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    Book 5—The Leipsic Disputation 1519

    Chapter 1

    Luther’s Danger—God preserves Luther—The Pope sends a Chamberlain—The Legate’s Journey—Roman Briefs—Circumstances favorable to the reform—Miltitz with Spalatin—Tetzel’s Alarm—Miltitz’s Flattery—Demands a Retraction—Luther refuses, but offers to keep Silence—Agreement between Luther and the Nuncio—The Legate’s Kiss—Tetzel reproached by the Legate—Luther to the Pope—Nature of the Reformation—Luther opposes Separation—De Vio and Miltitz at Treves—Luther’s cause extends over various countries—Luther’s writings begin the Reformation

    Dangers had gathered around Luther and the Reformation. The appeal of the Wittenberg doctor to a general council was a new assault upon the Papal power. A Bull of Pius II had pronounced the greater excommunication even against the emperors who should dare be guilty of such an act of revolt. Frederick of Saxony, as yet weak in the evangelical doctrine, was ready to banish Luther from his states. A new message from Leo X would therefore have driven the reformer among strangers, who might have feared to compromise themselves by receiving a monk under the anathema of Rome. And if any of the nobles had drawn the sword in his defence, these simple knights, despised by the mighty princes of Germany, would soon have been crushed in their perilous enterprise.HRSCV2 155.1

    But at the very moment that the courtiers of Leo X were urging him to measures of severity, and when another blow would have placed his adversary in his hands, this pope suddenly changed his policy, and entered upon a course of conciliation and apparent mildness. We may reasonably presume that he was deceived as to the elector’s sentiments, and thought them more favorable to Luther than they really were; we may admit that the public voice and the spirit of the age—powers then quite new—appeared to surround Luther with an impregnable rampart; we may suppose, as one of his historians have done, that he followed the impulses of his judgement and of his heart, which inclined him to mildness and moderation; but this new mode of action, adopted by Rome at such a moment, is so strange, that it is impossible not to recognize in it a higher and a mightier hand.HRSCV2 155.2

    A Saxon noble, the pope’s chamberlain, and canon of Mentz, Treves, and Meissen, was then at the Roman court. He had contrived to make himself of importance. He boasted of being distantly related to the Saxon princes, so that the Roman courtiers sometimes gave him the title of Duke of Saxony. In Italy, he made a foolish display of his German nobility; in Germany, he was an awkward imitator of the elegance and manners of Italians. He was fond of wine, and his residence at the court of Rome had increased this vice. The Roman courtiers, however, entertained great expectations of him. His insinuating manners, his skill in business,—all led them to hope that Charles of Miltitz (for such was his name) would by his prudence succeed in arresting the mighty revolution that threatened to shake the world.HRSCV2 155.3

    It was of importance to conceal the real object of the mission of the Roman chamberlain. This was effected without difficulty. Four years previously, the pious elector has petitioned the Pope for the Golden Rose. This Rose, the most beautiful of flowers, represented the body of Jesus Christ; it was consecrated yearly by the sovereign pontiff, and sent to one of the chief princes in Europe. It was resolved to give it this year to the elector. Miltitz departed with a commission to examine the state of affairs, and to gain over Spalatin and Pfeffinger, the elector’s councilors. He carried private letters for them. In this manner, by seeking to conciliate those who surrounded the prince, Rome hoped erelong to have her formidable adversary in her power.HRSCV2 156.1

    The new legate, who arrived in Germany in December 1518, was engaged during his journey in sounding the public opinion. To his great surprise he found, that wherever he went, the majority of the inhabitants were partisans of the Reformation. They spoke of Luther with enthusiasm. For one person favorable to the pope, there were three favorable to the reformer. Luther has transmitted to us one of the incidents of his mission. “What do you think of the papal chair?” the legate would frequently ask the landladies and maidservants at the inns. On one occasion one of these poor women artlessly replied: “What can we know of the papal chair, whether it is of wood or of stone?”HRSCV2 156.2

    The mere rumor of the new legate’s arrival filled the elector’s court, the university and town of Wittenberg, and the whole of Saxony, with suspicion and distrust. “Thanks be to God, Luther is still alive,” wrote Melancthon in affright. It was affirmed that the Roman legate had received orders to get Luther into his power either by violence or stratagem. Every one recommended the doctor to be on his guard against the treachery of Miltitz. “He is coming,” said they, “to seize you and give you up to the pope. Trustworthy persons have seen the briefs he is bringing with him.”—“I await God’s will,” replied Luther.HRSCV2 156.3

