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Marburg
 
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Marburg

[Marpurge]

Hesse, Germany

Coordinates: 50° 48' 36" N, 8° 46' 15" E

887 [863]

K. Henry. 8. The history of Martyn Luther. Luther and Zuinglius wherein they dissent.

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 stoode against that violente throwing downe of Images, and against Carolostadius, seemeth partly to rise of this, by reason that Pope Adrian in his letters sent to the Princes and states of Germany, doth greeuously complaine, and charge the sect of Luther, for sedition and tumultes, and rebellion against Magistrates, as subuerters and destroyers of all order and obedience, as appeareth by the words of the Popes letter before expressed, pag. 854. therefore M. Luther, to stoppe the mouth of such slanderers, and to preuent such sinister suspitions, was enforced to take this way, as he did: that is, to proceede, as much as he might, by order and authoritie.

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MarginaliaThe causes discussed why Luther pemitted Images to stand.¶ Wherein are to be noted by þe way two speciall points, touching the doctrine and doings of M. Luther especially for all such who in these our dayes, now abusing the name & authoritie of Luther, thinke themselues to be good Lutherians, if they suffer Images stil to remaine in temples, and admit such things in the Church, which themselues do wish 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 violēce should rap them downe: yet that is no argument now for the Magistrate, to let them stand. And though he allowed not the Ministers to stirre vp the people, by forceable meanes to promote Religion: yet that argueth not, those magistrates to be good Lutherians, 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 standing of Images, which cause was time, and not his owne iudgement. For albeit in iudgement he wished them away, yet time so serued not therunto then, as it serueth now. For then the doctrine of Luther first beginning to spring, and being but in the blade, was not yet knowne whereto it tended, nor to what it would grow: but rather was suspected to tend to disobedience & sedition: and therefore the Pope hearing of the doings of Carolostadius in Wittenberge, and of other like, tooke his ground thereby to charge the sect of Luther with sedition, vprores, and dissolute libertie of life. And this was the cause, why Luther cōpelled then by necessitie of time, to saue hys doctrine from sclaunder of sedition and tumulte, beyng layd to hym by the Pope (as ye haue heard) was so much offended with Carolostadius and other, for their violence vsed against Images. For otherwise, had it not bene for the Popes accusations, there is no doubt, but Luther would haue bin as well cōtented with abolishing of Images and other monuments of Popery, Marginaliaxxx as he was at the same time, contented to write to the Friers Augustines for abrogating of priuate Masses. And therefore as Luther in this doing is to be excused, the circumstances considered: so the like excuse perhaps will not serue the ouermuch curious imitation of certeine Lutherians in this present age now: MarginaliaLutherians of this age. which considering only the fact of Luther, do not marke the purpose of Luther, neyther do expend the circumstances and time of his doings: being not much vnlike to the ridiculous imitatours of King Alexander the great, which thought it not sufficient to follow him in his vertues, but they woulde also counterfeite him in his stouping and all other gestures besides: but to these liuing now in the Church, in another age then Luther did, MarginaliaHow Luther is to be folowed.it may seeme (after my minde) sufficient to follow the same way after Luther, or to walke with Luther, to the kingdome of Christ, and keepe euen the same pase, and turnings in all points, as he did.

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MarginaliaLuther not to be contēned for one little 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 running as much on the contrary string, are so precise, that because of one small blemish, or for a little stouping of Luther in the Sacrament, therefore they giue cleane ouer the reading of Luther, and fall almost in vtter contempt of his bookes. Whereby is declared not so much the nicenes and curiousnes of these our daies, as þe hinderance that cōmeth thereby to the Church, is greatly to be lamented. For albeit the Church of Christ (praised be the Lord) is not vnprouided of sufficient plenty of worthy and learned writers, able to instruct in matters of doctrine: MarginaliaCommendation of Martin Luthers doctrine.yet in the chiefe points of our cōsolation, where the glory of Christ, and the power of his passion & strength of faith is to be opened to our conscience, & where the soule wrasteling for death and life, standeth in neede of serious consolation, the same may be sayd of Martin Luther, amongst all this other varietie of writers, that S. Cyprian MarginaliaCyprian so much delited in reading of Tertulian, that whensoeuer he called for his booke, he badde reach him his maister. was wont to say of Tertulian Da magistrum, geue me my maister. And albeit that Luther went a little awry, and dissented frō Zuinglius in this one matter of the Sacrament: yet in all other states of doctrine they did accord, as appeared in the Synode holdē 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 princePhilip 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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MarginaliaThe consent betweene Luther and Zuinglius in cases of doctrine.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 Fayth in Christ Iesu. 6 That this fayth commeth not of merites, but by the gift of Cod. 7. That this Fayth is our righteousnesse. 8. Touchyng the extreme word. 9. Likewise they agreed in the Arricles of Baptisme. 10. Of good workes. 11. Of cōfession. 12 Of Magistrates. 13. Of mens traditiōs. 14. Of Baptisme of infantes. 15. Lastly, concernyng the doctrine of the Lordes Supper, this they did 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 which a mā may obteine grace both for the quick, and the dead. Item, that the Sacrament (which they call of the altar) is a true Sacrament of the body and bloud of the Lord. Item, that the spirituall manducation of his body and bloud is necessary for euery Christen man. And furthermore, that the vse of the Sacrament tendeth to the same effect, as doth the word, geuē and ordeyned of the almightie God, that thereby infirme consciences may be stirred to belefe, by the holy Ghost. &c. Ex Paral. Abbat. Vrsp.

