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surely account for the hatred and contempt ish; every thing conducive to the enjoyment of which every where lurked secretly against the taste, every thing flattering to the sensibility, Romish hierarchy. Complaints and murmurs physical and moral, had become the object of arose on every hand; thousands of voices united Italian activity. But the calm, equal, persevering in demanding a reformation of the church in its activity of the Saxons was directed to the abstract head and in its members, in its faith and in its sciences, to philosophy, to historical researches.
Next to the lordly pride of the Ro. When the Reformation burst forth, there was not a man court we may reckon among the proximate single theologian of Italy capable of encountercauses of the Reformation the luxury, extrava- ing those of Saxony; some of them had the pregance, and religious indifference of Leo X.
sumption to attempt it,-a presumption always About the period of Luther's first attack on the associate of ignorance; they were defeated the religion of the Catholics, Rome was in pro- and covered with confusion; in revenge Italy found peace ; and this interval of repose Leo X. boasted loudly of her poets and her painters ; occupied in expensive schemes for aggrandizing they had not produced a Luther, but Saxony the family of the Medici; in expending the splendor had not produced an Ariosto. of the papal see; and in lavishing presents on The recent invention of the art of printing authors, artists, profane wits, and buffoons. To operated in a very powerful manner to bring into support the enormous expenses to which these pro- circulation those principles which, at length, pensities subjected the supreme pontiff required produced the Reformation. The revival of literafar greater resources than the now almost exhausted iure about this period under the especial patronpapal treasury supplied. Yet at no time was the age of Leo gave a stimulus to every effort of Roman court in greater splendor, nor did the vicars intellect. Hence the reproaches so profusely of Christ ever exhibit a magnificence so imposing cast on the conduct of the clergy were carried as that displayed during the pontificate of Leo by means of the press to every cottage, and were X. Every decoration that art could suggest; read with eagerness by both the pious and the every wish that the most voluptuous appetite could profane; by those who saw the decay of devoengender; and every refinement that an un- tion in the people, and the licentiousness of the bounded love of science and literature could de- clergy, with sentiments of sorrow, and a wish to vise ; found a patron in that luxurious prince. have them reformed; and also by those who This profusion and magnificence in the supreme saw these evils with a malicious pleasure, and a pontiff was amply copied by the chiefs and secret desire for the ruin of the Roman court, the princes of the Roman court, who vied and the destruction of the papal hierarchy. with each other in the grandeur and sump The ill use which Tetzel and others made of tuousness of their palaces, and the prodigality the sale of indulgences is a cause of the Reformand gaiety of their entertainments ; nor did it ation which has been repeated by every writer deduct from the pressure to which this extrava on the subject since the days of Luther. The gance exposed the subjects of the papal domi- splendor and magnificence of the papal see bave nion, that a considerable portion of the riches been already stated; but we deferred to notice the which were drained from the labor or the purses enormous expenses to which the Roman governof the poor was lavished without discrimination ment was subjected, in the completion of the on artists, painters, and sculptors. Divine pro- astonishing fabric begun during the pontificate vidence, intending on the one hand to chastise of Julius II., the church of St. Peter at Rome. the church for her profligacy of manners, and on To accomplish this stupendous undertaking the other to free the gospel of Christ from the large supplies were become indispensably neederrors and corruptions which had grown upon ful; and Leo X., as almost a last resource, reit, seems to have lulled the supreme pontiff to sorted to a measure which had been applied to a fatal security, and to hare struck with blindness as early as A. D. 1100, when Urban II. granted those whom it designed to punish.
