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these proceedings Christiern II. was animated by no other motive than that of ambition. It was the prospect of extending his authority, and not a zeal for the advancement of true religion, that gave life and vigour to his reforming projects. His very actions, independently of what may be concluded from his known character, evidently show that he protected the religion of Luther with no other view than to rise by it to supremacy, both in church and state ; and that it might afford him a pretext for depriving the bishops of that overgrown authority and those ample possessions which they had gradually usurped, and of appropriating them to himself. A revolution produced by his avarice, tyranny, and cruelty, prevented the execution of this bold enterprise. The states of the kingdom exasperated, some by the schemes he had laid for destroying the liberty of Denmark, others by his attempts to abolish the superstition of their ancestors,' and all by his savage and barbarous treatment of those who dared to oppose his avarice or ambition, formed a conspiracy against him in the year 1523, by which he was deposed and banished from his dominions, and his uncle Frederic, duke of Holstein and Sleswick, placed on the throne of Denmark. XXXII. This prince conducted matters with much more rogress equity, prudence, and moderation, than his prede:cessor had done. He permitted the protestant doc
tors to preach publicly the opinions of Luther,s
I but did not venture so far as to change the established government and discipline of the church. He contributed, however, greatly to the progress of the reformation, by his successful attempts in favour of religious liberty, at the assembly of the states that was held at Odensee in the year 1527. For it was here that he procured the publication of that famous edict, which declared every sub ject of Denmark free, either to adhere to the tenets of
of the reformation under the reigns of Frederic and ChristieraIII.
q See Jo. Grammii Diss. de Reformatione Danice a Christierno tentata, in the third volume of the Scriptores Societ. Scientiar. Hafniens. p. 1–90.
r See for a confirmation of this part of the accusation, a curious piece, containing the reasons that induced the states of Denmark to renounce their allegiance to Christiern II. This piece is to be found in the fifth volume of Ludewig's compilation, entitled Reliquiæ M. Storam, p. 515, in which, p. 321, the states of Denmark express their displeasure at the royal favour shown to the Lutherans, in the following terms ; “Lutheranæ hæresis pullatores, contra jus pietatemque, in regnum nostrum catholicum introduxit, doctorem Carolostadium, fortissimum Lutheri athletam, enutrivit."
s See Jo. Molleri Cimbria Literata, tom. ii. p. 886. Carist. Olivarii Vita Pauli Eliæ, p. 108. Erici Pontoppidani Annales Ecclesiæ Danicæ, tom. iii. p. 139.
the church of Rome, or to embrace the doctrine of Luther.' Encouraged by this resolution, the protestant divines exercised the functions of their ministry with such zeal and success, that the greatest part of the Danes opened their eyes upon the auspicious beams of sacred liberty, and abandoned gradually both the doctrines and jurisdiction of the church of Rome. But the honour of finishing this glorious work, of destroying entirely the reign of superstition, and breaking asunder the bonds of papal tyranny, was reserved for Christiern III. a prince equally distinguished by his piety and prudence. He began by suppressing the despotic authority of the bishops, and by restoring to their lawful owners a great part of the wealth and possessions which the church had acquired by the artful stratagems of the crafty and designing clergy. This step was followed by a wise and well-judged settlement of religious doctrine, discipline, and worship, throughout the kingdom, according to a plan laid down by Bugenhagius, whom the king had sent for from Wittemberg to perform that arduous task, for which his eminent piety, learning, and moderation rendered him peculiarly proper. The assembly of the states at Odensee in the year 1539, gave a solemn sanction to all these transactions; and thus the work of the reformation was brought to perfection in Denmark."
