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Hermann Marcus Kottinger.

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not less than two Archishoprics and twelve Bishoprics, besides all
canonicates of Northern Germany, and a countless number of
Abbeys and convents. An universal outcry of horror passed through
the entire Protestant Germany; but too weak to resist longer the
implacable enemy, she could only be saved by foreign succor ;
this was unexpectedly brought by Gustavus Adolphus, King of
Sweden.

§ 27. Concluded— Gustavus Adolphus— Battles of Leipsic and
Luetzen— Westphalian Peace.

Gustavus Adolphus turned his arms against Ferdinand, induced



S3

by the most important reasons. He saw his country, and his faith,
to which he was devoted with enthusiasm, threatened by the con-
quests the Emperor had already made, and was still increasing.
He felt himself also competent to the great enterprise. He was
the first General of his age, and his troops were the best. He
maintained strict discipline, and punished every excess in camp.
At the morning and evening prayers every regiment was to form a
circle around its preacher, and to perform its acts of devotion in
open air. He shared every fatigue with the soldiers, and was per-
sonally valiant. Such a leader was followed by the army into all
dangers.

Gustavus Adolphus landed with only 15,000 men, but they were
chosen warriors, and the Emperor himself soon augmented their
number by dismissing 18,000 men of his army, the most of whom
enlisted with the King. At the same time Ferdinand discharged
Wallenstein, his ablest General, on request of the command-
er's personal enemies. The King chased the Imperials from
Pommerania and Mecklenburgh, gave the latter country back to
her Princes, and allied with them. He invited also the electoral
Prince of Saxony to take part in the treaty ; but the latter, through
fear, hesitated to make up his mind. Meanwhile, General Tilly
took Magdeburgh by assault, and perpetrated an awful massacre
among the inhabitants (1631); 30,000 of them lost tlieir lives.
No age, no sex was spared. Infants were thrown into the flames,
and babes speared on the bosoms of their mothers. The entire
city was consumed by fire. The electoral Prince, and the rest of
the Protestant States did not tarry any longer to participate in the
league v/ith Adolphus.

The allies immediately tried their strength against the redoubt-
able Tilly, on "the large plain," near Leipsic (1631). This Gen-
eral charged the Saxons impetuously, and put them to flight ; only
a division of Swedes, which the King had added to them, stood
firmly. Meanwhile, Gustavus himself repelled the wild attacks of
the Imperialists with his Swedes. Seven times Poppenheim at-
tacked him, and he must always give way. Finally the King
mounted the hills, on which the hostile artillery stood, took it, and
directed it against the foe himself; thus Tilly's defeat was decided.



54

He took to flight; his army was annihilated. Ferdinand did not
any more despise the Snow King, as he ironically called Gustavus.

The King rapidly continued his victorious course, passed through
all Germany, defeated the Imperial troops everywhere, forced the
crossing over the J.eck, where Tilly fell on the field of battle, and
celebrated his entrance into Munich. In the meantime the Saxons
had conquered Bohemia.

Ferdinand had now no army, nor a General. In his difficulty he
applied entreatingly to Wallenstein, the offended subject, who in-
deed created for him a new army of 40,000 men in three months,
but he consented to take its command only on the condition of
dic-tatory power.

At Luetzen, in the environs of Leipsic, Gustavus Adolphus
attacked him. The Swedes rush on the Imperial troops with the
watchword, " God with us," and soon beat the wing against which
the King himself is fighting. The other wing wavers. The King
hastens to its aid. Being near-sighted, he is carried too near to
the ioQ. ; an Imperial Sergeant perceives him, and calls to a mus-
keteer : '' Discharge on him ; he must be a distinguished man."
That moment the ball shatters the left arm of the King. He
orders his companion to lead him out of the crowd, and on the
way receives a second shot through the back. "I have enough,
brother^" he says to him, "save only yourself," drops from the
horse, and dies.

The news of the King's death inflames his troops, instead of
dispiriting them, to new rage. The Duke Bernard of Weimar
leads on with the King's spirit; they twice cross again the hostile
ditches ; whole regiments expire on the place where they stand
fighting; Walhnstein's left wing is entirely routed ; fire seizes the
Imperial powder-wagons; Count Poppenheim, Wallenstein's
bravest General, is killed. At last night puts an end to the com-
bat, Wallenstein begins his retreat, and the Swedes keep the
battle ground More than 9,000 dead of both armies covered it.
Gustavus' corpse, disfigured by blood and wounds, robbed of the
clothes and the adornment, was drawn forth from under a mountain
of slain. The gray land-mark, where it was found, is since that
battle called the Swedes-stone.