a plenary indulgence and remission of sins to all An admirer of the fine arts, from which he such persons as should join in the crusades to only sought fame and gratification, a crafty but liberate the holy sepulcbre from the hands of the presuming politician, prepossessed with con- infidels. In thus reviving an ancient practice tempt for the German rudeness of manners, under Leo X. was not introducing any new mode of which he was unable to discover that strength taxation ; yet he took no pains to secure the and manliness of character, all the energy of church from the disgrace which she subsequently which he had to encounter, Leo X. was not a sustained by the improper use of this extraordiqualified to enter the lists with Luther; and the nary species of traffic. But the mere act of arrogant weakness of the one opened number- vending remittances of holy discipline was not less advantages to the intrepid firmness of the all. The commissioners in this noble traffic other. Whoever considers the characteristic were not chosen from among the ranks of wise, national differences between the Italians and prudent, and honest men. John Tetzel, a DomiSaxons will perceive that divine providence had nican friar, of the most depraved habits and been secretly but effectually preparing for that vicious principles, was appointed by Albert, great Reformation in the church. The Italians archbishop of Mentz, to dispose of these dishoadhered strongly to a religion which captivated norable wares to the credulous and deluded their senses, and permitted indulgence of their people. Being determined to extend the benefit vices. A taste for luxury, pomp, and voluptu- of his commerce as much as possible, he scrutuousness, with that of the fine arts, was all their pled not to exceed the bounds of his commisenjoyment; always oppressed, they were natu- sion, nor to extol his merchandise as abounding rallv deceitful, cunning, dissimulating, and self- with every virtue that the most meritorious
sacrifice or service could confer. To such an only the work of man's hand; he would at once, impious length did this agent of iniquity extend and entirely, reject a system in which he could his blasphemies as to declare that these indul- no longer discover any trace of true religion. gencies would atone for every vice,-past, pre Advancing to the period of the German resent, or to come,-and remit every punishment, formation we find that the first attack on the both in this life and in the next, to which the church of Rome commenced in 1517 on the part most profligate wretch could be exposed ! of Martin Luther, who, on the 30th of Septem
This blasphemous and most ridiculous fraud ber, delivered ninety-five propositions, in which was played off upon the people in every possible he censured, in the boldest manner, the extravashape, while the infamous fabricator and vender gant conduct and extortion of the papal commis. wallowed in every species of luxury, debauchery sioners for the sale of indulgences. These proand wickedness; an abuse so flagrant could not positions were promulgated at Wittemberg, at but cause the honest indignation of every think- the college of which he was doctor. Ignorant of ing person. Accordingly, when a knowledge of a stipulation made between Leo X. and Albert these practices came to the ear of Martin Luther, of Brandenburgh, by which the latter should reall the greatness of his soul was called into tain one half of the profits arising from the sale action, and he inveighed not, at first, against in- of these indulgences, Luther addressed a letter dulgences themselves, but against that torrent of of remonstrance to this elector; but, as might corruption which Tetzel's abuse of them was naturally have been supposed, no regard was bringing into Christendom. But it is not to be paid to his complaints. Exasperated by this supposed that an institution of so long standing, in- neglect, he next published to the world the prografted on so many prejudices and interests, and positions he had read in the church in Wittensupported by such an extraordinary weight of berg. They contained many censures on the power and influence, could be overturned by any pope himself, but were rendered as palatable as of the aforenamed causes, unless those causes possible by repeated expressions of obedience to had been called into action by some bold and in- the papal authority and the doctrines and decitrepid spirit; some daring soul, impatient of the sions of the church. On the first appearance of crown of martyrdom, and indifferent to every these propositions Tetzel, the principal vender consideration that contributed not to advance the of the indulgences by the appointment of the glory of his character, the immortality of his elector of Mentz, endeavoured to defend a traffic memory, and, above all, the interests of that re in which he had so much personal interest. To ligion to which he was devoted. Inspired by a effect this purpose, he published a set of counter zeal which could consunie the most obdurate propositions, and then publicly burned those by prejudice, and a courage that could brave the Luther. The friends of Luther, in a similar most potent authority, Luther carried every thing spirit, rejoined, by burning 800 copies of Tetbefore him that retarded his designs. He knew zel's propositions in one of the public squares of when to advance, and when to make good a safe Wittemberg. This conduct Luther had the moretreat; when to trust the energies of his own deration or good sense to lament; and he affirmed mind, and when to profit by the advice of that it was adopted without his knowledge. others.
