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ligion as soft and inoffensive as was possibly consistent with the views of the reformers. But the Popish clergy objected to it. And the divines in the reformation would come no lower. Charles turned from them to the princes of the reformation. But they were no less zealous, than were the divines. The emperor then obtained a vote of the majority of the diet, (there being many ecclesiastical princes in it) condemning the tenets of the reformers, and containing things of a threatening aspect. The Protestant states upon this were alarmed: and they assembled at Smalkalde, and formed a solemn league of defence. They also formed an alliance with Francis, king of France, and Henry, king of England; who confederated with them, not indeed to favor the reformation; but to cramp their great rival Charles. Upon this the emperor was alarmed, and became more moderate. And as the Turks were now threatening him, he formed terms of pacification with the Protestants at Nuremberg, which were ratified at the diet of Ratisbon, agreeing, that the laws in force against the Protestants should be void; and all should enjoy liberty of conscience, until a general council, which Charles engaged should be called if possible within six months. The emperor had often proposed to the Pope to call a council to sit in Germany, to settle their religious disputes. But the Pope had ever been reluctant. He doubtless understood, better than did the emperor, that his affairs could not endure such an investigation; and especially of a council sitting in Ger. many, where all the Protestant divines had a right to attend and act. The Pope wished rather to crush the reformation by dint of power. And the Protestants had good reason to believe that Charles designed to attempt the same, if more peaceful means proved ineffectual. They therefore renewed their league of Smalkalde in 1535; and it was signed by the elector of Saxony, the duke of Brunswick, the landgrave of Hesse, the duke of Wurtemburg, the dukes of Pomerania, the princes of Anhalt, the counts of Mansfield, the count of Nassau, and by the deputies of twenty
four free cities. * We here learn to how great a de. gree the sore on the men, who had the mark of the beast, became offensive; and to how great a degree, the abomination of the Papal system was unfolded.
The Pope, that he might crush the reformation with a better grace, set about a reformation in his own system. He deputed a number of cardinals and bishops to inquire into the abuses and corruptions of the Romish court; and to propose the best method of correcting them. In this duty they were reluctant, slow, and remiss. Defects they touched with a gentle hand, afraid of probing too deep into the dismal sore. But many enormities they could not but expose; while the remedies suggested were wholly inadequate, or were never applied. The report of these deputies was designed to be kept a secret in the court of Rome. But it got air. It reached Germany. It was made public. And it afforded the Protestants ample matter for reflection and triumph. This added weight to the remonstrances of the reformers. And it evinced, that it was in vain to expect a reformation from the Catholics; who (as Luther on this occasion expressed it) “piddled at curing warts; while they overlooked, or confirmed Ulcers. How striking, that Luther him. self, in expressing what was discovered in the Papal see, should, without any view of the language of the first vial, use the very word there used! The word there translated sore, in the original is feanos, from which the English word, ulcer is derived. Luther discovered a noisome and grievous sore on the men, who had the mark of the beast.
The depth and rankling nature of this sore upon the men, who had the mark of the beast, appeared in the attempts made by the Pope and the German emperor to crush the Smalkalde league. However long Charles had dissembled his designs, and however long his wars abroad had prevented his being able to use violent means to crush the reformation, he still carried the purpose in his heart, if other means should prove ineffectual. And as he
*Hist, Ch. V. vol. iii, p. 89.