55

War continued ; the Protestants fought with various fortune ; in
the battle at Noerdlingen they suffered another heavy blow (1634).
losing there 12,000 men. Many of their conquests were retaken
from them, and the electoral Prince, and other Protestant sovr
ereigns concluded ignominiously a separate peace with the Em-
peror. France, then, was ready to assist the Protestants in theip
distressed condition, declaring war against Austria. He paid
Bernard's troops their wages. This excellent General gained
several victories. After his death French Generals commanded his
troops. The Swedes themselves went on bravely fighting ; led by
the great Generals, Banner^ Horn, Torsiensohn, Wrangel, all pupils
of Gustavus Adolphus, they soon again obtained the superiority,
and maintained it almost continually till the end of the war.

In the meantime Ferdinand II. had died, and his son Ferdinatid
III. finally consented that a general congress of peace of the bel-
ligerent States ought to be convened (1640). The negotiations
were protracted, and continued in the midst of the tumult of arms,
until the Swedes invaded the hereditary States of the Emperor,
drove him to flight, and conquered a part of the city of Prague
(the Kleinseite). Then peace finally was concluded in Muenster
and Osnabrueck (1648J. According to it the three principal re-
ligious parties, Catholics, Lutherans and Reformers, ought to enjoy
equal rights, the Protestants to retain the ecclesiastic property
they had possessed before the year 1624, Sweden to obtain the Pro-
vince of Pommerania, and France that of Elsace.

The first effects of this lengthy war were dreadful. Germany
lost by it many millions of inhabitants ; whole countries were
utterly desolated, many towns rained, and the rays of civilization
for a long time extinguished. Still, the menacing preponderance
of the Spanish-Austrian dynasty was by it destroyed, the power of
the Papacy broken, and the tyranny of the Church annihilated. Free
investigation, especially in religious matters, was secured, an open
path beaten to the sciences, and the road to civil liberty prepared.

§ 28. Switzerland— Swingli— Calvin.

Contemporary with Luther, Ulricus ZwingH rose as a Reformer,
in Switzerland. He was a child educated by his uncle, who was



a clergyman. In Vienna he studied philosophy. He then applied
hinnself to theology, and took the orders of a priest. First he was
pastor in Glarus (1506), where he eagerly pursued his higher
mental culture. The Pope would have granted him a pension,
but he refused it. Fjom Glarus he was called (151 7) as a pastor,
ate to the village of Einsiedeln, which was frequently visited by
pilgrims who there worshiped the image of the Virgin Mary. In
his sermons he boldly censured the abuses of the Christian Church,
especially the nuisance of the indulgences, the worship of the relics,
and the pilgrimages. He also called upon the Bishop of Constance
to abolish these abuses ; but with no success. Finally he was
called by the Government of the Canton of Zurich to the city of
Zurich (1518), and here his higher efficiency commenced.

At that time the seller of indulgences, Bernhardin Sajnson,
came to Switzerland and gathered much money. Zwingli caused
that in Zurich his traffic was prohibited. In spite of the invectives
of his adversaries, especially among the friars, he continued to
censure the prevailing abuses of the Church, and defended his
doctrine in two public disputations with so good success that the
Government encouraged him to preach further the evangel. The
Reformation gradually succeeded. The images were removed from
the churches, processions and pilgrimages abrogated, the convents
abolished, matrimony allowed to the priests, the mass discarded,
and a.simple celebration of the Lord's Supper instituted, at which,
according to Zwingli's doctrine, bread and wine only as figurative
signs of the body and blood of Jesus were distributed.

In other Cantons similar reforms were accomplished. In Geneva
they were effected by the urgency oi /ohn Cahn?i. He was, indeed,
very active and zealous in the discharge of his official duties, but
also obstinate and sullen, nay, sometimes cruel. For he caused
the learned Michael Servctius, when traveling through the territory
of Geneva, to be taken prisoner, because he in a Latin book had
vented more liberal views on the Trinity than others. Calvin de-
nounced him as heretic teacher who deserved capital punishment,
and Servetius was burned.

In Switzerland, too, the Reformation was resisted, especially in
the interior Cantons. They marched their troops into the field.