Leo X., confiding in the professions of Luther, The Europeans, who till this time had been who had declared to him that he would regard confined within the limits of the old world, had whatever came from him as delivered by Christ just launched beyond it; the road to India and himself,' took no immediate steps to curb the America had been lately discovered. While en zeal of the reformers, nor to remove the cause of terprising navigators were in this manner subdu- their just complaints. At length, however, the ing an ocean that had been unconquerable, every indolent pontiff was roused from his danger; nind seemed also desirous of being liberated and, in 1518, he summoned Luther to appear from the narrow circle of ideas within which it before him at Rome, within sixty days, there to had been confined for ages. The human race answer the questions which should be proposed advanced perceptibly towards the point of matu to him by Prierio, his virulent opponent. It rerity of a new epoch. A change in the order of quired no extraordinary degree of penetration to things, an approaching commotion, seemed at perceive what must be the issue of the trial, hand; a rumbling was heard in the bowels of the wherein the judge and the plaintiff were one and volcano; ardent vapors burst forth and streamed the same person. Accordingly Luther made through the obscurity. Such was the menacing sufficient interest to have his cause heard in Gerfermentation which appeared in the political many. Tomaso de Vio, cardinal of Gaeta, the state of nations from the commencement of the pope's legate at the diet of Augsburg, was emsixteenth century. The minds of men had un- powered to summon Luther before him; and, if dergone a great change; worship had become he should persist in his errors, to hold him in the business of the senses and religion a mytho- custody till farther instructions should be sent logy; splendid ceremonies had superseded sim- from Rome. It was of small consequence to ple prayers ; saints and images became the Luther whether his cause shoud be heard before intercessors with an almost forgotten God, and the prejudiced and interested Prierio at Rome the immediate objects of devotion. The popu or by the equally interested Dominical cardinal lace and the ignorant adhered very strongly to of Gaeta, in Germany. Whatever might have this system of superstition, which captivated their been the lenient principles at first cherished by senses and lulled all their vices. But he who the pope, this precipitate and rash determination began to think and to 'examine would perceive, gave great and just cause of offence to Luther amid all this pomp and ceremonial observance, and his friends. No alternative, however, re
mained ; and Luther, having obtained with great a present which a very short time oefore would difficulty and delay a safe conduct from the em have had the most pleasing effects on the mind peror, repaired to Augsburg. Previously, how- of the elector: it was the consecrated rose, which ever, to this, and after the pope had sent his mo- the pontiff had been in the babit of sending annitory to the cardinal of Gaeta, a power had been nually to those princes for whom he prosessed a delegated to that cardinal to hear his defence, more than usual affection and regard. This saand, in case of penitence and submission, again cred and honorable present came too late.
The to receive him to the communion of the faithful. rose had lost its fragrance with the half reformed Encouraged by several powerful and determined elector. patrons, Luther contemned the authority of the VI. Decisive progress of the Reformation in legate ; and refused to make any concessions, or Germany. -About ihis period Andrew Bodento violate his conscience, as he termed it, by stein, called by himself Carlostadt, from the disavowing what he knew to be the truth. He place of his birth, having embraced the opinions yielded, however, so far as to consent that his of Luther, published a thesis in their defence. opinions should be submitted to such universities This called forth the learning and powerful abilias he should name; and promised in future to ties of Eckius. To enter into a detail of the desist from impugning the discipline of indul- disputes at Leipsic between Eckius, Carlostadt, gences, provided his adversaries were likewise to and Luther, would neither edify the reader nor be silent concerning them. Luther, after different illustrate the history. As usual both sides meetings, was permitted to depart; when his claiined the victory : before they entered upon friends judging from the bold or rash manner of the debate, which was conducted in the his proceeding, and the known authority of his hall of the castle at Leipsic, in the presence of adversaries, that it would not be prudent for him George, duke of Saxony, and a large concourse to remain any longer in danger, advised a secret of other eminent persons, Eckius proposed to flight from Augsburg. Prior, however, to his appoint suitable judges. Luther, with his chadeparture, he published a solemn appeal from racteristic boldness and impetuosity, replied that the supreme pontiff prejudiced and misled to the all the world might be