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860 [836]

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

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[illegible text]greuances mo to the number of an hundreth, the secular states of Germany deliuered to the Popes Legate, hauyng (as they sayd) many moe, & more greuous greuaunces besides 

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Foxe drew this brief narrative of what happened after the complaints were presented to the papal legate at the Diet of Nuremburg (1522) and of Cardinal Campeggio's legation to Germany from Johannes Sleidan, A famouse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries, trans. John Daus (London, 1560), STC 19848, fos. 45r-46v.

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these, which had likewise much neede of redresse: but because they would not excede the limites of reasonable breuitie, they would cōtent themselues (sayd they) with these aforesaid hūdreth, reseruing the rest to a more apte and more conuenient oportunitie, stedfastly trustyng & hopyng, that when those hundreth greuaūces, already by them declared, should be abolished, the other would also decay, & fall with them. Of the which foresayd greuaunces & complayntes here is moreouer to be noted, that a great part was offered vp before, to the Emperour, at the Coūcell of Wormes: but because no redresse therof did folow, therfore the secular States of Germany thought good to exhibite the same now agayne with diuers moe annexed thereunto, to Cheregatus the popes Legate MarginaliaThe diet of Norenberge began, an. 1522. and brake vp, an. 1523 in this present assemble of Norenberge, desiryng hym to present þe same to Pope Adriā. This was about the yeare of our Lord. 1523. Which beyng done, the assemble of Norenberge brake vp for a tyme, & was proroged to the next yeare folowyng.

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MarginaliaThe death of Pope Adrian. In this meane tyme Pope Adrian dyed. MarginaliaPope Clement. vij. After him succeded pope Clemēt vij. Who the next yeare folowyng, which was. an. 1524. MarginaliaCardinall Campeius the popes Legate into Germanye. sent downe his Legate Cardinall Campeius, vnto the Councell of the Germane Princes assembled agayne at Norenberge, about the moneth of Marche, with letters also to Duke Fridericke, full of many fayre petitiōs, & sharpe complaintes. &c. But as touchyng the greuaunces aboue mentioned, no word nor message at all was sent, neither by Cāpeius, nor by any other. MarginaliaThe pope only seeketh his own dignitie, but publicke reformatiō he neuer tēdreth. Thus, where any thyng was to be complayned of agaynst Luther, either for suppression of the libertie of the Gospell, or for vpholdyng of the Popes dignitie, the Pope was euer ready with all diligēce, to call vpon the Princes, but where any redresse was to be required, for the publicke wealth of Christen people, or touchyng the necessary reformation of the Church, herein the Pope neither geueth eare, nor aunswere.

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And thus hauyng discoursed such matters occurrēt betwene the Pope, and princes of Germany, at the Synode of Norenberge, let vs now procede, returnyng agayne to the story of Luther: 

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Final years of Luther

In the 1563 edition, the conclusion of Foxe's account of Luther can be divided into three parts. The first is an account of Luther's death, translated from Melanchthon's funeral sermon, as translated by Henry Bennet (see A famous and godly history contayning the lyves a[nd] actes of three renowned reformers…, trans. Henry Bennet (London, 1561), STC 1881, sigs. F8v-G1r). The second was a long account of the pontificate of Leo X translated from Bale's Catalogus. And the third part is a brief summary, of Foxe's composition, on the increasing papal corruption of the Church during the Middle Ages and praising Luther for bringing light into the depths of this darkness.In the 1570 edition, the second and third parts of this initial account were dropped. Material from Sleidan's Commentaries and Caspar Hedio's continuation of Burchard of Ursburg's chronicle was added to the account to provide a narrative of Luthers's dispute with Karlstadt on iconoclasm and Luther's dispute with Zwingli over the Eucharist. Since Foxe sided with Luther on neither issue, he distanced himself from the Reformer, warning readers that Luther's opinion and example were not to be slavishly followed, such as his opposition to iconoclasm (Foxe endorsed iconoclasm). But Foxe also made clear his very considerable admiration for Luther, based especially on his regard for Luther as a spiritual physician to troubled souls, on Luther's courage in defying the papacy and for being the first person to articulate a theology of justification by faith. By the end of the account, Foxe despite his theological differences with Luther, ends up crediting him with quasi-miraculous powers.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

of whom ye heard before, how he was kept secret & solitary, for a tyme, by the aduise and conueyance of certaine nobles in Saxonie, because of the Emperours Edict, aboue mentioned. 
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I.e., the banning of Luther's works and the order for his arrest (after his safe conduct had expired) issued by Charles V at the Diet of Worms.

