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1018 [997]

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

by the Scriptures, either out of the Prophetes or þe Apostles, and I wil be most ready (if I be so instructed) to reuoke any maner of error: yea wilbe the first that shall cōsume myne owne bookes and burne them.

MarginaliaDissensiōs and diuisions folowe þe doctrine of Christ, not for any cause in the doctrine, but one in the aduersarye.I suppose hereby it may appeare, that I haue perpended, and well wayed before, the perils and daungers, the diuisions and dissensions whiche haue risen throughout the whole world, by reason of my doctrine, wherof I was vehemently and sharpely yesterday admonished. Concernyng whiche diuisions of mens mindes, what other men do iudge, I know not: as touchyng my self, I conceyue no greater delectation in any thyng, then when I behold discordes and dissensiōs stirred vp, for the worde of God. For such is the course and procedyng of the Gospell. Iesus Christ sayth: I came not to send peace, but a sworde. I came to set man at variaunce agaynst his father. 

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Matthew 10: 34.

MarginaliaMath. 10.

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And further, we must thinke that our God is maruelous and terrible in hys Councels, lest perhaps that, whiche we endeuour with earnest study to atchieue and bryng to passe (if we begyn first with condemnyng of hys worde) the same rebound agayne to an huge sea of euill: and lest the newe reigne of thys young and bounteous Prince Charles (in whom next after God, we all cōceiue singular hope) be lamentable, vnfortunate, and miserably begon.

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MarginaliaMans coūsaile without Gods worde and hys feare, be vnfortunate.I could exemplify this with authorities of the Scriptures more effectually, as by Pharao, the kyng of Babilon, and the kynges of Israell, who then most obscured the bright Sunne of theyr glory, and procured their own ruine, when by sage Counsels they attempted to pacifye and establishe theyr gouernements and realmes, and not by Gods Counsailes: For it is he that entrappeth þe wyly in their wylines, and subuerteth mountaines before they be ware. Wherfore it is good, and Gods worke, to dread the Lord.

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I speake not this, supposing that so politicke and prudente heades haue neede of my doctrine or admonition: but because I would not omit to profite my coūtrey, and offer my duety or seruice that may tend to the aduauncement of the same. MarginaliaLuther prouoked again to submit hym selfe.And thus I humbly commend me to your most excellent Maiesty, and your honourable Lordshippes, besechyng you that I may not incurre your displeasures, neither be cōtempned of you, through the pursute of my aduersaries. I haue spoken.

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These wordes pronounced, then Eckius the Emperours prolocutor, with a sterne coūtenaunce began, and sayd that Luther had not aunswered to any purpose, neither it behoued hym to call in question, thynges in tyme past concluded and defined by generall Councels: and therfore they required of hym a playne and directe aunswere, whether he would reuoke or no. 

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It should be remembered that Luther's books had already been found heretical by the Church. He was summoned to Worms to be given a chance to recant, not to defend his views.

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MarginaliaLuthers absolute aunswere.Then Luther: consideryng (sayd he) your soueraigne Maiesty and your honours require a playne aunswere: this I saye and professe as resolutely as I may, without doublyng or sophistication, þt if I be not conuinced by testimonies of þe Scriptures, & by probable reasons (for I beleue not þe Pope, neither hys generall Coūcels, which haue erred many times, and haue bene contrary to them selues) my conscience is so bound and captiued in these Scriptures and worde of God whiche I haue alleged, that I will not, nor may not reuoke any maner of thyng, considering it is not godly nor lawfull to do any thing agaynst conscience. Hereupon I stand and reast. I haue not what els to say: God haue mercy vpon me.

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The Princes consulted together vpon this aunswere geuen by Luther: and when they had diligētly examined the same, the prolocutor, began to repell 

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Eck began to respond to, or answer, Luther.

hym thus.

