« הקודםהמשך »
ries of Lutber and the pat.
ed by the transgressor. The doctrine of Tetzel was indeed directly opposite to the sentiments of Luther; for this senseless or designing monk asserted, that all punishments, present and future, human and divine, were submitted to the authority of the Roman pontiff, and came within the reach of his absolving power. This matter had often been debated before the present period; but the popes had always been prudent enough to leave it undecided. These debates however being sometimes treated with neglect, and at others carried on without wisdom, the seeds of discord gained imperceptibly new accessions of strength and vigour, and from small beginnings produced, at length, revolutions and events of the most momentous nature. · v. The sentiments of Luther were received with applause by the greatest part of Germany, which had long the adversagroaned under the avarice of the pontiffs, and the neste extortions of their tax gatherers, and had mur- rons or Tetzel. mured grievously against the various stratagems that were daily put in practice, with the most frontless impudence, to fleece the rich, and to grind the faces of the poor. But the votaries of Rome were filled with horror, when they were informed of the opinions propagated by the Saxon reformer; more especially the Dominicans, who looked upon their order as insulted and attacked in the person of Tetzel. The alarm of controversy was therefore sounded, and Tetzel himself appeared immediately in the field against Luther, whose sentiments he pretended to refute in two academical discourses, which he pronounced on occasion of his promotion to the degree of doctor in divinity. In the year following, 1518, two famous Dominicans, Sylvester de Prierio and Hogstrat, the former a native of Italy, and the latter a German, rose up also against the adventurous reformer, 'and attacked him at Cologn with the utmost vehemence and ardour. Their example was soon followed by another formidable champion, named Eckius, a celebrated professor of divinity at Ingoldstadt, and one of the most zealous supporters of the Dominican order. Luther stood firm against these united adversaries, and was neither vanquished by their arguments, nor daunted by their talents and reputation; but answered their objections and refuted their reasonings with the greatest strength of evidence, and a becoming spirit of resolution and perseverance. At the same time, however, he addressed him
A conference is held be. tweeu Lutber apd Cajetan
self by letters, written in the most submissive and respectful terms to the Roman pontiff, and to several of the bishops, showing them the uprightness of his intentions, as well as the justice of his cause, and declaring his readiness to change his sentiments, as soon as he should see them fairly proved to be erroneous. vi. At first, Leo X. beheld this controversy with indif
ference and contempt; but being informed by the
nce emperor Maximilian I. not only of its importance, aware Cabernehmer but also of the fatal divisions it was likely to pro** Augsburg. duce in Germany, he summoned Luther to appear before him at Rome, and there to plead the cause which he had undertaken to maintain. This papal summons was superseded by Frederic the Wise, elector of Saxony, who pretended, that the cause of Luther belonged to the jurisdiction of a German tribunal, and that it was to be decided by the ecclesiastical laws of the empire. The pontiff yielded to the remonstances of this prudent and magnanimous prince, and ordered Luther to justify his intentions and doctrines before cardinal Cajetan, who was, at this time, legate at the diet of Augsburg. In this first step, the court of Rome gave a specimen of that temerity and imprudence with which all its negotiations, in this weighty affair, were afterward conducted. For instead of reconciling, nothing could tend more to inflame matters than the choice of Cejatan, a Dominican, and consequently, the declared enemy of Luther, and friend of Tetzel, as judge and arbitrator in this nice and perilous controversy. VII. Luther however repaired to Augsburg, in the
month of October, 1518, and conferred, at three of different meetings with Cejatan himself, concern
ing the points in debate. But had he even been disposed to yield to the court of Rome, this imperious legate was, of all others, the most improper to encourage him in the execution of such a purpose. The high spirit of Luther was not to be tamed by the arrogant dictates of mere authority; such, however, were the only methods of persuasion employed by the haughty cardinal. He, in an overbearing tone, desįred Luther to renounce his opinious, without even attempting to prove them erroneous, and insisted, with importunity, on his confessing humbly his
q There is a large account of this cardinal given by Quetif and Echard, Scriptor. Ordin. Prædicalor. tom. ii. p. 14.
The issue or this conierence.
fault, and submitting respectfully to the judgment of the Roman pontiff. The Saxon reformer could not think of yielding to terms so unreasonable in themselves, and so despotically proposed; so that the conferences were absolutely without effect. For Luther, finding his adversary and judge inaccessible to reason and argument, left Augsburg all of a sudden, after having appealed from the present decisions of the pontiff to those which he should pronounce, when better informed; and in this step he seemed yet to respect the dignity and authority of the bishop of Rome. But Leo X. on the other hand, let loose the reins to ambition and despotism, and carried things to the utmost extremity; for, in the month of November, this same year, he published a special edict, commanding his spiritual subjects to acknowledge his power of delivering from all the punishments due to sin and transgression of every kind. As soon as Luther received information of this inconsiderate and violent measure, he perceived, plainly, that it would be impossible for him to bring the court of Rome to any reasonable terms: he therefore repaired to Wittemberg, and on the 28th of November, appealed from the pontiff to a general council.
