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While Luther was employed in these unprofitable endeavours to soothe and conciliate the directors both of church and state, his enemies were taking various measures for his destruction with great activity, and, so far as their immediate object was concerned, with success. They still imagined that a bull of excommunication would be sufficient to overthrow the heretic and extinguish the opinions; to this they chiefly looked as the result of their exertions. The Legate Gaetan had induced the university of Cologne, as early as Aug. 30, 1519, to publish a condemnation of the works of Luther —but the authority of Cologne was already much weakened in Germany by its perverse persecution of Reuchlin. James Hoogstraten, a Dominican a Dominican already mentioned, had much influence at Louvain; and to this it is ascribed that that university presently followed (on the 7th of November) the example of Cologne. But these seats of learning were so filled with monastic men and principles, as to be scarcely pervious to any light of sense or reason; and the sort of instinctive resistance which they had so long opposed to the reviving hopes of religious and intellectual improvement, though its strength was abating year by year, lost nothing of its obstinacy and bitterness.

No writer had ever assailed those strongholds of bigotry with greater force than Erasmus, and he had not yet begun to tremble at his own virtue. In the course of the same November he wrote from Louvain a very manly letter to the Archbishop of Mayence, in which he warmly denounced the vices of the monastic establishments— their ignorance, their avarice, the impudent inventions of their craft and superstition. He went farther; he did not shrink from the mention of Luther, and expressed or insinuated a favourable opinion of his character and

objects. If Erasmus had foreseen that this letter would be immediately published, he would have employed, perhaps, on this latter subject, even more guarded language. Yet so it proved. The composition was scarcely written when it fell into the hands of a very bold and intelligent defender of Luther, to whom more particular reference will presently be made-Ulrich of Hütten. He seized the advantage thus presented, and put it into general circulation. And it is possible that the commendation of Erasmus, so high an authority, at so critical a moment, when so many impartial and enlightened minds were still suspended, may have served the cause more effectually than it was damaged by his subsequent hostility. It is certain that it far overbalanced the suspicious decisions of the two universities.

When Eck perceived that he was making no progress towards his object by the angry controversies, which followed the disputation of Leipzig, he thought to accelerate the catastrophe by his presence at Rome. Accordingly, under some plea of personal business, he went thither in the beginning of 1520, burning with apostolical zeal.†

* "Est in manibus aliquorum egregia epistola Erasmi ad Cardinalem Moguntinum. . . ubi me egregie tutatur, ita tamen, ut nihil minus quam me tutari videatur, sicut solet pro dexteritate sua."-Luther to Langus, Jan. 26, 1520.

†There exists a curious letter of Eck, written from Rome on May 3, 1520, showing the diligence and bustle of his proceedings-what conferences he had held with the Pope and his cardinals, what lights he had given them, what more he had yet to perform, what promises he had received, what friends he had made! "Eckii consilium sequetur Sanctissimus et omnes episcopi se subscribent. Bonum fuit me venisse hoc tempore Romam, quod alii parum pernoverunt errores Lutheranos. Stetimus nuper papa, duo cardinales, Doctor Hispanus et ego per quinque horas in deliberatione hujus negotii singuli. Rogabamur omnes dare sententias. . . Heri fui cum S. D. N. in negotio Lutherano... cras iterum aditurus pontificem. . . . Cardinales mihi favorabiles sunt S.

He found there a numerous party, composed for the most. part of Dominicans, who were as anxious as himself for the excommunication of Luther. His exhortations animated them; and by the assiduous employment of every sort of expedients, they at length prevailed upon the Pope to summon a congregation on that subject. Gaetan and Prierias were among the members of this body, as well as the Professor of Ingolstadt; and as it was moved by one spirit, it began with perfect unanimity by passing sentence of condemnation upon Luther. But when it advanced to the next step, to decide on the manner of carrying this sentence into effect, considerable differences arose out of the different views of ecclesiastical policy. The theologians advocated the more violent, the lawyers the more cautious, measures. The former would have assumed, that the heresy was already scandalous and notorious, and hastened at once to issue the anathema. The latter maintained that the defendant should first be cited to answer to the charge-that the forms of justice at least should be observed. Neither party was disposed to yield; so a middle course was adopted. It was determined, on the one hand, to condemn the doctrine without any further proceedings; but, on the other, to allow the culprit a certain time for recantation. Other disputes followed; but at length, after ten days of hard labour and four formal consultations, those choice churchmen, the collective learning, sagacity and craft of the court of Rome, produced (on the 15th of June, 1520) the most celebrated, if not the vilest, composition that has ever issued from the laboratory of the Vatican.


