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841 [817]

K. Henry. 8. The history and life of Doct. Martin Luther.

maundement is, that euery man should beleue particularly his sinnes to be forgeuen him in Christ: and further sayd, that this interpretation was confirmed by the testimonies of S. Bernard, and shewed him the place, in the Sermon of the Annunciation, where it is thus set forth: MarginaliaAn excellent declaratiō of S. Bernard touching fayth. But adde thou that thou beleuest this, that by him thy sinnes are forgeuen thee. This is the testimonie that the holy Ghost gyueth thee in thy hart, saying: Thy sinnes are forgeuen thee. For this is the opinion of the Apostle, that man is frely iustified by fayth.

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By these wordes Luther was not onely strengthened, but was also instructed of the full meanyng of S. Paule, who repeateth so many tymes this sentence: We are iustified by fayth. And hauing read the expositions of many vpon this place, he then perceiued as well by the purpose of the old man, as by the comfort he receiued in his spirite, the vanitie of those interpretations, which he had read before, of the scholemen: And so readyng by litle and litle, with conferryng the sayinges and examples of the Prophets & Apostles, and continuall inuocation of God, and excitation of fayth by force of prayer, he perceiued that doctrine more euidently. MarginaliaThe profite of S. Augustines bookes. Then began he to read S. Augustines bookes, where he founde many comfortable sentences among other, in the exposition of the Psalmes and specially in the booke of the Spirite and Letter, which confirmed this doctrine of fayth and consolation in his hart, not a litle. And yet he layd not a side the Sentenciaries, as Gabriell and Cameracensis. 

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By 'sententiaries', Foxe is refering to scholastic theologians who wrote commentaries on Peter Lombard's Sentences. Gabriel Biel (c. 1420-95) and Pierre d'Ailly (1350-1420) were both strong influences on Luther and both nominalists. Pierre d'Ailly was bishop of Cambrai ('Cameracensis' in Latin).

Also he read the bookes of Occam, whose subtiltiy he preferred aboue Thomas Aquine, and Scotus. 
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Luther showed a marked preference for nominalist theologians, such as William of Ockham, over realist theologians such as Aquinas and Scotus. The realists insisted on the actual existence of metaphysical universals, the nominalists were denied their existence. Nominalists tended to a certain scepticism about transubstantiation.

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He read also and reuolued Gerson: but aboue all the rest, he perused all ouer S. Augustines workes with attentiue cogitation. And thus continued he his study at Erford, the space of iiij. yeares in the Couent of the Augustines.

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MarginaliaThe institution of the Vniuersitie at Wittenberge.
Staupicius.
About this tyme one Staupicius a famous man, 

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Johann von Staupitz (c. 1460-1525) was the vicar-general of the Observant Augustinians (Luther's order) and he was indeed a spiritual mentor to the young Luther. Staupitz emphasized election and justification in his theology. When the dispute over Indulgences first broke out, Staupitz supported Luther and tried to act as a mediator. Later, Staupitz, deplored Luther's extremism although the personal ties between the two men remained close.

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who ministryng his helpe to further the erection of an Vniuersitie in Wittenberge, and endeuoryng to haue Scholes of Diuinitie founded in this new Vniuersitie: when he had considered the spirite and towardnes of Luther, he called hym frō Erford, to place him in Wittenberge, in the yeare. 1508. and of his age xxvj. There his towardnes appeared in þe ordinary exercise both of his disputations in the scholes, and preachyng in the Churches, where as many wise and learned men attentiuely heard Luther, namely D. Mellerstad.

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MarginaliaThe iudgemēt of Doct. Mellerstad, vpon M. Luther. This Mellerstad would oftentymes say, that Luther was of such a meruellous spirite, and so ingenious, that he gaue apparent signification, that he would introduce a more compendious, easie, and familier maner of teachyng, and alter and abolish the order that then was vsed.

