evangelist had fears for the Christian Church, should this
formidable blow reach the Reformer, and he endeavoured to persuade the
representative of Rome to enlighten the pope, and employ all the means
in his power to prevent him from launching an excommunication at
Luther.[221] "The dignity of the holy see itself," said he to him, "is
here at stake, for if matters are brought to such a point, Germany, in
the height of her enthusiasm for the gospel, and for its preacher,
will despise the pope and his anathemas."[222] The efforts of Zwingle
were in vain. It appears, indeed, that when he was making them, the
blow had been already struck. Such was the first occasion on which the
paths of the Saxon doctor and the Swiss priest met. The latter we will
again meet with in the course of this history, and will see him
gradually expanding and growing until he obtain a high standing in the
Church of the Lord.

  [220] Hoc unum Christum obtestans, ut masculo omnia pectore ferre
  donet, et me figulinum suum rumpat aut firmet, ut illi placitum sit.
  (Zwinglii Epistolæ, curant. Schulero et Schulthessio, p. 144.)

  [221] Ut pontificem admoneat, ne excommunicationem ferat. (Ibid.)

  [222] Nam si feratur, auguror Germanos cum excommunicatione pontificem
  quoque contempturos. (Zwinglii Epistolæ, curant. Schulero et
  Schulthessio, p. 144.)

[Sidenote: THE PAPAL BULL.]

After Luther's condemnation was at last resolved upon, new
difficulties arose in the Consistory. The theologians wished to
proceed at once to fulmination, whereas the lawyers were for beginning
with a citation, asking their theological colleagues, "Was not Adam
first cited? '_Adam, where art thou?_' said the Lord. It was the same
with Cain, the question asked at him was, 'where is thy brother,
Abel?'" These strange arguments, drawn from Scripture, the canonists
strengthened by appealing to the principles of the law of nature. "The
certainty of a crime," said they, "cannot deprive the criminal of his
right of defence."[223] It is pleasing to find a sense of justice
still existing in a Roman consistory. But these scruples did not suit
the theologians, who, hurried on by passion, thought only of
proceeding to business with despatch. It was at length agreed that the
doctrine of Luther should be immediately condemned, and that a period
of sixty days should be granted to him and his adherents; after which,
provided they did not retract, they should all be, _ipso facto_,
excommunicated. De Vio, who had returned from Germany in ill health,
was carried to the meeting, that he might not lose this little
triumph, which carried with it some degree of consolation. Having been
defeated at Augsburg, he longed to be able at Rome to condemn the
invincible monk, before whom his knowledge, finesse, and authority had
proved unavailing. Luther not being there to reply, De Vio felt
himself strong. A last conference, which Eck attended, was held in
presence of the pope himself, in his villa at Malliano. On the 15th of
June the sacred college resolved on condemnation, and approved of the
famous bull.

  [223] Sarpi Hist. of the Council of Trent, i, p. 12.

"Arise, O Lord!" said the Roman pontiff, speaking at this solemn
moment as vicar of God and head of the Church, "arise and be judge in
thy own cause. Remember the insults daily offered to thee by
infatuated men. Arise, O Peter, remember thy holy Roman Church, the
mother of all churches, and mistress of the faith! Arise, O Paul, for
here is a new Porphyry, who is attacking thy doctrines and the holy
popes our predecessors! Arise, in fine, assembly of all the saints,
holy Church of God, and intercede with the Almighty!"[224]

  [224] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 305, and Op. Lat. i, p. 32.

The pope afterwards quotes as pernicious, scandalous, and poisonous,
forty-one propositions in which Luther had expounded the holy doctrine
of the gospel. Among these propositions we find the following:--

"To deny that sin remains in an infant after baptism, is to trample
St. Paul and our Lord Jesus Christ under foot."

"A new life is the best and noblest penance."

"To burn heretics is contrary to the will of the Holy Spirit, etc."

[Sidenote: MELANCTHON.]

"The moment this Bull is published," continued the pope, "it will be
the duty of the bishops to make careful search for the writings of
Martin Luther, which contain these errors, and to burn them publicly
and solemnly in presence of the clergy and laity. In regard to Martin
himself, good God! what have we not done! Imitating the goodness of
the Almighty, we are ready, even yet, to receive him into the bosom of
the Church, and we give him sixty days to transmit his retractation to
us in a writing sealed by two prelates; or, what will be more
agreeable to us, to come to Rome in person, that no doubt may be
entertained as to his submission. Meanwhile, and from this moment, he
must cease to preach, teach, or write, and must deliver his works to
the flames. If, in the space of sixty days, he do not retract, we, by
these presents, condemn him and his adherents as public and absolute
heretics." The pope afterwards pronounces a multiplicity of
excommunications, maledictions, and interdicts against Luther and all
his adherents, with injunctions to seize their persons and send them
to Rome.[225] It is easy to conjecture what the fate of these noble
confessors of the gospel would have been in the dungeons of the

  [225] Sub prædictis pœnis, præfatum Lutherum, complices adhærentes,
  receptatores et fautores, personaliter capiant et ad nos mittant.
  (Bulla Leonis, loc. cit.)

A thunder storm was thus gathering over the head of Luther. Some had
been able to persuade themselves, after Reuchlin's affair, that the
Court at Rome would not again make common cause with the Dominicans
and the Inquisitors. These, however, were again in the ascendant, and
the old alliance was solemnly renewed. The Bull was published, and for
ages the mouth of Rome had never pronounced a sentence of condemnation
without following it up with a death blow. This murderous message was
about to issue from the seven hills, and attack the Saxon monk in his
cloister. The moment was well chosen. There were good grounds for
supposing that the new emperor, who, for many reasons, was anxious to
obtain the friendship of the pope, would hasten to merit it by the
sacrifice of an obscure monk. Leo X, the cardinals, and all Rome, were
exulting in the belief that their enemy was already in their power.


     Wittemberg--Melancthon--His Marriage--Catharine--Domestic
     Life--Beneficence--Good Humour--Christ and
     Antiquity--Labour--Love of Letters--His Mother--Outbreak
     among the Students.


While the inhabitants of the eternal city were thus agitated more
tranquil events were occurring at Wittemberg, where Melancthon was
shedding a soft but brilliant light. From 1500 to 2000 hearers, who
had flocked from Germany, England, the Netherlands, France, Italy,
Hungary, and Greece, often assembled around him. He was twenty-four
years of age, and had not taken orders. Every house in Wittemberg was
open to this learned and amiable young professor. Foreign
universities, in particular Ingolstadt, were desirous to gain him, and
his Wittemberg friends wished to get him married, and thereby retain
him among them. Luther, though he concurred in wishing that his dear
Philip should have a female companion, declared openly that he would
give no counsel in the matter. The task was undertaken by others. The
young doctor was a frequent visitor of Burgomaster Krapp. The
burgomaster was of an ancient family, and had a daughter named
Catharine, remarkable for the mildness of her dispositions, and her
great sensibility. Melancthon was urged to ask her in marriage; but
the young scholar was buried among his books, and could talk of
nothing else. His Greek authors and his New Testament were all his
delight. He combated the arguments of his friends; but at length his
consent was obtained, and all the arrangements having been made by
others, Catharine became his wife. He received her with great
coolness,[226] and said, with a sigh, "God has willed it; so I must
renounce my studies and my delights, to follow the wishes of my
friends."[227] Still he appreciated the good qualities of Catharine.
"The disposition and education of the girl," said he, "are such as I
might have asked God to give her, δεξιᾷ ὁ Θεὸς
τεκμαίροιτο.[228] She certainly deserved a better husband." The
matter was settled in August. The espousals took place on the 25th of
September, and the marriage was celebrated in the end of November. Old
John Luther and his wife came with their daughters to Wittemberg on
the occasion.[229] Many learned and distinguished persons were also

  [226] Uxor enim datur mihi non dico quam frigenti. (Corp. Ref. i, p.

  [227] Ego meis studiis, mea me voluptate fraudo. (Ibid., i, p. 265.)

  [228] May God by his right hand give a happy issue. (Corp. Ref. i, p.

  [229] Parentes mei cum sororibus nuptias honorarunt Philippi. (Ep. i,
  p. 528.)


The young bride was as warm in her affection as the young professor
was cold. Ever full of anxiety for her husband, Catharine took the
alarm the moment she saw him threatened with even the semblance of
danger. If Melancthon proposed to take any step which might compromise
him, she urged and entreated him to abandon it. "On one of these
occasions," wrote Melancthon, "I was obliged to yield to her
weakness.... It is our lot." How much unfaithfulness in the Church has
had a similar origin. To the influence of Catharine ought, perhaps, to
be attributed the timidity and fears with which her husband has often
been reproached. Catharine was as fond a mother as a wife. She gave
liberally to the poor. "O God, leave me not in my old age, when my
hair shall begin to turn grey!" Such was the frequent prayer of this
pious and timorous soul. Melancthon was soon won by the affection of
his wife. When he had tasted the pleasures of domestic society he felt
how sweet they were, for he was of a nature to feel them. His happiest
moments were beside his Catharine and her children. A French traveller
having one day found the "preceptor of Germany" rocking his infant
with one hand, and with a book in the other, started back in surprise;
but Melancthon, without being discomposed, so warmly explained to him
the value of children in the sight of God, that the stranger left the
house, (to use his own words,) "wiser than he had entered it."


The marriage of Melancthon gave a domestic hearth to the Reformation.
There was, thenceforth, in Wittemberg, a family whose house was open
to all those whom the principle of a new life now animated. The
concourse of strangers was immense.[230] Melancthon was waited on for
a thousand different affairs, and his rule was never to deny himself
to any body.[231] The young professor was particularly skilful in
concealing his own good deeds. If he had no more money he secretly
carried his silver plate to some merchant, never hesitating to part
with it, provided he had the means of assisting those who were in
distress. "Hence," says his friend, Camerarius, "it would have been
impossible for him to provide for his own wants and those of his
family had not a divine and hidden blessing from time to time
furnished him with the means." He carried his good nature to an
extreme. He had some antique medals of gold and silver, which were
extremely curious. One day when showing them to a stranger who was
visiting him, Melancthon said, "Take any one of them you wish." "I
wish them all," replied the stranger." "I confess," says Philip, "I
was at first offended at the selfishness of the request; however I
gave them to him."[232] Melancthon's writings had a savour of
antiquity. This, however, did not prevent them from exhaling the sweet
savour of Christ, while it gave them an inexpressible charm. There is
not one of his letters to his friends which does not contain some very
apt allusion to Homer, Plato, Cicero, and Pliny, while Christ is
always brought forward as his master and his God. Spalatin had asked
him for an explanation of our Saviour's words--"_Without me ye can do
nothing_," (John, xv, 5). Melancthon refers him to Luther--"_Cur agam
gestum spectante Roscio?_ as Cicero expresses it;[233] and then
continues, "This passage means that we must be absorbed by Christ, so
that it is no longer we that act, but Christ that liveth in us. As in
his person the Divine has been incorporated with the human nature, so
must man be incorporated with Jesus Christ by faith."

  [230] Videres in ædibus illis perpetuo accedentes et introeuntes et
  discedentes atque exeuntes aliquos. (Camerar. Vita Melancth. p. 40.)
  In that house you would constantly see persons approaching and
  entering, or coming out and going away.

  [231] Ea domus disciplina erat, ut nihil cuiquam negaretur. (Ibid.)

  [232] Sed dedisse nihilominus illos. (Camerar. Vita Melancth. p. 43.)

  [233] Why should I play a part and Roscius be a looker on? (Corp. Ref.
  Ep. April 13, 1520.)

The distinguished scholar's habit was to go to bed shortly after
supper, and get up to his studies at two or three in the morning.[234]
During these early hours his best works were composed. His manuscripts
usually lay on his table exposed to the view of all who came and went,
so that several were stolen. When he had a party of his friends, he
asked one or other of them, before they sat down to table, to read
some short composition in prose or verse. During his journeys he was
always accompanied by some young persons with whom he conversed in a
manner at once instructive and amusing. If the conversation flagged,
each of them had to repeat in his turn some passage taken from the
ancient poets. He often had recourse to irony, but always tempered it
with great gentleness. "He stings and cuts," said he of himself, "but
still without doing any harm."

  [234] Surgebat mox aut non longo intervallo post mediam noctem.
  (Camerar, p. 56.)

The acquisition of knowledge was his ruling passion. The aim of his
life was to diffuse literature and instruction. Let us not forget,
that with him the first place in literature was given to the Holy
Scriptures, and only a secondary place to the ancient classics. "My
sole object," said he, "is the defence of literature; we must, by our
example, inspire youth with an admiration of literature, and make them
love it for itself, and not for the pecuniary profit which it may be
made to yield. The downfall of literature involves the destruction of
all that is good--of religion and morals--of things human and
divine.[235]... The better a man is, the more ardently does he exert
himself in favour of learning, for he knows that the most pernicious
of all pests is ignorance."

  [235] Religionem, mores, humana divinaque omnia labefactat literarum
  inscitia. (Corp. Ref. i, 207, July 22, 1520.)


Some time after his marriage, Melancthon went to Bretten, in the
Palatinate, accompanied by Camerarius and other friends, to pay a
visit to his affectionate mother. On coming in sight of his native
town, he dismounted from his horse, threw himself on his knees, and
thanked God for permitting him to see it again. Margaret, on embracing
her son, almost fainted with joy. She would have had him reside at
Bretten, and earnestly entreated him to continue in the faith of his
fathers. On this head, Melancthon excused himself, but with great
tenderness, that he might not give offence to the conscientious
feelings of his mother; he had great difficulty in parting with her,
and whenever a traveller brought him news of his native town, he
rejoiced, to use his own expression, as if he had renewed the joys of
his childhood. Such was the character of one of the greatest
instruments employed in the religious revolution of the sixteenth

The domestic calmness and studious activity of Wittemberg was,
however, disturbed by a commotion, the consequence of a rupture which
took place between the students and the citizens. The Rector betrayed
great weakness. One may suppose how deeply Melancthon was grieved when
he saw these disciples of literature committing such excesses. Luther
felt indignant, and had no idea of trying to gain them over by a false
condescension. The disgrace which these disorders brought upon the
university stung him to the heart.[236] Having mounted the pulpit, he
inveighed in strong terms against these commotions, calling upon both
parties to submit to the authorities.[237] His discourse produced
great irritation; "Satan," says he, "unable to attack us from without,
is trying to do us mischief from within. Him I fear not, but I fear
lest the wrath of God be kindled against us for not having duly
received his word. During the three last years I have been thrice
exposed to great danger. In 1518, at Augsburg; in 1519, at Leipsic;
and now, in 1520, at Wittemberg. It is neither by wisdom nor by arms
that the renovation of the Church will be accomplished, but by humble
prayers, and by an intrepid faith which puts Jesus Christ on our
side.[238] O, my friend! unite your prayers to mine, that the evil
spirit may not be able, by means of this small spark, to kindle a vast

  [236] Urit me ista confusio academiæ nostræ. (L. Ep. i, p. 467.)

  [237] Commendans potestatem magistratuum. (Ibid.)

  [238] .... Nec prudentia nec armis, sed humili oratione et forti fide,
  quibus obtineamus Christum pro nobis. (Ibid. p. 469.)


     The Gospel In Italy--Discourse on the Mass--The Babylonish
     Captivity of the Church--Baptism--Abolition of
     Vows--Progress of the Reformation.


But fiercer combats awaited Luther. Rome was brandishing the sword
with which she had resolved to attack the gospel. Her threatened
sentence, however, so far from dispiriting the Reformer increased his
courage. The blows of this arrogant power gave him little concern. He
will himself give more formidable blows, and thereby neutralize those
of his adversaries. While Transalpine consistories are fulminating
their anathemas against him, he will, with the sword of the gospel,
pierce to the very heart of the Italian states. Luther having been
informed, by letters from Venice, of the favourable reception which
had been given to his opinions, felt an ardent desire to carry the
gospel over the Alps. Evangelists must be found to transport it. "I
wish," said he, "that we had living books, I mean preachers,[239] and
that we could multiply them, and afford them protection in all
quarters, in order that they might convey the knowledge of holy things
to the people. The prince could not do a work more worthy of him. Were
the inhabitants of Italy to receive the truth our cause would be
unassailable." It does not appear that this project of Luther was
realised. It is true that, at a later period, evangelists, even Calvin
himself, sojourned for a while in Italy, but at this time the design
was not followed out. He had applied to one of the great ones of the
earth. Had he made his appeal to men low in station, but full of zeal
for the kingdom of God, the result might have been very different. The
idea at this period was, that every thing behoved to be done by
governments. The association of private individuals, by which so much
is now accomplished in Christendom, was almost unknown.

  [239] Si vivos libros, hoc est concionatores possemus multiplicare...
  (L. Ep. i, p. 491.)

If Luther did not succeed in his plans of spreading the truth in a
distant country, he was only the more zealous in proclaiming it
himself. At this time his discourse, 'On the Holy Mass,'[240] was
delivered at Wittemberg. In it he inveighed against the numerous sects
of the Romish Church, and justly reproached it with its want of unity.
"The multiplicity of spiritual laws," said he, "has filled the world
with sects and divisions. Priests, monks, and laics, have shown more
hatred of each other than subsists between Christians and Turks. What
do I say? Priests are mortal enemies of priests, and monks of monks.
Each is attached to his particular sect, and despises all others.
There is an end of Christian love and unity." He then attacks the idea
that the mass is a sacrifice, and has any efficacy in itself. "The
best thing in every sacrament, and consequently in the Supper, is the
word and promises of God. Without faith in this word, and these
promises, the sacrament is dead; a body without a soul, a flagon
without wine, a purse without money, a type without an antitype, the
letter without the spirit, a casket without its diamond, a scabbard
without its sword."

  [240] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 490.


Luther's voice, however, was not confined to Wittemberg; and if he
failed to procure missionaries to carry his instructions to distant
lands, God provided him with a missionary of a new description. The
art of printing supplied the place of evangelists. The press was
destined to make a breach in the Roman fortress. Luther had prepared
a mine, the explosion of which shook the Roman edifice to its very
foundations. This was his famous treatise on the _Babylonish Captivity
of the Church_, which appeared 6th October, 1520.[241] Never had man
displayed such courage in such critical circumstances.

  [241] L. Op. Lat. xi. 63, and Leip. xvii, p. 511.

In this writing he first enumerates, with a kind of ironical pride,
all the advantages for which he is indebted to his enemies.

"Whether I will or not," says he, "I daily become more learned,
spurred on as I am by so many celebrated masters. Two years ago I
attacked indulgences, but with so much fear and indecision, that I am
now ashamed of it. But, after all, the mode of attack is not to be
wondered at, for I had nobody who would help me to roll the stone." He
returns thanks to Prierio, Eck, Emser, and his other opponents, and
continues--"I denied that the papacy was of God, but I granted that it
had the authority of man. Now, after reading all the subtleties by
which these sparks prop up their idol, I know that the papacy is only
the kingdom of Babylon, and the tyranny of the great hunter Nimrod. I
therefore beg all my friends, and all booksellers, to burn the books
which I wrote on this subject, and to substitute for them the single
proposition--'_The papacy is a general chace, by command of the Roman
pontiff, for the purpose of running down and destroying souls_.'"[242]

  [242] "Papatus est robusta venatio Romani Episcopi." The papacy is a
  vigorous hunt by the Roman bishop.

Luther afterwards attacks the prevailing errors on the sacraments, on
monastic vows, etc. The seven sacraments of the Church he reduces to
three--viz., baptism, penitence, and the Lord's supper. He then
proceeds to baptism, and when discussing it dwells especially on the
excellence of faith, and makes a vigorous attack upon Rome. "God,"
says he, "has preserved this single sacrament to us clear of human
traditions. God has said, '_Whoso believeth_, and is _baptized_, shall
be saved.' This divine promise must take precedence of all works
however splendid, of all vows, all satisfactions, all indulgences, all
that man has devised. On this promise, if we receive it in faith, all
our salvation depends. If we believe, our heart is strengthened by the
divine promise, and though all else should abandon the believer, this
promise will not abandon him. With it he will resist the adversary who
assaults his soul, and will meet death though pitiless, and even the
judgment of God himself. In all trials his comfort will be to say,
'God is faithful to his promises, and these were pledged to me in
baptism; if God be for me, who can be against me?' Oh, how rich the
Christian, the baptized! Nothing can destroy him but his own refusal
to believe."


"It may be that, to my observations on the necessity of faith will be
opposed the baptism of little children. But as the Word of God is
powerful to change even the heart of the wicked, though neither less
deaf, nor less impotent than a little child; so the prayer of the
Church, to which all things are possible, changes the little child by
means of the faith which God is pleased to pour into its soul, and so
cleanses and renews it."[243]

  [243] "Sicut enim verbum Dei potens est dum sonat, etiam impii cor
  immutare, quod non minus est surdum et incapax quam ullus parvulus,
  ita per orationem Ecclesiæ offerentis et credentis parvulus, fide
  infusa mutatur, mundatur, et renovatur." (L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 77.)

After explaining the doctrine of baptism, Luther employs it as a
weapon against the papacy. In fact, if the Christian finds complete
salvation in the renewal which accompanies the baptism of faith, what
need has he of the prescriptions of Rome?

"Wherefore," says Luther, "I declare that neither the pope, nor the
bishop, nor any man whatever, is entitled to impose the smallest
burden on a Christian--at least without his consent. Whatsoever is
done otherwise is done tyrannically.[244] We are free of all men. The
vow which we made in baptism is sufficient by itself alone, and is
more than all we could ever accomplish.[245] Therefore, all other vows
may be abolished. Let every one who enters the priesthood, or a
religious order, consider well that the works of a monk or a priest,
how difficult soever they may be, are, in the view of God, in no
respect superior to those of a peasant labouring in the field, or a
woman attending to the duties of her house.[246] God estimates all
these things by the rule of faith. And it often happens that the
simple labour of a man-servant, or a maid-servant, is more agreeable
to God than the fastings and works of a monk, these being deficient in
faith.... The Christian people is the people of God led away into
captivity, to Babylon, and there robbed of their baptism."

  [244] "Dico itaque, neque papa, neque episcopus, neque ullus hominum
  habet jus unius syllabæ constituendæ super Christianum hominem, nisi
  id fiat ejusdem consensu; quidquid aliter fit, tyrannico spiritu fit."
  (Ibid. p. 77.)

  [245] "Generali edicto tollere vota .... abunde enim vovimus in
  baptismo, et plus quam possimus implere." (Ibid, p. 78.) There ought
  to be a general edict abolishing vows ... for in baptism we vow
  enough, and more than we can perform.

  [246] "Opera quantum libet sacra et ardua religiosorum et sacerdotum,
  in oculis Dei prorsus nihil distare ab operibus rustici in agro
  laborantis aut mulieris in domo sua curantis." (Ibid.)

Such were the weapons by which the religious revolution whose history
we are tracing was accomplished. First, the necessity of faith was
established, and then the reformers used it as a hammer to break
superstition in pieces. They attacked error with that divine power
which removes mountains. These, and many similar passages of Luther
circulated in towns, convents, and the country, were the leaven which
leavened the whole lump.


The conclusion of this famous production on the captivity of Babylon
is in the following terms:--

"I learn that a new papal excommunication has been prepared against
me. If so, the present book may be regarded as part of my future
recantation. In proof of my obedience, the rest will soon follow, and
the whole will, with the help of Christ, form a collection, the like
to which Rome never saw or heard before."


     New Negotiations--Miltitz and the Augustins of
     Eisleben--Deputation to Luther--Miltitz and the
     Elector--Conference at Lichtemberg--Luther's Letter to the
     Pope--Book Presented to the Pope--Union of the Believer with
     Christ--Freedom and Bondage.

After this publication, all hope of reconciliation between the pope
and Luther must have vanished. Persons of the least possible
discernment must have been struck with the incompatibility of the
Reformer's belief with the doctrine of the Church; and yet, at this
very moment, new negotiations were about to commence. In the end of
August, 1520, five weeks before the publication of the 'Captivity of
Babylon,' the general Chapter of the Augustins had assembled at
Eisleben. At this meeting, the venerable Staupitz resigned his office
of vicar-general of his order, and Winceslas Link, he who accompanied
Luther to Augsburg, was invested with it. Suddenly, in the middle of
the Chapter, arrived the indefatigable Miltitz, burning with eagerness
to reconcile Luther and the pope.[247] His avarice, and, above all,
his jealousy and hatred, were interested. Eck and his swaggering had
galled him; he knew that the doctor of Ingolstadt had spoken
disparagingly of him at Rome, and there was nothing he would not have
sacrificed in order to defeat the designs of this troublesome rival by
means of a speedily concluded peace. The interest of religion gave him
no concern. One day, by his own account, he was dining with the bishop
of Leipsic. After the guests had drunk very freely, a new work of
Luther's was brought in. On being opened and read, the bishop flew
into a passion, and the official swore, but Miltitz laughed with all
his heart.[248] The Reformation was treated by Miltitz as a man of the
world, and by Eck as a theologian.

  [247] Nondum tot pressus difficultatibus animum desponderat Miltitius
  .... dignus profecto non mediocri laude. (Pallavicini, i, p. 68.)

  [248] Der Bischof entrustet, der Official gefluchet, et aber gelachet
  habe. (Seckend, p. 266.)


Aroused by the arrival of Dr. Eck, Miltitz addressed the Chapter of
the Augustins, in a discourse which he delivered with a very marked
Italian accent,[249] thinking thus to overawe his countrymen. "The
whole Augustin order is compromised by this affair," said he. "Show me
some method of silencing Luther."[250] "We have nothing to do with the
doctor," replied the Fathers, "and we know not what counsel to give
you." They founded doubtless on what Staupitz had done at Augsburg,
when he loosed Luther from his vows of obedience to the order. Miltitz
insisted, "Let a deputation from this venerable Chapter wait upon
Luther, and solicit him to write a letter to the pope, assuring him
that he has never plotted in any respect against his person.[251] That
will be sufficient to terminate the affair." The Chapter gave their
consent, and assigned the task of conferring with Luther, no doubt at
the nuncio's request, to the ex-vicar-general, Staupitz, and his
successor Link. The deputation forthwith set out for Wittemberg with a
letter from Miltitz to the doctor filled with expressions of the
highest respect. "There is no time to be lost," said he, "the thunder
already hovering over the head of the Reformer, will soon burst, and
then all is over."

  [249] Orationem habuit Italica pronuntiatione vestitam. (L. Ep. i, p.

  [250] Petens consilium super me compescendo. (Ibid.)

  [251] Nihil me in personam suam fuisse molitum. (L. Ep. i, p. 484.)

Neither Luther nor the deputies, who concurred in his opinions,[252]
hoped any thing from a letter to the pope. That however was a reason
for not refusing to write it, as it would only be a mere matter of
form, and might serve to bring out Luther's rights. "This Italian of
Saxony (Miltitz)," thought Luther, "in making this demand has
doubtless his own particular interest in view. Very well, be it so, I
will write, as I can with truth, that I have never objected to the
pope personally. I will even endeavour to guard against severity in
attacking the see of Rome. Still it shall have its sprinkling of

  [252] Quibus omnibus causa mea non displicet. (Ibid. p. 486.)

  [253] Aspergetur tamen sale suo. (Ibid.)


Luther having shortly after been informed of the arrival of the bull
in Germany, declared to Spalatin, on the 3rd of October, that he would
not write the pope, and, on the 6th of the same month, published his
book on the '_Captivity of Babylon_.' Miltitz did not even yet despair
of success. His eagerness to humble Eck made him believe an
impossibility. On the 2nd of October, he had written the Elector, in
high spirits. "Every thing will go well, but, for the love of God,
delay no longer to order payment of the pension which I have had from
you and your brother for some years. I must have money in order to
make new friends at Rome. Write the pope, and do homage to the young
cardinals, the relatives of his holiness, with gold and silver pieces,
from the mint of your electoral highness, and add some for me also,
for I was robbed of those which you gave me."[254]

  [254] Den Pabsts Nepoten, zwei oder drei Churfürstliche Gold und
  Silberstücke, zu verehren.... (Seckend. p. 267.)

Even after Luther was acquainted with the bull, the intriguing Miltitz
was not discouraged, and requested a conference with Luther at
Lichtemberg. The Elector ordered Luther to repair thither.[255] But
his friends, and especially the affectionate Melancthon, opposed
it.[256] "What, thought they, at the moment when a bull has appeared
ordering Luther to be seized and carried off to Rome, to accept a
conference with the pope's nuncio in a retired spot! Is it not evident
that, because Dr. Eck from having too openly proclaimed his hatred is
not able to approach the Reformer, the wily chamberlain has been
employed to ensnare Luther in his nets?"

  [255] Sicut princeps ordinavit (L. Ep. i, p. 455.)

  [256] Invito præceptore (Melancthon) nescio quanta metuente. (Ibid.)

These fears could not deter the doctor of Wittemberg. The prince has
commanded, and he will obey. "I am setting out for Lichtemberg," wrote
he, to the chaplain on the 11th of October, "pray for me." His friends
would not quit him. The same day, towards evening, Luther entered
Lichtemberg on horse-back, amid thirty horsemen, one of whom was
Melancthon. The papal nuncio arrived almost at the same time with only
four attendants.[257] Was this modest escort a stratagem to throw
Luther and his friends off their guard?

  [257] Jener von mehr als dreissig, dieser aber kaum mit vier Pferden
  begleitet. (Seckend. p. 268.)

Miltitz urged Luther with the most pressing solicitations, assuring
him that the blame would be thrown upon Eck and his foolish
boastings,[258] and that every thing would terminate to the
satisfaction of both parties. "Very well," replied Luther, "I offer
henceforth to keep silence, provided my opponents keep it also. For
the sake of peace I will do every thing that it is possible for me to
do." [259]

  [258] Totum pondus in Eccium versurus. (Ibid.)

  [259] Ut nihil videar omittere quod in me ad pacem quoquo modo facere
  possit. (Ibid.)

Miltitz was delighted; and accompanying Luther as far as Wittemberg,
the Reformer and the papal nuncio walked arm in arm into this town
which Dr. Eck was now approaching, holding menacingly in his hand the
formidable bull which was to overthrow the Reformation. "We will bring
the matter to a happy conclusion," wrote Miltitz forthwith to the
Elector; "Thank the pope for his rose, and at the same time send forty
or fifty florins to Cardinal _Quatuor Sanctorum_."[260]

  [260] Seckend, p. 268.


Luther felt bound to keep his promise of writing the pope. Before
bidding Rome an eternal adieu, he wished once more to tell her
important and salutary truths. Some perhaps will regard his letter
only as a piece of irony--a bitter and insulting satire--but this were
to mistake the sentiments by which he was actuated. He sincerely
believed that Rome was to blame for all the evils of Christendom; and
in this view his words are not insults, but solemn warnings. The more
he loved Leo, and the more he loved the Church of Christ, the more he
desired to unfold the full magnitude of the disease. The energy of his
expressions is proportioned to the energy of his feelings. The crisis
has arrived, and he seems like a prophet walking round the city for
the last time, upbraiding it for all its abominations, denouncing the
judgments of the Almighty, and crying aloud, "Still some days of
respite." The letter is as follows:--

"To the Most Holy Father in God, Leo X, Pope at Rome, Salvation in
Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

"From amid the fearful war which I have been waging for three years
with disorderly men, I cannot help looking to you, O Leo, Most Holy
Father in God. And although the folly of your impious flatterers has
compelled me to appeal from your judgment to a future council, my
heart is not turned away from your Holiness, and I have not ceased to
pray God earnestly and with profound sighs, to grant prosperity to
yourself and your pontificate.[261]

  [261] Ut non totis viribus, sedulis atque quantum in me fuit
  gemebundis precibus apud Deum quæsierim. (L. Ep. i, p. 498.)

"It is true I have attacked some antichristian doctrines, and have
inflicted a deep wound on my adversaries because of their impiety. Of
this I repent not, as I have here Christ for an example. Of what use
is salt if it have lost its savour, or the edge of a sword if it will
not cut?[262] Cursed be he who does the work of the Lord negligently.
Most excellent Leo, far from having conceived any bad thoughts with
regard to you, my wish is that you may enjoy the most precious
blessings throughout eternity. One thing only I have done: I have
maintained the word of truth. I am ready to yield to all in every
thing; but, as to this word, I will not, I cannot, abandon it.[263] He
who thinks differently on this subject is in error.

  [262] Quid proderit sal, si non mordeat? Quid os gladii, si non cædat?
  (Ibid. 499.)

  [263] Verbum deserere et negare nec possum, nec volo. (Ibid.)


"It is true that I have attacked the Court of Rome; but neither
yourself nor any man living can deny that there is greater corruption
in it than was in Sodom and Gomorrah, and that the impiety which
prevails makes cure hopeless. Yes; I have been horrified on seeing
how, under your name, the poor followers of Christ were deceived. I
have opposed this, and will oppose it still, not that I imagine it
possible, in spite of the opposition of flatterers, to accomplish any
thing in this Babylon, which is confusion itself; but I owe it to my
brethren to endeavour, if possible, to remove some of them from these
dreadful evils.

"You know it; Rome has for many years been inundating the world with
whatever could destroy both soul and body. The Church of Rome,
formerly the first in holiness, has become a den of robbers, a place
of prostitution, a kingdom of death and hell;[264] so that Antichrist
himself, were he to appear, would be unable to increase the amount of
wickedness. All this is as clear as day.

  [264] Facta est .... spelunca latronum licentiosissima, lupanar omnium
  impudentissimum, regnum peccati, mortis et inferni... (Ibid. p. 500.)

"And yet, O Leo, you yourself are like a lamb in the midst of
wolves--a Daniel in the lions' den. But single-handed, what can you
oppose to these monsters? There may be three or four cardinals who to
knowledge add virtue. But what are these against so many? You should
perish by poison even before you could try any remedy. It is all over
with the Court at Rome--the wrath of God has overtaken and will
consume it.[265] It hates counsel--it fears reform--it will not
moderate the fury of its ungodliness; and hence it may be justly said
of it as of its mother--_We would have healed Babylon, but she is not
healed; forsake her_.[266] It belonged to you and your cardinals to
apply the remedy; but the patient laughs at the doctor, and the horse
refuses to feel the bit....

  [265] Actum est de Romana curia; pervenit in eam ira Dei usque in
  finem.... (L. Ep. i, p. 500.)

  [266] Jeremiah, li. 9.

"Cherishing the deepest affection for you, most excellent Leo, I have
always regretted that, formed as you are for a better age, you were
raised to the pontificate in these times. Rome is not worthy of you,
and those who resemble you; the only chief whom she deserves to have
is Satan himself, and hence, the truth is, that in this Babylon he is
more king than you are. Would to God, that, laying aside this glory
which your enemies so much extol, you would exchange it for a modest
pastoral office, or live on your paternal inheritance. Rome's glory is
of a kind fit only for Iscariots.... O, my dear Leo, of what use are
you in this Roman court, unless it be to allow the most execrable men
to use your name and your authority in ruining fortunes, destroying
souls, multiplying crimes, oppressing faith, truth, and the whole
Church of God? O Leo, Leo, you are the most unfortunate of men, and
you sit upon the most dangerous of thrones. I tell you the truth
because I wish your good.


"Is it not true, that, under the vast expanse of heaven there is
nothing more corrupt, more hateful, than the Roman Court? In vice and
corruption it infinitely exceeds the Turks. Once the gate of heaven,
it has become the mouth of hell--a wide mouth which the wrath of God
keeps open, so that, on seeing so many unhappy beings thrown headlong
into it, I was obliged to lift my voice, as in a tempest, in order
that, at least, some might be saved from the fearful abyss.[267] Such,
O Leo, my father, was the reason why I inveighed against this
death-giving see. Far from attacking your person, I thought I was
labouring for your safety, when I valiantly assaulted this prison, or
rather this hell in which you are confined. To do all sorts of evil to
the Court of Rome were to discharge your own duty; to cover it with
shame is to honour Christ; in one word, to be a Christian is to be
anything but a Roman.

  [267] Olim janua cœli, nunc patens quoddam os inferni et tale os,
  quod urgente ira Dei, obstrui non potest.... (L. Ep. i, p. 501.)

"Meanwhile, seeing that in succouring the see of Rome, I was losing my
labour and my pains, I sent her a letter of divorce. I said to her,
'Adieu, Rome! _He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he that
is filthy, let him be filthy still_;'[268] and devoted myself to the
tranquil and solitary study of the sacred volume. Then Satan opened
his eyes and awoke his servant, John Eck, a great enemy of Jesus
Christ, in order that he might oblige me again to descend into the
arena. Eck's wish was to establish the primacy not of Peter but of
himself, and, for that purpose, to lead vanquished Luther in triumph.
The blame of all the obloquy which has been cast on the see of Rome
rests with him."

  [268] Rev. xxii, 11.

Luther narrates his intercourse with De Vio, Miltitz, and Eck, and
then continues.

"Now, then, I come to you, O Most Holy Father, and, prostrated at your
feet, pray you, if possible, to put a curb on the enemies of the
truth. But I cannot retract my doctrine. I cannot permit rules of
interpretation to be imposed on the Holy Scriptures. The Word of God,
the source whence all freedom springs, must be left free.[269]

  [269] Leges interpretandi verbi Dei non patior, cum oporteat verbum
  Dei esse non alligatum, quod libertatem docet. (L. Ep. i, p. 504.)

"O, Leo, my father! listen not to those flattering Sirens who tell you
that you are not a mere man, but a demi-god, and can ordain what you
please. You are the servant of servants, and the seat which you occupy
is of all others the most dangerous, and the most unhappy. Give credit
not to those who exalt, but to those who humble you. Perhaps I am too
bold in giving advice to so high a majesty, whose duty it is to
instruct all men. But I see the dangers which surround you at Rome, I
see you driven hither and thither, tossed as it were upon the billows
of a raging sea. Charity urges me, and I cannot resist sending forth a
warning cry.


"Not to appear empty handed before your Holiness, I present you with a
little book, which has appeared under your name, and which will make
you aware of the subjects to which I will be able to devote myself, if
your flatterers permit me. It is a small matter as regards the size of
the volume, but a great one in regard to its contents, for it
comprehends a summary of the Christian life. I am poor, and have
nothing else to offer; besides, you have no want of any thing but
spiritual gifts. I commend myself to your Holiness. May the Lord keep
you for ever and ever, amen."

The little book with which Luther did homage to the pope was his
'Treatise on the liberty of the Christian;' in which he demonstrates
without any polemical discussion, how the Christian, without
infringing on the liberty which faith has given him, may submit to
every external ordinance in a spirit of freedom and love. Two truths
form the basis of the whole discourse, viz., The Christian is
free--all things are his: The Christian is a servant subject to all in
every thing. By faith he is free, by love he is subject.

At first he explains the power of faith to make the Christian free.
"Faith unites the soul with Christ, as a bride with the bridegroom.
Every thing that Christ has becomes the property of the believer,
every thing that the believer has becomes the property of Christ.
Christ possesses all blessings, even eternal salvation, and these are
thenceforth the property of the believer. The believer possesses all
vices and all sins, and these become, thenceforth, the property of
Christ. A happy exchange now takes place. Christ who is God and man,
Christ who has never sinned, and whose holiness is invincible, Christ,
the Omnipotent and Eternal, appropriating to himself by his wedding
ring--that is to say, by faith, all the sins of the believer; these
sins are swallowed up in him and annihilated; for no sin can exist in
presence of his infinite righteousness. Thus, by means of faith, the
soul is delivered from all sins, and invested with the eternal
righteousness of Jesus Christ the bridegroom. O happy union! Jesus
Christ the rich, the noble, the holy bridegroom, takes in marriage
this poor, guilty, contemned bride, delivers her from all evil, and
decks her in the richest robes.[270]... Christ, a King, and Priest,
shares this honour and glory with all Christians. The Christian is a
king, and consequently possesses all things. He is a priest, and
consequently possesses God. And it is faith, not works, which procures
him this honour. The Christian is free from all things, and above all
things--faith giving him every thing in abundance."

  [270] Ist nun das nicht eine fröhliche Wirthschaft, da der reiche,
  edle, fromme Bräutigam Christus, das arme, verachtete, böse Huhrlein
  zur Ehe nimmt (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 385.)


In the second part of the treatise Luther presents the truth in its
other point of view. "Although the Christian has thus been made free,
he voluntarily becomes a servant that he may act towards his brethren
as God has acted towards him through Jesus Christ. I desire," said he,
"freely, joyfully, and gratuitously, to serve a Father who hath thus
shed upon me all the riches of his goodness. I wish to become every
thing to my neighbour, as Christ has become every thing to me."...
"From faith," continues Luther, "flows love to God, and from love a
life full of liberty, charity, and joy. O how noble and elevated a
life the life of the Christian is! But, alas, none know it and none
preach it. By faith the Christian rises even to God: by love he
descends to man; still, however, remaining always in God. This is true
liberty, a liberty as far above every other species of liberty as the
heavens are above the earth."

Such was the treatise which accompanied Luther's letter to Leo X.


     The Bull in Germany--Eck's Reception--The Bull at
     Wittemberg--Interposition of Zuinglius.


While the Reformer was thus addressing the Roman pontiff for the last
time, the bull which anathematised him was already in the hands of the
Germanic Church, and at Luther's own door. It would seem that no doubt
was entertained at Rome as to the success of the measure which had
thus been adopted against the Reformation. The pope had charged two
high functionaries of his court, Carracioli and Aleander, to be the
bearers of it to the Archbishop of Mentz who was requested to see to
its execution. But Eck himself appeared in Saxony as the herald and
executor of the great pontifical work. No man knew better than the
doctor of Ingolstadt how formidable the blows were which Luther had
struck. Alive to the danger he had stretched forth his hand to sustain
the tottering edifice of Rome. In his own estimation he was the Atlas,
destined to support the ancient Roman world on his robust shoulders,
when on the point of falling to pieces. Proud of the success of his
journey to Rome; proud of the charge which he had received from the
sovereign pontiff; proud to appear in Germany with the new title of
protonotary and pontifical nuncio; proud of the bull which he held in
his hand, and which contained the condemnation of his indomitable
rival, he regarded his present mission as a triumph more splendid
than all the victories which he had gained in Hungary, Bavaria,
Lombardy, and Saxony, and from which he had previously derived so much
renown. But this pride was soon to be humbled. The pope, in entrusting
the publication of the bull to Eck, had committed a blunder which was
destined to neutralise its effect. The proud distinction conferred on
a man who did not hold high rank in the Church gave offence to
sensitive and jealous spirits. The bishops, accustomed to receive the
bulls directly from the pope, were offended at the publication of this
one in their dioceses by an upstart nuncio. The nation who had hooted
the pretended conqueror of Leipsic at the moment of his flight into
Italy, were equally astonished and indignant when they saw him repass
the Alps, decked in the insignia of pontifical nuncio, and with the
power of crushing whomsoever he chose. The sentence brought by his
implacable adversary, Luther regarded as an act of personal revenge.
"He regarded it," says Pallavicini, "as the perfidious poniard of a
mortal enemy, and not as the legitimate act of a Roman lictor."[271]
It was generally viewed as less the bull of the sovereign pontiff,
than of Dr. Eck. In this way, the blow was obstructed and weakened
before-hand by the very person at whose instigation it was struck.

  [271] Non tanquam a securi legitimi lictoris, sed e telo infensissimi
  hostis.... (Pallavicini, i, p. 74.)


The chancellor of Ingolstadt had hastened back to Saxony, which, as
having been the scene of battle, he was desirous should also be the
scene of his victory. Having arrived he published the bull at Meissen,
Merseburg, and Brandenburg towards the end of September. But in the
first of these towns it was posted up in a place where nobody could
read it; and the bishops of those three sees were in no haste to
publish it. Even Duke George, Eck's great patron, prohibited the
Council of Leipsic from making it public, before receiving orders from
the Bishop of Merseburg, and these orders did not arrive till the
following year. "These are only difficulties of form," said John Eck
to himself at first, for every thing else seemed to smile upon him.
Duke George sent him a golden cup and some ducats. Even Miltitz, who
had hastened to Leipsic, on learning that his rival had arrived,
invited him to dinner. The two legates were boon companions; and
Miltitz thought he could not have a better opportunity of sounding Eck
than over their wine. "After he had drunk pretty freely, he began,"
says the pope's chamberlain, "to boast in grand style--he displayed
his bull, and told how he meant to bring that droll fellow Martin to
his senses."[272] But the Ingolstadt doctor soon had occasion to
observe that the wind was veering. The course of a year had produced a
great change in Leipsic.[273] On St. Michael's day some students
posted up placards, in ten different places, containing a severe
attack on the new nuncio, who, in amazement, took refuge in the
cloister of St. Paul, where Tetzel had previously found his asylum,
and declining every visit, induced the rector to call his youthful
opponents to account. By this poor Eck gained little. The students
composed a song upon him, and sang it in the streets. Eck must have
heard it in his prison. On this all his courage failed him, and the
redoubtable champion trembled in every limb. Every day brought him
threatening letters. One hundred and fifty students, who had arrived
from Wittemberg, spoke out boldly against the papal envoy. For once
the poor apostolical nuncio could hold out no longer. "I would not
have them kill him," said Luther, "though I wish his designs to
fail."[274] Eck, quitting his retreat at night, clandestinely escaped
from Leipsic to go and hide himself at Coburg. Miltitz, who gives the
account, triumphed more than the Reformer. His triumph, however, was
not of long duration. All the chamberlain's projects of conciliation
failed, and he came at last to a miserable end. One day, when drunk,
he fell into the Rhine at Mentz, and was drowned.

  [272] Nachdem (writes Miltitz) er nun tapfer getrunken hatte, fleng er
  gleich an trefflich von seiner ordre zu prahlen, etc. (Seckend., p.

  [273] Longe aliam faciem et mentem Lipsiæ eum invenire quam sperasset
  .... (L. Ep. i, p. 492.).

  [274] Nollem eum occidi, quanquam optem ejus consilia irrita fieri.

Eck gradually recovered courage. Repairing to Erfurt, whose
theologians had on more than one occasion betrayed their jealousy of
Luther, he insisted on having his bull published in this town, but the
students seized the copies, tore them to pieces, and threw them into
the river, saying, "since it is a bull, let it swim."[275] "Now," said
Luther, on being informed of this, "the pope's paper is a true bull."
Eck durst not make his appearance at Wittemberg; but he sent the bull
to the rector with a threat, that if it was not conformed to, he would
destroy the university. At the same time he wrote Duke John,
Frederick's brother, and co-regent, "Do not take what I do in bad
part, I am acting in behalf of the faith, and it costs me many cares,
great labour, and much money."[276]

  [275] A studiosis discerpta et in aquam projecta, dicentibus: Bulla
  est, in aquam natet! (L. Ep. i, p. 520.)

  [276] Mit viel Mühe, Arbeit, und Kosten. (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 317.)


The bishop of Brandenburg, supposing him inclined, was not entitled to
act at Wittemberg in his capacity of ordinary, the university being
protected by its privileges. Luther and Carlstadt, who were condemned
by the bull, were asked to take part in the meetings which were held
to deliberate on its contents. The rector declared that, as he had
not received a letter from the pope along with the bull, he declined
to publish it. The university had already acquired greater authority
in the surrounding countries than the sovereign pontiff himself. Its
declaration served as a model to the government of the Elector; and
thus the spirit which was in Luther triumphed over the bull of Rome.


While the German mind was thus strongly agitated by this affair, a
grave voice was heard in another quarter of Europe. An individual,
foreseeing the immense rent which the papal bull was about to make in
the Church, came forward to give a solemn warning, and to defend the
Reformer. It was that of the Swiss priest, of whom we have already
spoken, viz., Ulrich Zuinglius, who, though not united to Luther by
any friendly tie, published a treatise full of wisdom and dignity, the
first of his numerous writings.[277] A kind of fraternal affection
seemed to draw him towards the doctor of Wittemberg. "The piety of the
pontiff," said he, "requires that he shall joyfully sacrifice whatever
is dearest to him for the glory of Christ his King, and for the public
peace of the Church. Nothing is more injurious to his dignity than to
defend it by pensions or terror. Even before the writings of Luther
were read, he had been calumniated to the people as a heretic, a
schismatic, and as Antichrist himself. Not one gave him warning, none
refuted him. He called for a discussion; but all he could get was a
sentence of condemnation. The bull which is published displeases even
those who honour the majesty of the pope. For it is everywhere
regarded as an expression of the impotent hatred of some monks, and
not of the mildness of a pontiff, who ought to be the vicar of a
Saviour full of love. All acknowledge that the true doctrine of the
gospel of Jesus Christ has greatly degenerated, and that a public and
thorough reformation of laws and manners is required.[278] Consider
all men of learning and virtue--the more sincere they are, the
stronger is their attachment to evangelical truth, and the less their
dissatisfaction with Luther's writings.[279] There is not one who does
not acknowledge that he has derived benefit from these books, though
he may have met with passages which he was unable to approve. Let men
of sound doctrine and acknowledged probity be selected. Let three
princes above all suspicion--the emperor Charles, the King of England,
and the king of Hungary--name the judges. Let these judges read
Luther's writings. Let them hear his defence, and then let their
decision, whatever it be, be confirmed. Νικησατω
ê του Χριστου παιδεια και αληθεια."[280]

  [277] Consilium cujusdam ex animo cupientis esse consultum et
  pontificis dignitati, et Christianæ religionis tranquillitati
  (Zuinglii Opera, curant. Schulero et Schulthessio, iii, p. 1-5.)

  [278] Multum degenerasse ab illa sincera Christi evangelica doctrina,
  adeo ut nemo non fateatur opus esse publica aliqua et insigni legum ac
  morum instauratione. (Ibid., p. 3.)

  [279] Nemo non faletur se ex illius libris factum esse meliorem
  (Ibid., p. 4.)

  [280] Let the teaching and truth of Christ prevail.

This proposal, which came from the country of the Swiss, led to no
result. It was necessary that the great divorce should take place. It
was necessary that Christendom should be rent in twain. Her very
wounds were destined to be the cure of her diseases.


     Luther Examines himself in the presence of God--Luther's
     opinion of the Bull--A neutral Family--Luther on the Bull,
     and against the Bull of Antichrist--The Pope prohibits
     Faith--Effects of the Bull--The faggot pile of Louvain.


But what signified all this resistance by students, rectors, and
priests. If the mighty arm of Charles V is joined to the mighty arm of
the pope, will they not crush these scholars and grammarians? Will any
one be able to resist the combined power of the pontiff of Christendom
and of the emperor of the West? The blow has been struck. Luther is
excommunicated, and the gospel seems lost. At this solemn moment the
Reformer does not disguise to himself the magnitude of the danger to
which he is exposed; but he looks upward, and prepares to receive, as
from the hand of the Lord himself, a blow which seems destined to
annihilate him. He retires within himself, and meditates at the
footstool of the throne of God. "What the result is to be," says he,
"I know not, and I am not anxious to know; certain as I am that He who
sits in heaven has from all eternity foreseen the beginning, the
progress, and the end of this affair. Wherever the blow is to strike,
I am without fear. The leaf of a tree falls not without our Father's
will. How much less shall we fall. It is a small matter to die for the
Word, since this Word which became incarnate and that for us has
itself first died. If we die with it, we shall rise again with it;
and, passing along the same road by which it passed, will arrive where
it has arrived, and remain with it throughout eternity."[281]
Sometimes, however, Luther could not restrain the contempt which he
felt for the manœuvres of his enemies. On these occasions he
displays his characteristic combination of sublimity and sarcasm. "I
know nothing of Eck," says he, "except that he arrived with a long
beard, a long bull, and a long purse.... But I will laugh at his

  [281] Parum est nos pro verbo mori, cum ipsum incarnatum pro nobis
  prius mortuum sit.... (L. Ep. i, p. 490.)

  [282] Venisse eum barbatum, bullatum, nummatum ... Ridebo et ego
  bullam sive ampullam. (L. Ep. i, p. 488.)

On the third of October he was made acquainted with the papal letter.
"At length," says he, "this Roman bull has arrived. I despise it, and
defy it as impious, false, and in all respects worthy of Eck. It is
Christ himself who is condemned. It gives no reasons; it merely cites
me, not to be heard, but simply to sing a palinode. I will treat it as
spurious, though I have no doubt it is genuine. O, if Charles V were a
man, and would, for the love of Christ, attack these demons![283] I
rejoice in having to endure some hardships for the best of causes. I
already feel more liberty in my heart; for at length I know that the
pope is Antichrist, and that his see is that of Satan himself."

  [283] Utinam Carolus vir esset, et pro Christo hos Satanas
  aggrederetur. (Ibid, p. 494.)

It was not in Saxony merely that the thunders of Rome had produced
alarm. A quiet family of Swabia, a neutral family, saw its peace
suddenly broken up. Bilibald Pirckheimer, of Nuremberg, one of the
most distinguished men of his age, having early lost his beloved wife
Crescentia, was united in the closest affection with his two young
sisters, Charitas, abbess of St. Clair, and Clara, a nun of the same
convent. These two pious females served God in solitude, and divided
their time between study, the care of the poor, and preparation for
eternity. Bilibald, who was a statesman, relaxed from public affairs
by maintaining a correspondence with them. They were learned, read
Latin, and studied the Fathers; but their favourite volume was the
Holy Scriptures. They had never had any other teacher than their
brother. The letters of Charitas are written in a delicate and amiable
spirit. Tenderly attached to Bilibald she took alarm at the least
danger which threatened him. Pirckheimer, to dissipate the fears of
this timid spirit, wrote a dialogue between Charitas and Veritas,
(Charity and Truth), in which Veritas tries to strengthen
Charitas.[284] Nothing can be more touching, or better fitted to
solace a tender and agonised heart.

  [284] Pirckheimeri Op. Francof.


What must have been the terror of Charitas when the rumour spread that
in the papal bull Bilibald's name was posted up beside that of Luther,
on the doors of cathedrals? In fact, Eck, pushed on by blind fury, had
associated with Luther six of the most distinguished men of Germany,
viz., Carlstadt, Feldkirchen, and Egranus, (who gave themselves very
little concern about it,) and Adelman, Pirckheimer, and his friend
Spengler, whose public functions made them particularly alive to the
insult. There was great agitation in the Convent of St. Clair. How
shall the disgrace of Bilibald be borne? Nothing affects relatives
more deeply than such trials. In vain did the city of Nuremberg, the
Bishop of Bamberg, and even the dukes of Bavaria interfere in behalf
of Spengler and Pirckheimer; these noble-minded men were obliged to
humble themselves before Dr. Eck, who made them feel all the
importance of a Roman protonotary, and obliged them to write a letter
to the pope, declaring that they adhered to the doctrines of Luther
only in so far as they were conformable to Christian faith. At the
same time Adelman, with whom Eck had once had a scuffle on rising up
from table after a discussion on the great question which then
occupied all minds, was required to appear before the bishop of
Augsburg and purge himself on oath of all participation in the
Lutheran heresy. Still, however, anger and revenge had proved bad
counsellors to Eck. The names of Bilibald and his friends damaged the
bull. The character of these eminent men and their extensive
connections increased the general irritation.

Luther at first pretended to doubt the authenticity of the bull. "I
learn," says he in the first work which he published after it, "that
Eck has brought from Rome a new bull, which resembles him so much, is
so stuffed with falsehood and error, that it might well be named
_Doctor Eck_. He gives out that it is the work of the pope, whereas it
is only a work of lies." After explaining his reasons for doubting its
genuineness, Luther thus concludes, "I must with my own eyes see the
lead, the seal, the tape, the conclusion, the signature of the
bull--every part of it, in short, or I will not estimate all this
clamour at the weight of a straw."[285]

  [285] Oder nicht ein Haarbreit geben ... L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 323.

But no man doubted, not even Luther himself, that the bull was the
pope's. Germany waited to see what the Reformer would do. Would he
stand firm? All eyes were fixed on Wittemberg. Luther did not keep his
contemporaries long in suspense. On the 4th of November, 1520, he
replied with a discharge of thunder, by publishing his treatise
'_Against the Bull of Antichrist_.'

"What errors, what impostures," said he, "have crept in among the poor
people under the cloak of the Church, and the pretended infallibility
of the pope! how many souls have thus been lost! how much blood shed!
what murders committed! what kingdoms ruined!"


Further on he ironically says, "I know very well how to distinguish
between art and malice, and set very little value on a malice which
has no art. To burn books is so easy a matter that even children can
do it; how much more the Holy Father and his doctors.[286] It would
become them to show greater ability than is requisite merely to burn
books.... Besides, let them destroy my works! I desire nothing more;
for all I wished was to guide men to the Bible, that they might
thereafter lay aside all my writings.[287] Good God! if we had the
knowledge of Scripture, what need would there be for my writings?... I
am free by the grace of God, and bulls neither solace nor frighten me.
My strength and consolation are where neither men nor devils can
assail them."

  [286] So ist Bücher verbrennen so leicht, dass es auch Kinder können,
  schweig denn der heilige Vater Pabst... (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 324.)

  [287] ... In Biblien zu führen dass man derselben Verstand erlangte,
  und denn meine Büchlein verschwinden liess. (Ibid.)

Luther's tenth proposition, condemned by the pope, was in the
following terms: "No man's sins are pardoned, if, when the priest
absolves him, he does not believe that they are pardoned." The pope in
condemning it denied that faith was necessary in the Sacrament. "They
maintain," exclaims Luther, "that we ought not to believe that our
sins are pardoned when we are absolved by the priest. What then are we
to do? Listen now, O! Christians, to a new arrival from Rome.
Condemnation is pronounced against this article of faith which we
profess when we say 'I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic
Church, and the forgiveness of sins.' Did I know that the pope had
really given this bull at Rome," (he did not doubt it,) "and that it
was not the invention of the arch-liar, Eck, I would cry aloud to all
Christians that they ought to hold the pope as the true Antichrist
spoken of in Scripture. And if he would not desist from proscribing
the faith of the Church, ... then let the temporal sword resist him
even sooner than the Turk!... For the Turks allow belief, but the pope
forbids it."

While Luther was speaking thus forcibly, his perils were increasing.
The scheme of his enemies was to drive him out of Wittemberg. If
Luther and Wittemberg are separated, both will be destroyed. A single
stroke would thus disencumber Rome of both the heretical doctor and
the heretical university. Duke George, the bishop of Merseburg, and
the theologians of Leipsic were labouring underhand at this work.[288]
Luther on being apprised of it said, "I leave this affair in the hands
of God."[289] These proceedings were not without result: Adrian,
professor of Hebrew at Wittemberg, suddenly turned against the doctor.
It required great firmness in the faith to withstand the shock given
by the Roman bull. There are characters which follow the truth only a
certain distance, and such was Adrian. Frightened at the condemnation
he quitted Wittemberg, and repaired to Leipsic to be near Dr. Eck.

  [288] Ut Wittemberga pellerer. (L. Ep. i, p. 519.)

  [289] Id quod in manum Dei refero. (Ibid. p. 520.)


The bull began to be executed. The voice of the pontiff of Christendom
was not an empty sound. Long had fire and sword taught subjection to
it. Faggot piles were prepared at his bidding, and everything
indicated that a dreadful catastrophe was to put an end to the
audacious revolt of the Augustin monk. In October, 1520, all the
copies of Luther's works in the shops of the booksellers at Ingolstadt
were seized, and put under seal. The Archbishop-Elector of Mentz,
moderate as he was, had to banish Ulric of Hütten from his court, and
imprison his printer. The papal nuncios having laid siege to the young
Emperor, Charles declared that he would protect the ancient
religion;[290] and in some of his hereditary possessions scaffolds
were erected, on which the writings of the heretic were reduced to
ashes. Princes of the Church and magistrates were present at these
_auto-da-fe_. Alcander was quite elated with his success. "The pope,"
said he, in imitation of Prierio, "may dethrone kings! He may, if he
chooses, say to the emperor, Thou art only a tanner! He knows well how
to bring one or two miserable grammarians to their senses. We will
dispose, moreover, of Duke Frederick also." To hear the proud nuncio,
one would have said that the pile of Mentz which consumed Luther's
books was "le commencement de la fin" (_the beginning of the end_.)
These flames, it was said at Rome, will carry terror into every
quarter. Such, in truth, was the effect on many superstitious and
timid spirits; but even in the hereditary states of Charles, where
alone it was ventured to execute the bull, the people, and even the
grandees, often answered these pontifical demonstrations with
derision, or expressions of indignation. "Luther," said the doctors of
Louvain, on presenting themselves before Margaret, Regent of the
Netherlands, "Luther is subverting the Christian faith." "Who is this
Luther?" asked the Princess. "An ignorant monk." "Well, then," replied
she, "do you, who are learned, and in such numbers, write against him.
The world will credit a multitude of learned men sooner than an
isolated, ignorant monk." The doctors of Louvain preferred an easier
method. They caused a vast pile to be erected at their own expense.
The place of execution was covered with spectators, and students and
burghers were seen hastening through the crowd, their arms filled with
large volumes, which they threw into the flames. Their zeal edified
the monks and doctors; but the trick was afterwards discovered.
Instead of the writings of Luther, they had thrown into the fire the
_Sermones discipuli_, _Tartaret_, and other scholastic and popish

  [290] A ministris pontificiis mature præoccupatus, declaravit se velle
  vetarem fidem tutari..... Pallavicini, p. 80.

  [291] Seckend. p. 289.


The Count of Nassau, Viceroy of Holland, when the Dominicans were
soliciting the favour of burning the doctor's books, said to them, "Go
and preach the gospel as purely as Luther, and you will have nobody to
complain of." At a festival, attended by the leading princes of the
empire, the Reformer having become the subject of conversation, the
Baron of Ravenstein said, aloud, "In the space of four centuries, only
one Christian man has dared to lift his head, and the pope is wishing
to put him to death."[292]

  [292] Es ist in 400 Jahren ein christlicher mann aufgestanden, den
  will der Pabst todt aben (Seckend. p. 288.)

Luther, conscious of the power of his cause, remained tranquil amid
the tumult which the bull had excited.[293] "Did you not urge me so
keenly," said he to Spalatin, "I would be silent, well knowing that,
by the power and counsel of God, this work must be accomplished."[294]
The timid man was anxious for speech, the strong man wished to be
silent. It was because Luther discerned a power not visible to the
eyes of his friend. "Be of good courage," continues the Reformer;
"Christ began these things, and Christ will accomplish them, though I
should be put to flight or put to death. Jesus Christ is present here,
and more powerful is He who is in us, than he who is in the

  [293] "In bullosis illis tumultibus." (L. Ep. p. 519.) In those bull

  [294] "Rem totam Deo committerem."(Ibid, 521.) I would commit the
  whole affair to God.

  [295] "Christus ista cœpit, ista perficiet, etiam me sive extincto,
  sive fugato." (Ibid., p. 526.)


     Decisive steps by the Reformer--Luther's Appeal to a General
     Council--Struggle at close quarters--The Bull burned by
     Luther--Meaning of this bold act--Luther in the Academic
     Chair--Luther against the Pope--New Work by Melancthon--How
     Luther encourages his Friends--Progress of the
     Contest--Melancthon's Opinion of the timid--Luther's Work on
     the Bible--Doctrine of Grace--Luther's Recantation.


But duty obliged him to speak, in order to manifest the truth to the
world. Rome has struck, and he will make it known how he receives the
blow. The pope has put him under the ban of the Church, and he will
put the pope under the ban of Christendom. Up to this hour the pope's
word has been omnipotent. Luther will oppose word to word, and the
world will know which is the more powerful of the two. "I am
desirous," said he, "to set my conscience at rest, by making men aware
of the danger to which they are exposed."[296] At the same time he
prepares to renew his appeal to an universal council. An appeal from
the pope to a council was a crime, and hence the mode in which Luther
attempts to justify himself is a new act of hostility to papal

  [296] "Ut meam conscientiam redimam." (Ibid., p. 522.) That I may
  redeem my conscience.

On the morning of the 17th November, a notary and five witnesses, of
whom Cruciger was one, met at ten o'clock, in one of the halls of the
Augustin convent in which the doctor resided. There the public
officer, Sarctor of Eisleben, having seated himself to draw up the
minute of his protest, the Reformer, in presence of the witnesses,
says, with a solemn tone:

"Considering that a general Council of the Christian Church is above
the pope, especially in all that concerns the faith;

"Considering that the power of the pope is not above, but beneath
Scripture, and that he has no right to worry the sheep of Christ, and
throw them into the wolf's mouth:

"I, Martin Luther, Augustin, doctor of the Holy Scriptures at
Wittemberg, do, by this writing, appeal for myself, and for all who
shall adhere to me, from the most holy Pope Leo, to a future universal
Christian Council.

"I appeal from the said Pope Leo, _first_, as an unjust, rash,
tyrannical judge, who condemns me without hearing me, and without
explaining the grounds of his judgment; _secondly_, as a heretic, a
strayed, obdurate apostate, condemned by the Holy Scriptures, inasmuch
as he ordains me to deny that Christian faith is necessary in the use
of the sacraments;[297] _thirdly_, as an enemy, an antichrist, an
adversary, a tyrant of the Holy Scripture,[298] who dares to oppose
his own words to all the words of God; _fourthly_, as a despiser, a
calumniator, a blasphemer of the holy Christian Church and a free
Council, inasmuch as he pretends that a Council is nothing in itself.

  [297] "Ab erroneo, indurato, per Scripturas sanctas damnato, hæretico
  et apostata." (L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 50.) See also (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p.
  332.) The German copy has a few paragraphs that are not in the Latin.

  [298] "Oppressore, totius sacræ Scripturæ." (Ibid.)


"Wherefore, I most humbly supplicate the most serene, most
illustrious, excellent, generous, noble, brave, sage, and prudent
lords, Charles, the Roman emperor, the electors, princes, counts,
barons, knights, gentlemen, counsellors, towns, and commonalties,
throughout Germany, to adhere to my protestation, and join me in
resisting the antichristian conduct of the pope, for the glory of God,
the defence of the Church, and of Christian doctrine, and the
maintenance of free councils in Christendom. Let them do so, and
Christ our Lord will richly recompence them by his eternal grace. But
if there are any who despise my prayer, and continue to obey that
impious man, the pope, rather than God,[299] I, by these presents,
shake myself free of the responsibility. Having faithfully warned
their consciences, I leave them, as well as the pope, and all his
adherents, to the sovereign judgment of God."

  [299] Et papæ, impio homini, plus quam Deo obediant. (Ibid.)

Such is Luther's deed of divorce, such his answer to the papal bull.
There is great seriousness in this declaration. The accusations which
he brings against the pope are very grave, and are not made in a
spirit of levity. This protestation spread over Germany, and was sent
to the leading courts of Christendom.


Though the step which Luther had just taken seemed the very height of
daring, he had a still bolder step in reserve. The monk of Wittemberg
will do all that the pope dares to do. The son of the Medicis, and the
son of the miner of Mansfeld, have descended into the lists, and in
this mortal struggle, which shakes the world, not a blow is given by
the one which is not returned by the other. On the 10th December, a
notice appeared on the walls of Wittemberg, inviting the professors
and students to meet at nine o'clock in the morning, at the east gate,
near the holy cross. A great number of teachers and pupils assembled,
and Luther, walking at their head, led the procession to the appointed
spot. How many faggot piles has Rome kindled in the course of ages!
Luther desires to make a better application of the great Roman
principle. He only wishes to rid himself of some old papers, and the
fire, he thinks, is the fit instrument for that. A scaffold had been
prepared. One of the oldest masters of arts applied the torch. At the
moment when the flames rose, the redoubted Augustin, dressed in his
frock, was seen to approach the pile, holding in his hands the Canon
Law, the Decretals, the Clementines, the Extravagants of the popes,
some writings of Eck and Emser, and the papal bull. The Decretals
having first been consumed, Luther held up the bull, and saying,
"Since thou hast grieved the Lord's Anointed, let the eternal fire
grieve and consume thee," threw it into the flames. Never was war
declared with more energy and resolution. Luther quietly took the road
back to the town, and the crowd of doctors, professors, and students,
after a loud cheer, returned with him to Wittemberg. "The Decretals,"
said Luther, "resemble a body with a head as soft as that of a maiden,
limbs as full of violence as those of a lion, and a tail with as many
wiles as a serpent. In all the papal laws, there is not one word to
teach us who Jesus Christ is.[300] My enemies," continues he, "have
been able, by burning my books, to injure the truth in the minds of
the common people, and therefore I have burnt their books in my turn.
A serious struggle has now commenced. Hitherto I have only had child's
play with the pope. I began the work in the name of God; it will be
terminated without me and by his power. If they burn my books, in
which, to speak without vain-glory, there is more of the gospel than
in all the books of the pope, I am entitled, _a fortiori_, to burn
theirs, in which there is nothing good."

  [300] L. Op. (W.) xxii, p. 1493-1496.

Had Luther commenced the Reformation in this way, such a proceeding
would doubtless have led to fatal results. Fanaticism would have been
able to lay hold of it, and throw the Church into a course of disorder
and violence. But the Reformer's grave exposition of Scripture had
formed a prelude to his work. The foundations had been wisely laid,
and now the mighty stroke which he had just given would not only
expose him to no hazard, but even accelerate the hour when Christendom
would be delivered from her chains.