    Miltitz indeed came bearing letters for the elector, for his councilors, and for the bishops and the burgomaster of Wittenberg. He brought with him seventy apostolical briefs. If the flattery and the favors of Rome attained their end,—if Frederick delivered Luther into his hands, these seventy briefs were, in some measure, to serve as passports. He would produce and post up one in each of the cities through which he would have to pass, and by this means he hoped to succeed in dragging his prisoner to Rome without opposition.HRSCV2 156.4

    The pope appeared to have taken every precaution. Already in the electoral court they did not know what course to adopt. They would have resisted violence; but how could they oppose the head of Christendom, who spoke with so much mildness, and with so great an appearance of reason? Would it not be desirable, they said, for Luther to conceal himself, until the storm had passed over? An unexpected event extricated Luther, the elector, and the Reformation from this difficult position. The aspect of the world suddenly changed.HRSCV2 156.5

    On the 12th of January 1519, Maximilian, emperor of Germany, expired. Frederick of Saxony, in conformity with the Germanic constitution, became administrator of the empire. Henceforth the elector no longer feared the projects of nuncios. New interests began to agitate the court of Rome, which forced it to be cautious in its negotiations with Frederick, and arrested the blow that Miltitz and De Vio undoubtedly were meditating.HRSCV2 156.6

    The pope earnestly desired to prevent Charles of Austria, already king of Naples, from filling the imperial throne. He thought that a neighboring king was more to be feared than a German monk. Desirous of securing the elector, who might be of great use to him in this affair, he resolved to let the monk rest, that he might the better oppose the king; but both advanced in spite of him. Thus changed Leo X.HRSCV2 156.7

    Another circumstance also contributed to turn aside the storm that threatened the Reformation. Political troubles broke out immediately after Maximilian’s death. In the south of the empire, the Swabian confederation desired to punish Ulric of Wurtemberg, who had been unfaithful to it; in the north, the Bishop of Hildesheim threw himself with an armed force upon the bishopric of Minden and on the territories of the Duke of Brunswick. In the midst of all this agitation, how could the great ones of the age attach any importance to a dispute about the remission of sins? But God especially advanced the cause of the Reformation by the wisdom of the elector, now become vicar of the empire, and by the protection he granted to the new teachers. “The tempest suspended its rage,” says Luther, “the papal excommunication began to fall into contempt. Under the shadow of the elector’s viceroyalty, the Gospel circulated far and wide, and popery suffered great damage in consequence.”HRSCV2 156.8

    Besides, during an interregnum the severest prohibitions naturally lost their force. All became easier and more free. The ray of liberty that shone upon these beginnings of the Reformation powerfully developed the yet tender plant; and already it might have been seen how favorable political liberty would be to the progress of evangelical Christianity.HRSCV2 156.9

    Miltitz, who had reached Saxony before the death of Maximilian, had hastened to visit his old friend Spalatin; but he had no sooner begun his complaints against Luther, than Spalatin broke out against Tetzel. He made the nuncio acquainted with the falsehoods and blasphemies of the indulgence-merchant, and declared that all Germany ascribed to the Dominican the divisions by which the Church was rent.HRSCV2 157.1

    Miltitz was astonished. Instead of being the accuser, he found himself the accused. All his anger was immediately directed at Tetzel. He summoned him to appear at Altenburg and justify his conduct.HRSCV2 157.2

    The Dominican, as cowardly as he was boastful, fearing the people whom his impositions had exasperated, had discontinued passing from town to town, and had hidden himself in the college of St. Paul at Leipsic. He turned pale on receiving Miltitz’s letter. Even Rome abandons him. She threatens and condemns him; she wishes to draw him from the only asylum in which he thinks himself secure, and to expose him to the anger of his enemies. Tetzel refused to obey the nuncio’s summons. “Certainly,” wrote he to Miltitz on the 31st of December 1518, “I should not care about the fatigue of the journey, if I could leave Leipsic without danger to my life; but the Augustine Martin Luther has so excited and aroused the men of power against me, that I am nowhere safe. A great number of Luther’s partisans have sworn my death; I cannot, therefore, come to you.” What a striking contrast is here between these two men, the one residing in the college of St. Paul at Leipsic, the other in the Augustine cloister at Wittenberg. The servant of God displayed an intrepid courage in the presence of danger; the servant of men a contemptible cowardice.HRSCV2 157.3

