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Church of England Magazine.
JUNE 1, 1823.
MEMOIRS OF THE REFORMERS.
tor of Saxony. to whom he was
principally indebted for his crown; (Continued from Page 168.]
nor the other members who apnew Emperor stood com- peared disposed to resist the premitted already, as far as personal- tensions and exactions of the Roly concerned, on the subject of Lu- man see, and had actually pretheranism. He was not only ad- sented a catalogue of grievances on verse to the reformed doctrine, these subjects, of which they rebut he desired to oblige the Pope, quired him, in virtue of a capitulaand feared lest his subjects in tion, to obtain relief, Spain and the Netherlands, who Aleander was accordingly newere zealously attached to the re- cessitated to address the assembly ligion of their ancestors, might be in a long harangue, vindicating the withdrawn from their allegiance, if proceedings of the Pope. He prothey saw the new opinions, as they duced the writings of Luther, and were termed, sanctioned by the au- quoted with much dexterity the thority of the sovereign. He ap- most obnoxious passages. He atpointed a Diet of the Empire to be tempted to show their pernicious held at Worms, on the sixth of tendency, as subversive of all orJanuary 1521; and informed the der and government; and pressed different personages whom he sum- on the notice of his hearers the moned to attend it, that he called obligation of opposing principles this assembly in order to concert which would deprive the church of with them the most proper mea
a recognised interpreter of Scripsures for checking those religious ture.
this the worst. sentiments which threatened the Luther would destroy the foundapeace of the state and the quiet of tions of all morality, by denying the church.
the very existence of human liberty, The Papal legates insisted, at and reducing man to a mere mathis august meeting, that without chine; so that the most profligate any delay or formal deliberation, had only to urge, in defence of the Diet ought to condemn a man their conduct, that their actions whom the Pope had already ex- had been predestinated, and that it communicated as an incorrigible was impossible for them to have heretic. Whatever might be the pursued a different course. He secret wishes of the Emperor, he' then accused him of contemning the found it impossible to couutenance efficacy of the sacraments, and such a summary proceeding. He seeking to persuade his readers, would not rashly oppose the Elec- that there is no obligation in yows
that have been made with the University of Paris; but returning greatest solemnity. He concluded to Rome, was honoured by Leo X. by observing, that endeavours had with the post of Apostolical Librafailed, for four years past, to put a rian, advanced to a canonry by stop to these heresies, which ap- Adrian VI. created Archbishop peared to gain strength every dayof Brindisi in the kingdom of The Pontiff had done his duty; it Naples by Clement VII, and now remained for the Empire to raised to a Cardinalate by Paul send forth an edict, which should III. to the great offence of the express its abhorrence of such doc- German Protestants, to whom he trines, as well as of their author.
was peculiarly obnoxious on ́acNor was there reason to appre- count of his determined opposition hend any unpleasant effects from to Lutheranism *. such a document. If made with
The advancement of Aleander consent of the Diet, it would doubt- was a specimen of the manner in less be executed faithfully by the which the preferments of the day different states. The Catholic par- were bestowed. It was not so ty, he added, was by far the much out of respect to his abilities stronger; and it was not probable that these dignities were heaped that the advocates of Luther would
upon him, as because he hired out persist in supporting his cause in these abilities in the service of the the very face of an Imperial de
Nor was it for his
virtues; for he was unprincipled Such was the initiatory move- and immoral. At the time that he ment against the Refornier in this made this public appearance he celebrated Diet, and curiosity is was about forty years of age, and naturally excited to inquire into the regarded as a leading chanıpion of circumstances and character of his the Papal cause. Against such a plausible and zealous accuser. He character, it may pot create surappears to have been a worthy as- prise if Luther indulged iq, a desociate of. Eccius, Prierias, and scription somewhat sarcastic. “ In Hoogstrat, in the mischievous and these days comes Jerome Aleanunhallowed work of holding up to der, a man in his own opinion supegeneral execration the conscien-' rior to every body, not only on actious teacher of a purer system of count of languages, in which he is religion. He is said to have been exceedingly knowing (Hebrew beborn, in 1480, at Motta, in the ing his vernacular dialect, Greek diocese of Ceneda and territory of cultivated by him from a boy, and Venice, and educated at the neigh- Latin familiarized by long custom), bouring town of Pordenone, where but also on account of his ancient he displayed such precocity of ta- stock. For he was born a Jew; lent, as to lecture in public at fif- which nation is apt to boast extrateen years of age. He studied vagantly of its descent from Abraastrology and medicine, and from ham. I cannot say, if he be bap-. early attainment in Latin and tized! Certainly he is no PhariGreek, became master of Hebrew, see, for he does not believe in the, Chaldaic, and Arabic. At nine- resurrection of the dead, living as teen, he distinguished himself as a he does, as though he were to pephilosopher and theologian,
and rish with the body, and abstaining was invited to Rome by. Pope from no depraved appetite. If any. Alexander VI. where he became thing enrages him, he is like a secretary to the infamous Cardinal madman. Of impotent arrogance, Borgia. Taking orders, and ob- insatiable covetousness, unrestraintaining the favour of the French court, he was chosen Rector of the
* Ughelli Ital. sacr. tom. ix. col. 38.