Thus solemnly did Luther declare his separation from the pope and his
church. After his letter to Leo he might think this necessary. He
accepted the excommunication which Rome had pronounced. It made the
Christian world aware that there was now mortal war between him and
the pope. On reaching the shore, he burnt his ships, and left himself
no alternative but that of advancing to the combat.

Luther had returned to Wittemberg. Next day the academic hall was
fuller than usual. Men's minds were excited. A feeling of solemnity
prevailed throughout the audience, in expectation of an address from
the doctor. He commented on the Psalms, a task which he had commenced
in March of the previous year. Having finished his lecture, he paused
a few moments, and then said firmly, "Be on your guard against the
laws and statutes of the pope. I have burned the Decretals, but it is
only child's play. It is time, and more than time, to burn the pope. I
mean, he instantly resumed, the see of Rome, with all its doctrines
and abominations." Then, assuming a more solemn tone, he said, "If you
do not, with all your heart, combat the impious government of the
pope, you cannot be saved. Whoever takes pleasure in the religion and
worship of the papacy will be eternally lost in the life to

  [301] "Muss ewig in jenem Leben verlohren seyn." L. Op. (L.) xvii, p.

"If we reject it," added he, "we may expect all kinds of dangers and
even the loss of life. But it is far better to run such risks in the
world than to be silent! As long as I live I will warn my brethren of
the sore and plague of Babylon, lest several who are with us fall back
with the others into the abyss of hell."


It is scarcely possible to imagine the effect produced upon the
audience by language, the energy of which still makes us wonder.
"None of us," adds the candid student to whom we owe the fact, "at
least, if he be not a block without intelligence, ('as,' adds he in a
parenthesis, 'all the papists are,')--none of us doubts that it
contains the simple truth. It is evident to all the faithful, that Dr.
Luther is an angel of the living God, called to feed the long
bewildered sheep of Christ with the divine Word."[302]

  [302] Lutherum esse Dei viventis angelum qui palabundas Christi oves
  pascat. (L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 123.)

This discourse, and the act which crowned it, mark an important epoch
in the Reformation. The Leipsic discussion had detached Luther
inwardly from the pope. But the moment when he burned the bull was
that in which he declared, in the most expressive manner, his entire
separation from the bishop of Rome and his church, and his attachment
to the Church universal, as founded by the apostles of Jesus Christ.
After three centuries the fire which he kindled at the East gate is
still burning.

"The pope," said he, "has three crowns, and they are these: the
_first_ is against God, for he condemns religion,--the _second_
against the emperor, for he condemns the secular power,--and the
_third_ against society, for he condemns marriage."[303] When he was
reproached with inveighing too violently against the papacy, he
replied, "Ah! I wish every thing I testify against him were a clap of
thunder, and every one of my words were a thunderbolt."[304]

  [303] L. Op. (W.) xxii, p. 1313.

  [304] Und ein jeglich Wort eine Donneraxt wäre. (Ibid. p. 1350.)

This firmness of Luther was communicated to his friends and
countrymen. A whole nation rallied round him. The university of
Wittemberg in particular always became more attached to the hero to
whom it owed its importance and renown. Carlstadt raised his voice
against "the raging lion of Florence," who tore divine and human laws
to pieces, and trampled under foot the principles of eternal truth. At
this time Melancthon also addressed the States of the empire in a
writing characterised by his usual elegance and wisdom. It was a reply
to a treatise attributed to Emser, but published under the name of
Rhadinus, a Roman theologian. Luther himself spoke not more forcibly,
and yet there is a grace in Melancthon's words which gives them access
to the heart.


After showing, by passages of Scripture, that the pope is not superior
to other bishops; "What prevents us," says he to the States of the
empire, "from depriving the pope of the privilege which we have given
him?[305] It matters little to Luther that our riches, i.e. the
treasures of Europe, are sent to Rome. But what causes his grief and
ours is, that the laws of the pontiffs, and the reign of the pope, not
only endanger the souls of men but utterly destroy them. Every man
can judge for himself, whether or not it suits him to give his money
for the maintenance of Roman luxury, but to judge of the things of
religion, and of sacred mysteries, is beyond the reach of the vulgar.
Here, then, Luther implores your faith and zeal, and all pious men
implore with him, some with loud voice and others with groans and
sighs. Remember, princes of the Christian people, that you are
Christians, and rescue the sad wrecks of Christianity from the tyranny
of Antichrist. You are deceived by those who pretend that you have no
authority over priests. The same spirit which animated Jehu against
the priests of Baal urges you, in imitation of that ancient example,
to abolish the Roman superstition--a superstition far more horrible
than the idolatry of Baal."[306] So spoke mild Melancthon to the
princes of Germany.

  [305] "Quid obstat quominus papæ quod dedimus jus adimamus!" (Corp.
  Reform. L. i, p. 337.)

  [306] Ut extinguaris illam multo tetriorem Baalis idololatriâ Romanam
  superstitionem. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 337.)

Some cries of alarm were heard among the friends of the Reformation.
Timid spirits inclined to excessive moderation--Staupitz in
particular, expressed the keenest anguish. "Till now," said Luther to
him, "the whole affair has been mere sport. You yourself have said,
'did God not do these things it is impossible they could by done.' The
tumult becomes more and more tumultuous! and I do not think it will be
quelled before the last day."[307] Such was Luther's mode of
encouraging the timid. The tumult has existed for three centuries and
is not quelled!

  [307] Tumultus egregiè tumultuatur, ut nisi extremo die sedari mihi
  posse non videatur. (L. Ep. i, p. 541.)

"The papacy," continued he, "is not now what it was yesterday and the
day before. Let it excommunicate and burn my writings; ... let it kill
me! it cannot arrest what is going forward. Something wonderful is at
the door.[308] I burnt the bull in great trembling, but now I
experience more joy from it than from any action of my life."[309]

  [308] Omnino aliquid portenti præ foribus est. (Ibid. p. 642.) Strange
  presage of the future!

  [309] ... primum trepidus et orans, sed nunc lætior quam ullo totius
  vitæ meæ facto. (Ibid.) ... at first trembling and praying, but now
  more joyful than at any action of my whole life.

We stop involuntarily and delight to read in the great soul of Luther
all that the future is preparing. "O! my father," says he to Staupitz
in concluding, "pray for the word of God and for me. I am heaved on
the billows, and as it were whirled upon them."[310]

  [310] Ego fluctibus his rapior et volvor. (Ibid.)


War is thus declared on all sides. The combatants have thrown away
their scabbards. The Word of God has resumed its rights, and deposes
him who had gone the length of usurping God's place. Society is shaken
throughout. No period is without egotistical men, who would willingly
leave human society in error and corruption, but wise men, even the
timid among them, think differently. "We know well," says the mild
and moderate Melancthon, "that statesmen have a horror at every thing
like innovation; and it must be confessed, that in the sad confusion
called human life, discord, even that which arises from the best of
causes, is always accompanied with evil. Still it is necessary that in
the Church the Word of God take precedence of every thing human.[311]
God denounces eternal wrath against those who strive to extinguish the
truth; and therefore, it was a duty incumbent on Luther--a Christian
duty which he could not evade--to rebuke the pernicious errors which
disorderly men were circulating with inconceivable effrontery. If
discord engenders many evils, (to my great grief I see it does, adds
sage Philip,) it is the fault of those who at the beginning circulated
errors, and of those who, filled with diabolic hatred, are seeking at
present to maintain them."

  [311] Sed tamen in Ecclesiâ necesse est anteferri mandatum Dei omnibus
  rebus humanis. (Melancth. Vit. Lutheri.)

All, however, were not of the same opinion. Luther was loaded with
reproaches; the storm burst upon him from all sides. "He is quite
alone," said some--"He teaches novelties," said others.

"Who knows," replied Luther, in accordance with the virtue given him
from on high,--"who knows if God has not chosen me, and called
me,[312] and if they ought not to fear that in despising me they may
be despising God himself?... Moses was alone on coming but of
Egypt--Elijah alone in the time of King Ahab--Isaiah alone in
Jerusalem--Ezekiel alone at Babylon.... God never chose for a prophet
either the high priest or any other great personage. He usually chose
persons who were low and despised,--on one occasion he even chose a
shepherd, (Amos). At all times the saints have had to rebuke the
great--kings, princes, priests, the learned--at the risk of their
lives. And under the New Dispensation has it not been the same?
Ambrose in his day was alone; after him Jerome was alone; later still
Augustine was alone.... I do not say that I am a prophet,[313] but I
say they ought to fear just because I am alone and they are many. One
thing I am sure of--the Word of God is with me and is not with them.

  [312] Wer weiss ob mich Gott dazu berufen und erwaehlt hat.
  Fundamental principle of the articles condemned by the papal bull. (L.
  Op. (L.) xvii, p. 338.)

  [313] "Ich sage nicht dass Ich ein Prophet sey." (L. Op. (L.) xvii. p.

"It is said also," continues he, "that I advance novelties, and that
it is impossible to believe that all other doctors have for so long a
period been mistaken.


"No, I do not preach novelties. But I say that all Christian doctrines
have disappeared, even among those who ought to have preserved them; I
mean bishops and the learned. I doubt not, however, that the truth
has remained in some hearts, should it even have been in infants in
the cradle.[314] Poor peasants, mere babes, now understand Jesus
Christ better than the pope, the bishops, and the doctors.

  [314] "Und sollten's eitel Kinder in der Wiege seyn." (Ibid, p. 339.)

"I am accused of rejecting the holy doctors of the Church. I reject
them not: but since all those doctors try to prove their writings by
Holy Scripture, it must be clearer and more certain than they are. Who
thinks of proving an obscure discourse by one still more obscure?
Thus, then, necessity constrains us to recur to the Bible, as all the
doctors do, and to ask it to decide upon their writings; for the Bible
is lord and master.

"But it is said men in power persecute him. And is it not clear from
Scripture that persecutors are usually in the wrong, and the
persecuted in the right; that the majority are always in favour of
falsehood, and the minority in favour of truth? The truth has, at all
times, caused clamour."[315]

  [315] Wahrheit hat alle, seit rumört (Ibid., p. 140.)

Luther afterwards reviews the propositions condemned in the bull as
heretical, and demonstrates their truth, by proofs drawn from Holy
Scripture. With what force, in particular, does he now maintain the
doctrine of grace!

"What," says he, "will nature be able, before and without grace, to
hate sin, avoid it, and repent of it; while that, even since grace is
come, this nature loves sin, seeks it, desires it, and ceases not to
combat grace, and to be irritated against it; a fact for which all the
saints continually do groan!... It is as if it were said that a large
tree, which I am unable to bend by exerting my utmost strength, bends
of itself on my letting it go; or that a torrent, which walls and
dykes cannot arrest, is arrested the instant I leave it to itself....
No, it is not by considering sin and its consequences that we attain
to repentance, but by contemplating Jesus Christ, his wounds, and
boundless love.[316] The knowledge of sin must result from repentance,
and not repentance from the knowledge of sin. Knowledge is the fruit,
repentance is the tree. With us the fruit grows upon the tree, but it
would seem that, in the states of the holy father, the tree grows upon
the fruit."

  [316] Man soll zuvor Christum in seine Wunden sehen, und aus
  denselben, seine Liebe gegen uns. (Ibid., p. 351.)

The courageous doctor, though he protests, also retracts some of his
propositions. Surprise will cease when his mode of doing it is known.
After quoting the four propositions on indulgences, condemned by the
bull,[317] he simply adds,


"In honour of the holy and learned bull I retract all that I have
ever taught touching indulgences. If my books have been justly burned,
it must certainly be because I conceded something to the pope in the
doctrine of indulgences; wherefore, I myself condemn them to the

  [317] 19 to 22. (Ibid., p. 363.)

He also retracts in regard to John Huss. "I say now, not that _some_
articles, but _all_ the articles of John Huss, are Christian
throughout. The pope, in condemning Huss, condemned the gospel. I have
done five times more than he, and yet I much fear have not done
enough. Huss merely says, that a wicked pope is not a member of
Christendom; but I, were St. Peter himself sitting to-day at Rome,
would deny that he was pope by the appointment of God."


     Coronation of Charles--The Nuncio Aleander--Will Luther's
     Books be burnt?--Aleander and the Emperor--The Nuncios and
     the Elector--The Son of Duke John pleads for
     Luther--Luther's calmness--The Elector protects
     Luther--Reply of the Nuncios--Erasmus at Cologne--Erasmus
     with the Elector--Declaration of Erasmus--Advice of
     Erasmus--System of Charles V.

The powerful words of the Reformer penetrated all minds, and
contributed to their emancipation. The sparks of light which each word
threw out were communicated to the whole nation. But a great question
remained to be solved. Would the prince, in whose states Luther dwelt,
favour the execution of the bull, or would he oppose it? The reply
seemed doubtful. At that time the Elector and all the princes of the
empire were at Aix-la-Chapelle where the crown of Charlemagne was
placed upon the head of the youngest but most powerful monarch of
Christendom. Unprecedented pomp and magnificence were displayed in the
ceremony. Charles V, Frederick, the princes, ministers, and
ambassadors, immediately after repaired to Cologne. Aix-la-Chapelle,
where the plague was raging, seemed to empty itself into this ancient
town on the banks of the Rhine.


Among the crowd of strangers who pressed into the city were the two
papal nuncios, Marino Carracioli and Jerome Aleander. Carracioli, who
had previously executed a mission to Maximilian, was appointed to
congratulate the new emperor, and confer with him on matters of state.
But Rome had become aware that, in order to succeed in extinguishing
the Reformation, it was necessary to send into Germany a nuncio
specially entrusted with the task, and with a character, address, and
activity fitted to accomplish it. Aleander had been selected.[318]
This man, who was afterwards decorated with the cardinals' purple,
seems to have been of rather an ancient family, and not of Jewish
parentage as has been said. The guilty Borgia called him to Rome to be
secretary to his son, the Cesar, before whose murderous sword all Rome
trembled.[319] "Like master like servant," says a historian, who thus
compares Aleander to Alexander VI. This judgment seems too severe.
After the death of Borgia, Aleander devoted himself to study with new
ardour. His skill in Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, and Arabic, gave him the
reputation of being the most learned man of his age. He threw his
whole soul into whatever he undertook. The zeal with which he studied
languages was not a whit stronger than that which he displayed in
persecuting the Reformation. Leo X took him into his service.
Protestant historians speak of his epicurean habits--Roman historians
of the integrity of his life.[320] He seems to have been fond of
luxury, show, and amusement. "Aleander," says his old friend Erasmus,
"lived in Venice, in high office, but in low epicureanism." He is
admitted to have been violent in temper, prompt in action, full of
ardour, indefatigable, imperious, and devoted to the pope. Eck is the
blustering, intrepid champion of the school,--Aleander the proud
ambassador of the arrogant court of the pontiffs. He seemed formed to
be a nuncio.

  [318] Studium flagrantissimum religionis, ardor idolis...incredibile
  quanta solertia (Pallavicini, i, p. 84.)

  [319] Capello, Venetian ambassador at Rome, in 1500, says of him,
  "Tutta Roma trema di esso ducha non li faza amazzar"... (Relatione
  M.S. Archives of Vienna, extracted by Ranke.)

  [320] Er wird übel als ein gebohrner Jude und schaendlicher Epicurer
  beschrieben. (Seckend. 286.)--Integritas vitæ qua prænoscebatur...
  (Pallavicini, i, p. 84.)

Rome had made every preparation to destroy the monk of Wittemberg. The
duty of assisting at the coronation of the emperor, as representative
of the pope, was to Aleander only a secondary mission, fitted to
facilitate his task by the respect which it secured to him. The
essential part of his commission was to dispose Charles to crush the
growing Reformation.[321] In putting the bull into the hands of the
emperor, the nuncio had thus addressed him:--"The pope, who has
succeeded with so many great princes, will have little difficulty in
bringing three grammarians to order." By these he meant Luther,
Melancthon, and Erasmus. Erasmus was present at this audience.

  [321] "Cui tota sollicitudo insisteret, nascentis hæresis evellendæ."
  (Pallavicini, i, p. 83.) Whose whole anxiety was directed to the
  extirpation of the growing heresy.


No sooner had Aleander arrived at Cologne, than he proceeded in
concert with Carracioli, to put everything in train for burning
Luther's heretical writings throughout the empire, but more especially
under the eyes of the princes of Germany who were then assembled.
Charles V had already consented to its being done in his hereditary
states. The minds of men were greatly agitated. "Such measures," it
was said to the ministers of Charles, and to the nuncios themselves,
"far from curing the evil, will only make it worse. Do you imagine
that the doctrine of Luther exists only in the books which you throw
into the flames? It is written where you cannot reach it--on the
hearts of the population.[322] If you will employ force, it must be
that of innumerable swords, drawn to massacre an immense
multitude.[323] Some billets of wood, collected for the purpose of
consuming some bits of paper, will do nothing; such weapons become not
the dignity either of the emperor or the pontiff." The nuncio defended
his faggot piles. "These flames," said he, "are a sentence of
condemnation written in gigantic letters, and understood alike by
those who are near, and those who are at a distance, by the learned
and the ignorant, by those even who cannot read."

  [322] "Altiusque insculptam in mentibus universæ fere Germaniæ."
  (Pallavicini, i, p. 88.)

  [323] "In vi innumerabilium gladiorum qui infinitum populum
  trucidarent." (Ibid.)

But, in reality the nuncio's efforts were directed not against papers
and books, but Luther himself. "These flames," resumed he, "are not
sufficient to purify the infected air of Germany.[324] If they deter
the simple, they do not correct the wicked. The thing wanted is an
edict from the emperor against Luther's head."[325]

  [324] "Non satis ad expurgandam aërem Germaniæ jam tabificum." (Ibid.,
  p. 89.)

  [325] Cæsaris edictum in caput ... Lutheri. (Ibid.)

Aleander did not find the emperor so complying on the subject of the
Reformer's person as on that of his books.

"Having just ascended the throne," said he to Aleander, "I cannot,
without the advice of my counsellors, and the consent of the princes,
strike such a blow at an immense faction, surrounded by such powerful
defenders. Let us first know what our father, the Elector of Saxony,
thinks of the affair; after that, we shall see what answer to give to
the pope."[326] On the Elector, therefore, the nuncios proceeded to
try their wiles, and the power of their eloquence.

  [326] "Audiamus antea hac in re patrem nostrum Fredericum." (L. Op.
  Lat., ii, p. 117.)

On the first Sunday of November, after Frederick had attended mass in
the convent of the Cordeliers, Carracioli and Aleander requested an
audience. He received them in the presence of the Bishop of Trent, and
several of his counsellors. Carracioli first presented the papal
brief. Milder than Aleander, he thought it best to gain the Elector by
flattery, and began to laud him and his ancestors. "In you," said he,
"we hope for the salvation of the Roman Church and the Roman empire."


But the impetuous Aleander, wishing to come to the point, came
briskly forward, and interrupted his colleague, who modestly gave way
to him.[327] "It is to me," said he, "and Eck, that Martin's affair
has been entrusted. See the immense perils to which this man exposes
the Christian commonwealth. If a remedy is not speedily applied, the
empire is destroyed. What ruined the Greeks if it was not their
abandonment of the pope? You cannot remain united to Luther without
separating from Jesus Christ.[328] In the name of his Holiness, I ask
of you two things: _first_, to burn the writings of Luther;
_secondly_, to punish him according to his demerits, or at least to
give him up a prisoner to the pope.[329] The emperor, and all the
princes of the empire have declared their readiness to accede to our
demands; you alone still hesitate...."

  [327] "Cui ita loquenti de improviso sese addit Aleander ..." (L. Op.
  Lat., ii, p. 117.)

  [328] Non posse cum Luthero conjungi, quin sejungeretur a Christo.
  (Pallavicini. p. 86.)

  [329] Ut de eo supplicium sumeret, vel captum pontifici transmitteret.
  (L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 117.)

Frederick replied, by the intervention of the Bishop of Trent, "This
affair is too grave to be decided on the spur of the moment. We will
acquaint you with our resolution."

Frederick's position was difficult. What course will he adopt? On the
one side are the emperor, the princes of the empire, and the chief
pontiff of Christendom, from whose authority the Elector has as yet no
thought of withdrawing; on the other, a monk, a feeble monk; for his
person is all that is asked. The reign of the emperor has just
commenced, and will discord be thrown into the empire by Frederick,
the oldest and the wisest of all the princes of Germany? Besides, can
he renounce that piety which led him as far as the sepulchre of

Other voices were then heard. John Frederick, son of Duke John, and
nephew of Frederick, the pupil of Spalatin, a young prince, seventeen
years of age, who afterwards wore the electoral crown, and whose reign
was marked by great misfortunes, had been inspired with a heartfelt
love of the truth, and was strongly attached to Luther.[330] When he
saw him struck with the anathemas of Rome, he embraced his cause with
the warmth of a young Christian and a young prince. He wrote to the
doctor, he wrote also to his uncle, soliciting him to protect Luther
against his enemies. At the same time, Spalatin, though indeed he was
often very desponding, Pontanus, and the other counsellors who were
with the Elector at Cologne, represented to him that he could not
abandon the Reformer.[331]

  [330] ... Sonderliche Gunst und Gnade zu mir unwürdiglich und den
  grossen Willen und Lust zer der heiligen göttlichen Wahrheit ... (L.
  Ep. i, p. 548, to John Frederick, 30th October, 1520.)

  [331] "Assiduo flabello ministrorum, illi jugiter suadentium ne
  Lutherum desereret." (Pallavicini, i, p. 86.)


Amid the general agitation, only one man remained tranquil--that man
was Luther. While others were trying to save him by the influence of
the great, the monk, in his cloister at Wittemberg, thought that the
great stood more in need of being saved by him. Writing to Spalatin,
he says, "If the gospel was of a nature to be propagated or maintained
by the power of the world, God would not have entrusted it to
fishermen.[332] To defend the gospel appertains not to the princes and
pontiffs of this world. They have enough to do to shelter themselves
from the judgments of the Lord and his Anointed. If I speak, I do it
in order that they may obtain the knowledge of the divine word, and be
saved by it."

  [332] Evangelium si tale esset, quod potentatibus mundi aut
  propagaretur aut servaretur, non illud piscatoribus Deus demandasset.
  (L. Ep. i, p. 521.)

Luther's expectation was not to be deceived. The faith which a convent
of Wittemberg contained exercised its influence in the palaces of
Cologne. The heart of Frederick, shaken perhaps for an instant, became
gradually stronger. He was indignant that the pope, notwithstanding of
urgent entreaties to investigate the matter in Germany, had condemned
it at Rome, on the demand of the Reformer's personal enemy; and that
in his absence that enemy should have dared to publish in Saxony a
bull which threatened the existence of the university and the peace of
his people. Besides, the Elector was convinced that Luther had been
wronged. He shuddered at the thought of delivering an innocent man
into the cruel hands of his enemies. Justice, rather than the pope,
such was the rule he adopted. He resolved not to yield to Rome. On the
4th November, when the Roman nuncios were in his presence with the
Bishop of Trent, his counsellors announced to them, on the part of the
Elector, that he was much grieved to see how Doctor Eck had taken the
opportunity of his absence to involve in condemnation several persons
not adverted to in the bull; that it might be that, since his
departure, an immense number of the learned and the ignorant, the
clergy and the laity, had united in adhering to the cause and the
appeal of Luther;[333] that neither his Imperial Majesty, nor any
person, had shown him that the writings of Luther had been refuted,
and that the only thing now necessary was to throw them into the fire,
that he moreover demanded a safe conduct for Doctor Luther, to enable
him to appear before learned, pious, and important judges.

  [333] "Ut ingens vis populi, doctorum et rudium, sacrorum et
  profanorum, sese conjunxerint...." (L. Op. Lat., ii, p. 116.)


After this declaration, Aleander, Carracioli, and their suite, retired
to deliberate.[334] It was the first time the Elector had publicly
declared his intentions with regard to the Reformer. The nuncios had
anticipated a very different result. "Now," thought they, "that the
Elector, by persisting in playing his part of impartiality, would
expose himself to dangers, the full extent of which cannot be
foreseen, he will not hesitate to sacrifice the monk." So Rome had
reasoned. But her schemes were destined to fail before a power to
which she had not adverted--the love of justice and truth.

  [334] "Quo audito, Marinus et Aleander seorsim cum suis locuti sunt."
  (Ibid., p. 117.)

When again before the Elector's counsellors, "I would fain know," said
the imperious Aleander, "what the Elector would think were one of his
subjects to choose the King of France or some other foreign prince for
judge?" Seeing at length that the Saxon counsellors were not to be
shaken, he said, "We will execute the bull; we will prosecute and burn
the writings of Luther. As to his person," added he, affecting a
disdainful indifference, "the pope has no anxiety to dip his hand in
the blood of the wretch."

News of the reply which the Elector had given to the nuncios having
reached Wittemberg, Luther's friends were overjoyed. Melancthon and
Amsdorff, in particular, cherished the most flattering hopes. "The
German nobility," said Melancthon, "will shape their course by the
example of a prince whom they follow in every thing as their Nestor.
If Homer called his hero '_the wall of the Greeks_,' why should not
Frederick be called '_the wall of the Germans_?'"[335]

  [335] Homerica adpellatione murum Germaniæ. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 272.)


Erasmus, the oracle of courts, the torch of the schools, the light of
the world, was then at Cologne, having been invited thither by several
princes who wished to consult him. At the period of the Reformation,
Erasmus was at the head of the true middle (_juste milieu_) party, at
least he thought he was, but erroneously; for when truth and error are
in presence of each other, the right side is not the middle. He was
the chief of that philosophical and university party, which had for
ages aspired to correct Rome, without being able to do so; he was the
representative of human wisdom; but this wisdom was too weak to
repress the arrogance of the papacy. The wisdom of God was
necessary--that wisdom which the world often calls folly, but at the
bidding of which mountains are crushed. Erasmus was unwilling either
to throw himself into the arms of Luther, or to seat himself at the
feet of the pope. He hesitated, and often vibrated between these two
powers, sometimes attracted towards Luther, and then suddenly repelled
towards the pope. He had declared for Luther in a letter to the
Archbishop of Mentz, in which he had said, "The last spark of
Christian piety seems ready to be extinguished. It is this that has
moved Luther's heart; he cares neither for money nor honour."[336] The
publication of this letter by the imprudent Ulric von Hütten,
subjected Erasmus to so much annoyance that he resolved to act with
more prudence in future. Besides, he was accused of being in concert
with Luther whose unguarded speeches moreover offended him. "Almost
all good people,"[337] said he, "are for Luther, but I see that we are
on the high way to a revolt. I would not have my name coupled with
his. It hurts me and does him no good."[338] "Be it so," replied
Luther, "since it pains you, I promise never to mention your name, nor
that of any of your friends." Such was the man to whom both the
enemies and the friends of the Reformer applied.

  [336] "Et futurum erat .... ut tandem prorsus extingueretur illa
  scintilla Christianæ pietatis; hæc moverunt animum Lutheri .... qui
  nec honores ambit nec pecuniam cupit." (Erasm. Ep. Londini, 1642, p.

  [337] Favent vero ferme boni omnes. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 205.)

  [338] Er will von mir ungenennt seyn. (L. Ep. i, p. 525.) Nam ea res
  me gravat et Lutherum non sublevat. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 206.)


The Elector, aware that the opinion of a man so much respected as
Erasmus would carry great weight, invited the illustrious Dutchman to
come to him. Erasmus complied. This was on the 5th of December. The
friends of Luther saw this step not without secret apprehension. The
Elector was sitting before the fire, with Spalatin beside him, when
Erasmus was introduced. "What think you of Luther?" immediately asked
Frederick. The prudent Erasmus, surprised at the direct question, at
first tried to evade it. He twisted his mouth, bit his lips, and said
nothing. Then the Elector, opening his eyes (says Spalatin,) as he was
wont to do when speaking to persons from whom he wished a precise
answer, looked piercingly at Erasmus,[339] who, not knowing how to
disembarrass himself, at last said, half in jest, "Luther has
committed two great faults; he has attacked the pope's crown and the
monks' belly." The Elector smiled, but gave Erasmus to understand that
he was in earnest. Then Erasmus, laying aside his reserve, said, "The
source of all this dispute is the hatred of the monks against letters,
and the fear they have of seeing an end put to their tyranny.[340]
What have they put in operation against Luther? Clamour, cabal,
hatred, libels. The more virtuous, and the more attached to the
doctrines of the gospel a man is, the less is he opposed to
Luther.[341] The harshness of the bull has excited the indignation of
all good men, and nobody has been able to discover in it the meekness
of a vicar of Jesus Christ.[342] Out of so many universities two only
have attacked Luther, and even these have only condemned, not
convicted him. Let not people deceive themselves; the danger is
greater than some suppose. Things difficult and arduous are at
hand.[343]... To begin the reign of Charles with an act so hateful as
the imprisonment of Luther would be of sad augury. The world is
thirsting for evangelical truth.[344] Let us beware of culpably
resisting it. Let the affair be examined by grave men of sound
judgment; this would be more accordant with the dignity of the pope

  [339] Da sperret auch wahrlich mein gnädister Herr seine Augen nur
  wohl auf... (Spalatin Hist. MS. in Seckend. p. 291.)

  [340] Lutherus peccavit in duobus, nempe quod tetigit coronam
  pontificis et ventres monachorum, (See 1st vol.)

  [341] Cum optimus quisque et evangelicæ doctrinæ proximus dicatur,
  minime offensus Luthero. (Axiomata Erasmi in L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 115.)

  [342] Bullæ sævitia probos omnes offendit ut indigna mitissimo Christi
  vicario. (Ibid.)

  [343] Urgent ardua negotia.... (Ibid.)

  [344] Mundus sitit veritatem evangelicam. (Axiomata Erasmi in L. Op.
  Lat. ii, p. 115.)

Thus spoke Erasmus to the Elector. The reader will perhaps be
astonished at his frankness; but Erasmus knew to whom he was speaking.
Spalatin was delighted, and going out with Erasmus, accompanied him as
far as the house of the Count of Nuenar, provost of Cologne, where the
illustrious scholar was residing. Erasmus, in a fit of frankness, went
into his room, took up the pen and wrote down the substance of what he
had said to the Elector, and gave it to Spalatin. But fear of Aleander
soon took possession of the timid Erasmus, the courage which he had
felt in the presence of the Elector and his chaplain vanished, and he
begged Spalatin to send back his too bold writing lest it should fall
into the hands of the terrible nuncio. It was too late.

The Elector, feeling strong in the opinion of Erasmus, spoke in more
decided terms to the emperor. Erasmus himself strove in nocturnal
conferences,[345] like Nicodemus of old, to persuade the counsellors
of Charles that it was necessary to remit the whole affair to
impartial judges. Perhaps he had some hope of being named arbiter in
this cause which threatened to divide the Christian world. His vanity
would have been flattered by the office. But, at the same time, not to
lose himself at Rome, he wrote the most submissive letters to Leo, who
replied in kind terms, and thereby put poor Aleander to the
torture.[346] From love to the pope, he could have sharply rebuked the
pope. Erasmus communicated the pontiff's letters because they added to
his credit. The nuncio made a complaint at Rome: "Pretend," was the
answer, "that you do not observe the naughtiness of that man. Prudence
requires it: it is necessary to leave the door open for

  [345] Sollicitatis per nocturnos congressus. (Pallavicini, p. 87.)

  [346] Quæ male torquebant Aleandrum. (Ibid.)

  [347] Prudentis erat consilii hominis pravitatem dissimulare. (Ibid,
  p. 88.)


Charles V himself embraced a vacillating system, which consisted in
flattering both the pope and the Elector, and in seeming to incline
alternately towards the one or the other according to the wants of the
moment. One of his ministers, whom he had sent to Rome on certain
Spanish matters, had arrived at the very time when Eck was loudly
prosecuting Luther's condemnation. The wily ambassador instantly saw
the advantages which his master might derive from the Saxon monk, and
on the 12th May, 1520, wrote the emperor, who was still in Spain:
"Your Majesty should go into Germany, and there show some favour to
one Martin Luther, who is at the Court of Saxony, and, by his
discourses, is giving much uneasiness to the Court of Rome."[348]
Such, at the outset, was the light in which Charles viewed the matter.
His object was not to know on which side truth or error lay, or to
ascertain what the great interest of Germany demanded. What does
policy require, and by what means can the pope be induced to support
the emperor? This was the whole question, and at Rome was well known
to be so. The ministers of Charles gave Aleander a hint of the plan
which their master meant to follow. "The emperor," said they, "will
act towards the pope as the pope acts towards the emperor: for he
cares not to increase the power of his rivals, and in particular of
the king of France."[349] At these words the imperious nuncio gave
vent to his indignation: "What!" replied he, "even should the pope
abandon the emperor must the emperor abandon religion? If Charles
means thus to take his revenge ... let him tremble! This unprincipled
course will turn against himself." The imperial diplomatists were not
moved by the menaces of the nuncio.

  [348] Despatches of Manuel Llorente, i, p. 338.

  [349] Pallav. p. 91.


     Luther on Confession--True absolution--Antichrist--Rally
     around Luther--Satires--Ulric von Hütten--Lucas Cranach--The
     Carnival at Wittemberg--Staupitz intimidated--Luther's
     Labours--Luther's Humility--Progress of the Reformation.


If the legates of Rome failed with the mighty of the world, the
inferior agents of the papacy succeeded in producing disturbance among
the weak. The militia of Rome had heard the command of their chief.
Fanatical priests employed the bull in alarming consciences, and
honest but ill informed ecclesiastics regarded it as a sacred duty to
act conformably to the instructions of the pope. Luther had begun his
struggle against Rome in the confessional,[350] and in the
confessional Rome gave battle to the adherents of the Reformer. The
bull, though openly contemned by the nation, became powerful in these
solitary tribunals. "Have you read the writings of Luther," demanded
the confessors, "do you possess them? do you regard them as sound or
as heretical?" If the penitent hesitated to pronounce the anathema,
the priest refused him absolution. Several consciences were troubled.
The people were strongly agitated. This skilful manœuvre promised
to restore to the papal yoke whole districts already gained to the
gospel. Rome congratulated herself on having, in the thirteenth
century, erected a tribunal destined to bring the free consciences of
Christians under subjection to the priests.[351] While it continues in
force her reign is not ended.

  [350] Vol. i, to p. 20.

  [351] In 1215, by the fourth Lateran Council, under Innocent III.

Luther became aware of these circumstances. Single handed what will he
do to defeat the manœuvre? The Word--the Word uttered loudly and
boldly: such is his weapon. The Word will search out these alarmed
consciences, these frightened souls, and strengthen them. A powerful
impulse was required, and Luther's voice was heard addressing
penitents with heroic boldness, and a noble disregard of all secondary
considerations. "When you are asked," says he, "whether or not you
approve my books, answer, 'You are a confessor, and not an inquisitor
or a gaoler. My duty is to confess what my conscience dictates; yours
not to probe and discover the secrets of my heart. Give me absolution,
and thereafter dispute with Luther, the pope, and whomsoever you
please; but do not connect the sacrament of peace with strife and
combat.' If the confessor will not yield, then," continues Luther, "I
would rather dispense with his absolution. Give yourself no
uneasiness; if man will not absolve you God will absolve you. Rejoice
in that you are absolved by God himself, and present yourself without
fear at the sacrament of the altar. The priest will have to account at
the final judgment for the absolution which he shall have refused you.
They may indeed refuse us the sacrament, but they cannot deprive us of
the strength and grace which God has attached to it.--God has placed
salvation neither in their will nor in their power but in our faith.
Leave their sacrament, altar, priest, church: the Word of God
condemned in the bull is more than all these things. The soul can
dispense with the sacrament, but cannot live without the Word. Christ,
the true Bishop, will himself undertake to nourish you spiritually."[352]

  [352] Und wird dich der rechte Bischoff Christus selber speisen. (L.
  Op. lxvii, p. 563.)


Thus, Luther's voice found its way into families, and alarmed
consciences, imparting to them courage and faith. But it was not
enough for him merely to defend himself; he felt it his duty to attack
and return blow for blow. Ambrose Catherin, a Roman theologian, had
written against him. [353]"I will stir up the bile of the Italian
beast," said Luther; and he kept his word. In his reply, he proved by
the revelations of Daniel and St. John, by the epistles of St. Paul,
St. Peter, and St. Jude, that the reign of Antichrist, predicted and
described in the Bible, was the papacy. "I know for certain," says he,
in conclusion, "that our Lord Jesus Christ lives and reigns. Strong in
this assurance, I would not fear several thousands of popes. May God
at length visit you according to his infinite power, and cause the day
of the glorious advent of his Son to shine, that day in which he will
destroy the wicked. And let all the people say, Amen!"[354]

  [353] Italicæ bestiæ bilem movebo. (L. Ep. i, p. 570.)

  [354] Ostendat illum diem adventus gloriæ Filii sui quo destruatur
  iniquus iste. (L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 162.)

And all the people did say, Amen! A holy fear took possession of men's
souls. They saw Antichrist seated on the pontifical throne. This new
idea, an idea which derived great force from the prophetical
description, being thrown by Luther into the midst of his age, gave
Rome a dreadful shock. Faith in the divine Word was substituted for
that, which, till then the Church alone had obtained, and the power of
the pope, which had long been adored by the people, became the object
of their hatred and terror.

Germany replied to the papal bull by surrounding Luther with
acclamation. The plague was in Wittemberg, and yet arrivals of new
students daily took place, while from four to six hundred pupils
regularly took their seats in the academic halls at the feet of Luther
and Melancthon. The church of the convent and the town church were too
small for the crowds eager to hear the words of the Reformer. The
prior of the Augustins was in terror lest these churches should give
way under the pressure of the audience.[355] But the movement was not
confined within the walls of Wittemberg: it extended over Germany.
Letters full of consolation and faith, from princes, noble and learned
men, reached Luther from all quarters. He showed the chaplain more
than thirty of them.[356]

  [355] Es möchte noch gar die Kirche und Capelle um der menge willen
  einfallen. (Spalatin in Seckend. p. 295.)

  [356] Mehr als dreyssig Briefe von Fürsten.... (Ibid.)

One day the Margrave of Brandenburg, with several other princes,
arrived at Wittemberg to visit Luther. "They wished to see the
man,"[357] said the Margrave. In fact all wished _to see the man_,
whose word alarmed the pope, and caused the pontiff of the West to
totter on his throne.

  [357] Videre enim hominem voluerunt. (L. Ep. i, p. 544, Jan. 16,


The enthusiasm of Luther's friends increased from day to day.
"Unparalleled folly of Emser!"--exclaimed Melancthon--"to presume to
measure weapons with our Hercules, overlooking the finger of God in
the actions of Luther,[358] as the king of Egypt overlooked it in the
hand of Moses." The mild Melancthon found strong expressions to
excite those who seemed to him to retrograde or remain stationary.
"Luther has stood up for the truth," wrote he to John Hess, "and yet
you keep silence. He still breathes, he still prospers, though Leo is
indignant and roars with rage. Remember, it is impossible for Roman
impiety to approve of the gospel.[359] How should this unhappy age be
without its Judases, Caiaphases, Pilates, and Herods? Arm yourself
then with the power of the Word of God against such adversaries."

  [358] ... Dei digitum esse quæ à Martino fiant. (Corp. Ref. i, p.

  [359] "Non posse Evangelium Romanæ impietati probari." (Ibid. p. 280.)

All the writings of Luther, his Lord's Prayer, and especially a new
edition of the German theology, were eagerly devoured. Reading
societies were formed, for the purpose of procuring his works, for the
use of the members. Friends made new impressions of them, and
circulated them by means of hawkers. They were also recommended from
pulpits. A German church was demanded, one in which no dignity should
in future be conferred on anyone who was not able to preach to the
people in German, and the German bishops of which should every where
oppose the papal power.

Moreover, cutting satires directed against the leading
Ultra-Montanists were circulated throughout the provinces of the
empire. The opposition united all its forces around this new doctrine,
which give it precisely what it wanted, by justifying it in regard to
religion. The greater part of the lawyers, weary of the quirks of the
Ecclesiastical tribunals, attached themselves to the Reformation, but
its cause was keenly embraced above all by the Humanists. Ulric von
Hütten was indefatigable. He wrote letters to Luther, to the legates,
and the leading men of Germany. "I tell you, and tell you again, O
Marinus!" said he to the legate, Carracioli, in one of his
publications, "the mists with which you blinded us are cleared
away--the gospel is preached--the truth proclaimed--the absurdities of
Rome treated with contempt--your ordinances languish and die--liberty

  [360] "Ablata illa est a vobis inducta olim nostris oculis caligo,
  prædicatur Evangelium .. spes est libertatis" ... (Ulric ab Hütten
  Eques Mar. Carrac. L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 176.)


Not contenting himself with prose, Hütten had recourse to verse also.
He published his Cry on the Burning by Luther.[361] Appealing to Jesus
Christ, he prayed him to consume, with the brightness of his
countenance, those who dared to deny his power. He began, moreover, to
write in German. "Hitherto," said he, "I have written in Latin, a
language which all could not comprehend, but now I address myself to
my country." His German rhymes laid open and enabled the people to
read the shameful and voluminous record of the sins of the Roman
Court. But Hütten was unwilling to confine himself to mere words; he
was impatient to bring his sword into the struggle, for he thought
that by the swords and halberds of the many valiant warriors, of which
Germany was proud, the vengeance of God was to be accomplished. Luther
opposed his infatuated projects. "I would not," said he, "that men
should fight for the gospel by violence and carnage. I have written so
to Hütten.[362]

  [361] "Quo tu oculos, pie Christe, tuos, frontisque severæ Tende
  supercilium, teque esse ostende neganti Qui te contemnunt igitur,
  mediumque tonanti Ostendunt digitum, tandem iis te ostende potentem.
  Te videat ferus ille Leo, te tota malorum Sentiat inluvies,
  scelerataque Roma tremiscat, Ultorem scelerum discant te vivere
  saltem, Qui regnare negant" ...(In Incendium Lutheranum Exclamatio
  Ulrichi Hütteni Equitis Mar. Carrac. L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 176.)

  [362] Nollem vi et cæde pro Evangelio certari; ita scripsi ad hominem.
  (L. Ep. i, p. 243.)

The celebrated painter, Lucas Cranach, published, under the title of
the _Passions of Christ and Antichrist_, engravings which represented,
on the one hand, the splendour and magnificence of the pope, and on
the other, the humility and sufferings of the Redeemer. Luther wrote
the inscriptions. These engravings, executed with great spirit,
produced an astonishing effect. The people withdrew from a church
which appeared so opposed to the spirit of its Founder. "This work,"
said Luther, "is excellent for the laity."[363]

  [363] Bonus est pro laicis liber. (L. Ep. i, p. 571.) It would be
  worth while to make a new impression of this work; I found a copy of
  it in the library of Zurich.

Several, in opposing the Papacy, had recourse to arms which ill
accorded with the holiness of the Christian life. Emser, in replying
to Luther's tract, entitled, 'To the Goat Emser,' had published one
entitled, 'To the Bull of Wittemberg.' The name was not ill chosen.
But at Magdeburg, Emser's book was hung on the gallows, with this
inscription, "The book is worthy of the place;" and a rod was placed
beside it, to indicate the punishment which the author deserved.[364]
At Doeblin, there was written under the Papal bull, in derision of its
impotent thunders, "The nest is here, but the birds are flown."[365]

  [364] Publico infamiæ loco affixus. (Ibid. p. 560.)

  [365] Das Nest ist hie: die Vogel sind ausgeflogen. (Ibid. p. 570.)


At Wittemberg, the students, taking advantage of the carnival, clothed
one of their number in a dress resembling that of the pope, and
paraded him through the streets "pompously, but rather too
ludicrously," says Luther.[366] On arriving at the public square they
went down to the banks of the river, and some of them, feigning a
sudden attack, seemed to wish to throw the pope into the water; but
the pope, having no liking for such a bath, took to his heels. His
cardinals, bishops, and familiars, followed his example, dispersing
over all the quarters of the town, while the students continued to
pursue them. There was not a corner of Wittemberg where some Roman
dignitary did not flee before the shouts and laughter of the
inhabitants, who were all in motion.[367] "The enemy of Christ," says
Luther, "who sports both with kings and with Christ himself, well
deserves to be thus sported with." In this we think him in error.
Truth is too beautiful, and ought never to be made to walk through the
mire. She ought to fight without such auxiliaries as songs,
caricatures, and carnival frolics. It may be that without these
popular demonstrations, her success would be less apparent, but it
would be more pure, and consequently more durable. Be this as it may,
the imprudent and passionate conduct of the Court of Rome had excited
universal antipathy, and the bull by which the Papacy thought to
stifle every thing was itself the cause of general revolt.

  [366] Nimis ludicre Papam personatum circumvenerunt sublimem et
  pompaticum.... (Ibid. p. 561.)

  [367] ... Fugitivum cum Cardinalibus, Episcopia, famulisque suis, in
  diversas partes oppidi disperserunt et insecuti sunt. (Ibid. 17th Feb.

Still the Reformer's whole course was not one of exultation and
triumph. Behind the car in which he was drawn by his zealous
countrymen, transported with admiration, there was not wanting the
slave appointed to remind him of his frailty. Some of his friends
seemed disposed to call a halt. Staupitz, whom he called his father,
seemed shaken. The pope had accused him, and Staupitz had declared his
readiness to submit to the judgment of his Holiness. "I fear," said
Luther to him, "that in accepting the pope for judge, you will seem to
throw off me and the doctrines which I have maintained. If Christ
loves you, he will constrain you to retract your letter. Christ is
condemned, spoiled, blasphemed; it is time not to fear, but to cry
aloud.[368] Wherefore, while you exhort me to humility, I exhort you
to pride; for you have too much humility, just as I have too much of
its opposite. I shall be called proud and avaricious, an adulterer, a
murderer, an anti-pope, a man guilty of all crimes. It matters not, so
long as they cannot accuse me of having kept an impious silence at the
moment when the Lord was grieved, and said 'I looked on my right hand,
and beheld but there was no man that would know me.' (Ps. cxlii, 4.)
The word of Jesus Christ is not a word of peace, but a sword. If you
will not follow Jesus Christ, I will walk alone, advance alone, and
gain the day." [369]

  [368] Non enim hic tempus timendi sed clamandi. (L. Ep. i, p. 557.)

  [369] Quod si tu non vis sequi sine me ire et rapi. (Ibid. p. 558.)
  But if you will not follow, allow me to go and hurry on.


Thus Luther, like the commander of an army, kept an eye on the whole
field of battle, and while he urged fresh troops forward into the
thickest of the fight, marked those who appeared faint-hearted and
recalled them to their post. His exhortations were everywhere heard.
His letters rapidly succeeded each other. Three presses were
constantly employed in multiplying his writings.[370] His words had
free course among the people, strengthened consciences which the
confessionals had alarmed, raised up those ready to faint in convents,
and maintained the rights of truth in the palaces of princes.

  [370] "Cum tria prela solus ego occupare cogar." (L. Ep. i, p. 558.)

"Amid the tempests which assail me," wrote he to the Elector, "I
always hoped I would one day find peace. But I now see it was only a
man's thought. Day after day the wave is rising, and I already stand
in the midst of the ocean. The tempest breaks loose with fearful
roar.[371] With one hand I grasp the sword, and with the other build
up the walls of Sion.[372] Her ancient links are snapt asunder, broken
by the hand which darted the thunders of excommunication against her."
"Excommunicated by the bull," says he, "I am loosed from the authority
of the pope and monastic laws. With joy I embrace the deliverance. But
I lay aside neither the habit of the order nor the convent."[373] And
yet, amidst all this agitation, he never loses sight of the dangers by
which his own soul is beset during the strife. He feels the necessity
of keeping a watch upon himself. "You do well to pray for me," wrote
he to Pellican, who was living at Bâle. "I cannot devote enough of
time to holy exercises. My life is a cross. You do well to exhort me
to modesty. I feel the want of it; but I am not my own master: I know
not what spirit rules me. I wish ill to nobody;[374] but my enemies
press me with such fury that I am not sufficiently on my guard against
the seductions of Satan. Pray then for me."

  [371] "Videns rem tumultuosissimo tumultu tumultuantem." (Ibid. p.

  [372] Una manu gladium apprehendens et altera murum ædificaturus.
  (Ibid., p. 565.)

  [373] Ab ordinis et Papæ legibus solutus....quod gaudeo et amplector.
  (Ibid., p. 568.)

  [374] ....Compos mei non sum, rapior nescio quo spiritu, cum nemini me
  male velle conscius sim. (Ibid, p. 555.)


Thus both the Reformer and the Reformation hastened on in the
direction in which God called them. The movement extended. Men who
might have been expected to be most faithful to the hierarchy began to
be shaken. "Even those," says Eck, ingenuously enough, "who hold of
the pope the best benefices and the richest canonries remain mute as
fishes. Several among them even extol Luther as a man filled with the
Spirit of God, and call the defenders of the pope sophists and
flatterers."[375] The Church, apparently great in power, supported by
the treasures, the powers and the armies of the world, but in reality
emaciated and enfeebled, without love to God, without Christian life,
without enthusiasm for the truth, found herself in presence of men,
simple, but bold, men who, knowing that God is with those who combat
for His Word, had no doubt of victory? Every age has experienced how
powerful an idea is in penetrating the masses, in arousing nations,
and, if need be, hurrying thousands to the field of battle and to
death; but if such is the influence of a human idea, what must be the
power of an idea sent down from heaven when God opens the door of the
human heart. The world has not often seen such a power in operation.
It did see it, however, in the first days of Christianity and in those
of the Reformation; and it will see it in days yet to come. Men who
disdained the world's wealth, and grandeur, and were contented to lead
a life of pain and poverty, began to move in behalf of the holiest
thing upon the earth--the doctrine of faith and of grace. In this
heaving of society, all the religious elements were brought into
operation, and the fire of enthusiasm hurried men boldly forward into
a new life an epoch of renovation which had just opened so
majestically, and towards which Providence was hastening the nations.

  [375] Reynald. Epist. J. Eckii ad Cardinal Contarenum.



1521. (_January--May._)


     Conquests by the Word of God--The Diet of
     Worms--Difficulties--Charles demands Luther--The Elector to
     Charles--State of Men's minds--Aleander's Alarm--The Elector
     sets out without Luther--Aleander awakens
     Rome--Excommunication of the Pope, and Communion with
     Christ--Fulmination of the Bull--Luther's motives in the

The Reformation, which commenced with the struggles of an humble soul
in the cell of a convent at Erfurt, had never ceased to advance. An
obscure individual, with the Word of life in his hand, had stood erect
in presence of worldly grandeur, and made it tremble. This Word he had
opposed, first, to Tezel and his numerous host, and these avaricious
merchants, after a momentary resistance, had taken flight. Next, he
had opposed it to the legate of Rome at Augsburg, and the legate,
paralysed, had allowed his prey to escape. At a later period he had
opposed it to the champions of learning in the halls of Leipsic, and
the astonished theologians had seen their syllogistic weapons broken
to pieces in their hands. At last he had opposed it to the pope, who,
disturbed in his sleep, had risen up upon his throne, and thundered at
the troublesome monk; but the whole power of the head of Christendom
this Word had paralysed. The Word had still a last struggle to
maintain. It behoved to triumph over the emperor of the West, over the
kings and princes of the earth, and then, victorious over all the
powers of the world, take its place in the Church to reign in it as
the pure Word of God.

[Sidenote: THE DIET OF WORMS.]

The whole kingdom was agitated. Princes and nobles, knights and
citizens, clergy and laity, town and country, all were engrossed. A
mighty religious revolution, of which God himself was the prime mover,
but which was also deeply rooted in the minds of the people, was
threatening to overthrow the long venerated head of the Roman
hierarchy. A new generation, of a grave, profound, active, and
energetic spirit, filled the universities, towns, courts, and castles,
the rural districts, and not unfrequently cloisters also. The feeling
that a great social transformation was at hand animated all minds with
holy enthusiasm. In what relation will the new emperor stand to this
movement of the age, and what will be the issue of the mighty impulse,
by which all feel that they are borne along?

A solemn Diet was about to be opened. It was the first imperial
assembly over which the youthful Charles was to preside. Nuremberg,
where, in virtue of the Golden Bull, it ought to have been held, being
desolated by the plague, it had been summoned to meet at Worms, on the
6th of January, 1521.[376] Never had a Diet been attended by so many
princes. All desired to be present at this first act of the government
of the young emperor, and to make a display of their power. Among
others, the young Landgrave, Philip of Hesse, who was afterwards to
play so important a part in the Reformation, arrived at Worms in the
middle of January, with six hundred cavaliers, among them men of
renowned valour.

  [376] Sleidan, vol. i, p. 80.

But there was a still more powerful motive which induced the electors,
dukes, archbishops, landgraves, margraves, bishops, barons, and lords
of the empire; as well as the deputies of towns, and the ambassadors
of the kings of Christendom, at this moment, to throng the roads
leading to Worms with their brilliant equipages. It had been announced
that the Diet would be occupied with the nomination of a council of
regency to govern the empire during the absence of Charles, with the
jurisdiction of the imperial chamber, and other important questions.
But the public attention was particularly directed to another matter,
which the emperor had also mentioned in his letter convening the Diet,
viz., the Reformation. The great interests of politics trembled before
the cause of the Monk of Wittemberg. This cause was the principal
subject of conversation among all personages who arrived at Worms.


Every thing announced that the Diet would be difficult and stormy.
Charles, scarcely twenty years of age, pale and sickly, yet as skilful
as any one in the graceful management of his horse and in breaking a
lance, of a character imperfectly developed, and with a grave and
melancholy but still benevolent expression of countenance, gave no
proof as yet of distinguished talent, and seemed not to have adopted a
decided course. The able and active William of Croi, Lord of Chievres,
who was his grand chamberlain, his governor, and prime minister, and
possessed absolute authority at the court, died at Worms. Numerous
ambitious projects were competing with each other. Many passions were
in collision. The Spaniards and Belgians were eager to insinuate
themselves into the counsels of the young prince. The nuncios
multiplied their intrigues, while the princes of Germany spoke out
boldly. A struggle might have been foreseen, yet a struggle in which
the principal part would be performed by the secret movements of

  [377] Es gieng aber auf diesem Reichstag gar schlüpferig zu...
  Seckend. p. 326.

Charles opened the Diet on the 28th of January, 1521, being the
festival of Charlemagne. He had a high idea of the importance of the
imperial dignity. In his opening address he said, that no monarchy
could be compared to the Roman empire, to which of old almost the
whole world had been subject; that, unhappily, the empire was now only
the shadow of what it had been; but that he hoped, by means of his
kingdoms and powerful alliances, to re-establish it in its ancient

But numerous difficulties immediately presented themselves to the
young emperor. How will he act, placed, as he is, between the papal
nuncio and the Elector to whom he owes his crown? How can he avoid
dissatisfying Aleander or Frederick? The former urged the emperor to
execute the papal bull, and the latter begged him to undertake nothing
against the monk without giving him a hearing. Wishing to please these
two opposite parties, the young prince, during a sojourn at Oppenherm,
had written to the Elector to bring Luther to the Diet, assuring him
that no injustice would be done him, that he would meet with no
violence, and that learned men would confer with him.

This letter of Charles, accompanied by letters from Chievres and the
Count of Nassau, threw the Elector into great perplexity. An alliance
with the pope might at any instant become necessary to the young and
ambitious emperor, and in that case it was all over with Luther.
Frederick, by taking the Reformer to Worms, was perhaps taking him to
the scaffold; and yet the orders of Charles were express. The Elector
ordered Spalatin to acquaint Luther with the letters which he had
received. "The enemy," said the chaplain to him, "is putting every
thing in operation to hasten on the affair."[378]

  [378] Adversarios omnia moliri ad maturandum id negotii. (L. Ep. i, p.


Luther's friends trembled, but he trembled not. He was then in very
feeble health; no matter. "If I cannot go to Worms in health," replied
he to the Elector, "I will make myself be carried; since the emperor
calls me, I cannot doubt but it is a call from God himself. If they
mean to employ violence against me, as is probable, (for assuredly it
is not with a view to their own instruction that they make me
appear,) I leave the matter in the hands of the Lord. He who preserved
the three young men in the furnace, still lives and reigns. If He is
not pleased to save me, my life is but a small matter; only let us not
allow the gospel to be exposed to the derision of the wicked, and let
us shed our blood for it sooner than permit them to triumph. Whether
would my life or my death contribute most to the general safety? It is
not for us to decide. Let us only pray to God that our young emperor
may not commence his reign with dipping his hands in my blood; I would
far rather perish by the sword of the Romans. You know what judgments
befel the emperor Sigismund after the murder of John Huss. Expect
every thing of me--save flight and recantation;[379] I cannot fly,
still less can I recant."

  [379] Omnia de me præsumas præter fugam et palinodiam.... (L. Ep. i,
  p. 536.)

Before receiving this letter from Luther, the Elector had taken his
resolution. As he was advancing in the knowledge of the gospel, he
began to be more decided in his measures. Seeing that the conference
of Worms could not have a happy result, he wrote to the emperor. "It
seems to me difficult to bring Luther with me to Worms; relieve me
from the task. Besides, I have never wished to take his doctrine under
my protection, but only to prevent him from being condemned without a
hearing. The Legates without waiting for your orders, have proceeded
to take a step insulting both to Luther and to me, and I much fear,
that in this way they have hurried him on to an imprudent act which
might expose him to great danger were he to appear at the Diet." The
Elector alluded to the pile which had consumed the Papal bull.

But the rumour of Luther's journey to Worms had already spread. Men
eager for novelty rejoiced at it. The emperor's courtiers were
alarmed, but no one felt so indignant as the papal legate. Aleander on
his journey had seen how deep an impression the gospel which Luther
preached had made on all classes of society. Literary men, lawyers,
nobles, the lower clergy, the regular orders, and the people, were
gained to the Reformation.[380] These friends of the new doctrine
carried their heads erect, and were bold in their language, while fear
and terror froze the partizans of Rome. The papacy still stood, but
its props were shaking. A noise of devastation was already heard,
somewhat resembling the creaking which takes place at the time when a
mountain begins to slip.[381]

  [380] Multitudo..turba paperum, nobilium...grammatici
  causidici...inferiores ecclesiastici..factio multorum regularium...
  (Pallavicini, i, p. 93.)

  [381] Hæ omnes conditiones petulanter grassantium..metum cuilibet
  incutiebant... (Ibid., p. 93.)


Aleander, during his journey to Worms, was sadly annoyed. When he had
to dine or sleep, neither literary men nor nobles nor priests, even
among the supposed friends of the pope, durst receive him, and the
proud nuncio was obliged to seek an asylum in taverns of the lowest
class.[382] He was thus in terror, and had no doubt that his life was
in great danger. In this way he arrived at Worms; and, thenceforth, to
his Roman fanaticism was added resentment for the personal injuries
which he had received. He immediately put every means in operation to
prevent the audacious compearance of the redoubtable Luther. "Would it
not be scandalous," said he, "to see laics re-investigating a cause
which the pope had already condemned?" Nothing alarms a Roman courtier
so much as an investigation; and, moreover, an investigation to take
place in Germany, and not at Rome. How humiliating even should
Luther's condemnation be unanimously decided! And it was not even
certain that such would be the result. Will not the powerful word of
Luther, which has already done such havoc, involve many princes and
nobles in inevitable ruin? Aleander, when before Charles, insisted,
implored, threatened, and spoke out as nuncio of the head of the
Church.[383] Charles yielded; and wrote to the Elector that the time
granted to Luther having already elapsed, the monk was under papal
excommunication; and that therefore unless he were willing to retract
his writings, Frederick must leave him at Wittemberg. Frederick had
already quitted Saxony without Luther. "I pray the Lord to be
favourable to our Elector," were the words of Melancthon on seeing him
depart; "on him our hopes of the restoration of Christendom repose.
His enemies dare every thing, και παντα λιθον
κινησομενους;[384] but God will bring to nought the counsel of
Ahithophel. As for us, let us do our part in the combat by our lessons
and our prayers." Luther was deeply grieved at being prohibited to
appear at Worms.[385]

  [382] Neminem nactus qui auderet ipsum excipere ad vilia sordidaque
  hospitia ægre divertit. (Pallavicini, i, p. 93.)

  [383] Legati Romani nolunt ut audiatur homo hæreticus. Minantur multa.
  (Zw. Ep. p. 157.)

  [384] There is not a stone which they will not move. (Corp. Ref., i,
  p. 279. 24th Jan.)

  [385] Cum dolore legi novissimas Caroli litteras. (L. Ep. i, p. 542.)

Aleander did not consider it enough that Luther should not come to
Worms--he wished him to be condemned. Returning incessantly to the
charge before the princes, prelates, and different members of the
Diet, he accused the Augustin monk not only of disobedience and
heresy, but also of sedition, rebellion, impiety, and blasphemy. The
very accent in which he spoke betrayed the passions by which he was
actuated; so that men exclaimed, it is hatred and love of vengeance,
rather than zeal and piety, that excite him.[386] However frequent,
however vehement his discourses were, he made no converts.[387]

  [386] Magis invidiâ et vindictæ libidine quam zelo pietatis. (Historia
  Johnnis Cochlœi de actis et scriptis Martini Lutheri. _Parisus_,
  1565, p. 27, verso. Cochlœus was all his life one of Luther's
  greatest enemies. We will soon see him appear.)

  [387] Vehementibus suis orationibus parum promovit. (Ibid.)


Some pointed out to him that the papal bull had condemned Luther only
conditionally; others did not altogether conceal the joy which they
felt at seeing Roman pride humbled. The ministers of the emperor, on
the one hand, and the ecclesiastical electors, on the other, affected
great coldness--the former to make the pope more sensible how
necessary it was for him to league with their master, the latter in
order to induce him to pay better for their favour. A conviction of
Luther's innocence prevailed in the assembly, and Aleander could not
restrain his indignation.

But the coldness of the Diet did not try the patience of the legate so
much as the coldness of Rome. Rome, which had so long refused to take
a serious view of the quarrel of the drunk German, had no idea that a
bull of the sovereign pontiff could prove insufficient to make him
humble and submissive. She had accordingly resumed her wonted
security,[388] no longer sending either bull or purses of money. But
how was it possible without money to succeed in such a business?[389]
Rome must be awakened, and Aleander gives the alarm. Writing to the
Cardinal de Medicis, he says, "Germany is detaching herself from Rome,
and the princes are detaching themselves from the pope. A few delays
more--a few more attempts at compromise and the matter is past hope.
Money! money! or Germany is lost."[390]

  [388] Negligens quædam securitas Romam pervaserat. (Pallavicini, i, p.

  [389] Nec pecunia ad varios pro eadem sumptus. (Ibid.)

  [390] "Periculum denique amittendæ Germaniæ ex parcimonia monetæ
  cujusdam." (Ibid.) In fine, the danger of losing Germany from
  niggardliness in withholding a sum of money.

At this cry Rome awakes: the servants of the papacy, laying aside
their torpor, hastily forge their dreaded thunder at the Vatican. The
pope issues a new bull;[391] and the excommunication with which till
then the heretical doctor had been merely threatened, is in distinct
terms pronounced against him and all his adherents. Rome herself,
breaking the last thread which still attached him to her church, gave
Luther greater freedom, and thereby greater power. Thundered at by the
pope, he, with new affection, took refuge in Christ. Driven from the
external temple, he felt more strongly that he was himself a temple
inhabited by God.

  [391] Decet Romanum Pontificem, etc. (Roman. Bullarium.)


"It is a glorious thing," said he, "that we sinners, in believing on
Jesus Christ, and eating his flesh, have him within us with all his
strength, power, wisdom and justice, according as it is written, '_He
who believeth in me, dwelleth in me and I in him._' Admirable
dwelling! marvellous tabernacle! far superior to that of Moses, and
all magnificently adorned within with superb tapestry, veils of
purple, and furniture of gold, while without, as on the tabernacle
which God ordered to be constructed in the wilderness of Sinai, is
seen only a rough covering of beavers' skins or goats' hair.[392]
Christians often stumble, and in external appearance are all
feebleness and disgrace. But no matter: within this infirmity and
folly dwells secretly a power which the world cannot know, but which
overcomes the world; for Christ remaineth in them. I have sometimes
seen Christians walking with a halt, and in great weakness; but when
the hour of combat or appearance at the world's bar arrived, Christ of
a sudden acted within them, and they became so strong and resolute
that the devil in dismay fled before them."[393]

  [392] Exodus, xxvi, 7, 14.

  [393] So regete sich der Christus, dass sie so fest wurden dass der
  Teufel fliechen musste. (L. Op. ix, p. 613, on John, vi.)

In regard to Luther, such an hour was about to peal, and Christ, in
whose communion he dwelt, was not to forsake him. Meanwhile Rome
naturally rejected him. The Reformer, and all his partisans, whatever
their rank and power, were anathematised, and deprived personally, as
well as in their descendants, of all their dignities and effects.
Every faithful Christian as he loved his soul's salvation was ordered
to shun the sight of the accursed crew. Wherever heresy had been
introduced, the priests were, on Sundays and festivals, at the hour
when the churches were best filled, solemnly to publish the
excommunication. They were to carry away the vessels and ornaments of
the altar, and lay the cross upon the ground; twelve priests, with
torches in their hands, were to kindle them and dash them down with
violence, and extinguish them by trampling them with their feet; then
the bishop was to publish the condemnation of the impious men; all the
bells were to be rung; the bishops and priests were to pronounce
anathemas and maledictions, and preach forcibly against Luther and his


Twenty-two days had elapsed since the excommunication had been
published at Rome, and it was perhaps not yet known in Germany, when
Luther, learning that there was again some talk of calling him to
Worms, addressed the Elector in a letter written in such terms that
Frederick might communicate it to the Diet. Luther wished to correct
the erroneous impression of the princes, and frankly explain to this
august tribunal the true nature of a cause which was so much
misapprehended. "I rejoice with all my heart, most serene lord," said
he, "that his imperial majesty means to bring this affair under
consideration. I call Jesus Christ to witness that it is the cause of
Germany, of the Catholic Church, of the Christian world, and of God
himself, ... and not of any single man, and more especially such a man
as I.[394] I am ready to repair to Worms, provided I have a
safe-conduct, and learned, pious, and impartial judges. I am ready to
answer, ... for it is not in a spirit of rashness, or with a view to
personal advantage, that I have taught the doctrine with which I am
reproached; I have done it in obedience to my conscience, and to the
oath which, as doctor, I took to the Holy Scriptures; I have done it
for the glory of God, the safety of the Christian Church, the good of
the German nation, and the extirpation of many superstitions, abuses,
and evils, disgrace, tyranny, blasphemy, and impiety."

  [394] "Causam, quæ, Christo teste, Dei, Christiani orbis, Ecclesiæ
  Catholicæ, et totius Germanicæ Nationis, et non unius, et privati est
  hominis" .... (L. Ep. i, p. 551.)

This declaration, in the solemn circumstances in which Luther made it,
is deserving of our attention. We here see the motives which
influenced him, and the primary causes which led to the renovation of
Christian society. These were something more than monkish jealousy or
a wish to marry.


     A Foreign Prince--Advice of Politicians--Conference between
     the Confessor and the Elector's Chancellor--Uselessness of
     these Manœuvres--Aleander's activity--Luther's
     Sayings--Charles gives in to the Pope.


But all this was of no importance in the eyes of politicians. How high
soever the idea which Charles entertained of the imperial dignity, it
was not in Germany that his interests and policy centred. He was
always a Duke of Burgundy, who, to several sceptres, added the first
crown of Christendom. Strange! at the moment of her thorough
transformation, Germany selected for her head a foreign prince in
whose eyes her wants and tendencies were only of secondary importance.
The religious movement, it is true, was not indifferent to the young
emperor; but it was important in his eyes only in so far as it menaced
the pope. War between Charles and France was inevitable, and its chief
seat was necessarily to be in Italy. An alliance with the pope thus
became every day more necessary to the schemes of Charles. He would
fain have either detached Frederick from Luther, or satisfied the pope
without offending Frederick. Several of those about him manifested, in
regard to the affairs of the Augustin monk, that cold disdain which
politicians usually affect when religion is in question. "Let us avoid
extremes," said they. "Let us trammel Luther by negotiations, and
reduce him to silence by some kind of concession. The true course is
to stifle the embers, not stir them up. If the monk is caught in the
net, we have gained the day. By accepting a compromise he will be
interdicted and undone. For appearance some externa reforms will be
devised; the Elector will be satisfied; the pope will be gained, and
affairs will resume their ordinary course."

