Charles Ebert Hay.

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He saw in the act a fulfilment of the declaration
of tlie Psalmist : "I will sj)eak of thy testimonies
also before kint;s, and will not be ashamed," and
thanke<l God that he had lived to see the day.

The course of history has fully justified his esti-
mate of the event. The })olitical combinations
ami }tlans, which to many seemed matters of su-
jtreme importance, are now well nijzh for^^otten,
but tlie Augsburg Confession yet stands befori'
tlie World as the vital embodiment of the spirit of
the Reformation and one of the grandest trophies
of the Christian ages. In it we find, in perfect
combination, Luther's prophetic vision of pro-
foundest spiritual truth and Melanchthon's
matchless skill in accurate exjjression. It has
been j»ractically the model for all subse(]uent
Protestant confessions, and, translated into many
languages, tlie firm bond of union between all
l>ranches of the great Lutheran communion.

The reading of the Confession made a deep im-
pression upon the a.ssenjbly. Its ])rin(iples were
so large ly in accord with the accej>ted doctrines of
the Church, so reasonable, and so convincingly
stated, that prejudices faded away before it, and
the bitterest enemies were inspired with deep re-
spect for their antagunistd.


Fonrcitios, led hy Strnssl>ur<?, proscntj^l thronpli
tlu'ir rcprcst'iitalivt'S an iinltjxii.lriit cniifcs.-ii.n,
known to history as the Tetrapolitana, au'l
Zwingli a<l(lr«-ssi'(l to tliu Kinporor a statement of
hisown vifwsand those of liisininiediateassociates.
Of the hitter, nothing; more was lieard, while the
former attained some importance at a hiter (hiy as
an exposition of views intermediate between those
of I.uther and Zwin<:li. Neither played any further
part in the ])roeeedin,«rs of the Diet.

The KmjKTor appointed a eonnnissJMn of lend-
in*; Komish theolo^dans to ])repare a Refutation.
The result of their labors, after having heen
several times referred haek to them as imsatisfac-
tory, was finally accepted and read to the Diet on
Aujiust 8d as the expn^ssion of the Emj)eror's
views, in accordance with which he ])roposed to
regulate his course in the matter. The re<|U(\^t of
the Reformers for an oflieial copy was refused.
Three days later, Philip of Hesse, in disgust, Kft
the city without imperial pfTinission.

\'arious efforts were made to effect a com-
promise between the opposing parties — a result to
wliich the Emperor would have ))y no means been
averse. The Romanists, under the direction of
the papal legate, Campeggio, who was extraordi-
narily liberal in his own views, ma<le larL'c eon-
c<'Hsi(»ns upon points of d(M'trine, whil«' Melanch-
thon was ready to yield much in tlu* sphere of
outward obs«Tvances, even to the ext«'nt of recog-
nizing the jurisdiction of the Roman bishops in
the temponil alTairs of the Church. Wet ks of
t^nliouH negotiations proving utterly fruitless, the
Emperor on September ITlh announce<l that he
wouM labor to scM-ure the calling of a general
council, but that the Prot4'stants must meanwhile
conform U) all the ri'«iuirements of the estal>lishetl


Chunli. The latter ri'plied, :is at Spires, that
tlu'V coiiM not disobey their eonscienees.

Afti'r further ])arley, the KniixTor on September
22(1 (leelared tliat the Confession had been re-
futed and rejected, and that he proposed to
unite with the Pope and other Christian jirinees
in exterminating the troublesome seet that had
,L:iven it l>irth. The Elector Jolni left Au<rsl)urg
on the followinfr <hiy. Luther joined his retinue
at Cobur«?, and, after si)endin^ some days with the
court at Torgau, returned to Wittenberg. He had
taken no interest in the proceedings following the
}>resi'ntation of the Confession, exce}>t to examine
ami passionately condenm the various formulas
of eomjjromise suggested and constantly urge his
fri( nds to steadfastness in maintaining the truth
which they had so gloriously confessed.