ed epicurism, a very slave to love Daniel and the Revelations foreof distinction, although too easy to telling the fall of Antichrist. aim at its attainment by an elabo- The Papal emissary took occarate style, and too bad to seek it sion to notice in one of his speeches by fair argument. But let us ob- the assertion of Luther, that he was serve how happily his feigned apo- of Hebrew origin. After using an stasy to Christianity has given way. irreverent exclaination, he said, For he has found an opportunity of "There are many respectable perillustrating the glory of his own. sons here present, who know me Moses, and obscuring, that of and my family too. My ancestors Christ, which in our day has begun were noblemen in Istria; and if to revive, while superstition and my parents were reduced, it was pernicious human legends are fall- their misfortune. I have so far ing to decay. He is come, there- proved my own legitimacy, as to fore, armed with pontifical creden- be chosen Canon of Lodi, which tials, to destroy all good, as far as would not have been the case, if I lies in his power *.
had not sprung from a decent faAleander was much chagrined at mily. But if I were a Jew, and beholding the little impression he have been baptized, I ought not to was able to make on the members be rejected. Christ and his Apoof the Diet, with their friends and stles were Jews.” Notwithstandattendants. He wrote to the Car- ing this indignant complaint, there dinal Julio de Medici, to whom he is reason to think that Luther had had been secretary, that every ex- good ground for his assertion. His ertion should be immediately used father was a physician, of which to preserve the German authorities profession were many Venetian from the infection of Lutheranism. Jews; and it is certain, that AleThe Roman court, judging by its ander himself, in the early part of own feelings that money was the his life, was conversant with Ismost powerful of reasoners, des- raelites. Nor is much credit due patched this additional argument to to the declaration of a man, of its advocate, to be applied as he whom Erasmus has hinted, among saw fit. But his intrigues were other particulars, that “ to say no counteracted by Pontanus, the worse of him, he was not superstitrusty Chancellor of the Elector tiously addicted to truth.” Frederick : while the Bohemians The Elector Frederick, going to translated his works into their own Worms, followed up the negotiatongue, that they might be read by tion of his Chancellor with personal the common people, the students in representations to the Emperor of Saxony employed their holyday sea- the injustice of condemning his subsons in sports ridiculing the Pope ject unheard, and so far prevailed and Cardinals; and Luke Cranach, on that monarch, that he resolved the celebrated painter, sent out to grant him a safe-conduct to and some wood-cut caricatures, repre- from the Diet, accompanied by the senting the actions of Christ and following citation : Antichrist as opposed to each other, “ Charles V. by the grace of which so much pleased the Profes- God, Emperor of the Romans, sor by their ingenuity, that he wrote &c. to our honourable, beloyed, under the actions of the Saviour a and devoted cto Martin Lustring of extracts from the Gospels ther, of the Augustine Order. explanatory of the pictures, and “ Honourable and beloved : under those of the Pope the Ro- Whereas we and the States of the mish decretals, and passages from Holy Empire, now and here as
sembled, have proposed and con* Luth. Opp. Jen. t. i. fol. 496. cluded to take exanıination of thee,
respecting thy doctrive and certain that none but Papists should be
a Danish student, also accompawould have thee depend on this our nied him; and on the road other safe-conduct, and are persuaded friends joined the party, among of thy appearance.
appearance. Given at whom was Cordus, a schoolmaster Worms, sixth of March, A. D. of Erfurt. At Weymar, he was 1521."
presented with necessaries for the When some of his friends were journey by Duke John, the Elecapprehensive that the plausibility tor's brother. At Erfurt he was of a state document was but a cloak persuaded to preach, though conto that malice which sought pos- trary to the injunctions of the Diet, session of his person, that he might and declaimed briefly against the share the fate of Huss and Savona- merit of works and the vices of the rola, he opposed a steady forti- clergy. tude to their discouragements and He was much indisposed on the remonstrances. To Spalatinus he journey, but solaced himself with wrote on the 19th of March: “I pleasant conversation, and at inhave received your account of the tervals resorted to his favourite articles which I shall be expected music. It is said, that he comto recant, and the behaviour which posed on this occasion the words will be prescribed to me.
