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1017 [1017]

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

goyng to the Emperour, and when he was in the assemble of Princes, MarginaliaLuther is exhorted to be constant.he was exhorted of other to be couragious, and manly to demeane hym selfe, and not to feare them that can kill the body, but not the soule: but rather to dread hym that is able to sende both body and soule to euerlastyng fire. 

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See Matthew 10:28.

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Further, he was incouraged with this sentēce: When thou arte before kinges, thinke not what thou shalt speake: for it shall be geuen thee in that houre. 

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Matthew 10: 19.

MarginaliaMath. 10.The next day after iiij. a clocke, the Herauld came and brought Luther from hys lodgyng to the Emperours Court, where he abode till vi. a clocke, for that the princes were occupyed with graue consultations, abydyng there and beyng enuironed with a great number of people, and almost smothered for the prease that was there. Then after, when the princes were set, and Luther entred, Eckius þe Officiall began to speake in this maner.

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MarginaliaEckius agayn propoundeth agaynst Luther.Yesterday at this houre, the Emperours Maiesty assigned thee to be here M. Luther, for þt thou didst affirme those bookes, that we named yesterdaye, to be thyne. Further, to the interrogation by vs made, whether thou wouldest approue all that is cōteined in them, or abolishe and make voyde any parte thereof, thou didst require tyme of deliberation, whiche was graunted, and is now expired. Albeit thou oughtest not to haue oportunity graunted to deliberate, cōsidering it was not vnknowen to thee, wherfore we cited thee. And as concernyng the matter of fayth, euery man ought to be so prepared, that at all tymes whensoeuer he shalbe required, he may geue certaine and constant reason therof, and thou especiall beyng counted a man of such learnyng, and so long tyme exercised in Theology. Then go to, aunswere euen now to the Emperours demaunde, whose bounty thou hast proued in geuing thee leysure to deliberate. Wilt þu now maintaine all thy bookes which thou hast acknowledged, or reuoke any part of them, and submit thy self? The Officiall made this interrogation in Latine and in Dutche. 

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I.e., in German.

Martine Luther aunswered in Latin and Dutch 
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I.e., in German.

in this wise, modestly and lowly, and yet not without some stoutnes of stomacke, & Christian constancy, so as hys aduersaries would gladly haue had hys courage more humbled & abased, but yet more earnestly desired hys recantation, wherof they were in some good hope, when they heard hym desire respite of tyme to make his aunswere.

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¶ His aunswere was thus.

MarginaliaM. Luther aunswereth for hym selfe.MOst magnificent Emperour, and you most noble Princes and my most gentle Lordes, I appeare before you here at þe houre prescribed vnto me yesterday, yeldyng the obediēce that I owe, humbly beseching for Gods mercy, your most renowmed maiesty, and your graces & honours, that ye will minister vnto me this curtesie, to attend this cause beningly, which is the cause (as I trust) of Iustice and verity. And if by ignoraūce I haue not geuen vnto euery one of you your iuste titles, or if I haue not obserued the ceremonies and countenaūce of the Court, offendyng agaynst them: it may please you to pardone me of your benignities, as one that onely hath frequented cloysters, and not courtly ciuilities. And first, as touchyng my self, I can affirme or promise no other thyng, but onely this, that I haue taught hetherto in simplicitie of minde, that which I haue thought to tende to Gods glory, and to the saluatation of mens soules.

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MarginaliaLuther geueth a compt of hys fayth before þe Emperour.Now as concernyng the ij. Articles obiected by your most excellent Maiesty, whether I would acknowledge those bookes which were named, and be published in my name, or whether I would maintaine & not reuoke thē: I haue geuē resolute answere to þe first, in the which I persist & shal perseuere for euermore, þt these bokes be mine, and published by me in my name, onlesse it hath sith happened that by some fraudulent mysdealyng of myne enemies, there be any thyng foysted in them, or corruptlye corrected: For I will acknowledge nothyng, but that I haue written, and that which I haue written I will not denie.