Tlie formal edict was j)romulgated Nov(Mnber
VM\\. It allowed the Protestants live months for
rcilection, })romised earnest effort to secure the
calling of a council within six months, l)ut for-
l)ade in the meanwhile tlie printing or sale of
evangelical documents or the making of j)rose-
lyt<s, and demanded the restituti<jn of cloisters,
submission to the authority of Uomish l)ishops,
etc. Luther set the exanjjjle of obedience (?) by
publisliing at once a scathing review of the
'•so-called iiuperial edict," in the name of the
trutli defying "all emperors, wliether Roman,
Turk or 'fartar, Pope, cardinals, bishops, i)riest*<,
princes, lords, and the whole world, with all the
devils l)esides." He denounced the apparent
friendliness of tln' ])apal party, as l)ut manifest-
ing their willingness to sacrilice the very ci'utral
doctrines of their system touching salvation if
tiny miu'ht but secure their Imld upon the bene-
liccs AWi] ni:iiiit;iiii tlitii- >c.iii(lal(»iis d is>.ip;ition.


WAH eL«»l i>- M \ 1 M'.

Thk qnostion wliothcr armed resistance of
the Emperor would uiuU'r any circuiiistanccs Ik*
justilicMl, now }>ecanie an intensely j)ractiial one.
Luther still ur^^cd the duty of sulmiis.^ion to law-
ful authority at any sacrilice. liut wlnn the
counselors of the Elector jjointed out tliat the
Emperor's course itself was illepd as he was
transcending the limits of the authority vested in
his otfice hy the constitution of the empire under
whicli he had heen elected, Luther iinally with-
drew his opposition, casting the responsjltility of
deciding the legal (juestions involve<l ujton the
jurists, within whose j>rovinc(' such matters lay.
Scrupk's of consciences l)eing thus allaytnl, the
princes were not slow in prejiaring fur the worst.
At a convention of the Smalcald League, held in
Decemher, the confederates resolved to resist with
their united forces any attempt to execute the
edict of Augshurg.

Duke Ferdinand was in January, loiU, in
acconlance with the Enij»vror's desire, hut in dis-
regard of the constitutional rights of the (ierman
jtrincts, < rownrd King of the Roman Empire
of Germany at Cologne — a st« p calculated to
greatly facilitate the execution of the Emperor's
plans on (Jcnnan territory during the prolonged
abHcnccH of the latter. The Evangelical Princes
were strongly averse to the new arrangement, hut
only the Saxon Elector ventun*d to enter public
protest againat it. The lines were now lirinlv


drawn U]»on l>')th sides, and all looked forward
witli anxiety to the inevital)le elash of arms.

The cities of Southern Germany were still
oxeluded from the cniifcdiratinn of the ovan«:eli-
cal princes npon doctrinal ^'rounds. ThroiiL'h the
active mediation of Bucer, they were uow induced
to a<lopt a new fornmla, suhscrihed also hy <Eco-
lam])adius, in which they ai)proached much more
nearly to Luther's view of the Lord's Supper.
This document, thoujxh not altogether satisfactory
to the latter, led him to assume a more tolerant
attitude, and was regarded hy the princes as a
sutlicient concession to entitle its signers to repre-
sentation in the Smalcald League, which was thus
greatly strengthened.

All efforts to prevail upon Zwingli to m<»(lify
the statement of his extreme vi<ws proved futile.
lie became, however, more deei»ly involved in
the political contlicts of his native land, an<l
met a patriot's death upon the field of Cap-
pel, October 3Lst, 153L CEcolampadius died a
few weeks later, and the influence of Switzerland
in the doctrinal discussions of (Jermany rapidly
waned, while the crushing defeat of Zwingli's
plans banished all thought of political combina-
tions in that (piarter.

