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able to protect him from the le- , vered great concern for Luther's gate's power and resentment, that safety. they prevailed on him secretly to The situation of our reformer, withdraw from Augsburg, where in the mean time, became daily he had attended the legate, and to more and more alarming.
He. return to his own country. But knew very well what were the before his departure, according to motives which induced the elec. a form of which there had been tor to afford him protection, and some examples, he prepared a so- that he could by no means depend lemn appeal from the legate, ill- on a continuance of his friendinformed at that tiine concerning ship. If he should be obliged to his cause, to the pope, when he quit Saxony, he had no other asyshould receive more full intima-lum, and must stand exposed to tion with respect to it. Cajetan, whatever punishment the rage or enraged at Luther's abrupt re- bigotry of his enemies could intreat, and at the publication of his fict: and so ready were his adappeal, wrote to the elector of versaries to condemn him, that Saxony, complaining of both; and he had been declared a heretic at requiring him, as he regarded the Rome before the expiration of the peace of the church, or the au- sixty days allowed him in the cithority of its head, either to send tation for making his appearance. that seditious monk a prisoner to Notwithstanding all this, howRome, or to banish him out of ever, he discovered no symptoms his territories. Frederic had hi- of timidity or remissness; but contherto, from political motives, tinued to vindicate his own conprotected Luther, as thinking he duct and opinions, and to inveigh might be of use in checking the against those of his adversaries enormous power of the see of with more vehemence than ever. Rome; and though all Germany Being convinced, therefore, that resounded with his fame, the elec- the pope would soon proceed to tor had never yet admitted him the most violent measures against into his presence. But upon this him, he appealed to a general demand made by the cardinal, it council, which he affirmed to be became necessary to throw off the representative of the Catholic somewhat of his former reserve. church, and superior in power to He had been at great expence the pope, who, being a fallible and bestowed much attention on man, might err, as St. Peter, the founding a new university, an ob- most perfect of his predecessors, ject of considerable importance to had done. every German prince ; and fore The court of Rome was equalseeing how fatal a blow the re- ly assiduous, in the mean time to moval of Luther would be to its crush the author of these new docreputation, he not only declined urines, which gave them so much complying with either of the uneasiness. A bull was issued by prope's requests, but openly dis- the pope of a date prior to La
ther's appeal, in which he mag-place for eighteen months, thuigh nified the virtues of indulgences, perpetual negotiations were carand subjected to the heaviest ec- ried on during this interval, in orclesiastical censures all who pre- der to bring the matter to an amisumed to teach a contrary doc- cable issue. The manner in which trine. Such a clear decision of the these were conducted having givthe sovereign pontiff against him en our reformer many opportunimight have been very fatal to Lu- ties of observing the corruption of ther's cause, had not the death of the court of Rome, its obstinacy in the emperor Maximilian, which adhering to established errors, and happened on January 17, 1519, its indifference about truth, howcontributed to give matters a dif- ever clearly proposed or strongly ferent turn. Both the principles proved, he began, in 1520, to utter and interest of Maximilian had some doubts with regard to the prompted him to support the au- divine original of the papal authority of the see of Rome ; but, thority, which he publicly dispu. in consequence of his death, the ted with Eccius, one of his most vicariate of that part of Germany learned and formidable antagowhich is governed by the Saxonnists. The dispute was indecisive, laws devolved to the elector of both parties claiming the victory; Saxony; and, under the shelter but it must have been very mortiof his friendly administration, Lu- fying to the partizans of the Rother himself enjoyed tranquillity ; mish church to hear such an esand his opinions took such root sential point of their doctrine pubin different places, that they could licly attacked. never afterwards be eradicated. The papal authority being once At the same time, as the election suspected, Luther proceeded to of an emperor was a point more push on his inquiries and attacks interesting to the .pope (Leo X) from one doctrine to another, till than a theological controversy at last he began to shake the firmwhich he did not understand, and est foundations on which the of which he could not foresee the wealth and power of the church consequences, he was so extreme- || were established. Leo then be ly solicitous not to irritate a prince gan to perceive that there were no of such considerable influence in hopes of reclaiming such an inthe electoral college as Frederic, corrigible heretic, and therefore that he discovered a great unwil-prepared to pronounce the senlingness to pronounce the sentence tence of excommunication against of excommunication against Lu- him. The college of cardinals ther, which his adversaries con- was often assembled, in order to tinually demanded with the most prepare the sentence with duc declamorous importunity.