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Nowe to aunswere to the seconde Article, I beseche your most excellent Maiesty, & your graces, to vouchsafe to geue eare. MarginaliaHe diuideth hys workes into three partes.All my bookes are not of one sorte. There be some, in which I haue so simply and soundly declared and opened the Religion of Christen fayth, and of good workes, that my very enemyes are compelled to confesse them to bee profitable and worthy to be read of all Christians. And truly the Popes Bull (how cruell and tyrannous soeuer it be) iudgeth certeine of my bookes inculpable, albeit the same with seuere sentence, thundreth agaynst me, and with monstrous crueltie cōdemneth my bookes, which bokes if I should reuoke, I myght worthely be thought to neglect and trāsgresse the office of a true Christian, & to be one alone, that repugneth the publique confession of all people. There is an other sorte of my bookes, which containe Inuectiues agaynst the Papacie and other of the Popes retinue, as haue with their pestiferous doctrine, and pernicious examples, corrupted the whole state of our christianitie. Neither can any denye or dissemble this, wherunto vniuersall experience, & cōmon complaint of all, beare witnesses that the consciences of all faythfull men be most miserably entrapped, vexed, and cruelly tormented by the Popes lawes and doctrines of men. Also that the goods & substaunce of Christen people are deuoured, especially in this noble & famous countrey of Germany, and yet without order, and in most detestable maner, are suffered still to bee deuoured, without all measure, by incredible tyranny: MarginaliaThe pope procedeth cōtrarye to hys owne doctrine.notwithstandyng that they them selues haue ordayned to the contrarye in their owne proper lawes, as in the Distinct. 9. & 25. q. 1. & 2. 

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Luther is citing sections of canon law here against Eck's arguments for papal primacy.

where they them selues haue decreed, that all such lawes of Popes, whiche be repugnaunt to the doctrine of the Gospell, and the opinions of the auncient fathers, are to be iudged erronious and reproued.

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If then I shall reuoke these, I can do none other, but adde more force to their tyranny, & open not onely windowes, but wide gates to their impiety, which is lyke to extend more wide, and more licēciously then euer it durst heretofore: And by the testimony of this my retractatiō, their insolent kyngdome shalbe made more licentious, & lesse subiect to punishmēt, intolerable to the commō people, & also more confirmed & established, especially if this be bruted, that I Luther haue done this by þe authority of your most excellent Maiestye, & the sacred Romane Empyre. Oh Lord, what a couer or shadow shall I be then to cloke theyr naughtynes and tyranny?

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The rest or thyrd sort of my bookes are such, as I haue written agaynst certeine priuate and singuler persons, to wyt, agaynst such as with toth & nayle labour to mainteine the Romishe tyrāny, and to deface the true doctrine and Religion, which I haue taught and professed. As touchyng these, I playnly confesse I haue bene more vehement, then my Religion and profession required. For I make my selfe no sainte, and I dispute not of my lyfe, but of the doctrine of Christ.

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And these I cannot without preiudice call backe. For by this recantation, it wil come to passe, that tyranny and impietye shall raigne, supported by my meanes, and so shall they exercise crueltye agaynst Gods people, more violently and ragyngly then before.

MarginaliaHe requireth to be instructed if he haue erred.Neuertheles, for that I am a man, and not God, I cā none otherwise enterprise to defend my bookes, then did my very Lord Iesus Christ defend hys doctrine. Who beyng examined of hys learning before Annas, and hauyng receiued a buffet of the minister, sayd: If I haue spoken euill, beare witnes of the euill. 

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John 18: 23

MarginaliaIohn. 18.

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If the Lord (who was perfect and could not erre) refused not to haue testimony geuen against his doctrine, yea of a most vile seruaunt: how much the more then I, that am but vile corruption, and can of my self, do nothyng but erre, ought earnestly to see and require, if any will beare witnes agaynst my doctrine?

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Therfore I require, for Gods mercy, your most excellent Maiestye, your graces and right honorable Lordshipes, or what soeuer he be of high or low degree, here to lay in his testimonie, conuict my errours, and confute me

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