57

The Reformed Cantons were disunited ; Zurich alone opposed the
the Catholics at Cappel with a feeble corps, which commenced the
attack (1531). Later the main corps arrived; the troops were
tired ; but Zwingli, who as chaplain accompanied them, admon-
ished them to fight, crying : " I, at least, will join these honest
men, and die with them, or help to save them." They obeyed his
advice, but were beaten with a loss of six hundred men ; the rest
took to flight. Zwingli, who was one of the last on the battle
field, was first hit with a stone, then wounded with a spear. As
he refused to invoke the Saints, he was killed, and his corpse quar-
tered and burned. The Reformers had to submit to a disadvan-
tageous peace, and in many places the Catholic ritual was re-estab-
lished.

§ 29. Spain— Revolution of the Netherlands— Philip 11.

In the Netherlands, which country at that time belonged to
Spain, the Protestants also suffered cruel persecution. Charles V.
issued several edicts by which it was ordered that they should be
beheaded, burned or buried alive. Whoever bought, sold, or even
copied a heretic-book for his own use, was punished with death.
During his reign from fifty to one hundred thousand Protestants
were there killed. In his testament he recommended to his son
and successor, Philip II., to extirpate, without any exception, all
heretics, and to maintain the Inquisition, this institution being the
fittest means to that end. The son readily complied with his coun-
sel. He established this Tribunal, and thereby caused revolts
which presented him a welcome pretext for destroying the heretics,
as he called the inhabitants ; for he declared that he would rather
not govern at all than to rule heretics. Conformable to his orders,
the Duchess Margaret his stadt-holder in the Netherlands em-
ployed the force of arms. She conquered the mal-contents after a
short resistance, and behaved cruelly towards the subdued ; by her
orders the Protestant Churches were destroyed, gibbets raised of
their rafters, and on them hundreds in every town suspended.
Now Duke Alva arrived at the head of a well-organized army, and
took Margaret's place. He had received unlimited power from
the King. He took the chiefs of the nobility, the Earls Egmont



58

and Horn, prisoners, and executed them. An uncounted number
of victims followed them ; even the sick were dragged from the
hospitals to the gallows. In Harlem the heroic citizens, two by-
two, were thrown into the sea. He boasted having executed, dur-
ing the six years of his administration, eighteen thousand men with
the executioner's axe, on funeral piles, etc. A larger number still
was killed by him on the battle-field. No rank nor age nor sex was
spared j for the King had declared the whole nation to be guilty
of revolt and heresy. But in the most cases the Protestants had to
suffer the fatal lot. The goods of the killed and proscribed were
confiscated; they brought the King annually at least twelve mil-
lion dollars profit.

After all, a heavy tax overturned Alva's terrorism. Besides the
hundredth part of the whole property, he commanded the inhabitants
to pay the twentieth of their immovable, and the tenth of the mov-
able goods, as often as they were sold. The nation rose and de-
clared (1572) William of Orange ^\.2AK-\iQ\Atx. Though the south-
ern provinces, in which the Catholic creed prevailed, separated from
the northern, William united the latter in a confederation, which
declared itself independent from Spain (1581), and elected William
its chief Soon after the Prince was shot by an assassin, who
would earn the prize Philip had promised to pay for William's
head. But his son Maurice followed after him as stadt-holder ;
both he and his brother Henry resisted the King bravely, and at
last Spain was compelled to acknowledge the independence of the
Netherlands in the Westphalic Peace (1648).

§ 30. France— War against the H'ciguenots— The Saint Bar-
tholomew—Henry I v.— Edict of Nantes— England-
Episcopal Church— Henry VIII.

In France the number of the Reformers was very considerable ;
even among the nobility and at the Court many of them were
found. They were called Huguenots, which name was probably
derived from the word " Eidgenossen" (confederates), as the Swiss,
among whofTzthe Reformed Church had the most members, were
usually called so. But King Francis I. persecuted them cruelly, he
even caused several of them to be burned, during a solemn pro-



