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to Leo X., in which, while he affectionately like Herod and Pontius Pilate, in an analo describes the Pope personally as
“ a lamb in gous predicament, acted in concert: nor is the the midst of wolves, and like Daniel in the den Reformer insensible to the danger which of lions .... that none but Iscariots were threatens himself, and what he held far more fit for such a glory," and that, in a word,“ to dearly—his sacred cause. He looks upwardbe a Christian, was not to be a Roman;" he his soul collects its energies at the footstool of urged his abdication of the polluted pontificate, the heavenly throne, like the fabled eye of the adding : “Seeing that in my endeavours to eagle gathering strength from her gaze at the succour the see of Rome, I have been losing “Not a leaf falls from a tree without both my cares and labours, I said to it, Fare- the will of our Father,” said he; “how much well, Rome! Let him that is unjust, be unjust less can we? It is a small matter to die for still: let him that is filthy, be filthy still.” the Word; for that Word, which became in. But the Bull that anathematized him, so far as carnate for our sakes, died Himself first.” At its bitter malignity could extend, from all other times, he could not repress his scorn at human sympathy and intercourse, social, the manquvres of Eckius, his old polemical religious, or political, was already at the doors antagonist, who had conveyed the Bull from of Luther's residence. It summoned him to Rome. “I know nothing about Eck;" said he, appear at Rome within two months to take his “but that he has arrived with a long beard, a trial for heresy, the sentence for which was long Bull, and a long purse." "It does not ordinarily pronounced in the crackling tones meet me,” said he, "with a single reason... of the martyr's faggots. He, and all that Already I feel more free at heart; for now, at thought with him, were cut off from all rights, length, I know the Pope is Antichrist, and natural or acquired, declared guilty of high that his seat is that of Satan himself." treason, incapable of any legal act, of property, Up to this period, Luther was most relucfreedom, or worship, and infamous alike in life tant to break communion with the Pontif. and death and burial. Yes, in burial : but He was no Iconoclast even in doctrine, and Luther's feeling was like an old English would have preserved the sweet images of worthy's, recorded by Fuller, who, when the
peace and Catholic unity had it been possible. Jesuits in Spain, having every exhausted argu- But mere images, and awfully idolatrous ones, ment, to induce him to turn Papist, plied him had they become--"Eyes had they, but they sau with the last threat of refusing him burial, not” the evils perpetrated under their sanction replied, “Not bury me? then I'll stink.”
ears had they, but they heard not” the disHis books were to be burnt, and it was a tant murmuring of the thunderbolt ready to crime to publish, to preach, or even read his burst upon their abominations--"hands had works. This was the furious version of Chris. they, but they handled not,” except the rough tian liberty which Rome returned in exchange handling of every Reformer that would have for Luther's pamphlet. This was, and is, the healed their abuses. Hearts, indeed, they had canonical idea of toleration which would be not; and this is the only solution of the un. republished in every state in Europe, from the feeling brutality with which personal piety, stereotyped edition in the Vatican, if they truth, Scripture, freedom, reformation, and dared to attempt it.
evangelical hope, were sacrificed by hecatombs We are more indebted to the fears, than to at their insatiable shrines, the feelings, of Rome, for our religious liberty. But Christendom was to be healed by her The Pope lets us alone—but why? Like very wounds; it was the surgery of the Church Shakespeare's apothecary, "bis poverty, and --the scalping-knife cutting off the corruption not his will, consents!” This is the English which would not yield to the milder influence of those Encyclical letters, which present so of medicine. Luther did not break with Rome turbulent a contrast to the epistles of a Paul, until Rome broke with Luther, and exiled that but for the anachronism, we could imagine him with mediæval ignominy from her obsti. them an intercepted correspondence of Annas nate pale. But the Bull was a monstrous and Caiaphas, with our old acquaintance, anachronism. The world was too old to be Judas Iscariot.
frightened any more by a Papal bugbear. Ah, Luther, if you had not burned such an Luther had printed his translation of the homicidal Bull, history would have cast your Scriptures, and the Bull was too weak for the own memory into the fire.
Bible. Revelation had revealed the iniquities The great Emperor Charles V. and the Pope, of Rome, as well as its own sacred contents.
