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ot deserved his censures, so he disregarded them; and then,
turned to Wittenberg, where he was safe under the proection of the elector of Saxony. Luther was powerfully apported by the university of Wittenberg, where he connued to teach the same doctrines, and sent a challenge to Il the inquisitors to dispute with him there, under the anction of a safe conduct from his prince, and the most res markable hospitality from the university.
The cardinal,' mortified at Luther's escape, wrote to the lector October 25, 1518, desiring him to give him up, to' end him to Rome, or to banish him from his dominions. To this letter the elector answered, December 18, follow.' ng, and told the cardinal, that “ he hoped he would have lealt with Luther in another manner, and not have insisted ipon his recànting, before his cause was heard and judged ;' hat there were several able men in his own and in otherIniversities, who did not think Luther's doctrine either impious or heretical; that, if he had believed it such, there would have been no need of admonishing him not to tolerate it; that Luther not being convicted of heresy, he could not banish him from his states, nor send him to Rome; and that, since Luther offered to submit himself to the judge. ment of several universities, he thought they ought to hear him, or, at least, shew him the errors which he taught in his writings." ;
While these things passed in Germany, pope Leo ate tempted to put an end to these disputes about indulgences, by a decision of his own; and for that purpose, upon the gth of November, published a brief, directed to cardinal Cajetan; by which Luther knew, that he could not possi- . bly escape being proceeded against, and condemned at Rome; and, therefore, upon the 28th of the same month, published a new appeal from the Pope to a general council, in which he asserts the superior authority of the latter over the former. The Pope foreseeing, that he should not ea-' sily manage Luther, so long as the elector of Saxony conunued to support and protect him, sent the elector a golden rose, such an one, as he used to bless every year, and send to several princes, as marks of his particular favour to them. . Miltitius, his chamberlain, was intrusted with this commis. sion, by whoin the Pope sent also letters, dated the beginning of January, 1519, to the elector's counsellor and recretary, in which he prayed those ministers to use all VOL. III.-No. 61.
possible interest with their master, that he would stop the progress of Luther's errors, and imitate ,therein the piety and religion of his ancestors. It appears by Seckendorf's account of Miltitius's negociation, that Frederick bad long2 solicited for this bauble from the Pope ; and that, three or four years before, when his electoral highness was a bigot to the court of Rome, it had probably been a most welcome present. But, “post est occasio calva:" it was now too late: Luther's contests with the see of Rome had opened the elector's eyes, and enlarged his mind; and, therefore, when Miltitius delivered his letters, and discharged his commis. sion, he was received but coldly by the elector, who valued not the consecrated rose, nor would receive it publicly and in form, but only privately and by his proctor. As to Luther, Miltitius had orders to require the elector to oblige him to retract, or lo deny him his protection : but, things were not now to be carried with so high a hand, Luthers credit being too firmly established. Besides, the emperor Maximilian departed this life upon the 12th of this month," whose death greatly altered the face of affairs, and inade the elector more able to deterinine Luther's fate. Miluitius la thought it best therefore to try, what could be done by fair in and gentle means, and to that end came to a conference with Luther. He poured forth many commendations upon : him, and earnestly entreated him, that he would himself tee appease that tempest, which could not but be destructive, to the church. He blained, at the same time, the behaviour ad and conduct of Tetzelius, and reproved him with so much sharpness, that he died of melancholy a short time after. It Luther, amazed at all this civil treatment, which he had ne. ver experienced before, commended Miltitius highly, and owned, that if they had behaved to him so at first, all the ? troubles, occasioned by these disputes, had been avoided; to and did not forget to cast the blame upon Albert archbishop of Ments, who had increased these troubles by his severity. Miltitius also made some concessions ; as, that the people had been seduced by false opinions about indulgences; that Tetzelius had given the occasion; that the archbishop? had set on Tetzelius to get money; that Tetzelius had exi ceeded the bounds of his commission, &c. This inildness and seeming candour, on the part of Miltitius, gained so wonderfully upon Luther, that he wrote a most submissive 157 letter to the Pope, dated March 13, 1519. Miltitius, how to
ever, taking for granted, that'they wonld not be contented at Rome with this letter of Luther's, written, as it was, in general terins only, proposed to refer the matter to some other judgement; and it was agreed between them, that the elector of Triers should be the judge, and Coblentz the place of conference : but this came to nothing ; for Luther afterwards gave some reasons for not going to Coblentz, and the Pope would not refer the matter to the elector of Triers.