    Miltitz had been ordered to employ persuasive measures in the first instance; and it was only when these failed that he was to produce his seventy briefs, and at the same time make use of all the favors of Rome to induce the elector to restrain Luther. He therefore intimated his desire to have an interview with the reformer. Their common friend, Spalatin, offered his house for that purpose, and Luther quitted Wittenberg on the 2nd or 3rd of January to visit Altenburg.HRSCV2 157.4

    In this interview Miltitz exhausted all the cunning of a diplomat and of a Roman courtier. Luther had scarcely arrived when the nuncio approached him with great demonstrations of friendship. “Oh!” thought Luther, “how his violence is changed into gentleness! This new Saul came to Germany, armed with more than seventy apostolical briefs, to drag me alive and in chains to that murderous Rome; but the Lord has thrown him to the ground by the way.”HRSCV2 157.5

    “My dear Martin,” said the pope’s chamberlain, in a fawning tone, “I thought you were an old theologian who, seated quietly at his fireside, was laboring under some theological crotchet; but I see you are still a young man and in the prime of life. Do you know,” continued he, assuming a graver tone, “that you have drawn away everybody from the pope and attached them to yourself?” Miltitz was not ignorant that the best way of seducing mankind is to flatter their pride; but he did not know the man he had to deal with. “If I had an army of 25,000 men,” added he, “I do not think I should be able to carry you to Rome.” Rome with all her power was sensible of her weakness compared with this poor monk; and the monk felt strong compared to Rome. “God stays the waves of the sea upon the shore,” said Luther, “and he stays them—with sand!”HRSCV2 157.6

    The nuncio, believing he had now prepared his adversary’s mind, continued in these terms: “Bind up the wound that you yourself have inflicted on the Church, and that you alone can heal. Beware,” said he, dropping a few tears, “beware of raising a tempest that would cause the destruction of Christendom.” He then gradually proceeded to hint that a retractation alone could repair the mischief; but he immediately softened down whatever was objectionable in this word, by giving Luther to understand that he felt the highest esteem for him, and by storming against Tetzel. The snare was laid by a skilful hand: how could it fail to catch the prey? “If, at the outset, the Archbishop of Mentz had spoken to me in this manner,” said the reformer afterwards, “this business would not have created so much disturbance.”HRSCV2 157.7

    Luther then replied, and set forth with calmness, but with dignity and force, the just complaints of the Church; he did not conceal his great indignation against the Archbishop of Mentz, and complained in a noble manner of the unworthy treatment he had received from Rome, notwithstanding the purity of his intentions. Miltitz, who had not expected to hear such decided language, was able however to suppress his anger.HRSCV2 157.8

    “I offer,” resumed Luther, “to be silent for the future on this matter, and to let it die away of itself, provided my opponents are silent on their part; but if they continue attacking me, a serious struggle will soon arise out of a trifling quarrel. My weapons are quite prepared.”—“I will do still more,” he added a moment after; “I will write to his holiness, acknowledging I have been a little too violent, and I will declare to him that it is as a faithful son of the Church that I opposed discourses which drew upon them the mockeries and insults of the people. I even consent to publish a writing desiring all those who read my works not to see in them any attacks upon the Roman Church, and to continue under its authority. Yes! I am willing to do and to bear everything; but as for a retractation, never expect one from me.”HRSCV2 158.1

    Miltitz saw by Luther’s firm tone that the wisest course would be to appear satisfied with what the reformer so readily promised. He merely proposed that they should choose an archbishop to arbitrate on some points that were still to be discussed. “Be it so,” said Luther; “but I am very much afraid that the pope will not accept any judge; in that case I will not abide by the pope’s decision, and then the struggle will begin again. The pope will give the text, and I shall make my own comments upon it.”HRSCV2 158.2

    Thus ended the first interview between Luther and Miltitz. They had a second meeting, in which the truce or rather the peace was signed. Luther immediately informed the elector of what had taken place. “Most serene prince and most gracious lord,” wrote he, “I hasten most humbly to acquaint your electoral highness that Charles of Miltitz and myself are at last agreed, and have terminated this matter by deciding upon the following articles:—HRSCV2 158.3

    1. Both parties are forbidden to preach, write, or do anything further in the discussion that has been raised.HRSCV2 158.4