Such was the project of the confidential counsellors of the emperor.
The doctors of Wittemberg seem to have divined this new policy. "They
are trying in secret to gain men's minds," said Melancthon, "and are
working in darkness."[395] John Glapio, the confessor of Charles V,--a
man of rank, a skilful courtier, and an intriguing monk,--undertook
the execution of the project. Glapio possessed the entire confidence
of Charles, who (in accordance with Spanish manners) left to him
almost entirely the management of matters relating to religion. As
soon as Charles was appointed emperor, Leo X had assiduously
endeavoured to gain Glapio by favours to which the confessor was
strongly alive.[396] There was no way in which he could make a better
return to the pope's kindness than by reducing heresy to silence, and
he accordingly set about the task.[397]

  [395] "Clanculum tentent et experiantur ..." (Corp. Reform. i, p. 281,
  3rd Feb.)

  [396] "Benignis officiis recens a Pontifice delinitus." (Pallavicini,
  i, p. 90.)

  [397] "Et sane in eo toto negotio singulare probitatis ardorisque
  specimen dedit." (Ibid.) And assuredly in the whole business he gave
  singular proof of probity and zeal.

One of the Elector's counsellors was Chancellor Gregory Bruck, or
Pontanus, a man of great intelligence, decision, and courage, who knew
more of theology than all the doctors, and whose wisdom was a match
for the wiles of the monks at the emperor's court. Glapio, aware of
the influence of the chancellor, asked an interview with him; and
coming up to him as if he had been the friend of the Reformer, said to
him, with an expression of good will, "I was delighted when, on
reading the first productions of Luther, I found him a vigorous stock,
which had pushed forth noble branches, and which gave promise to the
Church of the most precious fruits. Several before him, it is true,
made the same discoveries: still none but he has had the noble courage
to publish the truth without fear. But when I read his book on the
_Captivity of Babylon_, I felt as if beaten and bruised from head to
foot." "I don't believe," added the monk, "that Luther acknowledges
himself to be the author. I do not find in it either his style or his
science...." After some discussion, the confessor continued,
"Introduce me to the Elector, and I will, in your presence, explain to
him the errors of Luther."

The chancellor replied, "That the business of the Diet did not leave
any leisure to his Highness, who, moreover, did not meddle with the
affair." The monk was vexed when his request was denied. "By the way,"
said the chancellor, "as you say there is no evil without a remedy,
will you explain yourself?"


Assuming a confidential air, the confessor replied: "The emperor
earnestly desires to see such a man as Luther reconciled to the
Church, for his books (before the publication of his treatise, 'On the
Captivity of Babylon,') rather pleased his Majesty.[398]... It must
doubtless have been Luther's rage at the bull which dictated that
work. Let him declare that he did not wish to disturb the peace of the
Church, and the learned of all nations will rally around him....
Procure me an audience of his Highness."

  [398] "Es haben dessen Bücher Ihro Majestät ... um et was
  gefallen...." (Archives Weimar. Seckend. p. 315.)

The chancellor waited upon Frederick. The Elector being well aware
that any kind of recantation was impossible replied, "Tell the
confessor that I cannot comply with his request, but do you continue
the conference."

Glapio received this message with great demonstrations of respect; and
changing the attack, said, "Let the Elector name some confidential
persons to deliberate on this affair."

_Chancellor._--"The Elector does not profess to defend the cause of

_Confessor._--"Very well, do you at least discuss it with me.... Jesus
Christ is my witness, that all I do is from love to the Church, and to
Luther who has opened so many hearts to the truth."[399]

  [399] Der andern das Hertz zu vielem Guten cröffnet... (Secken. p.

The chancellor having refused to undertake what was the Reformer's own
task, was preparing to retire.

"Stay!" said the monk to him.

_Chancellor._--"What then is to be done?"

_Confessor._--"Let Luther deny that he is the author of the Captivity
of Babylon."

_Chancellor._--"But the papal bull condemns all his other works."

_Confessor._--"It is because of his obstinacy. If he retracts his
book, the pope, in the plenitude of his power, can easily restore him
to favour. What hopes may we not cherish now that we have so excellent
an emperor!..."

Perceiving that these words made some impression on the chancellor,
the monk hastened to add--"Luther always insists on arguing from the
Bible. The Bible! ... it is like wax, and may be stretched and bent at
pleasure. I undertake to find in the Bible opinions still more
extraordinary than those of Luther. He is mistaken when he converts
all the sayings of Jesus into commandments." Then, wishing to work
also on the fears of the chancellor, he added, "What would happen if
to-day or to-morrow the Emperor were to try the effect of arms?...
Think of it." He then allowed Pontanus to retire.


The confessor prepared new snares. "After living ten years with him,"
said Erasmus, "we should not know him."

"What an excellent book that of Luther's on 'Christian Liberty,'" said
he to the chancellor when he saw him a few days after--"what wisdom!
what talent! what intellect! it is just the style in which a true
scholar ought to write. Let unexceptionable persons be chosen on
either side, and let the pope and Luther refer to their judgment. No
doubt Luther has the best of it on several articles.[400] I will speak
to the emperor himself on the subject. Believe me, I do not say these
things to you on my own suggestion. I have told the emperor that God
will chastise him, as well as all the princes, if the Church, which is
the spouse of Jesus Christ, is not washed from all the stains by which
she is polluted. I have added that God himself had raised up Luther,
and had ordered him to rebuke men sharply, using him as a rod to
punish the sins of the world."[401]

  [400] Es sey nicht zu zweifeln dass Lutherus in vielen Artickeln werde
  den Sieg davon tragen . . . . (Seckend., p. 319.)

  [401] Dass Gott diesen Mann gesandt, . . . . dass er eine Geissel seye
  um der Sünden willen. (Weimar Archiv.--Seckend., p. 320.)

The chancellor hearing these words, (they convey the impressions of
the time, and show what was then thought of Luther even by his
opponents,) thought it right to express his astonishment that more
respect was not shown to his master. "Deliberations on this subject,"
said he, "are daily carried on before the emperor, and the Elector is
not invited to them. It seems strange that the emperor, who owes him
some gratitude, excludes him from his counsels."

_Confessor._--"I have been present only once at these deliberations,
and I have heard the emperor resist the solicitations of the nuncios.
Five years hence it will be seen how much Charles shall have done for
the reformation of the Church."

"The Elector," replied Pontanus, "is ignorant of the emperor's
intentions: He should be invited that he may hear them stated."

The confessor answered with a deep sigh,[402] "I call God to witness
how ardently I desire to see the Reformation of Christendom

  [402] Glapio that hierauf einen tiefen Seufzer, un rufte Gott zum
  Zeugen.... (Seckend, p. 321.)

To lengthen out the affair, and meanwhile keep Luther's mouth shut,
was all that Glapio had in view. At all events, Luther must not come
to Worms. A dead man returning from the other world, and appearing in
the midst of the Diet, would not have alarmed the nuncios, and monks,
and whole host of the pope, so much as the sight of the Wittemberg


"How many days does it take to come from Wittemberg to Worms?" asked
the monk at the chancellor, affecting an air of indifference; then
begging Pontanus to present his very humble respects to the Elector,
he departed.

Such were the manœuvres of the courtiers. The firmness of Pontanus
outwitted them. This upright man was immovable as a rock in all
negotiations. Moreover, the Roman monks fell into the very snares
which they were laying for their enemies. "The Christian," says
Luther, in his figurative language, "is like a bird fastened near a
trap. The wolves and foxes go round and round, and make a dart upon it
to devour it, but fall into the pit and perish, while the timid bird
remains alive. Thus holy angels guard us, and devouring wolves,
hypocrites, and persecutors, cannot do us any harm."[403] Not only
were the confessor's artifices unavailing, but, moreover, his
admissions confirmed Frederick in the belief that Luther was in the
right, and that it was his duty to defend him.

  [403] L. Op. (W. xxii, 1655.)

The hearts of men became every day more inclined towards the gospel. A
prior of the Dominicans proposed that the emperor, the kings of
France, Spain, England, Portugal, Hungary, and Poland, the pope, and
the electors, should name representatives by whom the matter should be
decided. "Never," said he, "has reference been made to the pope
alone."[404] The general feeling became such, that it seemed
impossible to condemn Luther without a hearing and regular

  [404] Und niemals dem Papst allein geglaubt (Seck., p. 323.)

  [405] Spalatinus scribit tantum favoris Evangelio esse istic, ut me
  inauditum et inconvictum damnari non speret. (L. Ep. i, p. 556, 9th
  Feb.) Spalatin writes that the gospel is so much in favour there that
  he hopes I cannot be condemned unheard and unconvicted.


Aleander became uneasy, and displayed more than wonted energy. It is
no longer merely against the Elector and Luther that he has to
contend. He is horrified at the secret negotiations of the confessor,
the proposition of the prior, the consent of Charles' ministers, and
the extreme coldness of Roman piety among the most devoted friends of
the pope, "so that one would have thought," says Pallavicini, "that a
torrent of ice had passed over them."[406] He had at length received
gold and silver from Rome, and held in his hand energetic briefs
addressed to the most powerful personages in the empire.[407] Afraid
that his prey might escape, he felt that now was the time to strike a
decisive blow. He despatched the briefs, showered gold and silver with
liberal hand, dealt out the most enticing promises, "and provided,"
says the Cardinal historian, "with this triple weapon, he strove anew
to turn the wavering assembly of the electors in favour of the
pope."[408] He laboured above all to encircle the emperor with his
snares. Availing himself of the differences between the Belgian and
the Spanish ministers, he laid close siege to the prince. All the
friends of Rome, awakened by his voice, urged young Charles with
solicitations. "Every day," wrote the Elector to his brother John,
"deliberations are held against Luther: the demand is that he be put
under the ban of the pope and the emperor; in all sorts of ways
attempts are made to hurt him. Those who parade about with their red
hats, the Romans with all their sect, labour in the task with
indefatigable zeal."[409]

  [406] Hinc aqua manabat, quæ succensæ pietatis æstum restinguebat
  (Pallavicini, i, p. 96.) Hence flowed water which extinguished the
  flame of piety.

  [407] Mandata, pecuniæ ac diplomata. (Ibid. p. 95.)

  [408] Triplici hac industria nunc Aleander.... (Ibid.)

  [409] Das thun die in rothen Hüten prangen. (Seck., 364.)

In fact, Aleander urged the condemnation of the Reformer with a
violence which Luther terms "marvellous fury."[410] The apostate
nuncio,[411] as Luther calls him, hurried by passion beyond the bounds
of prudence, one day exclaimed, "If you mean, O Germans, to shake off
the yoke of Roman obedience, we will act so, that, setting the one
against the other, as an exterminating sword, you will all perish in
your own blood."[412] "Such," adds the Reformer, "is the pope's method
of feeding the sheep of Christ."

  [410] Miro furore Papistæ moliuntur mihi mala..... (L. Ep. i, p. 556.)

  [411] Nuntius _apostaticus_ (a play on the word _apostolicus_) agit
  summis viribus. (Ibid., p. 569.)

  [412] Ut mutuis cædibus absumpti vestro cruore pereatis. (Ibid., p.

Luther himself spoke a very different language. He made no demand of a
personal nature. "Luther is ready," said Melancthon, "to purchase the
glory and advancement of the gospel with his life."[413] But he
trembled at the thought of the disasters of which his death might be
the signal. He saw a people led astray, and perhaps avenging his
martyrdom in the blood of his enemies, especially the priests. He
recoiled from the fearful responsibility. "God," said he, "arrests the
fury of his enemies; but should it break forth, ... a storm will burst
upon the priests similar to that which ravaged Bohemia.... I am clear
of it; for I have earnestly besought the German nobility to arrest the
Romans by wisdom, and not by the sword.[414] To war upon priests, a
body without courage and strength, is to war upon women and children."

  [413] Libenter etiam morte sua Evangelii gloriam et profectum emerit.
  (Corp. Ref. i, p. 285.)

  [414] Non ferro, sed consiliis et edictis. (L. Ep. i, p. 563.)


Charles did not withstand the solicitations of the nuncio. His Belgian
and Spanish devotion had been developed by his preceptor Adrian, who
afterwards occupied the pontifical throne. The pope had addressed a
brief to him imploring him to give legal effect to the bull by an
imperial edict. "In vain," said he to him, "shall God have invested
you with the sword of supreme power if you do not employ it both
against infidels, and also against heretics, who are far worse than
infidels." One day, accordingly, in the beginning of February, at the
moment when every thing was ready at Worms for a brilliant tournament,
and after the emperor's tent had actually been erected, the princes
who were preparing to attend the fête were summoned to repair to the
imperial palace. There the papal bull was read to them, and they were
presented with a stringent edict enjoining the execution of it. "If
you have any thing better to propose," added the emperor in the usual
form, "I am ready to hear you."

Animated debates then began in the diet. "The monk," wrote the deputy
of one of the German free towns, "gives us a great deal to do. Some
would like to crucify him, and I don't think that he will escape: the
only thing to be feared is that he may rise again on the third day."
The emperor had thought he would be able to publish his edict without
opposition on the part of the States, but it was not so. Men's minds
were not prepared, and it was necessary to gain the Diet. "Convince
this assembly," said the young monarch to the nuncio. This was just
what Aleander desired, and he received a promise of being admitted to
the Diet on the 13th February.

Chap. III.

     Aleander admitted to the Diet--Aleander's Address--Luther
     accused--Rome defended--Appeal to Charles against
     Luther--Effect of the Nuncio's Address.

The nuncio prepared for the solemn audience. The task was important,
but Aleander was worthy of it. The ambassador of the sovereign pontiff
was surrounded with all the splendour of his office; he was moreover
one of the most eloquent men of his age. The friends of the
Reformation looked forward to the sitting not without fear. The
Elector, under the pretext of indisposition, kept away, but he ordered
some of his counsellors to attend and give heed to the nuncio's


On the appointed day, Aleander proceeded to the hall of the assembled
princes. Men's minds were excited; several thought of Annas or
Caiaphas repairing to Pilate's judgment hall to demand the life of him
who was "_perverting the nation_."[415] At the moment when the nuncio
was about to step across the threshold, the officer of the Diet (says
Pallavicini,) came briskly up to him, took him by the breast, and
shoved him back."[416] "He was a Lutheran at heart," adds the Roman
historian. If the story is true, it doubtless betrays strange passion
in the officer, but at the same time, gives an idea of the powerful
influence which Luther's doctrine had produced even on the
doorkeepers of the Imperial Council. Proud Aleander, haughtily drawing
himself up, moved on and entered the hall. Never had Rome been called
to make her apology before so august an assembly. The nuncio placed
before him the judicial documents which he judged necessary, the works
of Luther, and the papal bulls. Silence being called, he spoke as

"Most august emperor!--most puissant princes!--most excellent
deputies! I come before you to maintain a cause for which my heart
burns with the most ardent affection. The subject is the preservation
on my master's head of that tiara which is reverenced by all, the
maintenance of that papal throne, for which I am ready to give my body
to the flames, could the monster who has engendered the growing heresy
be consumed by the same pile, and mingle his ashes with mine.[417]

  [415] Luke, xxiii, 2.

  [416] Pugnis ejus pectori admotis repulerit. (Pallavicini, i, p. 112.)

  [417] "Dummodo mecum una monstrum nascentis hæresis arderet."
  (Pallavicini, i, p. 97.) Seckendorff, and after him several Protestant
  historians, insist that Pallavicini himself composed the address which
  he puts in the mouth of Aleander. It is true the Cardinal historian
  states, that he gave it the form in which it appears; but he intimates
  the sources from which he drew it, particularly the letters of
  Aleander deposited in the archives of the Vatican. (Acta Wormatiæ,
  fol. 66 and 99.) I think, therefore, that to reject it altogether
  would betray partiality. I have collected some additional passages of
  the speech from other sources, Protestant and Romish....

"No! the disagreement between Luther and Rome turns not on the
interests of the pope. Luther's books are before me, and any man with
eyes in his head may perceive that the holy doctrines of the Church
are the object of his attack. He teaches that those only communicate
worthily whose consciences are filled with sadness and confusion for
their sins, and that there is no justification in baptism, without
faith in the promise of which baptism is the pledge.[418] He denies
the necessity of our works to obtain celestial glory. He denies that
we have liberty and power to observe natural and divine law. He
affirms that we sin necessarily in all our actions. Did ever the
arsenal of hell send forth arrows better fitted to loose the reins of
modesty?... He preaches the abolition of religious vows. Can more
sacrilegious impiety be imagined?... What desolation will not be seen
in the world when those who ought to be the leaven of the people shall
have thrown aside their sacred vestments, abandoned the temples which
re-echoed with their holy hymns, and plunged into adultery, incest,
and dissoluteness!...

  [418] "Baptismum neminem justificare, sed fidem in verbum promissionis
  cui additur Baptismus." (Cochlœus, Act. Luth. 28.) That no man is
  justified by baptism, but only by faith, in the word of the promise to
  which baptism is annexed.


"Shall I enumerate all the crimes of this audacious monk? He sins
against the dead, for he denies purgatory; he sins against heaven, for
he says, he would not believe an angel from heaven; he sins against
the Church, for he pretends that all Christians are priests; he sins
against the saints, for he despises their venerable writings; he sins
against the councils, for he terms that of Constance an assembly of
demons; he sins against the world, for he forbids the punishment of
death to be inflicted on any one who has not committed a mortal
sin.[419] Some say he is a pious man ... I have no wish to attack his
life, I would only remind this assembly that the devil deceives men by
semblances of truth."

  [419] "Weil er verbiete jemand mit Todes Strafe zu belegen der nicht
  ein Todtsünde begangen." (Seckend. p. 333.)

Aleander having spoken of the condemnation of purgatory by the council
of Florence, laid the papal bull on this council at the feet of the
emperor. The archbishop of Mentz took it up and handed it to the
archbishops of Cologne and Treves, who received it reverently, and
passed it to the other princes. The nuncio, having thus accused
Luther, now proceeded to the second point, which was to justify Rome.

"At Rome," says Luther, "they promise one thing with the lip and do
its opposite with the hand. If this fact is true, must not the
inference be the very reverse of what he draws from it? If the
ministers of a religion live conformably to its precepts it is a proof
that it is false. Such was the religion of the ancient Romans.... Such
is that of Mahomet, and that of Luther himself; but such is not the
religion which the pontiffs of Rome teach us. Yes, the doctrine which
they confess condemns all as faulty, several as culpable, and some
even (I say it candidly) as criminal.[420]... This doctrine delivers
their actions to the censure of men during their life, and to
historical infamy after their death.[421] Now what pleasure, what
advantage, I ask, could the pontiffs have found in inventing such a

  [420] "Multos ut quadantenus reos, nonnullos (dicam ingenuè) ut
  scelestos." (Pallavicini, i, p. 101.)

  [421] "Linguarum vituperationi dum vivunt, historiarum infaminæ post
  mortem. (Ibid.)

"The Church, it will be said, was not governed in primitive times by
Roman pontiffs--What must the conclusion be? With such arguments they
might persuade men to live on acorns, and princesses to be their own


But it was against his adversary, the Reformer, that the nuncio
chiefly directed his attack. Full of indignation against those who
said that he ought to be heard, he exclaimed, "Luther will not allow
any one to instruct him." The pope summoned him to Rome, but he did
not obey. The pope summoned him to Augsburg before his legate, and he
would not appear without a safe-conduct from the emperor, _i. e._
until the hands of the legate were tied, and nothing left free to him
but his tongue.[422] "Ah!" said Aleander, turning towards Charles V,
"I supplicate your imperial majesty not to do what would issue in
disgrace. Interfere not with a matter of which laics have no right to
take cognisance. Do your own work. Let Luther's doctrine be
interdicted throughout the empire: let his writings be everywhere
burnt. Fear not: there is enough in the writings of Luther to burn a
hundred thousand heretics.[423]... And what have we to fear?... The
populace? Before the battle they seem terrible from their insolence;
in the battle they are contemptible from their cowardice. Foreign
princes? The king of France has prohibited Luther's doctrine from
entering his kingdom, while the king of Great Britain is preparing a
blow for it with his royal hand. You know what the feelings of
Hungary, Italy, and Spain are, and none of your neighbours, how great
soever the enmity he may bear to yourself, wishes you any thing so bad
as this heresy. If the house of our enemy is adjacent to our own we
may wish him fever, but not pestilence.... Who are all these
Lutherans? A huddle of insolent grammarians, corrupt priests,
disorderly monks, ignorant advocates, degraded nobles, common people
misled and perverted. Is not the Catholic party far more numerous,
able, and powerful? A unanimous decree of this assembly will enlighten
the simple, give warning to the imprudent, determine those who are
hesitating, and confirm the feeble.... But if the axe is not laid to
the root of this poisonous shrub, if the fatal stroke is not given to
it, then.... I see it covering the heritage of Jesus Christ with its
branches, changing the vineyard of the Lord into a howling forest,
transforming the kingdom of God into a den of wild beasts, and
throwing Germany into the frightful state of barbarism and desolation
to which Asia has been reduced by the superstition of Mahomet."

  [422] "Quod idem erat, ac revincti legati brachiis et lingua solum
  soluta." (Ibid. p. 109.)

  [423] Dass 100,000 Ketzer ihrenthalben verbrannt werden. (Seckend. p.


The nuncio ceased. He had spoken for three hours. The torrent of his
eloquence had moved the assembly. "The princes shaken and alarmed,"
says Cochlœus, "looked at each other; and murmurs were soon heard
from different quarters against Luther and his partisans."[424] Had
the mighty Luther been present, had he been permitted to answer the
discourse, had he, availing himself of the concession forced from the
Roman orator by the remembrance of his old master, the infamous
Borgia, been permitted to show that these arguments, designed to
defend Rome, constituted her condemnation, and that the doctrine which
gave proof of her iniquity was not invented by him, as the orator
said, but was the very religion which Christ had given to the world,
and which the reformation was establishing in its primitive lustre,
could he have presented an exact and animated picture of the errors
and abuses of the papacy, and shown how it had perverted the religion
of Jesus Christ into an instrument of aggrandisement and rapine,--the
effect of the nuncio's harangue would have been neutralised at the
moment of its delivery; but nobody rose to speak. The assembly
remained under the impression of the address, and, excited and carried
away, showed themselves ready violently to eradicate the heresy of
Luther from the soil of the empire.[425]

  [424] Vehementer exterriti atque commoti, alter alterum intuebantar,
  atque in Lutherum ejusque fautores murmurare cœperunt (Cochl., p.

  [425] Lutheranam hæresin esse funditus evellendam. (Pallavicini, i, p.
  101, Roscoe's Life of Leo X, p. 50.)

Still the victory was only apparent. It was the will of God that Borne
should have an opportunity of displaying her reasons and her strength.
The greatest of her orators had addressed the assembled princes, and
said all that Rome had to say. But the last effort of the papacy was
the very thing which was destined to become, in regard to several of
those who witnessed it, the signal of her defeat. If, in order to
secure the triumph of truth, it is necessary to proclaim it aloud, so
in order to secure the destruction of error, it is sufficient to
publish it without reserve. Neither the one nor the other, in order to
accomplish its course, should be concealed. The light judges all


     Sentiments of the Princes--Speech of Duke George--Character
     of the Reformation--A hundred and one grievances--Charles
     yields--Tactics of Aleander--The Grandees of Spain--Luther's
     peace--Death and not Retractation.

A few days sufficed to wear off these first impressions, as always
happens when an orator shrouds the emptiness of his arguments in high
sounding phrases.


The majority of the princes were ready to sacrifice Luther, but none
were disposed to sacrifice the rights of the empire and the redress of
German grievances. There was no objection to give up the insolent monk
who had dared to speak so loud, but it was wished to make the pope so
much the more sensible of the justice of a reform which was demanded
by the heads of the kingdom. Accordingly, it was the greatest personal
enemy of Luther, Duke George of Saxony, who spoke most energetically
against the encroachments of Rome. The grandson of Podiebrad, King of
Bohemia, repulsed by the doctrines of grace which the Reformer
proclaimed, had not yet abandoned the hope of seeing a moral and
ecclesiastical reform, and what irritated him so much against the monk
of Wittemberg, was that he had spoiled the whole affair by his
despised doctrines. But now, seeing the nuncio sought to confound
Luther and reform in one common condemnation, George suddenly stood up
among the assembled princes, and, to the great astonishment of those
who knew his hatred to the Reformer, said, "The Diet must not forget
the grievances of which it complains against the Court of Rome. What
abuses have crept into our states! The annats which the emperor
granted freely for the good of Christendom now demanded as a debt--the
Roman courtiers every day inventing new ordinances, in order to
absorb, sell, and farm out ecclesiastical benefices--a multitude of
transgressions winked at; rich offenders unworthily tolerated, while
those who have no means of ransom are punished without pity--the popes
incessantly bestowing expectancies and reversions on the inmates of
their palace, to the detriment of those to whom the benefices
belong--the commendams of abbeys and convents of Rome conferred on
cardinals, bishops, and prelates, who appropriate their revenues, so
that there is not one monk in convents which ought to have twenty or
thirty--stations multiplied without end, and indulgence shops
established in all the streets and squares of our cities, shops of St.
Anthony, shops of the Holy Spirit, of St. Hubert, of St. Cornelius, of
St. Vincent, and many others besides--societies purchasing from Rome
the right of holding such markets, then purchasing from their bishop
the right of exhibiting their wares, and, in order to procure all this
money, draining and emptying the pockets of the poor--the indulgence,
which ought to be granted solely for the salvation of souls, and which
ought to be merited only by prayers, fastings, and the salvation of
souls, sold at a regular price--the officials of the bishops
oppressing those in humble life with penances for blasphemy, adultery,
debauchery, the violation of this or that feast day, while, at the
same time, not even censuring ecclesiastics who are guilty of the same
crimes--penances imposed on the penitent, and artfully arranged, so
that he soon falls anew into the same fault, and pays so much the more
money.[426]... Such are some of the crying abuses of Rome; all sense
of shame has been cast off, and one thing only is pursued ... money!
money! Hence preachers who ought to teach the truth, now do nothing
more than retail lies--lies, which are not only tolerated, but
recompensed, because the more they lie, the more they gain. From this
polluted well comes forth all this polluted water. Debauchery goes
hand in hand with avarice. The officials cause women to come to their
houses under divers pretexts, and strive to seduce them, sometimes by
menaces, sometimes by presents; or, if they cannot succeed, injure
them in their reputation.[427] Ah! the scandals caused by the clergy
precipitate multitudes of poor souls into eternal condemnation! There
must be a universal reform, and this reform must be accomplished by
summoning a general Council. Wherefore, most excellent princes and
lords, with submission I implore you to lose no time in the
consideration of this matter." Several days after Aleander's address,
Duke George produced the list of grievances which he had enumerated.
This important document is preserved in the archives of Weimar.

  [426] Sondern dass er est bald wieder begehe und mehr Geld erlegen
  musse. (Archives of Weimar, Seckend. p. 328.)

  [427] Dass sie Weibesbilder unter mancherley schein beschicken,
  selbige sodann mit Drohungen und Geschenken su fällen suchen, oder in
  einen bosen verdacht bringen. (Weimar Arch. Seck., p. 330.)

Luther had not spoken more forcibly against the abuses of Rome but he
had done something more. The duke pointed out the evil, Luther had,
along with the evil, pointed out both the cause and the cure. He had
shown that the sinner receives the true indulgence, that which comes
from God, solely by faith in the grace and merits of Jesus Christ, and
this simple but powerful doctrine had overturned all the markets
established by the priests. "How can one become pious?" asked he one
day. "A Cordelier will reply, Put on a grey hood, and tie a cord round
your waist. A Roman will reply, Hear mass, and fast. But a Christian
will say, Faith in Christ alone justifies and saves. Before works we
must have eternal life. After we are born anew, and made children of
God by the word of grace, then it is we do good works."[428]

  [428] L. Op. (W.) xxii, 748-752.

The duke spoke the language of a secular prince--Luther, the language
of a reformer. The great sore of the Church was that she had devoted
herself entirely to externals; had made all her works and her graces
to consist of outward and material things. Indulgences had carried
this to its extreme point, and pardon, the most spiritual thing in
Christianity, had been purchased in shops like meat and drink. The
great work of Luther consisted in his availing himself of this extreme
point in the degeneracy of Christendom, in order to bring back the
individual and the Church to the primitive source of life, and to
re-establish the reign of the Holy Spirit within the sanctuary of the
heart. Here, as often happens, the cure sprung out of the disease, and
the two extremes met. Henceforward the Church, which during so many
ages had been developed externally by ceremonies, observances, and
human practices, began again to be developed within by faith, hope,
and charity.


The duke's address produced the greater effect from his opposition to
Luther being well known. Other members of the Diet stated different
grievances. The ecclesiastical princes themselves supported these
complaints.[429] "We have a pontiff," said they, "who spends his life
in hunting and pleasure. The benefices of Germany are given at Rome to
huntsmen, domestics, grooms, stable boys, body servants, and other
people of that class, ignorant unpolished people, without capacity,
and entire strangers to Germany."[430] The Diet appointed a commission
to collect all these grievances. Their number was found to be a
hundred and one. A deputation, consisting of secular and
ecclesiastical princes, presented the list to the emperor, imploring
him to give redress, as he had engaged to do at his election. "How
many Christian souls are lost?" said they to Charles V. "How many
depredations, how much extortion, are caused by the scandals with
which the spiritual chief of Christendom is environed? The ruin and
dishonour of our people must be prevented. Therefore, we all, in a
body, supplicate you most humbly, but also most urgently, to ordain a
general reformation, to undertake it, and to accomplish it."[431]
There was, at this time, in Christian society, an unseen power
influencing princes and their subjects, a wisdom from above dragging
forward even the adversaries of the Reformation, and preparing that
emancipation whose appointed hour had at length arrived.

  [429] Seckend. Vorrede von Frick.

  [430] Bücksenmeistern, Falknern, Pfistern, Eseltreibern,
  Stallknechten, Trabanten... (Kapp's Nachlese nützl Ref. Urkunden, iii,
  p. 262.)

  [431] Dass eine Besserung und gemeine Reformation geschehe. (Ibid., p.

Charles could not be insensible to these remonstrances of the empire.
Neither himself nor the nuncio had expected them. His confessor had
even denounced the vengeance of Heaven against him if he did not
reform the Church. The emperor immediately withdrew the edict which
ordered Luther's writings to be committed to the flames in every part
of the empire, and in its place substituted a provisional order
remitting these books to the magistrates.

This did not satisfy the assembly, who were desirous that the Reformer
should appear. It is unjust, said his friends, to condemn Luther
without having heard him, and without knowing from himself whether he
is the author of the books which are proposed to be burnt. His
doctrine, said his opponents, has so taken possession of men's hearts,
that it is impossible to arrest their progress without hearing him.
There need be no discussion with him. If he avows his writings, and
refuses to retract them, then all of us, electors, princes, states of
the whole empire, true to the faith of our ancestors, will, in a body,
aid your majesty, by all the means in our power, in the execution of
your decrees.[432]

  [432] L. Op. (L.) xxii, p. 567.


Aleander, alarmed, dreading both the intrepidity of Luther and the
ignorance of the princes, immediately set himself to the task of
preventing the Reformer's compearance. He went from the ministers of
Charles to the princes who were most disposed to favour the pope, and
from these princes to the emperor himself.[433] "It is unlawful," said
he, "to bring into question what the sovereign pontiff has decided.
There will be no discussion with Luther, you say; but" continued he,
"will not the power of this audacious man, will not the fire of his
eye, and the eloquence of his tongue, and the mysterious spirit which
animates him, be sufficient to excite some sedition?[434] Several
already venerate him as a saint, and you everywhere meet with his
portrait surrounded with a halo of glory, as round the head of the
Blessed. If it is determined to cite him, at least let it be without
giving him the protection of public faith."[435] These last words were
meant to frighten Luther, or prepare his ruin.

  [433] Quam ob rem sedulo contestatus est apud Cæsaris administros...
  (Pallavicini, i, p. 113.)

  [434] Lingua promptus, ardore vultus, et oris spiritu ad concitandam
  seditionem... (Ibid.)

  [435] Haud certe fidem publicam illi præbendam... (Ibid.)

The nuncio found easy access to the grandees of Spain. In Spain, as in
Germany, the opposition to the Dominican inquisitors was national. The
yoke of the inquisition, which had been discontinued for a time, had
just been re-established by Charles. A numerous party in the Peninsula
sympathised with Luther; but it was not so with the great, who, on the
banks of the Rhine, again met with what they had hated beyond the
Pyrenees. Inflamed with the most violent fanaticism, they were bent on
annihilating the new heresy. In particular, Frederick, Duke of Alba,
was transported with rage whenever the subject of Reformation was
mooted.[436] His wish would have been to wade in the blood of all its
adherents. Luther had not yet been called to appear, and yet his mere
name was already agitating all the grandees of Christendom then
assembled at Worms.

  [436] Albæ dux videbatur aliquando furentibus modis agitari...
  (Pallavicini, i, p. 362.)

[Sidenote: LUTHER'S PEACE.]

The man who was thus agitating the mighty of the earth was the only
one who seemed to be at peace. The news from Worms were alarming. Even
Luther's friends were frightened. "Nothing now is left us but our
wishes and our prayers," wrote Melancthon to Spalatin. "Oh! if God
would deign to ransom the safety of the Christian people by my
blood."[437] But Luther was a stranger to fear. Shutting himself up in
his peaceful cell, he sat down to meditate, applying to himself the
words of Mary, the mother of our Lord, when she exclaimed, "_My soul
doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he that is mighty has done for me_ _great things, and holy is His
name. He has shown strength with his arm; he hath put down the mighty
from their seats, and exalted them of low degree._"[438] The following
are some of the thoughts which filled Luther's heart.... "'He that is
mighty,' says Mary. Oh! how great boldness on the part of a young
girl! With a single word she strikes all the strong with languor, all
the mighty with feebleness, all the wise with folly, and all those
whose name is glorious on the earth with ignominy, and lays at the
feet of God all strength, all power, all wisdom, all glory.[439] 'His
arm,' continues she, and she thus appeals to that power by which he
acts of himself, and without the agency of his creatures--a mysterious
power operating in secrecy and in silence, until his purpose is
accomplished. Hence destruction comes before any one is aware of its
approach; hence elevation, when no one is thinking of it. He leaves
his children in oppression and feebleness, so that each of them says
to himself, 'We are all lost!' Then, however, they are most strong.
For it is where the power of man ends that the power of God begins.
Only let faith wait upon Him.... And, on the other hand, God permits
his adversaries to increase their power and grandeur. He withdraws
from them the aid of his strength, and leaves them to be inflated with
their own.[440] He leaves them void of his eternal wisdom, and lets
them fill themselves with their wisdom of a day. And while they rise
up in the greatness of their might, the arm of the Lord keeps back,
and their work ... vanishes like a soap bubble when it bursts in the

  [437] Utinam Deus redimat nostro sanguino salutem Christiani populi.
  (Corp. Ref. i, p. 362.)

  [438] Luke, i, 46-55.

  [439] _Magnificat._ L. Op. Wittemberg, Deutsch. Ausg. iii, p. 11, etc.

  [440] Er zieht seine Krafft heraus und laesst sic von eigener Krafft
  sich aufblasen. (L. Op. Wittemb. Deutsch. Ausg. iii, pp. 11, etc.)

It was on the 10th of March, at the moment when his name was filling
the imperial city with alarm, that Luther finished this exposition of
the Magnificat.


He was not allowed to remain tranquil in his retreat. Spalatin, in
conformity to the orders of the Elector, sent him a note of the
articles of which it was proposed to demand a retractation from him. A
retractation after the refusal at Augsburg![441]... "Fear not," he
wrote to Spalatin, "that I will retract a single syllable, since their
only argument is to insist that my writings are opposed to the rites
of what they call the Church. If the Emperor Charles summon me merely
for the purpose of retracting, I will answer him that I will remain
here; and it will be just the same thing as if I had been to Worms and
come back again. But if, on the contrary, the emperor chooses to
summon me in order that I may be put to death, I am ready to repair at
his call; for, with the help of Christ, I will not desert his word on
the battle-field. I know it: these bloody men will never rest till
they have deprived me of life. Oh, that none but papists would become
guilty of my blood!"

  [441] Si ad me occidendum deinceps vocare velit...offeram me venturum.
  (L. Ep. i, p. 574.)


     Will a Safe-conduct be given?--Safe-conduct--Will Luther
     go?--Holy Thursday at Rome--The Pope and Luther.

At length the emperor decided. The appearance of Luther before the
Diet seemed the only thing fitted to bring this affair which occupied
the whole empire, to some kind of termination. Charles V resolved to
cite him, but without giving him a safe-conduct. Here Frederick again
began to act as his protector. Every body saw the danger which
threatened the Reformer. Luther's friends, says Cochlœus, were
afraid that he would be delivered up to the pope, or that the emperor
himself would put him to death as unworthy, on account of his
obstinate heresy, that any faith should be kept with him.[442] On this
subject there was a long and keen debate among the princes.[443]
Struck, at last, with the general agitation then prevailing almost
throughout the whole population of Germany, and afraid that, as Luther
passed along, some sudden tumult or dangerous sedition might break
forth,[444] (doubtless in favour of the Reformer,) the princes deemed
it wise to calm men's minds on his account, and not only the emperor,
but also the Elector of Saxony, Duke George, and the Landgrave of
Hesse, through whose states he had to pass, each gave him a

  [442] Tanquam perfido hæretico nulla sit servanda fides, (Cochlœus,
  p. 28.)

  [443] "Longa consultatio difficilisque disceptatio." (Ibid.)

  [444] "Cum autem grandis ubique per Germaniam fere totam excitata
  esset...animorum commotio." (Ibid.)


On the 6th March, 1521, Charles V signed the following summons
addressed to Luther:--

     "Charles, by the grace of God, elected Roman Emperor, always
     Augustus, etc., etc.

     "Honourable, dear, and pious! We, and the States of the Holy
     Empire, having resolved to make an inquest touching the
     doctrine and the books which you have published for some
     time past have given you, to come here and return to a place
     of safety, our safe-conduct and that of the empire here
     subjoined. Our sincere desire is that you immediately
     prepare for this journey, in order that, in the space of
     twenty-one days mentioned in our safe-conduct you may be
     here certainly, and without fail. Have no apprehension of
     either injustice or violence. We will firmly enforce our
     safe-conduct under-written, and we expect that you will
     answer to our call. In so doing you will follow our serious

     "Given at our imperial city of Worms, the sixth day of
     March, in the year of our Lord, 1521, and in the second of
     our reign.


     "By order of my Lord the Emperor, with his own hand, Albert,
     Cardinal of Mentz, Arch-chancellor. _Nicolas Zwyl._"

The safe-conduct enclosed in this letter bore the following
address:--"_To the honourable, our dear and pious doctor Martin
Luther, of the order of the Augustins._"

It began thus:--

"We, Charles, fifth of the name, by the grace of God, elected Roman
Emperor, always Augustus, King of Spain, of the Two Sicilies, of
Jerusalem, Hungary, Dalmatia, Croatia, etc., Arch-Duke of Austria,
Duke of Burgundy, Count of Hapsburg, Flanders, the Tyrol, etc., etc."

Then the king of so many nations giving to wit that he had summoned
before him an Augustin monk named Luther, ordered all princes, lords,
magistrates, and others, to respect the safe-conduct which he gave
him, under pain of punishment by the emperor and the empire.[445]

  [445] Lucas Cranach's Stammbuch, etc., herausgegeben, v. Chr. v.
  Mecheln, p. 12.

Thus the emperor gave the title of "dear, honourable, and pious," to a
man at whose head the Church had launched her excommunication. It had
been wished, in the drawing up of the document, to remove all distrust
from the mind of Luther and his friends. Gaspard Sturm was appointed
to carry this message to the Reformer, and accompany him to Worms. The
Elector, dreading the public indignation, wrote, on the 12th March, to
the magistrates of Wittemberg to see to the safety of the emperor's
officer, and, if deemed necessary, to provide him with a guard. The
herald set out.

Thus the designs of God were accomplished. God was pleased to set upon
a hill that light which he had kindled in the world, and emperors,
kings, and princes, without knowing it, were forthwith in motion to
execute his design. It is easy for him to exalt the lowest to the
highest. An act of his power suffices to raise the humble child of
Mansfeld from an obscure hut to the palace where kings are assembled.
In regard to Him, there is nothing small, nothing great. When he wills
it, Charles V and Luther meet face to face.


But will Luther obey this citation? His best friends were in doubt.
The Elector on the 25th of March wrote his brother--"Doctor Martin is
summoned hither, but I know not if he will come. I cannot augur any
good of it." Three weeks later (16th April), this excellent prince
seeing the danger increase wrote anew to Duke John. "There is a
proclamation against Luther. The cardinals and bishops attack him with
much severity. May God turn all to good. Would to God I could procure
him an equitable reception!"[446]

  [446] Die Cardinæle und Bischöfe sind ihm hart zuwider ...
  (Seckend., p. 365.)

While these things were passing at Worms and Wittemberg, the Papacy
was reiterating its blows. On the 28th March, the Thursday before
Easter, Rome resounded with a solemn excommunication. At this season
it is usual to publish the dreadful bull _in Cœna Domini_, which is
only a long series of imprecations. On that day, the avenues to the
church in which the sovereign pontiff was to officiate were occupied
at an early hour by the papal guards, and by a crowd of people who had
flocked from all parts of Italy to receive the benediction of the holy
father. The square in front of the Basilisk was decorated with
branches of laurel and myrtle; wax tapers were burning on the balcony
of the church, and the ostensorium was raised upon it. All at once
bells make the air re-echo with solemn sounds; the pope, clothed in
his pontifical robes, and carried in a chair, appears on the balcony;
the people kneel, all heads are uncovered, the colours are lowered,
the muskets grounded, and a solemn silence reigns. Some moments after,
the pope slowly stretches out his hands, raises them towards heaven,
then bends them slowly towards the ground, making the sign of the
cross. This movement is repeated thrice, and the air echoes anew with
the ringing of bells, which intimate the pope's benediction to the
surrounding country; then priests advance with impetuosity, holding
lighted torches, which they reverse, brandish, and throw about with
violence, to represent the flames of hell; the people are moved and
agitated, and the words of malediction are heard from the height of
the temple.[447]

  [447] This ceremony is described in different works, among others--"
  Tagebuch einer Reise durch Deutschland und Italien." (Berlin, 1817,
  iv, p. 94.) The principal formalities are of earlier date than the
  days of Luther.

When Luther was informed of this excommunication, he published the
tenor of it, with some remarks, written in that caustic style in which
he so much excelled. Although this publication did not appear till
afterwards, we will here give some idea of it. Let us hear the high
priest of Christendom on the balcony of his Basilisk, and the monk of
Wittemberg answering him from the bosom of Germany.[448]

  [448] For the papal bull and Luther's commentary, see "Die Bulla vom
  Abendfressen." . . . . (L. Op. (L.) xviii, p. 1.)

There is something characteristic in the contrast of the two voices.


_The Pope._--"Leo Bishop."

_Luther._--"Bishop ... as a wolf is a shepherd; for the bishop ought
to exhort according to the doctrine of salvation, not belch out
imprecations and maledictions."

_The Pope._--"... Servant of all the servants of God...."

_Luther._--"In the evening when we are drunk; but in the morning we
call ourselves Leo lord of all the lords."

_The Pope._--"The Roman bishops, our predecessors, have been wont, on
this festival, to employ the weapons of righteousness."...

_Luther._--"Which, according to you, are excommunication and anathema,
but according to St. Paul, patience, meekness, and charity." (2 Cor.
vi, 7.)

_The Pope._--"According to the duty of the apostolic office, and to
maintain the purity of Christian faith."

_Luther._--"In other words, the temporal possessions of the pope."

_The Pope._--"And its unity, which consists in the union of the
members with Christ their head ... and with his vicar...."

_Luther._--"For Christ is not sufficient; one more than he is

_The Pope._--"To guard the holy communion of the faithful, we follow
the ancient custom, and excommunicate and anathematise on the part of
God Almighty the Father."

_Luther._--"Of whom it is said, '_God sent not his Son into the world
to condemn the world._'" (John, iii, 17.)

_The Pope._--"... And the Son and the Holy Spirit, and according to
the power of the Apostles Peter and Paul ... and our own...."

_Luther._--"And myself! says the ravenous wolf, as if the power of God
were too feeble without him."

_The Pope._--"We curse all heretics,--the Garasi,[449] the Patarini,
the Pauperes of Lyon, the Arnoldists, the Speronists, the Passagians,
the Wickliffites, the Hussites, the Fraticelli."

  [449] This name is inaccurate; read Gazari or Cathari.

_Luther._--"For they wished to possess the Holy Scriptures, and
insisted that the pope should be sober and preach the Word God."

_The Pope._--"And Martin Luther recently condemned by us for a similar
heresy, as well as all his adherents, and all, whosoever they be, that
show him any favour."

_Luther._--"I thank thee, most gracious Pontiff, for condemning me in
common with all these Christians. I count it an honour to have my name
proclaimed at Rome during the feast in so glorious a manner, and
carried over the world with the names of all those humble confessors
of Jesus Christ."

_The Pope._--"Likewise we excommunicate and curse all pirates and


_Luther._--"Who then is the greatest of pirates and corsairs if it be
not he who robs souls, chains them, and puts them to death?"

_The Pope._--"Particularly those who sail upon our sea."

_Luther._--"Our SEA!... Saint Peter, _our_ predecessor, said, '_Silver
and gold have I none_,' (Acts, iii, 6.) Jesus Christ said, '_The kings
of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; but it shall not be so
with you._' (Luke, xxii, 25.) But if a waggon loaded with hay must, on
meeting with a drunken man, give way to him, _à fortiori_ must St.
Peter and Jesus Christ himself give way to the pope."

_The Pope._--"Likewise we excommunicate and curse all who falsify our
bulls, and our apostolic letters...."

_Luther._--"But the letters of God, the Scriptures of God, all the
world may condemn and burn."

_The Pope._--"Likewise we excommunicate and curse all who detain
provisions which are on the way to Rome...."

_Luther._--"He barks and bites like a dog threatened to be deprived of
his bone."[450]

  [450] Gleich wie ein Hund ums Beines willen. (L. Op. (L.) xviii, p.

_The Pope._--"Likewise we condemn and curse all who keep back judicial
rights, fruits, tithes, revenues, appertaining to the clergy."

_Luther._--"For Jesus Christ has said, '_Whosoever will sue thee at
the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also._' (Matt.
v, 40.) and this is our commentary upon the passage."

_The Pope._--"Whatever be their station, dignity, order, power, or
rank; be they even bishops or kings...."

_Luther._--"For '_There will arise false teachers among you who will
despise dominion and speak evil of dignities_,' saith the Scripture.
(Jude, 8.)"

_The Pope._--"Likewise we condemn and curse all those who in any kind
of way attack the city Rome, the kingdom of Sicily, the islands of
Sardinia and Corsica, the patrimony of St. Peter in Tuscany, the duchy
of Spoleto, the margravate of Ancona, the Campagna, the cities of
Ferrara and Benevento, or any other city or country appertaining to
the Church of Rome."

_Luther._--"O, Peter, poor fisherman! where did you get Rome and all
those kingdoms? I salute you, Peter, king of Sicily! ... and fisherman
at Bethsaida!"

_The Pope._--"We excommunicate and curse all chancellors, counsellors,
parliaments, procurators, governors, officials, bishops, and others
who oppose our letters of exhortation, invitation, prohibition,
mediation, execution, etc."


_Luther._--"For the holy see seeks only to live in idleness,
magnificence, and debauchery, to command, storm, deceive, lie,
insult, and commit all sorts of wickedness in peace and safety...."

"O Lord, arise! it is not as the papists pretend. Thou hast not
forsaken us, nor is thy favour turned away from us."

So spake Leo X at Rome, and Luther at Wittemberg.

The pontiff having finished his anathemas, the parchment on which they
were written was torn in pieces, and the fragments thrown to the
people. Immediately there was a great rush among the crowd, all
pressing forward, and striving to get hold of a morsel of the terrible

Such were the holy relics which the papacy offered to her faithful on
the eve of the great day of grace of expiation. The multitude soon
dispersed, and the vicinity of the Basilisk resumed its wonted
stillness. Let us return to Wittemberg.


     Luther's courage--Bugenhagen at Wittemberg--Persecutions in
     Pomerania--Melancthon wishes to set out with
     Luther--Amsdorff--Schurff--Suaven--Hütten to Charles V.


It was the 24th of March. The imperial herald, Gaspard Sturm, having
at length passed the gates of the town where Luther was, presented
himself before the doctor, and put the summons of Charles V into his
hands. A grave and solemn moment for the Reformer! All his friends
were in consternation. No prince, not even excepting Frederick the
Wise, had as yet declared in his favour. Knights, it is true, uttered
menaces, but the mighty Charles despised them. Still Luther was not
troubled. "The papists," said he, on seeing the anguish of his
friends, "have no wish for my arrival at Worms, they only wish my
condemnation and death.[451] No matter, pray not for me, but for the
Word of God. Before my blood is cold, thousands throughout the world
will be called to answer for having shed it. The _most holy_ adversary
of Christ, the father, master, and generalissimo of homicides, insists
on having my life. Amen! Let the will of the Lord be done. Christ will
give me his Spirit to vanquish these ministers of error. I despise
them during my life, and will triumph over them by my death.[452] They
are doing all they can at Worms, to compel me to retract. Here then
will be my retractation: I once said, that the pope was the vicar of
Christ; now, I say that he is the enemy of the Lord, and the apostle
of the devil." And when he learned that all the pulpits of the
Franciscans were resounding with imprecations and maledictions against
him, he exclaimed, "O what wondrous joy it gives me!"[453] He knew
that he had done the will of God, and that God was with him; why then
should he not set out boldly? This purity of intention, this liberty
of conscience is a hidden power of incalculable might which never
fails the servant of God, and which makes him more invincible than
helmets and armied hosts could make him.

  [451] Damnatum et perditum. (L. Ep. i, p. 556.)

  [452] ... ut hos Satanæ ministros et contemnam vivens et vincam
  moriens. (Ibid. p. 579.)

  [453] Quod mire quam gaudeam! (L. Ep. i, p. 567.)

At this time arrived at Wittemberg a man who, like Melancthon, was
destined to be Luther's friend through life, and to console him at the
moment of his departure.[454] It was a priest of thirty-six years of
age, named Bugenhagen, who had fled from the severities with which the
Bishop of Camin, and Prince Bogislas of Pomerania, persecuted the
friends of the gospel of all classes--clergy, citizens, and
literati.[455] Of a senatorial family at Wollin in Pomerania, from
which he is commonly called 'Pomeranus', Bugenhagen, at twenty years
of age, began to teach at Treptow. Youth flocked to hear him, while
nobles and learned men vied with each other for his society. He was a
diligent student of the Holy Scriptures, and prayed to God to instruct
him.[456] One day towards the end of December, 1520, when he was
supping with several friends, Luther's treatise on the _Captivity of
Babylon_ was put into his hands. After turning it over, he exclaimed,
"Many heretics have infested the Church since our Saviour died, but
never was there one more pestilential than the author of this work."
Having taken the book home with him, and read it over and over, his
views entirely changed; new truths presented themselves to his mind,
and returning some days afterwards to his companions, he said to them,
"The whole world is fallen into Cimmerian darkness. This man and none
but he sees the truth."[457] Some priests, a deacon, even the abbot
himself, received the pure doctrine of salvation, and preaching it
with power, "soon," (says a historian,) "turned away their hearers
from human superstitions to the sole efficacious merit of Jesus
Christ."[458] Then persecution burst forth. Several were already
immured in dungeons, when Bugenhagen escaped from his enemies, and
arrived at Wittemberg. "He suffers for the love of the gospel,"
immediately wrote Melancthon to the Elector's chaplain, "where could
he fly if not to our ασυλον, (asylum,) to the protection of
our prince?"[459]

  [454] Venit Vittembergam paullo ante iter Lutheri ad comitia Wormatiæ
  indicta. (Melch. Adam. Vita Bugenhagii, p. 314.)

  [455] Sacerdotes cives et scholasticos in vincula conjecit. (Ibid., p.

  [456] Precesque adjunxit, quibus divinitus se regi ac doceri petivit.
  (Ibid., p. 312.)

  [457] ... In Cimmeriis tenebris versatur; hic vir unus et solus verum
  videt. (Ibid., p. 313.)

  [458] A superstitionibus ad unicum Christi meritum traducere. (Ibid.)

  [459] Corp. Refor., i, p. 361.


But none received Bugenhagen with so much delight as Luther. It was
arranged between them that, immediately after the Reformer's
departure, Bugenhagen should begin to expound the Psalms. Thus divine
Providence brought this powerful mind to aid in supplying the place of
him whom Wittemberg was going to lose. Placed a year after at the head
of the church of this town, Bugenhagen presided over it for thirty-six
years. Luther distinguished him by the name of _The Pastor_.

Luther behoved to depart. His alarmed friends thought that unless God
miraculously interposed, he was going to death. Melancthon, who had
left his native country, had become attached to Luther with all the
affection of his soul. "Luther," said he, "is to me in place of all my
friends: I feel him to be greater and more admirable than I can
express. You know how Alcibiades admired his Socrates;[460] but I
admire Luther in a higher sense, for he is a Christian." Then he added
the simple but beautiful expression, "Every time I contemplate him, I
find him even greater than himself."[461] Melancthon wished to follow
Luther in his dangers. But their common friends, and doubtless the
doctor himself, were against it. Must not Philip supply the place of
his friend? and, should that friend never return, who would direct the
cause of the Reformation? "Ah! would to God," said Melancthon,
resigned, but grieved, "would to God I had been allowed to go with

  [460] "Alcibiades was persuaded that the demon of Socrates was
  assistance which the gods sent to instruct and save." (Plutarch's Life
  of Alcibiades.)

  [461] "Quem quoties contemplor, se ipso subinde majorem judico."
  (Corp. Ref., i, p. 264.)

  [462] "Utinam licuisset mihi una proficisci." (Ibid., p. 365.)

The ardent Amsdorff immediately declared that he would accompany the
doctor. His strong soul felt a pleasure in exposing itself to danger.
His high bearing enabled him to appear fearless before an assembly of
kings. The Elector had invited to Wittemberg, as professor of law,
Jerome Schurff, the son of a physician of St. Gall, a celebrated man,
of great meekness of temper, and a very intimate friend of Luther. "He
has not yet summoned up courage," said Luther, "to pronounce sentence
of death on a single malefactor."[463] Yet this timid individual
volunteered to act as the doctor's counsel on this dangerous journey.
A young Danish student named Peter Suaven, who boarded with
Melancthon, and afterwards distinguished himself by his labours in
Pomerania and Denmark, also declared that he would accompany his
master. The youth in schools were entitled to have their
representative beside the champion of truth.

  [463] L. Op. (W.) xxii, p. 2067, 1819.


Germany was moved at the thought of the dangers which threatened the
representative of her people, and found a voice well fitted to express
her fears. Ulric von Hütten shuddered at the thought of the blow
about to be struck at his country, and, on the 1st of April wrote
directly to Charles V as follows:--"Most excellent emperor, you are on
the point of destroying us, and yourself with us. What is intended in
this affair of Luther but just to destroy our liberty and abridge your
power? There is not throughout the whole breadth of the empire a good
man who does not feel the liveliest interest in this business.[464]
The priests alone are in arms against Luther because he is opposed to
their excessive power, their shameful luxury, their depraved lives,
and has pleaded for the doctrine of Christ, his country's freedom, and
purity of manners.

  [464] "Neque enim quam lata est Germania, ulli boni sunt...." (L. Op.
  Lat. ii. p. 182, verso.)

"O emperor! dismiss from your presence those orators of Rome, those
bishops and cardinals who would prevent every thing like reform. Did
you not observe the sadness of the people on seeing you on your
arrival approach the people surrounded by those wearers of red hats,
by a herd of priests and not a band of valiant warriors?

"Do not give up your sovereign majesty to those who would trample it
under their feet! Have pity on us! Do not in your ruin drag the whole
nation along with you! Place us amid the greatest perils, under the
swords of the enemy and the canon's mouth;[465] let all nations
conspire against us; let all armies assail us, so that we may be able
openly to manifest our valour, and not be thus vanquished and enslaved
in the dark, like women, without arms and without a struggle.... Ah!
our hope was that you would deliver us from the yoke of the Romans and
overthrow the pontifical tyranny. God grant that the future may turn
out better than the commencement.

  [465] "Duc nos in manifestum potius periculum, duc in ferrum, duc in
  ignes...." (Ibid. p. 183.)

"All Germany kneels before you; she supplicates you with tears,
implores your aid, your pity, your faith, and, by the holy memory of
those Germans, who, when the whole world was subjugated to Rome,
refused to bend their head before that proud city, conjures you to
save her, restore her to herself, deliver her from slavery, and avenge
her of her tyrants!..."[466]

  [466] Omnem nunc Germaniam quasi ad genua provolutum tibi.... (Ibid.,
  p. 184.)

So spoke Germany to Charles V through the instrumentality of the
knight. The emperor paid no attention to the letter; perhaps threw it
disdainfully from him to one of his secretaries. He was a Fleming, and
not a German. Personal aggrandisement, not the liberty and glory of
the empire, was the object of all his desires.


     Departure for the Diet of Worms--Luther's Adieu--His
     Condemnation Published--Cavalcade near Erfurt--Meeting of
     Jonas and Luther--Luther in his old Convent--Luther Preaches
     at Erfurt--Incident--Faith and Works--Concourse of
     People--Luther's Courage--Luther to Spalatin--Halt at
     Frankfort--Fears at Worms--Plan of the
     Imperialists--Luther's Firmness.


The 2nd of April had arrived, and Luther behoved to take leave of his
friends. After writing a note to Lange to intimate that he would spend
the following Thursday or Friday at Erfurt,[467] he bade adieu to his
colleagues. Turning to Melancthon he said to him, in a tone which
betrayed emotion, "If I do not return, and my enemies put me to death,
O, my brother, cease not to teach, and remain firm in the truth.
Labour in my stead, since I shall not be able to labour any longer for
myself. If you live, it matters little though I perish."[468] Then,
committing himself to the hand of Him who is faithful and true, Luther
took his seat and quitted Wittemberg. The town council had provided
him with a modest carriage with a cloth covering which might be put on
or off at pleasure. The imperial herald, clad in his insignia, and
wearing the imperial eagle, was on horseback in front, followed by his
servant. Next followed Luther, Schurff, Amsdorff, and Suaven in their
carriage. The friends of the gospel, the citizens of Wittemberg, in
deep emotion, were invoking God, and shedding tears. Such was Luther's

  [467] "Omnem nunc Germaniam quasi ad genua provolutam tibi ..." (L.
  Op. Lat. ii, p. 184.)

  [468] L. Ep. i, p. 580.


He soon observed that the hearts of those whom he met were filled with
gloomy forebodings. At Leipsic no honour was paid to him. He only
received the usual present of wine. At Naumburg he met a priest,
probably J. Langer, a man of stern zeal, who carefully preserved in
his study the portrait of the famous Jerome Savonarola of Ferrara, who
was burnt at Florence in 1498, by order of pope Alexander VI, as a
martyr to liberty and morality, as well as a confessor of evangelical
truth. Having taken the portrait of the Italian martyr, the priest
came up to Luther, and held out the portrait to him without speaking.
Luther understood what the dumb figure intimated, but his intrepid
soul remained firm. "It is Satan," said he, "who, by these terrors,
would fain prevent a confession of the truth from being made in the
assembly of the princes, because he foresees the blow which this will
give to his kingdom."[469] "Adhere firmly to the truth which thou
hast perceived," said then the priest to him gravely, "and thy God
will also adhere firmly to thee."[470]

  [469] "Terrorem hunc a Sathana sibi dixit adferri...." (Melch. Adam.,
  p. 117.)

  [470] Er wolle bey der erkandten Wahrbeyt mit breytem Fuss aushalten
  ... (Mathesius Historien, p. 23)--the quotation from the first edition
  of 1566.

Having spent the night at Naumburg, where the burgomaster had
hospitably entertained him, Luther arrived next evening at Weimar. He
was scarcely a moment there when he heard loud cries in all
directions. They were publishing his condemnation. "Look," said the
herald to him. He looked, and his astonished eyes beheld imperial
messengers traversing the town, and posting up the imperial edict,
which ordered his writings to be laid before the magistrates. Luther
had no doubt that these harsh measures were exhibited before-hand, to
deter him from coming, that he might afterwards be condemned for
having refused to appear. "Well, doctor, will you go on?" said the
imperial herald to him in alarm. "Yes," replied Luther, "though put
under interdict in every town, I will go on: I confide in the
emperor's safe-conduct."

At Weimar, Luther had an audience of the Elector's brother, Duke John,
who was then residing there. The prince invited him to preach. He
consented, and from his heart, now under deep emotion, came forth the
words of life. John Voit, the friend of Frederick Myconius, a
Franciscan monk, heard him, and being converted to evangelical
doctrine, quitted the convent two years after. At a later period, he
became professor of theology at Wittemberg. The duke gave Luther the
money necessary for his journey.

From Weimar the Reformer proceeded to Erfurt. It was the town of his
youth, and he hoped to see his friend Lange, provided, as he had
written him, he could enter the town without danger.[471] He was still
three or four leagues off, near the village of Nora, when he saw a
troop of horsemen appear in the distance. Were they friends, or were
they enemies? Shortly Crotus, the rector of the university, Eobanus
Hesse, Melancthon's friend, whom Luther called the king of poets,
Euricius Cordus, John Draco, and others, to the number of forty,
members of the senate, the university, and the municipality, all on
horseback, saluted him with acclamation. A multitude of the
inhabitants of Erfurt covered the road, and gave loud expression to
their joy. All were eager to see the mighty man who had ventured to
declare war against the pope.

  [471] "Nisi periculum sit Erfordiam ingredi." (L. Ep. i, p. 580.)

[Sidenote: JUSTUS JONAS.]

A young man of twenty-eight, named Justus Jonas, had got the start of
the party.[472] Jonas, after studying law at Erfurt, had been
appointed rector of the university in 1519. Illumined by the
evangelical light which then radiated in all directions, he felt
desirous to become a theologian. "I believe," wrote Erasmus to him,
"that God has elected you as an instrument to spread the glory of his
Son Jesus."[473] All Jonas' thoughts were turned to Wittemberg and
Luther. Some years before, when only a student of law, being of an
active enterprising spirit, he had set out on foot, accompanied by
some friends, and in order to reach Erasmus, then at Brussels, had
traversed forests infested by robbers, and towns ravaged by the
plague. Will he not now confront other dangers in order to accompany
the Reformer to Worms? He earnestly begged the favour, and Luther
consented. Thus met these two doctors, who were to labour through life
in the renovation of the Church. Divine Providence gathered around
Luther men destined to be the light of Germany: the Melancthons, the
Amsdorffs, the Bugenhagens, the Jonases. On his return from Worms,
Jonas was appointed provost of the Church of Wittemberg, and doctor in
theology. "Jonas," said Luther, "is a man whose life would deserve to
be purchased at a large price, in order to detain him on the
earth."[474] No preacher ever surpassed him in the gift of captivating
his hearers. "Pomeranus is an expositor," said Melancthon, "and I am a
dialectitian,--Jonas is an orator. The words flow from his lips with
surpassing grace, and his eloquence is overpowering. But Luther is
beyond us all."[475] It seems that nearly about the same time a
companion of Luther's childhood, one of his brothers, joined the

  [472] Hos inter qui nos prævenerant, ibat Jonas,
        Ille decus nostri, primaque fama Chori.--(Eob. Hessi Elegia

  [473] "Velut organum quoddam electum ad illustrandam filii sui Jesu
  gloriam." (Erasmi Ep. v. 27.)

  [474] Vir est quem oportuit multo pretio emptum et servatum in terra.
  (Weismanni, p. 1436.)

  [475] Pomeranus est grammaticus, ego sum dialecticus, Jonas est orator
  ... Lutherus vero nobis omnibus antecellit. (Knapp. Narrat. de. J.
  Jona, p. 581.)

The deputation turned their steeds, and horsemen and footmen,
surrounding Luther's carriage, entered the town of Erfurt. At the
gate, in the squares and streets, where the poor monk had so often
begged his bread, the crowd of spectators was immense. Luther
dismounted at the Augustin convent, where the gospel had consoled his
heart. Lange received him with joy; Usingen, and some of the more aged
fathers, showed great coolness. There was a general desire to hear him
preach, and though he was interdicted from doing it, the herald
himself could not resist the desire, and consented.


Sunday after Easter, the Augustin church at Erfurt was crowded. That
friar who formerly opened the doors and swept the church, mounted the
pulpit, and having opened the Bible, read these words: "_Peace be with
you; and when he had so said, he showed_ _them his hands and his
side_." (John, xx, 19, 20.) "All the philosophers, doctors, and
writers," said he, "have exerted themselves to show how man may obtain
eternal life, and have not succeeded. I will now tell you."

This has, in all ages, been the great question; accordingly Luther's
hearers redoubled their attention.

"There are two kinds of works," continued the Reformer; "works foreign
to ourselves--these are good works; and our own works--these are of
little value. One builds a church; another goes on a pilgrimage to St
James or St. Peter; a third fasts, prays, takes the cowl, walks
barefoot; a fourth does something else. All these works are nothing,
and will perish: for our own works have no efficacy in them. But I am
now going to tell you what is the genuine work. God raised a man again
from the dead, even the Lord Jesus Christ, that he might crush death,
destroy sin, and shut the gates of hell. Such is the work of
salvation. The devil thought that he had the Lord in his power when he
saw him between the two thieves, suffering the most ignominious
martyrdom, accursed of God and men.... But the Divinity displayed its
power, and annihilated sin, death, and hell....

"Christ has vanquished; this is the grand news; and we are saved by
his work, not by our own. The pope gives a very different account. But
I maintain that the holy Mother of God herself was saved neither by
her virginity nor maternity, neither by her purity nor her works, but
solely by means of faith and by the works of God...."

While Luther was speaking, a sudden noise was heard; one of the
galleries gave a crack, and seemed as if it were going to give way
under the pressure of the crowd. Some rushed out, and others sat
still, terror-struck. The orator stopped for a moment, and then,
stretching out his hand, exclaimed, with a loud voice, "Fear nothing;
there is no danger; the devil is seeking, in this way, to prevent me
from proclaiming the gospel, but he shall not succeed."[476] At these
words, those who were running out, stopped astonished and rivetted to
the spot; the assembly calmed, and Luther, without troubling himself
with the attempts of the devil, continued. "You will perhaps say to
me, You tell us a great deal about faith. Tell us, also, how we can
obtain it. Yes; well, I will tell you. Our Lord Jesus Christ says,
'_Peace be with you; behold my hands_:' in other words, 'Behold, O
man, it is I, I alone who have taken away thy sin, and ransomed thee,
and now thou hast peace, saith the Lord.'

  [476] Agnosco insidias, hostis acerbe, tuas. (Hessi Eleg. Tertia.)
  Bitter foe, your wiles I see.


"I did not eat the fruit of the tree," resumed Luther; "neither did
you eat it; but we received the sin which Adam has transmitted to us,
and are guilty of it. In like manner, I did not suffer on the cross,
nor did you suffer on it; but Christ suffered for us; we are justified
by the work of God, and not by our own.... 'I am,' saith the Lord,
'thy righteousness and thy redemption.'...

"Let us believe the gospel, let us believe St. Paul, and not the
letters and decretals of the popes."

Luther, after having preached faith as the means of the sinner's
justification, preaches works as the consequence and evidence of

"Since God has saved us," continues he, "let us so order our works
that he may take pleasure in them. Art thou rich,--let thy wealth be
useful to the poor. Art thou poor,--let thy service be useful to the
rich. If thy toil is useful only to thyself, the service which thou
pretendest to render to God is mere falsehood."[477]

  [477] L. Op. (L.) xii, p. 485.

There is not a word in the sermon on Luther himself; no allusion to
the circumstances in which he is placed; nothing on Worms, on Charles,
or the nuncios; he preaches Christ, and Christ only; at this moment,
when the world has its eyes upon him, he is not in the least occupied
with himself; and herein is the mark of a genuine servant of God.

Luther set out from Erfurt, and passed through Gotha, where he again
preached. Myconius adds, that at the moment when the people were
coming out from the sermon the devil detached from the pediment of the
church some stones which had not budged for two centuries. The doctor
slept in the convent of the Benedictines, at Rheinhardsbrunn, and
thence proceeded to Eisenach, where he felt indisposed. Amsdorff,
Jonas, Schurff, and all his friends, were alarmed. He was bled, and
the greatest possible attention was paid him. Even the Schulthess of
the town, John Oswald, hastened to him with a cordial. Luther, after
drinking it, fell asleep, and was thereby so far recovered that he was
able to proceed on the following day.[478]

  [478] Iter faciente occurrebant populi. (Pallavicini, Hist. C. Tr. i,
  p. 114.)


