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1019 [1019]

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

was subtily done by hys enemyes, that therby occasion might bee offered to infryng the safeconduict geuen hym, the whiche þe Romaine Ambassadours with all diligence, endeuoured to bryng to passe. 

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Jan Hus had been burned even though he had been granted an imperial safe-conduct to and from the Council of Constance. Charles V had to guarantee Luther's safety in the strongest terms, in order to assuage the fears of Luther's supporters.

The Mōday folowyng, before supper, the Archbishop of Triers aduertised Luther, that on Wensdaye nexte he should appeare before hym, at nyne of the clocke before Dinner, and assigned hym the place. On S. Georges day a certeine chapleyn of the Archbyshop of Triers, about Supper tyme came to Luther, by the commaundement of the byshop, signifying that at þe houre and place prescribed, he must þe morow after, haue accesse to his maister.

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MarginaliaLuther appeareth before the Archb. of Triers.The morow after S. Georges day, Luther obeying the Archbyshops commaundement, entred hys palace, beyng accompanyed thither with his sayd chapleyn and one of the Emperours Herauldes, and such as came in his company out of Saxonie to Wormes, with other hys chief frendes: MarginaliaDoct. Vœus hys oration to M. Luther.where as Doctor Vœus, the Marques of Bades Chaplayne, begā to declare and protest, in the presence of the Archbishop of Triers, Ioachime Marques of Brandeburge, George Duke of Saxonie, the Byshops of Ausburge and Brādeburge, the Earle George, Iohn Bocke of Strasburge, Verdeheymer and Peutinger Doctours, that Luther was not called to bee conferred with, or to disputation, but onely that the Princes had procured licence of the Emperours Maiesty, through Christiā charitye, to haue libertie graunted vnto them, to exhorte Luther benignly and brotherlye. 

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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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MarginaliaFor the authoritie of Councels.He sayd further, that albeit the Councels had ordayned diuers thynges, yet they had not determined contrary matters. And albeit they had greatly erred, yet theyr authoritie was not therfore abased, or at the least, not so erred, that it was lawfull for euery man to impugne their opinions: Inferring moreouer many thynges of Zacheus and the Centurion: also of the constitutions and tradicions and of ceremonies ordayned of men, affirmyng that all these were established to represse vices, according to the qualitie of tymes: and that the Churche could not be destitute of humane constitutions. It is true (sayd he) that by the frutes the tree may be knowen, MarginaliaThys he spake of Luthers wordes, who denied any good frutes to come of their lawes.yet of these lawes and decrees of men, many good frutes haue proceded: and S. Martin, S. Nicholas, and many other Saints haue bene present at the Councels.

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Moreouer, that Luthers bokes would breede great tumulte and incredible troubles, and that he abused the cōmon sort with his booke of Christiā liberty, encouraging them to shake of their yoke, and to confirme in them a disobedience: that the worlde now was at an other stay, then when the beleuers were all of one harte and soule, and therfore it was requisite & behouefull to haue lawes. It was to be considered (sayd he) albeit he had written many good thynges, & (no doubt) of a good minde, as De Triplici iusticia, & other matters, yet how þe deuill now by craftie meanes, goeth about to bryng to passe that all his workes for euer, should be condemned: for by these bookes which he wrote last, men (sayd he) would iudge & esteeme him, as the tree is knowen not by the blossome, but by the fruite.

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Here he added somthyng of the noone deuill, and of the spirite commyng in the darke, and of the flying arrow. 

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These are references to Psalm 91: 5-6.

MarginaliaPsal. 90.All his Oracion was exhortatorye, full of rhetoricall places of honestye, of vtilitie, of lawes, of the daungers of conscience, and of the common and particular wealth, repeatyng oft this sentence in the proeme, middle, and epiloge of his oration: that this admonition was geuen hym of a singulare good will, and great clemency. In the shuttyng vp of hys Oration, he added manacinges, saying: that if he would abyde in hys purposed entent, the Emperour woulde proceede further and banyshe hym from the Empyre, perswadyng hym deliberatly to ponder and aduise these and other thynges.