    2. Miltitz will immediately inform the holy Father of the state of affairs. His holiness will empower an enlightened bishop to investigate the matter, and to point out the erroneous articles I should retract. If they prove me to be in error I shall willingly recant, and will do nothing derogatory to the honor or authority of the holy Roman Church.”HRSCV2 158.5

    When the agreement had been thus effected, Miltitz appeared overjoyed. “These hundred years past,” exclaimed he, “no question has occasioned more anxiety to the cardinals and Roman courtiers than this. They would rather have given ten thousand ducats than consent to its being prolonged.”HRSCV2 158.6

    The pope’s chamberlain spared no marks of attention to the monk of Wittenberg. At one time he manifested his joy, at another he shed tears. This show of sensibility moved the reformer but little; still he avoided showing what he thought of it. “I pretended not to understand the meaning of these crocodile’s tears,” said he.HRSCV2 158.7

    Miltitz gave Luther an invitation to supper, which the latter accepted. His host laid aside all the severity connected with his mission, and Luther indulged in all the cheerfulness of his disposition. The repast was joyous, and when the moment of departure was come, the legate opened his arms to the heretical doctor, and kissed him. “A Judas kiss,” thought Luther; “I pretended not to understand these Italian artifices,” wrote he to Staupitz.HRSCV2 158.8

    Was that kiss destined to reconcile Rome and the dawning Reformation? Miltitz hoped so, and was delighted at the thought; for he had a nearer view than the Roman courtiers of the terrible consequences the papacy might suffer from the Reformation. If Luther and his adversaries are silenced, thought he, the dispute will be ended; and Rome, by calling up favorable circumstances, will regain all her former influence. It appeared, then, that the termination of the contest was at hand. Rome had opened her arms, and the reformer seemed to have cast himself into them. But this work was not of man, but of God. The error of Rome was in seeing a mere dispute with a monk in what was an awakening of the Church. The kisses of a papal chamberlain could not check the renewal of Christendom.HRSCV2 158.9

    Miltitz being of opinion that he would by this means reclaim the erring Lutherans, behaved most graciously to all of them, accepted their invitations, and sat down to table with the heretics; but soon becoming inebriated (it is a pope who relates this), the pontifical nuncio was no longer master of his tongue. The Saxons led him to speak of the pope and the court of Rome, and Miltitz, confirming the old proverb, in vino veritas, gave an account in the openness of his heart of all the practices and disorders of the papacy. His companions smiled, urging and pressing him to continue; everything was exposed; they took notes of what he said; and these scandals were afterwards made matter of public reproach against the Romans, at the Diet of Worms, in the presence of all Germany. Pope Paul III complained, alleging they had put things in his envoy’s mouth that were utterly destitute of foundation, and in consequence ordered his nuncios, whenever they were invited out, to make a pretence of accepting the invitations, to behave graciously, and to be guarded in their conversation.HRSCV2 158.10

    Miltitz, faithful to the arrangement he had just concluded, went from Altenburg to Leipsic, where Tetzel was residing. There was no necessity to silence him, for sooner than speak he would have concealed himself if possible in the center of the earth. But the nuncio resolved to vent all his anger on him. As soon as he reached Leipsic, he summoned the wretched Tetzel before him, overwhelmed him with reproaches, accused him of being the author of all his trouble, and threatened him with the pope’s displeasure. This was not enough. An agent from the house of Fugger, who was then in the city, was confronted with him. Miltitz laid before the Dominican the accounts of this establishment, the papers he had himself signed, and proved that he had squandered or stolen considerable sums of money. The unhappy man, whom in the day of his triumph nothing could alarm, bent under the weight of these just accusations: he fell into despair, his health suffered, he knew not where to hide his shame. Luther was informed of the wretched condition of his old adversary, and he alone was affected by it. “I am sorry for Tetzel,” wrote he to Spalatin. He did not confine himself to words: it was not the man but his actions that he hated. At the very moment that Rome was venting her wrath on the Dominican, Luther sent him a letter full of consolation. But all was unavailing. Tetzel, a prey to remorse, terrified by the reproaches of his best friends, and dreading the pope’s anger, died very miserably not long after. It was believed that grief accelerated his death.HRSCV2 159.1

    Luther, in accordance with the promise he had given Miltitz, wrote the following letter to the pope on the 3rd March:—HRSCV2 159.2