Having entered the field of politics, the League
now cmbrace(l the o])portunities soon afforded of
forming strange alliances. The Dukes of lia-
varia, althou<;h strict Romanists, were exceed-
ingly jealous of th(i encroachments of the Emperor
and stood ready to join the Protestants in resist-
ing the latter, while the Kings of France and
Kngland, impelle'l by similar motives, sent mes-
sages of encouragement. All such movements
couM but increase Luther's instinctive distrust
of the entire method of political mnf. .brMtioii.


He insisted tliat the cause of truth would he much
safer if left Fimply in the hands of (Jod.

lUit the cry for peace now eanie from the camp
of the adversary. Tlie Turkisli arnjy again in-
vaded Austria in tlic sjirinj^ of 1532, and the
services of tlic Snialcald heroes were sorely
needed by the Emperor. He j)roposed tlnre-
fore to grant to the actual mend)ers of the League
immunity from persecution until the assemhling
of the proj)osed council. The latter were not
satisfied with the concessions granted, hut in-
sisted that similar privileges should he accorded
to any others who might in the future join their
ranks. It was only hy the m(>st strenuous elTorts
of Luther that they were linally induced to accept
the terms thus offered. The *' Religious Peace
of Nuremberg," which was then guaranteed,
while hut a temi)orary arrangement, was a great
trium|»h for the cause of the Reformation. It
gave ollieial recognition and political standing to
the followers of the hniely monk win) had eleven
years hefore heen j»roelaimed an accursed outlaw.
Yet it came unsought, and was ])ossihle at last only
heeause that same monk exerted all his inlluence
to hold the princes firm in their allegiance to the
Emperor who had condemned him. The papal
representatives wept in mortification to see all
their ])lans of pei*secution thus thwarted, hut
Luther gratefully exclaime<l: ''(Jod has merci-
fully answire<l our poor juayers."

The Elector John the* Steadfast, through
whose unfaltering zeal the renewetl Church had
he<'n so firndy estai»lishe(l upon Saxon territory,
iVu'i\ in the faith, August KUh, LW2, his life's
Work heing well rounde<l out in the achievement
of the long-desin-*! n'ligious peace. Luther we]»t
like u child us he delivered the funeral address,

WAK (LidDs STAVED. 17")

ill wliicli lie attested in ^lowiniz tmiis the Clnis-
ti;iii chiiractcr ;iiul the fuitliful frimdsliij) of ihc
departed prinee. The son, John Frederick,
who succeeded his honored father, had been from
childhood an ardent admirer of the great Re-
former and continued to maintain relations of
the greatest intimacy with him, combined with
almost reverent regard. However storms might
beat without, in his own home-land T.uther was
now, and t<> the end of his days, assured of a sym-
l)athy as cordial as ever existed between a gener-
ous prince and his most honored subject.



With the year 1532 hej^an for Luther a period
of conijmrative ininuinity from distracting con-
llicts. He was now inahlcd to devote liinisclf
anew to conirrnial literary lal•(.r^^ In lo-'U lie
finished Ins translation of the Bible, including
the Apocrypha, and ]>ultlished the tirst complete
edition. In the following year appeared the
richrst ])rodu(t of his academic Urtures, his large
Commentary upon Galatians, in which lie
develojis with all the ardor of his earlier days
the supreme importance of simj)le faith, and de-
jjicts in glowing terms the atoning work of Christ,
lie found great delight also in prosecuting liis
lectures upon Genesis, i)reached frcipiently in
his own house and in the church, and conducted
a wide an<l constantly growing correspondence.

T«^ the hroadcning intluencc of these devotional
labors is doid)tless to he in large measure attri-
buted the remarkable mildness now disj)laycd
by the Keformer toward those who difTered with
him upon imjxntant points. Nor was this merely
a i)assing mood. During the years now l)cfi»rt'
UH, the desire that all earnest friends of the
(ioH|)el might \tv united in bon«ls of mutfial
confidence liuils frnpn-nt expression in Ids cor-
r(*Hpondence. T<> atl^iin this, he declares tliat he
wouhl gladly lay down his life. Not for the sake
of political advantage does he desire it, but for
the honor of Christ's name an<l the 8]»iritual ad-
vancement of llitt kingdom among men. While


not al):itinu' JV tittle of his own views, lie nut
witli candid cordiality the cfTorts of lUicer and
othei-s to secure harmony ainon<r all who ])ro-
fessed with him the cardinal doctrine of salvation
tlirou«:li faith alone.