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There first he expounded the Logicke and Philosophie of Aristotle, & in the meane while, intermitted no whitte his study in Theology. MarginaliaLuther sent to Rome. Three yeares after, he went to Rome, about certeine contentions of the Monkes, and returnyng the same yeare, he was graded Doctour, MarginaliaFridericke Duke of Saxonie.
Luther commensed doctour.
at the expences of Elector Fredericke, Duke of Saxonie, accordyng to the solemne maner of scholes: For he had heard him preach: well vnderstanded the quicknes of his spirite: diligently considered the vehemency of his wordes, and had in singular admiration those profound matters, which in his Sermons he ripely & exactly explaned. This degree Staupicius, against his will enforced vppon him, saying merely vnto him, that God had many thynges to bryng to passe in his Church by him. And though these wordes were spoken merely, yet it came so to passe anone after, as many predictiōs or presages proue true before a chaunge.

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MarginaliaDoct. M. Luther beginneth to read the epistle to the Romaynes. After this he began to expound the Epistle to the Romaines, and cōsequently the Psalmes: where he shewed the difference betwixte the law and the Gospell. He also confoūded the errour that raigned then in scholes and Sermons, teachyng that men may merite remission of sinnes by their proper workes, & that they be iust before God by outward discipline, as the Phariseis taught. Luther diligently reduced the myndes of men, to the sonne of God. MarginaliaLuther taught Iesus Christ. And as Iohn Baptist demonstrated the Lambe of God that tooke away the sinnes of the worlde: euē so Luther shyning in the church as a bright starre after a long cloudy and obscure skye, expresly shewed that sinnes are freely remitted for the loue of the sonne of God, and that we ought faythfully to embrace this bountifull gift.

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These happy 

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In the 1570 edition Foxe amended these passages to remove the dangerous admissions (at least to sixteenth-century readers) that Luther was an innovator and that many of his mentors and colleagues deplored the schism that he created in the Church.

begynnynges of so good matters, got him great authoritie, especially seyng his lyfe also was correspondent to his profession. The consideration wherof allured to him meruelously the hartes of his auditors, and also many notable personages.

All this while Luther yet altered nothyng in the ceremonies, but precisely obserued his rule among his felowes: he medled in no doubtfull opiniōs, but taught this onely doctrine, as most principall of all other to all men, openyng and declaryng the doctrine of repentaunce, of remission of sinnes, of fayth, of true comforte in tymes of aduersitie. Euery man receaued good tast of this sweete doctrine, and the learned conceiued high pleasure to behold Iesus Christ, the Prophetes & Apostles, to come forth into light out of darkenes, wherby they began to vnderstād the difference betwixt the law and the Gospell: betwixte the promises of the law, and the promise of the Gospel: betwixt spirituall iustice, & ciuill things: which certeinly could not haue bene found in Thomas Aquine, Scotus, nor such lyke schoole clerkes.

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MarginaliaErasmus openeth the way before Luther. It happened moreouer about this time, that many were prouoked by Erasmus learned workes, to study þe Greeke and Latine tongues, who perceiuyng a more gentle & ready order of teachyng then before, began to haue in contempt the Monkes barbarous and sophisticall doctrine: and specially such as were of a liberall nature and good disposition. Luther began to study the Greeke and Hebrue tounge, to thys ende, that after he had learned the phrase and proprietie of the tounges, and drawen the doctrine out of þe very fountaynes, he myght geue more sounde iudgement.

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As Luther was thus 

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All of the passages which follow, on the pontificate of Leo X, down to the mention of Tetzel, are taken from John Bale, Catalogus (p. 645). This includes the citation of Christian Massaeus's chronicle, which Foxe is repeating from Bale.

occupyed in Germany, whiche was the yeare of our Lord 1516. Leo the x. of that name succeeding after Iulius. 2. was Pope of Rome. MarginaliaEx Christia. Massæo. lib. 20 Chronic. Who vnder pretense of warre agaynst the Turke, sent a Iubile wyth his pardons, abroad through all Christen Realmes and dominions: wherby he gathered together vnnumerable riches and treasure. MarginaliaX. shilling pardons. The gatherers and collecters whereof, perswaded the people, that whosoeuer would geue x. shillings, should at hys pleasure, deliuer one soule from the paynes of Purgatory. For this they held as a general rule, that God would do, what soeuer they would haue hym, accordyng to the saying: Quicquid solueritis super terram, erit solutū in cœlis. &c. Whatsoeuer you shalt loose vpon earth, the same shall be loosed in heauen. But if it were but one iotte lesse then x. shillinges, they preached that it would profite them nothyng. Ex Christia. Masseo lib. 20. Chro.

