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1010 [1010]

K. Henry. 8. The historye and actes of Doct. M. Luther.

the temple that ioyneth to the Castle of Wittenberge, the morrow after the feast of all Saintes, the yere. 1517.

MarginaliaThe first occasion why Luther wrote agaynst pardons.Thys beggerly Frier, hopyng to obtaine the Popes blessyng, assembled certaine Monkes and sophisticall diuines of his couent, & forthwith commaūded thē to write somethyng agaynst Luther. And whilest hee would not him selfe seme to be dumme, he began not onely to inuey in his Sermons, but to thunder agaynst Luther, crying: MarginaliaThe slaunder of Tecellius the Fryer.Luther is an hereticke, & worthy to bee persecuted with fire: and besides this, he burned openly Luthers propositions, and the Sermon whiche he wrote of indulgences. This rage and fumishe fury of this Frier, enforced Luther to treate more amply of the cause, and to maintaine hys matter.

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And thus rose the begynnynges of this controuersie, wherein Luther neither suspectyng ne dreamyng of any chaunge that might happen in the ceremonies, did not vtterly reiect the indulgences, but required a moderatiō in them: and therfore they falsly accuse him, which blase that he beganne with plausible matter, wherby he might get prayse, to the end that in proces of time, he might chaūge the state of the common weale, and purchase authoritie, either for him selfe or other.

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And certes, he was not suborned or stirred vp 

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Foxe (repeating Melanchthon) is denying the charge that Luther attacked the selling of indulgences at the behest of Frederick the Wise, the duke of Saxony. In fact, Melanchthon and Foxe declare (correctly) that Frederick was alarmed by the controversy.

by them of þe court (as þe Duke of Brunswike wrote:) in so much that the Duke Fredericke was sore offended that such contention and controuersie should arise, hauyng regard to the sequele therof.

MarginaliaThe praise of Fridericke duke of Saxony.And as this good Duke Fridericke was one of all the Princes of our time, þt loued best quietnes & cōmon trāquilitie, neither was auaricious, but willingly bent to referre all hys counsels to the common vtilitie of all the world (as it is easie to be coniected diuers wayes:) so he neither encouraged nor supported Luther, but often represented semblaunce of heauines and sorow, whiche he bare in his heart, fearing greater dissensions: But being a wise prince and folowyng the Counsaile of Gods rule, & well deliberatyng therupon, he thought with him selfe that the glorye of God was to bee preferred aboue all thynges. Neither was hee ignoraunt what blasphemy it was, horribly condemned of God, obstinatly to repugne the truth. Wherfore he did, as a godly Prince should do: he obeyed God, committyng him selfe to hys holy grace, and omnipotēt protection. And although Maximilianus the Emperour, Carolus kyng of Spaine, & Pope Iulius had geuen cōmaundement to the said Duke Fridericke, that he should inhibite Luther from all place and libertie of preachyng: yet the Duke cōsideryng with him selfe the preachyng and writyng of Luther, and weghyng diligētly the testimonies and places of the Scripture by him alleaged, would not withstand the thing, whiche he iudged sincere. 

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Unquestionably Frederick the Wise's staunch support for Luther saved Luther numerous times, particularly in the early stages of the Indulgence controversy, later when Luther was summoned to Rome and still later after the Diet of Worms. Frederick was a wealthy and powerful prince and (crucial to Luther's safety) the Habsburgs owed Frederick large sums of money.

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And yet neither did he this, trustyng to hys owne iudgemēt, but was very anxious and inquisitiue to heare the iudgementes of other, which were both aged, & learned. "In the number of whom was Erasmus, 
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This whole account of Erasmus's opinion of Luther is taken from Caspar Peucer, Chronicon Carionis (Wittenberg, 1580), p. 705 and Caspar Hedio, Paralipomena rerum memorabilium (Strausburg, 1569), pp. 447-8. Foxe is including this to emphasize Erasmus's support for the Reformation and to reduce the well-known disagreements between Luther and Erasmus to the level of personality clashes.

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whom the Duke desired to declare to him his opinion touching the matter of Martin Luther, saying and protesting that hee would rather the grounde should open and swalowe hym, then he would beare with any opinions, whiche he knew to be contrary to manifest truth: and therfore hee desired hym to declare hys iudgement in the matter, to hym freely and frendly. MarginaliaThe iudgement of Erasmus touchyng Luther.Erasmus thus beyng entreated of the Duke, began thus iestyngly and merely to aunswere the Dukes request, saying: that in Luther were ij. great faultes: first, that hee would touch the belyes of Monkes: the second, that he would touche the Popes crowne: MarginaliaMonkes bellies and the popes crowne, not to be touched.whiche ij. matters in no case are to bee dealte withall. Then openyng hys mynde plainely to the duke, thus he said, that Luther did well in detectyng errours, & that reformation was to be wished, & very necessarye in the Church: and added moreouer, that þe effect of his doctrine was true, but onely that he wyshed in him, a more temperate moderation and maner of writyng and handlyng. MarginaliaEx Chronic. Casp. Peuter. lib. 5.Whereupon Duke Fridericke shortly after wrote to Luther seriously, exhortyng hym to temperate the ve-hemencie of his stile. This was at the Citie of Colen, shortly after the Coronation of þe new Emperour, where also Huttenus, Aloisius, Marlianus, Ludouicus viues, Halonius, with other learned men, were assembled together waytyng vpon the Emperour.