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In all these summes of doctrine aboue recited, Luther and Zuinglius did consent and agree. Neither were their opinions so differēt in the matter of the Lordes Supper, but that in the principall pointes they accorded. 

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In fact, in 14 of the 15 articles drawn up by Luther before the Colloquy (and listed by Foxe), the Lutheran and Swiss Reformers agreed. But the Swiss refused to accept the doctrine of the Eucharist contained in article 15. Foxe is de-emphasizing the disagreement in response to a blistering attack by Nicholas Harpsfield, who argued that Lutherans, Zwinglians and Calinists were not of the same religion because they did not share the same beliefs on the key doctrine of the Eucharist (Harpsfield, Dialogi sex, pp. 802-17 and 822-25).

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For if the question be asked of them both, what is the materiall substaunce of the Sacrament, which out outward sense doe behold and feele: they will both confesse bread, and not the accidents onely of bread. MarginaliaLuther & Zuinglius agree in the presence: only in the maner of the presence they differFurther if the question be asked whether Christ be there present: they will both confesse his true presence to be there, onely in the manner of presence they differre. Agayn, aske whether the materiall substaūce layd before our eyes in the Sacrament, is to be worshypped: they will both deny it, and iudge it Idolatry. And likewise for transubstantiation, and for the sacrifice of the Masse, they both do abhorre, and do deny the same: As also the Communiō to be in both kyndes administred, they do both assent and graunt.

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MarginaliaHow & wherein Luther and Zuinglius dissent in doctrine of the Lordes supper.Onely their difference is in this, concernyng the sense and meanyng of the wordes of Christ: Hoc est corpus meum: This is my body: &c. MarginaliaLuthers opinion in the Sacramēt.Which wordes Luther expoundeth to be taken nakedly and simply, as the letter stādeth, without trope or figure, and therfore holdeth the body and bloud of Christ truely to be in the bread, and wine, and so also to be receaued with the mouth. MarginaliaZuinglius opinion in the Sacrament.Vldricus Zuinglius, with Ioannes Oecolampadius and other moe, do interprete these wordes otherwise, as to be taken not litterally, but to haue a spirituall meanyng, & to be expounded by a trope or figure, so that the sense of these wordes: This is my body, is thus to be expoūded: this signifieth my body and bloud. Ex Ioan. Sled. Lib. 5. MarginaliaEx Ioan. Sled. lib. 5. With Luther cōsented the Saxōs. 

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I.e., the Lutherans, who were from the duchy of Saxony.

With the other side of Zuinglius, went the Heluetians. And as tyme did grow, so the diuision of these opinions increased in sides, & spread in farther Realmes and countreys: the one part beyng called of Luther Lutheriās: MarginaliaLutherians. the other hauyng þe name of Sacramentaries. MarginaliaSacramentaries. Notwithstādyng in this one vnitie of opinion, both the Lutherians, & Sacramentaries do accorde & agree, that the bread & wine there present is not trāsubstantiate into the body & bloud of Christ (as is sayd) but is a true Sacrament of the body & bloud. MarginaliaEx Paralip. Abb. Vrsp.

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But hereof sufficient, touchyng this diuision betwene the Lutherans and Zuinglians. In which diuisiō, if there haue bene any defect in Martin Luther: yet is that no cause why either the Papistes may greatly triūph, or why the Protestantes should despise Luther. 

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Now Foxe is advising English Protestants not to disown Luther because they did not share the same theology of the Eucharist.

For neither is the doctrine of Luther touchyng the Sacramēt, so grosse that it maketh much with the Papistes: nor yet so discrepaunt frō vs, that therfore he ought to be exploded. And though a full reconciliation of this difference cā not well be made (as some haue gone about to do) yet let vs geue to Luther a moderate interpretation, & if we will not make thinges better, yet let vs not make them worse thē they be, & let vs beare, if not with the maner, yet at least with the tyme of his teachyng: and finally let it not be noted in vs, MarginaliaLutherians and Zuinglians differ more in charitie then in doctrine.that we should seeme to differre in Charitie more (as Bucer sayd) then we do in doctrine. But of this hereafter more (Christ willyng) when we come to the history of Iohn Frith.

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They which write the lyfe of Saintes, vse to describe and to extoll their holy lyfe & godly vertues, and also to set forth such miracles as be wrought in them by God: Wherof there lacketh no plenty in Martin Luther, but rather time lacketh to vs and oportunitie to tary vpon them, hauyng such hast to other things. 

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This section is a very interesting attempt by Foxe to grapple with one of the major challenges to Protestant martyrology: why miracles did not occur to support the sanctity of Protestant martyrs? And how could Luther be regarded as a divinely inspired teacher when he did not buttress his message with miracles? Foxe explains this by describing the 'miracles' performed by Luther.

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Otherwise what a miracle might this seeme to be, for one man, & a poore Frier, creepyng out of a blynd cloyster, to be set vp agaynst the Pope,

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the
FFf.iiij.
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