MarginaliaCarolostadius casteth downe Images in Wittenberge. In the meane tyme, while Luther had thus absented himselfe out of Wyttenberge, 
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The account of Luther's quarrel with Carlstadt over images is drawn from Johannes Sleidan, A famouse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries, trans. John Daus (London, 1560), STC 19848, fos. 35v-36r and 45r-v.

Andræas Carolostadius 
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Andreas Bodenstein von Carlstadt (c. 1480-1541), often known simply as Carlstadt, became a leading and extreme Lutheran. In 1518, he had been an important and outspoken ally of Luther's but Carlstadt eventually fell out with him.

proceding more roughly and egerly in causes of Religion, had styrred vp the people, to throw downe Images in the temples, beside other thynges moe. MarginaliaLuther misliketh casting out of Images by strong stand. For the which cause, Luther returning agayne into the city, greatly misliked the order of their doynges, & reproued the rashnes of Carolostadius, declaryng, that their proceedynges herein were not orderly: but that pictures & Images ought first to be throwen out of the hartes and cōsciences of men, and that the people ought first to be taught: that we are saued before God, and please him onely by fayth, and that Images serue to no purpose: this done, & the people well instructed, there was no daunger in Images, but they would fall of their owne accord. Not that he repugned to the cōtrary (he said) as though he would mainteyne Images to stād or to be suffered: but that this ought to be done by the Magistrate, and not by force, vppon euery priuate mans head, without order and authoritie. MarginaliaEx Ioā. Sled. Lib. 3. Ex Ioan. Sled. lib. 3.

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Furthermore, Luther writyng of Carolostadius, affirmeth that he also ioyned with the sentēce of them, which began then to spread about certaine partes of Saxony, saying that they were taught of God, that all wickednes being vtterly suppressed, and all the wicked doers slayne, a new full perfection of all thynges must be set vp, and the innocent onely to enioy all thynges. &c.

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The cause why 

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Foxe's knowledge of Adrian VI's letters comes from Sleidan's Commentaries (see A famouse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries, trans. John Daus (London, 1560), STC 19848, fo. 37r-v) but it is Foxe who shrewdly guesses that they caused Luther to prohibit Carlstadt's iconoclasm.

Luther so stode agaynst that violent throwyng downe of Images, and agaynst Carolostadius, seemeth partly to rise of this, by reason that Pope Adrian, in his letters sent to the Princes and states of Germany, doth greuously complaine, and charge the sect of Luther, for sedition and tumultes and rebellion agaynst Magistrates, as subuerters and destroyers of all order, and obedience, as appeareth by the wordes of the Popes letter before expressed, pag. [illegible text]8. therfore M. Luther, to stoppe the mouth of such slaunderers, and to preuent such sinister suspitiōs, was enforced to take this way, as he dyd: that is, to proceede, as much as he might, by order and authoritie.

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¶ Wherin are to be noted by the way ij. speciall pointes, touchyng the doctrine and doinges of M. Luther, especially for all such who in these our dayes, now abusing the name and authoritie of Luther, thinke thēselues to be good Lu therians, MarginaliaThe causes discussed why Luther permitted Images to stand. if they suffer Images stil to remaine in temples, and admit such thynges in the Church, which themselues do wishe to be away. 

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In the following paragraphs, Foxe, who staunchly endorsed iconoclasm, is trying to explain away Luther's opposition to iconoclasm as tactical and also not a precedent to be followed in England.

MarginaliaTwo things to be noted in Luther for bearing with Images. The first is the maner how and after what sort Luther did suffer such Images to stand. For although he assented not that the vulgare and priuate multitude tumultuously by violence should rappe them down: yet that is no argument now for the Magistrate, to let them stand. And though he allowed not the Ministers to styrre vp the people by forceable meanes to promote Religion: yet that argueth not, those Magistrates to be good Lutheriās, which may and should remoue them, and will not.