Wherever he passed the people flocked to see him. His journey was a
kind of triumphal procession. Deep interest was felt in beholding the
intrepid man who was on the way to offer his head to the emperor and
the empire. An immense concourse surrounded him.[479] "Ah!" said some
of them to him, "there are so many cardinals and so many bishops at
Worms, they will burn you; they will reduce your body to ashes, as was
done with that of John Huss." But nothing terrified the monk. "Were
they to make a fire," said he, "that would extend from Worms to
Wittemberg, and reach even to the sky, I would walk across it in the
name of the Lord; I would appear before them; I would walk into the
jaws of this Behemoth, and break his teeth, and confess the Lord Jesus

  [479] Quacunque iter faciebant, frequens erat concursus hominum,
  videndi Lutheri studio. (Cochlœus, p. 29).

  [480] "Ein feuer das bis an den Himmel reichte"... (Keil, i, p. 98.)

One day, when just going into an inn, and while the crowd were as
usual pressing around him, an officer came up to him and said, "Are
you the man who undertakes to reform the papacy? How will you
succeed?" "Yes," replied Luther, "I am the man. I confide in Almighty
God, whose word and command I have before me." The officer, affected,
gave him a milder look, and said, "Dear friend, there is something in
what you say; I am the servant of Charles, but your Master is greater
than mine. He will aid you and guard you."[481] Such was the
impression which Luther produced. Even his enemies were struck at the
sight of the multitudes that thronged around him, though they have
painted the journey in different colours.[482] At length the doctor
arrived at Frankfort, on Sunday, 14th April.

  [481] "Nun habt Ihr einen grössern Herrn, denn Ich." (Ibid., p. 99.)

  [482] "In diversortis multa propinatio, læta compotatio, musices
  quoque gaudia; adeo ut Lutherus ipse alicubi sonora testudine ludens,
  omnium in se oculos converteret, velut Orpheus quidam, sed rasus adhuc
  et cucullatus, eoque mirabilior." (Cochlœus, p. 29.) "In the inns
  there was much quaffing and joyous carousing, nor were the pleasures
  of music wanting; Luther himself sometimes playing on a sonorous harp,
  turned all eyes upon him, as if he had been a kind of Orpheus, shaven
  and cowled, no doubt, but on that account the greater wonder."

News of Luther's advance had reached Worms. The friends of the pope
had thought he would not obey the summons of the emperor. Albert,
cardinal-archbishop of Mentz, would have given anything to stop him by
the way, and new schemes were set on foot for this purpose.

Luther, on his arrival at Frankfort, took some repose, and then
announced his approach to Spalatin, who was at Worms with the Elector.
It is the only letter which he wrote during his journey. "I am getting
on," says he, "though Satan has striven to stop me on the way by
sickness. From Eisenach to this I have never been without a feeling of
languor, and am still completely worn out. I learn that Charles has
published an edict to frighten me. But Christ lives, and we shall
enter Worms in spite of all the barriers of hell and all the powers of
the air.[483] Therefore, make ready my lodging."

  [483] Intrabimus Wormatiam, invitis omnibus portis inferni et
  potentaribus æris. (L. Ep. i, p. 987.)


The next day Luther visited the learned school of William Nesse, a
celebrated geographer of that time. "Be diligent," said he to the
scholars, "in the reading of the Scriptures, and the investigation of
truth." Then placing his right hand on the head of one of the
children, and his left on another, he pronounced a blessing on the
whole school.

While Luther blessed the young, he was also the hope of the old.
Catharine of Holzhausen, a widow advanced in years, and serving God,
went to him, and said, "My father and mother told me that God would
raise up a man who should oppose the papal vanities, and save the Word
of God. I hope you are that man, and I wish you, for your work, the
grace and the Holy Spirit of God."[484]

  [484] Ich hoffe dass du der verherssene.... Cypr. Hilar. Ev. p. 606.

These were by no means the sentiments universally entertained at
Frankfort. John Cochlœus, dean of the church of Notre Dame, was one
of those most devoted to the Roman Church. On seeing Luther pass
through Frankfort on his way to Worms, he could not suppress his
fears. He thought the Church was in want of devoted defenders, and
scarcely had Luther quitted the town than Cochlœus set out in his
track, ready, as he says, to give his life in defence of the honour of
the Church.[485]

  [485] Lutherum illac transeuntem subsequutus ut pro honore ecclesiæ
  vitam suam....exponeret (Cochlœus, p. 6.) This Cochlœus is the
  writer whom we frequently quote.


There was great alarm in the camp of the pope's friends. The
heresiarch was at hand--every day, every hour brought him nearer
Worms. If he entered, all was perhaps lost. The Archbishop Albert, the
confessor Glapio, and all the politicians about the emperor, felt
uneasy. How can the arrival of this monk be prevented? It is
impossible to carry him off, for he has the emperor's safe-conduct.
Stratagem alone can arrest him. These intriguers immediately arranged
the following plan. The emperor's confessor, and his high chamberlain,
Paul of Armsdorff, quit Worms in great haste, and proceed about ten
leagues distant, to the castle of Ebernburg, the residence of Francis
de Seckingen, the knight who had offered Luther an asylum.[486] Bucer,
a young dominican, chaplain to the Elector-Palatine, and who had been
gained to the evangelical doctrine at the Heidelberg discussion, had
then taken refuge in "this hôtel of the just." The knight, who had no
great knowledge of the affairs of religion, was easily imposed upon,
while the disposition of the Palatine chaplain favoured the designs of
the confessor. In fact, Bucer was inclined to pacific measures.
Distinguishing between fundamental and secondary points, he thought he
might sacrifice the latter to unity and peace.[487]

  [486] Dass der Keyser seinen Beichtvater und Ihrer Majest.
  Ober-Kammerling, zu. Seckingen schickt. (L. Op. xvii, p. 587.)

  [487] Condoce faciebat τα αναγκια a probabilibus
  distinguerie, ut scirent quæ retinenda ... (Melch. Adam. Vit. Buceri,
  p. 223.) He taught that a distinction should be made between the
  necessary and the probable in order to ascertain what ought to be

The chamberlain and confessor begin their attack. They give Seckingen
and Bucer to understand that it is all over with Luther if he goes to
Worms. They assure him that the emperor is ready to send certain
learned men to Ebernburg there to confer with the doctor. "Under your
charge," say they to the knight, "the two parties will be placed." "We
are at one with Luther on all essential points," say they to Bucer:
"only some secondary points remain; and as to these you will be
mediator." The knight and the chaplain are shaken. The confessor and
chamberlain continue. "The invitation addressed to Luther must come
from you," say they to Seckingen, "and let Bucer be the bearer of
it."[488] Every thing was arranged according to their wish. Let Luther
only be credulous enough to come to Ebernburg; his safe-conduct will
soon expire, and then who will be able to defend him?

  [488] Dass er sollte der Luther zu sich foderu. (L. Ep. xvii, p. 587.)

Luther had arrived at Oppenheim. His safe-conduct was available only
for three days longer. He sees a troop of horsemen approaching, and
soon recognises at their head the Bucer with whom he had such intimate
conference at Heidelberg.[489] "These horsemen belong to Francis of
Seckingen," said Bucer to him after the first expressions of
friendship. "He sends me to you to conduct you to his strong
castle.[490] The emperor's confessor is desirous of a conference with
you. His influence over Charles is unbounded: every thing may be
arranged. But beware of Aleander!" Jonas Amsdorff and Schurff knew not
what to think; Bucer insisted; but Luther hesitated not. "I continue
my journey," was his answer to Bucer; "and if the emperor's confessor
has any thing to say to me, he will find me at Worms. I go where I am

  [489] Da kam Bucer zu, mit et lichen Reutern. (Ibid.)

  [490] Und wollte mir überreden zu Seckingen gen. Ebernburg zu kommen.


Meanwhile Spalatin himself began to be troubled and afraid. Surrounded
at Worms by the enemies of the Reformation, he heard them saying that
no respect should be paid to the safe-conduct of a heretic. He became
alarmed for his friend; and at the moment when the latter was
approaching the town a messenger presented himself and said to him on
the part of the chaplain, "Don't enter Worms!" This from his best
friend, the Elector's confidant, Spalatin himself! Luther unmoved,
turns his eye on the messenger, and replies, "Go and tell your master,
that were there as many devils in Worms as there are tiles upon the
roofs, I would enter."[491] Never, perhaps, was Luther so grand. The
envoy returned to Worms with his extraordinary message. "I was then
intrepid," said Luther a few days before his death, "I feared nothing;
God can give man such boldness; I know not if at present I would have
as much liberty and joy."--"When the cause is good," adds his disciple
Mathesius, "the heart expands, giving courage and energy to
evangelists and soldiers."[492]

  [491] Wenn so viel Teufel zu Worms wären, als Ziegel auf den Dächern,
  noch wollt Ich hinein! (L. Opp. (L.) xvii, p. 587.)

  [492] So wächst das Herz im Leibe ... (Math. p. 24.)


     Entry into Worms--Chant for the Dead--Council held by
     Charles V--Capito and the Temporisers--Concourse around
     Luther--Citation--Hütten to Luther--Proceeds to the
     Diet--Saying of Freundsberg--Imposing Assembly--The
     Chancellor's Address--Luther's Reply--His Wisdom--Saying of
     Charles V--Alarm--Triumph--Luther's Firmness--Insults from
     the Spaniards--Council--Luther's Trouble and Prayer--Might
     of the Reformation--Luther's Oath to Scripture--The Court of
     the Diet--Luther's Address--Three kinds of Writings--He
     demands Proof of his Error--Solemn Warnings--He repeats his
     Address in Latin--Here I am: I can't do otherwise--The
     "weakness" of God--New Attempt.

At length, on the morning of the 16th April, Luther perceived the
walls of the ancient city. All were looking for him, and there was
only one thought in Worms. The young noblemen, Bernard of Hirschfeld
and Albert of Lindenau, with six cavaliers, and other gentlemen in the
suite of the princes, to the number of a hundred, if we may believe
Pallavicini, unable to restrain their impatience, galloped to meet
him, and surrounded him in order to escort him at the moment of his
entry. He approached. Before him pranced the imperial herald decked in
all the insignia of his office. Next came Luther in his humble
carriage. Jonas followed on horseback surrounded by the cavaliers. A
large crowd was waiting in front of the gates. It was near mid-day
when he passed those walls which so many persons had foretold him he
should never leave. It was the dinner hour, but the moment when the
sentinel stationed in the cathedral steeple tolled the signal, every
body ran into the street to see the monk. Thus was Luther in Worms.


Two thousand persons accompanied him through the streets: there was a
rush to meet him. The crowd was increasing every moment, and was much
larger than when the emperor made his entry.

Suddenly, relates a historian, a man clad in a singular dress, and
carrying a large cross before him, as is usual at funerals, breaks off
from the crowd, advances towards Luther, and then, in a loud voice,
and with the plaintive cadence which is used in saying mass for the
repose of the souls of the dead, chants the following stanzas as if he
had been determined that the very dead should hear them:--

    Advenisti, O desiderabilis!
    Quem expectabamus in tenebris![493]

  [493] Thou hast arrived--thou whom we longed and waited for in

Luther's arrival is celebrated by a _Requiem_. If the story is true,
it was the court fool of one of the dukes of Bavaria who gave Luther
one of those warnings remarkable at once for wisdom and irony, of
which so many instances are furnished by these individuals. But the
clamour of the multitude soon drowned the _De Profundis_ of the

The train could scarcely proceed through the moving mass. At length
the imperial herald stopped before the hotel of the Knights of Rhodes.
Here lodged two of the Elector's counsellors, Frederic of Thun and
Philip of Feilitsch, as well as the marshal of the empire, Ulric of
Pappenheim. Luther got out of his carriage, and, on alighting, said,
"The Lord will be my defence."[494]... "I entered Worms," said he
afterwards, "in a covered car in my frock. Everybody ran into the
street to see friar Martin."[495]

  [494] Deus stabit pro me. (Pallavicini, i, p. 114.)

  [495] L. Op. xvii, p. 587.

The news of his arrival filled the Elector of Saxony and Aleander with
alarm. The young and elegant Archbishop Albert, who held a mean
between those two parties, was amazed at Luther's boldness. "Had I not
had more courage than he," said Luther, "it is true I never should
have been seen in Worms."

Charles V immediately assembled his council. The counsellors in the
emperor's confidence repaired in haste to the palace for they too were
in dismay. "Luther is arrived," said Charles, "what must be done?"

Modo, bishop of Palermo and chancellor of Flanders, if we are to
receive Luther's own statement, replied, "We have long consulted on
this subject. Let your imperial Majesty speedily get rid of this man.
Did not Sigismond cause John Huss to be burnt? There is no obligation
either to give or observe a safe-conduct to a heretic."[496] "No,"
said Charles: "what has been promised must be performed." There was
nothing for it, therefore, but to make the Reformer appear.

  [496] ... Dass Ihre Majestät den Luther aufs erste beyseit thäte und
  umbringen liess. (Ibid.)


While the councils of the great were thus agitated on the subject of
Luther, there were many men in Worms who rejoiced that they were able
at length to behold this illustrious servant of God. In the first rank
among them was Capito, chaplain and counsellor to the Archbishop of
Mentz. This remarkable man, who a short time before had preached the
gospel in Switzerland with great freedom,[497] thought it due to the
place which he then occupied to pursue a course which exposed him to a
charge of cowardice from the Evangelists, and of dissimulation from
the Romans.[498] He had, however, preached the doctrine of faith
clearly at Mentz, and on his departure had succeeded in supplying his
place by a young preacher full of zeal, named Hedio. In this town, the
ancient see of the primate of the German Church, the word of God was
not bound. The gospel was eagerly listened to: in vain did the monks
strive to preach the gospel after their own way, and employ all the
means in their power in order to arrest the general impulse; they had
no success.[499] But Capito, even while he preached the new doctrine,
laboured to continue in friendship with those who persecuted it. He
flattered himself, with others of the same sentiments, that he would
thus be of great utility to the Church. To hear them talk it might
have been supposed that, if Luther was not burnt, if all the Lutherans
were not excommunicated, it was owing entirely to Capito's influence
over the Archbishop Albert.[500] Cochlœus, dean of Frankfort,
arriving at Worms almost at the same time with Luther, immediately
waited upon Capito, who being, apparently at least, on very good terms
with Aleander, introduced Cochlœus to him, thus serving as a
connecting link between the two greatest enemies of the Reformer.[501]
Capito doubtless thought that he would do great service to the cause
of Christ by all this management; but it cannot be said that any good
resulted from it. The event almost always belies these calculations of
human wisdom, and proves that a decided course, while it is the most
frank, is also the most wise.

  [497] See Book viii.

  [498] Astutia plusquam vulpina vehementer callidum .... Lutherismum
  versutissime dissimulabat. (Cochlœus, p. 36) Exceedingly crafty
  having more cunning than a fox: he most astutely disguised his

  [499] Evangelium audiunt avidissime, verbum Dei alligatum non est...
  (Caspar Hedio Zw. Ep., p. 157.)

  [500] "Lutherus in hoc districtu dudum esset combustus, Lutherani
 αποσυναγωγοι nisi Capito aliter persuasisset principi."
  (Ibid., 148.)

  [501] Hic (Capito) illum (Cochlœum) insinuavit Hieronymo Aleandro,
  nuncio Leonis X. (Cochlœus, p. 36)


Meanwhile the crowd continued around the hotel of Rhodes at which
Luther had alighted. Some looked upon him as a prodigy of wisdom, and
others as a monster of iniquity. The whole town wished to see
him.[502] The first hours were left him to recover from his fatigue,
and converse with his most intimate friends; but as soon as evening
came, counts, barons, knights, gentlemen, ecclesiastics, and citizens
flocked in upon him. All, even his greatest enemies, were struck with
the bold step he had taken, the joy which appeared to animate him, the
power of his eloquence, and the lofty elevation and enthusiasm which
made the influence of this simple monk almost irresistible. Many
attributed this grandeur to something within him partaking of the
divine, while the friends of the pope loudly declared that he was
possessed with a devil.[503] Call followed call, and the crowd of
curious visitors kept Luther standing to a late period of the night.

  [502] Eadem die tota civitas solicite confluxit ... (Pallavicini, i,
  p. 114.)

  [503] Nescio quid divinum suspicabantur: ex adverso alii malo dæmone
  obsessum existimabant. (Pallavicini, i, p. 114.)

The next morning, (Friday, 17th April,) Ulric of Pappenheim,
hereditary marshal of the empire, summoned him to appear at four
o'clock, _p. m._, in presence of his imperial Majesty and the States
of the empire. Luther received the summons with profound respect.

Thus every thing is fixed, and Luther is going to appear for Jesus
Christ before the most august assembly in the world. He was not
without encouragement. The ardent knight, Ulric von Hütten, was then
in the castle of Ebernburg. Not being able to appear at Worms, (for
Leo X had asked Charles to send him to Rome bound hand and foot,) he
desired to stretch out a friendly hand to Luther, and on the same day
(17th April) wrote to him, borrowing the words of a king of
Israel:[504] "The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble: the name of
the God of Jacob defend thee: send thee help from the sanctuary, and
strengthen thee out of Zion: remember all thy offerings, and accept
thy burnt sacrifice. O dearly beloved Luther! my respected father,
fear not and be strong. The counsel of the wicked has beset you, they
have opened their mouths upon you like roaring lions. But the Lord
will rise up against the wicked and scatter them. Fight then valiantly
for Christ. As for me I also will fight boldly. Would to God I were
permitted to see the wrinkling of their brows. But the Lord will
cleanse his vine which the wild boar of the forest has laid waste....
May Christ preserve you!"[505]

  [504] David, Psalm XX.

  [505] Servet te Christus. (L. Op. ii, p. 175.)

Bucer did what Hütten was unable to do: he came from Ebernburg to
Worms, and remained the whole time beside his friend.[506]

  [506] Bucerus eodem venit. (M. Adam, Vit. Buceri. p. 212.)


Four o'clock having struck, the marshal of the empire presented
himself. It was necessary to set out, and Luther made ready. He was
moved at the thought of the august congress before which he was going
to appear. The herald walked first, after him the marshal, and last
the Reformer. The multitude thronging the streets was still more
numerous than on the previous evening. It was impossible to get on;
it was in vain to cry, Give place: the crowd increased. At length, the
herald seeing the impossibility of reaching the town hall caused some
private houses to be opened, and conducted Luther through gardens and
secret passages to the place of meeting.[507] The people perceiving
this rushed into the houses on the steps of the monk of Wittemberg, or
placed themselves at the windows which looked into the gardens, while
great numbers of persons got up on the roofs. The tops of the houses,
the pavement, every place above and below was covered with

  [507] Und ward also durch heimliche Gänge-geführt. (L. Op. (L.) xvii,
  p. 574.)

  [508] Doch lief das Volk häufig zu, und stieg sogar auf Dächer. (Seck.

Arrived at length at the town, Luther and those who all accompanied
him were again unable, because of the crowd, to reach the door. Give
way! give way! Not one stirred. At last the imperial soldiers forced a
passage for Luther. The people rushed forward to get in after him, but
the soldiers kept them back with their halberds. Luther got into the
interior of the building, which was completely filled with people. As
well in the antechambers as at the windows there were more than five
thousand spectators--German, Italian, Spanish, etc. Luther advanced
with difficulty. As he was at length approaching the door, which was
to bring him in presence of his judges, he met a valiant knight, the
celebrated general, George of Freundsberg, who, four years afterwards,
at the head of the German lansquenets couched his lance on the field
of Pavia, and bearing down upon the left wing of the French army,
drove it into the Tessino, and in a great measure decided the
captivity of the king of France. The old general, seeing Luther pass,
clapped him on the shoulder, and shaking his head, whitened in battle,
kindly said to him, "Poor monk, poor monk, you have before you a
march, and an affair, the like to which neither I nor a great many
captains have ever seen in the bloodiest of our battles. But if your
cause is just, and you have full confidence in it, advance in the name
of God and fear nothing. God will not forsake you."[509] A beautiful
homage borne by warlike courage to courage of intellect. It is the
saying of a king,[510] "_He that ruleth his spirit is greater than he
that taketh a city._"

  [509] Münchlein, Münchlein, du gehest jetzt einen Gang, einen solchen
  Stand zu thun, dergleichen Ich und mancher Obrister, auch in unser
  allerernestesten Schlacht-Ordnung nicht gethan haben ... (Ibid.)

  [510] Proverbs, xvi, 32.


At length the doors of the hall being opened, Luther entered, and many
persons not belonging to the Diet made their way in along with him.
Never had man appeared before an assembly so august. The emperor
Charles V, whose dominions embraced the old and the new world; his
brother, the Archduke Ferdinand; six electors of the empire, whose
descendants are now almost all wearing the crown of kings; twenty-four
dukes, the greater part of them reigning over territories of greater
or less extent, and among whom are some bearing a name which will
afterwards become formidable to the Reformation (the Duke of Alva, and
his two sons); eight margraves; thirty archbishops, bishops, or
prelates; seven ambassadors, among them those of the kings of France
and England; the deputies of ten free towns; a great number of
princes, counts, and sovereign barons; the nuncios of the pope; in
all, two hundred and four personages. Such was the court before which
Martin Luther appeared.

This appearance was in itself a signal victory gained over the papacy.
The pope had condemned the man; yet here he stood before a tribunal
which thus far placed itself above the pope. The pope had put him
under his ban, debarring him from all human society, and yet here he
was convened in honourable terms, and admitted before the most august
assembly in the world. The pope had ordered that his mouth should be
for ever mute, and he was going to open it before an audience of
thousands, assembled from the remotest quarters of Christendom. An
immense revolution had thus been accomplished by the instrumentality
of Luther. Rome was descending from her throne, descending at the
bidding of a monk.

Some of the princes seeing the humble son of the miner of Mansfeld
disconcerted in presence of the assembly of kings, kindly approached
him; and one of them said, "_Fear not them who can kill the body, but
cannot kill the soul._" Another added, "_When you will be brought
before kings it is not you that speak but the Spirit of your Father
that speaketh in you._"[511] Thus, the Reformer was consoled in the
very words of his Master, by the instrumentality of the rulers of the

  [511] Einige aus denen Reichs-Gliedern sprachen Ihm einen Muth, mit
  Christi Worten ein ... (Matthew, x, 20, 28. Seckend. p. 348.)

During this time, the guards were making way for Luther, who advanced
till he came in front of the throne of Charles V. The sight of the
august assembly seemed for a moment to dazzle and overawe him. All
eyes were fixed upon him. The agitation gradually calmed down into
perfect silence. "Don't speak before you are asked," said the marshal
of the empire to him and withdrew.


After a moment of solemn stillness, John of Eck, the chancellor of the
Archbishop of Trèves, a friend of Aleander, and who must not be
confounded with the theologian of the same name, rose up and said, in
a distinct and audible voice, first in Latin and then in German,
"Martin Luther, his sacred and invincible imperial Majesty has cited
you before his throne, by the advice and counsel of the States of the
holy Roman empire, in order to call upon you to answer these two
questions: First, Do you admit that these books were composed by
you?"--At the same time the imperial orator pointed to about twenty
books lying on the table in the middle of the hall in front of
Luther--"I did not exactly know how they had procured them," says
Luther, in relating the circumstance. It was Aleander who had taken
the trouble. "Secondly," continued the chancellor, "do you mean to
retract these books and their contents, or do you persist in the
things which you have advanced in them?"

Luther, without hesitation, was going to reply in the affirmative to
the former question, when his counsel, Jerôme Schurff, hastily
interfering, called out, "Read the titles of the books."[512] The
chancellor going up to the table read the titles. The list contained
several devotional works not relating to controversy.

  [512] "Legantur tituli librorum." (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 588.)

After the enumeration, Luther said, first in Latin, and then in

"Most gracious Emperor! Gracious Princes and Lords!

"His imperial Majesty asks me two questions.

"As to the first, I acknowledge that the books which have been named
are mine: I cannot deny them.

"As to the second, considering that is a question which concerns faith
and the salvation of souls, a question in which the Word of God is
interested, in other words, the greatest and most precious treasure
either in heaven or on the earth,[513] I should act imprudently were I
to answer without reflection. I might say less than the occasion
requires, or more than the truth demands, and thus incur the guilt
which our Saviour denounced when he said, '_Whoso shall deny me before
men, him will I deny before my Father who is in Heaven_.' Wherefore, I
pray your imperial Majesty, with all submission, to give me time that
I may answer without offence to the Word of God."

  [513] Weil dies eine Frage vom Glauben und der Seelen Seligkeit ist,
  und Gottes Wort belanget ... (Ibid.)


This reply, far from countenancing the idea that there was any
hesitation in Luther, was worthy of the Reformer and the assembly. It
became him to show calmness and circumspection in so grave a matter,
and to refrain on this solemn moment from every thing that might seem
to indicate passion or levity. Moreover, by taking a suitable time, he
would thereby the better prove the immovable firmness of his
resolution. History shows us many men who, by a word uttered too
hastily, brought great calamities on themselves, and on the world.
Luther curbs his naturally impetuous character; restrains a tongue
always ready to give utterance; is silent when all the feelings of his
heart are longing to embody themselves in words. This self restraint,
this calmness, so extraordinary in such a man, increased his power a
hundred-fold, and put him into a position to answer afterwards with a
wisdom, power, and dignity which will disappoint the expectation of
his enemies, and confound their pride and malice.

Nevertheless, as he had spoken in a respectful and somewhat subdued
tone, several thought he was hesitating and even afraid. A ray of hope
gleamed into the souls of the partizans of Rome. Charles, impatient to
know the man whose words shook the empire, had never taken his eye off
him. Now turning towards one of his courtiers, he said with disdain,
"Assuredly that is not the man who would ever make me turn
heretic."[514] Then rising up, the young emperor withdrew with his
ministers to the council chamber: the electors with the princes were
closeted in another, and the deputies of the free towns in a third.
The Diet when it again met, agreed to grant Luther's request. It was a
great mistake in men under the influence of passion. "Martin Luther,"
said the chancellor of Trèves, "his imperial Majesty, in accordance
with the goodness which is natural to him, is pleased to grant you
another day, but on condition that you give your reply verbally and
not in writing."

  [514] "Hic certe nunquam efficeret ut hæreticus evaderem."
  (Pallavicini. i, p. 115.)

Then the imperial herald advanced and reconducted Luther to his hôtel.
Menaces and cheers succeeded each other as he passed along. The most
unfavourable reports were circulated among Luther's friends. "The Diet
is dissatisfied," said they, "the envoys of the pope triumph, the
Reformer will be sacrificed." Men's passions grew hot. Several
gentlemen hastened to Luther's lodgings. "Doctor," asked they in deep
emotion, "how does the matter stand? It is confidently said that they
mean to burn you."[515] "That won't be," continued they, "or they
shall pay for it with their lives."--"And that would have been the
result," said Luther, twenty years later at Eisleben, when quoting
these expressions.

  [515] Wie geht's? man sagt sie wollen euch verbrennen ... (L. Op. L.
  xvii, p. 588.)

On the other hand, Luther's enemies were quite elated. "He has asked
time," said they; "he will retract. When at a distance he spoke
arrogantly, but now his courage fails him.... He is vanquished."


Luther, perhaps, was the only tranquil person in Worms. A few moments
after his return from the Diet, he wrote to the imperial counsellor
Cuspianus. "I write you from the midst of tumult, (meaning, probably,
the noise of the crowd outside his hotel;) I have, within this hour,
appeared before the emperor and his brother.[516] I have acknowledged
the authorship, and declared that to-morrow I will give my answer
concerning retractation. By the help of Jesus Christ, not one iota of
all my works will I retract."[517]

  [516] "Hac hora coram Cæsare et fratre Romano constiti." (L. Ep. i, p.

  [517] "Verum ego ne apicem quidem revocabo." (Ibid.)

The excitement of the people and of the foreign troops increased every
hour. While parties were proceeding calmly to the business of the
Diet, others were coming to blows in the streets. The Spanish
soldiers, proud and merciless, gave offence by their insolence to the
burghers of the town. One of these satellites of Charles, finding in a
bookseller's shop the papal bull, with a commentary on it by Hütten,
took and tore it to pieces, and then trampled the fragments under his
feet. Others, having discovered several copies of Luther's 'Captivity
of Babylon,' carried them off and tore them. The people, indignant,
rushed upon the soldiers, and obliged them to take flight. On another
occasion, a Spanish horseman, with drawn sword, was seen in one of the
principal streets of Worms in pursuit of a German who was fleeing
before him, while the people durst not interfere.[518]

  [518] Kappens Ref. Urkunden ii, p. 448.

Some politicians thought they had discovered a method of saving
Luther. "Recant your errors in doctrine," said they to him; "but
persist in all you have said against the pope and his court, and you
are safe." Aleander shuddered at this advice. But Luther, immovable in
his purpose, declared that he set little value on a political reform,
if not founded on faith.

The 18th of April having arrived, Glapio, the Chancellor Eck, and
Aleander, met at an early hour, by order of Charles V, to fix the
course of procedure in regard to Luther.


Luther had been for a moment overawed on the evening before when he
had to appear before so august an assembly. His heart had been
agitated at the sight of so many princes before whom great kingdoms
humbly bent the knee. The thought that he was going to refuse
obedience to men whom God had invested with sovereign power gave him
deep concern; and he felt the necessity of seeking strength from a
higher source. "He who, attacked by the enemy, holds the shield of
faith," said he one day, "is like Perseus holding the head of the
Gorgon, on which whoever looked, that moment died. So ought we to hold
up the Son of God against the snares of the devil."[519] On this
morning of the 18th April, he had moments of trouble, when the face
of God was hid from him. His faith becomes faint; his enemies seem to
multiply before him; his imagination is overpowered.... His soul is
like a ship tossed by a violent tempest, now plunged to the depths of
the sea, and again mounting up towards heaven. At this hour of bitter
sorrow, when he drinks the cup of Christ, and feels as it were in a
garden of Gethsemane, he turns his face to the ground, and sends forth
broken cries, cries which we cannot comprehend, unless we figure to
ourselves the depth of the agony from which they ascended up to
God.[520] "God Almighty! God Eternal! how terrible is the world! how
it opens its mouth to swallow me up! and how defective my confidence
in thee! How weak the flesh, how powerful Satan! If I must put my hope
in that which the world calls powerful, I am undone!... The knell is
struck,[521] and judgment is pronounced!... O God! O God! O thou, my
God! assist me against all the wisdom of the world! Do it: Thou must
do it.... Thou alone ... for it is not my work, but Thine. I have
nothing to do here; I have nothing to do contending thus with the
mighty of the world! I, too, would like to spend tranquil and happy
days. But the cause is Thine: and it is just and everlasting! O Lord!
be my help! Faithful God, immutable God! I trust not in any man. That
were vain. All that is of man vacillates! All that comes of man gives
way. O God, O God, dost thou not hear?... My God! art thou dead?...
No, thou canst not die! Thou only hidest Thyself. Thou hast chosen me
for this work. I know it! Act, then, O God!... Stand by my side, for
the sake of thy well beloved Son Jesus Christ, who is my defence, my
buckler, and my fortress."

  [519] "Also sollen wir den Sohn Gottes als Gorgonia Haupt..." (L. Op.
  (W.) xxii, p. 1659.)

  [520] L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 589.

  [521] "Die Glocke ist schon gegossen." (Ibid.) The affair is decided.

After a moment of silence and wrestling, he continues thus: "Lord,
where standest thou?... O, my God, where art thou?... Come! come! I am
ready!... I am ready to give up my life for thy truth ... patient as a
lamb. For the cause is just, and it is thine!... I will not break off
from thee either now or through eternity!... And though the world
should be filled with devils, though my body, which however is the
work of thy hands, should bite the dust, be racked on the wheel, cut
in pieces ... ground to powder ... my soul is thine.[522] Yes, thy
Word is my pledge. My soul belongs to thee, and will be eternally near
thee.... Amen.... O God, help me.... Amen."

  [522] "Die Seele est dien." (Ibid.)


This prayer explains Luther and the Reformation. History here lifts
the veil of the sanctuary, and shows us the secret place whence
strength and courage were imparted to this humble man, who was the
instrument of God in emancipating the soul and the thoughts of men,
and beginning a new era. Luther and the Reformation are here seen in
actual operation. We perceive their most secret springs. We discover
where their power lay. This meditation by one who is sacrificing
himself to the cause of truth, is found among the collection of pieces
relating to Luther's appearance at Worms, under number XVI, among
safe-conducts, and other documents of a similar description. Some of
his friends doubtless extended it, and so have preserved it to us. In
my opinion, it is one of the finest documents on record.

Luther, after he had thus prayed, found that peace of mind without
which no man can do anything great. He read the Word of God; he
glanced over his writings, and endeavoured to put his reply into
proper shape. The thought that he was going to bear testimony to Jesus
Christ and his Word, in presence of the emperor and the empire, filled
his heart with joy. The moment of appearance was drawing near; he went
up with emotion to the sacred volume, which was lying open on his
table, put his left hand upon it, and lifting his right toward heaven,
swore to remain faithful to the gospel, and to confess his faith
freely, should he even seal his confession with his blood. After doing
so, he felt still more at peace.


At four o'clock the herald presented himself and conducted him to the
place where the Diet sat. The general curiosity had increased, for the
reply behoved to be decisive. The Diet being engaged, Luther was
obliged to wait in the court in the middle of an immense crowd, who
moved to and fro like a troubled sea, and pressed the Reformer with
its waves. The doctor spent two long hours amid this gazing multitude.
"I was not used," says he, "to all these doings and all this
noise."[523] It would have been a sad preparation for an ordinary man.
But Luther was with God. His eye was serene, his features unruffled;
the Eternal had placed him upon a rock. Night began to fall, and the
lamps were lighted in the hall of the Diet. Their glare passed through
the ancient windows and shone into the court. Every thing assumed a
solemn aspect. At last the doctor was introduced. Many persons entered
with him, for there was an eager desire to hear his answer. All minds
were on the stretch waiting impatiently for the decisive moment which
now approached. This time Luther was free, calm, self-possessed, and
showed not the least appearance of being under constraint. Prayer had
produced its fruits. The princes having taken their seats, not without
difficulty, for their places were almost invaded, and the monk of
Wittemberg again standing in front of Charles V, the chancellor of the
Elector of Trêves rose up, and said:--

"Martin Luther! you yesterday asked a delay, which is now expired.
Assuredly it might have been denied you, since every one ought to be
sufficiently instructed in matters of faith to be able always to
render an account of it to whosoever asks,--you above all, so great
and able a doctor of Holy Scripture.... Now, then, reply to the
question of his Majesty, who has treated you with so much mildness. Do
you mean to defend your books out and out, or do you mean to retract
some part of them?"

  [523] Des Getümmels und Wesens war Ich gar nicht gewohnt. (L. Op.
  xvii, p. 535, 588.)

These words, which the chancellor had spoken in Latin, he repeated in

"Then doctor Martin Luther," say the Acts of Worms, "replied in the
most humble and submissive manner. He did not raise his voice; he
spoke not with violence, but with candour, meekness, suitableness, and
modesty, and yet with great joy and Christian firmness."[524]

  [524] "Schreyt nicht sehr noch heftig, sondern redet fein, sittich,
  züchtig and bescheiden.... (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 576.)

"Most serene Emperor! illustrious princes, gracious lords," said
Luther, turning his eyes on Charles and the assembly, "I this day
appear humbly before you, according to the order which was given me
yesterday, and by the mercies of God I implore your Majesty and august
Highnesses to listen kindly to the defence of a cause which I am
assured is righteous and true. If from ignorance I am wanting in the
usages and forms of courts, pardon me; for I was not brought up in the
palaces of kings, but in the obscurity of a cloister.

"Yesterday two questions were asked me on the part of his imperial
Majesty: the first, if I was the author of the books whose titles were
read; the second, if I was willing to recal or to defend the doctrine
which I have taught in them. I answered the first question, and I
adhere to my answer.

"As to the second, I have composed books on very different subjects.
In some I treat of faith and good works in a manner so pure, simple,
and christian, that my enemies even, far from finding any thing to
censure, confess that these writings are useful, and worthy of being
read by the godly. The papal bull, how severe soever it may be,
acknowledges this. Were I then to retract these what should I do?...
Wretch! I should be alone among men abandoning truths which the
unanimous voice of my friends and enemies approves, and opposing what
the whole world glories in confessing.


"In the second place, I have composed books against the papacy, books
in which I have attacked those who, by their false doctrine, their bad
life, and scandalous example, desolate the Christian world, and
destroy both body and soul. Is not the fact proved by the complaints
of all who fear God? Is it not evident that the human laws and
doctrines of the popes entangle, torture, martyr the consciences of
the faithful, while the clamant and never-ending extortions of Rome
engulph the wealth and riches of Christendom, and particularly of this
illustrious kingdom?

"Were I to retract what I have written on this subject what should I
do?... What but fortify that tyranny, and open a still wider door for
these many and great iniquities?[525] Then, breaking forth with more
fury than ever, these arrogant men would be seen increasing, usurping,
raging more and more. And the yoke which weighs upon the Christian
people would by my retractation not only be rendered more severe, but
would become, so to speak, more legitimate; for by this very
retractation it would have received the confirmation of your most
serene Majesty and of all the States of the holy empire. Good God! I
should thus be as it were an infamous cloak destined to hide and cover
all sorts of malice and tyranny.

  [525] "Nicht allein die Fenster, sondern auch Thür und Thör aufthäte."
  (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p 373.)

"Thirdly and lastly, I have written books against private individuals
who wished to defend Roman tyranny and to destroy the faith. I confess
frankly that I have perhaps attacked them with more violence than
became my ecclesiastical profession. I do not regard myself as a
saint; but no more can I retract these books: because, by so doing, I
should sanction the impiety of my opponents, and give them occasion to
oppress the people of God with still greater cruelty.

"Still I am a mere man and not God; and I will defend myself as Jesus
Christ did. He said, '_If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the
evil_,' (John, xviii, 23.) How much more should I, who am but dust and
ashes and so apt to err, desire every one to state what he can against
my doctrine?

"Wherefore, I implore you, by the mercies of God, you, most serene
Emperor, and you, most illustrious princes, and all others of high or
low degree, to prove to me by the writings of the prophets and the
apostles that I am mistaken. As soon as this shall have been proved, I
will forthwith retract all my errors, and be the first to seize my
writings and cast them into the flames.


"What I have just said shows clearly, I think, that I have well
considered and weighed the dangers to which I expose myself; but, far
from being alarmed, it gives me great joy to see that the gospel is
now, as in former times, a cause of trouble and discord. This is the
characteristic and the destiny of the Word of God. '_I came not to
send peace, but a sword_,' said Jesus Christ. (Matt. x, 34.) God is
wonderful and terrible in working: let us beware, while pretending to
put a stop to discord, that we do not persecute the holy Word of God,
and bring in upon ourselves a frightful deluge of insurmountable
dangers, present disasters, and eternal destruction.... Let us beware
that the reign of this young and noble prince, the Emperor Charles, on
whom, under God, we build such high hopes, do not only begin, but also
continue and end under the most fatal auspices. I might cite examples
taken from the oracles of God," continues Luther, speaking in presence
of the greatest monarch in the world with the noblest courage, "I
might remind you of the Pharaohs, the kings of Babylon, and of Israel,
who never laboured more effectually for their ruin than when by
counsels, apparently very wise, they thought they were establishing
their empire. '_God removeth the mountains, and they know not._' (Job,
ix, 5.)

"If I speak thus, it is not because I think such great princes have
need of my counsels, but because I wish to restore to Germany what she
has a right to expect from her children. Thus, commending myself to
your august Majesty and your serene Highnesses, I humbly supplicate
you not to allow the hatred of my enemies to bring down upon me an
indignation which I have not deserved."[526]

  [526] This address, as well as all the expressions quoted, are taken
  literally from authentic documents. (See L. Op. (L.) xvi, p. 776-780.)

Luther had spoken these words in German, modestly, but also with much
warmth and firmness.[527] He was ordered to repeat them in Latin. The
emperor had no liking for German. The imposing assembly which
surrounded the Reformer, the noise and excitement, had fatigued him.
"I was covered with perspiration," says he, "heated by the crowd,
standing in the midst of the princes." Frederick de Thun, confidential
counsellor of the Elector of Saxony, stationed by his master's order
behind the Reformer, to take care that he was not taken by surprise or
overborne, seeing the condition of the poor monk, said to him, "If you
cannot repeat your address, that will do, doctor." But Luther, having
paused a moment to take breath, resumed, and pronounced his address in
Latin, with the same vigour as at first.[528]

  [527] "Non clamose at modeste, non tamen sine Christianâ animositate
  et constantiâ." (L. Op. Lat. ii. p. 165.) Not clamorously, but
  modestly; yet not without Christian warmth and firmness.

  [528] L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 165-167.

"This pleased the Elector Frederick exceedingly," relates the


As soon as he had ceased, the Chancellor of Trêves, the orator of the
Diet, said to him, indignantly, "You have not answered the question
which was put to you. You are not here to throw doubt on what has been
decided by Councils. You are asked to give a clear and definite reply.
Will you, or will you not retract?" Luther then replied, without
hesitation, "Since your most serene Majesty, and your high
Mightinesses, call upon me for a simple, clear, and definite answer, I
will give it;[529] and it is this: I cannot subject my faith either to
the pope or to councils, because it is clear as day that they have
often fallen into error, and even into great self-contradiction. If,
then, I am not disproved by passages of Scripture, or by clear
arguments; if I am not convinced by the very passages which I have
quoted, and so bound in conscience to submit to the word of God, _I
neither can nor will retract any thing_, for it is not safe for a
Christian to speak against his conscience." Then, looking around on
the assembly before which he was standing, and which held his life in
its hands, "HERE I AM," says he, "I CANNOT DO OTHERWISE: GOD HELP ME.

  [529] Dabo illud neque dentatum, neque cornutum. (Ibid., p. 166.) I
  will give it without either teeth or horns.

  [530] Hier stehe, ich: Ich kan nicht anders: Gott helfe mir! Amen. (L.
  Op. (L.) xvii, p. 580.)

Thus Luther, constrained to obey his faith, led by his conscience to
death, impelled by the noblest necessity, the slave of what he
believes, but in this slavery supremely free, like to the ship tossed
by a fearful tempest, which, in order to save something more precious
than itself, is voluntarily allowed to dash itself to pieces against a
rock, pronounces these sublime words, which have not lost their
thrilling effect after the lapse of three centuries; thus speaks a
monk before the emperor and the magnates of the empire, and this poor
and feeble individual standing alone, but leaning on the grace of the
Most High, seems greater and stronger than them all. His word has a
power against which all these mighty men can do nothing. The empire
and the Church, on the one side, the obscure individual, on the other,
have been confronted. God had assembled these kings and prelates that
he might publicly bring their wisdom to nought. They have lost the
battle, and the consequences of their defeat will be felt in all
nations, and during all future ages.


The assembly were amazed. Several princes could scarcely conceal their
admiration. The emperor, changing his first impression, exclaimed,
"The monk speaks with an intrepid heart and immovable courage."[531]
The Spaniards and Italians alone felt disconcerted, and soon began to
deride a magnanimity which they could not appreciate.

  [531] Der Mönch redet unerschrocken, mit getrostem Muth! (Seckend. p.

After the Diet had recovered from the impression produced by the
address, the chancellor resumed: "If you do not retract, the emperor
and the states of the empire will consider what course they must adopt
towards an obstinate heretic." At these words, Luther's friends
trembled, but the monk again said, "God help me; for I can retract

  [532] L. Op. (W.) xv, 2286.

Luther then withdraws, and the princes deliberate. Every one felt that
the moment formed a crisis in Christendom. The yea or nay of this monk
was destined, perhaps for ages, to determine the condition of the
Church and the world. It was wished to frighten him, but the effect
had been to place him on a pedestal in presence of the nation. It was
meant to give more publicity to his defeat, and all that had been done
was to extend his victory. The partisans of Rome could not submit to
bear their humiliation. Luther was recalled, and the orator thus,
addressed him: "Martin, you have not spoken with the modesty which
became your office. The distinction you have made between your books
was useless, for if you retract those which contain errors, the empire
will not allow the others to be burnt. It is extravagant to insist on
being refuted from Scripture, when you revive heresies which were
condemned by the universal Council of Constance. The emperor,
therefore, orders you to say simply, Do you mean to maintain what you
have advanced, or do you mean, to retract any part of it--yes, or no?"
"I have no other answer than that which I have already given," replied
Luther calmly. He was now understood. Firm as a rock, all the billows
of human power had dashed against him in vain. The vigour of his
eloquence, his intrepid countenance, the flashing of his eye, the
immovable firmness imprinted in bold lineaments on his German
features, had produced the deepest impression on this illustrious
assembly. There was no longer any hope. Spaniards, Belgians, and even
Romans were mute. The monk was victorious over earthly grandeur. He
had negatived the Church and the empire. Charles rose up, and all the
assembly with him. "The Diet will meet to-morrow morning to hear the
emperor's decision," said the chancellor, with a loud voice.



     Victory--Tumult and calm--Duke Erick's Glass of Beer--The
     Elector and Spalatin--Message from the Emperor--Wish to
     violate the Safe-conduct--Strong opposition--Enthusiasm for
     Luther--Voice for Conciliation--The Elector's
     Fear--Assemblage at Luther's Lodging--Philip of Hesse.

It was night, and each regained his dwelling in the dark. Two imperial
officers were ordered to accompany Luther. Some persons imagining that
his fate was decided, and that they were conducting him to prison,
which he should leave only for the scaffold, an immense tumult arose.
Several gentlemen exclaimed, "Are they taking him to prison?" "No,"
replied Luther, "they are accompanying me to my hotel." At these words
the tumult calmed. Then some Spaniards of the emperor's household,
following this bold champion, hissed and jeered at him[533] as he
passed along the streets, while others howled like wild beasts
deprived of their prey. Luther remained firm and peaceful.

  [533] "Subsannatione hominem Dei et longo rugitu prosecuti sunt." (L.
  Op. Lat. ii, p. 166.) Followed the man of God with jeers and loud

Such was the scene at Worms. The intrepid monk, who had hitherto
hurled defiance at his enemies, spake, when in the presence of those
who had thirsted for his blood, with calmness, dignity, and humility.
There was no exaggeration, no human enthusiasm, no anger; he was
peaceful amid the strongest excitement; modest, while resisting the
powers of the earth; great, in presence of all the princes of the
world. In this we have an irrefragable proof that Luther was then
obeying God--not following the suggestions of his own pride. In the
hall of Worms there was One greater than Luther and Charles. Jesus
Christ has said, "_When they deliver you up, take no thought how or
what you shall speak. For it is not ye that speak._"[534] Never,
perhaps, was this promise so manifestly fulfilled.

  [534] Matt. x, 18, 20.

A deep impression had been produced on the heads of the empire. Luther
had observed this, and it had increased his courage. The servants of
the pope were angry at John Eck for not having oftener interrupted the
guilty monk. Several princes and nobles were gained to a cause which
was maintained with such conviction. In some, it is true, the
impression was evanescent, but, on the other hand, several who till
then had concealed their sentiments, henceforth displayed great


Luther had returned to his hotel, and was reposing from the fatigue
of the severe service in which he had been engaged. Spalatin and other
friends were around him, and all were giving thanks to God. While they
were conversing, a valet entered, bearing a silver vase full of
Eimbeck beer. "My master," said he, presenting it to Luther, "begs you
to refresh yourself with this draught of beer." "What prince is it,"
asked Luther, "who so graciously remembers me?" It was old Duke Erick
of Brunswick. The Reformer was touched by the offering thus made him
by so powerful a prince; one, too, belonging to the papal party. "His
highness," continued the valet, "was pleased to taste the draught
before sending it to you." Luther, being thirsty, poured out the
duke's beer, and after drinking it, said, "As Duke Erick has this day
remembered me, so may the Lord Jesus Christ remember him in the day of
his final combat."[535] The present was in itself of little value, but
Luther, wishing to show his gratitude to a prince who had thought of
him at such a moment, gave him what he had--a prayer. The valet
returned with the message to his master. The old duke, in his last
moments, remembered the words, and addressing a young page, Francis de
Kramm, who was standing at his bedside, said to him, "Take the gospel
and read it to me." The child read the words of Christ, and the soul
of the dying man was refreshed. "_Whosoever_," says the Saviour,
"_shall give to one of you a cup of cold water in my name, because you
are my disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his

  [535] Also gidencke seiner unser Herr Christus in seinem letzten
  Kampff. (Seck. p. 354.)

The valet of the Duke of Brunswick was no sooner gone than a message
from the Elector of Saxony ordered Spalatin to come to him instantly.
Frederick had come to the Diet full of disquietude. He thought that,
in presence of the emperor, Luther's courage might give way, and he
had accordingly been deeply moved by the Reformer's firmness. He was
proud of having taken such a man under his protection. When the
chaplain arrived, the table was covered, and the Elector was going to
sit down to supper with his Court--the valets having already brought
in the vase for washing the hands. The Elector seeing Spalatin enter,
immediately beckoned him to follow, and when alone with him in his
bedchamber, said to him, with deep emotion, "Oh! how well father
Luther spoke before the emperor and all the states of the empire! My
only fear was, that he would be too bold."[536] Frederick then formed
a resolution to protect the doctor in future with greater courage.

  [536] O wie schön hat Pater Martinus geredet. (Ibid., p. 355.)


Aleander saw the impression which Luther had produced. There was no
time, therefore, to be lost. The young emperor must be induced to act
vigorously. The moment was favourable, for there was immediate
prospect of war with France. Leo X, wishing to enlarge his states, and
caring little for the peace of Christendom, caused two treaties to be
secretly negotiated, at the same time, the one with Charles against
Francis, and the other with Francis against Charles.[537] By the
former he stipulated with the emperor for Parma, Placenza, and
Ferrara; by the latter, he stipulated with the king for a part of the
kingdom of Naples, of which Charles was thus to be deprived. Charles
felt the importance of gaining over Leo, in order that he might have
him as an ally against his rival of France. Luther was an easy price
to pay for the friendship of the mighty pontiff.

  [537] Guicciardini, p. 175. Dumont Corp. Dipl. t. iv, p. 96. Dicesi
  del papa Leone, che quando l'aveva fatto lega con alcuno, prima soleva
  dir che pero non si dovea restar de tratar cum lo altro principe
  opposto. It is said of Leo X, that after entering into league with any
  one, he was wont to say there was no occasion to cease treating with
  princes on the opposite side. (Suriano, Venetian Ambassador at Rome,
  M.S. Archives of Venice.)

The day after Luther's appearance, he caused a message to be read to
the Diet, which he had written in French, with his own hand.[538]
"Sprung," said he, "from the Christian emperors of Germany, from the
Catholic kings of Spain, the archdukes of Austria, and the dukes of
Burgundy, who are all illustrious as defenders of the Roman faith, it
is my firm purpose to follow the example of my ancestors. A single
monk, led astray by his own folly, sets himself up in opposition to
the faith of Christendom. I will sacrifice my dominions, my power, my
friends, my treasure, my body, my blood, my mind, and my life, to stay
this impiety.[539] I mean to send back the Augustin, Luther,
forbidding him to cause the least tumult among the people; thereafter
I will proceed against him and his adherents as against declared
heretics, by excommunication. and interdict, and all means proper for
their destruction.[540] I call upon the members of the states to
conduct themselves like faithful Christians."

  [538] Autographum in linguæ Burgundica, ab ipsomet exaratum.
  (Cochlœus, 32.)

  [539] "Regna, thesauros, amicos, corpus, sanguinem, vitam, spiritumque
  profundere." (Pallavicini, i, p. 118.)

  [540] Und andern Wegen sie zu vertilgen. (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 581.)


This address did not please every body. Charles, young and
impassioned, had not observed the ordinary forms; he ought previously
to have asked the opinion of the Diet. Two extreme views were
immediately declared. The creatures of the pope, the Elector of
Brandenburg, and several ecclesiastical princes, demanded that no
regard should be paid to the safe-conduct which had been given to
Luther.[541] "The Rhine," said they, "must receive his ashes, as a
century ago it received the ashes of John Huss." Charles, if we may
believe a historian, afterwards bitterly repented that he had not
followed this dastardly counsel. "I confess," said he, towards the
close of his life, "that I committed a great fault in allowing Luther
to live. That heretic having offended a greater master than I, even
God himself, I was not obliged to keep my promise to him. I might,
nay, I ought to have forgotten my word, and avenged the insult which
he offered to God; because I did not put him to death, the heresy has
not ceased to gain strength. His death would have strangled it in the

  [541] Dass Luthero das sichere Geleit nicht möchte gehalten werden.
  (Seckend. p. 357.)

  [542] Sandoval Hist. de Carlos V, quoted in Llorente, History of the
  Inquisition, ii, p. 57. According to Llorente, the idea that Charles,
  toward the close of his life, inclined to evangelical opinions, is a
  mere invention of Protestants and the enemies of Philip II. This
  question forms a historical problem which the numerous quotations of
  Llorente appear unhappily to solve in conformity to his view.

This horrible proposition filled the Elector and all Luther's friends
with terror. "The execution of John Huss," said the Elector Palatine,
"brought too many calamities on Germany to allow such a scaffold to be
erected a second time." "The princes of Germany," exclaimed George of
Saxony, himself the irreconcilable enemy of Luther, "will not allow a
safe-conduct to be violated. This first Diet, held by our new emperor,
will not incur the guilt of an act so disgraceful. Such perfidy
accords not with old German integrity." The princes of Bavaria, also
devoted to the Church of Rome, joined in this protestation. The death
scene which Luther's friends had already before their eyes appeared to
be withdrawn.


The rumour of these debates, which lasted for two days, spread over
the town. Parties grew warm. Some gentlemen, partisans of reform,
began to speak strongly against the treachery demanded by Aleander.
"The emperor," said they, "is a young man whom the papists and bishops
lead at pleasure by their flattery."[543] Pallavicini makes mention of
four hundred nobles who were ready to maintain Luther's safe-conduct
with the sword. On Saturday morning placards were found posted up on
the houses and public places, some against Luther and others in his
favour. One of them merely contained the energetic words of
Ecclesiastes, "_Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child!_"
Seckingen, it was said, had assembled at some leagues from Worms,
behind the impregnable ramparts of his fortress, a large body of
knights and soldiers, and only waited the issue of the affair that he
might know how to act. The popular enthusiasm, not only in Worms, but
also in the most distant towns of the empire,[544] the intrepidity of
the knights, the attachment of several princes to the Reformer, all
must have made Charles and the Diet comprehend that the step demanded
by the Romans might compromise the supreme authority, excite revolts,
and even shake the empire.[545] It was only a simple monk that they
proposed to burn; but the princes and partisans of Rome, taken all
together, had neither power nor courage enough to do it. Doubtless,
also, Charles V, their young emperor, had still a fear of perjury.
This would seem indicated by an expression, which, if some historians
speak true, he uttered on this occasion: "Were fidelity and good faith
banished from the whole world, they ought to find an asylum in the
hearts of princes." It is said he forgot this when on the brink of the
grave. But there were other motives which might have had their
influence on the emperor. The Florentine Vettori, a friend of Leo X
and of Machiaveli, affirms, that Charles spared Luther only that he
might keep the pope in check.[546]

  [543] Eum esse puerum, qui nutu et blanditiis Papistarum et
  Episcoporum trahatur quocunque velint. (Cochlœus, p. 33.)

  [544] Verum etiam in longinquis Germaniæ civitatibus, motus et murmura
  plebium. (Ibid., p. 33.)

  [545] Es wäre ein Aufruhr dauraus worden, says Luther.

  [546] "Carlo si excusò di non poter procedere piu oltre, rispetto al
  salvocondotto, ma la verità fu che conoscendo che il Papa temeva molto
  di questa doctrina di Luthero, lo volle tenere con questo freno."
  Charles pretended that he could not go farther from regard to the
  safe-conduct; but the truth was that, knowing the pope was much afraid
  of this doctrine, he wished to hold him with this bridle. (Vettori,
  Istoria d'Italia M.S. Biblioth. Corsini at Rome, extracted by Ranke.)


On the Saturday's sitting, the violent counsels of Aleander were
negatived. There was a feeling in favour of Luther, and a wish to save
the simple-hearted man whose confidence in God was so affecting; but
there was a wish also to save the Church. The Diet shuddered equally
at the consequences which would result from the triumph and from the
destruction of the Reformer. Proposals of conciliation were heard, and
it was suggested that a new attempt should be made with the doctor of
Wittemberg. The archbishop-elector of Mentz himself, the young and
extravagant Albert, more devout than courageous, says Pallavicini,[547]
had taken alarm on seeing the interest which the people and the
nobility showed in the Saxon monk. His chaplain, Capito, who, during
his residence at Bâle, had been intimate with the evangelical priest
of Zurich, named Zuinglius, the intrepid defender of the truth, of
whom we have already had occasion to speak, had also, doubtless,
represented to Albert the righteousness of the Reformer's cause. The
worldly archbishop had one of those returns to Christian sentiment
which his life occasionally exhibits, and agreed to go to the emperor
and ask him to allow one last attempt. But Charles flatly refused. On
Monday (22nd April) the princes met in a body to renew the
solicitations of Albert. "I will not depart from what I have decreed,"
replied the emperor. I will not commission any person to go officially
to Luther. "But," added he, to the great scandal of Aleander, "I give
this man three days to reflect; during this time any one may, as an
individual, give him suitable advice."[548] This was all that was
asked. The Reformer, thought they, elevated by the solemnity of his
public appearance, will yield in a more friendly conference, and
perhaps be saved from the abyss into which he is ready to fall.

  [547] Qui pio magis animo erat quam forti. (Pallavicini, p. 118.) Who
  was more of a devout than of a strong mind.

  [548] Quibus privatim exhortari hominem possent. (Pallav. i, p. 119.)

The Elector of Saxony knew the contrary; accordingly he was in great
fear. "If it were in my power," wrote he next day to his brother, Duke
John, "I would be ready to support Luther. You could not believe to
what a degree I am attacked by the partisans of Rome. If I could tell
you all, you would hear very strange things.[549] They are bent on his
ruin, and however slight interest any one shows for his person, he is
immediately decried as a heretic. May God, who forsakes not the
righteous cause, bring all to a good end!" Frederick, without showing
the strong affection which he felt for the Reformer, contented himself
with not losing sight of any of his movements.

  [549] Wunde hören werden. (Seckend. 365.)

It was not so with men of all ranks then in Worms. Many fearlessly
gave full vent to their sympathy. From the Friday, a crowd of princes,
counts, barons, knights, gentlemen, ecclesiastics, laics, and common
people surrounded the hotel where the Reformer lodged; they came in
and went out, and could not see enough of him.[550] He was become _the
man_ in Germany. Even those who doubted not that he was in error were
touched by the nobleness of soul which had led him to sacrifice his
life at the bidding of his conscience. With several of the personages
present at Worms, and forming the flower of the nation, Luther had
occasionally conversations full of that salt with which his sayings
were always seasoned. None left him without feeling animated with a
generous enthusiasm for the truth. George Vogler, the private
secretary of the margrave Casimir of Brandenburg, writing to a friend,
says, "What things I should have to tell you! What conversations full
of piety and kindness Luther has had with myself and others! How
winning that man is!"[551]

  [550] Und konnten nicht satt werden ihn zu sehenr. (L. Op. xvii, p.

  [551] Wie eine holdselige Person er ist. (Meuzel Magaz. i, p. 207.)


One day a young prince of seventeen came prancing into the court of
the hotel: it was Philip, who had been reigning for two years in
Hesse. The young landgrave was of an active and enterprising
character, of a wisdom beyond his years, a martial spirit, and an
impetuous temper, seldom allowing himself to be guided by any ideas
but his own. Struck with Luther's addresses he wished to have a nearer
view of him. "As yet, however," says Luther, in relating his visit,
"he was not for me."[552] He dismounted, and without any other
formality, came up into the Reformer's room, and addressing him, said,
"Well, dear doctor, how goes it?" "Gracious lord," replied Luther, "I
hope it will go well." "From what I learn," resumed the landgrave
laughing, "you teach, doctor, that a wife may quit her husband, and
take another, when the former is found to be too old!" The people of
the imperial court had told this story to the landgrave. The enemies
of the truth never fail to circulate fabulous accounts of the lessons
of Christian teachers--"No, my lord," replied Luther gravely, "let
your highness not speak so, if you please." Thereupon the prince
briskly held out his hand to the doctor, shook his cordially, and
said, "Dear doctor, if you are in the right, may God assist you." On
this he left the room, again mounted his horse and rode off. This was
the first interview between these two men, who were afterwards to
stand at the head of the Reformation, and to defend it, the one with
the sword of the word, and the other with the sword of kings.

  [552] War noch nicht auf meiner Seite. (L. Op. xvii, p. 589.)

It was the Archbishop of Trêves, Richard de Greifenklau, who, with
permission of Charles V, had undertaken the office of mediator.
Richard, who was on an intimate footing with the Elector of Saxony,
and a good Roman Catholic, was desirous to arrange this difficult
affair, and thereby at once do a service to his friend and to the
Church. On Monday evening, (22nd April,) just as Luther was going to
sit down to table, a messenger of the archbishop came to say, that the
prelate wished to see him the day after to-morrow (Wednesday), at six
o'clock in the morning.


     Conference with the Archbishop of Trêves--Wehe's advice to
     Luther--Luther's Replies--Private Conversation--Visit of
     Cochlœus--Supper at the Archbishop's--Attempt on the
     Hôtel of Rhodes--A Council proposed--Last interview between
     Luther and the Archbishop--Visit to a sick friend--Luther
     ordered to quit Worms.


That day the chaplain and the imperial herald, Sturm, were both at
Luther's before six o'clock in the morning. Aleander had caused
Cochlœus to be called at four. The nuncio had not been slow in
discovering in the man who had been presented to him by Capito, a
devoted servant of Rome, on whom he could calculate as on himself. Not
being able to be present at this interview, Aleander wished to have a
substitute at it. "Be present at the Archbishop's of Trêves," said he
to the Dean of Frankfort. "Do not enter into discussion with Luther,
but content yourself with paying the closest attention to every thing
that is said, so as to be able to bring me back a faithful
report."[553] The Reformer on arriving with some friends at the house
of the archbishop, found him surrounded by the margrave, Joachim of
Brandenburg and Augsburg, several nobles, deputies from free towns,
lawyers, and theologians, among whom were Cochlœus and Jerome Wehe,
chancellor of Baden. The latter, an able lawyer, wished a reformation
in manners and discipline. He went even further. "The Word of God,"
said he, "which has so long been hid under the bushel, must reappear
in all its lustre."[554] This conciliatory individual was entrusted
with the conference. Turning kindly towards Luther, he said to him,
"We did not make you come in order to dispute with you, but in order
to give you brotherly advice. You know how carefully the Scripture
requireth us to guard against the flying arrow, and the devil that
walketh at noon-day. This enemy of the human race has instigated you
to publish things contrary to religion. Think of your own safety, and
that of the empire. Take care that those whom Jesus Christ has
ransomed by his own death, from death eternal, be not seduced by you
and perish for ever.... Do not set yourself up against holy councils.
If we do not maintain the decrees of our fathers, there will be
nothing but confusion in the Church. The distinguished princes now
listening to me take a particular interest in your safety. But if you
persist, the emperor will banish you from the empire,[555] and no
place in the world will be able to offer you an asylum.... Reflect on
the fate which awaits you."

  [553] Aleander, mane hora quarta vocaverit ad se Cochlœum, jubens
  ut ... audiret solum ... (Cochlœus, p. 36.)

  [554] Dass das Wort Gottes, Welches so lange unter dem Scheffel
  verborgen gesteckt, heller scheine ... (Seckend. 364.)

  [555] Und aus dem Reich verstossen. (L. Op. (L.) xvii, 582. Sleidan,
  i, p. 97.)

"Most Serene Princes!" replied Luther, "I give you thanks for your
solicitude, for I am only a poor man, and am too humble to be exhorted
by such high lords."[556] Then he continued, "I have not blamed all
the councils, but only that of Constance; because, in condemning this
doctrine of John Huss, viz.--_that the Christian Church is the
assembly of those who are predestinated to salvation_[557]--it
condemned this article of our creed, _I believe in the holy Catholic
Church_; and the Word of God itself. My lessons, it is said, give
offence," added he. "I answer that the gospel of Christ cannot be
preached without offence. How then should this fear or apprehension of
danger detach me from the Lord, and from this divine Word, which is
the only truth? No, rather give my body, my blood, and my life!!..."

  [556] Agnosco enim me homuncionem, longe viliorem esse, quam ut a
  tantis principibus ... (L. Op. (L.) p. 167.)

  [557] Ecclesia Christi est universitas prædestinatorum. (Ibid.)


The princes and doctors having deliberated, Luther was recalled, and
Wehe mildly resumed, "It is necessary to honour princes, even when
they are mistaken, and to make great sacrifices to charity." Then he
said, in a more urgent tone, "Cast yourself upon the judgment of the
emperor, and have no fear."

_Luther._--"I consent, with all my heart, that the emperor, the
princes, and even the humblest Christian, shall examine and judge my
books; but on one condition, and it is, that they take the Word of God
for their standard. Men have nothing else to do but to obey. My
conscience is dependent upon it, and I am captive under its

  [558] Sie wollten sein Gewissen das mit Gottes Wort und heiliger
  Schrifft gebunden und gefangen wäre nicht dringen. (Math. p. 27.)

_The Elector of Brandenburg._--"I understand you perfectly, doctor.
You will not acknowledge any judge but the Holy Scripture?"

_Luther._--"Yes, my lord, exactly. That is my last word."[559]

  [559] Ja darauf stehe Ich. (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 604.)

Then the princes and doctors withdrew, but the worthy Archbishop of
Trêves could not resolve to abandon his undertaking. "Come," said he
to Luther, as he passed into his private room, and, at the same time,
ordered John Eck and Cochlœus, on the one side, and Schurff and
Amsdorff, on the other, to follow them. "Why appeal incessantly to the
Holy Scriptures?" said Eck keenly; "out of it all heresies have
sprung." But Luther, says his friend Mathesius, remained immovable,
like a rock resting on the true rock, the Word of the Lord. "The
pope," replied he, "is no judge in things pertaining to the Word of
God. Every Christian must see and understand for himself how he ought
to live and die."[560] The parties separated. The partisans of the
papacy felt Luther's superiority, and attributed it to there being
nobody present who could answer him. "If the emperor," says
Cochlœus, "had acted wisely in calling Luther to Worms, he would
also have called theologians who might have refuted his errors."

  [560] Ein Christenmensch muss zusehen und richten... (L. Ep. i, p.

The Archbishop of Trêves repaired to the Diet, and announced the ill
success of his mediation. The surprise of the young emperor equalled
his indignation. "It is time," said he, "to put an end to this
affair." The archbishop asked two days more, and the whole Diet
seconded him. Charles V yielded. Aleander, transported with rage,
uttered the bitterest invectives.[561]

  [561] De iis Aleander acerrime conquestus est. (Pallavicini, i, p.


While these things were passing at the Diet, Cochlœus was burning
with eagerness to gain a victory denied to prelates and kings. Though
he had, from time to time, thrown in a few words at the archbishop's,
the order which he had received from Aleander had laid him under
restraint. He resolved to compensate himself, and had no sooner given
an account of his mission to the papal nuncio, than he presented
himself at Luther's lodging. He accosted him as a friend, and
expressed the grief which he felt at the emperor's resolution. After
dinner, the conversation grew animated.[562] Cochlœus pressed
Luther to retract. He declined by a nod. Several nobles, who were at
table, had difficulty in restraining themselves. They were indignant
that the partisans of Rome should wish not to convince the Reformer by
Scripture, but constrain him by force. Cochlœus, impatient under
these reproaches, says to Luther, "Very well, I offer to dispute
publicly with you, if you renounce the safe-conduct."[563] All that
Luther demanded was a public debate. What ought he to do? To renounce
the safe-conduct was to be his own destroyer; to refuse the challenge
of Cochlœus was to appear doubtful of his cause. The guests
regarded the offer as a perfidious scheme of Aleander, whom the Dean
of Frankfort had just left. Vollrat of Watzdorff, one of the number,
freed Luther from the embarrassment of this puzzling alternative. This
baron, who was of a boiling temperament, indignant at a snare which
aimed at nothing less than to give up Luther into the hands of the
executioner,[564] started up, seized the terrified priest, and pushed
him to the door. There would even have been bloodshed had not the
other guests risen up from the table, and interposed their mediation
between the furious baron and the trembling Cochlœus,[565] who
withdrew in confusion from the hotel of the Knights of Rhodes.

  [562] Peracto prandio. (Cochlœus.)

  [563] Und wollte mit mir disputiren, ich sollte allein das Geleit
  aufsagen. (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 589.)

  [564] Atque ita traderet eum carnificinæ. (Cochlœus, p. 36.)

  [565] Dass Ihm das Blut über den Kopff gelauten wäre wo man nicht
  gewehret hätte. (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 589.)

The expression had no doubt escaped the dean in the heat of
discussion, and was not a premeditated scheme between him and Aleander
to make Luther fall into a perfidious snare. Cochlœus denies that
it was, and we have pleasure in giving credit to his testimony, though
it is true he had come to Luther's from a conference with the nuncio.