liberation; and the ablest canonFrom the reason just now giv- ists were consulted how it might en, and Leo's natural aversion to be expressed with unexceptionasevere measures, a suspension of ble formality. At last it was inproceeding against Luther took sued on the 15th of June, 1520.
Forty-one propositions, extracted pope's power, as well as the sub--out of Luther's works, were there ordination of all secular jurisdicin condemned as heretical, scan- tion to his authority, he published dalous, and offensive to pious ears; these with a commentary, pointing all persons were forbidden to read, out the impiety of such tenets, and his writings, upon pain of excom- their evident tendency to subvert munication such as had any of all civil government. them in their custody were com On the accession of Charles V manded to commit them to the to the empire, Luther found himfames ; he himself, if he did not self in a very dangerous situation. within sixty days publicly recant Charles, in order to secure the his errors, and burn his books, pope's friendship, had determined. was pronounced an obstinate he-to treat him with great severity. retic, excommunicated, and de- His eagerness to gain this point livered to Satan for the destruc-rendered him not averse to gratify tion of the flesh; and all secu- the papal legates in Germany, who lar princes were required, under insisted, that, without any delay, pain of incurring the same cen- or formal deliberation, the diet sure, to seize his person, that he then sitting at Worms ought to might be punished as his crimes condemn a man whom the pope deserved.
had already excommunicated as an Luther was not in the least dis- incorrigible heretic. Such an abconcerted by this sentence, which rupt manner of proceeding, howhe had for some time expected. ever, being deemed unprecedentHe renewed his appeal to his ge-ed and unjust by the members of neral council ; declared the pope the diet, they made a point of to be that antichrist or man of sin Luther's appearing in person, and whose appearance is foretold in declaring whether he adhered or the New Testament; declaimed not to those opinions which had against his tyranny with greater drawn upon him the censures of vehemence than ever; and, at last, the church. Not only the empeby way of retaliation, having as- ror, but all the princes through sembled all the professors and stu- whose territories he had to pass, dents in the university of Wittem- granted him a safe-conduct ; and berg, with great pomp, and in the Charles wrote to him at the same presence of a vast multitude of time, requiring his immediate atspectators, he cast the volumes of tendance on the diet, and renewthe canon law, together with the ing his promises of protection bull of excommunication, into the from any injury or violence. Luflames. The manner in which ther did not hesitate one moment this action was justified gave still about yielding obedience; and more offence than the action itself. set out for Worms, attended by Having collected from the canon the herald who had brought the law some of the most extravagant emperor's letter and safe conduct. propositions with regard to the While on his journey, many of his plenitude and omnipotence of the friends, whom the fate of Huss,
under similar circumstances, and pestilent heresy, who was now in notwithstanding the same security their power, to deliver the church of an imperial safe-conduct, fill at once from such an evil. But ed with solicitude, advised and the members of the diet refusing intreated him not to rush wanton- to expose the German integrity to ly in the midst of danger. But fresh reproach by a second violaLuther, superior to such terrors, tion of public faith, and Charles silenced them with this reply : “I being no less unwilling to bring a am lawfully called,” said he,“ tostain upon the beginning of his adappear in that city; and thither I ministration by such an ignominiwill go in the name of the Lord, ous action, Luther was permitted though as many devils as there are to depart in safety. A few days tiles on the houses were there com- after he left the city, a severe edict bined against me."