the judge. If, however, same pontiff when better informed. The abrupt these disputes had but little effect, while they departure of Luther from Augsburg vaturally were carried on by both parties in propriâ perawakened the resentment of the cardinal, and he sonâ, when they were renewed in writing they immediately addressed a letter to the elector of called forth the efforts of many learned and emiSaxony, to whose protection Luther fled, expres- nent scholars; amongst whom were Melancthon sing his surprise and indignation at his conduct, and Erasmus, whose various publications at the same time requesting that, if he should awakened the spirit of enquiry, and forwarded, continue to hold and defend his opinions, he in a very powerful manner, the cause of the Re might be sent to Rome, or at least banished from formation. After the fruitless disputes at Leipthe elector's dominions. Frederick, the elector, sic, Luther returned to Wittemburg, where replied in a respectful manner to the legate's Miltitz renewed his efforts to reconcile Luther to leiter, but refused to condemn Luther before his the pope and the church; and prevailed upon opinions were proved to be erroneous. Every him, by calling in the assistance of the society of day increased the danger to which Luther was the Augustine monks, to which Luther belonged exposed by his intrepid zeal and perseverance; to write again to the pope, with a further and but the power claimed by Leo X., in a bull he more explicit account of his conduct. Under the had just issued, reduced him to this most diffi- pretext of obedience, respect, and even affection cult alternative--either openly to acknowledge, for the pontiff, Luther conveyed the most deteras he had ever done, bis perfect obedience to the mined opposition, the most bitter satire, and the holy see, by submitting his judgment to the de most marked contempt; insomuch that it is cisions of the pope; or at once renounce obedi- scarcely possible to conceive a composition more ence to the vicar of Christ, and declare open replete with insult and offence than that which war against the whole Christian world. With a Luther affected to allow himself to be prevailed boldness unparallelled, he resolved on the latter, on to write by the representations of his own and immediately appealed from the pope to a fraternity. After justifying the asperity with general council. He was then at Wittemburg. which he had commented on the inisconduct of To justify himself in this measure, he truly de- his adversaries, by the example of Christ and of clared that general councils are superior in the prophets and apostles, he thus proceeds: 'I power to the pope, who, being a fallible man, must, however, acknowledge my total abhorrence might err, as St. Peter, the most perfect of his of your see, the Roman court, which neither you predecessors, had erred.' He further remarked nor any man can deny is more corrupt than that the prophet forbids us to put our trust or either Babylon or Sodom, and according to the confidence in man, even in princes, to whose best of my information is sunk in the most dejudgment nothing ought less to be committed plorable and notorious impiety. For what has than the words of God; protesting, however, at Rome poured out for many years past (as you the same time, that he had no intention to speak well know) but the desolation of all things, both any thing against the holy catholic and apostolic of body and soul, and the worst examples of all church, nor against the authority of the holy see. iniquity. It is indeed as clear as daylight to all Leo X., still unwilling or afraid to push matters mankind that the Roman church, formerly the to extremities against this unruly son of the most holy of all churches, is become the most church, addressed a conciliatory message
the licentious den of thieves, the most shameless of elector of Saxony. This was accompanied by all brothels, the kingdoin of sin, of death, and of
hell: the wickedness of which not antichrist finally, a copy of the bull of Leo X. The pile bimself could conceive. The fate of the court being then set on fire, he, with his own hands, of Rome is decreed; the wrath of God is upon committed the books to the flames, exclaiming at it; advice it detests; reformation it dreads; the the same time, “Because ye have troubled the fury of its impiety cannot be mitigated, and it holy of the Lord, ye shall be burnt with eternal has now fulfilled that which was said of its mo- fire.' That there might be no mistake respectther: We have medicined Babylon and she is ing the real sentiments of these zealous reformers, not healed ; let us therefore leave her.' It was on the following day Luther mounted the pulthe office of you and your cardinals to have ap- pit and openly declared that the conflagration plied a remedy; but the disorder derides the they had just secn was a matter of small importhand of the physician, .nec audit currus ha- ance; that it would be more to the purpose if benas,'