During all these treaties, the doctrine of Luther spread, and prevailed greatly; and himself received great encou. įragement at home and abroad. The Bohemians about
ebis uime sent him a book of the celebrated John Huss,
who had fallen a martyr in the work of Reformation; and "| also letters, in which they exhorted him to constancy and
perseverance, owning, that the divinity, which he taught, was the pure, the sound, and orthodox divinity. Many great and learned men had joined themselves to him; among the rest Philip Melancthon, whom Frederic had invited to the university of Wittenberg in August, 1518, and Andrew Carolostadius, archdeacon of that town, who was a great linguist. They desired, if possible, to draw over Erasmus to their party; and to that end we find Melarycthon directing a letter to ihat great man, dated Leipsic, Jan. 5, 1519. The elector of Saxony was desirous also to know Erasinus's opinion of Luther, and might probably think, that as Erasmus had most of the monks for his enemies, and some of those, who were warmest against Luther, he might easily be prevailed on to come over to their party. But Erasinus, whatever he might think of Luther's opinions, had neither bis impetuosity, nor his courage. He contented hiinself therefore with acting and speaking in his usual strain of moderation, and wrote a letter to the elector Frederic, and likewise a friendly letter to Luther. When this letter was wrote, Erasmus and Luther had never seen each other: it is dated Louvain, May 30, 1519, and it is hardly possible to read it without suspecting, that Erasmus was intirely of Luther's sentiments, if he had had but the courage to have declared it. He concludes thus: “I have dipped into your cominentaries upon the Psalms; they please me prodigionsly, and I hope will be read with great advantage. There is a prior of the monastery of Antwerp, who says he was your pupil, and loves you most affectionately. Ha is a truly Christian inan, and almost the only one of his soLI2
ciety ciety who preaches Christ, the rest being attentive either to the fabulous traditions of men, or to their profit. I have written lo Melancthon.' The Lord Jesus pour upon you his Spirit, that you may abound more and more, every day, to his glory and the service of the church. Farewell."
Frederic elector of Saxony was the patron and protector of Luther: but George, a prince of the same house, opposed Luther to the utmost of his power.. The foriper de sired Erasmus to give himn his opinion concerning Luther ; and Erasmus gave it jocosely : but gravely told the archbishop of Mentz, that the monks condemned many things in the books of Luther as heretical, which was esteemed as orthodox in Bernard and Austin. Erasmus wrote to cardinal Wolsey, that the life and conversation of Luther were universally commended ; and it was no sipall prejudice in his favour, that his murals were unbiameable, and that no reproach could be fastened upon him by, calumny itself.
If I had really been at leisure, says Erasmus, to peruse his writings, I ain not so conceited of my own abilities, as to pass a judgement upon the performance of so considerable a divine: though even children, in this knowing age, will boldly pronounce, that this is erroneous, and that is heretical."
Erasmus, in 1519, wrote to Melancthon, that all the world agreed in cominending the moral character of Luther; and wished that God might grant him success equal to the liberty which he had taken. Melancıbon was always mild and moderate, and had a sincere affection for Luther; but sometimes could not refrain from complaining of his bold and impetuous teinper. : However, Erasınus entertained hopes, that the attempts of Luther, and the great notice which had been taken of them, might be serviceable to true Christianity. In this he was not mistaken, as the event proved ; for, from this period, Luther's writings and the cause of Reformation spread all over the Christian world, and brought into full blaze the gliininering light, which had before been introduced by Wickliffe, Huss, and other learned and good men.
Frederic of Saxony, one of the inost virtuous and illustrious prinees of that century, was a friend both to Luther, and to the Reformation; and the Protestants have great reason to reverence and bless his memory. When he might have been chosen emperor, he declined it, and gave
me crown to Charles V. ` Erasmus wrote a letter to bim, which was very favourable to Luther. Andrew Bodestine, from his native place called Carološtadius, defended the writings of Luther. Bucer was present, when Luther maintained his doctrine before the Augustine friers at Heidelberg, and told Rhenanus, “ That his sweetness in answering was admirable, and his patience in hearing incomparable : that the acuteness of St. Paul, in resolving doubts, might have been seen in Luther; so that he brought them all into admiration of him, by his concise and nervous answers, taken out of the storehouse of the Holy Scriptures.”
Luther was honourably entertained at Heidelberg, by Wolfgang the count Palaiina : and Erich duke of Calem. berg espoused his cause. Ernest duke of Lunenberg was educated under the inspection of his uncle Frederic, sir, nained the Wise, elector of Saxony, who sent him early to the university of Wittenberg, where he made a great progress in learning, and had an opportunity to converse with Luther, when he began to discover his sentiinents about the hierarchy, and the doctrines of the see of Rome. Er, nest boldly embraced the doctrine of Luther : and his example was followed by his brothers Otho and Francis; as also by Philip of the line of Grubenhagen. These princes made the necessary preparations to introduce the Reforina. tion into the circle of Lower Suxony; as the elector their uncle was doing in that of Upper Saxony. Ernest was determined to pursue the glorious scheine he had forined, gradually to abolish the errors and abuses that had crept into the church. His concern was so great for extending the knowledge of the pure faith, that he generously sent learned men to the county of Hoya, East Frieseland, and other parts of Germany, to preach the Gospel in its native simplicity.
Eckius bad wrote some notes upon the first thesis of Luther, which were answered by Carolostadius; and a conference was agreed on at Leipsic, by the consent of prince George of Saxony, uncle to the elector Frederic, Eckius appeared ; and was met by Luther, who was accompanied by Melancthon and Carolostadius. Both parties were well received hy the prince, the senate, and university, who appointed a great ħall in the castle for the place of conference, which was solemnly opened on June 27, 1519. The first disputation was concerning free will, which Eckius undertook