and music of a hymn which is sured, I will recant nothing, as sung to this day with a lively intesoon as I find that they have no rest in the Saxon churches *. At stronger argument to bring against' Francfort, he tells Spalatinus in me, than what I have written con- a letter, “ All the way from Eisetrary to the rites and customs of nach to Francfort, I have expethe church, as they call it. I shall rienced such languor as I never therefore answer the Emperor, that felt before. I hear too, that Charles if I am summoned for the mere pur- has issued a mandate to frighten pose of recantation, I will not ap- me.”—This was an order for colpear; since I could do that without lecting his writings.—“But Christ the trouble of a journey. For I liveth; and we shall enter Worms, could recant here as well as there. in spite of all the gates of hell and But if he should be offended at this powers of the air. I purpose to answer, and cite me again to take alarm and despise Satan.” Proaway my life as an enemy to the ceeding on to Mentz, he was adEmpire, I shall go; for I will not vised to turn aside to Ebenburg, a flee, Christ being my helper, or fortress belonging to Sir Francis desert the Word in the day of Seckingen, where he might hold a battle. I am persuaded, however, disputation with more personal that these bloody-minded men will
* “ Ein feste burg ist unser Gott.” A never rest till they have taken strong bold is our God.-Musée des Free away my life; though I could wish, testans eclébres, t. I. p. i. p. 183.
safety; and the Knight himself though you may easily understand sent Martin Bucer with a troop after from the Imperial citation the cause bim to Oppenheim, to urge the for which you are brought bither, same precaution; but the intrepid and ought therefore to return an Reformer was not to be diverted immediate answer; yet the Empefrom his purpose.
“ No!” said ror is graciously pleased to allow he, “ to Worms I am summoned, you one day for deliberation, comand to Worms I'll go, if there manding you to appear again at the were as many devils in the place as same hour to-morrow,
and give tiles on the houses!”.
your positive answer by word of On Tuesday the 16th of April, mouth, and not in writing.” he entered the city, Before the At his second appearance, he car rode the herald, clothed in his conducted himself with a modest tabard, on which was painted the dignity, which must have commandGerman eagle. The street was ed the respect of the assembly. His thronged with people of all ranks, speech was distinct, his tone calm, eager to catch a glimpse of the his manner collected, his air deman who had caused so great a vout. He began his address in stir. Several Saxon noblemen ad- German, but was ordered to change vanced to pay him their respects; that language for Latin; on which but the Duke of Bavaria's jester is he paused, and drew breath for a reported to have met him, with while, overpowered with heat on such a cross as is used at funerals, account of the number of byand to have sung aloud,“ Wel- standers, and feeling a natural awe come art thou, and much desired in the presence of so many soveof
us, who sate in darkness!” He reigns; so that one of the electoral was drawn to the hotel of the Teu- courtiers, a Thuringian knight, hutonic Knights of Rhodes, near the manely advised him to refrain from lodgings of the Elector of Saxony; further speech; but as soon as he and as he stept from the car, he had recovered, he proceeded in said, in the hearing of the crowd, Latin, Frederick much approving “ God will be on my
that regulation. The next day he was conduct- “ If should offend, most mighty ed privately through a garden, to Emperor, and most illustrious avoid the throng, and up some Princes, either by unsuitable exback stairs into the hall where the pressions or unbecoming manner, Diet was assembled. An official I pray that I may be pardoned, of the Archbishop of Treves pro- and that it may be attributed to the duced a bundle of his works, and retired mode of life which I have asked him two questions, by order led as an academician. For truly of the Emperor; first, whether he all I can say in my own behalf is, acknowledged those books as his that in simplicity I have taught own? and, secondly, whether he such doctrines, as I verily believe meant to retract or defend their tend to the glory of God and the contents ? “ I demand," said salvation of man. Yesterday I Schurfius, “ that their titles be read answered with respect to my writover.” When this preliminary was ings. I own these publications, gone through, Luther answered in and am responsible for their conbrief: “ As far as relates to the tents, so far as they are really books, they are mine; : but whe- mine ; but I cannot be answerable: ther I shall defend all their con- for any additions which may have.. tents, is a question of the greatest been made by others. As to the moment, and I require space for second question, I beseech your deliberation, that I may do nothing Imperial Majesty, and your Serene rasbly.” The Official replied, “ Als Highnesses, to observe, that all the.