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ceremonies, but in his absence Carolostadius and other altered them. Then Luther retourninge (after that Carolostadius had deuised & don certain things, rather to brede muttring then otherwise) manifested by euidente testymonies, published abrode touching his opinion, what he approued, and what he misliked.

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MarginaliaChaunges are daungerons.We know that politick men euermore, detested all chaunges, and we must confesse, there ensueth some euil vpon dissentions, and yet it is our duty euermore in the church, to aduāce Gods ordinaunce aboue humaine constitutions. 

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Again, we can see here Melanchthon's desire to defend Luther against the charge of being a radical innovator.

The eternall Father pronounced thys voyce of his sonne: This is my well be loued sonne hear him. And manaseth eternal wrath to all blasphemers, that is, such as endeuour to abolishe the manifest veritye. And therefore Luther did as behoued a christian, faithfully to doo, considering he was an instructor of the church of God. It was his office (I say) to reprehēd pernicius errors, which þe rable of Epicures most impudentlye heaped one vpon an other, and it was expedient his auditoures dissented not from his opinion, since he taught purely. Wherfore if alteracion be hatefull, & many pearils grow of dissention, as we certēly see many, wherof we be right sory: they are in fault partly that spread abrode these errors, and partly that with deuelish disdain presētly maintain them.

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MarginaliaThe gouernaunce of the ChurchI doo not recite this only to defend Luther and his auditors, but also that þe faithful may consider now and in time to come, what is the gouernaunce of the true churche of God, and what it hath alwaies been, how God hath gathered to him self one eternall churche, by the voyce of the gospel, of this lompe of sinne, and filthy heape of humaine corruption, amonge whome the Gospel shineth as a sparke in the darke. As in the time of the Phariseis Zachary, Elizabeth, Mary, and many other reuerenced and obserued the true doctrine: So haue many gone before vs, who purelye inuocated God, some vnderstanding more clearlye, then some, the doctrin of the gospel. Such one was the olde man, of whome I wrote, that oftentimes comforted Luther, when his astonyings assaild him, and after a sort declared vnto him the doctrine of the faithe. And that God maye preserue henceforth the lighte of his Gospell, shining in many, let vs pray with feruent affection, as Esaye prayeth for his hearers: seale the lawe in my disciples. Further, this aduertisement sheweth plaine, that coloured supersticions are not permanente, but abolished by God, and sythe this is the cause of chaunges, we ought diligently to endeuor, that errors be not taught ne preached in the church.

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MarginaliaPrudence to discerne officesBut I returne to Luther. Euen as at the beginning he entreated in this matter, wtout any particuler affection, so though he was of afiry nature, and subiect to wrath, yet he alwais remembred his offyce, and prohibited warres to be attempted, 

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This is an oblique rebuttal of the charge that Luther incited the Peasants' War.

and distingued wisely offyces wherin was anye difference, as the bishop to fede the flock of God: and the magestrates by authority of the sworde committed vnto them to repres the people subiect vnto them.

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Wherfore when sathan contendeth by slaūders to dissipate the church of God, and contumeliously to rage against him, and delighteth to doo euill, and reioyseth to beholde vs wallow in the puddle of error and blindnes, smiling at oure destruction, he laboreth all he can to enflame and stirre vp mischeuous instrumentes, MarginaliaMonetarius sediciōs.and seditious spirites to sow sedicion, as Monetarius 

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I.e., Thomas Münzer (var: Müntzer: c. 1490-1525), theologian, preacher and leader of the rebels in the Peasants' War.

and his like. Luther repelled boldly these rages, and not only adorned, but also ratified the dignitye and bandes of polliticke order and ciuil gouernment. 
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This is a direct rebuttal of the charge that Luther incited the Peasants'War.

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Therfore when I consider in my mind how many worthy men haue beene in the churche, that in this erred, and were abused: I beleue assuredly that Luthers hart was not only gouerned by humain diligence, but with a heauēly light, considering how constantly he abode within the limites of his offyce.

He held not only in contempt the sedicyous doctors of that time, as Monetarius 

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I.e., Thomas Münzer (var: Müntzer: c. 1490-1525), theologian, preacher and leader of the rebels in the Peasants' War.

and the Anabaptistes: but especiallye these horned Byshops of Rome, who arrogantlye and impudently by their deuised decrees affirmed, that S. Peter had not the charge alone to teach the Gospel, but also to gouern common weales, & exercise ciuil iurisdiction.

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Moreouer he exhorted euery man to render vnto God, that appertained vnto God, and to Cesar that belonged vnto Cesar, & said that al should serue God with true repentance, knowledge and maintaining of his true doctrin, inuocation and woorkes, wrought with a pure conscience. And as touching ciuil policye, that euery one should obey the magestrates, vnder whome he liueth in all ciuil dueties, and reuerences for Gods cause. And such one was Luther, he gaue vnto God, that belonged vnto God, he taught God, he inuocated God, & had other vertues necessary for a man that pleseth God. Further, in politick conuersation he constantly auoided al sedicious councels. I iudge these vertues to be so excellent ornaments, as greater and more deuine cannot be required in this mortall life.

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MarginaliaAssurance of the doctrine of the Gospel.And allbeit that the vertue of this manne is worthy commēdacion, and the rather for that he vsed the giftes of God in all reuerence: yet our duety is to render condigne thankes vnto God that by him he hathe geuen vs the lyghte of the gospel, and to conserue and enlarge the remembraunce of his doctrine. I way litle the slaunder of the Epicures 

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This refers to epicure or epicurean in its sixteenth-century sense - of someone who was an atheist or a sceptic rather than the modern sense of a refined hedonist.

and hipocrites, who scoffe and condempne the manifest truthe.

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