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Furthermore, the same Erasmus, the yeare next folowyng that, wrote to the Archbishop of Mentz a certein Epistle, MarginaliaEx epist. Erasm. ad Moguntinensem.touchyng the cause of Luther. In which Epistle thus he signifieth to the Bishop: that many thinges were in the bookes of Luther condemned of monkes and diuines for hereticall, whiche in the bookes of Bernarde and Austen are read for sound and godly. MarginaliaThe church burdened.Also, that the world is burdened with mens institutiōs, with schole doctrines and opinions, and with the tyrannie of begging Friers: which Friers whē they are but the Popes seruantes & vnderlyngs: yet they haue so growen in power and multitude, that they are now terrible both to the Pope him selfe, and to all princes. Who so long as the Pope maketh with them, so long they make him more then a God. But if hee make any thyng agaynst their purpose or commoditie, there they wey his authoritie no more thē a dreame or phātasie.

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Once (sayd he) it was counted an heresie, when a man repugned agaynst the Gospels, or Articles of the fayth. Now he that dissenteth from Thomas of Aquine, is an hereticke. What soeuer doth not like them, what soeuer they vnderstand not, that is heresie. To speake Greke, is heresie. Or to speake more finely then they do, that is with them heresie. And thus much by the way, concernyng the iudgemēt of Erasmus.

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Nowe to returne and to entreate 

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From here on down to the Leipzig debate, Foxe is drawing on, and synthesizing, Caspar Hedio's chronicle and Johannes Sleidan's Commentaries. (See Caspar Hedio, Paralipomena rerum memorabilium [Strassburg, 1559], pp. 447-50 and Johannes Sleidan, A famouse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries [London, 1560], STC 19848, sigs. 1v-10r).

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somethyng orderly of þe actes and conflictes of Luther with his aduersaries: after that Tecelius 
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I.e., Johann Tetzel, a Dominican whose extravagant claims for the salvific power of indulgences, provoked Luther into his confrontation with the Church.

the foresayd Frier, with his fellowe monkes and Frierly felowes, had cryed out with open mouth agaynst Luther, in mainteyning þe popes indulgēces, and that Luther agayne in defence of his cause, had set vp propositions agaynst the open abuses of the same, meruell it was to see howe soone these propositions were sparcled abraod, in sundry and farre places, and how gredely they were catched vp in the hādes of diuers, both far and nere. And thus the contention of this matter encreasing betwene them, Luther was compelled to write therof more largely and fully, then otherwise hee thought: MarginaliaEx Paralip. Abbat. Vrspurg.which was in the yeare of our Lord. 1517.

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Yet all this while, Luther neuer thought of any alteration to come of any one ceremonie, much lesse such a reformation of doctrine and ceremonies, as afterward did folow. But onely hearyng that he was accused to the byshop of Rome, he dyd write humbly vnto him: in the begynnyng of whiche writyng, he declareth the vnordinate outrage of those hys pardonmongers, whiche so excessiuely did pyll and pole the simple people, to the great slaūder of the church, and shame to hys holynes: and so procedyng in the ende of the sayd hys writyng, thus he sumitteth hym selfe.

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MarginaliaThe submission of Luther to the Pope.Wherfore (sayth he) most holy father, I offer me selfe prostrate vnder the feete of your holynes, with all that I am, and that I haue. Saue me, kyll me, call me, recall me, approue me, reproue me, as you shall please. Your voyce, the voyce of Christ in you speaking, I will acknowledge. Yf I haue deserued death, I shall be cōtented to dye: For the earth 

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Psalm 24:1.

is the Lordes, and all the fulnes therof, MarginaliaPsal. 23.who is to be blessed for euer. Amen. This was in the yeare of our Lord. 1518.

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After that Martin Luther, prouoked thus by Tecelius, 

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I.e., Johann Tetzel, a Dominican whose extravagant claims for the salvific power of indulgences, provoked Luther into his confrontation with the Church.

had declared his mynde by writyng lowly and humbly, and had set vp certeine propositions to be disputed, not long after, amōg other Monkes & friers, MarginaliaThe raging Dialogue of Syluester Prierias against Luther.steppeth vp one Siluester de Priero, a Dominicke frier, who first began to publishe abroad a certeine impudent and raylyng Dialogue agaynst hym. Vnto whom Luther aunswered agayne, first allegyng the place of the Apostle 1. Thes. v. that we must proue all thinges. Also the place Gal. ij.that if an Aungell from heauen do bryng an other Gospell, then that we haue receaued, he ought to be accursed.

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MarginaliaThe aunswers of Luther agaynst Syluester.Item, he alleged the place of Austen vnto Hierome, where the sayd Austen sayth: That he is wont to geue this honour onely to the bookes of Canonicall Scripture, that who

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