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1026 [1026]

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

moderation can do, they are wyllyng and ready to performe, consideryng how they stand bound and subiecte, as well to the Popes holynes, as also to the Emperours Maiestie.

MarginaliaCauses why the princes haue not proceeded by þe popes sentence agaynst Luther.

But why the sentence of the Apostolicke sea, and the Emperours Edict agaynst Luther, hath not bene put in execution he therto, there haue bene (said they) causes great & vrgēt, which haue led them therto: as first in weyng and consideryng with thē selues that greater euils & inconuenience would therupon insue. For the greatest part of the people of Germanie, haue alwayes had this persuasion, and nowe by readyng of Luthers bookes, are more therin confirmed, MarginaliaGreuāces receaued by the court of Rome.that great greuances and inconueniences haue come to this nation of Germanie, by the Court of Rome: and therfore if they should haue proceded with any rigour in executyng the Popes sentence, and the Emperours Edicte, the multitude would conceaue and suspect in their myndes, this is to be done for subuertyng the veritie of the Gospell, and for supportyng and confirmyng the former abuses, and greuaunces: whereupon great warres and tumultes (no doubt) would haue ensued: which thyng vnto the princes and states there, hath bene well perceiued by many arguments. For the auoydyng wherof, they thought to vse more gentle remedies seruyng more oportunely for the tyme.

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MarginaliaThe Pope aunswered with hys owne wordes.Agayne, whereas the reuerend Lord Legate (sayd they) in the name of the Popes holynes hath bene instructed, to declare vnto thē, that God suffereth this persecutiō to rise in the church for the sinnes of men, and that hys holynes doth promise, therefore to begyn the reformation first with his owne Court, that as the corruption, first sprang frō thence to the inferiour partes, so the redresse of all agayne should first begin with the same: Also, wheras his holynes, of a good & fatherly hart, doth testifie in his letters, that he him selfe did alwayes mislike that the Court of Rome should intermedle so much and derogate from the concordates of the princes, and that his holynes doth fully purpose in that behalfe, duryng his Papacie, neuer to practise the like, but so to endeuour, that euery one, & especially the nation of the Germanes may haue theyr proper due and right, grauntyng especially to the sayd nation, his peculiar fauour: Who seeth not by these premisses, but that this most holy Byshop omitteth nothyng, whiche a good father or a deuout pastor may or ought to do to his shepe? Or who will not be moued hereby to a louyng reuerence, and to amendement of his defaultes, namely seyng hys holynes so intendeth to accomplishe the same in dede, whiche in worde he promiseth, accordyng as he hath begon.

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And thus vndoubtedly both the noble Lord Lieutenaunt, and all other princes and states of the Empire, well hope that he will, & pray most hartly that he may do, to the glory of our eternall God, to the health of soules, and to the tranquilitie of the publicke state. MarginaliaGreuāces of the Germanes, cōplayned of to the pope.
Vid. infr.
For vnlesse such abuses and greuances, with certeine other Articles also, whicde the secular princes (aßigned purposely for the same) shall draw out in writyng, shalbe faythfully reformed, there is no true peace and concord betwen the Ecclesiasticall and secular estates, nor any true extirpation of this tumult, and errours in Germany, that can be hoped. For partly by long warres, partly by reason of other greuances and hynderances, this nation of Germany hath bene so wasted and consumed in money, that vnneth it is able to susteine it selfe, in priuate affaires, and necessarie vpholdyng of Iustice within it selfe: much lesse then, to minister ayde and succour to the kingdome of Hungary, and to the Croatians, agaynst the Turke. And wheras all the states of the sacrate Romane Empire do not doubt, but the Popes holynes doth right well vnderstand, MarginaliaAnnates falsely pretended of the Pope, to maintain warre against the Turke.how the Germane princes did graūt & cōdescend for the money of Annates to be leaued to the sea of Rome for terme of certaine yeares, vpon condition, that the sayd money should bee conuerted to mainteyne warre agaynst the Turkishe infidels, and for defense of the Catholicke fayth: and wheras the terme of these yeares is now expired long since, when as the sayd Annates should be gathered, and yet that money hath not bene so bestowed to that vse, wherto it was first graunted: therfore if any such neceßitie should now come, that any publicke helpes or contributions agaynst the Turke, should be demaunded of the Germane people, they would aunswere agayne, why is not that money of Annates reserued many yeares before to that vse, now to be bestowed and applied, and so would they refuse to receaue any mo such burdens, for that cause, to by layd vpod thē.