    “Blessed Father! May your holiness condescend to incline your paternal ear, which is that of Christ himself, towards your poor sheep, and listen kindly to his bleating. What shall I do, most holy Father? I cannot bear the lightnings of your anger, and I know not how to escape them. I am called upon to retract. I would most readily do so, could that lead to the desired result. But the persecutions of my adversaries have circulated my writings far and wide, and they are too deeply graven on the hearts of men, to be by any possibility erased. A recantation would only still more dishonor the Church of Rome, and draw from the lips of all a cry of accusation against her. Most holy Father! I declare in the presence of God, and of all His creatures, that I have never desired, and that I shall never desire, to infringe, either by force or by stratagem, the power of the Roman Church or of your holiness. I confess that nothing in heaven or in earth should be preferred above that Church, except Jesus Christ alone—the Lord of all.”HRSCV2 159.3

    These words might appear strange and even reprehensible in Luther’s mouth, did we not remember that he reached the light not suddenly, but by a slow and progressive course. They are a very important evidence, that the Reformation was not simply an opposition to the papacy; it was not a war waged against certain forms; nor was it the result of a merely negative tendency. Opposition to the pope was in the second line of the battle: a new life, a positive doctrine was the generating principle. “Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, and who must be preferred above all,” even above Rome itself, as Luther writes at the end of his letter, was the essential cause of the Revolution of the sixteenth century.HRSCV2 159.4

    It is probable that shortly before this time the pope would not have passed over unnoticed a letter in which the monk of Wittenberg plainly refused to retract. But Maximilian was dead: men’s minds were occupied with the choice of his successor, and in the midst of the intrigues which then agitated the pontifical city, Luther’s letter was disregarded.HRSCV2 159.5

    The reformer made a better use of his time than his power adversary. While Leo X was occupied with his interests as a temporal prince, and was making every exertion to exclude a formidable neighbor from the throne, Luther grew each day in knowledge and in faith. He studied the papal decrees, and the discoveries he made therein greatly modified his ideas. “I am reading the decrees of the pontiffs,” wrote he to Spalatin, “and (I whisper this in your ear) I do not know whether the pope is Antichrist himself, or his apostle, so greatly is Christ misrepresented and crucified in them.”HRSCV2 159.6

    Yet he still felt esteem for the ancient Church of Rome, and had no thought of separating from it. “That the Roman Church,” said he in the explanation which he had promised Miltitz to publish, “is honored by God above all others, is what we cannot doubt. Saint Peter, Saint Paul, forty-six popes, many hundreds of thousands of martyrs, have shed their blood in its bosom, and have overcome hell and the world, so that God’s eye regards it with especial favor. Although everything is now in a very wretched state there, this is not a sufficient reason for separating from it. On the contrary, the worse things are going on within it, the more should we cling to it; for it is not by separation that we shall make it better. We must not desert God on account of the devil; or abandon the children of God who are still in the Roman communion, because of the multitude of the ungodly. There is no sin, there is no evil that should destroy charity or break the bond of union. For charity can do all things, and to unity nothing is difficult.”HRSCV2 159.7

    It was not Luther who separated from Rome: it was Rome that separated from Luther, and thus rejected; the ancient faith of the Catholic Church, of which he was then the representative. It was not Luther who deprived Rome of her power, and made her bishop descend from a throne which he had usurped: the doctrines he proclaimed, the word of the apostles which God manifested anew in the Universal Church with great power and admirable purity, could alone prevail against that dominion which had for centuries enslaved the Church.HRSCV2 160.1

    These declarations, which were published by Luther at the end of February, did not entirely satisfy Miltitz and De Vio. These two vultures, who had both seen their prey escape from their talons, had retired within the ancient walls of Treves. There, assisted by the prince-archbishop, they hoped to accomplish together the object in which each of them had failed separately. The two nuncios felt clearly that nothing more was to be expected from Frederick, now invested with supreme power in the empire. They saw that Luther persisted in his refusal to retract. The only means of success were to deprive the heretical monk of the elector’s protection, and entice him into their hands. Once at Treves, in the states of an ecclesiastical prince, the reformer will be very skilful if he escapes without having fully satisfied the demands of the sovereign pontiff. They immediately applied themselves to the task. “Luther,” said Miltitz to the Elector-archbishop of Treves, “has accepted your Grace as arbitrator. Summon him before you.” The Elector of Treves accordingly wrote on the 3rd May to the Elector of Saxony, requesting him to send Luther to him. De Vio, and afterwards Miltitz himself, wrote also to Frederick, informing him that the Golden Rose had arrived at Augsburg. This (thought they) is the moment for striking a decisive blow.HRSCV2 160.2

