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Nürnberg (Nuremberg) [Nureburgh; Nurremberge; Noremberge; Norenberge]


Coordinates: 49° 27' 0" N, 11° 5' 0" E

883 [859]

K. Henry 8. M. Luther. The Nobles aunswere to the P. Ambassadour. Greeuances of the Ger.

people, and which to be subtilly searched, or deepely discussed, it is not expedient Also that they shall mooue no contention of disputation among the vulgare sorte, but what so euer hangeth in controuersie, the same they shall reserue to the determination of the Councell to come.

MarginaliaPreachers limited within certaine bōdes.Item, the Archbishops, Bishops, and other prelates wythin their diocesse shall assigne godly and learned men, hauing good iudgement in the scripture, which shall diligently and faithfully attende vppon such preachers: and if they shall perceiue the sayde preachers either to haue erred, or to haue vttered any thing vnconueniently, they shall godly, mildely, and modestly aduertise, and informe them thereof, in such sort as no man shall iustly complaine the trueth of the Gospell to be impeached. But if the preachers continuing still in their stubbernesse shall refuse to be admonished, and will not desist from their lewdnesse, then shall they be restrained and punished by the Ordinaries of the place, wyth punishment for the same conuenient.

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MarginaliaAgainst sel.ling and printing of famous libells.Furthermore, the sayde Princes and nobles shall prouide and vndertake, so much as shall be possible, that from hencefoorth during the foresaide time, no new booke shalbe imprinted, especially none of these famous libels, MarginaliaFamouse libels be such bookes as raile against the fame of any person, shewing no name of the author thereof. neither shall they priuily or apertly be sold. Also order shalbe taken amongst al potestates, that if any shall set out, sell, or imprint any newe worke, it shall first be seene and perused of certaine godly learned, and discrete men appoynted for the same: so that if it be not admitted and approoued by them, it shal not be permitted to be published in print, or to come abrode. Thus by these meanes, they hope wel, that the tumults, errours, and offensions among the people, shal cease, especially if the Popes holinesse himselfe shall begin with an orderly & due reformation, in the foresaid greuances aboue mentioned, and wil procure such a free and Christian Councel as hath bene sayde, and so shall the people be well contented and satisfied. Or if the tumult shall not so fully be calmed, as they desire, yet the greater parte thus will be quieted, for all such as be honest and good menne, no doubt, will be in great expectation of that generall Councell, so shortly and now ready at hand to come.

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MarginaliaFor priestes or religious men that marry.Finally, as concerning priests which contract matrimonie, & religious men leauing their cloisters, wherof intimation was also made by the Apostolicall Legate, the foresaid princes do consider, that forsomuch as in the ciuile lawe there is no penaltie for them ordeined, they shalbe referred to the Canonicall constitutions, to be punished therafter according: that is, by the losse of their benefices, and priuiledges, or other condigne censures: and that the said Ordinaries shall in no case be stopped or inhibited by the seculer powers, from the correction of such: but that they shal adde their helpe and fauour to the maintenance of ecclesiasticall iurisdiction, and shal direct out their publike edicts and precepts, that none shal impeach or prohibite the said ordinaries in their ecclesiastical castigation, vpon such transgressors to be administred.

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To conclude, the redoubted prince L. Lieutenaunt and other princes, estates, & orders of the publike Empire, vehemently and most heartily do pray and beseech, that the Popes holinesse, & the reuerend Lord his legate will accept and take all the premisses to be no otherwise spoken and meant, then of a good, free, sincere, & a Christian minde. Neither is there any thing, that al the aforesaid princes, estates, and nobles do more wish and desire, then the furtherance and prosperous estate of the holy Catholique church of Rome, and of his holinesse. To whose wishes, desires, & obedience they offer and commend themselues most ready, and obsequious, as faithfull children. Ex Orth. Grat.

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Thus hast thou (louing reader) the full discourse both of the popes letter, and of his Legates instructions, with the aunswere also of the states of Germanie to the sayde letter and instructions, to them exhibited in the diete of Norenberge. In the which diet, what was concluded, and what order and consultation was taken, first touching the greeuances of Germanie, whych they exhibited to the Pope, then concerning a general councell to be called in Germanie, also for printing and preaching, & for priests mariage, hath bene likewise declared. &c. MarginaliaEx Ioan. Sledano.

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The occasion  

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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.

of this matter mooued against priests mariage, came first by the ministers of Strausburgh, which about this time began to take wiues, MarginaliaMinisters of Strausbrough troubled for their wiues.and therfore were cited by the bishop of Strausburgh to appeare before him at a certaine day, as violaters of the lawes of holy Churche, the holy fathers, the Bishops of Rome, and of the Emperours maiestie, to the preiudice both of their owne order of priesthood, and maiestie of almighty God: But they referred theyr cause to the hearing of the magistrats of the same citie, who being suiters for them vnto the Bishops, labored to haue the matter either released, or at least to be delaied for a time.