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Wherfore the sayd Lord Lieutenant, and other princes and degrees of the Empyre make earnest petition, that the Popes holynes will, with a fatherly consideration, expende the premisses, & surceasse hereafter to requyre such Annates, MarginaliaAnnates is a certaine portion of money wont to bee payde to the court of Rome out of the one yeres fruites, at the vacatiō of any ecclesiasticall liuing.whiche are accustomed after the deceasse of bishops & other prelates, or ecclesiasticall person, to be payd to the Court of Rome, and suffer them to remaine to the chamber of the Empyre, wherby Iustice, and peace may be more cōmodiously administred, the trāquillitie of the publicke state of Germanie mainteyned, and also by the same, due helpes may be ordeyned and disposed to other Christen potentates in Germanie, agaynst the Turke, whiche otherwise without the same, is not to be hoped for.

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Itē, whereas the Popes holynes desireth to be informed what way were best to take, in resistyng these errours of the Lutherians: to this the Lord Lieutenant with other princes and nobles do aunswere, that what soeuer helpe or counsaile they can deuise, with willyng hartes they will be ready therunto. Seyng therefore the state as well ecclesiasticall, as temporall is farre out of frame, and haue somuch corrupted their wayes, and seing not onely of Luthers part, & of his sect, but also by diuers other occasions besides, so many errours, abuses, & corruptions haue crept in: much requisite and necessarie it is, that some effectual remedy be prouided, as well for redresse of the church, as also for repreßing of the Turkes tyranny. MarginaliaRemedie of reformation.Now what more present or effectuall remedy can be had , the Lord Lieutenaunt, with other estates and princes do not see, then this, MarginaliaA generall Councell in Germanie required.that the Popes holynes, by the consent of the Emperours Maiestie do summone a free Christian Councell in some conuenient place of Germanie, as at Strasburgh, or at Mentz, or at Colen, or at Metz, and that with as much speede, as conueniently may be, so that the congregatyng of the sayd Councell be not differred aboue one yeare: In the whiche Councell it may bee lawfull for euery person that there shall haue interest, either temporall or ecclesiasticall, frely to speake, and consulte to the glory of God, and health of soules, & the publicke wealth of Christendome, without impeachment or restreint, what soeuer othe, or other bonde to the contrary notwithstanding: yea and it shalbe euery good mans part there to speake, not onely freely, but to speake that, whiche is true, to the purpose, and to edifying, and not to pleasing, or flatteryng, but simply and vprightly to declare his iudgement without all fraude or guile.

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MarginaliaAn interim before the Councell.And as touchyng by what wayes these errours and tumultes of the Germane people may best bee stayed and pacified, in the meane tyme, vntill the Councell be set: the foresayd L. Lieutenaunt, with the other Princes, therupon haue consulted and deliberated, that for as much as Luther and certeine of his folowers be within the territory and dominion of the noble Duke Fridericke, 

Commentary  *  Close

The information on the dispute in Strausburg and Luther's reactions to the laws enacted by the princes at the Diet of Nuremburg are taken from Johannes Sleidan, A famiuse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries, trans. John Daus (London, 1560), STC 19848, fos. 39v-45r.

the sayd Lord Lieutenant, and other states of the Empyre shall so labour the matter with the aforenamed prince Duke of Saxonie, MarginaliaWryting and Printing for a tyme suspended.that Luther and his followers shall not write, set forth, or Printe any thing during the said meane space: neither do they doubte, but that the sayd noble prince of Saxonie, for his Christian pietie, and obedience to the Romane Empyre, as becommeth a Prince of such excellent vertue, will effectually condescend to the same.

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Item, the sayd Lord Lieutenant, and princes shall labour so with the preachers of Germanie, that they shall not in theyr sermons teach or blow into the peoples eares, such matter, wherby the multitude may be moued to rebellion or vprore, or be induced into errour: MarginaliaThe office of preaching tempered.and that they shall preache, and teache nothyng, but the true, pure, sincere, and holy Gospell, and approued Scripture, godly, myldely, and Christianly, accordyng to the doctrine and exposition of the Scripture, beyng approued and receaued of Christes Church, absteyning from all such things, whiche are better vnknowen, then learned of the people, and whiche to be subtely searched, or depely discussed, it is not expedient: Also that they shall moue no cōtention of disputation among the vulgare sorte, but what soeuer hangeth in controuersie, the same thy shall reserue to the determination of the Councell to come.

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Item, the Archbyshops, Bishops, and other prelates, within

their
FFf.iij.
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