Arise, oh Lord,* and judge thy cause! Be thou not

Crucis; S. Sixti. Campeggio..."

Rome a much better place than it was reported to be.

* 66

Exsurge Domine, et judica causam tuam.

He mentions that he had found

Memor esto imprope

unmindful of the reproaches which fools cast against thee all day long; incline thine ear to our prayers; since wolves have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard, of which thou alone hast trodden the wine-press, and didst commit the charge of it, before thy ascension to the Father, its care, government and administration to Peter, as to its head and thine own vicar, and to his successors, as of a church triumphant. But a wild boar is striving to root it out of the forest and a singular beast is consuming it. Arise, Peter, &c. . . . . And thou also, Paul, who hast enlightened and illustrated the Roman Catholic church by thy teaching and thy martyrdom. For a new Porphyry is risen up among us; and as he of old calumniated the holy apostles, so does this man dare, after the fashion of heretics, to reproach, bite and lacerate the holy pontiffs our predecessors. Lastly, let all the saints arise, and the whole universal church, and together with the aforesaid apostles intercede with the omnipotent Lord, that he will deign to purge away the errors from his fold, and to exile every heresy, and to preserve the peace and unity of his hallowed church."

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The Pope then expressed his affliction that so many and grievous errors should have arisen, and that too among the Germans, a people whose faith had been approved by their struggles against the Bohemian schismatics, and more lately by the decisions of some of their

riorum tuorum, eorum quæ ab insipiratibus fiunt tota die. Inclina aurem tuam ad preces nostras etc. Exsurge Peter, et pro pastorali tua cura præfata tibi divinitus demandata intende in causam S. B. ecclesiæ matris omnium ecclesiarum etc. Exsurgat deExsurgat,

nique omnis sanctorum et reliqua universalis ecclesia. inquam, præfata S. Ecclesia Dei et una cum beatissimis App. præfatis apud Deum Omnipotentem intercedat, ut, purgatis ovium suarum erroribus eliminatisque à fidelium finibus hæresibus universis, ecclesiæ suæ sanctæ pacem et unitatem conservare dignetur."

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universities. Then were enumerated forty-one erroneous doctrines of Luther, and designated as "pestiferous, pernicious, scandalous, seductive of pious and simple minds, opposed to all charity, to all reverence for the holy Roman church, to obedience, the nerve of ecclesiastical discipline, the fountain of all virtues, the surest test of faith."

He next related how a congregation had been appointed at Rome to decide on this matter; and how it had condemned the above doctrines. He boasted of the paternal clemency with which he had summoned the offender to Rome; and declared his appeal to the council to be in itself an act of heresy, according to the constitutions of Pius and Julius II. He then proceeded to pronounce sentence of excommunication according to the usual forms, only granting to Luther an indulgence of sixty days to return to his senses, to destroy his own works, and publicly renounce his doctrine. "And if any one shall presume to oppose this, let him know that he will incur the indignation of Almighty God and of the blessed Peter and Paul his apostles.


That the publication of the bull at that moment was an act of impolicy, it would not be fair to infer from its failure. Leo founded his hopes of success on such circumstances as he could calculate. He placed great trust in the supposed disposition of the Emperor; and he drew favourable conclusions from some expressions of the Elector which had lately been made known to him—ex

* The preceding clause is this, and let it pass as a specimen of this precious document: "Nulli ergo omnino hominum liceat hanc paginam nostræ damnationis, reprobationis, rejectionis, decreti, declarationis, inhibitionis, voluntatis, mandati, hortationis, obsecrationis, requisitionis, monitionis, assignationis, concessionis, condemnationis, subjectionis, excommunicationis, et anathematizationis infringere, vel ei ausu temarario contraire."

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