In the evening, the Archbishop of Trêves entertained those who had
been present at the morning conference. He thought it might be a means
of calming down their minds, and bringing them nearer each other.
Luther, who was so intrepid and immovable before arbiters or judges,
had, in private society, a good humour and gayety which seemed to
promise anything that might be asked of him. The archbishop's
chancellor, who had shown so much sternness in his official capacity,
joined in the attempt, and, towards the end of the repast, drank
Luther's health. He was preparing to return the honour, the wine was
poured out, and he was, according to his custom, making the sign of
the cross on his glass, when suddenly the glass burst in his hands,
and the wine was spilt upon the table. The guests were in
consternation. "There must be poison in it,"[566] said some of
Luther's friends, quite loud. But the doctor, without being moved,
replied, with a smile, "Dear friends, either this wine was not
destined for me, or it would have been hurtful to me." Then he calmly
added, "The glass burst, no doubt, because in washing it had been too
soon plunged in cold water." These simple words, in the circumstances
in which they were uttered, have some degree of grandeur, and bespeak
unalterable peace. We cannot suppose that the Roman Catholics could
have wished to poison Luther, especially at the house of the
Archbishop of Trêves. This répast neither estranged nor approximated
the parties. The Reformer's resolution came from a higher source, and
could not be influenced either by the hatred or the favour of men.

  [566] "Es müsse Gift darinnen gewesen seyn."--Luther does not mention
  the circumstance, but Razeburg, a friend of Luther, and physician to
  the Elector John Frederick, relates it in a manuscript history which
  is extant in the library of Gotha, and says he had it from an

On Thursday morning (25th April) Chancellor Wehe and doctor Peutinger
of Augsburg, imperial counsellor, who had shown great affection for
Luther ever since his interview with de Vio, repaired to the hotel of
the Knights of Rhodes. The Elector of Saxony sent Frederick De Thun,
and another of his counsellors, to be present at the conference. "Put
yourself in our hands," earnestly said Wehe and Peutinger, who would
willingly have sacrificed every thing to prevent the division which
was about to rend the Church. "This affair will be terminated in a
Christian manner; we give you our word for it." "In two words," said
Luther to them, "here is my answer: I renounce the safe-conduct.[567]
I place in the hands of the emperor my person and my life; but the
Word of God ... never!" Frederick de Thun affected rose and said to
the deputies, "Is it not enough? Is not the sacrifice great enough?"
Then declaring that he would hear nothing more, he took his leave.
Wehe and Peutinger, hoping to have better success with the doctor,
came and sat down on each side of him. "Throw yourself upon the Diet,"
said they to him. "No," replied Luther, "for _cursed be the man that
trusteth in man_." (Jeremiah, xvii, 5.) Wehe and Peutinger redoubled
their counsels and attacks, pressing more closely on the Reformer.
Luther worn out, rose up and put an end to the interview, saying, "I
will not allow any man to set himself above the word of God."[568]
"Reflect once more," said they to him on retiring, "we will return
after mid-day."

  [567] Er wollte ehe das Geleit aufsagen.... (L. Op. (L.) xvii, 589.)

  [568] Er wollte kurtsrum Menschen über Gottes Wort nicht erkensen
  (Ibid., p. 583.)

[Sidenote: NEW PROPOSAL.]

They, in fact, did return; but convinced that Luther would not yield,
they brought a new proposal. Luther had refused to be judged first by
the pope, then by the emperor, then by the Diet. There remained one
judge to whom he himself had once appealed--a general council. No
doubt such a proposal would have been scouted by Rome; but it was the
last plank for escape. The delegates offered Luther a Council; and he
had it in his power to accept it unfettered by any precise definition.
Years might have elapsed before the difficulties which the calling of
a Council would have encountered on the part of the pope could have
been obviated. To the Reformation and the Reformer a gain of years
would have gained every thing. God and time would then have done the
rest. But Luther preferred the straight course to every other: he
would not save himself at the expense of truth though all that might
have been necessary was to disguise it by keeping silence. "I
consent," replied he, "but (this was equivalent to a refusal of the
Council) on condition that the Council will judge only according to
the Holy Scriptures."[569]

  [569] Das daruber aus der heiligen Schrifft gesprochen. (L. Op. (L.)
  xvii, p. 584.)

Peutinger and Wehe, thinking that a Council could not judge otherwise,
hastened overjoyed to the archbishop. "Dr. Martin," said they,
"submits his books to a Council." The archbishop was going to carry
the good news to the emperor, when some doubt occurring to him, he
sent for Luther.

Richard of Grieffenklau was alone when the doctor arrived. "Dear
doctor," said the archbishop, with much cordiality and kindness,[570]
"my doctors assure me that you consent without reservation to submit
your cause to a Council." "My Lord," replied Luther, "I can bear every
thing, but cannot abandon the Holy Scriptures." The archbishop then
perceived that Wehe and Peutinger had not explained themselves
properly. Never could Rome consent to a Council bound to decide
according to Scripture. "It was just," says Pallavicini, "to insist
that a weak eye should read very small writing, and at the same time
deny the use of spectacles."[571] The good archbishop sighed. "It was
well," said he, "I made you come. What would have become of me had I
immediately gone to the emperor with the news?"

  [570] Ganz gut und mehr denn gnædig. (L. Ep. i, p. 604.)

  [571] Simulque conspiciliorum omnium usum negare. (Ibid., p. 110.)

The immovable firmness, the stern rectitude of Luther, are, no doubt,
astonishing, but they will be comprehended and respected by all who
know the claims of God. Seldom has a nobler homage been paid to the
immutable word of Heaven, and that at the risk of life and liberty by
the man who paid it.


"Well," said the venerable prelate to Luther, "do you yourself then
point out a remedy."

_Luther_, (_after a moment's silence_).--"My Lord, I know no other
than that of Gamaliel: '_If this counsel or this work be of men it
will come to nought, but if it be of God ye cannot overthrow it, lest
haply ye be found even to fight against God._' Let the emperor, the
electors, the princes, and the states of the empire, deliver this
answer to the pope."

_Archbishop._--"At least retract some articles."

_Luther._--"Provided it be not those which the Council of Constance

_Archbishop._--"Ah, I fear they are the very ones which will be

_Luther._--"Then sooner sacrifice my body and my life--better allow my
legs and arms to be cut off than abandon the clear and genuine word of

  [572] Ehe Stumpf und Stiel fahren lassen .... (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p.

The archbishop at length understood Luther. "You may withdraw," said
he to him, always with the same gentleness. "Your Lordship," resumed
Luther, "will be so good as to see that his Majesty cause the
safe-conduct necessary for my return to be expedited." "I will see to
it," replied the good archbishop, and they parted.

So ended these negotiations. The whole empire had assailed this man
with the most urgent entreaties and the most fearful menaces,[573] and
this man had never flinched. His refusal to bend under the iron arm of
the pope emancipated the Church, and commenced a new era. The
intervention of Providence was evident, and the whole presents one of
those grand historical scenes in which the majestic form of the
Divinity appears conspicuously displayed.

  [573] Totum imperium ad se conversum spectabat. (Pallavicini, i, p.

Luther withdrew in company with Spalatin who had arrived at the
archbishop's during the course of the visit. John von Minkwitz, one of
the Elector of Saxony's counsellors, had fallen sick at Worms. The two
friends repaired to his lodging, and Luther administered the tenderest
consolation to the sick man. "Adieu," said he to him on leaving,
"to-morrow I shall quit Worms."

Luther was not mistaken. He had not been three hours returned to the
hotel of the Knights of Rhodes when chancellor Eck and the chancellor
of the emperor, with a notary, made their appearance.


The chancellor said to him, "Martin Luther, his imperial Majesty, the
Electors, Princes, and States of the empire, having exhorted you to
submission again and again, and in various manners, but always in
vain, the emperor, in his quality of advocate and defender of the
Catholic faith, sees himself obliged to take other steps. He therefore
orders you to return to your home in the space of twenty-one days, and
prohibits you from disturbing the public peace by the way, either by
preaching or writing."

Luther was well aware that this message was the first step in his
condemnation. "It has happened as Jehovah pleased," said he meekly.
"Blessed be the name of Jehovah!" Then he added, "Before all things,
very humbly and from the bottom of my heart, I thank his Majesty, the
Electors, Princes, and other States of the empire, for having listened
to me with so much kindness. I have desired, and do desire one thing
only--a reformation of the Church agreeably to Holy Scripture. I am
ready to do every thing and suffer every thing in humble submission to
the will of the emperor. Life and death, honour and disgrace, are all
alike to me: I make only one reservation--the preaching of the gospel;
for, says St. Paul, '_The word of God cannot be bound_.'" The deputies

On the morning of Friday (26th April) the Reformer's friends and
several nobles met at his lodgings.[574] They were gratified at seeing
the Christian constancy which he had opposed to Charles and the
empire, and to recognise in him the features of the ancient portrait:

    "Justum ac tenacem propositi virum,
    Non civium ardor prava jubentium,
      Non vultus instantis tyranni,
      Mente quatit solida...."[575]

  [574] Salutatis patronis et amicis qui eum frequentissimi
  convenerunt.... (L. Op. Lat. ii, p. 168.) Having saluted his patrons
  and friends, who called upon him in great numbers.

  [575] Horat. Od. lib. iii, 3.

They wished once more, perhaps for ever, to bid adieu to this intrepid
monk. Luther took a frugal meal. Now he must take leave of his
friends, and flee far from them under a sky surcharged with storms. He
wished to pass this solemn moment in the presence of God. He lifted up
his soul and blessed those who were around him.[576] Ten in the
morning having struck, Luther quitted the hotel with the friends who
had accompanied him to Worms. Twenty gentlemen on horseback surrounded
his carriage. A great crowd accompanied him beyond the walls. The
imperial herald, Sturm, rejoined him some time after at Oppenheim, and
the following day they reached Frankfort.

  [576] Seine Freunde gesegnet. (Mathesius, p. 27.)



     Luther's Departure--Journey from Worms--Luther to
     Cranach--Luther to Charles V--Luther with the Abbot of
     Hirschfeld--The Curate of Eisenach--Several Princes leave
     the Diet--Charles signs Luther's Condemnation--The Edict of
     Worms--Luther with his parents--Luther attacked and carried
     off--The ways of God--Wartburg--Luther a Prisoner.

Luther having thus escaped from these walls of Worms, which threatened
to become his tomb, his whole heart gave glory to God. "The devil
himself," said he, "guarded the citadel of the pope. But Christ has
made a large breach in it; and Satan has been forced to confess that
the Lord is mightier than he."[577]

  [577] Aber Christus macht ein Loch derein. (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 589.)

"The day of the Diet of Worms," says the pious Mathesius, the disciple
and friend of Luther, "is one of the greatest and most glorious days
given to the world before its final close."[578] The battle fought at
Worms re-echoed far and wide, and while the sound travelled over
Christendom, from the regions of the North to the mountains of
Switzerland, and the cities of England, France, and Italy, many
ardently took up the mighty weapon of the Word of God.

  [578] Diss ist der herrlichen grossen Tag einer vorm Ende der Welt (p.

Luther, having arrived at Frankfort, on the evening of Saturday, (27th
April,) took advantage next day of a moment of leisure, the first he
had had for a long time, to write a note, in a style at once playful
and energetic, to his friend, Lucas Cranach, the celebrated painter,
at Wittemberg. "Your servant, dear compeer Lucas," said he to him, "I
thought his majesty would assemble at Worms some fifty doctors to
confute the monk off hand. But not at all. Are these books yours? Yes.
Will you retract them? No. Ah well! get you gone! Such was the whole
story. O blind Germans, how like children we act in allowing ourselves
to be played upon and duped by Rome!... The Jews must for once have
their chant, Yo! Yo! Yo! But our passover also will come, and then we
will sing Hallelujah![579]... There must be silence and suffering for
a short time. Jesus Christ says, '_A little while and ye shall not see
me, and again a little while and ye shall see me_.' (John, xvi, 16.) I
hope it will be so with me. I commend you altogether to the Eternal.
May He through Christ protect us against the attacks of the wolves and
dragons of Rome. Amen."

  [579] "Es müssen die Juden einmal singen, Io, Io, Io!..." (L. Ep. i,
  p. 589.) These cries of joy by the Jews at the time of the crucifixion
  represent the songs of triumph by the partisans of the papacy on
  occasion of the catastrophe which is going to befall Luther; but the
  Reformer discovers in the distance hallelujahs of deliverance.


After writing this somewhat enigmatical letter, Luther, as time was
pressing, set out immediately for Friedberg, which is six leagues from
Frankfort. The next day Luther again communed with himself. He was
desirous to write once more to Charles V, being unwilling to confound
him with guilty rebels. In his letter to the emperor he clearly
expounded the nature of the obedience which is due to man, and that
which is due to God, and the limit where the former must stop and give
place to the latter. In reading Luther, we involuntarily call to mind
the saying of the greatest autocrat of modern times: "My role ends
where that of conscience begins."[580] "God, who is the searcher of
hearts, is my witness," says Luther, "that I am ready with all
diligence to obey your majesty, whether in honour or disgrace, whether
by life or by death, and with absolutely no exception but the word of
God, from which man derives life. In all the affairs of the present
life my fidelity will be immutable, for as to these loss or gain
cannot at all affect salvation. But in regard to eternal blessings, it
is not the will of God that man should submit to man. Subjection in
the spiritual world constitutes worship, and should be paid only to
the Creator."[581]

  [580] Napoleon to the Protestant deputation after his accession to the

  [581] Nam ea fides et submissio proprie est vera ilia latria et
  adoratio Dei ... (L. Ep. i, p. 592.) For that faith and submission is,
  properly speaking, true worship and adoration of God.

Luther also addressed a letter, but in German, to the States of the
empire. It was nearly the same in substance as that to the emperor. It
contained an account of all that had taken place at Worms. This letter
was repeatedly printed and circulated all over Germany; "Every where,"
says Cochlœus, "it excited the popular indignation against the
emperor and the dignified clergy."[582]

  [582] Per chalcographos multiplicata et in populos dispersa est ea
  epistola ... Cæsari autem et clericis odium populare, etc.
  (Cochlœus, p. 386.)

Early next day, Luther wrote a note to Spalatin, enclosing in it the
two letters which he had written the evening before, and sent back the
herald Sturm, who had been won to the gospel. Having embraced him he
set out in all haste for Grunberg.

On Tuesday, when about two leagues from Hirschfeld, he met the
chancellor of the abbot-prince of this town, who had come out to
receive him. Shortly after a troop of horsemen appeared with the abbot
at their head. The latter leapt from his horse, and Luther having
alighted from his carriage, the prince and the Reformer embraced, and
then entered Hirschfeld. The senate received them at the gates.[583]
The princes of the Church ran to meet a monk anathematised by the
pope, and the most distinguished among the laity, bowed the head
before an individual whom the emperor had put under the ban.

  [583] Senatus intra portas nos excepit (L. Ep. ii, p. 6.)


"At five in the morning we will be at the church," said the prince,
on rising in the evening from table, at which the Reformer was a
guest. He even wished Luther to occupy his own bed. Next day, Luther
preached, the abbot-prince accompanying him with his suite.

In the evening, Luther arrived at Eisenach, the abode of his infancy.
All his friends in the town gathered round him, and begged him to
preach. The next day they conducted him to the church. The curate made
his appearance, attended by a notary and witnesses. He came forward in
great tremor, divided between the fear of losing his place, and that
of opposing the powerful man before him. At last he said, in a tone of
embarrassment, "I protest against the liberty which you are going to
take." Luther mounted the pulpit, and that voice which, twenty-three
years before, sung in the streets of this town for bread, caused the
arches of the ancient church to ring with accents which had begun to
shake the world. After the sermon, the curate, in confusion, stept
softly forward to Luther. The notary had drawn up his instrument, the
witnesses had signed it, and everything was in regular order to put
the curate's place in safety. "Pardon me," said he humbly to the
doctor; "I have done it from fear of the tyrants who oppress the

  [584] Humiliter tamen excusante ... ob metum tyronnorum suorum. (L.
  Ep. ii, p. 6.)

There was, in fact, some ground to fear them. At Worms, the aspect of
affairs had changed. Aleander seemed to reign supreme. "Luther has
nothing before him but exile," wrote Frederick to his brother, Duke
John. "Nothing can save him. If God permits me to return, I will have
things almost incredible to tell you. Not only Annas and Caiaphas, but
also Pilate and Herod, have leagued against him." Frederick, having
little wish to remain longer, left Worms. The Elector-Palatine did the
same, as did also the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne. Princes of less
elevated rank imitated them. Deeming it impossible to avert the blow
which was about to be struck, they preferred, perhaps erroneously, to
abandon the place. The Spaniards, Italians, and the most Ultra-Montane
of the German princes, alone remained.

The field was free, and Aleander triumphed. He laid before Charles the
draft of an edict, which he intended should serve as the model of that
which the Diet was to issue against the monk. The nuncio's labour
pleased the irritated emperor. He assembled the remains of the Diet in
his chamber, and caused Aleander's edict to be read to them. All who
were present, (so says Pallavicini,) approved it.


The next day--the day of a great festival--the emperor was in the
church, surrounded by the nobility of his court. The religious
solemnity was finished, and a multitude of people filled the church,
when Aleander, clad in all the insignia of his rank, approached
Charles V.[585] He held in his hand two copies of the edict against
Luther, the one in Latin, and the other in German, and, kneeling down
before his majesty, implored him to append his signature and the seal
of the empire. It was at the moment when the host had just been
offered, when incense filled the temple, when music was still ringing
under its arches, and, as it were, in the presence of the Divinity,
that the destruction of the enemy of Rome was to be completed. The
emperor, assuming the most gracious manner,[586] took the pen and
signed. Aleander went off in triumph, put the decree immediately to
press, and sent it over all Christendom.[587] This fruit of the labour
of Rome had cost the papacy some pains. Pallavicini himself informs us
that this edict, though dated the 8th May, was signed later, but was
antedated, to make it be supposed that it was executed during the time
when all the members of the Diet were actually assembled.

  [585] "Cum Cæsar in templo adesset ... processit illi obviam
  Aleander." (Pallavicini, i. p. 22.)

  [586] "Festivissimo vultu." (Ibid.)

  [587] "Et undique pervulgata." (Ibid.)

"We Charles Fifth," said the emperor, (then followed all his titles,)
"to all the electors, princes, prelates, and others, whom it may

"The Almighty having entrusted to us, for the defence of his holy
faith, more kingdoms and power than he gave to any of our
predecessors, we mean to exert ourselves to the utmost to prevent any
heresy from arising to pollute our holy empire.

"The Augustin monk, Martin Luther, though exhorted by us, has rushed
like a madman against the holy Church, and sought to destroy it by
means of books filled with blasphemy. He has, in a shameful manner,
insulted the imperishable law of holy wedlock. He has striven to
excite the laity to wash their hands in the blood of priests;[588]
and, overturning all obedience, has never ceased to stir up revolt,
division, war, murder, theft, and fire, and to labour completely to
ruin the faith of Christians.... In a word, to pass over all his other
iniquities in silence, this creature, who is not a man, but Satan
himself under the form of a man, covered with the cowl of a monk,[589]
has collected into one stinking pool all the worst heresies of past
times, and has added several new ones of his own....

  [588] "Ihre Hände in der Priester Blut zu waschen." (L. Op. (L.) xvii,
  p. 598.)

  [589] "Nicht ein Mensch, sondern als der böse Feind in Gestalt eines
  Menschen mit angennommener Mönchshütten."... (Ibid.)

"We have, therefore, sent this Luther from before our face, that all
pious and sensible men may regard him as a fool, or a man possessed of
the devil; and we expect that, after the expiry of his safe-conduct,
effectual means will be taken to arrest his furious rage.

[Sidenote: EDICT OF WORMS.]

"Wherefore, under pain of incurring the punishment due to the crime of
treason, we forbid you to lodge the said Luther so soon as the fatal
term shall be expired, to conceal him, give him meat or drink, and
lend him, by word or deed, publicly or secretly, any kind of
assistance. We enjoin you, moreover, to seize him, or cause him to be
seized, wherever you find him, and bring him to us without any delay,
or to keep him in all safety until you hear from us how you are to act
with regard to him, and till you receive the recompence due to your
exertions in so holy a work.

"As to his adherents you will seize them, suppress them, and
confiscate their goods.

"As to his writings, if the best food becomes the terror of all
mankind as soon as a drop of poison is mixed with it, how much more
ought these books which contain a deadly poison to the soul to be not
only rejected but also annihilated.

"You will therefore burn them, or in some other way destroy them

"As to authors, poets, printers, painters, sellers or buyers of
placards, writings, or paintings, against the pope, or the Church, you
will lay hold of their persons and their goods, and treat them
according to your good pleasure.

"And if any one, whatever be his dignity, shall dare to act in
contradiction to the decree of our imperial Majesty, we ordain that he
shall be placed under the ban of the empire.

"Let every one conform hereto."

Such was the edict signed in the Cathedral of Worms. It was more than
a Roman bull which, though published in Italy, might not be executed
in Germany. The emperor himself had spoken, and the Diet had ratified
his decree. All the partisans of Rome sent forth a shout of triumph.
"It is the end of the tragedy," exclaimed they. "For my part," said
Alphonso Valdez, a Spaniard at the emperor's court, "I am persuaded it
is not the end but the beginning."[590] Valdez perceived that the
movement was in the Church, in the people, in the age, and that though
Luther should fall, his cause would not fall with him. But no one
disguised to himself the imminent, the inevitable danger to which the
Reformer was exposed, while the whole tribe of the superstitious were
seized with horror at the thought of the incarnate Satan whom the
emperor pointed out to the nation as disguised under a monk's frock.

  [590] Non finem sed initium. (P. Martyris Ep. p. 412.)


The man against whom the mighty of the earth were thus forging their
thunders had left the Church of Eisenach, and was preparing to
separate from some of his dearest friends. He did not wish to follow
the road of Gotha or Erfurt, but to repair to the village of Mora, his
father's birth place, that he might there see his grandmother, who
died four months after, his uncle, Henry Luther, and other relations.
Schurff, Jonas, and Suaven, set off for Wittemberg; Luther mounted his
vehicle with Amsdorff who remained with him, and entered the forest of

  [591] Ad carnem meam trans sylvam profectus. (L Ep. i, p. 7.)
  Proceeding beyond the forest to my kindred.

The same evening he reached the village of his fathers. The poor old
peasant clasped in her arms this grandson who had just been showing
front to the emperor Charles and pope Leo. Luther spent the next day
with his family, happy in substituting this tranquil scene for the
tumult at Worms. On the following day he resumed his journey,
accompanied by Amsdorff and his brother James. In these lonely spots
the Reformer's lot was to be decided. They were passing along the
forest of Thuringia, on the road to Wallershausen. As the carriage was
in a hollow part of the road, near the old church of Glisbach, at some
distance from the castle of Altenstein, a sudden noise was heard, and
at that moment five horsemen, masked and in complete armour, rushed
upon the travellers. Luther's brother, as soon as he perceived the
assailants, lept from the vehicle, and ran off at full speed without
uttering a word. The driver was for defending himself. "Stop!" cried
one of the assailants in a stern voice, and rushing upon him threw him
to the ground.[592] A second man in a mask seized Amsdorff, and
prevented him from coming near. Meanwhile the three other horsemen
laid hold of Luther, keeping the most profound silence. They pulled
him violently from the carriage, threw a horseman's cloak upon his
shoulders, and placed him on a led horse. Then the other two quitted
Amsdorff and the driver, and the whole lept into their saddles. The
hat of one of them fell off, but they did not even stop to lift it,
and in a twinkling disappeared in the dark forest with their prisoner.
They at first took the road to Broderode, but they soon retraced their
steps by a different road, and without quitting the forest, made
turnings and windings in all directions, in order to deceive those who
might attempt to follow their track.[593]

  [592] Dejectoque in solum auriga et verberato. (Pallavicini, i, p.
  122.) Having thrown the driver to the ground and bound him with cords.

  [593] Dejecto in solum auriga et verberato. (Ibid.)


Luther, little accustomed to horseback, was soon overcome with
fatigue. Being permitted to dismount for a few moments, he rested near
a beech tree, and took a draught of fresh water from a spring, which
is still called, _Luther's Spring_.[594] His brother James always
continuing his flight arrived in the evening at Wallershausen. The
driver in great alarm had got up on his vehicle, into which Amsdorff
also mounted, and urging on his horses, which proceeded at a rapid
pace, brought Luther's friend as far as Wittemberg. At Wallershausen,
and Wittemberg, and the interjacent country, villages, and towns, all
along the road, news of Luther's having been carried off were spread,
news which, while it delighted some, filled the greater number with
astonishment and indignation. A cry of grief soon resounded throughout
Germany--"Luther has fallen into the hands of his enemies!"

  [594] Longo itinere, novus eques, fessus. (L. Ep. ii, p. 3.)

After the violent combat which Luther had been obliged to maintain,
God was pleased to conduct him to a peaceful resting place. After
placing him on the brilliant theatre of Worms, where all the powers of
the Reformer's soul had been so vigorously exerted, He gave him the
obscure and humiliating retreat of a prison. From the deepest
obscurity He brings forth the feeble instruments by which he proposes
to accomplish great things, and then, after allowing them to shine for
a short time with great lustre on an elevated stage, sends them back
again to deep obscurity. Violent struggles and pompous displays were
not the means by which the Reformation was to be accomplished. That is
not the way in which the leaven penetrates the mass of the population.
The Spirit of God requires more tranquil paths. The man of whom the
champions of Rome were always in pitiless pursuit, behoved for a time
to disappear from the world. It was necessary that personal
achievements should be eclipsed in order that the revolution about to
be accomplished might not bear the impress of an individual. It was
necessary that man should retire and God alone remain, moving, by his
Spirit, over the abyss in which the darkness of the middle age was
engulphed, and saying,--"_Let there be light_."

Nightfall having made it impossible to follow their track, the party
carrying off Luther took a new direction, and about an hour before
midnight arrived at the foot of a mountain.[595] The horses climbed
slowly to its summit on which stood an old fortress surrounded on all
sides, except that of the entrance, by the black forests which cover
the mountains of Thuringia.

  [595] Hora ferme undecima ad mansionem noctis perveni in tenebris. (L.
  Ep. i, p. 3.)


To this elevated and isolated castle, named the Wartburg, where the
Landgraves of old used to conceal themselves, was Luther conducted.
The bolts are drawn, the iron bars fall, the gates open, and the
Reformer clearing the threshold, the bars again close behind him. He
dismounts in the court. Burkard de Hund, Lord of Allenstein, one of
the horsemen, withdraws; another, John of Berlepsch, Provost of
Wartburg, conducts Luther to the chamber which was to be his prison,
and where a knight's dress and a sword were lying. The three other
horsemen, dependants of the provost, carry off his ecclesiastical
dress, and put on the other which had been prepared for him, enjoining
him to allow his hair and beard to grow,[596] in order that none even
in the castle might know who he was. The inmates of the Wartburg were
only to know the prisoner under the name of Chevalier Georges. Luther
scarcely knew himself in the dress which was put upon him.[597] At
length he is left alone, and can turn in his thoughts the strange
events which had just taken place at Worms, the uncertain prospect
which awaits him, and his new and strange abode. From the narrow
windows of his keep he discovers the dark, solitary, and boundless
forests around. "There," says Mathesins, the biographer and friend of
Luther, "the doctor remained like St. Paul in his prison at Rome."

  [596] Exutus vestibus meis et equestribus indutus, comam et barbam
  nutriens.... (L. Ep. i, p. 7.)

  [597] Cum ipse me jam dudum non noverim. (Ibid., ii, p. 7)

Frederick de Thun, Philip Feilitsch, and Spalatin, had not concealed
from Luther, in a confidential interview which they had with him at
Worms by order of the Elector, that his liberty behoved to be
sacrificed to the wrath of Charles and the pope.[598] Still there was
so much mystery in the mode of his being carried off that Frederick
was long ignorant of the place of his confinement. The grief of the
friends of the Reformation was prolonged. Spring passed away,
succeeded by summer, autumn, and winter; the sun finished his annual
course, and the walls of the Wartburg still confined their prisoner.
The truth is laid under interdict by the Diet; its defender, shut up
within the walls of a strong castle, has disappeared from the stage of
the world, none knowing what has become of him. Aleander triumphs, and
the Reformation seems lost; ... but God reigns, and the blow which
apparently threatened to annihilate the cause of the gospel will serve
only to save its intrepid minister and extend the light of faith.

  [598] Seckend., p. 265.

Let us leave Luther a captive in Germany on the heights of the
Wartburg, and let us see what God was then doing in the other
countries of Christendom.





     Movements in Switzerland--Source of the
     Reformation--Democratic Character--Foreign
     Service--Morality--The Tockenburg--An Alpine Hut--A Pastoral

At the moment when the decree of the Diet of Worms appeared, a
continually increasing movement was beginning to shake the quiet
valleys of Switzerland. The voice which was heard in the plains of
Upper and Lower Saxony was answered from the bosom of the Helvetic
mountains by the energetic voices of its priests, its shepherds, and
the citizens of its warlike cities. The partisans of Rome, seized with
terror, exclaimed that a vast and dreadful conspiracy was every where
formed against the Church. The friends of the gospel filled with joy,
said, that as in spring a living breath is felt from the streams which
run into the sea up to the mountain tops, so, throughout all
Christendom, the Spirit of God was now melting the ices of a long
winter, and covering with verdure and flowers the lowest plains as
well as the steepest and most barren rocks.

Germany did not communicate the truth to Switzerland, nor Switzerland
to France, nor France to England. All these countries received it from
God, just as one part of the world does not transmit the light to
another part, but the same shining globe communicates it directly to
all the earth. Christ, _the day-spring from on high_, infinitely
exalted above all mankind, was, at the period of the Reformation as at
that of the establishment of Christianity, the divine fire which gave
life to the world. In the sixteenth century one and the same doctrine
was at once established in the homes and churches of the most distant
and diversified nations. The reason is, that the same Spirit was every
where at work producing the same faith.


The reformation of Germany and that of Switzerland demonstrate this
truth. Zuinglius had no intercourse with Luther. There was, no doubt,
a link between these two men; but we must search for it above the
earth. He who from heaven gave the truth to Luther, gave it to
Zuinglius. God was the medium of communication between them. "I began
to preach the gospel," says Zuinglius, "in the year of grace, 1516, in
other words, at a time when the name of Luther had never been heard of
in our country. I did not learn the doctrine of Christ from Luther,
but from the word of God. If Luther preaches Christ, he does what I
do; that is all."[599]

  [599] ...1516, eo scilicet tempore, quum Lutheri nomen in nostris
  regionibus inauditum adhuc erat...doctrinam Christi non a Luthero, sed
  ex verbo Dei didici. (Zwinglii Opera, curant. Schulero et Schulthesio,
  Turici, 1829, vol. i, p. 273, 276.)

But if the different reformations, which all proceeded from the same
Spirit, thereby acquired great unity, they also received certain
peculiar features, corresponding to the different characters of the
people among whom they took place.

We have already given a sketch of the state of Switzerland at the
period of the Reformation,[600] and will only add a few words to what
we have already said. In Germany, the ruling principle was
monarchical, in Switzerland it was democratic. In Germany the
Reformation had to struggle with the will of princes; in Switzerland,
with the will of the people. A multitude are more easily led away than
an individual, and are also more prompt in their decisions. The
victory over the papacy on the other side of the Rhine was the work of
years, but on this side of it required only months or days.

  [600] First Volume.


In Germany, Luther's person stands forth imposingly from the midst of
his Saxon countrymen. He seems to struggle alone in his attack on the
Roman Colossus, and wherever the battle is fought, we see his lofty
stature on the field of battle. Luther is, as it were, the monarch of
the revolution which is being accomplished. In Switzerland, several
cantons are at once engaged in the contest. We see a confederacy of
Reformers, and are astonished at their numbers. No doubt there is one
head which stands elevated above the rest, but no one has the command.
It is a republican magistracy, where each presents his peculiar
physiognomy, and exercises his separate influence. We have Wittemberg,
Zuinglius, Capito, Haller, Œcolampadius. Again, we have Oswald
Myconius, Leo Juda, Farel, and Calvin, and the Reformation takes place
at Glaris, Bâle, Zurich, Berne, Neufchatel, Geneva, Lucerne,
Schafausen, Appenzel, St. Gall, and in the Grisons. In the
Reformation of Germany, one scene only is seen, and that one level
like the country around; but in Switzerland, the Reformation is
divided, as Switzerland itself is divided by its thousand mountains.
So to speak, each valley has its awakening, and each Alpine height its
gleams of light.

A lamentable period had commenced in the history of the Swiss after
their exploits against the dukes of Burgundy. Europe, which had
learned to know the strength of their arm, had brought them forth from
their mountains, and robbed them of their independence, by employing
them to decide the destiny of states on battle-fields. Swiss
brandished the sword against Swiss on the plains of Italy and France;
and the intrigues of strangers filled these high valleys of the Alps,
so long the abode of simplicity and peace, with envy and discord. Led
away by the attraction of gold, sons, labourers, and servants, stole
away from the chalets of alpine pastures towards the banks of the
Rhine or the Po. Helvetic unity was crushed under the slow step of
mules loaded with gold. The object of the Reformation in
Switzerland--for there too it had a political aspect--was to
re-establish the unity and ancient virtues of the cantons. Its first
cry was that the Swiss should tear asunder the perfidious nets of
strangers, and embrace each other in strict union at the foot of the
cross. But the generous call was not listened to. Rome, accustomed to
purchase in these valleys the blood which she shed in order to
increase her power, rose up in wrath. She set Swiss against Swiss, and
new passions arose which rent the body of the nation in pieces.

Switzerland stood in need of a reformation. It is true there was among
the Helvetians a simplicity and good-nature, which the polished
Italians thought ridiculous, but, at the same time, it was admitted
that by no people were the laws of chastity more habitually
transgressed. Astrologers ascribed this to the constellations;[601]
philosophers, to the ardent temperament of this indomitable
population; and moralists, to the principles of the Swiss, who
regarded trick, dishonesty, and slander as much greater sins than
uncleanness.[602] The priests were prohibited from marrying, but it
would have been difficult to find one of them who lived in true
celibacy. The thing required of them was, to conduct themselves not
chastely, but prudently. This was one of the first disorders against
which the Reformation was directed. It is time to trace the beginnings
of this new day in the valleys of the Alps.

  [601] Wirz, Helvetische Kirchen Geschichte, iii, p. 201.

  [602] Sodomitis melius erit in die judicii, quam rerum vel honoris
  ablatoribus. (Hemmerlin, de anno jubilæo.)


Towards the middle of the eleventh century, two hermits set out from
Saint Gall, and proceeding towards the mountains at the south of this
ancient monastery, arrived in a deserted valley about ten leagues
long.[603] Towards the north, the high mountains of Sentis, the
Sommerigkopf, and the Old-Man, separate this valley from the canton of
Appenzel. On the south, the Kuhfirsten, with its seven heads, rises
between it and the Wallenses, Sargans, and the Grisons, while the
eastern side of the valley opens to the rays of the rising sun, and
discovers the magnificent prospect of the Tyrolese Alps. The two
solitaries having arrived near the source of a small river, (the
Thur,) built two cells. The valley gradually became inhabited. On the
highest portion of it, 2010 feet above the Lake of Zurich, there was
formed, around a church, a village named Wildhaus, or the Wild House,
with which two hamlets are now connected, _viz._, Lisighaus, or the
House of Elizabeth, and Schœnenboden. The fruits of the earth are
unable to grow upon these heights. A green carpet of Alpine freshness
covers the whole valley, and rises upon the sides of the mountains,
above which masses of enormous rocks lift their wild grandeur towards

  [603] The Tokenburg.

At a quarter of a league from the church near Lisighaus, on the side
of a path which leads into the pastures beyond the river, a solitary
house is still standing. The tradition is, that the wood used in
building it was cut upon the very spot.[604] Everything indicates that
it must have been erected at a very remote period. The walls are thin.
The windows have little round panes, and the roof is formed of slabs,
on which stones are laid to prevent the wind from carrying them away.
In front of the house there is a limpid gushing spring.

  [604] Schuler's Zwinglis Bildungs Gesch. p. 290.


In this house, towards the end of the fifteenth century, lived a man
named Zuinglius, amman or bailiff of the district. The family of the
Zwingles, or Zwingli, was ancient, and in high esteem among the
inhabitants of these mountains.[605] Bartholomew, brother of the
bailiff, at first curate of the parish, and, after 1487, dean of
Wesen, was a person of some celebrity in the district.[606] Margaret
Meili, the wife of the amman of Wildhaus, and whose brother John was
afterwards abbot of the convent of Fischingen in Thurgovia, had
already given birth to two sons, Heini and Klaus, when, on the first
day of the year 1484, seven weeks after the birth of Luther, a third
son, Ulric, was born in this solitary hut.[607] Five other sons,
John, Wolfgang, Bartholomew, James, Andrew, and a daughter, Anna,
were afterwards added to this Alpine family. No person in the country
was more venerated than amman Zuinglius.[608] His character, his
office, his numerous children, made him the patriarch of these
mountains. He and all his sons were shepherds. No sooner did the first
days of May open upon these mountains than the father and the children
departed with their flocks for the pastures, rising gradually from
station to station, and so, towards the end of July, reaching the
highest summits of the Alps. Then they began gradually to redescend
towards the valley, and in autumn the whole population of Wildhaus
returned to their humble huts. Sometimes, during the summer, the young
people who had been obliged to remain at home, eager for the mountain
breezes, set out in bands for the chalets, uniting their voices to the
melody of their rustic instruments. On their arrival on the Alps, the
shepherds from a distance saluted them with their horns and their
songs, and regaled them with a feast of milk. Afterwards the joyous
band, by turnings and windings, descended again into the valley,
moving to the sound of their pipes. Ulric in his youth doubtless
joined occasionally in this amusement. He grew up at the foot of those
rocks which seem eternal, and whose tops reach the heavens. "I have
often thought," says one of his friends, "that, being brought near to
heaven on these sublime heights, he there contracted something
celestial and divine."[609]

  [605] Diss Geschlächt der Zwinglinen, wass in guter Achtung diesser
  Landen, als ein gut alt ehrlich Geschlächt. (H. Bullinger's Histor.
  Beschreibung der Eidg. Geschichten.) This valuable work existed only
  in manuscript in 1837, and was communicated to me by the kindness of
  M. J. G. Hess. In the quotations I preserve the orthography of the
  period and of the manuscript. The friends of history have since caused
  it to be printed.

  [606] Ein verrumbter Mann. (Ibid.)

  [607] Quadragesimum octavum agimus, writes Zuinglius to Vadian, 17th
  September, 1531.

  [608] Clarus fuit pater ob spectatam vitæ sanctimoniam. (Oswald
  Myconius, Vita Zwingli.)

  [609] Divinitatis nonnihil cœlo propriorem contraxisse. (Ibid.)

There were long winter evenings in the cottages of Wildhaus, and then
young Ulric, seated at the paternal hearth, listened to the
conversation of the bailiff and the old men of the district. He heard
them tell how the inhabitants of the valley had formerly groaned under
a heavy yoke. With the old men his heart beat high at the thought of
the independence which the Tockenburg had acquired, and which the
alliance with the Swiss had secured. A patriotic feeling was kindled
in his breast. Switzerland became dear to him; and if any one uttered
an unfavourable expression against the confederates, the child
instantly stood up and warmly defended their cause.[610] During these
long evenings he was often seen quietly seated at the feet of his
pious grandmother, with his eyes rivetted upon her, listening to her
Bible stories, and devout lessons, as he eagerly received them into
his heart.

  [610] Schulers Zw. Bildung, p. 291.


     Young Ulric at Wesen--At Bâle--At Berne--The Dominican
     Convent--Jetzer--The Apparitions--The Passion of the Lay
     Brother--The Imposture--Discovery and Punishment--Zuinglius
     at Vienna--At Bâle--Music at Bâle--Wittembach teaches the
     Gospel--Leon Juda--The Curate of Glaris.

The good amman was delighted with the happy presages in his son. He
perceived that Ulric would be able to do something else than herd his
cows on Mount Sentis, singing the shepherd's song. One day he took him
by the hand and proceeded with him towards Wesen. He traversed the
verdant ridges of the Ammon, avoiding the wild and precipitous rocks
which border the lake of Wallenstadt. On arriving at the town, he
called upon his brother the dean, to whom he intrusted the young
mountaineer, in order that he might ascertain what his talents
were.[611] The leading feature in his character was an innate horror
at falsehood and a great love of truth. He himself relates that one
day, when he was beginning to reflect, the thought struck him that
falsehood should be punished more severely than even theft; "for,"
adds he, "veracity is the parent of all the virtues." The dean soon
loved his nephew as if he had been his son; delighted with his
sprightliness, he entrusted his education to a schoolmaster who in a
short time taught him all that he knew himself. Young Ulric, when ten
years of age, having given indications of a high order of
intellect,[612] his father and his uncle resolved on sending him to

  [611] Tenerrimum ad fratrem sacrificum adduxit, ut ingenii ejus
  periculum faceret. (Melch. Ad. Vit. Zw. p. 25.)

  [612] Und in ihm erschinen merkliche Zeichen eines edlen Gemüths.
  (Manuscript de Bullinger.)

When the child of the Tockenburg arrived in this celebrated city, with
an integrity and purity of heart which he seemed to have inhaled from
the pure air of his mountains, but which came from a higher source, a
new world opened before him. The celebrity of the famous council of
Bâle; the university which Pius II had founded in 1460; the printing
presses, which revived the master-pieces of antiquity, and circulated
over the world the first fruits of the revival of letters; the
residence of distinguished men; the Wessels, the Wittembachs, and, in
particular, that prince of scholars and luminary of the schools,
Erasmus, rendered Bâle, at the period of the Reformation, one of the
great foci of light in the west.


Ulric entered the school of St. Theodore, which was taught by Gregory
Binzli, a man of an affectionate and gentle temper, at this period
rare among teachers. Young Zuinglius made rapid progress. The learned
disputes which were then fashionable among the doctors of universities
had even descended to the youth in schools. Ulric took part in them.
He exercised his growing strength against the children of other
schools, and was always victorious in those struggles which formed a
kind of prelude to those by which the papacy was to be overthrown in
Switzerland.[613] His success excited the jealousy of rivals older
than himself. The school of Bâle was soon outstripped by him as that
of Wesen had been.

  [613] In disputationibus, quæ pro more tum erant inter pueros usitatæ,
  victoriam semper reportavit. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.)

Lupulus, a distinguished scholar, had just opened at Berne the first
learned school that was founded in Switzerland. The bailiff of
Wildhaus and the curate of Wesen resolved to send their child thither,
and Zuinglius, in 1497, quitting the smiling plains of Bâle, again
drew near to the high Alps, where he had spent his childhood, and
whose snowy tops, gilded with the rays of the sun, he could see from
Berne. Lupulus, a distinguished poet, introduced his pupil to the
sanctuary of classic literature, a sanctuary then unknown, only a few
of the initiated having passed the threshold.[614] The young neophyte
ardently breathed an atmosphere rich in the perfumes of antiquity. His
intellect was developed and his style formed. He became a poet.

  [614] Ab eo in adyta classicorum scriptorum introductus. (Ibid.)

Among the convents of Berne, that of the Dominicans held a
distinguished place. These monks were engaged in a serious quarrel
with the Franciscans. The latter maintained the immaculate conception
of the virgin, while the former denied it. In every step the
Dominicans took--before the rich altars which decorated their church,
and between the twelve pillars on which its arches were
supported--they thought only of humbling their rivals. They had
observed the fine voice of Zuinglius, and heard of his precocious
intellect, and thinking that he might throw lustre on their order,
strove to gain him.[615] With this view they invited him to remain in
their convent till he should make his noviciate. The whole prospects
of Zuinglius were threatened. The amman of Wildhaus having been
informed of the bait to which the Dominicans had had recourse,
trembled for the innocence of his son, and ordered him forthwith to
quit Berne. Zuinglius thus escaped those monastic enclosures into
which Luther rushed voluntarily. What happened afterwards may enable
us to comprehend the imminent danger to which Zuinglius had been

  [615] Und als er wol singen kœndt lœkten Ihn die prediger
  Mœnchen in dass Kloster. (Bullinger, M.S.)


In 1507 great excitement prevailed in the town of Berne. A young man
of Zurzach, named John Jetzer, having one day presented himself at
this same Dominican convent, had been repulsed. The poor youth in
despair had returned to the charge, holding in his hand fifty-three
florins and some pieces of silk. "It is all I possess," said he, "take
it, and receive me into your order." He was admitted on the 6th
January among the lay brothers. But the very first night a strange
noise in his cell filled him with terror. He fled to the Carthusian
convent, but was again sent back to that of the Dominicans.

[Sidenote: IMPOSTURE.]

On the following night, being the eve of the feast of St. Matthew, he
was awoke by deep sighs, and perceived at his bedside a tall phantom
in white. "I am," said a sepulchral voice, "a soul escaped from the
fire of purgatory." The lay brother trembling, replied, "God save you;
for me, I can do nothing." Then the spirit advanced towards the poor
friar and, seizing him by the throat, indignantly upbraided him with
his refusal. Jetzer in terror exclaimed, "What then can I do to save
you?" "Flagellate yourself for eight days till the blood comes, and
lie prostrate on the pavement of the chapel of St. John." So answered
the spirit, and disappeared. The lay brother gave information of the
apparition to his confessor, a preacher of the convent, and by his
advice submitted to the discipline required. The rumour soon spread
throughout the town that a soul had applied to the Dominicans to be
delivered from purgatory. The Franciscans were deserted, and every one
ran to the church to see the holy man lying prostrate on the ground.
The soul from purgatory had intimated that he would reappear in eight
days. On the night appointed it in fact did appear, accompanied by two
other spirits that were tormenting it and howling horribly. "Scotus,"
said the spirit, "Scotus, the inventor of the Franciscan doctrine of
the immaculate conception of the Virgin, is among those who like me
are suffering these fierce pains." At this news, which soon spread
over Berne, the partisans of the Franciscans were still more alarmed.
The spirit on disappearing had announced a visit from the Virgin
herself. In fact, on the day appointed, the astonished friar saw Mary
herself appear in his cell. He could not believe his eyes. She
approached him kindly, gave him three of our Saviour's tears, three
drops of his blood, a crucifix, and a letter addressed to Pope Julius
II, "who," said she, "was the individual chosen by God to abolish the
festival of her pretended immaculate conception." Then coming still
closer to the bed on which the friar lay, she announced, in a solemn
tone, that a great grace was to be conferred on him, and drove a nail
into his hand. The lay brother uttered a loud shriek, but Mary wrapt
up his hand in a piece of linen which her Son, she said, had worn
after his flight into Egypt. This wound was not sufficient to make the
glory of the Dominicans equal to that of the Franciscans. Jetzer must
have the five wounds of Christ and of St. Francis in his hands, feet,
and side. The four others were inflicted, and then, after giving him a
draught, he was placed in a hall hung with pictures representing our
Saviour's passion. Here having spent whole days fasting, his
imagination soon became heated. The doors of the hall were then thrown
open from time to time to the public who came in crowds to contemplate
with devout astonishment the friar with his five wounds, stretching
out his arms, bending his head, and by his positions and gestures
imitating the crucifixion of our Lord. Sometimes, out of his wits, he
foamed, and seemed about to breathe his last. The whisper went round,
"He is enduring the cross of Christ." The multitude, eager for
miracles, continually thronged the convent. Men worthy of high esteem,
among others Lupulus himself, the master of Zuinglius, were overawed,
and the Dominicans, from the height of the pulpit extolled the glory
which God was bestowing on their order.

This order had for some years felt the necessity of humbling the
Franciscans, and of augmenting the respect and liberality of the
people by means of miracles. Berne, "a simple, rustic, and ignorant
town," as the sub-prior of Berne described it to the Chapter held at
Wimpfen on the Necker, had been selected as the theatre of their
operations. The prior, sub-prior, preacher, and purveyor of the
convent, had undertaken to perform the leading characters, but they
wanted the talent necessary to perform them to the end. A new
apparition of Mary having taken place, Jetzer thought he recognised
the voice of his confessor, and having said so aloud, Mary
disappeared. She soon made her appearance again, to censure the
incredulous friar. "This time it is the prior," exclaimed Jetzer,
rushing forward with a knife in his hand. The saintess threw a pewter
plate at the poor friar's head, and likewise disappeared.


In consternation at the discovery which Jetzer had thus made, the
Dominicans tried to disencumber themselves of him by means of poison.
He perceived it; and, having taken flight, disclosed the imposition.
They put on a good countenance, and sent deputies to Rome. The pope
committed the decision to his legate in Switzerland, and the bishops
of Lausanne and Sion. The four Dominicans being convicted, were
condemned to be burnt alive; and on the 1st May, 1509, were consumed
by the flames, in presence of more than thirty thousand spectators.
The affair made a noise throughout Europe, and by unveiling one of
the worst sores of the Church, prepared the Reformation.[616]

  [616] Wirz, Helvetische Kirchen Gesch. vol. iii, p. 387. Aushelms
  Cronik, iii and iv. No event of the period of the Reformation has
  given rise to so many writings. See Haller's Biblioth. der Schw.
  Gesch. iii.

Such were the men into whose hands Ulric Zuinglius had nearly fallen.
He had studied literature at Berne; he behoved now to devote himself
to philosophy, and with this view repaired to Vienna. A youth from St.
Gall, named Joachim Vadian, whose genius gave promise to Switzerland
of a distinguished scholar and a statesman; Henri Loreti, of the
canton of Glaris, commonly called Glarean, and apparently destined to
shine among poets; John Heigerlin, son of a forgemaster, and hence
surnamed Faber, of a versatile temper, fond of honour and glory,
possessing all the qualities indicative of a courtier--such were
Ulric's fellow-students and companions in the capital of Austria.

Zuinglius returned to Wildhaus in 1502; but on revisiting his
mountains he felt that he had drunk of the cup of science, and could
no longer live amid the songs of his brothers and the bleating of
their flocks. He was eighteen years of age, and repaired to Bâle,[617]
to engage again in literary pursuits, and thus at once master and
pupil he taught at the school of St. Martin, and studied at the
university; from this time he was able to dispense with assistance
from his father. Shortly after, he took the degree of master of arts.
An Alsatian, named Capito, nine years older than he, was one of his
best friends.

  [617] Ne diutius ab exercitio literarum cessaret. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.)


Zuinglius devoted himself to the study of scholastic theology; for,
being called one day to combat its sophisms, he behoved to explore its
obscure labyrinth. But the light hearted student of the mountains of
Sentis was often seen suddenly to shake off the dust of the school,
and, substituting amusement for his philosophic toils, seize the lute,
or the harp, or the violin, or the flute, or the tympanon, or the
cornet, or the hunting horn, extract joyous sounds from these
instruments as in the prairies of Lisighaus, and make his lodgings, or
the dwellings of his friends, re-echo with the airs of his country,
accompanying them with his voice. In regard to music, he was a true
child of the Tockenburg, superior to all.[618] In addition to the
instruments we have already named, he played several others. An
enthusiast in the art he diffused a taste for it in the university,
not from any desire of dissipation, but because he loved thus to relax
his mind when fatigued by serious study, and fit himself for returning
with greater zeal to difficult labours.[619] None had a gayer humour,
a more amiable disposition, or more engaging conversation.[620] He
was a vigorous Alpine tree which developed itself in all its
gracefulness and strength, and which, never having been pruned, threw
out strong branches in all directions. The time was coming when these
branches would turn vigorously in the direction of heaven.

  [618] Ich habe auch nie von Keinem gehört der in der Kunst Musica ...
  so erfahren gewesen. (B. Weysen, Füsslin Beyträge zur Ref. Gesch. iv,

  [619] Ut ingenium seriis defatigatum recrearetur et paratius ad solita
  studia redderetur ... (Melch. Ad. Vit. Zw.)

  [620] Ingenio amœnus, et ore jucundus, supra quam dici possit,
  erat. (Os. Myc. Vit. Zw.)

After he had forced an entrance into scholastic theology he left its
arid tracts fatigued and disgusted, having found nothing in it but
confused ideas, vain babbling, vain glory, barbarism, and not one
sound idea of doctrine. "It is only a loss of time," said he, and
waited for something better.

At this time, (November, 1505,) arrived at Bâle Thomas Wittembach, son
of a burgomaster of Bienne. Wittembach had till then taught at
Tubingen, side by side with Reuchlin. He was in the vigour of life,
sincere, pious, skilled in the liberal arts, and mathematics, and well
acquainted with the Holy Scriptures. Zuinglius and all the academic
youth immediately flocked around him. A spirit hitherto unknown
animated his lectures, and prophetic words escaped from his lips: "The
time is not distant," said he, "when scholastic theology will be
abolished and the ancient doctrine of the Church restored."[621] "The
death of Christ," added he, "is the only ransom of our souls."[622]
The heart of Zuinglius eagerly received these seeds of life.[623] At
this period classical studies began every where to supplant the
scholastics of the middle age. Zuinglius, like his preceptors and
friends, threw himself into this new course.

  [621] Et doctrinam Ecclesiæ veterem ... instaurari oporteat.
  (Gualterus, Misc. Tig. iii, 102.)

  [622] Der Tod Christi sey die einige Bezahlung für unsere Sünde....
  (Füslin Beyr. ii, p. 268.)

  [623] Quum a tanto viro semina quædam ... Zuingliano pectori injecta
  essent (Leo Jud. in Præf. ad. Ann. Zw. in N. T.) When the great man
  had deposited some seeds in the breast of Zuinglius.

Among the students who followed the lessons of the new teacher with
the greatest enthusiasm was a young man of twenty-three, of small
stature, and a feeble sickly appearance, but whose eye bespoke at once
gentleness and intrepidity. This was Leo Juda, son of an Alsatian
curate, and whose uncle had fallen at Rhodes, fighting in defence of
Christendom, under the standard of the Teutonic knights. Leo and Ulric
were on intimate terms. Leo played the tympanon, and had a very fine
voice. The joyous melodies of the young friends of the arts were often
heard in his lodgings. Leo Juda, at a later period, became the
colleague of Zuinglius, and even death could not destroy their sacred


At this time the office of pastor of Glaris having become vacant,
Henry Goldli, a young courtier of the pope, and groom of the stable to
his holiness, obtained the appointment from his master, and hastened
with it to Glaris. But the Glarian shepherds, proud of the antiquity
of their race, and of their battles for freedom, were not disposed to
bow implicitly to a piece of parchment from Rome. Wildhaus is not far
from Glaris; and Wesen, where Zuinglius' uncle was curate, is the
place where the market of the district is held. The reputation of the
young master of arts of Bâle had penetrated even into these mountains;
and the Glarians, wishing to have him for their priest, gave him a
call in 1506. Zuinglius having been ordained at Constance by the
bishop, preached his first sermon at Rapperswil, read his first mass
at Wildhaus on St. Michael's day, in presence of all his relations and
the friends of his family, and towards the close of the year arrived
at Glaris.


     Love of War--Schinner--Pension from the Pope--The
     Labyrinth--Zuinglius in Italy--Principle of
     Reform--Zuinglius and Luther--Zuinglius and
     Erasmus--Zuinglius and the Elders--Paris and Glaris.

Zuinglius immediately engaged in the zealous discharge of the work
which his vast parish imposed upon him. Still he was only twenty-two
years of age, and often allowed himself to be carried away by the
dissipation and lax ideas of his age. A priest of Rome he was like the
other priests around him. But even at this period, though the
evangelical doctrine had not changed his heart, Zuinglius did not give
way to those scandals which frequently afflicted the Church.[624] He
always felt the need of subjecting his passions to the holy rule of
the gospel.

  [624] Sic reverentia pudoris, imprimis autem officii divini, perpetuo
  cavit, (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.)

A love of war at this time inflamed the quiet valleys of Glaris where
there were families of heroes--the Tschudis, the Walas, the Æblis,
whose blood had flowed on the field of battle. The youth listened with
eagerness to the old warriors when they told them of the wars of
Burgundy and Suabia, of the battles of St. James and Ragaz. But alas!
it was no longer against the enemies of their liberties that these
warlike shepherds took up arms. They were seen, at the bidding of the
kings of France, of the emperor, the dukes of Milan, or the holy
father himself, descending from the Alps like an avalanche, and
rushing with the noise of thunder against the troops drawn up in the

[Sidenote: SCHINNER.]

A poor boy named Matthew Schinner, who was at the school of Sion in
the Valais, (it was toward the middle of the latter half of the
fifteenth century,) singing before the houses, as young Martin Luther
shortly after did, heard himself called by an old man, who, being
struck with the frankness with which the child answered his questions,
said to him with that prophetic spirit with which man is said to be
sometimes endowed when on the brink of the grave, "Thou art to be a
bishop and a prince."[625] The expression sunk deep into the young
mendicant, and from that moment boundless ambition took possession of
his heart. At Zurich and Como the progress he made astonished his
masters. Having become curate of a small parish in Valais, he rose
rapidly, and being sent at a later period to ask from the pope the
confirmation of a bishop of Sion, who had just been elected, he
obtained the bishopric for himself, and girt his brow with the
episcopal mitre. This man, ambitious and crafty, but often noble and
generous, always considered any dignity bestowed upon him as only a
step destined to raise him to some still higher dignity. Having
offered his services to Louis XII, and named his price, "It is too
much for one man," said the king. "I will show him," replied the
bishop of Sion, offended, "that I am a man worth several men." In fact
he turned towards pope Julius II, who gladly received him, and
Schinner succeeded in 1510 in linking the whole Swiss confederation to
the policy of this ambitious pontiff. The bishop having been rewarded
with a cardinal's hat smiled when he saw that there was now only one
step between him and the papal throne.

  [625] Helvet Kirch Gesch. von Wirz, iii, p. 314.


Schinner's eye was continually turned to the cantons of Switzerland,
and as soon as he there discerned any man of influence he hastened to
attach him to himself. The pastor of Glaris drew his attention, and
Zuinglius soon received intimation that the pope had granted him an
annual pension of fifty florins, to encourage him in the cultivation
of letters. His poverty did not allow him to purchase books; and the
money during the short time that Ulric received it was devoted to the
purchase of classical or theological works, which he procured from
Bâle.[626] Zuinglius was now connected with the cardinal, and
accordingly joined the Roman party. Schinner and Julius II at last
disclosed the end which they had in view in these intrigues. Eight
thousand Swiss mustered by the eloquence of the cardinal-archbishop,
passed the Alps; but famine, war, and French gold obliged them to
return to their mountains without glory. They brought back the usual
results of these foreign wars,--distrust, licentiousness, party
spirit, all sorts of violence and disorder. Citizens refused to obey
their magistrates, and children their parents; agriculture and the
care of their flocks were neglected; luxury and mendicity kept pace
with each other; the most sacred ties were broken, and the
confederation seemed on the point of being dissolved.

  [626] Wellches er an die Bücher verwändet. (Bullinger MS.)

The eyes of the young curate of Glaris were now opened, and his
indignation aroused. He raised his voice aloud to warn them of the
abyss into which they were about to fall. In 1510 he published his
poem entitled "The Labyrinth." Behind the windings of this mysterious
garden, Minos has hidden the Minotaur, that monster, half man half
bull, whom he feeds on the flesh of young Athenians. "The Minotaur,
... in other words," says Zuinglius, "sin, vice, irreligion, and the
foreign service of the Swiss," devour the sons of his countrymen.

Theseus, a man of courage, wishes to deliver his country, but numerous
obstacles arrest him;--first, a lion with one eye; this is Spain and
Arragon;--then a crowned eagle, whose throat is opened to devour it;
this is the empire;--then a cock, with his comb up, and calling for
battle; this is France. The hero surmounts all these obstacles, gets
up to the monster, stabs it, and saves his country.

"So now," exclaims the poet, "men wander in a labyrinth, but having no
thread to guide them they cannot regain the light. No where is there
any imitation of Jesus Christ. A little glory makes us hazard our
life, torment our neighbour, rush into strife, war, and combat.... One
would say that the furies have escaped from the depths of hell."[627]

  [627] Dass wir die höllschen wütterinn'n
        Mögend denken abbrochen syn.
             (Zw. Op. ed. Schüler et Schulthess, ii, part ii. p. 250.)

A Theseus, a Reformer was required. Zuinglius perceived this, and
thenceforth had a presentiment of his mission. Not long after he
composed an allegory with a still clearer application.[628]

  [628] Fabelgedicht vom Ochsen und etlichen Thieren, iez loufender
  dinge begriffenlich. (Ibid. p. 257.)


In April, 1512, the confederates rose anew at the bidding of the
cardinal, for the deliverance of the Church. Glaris was in the
foremost rank. The whole population was brought into the field, ranged
round their banner with their landaman and their pastor. Zuinglius
behoved to march. The army passed the Alps, and the cardinal appeared
amidst the confederates with the presents given him by the pope,--a
ducal hat adorned with pearls and gold, and surmounted by the Holy
Spirit, represented under the form of a dove. The Swiss escaladed the
fortresses and towns, swam rivers in the presence of the enemy,
unclothed, and with halberds in their hands; the French were every
where put to flight; bells and trumpets resounded, and the population
flocked from all quarters; the nobles supplied the army with wine and
fruits in abundance; the monks and priests mounted on platforms, and
proclaimed, that the confederates were the people of God taking
vengeance on the enemies of the Lord's spouse; and the pope becoming
prophet, like Caiaphas of old, gave the confederates the title of
"Defenders of the liberty of the Church."[629]

  [629] De Gestis inter Gallos et Helvetios, relatio H. Zwinglii

This sojourn of Zuinglius in Italy was not without its effect, in
reference to his vocation of Reformer. On his return from this
campaign, he began to study Greek, "in order," says he, "to be able to
draw the doctrine of Jesus Christ from the very fountain of
truth."[630] Writing to Vadian, 23rd February, 1513, he says, "I have
resolved so to apply myself to the study of Greek, that none will be
able to turn me from it but God. I do it not for fame, but from love
to sacred literature." At a later period, a worthy priest, who had
been his school companion, having come to pay him a visit, said to
him, "Master Ulric, I am assured that you are tainted with the new
heresy, that you are a Lutheran." "I am not a Lutheran," said
Zuinglius, "for I knew Greek before I heard of the name of
Luther."[631] To know Greek, to study the gospel in the original
tongue, was, according to Zuinglius, the basis of the Reformation.

  [630] Ante decem annos, operam dedi græcis literis, ut ex fontibus
  doctrinam Christi haurire possem. (Zw. Op. i, p. 274, in his Explan.
  Artic. dated 1523.)

  [631] Ich hab græcæ können, ehe ich ni nüt von Luther gehöt hab.
  (Salat. Chronik. MS.)

Zuinglius did more than recognise, at this early period, the great
principle of evangelical Christianity--the infallible authority of the
Holy Scriptures. Besides this, he understood how the meaning of the
divine Word ought to be ascertained. "Those," said he, "have a very
grovelling idea of the Scriptures who regard whatever seems to them at
variance with their own reason as frivolous, vain, and unjust.[632]
Men have no right to bind the gospel at pleasure to their own sense,
and their own interpretation."[633] "Zuinglius raised his eye to
heaven," said his dearest friend, "unwilling to have any other
interpreter than the Holy Spirit himself."[634]

  [632] Nihil sublimius de evangelio sentiunt, quam quod, quidquid eorum
  rationi non est consentaneum, hoc iniquum, vanum et frivolum
  existimant. (Zw. Op. i, p. 202.)

  [633] Nec posse evangelium ad sensum et interpretationem hominum
  redigi. (Ibid., p. 215.)

  [634] In cœlum suspexit, doctorem quærens Spiritum. (Osw. Myc. Vit.


Such, from the commencement of his career, was the man, whom some have
not scrupled to represent as having wished to subject the Bible to
human reason. "Philosophy and theology," said he, "ceased not to raise
up objections against me. I, at length, arrived at this conclusion,
'We must leave all these things, and seek our knowledge of God only in
his Word.' I began," continues he, "earnestly to supplicate the Lord
to give me his light, and though I read only the text of Scripture,
it became far clearer to me than if I had read a host of
commentators." Comparing the Scriptures with themselves and explaining
passages that were obscure by such as were more clear,[635] he soon
had a thorough knowledge of the Bible, especially the New
Testament.[636] When Zuinglius thus turned toward the Holy Scriptures,
Switzerland took her first step in the Reformation. Accordingly, when
he expounded the Scriptures, every one felt that his lessons came from
God, and not from man.[637] "Work all divine!" here exclaims Oswald
Myconius; "thus was the knowledge of heavenly truth restored to us!"

  [635] Scripta contulit et obscura claris elucidavit. (Ibid.)

  [636] In summa, er macht im, die H. Schrifft, Insonders dass N. T.
  gantz gemein. (Bullinger, MS.)

  [637] Ut nemo non videret Spiritum doctorem, non hominem. (Osw. Myc.
  Vit. Zw.)

Zuinglius did not, however, despise the expositions of the most
celebrated doctors: at a later period, he studied Origen, Ambrose,
Jerome, Augustine, Chrysostom, but not as authorities. "I study the
doctors," says he, "with the same feelings with which one asks a
friend, 'What do you understand by this?'" The Holy Scripture was,
according to him, the touch-stone by which the most holy of the
doctors were themselves to be tested.[638]

  [638] Scriptura canonica, seu Lydio lapide probandos. (Ibid.)

Zuinglius's step was slow, but progressive. He did not come to the
truth like Luther amid those tempests which compel the soul to seek a
speedy shelter. He arrived at it by the peaceful influence of
Scripture, whose power gradually gains upon the heart. Luther reached
the wished-for shore across the billows of the boundless deep;
Zuinglius, by allowing himself to glide along the stream. These are
the two principal ways by which God leads men. Zuinglius was not fully
converted to God and his gospel till the first period of his sojourn
at Zurich; yet, in 1514 or 1515, at the moment when the strong man
began to bend the knee to God, praying for the understanding of his
Word, the rays of that pure light by which he was afterwards
illumined, first began to gleam upon him.

At this period, a poem of Erasmus, in which Jesus Christ was
introduced addressing man as perishing by his own fault, made a
powerful impression on Zuinglius. When alone in his study, he repeated
the passage in which Jesus complains that all grace is not sought from
him, though he is the source of all that is good. "ALL!" said
Zuinglius, "ALL!" And this word was incessantly present to his mind.
"Are there then creatures, saints, from whom we ought to ask
assistance? No! Christ is our only treasure."[639]

  [639] Dass Christus unser armen seelen ein einziger Schatz sey. (Zw.
  Op. i, p. 398.) Zuinglius says in 1522 that he had read the poem of
  Erasmus eight or nine years before.

Zuinglius did not confine his reading to Christian writings. One of
the distinguishing characteristics of the sixteenth century is the
profound study of the Greek and Roman authors. The poetry of Hesiod,
Homer, Pindar, enraptured him, and he has left us commentaries, or
characteristics, on the two last poets. It seemed to him that Pindar
spoke of his gods in such sublime strains that he must have had some
presentiment of the true God. He studied Cicero and Demosthenes
thoroughly, and learned from them both the art of the orator and the
duties of the citizen. He called Seneca a holy man. The Swiss
mountaineer loved also to initiate himself in the mysteries of nature,
through the writings of Pliny. Thucydides, Sallust, Livy, Cæsar,
Suetonius, Plutarch, and Tacitus, taught him to know the world. He has
been censured for his enthusiastic admiration of the great men of
antiquity, and it is true that some of his observations on this
subject cannot be defended. But if he honoured them so much, it was
because he thought he saw in them not human virtues, but the influence
of the Holy Spirit. The agency of God, far from confining itself to
ancient times within the limits of Palestine, extended, according to
him, to the whole world.[640] "Plato," said he, "has also drunk at the
Divine source. And if the two Catos, if Camillus, if Scipio had not
been truly religious, would they have been so magnanimous?"[641]

  [640] Spiritus ille cœlestis non solam Palestinam vel creaverat vel
  fovebat, sed mundum universum...... (Œcol. et Zw. Ep. p. 9.) That
  celestial Spirit had created and continued to cherish not only
  Palestine, but the whole world.

  [641] Nisi religiosi nunquam fuissent magnanimi. (Ibid.)


Zuinglius diffused around him a love of letters. Several choice youths
were trained in his school. "You offered me not only books, but also
yourself," wrote Valentine Tschudi, son of one of the heroes of the
wars of Burgundy; and this young man, who at that time had already
studied at Vienna and Bâle, under the most celebrated teachers, adds,
"I have never met with any one who explained the classics with so much
precision and profundity as yourself."[642] Tschudi repaired to Paris,
and was able to compare the spirit which prevailed in that university,
with that which he had found in the narrow Alpine valley, over which
impend the gigantic peaks and eternal snows of the Dodi, the
Glarnisch, the Viggis, and the Freyberg. "How frivolously," says he,
"the French youth are educated! No poison is so bad as the sophistical
art in which they are trained--an art which stupifies the senses,
destroys the judgment, brutifies the whole man. Man is thenceforth,
like the echo, an empty sound. Ten women could not keep pace with one
of these rhetoricians.[643] In their prayers even they present their
sophisms to God, (I know the fact,) and pretend, by their syllogisms,
to constrain the Holy Spirit to hear them." Such, then, were Paris and
Glaris; the intellectual metropolis of Christendom, and a village of
Alpine shepherds. A ray of the Divine Word gives more light than all
human wisdom.