MarginaliaEckius agayne replyeth.Martin (sayd he) thou hast more immodestly aunswered, then beseemed thy person, and also litle to þe purpose. Thou deuidest thy bookes into iij. sortes, in such order as all þt thou hast sayd, maketh nothyng to the interrogation proponed: and therfore if thou haddest reuoked those, wherin the greatest part of thyne errours is contayned, the Emperours Maiesty, and the noble clemēcy of other would haue suffered the rest that be sound, to susteyne no iniurie. But thou doest reuiue and bryngest to lyght agayne, all that þe generall Councell of Constance hath cōdempned, the whiche was assembled of all the nation of Germanie, and now doest require to be conuinced with Scriptures, wherin thou errest greatly. For what auayleth it to renue disputation of thynges so long tyme past condemned by the Churche and Coūcels, MarginaliaThe papistes stand onely vpon their church and councells.vnles it should be necessary to geue a reason to euery mā of euery thing that is cōcluded. Now, were it so, that this should be permitted to euery one, that gaynstandeth the determinations of the Churche and Councels, that he may once get this aduauntage, to be conuinced by the Scriptures: we shall haue nothing certeine & established in Christēdome.

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And this is the cause wherfore the Emperours Maiesty requireth of thee a simple aunswere, either negatiue, or affirmatiue, whether thou myndest to defend all thy workes, as Christian, or no?

Then Luther turnyng to the Emperour, and the nobles, besought them, not to compell hym to yeld agaynst his conscience confimrmed with the holy Scriptures, without manifest argumentes alledged to the contrary by hys aduersaries. I haue declared and rendred (sayd he) myne aunswere simplye and directly: neither haue I any more to say, vnlesse myne aduersaryes with true and sufficiēt probations groūded vpon the Scripture, can reduce and resolue my mynde, and refelle myne errours, which they lay to my charge. I am tyed (as I sayd) by þe Scriptures, neither may I or cā with a safe cōscience, assent vnto thē. MarginaliaGenerall coūcells haue erred, and haue bene contrary to thē selues.For as touchyng generall Councels, with whose authoritie onely they presse me, I am able to proue, that they haue both erred, and haue defined many times, thynges contrary to thē selues: and therfore the authoritie of them, he sayd not to be sufficient, for the whiche he should call backe those thynges, the veritie wherof standeth so firme and manifest in the holy Scripture: neither of hym it ought to be required, niether could he so do without impiety.

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Wherunto the Officiall agayne aunswered, denying that any man coulde proue the Councels to haue erred. But Luther alledged þt hee could, & promised to proue it. And now night approchyng, the Lordes rose and departed. And after Luther had taken hys leaue of the Emperour, diuers Spaniardes 

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Charles V was king of Spain and had Spanish servants and courtiers in his retinue.

scorned and scoffed the good mā in the waye going toward hys lodgyng, hallowyng and whopyng after hym, a long while.

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Vpon þe Friday followyng, whē þe Princes Electours, Dukes, and other Estates were assembled: the Emperour sent to the whole bodye of the Counsaile, a certeine letter contayning in effect as foloweth.

¶ The Emperours Letter.

MarginaliaThe Emperours aunswere against Luther.OUr predecessours, who truely were Christian Princes, were obediēt to þe Romish Church, which Martin Luther presently impugneth. And therfore in asmuch as he is not determined to call backe his errours in any one point, we cannot without great infamie and stayne of honour, degenerate from the examples of our elders, but will maintayne the auncient faith, and geue ayde to the sea of Rome. And further, we be resolued to pursue Martin Luther and his adherentes, by excommunicatiōs and by other meanes that may be deuised, to extynguish his doctrine. Neuertheles, we will not violate our fayth, whiche we haue promised hym, but meane to geue order for safe returne to the place whence he came.

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MarginaliaConsultation vpon the Emperours letter.THe Princes Electors, Dukes and the other estates of þe Empire, satte & consulted vpon this sentēce, on Friday all the after none, and Saterday þe whole day, so that Luther yet had no aunswere of the Emperour.

MarginaliaGreat resort to M. Luther.Duryng this tyme, diuers Princes, Earles, Barons, Knyghtes of the Order, Gentlemen, Priests, Monkes, with other the laitye and common sort, visited hym. All these were presēt at all houres in the Emperours Court, and could not be satisfied with the sight of hym. Also there were bylles set vp, some agaynst Luther, and some, as it seemed, with hym. Notwithstandyng many supposed, and especially such as wel conceiued the matter, that this

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