XXXur. It is, however, to be observed, that, in the history of the reformation of Sweden and Denmark, we must carefully distinguish between the reforma- ,
tion of religious opinions, and the reformation of . the episcopal order. For though these two things we of Sweden may appear to be closely connected, yet in reality they are so far distinct, that either of the two might have been completely transacted without the other. A reformation of doctrine might have been effected without dimi
A distinction to be observed when we speak of the reforroa 110g of Sweden
Dpt It was farther added to this edict, that no person should be molested on account of his religion, that a royal protection should be granted to the Lutherans to desend them from the insults and malignity of their enemies; and that ecclesiastics, of whatever rank or order, should be permitted to enter into the married state, and to fix their residence wherever they thought proper, without any regard to monasteries, or other religious societies.
u Erici Poutoppidani, see a Gerinan work of the learned Pontoppidan, entitled 1 Compendious View of the History of the Reformation in Denmark, published at Lubec in 8vo. in 1734 ; as also the Annales Ecclesiæ Danicæ, of the same author, tom. ii. p. 790, tom. iii. p. 1. Henr. Muhlius de Reformat, religionis in vicinis: Daniæ regionibus et potissimum in Cimbria, in ejus Dissertationibus Historico Theologicis, p. 24. Killia, 1715, in 4to.
ms, for the inline, there winor violence
nishing the authority of the bishops, or suppressing their • order, and on the other hand, the opulence and power of
the bishops might have been reduced within proper bounds without introducing any change into the system of doctrine that had been so long established, and that was generally received." In the measures taken in these northern kingdoms, for the reformation of a corrupt doctrine and a superstitious discipline, there was nothing that deserved the smallest censure; neither fraud nor violence were employed for this purpose; on the contrary, all things were conducted with wisdom and moderation, in a manner suitable to the dictates of equity and the spirit of Christianity. The same judgment cannot easily be pronounced with respect to the methods of proceeding in the reformation of the clergy, and more especially of the episcopal order. For here certainly violence was used, and the bishops were deprived of their honours, privileges, and possessions, without their consent; and indeed notwithstanding the greatest struggles and the warmest opposition. The truth is, that so far as the reformation in Sweden and Denmark regarded the privileges and possessions of the bishops, it was rather a matter of political expediency than of religious obligation; nay, a change here was become so necessary, that
P w "This observation is not worthy of Dr. Mosheim's sagacity. The strong coanexion that there naturally is between superstitious ignorance among the people, and influence and power among their spiritual rulers, is too evident to stand in need of any proof. A good clergy will or ought to have an influence, in consequence of a respectable office, adorned with learning, piety, and morals ; but the power of a licentious and despotic clergy can be only supported by the blind and superstitious credulity of their flock.
DP x What does Dr. Mosheim mean hero? did ever a usurper give up bis unjust (possessions without reluctance ? does rapine constitute a right, when it is maintained hy force? is it unlawful to use violence against extortioners ? The question here is, whether or no the bishops deserved the severe treatment they received from Christiern III. and our author seems to answer the question in the affirmative, and to declare this treatment both just and necessary, in the following part of this section. Certain it is, that the bishops were treated with great severity, deposed from their sces, imprisoned on account of their resistance; all the church lands, towns, and fortresses, annexed to the crown, and the temporal power of the clergy abolished. It is also certain, that Luther himself looked upon these measures as violent and excessive, and even wrote a let. ter to Christiern, exhorting him to use the clergy with more lenity. It is therefore proper to decide with moderation on this subject, and to grant, that if the insolence and licentiousness of the clergy were enormous, the resentment of the Danish monarch may bave been excessive: Nor indeed was his political prudence here so great as Dr. Mosheim seems to represent it ; for the equipoise of government was hurt, by a total suppression of the power of the bishops. The nobility acquired by this a prodigious degree of influence, and the crown lost an order, which, under proper regulations, might have been rendered one of the strongest supports of its prerogative. But disquisitions of this nature are foreign to our purpose. It is only proper to observe, that in the room of the bishops, Christiern created an order of men, with the denomination of superintendents, who performed the spiritual part of the episcopal office, withont sharing the leasi shadow of temporal authority.
so unjustly aalty rendered of the means
had Luther and his doctrine never appeared in the world, it must have been nevertheless attempted by a wise legislator. For the bishops, by a variety of perfidious stratagems, had got into their hands such enormous treasures, such ample possessions, so many castles and fortified towns, and had assumed such an unlimited and despotic authority, that they were in a condition to give law to the sovereign himself, to rule the nation as they thought proper; and, in effect, already abused their power so far as to appropriate to themselves a considerable part of the royal patrimony, and of the public revenues of the kingdom. Such therefore was the critical state of these northern kingdoms, in the time of Luther, that it became absolutely necessary, either to degrade the bishops from that rank which they dishonoured, and to deprive them of the greatest part of those possessions and prerogatives which they had so unjustly acquired and so licentiously abused, or to see tamely royalty rendered contemptible by its weakness, the sovereign deprived of the means of protecting and succouring his people, and the commonwealth exposed to rebellion, misery, and ruin.