  [642] Nam qui sit acrioris in enodandis autoribus judicii, vidi
  neminem. (Zw. Ep. p. 13.) For I have never seen any one so acute and
  judicious in unravelling authors.

  [643] Ut nec decem mulierculæ .... uni sophistæ adæquari queant (Zw.
  Ep., p. 13.)


     Zuinglius in regard to Erasmus--Oswald Myconius--The
     Vagrants--Œcolampadius--Zuinglius at Marignan--Zuinglius
     and Italy--Method of Zuinglius--Commencement of

A great man of this age, Erasmus, had much influence on Zuinglius,
who, as soon as any of his writings appeared, lost no time in
procuring it. In 1514, Erasmus had arrived at Bâle, and been received
by the bishop with marks of high esteem. All the friends of letters
had immediately grouped around him. But the monarch of the schools had
no difficulty in singling out him who was to be the glory of
Switzerland. "I congratulate the Swiss nation," wrote he to Zuinglius,
"that by your studies and your manners, both alike excellent, you
labour to polish and elevate them."[644] Zuinglius had a most ardent
desire to see him. "Spaniards and Gauls went to Rome to see Titus
Livy," said he. He set out, and on arriving at Bâle, found a personage
of about forty years of age, of small stature, a frail body, a
delicate look, but a remarkably amiable and winning address.[645] It
was Erasmus. His affability removed the timidity of Zuinglius, while
the power of his intellect overawed him. "Poor," said Ulric to him,
"as Eschines, when each of the scholars of Socrates offered a present
to his master, I give you what Eschines gave--I give you myself."

  [644] Tu, tuique similes optimis etiam studiis ac moribus et
  expolietis et nobilitabitis. (Ibid., p. 10.)

  [645] Et corpusculo hoc tuo minuto, verum minime inconcinno,
  urbanissime gestientem videre videar. (Ibid.) Methinks I see you with
  your diminutive, but by no means inelegant, person, showing the
  greatest politeness.


Among the literary men who formed the court of Erasmus, the Amerbachs,
the Rhenans, the Frobeniuses, the Nessens, the Glareans, Zuinglius
observed a youth from Lucerne, of twenty-seven years of age, named
Oswald Geisshüsler. Erasmus hellenising his name, had called him
Myconius. We will often designate him by his surname, to distinguish
the friend of Zuinglius from Frederick Myconius, the disciple of
Luther. Oswald, after studying first at Rothwyl with Berthold Haller,
a young man of his own age, next at Berne, and lastly at Bâle, had in
this last town been appointed rector of the school of St. Theodoret,
and afterwards of that of St. Peter. The humble schoolmaster had a
very limited income; but, notwithstanding, had married a young girl of
a simplicity and purity of soul which won all hearts. We have already
seen that Switzerland was then in a troubled state, foreign wars
having stirred up violent disorders, and the soldiers having brought
back to their country licentiousness and brutality. One dark and
cloudy winter day, some of these rude men, in Oswald's absence,
attacked his quiet dwelling. They knocked at the door, threw stones,
and applied the grossest expressions to his modest spouse. At last
they burst open the windows, and having forced their way into the
school and broken every thing to pieces, made off. Oswald arrived
shortly after. His little boy, Felix, ran out to meet him crying,
while his wife, unable to speak, showed signs of the greatest terror.
He understood what had happened, and at that moment, hearing a noise
in the street, unable to restrain himself, he seized a musket, and
pursued the villains as far as the burying ground. They retreated,
intending to defend themselves. Three of them rushed upon Myconius and
wounded him, and, while his wound was being dressed, these wretches
again attacked his house, uttering cries of fury. Oswald says no more
of the matter.[646] Such scenes frequently occurred in Switzerland at
the beginning of the sixteenth century, before the Reformation had
softened and disciplined manners.

  [646] Erasmi, Laus Stultitiæ, cum annot. Myconii.

The integrity of Oswald Myconius, his thirst for science and virtue,
brought him into connection with Zuinglius. The rector of the school
of Bâle was alive to all that was grand in the curate of Glaris. Full
of humility, he shunned the praises bestowed upon him by Zuinglius and
Erasmus. "You schoolmasters," often said the latter, "I esteem as
highly as I do kings." But the modest Myconius did not think so. "I
only crawl along the ground," said he. "From infancy I had always a
feeling of littleness and humility."[647]

  [647] Equidem humi repere didici hactenus, et est natura nescio quid
  humile vel a cunabulis in me. (Osw. Myc. Vit Zw.) Hitherto I have
  learned to creep on the ground; and there is in me naturally, even
  from the cradle, a feeling of the humble.


A preacher who had arrived at Bâle about the same time as Zuinglius
was attracting attention. Of a mild and pacific disposition, he led a
tranquil life; slow and circumspect in conduct, his chief pleasure was
to labour in his study, and produce concord among Christians.[648] He
was named John Hausschein, in Greek Œcolampadius, that is, "light
of the house," and was born of wealthy parents in Franconia, a year
before Zuinglius. His pious mother longed to consecrate to literature
and to God the only child whom He had left her. The father intended
him first for a mercantile life, then for law. But as Œcolampadius
was returning from Bologna, where he had been studying law, the Lord,
who designed to make him a lamp in the Church,[649] called him to the
study of theology. He was preaching in his native town when Capito,
who had known him at Heidelberg, procured his appointment as preacher
at Bâle. There he proclaimed Christ with an eloquence which filled his
hearers with admiration.[650] Erasmus admitted him to his intimacy.
Œcolampadius was enraptured with the hours which he spent in the
society of this great genius. "In the Holy Scriptures," said the
prince of literature, "one thing only ought to be sought, viz., Jesus
Christ."[651] As a memento of his friendship he gave the young
preacher the commencement of John's Gospel. Œcolampadius often
kissed this precious pledge of affection, and kept it suspended to his
crucifix, "in order," said he, "that I may always remember Erasmus in
my prayers."

  [648] Ingenio miti et tranquillo, pacis et concordiæ studiosissimus.
  (Melch. Ad. Vit. Œc., p. 58)

  [649] Flectente et vocante Deo, qui eo in domo sua pro lampade usurus
  erat. (Melch. Ad. Vit. Œc. p. 46.)

  [650] Omnium vere spiritualium et eruditorum admiratione Christum
  predicavit. (Ibid.) He preached Christ to the admiration of all who
  were truly learned and spiritually minded.

  [651] Nihil in sacris literis præter Christum quærendum. (Erasmi, Ep.,
  p. 403.)

Zuinglius returned to his mountains, his mind and heart full of all
that he had seen and heard at Bâle. "I could not sleep," wrote he to
Erasmus, shortly after his return, "if I had not conversed for some
time with you. There is nothing of which I boast so much as of having
seen Erasmus." Zuinglius had received a new impulse. Such journeys
often exercise a great influence over the career of the Christian. The
disciples of Zuinglius--Valentin, Jost, Louis, Peter, and Ægidius
Tschudi; his friends, the landăman Æbli, the curate, Binzli of
Wesen, Fridolin Brunnen, and the celebrated professor Glarean, saw
with admiration how he grew in wisdom and knowledge. The old honoured
him as a courageous servant of his country, and faithful pastors
honoured him as a faithful servant of the Lord. Nothing was done in
the district without taking his advice. All the good hopeΑγαμονd that he
would one day restore the ancient virtue of the Swiss.[652]

  [652] Justitiam avitam per hunc olim restitutum iri. (Osw. Myc. Vit.


Francis I, having mounted the throne, and being desirous to vindicate
the honour of the French name in Italy, the pope in alarm laboured to
gain the cantons. Accordingly, in 1515, Ulric revisited the plains of
Italy amid the phalanxes of his fellow-citizens. But the division
which French intrigues produced in the army stung him to the heart. He
was often seen in the middle of the camp energetically, and at the
same time wisely, haranguing his hearers in full armour ready for
battle.[653] On the 8th September, five days before the battle of
Marignan, he preached in the public square of Monza, where the Swiss
soldiers, who remained true to their colours, had reassembled. "Had
the counsels of Zuinglius been followed then and afterwards," says
Werner Steiner of Zug, "what evils would not our country have been
saved!"[654] But all ears were shut to words of concord, prudence, and
submission. The vehement eloquence of Cardinal Schinner electrified
the confederates, and hurried them impetuously to the fatal field of
Marignan. There fell the flower of the Helvetic youth. Zuinglius, who
had been unable to prevent all these disasters, threw himself, for the
cause of Rome, into the midst of danger. His hand seized the sword.
Sad error of Zuinglius! A minister of Christ, he more than once forgot
that it was his duty to fight only with spiritual weapons, and he was
to see in his own person a striking fulfilment of our Saviour's
prophecy, _He who takes the sword shall perish by the sword_.

  [653] In dem Heerlager hat er Flyssig geprediget. (Bullinger MS.)

  [654] ...In den Schlachten sich redlich und dapfer gestellt mit
  Rathen, Worten, und Thaten. (Ibid.)

Zuinglius and his Swiss had been unable to save Rome. The ambassador
of Venice was the first in the pontifical city who received news of
the defeat of Marignan. Delighted, he repaired at an early hour to the
Vatican. The pope came out of his apartment half dressed to give him
an audience. Leo X, on learning the news, did not disguise his terror.
At this moment of alarm he saw only Francis I, and hoped only in him.
"Ambassador," said he trembling to Zorsi, "we must throw ourselves
into the arms of the king, and cry for mercy." Luther and Zuinglius in
their danger knew another arm, and invoked another mercy.[655]

  [655] Domine orator, vederemo quel fara il re Christmo semetteremo in
  le so man dimandando misericordia. (Zorsi Relatione MS.)


This second sojourn in Italy was not without use to Zuinglius. He
observed the differences between the Ambrosian ritual used at Milan
and that of Rome. He collected and compared together the most ancient
canons of the mass. In this way a spirit of enquiry was developed in
him even amid the tumult of camps. At the same time the sight of his
countrymen led away beyond the Alps, and given up, like cattle, to the
slaughter, filled him with indignation. "The flesh of the
confederates," it was said, "is cheaper than that of their oxen and
their calves." The disloyalty and ambition of the pope,[656] the
avarice and ignorance of the priests, the licentiousness and
dissipation of the monks, the pride and luxury of prelates, the
corruption and venality employed on all hands to win the Swiss, being
forced on his view more strongly than ever, made him still more alive
to the necessity of a reform in the Church.

  [656] Bellissimo parlador; prometea assa ma non attendea ... Most
  beautiful speechifier; he (Leo X) promised largely, but did not
  perform. (Relatione MS. di Gradenigo venuto orator di Roma.)

From this time Zuinglius preached the Word of God more clearly. In
explaining the portions of the gospel and epistles selected for public
worship, he always compared Scripture with Scripture.[657] He spoke
with animation and force,[658] and followed with his hearers the same
course which God was following with him. He did not, like Luther,
proclaim the sores of the Church; but as often as the study of the
Bible suggested some useful instruction to himself, he communicated it
to his hearers. He tried to make them receive the truth into their
hearts, and then trusted to it for the works which it behoved to
produce.[659] "If they understand what is true," thought he, "they
will discern what is false." This maxim is good at the commencement of
a Reformation, but a time comes when error must be boldly stigmatised.
This Zuinglius knew very well. "The spring," said he, "is the season
to sow;" and with him it was now spring.

  [657] Non hominum commentis, sed sola scripturarum collatione. (Zw.
  Op. i, p. 273.) Not by the inventions of men, but solely by comparing
  the Scriptures.

  [658] Sondern auch mit predigen, dorrinen er heftig wass. (Bullinger's

  [659] Volebat veritatem cognitam, in cordibus auditorum, agere suum
  officium. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.) He wished the truth when known to do
  its work on the hearts of his hearers.

[Sidenote: DISCOVERY.]

Zuinglius has marked out this period (1516) as the commencement of the
Swiss Reformation. In fact, if four years before he had bent his head
over the Word of God, he now raised it, and turned it toward his
people, to make them share in the light which he had found. This forms
a new and important epoch in the history of the development of the
religious revolution of those countries, but it has been erroneously
concluded, from these dates, that the Reformation of Zuinglius
preceded that of Luther. It may be that Zuinglius preached the gospel
a year before Luther's Theses, but Luther himself preached it four
years before these famous propositions.[660] Had Luther and Zuinglius
confined themselves merely to sermons, the Reformation would not have
so quickly gained ground in the Church. Neither Luther nor Zuinglius
was the first monk or the first priest who preached a purer doctrine
than that of the schoolmen. But Luther was the first who publicly, and
with indomitable courage, raised the standard of truth against the
empire of error, called general attention to the fundamental doctrine
of the gospel--salvation by grace, introduced his age to that new
career of knowledge, faith, and life, out of which a new world has
arisen; in a word, began a true and salutary revolution. The great
struggle, of which the Theses of 1517 were the signal, was truly the
birth-throe of the Reformation, giving it at once both a body and a
soul. Luther was the first Reformer.

  [660] First Volume.

A spirit of enquiry began to breathe on the mountains of Switzerland.
One day the curate of Glaris, happening to be in the smiling district
of Mollis, with Adam its curate, Bunzli, curate of Wesen, and
Varachon, curate of Kerensen, these friends discovered an old liturgy,
in which they read these words: "After baptising the child, we give
him the sacrament of the Eucharist and the cup of blood."[661] "Then,"
said Zuinglius, "the supper was at that period dispensed in our
churches under the two kinds." The liturgy was about two hundred years
old. This was a great discovery for these priests of the Alps.

  [661] Detur Eucharistiæ sacramentum, similiter poculum sanguinis. (Zw.
  Op. i, p. 266.) Let the sacrament of the Eucharist be given, likewise
  the cup of blood.

The defeat of Marignan had important results in the interior of the
cantons. The conqueror, Francis I, lavished gold and flattery in order
to gain the confederates, while the emperor besought them by their
honour, by the tears of widows and orphans, and the blood of their
brethren, not to sell themselves to their murderers. The French party
gained the ascendancy at Glaris, which, from that time, was an
uncomfortable residence to Ulric.


Zuinglius, at Glaris, might perhaps have remained a man of the world.
Party intrigues, political questions, the empire, France, or the Duke
of Milan, might have absorbed his whole life. Those whom God means to
prepare for great services he never leaves amid the turmoil of the
world. He leads them apart, and places them in a retreat where they
commune with Him and their own consciences, and receive lessons never
to be effaced. The Son of God himself, who in this was a type of the
training given to his servants, spent forty days in the desert. It was
time to remove Zuinglius from political movements, which, continually
pressing upon his thoughts, might have banished the Spirit of God from
them. It was time to train him for another stage than that on which
courtiers, cabinets, and parties move, and where he should have wasted
powers worthy of nobler employment. His country, indeed, needed
something else. It was necessary that a new life should now come down
from heaven, and that he who was to be the instrument in communicating
it should unlearn worldly things, in order to learn things above. The
two spheres are entirely distinct; a wide space separates these two
worlds, and before passing entirely from the one to the other,
Zuinglius was to sojourn for a time on neutral ground, in a kind of
intermediate and preparatory state, to be there taught of God. God
accordingly took him away from the factions of Glaris; and, with a
view to this noviciate, placed him in the solitude of a
hermitage--confining within the narrow walls of an abbey this noble
germ of the Reformation, which was shortly after to be transplanted to
a better soil, and cover the mountains with its shadow.


     Meinrad of Hohenzollern--Our Lady of Einsidlen--Calling of
     Zuinglius--The Abbot--Geroldsek--Companionship in Study--The
     Bible copied--Zuinglius and Superstition--First Opposition
     to Error--Sensation--Hedio--Zuinglius and the Legates--The
     Honours of Rome--The Bishop of Constance--Samson and
     Indulgences--Stapfer--Charity of Zuinglius--His Friends.

Meinrad of Hohenzollern, a German monk, about the middle of the ninth
century, wandering on till he came between the lakes of Zurich and
Wallstetten, had stopped upon a hill, resting on an amphitheatre of
firs, and there built a cell. Banditti imbrued their hands in the
blood of the saint. The bloody cell was long deserted, but towards the
end of the tenth century, a convent and a church, in honour of the
Virgin, were erected on the sacred spot. On the eve of the day of
consecration, when the Bishop of Constance and his priests were at
prayers in the church, a celestial chant, proceeding from invisible
voices, suddenly echoed through the chapel. They prostrated themselves
and listened in amaze. The next day, when the bishop was going to
consecrate the chapel, a voice repeated thrice, "Stop, brother, stop!
God himself has consecrated it!"[662] It was said, that Christ in
person had blessed it during the night, that the chant which they had
heard proceeded from angels, apostles, and saints, and that the
Virgin, standing upon the altar, had blazed forth like a flash of
lightning. A bull of Pope Leo VII forbade the faithful to question the
truth of this legend. Thenceforward an immense crowd of pilgrims
ceased not to repair to Our Lady of the Eremites to the "consecration
of angels." Delphi and Ephesus, in ancient, and Loretto in modern
times, alone have equalled the fame of Einsidlen. It was in this
strange place that, in 1516, Ulric Zuinglius was called as priest and

  [662] Cessa, cessa, frater, divinitus capella consecrata est. (Hartm.
  Annal. Einsidl. p. 51.)


Zuinglius hesitated not. "Neither ambition nor avarice takes me
there," said he; "but the intrigues of the French."[663] Higher
motives determined him. On the one hand, having more solitude, more
calmness, and a less extensive parish, he could devote more time to
study and meditation; on the other hand, this place of pilgrimage
would give him facilities for spreading the knowledge of Jesus Christ
to the remotest countries.[664]

  [663] Locum mutavimus non cupidinis aut cupiditatis moti stimulis,
  verum Galiorum technis. (Zw. Ep. 24.)

  [664] Christum et ejus veritatem in regiones et varias et remotas
  divulgari tam felici opportunitate. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.)

The friends of evangelical preaching at Glaris expressed deep grief.
"What worse could happen to Glaris," said Peter Tschudi, one of the
most distinguished citizens of the canton, "than to be deprived of so
great a man."[665] His parishioners finding him immovable, resolved to
leave him the title of pastor of Glaris, with part of the benefice,
and the means of returning when he chose.[666]

  [665] Quid enim Glareanæ nostræ tristius accidere poterat, tanto
  videlicet privari viro. (Zw. Ep., p. 16.)

  [666] Two years later Zuinglius signs, Pastor Glaronræ, Minister
  Eremi. (Ibid., p. 30.)

Conrad of Rechberg, a gentleman of ancient family, grave, candid,
intrepid, and occasionally somewhat rude, was one of the most
celebrated sportsmen of the district to which Zuinglius was removed.
He had established on one of his farms a manêge in which he reared a
breed of horses which became celebrated in Italy. Such was the abbot
of our Lady of the Eremites. Rechberg was equally averse to the
pretensions of Rome and the discussions of theologians. One day,
during a visitation of the Order, some observations were made to him.
"I am master here, not you," said he, somewhat rudely; "get along."
One day at table when Leo Juda was discussing some difficult point
with the administrator of the convent, the hunting abbot exclaimed,
"You, there, leave your disputes to me. I exclaim with David, '_Have
pity on me, O God, according to thy goodness, and enter not into
judgment with thy servant_.' I have no need to know any more."[667]

  [667] Wirz, K. Gesch., iii, 363. Zuinglius Bildung, v. Schüler, p.
  174. Miscell. Tigur., iii, 28.


Baron Theobald of Geroldsek was administrator of the monastery. He was
of a meek spirit, sincerely pious, and had a great love of literature.
His favourite design was to form a society of well-informed men in his
convent; and it was for this reason he had given a call to Zuinglius.
Eager for instruction and reading, he begged his new friend to direct
him. "Read the Holy Scriptures," replied Zuinglius, "and that you may
the better understand them, study Jerome. However," added he, "the
time will come, (and, by God's help, it is not far off,) when
Christians will not set a high value either on Jerome or any other
doctor, but only on the word of God."[668] The conduct of Geroldsek
gave indication of his progress in the faith. He allowed the nuns of a
convent dependent on Einsidlen to read the Bible in the vulgar tongue;
and, some years after, Geroldsek came to live at Zurich beside
Zuinglius, and to die with him on the field of Cappel. The charm which
hung about Zuinglius soon united him in tender friendship, not only
with Geroldsek, but also the chaplain Zink, the excellent Œxlin,
and other inmates of the abbey. These studious men, far from the noise
of party, joined together in reading the Scriptures, the Fathers of
the Church, the master-pieces of antiquity, and the writings of the
restorers of letters. This interesting society was often enlarged by
friends from a distance. Among others, Capito one day arrived at
Einsidlen. The two old friends of Bâle walked together over the
convent and the wild scenery in its neighbourhood, absorbed in
conversation, examining the Scriptures, and seeking to know the Divine
will. There was a point on which they were agreed, and it was
this--"The pope of Rome must fall." At this time Capito was more
courageous than he was at a later period.

  [668] Fore, idque brevi, Deo sic juvante, ut neque Hieronymus neque
  cæteri, sed sola Scriptura divina apud Christianos in prætio sit
  futura. (Zw. Op. i, p. 273)

Repose, leisure, books, friends--all these Zuinglius had in this
tranquil retreat--and he accordingly grew in understanding and in
faith. At this period (May, 1517) he commenced a work which was of
great utility to him. As in old time the kings of Israel wrote the law
of God with their own hand, so Zuinglius with his copied the Epistles
of St. Paul. The only editions of the New Testament then in existence
were of large size, and Zuinglius wished to have one which he could
carry about with him.[669] These Epistles he learned by heart, as he
did afterwards the other books of the New, and a part of the Old
Testament. Thus his heart became always more attached to the sovereign
authority of the Word of God. He was not satisfied with merely
acknowledging this; he was, moreover, desirous to bring his life into
true subjection to it. His views gradually became more decidedly
Christian. The end for which he had been brought into this desert was
accomplished. It is no doubt true that Zurich is the place where his
whole soul became thoroughly pervaded with Christian principle; but
even now at Einsidlen he made decided progress in the work of
sanctification. At Glaris he had taken part in the amusements of the
world; at Einsidlen he was more anxious for a life unsullied by any
taint of worldliness. Beginning to have a better idea of the great
spiritual interests of the people, he gradually learned what God
designed to teach him.

  [669] This manuscript is extant in the library of the town of Zurich.


Providence had also other views in bringing him to Einsidlen. Here he
obtained a nearer view of the superstitions and abuses which had
invaded the Church. An image of the Virgin which was carefully
preserved in this monastery, had, it was said, the power of working
miracles. Above the gate of the Abbey appeared this presumptuous
inscription:--"Here is obtained a plenary remission of all sins." A
multitude of pilgrims flocked to Einsidlen from all parts of
Christendom, to merit this grace by their pilgrimage. The church, the
abbey, and the whole valley were crowded with devout worshippers on
the festivals of the Virgin. But it was especially at the grand
festival of "the consecration of the angels," that the hermitage was
crowded to overflowing. Thousands of individuals of both sexes climbed
the acclivity of the hill leading to the oratory, singing hymns and
counting their beads. These devout pilgrims crowded into the Church,
thinking they were there nearer God than any where else.

The residence of Zuinglius at Einsidlen was, in regard to the exposure
of papal abuses, similar in effect to Luther's visit to Rome.
Zuinglius' education for reformer was completed at Einsidlen. God
alone is the source of salvation, and he is so every where,--these
were the two truths which he learned at Einsidlen, and they became
fundamental articles in his creed. The serious impression produced on
his soul soon manifested itself externally. Struck with the many
prevailing evils, he resolved to oppose them boldly. Not hesitating
between his conscience and his interest, he stood up openly, and, in
plain and energetic terms, attacked the superstition of the
surrounding crowds: "Think not," said he from the pulpit, "that God is
in this temple more than in any other part of his creation. Whatever
be the country in which you dwell, God encompasses you, and hears you
as well as in our Lady of Einsidlen. Can useless works, long
pilgrimages, offerings, images, the invocation of the Virgin, or the
saints, obtain the grace of God?... What avails the multitude of words
in which we embody our prayers? What avails a glossy hood--a head well
shaven--a long robe with its neat folds, and mules caparisoned with
gold? God looks to the heart, but our heart is alienated from

  [670] Vestes oblonga et plicis plena, muli auro ornati ... Cor vero
  interim procul a Deo est. (Zw. Op. i, p. 236.)

But Zuinglius wished to do more than lift his voice against
superstition. He wished to satisfy that eager longing for
reconciliation with God, felt by many of the pilgrims who had flocked
to the chapel of our Lady of Einsidlen. "Christ," cried he, like a
John Baptist in this new wilderness of Judea, "Christ, who was once
offered on the cross, is the expiatory victim, who, even through
eternity, makes satisfaction for the sins of all believers."[671] Thus
Zuinglius advanced. The day when this bold sermon was heard in the
most venerated sanctuary of Switzerland, the standard prepared against
Rome began to be more distinctly displayed on its mountain heights,
and there was, so to speak, a heaving of reform reaching even to their
deepest foundations.

  [671] Christus qui sese semel in cruce obtulit, hostia est et victima
  satisfaciens in æternum, pro peccatis omnium fidelium. (Ibid, p.


In fact, universal astonishment seized the multitude on hearing the
discourse of the eloquent priest. Some walked off in horror; others
hesitated between the faith of their fathers and the doctrine fitted
to secure their peace, while several came to Jesus Christ who was thus
preached to them, and finding rest to their souls, took back the
tapers which they had intended to present to the Virgin. A crowd of
pilgrims returned to their homes, announcing every where what they had
heard at Einsidlen. "Christ ALONE saves, and saves EVERYWHERE." Bands,
astonished at what they heard, stopped short without finishing their
pilgrimage. The worshippers of Mary diminished from day to day. Their
offerings formed almost the whole income of Zuinglius and Geroldsek;
but the intrepid witness of the truth felt happy to be impoverished in
order that souls might be spiritually enriched.

During the feast of Pentecost, in the year 1518, among the numerous
hearers of Zuinglius, was a learned man of meek temper and active
charity, named Gaspard Hedio, doctor of theology at Bâle. Zuinglius
preached on the cure of the paralytic, (Luke, v,) where our Saviour
declares, "_The Son of Man hath power upon earth to forgive sins_,"
words well fitted to strike the crowd assembled in the Church of the
Virgin. The preacher roused, enraptured, and inflamed his audience,
especially the doctor from Bâle.[672] A long time after, Hedio
expressed his high admiration; "How beautiful," said he, "this
discourse, how profound, weighty, complete, penetrating, and
evangelical; how much it reminds one of the ενεγεια (energy)
of the ancient doctors."[673] From that moment Hedio admired and loved
Zuinglius.[674] He would fain have gone to him, and opened his heart;
he wandered around the abbey but durst not approach, kept back, as he
expresses it, by a superstitious timidity. He again mounted his horse
and slowly retired from our Lady, ever and again turning his head to
the spot which contained so great a treasure, and feeling in his heart
the keenest regret.[675]

  [672] Is sermo ita me inflammavit...(Zw. Ep. p. 90.)

  [673] Elegans ille, doctus, gravis, copiosus, penetrans, et
  evangelicus...(Ibid., 89.)

  [674] Ut inciperem Zwinglium arctissime complecti, suscipere et
  admirari. (Ibid.)

  [675] Sicque abequitavi, non sine tamen molestia, quam tamen ipse mihi
  pepereram. (Ibid., p. 90.) And so rode away, not without vexation, of
  which, however, I was myself the cause.


Thus Zuinglius preached; less forcibly, no doubt, than Luther, but
with more moderation, and not less success. He did nothing
precipitately, and did not come so violently into collision with men's
minds as the Saxon Reformer; he expected every thing from the power of
truth. He displayed the same wisdom in his relations with the heads of
the Church. Far from immediately declaring himself their enemy, he
long remained their friend. They were exceedingly indulgent to him,
not only because of his learning and talents, (Luther had the same
claims to the regard of the bishops of Mentz and Brandenburg,) but
especially because of his attachment to the pope's political party,
and the influence possessed by such a man as Zuinglius in a republican

In fact, several cantons, disgusted with the service of the pope, were
disposed to break with him. But the legates flattered themselves they
might retain several of them by gaining Zuinglius, as they gained
Erasmus, with pensions and honours. At this time the legates, Ennius
and Pucci, went frequently to Einsidlen, where from its proximity to
the democratic cantons, it was more easy to carry on negotiations with
them. But Zuinglius, far from sacrificing the truth to the demands and
offers of Rome, omitted no opportunity of defending the gospel. The
famous Schinner, who had then some disturbance in his diocese, passed
some time at Einsidlen. "The whole papacy," said Zuinglius one day,
"rests on a bad foundation.[676] Put your hand to the work, remove
errors and abuses, or you will see the whole edifice crumble to pieces
with fearful uproar".[677]

  [676] Dass das ganz papstum einen schlechten grund habe. (Zw. Op. ii,
  part i. p. 7.)

  [677] Oder aber sy werdind mit grosser unrüw selbs umfallen. (Ibid.)

He spoke with the same frankness to legate Pucci. Four times did he
return to the charge. "With the help of God," said he to him, "I will
continue to preach the gospel, and this preaching will shake Rome."
Then he pointed out to him what was necessary to save the Church.
Pucci promised every thing, but did nothing. Zuinglius declared that
he renounced the pension from the pope. The legate entreated him to
retain it; and Zuinglius, who at that time had no thought of placing
himself in open hostility to the head of the Church, consented for
three years to receive it. "But think not," added he, "that for the
love of money I retrench a single syllable of the truth."[678] Pucci,
alarmed, made the Reformer be appointed chaplain acolyte to the pope.
It was an avenue to new honours. Rome thought to frighten Luther by
sentences of condemnation, and to win Zuinglius by favours--darting
her excommunications at the one, and displaying her gold and
magnificence to the other. She thus endeavoured, by two different
methods, to attain the same end, and silence the bold lips which
dared, in spite of the pope, to proclaim the Word of God in Germany
and Switzerland. The latter method was the more skilful, but neither
of them succeeded. The enfranchised souls of the preachers of truth
were equally inaccessible to menace and favour.

  [678] Frustra sperari me vel verbulum de veritate diminiturum esse,
  pecuniæ gratia. (Zw. Op. i, p. 365.) It was vain to hope that I would
  keep back one iota of the truth for the sake of money.


Another Swiss prelate, Hugo of Landenberg, bishop of Constance, at
this time gave some hopes to Zuinglius. He ordered a general
visitation of the churches. But Landenberg, a man of no character,
allowed himself to be led alternately by Faber, his vicar, and by an
abandoned female, from whose sway he was unable to escape. He
occasionally appeared to honour the gospel, and yet any one who
preached it boldly was in his eyes only a disturber. He was one of
those men too common in the Church, who, though loving truth better
than error, have more indulgence for error than for truth, and often
end by turning against those with whom they ought to make common
cause. Zuinglius applied to him, but in vain. He was to have the same
experience which Luther had; to be convinced that it was useless to
invoke the heads of the Church, and that the only method of restoring
Christianity was to act as a faithful teacher of the Word of God. An
opportunity of doing so soon occurred.

In August, 1518, a Franciscan monk was seen travelling on the heights
of St. Gothard, in those lofty passes which have been laboriously cut
across the steep rocks separating Switzerland from Italy. Having come
forth from an Italian convent, he was the bearer of papal indulgences
which he was commissioned to sell to the good Christians of the
Helvetic league. Brilliant success, obtained under two preceding
popes, had signalised his exertions in this shameful traffic.
Companions, intended to puff off the merchandise which he was going to
sell, were accompanying him across mountains of snow and ice coeval
with the world. This avaricious band, in appearance miserable enough,
and not unlike a band of adventurers roaming for plunder, walked in
silence, amid the noise of the foaming torrents which give rise to the
Rhine, the Reuss, the Aar, the Rhone, the Tessino, and other rivers,
meditating how they were to plunder the simple population of Helvetia.
Samson (this was the Franciscan's name) and his company first arrived
in Uri, and there commenced their traffic. They had soon done with
these poor peasants, and passed into the canton of Schwitz. Here
Zuinglius was, and here the combat between these two servants of two
very different masters was to take place. "I can pardon all sins,"
said the Italian monk, the Tezel of Switzerland. "Heaven and hell are
subject to my power, and I sell the merits of Jesus Christ to whoever
will purchase them, by paying in cash for an indulgence."

Zuinglius heard of these discourses, and his zeal was inflamed.


He preached powerfully against them. "Jesus Christ, the Son of God,"
said he, "thus speaks, '_Come unto ME, all ye that labour and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest_.' Is it not then audacious
folly and insensate temerity to say on the contrary, Purchase letters
of indulgence! run to Rome! give to the monks! sacrifice to the
priests! If you do these things I will absolve you from your
sins![679] Jesus Christ is the only offering; Jesus Christ is the only
sacrifice; Jesus Christ is the only way."[680]

  [679] Romam curre! redime literas indulgentiarum! da tantundem
  monachis! offer sacerdotibus, etc. (Zw. Op., i, p. 222.)

  [680] Christus una est oblatio, unum sacrificium, una via. (Ibid., p.

Every body at Schwitz began to call Samson rogue and cheat. He took
the road to Zug, and for this time the two champions failed to meet.

Scarcely had Samson left Schwitz when a citizen of this canton, named
Stapfer, a man of distinguished talent, and afterward secretary of
state, was with his family reduced to great distress. "Alas," said he,
when applying in agony to Zuinglius, "I know not how to satisfy my own
hunger and the hunger of my poor children."[681] Zuinglius knew to
give where Rome knew to take; he was as ready to practise good works,
as to combat those who taught that they were the means of obtaining
salvation. He daily gave liberally to Stapfer.[682] "It is God," said
he, anxious not to take any glory to himself, "It is God who begets
charity in the believer, and gives him at once the thought, the
resolution, and the work itself. Whatever good a righteous man does it
is God who does it by his own power."[683] Stapfer remained attached
to him through life; and, four years after, when he had become
secretary of state, and felt wants of a higher kind, he turned towards
Zuinglius, and said to him with noble candour, "Since you provided for
my temporal wants, how much more may I now expect from you wherewith
to appease the hunger of my soul!"

  [681] Ut meæ, meorumque liberorum inediæ corporali subveniretis. (Zw.
  Ep. 234.)

  [682] Largas mihi quotidie suppetias tulistis. (Ibid.)

  [683] Caritatem ingenerat Deus, consilium, propositum et opus.
  Quidquid boni præstat justus, hoc Deus sua virtute præstat. (Zw. Op.,
  i, p. 226.)

The friends of Zuinglius increased. Not only at Glaris, Bâle, and
Schwitz, did he find men of like spirit with himself; in Uri there was
the secretary of state, Schmidt; at Zug, Colin Müller and Werner
Steiner, his old companions in arms at Marignan: at Lucerne, Xylotect
and Kilchmeyer; Wittembach at Berne, and many others in many other
places. But the curate of Einsidlen had no more devoted friend than
Oswald Myconius. Oswald had quitted Bâle in 1516, to take charge of
the cathedral school at Zurich. In this town there were no learned
men, and no schools of learning. Oswald laboured along with some
well-disposed individuals, among others, Utinger, notary to the pope,
to raise the Zurich population out of ignorance and initiate them in
ancient literature. At the same time he defended the immutable truth
of the Holy Scriptures, and declared that if the pope or emperor gave
commands contrary to the gospel, obedience was due to God alone, who
is above both emperor and pope.



     Zurich--The College of Canons--Election to the
     Cathedral--Fable--Accusations--Confession of Zuinglius--The
     Designs of God Unfolded--Farewell to Einsidlen--Arrival at
     Zurich--Courageous Declaration of Zuinglius--First
     Sermons--Effects--Opposition--Character of Zuinglius--Taste
     for Music--Arrangement of the Day--Circulation by Hawkers.

Seven centuries had elapsed since Charlemagne had attached a college
of canons to this cathedral, over whose school Oswald Myconius then
presided. These canons having degenerated from their first
institution, and desiring in their benefices to enjoy the sweets of
indolence, elected a priest to preach and take the cure of souls. This
situation having become vacant some time after Oswald's arrival, he
immediately thought of his friend. What a prize it would be for
Zurich! Zuinglius' appearance was prepossessing. He was a handsome
man,[684] of graceful address, and pleasing manners. His eloquence had
already given him celebrity, while the lustre of his genius made him
conspicuous among all the confederates. Myconius spoke of him to the
provost of the chapter, Felix Frey, (who from the appearance and
talents of Zuinglius was already prepossessed in his favour,)[685] to
Utinger, an old man who was held in high respect, and to canon
Hoffman, a man of an upright open disposition, who, having long
preached against foreign service, was favourably inclined to Ulric.
Other Zurichers had, on different occasions, heard Zuinglius at
Einsidlen, and had returned full of admiration. The election of
preacher to the cathedral soon set all the inhabitants of Zurich in
motion. Different parties were formed. Several laboured night and day
for the election of the eloquent preacher of Our Lady of the
Eremites.[686] Myconius having informed his friend--"Wednesday next,"
replied Zuinglius, "I will come and dine at Zurich, and talk over
matters." He accordingly arrived. A canon to whom he was paying a
visit said to him, "Could you come among us to preach the word of
God?" "I could," replied he; "but will not come unless I am called."
He then returned to his abbey.

  [684] Dan Zwingli vom lyb ein hubscher man wass. (Bullinger MS.)

  [685] Und als Imme sein e gestalt und geschiklichkeit wol gefiel, gab
  er Im syn stimm. (Ibid)

  [686] Qui dies et noctes laborarent ut vir ille subrogaretur. (Osw.
  Myc. Vit. Zw.)


This visit spread alarm in the camp of his enemies. Several priests
were urged to apply for the vacancy. A Suabian, named Laurent Fable,
even preached as a candidate, and the rumour went that he was
elected. "It is then quite true," said Zuinglius, on learning it,
"that a prophet has no honour in his own country, since a Suabian is
preferred to a Swiss. I know what value to set on popular
applause."[687] Zuinglius immediately after received a letter from the
secretary of Cardinal Schinner, informing him, that the election had
not taken place. But the false news which he had at first received
nettled the curate of Einsidlen. Knowing that a person so unworthy as
this Fable aspired to the place, he was more desirous to obtain it for
himself, and wrote about it to Myconius, who next day replied, "Fable
will always continue fable: my masters have learned that he is already
the father of six boys, and possesses I know not how many

  [687] Scio vulgi acclamationes et illud blandum Euge! Euge! (Zw. Ep.
  p. 53.) I know the acclamations of the vulgar, and their flattering
  Bravo! Bravo!

  [688] Fabula manebit fabula; quem domini mei acceperunt sex pueris
  esse patrem ... (Ibid.)

The enemies of Zuinglius did not abandon their opposition. All, it is
true, agreed in extolling his learning to the skies;[689] but said
some, "He is too fond of music;" others, "He loves the world and
pleasure;" others again, "In early life he was too closely connected
with giddy companions." There was even one individual who charged him
with an instance of seduction. Zuinglius was not without blemish.
Though superior to the ecclesiastics of his time he more than once, in
the first years of his ministry, gave way to youthful propensities. It
is difficult to estimate the influence of an impure atmosphere on
those who live in it. There were in the papacy certain established
irregularities, allowed and sanctioned as conformable to the laws of
nature. A saying of Æneas Sylvius, afterwards pope under the name of
Pius II, gives an idea of the sad state of public morals at this
period. We give it in a note.[690] Disorder had become the rule, order
the exception.

  [689] Neminem tamen, qui tuam doctrinam non ad cœlum ferat ...

  [690] Non esse qui vigesimum annum excessit, nec virginem tetigerit.
  (Ibid. p. 57.)


Oswald displayed the greatest activity in favour of his friend. He
exerted all his powers in defending him, and happily succeeded.[691]
He went to burgomaster Roust, to Hoffman, Frey, and Utinger. He
praised Zuinglius for his probity, honesty, and purity, and confirmed
the Zurichers in the favourable opinion which they had of the curate
of Einsidlen. Little credit was given to the speeches of his
adversaries. The most influential persons said, that Zuinglius should
be preacher at Zurich. The canons said so also, but in a whisper.
"Hope," wrote Oswald to him with a full heart, "for I hope." At the
same time he told him of the accusations of his enemies. Although
Zuinglius was not yet become altogether a new man, he belonged to the
class of those whose conscience is awakened, and who may fall into
sin, but never without a struggle, or without remorse. It had often
been his resolution to stand alone in the midst of the world, and
maintain a life of holiness. But when he saw himself accused, he did
not pretend to boast that he was without sin. Writing to canon
Utinger, he said, "Having nobody to go along with me in the
resolutions which I had formed, several even of those about me, being
offended at them, alas! I fell, and like the dog of whom St. Peter
speaks, (2 Ep. ii, 22,) returned to my vomit.[692] Ah! God knows with
what shame and anguish I have torn up these faults from the depths of
my heart, and laid them before Almighty God, to whom, however, I would
be less afraid to confess my misery than to mortal man."[693] But
while Zuinglius confessed himself to be a sinner, he, at the same time
vindicated himself from the most offensive charges which were brought
against him. He declared that he had ever abhorred the idea of
invading the sanctity of married life, or seducing innocence,[694]--vices
at that time but too common, "or the truth of this," says he, "I appeal
to all with whom I have lived."[695]

  [691] Reprimo hæc pro viribus, imo et repressi. (Ibid., p. 54.)

  [692] Quippe neminem habens, comitem hujus instituti, scandalisantes
  vero non paucos heu! cecidi et factus sum canis ad vomitum. (Zw. Ep.
  p. 55.)

  [693] En, cum verecundia (Deus novit!) magna, hæc ex pectoris specubus
  depromsi, apud eum scilicet, cum quo etiam coram minus quam cum ullo
  ferme mortalium confiteri vererer. (Zw. Ep.)

  [694] Ea ratio nobis perpetuo fuit, nec alienum thorum conscendere nec
  virginem vitiare. (Ibid.)

  [695] Testes invoco cunctos, quibuscum vixi. (Ibid.)

The election took place on the 11th December, and out of the
twenty-four votes which were given, Zuinglius had seventeen. It was
time that the Reformation should begin in Switzerland. The chosen
instrument which Divine Providence had been preparing during three
years in the retreat of Einsidlen, was ready and must now be
translated elsewhere. God, who had chosen the new university of
Wittemberg, situated in the heart of Germany, and under the protection
of the wisest of princes, to call Luther thither, made choice in
Switzerland of the city of Zurich, regarded as the head of the
confederation, there to station Zuinglius, and to bring him into
contact not only with one of the most intelligent, simple, resolute,
and intrepid communities of Switzerland, but also with all the cantons
which are grouped around this ancient and powerful state. The hand
which had taken hold of a young shepherd of Sentis, and led him to the
school of Wesen, now brought him forward, powerful in word and in
deed, in the face of all, to regenerate his countrymen. Zurich was
about to become a focus of light to Switzerland.


The day which announced the election of Zuinglius was to Einsidlen a
day at once of joy and grief. The circle which had been formed there
was about to be broken up by the withdrawal of its most valuable
member, and who could say whether superstition was not going again to
take possession of this ancient place of pilgrimage?... The council of
state in Schwitz conveyed the expression of its sentiments to Ulric by
designating him as "reverend, learned, most gracious master, and good
friend."[696] "At least do you yourself give us a successor worthy of
you," said Geroldsek in despair to Zuinglius. "I have got for you,"
replied he, "a little lion, simple and wise; a man initiated in the
mysteries of sacred science." "Let me have him," immediately rejoined
the administrator. It was Leo Juda, at once the gentle and intrepid
friend with whom Zuinglius had been so intimate at Bâle. Leo accepted
the call which brought him near his dear Ulric. Ulric took farewell of
his friends, quitted the solitude of Einsidlen, and arrived at that
delightful spot where, smiling and instinct with life, rises the town
of Zurich, surrounded by its amphitheatre of vine-clad hills,
enamelled with meadows and orchards, crowned with forests, and
overtopped by the lofty peaks of the Albis.

  [696] Reverende, perdocte, admodum gratiose domine ac bone amice. (Zw.
  Ep. p. 60.)

Zurich, the centre of the political interests of Switzerland, where
the most influential persons in the nation frequently assembled, was
the place best fitted to act upon the whole country, and shed the
seeds of truth over all its cantons. Accordingly, the friends of
letters and the Bible hailed the appointment of Zuinglius with
acclamation. At Paris, in particular, the Swiss students, who were
there in great numbers, were enraptured with the news.[697] But if
Zuinglius had the prospect of a great victory at Zurich, he had also
the prospect of a severe contest. Glarean wrote him from Paris, "I
foresee that your learning will stir up great enmity;[698] but be of
good courage, and you will, like Hercules, subdue monsters."[699]

  [697] Omnes adeo quotquot et Helvetiis adsunt juvenes fremere et
  gaudere. (Ibid., p. 63.)

  [698] Quantum invidiæ tibi inter istos eruditio tua conflabit. (Ibid.,
  p. 64.)

  [699] Do er ehrlich und wol empfangen ward. (Bullinger, MS.)


On the 27th December, 1518, Zuinglius arrived at Zurich, and took up
his quarters at the hotel of Einsidlen. He received a cordial and
honourable welcome. The chapter immediately met to receive him, and
invited him to take his seat in the midst of them. Felix Frey
presided; the canons, friendly or hostile to Zuinglius, sat
indiscriminately around their provost. There was considerable
excitement in the meeting; every one felt, perhaps without distinctly
acknowledging it to himself, how serious the commencement of this
ministry was likely to prove. Some apprehension being entertained of
the innovating spirit of the young priest, it was agreed to set before
him the most important duties of his office. "You will use your utmost
endeavour," he was gravely told, "to secure payment of the revenues
of the chapter, without neglecting the least of them. You will exhort
the faithful both from the pulpit and in the confessional, to pay the
first fruits and tithes, and to show by their offerings that they love
the Church. You will make it your business to increase the revenues
which are derived from the sick, from sacrifices, and generally from
every ecclesiastical act." The chapter added, "As to the
administration of the sacraments, preaching, and personal presence,
amid the flock, these too are duties of the priest. However, in these
different respects, and particularly in regard to preaching, you may
supply your place by a vicar. You should administer the sacraments
only to persons of distinction, and after being requested. You are
expressly forbidden to do it to all persons indiscriminately."[700]

  [700] Schuler's, Zwinglis Bildung, p. 227.


Strange rule to be given to Zuinglius! Money, money, still money!...
Was it then for this that Christ established his ministry? Still
prudence tempers his zeal; he knows that we cannot all at once deposit
the seed in the ground, see the growth of the tree, and gather its
fruit. Zuinglius, therefore, without explaining his views on what was
enjoined him, humbly expressed his gratitude for the honourable
appointment which he had received, and stated what he calculated on
being able to do. "The life of Jesus," said he, "has been too long
hidden from the people. I will preach on the whole gospel of St.
Matthew, chapter by chapter, following the mind of the Holy Spirit,
drawing only at the well-springs of Scripture,[701] digging deep into
it, and seeking the understanding of it by persevering fervent
prayer.[702] I will consecrate my ministry to the glory of God; the
praise of His only Son; the real salvation of souls, and their
instruction in the true faith."[703] This new language made a deep
impression on the chapter. Some expressed joy, but the majority openly
disapproved.[704] "This mode of preaching is an innovation," exclaimed
they, "this innovation will soon lead to others, and where is it to
stop?" Canon Hoffman in particular thought it his duty to prevent the
fatal effects of a choice which he had himself patronised. "This
exposition of Scripture," said he, "will be more hurtful than useful
to the people." "It is not a new method," replied Zuinglius, "it is
the ancient method. Recollect the homilies of St. Chrysostom on St.
Matthew, and of St. Augustine on St. John. Besides, I will use
moderation, and give none any reason to complain."

  [701] Absque humanis commentationibus, ex solis fontibus Scripturæ
  sacræ. (Zw. Op. i, p. 273.) Without human comments, solely from the
  fountains of sacred Scripture.

  [702] Sed mente spiritus quam diligenti Scripturarum collectione,
  precibusque ex corde fusis, se nacturum. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.)

  [703] Alles Gott und seinen einigen Sohn zu Lob und Ehren und zu
  rechten Heil der Seelen, zur Underrichtung im rechten Glauben.
  (Bullinger, MS.)

  [704] Quibus auditis, mœror simul et lætitia. (Osw. Myc.)

Thus Zuinglius abandoned the exclusive use of fragments of the gospel
as practised since the days of Charlemagne; re-establishing the
Scripture in its ancient rights, he, from the commencement of his
ministry, united the Reformation to the primitive ages of
Christianity, and prepared a more profound study of the Word of God
for ages to come. But he did more. The strong and independent position
which he took up in the face of the Church showed that the work in
which he had engaged was new. The figure of the Reformer stood out in
bold relief to the public eye, and the Reformation advanced.

Hoffman, having failed in the chapter, addressed a written request to
the provost to prohibit Zuinglius from shaking the popular belief. The
provost sent for the new preacher, and spoke to him with great
kindness. But no human power could close his lips. On the 31st
December, he wrote to the council of Glaris, that he entirely resigned
the cure of souls which had hitherto been reserved for him, and gave
himself wholly to Zurich, and to the work which God was preparing for
him in this town.

On Saturday, being new-year's-day, and also the birthday of Zuinglius,
who had completed his thirty-fifth year, he mounted the pulpit of the
cathedral. A great crowd, eager to see a man who had already acquired
so much celebrity, and to hear this new gospel, of which every one
began to speak, filled the church. "It is to Christ," said Zuinglius,
"that I wish to conduct you; to Christ, the true source of salvation.
His divine word is the only nourishment which I would give to your
heart and life." Then he announced that to-morrow, the first Sunday of
the year, he would begin to expound the gospel according to St.
Matthew. Accordingly, the preacher, and a still larger audience than
the day before, were at their posts. Zuinglius opened the gospel--the
gospel which had so long been a sealed book--and read the first page,
going over the history of the patriarchs and prophets mentioned in the
first chapter of St. Matthew, and expounding it in such a way that all
were astonished and delighted, and exclaimed, "We never heard anything
like this."[705]

  [705] Dessgleichen wie jederman redt, nie gehört worden war. (B.
  Weise, a contemporary of Zuinglius. Füsslin Beyträge, iv, 86.)

[Sidenote: THEIR EFFECTS.]

He continued thus to expound St. Matthew, according to the original
Greek. He showed how the whole Bible found at once its exposition and
its application in the very nature of man. Delivering the loftiest
truths of the gospel in simple language, his preaching reached all
classes, the learned and the wise, as well as the ignorant and
simple.[706] He extolled the infinite mercies of God the Father, and
implored all his hearers to put their confidence in Jesus Christ alone
as the only Saviour.[707] At the same time, he earnestly called them
to repentance; forcibly attacked the errors which prevailed among the
people; fearlessly rebuked luxury, intemperance, extravagance in
dress, the oppression of the poor, idleness, foreign service, and
foreign pensions. "In the pulpit," says one of his companions, "he
spared no one, pope, emperor, kings, dukes, princes, lords, not even
the confederates. All his energy, and all the joy of his heart were in
God: accordingly he exhorted all the inhabitants of Zurich to put
their confidence in Him only."[708] "Never was man heard to speak with
so much authority," says Oswald Myconius, who with joy and high hopes
watched the labours of his friend.

  [706] Nam ita simplices æqualiter cum prudentissimis et acutissimis
  quibusque, proficielebant. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.)

  [707] In welchem er Gott den Vater prysset und alle Menschen allein
  uff Jessum Christum, als den einigen Heiland verthrauwen lehrte.
  (Bullinger, MS.)

  [708] All sein Trost stuhnd allein mit frölichem Gemûth zu Gott ...
  (B. Weise Füsslin Betr. iv, 36.)

The gospel could not be preached in vain in Zurich. A continually
increasing multitude of men of all classes, and more especially of the
common people, flocked to hear him.[709] Several Zurichers had ceased
to attend on public worship. "I derive no benefit from the discourses
of these priests," often exclaimed Füsslin, a poet, historian, and
counsellor of state; "they do not preach the things of salvation; for
they do not comprehend them. I see nothing in them but covetousness
and voluptuousness." Henry Räuschlin, treasurer of state, one who
diligently read the Scriptures, was of the same opinion: "The
priests," said he, "met in thousands at the Council of Constance ...
to burn the best man among them." These distinguished men, led by
curiosity, went to hear Zuinglius' first sermon. Their countenances
bespoke the emotion with which they followed the orator. "Glory to
God!" said they, on coming out; "this is a preacher of the truth. He
will be our Moses to deliver us from Egyptian darkness."[710] From
this moment they became the Reformer's intimate friends. "Powers of
the world," said Füsslin, "cease to proscribe the doctrine of Christ!
After Christ the Son of God was put to death, sinners were raised up.
And now, should you destroy the preachers of truth, you will see their
places supplied by glaziers, carpenters, potters, founders,
shoemakers, and tailors, who will teach with power."[711]

  [709] Do ward bald ein gross gelaüff von allerley menschen, Innsonders
  von dem gemeinen Mann ... (Bullinger, MS.)

  [710] Und unser Moses seyn der uns aus Egypten führt. (Ibid.)

  [711] Werden die Gläser, Müller, Hafner, Giesser, Schuhmacher, und
  Schneider lehren. (Muller's Reliq. iii, p. 185.)

[Sidenote: OPPOSITION.]

In Zurich, at the outset, there was only one shout of admiration, but
when the first moment of enthusiasm was over, the adversary resumed
courage. Worthy persons alarmed at the idea of a Reformation,
gradually drew off from Zuinglius. The violence of the monks which had
been veiled for an instant, reappeared, and the college of canons
resounded with complaints. Zuinglius stood immovable. His friends
beholding his courage, felt in his presence as if a man of apostolic
times had reappeared.[712] Among his enemies, some scoffed and jeered;
others uttered insulting menaces, but he endured all with Christian
patience.[713] "Whoso," he was wont to say, "would gain the wicked to
Jesus Christ must wink at many things,"[714]--an admirable saying
which ought not to be lost sight of.

  [712] Nobis apostolici illius sæculi virum repræsentas. (Zw. Ep. p.

  [713] Obganniunt quidam, rident, minantur, petulanter incessunt ... at
  tu vere, Christianâ patientiâ, suffers omnia. (Ibid. 7th May, 1519.)
  Some jeer, laugh, menace, and petulantly assail, ... but you with
  truly Christian patience submit to all.

  [714] Connivendum ad multa, ei qui velit malos Christo lucri facere
  ... (Ibid.)

His character and general bearing towards all contributed as much as
his discourses to win their hearts. He was at once a true Christian
and a true republican. The equality of mankind was not with him a mere
watchword; it was written on his heart and manifested in his life. He
had neither that pharisaical pride, nor that monastic gruffness, which
are equally offensive to the simple and the wise of the world. Men
were drawn towards him, and felt at ease when conversing with him.
Strong and mighty in the pulpit, he was affable to all whom he met in
the streets, or in the public squares. At the places where the
merchants or incorporations met he was often seen among the citizens
expounding the leading points of Christian doctrine, or conversing
familiarly with them. He gave the same cordial reception to peasant
and patrician. "He invited country folks to dine with him," says one
of his bitterest enemies, "walked with them, spoke to them of God,
made the devil enter into their hearts and his writings into their
pockets. He even went so far that the leading persons in Zurich
visited those peasants, entertained them, and walked over the town
with them, showing them all sorts of attention."[715]

  [715] Dass der Rath gemeldete Bauern besucht ... (Salat's Chronik. p.


He continued to cultivate music "with moderation," says Bullinger:
nevertheless the enemies of the gospel took advantage of it, and
called him "The evangelical flute and lute player."[716] Faber having
one day reproached him with his fondness for music, Zuinglius, with
noble candour, replied, "My dear Faber, you know not what music is. I
have, it is true, learned to play on the lute, the violin, and other
instruments, and am able by these means to pacify little
children;[717] but you of course are too holy for music. Do you not
know that David was a skilful player on the harp, and in this way
drove the evil spirit out of Saul? ... Ah! if you knew the sound of
the heavenly lute, the evil spirit of ambition and avarice by which
you are possessed would come out of you also." Perhaps this was
Zuinglius' foible, though it was in a spirit of cheerfulness and
Christian liberty that he cultivated this art, which religion has
always associated with her sublimest flights. He set some of his
Christian poems to music, and did not scruple sometimes to amuse the
youngest of his flock with his lute. He showed the same good nature to
the poor. "He ate and drank," says one of his contemporaries, "with
all who invited him,--he despised no one; he was most compassionate to
the poor; always firm and always joyful in bad as in good fortune. No
evil made him afraid; his words were at all times full of energy, and
his heart full of consolation."[718] Thus Zuinglius increased in
popularity--after the example of his Master, seated alternately at the
table of the common people and the banquet of the great, but still
constantly intent on the work to which God had called him.

  [716] Der Lautherschlager und Evangelischer pfyffer. (Bullinger, MS.)

  [717] Dass kombt mir Ja wol, die kind zu geschweigen. (Bullinger MS.)

  [718] War allwegen trostlichen Gemüths und tapferer Red. (B. Weisse
  Füssl. Beytr. iv, p. 36.)

At the same time he was an indefatigable student. In the morning, till
ten, he read, wrote, and translated: Hebrew in particular engaged his
attention. After dinner he attended to those who had any thing to tell
him, or any advice to ask of him: took a walk with his friends and
visited his hearers. At two he resumed his studies. He took a short
walk after supper, and afterwards wrote letters which often occupied
him till midnight. He always stood when he studied, and did not allow
himself to be interrupted unless on important business.[719]

  [719] Certas studiis vindicans horas, quas etiam non omisit, nisi
  seriis coactus. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.)

[Sidenote: INDULGENCES.]

But the labours of a single individual were not sufficient. A person,
named Lucian, one day came to him with the writings of the German
Reformer. He had been sent by Rhenan, a learned man, then resident at
Bâle, and indefatigable in circulating the Reformer's writings
throughout Switzerland. Rhenan had become aware that the hawking of
books was an important means of diffusing evangelical doctrine. Lucian
had travelled almost over the whole of Switzerland, and knew
everybody. "See," said Rhenan to Zuinglius, "whether this Lucian has
the necessary prudence and ability; if he has, let him go from town to
town, burgh to burgh, village to village, and even from house to
house, among the Swiss, with Luther's writings, especially his
exposition on the Lord's Prayer, written for the laity.[720] The more
he is known the more purchasers will he find. But care must be taken
not to let him hawk other books. If he has none but Luther's, his sale
of them will be the greater." Thus the humble roof of many a Swiss
family was penetrated with some rays of light. There was one other
book, however, which Zuinglius should have caused to be hawked with
those of Luther--the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  [720] ... Oppidatim, municipatim, vicatim, imo domesticatim per
  Helvetios circumferat.... (Zw. Ep. p. 81)


     Indulgences--Samson at Berne--Samson at Baden--The Dean of
     Bremgarten--Young Henry Bullinger--Samson and the
     Dean--Internal struggles of Zuinglius--Zuinglius against
     Indulgences--Samson dismissed.


Zuinglius had not long to wait for an opportunity of displaying his
zeal in a new vocation. Samson, the famous indulgence merchant, was
slowly approaching Zurich. This miserable trafficker had come from
Schwitz to Zug, 20th September, 1518, and had remained there three
days. An immense crowd had gathered round him. The poorest were the
most eager, so that they prevented the rich from coming forward. This
did not suit the monk; accordingly, one of his attendants began to
bawl out to the populace, "Good people, do not throng so! Let those
come who have money. We will afterwards try to content those who have
none." From Zug Samson and his band repaired to Lucerne; from Lucerne
to Underwald; then crossing the fertile Alps with their rich valleys,
passing beneath the eternal ice of Oberland, and in these spots, the
grandest in Switzerland, exposing their Roman merchandise, they
arrived near Berne. The monk was at first prohibited to enter the
town, but succeeded at last in obtaining an introduction by means of
persons whom he had in his pay. Exhibiting his wares in the church of
St. Vincent he began to cry louder than ever. "Here," said he to the
rich, "are indulgences on parchment for a crown." "There," said he to
the poor, "are indulgences on ordinary paper for two farthings!" One
day, a celebrated knight, James de Stein, came up prancing on a dapple
grey horse; the monk greatly admired the horse. "Give me," says the
knight, "an indulgence for myself, for my troop of five hundred
strong, for all my vassals of Belp, and all my ancestors; I will give
you my dapple grey horse in exchange." It was a high price for the
horse, but the courser pleased the Franciscan, and the bargain was
struck. The horse went to the monk's stable, and all these souls were
declared for ever exempted from hell.[721] Another day, he give a
burgher, for thirteen florins, an indulgence, in virtue of which his
confessor was authorised to absolve him from any species of
perjury.[722] So much was Samson in repute, that Counsellor May, an
enlightened old man, having said something against him, was obliged to
go down on his knees, and ask pardon of the arrogant monk.

  [721] Um einen Kuttgrowen Hengst. (Anshelm, v, 335, J. J. Hotting.
  Helv. K. Gesch. i, 29.)

  [722] A quovis parjurio. (Muller's Relig. iv, 403.)

This was the monk's last day, and a loud ringing of bells announced
his immediate departure from Berne. Samson was in the church standing
on the steps of the high altar. Canon Henry Lupulus, formerly
Zuinglius's master, was acting as his interpreter. "When the wolf and
the fox rendezvous together in the field," said canon Anselm, turning
to the Schulthess of Walleville, "the best thing for you, worthy Sir,
is to put your sheep and geese in safety." But the monk cared little
for these sarcasms, which, besides, did not reach his ear. "Kneel,"
said he to the superstitious crowd, "repeat three _Paters_, three _Ave
Marias_, and your souls will forthwith be as pure as at the moment of
baptism." Then all the people fell upon their knees. Samson wishing
even to outdo himself, exclaimed, "I deliver from the torments of
purgatory and hell all the spirits of the departed Bernese, whatever
may have been the manner and place of their death." These jugglers,
like those at fairs, kept their finest feat for the last.

Samson set out with a heavy purse towards Zurich, crossing Argovia and
Baden. The farther on he got, the monk, whose appearance on passing
the Alps was so shabby, proceeded with more pride and splendour. The
Bishop of Constance, irritated that Samson had not employed him to
legalise his bulls, had forbidden all the curates of his diocese to
open their churches to him. At Baden, nevertheless, the curate durst
not long oppose his traffic. This redoubled the monk's effrontery.
Making the round of the burying ground at the head of a procession, he
seemed to fix his eyes on some object in the air, while his acolytes
sung the hymn for the dead, and pretending to see souls flying from
the burying ground to heaven, he exclaimed--"_Ecce volant!_ See how
they fly." One day, an inhabitant of the place getting up into the
church steeple, a great number of feathers were soon seen in the air
falling down on the astonished procession; "See how they fly,"
exclaimed the wag of Baden, shaking a feather cushion from the
steeple. Many began to laugh.[723] Samson fell into a rage, and could
not be appeased till he learned that the individual was subject to
fits of derangement: he left Baden in a huff.

  [723] Dessen viel Luth gnug lachten. (Bullinger MS.)


Continuing his journey, he arrived, towards the end of February, 1519,
at Bremgarten, at the solicitation of the Schulthess and second
curate, who had seen him at Baden. No individual in that district had
a higher reputation than dean Bullinger of Bremgarten. Though far from
enlightened as to the errors of the Church and the Word of God, being
open, zealous, eloquent, kind to the poor, and ready to do a service
to the humblest, he was loved by every body. He had in his youth
formed a connection with the daughter of a counsellor of the place.
This was the usual expedient of such of the priests as were unwilling
to live in general licentiousness. Anna had borne him five sons, but
this had in no way lessened the respect which the dean enjoyed. There
was not in Switzerland a more hospitable house than his. A great lover
of the chace, he was seen surrounded with ten or twelve dogs, and
accompanied by the barons of Hallwyll, the abbot Mury, and the gentry
of Zurich, scouring the fields and forests around. He kept open table,
and none of his guests was more jovial than himself. When the deputies
to the Diet were on their way to Baden, on passing through Bremgarten
they failed not to take their seats at the dean's table. "Bullinger,"
said they, "keeps court like the most powerful baron."


In this house strangers remarked a child of an intelligent
countenance. Henry, one of the dean's sons, from his earliest years,
had many narrow escapes. Having been seized with the plague,
preparations were making for his funeral when he showed some signs of
life, and was restored to his delighted parents. On another occasion,
a wandering beggar, having won him by caresses, was carrying him off
from his family, when some persons in passing recognised and rescued
him. At three years of age he could repeat the Lord's prayer and the
apostles' creed. One day having slipt into the church, he got into his
father's pulpit, stood up gravely, and at the full stretch of his
voice, cried out, "I believe in God the Father," and so on. At twelve,
he was sent to the Latin school of Emmeric, his heart overwhelmed with
fear; for those times were dangerous for a young boy without
experience. When the students of an university thought its discipline
too severe, they not unfrequently left it in troops, carrying the
children with them, and encamped in the woods, from which they sent
the youngest of their number to beg, or sometimes with arms in their
hands they rushed forth on the passing traveller, robbed him, and then
consumed their booty in debauchery. Henry was happily kept from evil
in this distant abode. Like Luther, he gained his livelihood by
singing before the houses, for his father wished to teach him to live
by his own shifts. He was sixteen when he opened a New Testament. "I
found in it," says he, "every thing necessary for man's salvation, and
thenceforth I laid it down as a principle to follow the Holy
Scriptures alone, and reject all human additions. I believe neither
the fathers nor myself, but explain Scripture by Scripture, without
adding any thing or taking any thing away."[724] God was thus
preparing this young man who was one day to succeed Zuinglius. He is
the author of the manuscript journal which we often quote.

  [724] Bulling. Ep. Franz's Merkw. Zuge, p. 19.

About this time Samson arrived at Bremgarten with all his train. The
bold dean undismayed by this petty Italian army, prohibited the monk
from vending his wares in his neighbourhood. The Schulthess, town
clerk, and second pastor, Samson's friends, had met in a room of the
inn at which he had alighted, and were standing quite disconcerted
around the impatient monk. The dean arrived--"Here are the papal
bulls," said the monk to him, "open your church."

     _The Dean._--"I will not allow the purses of my parishioners
     to be emptied by means of letters not authenticated, for the
     bishop has not legalised them."

     _The Monk_ (in a solemn tone).--"The pope is above the
     bishop. I enjoin you not to deprive your flock of this
     distinguished grace."

     _The Dean._--"Should it cost me my life, I won't open my

     _The Monk_ (with indignation).--"Rebellious priest! in the
     name of our most holy lord the pope, I pronounce against you
     the greater excommunication, and will not absolve you till
     you ransom your unheard-of audacity at the price of three
     hundred ducats."...

     _The Dean_ (turning on his heel and retiring).--"I will know
     how to answer before my lawful judges: as for you and your
     excommunication I have nothing to do with them."

     _The Monk_ (transported with rage).--"Impudent brute! I am
     on my way to Zurich, and will there lay my complaint before
     the deputies of the Confederation."[725]

  [725] Du freche Bestie ... etc. (Bullinger MS.)

     _The Dean._--"I can appear there as well as you, and this
     instant I set out."


While these things were taking place at Bremgarten, Zuinglius, who saw
the enemy gradually approaching, kept preaching vigorously against
indulgences.[726] Vicar Faber of Constance encouraged him, promising
him the bishop's support.[727] "I know," said Samson, while proceeding
towards Zurich, "that Zuinglius will attack me, but I will stop his
mouth." Zuinglius was in truth too much alive to the value of pardon
by Christ not to attack the paper indulgences of these men. Often,
like Luther, he trembled because of sin; but in the Saviour found
deliverance from his fears. This modest but brave man was advancing in
the knowledge of God. "When Satan frightens me," said he, "by crying
to me: You do not this, and you do not that, and yet God commands
them!--immediately the soft voice of the gospel consoles me, saying:
What thou canst not do (and assuredly thou canst do nothing,) Christ
does for thee." "Yes," continues the pious evangelist, "when my heart
is agonised because of my powerlessness, and the feebleness of my
flesh, my spirit revives at the sound of this glad news: Christ is thy
innocence! Christ is thy righteousness! Christ is thy salvation! Thou
art nothing, thou canst do nothing! Christ is the Alpha and the Omega!
Christ is all, and can do all.[728] All created things will forsake
and deceive thee, but Christ, the Holy and Righteous One, will receive
and justify thee...." "Yes," exclaims Zuinglius, "He is our
righteousness, and the righteousness of all who shall ever appear as
righteous before the judgment seat of God!..."

  [726] Ich prengete streng wider des Pabsts Ablass ... (Zw. Op. ii, 1st
  part, p. 7.)

  [727] Und hat mich darm gestarkt: er welle mir mit aller traw byston.