Like the miracles of Moses, it had demon. usurped, --when we couple with this fact, the strated alike the hand of the true God, and lonely isolation of the Reformer, at once anthe legerdemain of the Egyptian priesthood. tagonizing against himself the mightiest civil
All Germany was now in suspense, her eyes Potentate that had occupied the Imperial fixed upon Wittemberg to see what the Great throne of Germany since the days of Charle. Doctor was next to do. Would he continue magne, and the ablest spiritual Pontiff since firm? Luther answered, on November 4th, the papacy of Hildebrand,-history presents no 1520, by a terrible manifesto, entitled “Against parallel to such an attitude of holy daring, the Bull of Antichrist,” the echo of whose except His “who in all things had the prethunderbolt has lingered among the hills of eminence,” who rebuked the assumption of a Germany these three hundred years. His Pro-consul of Pagan Rome with the memorenemies within the University, as well as with. able words, “Thou couldest have no power out, were secretly planning his expulsion from at all against me, except it were given thee Wittemberg. The Emperer declared he would from above." There is something like it in the protect the old religion; and auto-da-fés, to reply of St. Paul, who, with all Luther's reve. consume the arch-heretic's writings, were at- rence for the hierarchy of his Church, when tended by princes and counsellors of State. his judge commanded him to be illegally Luther now took the decisive step which ori. smitten, retorted the denunciation: “God ginated the word “Protestant,” which was to shall smite thee, thou whited wall!" appeal from the Pope to a general council, an Had Luther faltered here, the Reformation act which was itself treason against the ponti. might have failed: but his protest now swiftly fical prerogative.
flew, like the Gospel of the mighty angel in the On the 17th of November, a notary and five Apocalypse, among every "nation, and kindred, witnesses, among whom, singularly enough, and tongue, and people;” and nearly every was one named Cruciger (the bearer of the court in Christendom was served with a copy, cross), met in Luther's monastery, and drew with all the formal solemnities due to so up the famous protestation, wherein he calls momentous a document. upon“the emperor, the electors, princes,counts, This first act of Protestantism appears to barons, knights, gentlemen, counsellors, cities, be a grand climacteric of audacity that left and boroughs of the whole German nation, to nothing bolder to be done; but Luther had a adhere to his protestation, and join him in still bolder step in reserye. He resolved to ont. resisting the antichristian conduct of the Pope, pope the Pope. If the Pontiff excommunicate for the glory of God, and the defence of the Luther, Luther excommunicates the Pontiff; Church and Christian doctrine."
if there had been a bonfire for his books, there They who gave in their adherence to this should be a bonfire for the Pope's. It assumed famous protestation received the name of the form of a public duel (where, however, "Protestants, name which we are not nearly all the seconds were on the side of his ashamed of yet, a name involving the whole antagonist) between the lordly son of the question of civil and religious liberty.
Medicis, and the lowly son of the Mansfeld Lather's "writing of divorce," as D'Aubigné miner. Both entered the lists resolved to give calls it, wound up with the solemn and heroic and take no quarter, and, in the shock of a con. peroration,
flict which “then shook the earth, and yet "But should any one despise this my prayer, once again shall shake all nations,” it was and continue to obey that impious man, the thrust for thrust; and not a blow was dealt on Pope, rather than God, I, by these presents, one side, which was not returned with greater wash my hands of the responsibility thereof, effect on the other. The Pope advanced like having faithfully warned their consciences, and Goliath, confident in his hosts, and in the brute I leave them to the supreme judgment of God, strength of temporal sword and spear; Luther, together with the Pope and all his adherents." like David, with a single sling and a stone,
When we consider the fearful power of the chipped, as it were, off the Rock of Ages: and Vatican at the moment it was thus magnani. the result was the overthrow of Romanism, and mously defied--a power that enacted through. the decapitation of Papal supremacy in the out Christendom, by means of its legions of German empire. agents, a blasphemous parody upon the Omni. On December 10th, 1520, the walls of the potence and Omnipresence of Deity itself, University of Wittemberg bore a public notice, whose incommunicable honours it dogmatically inviting the attendance of the professors and