vui. In the mean time, the Roman pontiff became sensible of the imprudence he had been guilty of in intrusting Cajetan with such a commission, and the tranenca endeavoured to mend the matter by employing a titz. man of more candour and impartiality, and better acquainted with business, in order to suppress the rebellion of Luther, and to engage that reformer to submission and obedience. This new legate was Charles Miltitz, a Saxon knight, who belonged to the court of ; Leo X. and whose lay character exposed him less com to the prejudices that arise from a spirit of party, than if he had been clothed with the splendid purple, or
The transactions of Mii
All the projects of reconciliation disconcerted in 1519.
r The imperious and imprudent manner in which Cajetan behaved towards Luther was highly disapproved of even at the court of Rome, as appears, among other testimonies, from Paulo Sarpi's History of the Council of Trent, book i. p. 22. The conduct of Cajetan is defended by Echard, in his Scriptor. Ordin. Prædicator, tom. ii. p. 15, but with little prudence and less argument. The truth of the matter is, that the court of Rome, and its unthinking sovereign were not less culpable than Cajetan in the whole of this transaction. Since they might easily foresee, that a Dominican legate was of all others the most unlikely to treat Luther with moderation and impartiality, and consequently the most improper to reconcile matters.
s See B. Christ. Frid. Borneri Diss. de Colloquio Lutheri cum Cajetano. Leips. 1722, in 4to. Val. Ern. Loschuri Acta et Documenta Reformat. tom. ij. cap. xi. p. 435, opp Lutheri, tom. xxiv. p. 409.
the monastic frock. He was also a person of great pru-
· sures' taken by Cajetan to draw Luther anew
gestions of superstition and tyranny, maintained and avowed with the most frontless impudence. A man, who began by commanding the reformer to renounce his
The nature of the conferences between Mil titz and Lutber.
: t See B. Christ. Frid. B: The records relating to the embassy of Miltitz, were first published by Ern. Salomon Cypriams, in Addit. at Wilh. Ern. Tenzelii Histor. Reformat. tum. i. ii. As also by Val. Ern. Loseherus, in his Acta Reformat. tom. ii. c. xvi. and tom. iii. cap. ii.
u In the year 1519, Leo x. wrote to Luther in the softest and most pacific terms. From this remarkable letter, which was published in the year 1742, by Loscherus, in a German work, entitled Unschuld Nachrict, it appears, that at the court of Rome, they looked upon a reconciliation between Luther and the pontiff as certain and near at hand.
DP w This whole ninth section is added to Dr. Mosheim's work by the translator, who thought that this part of Luther's history deserved to be related in a more circumstantial manner than it is in the original.
errors, to believe, and that upon the dictates of mere authority, that “ one drop of Christ's blood, being sufficient to redeem the whole human race, the remaining quantity, that was shed in the garden and on the cross, was left as a legacy to the church, to be a treasure from whence indulgences were to be drawn and administered by the Roman pontiffs ;" such a man was not to be reasoned with. But Miltitz proceeded in quite another manner, and his conferences with the Saxon reformer are worthy of attention. He was ordered indeed to demand of the elector, that he would either oblige Luther to renounce the doctrines he had hitherto maintained, or, that he would withdraw from him his protection and favour. But, perceiving that he was received by the elector with a degree of coldness that bordered upon contempt, and that Luther's credit and cause were too far advanced to be destroyed by the efforts of mere authority, he had recourse to gentler methods. He loaded Tetzel with the bitterest reproaches, on account of the irregular and superstitious means he had employed for promoting the sale of indulgences, and attributed to this miserable wretch all the abuses that Luther had complained of. Tetzel, on the other hand, burdened with the iniquities of Rome, tormented with a consciousness of his own injustice and extortions, stung with the opprobrious censures of the new legate, and seeing himself equally despised and abhorred by both parties, died of grief and despair. This incendiary being sacrificed as a victim to cover the Roman pontiff from reproach, Miltitz entered into a particular conversation with Luther, at Altenburg, and without pretending to justify the scandalous traffic in question, required only, that he would acknowledge the four following things : 1st, That the people had been seduced by false notions of indulgences, 2dly, that he, Luther, had been the cause of that seduction, by representing indulgences as much more heinous than they really were ; 3dly, that the odious conduct of Tetzel alone had given occasion to these repre
DP x Such, among others still more absurd, were the expressions of Cajetan, which he borrowed from one of the decretals of Clement VI. called, and that justly, for more than one reason, extravagants.
DP y Luther was so affected by the agonies of despair under which Tetzel laboured, that he wrote him a pathetic letter of consolation, which however produced no effect. His infamy was perpetuated by a picture, placed in the church of Pinna, in which he is represented sitting on an ass, and selling indulgences.