  [728] Christus est innocentia tua; Christus est justitia et puritas
  tua; Christus est salus tua; tu nihil es, tu nihil potes; Christus est
  Α et Ω; Christus est prora et puppis; Christus est
  omnia.... (Zw. Op. i, p. 207.)

Indulgences could not stand a moment when confronted with such truths;
and hence Zuinglius never hesitated to attack them. "No man," said he,
"is able to forgive sins. Christ alone, very God and very man, is able
to do it.[729] Go, buy indulgences ... but rest assured you are not at
all forgiven. Those who vend forgiveness of sins for money are the
companions of Simon Magus, the friends of Balaam and the ambassadors
of Satan."

  [729] Nisi Christus Jesus, verus Deus et verus homo. . . . (Ibid. p.

Dean Bullinger, still warm from his conference with the monk, arrived
at Zurich before him. He came to complain to the Diet against this
shameless dealer and his traffic. Envoys from the bishop had arrived
for the same purpose. They made common cause, and promised to support
each other. The spirit which animated Zuinglius breathed upon this
town, and the council of State resolved to oppose the monk's entry
into Zurich.


Samson had arrived in the suburbs, and alighted at an inn. One foot
was already on the stirrup preparatory to his entry, when deputies
from the council arrived, and while making the customary offer of wine
to him as a papal envoy, intimated to him that he might dispense with
appearing in Zurich. "I have something to communicate to the Diet in
the name of his holiness," replied the monk. It was a trick. However,
it was resolved to admit him; but as he spoke only of his bulls he
was dismissed, after being compelled to retract the excommunication
which he had pronounced against the dean of Bremgarton. He went off in
a rage, and the pope shortly after recalled him to Italy. A car drawn
by three horses, and loaded with the money of which his lies had
robbed the poor, preceded him on the steep tracts of St. Gothard,
which eight months before he had crossed in poverty, without style,
merely the bearer of a few papers.[730]

  [730] Und führt mit Ihm ein threspendiger Schatz an gelt, den er armen
  lüthen abgelogen hat. (Bullinger, MS.)

On this occasion the Helvetic showed more firmness than the Germanic
Diet. The reason was, because no cardinals and bishops sat in it.
Hence the pope deprived of these supports dealt more gently with
Switzerland than Germany. In other respects, the affair of
indulgences, which played so important a part in the Reformation of
Germany, is only an episode in that of Switzerland.


     The Labours of Zuinglius--The Baths of Pfeffers--God's
     time--The Great Death--Zuinglius seized with the Plague--His
     Enemies--His Friends--Convalescence--General Joy--Effect of
     the Plague--Myconius at Lucerne--Oswald encourages
     Zuinglius--Zuinglius at Bâle--Capito called to Mentz--Hedio
     at Bâle--An Unnatural Son--Preparation for Battle.

Zuinglius did not spare himself. His many labours called for some
relaxation, and he was ordered to the baths of Pfeffers. "Ah!" said
Herus, one of the pupils who lodged with him, and who thus expressed
the feeling of all who knew Zuinglius, "had I a hundred tongues, a
hundred mouths, a brazen throat, as Virgil expresses it; or rather had
I the eloquence of Cicero, how could I express all I owe you, and all
that I feel at this separation."[731] Zuinglius, however, set out and
reached Pfeffers through the astonishing gorge formed by the impetuous
torrent of the Jamina. He descended into that infernal abyss, as the
hermit David called it, and arrived at the baths, which are
perpetually agitated by the dashing of the torrent, and bedewed by the
spray of its foaming water. Where Zuinglius lodged it was so dark that
candles were burnt at mid-day. He was even assured by the inmates,
that frightful phantoms sometimes appeared in the darkness.

  [731] Etiamsi mihi sint linguæ centum, sint oraque centum, ferrea vox,
  ut Virgilius ait, aut potius Ciceroniana eloquentia. (Zw. Ep. p. 84.)

[Sidenote: GOD'S TIME].

Even here Zuinglius found opportunity to serve his Master. His
affability won the heart of several of the patients, among others a
celebrated poet, Philip Ingentinus, professor at Friburg, in
Brigau,[732] who thenceforward became a zealous supporter of the

  [732] Illic tum comitatem tuam e sinu uberrimo profluentem, non
  injucunde sum expertus. (Zw. Ep. p. 119.) Then I had the pleasure of
  experiencing your affability, the offspring of an exhuberant heart.

God watched over his own work, and was pleased to hasten it.
Zuinglius' defect lay in his strength. Strong in body, strong in
character, strong in talents, he was to see all these varieties of
strength broken, that he might thereby become such an instrument as
God loves to employ. He stood in need of a baptism, that of adversity,
infirmity, feebleness, and pain. Such a baptism Luther had received at
that period of agony when the cell and long passages of the convent of
Erfurt resounded with his cries. Zuinglius was to receive it by being
brought into contact with sickness and death. The heroes of this
world--the Charles Twelfths and Napoleons--have a moment which is
decisive of their career and their glory, and it is when they all at
once become conscious of their strength. There is an analogous moment
in the life of God's heroes, but it is in a contrary direction; it is
when they recognise their impotence and nothingness; thenceforth they
receive strength from on high. Such a work as that of which Zuinglius
was to be the instrument is never accomplished by man's natural
strength; it would immediately wither away like a tree transplanted
after its full growth, and when in full leaf. A plant must be feeble
in order to take root, and a grain of corn must die in the ground
before it can yield a full return. God led Zuinglius, and with him the
work of which he was the stay, to the gates of the grave. It is from
among bones and darkness, and the dust of the dead, that God is
pleased to take the instruments, by means of which he illumines,
regenerates, and revives the earth.


Zuinglius was hidden among the immense rocks which hem in the furious
torrent of the Jamina, when he unexpectedly learned that the plague,
or as it was termed "_the great death_,"[733] was at Zurich. This
dreadful scourge broke out in August, on St. Lawrence day, lasted till
Candlemas, and carried off two thousand five hundred persons. The
young people who lodged with Zuinglius had immediately left,
conformably to directions which he had given. His house was empty, but
it was to him the very moment to return. He hurriedly quitted
Pfeffers, and reappearing in the bosom of his flock, now decimated by
the plague, he immediately sent to Wildhaus for his young brother
Andrew, who wished to attend him. From that moment he devoted himself
entirely to the victims of this dreadful scourge. Every day he
preached Christ and his consolations to the sick.[734] His friends
delighted to see him safe and sound in the midst of so many fatal
darts,[735] still felt a secret alarm. Conrad Brunner, who himself
died of the plague a few months after, writing him from Bâle said; "Do
good, but at the same time remember to take care of your life." It was
too late: Zuinglius was seized with the plague. The great preacher of
Switzerland was stretched on a bed from which, perhaps, he was never
again to rise. He communed with himself, and turned his eye
heavenward. He knew that Christ had given him a sure inheritance, and
disclosing the feelings of his heart in a hymn remarkable for unction
and simplicity, of which, not being able to give the antique and
expressive phraseology, we have endeavoured to preserve the rhythm and
literal meaning, he exclaimed:--

    My door has opened ...
      Death appears.[736]
    My God! my strength!
      Dispel all fears!

    Oh, Jesus! raise
      Thy pierced arm,
    And break the sword
      That caused alarm.

    But if my soul
      In life's mid-day
    Thy voice recalls,[737]
      Then I obey.

    Ah! let me die,
      For I am thine;
    Thy mansions wait
      Such faith as mine.

  [733] Der Grosse Tod. (Bullinger, MS.)

  [734] Ut in majori periculo sis, quod in dies te novo exponas, dum
  invisis ægrotos. (Ibid., MS. 87.) Chateaubriand had forgotten this
  fact, and thousands similar to it, when he said, "the protestant
  pastor abandons the poor man on his death-bed, and rushes not into the
  midst of the plague." (Essai sur la Literature Anglaise.)

  [735] Plurimum gaudeo te inter tot jactus telorum versantem, illæsum,
  hactenus evassisse. (Ibid.)

  [736]  Ich mein der Tod,
         Syg an der Thür. (Zw. Op. ii, 2nd part, p. 270.)

  [737]  Willit du dann glych
         Tod haben mich
         In mitts der Tagen min
         So soll's willig sin. (Ibid.)


Meanwhile the disease gains ground, and this man, the hope of the
Church and of Switzerland, is beheld by his despairing friends as
about to become the prey of the tomb. His senses and strength forsake
him. His heart becomes alarmed, but he is still able to turn towards
God, and exclaims:--

    My ills increase;
      Haste to console;
    Terrors overwhelm
      My heart and soul.

    Death is at hand,
      My senses fail,
    My voice is choked,
      Now, Christ! prevail.[738]

    Lo! Satan strains
      To snatch his prey;
    I feel his hand,
      Must I give way?

    He harms me not,
      I fear no loss,
    For here I lie
      Before thy cross.

[738]  Nun ist est um Min
       Zung ist stumm
       Darum ist Zyt
       Das du min stryt. (Zw. Op. ii, part ii, p. 271.)

Canon Hoffman, sincere in his own belief, could not bear the idea of
allowing Zuinglius to die in the errors which he had preached.
Accordingly he waited on the provost of the Chapter, and said to him,
"Think of the danger of his soul. Does he not give the name of
fantastical innovators to all the doctors who have appeared for the
last three hundred and eighty years and more--to Alexander Hales, St.
Bonaventura, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, and all the canonists?
Does he not maintain that their doctrines are the dreams which they
dreamed in their cowls within the walls of their cloisters? Better had
it been for the town of Zurich that Zuinglius had, for a series of
years, destroyed our vintage and harvest! There he lies at the brink
of death! Do, I beseech you, save his poor soul!" It would seem that
the provost was more enlightened than the canon, and deemed it
unnecessary to convert Zuinglius to St. Bonaventura and Albert the
Great. He was left at peace.

The whole town was in mourning. All the faithful cried to God night
and day, beseeching him to restore their faithful pastor.[739] Terror
had passed from Zurich to the mountains of the Tockenburg, where also
the plague had appeared. Seven or eight persons had perished in the
village, among them a servant of Nicolas, a brother of Zuinglius.[740]
No letter was received from the Reformer, and his young brother Andrew
wrote, "Tell me, my dear brother, in what state you are. The abbot and
all our brothers desire to be remembered." As the parents of Zuinglius
are not mentioned it would seem that they were now dead.

  [739] Alle glaubige rufften Gott treuwillich an, dass er Ihren
  getreuwen Ihirten wieder ufrichte. (Bullinger, MS.)

  [740] Nicolao verò Germano nostro, etiam obiit servus suus, attamen
  non in ædibus suis. (Zw. Ep. 88.)


The news of Zuinglius' illness, and even a rumour of his death,
spread in Switzerland and Germany. "Alas!" exclaimed Hedio in tears,
"the safety of the country, the gospel trumpet, the magnanimous herald
of truth is smitten with death in the flower of his life, and, so to
speak, in the spring tide of his days."[741] When the news reached
Bâle the whole town was filled with lamentation and mourning.[742]

  [741] Quis non enim doleat, publicam patriæ salutem, tubam Evangelii,
  magnanimum veritatis buccinatorem languere, intercidere ... (Zw. Ep.
  p. 90.)

  [742] Hen quantum luctus, fatis Zuinglium concecisse importunus ille
  rumor, suo vehementi impetu divulgavit. (Ibid. p. 91.)

The spark of life which remained in Zuinglius was, however, rekindled.
Though his body was still feeble, his soul was impressed with the
unaltered conviction that God had called him to replace the torch of
his Word on the candlestick of the Church. The plague had abandoned
its victim, and Zuinglius exclaims with emotion:--

    My God! my Father!
      Healed by thee
    On earth again
      I bend my knee.

    Now sin no more
      Shall mark my days
    My mouth, henceforth,
      Shall sing thy praise.

    The uncertain hour,
      Come when it may,
    Perchance may bring
      Still worse dismay.[743]

    But, let it come,
      With joy I'll rise,
    And bear my yoke
      Straight to the skies.[744]

  [743] Words which were strikingly fulfilled twelve years after on the
  bloody plains of Cappel.

  [744]  So will Ich doch
         Den trutz und poch,
         In diser welt
         Tragen frölich
         Um widergelt.

Although these three poetical fragments are dated "the beginning,
middle, and end of the malady," and express the feelings which
Zuinglius truly experienced at these different moments, it is probable
that they were not put into their present form till afterwards. (See
Bullinger MS.)


Zuinglius was no sooner able to hold the pen (this was in the
beginning of November) than he wrote to his family. This gave
inexpressible delight to them all,[745] especially to his young
brother Andrew, who himself died of the plague the following year, and
at whose death Ulric, to use his own words, wept and cried like a
woman.[746] At Bâle Conrad Brunner, a friend of Zuinglius, and Bruno
Amerbach, a famous printer, both young men, were cut off after three
days' illness. The rumour having spread in this town that Zuinglius
also had fallen, the whole university was in mourning. "He whom God
loves is perfected in the flower of his life," said they.[747] How
great was their joy when Collinus, a student of Lucerne, and
afterwards a merchant in Zurich, brought word that Zuinglius had
escaped the jaws of death.[748] John Faber, vicar to the bishop of
Constance, long the friend and afterwards the most violent adversary
of Zuinglius, wrote to him. "O my dear Ulric, how delighted I am to
learn that you have escaped the jaws of cruel death. When you are in
danger, the Christian commonwealth is threatened. The design of the
Lord in these trials is to urge you forward in the pursuit of eternal

  [745] Inspectis tuis litteris incredibilis quidam æstus lætitiæ pectus
  meum subiit. (Zw. Ep. p. 88.) On seeing your letter an incredible
  burst of joy swelled my breast.

  [746] Ejulatum et luctum plasquam fœmineum. (Zw. Ep. p. 155.)

  [747] Ὅν τε Θεοὶ φιλέουσι, νεανίσκες
  τελευτᾷ. (Ibid., p.   90.) He whom the gods love, dies young.

  [748] E diris te mortis fancibus feliciter ereptum negotiator quidam
  Tigurinus ... (Ibid., p. 91.) A trader from Zurich informed me that
  you had been happily rescued from the dire jaws of death.

This was, indeed, the design, and it was accomplished, though in a
different way from what Faber anticipated. The plague of 1519, which
made such fearful ravages in the north of Switzerland, was, in the
hand of God, a powerful means of converting a great number of
persons.[749] But on none had it a greater influence than on
Zuinglius. Hitherto he had been too much disposed to regard the gospel
as mere doctrine; but now it became a great reality. He returned from
the gates of the grave with a new heart. His zeal was more active, his
life more holy, his word more free, Christian, and powerful. This was
the period of Zuinglius' complete emancipation. He from this time
devoted himself to God. The new life thus given to the Reformer was
communicated at the same time to the Swiss Reformation. The Divine
rod, _the great death_, in passing over all their mountains and
descending into all their valleys, added to the sacredness of the
movement which was then taking place. The Reformation being plunged,
like Zuinglius, into the waters of affliction and of grace, came forth
purer and more animated. In regard to the regeneration of Switzerland,
the gospel sun was now at its height.

  [749] Als die Pestilenz in Jahre, 1519, in dieser Gegend grassirte,
  viele neigten sich zu einem bessern Leben. (Georg. Vögelin. Ref. Hist.
  Füsslin Beytr., iv, 174.)


Zuinglius, who still strongly felt the want of new strength, received
it in intercourse with his friends. His closest intimacy was with
Myconius. They walked hand in hand, like Luther and Melancthon. Oswald
was happy at Zurich. It is true, his position was cramped; but every
thing was softened by the virtues of his modest spouse. It was of her
that Glarean said, "Were I to meet a young girl resembling her, I
would prefer her to the daughter of a king." But a faithful voice was
often heard disturbing the sweet friendship of Zuinglius and Myconius.
It was that of canon Xylotect, who, calling to Oswald from Lucerne,
summoned him to return to his country. "Lucerne," said he to him, "not
Zurich, is your country. You say that the Zurichers are your friends:
granted; but do you know what the evening star will bring you? Serve
your country.[750] This I advise; I implore; and, if I am able,
command." Xylotect, not confining himself to words, procured the
appointment of Myconius to the college school of Lucerne. After this
Oswald no longer hesitated. He saw the finger of God in the
appointment, and determined to make the sacrifice, how great soever it
might be. Who could say whether he might not be an instrument in the
hand of the Lord to diffuse the doctrine of peace in warlike Lucerne?
But how painful the separation between Zuinglius and Myconius! They
parted in tears. Ulric shortly after wrote to Oswald, "Your departure
has been as serious a loss to the cause which I defend, as that which
is sustained by an army in battle array when one of its wings is
destroyed.[751] Ah! I now am aware of all that my Myconius was able to
do, and how often, without my knowing it, he maintained the cause of

  [750] Patriam cole, suadeo et obscero, et si hoc possum jubeo.
  (Xylotect. Myconio.)

  [751] Nam res meæ, te absente, non sunt minus accisæ quam si exercitui
  in procincta stanti altera alarum abstergatur. (Zw. Ep. p. 98.)

Zuinglius felt the loss of his friend the more, because the plague had
left him in a state of great feebleness. Writing on the 30th November,
1519, he says, "It has weakened my memory and wasted my intellect."
When scarcely convalescent, he had resumed all his labours. "But,"
said he, "in preaching I often lose the thread of my discourse. I feel
languid in all my members, and somewhat as if I were dead." Moreover,
Zuinglius, by his opposition to indulgences, had excited the wrath of
their partisans. Oswald strengthened his friend by letters which he
wrote him from Lucerne. And did he not also receive pledges of
assistance from the Lord in the protection which He gave to the Saxon
champion who was gaining such important victories over Rome? "What
think you," said Myconius to Zuinglius, "of the cause of Luther? For
my part I have no fear either for the gospel or for him. If God does
not protect his truth, who will protect it? All that I ask of the Lord
is, not to withdraw his aid from those who hold nothing dearer than
his gospel. Continue as you have begun, and an abundant recompence
awaits you in heaven."


The visit of an old friend helped to console Zuinglius for the loss of
Myconius. Bunzli, who had been his teacher at Bâle, and had succeeded
the dean of Wesen, the Reformer's uncle, arrived at Zurich, in the
first week of the year 1520, and Zuinglius and he thereafter resolved
to set out together to Bâle to see their common friends.[752] This
visit of Zuinglius bore fruit. "Oh, my dear Zuinglius!" wrote John
Glother to him at a later period, "never will I forget you. The thing
which binds me to you is the goodness with which, during your stay at
Bâle, you came to see me, me, a petty schoolmaster, living in
obscurity without learning or merit, and of humble station! What wins
me is the elegance of your manners, and that indescribable meekness
with which you subdue all hearts, even stones, if I may so
speak."[753] But Zuinglius' visit was still more useful to his old
friends. Capito, Hedio, and others, were electrified by the power of
his eloquence. The former commencing in Bâle the work which Zuinglius
was doing at Zurich, began to expound the gospel of St. Matthew before
an auditory which continued to increase. The doctrine of Christ
penetrated and inflamed all hearts. The people received it joyfully,
and with acclamation hailed the revival of Christianity.[754] It was
the aurora of the Reformation. Accordingly a conspiracy of monks and
priests was soon formed against Capito. It was at this time that
Albert, the young cardinal-archbishop of Mentz, who felt desirous of
attaching a man of so much learning to his person, called him to his
court.[755] Capito, seeing the difficulties which were thrown in his
way, accepted the invitation. The people were moved, and, turning with
indignation against the priests, raised a tumult in the town.[756]
Hedio was proposed as his successor, but some objected to his youth,
while others said, "He is his pupil." "Truth bites," said Hedio: "it
is not advantageous to offend too delicate ears by telling it.[757] No
matter, nothing will turn me from the straight path." The monks
redoubled their efforts. "Believe not those," exclaimed they from the
pulpit, "who say that the sum of Christian doctrine is found in the
Gospel and in St. Paul. Scotus has done more for Christianity than St.
Paul himself. All the learning that has ever been spoken or printed
has been stolen from Scotus. All that has been done since by men eager
for fame has been to throw in some Greek and Hebrew terms, which have
only darkened the matter."[758]

  [752] Zw. Ep. p. 103 and 111.

  [753] Morum tuorum elegantia suavitasque incredibilis qua omnes tibi
  devincis, etiam lapides, ut sic dixerim. (Ibid., p. 133.)

  [754] Renascenti Christianismo mirum quam faveant. (Ibid., p. 120.)

  [755] Cardinalis illic invitavit amplissimis conditionibus. (Ibid.)
  The cardinal invited him thither on the most liberal terms.

  [756] Tumultus exoritur et maxima indignatio vulgi erga ἱερεῖς.

  [757] Auriculas teneras mordaci radere vero, non usque adeo tutum est.

  [758] Scotum pius profuisse rei Christianæ quam ipsum
  Paulum...quicquid eruditum, furatum ex Scoto. (Ibid.)


The tumult increased; and there was reason to fear that, on Capito's
departure, it would become still more serious. "I will be almost
alone," thought Hedio, "poor I, to struggle with these formidable
monsters."[759] Accordingly, he invoked the assistance of God, and
wrote to Zuinglius. "Inflame my courage by writing often. Learning and
Christianity are now placed between the hammer and the anvil. Luther
has just been condemned by the universities of Louvain and Cologne. If
ever the Church was in imminent danger, it is at this hour."[760]

  [759] Cum pestilentissimis monstris. (Zw. Ep. p. 121.)

  [760] Si unquam imminebat periculum, jam imminet. (Ibid., 17th March,

Capito left Bâle for Mentz, 28th April, and Hedio succeeded him. Not
content with the public assemblies in the church at which he continued
his exposition of St. Matthew, he proposed, in the month of June, as
he wrote Luther, to have private meetings in his own house, to give
more thorough evangelical instruction to those who might feel the want
of it. This powerful method of communicating the truth, and exciting
in the faithful an interest and zeal in divine things, could not fail
then, as it never does, to awaken opposition in the men of the world
and in domineering priests, both of whom, though from different
motives, are equally desirous that God should be worshipped only
within the precincts of a particular building. But Hedio was

At the same period when he formed this good resolution at Bâle, there
arrived at Zurich one of those characters who often emerge, like
impure froth, from the vortex of revolutions.


Senator Grebel, a man of great influence in Zurich, had a son named
Conrad, a youth of remarkable talents, and a relentless enemy of
ignorance and superstition, which he attacked with cutting satire. He
was boisterous, violent, sarcastic, and bitter in his expression,
without natural affection, given to debauchery, always talking loudly
of his own innocence, while he could see nothing but what was wrong in
others. We speak of him here because he is afterwards to play a
melancholy part. At this period, Vadian married a sister of Conrad,
and Conrad, who was studying at Paris where his misconduct had
deprived him of the use of his limbs, desiring to be present at the
marriage, appeared suddenly about the beginning of June amidst his
family. The poor father received the prodigal son with a gentle smile,
his fond mother with tears. The tenderness of his parents made no
change on his unnatural heart. His kind and unhappy mother having some
time after been brought to the gates of death, Conrad wrote his
brother-in-law Vadian:--"My mother is recovered; she again rules the
house, sleeps, awakes, grumbles, breakfasts, scolds, dines, makes a
racket, sups, and is perpetually a burden to us. She runs, cooks,
re-cooks, sweeps the house, toils, kills herself with fatigue, and
will shortly bring on a relapse."[761]

  [761] Sic regiert das Hans, schläft, steht auf, zaukt, fruhstucht,
  keift ..... (Simml. Samml. iv, Wirz, i, 76.)

Such was the man who, at a later period, pretended to lord it over
Zuinglius, and who took the lead among fanatical anabaptists. Divine
Providence perhaps allowed such characters to appear at the period of
the Reformation that their disorders might the better bring out the
wise, Christian, and orderly spirit of the Reformers.

Everything announced that the battle between the gospel and the papacy
was about to commence. "Let us stir up the temporisers," wrote Hedio
to Zurich; "the peace is broken, let us arm our hearts: the enemies we
shall have to combat are most fierce."[762] Myconius wrote in the same
strain to Ulric, who, however, answered their warlike appeals with
admirable meekness. "I should like," said he, "to gain these obstinate
men by kindness and good offices, rather than overcome them by
violence and disputation.[763] That they call our doctrine, (which
however is not ours,) a doctrine of the devil, is nothing more than
natural. It proves to me that we are indeed the ambassadors of Christ.
The devils cannot be silent in his presence."

  [762] Armemus pectora nostra! pugnandum erit contra teterrimos ostes.
  (Zw. Ep. p. 10.)

  [763] Benevolentia honestoque obsequio potius ullici quam animosa
  oppugnatione trahi. (Ibid., p. 103.)


     The Two Reformers--The Fall of Man--Expiation of the
     God-Man--No merit in Works--Objections refuted--Power of
     Love to Christ--Election--Christ alone Master--Effects of
     this Preaching--Despondency and Courage--First Act of the
     Magistrate--Church and State--Attacks--Galster.

Though desirous to follow the path of meekness, Zuinglius was not
idle. Since his illness his preaching had become more profound and
enlivening. More than two thousand persons in Zurich had received the
word of God into their heart, made profession of the evangelical
doctrine, and were themselves able to announce it.[764]

  [764] Non enim soli sumus Tiguri plus duobus millibus permultorum est
  rationalium qui lac jam Spirituali sugentes.... (Ibid., p. 104.) For
  we are not alone: at Zurich are more than two thousand of very
  rational beings, who now seek spiritual food.


Zuinglius' faith was the same as Luther's, but more the result of
reasoning. Luther advances with a bound. Zuinglius owes more to
clearness of perception. Luther's writings are pervaded with a
thorough personal conviction of the benefits which the cross of Christ
confers upon himself, and this conviction, glowing with heat and life,
is the soul of all he says. The same thing doubtless exists in
Zuinglius, but in an inferior degree. He had looked more to the
Christian system as a whole, and admired it particularly for its
beauty, for the light which it sheds into the human mind, and the
eternal life which it brings to the world. The one is more the man of
heart, the other more the man of intellect; and hence it is that those
who do not experimentally know the faith which animated these two
great disciples of the Lord, fall into the grossest error, making the
one a mystic and the other a rationalist. The one is more pathetic,
perhaps, in the exposition of his faith, and the other more
philosophical, but both believe the same truths. They do not, however,
look at all secondary questions from the same point of view, but that
faith which is one, that faith which quickens and justifies its
possessor, that faith which no confession, no article of doctrine can
express, is in the one as in the other. The doctrine of Zuinglius has
often been so much misrepresented, that it seems proper here to give
an account of what he preached at this time to the increasing crowds
who flocked to the cathedral of Zurich.

The fall of Adam, Zuinglius regarded as the key to man's history.
"Before the fall," said he one day, "man had been created with a free
will, so that he was able, if he chose, to keep the law, his nature
was pure, being as yet untainted by the malady of sin; his life was in
his own hand. But wishing to be equal to God, he died ... and not he
only, but every one of his descendants. All men being dead in Adam
none can be recalled to life until the Spirit, who is God himself,
raise them from death."[765]

  [765] Quum ergo omnes homines in Adamo mortui sunt.....donec per
  Spiritum et gratiam Dei ad vitam quæ Deus est excitentur. (Zw. Op. i,
  p. 203.) Seeing, then, that all men are dead in Adam ... until they
  are awakened by the Spirit and grace of God to the life of God. These
  words, and others which we have quoted, or will quote, are taken from
  a work which Zuinglius published in 1523, and in which he gave a
  summary of the doctrine which he had preached for several years. "Hic
  recensere cœpi quæ ex verbo Dei prædicavi." (Ibid., p. 228.) These
  are his own words.


The people of Zurich who listened eagerly to this powerful orator were
saddened when he set before them the sinful state into which human
nature has fallen, but soon after heard words of joy, and learned to
know the remedy which is able to recall man to life. "Christ very man
and very God,"[766] said the eloquent voice of this shepherd--son of
the Tockenburg, "has purchased for us a redemption which will never
terminate. The eternal God died for us: His passion then is eternal:
it brings salvation for ever and ever:[767] it appeases divine justice
for ever in favour of all those who lean upon this sacrifice with firm
and immovable faith." "Wherever sin exists," exclaimed the Reformer,
"death must necessarily supervene. Christ had no sin, there was no
guile in his mouth, and yet he died! Ah! it was because he died in our
stead. He was pleased to die in order to restore us to life, and as he
had no sins of his own, the Father, who is full of mercy, laid the
burden of our sins upon him.[768]" The Christian orator continued,
"Since the will of man rebelled against the supreme God, it was
necessary, if eternal order was to be re-established and man saved,
that the human will should be made subject in Christ to the divine
will."[769] He often repeated that it was for the faithful people of
God, that the expiatory death of Jesus Christ had been endured.[770]

  [766] Christus verus homo et verus Deus.... (Zw. Op. i, p. 204.)

  [767] Deus enim æternus quum sit qui pro nobis moritur, passionem ejus
  æternam et perpetuò salutarum esse oportet. (Zw. Op. i, p. 206.) Since
  he who dies for us is the eternal God, his passion must be eternal and
  for ever saving.

  [768] Mori voluit ut nos vitæ restitueret ... (Ibid., p. 204.)

  [769] Necesse fuit ut voluntas humana in Christo se divinæ
  submitteret. (Ibid.)

  [770] Hostia est et victima satisfaciens in æternum pro peccatis
  omnium fidelium. (Ibid., p. 253.) Expurgata peccata multitudinis, hoc
  est, fidelis populi. (Ibid., p. 264.)

Those in the city of Zurich who were eager for salvation, found rest
on hearing these good news. But old errors still remained, and these
it was necessary to destroy. Setting out from this great truth of a
salvation which is the gift of God, Zuinglius forcibly discoursed
against the pretended merit of human works. "Since eternal salvation,"
said he, "proceeds solely from the merits and death of Jesus Christ,
the merit of our works is nothing better than folly, not to say rash
impiety.[771] Could we have been saved by our works it had not been
necessary for Jesus Christ to die. All who have ever come to God came
to him by the death of Jesus Christ."[772]

  [771] Sequitur meritum nostrorum operum nihil esse quam vanitatem et
  stultitiam, ne dicam impietatem et ignorantem impudentiam. (Ibid., p.
  290.) It follows that the merit of our works is nothing but vanity and
  folly, not to say impiety and ignorant impudence.

  [772] Quotquot ad Deum venerunt unquam, per mortem Christi ad Deum
  venisse. (Ibid.)


Zuinglius perceived the objections which some of his hearers felt
against these doctrines. Some of them called upon him and stated them.
He mounted the pulpit and said--"People, more curious perhaps than
pious, object that this doctrine makes men giddy and dissolute. But of
what consequence are the objections or fears which human curiosity may
suggest? Whosoever believes in Jesus Christ is certain that every
thing which comes from God is necessarily good. If, then, the gospel
is of God it is good.[773] And what other power would be capable of
implanting among men innocence, truth, and love? O God! most
compassionate, most just, Father of mercies," exclaimed he in the
overflowing of his piety, "with what love hast thou embraced us, us
thy enemies![774] With what great and certain hopes hast thou inspired
us, us who should have known nothing but despair: and to what glory
hast thou in thy Son called our littleness and nothingness! Thy
purpose in this ineffable love is to constrain us to yield thee love
for love!..."

  [773] Certus est quod quidquid ex Deo est bonum sit. Si ergo
  Evangelium ex Deo bonum est. (Ibid., p. 208.)

  [774] Quanta caritate nos fures et perduelles. (Zw. Op. i, p. 207.)

Then dwelling on this idea, he showed that love to the Redeemer is a
more powerful law than the commandments. "The Christian," said he,
"delivered from the law depends entirely on Christ. Christ is his
reason, his counsel, his righteousness, and whole salvation. Christ
lives in him and acts in him. Christ alone guides him, and he needs no
other guide."[775] And making use of a comparison adapted to his
hearers, he added, "If a government prohibits its citizens, under pain
of death, from receiving pensions and presents at the hands of
princes, how gentle and easy this law is to those who, from love to
their country and to liberty, would, of their own accord, refrain from
so culpable a proceeding; but on the contrary, how tormenting and
oppressive it feels to those who think only of their own interest.
Thus the righteous man lives joyful in the love of righteousness,
whereas the unrighteous walks groaning under the heavy weight of the
law which oppresses him."[776]

  [775] Tum enim totus a Christo pendet. Christus est ei ratio,
  consilium, justitia, innocentia et tota salus. Christus in eo vivit,
  in eo agit. (Ibid., p. 233.)

  [776] Bonus vir in amore justitiæ liber et lætus vivit. (Ibid., p.

In the cathedral of Zurich was a considerable number of veteran
soldiers who felt the truth of these words. Is not love the mightiest
of legislators? Is not every thing that it commands instantly
accomplished? Does not he whom we love dwell in our heart, and does it
not of itself perform what he enjoins? Accordingly, Zuinglius, waxing
bold, declared to the people of Zurich that love to the Redeemer was
alone capable of making man do things agreeable to God. "Works done
out of Jesus Christ are not useful," said the Christian orator; "since
every thing is done of him, in him, and by him, what do we pretend to
arrogate to ourselves? Wherever faith in God is, there God is, and
wherever God is, there is a zeal which presses and urges men to good
works.[777] Only take care that Christ be in thee and thou in Christ,
and then doubt not but he will work. The life of the Christian is just
one continued work by which God begins, continues, and perfects in man
every thing that is good."[778]

  [777] Ubi Deus, illic cura est et studium ad opera bona urgens et
  impellens.... (Ibid., p. 213.)

  [778] Vita ergo pii hominis nihil aliud est nisi perpetua quædam et
  indefessa boni operatio, quam Deus incipit, ducit et absolvit ...
  (Ibid., p. 295.)


Struck with the grandeur of this divine love which existed from
eternity, the herald of grace raised his voice to all the timid or
irresolute. "Can you fear," said he, "to approach the tender Father
who has chosen you? Why has he chosen us in his grace? Why has he
called us? Why has he drawn us? Was it that we might not dare to go to

  [779] Quum ergo Deus pater nos elegit ex gratia sua, traxitque et
  vocavit, cur ad eum accedere non auderemus? (Zw. Op. i, p. 287.)

Such was the doctrine of Zuinglius. It was the doctrine of Christ
himself. "If Luther preaches Christ he does what I do," said the
preacher of Zurich; "those who have been brought to Christ by him are
more numerous than those who have been brought by me. But no matter! I
am unwilling to bear any other name than that of Christ, whose soldier
I am, and who alone is my head. Never was a single scrap written by me
to Luther, or by Luther to me. And why? In order to show to all how
well the spirit of God accords with himself, since, without having
heard each other, we so harmoniously teach the doctrine of Jesus

  [780] Quam concors sit Spiritus Dei, dum nos tam procul dissiti, nihil
  colludentes, tam concorditer Christi doctrinam docemus. (Ibid., p.
  276.) How well the Spirit of God accords, since we, who are placed at
  such a distance from each other, with no collusion, so harmoniously
  teach the doctrine of Christ.


Thus Zuinglius preached with energy and might.[781] The large
cathedral could not contain the crowds of hearers. All thanked God
that a new life was beginning to animate the lifeless body of the
Church. Swiss from all the cantons, brought to Zurich either by the
Diet or by other causes, being touched by this new preaching, carried
its precious seeds into all the Helvetic valleys. One acclamation
arose from mountains and cities. Nicolas Hageus, writing from Lucerne
to Zurich, says, "Switzerland has hitherto given birth to Scipios,
Cæsars, and Brutuses, but has scarcely produced two men who had the
knowledge of Jesus Christ, and could nourish men's hearts, not with
vain disputes, but with the Word of God. Now that Divine Providence
gives Switzerland Zuinglius for its orator, and Oswald Myconius for
its teacher, virtue and sacred literature revive among us. O happy
Helvetia! could you but resolve at length to rest from all your wars,
and, already so celebrated, become still more celebrated for
righteousness and peace."[782] "It was said," wrote Myconius to
Zuinglius, "that your voice could not be heard three yards off. But I
now see it was a falsehood; for all Switzerland hears you."[783] "You
possess intrepid courage," wrote Hedio to him from Bâle, "I will
follow you as far as I am able."[784] "I have heard you," said
Sebastian Hofmeister of Schaffausen, writing to him from Constance.
"Ah, would to God that Zurich, which is at the head of our happy
confederation was delivered from the disease, and health thus
restored to the whole body."[785]

  [781] Quam fortis sis in Christo prædicando. (Zw. Ep. p. 160.)

  [782] O Helvetiam longe feliciorem, si tandem liceat te a bellis
  conquiescere! (Ibid. p. 128.)

  [783] At video mendacium esse, cum audiaris per totam Helvetiam.
  (Ibid., p. 135.)

  [784] Sequar te quoad potero. (Ibid., p. 134.)

  [785] Ut capite felicis patriæ nostro a morbo erepto, sanitas tandem
  in reliqua membra reciperetur. (Zw. Ep. p. 147.)

But Zuinglius met with opponents as well as admirers. "To what end,"
said some, "does he intermeddle with the affairs of Switzerland?"
"Why," said others, "does he, in his religious instructions,
constantly repeat the same things?" Amid all these combats the soul of
Zuinglius was often filled with sadness. All seemed to be in
confusion, as if society were turned upside down.[786] He thought it
impossible that any thing new should appear without something of an
opposite nature being immediately displayed.[787] When a hope sprang
up in his heart, a fear immediately sprang up beside it. Still he soon
raised his head. "The life of man here below," said he, "is a war; he
who desires to obtain glory must attack the world in front, and, like
David, make this haughty Goliath, who seems so proud of his stature,
to bite the dust. The Church," said he, like Luther, "has been
acquired by blood, and must be renewed by blood.[788] The more
numerous the defilements in it, the more must we arm ourselves, like
Hercules, in order to clean out these Augean stables.[789] I have
little fear for Luther," added he, "even should he be thundered
against by the bolts of this Jupiter."[790]

  [786] Omnia sursum deorsumque moventur. (Ibid., p. 142.)

  [787] Ut nihil proferre caput queat, cujus non contrarium e regione
  emergat. (Ibid., p. 142.)

  [788] Ecclesiam puto, ut sanguine parta est, ita sanguine instaurari.
  (Ibid., p. 143.)

  [789] Eo plures armabis Hercules qui fimum tot hactenus bonum efferant
  (Ibid., p. 144.)

  [790] Etiamsi fulmine Jovis istius fulminetur. (Ibid.)

Zuinglius stood in need of repose, and repaired to the waters of
Baden. The curate of the place, an old papal guard, a man of good
temper, but completely ignorant, had obtained his benefice by carrying
a halberd. True to his soldier habits, he spent the day and part of
the night in jovial company, while Stäheli, his vicar, was
indefatigable in fulfilling the duties of his office.[791] Zuinglius
invited the young minister to his house. "I have need of Swiss help,"
said he to him, and from this moment Stäheli was his fellow-labourer.
Zuinglius, Stäheli, and Luti, afterwards pastor of Winterthur, lived
under the same roof.

  [791] Misc. Tig., ii, 579-696. Wirz., i, 79, 78.


The devotedness of Zuinglius was not to pass unrewarded. The Word of
God, preached with so much energy, could not fail to produce fruit.
Several magistrates were gained, experiencing the Word to be their
consolation and their strength. The Council, grieved at seeing the
priests, and especially the monks, shamelessly delivering from the
pulpit whatever came into their heads, passed a resolution, ordering
them not to advance anything in their discourses "that they did not
draw from the sacred sources of the Old and New Testament."[792] It
was in 1520 that the civil power thus interposed for the first time in
the work of the Reformation; acting as a Christian magistrate, say
some--since the first duty of the magistrate is to maintain the Word
of God and defend the best interests of the citizens; depriving the
Church of its liberty, say others,--by subjecting it to secular power,
and giving the signal for the series of evils which have since been
engendered by the connection between Church and State. We will not
give any opinion here on this great controversy which in our day is
carried on with so much warmth in several countries. It is sufficient
for us to point out its commencement at the period of the Reformation.
But there is another thing also to be pointed out--the act of these
magistrates was itself one of the effects produced by the preaching of
the Word of God. At this period the Reformation in Switzerland ceased
to be the work of private individuals, and began to be included within
the national domain. Born in the heart of a few priests and literary
men, it extended, rose, and took up elevated ground. Like the waters
of the ocean, it gradually increased till it had overflowed an immense

  [792] Vetuit eos Senatus quicquam prædicare quod non ex sacrarum
  literarum utriusque Testamenti fontibus hausissent. (Zw. Op. iii, 28.)

The monks were confounded: they were ordered to preach nothing but the
Word of God, and the greater part of them had never read it.
Opposition provokes opposition. The resolution of the council became
the signal of more violent attacks on the Reformation. Plots began to
be formed against the curate of Zurich. His life was in danger. One
evening, when Zuinglius and his vicars were quietly conversing in
their house, some citizens arrived in great haste, and asked, "Are
your doors well bolted? Be this night on your guard." "Such alarms
were frequent," adds Stäheli; "but we were well armed,[793] and a
guard was stationed for us in the street."

  [793] Wir waren aber gut gerüstet. (Misc. Tig., ii, 681. Wirz., i,


In other places, means still more violent were resorted to. An old man
of Shaffausen, named Galster, a man of piety, and of an ardour rare at
his period of life, happy in the light which he had found in the
gospel, laboured to communicate it to his wife and children. His zeal,
perhaps indiscreet, openly attacked the relics, priests, and
superstitions with which this canton abounded. He soon became an
object of hatred and terror even to his own family. The old man,
penetrating their fatal designs, left his home broken-hearted, and
fled to the neighbouring forest. There he lived several days
subsisting on whatever he could find, when suddenly, on the last night
of the year 1520, torches blazed in all directions through the
forest, and the cries of men and the barking of dogs re-echoed under
its dark shades. The council had ordered a hunt in the woods to
discover him. The dogs scented him out, and the unhappy old man was
dragged before the magistrate. He was ordered to abjure his faith, but
remained immovable, and was beheaded.[794]

  [794] Wirz, i, 510. Sebast. Wagner, von Kirchhofer, p. 18.


     A new Combatant--The Reformer of Berne--Zuinglius encourages
     Haller--The Gospel at Lucerne--Oswald Persecuted--Preaching
     of Zuinglius--Henry Bullinger and Gerold of Knonan--Rubli at
     Bâle--The Chaplain of the Hospital--War in Italy--Zuinglius
     against Foreign Service.


The year, the first day of which was signalised by this bloody
execution, had scarcely commenced when Zuinglius was waited on in his
house at Zurich by a young man, of about twenty-eight years of age,
tall in stature, and with an exterior which bespoke candour,
simplicity, and diffidence.[795] He said his name was Berthold Haller.
Zuinglius, on hearing the name, embraced the celebrated preacher of
Berne, with that affability which made him so engaging. Haller, born
at Aldingen in Wurtemberg,[796] had first studied at Rotweil under
Rubellus, and afterwards at Pforzheim, where Simler was his teacher,
and Melancthon his fellow-student. The Bernese, who had already
distinguished themselves by arms, at this time resolved to invite
literature into the bosom of their republic. Rubellus, and Berthold,
not twenty-one years of age, repaired thither. Sometime after, the
latter was appointed canon, and ultimately preacher of the cathedral.
The gospel which Zuinglius preached had extended to Berne; Haller
believed, and thenceforth longed to see the distinguished man, whom he
now looked up to as his father. He went to Zurich after Myconius had
announced his intended visit. Thus met Haller and Zuinglius. The
former, a man of great meekness, unbosomed his griefs; and the latter,
a man of might, inspired him with courage. One day, Berthold said to
Zuinglius, "My spirit is overwhelmed.... I am not able to bear all
this injustice. I mean to give up the pulpit and retire to Bâle beside
Wittembach, and there occupy myself exclusively with sacred
literature." "Ah!" replied Zuinglius, "I too have my feelings of
despondency, when unjust attacks are made upon me; but Christ awakens
my conscience, and urges me on by his terrors and his promises. He
alarms me when he says, '_Whoso shall be ashamed of me before men, of
him will I be ashamed before my Father_;' and he sets my mind at ease
when he adds, '_Whoso shall confess me before men, him will I confess
before my Father_.' My dear Berthold, rejoice! Our name is written in
indelible characters in the register of citizenship on high.[797] I am
ready to die for Christ.[798] Let your wild cubs," added he, "hear the
doctrine of Jesus Christ, and you will see them become tame.[799] But
this task must be performed with great gentleness, lest they turn
again and rend you." Haller's courage revived. "My soul," said he to
Zuinglius, "is awakened out of its sleep. I must preach the gospel.
Jesus Christ must again be established in this city, from which he has
been so long exiled."[800] Thus the torch of Berthold was kindled at
the torch of Zuinglius, and the timid Haller threw himself into the
midst of the ferocious bears, who, as Zuinglius expresses it, "were
gnashing their teeth, and seeking to devour him."

  [795] Animi tui candorem simplicem et simplicitatem candidissimam, hac
  tua pusilla quidem epistola... (Zw. Ep. p. 136.)

  [796] Ita ipse in literis MS. (J. J. Hott. iii, 54.)

  [797] Scripta tamen habeatur in fastis supernorum civium. (Zw. Ep. p.

  [798] Ut mori pro Christo non usque adeo detrectem apud me. (Ibid., p.

  [799] Ut ursi tui ferociusculi, audita Christi doctrina, mansuescere
  incipiant. (Ibid.) There is a bear in the arms of the town of Berne.

  [800] Donec Christum, cucultatis nugis longe a nobis exulem ... pro
  virili restituerim.... (Ibid., p. 187.) Until I have done my utmost to
  restore Christ, who has long been exiled from us by monkish trifles.


It was in another part of Switzerland, however, that persecution was
to begin. Warlike Lucerne came forward, like a foe in full armour
couching his lance. In this canton, which was favourable to foreign
service, a martial spirit predominated, and the leading men knit their
brows when they heard words of peace fitted to curb their warlike
temper. Meanwhile the writings of Luther having found their way into
the town, some of the inhabitants began to examine them, and were
horrified. It seemed to them that an infernal hand had traced the
lines; their imagination was excited, their senses became bewildered,
and their rooms seemed as if filled with demons, flocking around them,
and glaring upon them with a sarcastic smile.[801] They hastily closed
the book, and dashed it from them in dismay. Oswald, who had heard of
these singular visions, did not speak of Luther to any but his most
intimate friends, and contented himself with simply preaching the
gospel of Christ. Nevertheless, the cry which rung through the town
was, "Luther and the schoolmaster (Myconius) must be burnt."[802] "I
am driven by my adversaries like a ship by the raging billows,"[803]
said Oswald to one of his friends. One day, in the beginning of the
year 1520, he was unexpectedly summoned to appear before the council,
and told, "Your orders are, not to read the writings of Luther to your
pupils, not to name him in their presence, and not even to think of
him."[804] The lords of Lucerne pretended, it seems, to have a very
extensive jurisdiction. Shortly after, a preacher delivered a sermon
against heresy. The whole audience was moved, and every eye was turned
on Myconius; for whom but he could the preacher have in his eye?
Oswald kept quietly in his seat, as if the matter had not concerned
him. But on leaving the church, as he was walking with his friend,
Canon Xylotect, one of the counsellors, still under great excitement,
passed close to them, and passionately exclaimed, "Well, disciples of
Luther, why don't you defend your master?" They made no answer. "I
live," said Myconius, "among fierce wolves; but I have this
consolation, that the most of them are without teeth. They would bite
if they could, but not being able, they bark."

  [801] Dum Lutherum semel legerint ut putarent stubellam suam plenam
  esse dæmonibus. (Ibid., p. 37.)

  [802] Clamatur hic per totam civitatem: Lutherum comburendum et ludi
  magistrum. (Ibid., p. 153.)

  [803] Non aliter me impellunt quam procellæ marinæ navem aliquam.
  (Ibid., p. 159.)

  [804] Imò ne in mentem eum admitterem. (Zw. Ep. p. 159.)

The senate assembled: for the people began to be tumultuous. "He is a
Lutheran," said one of the counsellors: "he is a propagator of new
doctrines," said another: "he is a seducer of youth," said a third.
"Let him appear, let him appear." The poor schoolmaster appeared and
again listened to prohibitions and menaces. His unsophisticated soul
was torn and overwhelmed. His gentle spouse could only console him by
shedding tears. "Every one is rising up against me," exclaimed he in
his agony. "Assailed by so many tempests, whither shall I turn, how
shall I escape?... Were it not for Christ I would long ago have fallen
under these assaults."[805] "What matters it," wrote Doctor Sebastian
Hofmeister of Constance to him, "whether Lucerne chooses to keep you
or not? The whole earth is the Lord's. Every land is a home to the
brave. Though we should be the most wicked of men our enterprise is
just, for we teach the Word of Christ."

  [805] Si Christus non esset, jam olim defecissem. (Ibid., p. 160.)


While the truth encountered so many obstacles at Lucerne it was
victorious at Zurich. Zuinglius was incessant in his labours. Wishing
to examine the whole sacred volume in the original tongues, he
zealously engaged in the study of Hebrew, under the direction of John
Boschenstein, a pupil of Reuchlin. But if he studied Scripture, it was
to preach it. The peasants who flocked to the market on Friday to
dispose of their goods, showed an eagerness to receive the Word of
God. To satisfy their longings, Zuinglius had begun, in December 1520,
to expound the Psalms every Friday after studying the original. The
Reformers always combined learned with practical labours--the latter
forming the end, the former only the means. They were at once
students and popular teachers. This union of learning and charity is
characteristic of the period. In regard to his services on Sunday,
Zuinglius, after lecturing from St. Matthew on the life of our
Saviour, proceeded afterwards to show from the Acts of the Apostles
how the gospel was propagated. Thereafter he laid down the rules of
the Christian life according to the Epistles to Timothy, employed the
Epistle to the Galatians in combating doctrinal errors, combined with
it the two Epistles of St. Peter, in order to show to the despisers of
St. Paul that both apostles were animated by the same spirit, and
concluded with the Epistle to the Hebrews, in order to give a full
display of the benefits which Christians derive from Jesus Christ
their sovereign priest.


But Zuinglius did not confine his attention to adults; he sought also
to inspire youth with the sacred flame by which his own breast was
animated. One day in 1521, while he was sitting in his study reading
the Fathers of the Church, taking extracts of the most striking
passages, and carefully arranging them into a large volume, his door
opened, and a young man entered whose appearance interested him
exceedingly.[806] It was Henry Bullinger, who was returning from
Germany, and impatient to become acquainted with the teacher of his
country, whose name was already famous in Christendom. The handsome
youth fixed his eye first on Zuinglius, and then on the books, and
felt his vocation to do what Zuinglius was doing. Zuinglius received
him with his usual cordiality which won all hearts. This first visit
had great influence on the future life of the student, who was on his
return to the paternal hearth. Another youth had also won Zuinglius'
heart: this was Gerold Meyer of Knonau. His mother, Anna Reinhardt,
who afterwards occupied an important place in the Reformer's life, had
been a great beauty, and was still distinguished for her virtues. John
Meyer of Knonau, a youth of a noble family, who had been brought up at
the court of the bishop of Constance, had conceived a strong passion
for Anna, who, however, belonged to a plebeian family. Old Meyer of
Knonau had refused his consent to their marriage, and after it took
place disinherited his son. In 1513 Anna was left a widow with a son
and two daughters, and devoted herself entirely to the education of
her poor orphans. The grandfather was inexorable. One day, however,
the widow's maid-servant having in her arms young Gerold, then a
beautiful sprightly child of three years of age, stopped at the fish
market, when old Meyer, who was looking out at a window,[807]
observed him, and, continuing to gaze after him, asked to whom that
beautiful lively child belonged. "It is your son's child," was the
answer. The heart of the old man was moved--the ice immediately
melted--all was forgotten, and he clasped in his arms the widow and
children of his son. Zuinglius loved, as if he had been his own son,
the noble and intrepid youth Gerold, who was to die in the flower of
his age side by side with the Reformer, with his sword in his hand,
and surrounded alas! with the dead bodies of his enemies. Thinking
that Gerold would not be able to prosecute his studies at Zurich,
Zuinglius, in 1521, sent him to Bâle.

  [806] Ich hab by Ihm ein gross Buch gesehen, _Locorum communium_, als
  Ich by Ihm wass, an. 1521, dorinnen er _Sententias_ und _dogmata
  Patrum_, flyssig jedes an seinem ort verzeichnet. (Bullinger, MS.)

  [807] Lüget des Kindts grossvater zum fauster uss, und ersach das kind
  in der fischer bränter (Kufe.) so fräch (frisch) und frölich sitzen
  ... (Archives of Meyer de Knonau quoted in a notice on _Anna
  Rheinardt_, Erlanger, 1835, by M. Gerold Meyer de Knonau.) I am
  indebted to my friend for some elucidations of obscure points in the
  life of Zuinglius.

Young Knonau did not find Hedio the friend of Zuinglius there. Capito
being obliged to accompany the archbishop Albert to the coronation of
Charles V, had procured Hedio to supply his place. Bâle having thus,
one after another, lost her most faithful preachers, the church there
seemed forsaken; but other men appeared. Four thousand hearers
squeezed into the church of William Roubli, curate of St. Alban. He
attacked the mass, purgatory, and the invocation of saints; but this
turbulent man who was eager to draw the public attention upon himself,
declaimed more against error than in support of truth. On Corpus
Christi day he joined the public procession, but in place of the
customary relics, caused the Holy Scriptures to be carried before him,
splendidly bound, and bearing this inscription:--"THE BIBLE; this is
the true relic, the others are only dead bones." Courage adorns the
servant of God; affectation disgraces him. The work of an evangelist
is to preach the Bible, and not to make a presumptuous display of it.
The enraged priests accused Roubli before the council. A mob
immediately gathered in Cordelier Square. "Protect our preacher," said
the citizens to the council. Fifty Ladies of distinction interceded in
his behalf; but Roubli was obliged to quit Bâle. At a later period he
took part like Grebel in Anabaptist disorders. The Reformation, in the
course of its development, every where threw off the chaff which
mingled with the good grain.


At this period a modest voice was heard from the humblest of the
chapels, clearly proclaiming the evangelical doctrine. It was that of
young Wolfgang Wissemberger, son of a counsellor of state and chaplain
of the hospital. All in Bâle who felt new religious wants attached
themselves to the gentle chaplain, preferring him to the presumptuous
Roubli. Wolfgang began to read the mass in German. The monks renewed
their clamour, but this time they failed, and Wissemberger continued
to preach the gospel; "for," says an old chronicler, "he was a burgess
and his father a counsellor."[808] This first success of the
Reformation in Bâle, while it was the prelude of still greater
success, at the same time tended greatly to promote the progress of
the work throughout the Confederation. Zurich no longer stood alone.
Learned Bâle began to be charmed with the new doctrine. The
foundations of the new temple were enlarged. The Reformation in
Switzerland obtained a fuller development.

  [808] Dieweil er ein Burger war und sein Vater des Raths. (Fridolin
  Ryff's Chronik.)


The centre of the movement was, however, at Zurich. But, to the deep
grief of Zuinglius, important political events occurred in 1521, and
in some measure distracted men's minds from the preaching of the
gospel. Leo X, who had offered his alliance at once to Charles V and
Francis I, had at last declared for the emperor. War between the two
rivals was on the point of breaking out in Italy. The French general
Lautrec had said, "There will be nothing left of the pope but his
ears."[809] This bad jest increased the pontiff's anger. The king of
France claimed the aid of the Swiss cantons, all of which, with the
exception of Zurich, had formed an alliance with him; he obtained it.
The pope flattered himself he would gain Zurich, and the cardinal of
Sion, ever given to intrigue, and confident in his ability and his
finesse, hastened thither to obtain soldiers for his master. But from
his old friend Zuinglius he encountered a vigorous opposition. He was
indignant that the Swiss should sell their blood to strangers, and his
imagination figured to itself the swords of the Zurichers under the
standard of the pope and the emperor in the plains of Italy crossing
the swords of the confederates united under the colours of France. At
such scenes of fratricide his patriotic and Christian soul shuddered
with horror. Thundering from the pulpit he exclaimed, "Would you rend
and overthrow the confederation?[810] ... We attack the wolves which
devour our flocks, but offer no resistance to those who prowl around
seeking to devour men.... Ah! it is not without cause that these hats
and mantles are of scarlet. Shake their robes and ducats and crowns
will tumble out of them, twist them and you will see the blood of your
brother, your father, your son, and your dearest friend trickling down
from them."[811] The energetic voice of Zuinglius was heard in vain.
The cardinal with the red hat succeeded, and two thousand seven
hundred Zurichers set out under the command of George Berguer.
Zuinglius was heart-broken. Still, however, his influence was not
lost. For a long time the banners of Zurich were not again to be
unfurled, and pass the gates of the town in the cause of foreign

  [809] Disse che M. di Lutrech et M. de l' Escu havia ditto che'l
  voleva che le recchia del papa fusse la major parte retaste di la so
  persona. (Gradenigo, the Venitian ambassador at Rome, MS., 1523.)

  [810] Sagt wie es ein fromme Eidtgnosschafft zertrennan und umbkehren
  würde. (Bullinger MS.)

  [811] Sic tragen billig rothe hüt und mäntel, dan schüte man sie, so
  fallen Cronen und Duggaten heraus, winde man sie, so rünt deines
  Bruders, Vaters, Sohns und guten freunds Blut heraus. (Ibid.)


     Zuinglius against the Precepts of Man--Fermentation during
     Lent--Truth advances during Combat--The Deputies of the
     Bishops--Accusation before the Clergy and Council--Appeal to
     the Great Council--The Coadjutor and Zuinglius--Decree of
     the Grand Council--State of Matters--Attack by Hoffman.

Torn in his feelings as a citizen, Zuinglius devoted himself with new
zeal to the preaching of the gospel, urging it with growing energy. "I
will not cease," said he, "to labour to restore the ancient unity of
the Church of Christ."[812] He began the year 1522 by showing what
difference there is between the precepts of the gospel and the
precepts of men. The season of Lent having arrived, he raised his
voice still more loudly. After laying the foundation of the new
edifice, he wished to clear away the rubbish of the old. "For four
years," said he to the multitude assembled in the cathedral, "you with
ardent thirst received the holy doctrine of the gospel. Enkindled by
the flames of charity, fed with the sweets of heavenly manna, it is
impossible to have still any relish for the sad element of human
traditions."[813] Then attacking compulsory abstinence from flesh for
a certain time, he exclaimed in his bold eloquence, "There are some
who pretend that it is an evil, and even a great sin, to eat flesh,
although God never forbade it; and yet do not consider it a crime to
sell human flesh to the foreigner, and drag it to slaughter."[814] The
friends of foreign service who were present were filled with
indignation and rage at these bold words, and vowed not to forget

  [812] Ego veterem Christi ecclesiæ unitatem instaurare non desinam.
  (Zw. Op. iii, 47.)

  [813] Gustum non aliquis humanarum traditionum cibus vobis arridere
  potuerit (Ibid., i, 2.)

  [814] Aber menschenfleisch verkoufen un se Tod schlahen.... (Ibid.,
  ii, 2nd part, p. 301.)


While preaching thus forcibly, Zuinglius still continued to say mass:
he observed the usages established by the Church, and even abstained
from meat on the forbidden days. He was persuaded that the first thing
necessary was to enlighten the people. But certain turbulent spirits
did not act with so much wisdom. Roubli, who had become a refugee at
Zurich, allowed himself to be carried away by the impulse of an
extravagant zeal. The old curate of St. Alban, a Bernese captain, and
Conrad Huber, a member of the great Council, often met at the house of
the last to eat meat on Friday and Saturday, and made a boast of it.
The question of abstinence was the engrossing topic. An inhabitant of
Lucerne, who had come to Zurich, said to one of his friends there,
"You do wrong in eating flesh during Lent." The friend answered, "You
Lucerne folks also take the liberty of eating it on the forbidden
days." The inhabitant of Lucerne rejoined, "We have purchased it from
the pope." The friend--"And we from the butcher. If it is a question
of money, the one is surely as good as the other."[815] The council, a
complaint having been lodged against the transgressors of the
ecclesiastical ordinances, asked the advice of the curates. Zuinglius
answered that the act of eating meat every day was not blameable in
itself; but that it ought to be abstained from so long as competent
authority had not given any decision on the point. The other members
of the clergy concurred in this opinion.

  [815] So haben wirz von dem Metzger erkaufft... (Bullinger, MS.)

The enemies of the truth took advantage of this favourable
circumstance. Their influence was on the wane. Victory was on the side
of Zuinglius. It was necessary, therefore, to make haste and strike a
decisive blow. They importuned the Bishop of Constance. "Zuinglius,"
exclaimed they, "is the destroyer of the flock, and not its

  [816] Ovilis dominici populator esse, non custos aut pastor. (Zw. Op.
  iii, p. 28.)


Ambitious Faber, the old friend of Zuinglius, had returned full of
zeal for the papacy from a visit which he had just paid to Rome. From
the inspiration of this proud city the first troubles of Switzerland
were to proceed. It was necessary that there should be a decisive
struggle between evangelical truth and the representatives of the
pontiff. It is especially when attacked that the truth manifests its
whole power. Under the shade of opposition and persecution,
Christianity at first acquired the power which overthrew her enemies.
God was pleased, in like manner, to conduct his truth through
difficult paths at the period of revival which we now describe. The
priests then, as in the days of the apostles, assailed the new
doctrine. But for their attacks it might, perhaps, have remained
obscurely hid in some faithful souls. But God watched over it to
manifest it to the world. Opposition struck out new paths for it,
launched it on a new career, and fixed the eyes of the nation upon it.
It was like a breath of wind scattering far and wide seeds which might
otherwise have remained inert in the spots on which they fell. The
tree destined to shelter the Helvetic population was indeed planted in
the bosom of their valleys, but storms were necessary to strengthen
the roots and give full development to the branches. The partisans of
the papacy, seeing the fire which was slowly burning in Zurich, threw
themselves upon it to extinguish it, and thereby only caused its
flames to spread.

On the afternoon of the 7th April, 1522, three ecclesiastic deputies
from the Bishop of Constance were seen entering the town of Zurich.
Two of them had a stern and angry, the third, a gentle expression of
countenance. It was the coadjutor of the Bishop Melchior Battli,
Doctor Brendi, and John Vanner, preacher of the cathedral, an
evangelical man who, during the whole affair, remained silent.[817] It
was night when Luti called in haste on Zuinglius, and said, "Officers
from the bishop have arrived; a great blow is preparing: all the
partisans of ancient customs are in motion. A notary has called a
meeting of all the priests at an early hour to morrow morning, in the
hall of the Chapter."

  [817] Zw. Op. iii, p. 8.--J. J. Hottinger (iii, 77.) Ruchat (i, 134.
  2d edit.) and others say that Faber was at the head of the deputation.
  Zuinglius mentions the three deputies and does not speak of Faber.
  These authors have doubtless confounded two different officers of the
  Roman hierarchy--that of coadjutor and that of vicar-general.


The assembly of the clergy having accordingly met next day, the
coadjutor rose and delivered a speech, which seemed to his opponents
full of violence and pride.[818] He affected, however, not to mention
Zuinglius by name. Some priests, who had been recently gained to the
gospel, and were still irresolute, were terrified; their pale cheeks,
their silence, and their sighs, showed that they had lost all
courage.[819] Zuinglius rose and delivered a speech, which closed the
mouths of his adversaries. At Zurich, as in the other cantons, the
most violent enemies of the new doctrine were in the Lesser Council.
The deputation, defeated before the clergy, carried their complaints
before the magistrates. Zuinglius was absent, and there was no reply
to be dreaded. The result appeared decisive. The gospel and its
defenders were on the point of being condemned without a hearing.
Never was the Reformation of Switzerland in greater danger. It was
going to be stifled in the cradle. The counsellors in favour of
Zuinglius appealed to the Great Council. It was the only remaining
plank for escape, and God employed it to save the cause of the gospel.
The two hundred were convened. The partisans of the papacy used every
mean to exclude Zuinglius, who, on the other hand, did all he could to
gain admission. As he himself expresses it, he knocked at every door,
and left not a stone unturned,[820] but all in vain! "The thing is
impossible," said the burgomasters; "the Council has decreed the
contrary." "Then," relates Zuinglius, "I remained quiet, and with deep
sighs carried the matter before Him who hears the groaning of the
prisoner, supplicating him to defend His own gospel."[821] The
patient, resigned waiting of the servants of God is never

  [818] Erat tota oratio vehemens et stomachi superciliique plena. (Zw.
  Op. iii, p. 8.)

  [819] Infirmos quosdam nuper Christo lucrifactos sacerdotes offensos
  ea sentirem ex tacitis palloribus ac suspiriis. (Ibid., p. 9.) I could
  see, by the silent paleness and sighs of certain priests lately gained
  to Christ, and not well confirmed, that they were overpowered.

  [820] Frustra diu movi omnem lapidem. (Zw. Op. iii, p. 9.)

  [821] Ibi ego quiescere ac suspiriis rem agere cœpi apud eum qui
  audit gemitum compeditorum. (Ibid.) Then I began to be quiet, and to
  plead the cause with sighs before Him who hears the groaning of the

On the 9th April, the Two Hundred assembled. "We wish to have our
pastors here," immediately exclaimed the members who were in favour of
the Reformation. The Lesser Council resisted. but the Great Council
decided that the pastors should be present to hear the charge, and
answer it, if they thought fit. The deputies from Constance were
introduced, and then the three curates of Zurich, Zuinglius,
Engelhard, and old Röschli.

After the parties thus brought face to face had for some time eyed
each other, the coadjutor rose. "Had his heart and his head been equal
to his voice," says Zuinglius, "he would, in sweetness, have surpassed
Apollo and Orpheus, and in force the Gracchi and Demosthenes."

"The civil constitution," said the champion of the papacy, "and
Christianity itself, are threatened. Men have appeared teaching new,
offensive and seditious doctrines." Then, after speaking at great
length, he fixed his eye on the assembled senate, and said, "Remain
with the Church, remain in the Church. Out of it none can be saved.
Ceremonies alone can bring the simple to the knowledge of
salvation,[822] and the pastors of the flocks have nothing else to do
than explain their meaning to the people."

  [822] Unicas esse per quas simplices Christiani ad agnitionem salutis
  inducerentur. (Ibid., p. 10.)

As soon as the coadjutor had finished his speech, he and his party
were preparing to leave the council-hall, when Zuinglius said to him,
warmly, "Mr. Coadjutor, and you who accompany him, remain, I pray you,
till I have defended myself."

_The Coadjutor._--"We are not employed to dispute with any man

_Zuinglius._--"I mean not to dispute, but to explain to you, without
fear, what I have taught up to this hour."

_Burgomaster Roust to the Deputies of Constance._--"I pray you listen
to the curate's reply."

_The Coadjutor._--"I too well know the man with whom I would have to
do. Ulric Zuinglius is too violent for any man to dispute with!"


_Zuinglius._--"When did it become the practice to attack an innocent
man so strongly, and afterwards refuse to hear him? In the name of our
common faith--in the name of the baptism which both of us have
received--in the name of Christ, the author of salvation and life,
listen to me.[823] If you cannot as deputies, at least do it as

  [823] Ob communem fidem, ob communem baptismum, ob Christum vitæ
  salutisque auctorem. (Zw. Op. iii, 11.)

After firing a volley into the air, Rome retired with hasty steps from
the field of battle. The Reformer only asked to speak, and the agent
of the papacy thought only of flight. A cause thus pleaded was already
gained on the one side and lost on the other. The two hundred could
not contain their indignation; a murmur burst forth in the
assembly.[824] The burgomaster again pressed the deputies. They felt
ashamed, and silently resumed their seats. Then Zuinglius said:

  [824] Cœpit murmur audiri civium indignantium. (Ibid.)

"The Coadjutor speaks of seditious doctrines subversive of civil laws.
Let him know that Zurich is quieter, and more obedient to the laws
than any other town in Switzerland, and this all good citizens
attribute to the gospel. Is not Christianity the most powerful
safeguard of justice among a people?[825] What are ceremonies good
for, unless it be to sully the face of Christ and Christians?[826]
Yes, there is another method than these vain observances to bring
simple people to the knowledge of the truth--a method which Christ and
the Apostles followed in the gospel itself! Have no dread of its not
being comprehended by the people! Whoever believes comprehends. The
people can believe, and therefore can comprehend. This is a work of
the Divine Spirit, and not of human reason.[827] For the rest, he who
does not find forty days sufficient may, for me, if he likes, fast
every day in the year! All I ask is, that nobody be compelled to do
so, and that, for neglect of the minutest observance, the Zurichers be
not accused of separating from the communion of Christians...."

  [825] Imo Christianismum ad communem justitiam servandum esse
  potentissimum. (Ibid., p. 13.)

  [826] Ceremonias haud quicquam aliud agere quam et Christo et ejus
  fldelibus os oblinere. (Ibid.)

  [827] Quidquid hic agitur divino fit afflatu, non humano ratiocino.