students, at nine o'clock on the morrow-morn. of the event which inspired it. The great ing. They were to assemble at the East-gate, classical events of Protestant chronology only the emblematic quarter of the resurrection, as want such paintings to give them that glory if from the ashes of the fire to be kindled there, and distinction in the arts which they already were to rise the sacred phænix of a regenerated possess in history and theology. Luther Christianity. A large concourse, both of the and his cohort reach the spot. On bis right, doctors and students, gathered themselves to. a little in the rear of the Reformer, the pensive gether, scarcely knowing by what secret spirit of Melancthon occupies that position in magnetism the intrepid monk had attracted the picture, which his own bumility assigns them to himself, and exercised over their minds him in history, his beautiful wife leaning the irresistible influence of a mighty moral fondly on that arm that itself leant meekly gravitation. Many of them were, doubtless, on the arm of God. Near them follows Luther's trembling on the brink of the Rubicon, which noble pupil, Count Albert, learning in this they, at least, had not yet transgressed, and, last parabolic act of his illustrious tutor a perhaps, were loath to take the final irrevo. lesson worth all he had learned before. The cable step. The centripetal force of habit, bluff Ulric Von Hutten smiles a laugh that is education, tradition, prejudice, and numbers, obviously on the point of exploding, at a scan. that inclined them to the apostolic see, was dalised friar indignantly dragging away from counteracted by the centrifugal influence of the impious scene a reluctant dame, whose truth and righteousness that drew them to sympathies are clearly left behind her in the the side of the Reformer. Still the mass of scuffle. A pile of combustibles was already them, perhaps, like Israel on Mount Carmel, reared upon
the ground, and one of the oldest were "halting between two opinions,” till, Masters of Arts, the snows on whose venerable alike in a spiritual and material sense, they brow, like an Arctic crater, had not quenched realised “a God that answered by fire.” It nor even cooled the natural fire within the was a crisis where the hesitation seemed sacred bosom where God bad kindled it, advanced to the parting infirmity of human nature, but beyond the rim of the crowd, and, setting fire the decision hallowed by the triumph of Divine to the heap, stood watching the process of grace.
ignition with the yearning of a Parsee. The They were not held long in suspense. Pre work of the righteous incendiary broke forth sently Luther appeared, habited, perhaps for into a blaze, and, just as the flames rose the last time, in his Augustinian cowl; as if he furiously, licking their ruddy tongues like had put on the Papal livery to give greater beasts of prey bungering for their meal, emphasis to the act by which he abandoned its
seen approaching, and throwing service for ever! The lofty eye of the Re- into the roaring jaws of the element, Gratian's former was seen scanning the learned host, in “Abridgment of the Canon Law,” the “ Decrethe midst of which he strode like the officers tals," the “ Clementines," and the "Extrava. of the Hebrews on the eve of battle, saying, gantes of the Popes.” He stood watching the “What man is there that is fearful and faint progress of their consumption, in a silence so hearted ? let him go and return unto his house, deep and awe-stricken, that, as if zealous in lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his His business “who maketh His angels spirits, heart.” “He wished to rid himself of some and His ministers a flaming fire,” the very old papers; and fire, thought he, is made for crackling of the fagots was audible in the that!” He found himself involuntarily at the ears of the multitude, and seemed to ignite a head of a mighty movement, and led them in burning echo in their hearts. procession, like a column of the Church Winter though it was, the ancient sun militant, to the solemn tournament. A dense smiled down gaily upon their new Christmas mass of enthusiastic thousands hailed their bonfire, as if he recognized in its comparatively approach with those thunders of applause--feeble glare the dawning of a higher and the dread artillery of the million-which holier lustre than his own, when the Day. shakes the thrones of despots, and strikes a spring from on high should revisit benighted paralysis into their guilty souls.