59

cession. Under his son, Henry 11. , executions by fire frequently
occurred. Under the sons of the latter these persecutions turned
into open war. The Reformers, indeed, had bad success in several
campaigns ; still their religious liberty was always increased and
finally peace was made. Even a marriage was to be concluded be-
tween Prince Henry of Navarre, who confessed the reformed
creed, and the sister of King Charles IX. But probably the vigi-
lance of the Reformers was thereby only to be lulled to rest. The
noblest of them were allured to Paris, and lodged in the neighbor-
hood of Admiral Coligni, who was the leader of the Reformers.
The nuptials were celebrated in the ill-famed night of Bartholo-
mew (Aug. 24th, 1572). At a signal, given by the King, all Hu-
guenots in Paris, together with the Admiral, were murdered. The
Royal Guard, the city militia, and many inhabitants emulated
each other in fury and cruelty. The Catholics wore white crosses
as badges on their hats ; the windows of their dwellings were il-
luminated. In the royal castle the blood was drizzling in all cor-
ners. The murderers penetrated to the very bed-chamber of the
new-married Queen ; she fled to her sister, and saw at the door a
nobleman stabbed close to her; Charles himself fired at the fugi-
tives. The next day he walked with his courtiers through the
streets, looked at the decaying corpses, and, as they, disgusted,
turned away from Coligny's corpse, he jokingly said: ''A dead
enemy always smells nicely." His mother, too, passed with her
court-ladies through the streets, and rejoiced at the hideous sight.
The slaughtering in Paris lasted one week ; 5,000 men lost their
lives. To the Provinces also, Charles sent his orders for slaughter,
and only a few Governors refused to execute them. In all, at least
40,000 French Reformers were killed. Henry of Navarre must
forswear his creed ; as he hesitated to do so, Charles threatened to
kill him ; after this he' turned Catholic. The Pope celebrated the
news of the Saint Bartholomew like a holy-day, and got a medal
stamped in memory of it. Charles and his mother sent him the
bloody head of the generous Admiral Coligny ; he received it
laughing ; by his order the act of his murder was represented in a
picture and the ignominious words written below : '* The Pope ap"
proves and praises the murder of Colign.y."



6o

But the Reformers nevertheless remained unsubdued ; they con-
tinued the combat courageously, till Henry became King of
France ; he then granted them by the Edict of Nantes equal rights
with the Catholics (1598).

In England Henry VIII. (1509— 1547) founded the English or
Episcopal Church, the tenets of which are between the Catholic
and Protestant one. He carried his reforms into execution by
capital penalty, which he inflicted, without discriminating any
creed, on Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists. He put even
women and maidens, hardly being of age, to the flames, e. g. Anna
Askue, a lady distinguished by youth and beauty, who had slightly
doubted the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Supper. When
Mary, Henry's daughter, and wife of Philip U., King of Spain,
became Queen of England, she ordered the mass to be said again,
and subjected the country to the Pope. Within three years 270
Protestants were put to death in the flames. After her, Elizabeth,
also a daughter of Henry VHI. , and Mary's sister, reigned in Eng-
land (1558 — 1603) ; she reinstated the Episcopal Church, and
since, England has confessed its doctrine.

In other countries, too, besides Germany, Luther's doctrine was
introduced: in Sweden by Gustavus Wasa, and in Prussia hy Albert
of Bra?idenburg. The Reformed religion, according to the tenets
of Zwingli and Calvin, from Switzerland, passed to France and
the other countries along the Rhine, to Holland d.x\A Scotland.

§ 31. Outline of the Ecclesiastic Reforms— Their Effects— Dis-
tinctive Doctrines of the Several Churches.

Reformation created these improvements in the Christian
Church :

1. The belief in the infallibility of the Pope and of the univer-
sal Councils was dismissed, and the BilSle as the only source of
Christian creed accepted. Therefore its use was also permitted to
the people,

2. The Pope was not now generally acknowledged as the head
of the Christian Church. The secular power of the Pope and of
the Clergy in general was denied, and every sovereign claimed to
have a right to exercise it himself in his territory.



3- The rites and ceremonies were partly derogated, partly sim-
plified; in particular, were abolished : the auricular confession, the
mass and its accompanying instrumental music, the traffic of indul-
gences, and the pilgrimages. For the divine service plain songs
were introduced which had to be performed by the people, and
were only accompanied by the organ. The sermon ought to be
the principal part of the service. The most holy- days and the fast-
days were also abolished, the images of the Saints were removed
from the churches, and miatrimony conceded to the priests.

4. The convents of monks and nuns were abolished and their
revenues bestowed upon the care of the sick, and upon the instruc-
tion of youth.

The effects that the Reformation of the Church produced, were
very beneficial. The consciences of men were freed from the
arbitrary dictates of the clergy ; every one ought to have a right
to scrutinize for himself the truth in the Bible. The great treas-
ures of the^convents were employed for the public welfare. People
were no longer defrauded of their money by indulgences, masses,
confessions and pilgrimages. As most of the priests entered into
matrimony, and themselves educated children, their example exert-
ed also a salutary influence upon their parishes. In general, the
Reformation advanced progress in the sciences and the arts. Pro-
fusion and luxury were also limited, and a more frugal way of life
took their place.