"I did not say so," exclaimed the Coadjutor. "No," said his colleague,
Dr. Brendi, "he did not say it." But the whole senate confirmed the
assertion of Zuinglius, who continued:


"Worthy citizens, let not this accusation move you! The foundation of
the Church is that rock, that Christ, who gave Peter his name, because
he confessed him faithfully. In every nation whosoever believeth with
the heart in the Lord Jesus Christ is saved. This is the Church out of
which no man can be saved.[828] As to us ministers of Christ, to
explain the gospel and follow it is the whole of our duty. Let those
who live by ceremonies make it their business to explain them." This
was to touch the sore part.

  [828] Extra illam neminem salvari. (Ibid., p. 15.)

The Coadjutor blushed and said nothing. The two hundred adjourned, and
afterwards, the same day, decided that the pope and cardinals should
be requested to explain the controverted point, and that in the
meantime flesh should not be eaten during Lent. This was to leave
matters on the old footing, and answer the bishop in such a way as to
gain time.

This struggle had advanced the work of the Reformation. The champions
of Rome and of the Reformation had been in presence of each other, and
before the eyes of the whole community, and the advantage had not been
on the side of the pope. This was the first engagement in what was to
be a long and severe campaign, and to exhibit many alternations of
grief and joy. But a first victory at the outset gives courage to the
whole army, and fills the enemy with dismay. The Reformation had
obtained possession of a territory of which it was not again to be
deprived. If the Council deemed it necessary to proceed with some
degree of caution, the people loudly proclaimed the defeat of Rome.
"Never," said they in the exultation of the moment, "never will they
be able to reassemble their beaten and scattered troops."[829] "You,"
said they to Zuinglius, "have with the spirit of St. Paul attacked
these false apostles and their Ananias, their whited walls.... The
utmost the satellites of antichrist can now do is to gnash their teeth
against you!" Voices were heard from the centre of Germany joyfully
proclaiming "the glory of reviving theology."[830]

  [829] Ut, vulgo jactatum sit, nunquam ultra copias sarturos. (Zw. Ep.

  [830] Vale renascentis Theologiæ decus. (Letter of Urban Regius.
  Ibid., 225.)

At the same time, however, the enemies of the gospel mustered their
forces. If they were to strike there was no time to be lost, for it
would soon be beyond the reach of their blows. Hoffman laid before the
chapter a long accusation against the Reformer. "Were the curate even
able," said he, "to prove by witnesses what sins, what irregularities
have been committed by ecclesiastics in such a convent, such a street,
such a tavern, it would still be his duty not to give any names. Why
does he give out (it is true I have scarcely ever heard him myself)
that he alone draws his doctrine at the fountain-head, and that others
search for it only in sinks and puddles?[831] Is it not impossible,
seeing the diversity of spirits, for all to preach the same thing?"

  [831] Die andern aber aus Rinnen und Plutzen. (Simml. Samml. Wirz i,
  p. 244.)


Zuinglius defended himself at a full meeting of the Chapter,
scattering the accusations of his opponent "as a bull with his horns
tosses straw into the air."[832] The affair which had appeared so
serious ended in laughter at the canon's expence. But Zuinglius did
not stop here; on the 16th April, he published a treatise _On the free
use of food_.[833]

  [832] Ut cornu vehemens taurus aristas. (Zw. Ep. p. 203.)

  [833] De delectu et libero ciborum usu. (Zw. Op. i, p. 1.)


     Grief and Joy in Germany--Ambush against Zuinglius--Mandate
     of the Bishop--Archeteles--The Bishop addresses the
     Diet--Prohibition to attack the Monks--Declaration of
     Zuinglius--The Nuns of Œtenbach--Zuinglius' address to

The Reformer's immovable firmness delighted the friends of truth, and
particularly the Evangelical Christians of Germany, so long deprived
by the captivity of the Wartburg, of the mighty apostle who had first
raised his head in the bosom of the Church. Pastors and faithful
people, now exiled by the inexorable decree which the papacy had
obtained at Worms from Charles V, found an asylum in Zurich. Nesse,
the professor of Frankfort, whom Luther visited when on his way to
Worms, in a letter to Zuinglius says--"Oh, how I am delighted to learn
with what authority you preach Christ. Speak words of encouragement to
those who, by the cruelty of wicked bishops, are obliged to flee far
from our churches in sorrow."[834]

  [834] Et ut iis, qui ob malorum episcoporum sævitiam a nobis
  submoventur, prodesse velis. (Zw. Ep. p. 208.)

But the adversaries of the Reformation did not confine their cruel
plots against its friends to Germany. Scarcely an hour passed at
Zurich in which the means of getting rid of Zuinglius were not under
consideration.[835] One day he received an anonymous letter, which he
immediately communicated to his two vicars. It said, "Snares environ
you on every side, mortal poison is ready to deprive you of life.[836]
Eat only in your own house, and of bread baked by your own cook. The
walls of Zurich contain men who are plotting your ruin. The oracle
which revealed this to me is truer than that of Delphi. I am on your
side, you will yet know me."[837]

  [835] Nulla prætereat hora, in qua non fierent...consultationes
  insidiosissimæ. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.)

  [836] Ἕτοιμα φαρμακα λυγρὰ
  (Zw. Ep. 199.) Poisoned draughts are ready.

  [837] Σος ειμι; agnosces me postea. (Ibid.)

[Sidenote: ARCHETELES.]

The day following that on which Zuinglius received this mysterious
letter, at the moment when Staheli was going to enter the church of
Eau, a chaplain stopped him and said, "Make all haste and quit the
house of Zuinglius; a catastrophe is preparing." Fanatics in despair
of being able to arrest the Reformation by word, armed themselves with
the poniard. When mighty revolutions are accomplished in society,
assassins are often thrown up from the impure dregs of the agitated
population. God guarded Zuinglius.

While murderers saw their plots defeated, the legitimate organs of the
papacy again began to agitate. The bishop and his counsellors were
determined to renew the war. From every quarter information to this
effect reached Zuinglius, who, leaning on the divine promise,
exclaimed with noble confidence, "I fear them ... as a lofty shore
fears the threatening waves... συν τῶ Θεῳ with God," added
he.[838] On the 2nd May, the Bishop of Constance published an order in
which, without naming either Zurich or Zuinglius, he complained of the
attempts of artful persons to renew the condemned doctrines, and of
discussions by the learned and the ignorant, in all places on the most
solemn mysteries. John Wanner, the preacher of the cathedral of
Constance, was the first that was attacked. "I would rather," said he,
"be a Christian with the hatred of many, than abandon Christ for the
friendship of the world."[839]

  [838] Quos ita metuo ut littus altum fluctuum undas minacium. (Zw. Ep.

  [839] Malo esse Christianus cum multorum invidia quam relinquere
  Christum propter mundanorum amicitiam. (Ibid., 200, 22nd May.)

But it was at Zurich that the growing heresy required to be crushed.
Faber and the bishop knew that Zuinglius had several enemies among the
canons, and they were desirous to turn this hatred to account. Toward
the end of May, a letter from the bishop arrived at Zurich addressed
to the provost and his chapter. "Sons of the church," said the
prelate, "let them perish that will perish, but let no one sever you
from the church."[840] At the same time the bishop urged the canons to
prevent the false doctrines engendered by pernicious sects from being
preached and discussed, whether in private or in public. When this
letter was read in the chapter, all eyes were turned upon Zuinglius,
who, understanding what was meant, said, "I see you think that this
letter concerns me; have the goodness to put it into my hand, and by
the help of God I will answer it."

  [840] Nemo vos filios ecclesiæ de ecclesia tollat.


Zuinglius did reply in his "_Archêtelés_," a word which signifies _the
beginning and end_, "for I hope," said he, "that this first answer
will also be the last." He spoke in it in very respectful terms of the
bishop, and attributed all the attacks of his enemies to some
intriguers. "What then have I done?" said he, "I have called all men
to the knowledge of their maladies, I have laboured to bring them to
the true God and to his Son Jesus Christ. With that view I have
employed not captious exhortations, but words simple and true, such as
the sons of Switzerland can comprehend." Then passing from the
defensive and becoming the assailant, he finely adds, "Julius Cæsar,
feeling himself mortally wounded, endeavoured to draw up the folds of
his robe that he might fall in a becoming manner. The fall of your
ceremonies is at hand; act so at least that they may fall decently,
and that in every place light may be quickly substituted for

  [841] In umbrarum locum, lux quam ocissime inducatur. (Zw. Op. iii,

This was all that the bishop gained by his letter to the chapter of
Zurich. Now, therefore, that friendly remonstrances were vain, it was
necessary to strike more decisive blows. Faber and Landenberg turned
in another direction--towards the Diet, the national council.[842]
There deputies from the bishop arrived to state that their master had
issued an order, prohibiting all the priests of his diocese from
innovating in matters of doctrine, but that his authority being
disregarded he now wished the aid of the heads of the confederation to
assist him in bringing the rebellious to obedience, and defending the
true and ancient faith.[843] The enemies of the Reformation were in a
majority in this first assembly of the nation, which a short time
before had issued a decree prohibiting the preaching of all priests
whose discourses, as it was expressed, produced discord among the
people. This decree of the Diet, which thus, for the first time, took
up the question of the Reformation, had no result, but now having
determined on vigorous measures, this body summoned before it Urban
Weiss, pastor of Feilispach, near Baden, whom public rumour charged
with preaching the new faith and rejecting the old. Weiss was respited
for some time on the intercession of several individuals, and on bail
for a hundred florins offered by his parishioners.

  [842] Nam er ein anderen weg an die Hand; schike seine Boten ... etc.
  (Bullinger MS.)

  [843] Und den Wahren alten Glauben erhallten. (Ibid.)


But the Diet had taken its part, and having just given proof of it,
the priests and monks began every where to resume courage. At Zurich,
even after the first decree, they had begun to behave more
imperiously. Several members of council were in the practice, morning
and evening, of visiting the three convents, and even taking their
victuals there. The monks laboured to indoctrinate their kind table
companions, and urged them to procure a decree of the government in
their favour. "If Zuinglius won't be silent," said they, "we will cry
louder still!" The Diet had taken part with the oppressors. The
council of Zurich knew not what to do. On the 7th of June, it issued
an order forbidding any one to preach against the monks, "but scarcely
was the order resolved upon, than," says the chronicle of Bullinger,
"a sudden noise was heard in the council chamber, and made every one
look at his neighbour."[844] Peace was not re-established. The war
waged from the pulpit waxed hotter and hotter. The council named a
deputation who called the pastors of Zurich and the readers and
preachers of the convents to meet them in the provost's house; after a
keen discussion, the burgomaster enjoined the two parties not to
preach any thing which might interrupt concord. "I cannot accept this
injunction," said Zuinglius; "I mean to preach the gospel freely and
unconditionally in conformity to the resolution previously adopted. I
am bishop and pastor of Zurich; it is to me that the care of souls has
been entrusted. It was I that took the oath, not the monks. They ought
to yield, not I. If they preach lies I will contradict them, and that
even in the pulpit of their own convent. If I myself preach a doctrine
contrary to the Holy Gospel, then I ask to be rebuked, not only by the
chapter, but by any citizen whatever, and moreover, to be punished by
the Council."[845] "We," said the monks, "we demand to be permitted to
preach the doctrines of St. Thomas." The committee of the Council
having deliberated, ordered that Thomas, Scotus, and the other
doctors, should be let alone, and nothing preached but the Holy
Gospel. Thus the truth had once more gained the victory. But the wrath
of the partisans of the papacy increased. The Ultra-Montane canons
could not conceal their anger. They impertinently eyed Zuinglius in
the chapter, and by their looks seemed to demand his life.[846]

  [844] Liess die Rathstuben einen grossen Knall. (Bullinger MS.)

  [845] Sondern von einem jedem Bürger wyssen. (Ibid.)

  [846] Oculos in me procacius torquent, ut cujus caput peti gaudarent.
  (Zw. Op. iii, 29.)

Zuinglius was not deterred by their menaces. There was one place in
Zurich where, thanks to the Dominicans, the light had not yet
penetrated; this was the nunnery of Œtenbach. The daughters of the
first families of Zurich there took the veil. It seemed unjust that
these poor females, confined within the walls of their monastery,
should alone be excluded from hearing the Word of God. The Great
Council ordered Zuinglius to repair to it, and the Reformer having
mounted a pulpit which had hitherto been given up to the Dominicans,
preached "on the clearness and certainty of the Word of God."[847] He
at a later period published this remarkable discourse, which was not
without fruit, and irritated the monks still more.

  [847] De claritate et certitudine Verbi Dei. (Ibid., i, 66.)


A circumstance occurred to augment this hatred, and give it a place in
many other hearts. The Swiss, headed by Stein and Winkelried, had just
experienced a bloody defeat at Bicoque. They had rushed impetuously on
the enemy, but the artillery of Pescaire and the lancers of that
Freundsberg, whom Luther had met at the door of the hall of Worms, had
thrown down both leaders and colours, whole companies falling and
disappearing at once. Winkelried and Stein, Mulinen, Diesbachs,
Bonstettens, Tschudis, and Pfyffers, were left on the battle-field.
Schwitz, especially, had been mown down. The bloody wrecks of this
dreadful conflict had returned to Switzerland, spreading mourning at
every step. A wail of grief had resounded from the Alps to the Jura,
and from the Rhone to the Rhine.

But none had felt a deeper pang than Zuinglius. He immediately sent an
address to Schwitz dissuading its citizens from foreign service. "Your
ancestors," said he to them, with all the warmth of a Swiss heart,
"forgot their enemies in defence of their liberties, but they never
put Christians to death in order to gain money. These foreign wars
bring innumerable calamities on our country. The scourges of God
chastise our confederacy, and Helvetic freedom is on the eve of being
lost between the selfish caresses and the mortal hatred of foreign
princes."[848] Zuinglius went hand in hand with Nicolas Flue, and
renewed the entreaties of that man of peace. This exhortation having
been presented to the assembly of the people of Schwitz had such an
effect that a resolution was passed to desist prospectively for
twenty-five years from capitulation. But the French party soon
succeeded in getting the generous resolution rescinded, and Schwitz
was thenceforth the canton most decidedly opposed to Zuinglius and his
works. The very disasters which the partisans of foreign capitulation
brought upon their country only increased the hatred of those men
against the bold minister, who endeavoured to rescue his country from
all this misfortune and all this disgrace. Thus throughout the
confederation a party which daily grew more and more violent was
formed against Zurich and Zuinglius. The customs of the Church and the
practices of the recruiters being at once attacked, they made common
cause in resisting the impetus of Reform by which their existence was
threatened. At the same time external enemies multiplied. Not merely
the pope but other foreign princes also vowed inextinguishable hatred
to the Reformation, because it was aiming to deprive them of those
Helvetic halberds, to which their ambition and their pride owed so
many triumphs? But the cause of the gospel had still God on its side
and the best among the people: this was sufficient. Besides,
individuals from different countries exiled for their faith were led
by the hand of Providence to give Switzerland their aid.

  [848] Ein göttlich Vermanung an die cersamen, etc. eidgnossen zu
  Schwyz. (Zw. Op. part ii, p. 206.)

[Sidenote: A FRENCH MONK.]


     A French monk--He teaches in Switzerland--Dispute between
     the Monk and Zuinglius--Discourse of the Leader of the
     Johannites--The Carnival at Berne--The Eaters of the
     Dead--The Skull of St. Anne--Appenzel--The Grisons--Murder
     and Adultery--Marriage of Zuinglius.

On Saturday the 12th July there was seen entering the streets of
Zurich a monk, tall, thin, stiff, gaunt, clad in a grey cordelier
frock, and mounted upon an ass. He had the look of a foreigner, and
his bare feet almost touched the ground.[849] He arrived thus by the
road from Avignon. He did not know one word of German, but by means of
Latin succeeded in making himself understood. Francis Lambert (this
was his name) asked for Zuinglius and delivered him a letter from
Berthold Haller. "The Franciscan father," wrote the Bernese curate,
"who is no less than the apostolic preacher of the general convent of
Avignon, has, for nearly five years, been teaching Christian truth: he
has preached in Latin to our priests at Geneva, at Lausanne in
presence of the bishop, at Friburg, and finally at Berne. His subjects
were, the Church, the priesthood, the sacrifice of the mass, the
traditions of the Roman bishops, and the superstitions of the
religious orders. It seemed to me wonderful to hear such things from a
cordelier and a Frenchman--circumstances, both of which, as you know,
imply a host of superstitions."[850] The Frenchman himself related to
Zuinglius how the writings of Luther having been discovered in his
cell, he had been obliged to take a hasty leave of Avignon; how he had
first preached the gospel at Geneva, and thereafter at Lausanne.
Zuinglius, overjoyed, gave the monk access to the church of Notre
Dame, assigning him a seat in the choir near the high altar. Lambert
here delivered four sermons, in which he forcibly attacked the errors
of Rome, but in the fourth he defended the invocation of the saints
and the Virgin.

  [849] ... Kam ein langer, gerader, barfüsser Mönch...ritte auf einer
  Eselin. (Füsslin Beyträge, iv, 39.)

  [850] A tali Franciscano, Gallo, quæ omnia mare superstitionem
  confluere faciunt, inaudita. (Zw. Ep. 207.)


"Brother, you are in error,"[851] immediately exclaimed an animated
voice. It was the voice of Zuinglius. Canons and chaplains thrilled
with joy when they saw a quarrel rising between the Frenchman and the
heretical curate. "He has attacked you," said they all to Lambert:
"demand a public discussion." The man of Avignon did so, and at ten
o'clock on the morning of the 12th of July, the two chaplains met in
the hall of the canons. Zuinglius opened the Old and New Testament in
Greek and Latin: he discussed and lectured till two. Then the French
monk, clasping his hands, and raising them towards heaven,
exclaimed,[852] "I thank thee, O God, that thou hast by this
illustrious instrument given me such a clear knowledge of the truth!
Henceforth," added he, turning towards the assembly, "in all my
distresses I will invoke God only and leave off my beads. To-morrow I
resume my journey. I go to Bâle to see Erasmus of Rotterdam, and
thence to Wittemberg to see the monk Martin Luther." He accordingly
remounted his ass and set out. We will again meet with him. He was the
first exile from France, for the cause of the gospel, who appeared in
Switzerland and Germany--a modest fore-runner of many thousands of
refugees and confessors.

  [851] Bruder da irrest du. (Füsslin Beytr. iv, p. 40.)

  [852] Dass er beyde Hände zusammen hob. (Füsslin Beytr., iv, p. 50.)

Myconius had no such consolation. On the contrary he saw Sebastian
Hofmeister, who had come from Constance to Lucerne, and there boldly
preached the gospel, obliged to quit the city. Then Oswald's grief
increased. The moist climate of Lucerne disagreed with him. He was
wasted by fever; and the physicians declared that if he did not change
his residence he would die. Writing to Zuinglius, he says, "There is
no place I should like better to be than beside yourself, and no place
worse than at Lucerne. Men torture, and the climate consumes me. My
disease, some say, is the punishment of my iniquity. Ah, it is vain to
speak, vain to act: every thing is poison to them. There is One in
heaven on whom alone my hope depends."[853]

  [853] Quicquid facio venenum est illis. Sed est in quem omnis spes mea
  reclinat. (Zw. Ep. 192.)


This hope was not vain. It was towards the end of March, and the feast
of the Annunciation was at hand. The evening before there was a great
solemnity in commemoration of a fire which in 1540 had reduced the
greater part of the town to ashes. Multitudes from the surrounding
districts had flocked into Lucerne, and several hundreds of priests
were then assembled. Some distinguished orator was usually employed to
preach on this great occasion. Conrad Schmid, commander of the
Johannites, arrived to discharge the duty. An immense crowd thronged
the church. What was the general astonishment on hearing the commander
lay aside the pompous Latin to which they had been accustomed, and
speak in good German,[854] so that all could comprehend him, enforce
with authority and holy fervour the love of God in sending his Son,
eloquently prove that external works cannot save, and that the
promises of God are truly the power of the gospel. "God forbid," said
the commander to his astonished audience, "that we should receive a
chief so full of lies as the Bishop of Rome, and reject Jesus
Christ.[855] If the Bishop of Rome dispenses the bread of the gospel,
let us receive him as pastor, but not as head; and if he does not
dispense it, let us not receive him in any way whatever." Oswald was
unable to restrain his joy. "What a man!" exclaimed he: "what a
discourse! what majesty! what authority! what overflowing of the
Spirit of Christ!" The impression was general. To the agitation which
filled the town succeeded a solemn silence; but all this was
transient. When nations shut their ears against the calls of God,
these calls are diminished from day to day, and soon cease. Thus it
was at Lucerne.

  [854] Wolt er keine pracht tryben mit latein schwätzen, sondern gut
  teutsch reden. (Bullinger MS.)

  [855] Absit a grege Christiano, ut caput tam lutulentium et peccatis
  plenum acceptans Christum abjiciat. (Zw. Ep. 195.)

At Berne, while the truth was preached from the pulpit, the papacy was
attacked at the merry-makings of the people. Nicolas Manuel, a
distinguished layman, celebrated for his poetical talents, and
advanced to the first offices in the state, indignant at seeing his
countrymen pillaged by Samson, composed carnival dramas, in which,
with the keen weapon of satire, he attacked the avarice, pride, and
luxury of the pope and the clergy. On the Shrove Tuesday "of the
Lords," (the clergy were at this time the lords, and began Lent eight
days before the common people,) all Berne was engrossed with a drama
or mystery entitled, "The Eaters of the Dead," which young boys were
going to perform in the street of La Croix. The people flocked to it
in crowds. In regard to the progress of art, these dramatic sketches
of the beginning of the sixteenth century are of some interest; but we
give them here with a very different view. We would have been better
pleased not to have had to quote squibs of this description on the
part of the Reformation, for truth triumphs by other arms. But the
historian does not make his facts. He must give them as he finds them.

At length, to the delight of the eager crowds assembled in the street
of La Croix, the representation began. The pope is seen clad in
gorgeous robes, and seated on a throne. Around him stand his
courtiers, his body guards, and a promiscuous band of priests of high
and low degree; behind are nobles, laymen, and mendicants. A funeral
train shortly appears: it is a rich farmer on the way to his last
home. Two of his relatives walk slowly in front of the coffin with
napkins in their hand. The train having arrived in front of the pope,
the bier is laid down at his feet, and the drama begins:



        O noble army of the sainted host,
          Take pity on our doleful plight;
        Our cousin, our illustrious boast,
          From life, alas, has taken flight.

    Expence we grudge not; cheerfully we'll pay
    For priests, monks, and nuns, in costly array:
    Yea, one hundred crowns we'll freely devote
    If thereby exemption may surely be bought
        From purgatory, that dread scourge,
        With which our frightened souls they urge.[856]

  [856]  Kein kosten soll uns dauern dran,
         Wo wir Mönch und Priester mögen ha'n,
         Und sollt'es kosten hundert kronen....
                  (Bern. Mausol., iv, Wirz, K. Gesch., i, p. 383.)

The SACRISTAN, breaking off from the band surrounding the pope, and
running hastily to CURATE ROBERT EVER-MORE--

    Something to drink, Master Curate, I crave;
    A farmer of note now goes to his grave.


    One!--nay you must tell me of ten:
    My thirst will ne'er be quenched till then.
    Life flourishes when mortals die,[857]
    For death to me brings jollity.

      [857] Je mehr, je besser! Kämen doch noch Zehn! (Ibid.)


    Ah! could it shorten mankind's breath!
    I'd ring a merry peal for death!
    No other trade succeeds so well
    As tolling out life's parting knell.


    But does the bell of death the portals draw
    Of heaven's wide gate? I cannot, may not say;
    What boots it? to my house it brings
    Both fish and flesh, and all good things.


    Tis well: I, too, anon will claim my share.
    This day this soul must pay to me my fare--
    A robe, white, red, and green, a flowered damas,
    A pretty kerchief likewise for my eyes at mass.

  [858] The German is _Pfaffenmetze_--a term more expressive, but not so


Cardinal HIGH-PRIDE adorned with a red hat, and close by the pope:--

    If death brought us no heritage,
    Would we cause die in flower of age,
          On battle-plain,
          Such heaps of slain,
    Roused by intrigue, by envy fired?[859]
    Yes, Rome with Christian blood grows fat!
    Therefore I hoist this scarlet hat,
    To tell the trophies thus acquired.

  [859]  Wenn mir nicht wär' mit Todten wohl,
         So läg nicht mancher Acker, voll, ac.
               (Bern. Mausol. iv, Wirz, K. Gesch. 1. 3.)


      In papal rites I'll live and die,
      And clothe me in silk embroidery;
      In foray or chace I'll take my pleasure,
      And eat and drink in ample measure;
      Had I been priest in days of yore,
      A peasant's dress I then had wore.[860]
    We once were shepherds, but now we reign kings,
    For a shepherd I'll pass 'mong the lambkins poor things....

  [860] Wenn es stünd, wie im Anfang der Kilchen,
        Ich trüge vielleicht grobes Tuch und Zwilchen. (Ibid.)


  When? When shall this be?


    When the wool of the flock shall be gathered by me.
    We truly are wolves, yet we're shepherds of sheep,
    They must feed us, or death is the best they shall reap.
    His Holiness forbids to marry;
    This yoke the wisest ne'er could carry--
    But then! when priests do cross the score,
    The scandal only swells my store,
    And makes my train extend the more.
    Nought I refuse, e'en farthings tell,
    A monied priest may have a belle.
    Four florins a-year will wipe it away;
    Does an infant appear?--again he must pay.
    On two thousand florins I reckon each year,
    Were they chaste, I should starve on a pittance I fear.[861]
    Then hail to the pope; on my knees I adore
    And swear in his faith to live evermore;
    His church I'll defend, and till death I avow,
    He alone is the god before whom I will bow.

  [861] The German is very strong.
          So bin Ich auf gut Deutsch ein Hurenwirth, etc. (Ibid.)



    The people now at length believe
    That priests can all their sins reprieve
    At pleasure--that to them is given
    Full power to shut or open heaven.
    Preach loudly, every high decree,
    Of him, the conclave's majesty.
    Then, we are kings, the laity slaves:
    But if the gospel standard waves
    We're lost; for no where does it say,
    Make sacrifice, let priests have pay.
    The gospel course for us would be,
    To live and die in poverty.
    Instead of steeds to mark my state,
    And chariots on my sons to wait,
    A paltry ass must needs supply[862]
    A seat for sacred majesty.
    No, I cannot take such legacy,
    I'll thunder at such temerity;
    Let us but will--the world will nod,
    And nations adore us as God.
    Slighting their rights I mount my throne,
    And partition the world among my own;
    Vile laity must keep far aloof,
    Nor dare to enter our blest roof,
    To touch our tribute, or our gold.
    Holy water e'en let them hold.

  [862] Wir möchten fast kaum Eselein ha'n. (Bern Mausol. iv, Wirz, K.
  Gesch. i, 383.)

We will not continue this literal translation of Manuel's drama. The
agony of the clergy on learning the efforts of the Reformers, and
their rage against those who threaten to interfere with their
irregularities, are painted in lively colours. The dissolute manners
of which this piece gave so vivid a representation were too common not
to strike the spectator with the truth of the picture. The people were
excited. Many jibes were heard as they retired from the play in the
street of La Croix; but some who took the matter more seriously, spoke
of Christian liberty and papal despotism, and contrasted the
simplicity of the gospel with the pomp of Rome. The contempt of the
people was soon displayed in the public streets. On Ash Wednesday, the
indulgences were promenaded through the town amid satirical songs. In
Berne, and throughout Switzerland a severe blow had been given to the
ancient edifice of the papacy.


Sometime after this representation, another comedy was acted at Berne,
but there was no fiction in it. The clergy, council, and corporation
had assembled in front of the Upper Gate, waiting for the skull of St.
Anne, which the famous knight, Albert of Stein, had gone to fetch from
Lyons. At length Stein appeared, holding the holy relic wrapt in a
covering of silk. As it passed, the Bishop of Lausanne knelt down
before it. This precious skull, the skull of the Virgin's mother, is
carried in procession to the church of the Dominicans, and, amid the
ringing of bells, enters the church, where it is placed with great
solemnity on the altar consecrated to it, behind a splendid grating.
But amid all this joy, a letter arrives from the abbot of the convent
of Lyon, where the relics of the saint were deposited, intimating that
what the monks had sold to the knight was a profane bone taken at
random from the burying ground. The trick thus played off on the
illustrious city of Berne filled its citizens with deep indignation.

The Reformation was making progress in other parts of Switzerland. In
1521, Walter Klarer, a young man of Appenzel, returned to his native
canton from the university of Paris. Luther's writings fell into his
hands, and, in 1522, he preached the evangelical doctrine with all the
ardour of a young convert. An innkeeper, named Rausberg, a wealthy and
pious man, and a member of the council of Appenzel, opened his house
to all the friends of truth. Bartholomew Berweger, a famous captain,
who had fought for Julius II and for Leo X, having at this time
returned from Rome, began forthwith to persecute the evangelical
ministers. One day, however, remembering how much vice he had seen at
Rome, he began to read the Bible, and to attend the sermons of the new
preachers; his eyes were opened, and he embraced the gospel. Seeing
that the crowds could not be contained in the churches, he proposed
that they should preach in the fields and the public squares, and,
notwithstanding of keen opposition, the hills, meadows, and mountains
of Appenzel, thenceforward often echoed with the glad tidings of


The reformed doctrine, ascending the Rhine, made its way as far as
ancient Rhætia. One day, a stranger from Zurich crossed the river, and
waited on the saddler of Flasch, the frontier village of the Grisons.
Christian Anhorn, the saddler, listened in astonishment to the
language of his visitor. "Preach," said the whole village to the
stranger, who was called James Burkli. He accordingly took his station
in front of the altar. A number of persons arrived, with Anhorn at
their head, and stood round to defend him from a sudden attack while
he preached the gospel. The rumour of this preaching spread far and
wide; and, on the following Sunday, an immense crowd assembled.
Shortly after, a great proportion of the inhabitants of the district
desired to have the Lord's Supper dispensed to them according to its
original institution. But one day the tocsin suddenly sounded in
Mayenfield; the people ran in alarm; and the priests, after pointing
out the danger which threatened the Church, hastened at the head of
the fanatical population to Flasch. Anhorn, who was working in the
field, astonished at hearing the sound of bells at so unusual an hour,
hastened home and concealed Burkli in a deep hole dug in his cellar.
The house was by this time surrounded; the door was forced open, and
the heretical preacher everywhere searched for in vain. At length the
persecutors withdrew.[863]

  [863] Anhorn, Wiedergeburt der Ev. Kirchen in den 3 Bündten. Chur,
  1680. Wirz i, 457.

The Word of God spread over the extent of the ten jurisdictions. The
curate of Mayenfield, on returning from Rome, to which he had fled
infuriated at the success of the gospel, exclaimed, "Rome has made me
evangelical," and became a zealous reformer. The Reformation soon
extended to the league of "the House of God." "Oh!" exclaimed
Salandronius to Vadian, "if you but saw how the inhabitants of the
mountains of Rhætia cast far from them the yoke of the Babylonish

Shocking disorders hastened the day when Zurich and the neighbouring
districts were to shake off the yoke. A married schoolmaster wishing
to become a priest, obtained his wife's consent, and they separated.
The new curate was unable to keep his vow of celibacy, but not to
outrage his wife's feelings quitted the place where she lived, and,
having taken up his residence in the diocese of Constance, formed a
licentious connection. His wife hastened to the place. The poor priest
took compassion on her, and dismissing the person who had usurped her
rights, took back his lawful spouse. The procurator-fiscal forthwith
drew up a charge against him: the vicar-general began to move; the
council of the consistory deliberated ... and the curate was ordered
to abandon his wife or his benefice. The poor wife left the house
weeping bitterly, and her rival returned in triumph. The Church
declared itself satisfied, and thenceforth let the adulterous priest

  [864] Simml. Samml. vi.--Wirz, K. Gesch. i, 275.


Shortly after a curate of Lucerne eloped with a married woman, and
lived with her. The husband went to Lucerne and taking advantage of
the priest's absence brought away his wife. While returning they were
met by the seducer, who immediately attacked the injured husband, and
gave him a wound of which he died.[865] All good men felt the
necessity of re-establishing the divine law, which declares _marriage
honorable in all_.[866] The evangelical ministers had taught that the
law of celibacy was of merely human origin, imposed by Roman pontiffs
in opposition to the Word of God, which, when describing a true
bishop, represents him as a husband and father. (1 Tim. iii, 2 and 4.)
They saw at the same time, that of all the abuses which had crept into
the Church none had caused more numerous vices and scandals. They
considered it not only as a thing lawful but as a duty in the sight of
God to withdraw from its authority. Several of them at this time
returned to the ancient practice of apostolic times. Xylotect was
married. Zuinglius also married at this period. No lady was more
respected in Zurich than Anna Reinhard, widow of Meyer of Knonau, the
mother of Gerold. From the arrival of Zuinglius she had been one of
his most attentive hearers: she lived in his neighbourhood, and he
observed her piety, modesty, and fondness for her children. Young
Gerold, who had become as it were his adopted son, brought him into
closer connection with his mother. The trials already endured by this
Christian woman, who was one day to be the most cruelly tried of all
the women whose history is on record, had given her a gravity which
made her evangelical virtues still more prominent.[867] She was now
about thirty-five years of age, and her own fortune amounted only to
four hundred florins. It was on her that Zuinglius, on looking out for
a companion for life, turned his eye. He felt how sacred and intimate
the conjugal union is. He termed it "a most holy alliance."[868] "As
Christ," said he, "died for his people, and gave himself to them
entirely, so ought husband and wife to do and suffer every thing for
each other." But Zuinglius, when he took Anna Reinhard to wife, did
not immediately publish his marriage. This was undoubtedly a culpable
weakness in a man otherwise so resolute. The light which he and his
friends had acquired on the subject of celibacy was not generally
diffused. The weak might have been offended. He feared that his
usefulness in the Church might be paralysed if his marriage were made
public.[869] He sacrificed part of his happiness to these fears--fears
to which, though respectable perhaps, he should have been

  [865] Hinc cum scorto redeuntem in itinere deprehendit, adgreditur,
  lethiferoque vulnere cædit et tandem moritur. (Zw. Ep. p. 206.)

  [866] Hebrews, xiii, 4.

  [867] Anna Reinhard, von Gerold Meyer von Knonau, p. 25.

  [868] Ein hochheiliges Bündniss. (Ibid.)

  [869] Qui veritus sis, te marito non tam feliciter usurum Christum in
  negotio verbi sui. (Zw. Ep. p. 335.) Who feared that Christ would not
  use you as a husband so advantageously in the ministry of his Word.

  [870] Biographers, most respectable historians, and all the authors
  who have copied them, place Zuinglius' marriage two years later, viz.,
  in April 1524. Without going at length into the reasons which satisfy
  me that this is a mistake, I will merely indicate the most decisive
  proofs. A letter from Zuinglius' friend Myconius, 22nd July, 1522,
  says, "_Vale cum uxore quam felicissime_." "All happiness to you and
  your wife." Another letter from the same friend, written towards the
  close of this year, has the words, "_Vale cum uxore_." The contents of
  the letters prove that they are correctly dated. But what is still
  stronger is, a letter of Bucer, from Strasburg, at the time when the
  marriage was made public, 14th April, 1524, (the date of the year is
  wanting, but it is clearly 1524.) This letter contains several
  passages which show that Zuinglius had been for some time married. In
  addition to the one given in the previous note, we quote the
  following:--"Professum _palam_ te maritum legi. Unum hoc desiderabam
  in te." I read that you openly professed to be a husband. This was the
  only thing in you I regretted the want of. "Quæ multum facilius quam
  _connubii tui confessionem_. Antichristus posset ferre." These things
  Antichrist could bear more easily than _the confession of your
  marriage_.--"Αγαμον ab eo, quod cum fratribus ... episcopo
  Constantiensi congressus es, nullus credidi." That you were unmarried
  I did not believe from your disputes with the friars ... the Bishop of
  Constance. "Qua ratione id _tam diu celares_ ... non dubitarim,
  rationibus hue adductum, quæ apud virum evangelicum non queant omnino
  repudiari" ... etc. On what account you concealed it so long ... I
  doubt not you were influenced by reasons which ought not to be
  entirely rejected by a Christian man. (Zw. Ep. p. 335.) In 1524, then,
  Zuinglius did not marry, but publish his marriage contracted two years
  before. The learned editors of the letters of Zuinglius ask, "Num
  forte jam Zuinglius Annam Reinhardam, clandestino in matrimonio
  habebat?" May not Zuinglius have already been secretly married to Anna
  Reinhard? p. 210. This seems to me not a matter of doubt, but a well
  ascertained historical fact.



     How Truth triumphs--Society at Einsidlen--Request to the
     Bishops--to the Confederates--The Men of Einsidlen
     separate--A Scene in a Convent--A Dinner by Myconius--The
     Strength of the Reformers--Effect of the Petitions to
     Lucerne--The Council of the Diet--Haller at the
     Town-House--Friburg--Destitution of Oswald--Zuinglius
     comforts him--Oswald quits Lucerne--First severity of the
     Diet--Consternation of the Brothers of Zuinglius--His
     Resolution--The Future--The Prayer of Zuinglius.

Meanwhile still higher interests occupied the friends of truth. The
Diet, as we have seen, urged by the enemies of the Reformation, had
ordered the evangelical preachers to desist from preaching the
doctrines which troubled the people. Zuinglius felt that the moment
for action had arrived, and with the energy which characterised him,
called a meeting of the ministers of the Lord, the friends of the
gospel, at Einsidlen. The strength of Christians is neither in carnal
weapons, nor the flames of martyrdom--it is in a simple but unanimous
and intrepid profession of these great truths to which the world must
one day be subjugated. In particular, God calls upon those who serve
him to hold these heavenly doctrines prominently forth in presence of
the whole people without being dismayed by the clamour of adversaries.
Those truths are able of themselves to secure their triumph, and as of
old with the ark of God, idols cannot stand in their presence. The
time had come when God willed that the great doctrine of salvation
should be confessed in Switzerland. It was necessary that the gospel
standard should be planted on some eminence. Providence was going to
draw humble but intrepid men out of unknown retreats that they might
bear a striking testimony in presence of the nation.


Towards the end of June and the beginning of July, 1522, pious
ministers were seen proceeding in all directions towards the
celebrated chapel of Einsidlen on a new pilgrimage.[871] From Art, in
the canton of Schwitz, came its curate, Balthasar Traschel; from
Weiningen near Baden, curate Staheli; from Zug, Werner Steiner; from
Lucerne, canon Kilchmeyer; from Uster, curate Pfister; from Hongg,
near Zurich, curate Stumpff; from Zurich itself, canon Fabricius,
chaplain Schmid, the preacher of the hospital, Grosmann, and
Zuinglius. Leo Juda, curate of Einsidlen, most cordially welcomed all
these ministers of Jesus Christ to the ancient abbey. Since the time
when Zuinglius took up his residence in it, this place had been a
citadel of truth, and a hotel of the just.[872] In like manner had
thirty-three bold patriots, resolved to break the yoke of Austria, met
two hundred years before in the solitary plain of Grutli. The object
of the meeting at Einsidlen was to break the yoke of human authority
in the things of God. Zuinglius proposed to his friends to present
earnest addresses to the cantons, and to the bishop, praying for the
free preaching of the gospel, and at the same time for the abolition
of compulsory celibacy, the source of so many irregularities. The
proposal was unanimously adopted.[873] Ulric had himself prepared the
addresses. That to the bishop was first read. It was dated 2nd July,
1522, and signed by all the evangelists we have mentioned. The
preachers of the truth in Switzerland were united in cordial
affection. Many others besides sympathised with the party at
Einsidlen: such were Haller, Myconius, Hedio, Capito, Œcolampadius,
Sebastian Meyer, Hoffmeister, and Wanner. This harmony is one of the
finest traits in the Swiss Reformation. These excellent persons always
acted as one man, and remained friends till death.

  [871] Thaten sich zusammen etliche priester. (Bullinger MS.)

  [872] Zu Einsidlen hätten sie alle Sicherheit dahin zu gehen und dort
  zu wohnen. (J. J. Hottinger, Helv. K. Gesch., iii, 86.)

  [873] Und wurden eins an den Bischoff zu Constantz und gmein
  Eidtgnossen ein Supplication zu stellen. (Bullinger MS.)


The men of Einsidlen were aware that it was only by the power of faith
that the members of the Confederation, divided by foreign enlistments,
could become one body. But their views were carried higher. "The
celestial doctrine," said they to their ecclesiastical head, in the
address of 2nd July, "that truth which God the Creator has manifested
by his Son to the human race now plunged in evil, has been long veiled
from our eyes by the ignorance, not to say the malice of certain men.
But God Almighty has resolved to re-establish it in its primitive
condition. Join yourself to those who demand that the multitude of the
faithful return to their head, who is Christ.[874] For our part we
have resolved to promulgate his gospel with indefatigable
perseverance, and at same time with such wisdom that none can
complain.[875] Favour this enterprise; astonishing, perhaps, but not
rash. Be like Moses on the march at the head of the people coming out
of Egypt, and overthrow the obstacles which oppose the triumphant
progress of truth."

  [874] Et universa Christianorum multitudo ad caput suum quod Christus
  est redeat. (Supplicatio quorundam apud Helvetios Evangelistarum. Zw.
  Op. iii, 18.)

  [875] Evangelium irremisso tenore promulgare statuimus.... (Ibid.)

After this warm appeal, the evangelists met at Einsidlen came to
celibacy. Zuinglius had no longer any demand to make on this head for
himself, having already one answering the description given by Paul of
what a minister's wife ought to be, _grave, sober, faithful in all
things_. (1 Tim. iii, 2.) But he thought of his brethren, whose
consciences were not yet like his, emancipated from human ordinances.
He sighed moreover for the time when all the servants of God might
live openly and without fear in the bosom of their own family,
_keeping their children_, says the apostle, _in subjection, with all
gravity_. (1 Tim. iii, 4.) "You are not ignorant," said the men of
Einsidlen, "that hitherto chastity has been deplorably violated by the
priests. When on the consecration of the servants of the Lord he who
speaks for all is asked, 'Are those whom you present righteous? He
answers--They are righteous. Are they learned? They are learned. But
when he is asked--Are they chaste? he answers: As far as human
weakness permits.'[876] Everything in the New Testament condemns
licentiousness: every thing in it sanctions marriage." Then follows
the quotation of a great number of passages. "Wherefore," they
continued, "we implore you by the love of Christ, by the liberty which
he has purchased for us, by the misery of so many weak and wavering
souls, by the wounds of so many ulcerated consciences, by every thing
human and divine; ... allow that which was rashly done to be wisely
repealed, lest the majestic edifice of the Church fall with fearful
uproar, and drag boundless ruin after it.[877] See with what storms
the world is threatened. If wisdom interpose not it is all over with
the priesthood."

  [876] Suntne casti? reddidit: Quatenus humana imbecillitas permittit
  (Ibid., iii, 18.)

  [877] Ne quando moles ista non ex patris cœlestis sententia
  constructa, cum fragore longe perniciosiore corruat. (Ibid., 24.) Lest
  one day that edifice, not built according to the view of the heavenly
  parent, fall with a much more dreadful crash.


The petition to the Confederation was of greater length. The band of
Einsidlen addressing the confederates, thus conclude: "Honoured
Sirs,--we are all Swiss, and you are our fathers. There are some among
us who have shown themselves faithful in combat, in plague, and other
calamities.[878] It is in the name of true chastity that we speak to
you. Who knows not that we could satisfy sensual appetite far better
by not submitting to the laws of a legitimate union? But it is
necessary to put an end to the scandals which afflict the church of
Christ. If the tyranny of the Roman pontiff would oppress us, fear
nothing, brave heroes! The authority of the Word of God, the rights of
Christian liberty, and the sovereign power of grace, guard around
us.[879] We have the same country, we have the same faith, we are
Swiss, and the valour of our illustrious ancestors always manifested
its power by an indomitable defence of those oppressed by injustice."

  [878] Amica et piu paraenesis ad communem Helvetiorum civitatem
  scripta, ne evangelicæ doctrinæ cursum impediant, etc. (Zw. Op. i,

  [879] Divini enim verbi auctoritatem, libertatis Christianæ et divinæ
  gratiæ præsidium nobis adesse conspicietis. (Zw. Op. i, 63.)

Thus in Einsidlen itself, in this old rampart of superstition, which
is still, in our day, one of the most famous sanctuaries of Roman
superstition, Zuinglius and his friends boldly raised the standard of
truth and freedom. They appealed to the heads of the State and the
Church. They fixed their thesis, like Luther, both on the gate of the
episcopal palace and on that of the national council. The friends met
at Einsidlen parted calm, joyful, full of hope in that God to whom
they had committed their cause. Some passing near the battle-field of
Morgarten, others over the chain of the Albis, and others again by
different valleys or mountains, all returned to their posts. "There
was truly something grand in these times,"[880] says Henry Bullinger,
"in men thus daring to put themselves forward, rallying around the
gospel, and exposing themselves to all dangers. But God defended them
so, that no evil reached them: for God preserves his people at all
times." It was indeed something grand, it was a great step in the
progress of the Reformation, one of the brightest days of religious
revival in Switzerland. A holy confederation was formed at Einsidlen.
Humble and courageous men had seized the sword of the Spirit, which is
the Word of God, and the shield of faith. The gauntlet was thrown
down, and the challenge given, not by a single man, but by men of
different cantons, ready to sacrifice their lives. It only remained to
await the battle.

  [880] Es wass zwahren gros zu denen Zyten. (Bullinger MS.)


Everything announced that it was to be fierce. Five days after (7th
July), the magistracy of Zurich, wishing to give some satisfaction to
the Roman party, summoned before them Conrad Grebel and Claus
Hottinger, two of those extreme men who seemed desirous to go beyond
the bounds of a wise Reformation. "We forbid you," said Burgomaster
Roust, "to speak against the monks or on controverted points." At
these words, a loud noise was heard in the chamber, says an ancient
chronicle. God was so manifestly in favour of the work, that people
were everywhere anticipating signs of his interposition. All present
looked around in astonishment, without being able to discover the
cause of this mysterious circumstance.[881]

  [881] Da Hess die Stube einen grossen Knall. (Füsslin Beytr. iv, 89.)

But indignation was carried to its greatest height in convents. Every
meeting held in them, whether for discipline or festivity, witnessed
some new attack. One day, when a great festival was celebrated in the
convent of Fraubrunn, the wine having got into the heads of the
guests, they began to shoot the most envenomed arrows at the
gospel.[882] What especially excited the rage of these priests and
monks was the evangelical doctrine--that in the Christian Church there
ought to be no sacerdotal caste above believers. Only one friend of
the Reformation, a simple layman, Macrin, schoolmaster at Soleure, was
present. He at first shunned the contest by changing his seat to
another table. But at last, no longer able to endure the furious
invectives of the guests, he stood up boldly, and exclaimed, "Yes, all
true Christians are priests, and offer sacrifice according to the
words of St. Peter, '_You are a royal priesthood_.'" At these words,
one of the most intrepid bawlers, the dean of Burgdorff, a tall, stout
man, with a stentorian voice, uttered a loud laugh. "You little Greeks
and school rats! You a royal priesthood!... Beautiful priesthood!...
Mendicant kings!... priests without prebends and benefices!"[883] And
instantly all the priests and monks fell with one accord on the
impudent laic.

  [882] Cum invalescente Baccho, disputationes, imo verius jurgia....
  (Zw. Ep. i, 230.) With the progress of the wine disputes, nay, rather
  brawls, began.

  [883] Estote ergo Græculi ac Donatistæ regale sacerdotium. (Ibid., p.

But it was in Lucerne that the bold step of the men of Einsidlen was
to produce the strongest sensation. The Diet had met in this town, and
complaints arrived from all quarters against the rash preachers who
were preventing Helvetia from quietly selling the blood of her sons to
the stranger. On the 22nd July, as Oswald Myconius was entertaining
canon Kilchmeyer, and several other friends of the gospel, at dinner,
a boy, sent by Zuinglius, knocked at the door.[884] He was the bearer
of the two famous petitions from Einsidlen, and of a letter from
Zuinglius, which requested Oswald to circulate them in Lucerne. "My
advice is, that the thing be done quietly, by degrees, rather than all
at once; but, for the love of Christ, it is necessary to forsake
everything, even wife."

  [884] Venit puer, quam misisti, inter prandendum.... (Ibid., p. 209.)


Thus the crisis approached in Lucerne: the shell had fallen, and could
not but burst. The guests read the petitions. "May God bless this
beginning,"[885] said Oswald, looking up to heaven, and then added,
"This prayer must, from this moment, be the constant occupation of
our hearts." The petitions were forthwith circulated, perhaps with
more ardour than Zuinglius had requested. But the moment was singular.
Eleven individuals, the flower of the clergy, had placed themselves in
the breach: it was necessary to enlighten men's minds, to fix the
irresolute, and gain over the most influential members of the Diet.

  [885] Deus cœpta fortunet! (Ibid., p. 210.)

Oswald, in the midst of this labour, did not forget his friend. The
young messenger had told him of the attacks which Zuinglius had to
endure from the monks at Zurich. Writing him the same day, he says,
"The truth of the Holy Spirit is invincible. Armed with the shield of
the Holy Scriptures you have remained conqueror, not in one combat
only, nor in two, but in three, and the fourth is now commencing....
Seize those powerful weapons which are harder than diamond! Christ, in
order to protect his people, has need only of his Word. Your struggles
give indomitable courage to all who have devoted themselves to Jesus

  [886] Is permaneas, qui es, in Christo Jesu.... (Zw. Ep. p. 210.)

At Lucerne, the petitions did not produce the result anticipated. Some
pious men approved of them, but these were few in number. Several,
fearing to compromise themselves, were unwilling either to praise or
blame.[887] "These folks," said others, "will never bring this affair
to a good end!" All the priests murmured, grumbled, and muttered
between their teeth. As to the people, they were loud against the
gospel. A rage for war was awakened in Lucerne after the bloody defeat
of Bicoque, and engrossed all thoughts.[888] Oswald, who was an
attentive observer of these different impressions, felt his courage
shaken. The evangelical future which he had anticipated for Lucerne
and Switzerland seemed to vanish. "Our people," said he, uttering a
deep sigh, "are blind to the things of heaven. In regard to the glory
of Christ, there is no hope of the Swiss."[889]

  [887] Boni qui pauci sunt, commendant libellos vestros; alli non
  laudant nec vituperant. (Ibid., p. 210.)

  [888] Belli furor occupat omnia. (Ibid.)

  [889] Nihil ob id apud Helvetios agendum de lis rebus quæ Christi
  gloriam possunt augere. (Ibid.)


Wrath prevailed, especially in the Council and the Diet. The pope,
France, England, and the empire, all around Switzerland, was in
agitation after the defeat of Bicoque, and the evacuation of Lombardy
by the French under Lautrec. Were not political interests at that
moment complicated enough before these eleven men came with their
petitions to mingle religious questions with them? The deputies of
Zurich alone were favourably disposed to the gospel. Canon Xylotect,
afraid for his own life and that of his wife, (he had married into one
of the first families in the country,) had refused, with tears of
regret, to repair to Einsidlen and sign the addresses. Canon
Kilchmeyer had shown greater courage. He, too, had everything to
fear. "Condemnation threatens me," he writes to Zuinglius, on the 13th
August; "I await it without fear...." As he was writing these words,
an officer of the council entered the room, and cited him to appear
next day.[890] "If they put me in irons," said he, continuing his
letter, "I claim your help; but it will be easier to transport a rock
from our Alps than to move me a finger's breadth from the word of
Jesus Christ." The regard which was deemed due to his family, and the
resolution which they had taken to let the storm fall upon Oswald,
saved the canon.

  [890] Tu vero audi. Hæc dum scriberem, irruit præco, a Senatoribus
  missus... (Zw. Ep. 213.)

Berthold Haller, probably because he was not a Swiss, had not signed
the petitions. But full of courage, he, like Zuinglius, expounded the
gospel according to Matthew. A vast crowd filled the cathedral of
Berne. The word of God operated more powerfully on the people than
Manuel's dramas. Haller was summoned to the Town House; the people
accompanied their good-natured pastor, and remained around the spot.
The council was divided. "This concerns the bishop," said the leading
men. "The preacher must be handed over to my lord of Lausanne." The
friends of Haller trembled at these words, and told him to withdraw as
quickly as possible. The people flocked round, and accompanied him to
his house, where a great number of burghers remained in arms prepared
to make a rampart of their bodies in defence of their humble pastor.
The bishop and council were overawed by this energetic demonstration,
and Haller was saved. Haller was not the only combatant at Berne.
Sebastian Meyer at this time refuted the pastoral letter of the Bishop
of Constance, and in particular the formidable charge, "that the
gospellers teach a new doctrine, but that the old doctrine is the
true." "To be wrong for two thousand years," said Meyer, "is not to be
right for a single hour; otherwise the heathen ought to have adhered
to their belief. If the most ancient doctrines must carry the day,
fifteen hundred years are more than five hundred years, and the gospel
is more ancient than the ordinances of the pope."[891]

  [891] Simmi. Samml. vi.


At this period the magistrates of Friburg intercepted letters
addressed to Haller and Meyer by a canon of Friburg, named John
Hollard, a native of Orb. They imprisoned, then deposed, and at last
banished him. John Vannius, a chorister in the cathedral, shortly
after embraced the evangelical doctrine; for in the Christian warfare
one soldier no sooner falls than another takes his place. "How could
the muddy water of the Tiber," said Vannius, "subsist beside the pure
water which Luther has drawn from the spring of St. Paul." But the
chorister's mouth was also closed. Myconius wrote to Zuinglius,
"Scarcely will you find in Switzerland men more averse to the gospel
than the Friburghers."[892]

  [892] Hoc audio vix alios esse per Helvetiam, qui pejus velint sanæ
  doctrinæ. (Zw. Ep. p. 226.)

Lucerne ought to have been stated as an exception. This Myconius knew.
He had not signed the famous petitions, but his friends had if he had
not, and a victim was required. The ancient literature of Greece and
Rome began, thanks to him, to shed some light in Lucerne; numbers
arrived from different quarters to attend the learned professor, and
the friends of peace were charmed with sounds sweeter than those of
halberds, swords, and cuirasses, which alone had hitherto resounded in
the warlike city. Oswald had sacrificed everything for his country. He
had quitted Zurich and Zuinglius; he had lost his health; his wife was
pining;[893] his son was in childhood; if even Lucerne rejected him he
could nowhere hope for an asylum. But no matter; factions have no
pity, and the thing which ought to excite their compassion stimulates
their rage. Herbenstein, burgomaster of Lucerne, an old and valiant
warrior who had gained a distinguished name in the wars of Suabia and
Burgundy, followed up the deposition of the teacher, and wished to
banish, from the canton, with himself, his Greek, his Latin, and his
gospel. He succeeded. On coming out of the Council, after the sederunt
at which Myconius had been deposed, Herbenstein met the Zurich deputy,
Berguer. "We are sending you back your schoolmaster," said he to him
ironically, "get a good lodging for him." "We won't let him sleep in
the open air,"[894] immediately replied the courageous deputy. But
Berguer promised more than he could perform.

  [893] Conjux infirma. (Ibid. p. 192.)

  [894] Veniat! efficiemus enim ne dormiendum sit ei sub dio. (Ibid., p.
  216.) Let him come, we will see to it that he do not sleep in the open


The news given by the burgomaster were but too true, and were soon
intimated to the unhappy Myconius. He is deposed and banished, and the
only crime laid to his charge is that of being a disciple of
Luther.[895] He looks all around but nowhere finds a shelter. He sees
his wife, his son, and himself, all three feeble and sickly, exiled
from their country, and Switzerland, all around agitated by a
whirlwind, which breaks and destroys every thing that stands in its
way. "Here," said he then to Zuinglius, "is poor Myconius banished by
the council of Lucerne.[896]... Whither shall I go? I know not....
Assailed yourself by these furious storms how could you shelter me? I
cry then in my distress to that God who is the first in whom I hope,
who is ever bountiful, ever kind, and who never calls upon any to
seek his face in vain. May He supply my wants!"

  [895] Nil exprobrarunt nisi quod sim Lutheranus. (Ibid.)

  [896] Expellitur ecce miser Myconius a Senatu Lucernano. (Ibid., p.

Thus spoke Oswald, and he was not obliged to wait long for a word of
consolation. There was one in Switzerland inured to the battles of the
faith. Zuinglius drew near to his friend, and comforting him, thus
expressed himself, "The blows by which men attempt to overthrow the
house of God are so violent, and the assaults which they make upon it
so frequent that not only do the wind and rain beat upon it, as our
Saviour predicted, (Matt. vii, 27,) but the hail and the thunder.[897]
Had I not perceived the Lord guiding the ship I should, long ere now,
have cast the helm into the sea, but I see him amid the tempest,
strengthening the tackling, arranging the yards, stretching the sails,
what do I say? commanding the very winds.... Should I not then be a
coward unworthy of the name of a man if I abandoned my post and fled
to a shameful death? I confide entirely in his sovereign goodness. Let
him govern, transport, hasten, retard, precipitate, arrest, break
down, let him even plunge us to the bottom of the abyss, we fear
nothing.[898] We are vessels which belong to him. He can use us as he
pleases, for honour or disgrace." After words thus full of faith
Zuinglius continues. "As to your case this is my opinion. Present
yourself before the council, and there deliver an address worthy of
Christ and of yourself, that is to say, proper to touch and not to
irritate men's hearts. Deny that you are a disciple of Luther, declare
that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ. Let your pupils surround you,
and let them speak, and if all this does not succeed, come to your
friend, come to Zuinglius, and consider our home as your own

  [897] Nec ventos esse, nec imbres, sed grandines et fulmina. (Zw. Ep.
  p. 217.)

  [898] Regat, vehat, festinet, maneat, acceleret, moretur, mergat!...


Oswald, strengthened by these words, followed the noble counsel of the
Reformer, but all his efforts were useless. The witness to the truth
behoved to quit his country. His enemies in Lucerne were so loud
against him, that the magistrates would not allow any one to give him
an asylum. Broken-hearted at the sight of so much enmity, the
confessor of Jesus Christ exclaimed, "All that now remains for me is
to beg from door to door to sustain my miserable life."[899] Shortly
after, the friend and most powerful assistant of Zuinglius, the first
man in Switzerland who had united literary instruction with the love
of the gospel, the reformer of Lucerne, and at a later period one of
the leaders of the Helvetic church, was obliged, with his sickly wife
and little boy, to quit this ungrateful city, where, out of all his
family, the only one who had received the gospel was a sister. He
crossed its ancient bridges, and bade adieu to those mountains which
seem to rise from the bosom of the lake of Waldstetten up to the
clouds. Canons Xylotect and Kilchmeyer, the only friends whom the
Reformation yet numbered among his countrymen, followed shortly after.
And, at the moment when this poor man, with two feeble companions,
whose existence depended on him, with his eye turned towards its lake,
and shedding tears for his deluded country, took leave of those
sublime scenes which had surrounded his cradle, the gospel itself took
leave of Lucerne, and Rome reigns in it to this day.

  [899] Ostiatim quærere quod edam. (Ibid., p. 245.)

Shortly after the Diet itself, which was assembled at Baden, stung by
the petitions of Einsidlen, (which, being printed, produced a great
sensation,) and urged by the Bishop of Constance to strike a blow at
innovations, had recourse to measures of persecution, ordered the
authorities of the villages to bring before it all priests and laymen
who should speak against the faith, seized, in its impatience, on the
evangelist, who happened to be nearest at hand, Urban Weiss, pastor of
Filispach, who had been previously released on caution, made him be
brought to Constance, and then gave him up to the bishop, by whom he
was long kept in prison. "Thus," says the Chronicle of Bullinger, "the
persecution of the gospel by the confederates commenced, and that at
the instigation of the clergy, who have at all times delivered Jesus
Christ to Herod and Pilate."[900]

  [900] Uss anstifften der geistlecten, Die zu allen Zyten Christum
  Pilato und Herodi vürstellen. (MS.)


Zuinglius was not to escape his share of trial. Blows to which he was
most sensible were then struck at him. The rumour of his doctrines and
his contests had passed Santis, penetrated the Tockenburg, and reached
the heights of Wildhaus. The pastoral family from whom the Reformer
had sprung were moved. Of the four brothers of Zuinglius, some had
continued peacefully to occupy themselves with their mountain toils,
whilst others, to the great grief of their brother, had quitted their
flocks and served foreign princes. All were alarmed at the news which
rumour brought as far as their chalets. They already saw their brother
seized, dragged perhaps to Constance to his bishop, and a pile erected
for him at the same place which had consumed the body of John Huss.
These proud shepherds could not bear the idea of being called the
brother of a heretic. They wrote to Ulric, describing their sorrow and
their fears. Zuinglius replied, "So long as God permits, I will
perform the task which he has entrusted to me, without fearing the
world and its proud tyrants. I know the worst that can happen to me.
There is no danger, no misfortune which I have not long carefully
weighed. My own strength is mere nothingness, and I know the power of
my enemies, but I know also that I can do everything through Christ
strengthening me. Were I silent, some other would be constrained to do
what God now does by me, and I would be punished by God. Cast far from
you all your anxiety, my dear brothers. If I have a fear, it is that I
have been gentler and more easily persuaded than is suitable for this
age.[901] What shame, you say, will be cast on all our family if you
are burnt, or put to death in some other way![902] O, dearly beloved
brethren! the gospel derives from the blood of Christ this wondrous
nature, that the most violent persecutions far from arresting, only
hasten its progress. Those only are true soldiers of Christ who fear
not to bear in their body the wounds of their Master. All my labours
have no other end than to make men know the treasures of happiness
which Christ has acquired for us, in order that all may flee to the
Father through the death of his Son. If his doctrine offends you, your
anger cannot stop me. You are my brothers, yes, my own brothers, the
sons of my father, and the offspring of the same mother ... but if you
were not my brethren in Christ, and in the work of faith, my grief
would be so extreme that nothing could equal it. Adieu. I will never
cease to be your true brother, provided you do not yourselves cease to
be the brethren of Jesus Christ."[903]

  [901] Plus enim metuo ne forte lenior, mitiorque fuerim. De semper
  casta Virgine Maria. (Zw. Op.i. p. 104.)

  [902] Si vel igni vel alio quodam supplicii genere tollaris e medio.

  [903] Frater vester germanus nunquan desinam, si modo vos fratres
  Christi esse perrexeritis. (Ibid., p. 107.)


The confederates seemed to rise against the gospel as one man. The
petitions of Einsidlen had been the signal. Zuinglius, concerned for
the lot of his dear Myconius, saw in this misfortune only the
beginning of calamity. Enemies in Zurich: enemies abroad--a man's own
relatives becoming his enemies,--a furious opposition on the part of
monks and priests,--violent measures of the Diet and the
councils,--rude, perhaps bloody, assaults on the part of the partisans
of foreign service,--the highest valleys of Switzerland, the cradle of
the confederation, sending forth phalanxes of invincible soldiers to
save Rome, and, at the sacrifice of life, annihilating the growing
faith of the sons of the Reformation--such was the prospect at which
the penetrating mind of the Reformer shuddered when he beheld it in
the distance. What a prospect! Was not the work, scarcely well begun,
on the point of being destroyed? Zuinglius, thoughtful and agitated,
spread all his anguish before his God. "O Jesus," said he, "you see
how wicked men and blasphemers stun the ears of thy people with their
cries.[904] Thou knowest that from my infancy I have hated disputes,
and yet in spite of myself thou hast ceased not to urge me on to the
combat.... Wherefore, I confidently call upon thee, as thou hast begun
so to finish. If in any thing I have built up improperly, beat it down
with thy mighty hand. If I have laid some other foundation beside
thine let thy powerful arm overthrow it.[905] O most beloved vine, of
which the Father is the vine-dresser, and of which we are the
branches, forsake not thy offspring.[906] For thou hast promised to be
with us, even to the end of the world!"

  [904] Vides enim, piissime Jesu, aures eorum septas esse nequissimis
  susurronibus, sycophantis, lucrionibus.... (Zw. Op. iii, p. 74.) For
  thou seest, O most beloved Jesus how these ears are beset with
  whisperers, sycophants, and lovers of lucre.

  [905] Si fundamentum aliud præter te jecero, demoliaris. (Ibid.)

  [906] O suavissima vitis, cujus vinitor, Pater, palmites vero nos
  sumus; stationem tuam ne deseras. (Ibid.)

It was on the 22nd of August, 1522, that Ulrich Zuinglius, the
Reformer of Switzerland, when he saw violent storms descending from
the mountains on the frail bark of faith, thus expressed the troubles
and hopes of his soul in the presence of his God.





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OF BUNYAN. Complete Edition, with a Portrait of Bunyan.

History of the Reformation. Translated from the French. With a
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DICK'S PHILOSOPHY of RELIGION; or, an Illustration of the Moral Laws
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To be followed by other Popular Works.

Each Volume contains between 300 and 400 pages, with a Steel
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       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note: Variations in spelling, punctuation and
hyphenation have been retained except in obvious cases of
typographical error.

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Text enclosed by equal signs is in bold face (=bold=).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

Transliterated Greek words are enclosed like +this+.

Footnote 11: "Tunc desiit paululum" is unclear.

Footnote 110: "On this article of faith the Church is founded.
(L. Op. Lat. i, p. 254.)" The number 254 is unclear.

Footnote 111: "Et, ut fama est, de hoc plurimum gratulantur.
(L. Op. Lat. i, p. 250.)" The number 250 is unclear.

Footnote 224: "L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 305, and Op. Lat. i, p.
32." The (L.) is unclear.

Footnote 148 "Præsens male judicat ætas; judicium menus
posteritatis erit." (L. Op. Lat. i, 310.)" The number 310 is not

Footnote 479 is unclear: "Quacunque iter faciebant, frequens
erat concursus hominum, videndi Lutheri studio. (Cochlœus, p. 29)."

Footnote 485: There is possibly a digit missing before the number 6 in
this footnote: "Lutherum illac transeuntem subsequutus ut pro honore
ecclesiæ vitam suam....exponeret (Cochlœus, p. 6.)"

In footnote 506, "Bucerus eodem nit. (M. Adam, Vit. Buceri.
p. 212.)" the transcriber has added "ve" to "nit" to make "venit".

The number in footnote 532 is unclear "L. Op. (W.) xv, 2286".

In footnote 582, "Per chalcographos multiplicata et in populos
dispersa est ea epistola ... Cæsari autem et clericis odium populare,
etc. (Cochlœus, p.386.)" The number 386 is unclear.

Footnote 859: The final number is unclear. "Wenn mir nicht
wär' mit Todten wohl, So läg nicht mancher Acker, voll, ac.
(Bern. Mausol. iv, Wirz, K. Gesch. 1. 3.)"

The transcriber has added footnote anchors for the following

Page 21, footnote 66: First vol., p. 172.

Page 21, footnote 68: Si tecum non licet disputare, neque cum
Carlstatio volo: propter te enim huc veni. (L. Op. in Præf.)

Page 53, footnote 167: Ego nihil quæro; est qui quærat. Stet ergo,
sive cadat; ego nihil lucror, aut amitto. (Ibid. p. 418.)

Page 92, footnote 267: Olim janua cœli, nunc patens quoddam
os inferni et tale os, quod urgente ira Dei, obstrui non potest....
(L. Ep. i, p. 501.)

Page 94, footnote 270: Ist nun das nicht eine fröhliche Wirthschaft,
da der reiche, edle, fromme Bräutigam Christus, das arme, verachtete,
bose Huhrlein zur Ehe nimmt (L. Op. (L.) xvii, p. 385.)

Page 116, footnote 334: Quo audito, Marinus et Aleander...

Page 118, footnote 337: Favent vero ferme boni omnes.

Page 159, footnote 466: Omnem nunc Germaniam quasi ad genua provolutum
tibi.... (Ibid., p. 184.)

Page 160, footnote 468: L. Ep. i, p. 580.

Page 164, footnote 478: Iter faciente occurrebant populi. (Pallavicini,
Hist. C. Tr. i, p. 114.)

Page 164, footnote 479: Quacunque iter faciebant, frequens erat
concursus hominum, videndi Lutheri studio. (Cochlœus, p. 29).

Page 166, footnote 486: Dass der Keyser seinen Beichtvater und Ihrer
Majest. Ober-Kammerling, zu. Seckingen schickt. (L. Op. xvii, p. 587.)

Page 203, footnote 593: Dejecto in solum auriga et verberato. (Ibid.)

Page 203, footnote 594: Longo itinere, novus eques, fessus. (L. Ep.
ii, p. 3.)

Page 226, footnote 654: In den Schlachten sich redlich und dapfer
gestellt mit Rathen, Worten, und Thaten. (Ibid.)

Page 240, footnote 699: Do er ehrlich und wol empfangen ward.
(Bullinger, MS.)

Page 253, footnote 736: Ich mein der Tod, Syg an der Thür. (Zw. Op. ii,
2nd part, p. 270.)

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