Christendom, and proclaim within the dimness This, it will be remembered, is the scene of minster aisle and cloister cell, “Let there of Daval's historical picture-a picture, the bę light !" grandeur of whose design and execution seems When the voluminous mass of Papal for a poetical efflux of the essential greatness geries and tyrannies had been consumed, and
the breeze, like a breathing of the wind that was required to say simply and clearly whether "bloweth where it listeth," was already scatter- he would or would not retract his opinions.” ing their ashes on the heads of the people, as if “My answer,” said Luther, instantly, “shall in symbol of their repentance of having so long be direct and plain. I cannot think myself yielded to the sin and superstition thus re- bound to believe either the Pope or his councils; nounced, Luther laid his manly hand upon for it is very clear, not only that they have the pope's Bull--a band that trembled, not often erred, but often contradicted themselves; with fear, hut with the natural emotion insepar. therefore, unless I am convinced by Scripable from such a solemn crisis, and, holding it ture or clear reasons, my belief is so confirmed aluít, like the ancient wave-sheaf before the by the Scriptural passages I have produced, and altar of burnt incense, in the sight of God and my conscience so determined to abide by the man, he cried, " Because ye have troubled the Word of God. that I neither can nor will retract body of the Lord, therefore let eternal fire trouble anything; for it is neither safe nor innocent to you," and cast it, as the Apostle shook off the act against a man's conscience." Luther then riper” at Melita, into the fire.
pronounced these words in the German lanThe superhuman grandeur of that act burst guage: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise. the pent-up stillness of the vast multitude-it God help me. Amen." broke its way through to the popular heart, Of course the issue of the Diet of Worms and there arose from earth to heaven such a was an cdict of excommunication, which was wild delirous shout, as seemed to fling its echo drawn up with all possible rancour and malice beyond the skies! The free spirit of Germany by the Papal legate, Alexander. Luther was revelled in the luxurious magnanimity of the condemned as “a notorious heretic," and "all great fact: and when the Reformer quietly persous were forbidden, under the penalty of moved back towards the city, the electric spark | high treason, to receive, maintain, or protect ran its jubilant shock through every bosom; him." But German sympathy with the Reand doctors, professors, students, soldiers, former was already strongly evoked: and in populace, women, and children, accompanied spite of Papal effort the Reformer was allowed Luther into Wittemberg, shouting, laughing, twenty-one days to return bome, during which singing, praying, crying, clapping their hands, time the public faith was pledged for his safety. dancing their feet, tossing their heads, and He left Worms, in fact, à conqueror. But it lifting up tbeir hearts in one grand hallelujah was so manifest that his enemies were deter. chorus, shouting "Glory to God and the Bible!” mined upon his destruction, that the Elector of and “ Long life to Luther, the Liberator of Saxony, with much secrecy, and by means of a their German fatherland!”
little friendly force, conveyed him to the castle Luther's after-life presents a continuous of Wartburg. * struggle to maintain the antagonistic position In this "Patmos," as he called it, Luther he had so courageously assumed, and to spread remained ten months, and then returned to the doctrines of the Word of God-the only Wittemberg. Here he published a reply to rule of faith to be recognized as binding npon Henry VIII., who had #ritten a book against the Caristian conscience. In April, 1521. lie bim on the seven sacraments. He also printed presented himself at the Diet of Worms before a translation of the New Testament, which the emperor and a vast assemblage of the greatly alarmed the Romanists, and severe princes and prelates of Germany. He there made an elaborate and eloquent defence of the * Wartburg Castle was the asylum of Luther from May 4, course which he had pursued, and the books
1521, to March 6, 1522. It crowns one of a noble chain of
hills in Saxe-Weimar, as shown in the engraving (page 490). which he had published. So powerful was this An hour's walk up the steep ascent brings the visitor to the address, that privately the Elector of Saxony summit, whence a glorious panorama opens to the view. A expressed his approbation and astonishment.
sea of rocks and wooded hills in every variety of form un
dulates around; whilst nearly a thousand feet below, Eisenach But Rome has never been disposed to listen to
is faintly discerned, appearing as a pretty little model of a reason or argument. And Eckius, before German town--the whole forming as lovely a scene as is to be Lather had well concluded, cried out in much
witnessed in Thuringia. Luther, besides completing a large
portion of his translation of the Bible in this asylum, wrote heat and passion, “That he had not answered to
several treatises against auricular confession, monastic vows, the point; that he was not called upon to give clerical celibacy, and prayers for the dead, against the Sor. an account of bis doctrines; that these had been
bonne of Paris, which had condemned his works, and which already condemned in former councils, whose
he had exposed to public ridicule. Tho Duke of Saxe-Weimar,
at great expense, recently restored the principal part of the were not now to be questioned; that he castle to the same state it was in in the fifteenth century.