On the other side, the Reformers attributed to the Bible too
much authority, declaring its dictates absolutely decisive; thereby
the liberty of conscience was again limited, nay, soon entirely
bound by their catechisms, and formulas of taith. For as the new
sects grew more powerful, their leaders ranged those books of Con.
fession over reason and Bible, and defined, like the Catholic
Church, as a first principle: "the Church instructs, reason must
keep silence."

In the above stated articles, all denominations of the Reforma-
tion together agree ; in some others their creeds and rites differ
from each other, namely : The Lutherans and the English Church
are superintended by Bishops, but the clergymen of the Reformers
are ruled by Synods, the members of which are partly ministers,



62

partly laymen. All ministers of the Reformation are mutually
equal in rank and dignity. The Lutherans believe that Christ's
body and blood are present in the bread and wine of the Lord's
Supper ; the sectarians of Zwingli think bread and wine to be only
the signs of his body and blood. The Reformers in France, Hol-
land and Scotland, where they are c^Wtd Presbyterians, believe that
God has destined some men from eternity to everlasting felicity,
others (even innocent children !) to everlasting damnation. The
Zwinglians do not believe in this doctrine.

§ 32. State of the Church— Expulsion of the Unitarians— The
Popes— Order of the Jesuits.

Soon differences arose between the new denominations of the
Church themselves. Luther already bitterly opposed Zvvingli's
view regarding the Lord's Supper, and the Langrave of Hessia ar-
ranged in vain a religious conference of both between them ; by
Luther's obstinacy every attempt at an amicable compromise was
frustrated. He did not keep the promise of mutual friendship
with which they had parted : he wrote with bitterness against
Zwingli. These internal quarrels even caused bloodshed in some
places ; e. g., in Holland the Presbyterians, who also were fighting
for political liberty, v/ere violently persecuted, many imprisoned,
others banished or executed.

In the southern part of Switzerland, SocinuSy a pious priest, had
uttered the persuasion that there is only one God, and that Jesus
is not his equal in essence, but that his nature was human. He
got many adherents, who called themselves Socinians or Unitarians^.
They were cruelly persecuted by their Catholic governors, and
finally expelled. The Papal legate ordered even to tear from them
their children ; but in this he was opposed by the Government.
In the middle of winter they were forced to pass, deprived of all
their property, with their wives and children, over the Alps, which
were covered with ice and snow. They wandered to Zurich, and
implored the inhabitants, who had already been converted to the
Reformed religion, to afford them a quiet home; even here, too.

they were turned away, being considered to be atheists. They
finally found an asylum in the forests of Poland, and in North
Ameiica.



63

The state of the Catholic Church grew worse and worse, and
the Council of Trent did not remedy it. The Synod lasted eight
years in all. It was evident that its decrees only tended to enlarge
the Papal power, and to humble the Protestants, against whom it
incessantly hurled its anathemas.

The life of the Popes also continued to be the same as before.
Alexander VI. (1492 — 1503) was the most cruel of all Popes, and
an outcast of humanity. He, his son Ccesar, and his daughter,
Lucrece Borgia, dispatched their enemies by poison and poniard.
He aided this ambitious son to enlarge his dominion in Italy.
Finally he himself perished by the poison he had prepared for
another. He instituted the censorship of books. Leo X. was the
notorious adversary of Reformation. Paul III. anathematized the
heretics, and sent troops against them. Jules III. appointed a keeper
of monkeys as a Cardinal, because he was his favorite. Paul IV. was
ambitious, and enlarged the register of prohibited books, Sixtui^
v., though intelligent, was hard and despotic. Gregory XIII. cel-
ebrated the St. Bartholomew.

A new institute of the Catholic Church in this period is the
Order of the Society of Jesus (of the Jesuits). Ignatius of Loyola,
a Spanish nobleman, did, when a young man, military service in
the army of Ferdinand the Catholic ; he was wounded during a
siege, and fell sick. Being so confined to bed, he excited his
mind, which was already disposed for fanaticism, even more by read-


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Online LibraryHermann Marcus KottingerThe youth's liberal guide for their moral culture and religious enlightenment → online text (page 15 of 28)