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MarginaliaM. Luther aunswereth to Vœus.Martin Luther aunswered: Most noble Princes, and my most gracious Lordes, I rēder most humble thāckes for your benignities and singular good willes, whence procedeth this admonition: For I know my selfe to be so base, as by no meanes I cā deserue to be admonished of so mighty Estates.

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MarginaliaThe councell of Constance condemned the worde of God.Then he frankely pronounced, that he had not reproued all Councels, but onely the Councell of Constance, and for this principall cause, for that the same had cōdemned the word of God, whiche appeared in the condemnation of this Article proponed by Iohn Hus: The Church of Christ is the communion of the predestinate. It is euident (sayd he) that the Councell of Constance abolished this Article, and consequentlye the Article of our fayth: I beleue the holy Churche vniuersall: and sayd that he was readye to spend life and bloude, so he were not compelled to reuoke the manifest worde of God, for in defence therof, we ought rather to obey God, then men: MarginaliaScandale of fayth & charitie.And that in this he coulde not auoyde the scandall, or offence of fayth, for there be ij. maner of offēces, to witte, of charity, and of fayth. The slaūder of charitie consisteth in maners and in lyfe. The offences of fayth or doctrine, rest in þe word of God: and as touching this last, he could escape it no maner of wayes, for it lay not in hys power to make Christ not to be a stone of offence. If Christes sheepe were fedde with pure pasture of the Gospel, if the fayth of Christ were syncerely preached, and if there were good Ecclesiasticall Magistrates, who duely woulde execute theyr office: we shoulde not neede (sayth he) to charge the Churche with mens traditions. Further, that he knewe well we ought to obey the Magistrates & higher powers, how vniustly and peruersly so euer they liued. We ought also to bee obedient to their lawes and iudgementes: all whiche he had taught (sayd he) in all hys workes, adding further that he was ready to obey them in all poyntes, so that they inforced him not to deny the word of God.

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MarginaliaThe princes consulted about M. Luther.These wordes finished, Luther was byd stand a side, and the Princes consulted what aunswere they myght geue him. This done, they called him into a parlour, wheras þe foresayd Doct. Vœus repeated his former matters, admonishyng Luther to submit his writinges to the Emperour and to the Princes iudgement.

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Luther aūswered humbly & modestly, þt he could not, neither would permit that mē should say he would shūne the iudgement of the Emperour, Princes, and superiour powers of the Empyre. So farre was it of, that he woulde refuse to stande to their triall, that he was contented to suffer his writynges to be discussed, considered and iudged of the simplest, so that it were done with the authoritie of the worde of God, and holy Scripture: and þt the word of God made so much for him, & was so manifest vnto hym, that he could not geue place, vnles they could confound hys doctrine, by the woorde of God. MarginaliaThe word of God only true.This lesson (said he) he learned of S. Austen, who writeth, that he gaue this honour onely to those bookes, whiche are called Canonicall, that he beleued the same onely to be true. As touchyng other doctours, albeit in holynes and excellency of learnyng they passed: yet he would not credite them further then they agreed with the touchstone of gods word. Further (said he) S. Paul geueth vs a lesson: writyng to the Thessalonians 

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1 Thess. 5: 21.

: Proue all thynges, folowe that is good. Marginalia1. Theß. 5.And to the Galathians 
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Galatians 1: 8.

: Thoughe an aungell should descende from heauen, if he preache any other doctrine, let him be accursed, and therfore not to be beleued. MarginaliaGal. 1.

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Finally he meekely besought them not to vrge his conscience, captured in the bandes of the woorde of God and holy Scripture, to deny that same excellent word. And thus he cōmended his cause and hym selfe to them, & specially to þe Emperours Maiesty, requiryng their fauour, that he might not be compelled to do any thyng in thys matter agaynst his conscience: in all other causes hee would submit hym selfe, with all kynd of obedience and due subiection.

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As Luther had thus ended his talke, Ioachimus Elector, Marques of Brandeburge, demaunded if hys meaning was thus, þt he would not yeld, vnles he were cōuinced by the Scripture. Yea truly right noble Lord (quoth Luther) or ells by auncient and euident reasons. And so the assemble brake, and the Princes repayred to the Em-

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