found a cessation of his wars abroad about the year 1547, he made his arrangements to carry his purpose into effect. But his designs being perceived by the vigilant Protestants, they with incredible celerity made their arrangements to meet him. And notwithstanding Charles, by his fair protestations of having no de. sign against the Protestant religion, but only to crush a political faction, had caused many Protestant cities to remain neutral, and some even to join with him, he in a short time found 70,000 foot and 15,000 horse in arms against him, with 120 cannon, 8,000 beasts of burden, and 6,000 pioneers. The emperor was astonished at their numbers and force! But for want of experienced generals, and through the treachery of Maurice, to whom the elector of Saxony had committed the care of his dominions in his absence, as well as through the superior generalship of Charles, this ar. my of the reformers was soon dispersed. And Charles for a time thought he was going to effect his purposes, both of crushing the reformation, and of destroying the liberties of Germany. But such were the numbers and zeal of the reformers, and such their view of the abomination of Popery, that his attempts proved vain. Maurice, who had deserted the Protestants, now became alarmed for the liberties of Germany; and in a plan of deep policy he out-generalled Charles, rescued both the cause of the Protestants, and the liberties of Germany out of his hands, and brought about the peace of Passau, in 1552, which was confirmed in the diet of Augsburg, in 1555; and which formed the basis of the religious peace in Germany. The following are chief articles of this recess: “That such princes and cities, as have declared their approbation of the confession of Augsburg, shall be permitted to profess the doctrines, and exercise the worship, which it authorizes, without interruption or molestation from the emperor, or the king of the Romans, or any power or person whatsover: That the Protestant powers on their part shall give no disquiet to the princes and states, who adhere to the tenets and rites of the church of Rome: That for the future no attempt shall be made
toward terminating religious differences, but by the gentle and pacific methods of persuasion and conferences: That the Popish ecclesiastics shall claim no spiritual jurisdiction in such states, as receive the confession of Augsburg. That such as had seized the benefices or revenues of the church, previous to the treaty of Passau, shall retain possession of them, and be liable to no prosecution in the Imperial chamber on that account. That the supreme civil power in every state shall have right to establish what form of doctrine and worship it shall deem proper; and if any of its subjects refuse to conform to these, the government shall permit them to remove, with all their effects, whithersoever they shall please. That if ny prelate or ecclesiastic shall hereafter abandon the Romish religion, he shall instantly relinquish his diocese or benefice; and it shall be lawful for those, in whom the right of nomination is vested, to proceed immediately to an election, as if the office were vacant by death or translation, and to appoint a successor of undoubted attachment to the ancient system.”* No doubt there are defects in this instrument, in point of religious liberty. But when we consider when, where, by whom, and in favor of whom it was confirmed, we see in it the death wound of the Papal beast, and a discovery of the rottenness of the Romish system, which must have issued in its ruin. The above articles extended only to those of the reformers who embraced the confession of Augsburg. Consequently the followers of Zuinglius, and of Calvin, who viewed that confession as too soft toward the Catholic interest, remained without any legal protection from the rigor of the law against heretics, till the treaty of Westphalia, nearly a century after that of Augsburg. And in France, and other Papal countries, that compact afforded no protection to the Protestants.
But the reformation spread into other countries with amazing rapidity. The Pope himself now felt the fatal nature of his wound; and he languished under
*Hist. Ch. V, rol. iii, p. 181.
it. Of the council of Bologna, called to deliberate on their wretched affairs, after a broken, unavailing session, Dr. Robertson remarks, “The Pope had no choice, but to dissolve an assembly which had become the object of contempt, and exhibited to all Christendom a most glaring proof of the impotence of the Romish see."* The emperor Charles himself took an occasion from the above incident to stigmatize the Pope, and to endeavor to render him odious even to all zealous Catholics. And various things occurred which did in fact render him odious to the Papal, as well as Protestant world; particularly the folowing incident. Pope Julian bestowed the cardinal's hat (the most sacred official gift in his power) on one Innocent, an obscure youth of about 16 years of age, known by the name of the ape; because he took the care of an ape in his master's family. Upon this strange occurrence, Dr. Robertson remarks; “In an enlightened age, when by the progress of knowledge and philosophy, the obligations of duty, and decency were better understood, when a blind veneration for the Pontifical character was every wliere abated, and one half of Christendom in open rebellion against the Papal see, this action was viewed with horror." Libels filled even Rome itself, satirizing the Pope upon this conduct; and imputing it to a horrible, nameless pas- sion, which the Pope was supposed to have indulged toward this youth.
Pope Julius III, brought indelible disgrace on the Pontifical chair. While his nuncio Morono was laboring by his direction at the diet of Augsburg, to set aside the peace of Passau, which has been noted as in favor of the Protestants, the Pope was at the same time wallowing in licentiousness in his capital at Rome. Through excessive indulgence he had become averse to all, serious business. An application which required attention to business was made to him, which he wished to avoid; for which purpose he feigned himself sick. And to give plausibility to his pre
* Hist. Ch. V, vol. iii, p. 457.