the pope himself, or, in other words, the vapal Had the friends of the Roman court viewca see, were also burnt. this in the light in which some protestants have Every one must allow to Luther the merit of considered it, and not in fact completing the uncommon fortitude, zeal, and constancy. This measure of his offences' against the pope and the was manifested in a conspicuous manner at the holy Catholic church, the bull of excommunica- diet of Worms, which was assembled early in the tion which Leo X. unwillingly issued against the year 1521, by the emperor Charles V. To this author of it, would never have been put in force. assembly Luther was summoned to appear, and Luther and his adherents are conjured in it to he did not hesitate promptly to obey the sumreturn to their duty, and renounce their errors; mons, declaring to his friends, who were alarmassuring them, that if they give manifest proof of ed for his safety should he comply, that were he their obedience, by destroying and disavowing sure to encounter there as many devils as there their writings within six days, they should be were tiles on the houses, he would not disobey graciously received to the bosom and protection the call. He arrived at the city of Worms on of the church ; but that, should they persist in the 16th of April, attended by a numerous and their errors and conțumacy, after the time speci- splendid retinue, and was conducted to the diet fied, they should be proceeded against immedi- on the following day by the marshal count Papately as obstinate and perverse heretics, and re- penhem, who informed him that he would not ceive the punishment which the law, in such be permitted to address the assembly, but must cases, has provided. The bull of Leo X., instead give unequivocal answers to such questions as of allaying these tumults, called forth all the should be put to him. Being asked whether the zeal and energy of Luther, and his powerful and books published in his name, the titles whereof numerous friends. To such a pitch of exaspera- were recited to him,'were indeed his own pubtion did this measure raise the intrepid and lications ; and, also, if they were, whether he was daring innovator, that he threw off, in the most prepared to retract what had been condemned by unequivocal manner, all forms of respect, and the pope's bull in them: He replied, that cer. even decency, towards the pope, the councils and tainly the books were his, and that he should the Catholic church. Refusing to appear to the never deny them; but that with respect to repope's citation, he boldly exclaimed, I defer my tracting any thing he had advanced in those books, appearing there until I am followed by 5000 it was a matter of such importance, that he rehorse and 20,000 foot; then will I make myself quested a little time to consider before he gave believed.' No epithet of a severe and offensive his answer. Accordingly he was allowed till the nature was spared in representing the character following day to deliver a verbal and decided and conduct of the pope and his whole court. resolution. Encouraged by the plaudits and the He once more appealed to a general council, and advice of numerous friends, and urged on to conhesitated not to call the supreme pontiff, the lord, stancy by the admiration of the populace, he whose authority he had lately declared as infe- agairi appeared before the diet at the time aprior only to that of Jesus Christ, a tyrant, a pointed. He delivered a very long and eloquent heretic, an apostate, and antichrist, himself. He oration, in which he declared that some of his even summons the pope and his cardinals to re- writings being published purely for the promopent of their sins and renounce their errors, or tion of piety and good morals, he could not be he would otherwise deliver over both them and expected to condemn what both friends and enetheir bull, with all their decretals, to Satan, that mies allowed to be useful and innocent;--that by the destruction of the flesh, their souls may others being directed principally against the ty, be liberated in the coming of our Lord. ranny of the papistical doctrines, which had
Not being in a capacity to carry his threat into given such general offence, he could not retract execution in any other way, on the 10th of them without betraying the cause of liberty and December 1520, he caused a kind of funeral pile truth, which he had hitherto resolved to support; to be erected without the walls of Wittemberg, - but that with respect to the third portion of surrounded by scaffolds, as for a public specta- his writings, which were those written directly cle; and, when the places thus prepared' were against his various adversaries, he would confess filled by the members of the university and the he might have departed from that strict line of inhabitants of the city, Luther made his appear- mildness and decorum which he ought to have ance with many attendants, bringing with him observed ; and that as he made no extraordinary several volumes containing the decrees of Gra- pretensions to sanctity, and was rather disposed tian, the decretals of the popes, the constitutions to defend his doctrines than his manners, he called the Extravagants, the writings of Eckius, should only reply in the words of the Saviour, and of Emser, another of his antagonists, and, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil,' Vol. XVIII.