A collo(|uy of tlieolojxians, held at Cassel under
tlie leadership of Melanchthon and liueer, pre-
pari'd the way for a fuller conference, whicli was
called hy tlie authority of the Elector John Fre<l-
erick and Philip of Ilcsse, to meet at Eisenach in
May, 1536. As Luther was unahle to leave his
liome at the appointed time, the theoloirians as-
semhled at Wittenberg The timorous Melanch-
thon, who dreaded a fresh outhreak of the earlier
strife, having used every efTort to delay the
assemhlini? of the conference, failed to aj)i>ear at
its ojM'nin^' session. It soon hecamc apj)arent
that a irreat advance had been made l)y the min-
isters of SoutluTU (Germany in the direction of
Luther's views. After a free cxjiression of senti-
ment nj)on the doctrine of the Lord's Supper and
a private consultation of the Wittenberg theo-
lojrians in an adjoinin^^ apartment, Luther, with
l>eamin^' countenance, announced that he and his
associates were prepartd to extendi the hand of
fraternal recognition to all the asseml»l<d
brethren and tliose whom tliey rei)resented. The
declaration was received with tears of joy, with
folded hands, and reverent ejaculations of thanks-
giving to God.

On the following day, no diiliculty was exj)eri-
enced in att;iininL' hariii«>ni<ius eon<'lusions in the
statement of other leading doctrines upon which
opinions had dilTcred. Tiie next day, being the
festival of the Ascension, Luther preached with
more than his usual ])ower fnun tlw great com-
mission of the departing L«»rd to His Church:


**Go ye into all the world and preach the Oospcl
to every creature." It was, further, brought to
li^dit that even in Switzerland the extreme views
of ZwinirH had hcen aliandoned hy many, an<l
all aj^n-ed to d(»al kindly and patimtly with any
who mi;:ht still cling to the teaching of their
former leader.

The eelehration of the holy communion with
the Wittenherg conirreL'ation on the Lord's day
was a public confirmation nf the happy con-
clusion of the delil)erati«uis. The use of candles
and clerical robes in the services awakene<l some
anxiety among the delegates from remoter sck^-
tions, hut their fears were allayed when tlu'y were
assured that hut little importance was attached
to these ancient forms and that they were often
dcsigne(lly omitted.

On >h)nday morning a fornnda drawn liy the
hand of Melanchthon was signed by all the par-
ticipants. It was understood, indeed, that the
little company there j)resent could speak only for
themselves, and that their conclusions would he
hinchng upon others only when f(»rmally accepted.
Hut tlie •* Wittenberg Concord," with its cor-
dial endorstiMciit of pulpit and ahar f(ll»>wship,
efTcML'ted a practical union of the evangelical
churches of (iermany, which was maintained
until the outbreak of new controversies after the
<leath of Luther.

The movement thus happily consummated
must be credited, in its inception, to the zeal of
the practical Philip of Hesse and the mediation
of the indefatigable Huccr. Their planning would
have lK»on futile, however, had it not been for the
remarkable persistency of Luther in advocacy
of the conferent-e and his readim-.-s to toKrate the
utmost divergencies of statement which did not


for liiin iu'(.'i'?;sarily involve :i denial of funda-
mental truth. It is a circumstance not to be
overlooked, that the first efTectual summons to
harmony and toleration within the ranks of the
reformed Church went forth from Wittenberg.

(•nAPTi:i: xxi.

rAKi.i:vi.\(; w nn thk rArisxs.