was published in the emperor's The reception which he met name, and by authority of the diet, with at Worms was such as might depriving him, as an obstinate and have been reckoned a full reward -xcommunicated criminal, of all of all his labours, if vanity and the the privileges which he enjoyed as love of applause had been the prin- a subject of the empire ; forbidciples by which he was influenced. ding any prince to harbour or proGreater crowds assembled to be tect him; and requiring all to seize hold him than had appeared at the his person as soon as the term speemperor's public entry; his apart-cified in his protection should be ments were daily filled with prin- expired. ces and personages of the highest But this rigorous decree had no rank; and he was treated with an considerable effect; the execution homage more sincere, as well as of it being prevented partly by the more Aattering, than any which multiplicity of occupations which pre-eminence in birth or condition the commotions in Spain, together can command. At his appearance with the wars in Italy and the Low before the diet he behaved with Countries, created to the emperor; great decency and with equal firm- and partly by a prudent precauness. He readily acknowledged tion employed by the elector of an excess of acrimony and vehe- Saxony, Luther's faithful patron. mence in his controversial wri- As Luther, on his return from tings; but refused to retract his Worms, was passing near Altenopinions, unless he were convinced strain, in Thuringia, a number of of their falsehood, or to consent to horsemen, in masks, rushed sudtheir being tried by any other rule denly out of a wood, where the than the word of God. When clector had appointed them to lie neither threats por intreaties could in wait for him, and, surrounding prevail on him to depart from this his company, carried him, after resolution, some of the ecclesias- dismissing all his attendants, to tics proposed to imitate the exam- Wortburg, a strong castle, not far ple of the council of Constance, distant. There the elector ordered and, by punishing the author of this him to be supplied with every
thing necessary or agreeable ; but all which, though not against Luthe place of his retreat was care-ther's sentiments, was yet blamed fully concealed, until the fury of by him, as being rashly and unseathe present storm against him be- sonably done. Lutheranism was gan to abate, upon a change in the still confined to Germany; it was political system of Europe. In not got to France: and Henry this solitude, where he remained VIII of England made the most nine months, and which he fre- rigorous acts to hinder it from inquently called his Patmos, after vading his realm. Nay, he did the name of that island to which something more ; to shew his zeal the apostle John was banished, he for religion and the holy see, and exerted his usual vigour and in- perhaps his skill in theological dustry in defence of his doctrines, learning, he wrote a treatise of or in confutation of his adversa- the Seven Sacraments, against Luries; publishing several treatises, ther's book of the Captivity of which revived the spirit of his fol- Babylon, which he presented to lowers, astonished to a great de- Leo X, in October, 1521. The gree, and disheartened at the sud- pope received it very favourably, den disappearance of their leader. and was so well pleased with the
Luther, weary at length of his king of England, that he compliretirement,appeared publicly again mented him with the title of Den at Wittemberg, upon the 6th of fender of the Faith. Luther, howMarch, 1522. He appeared, in-ever, paid no regard to his kingdeed, without the elector's leave; ship, but answered him with great but immediately wrote him a let- sharpness, treating both his person ter to prevent his taking it ill. The and performance in the most conedict of Charles V, severe as it temptuous manner. Henry comwas, had given little or no check plained of Luther's rude usage of to Luther's doctrine; for the em- him to the princes of Saxony: and peror was no sooner gone into Fisher, bishop of Rochester, reFlanders, than his edict was neg- plied to his answer, in behalf of lected and despised, and the doc- Henry's treatise; but neither the trine seemed to spread even faster king's complaint, nor the bishop's than before. Carolostadius, in Lu- reply were attended with any visither's absence had pushed things ble effects. on faster than his leader, and had Luther, though he had put a attempted to abolish the use of stop to the violent proceedings of mass, to remove images out of the Carolostadius, now made open war churches, to set aside auricular with the pope and bishops; and, confession, invocation of saints, that he might make the people dethe abstaining from meats ; had spise their authority as much as allowed the monks to leave the possible,he wrote one book against monasteries, to neglect their vows, the pope's bull, and another against and to marry; in short, had quite the order falsely called the Order changed the doctrine and disci-l of Bishops. The same year, 1522, pline of the church at Wittemberg; he wrote a letter, dated July the