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The second point to be noted is, to consider the cause why that Luther did so stand with standyng of Images, whiche cause was time, and not his own Iudgement. For albeit in iudgement he wished them away, yet tyme so serued not therunto then, as it serueth now. For then the doctrine of Luther first begynnyng to spryng, and being but in the blade, was not yet knowen whereto it tended, nor to what it would grow: but rather was suspected to tende to disobedience and sedition: and therefore the pope hearing of the doinges of Carolostadius in Wyttenberge, and of other lyke, tooke his ground therby to charge the sect of Luther with sedition, vprores, and dissolute libertie of lyfe. And this was the cause, why Luther compelled then by necessitie of tyme, to saue his doctrine from sclaunder of sedition and tumulte, beyng layd to hym by the Pope (as ye haue heard) was so much offēded with Carolostadius and other, for their violence vsed agaynst Images. For otherwise, had it not bene for the Popes accusations, there is no doubt, but Luther would haue bene as well contēted with abolishyng of Images and other monumentes of Popery, as he was at the same tyme, contented to write to the Friers Augustines for abrogatyng of priuate Masses. And therfore as Luther in this doyng is to be excused, the circumstances considered: Marginalia xxxx so the lyke excuse perhaps will not serue the ouermuch curious imitation of certein Lutheriās in this present age now: MarginaliaLutherians of this age. whiche considering onely the facte of Luther, do not marke the purpose of Luther, neither do expende the circumstances and time of his doinges: beyng not much vnlyke to the ridiculous imitatours of kynge Alexander the great, which thought it not sufficient to follow him in his vertues, but they would also couterfeite him in hys stoupyng and all other gestures besides: MarginaliaHow Luther is to be folowed. but to these lyuing now in the Church, in an other age then Luther did,it may seme (after my mynde) sufficient to folow the same way after Luther, or to walke with Luther, to the kingdome of Christ, though they Iumpe not also in euery foote steppe of hys, and kepe euen the same pase, and turninges in all pointes as he did.

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MarginaliaLuther not to be cōtenmed for one litle blemish. And contrarywise 

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Here Foxe is defending Luther against the numerous godly in England who rejected key parts of Lutheran theology (notably on the Eucharist), by praising Luther as a great physician of souls.

of the other sorte, much lesse are they to be commended, which rungyng as much on the contrary stryng, are so precise, that because of one small blemish, or for a litle stoupyng of Luther in the Sacrament, therfore they geue cleane ouer the readyng of Luther, and fall almost in vtter contempt of his bookes. Wherby is declared not so much the nicenes and curiousnes of these our dayes, as the hinderance that cōmeth therby to the church, is greatly to be lamented. MarginaliaCommendation of Martin Luthers doctrine. For albeit the Church of Christ (praysed by the Lord) is not vnprouided of sufficient plenty of worthy and learned writers, able to instruct in matters of doctrine: yet in the chief poyntes of our consolation, where the glory of Christ, and the power of his passion and strength of fayth is to opened to our conscience, and where the soule wrastelyng for death and lyfe, standeth in neede of serious consolation, the same may be sayd of Martin Luther, amongest all this other varietie of writers, MarginaliaCyprian so much delited in reading of Tertullian, that whensoeuer he called for hys booke, he badde reach hym hys Mmister. that S. Cyprian was wont to say of Tertulian: Da magistrō: geue me my maister. MarginaliaThe consent betwene Lucher & Zuinglius in cases of doctrine. And albeit that Luther went a litle awry, and dissented from Zuinglius in this one matter of the sacrament: yet in all other states of doctrine they did accorde, as appeared in the Synode holden at Marpurge, 
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Foxe based this account of the Colloquy of Marburg on Caspar Hedio, Paralipomoena rerum memorabilium (Strasbourg, 1538), pp. 472-3 and Johannes Sleidan, A famouse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries, trans. John Daus (London, 1560), pp. 472-3. It should be observed that Foxe is going out of chronological order in his narrative, as the Colloquy of Marburg was held in 1529.

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by prince Philip Lantgraue of Hesse, which was in the yeare of our Lord. 1529. where both Luther, and Zuinglius were present, and conferryng together, agreed in these Articles:

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1. On the vnitie, and Trinitie of God 2. In the Incarnation of the word. 3. In the passiō and resurrection of Christ. 4. In the Article of Originall sinne. 5. In the Article of faith in Christ Iesu. 6. That this fayth commeth not of merities, but by the gifte of God. 7. That this fayth is our righteousnes. 8. Touchyng the externe word. 9. Likewise they agreed in the Articles of Baptisme. 10. Of good workes. 11. Of confession. 12. Of Magistrates. 13. Of mens traditions. 14. Of Baptisme of infantes. 15. Lastly, concernyng the doctrine of the Lordes Supper, this they dyd beleue and hold, first that both the kyndes therof are to be ministred to the people accordyng to Christes institution: and that the Masse is no such worke for the whiche a man may obteyne grace both for the quicke, and the dead. Item, that the Sacrament

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