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1025 [1025]

K. Henry. 8. M. Luther. The aunswere of the Princes, to the Pope.

to you shal thus aunswere: That such excesses whiche haue bene done before our tyme, ought not to be imputed to vs, Who alwayes haue misliked these derogations, and therfore byd them so assure them selues, that though they had required no such matter, we of our owne accorde, would haue refrained the same, partly for that it is good, right, & reason, that euery one haue that whiche is due vnto him: and partly also that the said noble nation of Germanie, shal haue by vs no hinderaunce, but furderaūce rather, somuch as in vs shall lye to do for them.

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And as touchyng the processes, whiche they desire to haue remoued away a Rota, MarginaliaRota is some office in the Court or Chauncerye of Rome.and to be referred down to the parties, you shall signifie vnto them, that we will gratifie them herein as much as honestly we may. 

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This is a reference to the grievances of the German princes submitted to the pope in 1522. The 'Rota' was the papal chancery, which, inter alia, received petitions.

But because our auditours are now presently absent from the Citie by reason of the plague, we can not be informed as yet, touching the qualitie of those processes. As soone as they shall returne (whiche we hope wilbe shortly) we shall do in the princes fauour, what reasonably we may.

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Further, where as we vnderstand, that there be many freshe florishing wittes in Germanie, and many well learned men, whiche are not sene vnto, but be reiected and vnloked to, while in the meane time, through the Apostolicall prouisions, dignities, and promotions are bestowed vpon tapsters and daunsers and vnfitte persons: MarginaliaThe pope flattereth for aduauntage.we will therfore that you inquire out what those learned men are, and what be their names, to the entent, that whē any such vacation of benefices in Germanie doth fall, we of our volūtary motion, may prouide for them accordingly. For why, we consider how much it is against Gods glory, & against the health and the edification of soules, that benefices and dignities of the Churche haue now so long time bene bestowed vpon vnworthy and vnhable persons. MarginaliaAnd why then haue you abused the church so longe with these your Apostolicall prouisions, and yet do not redresse the same?

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As touching þe Subsidie for the Hungarians, 

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The subsidy was from the German princes to aid the Hungarians in their struggle with the Turks.

we send no other information to you, but that whiche we gaue you at your departure, saue onely, that we will you to extende your diligence therin, as we also will do the like, in sollicityng the matter with the princes and Cities of Italy, that euery one may helpe after his abilitie. Ex Orth. Gratio.

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¶ These Popishe suggestions and instructions of the Pope him selfe agaynst Luther, I thought (Christen reader) to set before thyne eyes, to the entent thou mayst see here (as in a paterne, & go no farther) all þe crimes, obiections, exclamations, suspicions, accusations, sclaunders, offensions, contumelyes, rebukes, vntruthes, cauillations, raylynges, what so euer they haue deuised, or can deuise, inuent, articulate, denounce, inferre or surmise agaynst Luther & his teaching. MarginaliaLuther cryed out of without any iust cause.They crye heresie, heresie: but they proue no heresie. They cry Coūcels, Coūcels: and yet none transgresseth Coūcels more then them selues. If Councels go alwayes with Scripture, then Luther goeth with thē. If Councels do iarre somtymes frō the Scripture, what heresie is in Luther, in stāding with scripture agaynst those Councels? And yet neither hath hee hetherto spoken agaynst any Councels, saue only the Councell of Constance. They inflame kynges & princes agaynst Luther, & yet they haue no iust cause wherfore. They accuse him for teaching libertie. MarginaliaLibertie of fleshe. Libertie of spirite.If they meane the libertie of flesh, they accuse hym falsely: if they meane þe libertie of spirite, they teache wickedly, which teach contrary: and yet when they haue all sayd, none lyue so licentiously, as them selues. They pretend the zeale of the Churche: but vnder that Churche lyeth their owne priuate welfare, and belychere. They charge Luther with disobedience, & none are so disobedient to Magistrates and ciuill lawes, as they. They lay to his charge, oppression and spoylyng of lay mens goodes: and who spoyleth the lay mens liuings so much as the Pope? For probatiō wherof let the Popes accountes be cast, what he raketh out of euery Christen realme. MarginaliaTurne onely the names of the persons: & all the accusations of the papistes agaynst the Lutherians, agree chieflye vpon them selues.Briefly, turne onely the names of the persons, and in steade of Luthers name, place the name of the Pope, and the effect of this letter aboue prefixed, shall agree vppon none more aptly, then vpon the Pope hym selfe and his owne sectaries. Now to procede futher in the proces of this foresayd matter, let vs see what the princes againe for their partes, aunswere to these foresayd suggestions and instructions of pope Adrian, sent vnto them in their diet of Norenberge, in the cause of Luther: the aunswere of whom here foloweth vnder written.