XXXIV. The kingdom of France was not inaccessible to the light of the reformation. Margaret, queen of Navarre, sister to Francis I. the implacable progress in this enemy and perpetual rival of Charles V. was ex- France. tremely favourable to the new doctrine, which delivered pure and genuine Christianity from a great part of the superstitions under which it had so long lain disguised. The auspicious patronage of this illustrious princess encouraged several pious and learned men, whose religious sentiments were the same with hers, to propagate the principles of the reformation in France, and even to erect several protestant churches in that kingdom. It is manifest from the most authentic records, that so eariy as the year 1523, there were, in several of the provinces of that country, multitudes of persons, who had conceived the utmost aversion both against the doctrine and tyranny of Rome, and among these, many persons of rank and dignity, and even some of the episcopal order. As their numbers increased from day to day, and troubles and commotions were excited in several places on account of religious differences, the authority of the monarch and the cruelty of his officers intervened, to support the doctrine of Rome
The rise arat
perpetua bus shadlight of Rich ob
ache aus Pider there fore ranei
by the edge of the sword and the terrors of the gibbet; and on this occasion many persons, eminent for their piety and virtue, were put to death with the most unrelenting barbarity. This cruelty, instead of retarding, accelerated rather the progress of the reformation. It is nevertheless true, that under the reign of Francis I. the restorers of genuine Christianity were not always equally successful and happy. Their situation was extremely uncertain, and it was perpetually changing. Sometimes they seemed to enjoy the auspicious shade of royal protection ; at others they groaned under the weight of persecution, and at certain seasons they were forgot, which oblivion rendered their condition tolerable. Francis, who had either no religion at all, or at hest no fixed and consistent system of religious principles, conducted himself towards the protestants in such a manner as answered his private and personal views, or as reasons of policy and a public interest seemed to require. When it became necessary to engage in his cause the German protestants, in order to foment sedition and rebellion against his mortal enemy Charles V. then did he treat the protestants in France with the utmost equity, humanity, and gentleness; but so soon as he had gained his point, and had no more occasion for their services, then he threw off the mask, and appeared to them in the aspect of an implacable and persecuting tyrant.'
About this time the famous Calvin, whose character, talents, and religious exploits, we shall have occasion to dwell upon more amply in the course of this history, began to draw the attention of the public, but more especially of the queen of Navarre. He was born at Noyon in Picardy, on the 10th of July, 1509, and was bred up to the law," in
y See Beze, Histoire des Eglises Reformees de France, tom. i. livr. i. p. 5. Benoit, Histeire de PEdit de Nantes, livr. p. 6. Christ. Aug. Salig. Histor. August. Confession, vol. ii, p. 190.
m z The inconsistency and contradiction that were visible in the conduct of Francis I. may be attributed to various reasons. At one time, we see him resolved to invite Melancthon into France, probably with a view to please his sister the queen of Navarre, whom he loved tenderly, and who had strongly imbibed the principles of the Protestants. At another time we behold him exercising the most infernal cruelty towards the friends of the reformation, and hear him making that mad declaration, “ that if he thought the blood in his arm was tainted with the Lutheran heresy, he would have it cut off ; and that he would not spare even his own children, if they entertained sentiments contrary to those of the catholic church." See Flor. de Remond, Ilist. de la Naissance el du Progres de l'Heresie, livr. vii.
p a He was originally designed for the church, and had actually obtained a benee fice; but the light that broke in upon his religious sentiments, as well as the preference