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MarginaliaTecellus preacher of the popes pardons. This filthy kynde of þe Popes marchandise, as it spread through all quarters of Christian regions, so it came also to Germanie, through the meanes of a certayne Dominicke Fryer 

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At this point, Foxe resumes drawing on Henry Bennet's translation of Melanchthon's biographical sketch of Luther. He will do this down to the discussion of Frederick the Wise's conversation with Erasmus about Luther (see A famous and godly history, trans. Henry Bennet (London, 1561), sigs. C1r-C3r).

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named Tecellius, 
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I.e., Johann Tetzel, a Dominican whose extravagant claims for the salvific power of indulgences, provoked Luther into his confrontation with the Church.

who most impudently caused the Popes indulgences or pardons to be caryed and sold about the countrey. MarginaliaLuthers propositions of pardons. Whereupon, Luther much moued wyth the blasphemous sermons of this shameles Frier, and hauyng hys hart earnestly bent with ardent desire to maintaine true Religion, published certaine propositions concerning indulgences, which are to be read in þe first Tome of his works, and set them openly on the temple that ioyneth to the Castle of Wittēberge, the morrow after the feast of all Saints, the yeare. 1517.

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MarginaliaThe first occasion why Luther wrote agaynst pardons. Thys beggerly Frier, hopyng to obtayne the Popes blessing, assembled certaine Mōkes and sophisticall diuines of his couent, & forthwith cōmaūded them to write something agaynst Luther. And whilest he would not himselfe seme to be dumme, he began not onely to inuey in his Sermōs, but to thunder agaynst Luther, crying: MarginaliaThe slaunder of Tecellus the Fryer. Luther is an hereticke, and worthy to be persecuted wyth fire: and besides this, he burned openly Luthers propositions, and the Sermon which he wrote of indulgences. Thys rage & fumishe fury of this Frier, enforced Luther to treate more amply of the cause, and to maintayne his matter.

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And thus rose the beginninges of thys controuersie, wherein Luther neither suspecting ne dreamyng of any change that might happen in the ceremonies, did not vtterly reiect the indulgences, but required a moderatiō in them: and therefore they falsly accuse hym, which blase that he began with plausible matter, whereby he might get praise, to the ende that in proces of tyme, he myght chaunge the state of the common weale, and purchase authoritie, either for himselfe or other.

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And certes, he was not suborned or stirred vp 

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Foxe (repeating Melanchthon) is denying the charge that Luther attacked the selling of indulgences at the behest of Frederick the Wise, the duke of Saxony. In fact, Melanchthon and Foxe declare (correctly) that Frederick was alarmed by the controversy.

by them of the court (as þe Duke of Brunswike wrote:) in so much that the Duke Fredericke was sore offended that such contention and controuersie should arise, hauing regarde to the sequele thereof.

MarginaliaThe prayse of Fridericke duke of Saxonie. And as thys good Duke Fridericke was one of all þe princes of our time, that loued best quietnes and common tranquilitie, neither was auaricious, but willingly bent to referre all hys counsels to the common vtilitie of all the world (as it is easie to be coniectured diuers wayes:) so he neither encouraged nor supported Luther, but often represented semblaunce of heauines and sorow, which he bare in hys hart, fearyng greater dissensions: But beyng a wise prince, and folowyng the Counsaile of Gods rule, and well delyberatyng thereupon, he thought with himselfe that the glory of God was to be preferred aboue all thynges. Neither was he ignoraunt what blasphemy it was, horribly condemned of God, obstinatly to repugne the truth. Wherfore he did as a godly Prince should do: he obeyed God, committing himselfe to his holy grace, and omnipotent protection.

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And
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