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Long it were to recite all the circumstances following vpon this diete or assemble or Norenberge, howe their decree was receiued of some, of some neglected, of diuers diuersly wrasted and expounded. MarginaliaLuther expoundeth the decree of Norenberge.Luther wryting his lettersvpon the same decree, to the Princes, thus made his exposition of the meaning thereof, that where as the preachers were commanded to preach the pure Gospel, after the doctrine of the church receiued, he expoūded the meaning therof to be, not after the doctrine of Tho. Aquine, or Scotus or suche other late schoole wryters, but after the doctrine of Hilarie, Cyprian, & Austen, and other ancient doctors, and yet the doctrine of the said aunciters no farther to be receiued, but as they should agree with the Scripture.

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Secondly, as concerning new bookes not to be sold nor printed, he expounded the meaning therof to extend no farther, but þe text of the Bible and bookes of the holy Scripture might be Printed notwithstanding, and published to all men.

And as for the prohibition of Priestes mariage, he wryteth to the Princes, and desireth them to beare wyth the weakenes of men, declaring that braunch of their decree to be very hard, which though it stand with the Popes law, yet it accordeth not with the Gospell, neither conduceth to good maners, nor to honestie of life. &c.

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Furthermore, where as in the same session of Norenberge,mētion was made before of certaine greuances collected to the number of an hundreth, MarginaliaAn hundreth greeuaunces of the Germaines against the pope and exhibited to the Bishop of Rome, it were tedious likewise to inserte them all: yet to geue some tast of a few, I iudge it not vnprofitable: to the entēt, that the world may see and iudge, not only what abuses and corruptions moste monstruous and incredible, lay hid vnder the glorious title of the holy church of Rome: but also may vnderstand, with what hipocrisie & impudēcie the pope taketh vpon him so greuously to complaine vpon M. Luther, and other: when in all the vniuersall Church of Christe, there is none so muche to be blamed all manner of wayes, as he himselfe, according as by these hainous complaints of the Germain princes, here folowing against the popes intolerable oppressions & greuances may right well appeare. Which greuances being collected by the Princes of Germanie at Norenberge, to the number of an hundreth, 

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This is a sharply abridged translation of the document printed in Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculus rerum expetendarum ac fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fos. 177v-187v. Foxe only retained the complaints which were relevant to the English situation or touched on core theological issues.

I wish might be fully and at large setfoorth to the studious Reader, whereby might appeare the subtile sleightes and intolerable fraudes of that pretensed Church. But for somuch as it were to long to comprehend the whole, I haue thought good to exhibite some part therof for example, as geuing only a certain tast, wherby thou mayest more easely conceiue, what to thinke and esteeme of all the residue, which both to me wold be tedious to write, and perhaps more greeuous to thee, to heare.

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Certaine greuances or oppressions of Germanie, against the courte of Rome, collected and exhibited by the Princes, at the councel of Norenberge, to the number of an C. wherof certaine specialties here folow.

AMongest other burthens & greuances, this is not least to be regarded: þt many things are prohibited by mens constitutions, & many things exacted, whiche are not prohibited or commāded by any precept of God: MarginaliaForbidding of mariage in diuers degrees, not forbidden by Gods the innumerable obstacles of matrimonie inuēted and brought in, wherby mē were forbid to mary in cases of kindred, which stande vpon diuers degrees: as vpon affinitie, publike honesty, spiritual kindred, kindred by law, & kindred in blud. &c. MarginaliaForbidding of meates, not forbidden by Gods laweand likewise in forbidding þe vse of meates, which God hath created for mans necessitye, and taught by the Apostle indifferently to be receiued with thanks geuing. By these and many other such humane cōstitutions, men are yoked in bondage, vntil by mony theyr obteined some dispēsation of those lawes, at theyr handes which made them: so þt money shall make that lawfull for rich men, which is clearely prohibited vnto the poore. By these snares of mens lawes & constitutions, not onely great summes of money are gathered out of Germanie, & caried ouer the Alpes, but also great iniquitie is sprong vp amongst christians: many offences and priuie hatreds do rise, by reason that poore men do see themselues intangled with these snares, for no other cause, but for that they doe not possesse the thornes of the Gospel, for so Christ doth often call riches.

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Times forbidden.

MarginaliaTymes of mariage restrayned, and after released for money.THe like practise also is to be sene in the times restrained from Mariage, by the heades of the Churche of Rome, from the Septuagesima Sonday, somewhat before Lent: when as notwithstanding bothe the Clergye and the seculars in the meane time wil liue licentiously, and that openly in the face of all the world. But this interdict proceedeth to this effect: if a man shal presume so to do vpon his owne liberty, without compouding. But otherwise if there be any hope of money, then that which was before vnlawful, is now made lawful for euery man to do frely. And this is

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