    But circumstances had changed: neither Frederick nor Luther permitted himself to be shaken. The elector comprehended his new position. He no longer feared the pope, much less his agents. The reformer, seeing Miltitz and De Vio united, foresaw the fate that awaited him if he complied with their invitation. “Everywhere,” said he, “and in every manner they seek after my life.” Besides, he had appealed to the pope, and the pope, busied in intrigues with crowned heads, had not replied. Luther wrote to Miltitz: “How can I set out without an order from Rome, in the midst of the troubles by which the Empire is agitated? How can I encounter so many dangers, and incur such heavy expense, seeing that I am the poorest of men?”HRSCV2 160.3

    The Elector of Treves, a prudent and moderate man, and a friend of Frederick’s, was desirous of keeping on good terms with the latter. Besides, he had no desire to interfere in this matter, unless he was positively called upon. He therefore arranged with the Elector of Saxony to put off the inquiry until the next diet, which did not take place until two years after, when it assembled at Worms.HRSCV2 160.4

    While a providential hand thus warded off, one by one, the dangers by which Luther was threatened, he himself was boldly advancing towards a goal which he did not suspect. His reputation increased; the cause of truth grew in strength; the number of students at Wittenberg was augmented, and among them were the most distinguished young men of Germany. “Our town,” wrote Luther, “can hardly receive all those who are flocking to it;”—and on another occasion: “The number of students increases considerably, like an overflowing river.”HRSCV2 160.5

    But it was no longer in Germany alone that the reformer’s voice was heard. It had passed the frontiers of the empire, and begun to shake, among the different nations of Europe, the foundations of the Romish power. Frobenius, a celebrated printer at Basle, had published a collection of Luther’s works. It was rapidly circulated. At Basle, the bishop himself commended Luther. The cardinal of Sion, after reading his works, exclaimed with a slight tone of irony, playing upon his name: “O Luther! thou art a real Luther!”HRSCV2 160.6

    Erasmus was at Louvain when Luther’s writings reached the Low Countries. The prior of the Augustines of Antwerp, who had studied at Wittenberg, and who, according to the testimony of Erasmus, was a follower of true primitive Christianity, read them with eagerness, as did other Belgians. But those who consulted their own interests only, remarks the sage of Rotterdam, and who fed the people with old wives’ tales, broke our into gloomy fanaticism. “I cannot describe to you,” wrote Erasmus to Luther, “the emotion, the truly tragic sensation which your writings have occasioned.”HRSCV2 160.7

    Frobenius sent six hundred copies of these works into France and Spain. They were sold publicly in Paris. The doctors of the Sorbonne, as it would appear, read them with approbation. “It is high time,” said some of them, “that those who devote themselves to biblical studies should speak out freely.” In England these books were received with still greater eagerness. Some Spanish merchants translated them into their mother-tongue, and forwarded them from Antwerp to their own country. “Certainly these merchants must have been of Moorish descent,” says Pallavicini.HRSCV2 160.8

    Calvi, a learned bookseller of Pavia, carried a great number of copies to Italy, and circulated them in all the transalpine cities. It was not the love of gain that inspired this man of letters, but a desire of contributing to the revival of piety. The energy with which Luther maintained the cause of Christ filled him with joy. “All the learned men of Italy,” wrote he, “will unite with me, and we will send you verses composed by our most distinguished writers.”HRSCV2 161.1

    Frobenius, in transmitting a copy of his publication to Luther, related all these joyful tidings, and added: “I have sold every copy except ten; and I have never made so good a speculation.” Other letters informed Luther of the joy caused by his works. “I am delighted,” said he, “that the truth is so pleasing, although she speaks with so little learning and in so barbarous a tone.”HRSCV2 161.2

    Such was the commencement of the awakening in the various countries of Europe. If we except Switzerland, and even France, where the Gospel had already been preached, the arrival of the Wittenberg doctor’s writings everywhere forms the first page of the history of the Reformation. A printer of Basle scattered the first germs of truth. At the very moment when the Roman pontiff thought to stifle the work in Germany, it began in France, the Low Countries, Italy, Spain, England, and Switzerland. What matters it, even should Rome cut down the parent stem?... the seeds are already scattered over every land.HRSCV2 161.3

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