The Peace of Xur(Mnl)iir^ assured iinnuinity
from perseeiition only to those who were already
attached to the cause of the Reformation. As if
in mockery of this fechle attempt to clieck the
risim: tide, the followini: years were marked hy
almost constant defections from the ranks of
the Romanists. Philij) of Hesse found occasion
to snatch Wiirtemher^ from the control of the
Haps))urg8, and at once re-organized its churches
upon evancflioal principles. One after another,
the imi)ortant cities aloni^ the Rhine, includin«^
Au«:sl)ur^', and whole sections of Northern (ler-
many threw off the yoke. The Smalcald Leairue
had become a power to he r(\><pected. Even the
Emperor and the Pope l)e<;an to realize that it
would he impossible to crush this vij^orous move-
ment by force of arms. Events in the political
horizon were constantly reminding; the former
that he mi«;ht at any moment sorely need the
support of a united (Jermany.

W'itliin the same period tlirrc IkhI arisen an
iiillu< ntial party within the Roman Catholic
church which sincerely desired a reform of lla-
granl abuses, and was willing:, to this en<l. to
welcome even the Protestants to a general coun-
cil, in the hope that by duo concessions they
miglit yet l)e induced to acknowledge in some
Fcnse the authority of the Pope. Upon the drath
of Ch-ment VII. in I'M, his successor, Paul III.,
prumiHcd to summon a cnuncil to nnct at Mantua

rAKLKViNc wrm riii: rAi'isi-s. 181

and clispatrhcd a diploiiiiitic messenger to (Jcr-
nuuiy to iiwaken an interest in the project, or at
least i)revent the threatened caHin*^ of an inde-
pendent council of the (Jernian churches. The
legate, Vergerius hy name, exceeded his in-
structions wlieii, led hy curiosity, he visited
Wittenberg and invited Luther and his friend
Ikigenhagen to breakfast with liim. The Re-
former, appreciating the humor of the situation,
had himself smootldy shaven that he might ap-
pear young and vigorous, put on his best clothes,
with a golden chain about his neck, and, to use
his own expression, "])Iayed the genuine Luther"
to the dismay of the disconci-rted dignitary, treat-
ing him with scant courtesy and sliucking his
sense oi j)ropriety by tlie l)oldest self-assertion.
The legate left in indignation, in his report of the
interview denounced Luther as a "beast," but
thirteen years later renounced a lucrative ])osition
and jmblicly adopted the i)rinciples of his un-
manageable guest.

The Poj)e having ])roclainied May 23d, 1537, as
thi! date for a general council, the Elector re-
(juested Lutlier to prepare a statement of the
doctrines which he would maintain at all hazards
before a council or when brought face to face with
death and the throne of judgment, and to j>resent
the same to his foremost associates for their en-
dorsement under the same solemn sanctions. The
result was the document known to history as the
Smalcald Articles. It ])resents the doctrines of
the Augsburg Confession in Luther's own vigor-
ous style, with an additional pungent article
U])on the papacy. It was carrie<l l>y the IClector
to a convt'Ution of the Protestant allies held at
Smalcald in February, l^.'^T, but there was no
occasion for itt> presentation, as the heroic princes


at oiu'o (Kvhircd that tlicy would liave nothing to
do with a founcil ])hMl^i'd in advance to the (•t)n-
denination of the truth and so constituted as to
Im) subservient to the will of tlie Pope. The
sijrnificancc of this Smalcald Convention lies
chiclly in the fact that it jircscntrd the lii>t direct
and open defiance of the ])apal authority upon
the j)art of the Protestant Estates,

Luther, who with Mdanclithon and P>iiir<ii]iaL't n
had acconipanicfl the I'^icctor, was taken seriously
sick soon after liis arrival at Smalcald, and it was
thoufjht for a time tliat the attack would certainly
prove fatal. He longed to die upon Saxon soil,
and with many misfrivinfrs the liomeward journey
was undertaken. The mcnd)ers of the conven-
tion feathered about as he was placed in his car-
riage, when, sitting uj), he made the traditional
sign of tlie cross al)ove tlie throng, saying : "The
I^)rd fdl you with His blessing, and with hatriKl
of the Pope."