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¶ The aunswere of the noble and Reuerend princes, and states of the sacrate Romane Empyre, exhibited to the Popes Ambassadour.

MarginaliaThe aunswere of the princes of Germanie, to the popes letter, and instructions.THe noble 

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This letter is completely and accurately translated from Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculum rerum expetendarum ac fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fos. 173v-175r. Essentially the German princes used the occasion to press their own demands on the papacy, although they did promise to limit the dissemination of Lutheran teachings (through books, cheap print and books) within the Empire.

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and renowmed prince Lord Ferdinandus, 
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Ferdinand was the younger brother of Charles V, ruler of the hereditary Hapsburg territories in Austria and central Europe. He acted as his brother's regent in the Holy Roman Empire.

Lieutenant to the Emperours Maiestie, with other reuerend Pieres in Christ, and mightie princes Electours, and other states and orders of this present assemble of the Romane Empyre in Norenberge conuented, haue gratefully receaued, and diligētly perused the letters sent in forme of a Brief, with the instructions also of the most holy father in Christ & L. L. Adrian, the hie bishop of the holy and vniuersall Church of Rome, presented vnto them in the cause of Luthers faction.

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MarginaliaPope Adrian a Germane borne.By the whiche foresayd letters and writynges, first where as they vnderstand his holynes to haue bene borne, and to haue had his natiue origine and parentage out of this noble nation of Germanie, they do not a litle reioyse. Of whose egregious vertues and ornamentes both of minde and body, they haue heard great fame and commendation, euen from his tender yeares: by reason wherof they are somuch the more ioyous of his aduaūcement and preferment, by such consent of election, to the hye typpe of the Apostolicall dignitie, and yeld to God most hartie thankes for the same: praying also from the bottome of theyr hartes, for his excellent clemencie, and perpetuall glory of his name, and for health of soules, and incolumitie of the vniuersall Church, that God will geue to his holynes long continuance of felicitie: Hauyng no mysdoubt, but that by such a full and cōsentyng electiō of such a pastour of the vniuersall Catholicke Church, great profite and commoditie will ensue. Which thyng to hope and looke for, his holynes openeth to them an euident declaration in his owne letters, testifying and protesting, what a care it is to him both day and night, how to discharge his pastorall function, in studyng for the health of the flocke to him committed: and especially in conuertyng the myndes of Christian princes, frō warres to peace: declaryng moreouer what subsidie and releaffe his holynes hath sent to the souldiours of Rhodes. &c. 

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I.e., to the Knights of St. John whose headquarters on Rhodes was under attack from the Turks.

All whiche thinges they perpendyng with them selues, conceaue excedyng hope and comfort in their mindes: thus reputyng and trustyng, that this concord of Christen princes will be a great helpe and stay to the better quietyng of thinges now out of frame: without which neither the state of the common wealth, nor of Christian Religion can be rightly redressed, and much lesse the tyranny of the barbarous Turke repressed.

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Wherfore, the excellent prince, Lord Liuetenant to the Emperours Maiestie, with the other princes Electors, and orders of this present assemble, most hartely do pray, that his holynes will persiste in this his purpose and diligence, as he hath vertuously begon, leauyng no stone vnremoued, how the disagreyng hartes of Christen princes may be reduced to quiet and peace: MarginaliaCan any good thyng come out of Rome.or if that will not be, yet at least some truce and intermißion of domesticall dissensions maye bee obteined for the neceßitie of the tyme nowe present, wherby all Christians maye ioyne their powers together, with the helpe of God, to go agaynst the Turke, and to deliuer the people of Christ from his barbarous tyrannie and bondage: Wherunto both the noble prince Lorde Lieutenaunt, and other princes of Germanie, will put to theyr helpyng handes, to the best of their habilitie.

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MarginaliaThe Pope much greued for the prosperyng of Luther.And whereas by the letter of his holynes, with his instruction also exhibited vnto them by his Legate, they vnderstād, that his holynes is afflicted with great sorow, for the prosperyng of Luthers secte, whereby innumerable soules committed to his charge are in daunger of perdition, and therfore his holynes vehemently desireth some speedie remedie agaynst the same to be prouided, with an explication of certeine necessary reasons and causes, wherby to moue the Germane princes therunto, and that they will tender the execution of the Apostolicke sentēce, and also of the Emperours Edict set forth touching the suppreßion of Luther: to these the Lord Lieutenāt, and other princes and states do aunswere, that it is to them no lesse grief and sorow, then to his holynes, and also do lament as much for these impieties and perils of soules, and inconueniences whiche grow in the Religion of Christ, either by the secte of Luther, or any otherwise. Further, what helpe or coūsail shall lie in thē, for the extirpyng of errours, and decay of soules health, what their

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