This was the only concession he appeared dis- ney to Wittemberg. On the 26th of May, one posed to make, except that, if any of his doc- month after his departure, the emperor, after retrines could be proved to be opposed to the holy peated solicitations, issued a decree of the diet Scriptures, he himself would be the first to coin- against him, in which he is represented as the mit them to the flames. Addressing himself im devil in the semblance of a man, and the dress mediately to the emperor and the other princes of a monk:' and all the subjects of the inperial who were present, he said that the true doctrine, dominions are required to seize upon him and his when publicly acknowledged, was, at all times, adherents, to destroy their property, and burn to be regarded as a divine blessing; but that to their books and writings; and all printers are reject it would infallibly bring upon them many forbid to publish any of their works without the serious calamities. This harangue not being consent of the ordinary. Luther, however, esdeemed a satisfactory answer, it was demanded caped the rage of his enemies, by a very fortunate of him to say, simply and unequivocally, whe- and unlooked-for circumstance. Passing through ther he would or would not retract his opinions a wood on his way to Wittemberg, with but a and writings. Now it was that all the native small band of attendants, he was seized by segreatness and dignity of his soul became manifest, veral persons in masks, employed by the elector and he boldly replied in the following terms, as of Saxony, and forcibly carried to ihe castle of translated by Mr. Roscoe :—Since your majesty, Wartburg, where he remained in privacy for the and the sovereigns now present, require a simple space of nine or ten months, during which Leo answer, I shall reply thus, without evasion and X. died, and was succeeded by Adrian VI. This without vehemence. Unless I be convinced by master piece of policy and humanity in Frederick the testimony of Scripture, or by evident reason was attended by several beneficial effects. Dur(for I cannot rely on the authority of the pope ing this retreat Luther employed himself in comand councils alone, since it appears they have posing many of those works which have since frequently erred and contradicted each other), become, in a manner, the ground-work of the and unless my conscience be subdued by the Reformation. Here, also, he translated a great word of God, I neither can nor will retract any part of the New Testament into the German lanthing, seeing that to act against my own consci- guage, and wrote numerous letters to various ence is neither safe nor honest.' After which he parts; so that the work of the Reformation went on added, in his native German, for he had previ- with a rapidity equal to his most sanguine wishes, ously spoken in Latin,' Hier stehe; ich gan nicht notwithstanding the opposition it met with from anders ;
Gott helff mir, Amen.' Here I take my the apostolic nuncios and others. stand; I can do no other ; God be my help! From this period the Reformation may proAmen.' Never through his whole life did Lu- perly be said to have taken effectual root. The ther appear to so much advantage as on this me- subject which now chiefly engaged public attenmorable occasion? The answer which Luther tion was the expected call of a general council. had given to the diet seemed to have placed the. The reformed party was solicitous for the meamatter beyond all further dispute, and that sure, in the hope of reducing the prerogative of the nothing reinained but to put the law against here- pontiff; while the moderate and well-intentioned tics in force upon him; yet, through much per- part of the Catholics looked to it as the means of suasion, the emperor was induced to allow him stopping the farther progress of schism. After to remain three days longer at Worms, and in many delays the unsteady and irresolute Clethe mean time several persons were permitted to meni had at last declared his assent to the long use their best efforts in private to persuade him expected convocation. Whether he was sincere in to obedience. But, every mild and lenient me- this declaration, or as is more probable meant thod proving abortive, he was commanded to only an apparent concession to the wish of the depart from the city and not to be found within German diet, the occurrence of his death, in the the emperor's dominions after the expiration of midst of the negociation, has left a matter of untwenty days. Some persons even advised the certainty. Alexander Farnese, to whom Clement em.peror to disregard the safe conduct which had had, in a manner, bequeathed the pontificate, been granted, and, imitating the council of Con- succeeded him without opposition, and assumed stance, to destroy at once so dangerous a heretic; the name of Paul III. but to the eternal honor of Charles V. he replied, Paul proceeded, or affected to proceed, on the that he would not give himself occasion to blush plan of making arrangements for the convocation as the emperor Sigismund had done, in the case of a council. But, as the reformed were now too of John Huss. In thus pobly refusing to depart numerous to be refused access to the council, from the spirit of his religious profession, he was Paul determined, as a preliminary step, to despatch encouraged by Louis, the elector count Palatine, a confidential person to confer with their leading who declared that such an act would brand the men. His nuncio in Germany, Peter Paul German name with perpetual infamy; and add-, Verger, a native of Istria, and a favorite of Paul's ed that it was intolerable that the empire should predecessor, was chosen for this commission. be for ever disgraced and reproached for not This person proceeded to Wittemberg to meet keeping the public faith merely to gratify the re- Luther. The interview was terminated, as might sentment of a few priests. Luther left the city be expected, without any beneficial result. The of Worms on the 26th of April, accompanied by pope now ordered his legate to declare to the the imperial herald. He was met at the gate of diet of Spires, assembled in 1542, that he would, the city by a numerous body of his friends, from according to the promise he had already made, whom he received the warmest congratulations assemble a general council, and that Trent should and applarıses ; he then proceeded on his jour- be the place of its meeting, if the diet had no