The aj)|)arent <]isposition upon the part of tlie
Papists to compromise arouse<l all tlie old lire of
the Reformer. He i»ublishcd in rapid succession
a series of pamplilets in vigorous polemic tone,
fnllnwe.l in 1'):;'.) I .v a large work entitled, *' Of
Councils and Churches," in which lie utterly
shattered the claim of infallil»ility made in behalf
<»f the papal councils, and marked out in broad
lines the cliaractcristics of the true Christian

While Luther continued thus t<i storm the
tottering fortifications of tin* papacy, the hand of
I*rovidi'nce was w<»rking wondrous transformations
in th«- jiolitieal aspect of the nation. Duke
(leorge, of Ducal Saxony, the bitterest i>ersonal
enemy of Luther an<l his cause, died suddiidy
soon after, follow iiiL' hi'-, two sons to the irrave. and


his })n)f]u'r Honry at once jxnmtcd to the jjt'oplo
of the nahn the CJosjx'l j)riviU'u«'s lon^j denied
them. :in<l now eagerly welcomed. Branden-
burg, Mecklenberg and distant Denmark had
also become Protestant tcrrit«»ry.

At a convention of the Smalcald League held
at Frankfort in April, 1531), a dele«^ate from the
Emperor gave the assurance that no active meas-
ures would he taken against the Protestants for
the next eighteen months, and that the (Jerman
testates should be i)ermitted, at a convention called
for the purpose, to name a connnittee who should
endeavor, in conjunction with a commission ap-
pointed by the Em})eror, to f(^rmulate a basis of
union between the oj)posing j)arties in Germany.
This was a large concession. It made provision
practically for what the Reformers had long de-
sired — a council of the German Church, with
no reference to the authority of the Pope. The
latter was furious, but the Emperor was in posi-
tion, at that particular juncture, to profit by the
alarm of His Holiness, and hence continued to
encourage the hopes of the Protestants.

After a series of ])reliminary meetings, includ-
ing a four-days' colUxjuy at \\'orms between Mel-
anchthon aad the old arch-enemy of Luther,
Jolm Eck, the Emj)eror at length decided that the
religious (|Uestions should be freely considered at
a regular Diet of the Empire, to be held at Ratis-
bon in the spring <»f \i')i\. He himself a])j>ointed
a commission of three representative men from
each party, Eck, King and (;ru]>per on the on<»
side, and upon the other Melanehthon, Pueer and
Pistorius. The selection indicated a real desire
ujion the part of the Emperor to elTect a reconcili-
ation of the opposing parties, and the attempt
was made under the most favorable circum-


stances. It is of special interest for us to note that
Luther, wlio wius at tliis time so tolerant toward
variant factions in the Kvan«;elieal party, had no
faith whatever in any favoralde result from these
n«'<r<»tiatinns with the Tapists. While advising his
friends to meet tlie advances of the ICmperor in a
kindly spirit, and always wi-leominf? opj>ortunitit's
to discuss the points at issue, he cahnly warned
his hopeful iussociates that these schemes would
not succeed unless a reconciliation could first be
brought about between Christ and IJelial.

The work of the commission at first proceeded
with astoundinix rapidity. Formulas were
adopted upon tlic subjects of thr oriLMiial state'
of man, freewill, the origin of evil, am! ••liLnnal
sin. Upon tin* vital (juestion of justification by
faith, the Komish theologians yielded the tra-
ditional dcjctrine of their church, and agreed to a
sUitement which might be understood in a strictly
evangelical sense, though leaving some room for an
un<lue e.\altation of man's own works of love.

At tliis sta-ji' of tlir work, its results were sub-
mitted to the Elector John Frederick. His
attention was at once fixed ui)on tlie cumbrous
article upon justification by faith. Too many
words! — sai<l the honest, straightf«)rward man —
and the force of its positive statements neutralized

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